Naraka Mandala, Heian-kyo


Nemo: The Shadow Border is now docked at Wandering Sea Port 1. All Chaldea staff, please disembark at your earliest convenience.

Fujimaru 1: We're back! We're finally back!

Mash: Yes, Senpai. We've all made it back to base safely!

Goredolf: Indeed, we have! Ahh, I can scarcely recall the last time I was able to breathe a genuine sigh of relief!

Goredolf: That aside, I didn't expect returning to the Wandering Sea to be so...involved.

Goredolf: First we had to anchor the Storm Border out at sea, then we had to change to the Shadow Border to make our way here by diving underwater...

Goredolf: I must say, any workshop you can only access from under the sea is a long ways from perfect in my book!

Fujimaru 2: Great job out there, Shadow Border!

Mash: That's right. It only took about twenty minutes from the time we anchored the Storm Border outside and made our way here in the Shadow Border.

Mash: Thank you again, Nemo. I don't know what we would have done without your help! You're amazing!

Nemo: ...Well, I am Triton as well as Nemo. When it comes to navigating the ocean, you'd better believe I can hold my own against the Storm Border.

Nemo: I doubt my Nautilus will ever serve as a strategy room for you guys again, but it's still nice to hear that.

Sion: Well done out there, everyone. I have been eagerly awaiting your return.

Sion: Congratulations on your victory over the Atlantic Lostbelt. Not only did you succeed at your primary objective brilliantly...

Sion: even brought back a more fascinating souvenir than I could ever have imagined! That battleship out there is simply fantabulous!

Sion: The data you sent painted a truly spectacular picture, but now that I have seen it in person, your data hardly did it justice!

Holmes: While I can certainly understand how you feel, Ms. Sion, I'm afraid I must ask that you postpone indulging your curiosity a bit longer.

Holmes: I believe you are already aware of the situation, and of the next move we need to make?

Sion: You had better believe it. Not to worry, our next mission is right up my alley as well!

Holmes: I see. My apologies. I should have known Atlas's resident child prodigy would already have the matter well in hand.

Holmes: [♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru. Director Goredolf. Ms. Kyrielight. And Mr. M.

Holmes: May I suggest we take this opportunity to roll up our sleeves and return to our respective positions?

Meunière: What the... How do you know my handle, Holmes!? Don't tell me you're addicted to online games too!?

Holmes: Hahaha. While I won't deny I have my own vices, online games are not among them. Indeed, I still have very little experience when it comes to video games.

Holmes: No, that was just a small demonstration of my skill.

Holmes: While I may not have been at my best in Olympus, I am still the world's foremost detective, you see.

Holmes: By virtue of my profession, revealing secrets comes as naturally to me as breathing does to you.

Meunière: Ugh, you really are the worst, aren't you!? Nope. Not buying it. I think it's more like a fetish than it is anything to do with your job!

Goredolf: Now, now, that's enough of that, Ajillo.

Goredolf: His choice of topic aside, the point is, Holmes has proven that his detective skills are still sharp.

Goredolf: And I, for one, am most encouraged to see it, Administrative Advisor! Just make sure you keep your magnifying glasses away from my own private affairs!

Mash: It's wonderful to see everyone so relaxed again.

Mash: I think we all started feeling less tense on the way back from Olympus, and it looks like I was right.

Fujimaru 1: Yeah, we were all under a ton of stress for a long time.

Fujimaru 2: I know I'm pretty darn relieved!

Nemo: ...(Sigh) You're really not supposed to chitchat on the dock, you know.

Nemo: Besides, last I checked, you Chaldeans are supposed to be getting ready to tackle the next Lostbelt.

Nemo: For all we know, this could be the last time we get to come back to the base like this.

Nemo: So I encourage you all to head back to your rooms and rest up for what's to come.

Goredolf: Oh yes, you certainly don't have to tell me twice.

Goredolf: I've been looking forward to putting my feet up on my fluffy bed and drifting off without having to worry about being woken up by an emergency alert for ages now!

Goredolf: Oh yes, by the way, Captain:

Goredolf: Shouldn't my gorgeous director's office be done by now?

Nemo: ...Huh?

Goredolf: What?

Nemo: U-uh, right. How could I forget? How's that coming along, Sion?

Sion: Yes, of course it is all done.

Sion: However, as luck would have it, I just began further renovations a few minutes ago with the aim of making it even more gorgeous than before.

Sion: In the meantime, Goredolf, I would ask that you continue to look forward to the office of your dreams...

Sion: ...from the comfort of Storehouse 3 for the time being.

Goredolf: I don't believe it. She clearly forgot all about me, but instead of admitting her mistake, she's chosen to power straight through with a thousand-watt smile!

Fujimaru 1: What about you and Da Vinci, Captain?

Fujimaru 2: So what are you and Da Vinci gonna do now, Captain?

Nemo: I'm going to head right back to the Storm Border.

Nemo: It's still pretty unstable, even with all the renovations we made in Atlantis.

Nemo: I need to shore it up so it can eventually operate even without my presence, or the Storm Border's for that matter.

Holmes: I see. So you'll be replacing the virtual parts currently supported by the Aronnax Phantasm with real ones.

Holmes: It seems, then, that you have a great deal of welding ahead of you.

Nemo: Yeah. Once that's done, I have to replace the central control system with something that doesn't depend on the Shadow Border so we stop piling more work onto Da Vinci.

Nemo: I take it everything's ready to go, Sion?

Sion: You know it. I already finished moving your things out so you can focus all your energy on the construction.

Fujimaru 1: So, uh...

Fujimaru 2: What does that all mean, exactly?

Holmes: It means that both Captain and Da Vinci will be staying on the Storm Border for the time being.

Holmes: In the meantime, the rest of us will remain here at Chaldea Base to prepare for the next Lostbelt operation.

Holmes: [♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru, your task will be training to further improve your Master capabilities.

Holmes: Ms. Kyrielight, you'll be fine-tuning the Ortinax.

Holmes: And Ms. Sion and I will begin investigating and analyzing the Foreign God in earnest.

Mash: !

Fujimaru 1: You can do that!?

Holmes: Only with the information we currently have available, but yes.

Holmes: My first order of business will be to peruse the Animusphere records we brought along from Chaldea's Antarctic base.

Holmes: These records should contain information on former director Olga Marie, who has now returned in the form of the Foreign God...

Holmes: ...and of her father, Sir Marisbury, the founder of Chaldea.

Holmes: In that sense, I suppose it will be an internal affairs investigation of sorts. As for Ms. Sion, she will be–

Sion: Say no more. You want me to observe and examine everything I can about the external side–the Foreign God that now exists on our planet.

Goredolf: You can do that!?

Goredolf: ...Now look. You surprised me so much I reacted in the exact same way as Fujimaru!

Sion: Hehehe, so you did. It was very entertaining to watch.

Sion: At any rate, yes, I can indeed determine the Foreign God's whereabouts now. In fact, I have already done so.

Sion: All is within Trismegistus II's analytical capabilities.

Sion: You may think of them as being analogous to Sheba from the original Chaldea if that helps.

Sion: As we speak, the Foreign God's signal has left the Atlantic Lostbelt and moved to the South American one, where it is holding position.

Sion: After I had Trismegistus II analyze the time-lapsed footage...

Sion: concluded that it could not observe a future where the signal would leave South America while the world was in its current bleached state.

Sion: Which means we can expect the Foreign God to remain in South America for the time being.

Fujimaru 1: If she's not moving from the South American Lostbelt, then–

Fujimaru 2: Then, does that mean

Mash: ...Kirschtaria's magecraft injured her so badly she can no longer move?

Holmes: That would be the most reasonable conclusion.

Holmes: I can think of no other reason for the Foreign God to refrain from attacking us.

Goredolf: Th-then this is the perfect chance to strike back! If we go after her now while she's still injured, then–

Da Vinci: Sorry, Gordy, but I don't think that's a good idea.

Da Vinci: Oh, hey guys! Hope you don't mind me jumping in remotely☆

Da Vinci: That's right, it's me, Da Vinci! I'm currently examining the Storm Border along with the Nemo Marines!

Da Vinci: Wha...? Hey! Cut that out, Marine D! Those are MY skates, dammit!

Da Vinci: I swear, why are you guys always messing with me!?

H:Nemo Marine: 'Cause we're both Riders, which makes us rivals! And there's no way we're gonna let you win without a fight!

H:Nemo Marine: Since you've got the land covered, and we've got the sea, whoever ends up controlling the sky will win it all!

H:Nemo Marine: That's why one of these days, we're gonna have Captain Nemo fight you to see who gets to keep the Storm Border!

H:Nemo Marine: Come on, Marines, winner takes all! Let's win this thiiing!

Da Vinci: Huh? What're you guys even talking about!?

Nemo: Just ignore them, Da Vinci. More importantly, wasn't there something you wanted to tell us?

Da Vinci: Oh, right, I almost forgot. Ugh. You know, Captain, it wouldn't kill you to keep these guys in line.

Da Vinci: Anyway, speaking in my capacity as technical advisor...

Da Vinci: ...I have to strongly advise against trying to attack the Foreign God in South America right now.

Da Vinci: Even if she really is as badly injured as we're assuming, we'd still be no match for her. At least, not yet.

Da Vinci: Based on what we observed in Olympus, the Foreign God's Spirit Origin output is on the order of a third-class planet.

Da Vinci: In other words, she's the strongest being we've seen since Beast I, Goetia, and his second-class planet-level power.

Da Vinci: We just don't have anything powerful enough to destroy something like that, even fi the Storm Border were in perfect condition.

Da Vinci: So if we tried going to South America now, never mind beating her, just surviving would be a miracle. If anything, we should be grateful that things are at a stalemate right now.

Mash: The strongest being we've seen since Goetia...

Mash: True, when we fought Goetia, we were only able to defeat him thanks to a number of extenuating circumstances...

Mash: ...but what about the Black Barrel? Couldn't that do something against the Foreign God, no matter the scale of her life span?

Sion: Hmm... As much as I would love to say that my darling Black Barrel is up to the task, I am afraid I cannot.

Sion: To begin, it is possible that the Foreign God simply does not fit our perception of common sense.

Sion: You see, Black Barrel can only measure the longevity of something understood by creatures of Earth.

Sion: We simply have no guarantee that the same rules apply to the Foreign God.

Sion: That said, I suppose it is at least possible, given that we are able to communicate with them...

Sion: But even then, I doubt that the Black Barrel's Accomplishments Measure would be able to get a full read on the Foreign God's life span.

Holmes: Oh? And why is that?

Holmes: Isn't the Black Barrel designed precisely to turn those sorts of differences in capability on their heads?

Sion: Well, think about it. The Foreign God whipped up a gravitational field like it was nothing, remember?

Sion: We are talking about a being capable of creating black holes. My engineering simply cannot compete.

Sion: You all know about black holes, right? They are basically pitfalls of pure darkness that suck up anything in their vicinity.

Sion: I say pitfall, but in the metaphorical sense. There is no “falling” involved. They exert a gravitational force on anything within range.

Sion: The reason they are called black holes is because not even light can escape their pull, which makes them as dark as it is physically possible to be.

Sion: The speed of light is three hundred thousand kilometers per second, and with our current understanding of the laws of physics, we are unable to exceed it.

Sion: So there is just no way for anything I could engineer to keep up with an opponent who can toss out black holes with hardly any effort.

Goredolf: R-really? Granted, that gravitational field was quite the force to be reckoned with...

Goredolf: Does this mean there's just nothing we can do against someone with black holes in their arsenal?

Sion: No, that is not quite accurate. I am not saying that black holes are strong simply by virtue of their nature.

Sion: In fact, increasing gravity is actually very simple. All one has to do is compress mass and raise its density.

Sion: For example, if we could compress Earth's mass to the size of a fingertip, it would become a black hole.

Sion: So the mechanics behind a black hole's creation are clearly understood. We simply lack the engineering skill to create one.

Sion: Even as we speak, new black holes are forming throughout the universe.

Sion: They are the inevitable result of what happens...

Sion: ...when a large star reaches the end of its life cycle and collapses under its own weight.

Sion: They are part of stellar life, and as such, they occur throughout the universe on a daily basis. In other words–

Holmes: The Foreign God is using the same mechanisms as the cosmos itself.

Holmes: Which means even the very scales we employ must use completely different units of measurement than hers. Is that correct?

Sion: I am afraid so.

Sion: The Black Barrel is designed for fighting life-forms, regardless of how powerful those life-forms may be.

Sion: But unfortunately for us...

Sion: ...humanity has yet to devise a calculation that is not only capable of measuring the life span of celestial objects, but then using that measurement as a weapon.

Sion: The only reason we were able to use it to defeat the gods of Olympus is because they were part of a theory that only worked in a Lostbelt.

Sion: Put differently, because they were once a foundational factor of human history.

Mash: Then...there's no way for us to use the Black Barrel to stop the Foreign God, since it uses its target's own longevity as ammunition?

Sion: Correct. Our battle with the Foreign God will be determined solely by how much energy we are able to produce.

Sion: So if our opponent is outputting as much energy as your average star, we will need to come up with a weapon that can match and exceed it.

Fujimaru 1: Easier said than done...

Fujimaru 2: Is that even possible?

Holmes: ...I suggest we leave that topic for a later time. For the moment, stabilizing the Storm Border is our top priority.

Goredolf: But, even if we get the Storm Border in perfect working order...what good will it do if we don't have any useful weapons to bring to bear?

Holmes: Oh, I wouldn't worry about that. We do have some idea of where we might find such a weapon. Don't we, Da Vinci?

Da Vinci: Hmm. Maaaybe?

Da Vinci: I mean, yeah, if you're only talking about where to look, that part's in the bag.

Da Vinci: But actually getting our hands on it? That's a whole other story.

Holmes: That's quite all right, Da Vinci. We'll have plenty of time to figure that out.

Holmes: In the meantime, there's something I'd like to ask you regarding Kadoc Zemlupus.

Holmes: Is it true that he gave you something before you put him in the recovery pod?

Da Vinci: Oh, that. I'm surprised you know about that, Holmes. Who spilled the beans, anyway?

Meunière: Oh, that'd be me. You're talking about the memory chip, right?

Meunière: I'm the one who told him about it, and how it probably has records of the Crypters' communications.

Da Vinci: Right you are, Meunière.

Da Vinci: That chip contains all sorts of communication logs between Kirschtaria and the other Crypters. I'm pretty sure Kadoc copied them himself.

Da Vinci: Most of it was about the Atlantic Lostbelt, so it's all pretty useless now...

Da Vinci: There were two bits I found interesting, though.

Holmes: Oh? And what were those?

Da Vinci: First, that the attack on our world began with the Bleached Earth Phenomenon, not the Trees of Emptiness.

Da Vinci: And second...

Da Vinci: ...that the Bleached Earth Phenomenon's point of origin was in North America, in Area 51.

Fujimaru 1: Huh? So, the Trees of Emptiness cameAFTER Earth was wiped clean?

Fujimaru 2: North America... Area 51...

Holmes: Hmm. We may not have a great deal of information at this point, but nonetheless...

Holmes: Da Vinci, would you be so kind as to send that data over to me as well?

Da Vinci: Sure thing! Knock yourself out☆

Da Vinci: All right, that's all from me for now. The Storm Border isn't gonna improve itself, after all!

Da Vinci: Fujimaru, Mash, I know things aren't easy right now, but try not to let them get you guys down, okay?

Da Vinci: Don't worry. You'll feel a lot less anxious once you've had a good rest and gotten back into the swing of things with your training.

Da Vinci: I might not get to see you guys for a while, but the next time I do, I look forward to seeing how much you've grown!

Sion: Da Vinci already brought up everything I wished to, so there is not much left for me to say.

Sion: Now that the Foreign God has arrived on Earth, the situation has changed dramatically.

Sion: However, that does not mean we should panic.

Sion: For the moment, the best thing we can do is to keep our heads down and focus exclusively on what we are able to affect.

Sion: For myself and Holmes on the analysis team, that means studying the enemy and coming up with a plan. For the field team–namely, Fujimaru, Mash, and the Border's crew–that means equal parts training and recuperation.

Sion: No need to worry. According to Trismegistus II's prognostications, the world should remain perfectly intact for at least another month.

Sion: And as the Atlas Institute's resident genius, that gives me more than enough time to come up with a plan guaranteed to succeed.

Sion: So I encourage you all to kick back, relax, and enjoy this standby time as best you can.

Section 1: Fifth Year of Kankou, Heian-kyo

Narration: The moon is watching.

Narration: It's the dead of night.

Narration: The time when humans lay fast asleep, and wild beasts wait with bated breath...

Narration: the moon alone looks down upon the capital reverberating with evil.

Narration: This is Heian-kyo, the land of marvels.

Narration: Like the British Isles, Mystic creatures still roam the lands and peerless heroes hunt them down.

Narration: It is in this nightmarish realm that myth still draws breath.

Narration: For example...

Narration: Saiji, located on the southwest end of Heian-kyo's central area.

Narration: It was rebuilt only recently after a fire burned it to the ground many years ago...

Narration: ...and it is said that the Minister of the Left may have read a poem in its honor during its reopening ceremony.

Narration: Speaking of Minister of the Left Fujiwara, he is one of the emperor's most trusted aids.

Narration: A striking figure in both body and deed, none embodies the capital's prosperity or authority better than him.

Narration: As such, Saiji, with its close connection to him, is a place of miracles...

Narration: ...or at least, it should have been.

Narration: Instead, it was home to rage.

Narration: To malice.

Narration: Indeed, as the moon looks down, a vicious monster, practically the embodiment of loathing, roams the sacred ground of this holy temple!

Man's Voice: Shut up.

Young Warrior: Just shut up already.

Young Warrior: Some great evil spirit threatenin' the Imperial Palace and all of Heian-kyo you turned out to be.

Young Warrior: You're just another borin' old evil spirit who turned tail and ran at the sight of the Four Heavenly King statues at Toji.

Young Warrior: Cheeky little punk.

Young Warrior:

Stuff it!

Narration: With one swing of his blade, the battle was over before it began!

Narration: In a flash, the supposedly great evil spirit's formless body was scattered to the four winds!

Young Warrior: Hah! Done and done!

Narration: This is what it means to be a brave warrior–a Heian warrior.

Narration: He is part of the last line of defense keeping the people of these Far East islands safe from the multitude of wicked monsters that threaten its peace.

Young Warrior: ... ...

Young Warrior: ...Hmmm.

Young Warrior: Nope, that wasn't it, either!

Young Warrior: What'm I'm missin'? Things were never like this back when I was livin' on the mountain!

Young Warrior: What's wrong?

Young Warrior: What don't I got?

Young Warrior: Dammit, this just ain't gonna cut it!

Young Warrior: Guarding the City?! That's hardly a task worthy of one of Raikou's Four Heavenly Kings!

Young Warrior: Dammit, at this rate...

Young Warrior: ...I'll never be able to be a Master.

Young Warrior: ... ...

Young Warrior: ...

Young Warrior: A Master, huh.

Young Warrior: There's somethin' about that that just doesn't sit right with me, either.

Young Warrior: How'd you ever make your peace with it...

Young Warrior: ...Brother Tsuna?

Narration: ...The Horikawa.

Narration: Main street Ichijou Modori-bashi Bridge.

Tachi-wielding Man: ... ...

Tachi-wielding Man: ...You there, young lady.

Young Girl: Yes, Officer?

Young Girl: What can I do for you at this hour of the night?

Tachi-wielding Man: ... ...

Tachi-wielding Man: ...“Officer,” huh?

Tachi-wielding Man: I suppose I can see why you would mistake me for one, but no, I am an officer no longer.

Young Girl: ...?

Tachi-wielding Man: I am a warrior, a retainer from Settsu.

Young Girl: Then, does that mean you're the famous swordfighter from the Genji family?

Tachi-wielding Man: I see you are well-informed indeed, young lady.

Tachi-wielding Man: In that case, I trust you also already know that the Minister of the Left has tasked the Genji family with defending this city from any who would threaten it?

Young Girl: Y-yes! Of course!

Young Girl: None of us city residents would still be alive today if it weren't for the warriors of Genji.

Young Girl: Thank you so much for all you've done for us.

Young Girl: If there is anything I can do to show my appreciation, O valiant warrior...

Young Girl: need but say the word.

Tachi-wielding Man: Very well then, in that case...

Tachi-wielding Man: ...I would like a dance.

Young Girl: Did you say...a dance?

Tachi-wielding Man: I did.

Tachi-wielding Man: The moon is rather clear tonight.

Tachi-wielding Man: ...I would like you to dance atop the bridge so I may watch you alongside the moon's reflection on the water's surface.

Young Girl: ...?

Tachi-wielding Man: Do you still not understand what I mean?

Tachi-wielding Man: You would do well to peer into the water.

Tachi-wielding Man: Perhaps if you had not taken such undue pride in this transformation, Ibaraki, you might have noticed you forgot to change your shadow to match.

Young Girl: !!!

Tachi-wielding Man: ...

Ibaraki-Douji: You...

Ibaraki-Douji: How dare you! How dare you, how dare you, how dare you!?

Ibaraki-Douji: You tricked me! You knew who I was, and you tricked me into embarrassing myself!

Ibaraki-Douji: If this means you had me figured out from the start, then...


I'll kill you!!!

Ibaraki-Douji: You're dead, you hear me!? Dead! Grrr, I hate you so much!

Ibaraki-Douji: That's it! Tonight's the night I finally bite your head off, gouge your eyes out, skin you alive, and leave your mutilated corpse hanging for everyone on Suzaku Avenue to see!

Ibaraki-Douji: You hear me, Tsunaaaaaa!?!?!?

Tachi-wielding Man: ...

Ibaraki-Douji: ...!

Ibaraki-Douji: Hey! Look at me when I'm threatening you!

Ibaraki-Douji: You're supposed to tremble at my fangs, shudder at my claws, and beg for mercy at my feet!

Ibaraki-Douji: How dare you look at me...

Ibaraki-Douji: ...and see someone else, Tsuna!?

Ibaraki-Douji: Look at me! Look at me, dammit!!!

Tachi-wielding Man: ...

Ibaraki-Douji: Why you...!

Ibaraki-Douji: Ahahahahahaha!

Tachi-wielding Man: ... ...

Ibaraki-Douji: Heh. Hehehehehehe. My, my, little Tsuna, are you so terrified of me that you can't move? Good! That's more like it!

Ibaraki-Douji: Yes, that's right!

Ibaraki-Douji: I've grown stronger since that night! Much stronger!

Ibaraki-Douji: I learned a lot on Mt. Ooe, Tsuna! In the time I spent with Shuten, I learned everything I needed to know about being a better oni!

Ibaraki-Douji: And I'm just getting started!

Ibaraki-Douji: One of these days, I'm gonna lead every oni in all of Japan!

Ibaraki-Douji: As the pair of oni kings of Mt. Ooe, Shuten and I will descend from on high, wipe out you Genji, and devour every last person on the face of the earth!

Ibaraki-Douji: Hehe...

Ibaraki-Douji: Heh, hehe, mwahahahahahahaha!

Tachi-wielding Man: ... ...

Tachi-wielding Man: ...Is that all you have to say, Ibaraki?

Tachi-wielding Man: Then it seems you still have yet to catch on.

Tachi-wielding Man: You're clearly a long ways off from rivaling Shuten as a leader of the oni world.

Ibaraki-Douji: ?

Ibaraki-Douji: What's that supposed to mean?

Tachi-wielding Man: Neither your flames nor your claws came close to injuring me. For that matter, in case you hadn't noticed...

Tachi-wielding Man: ...I haven't even opened my eyes for a while now.



Ibaraki-Douji: You... You...

Ibaraki-Douji: Grrraaaaaaaaahhh! How dare you make a mockery of me, you... You... Human!


Curse you, Tsunaaa!

Tachi-wielding Man: Ibaraki.

Ibaraki-Douji: Aaaaaaaaahhh!

Ibaraki-Douji: My...

Ibaraki-Douji: My arm!

Ibaraki-Douji: You cut off my right arm! Aah... A-aaaaaahhh!

Ibaraki-Douji: Oh gods, it hurts! It hurts, it hurts, it hurrrts! Damn yooooooooou!

Ibaraki-Douji: You...bastard...!

Ibaraki-Douji: Tsunaaa!!!

Tachi-wielding Man: ...

Ibaraki-Douji: Huh!?

Ibaraki-Douji: Wh-wh-what do you think you're doing now!?

Ibaraki-Douji: Why did you sheathe your sword!? Why aren't you coming for my head next!?

Ibaraki-Douji: Come at me again, dammit!

Ibaraki-Douji: Go on, I dare you! The next time you swing your sword at me, that's when I'll bite your head off! I mean it!

Tachi-wielding Man: ... ...

Tachi-wielding Man: ...It seems there is no Servant to be found here.

Tachi-wielding Man: And you have yet to use a single support spell, even after having your arm cut off.

Tachi-wielding Man: So clearly, you are not a Master.

Ibaraki-Douji: Huh...?

Ibaraki-Douji: Masters...? Servants...? What are you...talking about?

Tachi-wielding Man: You have no Caster aiding you. You are just a lone oni, nothing more.

Tachi-wielding Man: As such, I have no further quarrel with you.

Ibaraki-Douji: ...?

Ibaraki-Douji: I don't know...what you're talking about, Tsuna...

Ibaraki-Douji: But you said...I'm just a lone oni? Nothing more...?

Ibaraki-Douji: I can't believe you'd try to trick me with that kind of nonsense... I hate you even more now!

Tachi-wielding Man: A smoke screen made of fire...

Tachi-wielding Man: And then she hid. If nothing else, Ibaraki, you do get better at turning tail each time we meet.

Ibaraki-Douji: Next time, I'm gonna take my arm back, and then I'm gonna kill you. It'll be our last meeting!

Ibaraki-Douji: You have my word on that, Tsuna, my hated rival! Don't you dare forget it!

Tachi-wielding Man: ...So, she's returned to the mountain.

Tachi-wielding Man: Caster.

Medea Lily: Yes, Master.

Medea Lily: Her magical energy was far beyond that of an ordinary human, but it also didn't belong to a Servant...

Medea Lily: Perhaps she was a Phantasmal, or–

Tachi-wielding Man: She's an oni.

Tachi-wielding Man: Right. Of course. You never had such creatures in the land you hail from.

Tachi-wielding Man: Ibaraki and I have something of a history, as you may have guessed. But never mind that now. For the time being, I shall hold onto this arm myself.

Medea Lily: Understood.

Tachi-wielding Man: ...So, that is what it feels like to have one's senses enhanced with magecraft.

Tachi-wielding Man: Magnificent work, Caster. As you can see, I remain without a scratch even after facing off with an oni.

Medea Lily: Don't be ridiculous, Lord Tsuna.

Medea Lily: All I did was cast a simple spell to temporarily enhance your senses.

Medea Lily: You're the one who evaded those fearsome attacks without any physical enhancements, or protection from claw and flame.

Medea Lily: And what's more, you did so entirely with your eyes closed! It was truly an incredible feat if ever I've seen one, Master.

Tachi-wielding Man: Hardly.

Tachi-wielding Man: Anyone who carries a sword could–Well, maybe not.

Tachi-wielding Man: But I will say that any warriors at the top of their art– that is, any of Raikou's Four Heavenly Kings– could do as much.

Tachi-wielding Man: ...Or at least, they should.

Tachi-wielding Man: All right, my Caster, let us be off.

Tachi-wielding Man: We have more quarry we must find tonight.

Medea Lily: Yes, Master. Understood.


Goredolf: Singularity! We've got a Singularity on our hands!

Goredolf: But, as I've mentioned many, many times, I'm very much a layman when it comes to Singularities, plus, I really don't want to get involved with them if at all possible.

Goredolf: So while usually, I would be sitting back and enjoying an elegant cup of tea back in my gorgeous director's office (currently still under construction)...

Goredolf: ...the circumstances apparently being what they are, I decided to at least put in a brief appearance here.

Goredolf: In regards to the Singularity itself, I'll let my technical and administrative advisors handle the briefing.

Goredolf: All right, Technical Advisor, have at it. I'll be watching over the proceedings from a safe–er, supervisory distance.

Da Vinci: Thanks, Gordy! I'll take it from here☆

Fou: Fou! Fou fou!

Da Vinci: Aww, is that your way of welcoming me, Fou? Thanks!

Da Vinci: All right, Fujimaru and Mash, ready to get this briefing started?

Mash: Ready.

Fujimaru 1: I'm good to go.

Fujimaru 2: I take it we need to Rayshift somewhere again?

Da Vinci: Now, now, don't be hasty.

Da Vinci: ...So. This latest Singularity was first observed about thirty minutes ago.

Da Vinci: Of course, with Earth currently bleached clean of human history, the only kinds of Singularities that can occur now are minute ones.

Da Vinci: ...Or so we thought.

Da Vinci: Do you remember what Sion told us about minute Singularities?

Da Vinci: Basically, the worst that can happen with an unrepaired minute Singularity is that it causes a few minor problems when Earth is restored to normal.

Da Vinci: But that's not the case here. This is the real deal: a genuine, full-blown, capital “S” Singularity.

Mash: A real Singularity? You mean, like the original Seven Singularities?

Fou: Fooou?

Holmes: Precisely.

Holmes: Which means this Singularity represents a grave threat to humanity, even with Earth in its current bleached state.

Holmes: The fact that this Singularity has appeared as a blot of black stagnation even on this empty Earth...

Holmes: ...suggests that its influence is far-reaching indeed.

Holmes: That is the unfortunate conclusion Trismegistus II has reached.

Fujimaru 1: Black stagnation...

Da Vinci: Yup. Black stagnation.

Da Vinci: How can I put this...? It's basically like a giant sunspot. That's the kind of stagnation we're talking about.

Fujimaru 1: But, didn't the genius of the Atlas Institute say we had at least a month?

Da Vinci: An excellent point! Which is why I think you should hear what she has to say for herself.

Da Vinci: Go ahead, Sion!

Sion: I am so sorry! Please, just forget everything I said about the world remaining intact for a month!

Sion: The thing about Singularities is, the only people who can predict them are the ones who cause them.

Sion: That is why even Goetia ended up being undone by them. They are like insects eating holes in your map before you are even aware of their existence.

Sion: Anyway, there you have it. I will let the Singularity professionals take it from here.

Sion: Good luck fixing this one and restoring humanity☆

Da Vinci: Make sense now, Fujimaru?

Da Vinci: So, your mission this time is to investigate and eliminate this dark spot on human history.

Da Vinci: The Singularity is located in Japan during the Heian period, in the fifth year of Kankou...

Da Vinci: ...or, 1008 by the Gregorian calendar–the early eleventh century.

Da Vinci: More specifically, it's located in the city we now call Kyoto...

Da Vinci: ...though at the time, it was commonly referred to as “Kyo” or “Miyako,” meaning “the capital”!

Fou: Kyofou!

Holmes: Perhaps it would be easiest to simply refer to it as “Heian-kyo,” as in Heian period Kyoto.

Mash: Heian! That's the period Raikou, Kintoki...

Mash: ...Shuten-Douji, Ibaraki-Douji, Murasaki Shikibu, and Sei Shounagon all come from!

Sakata Kintoki: Now that's golden!

Sakata Kintoki: Did somebody say Heian-kyo? And the fifth year of Kankou, no less? Now you're really golden–uh, speakin' my language!

Sakata Kintoki: That time's right around when us Genji warriors were in our prime! As I recall, that was just before our big Ooe oni cleanup operation...

Sakata Kintoki: ...which meaaans, you can expect to see yours truly!

Sakata Kintoki: So ya better believe me an' Boss Raikou are gonna be all over this!

Sakata Kintoki: Well, I know Raikou's kinda busy gettin' things ready now, but I'm sure she'd come runnin' in a flash if you gave the word, Master.

Fujimaru 1: Kintoki means “golden time,” right?Then this really is your time to shine!

Sakata Kintoki: Hell yeah!

Fujimaru 2: It'd be great if you all could come along, but

Sakata Kintoki: Right!?

Sakata Kintoki: All you gotta do's sit back, relax, and trust that you're in golden hands, baby!

Da Vinci: That's true.

Da Vinci: You almost surely know this Heian-kyo place better than anyone...

Da Vinci: ...and if we could meet up with your historical counterpart, I bet you'd be perfect for getting him to cooperate with us and share what he knows.

Da Vinci: So I agree that having you come along would be ideal...if it were possible.

Sakata Kintoki: Hm? What's the matter, short stuff? Why the long face?

Da Vinci: Well, the thing is–

T:Voice: Hello, everyone. Long time no see!

Fuuma Kotarou: Fuuma Kotarou, at your service.

Danzo: Katou Danzo, likewise.

Goredolf: Aah! Where did you two come from!?

Goredolf: Oh for...!

Goredolf: What is it with ninja Servants always popping up where you least expect them!?

Goredolf: Sure, I might be able to handle the surprise thanks to the nerves of steel cultivated during a lifetime of racing, but you could have easily caused Mont-Saint-Michel here to die of shock!

Meunière: (Tubby's not even sticking to the food theme anymore!)

Danzo: I-I am so sorry, Director Goredolf. I promise I will be more careful from now on.

Goredolf: Good.

Goredolf: But, um, only within reason, of course. I am aware you ninjas are all about stealth, after all.

Fuuma Kotarou: Master, Lord Kintoki, Lord Goredolf. Other distinguished guests.

Fuuma Kotarou: Will you please hear what we have to say?

Fujimaru 1: What's all this about?

Fuuma Kotarou: Well...

Fujimaru 2: Of course we will.

Fuuma Kotarou: Thank you, Master.

Fuuma Kotarou: You see, Lady Danzo and I sensed something was wrong at almost exactly the same time:

Fuuma Kotarou: Thirty minutes ago.

Mash: The same time that this Singularity appeared!

Fuuma Kotarou: Right.

Fuuma Kotarou: Both Lady Danzo and I were momentarily overcome by the exact same sensation.

Fuuma Kotarou: A sensation like hearing a squirming insect, which we think is directly connected to...

Fuuma Kotarou: ...Limbo, the Alter Ego.

Holmes: !

Fou: Fou, fooouuu.

Sakata Kintoki: Limbo, huh.

Sakata Kintoki: I've heard the stories about him too, Master.

Sakata Kintoki: And it sure as hell sounds like he's one of the most golden–I mean, un-golden bastards ever!

Sakata Kintoki: He basically shows up outta nowhere and tries to pull some seriously un-golden shit on you guys all the time, right?

Sakata Kintoki: From what I've heard, it sounds like he's a dead ringer for Ashiya Douman.

Sakata Kintoki: 'Course, I can't say for sure if he's the same Ashiya Douman I knew...

Sakata Kintoki: But I do know for sure that he was hangin' out in Kyo right around the year 1008.

Sakata Kintoki: That said, I get the feelin' that he didn't start competing with Abe-no-Seimei...

Sakata Kintoki: ...or goin' down a seriously deranged path until a little later on...

Fujimaru 1: Limbo!

Fujimaru 2: ...

Danzo: Limbo is truly a wicked creature.

Danzo: And yet, I get a strong sense that he and I are entwined by threads of fate.

Fuuma Kotarou: I feel the same.

Fuuma Kotarou: What's more, when I heard you all mention Heian-kyo...

Fuuma Kotarou: ...that feeling only grew stronger!

Fuuma Kotarou: So please, Master! Please, let us come with you on this journey, so that we may cut the threads of fate that bind us to him once and for all.

Goredolf: Fate, hmm. Well, I can certainly understand how you must feel, but I'm afraid we can't make the call on that alone.

Goredolf: What do you say, Technical Advisor?

Goredolf: Sending contracted Heroic Spirits along on a Rayshift may work for Pseudo-Singularities and minute ones...

Goredolf: ...but were you ever able to send them to a real Singularity that easily?

Goredolf: Because as far as I can recall, you could only Rayshift two people at most.

Da Vinci: Hmmm.

Da Vinci: Well, of course, being able to Rayshift contracted Heroic Spirits from our time...

Da Vinci: ...would be a huge advantage on any mission.

Da Vinci: But, as our director so rightly pointed out...

Da Vinci: ...we're usually not able to have contracted Heroic Spirits tag along.

Sakata Kintoki: Huh!?

Da Vinci: While there have been Servants with extremely rare skills that let them Rayshift into Singularities on their own...

Da Vinci: ...for the most part, it just isn't possible.

Da Vinci: Since most Heroic Spirits can't Rayshift on their own, their only choice is to sync up with Master.

Da Vinci: As for how we determine whether even that's a possibility, it all comes down to a Singularity's essence.

Da Vinci: By which I mean, how harshly it treats elements that didn't originally exist in that history.

Da Vinci: To put it another way, how many gaps it has through which foreign elements might slip in.

Da Vinci: For example, if a Singularity were to occur at a crucial point in human history, there would be almost no room to bend the rules regarding what sort of outside elements were allowed.

Da Vinci: But a minute Singularity's restrictions aren't nearly so, well, strict...

Da Vinci: ...which means there's room to fudge things, presumably allowing us to Rayshift contracted Heroic Spirits in alongside Master.

Da Vinci: The same mostly holds true for Pseudo-Singularities, too.

Da Vinci: We've seen some cases where select Heroic Spirits were able to Rayshift along thanks to their bonds, temperament, traits, or other unique characteristics.

Da Vinci: For example, with the Agartha incident, Astolfo and d'Eon had no problem tagging along.

Da Vinci: In Salem, we managed to send Robin Hood, Sanson, and Mata Hari.

Da Vinci: With the Shinjuku case, we could have technically sent a few Servants along...

Da Vinci: ...but they ended up unable to Rayshift all the way there thanks to a certain professor's interference.

Sakata Kintoki: All right, so what's the deal with this one? Can we go along or not?

Da Vinci: I'm afraid that would be really challenging for this Singularity.

Da Vinci: Well, I say challenging, but it's really more like impossible.

Da Vinci: As far as I can tell from the numbers I got with the Paper Moon, there are no Servants who could accompany Fujimaru on–

Nemo: This is the Storm Border Command Room calling from our anchor point. Do you read me, Da Vinci?

Nemo: I've been following along remotely, so don't worry about catching me up.

Nemo: Sion's actually touching the Paper Moon right now, and she says she has some new information about your current topic.

Nemo: Go ahead, Sion. She's here flapping her gums like a guppy.

Sion: Like a guppy? I admit that is a very cute expression, but you are aware I do not have gills, right?

Sion: Oh, right, the report. I was inspecting the Paper Moon...

Sion: ...and heard your discussion of Heroic Spirits and the probability of Rayshift.

Sion: So out of sheer curiosity, I decided to try running some new numbers and the results were...interesting.

Mash: Um... Interesting, you say?

Sion: Oh yes, very interesting. It is not a result I would ever have expected to get on a first try.

Sion: It is almost as though someone is extending an invitation for the relevant parties to come along.

Mash: !

Goredolf: Hmm? (Look that says, “What is she talking about?”)

Sakata Kintoki: Huh? (Look that says, “How the hell should I know?”)

Fou: Fou? (Special Translation: “Is it bacon time yet?”)

Sion: Ahh, it is wonderful to see you guys acting in such solidarity. It makes you all seem more dependable than ever!

Sion: But now is not the time for heartwarming scenes. No, no, definitely not. So I will jump straight to the point.

Sion: The good news is, I happened to observe two Spirit Origins that should have no trouble whatsoever Rayshifting with Fujimaru to this Singularity:

Sion: The Assassins Fuuma Kotarou...

Sion: ...and Katou Danzo.

Fuuma Kotarou: !

Danzo: !

Sion: The bad news is, those are the only two. The rest of the Heian Servants, including Kintoki, are a no go.

Sion: As are Servants from other regions and time periods.

Sakata Kintoki: ...Gotcha.

Danzo: Lord Kintoki...

Sakata Kintoki: Nah, don't worry 'bout it.

Sakata Kintoki: It is what it is, right!? The only thing that matters is that you two keep Boss safe!

Sakata Kintoki: Between you two and Mash, [♂ he'll /♀️ she'll] have a golden shield and spears at [♂ his /♀️ her] command!

Sakata Kintoki: Make sure you do the rest of us proud out there, all right? I'm countin' on ya, Evil Wind and Black Kite!

Fuuma & Puppet: Understood!

Mash: Right!

Sakata Kintoki: As for the rest of us, while you better believe we'll show up ta help fight battles an' stuff...

Sakata Kintoki: I've also got some golden advice I wanna impart before ya head out!

Sakata Kintoki: If you're headed for fifth year Kankou-era Heian-kyo, then yours truly–well, actually a few of our livin' selves–are sure to be there somewhere.

Sakata Kintoki: So make damn sure you find us, no matter what!

Sakata Kintoki: If you can just track us down and explain the whole Singularity deal to our livin' selves...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Well, I can at least promise that Raikou an' me are sure ta believe you.

Sakata Kintoki: Protectin' the human world's the Genji clan's sworn duty, after all.

Sakata Kintoki: And Raikou in particular'd do anythin' to keep people safe! Even if that means she's gotta swallow what's gonna sound like a whole buncha nonsense.

Sakata Kintoki: All right, that's all I got. Sorry I couldn't be more help!

Sakata Kintoki: Good luck, Boss! I'll be golden rootin' for ya!

Fujimaru 1: Thanks, Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki: No problem, Boss!

Fujimaru 2: I'll do my golden best!

Sakata Kintoki: Now that's what I'm talkin' about! Golden!

Fou: Foooooou fou!

Mash: I see you're raring to go too, Fou!

Goredolf: I-I'm not letting that little fur ball tag along on yet another mission! It's staying right here this time!

Goredolf: Think about it. What if it gets lost and left behind at this latest Rayshift destination!?

Goredolf: It could end up single-handedly ruining Japan's natural ecosystems!

Fou: Foffu, fooou!

Goredolf: Wah!

Goredolf: Wh-what is it, fur ball!? You have something to say to me!?

Goredolf: Administrative Advisor! Technical Advisor! I'll take care of this brute with no sense of self-preservation...

Goredolf: In the meantime, go ahead and brief the field team...on the specifics of the operation! Raaah!

Fou: Foooooo.

Holmes: ...All right, let's get to it, shall we?

Holmes: Fujimaru. Ms. Kyrielight. Fuuma Kotarou. Katou Danzo.

Holmes: Your mission is to investigate and repair the Singularity in Heian-kyo in the year 1008.

Holmes: That is the long and short of it.

Da Vinci: It'll basically be business as usual. Find the Holy Grail that's causing the Singularity, and bring it back home.

Da Vinci: And like Kintoki said earlier, he and Raikou's living selves should be there...

Da Vinci: do everything you can to make contact with them, as they're sure to be a huge help.

Da Vinci: Oh, and one more thing.

Da Vinci: In regards to this particular Holy Grail's whereabouts, we actually have something of a hint this time:

Da Vinci: Limbo.

Da Vinci: Based on what we know about him, there's every possibility...

Da Vinci: ...that he managed to procure a Holy Grail and spawn this Singularity using methods we could never predict.

Da Vinci: Limbo, the Alter Ego...

Da Vinci: Every now and then, you come across people who will give up everything if it means causing as much destruction as possible.

Da Vinci: These kinds of people leech the life from everything around them.

Da Vinci: They refuse to see the worth in anything, themselves included, and stick solely to hurting and killing.

Da Vinci: ...So be careful, 'cause I suspect that's the kind of threat Limbo might be, too.

Da Vinci: And we can't afford to let him slow us down when we've still got a whole bleached Earth to restore!

Fujimaru 1: Don't worry. I won't let my guard down for a moment.

Da Vinci: That's what I like to hear!

Fujimaru 2: Don't worry. I'll be back as soon as I've got the Holy Grail.

Fujimaru 1: It's time to settle the score with Limbo once and for all!

Holmes: Excellent. In the meantime, we'll continue to work on stabilizing the Storm Border with real-world materials.

Holmes: I'm afraid we are still woefully unprepared to send you on your way. In fact, you are almost certainly walking into a trap.

Holmes: But, all the same, this is not a problem we can run from.

Holmes: For the time being, it seems unlikely that the Foreign God will move from South America, and Limbo appears to be the only external force behind this latest Singularity.

Holmes: Which means that right now, he is operating independently.

Holmes: And so, trap or not, we cannot afford to miss this chance when we know he will be without reinforcements.

Holmes: Ideally, I would love to interrogate him to extract every iota of information he knows about the Foreign God...

Holmes: ...but I cannot imagine he would willingly comply with any demand we might make.

Holmes: At any rate, remember this: your primary mission for this Rayshift is not only to repair this Singularity.

Holmes: It is also to eliminate a key figure of the Foreign God's forces before the Foreign God herself intervenes.

Danzo: Understood!

Fuuma Kotarou: You can count on me, sir!

Goredolf: All right, all hands, prepare for Rayshift! I want all of Novum Chaldea on standby ready to help out as needed!

Goredolf: Your destination is the southwest district of Heian-kyo!

Goredolf: We'll initiate the Rayshift in fifteen minutes! That is all!

Fujimaru 1: Got it!

Fujimaru 1: Come on, Mash!

Mash: Right, Senpai!

Fou: Fou fooou!


Fujimaru 1: What is this place...?

Fujimaru 1: Did the Rayshift work?

Fujimaru 1: Mash!

Danzo: My apologies, but no, I am not Mash!

Fujimaru 2: Kotarou! Danzo!

Danzo: Yes, Master!

Danzo: It is I, Danzo.

Danzo: I have scanned our surroundings, and can confirm that our Rayshift to the Heian period capital was successful.

Danzo: However...

Danzo: regards to Lady Mash and Lord Kotarou...

Danzo: ...I cannot see them anywhere!

Fujimaru 1: !!!

Danzo: Nor can I sense their magical energy signals.

Danzo: I also cannot find any signs of their presence, such as footprints in Lady Mash's case or shinobi ciphers in Lord Kotarou's.

Danzo: This is truly baffling.

Danzo: According to my preinstalled map data, I can confirm we are in an uninhabited area in Heian-kyo's southwest district.

Danzo: However, given Lady Mash and Lord Kotarou's absence, and the fact that I am unable to contact Novum Chaldea...

Danzo: ...I am forced to conclude that you and I are the only ones to have arrived at our destination successfully!

Fujimaru 1: Then something must've messed with our Rayshift!

Danzo: Yes, I think so too!

Fujimaru 2: This might be Limbo's doing!

Danzo: ...Yes, it may well be...

Danzo: ... ...

Danzo: ...Master.

Danzo: As a countermeasure against interference in the Rayshift, we were employing Presence Concealment.

Danzo: Lady Da Vinci came up with the idea using the interference data collected from the Shinjuku Pseudo-Singularity.

Danzo: Sabers could use Magic Resistance, Casters could use Territory Creation...

Danzo: ...and so on for each class.

Danzo: Naturally, both Lord Kotarou and I used the skills we were directed to during this Rayshift...

Danzo: ...but just before the Rayshift ended, I felt an odd disturbance in my magical energy...

Danzo: ...almost as though I had run into a Bounded Field.

Fujimaru 1: That must be what interfered with Mash and Kotarou's Rayshift.

Danzo: Yes, I believe so.

Danzo: As a matter of fact...

Danzo: ...I happened to sense Lord Kotarou's magical energy, though only for a moment.

Danzo: This is only speculation on my part, but...

Danzo: ...I think Lord Kotarou may have acted as a decoy to draw the enemy's attention.

Danzo: If that's true, I can only assume he wanted you to have at least one Servant by your side, rather than none.

Fujimaru 1: I see. So he sent you on ahead to help me.

Danzo: ...I believe so, yes.

Danzo: A painful reminder that there are areas where my skills are left wanting. Lord Kotarou, on the other hand, is a true shinobi.

Danzo: At any rate, let us take stock of our situation, Master.

Danzo: It seems clear that you and I were the only members of our party to successfully reach our destination.

Danzo: At present, Lady Mash and Lord Kotarou's whereabouts remain unknown.

Danzo: The Rayshift interference could have sent them both back to Novum Chaldea...

Danzo: ...or they could have each arrived in different locations somewhere in Heian-kyo.

Fujimaru 1: Let's start by doing what we can.

Fujimaru 1: We'll keep an eye out for Mash and Kotarou...

Fujimaru 1: ...and look for locals who can help us!

Fujimaru 2: ...and figure out a way to restore communications with Novum Chaldea!

Danzo: Understood!

Danzo: Then let us get moving and begin our search for our teammates. Oh, and we should also try to find a local who can help us, such as Lady Raikou!

Danzo: As for the comms interference, our solutions will vary depending on the type of Bounded Field the enemy is using.

Danzo: If I can just find the Bounded Field's edge, or perhaps a seam, I should be able to reestablish contact.

Fujimaru 1: In the meantime, we may as well get going.

Fujimaru 2: Come on then, let's go!

Danzo: Yes, Master.

Danzo: Wait. Just a moment.

Danzo: I am detecting something in those shadows...

Danzo: No, multiple somethings. And I expect they each contain a great deal of magical energy.

Danzo: So I would urge you to slowly, carefully...

Danzo: ...get behind me. Please.

Danzo: (I was too careless!)

Danzo: (How did I fail to notice these readings sooner!? They must be Assassins with Presence Concealment...)

Danzo: (...or monsters that are exceptionally skilled at hiding!)

Danzo: Master! Get behind me! Now!

Fujimaru 1: What are those things!?

Danzo: They appear to be enormous creatures with multiple legs... But more importantly, they are clearly hostile.

Fujimaru 2: Get ready to fight, Danzo!

Danzo: Understood. Whatever these creatures are, they are clearly hostile.

Danzo: Initiating combat routines... Unlocking all Mechanical Ninja Arts.

Danzo: Since I cannot accurately ascertain their strength, I see no reason to hold back!

Danzo: I shall therefore employ every tool in my possession!

Danzo: Now, let us begin!


Danzo: You fell for my decoy.

Danzo: Fuuma Missile!

Danzo: A mass of black blades!? Master!!!

Danzo: ...!

Danzo: This is...nothing... All right, foul spider monsters, try this on for size!

Danzo: Evil Wind Death Storm!

Danzo: Are you all right, Master!?

Fujimaru 1: Are you okay, Danzo!?

Fujimaru 2: What about you!? You're obviously hurt!

Danzo: Oh, no, this is not a problem.

Danzo: As you can see, my self-repair function remains intact. I will be fine.

Danzo: There is nothing to worry about, since my Spirit Core remains undamaged. Rest assured, I am not about to fall now.

Danzo: If Lady Mash and Lord Kotarou are not here, then it falls to me to keep you just as safe as they would.

Fujimaru 1: Oh, thank goodness... I'm glad you're all right.

Danzo: Thank you, Master, but I assure you, this is not sufficient to harm any shinobi.

Fujimaru 2: Wow, Danzo, you're amazing.

Danzo: All that aside...

Danzo: These creatures we encountered were truly terrifying opponents.

Danzo: I do not have many records of these large spider creatures in my database, nor do I remember seeing them myself during the age of war.

Danzo: It is as though they are Demonic Beasts straight from the Age of Gods...

Danzo: Or at least, that is the closest thing they remind me of from the many opponents I have fought in the simulator.

Fujimaru 1: I can't believe those things are just a fact of life in Heian period Japan.

Fujimaru 2: Either way, it looks like we'd betteravoid fighting them as much as possible.

Danzo: Agreed.

Danzo: Lady Da Vinci has told me that Japan was home to many ancient Mystics.

Danzo: Even during the age of war, I remember seeing oni and monsters.

Danzo: But even so...

Danzo: ...I never would have expected such ferocious beasts to be wandering around a city only a few hundred years earlier.

Danzo: If this is any indication of the current state of affairs, this land may be far more nightmarish than we had dared imagine.

Danzo: Truth be told, I am still reeling from the shock.

Fujimaru 1: A nightmarish land, huh...

Fujimaru 2: I guess the local warriors must be pretty strong then.

Danzo: ... ...

Danzo: ...Indeed. I only hope we can win one over to our side soon. Such an ally would be a great boon.

Danzo: (But, on the chance they prove foe rather than friend...)

Danzo: (I will do whatever I must to protect Master, even if it should cost me my life!)

Fujimaru 1: Danzo?

Danzo: ...Never mind. It is not important.

Danzo: (No matter the opponents we face, my duty remains the same.)

Danzo: (I must keep Master safe. That is all that matters.)


Danzo: All right, Master, I have recorded all the information I can about the creatures we faced earlier.

Danzo: While they do use a skill similar in nature to Presence Concealment, it is more akin to camouflage than the true concealment employed by an Assassin.

Danzo: So as long as I make full use of my sensors...

Danzo: ...I should be able to boost my detection rate by a far greater degree than usual.

Danzo: Fuuma Scan, Karakuri-Style!

Danzo: There. Those creatures will no longer take us by surprise.

Fujimaru 1: Wow, you puppet kunoichi are amazing.

Fujimaru 2: I can tell I'm in good hands!

Danzo: Thank you, Master!

Danzo: At any rate, there you have it. If any more spiders should try to approach us, I will know about it.

Danzo: That said, Master...

Danzo: If we're somewhere in the old capital and this place is truly as deserted as it appears...

Danzo: ...then we should make haste to leave before any other deadly creatures show their faces.

Fujimaru 1: Got it.

Fujimaru 2: Good point. Let's find somewhere safe.

Danzo: Then come, this way.

Danzo: (Master.)

Danzo: (Forgive me for speaking to you from out of sight.)

Danzo: (I have detected a new creature not far ahead.)

Danzo: (But worry not.)

Danzo: (I shall deal with it.)

Danzo: (In the meantime, please go around the creature and make your way towards the nearby road. I will give the creature the slip once you have made it there.)

Danzo: (If we are lucky, there may even be an officer or two out on patrol.)

Danzo: (All right... I shall see you later.)

Fujimaru 1: (Wait!)

Danzo: (Y-yes, Master?)

Fujimaru 1: (It's too risky to fight it alone. We're better off sticking together.)

Danzo: (But Master, that would put you in–)

Danzo: (...Right. Understood!)

Danzo: Forgive me, Master. I should have known better.

Danzo: That is just the kind of person you are, isn't it?

Danzo: Very well then, I will gladly fight by your side!

Danzo: I feel a twinge of shame, using my more underhanded shinobi techniques in front of one so noble as you...

Danzo: ...but if that is the price I must pay to fight by your side, then so be it!

Fujimaru 1: Here it comes! Get ready!

Fujimaru 2: Once we take this thing down, we'll make a break for the road!

Danzo: Understood!


Danzo: It's over! Take this!

Fujimaru 1: You know, I think I've seen something like that thing before.

Danzo: ...You have.

Danzo: While I have no recollection of the events of Shimousa myself, I did view them in Chaldea's database.

Danzo: And that creature we just faced does bear a great resemblance to those dark armored warriors from then.

Fujimaru 1: I can't be certain, but I'd bet Limbo's involved here.

Fujimaru 2: I've got a feeling Limbo's mixed up with this somehow.

Danzo: Yes, Master. I was just thinking the same thing.

Danzo: ... ...

Danzo: ......

Danzo: ...Oh!

Danzo: But never mind that now! For the moment, we need to get to the road as soon as possible.

Danzo: I have a bad feeling about this. Well, more exactly, my ekikyou circuits are picking up a faint–

Danzo: !

Danzo: I knew this matched one of my records! This manner of camouflage involves manipulating the very earth itself... Master!

Fujimaru 1: Another giant spider!?

Danzo: No! How could I be so careless!?

Fujimaru 1: Danzo!

Fujimaru 1: (She's injured! And all to stop me from getting hurt!!!)

Danzo: Please, run for it, Master! I'll hold it off!

Danzo: You must make it to the road! Quickly!

Fujimaru 1: But what about you!?

Fujimaru 2: I'm not gonna let this thing kill me! I promise!

Danzo: Master, no!

Narration: Here in the nightmarish realm of Heian-kyo...

Narration: would not be at all out of the ordinary for a hapless young [♂ man /♀️ woman] defending [♂ his /♀️ her] companion to be eaten alive by a vicious monster.

Narration: Especially here in the far outskirts of Kyo, where great spiders known as tsuchigumo prowl the land.

Narration: These horrific beasts are truly the embodiment of all that is gruesome and wicked–of the cries of creatures that do not follow the rule of the emperor.

Narration: Indeed, any ordinary person facing one of these creatures could usually expect to meet a swift and horrible end, shredded and devoured all at once.

Narration: ...But.

Narration: What if, while that person was under attack...

Narration: ...a Genji warrior were to pass by?

Tachi-wielding Man: ...Well, well.

Tachi-wielding Man: I'm impressed you didn't abandon your companion to try and save your own skin.

Tachi-wielding Man: Not bad. Not bad at all.

Tachi-wielding Man: Still, you have rotten luck, crossing paths with a tsuchigumo. Are you the child of one of the nearby warrior families?

Tachi-wielding Man: Or perhaps a relative of some court noble–

Danzo: Stay back! It's not safe to face this creature alone! Please, seek help!

Tachi-wielding Man: Help? You want me to call on for help?

Tachi-wielding Man: Me, ask for help? That's the funniest thing I've heard in ages.

Fujimaru 1: Why are you still standing around!? Run!

Tachi-wielding Man: That's enough out of you, spider.

Danzo: !

Danzo: Did he just...cut it in two!?

Danzo: sensors didn't even see him move...

Danzo: Please, tell us! Who are you!?

Tachi-wielding Man: ...

Fujimaru 1: ...

Tachi-wielding Man: Hmm.

Tachi-wielding Man: So, as terrifying as a tsuchigumo must be for you, you still faced it rather than collapsing in fear.

Tachi-wielding Man: And above all...your eyes still shine with life.

Tachi-wielding Man: You dress in a manner unlike anyone else from this land. Your supplies look as if they are not of this world.

Tachi-wielding Man: And the two of you clearly share a strong bond.

Tachi-wielding Man: I think I can even sense an unusual type of magical energy from you both. Yes, there is no mistaking it.

Tachi-wielding Man: You are a Servant and a Master, are you not?

Danzo: Huh!?

Fujimaru 1: ...Who are you?

Tachi-wielding Man: You wish to know my name? Very well, I can tell you that much.

Tachi-wielding Man: I am the head of Raikou's Four Heavenly Kings, guardians of the capital. I am the warrior of Genji entrusted with our most prized sword, the Higekiri.

Tachi-wielding Man: Escorting Special Agent Watanabe-no-Tsuna.

Section 2: Heian Warrior

Tachi-wielding Man: I am the head of Raikou's Four Heavenly Kings, guardians of the capital.

Tachi-wielding Man: I am the warrior of Genji entrusted with our most prized sword, the Higekiri.

Tachi-wielding Man: Escorting Special Agent Watanabe-no-Tsuna.

Fujimaru 1: Watanabe-no-Tsuna...

Danzo: Watanabe-no-Tsuna! Like Lord Kintoki, he is one of Raikou's Four Heavenly Kings...

Danzo: That means he is one of the strongest warriors in the Heian period–an unparalleled slayer of beasts!

Fujimaru 2: One of Raikou's Four Heavenly Kings... Just like Kintoki!

Danzo: Indeed. An unparalleled slayer of beasts!

Danzo: So then, that magnificent blade he carries must be the Onikiri Yasutsuna, from the Houki Province...

Danzo: (The question now he friend, or foe!?)

Danzo: (He may have slain the beast that was threatening our lives, but something inside me–something that is not a part of my circuitry–is screaming at me no to let down my guard!)

Danzo: (I cannot ignore this feeling! I must be prepared to fight at a moment's notice to keep Master safe!)

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Caster.

Medea Lily: Yes, Lord Tsuna.

Fujimaru 1: Medea!?

Medea Lily: You were right, Master.

Medea Lily: We are facing a Servant. I'm certain of it.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I see. Well, that is a cruel twist of fate.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Forgive me, foreign [♂ boy /♀️ girl]. Despite having just saved your life...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...I now have no choice but to take it, in accordance with the rules of the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: For Lord Fujiwara-no-Michinaga's word is as absolute as edicts from the heavens themselves.

Fujimaru 1: Fujiwara-no-Michinaga...?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Now...face me, Caster!

Fujimaru 1: Caster!?

Fujimaru 2: What are you talking abou

Danzo: Master, get behind me! Now!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Well, well!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: So, you have chosen to get between me and my target! Your peculiar motions are surprisingly quick!

Danzo: ...!

Danzo: (His sword strokes are too fast for me to follow!)

Danzo: (And what's more, they are frighteningly strong! I can feel my limbs groaning under the strain! Even as a Servant, I am no match for his mastery of the blade!)

Danzo: (So this is the head of Raikou's Four Heavenly Kings!)

Danzo: (But, why would one of the Four Heavenly Kings attack us? And why is a Servant accompanying him?)

Danzo: (I don't know. But right now, with neither Lady Mash nor Lord Kotarou here to help...)

Danzo: (...It falls to me to keep Master safe, no matter what!!!)


Danzo: ...Khh!

Fujimaru 1: Danzo!

Danzo: I'm all right!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Hmm.

Medea Lily: Please be careful, Lord Tsuna. There is no telling what sort of tricks a Servant may have up their sleeves.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Thank you, Caster.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: That aside...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I assumed you were a warrior from a far-off land I know nothing about, and yet, you are surprisingly weak.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Or are you merely holding back, so as not to kill or injure me?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Hah. If that is the case, then you must take me for a fool.

Danzo: (He's so strong...!)

Danzo: (Even as a Servant, I cannot see a way to defeat him!)

Danzo: (Despite being a flesh and blood human with a Servant of his own at his command, he has still chosen to fight this battle almost entirely on his own.)

Danzo: (Even though the Heroic Spirit accompanying him could easily block all manner of non-Mystic physical attacks, he relies on her for nothing but support!)

Danzo: (So this is how a Heian warrior fights!)

Danzo: We have no reason to fight you...but you do not seem to feel the same.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Don't be ridiculous. As Masters, there is but one path open to us.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: As per Lord Fujiwara's decree, the city of Kyo is now the field upon which we must do battle.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: There is nothing more to say.

Danzo: (This aura... He truly means to kill us!)

Danzo: (There does not seem to be anything I can say that would stop him! Which means there is only one option left, though it will not be an easy one.)

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Here I come.

Danzo: (If we hope to see another day, we will just have to run for it!)

Danzo: Forgive me!

Danzo: Master!

Fujimaru 1: (Grab Danzo's hand)

Danzo: Come on!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: !

Medea Lily: Master! Over here!

Medea Lily: This smoke may be poisonous. Hold on. I'm going to cast a spell that will neutralize it and let you breathe more eas–

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Don't bother.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: This is only an ordinary smoke screen, not a poisonous one.

Medea Lily: Lord Tsuna, stop! It's not safe!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Don't you get it, Caster? That warrior was clearly trying to keep the [♂ boy /♀️ girl] safe.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: And she could not possibly do that if the gas were poisonous.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Hmm... From the sound of it, they've already covered a great deal of ground.

Medea Lily: Shall we go after them?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Of course. Come, let's go.


Danzo: My apologies, Master, but this is an emergency!

Danzo: I hope you can forgive me for carrying you in my arms while we make our escape!

Danzo: Ordinarily, I would do so by leaping great distances rather than running...

Danzo: ...but I am afraid my body is still not functioning at optimum levels!

Fujimaru 1: Danzo, your injury...!

Fujimaru 2: It's okay! I can run by myself!

Danzo: Do not worry about me! A few scratches like this are not–

Danzo: ...!

Danzo: I-I am so sorry... It seems my long-distance running and thousand-li-per-second traversal mechanisms were more damaged than I realized...

Danzo: I suppose I should have expected no less from the famed Watanabe-no-Tsuna...

Fujimaru 1: Here, Danzo, lean on me.

Danzo: !

Fujimaru 1: Let's try to put as much distance between him and us as we can.

Danzo: ...All right, Master. Thank you.

Danzo: Master.

Danzo: It won't be long before Lord Watanabe-no-Tsuna catches up with us. When he does...

Danzo: ...I want you to let me make amends for this horrific failure.

Danzo: I will do whatever it takes to delay him and give you an opportunity to escape, even if it should cost me my life.

Danzo: So I want you to hold onto my right hand. Its mechanisms may be silent now...

Danzo: ...but it contains a communication device with greater range and fidelity than yours. If you use it to contact Chaldea–

Fujimaru 1: I'm not leaving you behind.

Danzo: Master.

Fujimaru 1: It's too early to give up!

Fujimaru 2: Don't forget, I still have all three of my Command Spells.

Danzo: Master.

C:Manly Voice: Hey. You two got a moment?

Danzo: Wha!?

C:Manly Voice: So, uh...

C:Manly Voice: I had a little too much to drink tonight, so I decided to take a walk, get some night air...

C:Manly Voice: And the next thing I know, I wake up sprawled out in some back alley.

C:Manly Voice: So then I heard you two whisperin' and the lady here sounded real worried about something.

C:Manly Voice: Maybe not on the verge of tears or anything, but whatever's on your mind, lady, it seems pretty serious.

C:Manly Voice: You in trouble or something?

C:Manly Voice: Yeah, maybe you are. Maybe you're not.

C:Manly Voice: Not gonna lie, I can be pretty dense.

C:Manly Voice: ...So if you don't wanna deal with that, just lemme know and I'll get outta your hair.

C:Manly Voice: ...But.

C:Manly Voice: If I ain't got it all mixed up...

Manly Man: ...and you really do need help...

Manly Man: ...all you gotta do is ask.

Manly Man: One word, and I'll hop to and bail you out.

Manly Man: Whatever it is that's botherin' you, I'll take care of it. I sure ain't about to make injured villagers fend for themselves!

Manly Man: So, how about it?

Manly Man: You two on the run from monsters or bandits or somethin'? Where's your house? Is it close by?

Danzo: Golden hair!

Danzo: Are you...perhaps...

Fujimaru 1: Golden!?

Manly Man: Huh? What're you talkin' about?

Manly Man: “Golden”?

Manly Man: Golden... Naw, that ain't right. Wait, it is! Golden! That's it!

Manly Man: I like the sound of that. Somethin' about that word just sounds...yeah! Awesome!

Manly Man: Golden! I love it!

Manly Man: Wait. Oh man! I didn't realize how badly injured you were!

Manly Man: What happened to you guys? You run into a tsuchigumo or something?

Danzo: W-well–

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Close.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: A tsuchigumo did attack them, but it is not what inflicted those wounds.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I did. Just a graze, with Higekiri.

Fujimaru 1: Watanabe-no-Tsuna!

Danzo: Curses. He already caught up to us!

Manly Man: ...Huh.

Manly Man: So that's how it is. Interestin'.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Kintoki.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Move aside. You're in my way.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: My business here is with the woman and [♂ boy /♀️ girl], not you.

Sakata Kintoki: That right?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Kintoki.

Sakata Kintoki: I dunno if you noticed, Brother Tsuna, but it's the middle of the night.

Sakata Kintoki: I know I couldn't live with myself if I didn't make sure these two got home safe, so that's just what I was about to do.

Sakata Kintoki: Whatever business you got with them can wait.

Sakata Kintoki: Got it?

Danzo: Lord Kintoki...

Danzo: (He really does mean to protect us, even though we have yet to tell him a single thing about ourselves.)

Danzo: (He made his decision in an instant, without any hesitation.)

Danzo: (So this is Lord Sakata Kintoki of Ashigara... one of Raikou's Four Heavenly Kings...)

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...Stand down, Kintoki. I would prefer to avoid anything that might cause Lady Raikou grief.

Sakata Kintoki: Ha! Biiig talk, even for the head of the Four Heavenly Kings!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Kintoki.

Sakata Kintoki: You know I got nothin' but respect for you, Brother Tsuna, but that doesn't mean anythin' you say goes!

Sakata Kintoki: Now why don't ya fill me in, 'cause I don't get it!

Sakata Kintoki: Granted, since I came down from Mt. Ashigara, there's been a whole lotta things that were clear as mud to me...

Sakata Kintoki: But no matter how hard I try...

Sakata Kintoki: ...I can't understand why the undisputed strongest Heian warrior...

Sakata Kintoki: ...would be goin' after women and children!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...

Sakata Kintoki: I shouldn't even have to be tellin' you this, Brother Tsuna...

Sakata Kintoki: ...but we're supposed to keep women and children safe, not cut off their heads.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I see. You do make a good point.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: However, neither of them is young enough that I would call them children.

Sakata Kintoki: (Sighs) ...That really what you think, Brother Tsuna?

Sakata Kintoki: 'Cause it sure don't look that way to me.

Sakata Kintoki: Hell, that [♂ boy /♀️ girl] with the [♂ black /♀️ red] hair's definitely still just a kid.

Sakata Kintoki: Most kids [♂ his /♀️ her] age'd probably be bawlin' their eyes out if they were lost in the middle of the night.

Sakata Kintoki: But not this kid. [♂ He's /♀️ She's] been holdin' back [♂ his /♀️ her] tears and refusin' to give in to [♂ his /♀️ her] fears as [♂ he /♀️ she] looks for a way home.

Sakata Kintoki: [♂ He /♀️ She] might be lost, but [♂ he's /♀️ she's] still got guts.

Sakata Kintoki: Least, that's the feeling I get from [♂ him /♀️ her].

Sakata Kintoki: How 'bout you, Brother? You sure you don't feel the same?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...I'm glad to see nothing ever gets you down, Kintoki.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: But the Imperial Holy Grail War requires that I do this. Now stand aside.

Fujimaru 1: (Imperial...Holy Grail War...?)

Sakata Kintoki: No.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...I said, stand back.

Sakata Kintoki: And I said no!


Then you leave me no choice!

Sakata Kintoki:

Bring it on, ya bastard!


Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Never mind the shikigami skeletons, Caster! They're only getting in my way!

Medea Lily: They're Dragon Tooth Warriors! But anyway, if I do that–

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Don't bother! They won't be of any help against Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki: Hraaah!

Sakata Kintoki: Hah, well that's somethin'!

Sakata Kintoki: Never woulda thought a lone wolf like you'd send a bunch of skeletons to do his dirty work!

Sakata Kintoki: Not that they're gonna be much help against–Whoa!

Sakata Kintoki: Phew, that was close!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Well, well. Not so much as a scratch, even after taking a direct blow from Higekiri! I knew you had talent!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Haaah!

Sakata Kintoki: Damn!

Danzo: (I can see why Lord Kintoki was one of Raikou's Four Heavenly Kings! Even up against a warrior as strong as Lord Tsuna, he refuses to back down!)

Danzo: (However, Lord Tsuna is still–)

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Fun though it is to spar with you, Kintoki...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...I am not about to spend all night needlessly fighting one of my fellow Four Heavenly Kings– especially since you are not a Master yourself.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Ha!

Sakata Kintoki: Gah!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Since there are two Casters present here, I need bring back only one head as proof!

Danzo: (Lord Tsuna's sights are not set on Lord Kintoki...)

Danzo: (...and they are not currently set on me, either!)

Danzo: (So then, he must be after...Master!?)

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, cra–

Fujimaru 1: Danzo! Change into your spirit form!

Danzo: U-understood!

Sakata Kintoki: Wha...!?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Huh!?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Did she just disappear?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...No, it is not that. The [♂ boy /♀️ girl] told her to use her spirit form. Which must mean...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Caster!

Medea Lily: Y-yes, Lord Tsuna! She is definitely a Servant!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: So you meant the puppet, rather than the [♂ boy /♀️ girl]?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...I see. So I have not been tricked so much as I was simply ignorant.

Medea Lily: I-I'm so sorry! I should have been more specific!

Medea Lily: You're right! The Servant signal came from the woman with the long black hair who just vanished!

Medea Lily: Not that [♂ boy /♀️ girl] with the [♂ black /♀️ red] hair!

Fujimaru 1: ...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I see.

Medea Lily: Also, um, while we're on the subject...

Medea Lily: I don't think the woman is a Caster.

Medea Lily: Given the way she carried herself, I would bet she's an Assassin.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: What?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: You mean there are other kinds of Servants besides Casters?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ... ...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...Hmm.

Medea Lily: Lord Tsuna.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: No, it's all right. I shouldn't have been so quick to jump to conclusions.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...I just assumed this [♂ boy /♀️ girl] here was a Caster based on their highly unusual clothing, and the fact that I thought I saw [♂ him /♀️ her] use some form of sorcery.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: It just goes to show I too have much to learn.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Kintoki.

Sakata Kintoki: I don't get it. How the hell'd that injured lady disappear like that?

Sakata Kintoki: ...Oh, sorry, Brother. What's up?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Since there do not seem to be any Casters here whose heads I can take, I will step aside for now.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Go ahead and take that [♂ boy /♀️ girl] wherever you like.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: But, know this.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: The next time we meet, I will have you show me your left hand.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: And if, by chance, I should happen to see those glowing red marks upon it–

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah? What're you gonna do, Brother?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Put you to the sword, of course.

Sakata Kintoki: !

Sakata Kintoki: Hah! So you're finally gonna come at me without holdin' anythin' back, huh? Well that'll be somethin'!

Sakata Kintoki: In that case, Brother Tsuna, I can't wait to see what you've got.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...Let's go, Caster.

Medea Lily: R-right.

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ......

Sakata Kintoki: ...Phew. He IS gone now, right?

Fujimaru 1: He sure is!

Sakata Kintoki: I knew it!

Fujimaru 2: I can't see him anymore, that's for sure.

Sakata Kintoki: I can't sense him, either! Phew, that's a relief!

Sakata Kintoki: Man, that was nuts. Goin' up against Tsuna's crazy skills, even if he was holdin' back!

Sakata Kintoki: But you guys did that and managed to make it out not just with your heads still attached, but all your limbs, too!

Sakata Kintoki: That's the sorta thing people'd be talkin' about for ages if they'd seen it! You oughta be proud!

Fujimaru 1: Thanks for saving us.

Sakata Kintoki: You bet!

Sakata Kintoki: Don't worry about it! Haha!

Fujimaru 2: I knew I could count on you in the Heian period too, Kintoki.

Sakata Kintoki: Huh?

Fujimaru 1: You were like one of those morphing heroes!

Sakata Kintoki: “Morph?”

Sakata Kintoki: Aah! Where'd you come from!?

Sakata Kintoki: you can just disappear and reappear outta nowhere, huh!?

Danzo: What [♂ Lord /♀️ Lady] Fujimaru here is trying to say, Lord Sakata Kintoki...

Danzo: that you are a good person who always tries to do the right thing.

Sakata Kintoki: Oh? Someone who always tries to do the right thing, huh.

Sakata Kintoki: Hmmm.

Sakata Kintoki: ...Me? You think?

Sakata Kintoki: 'Cause I don't got any idea what's right and what's wrong. Hell, if you do, I'd love it if you told me.

Sakata Kintoki: Far as I'm concerned, I was just helpin' out a kid who lost [♂ his /♀️ her] way. I wasn't thinkin' about it any deeper than that.

Sakata Kintoki: Man, city life is complicated, huh!?

Sakata Kintoki: Especially now, what with the Imperial Holy Grail War going on...

Section 3: Imperial Holy Grail War

???: A chance like this comes but once in a lifetime.

???: This astounding ritual devised by the great Lord Abe-no-Seimei is without peer in all of history!

???: Its name: the Imperial Holy Grail War!

???: By your grace, O Fujiwara-no-Michinaga, Minister of the Left, with my own onmyou techniques...

???: ...and the assistance of the Onmyou Bureau, this ritual can begin today.

???: Seven Caster Heroic Spirits will be summoned here from distant lands...

???: ...where seven of our fair city's fiercest warriors shall be chosen as these Casters' Masters!

???: All you have to do, Lord Fujiwara-no-Michinaga, is promise the Servant and Master pair to emerge victorious will be showered with riches and granted any wish their hearts desire...

???: ...and all seven teams will fight without restraint or hesitation!

???: And that's not even the best part!

???: By sacrificing the Casters' lives, the city of Kyo's defenses will be strengthened a hundredfold...

???: ...leading to a thousand years of peace and prosperity!

???: Truly, an astounding feat! Truly, a miraculous prospect!

???: It is all right here in Lord Seimei's letter. As I said before, O Minister of the Left, a chance like this comes but once in a lifetime.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: I see.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: And you say the only lives that will be sacrificed will be these Casters from foreign lands?

???: Indeed.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: The idea of sacrificing the lives of the capital's guardians for a mere ritual would be the height of folly...

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: But, if only the lives of distant foreigners are at stake, that is no matter for concern at all!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: In that case, the Imperial Holy Grail War must begin at once! Consider this the word of the emperor himself!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Hahahahahahahahaha! My Heian-kyo will be known for generations as the Thousand Year Capital!

Narration: And that...

Narration: what happened just a few days ago. It is said, Fujiwara-no-Michinaga appeared to be in cruelly high spirits.

Fujimaru 1: A Holy Grail War!?

Sakata Kintoki: That's what I heard.

Sakata Kintoki: Wait, you know what a Holy Grail War is!? I shoulda known!

Fujimaru 1: Why's that?

Fujimaru 2: What do you mean?

Danzo: I-I am afraid I do not understand, either. But at least Lord Kintoki seems convinced.

Sakata Kintoki: Whoa, so your wounds're all closed up already? That's amazin'.

Danzo: I simply used my self-repair function. Of course, Master's healing spells were a great help as well.

Sakata Kintoki: You're still not at a hundred percent though, are ya? Try to take it easy for a while, you hear?

Danzo: R-right. Thank you.

Sakata Kintoki: Now, where was I... Oh, yeah, the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Sakata Kintoki: It's been about seven days or so since the Imperial Palace started this ritual thing in secret, and so far, two of the seven Heroic Spirits summoned here've been killed.

Sakata Kintoki: Not only that, their Masters were the other two members of the Four Heavenly Kings.

Danzo: !

Danzo: You mean Gatekeeper Usui Sadamitsu and Inspector Urabe-no-Suetake!?

Sakata Kintoki: Damn, you really know your stuff, don't ya? Yup, it was Brother Usui and Uncle Urabe!

Sakata Kintoki: Anyway, not only did they lose their Heroic Spirits, they got pretty banged up themselves.

Sakata Kintoki: The docs said they'll be fine, but they'll need some Arima hot spring therapy for a while.

Sakata Kintoki: Anyway...

Sakata Kintoki: The Master who managed to kill those two Heroic Spirits was Brother Tsuna.

Fujimaru 1: Watanabe-no-Tsuna...

Sakata Kintoki: That's right.

Sakata Kintoki: Tsuna's about as strong as they come.

Sakata Kintoki: Even our boss, Lady Raikou, the current leader of the Genji...

Sakata Kintoki: ...said he was the single most powerful warrior in the entire human world!

Sakata Kintoki: 'Course, that hasn't stopped him from claimin' the only opponents he's comfortable with are monsters and such...

Fujimaru 1: The most powerful warrior in the human world...

Sakata Kintoki: Things might be a little different when you start includin' nonhumans, but even so, there's a reason Raikou said that.

Sakata Kintoki: I mean, you saw him for yourselves, right?

Danzo: ...Yes.

Fujimaru 1: That we did.

Fujimaru 2: He's incredibly strong, yeah.

Sakata Kintoki: The way things're goin' now, Tsuna's the clear favorite to win the whole Imperial Holy Grail War.

Danzo: ...Master.

Fujimaru 1: I know.

Fujimaru 2: Yeah. This Holy Grail War has to be Limbo's trap.

Danzo: I agree. After all...

Danzo: While it could be that this Imperial Holy Grail War is simply a variant of the traditional Holy Grail War...

Danzo: is odd that there was no mention whatsoever of the Holy Grail in question.

Danzo: That is far too big an error to merely be an oversight.

Danzo: So the much more likely explanation is that this is Limbo's trap.

Sakata Kintoki: Limbo? What's that?

Danzo: Oh, yes. Allow me to explain.

Danzo: Caster of Limbo, also known as the Alter Ego Limbo, is an irredeemably evil monk that...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Now I gotcha.

Sakata Kintoki: And you two're tryin' to nail this creep to the wall, huh?

Danzo: That's right.

Danzo: We suspect Limbo's True Name is Ashiya Douman, the onmyouji.

Sakata Kintoki: ...You don't say.

Danzo: The details of Douman's death have never been made clear in human history...

Danzo: it is entirely possible that he could still be alive in 1008, the fifth year of Kankou.

Danzo: We do not yet know what connection, if any, Limbo may have to the living, breathing Douman, but this Grail War itself...

Danzo: ...would almost certainly be his work, no?

Fujimaru 1: But wasn't the whole thing Abe-no-Seimei's idea?

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah, that's right. Lord Seimei's the guy who originally came up with this Imperial Holy Grail War thing. But there's some room for doubt on that.

Danzo: Is there now?

Danzo: In our circles, it is generally believed that Lord Seimei passed away in the second year of Kankou, but–

Sakata Kintoki: Hah, is that so! Yeah, Lord Seimei might look young, but he's actually pretty old.

Sakata Kintoki: There's been rumors for a long time that he's actually the second or even third to bear the name, so it wouldn't surprise me at all if that got passed down to future generations.

Sakata Kintoki: But anyway.

Sakata Kintoki: I think it was about a month ago when Lord Seimei disappeared to who knows where.

Sakata Kintoki: We only learned about this Imperial Holy Grail War from a letter he sent.

Danzo: ... ...

Danzo: Th-that does sound suspicious.

Sakata Kintoki: Right?

Sakata Kintoki: Boss Raikou tried to tell the Minister of the Left that we shouldn't be so quick to trust something we know nothin' about...

Sakata Kintoki: ...but that rat bastar–I mean, His Imperial Magistrate...

Sakata Kintoki: ...just laughed and said a few foreign Casters' lives were a small price to pay for a thousand years of peace!

Sakata Kintoki: And that ain't all. The guy who's basically runnin' the whole Onmyou Bureau in Lord Seimei's absence...

Sakata Kintoki: Lord Ashiya Douman.

Danzo: !

Danzo: That's...

Danzo: That's...!

Sakata Kintoki: Crazy suspicious? Yeah, I think so too.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah, part of that's 'cause of what you told me about this Limbo guy, but it's also 'cause, well, Lord Douman's always been somethin' of a schemer.

Sakata Kintoki: Though I guess you could say the same about the Minister of the Left and Lord Seimei, too...

Danzo: I-I see.

Fujimaru 1: Sure are a lot of schemers here, it sounds like...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Anyway...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Well...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Far as I know, this city's a hotbed of all the worst kinda stuff. Conspiracies, assassinations, curses, you name it.

Sakata Kintoki: Sure, we ain't never had anythin' as outright crazy as this Imperial Holy Grail War before, but I've heard stories about plenty of other kinds of spells, good and bad alike.

Sakata Kintoki: Good people, evil people, they all die by the cartload here. Take just a few steps off the main roads, and you're about guaranteed to run into monsters.

Sakata Kintoki: Or oni. Or tsuchigumo.

Sakata Kintoki: And then there's all the manors and Bandou rebels out in Azuma Province who don't give a flyin' fig about Kyo's authority.

Sakata Kintoki: So yeah, let's just say that us Heian warriors have got our work cut out for us.

Sakata Kintoki: Trust me, this city's way scarier than anythin' I saw on the mountain where I grew up.

Fujimaru 1: ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...That might be what this all boils down to, really.

Sakata Kintoki: The whole reason the Minister of the Left decided to pin all his hopes on this Imperial Holy Grail War to provide Kyo with a thousand years of peace...

Sakata Kintoki: ...might be 'cause there ain't no other chance at peace otherwise.

Danzo: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...A wish, huh.

Sakata Kintoki: I guess one thing all the Masters takin' part in this Imperial Holy Grail War have in common...

Sakata Kintoki: that they all got some kinda wish they want granted.

Danzo: Lord Kintoki? Why did you put down your axe?

Danzo: What are you doing with your glove–

Danzo: !

Fujimaru 1: Kintoki, your hand!

Danzo: Command Spells!?

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, yeah! That's what these glowin' red marks are called, ain't it?

Sakata Kintoki: Yup, as it turns out, I'm actually one of the Imperial Holy Grail War Masters myself.

Sakata Kintoki: So you know what I'm thinkin'?

Sakata Kintoki: I'm thinkin' you might just be my Servant, Fujimaru!


???: Ahh, how pleasant.

???: How very pleasant indeed to have one's plan go so swimmingly.

???: Mmmmmm... A ritual that could not possibly exist in any hypothetical version of human history...

???: The impossible Imperial Holy Grail War!

???: Indeed, this represents the culmination of all the independent research I conducted as a Disciple of the Foreign God!

???: So I do so hope you enjoy this Pseudo-Parallel World I have created...

???: ...including all the many personal touches I have added to better suit my tastes...

???: My dear Chaldeans...

???: ...when all is said and done, the last laugh shall be mine!

???: So please, do enjoy what I have in store for you...

???: ...right to the very end!


Sakata Kintoki: (Sigh)...

Sakata Kintoki: Gotcha.

Sakata Kintoki: Guess I had it all wrong then.

Fujimaru 1: I'm sorry.

Sakata Kintoki: Don't be. It's nothin' you need to apologize for.

Fujimaru 2: I wish I knew what to say.

Sakata Kintoki: Don't worry about it! It's my fault for gettin' my own hopes up!

Sakata Kintoki: I mean, it's still disappointin', but I'll get over it.

Sakata Kintoki: (Sigh) So you're not a Servant after all, huh.

Sakata Kintoki: Instead, the Servant's this lady, and she's more of a scout than a spell caster.

Sakata Kintoki: I don't get it!

Danzo: You do not? Oh...

Danzo: I-I suppose I just assumed you understood the situation based on what Lord Tsuna said earlier.

Sakata Kintoki: Ohhh.

Sakata Kintoki: So THAT'S why Tsuna let you guys go! I thought it was weird for him to give up on a target like that!

Sakata Kintoki: Now I gotcha! It's all 'cause you weren't the quarry he was lookin' for in the first place!

Sakata Kintoki: That explains...

Sakata Kintoki: ...a lot...?

Sakata Kintoki: All right, hang on. If you two don't have anything to do with the Imperial Holy Grail War...

Sakata Kintoki: ...then what in the world are you?

Sakata Kintoki: Hmm, all right. The Pruning Theoretical Phenomenon, Lostbelts, Rayshifting, and Singularities, huh...

Sakata Kintoki: And basically, you guys are guests from waaay in the future–like, tomorrow's tomorrow's tomorrow.

Sakata Kintoki: Well, a long ways past that, really.

Sakata Kintoki: Hmm. Hmmm.

Sakata Kintoki: Man, this stuff's hard to wrap your head around!

Sakata Kintoki: But that's okay. I believe you. And as far as I can tell, you guys ain't the lyin' type!

Sakata Kintoki: Besides, it looks like I was still right about somethin'.

Sakata Kintoki: You are lost, aren't ya?

Fujimaru 1: True, we are.

Sakata Kintoki: So you're lookin' for a way to get home, and you wanna find your friends you got separated from, huh.

Sakata Kintoki: Now we're talkin'!

Sakata Kintoki: Don't worry, I'll have ya back home in a flash.

Sakata Kintoki: ...Well, I guess it might not be THAT easy, but the point is, don't worry.

Sakata Kintoki: Whatever it takes to get you back to this Chaldea place, I'll figure it out.

Sakata Kintoki: I'll get you home safe and sound! You have my word!

Sakata Kintoki: Of course, that goes for you too, Servant lady.

Danzo: Thank you for your help. I am deeply grateful for your kindness.

Sakata Kintoki: Don't worry 'bout it! Everyone needs help sometimes, right?

Sakata Kintoki: 'Sides, it's not like I've got anywhere to go, either!

Danzo: Hm? What do you mean?

Danzo: You are one of Raikou's Four Heavenly Kings, are you not?

Danzo: And during this time period, Lady Minamoto-no-Raikou was charged by Minister of the Left Fujiwara-no-Michinaga with the task of keeping the city of Kyo safe.

Danzo: So as one of her most prized retainers, surely you must also have a house or two of your own?

Danzo: Or perhaps Lady Raikou has put you up in her own house?

Sakata Kintoki: Well, uh, how can I put this...? It's complicated.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah, I am part of the Genji clan, and one of the Four Heavenly Kings...

Sakata Kintoki: ...but I've, uh, got my reasons for wantin' to keep my distance from Raikou right now.

Sakata Kintoki: Basically, I guess you could say...

Sakata Kintoki: ...I kinda ran away?

Fujimaru 1: Welp, nothing we can do in that case!

Sakata Kintoki: Hahaha! I'm glad you understand!

Fujimaru 2: I see. So you don't have anywhere to call home right now either.

Sakata Kintoki: You got it!

Sakata Kintoki: Sorry 'bout that. I wish I had a place you could stay!

Sakata Kintoki: But the only places that'd put you up on my say-so are ones with ties to the Genji clan.

Sakata Kintoki: Which means Brother Tsuna could show up there at any time, so that obviously ain't gonna work.

Sakata Kintoki: I've been stayin' outta his way all right for the past few days, but now that he said he's gonna take a look at my hand the next time he sees me, well...

Fujimaru 1: ...I'm sorry. It's all my fault.

Sakata Kintoki: Hey now, what're you apologizin' for?

Sakata Kintoki: You were in a bind, so I helped ya. Nothin' else to it.

Sakata Kintoki: These Command Spell marks on my hand ain't got nothing to do with you.

Fujimaru 1: I can't accept that. I need to make it up to you.

Sakata Kintoki: Man, you're a real stickler for this stuff, huh.

Sakata Kintoki: All right, all right, you can owe me a favor then.

Sakata Kintoki: You know, you're a lot more stubborn than I would've guessed.

Fujimaru 2: I owe you for helping me. I have to pay you back.

Sakata Kintoki: So that's how it is, huh? I like it! All right then, you officially owe me a favor!

Sakata Kintoki: You know, I'm okay with that kind of hardheadedness. Hell, I even find it endearing.

Sakata Kintoki: Good thing too, since I'm pretty hardheaded myself! Haha!

Danzo: Hm?

Danzo: An ox-drawn carriage? At this hour?

Sakata Kintoki: Must be some court noble on their way back home from a poetry readin' or somethin'.

Sakata Kintoki: C'mere, you two, over this way so you don't get in their way.

Danzo: Right.

Danzo: ...?

Danzo: The oxcart just stopped in front of us. What is–

Noble in the Cart: Well now, this is a surprise.

Noble in the Cart: Do tell, what are a tall, handsome man, a young [♂ boy /♀️ girl] in strange clothing, and a beautiful black-haired woman all doing out here in the dead of night?

Noble in the Cart: Are you perhaps looking for a place to stay?

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, uh, thank you for your concern, Ms. Noble, but you don't have to worry about us.

Sakata Kintoki: We're part of the Genji clan. Keepin' Kyo safe at night is our duty.

Noble in the Cart: I see. The Genji clan, is it?

Noble in the Cart: ... ...

Noble in the Cart: Pfft.

Noble in the Cart: Why so formal, Kaidoumaru!? C'mon, get that stick out of your ass!

Sakata Kintoki: !

Passing Noble: Go on, let your hair down. It's not like we don't already know each other!

Passing Noble: So what's going on? If you need help, I, Nagiko–I mean, Kiyoko, might just be able to provide it.

Fujimaru 1: !?

Danzo: ...!

Sakata Kintoki: Whoa! Sei Shounago–

Sakata Kintoki: I mean, Kiyoko! It's you!

Kiyoko: Hehe. Long time no see, Blondy!

Kiyoko: So what're you doin' out here at this time of night, anyway? You looking for someone to help keep your bed warm or something?

Sakata Kintoki: I guess it has been a while, hasn't it? Uh, what was that about my bed?

Sakata Kintoki: Is that more of your mainland poetry? I don't get it.

Kiyoko: Wahaha, don't worry about it. I was just saying the first thing that came to mind!

Fujimaru 1: Are you...

Kiyoko: Hm?

Kiyoko: Hey now, cut that out. Hasn't anyone ever taught you it's rude to stare?

Fujimaru 1: Sei Shounagon?

Kiyoko: Hm? Oh?

Kiyoko: Well now, I haven't heard that name in a long time.

Kiyoko: Did you read a copy of some of my work or something? Bit of a bookworm, too?

Kiyoko: Read anything good lately? I found something recently that is so–

Fujimaru 2: That's Sei Shounagon, right? Kintoki almost said as much.

Danzo: Y-yes, it is! Sei Shounagon made a name for herself as a poet during the Heian period! It's said she served the wife of Emperor Ichijou, Empress Fujiwara-no-Teishi.

Kiyoko: ... ...

Kiyoko: Man, that takes me back. I haven't heard those names in a long time.

Kiyoko: Wait, hang on. Have we met before? Maybe back when I was still in the palace?

Kiyoko: ...Nah, that can't be it. You'd have still been a little kid back then.

Fujimaru 1: (Really? I wonder how old she actually is then.)

Sakata Kintoki: Whoa there, Fujimaru! There's two things you should never discuss with Sei Shouna– Kiyoko: her age, and her name!

Sakata Kintoki: She's put a lotta work into makin' herself look young, ya see. Her real age's–

Kiyoko: Wahahaha–Sei!

Sakata Kintoki: Ow.

Danzo: Lord Kintoki, Lord Kintoki, could you please tell us how you came to know this lady?

Sakata Kintoki: Hm? Oh, uh, lemme see...

Sakata Kintoki: Well, I can't say exactly which family she's from, but Kiyoko here's a genuine noble.

Sakata Kintoki: I know you two might not have any business with the palace right now, but if you're gonna be stayin' around the city, it won't hurt to take this chance to introduce yourselves.

Sakata Kintoki: As for me, well, back when I was a kid who just couldn't get used to life in the big city...

Sakata Kintoki: Hehe, let's just say she helped me out of a few jams.

Kiyoko: Yup, that about sums it up!

Kiyoko: I know I might not look like it, but I actually love helping people out.

Danzo: (I see.)

Danzo: (According to the stories told in the Edo period, Lord Kintoki was born several years before Lady Sei Shounagon.)

Danzo: (But in reality, it seems Lady Sei Shounagon was actually the older of the two.)

Danzo: (...Of course, this would hardly be the first time a Heroic Spirit did not exactly line up with their real-life counterpart.)

Danzo: (I mean, in my case, I am a puppet, so.)

Kiyoko: Anyway, what's going on tonight?

Kiyoko: Oh, does it have anything to do with Lord Michinaga's latest scheme?

Sakata Kintoki: Haha, as if that'd narrow it down, considering how many schemes he's always got goin' on! Nah, I just ran away from home, and I'm still runnin'.

Kiyoko: Hmm, I see.

Kiyoko: Did something happen back at the main Genji house? Or maybe Lord Mitsunaka demanded Lady Raikou give up her leadership position?

Kiyoko: If it's going down how I think it's going down, then Lord Mitsunaka's being a real piece of work.

Kiyoko: My bet is he wants Lady Raikou to give up leadership while keeping her in charge of fighting and stuff so he can declare one of his other kids leader and force her to form a branch clan entirely.

Sakata Kintoki: What's the main house gotta do with me runnin' away? Nah, this is just my own little screwup.

Sakata Kintoki: I guess I could've left the city altogether, but there's...reasons I need to stick around.

Sakata Kintoki: So I was just tryin' to think of a place where we could take shelter for the night.

Kiyoko: Hmm hmm, I see, I see.

Kiyoko: So you need a place that'd be brave enough to take in three strange visitors in the middle of the night, huh?

Kiyoko: Lucky for you, I know just the place!

Sakata Kintoki: Whoa, you do?

Kiyoko: I sure do.

Kiyoko: I'd invite you guys to stay at my place, but three new guests all at once would be a little much for a semiretired woman like me.

Kiyoko: Now come on, follow me! Let's get moving again, driver!

Driver: Yes, ma'am.

Sakata Kintoki: You get in the carriage with Kiyoko, Danzo. Don't want you trippin' in the dark and making your injuries worse.

Danzo: Thank you, but I will stay by Master's side.

Fujimaru 1: It's okay, Danzo. You should ride in the carriage.

Danzo: But, what about–

Fujimaru 1: It's okay. Get as much rest as you can.

Danzo: ...Understood. Thank you.

Sakata Kintoki: Welp, looks like you and me are walkin' then, Fujimaru.

Kiyoko: Man, this sure was a heck of a coincidence, running into you guys out here like this.

Kiyoko: Lucky I did, too. These days, not even the main roads are completely safe.

Kiyoko: Sure can't hurt to have a warrior of Genji around just in case.

Danzo: I see...

Danzo: (Speaking of Sei Shounagon and the Genji...)

Danzo: (...I believe her brother, Lord Kiyohara-no-Munenobu, eventually loses his life to someone from the Genji family.)

Danzo: (Not that I can say anything about that now...)

Kiyoko: The main roads are usually pretty safe, but things have been weird even on them the last few days.

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...The last few days, huh.

Sakata Kintoki: Whoa there. Looks like Kiyoko was tellin' the truth! Fujimaru!

Fujimaru 1: There's something dead ahead!

Sakata Kintoki: I see 'em! Don't worry, Danzo, you stay put!

Sakata Kintoki: Me and Fujimaru can handle them ourselves! All right, let's do this!


Sakata Kintoki: There! That's the last of 'em!

Fujimaru 1: Nice job!

Sakata Kintoki: Thanks! You too!

Sakata Kintoki: Anyone hurt? No? Great.

Sakata Kintoki: These kinds of battles don't bother me at all, but...

Fujimaru 1: What do you mean?

Fujimaru 2: Is there something else that's bothering you?

Sakata Kintoki: Well, it's just...

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ......

Sakata Kintoki: ...I'm a little unsure about what to do.

Kiyoko: Okay, we're here!

Danzo: What is this place?

Kiyoko: Ever heard of “The Tale of Genji”? It's all the rage in Kyo right now!

Kiyoko: Well, its author, Murasaki Shikibu, lives here!

Fujimaru 1: Murasaki!

Fujimaru 2: Oh yeah, she's from this time too, isn't she?

Danzo: Is Lady Murasaki a friend of yours, Lady Kiyoko?

Kiyoko: Nah, I've never met her.

Sakata Kintoki: You haven't!?

Kiyoko: But I'd bet anything she's, like, THE graceful noblewoman's noblewoman.

Kiyoko: So I'm sure she's the type of girl who'd never abandon anybody in trouble!

Sakata Kintoki: (Come on, she's gotta be too old to be called a girl by now, right?)

Kiyoko: Sei!

Sakata Kintoki: Ow!

Kiyoko: Anyway, the point is, we've arrived at Murasaki Shikibu's house.

Kiyoko: She's a lady-in-waiting for Empress Shoushi, so when she's not writing stories, she works at the palace.

Fujimaru 1: I, uh, don't know if I'd feel right asking someone we'venever met before to put us up for the night...

Kiyoko: Hmm. In that case...

Kiyoko: Just tell her that Kusa-no-Iori sends her regards.

Kiyoko: I'm pretty sure... No, I'm positive she'll know what that means! Ahaha!

Kiyoko: Hmm.

Kiyoko: All right, my house is over there, so this is where we part. See you guys some other time.

Sakata Kintoki: Bye, Kiyoko. Thanks for the help!

Danzo: W-wait!

Danzo: We just ran into some monsters not too long ago.

Danzo: Is it not dangerous to travel along the main road at night with only a bare minimum of attendants?

Sakata Kintoki: Not necessarily. Noble carriages like that always have several shikigami with them.

Sakata Kintoki: They might not be able to handle a tsuchigumo, but those're kept out by the Bounded Field the Onmyou Bureau set up around the main roads, anyway.

Sakata Kintoki: But the carriage shikigami can handle any smaller monsters that come around no problem.

Fujimaru 1: I see...

Fujimaru 2: Wow, I didn't know Heian security was so thorough.

Kiyoko: Personally, I'd just as soon not have to depend on any onmyouji for help...

Kiyoko: ...but, times being what they are, I can't afford to be picky.

Danzo: Shikigami...

Danzo: Then, why did you and Master defeat those monsters we encountered earlier?

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, that? Well...

Sakata Kintoki: I was sorta just givin' Kiyoko a show to thank her for her help.

Kiyoko: And I totally enjoyed it! But that doesn't mean you should take too many risks out there, 'kay?

Kiyoko: 'Cause if there's one thing I hate, it's people dying young from a little mischief that got out of hand.

Kiyoko: All right, I'm really going now! Good niiight!

Sakata Kintoki: Okay! Let's go ask this Lady Murasaki here to put us up!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I-I'm sorry?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Um...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I-I do beg your pardon, but...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...I'm afraid I just don't understand what this is all about.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: For starters...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...who in the world is this Kiyoko person you mentioned?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I recognize you as Lord Sakata Kintoki of the Genji family, of course. I've seen you around Lord Michinaga's mansion a number of times.

Sakata Kintoki: That's me! And here I thought we were meetin' each other for the first time.

Sakata Kintoki: Sorry for not recognizin' ya from the Minister of the Left's place.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: O-oh, no, that's quite all right.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I-I mean...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Wh-what is it that brings you to my house at this hour of the night, Lord Kintoki?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: D-did... Um...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Did I make a terrible mistake at the palace or something?

Fujimaru 1: ...In retrospect, we probably should haveexpected she'd respond like that.

Danzo: I agree, [♂ Lord /♀️ Lady] Fujimaru. Do forgive us for intruding so late.

Sakata Kintoki: Don't worry, Lady Murasaki. You didn't do anythin' wrong.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: !!!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I-I, um... I only use that name when I'm writing, so...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...please, just call me Kaoruko.

Sakata Kintoki: Oh? 'Kay, got it.

Sakata Kintoki: Anyway, don't worry. I know Brother Tsuna likes to play at bein' an officer, but that ain't my thing.

Sakata Kintoki: We ain't here to bring you in for any wrongdoin' at all. Actually, we kinda need your help.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Huh?

Danzo: (Gasp of realization)

Danzo: Come to think of it, Lord Watanabe-no-Tsuna did appear to be dressed like a police officer.

Danzo: And yet, as far as my records show, there is no mention of him ever actually serving as such.

Sakata Kintoki: Huh, really?

Sakata Kintoki: So that's how things are in the future? You don't have exact records of anything and everything, eh?

Sakata Kintoki: See, Tsuna's not exactly a typical, proper officer. When he was first ordered to protect the city...

Sakata Kintoki: ...he said it was only right for him to learn how to be an officer too. He went to the Bureau on his own and asked them to make him one.

Sakata Kintoki: He's nothin' if not responsible, that's for sure.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Huh?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Records? Lord Tsuna?

Fujimaru 1: Kaoruko.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Y-yes?

Fujimaru 1: Kusa-no-Iori said to give you her regards.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Kusa-no...Iori...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: !!!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Kusa-no-Iori? Th-th-then, that must mean...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I-I-I see... Lady Sei Shounagon sent that message, did she?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: E-even though I've never met her in the palace, or even so much as spoken to her...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I see...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: V-very well, I suppose it would be rude of me to turn away guests on such a cold night...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: All right, I'll have a room made up for you. Well, two rooms, since you have [♂ a woman /♀️ two women] accompanying–

Danzo: Oh, no, that's quite all right! Please, pay [♂ me /♀️ us] no mind.

Danzo: [♂ It is my duty to keep my Master safe first and foremost, after all. /♀️ It is best for us if we stay together, regardless of the hour.]

Danzo: So I would ask that you let us all share a room, if that is all right.

Fujimaru 1: Yup, we'd prefer just one room, please.

Fujimaru 2: You're fine with that, right, Kintoki?

Sakata Kintoki: Huh?

Sakata Kintoki: Uh, yeah, I guess so.

Sakata Kintoki: (That prob'ly is for the best, given the circumstances.)

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I-I see. Very well, I'll convey your wishes to the servants.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...Are you truly certain about this?

Danzo: We are. Please, pay it no mind.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I-I see. Very well then.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: You're very, um, open-minded, aren't you? And free-spirited, judging from your manner of dress...

Danzo: ?

Sakata Kintoki: Phew! It's good to finally take a load off!

Sakata Kintoki: I'll have to make this up to Kiyoko somehow. And to Lady Kaoruko, of course.

Danzo: Master. [♂ Lord /♀️ Lady] Fujimaru.

Danzo: We have been fighting a great deal from the moment we Rayshifted here, so please, get some rest. I will focus on doing the same.

Fujimaru 1: Thanks, Danzo.

Danzo: Not at all.

Fujimaru 2: You'd better. I don't want you pushingyourself anymore until you're recovered.

Danzo: You are too kind, Master. Rest assured, I will be back to peak condition by tomorrow morning.

Danzo: And most importantly, I can finally begin following our original itinerary.

Sakata Kintoki: Whoa, the servants even laid out shitone for us. That's real considerate of 'em.

Danzo: Shitone. That's a kind of mat used for sleeping, correct?

Sakata Kintoki: And they gave us hot water, too, hehe. This is a real nice change of pace after several days spent campin' out.

Sakata Kintoki: Plus, if I'd stayed out there, it'd prob'ly just be a matter of time till Raikou found me and gave me a good scolding.

Sakata Kintoki: I can almost hear her tellin' me “You're no longer on the mountain where you grew up, Kintoki,” hehe. Makes me nervous just thinkin' about it.

Fujimaru 1: So you really don't want to see Raikou now, Kintoki?

Fujimaru 2: I was kind of hoping we could get Raikou to help us, too.

Sakata Kintoki: Get Raikou to help us, huh.

Sakata Kintoki: True, Raikou'd definitely be willing to believe all the crazy stuff you've told me.

Sakata Kintoki: She's a lot more open-minded than most warriors, that's for sure.

Sakata Kintoki: But,'s not a good time.

Sakata Kintoki: See, Boss Raikou hasn't really been herself lately.

Sakata Kintoki: She's been holing up in her house since the Imperial Holy Grail War started...

Sakata Kintoki: ...and she didn't even come out when she heard that both Brother Usui and Uncle Urabe had been injured.

Sakata Kintoki: I don't know if she's just broken up about the idea of her fellow Genji fightin' among themselves, or...

Sakata Kintoki: (Or if she's one of the Masters, too.)

Mash: Senpai!

Fuuma Kotarou: Master!

Fou: Fooou! Fou!

Sakata Kintoki: Aah!

Sakata Kintoki: Wh-what the...!? Are those ghosts!? No, wait, that ain't it...

Sakata Kintoki: Aha, I think I've seen this kinda thing somewhere before. This some kind of sorcery or onmyou spell of yours?

Danzo: You mean someone developed a method of video transmission even in the Heian period!? Er, but never mind that now.

Danzo: Master! In accordance with our original plan, I've activated my full functionality!

Danzo: And I have just succeeded at establishing contact with Novum Chaldea!

Fujimaru 1: That's great!

Danzo: Thank you, Master!

Fujimaru 2: Way to go, Danzo!

Danzo: You are too kind, Master!

Sakata Kintoki: (Novum Chaldea... So this must be that place way off beyond tomorrow's tomorrow.)

Sakata Kintoki: (Damn, this is really something.)

Mash: Good, the video connection is holding steady, too! I can see you, Danzo, and...

Mash: Ooh! Is that...!?

Mash: The Sakata Kintoki of Heian-kyo!?

Fuuma Kotarou: Thank goodness you're both okay! And I see you've already managed to secure help from one of the locals!

Fujimaru 1: I'm so glad you're both okay, too!

Mash: We are! I'm so glad you're okay too, Senpai!

Mash: I mean, the fragment of Sheba in the round shield...

Mash: Or rather, the Observation Lens Sheba's signal was still strong, so I knew on a rational level that you were okay, but still...

Sakata Kintoki: (They're both sayin' the same thing. Hmm... Aha, that's it!)

Sakata Kintoki: (Maybe they're siblings?)

Sakata Kintoki: (Well, they don't look alike, but...)

Sakata Kintoki: (Ah, whatever!)

Fujimaru 2: Does this mean you two weren't able to Rayshift here then?

Mash: I-I'm afraid so!

Fuuma Kotarou: That's correct, Master.

Danzo: Did something interfere with the Rayshift!?

Fuuma Kotarou: We believe so. And Lady Sion's calculations say that's the most likely explanation as well.

Fuuma Kotarou: Both Lady Mash and I were unable to Rayshift there, and instead were left behind here at Novum Chaldea.

Fuuma Kotarou: We quickly tried to Rayshift again, of course, but it failed in the same way...

Mash: It appears to be an advanced jamming method that bypasses every anti-interference safeguard we have in place! We're looking into a way around it, but we still have yet to come up with anything.

Mash: I'm so sorry, Master...

Fujimaru 1: It's nothing you guys need to apologize for.

Fujimaru 2: Damn you, Limbo!

Da Vinci: I'm glad to see you're safe, but the situation...isn't great.

Da Vinci: The reason you and Katou Danzo were the only two to Rayshift there successfully...

Da Vinci: that whoever was interfering with it considers you two special cases.

Da Vinci: In other words, you're basically welcome guests.

Danzo: I see. So nobody besides us is welcome here.

Danzo: But who could be the one inviting us...

Danzo: I'm sorry, that was foolish of me.

Fujimaru 1: This has Limbo written all over it.

Danzo: Yes. I agree. That is almost certainly the case.

Danzo: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: Hmm.

Sakata Kintoki: Sorry to butt in, but there's a lotta things I'm not gettin' here, and one thing I wanna make sure of.

Sakata Kintoki: So the companions you guys thought you came here with are back at this Chaldea place, yeah?

Sakata Kintoki: That right?

Fujimaru 1: (Nod)

Sakata Kintoki: Got it. That's great news!

Sakata Kintoki: This means we don't hafta run around searchin' Kyo for them!

Sakata Kintoki: Right!?

Danzo: Yes, that's true...

Danzo: I feel as though we may be saying the same thing in different ways, but yes, this does mean we have achieved one of our goals, though without acting.

Danzo: Actually, make that two, since we also managed to find a local willing to help us. And that just leaves–

Fujimaru 1: Investigating and repairing this Singularity!

Danzo: Right.

Fujimaru 1: That puts us in a much better spot now thanwe were in right after our Rayshift...

Danzo: Indeed it does. Now we can finally begin the operation in earnest.

Sakata Kintoki: There ya go! That's the spirit!

Fujimaru 1: (Start choking from having your back slapped)

Fuuma Kotarou: Ah! Master!?

Fujimaru 2: (Get knocked to the floor from having your back slapped)

Mash: A-are you okay, Senpai!?

Mash: Um, Kintoki, do you think you could pull your pun–um, slaps a little more next time?

Sakata Kintoki: O-oh, sure. Sorry 'bout that.

Sakata Kintoki: So, hey, you there, the tiny pretty one. What's your deal?

Sakata Kintoki: You're not just an ordinary kid, right? I'm sensing somethin' powerful from you.

Sakata Kintoki: You an onmyouji? A sage? Maybe some kinda tengu?

Sakata Kintoki: Not that I know if they even got those in your time...

Da Vinci: Hmm... Was the “tiny” part really necessary?

Da Vinci: Oh well, I can roll with it. I can't deny that I look pretty young in this form.

Da Vinci: Anyway, I'm Leonardo da Vinci, friend of Fujimaru's and unparalleled genius.

Sakata Kintoki: Damn, so you're an honest-to-goodness prodigy, huh? That's real impressive.

Sakata Kintoki: I'm Sakata Kintoki, Genji warrior. Nice to meet ya!

Holmes: And I'm Sherlock Holmes. It's a pleasure, Sakata Kintoki.

Sakata Kintoki: (Oh?)

Sakata Kintoki: (Looks like we got yet another new guy here.)

Sakata Kintoki: (And there's somethin' about this one that reminds me of Lord Seimei. Man, Chaldea must be a hell of a place!)

Holmes: All right, here is the situation as we understand it.

Holmes: We believe that both Fujimaru and Katou Danzo...

Holmes: ...were explicitly invited to the city of Heian-kyo in the year 1008.

Holmes: Invited by whom, you may ask? Limbo, naturally.

Holmes: While it was an unfortunate surprise to learn that Mash Kyrielight and Fuuma Kotarou were unable to accompany you on your Rayshift...

Holmes: ...everything else has unfolded just as we predicted.

Holmes: Limbo has gone out of his way to create a new Singularity–a black mark on human history.

Holmes: His targets are almost certainly you, Fujimaru, for having been an obstruction to his plans so many times...

Holmes: ...and Katou Danzo, with whom he has history of sorts.

Holmes: I doubt his plan here is to achieve final victory. Rather, his goal is likely to simply be toying with you on his home ground. Nothing more.

Holmes: Now that he has cut you off from any aid, and seems focused on boxing you both in on all sides...

Holmes: ...he has clearly foregone any pretense of strategy in favor of indulging his...proclivities...

Holmes: ...foul and steeped in death and pain as they are.

Holmes: And that is all there is to say. I suspected he may have someone helping him before you two Rayshifted there...

Holmes: ...but I am at this stage absolutely certain no such collaborator exists.

Holmes: Limbo is the one behind this, and he is acting entirely on his own.

Fujimaru 1: Whoa! You're almost never that definitive!

Holmes: Hahaha.

Fujimaru 2: Um...are you still not quite recovered, Holmes?

Holmes: I may not be back at one-hundred-percent just yet, but for something this obvious, I assure you I'm more than equal to the task.

Da Vinci: I mean, it doesn't get more obvious than the bad guy outright signing their work.

Da Vinci: I gotta tell you, I was NOT expecting to see a bunch of letters in the logs for Mash and Kotarou's failed Rayshifts!

Danzo: Letters?

Mash: That's right. The letters:

Mash: D

Mash: O U

Mash: M

Mash: A

Mash: N

Fou: Bufou!

Fujimaru 1: “Douman”?

Fujimaru 2: Very subtle, Douman...

Sakata Kintoki: So what, this guy put his name in as some kinda message?

Danzo: Indeed. This is clearly Douman telling us he is the one behind all this.

Sakata Kintoki: If that's s'posed to be some kinda joke, it ain't funny.

Sakata Kintoki: So basically, whoever this guy is, Limbo or Lord Ashiya Douman or whoever, he's outright darin' you guys to come after him.

Sakata Kintoki: Ha! The guy's gotta be a real piece of work to straight up sign his name like that!

Danzo: ...Indeed.

Danzo: That said, I still do not understand. If Limbo's goal is to seek revenge on us...

Danzo: ...then what is the point of this Imperial Holy Grail War ritual?

Mash: An Imperial Holy Grail War...

Holmes: I've not heard that term before. Tell us everything you know.

Da Vinci: Really?

Da Vinci: So the only Servants being summoned are Casters? That's certainly a decision.

Da Vinci: It sounds like he's taken the whole Holy Grail War concept of summoning Heroic Spirits and...downsized it or something.

Da Vinci: But if he did it like that, then this Holy Grail's capacity for granting wishes couldn't possibly be–

Holmes: Omnipotent? No, it certainly couldn't. Which means the part about the winner having a wish granted must be a lie.

Holmes: In which case, what if the Grail were restricted to a single function only?

Da Vinci: ...I think that could work.

Da Vinci: The idea of using Heroic Spirits' souls as an incredible source of magical energy has been around since long before Holy Grail Wars were even a thing.

Da Vinci: If you just wanted to use them as a power source for a single goal, it wouldn't matter how unbalanced that source ended up being.

Da Vinci: I think... Yeah. It could definitely work.

Holmes: Well, if our resident Uomo Universale says it would work, I, for one, am inclined to believe her.

Holmes: Then if we assume that this Imperial Holy Grail War is designed with a single purpose in mind...

Holmes: ...the next question to ask would quite naturally be, “What is that purpose?”

Holmes: Personally...I suspect it is to transform the very world itself.

Fuuma Kotarou: ...!

Mash: D-do you mean...

Mash: in to change the world in whatever way the wisher desires?

Fujimaru 1: Is there a particular reason you think that?

Holmes: Naturally.

Holmes: Think back to the events of Shimousa.

Holmes: A great ritual was held there that involved the deaths of countless human souls and several Heroic Spirits...

Holmes: ...and as a result, Shimousa became a Pseudo-Parallel World of sorts–a pseudo-Lostbelt, if you will.

Da Vinci: That's true. According to our records, Shimousa's Onriedo Castle was functionally equivalent to a Lostbelt's Tree of Emptiness.

Da Vinci: You could even call it a Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness.

Da Vinci: So, maybe Limbo's planning to use this Imperial Holy Grail War as a means to create something similar...

Da Vinci: he can make Heian-kyo into a Lostbelt? Nnn, but why would he want to do that?

Holmes: Hmm.

Holmes: Perhaps he wishes to have the Foreign God manifest in the Heian period?

Mash: !

Fuuma Kotarou: Could that be...!?

Fujimaru 1: But, the Foreign God's already manifested.

Holmes: Precisely. Now that the Foreign God has manifested in Olympus, they should have no further need of a vessel.

Holmes: Unless perhaps as a spare? ...No, I cannot see any way a transcendent being of that magnitude would require anything like a spare.

Da Vinci: And let's not forget, with nothing but Caster souls in the mix, the result's not exactly gonna be balanced.

Da Vinci: Like I said before, it's no easy feat to keep the magical energy source for such a massive spell stable.

Da Vinci: Even if the ritual is designed for just a single purpose, any imbalance in the Heroic Spirit souls used to power it could still cause the whole spell to implode!

Da Vinci: Hmmm. There must be some trick we're not seeing...

Da Vinci: Unless...maybe the whole thing's just some kind of twisted prank...?

Sakata Kintoki: Huh?

Da Vinci: Aw crap.

Mash: We're losing our connection! Senpai!

Holmes: Perhaps Limbo finally noticed our connection? Or, perhaps he wants to cut us off before we realize something he'd rather we not know.

Holmes: Regardless, Fujimaru, it is absolutely imperative that you stop this ritual from being completed!

Holmes: If every Heroic Spirit materialized there is killed...

Holmes: ...Heian-kyo could be subjected to a new Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness, just like what happened in Shimousa!

Da Vinci: And that would result in two concurrent and existential threats to Proper Human History: a Singularity and a Lostbelt all in one!

Da Vinci: That's just a possibility for now, not a certainty, but either way, you watch your back out there!

Mash: We'll continue trying to establish contact until we get through again!

Mash: So please...keep your...comms

Fujimaru 1: Got it!

Fujimaru 2: I'm gonna finish this and make it back safe! I promise!

Mash: Sen...pai...!

???: Oh my.

???: It seems I got a bit carried away. HeheheheheHEHE.

???: Really, Chaldeans, you could at least TRY to secure your communications a little. As it is now, it only took a flick of my fingers to sever them entirely!

???: Ah well. In any case...

???: I think that detective explained quite enough of my plan.

???: We do need to save some surprises for later, after all.

???: Now then...

???: Master of Chaldea. My beautiful marionette.

???: Mmmmm, from this point onward, we will be engaged in a contest of pure strength! Come, and let us compete to see which of us can slaughter the most innocents!

???: HeheheheHEHEHEHE. HahaHAHA.

???: HahahahahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Section 5: Steel Diaries (First Half)

Kiyoko: As the moon sets...

Kiyoko: ...the clouds part, revealing a clear sky beginning to lighten. Very nice.

Kiyoko: ... ...

Kiyoko: There's just something about her stories that really speaks to me.

Kiyoko: They make me feel like I'm a character in them myself, experiencing life in that palace.

Kiyoko: But...

Kiyoko: I can't get behind using them for politics. That's just cruel of Micchi–I mean, Lord Michinaga.

Kiyoko: Writers should be free to write what they want.

Kiyoko: I don't think people can really do their best work when it's just for themselves. I think that only happens when they're trying to live up to others' hopes for them.

Kiyoko: And I'm sure it's no different for her, either.

Kiyoko: I think she's putting everything she's got into writing more stories to make Lord Michinaga and Lady Shoushi happy.

Kiyoko: But then again, maybe I'm just overthinking it?

???: ... ...

???: There are times when that is true, and times when it is not.

???: Stories, huh.

Kiyoko: Yup. An unfinished story.

Kiyoko: I know Kaoruko's journey isn't anywhere close to over. And I don't want it to end here and now.

Kiyoko: I want to make sure she's writing her best story right up to the very end.

Kiyoko: A story just for her, that only she can write!

???: ... ...

???: You need not worry.

???: The act of storytelling...

???: very similar to the act of following one's dreams, finding inspiration in great poetry, and weaving one's own world.

???: She will see it through to the end. I'm certain of it.

Kiyoko: Huh, really? You seem awfully well-informed.

???: ...Indeed, I am. My own friends were great poets with similar inclinations.

Narration: The city of Kyo, where monsters, evil spirits, and oni run rampant.

Narration: Of late, such foul creatures have even been prowling even the city's main roads.

Narration: Now, something even stranger has been spotted walking Kyo's streets at night: a great, hulking beast that towers over the average person.

Narration: A steel monster.

Narration: Indeed, the metallic glint of the beast's body under the moon's pale rays resembled nothing so much as steel.

Narration: Truly the beast, with its eerily glowing red eyes, made for a terrifying sight as it wandered the deserted streets.

Narration: The people of Kyo cowered in fear of this beast, convinced it would devour them if given the slightest chance.

Narration: Even though...

Narration: remains of the beast's meals, human or otherwise, were ever found...

Narration: ...

Narration:                     The end.               Excerpt from a Diary

Danzo: And there you have it.

Danzo: Lately, there have been a number of rumors about a steel monster supposedly walking the main roads at night.

Fujimaru 1: Steel?

Fujimaru 2: I remember seeing traditional Japanese monsters wandering around, but...

Danzo: Indeed, I too am unsure as to what this means.

Danzo: No citizen of Kyo has actually seen the creature themselves, yet the rumors continue to spread.

Danzo: Should it prove to be no more than a rumor, then we can cease our worrying.

Danzo: However, these rumors did begin only a few days ago, almost at the same time as–

Fujimaru 1: The Imperial Holy Grail War...

Danzo: Yes. Exactly.

Sakata Kintoki: Steel, huh. So this thing's usin' steel to armor its entire body?

Sakata Kintoki: If that's true, that's a hell of a thing.

Sakata Kintoki: Steel's been used to make weapons since pretty much forever, even back in the Age of Gods with Susanoo-no-Mikoto.

Sakata Kintoki: Even now, they say the sword that was used to kill Orochi was made of steel, and it's bein' kept in a shrine somewhere now.

Sakata Kintoki: But that was then, and this is now. And while I know a whole lot of things are different nowadays...

Sakata Kintoki: ...I never heard of anythin' like that even as far south as Hakata.

Sakata Kintoki: Which basically means there's nothin' like it in all Japan, or China for that matter.

Sakata Kintoki: I'm guessin' it's prob'ly just a monster with tougher skin than usual.

Sakata Kintoki: I mean, it's not like we're talkin' about the Settsu armor here...

Fujimaru 1: (Start choking on your tea)

Danzo: Master!

Fujimaru 2: (Eyes shining)

Sakata Kintoki: Oh?

Fujimaru 1: Y-you mean Golden Huge Bear?

Sakata Kintoki: What's that?

Sakata Kintoki: Hm? Oh, did I say something weird when I was talkin' to myself?

Sakata Kintoki: Sorry 'bout that. Didn't realize you were listenin'! I was just runnin' my mouth figurin' you wouldn't know what I was talkin' about.

Sakata Kintoki: Anyway, just forget you heard that! That was, well...

Sakata Kintoki: It's one of the Genji's most secret secrets, and I'll get in a heap of trouble if they find out I let an outsider know about it!

Sakata Kintoki: So please, just forget I said anything!

Fujimaru 1: O-okay.

Sakata Kintoki: Great! That's all I needed ta hear.

Fujimaru 2: I didn't hear anything. You didn't either, right, Danzo?

Danzo: Er...right. I neither heard nor recorded anything.

Danzo: We heard you say armor of steel could not possibly exist. No more.

Danzo: Indeed, even several hundred years from now, in the age of war when I myself lived...

Danzo: ...steel armor was an extremely rare sight.

Danzo: I have never heard of such a thing being made in Japan. The only sets that existed were imported from foreign lands.

Sakata Kintoki: Like China?

Danzo: No, like the countries in the South Sea.

Sakata Kintoki: the South Sea?

Sakata Kintoki: Oh!

Sakata Kintoki: So, down in the south...there are actual countries out on the sea...?

Danzo: N-nnn.

Danzo: I suppose that is technically what my phrasing suggests, but that is not generally what is meant, no.

Danzo: I was actually talking about foreign lands from much farther away–Western lands, to be exact!

Fujimaru 1: They're basically on the other side of the world... No, wait.

Fujimaru 2: It probably wouldn't help to say they'reon the other side of the globe, huh.

Sakata Kintoki: ?

Sakata Kintoki: Nope, I don't get it! But wherever these places are, I guess not even Hakata trades with 'em.

Sakata Kintoki: Anyway, make sure you chew your rice thoroughly, Fujimaru!

Sakata Kintoki: You ain't touched your food in a while now. That ain't no way to show your appreciation to Lady Kaoruko's servants for goin' outta their way to make rice for our breakfast.

Sakata Kintoki: Now go on, eat up. And make sure you savor every bite.

Fujimaru 1: (Munch, munch)

Fujimaru 2: (Nom, nom, nom)

Sakata Kintoki: That's more like it!

Sakata Kintoki: All right, Fujimaru, I got somethin' to tell you. You just keep on eatin' while I do the talkin', 'kay?

Sakata Kintoki: ...I wanna talk about what we're gonna do about the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Sakata Kintoki: To be honest, I dunno what I should do.

Sakata Kintoki: I got the marks on my hand, but I never got a Heroic Spirit of my own!

Sakata Kintoki: After a few long days of waitin', I thought you might be my Servant, but then you said you're not.

Sakata Kintoki: Instead, you're a Master who's got nothin' to do with the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Sakata Kintoki: Anyway, puttin' all that aside...

Sakata Kintoki: After hearin' everythin' your friends at Chaldea had to say, I can't help but think this Imperial Holy Grail War thing don't pass the smell test.

Sakata Kintoki: In fact, it reeks to high heaven of outright villainy. This Limbo guy, yeah?

Sakata Kintoki: I always thought this ritual sounded pretty weird, but now I know it's this evil bastard's crazy scheme, a lotta things make sense.

Sakata Kintoki: ...Your friends said to stop the ritual.

Sakata Kintoki: Right?

Fujimaru 1: (Nod while chewing)

Sakata Kintoki: I think that's the right idea.

Sakata Kintoki: There's no point in warriors who've sworn to protect the country competin' with each other like this!

Sakata Kintoki: Well, I guess the Imperial Palace decided otherwise, but who cares! They're morons!

Sakata Kintoki: Anyway, there you go. I ain't about to dance to some evil bastard's tune!

Danzo: Lord Kintoki...

Sakata Kintoki: Whoa there. Don't go fallin' for me now, you hear?

Danzo: I see you have a great sense of humor as well, Lord Kintoki.

Danzo: As I am a puppet, rather than a human being, I can assure you there is no need to worry about that.

Sakata Kintoki: Got it.

Danzo: ?

Danzo: (Did Lord Kintoki just avert his eyes from me a bit?)

Danzo: Lord Kintoki?

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah?

Danzo: Is there something I am lacking? If there is, please, say so.

Danzo: Heroic Spirits are supposed to be summoned in their prime, but I'm afraid I am still deeply flawed.

Danzo: Regrettably, it seems that even in my prime, my various functions were plagued by many defects.

Danzo: I have thought about it a great deal, but the fact remains that my functions are still imperfect...

Danzo: If I have done anything to offend you, I would ask that you please let me know!

Sakata Kintoki: R-r-right... Got it.

Sakata Kintoki: Now, uh, do you think you could maybe...

Danzo: ???

Fujimaru 1: (Munch, munch...swallow)

Fujimaru 1: Danzo, I think you're kind of in Kintoki's personal space.

Fujimaru 2: Don't forget, Danzo, Kintoki's still at that innocent age.

Danzo: Oh. I see...

Danzo: ?

Sakata Kintoki: D-don't get me wrong, I think it's great how your outfit's built for...mobility.

Sakata Kintoki: But when you get too close, it's a little hard to, uh, know where to look?

Sakata Kintoki: Catch my drift?

Danzo: I-I see... Is that how it is?

Sakata Kintoki: That's how it is. So yeah, if you wouldn't mind givin' me some space, I'd appreciate it, haha.

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, hey! You're all done eating, Fujimaru!

Sakata Kintoki: All right then, now seems like a good time to tell you what I'm thinkin'.

Sakata Kintoki: I'm thinkin' I'm gonna stop this Imperial Holy Grail War, and whatever this Limbo bastard's up to!

Sakata Kintoki: So I want you to think of me as one of your trusted companions, just like the rest of your team!

Fujimaru 1: Gladly!

Fujimaru 2: Thanks, Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki: Right on!

Danzo: I, too, am glad to have you on our team!

Sakata Kintoki: All right, next, we oughta figure out how it is we're gonna do that, right?

Sakata Kintoki: Well, I'm thinkin' the fastest way to do it is to take down that Limbo scumbag, since he's behind it all!

Sakata Kintoki: You don't know where he is, do you?

Danzo: No, I am afraid not.

Danzo: We do think he must be somewhere here in Heian-kyo, but even that is no more than a hunch.

Sakata Kintoki: Hey, nothin' wrong with hunches! In my experience, they're right more often than not.

Sakata Kintoki: Besides, it's not like we don't have any clues at all to go on, right? What'd you say this Limbo guy's other name was?

Fujimaru 1: Ashiya Douman.

Fujimaru 2: Ashiya Douman, though not the one originally living during this time.

Sakata Kintoki: That's it! Lord Ashiya Douman! He's the onmyouji runnin' the whole Onmyou Bureau in Lord Seimei's absence!

Sakata Kintoki: He's about as high up as higher-ups come. Rumor even has it that the Minister of the Left's keener to listen to him than to Lord Seimei now.

Sakata Kintoki: Danzo, I got a question for you.

Danzo: Yes?

Sakata Kintoki: Would you recognize this guy if you saw him?

Danzo: Yes, I would. Limbo and I have our own history of sorts.

Danzo: So I am certain I could tell at a glance...

Danzo: ...whether this Ashiya Douman is the original living one from this time, or Limbo.

Fujimaru 1: Then we have our first objective!

Fujimaru 2: Then let's go find out which one he is!

Sakata Kintoki: Hell yeah!

Sakata Kintoki: All right, next thought! We're smack in the middle of the Imperial Holy Grail War, yeah?

Sakata Kintoki: And since it's this crazy huge ritual that requires every onmyouji in the Bureau workin' to pull it off...

Sakata Kintoki: ...alla those folks're gonna have to hunker down in the safest part of the city!

Sakata Kintoki: So I'm thinkin' if Lord Douman's gonna be anywhere... it'll be the Imperial Palace.

Danzo: Back when I was gathering information, I took a look at the Imperial Palace at the end of Suzaku Avenue.

Danzo: Even though it's being rebuilt after a fire burned parts of it down...

Danzo: has a strong, temple-level Bounded Field, better than top-rate mage workshops.

Danzo: In fact, it could well be even stronger than that, and I am just not knowledgeable enough to see it.

Fujimaru 1: Then I guess sneaking in's out of the question.

Danzo: Yes, I believe so.

Fujimaru 2: I guess we'll just have to use more conventional methods to get in, then.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah.

Sakata Kintoki: The only way we're gettin' in there's through the front door, and with a damn good reason...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Huh?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Good morning, everyone. Oh my, I see you've all polished off your breakfasts.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Um, would you care for another serving of rice? It wouldn't take any time at all to prepare.

Sakata Kintoki: Hell yeah! Thanks, Lady Kaoruko!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: E-eep!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I-I'm sorry. I'm not used to hearing men speak at such, er, volume...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: S-so then, you would like seconds, yes? And very much so, from the sound of it?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Very well, coming right up. Hehe, the servants will be thrilled to know you enjoy their cooking so much.

Sakata Kintoki: Hm? Oh, yeah, seconds would be great, thanks!

Sakata Kintoki: And while we're at it, we got another favor to ask you, too, Lady Kaoruko.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Oh yes, by all means. Anything for honored guests.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Indeed, you're all free to stay as long as you like...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...and if you have any special requests, I will gladly do whatever I can to grant them.

Sakata Kintoki: I knew the daughter of Lord Fujiwara-no-Tametoki would hear us out. You proper nobles really know your manners.

Sakata Kintoki: I hate to take advantage of that generous nature of yours, but it's for the greater good!

Sakata Kintoki: Lady Kaoruko, we do have a request to make of you! A big one!!!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: E-eep!

Fujimaru 1: Keep it down, Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, right. Sorry.

Fujimaru 2: So what is this big request?

Danzo: Lord Kintoki! What were you thinking, making Lady Kaoruko cower in fear not only once, but twice!?

Sakata Kintoki: It's not like I was tryin' to scare her...

Sakata Kintoki: Sorry about that, Lady Kaoruko. See, the truth is...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...You wish to visit the Imperial Palace?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I see. Hmmm.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...While I am sure you already know this as a warrior of the Genji, I feel I must remind you that the Imperial Palace is home to His Imperial Highness, the emperor.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Only the highest ranked officials may enter, and only for the purpose of discussing political decisions that affect all of Japan.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: The only exceptions are those who serve the emperor or empress personally, such as myself, as I am one of Lady Shoushi's ladies-in-waiting.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: One cannot simply walk in as they like...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ... ...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...But of course, you knew that when you made your request, didn't you?

Sakata Kintoki: Please. I'm beggin' ya here.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: O-oh my! Lord Kintoki!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Please, stop that! Th-there's no need for you to bury your face in the floor!

Danzo: (D-dogeza! I have never seen a warrior of Lord Kintoki's caliber lower himself like this!)

Sakata Kintoki: Please! We need your help!

Sakata Kintoki: I promise we won't make any trouble for ya! Well, I mean, not more than we're makin' now.

Sakata Kintoki: As long as it doesn't get back to the main Genji house, you can even use my name if you want.

Sakata Kintoki: We just wanna talk to Lord Ashiya Douman in the palace!

Sakata Kintoki: So please, Kaoruko, help us out!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: L-Lord Kintoki...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ... ...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I... Well, there may be a way.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: If I use your name when I ask Lord Michinaga...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...he may be willing to let you in.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Still, um... I already owe Lord Michinaga many favors, and am a little reluctant to be deeper in his debt...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Nnn...

Sakata Kintoki: ...I don't wanna ask you to do anythin' you're not comfortable with, Lady Kaoruko.

Sakata Kintoki: If you can't help us, that's okay. We'll just lay low here until we come up with somethin' else.

Sakata Kintoki: Well, I guess we'll be makin' trouble for you either way, but...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: !

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Y-yes... That's true, isn't it?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: All right, I understand. I understand very well now.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: At this point, owing Lord Michinaga a few more favors won't change anything, so I'll figure something out!

Sakata Kintoki: O-okay. Hm?

Sakata Kintoki: Hang on. I ain't hearin' things, right? Kaoruko just said she'd figure something out, yeah?

Fujimaru 1: She sure did!

Fujimaru 2: Why the sudden change of heart, Kaoruko?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I was a little uncertain of what to do since it was such a big request...b-but I'm not uncertain anymore. That's all.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: So while I am uncertain how helpful I can be, I will do my best.

Sakata Kintoki: Awesome! Thanks, Kaoruko!

Danzo: Thank you, Lady Kaoruko. We are in your debt.

Fujimaru 1: Thanks, Kaoruko.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...You're welcome.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: At any rate, I will do everything in my power to get you inside the palace, but I am still not certain Lord Michinaga will allow it.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: So if I am unable to make that happen, I hope you can forgive me.

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, I don't know. I think you've got a pretty good shot.

Sakata Kintoki: You're not just any lady-in-waitin', after all. You're THE Murasaki Shikibu. I'm sure the Minister of the Left remembers who you are!

Sakata Kintoki: I mean, from what I've heard, everyone in the whole palace reads your stories!

Fujimaru 1: Oh, right. You're still working on “The Tale of Genji,” aren't you?

Fujimaru 2: You must still be in the middle of writing “The Tale of Genji,” huh?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Y-y-yes, that's right.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: (Gasp of realization)

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Don't tell me. You've read it, haven't you...?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: N-n-no, wait! I'd love to know what you think...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I mean, I'd REALLY love to know what you think, b-b-but...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I-if you say anything I'm not ready to hear, I, I, I d-d-don't know what I'll–

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: But never mind that! You need permission to enter the palace, right!?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Then leave it to me! I'll, um, do the very best I can to get you in!

Danzo: Um...

Danzo: It seems that authors have, um, various difficulties of their own.

Sakata Kintoki: Sure looks that way...

Sakata Kintoki: I can't even imagine what it's like for 'em. 'Course, this is my first time meetin' a storytellin' genius.

Sakata Kintoki: Writin' stories is basically like lookin' in on entire lives unfoldin' in completely different places and describin' 'em one word at a time, yeah?

Sakata Kintoki: That's a whole different, uh, story from just recordin' some noble's accomplishments or rumors about some warrior.

Sakata Kintoki: It ain't at all like keepin' a diary, either.

Sakata Kintoki: I think it was Kiyoko who said writers pick and choose whatever they like from real events, rumors, journals, dreams, and so on...

Sakata Kintoki: ...and then they weave all those different elements together into a single story.

Sakata Kintoki: So you start with just words, and when you're done, you've got a vision of a whole other world different from the one we live in.

Sakata Kintoki: Man...

Sakata Kintoki: I bet both readin' and writin' things like that has gotta be a ton of fun.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Thank you for waiting.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Lord Michinaga has agreed to grant you entry into the palace tomorrow morning, though only briefly.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Now come, we must leave right away.

Sakata Kintoki: That's great, Kaoruko! Thanks a ton!

Sakata Kintoki: C'mon, Fujimaru. I know you're sleepy, but it's time to get goin'.

Fujimaru 1: I'm okay.

Fujimaru 2: I was just taking a quick nap.

Danzo: Here, Master. I have brought you a damp towel. Perhaps it will help you wake up.

Fujimaru 1: (Wipe face)

Sakata Kintoki: Feelin' more awake now?

Sakata Kintoki: I know it's been a while since we had dinner, and you must be pretty tired, but you'll just have to suck it up.

Sakata Kintoki: Anyway, I gotta say, it was pretty smart of you to get us in right around daybreak, Kaoruko.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I'm sorry it took so long for my messengers to obtain the necessary permissions.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Still, if we take a carriage right now, we should arrive at the palace shortly before the gates open.

Fujimaru 1: I'm surprised they'll let us in at that hour.

Fujimaru 2: I didn't know the palace opened up so early.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Oh, well, this is actually a special exception.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Since this is a matter that needs to be kept quiet from the main Genji house...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...the Minister of the Left thought you should come when you were unlikely to see any palace outsiders.

Sakata Kintoki: (Low whistle) Nice thinkin', Lady Kaoruko.

Sakata Kintoki: 'Course, I expect we'll still have some waitin' around to do once we get there.

Sakata Kintoki: But hey, that means we oughta get to see Lord Douman first thing in the mornin', right?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Yes, that's true.

Sakata Kintoki: You hear that, Fujimaru!?

Fujimaru 1: Great! Then let's get going!

Fujimaru 2: I'm fine. I'm not sleepy. I can do this!

Danzo: Right, Master!

Fujimaru 1: I never thought we'd get to ride in a carriage.

Fujimaru 1: Is this normal?

Danzo: N-no, not at all!

Fujimaru 2: This is really something, isn't it?

Danzo: Yes. Very much so.

Danzo: Typically, carriages are only for nobility.

Danzo: Normally, it would be unthinkable for a shinobi like myself to so much as set foot in one.

Danzo: Ahh, this is so exciting.

Danzo: I cannot believe I got to ride in a carriage not once, but twice...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Ah.

Fujimaru 1: Is something wrong?

Fujimaru 2: Kaoruko?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: O-oh, no, it's just, well...

Danzo: Master. I am detecting vicious magical energy signals outside of the carriage.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: There are monsters afoot...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: But don't worry. Lord Seimei's spell should keep them away from us.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: We will just have to go around them, that's all.

Sakata Kintoki: Too much trouble. Come on, Boss!

Sakata Kintoki: Haha, I bet seein' a little Ashigara sumo'll wake you right up! Lady Kaoruko, you and your servants can just sit back and enjoy the show, too!

Fujimaru 1: ...True, we don't have any time to waste.

Fujimaru 2: Let's do it!

Danzo: Right!

Danzo: Hostiles confirmed. Moving to eradicate now, Master!


Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I'm amazed. We made it to the palace without having to take a single detour.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: That was truly an impressive performance.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I still can't quite believe you defeated all those monsters so easily.

Sakata Kintoki: Hey, it's daylight now! That's a weight off our shoulders.

Sakata Kintoki: (Yawwwn) Man, now I'm feelin' sleepy.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Hehe, how silly. Were you not the one saying fighting would wake us all up?

Fujimaru 1: We ran into monsters at night with Kiyoko's carriage, too.

Fujimaru 2: Is that sort of thing common around here?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Yes, um, we do tend to see a lot of monsters in the middle of the night, or right before dawn.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah, those things really prefer darkness. They almost never show their faces when the sun's out.

Sakata Kintoki: The only thing you gotta worry about durin' the daytime is oni.

Danzo: That truly does sound nightmarish. I had no idea Heian-kyo was such a dangerous place...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Be that as it may, Kyo is still the most prosperous city in all of Japan.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Indeed, I daresay it would be impossible for any other town to surpass its scale.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Even the town of Hakata Otsu, which serves as Japan's key port of trade with China, is still a far cry from Kyo's size.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: And yet, despite that–

Sakata Kintoki: We still gotta deal with monsters. But hey, what're you gonna do?

Sakata Kintoki: Heian-kyo wouldn't be what it is today if it hadn't been for the great Sei-i Taishogun, Sakanoue-no-Tamuramaro...

Sakata Kintoki: ...and all the other warriors who fought and died to claim victory here.

Sakata Kintoki: And of course, when you got winners, you also got losers.

Sakata Kintoki: So what happens to the losers? Maybe they all die off...

Sakata Kintoki: ...or maybe they head out to the fields and mountains and spend the rest of their days nursin' a real bad grudge. The kind that lasts for generations.

Sakata Kintoki: When they die like that, they probably come back to haunt the people they see as responsible for their fate...

Sakata Kintoki: ...and it wouldn't be any surprise if their grudge 'caused 'em to turn into oni or tsuchigumo while they were still alive.

Fujimaru 1: That does sound like a really bad grudge...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Lord Kintoki...

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Just kiddin'.

Sakata Kintoki: If everyone that lost a war really did turn into monsters, society as we know it would've been wiped out long ago.

Sakata Kintoki: So no, I don't think that's where all oni and tsuchigumo come from. Just some of them.

Sakata Kintoki: I wonder which side Ootakemaru came down on, and whether he changed his mind after Lord Tamuramaro beat him?

Sakata Kintoki: And then there's his wife, Lady Suzuka Gozen.

Sakata Kintoki: Some people say she was an oni herself, or maybe the daughter of the Demon King, but who knows?

Sakata Kintoki: Maybe she was just a really tough warrior from a powerful family–one without any horns, or flame breath, or anythin'.

Sakata Kintoki: Not that we'll ever know now, of course...

Sakata Kintoki: Anyways.

Sakata Kintoki: Some of the losers who nursed a hell of a grudge gave themselves over to darkness...

Danzo: ...And even now, they threaten Kyo during the night.

Sakata Kintoki: You got it.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...Here we are, everyone. We've arrived at the Imperial Palace.

Danzo: Then if you will excuse me...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Huh? Lady Danzo was just here...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I don't see her anywhere though...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Is she still in the carriage? ...No, she's not. That's strange...

Fujimaru 1: Maybe she got off before us?

Fujimaru 2: (I'm thinking the less said here, the better.)

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I could have sworn I saw her here... I even thought I heard her voice...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: But, if you're sure...I suppose I suppose it must have been my imagination.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Perhaps it's because I didn't sleep last night.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Well, that certainly won't do now. I need to be clearheaded and on my best behavior here.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: No, not just me; that goes for all of you, too. Remember, the palace does not tolerate any rudeness whatsoever.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: So please, make sure you take extra care with how you speak and conduct yourselves.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Is that clear?

Fujimaru 1: Understood.

Fujimaru 2: Of course.

Sakata Kintoki: Got it. No, wait. I mean...

Sakata Kintoki: Ahem!

Sakata Kintoki: I am aware, Lady Kaoruko. Rest assured, I, Equerry Sakata Kintoki of the Genji clan, have matters well in hand.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Please be sure that you do. One transgression will see us all lose our heads, myself included.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: All right, let us be on our way.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...Lord Ashiya Douman, the current head onmyouji.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I have indeed heard rumors that he is somewhere inside the Imperial Palace.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: He would not usually be here this early...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: But apparently, he is in the middle of performing a crucial ritual with the rest of the Onmyou Bureau...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: he is at the palace day and night for the time being.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I do not, however, know exactly where to find him within the palace.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: All I can do is show you around while no one else is around.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Whatever you do, please make absolutely sure you do not go anywhere the emperor or Lady Shoushi may be.

Sakata Kintoki: Understood.

Fujimaru 1: Understood!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Good. Then please continue this way.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Although Lady Shoushi's father, Lord Michinaga, has taken up residence in the palace...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...we should not have to worry about running into him at this time of day.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: So please do not worry about that.

Sakata Kintoki: Got it.

Sakata Kintoki: Whoa there. Hold up, Lady Kaoruko. There's someone headed this way...

Sakata Kintoki: Whoever it is, they've got a real glamorous air about 'em. Could be a lady-in-waiting, or–

Palace Noble: Oh.

Palace Noble: Well, hello there. What a surprise to see others up and about at this hour.

Palace Noble: You're one of Lady Shoushi's ladies-in-waiting, aren't you? Murasaki something, wasn't it?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Good morning, Lady Takako.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: My name is Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko. I am also known as Murasaki Shikibu.

Takako: That's it! Murasaki Shikibu! I've been reading your stories for a long time now!

Fujimaru 1: (Huh!?)

Fujimaru 2: (Is that...Tamamo!?)

Takako: Yes?

Takako: Um, I'm sorry, but who might you be?

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, right, where're my manners?

Sakata Kintoki: I'm Sakata Kintoki of the Genji family. We've come to see Lord Douman about an important matter.

Takako: Well, how very polite of you. I suppose this must be your first time seeing me in this form?

Sakata Kintoki: Huh?

Takako: You mean you don't remember? Come now, think back to when you first came down from that mountain in Sagami–

Takako: Oh, but then again, you were so young that maybe you couldn't tell your foxes from your tanuki back then.

Takako: Hehehe. I do beg your pardon.

Sakata Kintoki: N-not at all.

Takako: We do appreciate everything you do for the city of Kyo, Lord Sakata Kintoki.

Takako: As for the, um, young [♂ man /♀️ lady] with the [♂ dark /♀️ red] hair...

Takako: I couldn't help but notice you seem rather transfixed with me.

Takako: Have we met somewhere before? If we have, I'm afraid I can't remember.

Takako: I am Takako, one of the emperor's concubines.

Takako: A pleasure to make your acquaintance.

Fujimaru 1: Th-the, uh, pleasure's all mine.

Fujimaru 2: That face... Those ears... Those tails...

Takako: I'm sorry?

Sakata Kintoki: What is it, Fujimaru? Cat got your tongue or somethin'?

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, I gotcha. It wasn't a cat. It was the pretty noble lady! Haha, sorry about that, Lady Takako. I hope you can forgive my young friend here.

Takako: Hehehehe, I see. Yes, that's quite all right.

Takako: You certainly are a...straightforward one, aren't you?

Takako: (You there.)

Takako: (You can see, can't you?)

Takako: (How strange. My illusions are perfect; no one but Lord Seimei should be able to see my tails, or the ears atop my head.)

Takako: (No matter how gifted you may be, this should be entirely impossible.)

Takako: (And saw through my illusion like it was nothing.)

Takako: (...Are you sure we haven't met somewhere before?)

Takako: (If you and I already have a connection of some kind, that would be a different story.)

Fujimaru 1: (Um, technically, we've definitely never met before.)

Fujimaru 2: (Oh man, this is really hard to explain!)

Takako: (Oh my, I see.)

Takako: (Then we DO have a connection of sorts.)

Takako: (Still, it seems you aren't here for me. So, you truly are here to see Lord Douman?)

Takako: (Well then, that's quite all right. I'm happy to keep my nose out of your affairs.)

Takako: (So I do hope you'll return the favor, and keep my little secret.)

Takako: (Do we have an understanding?)

Fujimaru 1: (...Uh-huh.)

Takako: Teeheeheehee. Good. Then do take care, won't you?

Takako: For I'm told oni and vengeful spirits have taken to prowling even within the palace walls of late...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Phew.

Sakata Kintoki: I don't know what it is, but there was somethin' about her that made my blood run cold. Me, Kaidoumaru of Ashigara!

Sakata Kintoki: I guess this means she's more fearsome than the giant bears on Ashigara? Man, this stuff's exactly why I don't understand women...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: A-are you all right, [♂ Lord /♀️ Lady] Fujimaru? You seemed like you were discussing something very private.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I've never exchanged more than a few pleasantries with Lady Takako myself...

Fujimaru 1: I'm okay, thanks.

Fujimaru 2: I don't think there's anything to worry about...for the moment.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah? I don't know what that was all about either, but–

E:???: Excuse me, please.

Sakata Kintoki: !

Sakata Kintoki: (Huh!? I didn't sense his approach!)

Sakata Kintoki: (How the hell did he get behind Fujimaru without me noticin'!?)

Fujimaru 1: !!!

F:Imperial Monk: ...I do beg your pardon.

F:Imperial Monk: Could I have a moment of your time, young [♂ man /♀️ lady]?

F:Imperial Monk: I couldn't help but notice the many impurities circling about your head.

F:Imperial Monk: They may have something to do with your unusual manner of dress, but no matter. Please remain still.

Sakata Kintoki: ...Exorcisin' evil spirits, huh.

Sakata Kintoki: And ya did it so easily, without even needin' to light any sacred fire. Pretty clear why they say you're one of the best onmyouji we've had in ages.

F:Imperial Monk: There we go. That should do it.

F:Imperial Monk: Have you run into any creatures of the night lately? Well, that won't do at all. You nearly brought the impurities with you into the palace.

F:Imperial Monk: But that's all right. Now that I've exorcised them, we have nothing to worry about.

Fujimaru 1: Ashiya...Douman...?

F:Imperial Monk: Yes, that is me.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: O-o-oh my goodness! I'm so terribly sorry!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Though I have been fortunate enough to study under Lord Seimei...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...I had no idea some residual anger from the monstrosities that roam Kyo at night was still clinging to you!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I do hope you can forgive me, [♂ Lord /♀️ Lady] Fujimaru...

Sakata Kintoki: Then, you mean–

Fujimaru 1: Did you me?

F:Imperial Monk: It is good to see you again, Lady Kaoruko–I mean, Lady Murasaki Shikibu. And you, Lord Sakata Kintoki.

F:Imperial Monk: As for you, I don't believe I've had the pleasure. Indeed, my name is Ashiya Douman. I am but a humble onmyouji.

Ashiya Douman: With the great Lord Abe-no-Seimei absent, I, along with all the capable onmyouji at the Onmyouji Bureau, have been attempting to fill his shoes.

Ashiya Douman: As it is my task to protect the Imperial Palace, albeit in a manner wholly separate from our valiant warriors...

Ashiya Douman: ...I was duty bound to do something about th impurities I saw clinging to you, however minor.

Fujimaru 1: ...I'm Fujimaru...

Fujimaru 1: ...

Ashiya Douman: Goodness me. It seems you're not overly fond of me. Perhaps I shouldn't have been so hasty in stepping in to exorcise you.

Ashiya Douman: I'm afraid I don't understand why it is you're so wary of me...

Ashiya Douman: But it's quite all right. I am but a humble onmyouji, after all.

Ashiya Douman: I am well aware that Lord Abe-no-Seimei has the love of the people in a way I never will.

Ashiya Douman: Indeed, the public seems to view me as something of a villain. So do not worry, I am accustomed to such dislike.

Fujimaru 1: ...

Fujimaru 1: It's not about public opinion.

Ashiya Douman: Oh?

Ashiya Douman: Then may I ask how you already know about me? Surely you can't have heard anything from the missing Lord Seimei.

Sakata Kintoki: (Danzo!)

Sakata Kintoki: (I've been doin' my best to let him blab on without cuttin' him off, but I can't wait anymore!)

Sakata Kintoki: (Is this the bastard you guys were tellin' me about!?)

Sakata Kintoki: (Is this our Limbo guy right here?)

Danzo: (Right!)

Danzo: (Master! Lord Kintoki! Forgive me for remaining hidden while I speak!)

Danzo: (This man here does indeed look exactly like Limbo!)

Danzo: (However... I cannot sense any of Limbo's unmistakable malice from him.)

Danzo: (In fact, I sense nothing evil about him at all!)

Danzo: (It is almost as if the very type of magical energy he uses is completely different from Limbo!)

Sakata Kintoki: (Huh, is that so? Then this guy and Limbo must be different people.)

Sakata Kintoki: (This is great, Danzo. Just knowin' that's a big help.)

Sakata Kintoki: ...

Ashiya Douman: ...Lord Kintoki?

Ashiya Douman: Do I perhaps have something on my face?

Sakata Kintoki: Nah, you don't.

Sakata Kintoki: We just wanted to see you to check up on somethin', and we have. We're all good now.

Sakata Kintoki: If my friend there can't seem to stop shudderin', well, it's prob'ly 'cause [♂ he's /♀️ she's] never met an onmyouji before.

Sakata Kintoki: Can't blame [♂ him /♀️ her], really, since [♂ he's /♀️ she's] from real far away!

Ashiya Douman: Oh, I see. Do you mean like Sagami, or somewhere thereabouts?

Sakata Kintoki: Somethin' like that!

Imperial Noble: What's all this commotion?

Imperial Noble: Where do you think you are, Douman? Have you forgotten that you stand in the Emperor's Palace?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: L-Lord Michinaga!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Oh, Kaoruko, it's you. Hmm...

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: ...And you're Kaidoumaru of the Genji clan. Hmm.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: I don't recognize you. Who are you?


Narration: The palace played host to unusual guests today.

Narration: The palace is the highest political institution in all of Japan, where the emperor himself resides.

Narration: Not even warriors of the acclaimed Genji clan, or those who serve Lord Michinaga himself...

Narration: ...could easily gain entry.

Narration: And yet, in spite of all that, this young warrior and his companion said they wished to visit.

Narration: Their reason:

Narration: To meet with Lord Ashiya Douman, the onmyouji currently serving in Lord Abe-no-Seimei's stead.

Narration: Along with this man, who has always seemed vaguely unsettling to me, despite his soft demeanor...

Narration: Fortunately, the young warriors were successful.

Narration: Their business now concluded, I thought they would turn around and leave right away.

Narration: But, as luck would have it...

Narration: It was then that none other than Lord Michinaga, the Minister of the Left and the emperor's father-in-law, should appear.

Narration: I was so shocked I feared my heart might try to leap out of my mouth...

Narration: ...

Narration:                     The end.               Excerpt from a Diary

Sakata Kintoki: ...I am glad to see you in good health, Lord Minister of the Left.

Sakata Kintoki: This young [♂ man /♀️ woman] here is my apprentice. I expect [♂ he /♀️ she] will one day be the equal to even the Four Heavenly Kings!

Sakata Kintoki: I am responsible for bringing [♂ him /♀️ her] here, so I beg you, please be lenient with [♂ him /♀️ her]!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Lord Michinaga! These are the two visitors I told you about the other–

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Silence, Kaoruko. I'm speaking with Kaidoumaru right now.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...Y-yes, Lord Michinaga. Forgive me.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Now... You there, [♂ boy /♀️ girl]. Let me take a look at you.

Fujimaru 1: (Meet his gaze)

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Oh?

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: How odd. It seems you are truly unafraid, even in the presence of the Minister of the Left.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: I see. So you are one of the Genji's up-and-coming warriors? Kaidoumaru never mentioned that.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: If you had shown the slightest sign of fear, I would have declared you an interloper and lopped your head off where you stand...

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: But, heh, it seems you are made of stern stuff indeed. Have you perhaps encountered a great malicious spirit before?

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: If you have, yet retain your sanity, that would mean you must be of a kind with Raikou and Kaidoumaru there.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Wouldn't you agree, Kaidoumaru?

Sakata Kintoki: ...I would.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: While such monstrous bloodlines have no place in the nobility, they can be quite useful in warriors, as Mitsunaka has demonstrated.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: You may raise your head, warrior of Ashigara. I will not reproach you for this transgression.

Sakata Kintoki: Thank you, Lord Mi–

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Now, why have you done it?

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: You said you had a reason for this? Very well. Tell me what it is.

Sakata Kintoki: Yes, sir...

Sakata Kintoki: (Hoo boy... Now what do I do?)

Sakata Kintoki: (Just our luck to run into the Minister of the Left like this.)

Sakata Kintoki: (And in front of Lord Douman, no less.)

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: (So, what do I do?)

Sakata Kintoki: (If I mess up here, all our heads'll roll for sure.)

Sakata Kintoki: (Hehe, well, Sakata Kintoki, this'll be a good challenge in its own right!)

Sakata Kintoki: (All right, time to steel myself! I'm just gonna have to make him understand what's at stake!)

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Kaidoumaru.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: I know you are not a frequent visitor to the palace, and especially not at this early hour.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: I also heard from Kaoruko that you wished for an audience with this onmyouji.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Why is that?

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Tell me why you have done this, Kaidoumaru.

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...It's the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Sakata Kintoki: All those claims about the Imperial Holy Grail War bringing Kyo a thousand years of peace...

Sakata Kintoki:

Are a pack of lies!

Ashiya Douman: !?

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Oh?

Sakata Kintoki: The Imperial Holy Grail War's true aims are pure malice!

Sakata Kintoki: We believe it is all a villain's scheme, and that it will lead to a great uprising that threatens the peace of the entire city of Kyo!

Sakata Kintoki: So please, Lord Minister of the Left.

Sakata Kintoki: We beg of you, please reconsider going ahead with the Imperial Holy Grail War!

Ashiya Douman: A villain's scheme!?

Ashiya Douman: But, Lord Seimei himself detailed the workings of this ritual in the letter he sent...

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Haha. Hahahaha.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: A villain's scheme that will lead to a great uprising, hm? Of all the things I thought you might say...

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Have you forgotten, Kaidoumaru, this contest was Seimei's own proposal!?

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: I can understand how an innocent youth of the mountains to the east may not fully grasp the weight the words of the greatest onmyouji of our time hold...

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: ...but that is no excuse not to think before you speak!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Remember, Kyo is already beset by constant threats to its peace!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: While it would be easy to dismiss this Imperial Holy Grail War as something not to be trusted...

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: ...if true, the thousand years of peace we stand to gain in exchange for the lives of a few foreign sorcerers is a most worthy prize.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: And if it should prove to be false...then we shall be no worse off than we are now.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Am I wrong, Kaidoumaru?

Sakata Kintoki: But... But Lord Minister of the Left...

Sakata Kintoki: I am told that we only know about this ritual from–

Sakata Kintoki: Ah, the hell with it! C'mon, Minister, how do we even know this letter even came from Lord Seimei!?

Sakata Kintoki: For all we know, it could just as easily be a fake!? Don't ya see how damn fishy all this is!?

Sakata Kintoki: C'mon, Minister! This's gotta be some kinda villain's plan!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Lord Kintoki! Lord Kintoki! S-s-s-stop, please!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: You mustn't speak to Lord Michinaga in such a coarse manner!

Sakata Kintoki: ...Ah.

Sakata Kintoki: S-sorry 'bout that. I mean... Forgive me, Lord Minister of the Left.

Sakata Kintoki: But I meant every word I said! Please, at least believe me about that!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: ...Hmm.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: You have certainly never been this insistent about anything before, Kaidoumaru.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: I can also see you are by no means an experienced liar.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: You say a villain is behind this? Tell me more.

Sakata Kintoki: Well whaddaya know! You're a lot more reasonable than I thought, Michinaga!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Lord Kintokiii!

Fujimaru 1: A man called Limbo.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Oh?

Fujimaru 1: I'm positive he's the one behind the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: ...Go on.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: ...Hmm.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: So, you believe this to be the scheme of a villain from another world, do you?

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Fascinating! Indeed, we do know there are worlds beyond Japan and China...

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: evidenced by the different Casters from distant lands we have already seen.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: And it does stand to reason that not every person from these other worlds would be kind and pure of heart.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: So I can see the logic behind your claims. However.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Everything about the letter we received, from the crest on its seal to the strokes in its writing, matches Seimei's other letters.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Isn't that right, Douman?

Ashiya Douman: ...Yes, Lord Minister. I'm certain of it.

Sakata Kintoki: ...

Sakata Kintoki: (I still don't trust that Douman guy, but...)

Sakata Kintoki: (If Danzo says it ain't him, I'll just have to trust that it ain't.)

Sakata Kintoki: ('Sides, accusin' him of bein' Limbo now won't get us anywhere.)

Fujimaru 1: ...

Ashiya Douman: Is something wrong?

Fujimaru 1: ...No.

Fujimaru 2: ...It's nothing.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Furthermore, you have no evidence to verify your claims.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: It is one thing to make claims about this Limbo person being behind it all, but as of now we have only your word.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: And we cannot halt the Imperial Holy Grail War on your word alone.

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: (...Dammit, I shoulda seen that comin'!)

Sakata Kintoki: (Of course that's how this was gonna go when we had no plan for things to go like they have!)

Sakata Kintoki: (Right now, the only proof we got is Fujimaru and the rest of the Chaldeans' word.)

Sakata Kintoki: (I believe 'em. I'm already totally on board. But of course Lord Michinaga isn't gonna go for it.)

Sakata Kintoki: (Especially when he doesn't have the same bad feeling about all this that I got.)

Sakata Kintoki: (So now what do we do?)

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: However...

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: I am a reasonable man.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: If you claim that the Imperial Holy Grail War is in fact a wicked scheme that must be stopped, then bring me proof!

Sakata Kintoki: !

Sakata Kintoki: Michinaga...!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Watch your tongue, Kaidoumaru.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Now, as I was saying. You may either bring me proof that this is all some wicked scheme...

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: ...or, if all the Masters remaining in the Imperial Holy Grail War were to refuse to compete, that would effectively halt the ritual as well.

Ashiya Douman: Lord Michinaga, that would–

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Am I wrong?

Ashiya Douman: N-no. It would indeed be impossible to complete the ritual if the Masters refused to participate...

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: As I thought. Hmph. And those are not the only ways.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: If the Genji clan, the protectors of our city, were to determine that the Imperial Holy Grail War is indeed evil, I would certainly be willing to believe them.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: There are few tasks more important than protecting the city where the emperor resides.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: So if the clan charged with that task were to abandon this ritual in favor of protecting the city...

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: ...I would certainly have no grounds to object.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: How does that sound?

Sakata Kintoki: Hey, yeah! You really are a reasonable guy, Michinaga!

Sakata Kintoki: Hm?

Sakata Kintoki: (This aura...)

Fujimaru 1: It's you!

Fujimaru 2: Watanabe-no-Tsuna!

Sakata Kintoki: Brother Tsuna!?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I overheard your discussion. My apologies.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I never thought we would both ask to enter the palace, Kintoki–let alone do so at the same time.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Unfortunately for him, Lord Minister of the Left, your proposal will not be possible.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I am both a Master in the Imperial Holy Grail War, and a member of the Genji clan, which means neither of your conditions can be met.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: For I am devoted to seeing the Imperial Holy Grail War through to completion.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Ah, if it isn't Tsuna! The warrior of Genji entrusted with the prized Higekiri!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Hahahahahaha, it seems as though you have your work cut out for you, Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki: Tsuna...!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...Kintoki.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I told you I would have you show me your left hand the next time we met.

Sakata Kintoki: Did ya now?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: If we were not in the Imperial Palace right now, Equerry, I would take a look right now and cut you down where you stand.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: However... Heh. It seems the terrain advantage lies with you now.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: So, you've made me go back on my word. It would seem that here, at least, you are the superior fighter.

Sakata Kintoki: Well thanks. That's awful nice of ya.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Heh.

Sakata Kintoki: Hehe.

Fujimaru 1: Both of you, cut it out right nooow!

Ashiya Douman: O brave and powerful Genji warriors, please!

Ashiya Douman: Please, no further!

Ashiya Douman: This is the Imperial Palace. You simply cannot fight here.

Ashiya Douman: I beg of stay your blades.


Sakata Kintoki: So, there we have it!

Sakata Kintoki: We might not be any closer to findin' Limbo, but at least now we know he and Lord Douman are different people!

Sakata Kintoki: And the Minister of the Left even gave us a chance to stop the whole Imperial Grail War!

Sakata Kintoki: I'd say we got luckier than we could've hoped for!

Sakata Kintoki: All we gotta do is get either the Genji clan or the other Masters to wash their hands of it.

Sakata Kintoki: So! What's our next move?

Danzo: While Lord Watanabe-no-Tsuna does pose a major threat, if we put him aside for now...

Danzo: I believe our best option would be to find the three remaining pairs of Masters and Servants.

Danzo: Unless it would be easier to convince a majority of the Genji clan to denounce the Imperial Holy Grail War instead?

Sakata Kintoki: ...Nah, you're right.

Sakata Kintoki: Boss Raikou ain't gonna be much help right now, so... Sorry 'bout that.

Fujimaru 1: Then we should start by gathering information.

Fujimaru 2: Then let's start talking to people and see what we can find out.

Sakata Kintoki: Right on!

Sakata Kintoki: Gotcha. Man, you don't waste a second, do ya?

Sakata Kintoki: I like it. Haha, you almost remind me of the imperial officers.

Sakata Kintoki: You used to pokin' around unfamiliar places or somethin', Fujimaru?

Sakata Kintoki: Then I'll have to make sure I don't fall behind!

Fujimaru 1: I wouldn't say I'm used to it, exactly.Just doing what has to be done.

Fujimaru 2: Well, we won't get anywhere without information, so.

Sakata Kintoki: You got that right! Okay then, let's go see what the hot gossip is.

Danzo: The city is so much livelier now than it was at night. The difference is truly, well, night and day.

Danzo: I suppose I should have expected as much. No... Truly, this is what it should be like all of the time.

Sakata Kintoki: Pretty much. Come to think of it, you two still haven't seen what it's like during the day, huh?

Sakata Kintoki: Guess that makes sense, since we had to stay inside Kaoruko's house all day yesterday.

???: Hey! It's Kintoki!

Kyo Child: I knew it was you! Hi, Kintoki!

Kyo Man: Oho, if it isn't Kaidou of Sagami! Have you grown even bigger since I last saw you?

Kyo Man: Tell me, does the leader of the Genji know you're going around town with [♂ such a lovely lady /♀️ a couple of lovely ladies]?

Kyo Woman: Here, Kintoki, have some mochi! Don't worry, it's my treat!

Sakata Kintoki: O-oh, hey, this is great. We don't even have to go around lookin' for people to talk to–they're comin' to us!

Sakata Kintoki: Hehe, that'll save us some time. Hey everyone! You heard about anything weird happening lately?

Kyo Child: Hmmm?

Kyo Man: Are we talking about nighttime, or daytime? It better be day, what with all the monsters who come out at night.

Kyo Woman: We haven't seen the tengu much lately. The only weird thing I can think of is that oni! The one from Mt. Ooe!

Kyo Man: What, her? She's no big deal. The Genji are around to handle exactly that kind of thing.

Kyo Man: Me, I'm more worried about the tsuchigumo. I heard they've even been showing up around Sai Road at night lately.

Kyo Woman: At night? Well that's no surprise. At nighttime, they show up around Suzaku Avenue, too.

Kyo Man: Whaaat? No they don't. Come on, Kaidou, tell them I'm right!

Sakata Kintoki: Hm? Oh, uh, I'm not sure.

Kyo Woman: Oh no you don't! The only sorts of tsuchigumo a Genji warrior needs to worry about are the big ones!

Kyo Woman: It's the officers' job to handle the monsters that wander around Kyo at night, right?

Sakata Kintoki: Haha, thanks for sayin' so.

Sakata Kintoki: We don't usually divide the work up that neat and tidy, but yeah, that's basically right!

Kyo Child: Ooh, ooh, Kintoki!

Kyo Child: What about the steel monster!?

Sakata Kintoki: Eh?

Fujimaru 1: I think we've heard of that one, haven't we?

Fujimaru 2: Isn't that the giant monster that walks around at night?

Danzo: The steel monster–a great, hulking beast that wanders the streets of Kyo at night, and that towers over the average person.

Kyo Child: That's it!

Kyo Child: You know the Inari Shrine down the road from the palace?

Kyo Child: Well, my big sister said she saw it slipping out from the grounds there!

Kyo Man: So there are monsters out there that not even the great virtues of Inari can do anything about? Yikes, that's scary.

Kyo Woman: Ohhh, you mean the shrine where they keep the Inari palanquin! Yeah, I think I've heard that one, too!

Kyo Woman: My cousin has a daughter who lives out near Nishiboujou alley...

Kyo Woman: ...and she said a big steel monster shows up around midnight making weird creaking noises.

Danzo: ...

Sakata Kintoki: So how long has this steel monster been showin' up?

Sakata Kintoki: Has it always been around, or is this more of a recent thing?

Kyo Woman: Hmm, I'm not sure. I think I heard about it yesterday, or maybe the day before...

Kyo Child: My sister said she saw it yesterday!

Danzo: Master.

Fujimaru 1: That'd put it right around when the Imperial Holy Grail War started.

Danzo: Indeed, it would.

Fujimaru 2: We'd better look into it.

Danzo: Yes, Master.

Sakata Kintoki: Then let's go check it out!

Sakata Kintoki: Danzo, let Kaoruko know we'll be comin' back late, will ya!?

Danzo: Understood!


Sakata Kintoki: All right, it's nighttime now.

Sakata Kintoki: So far, there ain't been anything weird.

Sakata Kintoki: Man, it's been forever since I had company at a stakeout.

Fujimaru 1: So this is a stakeout...

Fujimaru 2: Now I feel like a detective in a cop show.

Sakata Kintoki: Hm?

Fujimaru 1: I guess you're used to this sort of thing, huh, Kintoki?

Sakata Kintoki: Not as much as an actual officer. Catchin' thieves and lookin' for people's usually their thing.

Sakata Kintoki: Our job's to deal with the oni tryin' to take over Kyo, and to take out monsters like the great tsuchigumo.

Sakata Kintoki: We also exorcise ghosts that show up in temples or noble houses, take care of any stragglers who crop up from the rebellion in eastern Japan...

Sakata Kintoki: Things like that, basically.

Sakata Kintoki: But, every now and then...

Sakata Kintoki: ...we get jobs that involve takin' a page from the officers' book, like this.

Sakata Kintoki: Jobs that involve layin' low, hidin' out, and investigatin' the truth behind a rumor or mystery.

Sakata Kintoki: Though it's all a pain in the ass. There's just so many people out 'n the city.

Sakata Kintoki: And any place with a lot of people seems like it always has more than its share of trouble.

Fujimaru 1: I take it you don't much care for crowded places?

Sakata Kintoki: ...Nnn, can't say I do, no.

Fujimaru 2: I take it you don't much care for people?

Sakata Kintoki: Nah, it ain't that.

Sakata Kintoki: Did I mention I grew up on a mountain?

Sakata Kintoki: It was Mt. Ashigara, way off to the east in a place called Sagami. And of course, there weren't any other people around.

Sakata Kintoki: Only other things there were beasts, beasts, and more beasts. Oh, and the occasional oni.

Sakata Kintoki: So I never saw this kinda thing back up on the mountain.

Sakata Kintoki: There weren't any kids runnin' around laughin', or mothers cookin', or men workin'...

Sakata Kintoki: Like I said, there weren't any other people at all up there.

Sakata Kintoki: So now that I live in the city, and I see that sorta thing all the time...

Sakata Kintoki: ...I've really come to love 'em.

Sakata Kintoki: Not sure I'll ever really feel at home in the city, and I'm not big on crowds.

Sakata Kintoki: Still love those people anyway.

Sakata Kintoki: I mean, I guess I liked the way the beasts up on the mountain went about livin' their lives doin' whatever they felt like, too.

Sakata Kintoki: But even though it's real similar, it ain't quite the same thing, is it? Hmm.

Sakata Kintoki: I guess the best way I can put it is, they're different, but they're also not.

Fujimaru 1: ...I think I know what you mean.

Sakata Kintoki: Hehe.

Danzo: I'm back, Master.

Danzo: As you wished, I informed Lady Kaoruko that we would be returning late this evening.

Sakata Kintoki: Great. Thanks, Danzo.

Danzo: Also, on my way here, I ran a quick scan of the Inari Shrine grounds and the surrounding area...

Danzo: ...and discovered a small shrine over by the tall grass that leads directly to a natural cavern!

Sakata Kintoki: Nice!

Sakata Kintoki: That's really, uh... Oh! Golden!

Sakata Kintoki: Right, Fujimaru?

Fujimaru 1: It could be the steel monster's base. Let's check it out.

Fujimaru 2: Golden!

Sakata Kintoki: Hell yeah!

Sakata Kintoki: So there's an underground cave out here in Inari Shrine, huh.

Sakata Kintoki: You're right, it does look like it was naturally formed. I wonder how far back it goes...

Sakata Kintoki: It probably ain't that deep since I'm not feelin' much in the way of wind, but...

Sakata Kintoki: Ha, whadda ya know! I'm usually pretty dense when it comes to these sorts of things, but even I can tell there's somethin' unusual here!

Danzo: Indeed. My sensors are detecting the same thing.

Danzo: This cavern may not be very deep...

Danzo: ...but it is located right on top of a leyline rich in magical energy!

Fujimaru 1: Right on top of a leyline, huh.

Fujimaru 2: That means we can use way more magical energy than usual, right?

Sakata Kintoki: I don't know anything about magical energy, but I can tell there's something ominous about this place.

Sakata Kintoki: Perfect for a monster's nest, or for an onmyouji's sacred fire.

Sakata Kintoki: So does that mean this is a good place...or a bad one?

Danzo: If Lady Mash were here, she could put down a summoning circle...

Danzo: But never mind that now. The important thing is, this cave would be a tremendous asset to any participant in the Holy Grail War!

Danzo: It would be an invaluable source of magical energy for Master and Heroic Spirit alike, and for the Imperial Holy Grail War, it would be a key strategic point for any Caster!

Sakata Kintoki: So, that means–

Sakata Kintoki: Hah! Looks like we hit the jackpot on our first try!

Sakata Kintoki: There's something in here! It could be monsters, or oni, or tsuchigumo!

Sakata Kintoki: Hell, maybe it's even another visitor from a different world!

Danzo: Magical energy signals detected up ahead!

Danzo: Measuring energy levels now... Whatever they are, they are not Servants!

Sakata Kintoki: Aha! So these things are the steel monsters those people were talkin' about!

Fujimaru 1: Helter Skelters!

Fujimaru 2: If Helter Skelters there are here, does that mean...?

Sakata Kintoki: Interestin'! These things really are made of solid steel! They may look like it, but they ain't sets of armor!

Sakata Kintoki: We haven't heard a name, so they aren't Masters! Hehe, so I guess that means we've got ourselves some Casters!?

Danzo: No, they themselves are not Casters! I suspect they are familiars, or perhaps clones!

Steel Monster: ...!

Danzo: Here they come!


Sakata Kintoki: ...They stopped.

Sakata Kintoki: That was weirdly easy. Were those things illusions or somethin'?

Danzo: No. I believe they were either familiars or clones, as I originally suspected...

Sakata Kintoki: So they were shikigami, huh.

Danzo: Something like that. This cavern may not lie right on the intersection between all the city's leylines, but it is still abundant in dense magical energy.

Danzo: It would be a tremendous asset for a Caster.

Danzo: It would also be the perfect nest for certain types of monsters.

Danzo: I expect the Caster who discovered this cave likely placed those things here to ward off unwelcome creatures.

Sakata Kintoki: Gotcha.

Sakata Kintoki: Those things weren't nearly enough to take down a Master, so it makes a lotta sense if they were bein' used for pest control instead.

Fujimaru 1: ...Those were Helter Skelters.

Danzo: Yes.

Sakata Kintoki: Oh yeah, you said that before, too. What are those?

Fujimaru 1: I'm guessing they're Charles Babbage's familiars.

Sakata Kintoki: “Babbage”? Now that's a foreign name if ever I've heard one.

Sakata Kintoki: What's he like? Where's he from? Is he one of your allies from Chaldea?

Sakata Kintoki: Or is he a Caster from a foreign land, like I'm guessin'?

Danzo: I am not entirely sure how to describe him, but you may think of him as a Caster.

Danzo: However, even if he is the same Heroic Spirit we know, he would be a completely different person now that he has been summoned to this time and place.

Sakata Kintoki: Huh???

Danzo: My apologies. Charles Babbage is indeed a Caster.

Danzo: He is a Heroic Spirit who made a mark on humanity in the distant pas–well, considering our current time period, I suppose it would be the distant future.

Danzo: And we do indeed know his name and what he looks like at Chaldea.

Sakata Kintoki: Huh, okay.

Fujimaru 1: He's a genius mathematician who invented the Difference Engine.

Sakata Kintoki: Difference Engine? What's that?

Fujimaru 1: Basically, he's a Heroic Spirit who dreamed of a different world.

Sakata Kintoki: Hmm.

Sakata Kintoki: ...A different world?

Danzo: The Difference Engine would later be developed further, into the Analytical Engine.

Danzo: I am told it was a landmark invention that enabled people to perform calculations well beyond human capability, which in turn led to great cultural developments.

Danzo: Lord Babbage hoped to use it to bring about a new chapter in human history...

Danzo: ...but that dream never came to pass.

Sakata Kintoki: Huh... Okay.

Danzo: A cruel twist of fate prevented Lord Babbage from completing the Difference Engine in his lifetime...

Danzo: But inspired by his ideas, humanity would go on to create devices of equal capability, which they then used to achieve other incredible things.

Danzo: Now, the Lord Babbage who has materialized as a Heroic Spirit dreams of another historical timeline.

Danzo: A hypothetical world where he succeeded at completing the Difference Engine.

Danzo: Alternatively, it may be that Lord Babbage is able to see the Pruning Theoretical Phenomenon.

Sakata Kintoki: The Pruning Theoretical Phenomenon...

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, right! The Pruning Theoretical Phenomenon! I remember now!

Sakata Kintoki: Think you mentioned that when you guys were tellin' me your story.

Sakata Kintoki: Let's see, I think the Pruning Theoretical Phenomenon...

Sakata Kintoki: ...means futures that could've happened if circumstances were different?

Fujimaru 1: (Nod)

Sakata Kintoki: I knew it.

Danzo: As long as human history remains human history, there will also always be tomorrows that can never become today.

Danzo: Thus, it is the fate of humanity that all tomorrows which will never be part of the Chronicle Theoretical Phenomenon will be pruned away.

Sakata Kintoki: Gotcha. Er...well, not really...

Sakata Kintoki: But basically, you're sayin' this guy was inscribed in humanity for doin' somethin' he never actually managed to do...

Sakata Kintoki: And now, he gets summoned to time periods different from his own, while still dreamin' his old dreams, right?

Sakata Kintoki: ...That's one of the saddest things I've heard in a long time.

Section 6: Steel Diaries (Second Half)

Narration: My life flashed before my eyes.

Narration: Listening to Lord Michinaga speak, I felt as though my life were hanging by a thread.

Narration: I can only thank my lucky stars that it wasn't my first time experiencing such a thing.

Narration: ...And that it was not something I experienced with any frequency.

Narration: When my hand stops moving, I feel as though I have been wandering for days on end, starved and desperate for water.

Narration: My hand is most accustomed to forming characters into words, and words, in their turn, into stories...

Narration: But every now and then, it stops. Like it did the other day.

Narration: But this time, when my left hand halted, still holding my brush, something new appeared there.

Narration: Three mysterious glowing red marks known as Command Spells.

Narration: A transient bond connecting me and the steel gentleman...

Narration: ...

Narration:                     The end.               Excerpt from a Diary

Sakata Kintoki: Mmm, that was great! Thanks for goin' to the trouble to make us dinner so late at night!

Maidservant: Don't be ridiculous. You're all Lady Kaoruko's honored guests. It's no trouble at all.

Maidservant: Now, if you're all done, I'll clear your dishes. Oh, and will you be heading out early tomorrow morning as well?

Sakata Kintoki: No, we're not plannin' on anythin' like that tomorrow.

Maidservant: Then I'll prepare your breakfasts as well. Good night, everyone.

Fujimaru 1: Everything was delicious. Thank you.

Maidservant: I'm glad to hear you liked it.

Fujimaru 2: Good night. Thank you for dinner.

Maidservant: Not at all. Good night.

Danzo: All right, everyone. Please allow me to review what we have learned and what we face.

Danzo: I hope you will permit me to speculate where we still lack information.

Sakata Kintoki: Sounds great. Go for it, Danzo.

Danzo: First, in regards to the Imperial Holy Grail War, we know that two Masters have already been defeated.

Danzo: Namely Lord Usui and Lord Urabe, two of Raikou's Four Heavenly Kings.

Danzo: We can count them as Masters One and Two, Lord Watanabe-no-Tsuna as Master Three, and Lord Kintoki as Master Four.

Danzo: As such, we can also assume that Lord Charles Babbage, the Heroic Spirit we believe positioned his Helter Skelters clones at Inari Shrine...

Danzo: the Servant of the fifth, still unknown Master.

Danzo: I trust you are both with me thus far?

Sakata Kintoki: So does that make Fujimaru the fourth Heroic Spirit?

Fujimaru 1: Oh for... How many times do I have to say it?

Fujimaru 2: Still not a Servant, Kintoki.

Danzo: Indeed. Remember, [♂ Lord /♀️ Lady] Fujimaru is [♂ himself /♀️ herself] a Master.

Sakata Kintoki: ...Haha.

Sakata Kintoki: Right. Of course. I didn't forget, exactly. It just doesn't make sense to me.

Sakata Kintoki: If I'm the fourth Master, then where's my Heroic Spirit? It's not you either, right, Danzo?

Danzo: Sorry, no, I am very much Master's Servant.

Danzo: Besides, Lord Kintoki, I am an Assassin, not a Caster.

Danzo: If it is true that a condition of the Imperial Holy Grail War dictates all Servants manifesting for it must be Casters...

Danzo: ...then it is just not possible for me to be your Servant.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah, you're right. I'm sorry.

Sakata Kintoki: It's just, ever since I got these Command Spells, I can't help but wonder where my Heroic Spirit could be.

Sakata Kintoki: Anyway, gettin' back on track. Assumin' this Babbage guy's the fifth Heroic Spirit...

Sakata Kintoki: ...then where's his Master? Uh, the fifth one?

Sakata Kintoki: And more importantly...

Sakata Kintoki: ...who do we talk to about the Imperial Holy Grail War bein' evil, so we can ask 'em to refrain from fightin'?

Danzo: What about the conditions for becoming a Master in the Imperial Holy Grail War? Do you know what those are, Lord Kintoki?

Danzo: For example, there are a number of conditions to become one in a typical Holy Grail War.

Danzo: Such as, the Master must be a mage or someone with equivalent capabilities, they must have something they wish for deeply, and so on.

Sakata Kintoki: Huh. Sounds similar to this one, but also really different.

Danzo: Yes?

Sakata Kintoki: It's almost like this one's goin' about everythin' completely backwards, you know?

Danzo: Indeed, everything does seem to be turned on its head here. That is just the sort of twisted game Limbo loves to play...

Danzo: ... ...

Danzo: Oh, pardon me. I was just thinking to myself, and also considering how Limbo must pay for what he's done.

Danzo: Specifically, I was putting my analytical circuits to work while contemplating how Limbo must pay with my conscious mind.

Fujimaru 1: Wow, talk about walking and chewing gum at the same time.

Fujimaru 2: Man, you puppet kunoichi are full of surprises.

Danzo: Now, I just had a thought. Lord Kintoki, you told us before that Imperial Holy Grail War Masters are officially known as Imperial Warriors.

Danzo: So then, does that mean to be a Master in the Imperial Holy Grail War, one must be a warrior, too?

Sakata Kintoki: No, it doesn't.

Danzo: !

Sakata Kintoki: Not at all.

Fujimaru 1: Damn, no hesitation!

Fujimaru 2: Ouch. That was blunt...

Danzo: I-I-it's all right, Master. I am a puppet, so... I am all right...

Danzo: I am...perfectly fine... Yes...

Danzo: But I think, um...

Danzo: I'm just going to stand over here in the corner by myself for a while...

Sakata Kintoki: Ah.

Sakata Kintoki: Danzo, wait! You didn't do anythin' wrong! I shoulda told you guys about this sooner!

Sakata Kintoki: See, back when the Imperial Holy Grail War was just gettin' started...

Sakata Kintoki: ...the Minister of the Left actually told us what the criteria for bein' selected were!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: The seven people who will take part in the Imperial Holy Grail War...

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: ...shall be those who possess power known to every man, woman, and child in Heian-kyo.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: These people shall be known as Imperial Warriors, or Masters.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: In total, there shall be seven Casters summoned from foreign worlds, and seven Imperial Warriors– Masters–to command them!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Now go forth, Masters, and fight with all your might to collect these Casters' heads!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: That is all. The heavens have spoken, and my word is theirs!

Sakata Kintoki: ...And that's the long and short of it.

Danzo: I see.

Danzo: So, you were told to collect the heads of the Casters summoned for this Holy Grail War.

Danzo: Heroic Spirits possess strength and powers beyond what is normally possible for humans. It is unusual to speak of them as prey.

Danzo: A single Servant can easily defeat an entire army. In Master's world, they are seen as powerful weapons.

Danzo: They are Mystics capable of even bringing myths or legends to life.

Danzo: And these Heian Imperial Warriors have been tasked with killing such powerful beings. That is...truly frightening.

Sakata Kintoki: You think?

Sakata Kintoki: The way I see it, it doesn't matter how strong someone is; they die like anyone else, long as you cut their head off.

Sakata Kintoki: Then again, I guess that just goes to show why it's better to be safe than sorry!

Sakata Kintoki: Gotta make sure I keep my guard up.

Danzo: That merely being on your guard against beings as powerful as Servants only proves my point!

Sakata Kintoki: Huh?

Danzo: Er, but never mind. As we were saying...

Danzo: I cannot think of any who possess the sort of power Lord Michinaga spoke of besides other Heian warriors.

Danzo: Are you certain that is not the right answer? Did I sulk in the corner for nothing?

Danzo: What do you think, Master?

Fujimaru 1: You make a good point.

Fujimaru 2: Are we sure all the Masters aren't Heian warriors?

Sakata Kintoki: I don't know.

Sakata Kintoki: Hey, here's a question for you two: Does “power” only ever mean mastery of martial arts?

Danzo: That is...a good question.

Danzo: There is certainly more than one kind of power...

Danzo: Masters of sumo are strong in very different ways from masters of the sword, the spear, or the bow.

Danzo: And there are no doubt many other, similar examples as well. Hmm...

Sakata Kintoki: Haha, right?

Sakata Kintoki: Far as I'm concerned, anyone who can cook's incredibly strong in their own right! Like that maidservant!

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, people who can read poetry are somethin' else, too. I've never been able to wrap my head around poetry.

Danzo: Power... What IS power...? Nnn...

Danzo: Oh, Lady Kaoruko is here.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Welcome back. I'm glad to see you all safe and sound.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: So, um...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I couldn't help but notice you didn't return straight after we left the palace...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: May I ask where you went?

Danzo: We, um...

Sakata Kintoki: We just hung around Suzaku Avenue a bit before headin' out to take care of some monsters.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Monsters? Oh my.

Sakata Kintoki: You heard all those rumors goin' around about the steel monster?

Sakata Kintoki: We heard it'd been seen at Inari Shrine, so we went to pay it a little visit.

Sakata Kintoki: 'Course, it ended up just bein' some clones or illusions or somethin' like that, so we'll have to go back later to look for the real thing.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I... I-I see...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: T-to think there was, hiding out there...

Sakata Kintoki: But hey, you don't gotta worry, Kaoruko.

Sakata Kintoki: We might've missed it last time, but we'll definitely get it next time. Then no one'll hafta be scared of it.

Sakata Kintoki: So you just sleep tight and don't worry 'bout a thing, all right?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ... ...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: A-all right...

Danzo: ... ...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I-I, um...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I'm sorry... I'm feeling a little under the weather, so...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I hope you won't mind if I, um, take my leave and retire for the night...

Sakata Kintoki: Oh? Okay, I guess it is pretty late. Yeah, why don't you turn in.

Sakata Kintoki: You can sleep easy tonight, knowin' we've got this steel monster thing well in hand.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...Good night.

Fujimaru 1: Are you okay, Kaoruko?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...Oh yes, it's nothing.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Thank you for your concern. Good night...

Sakata Kintoki: Hmm...

Sakata Kintoki: Anyone else kinda worried about her?

Danzo: ... ...

Danzo: ...Master.

Danzo: I'm sorry to disturb you so soon after you've gone to bed.

Danzo: Are you asleep?

Fujimaru 1: No, I'm still up.

Danzo: I see.

Danzo: Lady Kaoruko just went out on her own. What shall we do?

Fujimaru 1: ...She was acting kind of odd, wasn't she?

Danzo: Indeed. It seemed as though something was weighing on her mind.

Sakata Kintoki: Nnn... (Zzz...)

Sakata Kintoki: I swear, how many times you gonna keep showin' up like this...?

Sakata Kintoki: If Raikou catches'll be your head on the...floor...

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: I'm up! I'm up!

Sakata Kintoki: What is it? There a monster around? Where?

Danzo: Lady Kaoruko just went out on her own. I was asking Master what we should do.

Sakata Kintoki: ...I see.

Sakata Kintoki: She wasn't walkin', was she?

Danzo: No, she took a carriage.

Sakata Kintoki: Gotcha. What time's it now? Early morning?

Sakata Kintoki: ...No, it's still way too dark for that.

Danzo: It is still nighttime. Just before midnight, actually.

Fujimaru 1: ...Let's follow her.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah. That makes sense...

Danzo: Then I will scout ahead and find out where she is headed.

Fujimaru 2: Danzo, would you go after Kaoruko?

Danzo: Understood.

Danzo: I will scout ahead and find out where she is headed.

Sakata Kintoki: Damn, she's already gone, huh? Man, Danzo sure doesn't waste any time once she makes up her mind, does she!?

Sakata Kintoki: All right then!

Sakata Kintoki: Right, now that we're on the main road, which way do we go!? She could've gone in any direction!

Danzo: I have a report to make. Lady Kaoruko's carriage appears to be headed straight for Inari Shrine!

Sakata Kintoki: Whoa, she's gone again! That's impressive.

Sakata Kintoki: Well, guess we'd better get goin' too, then.

Sakata Kintoki: Here, why don't I carry ya, Fujimaru!? That'll let us move way faster!

Sakata Kintoki: Hold on tight! And whatever you do, don't bite your tongue!

Sakata Kintoki: That's weird. We haven't run into a single creature yet. And we're almost to the shrine, too–

Steel Monster: ...!

Sakata Kintoki:

Shut up!

Fujimaru 1: Helter Skelters!

Sakata Kintoki: So you things got bored of hangin' around underground, huh!? ...Oh, right. No point in yellin' at shikigami, is there!?

Sakata Kintoki: Well, it doesn't matter! Get outta our way! Otherwise, we're goin' right through ya!

Sakata Kintoki: C'mon, Fujimaru!


Sakata Kintoki: Kaoruko! Where are you!?

Sakata Kintoki: Looks like she left the carriage behind here. And her servants don't know where she is, either. They're just waitin' for her to get back!

Sakata Kintoki: This must mean she–

Danzo: You are correct. Lady Kaoruko went into the cave we found earlier.

Fujimaru 1: Let's go after her!

Sakata Kintoki: Right!

Fujimaru 2: Make sure you don't do anything rash!

Danzo: Understood!

Danzo: ...The magical energy in here is just as dense now as it was earlier.

Danzo: Thus far, there do not seem to be any hostile magical energy signals.

Danzo: I cannot be certain as my scans do not reach the innermost chambers, but I believe it is safe to say there are no familiars positioned ahead.

Fujimaru 1: Thanks, Danzo!

Fujimaru 2: Come on, let's keep going!

Danzo: Yes, Master.

Sakata Kintoki: Right on.

Sakata Kintoki: It's hard to imagine Kaoruko attackin' us...but this would definitely be the perfect place for an ambush.

Sakata Kintoki: Not much room to move around in here, so lemme lead the way.

Sakata Kintoki: Danzo, would you bring up the rear?

Danzo: Leave it to me.

Sakata Kintoki: Fujimaru, you stay behind me, and ahead of Danzo.

Sakata Kintoki: If anythin' happens, I'll be countin' on your help!

Fujimaru 1: Roger that!

Sakata Kintoki: Huh, that's a new one. Haha, I don't know what it means, but I like it!

Sakata Kintoki: Roger that! C'mon, let's go!

Fujimaru 2: You got it.

Sakata Kintoki: Awesome. Thanks, Fujimaru.

Sakata Kintoki: ...Whoa there.

Danzo: Lord Kintoki.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah, I can tell someone's here. But it doesn't feel like an ambush!

Sakata Kintoki: Hey in there! Unless you wanna learn the hard way how accurately I can throw my axe, you better show yourself right the hell now!

Danzo: (Lord Kintoki!?)

Sakata Kintoki: (I know, don't worry. I'm not really gonna throw it.)

Sakata Kintoki: (We might be dealin' with Kaoruko, after all, and I'd never do that to anyone who put me up and fed me.)

Sakata Kintoki: (I'm just bluffin'!)

???: Ahahahaha. Well, I definitely don't wanna have to dodge your axe.

Fujimaru 1: Sei Shounagon!?

Kiyoko: Hey, cut that out! I told you not to call me that!

Fujimaru 2: Kiyoko!?

Kiyoko: Heh, that's right. It's me, Kiyoko, everyone's favorite big sister!

Kiyoko: I'm sorry, but I'd really rather you not go any further.

Kiyoko: Can't let you pass. You three are just going to have to turn around and go back the way you came.

Sakata Kintoki: Well damn, this is a surprise.

Sakata Kintoki: I hate to sound like an officer or somethin', but what in the world are you doin' here, Kiyoko?

Sakata Kintoki: Don't tell me you're actually the Master?

Kiyoko: Hmm. What to do...?

Kiyoko: Telling you I'm the, uh, Master to throw you off would probably work...

Kiyoko: ...but, unfortunately, I don't like lying like that.

Kiyoko: So nope! I'm afraid it's just plain old me here.

Kiyoko: Besides, I don't even know what you even mean by Master.

Danzo: (So, she doesn't have anything to do with the Imperial Holy Grail War?)

Danzo: ...Then why are you here?

Kiyoko: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: Please step aside, Kiyoko.

Sakata Kintoki: We have to meet with as many Masters as we can.

Sakata Kintoki: We're not lookin' to start any trouble here. We just wanna talk. Please understand.

Kiyoko: Nnn...

Kiyoko: Normally, I'd be happy to do anything you asked, Blondy.

Kiyoko: I mean, you've never asked me for anything before, and now you've asked me for two favors in almost as many days.

Kiyoko: And since I'm such a dependable big sister to all...

Kiyoko: ...there's definitely a part of me that wishes I could do what you want.

Kiyoko: ...Yeah.

Kiyoko: But, I'm sorry. I just can't this time.

Kiyoko: Don't get me wrong, it's got nothing to do with you. I just can't let anyone go any further than this.

Fujimaru 1: Are you trying to help Kaoruko?

Kiyoko: You got it.

Sakata Kintoki: R-really? How's that work?

Sakata Kintoki: I thought you said you didn't even know each other!

Kiyoko: And it's true. We don't. The only thing we have in common is that we're both writers.

Kiyoko: She doesn't even know I'm out here trying to stop you guys.

Kiyoko: I'm just out here doing this on my own, for my own selfish reasons!

Sakata Kintoki: Huh!?

Danzo: I have rarely seen such sheer brazenness!

Kiyoko: Maybe I said this before, maybe I didn't, but...

Kiyoko: I really love the stories she writes. I mean really, really love them.

Kiyoko: That's why I'm not letting anyone past here. I don't care who they are.

Kiyoko: Of course, that might be easier said than done, since I'm really not a fighter. The most I can do is play a mean game of kemari. So...

Kiyoko: Maybe you can give me a pass 'cause I'm just so pretty!?

Sakata Kintoki: Wha–

Sakata Kintoki: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, come on! You gotta know that ain't happenin'!

Sakata Kintoki: I didn't wanna bring this up, but you're not exactly a spring chicken anymore, Kiyoko!

Sakata Kintoki: Besides, there's three of us and only one of you.

Sakata Kintoki: Even if you were as skilled an onmyouji as Lord Seimei, I still don't think you could beat us by yourself!

Kiyoko: Did you think you could just slip in that HORRIBLE AND UNCALLED FOR dig at my age and I'd miss it, Blondy!?

Kiyoko: Now that you've poked this proverbial bear, I'm just going to lead off with my trump card! Or talisman, in this case!

Sakata Kintoki: ...!

Sakata Kintoki: Hang on. Is that one of Lord Seimei's talismans!? But I thought you hated onmyouji!

Kiyoko: Well, yeah, I do. I especially can't stand their loud chanting.

Kiyoko: And while Lord Seimei's easy on the eyes and all, I'm not super interested in being his friend.

Kiyoko: But he did give me this talisman before he disappeared...and I think it's because he knew I was gonna do this.

Kiyoko: Honestly, that kinda pisses me off too, but right now, I can deal with it! All right, guys, you're up!

Danzo: Multiple hostiles confirmed! Master, she seems to have used some kind of summoning spell!

Sakata Kintoki: You've gotta be kiddin' me!

Kiyoko: Wahahahahaha! Let's freakin' goooooo!


Sakata Kintoki: Hyaaah!

Danzo: All hostiles eliminated. The battle is over!

Kiyoko: Man...

Kiyoko: Ooh, that smarts...

Fujimaru 1: (Hold out your hand)

Kiyoko: Oh, thanks.

Kiyoko: ... ...

Kiyoko: Aw man, so much for that. Guess that's what I get for stepping so far out of my wheelhouse.

Kiyoko: And now that the talisman is all used up, I'm pretty much done.

Fujimaru 1: Kiyoko...

Kiyoko: ...Have you ever read that story of hers? It's great stuff, you know. I really love it.

Kiyoko: Well, except for Hikaru. He's the one character I just can't stand.

Kiyoko: But him aside, it's got several amazing romances, comedic scenes, dramatic scenes, feel-good scenes, quiet scenes...

Kiyoko: Really, there's just...something special about it.

Kiyoko: It doesn't matter how many times I read it. I always get so caught up that I can't put it down till I've finished.

Kiyoko: So you'd better believe I want to see how a story this special ultimately ends.

Kiyoko: That's why I... Well...

Fujimaru 1: We're not going to hurt Kaoruko. I promise.

Fujimaru 1: Right, Kintoki!?

Sakata Kintoki: Hm?

Sakata Kintoki: I'm supposedta protect women and children. I'd never just go around fightin' them!

Sakata Kintoki: Even now, we haven't actually laid so much as a finger on you, right, Kiyoko? So don't worry.

Sakata Kintoki: Like I said right at the beginning...

Sakata Kintoki: I came here to talk, not to throw my axe around!

Sakata Kintoki: I know what you're worried about, and I'm tellin' ya, it's not gonna happen. I won't let it happen!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I, too, would like to dream the way you do.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: If I were to go beyond your thick steel armor...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: you think I could see your world for myself?

Babbage: Ridiculous. If that is meant to be a joke, Master, it is not funny.

Babbage: You need only be concerned with your own dreams. What remains of mine is my business alone.

Babbage: Besides, the act of telling stories...

Babbage: not so different from following one's dreams, finding inspiration in great poetry, and creating your own world.

Babbage: Indeed, you already have a dream of your own, Master Kaoruko.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: How can you be so certain, Lord Babbage?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: After all, you were–

Babbage: True, my own attempts at poetry were far from inspirational.

Babbage: But I did count a number of great poets among my friends, and I am quite familiar with their words.

Babbage: So I do know the many joys and sorrows of those who tell stories.

Babbage: And I know what it is you wish for more than anything.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ... ...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: All right.

Babbage: ...Now then.

Babbage: How long are you going to spy on us? It is past time you revealed yourselves, brave youths.

Sakata Kintoki: So, you knew we were here, huh?

Danzo: We apologize for interrupting your discussion. You must be Lord Charles Babbage.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Ah! It's you three...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Did you follow me here!? I'm so sorry, Lord Babbage! I didn't–

Fujimaru 1: Sorry about this, Kaoruko.

Fujimaru 2: It's true, we did follow you. I'm sorry.

Babbage: So, you know my True Name.

Babbage: Then I will not bother with questions, as you are clearly here as part of the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah, we are. But don't go jumpin' to conclusions too quickly. I just wanna talk.

Sakata Kintoki: The Imperial Holy Grail War's an evil plot! Or at least, we suspect it is!

Sakata Kintoki: And I, for one, sure don't feel like playin' right into some jerk of a villain's hands! So what do you say? Will you–

Sakata Kintoki: Hehe!

Sakata Kintoki: That thing's got some heft! Must be one helluva heavy hammer ya got there!

Sakata Kintoki: Looks like you must be the original steel monster, then!


This is a staff!

Fujimaru 1: Babbage!

Fujimaru 2: Please, just hear what we have to say!

Danzo: Why are you being so hasty, Lord Babbage!?

Babbage: ...There is nothing to discuss.

Sakata Kintoki: Looks like we got a hardheaded old man on our hands.

Sakata Kintoki: You CAN hear us, right, Steel Guy!? Kaoruko!?

Sakata Kintoki: We think the Imperial Holy Grail War's an evil scheme! The whole thing might be a trap laid by a seriously wicked bastard!

Sakata Kintoki: We don't want either of you gettin' caught up in somethin' like that!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I-I...

Babbage: Don't listen to them, Kaoruko.

Babbage: I was called here by a true Holy Grail's power! I will therefore do all that is within my power to see my Master's wish granted!

Sakata Kintoki: Ugh, you just don't get it, do you!? There's no tellin' for sure that anybody's wish is gonna be granted!

Sakata Kintoki: Don't go riskin' your life for somethin' you don't even know you can trust!


We have nothing to discuss!!!

Babbage: Humans are fragile creatures. Life is fleeting.

Babbage: So if there is even the slightest chance of realizing one's heart's desire, one must put everything they have towards making it a reality.


Do you understand? Stand down!

Sakata Kintoki:

Not happening!

Fujimaru 1: Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki: I know! I'm just gonna get him to cool down!

Sakata Kintoki: Here he comes!

Babbage: Steam pressure rising. Steam pressure rising.

Babbage: Engaging stage two combat mode!!!


Sakata Kintoki: Man, he hits hard! It's like fighting one of the giant bears from the mountain!

Sakata Kintoki: But you should've known better than to challenge me to a sumo match!

Sakata Kintoki:

Taaake THIS!

Babbage: ...!!!

Babbage: You're strong enough to hurl even my armor. Impressive, hero of the East!

Babbage: Restarting engines. Restarting engines.

Babbage: Urk... Grk... A malfunction? In my armor...?

Babbage: Impossible... I never dreamed... you would be this strong...!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Lord Babbage!

Sakata Kintoki: ...Kaoruko.

Fujimaru 1: Please, Kaoruko. We just want to talk.

Fujimaru 2: Please, just hear what we have to say.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...

Sakata Kintoki: Lady Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko, daughter of Lord Fujiwara-no-Tametoki. Are you a Master–one of the Imperial Warriors taking part in the Imperial Holy Grail War, or not?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I... I am no warrior.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: However–

Sakata Kintoki: That's right. You're not a warrior.

Sakata Kintoki: You have no experience with martial arts, and from what I hear, you're not much good with shikigami, either.

Sakata Kintoki: But you do have power.

Sakata Kintoki: Of course you do. But it ain't the power to fight or use shikigami.

Sakata Kintoki: You have the power to weave words and bring stories to life–a kind of power I could never hope to achieve!

Sakata Kintoki: Woulda been nice if Lord Michinaga could've just come out and said it, but oh well. The point is, you're the fifth Master of the Imperial Holy Grail War. Aren't you, Lady Murasaki Shikibu?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ... ...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ... ...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...Lord Michinaga doesn't know I'm a Master. Nor does Lord Ashiya Douman.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: They couldn't possibly know. Only the heavens could know about the marks that appeared on my left hand.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I... I refuse to engage in battle with anyone.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I won't fight. I can't fight.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: My only gift is for writing. What wish could I possibly hope to have granted in the Imperial Holy Grail War?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I don't...of course...

Fujimaru 1: It's okay, Kaoruko. You can tell us.

Fujimaru 2: Be honest. You do have a wish you want granted, don't you?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ... ...

Danzo: In normal Holy Grail Wars, it is precisely those with strongly held wishes that the Grail chooses.

Danzo: I expect it is no different for the Imperial Holy Grail War, Lady Kaoruko.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...It seems I can't put anything past you.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: You're right. I do have a wish.

Babbage: Kaoruko...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: It's all right, Lord Babbage. These people aren't here for your head.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I believe they're telling us the truth. I can no longer continue to lie to them in good conscience.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I do hope you all can forgive me.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: The truth is...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...I want to give my story the greatest ending possible.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: That is my wish. No more, no less.

Fujimaru 1: You're talking about “The Tale of Genji.”

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Yes. I am.

Sakata Kintoki: Well hey, you're still in the middle of writin' it, right?

Sakata Kintoki: So why can't you just keep goin' until you're done?

Sakata Kintoki: This is your story we're talkin' about here. You can decide exactly when and how it ends.

Sakata Kintoki: You don't need a Holy Grail for that, yeah?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ... ...I wish it were that simple.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Choosing the right words, putting together sentences, weaving it all together into a story... Truth be told, the whole process feels very much like going through summer without anything to drink.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: At times, it can be very difficult to keep going.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: And just as a traveler's legs can grow heavy over time, so too can the fingers that hold a brush.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: And this is not something that has happened but once or twice. I can't tell you how many times I've nearly collapsed under the weight of it all.

Babbage: ...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: This was one of those times... It was so bad that I was very close to giving up entirely.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: How should I end my story? What sort of ending should I give Hikaru?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I agonized long and hard over what I should do.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Even when I slept, my fingers would continue to paint words in the air with my brush.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Then, after several fruitless days and sleepless nights, the Imperial Holy Grail War was announced...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...and I acquired the mark of a Master.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: These glowing red lines appeared on my hand...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...followed by Lord Babbage's appearance at my house.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: My wish?

Babbage: Indeed. Your wish.

Babbage: It was the strength of your wish that called to me. Now I will do everything in my power to see it granted.

Babbage: So wish, for you have earned the right. Be proud, for I will lend you my strength.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Wh-what do you mean?

Babbage: The Imperial Holy Grail War is a ritualistic fight to the death. That is, the deaths of the Heroic Spirits involved.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Th-that's terrible...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I-I mean, I do have a wish. I'm wishing for it right now, in fact!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: But, fighting? With a blade? I couldn't possibly do that...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Also, um... What do you mean by “the deaths lives of the Heroic Spirits involved”...?

Babbage: I refer to my own death. Should I die, you will have lost the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: What!? I can't do that!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Not after you came all this way from another world!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I may still not quite understand who you even are, but...I can't possibly wager your life in pursuit of my own wishes!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I...!

Babbage: ...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I don't want to see anyone hurt...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...over a mere wish...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: No longing of mine could possibly be worth that...

Babbage: ...

Babbage: Very well. I understand how you feel, Kaoruko.

Babbage: So instead of fighting for you, I shall be your shield.

Babbage: You will not need to fight. I will keep you safe until the Holy Grail War is concluded.

Babbage: I am not the Heroic Spirit of a warrior, and so can tell that you are no warrior either.

Babbage: The Holy Grail tells me that the Imperial Holy Grail War is meant to be fought by Masters protecting their Servants.

Babbage: But you are in luck. You may not possess strength comparable to a Servant, but you are a Master worthy of your Servant's protection.

Babbage: Indeed, that is how a proper Holy Grail War is meant to be fought.

Babbage: So rest assured. When it comes to defense, I can fight every bit as well as any warrior.

Babbage: So I will see you safe to the end of this Imperial Holy Grail War. On that, you have my word.

Danzo: I see. So you are here to protect Lady Kaoruko. That strategy does seem sound.

Danzo: During the day, you could hide out here in this cavern.

Danzo: And at night, you would return to Lady Kaoruko's house to keep her safe from the other Masters...

Danzo: I assume that has been your strategy?

Danzo: After all, even if Lady Kaoruko's Master status were to be revealed during the day, it would most likely be at the palace, where fighting is strictly forbidden.

Danzo: That is why you only needed to concern yourself with protecting her during the night.

Sakata Kintoki: Ohh, got it. Sounds kinda like a couple who don't live together, where the husband only sees his wife at night, except this guy's job is to keep her safe.

Fujimaru 1: So by day, she'd be safe at the palace,and at night, you'd protect her yourself.

Fujimaru 2: Seems like a sound plan to me.

Babbage: Indeed. I cannot let Kaoruko come to harm.

Babbage: Great poets are one of humanity's greatest treasures. They must be protected at all costs.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Lord Babbage...

Sakata Kintoki: Hm? Hang on.

Sakata Kintoki: Then, does that mean you weren't usin' shikigami around the shrine and road!?

Sakata Kintoki: You were actually out there yourself!?

Babbage: Indeed.

Sakata Kintoki: W-well I'll be damned. That takes bein' bold and darin' to a whole new level!

Sakata Kintoki: And here I thought you were just sendin' out shikigami to patrol.

Sakata Kintoki: What about that spirit form trick Danzo does sometimes? Why didn't you just use that?

Sakata Kintoki: That way, nobody would've ever suspected anythin' was up, nighttime or not.

Sakata Kintoki: I know I wouldn't've found this place if you'd done that.

Babbage: You are correct.

Babbage: And of course, I did employ my spirit form a great deal early on in the proceedings.

Babbage: However, for a Heroic Spirit who refuses to take part in a Holy Grail War, the spirit form is too effective for its own good.

Babbage: The passive act of sitting back and remaining in spirit form for a long period threatens to upend the entire ritual.

Babbage: And the Minister of the Left in charge of the Imperial Holy Grail War, Michinaga Fujiwara, refused to accept that.

Sakata Kintoki: ...Michinaga, huh.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Yes.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Three days after the Imperial Holy Grail War began, Lord Michinaga had every onmyouji in the Onmyou Bureau work together to place a Bounded Field on the city's leylines...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...which prevented Lord Babbage from using his spirit form anywhere in the city grounds.

Babbage: A penalty, in so many words.

Babbage: After spending most of the first few days entirely in my spirit form...

Babbage: ...I was cursed to remain in my physical form for the remainder of the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Babbage: A spirit form restriction curse.

Babbage: I do have to give these Eastern mages credit for their cleverness with curses. I never imagined they would target me through the leylines.

Fujimaru 1: That explains it!

Fujimaru 2: So that's why you didn't use your spirit form. You literally couldn't!

Sakata Kintoki: Now I gotcha. No wonder you had no choice but to walk down the road!

Sakata Kintoki: Guess that also explains why you were in such a rush to settle things when we showed up...

Sakata Kintoki: But...wait a sec. If you were watchin' over Kaoruko's house at night, where were you the night we showed up?

Babbage: I am still able to use my spirit form for extremely short periods in case of emergency, so that is what I did.

Sakata Kintoki: So then, these last couple of days–

Babbage: At night, I remained hidden away at a distance and used my thermal sensors to monitor Kaoruko's well-being.

Sakata Kintoki: All right, that connects a lotta dots.

Sakata Kintoki: Still, I'm amazed you two managed to keep this secret this long.

Sakata Kintoki: You do know there've been rumors of you goin' around town, right? That's why–

???: Indeed. And of course, I've heard the same rumors.

Sakata Kintoki: !

Danzo: Master, get behind me!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: This cave is one of Kyo's spirit caverns. Not that I would expect anyone who isn't an officer to know about it.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: A poor showing on your part, Kintoki.

Fujimaru 1: Watanabe-no-Tsuna, the head of the Four Heavenly Kings!

Fujimaru 2: (Take up a combat stance)

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: So, you continue to throw your lot in with Kintoki.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: As you have nothing to do with the Imperial Holy Grail War, I will spare your life.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: But your interference may cost you at least one of your limbs.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I'm not used to fighting people, and I'm especially unaccustomed to holding back.

Danzo: (These Heian Genji warriors are truly terrifying foes!)

Danzo: (Even with all of my sensors tuned for maximum sensitivity to help make our way through this cave, I still didn't notice him!)

Sakata Kintoki: Afraid it's been more of a poor showing from you, Tsuna. Hate to tell ya, but we got here first!

Sakata Kintoki: You don't get anything for second place here! Not on my watch!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...Heh.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I've known what was happening here for quite a while now. I simply chose not to do anything about it for the time being.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I figured there might be at least one idiot who would jump on the rumors of a Heroic Spirit walking around the main road at night.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I never expected that idiot would be you, though...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I suppose you and I are just fated to run into each other like this, Kintoki.


Sakata Kintoki: Who cares if you already knew about this place or not!?

Sakata Kintoki: Everyone knows you don't go snatching other people's quarry out from under their feet!

Sakata Kintoki: Lord Babbage there isn't just any old steel monster! He's also my guest!

Sakata Kintoki: So I'm not lettin' you, or anyone else, take him away!

Sakata Kintoki: Khh...!

Babbage: Haha...

Babbage: Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Hahahahahahahahaha! You fell for it!

Babbage: Tsuna Watanabe! One of the strongest warriors of this age! You've even claimed the heads of two Servants already!

Babbage: Yet you somehow never suspected that my nighttime walks...

Babbage: ...might be part of a plan!

Babbage: Now let me show you what I can do so close to a leyline!

Babbage: Steam pressure rising. Steam pressure rising. Unlocking combat maneuvers. Connecting steam engine.

Babbage: Steam pressure at maximum. Emergency. Releasing my Noble Phantasm's True Name...

Babbage: Dimension of Steam!

Sakata Kintoki: Yeowch, that's hot! Hey, what's with all the white smoke!?

Danzo: The entire cave has filled with steam, and there are dozens of Helter Skelters within it!

Danzo: He must have released his Noble Phantasm's True Name!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: These numbers... You have an army at your command!?

Babbage: It is my dreams, my obsessions, my ceaseless regrets that give my Noble Phantasm its power!

Babbage: Now, the remains of my dreams will crush you where you stand!

Babbage: Hahahaha, I told you, you fell for my trap, Tsuna Watanabe!

Sakata Kintoki: Holy hell! One, two, three... Just how many shikigami ARE there!?

Sakata Kintoki: Damn, nice work, Steel Guy!

Babbage: My dreams and obsessions should keep him busy for a while, as they will manifest without end.

Babbage: Come, brave youths. Now is our chance.

Sakata Kintoki: Hell yeah. Let's get outta here!

Fujimaru 1: Come on! We can escape while the Helter Skelters are holding him back!

Fujimaru 2: Now's our chance to get out of this cave!

Babbage: No.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...?

Babbage: No, that is not the chance I mean.

Babbage: We may never get a better opportunity to settle matters between us.

Babbage: ...Fight me, brave youths.

Fujimaru 1: Babbage!?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Lord Babbage!?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: No, you mustn't! I can't be of any help to you in battle!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Even with Lord Seimei's tutelage, I still know next to nothing of onmyoudou! Certainly nothing that could be of aid!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: So please, reconsider! There is no possible way for you to win!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Lord Kintoki and [♂ Lord /♀️ Lady] Fujimaru are right! Now is your chance to escape!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: There is no need for you to stay here. There are any number of places you could flee to.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: You could leave the city, and go on to the far west of Japan... Or the east...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Or even further, if necessary.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Anywhere is better than here, if staying here means you end up hurt because of me!

Babbage: Kaoruko. No... Murasaki Shikibu.

Babbage: Princess of storytelling.

Babbage: The Difference Engine I dreamed of could calculate anything and everything.

Babbage: While it may never have become a reality, or become the all-powerful device of which I is still enough for me to know that this is where my path ends.

Babbage: Tsuna Watanabe is an excellent hunting dog–a wolf, even. There is no telling how long my trap will hold him off.

Babbage: Which is why I am choosing to pass my current hopes and dreams on to another.

Babbage: Forgive me for breaking my promise, storytelling princess.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Lord Babbage, you mustn't!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Your divinations may be shockingly accurate...but that doesn't mean you need to let them decide your own fate!

Babbage: I'm sorry, Kaoruko. This is how it must be.

Sakata Kintoki: ...You're serious about this, aren't ya?

Sakata Kintoki: You remember I already beat you once before, right? And you still want to do this?

Babbage: I do.

Sakata Kintoki: You saw Kaoruko cryin' about this, right? And you still want to do this?

Babbage: I do.

Sakata Kintoki: You remember everything we told you?

Babbage: I do!

Sakata Kintoki: ...That so.

Fujimaru 1: Kintoki!

Fujimaru 2: Why are you going along with this!?

Sakata Kintoki: When someone's made up their mind like this, there's nothin' anyone can do to change it. Am I wrong?

Danzo: ...No, I suppose not...

Fujimaru 1: ...

Babbage: I shall entrust my soul, my life, my dreams, to you. Now, prove you can shatter this steel that armors my heart.

Babbage: If you cannot...your lives are forfeit.

Danzo: !

Danzo: Master, over here!

Babbage: You who possess power. You who thirst, yearn, and struggle to make your wishes reality.

Babbage: If your desires are true, then join battle and kill as you must.

Babbage: For the only way forward to realizing your wishes is to use the power you possess to make your way through me!

Sakata Kintoki: All right, Charles Babbage, I hear ya!

Sakata Kintoki: There's no goin' back here, is there!?


Of course not!

Sakata Kintoki: ...!

Sakata Kintoki: What the...

Danzo: A Reality Marble! Master!

Fujimaru 1: I recognize this place. This is...

Fujimaru 1: A deathmatch stage!

Babbage: This is the bloodstained battlefield of Limbo, where the losing Heroic Spirit's soul shall be consumed upon defeat! The Imperial Deathmatch Stage!

Babbage: My True Name is Charles Babbage! This is where my dreams and obsessions shall halt you in your tracks!

Babbage: Hear me, O frightful gods, and laugh! Hear me, O glittering sun, and shine!

Babbage: Now come, and show me the extent of your power! Show me what you will do to make your wish reality!

Sakata Kintoki: If there's no talkin' our way outta this, Steel Guy, then you're on!

Sakata Kintoki: I see your strength, and the depths of your resolve, and I'm ready to meet them in battle!

Sakata Kintoki: Let's do this!!!


Sakata Kintoki: Hraaah!

Babbage: ...It seems...this contest of strength...

Babbage: ...has ended with your victory, Kintoki.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: A-ah... Ahhh...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Lord Babbage! Lord Babbage...!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Charles...!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: What happened?

Medea Lily: Allow me to explain, Lord Tsuna. The enemy Servant's Spirit Core has been shattered.

Medea Lily: It won't be long now before he departs from this world.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Hmm.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: So he chose death rather than flight. Then this was suicide...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: No, that's not quite right.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: He threw his lot in with Kintoki, my inferior, in order to protect his Master.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I can see his logic. Restraint has never been my forte.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: My Higekiri even left Lord Urabe and Lord Usui, two of the Four Heavenly Kings, seriously wounded.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Lady Murasaki, who knows nothing of martial arts, may not have been fortunate enough to escape merely missing an arm.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Come, Caster. We have no more business here.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Kintoki has won this deathmatch.

Medea Lily: Yes, Lord Tsuna.

Fujimaru 1: Charles Babbage...

Danzo: Lord Babbage...

Fujimaru 2: (At a loss for words)

Danzo: ...

Babbage: Heh... Hehe...

Babbage: There is nothing strange about this. I could not be happier with this outcome.

Babbage: Even as I followed my Difference Engine's instructions, I bet everything on a flash of inspiration from my soul!

Babbage: You there, the [♂ boy /♀️ girl] with the [♂ black /♀️ red] hair. There is something familiar about you.

Babbage: It almost feels as though we are old friends. Friends who once walked side by side somewhere far, far away...

Babbage: Am I merely imagining things...?

Babbage: No. No, I am certainly not.

Fujimaru 1: ...!

Babbage: I am not sure that entrusting you with my undertaking is the right thing to do.

Babbage: I may not have been able to keep my promise to Kaoruko, but even so...

Babbage: ...I would ask that you protect her in my place.

Babbage: Please...

Sakata Kintoki: ...I know.

Sakata Kintoki: You don't gotta say it. I'm not gonna let anyone hurt her.

Sakata Kintoki: That said, once you die, your Master'll lose her Master status...

Sakata Kintoki: ...and Brother Tsuna won't have any more reason to go after her.

Sakata Kintoki: But you knew that when you challenged us...didn't you?

Babbage: Young warrior who reminds me of nothing so much as a crimson dragon.

Babbage: Beautiful Eastern automaton.

Babbage: [♂ Young man /♀️ Young lady] with the [♂ black /♀️ red] hair.

Babbage: Kaoruko.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: A-ah...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Lord Babbage...

Babbage: Do not throw away your dreams. None of you need throw anything at all away.

Babbage: Not even if that something is a dream... the most fragile, fleeting thing in the world...

Babbage: You must not throw it away.

Fujimaru 1: Our dreams?

Fujimaru 2: (Say nothing)

Sakata Kintoki: No fair, old man.

Babbage: I am but a Heroic Spirit recorded by humanity after my dreams were crushed.

Babbage: Which is exactly why I implore you now not to forget your own dreams, young ones. Never lose hope.

Babbage: It will not always be easy. At times, it will be sheer agony.

Babbage: You may pause. You may rest.

Babbage: But you must never, ever abandon your dreams!

Babbage: As long as you hold onto your dreams, you may always pick yourself up and keep moving.

Babbage: Encase your dreams in steel armor forged from your own ideals. Do that, and nothing will stop you.

Fujimaru 1: ...

Babbage: Now go!

Babbage: It matters not if you lose your way or suffer injury, young ones...

Babbage: long as you keep forging ahead!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Lord Babbage...!


Narration: The city of Kyo, currently in the midst of the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Narration: Lately, foul creatures have even been prowling the city's main roads.

Narration: And recently, something even stranger has been seen there: my steel Caster.

Narration: The steel monster was said to be a great, hulking beast that stalked the streets of Kyo at night, and that towered over women and men alike.

Narration: ...Now, he will never be seen again. All that remained of him was a faint mass of glittering light, which shortly vanished.

Narration: Following my defeat, the marks on my left hand disappeared, never to return.

Narration: I do not doubt that people will be glad to hear these new rumors.

Narration: They will no doubt say it was our valiant officers who vanquished the red-eyed steel monster.

Narration: But I know the truth. The steel monster was no monster at all.

Narration: The worst thing he ever did...was protect me...

Narration: ...

Narration:                     The end.               Excerpt from a Diary

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: All right, I shall be back later!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: My duties at the palace keep me quite busy even when I'm not writing, you see.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Oh, no need to worry about my protection.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: My family's carriage is embedded with special talismans, so I'll be all right with just my servants.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: You are still free to stay here as long as you like. I won't breathe a word to the main Genji house.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: All right, I shall see you later. Please, enjoy your breakfast!

Sakata Kintoki: ...W-will do! Thanks!

Fujimaru 1: Thanks, Kaoruko.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Not at all. All right, I had best be going.

Fujimaru 2: See you later!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...Yes. I shall see you later.

Fujimaru 1: She's still putting up a brave front, isn't she?

Fujimaru 2: I can tell she's still in mourning...

Danzo: ...Yes. I believe so.

Danzo: Lady Kaoruko has been hiding her tears, but I noticed some signs of redness around her eyes.

Danzo: I doubt she was able to get much sleep last night...

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Nah, she's all right.

Sakata Kintoki: Or at least, if she says she's all right, that's good enough for me.

Sakata Kintoki: I think...the way I see it...

Sakata Kintoki: Sometimes, puttin' up a brave front's a way to help yourself to feel better.

Sakata Kintoki: It's kinda like armor for your heart. Least, that's what I think.

Sakata Kintoki: So I'd rather see this as Kaoruko findin' herself a damn fine set of armor!

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah... That's how I'm choosin' to see it!

Danzo: ...I see. That is a lovely way to look at it, Lord Kintoki.

Sakata Kintoki: Whoa, check it out.

Sakata Kintoki: Pretty awesome weather we're havin' today.

Sakata Kintoki: ...Encase our dreams in steel armor forged from our own ideals, huh.

Sakata Kintoki: Man, that's good. That's real good.

Sakata Kintoki: I wish I could say somethin' that good and mean it one day...

Sakata Kintoki: ...but I don't think I can.

Sakata Kintoki: What is my dream? What is it I wanna do?

Sakata Kintoki: It's no use. No matter how much I think about it, I keep comin' up short.

Sakata Kintoki: I may be grown up on the outside, but I'm an empty vessel inside, where it counts!

Sakata Kintoki: Things were a lot simpler back on the mountain. If I didn't like somethin', I'd just grab it and toss it!

Sakata Kintoki: I laughed, I wrestled, I ate, I slept. That's all there was to it.

Sakata Kintoki: What's wrong with me? What is it I'm missin'?

Sakata Kintoki: It's been a few years since I was named one of Raikou's Four Heavenly Kings and charged with defendin' the city...

Sakata Kintoki: And I still have no idea!

Sakata Kintoki: I dunno if I'll ever be cut out to be a Master.

Sakata Kintoki: I'm empty. I got no reason to fight anywhere.

Sakata Kintoki: I want somethin' else. Somethin' right.

Sakata Kintoki: A dream? Sure, I'll take that. Gimme one of those.

Sakata Kintoki: ...What'd you call it before, Fujimaru? A morphing hero?

Sakata Kintoki: Hell, I'll take that, too. The point is I ain't got any real substance to me.

Sakata Kintoki: And Babbage? He had it in spades. I really envy that.

Sakata Kintoki: Dreams... Fantasies... And all covered in steel!

Sakata Kintoki: I don't quite get what he meant by all that, but I could tell he shined bright. Damn bright.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah... I think he really embodied that word you introduced me to. What was it again? ...Oh, yeah.

Sakata Kintoki: He was golden!

Sakata Kintoki: Don't you think, Fujimaru?

Fujimaru 1: ...Yeah. I do.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah.

Sakata Kintoki: That's right. That old steel guy was real golden.

Section 7: Friends and Children (First Half)

Minamoto-no-Raikou: There you are.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Really now, you should know better than to climb up on the roof.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I swear, Kintoki must have been just like you when he was your age. I certainly never taught him to be so rambunctious.

???: Teehee.

???: I'm fine, Raikou. I'll never fall down from a roof or a wall. It's not who I am.

???: Only Humpty-Dumpty falls down.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh my, how awful. Hehe. So Lord Dumpty falls off a roof then?

???: Yes, that's right.

Child: Oh, wait, no. It wasn't a roof. Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall.

Child: Then Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall. And all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh my...

Child: Oh no, please don't be scared, Raikou. It's okay.

Child: I'm not Humpty-Dumpty. There's no such person as Humpty-Dumpty here.

Child: So nobody's going to get hurt. Okay?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Right.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: You're right, of course. If you say so, then it must be true.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Mother believes you when you say no one will be hurt.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Hehe. How very strange.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I feel so much like my old self again whenever you and I speak.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: It's as though I've gone back to my childhood, when I was still innocent in the ways of the world.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Back when I was still called Monjumaru, and did not yet carry a sword or seek glory in battle.

Child: Of course you're still you, Raikou. Monjumaru is still there, inside you. I promise.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Do you really think so? Hehe, you do know it's not nice to tease your mother, don't you?

Child: I'm not teasing. I can tell. She's still in there.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Ahh...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: If Kintoki were here right now...I think you and he would have been great friends.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I swear, I don't know where that boy has wandered off to.

Child: Kintoki.

Child: Do you mean Sakata Kintoki, of Mt. Ashigara?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh my, you're so well-informed. Yes, that's him.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: He grew up in the province of Sagami, where he was known as Kaidoumaru of Ashigara. As the Child of Sekiryu, the god of Mt. Ashigara, he was born with incredible strength.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: But now...he is Kintoki.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: My own, beloved child, Sakata Kintoki.

Child: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

Child: I don't know, Raikou. I don't understand.

Child: I can't say for sure, but I don't think he needs us.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Huh?

Child: I am who I am. I belong only to you.

Child: I am who I am. I'm your friend, lonely Raikou. Monjumaru.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...?

Child: It's okay. You don't have to worry about anything.

Child: Your child is all grown up. Kintoki is a warrior now.

Child: In a different time, I'm sure he would have stayed close to us...

Child: But now, he's forgotten all about you.

Child: ...So I don't need to be friends with anyone but you.


Narration: In the dead of night, oni appeared in the south of Heian-kyo.

Narration: Pulsing with power, they spread fear and terror throughout the city to the rich, the poor, and warriors alike.

Narration: They crossed Abe-no-Seimei's great Bounded Field as easily as hopping over a stream, and, lit only by the moon's pale light, set about doing whatever they pleased.

Narration: Destruction. Theft. Subjugation.

Narration: A horrific roar pierced the night sky! The great beast from whose gullet it emerged could easily be mistaken for the king of all monsters.

Narration: Sneering laughter echoed up and down the dimly lit streets.

Narration: Oni... Hedonistic terrors who take whatever they like from whomever they like.

Narration: They are perhaps the greatest threat to those who live in Kyo, though whether they are truly monsters, supernatural beings, or creatures of myth is anyone's guess.

Narration: With their monstrous strength, they can destroy any wall in their path. Their tough hides shrug off steel blades as if they were the biting of flies.

Narration: There are large oni... Small oni...

Narration: Hideous oni... And aristocratic, beautiful oni.

Narration: And in tonight's raid, the oni commanding their massive, musclebound fellows...

Narration: ...are two beautiful oni whose smiles drip with bloodlust.

Ibaraki-Douji: Haha, hahaha...

Ibaraki-Douji: Ahahahahahahaha! Weak! So weak!

Ibaraki-Douji: You're all so weak and fragile! You're so pathetic it's actually hilarious!

Ibaraki-Douji: I expected more from you, Kyoites! Even with a hundred swords, you're still no match for a single one of us!



Officers: Fall back! Fall back!

Officers: They're much too strong for us! Fall back!

Officers: Get some of the Genji warriors here, on the double! These are no ordinary oni...

Officers: They must be the ones from Mt. Ooe! Fall baaack!

Ibaraki-Douji: Get them, Torakuma!

Ibaraki-Douji: Nice, nice! Very nice! So strong! Yeah!!!

Ibaraki-Douji: But I really love how big you are! Especially your arms!

Ibaraki-Douji: After all, you can send a whole bunch of officers flying with just a single swipe! Mwahahahahahahahaha!

Ibaraki-Douji: Go on, Torakuma! Destroy everything in your path! Ahahahahahahahahahaha!

???: Well, well, listen to you.

???: Fufu, somebody's in a good mood.

Ibaraki-Douji: Hell yeah I am! I've got more power than I know what to do with now!

Ibaraki-Douji: I've never felt better, and I owe it all to this awesome new arm you got for me.

Ibaraki-Douji: This is exactly why you're such a great leader for all of Mt. Ooe's oni, Shuten-Douji!

Shuten-Douji: Fufufufu. Whatever are you talking about?

Shuten-Douji: I don't lead any oni. That's waaay too much trouble. You go right ahead and lead them if you want, Ibaraki.

Shuten-Douji: Ibaraki-Douji, leader of the Mt. Ooe oni! That sounds just lovely. You can do that from now on.

Ibaraki-Douji: O-oh, really? You sure?

Shuten-Douji: Anyway, more importantly, Ibaraki, you can use Torakuma and Hoshikuma as much as you like...

Shuten-Douji: ...but make sure you actually eat what you break too, okay? Otherwise you're just being wasteful.

Shuten-Douji: You can destroy all the walls and demolish all the houses you like...

Shuten-Douji: Rip off all the arms and legs you want, too.

Shuten-Douji: But, let me say this one time and don't make me say it a second.

Shuten-Douji: Whatever you kill, be it human or animal...

Shuten-Douji: must also eat. That is the rule.

Shuten-Douji: And you do know what will happen if you break this rule... Right?

Ibaraki-Douji: U-uh-huh.

Shuten-Douji: Say it.

Ibaraki-Douji: O-okay. I'll make sure to eat everything I kill. I promise.

Ibaraki-Douji: And if I don't want to eat something, I-I won't k-k-kill it...

Shuten-Douji: Good.

Ibaraki-Douji: A-and look, Shuten! I still haven't killed anything yet! I've just been breaking things!

Ibaraki-Douji: Besides, there just isn't much meat out there that meets my exacting standards! I swear, these humans all smell so bad it's just gross!

Ibaraki-Douji: For a moment, I thought I'd found some meat back at Ichijou Modori-bashi that looked promising, but–

Ibaraki-Douji: ...O-on second thought, never mind.

Shuten-Douji: Oh Ibaraki. You're just adorable, you know that?

Ibaraki-Douji: Huh?

Shuten-Douji: That's it. Keep up the good work. Mmm, I can't wait to see what you can really do tonight.

Shuten-Douji: I like devouring the occasional human myself. If you could bring one back for me, I'd just looove that.

Shuten-Douji: ...Though of course, there may not be time for that tonight.

Ibaraki-Douji: Huh? What do you mean, Shuten?

Shuten-Douji: Fufu. I mean our fun tonight's going to be a little different from usual.

Shuten-Douji: Just this once, we're not going to be looking for pretty outfits, or kidnapping pretty girls...

Shuten-Douji: ...or gathering sparkly treasures, or stealing the best wine in Kyo.

Shuten-Douji: We're not even going to play with the blond-haired blue-eyed brat.

Ibaraki-Douji: O-oh! Really? We're not?

Ibaraki-Douji: That's great! That's really great, Shuten!

Ibaraki-Douji: Although...

Ibaraki-Douji: This is the first I'm hearing about not looking for treasure or abducting people.

Ibaraki-Douji: So if we're not gonna play with the brat either, why did we come down from the mountain tonight?

Ibaraki-Douji: Are you gonna eat people? W-without me?

Shuten-Douji: Mmm. As nice as that

Shuten-Douji: Were you even listening to me, Ibaraki? Oh well, I guess it's all right if you don't know.

Ibaraki-Douji: Hey! No fair! Come on, Shuten, tell me!

Ibaraki-Douji: W-wait, I've got it! I-it's got something to do with that guest of yours, right!?

Shuten-Douji: There you go. My guest and I have something we need to do here in Kyo.

Shuten-Douji: Isn't that right, guest?

Mt. Ooe Guest: Indeed, my lady.

Shuten-Douji: Oh, there you are. You disappeared on me again, huh? That spirit form trick of yours must be handy for you, hm? It's a pain in the ass for me.

Ibaraki-Douji: !

Ibaraki-Douji: (What an idiot! Now he's done it! Nobody can annoy Shuten and live to see another day!)

Ibaraki-Douji: (He's a dead man if ever I've seen one! Not that I could care less whether he lives or dies.)

Ibaraki-Douji: (He's definitely got it coming, though. I never liked how he showed up out of nowhere and started hanging around Shuten like it was the most natural thing in the world.)

Ibaraki-Douji: (Now that you've pissed off Shuten, she's gonna tear your head off like she's plucking a flower!)

Ibaraki-Douji: (Heh heh heh, now go on, die! Die, die, die!)

Shuten-Douji: Ugh, it really is a pain to deal with, you know?

Mt. Ooe Guest: My apologies. It won't happen again.

Ibaraki-Douji: (Heh heh heh... You're damn right it won't happen again, weirdo.)

Ibaraki-Douji: (You obviously don't know how wild Shuten can get when she's upset.)

Ibaraki-Douji: (The moment her beautiful white fingers touch you, she'll either blow your whole body up on the spot, or she'll crush every bone you have!)

Ibaraki-Douji: (Ahahahahahahaha!)

Shuten-Douji: Oh well, that's okay. Don't worry about it.

Mt. Ooe Guest: Thank you, my lady.

Ibaraki-Douji: (Huh?)

Ibaraki-Douji: (Why hasn't he exploded? Why are his bones all still in his body?)

Ibaraki-Douji: (Wh-wh-what's going on, Shuten!? Why aren't you doing anything to him!?)

Ibaraki-Douji: (I thought I was gonna get to see another beautiful bloodbath!)

Shuten-Douji: You just do whatever you think is best. Right, Ibaraki?

Ibaraki-Douji: Aah! Wh-what, Shuten?

Shuten-Douji: If it wasn't for my guest here, we could never have made it through Kyo's Bounded Field without asking the moon for help, right?

Ibaraki-Douji: I-I guess...

Shuten-Douji: Usually, we can only sneak into Kyo once a month or so.

Shuten-Douji: And you already used up our chance this month so you could go to the Ichijou Modori-bashi bridge, right?

Shuten-Douji: And forget big oni like Torakuma or Hoshikuma. We can only bring them along every six months or so, if we're lucky.

Shuten-Douji: It's such a hassle. Who wants to deal with that? Not me, I'll tell you that.

Shuten-Douji: But tonight, just ooone word from our guest is all it takes.

Shuten-Douji: You're good, guest. I'm impressed.

Mt. Ooe Guest: Thank you. I'm glad I could be of service...

Mt. Ooe Guest: ...Master Shuten-Douji.

Ibaraki-Douji: ... ...

Shuten-Douji: So, this is what a Caster from another world is capable of, hm? Nice. Veeery nice.

Sakata Kintoki: Dammit! Of all the things I thought might be goin' on here...!

Danzo: Large hostile detected! Master, we're dealing with some–

Fujimaru 1: Oni!

Fujimaru 2: Big oni!

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah, that's an oni all right! It must've come down from one of the nearby mountains!

Sakata Kintoki: It's weird, though. We don't usually get big ones like that.

Sakata Kintoki: The Bounded Field Lord Seimei put up around Kyo should make it near impossible for an oni that big to slip through.

Sakata Kintoki: Usually, we just have oni sneakin' in maybe once or twice a month, and that's only by makin' themselves weak enough to get through.

Sakata Kintoki: There's no way a weakened oni like that'd be able to smash the place up so easily.

Sakata Kintoki: And on top of that, I see the ones leadin' it are–

Ibaraki-Douji: Hey, Shuten, look! We've got a warrior here to make up for the officers' piss-poor showing now!

Ibaraki-Douji: Hahahahaha, but it doesn't matter who they send! None of them can so much as touch us!

Ibaraki-Douji: Now come on! I'll tear the flesh from your bones and eat it before your very–

Ibaraki-Douji: Wait. You!?

Ibaraki-Douji: Kintoki!?

Sakata Kintoki: ...Ibaraki.

Shuten-Douji: Fufufufufufu. My oh my, if it isn't the blond-haired blue-eyed brat himself.

Shuten-Douji: How are you, brat? It's been sooo long, hasn't it?

Shuten-Douji: Goodness, you look even stronger than you did the last time I saw you. I guess all that sumo's really working for you, huh?

Shuten-Douji: Don't you think so, brat?

Sakata Kintoki: Shuten.

Sakata Kintoki: Long time, my ass! You were just here last month!

Fujimaru 1: Heian period Shuten-Douji and Ibaraki-Douji!

Danzo: Yes, Master. But do not let down your guard around them!

Danzo: They have no memory of who we are, just like Lord Kintoki.

Danzo: What's more, their magical energy readings easily surpass those of their Spirit Origins registered in Chaldea!

Sakata Kintoki: So you're the oni makin' a big old mess of the place.

Sakata Kintoki: What's goin' on today, huh? Usually, you just sneak in quietly, but tonight, you're obviously goin' all out!

Sakata Kintoki: Shuten-Douji! Ibaraki-Douji!

Sakata Kintoki: And if you're here, the big guy's gotta be either Torakuma or Hoshikuma, right!?

Sakata Kintoki: What's goin' on, Shuten? Why're you causin' so much trouble tonight!?

Shuten-Douji: You want to know why? Fufu.

Shuten-Douji: This is why. You can see them, right?

Sakata Kintoki: !

Danzo: Those marks on her left hand... Are those Command Spells!?

Fujimaru 1: An Imperial Warrior!

Fujimaru 2: So Shuten-Douji's the sixth Master!?

Danzo: The Masters were chosen from among those who possess great power here in the Heian period...and that would certainly include Shuten-Douji of Ooe!

Danzo: Still, I never expected an oni to be one of the seven Masters!

Shuten-Douji: ...Huh.

Shuten-Douji: I thought the brat had brought along a Caster of his own, but that seems not to be the case. Hmm...

Shuten-Douji: And as far as I can tell, that [♂ black-haired brat /♀️ red-haired girl] there isn't a Caster, either.

Shuten-Douji: Hmm...

Shuten-Douji: You there. I sense something...different about you. Why don't you let me take a closer look?

Shuten-Douji: Here. Look at me.

Shuten-Douji: Look. At. Me.

Fujimaru 1: Magical energy...!?

Fujimaru 2: This heavy feeling...!

Danzo: Master!

Sakata Kintoki: Aw crap! Fujimaru! Don't look directly at her!

Sakata Kintoki: Sorry, I should've said somethin' sooner. It's not safe for humans to look directly at an oni.

Sakata Kintoki: Okay, that's not true of all oni, but it's definitely true for this one. She's dangerous!

Fujimaru 1: ...I'm okay.

Fujimaru 2: This isn't my first time experiencing something like this.

Danzo: Master, get behind me!

Fujimaru 1: This is nothing compared to what Aphrodite put me through!

Fujimaru 2: I can handle this! It's not easy, but I can handle it!

Danzo: Please, do not try to tough it out!

Danzo: I know your Mystic Code has been heavily modified, but it still cannot hope to completely shut out all manner of magical energy effects!

Danzo: Please, Master, stand down.

Shuten-Douji: Aww, [♂ he /♀️ she] went and hid behind the dolly. No fun.

Shuten-Douji: Well that's boring. I was hoping you'd play with me some more.

Sakata Kintoki: Ha! That's rich, seein' how you're the one who brought Ibaraki and the big guy here.

Shuten-Douji: Hmm...

Shuten-Douji: Well now. You're a Servant, aren't you, dolly? But you're not a Caster, are you?

Shuten-Douji: ...Fufu, does this mean you're the odd man out, Kintoki?

Sakata Kintoki: ...

Ibaraki-Douji: Ha! This is too good! One of the so-called Four Heavenly Kings, and you're still not worthy to be chosen as a Master!

Ibaraki-Douji: I was pissed off when I first found out Shuten had been chosen for a human ritual of all things, but not anymore!

Ibaraki-Douji: Hahahahahaha, what a pathetic showing, Sakata Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki: Shaddup!

Ibaraki-Douji: Loooseeer! Loooseeer! Ahahahahahaha! It must be so hard, living with that kind of shame!

Ibaraki-Douji: Hey, I just had a great idea! Shuten, I'm gonna do a thing now! Don't get in my way, okay!?

Shuten-Douji: Oh? Well, I'd hate to spoil your fun, Ibaraki. What is it you're going to do?

Ibaraki-Douji: I'm gonna do this pathetic Genji a favor and put him outta his misery! Mwahahahahaha!

Ibaraki-Douji: Come on, Torakuma! Let's get 'em!

Danzo: The giant horse creature and the oni are both headed this way, Master!

Fujimaru 1: Got it! Get ready to fight!

Sakata Kintoki: Sparks are about to fly in a big way, but oh well! Let's go, Ibaraki!

Fujimaru 2: ...Yeah, I guess there's no talking Ibaraki out of this one.

Sakata Kintoki: No, there ain't.

Sakata Kintoki: Ibaraki may not be as bad as some oni I could name, but she's still an oni, and her antics are way worse than any kinda mischief a human could get up to!

Sakata Kintoki: So even if we can't capture her here, we can still stop her and chase her away!

Ibaraki-Douji: You're in for it this time, Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki: Bring it on, Ibaraki-Douji!


Ibaraki-Douji: Damn doll! Get outta my face!

Ibaraki-Douji: How are you so good at blocking my flames!? I'm the leader of every oni on Mt. Ooe, you know! Grrrrrr!

Danzo: ...Thank you for your kind praise.

Fujimaru 1: We're just doing the best we can, but thanks.

Fujimaru 2: Death struggle or not, I appreciate the compliment.

Ibaraki-Douji: I wasn't praising you!

Shuten-Douji: Ibaraki.

Ibaraki-Douji: That does it! I'm not holding anything back next time! Come on, Shuten, don't just stand there! Help me out!

Ibaraki-Douji: Let's show the brats and that damn doll how unstoppable we are when we're fighting together!

Shuten-Douji: That's enough, Ibaraki.

Ibaraki-Douji: Sh-Shuten...?

Sakata Kintoki: (Even the big guy just took a step back. Guess they ain't gonna go all out here.)

Sakata Kintoki: (Though I guess that makes sense, since I don't have a Caster with me. Not enough in it for them.)

Sakata Kintoki: (So what about Shuten then? Does she have a Caster, or is she in the same boat as me?)

Sakata Kintoki: (I'm not seein' anyone who looks like a Caster right now...but these are still oni we're dealin' with.)

Sakata Kintoki: (Not gonna let my guard down, but I got no idea what they're doin' here!)

Shuten-Douji: That's enough, Ibaraki. We're done playing with them.

Ibaraki-Douji: ...O-okay. He's not as much fun to fight as Tsuna, anyway.

Ibaraki-Douji: But let me just say this, Shuten: I wasn't the one playing around.

Danzo: ...?

Ibaraki-Douji: No, it wasn't you either, doll. I'm talking about you, Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki: What about me?

Ibaraki-Douji: That doll might smell like oil instead of blood, but at least I could tell she was really after my head.

Ibaraki-Douji: But then there was you and that other brat, Kintoki! What were you two thinking!?

Ibaraki-Douji: It was like your hearts weren't in it at all...

Ibaraki-Douji: I don't get it. How could you be facing the leader of all oni on Mt. Ooe...

Ibaraki-Douji: ...and not even try to cut off my head!?

Fujimaru 1: ...Ibaraki.

Ibaraki-Douji: Shut up! You don't deserve to say my name!

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...You're one to talk.

Sakata Kintoki: Did you even eat a single person tonight?

Ibaraki-Douji: Grk.

Ibaraki-Douji: G-gnn, gnnnnnn. Wh-why'd you have to run your big mouth, Kintoki!?

Sakata Kintoki: Heh. Looks like we've both been holdin' back. Right, Shuten!?

Sakata Kintoki: This is just another game for you, right? Always is with you.

Sakata Kintoki: I'm sure you're a Master since you've got the marks, but I don't see your Caster anywhere.

Sakata Kintoki: You're not actually Casterless, are you?

Shuten-Douji: Fufu. Fufufu.

Shuten-Douji: Fufufufufufufufufu. What is it, Kintoki? You trying to say I don't measure up?

Shuten-Douji: Well, I'm afraid you're wrong. Here, why don't you say hi to my new friend here?

Shuten-Douji: Come on out, Caster.

C:Mt. Ooe Guest: You called, Master?

Sakata Kintoki: !!!

Fujimaru 1: Paracelsus!

Paracelsus: You know my True Name? You must have some experience with Holy Grail wars then.

Paracelsus: But, unfortunately, I have no recollection of you in this materialization.

Paracelsus: I do hope you can forgive me, potential past acquaintance.

Fujimaru 2: So Paracelsus is the sixth Caster!

Paracelsus: A pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am Master Shuten-Douji's Caster.

Paracelsus: ...Have you and I met somewhere before?

Sakata Kintoki: Dammit! So you've got a Heroic Spirit too!?

Sakata Kintoki: FINE! Good for you! So glad to hear it. Not that I'm jealous or anything.

Shuten-Douji: You're not? You suuure? Fufu.

Shuten-Douji: Now the only thing I want to do is tell you how great my new Caster friend here is.

Shuten-Douji: Fufufufufu, you know, it's almost indecent, asking for it like that.

Shuten-Douji: You're real bad, aren't you, brat?

Sakata Kintoki: I ain't askin' for shit!

Shuten-Douji: Sure you are.

Sakata Kintoki:

No, I'm not!

Sakata Kintoki: Enough! Just shut up! I'm gonna tie you all up so tight you won't be able to so much as blink without my say-so!

Sakata Kintoki: I'm puttin' an end to the Imperial Holy Grail War right here and now!

Paracelsus: ...Master.

Shuten-Douji: Oh my, somebody's fired up! All right, I guess we can play with you for a little while. Ibaraki!

Ibaraki-Douji: Ooh, you want me to rough 'em up, Shuten!? You got it!

Shuten-Douji: No, Caster and I are playing together this time. You and Torakuma stay out of this.

Ibaraki-Douji: Huh!? What are you saying, Shuten!?

Paracelsus: Understood. As you wish.

Danzo: Multiple hostiles detected. They appear to be homunculi, Master!

Fujimaru 1: Let's take them all out!

Fujimaru 2: Come on, Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki: Hell yeah! Let's do this!


Sakata Kintoki: HrrrRAAAH!

Paracelsus: Impressive, Sakata Kintoki. You mowed down my combat homunculi like they were nothing.

Paracelsus: What would you have me do next, Master?

Shuten-Douji: Ahh, this is so much fun!

Shuten-Douji: You're even more into this than usual, aren't you, brat? Ooh, you're getting me aaall worked up.

Shuten-Douji: Ahhh... What a waste.

Shuten-Douji: Oh, it'd just be wrong for me to make something this fun a one-time only deal.

Shuten-Douji: All right, Caster, do it.

Paracelsus: As you wish.

Paracelsus: But please be aware that I won't be able to control where we end up if we include Lord Torakuma's significant mass.

Shuten-Douji: That's fine. Don't worry about it.

Shuten-Douji: Well, see you later, brat!

Sakata Kintoki: Hold it! You're not going anywhere!

Paracelsus: O earth, make a path.

Danzo: I can no longer detect their magical energy signals!

Danzo: Whatever they did, it appears to be something very different from Command Spell-based rapid movement in standard Holy Grail Wars, or even similar pseudo-transmission techniques!

Danzo: As far as I can tell, it seems to be a smoke screen combined with a more typical rapid movement spell.

Danzo: The result is a technique that specializes in assisting multiple combatants' escape from a battlefield.

Danzo: It even reminds me of the earth evasion spell once used by ancient China's famed tactician, Taigong Wang. Incredible.

Sakata Kintoki: So they even took the big guy with 'em. Dammit...

Fujimaru 1: Danzo, can you survey the nearby area?

Fujimaru 2: We can't afford to lose sight of them.

Danzo: Yes, Master. I will use my spirit form to make a quick round of the city.

Danzo: I won't have much time, as I'm concerned I may also be affected by the spirit form curse...

Danzo: ...but I will be certain to cover as much ground as I can.

Danzo: I will check the Imperial Palace as well and return soon with my report!

Sakata Kintoki: ...They were just toying with us.

Sakata Kintoki: Holdin' back or not, I lost that one, straight up. (Sigh)...

Sakata Kintoki: Dammit!

Sakata Kintoki: ...But that's okay. We'll win the next one.

Fujimaru 1: (Nod)

Sakata Kintoki: Damn straight.


Maidservant: Welcome back!

Maidservant: ...Oh? Is your other companion not with you?

Sakata Kintoki: Danzo? She had somethin' to take care of first.

Sakata Kintoki: (I prob'ly shouldn't say she's out on a scoutin' mission. It'll just make her worry.)

Sakata Kintoki: (Gotta say though, these Heroic Spirit people are pretty amazin'.)

Sakata Kintoki: Don't worry, it's nothin' major. She'll be back soon enough.

Maidservant: I see... Then I hope to see her safe return shortly.

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, I know the sun's out and all, but I wouldn't recommend leavin' the house just yet.

Sakata Kintoki: There might still be oni out there.

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, come to think of it, this house has a Bounded Field of its own, right?

Maidservant: Of course. It has been in place since Lord Tametoki lived here, and it has never once been breached.

Sakata Kintoki: Well, that's good to hear. So where's Kaoruko? She in the back?

Maidservant: Oh, no, actually.

Maidservant: She said she didn't want to make Lady Shoushi worry, so she set off for the palace first thing in the morning.

Sakata Kintoki: Damn, talk about bein' responsible! Then again, it don't surprise me at all that Lady Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko would be such a faithful retainer.

Sakata Kintoki: By the way, Kaoruko DID take the carriage, right?

Maidservant: Oh yes, of course!

Sakata Kintoki: Good. Those talismans Lord Seimei put on it ought to make a solid illusion.

Sakata Kintoki: And she should be fine once she makes it to the palace, since it's got some seriously tough Bounded Fields. Doubt even that Caster can break through 'em.

Sakata Kintoki: All right then, in the meantime, I guess we just wait for Danzo's report.

Sakata Kintoki: She said she'd check in on the palace from a distance too, so she might even see Kaoruko while she's there.

Fujimaru 1: Good point.

Fujimaru 2: I agree. We should wait for Danzo to get back.

Maidservant: A-all right, if you'll excuse me, I'll go prepare your breakfasts at once.

Sakata Kintoki: Sounds great! Thanks!

Sakata Kintoki: ...Phew.

Sakata Kintoki: Man. I never imagined an oni'd be one of the Masters.

Sakata Kintoki: Guess it kinda makes sense. She's reeeally strong, and Kaoruko got chosen as well for a whole different kinda strength.

Sakata Kintoki: Still... An oni, of all things.

Sakata Kintoki: ...And Shuten, at that.

Fujimaru 1: It was pretty obvious you two had met before.

Fujimaru 2: I take it you and Shuten-Douji already knew each other?

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah. We go back a ways, much as I wish we didn't.

Sakata Kintoki: Shuten-Douji and Ibaraki-Douji are both crazy dangerous, even for oni.

Sakata Kintoki: They're ridiculously strong, ridiculously tough, and they know how to use sorcery of a kind.

Sakata Kintoki: They've even got an oni castle of sorts up on Mt. Ooe where they keep their underlings. In addition to Torakuma, they've also got Hoshikuma, Kanekuma, and Kuma-Douji.

Sakata Kintoki: Oni used to only be solitary creatures, but those two have been gatherin' them up in their castle.

Sakata Kintoki: Right now, you can still count their numbers on both hands...but eventually, they could have a full-blown oni army.

Sakata Kintoki: Long story short, Shuten-Douji and Ibaraki-Douji are on a whole different level from your typical oni.

Sakata Kintoki: Even Lord Abe-no-Seimei said they're the greatest threat Kyo's ever seen.

Sakata Kintoki: But the weird thing is...

Sakata Kintoki: ...I haven't heard a word about them actually eatin' people.

Sakata Kintoki: And not just tonight, either. All the time.

Sakata Kintoki: I don't know about Ibaraki...

Sakata Kintoki: ...but Shuten's definitely just playin' around.

Sakata Kintoki: I know for a fact she used to eat people, but nowadays, she just...doesn't.

Sakata Kintoki: It's all a game to her. Killing, stealing, torturing... Everything.

Fujimaru 1: So, Shuten-Douji's trying NOT to kill people?

Fujimaru 2: So, Shuten-Douji's avoiding killing people on purpose?

Sakata Kintoki: For now, anyway. Which means she must be holdin' back a hell of a lot.

Sakata Kintoki: Hell, when I fought her about half a year ago, she cut my left arm to shreds and almost tore it right off, and that was still just her playin' around.

Sakata Kintoki: Luckily, Lord Seimei managed to put me back together.

Sakata Kintoki: Basically, as far as she's concerned, all living things– human, beast, or whatever–are just toys for her to play with.

Sakata Kintoki: She's that freakin' strong.

Sakata Kintoki: It's no wonder Lord Seimei says she's the leader of all oni, and the closest one there is to an oni from the kingdom of demons.

Sakata Kintoki: There's more stories I've heard about her, too.

Sakata Kintoki: They say that back when she lived on a mountain in some other country...

Sakata Kintoki: ...she'd go around killin' people left and right, devourin' them whole, and line up their heads and...other parts for all kinds of messed up games.

Sakata Kintoki: And there's no tellin' when she might start doin' the same thing here in Kyo.

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ......

Fujimaru 1: Kintoki?

Sakata Kintoki: ...You know, since I'm supposedta be a Genji warrior...

Sakata Kintoki: ...maybe I shouldn't've let up until I'd cut both their heads off.

Sakata Kintoki: But...somethin' about that just doesn't seem right to me.

Sakata Kintoki: I've fought Shuten lotsa times by now, and Ibaraki's right.

Sakata Kintoki: I just can't bring myself to really go for their heads.

Sakata Kintoki: It's like...

Sakata Kintoki: What'd happen if I cut off their heads now?

Sakata Kintoki: Somethin' about that just doesn't feel right to me.

Sakata Kintoki: If I cut off the head of an oni who might talk a good game...

Sakata Kintoki: ...but hasn't actually eaten anyone...

Sakata Kintoki: ...would I really be proud of what I did when I dig into breakfast the next day?

Sakata Kintoki: No. I couldn't.

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Oh, this might be a good way to put it.

Sakata Kintoki: It wouldn't be golden.

Fujimaru 1: ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Hm?

Sakata Kintoki: What is it, Fujimaru? Why're you lookin' so down?

Sakata Kintoki: I'm just thinkin' here, so there's no need for you to look so sad, right?

Fujimaru 1: No, there isn't.

Sakata Kintoki: Right?

Fujimaru 2: I just feel like...I really know what you meant.

Sakata Kintoki: ...I see. So you get it, huh.

Sakata Kintoki: All right, enough of that! First, we have breakfast, then we take a nice long nap while we wait for Lady Danzo to get back!

Sakata Kintoki: Besides, it's a real bad idea to fight when you ain't been getting' enough sleep!

Danzo: I have returned.

Fujimaru 1: Welcome back, Danzo!

Danzo: Forgive me for taking so long. I was out tracking the oni.

Danzo: It was more difficult than I expected, as Shuten-Douji's group came and went at a moment's notice.

Danzo: They would appear somewhere in the city seemingly at random, roam for a bit...

Danzo: ...then disappear again after thrashing a group of officers or Genji warriors out on patrol.

Sakata Kintoki: Hmm?

Sakata Kintoki: I can understand showin' up at different places at random, since it sounded like that's what that spell of theirs did.

Sakata Kintoki: Hell, that Caster bastard said as much right before they disappeared.

Sakata Kintoki: But...

Sakata Kintoki: You said they didn't stick around long before disappearin' again with that spell of theirs, over and over?

Danzo: Correct.

Sakata Kintoki: Why in the world would they do that?

Sakata Kintoki: If there was somethin' they wanted, or somewhere they wanted to go, they'd usually head straight there.

Sakata Kintoki: Are they just playin' around? Hmm...

Danzo: There is one other item of note. Genji warriors have been stationed at various posts throughout the city, on orders from the main Genji house...

Danzo: ...but there were no signs of any unusual activity at the palace.

Danzo: Speaking of which, I also saw Lady Kaoruko arrive safely at the palace in her carriage. Fortunately, she did not encounter the oni on her way there.

Sakata Kintoki: So Lady Kaoruko's safe? That's great.

Sakata Kintoki: But no unusual activity at the palace, huh...

Sakata Kintoki: Maybe they already know Shuten was behind last night's attack, and that she's one of the Imperial Warriors...

Sakata Kintoki: ...and decided they didn't need to do anythin'. Heh. That does sound like somethin' the Minister of the Left would do.

Danzo: Even so, that still leaves the question of what it is the oni are after...

Sakata Kintoki: Could you tell us exactly where it was they showed up, Danzo?

Danzo: Of course. After we fought them, they first appeared at the intersection of Higashi Kyougoku Road and Hachijou Street.

Danzo: They next appeared at the intersection of Nishinotouin Road and Rokujou Street, then Sai Road and Gojou Street.

Danzo: They showed up on the west side of Tsuchimikado Road...

Danzo: ...and finally, at the intersection of Omiya Road and Gojou Street.

Fujimaru 1: Let me plot all this on a map.

Fujimaru 2: Let's see, where's some paper...

Sakata Kintoki: I'll go borrow a brush and an inkstone.

Sakata Kintoki: Okay, let's do this.

Sakata Kintoki: At the intersections of Higashi Kyogoku and Hachijou, Nishinotouin and Rokujou, and Sai and Gojou...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Then on the west side of Tsuchimikado, and the intersection of Omiya and Gojou.

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, and we fought 'em at the intersection of Omiya Road and Sanjou Street.

Fujimaru 1: Do you know which direction they were headed in each area?

Danzo: I do.

Danzo: They headed northwest at the intersection of Higashi Kyougoku and Hachijou, north-northwest at Nishinotouin and Rokujou...

Danzo: ...northeast at Sai and Gojou, north-northeast at Omiya and Gojou...

Danzo: ...east on the west side of Tsuchimikado Road, and northeast at Omiya and Sanjou...

Danzo: ...I'm so sorry, Master. Lord Kintoki. I should have realized it sooner.

Danzo: Since I already had a map of Heian-kyo on file in my database, I can only assume that my circuits were malfunctioning.

Danzo: Please, take a look at this.

Danzo: If we draw lines along the paths the oni took from every location they visited...

Danzo: ...and we note where they intersect...

Fujimaru 1: ...All the lines meet in a single location...

Sakata Kintoki: Aha! So that's what they're after!

Danzo: I believe so.

Danzo: Perhaps the reason they disappeared whenever they encountered resistance was not to draw attention away from their destination...

Danzo: ...but to prevent warriors from gathering in other locations while they were fighting.

Sakata Kintoki: ...Then they're definitely just playin' around.

Sakata Kintoki: Four Heavenly Kings aside, no regular Genji warriors could give Shuten a fight when she's serious.

Sakata Kintoki: Still, thanks to their playin', we now know exactly where they're headed: the place where these lines cross!

Sakata Kintoki: So let's see where it is...

Danzo: It appears to be in eastern Kyo, around the Ogimachi district.

Sakata Kintoki: ...G-gotcha. So that's their game, huh.

Fujimaru 1: You know this place, Kintoki?

Fujimaru 2: Does somebody live there or something?

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah, you could say that.

Sakata Kintoki: There's a house near there that belongs to someone pretty much everyone in Kyo knows about.

Sakata Kintoki: It's not far from here.

Sakata Kintoki: We could walk there in a few minutes.

Danzo: Lord Kintoki...

Danzo: ...could you please tell us who this person is?

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Abe-no-Seimei.

Fujimaru 1: Why am I not surprised?

Danzo: Abe-no-Seimei, the strongest and most famous onmyouji of the Heian period!

Danzo: I even heard his name spoken in reverent tones during the age of war some hundreds of years later. I don't believe any onmyouji has ever surpassed him.

Fujimaru 2: The strongest onmyouji of the Heian period!

Sakata Kintoki: And it looks like their destination is right around his house.

Sakata Kintoki: Come on, let's get goin'!


Narration: The Abe family house is in this neighborhood.

Narration: Which also means...

Narration: ...Minamoto-no-Raikou's house is here too!

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...Well, there you have it.

Danzo: Um...

Danzo: Lord...Kintoki?

Sakata Kintoki: I'm sorry. I know what I said earlier...but I was lyin'.

Sakata Kintoki: Well, maybe not lyin', but it wasn't exactly the truth.

Fujimaru 1: So that's Seimei's house over there, and Raikou's house over there.

Fujimaru 2: So that's Raikou's house over there, and Seimei's house over there.

Fujimaru 1: Is that what this is about?

Sakata Kintoki: Yup. You got it.

Sakata Kintoki: Abe-no-Seimei's and Minamoto-no-Raikou's houses are actually in the same neighborhood.

Danzo: I finally finished loading Heian-kyo's historical geographical records, and Lord Kintoki is right!

Danzo: The Abe family house, and Lady Raikou's house...

Danzo: ...are in the same neighborhood!

Fujimaru 1: Whoa!

Danzo: I never would have imagined it!

Fujimaru 2: Come to think of it, I may have heard that somewhere.

Danzo: Impressive, Master. You must be very well-read.

Sakata Kintoki: (Sigh)... Unfortunately, Lord Seimei's not home right now.

Sakata Kintoki: Hell, there isn't anyone there right now, since he supposedly sent all his servants out on leave, too.

Sakata Kintoki: And since I'm guessin' the oni aren't gonna be too interested in an empty house...

Sakata Kintoki: ...they're probably gonna come for this one.

Fujimaru 1: There's a good chance Raikou might be a Master too, right?

Fujimaru 2: We should talk to Raikou first, in case she's a Master, too.

Danzo: Agreed. We should try to convince her that the Imperial Holy Grail War should be stopped before Shuten-Douji arrives.

Danzo: Alternatively, we may be able to convince her to persuade the Genji to disavow it. Lord Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Yes.

Danzo: (Yes?)

Fujimaru 1: (Yes?)

Sakata Kintoki: ......

Sakata Kintoki: (Come on, body, move, dammit!)

Sakata Kintoki: (Just knock on the gate. That's all you gotta do.)

Sakata Kintoki: (So why won't you move?)

Sakata Kintoki: (...What am I sayin'? 'Cause I'm nervous, that's why!)

Sakata Kintoki: (Ugh, this is pathetic! No matter how old I get, I still can't help but act like a kid around Raikou!)

Sakata Kintoki: (Come on, Kintoki, get it together! This is an emergency!)

Sakata Kintoki: (Even if Raikou's a Master–)

Child: Oh, hello! Welcome home.

Sakata Kintoki: The hell!?

Sakata Kintoki: Wh-where'd this kid come from!? I swear she wasn't there a moment ago!

Danzo: Th-that's because she came from Lady Raikou's house.

Danzo: She just opened the gate a bit and walked right out.

Child: Hehe.

Child: Are you done running away from home now? Oh good. That's wonderful news.

Child: But why are you still just standing there?

Child: Come inside, Kintoki. Mother will be so happy to see you.

Sakata Kintoki: ...?

Fujimaru 1: Do you know her?

Sakata Kintoki: Nope. Never seen her in my life.

Sakata Kintoki: If she's not one of the other Genji warriors' kids, maybe she's–

Child: Hehehe.

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: (Hey, Danzo. This kid ain't actually a Caster, is she?)

Danzo: (I don't think so. I do not detect any Heroic Spirit readings from her.)

Fujimaru 1: (So you don't sense anything unusual then?)

Danzo: (I cannot detect any magical energy from her. Why? Is there something strange about this child?)

Sakata Kintoki: (Nah, if you don't sense anythin' unusual about her, that's fine.)

Child: What are you doing, Kintoki? Come on, this way.

Sakata Kintoki: H-hey, don't tug on me! Although...

Sakata Kintoki: If I've gotta go into the house anyway... Oh, forget it! Whatever happens, happens!

Sakata Kintoki: C'mon, Fujimaru! C'mon, Danzo!

Child: This way, Kintoki.

Child: Go on, go on. Mother is waiting for you.

Sakata Kintoki: Hey, no runnin' in the house! Raikou doesn't like that!

Danzo: Hehe. There is just something about children that makes a house seem like a home.

Danzo: This house is as secure as an fortress, but with a child running around, it is easy to forget about all the blades lining its walls.

Danzo: That being said...

Danzo: I also noticed there were a few warriors in full armor stationed behind the gate, and others in light armor stationed in every room.

Danzo: It would seem that they are prepared for a battle to break out at any time.

Danzo: Perhaps even a siege.

Fujimaru 1: Maybe they're here in case Shuten-Douji's gang shows up.

Fujimaru 2: Do you think it's all for the Imperial Holy Grail War?

Sakata Kintoki: ...

Sakata Kintoki: (I can't believe how heavily the house is bein' defended only a few days after Raikou started holin' up.)

Sakata Kintoki: (She might as well be shoutin' from the streets...)

Sakata Kintoki: (...that she's one of the Masters.)

Sakata Kintoki: (And if she is, then this kid's gotta be...)

Sakata Kintoki: Hey, girlie. How long have you been stayin' here?

Sakata Kintoki: ...Huh? Where'd she go?

Danzo: She walked off to the room in the back while you were apparently lost in thought.

Sakata Kintoki: Again!? Aw man, I must still be off my game!

Sakata Kintoki: I keep gettin' nervous in here. Dammit, I just gotta get used to this place already.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Do you mean you still don't feel at home here, Kintoki?

Sakata Kintoki: !

Sakata Kintoki: Raikou...!

Sakata Kintoki: N-no, it's not that...

Sakata Kintoki: I just meant that, uh, I didn't wanna do anything rude, that's all!

Sakata Kintoki: If it sounded like I was sayin' somethin' else, I apologize!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: That's quite all right.

Fujimaru 1: (It's Raikou...)

Fujimaru 1: (But she seems...different somehow.)

Fujimaru 2: (But she's so cold... It's like the air itself is frozen over.)

Danzo: (Her aura is truly frigid! It may be different from a swordfighter's aura, or bloodlust, but it has frozen me in place all the same.)

Danzo: (And if it is affecting a puppet like me this much, it must be even worse for you, Master!)

Danzo: (Please, steady your breathing and try to remain conscious!)

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Firstly, welcome home, Kintoki.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I am glad to see you're safe and sound. That is the most important thing.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: We will discuss your punishment for your... unauthorized excursion later.

Sakata Kintoki: P-punishment! But Raikou, I–

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki: Y-yes, ma'am.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Now, these people you've brought with you...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Who are they?

Fujimaru 1: (Her gaze is like ice!!!)

Danzo: (Indeed it is!)

Danzo: (I see almost nothing of the maternal figure we know.)

Danzo: (I have no doubt that so much as one wrong word from us will see her cut us to pieces on the spot!)

Danzo: (Please be extremely cautious, Master!)

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Answer me, Kintoki. Who are these people?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: If you refuse to answer, I will decide what to do with them here and now.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Is that what you want, Kintoki?

Sakata Kintoki: Raikou.

Sakata Kintoki: I mean... Mother!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ... ...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Y-yes?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Wh-wh-where did that come from, Kintoki!? You haven't called me “Mother” in ages! A-and in front of strangers, no less!?

Fujimaru 1: Aha!

Fujimaru 2: Nice one, Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki: Mother, these two are new friends of mine! Also, I was hoping to ask you about the young girl who let us in.

Sakata Kintoki: Is she the child of one of our warriors?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh my goodness! Is that true, Kintoki!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh, as for the girl... Ah!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: So she went outside on her own again? And after I told her how dangerous it was right now, too.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh goodness, whatever am I going to do with her?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh! But she's safely back inside now, yes? Thank goodness...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh Kintoki, you're such a good boy, getting her back inside!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I knew I raised you right! And just look at how big and strong you've grown, too!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: In fact, I think you have gotten even bigger since you ran away!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Just look at your arms! Hehe, those are strong Genji arms if ever I've seen them!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: This may just call for another coming of age ceremony!

Sakata Kintoki: Hey, come on, Mother, that's just crazy talk!

Sakata Kintoki: Besides, I haven't changed at all! I mean, it hasn't been THAT long since I left, right?

Sakata Kintoki: Also, what the hell are Genji arms!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Hehehehe.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Ahh, children. They grow up so fast...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh Kintoki, you were so small and adorable when you were a child, and now you've grown up so big and strong.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Hehe. You know, you were just about the same size then as she is now.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Ahh, this is so touching. It won't be long now before you're the one carrying me on your back.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: In fact, why don't we do some training right now? Go on, Kintoki, carry Mother on your back.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Go on. Go on!

Fujimaru 1: Phew. Now that's the Raikou I know.

Fujimaru 2: (Nod sagely)

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Hm?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Now, who are these people?

Danzo: Again!?

Sakata Kintoki: I already told you, Mother! They're my friends!

Sakata Kintoki: It's not like I've just been sleeping out on the streets. My friends and I've been doin' all sorts of things.

Sakata Kintoki: And nothin' to be ashamed about, either! In fact, it's the total opposite!

Sakata Kintoki: We've been runnin' around tryin' to stop an evil plot that threatens the whole–

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ... ...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ... ...???

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Huh?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Friends?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Did you say these people are your friends?

Sakata Kintoki: Sure did.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Even though [♂ one /♀️ both] of them [♂ is a woman /♀️ are women]?

Fujimaru 1: It's not like that, Raikou.

Fujimaru 2: W-we really are just friends. I promise.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I see. Well, that's a relief.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: So then, that would mean...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: !!!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh my... Oh my! I can't believe it!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Kintoki! This is the first time you've ever brought friends home!

Danzo: Oh my, really?

Sakata Kintoki: Uh, Raikou–I mean, Mother, that's–

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh my, oh my! Hehehehe. Oh, goodness, I can't stop smiling!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Well, this is just delightful. Thank you so much for coming.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Please, right this way. Make yourselves at home!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Would you like some sweets imported from Hakata? Oh, or perhaps you'd prefer peaches or pears?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Please, by all means...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...stay and relax for the rest of the day!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh, this is wonderful! You simply must tell me all about what Kintoki is like as a friend!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh, yes! You will stay for dinner, won't you?

Fujimaru 1: ...Y-yes, ma'am.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh, perfect!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I hope you brought your appetites! I'll cook so many delicious things you won't know what to eat first!

Section 8: Friends and Children (Second Half)

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Go ahead. Don't be shy.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: It's not every day Kintoki brings friends over, so I did my very best to prepare something scrumptious.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I must say though, I don't think I've ever seen outfits like yours here in Kyo before.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Perhaps you got them around Hakata, which means you must be from out west. I do hope you like the food.

Fujimaru 1: Everything looks delicious.

Fujimaru 2: Thank you, Raikou.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Not at all. Thank you so much for being Kintoki's friends.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Now, go on. Eat up.

Sakata Kintoki: Ooh, this venison is great! (Munch, munch)

Sakata Kintoki: And is this... All right! Steamed abalone! Man, what a feast! (Munch, munch)

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Hehehe. I know how much you love white rice, Kintoki, so I made lots of that, too. You're welcome to have seconds, or even thirds.

Sakata Kintoki: Aww righ'! (Munch, munch)

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh goodness, there you go stuffing your mouth again. I see you haven't broken that habit.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh, but you're so big and strong now. And you've even brought friends today.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Normally I would nag you about your table manners, but today, I'll give it a rest. Ahh, this is so lovely!

Sakata Kintoki: Ooh, this roast chicken's yummy, too!

Danzo: It's pheasant.

Danzo: Did you use hishio to season it? Interesting. I never thought about making it like this.

Fujimaru 1: The food here's so different than at Kaoruko's house.

Fujimaru 2: It seems like there are a lot more meat dishes here than at Kaoruko's house.

Danzo: Yes, that's true.

Danzo: Lady Kaoruko's house always served very soft rice paired with soup, dried fish, and seaweed-based dishes.

Danzo: I don't think I saw a single meat dish there. Perhaps it was done to follow the Buddha's teachings.

Danzo: But it is a very different story here.

Sakata Kintoki: It's 'cause Genji warriors are cut from a different cloth than the nobility.

Danzo: I suspect these much larger portions of food may be just what you need, Master.

Danzo: After all, you must be exhausted from all the battles you have been fighting as of late. Now is a perfect chance for you to replenish your proteins!

Danzo: Now here, have some of this pheasant. And these stewed yams.

Fujimaru 1: (Munch, munch)

Fujimaru 1: Yup, Genji food is amazing.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh my, oh my♡

Minamoto-no-Raikou: You do have a healthy appetite, don't you! It's almost as though you were Kintoki's long lost little [♂ brother /♀️ sister]!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: It makes me want to welcome you into the family as one of my own children!

Danzo: (I was a little worried how things would go earlier, but now...)

Danzo: (...I think we should be able to bring up the subject of Shuten-Douji possibly coming after Lady Raikou here.)

Danzo: (We may also be able to discuss the dangers of the Imperial Holy Grail War.)

Fujimaru 1: (Nod)

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, right. Speakin' of children, Raikou, I still wanted to ask you about–

Child: Would you like some wine too, Kintoki?

Child: I was told it's one of your favorite things, so I brought you some from the kitchen. Aren't I considerate?

Sakata Kintoki: Ooh, thanks. Don't mind if I do.

Sakata Kintoki: Wait, hang on. Where were you up till now? I didn't see you once before sundown.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh, she loves to go off and play on her own. Don't you?

Child: Oh yes, I do. I know all sorts of games.

Child: So I know how to play all on my own. I'm fine doing that.

Child: But I'd still like to play with friends if I could. ...Will you play with me, Kintoki?

Sakata Kintoki: Hm?

Child: Will you?

Sakata Kintoki: ...O-okay, sure. 'Sides, I still need to thank you for showin' us the way.

Child: How about you?

Danzo: Me? ...All right. Um, but only when I have time between assignments.

Child: And how about you?

Fujimaru 1: Sure, I can play with you.

Fujimaru 1: But not right now, I'm afraid.

Fujimaru 2: But right now, there's something else I need to do.

Child: ...Oh.

Sakata Kintoki: By the way, Raikou–I mean, Mother, is this kid one of the warriors' children?

Sakata Kintoki: I've never seen her before, but she seems to know her way around the house real well.

Sakata Kintoki: Don't tell me you actually adopted her. Did you?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: No, not exactly...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I-I mean, um, yes, that is essentially what I did.

Sakata Kintoki: Then is she related to Lord Mitsunaka somehow?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: No, Father–I mean... Lord Mitsunaka does not know about her.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: It was my decision to keep her here.

Sakata Kintoki: Oh yeah?

Fujimaru 1: Who's Mitsunaka?

Danzo: He is Lady Raikou's father. He was one of the founders of the Settsu Genji, and used to lead them as well.

Fujimaru 2: Minamoto-no-Mitsunaka was the founder of theSettsu Genji as well as Raikou's father, right?

Danzo: Indeed, I believe that is the Lord Mitsunaka of whom they speak.

Sakata Kintoki: So she ain't one of the warriors' kids. And you're keepin' her at the house...

Sakata Kintoki: ...but Lord Mitsunaka doesn't know about her. Raikou, is she...?

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: (...Is she your Caster?)

Sakata Kintoki: (Yeah, that's it! That's my in!)

Sakata Kintoki: (It's perfect. I can just bring that up then move on to Shuten and the Imperial Holy Grail War!)

Child: ...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh my...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: What is it? Why are you clinging to me like that?

Child: ...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: It's okay. We're in my house now. Nobody is going to hurt you.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: That goes for Kintoki, and Kintoki's friends, too. You have nothing to worry about.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Isn't that right, Kintoki?

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah. We'd never hurt a kid.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Nobody blames you for anything. That goes for both Kintoki and myself.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: It's okay.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Young lady, would you mind looking after her for a while?

Danzo: Not at all. Here, young miss, come with me.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Thank you. Now then...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: You're being very rude. What do you think you're doing, hiding silently in the shadows.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Show yourself, Tsuna.

Sakata Kintoki: !

Danzo: ...! Master, you get behind me, too.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Impressive, Leader. I apologize for my poor manners.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I never thought you would notice me here, particularly with a foreign spell aiding in my concealment.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Furthermore, Lady Minamoto-no-Raikou, leader of the Genji, there is something else I must apologize to you for.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Tsuna...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I have heard about your Imperial Holy Grail War exploits. It sounds as though you're doing quite well for yourself.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: It has been a long time, Leader.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I hope you can forgive my ineptitude in sending Lord Usui and Lord Urabe to the hot springs; I was unable to hold back when we fought.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: You didn't do anything wrong. The fact that Usui and Urabe lost to you just goes to show they still have a ways to improve.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: And above all, the Minister of the Left himself has emphasized how important the Imperial Holy Grail War ritual is.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I am honored that three of my Genji warriors were selected to take part in it.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Raise your head, Tsuna. Your deeds are not mine to punish.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Understood.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...I am delighted to have your forgiveness, Lady Raikou.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Kintoki. I see. So you and your companions are here as well.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I heard about how you let those oni escape. So, you're still as soft on them as ever.

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Listen well, Kintoki. I speak now not as a Master, but as one of the Four Heavenly Kings.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: As those entrusted by Lady Raikou with Kyo's defense, our blades must be both certain and unyielding.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: You should be ashamed of yourself for being so lenient, Sakata Kintoki. Ask yourself this: What should a Genji warrior be?

Sakata Kintoki: Heh.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...Hm?

Sakata Kintoki: What should a Genji warrior be, huh? That's a great question.

Sakata Kintoki: How about you, Brother? You ever ask yourself that?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...So, you still have the courage to talk back to me. Interesting.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: All right, I'll bite. I know far better than you what a Genji warrior should be.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: By the way, Leader.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Yes?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Do you smell that?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: !

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Though faint, it is clearly the scent of monsters. How did you not notice it sooner?

Sakata Kintoki: Monsters, huh. Yeah, you're right. I do smell 'em.

Sakata Kintoki: But I also learned that you don't know as much as I thought you did, Brother.

Sakata Kintoki: This scent doesn't just belong to monsters. In the world beyond tomorrow, they call it “magical energy.”

Sakata Kintoki: Ain't that right...

Sakata Kintoki:


Shuten-Douji's Voice: Aww. You beat me here?


Shuten-Douji's Voice: Aww. You beat me here?

Danzo: I'm detecting magical energy along with that voice! It's coming from the western yard!

Sakata Kintoki: Got it!

Sakata Kintoki: Hrah!

Shuten-Douji: Oh my. I didn't come here to play with you, you know.

Shuten-Douji: Raikou's inside, right? Send her out.

Ibaraki-Douji: Ugh, you're STILL talking!? I've had enough! Now that we're here, I'm gonna wipe out all of the Genji!

Ibaraki-Douji: Torakuma!

Sakata Kintoki: So, you finally made your move, huh, Shuten!?

Sakata Kintoki: Well, you're not gettin' past me. I don't know what it is you lot are up to, but it ends here.

Sakata Kintoki: That'll wrap things up nicely, and make it way easier to convince Raikou about what's goin' on!

Sakata Kintoki: Even if I have to cut off one of your arms to do it...!

Fujimaru 1: Kintoki!

Fujimaru 2: Shuten!

Danzo: Lord Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki: Rrraaaaaah!!!

Shuten-Douji: Ugh. What a brat!

Shuten-Douji: Fiiine. If you're that eager to play, I'm game. Just don't cry to me if you lose an arm, a leg, or your head. 'Kay?

Sakata Kintoki: I see you up there!

Sakata Kintoki: Come on, Fujimaru! I hate to say it, but I can't beat her alone!

Sakata Kintoki: Help me out here!

Fujimaru 1: Of course I will!

Sakata Kintoki: Danzo, you watch over the kid! I'm sure Mother'll keep her safe too, but you can't be too careful!

Fujimaru 1: Please do what he says, Danzo.

Fujimaru 2: Kintoki and I'll hold Shuten-Douji back!

Danzo: Understood! Good luck!

Shuten-Douji: What a pretty full moon...

Shuten-Douji: Hey brat, how long has it been since the last time we just sat back and enjoyed the moon like this?

Shuten-Douji: Remember that time we had wine but no dumplings? How we just talked and laughed and enjoyed each other's company?

Shuten-Douji: Or did you forget all about it? Aww, I'm hurt.

Shuten-Douji: It makes me so sad, and lonely, and hot...

Shuten-Douji: ...that I feel like drinking your warm, steaming blood.

Shuten-Douji: Although, that [♂ boy /♀️ girl] next to you also looks pretty delicious. Seems like [♂ he /♀️ she] recognizes me, too.

Shuten-Douji: Great. Now everyone will know what a fickle oni I am.

Shuten-Douji: ...Say, I don't suppose you'd let me have a bite, would you?

Shuten-Douji: Just one liiittle bite of flesh and some nice, fresh blood to wash it down?

Sakata Kintoki: Hell no! What are you, stupid!?

Sakata Kintoki: That's an insane thing to ask someone you know well, let alone someone you've basically just met.

Sakata Kintoki: There's no one in the world stupid enough to just go, “Sure, go nuts. I wasn't usin' that arm, anyway.”

Sakata Kintoki: Save that crap for the other oni in hell.

Shuten-Douji: Aww, you think? I've met people who were fine with letting me have a bite.

Sakata Kintoki: ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Then I guess I've learned somethin' today!

Sakata Kintoki: The other warriors'll take care of Torakuma. Raikou and Brother Tsuna can handle Ibaraki no problem.

Sakata Kintoki: So once I capture you, this'll be over for good, and the Genji'll have won!

Shuten-Douji: If this was just between the Genji and the oni, sure, you might be right.

Shuten-Douji: But I wouldn't be so certain if I were you, brat!

Shuten-Douji: Remember, this is the Imperial Holy Grail War. Anything goes here, even oni joining the festivities!

Shuten-Douji: There's just no telling what could happen!


Minamoto-no-Raikou: Kintoki and my warriors are all fighting so valiantly against the oni.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Kintoki is fighting Shuten-Douji. My warriors are fighting the enormous oni in the yard.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: And I...

Danzo: Lady Raikou, rest assured that I will keep the child safe at all costs. Please, go lend Lord Kintoki and the other warriors your aid.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Yes, I suppose I should.

Child: Raikou, Raikou, please don't worry about me.

Child: You should go help Kintoki. You musn't lose your precious child.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: You're one of my dearest friends, too. I...

Danzo: (Friend?)

Child: Oh Raikou. Monjumaru. Still as needy as ever, I see.

Danzo: Medea Lily! Watanabe-no-Tsuna's Servant!

Medea Lily: There you go saying my True Name again... We must have met in another Holy Grail War.

Medea Lily: But never mind that. Right now, I'm here to talk to you, “child.”

Medea Lily: I see you've been lucky enough to find a very kind Master.

Medea Lily: must also be aware that you'll never be able to win like this.

Child: I am.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Who are you!? Stay away from that girl!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: One more step, and I'll cut you down where you stand. I mean it.

Medea Lily: Lady Raikou.

Medea Lily: I don't know how the oni figured it out–perhaps a familiar to spy on you, or a spell of far-sightedness– but they know who that girl is.

Medea Lily: That's why they've broken through the Bounded Field surrounding Kyo to attack your house.

Medea Lily: And they're not the only ones. Lord Kintoki has figured it out, too.

Medea Lily: That girl is your Caster, isn't she?

Ibaraki-Douji: Tsunaaa!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Ibaraki.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I have no reason to cross swords with anyone who is not a Master. Go back to your mountain.

Ibaraki-Douji: ...What was that?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: You are not my quarry, Ibaraki. Settle down.

Ibaraki-Douji: Are you...mocking me?

Ibaraki-Douji: You're mocking me, aren't you, Tsuna!?

Ibaraki-Douji: Can't you see me!? I'm standing right here in front of you!

Ibaraki-Douji: So who else could you possibly be looking at right now!?

Ibaraki-Douji: Are you saying I'm not worth drawing your precious blade against!? How dare you!? How dare you!?!?!?

Ibaraki-Douji: That does it! I'm gonna devour you bones and all! No, wait! On second thought, I'll just tear the flesh off you and throw the bones away!

Ibaraki-Douji: Then I'll mount them up on Suzaku Avenue for everyone to see! When I'm done with you, you won't even–

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ... ...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...Tell me something, Ibaraki.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: How many people have you devoured since you began hiding away on Mt. Ooe?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Could it be...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...that you still have yet to imbibe so much as a single drop of human blood?

Ibaraki-Douji: Shut up.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Do you still not remember anything?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Who you are? Where you were born? How you were raised?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: What happened in that house?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Do you not remember that person, and what you did to–

Ibaraki-Douji: Shut up.

Ibaraki-Douji: Shut up. Shut up.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Ibaraki.

Ibaraki-Douji: Shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up SHUT UP!

Ibaraki-Douji: Give me back my arm, Watanabe-no-Tsunaaa!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: !

Ibaraki-Douji: Ahahahahahaha! You fell for it, Tsuna! I'm not here for you this time!

Ibaraki-Douji: I'm here for...

Danzo: Lady Raikou!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...!?

Ibaraki-Douji: Your head!!!

Ibaraki-Douji: ...Huh?

Ibaraki-Douji: I could've sworn I cut off Raikou's head...

Ibaraki-Douji: So then...

Ibaraki-Douji: ...why's this girl I've never seen before on the floor covered in blood?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: A-ahhh! No... No! Why? Why!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Wh-why...why did you...did you take the blow...f-for me!?

Child: It's okay...

Child: It's okay, Raikou. This is how it should be.

Child: We had already grown close even before I was inscribed as a Heroic Spirit.

Child: And why wouldn't we want...

Child: save a friend...?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Ah... Ahhh... No... No...

Danzo: I sorry...

Danzo: I rushed to her defense as fast as I could, but Ibaraki-Douji was far too strong for me to withstand her blow!

Child: It's okay. I'm grateful to you, too.

Child: But it's okay if I end here.

Child: We won't really be gone for good.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh no, she won't stop bleeding. The blow must have reached her Spirit Core...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Why...? Why, Caster!?

Ibaraki-Douji: ...Huh?

Ibaraki-Douji: I don't get it. Why's that kid the one bleeding? I was sure my claws struck Raikou...

Ibaraki-Douji: I thought I could use them...

Ibaraki-Douji: help Shuten, and all the other oni...

Ibaraki-Douji: She told me to do this only a few minutes ago...

Ibaraki-Douji: And I promised I would...

Ibaraki-Douji: I thought cutting off one measly human's head would be m-much e-easier...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...Ibaraki.

Ibaraki-Douji: E-eee!

Paracelsus: It's all right, Lady Ibaraki. Please, take Lord Torakuma and go back to the mountain.

Paracelsus: You have done more than enough. In fact, this went exactly as Lady Shuten-Douji and I planned.

Paracelsus: You haven't done anything wrong.

Paracelsus: We expected Caster to defend Lady Raikou if she were to be attacked.

Paracelsus: Everything is playing out as we predicted. I'm afraid we didn't tell you the entire plan, though.

Paracelsus: After all, it accounted for you being unable to wield your claws against anyone other than warriors or imperial officers.

Paracelsus: At any rate, don't worry about a thing. I'll take it from here.

Ibaraki-Douji: B-but I... This wasn't what I... How am I supposed to tell Shuten about this!?

Paracelsus: It's okay. Lady Shuten-Douji will be thrilled with what you've done. Now please, go back to the castle and rest up.

Paracelsus: ...Now then.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: So you're Shuten-Douji's Caster. Impressive trick.

Paracelsus: Not nearly so impressive as the one accomplished by the young Heroic Spirit Lady Raikou now cradles in her arms.

Paracelsus: She actually managed to erase her presence completely by totally suppressing her magical energy. Truly astonishing.

Paracelsus: While I have heard such a thing was possible with certain Heroic Spirits' unique Noble Phantasms, it's another thing altogether to see it for oneself.

Paracelsus: And indeed, I do see now how that childlike Heroic Spirit managed to accomplish such a feat.

Paracelsus: She possesses both a great many forms...

Paracelsus: ...and none at all.

Paracelsus: She is the embodiment of the ever-changing fairy tale... Nursery Rhyme.


Fujimaru 1: (That girl was Nursery Rhyme!?)

Fujimaru 1: (I wish I could go down and check on them...but I can't now!)

Fujimaru 2: (I have to hold Shuten-Douji here!)

Shuten-Douji: Say, Kintoki.

Shuten-Douji: Did you notice that girl back there was actually a Servant?

Sakata Kintoki: ...More or less.

Sakata Kintoki: You lot prob'ly figured it out the same way I did. I thought Raikou might be a Master...

Sakata Kintoki: ...and when I showed up, there was a kid here I'd never seen before. Wasn't hard to put two and two together.

Sakata Kintoki: Thinkin' about it now, it all makes sense.

Sakata Kintoki: Of course Raikou was gonna do everything she could to keep a Caster who looked like a little kid safe.

Sakata Kintoki: There's no way she would've ever even considered usin' a child as a tool for battle.

Sakata Kintoki: Not when she's always had her heart set on bein' a mother!

Sakata Kintoki: That's almost certainly why she's been holin' up in her house all this time...

Sakata Kintoki: ...and why she was so wary of you and Danzo.

Sakata Kintoki: She was constantly on guard against another Master attacking, all so she could keep that girl safe.

Sakata Kintoki: And now... Dammit! It's all my fault!

Sakata Kintoki: If I hadn't shown up...she'd never have dropped her guard enough for the oni to sneak in!

Fujimaru 1: Kintoki...!

Fujimaru 2: It's not your fault. I couldn't do anything to stop them, either...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Thanks, Fujimaru. But no, this was my screwup.

Sakata Kintoki: I should've told you and Danzo about Raikou sooner, but I couldn't.

Sakata Kintoki: Dammit... Dammit!

Sakata Kintoki:

I'm such an idiot!

Shuten-Douji: ...Heh.

Shuten-Douji: Hehe, ahaha, ahahahahahahaha. Oh, if only you could see your face!

Shuten-Douji: It's true, you are an idiot. Too bad things didn't work out.

Shuten-Douji: Ahh, this is so much fun. I am loooving this Imperial Holy Grail War things.

Shuten-Douji: A little push and pull between other Masters, and suddenly I'm easily doing things I could never do normally.

Shuten-Douji: Take that scary, scaaary Minamoto-no-Raikou, for instance.

Shuten-Douji: She must have slain hundreds, if not thousands of monsters...enough to make a mala with heads instead of beads...

Shuten-Douji: ...but now, we've got her bawling like a little baby.

Shuten-Douji: Why, I'd even call her adorable now. Ahh, this is sooo much fun!

Shuten-Douji: In fact, you know what?

Shuten-Douji: I bet we could even fight on the same side right now, even if only for a little while.

Shuten-Douji: Wouldn't that be fun?

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Shuten-Douji: Oh well, too bad.

Shuten-Douji: It won't be long now before Raikou's Caster is gone for good.

Shuten-Douji: I do hope you don't mind that we broke her.

Shuten-Douji: I mean, you know how inflexible Tsuna can be, right?

Shuten-Douji: Besides, Kintoki. Yes, you. The brat with the blue eyes and blond hair.

Shuten-Douji: You're stiiill not ready to kill us yet, are you?

Sakata Kintoki: ...

Shuten-Douji: Fufufu.

Shuten-Douji: You're just like Ibaraki, aren't you?

Shuten-Douji: Oh, speaking of which, didn't she say anything to you before?

Shuten-Douji: Forget the Imperial Holy Grail War for now. You do know that the bigger you grow...

Shuten-Douji: ...and the stronger you get...the more you lose more of those wild instincts you had when you were little, right?

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: Where do you–

Shuten-Douji: Uh-oh, did I upset you? Oh my, you're scaring me!

Shuten-Douji: Fufufufufufu...

Shuten-Douji: So, you ready to kill now? I know I am.

Shuten-Douji: I've been ready to kill or be killed for a long time now.

Shuten-Douji: That's why I've told you nicely, ooover and over, that you could have it either way with me.

Shuten-Douji: But you never take me up on it.

Sakata Kintoki:

Shut up!

Sakata Kintoki: ...!

Fujimaru 1: Uh-oh...

Fujimaru 1: I've got a bad feeling about this, Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki: You too, huh!? Dammit, what's up with all these chills runnin' down my spine!?

Sakata Kintoki: Wait, that's it! I recognize this... It's her Divine Power!

Sakata Kintoki: Shuten! How much do you know about her!?

Shuten-Douji: Oh no, you don't. You're not going anywhere.

Sakata Kintoki: ...!!!

Fujimaru 1: Kintoki!?

Fujimaru 2: Hey, why're you grabbing me!?

Sakata Kintoki: Sorry, Fujimaru, but I need you to stop Raikou before she destroys all of Kyo!

Sakata Kintoki: I'll keep Shuten busy somehow! Now go!

Fujimaru 1: He threw me! He actually threw me!

Fujimaru 1: Wow, I can't believe this hang time.

Fujimaru 2: Feels like I've been up here for a weirdly long time.

Fujimaru 1: Ohcrapohcrapohcrap!

Fujimaru 2: Okay, cover my head, tuck in my knees, and...

Fujimaru 1: I did it!

Fujimaru 2: It wasn't as high up as I thought!

Fujimaru 1: Raikou!

Shuten-Douji: Fufufufufufufufu. Hey, brat.

Shuten-Douji: I bet you're worried sick right about now, huh?

Shuten-Douji: You want to know how much I know?

Sakata Kintoki: ...

Shuten-Douji: Oh my, how scary. Why're you staring at me like that? Looking for an opening?

Shuten-Douji: Mmm, that's fine. You go riiight ahead and cut my head off if you like.

Shuten-Douji: Aww, you're no fun.

Shuten-Douji: That's right. I know aaall about the cow.

Shuten-Douji: Minamoto-no-Raikou, the strongest warrior in the entire Genji bloodline. She's single-handedly killed thousands of oni, tsuchigumo, and other various creatures.

Shuten-Douji: Buuut...she can't actually fully control her own power.

Shuten-Douji: No, the only one who can do that is her other self –the part of her that sleeps deep within her heart.

Shuten-Douji: Gozu-Tenno! The guardian god of the Jetavana monastery! In Sanskrit, they're known as Gośirsa Devarāja!

Shuten-Douji: And in one sutra, it's said that Gozu-Tenno appears identical to Indra.

Shuten-Douji: Which means the cow's other self has the power of the god of thunder...

Shuten-Douji: Ushi Gozen.

Shuten-Douji: Normally, Ushi Gozen sleeps deep in her subconscious...

Shuten-Douji: ...but I bet she'll wake up if something happens to the cow, don't you?

Sakata Kintoki: Not if I have anything to say about it!

Sakata Kintoki: Ushi Gozen is no more! I defeated her myself during a trip out east!

Sakata Kintoki: ...Well, technically, I guess I just convinced her to go to sleep.

Shuten-Douji: Huh. Is that right?

Shuten-Douji: That's all well and good, too, of course. But I'm not so sure I buy it.

Shuten-Douji: How about a contest then? If I win, it's going to be one hell of a festival.

Shuten-Douji: Mmm, I wonder what'll happen if the raging god of thunder releases aaall of her power at once?

Shuten-Douji: How many do you think will die, brat?

Shuten-Douji: Let's see, there's nobles, warriors, commoners...

Shuten-Douji: Lowlifes...those on their way to becoming oni...wandering tsuchigumo...

Shuten-Douji: Old people, young people, sick people, healthy people...

Shuten-Douji: All of them, gone in a flash.

Shuten-Douji: So what do you think? A hundred? A thousand? Tens of thousands? Even more?

Shuten-Douji: How many do you think will die all at once?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...

Danzo: Lady Raikou!

Danzo: Khh, the very air is permeated with so much magical energy it's generating lightning! I can't even get close to her!

Paracelsus: Spectacular.

Paracelsus: So this is a Spirit Origin Ascension–a transformation, I suppose. But so far, the transformation is still confined to her body.

Paracelsus: She'll need to completely transform her mind as well if she's going to draw out her full magical energy at maximum effectiveness.

Paracelsus: Perhaps this spell I prepared will do the trick.

Paracelsus: I'm sure it will result in massive destruction, but that hardly matters.

Paracelsus: I already gave my oath that I would never betray my Master again.

Fujimaru 1: Wait! Don't cast that spell!

Fujimaru 2: Raikou!

Danzo: Master!

Danzo: The girl suffered a grave injury when she defended Lady Raikou from an attack...and now Lady Raikou is building up enough high-density magical energy to trigger a change in her Spirit Origin!

Danzo: With Lord Tsuna's permission, Lady Medea has been casting her most advanced healing spells on the girl...

Danzo: But I'm afraid the situation remains dire!

Fujimaru 1: Don't worry. I have a good idea of what's going on.

Fujimaru 2: I'll try my Mystic Code healing spell!

Fujimaru 1: ...I'm sorry, Danzo, but you'll have to wait a little longer.

Child: Ngh...

Medea Lily: !

Medea Lily: It's working...? But she hardly responded to my Age-of-Gods-level spells. How did you–

Medea Lily: Never mind. I can worry about that later! Please, give her more magical energy! It may be our only chance!

Fujimaru 1: Got it!

Child: Nnn...

Child: Ghh... Ah... Ahh... Rai... Raikou...

Danzo: I'm detecting signs of life. Well, more that she's recovered to the point I can detect her vital signs...

Medea Lily: Her Spirit Core has been damaged. It's definitely a fatal injury.

Medea Lily: But if we feed her more magical energy that agrees with her, she should be able to at least converse for a short while...

Fujimaru 1: So it's still not enough? Got it!

Fujimaru 2: Then I'll use another Mystic Code healing spell!


Medea Lily: (She stood up!)

Medea Lily: (How did she do that? Her Spirit Core is almost completely shattered.)

Child: ...Thank you. It's okay. I don't need any more magical energy.

Child: You'll die if you give me any more. So please, no more.

Child: I'm okay now. Thank you, Fujimaru.

Child: Why don't you repair Danzo now? That healing spell should work on her, too.

Fujimaru 1: So you really are Nursery Rhyme.

Nursery Rhyme: ...Raikou. Monjumaru.

Nursery Rhyme: Can you hear me?

Nursery Rhyme: Please don't be upset. You don't have to be upset.

Nursery Rhyme: Even if I disappear in this form, we'll always be inside you.

Nursery Rhyme: We're nursery rhymes, after all. We'll always be right there in every story you remember.

Nursery Rhyme: Raikou. Raikou.

Nursery Rhyme: Please, listen to me.

Nursery Rhyme: I'll always be your friend...but I'm not your child.

Nursery Rhyme: So please, don't get so angry over this. Over me.

Nursery Rhyme: Remember, we'll always be together.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Ah...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: It's you...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Nursery look just as you did the first time we met...

Nursery Rhyme: I'm sorry, Raikou. I'm so sorry.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Please, don't be. It is I who owes you an apology.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: You stayed close to me because you knew I wanted to be a mother.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Even though the real you...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: All of you...were my oldest friends.

Shuten-Douji: ...Huh?

Shuten-Douji: So Ushi Gozen's a no-show? Boooring.

Shuten-Douji: Well, this has been a real disappointment.

Shuten-Douji: I had no idea you were so damned boring, Raik–

Sakata Kintoki:

Nothing wrong with being boring!

Shuten-Douji: ...Well, well.

Paracelsus: Welcome back, my lady.

Shuten-Douji: What happened here, Paracelsus?

Paracelsus: I'm afraid our plan has failed. We assumed Lady Raikou's Heroic Spirit would be a young child...

Paracelsus: ...but unfortunately, the plan was doomed to fail when that young child turned out to be Nursery Rhyme.

Paracelsus: ...Nursery Rhyme.

Paracelsus: Though her Heroic Spirit may embody England's fairy tales, children's stories have always existed in every time and culture.

Paracelsus: Naturally, Japan is no exception.

Paracelsus: So even though this is not her native land...the fact remains that, as a Heroic Spirit, she personifies stories meant to entertain.

Paracelsus: Which means she and Lady Raikou shared a deep bond, even despite their cultural distance.

Paracelsus: And so our plan to destroy Heian-kyo by reviving Ushi Gozen was doomed to fail.

Shuten-Douji: Hmm.

Shuten-Douji: Well, whatever.

Shuten-Douji: I thought it'd be easier to win this Imperial Holy whatsit if all of Kyo were in ruins, but nothing we can do now.

Shuten-Douji: Might as well just take out these two Heroic Spirits while we're here and save ourselves the hassle later.

Danzo: Shuten-Douji is channeling her magical energy!

Danzo: It is hard to believe such a small body is capable of holding that much magical energy!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Caster.

Medea Lily: Yes, Lord Tsuna. I'm ready whenever you are.

Sakata Kintoki: Wait. Hold on, Brother.

Sakata Kintoki: It's my fault things turned out this way. All of it.

Sakata Kintoki: So please, let me be the one to make it right. Let me protect Raikou and the girl.

Sakata Kintoki: No...I HAVE to protect them!

Sakata Kintoki: I have to keep my promise!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: That sounded like a warrior's pledge to me. All right, Kintoki, let's see what you've got!

Sakata Kintoki: You bet!!!

Fujimaru 1: You'd better not be talking about facing them alone!

Fujimaru 2: You'd better be including me in your lineup!

Sakata Kintoki: Of course I'm countin' on your help, Fujimaru! No...

Sakata Kintoki: Boss!

Shuten-Douji: ...Are you and your Genji buddies all done with your little cuddle party?

Shuten-Douji: Then let's get to it. Go on, Paracelsus.

Paracelsus: You who possess power. You who thirst, yearn, and struggle to make your wishes reality.

Paracelsus: If your desires are true, then join battle and kill as you must.

Paracelsus: For the only way forward to realizing your wishes is to use the power you possess to make your way through me!

Sakata Kintoki: Here they come!

Paracelsus: This is the bloodstained battlefield of Limbo, where the losing Heroic Spirit's soul shall be consumed upon defeat! The Imperial Deathmatch Stage!

Paracelsus: My True Name is Paracelsus von Hohenheim! This is where my sins, my regrets shall halt you in your tracks!

Paracelsus: Hear me, O frightful gods, and laugh! Hear me, O glittering sun, and shine!

Paracelsus: Now come, and show me the extent of your power! Show me what you will do to make your wish reality!

Sakata Kintoki: You and Shuten may have beaten me before, but today I'm gonna pay you back in spades!

Sakata Kintoki: I see your strength, and the depths of your resolve, and I'm ready to meet it in battle! In fact...

Sakata Kintoki: ...I'm gonna slap you sober, Shuten!

Shuten-Douji: Ahahahahahahahahaha! Bring it, brat!!!


Sakata Kintoki: Nooow I get it! You're right, Shuten! This Holy Grail War thing can be kinda fun!

Sakata Kintoki: Nah, more like thrilling. Ain't that right!?

Sakata Kintoki: Usually, it'd be damn near impossible to chase you down!

Sakata Kintoki: But right now, I don't have to bother fightin' you! I can just go for your friend's weak spot!

Shuten-Douji: Caster!

Sakata Kintoki:

Too slow!

Shuten-Douji: ...Well, well. Not bad, brat.

Shuten-Douji: I can't even be mad at you. We just pulled exactly the same trick.

Shuten-Douji: But you know, it's still not fair, brat.

Shuten-Douji: How was I supposed to figure you'd use a fully powered thunderbolt...

Shuten-Douji: go after my Caster instead of me?

Paracelsus: You said it, my lady. It seems we lost this one.

Paracelsus: That lightning struck my Spirit Core directly, and has shattered it.

Paracelsus: It's over.

Sakata Kintoki: Sorry 'bout that, Shuten's Caster! I know I didn't tell you before...but a Genji warrior never loses twice.

Sakata Kintoki: Especially not one of Raikou's Four Heavenly Kings when he means business.

Paracelsus: ...I see.

Fujimaru 1: I never got a chance to tell you this either, but...

Fujimaru 1: I actually know the truth about you, Paracelsus.

Paracelsus: My, my...

Paracelsus: I'm not sure if it was part of another Holy Grail War or not, but...another version of me fought by your side, then?

Paracelsus: No, on second thought, I won't pry further. I'll just say that I look forward to experiencing that myself.

Paracelsus: As for you, Master, this is the least I can do to try and apologize for my incompetence.

Shuten-Douji: Aww, you didn't have to do that, Caster.

Paracelsus: It was no trouble. Oh, and please give my regards to Lady Ibaraki and Lord Torakuma as well.

Paracelsus: Hmm. Now that our plan has failed, I feel even worse for tricking Ibaraki like that...

Paracelsus: But, oh well. Nothing I can do about it now. Hehe.

Paracelsus: Goodbye, my Master who danced amid the Holy Grail War on flames of pleasure.

Paracelsus: ...Good luck, everyone.

Paracelsus: I will be hoping from the great beyond that none of you fall prey to the Holy Grail's bewitching power.

Nursery Rhyme: ...So, he's gone.

Nursery Rhyme: That means I'm next. Would you hold my hand while I go, Raikou?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...

Nursery Rhyme: Ah, there it is.

Nursery Rhyme: It's so familiar, but so strange all at once. I wonder how many times we'll experience this.

Nursery Rhyme: Heroic Spirits are such strange beings...

Nursery Rhyme: I barely remember any of my materializations, and yet, deep down, it also feels like I'll never fully forget them.

Nursery Rhyme: I only hope that, after all these hellos and goodbyes...

Nursery Rhyme: ...we'll finally get a real ending...

Nursery Rhyme: Maybe, if I'm'll be a happily ever after...

Nursery Rhyme: Oh?

Sakata Kintoki: Huh?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ???

Danzo: What!?

Danzo: The destruction of her Spirit Core had her ether body falling apart...but it's completely stopped!

Medea Lily: Let me check her Spirit Origin. A moment, please...

Medea Lily: ... ...

Medea Lily: ...The wounds inflicted on her Spirit Core have closed. How did this happen?

Medea Lily: I suppose it could just be that her injuries weren't as serious as we thought...

Medea Lily: But I'm also certain that over half of her Spirit Core was shattered, which should have made her disappearance inevitable...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Then something impossible has transpired here. Isn't that right?

Medea Lily: Yes, Lord Tsuna.

Nursery Rhyme: So, um... Does this mean I'm not going to die after all?

Nursery Rhyme: Fujimaru?

Fujimaru 1: I'm not sure, but it looks that way.

Fujimaru 2: I don't know, but I'm glad your injuries seem to be healed.

Nursery Rhyme: Maybe it's because of the magical energy you gave me. We do seem to share a mysterious bond.

Nursery Rhyme: Oh, but then again...

Nursery Rhyme: Maybe it's thanks to you, handsome blond-haired blue-eyed Kintoki.

Sakata Kintoki: Me?

Nursery Rhyme: Yes, yes, that must be it. You were here too, weren't you!

Nursery Rhyme: You're a hero to Eastern children. You may not be a nursery rhyme, but you're still part of us, our fairy tales.

Nursery Rhyme: Your story may not be for everyone, but you still glow with its light.

Nursery Rhyme: So maybe it was your shiny lightning...

Nursery Rhyme: ...that filled in the missing parts of my Spirit Core when I was on the verge of vanishing.

Sakata Kintoki: Huh?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ???

Nursery Rhyme: Then again, maybe not. What do you think? Can you tell?

Nursery Rhyme: Do you feel anything...

Nursery Rhyme: ...Kintarou of Mt. Ashigara?

Sakata Kintoki: U-uh, I'm not sure.

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: Um... Who's Kintarou?

Section 9: Genji Meeting

Genji Warrior: Very well then, if I may...

Genji Warrior: Under our leader, Lady Raikou's authority, there are a number of matters we would like to verify.

Genji Warrior: If there are any objections, speak now.

Genji Warrior: I shall take your silence as assent.

Genji Warrior: At present, there remain three Casters summoned from other worlds for the purposes of the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Genji Warrior: One is Lady Medea Lily, Servant to Lord Watanabe-no-Tsuna.

Medea Lily: That's right.

Genji Warrior: One is Lady Nursery Rhyme, Servant to our leader, Lady Minamoto-no-Raikou herself.

Nursery Rhyme: ...

Sakata Kintoki: (Oh hey, she's back to her old self.)

Danzo: (Not exactly. If anything, I would say this is a new look for her, and the one we saw earlier is her old one.)

Fujimaru 1: (Exactly.)

Sakata Kintoki: (Oh, okay.)

Sakata Kintoki: (That does make sense when you think about it.)

Fujimaru 2: (Yeah, that's definitely not what Nursery Rhyme usually looks like.)

Danzo: (More accurately, I am told she is a Heroic Spirit who does not possess a defined appearance at all.)

Danzo: (The little girl with the poofy dress is but one of the forms she acquired after becoming a Heroic Spirit.)

Sakata Kintoki: (Oh... Uh, okay.)

Sakata Kintoki: (Man, this Heroic Spirit business is even more complicated than I thought.)

Genji Warrior: Ahem. We can hear you and your companions, Lord Kintoki. Kindly hold your tongues.

Genji Warrior: Do not forget that under normal circumstances, you would all have lost your heads for such rudeness.

Fujimaru 1: ...!

Fujimaru 2: Understood!

Sakata Kintoki: Hehe, sorry 'bout that. Guess even whispers carry when no one else is talkin'!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Behave yourself now, Kintoki. Mother doesn't want to have to cut off your head.

Sakata Kintoki: 'Kaaay.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Come now, I know you can do better than that.

Sakata Kintoki: Uh, yes, Mother!

Fujimaru 1: (Man, these Genji warriors really are impressive...)

Nursery Rhyme: Teeheeheehee.

Nursery Rhyme: So you're still getting in trouble, huh, Kintoki! I thought you'd be more grown-up by now.

Nursery Rhyme: Then again, maybe you want to be a child your whole life? Well, Kintarou?

Sakata Kintoki: Hm?

Sakata Kintoki: N-nnn. Nnnn...

Fujimaru 1: (He can't say “no”!?)

Nursery Rhyme: Teehee!

Fujimaru 2: (Don't worry. Kintoki's a very dependable grown-up!)

Nursery Rhyme: (Oh, right. We need to whisper, don't we?)

Nursery Rhyme: (Anyway, is that true? Is Kintoki really dependable?)

Nursery Rhyme: (I suppose he did save my life, but still...)

Danzo: (Oh yes. He is very dependable.)

Danzo: (Even Lord Kotarou has always said there is no one he trusts to help more than Lord Kintoki.)

Fujimaru 1: (I'm pretty sure he meant the Chaldea Kintoki, but true, he does say that.)

Fujimaru 2: (I guess this Kintoki and the Chaldea Kintoki are both Kintoki, so...yeah.)

Nursery Rhyme: (Oh, I see. I'm glad you have so many good friends, Kintoki.)

Nursery Rhyme: I'm proud of you, Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki: Th-thanks.

Sakata Kintoki: Uh, is it just me, or is she actin' like she's my big sister?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: A miracle, huh.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Caster, did you not tell me that a Heroic Spirit losing their Spirit Core was fatal?

Medea Lily: I did, Lord Tsuna. And normally, it would be.

Medea Lily: ...Which is why what happened with Nursery Rhyme was a miracle.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Hmm.

Medea Lily: Hmm, how can I explain this...

Medea Lily: For example, stories where the dead return to life, like the tale of Orpheus, have been told the world over for ages.

Medea Lily: So when two Heroic Spirits born from very similar legends, regardless of how their legends became so similar, encounter one another...

Medea Lily: More broadly speaking, when two Mystics with similar or identical roots encounter one another...

Medea Lily: It's entirely possible that some sort of reaction may result.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I see. I suppose I can understand that.

Medea Lily: However, that is not quite what happened here.

Medea Lily: Nursery Rhyme is a collection of Western stories, and the legend of Kintarou is only a single story.

Medea Lily: What's more, their stories have nothing in common, or at least, nothing readily apparent.

Medea Lily: So I simply cannot see how the two of them meeting could lead to Nursery Rhyme's Spirit Core repairing itself, at least with the knowledge I possess.

Medea Lily: And so, Lord Tsuna, the only word I have left to describe what occurred is–

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: “Miracle.”

Medea Lily: ...Yes. That's right.

Fujimaru 1: (...I overheard the whole thing.)

Fujimaru 1: (Come to think of it, it's weird, though.)

Fujimaru 2: (Why doesn't Kintoki know about “Kintarou of Mt. Ashigara”?)

Danzo: (If I may, Master, I have heard the story of Kintarou was originally created during the Edo period.)

Danzo: (As such, it is little wonder he would not be familiar with it now.)

Danzo: (Of course, as a Heroic Spirit, Lord Kintoki is fully aware of his other iteration, Kintarou.)

Danzo: (Lord Kotarou even mentioned how Lord Kintoki had some...opinions on whether or not Momotarou ever truly existed.)

Fujimaru 1: (Really? Tell me more.)

Danzo: (U-um, let me see. What was it he said again...?)

Danzo: (Oh no. I'm sorry, Master. It seems my memory retention is not functioning properly, so I'm unable to play back that memory for you...)

Danzo: (If nothing else, I did used to tell Lord Kotarou the story of the boy of Mt. Ashigara.)

Danzo: (At least...I think I did...)

Danzo: (A-at any rate, I believe that, whenever Lord Kotarou speaks of Kintarou of Mt. Ashigara...)

Danzo: (...he chooses his words carefully, out of respect for both you and the Heroic Spirit incarnation of Lord Kintoki.)

Danzo: (...I'm sorry I can't be more specific.)

Danzo: (I wish I wasn't so defective...)

Fujimaru 2: (No kidding.)

Danzo: (I suppose it just goes to show what it means to be a Heroic Spirit, to be the embodiment of myth and legend...)

Fujimaru 1: (You're not defective at all, Danzo.)

Danzo: (Thank you, Master. That is very kind of you.)

Fujimaru 2: (It's okay! Really! I was just curious, that's all!)

Danzo: (Thank you, Master. I will strive to do better in the future...)

Genji Warrior: Ahem!

Genji Warrior: May I remind you that we still have further matters to discuss! Are you all quite finished now!?

Genji Warrior: ...Thank you. Now, as I was saying...

Genji Warrior: Lady Medea Lily. Lady Nursery Rhyme.

Genji Warrior: And [♂ Lord /♀️ Lady] Fujimaru, Servant to Lord Sakata Kintoki, another of Lady Raikou's Four Heavenly Kings.

Genji Warrior: My understanding is that these are the names of the three Casters who still remain in the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Genji Warrior: Is that correct?

Fujimaru 1: Incorrect! Incorrect!

Fujimaru 2: I'm not even a Heroic Spirit, let alone a Caster!

Sakata Kintoki: Haha, looks like I wasn't the only one who was confused about that!

Sakata Kintoki: But yeah, Fujimaru is right. [♂ He's /♀️ She's] not a Caster from another world.

Sakata Kintoki: [♂ He /♀️ She] and Danzo are both visitors from the time beyond tomorrow's tomorrow.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: And what proof can you offer of that claim?

Sakata Kintoki: Huh?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: True, this Fujimaru person would seem not to be a Caster from a foreign land.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: But we still need to verify whether [♂ he /♀️ she] truly is who [♂ he /♀️ she] says [♂ he /♀️ she] is, and whether [♂ his /♀️ her] claims are true.

Genji Warrior: That's enough!

Genji Warrior: It is not for us to determine the truth of [♂ Lord /♀️ Lady] Fujimaru's claims, namely, that the Imperial Holy Grail War is actually an evil villain's plot.

Genji Warrior: No, that is a matter solely for our leader to decide!

Genji Warrior: Now then, what say you, Lady Raikou?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Ordinarily, yes, such a decision would be entirely mine to make.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: However, the ramifications of this decision may affect not only Lord Michinaga, but the entire of the palace.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Indeed, if what we have heard is true, then all of Japan may be at stake!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Which is why I have decided to hold a Genji Council beginning at noon today!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Very well then...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I hereby call this council to order. I trust everyone is ready to begin?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Of course.

Sakata Kintoki: You know it!

Fujimaru 1: ...I am.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Good. Then let's get started.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Our visitor claims that the Imperial Holy Grail War is in actuality a villain's plot.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: If this is true, then the consequences could be as dire as they are far-reaching.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: We, the Genji, leaders of the warrior class and those Lord Michinaga has charged with keeping the city of Kyo safe, cannot afford to ignore this potential threat.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Were we to do so, and this wicked plot succeeded, the shame would follow our clan for the rest of its days.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Even our territory in Settsu would likely not escape unscathed.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: However, having said that...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...we still lack any conclusive evidence to prove the veracity of these claims.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I myself owe [♂ Lord /♀️ Lady] Fujimaru a great debt for saving my dear Nursery Rhyme's life, and so I would like to believe that what [♂ he /♀️ she] says is true.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: But wishing does not make it so. We require proof.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I do hope you can understand that, [♂ Lord /♀️ Lady] Fujimaru.

Fujimaru 1: I know I don't have any concrete proof right now. But still–

Fujimaru 2: It's true, I don't have any proof right now. But still

Sakata Kintoki: Seems to me that if there's any room for doubt on somethin' this big, we should at least halt the deathmatches until we can get to the bottom of it, no?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: You make a good point, Kintoki. What do you think, Tsuna?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: No less a figure than the Minister of the Left personally commanded us to take part in this ritual.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Absent a different order from him, we should continue as planned.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: That is what I think.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Indeed. You make a good point as well.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...As you all know, we Genji pride ourselves on being the strongest warriors in all of Japan.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: You also know how we settle disagreements when words alone will not suffice.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: And so...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: will resolve your differences with your blades.

Fujimaru 1: !!!

Danzo: You mean, you want both parties to demonstrate their convictions in combat!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Indeed. What more fitting way could there be for two proud members of the Genji clan?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Each side will argue their stance with every strike of their blade, and defend their position in the same manner.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: It may not be quite the same as under my predecessors, but this is still the way of the Genji Council.

Danzo: ...Master.

Fujimaru 1: I can tell she's serious.

Danzo: Yes. That she is.

Fujimaru 1: I wish I could stop them...but I'm pretty sure I can't.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah, don't bother, Fujimaru. This is just what we need.

Sakata Kintoki: All I gotta do is win, and they'll listen to whatever we say.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah, it won't be easy goin' up against Brother Tsuna, but we can't turn down a chance like this.

Sakata Kintoki: I already decided I was gonna trust you, and once I make up my mind, I don't change it for anything!

Sakata Kintoki: Anyway...

Sakata Kintoki: Since I'm down a Caster, would you mind helpin' me out, Fujimaru!?

Sakata Kintoki: Otherwise, I don't think I can muster anything more than a tie, at best.

Fujimaru 1: (Nod)

Sakata Kintoki: Thanks, Fujimaru. No... Boss!

Sakata Kintoki: I know you're trustin' me with your life, and everythin' else you set out to do here, and I won't let you down!

Sakata Kintoki: I promise.

Sakata Kintoki: Okay, let's settle this once and for all...Brother!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...Yes. Let's.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Kintoki. Tsuna. Do either of you have any objections?

A:Both: None!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Sakata Kintoki of the Four Heavenly Kings.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Watanabe-no-Tsuna of the Four Heavenly Kings.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Yes, Lady Raikou.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Go forth, and let your blades speak for your minds here and now, in the presence of the divine Hachiman!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Come, Caster. It's time.

Medea Lily: Yes, Lord Tsuna.

Medea Lily: You who possess power. You who thirst, yearn, and struggle to make your wishes reality.

Medea Lily: If your desires are true, then join battle and kill as you must.

Medea Lily: For the only way forward to realizing your wishes is to use the power you possess to make your way through me!

Sakata Kintoki: Here we go!

Medea Lily: This is the bloodstained battlefield of Limbo, where the losing Heroic Spirit's soul shall be consumed upon defeat! The Imperial Deathmatch Stage!

Medea Lily: My True Name is Medea Lily. This is where my love and ideals shall halt you in your tracks.

Medea Lily: Hear me, O frightful gods, and laugh! Hear me, O glittering sun, and shine!

Medea Lily: Now come, and show me the extent of your power! Show me what you will do to make your wish reality!

Fujimaru 1: Kintoki.

Sakata Kintoki: I know. You can never have too many allies.

Sakata Kintoki: I won't take the Caster's head! We're tryin' to stop the Imperial Holy Grail War from goin' ahead, so it wouldn't make sense if I did!

Sakata Kintoki: No way I'm gonna play into that evil bastard's hands!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Do you truly think you can defeat us while you're still holding back, Kintoki?

Sakata Kintoki: We'll see! Personally, I'm plannin' on givin' this everything I've got!

Sakata Kintoki: First, I'm gonna make you kneel in defeat!

Sakata Kintoki: After that...whatever happens, happens.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: If you truly think you can defeat us, then go ahead and try, idiot brother!

Sakata Kintoki: I just said I was gonna! Go on, Brother! Time for you to see my resolve and what I'm really capable of!

Sakata Kintoki: ...Let's do this!


Narration: I will never again lose someone I have sworn to protect.

Narration: I swore as much on that fateful day.

Narration: An imperial deathmatch meant to bring about peace. A ritual meant to bestow Kyo with a millennium of prosperity.

Narration: This is the Minister of the Left's–Lord Michinaga's most fervent wish. It is the Genji clan's honor to be charged with seeing it realized.

Narration: Peace across all of Japan. A thousand years of prosperity.

Narration: None of it matters to me.

Narration: I'm going to make amends for that day. Today, I'm going wipe away my regrets.

Narration: Divine Hachiman, laugh at my shame all you like. I reject the tragedy born from my own weakness.

Narration: I saw their lives swallowed up in a shower of blood...

Narration: Lives I should have been able to protect...

Narration: I wield the Higekiri that no more such lives will ever be lost again.

Sakata Kintoki: Hraaaaaaaaah!!!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Graaaaaaaaah!!!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Kintokiii!

Sakata Kintoki: Bring it!

Sakata Kintoki: GOOOOOOLDEN!!!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...How foolish. I should have known better than to challenge you to a contest of brute strength.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: How could I have misjudged the moment to go in for the kill...?

Sakata Kintoki: See, Brother? I told you I'd make you kneel.

Medea Lily: Lord Tsuna!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Stay back!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Stay back, Caster. You must never stand in front of me.

Sakata Kintoki: ...Brother.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...I...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I swore an oath, Caster Medea.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: An oath that I would never again lose anyone who needed my protection!

Fujimaru 1: ...?

Medea Lily: It's okay, Lord Tsuna! It's okay.

Medea Lily: Please, don't worry about me. This life I've been given is a fleeting one; it was never meant to last.

Medea Lily: I am not my living self anymore. I'm just an empty shadow cast upon the world.

Medea Lily: More importantly...

Medea Lily: ...I'm not the one whose memory you still hold so tightly in you heart...

Medea Lily: Lord Tsuna.

Medea Lily: So, please. There is no point in you throwing your life away for me.

Medea Lily: Surely...

Medea Lily: already know that better than anyone.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: Brother.

Sakata Kintoki: I don't know what's going on with you, but it looks like your Caster does.

Sakata Kintoki: So, what now? You've already got one knee on the ground.

Sakata Kintoki: I'll leave it up to you. Do we head back or keep goin'? What do you say, Brother?

Sakata Kintoki: Will you hear my once-in-a-lifetime request out, or do you want to keep fighting?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...Foreign Caster.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: No... Princess from a far-off land, who met such a tragic end.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: There are precious few indeed who could match your intellect and beauty.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: And yet, even as I strive to keep you safe... I find myself thinking of her.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I thought that, maybe...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...with the power of the Holy Grail...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...there may be hope for her to regain the life she lost...

Narration: For as long as I could remember, I admired her, even if at times she shone so bright I could scarcely look at her.

Narration: She was the daughter of a noble family. I knew her from childhood.

Narration: She was kind and gentle, with a beautiful smile. Despite my lower station, she even favored me with that smile.

Narration: Over time, the girl who shone so bright became a woman who shone brighter still.

Narration: Some even said that if the emperor were to catch sight of her, she would almost surely wind up his wife.

Narration: But, in the end...

Narration: ...she never married anyone.

Narration: Instead, one day, she simply shut herself away in a house her father provided.

Narration: Rumors abounded. Some said she had caught a disease that had made her hideous to look upon.

Narration: Others said she was under house arrest after committing a crime, or that she had gone mad and could no longer speak...

Narration: ...Or that she was carrying another noble's child.

Narration: As for me...

Narration: I don't remember when I stopped checking in on her, though I do remember I did so a few times each month for a while.

Narration: I also remember seeing her smile, as gentle and angelic as ever, and wondering why in the world she had shut herself away.

Narration: It couldn't be a disease, and I was certain she would never have committed a crime.

Narration: I didn't know if she was pregnant or not, but I knew for certain she wasn't mad.

Narration: The next time I saw her was many years later.

Narration: Not long after I came to understand how improper it was for a man to go see a woman who was not part of his family, especially a noblewoman, I began my life as a warrior.

Narration: Despite being told not to be choosy about my weapon...

Narration: I continued to wield my sword, my training gradually turned into a hunt for inhuman monsters.

Narration: Before I knew it, I had slain thousands of such creatures, and had earned the great Lady Raikou's attention.

Narration: She entrusted me with this prized sword. And it didn't end there.

Narration: I decided to attend the officers' academy so that I could better keep the city of Kyo safe...

Narration: ...and after concluding my new training, I was given a role equal to that of any other officer.

Narration: I was assigned to defend a certain section of eastern Kyo.

Narration: That was where it happened.

Narration: ...Where I saw the horrific aftermath of that oni attack.

Narration: Everyone in the house was dead.

Narration: The master, the servants... Everyone.

Narration: Including her.

Narration: She was sprawled across the floor, her throat torn out...

Narration: ...lying in a pool of blood.

Narration: It was then that I noticed the trail of tiny footprints leading away from her body.

Narration: The footprints ran all over the house, winding their way between corpse after corpse.

Narration: The creature who made the footprints left no survivors. It killed everyone in the house.

Narration: Rather than eat the residents, the creature had simply torn each of their throats out.

Narration: Whether it chose not to eat them, or was unable to eat them, I couldn't say.

Narration: The officers who examined the scene decided it must have been a rather small oni that somehow crossed Lord Seimei's Bounded Field to enter Kyo.

Narration: It was only when I found myself staring at the noblewoman's blood that I finally realized...

Narration: ...I had been in love with her for a long time.

Fujimaru 1: A small oni's footprints...

Sakata Kintoki: I don't know much about this kind of thing...

Sakata Kintoki: ...but to me...

Sakata Kintoki: ...that sure sounds like tragic love.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I don't know. I think a few elements are missing for it that to be what you'd call it.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: There's much I don't understand about feelings.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: And the time I realized how I felt, it was much too late.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: With nowhere for them to go, whatever remnants of feelings I still had left died then and there.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: All that remains in their place now is a wretched, hollow emptiness.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Maybe I'm still unsure of what to do, even now.

Fujimaru 1: Tsuna...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Tsuna.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: You don't have to say anything, Lady Raikou. I understand.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Then again...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: It may be that Kintoki's lightning opened my eyes to the curse the Holy Grail laid upon me.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: The dead can never come back to life. Nor should they.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: The laws of nature are inviolable, regardless of how much one may wish otherwise. As it should be.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I understand that, Leader. I do.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I was just...dreaming.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Dreaming of having another chance to protect her, and to see her smile once again.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I thought the Imperial Holy Grail War might make that dream come true...

Medea Lily: ... ...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: But, the fact remains that dreams are only dreams. Not reality.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: You win, Kintoki. I concede my defeat.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: That's enough. We have a winner.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Typically, the Genji Council would continue until one warrior had taken the other's head. Today, I choose to end it here.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: The winner is Sakata Kintoki!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: As such, I shall tell the Minister of the Left that the Genji clan suspects the Imperial Holy Grail war is an evil plot!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: This concludes the Genji Council!

Sakata Kintoki: All riiight!!!

Sakata Kintoki: Did ya hear that, Fujimaru and Danzo!? We did it!

Fujimaru 1: This is great!

Fujimaru 2: Now we can finally stop the Imperial Holy Grail War!

Danzo: Agreed! This is wonderful news! Our first blow against Limbo!

Sakata Kintoki: Hell yeah. And against Michinaga, too!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: You both fought wonderfully, and I am thrilled not to have lost either of you.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I am also very happy to see that you kept your Caster safe right to the very end.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Indeed, in this new age, warriors should be capable of more than simply killing their opponents.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: And I would like nothing more than for my Four Heavenly Kings to be able to defend those who cannot fight for themselves.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: While I may not be able to ask that of all the Genji, I hope you two will allow me this small indulgence.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Hehe. Ahh, what a truly wonderful outcome...

Medea Lily: Thank you, Lady Raikou.

Nursery Rhyme: I'd like to thank you too, Raikou and Kintoki. Thank you for not killing Medea.

Sakata Kintoki: Well, Brother, you snap out of it now?

Sakata Kintoki: My lightning can be a hell of a wake-up call, can't it?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...Indeed. I truly feel as though I have awakened from a dream.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: There is more to it than that, but for now, I thank you as well.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: However, that being said...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: While it may have been a short-lived dream, it was not such a bad one.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: There was something nice about fighting with all of my might for a wish of my very own.

Sakata Kintoki: Huh, is that so?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: By the way, you there. The [♂ man in /♀️ girl with] the [♂ strange outfit /♀️ red hair]. That was a magnificent show of support.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: You took care of the many skeletal soldiers my Caster conjured quite handily.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I thought that Kintoki would be ill-equipped to fend them all off on his own...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...but the shadows you controlled fought brilliantly, just as they did the last time we clashed.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Well done.

Fujimaru 1: Thanks.

Fujimaru 2: I appreciate that, but it's all thanks to my companions.They're the amazing ones!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ... ...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...You said you come from the world beyond tomorrow, yes? Over a thousand years in the future?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I see you have both a kind face and gentle eyes.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: So it would seem that the world a thousand years from now is a peaceful one.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: So I must ask:

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Why do you fight? Why have you traveled so far back in time?

Fujimaru 1: To take back our world.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I see. Not a moment's hesitation.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: So this is why Kintoki has allied himself with you. You truly have the spirit of a great warrior!


Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: ...Hmm.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: So Kaidoumaru actually managed to convince the Genji after all. Interesting.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: And here I thought I had set him an impossible task! How amusing!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: While I can't say I'm pleased to see the Imperial Holy Grail War interrupted, this is quite delightful in its own right.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Indeed, now that he's shown he's both willing and able to take things this far, I'm happy to postpone that pleasure another day.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: I'll consider what to do next once Seimei has returned from wherever he's gone off to.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: I trust you were listening, Douman?

Ashiya Douman: ... ...

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: While a messenger from the Minamoto house will no doubt arrive in due time, for the moment, I am officially calling the Imperial Holy Grail War off.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Make the necessary arrangements at once. Quickly now.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: ...Douman.

Ashiya Douman: Mmm...

Ashiya Douman: Mm, mmm, mmmnnn.

Ashiya Douman: Mmmmmmhehehehahahahahahahahahaha! Hahahahahahahahahahahahaaa!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: ...?

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: What are you laughing about, Douman?

Ashiya Douman: Curses! Curses!

Ashiya Douman: I had the Genji all set to kill each other only for the Chaldeans to foil my plans yet again!

Ashiya Douman: I suppose I should have expected as much. The Chaldeans have deep bonds with many of Genji's warriors, after all!

Ashiya Douman: And the same holds true for the Casters my Holy Grail summoned here.

Ashiya Douman: Although, I suppose Lord Urabe's Caster was an exception.

Ashiya Douman: His was a truly fierce and practical Heroic Spirit– perfect for a Holy Grail War.

Ashiya Douman: But alas, that team is already out of the running! Mmmmmm, it seems even I failed to account for every possibility, hehehe!

Ashiya Douman: But, what's done is done. No sense crying over spilt blood.

Ashiya Douman: No indeed!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: What are you saying, Douman? Have you gone mad?

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: No. You are not Douman at all, are you?

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Then you must be this Limbo villain Kaidoumaru and his companion spoke of.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Then, they really were telling the truth...

Ashiya Douman:


Ashiya Douman: Ahh, but that is not quite correct. I am, of course, the poor, pitiful Ashiya Douman of this time...

Ashiya Douman: But I went mad the moment I met Limbo! I screamed, I wailed, and I was ultimately driven insane before we merged into a single form!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: ...How foolish.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Guards! Guards!

Palace Elite Guards: What is it, Minister!?

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: We have a traitor among us. Douman has gone mad right here in the Imperial Palace!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: As I suspected, you could never hope to take Seimei's place! Your only choice now is to offer up your head in apology.

Onmyouji: Prepare yourself, Douman! This is the end for you!

Onmyouji: We are the Onmyou Bureau's twelve best onmyouji...

Onmyouji: And we have prepared a spell that will kill you, as commanded by the Minister of the Left!

Ashiya Douman: Oh? I see.

Ashiya Douman: So you actually took Kintoki's exhortations seriously enough to prepare contingencies, hm? Impressive.

Ashiya Douman: Well now.

Onmyouji: Farewell, Douman! We will tell Lord Seimei what became of you!

Ashiya Douman: Mmm...

Ashiya Douman:

Pointless, useless, pathetic!

Ashiya Douman: Six roots purification, wicked deeds laid bare...

Ashiya Douman: Let your crimes be punished!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: ...!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: I don't believe it... You killed every one of those onmyouji with but a single curse.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: No... You are not only Ashiya Douman anymore. You are Limbo, the great villain Kaidoumaru warned me about!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Hehe, I never dreamed anyone alive was clever enough to put one over on me. I should have been more careful.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: I have battled countless curses and evil spirits over the course of my life, and you've managed to make a fool of me with hardly any effort.

Ashiya Douman: Mmm?

Ashiya Douman: Now then, where was I... Ohhh, yes, that's right. I was telling you what happened to Ashiya Douman.

Ashiya Douman: The moment they met, Limbo whispered something in Douman's ear.

Ashiya Douman: Just a brief warning:

Ashiya Douman: “You will never surpass Seimei at anything if you continue as you have been.”

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: ...

Ashiya Douman: That was all it took for Douman's pitiful spirit to break into a thousand pieces...

Ashiya Douman: And now, he and I are one and the same! So you see, I am both Douman, and not Douman!

Ashiya Douman: Indeed, I am many things.

Ashiya Douman: I am the Caster of Limbo, the one who came up with the idea for the Heroic Spirit Swordmasters.

Ashiya Douman: I am Limbo the Alter Ego, great Disciple of the Foreign God.

Ashiya Douman: I am the seventh and most powerful Caster in the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Ashiya Douman: And...

Ashiya Douman: I am one of the Hasshoujin–the eight onmyoudou general gods who seek to establish the Naraka Mandala.

Ashiya Douman: I am...Ouban Ashiya Douman.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Mmm, mmmmmm... Mmmmmmhehehehehehehahahahaha.


Ouban Ashiya Douman: So now you see, everyone, you have much to celebrate.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: My Imperial Holy Grail War is over now, and with only four Heroic Spirit souls sacrificed.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: This simply will not do.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: As things are now, my heart's desire will never be realized.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Oh yes, people of human history, your exploits have been magnificent indeed.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: They have astonished me, Limbo, née Douman, countless times.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Your feelings... Your struggles...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: They have all far surpassed any plan I could have concocted.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Hehe.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: But enough falsehoods.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Lord Michinaga, Minister of the Left, I do hope you will enjoy watching these proceedings unfold.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: You will have the singular honor of watching me carry out the greatest feat in all of human history!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: The unprecedented realization of Naraka Mandala!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Mmm... MmmmmmHEHEHEHEHEHEhehehehehe.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Haha, haha, hahahahahahahahahahaha. HahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Ouban Ashiya Douman:


Narration: The sky transformed.

Narration: The moon turned red, as though drenched in blood.

Narration: As the cursed moon glared upon the world, a vivid red bled into the night sky surrounding Heian-kyo.

Narration: And then...

Narration: Roots of cosmic fantasy descended upon the ground at Heian-kyo Suzaku Gate, tearing the very world asunder.

Narration: The great humanity-shattering tree that rose in their wake pulsed and throbbed as it attempted to create an impossible alternative world.

Narration: The sky split apart, day transformed into night, and the bloodred moon hung eerily overhead.

Narration: And there the great tree stood beneath it, looming over us in what might have been mockery.

Narration: The Tree of Emptiness had come.

Narration: But this was not one of the trees from the seven Lostbelts.

Narration: No, this was a Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness separated from the Foreign God–Lucifer, the great Satan.

Narration: These roots, twisted beyond recognition by layers upon layers of evil curses, were once known as Onriedo Castle!

Narration: But now they bear a different name...

Narration: The twisted roots of cosmic fantasy, Naraka Mandala!

Narration: Everyone gazed up at the sky.

Narration: The people of Heian-kyo were no strangers to the bizarre. They had seen monsters roaming the streets of their city many times.

Narration: They understood fear. Or so they believed.

Narration: But now, faced with this otherworldly monstrosity silhouetted against a bloodred sky...

Narration: ...they learned the truth of terror.

Narration: Some of them simply looked up at the tree and screamed. Some held their children while quivering in fear, and others descended into madness.

Narration: Some were rooted where they stood, unable to do anything at all.

Narration: The people of Heian-kyo knew to flee from danger, even during an oni attack...

Narration: But now, they were well and truly petrified.

Narration: Such was the dread power of the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness, the Naraka Mandala!

Kiyoko: that...?

Kiyoko: A-and why...can't I look...away from it...?

Kiyoko: It's so terrifying, I feel like looking at it will drive me mad, and yet...

Kiyoko: I can't...look...awa–

Kiyoko: Guh!?

Takako: Oh, I do beg your pardon.

Kiyoko: Huh? I-I, uh... W-wait... Aren't you...!?

Takako: You were standing in the middle of the road, gaping at something, and I accidentally bumped into you. My apologies.

Takako: At any rate...

Takako: ...I thought I recognized you. You used to be one of Lady Teishi's ladies-in-waiting.

Takako: I'm surprised to see you still wearing such an elaborate outfit, considering how long it's been since you served at the palace. Still miss the good old days?

Kiyoko: Wh-what's it to you? I happen to like wearing heavy clothes like this! It's addictive!

Takako: Well, that's all well and good, but more importantly...

Takako: I'd try to get out of here if I were you.

Takako: That...thing over there is a good bit more than we can handle.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Mmmmmm...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Mmm, how lovely. So this is how it feels to look down from on high!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Not bad. Not bad at all! Mmmhahahahahahahahaha!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Behold! This is my Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness! My Naraka Mandala! Beautiful, isn't it!?

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Now then, only a little longer...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Come forth! Come forth!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: My subordinates! My sacrifices!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: My corpses who have made their way here over the dead body of my beloved sorcerer.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I will embed every one of the general gods' karmas using the seven Command Spells granted to me as the overseer of this Holy Grail War, and...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: ...Now, hear me, wandering souls of the eight gods!

Ouban Ashiya Douman:

Hear me, Hasshoujin!

Ouban Ashiya Douman:

And assemble!

Section 10: Saisatsu Hyoubi (First Half)

Narration: Lightning fell near the ruins of Rashomon, at the southern edge of Heian-kyo.

Narration: Nobody was struck directly.

Narration: But in the lightning's wake, two demons appeared.

Narration: They were not human, but truly demonic in all but appearance, a far cry from the creatures who wandered about at night.

Narration: A single step, and the nearby spirits began to writhe in agony and dissipate, followed immediately by other monsters going mad and taking their own lives.

Narration: Such was the overwhelming wickedness and power of these demons.

A:???: Saisetsu, present.

B:???: Hyoubi, present.

Narration: The two humanoid creatures appeared more oni than demon, for they now stood upon Kyo's ground without so much as a single spell–an impossible feat.

Narration: The great Bounded Field that surrounded Heian-kyo was the creation of the legendary onmyouji, Abe-no-Seimei.

Narration: No manner of wicked creature should have been able to penetrate it. Even so...

Officers: Cursed creatures! How dare you make your way directly through Lord Seimei's Bounded Field!?

Officers: Who are you!? Stay where you are! Not another step further!

Saisetsu: ... ...

Saisetsu: We eight generals are corpses, and thus have nothing to discuss. We are here only to make our way to the demonic tree that stands at Suzaku Gate.

Saisetsu: None can stand in our way.

Saisetsu: Move aside. We may be corpses, but we are also invincible, ferocious blades.

Officers: The demonic tree at Suzaku Gate!? You know of it!?

Officers: Then you will go no further! We will cut your heads off where you stand!

Hyoubi: ...We JUST warned you about our power and ferocity.

Hyoubi: But then, you humans never listen, do you? You just come at us with your swords and start hacking away.

Hyoubi: Oh well...

Hyoubi: I guess I'm not in any position to criticize, since I'm doing the same thing, now.

Hyoubi: One head.

Hyoubi: Two. Three.

Officers: Wh-what the...!?

Officers: Is that sword...floating in the air!?

Officers: Call for the warriors! We need their help! Get everyone stationed near Rashomon here, on the double!

Saisetsu: ... ...

Saisetsu: Suzaku Gate is now the gate to hell. Once we arrive at the Naraka Mandala, this world will be no more.

Saisetsu: So I suppose killing you all here and now is an act of mercy.

Saisetsu: How kind of you, Lady Hyoubi.

Hyoubi: Don't be ridiculous.

Hyoubi: This is obviously, like, the opposite of mercy.

Narration: And so...

Narration: In the blink of an eye, every officer and warrior tasked with defending Rashomon was dead.

Narration: This was nothing like the previous oni's playtime. Blood, limbs, and heads scattered in all directions.

Narration: Soon, the only two left standing were the demons.

Narration: It was a sight straight from hell itself.


Genji Warrior: We have an emergency!

Genji Warrior: Monsters have appeared on Suzaku Avenue! The offers and warriors there have been devastated!

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah, I can see that huge evil-lookin' tree at Suzaku Gate all the way from here!

Genji Warrior: No, Lord Kintoki, it was not Suzaku Gate!

Genji Warrior: Two demons calling themselves Saisetsu and Hyoubi appeared out of nowhere at Rashomon!

Genji Warrior: After slaughtering every nearby officer and warrior, they began heading due north along Suzaku Avenue...

Genji Warrior: ...directly towards the demonic tree at Suzaku Gate!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...So, we have two monsters headed for that demonic tree.

Danzo: I recognize those names. Saisetsu and Hyoubi are both onmyoudou deities.

Danzo: However, I have never heard of them being summoned with physical forms before.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Do you know what's going on, Caster?

Medea Lily: No, I'm afraid not.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Then what can you tell us about that demonic tree now standing by Suzaku Gate?

Medea Lily: Not much, I'm afraid. All I can say is that it possesses an enormous amount of magical energy.

Fujimaru 1: It doesn't quite look like the others I've seen,but I can tell it's a Tree of Emptiness.

Fujimaru 2: I know what it is. It's a Tree of Emptiness.

Sakata Kintoki: A Tree of Emptiness... Come to think of it, you mentioned those before, didn't you, Fujimaru?

Sakata Kintoki: You said they were monsters that look like giant trees that came down to Earth after the world beyond tomorrow became a world of pure white, right?

Sakata Kintoki: So if one of those things is growin' here in the city now, it must mean...

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: Um... What DOES it mean?

???: It means that Heian-kyo is going to transform into an entirely different world.

???: It also means that a new Tree of Emptiness will take root in Proper Human History's skies, which will bring our very future to an end.

???: And for Fujimaru there, it means [♂ his /♀️ her] return destination will become even more distant.

Nursery Rhyme: Wow, that's amazing! There's writing just floating around in the air!

Sakata Kintoki: Who's doin' that!? HOW are you doin' that!?

Medea Lily: I didn't cast this spell. Neither did Nursery Rhyme.

Medea Lily: It appears to be a kind of long-range communication spell, though it is very different from telepathy. I suspect it is woven with a translation spell as well.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Then perhaps it was cast by Lady Murasaki Shikibu.

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, yeah! Now that you mention it, I can even sense Kaoruko here!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: (Huff, huff...)

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I-I apologize...for the intrusion...! I-I don't mind...that I let...myself in...

Fujimaru 1: Kaoruko!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Y-yes... It's me!

Fujimaru 2: Wow, the Genji are really, really good at sensing people, aren't they?

Danzo: Indeed. They appear to be much better at it than my own meager sensors.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh my, Lady Kaoruko. I haven't seen you since we bumped into each other at Lord Michinaga's manor.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: And even then, I saw you only briefly. Please, make yourself at home.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Bring her some water. And be quick about it.

Genji Warrior: Yes, ma'am!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: (Huff, huff...)

Genji Warrior: Here you are! I shaved off some ice from the icehouse to go with it.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Oh, thank you. That's very kind of you.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...Ahh.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I feel much better now. Thank you, everyone.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I know very little about poetry, but I do adore your beautiful story.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Though, unfortunately...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: seems we won't have much time for pleasant chitchat.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: No, I'm afraid not.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I just came here from the palace as fast as my carriage could carry me...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...after I received a notice urging me to come here at once.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: And no sooner had I left than that t-tree sprung up right at the palace!

Sakata Kintoki: It's okay, Kaoruko. You're safe now. Lotsa tough warriors here in the Genji house.

Sakata Kintoki: There's nothing to be afraid of here.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...Th-thank you.

Nursery Rhyme: That was great, Kintoki. I'm so proud to see you know how to behave like a gentleman. Well done.

Sakata Kintoki: C'mon, knock it off, will you? Anyway–

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: What do you mean by notice? Did you receive a letter from someone?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Does it have anything to do with the writing we saw floating in the air?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Yes, it does. In fact, the letter I received...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...was from Lord Abe-no-Seimei.

Sakata Kintoki: !

Nursery Rhyme: Abe-no-Seimei? But I thought he wasn't in Heian-kyo right now.

Floating Text: Indeed, he isn't. Even now, Abe-no-Seimei is somewhere far, far away.

Floating Text: That is why I am speaking to you in this manner. Some of you, I have not seen in quite some time.

Floating Text: Those of you I am speaking to for the first time, allow me to's a pleasure to meet you.

Floating Text: I am Abe-no-Seimei, the greatest onmyouji of all time.


Floating Text: I overheard everything.

Floating Text: Oh, and when I say everything, I do mean everything.

Floating Text: With all of Heian-kyo inside my Bounded Field, I know what takes place there better than I know how clean my own house is.

Floating Text: I hear every triviality that takes place on the east side, every event that happens on the west side and every underhanded trick playing out in the palace.

Floating Text: And of course, I know all about the conversations that took place in Lady Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko's house.

Floating Text: Including the ones between Kintoki, Lady Danzo, Fujimaru, and the people of Chaldea.

Fujimaru 1: You overheard everything?

Floating Text: Yes. I realized it was important that I did so.

Fujimaru 2: I-I don't suppose your middle name is “Zeus,” is it?

Floating Text: Ahahahahaha, come now, I'm not THAT good. You're going to make me blush.

Floating Text: Well, no, you won't, but even so. Hahahaha.

Sakata Kintoki: Zeus? What's that?

Danzo: In this case, I believe it refers to an enormous monitoring device.

Sakata Kintoki: Ohh, I gotcha. Yeah, Seimei definitely gives off that impression. He always seems to know everything that's goin' on way before he could've heard about it.

Sakata Kintoki: You just know he's gotta be usin' a ton of shikigami or whatnot to watch and listen in on all sorts of stuff.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: He does give off that impression, yes.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...That he does.

Medea Lily: O-oh my. I had no idea...

Floating Text: Well now, it seems my stock is falling at a rather alarming rate.

Sakata Kintoki: Stock? Oh, you mean the stalks you see out in the field.

Fujimaru 1: You seem oddly...knowledgeable, Abe-no-Seimei.

Fujimaru 2: Is it just me, or do you know a weird number of modern expressions?

Floating Text: Hmm, do I now?

Floating Text: But, certainly you and your fellow Chaldeans already know about Mystic Eyes capable of looking into the future, no?

Floating Text: At any rate, that is not a crucial topic of discussion at this moment, so I suggest we move on.

Floating Text: Let's talk about what that great idiot–that is, Limbo, has been up to.

Sakata Kintoki: All right.

Floating Text: As you've most likely already guessed...

Floating Text: ...Limbo is indeed the one responsible for this Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness that has taken root in the palace grounds.

Fujimaru 1: Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness...

Floating Text: I'm still not sure what it means, but that is definitely what Limbo called it.

Floating Text: Regardless, Ashiya Douman summoned that black Tree of Emptiness.

Floating Text: Well, more accurately, while it pains me to say this, it was something of a collaborative operation between poor Ashiya Douman and Limbo.

Floating Text: It seems Limbo, who was summoned as the personification of the evil that dwelled within Douman's body...

Floating Text: ...whispered something wicked in Douman's ear, which led to his soul being swallowed up, poor thing.

Sakata Kintoki: Swallowed up?

Sakata Kintoki: So then, back when we saw him in the palace...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Limbo had already swallowed up Douman's soul!?

Floating Text: Oh yes. But don't beat yourselves up for not realizing it.

Floating Text: His evil nature was still hidden deep inside him at the time, so there was no Heroic Spirit presence you could have sensed.

Floating Text: None of you did anything wrong. Limbo just happened to be one small step ahead.

Floating Text: At any rate, he is certainly not hiding any longer. I believe that is due to your success in halting the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Then...that demonic tree was originally supposed to appear once the Imperial Holy Grail War had concluded?

Floating Text: Essentially, he got tired of waiting.

Floating Text: Originally, he planned to collect the souls of seven Heroic Spirits so that he could link a Holy Grail to his Tree of Emptiness, almost immediately completing it.

Floating Text: And that is Limbo's ultimate objective: to grow the tree to full maturity so that it may bloom.

Floating Text: While I don't know whether it will also function as a wish granter once it reaches that point...

Floating Text: ...with seven Heroic Spirit souls powering it, I am quite sure it will generate tremendous magical energy–enough to make the impossible possible.

Floating Text: That being said, I'm afraid I still don't know exactly what it is Limbo wishes to do with that Tree of Emptiness...

Floating Text: ...since he never got around to saying anything about that...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Then the whole story about granting the winning Master's wish was nothing more than bait.

Medea Lily: Lord Tsuna...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I'm all right, Caster. Kintoki's lightning has already given me the jolt I needed to wake up.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I will never again mistake what I should cut down, and what I should protect.

Floating Text: Limbo's wish is the only one the wish granter produced through the Imperial Holy Grail War will grant.

Floating Text: But now, you have surprised him by surpassing his expectations, and he has grown impatient.

Floating Text: That is why he has shown his hand, the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness, and abruptly canceled the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Floating Text: Now, he has begun summoning Heroic Spirits through different means.

Floating Text: I have to say, I'm surprised by how aggressive Limbo is being here. Douman was never so rash.

Fujimaru 1: So Saisetsu and Hyoubi are two of these newly summoned Heroic Spirits?

Fujimaru 2: What about Saisetsu and Hyoubi? Did Limbo summon them then?

Floating Text: Indeed.

Floating Text: They call themselves by the names of two of the Hasshoujin–the eight onmyoudou general gods, of all things.

Floating Text: As much as that infuriates me, I'll put it aside for now, since we still have more important things to discuss.

Floating Text: As I just said, there are eight Hasshoujin, and Limbo is calling himself by one of their names...

Floating Text: So we should assume he will summon the other seven separately.

Floating Text: At the moment, two of them have materialized and are making their way north from Heian-kyo's southern edge.

Floating Text: Once they have crossed Suzaku Gate and made their way into the palace grounds, they plan to sacrifice their own souls to the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness.

Floating Text: And since the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness has already acquired the souls of four Heroic Spirits from the Imperial Grail W–

Sakata Kintoki: Limbo only needs three of these new Heroic Spirits to reach the tree for him to win. Got it.

Sakata Kintoki: But...

Sakata Kintoki: ...what happens if we blow 'em away before they reach the tree?

Floating Text: That would likely help to some degree. If all they needed to do to feed the tree their souls was simply kill themselves on materializing, they would have done so by now.

Floating Text: So it seems safe to assume that their souls' proximity to the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness is an important factor.

Floating Text: However, given what happened in Shimousa, we should also assume that the Holy Grail will collect their souls automatically if they should die.

Fujimaru 1: Which means...

Fujimaru 1: Um, what DOES that mean?

Sakata Kintoki: Uh... Hmm?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: We cannot let these general gods cross Suzaku Gate, and neither can we kill them.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Is that it, Lord Seimei?

Sakata Kintoki: So we gotta capture 'em without killin' 'em, huh. Sounds like that's gonna be a tall order with these guys.

Floating Text: That it will be. The Hasshoujin will certainly be very powerful Heroic Spirits!

Floating Text: You're not likely to be able to stop them if you're holding back, but neither can you afford to shatter their Spirit Cores and let that demonic tree consume their souls.

Floating Text: So our only choice is to seal their souls away, without letting them dissipate!

Floating Text: Show them, Kaoruko!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Y-yes, Lord Seimei!

Danzo: Are these...onmyoudou talismans?

Nursery Rhyme: They've got so many pretty patterns on them. Hehe, they're very cute.

Floating Text: These are Taizan talismans! I thought something like this might happen, so I prepared eight of them ahead of time!

Floating Text: Once you shatter one of the Hasshoujin's Spirit Cores, all you need to do is slap one of these on them!

Floating Text: Do that, and the Hasshoujin's souls will remain in this world for a while, never reaching the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness.

Floating Text: If you can then destroy the Holy Grail–that is, the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness, before their souls can pass on, all will be well.

Floating Text: Once the tree is gone, their souls will be released before they ever have the chance to be used for something evil!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Then our next course is clear. Tsuna. Kintoki.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I'm ready.

Sakata Kintoki: Hell yeah! I'm good to go whenever!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Now we of the Seiwa Genji must band together. Now the Four Heavenly Kings and I must show what we are truly capable of.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Lady Medea, Nursery Rhyme, we cannot afford to lose you, lest the enemy gain new souls in service of his goal.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: [♂ Lord /♀️ Lady] Fujimaru, Lady Danzo, you two are our esteemed guests, and Kintoki's very first friends.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: So, I would like to ask you to remain here if that is at all possible... Would you?

Medea Lily: No, Lady Raikou. I promise I won't get in the way.

Medea Lily: If you're going up against Heroic Spirits, then I know I can be of help.

Medea Lily: I swear I will!

Nursery Rhyme: I'm going too, Raikou. Monjumaru. After all, I came here to help my friend.

Fujimaru 1: You better believe I'm going, too!

Fujimaru 1: Limbo's gotten away with too much for too long.It's time I put an end to this.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...I see you're all intent on making me worry. But I suppose that is a mother's burden.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: You're all so very brave. Tsuna, I feel as though the scales have fallen from my eyes as well.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Very well then. I shall consider all of you Genji warriors from now on!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Now, come, and let us protect Kyo together! Genji, move out!

I:All: Genji, move out!

Danzo: Detecting a large number of monsters around Suzaku Avenue!

Danzo: I believe they are a kind of familiar–most likely, shikigami that Limbo himself is manipulating with talismans.

Danzo: Imperial officers and our fellow Genji warriors are doing their best to fight them off, but the enemy appears to have the advantage!

Danzo: That said, these shikigami are–

Genji Warrior: Leader! Thank goodness you're here!

Genji Warrior: These things are shikigami being controlled by an onmyouji somewhere! We've been cutting them and burning them, but they refuse to die!

Genji Warrior: It's almost as though they're undying corpses!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Corpses or oni, it makes no difference. We fight until we make our way through them!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: GENJI! Advance!

Sakata Kintoki: Hell yeah! Genji, advance! Let's go, Fujimaru!

Fujimaru 1: Genji, advance!

Sakata Kintoki: Hraaaaaahhh!


Danzo: Fuuma Missile!

Danzo: Khh, the enemy is instantly regenerating from its injuries!

Fujimaru 1: It's just like what happened with the Heroic Spirit Swordmasters!

Fujimaru 2: Instant regeneration!

Danzo: Indeed. They have been made artificially immortal by keeping their Spirit Core separate from their bodies!

Danzo: I am told that in Shimousa, Lady Musashi was only able to reach their Spirit Core thanks to her extraordinary technique and Lord Muramasa's peerless blade!

Danzo: But all we have are these eight talismans Lord Seimei gave us! How can we stop these creatures for good!?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Out of my way.

Danzo: !

Danzo: The enemies have completely vanished!

Sakata Kintoki:


Minamoto-no-Raikou: Ha!

Danzo: ...!

Fujimaru 1: That's how Heian warriors fight!

Fujimaru 2: Man, this really takes me back to Onigashima!

Medea Lily: I've also cast spells on them to enhance their attack power. When paired with their natural combat capabilities, they should be able to neutralize artificial immortality!

Medea Lily: Then again, seeing how they fight...they might have been fine without my spells.

Sakata Kintoki: Get outta our way! We're comin' through!

Sakata Kintoki: We need to get to those two Hasshoujin makin' their way up the road before they reach Suzaku Gate!

Sakata Kintoki: C'mon, Fujimaru. No...Boss!


Sakata Kintoki: Hraaah!

Danzo: The hostiles have all disappeared! That takes care of all the shikigami Limbo presumably sent!

Danzo: I'm also detecting two extremely powerful magical energy signals ahead.

Danzo: Please be careful, everyone. These must be the new Heroic Spirits Lord Abe-no-Seimei told us about...

Danzo: Two of the Hasshoujin, Saisetsu and Hyoubi!

Saisetsu: I just heard someone call our corpse names.

Hyoubi: Ugh. And just when we were almost to Suzaku Gate.

Hyoubi: Aha, I see. So there are a few Heroic Spirits here.

Saisetsu: Now, now, don't be like that. Take a closer look. Or just sense their spirits for yourself.

Saisetsu: These people aren't like the ones we killed so easily. These are real warriors, like the kind you surely once knew.

Saisetsu: It seems we have no choice but to stop and deal with them.

Saisetsu: Flee for your lives, brave and powerful Heian warriors. None can stand in our way.

Saisetsu: My corpse's Cursed Name is Saisetsu Tawara Touta. I will be the death of all of you.

Hyoubi: My corpse's Cursed Name is Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen. If death is what you want, I'll gladly kill you all.

Section 11: Saisatsu Hyoubi (Second Half)

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Flee for your lives, brave and powerful Heian warriors. None can stand in our way.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: My corpse's Cursed Name is Saisetsu Tawara Touta. I will be the death of all of you.

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: My corpse's Cursed Name is Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen. If death is what you want, I'll gladly kill you all.

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: One, two, three...

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: It seems we have two Casters, one Assassin, three warriors, and one kid.

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: Ahahahaha, seriously? Did you really, like, think you could stop two of the Hasshoujin with such a pathetic group?

Fujimaru 1: ...!

Fujimaru 1: Tawara Touta! Suzuka Gozen!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ... ...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...What?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I see. So these are Heroic Spirits.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: It hadn't really sunk in earlier, since we only knew of Casters from foreign worlds...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...but I see now that these are truly fearsome warriors of legend.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Lord Fujiwara-no-Hidesato, also known as Tawara Touta, renowned for slaying the great centipede, and for ending one of the rebellions in east Japan.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Lady Suzuka Gozen, also known as Tate-Eboshi because of the hat she wore, daughter of the Demon King of the Fourth Heaven, and slayer of countless oni.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: So, these are Heroic Spirits–humanity's accomplishments made manifest!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: And not just any accomplishments, either.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: These heroes are responsible for some of the greatest feats in human history!

Danzo: Tawara Touta, slayer of the great centipede! Suzuka Gozen, the Demon King's princess and wielder of numerous mythical blades!

Danzo: Such fearsome opponents! They practically overflow with magical energy!

Danzo: Even with Lady Raikou, Lord Watanabe-no-Tsuna, and Lord Kintoki, the strongest Heian warriors on our side...

Danzo: ...we are still no match for them! Master! We cannot hope to fight them directly!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Lady Danzo, I don't know much about magical energy...

Danzo: It means we are at a great disadvantage!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: And? Your point is?

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: ...Oho.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: All that matters is who is standing when the battle ends.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Whatever our field of battle, this remains Kyo, the most prosperous city in Japan, and the heart of the human world.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Should we take even a single step back, Kyo would fall, human society would crumble, and once proud warriors would turn to villainy.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: And so...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...we of Genji shall never falter in the face of our enemies.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Even if those enemies be great heroes of legend, we will fight, and we will win.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Do you know what makes a warrior, a warrior?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: The willingness to swing their sword, pick up their spear, and hone their martial arts...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...all so they might stand firm in the face of death. Tsuna! Kintoki!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: We are here.

Sakata Kintoki: You're goddamn right!

Sakata Kintoki: Tawara Touta and Suzuka Gozen, huh!? I've never been much for book learnin', but even I remember hearin' those names!

Sakata Kintoki: I got no doubt they're gonna be real tough enemies! But here's the thing, Danzo!

Sakata Kintoki: Now that they've shown up here under Limbo's control, it's a whole different story.

Sakata Kintoki: Whatever it takes, we're gonna stop 'em right here, right now!

Sakata Kintoki: Genji, advance!

Fujimaru 1: ...Genji, advance!

Danzo: ...Understood!

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: In this land, in this time, I thought our names alone would break your spirits.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: It seems I underestimated the warriors of this time. No...the Genji clan's leaders!

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Come, Suzuka Gozen, and let us see what they can do!

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: You got it.

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: My Daitouren should be just the thing to see what the top warriors of this time...

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: ...are really made of!


Sakata Kintoki: Take this!

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Too easy.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: !

Sakata Kintoki: Damn, they really ARE strong! No wonder this Fujiwara-no-Hidesato guy was a legend!

Sakata Kintoki: I can't believe he blocked Raikou's surprise attack with just one hand!

Sakata Kintoki: Real impressive. Gotta give him that. Ain't gonna be an easy fight.

Sakata Kintoki: And you know what else this ain't? It ain't golden!

Sakata Kintoki: How can you guys be this strong and still fight to bring about humanity's downfall!? It doesn't make sense! Right, Raikou!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Indeed not, Kintoki.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I couldn't agree more. Why would true heroes of such legendary renown...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...throw in their lots with a monster hellbent on such destruction?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Is the spell this Limbo is using to control you truly so powerful?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I, for one, cannot see how your deeply held convictions could ever succumb to such evil.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: What happened to you, Lord Hidesato!?

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: ...Haha.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: I would think you would know better than to try and converse with the enemy during a battle.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: But...

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Since you simply must know, I suppose I can answer.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: At their heart, Heroic Spirits are no more than empty shadows inscribed upon humanity.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: We are familiars at best, regardless of what we may leave in our wake.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: And above all, in our case...we are already corpses.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Corpses...

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Corpses have no feelings. Corpses have no wishes.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: We are truly heartless. All we can do is follow orders and leave destruction in our path.

Fujimaru 1: I knew it. Those red eyes...

Fujimaru 2: It's just like what happened with the Heroic Spirit Swordmasters!

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: I've said too much. Come, have at you.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Namuhachiman!

Sakata Kintoki: ...!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Nursery Rhyme! Lady Medea!

Danzo: Master...!!!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...!

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: I don't know about normal Heroic Spirits, but like Touta said, we're already corpses.

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: Words are no more than ornamentation. Feelings, wishes, hearts... Nothing more than illusion!

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: We are puppets put here to destroy, kill, and lay waste to everything!

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: Do not question us! Do not speak to us! All you need to know is, those who are moved to doubt by our names will soon meet grisly ends!

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: All the more so if one of them should be wielding Tamuramaro's Onikiri!

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: O stories, begin weaving thy tale. This is the famous Daitouren!

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: Blanket the sky in tiles of color. Skewer the swarm of evil in heavenly rain! Monjuchiken Daishintou!

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: Love blast...Demonic Sun-Shower!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Aaargh!

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: ...Pathetic.

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: Is that really all you've got, Heian warriors!? How do you expect to defend the city against even oni if you are so weak?

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: ...Get it together already.

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: This city is home to many different people! It's the greatest society in all of Japan, the place Tamuramaro gave his life trying to defend!

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: You inherited his will, right? You carry his sword, right?

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: Then stand up, dammit! If your legs won't support you, then lean on your sword!

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: Don't let a couple of damn corpses get the better of you!

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: How can you call yourselves his successors if you do!?

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: Can you even call yourselves warriors!?

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Impressive, Suzuka Gozen.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Even as a corpse, your pride is so strong that it leads you to shed tears of blood.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: I am deeply moved.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Even as a heartless corpse, I feel something stirring in my chest. Haha, how strange.

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: Touta.

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: I already had my own Divinity before this imitation one was crammed into me. That's why I can shoot the shit like this.

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: You're the one who's really amazing. You talk a lot, laugh a lot...

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: If your eyes weren't so red, I bet you'd be a pretty handsome guy.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Well thank you. That's kind of you to say.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: In that case, I suppose I'd better show off my better side.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Will you join me, Lady Tate-Eboshi?

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: Maybe. What'd you have in mind?

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: That depends on them. I trust you heard us, Genji warriors!?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...We did.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I never thought I would meet an opponent so strong as to hold back against us. Your words are harsh indeed.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Nonetheless, I hear them loud and clear.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Can you still fight, Caster?

Medea Lily: I'm healing you right now, Lord Tsuna. And I'll cast enhancement spells on everyone else as well!

Sakata Kintoki: Haha! It's true, you guys are real strong!

Sakata Kintoki: But, you haven't killed us off yet. In fact, let me ask you something, Hasshoujin.

Sakata Kintoki: You guys are both real good with projectiles, so you could've just kept your distance from us...

Sakata Kintoki: But you didn't.

Sakata Kintoki: The only way we can fight's to get up close and personal so we can cut our opponents down...

Sakata Kintoki: ...but that'd be pretty tough to pull off against fighters as skilled as you two.

Sakata Kintoki: It's hard to get close to your opponent when they're peltin' you with a buncha arrows and swords.

Sakata Kintoki: And yet, for some reason, you guys never kept your distance from us. Why is that?

Sakata Kintoki: No, wait, don't tell me. I already know why.

Sakata Kintoki: 'Cause it wouldn't be golden!

Sakata Kintoki: Well, brother!? Am I right!?

Danzo: (Lord Kintoki is taunting them!)

Danzo: (There's no underhandedness to his methods at all! The only thing he wants is an up close fight!)

Danzo: (However...)

Danzo: (Will we truly be able to defeat the great centipede slayer and the Demon King's princess that way?)

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Did you hear that, Suzuka?

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: I did. What do you think?

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: I think it's time we ended this.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Now that we are corpses, the least we can do is fight with all our strength so that we may serve as a guiding light for the days yet to come.

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: ...Ahaha.

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: So basically, we're just gonna kill them all, right? What kind of guiding light is that? That's just cruel, Touta.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Oh, I don't know about that. If we let our guard down, they could very well end up surprising us.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Now, come, Suzuka Gozen. It's time we fight with all our strength. Remember, that is the way of the world we come from!

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: The future is no different. The only thing that may overcome the past–us, in this case–is tomorrow!

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: So why not try betting everything on the power tomorrow holds!?

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: That sounds real nice and all...

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: But really, when you talk about fighting at full strength, it sounds like you're saying we should just stop holding back and kill them all.

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: Well, I guess it's not quite the same thing. Sure, it might just be semantics...

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: ... ...

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: ...But hey, semantics are important.

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: All right, I'm in!

Danzo: Master!

Fujimaru 1: Tawara Touta and Suzuka Gozen are getting serious...

Fujimaru 1: I'd better steel myself, too!

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: You who possess power. You who thirst, yearn, and struggle to make your wishes reality.

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: If your desires are true...

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Then join battle and kill as you must.

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: If you dream of seeing what lies beyond tomorrow, use the power you possess to make your way through us!

Sakata Kintoki: Hell yeah! Time to settle this!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: A deathmatch stage!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: So they're still using this place, even now that the Imperial Holy Grail War is no more!

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: This is the bloodstained battlefield of Limbo, where the losing Heroic Spirit's soul shall be consumed upon defeat! The Imperial Deathmatch Stage!

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: My corpse's Cursed Name is Saisetsu Tawara Touta! This is where my bow and arrows shall halt you in your tracks!

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: My corpse's Cursed Name is Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen! This is where my two-hundred and fifty blades will bring your journey to an end!

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Hear me, O frightful gods, and laugh! Hear me, O glittering sun, and shine!

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Now come, and show me the extent of your power! Show me what you will do to see your tomorrow!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: We see your resolve, and shall meet it in turn. Tsuna!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Understood. If this is where our lives should end, so be it.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Have at you!


Sakata Kintoki: Hraaaaaahhh!!!

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: O Great Bodhisattva of Arms, I beseech thee! Deliver my arrow unto its target!

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: O stories, begin weaving thy tale. This is the famous Daitouren!

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: Blanket the sky in tiles of color. Skewer the swarm of evil in heavenly rain! Monjuchiken Daishintou!

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Hachiman...

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: Demonic...

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Prayer!

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: Sun-Shower!

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: ...So that's your answer.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: ...Unbelievable.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: You aimed for the moment we released our Noble Phantasms' True Names...

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: To think that living warriors could defeat us...

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: virtue of having become Heroic Spirits...!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Indeed.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: We of the Genji clan have no lead-up for our attacks.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: In a fair fight, this was our only chance for victory.

Danzo: Now I see! They took advantage of the Noble Phantasm's one moment of vulnerability...

Fujimaru 1: The moment they release their True Name...!

Fujimaru 2: They actually aimed for that!?

Danzo: Yes, I believe so!

Danzo: They understood that the True Name of a Noble Phantasm must be spoken in order to use it and waited for that exact moment...

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Man, I could never pull off a trick like that.

Sakata Kintoki: Raikou, Brother, you two are really somethin' else.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: A brief span of time, no more than the twinkling of a star...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: That was our only chance for victory.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: If you two had not been Heroic Spirits, empty shadows of your former selves...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...and so lacked that momentary vulnerability, this battle would have ended very differently.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: It also means...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...that the key to our victory lay in your generosity in showing us those techniques of yours once before.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: So please hear me now.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Thank you, generous and valiant forebears.

Sakata Kintoki: ...

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Not at all. You were magnificent!

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Now that you mention it, you're right! I never used to say anything when nocking my bow!

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: In a fight to the death against a skilled warrior, I could simply keep my prayers for Lord Hachiman in my heart.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: But as a Heroic Spirit, that was no longer the case.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: No, more accurately, I am but the corpse of one...

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: It just goes to show that I truly am not the man I once was! So much for that!

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: I only wish we could have fought on more equal ground!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: No thank you. We would have no hope of winning in that case.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: That being said... Yes.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: If it were to happen after our duties were would be a great honor.

Saisetsu Tawara Touta: Farewell, Genji warriors and your associates! If we should ever meet again, I hope we can share a delicious drink of–

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: Wait. Hold up.

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: As the daughter of the Demon King of the Fourth Heaven, I should, like, be the one to say that. Um...

Hyoubi Suzuka Gozen: ...Yeah. Hope to see you again someday.

Fujimaru 1: (Nod heartily)

Danzo: Master, the talismans.

Fujimaru 1: (Two of Seimei's talismans, coming up!)

Danzo: ...The enemy has been completely neutralized.

Danzo: I've also confirmed that Lord Seimei's talismans have successfully sealed away their Spirit Cores.

Danzo: Which means...

Danzo: We have officially defeated two of the Hasshoujin!

Section 12: Genji Killer (First Half)

Narration: The eastern edge of Heian-kyo, at the outskirts of Gojou Street.

Narration: The other side of the Kamogawa, a little ways off from the city limits. Under normal circumstances it would be a quiet, desolate place, but today, there are people gathered en masse.

Narration: A group of Genji warriors, experienced killers of monsters one and all, wordlessly surround their target.

Narration: That target:

Narration: A humanoid demon riding atop an enormous tsuchigumo!

???: ...So, you have me surrounded.

???: I see. You do not fear this great tsuchigumo, no matter how it towers over you.

???: You do not run. You do not scream.

???: Instead, you fearless warriors only grip your swords even tighter. You are clearly not ordinary people.

Warriors: No, we are not! We are Genji warriors! We are the vassals of Lady Minamoto-no-Raikou, entrusted by the Minister of the Left with the protection of Kyo!

Warriors: Now, who are you, demon, and what are you doing here riding atop a great tsuchigumo!?

???: Genji. Genji, you say? So, there are Genji here as well.

???: Did you hear that, Kugamimi-no-Mikasa? It seems we will at last get to make our long held dream come true!

???: Listen well, warriors of Genji.

???: I am poison. I am cold steel. I am the embodiment of hatred. I am the Genji clan's end.

???: I am a Heroic Spirit corpse that has materialized here in Heian-kyo along with the great tsuchigumo, Hasshoujin Saiha.

???: ...Heh. Heh.

???: No, that is not quite right. Even as a corpse, my wrath is as strong as ever!

???: I am Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: And I have come to bring death to the whole of your clan.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Now die, Genji.

Warrior: One of the Taira warriors!? If you are a remnant of the eastern rebellion, then we cannot let you leave here alive–

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Death comes.

Narration: The demonic figure was true to their word.

Narration: Riding atop the great monstrosity, the third of the general gods, they rampaged throughout Kyo with an army of tsuchigumo at their command.

Narration: Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo, the fourth of the general gods.

Narration: Not a single Genji warrior was left alive in the demon's wake.

Narration: With every step the demon took, more Genji perished.

Narration: Every swing of the demon's blade reaped a harvest of Genji lives.

Narration: There remains nowhere safe in all of Kyo for the Genji!


Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: ...I wonder how things are at the palace right now.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I hope the emperor, Lady Shoushi, and Lord Michinaga are all right.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I was already on my way here in my carriage before night fell in the middle of the day...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Before that red moon hung in the sky, and that demonic tree towered over us...

Floating Text: Well, I arranged it that way. Anyway, don't worry.

Floating Text: It's okay. Limbo is still Ashiya Douman, even if only just, so he won't kill them anytime soon.

Floating Text: He may be a carnivorous beast disguised as a man, but he is still human in small ways.

Floating Text: He's going to want as large an audience as he can get, at least up until his wish is granted.

Floating Text: So just relax. Oh, and don't forget, Lord Michinaga is there, too.

Floating Text: He may not be a warrior or an onmyouji himself, but he truly has the devil's own luck. And above all, when he speaks, people listen.

Floating Text: In the West, there was once a conqueror by the name of Caesar who was said to be a great orator...

Floating Text: ...and I suspect that Lord Michinaga is every bit his equal.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Lord Seimei...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Very well, I understand.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: There will come a time when the Genji will need to invade the palace and rescue the people trapped there...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...but for now, it seems we can trust that they are safe.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I am relieved to hear you say that, Lord Seimei.

Nursery Rhyme: Raikou, Raikou. How can you hear him when he isn't actually saying anything?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Ah.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: That's true, isn't it? How strange. We're only reading his words floating in the air, but it feels as though he's right here with us.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Once this is all over, I wonder if this method of communication will become more common?

Fujimaru 1: I can say that, a thousand years in the future,communicating via text over great distances is very common.

Fujimaru 2: If by “once this is all over” you mean “a thousand yearsin the future,” then yeah, it definitely will.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh my, you don't say!

Nursery Rhyme: That's amazing, Lord Abe-no-Seimei. I can't believe you're showing us something from a thousand years in the future.

Nursery Rhyme: It's almost as though you're peering across time itself, as though you were a traveler making a very, very long journey.

Nursery Rhyme: Tick, tock, tick, tock. I wonder what kind of clock you use?

Sakata Kintoki: A clock? You mean that thing that uses water to tell time?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: A water clock, yes. It's a machine that uses flowing water to measure the passage of time.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah, that!

Sakata Kintoki: That water clock's the one thing I hate guarding. It always puts me right to sleep.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Yes, I can see how you would be ill-suited to that sort of thing. You need a fair amount of knowledge to build and maintain one of those devices.

Sakata Kintoki: Fine by me. Other people can take care of their water clock duties, and I can take care of my guard duties! To each their own!

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, speakin' of the time, it's been an hour since Danzo went out on patrol, huh?

Sakata Kintoki: She oughta be back by no–

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, speak of the devil!

Danzo: I have returned, and I have a report to make.

Danzo: The third and fourth general gods have materialized at Gojou Street, near the Kamogawa!

Fujimaru 1: So two of them showed up together again, huh.

Floating Text: Very astute. Indeed, if Limbo needs three more Heroic Spirit souls to grant his wish...

Floating Text: ...the easiest way would be to summon at least three of them simultaneously and feed their souls to the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness all in one go.

Floating Text: But instead, he's only summoning two at a time, and right near the edge of my all-encompassing Bounded Field at that.

Floating Text: Why would he do such a thing? Even if he can't summon them right at the tree itself...

Floating Text: ...the sensible move would be to summon three or more in separate locations and have them head for Suzaku Gate at the same time.

Floating Text: That way, we would have no choice but to split up our forces to stop them.

Floating Text: So the fact that he isn't doing that must mean–

Fujimaru 2: Maybe he literally can't summon more than two at a time.

Floating Text: Most likely. Which would mean there are hard limits to Limbo's summoning capabilities.

Floating Text: And let's not forget he already used the Holy Grail to summon seven Heroic Spirits not too long ago.

Floating Text: So if Limbo needs three more Heroic Spirit souls to grant his wish, the easiest way for him to get them...

Floating Text: ...would be to summon at least three simultaneously and feed their souls to the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness all in one go.

Floating Text: But instead, he's only summoning two at a time, and right near the edge of my all-encompassing Bounded Field at that.

Floating Text: Why would he do such a thing? Even if he can't summon them right at the tree itself...

Floating Text: ...the sensible move would be to summon three or more in separate locations and have them head for Suzaku Gate at the same time.

Floating Text: That way, we would have no choice but to split up our forces to stop them.

Floating Text: So the fact that he isn't doing that must mean–

Sakata Kintoki: He can't do it.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: What else can you tell us, Lady Danzo? If this took place at the eastern edge of Gojou, then Hase and Gotou should have been there.

Danzo: ...Right.

Danzo: There was indeed a group of Genji warriors there led by Lord Hase and Lord Gotou, along with a group of officers...

Danzo: ...but I'm sorry to report that the enemy wiped out more than two thirds of them.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...I see.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Then we will head out right away.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Lady Medea! We must go!

Medea Lily: Coming! Here, Lord Tsuna, Lord Kintoki. I made rice balls for you!

Sakata Kintoki: All right, thanks! Make sure you guys eat up while you can, too, Fujimaru and Danzo!

Danzo: Wait! There is still more I need to tell you!

Danzo: One of the general gods has taken the form of a great tsuchigumo...

Danzo: And the other one, who goes by the name Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo, is a true Genji killer!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: This is an affliction of mine.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: If I see a Genji, I kill them.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: So don't growl at me like that. I can't help it. You may kill everyone we fight, except the Genji.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Kill all you like; eat your fill.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ...There, you see? You didn't have to wait long at all.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Although... Something about this enemy smells...and pungently at that.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: You there. Are you affiliated with the Genji?

Danzo: ...

Danzo: (That form... That voice...)

Danzo: (Could they be...?)

Danzo: I am Katou Danzo, Servant to the Master of Chaldea.

Danzo: I am also currently a guest of sorts at Lady Minamoto-no-Raikou's residence.

Danzo: It seems you consider the Genji your sworn enemies... May I ask your name?

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: A corpse needs no name...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ...or so the other general gods claim, but not me. Even as a corpse, I remain Kagekiyo.

Danzo: Kagekiyo...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Indeed. I am Kagekiyo, the blade of hatred.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: My Hasshoujin name is full Taira-no-Kagekiyo.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Haha, sorry, Kugamimi-no-Mikasa! But given how much this puppet stinks of Genji...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: would seem that she, too, is my quarry! Hahahahahaha!


Sakata Kintoki: Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo...

Floating Text: As I thought, it seems this latest Hasshoujin is making no effort to hide their True Name, either.

Floating Text: I expect that's owed to Limbo's supreme confidence in his pawns, but it's a showy, sloppy tactic. Still, it does work in our favor in this case.

Floating Text: Now then, changing gears: How many of you already know who Taira-no-Kagekiyo is?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Not me, I'm afraid.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Was he a warrior with the Kanmu Heishi clan, perhaps?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: The traitors Lord Fujiwara-no-Hidesato faced during the rebellions in east Japan were prominent Taira warriors...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...but I have never heard of this Taira-no-Kagekiyo.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I've never heard the name before, either. How about you, Kinto–Never mind. Why am I even asking?

Sakata Kintoki: Yup, no clue here either.

Danzo: ...Yes, Taira-no-Kagekiyo is associated with the Kanmu Heishi, but not the one you know.

Danzo: They hail from over a hundred years in your future and approximately three hundred years before my own time.

Danzo: They are a survivor of the Genpei War who bears a deep grudge against the Genji!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...I see. So this person is also from a time beyond tomorrow.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I suppose we shouldn't be surprised, given that Fujimaru is from a thousand years in the future.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Still...I was unaware that Heroic Spirits could come from the future as well as the past.

Fujimaru 1: Taira-no-Kagekiyo...

Danzo: They were known as Palace Guard Akushichi Kagekiyo of Kazusa before changing their name to Taira-no-Kagekiyo.

Danzo: Legend says that after the Genpei War, they swore revenge on the Genji clan for wiping out the Taira clan in their efforts to establish the Kamakura shogunate.

Fujimaru 2: They were originally known as Palace GuardAkushichi Kagekiyo of Kazusa, right?

Danzo: Correct, Master. They took the name “Taira-no-Kagekiyo” after swearing fealty to the Taira clan.

Danzo: Legend says that after the Genpei War, they swore revenge on the Genji clan for wiping out the Taira clan in their efforts to establish the Kamakura shogunate.

Danzo: In fact, Taira-no-Kagekiyo is said to have led attacks on Minamoto-no-Yoritomo, the founder of the Kamakura shogunate, no fewer than thirty-seven times.

Danzo: Some legends even claim they were both monstrous and unkillable, even surviving decapitation.

Danzo: I am certain that is who I encountered.

Danzo: As a Heroic Spirit, Taira-no-Kagekiyo is like a living weapon that operates solely to annihilate the Genji!

Danzo: Unfortunately, the group of Genji warriors led by Lord Hase and Lord Gotou...

Danzo: ...were among the first to die at Kagekiyo's hands.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I see.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: So they killed every Genji warrior present?

Danzo: Indeed. The third of the force that survived was composed entirely of imperial officers.

Danzo: The moment the Genji warriors drew near Kagekiyo, they dropped their swords and fell to their knees.

Danzo: It was almost as if they were offering their heads voluntarily...

Danzo: I suspect it was some ability Kagekiyo possessed by virtue of being a Heroic Spirit.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ... ...

Danzo: The Kagekiyo I saw was a true killer of Genji, in every possible sense.

Danzo: They are your natural enemy...almost as if they are a poison that only affects the Genji.

Danzo: It doesn't matter how strong you are. If any of you get near Kagekiyo, they will have your heads for certain!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Then it would seem another challenging battle awaits us.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Thank you, Lady Danzo. We would certainly have walked straight into our deaths, had it not been for your warning.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: What about the officers? What became of them?

Danzo: Kagekiyo is also leading a pack of tsuchigumo, which the officers alone were unable to defeat.

Danzo: After making a strategic retreat, they gathered more officers and set up an encampment on the Kamogawa bridge that leads to the city.

Danzo: Kagekiyo and the tsuchigumo were moving at a fairly unhurried pace, so they arrived at the river later.

Danzo: And now, for some reason...

Danzo: ...they appear to simply be holding position, glaring at the river, rather than advancing.

Sakata Kintoki: The hell?

Sakata Kintoki: I thought the general gods were supposed to head right for Suzaku Gate?

Sakata Kintoki: What, this Taira-no-Kagekiyo person got some fond memories of the Kamogawa or somethin'?

Danzo: I'm not sure, but...

Danzo: ... ...

Danzo: ...There is one more thing, Master. Kagekiyo bears a close resemblance to Lady Ushiwakamaru.

Fujimaru 1: !!!

Fujimaru 1: Ushiwakamaru? As in, THAT Ushiwakamaru!?

Danzo: Yes. They were identical to my sensors.

Danzo: I would not be surprised if this Kagekiyo was actually a manifestation of another side of Lady Ushiwakamaru, and that she simply changed her name for reasons we do not yet know.

Danzo: That being said, Ushiwakamaru–that is, Lady Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune has never demonstrated anything like Kagekiyo's talent for killing Genji.

Fujimaru 1: Even if they are Ushiwakamaru's Alter, there's got to be more to it.

Fujimaru 2: There's probably something more going on here.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Is something wrong, [♂ Lord /♀️ Lady] Fujimaru? You seem pale.

Sakata Kintoki: Um... I'm sorry.

Sakata Kintoki: I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but I guess I did. So, uh, who's this Ushiwaka person?

Danzo: Well...

Fujimaru 1: Her name's Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune. Ushiwakamaru was her childhood name.

Fujimaru 2: She's a Seiwa Genji hero from over a hundred years in your future.

Danzo: Minamoto Kurou Yoshitsune, born Ushiwakamaru. She played a key role in the Genpei War that will occur approximately two hundred years from now.

Danzo: She greatly admired her older brother, Minamoto-no-Yoritomo, the leader of the Genji at the time, and fought valiantly for him in many brutal battles.

Danzo: But, in the end, Yoritomo branded her a traitor, and had her executed.

Danzo: ...So she would certainly have a reason to bear a grudge against the Genji.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: So this Ushiwakamaru is also consumed by hatred, just like Taira-no-Kagekiyo.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Hatred. Grudges.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: These are terrible, horrible things. At times, they even bare their fangs here in the city...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...bringing disaster with them.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I see... So our next enemy is one that bears a fiery grudge against all Genji.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ... ...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Then we have no other choice.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: If we Genji are powerless to stop this opponent, then it is time to stop worrying about appearances.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: We will simply have to ask for help from the most powerful fighters residing near Kyo. Kintoki.

Sakata Kintoki: Y-yeah?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: You are to set off for Mt. Ooe immediately...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...and secure aid from the oni.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: !

Nursery Rhyme: Oh my. Are you sure, Raikou? I thought you despised the oni.

Nursery Rhyme: Now you want Kintoki to ask them for help?

Floating Text: I agree with Lady Raikou. Asking the oni for help is a brilliant idea.

Floating Text: The only ones in the city capable of combating a threat like this are the Genji. The officers just can't keep up.

Floating Text: Oni, on the other hand...

Floating Text: ...are natural-born fighters!

Floating Text: And while there may not be many oni in this time with permanent homes, we know we will find a great many of them on Mt. Ooe.

Floating Text: Yes, an excellent choice, Lady Raikou.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Thank you, Lord Seimei.

Floating Text: I'm still quite far away, but I'll do what I can to reinforce the Bounded Field around the Kamogawa bridge from here.

Floating Text: Whether this new figure is Kagekiyo or Yoshitsune, there's no telling how long they'll stay put.

Floating Text: Time is of the essence. Go on, Kintoki. We're all counting on you.

Sakata Kintoki: Got it!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ... ...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: (Just because we're going to ask the oni for help right now doesn't mean we couldn't also lay a trap for them.)

Minamoto-no-Raikou: (They may not be eating humans any longer, but they're still oni.)

Minamoto-no-Raikou: (It's only a matter of time until they harm more people. I am leader of the Genji, so it is my duty to–)

Nursery Rhyme: Raikou. Raikou. Monjumaru.

Nursery Rhyme: I know what it is you're thinking, and you don't have to think like that.

Nursery Rhyme: You want to be a kind and loving mother, right? Then you can't treat your children's friends that way.

Nursery Rhyme: I just know you'll regret it if you do.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Yes, you're right.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I cannot lose sight of what is right and just. It would be wrong to betray anyone who has aided us in a time of need.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I will never be like Lord Tamuramaro, nor do I wish to be.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I will never nurse a grudge of my own, be it against oni or tsuchigumo.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: However, that being said...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Killing monsters is the only way we have to ensure peace in Kyo, and I am a warrior entrusted with its defense. But I am also a human being...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ... ...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...and I have no desire to kill when it is not necessary.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oni or not, they are still powerful fighters.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Shuten was even chosen to be a Master for the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: And there could be other times in the future when we may need their help.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Nonetheless...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I cannot be sure I will be able to keep my sword in its sheath around them, and Tsuna cut off Ibaraki's just arm the other day.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: That is why you are the only one we can ask to do this, Kintoki.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Go welcome the oni of Mt. Ooe to the city and convince them to fight this general god, be they Taira-no-Kagekiyo or Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune.

Sakata Kintoki: You got it! I'll head there as fast as my legs can carry me!

Sakata Kintoki: Fujimaru! Danzo! I wish I could say I can handle this all by myself...

Sakata Kintoki: But I know I might not be able to keep my cool around Shuten! Would you mind comin' with me!?

Fujimaru 1: You don't even have to ask!

Sakata Kintoki: Awesome! Thanks!

Fujimaru 2: Okay, but no fighting!

Sakata Kintoki: I'll do my best!

Medea Lily: Here, I wrapped the rice balls in bamboo bark. I also cast a simple stamina recovery spell on them.

Medea Lily: Please be careful, everyone.

Sakata Kintoki: Thanks, Medea! All right then...

Sakata Kintoki: Off to Mt. Ooe!


Sakata Kintoki: Heh! I've never seen the moon look so damn eerie before! It's even glowin' a weird shade of red!

Sakata Kintoki: Not to mention it's night all the time now, thanks to that Tree of Emptiness thing!

Fujimaru 1: (I'll never get used to red moons!)

Fujimaru 1: (Not that I can say that while we're way up in the air like this!)

Sakata Kintoki: Keep your mouth shut, Fujimaru! You don't wanna bite your tongue!

Sakata Kintoki: Maybe we should've stuck to runnin' after all! Leapin' up high like this's a good way to avoid monsters, but–

Fujimaru 1: (Give a silent thumbs-up)

Sakata Kintoki: Huh? What is it?

Danzo: It means Master is fine with continuing to travel this way, Lord Kintoki!

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, yeah? All right then, let's keep this moongazing journey goin' a little longer! Don't worry, we'll take a break before we head up the mountain!

Danzo: Well done, Master. Let me scan your inner ears...

Danzo: ...

Danzo: Good, everything seems to be fine. Now that we have finished our transit...

Danzo: ...we have arrived at the foot of Mt. Ooe, approximately one hundred kilometers northwest of Heian-kyo.

Danzo: I've already marked the oni castle's coordinates on my map, so it shouldn't take us long to make our way there.

Fujimaru 1: It might be a little early, but I think I'll have the rice balls Medea gave me now.

Fujimaru 2: This seems like a good time to have Medea's rice balls.

Danzo: Understood.

Danzo: Here you go, Master. I also brought some water in this bamboo flask, if you like.

Danzo: Would you also like a special Fuuma-style hyourougan? I took the liberty of making some improvements to the recipe.

Fujimaru 1: Thanks, but no thanks.

Fujimaru 2: Maybe some other time.

Danzo: I see...

Sakata Kintoki: Man, those rice balls look good.

Danzo: Will you be eating yours now too, Lord Kintoki?

Sakata Kintoki: Nah, I'll pass. We're already in oni territory now.

Sakata Kintoki: So I'll need to stay on my toes a lot more here than I do in the city!

Sakata Kintoki: Well, no, that's not all of it. The truth is, it's better if I'm a little hungry for this.

Sakata Kintoki: I don't want to accidentally use my full strength if Shuten and me end up fightin' again.

Fujimaru 1: Hang on.

Fujimaru 1: That doesn't make sense.

Fujimaru 2: You do know we didn't come here to fight, right?

Danzo: Master is right, Lord Kintoki.

Danzo: We are paying the oni a visit to request their aid in battle, not to battle them ourselves.

Sakata Kintoki: I know that. I'm not lookin' to pick a fight, either.

Sakata Kintoki: But we're still talkin' about oni, and Mt. Ooe's chock-full of 'em.

Sakata Kintoki: You can't go forgettin' that, no matter what!

Sakata Kintoki: That aside...

Sakata Kintoki: It sure is weird that I'm settin' foot on Ooe for once. Feels like everything's all backwards.

Fujimaru 1: You said Shuten-Douji comes down to Kyo once a month, right?

Fujimaru 2: Oni visits are usually a monthly thing, right?

Sakata Kintoki: That's right.

Sakata Kintoki: She steals things, destroys shrines, and generally gets up to all sorts of mischief.

Sakata Kintoki: The first thing she steals is always wine–the good stuff offered up to the palace.

Sakata Kintoki: Sometimes she'll kidnap a pretty lady and make her a cupbearer. Sometimes she kidnaps a guy and makes him do it instead.

Sakata Kintoki: Shuten sees something she likes, she takes it.

Sakata Kintoki: Then she'll talk about how she loves moongazin', but she also loves gazin' into a pretty lady's teary eyes.

Sakata Kintoki: At least she's never brought anyone back to her castle, but even so...

Sakata Kintoki: ...I always get chills whenever she kidnaps someone.

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...




She's an oni who lives on Mt. Ooe, though nobody knows when she moved there.


Nobody knows much about her, 'cept that she's real strong.


We don't even know where she came from. All we really know...

Narration: that she's powerful enough to make all the other oni toe the line.


I met her for the first time a few years ago.


Her name means “heavy drinker,” and damn if it isn't fitting. She's never not drunk.


You can tell from the way she talks.


Apparently, she's the child of some super important god, too.


The very first time I met her, this is what she said to me.

Narration: “Well, look at that.”

Narration: “What in the world are you doing here...”

Narration: “...Kaidoumaru of Ashigara?”

Narration: “Oh, you poor thing. Those Kyo warriors must have captured you, huh?”

Narration: “Oh well.”

Narration: “At least you got a nice new outfit, so it looks like they're treating you well.”

Narration: “So hey, Kaidoumaru.”

Narration: “Do you still remember me?”


...I'd never seen her before in my life.


I'd run into other oni, of course. There were a couple of them on Mt. Ashigara, where I grew up, way off in Sagami in the east.


But none of them were Shuten.


The ones I met were different.


... ...


At least, that's what I thought. But then, it's weird.


For some reason, she did feel almost... familiar when I met her.


It was probably just some weird kind of familiarity that came with meeting another oni...

Narration: I didn't bother saying that.

Narration: “Oh well, it's fine either way.”

Narration: “Your eyes are reeeally blue, aren't they?”

Narration: “What do they call eyes like that again? Baby blues?”

Narration: “Mmm, your eyes and hair go together reeeally nicely with the moon.”

Narration: “And then there's those biiig, strong arms.”

Narration: “You've got Sekiryu's blood running through your veins, right?”

Narration: “So then...”

Narration: “...they must be really hard to break, huh?”

Narration: “Oh yes, you and I are going to have sooo much fun together.”

Narration: “Aren't we, brat?”


That's how it all started.


In practice, I guess it hasn't been all that long... But it's definitely been long enough for me.


There's no telling when she might try to tear off more than just my arm.


She–No, all oni, are mercurial as hell.


One moment they're smiling at you, the next they're tearing you to shreds.


They'll admire a house, then smash it to splinters. They'll take treasure they stole 'cause they thought it was beautiful, then just crush it.


That's why I'm always terrified whenever they kidnap someone.


I know I have to rescue 'em fast as I can...


...'Cause if I don't, it's just a matter of time till their head gets torn off.


That, or they'll get eaten alive. One way or the other, they ain't getting' out alive.


That's just what oni do.


They can't help but rip even the things they love apart.


They can't help feelin' affectionate for things they kill either.


Talk about a pain in the neck...


... ...


Still... So far, I haven't heard about her eatin' a single person in Kyo.


Word has it she ate a ton of people before she started livin' at Mt. Ooe, but in Kyo, nothin'. At least, not yet.


In fact, she seems to only get really worked up around me and Brother Usui. Apparently, she hasn't so much as torn a limb off anyone she's kidnapped.


I don't know if that's just 'cause us warriors are rescuin' them before she can, or if she...


... ...

Narration: ...Good grief.

Narration: Good goddamn grief. There's no way oni and Genji could ever get along.

Narration: I wonder...

Narration: Just how long is this weird connection we've got gonna last?

Fujimaru 1: Kintoki?

Fujimaru 2: Did you fall asleep?

Sakata Kintoki: Nah, I'm awake. Hehe, no way I'm noddin' off here!

Sakata Kintoki: I was just thinkin' about...stuff.

Sakata Kintoki: I think...she and I probably...

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Never mind. Forget I said anythin'. So, you all done restin' up?

Sakata Kintoki: Then come on! The sooner we get to the oni castle, the better!

Sakata Kintoki: C'mon, Fujimaru! Let's go, Danzo!

Fujimaru 1: Is that...!?

Danzo: That is Rashomon, at the southern edge of Heian-kyo's Suzaku Avenue!

Danzo: Or at least, it is very similar... Though it also seems to have had some, um, unique design flourishes added to it!

Sakata Kintoki: Hah. Well ain't that a thing.

Sakata Kintoki: Can't believe Shuten had a fake Rashomon built up here. Maybe she figured the castle alone wasn't enough?

Sakata Kintoki: Anyway, looks like the rumors I've heard about oni bein' surprisingly good carpenters were spot-on.

Sakata Kintoki: Wouldn't you say, Ibaraki!?

Ibaraki-Douji: ...What are you doing here, human?

Sakata Kintoki: Hey there!

Sakata Kintoki: Not here to pick a fight today. You must've noticed what happened to the sky by now, right?

Sakata Kintoki: And you can't like that creepy bloodred moon crap any more than we do.

Ibaraki-Douji: ...

Sakata Kintoki: We wanna fix the moon and sky, and while we're at it, save Kyo.

Sakata Kintoki: That's gotta sound good to you guys too, right?

Sakata Kintoki: And if that's not enough, there's also plenty of wine, gold, and rice for you, too!

Sakata Kintoki: ...Then again, maybe oni ain't even got any interest in rewards.

Sakata Kintoki: Anyway, that's the deal, Ibaraki. How about it?

Sakata Kintoki: Will you help us?

Ibaraki-Douji: ...Huh?

Ibaraki-Douji: What did you just say you want us to do, Heavenly King?

Sakata Kintoki: Help us. Please.

Fujimaru 1: There's a new enemy out there who specializes in killing Genji.

Fujimaru 2: We need your help to fend off a natural-born Genji killer.

Ibaraki-Douji: ... ...

Ibaraki-Douji: ...You mean you're not here to hunt us?

Ibaraki-Douji: I thought you'd given up on playing with Shuten during the Imperial Holy Grail War...

Ibaraki-Douji: ...and that you'd just decided to turn it into an oni hunt.

Sakata Kintoki: Uh...

Sakata Kintoki: Is...that what this looks like? No, that ain't why we're here at all.

Ibaraki-Douji: Then where's Raikou?

Sakata Kintoki: She's not here.

Ibaraki-Douji: Tsuna?

Sakata Kintoki: He's not here, either. It's just us.

Sakata Kintoki: So how about it, Ibaraki? Would you go get Shuten so we can talk–

Ibaraki-Douji: I see, I see.

Ibaraki-Douji: So, you need our help, huh?

Ibaraki-Douji: Well, well, well... Is that so?

Ibaraki-Douji: In that case, I'd be more than happy...



Ibaraki-Douji: Hahahahahaha, foolish humans! You should have known better than to show your faces in oni territory!

Ibaraki-Douji: And you came here to ask us for HELP!? You'd be lucky to leave alive. And today you're not lucky!

Ibaraki-Douji: Heavenly King or not, it's still just you! There's no Tsuna or Raikou to bail you out now!

Ibaraki-Douji: Well, I guess you also have a puppet and a brat with you, but that's basically nothing! I'm amazed you thought you could come to my New Rashomon like that!

Ibaraki-Douji: Hoshikuma-Douji!

Danzo: Large hostile detected! It looks similar to the one we encountered at Omiya Road!

Sakata Kintoki: I told you, we didn't come here to fight!

Ibaraki-Douji: Let's go, Hoshikuma! Tonight, we'll be moongazing with the fresh head of a Heavenly King for a snack!

Ibaraki-Douji: Hahahahahahahahahahaha! Now diiiiiie!


Sakata Kintoki: Shut up!

Ibaraki-Douji: Aah! Hoshikuma! D-damn you, Kintoki! How dare a mere human do that!?

Ibaraki-Douji: A-all right, I didn't want to do this, but if I wake up Kanekuma-Douji...!

Ibaraki-Douji: Ow.

Danzo: Hoshikuma-Douji has been neutralized, and Ibaraki-Douji seems not to be a threat anymore.

Danzo: It, um, seems someone hit her on the head from behind and knocked her out...

Sakata Kintoki: Probably just looked like a light tap, didn't it? Well, don't be fooled.

Sakata Kintoki: If that'd been Fujimaru's head, it would've burst like an overripe pomegranate fallin' to the ground.

Shuten-Douji: Well hi there.

Shuten-Douji: Lovely evening, isn't it? Not every night you get to see the moon bleed.

Shuten-Douji: Sorry about Ibaraki. Things have been crazy up on the mountain, and she's just a little...on edge.

Shuten-Douji: I'm kind of surprised she didn't just devour the little human on the spot.

Shuten-Douji: But then, maybe I shouldn't be, seeing how you're here too, Baby Blues.

Sakata Kintoki: Haha, who knows! You tryin' to say mountain life suits me, Shuten?

Shuten-Douji: Fufufufufufu. Please don't glare at me like that. It's sooo scary.

Shuten-Douji: You came to talk, right?

Shuten-Douji: So let's talk.

Shuten-Douji: Although...I think I'd rather talk with the [♂ brat /♀️ girl] with the [♂ black /♀️ red] hair than you, Baby Blues.

Shuten-Douji: What do you say, [♂ brat /♀️ girl]? Want to have a little chat?

Shuten-Douji: Or maybe...

Shuten-Douji: We could share a drink? I've also got some veeery sweet cake if you'd like.

Shuten-Douji: You that I look closer, I can see it in your eyes. You've seen things I can't even imagine.

Shuten-Douji: Why don't I gouge them out for you?

Shuten-Douji: Aww, come on. That was my best joke, you know.

Shuten-Douji: Haven't we known each other long enough for you to get my sense of humor by now? You're no fun.

Shuten-Douji: Oh, right. You can have this back.

Shuten-Douji: I maaaybe got a little carried away and ripped it off. Accident, I sweeear.

Fujimaru 1: Is that...!?

Fujimaru 2: Danzo's right arm!?

Danzo: I was careless!

Danzo: She removed my right arm in the instant I moved to intercept her just now!

Sakata Kintoki: Shuten!

Shuten-Douji: Oh my, why are you looking at me like that? You're frightening me again, you know.

Shuten-Douji: I just pulled a little harder than I meant to, that's all.

Shuten-Douji: Besides, I'd never break such a pretty puppet.

Shuten-Douji: Take a closer look. Her arm came off nice and neat, no?

Danzo: ...Master. Lord Kintoki. It's all right.

Danzo: Shuten-Douji is telling the truth.

Danzo: She did remove my right arm... but I can still reattach it like so... Khh!

Danzo: ...There. Good as new.

Fujimaru 1: Just take it easy for a while, okay?

Fujimaru 2: Hang on, I'll cast a healing spell for good measure.

Fujimaru 1: Activating Mystic Code.

Danzo: ...Thank you, Master. I am truly in your debt.

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Good grief.

Sakata Kintoki: Look, I know you well enough by now to know you must've been listenin' in on our talk with Ibaraki.

Sakata Kintoki: So what do you say, Shuten-Douji?

Shuten-Douji: Why, sure.

Danzo: !

Sakata Kintoki: Cool.

Danzo: Just like that!?

Danzo: The mood was so tense just a moment ago, and now...

Fujimaru 1: I don't get it!

Fujimaru 2: Is this really happening!?

Sakata Kintoki: That's exactly it.

Sakata Kintoki: It's okay, Fujimaru.

Sakata Kintoki: Don't bother tryin' to understand her. There's no point twistin' yourself into knots over it.

Sakata Kintoki: This is just how oni are.

Sakata Kintoki: Shuten.

Shuten-Douji: Yeees?

Sakata Kintoki: Can I take that to mean you'll help us?

Shuten-Douji: Mmm, yes.

Shuten-Douji: Now that Paracelsus is gone, and the Imperial whatsit is over, I don't have much else going on anyway.

Shuten-Douji: So why not? I don't mind.

Shuten-Douji: Besides, it's been ages since we last played together. Fufufufufufu. I wonder, when was the last time we fought together like this?

Sakata Kintoki: ...Never. This'll be the first time.

Shuten-Douji: Oh, really?

Sakata Kintoki: Also, I'd better tell you this now: the enemy we'll be goin' up against is crazy strong.

Sakata Kintoki: They're called the Hasshoujin. We already went up against two of 'em, and they were unbelievably tough. Even after beatin' em, I still don't feel like we won.

Sakata Kintoki: Well... It's more like I still haven't been able to win against 'em. I fought 'em, sure, but it was Raikou and Tsuna that finished them off.

Shuten-Douji: Oh my. Is that so? I never thought I'd hear you say anything like that.

Shuten-Douji: Fufufufu. So you're saying you're not all excited to fight such strooong enemies?

Shuten-Douji: Are you scared? Awww, poor baby.

Shuten-Douji: Well then...

Shuten-Douji: sounds like this [♂ boy's /♀️ girl's] a whooole lot braver than you.

Shuten-Douji: Isn't that right, [♂ boy /♀️ girl]?

Shuten-Douji: Let's see.. You said your name was Fujimaru, right, sweetie?

Shuten-Douji: You're dressed like a grown-up, and you're about the right age for humans to agree. But from where I stand...

Shuten-Douji:'re still just a baby.

Shuten-Douji: A kitten. A duckling. A teeeny, tiny child.

Shuten-Douji: You are, right?

Shuten-Douji: I can see it aaall in your eyes, you know.

Fujimaru 1: ...I'm not a child anymore.

Fujimaru 1: I may still be young, but I'm not a child.

Fujimaru 2: I guess whether I'm a minor depends on what year it is.

Shuten-Douji: Fufu, you're adooorable. That's exactly what every little kid says.

Shuten-Douji: I'm not mocking you, you know? Just the opposite. I'm complimenting you.

Shuten-Douji: You should be proud. You're still practically a baby...

Shuten-Douji: ...but you've got nerves of steel.

Sakata Kintoki: ...!

Shuten-Douji: So, tell me something.

Shuten-Douji: Why are you fighting this oooh...sooo...scaaary enemy, hmmm?

Fujimaru 1: So I can go home.

Fujimaru 1: ...And take back our world.

Shuten-Douji: ...Huh.

Shuten-Douji: I'm not sure what that's all about, but it's so much more interesting than I expected.

Shuten-Douji: This child is something else, isn't [♂ he /♀️ she], brat? Fufufu...

Shuten-Douji: I bet that throat of yours must taste reeeal nice, given what comes out of it. And your tongue looks so nice and soft, too–

Danzo: No more jokes, Lady Shuten-Douji.

Shuten-Douji: Aww. So mean.

Shuten-Douji: You too, brat.

Shuten-Douji: I can tell you were just planning to cut off my arms.

Sakata Kintoki: Damn straight. Be grateful you still have a head.

Sakata Kintoki: That's my friend–no, my Boss you just threatened. There's no way in hell I'm gonna let you eat [♂ him /♀️ her]!

Sakata Kintoki: We need [♂ him /♀️ her] alive and well, or there's no point in you helpin' us at all!

Shuten-Douji: Fiiine, I got it. Fufufufu, goodness, you really are desperate, aren't you!?

Shuten-Douji: This enemy really must be strong if they've got you this on edge.

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, right. About them...

Sakata Kintoki: Hey, Boss? Seein' how you and Danzo were talkin' earlier...

Sakata Kintoki: ...I'm guessin' you Chaldeans know who this Saikyou person really is. You do, don't you?

Sakata Kintoki: Then please: Could you tell us more about them?

Section 13: Genji Killer (Second Half)

Narration: I am Kagekiyo.

Narration: I am hatred personified.

Narration: I am not an individual, but a collection of many.

Narration: I have been Taira-no-Kagekiyo since I first took form.

Narration: There is not only one Kagekiyo. At least thirty-seven Kagekiyos made attempts on Yoritomo's life.

Narration: Were but one Kagekiyo to die, Kagekiyo would live on. In time, another Kagekiyo must always appear, and exact revenge on the Genji.

Narration: Some time later, after Kagekiyo had become a legend and been inscribed in the Throne of Heroes, someone told me:

Narration: Kagekiyo is the very concept of killing the Genji.

Narration: Now, I am here, in Heian-kyo. A phenomenon made possible by the twisted machinations of the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness.

Narration: The personified concept of a grudge born against the Genji, found the perfect vessel in Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune, another legend with cause to hate the Genji.

Narration: Hatred lies at the very heart of the Heroic Spirit of Yoshitsune!

Narration: Hatred for her brother, Minamoto-no-Yoritomo!

Narration: Indeed, the form of Yoshitsune, layered deep with grudges, suits Kagekiyo well.

Narration: I am Kagekiyo, and I am Yoshitsune. I am Yoshitsune, and I am Kagekiyo.

Narration: All Genji must die.

Narration: Tonight, I will annihilate them. There is no place for the Genji in this world twisted by the roots of cosmic fantasy.

Narration: Now then...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: A bridge.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: A bridge, hm?

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: How strange. It has been quite some time since I began staring at this bridge Kagekiyo does not recognize.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I have tarried long enough.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Come, Kagekiyo/Yoshitsune. Come, great tsuchigumo Kugamimi-no-Mikasa.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: You have been waiting patiently. Now, we resume our extermination.

Narration: I remember this place.

Narration: Kagekiyo may have no recollection whatsoever of this bridge, but Yoshitsune's body does.

Narration: After all, this is where Yoshitsune's own battle began.

Narration: “I cannot let you pass.”

Narration: “If you wish to get by me... you will need to hand over your sword first.”

Narration: ...Benkei.

Narration: “Hear me, Ushiwaka.”

Narration: “You and your brother must avenge your father, and destroy the Taira clan.”

Narration: ...Mother.

Narration: “Haha, you look just like Tokiwa, Ushiwakamaru. It warms my heart.”

Narration: “I will let no harm come to you. I will defend you with my life.”

Narration: “For you are living proof that the Taira defeated the Genji.”

Narration: ...Taira-no-Kiyomori.

Narration: “Well done! Well done indeed!”

Narration: “You have trained your body to perfection, Shana-oh.”

Narration: “But don't think I've forgotten how you snuck a peek at my Rikutou Sanryaku.”

Narration: ...My teacher.

Narration: “Remember this well, Overseer Yoshitsune. If you remain as you are, you are merely their dog.”

Narration: “Killing me will not end this war, for I and the Taira clan are not Lord Yoritomo's only enemies.”

Narration: “You will be next.”

Narration: ...Lord Yoshinaka.

Narration: “I will accompany you wherever you go, Lord Yoshitsune.”

Narration: “All I ask is that you let me stay by your side until the very end.”

Narration: ...Shizuka.

Narration: “I will keep Lord Chitosemaru safe.”

Narration: “So first, Lord Yoshitsune, we must make it out of here alive!”

Narration: ...Hitachibou.

Narration: “Forgive me, Yoshitsune.”

Narration: “I do not understand you.”

Narration: ...Brother.

Sakata Kintoki: ...Halt.

Sakata Kintoki: No ordinary person would be carrying a sword across a bridge at this hour of the night.

Sakata Kintoki: ...I cannot let you pass.

Sakata Kintoki: If you wish to get by will need to hand over your sword first!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ... ...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ...What an odd thing to say to me. What do you think you're doing, Genji?

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I am Kagekiyo. Nothing you have to say will make any difference.

Sakata Kintoki: That so?

Sakata Kintoki: I was goin' for my best Benkei impression, but I don't know how well I did. What do you think, Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune?

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Heh. Heh.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I am Kagekiyo, bringer of death to all Genji.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: You know nothing. Especially of Benkei.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Now that you have thrown your lot in with the Genji, your life is forfeit.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I commend your bravery, foolish though it may be, for even breathing in my presence, but it won't be long now before you lose the strength in your limbs, and then your life.

Sakata Kintoki: We'll see about that.

Sakata Kintoki: Still, you're right about one thing, honored descendant. I don't know much of anything.

Sakata Kintoki: I wanna ask, Ushiwakamaru–No, Overseer Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune, warrior from the future we created.

Sakata Kintoki: See, I heard all about you on the way here from the mountain.

Sakata Kintoki: I heard about how you lived your life...and about how you lost it.

Sakata Kintoki: People end up tellin' your story for years after your death.

Sakata Kintoki: “Overseer Yoshitsune” is like one and the same as sayin' “an underdog.”

Sakata Kintoki: I know I'd never forget about a warrior who accomplished incredible feats only to meet with a cruel and tragic end.

Sakata Kintoki: The more I heard about you, the more things added up.

Sakata Kintoki: You were someone real special. That much is damn certain.

Sakata Kintoki: But...

Sakata Kintoki: There was also somethin' about your story that just didn't make sense to me!

Sakata Kintoki: That's why I wanted to ask you, Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune, about it directly!

Sakata Kintoki: So, tell me, Yoshitsune. Ushiwaka. Our descendant from tomorrow who already died.

Sakata Kintoki: Why did you–

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo:


Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I am Kagekiyo. My corpse's True Name is of no significance!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Death comes. Great tsuchigumo Kugamimi-no-Mikasa!

Danzo: It seems Kagekiyo is no longer willing to talk, Lord Kintoki! Master and I will back you up as best we can!

Shuten-Douji: Hmm. I was wondering what this Genji poison stuff would be like...

Shuten-Douji: Ahaaa, I see. So that's how it works. All right, brat and Boss, let's get started!

Fujimaru 1: ...Understood.

Fujimaru 1: Genji, advance!

Sakata Kintoki: Hell yeah! Genji, advance! Let's see what you've got, Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune!


Sakata Kintoki: Guuuh! My head's pounding! I'm all dizzy!

Sakata Kintoki: Speed, strength... They got it all and then some! As if dealin' with one alone wasn't hard enough...

Sakata Kintoki: If we're fightin' both at the same time like that, we'll be dead in no time! Right, Shuten!?

Shuten-Douji: Ahahahahahaha! This is so much fun! You're spry for such an old spider, aren't you!

Shuten-Douji: Heeere spider, spider, this way. Just follow...

Shuten-Douji: ...the sound...

Shuten-Douji: ...of clapping...

Danzo: A demonic wine tsunami! Well done!

Danzo: I never knew Shuten-Douji was so skilled at warfare! Not only is she leading the tsuchigumo away from Lord Kintoki...

Danzo: ...she's also neutralizing the Genji poison in the air by sending out wave after wave of demonic wine!

Danzo: (Demonic wine...)

Danzo: (I had no idea Shuten-Douji used alcohol as a source of power when she was still alive, even if it does differ from her Heroic Spirit's Noble Phantasm.)

Danzo: (It must be a secret technique of hers the legends never mentioned. Perhaps she learned it in China, since so little is known about her time there?)

Shuten-Douji: Oh my, somebody's angry. Maybe it's time you took a little break.

Shuten-Douji: Don't you think, grandpa?

Shuten-Douji: I've heard about you, you know. Great tsuchigumo Kugamimi-no-Mikasa, the big old monster that used to live on Mt. Ooe...

Shuten-Douji: Of course, I also heard you were killed a long, looong time before we got there.

Shuten-Douji: Goodness, these Heroic Spirit things are so strange. Why, it's like the dead have come back to life.

Shuten-Douji: But, you see...

Shuten-Douji: That mountain is aaall mine now. So it's time you went back to the hell you came from.

Shuten-Douji: Oooh, was it something I said? You're so scary all of a sudden.

Shuten-Douji: I should warn you... When I get scared, I start tearing things apart. Hope you don't mind.

Danzo: ...!

Danzo: Shuten tore the massive enemy to pieces! Its magical energy signal is fading rapidly!

Danzo: Master!

Fujimaru 1: (Time to use one of Seimei's talismans!)

Danzo: That takes care of the third general god! Though I must say, I am still in awe of your technique, Shuten-Douji.

Danzo: It was so fast, even my sensor couldn't follow along, but it looked like you unleashed an ultra high-speed attack in tandem with a huge wave from your demonic wine barrage.

Shuten-Douji: Did I? I'm not entirely sure what I did, either. I just felt like tearing it to shreds.

Shuten-Douji: Though there are a few things I am sure of now.

Shuten-Douji: Hey, brat! I figured out the trick behind that Genji poison!

Shuten-Douji: That old tsuchigumo was giving off a miasma mixed in with some kind of spell. Very strange.

Shuten-Douji: Anyway, you Genji warriors won't have to worry about getting paralyzed just from breathing anymore.

Shuten-Douji: Go nuts, brat.

Sakata Kintoki: Awesome! Thanks!

Sakata Kintoki: Now I can finally fight you without anything gettin' in the way, honored descendant! No–Ushiwakamaru!

Sakata Kintoki: If you wish to cross this will need to cross blades with me first!

Sakata Kintoki: I am the depraved monk sworn to collect a thousand swords!

Sakata Kintoki: My Musashibou Benkei!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: !

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: You still persist with this game?

Sakata Kintoki: I cannot let you cross Gojou bridge.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Stop it.

Sakata Kintoki: I see you carry a most excellent blade indeed!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Stop it.

Sakata Kintoki: Very well then! I, Benkei, have decided yours shall be my thousandth blade! Come, child, draw your sword!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo:

Stop it, Benkei!

Danzo: Their rapid magical energy increase has resulted in a Spirit Origin Ascension! Be careful, everyone!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I... I...!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I am...Yoshitsune...! I am...Kagekiyo... No, no, no... No!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I am Overseer Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: This corpse once belonged to Shana-oh–to Ushiwaka!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Do not dare pretend to be Benkei! What you know of him!?

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I ...!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I fought, and fought, and fought, and fought...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: And after a lifetime of fighting, my reward was fire and blades!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: My brother was oblivious to my true feelings! He ignored every word I spoke to him.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I will never forget how he wronged me. Even if my soul shatters into a thousand pieces, I will never forget this grudge I bear.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: My feelings were betrayed–the path I walked abruptly ended! No light awaits me where I go now... Any future I once had is gone now!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Curse you...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Curse you, Yoritomo... Curse you, Japan...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Curse you, Genjiii! How dare a lowly grunt like you pretend to be Benkei!?

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo:

Now feel my wrath!

Sakata Kintoki:

Bring it!

Sakata Kintoki: I've been waitin' to see what you've got! I don't have anythin' to say to this Kagekiyo person!

Sakata Kintoki: You're the only one I wanna talk to, Yoshitsune!


Sakata Kintoki: Man, you're strong!

Sakata Kintoki: But I'm not done yet! I'm still standin', honored descendant!

Shuten-Douji: Mmm, all that blood you're losing looks reeeally delicious. Does this mean you're done pretending to be Benkei?

Shuten-Douji: Anyway...

Shuten-Douji: You sure got carried away, didn't you?

Shuten-Douji: Fufu, you do realize that samurai there's filled with Genji poison from head to toe, right, brat?

Shuten-Douji: You might not have to worry about the air you breathe now that Kugamimi-no-Mikasa's gone...

Shuten-Douji: But if you keep letting the samurai poke holes in you like that...

Shuten-Douji: won't live much longer, you know.

Sakata Kintoki: I'm not gonna die. Besides, I'm Benkei now.

Sakata Kintoki: And Benkei never stopped standin', even after takin' a hundred arrows!

Sakata Kintoki: So yeah, I ain't gonna die, Shuten.

Sakata Kintoki: Know why? 'Cause I still haven't gotten to ask a single question.

Sakata Kintoki: Hey, honored descendant! Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: What could you have to say to me, Genji?

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: No, wait. That's not right. I have nothing to say to you, Genji.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Now...offer up your head.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I want is my brother's head. That is all I, Yoshitsune, truly want. Only Yoritomo's head.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: But if I cannot have his head, you will offer yours in its place.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: In your veins flows the blood Yoritomo will one day inherit.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: So offer your head to me.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: If you refuse...then I'll kill you myself.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I will annihilate every last one of the Seiwa Genji's ancestors.

Fujimaru 1: Taira-no-Kagekiyo!

Fujimaru 1: You look a lot like another Heroic Spirit I know.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ...What?

Shuten-Douji: Okay, okay, don't get too close now.

Shuten-Douji: Those spells you're casting on Kintoki are great and all...

Shuten-Douji: ...but if you get too close to them, it'll be your head that goes rolling.

Sakata Kintoki: My head?

Sakata Kintoki: My head, huh.

Sakata Kintoki: ...

Sakata Kintoki: Hey, descendant! No, Overseer Yoshitsune! You pick up that head fixation from the warriors out east!?

Sakata Kintoki: Fine then! I, Equerry Sakata Kintoki, will risk my own head to ask you this!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Oho.

Sakata Kintoki: Aha, that got your attention. You really do want my head pretty bad, don't you?

Sakata Kintoki: All right, if you beat me, my head's yours to cut off. But first, you're gonna answer my question.

Sakata Kintoki: 'Cause there's somethin' I gotta ask you, no matter what.

Sakata Kintoki: Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune. Ushiwakamaru.

Sakata Kintoki: Our descendant from tomorrow who already died. Let me ask you this one more time.

Sakata Kintoki: Why did you fight?

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ...?

Sakata Kintoki: Why were you able to kill? Why were you able to steal?

Sakata Kintoki: It couldn't just have been about survival. Not for you, anyway.

Sakata Kintoki: No, you fought, and fought, and fought, right up till you met a tragic end. You fought so hard you became a hero a thousand years from now in Fujimaru's world.

Sakata Kintoki: You must've had a reason for that.

Sakata Kintoki: What drove a hero like you to fight so hard?

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Hero...?

Sakata Kintoki: That's right. You were a hero.

Sakata Kintoki: That's why I gotta ask...

Sakata Kintoki: What drove you to kill a hundred, hell, a thousand enemy soldiers? What was it all ultimately for?

Sakata Kintoki: You became a hero on the battlefield. So I just gotta know.

Sakata Kintoki: Why did you fight?

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ... ...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ...Why? You want to know why?

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: You say...I became a hero?

Danzo: (Master, may I say something?)

Danzo: (Something about Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo has changed over the course of this questioning.)

Danzo: (They have become something entirely different from hatred personified.)

Danzo: (I think their true personality has surfaced, even if only temporarily.)

Danzo: (And it has done so despite the curse embedded in their corpse...)

Danzo: (We saw the same thing with Lord Tawara Touta and Lady Suzuka Gozen, as well as during the Shimousa incident!)

Danzo: (Though they may now be corpses tormented by a curse...)

Danzo: (...they still retain a fragment of their pride as Heroic Spirits, as heroes who made their mark on human history!)

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I can't believe you, Sakata Kintoki.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: You possess strength well beyond ordinary people...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ...yet you still remain resolutely on their side.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: And despite all that, you still don't know why I fought? Hehe.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: You truly are something else, Kintarou of Mt. Ashigara.

Sakata Kintoki: ...That's the second time somebody's called me that.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Why do I fight? A ridiculous question.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I fight for the same reason anyone fights.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: We fight with all our heart and soul to make the ideals we hold dear a reality.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: That is what defines us as Genji warriors.

Sakata Kintoki: !

Sakata Kintoki: Ideals, huh? So that's your answer?

Sakata Kintoki: Got it!

Sakata Kintoki: So, a battle between warriors is a battle between ideals!

Sakata Kintoki: In that case, you ain't got nearly enough to beat me as you are now!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Heh. Nonsense!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: You who possess power. You who thirst, yearn, and struggle to make your wishes reality.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: If your desires are true, then join battle and kill as you must.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: If you dream of seeing what lies beyond tomorrow, use the power you possess to make your way through me!

Sakata Kintoki: You better believe I will! If I can't, my head's all yours!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: This is the bloodstained battlefield of Limbo, where the losing Heroic Spirit's soul shall be consumed upon defeat! The Imperial Deathmatch Stage!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: My corpse's Cursed Name is Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune! My soul's Cursed Name is Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: My rage and hatred will cut you down in your tracks!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Hear me, O frightful gods, and laugh! Hear me, O glittering sun, and shine!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Now come, and show me the extent of your power! Show me what you will do to see your tomorrow!

Sakata Kintoki: All right, my descendant, you asked for it.

Sakata Kintoki: Hraaaaaaaaah!


Sakata Kintoki: Hah!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Heh.

Danzo: (It is hard to believe, but...)

Danzo: (Even as they're both locked in a furious battle to the death, neither giving an inch...)

Danzo: (They almost seem to be...)

Danzo: (...enjoying themselves...)

Fujimaru 1: (Watch the battle intently)

Shuten-Douji: You're right. They do look like they're having fun.

Shuten-Douji: Fufu, I thought it was just the other day, but it looks like it's been longer than I thought.

Shuten-Douji: It's almost like Baby Blues is back to his old bratty self.

Shuten-Douji: Yeah, this is pretty much exactly...

Shuten-Douji: ...what he was like back then.

Shuten-Douji: He'd throw himself at his opponents with all his might, never considering that his own life would end one day.

Sakata Kintoki: Hrah!

Shuten-Douji: When he gets like this, I don't think there's any chance he'd stop while he's still breathing.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ...!

Danzo: (There!)

Danzo: (It may not be by much, but Lord Kintoki still managed to overpower Kagekiyo! This is our chance, Master!)

Sakata Kintoki:

I'm not stoppin' here!

Sakata Kintoki:


Fujimaru 1: By my Command Spell!

Fujimaru 1: I swear upon this battle!

Fujimaru 1: Bring us victory!

Sakata Kintoki:

This ends now!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Releasing Noble Phantasm. Fleeting World, Fleeting Might!

Sakata Kintoki: Hraaaaaah!

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ...Heh.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ...Hehe.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Hehe, hehehehe. I don't know if I've ever seen such a reckless, headstrong warrior before.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Well fought, honored ancestor. However...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Though I did make use of Kugamimi-no-Mikasa's miasma to spread it, the Genji poison always came from me. I was its source.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I am an Avenger. My sole purpose is to bring death to all Genji.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Every strike of my blade, every exhalation of my breath... Even my very gaze is meant for killing Genji.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: You must have known that after crossing blades with me, and yet...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: never attempted to change the way you fight.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Even I can't help but be surprised at that.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I see now how selfless you have fiercely you devoted yourself to our battle.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I could expect no less from one of the original pillars of our Genji clan. Well done. Truly.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: So...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I do not know how much meaning my words will hold for you, but...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ...Kintoki. Lord Sakata Kintoki, of Raikou's Four Heavenly Kings.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: If, by chance...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: should survive this deathmatch...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ...then continue on your current path.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Indeed, you have been walking your own path for some time...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ...and now, you are beginning not to walk, but to run.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Even if you must tear through a corpse consumed by vengeance, as you have done here...

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ...all you need do is keep running with all your heart and soul, until you have reached the end.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Know that you are on the right path, and keep moving forward.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: Do that...and I have no doubt you will accomplish many things.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: I have no doubt you will triumph over many hardships.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: In fact, for what little it may be worth...I would go so far as to guarantee it.

Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo: ...There. I've said what I had to say. All I ask now is that you do not forget it!

Sakata Kintoki: ... (Gasp!)

Sakata Kintoki: Hm? Hmm? What the...?

Sakata Kintoki: The last thing I remember, I'd just fired off a big blast of lightning...

Sakata Kintoki: And I thought for sure I was done for...

Sakata Kintoki: Huh?

Fujimaru 1: You won, Kintoki.

Sakata Kintoki: Oh. Hey, Boss.

Fujimaru 2: ...Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo's Spirit Origin is completely gone.

Sakata Kintoki: ...Gotcha.

Danzo: Indeed, I have confirmed that both their Spirit Origin and Spirit Core have disappeared.

Danzo: Though of course, thanks to Lord Seimei's talisman, we should not have to worry about Saikyou Taira-no-Kagekiyo's soul being absorbed by the Naraka Mandala.

Sakata Kintoki: That's great. Couldn't have hoped for more.

Sakata Kintoki: So, uh, by the way.

Sakata Kintoki: Now that that Genji poison's made its way through my system, I don't expect I'll be around much longer, so...

Sakata Kintoki: ...I'm sorry.

Sakata Kintoki: I'd recite a poem before I go, but I never was much good at book learnin'.

Sakata Kintoki: Would you mind recitin' one in my stead, Fujimaru?

Fujimaru 1: No thanks.

Fujimaru 2: Why bother!?

Sakata Kintoki: C'mon, d-don't be like that!

Sakata Kintoki: That ain't golden at all!

Sakata Kintoki: We all fought Yoshitsune together, with every bit of strength we had, didn't we!?

Sakata Kintoki: So can't you at least send me off with–

Fujimaru 1: Stop that!

Fujimaru 2: Don't be so quick to throw your life away, dammit!

Sakata Kintoki: But–

Shuten-Douji: Idiot.

Shuten-Douji: You're not going to die.

Sakata Kintoki: Eh?

Danzo: It's true. Your vital signs are all stable, Lord Kintoki.

Danzo: You have lost a great deal of blood, and you did have some fractures and ruptured organs...

Danzo: ...but those injuries seem to have already healed on their own. Perhaps it is because you are the Child of Sekiryu.

Sakata Kintoki: Hm?

Sakata Kintoki: So, I'm not gonna die?

Fujimaru 1: Nope. You're not gonna die.

Fujimaru 1: So what do you say we keep going?

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Shuten-Douji: Of course you're not. You didn't even notice what was happening, did you?

Shuten-Douji: All that samurai's animosity for the Genji...

Shuten-Douji: ...disappeared while you two were talking things out.

Shuten-Douji: As for the blood you lost, you'll get it all back once you've had a decent meal, no?

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Gotcha. So their grudge was already gone, huh. That's–

Sakata Kintoki: ...On second thought, never mind.

Sakata Kintoki: All right, Boss! Shuten! Danzo! Let's head back to the Genji house!

Sakata Kintoki: We've still got four general gods left, so we gotta stay on our guard!

Section 14: Dragon/Divinity of Calamity

Narration: During the battle against Taira-no-Kagekiyo...

Narration: ...a strange sight was unfolding before the newly constructed Rashomon Gate of the oni castle on Mt. Ooe.

Narration: Oni do not ordinarily band together.

Narration: As living abominations, oni are not beholden to the constraints of their local ecosystems...

Narration: nearly all of them live entirely alone.

Narration: While a few of them have gathered on Mt. Ooe as of late, driven by their fascination with Shuten-Douji...

Narration: ...the “noble oni” are, without a doubt, the exception to the rule.

Narration: Indeed, they are the first such exception to exist since the oni army vanquished by former Sei-i Taishogun, Sakanoue-no-Tamuramaro.

Narration: Now, those oni have begun acting even more strangely...

Ibaraki-Douji: Wh-what the...?

Ibaraki-Douji: Why are you all standing in line the way those human warriors do?

Ibaraki-Douji: Why would you–

Narration: Out of nowhere, dozens of oni lined up in front of the oni castle's Rashomon and began to march in unison.

Narration: This made it clear that they possessed something typically foreign to oni: loyalty!

Narration: Not even Shuten-Douji in all her rare oni nobility had ever inspired an act of such immense loyalty!

Narration: This march was undeniable proof.

Ibaraki-Douji: Ahh...

Ibaraki-Douji: Ahh, ahhh... Ahhh... This can't be happening...

Ibaraki-Douji: This shouldn't be happening!

Ibaraki-Douji: What are you doing!? You–we oni aren't supposed to act like that!

Ibaraki-Douji: Shuten... Shuten... Ahh, ahh... Ahhh!

Ibaraki-Douji: Who did this!?

Ibaraki-Douji: How did you control these uncontrollable oni so easily!?

Ibaraki-Douji: Who are you!?

Narration: And so, the fifth general god appeared before Mt. Ooe's oni castle.

Narration: This...thing had seized control of the oni in an instant, and was now about to make its way down to Kyo.

Narration: Whatever it was, it shone brightly under the red moon's light.

Narration: It commanded the vicious oni with a smile on its face.

Narration: Every gesture it made, every sound it produced...

Narration: ...everything about it made apparent the terrible power raging within the creature's form.

Narration: None could resist it. None could refuse it.

Narration: Even Ibaraki-Douji, the would-be leader of the oni, could not help but bow her head in its presence.

Narration: Such was the light this strange being gave off, such was the force of its presence, that looking upon it was, for ordinary creatures, akin to gazing into the heavens themselves.

Narration: This being...

Narration: ...was a god.


Narration: Dozens of Genji warriors gather around Suzaku Gate.

Narration: They are the only ones left in the city who can contribute to the battle yet to come.

Narration: Their leader, Minamoto-no-Raikou, and two of her Four Heavenly Kings, Tsuna and Kintoki, stand at the front, prepared to meet the approaching threat in battle.

Narration: And that threat...

Narration: a group of oni that easily broke through the Bounded Field on Heian-kyo's western edge and are headed straight for Suzaku Avenue!

Narration: On the advice of Abe-no-Seimei, who expected a fierce battle may take place here, the Genji warriors have elected to hold the line here on Suzaku Avenue.

Narration: And now the oni are about to arrive!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Stay sharp, everyone. We have oni headed straight for us.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ... ...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I cannot understand it. I am told Ibaraki-Douji leads the oni of Mt. Ooe now, but we still have our treaty with Shuten-Douji in place.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: The treaty should mean that there is to be no aggression from either side while it remains in effect.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: And of course, Shuten-Douji is the closest thing the oni have to a king.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Her strength is unrivaled; she most closely resembles one from onikind's legendary demon kingdom.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: And somehow, in spite of that...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...these oni are still making their way down the mountain to attack our city.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I simply cannot understand it.

Shuten-Douji: Aww, that's so sweet. But flattery won't get you anything except maybe some of my wine.

Shuten-Douji: Oh, I also have peaches, if you'd like one.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: No thank you. There is something about peaches I find unnerving.

Shuten-Douji: Aww, you don't like them? But they're so sweeeet and juicy.

Shuten-Douji: Don't you think so, brat?

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah, I love peaches!

Danzo: ...The fifth general god is approaching from Mt. Ooe, with a group of oni in tow.

Danzo: While Lord Abe-no-Seimei did predict this, I still cannot help but wonder...

Fujimaru 1: We were just on Mt. Ooe a few hours ago,and nothing like this was going on.

Fujimaru 2: I don't think we sensed anything like thiswhen we went to Mt. Ooe a few hours ago.

Sakata Kintoki: ...Hey, Boss. I was just thinkin'. The first two general gods showed up inside Rashomon, right?

Sakata Kintoki: Then Kagekiyo Yoshitsune and that big tsuchigumo showed up across from the Kamogawa at the end of Gojou.

Sakata Kintoki: And now we've got this one comin' down all the way from Mt. Ooe.

Sakata Kintoki: I'm sure there's some kinda reason for it but doesn't that seem awful far away?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Kintoki.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Lord Seimei put up the great Bounded Field around Kyo to fend off invasions from powerful monsters.

Sakata Kintoki: I know. And I'm sure Shuten's gang knows that even better.

Shuten-Douji: Mm, that thing is sooo annoying.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: As such, we should assume that the Bounded Field operates in response to the general god's power.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: In this case, the stronger the general god, the further away from Suzaku Gate the Bounded Field would keep them when they materialize.

Danzo: I believe it is a layered Bounded Field that reacts to the quantity of Mystics or possibly magical energy levels.

Danzo: It is certainly a sign of how Lord Abe-no-Seimei became such a legend.

Danzo: I suspect this spell would easily surpass the power of relics from even the strongest ascetics.

Danzo: Alternatively, it could be that Lord Seimei's Bounded Field uses ashes from the Buddha, or something similar.

Fujimaru 1: Either way, it seems safe to assume thisenemy's gotta be ridiculously strong.

Fujimaru 2: So basically, we're in for one hell of a fight.

Sakata Kintoki: Heh. Bring it on!

Sakata Kintoki: Me and Danzo are both good as new thanks to Tsuna's Caster!

Sakata Kintoki: Not to mention Raikou and Tsuna are both in top shape.

Sakata Kintoki: Sure, they may have a numbers advantage, even with the other Genji warriors here, but Raikou and the Four Heavenly Kings are worth a thousand soldiers each!

Sakata Kintoki: It doesn't matter how many oni they throw at us, I'm sure we can take 'em!

Shuten-Douji: Don't forget about little old me.

Shuten-Douji: I'm not usually one to beat up my fellow oni, but we diiid have an agreement.

Shuten-Douji: So I will get to the bottom of this. You can even go back to the house and take a nap if you like.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Kintoki. Shuten-Douji.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Be quiet.

Shuten-Douji: Oh my. That feels like–

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Yes. ...The oni are here.

Danzo: A group of oni is walking towards Suzaku Gate! I can also make out what appear to be corpse shikigami!

Danzo: I'm detecting a large number of hostiles. There are at least dozens–no, hundreds of them!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: That's quite an army.

Medea Lily: Lord Tsuna! Look at their leader!

Ibaraki-Douji: ...

Danzo: I've confirmed it with my telescopic vision!

Danzo: Ibaraki-Douji is leading the oni army!

Fujimaru 1: Ibaraki-Douji!? But why!?

Fujimaru 2: Huh!? Why would she do that when Shuten-Douji's on our side right now!?

Danzo: It doesn't make sense, Master. I don't know about the other oni, but I'm sure Ibaraki-Douji worships the ground Shuten-Douji walks on.

Danzo: I was sure Ibaraki-Douji would be the one oni of Mt. Ooe not taking part in this attack!

Ibaraki-Douji: Shuten.

Ibaraki-Douji: I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

Ibaraki-Douji: I don't understand what's happening to me.

Ibaraki-Douji: When she looked at me, it...

Ibaraki-Douji: It was just like looking into your eyes... That's why I... I...

Ibaraki-Douji: A-aah... Aaaaaah...

Ibaraki-Douji: Shuten! Shuten...!

Ibaraki-Douji: Shuuuteeen!!!

Danzo: Ibaraki-Douji appears extremely confused! It also seems that fire she just generated was a signal...

Danzo: the bigger oni and corpse shikigami are heading straight for us!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Remember, everyone. We cannot let a single one past us.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: We may be defending the city, but treat this battle as if you are on the attack. In other words:

Fujimaru 1: Genji, advance!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Genji, advance!

Sakata Kintoki: All right! Let's goooooo!


Sakata Kintoki: All right...

Sakata Kintoki: That does it! Get down here already!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: We have the advantage! Mop up the stragglers!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: All right. That just leaves...

Ibaraki-Douji: (Huff, huff, huff...!) I... I...!

Ibaraki-Douji: I have to kill you all, and keep moving forward...

Ibaraki-Douji: That's what she wants! So I'll do it, even if it kills me!

Ibaraki-Douji: I have to be an oni! I have to!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Ibaraki. Have you forgotten that I still have your arm?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Are you truly willing to throw your life away before you have taken it back?

Ibaraki-Douji: Tsuna...!

Ibaraki-Douji: I-I... I still hate you! But...there's nothing I can do!

Ibaraki-Douji: It's like my own heart won't listen to me!

Shuten-Douji: Idiot.

Ibaraki-Douji: ...O-ow.

Ibaraki-Douji: Shuten... I-I'm stuck. You hit me so hard my legs are stuck in the ground...

Shuten-Douji: You seem to be confused, Ibaraki.

Shuten-Douji: You might be the leader of the Mt. Ooe oni...

Shuten-Douji: ...but I don't recall ever saying you should bring everyone down from the mountain.

Shuten-Douji: At least you didn't wake Kanekuma or Kuma, but still, what were you thinking?

Shuten-Douji: If you were going to arrange such a big game, you should have invited me.

Shuten-Douji: Well, Ibaraki?

Ibaraki-Douji: Shuten! Ahh, Shuten, Shuten, Shuten, Shuten!

Ibaraki-Douji: I... I saw her! I really saw her!

Ibaraki-Douji: She's right there, even as we speak.

Ibaraki-Douji: Even as we...we...

Ibaraki-Douji: Aah! What do I do!? This is terrifying!

Shuten-Douji: Huh?

Fujimaru 1: A cluster of invisible magical energy!

Fujimaru 2: It almost feels like a Holy Grail,but there's something different about it!

Danzo: A tremendous amount of magical energy is concentrating in the air!

Medea Lily: Is that a summon...?

Medea Lily: N-no, it's not! It's a Heroic Spirit coming out of their spirit form!

Medea Lily: But...that alone shouldn't be able to distort the air like this!

Danzo: Magical energy levels are increasing... Increasing... Oh no. They're off the scale!

Danzo: Whoever this Heroic Spirit is, they are at least as powerful as a Lostbelt king!

Sakata Kintoki: What the...?

Sakata Kintoki: Over there...

Sakata Kintoki: There's somethin'... No...

Sakata Kintoki: There shouldn't be anything there... But somethin's still takin' shape!

Shuten-Douji: ...

Shuten-Douji: Is that...?

Sakata Kintoki: Shuten...?

Narration: There it was.

Narration: Manifested before their eyes.

Narration: Though she looked human, she was anything but.

Narration: She was a supernatural being, similar to an oni, but she was neither of those.

Narration: A nature god. A conceptual god. An incarnation of the world.

Narration: Something altogether different from beings made up of body, mind, and soul–one that birthed, raised, and stole lives as it saw fit.

Narration: They now stood in the presence of a truly ancient god.

Ancient God: Fu. Fu. Fu.

Ancient God: You have grown well. You have flourished admirably.

Ancient God: Indeed, I am impressed by what you have managed to learn in this time.

Ancient God: I was told I could have the title of Taisai, one of the general gods, but...

Ancient God: Fu. Fu. Fu.

Ancient God: I have no need of such things.

Ancient God: For I have always been...

Ancient God: ...a god.

Ancient God: Hear my name, creatures of this world. Gaze upon my form, creatures who slumber in the great beyond.

Ancient God: I am Ibuki-Douji...

Ibuki-Douji: ...the dragon god of disaster.

Ibuki-Douji: I am the mountains and water. I am the earth and steel.

Ibuki-Douji: I am the heavens and storms. I am fire and war.

Ibuki-Douji: I am...

Ibuki-Douji: ...the first of Yamata-no-Orochi's eight heads and tails.

Ibuki-Douji: I come to you now from the mountain, and calamity follows in my wake.

Ibuki-Douji: To all living things...

Ibuki-Douji: I am disaster made manifest.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: So, she claims to be one of Yamata-no-Orochi's heads. His Divided Spirit.

Danzo: Ya...

Danzo: Yamata-no-Orochi!!!

Danzo: It can't be... Even my direst calculations could never have accounted for this!

Danzo: Yamata-no-Orochi, the dragon god of disaster!

Danzo: Also known as the great god of Ibuki, Ibuki Daimyoujin!

Fujimaru 1: I remember at least hearing that name before!

Danzo: It was the most destructive dragon ever seen in Japan! Indeed, it is one of Japan's three most dangerous monsters ever!

Fujimaru 2: A mythical monster, one of the three mostdangerous ever to walk Japan!

Danzo: Exactly!

Danzo: It is said to be the most destructive dragon ever seen in Japan! Truly, it is one of the three most dangerous monsters in Japanese history!

Danzo: In the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, it was known as Daijashin, a great and terrible serpent god, but over time, it became known as Daimyoujin instead!

Danzo: In Chaldea terms, it would be a dragonkin Phantasmal! It is also the physical embodiment of nature itself, and one of the old malevolent gods!

Danzo: And Ibuki-Douji is its offspring...

Danzo: A being said to be a type of Divided Spirit...

Danzo: Which means that oni there must be...

Danzo: ...Ibuki-Douji, the Divine Spirit!

Fujimaru 1: Ibuki-Douji...

Danzo: According to Chaldea's database, Ibuki-Douji is also said to be Shuten-Douji's childhood name.

Danzo: Consequently, Chaldea expected Ibuki-Douji may be another side of Shuten-Douji, or perhaps a different possible version of her, as a separate Heroic or Divine Spirit...

Danzo: But...I never thought she would be anything like this...

Danzo: Even now, I am unable to determine her magical energy levels! At this point, I can only estimate that she is in the same league as the Greek gods from the Fifth Lostbelt!

Shuten-Douji: ...Wow. That strong, huh.

Ibuki-Douji: Fu. Fu. Fufu.

Ibuki-Douji: Be silent.

Ibuki-Douji: Keep your mouths closed, but do not dare shut your eyes.

Ibuki-Douji: You are to gaze upon me as you would the heavens, and kiss me as you would the earth itself.

Ibuki-Douji: ...Oh, that's right. Fufu. You cannot do both at once, can you?

Ibuki-Douji: In that case...



Minamoto-no-Raikou: !

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Is everyone all right!? Khh... Why does my body feel so...heavy!?

Sakata Kintoki: !!!

Fujimaru 1: I've experienced something like this before!

Fujimaru 1: It's got to be similar to Zeus's trick...!

Sakata Kintoki: Damn, I'm impressed, Boss! I can't believe you've faced somethin' this crazy before!

Sakata Kintoki: Heh, I'm getting' chills!

Sakata Kintoki: This thing's a freakin' whopper!

Sakata Kintoki: But what's this about her bein' a different side of you, Shuten!?

Shuten-Douji: ... ...

Shuten-Douji: ...What do you want me to say here?

Shuten-Douji: Ugh, I can't stand this. You Genji all look like morons about now.

Shuten-Douji: I just see some kind of haze or something, that's it.

Shuten-Douji: It's true. Like the puppet said...

Shuten-Douji: That thing is me. Another side of me.

Shuten-Douji: She might not look like it, but she's the child of the god of Mt. Ibuki.

Shuten-Douji: And you know, now that you mention it...

Shuten-Douji: ...I do get the impression that's where I might've been born.

Shuten-Douji: As for that hazy thing, I'm guessing it's probably another one of my different aspects. The only problem is...

Shuten-Douji: ... ...

Shuten-Douji: I'm already here.

Shuten-Douji: Hey, Ibuki.

Shuten-Douji: Yeah, you. The one standing around staring at nothing in particular.

Ibuki-Douji: ...?

Shuten-Douji: This is...

Shuten-Douji: ...supposed to be...

Shuten-Douji: ...MY turn.

Danzo: Shuten-Douji own powerful magical energy has weakened the high-gravity field! Is this some sort of spell of hers!?

Shuten-Douji: What are you all doing!? Get on your feet!

Shuten-Douji: If you're just going to lie down and sleep, then you might as well leave, because Kyo won't need you anymore!

Shuten-Douji: I mean, fufu, can you even imagine what your ancestors would say...

Shuten-Douji: ...if they saw you sitting back and letting me, an oni, do all the work for you?

Shuten-Douji: Well, general of the Genji!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...You've made your point. Enough. Not another word.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Tsuna! Kintoki!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I'm ready.

Sakata Kintoki: Same here!

Shuten-Douji: If you all have the guts to take me on, then you shouldn't be cowering in fear of her.

Shuten-Douji: Isn't that right, Genji!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Say no more, oni.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: It has always been the Genji's job to destroy anything that threatens Kyo's safety, no matter how monstrous!

Ibuki-Douji: ...Oho.

Sakata Kintoki: I don't like this.

Sakata Kintoki: Nope, nope, nope. Not one damn bit.

Sakata Kintoki: I knew I still had a lot to learn, but I didn't realize just how much.

Sakata Kintoki: But now that I'm seein' this Ibuki creature, I gotta hand it to Kyo: no matter how long I'm here, there's always somethin' new to discover!

Sakata Kintoki: Since the first day I set foot here, I've been seein' monsters! Creatures! Shikigami, oni, and tsuchigumo!

Sakata Kintoki: And now, we've even got the descendant of an ancient malevolent dragon from the Age of Gods!

Sakata Kintoki: Startin' to think it wont ever get boring around here! Don't you think so, Boss!?

Fujimaru 1: Prepare for battle!

Fujimaru 2: Time to fight a Divine Spirit!

Danzo: ...Understood! I am prepared to use every last bit of magical energy in my Spirit Origin and Spirit Core!

Sakata Kintoki: You're not crossing Suzaku Gate as long as we're around!

Sakata Kintoki: Hey! Ibuki-Douji! You may have just woken up, but we're gonna put you right back to sleep!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Genji, advance!!!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: All units, prepare for battle! We are going to fight this god, and we are going to win!

Ibuki-Douji: Fufufu...

Danzo: The enemy Divine Spirit's Spirit Origin has grown from less than two meters to over three meters!

Danzo: This must be her combat form! Master!

Ibuki-Douji: Very well.

Ibuki-Douji: I will allow you to fight back.


Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: My blade can't touch her! Caster!

Medea Lily: I'm already casting every spell I know...using Rapid Words...!

Medea Lily: But nothing is working! She has a personal Bounded Field covering her entire body!

Medea Lily: This durability... This overwhelming presence... It feels as though we're fighting Mother Nature herself!

Danzo: Ibuki-Douji is still alive and well! Even working together, our allies can't reach her Spirit Core!

Sakata Kintoki: Heh! We'll just see about that!

Ibuki-Douji: Living things.

Sakata Kintoki: !

Ibuki-Douji: Fragile things.

Ibuki-Douji: Offer yourselves to me.

A:Shuten-Douji: Huh, you want them that badly?

Ibuki-Douji: ...?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Shuten-Douji!

Danzo: Shuten-Douji struck Ibuki-Douji from behind! She completely destroyed the Bounded Field and tore clean through Ibuki-Douji's body!

Danzo: Her attack cut all the way into Ibuki-Douji's Spirit Origin!

Danzo: Ibuki-Douji is another aspect of Shuten-Douji! Though they may differ in appearance, they both share the same origin!

Danzo: That may be why Shuten-Douji's claws can harm her...!?

Sakata Kintoki: Huh!?

Sakata Kintoki: What the hell? It's just like what happened with the corpse shikigami...

Sakata Kintoki: Her wounds are already closing!

Ibuki-Douji: Hmm.

Danzo: No, it is not that! Her magical energy is nothing like the corpse shikigami's!

Danzo: I believe this is just her own innate regeneration!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: So she's immortal then.

Sakata Kintoki: Ha! Well that's pretty golden in its own right! Take a look, though. She shrunk back to her normal size.

Sakata Kintoki: This must be our chance to–

Ibuki-Douji: How fun.

Sakata Kintoki: ...!

Narration: A single utterance...

Narration: ...and once again, a crushing gravity field created with magical energy pinned every human and oni where they stood.

Narration: Even Shuten-Douji, who shared the same origin as this overwhelmingly powerful Divine Spirit, was not immune.

Narration: This gravitational field was far stronger than the first.

Narration: So much so that only Ibuki-Douji could resist its pull.

Narration: All the others lay on the ground, their heads bowed low.

Narration: In the presence of the true ruler of the land, there was nothing more the living beings could do.

Sakata Kintoki:!

Sakata Kintoki: I can't move my arms...

Sakata Kintoki: No... I can't...even...move...a single...finger!

Fujimaru 1: My...body...

Fujimaru 1: I can't...move...!

Sakata Kintoki: Boss!

Danzo: Master!

Ibuki-Douji: ...Now then.

Ibuki-Douji: Living things.

Ibuki-Douji: While I have no desire for sacrifices right now, I suppose I can devour you if you are so eager.

Ibuki-Douji: Let's see...

Ibuki-Douji: I think I'll start with you.


Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Douman...

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: No. Limbo, you villain.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: It seems your scheme is not quite going as planned.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: It seems, thus far, you've only managed four Heroic Spirits offered in sacrifice.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Assuming that demonic tree behaves as the Imperial Holy Grail War was meant to...

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: must require seven such souls to grant this wish of yours, meaning you still have three to go.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: And yet, your efforts to procure them have met with failure at every turn.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: It would seem you underestimated my Genji warriors very seriously, Douman. No...Limbo.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: It's true, Lord Minister of the Left. As ever, nothing escapes your notice.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Your Excellency's warriors have indeed managed to waste the excellent general god souls I took great pains to summon.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: But, nonetheless...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Only a second–no, third-rate villain would panic at this turn of events.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: And as an Alter Ego and High Servant, I always strive to be first-rate in everything I do.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: By way of example, do you know anything of these two gods next to me?

Ouban Ashiya Douman: To my right, we have Daishogun Itzpapalotl.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: To my left, we have Daion Chernobog.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Well, you see, I am a High Servant, and so these two Divided Spirit pillars of dark gods have both assimilated with me.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: And in addition to their souls, I have also added my own, that of Ouban Ashiya Douman!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: What's more...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: ...I have already happily fed them to the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness, Naraka Mandala. Oh yes.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: !

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: You depraved bastard.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: How could a mere human even think to consume deities? Even the gods of foreign lands will not stand for such blasphemy!

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: It would have been a grave offense even had you shed your human form, but as you have not–

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Haha. Well, I could hardly hope to accomplish such a thing in an ordinary human body.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: No human body could ever hope to contain the sheer quantity of information within a Divine Spirit.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: But fortunately, you need not worry!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: For I have long since transformed my mind and body alike into spells!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Doing so even allowed me to use shikigami to clone myself! Well, I suppose only this original form remains now after some...unpleasant circumstances...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: ...But at this point, even this body is no more than an advanced spell.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: What a fool.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Still, fool or not, it would seem you have at least some facility with planning.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: I thought you were the type to lose yourself in pursuit of your ambitions, but it seems I was mistaken.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Now I see you are the type to strangle a hostage to death before contacting her parents for ransom in exchange for her safe return.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Not at all.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Nn...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I'm afraid you have the wrong name, Your Excellency.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I am Limbo. No, wait.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: My apologies. I am Ouban Ashiya Douman. Now, please, sit back and enjoy the show.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: You will get to see the Heian era end, and mine begin.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Now, since it is time to welcome the fifth– or rather, eighth and final general god...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: ...I think I shall begin the next part of my plan ahead of schedule, as befits a villain such as myself.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: And by that, I mean it is time to let my Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness bloom!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: This is one of the secret techniques imparted to me by the Foreign God known as Lucifer, the great Satan who summoned me to this world:

Ouban Ashiya Douman: A ritual designed to grow a Tree of Emptiness!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Ordinarily, certain conditions must be met for a Tree of Emptiness to grow to maturity, but we need not worry about that now.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: That is why I prepared a Holy Grail, and the Heroic Spirit souls to feed it.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Now, at last, the chalice is filled with seven souls–enough magical energy with which to reach the Root.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: While it is, unfortunately, a bit unstable, and I still need one more soul to grant my true wish...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: will more than suffice as a means of laying the groundwork.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Now then, without further ado...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Hear me, O twisting roots of emptiness that would invade all of creation.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Now is the time to grow! To bloom!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness Naraka Mandala!

Narration: The dark roots of cosmic fantasy shudder.

Narration: An unnervingly strong pulse echoes across the sky as all the crystals that make up the demon tree's trunk groan under the strain.

Narration: Having swallowed the souls of seven Heroic Spirits, Naraka Mandala begins to blossom in earnest.

Narration: A curse laid upon the entire world bursts into petals.

Narration: A scream excoriating all of humanity roars throughout the air.

Narration: Behold. This malevolent flower blooms to lay an impossible hypothetical world atop the one that already exists.

Narration: Now begins the final phase of the villain's wicked scheme. Even now, it howls in frenzied pain as it attempts to usher in a new era.

Narration: The promised millennium of peace was nothing but lies. All that remains now is a perversion of destiny...

Narration: A chaotic, hellish landscape of screams, resentment, anger, and jealousy that continues onward to the moment of the planet's destruction!

Narration: These petals' sole purpose is to usher in a Lostbelt of endless torment...

Narration: A deviant Singularity and horrific Lostbelt all in one!

Narration: They are the gateway to hell itself.

Section 15: Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman

Kyo Child: What happened to the sky?

Kyo Child: Where did the red moon go? What is that over there?

Kyo Child: It's

Kyo Woman: That's not the moon! Something's gone wrong with the sun!

Kyo Woman: Aah! Not that way! Come here! They say there's a pack of giant oni down the road!

Kyo Woman: We should get out of here now, before they...

Kyo Child: ... ...

Kyo Child: ...Are you scared, miss?

Kyo Woman: O-of course not. The women of Kyo fear nothi–

Kyo Woman: ...!

Kyo Woman: I'm sorry! That was a lie! Of course I'm scared!

Kyo Woman: Between that weird tree, the black sun, the oni army, and that strange thing I saw flying around earlier...

Kyo Woman: ...I-I'm scared the whole world might be about to end...

Kyo Child: There, there. It's okay. You don't have to be scared.

Kyo Woman: H-how can you...

Kyo Child: I'm fine. I know the sky looks weird now, but I'm not afraid.

Kyo Child: We have lots of strong warriors in Kyo. There's the Genji, the officers...

Kyo Child: And most importantly...

Kyo Woman: ?

Kyo Child: ...they've got Kintoki.

Sion: Abnormalities are popping up all over the Singularity! Something must have undergone a dramatic transformation.

Sion: They are originating near the north side of Suzaku Gate, just like the strange high-output magical energy signal we observed before!

Da Vinci: Let me make sure Sheba's still operating properly...

Da Vinci: Yup, everything checks out, so we can be sure it's not an equipment failure!

Da Vinci: Max out every computing resource we can devote to maintaining existence verification!

Da Vinci: Assuming the strange magical energy signal we observed before is a Tree of Emptiness, then this has gotta mean–

Holmes: Indeed. Another Tree of Emptiness must have blossomed!

Mash: Senpai...!

Fujimaru 1: The Tree of Emptiness...

Fujimaru 1: It bloomed!

Ibuki-Douji: Hmm...

Ibuki-Douji: Oho. I have never seen Amaterasu dyed such vivid black before.

Ibuki-Douji: Fufu. I can't say I care for it.

Sakata Kintoki: I don't know how I know...but I can tell that thing shouldn't exist in this world.

Sakata Kintoki: I thought I had chills before, but that was nothin' compared to now.

Sakata Kintoki: So I can't stay down on the ground forever!

B:Minamoto-no-Raikou: Kintoki...!

C:Shuten-Douji: Wow...brat... I'm...impressed...

D:Danzo: Lord...Kintoki! I commend you...for resisting...this pressure...

Ibuki-Douji: So, you still stand.

Sakata Kintoki: Damn right!

Sakata Kintoki: If you say you're gonna kill my Boss, you better believe Equerry Sakata Kintoki ain't gonna take it lyin' down!

Ibuki-Douji: Hmm.

Sakata Kintoki: (Well, I got the standin' part handled, but now what!?)

Sakata Kintoki: (I could probably cut off an arm or two if I had Boss backin' me up like [♂ he /♀️ she] did against the descendant...)

Sakata Kintoki: (...but what would be the point?)

Sakata Kintoki: (This feelin'...)

Sakata Kintoki: (She definitely ain't no ordinary oni. She's got the same divine aura about her as the mountains themselves.)

Sakata Kintoki: (No doubt about it. She's a genuine god.)

Sakata Kintoki: (I don't know how a Daimyoujin differs from any of the other gods, but I can definitely tell she's on a whole other level.)

Sakata Kintoki: (Definitely not someone a regular human can handle.)

Sakata Kintoki: (All right then, Kintoki, time to decide how you're gonna go out!)

Sakata Kintoki: (Ideally, I'd like to die in a way that'll help everyone else after I'm gone, but that's prob'ly too much to ask!)

Sakata Kintoki: (Especially seein' how I got no idea what I can even do against her!)

Ibuki-Douji: You have blue eyes.

Sakata Kintoki: ...Hm?

Ibuki-Douji: How did you make them look like that?

Sakata Kintoki: What do you mean? I've had 'em ever since I was born.

Sakata Kintoki: Maybe I got 'em from my old man, but unfortunately, I got no idea.

Sakata Kintoki: I don't even know if I got 'em from my mom. Her bangs were so long that I rarely got a good look at her face.

Sakata Kintoki: ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...Heh. Funny, you almost remind me of her in a way. Her hair was white, too.

Ibuki-Douji: I see. So you are part mountain witch. Fufu.

Sakata Kintoki: Hehe. Was that really so funny?

Ibuki-Douji: No, I suppose not.

Ibuki-Douji: Hmm.

Ibuki-Douji: Yes, I'm satisfied. This has been fun, but I think I shall be on my way to Suzaku Gate now.

Ibuki-Douji: Since this has been so amusing, I think I shall only consume two or three lives, beginning with yours.

Ibuki-Douji: Farewell, child of the mountains.

Fujimaru 1: (Kintoki!)

Fujimaru 2: (Hang on! I'll use the magical energy from a Command Spell to)

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Just a moment, Taisai Ibuki-Douji.

Sakata Kintoki: !

Danzo: Limbo...!?

Fujimaru 1: Limbo!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: My dear lady–the only one of the Hasshoujin I summoned who did not become a corpse even after I implanted you with your general god's karma.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: While death would normally be too good for any who would stand in your way...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: ...I would ask that you set aside those people's transgressions, for they are my honored guests.

Ibuki-Douji: ...Hmm.

Ibuki-Douji: Guests? Is that what they are?

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Please. If you would be so kind.

Ibuki-Douji: Hmm. All right.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Ohh, thank you, thank you! Mmmmmm, you have made me very happy indeed!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Now then...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I suppose there is no need for me to introduce myself at this point.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Tell me, dear Master of Chaldea, and little wooden puppet.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Did you enjoy killing your Heroic Spirit friends one after the other, as I hoped you would?

Danzo: Bas...tard...!

Fujimaru 1: (Stay silent)

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Mmmmmmhehehehehehehehehe.

Fujimaru 2: (Glare at him)

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Yes, that's it! That's the hatred I wanted to see!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: It seems you've been up to a great many things while you were enjoying the...entertainment I prepared for you...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: But it was all pointless! Useless! Meaningless!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Behold the sky above your heads! Behold my glorious Tree of Emptiness!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I suspect you all have some idea of what is going on here, including that damn Abe-no-Seimei, wherever he's watching from...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: ...and you would be correct.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Heian-kyo is now a Singularity in the process of becoming a new Lostbelt.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Just look at my beautiful fully blossomed Tree of Emptiness!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Oh yes, Master of Chaldea, this is what I wished for you to see above all else!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: You have thwarted my plans many times before, and I do appreciate you taking the time to join me...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: ...but I'm afraid that's all over.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Now, once again...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: ...with boundless love and loyalty in my heart...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I will create a new vessel fit for the Foreign God!

Danzo: What would a monster like you know of loyalty?

Danzo: If that is supposed to be a joke, it is in extremely poor taste!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Why, don't be ridiculous, my little puppet. I have absolute faith in the Foreign God.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Oh yes, I have never wavered in my devotion them, not even once!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: ... ...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: That said...I have had a thought. A thought that simply would not leave my mind.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I thought that if I just had a fully bloomed Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness with a Holy Grail at its core...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: ...I could create a new vessel for the Foreign God.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: And not just any vessel, no! This vessel would be perfect in every way!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: It would be a vessel able to bestow the god that inhabited it with the exact same properties and functionality as the Foreign God who manifested in Olympus!

Fujimaru 1: So, you made your Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness create another Foreign God?

Fujimaru 2: You're...trying to create another Foreign God?

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Only a vessel, but yes.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: But even when it is only a vessel, there is still meaning in making it complete and perfect.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Vessels can become gods. Lies can become truth.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: So then...what could be the harm?

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Why shouldn't I have a Foreign God of my own.

Sakata Kintoki: ...?

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Indeed, indeed, that is the thought I arrived at!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: And fortunately, the Foreign God seems to have no interest in this Singularity...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: So I decided to create another Foreign God here in Japan!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: One that would match my exacting tastes perfectly!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Mmmmmm, how very elegant! How very logical! Truly, it is the perfect solution!

Fujimaru 1: A Foreign God just for you...?

Fujimaru 1: What in the world are you talking about?

Fujimaru 2: What does that even mean...?

B:Danzo: I...don't know... I have no idea... what it could mean, either!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Of course, since the Foreign God has already arrived in this world...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: has been some time since the light of the heavens was lost, and all color disappeared from the earth...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: But, mmmmmm, such trivialities matter little now. Hahaha. Haha. Hahahahahaha!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: As long as this new Lostbelt plays host to the hellish sights and screams I adore, there is nothing more I need!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: And that brings me to you, precious one.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: You would be the most perfect vessel I could ask for my new Foreign God...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Divine Spirit Ibuki-Douji.

Ibuki-Douji: ...Hm?

Ouban Ashiya Douman: You are already another aspect of Shuten-Douji, the descendant of one of the three most dangerous creatures in all of Japan, and a Divided Spirit of Yamata-no-Orochi, Japan's most destructive dragon.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Now, by your grace, I would like to use my Naraka Mandala to elevate you to a Beast, a true Evil of Humanity...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: that you may become a new Foreign God who manifests for me and me alone!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: That is my heart's greatest desire.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: If this pleases you, I would ask that you kindly make your way past Suzaku Gate.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I shall await you with bated breath!

Ibuki-Douji: I see.

Sakata Kintoki: Wait! I still haven't–

Sakata Kintoki: Gaaah!

Sakata Kintoki: This even stronger than before!

Sakata Kintoki: Dammit! I can't move a muscle again!

Sakata Kintoki: Stop!

Sakata Kintoki: Get back here! Dammiiiiiiiiit!


Ibuki-Douji: ...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Welcome, precious one. Thank you for coming.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: With your Spirit Origin harboring the incredible destructive power of Yamata-no-Orochi, you shall be the perfect Beast–an Evil of Humanity.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: From this moment, I live only to serve you.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: With my humble assistance, you shall become a new Foreign God.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Mmmmmm, how wonderful! I daresay this is the best idea I've yet had!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Come, Ibuki-Douji, and let us lose ourselves in this eternal Lostbelt.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: ... ...But then...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Hmm, how to put this...?

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I really had planned to make you a Beast, even as recently as a night or two ago. I truly had...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: But now, well...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I've changed my mind.

Ibuki-Douji: You changed your mind?

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I have.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Forget everything I just said!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: A Lostbelt has no need for two kings. I will not repeat the mistakes of the Russian and Scandinavian ones!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: All I need to do is become a new Foreign God–a new Beast–myself...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: ...and everything will be as it should.

Ibuki-Douji: And how are you going to do that?

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Why, by taking your life, precious one.

Ibuki-Douji: Fu. Fu. Fufu.

Ibuki-Douji: How amusing.

Danzo: Huh!?

Danzo: It's fractional, but the magical energy pinning us down is weakening! This may be our chance, everyone!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: The divine aura pinning us down is flickering! Kintoki, follow my lead!

Sakata Kintoki: Got it!

Sakata Kintoki: Taaake THIIIIIIS!

Sakata Kintoki: ...All right! I can move again!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Are you all right, Caster? Here, give me your hand.

Medea Lily: Thank you, Lord Tsuna. I'm okay.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Nursery Rhyme, if you are feeling unwell in any way, please stay behind.

Nursery Rhyme: ...Thank you, Raikou, but no. I'm not about to disappear just yet.

Nursery Rhyme: I did feel like I was about to be torn to itty-bitty pieces for a while, but I'm okay now. Though I may have to revert to my original Spirit Origin.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Oh my!

Nursery Rhyme: Hehe, I'm just kidding. It's okay. You don't have to worry about me.

Sakata Kintoki: You all right, Boss? Can you still stand?

Fujimaru 1: I'm still a little numb, but I'm okay!

Fujimaru 2: Not only can I still stand, I can still fight, too!

Danzo: ... ...

Danzo: The Tree of Emptiness has bloomed, and one of the Hasshoujin has arrived at Suzaku Gate.

Danzo: I cannot tell if the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness is truly complete or not, but I believe we can assume that Limbo's scheme is now in its final stages.

Danzo: Does this mean...

Danzo: ...we've lost?

Sakata Kintoki: No. Not yet.

Sakata Kintoki: We can still move, even if we're a little stiff, and we damn sure haven't given up.

Sakata Kintoki: All that's left now is to keep movin' forward...

Sakata Kintoki: And make our ideals a reality!

Fujimaru 1: (Nod)

Fujimaru 1: I'm stopping Limbo here. For good. No matter what it takes!

Sakata Kintoki: That's the spirit! Now come on! Raikou and Brother Tsuna aren't dead yet, either!

Sakata Kintoki: As long as we still draw breath, the Genji will keep fighting! At least, that's how I see it!

Sakata Kintoki: Genji, advance!

Sakata Kintoki: If ever there was a time for the Genji to muster all their might, this is it!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...Well, listen to you. You sound like a real leader now.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: You truly do. Ahh, when did you grow up so much?

Shuten-Douji: Fufu, I know what you mean. Would it have been so bad if he'd stayed a little more boyish?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Indeed, it would have been lovely if he could have stayed just a little–A-ahem!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Never mind that. It's nothing. Forget I said anything.

Shuten-Douji: Fufu. Okay, I guess we should get going then. Oh, wait. Just a moment.

Shuten-Douji: I still need to dig Ibaraki out of the ground. Here, Ibaraki. You've snapped out of it now, right?

Ibaraki-Douji: ...

Shuten-Douji: I'm taking that as a yes. And here we are.

Ibaraki-Douji: ... ...

Ibaraki-Douji: ...I-I don't see any way I could possibly beat Ibuki-Douji.

Ibaraki-Douji: I saw how useless trying to fight her was, right!?

Ibaraki-Douji: That thing is way beyond humans or even oni! Wh-what can you hope to do against her!?

Sakata Kintoki: Heh. Nothin' to worry about.

Ibaraki-Douji: !?

Ibaraki-Douji: H-how can you be smiling right now, you idiot!? Didn't you feel that overwhelming divine aura of hers!?

Sakata Kintoki: True, I fought Ibuki-Douji with everythin' I had and lost hard. No two ways about it.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah, that's right. She completely destroyed me.

Sakata Kintoki:

And I'm gonna win the next one!

Sakata Kintoki: A Genji warrior never loses twice. Never.

Sakata Kintoki: So the next time we fight, I'm gonna win. That's all there is to it!

Sakata Kintoki: Of course, I ain't got a plan or anything like that at this point!

Ibaraki-Douji: So you admit you don't even have a plan to beat her!? I-I don't... H-how can you be so... Did you hear that, Shuten!?

Shuten-Douji: Fufu. That's warriors for you.

Danzo: Everyone, look! Up there!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Oho. It seems we have something flying towards us. Caster?

Medea Lily: We do. Something just detached from the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness's branches and is heading straight for us. Whatever it is, it has huge amounts of magical energy!

Medea Lily: There's more than one of them, too. One, two, three...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: So Limbo is still trying to slow us down...? He must not have completed whatever he's planning, then.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: And that means we still have a chance to defeat him!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Come, everyone! Once we destroy these flying things, we will head straight for Suzaku Gate!

Fujimaru 1: Tree of Emptiness seeds!

Sakata Kintoki: Huh, okay. Are they strong?

Fujimaru 1: They're not weak, that's for sure.

Fujimaru 2: Yes, but we still have to get through them and hurry on to Suzaku Gate.

Sakata Kintoki: Got it. Then let's get 'em, Boss!


Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...I see.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Your skill with a blade–well, claws, I suppose, is most impressive.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I must say, I never thought I would enjoy fighting beside an oni.

Shuten-Douji: Fufu, I neeever thought the legendary Minamoto-no-Raikou would be paying little old me a compliment. I think I'm blushing.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I-I wasn't complimenting you at all! I was just objectively assessing the situation!

Shuten-Douji: Well, thank you kindly.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I just said I wasn't complimenting you! Ugh!

Ibaraki-Douji: Aw man! I was trying to burn up Tsuna and that weird seed at the same time...

Ibaraki-Douji: ...but the damn Bounded Field that lady put up protected him! No fair!

Medea Lily: What are you saying, Ibaraki-Douji? Have you forgotten we're fighting on the same side right now?

Medea Lily: Shuten-Douji considers Ibuki-Douji her enemy just as much as we do, so if nothing else, we share a common foe now.

Medea Lily: Then again, maybe you oni like fighting two wars at once?

Medea Lily: I certainly wouldn't want to face us on one side and Ibuki-Douji on the other, but maybe you would.

Ibaraki-Douji: N-nnn...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Try not to tease her too much, Caster. Now, come on.

Medea Lily: Yes, Lord Tsuna.

Ibaraki-Douji: Hey! Hold up! Get back here, Tsuna!

Danzo: All the Genji warriors Ibuki-Douji's divine aura neutralized are back in the fight...

Danzo: ...and engaging the corpse shikigami in battle!

Sakata Kintoki: That's great! With them taking care of those things...

Sakata Kintoki: ...that leaves us free to head straight for Suzaku Gate!

Sakata Kintoki: Don't you laugh at us!

Fujimaru 1: All right! Let's head to Suzaku Gate!

Sakata Kintoki: Don't gotta tell me twice!


Ibuki-Douji: Amusing. Truly amusing.

Ibuki-Douji: So you wish to consume me, and ascend to the pinnacle of destruction, laughing man?

Ibuki-Douji: By all means, try.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Of course. That is exactly what I mean to–

Sakata Kintoki: Oh no ya don't! Not now that Sakata Kintoki of Raikou's Four Heavenly Kings is here!

Sakata Kintoki: Huh. Here I thought Ibuki-Douji might've already crossed the gate. Guess not.

Sakata Kintoki: Hell, if anythin', it looks like you guys've had a fallin' out! Hah! Nice of you to make our jobs easier!

Sakata Kintoki: Just gotta take you both out and this'll all be over!

Danzo: Lord Kintoki is ready to fight! Master!

Fujimaru 1: Genji, advance!

Fujimaru 2: Let's back him up! But keep an eye out for Limbo's tricks!

Danzo: Understood!

Sakata Kintoki: All right, Limbo and Ibuki. I appreciate you givin' us chances to get away, but the thing is, givin' up ain't really in my nature.

Sakata Kintoki: So I'm not goin' anywhere until you two are both back in the depths of hell, where you belong.

Ibuki-Douji: Very well.

Ibuki-Douji: Human.

Ibuki-Douji: Child of Sekiryu and mountain witch, who lives his life as though they were human.

Ibuki-Douji: You amuse me.

Ibuki-Douji: Rejoice, for I shall join you for this game of yours. The laughing man's divine punishment can wait.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Stopped paying attention, did you!? Lady Ibuki-Doujiiiiii!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Take this! Naraka Mandala!

Fujimaru 1: !!!

Sakata Kintoki: What the hell!?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: !!!

Shuten-Douji: Well now.

Ibaraki-Douji: H-huh!? That thing that just fell from the sky... Is that one of the demonic tree's branches!?

Danzo: Yes, it is! It just planted itself in the ground and is swallowing Ibuki-Douji whole!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Then it would seem they did have a falling out. Limbo is indeed a wicked villain.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Didn't you say you were going to cast some sort of spell so you could serve Ibuki-Douji as her disciple?

Ouban Ashiya Douman: ...Mm. Mmm, that was all a lie, of course!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: As I was just saying to Ibuki-Douji before you all arrived, I have decided not to make her into a Foreign God.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: But worry not! A new Foreign God will soon be upon us!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Yes, that's right!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I shall become my very own Foreign God! One created by me, and one that exists solely for me!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Now, the time of birth is at hand! Wail and gnash your teeth; this is the end for all of you!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Behold!

Danzo: The Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness's magical energy readings are rising even higher!

Danzo: I can no longer measure it! It is at least as strong as Ibuki-Douji's, if not stronger!

Ouban Ashiya Douman:


Ouban Ashiya Douman: Behold! Behold!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: None of the Lostbelt kings knew the proper way to use their Trees of Emptiness, but I do!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: The Tree of Emptiness is both a device to maintain a pruned world, and a divine vessel. Thus, I need merely merge with mine, and I shall become a god in my own right!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Ahh, yes, I can feel it...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I can feel you in here, O precious Ibuki-Douji...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Now I shall drink up every last drop of your magical energyyy...ascend the stairs in a single leap...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: ...and from there, I-I-I...shall ascend to my ultimate foooooorrrRRRMMM!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Ahh. Please, take a good look, people of humanity.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: This is my ultimate form–that which transcends human, animal, and god.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I will be both the newest and the last Beast ever to exist–the pinnacle of all the Evils of Humanity!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Naraka Mandala Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman!

Sakata Kintoki: ...!

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...Hm?

Fujimaru 1: Huh?

Fujimaru 1: That was pretty dramatic, that all?

Fujimaru 2: Aside from Limbo fusing with the doesn't seem like anything happened...right?

Medea Lily: Yes, that's true. Well, um, he does have the same astonishing amount of magical energy as a Divine Spirit now...

Medea Lily: But even after merging with the demonic tree, the nature of his Spirit Origin hasn't changed at all.

Medea Lily: He seems to be an Extra class, but he's definitely not a Beast!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Why!? Why didn't it work!?

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I followed all the steps! I did everything right!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I fed the Holy Grail no fewer than eight souls!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Five Heroic Spirits including myself, two foreign Divine Spirits, and one Japanese Divine Spirit!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: What's more, the final Divine Spirit was a malevolent god who possessed an aspect of a calamitous dragon!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: That should have been more than enough of the finest quality sacrifices to become a Beast!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: So why? Why!? Whyyy!?

Danzo: Something just crossed Suzaku Gate... It's Lady Kaoruko's carriage!

Sakata Kintoki: Huh!?

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: (Huff, huff, huff!) ...H-hello, everyone...

Fujimaru 1: Kaoruko!?

Fujimaru 2: That letter you've got there. Isn't that

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Lord Seimei...insisted...I come here... as soon as...possible...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: that...I could bring you...this letter...!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Wha–

Ouban Ashiya Douman: What?

Ouban Ashiya Douman: What did you say?

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Seimei?

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Is that what you said?

Floating Text: Looks like we got here just in the nick of time. Well done, bringing my letter all this way, Kaoruko.

Floating Text: You can go now. Thank you again for your help.

Floating Text: Now then. Limbo, you great, blithering fool.

Floating Text: I am sure that by the time you see this letter, you will already be reeling in shock.

Floating Text: As I know you won't be capable of accepting the truth on your own, I decided to take it upon myself to explain what a moron you've been.

Floating Text: You want to know why your scheme didn't work, Ashiya Douman? I'll tell you.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: You? Tell me...?

Ouban Ashiya Douman: What could you possibly have to tell me!? A-as you can see, I have already obtained ultimate magical energy!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: My Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness has already bloomed! It will soon become a vessel for a god, just like the one in Olympus!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: This will not be a repeat of the Indian Lostbelt! Besides, this is hardly my first time growing a Tree of Emp–

B:Floating Text: You drooling idiot.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: !

B:Floating Text: Were you always this foolish, or is it because of your Alter Ego Spirit Origin's twisted nature? Well, no matter.

B:Floating Text: Ashiya Douman. No... Limbo.

B:Floating Text: It doesn't matter how many gods you devour. You will never be a Beast.

B:Floating Text: If you still don't understand why, then allow me to simplify:

B:Floating Text: A monstrous rakshasa devoid of love for humanity can never become a Beast.

Ouban Ashiya Douman: !!!

Fujimaru 1: The thing about Evils of Humanity is...

Fujimaru 1: They're not meant to eradicate humanity; they're meant for humans to overcome.

Fujimaru 2: Humanity's meant to overcome them, not the other way around!

Sakata Kintoki: I don't know what you guys are talkin' about, but I do know this!

Sakata Kintoki: His plan failed, didn't it!?

Danzo: Correct. Lord Seimei is saying that, regardless of how much magical energy his divine vessel may have...

Danzo: ...Limbo will never be able to truly transform into a Foreign God!

Danzo: Because no one without genuine love for humankind is qualified to become an Evil of Humanity!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Mmmmmm! Mm, mmm, mmmmmmmmm!

Ouban Ashiya Douman:

Right you are!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: One devoid of love for humanity can never become a Beast! It's true, it's true! Mmmhahahahaha, how did I not realize it sooner!?

Ouban Ashiya Douman: But no matter! Now, I know for certain what it is I must do!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Now that things have come to this...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I no longer care about becoming a Beast!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I used to think I needed to ascend to the strongest, most evil class of all, but no more!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: Instead, I shall simply consume every last fragment of my Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness as it blooms beneath my pitch-black sun!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I will devour all of it from the inside out, not as a divine vessel, but merely for nourishment!

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I shall become a Rakshasa King, the Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: And then, starting with all of you...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: I shall take the people of Heian-kyo, Japan, China...everyone and everything in the entire world...

Ouban Ashiya Douman: ...and tear them apart with my own haaands!!!

Section 16: Sakata Kintoki Is Here!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: I will devour all of it from the inside out, not as a divine vessel, but merely for nourishment!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: I shall become a Rakshasa King, the Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman...

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: And then, starting with all of you...

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: I shall take the people of Heian-kyo, Japan, China...everyone and everything in the entire world...

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: ...and tear them apart with my own haaands!!!

Sakata Kintoki: ...Everyone and everything, huh. That so?

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: I see, I see. That's a hell of a thing to say, Limbo.

Sakata Kintoki: Most people could never even say somethin' like that, no matter how mad they were.

Sakata Kintoki: So, you wanna kill everythin', huh?

Sakata Kintoki: I guess you could pull that off now that you've gobbled up Ibuki-Douji, since she was a genuine god and all, except...

Sakata Kintoki:

I'm gonna stop you, idiot!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: !?

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: You called me, the Rakshasa idiot!? I won't have it! I won't! Not from that accursed Seimei, and CERTAINLY not from the likes of you!

Sakata Kintoki: Oh, and one more thing! Thanks!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: !?

Sakata Kintoki: I just now found what I was lookin' for, and I couldn't have done it without ya!

Sakata Kintoki: That Babbage guy had it.

Sakata Kintoki: Brother Tsuna there has it, and I'm sure Raikou has it.

Sakata Kintoki: I'd bet Tawara and Suzuka Gozen had it, too.

Sakata Kintoki: So did our descendant. Hell, they basically told me as much.

Sakata Kintoki: Lady Danzo, Tsuna's Caster, Nursery Rhyme... You all have it, too.

Sakata Kintoki: I'm not so sure about Shuten, but I am about Ibaraki. You've got it, right?

Ibaraki-Douji: Uh...?

Sakata Kintoki: And so do you, Fujimaru. Even though you're just a regular [♂ guy /♀️ girl], you've got somethin' drivin' you to never back down, no matter what.

Sakata Kintoki: You're a real boss's boss, as golden as they come.

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: I don't know if I can do as good a job as all of you...

Sakata Kintoki: But at least I finally found it!

Sakata Kintoki: And I couldn't have done it if it hadn't been for all the stops we made on the way here!

Fujimaru 1: Kintoki.

Fujimaru 1: It sounds like you found your reason to fight.

Sakata Kintoki: Damn right I did!

Sakata Kintoki: I finally figured out what it is I fight for! What I wield this axe for!

Sakata Kintoki: I've changed...

Sakata Kintoki: ...and I know what it means to be a hero!

Sakata Kintoki: And now that I know, I ain't stoppin' for anything! Hell, I couldn't even if I wanted to!

Sakata Kintoki: I ain't lettin' anything end here! Not when we're right on the edge of a hell where we can't even see the sun!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Mmm, mm, mmmmmm?

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: What a curious choice of last words. Hehehe, so this is the hero's pride I'm always hearing so much about.

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Very well then. As the Rakshasa King, and the god of this hellish new Lostbelt...

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: ...I will lend my divine ear to your nonsense, seeing as you are about to become the last hero this world will ever know!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: So, I ask you, Sakata Kintoki:

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Why do you take up your blade? Why do you stand and fight!?

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: What does it mean to be a hero!?

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: What do you consider justice!?

Sakata Kintoki: You wanna know!? You got it!

Sakata Kintoki: ...It's caring.

Sakata Kintoki: Justice. Wishes. Dreams.

Sakata Kintoki: Caring is all those things and more.

Sakata Kintoki: That's right. I care. And not just for this city. I care about every living person in this world.

Sakata Kintoki: The same people that you, Limbo...

Sakata Kintoki: ...just said you were gonna kill!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: !

Sakata Kintoki: You said you were gonna kill everyone in Kyo, Japan, China, and the rest of the world!

Sakata Kintoki: And that helped me realize why I fight!

Sakata Kintoki: Because I care!

Sakata Kintoki: I care about the kids lookin' forward to playin' tomorrow! I care about the moms cookin' hard to feed 'em, and the dads workin' hard to provide for 'em!

Sakata Kintoki: And not just them. I care about moms who work, dads who cook, and old folks who just wanna play, and every other sort of person out there!

Sakata Kintoki: You have no idea how precious people are... And that's why I'm gonna beat your ass!

Sakata Kintoki: I'm gonna stop you here and now so that anyone and everyone can live happy, uneventful lives!

Sakata Kintoki: That's why I fight! That's why I'm gonna keep fighting!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Mmmmmm, how unfortunate for you then!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: For you see, here in my Lostbelt, your precious people are no more than my playthings!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Instruments upon which I shall play ballads of suffering, their wailing, sorrow, and tears forming the notes of my compositions!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: So while I suggest you give up now, if you insist on fighting back...

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: ...then I will tear your resolve, and your precious caring, to shreds with my own fangs!

Sakata Kintoki: That's what you think!

Sakata Kintoki: But go ahead! Keep spoutin' off if you want! With you around, I'll never forget what it is I fight for!

Sakata Kintoki: That's right! I'm the mortal enemy of you, and every wicked bastard who'd threaten the people I care about...

Sakata Kintoki:

A morphing hero!

Narration: With a great, thunderous flash...

Narration: enormous mass of metal appeared silhouetted against the dark black sky!

Narration: Cloaked in the light of hope, it stood in fierce opposition to the despair-inducing demonic tree.

Narration: Great steel armor, adorned in brilliant crimson!

Narration: Its name...

Fujimaru 1: Golden Huge Bear!

Giant Crimson Warrior: GOOOOOOLDEN!

Giant Crimson Warrior: Reforge your blade with invincible steel! Encase your dreams in steel forged from your ideals!

Giant Crimson Warrior: That's how it's done, right, Babbage!?

Giant Crimson Warrior: Well, this is the steel forged from my ideals...

Giant Crimson Warrior: The Settsu Armor Kumano!

Danzo: It appears that...Lord Kintoki has become a red giant! ...No, that's not it!

Danzo: He is clad in a gigantic set of red armor!

Shuten-Douji: Wow. I've heard of growing up, but this is something else.

Shuten-Douji: You never told me you had something like this up your sleeve, brat!

Danzo: According to the records of the Fifth Lostbelt, that giant armor is known as Golden Huge Bear!

Medea Lily: It reminds me of the ancient Gigantes... And not just that, Lord Kintoki's magical energy level is rising rapidly! Lord Tsuna!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...Indeed.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: So, you finally did it, Brother.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I was concerned you might never realize what you were capable of, but now that you have, I'm glad to see you're wasting no time!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Be proud, Lady Raikou! In this moment, your son has become a true warrior!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Thus far, no one has succeeded in awakening the great Seiwa Genji vessel of war.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Named Settsu Armor Kumano, it is a fragment of a great vessel that drifted here from far distant seas.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: If anyone can control it, you can, Kintoki!

Giant Crimson Warrior: Here goes, Settsu Armor–No, Golden! This is gonna be our first battle together!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Mmmm, ludicrous! Simply ludicrous!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Did you truly think a single set of armor, no matter how bit, could match me, the Rakshasa King, devourer of a divine vessel!?

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: First, I will rip your armor to pieces, then I will do the same to you, Sakata Kintoki!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: And once I have drank your blood down to the very last drop...

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Then! Then!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: I will slaughter all the precious people you care so very much about! Mmmmmmhehehehehehahahahahaha–

Narration: Amusing.

Giant Crimson Warrior: Shuten? No...

Giant Crimson Warrior: That voice...!

Danzo: It came from inside the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness! Cross-referencing records... I knew it!

Danzo: It's Ibuki-Douji!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: What...?

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: You still speak...even after my Naraka Mandala swallowed you!?

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: You... You!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Does this mean you still retain your Spirit Origin!?

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: How? How!? My Naraka Mandala is layered with curses designed to break down and absorb any kind of Spirit Origin!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: And besides, you are no more than a Divine Spirit I summoned myself!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: The curse I embedded in you with one of my Command Spells should have placed you completely under my controoooool!

Narration: Silence.

Narration: I am amused.

Narration: And so...

Narration: I will have you use this...

Narration: ...and rid us of him.

Narration: Kintoki.

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman:


Narration: As the wicked creature calling himself the Rakshasa King let loose a scream of pain...

Narration: ...a single, titanic sword sprouted from the demonic tree.

Narration: The sword from the legend of the calamitous dragon, Yamata-no-Orochi!

Narration: It is said that after Susanoo-no-Mikoto succeeded in vanquishing the sinister dragon...

Narration: ...a divine blade emerged from the tail of its corpse.

Narration: The blade he drew from the dragon was known by many names. Ame-no-Murakumo... Tsumuha-no-Tachi... Tsumukari...

Narration: And...Kusanagi!

Narration: Here.

Narration: I will lend you the Kusanagi.

Narration: Wield it.

Narration: One needs a blade to cut down a tree.

Giant Crimson Warrior: Thanks! This is just what I needed!

Giant Crimson Warrior: All right, everyone, let's do this thing!

Giant Crimson Warrior: This is it. The final battle.

Giant Crimson Warrior: Let's make sure we do it in style!

Giant Crimson Warrior: Right, Boss Fujimaru!?

Fujimaru 1: You know it!

Fujimaru 1: We'll take care of Limbo! You take care of the Tree of Emptiness!

Giant Crimson Warrior: Sounds perfect!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: A divine sword!? Curse you, curse you, curse you!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Curse you, Sakata Kintoki! Curse you, Master of Chaldea!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: You who lack power! You who thirst, yearn, and struggle to make your wishes reality!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: You will go no further!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: I'll kill you all myself!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Your wishes will never be realized! If you wish to survive, you will have to make your way through me!

C:Giant Crimson Warrior: That's the plan, Rakshasa King! Limbo!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: My name is Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: This is the bloodstained battlefield of Limbo, where all the losers' souls shall be consumed upon defeat! The Imperial Deathmatch Stage!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: I am the Rakshasa King! This is where my pleasure and scorn shall halt you in your tracks!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Hear me, O frightful gods, and laugh! Hear me, O glittering sun, and shine!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Come, let us end this! This time, I will be the one to emerge victorious!

Giant Crimson Warrior: I don't think so, Limbo!

Giant Crimson Warrior: This is the end for you and your twisted plans! If you wanna rant about being some ratshit-whatever king, you can do that all you want.

Giant Crimson Warrior: Down in hell, that is!


Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: No... Impossible!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: This can't be happening! It can't be...!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: I may not have been able to become a Beast, but I should still be as strong as the most powerful of gods!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: I have already devoured several of them!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Why, even gods are little more than puppets dancing on my strings!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: I have abandoned my humanity and surpassed the gods to become the Rakshasa King, the ruling symbol of hell itself!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: So then, how!? How is this happening!?

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Curse you... Curse you, curse you!!!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman:


Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Seimei! Seimei! Seimeeeiii!!! Where are you!? I know you must be laughing at me somewhere!

Giant Crimson Warrior: Shut up.

Giant Crimson Warrior: I'm sick and tired of your damn dark sun starin' down at us, Limbo!

Giant Crimson Warrior: It's time to finish this.

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: !

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Wait. Stop. Don't–

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Oh! I know!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: What about an exchange!? Information for my life!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: There are still many secrets about the Foreign God that even the other two Alter Egos don't know, that only I can–

Giant Crimson Warrior: This ends now!

Fujimaru 1: By my two Command Spells!

Fujimaru 1: I swear upon this battle!

Fujimaru 1: Cut him down, Golden Huge Bear!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman:


Giant Crimson Warrior:

Great Golden Slice!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman:


Giant Crimson Warrior: Hrrrrrraaaaaaaah!

Giant Crimson Warrior: Tree of Emptiness this, pseudo that...

Giant Crimson Warrior: I don't know what all that crap's about, Limbo, but I do know this!

Giant Crimson Warrior:

You're goin' away for good!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman:!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Curse you, Genji! Curse you, Chaldeaaa!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Mmmmmm, how dare you, how dare you, how DARE you!? How dare you damage my beautiful Rakshasa King body!? This calls for–

Danzo: Worry not! We will take care of Limbo's original body!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: !?

Danzo: Now, everyone!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Come, Tsuna! Come, oni!

Shuten-Douji: 'Kaaay. Hmm, maybe I'll tear him to bits for a change. Fufufu!

Ibaraki-Douji: Ooh, Shuten's smiling! That makes me happy, too!

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...Heh.

Danzo: Rakshasa King Ashiya Douman! With our blades, and the arts of Lord Seimei, we will seal you away!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: ...!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Heh... Hehe... Heh!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Well done...

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Well done...indeed...

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Truly magnificent...people of...humanity!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Even after my grave error in failing to become a Beast...hehe, I never imagined you would come this far!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: If I must be defeated...perhaps falling to the collective might of the earth, the heavens, and humanity...mmm, would not be so bad!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: The child of Sekiryu! The child of Indra!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: The oni of Ooe!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Onikiri Yasutsuna! Divine Blade Kusanagi!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: And the Master of Chaldea...the last dreg of Proper Human History who ever lends [♂ his /♀️ her] aid to heroes...

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: No wonder my true body has shattered under your united assault! It seems I now have no choice but to withdraw! Mmm, well done!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Well done indeed!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: (All a pack of lies, of course. Utter nonsense.)

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: (I am the Rakshasa King! I will not die for nothing!)

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: (Heh, hehe, heh... I still have the secret technique I learned from a sage on Tianzhu's Vulture Peak!)

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: (If I use that with all my remaining power, it will annihilate all of you cretins in an instant, since none of you will be able to defend against it.)

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: (I've avoided connecting it because of the tremendous strain it places on my body, but now, it would seem I have little choice.)

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: (Activating pseudo thought keys...)

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Ahh, what a pity.

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: I was so looking forward to destroying everything in this world and luxuriating in the sweet aftermath...

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: But, now that my Spirit Origin and Spirit Core have been so thoroughly ground under your collective heel...

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: ...I suppose this is a fine alternative!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: But do remember this, everyone!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Killing me will not bring back humanity, as my Foreign God has long since...

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: (There. Keep talking... Keep stalling...)

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: (Mmm, now to connect my pseudo thought keys to the protected memory spa–)

Fujimaru 1: Limbo.

Fujimaru 1: Just shut up...

Fujimaru 1: And die already!

Danzo: Understood!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: ...Guh.

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Hrrk... Guh... G-ghhhlk!?

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: (It didn't activate!? Impossible!)

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: W-wait! Wait!

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: I still have one last card up my–

Danzo: Enough. There is nothing more to say.

Danzo: Youjutsu Zanhou: Moonflower. ...It's over.

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: It seems...this truly is it...

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Ahh... I just goes to show...

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: No matter the time or place...

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: Evil...

Rakshasa King - Skull Eboshi Ashiya Douman: ...never...wins...

Epilogue: Warriors' Dreams Are All That Remains

Narration: And so...

Narration: The inky black sun returned to its original golden hue, and the sky once again shone a clear blue.

Narration: The demonic tree that towered over the peaceful city disappeared in a shower of light.

Narration: And the man claiming to be the Rakshasa King is said to have been scattered to the four winds.

Narration: Despite having been nearly swallowed up by the demonic tree, the Imperial Palace was mostly unharmed...

Narration: ...and those who had been trapped inside were rescued by Minamoto-no-Raikou and her Four Heavenly Kings.

Narration: The Minister of the Left, thrilled by this outcome, quickly met with the emperor to proclaim this incident as further proof that the Genji were the clan best suited to defend the city.

Narration: ...He is nothing if not resilient.

Narration: How like him to find a way to turn any situation to his advantage.

Narration: The people of Kyo have proven themselves to be resilient as well.

Narration: No sooner had the sky regained its former color than they opened up the market and returned to business as usual.

Narration: They were happy to agree that this latest threat must simply not have been any match for the Minister of the Left's wise management, and the emperor's glory.

Narration: As for Lady Raikou and the Genji warriors, they have returned to defending Kyo as though nothing happened.

Narration: And me, well, I suppose this incident hasn't changed me much, either...

Narration: ...since I'm still taking brush to paper the same as I always have.

Narration:                        The end.     Excerpt from Murasaki Shikibu's Secret Diary

Takako: Well, hello there, Lord Minister of the Left. I'm glad to see you in good health.

Takako: The emperor was quite worried about you, you know.

Takako: He said he could only imagine how difficult it must have been for you...

Takako: ...being alone with the villain responsible for taking over the palace during that demonic tree incident.

Takako: In fact, he even said that if the stress was too great for you, he would understand should you feel compelled to resign your position.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Ah, Lady Takako.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Heh. Yes, well, the important thing is that the emperor is safe and sound.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: After all, any number of people could take my place, but none could take the emperor's.

Takako: Well, aren't you the sly dog.

Takako: No wonder you made it all the way to your current position, even with such fierce competition.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Haha. I suppose I must by sly indeed to earn such high praise from such a shrewd vixen.

Takako: Urk.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: ?

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Are you all right, Lady Takako? Oh, um, I suppose it was rather rude of me to compare you to a fox, wasn't it?

Takako: N-no, not at all. Besides, I did call you a dog first.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Hahahaha. You have a truly singular wit, don't you, Lady Takako?

Takako: Heh, hehehehe. Well, I still can't hold a candle to you when it comes to telling jokes, Lord Minister.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Hahaha.

Takako: Hehehe.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Hahahahaha.

Takako: Hehehehehe!

Takako: I must say...

Takako: Between Abe-no-Seimei's disappearance and the Imperial Holy Grail War...

Takako: ...there have been so many impossible things happening that I couldn't help taking a peek.

Takako: And you know, I'm glad I did.

Takako: This may have been a brief little dream, but it was quite fun while it lasted.

Takako: ...I wonder what I'll see if I ever decide to show my true face.

Fujiwara-no-Michinaga: Hm?

Takako: Oh, nothing. Nothing at all. Hehehehe.

Kiyoko: So then, just when it looked like the sky was going even crazier, something chopped the whole demonic tree right in half!

Kiyoko: Then the whole thing fell apart and turned into shiny light particles...

Kiyoko: ...and just like that, the black sun disappeared and the sky went back to normal.

Kiyoko: Everyone saw it happen, so I'm sure it's all people are gonna be talking about for a good while.

Kiyoko: ... ...

Kiyoko: ...Hmm.

Kiyoko: Personally, though...

Kiyoko: ...I still prefer the story about the steel monster stalking the roads at night.

Kiyoko: Just kidding!

Shuten-Douji: (Glug, glug, glug)

Shuten-Douji: Ahhh.

Shuten-Douji: Mmm, now that was some good wine.

Shuten-Douji: Still, it feels kind of weird drinking during the day, especially here. Not that I'll be staying long.

Shuten-Douji: Now that the demonic tree is gone, and that Ibuki-whoever dealt with...

Shuten-Douji: ...I can't stick around for too long, not now that our truce is over.

Shuten-Douji: Still, since I'm here, I might as well enjoy all the Genji wine I can.

Shuten-Douji: How about you? Care to join me?

Fujimaru 1: It's too bad Ibuki-Douji disappeared so soon.

Fujimaru 2: I'm sorry you didn't get a chance to talk to Ibuki-Douji.

Shuten-Douji: Oh, right. You're still too young to drink.

Shuten-Douji: Anyway, what'd you say?

Shuten-Douji: Me and Ibuki didn't get to talk much?

Shuten-Douji: Fufufu, don't worry about that. We aren't siblings or anything. We wouldn't have had much to talk about.

Shuten-Douji: Besides, she was just a haze to me, so I couldn't even see her all that well.

Shuten-Douji: Still...

Shuten-Douji: Maybe, if she'd been summoned a little differently...

Shuten-Douji: ...she might've just been a taller, nicer version of me, for all we know.

Fujimaru 1: I would've liked to see that!

Fujimaru 2: A taller version of you, huh? Interesting...

Shuten-Douji: Hey now, cut that out.

Shuten-Douji: You were just thinking you might've preferred that, weren't you?

Shuten-Douji: Hmph. Besides, I'm much prettier than she was. I don't have to twist your head off for you to see that, do I?

Shuten-Douji: Hm?

Shuten-Douji: Oh, don't look so frightened. I was only kidding.

Fujimaru 1: (I'm sure she is, but even so...)

Fujimaru 2: (The thing about oni is, you can never be totally sure.)

Shuten-Douji: ...Hm, you really aren't scared, are you? What an odd kid you are.

Shuten-Douji: I wonder just what those eyes of yours have seen...

Shuten-Douji: ...and what sort of places you've been to.

Fujimaru 1: I've seen all kinds of places, and met all kinds of people.

Fujimaru 2: I've met lots of different people, in lots of different places.

Shuten-Douji: Mm, reeeally?

Shuten-Douji: So this is just another stop on your journey, huh.

Shuten-Douji: You kind of remind me of me in a way, but...

Shuten-Douji: ...Fufu, I think you've got me beat there.

Shuten-Douji: So, what'd you think of Heian-kyo then?

Shuten-Douji: It might not be around forever, but it's pretty prosperous as far as Japanese cities go.

Shuten-Douji: Are you disillusioned with it now that you know it's got oni and strange trees and such?

Fujimaru 1: Things were definitely harrowing at times, but, no, I'm not.

Fujimaru 2: Nope. I'm actually glad I came here.

Shuten-Douji: Hmm...

Shuten-Douji: Is that because you got to take down that Limbo guy?

Fujimaru 1: That's part of it, sure, but it's not the whole story.

Fujimaru 2: Not exactly.

Shuten-Douji: ...Hm?

Fujimaru 1: For the first time in a long time...

Fujimaru 1: I got to throw myself at a goal without worrying about anything else.

Shuten-Douji: Hmmm?

Shuten-Douji: Okay then, close your eyes. Go on. Close them, or I'll just pluck them out instead.

Shuten-Douji: You were just so cute that I couldn't help wanting to give you a hug.

Shuten-Douji: Oh, forget it. Too much trouble. Ibaraki, hold [♂ him /♀️ her] down, would you?

Shuten-Douji: Ibaraki.

Shuten-Douji: ...Huh? Where's Ibaraki?

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I knew you would have to leave soon...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...So I've been trying to find the perfect souvenir with which to send you on your way...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...but it didn't even occur to me that you might not be able to bring material things back to the Throne of Heroes.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: I'm sorry, Nursery Rhyme.

Nursery Rhyme: It's okay, Raikou. No, Monjumaru.

Nursery Rhyme: Just getting to meet you has made me happier than any souvenir...

Nursery Rhyme: ...since even as a grown-up, you never forgot how it feels to be a child.

Nursery Rhyme: Most people move away from us as they get older...

Nursery Rhyme: ...but the ones who remember are the ones who pass our stories on to the next generation of children.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ... ...

Nursery Rhyme: Our meeting like this, and talking like this, will be recorded in the Throne as though it were a book of its own...

Nursery Rhyme: ...even as the memories will vanish from my mind.

Nursery Rhyme: But that's okay, Raikou.

Nursery Rhyme: No matter what happens, you and I will always be friends. I promise.

Nursery Rhyme: No matter how far away you go, or how many lives you take, you and I will still be friends.

Nursery Rhyme: I know how you used to cry all the time back when you were little, in a country so very far from mine.

Nursery Rhyme: I know that you don't really want to hurt anyone...

Nursery Rhyme: And that you wish you could have been friends even with ghosts and oni.

Nursery Rhyme: ...Goodbye, kindhearted Monjumaru.

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...

Minamoto-no-Raikou: ...Goodbye, Nursery Rhyme. My dear friend.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: You're certain you have no need of a reward?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: You may not be able to take anything back to the Throne, but you could still enjoy some fine wine before you go.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ... ...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Then tell me this, Caster. Why did you fight by my side?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Even once the Imperial Holy Grail War was called off...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: still chose to stay with me.

Medea Lily: Well...

Medea Lily: That's because I'm a Servant. It's what summoned Heroic Spirits are meant to do.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I see. Then it seems Heroic Spirits are deeply beholden to fate.

Medea Lily: Yes, you may be right. But even so...

Medea Lily: I'm still proud that I was able to help you. I mean that.

Medea Lily: I'm glad I could help stop that dreadful villain from destroying Heian-kyo, and I do hope it continues to thrive for another thousand years.

Medea Lily: As a Heroic Spirit with a bloody past of my own, nothing would make me happier. Truly.

Medea Lily: By the way, Lord Tsuna...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I know.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Someone I thought had returned to the mountain has been watching me for some time now.

Medea Lily: Um, are you sure you don't want to do something about her?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I am.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Pay her no heed. Besides, I'm still exhausted from having just defended Kyo from a major threat.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: As long as the oni means me no harm, I consider her little more than a stray animal.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Besides, we have this brief time to say our goodbyes. I'm not about to waste it fighting.

Medea Lily: Lord Tsuna, may I ask you something?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Of course.

Medea Lily: Remember that woman you told me about? The one you, um, looked up to so much?

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: O-oh, right. It's a little embarrassing having someone else bring her up...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...but it's all right, under the circumstances. Anyway, what about her?

Medea Lily: Well, I was just wondering if she and Ibaraki-Douji had some sort of connection.

Medea Lily: There's something about the way you look at her that seems as though you're grieving something precious you lost.

Medea Lily: At least, that's the impression I got...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Nothing gets past you, hm?

Medea Lily: I...

Medea Lily: ...I'm so sorry, Lord Tsuna. It looks like my time is up.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: How unfortunate. But, such is life, I suppose.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Farewell, Caster. Take care of yourself.

Medea Lily: Don't be silly, Lord Tsuna. I'm going back to the Throne.

Medea Lily: Soon, this transient body will disappear, and my soul will return to the Throne, where I'll forget everything that–

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: I know what I said.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: True, the dead may never return to life. I know you are no more than an empty shadow of your former self.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: But, even so...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: You may encounter other empty shadows at some point, or end up taking part in another ritual akin to the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: And if you do...

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: ...I want you to follow your heart wherever it takes you, for I have no doubt it will not lead you astray.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Do that, and your own dreams will come true. I am sure of it.

Watanabe-no-Tsuna: Make sure you and Lord Jason take care of each other, Medea.

Medea Lily: ...We will!


Sakata Kintoki: So!

Sakata Kintoki: Since you helped us all out so much, Raikou gave me a bunch of kimono cloth, bags of rice, and other rare goodies to give to you as thanks.

Sakata Kintoki: I gave 'em to your maidservant when I got here, so you should be all set now. Thanks a ton for everythin', Kaoruko!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Oh no, not at all. I really didn't do anything special.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Still, I do appreciate the kind gesture. And to be perfectly honest, I'm thrilled to receive so much wonderful rice.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Please give Lady Raikou my thanks, and my best.

Sakata Kintoki: You bet!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Now, please, relax and make yourselves at home. You must be exhausted after that ordeal.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Besides, I remember Lord Babbage telling me that visitors from foreign lands and times are destined to leave Kyo eventually...

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I'm sure you'll be departing soon as well.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Isn't that right, [♂ Lord /♀️ Lady] Fujimaru?

Fujimaru 1: Huh?

Fujimaru 1: I don't remember telling you I wasn't from this time.

Fujimaru 2: Did I tell you I wasn't from this time?

Danzo: Y-you didn't, Master. According to my records, we never mentioned that to Lady Kaoruko!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Hehe. I'm sorry.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: This may not mean much anymore, but...I eavesdropped on your entire conversation the first night you stayed here!

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I also told Lord Babbage about everything you discussed afterwards.

Fujimaru 1: Whoa, I had no idea you were even there!

Fujimaru 2: Wow, Kaoruko, I didn't know you were such a good spy!

Sakata Kintoki: You're kidding! But then, that'd mean...

Sakata Kintoki: If you and Babbage wanted to take us out, it'd have been easy for you to attack us while we slept!

Sakata Kintoki: But you didn't do that.

Sakata Kintoki: Sure, you weren't exactly rarin' to fight in the Imperial Holy Grail War, but even so!

Sakata Kintoki: Damn, Kaoruko, you really were a great Master!

Danzo: Indeed. I could not detect your presence at all! Perhaps you were using some sort of onmyouji stealth spell?

Danzo: Whatever the case, I am most impressed, Lady Kaoruko.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Hehehe.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Lord Babbage would have been happy to hear that.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: Anyway, if you'll excuse me, I really must get back to my writing now.

Fujiwara-no-Kaoruko: I'll leave the room open, and you are all welcome to stay and relax as long as you like.

Sakata Kintoki: Man, I've still got chills.

Danzo: It just goes to show one truly cannot judge a book by its cover. I swear to be even more careful in the future.

Sakata Kintoki: Me too. I still can't quite believe it.

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: So hey, while we're here, I just wanna say somethin'.

Danzo: Lord Kintoki?

Sakata Kintoki: Who the hell WAS my Caster during the Imperial Holy Grail War, anyway!?

Sakata Kintoki: It's not like I got any wish I want granted at this point, but I'd still like to know!

Danzo: Well...

Sakata Kintoki: So I had a thought. In fact, even when I was cuttin' the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness in half, I was thinkin'...

Sakata Kintoki: “Say, who was my Caster, anyway?”

Sakata Kintoki: Now I kinda wish I'd asked that Limbo bastard while I still had the chance.

Sakata Kintoki: 'Specially since even Lord Seimei refused to give me a straight answer.

Danzo: Indeed, Lord Kintoki. It does seem as though this will forever remain a mystery.

Danzo: Even when Lord Abe-no-Seimei was telling us who the seventh Caster was earlier...

Floating Text: Oh, yes. Since that idiot disappeared before he could tell you this, I suppose it's up to me to do it.

Floating Text: I'm sure you're wondering who the seventh and final Caster in the Imperial Holy Grail War was.

Floating Text: And the answer is: Limbo himself.

Floating Text: What's that? He wasn't a Caster? Ah, yes, well, he was what you call an Extra class.

Floating Text: Incidentally, his Master was...

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: I know. You don't gotta say it.

Sakata Kintoki: It was me, right?

Sakata Kintoki: Man, if that ain't a sick joke. Talk about the worst possible partner I could've hoped for.

Sakata Kintoki: Ugh, makes me sick just thinkin' about it.

Floating Text: No, it was not you.

Sakata Kintoki: Huh?

Floating Text: Limbo's master was in fact the human Ashiya Douman originally from this time.

Floating Text: So you didn't have anything to do with him.

Sakata Kintoki: Huh!?

Sakata Kintoki: C'mon, Seimei, you've gotta be pullin' my leg here!

Sakata Kintoki: I mean, if that's true, that'd mean my Caster was...

Sakata Kintoki: ...never summoned.

Floating Text: Yes, your curiosity is understandable.

Floating Text: We know for a fact that you had Command Spells on your hand, so you were certainly chosen to take part in the Imperial Holy Grail War.

Floating Text: Which means you must have been an eighth Master.

Floating Text: Perhaps Limbo arranged things that way with an eye toward making the Holy Grail War even more enjoyable for himself...

Floating Text: Alternatively, it may be the precise opposite:

Floating Text: A miracle which occurred to counteract the threat Limbo posed.

Floating Text: Personally, I prefer to subscribe to the latter interpretation, but that's just me.

Sakata Kintoki: ... ...

Sakata Kintoki: ...I think I get it...maybe...

Sakata Kintoki: And hey, at least it's way better than bein' told Limbo and I were s'posed to be partners in crime.

Sakata Kintoki: But man, you must be goin' senile, Seimei. If you're gonna fill us in, do it properly, dammit!

Minamoto-no-Raikou: Now, now, Kintoki, you're being rude to Lord Seimei.

Sakata Kintoki: Hmph.

Nursery Rhyme: Hehe, look at you, Kintoki! You're pouting like a child!

Sakata Kintoki: W-well c'mon, it's not fair! I saw those marks on my hand clear as day, you know!?

Sakata Kintoki: So then, why didn't I get a Caster to go with 'em!?

Sakata Kintoki: I don't care if it was Limbo's doin' or a miracle or what! I can't stop thinkin' about it!

Sakata Kintoki: Where the hell did my partner go!?

Fujimaru 1: Now, now. Just take it easy.

Sakata Kintoki: Grrrrrr!

Fujimaru 2: Well, let's not forget, the Imperial Holy Grail War's over now anyway.

Sakata Kintoki: I know, but still!

Sakata Kintoki: Anyway, Seimei might not've given it to me straight, but I kept thinkin' about it, and I realized somethin'.

Sakata Kintoki: You were my Caster all along, weren't ya?

Sakata Kintoki: Think about it. You came here from a foreign world, you cast spells, you fought by my side this whole time...

Sakata Kintoki: You're the only one it could've been. I mean, Danzo's an Assassin, so she's out, right?

Sakata Kintoki: It was you, Fujimaru.

Sakata Kintoki: You're my Boss, and my Servant.

Danzo: Lord Kintoki... I'm afraid Master is one-hundred-percent human.

Danzo: There is simply no way [♂ he /♀️ she] could have been summoned as a Servant.

Sakata Kintoki: Hmm...

Sakata Kintoki: Is that how that works?

Sakata Kintoki: Well, that's okay, too!

Sakata Kintoki: You and me, Fujimaru...

Sakata Kintoki: We might not've been Master and Servant, but even so...

Sakata Kintoki: We were the most golden partners of all time! That much, I know for sure!

Sakata Kintoki: And I can live with that just fine!

Sakata Kintoki: ...How's that sound to you, Boss?

Fujimaru 1: (Look Kintoki in the eye)

Fujimaru 1: (Nod)

Da Vinci: Aha! There we go!

Da Vinci: Too bad the video feed's still not working, but at least we can talk to each other now. Hey, this is Chaldea. Do you read me?

Fujimaru 1: Da Vinci!

Fujimaru 2: Loud and clear.

Danzo: This is Danzo! I am happy to report that Master is alive and well!

Danzo: We cut down the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness that appeared by Suzaku Gate and defeated the one responsible for it! We also collected the Holy Grail that spawned this Singularity!

Danzo: Suffice to say, our mission was a success!

Da Vinci: Yup, we could tell as much from observing the situation here in the Command Room. Great work, you two!

Da Vinci: It's too bad that Bounded Field covering all of Heian-kyo is also making it harder for us to maintain a connection...

Da Vinci: ...But since it's the cornerstone of their defenses, there's not much we can do about it.

Da Vinci: Since we've finally managed to get through, I want to take the chance and bring you two back. Sound good?

Danzo: Um–

Fujimaru 1: Sounds good.

Fujimaru 2: Do it, Da Vinci.

Sakata Kintoki: So...

Sakata Kintoki: I guess this means you guys are leavin' now, huh?

Sakata Kintoki: Back to your own time, when the world's turned completely white?

Sakata Kintoki: I still haven't taken ya to see the market, and I was plannin' on throwin' a huge banquet tonight to celebrate our victory...

Sakata Kintoki: Not to mention a bunch of other stuff I had in mind now that things are safe again...

Sakata Kintoki: But I guess we just won't have time for it, huh.

Fujimaru 1: Thanks for helping us. We couldn't have done this without you.

Sakata Kintoki: Hey, c'mon, Boss! That's my line!

Sakata Kintoki: We only won 'cause you were here. If it hadn't been for you, I couldn't even have beaten Brother Tsuna!

Sakata Kintoki: So I oughta be thankin' you, Boss!

Sakata Kintoki: We definitely couldn't have done this without you!

Fujimaru 2: I'm sure I'll see you again someday.

Sakata Kintoki: ...I don't know about that.

Sakata Kintoki: I don't think I'm cut out to be some great hero. I'm not tryin' to be one, either.

Sakata Kintoki: All I can do is keep carin' for everyone and hang in there the best I can!

Sakata Kintoki: So I'm just gonna keep goin' with that. But, y'know...

Sakata Kintoki: If followin' this path somehow leads to me bein' enough of a hero to qualify...

Sakata Kintoki: ...then yeah, I'll definitely see you again someday, Boss!

Danzo: Adjusting margin of error for coordinate data. Matching data with Novum Chaldea's Command Room.

Danzo: It's time, Master.

Danzo: Also, Lord Kintoki, the truth is... Well, unfortunately we do not have enough time for me to explain exactly how it works, but...

Danzo: Everything that happened here–how we met, fighting together, and what we ultimately achieved here in Heian-kyo...

Danzo: Well, I'm afraid your Proper Human History selves will not remember any of it. That is simply how Rayshifting works.

Fujimaru 1: ...

Fujimaru 2: I'm sorry, Kintoki.

Sakata Kintoki: Oh. I see...

Sakata Kintoki: But, it's okay! I can tell from the looks on your faces that there's nothin' we can do about it.

Sakata Kintoki: So don't sweat it. The important thing is, we protected Kyo–no, Japan, China, and all the rest of the world!

Sakata Kintoki: It doesn't get much more golden than that.

Fujimaru 1: Golden...

Fujimaru 1: I'm afraid your Proper Human History self won't remember that word, either.

Fujimaru 1: I'm sorry.

Sakata Kintoki: So what?

Sakata Kintoki: C'mon, quit mopin', will ya? Cheer up!

Sakata Kintoki: If this is where we gotta part ways, Boss, we oughta make it a real golden goodbye!

Sakata Kintoki: And you know, seein' how much I like this word, I'm sure I'll like it again the next time I happen to hear it.

Sakata Kintoki: So I guess if I'm gonna forget everythin' that happened here...

Sakata Kintoki:'ll just have to remember it for me!

Fujimaru 1: ...I will!

Sakata Kintoki: I'm countin' on ya!

Fujimaru 2: ...Golden!

Sakata Kintoki: That's the spirit!

Sakata Kintoki: ...You're still gonna keep fightin' after gettin' back, aren't ya? I can tell.

Sakata Kintoki: So I won't tell you to give it all you've got, 'cause I already know you will.

Sakata Kintoki: Instead...I'm just gonna say this.

Sakata Kintoki: You fight to protect your world...

Sakata Kintoki: ...and I'll fight to protect mine!

Narration: It was then...

Narration: ...that a lone figure looked down on Heian-kyo from atop the nearby Mt. Arashi.

Narration: He beheld the people who had regained their smiles and laughter, and realized how perilously close they had come to losing everything.

Narration: Overcome with guilt and fear over the foolish, terrible things he had done, he broke down, weeping.

Narration: His name was Ashiya Douman.

Narration: Not Limbo, but an ordinary onmyouji.

Narration: Somehow, when the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness was destroyed and began disappearing in a shower of light...

Narration: ...he miraculously survived, emerging from Limbo's battered Spirit Origin and Core.

Narration: The next thing he knew, he was standing on this spot, tears streaming down his face.

Narration: Dabbing his eyes, Douman began to weakly whisper to himself.

Ashiya Douman: What have I done? I scarcely recognize myself.

Ashiya Douman: I'm free now, but I feel... I'm terrified. It's...have I been cursed?

Ashiya Douman: Am I destined to end up as that horrible creature one day?

Ashiya Douman: A twisted demon whose greatest pleasure comes from other people's suffering?

Ashiya Douman: If that is what I am fated to become...

Ashiya Douman: ...then I don't want to see what lies beyond tomorrow.

Ashiya Douman: All I can do now is to stop myself before–

A:Voice: So you mean to commit suicide? Even after mastering the secrets of Taoism?

A:Voice: Don't bother, Ashiya Douman. There wouldn't be any point.

Ashiya Douman: !

Ashiya Douman: Lord Seimei... I didn't know you were back in Kyo.

Ashiya Douman: never actually left, did you? You knew this would happen all along, didn't you?

Ashiya Douman: Then...why didn't you stop me before I made such terrible mistakes?

A:Abe-no-Seimei: You have to ask why?

A:Abe-no-Seimei: Because even I never expected the great Ashiya Douman to succumb to a mere fragment of his own shadow, you fool.

A:Abe-no-Seimei: And while I'm at it, Douman...

A:Abe-no-Seimei: Your greatest flaw is your fixation on individuals.

Ashiya Douman: Lord Seimei...

Narration: According to legends from Proper Human History...

Narration: There came a time...

Narration: ...when the oni who lived on Mt. Ooe grew tired of simply stealing valuables and abducting people...

Narration: ...and began attacking, killing, and devouring them as well.

Narration: This was the beginning of the oni's rampage.

Narration: It is said the oni dug a great hole in the oni castle on Mt. Ooe solely to dispose of the countless bones of the many women and children they had eaten.

Narration: Recognizing the severity of the situation, Abe-no-Seimei urged the emperor to declare war on the oni. Minamoto-no-Raikou, the leader of the Genji, was chosen to lead the assault.

Narration: What happened next led directly into the events of the legendary Mt. Ooe oni hunt, the start of the last great battle between the oni and the Heian warriors.

Narration: Protected by three Shinto gods–Hachiman, Kumano, and Sumiyoshi–Raikou's Four Heavenly Kings fought their way into Mt. Ooe.

Narration: There, they fought their final battle against Shuten-Douji, Ibaraki-Douji, Kanekuma-Douji, Kuma-Douji, Torakuma-Douji, and Hoshikuma-Douji.

Narration: And with it being said that Minamoto-no-Raikou ended Shuten-Douji's life, the oni's most powerful warriors were vanquished.

Narration: Though oni love wine, there is one that is little more than poison for them: wine blessed with the protections of three Shinto gods.

Narration: So disguised as hermit Buddhist monks, Raikou and her Four Heavenly Kings gave Shuten-Douji a gift of wine which bore such a blessing.

Narration: Even weakened by the wine, Shuten-Douji still put up a tremendous fight...

Narration: ...but it came to an end when Raikou cut her head from her shoulders.

Narration: However... Shuten-Douji was an expert in all kinds of wine, and must have known the "monks'" gift would be poisonous to her. So why did she still drink it?

Narration: Was she compelled to do so by the three gods' protections?

Narration: Or...did she choose to drain the bottle of her own accord?

Narration: Nobody knows for sure.

Narration: However, there is an alternative theory that few are familiar with.

Narration: It states that, after the Mt. Ooe oni's more brutal rampage had ended, Minamoto-no-Raikou became an even more ruthless killing machine than ever before.

Narration: It was also around this time that she began to refer to oni only as “insects.”

Narration: Perhaps she was enraged by the atrocities she witnessed the oni committing...or perhaps it was owed to the revelation that Kintoki, whom she loved as her own son, actually knew Shuten from his own youth.

Narration: And then, there is yet another alternative theory.

Narration: It states that when the Mt. Ooe oni hunt was in its final stage, Shuten-Douji transformed herself into a great monster the size of a mountain, only to meet her end at the hands of an enormous set of armor.

Narration: Then, the theory says that after Shuten-Douji had reverted to her original form and fallen asleep...

Narration: was not Minamoto-no-Raikou that took her head, but Sakata Kintoki himself.

Narration: It also goes on to state that the one who defeated Ibaraki-Douji...

Narration: ...was Watanabe-no-Tsuna.

Narration: And yet, for some reason... she was also the only oni to be spared.

Narration: Later, on Ichijou Modori-bashi Bridge near the remains of the Rashomon gate...

Narration: ...Ibaraki attacked Watanabe-no-Tsuna not once, but twice.

Narration: Though she lost her arm during one of her attempts, she later took it back and disappeared to parts unknown.

Narration: Then, after much time had passed...

Narration: Ashiya Douman, the great onmyouji, joined forces with the vengeful ghost of Fujiwara-no-Akimitsu, the disgraced former Minister of the Left...

Narration: ...and attempted to cast a great curse meant to bring ruin to all of Japan.

Narration: However, he was thwarted by Abe-no-Seimei, branded a traitor, and banished from Kyo, never to return.

Narration: Another theory states that Ashiya Douman met his end when he tried to curse Abe-no-Seimei to death after failing to best him in many onmyoudou contests of skill, only to have his curse turned back upon its caster.

Narration: But this is not the place to tell those stories...

Narration: ...for we have now come to the end of one tiny moment from Proper Human History's expansive tapestry.

Mash: Senpai!

Fuuma Kotarou: Master!

Mash: Welcome home!

Mash: I'm so glad to see you back safe and sound. Oh, that reminds me. Would you mind holding still for just a moment?

Mash: There, medical diagnostic complete. Your vital signs all look good.

Mash: What a relief...

Fujimaru 1: It's good to be back, Mash.

Mash: It's good to have you back, Senpai.

Fujimaru 2: It's okay, I'm fine. You don't have to worry about me.

Mash: R-right.

Mash: Still, you can never be too careful. And besides, that was just a quick diagnostic, not a detailed one.

Mash: You'll still need to have Nemo Nurse take a look at you just to make sure.

Mash: I checked and the exam room is open right now, so I hope you go see her right away.

Mash: Also, um...well...

Mash: I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help to you this time...

Mash: I never imagined I would fail to Rayshift with you...

Fuuma Kotarou: No, Lady Mash. If anyone here should apologize, it's me.

Fuuma Kotarou: I should have known the Rayshift could be jammed, and I should have done everything I could to counteract it.

Fuuma Kotarou: Limbo and I have a history of our own. This was my chance to finally fight back against him, and I blew it...

Danzo: You are both being needlessly hard on yourselves. Go on, take a look.

Danzo: As you can see, Master is alive and perfectly well!

Danzo: What's more, [♂ he /♀️ she] succeeded admirably at both cutting down the Tree of Emptiness and recovering the Singularity's Holy Grail.

Danzo: The only one who deserves blame is Limbo. But I understand all too well how you both feel.

Danzo: ...Which is why we will simply have to make up for it on future missions!

Mash: Right!

Fuuma Kotarou: Understood!

Da Vinci: Hey guys! Welcome back. Looks like you already got your quick medical diagnostic out of the way.

Da Vinci: So that just leaves congratulations on a job well done! Well that and a bit of gratitude, obviously!

Da Vinci: The Singularity's already begun repairing itself, and we've confirmed there's no trace of the Pseudo-Tree of Emptiness whatsoever.

Da Vinci: Proper Human History might still be a blank slate at this point, but you guys managed to prevent another Lostbelt from popping up.

Da Vinci: So now, once we restore humanity and Proper Human History, we won't have to worry about a new world order based in the Heian period wrecking it all.

Da Vinci: As far as I'm concerned, you both rocked this mission.

Fujimaru 1: Thanks, Da Vinci.

Da Vinci: In fact, since you did twice as good as usual, I'm gonna reward you with a special head pat.

Da Vinci: Great job, Fujimaru!

Fujimaru 2: Mission accomplished.

Holmes: For my part, I'm particularly thrilled that you managed to eliminate Limbo.

Holmes: While it certainly never seemed as though the Foreign God's three Alter Egos were on the same page, so to speak...

Holmes: ...the fact remains that, now that Limbo is gone, the Foreign God has only two Disciples left at her disposal.

Holmes: As I'm sure you can imagine, Goredolf was also tickled pink by the news of your success.

Holmes: And while he's demanding you submit your report within two hours of your return, since we were unable to maintain contact for most of the mission...

Holmes: ...he's also fixing a meal to help you recover your strength even as we speak.

Fujimaru 1: I'll stop by and say hi to him later.

Holmes: I assure you, there's no hurry. Your recuperation comes first.

Fujimaru 2: I don't think he's gonna be happy with what the report says...

Danzo: Do not worry, Master. If you are concerned about the Foreign God's secrets Limbo alluded to in his final moments...

Danzo: ...I can assure you that they were simply more of Limbo's lies, and nothing would have been gained by listening to him.

Holmes: True. We could not place much stock in anything Limbo had to say.

Da Vinci: All right, that's enough! Fujimaru, go see Nemo Nurse for your medical checkup, then don't think about anything besides resting for a while. Got it?

Da Vinci: Mash, would you mind escorting [♂ him /♀️ her] to the exam room?

Mash: N-not at all!

Fou: Fou, fooou!

Mash: Ah! Stop that, Fou! Senpai is exhausted right now, and needs to rest.

Fou: Fou?

Mash: That's right. You'll just have to wait.

Sakata Kintoki: Yeah? Then I guess I shouldn't keep [♂ him /♀️ her] too long.

Sakata Kintoki: Hey there, Boss!

Sakata Kintoki: I just wanna ask ya one quick thing. What were me and the other Heian peeps like?

Fujimaru 1: You need to ask?

Fujimaru 1: Golden, of course!

Fou: Fooooooulden!