Cosmos in the Lostbelt 7: Nahui Mictlan - The One Who Rules The Planet - Comun and Fumei Summary
Summary of Ch 1-10 is done by Comun.
The protagonist trio starts scanning Subject E's room, but it almost immediately begins to collapse when the Alien Priestess appears. Escape sequence with Fujimaru trying to carry the body with them, but ultimately leaving it behind because they wouldn't make it out there. The group safely escapes with the data thanks to Mash being strong enough to carry both of them. Ortenaus is one Slider Mode.
After we ski away from the space hallway, everyone is regrouped in Chaldea, having already put their uniforms out for cleaning. Goredolf praises the trio's accomplishments and comments that he's confident Holmes will return to them soon enough. They're scheduled to rest for 48 hours to enter the South American Lostbelt in top condition.
Sion also drops by and commends us for performing according to calculation. Kadoc quickly caught on that this meant Sion knew that Holmes was an apostle all along. Sion responds by giving her two reasons why she was so sure of it.
- In Camelot, Holmes synchronized with Trihermes to gain information. Trihermes is the brain and heart of the Atlas Institute. He might have been Sherlock Holmes, but that alone wouldn't make it for him to survive the information overload that comes with this kind of access. He would've had to have been a Divine Spirit or a Servant altered to such capacity.
- His theories on the Alien God weren't making any progress. He wasn't stuck because he didn't know, he was stuck because knowing was a bad thing. Deceiving himself was the best thing he could have done to keep Chaldea away from getting checkmated. By forgetting he was an apostle, he became an ally of Chaldea.
The only bit Sion is still unclear on is why he consented to become an apostle in the first place. The conclusion here is that the Great Detective Holmes couldn't be trusted, but the ally of Chaldea Holmes could. Kadoc asks about his purpose as an apostle and Sion answers that judging by his actions, it could only have been cooperating with Chaldea. Apostle Holmes and post-amnesia Holmes logically should do the same thing, ergo the Alien God assigned him to the role of helping Chaldea clear the Lostbelts. But then she assigned Moriarty to purge Holmes, so his exact purpose must have been "Help them until point A, then past point B either stop helping or ruin Chaldea from the inside". And so Holmes jumped off the waterfall as his way of choosing Chaldea over the Alien God.
Da Vinci then arrives with the analysis results of data we scanned from the Specimen E room. The data came bundled with a malware bomb containing a farewell video from Young Moriarty. After some more of his "I would have saved the world better than you" spiel from Traum, he starts giving useful exposition on our main aliens.
[Specimen E] is no lifeform native to Earth. It's the remains of a creature who spent 100 years in that laboratory, concealed, examined, and experimented on. I believe that its death throes called forth its kin, the Alien God, but that's as far as my theory goes. I don't have the numbers I need to solve this equation. Maybe Trismegistus II in the Storm Boarder will be able to reach an answer beyond this. [...] Well, ahem. Let me share one last bonus. After all, if I don't make myself more likable... I mean, if I don't contribute enough to the cause, I'm at risk of Chaldea not wanting to summon me. Let me make this clear: you are very pressed for time. U-Olga Marie, manifested as the Alien God, is plotting to power up her Saint Graph even further. Her current goal is to fuse with the Entity of the Outer Realm slumbering in South America. The absolute taboo that the Mage's Association classifies as exclusive to the Department of Lore. A legitimate space invader on our planet. The alien specimen called ORT. Hahaha, are you surprised? You sure are. Hopefully, your reaction will make my own heartburn pass. We are close to the time limit. There's no time to rest after defeating me. If the Alien God obtains ORT, we Earthlings will have lost. Make all due haste. Unless you want this planet to be split in twain for its potential for evil.
Kadoc and Goredolf have different reactions to ORT's name. Kadoc is from a family of nobody mages, so he always assumed ORT was a tall tale mages made up to scare their children into behaving, much like a boogeyman, but Goredolf is nobility so he was raised believing that ORT is real.
In terms you'd understand, he's a horror story in the world of magecraft. There was this alien organism that flew down to South America long before the Common Era. Everyone who approaches it are killed instantly. No mage has ever stepped into its territory and came back alive. Nonetheless, be it due to it being considered too dangerous to ignore or just pure academic curiosity, a Grand mage led the long-awaited expedition accompanied by 6 Brand fellowmen in the 16th century. The title of Grand is the peak of what a mage can reach. A Grand is a monster capable of taking down a whole nation on their own. Meanwhile, the Brand mages one rank below them are also precious geniuses with abilities comparable to a Grand. Seven of them together on the same quest is a major event never seen again before or after. There's actually a fair deal of commentary on the festive atmosphere in the exploration camp they made in the jungle. But... only one mage came back from the expedition. His last words were "The creature must still not be touched. No life on the planet is up to the task as of now. Wait for the next geologic period. We'll entrust our hope to the newly evolved life that will come after our extinction." Mid-speech, the man became a living crystal before everyone's eyes. The mage's name was Astea. One of the Clock Tower Lords of his time. After this incident, the person at the top position of the Mage's Association, the headmaster of the Clock Tower, announced that the monster would be named ORT. Since then, one specific region of South America became known as a hellhole humanity should never step foot in.
Goredolf quoting the headmaster of the Clock Tower:
Only the planet's screams will awaken ORT. It's hibernating all nice and cozy in South America's underground. So you keep your hands off it. The planet will lose its anthroposphere if that thing starts moving.
I remembered. Chaldea's library had a page on ORT. ORT is the toughest and most inexplicable creature the world of magecraft currently knows. This giant spider-shaped alien is known for its hard, soft, hot, and cold skin; its energy production via internal nuclear fusion; and for converting every substance it touches into crystal. A threat to humanity. We can only hope that our technology will be able to analyze him somewhere past the year 3000.
Olga fusing with ORT wasn't part of the calculations. She was already level 1000 compared to Chaldea's level 50, so Sion didn't assume she would want to get ORT and climb to level 10000. Urgent change of schedule. Our Excalibur cannon won't work against ORT. The two days of resting are canceled and now we're proceeding to beat Olga before she can achieve her fusion.
Unrelated Clock Tower notes
ORT survivor Lord Astea is extremely weird to me. The name Astea has been used before as an abbreviation of Meluastea, especially as the title of the Department of Archeology, but in Legacy of the Alchemist more so than ever, it's constantly evidenced that the Department's full name (and therefore its founder's name) is Meluastea. There's a similar precedent with the Department of Hexes being called Zigmarie but often shortened to Zig, but that's a place we know nothing about. Also the Department of Creation being called Valuay while its Lord's name is Valuaylita.
Sanda is probably answering this one still this week while also confirming that the reason why the Meluastea are so important despite being broke is the ORT credits continuing from the 16th century, but until then I'll be assuming that the Meluastea are an Astea branch who took over after ORT left the main line without a heir. Or Kadoc was just lazy and shortened Lord Meluastea's name, who knows.
Chapter 1: To the Land Of The Dead
Fujimaru debuts Habetrot's new Anti-Alien God Master Mystic Code. The scheduled 2 days of rest were reduced to 2 hours + tea with honey. Mash's Ortinax was also in top condition since it was barely damaged in Traum. That said, da Vinci forbids Mash from weaponizing the concept of death with the Black Barrel. It puts too much strain on Mash's body and threatens Fujimaru's future survival. The compressed mana cannon function is still authorized to use, but not in populated areas since that would harm innocent civilians. Da Vinci also comments on Mash's power-up. Servants don't evolve beyond the abilities of their lifetime because they don't have a body to develop. Their physical form is still ether instead of flesh. But Mash is a Saint Graph transplanted into a human body, so her mental changes trigger physical growth that evolves her Saint Graph accordingly. The drawback here is that if she gets even more powerful, she'll quickly stop being Demi. Da Vinci reminds her that if things get really bad, she can just take off her Ortinax. Chaldea has other options.
We approach the South American Lostbelt. Da Vinci announces that the simulations proved our Holy Sword cannon 99.99% reliable. She named the thing Hume-Barrel Rayproof. Sion also has her report on Subject E. She confirms it was a state-of-the-art operating room within our level of civilization, that there's no lifeform like it in Trismegistus's records, and that blood traces conspicuously distant from the surgery table indicate a murder occurred in that room. Further analysis was discontinued to prioritize clearing the Lostbelt.
Our plan is to enter the Lostbelt with a group of 4 Servants. Out of them, Nitocris, is already summoned and present in the briefing room, but the other 3 will be summoned later. Since she was summoned from Chaldea's suitcase, Nitocris has her Camelot memories. Nito on her own is already adaptable, capable of crowd combat, and has magecraft strong against fever and defilement, but for this mission, she also leveled to her ideal form (3rd Ascension) and added Independent Action functions so she can keep guarding the team even in case Fujimaru dies.
Heya! I'm Habetrot! I'm basically a guardian fairy living in Mash's shield!
How courteous of you. I take it you are in god Bastet's service? Pleased to meet you.
Sion reminds everyone the Fantasy Tree wasn't detected. It could be either dried up like in Britain or hidden like in China, but since the Lostbelt is up, it's guaranteed something is performing the Fantasy Tree function there. Regardless, ignore that for now because the first priority is stopping Olga from reaching ORT. The Storm Boarder enters the Lostbelt's walls.
We get our first visuals of the Lostbelt and there Pangea has been turned into a total wasteland. Fou signals us to a fast-approaching object. U-Olga detected us entering her exchange student home and warped to where we were. She could pulverize the Storm Border instantly with her usual gravity manipulation but she's currently feeling great because she's just back from killing all 7 Grand Servants offscreen, so she'll humor us with a hand-to-hand brawl. For Chaldea, the plan is to knock her off the deck with our Servants then shoot the Hume-Barrel on her point-blank.
[<- Battle against U-Olga Marie ->>]
As usual, Olga is completely unharmed, and she learns the Skills used against her. Having seen enough, she does her gravity field, which she names "Haste Makes Waste". Mash manages to bounce the attack back with Mold Camelot.
Agh- you just hit it back like a ball!? This is...tennis! Yes, tennis, I saw it in the records! So you were a Heroic Spirit of tennis!
With this having bought us enough time, we hit Olga with the Hume-Barrel. Much like the Black Barrel weaponizes the concept of death by converting the enemy's own lifespan into the energy that kills it, the Hume-Barrel Rayproof weaponizes the legitimacy of Pan-Human History by converting the enemy's level of threat to humanity. Olga's horns absorbed the whole blast, but that's something we predicted she could do. The blast should still work. But it didn't. Olga is very upset by this result because she knows that whatever weakened the shot was not anything she did. She's just as clueless as us about what caused her survival.
Immediately after, the earth's crust crumbles and the Lostbelt's underground sun takes the form of a giant woman to attack Olga. She's caught off-guard as she never saw the sun do this in her previous visits to the underground world. Nemo decides to abandon ship and commands everyone to evacuate to the Shadow Boarder. The Nemos will be the last to leave their posts on the Storm Boarder, but he spared one Marine to accompany the evacuees. The new enemy is a fusion of plant and mineral. A plant sun with mineral flames. It fights and overpowers Olga while we evacuate. Its slap also destroys a Storm Boarder wall, causing Fujimaru to fall to their death. The ship is plummeting, but before the crash landing, Nemo uses the ship's remaining energy to summon the team's other 3 Servants.
Hume-Barrel Rayproof is the dumbest name Nasu ever invented, he should be ashamed of it, and I hope it never comes up again.
Chapter 2: Golden Rainforest
In the foggy afterlife, a man (who in a later chapter will be revealed to be Tezcatlipoca) invites Fujimaru to sit with him by the bonfire. He doesn't name himself nor ask for Fujimaru's name, as names aren't necessary for those who have concluded their battles. The man then discusses the Storm Boarder.
Not too shabby for a weapon. Is that thing yours? I like modern weapons. They're cumbersome, tasteless, and above all else, costly. I, for one, welcome 'em. After all, tools of war should evolve. Just as life does.
But his positive impression of their weapons absolutely doesn't translate into a positive impression of the wielder. He thinks their idea of a battle without fair casualties on both sides is a sick joke. He says Fujimaru only went this far without casualties because they were lucky and that now, this luck has ran out, as no human in the Storm Boarder will survive the ship dropping from above the surface (above the Silent Ilhuicatl, as he calls it).
There are no warriors on it. They won't make it here after death either. ...Hmm? Hold on a second, does that mean I've acknowledged you as a warrior? ...I can never tell what Blue's thinking. Oh well, I suppose it's just the usual fluke.
Hearing no one will survive, Fujimaru gets restless to go to the Storm Boarder, but the man warns them they can't reach the world of the living. Fujimaru wants to try anyway, which further displeases the man, but he's willing to guide them there in exchange for weapons. As his choice of outfit tells, he's a big fan of the modern era, so he's super willing to bring Fujimaru back to life for some 21st-century guns. Unfortunately, the only weapons Fujimaru has to offer are their 3 Command Spells. He takes it, and since the payment was worth more than Fujimaru's life, the man not only drops them back into the world of the living but also gives them a pack of calaveras de azúcar as a bonus.
Fujimaru wakes up alone with the panicking Nemo Marine who was accompanying him in the evacuation. Marine is speaking all quietly and urging Fujimaru to get out of the cave because Olga is also unconscious next to them, but Fujimaru's louder reaction wakes her up. As an outer space aristocrat, she's disappointed she's not being welcomed with applause, but seeing they did nothing to her during her suspended animation, she concludes that Fujimaru and Nemo are primitive but harmless. The amnesiac future ruler of the planet introduces herself to her two new friends and explains her memory circumstances. All she can remember is her name and her purpose. Fujimaru and Marine tell her their names, but not their purpose. Soon enough, Marine's "PLEASE DON'T KILL ME" is enough for Olga to deduce that their purpose is prolonging their lives. For reasons she doesn't understand, the name Fujimaru Ritsuka makes her want to deck their face. Still, in respect for this first contact, she names her two friends Interstellar Goodwill Ambassadors.
Sensing distress in her friends' brain waves, Olga promises to help them find a way out of the cave. As someone who is here to rule the planet, she can't ignore the pleas of a sapient being in need. With the President's help, we make it to the South American jungles.
Shortly after leaving the cave, Olga detects aggressive brain waves: gun-toting men wearing jaguar masks. Fujimaru tries summoning Servants, only to remember they're without Command Spells.
[[<- Olga solo battle against the new enemy ->
Olga quickly overpower the jaguar people, claiming it was easy as fixing a typo on a report. A recurring thing so far is that most metaphors Olga uses are related to undergrad student life. The Marine wants to get out before more enemies appear. Olga points out it doesn't matter how many there are if the hostile organisms are that weak, but immediately comes to understand their concerns once she remembers her friends are organisms that take damage from physical impact.
Why would the animals of this planet evolve in such a way? There's no practical advantage to this.
The Marine takes the scout role in our new group. Olga is puzzled by the idea that he would want to have a contributing role instead of quietly hiding behind her. The thought of not letting the strongest do everything feels silly to her. She then asks about Fujimaru. They didn't join the fight, but the way they hid behind a tree to assess the situation shows Olga that they're experienced in combat despite their young age and fragile vessel.
The Marine finds potentially edible vegetables and calls the two to see them. He catches Olga off-guard by grabbing her hand. She's really confused about his brain waves. At first, they were completely red (fear and caution) but now they're suddenly blue (conversational). Fujimaru's, on the other hand, were always yellow (joy and friendship). That's because he learned during the battle that Olga is scary, but she isn't threatening. The President got her first Earthling supporter. We notice the enemies returning for a second round and the Marine suggests Olga try talking to them this time to garner more supporters.
Heh heh. It seems like you're starting to understand me now, kid! Yes, I did not come to Earth to exterminate all of its primitive life! I got much better things to do! I've heard screams on this planet, and so I have arrived to improve its management! A dialogue must come first, no matter how ferocious or barbarous the other party is.
However, the enemies appearing this time are dinosaurs, so Olga panics and immediately resorts to violence.
[[<- Olga solo battle against dinosaurs ->
Turns out Olga is too afraid of reptiles to handle this battle, so she panickedly asks for a retreat or for Fujimaru to do something about them with their trump card. Unfortunately, Fujimaru doesn't have the Command Spells to summon Servants. The Chaldean rescues the team, commenting on how pitiful it is that humanity's last Master can't handle a pack of irrational deinos. Marine and Olga ask who is he and Fujimaru answers he's someone going by Romani Archaman's name.
The Chaldean confirms himself as someone going by Romani Archaman's name, and thus the name in his textboxes changes to Romani Archaman. It's not a name that represents his identity, but as humans say: "It's what's inside that counts". He posits that since Fujimaru knows the person wearing that skin is someone else, it doesn't matter what name he goes by. Fujimaru argues that it matters, they want the name to refer to someone who deserves it, but "Romani" agrees to disagree. Romani notices no serious injuries on Fujimaru or bugs in their Mystic Code, so he asks if it was psychological trauma that made them not able to summon Servants. Fujimaru tries to hide their hand, making it visible to Romani that it has no Command Spell markings (not that the CS are used up, the whole image is gone from the hand). He warns Fujimaru they'll never summon a Servant again and need a new survival strategy. He tries to leave, as he has no business with Fujimaru now that they're no longer a Master, but Fujimaru asks to see Mash. He tells them Mash is on the horn-shaped rock to the south. Like our Nemo Marine, she also jumped off the Storm Boarder to save Fujimaru.
One more thing... It's quite awkward that I have to say this, but... If mankind can excise all seven Lostbelts, then I will finally acknowledge you as my enemy ...though I expect that won't be the case. You're up against Daybit Sem Void. Defeating ORT is impossible for you lot.
After our Dr. Roman lookalike leaves, the Marine comments on the awkwardness of the encounter and notices how U was all frozen up during his scene. She says she has no opinion. Though she asks if Romani was a living being since he had no brain waves and completely ignored her. That aside, Team Chaldea moves in the pointed direction to reassemble with Mash.
We get to the cave where we're supposed to meet Mash. The Marine speculates the enemies we just faced are the Lostbelt King's underlings. Having heard the name Chaldea dropped a few times during the conversation, Olga finally asks who is this Chaldea. Fujimaru will explain later.
We enter the cave and it's fairly well-furnitured. A voice coming from the wall asks them if they're the Chaldea people Mr. Romani mentioned. The voice apologizes for the rudeness and turns off his camouflage, revealing himself to be a gentleman dinosaur. He's a retired deinos named Tepeu. The deinos are this Lostbelt's dinosaurian mankind. Our Marine is terrified of being eaten but Tepeu explains the deinos are a herbivore species, and capable of photosynthesis. He offers us water since the Mictlan has been really hot these days.
Mash and Habetrot come back from the chores they were doing in Tepeu's house. Seeing Mash, Olga cordially introduces herself to this Chaldea person she's been hearing so much about. The scene cuts to after Mash calms down and hears the whole story. She apologizes for her shameful initial reaction. Habetrot tries to say anyone would react like that after seeing the Alien God, but Mash closes her mouth before she can say the problem word. Next, we ask Tepeu about the Lostbelt. He already knows about the Lostbelt situation from a previous visitor and his opinion is that the Chaldeans are guests rather than enemies. Friends who have a duty here. He believes the deinos won't mind Chaldea destroying their world because all worlds perish; that's normal. Who cares about what the cause is? Tepeu would resist if his death would cause the death of the world, but thankfully, it's the other way around. It's Chaldea who is in a situation where they can't die or else their world dies, so Tepeu is wholeheartedly cheering for humanity's cause.
How can you have a conversation when your frequency is completely different?
That is the work of Maia...an alteration in cognition applied by this very world. Earlier, a new culture came to our world. This Crypter fellow. Maia analyzed his language and cognitive standards, then tuned itself so that mutual dialogue became possible. I suppose you could think of this as a universal translator cast on the entire world.
I see. Come to think of it, your vocal cords are completely different from ours, Tepeu. So who is this Maia? They sound pretty amazing...
Maia is not a person. It is more of a... life essence. Collective goodwill, as it's called in your world. The sentiment to make the world a better place to live. The source and guiding principle of everything that makes up this underground world, Mictlan.
Like Agartha, Mictlan is another world within the Hollow Earth, but while Agartha was just a flat horizontal continent, Mictlan is a 1000-kilometers tall cylindrical world with its own gravity, water, and atmosphere. It's divided into 9 levels. By the way, the name Mictlan is very recent. It was coined by Izcalli, the leader of the Ocelomeh.
The word Ocelotl (plural Ocelomeh, Nahuatl grammar is weird) refers to the Aztec jaguar warriors so we deduced he means the people with guns we fought before getting here. Tepeu explains that the Ocelomeh are a tribe that arrived together with Crypter. They built a city in the 5th level, established a mafia organization, and started hunting deinos. Many were killed and many were turned into irrational beasts.
What a savage bunch... But why are they doing this? Are you fighting over territory here in Mictlan?
It's not so much about territory as it is about resources. They're after revenue. They strip off our hides, process our bones, and distribute our hearts as treasure. Maia disapproves of such behavior, but they are a cunning bunch who can escape the eyes of its law. Systematic violence organized as a distributor of goods. That's what the Ocelomeh are.
That's just a mafia! Is the jungle really so scary!?
Hearing about the dinosaur world mafia, Fujimaru gets worried about the people on the Boarder. Mash explains their last contact was 4 hours ago. Sion told her it would take days to finish repairing the ship. The Boarder is 300km away so it's going to take days to cross the jungle; there's no time to waste. Mash and Habetrot thought it was too dangerous for the two of them to be alone, but they're confident they can do it with Fujimaru there to summon Servants and fuel the Black Barrel. Fujimaru breaks the bad news to them, but the group decides to go anyway because they have Olga. Tepeu gives them directions. He saw our "flying rock" falling close to Chichén Itzá. Getting there requires crossing Tlathuic and that's not advisable for beginners, so Tepeu puts on his glasses and coat because he will be personally guiding us.
2 hours of walking later... it's goddamn hot outside Tepeu's cave. 58 Celsius because the sun is on the second level. He suggests taking a break until the sun goes away. The Marine and Habetrot go fetch water, which segues into some commentary about wanting to be useful despite not being able to fight.
The jungle is so densely packed with information that Olga has to turn off her sensors until she's habituated to the environment. Trying to use them caused her to throw up her rainbow-colored vomit. She asks how come Mash and Fujimaru are from the same humanity when Mash's physical structure is so different from theirs. She tells her she's a Demi-Servant, but doesn't get to explain because Olga is very insistent that she knows what it is. She totally studied Earth's main export products.
Marine and Habetrot come back being chased by aggressive deinos. Tepeu explains their brains have deteriorated, reducing them to mindless carnivores. Dialogue is impossible, you either run or stop them. However, Olga is now able to fight the dinosaurs because she has Mash as her tank, keeping them away from her.
[ <- Mash/Habetrot/Olga-only battle against jungle snakes an irrational deinos -> ]
Out of the jungle, we reach a field of 2-meter-tall corn stalks. Corn is the most popular food among deinos, the only one they eat for flavor rather than nutrition. The Marine mentions the use of corn for ethanol, leaving Tepeu and Olga astonished by the idea of using a source of nutrients as fuel. Why would you prioritize fuel over Earth's natural cycles? Mash explains biofuel agriculture and greenhouse gas emission, leaving Olga all the more convinced her strong leadership is necessary to get humanity out of its losing streak.
Habetrot points out it looked like noon when we left 6 hours ago and now it still looks like noon. The sun isn't moving west to set. Olga confirms the sun in Mictlan has only been moving vertically. Deeper into the underground world with each hour. We're clearly in dire need of a huge exposition dump, so we ask Tepeu about multiple topics that can be reordered or skipped by the player's choices.
- Mictlan's structure
Mictlan may be a flat jungle but it's divided into 9 levels.
- Tlalocan, where a precipice serves at the ceiling leading to the surface.
- Tlatlauhqui, the red underworld border. The endless river where the giant iguana lives.
- Chichen Itza, City of Gold, and the fertile plains.
- Iztauhqui, the white underworld border. The valley of blades and winds where bones are discarded.
- Tula, the veins of the land. The lake of birds and blood.
- Xoxoauhqui, the blue underworld border. The galactic dunes, the vacuum lightning garden.
- Astronomical Observatory Metztitlán, the Singing Ilhuicatl.
- Yayauhqui, the black underworld border. The sunless underground mountain range.
- Fear Grounds Xibalba, the place where the Ceiba tree is rooted.
All levels are connected by land, so any deinos can just walk through them, but the 4 border levels are dangerous zones where the dead can attack you at any moment. Going lower than 7 is particularly dangerous because the fog in the 8th and 9th levels brings death to the living. The fog only clears up once every 360th sunset, and from there it takes 5 days for it to restart. Some deinos go to the lower levels during these 5 days, but no one ever succeeded in the underworld pilgrimage. Going from 1 to 3 takes 4 days, but having to cross 2 is a harsh obstacle.
- The sun's mechanism
Aside from what Olga already explained above, the other point of interest about the Mictlan sun is that it's a god named Kukulkan. Mictlan mythology has nothing to do with Aztec mythology, despite the shared names. The sun was just a thing the deinos took for granted like they did everything else, but when Daybit arrived in Mictlan, the concept of gods was introduced to the world via Tezcatlipoca. With gods now being a thing in deinos culture, the sun came to be seen as something special, and thus deified into Kukulkan. Daybit's arrival also popularized the previously underutilized concept of verbal conversation, which created the concept of stories, which enabled Kukulkan's apotheosis. Mictlan and Kukulkan get their names taken from Aztec mythology precisely because they are recent names imported from Daybit.
- Deinos biological history
At the origin of Mictlan, the ancestor species to the deinos (the Pan-Human theropods) evolved into the prime species in charge of managing that world. Maia has some level of control over their birth, making it so the rare plesiosaur and pterosaur-type deinos always exist, but ensuring the theropod-type is the vast majority. Plesiosaur and pterosaur deinos are discriminated social outcasts. While most dinosaurs were carnivores, there are no carnivore deinos. The toxins of meat make deinos agonize, lose their intellect, and eventually die. That's how the Ocelomeh has been creating the mindless deinos that have been attacking us throughout this chapter.
- Cities and culture
This is one initially sidetracked by us mentioning oceans and having to explain what they are to Tepeu. We spend a long time teaching him about Pan-Human political and scientific concepts such as democracy, communism, genes, cells, atoms, and chemical elements. Also culinary. It's kinda amazing how fast Tepeu is learning all this, so they ask if he isolated himself in the 1st level because his genius intellect ostracized him from other deinos. He explains that it's not that he's smarter, it's that the other deinos don't see any need for knowledge. Humans are short-lived, easily injured, and lacking in survivability, so their thirst for knowledge is a physical survival need. This is not true for deinos. There was no threat that necessitated this kind of evolution in Mictlan.
The two main cities of Mictlan are:
- Chichen Itza, the golden city in level 3. The city of the deinos. It's where the Dinosaur King reigns under the protection of Kukulkan, the sun god.
- Mexico City, in level 5. The city of the Ocelomeh. It's a city of death created by Daybit and Tezcatlipoca.
The Storm Boarder's estimated landing point is between these two cities.
"Crypter" is known as the man who brought Tezcatlipoca to this world, and Tezcatlipoca is the god of war and sacrifice that brought the border levels to their current hellish form.
Tezcatlipoca's Ocelomeh are humans who have been turning deinos mindless for the teaching of their new religions. Their faith tells them to sacrifice powerful hearts to their god and the strongest creatures around in Mictlan are the deinos. They built a city in the 5th level and are gouging out the hearts of deinos. Now the deinos are at war against the Ocelomeh.
Deinos are capable of photosynthesis but they felt the need for a luxury treat to spice up their lives, so that's where Maia created corn, the ultimate food, and blessing of the sun.
Tepeu went to sleep early because he has a lot of new information to digest. Olga is watching the stars 20 meters away from the group, so Fujimaru and Mash take this chance to discuss what to do about her. Fujimaru suggests we continue not telling her she's the Alien God. Mash, Marine, and Habetrot agree, although acknowledge how manipulative this is. Habetrot imposes one condition: This need to be the only secret we keep from her. True friends don't hide everything from each other.
Mash and Fujimaru then interrupt Olga's presidential duty of assigning names to the constellations and tell her about Servants, Masters, mages, Chaldea, the Incineration, Singularities, the bleaching, Crypters, Fantasy Trees, PHH, Lostbelts, and Earth's many crises. Olga is impressed with their noble job of restoring humanity's future and expresses her pride in us with a 9 out of 10 rating, the highest grade she's ever given. It's not 10 because it's missing one finishing touch to perfect it. Fujimaru invites Olga to be this missing piece that completes the team.
Heh! This answer alone dropped humanity's foolishness score to 0! After hearing this, I'm obliged to help you save Earth. Count on me fighting by your side, friends!
It's been a great talk, but it's late and they need to sleep. The sun has 12 hours until the sun appears where they are, so they want to sleep 7 hours and leave the corn fields before that happens.
Meanwhile, a man in priestly garb is watching the situation, unsure of what to do about it.
Chapter 3: Tlatlauhqui, The First Underworld Border
The chapter starts with the party getting to the first underworld border. Since Tezcatlipoca's arrival, the underworld borders have been turned into hellish trial grounds for the dead, but these trial grounds have one interesting arrangement: if you know in your heart that you already overcame the trial, you are completely safe to come and go. Tepeu already cleared up to the 3rd underworld border, so he'll be safe here. Last chapter, he described this border as a river with a giant iguana, and since we learned that Mictlan names are taken from Daybit's knowledge of Aztec and Mayan mythology, Mash asks if the Lostbelt iguana is also named Xochitónal. Tepeu confirms after a Mash infodump about the Pan-Human Mictlan.
Olga asks why the deinos live underground. Tepeu relates that a meteor impact in the distant past that made the surface uninhabitable, so the dinosaurian mankind escaped to this underground space created by Maia. Now tens of thousands of years later, the surface is still burning. Olga is shocked at how lazy the planet is being about its recovery.
Olga asks if anyone knows what ORT is since it's one of the few terms she still remembers. Fujimaru and Mash tell know the rumors and that they came to the Lostbelt to find ORT, but that stopped being a priority. Olga thinks they mean rescuing the Boarder is the new priority, so she agrees that going after ORT is a waste of time.
We get to the river of the Red Underworld Border trial, but it's gotten so wide that it looks more like an ocean with waterfalls than a river. Tepeu freaks out when he sees the river because it's immensely bigger than it was when he last came to Tlatlauhqui. His heart doesn't believe he cleared this trial, so he's as in danger as any of us now. The giant iguana from the trial appears.
[ <- Mash/Olga solo battle against Xochitónal and smaller underworld iguanas -> ]
We beat Xochitónal. Olga getting used to the giant lizards. We didn't even need Habetrot to win the fight, which is great because Habetrot's energy can only be recharged at the Boarder. Anyways, the next part of the trial is crossing the river. Tepeu can't swim so that's out of the question. He made a raft to clear it the first time, but the river is too big for that now. Fujimaru is no longer a Master so we can't just randomly summon Noah, Moses, Icarus, or Sindbad to take us to the other side with their NPs. Olga points out that all these namedropped options wouldn't work because it's an underworld river, so we should take a hero familiar with the underworld.
Kingprotea overhears us talking about Chaldea and assumes we are the enemy that knocked down the Storm Boarder.
[ <- Mash/Habetrot solo battle against Xochitónal and smaller underworld iguanas -> ]
The battle stops because Protea saw Fujimaru, which is the only person she recognizes because Mash wasn't in the SE.RA.PH. event. Luckily, one of Protea's components is Airavata. Swimming in the ocean of milk is essentially crossing an ocean of death and Protea is big enough to carry everyone to the other side, so we found out the solution to the trial.
Protea is doing great, swimming fast up the river and jumping all the waterfalls. Olga is the only one who isn't riding Protea, instead setting Protea as the gravity field she's hovering above because she's weirded out by Tiamat's horns. As we approach the other shore, we notice Protea is bleeding a lot. She does her best and holds over until she can safely place us on dry land.
Camazotz (the Camazotz from Pan-Human Aztec and Mayan mythologies, not any Lostbelt version) introduces himself with bombastic gloating about how he'll bring death to the traitor Kingprotea because she's opening the way when she's supposed to be an obstacle. He tries to suck Protea's blood and learns that Servant blood tastes awful. He quickly takes his leave, announcing we'll be seeing each other a lot. He claims he could behead Fujimaru and taste their blood right now, but he won't because he wants to get more entertainment out of watching Fujimaru's rivalry with their enemy Daybit Sem Void.
Camazotz's last act before disappearing is using one of Fujimaru's Command Spells to force Kingprotea into Xochitónal's position of guardian of this underworld border. Not only that, but he took the Xochitónal we defeated and turned it into a green calavera mask he attached to Kingprotea.
[ <- Mash/Habetrot/Olga solo battle against Kingprotea Xochitónal -> ]
Protea is tanking Black Barrel shots and all the attacks Olga can throw in her current weakened state, so the group decides to hide in the jungle and hope she doesn't crush us. Tepeu explains that since she was made into the guardian of the underworld, she can't pursue us out of the river. We just need to be lucky enough to escape her reach before she squishes us.
Then it's child's play! As a matter of fact, my luck is galactic-tier! Show me a 99% win rate raffle, and I'm certain to get the 1% loss! Hwahahaha!
Case in point, Kingprotea Xochitónal squishes Olga. The totally flattened and buried Olga simply springs back unharmed like a Tom & Jerry character because she's the invincible President of Earth.
We see the river going all red from Protea's bleeding and get worried about her. We can't nab Camazotz to bring her back to normal because he already flew far beyond our reach. With combat having just proven to not be an option, the only alternative we're left with is waiting for Kingprotea to bleed out. No one likes that, so Rasputin asks if he can offer his suggestion.
Rasputin explains he's not here to antagonize us, he was simply looking for his lady to escort her back to her Earth supervision office (named Great Majestic House). Olga can't remember Rasputin but he explains he's her loyal butler and she figures it's only obvious she'd have one of those. Besides, her brain wave sensor can tell he's not lying. Rasputin wishes she would remember her position and cut ties with Chaldea, but since she won't, he has no choice but to accompany his lady in her decisions. Kirei joined our party, but since he claims to be a powerless priest, we don't get to use him in battles.
Kirei's first question as a teammate is repeating Muramasa's "what was Limbo's last moments like?" question almost word-for-word, then repeating the same "Pretend I never asked" reaction. Back to more relevant matters, Kotomine speaks out of his familiarity with exorcism to tell that Protea's calavera mask is an evil spirit possessing her. Removing the mask can return her sanity, although it can't relieve her of her guardian of the underworld status. She won't be able to leave her underworld border and accompany us on the "living" sections of Mictlan.
Rasputin brings up another huge exploit that can be done in the underworld borders. Since it's Pan-Human underworld concepts superimposed on a Lostbelt, it falls under both compiled events and pruned events. Exclusively in this area, Fujimaru can summon Servants from all possible and/or impossible pasts, presents, and futures. With the right Servants, we can capture Kingprotea Xochitónal, he reasons. We tell Rasputin that Fujimaru's Command Spells are now Camazotz's Command Spells. Knowing that Camazotz had Command Spells, Camazotz's ability to make Servants go Alter finally makes sense to Kirei.
And here is where Rasputin brings up the next big underworld border exploit. Fujimaru's contract trades their Master status for their return to the world of the living. But the underworld borders aren't the world of the living, so in these areas only, the contract is not valid. Fujimaru can tackle all the trials with gameplay summons. The plan is to immobilize Kingprotea with our playable Servants and then Kotomine can do his classic spirit surgery to remove the death mask's tumor. That's not a thing he can do on account of being Rasputin, but rather because his other components include "the temptation of immortality" and Kotomine Kirei.
Our gameplay team is positioned to fight Kingprotea Xochitónal. Mash is positioned to throw Kotomine at the mask once she's in check.
[ <-Battle against Kingprotea Xochitónal-> ]
Kingprotea Alter’s battle gimmick is that you can stop her big heal by fielding a goddess, can stop her party shuffle by fielding a defender, and can stop her heal-per-turn by fielding an obstacle-maker.
Mash tosses the priest. Spirit surgery time.
Agony. Suffering. On the name of the evil dragon signifying death, I look upon a wellspring of pus. The defilement of death and fevers from ague call upon us all. I will scoop out the mud that splashes into a flood.
Помилуй нас, Господи.
The mask came off and kept fighting, but now that Protea's body is no longer at risk, we can go all out on it.
[ <-Battle against the calavera mask-> ]
When the mask dies, it returns to being one Command Spell and goes to Fujimaru's hand. But this alone doesn't return Fujimaru's full Master rights. They're still limited to only 2 gameplay Servants when outside of the underworld borders.
Despite this, Kingprotea is not immediately back to normal. She yells some about how it's unforgivably humiliating for a human to defeat a giant and that the conceited summoner must pay for how they disgrace the descendants of myths, but she also acknowledges that this was an attempt to save the non-Alter Kingprotea, so as much as she wishes she wouldn't have to, she reverts back to her regular form. In her last words, she demands that when Fujimaru inevitably summons Kingprotea Alter, it isn't for something stupid.
Chapter 4: In The Golden City
We leave Kingprotea behind in Tlatlauhqui and reach the tropical 3rd level. Banter about Marine and Tepeu's father-son dynamic reveals that Tepeu's age is equivalent to a 90-year-old in human years, but there's no problem in bringing such an elder on our journey because deinos bodily functions don't deteriorate with age.
We also get a flashback to our goodbye with Protea at the underworld border. It establishes that Camazotz contacted Storm Boarder Servants in advance to force them to accept the role of guardian. There's only so much they can do without a Master, so they have to take the offer to stay anchored. Kirei also explains that spirit surgery can't relieve her of duty, so the only way to take Kingprotea out of the underworld border is to reset her: dismiss this one and summon a new Kingprotea at the Storm Boarder. We'll see if we can find an alternative solution after regrouping at the Boarder. Kingprotea promised to fight for us with all she can if we ever choose to return to her border.
Once all the Protea-related dialogue is settled, we're randomly attacked by carnivorous insects that inflict fever on contact. The bugs' neurotoxins make deinos pass out and/or kill themselves from excessive pain, making them the #6 leading cause of death for deinos. This Lostbelt is a world where even the weakest creatures have a way to prey on the strong.
[ <-Battle against flesh-eating bugs-> ]
We were jumped on really out of nowhere because our recon Marine didn't think to keep watch at the sky and the Ortinax radar didn't register the bugs as threats. It won't happen again now that we know. We can also sleep safely knowing that the Ortinax is producing an insect-repelling frequency.
Driving insects off with repulsive noise... Countermeasures utilizing instinct. Marvelous. So this is how the humanity of Pan-Human History fills the blanks in their world piece by piece.
Hmph. Filling in blanks that should stay untouched makes them a perfect illustration of how actions have consequences. Nuclear fission is the best example of this. For energy, they discharge substances hazardous to their kind. There's something off with humanity's technological development roadmap. No respectable sapient would engage in tests with fission without first establishing a means to dispose of hazardous material. And yet the humans of Pan-Human History always chase after the 'maximum benefit'.
That said, our president is expecting a breakthrough in clean energy. In the next 100 years, we'll have stable nuclear fusion and finally become a humanity worthy of her rule. Mash and Fujimaru ask Olga why she wants to be president and she answers that on her empty planet, she heard Earth's screams calling her. She can't remember the reason why or her exact plan, but she wanted to be a leader that would guide and cultivate the world, ensuring a future with equal governance, impartial history, and where all races and ideologies can accept each other. In a moment of instability, she mutters something about returning to a blank slate and restarting with a less intelligent humanity, but she doesn't know what that was about. She starts to get her LB5 memories mixed with her LB7 memories and wraps up the conversation with her old "I have come to right this planet's wrongs and eradicate its evil once and for all" Olympus quote.
Fujimaru asks why she cares so much if she thinks humanity is so foolish. She assures them that being foolish is not necessarily a bad thing, nor exclusive to humanity. Every sapient life is foolish and it's their mistakes that renew the universe. In her inner thoughts, Olga complains about how this president can't even do a secretary's job with her body still at 4% capacity. That's when she realizes she doesn't really know what she is.
We're out of the woods, arriving at a great plain. We're immediately attacked by a pack of deinos under the Dinosaur King's order to let no Ocelotl pass.
[ <-Battle against fighter deinos-> ]
The enemies get really excited at all these Ocelotl weapons they've never seen before. There's no way to hide from them in the big plains, their numbers are too big to fight, and it's impossible to talk with them because deinos grow unreasonably stubborn when they are assigned a task. We also learn here that pain is pleasurable stimuli for deinos and that it can easily get addictive. Tepeu recommends we fall back into the jungle. We then take the route to Chichen Itza, so we can ask the Dinosaur King to let us through.
Chichen Itza is a deinos city, so everything is massive to accommodate the size of its citizen. Habetrot has to stay inside the Ortinax because each step on a staircase is too tall for her to climb. To ensure we won't be mistaken for Ocelomeh again, Mash, Fujimaru, and Kotomine are disguised as deinos with Kotomine's
magecraft sacraments. Marine and Olga stayed behind because Olga refuses to look like a lizard and Marine doesn't want her to be alone. It shouldn't be too long because we're just here to ask for passage to the Boarder.
Chichen Itza's population used to be 2000, but with the Ocelotl attacks encouraging all deinos to pack together in the city, the population increased to 2400. Only 400 more because the Ocelomeh are intent on hunting the deinos to extinction, prioritizing killing the females so there won't be a next generation. And even if they managed to birth more deinos, they won't exactly be born under favorable circumstances. The deinos will soon perish, be it by Daybit's or Fujimaru's hands.
We come across some vendors, so Rasputin asks about the Lostbelt version of currency. It doesn't have any. Deinos can just take as much as they need from the merchants. The role of the shopkeeper is just to explain the products because the deinos are too different from each other. What nourishes one can be toxic for the other. This moneyless system works for deinos, but Rasputin's opinion is that it wouldn't work for humans because humans have too many needs. Not only of nutrition to operate our bodies, but of happiness to fulfill our minds. This hunger drove us to create more efficient wealth-accumulation systems. Meanwhile, deinos have no need to steal from one another because they have stronger bodies and calmer minds. Tepeu confirms that the only form of conflict existing among the deinos is xoqqer, which is a peaceful religious ritual to pray for the sun.
The name of the ritual is サッカ, which is an intentional misspelling of the word "soccer" (サッカー). This plays into a gag next chapter where Tepeu explains the rules of the ceremony and Mash/Marine react by saying "This is football, can we just call it football?", while Fujimaru gets dialogue options that go
1: This is literally just soccer! 2: This is literally just football!
My summaries and Rayshift's translations will be using the word xoqqer to refer to the ritual, which is our silly little attempt at spelling "soccer" in a way that looks like a Nahuatl word. We hope you appreciate the dumb fun of the thing.
The next question is about the altar of the sun. Its pyramid is identical to its Pan-Human version, except there's a jade pillar atop the altar. Tepeu explains that this crystal is the sun's home. Its origin and endpoint. Every cycle has the sun come out of the ore and return to it after circulating all levels. That's why Chichen Itza is the sacred ground where the deinos built their city. But the pillar isn't a mineral, it's a plant. A cosmic tree piercing Mictlan's underground, with the pyramid altar being only the top of the tree coming out of the ground.
Tepeu doesn't know the Dinosaur King because he left the city before kings were a thing, but he worked there as a priest for a long time before it, so he believes he has the necessary connections to get us an audience with the king. That said, when we get to the altar, the new priest after Tepeu's retirement reacts to the return of the deviant by telling Tepeu to get out of the city and die. Completely unfazed by the hostility, Tepeu cordially greets priest Vucub and makes our request. Vucub answers that the king is too busy with the war to deal with a deserter, and orders the warriors to drive us out of the golden city. Vucub is not on the greatest terms with Tepeu and frequently sics assassins on him. The whole "my connections can get us through" was just Tepeu being too much of a kind airhead to think Vucub would still hold a grudge. With Vucub as the new head priest, we can forget about the idea of talking to the Dinosaur King.
Out of solutions that can be done overnight, we decide to stay at Tepeu's Chichen Itza house and become part of the community until we can get our message across to the king.
Olga and Marine managed to enter the city because Olga is visibly not human and Marine was mistaken for Olga's accessory. Since our audience was refused, Olga suggests plan B: destroy the altar so the king will lose his legitimacy and they will be free to do whatever. Rasputin convinces her to avoid diplomatic incidents. We move to Tepeu's house, and it's looking almost like the jungle due to how long it has been abandoned.
[ <-Battle against the wild animals that occupied Tepeu's empty house-> ]
Tepeu's home is renewed, thanks mostly to the house-cleaning gods Marine and Kotomine. After that, Tepeu asks Mash for exposition on the Pan-Human version of Chichen Itza. This is where Fujimaru learns that Mayan and Aztec mythologies are not the same thing. Skipping the parts you can find on Wikipedia and focusing only on the Nasu-original elements, this section tells us that the Mesoamerican Age of Gods ended with the fall of the Mayan civilization in 900CE. The Aztec god Quetzalcoatl is a later development created from an existing prototype: the Mayan god Kukulkan. It's also noteworthy that when Mash gets to the part about the Spanish colonization of the Aztecs, she goes in depth about Hernan Cortes's tactics. His association with Quetzalcoatl feels familiar to Fujimaru because he's also a conqueror from another land being treated as a guest by Tepeu. Tepeu's opinion on the story is quite different though.
By firearms, do you mean the tools that the Ocelomeh use? Conquerors from the outside world. The suppression and slaughter of local tribes with firearms. This is identical to Mictlan's current state. So the deeds of Crypter Daybit are a reenactment of Hernan Cortes.
Tepeu wants to know more about Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca, but it's getting late. Kirei only has one quick question before everyone goes to sleep. He wants to know who built Chichen Itza. The golden city is too similar to its Pan-Human counterpart to be a deinos construct. Tepeu answers that Kukulkan did.
Chapter 5: Life In Chichen Itza (I)
People wake up and do their morning greetings in Tepeu's house. Marine slept instead of going into spirit form because he wouldn't be able to materialize again since he's not the main Nemo. That's not the best since there are only 19 Marines now, as 4 out of the original 24 died in Atlantis and 1 more died in Britain.
Olga remembered more of her powers, so now she can show us videos of the routes to the Dinosaur King palace and reveal that the throne is empty. The king seems to be hiding elsewhere in case of an Ocelotl raid. From the information she could gather from the deinos brain waves, there's only one way for them to get their audience with the Dinosaur King. The law of the deinos says that the winner of the xoqqer tournament gets the right to speak with the king and be touched by Kukulkan.
We need eleven players in a xoqqer team, so we need to go to town and recruit or join a winning team, preferably join. This time we get Olga to compromise and also accept the deinos disguise sacrament. But Kotomine refined the sacrament overnight so that only the deinos will see us as deinos, meaning we don't get to see what deinos sprite Olga gets.
However, Olga wants to compete against Fujimaru, so they will each form their xoqqer team and take it to the tournament to see who made the best team. It's actually a better strategy to have more teams infiltrated in the tournament because any of them winning achieves our goal. So we go team 1 with Fujimaru and Mash, team 2 with Olga and Kotomine, and team 3 with Tepeu and Marine.
Fujimaru and Mash walk around the city, seeing many deinos and their casual conversations. Mash goes into an absurdly lengthy infodump about Pan-Human dinosaurs, to which Habetrot reacts with just an "Ok, so what's the strongest dinosaur?". In Mash's opinion, it's the deinonychus. This doesn't help us because there are not many deinonychus-like deinos in town.
We go to the arena to see all the players warming up. There we meet Team Death Rolling, a team of 11 deinonychus brothers who once won 7 tournaments in a row. Despite claiming to be 11 brothers, Fujimaru notes there are not 11 of them there. The deinos confesses a few team members are suffering from cocoa intoxication. Mash and Fujimaru ask to join their team, but they were originally trained by Tepeu before he left the city, so they can recognize Tepeu's smell in them. They challenge the two to a quick match to determine their mettle.
[ <-Xoqqer match against the 7 deinonychus brothers-> ]
Our xoqqer skills bring the deinonychus brothers to tears and we get accepted into the team. Turns out the team sucks because they're all offensive players, except for their defenders who happen to be ones who are unable to play because of the aforementioned cocoa intoxication. They're clearly not the kind to think things through. Their default strategy is diving into the enemy team because the deinonychus are small and light, and so get easily sent flying causing the opponent to get a yellow card for it.
As a proud former student of King Leonidas, Mash is putting our xoqqer team through the hardcore Spartan training routine. The team deinos are unsatisfied with her strictness but understand it's important to win because that pain in the ass Vucub doesn't let anyone see the king otherwise. Their team hasn't won since Tepeu left because he would analyze the enemy teams and formulate strategies for them. Also in the glory days of their 7 consecutive tournament win streak, they were free to exploit their aforementioned diving tactic, but Daybit's arrival updated the rules of xoqqer so their opponents could get away with 3 fouls per game. Now they needed to get knocked away 4 times to expel each defender, and that's what caused the death of the 4 absent brothers. The cocoa intoxication story was a lie. Despite this, the remaining brothers still love xoqqer.
The xoqqer team clearly misses Tepeu and wishes he never left, but they understand how isolated he must have felt in the city when no one else would share his desire for knowledge. They think company would be worse than solitude for him. But they're glad to be proven wrong by the company Tepeu is getting in Fujimaru and Mash.
The team then warns Mash and Fujimaru that every xoqqer player needs to have their own ball to offer as tribute to Kukulkan in the ritual. They point to the forest in the west, where they need to extract resin to make their xoqqer balls.
Back at Tepeu's house, Tepeu and Marine are home, having already formed Team South American Nautilus before we joined Team Death Rolling. Olga and Rasputin still aren't back from the team-making mission. We remind Tepeu of the participation requirement. Tepeu sends Marine back to pass their strategy to the team while Tepeu goes with Mash and Fujimaru to gather material to make everyone's balls. He guides them to the latex trees, where the group is ambushed by Ocelomeh.
[ <-Battle against Ocelomeh-> ]
After defeating the Ocelomeh, they hear even more gunshots. Following the sounds, they find a maskless human boy who appears to be a child version of the afterlife man who will later be revealed to be Tezcatlipoca. The boy shoots at the Ocelomeh for putting their fingers on the trigger and then not killing him. The child complains that Daybit is not instructing the jaguar warriors right. He sees Mash and Fujimaru and asks why they aren't wearing their masks. He implies he doesn't need a mask because he's ranked above Ocelotl. Fujimaru and Mash's lack of masks is against the Ocelotl rules, but he lets it slide because they didn't aim their guns at him. He disappears, musing about how Mictlan is doomed because the deinos and Ocelomeh can only think about winning the war. Tepeu later comes back carrying the whole trees we need to make our balls. We tell him about the human boy and he thinks we hallucinated the kid.
Everyone is at the dinner table. Tepeu will make everyone's xoqqer balls overnight, having them ready just in time for the tournament. They go to bed early because the tournament is early in the morning. Fujimaru can't sleep, so they go outside and find Olga on the rooftop watching the deinos city life. Olga's eyes can faintly see the Storm Boarder as just an iron box among the dense trees. She can't give us any details on the crew's situation, but she can count 12 people there, so we know everyone is still alive. She chides Fujimaru to go to sleep, and here we find out that Olga doesn't sleep. She can shut down as a safety measure during an emergency, but she doesn't dream. Olga can see from the brain wave color that Fujimaru feels sorry for her and she's insulted by it. They still try to treat her as another human regardless of their differences, much to her annoyance. But she does have a vague feeling failed at something important before because she gave up before she tried, so she will try sleeping tonight.
Chapter 6: The Striker Of Burning Flames
[ <-Level 150 Olga battle against all Grands-> ]
Uttely trifling! And they call themselves Grand Servants? These are what mankind proudly recommended as their ultimate existences? What a horn and a half! Well... to be fair, they did damage the left half of my horns; that much I will admit. I did not come out of this unscathed. However! The result remains the same: flawless victory for me! This battle has made it clear that this Earth's mankind isn't worthy of being unified under me! I won't overlook their survivors any longer! Time to go confiscate that 'Storm Boarder' or whatever it was called! Muahahahahahaha!
Olga wakes from the Grand-killing flashback, excited to have learned what a dream is. Everyone is already up and planning the schedule for today's games. There are 8 teams playing, so the finalists will be playing 3 matches. Tepeu and Marine are in the opposite side of the bracket, so they could only face Fujimaru or Olga in the finals. Olga enthusiastically tells Fujimaru about how great she was as an enemy of humanity killing all 7 Grands in her dream. It was a really awkward conversation.
The xoqqer ceremony starts and Team Death Rolling is ready for it thanks to Mash's intense training and tactical knowledge. The "11" Deinonychus brothers consider Mash and Fujimaru two extra siblings.
We're promptly taunted by our first opponent, Great Death Claw, the wacky captain of Team Tah IhGah. She commands a team of destroyers who minimize their ability to hold the ball to maximize the destructive power of their tackles. However, our Team Death Rolling decimates them off-screen without as much as a gameplay battle. All three Chaldea teams advance to the second round, meaning Death Rolling is now up against Olga's Team Scary Eleven.
Scary Eleven scored 100-0 in the first game thanks to Olga's aggressive playstyle and Coach Kotomine's cold-blooded strategies. All we have to compete against this is... actual knowledge of football tactics. This is the de facto finals of the tournament, as Olga puts it.
[ <-Xoqqer match against Olga's Scary Eleven-> ]
Team Death Rolling obliterates Team Scary Eleven because Earth sports are too complicated for Olga. The final is Team Death Rolling vs South American Nautilus. But we have injured players, so Olga asks to replace one. Fujimaru is asked to go to the merchant to grab some ice packs and herbal bandages for our injured brothers.
Fujimaru got safely to the shop, but the merchant can't serve them immediately because he was serving Daybit first. Daybit is getting herbal bandages, yellow cucumber for hydration, peppermint perfume to use as a bat repellant, honey orchids, sturdy vine ropes, and alumite because he's working on a makeshift spacesuit. Daybit thinks Fujimaru's deinos disguise is pretty well-made, even if it doesn't last a whole day. Daybit is here because he's preparing for a journey and you can only find quality goods in experienced shops, so his 1-year-old Mexico City's trade network proves insufficent. Daybit buys Fujimaru a bag of the exact same products he bought for himself.
Fujimaru is full of questions but Daybit doesn't have the time to humor them. He thinks small talk isn't entirely pointless, but it's just not his thing. Daybit tries to leave because the clock is ticking, but Fujimaru begs him to answer at least a question about the Crypters. It actually gets Daybit to stop because the question was not about the Crypters' role, it was about his feelings for his friends.
I don't have a lot of time, but that deserves an answer. Kadoc is doing about as well as he could so far. Ophelia's death was a waste. Akuta's death was inevitable. Peperoncino died alone, bringing an ironic conclusion to his past. Beryl was the only winner in all of this. Kirschtaria's failure happened in the planning stages. Yeah, I know. I will have put an end to Chaldea on my own. I figured from the get-go that I'd have to. But those are just my own impressions. Maybe they helped, maybe not. Next time we meet, ask me a different question.
Fujimaru is back from their grocery trip with a bag much bigger than expected, but doesn't tell Mash about Daybit just yet. Vucub is about to announce the finals but he receives the news that South American Nautilus forfeited the match. This is the first time a finalist ever forfeits their sacred xoqqer match. An unprecedented insult to the ceremony. Tepeu reasons that there's no point in playing the match since we get to talk with the king either way. Marine gets sad that Tepeu forfeited for them without consulting, so he lies that he'll thank the team for the two victories and runs in the opposite direction. Olga demands Tepeu run to Marine and think about why it was wrong to leave him out of the competition while he's at it.
W-We're talking about a sense of fulfillment that comes with achieving the goal of the collective, an individual's feelings are not particularly important.
(The reason Marine left the group...the reason he wanted to participate in the ceremony... Did he just want to play xoqqer? No, that can't be it. Marine is gifted with a high intellect. While his emotional fluctuations may be intense, he has always been capable of making the right call. He prioritizes the collective and has been taking the initiative in supporting it. So why did he leave the group, even though we have achieved our shared goal? I don't understand. I don't know why, but I'll follow Marine and... I don't understand the reasoning, but I do know that I have made the wrong call.)
Tepeu gets to Marine who starts beating his chest for interrupting Marine's alone time. His fists are too weak to deal damage, but Tepeu still feels his heart hurt. He apologizes for not consulting Marine and admits to not understanding his mistake, asking what was the problem. Playing a game they don't need to win is just opening themselves to making more mistakes. Marine agrees that Tepeu's approach was correct and that the results were perfect, but results are not all that matters. The process needs to be fun too. Tepeu finally understands, but this line of thought scares him a little on the inside. He can tell Pan-Human History is a civilization that makes mistakes that defy reason and logic.
Meanwhile, in the sacred arena, Vucub rules that the forfeit is to be accepted and that the winners may speak to the Dinosaur King. Vucub recognizes Fujimaru and Mash's faces, but the king says he'll do what the champions want anyway because good xoqqer deserves to be rewarded. Fujimaru asks permission to cross the great plains. The king warns them that they'll die if they come close to Mexico City. And then...
Damn it, I couldn't see clearly because the veil was in the way. You guys aren't deinos, are you? That disguise is Pan-Human magecraft, eh? You accursed tricksters. Shed those disguises and die.
Priest Vucub panics, mistaking Chaldea for Ocelomeh, and calls his greatest fighter, Wak Chan.
[ <-Battle against Wak Chan-> ]
Wak Chan is the greatest deinos hero, so the damage we inflicted on him in our fight was minimal. Vucub keeps egging him to fight more violently, but his increasingly gruesome comments cause Wak Chan to stop fighting to tell Vucub how messed up the things he's saying are. Wak Chan reveals that for the longest time, he was planning to quit the fighter job and settle down with the most beautiful woman in Mictlan.
How can you, born with such great power, say something like that!? Even if the King himself allows it, I will never accept it! If you want to keep your status as a fighter, then you must obey me and kill the Ocelomeh!
Didn't you just hear me talking about resignation? Besides, I just found my soulmate.
Hm? What are you doing? Why are you pointing a flower at me? ...is that poisonous?
Nice to meet you, somewhat prickly lady! I knew you were the one the instant I was struck by your lighting! Your horns are freaking amazing! After this fight is over, wanna marry me?
This comedy bit was so funny that the Dinosaur King decides not to get Chaldea killed. He announces to the audience that we aren't Ocelomeh, we are the humans who rode that flying rock from the other day. The Dinosaur King reveals himself to be that human boy from Chapter 5. Vucub insists to the king that Chaldea is still evil and should be killed, to which the king agrees because they're out to end Mictlan, but first he asks Fujimaru to empty their pockets. Fujimaru has Tezcatlipoca's calaveras de azucar, so the Dinosaur King lets Chaldea live. Vucub gives up any further fighting because the Dinosaur King is Kukulkan's chosen one.
The boy asks to talk somewhere else, away from deinos ears. He wants to have a conversation not as the Dinosaur King but as Lostbelt king Tezcatlipoca. Kid Tezca asks why did they come to the Lostbelt. Fujimaru and Mash are hesitant to answer in front of Olga, but Olga herself answers that it's to purge the Lostbelt and find ORT because they 'don't have anything to hide'. Hearing about Olga being an alien, Tezca finds it amusing how the aliens always go for Latin America.
But why are you helping Pan-Human History? Is Chaldea blackmailing you?
Haah!? Rude! I have no weaknesses they could exploit! I came here to rule the Earth, but there's no point in that if the planet's wiped clean. So I simply decided to cooperate. That's all there is to it. I don't think they're the type to blackmail someone or take a hostage...
I see. So you're interested not in Chaldea, but in their objectives. That's fine. Better that than some stupid reason like sympathy or friendship. But you, Stargazer Tepeu. This is our first meeting. Why did someone who retired to the first level return to here?
And in the company of individuals from Pan-Human History. You know what they're up to, right?
Yes. Pan-Human History, Lostbelts, Chaldea, Fantasy Trees... I am still investigating them in my own way.
... And you do it by joining them on their journey, huh? Fine then, got nothing more to say to you.
You're free to understand everything, be disappointed and die all alone. If you still call yourself a deinos after all that, the Sun will surely be saved. Alongside your foolish dream.
Kid Tezca tells he's not exactly the Lostbelt king, just a proxy threatened into defending Chichen Itza. But he's fully dedicated to this task because the doesn't have anything else to do. That said, he won't fight us. He knows it's not worth the effort because we won't be able to eliminate the Lostbelt anyway.
He will, however, call a porter to take us to the great plains faster, as the xoqqer champions deserve all the rewards he can offer. He tells Fujimaru not to expect to find anyone alive, however. They fell into Ocelotl territory 5 days ago, and good Ocelomeh would have killed everyone by day 1.
Ah, excuse me! You're actually the god Tezcatlipoca, right? Then could you help us restore Pan-Human History?
No way. I don't give a damn about Pan-Human History. Why should I side with the monkeys? Dinosaurs are so much cooler! After all, they're the strongest animals who ever lived, right!?
4 DAYS AGO
The word "day"(日) refers to a day in Pan-Human time. A period of 24 hours. It's a word used only by the characters of Pan-Human origin, such as Chaldea, Daybit, and the Mayan/Aztec gods (including the Dinosaur King). The deinos exclusively use the word "cycle"(回), which refers to the 36-hour period it takes for the sun to complete her Solar Itinerancy through all 9 levels of Mictlan. Since a cycle in Mictlan lasts 36 hours, you may mistakenly assume that Fujimaru and Mash have been away from the Boarder for 180 hours, but since the Dinosaur King last chapter said they've been separate for 5 days, that means it only has been 120 hours. And this intermission takes place 96 hours ago, not 144.
The Boarder team is doing the post-crash damage assessment and control. They could confirm Mash and Fujimaru's life signals, but they only have enough energy for a 6-minute conversation with Mash. The Nemo series is functioning normally, but Captain is crashed and frozen. He fully synchronized with the ship and froze his Saint Graph. In this state, the ship didn't break apart in midair because Nemo's body couldn't break apart. Sion believes not even fixing the ship can bring Nemo back to life, but the Nemo Series disagrees, asserting that the indomitable Captain can bounce back from anything.
The team decides to inform Mash they will be noncommunicable for a while, but don't fill her in on the details to prevent her and Fujimaru from taking any rash decisions. Now they have to survive and fix the ship. That's when the adult version of Tezcatlipoca appears and introduces himself as an arms dealer. He came to see this ship that fell into his Lostbelt. It reminds him of Noah's ark. He likes what sees and asks Meuniere for the price. Meuniere says it's not for sale, which is the perfect answer for the merchant since it means he gets to take it by force.
Tezca shoots Meuniere in the heart, then in the head. Next, he calls in his Ocelomeh, commanded by the Ocelotl King Izcalli.
[ <-Kadoc battle using only Nitocris against the Izcalli and his Ocelomeh-> ]
Tezcatlipoca taunts Izcalli over his performance against Nitocris, but he insists he's just getting the hang of how to fight Servants and that he'll kill her soon because he must eventually become Tezcatlipoca. Nitocris taunts Izcalli that he's a measly human trying to fight against an incarnation of a god. Then a new girl appears, asking Nito if the measly incarnation of a god wants to fight against an actual god. The girl introduces herself as Tezcatlipoca's little sister Tlaloc. She readily defeats Nitocris, but doesn't finish her off, instead keeping Nito alive so Nito she can suffer a slow death. Tezcatlipoca says that if she won't take Nito's heart, he will, but Tlaloc warns her brother against unnecessarily coming in contact with the blood of other mythologies. Tezca tells his sister to shut up because she's just a city's local rain god and a Servant summoned by Tezca himself, but Tlaloc insists this would be objectively dumb because while she's still in her divine form, her dear brother Tezca is using a human's body. Tezca agrees, remembering how sick he got after he tasted Hindu flesh. He thanks Tlaloc, calls her a good sister, and shoots her.
A hierarchy stands, even among family. Those who impede a king's will must offer their lives, even over good advice. That's how your word remains law. A king must be an existence transcending good and evil. Bear that in mind, Izcalli, if you want to remain a human king after becoming a god.
He commands Izcalli to retreat leaving Tlaloc behind because some little bullets can't wound her. Tezcatlipoca takes Kadoc, da Vinci, and Sion as his new ship's engineers (as well as Nemo because he's the ship itself) and orders the men to kill the rest of the staff.
Chapter 7: Guns, War, Bereavement
Fujimaru's party is riding Wak Chan, who runs as fast as he can to get them to the Storm Boarder's landing site. Olga checks the Storm Boarder, notices there are more than the 12 people Fujimaru mentioned, including some corpses, and tries to go there ahead of the rest of the group. Fujimaru stops her because she can't meet Goredolf before he's properly informed. We get there and find all the dead bodies.
[ <-Battle against the Ocelomeh who killed our staff-> ]
While we were distracted fighting the Ocelomeh, Izcalli took Marine hostage at gunpoint. Izcalli introduces himself as the king of Mexico City and asks for Fujimaru's name in return.
Izcalli introduces himself as the king of Mexico City and asks for Fujimaru's name in return, but Fujimaru refuses to say it. Izcalli is overjoyed to get no respect because he didn't want to respect us either and only asked their name because Tezcatlipoca's law demands it. If Fujimaru summons a Servant, Izcalli shoots Marine dead, but if the team wins the fight without a summon, he'll free him.
[ <-Battle against Izcalli and his Ocelomeh. Using Mash is mandatory but using any other Servant is optional.-> ]
If you don't solo Mash
Izcalli keeps his promise and executes Marine. Marine apologizes for being always a burden and assures us that we don't need to tell Captain about him.
If you solo with Mash
The battle is far from over, there are still many Ocelomeh around to fight and Mash is severely damaged, but Fujimaru still can't summon because Izcalli has Marine. He wasn't expecting the hostage to work in the first place because he assumed the world destroyers didn't have any level of mercy. Marine is very frustrated about being viable as a hostage. He shouldn't be because he's replaceable, not very useful, and doesn't feel pain. So he decides to "do his job as a sailor" and gets himself shot so we can fight properly.
Olga flashbacks to her previous conversations with Marine. Marine is very efficiently building a cottage while Olga comments on how valuable his presence is. Marine re-explains the Nemo Series mechanism, reinforcing how important it is that the Marines are completely replaceable. As long as Captain is alive, he can be revived. They're all copies, so that new Marine will be unarguably the one Marine she knows. As such, he says he wouldn't mind dying as he won't be truly dead or forgotten so long as there are other Marines alive. However, his brain wave color tells Olga that he was lying. They're not 100% identical. Our Marine was more of a crybaby than the group standard, which only became exacerbated after being separated from the group removed his need to keep a brave face in front of the other Marines. Marine was her first supporter since she lost everything but her name. They promised to save Earth together. He was weak but remarkably skilled in his recon, cleaning, construction, and transport roles. He loved Olga's sense of responsibility. He understood her as someone who hates being the only one doing all the work but doesn't run away from what she can and should do. So he promised he wouldn't let himself be a burden to her.
In the present, Izcalli feels everyone's anger and comments about how normal humans are in the wrong for treating death with sorrow and rage.
For us, death is natural, as it is for all humans. If we didn't believe that, we'd never be able to kill anything. It is because all life has equal value that we are allowed to kill. [...]If we have compassion for our brethren, war is impossible. You people of Pan-Human History treat the mourning for your fallen as if it's expected, or as if it brings you salvation. With your level of intelligence, you'd think the same goes for the enemy side. And that's how you lose the ability to take lives. If all hearts contained compassion, war would stop. It wouldn't even start. But is that how it goes, wretched people of Pan-Human History? You kill despite being capable of empathy. You plunder the lives you revere. How do you resolve this contradiction? The problem with you people is apparent before morality even enters the picture. [...] An Ocelotl is nothing like you Pan-Human History apes. It is to Tezcatlipoca alone that we offer up our feelings. We rejoice at our god's joys. We grief at our god's sorrow. And we tremble at our god's wrath. That is all. No matter how many of our enemies or brethren die, the sin of anger and mourning is for a god to bear. That makes war justifiable. If not, the human way of life would be too ugly and sinful.
After the speech is over, Olga swiftly annihilates Izcalli's entire squad of Ocelomeh.
Pathetic. Are you done making your pitch, human? Then die! If you so wish to die by the hands of a god, I will comply!
As Izcalli's body crumbles, he questions why he lost when he is on the morally correct side of the conflict. Olga then apologizes for that excessive violence so unbefitting of the one who rules the planet. The team discusses Marine's eventual return, showing that Olga is the only one aware that her crybaby Marine was lying about Captain being able to revive him specifically. She thinks about how absurd it was for someone with such a strong heart to call himself weak.
After Izcalli is fully dealt with, the party enters the Boarder and sees the bloody scene of the tragedy. Tepeu feels like he should have died instead of Marine. The Marines on board confirm Fujimaru and Mash's presence and call for Goredolf. Meuniere aside, the staff is unharmed. Flashback to how they were saved.
Despite the damage caused, Goredolf tries to negotiate peace with Izcalli, in an attempt to solve matters quickly so Meuniere could be carried to the medical bay as soon as possible. Izcalli is having none of this, so all Ocelomeh train their gun on the director. Since Goredolf is about to die, Koyanskaya summons her Light version to his location and outguns the Ocelotl firearms. All the blood and flesh in the hallways is Koyan's doing. By the way, she only knew Chaldea was in danger because, even after all this time, Goredolf was still carrying her lipstick around, having felt it impossible to throw away.
Headcount in the ship: 8 staff members, Goredolf, 11 Marines, 4 other Nemos, Nitocris (almost dead), and Koyanskaya. 26 people. The 12 Olga counted before were 9 people and 3 Servants (counting the whole Nemo Series as 1 Servant). But after the whole situation with the one Marine, Olga can no longer see them as the same individual.
Fujimaru is glad Goredolf is grouped with Koyanskaya because that makes it a lot easier for them to justify being grouped with Rasputin and Olga Marie. Goredolf takes the Rasputin part in stride, he always thought Rasputin was the only reasonable Apostle, but Olga is a bit too much for him to accept. Olga can see from Goredolf's mind color that he won't trust her and won't be her friend, so the Directors start arguing with each other. In a slip of the tongue, Goredolf says "who do you think knocked the ship down?" and Olga demands an answer because she wants to make the culprit pay. Since Goredolf refuses to tell, Kotomine proposes earning Chaldea's trust by healing Meuniere with the power of Bahloo the Moon, an Elemental he has as one of his High-Servant components. Goredolf finally accepts Olga into Chaldea since that's what it takes to get Meuniere saved.
Meuniere is back to life. He asks Fujimaru and Mash not to blame themselves. The staff's creed ever since the Romani days was to allow Fujimaru to return to their original home one day, and he doesn't want them to come back depressed. That was what motivated the whole staff to keep on going. They were all people of different races, professions, and often opposing Clock Tower factions, but their shared pride in supporting Mash and Fujimaru brought them together.
Goredolf sends Mash, Fujimaru, Habetrot, Tepeu, Olga, Kotomine, and Koyanskaya to rescue da Vinci, Sion, Kadoc, and Nemo in Mexico City. Wak Chan will stay behind as the Boarder's guard, as much as he'd prefer to go with Olga. Before leaving, Koyanskaya asks about Fou. No one knows where he is. Fujimaru thought he was with Goredolf and Goredolf thought he was with Fujimaru. This ruins Koyanskaya's plan to take some Fou fur, but she knows Fou well enough to figure out he's trying to keep away from ORT. Koyanskaya's guess is that Fou is chasing tumbleweeds on the surface and will only come back after the Lostbelt is destroyed.
Meanwhile, Nemo Professor teaches Tepeu the spell necessary to reboot the frozen Captain. He's clearly still not over Marine's death, despite how the others do indeed seem identical to him. Olga already fulfilled her promise of bringing Fujimaru and Mash to the Boarder, but she can tell they still need her help, so as much as she dislikes Goredolf, she'll be joining the rescue mission. The Alien Priestess watches this decision take place.
Chapter 8: Iztauhqui, The Second Underworld Border
The second underworld border, Iztauhqui, is a mountain climb slowed down by powerful winds. Falling off causes you to land on obsidian spikes that deal minimal damage but can cause a deinos to bleed out should they fall too many times. Olga isn't worried about either obstacle because she weighs over 10 kilotons.
After the first border, we enter the place already expecting it to look different from Tepeu's description. The stone spikes are now as sharp as swords, and the winds blow at 10-20m/s. Still, at least we don't have to worry about hypothermia because the honey orchids from Daybit's grocery bag are conveniently with us. Nor about falling off because Daybit bought us sturdy vine ropes to tie us to Olga.
Late into the climb, we comment on how Lostbelt Iztauhqui's "walking through wind and blades" gimmick is identical to Pan-Human Itztépetl's gimmick which is also identical to Japanese folklore hell's gimmick. Camazotz shows up, not a fan of the hell comparison. He notices that the party composition is different, with Marine replaced by Koyanskaya, and figures out Marine died. He's really disappointed and asks Chaldea not to let themselves be killed by other people. That's his privilege.
Koyanskaya has no patience for Camazotz's smug cackling villain antics and gets ready to take Fujimaru's Command Spells back. Camazotz recognizes her as the woman who sold all the Ocelotl guns and carried Daybit away once. Koyanskaya confirms that she sold guns on a one-month trial period, but Tezcatlipoca, her worst client ever, didn't even subscribe after the trial was over. He simply reverse-engineered the products he already got and started making his own guns.
But enough chit-chat, Camazotz is eager to learn what Servant summons look like and revive his Mictlan with the blood of the Chaldean sinners.
[ <-Battle against Camazotz's dead summons and his Boss Ghost form-> ]
Camazotz still hasn't got the hang of Servant summoning, so he is forced to pull the "I turned Chaldea's Servants Alter" card again, this time calling Beni-Enma Alter to challenge us. The proxy judge of hell announces our sins shall be judged by her blade.
[ <-Battle against Beni-Enma Alter-> ]
Beni Alter's gimmick is that she can use the mountainous terrain as her insta-death swords. U-Olga gets hit, but manages to reboot her brain after shutdown, nevertheless unsure if she'll be able to do it a second time. Beni Alter says she has understood what crimes we're being charged for, hands us a 10 quintillion years sentence, and flies away mid-battle, interrupting it for no discernable reason. Koyanskaya is crying over what happened to her dear sweet Beni.
Beni lands atop the tallest mountain waiting for us. We just need to cross the mountain range to clear the trial, so Olga proposes ignoring that one and going across a shorter mountain to get this over with. Kotomine adds that if we ever want a rematch against Beni, we can have it after rescuing Chaldea's hostages. Only Koyanskaya takes Beni-Enma as a priority.
[ <-Battle against handmaid and hell guard onis -> ]
One day later, Fujimaru notices we've been on an endless loop. This whole time, we've been climbing the same mountain six times. Olga expands her sensory range and detects that the mountain has no exit. The Aztec underworld is a set of trials that the dead pass, but Beni-Enma's presence has converted it into the Japanese hell, which is an inescapable prison until the end of their sentence time.
We need to get rid of Beni-Enma to leave this hell. Even Koyanskaya agrees. Japanese hell revives the killed sinners, so we can counter her insta-death slashes with a Servant able to withstand the suffering of dying and reviving again and again and again. That said, Kotomine's spirit healing can't reverse Beni's Alter transformation. Protea Alter had a mask he could amputate, but Beni Alter is just the regular Beni-Enma forced into adulthood. Becoming the proxy king of hell after an eternity of training is Beni-Enma's natural future, so Koyanskaya proposes that Fujimaru summon a Servant with de-aging magecraft or a de-aging Noble Phantasm.
We check our options, but can't think of anyone with a de-aging Noble Phantasm. Dagda is feeling too overshadowed by Odin, so he has commanded Fionn to message Chaldea offering advice. It's the underworld, basically a transit point to the Throne of Heroes, so Servants can just talk to us without needing to come out of the summoning circle. Kotomine internally questions Tezcatlipoca's intention of designing the underworld like this, and starts to wonder if the goal of the underworld borders is not what it initially seems. Fionn acknowledges that de-aging NPs are a major rarity, but they don't specifically need a Noble Phantasm to get the job done. De-aging can be done with special medicine and Chaldea knows one hero that carries such a substance in his treasury's vast collection. With this hint given, Fionn tells us to say hi to Beni for him and disappears.
Anyways, we get (Caster) Gilgamesh talking from behind the summoning circle. He gives us his youth potion. Kotomine mentions the king he knew wasn't this generous and Gilgamesh tells Fujimaru to behead Kotomine before he betrays them. Gilgamesh retells the story of how he went back to the underworld later to get the youth herb. You can make Fujimaru say they already heard this story before, and if you do, there's a mini-flashback justifying this knowledge as "Gilgamesh told Hakuno who told BB who told Fujimaru".
Our team will fight to wear down Beni-Enma Alter so Koyanskaya can force-feed her the potion and get her dear Beni-Enma back. Beni threatens us with her mountain blades weighing 8100kg. Olga recommends Fujimaru pick Servants with high insta-death resistance and to keep Mash away from the fight.
8100kg is the specific weight of Ruyi Jingu Bang in Journey to the West, but I'm not seeing how this correlates to Beni-Enma's character
[ <-Battle against Beni-Enma Alter-> ]
Beni-Enma's regular attacks have a chance to insta-kill. Olga has guts that trigger only on insta-kill. There's a surprise King Hassan locked to the last slot for reasons the story doesn't acknowledge in any capacity. Your whole team gains insta-kill resistance when he hits the field.
Our tiny bodies can slip through Beni Alter's mountain-sized swings. For small targets like us, this is nothing compared to normal Beni-Enma's short and swift katana. Koyanskaya runs her bike across the rocky surfaces and finishes the job, administering Gilgamesh's potion with some mouth-to-mouth. Normal Beni-Enma greets us, apologizes for her Alter's actions, has some banter with Koyanskaya. She can also talk about Fujimaru's stay in the Enma-Tei depending on whether or not Fujimaru did that.
Fujimaru confirms the 2nd Command Spell return, but Beni-Enma still has to remain behind as the guardian of the underworld. At least she's now able to change into adult form at will. Beni promises to train hard for the vaguely explained upcoming battle involving all guardians of the underworld.
Chapter 9: The Lost Water Metropolis
[ <-Battle against Ocelomeh on the road to Mexico City, accompanied by their tamed deinos and NNF-brand devil hummingbirds-> ]
Mexico City is a busy commercial district with roughly 30k people about on the streets. It has a population of 100k fighters + separate villages of women and children for support. Tezcatlipoca made the place very urban and modern-looking. Kotomine disguises let us infiltrate but we can't make sense of the Ocelotl language. That means we can't talk to the locals and find out where the prisoners are being kept.
So the first places we look for are Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli's temples. They're 60-meter-tall twin temples in the very center of the city, with sacrificial altars on top. Tlaloc's temple is home to Izcalli and Huitzilopochtli's temple is home to Tezcatlipoca. The characters are still unclear if Huitzilopochtli is just the Aztec version of Tezcatlipoca in TM or not.
Koyanskaya never saw Daybit in Mexico City before. He leaves the whole war and urban management in Tezcatlipoca's hands so he can dedicate all of his time to exploring ruins in the forests.
The group then starts exploring the city, but Olga and Tepeu have to stay behind outside since the human disguises that Kotomine made for them would easily be busted if they tried to enter the crowd with Tepeu's dinosaur size or Olga's wide horns. However, Olga orders all of her special secretaries to learn everything they can about Ocelotl life, culture, and ideologies. It's their duty to take this opportunity to learn about the enemy because it's cowardly to use ignorance as a shield.
The team splits up to explore the city. Fujimaru is with Mash (and consequently Habetrot). They all seem agitated, but we can't tell why because of the language barrier. That is until we find someone mentioning in a Pan-Human language that the ritual is tomorrow. It's Cuauhtli, one of the first Ocelomeh to learn "Daybit's language". She's a trendy Ocelotl who hopped on the language fad because King Izcalli spoke it. She's concerned about battle and security because of the rumors of the Chaldean conquerors arriving. We trade some items at the market and give her the one she wants (the calaveras de azúcar we got from Tezcatlipoca after giving him our Command Seals), so she thanks us by dropping major hints that she's Kukulkan while she reveals we can save the hostages tomorrow at their sacrifice ritual but we'll have to fight the whole Ocelotl population for it.
After everyone is regrouped and we report our findings, Tepeu asks about the importance of human sacrifices to Mayans and Aztecs. Kotomine gives his lecture on Mesoamerican mythologies. Mostly stuff you can find by googling as usual, but this one contains Kotomine hot takes such as:
-The Aztec cycle of extinction and rebirth was caused by the people being influenced by the continent's memories of the meteor causing the end of the world.
-The Aztec empire became doomed to fall for magecraft reasons, as they stopped doing human sacrifices to grant them new futures.
-Hernan Cortés pretending to be Quetzalcoatl was Moctezuma's idea to gain support to win the tribal wars, but he got out-gambitted after La Malinche explained the plan to Cortés.
Tepeu comments that there is precedent for a night of terror in Mictlan where the sun disappeared, so the Ocelotl sacrifices seem to have the same classic effect of restoring the sun.
Back to the main topic. Kotomine has found the prisoners underground below Tlaloc's temple. It's too guarded to invade, so the plan is to infiltrate and rescue them during the moment of the festival where all warriors must kneel.
Izcalli gives his farewells to Mexico City before the ceremony. Tlaloc warns him not to be alone when the sunless night comes. He asks about the modern Pan-Human outfit Tlaloc is suddenly wearing. She put it on because Tezcatlipoca said she should try to blend in with civilization, as humans hate outdated gods. They also comment on how the Aztecs misunderstood Mayan traditions. They couldn't hope to achieve anything with random blood from their sacrifices. Sacrifices are meant to offer noble warriors to the gods in exchange for blessings. The ritual will use Chaldea's mages and da Vinci because they're rarer than deinos are. They can serve as the last step to the resurrection of the true Tezcatlipoca. After one year of war and sacrifices, the Ocelomeh will awaken the weapon to destroy Pan-Human History, exterminate the deinos, take over Mictlan, and take over as the next mankind.
As the one who retrieved Izcalli's body from the river, Tlaloc is very concerned about Izcalli's resistance to death making him arrogant. Izcalli's answer is "I look down on then, but that doesn't mean I'm underrating them." They're warriors who aren't ready to see their comrades die. At one point in the conversation, Izcalli mentions this repulsive mindset of them makes him feel hatred he never felt before, but in another he mentions Pan-Human History is not worth acknowledging. Tlaloc points out this emotional contradiction and tells Izcalli to reflect on what that means.
Meanwhile, in Sion and Kadoc's cell, Sion is failing to connect the comms. It feels like the building is in a completely different world or inside a living being or a spaceship. Kadoc hears footsteps and tells Sion that Fujimaru finally arrived, but the person who shows up is actually Daybit. Daybit clarifies that the attack on the Storm Boarder was Tezcatlipoca's independent decision and that if Daybit was there to have any say on the matter, he would have killed the four of them instead of taking them as prisoners. Sion introduces herself and Daybit says he got her name and face memorized now. He's not as competent as Kirschtaria but no one has a better memory than him. He recognizes Sion as the greatest threat and promises to kill her first if they ever share the same room again. The only reason he's not killing them now is because Tezca got to them first. Daybit and Tezca are not on good terms as Master and Servant, so Daybit is too afraid of Tezca to go against what Tezca wants. Tezca gets described as the kind of abusive husband who leaves without telling and gets home nonchalantly saying "Hey, I spent all your money, my bad".
Tezcatlipoca is a big deal. He got to Mictlan, this space dominated by extraterrestrial life, and in just one year he established rules, summoned his temple, raised the Ocelomeh, built Mexico City, and chose its king. This Lostbelt is Tezcatlipoca's world, not Daybit's. So while Daybit doesn't think Chaldea will be able to excise the Lostbelt, he doesn't mind if they do, as long as they're willing to wait 10 days. That's the time Daybit needs to fulfill his objective. Down his last moments, Kirschtaria's will never wavered, so for that reason, Daybit will follow through with his plan.
Daybit then finally asks the question he came here to ask. Why didn't Kadoc use his Sirius Light to summon a Servant to free Chaldea from the prison? A Sirius Light is simply a Command Spell dozens of times more powerful. A trump card to send your Servant any otherwise impossible command. The only drawback to it is that it is a bomb. It inflates the user's Circuits and causes them to implode. Marisbury didn't have full trust in the Crypters' ability to clear all 7 Singularities, so he chose 7 Crypters and equipped each with a Sirius. If any Crypter failed the mission, Beryl would detonate their Sirius Light, solving the Singularity by obliterating its entire region. The only reason why Ophelia and Kirschtaria didn't explode their Lostbelts with theirs is that they were already dying upon activation. They died before their Circuits blew up, thus preserving Chaldea's lives. So that's the trump card Daybit believes Kadoc still has. If Kadoc activates his Sirius Light and then immediately kills himself, he can accomplish pretty much anything.
Daybit leaves and Sion is impressed at how much the "hole in reality" is exactly like he was described to be. The more he talks, the less she can believe he's real. But Kadoc adds he's a caring, tactful, and perceptive guy. He only says what others need to hear, so this infodump about Sirius Light will eventually be significant to Kadoc. Sion agrees to keep the Sirius Light talk a secret.
Another conversation between Fujimaru & Olga. This time because Fujimaru can't sleep before the big operation. Olga mentions the importance of rest and proposes a solution. If Fujimaru can't sleep, she simply has to fatigue them until they can. And so she sends them to her BB Channel rip-off.
[ <- Battle against Olga's virtual enemies. Wave 1 is all Servants Olga used in Lostroom. Wave 2 is Tlaloc. -> ]
Fujimaru comes out of the simulation saying it's the shittiest game they've ever played.
T-That can't be true; I spent all day balancing it! Just exactly what part of it was so bad? I command you explain!
It had too much flirting with your highness, the President.
okfsklvhbseiovas!? T-T-T-T-That c-can't be it, right?! I did it all shounen manga style! I even simulated some enemies for you!
It was shittier than the shittiest movie I've ever seen...
W-Wow, what an incredibly sad color you're emitting... Hmph, just you watch. Next time I'll come up with a much more interesting battle!
Regardless, the enemy fought in Olga's simulation was Tlaloc, so Fujimaru understands Olga meant this as a practice run for the very likely real Tlaloc battle they would have to face the next day.
Chapter 10: The Day Of ORT
The ritual has begun. The Ocelomeh are offering their prayers to the sun and in two hours, the sacrifices will be carried to the altar. The team infiltrates the temple. Koyanskaya grabs an Ocelotl and tortures him off-screen for the location of the cells (she actually traded corn and bananas for the information, but she's telling everyone it was seduction and torture). Sion and da Vinci were already moved to the altar, but we rescue Kadoc and Nemo from their cells. The ritual is about sacrificing the strong, so despite Kadoc's bigger Circuit quantity, they still recognize Sion as the better mage because Six Sources' physiology is beyond everyone's comprehension. Tepeu applies the medicine spell Professor gave to reboot our crashed Captain.
Mythological ideas, elucidated.
Human Order essentials, analyzed.
Saint Graph constituents, augmented.
Accumulated creeds, established.
To boost the innermost of Heroic Spirit Nemo's convictions, and the most outstanding of his abilities.
Ergo, to revive from fatal injury. Gradation Air : Nemo Origin
Tepeu is speechless for a moment because of how much Captain resembles the Marine he lost. He apologizes and formally introduces himself. Now to save Sion and da Vinci.
We introduce Kadoc to Olga. She's immediately worried about his huge eyebags, but Kadoc assures her everyone who uses anti-beast magecraft looks like that. It involves always being on guard against enemies stronger than human beings. Kadoc is pretty shocked about the insane party we have assembled with Kotomine, Koyanskaya, and Olga, only for Fujimaru to point Kadoc is in the same boat as them.
Anyway, here's the plan: Fujimaru, Nemo, Mash, and U-Olga ride Tepeu and be a big distraction, while Kotomine and Koyanskaya stealthily rescue da Vinci and Sion amidst the commotion. Kadoc keeps watch to see if Kotomine and Koyanskaya aren't tricking Chaldea.
Olga's team interrupts Izcalli's big speech, something he was already expecting. Mexico City's best warriors were in position for this big moment. The Ocelomeh already have all the hearts Xibalba needs, but Chaldea's heads still have value to them.
[ <-Battle against Izcalli and his elite warriors-> ]
Izcalli is defeated by our heroes, but he still can't allow a future for our world, so he orders the priests to kill Sion and da Vinci immediately to drop Chaldea's morale. Unfortunately for him, Koyanskaya already did her part. We try to retreat, but Tezcatlipoca arrives with a warning shot to stop us. He recommends we kill everyone before we leave since we never know when we'll manage to invade the enemy base again. We didn't sense his presence approaching because Mexico City is his world, so he's technically omnipresent there.
Izcalli begs Tezcatlipoca to let him finish his job of killing Chaldea, but Tezcatlipoca reminds him that his role is not to kill enemies or to rule the Ocelomeh, it's to survive for a whole year, because his body is Tezcatlipoca's. Tezca then notices Olga on our team. He's surprised she survived, but should have expected it since she calls herself a god. He asks if she wants a rematch and this dialogue gets Olga to remember he's the one who damaged her horn in her fight with the 7 Grands. Tezca says he could take Fujimaru and Kadoc on his own, but since Olga is joining the fight, he's passing the baton to Tlaloc. She arrives, bringing with her a powerful rainstorm. However, thanks to Olga's simulation training, Fujimaru already has a counter-strategy ready for Tlaloc's currents; one which involves using Nemo or any other Servant that floats in the air or can stand against strong currents.
[ <-Battle against Tlaloc-> ]
Tlaloc's Savage Metztliapan stuns all Servants every turn, except for floating Servants. The effects of Savage Metztliapan are also offline while Nemo is on the field. She also has Bountiful Rain healing 30k HP every turn.
We beat Tlaloc and celebrate "avenging Nitocris". Tlaloc corrects us, saying that her river floods didn't affect Nitocris at all. Nito lost to the god of war, not the rain. So Tlaloc changes her Class and True Name, from Ruler Tlaloc to Berserker Huitzilopochtli.
[ <-Battle against Huitzilopochtli-> ]
Huitzilopochtli generates 3-times invincibility every turn. Also every turn, she fills her whole NP gauge and gives herself an NP damage buff. But instead of proper Noble Phantasm, Huitzilopochtli uses a defense-lowering attack named Lamentful Coyolxauhqui.
We're beaten by Huitzilopochtli's sturdy skin and fast spinning. Tezcatlipoca is also keeping Olga busy with the black smoke that she can't damage. The original sacrifices escaped, but Fujimaru and Mash's blood will do just fine. When things start to look dire, the Cuauhtli girl from before pierces Tezca's smoke and rescues us. She takes off her jaguar mask and reveals herself as the creator of Mictlan, Lostbelt king Kukulkan. Fujimaru almost immediately takes note of her personality's similarities to that of Quetzalcoatl.
Kukulkan wrecks Huitzilopochtli with a fully animated punch and now she's gunning for Tezcatlipoca because he and Quetzalcoatl were rivals in Pan-Human History (actually Maia's consensus but she's using her Pan-Human counterpart's mythological background as an excuse). She off-handedly mentions that Tezcatlipoca is human, so he has to explain that he's a Pseudo-Servant. He created a human body for himself and transferred his divine soul to it, so he counts as a living human from the present. Learning that gets Chaldea thinking this is a fight they can win. But they're quickly proven wrong by Tezca ordering Daybit to use a Command Spell.
By my Command Spell, I order you to wield your Authority regardless of the limitations of your human body, Black Tezcatlipoca!
And so I will. I pay two of my organs to invoke a solar eclipse. A golden age of prosperity for a single species is a nightmare. Life disappears. Worlds end. Planets burn. Feast your eyes on this extinction. It's time to pass the baton, valiant warriors!
Mash, Nemo, and Olga try to stop Tezca mid-NP chant but it's too late. Mictlan is collapsing. Mexico City and all Ocelotl living in it were decimated by ORT. Nemo is turned to crystal.
I just switched out our present for the near future, that's all. The Black Tezcatlipoca is an almighty deity who reigns over all creation. Oh, but it doesn't mean my Authority lets me create whatever I want. My Authority lets me manifest anything that could possibly happen within my set of rules. If something will happen in the future, then I can switch the order in which it happens. This scenery you see is the reality that Mictlan will face in a few days. You guys are from the 21st century, right? You've played video games before, haven't you? This is pretty much the demo of your demise. This is something you'll eventually have to face, so enjoy this little sample first.
Tezcatlipoca and Kukulkan have tasted many ends of the world before, but Tezca refers to them as mere entrées compared to the luxurious main-course prepared by the skilled Daybit Sem Void, a master chef that even the Alien God could not anticipate.
Learning Daybit's goal, Fujimaru calls him out on being no different from the Alien God, which provokes a visible reaction on both Daybit and Olga. However, Daybit corrects them on one thing: unlike the Alien God, Daybit is an actual enemy of humanity.
I will fulfill my role as a Crypter. I will destroy this planet before everything is hollowed out.
Daybit jumps down the falling debris. ORT is now too close to avoid.
[ <-Battle against ORT-> ]
You need to break ORT's first gauge to progress but after clearing the win condition, the battle still lasts for as long as you can last. All of ORT's attacks are AoE, including his NP: Cosmic Ray Burst. CRB clears all your buffs, reduces natural NP gain by 200%, and reduces the amount of NP charged by a battery by 100. After hitting the win condition, ORT starts filling his whole NP gauge to spam Cosmic Ray Burst every turn.
We can't do a thing against ORT. Olga's black hole attack only serves to keep him away while she talks Fujimaru out of their panic state. ORT is walking in the Storm Boarder's direction. We try to tell Goredolf without our comms but we're chronologically disconnected from him. Kukalkan rushes to the Boarder, lifts it, and hops to Chichen Itza to keep it safe.
Despite all our panic about ORT eating the Boarder, we're suddenly back in the present. Turns out Tezca's Authority had a time limit. Nemo is also back at this point but since ORT only hit him in the future. Everyone is concerned that he's guaranteed to die again once those 10 days pass, but Nemo explains that the premise of the future Tezcatlipoca grabbed ahead of time is that ORT appears, so ORT appearing is the only event that is set in stone. It could be that 10 days later, nothing happens to Nemo.
Kotomine and Koyanskaya have already escaped Mexico City with the hostages while we were in the future, so now it's our turn to get away from the furious population of Ocelomeh.
Tezcatlipoca's ritual was a complete failure but he's still elated over the show he got to be part of. Tlaloc, on the other hand, is quite concerned about the future image of her city in shambles, and about the steep price that her brother paid to reorder those events. Tezca refuses to order Daybit to heal him because Daybit needs to be in top shape to complete the Underworld Pilgrimage. Tlaloc really wants to defeat Kukulkan since she hates any version of Quetzalcoatl, but the loss of her city and people really is the biggest thing on her mind.
Tezca tries to console her saying that the Ocelomeh deaths are inevitable because they're all dumb battle junkies. Tezcatlipoca personally educated Izcalli not to be like that, but even he completely loses sight of his well-being when he gets a gun in his hands. Either way, he doesn't care about anyone's losses. Tezca is on the side of the battle itself, and he's betting his chips on Daybit because Daybit's wins are the ones that would produce the biggest loot. Tlaloc, on the other hand, is betting on Izcalli. He has the potential to improve exponentially if things go right for him.
Tezca's final advice to Tlaloc is that the one thing she's lacking is the ability to enjoy entertainment the way Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl do. She denies it, believing that the freedom to embrace entertainment and the wish to learn about other cultures is what killed the Aztec civilization. Protecting Mexico City and its population is the only thing she feels is right. That said, she's aware it won't come to be. Her brother will destroy the city and Izcalli will become the new Tezcatlipoca after his 1 year of maturation.
The Ocelomeh are quite openly disappointed with Izcalli's kinghood, as he was defeated by Chaldea twice by this point. They want the incompetent king gone. Izcalli is just as salty and disdainful of them, saying he'll gladly leave once he fully becomes Tezcatlipoca. He'll get out of this sickening imitation of a Pan-Human city and build his own utopia with no sacrifices, weakness, accumulation of wealth, or pointless battles.
Izcalli's scar starts aching, so takes off his helmet, leaving it exposed. His scar has been aching a lot ever since Chaldea arrived. Still, he thinks his losses were minor. Sacrificing Chaldea was a spectacle for morale, which can easily be regained by giving his people new guns. Deinos hearts are still worth more as sacrifices. He grew somewhat hesitant after seeing ORT's future firsthand, but he's Tezcatlipoca's chosen one. His duty comes with honor granted to no king other than him. It won't be long before he can destroy the world and build it anew.
Meanwhile, Camazotz just learned that Tezcatlipoca's extinction plan is using ORT, so he makes his choice to protect Pan-Human History. It's currently a blank scroll, but the scroll itself is still precious, so he's against Tezca destroying it. Camazotz doesn't mind the scroll having nothing written on it because he's not enough of a fool to ever read what happened in history. He believes he's the only worthy candidate to be Mictlan's king because Tezcatlipoca only cares about the present and Kukulkan only cares about the future. Still, ORT is a terrifying threat. He doesn't want to repeat the mistake from 6 million years ago. He ponders his options. Side with Chaldea or wait to take out the wounded winner at the end of the battle? Ultimately, he decides to kill Fujimaru and become humanity's last Master.
All summaries from this point is done by Fumei.
Chapter 11: Life in Chichen Itza (II)
It's a new day in Chichen Itza and Gudao and Gordolf have gathered alongside Kukulkan, Vucub and the Dinosaur King in the city. Kukulkan vouches for the fact that we have no harmful intentions towards the denizens of Mictlan, and that she'll teach the Deinos this fact as well. The Dino King instructs Vucub to declare Chaldea safe to talk to, though Vucub is assuredly cynical of the decision. He sees Chaldea as something worse than even the Ocelomeh, seeing as how they're of the same species as the Crypter which brought so much bad to this world. However, Kukulkan believes that it would also be unfair for Mexico City to experience such cultural exchange while Chichen Itza doesn't, and also that the Deinos will be smart enough to not have their values altered drastically from learning even of the bad of Pan-Human History. Vucub accepts, and leaves, staring daggers at Chaldea as he does.
Moving onto more pressing matters: the cooperation between Chaldea and the Deinos. Since Kukulkan vouches for us, the Dino King will agree to do most anything we need him to, including offering medical supplies to heal those possibly wounded when Kukulkan had to forcefully relocate the Border. During this talk, Gordolf takes the opportunity to ask what the relationship between the Dino King—a Tezcatlipoca—and the actual Tezcatlipoca in Mexico City is, to which the answer is that while they're both Tezcatlipoca, gods possess multiple aspects, which they both represent. Thus, they may be the same "being", but that doesn't mean they're related more than that. Dino King continues, giving us leave to rally manpower via Tepeu, and to have the Deinos produce materials for us. Gordolf thinks this is all too much, and wonders if they won't demand some sacrifice from our side in return. Kukulkan and the Dino King look at each other, then back at us, saying that since we offered... Of course, that's a joke, and Kukulkan would never eat meat just to become sick and have to hide out in some cave, since what kind of sun deity would do such a thing (but Gudao can certainly think of a certain sun-related fox hiding away...). In reality, the only thing they're asking is that you repair and leave the city ASAP, since it would be a pain if we brought war into the city.
Back at the Border, you formally introduce the rest of Chaldea to Kukulkan as you deliver the news of your meeting with the Dino King. Da Vinci has been pondering some parts of the report so far, including the Deinos, their god Kukulkan, and the god Tezcatlipoca who assaulted the Storm Border upon entering the Lostbelt, but she says this will all have to wait for the time being. For now, you have to focus on stopping Daybit and Tezcatlipoca from awakening ORT in the near future.
Not too far away, U-Olga is looking on with a despondent expression. Rasputin tries nudging her to speak to Chaldea in her position as President, but her demeanor now tell a clear tale: that she finally remembers who she is. However, Olga denies (at least fully) remembering who she is, and so Rasputin says that she should have no issue joining in with Chaldea again. After all, should it come to pass, their reason for being here right now, and the title of "the strongest existence" might be snatched away by Kukulkan.
Back with Gudao & co., they discuss how to deal with U-Olga and Rasputin. Setting aside Da Vinci's personal grudges with the presbyter, it's a fact that you cannot consider them your allies, even with Olga having lost her memories for the time being. At best, you might consider them collaborators in your efforts within this world, but definitely not allies. Koyanskaya, on the other hand, has been determined a Human Order ally by TRISMEGISTUS, so at least she's fine. Once the rest of Chaldea's staff recuperates, they will hold a vote on whether to continue dealing with Olga or not. Should even one person vote for the negative, then all cooperation will cease. Gudao and Mahshu both accept these terms, seemingly rather reluctantly. Gordolf agrees that this is a decision for the old staff to make, and so he will respect the outcome, though he seems to believe that they'll vote for continued cooperation, after all.
Interrupting the conversation is Tepeu, and he's brought the 11 deino brothers to help out. Da Vinci appears to go into literal shock at seeing a living dinosaur this close, followed by totally spazzing out about the fact. As she incessantly pet the deinos, Tepeu offers to procure materials for the Border, as well as allowing us to rest at his house. You first need to do random pointless battles, though, and so you prepare for that. You consider asking Olga for help, but think that maybe now is not a good time, and so abstain.
--- Section 2 ---
Later that night, Da Vinci, Nitocris, Wak Chan, Sion, and Habetrot meet up at Tepeu's house. Nemo can't leave the Border for the time being (since he's its foundation), and the other staff will use their own quarters for the nights. Gordolf is afraid of being crushed by giant Deinos, and so he has chosen to remain at the Border. Kadoc is staying at the Border too, though since his room was damaged, he was allowed to use Guda's room for the time being. Funnily, if you play as female, Kadoc questions whether it's a normal occurrence in Japan to invite the opposite sex over to your room. Finally, Koyan has also chosen to remain at the Border, simply to protect them (and to get some of her guns back).
Changing up the subject, Gudao asks who is really in charge in Chichen Itza: Kukulkan or the Dino King. They explain that the Dino King is the ultimate authority, and his words are law. Kukulkan, meanwhile, represents something like natural order. She might've called herself Mictlan's creator back during the fight in Mexico City, but that was more of an attempt to sound cool. After all, since Mictlan is something related to the earth, she's not related to it in the first place, seeing as how she's sort of an outsider. Da Vinci mentions that some "gods" in PHH are the kind who don't involve themselves with human society much whatsoever. They are more like natural phenomena, not good nor evil, simply making people aware of their existence. It is humans who then assign actual roles to these gods. In that sense, Kukulkan plays the role of "order", as she said, because that's the role given to her by the Deinos who worship her.
Gudao asks why Kukulkan wears Ocelomeh clothes, to which she has to take a second to think, but states that it is a disguise. Hearing this, Tepeu says that since we're back in Chichen Itza now, she can just take it all off and go butt-naked like she used to back in the day. Da Vinci, the horndog, encourages her to do so, but before Gudao can chime in, Mashu beseeches the sun god to remain clothed.
Moving on to actual planning for the next day: Mashu will join Sion to assist her in the computing room. Gudao will join a scout party to gather more resources, with Nitocris as the main escort in the jungle and Wak Chan as the escort for the city. However, Wak Chan quickly declines, saying he's got other plans already. Instead, Da Vinci will take his place as the escort for the city. As everyone leaves the room to head to bed, upon spotting Rasputin in the corner of the room, Gudao suddenly wonders whether Olga already headed back to her room.
--- Section 3 ---
Gudao is telling Da Vinci about a dream they had during the night. They saw vast jungles and forests, with volcanoes and mountains.
We originated on a continent that existed 300 million years ago.
That is how it was written in this Texture's backstory.
Back then, all continents were as one. Three continents collided, converged, and birthed a new world.
Countless mountain ranges were formed. Air currents formed due to those mountain ranges.
Changes in the atmosphere created a monsoon season, and as a result, many rivers came to be. And so did the wetlands.
A countlessly plenty amount of plants grew. A great forest was thus birthed on this planet.
This forest was made up of massive pteridophytes around 40 meters high by your scale.
They were our vessels. A new society where we could thrive.
And so the forest continued to expand, and in the absence of natural predators, insects continued to evolve, growing larger and stronger.
Life had finally evolved into something that wouldn't be out of place in the present.
So we, too, changed our course accordingly to keep up with the evolution of life.
The narration in the dream continued describing the evolution of life in those early days. Vertebrates came to be on the planet, growing limbs and mouths with teeth. Amniota. Production via eggs, leading to safer birthing of offspring. The appearance of the the species which came to be the ancestors of the dinosaurs and the deino, who lived in paradise on this planet for 47 million years. Thus far, PHH and Mictlan's history aligned. But following this, the events changed drastically.
66 million years ago, this planet approached its third mass extinction.
81% of marine life and 70% of vertebrates went extinct.
In the time of your Pan-Human History, their world ends here.
But this is an alternate story.
A tiny deviation in trajectory brought us to the world about 250 million years sooner.
And we chose them. Not you, the ones who would arise later.
The children of the Paleozoic, who strove to live on this planet, much like you.
Da Vinci likens it to the type of dream shared between Master and Servant, but thinks that since the dream described the Carboniferous period, the scenery must have been that of the Paleozoic era. It was a period which ended with an extinction event, and Da Vinci ponders on these eras a bit further, but also concludes that no Heroic Spirit could have memories this far back. There might be those who belonged to the Precambrian era (an image of Melusine shows here), but generally the Heroic Spirits of mankind belong to other eras. Rather...
If there's anyone who could show you such a scenery, Fujimaru.
It would be the brain of the planet...the memories of the planet that the world of magecraft refer to as the Archetype.
Tepeu interrupts the conversation, carrying tableware and other random stuff from the Border. After a brief talk, he concedes that he's definitely an odd one among the deino, which is why he became a recluse. Either way, you split up into your groups for the day, with Gudao going with Nitocris and Kukulkan into the jungle. Gudao sees Olga, still standing quietly by herself, and asks if she wishes to accompany the jungle party, but just then Wak Chan charges into the room. He seems like he's in a real hurry, considering he ran straight through the wall, and no wonder, because he asks Olga to come with him to some special place. Olga looks back at Gudao, says "tough luck", and leaves with the charming deino man instead.
Stopping by the Border on the way out into the jungle, you meet Kadoc who complains about a bunch of deino showing up suddenly asking a bunch of questions. It seems to be a result of the decree made by the Dino King that Chaldea are safe to talk to, and so Tepeu considers that perhaps you should set up a space later where Gudao and Mashu can freely share their experiences first-hand with the deinos, to sate their curiosity. Everyone agrees that seems like a good idea, even Kukulkan who says she's already heard all of it but would like to hear about it again (a statement which certainly confuses Mashu), and so you quickly head out into the jungle to complete your chores for the day.
You fight some insects, and Nitocris complains about the wails they emitted. She describes it as the deceased having received no salvation. Kukulkan knows their sound might cause temporary paralyzation, but she's befuddled that Nitocris was so much more affected than anyone else in the party. You drop the topic for the time being, though, and prepare food while talking to the deino about PHH. Since Nitocris is there with you, tonight's topic will be ancient Egypt. She regales the tale of her rule, her brothers, the priests, and her death. The deino sympathize with her cruel life, but consider her amazing for still coming out on top after all that. That's definitely the mark of a real goddess. Of course, Nitocris laments that she could not simply save her brothers in the first place.
The deino are real impressed with the concept of "stories", which apparently didn't really exist among them before, but one thing they're confused about is the concept of "years", or rather, counting time.
...Yes. I too have felt something off since I started traveling with all of you.
Deinos and humans seem to perceive time differently. A "year" is a concept foreign to us.
What you call the "past", we call "earlier" as a general rule of thumb.
A century ago would be "a little earlier", and a millennium ago would be "a lot earlier".
As such, our society avoids complications such as the dynasties that Nitocris mentioned.
We do not record our history or the passage of the years. The need to record history is simply not in deinos nature.
For this is how we've led our lives ever since a "long, long, long time ago".
---Truly, if we consider Pan-Human History's scale, we haven't changed at all for 66 million years.
--- Section 4 ---
The next day, at the Border. You need to gather a LOT of quartz (the actual rock kind, not the gacha kind) for repairs, and so you need to bring Kukulkan with you since her specialty just seems to be carrying things, at this point. You head over to the second Underworld to ask Beni to part with one of her mountains. While she would agree to it, the other denizens of the area seem to disagree, and so you must fight them to prove you're worthy of these resources. You beat them, Beni makes an Elden Ring reference about smithing stones, and Kukulkan picks up a mountain to bring back to the Border. Before you leave, Beni asks what's going on between you and Olga. When you left here last, she thought that since Olga seemed so dedicated to keeping you all out of danger, there was nothing that could stop you with Mashu and Olga by your side, but now it seems that you have had a quarrel which you need to mend before it's too late.
Later in Chichen Itza, you're preparing to talk to the deino. The dino king joins the crowd too, rounding up the deino in the area. Koyan tries extending a formal introduction, but he doesn't want it, considering she's the one who gave Tezcatlipoca the knowledge of modern firearms to arm the Ocelomeh. That said, if she wants to peddle her wares in Chichen Itza she's free to do so, as long as the deino want them. Dino king tells you to get on with the storytelling already, and so you oblige.
Meanwhile, in the Border, we see Rasputin skulking around, when he suddenly runs into Nemo Professor. He says he's been patrolling or Ocelomeh, then quickly starts asking about the electricity used to operate the Storm Border. He's heard it's generated from internal combustion, but he wonders what would happen to that power if the engines shut down. Something terrible like that must've happened when they first crashed here, so he thought that an external power supply would help out with repairs, which Professor thanks him for. If you could only summon 100 Servants to provide electricity for you, it would be no issue, but with the Wandering Sea base gone, that's not gonna happen. That said, she stops herself at that last line, then says "that could work", and thanks Rasputin for the idea. With this, he says that they'll be ready for a total engine failure.
Kadoc joins the conversation, telling Rasputin to stop sneaking around the Border and go back to orbiting the Alien God. Rasputin urges him to not speak harshly of God, and that the current situation is only possible due to the hard work of Gudao and Mashu, who were much more flexible in their impressions than someone like Kadoc. Of course, Rasputin agrees with this sentiment. He and Olga have currently lent their aid to Gudao, not to Chaldea. Should Olga come to fully realize her position, they will depart at once. At the very least, he won't pull any strings behind the scenes to make this outcome happen.
Of course not. I have no desire to fight. I only wish to witness the birth of the one nearing emergence.
...Although I expect the Heroic Spirit Rasputin's influence is to blame. There are still lingering emotions that a human ought to have.
Such as worrying that you must reach out to a soul that has naught but sorrow ahead of them.
Quite the opposite of your apprehension. The current situation is not in her best interest.
It will only lead to suffering down the line. Apparently, it is time to make a decision.
Of course, I trust that you won't stand in the way? After all, the feeling is mutual.
...Sure. Even if Mash, Fujimaru---
and Olga Marie were to hate me for it, they should split up sooner than stick together.
--- Section 5 ---
The next day, the Nemo series need to shut down the engines for maintenance, and it'll take 120 hours to perform an overhaul. In short, you need to get some hydroelectric power to sustain yourself for those 120 hours, and so now you'll go back to the First Underworld. Once again you'll bring Kukulkan just to carry stuff for you. Gudao looks around and asks if anyone's seen Olga, and Tepeu mentions that she left before sunrise this morning. When Mashu says that she's worried about Olga being in a bad mood, Tepeu says that she seemed rather joyous, actually.
Hahahahahaha! Rejoice, mankind! For I am finally back in good shape!
So I'm off to lay waste to Mexico City! I'm the type of woman to not forget any slights against me!
She had said this, but Tepeu had urged her not to do so. Olga had seemed surprised, considering the Ocelomeh's slaughter and sacrifice of the deino, but he explains their stance on the matter.
Well, yes. We are not the aggressors. We will defend ourselves, but we will not initiate aggressions.
On the other hand, it is WE who invaded Mexico City earlier and interfered with their rituals.
It would be an act of aggression for you to invade Mexico City now. You have no just cause for it.
It would be a blemish on your presidential career to destroy them merely out of irritation.
Or is it...that destroying Mexico City is not your idea as the one who rules this planet,
but rather a more personal reason. Such as, to perhaps impress certain individuals?
Olga agreed to calm down, after that. That said, it seems Tepeu does not share this flashback with the others. He simply says that Olga seemed very concerned about Gudao and Mashu. Speaking of, Tepeu had met Wak Chan last night, and he had seemed completely destroyed. He had said stuff like not being worthy of being a man anymore, and that he really screwed up. Da Vinci feels bad for him, since she immediately understands that he got rejected by Olga.
Having arrived at the waterfalls, Kingprotea refuses to let you build a power plant in what is basically her home. By the way, she turned herself back into an Alter. She only un-altered herself earlier to reward you for getting her free will back, but this is effectively the "real" her in Mictlan, so she's back to this state now. Anyway, she refuses to have a huge power plant installed in her home. The Marines with you beg her, and while it's not the one who were with you the first time here, it apparently hits a soft spot for her, and she agrees, but on one condition: that you fight her and win. She seems to act very cocky, expecting your current lineup to be a very weak one, but right as you accept the terms, Kingprotea spots Kukulkan joining the party, having put down a mountain of boxes she was carrying without a sweat.
Since you obviously win, KP helps you set up the power plant. The deino have already picked up on how to deal with electricity, so they help too. KP mentions that you'll soon enough need to head to the Third Underworld, and then onward to fight Camazotz to get your Command Spells back. However, something within her also urges her not to fight him, thinking him the most terrifying god in Mictlan. Just like Beni, she then proceeds to ask why Olga is not with you, reiterating the same sentiment as the little bird.
--- Section 6 ---
The next night, you tell the deino about your adventures in Atlantis, which they are of course impressed by. Not only what you did, but the world itself. One of them is most impressed by the fact that Hephaestus, a machine, was BALD too (needs fact-checking)! Tepeu seems very thankful that you agreed to do this, and for having the opportunity to learn about what you've been doing. You thought the deino would be upset at your journey, but Tepeu assures you it is not the case.
You are from the correct history, and we hail from a history that was supposed to have been pruned.
But rest assured, we deinos do not possess the concept of comparison.
"That other person is better than you are. That other person is more gifted than you are."
"So take from them what you lack." "Balance the scale that's tilted over to the other side."
We do not possess such feelings. For there is nothing to compare.
Which is the "what-if" doesn't matter to us.
On the contrary, we'd like to hear about these "what-ifs".
We deinos are merely entranced by the sceneries you describe.
A grueling journey. A fulfilling journey. A journey to overcome. An inseparable journey. You must have experienced many such journeys.
In the end, they are most grateful to learn stories of "worlds that no longer remain".
The Dino King comes and complains that all the deino are here listening to you instead of tending to his needs, and so the deino have to go and actually attend to their duties. Likewise, Kukulkan has been neglecting her duties as the doctrine of the sun since she started hanging out with Chaldea, so she'll sleep at the temple tonight. Da Vinci says the Border has been repaired to the point that you could sleep there again now, but both Gudao and Mashu say they would like to stay at Tepeu's house still, and have a nice dinner with Olga. Hearing Olga's name, Da Vinci takes on a sadder expression. She explains to the other two that the staff held the vote regarding Olga. With consideration that Olga is Chaldea's greatest enemy, but that she also helped you immensely until this point, there wasn't a single vote to exclude her. However, half of them objected to having her board the Storm Border, including Da Vinci. Even so, TRISMEGISTUS has determined that her amnesia is merely temporary, and that she'll eventually return to being the enemy of all of mankind. Since you lack the means to fight her, all you can do is repair the Border before that happens. Actually, what she's saying is that you have an opportunity here: to take Olga out before her full powers return. Needless to say, neither Gudao nor Mashu will turn on a friend, which Da Vinci expected, and so you'll remain cooperative with Olga for the time being, preparing for her return as the Alien God. Da Vinci is sure this is the right course of action, since you went with your "feelings" rather than the "plan".
She seems like she's having a ton of fun right now. Kadoc said as much too.
"I'm surprised by how Mash changed, but I'm even more surprised by her."
"I don't know what kind of connection she has to the real Olga Marie, but I never thought the old her could smash her way to the driver's seat,"
was what he said. This is something that TRISMEGISTUS II, which only outputs results, can never comprehend.
That's why I'd like you to treat U-Olga Marie the same way you have until now.
Well, I'd like her to stay off the Border, but if absolutely necessary, we'll take things as they come.
Because the opinions the staff gave me are also justified. When that happens, we'll have to make a compromise.
We can't leave the Border, but the two of you can remain in Chichen Itza.
Just don't be late for our morning briefings.
I've been putting this on hold until now, but tomorrow we'll be going back to our original mission.
To excise this Lostbelt and search for ORT. That is the operation we will resume. I want you to prepare yourselves and act accordingly.
--- Section 7 ---
When you return to Tepeu's house, it seems you just missed Olga before she headed out again, and so you run into the streets to fetch her. She says that it's not like she ran off because it was too akward or anything, and that she only wanted to walk around for a bit. There's a bit of an awkward silence, followed by her asking what business you have with her, having called out to her in the street and all. You say that it's just that you haven't talked in a while, to which she mutters to herself in reply:
...Well, of course. I've been avoiding you, after all.
You ask her to return to the house together, which she seems rather happy about.
...I see, so my secretary has come to welcome me. How laudable of you. Not too shabby.
In that case, I shall wrap up my inspection and head back. I've completely grasped Chichen Itza's layout.
I can handle the Ocelomeh whenever they decide to strike. Not that I really have any cause to protect this city.
How are things on your end? Are repairs on the Storm Border progressing?
Each day, the deinos assemble at the Border, learning Pan-Human History technology.
You lot sure are good at building friendships. Even though that's how it happened in my case too.
The truth is, our operation resumes tomorrow.
We assemble in the control room first thing in the morning.
Oh, that bridge I was in that one time! So the power's back on then!
While I don't want to see the face of that Gordolf fellow, I do want to see it in action!
Tomorrow morning? What are you going to do next when you resume operations!?
But Gudao does not reply, only showing a hurt expression.
...Just to make sure, am I allowed to accompany you?
Yet again, no response.
...I guessed as much. So that's how it is. I get it.
---Fine then. I've changed my mind. I don't care about your ship at all.
Firstly, I can fly by myself, unlike you. And our promise only lasted until you rendezvous with Chaldea.
You head back first, I'll have a longer look at the city. Leave some corn bread for me, I like that.
Yeah... I'm sorry.
...I don't understand why you're apologizing, Fujimaru.
If you feel like you owe me something, then repay me with a question.
So, do you have anything you'd like to ask me?
No? Fine then. Truthfully, I wouldn't know what to answer even if you'd asked.
Also, if you happen to see Wak Chan--- No, forget it...
Good night. You've got to rise early tomorrow, don't you? Cease your functions swiftly and enjoy those so-called dreams of yours.
Short flashbacks show from our battle with Tezcatlipoca, our meeting with Daybit, and the mention of the Alien God.
I have been losing my self.
Ever since I "died" once at the hands of that Servant.
The reason is because I temporarily re-initialized myself to reduce the burden upon rebooting.
All I remembered when I awoke in that cave was my life's purpose and my name.
In all likelihood, it's information I learned from visual recordings preserved in an external storage medium.
"To consolidate foolish mankind and save the planet", "I am an alien known as U-Olga Marie".
Just those two. I may have died, but I still remain myself. Its simplicity means there's no mistaking it.
And yet, perhaps because I rebooted myself.
The ornaments that made me what I am were stripped away, leaving me bare.
---I gained freedom of emotion. In other words, a decline in decisiveness.
Rather than prioritize the order bestowed upon me, I prioritized my own decisions.
As a result, I ended up preferring acts I myself believe to be "good".
I cannot quite analyze why I felt that way, but...
the journey to Chichen Itza with Fujimaru and Mash was fulfilling.
This organization known as Chaldea also piqued my interest. When I told them I'd cooperate, my brain experienced a stimulation.
I refused to acknowledge the differences between an alien like myself and Earthlings like him.
I felt like we could somehow get along, just like that.
Even though I don't even know who I am.
We see Wak Chan having brought Olga to his special place.
I was speechless.
This fighter deinos, Wak Chan, took me around the city all day long.
And the last place we stopped wasn't some spectacular community hall, not some raucous stadium,
it was an exceedingly calming, ordinary scenery from which you could quietly overlook the city.
Wak Chan talks about its beauty, and the views. He speaks of what he sees, what he feels, and what he remembers. Olga does not even bother correcting his faulty grammar here, she simply feels, learns, and understands.
This world is a peaceful one.
Deinos society is an ideal civilization, incomparable to that of humanoid mankind.
The place that the strongest of the deinos fighters boasted as being the best of all was...
...not a place where he could brag about his own strength, but rather, a tranquil one. This proves it.
A world that I aspire to, one I believed in, even before I ended up this way.
And yet here I am, denying this scenery.
I understand that this world, wonderful as it may be, is not where I belong.
So long as I remain the way I am now, I am a being who would scorch this scenery.
Seeing Olga apparently hurting inside, Wak Chan starts saying stuff like "physical make-up doesn't matter!", trying to convince her, and perhaps most of all himself, that this could work between them. He mentions her unique color, like the stars he witnessed as a kid, and how amazing she is on the inside. But Olga simply hurts more. She knocks Wak Chan away, telling him to get out of her sight.
I've always hated lizards! I feel sick just looking at you!
And YOU call yourself "mankind"? How insolent! How could creatures as unsightly and stupid as you possibly be considered "mankind"!?
I merely rejected him verbally.
He was such a free, massive, and innocent deinos. Yet he looked so small, almost like a deinos child.
Then he tottered away, with a lonesome look on his face.
I'm so disgusted by myself that I feel dizzy. I feel so sorry about Wak Chan that my functions are declining.
I was just venting my anger at him. I am aggressive, short-tempered, and yet, I lack courage.
I couldn't stop him, nor could I apologize to him.
I didn't have the courage to join the others in conversation, so I wander aimlessly through the night.
I don't know what I should do.
I've reset my memories, but that is a temporary measure. I can remember what I've forgotten when I see it.
Which is why---I remembered when I laid eyes on Tezcatlipoca.
That he killed me. And when he did, I was named the Alien God.
...I am...the Alien God... Chaldea's enemy...
Even if I am proud to be an enemy of mankind, it would appear I do not wish to consider myself Chaldea's enemy.
...It's hard for me to go back to Tepeu's house right now. I can't go back until I sort my feelings out.
She sees many deino passing by, all talking about the stories they've heard from Gudao and Mashu.
Everyone on the main street's talking about Chaldea.
Apparently Fujimaru's been telling them about the Lostbelts at the shrine.
...Stories about the Lostbelts. If he goes and does that, it's going to get more and more---
...obvious to the deinos who is behind it all.
...Do Fujimaru and Mash not know?
That I am the Alien God?
No, there's no way they'd know. If they did, they would never have allowed me to accompany them.
Fujimaru and the others don't know. Fujimaru and the others don't know.
They mustn't know.
...There's nowhere I belong. Not with the deinos, or the humans...
Some other deino pass by, mentioning that they want to hear more stories, but also that they think it's somehow sad despite being so fun.
Fun, but sad.
It goes without saying. After all, we can never be a part of it.
I've had enough. I'll forego thought, and forget that I am the individual known as the Alien God,
and I'll go back to being who I was before I went to Mexico City. That's right, just when I became desperate...
And then, Olga stops in the street, hearing a familiar voice call out to her.
I saw Fujimaru who spotted me, waved at me, and came over.
Chapter 12: Kingdom of the Dead
Another day comes around, and you meet up with Tepeu in the common room. He mentions that Father Kotomine left a message for you:
Tepeu (speaking as Rasputin):
Dear Chaldeans, this may be sudden to you. However, we have decided to part ways here.
The memories of my lady have yet to return, and she herself is uncertain of who she is.
"I'm sick and tired of these thick-headed deinos, these frail Earthlings, and the suffocating heat of Mictlan,"
was what she said. We shall be departing this Lostbelt tonight.
It is unfortunate that we cannot be present for your showdown against Daybit. However, I am merely a butler. I shall respect the decision my lady has made.
And I shall pray for your good fortune. From Father Kotomine, a counselor of lost lambs.
In addition to this message, he asked for an object to be given to Gudao; a wooden tablet with japanese etched into it by Olga, reading: "I can't help with your work to save the Earth. I'm sorry."
You return to the Border and let the rest of the crew know about Olga and Rasputin's departure from the Lostbelt. Da Vinci confirms that they can no longer sense their presence in this world, having seemingly disappeared as they entered the first layer. Gordolf thinks this must be a result of their half-assed approach, and Kadoc seems to feel somewhat guilty about the whole thing, considering his previous talk with Rasputin. Even Koyan is sad to see Olga go, but more in the sense of losing a valuable resource in finding out the truth about the Alien God.
Moreover, this requires changes to your plans in this Lostbelt. First, the Alien God has no intention of fusing with ORT due to her amnesia, so that's fine, but now it seems Daybit and Tezcatlipoca instead want to make use of it to destroy the world. If the future you saw is to be reality, you have to stop it. In the first place, Gordolf can't begin to understand how insane Daybit is to want this. Surely, Daybit should want the same thing as the Alien God, right? Gordolf asks Koyanskaya, who previously dealt with the Crypters, for input, but she has none to give.
Not a clue.
And not just me, that person was a complete enigma, even for the Apostles of the Alien God.
Prior to incarnating as U-Olga Marie on Earth, Kirschtaria was the sole focus of the Alien God's attention.
The other Crypters were considered "insignificant", however...
Now that you mention it, it does feel like the Alien God ignored Daybit...or rather,
he was never factored into the plan.
He was neither ordered nor coerced. He wasn't even told that he was "insignificant".
That's not an attitude you take towards your subordinates. On the contrary...
Indeed. It's an attitude you'd take towards someone who's your equal, or perhaps even above you.
I had a pact of non-aggression with the Alien God, so I was able to act with impunity...
However, the Alien God had no leverage over Daybit.
It could be that---Daybit was, from the very beginning, not even a Crypter.
This makes Kadoc light up.
...I see. Wodime's records I saw in Olympus...
So that's what it was all about.
Kyrielight. Daybit IS a member of the A-Team. That will never change.
But our positions were definitely different. He owes the Alien God no debts.
The very term Crypter itself was something I heard when I was resuscitated in the coffin.
Ophelia, Akuta, Beryl, and I had never heard the term before...but Daybit seemed like he knew.
Back then, I figured it was some kind of blood pact to rebel against the Human Order. But I was wrong.
"You are Crypters". The Alien God was the one who decreed that to Wodime.
Sion then asks what makes one qualify as a Crypter, if it's not simply being part of the A-team. Kadoc reiterates that they heard the term when the Alien God revived them, and that their revival came with a price.
The price is to "resolve the Human Order Incineration incident".
Within the confines of the coffin---do what Fujimaru and Mash achieved.
The Alien God promised to resuscitate us if we proved ourselves capable of resolving the Human Order Incineration incident.
But...we couldn't do it. I couldn't, Ophelia couldn't, and the other members couldn't either.
We were corpses in a coffin. I couldn't even make it past the First Singularity.
But---Wodime took it all upon himself.
He personally resolved each of our shares of the Human Order Incineration,
and once we were resuscitated, he didn't say so much as a word to us. He shared with us only equal conditions and chances as Crypters...!
But within our resuscitation records, there wasn't a single mention of Daybit.
...I'm just speculating here. But in all likelihood, Daybit brought himself back to life.
The feat that was required for our resuscitation was to resolve the Human Order Incineration.
He must've cleared it all on his own. Even the Alien God would be bewildered.
The minimum lifeline the Alien God reproduced within the confines of the coffin---
was Chaldea's Heroic Spirit summoning. But Daybit didn't even make use of that.
It may have just been a simulation, but even so, he resolved the Human Order Incineration without using a single Servant.
In other words, Daybit has to be some sort of super Master, able to clear all seven singularities with only his own power, and no Servants. But Kadoc gives one more critical clue. Kirschtaria had once said about Daybit that the way he thinks and acts is different from that of mankind, and always has been. This leads Sion to think that he actually had no choice but to resolve it on his own, without the use of Servants. In other words, Daybit is not human, nor part of the Human Order, and was thus unable to summon a Servant.
Meuniere then mentions you have random filler battles to do.
--- Section 2 ---
Camazotz has come to the Border, and all the deino run in fear. Rather, before he appears there are a bunch of blood-hungry deino you need to deal with, and when you do, they turn into dust and disappear. Specifically, those deino were basically vampires, a result of having had their own blood sucked by a bloodsucking monster. Sion thinks it's weird that this would all be Camazotz' doing, though. She knows him as a monster who reaps the heads of the living and sucks their blood, but has never heard of him being lord of the dead, which he displays here.
Either way, he's the one existence superior to the deino in this world, and so naturally they all fear him. Thus, it's up to you to go kick his ass (or rather that of his goons).
--- Section 3 ---
You enter the forest from which the vampire-deino are coming, and eventually arrive at some sort of ruins. Tepeu has accompanied you, seemingly worried that he'll lose another friend in Chaldea otherwise (referring to Marine). The ruins are those of the Ka'an kingdom, which predates Chichen Itza. There are no deino remaining from this place, so no one really knows what happened during that time, but Tepeu says it's most likely related to the fourth extinction event of Mictlan, which is what he mentioned earlier about the sun once going out. At that time, during the long night that followed, all the deino put themselves into hibernation mode for approximately 100,000 years. Once the sun came back, only a tenth of all the deino were able to return to the waking world. Da Vinci likens this to Mankind in PHH losing most of its population, only to grow to the 7 billion of today. Moreover, she remarks on their ability to enter hibernation mode, and likens them to some sort of neo-mankind designed by genetic engineering technology absent from PHH.
Camazotz appears before you, laughing at the weakness of a bygone kingdom, and how the weak ultimately remained weak, even huddling together. However, he seems offended that you brought such a paltry force to fight him here and now. He made an exception for you last time, but the valor you showed back then is nowhere to be seen here. You ask whether he's an ally of Tezcatlipoca, but he firmly states that he is not, even if he has received many a tribute from him. Tezcatlipoca forbade Camazotz from attacking the Ocelomeh, and in exchange bequeath him with "wisdom", and then upon Chaldea's arrival, Tezcatlipoca wished to learn how the Underworld Borders worked and how to change them, offering the Command Spells as payment.
Regardless, you vex him, and he really wants to take on your position, having grown fond of summoning the souls of past days, and so in the fourth Underworld Border he will take your head, and procure all your wisdom. However, he must correct your arrogance here, so he summons the immortal warriors of Ka'an to fight you (he won't drink your blood here because he doesn't like drinking from the same place twice).
What he summons are skeletons which apparently house their souls, and he says that in life he drank the blood of billions of people, and this is how he can summon them. The amount of skeletons makes it impossible to approach Camazotz to stop him, and if you rushed him he could just fly away, while the skeletons surround you. To escape for the time being, you need a decoy, and the best one for the job is Tepeu. His natural electromagnetic shield will protect him until you can return to free him, and so he jumps into the fray, allowing you retreat.
--- Section 4 ---
Since Kukulkan is apparently nowhere to be found, your best bet for reinforcements is Nitocris; another necromancer, pitting skeletons vs zombies. Furthermore, the earlier fight where Nitocris was much more affected by the sound appeared to have been a result of hearing the voices of the dead, and so she figures she can mimic that attack to disrupt Camazotz' necromancy here. You return to the ruins with Nitocris, who just proceeds to stare at Camazotz. Suddenly, she springs into action, unleashing her mirror, and dispersing the spirits in the area. Then, faster than the blink of an eye, he grabs Nitocris.
He keeps asking her what it is she did, what the logic behind it was, but she doesn't seem to get what he's really asking. She simply states that she cleansed the spirits, but he keeps repeating the question. Finally, he clarifies.
No, no, no, no, no! Your soldiers! The soldiers you commanded!
Those white deceased--- You consider THEM the people you rule?
The ones who died! The ones who lost their dreaming souls! Are you telling me---
you memorized all of those deceased's names?
I am asking you if you can remember each of their names!
If you have to recall the names, the memories, of each corpse you employ!
---Naturally. Those people were subjects of the Pharaoh.
Their fame may have been lost, but my respect for their deeds never wane.
An inexperienced Pharaoh like myself could only make it as a Heroic Spirit because I carry their pain with me.
This seems to upset Camazotz immensely. He's repulsed. Itching all over. Nitocris is the most vile woman he's ever met, and he needs to return to his lair to cleanse himself of this feeling. With that, you're able to all return to Chichen Itza.
--- Section 5 ---
That night, a festival is held to celebrate Nitocris' heroic act. Meanwhile, the rest of Chaldea discuss Daybit and ORT, in addition to the rest of the plan. For now, you have no real idea where the Fantasy Tree even is, though you can assume it's at the bottom of Mictlan. When it comes to the "future of ORT awakening", it's impossible for you to change THAT future, but it is possible to change which future is the one that will come to pass. In addition, you need to figure out what Daybit has been doing for a year here, how he could summon a Servant while being outside of the Human Order, and how he intends to awaken ORT.
Very conveniently, Kukulkan says if that's all you need to know, there is one deino who could check for that information for you at Metztitlán. Metztitlán in PHH myth is a lunar domain, and the lowest heaven, and so Da Vinci assumes in Mictlan it's some sort of observation facility for this world. There, an existence similar to Kukulkan resides. If Kukulkan is the new sun, then that being would be the new earth, ever unable to leave her place of birth.
It's the final destination that a human can reach on foot, an astronomical observatory built on the seventh layer.
Its name is the Doomsday Observatory Metztitlán. The incarnation of the planet's soul that has existed since the foundation of Mictlan.
It's where the Stargazing Princess Ixquic---Archetype: Earth dwells.
And so, you will go to the seventh layer to visit this place. Gudao, Mashu, Habetrot, Da Vinci, and Nitocris will go, along with Kukulkan and Tepeu. Sion and Nemo will keep repairing the Border, while Koyan protects them. Kadoc will also stay, but he'll check on Clock Tower documents for information about Daybit instead. However, since that data is awfully well-protected, Gordolf will help him with decryption stuff.
Before bed, you tell the deino about more of your Lostbelt journey, and they're of course impressed by the Chinese one as well. They reflect on the state of that world, and along with Da Vinci come to the conclusion that QSH was someone at the pinnacle of humanity, seeing only themselves as mankind, and because of being so physically and mentally strong, never had to compare themselves to anyone else. Effectively, it was a fulfillment of Kirschtaria's ideal, in a sense. Of course, there was a lot more going on there still. The deino mainly think these different worlds are amazing, and start talking about the inevitability of extinction. Death is something one might want to avoid, but extinction comes for everything eventually. The deino live for something greater than themselves, even if it's something none of them can put into words. The fact that their world is one pruned like the other Lostbelts is something they could only learn thanks to you, and they're grateful for it. They don't envy the other Lostbelts, nor do they envy PHH. They know Mictlan is in essence a perfect world, one that they all love, and that they're thankful to Kukulkan for. But still, they can't help but wonder if their world is as meaningful as the other Lostbelts were.
--- Section 6 ---
Elsewhere, Tepeu runs into Wak Chan, who's still in the dumps. Wak Chan says he doesn't want to go with Chaldea to the lower layers, since Olga will be with them, and so Tepeu has to explain that she is no longer with Chaldea, or apparently even in this world anymore. He explains how he figured out from the stories that Olga is in fact the Alien God and the greatest enemy of Chaldea and even this world, although he hasn't ironed out all the inconsistencies he found in the stories. Regardless, due to a miraculous series of events, Olga was only temporarily able to journey alongside Chaldea here. She got to live a dream that would soon come to end. A dream and journey which Tepeu sees as a mistake.
In another part of the city, Vucub is speaking to the other priests. He's annoyed at the celebration of Chaldea, at the Dino king, and at the Crypter's poisonous wisdom. He fears the end of Mictlan, seemingly implying it will come sooner rather than later, and that this carefree attitude of the others is a danger to them all. Even Kukulkan seems to do nothing about it. He's sure that she changed as a result of becoming an "ally of the outside world", and he, as the last remaining deino of the sky, believes he stands above all the rest.
Do you have any idea of the sacrifices I have made for Mictlan in order to get where I am now?
The disappointment of it all! That eyesore of a Dinosaur King, and the good-for-nothing Kukulkan!
If that Crypter's arrival is all it takes to change our civilization, then it was never worth anything to begin with!
The other priests agree in fear that nobody cares for Mictlan as much as Vucub does, and that he deserves to rule. Thus, Vucub declares his plan.
I will accept Izcalli's request for a second secret meeting. An operation to take back the sun---Hmph. That man thinks big.
But his grandiose tales are worth listening to. His cause couldn't sound more just.
Very well, he can have Chichen Itza. If that is what it takes to save our crumbling sun.
Section 13: Third Underworld Xoxoauhqui
Tepeu will of course accompany you on your journey towards the bottom, and it'll be helpful that he's already been as far as the seventh layer before. The Border has managed to establish consistent communications now thanks to automatically adjusting to the electromagnetic interferences that change with each layer. However, when you're inside the Underworlds, communications will break down regardless. Some deino come to see you off, saying you'll have nothing to worry about if Nito's with you, since she's the only one who can beat the bat-man, and that they'll host a xoqqer ritual for her when you return. Nito, on the other hand, can't help but think her victory over Camazotz was only due to compatibility, and that the way she is right now, she'll never be able to beat Tlaloc.
Once Kukulkan joins up with you, she seems unusually happy. It appears she's glad to see that Tepeu is bragging more about his accomplishments, as it shows personal growth on his side. Mashu agrees, and Gudao mentions that Tepeu tends to flick his glasses up quite often. He explains that doing so is not intended to be some cool move to show how smart he is, but rather that he "designed them so that he wouldn't have to see what must not be seen".
As soon as you leave the city you run into some Ocelomeh you have to fight. With that out of the way, you later set up camp for the night near a maize field. Tomorrow you'll head for the third Underworld, the Galactic Dunes.
--- Section 2 ---
While Kukulkan eats enough maize to feed a small village (saying things like PHH is evil for keeping such delicious inventions such as roasted maize from the rest of them), you ask Da Vinci for a bit of an infodump. Specifically, since Kukulkan is the god of this Lostbelt, wouldn't it make more sense for her to take a deino form? Da Vinci agrees that based on how we think of worship and beliefs in gods, it would make more sense. This leads her to get to the main topic at hand, instead, which is regarding the origin of the American continent as far as the world of magic is concerned, and the origin of this Lostbelt. And so, Da Vinci dons her glasses and gets to it.
She starts by recapping some stuff. The surface-level relationship between Mayan and Aztec civilization; how when you entered this Lostbelt you didn't see the South American continent, but the Pangean supercontinent; how you crashed in Mictlan after the mysterious light sank the Border. The mention of Mictlan is important, since as is clear from the name, this place has more characteristics from Central America, than South. Da Vinci surmises this is because the basic ideology is based on mythologies of the same region in PHH. Thus, it might be more accurate to call it the Latin American Lostbelt, but since the entry-point coordinates were in South America, we'll keep calling it that.
Now for inference #1. We'll thoroughly probe the myths of the American continent.
The mythologies of the region identify closely with Earth's nature, but at the same time, lean towards a stellar viewpoint.
In fact, there are several murals and artifacts from the American continent depicting what appear to be "rockets aimed at the sky".
And for what reason? There's one accepted theory in the world of magecraft.
That there was some presence at the dawn of Mayan civilization with practical knowledge of the cosmos.
She is of course talking about alien life. "Something" that came from outer space, but not necessarily in the form of life one would expect. At the time of the fifth mass extinction, 66 million years ago, a massive meteorite fell on the Yucatan peninsula in America, setting the planet ablaze and annihilating the dinosaurs who reigned on the surface. There's a lot of evidence so that we can know this happened, but something interesting is that the impact created a set vast underground cavern system, which later gave rise to the water springs (cenotes) of the peninsula with groundwater coming up. Da Vinci thus infers that the Underworld of Xibalba from the Mayan mythos was a result of living among these vast underground caverns. This was then taken into Aztec myth and became Mictlan. But there's more to those ideas than might seem.
Those weren't transmitted just by oral tradition or cultural records, but also a primordial fear remembered in their bodies---
The magecraft world's speculation is that the information may be etched into their genes.
And in this case, those genes would not simply be human. These people would definitely be human, but also had non-human factors mixed in.
Quite a lot of resources were contained in the meteorite that fell on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Rare metals only produced in minute quantities on Earth, to be sure. And things that had never existed on the planet---
Extraterrestrial material.r]Possibly even organisms.
The meteorite that fell on the Yucatan Peninsula quite literally had alien life on board.
Intelligent life from another celestial body came with the meteorite, combined with the life on Earth, and restored the surface to promote new life. They would've had to be a species with different reproduction systems than ours, that could reproduce more quickly and spread over the whole surface. In other words, vegetation, or more specifically, fungus. Once humans came around and started worshipping stuff, these would also be revered as "incarnations of nature", spawning the gods of this land. This was the "divine element" which came to Earth 66 million years ago.
As Mashu and Da Vinci keep on talking about this, Gudao has a short line about how something about this seems off. Da Vinci continues, saying they would be more like roots or threads than fungi (TL note: I don't know if Comun mentioned it, but the reason Rayshift's and our usage here on BL changed from "Maia" to "Malla" is because of this thread mention; it's supposed to be "thread", and the reading is "malla" because it's spanish or whatever). Mashu tries making an analogy with God's Holders, or Tradition Carriers in the world of magecraft, to which Da Vinci says the logic is the same, but different points of origin, since those would be the ones who pass on divine blood through their lineage, and thus are able to replicate AoG Mysteries. In the case of Aztec myth, considering the number of times the gods "appeared" before people, it is best explained by kings or the like acting as hosts for the "Divine Filaments". Da Vinci also surmises that near the end of the Age of Gods, the filaments most likely realized they'd never be able to return to space, and so they staked their hopes on the next species (humans) and just stuck around.
So, Tepeu gives the TL;DR: history diverged after the filaments crash landed on Earth. In PHH they chose humans to carry on their wish of "going back home", and in this Lostbelt they chose the deinos. In other words, the divergence point is 66 million years ago. Da Vinci seems sure of this, even if there are some inconsistencies. Some stuff she's still not sure on is why Kukulkan is not a deino, why the Filaments chose the deino instead, and why they didn't go extinct with the fifth extinction event.
Now, moving on to the second big lore point, Da Vinci asks what is most special about the deino, and the answer is their skin.
Their dinosaur-like physical strength is a given, but they also have chameleon-esque camouflage, and thought-based communication.
The diversity of species, all herbivorous, able to nullify physical shocks with biowaves,
and their high intelligence, most of all. They couldn't have evolved these traits in Earth's environment.
I don't mean to say that they can't be smart. It's just that herbivores can't be so active.
The energy spent on intelligence and thought can't be met by plant-eating.
Which means the deinos are replenishing their energy by a means other than food.
The Doctrine of the Sun---subsisting only on water and sunlight! So you're saying the deinos are...
Yes, they are photosynthesizing. This is how the Divine Filaments evolved them.
A plant-animal hybrid. That is dinosaurian mankind, the deinos, and the prime species of this Lostbelt.
They are far, far superior to us humanoid mankind, and have stood as the apex species for 66 million years.
You talk a bit again about how the deino are basically the embodiment of Kirschtaria's ideals, and then conclude that to fully solve the mystery of this world, you need to reach the Observatory below. Later that night, Gudao has a dream of the "past" of this world again, but with the narration seemingly speaking more directly to them.
By and large, Da Vinci's inferences check out.
We are the ones who fell from the cosmos. The ones who drifted to this planet.
The ones who, 66 million years ago, caused the fifth extinction on your Pan-Human History world.
But this is an alternate story.
A tiny deviation in trajectory brought us to the world about 250 million years sooner.
---The beginning of a Mictlan far different from that of your world.
The supercontinent was maintained by the roots for 234 million years. However---
66 million years ago, this planet approached its third mass extinction.
In the time of your Pan-Human History, the world ended, restarting as the Cenozoic Era.
And we chose them. Not you, the ones who would arise later.
The children of the Paleozoic, who strove to live on this planet, much like you who had yet to be born.
Gudao wakes up and has a conversation with Kukulkan, who is patrolling the area. She explains that the "stars" you see above aren't actually stars, but simply phosphorescence from Malla, which just happens to look like the cosmos. The only thing in this world that could be considered a celestial body would be the sun, and even that is a fake. Gudao then asks Kukulkan if she just pretended to be asleep during the conversation earlier, which she admits to. She says that it would be better for her to stay out of it, since if you started asking her questions about the true nature of this world, she would have no choice but to answer, and she couldn't exactly lie to you either, so it would be better to just not have that happen. You ask if she's hiding something, then, but she turns the question on you, saying you definitely withheld something from Da Vinci yourself. Surely you know whose dream it is you've been seeing already, and perhaps you instinctively know that if you revealed as much to the others, Kukulkan would have to take you out. Whatever the case (that was more of a joke from Kukulkan), she explains that the dream was that of Malla, the Divine Filaments of Mictlan. She's unsure how you've come to synchronize with Malla, but now that you have you are of course free to share and speculate with the others, even if it might produce a mess for a certain somebody down the line.
--- Section 3 ---
You're on your way to the third Underworld, an odd place where it's always night, covered in oases and cool breezes, showing a vast galaxy. It's the sole desert in Mictlan, where deino can't survive for too long, given the lack of sunlight. Of course, as with the other Underworlds, Tepeu is completely wrong, and at this point he's just gonna give up. What you see is definitely a desert, but it's not cool, and it's not a galaxy in any sense. It's just a bunch of sandy platforms floating around. In fact, the gravity is all messed up here, and 400 meters up it turns into a zero-gravity vacuum. It's also way hotter than the rainforest, where your Mystic Code barely kept up with cooling you down, and so there's no way you'll make it here. Unfortunately, you cannot retreat, as you've already entered the place. Kukulkan sobs, saying if only she had bought some yellow cucumbers you could've been fine. As it turns out, that's one of the things you got from Daybit back then, and so both you and Tepeu will be fine. It's really god, but then you get another random battle, except here it turns out for some reason, you can't perform spot/instant/shadow summoning!
Something in here is blocking your ability to summon, but Nitocris says she'll handle it until you figure it out. Then, suddenly, you see something shocking. It's a huge hoof of gold, over sixty meters tall. Nitocris is quick on her feet and cover you all with her divine cloth to keep you safe.
--- Section 4 ---
The divine cloth completely envelop you, allowing you to remain undetected as long as you do not move. This will surely give you some time to figure out what's going on. Da Vinci starts explaining that this place corresponds to Pancuetlacalóyan, the fifth level of Mictlan in Aztec mythology: a desert with oases and strong winds and zero-gravity. To cut things short, in order to overcome this Underworld you just have to pass through the eight oases. Unfortunately, they're on all those floating islands, so you don't really have any way to do so. Da Vinci has to explain gravity to Tepeu, because if you could go high enough, then when you fell you'd be able to land on the islands, but unfortunately neither Habetrot nor Nitocris can fly that high in the first place. Basically, you'll just have to take a walk around and hope you don't get stepped on.
--- Section 5 ---
As you walk, Nitocris takes care of sand worms that inhabit the area. You suggest she pulls out the cloth to rest a while, but she assures you she'll take care of this. She was the first Servant summoned for the purpose of eliminating this Lostbelt, yet she was unable to protect the Border, she was bested by Tlaloc, and she couldn't participate at Mexico City. At this rate, her being here will be pointless. Habetrot says it's not her fault, after all, it was the giant of light who sank the Storm Border. Tepeu finds this interesting, so you explain that in addition to Daybit, the Alien God, and ORT, you have another enemy here: whatever that giant was. Kukulkan seems nervous to talk about the subject, only saying that since you only saw it once back then it probably won't be coming after you again.
Mashu and Gudao actually seem to catch on to what's happening, but Nitocris interrupts them as more enemies are incoming. Gudao suggests Nitocris rests, but after seeing her despondent, Kukulkan urges her to fight with all her might, and so she does.
The large hoof that attacked you again is beaten, and the wind around you stops. Suddenly, you see a very pretty and fluffy boy lying unconscious. You rush over, and he recognizes that you speak PHH tongue, asking you for water. Fully restored, the man says that when the time comes, he will repay you in full for this kindness.
He asks you to introduce yourselves, and proceeds to say that Gudao's name sounds familiar. After everyone else introduces themselves, you ask his name, but he simply says he cannot give it to you, because it would be too much trouble. However, the reason he was on the ground was because he was ordered to make this place an "Edin of flowers and sheep", and he collapsed from being overworked. He filled the desert with flowers, but since there are no sheep here, he used the sandworms instead. He then explains how the scary bat-guy (whose name he doesn't remember because he doesn't wanna remember dudes' names) came here and turned the goddess of this place into a scary one. The scary goddess drained the place of magical energy (which is why there are no flowers right now) and created the Heaven's Thunder Temple to rule this place from. Since you apparently destroyed the temple in your battle earlier, the storm around it has subsided.
Unfortunately, that has made the goddess angry, and so you need to flee with the mysterious man. As he turns around, you just see a familiar sheep, but he just starts talking nonsense when you mention it. He says he doesn't like being subjected to background checks since he has plenty of dirt to uncover, and then, a voice rings out.
By dirt, you surely mean all the debts you won't pay. You've finally shown the true colors hidden under that fleece, Dumuzid.
Are these the ones to be damned for destroying my temple?
You should be honored. The goddess of the underworld has come to personally crush you underfoot.
Naturally, you will share their fate, sheep god. I'm quite thankful for your blatant disobedience, it's very unlike you.
You expected the kind Ereshkigal to let off the hook? Shame for you. Ereshkigal, I am not.
I am the cruel, merciless, and licentious goddess of the underworld, Ninkigal.
All who enter my garden are my property, without exception. You are now my work force!
--- Section 6 ---
You're not actually nervous at all about meeting Ereshkigal here, which she finds very confusing, considering how big and scary she is. She also doesn't seem to remember you, and so introduces herself once more to you in hopes that perhaps you just didn't hear her the first time. In this Underworld of hers, all guests are treated equally as slaves. However, despite all her scary words, you know that's the same Ereshkigal summoned in Babylonia, so maybe she'll remember deep down. You thus decide to just run at her, waving like a moron.
Of course, she refuses your advances, but Dumuzid assures you she's actually just Ereshkigal Alter and nothing more. Eresh explains that the bat told her "be who you want to be", and thus she became a perfect goddess, with no jealousy towards Ishtar, an invincible goddess who knows no defeat, ruling the underworld without so much as a single mistake. In other words, the Command Spell was only used to tell her to be true to herself, and she willingly Altered herself.
Since you don't exactly have much else in the way of choice, you're just gonna beat her up with the help of Kukulkan. However, during your battle you're assailed by countless hoofs. This is the Boundary Gorge, Heaven's Thunder Palace. While Ishtar rode Gugalanna as a Divine Beast, Eresh has no need for such a thing, or rather, it's not cost efficient. Instead, she only brings out the legs which act as pillars for the temple. In that case, she can deploy any number of them she wants; all for the cost of a single Gugalanna. She proceeds to surround you with a wall of hoofs, and Dumuzid flees. Eresh actually says that it was Dumuzid who drained the magical energy from this place, and says that she will punish him later. For now, she'll imprison you for eternity.
--- Section 7 ---
You wake up, in cages, way too weak to break out. You'll be worked to the bone: breakfast, labor (mining), lunch, labor (mining), dinner, labor (magical energy extraction), bedtime. Repeat until all her magical energy is back (also no vacation leave). She likens it to the building of the Pyramids, but Nitocris schools her about how that was totally not the case.
You're the one not understanding things here, Nitocris. How long do you intend on playing devil's advocate regarding your past?
I'm certain now after that battle we just had. You still have yet to realize the true reason behind your summoning.
As a fellow netherworld queen, you should be capable of exercising an Authority equal to mine in an Underworld Border.
Yet you have shown no indication of doing so, or even the nerve to try.
If you were summoned in your own land, in your own country, you should act the way you did in life, with the pride you held onto in life.
However, we are in a foreign land now. This is a battle with the Human Order itself at stake. It is the future that ought to be protected, not yourself from when you were once alive.
The Alter form is merely a consequence. What's truly important is what you can do.
The dream I had in life was to turn my underworld into a flower field that extends as far as the eye can see.
Of course, that dream came true. After all, Mictlan is brimming with magical energy from the Age of Gods.
But that won't do. This is no Holy Grail War. My dreams are not my main priority.
In exchange for the flower field, in exchange for the right to return to Chaldea,
I have become the ultimate goddess in this underworld.
For that is my role---my pride as a goddess whom the people had faith in.
She then switches the subject, since it appears Gudao isn't with them in the cages. As it turns out, when the others were knocked out, Gudao escaped alongside Kukulkan, somewhere. Actually, two of the legs were stomping off-beat, so you managed to slip under there. Anyway, you got to some cave where you took up shelter. Kukulkan is sad that she's acting so weak when she should be really strong, and so it's time for some trademarked Gudao charm. You say that it's obvious she's holding back, especially since she's not even using her Noble Phantasm. It must be because she's not "allowed" to get along with us or something. Even so, you think she should just say screw it and go for it. She thinks that maybe that's simply too trusting of you.
I'm the god of this Lostbelt and you...you're the humans of Pan-Human History.
Isn't it more likely that I'm just pretending to get along with you, like I'm doing now, so that I can kill you?
But you just laugh it off, because no way she would betray you now. You know this, because she's the same god as Quetzalcoatl. This really makes her perk up, saying she won't hold anything back anymore. She asks you to establish a magical energy path, completely revitalizing her. Now she's all fired up and ready to go. At that point, Dumuzid in his full sheep form appears, asking if you're done talking. He asks if he can take credit for what just happened, and you threaten to turn him into an oversized pillow and give to Ishtar. He promptly apologizes, and so you set out to beat Ereshkigal.
--- Section 8 ---
You go to confront Eresh, and depending on if you're a guy or girl Dumuzid is either very sad or very enthusiastic about this situation. Regardless, you're currently in the air, and you're just going to airdrop right on top of the enemy. Kukulkan asks if that's really okay but you have a lot of experience falling out of the sky. As a gesture of respect towards a goddess of PHH, Kukulkan will fight in her usual manner.
This is totally a high-tech spacesuit, and she'll prove to you how strong she is. She blasts off, as you continue to the ground, and land with a forward roll.
So you fell from the sky and rolled around! You'll scare someone half to death, so don't do that again!
But what game is "on"? You're fighting against me? What can a magus who can't even summon Servants do---!?
You're betting it all on that goddess, then? She's a thousand times better than that runaway Dumuzid.
I accept your challenge out of respect for your valor! Come forth, O Boundary Gorge, the Heaven's Thunder Palace!
A summoning of six Divine Beasts, try besting them if you can!
You beat Ereshkigal and her Gugalanna (hooves), which means you now have your third Command Spell back. More importantly, when Kukulkan annihilated Gugalanna with her Noble Phantasm, everyone else were able to clearly see that she was the giant of light which sank the Border, so now the secret is out completely. Tepeu humbly apologizes for his god, but Kukulkan says it seemed like a great idea at the time. She's the one who guards Mictlan, after all, so it would only make sense for her to eliminate those who came here to cull this world before they even entered. Not to mention, she figured you couldn't be reasoned with, like Daybit, but she knows better now, of course. Either way, she's saved you twice now, so she's obviously not hostile. As such, you'll defer an actual decision to Gordolf later.
Turning to Ereshkigal, she explains that her rules in this place were established on the premise of being the strongest goddess, so they all became null the moment she lost to Kukulkan. Just as before, she can't leave this place still, so she's just gonna stay there and sulk. Also, Mashu points out that you did get your Command Spell back, but Ereshkigal actually remains an Alter. Ereshkigal explains that the Alteration process was not a forceful one, but rather that the bat offered a deal and she accepted of her own volition so that she could become stronger and be of more use to Chaldea. That said, all the battling you did here was really just out of jealousy for Ishtar, so she's kinda just talking shit.
Either way, she says, she wouldn't have turned herself into an Alter if it wasn't absolutely necessary, asking if we have any idea at all what awaits us down below. That's why she'll remain an Alter in this Underworld, just in case, same as the previous two guardians. Before sending you off, she makes sure Kukulkan knows that she's gonna want a rematch at some point, and she'll pull out a win with a Noble Phantasm even stronger than Gugalanna and Meslamtaea.
Section 14: Metztitlán, the Doomsday Observatory
After beating Ereshkigal, you make it out of the third Underworld, and report your progress to Gordolf back at the Border. For the most part, he hones in on the fact that Kukulkan admitted to being the giant of light which sank the Border, but she apologizes sincerely and so they move on from the topic for now, as there would be too much to say on the matter anyway. Either way, repairs are proceeding smoothly on the Border, and that's pretty much all Gordolf has to say. Habetrot wonders if Gordolf is actually a quite competent man, and Da Vinci says that even though Servants might be very powerful individually, they still need someone well-versed in organizational skills to bring everyone together, and Gordolf was made for that role. That said, he's always more of a behind-the-scenes leader, but Da Vinci thinks that perhaps one day he will become the backbone of this organization.
As you prepare to set up camp, Nitocris releases a bunch of spirits to scare away enemies, but it actually has the opposite effect on the feral deino, so then you've got more filler battle.
The one important revelation of this battle is that we see Gudao's spot summoning has returned, since you're out of the Underworld. Still, you're not a complete Master again yet. As Da Vinci explains it, your ability to summon Servants has returned, but you can still not invoke Command Spells. As it is now, considering the ability to bring forth Servants but the inability to strengthen them, Gudao exists more like a "potential Master" than a full-fledged one, you could say (or a "Summoner", as the ruby text puts it). Since this situation came to be via the deal with "someone" in death, it's possible that Gudao will remain like this either until they leave Mictlan, or maybe even until they subjugate the one who made the deal.
Since the others weren't there at the time, they believe Camazotz is that person, considering he's the one who has the Command Spells, but Gudao explains that's probably not the case (it seems they don't fully recall, though). Since Camazotz previously mentioned also making a deal with Tezcatlipoca, it's most likely that's who you made the original deal with as well. Which then of course means Camazotz made his own deal with Tezca to get the Command Spells from him (all things we already knew, actually).
Anyway, camp is set up and it's time to sleep. You've got two tents: one for Mashu and Da Vinci, and one for Gudao (the people with actual bodies). Habetrot can dematerialize and Tepeu likes to sleep in the grass. However, you forgot Kukulkan can't dematerialize like a Servant, so there's some shenanigans here, depending on player gender.
If male: You suggest that Kukulkan also sleeps in your tent. Mashu seems reluctant, but since she trusted us with the confession of sinking the Border, it's only fair we give her one separate half of our tent, of course. Kukulkan laughs nervously at this, saying it's fine and she'll just sleep on the ground like Tepeu. She's only been around for a year, but even she understands that two people sleeping together in an enclosed space can be "stimulating". If you happened to lose control in there, it could spell the end of Mictlan!
If female: Kukulkan thinks that since Mashu and Da Vinci share a tent, that means Gudako has an open spot, and she invites herself to take it. For some reason Mashu is WAY more concerned about this than the male scenario, and she promptly suggests Kukulkan instead takes Mashu's place in her tent, and Mashu can put a sleeping bag on the ground instead. Gudako then suggests that they could take the sleeping bag instead, but Kukulkan thinks that'd be too lonely, and you better make use of the tents you have. She wants you all to be pressed tightly together in that crowded little space and have intimate discussions. She wants to hear more about PHH. Hearing this, Mashu is relieved, as she apparently had something else entirely in mind, and so in the end you'll have girl's talk with ALL the girls in the party, which means Tepeu is left alone in the grass.
--- Section 2 ---
You finally make it to the observatory, which looks very different from the rest of Mictlan. It's like it's own biosphere/biome, akin to the Cenozoic era of PHH. Kukulkan explains that it's the case because Malla's will has no power here.
This is where those dispatched from the Inner Sea of the Planet are born. The planet's sense of touch. Elementals, as Pan-Human History calls them.
As such, unlike Mictlan, which was created from the Divine Filaments, it is closer to your Pan-Human environment.
The Inner Sea of the Planet is the "place of the mind", said to be sure to exist once the planet starts being treated like a single life form.
You remember Reality Marbles, right?
It is one of magecraft's greatest techniques: to manifest the magus' mindscape and, even if only temporarily, plaster it on top of reality.
You could think of the Inner Sea of the Planet as Earth's version of this. The Reality Marble of the planet itself, you could say.
That said, Earth is big, you know. It has more than one "mental characteristic".
Such as "a mind closely adjoined with human society", or even "a mind that takes issue with human society".
Avalon is nothing more than one of such characteristics, a world closer to nature, which doesn't concern itself with human society.
Mashu adds on that most beings like this are born in the Inner Sea, and then leave for the surface, before eventually returning to the Inner Sea. But there are those who cannot return, or maybe simply never do, and on the surface these came to be known as fairies or Elementals, and even sometimes Divine Spirits. However, all three of those can come into being in other ways, so you can't say all of those are born this way.
That said, there is an Elemental who can only ever be born in the Inner Sea of the Planet.
It's known as the "Brain of the Planet", and is a special type of Elemental. If the planet has a mind, it also stands to reason that it has a brain, right?
The one born from, and later set to inherit Earth's memories---the sights it cannot forget. The one constantly dreaming of the planet's surface.
The world of magecraft calls it the Archetype. The Elemental who waits ahead is this sort of incredible "Recorder".
A being created in the image of the current prime species, which knows of history of life from long before mankind was born. Nitocris presumes that since this Lostbelt is still a "what if" based on PHH, the Archetype should be a human like you. Kukulkan directs the question to Tepeu, after all, he used to work here long ago (which you might remember from the very first chapters). That said, he's never heard of her being referred to as the Archetype, so that is no doubt knowledge brought here by the Crypter. Although, Kukulkan seems to have known about it since before then, but she couldn't express it clearly as a representative of Malla's will. Anyway, Ixquic (the Archetype here) is different from other deino, and is most likely different to the one in PHH, he says.
Mictlan itself is already a place much like the Inner Sea of the Planet.
A world without change, closed off both from the surface and the universe above. The Archetype born here must be very cramped.
She cannot ever go outside of here. Never even once.
You continue on to the actual observatory, and Tepeu asks Ixquic to stop being such a shy baby and come out of hiding. A voice from the water says she was just preparing herself mentally, and then makes herself known.
This is Ixquic, the Archetype: Earth who shall see off the fate of Mictlan from this lunar plateau. Da Vinci spergs out about seeing another dinosaur, and Ixquic thanks her, saying she has a very nice voice. As it turns out, she is able to see all the way to the second layer from here, but unlike Kukulkan, she can't hear that far, so she simply imagined what you would sound like. Since she also couldn't make out your names, you introduce yourselves. You then proceed to ask why she uses a cutesy nickname for Tepeu (lit. brother Tepeu), and what the relationship between them is, but as she prepares to answer, Tepeu says they're acquaintances, and nothing more. Or perhaps since he "worked" here before, you could say they are colleagues. Besides, age-wise it makes no sense anyway, because Ixquic is six million years old, and Tepeu is one thousand at best. Anyway, the nickname is because Tepeu was the only deino who came here and seemed to care about her, even though he acts all tough, not wanting to admit it in front of her. Also, since she was born as the planet's sense of touch, her mind can't mature any further, so she's forever one year old, technically.
Anyway, you get on with it, and proceed to ask your questions. The first thing you ask about is what Daybit has been doing for the last year. Ixquic wonders if that's really what you want to know about, and then proceeds to explain: Daybit visited this place before he did anything else when arriving in Mictlan. He then asked to have Mictlan's truth and history explained, and for Ixquic to summarize it in five minutes at most. She knew he was from PHH, but not like she had any reason to refuse his request, so she told him everything.
Nitocris thinks it's weird that she agreed to the request if she knew about PHH and Crypters even before Daybit coming here, but Ixquic explains that as the Archetype, she understands that Mictlan is not the kind of environment Earth is normally supposed to have. She could foresee all the "bad" things Daybit would do after being given knowledge about this world, but she must treat everyone equally and fair.
All people operate under their own outlook, their own convictions, and their own set of values.
Nobody has the same ideas, so people coming to understand one another is practically unheard of. As such, I must treat everyone equally.
You ought not take other people's time, ideals, and lives so lightly, because you're far away from them;
because you haven't met them; because they're irrelevant to you; because they won't benefit you, don't you think?
Such is the philosophy of life that the deinos have arrived at after such an incredibly long time down here in Mictlan.
Be they weak or strong, we will not look down upon them, nor favor them either.
Deinos do not discriminate between different life. I mean, think...
A society where only special people receive special treatment is wrong, isn't it?
This statement seemingly leaves quite an impact on Mashu, who looks rather down. Tepeu is too much on edge from being here again, so he goes to prepare some ritual, and Da Vinci takes over to ask questions. She begins recounting the assumptions she made earlier about the Lostbelt's origins to Ixquic, asking if she has presumed correctly. Ixquic is delighted to see how much work she put into her theory, but there are some minor corrections to the timeline.
The meteor they arrived on in Pan-Human History fell onto the Yucatan peninsula 66 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period.
But the meteor they arrived on here in this Lostbelt fell down during the end of the Carboniferous period, about 300 million years ago.
"They From Afar", the castaways, came down from the cosmos above. The ones we refer to as Malla.
At that time, they bound the then-singular continent together with a network of plant roots, and so stopped the dividing of the continent.
As such, this Lostbelt's origin point lies 300 million years back. The age of the supercontinent Pangaea.
Now it finally makes sense to Da Vinci. In PHH, during the transition between the Permian and Triassic periods, 95% of Paleozoic aquatic life went extinct, and the dinosaurs became dominant, and about 180 million years ago pangea split into north and south. As more continents formed and all, dinosaurs became increasingly spread out across the globe. However, if the continent hadn't even broken apart, the dinosaur paradise would've flourished, and with dinosaurs at the apex, mammals would never have evolved so much. But then, what about the fourth and fifth extinction events that should have come later, did they just not happen here?
Well, Ixquic says they did have a fourth extinction event in this world. 66 million years ago, the same thing as the PHH's fifth extinction event occurred, with a meteor crashing into the yucatan peninsula. The meteor set the world ablaze and it was only thanks to Malla that the dinosaurs survived.
Malla foresaw this meteor collision, and created a shelter underground.
The energy used above, on the surface, was all collected in this subterranean world to create a new paradise.
The planet's fuel, which would ordinarily be used to restore the surface of Earth, was all used to run Biosphere 3.
That's what Mictlan is.
From then, up to the present—a period of 66 million years—Mictlan has served as the world in which the deinos live.
In short, that's why the surface was still all messed up when you arrived. The power that would ordinarily be used to work the natural cycle of the world instead flowed directly into the underground world of Mictlan. Basically, after having been fused with the land for almost 100 million years, Malla earned the authority to control it; something impossible in PHH. In PHH, Malla came later, new species took the place of old ones, and the land split apart, so Malla was preoccupied with just maintaining themselves. There, they just had to choose to coexist with humans instead. The deino see Malla as some sort of savior god, but from the planet's POV it might be more like someone came into its house and just trashed the place. However, Ixquic says that as long as life thrives, the planet is pleased.
That said, if they're talking about invaders from outer space, there's one more relevant. Ixquic mentioned earlier how a meteor forced the creation of Mictlan, and how the timeline of events was shifted around a bit compared to PHH. But just like a slight change in trajectory brought the meteor carrying Malla here much earlier, the same thing happened with another lifeform, which arrived 66 million years earlier than it should have.
From the ends of the galaxy, flying in from the Oort cloud, came a planet-eating monster---
Da Vinci surmises that the only way the deino could've survived the arrival of ORT is if it died from the meteor impacting Earth, and that's why you haven't seen it, because it's dead. Turns out, that's not the case at all. Ixquic explains that it went all crazy, and that it already destroyed Mictlan once.
When ORT descended, it did die, but that thing didn't have the sort of death that life does.
It fell down into Mictlan, and after being at a standstill for 60 million years...
Just around the time that the deinos' philosophy of life had been realized, ORT resumed activity.
To our world, this is the fourth mass-extinction event.
It's around this time that the Earth birthed me.
Thus, the life of Mictlan cooperated, and so successfully defeated ORT.
And we all lived happily ever after...
Of course, since it lacks "death", that only means it will revive once more. Also, Mashu makes a TLDR here:
History of Mictlan
- Approximately 300 million years ago: Lostbelt originates. Malla, attached to a meteor, falls onto Pangaea.
- Malla binds the continent together with its network of plants. The age of dinosaurs continues forever from here. This paradise lasts approximately 100 million years.
- 66 million years ago: the 3rd mass-extinction event, the descent of a meteor (ORT) is detected by Malla.
- The subterranean world of Mictlan is created. The artificial sun is formed. Life on the surface is evacuated into the subterranean world.
- The meteor (ORT) penetrates through the surface, descending onto Mictlan, before lodging into the bottom layer. However, ORT ceases activity.
- 20 million years ago: Mictlan is flourishing. The proconsuls (Apes, the ancestors of mankind) are born in Mictlan.
- 6 million years ago: the 4th mass-extinction event, ORT resumes activity. Ixquic is born. ORT enters inactivity.
- 1 year ago: Pan-Human culture leaks into Mictlan, the invasion of the Crypter's culture. The deinos respond.
"Artificial Sun" and "Proconsuls" are marked as red text in the game.
(The red text was marked as such by Ixquic, because it's important)
Da Vinci thinks you're now up to speed on what ORT is, and thinks it's obvious that Daybit would've asked about this when he arrived too, but Ixquic quickly says that he did no such thing. When she began telling him about it, he only said "I've already conjectured as much, you don't need to elaborate". This kills the Da Vinci. The question Daybit asked was actually "Has the sun gone out at some point?" Now the Ocelomeh's sacrifices and beliefs in the sun going out makes a bit more sense too. It's not simply a belief carried over from PHH myth, but the result of such an event perhaps actually happening. Naturally, Ixquic told Daybit the truth:
"When ORT became active 6 million years ago, the sun went out. With it, the other non-deinos civilization..."
"The country of the humans, the Ka'an Kingdom, was wiped out."
Plot twist: Ka'an wasn't a deino kingdom. This is why the red text above was important. Ixquic explains that the human kingdom flourished for 100,000 years here in Mictlan, but compared to the deinos they were a weaker form of life, though their technological skills were very advanced. At the end of their life they even created things similar to the Storm Border, apparently. This is the only reason they were able to stave off ORT back then: the Ka'an warriors modified their bodies to the point of immortality, and fought til there were none left. They forced ORT into the lowest layer of Mictlan, where it sank into a sea of magma, and Mictlan's light returned. However, Ka'an was wiped out as a result, and the ruined city they left behind was repurposed as Chichen Itza. Even in death, though, the warriors did not fall apart, because of the strengthening of their bodies, and these were the ghosts/skeletons you saw back in the ruins. Nitocris perks up, and asks Ixquic if there was even a single survivor from the Ka'an kingdom.
Not all. There is still one who remains alive.
The last survivor, and the one who defeated ORT six million years ago: the King of the Ka'an.
After undergoing such extensive body modifications, he couldn't even die, and succumbed to madness. Even now, this bat continues to soar across the underworld...
The King of Braves, Camazotz. The mad king who still continues the search for his surely long-lost subjects.
--- Section 3 ---
Ixquic says she needs to prepare a bit before she can show you what Daybit has been up to, and asks you to wait outside. Tepeu says that if you're going outside, you should take care of some more random enemies too (which is very strange because the story section here happens AFTER the battle in this node??). Having taken care of the enemies, you hang around a lake, and everyone is sad they didn't bring their simwsuits (or ability to change their saint graphs to it). Mashu then asks if Tepeu and Ixquic's relationship is that of a married couple, or lovers. Kukulkan says that would be nice, but that they've stayed friends this whole time. Ixquic isn't actually a deino, she just takes the shape of one, and is not meant to be the partner of, or live together with, mankind. Her role is merely to observe and record.
No matter what, she cannot leave Metztitlán, and this used to frustrate Tepeu a lot, and so he searched for a way to set her free from her role. But he never succeeded, and that's why he hid away in the first layer. He couldn't stand being a being who was "contented" in life, while being unable to save Ixquic. As punishment for his own helplessness, he then began researching the "concept of death" in a place where nobody would bother him. You ask about the "concept of death" thing, but Kukulkan says that's a secret for grown-ups.
This prompts Mashu to ask about Kukulkan's looks. Since she's the representative of Malla in this deino world, wouldn't it make more sense for her to be a deino too? Turns out, before she took this form, she was more like a breeze in the wind which only the deino could perceive, and it was only a year ago, when the knowledge of gods and Kukulkan (of PHH) was brought to this world that she took this singular form.
To give form to that which had never been seen. To regale stories of that which previously had only been sensations.
To "us", that was enough of a shock to break the boundaries of the world.
"God is something that can only be born among an intelligent humanoid mankind. We should should try to learn from such a form as well."
And so, she materialized in Chichen Itza, and naked too! She didn't really know any better, so she had just gone up to talk to people, and eventually had realized she was probably doing something bad, and proceeded to just steal some clothes from someone else. Incidentally, that person was Tepeu, but she prefers not to bring that up again because it's really embarrassing. Anyway, that's why she looks like a human: because she's imitating the Kukulkan of PHH. After she materialized, she found the boy-Tezcatlipoca riding around on deino, and made him take care of Chichen Itza while she went around to explore the world.
You say that since Kukulkan is less like a "god of the deino" and more like the representative of Malla, she's basically Archetype: Mictlan. After all, if you count meteors as celestial bodies, they might have "brains" too. Kukulkan says Ixquic might be closer to something like "Archetype: Meta-Earth", as in, not the Archetype of proper Earth, and that's why they both get along.
Back with Ixquic, Nitocris is having a private conversation with her, wherein they talk about how Camazotz Altered the Servants of the Underworlds. Nitocris knows it's impossible for him to have done it with just Command Spells, so he must have had some secret ritual or technique. Since Ixquic sees everything in Mictlan, Nitocris would like her to teach the secret of becoming an Alter. Nitocris seems resolved that such a thing will become necessary sooner rather than later, and Ixquic obliges.
--- Section 4 ---
Returning to Ixquic, it's real smoky suddenly. It's part of the ritual prepared by Tepeu. Ixquic explains that though she can see from the eight to the second layers, Daybit proved an exception. From her POV as someone in an observatory, the space he occupied always appeared dark and without light. As if he was there, yet not; there, yet imperceivable. As though his atomic density was exceedingly low; an immaterial hollow. Da Vinci likens it to the supervoids of outer space, which seem normal when right in front of you, but when observed from a distance, they appear as nothing more than darkness. Perhaps Daybit camouflaged himself in such a manner? Basically, even Ixquic couldn't see what he was doing, and the only ones who could were he himself and the "time of Mictlan". As such, you will observe this time. Using the smoke, you link your consciousness with Mictlan, and are able to see Daybit's actions.
You first see Daybit in Metztitlán, speaking to Ixquic.
The sun went out, yet 100,000 years later, it once more returned to Mictlan's skies...
Impressive that you'd resort to such extreme action, Malla.
There's no benefit to clinging to this subterranean world. This is not a question of logical thinking anymore.
Atonement towards the beings you yourself were responsible for eradicating in Pan-Human History, perhaps.
He thanks Ixquic, and offers to repair parts of the observatory, before moving on. Next, you see him confronting Camazotz alone in the fourth Underworld, where the Cosmic Tree of Mictlan resides. Camazotz actually seems impressed by Daybit acting alone, saying it is how humans ought to be. Daybit makes use of a Command Spell, causing shadows to manifest behind him. The scene jumps forward, and we see Daybit and Camazotz both seemingly exhausted. Still, Daybit says he can do this two more times, if he must. But Camazotz declines a rematch. Daybit's blood is apparently just awful, but as he defeated Camazotz, he shall be allowed passage to the bottom of Mictlan.
However, a toll must be paid, Crypter Daybit Sem Void.
Speak to me of your legends. I wish to know of your mythologies.
I am a being of Mictlan legend. The forgotten legend of how ORT was defeated six million years ago.
It's no matter of whether the legends of Pan-Human History are superior to the legends of the Lostbelt.
That's not what I ask. I simply wish to know...
Whether or not I existed in your world as well.
Next, we see Daybit at the bottom of Mictlan, next to the corpse of ORT. He says that it only remains immobile now due to a lack of fuel. If he seals the wound with a large enough quantity of high quality Magic Circuits, it should become active before long. That said, he can't return here until a year later, because of the cosmic rays emenating from the area. While he's here, he says he might as well summon someone.
It may be a Lostbelt, but it's still Mictlan. It'll prove plenty as far as catalysts go.
Even if I don't count among mankind, I'll be able to summon a Servant through the power of the land.
One who'll heed the call of a man like me. One who stands above good and evil. And above all, one who deems conflict as virtuous.
---Thus, Tezcatlipoca the Almighty, lend me your strength.
Cut to Blue Tezcatlipoca (the dino king) talking to the other Tezcatlipoca, saying the latter was so desperate to answer the summoning of Daybit that he even created a body to possess. Blue says that if the other one is going to side with Daybit, he will just side with the other guys instead, since that's more fun.
Cut again to Mexico City, where Tezcatlipoca boasts about what he's accomplished to Daybit. He built a city, gathered the Ocelomeh, and got guns from Koyanskaya which he will reverse engineer to make his own. Daybit says he's very dependable, and that the only thing missing is Tezcatlipoca's rival, but Tezca says not to joke about that. At least Kukulkan exists here as a substitute, and might be fun to play around with. Tezca also explains that the waterway running from Mexico City leads right down to ORT, and that they'll use it to transport the hearts of the deino which they sacrifice to heal its wound. They also reveal that the reason for creating a Tezcatlipoca in a single year (Ixcalli) is to have someone with a resolute will and sturdy ideology to sacrifice to ORT as a "command". Only then will ORT move to destroy the planet and all traces of mankind. Tezcatlipoca asks about the other Crypters, since Daybit seemingly has something else in mind than the Alien God does, but Daybit simply says that it doesn't matter who wins. If Kirsctharia wins, they will all disappear alongside the Lostbelts regardless. If Tezcatlipoca has an issue with this, he can leave now, but of course he's all for it, and will follow the plan of the "man of Sem".
--- Section 5 ---
You recap what you saw, but unfortunately you still have no idea why Daybit is planning on destroying not only Mictlan but the whole world as well. At least now you know exactly what's going on and what you need to do. You ask Kukulkan when the toxic gases and cosmic rays will let up, but she seems lost in thought, and only responds once you ask her again, at which point she says there's no way to tell exactly, but it should be "in a few days". Another important factoid is that Daybit only has one Command Spell remaining now, having used one against Camazotz and one for Tezcatlipoca to activate his authority in Mexico City. He likely intends to use the last one to revive ORT. Your plan right now is to convince the dino king, and consequently the deino, about what's going on, so that they can help you storm Mexico City and capture Daybit before he can revive ORT. After all, if you fail here, it's not just PHH that goes, it's the whole planet alongside the Human Order.
Ixquic says that you're very brave for doing this, but if you lose your lives in the process, then what's the point? Maybe you should just go back and rest in the city. Perhaps Daybit won't succeed in the first place. Mashu starts saying that they can't just sit idly by, since this is a matter of saving the world, but Ixquic retorts with the world ending is hardly anything out of the ordinary.
We do not engage in conflict. We do not resist. We only obey.
It's thanks to that, that we've been able to spend our days in peace for the last six million years.
If the world goes under, then that's just its lifespan running its course.
Protecting the world merely because you don't want to die? Engaging in battle for such an egotistical reason is just...wrong, right?
Even if all life was to be wiped out because the world was destroyed, that's simply nature running its course, and nothing to be sad about.
All life is equal. There is no individual among it more special than the other. Death is impartial to all. It never treats one lifeform better than the other.
So---whatever happens, and whoever it may be, there is no need for such tremendous sadness.
Wanting to protect something, or someone...
It's not enough reason of a reason to go to battle. That is not the way of life. It's wrong.
Mashu, Gudao, and even Tepeu have a hard time accepting this, even if she might be right. She was actually trying to make you feel better, but her blunt speech had the opposite effect. Well, it doesn't matter anyway, she says.
Even if Daybit doesn't awaken ORT, Mictlan's end is nigh.
Uh, big brother Tepeu, did you not tell them?
Mictlan's sun will soon reach its limit.
Once ten more cycles have passed, the sun will explode and we'll all go extinct.
Mictlan is a world whose destruction has long since been predetermined, you see. All deinos know this, actually.
We see Vucub in the jungle, apparently having a meeting with the Ocelomeh and Izcalli. He demands they come out of hiding, saying deinos have the power to wipe out all six of those "filthy monkeys" in the blink of an eye. Izcalli makes himself known, seeing that Vucub came alone, as promised. He tells his warriors to stand down, because this will be a "conversation between kings". Vucub initially seems reluctant to the title, but assures his conversation partner that he is indeed worthy of ruling over the deinos.
Kukulkan cannot be trusted. The same goes for the king she has chosen.
The deinos are Mictlan's most preeminent species. The ideal mankind, created by Malla.
You Ocelomeh, on the other hand, are nothing more than sub-humans, receiving not the slightest protection from Malla.
Under ordinary circumstances, we wouldn't even be having this discussion... Nevertheless---
If your goal is to extend Mictlan's lifespan, then I shall knowingly resort to even such folly.
Izcalli, King of the Ocelomeh---if you claim that you can truly save the sun...
Then I will give you the Solar Itinerancy, I will give you Chichen Itza, and I will even give the Pan-Human ship. What do you say?
Izcalli agrees, saying he'll leave a few deinos alive, but Chichen Itza will be razed to the ground. It's nothing more than a remnant of the ka'an kingdom, so it's not right that it should be used by the deinos, who possess everything but require nothing. Vucub agrees to the terms, saying he'll give a false order to the fighters in the city to divert them. Once that happens, Izcalli's troops will be able to breach the castle walls and assault the altar grounds. Vucub seems concerned about the presence of the Storm Border, though, but Izcalli says it is of no concern. With PHH as their enemy, the goddess Tlaloc is bound to appear.
--- Section 2 ---
Back in the first layer, it turns out that Rasputin and Olga had decided to hide out in Tepeu's house, where there is no chance of being seen, and it would be easy to leave for the surface at any point. Even if Mictlan is destroyed, it won't matter to them as long as they leave the Lostbelt, but something they cannot allow is for the future where ORT destroys the planet to come to pass. However, Rasputin says, they should leave the desperate effort of stopping ORT to himself and to "that man", after which Olga can fuse with ORT.
Olga's memories still aren't fully restored, but she understands more of what she is already. In this Lostbelt, the only ones capable of opposing her are Kukulkan, ORT, and probably Camazotz, considering he's a ■■■■■ born in this Lostbelt. Rasputin suggests leaving Camazotz to Chaldea, and he seems very certain Gudao will be able to defeat him for certain. However, he says, that will only happen after much bereavement, and that Koyanskaya has appeared to have drawn the short end of the stick.
Olga changes the subject, saying this place feels kinda uncomfortable, and familiar to the Underworld Borders, so she asks what it was Tepeu was really researching here.
In the world of magecraft, there are certain things known as Mystic Eyes.
Mystic Eyes can see the flow of magical energy, time, luck, and a variety of other things.
But even among them, the most extraordinary ones are the "Mystic Eyes of Death Perception".
It is a numinous fundamentality by which something's life and existence, no matter what it may be, can be visually perceived, and made definite.
Here in this Lostbelt, the one who possesses them is Tepeu. Though the power held by his Mystic Eyes themselves is very faint.
In that case, Olga says, it doesn't really matter. Deinos ultimately lack the will to fight, and so eyes like that will only bring the owner misery. Suddenly, she starts getting a strange reading from the third layer. The Ocelomeh are forming a large army, and are moving into the third layer. They quickly guess that since Kukulkan is with Gudao, Chichen Itza is left pretty much defenseless, and Tezcatlipoca must have deemed it a golden opportunity.
The hospitality you received at Chichen Itza has in some ways indebted you to them, but that only applies to how you were when you had amnesia.
The battle between the deinos and the Ocelomeh has nothing to do with ours.
Right now, you are the Alien God. I'm sure you understand that better than anyone else does.
For the sake of the pending Human Order Compilation, I implore you not to make any rash decisions.
Section 15: Flower War, Xochiyaoyotl
Although you've left the observatory, you're all a bit bummed about learning of Mictlan's inevitable end coming so soon. Even without Daybit and ORT, this world will end sooner, rather than later. Tepeu apologizes for withholding information from you, thinking it not related whatsoever to PHH, and that if you learned of it you would think less of his race. According to Da Vinci, it's more impressive than anything else, really. Theirs are the only race which, in their intelligence and morality, could avoid starting some kind of riot even knowing their lives are about to end.
Regardless, you need to prepare to return to Chichen Itza. You'll request the aid of the Dinosaur King and the deinos to capture Daybit. Mashu also thinks that you'll be able to meet up with Olga again once you're there, since she should be done with whatever it is she was doing in the first layer, but you simply don't have the heart to tell her it's already too late for that. Before you can dwell on it any further, though, Kadoc calls, reporting that an Ocelomeh army is invading Chichen Itza. They somehow managed to get past all the guards and are attacking both the city and the Border. The xoqqer brothers from before have been helping to defend the Border, but the ship will fall in its entirety soon enough.
Cut to Chichen Itza, where Izcalli is displaying some agitation over the whole operation. It takes 30 of his men to bring down a single deinos, causing more casualties on his side than he would have ever expected. Despite that, they've managed to take most of the city. They slaughter the deinos, taking their hearts for Tezcatlipoca and their sun. Tezcatlipoca also appears next to Izcalli, giving the boy credit where due. He only tagged along because he loves war, but didn't expect that he wouldn't be needed in the fight whatsoever. Izcalli vows that he will slaughter all the deinos for the sake of Tezcatlipoca; men, women, and children alike. This is their sacred flower war, Xochiyaoyotl.
This gives Tezcatlipoca a bit of a laugh. Did Tlaloc teach Izcalli that word? Or did it just pop into his head without him even understanding what kind of fate it had bestowed upon him? Whichever it was, Izcalli doesn't understand what he means. Tezcatlipoca says he'll take care of the remaining deinos on the main street, now that he's gotten worked up. He'll show them what a real Ocelotl is made of.
--- Section 2 ---
The Ocelomeh are dying in droves elsewhere, and as it turns out, it's all thanks to Koyanskaya having joined the fray. She makes a point of the NFF not so readily abandoning loyal customers, even if it's only been for such a short time. She urges the others to escape from the city, but the deinos wonder if she won't outright die from doing something so "unprofitable". Of course, she'll be fine, and so she orders the deinos to escape and help any others in distress on their way out of the city.
Even seeing their comrades shot to death before their very eyes, the deinos never lose their composure. And yet, they find gratitude to express for being saved. It is a tragic situation, really, where the Ocelomeh wouldn't stand a chance if the deinos bothered to fight properly, but even all this plundering and killing can't get them riled up enough. As for the Ocelomeh, Koyanskaya deems their business relationship over1 and done with since she can't back both sides, and so she continues shooting them down.
Even though the Ocelomeh have modified the tanks they got from her, and they number 20 platoons, she is confident she can take on 40% of them even by herself. But then, a familiar voice resounds...
You said you're not gonna be backing both sides? What happened? Did you seriously retire from the business, Beast?
For us bad guys, the longer and messier the war, the better.
NFF Services are volunteers in service of mankind's desires---warmongerers who provide as many weapons as are in demand.
In other words, the same kind of dealer of death as I am. Ain't that right, Tochtli?
Think you'll become a good businesswoman by helping people out? Give it up. That's exactly how you lead yourself down the path of a tragic death.
It is the Black Tezcatlipoca (and boy is he ugly). And now it's just the two of them. This war's between the deinos and the Ocelomeh. As beasts have nothing to do with it, they should lay down on the dinner table, ready to the server.
--- Section 3 ---
Elsewhere, we see Wak Chan fighting the Ocelomeh. He's never felt this way before. His chest is pounding; his head spinning. No matter how many he strikes down, more keep coming. He kills and kills, but he grows sick of the pointless slaughter. Still, he won't die here. He won't give in. Their weapons aren't even enough to take him down. He will win. No matter how many deinos fall, that fact won't change. So then, why does he feel the way he does? He feels like shit; afraid of the Ocelomeh, not because of their bravery or their fancy tech, but a more base kind of fear. He was afraid that if he went up against them, he would be hated; misunderstood. Maybe he would've found that they have something he lacks.
He continues tearing the fleshy bodies of the Ocelomeh to pieces. He's disgusted by the sensation of flesh ripping. He always has been. It's apparently only him, though. Other deinos aren't as scared about all this as he is. "Differing species cannot understand each other," they say. "The deinos are the only prime species in Mictlan." He knows this is what Malla decided long ago, but their voice can no longer be heard. Perhaps not even the priests can hear it anymore. The deinos were the strongest, the smartest, and the longest-lived, and that was how they kept going. Never was there an unhappy deinos. However, could that not just simply have been due to not knowing what unhappiness really was?
He comes to, finding himself rushing towards the shrine. Non-fighter deinos always take shelter there when they're close to death, since they have no interest in fighting. He ruminates on the fact that a normal deinos will reflexively strike back when stricken, definitely resulting in the dead enemy, should it be an Ocelotl. However, when it comes to those near death, it's a different story. Their weak bodies won't react the same, and they'll simply be chopped to pieces, only being able to think "why?" He needs to stop that from happening. But as he gets closer, he only sees Ocelomeh surrounding the shrine. It's too late for those inside. He knows it well. But still, he has to do something. And that's when he sees it...
Begone, insurgents! You'll never have the honor of being granted suffrage by me!
Lightning strikes the area, annihilating the Ocelomeh without a shred of mercy. There stands someone furious at the situation, even though she was a different being altogether.
The weaker deinos who remained in the shrine come out to thank their savior. A mother deinos had babies with her who had yet to even open their eyes. Had Olga not been there, they would have drawn their last breath having seen only darkness, and having known only pain.
...I see. Good for you. It's not like I was trying to save you or anything, though. No need to thank me.
Besides... I still hate lizards.
I just couldn't stand these people who were trying to slaughter innocent civilians.
Nothing more than a whim. It won't happen again.
I command you to escape into the trees instead of staying here. I'd be annoyed to see the color of your screams any more than I already have.
"My (hopefully) future wife is so COOL," is all he can think.
--- Section 4 ---
Gudao and co. draw closer to Chichen Itza. Even this far away, they can smell the gunpowder. Mashu's readings pick up 1200 Ocelomeh in the city, but it appears their numbers are rapidly dwindling. You'll have to prioritize still, since you have to both protect the Border and make sure the Dinosaur King is safe. As such, you decide to split up: Nitocris and Da Vinci will go to the Border, while Gudao, Mashu, and Kukulkan head for the altar. Da Vinci gives you leave to deploy the Black Barrel, even in the city, if it's really needed. As long as you judge there won't be any civilian casualties, you should go all out.
Your group quickly neutralizes the Ocelomeh on the main street, and you set out towards the altar again, when suddenly all the color disappears, and something comes flying at you. Mashu just manages to dodge, and you see Koyanskaya in a dire state.
Huh, so you came this way? Gonna prioritize saving lives over your ship? So that's the kind of man you are?
All right. I'll be takin' what you find more important then. People who clamor for life oughta offer up their own. That's how it works in my world.
--- Section 5 ---
At the Border, the crew is doing their best to hold out against Tlaloc's assault. The Marines are all running around repairing stuff as best they can, while Professor and Sion are producing anti-Divine Spirit warheads as they speak. Apparently, Tlaloc was once killed by Quetzalcoatl in Aztec myth, and so they're using Quetz's essence from Chaldea's Saint Graphs to extract her authority to use on torpedos. They still need to hit her with it, so someone needs to lure her into range. Kadoc is the first one to be suggested, because of his anti-beast magecraft being practically made for trapping prey, and while he agrees, Gordolf isn't so quick to agree. Kadoc says they have to do it, and he has some lightning resist charms so he can at least take a hit or two, but he agrees that he should probably have a Servant with him who can hold their own for at least a while against Tlaloc. While Nemo isn't fully recovered, he's the only real choice here, and it should be fine as long as they're close to the Border.
Just before the two boys depart from the ship, Da Vinci contacts them. She and Nitocris are currently in hiding outside of the Border and can see the enemy clearly. Gordolf relates their plan to take out Tlaloc to Da Vinci, and includes the two women into the group meant to push Tlaloc into range of the warhead. The safety of the Border, and of Gordolf most importantly, rests entirely upon this sortie.
Nitocris is the first to confront Tlaloc, insulting the goddesses' whip. Tlaloc retaliates, describing its beauty, and saying Nitocris obviously has no sense for art, to which the latter takes great offense. Da Vinci is just kinda dumbstruck, considering how obvious it is at this point Nitocris wasn't just taunting Tlaloc to get her attention.
Okay, so what? Did you come here because you WANTED to get killed?
We've been in this situation before, haven't we? You fought to protect the iron ship, nearly dying in the process?
Is this thing even that important? Looks like nothing more than a piece of junk to me.
What were those massive tombs from your country? The pyramids, weren't they? Those are far more to my liking.
In that sense, at least, I'll give Egyptian civilization a high grade, you know, respect. Though the Mayans also had something similar...
Nitocris ponders on the fact that Tlaloc obviously thinks very highly of PHH, and yet she opposes Chaldea, despite being a PHH Heroic Spirit tasked with the safeguarding of the Human Order. Tlaloc is confused, wondering if it's a natural course of actions for Heroic Spirits to act in defense of the Human Order, to which Nitocris say that's a matter of course.
Before arriving here, I witnessed a terrible bloodbath.
The cadavers of far too many innocent deinos, slaughtered without ever fighting back. They don't know about war. They won't fight.
If the objective that you Ocelomeh have lies in Chichen Itza, the deinos would've surely handed it over without conflict.
You must know this. And yet, you've allowed such a massacre to ensue, dragging the good names of all Pan-Human Heroic Spirits through the mud in the process.
Tlaloc, you're different from Tezcatlipoca. You are not a god who desires blood of your own free will.
There is no point to this battle. If you've been commanded as such by Tezcatlipoca, we can punish him together.
There shouldn't be reason for you to fight to protect this Lostbelt---no, to protect Mictlan.
It's still not too late. Join us and---
Appalling, isn't it? You, the woman who drowned her treacherous vassals to death, is talking all big about this Human Order nonsense?
I was curious, so I asked the Crypter about you.
You gave up on your country after your brothers were killed. You disregarded the law, tricked the priests administrating the state, and murdered them.
Finally---unable to bear such sin, you took your own life like the spineless coward you are.
The two of us are the same. Rather than the Human Order or whatever, we'd rather indulge in our own interests.
That city continues to thrive, even as a fantasy, located in the lands of the Lostbelt.
The Ocelomeh are immensely barbaric, simple-minded, and immature---
But as long as they live in my city, they're my people. To shed blood for the sake of one's people is only proper for a god, don't you think?
That is why I kill. And why I will destroy you together with your ugly ship for trying to erase this Lostbelt.
I was told not to destroy it in case he'd be needing it, but this thing is just a waste of materials, an eyesore, destined for the dump.
The "impartiality" of my brother---Tezcatlipoca, is something I just find really, really, LAME!
Now you've really got her attention, as she prepares for an all-out battle, but Nitocris seems simply hung up on the idea of shedding blood for one's people. The battle commences, and unsurprisingly to her, Tlaloc is victorious yet again. However, to her dismay, she's now in range of the warhead, and it's a direct hit. She's blown far away from the Border, way into the forest. And despite all that...she's unharmed. The readings do show that there's something off with her Saint Graph, but not in a way favorable to you. Rather, there are several overlapping Saint Graphs (and of note, for the first few lines she speaks next, her nameplate just reads "???"). Tlaloc, or whatever she actually is, stumbles out of the forest, murmuring to herself that this time it actually hurt. Not only is she seemingly fine, but her magical energy is spiking as well. The crew is totally befuddled, but Nitocris seems to get it.
No, that's not it. She's not a Divine Spirit at all.
You're wrong... Gods do not cause bloodshed for the sake of man.
She's not a Divine Spirit. She's something else. Something which in some cases even exceeds them---
(If we don't do something, the Border will be destroyed... As we are right now, we don't have enough time to oppose her---)
(But there's still another option... TRISMEGISTUS II chose four Servants.)
(Each of us in some way affiliated with the underworld. Each of us to make the underworlds in this Mictlan...into a reality.)
(That choice is one I may take as well: to become a Watcher of the Underworld... using the ritual I was taught by Ixquic.)
(A most wicked act, but if I turn into an Alter, I might be able to change this situation---!)
She orders the others to evacuate to the Border. She'll deal with Tlaloc here, even if it means ending her own role. But before she can even so much as finish that last sentence, a shriek rings out, and something emerges from the trees.
The cloud of shadows goes directly for Tlaloc (who yet again has her nameplate as just "???"). She won't stand for her roads being muddied like this, but it's no use, and her reading on the instruments soon disappears.
Once the shadow stops, Nitocris calls out to it: "Camazotz!" She thinks him saving them here was nothing more than another of his mean pranks. But she is wrong, he refutes. He wasn't trying to save them. In fact, he seems rather angry with Nitocris. He says that she, who is not stupid, should not say such stupid things. However, as she presses him for an answer, she grows more certain he was actually trying to save them, but he won't confess.
Wrong. Dead wrong. How impudent to even consider it! I simply dropped something off to where it belongs.
That woman was trying to unveil her true form. Had that occurred, all of you would have surely become sacrifices for her to decorate her altars with.
A dull outcome. Especially when there's finally some human blood, and even some Heroic Spirit blood here!
Don't you think you and Camazotz have built up quite the rapport up until now?
Our friendship goes back far enough already, so why waste it? Special guests surely don't come often!
Indeed---you are going to die anyway, so dedicate those deaths to me! That's my reason! Quite clever, if I say so myself!
Haha... Hahaha. Hahahahahaha! I love it! Given your plan, I might as well hop on!
The time for the Underworld Pilgrimage will soon begin, paving the path towards the eighth layer!
Come then, to the furthest depths of Mictlan! To the bosom of the witherforged Cosmic Tree!
I swear by my name, Camazotz! The eighth layer will welcome you all!
*--- Section 6 ---
Back with Gudao and co. They give a quick recap of Tezcatlipoca's myth here, about how there are actually four of him in Aztec myth: red, blue, black, and white. The one before you is the black one, while Quetzalcoatl is the white one. Speaking of Quetz, Kukulkan apparently just disappeared before Tezcatlipoca appeared. Tezca says that's only natural. This battle is between two tribes of Mictlan, so she won't get involved. This unlike the battle in Mexico City, which was a battle between two outsiders. At that point, she only really helped you because Malla's pride would be hurt if its "guests" were hurt, basically.
That's just how she is. Way more cold-blooded, cruel, and inhuman than lil ol' me.
Think about it, has the sun ever aided someone in war in Pan-Human History?
Has it ever taken the side of one nation over the other? Course not. The same goes for here in Mictlan.
She's a system meant for nothing more than seeing the fate of Mictlan to the end. One which will only bestow its blessings upon those who remain afterward.
Me, I ain't got no enemies at all. I am the god of all who strive to survive: a trial.
That woman on the other hand...she'll ultimately end up as Pan-Human History's enemy. Your enemy.
You knew that much, at least, right? It's the measure between a human and something else altogether.
You think back to Kukulkan telling you in the third Underworld that for all you know, she's just waiting for the perfect moment to turn and kill you, but you cannot believe that, even for a second. Either way, Tezca says, we are free to believe whatever we choose. However, there's something more important. As we now longer have the candy skull with us, he says our trial is over, and that he's lost all interesting in letting us live. We have encountered Black Tezcatlipoca on the battlefield, thus we are dead. Mashu calls out that the magical energy in Tezca's right leg is increasing rapidly, and so battle begins.
(Once you break his first bar here, Olga appears in battle and finishes it off)
You thank Olga so much for saving you, but she says she was only having a stroll in the neighborhood and spotted you. Besides, she needed to get back at Tezcatlipoca for killing her once before. Tezca seems to grow tired of the charades, and genuinely asks Olga if she even understands that she is Chaldea's enemy. There is nothing in it for her to save the humans. After all, she is the one who bleached pan-human history. Extending a helping hand now to the people she wiped out seems a bit ugly, doesn't it.
Olga doesn't seem to want to believe it. She blames her amnesia, saying she doesn't remember anything but her name and purpose anyway. But Tezca doesn't believe her. He thinks that as soon as they saw each other in Mexico City, she should've remembered everything. All her powers, her true being, and who are her actual enemies. She still can't seem to agree to it, causing Tezca to grow even more annoyed. How can she call herself a god and keep lying to herself like this? He then turns to Gudao and Mashu instead. Both of whom knew the truth about Olga, but kept their mouths shut. How long did they think they could spread their petty lies? Or did they honestly believe it an act of kindness?
---Did you two...know about it?
That I'm...the Alien God. You knew...from the start?
You can't muster up the strength to answer her, but your face tells her the whole truth. Hiding the truth from an enemy who's lost their memories might allow you to build a relationship, but only for as long as it takes for that facade to crumble. And the bigger the house of cards, the more painful when it falls. Had you chosen not to build anything, there would have been no pain.
The sudden sound of a siren interrupts Tezca, and color returns to the area. Tezca says this means the course of the sun has changed, or, in other words, that Izcalli has killed the Dinosaur King. The flower war has concluded. Now, only ORT's awakening remains. Whether you or Daybit make it there first is yet to see. Then, he disappears, and at the same time, Olga's readings are lost.
Senpai... Have we perhaps...done something very regrettable?
*--- Section 7 ---
We go back in time a little, to see Izcalli's confrontation with the Dinosaur King. The King wonders if he used poison or something to take out all the deinos, but Izcalli says that would sully his honor as a warrior, and that's something only people of PHH do. Izcalli demands to be taken to the king of Chichen Itza, to which the King can only laugh. It appears Tezca didn't place very much faith at all in Izcalli. The latter neither knew who the king was, or what he was. The Dinosaur King is of course Blue Tezcatlipoca, the very same god as the Tezca on Izcalli's side.
Izcalli doesn't want to believe it, but the Ocelomeh are quick on the uptake and lower their weapons. The King says he can prove it, knowing the birth name of Izcalli which only him and Tezcatlipoca should know. This seems to convince Izcalli, though this causes him great mental distress. What madness would cause his god to take the side of the deinos? But the King says he's stupid for even wondering. A god of war revered by so many tribes wouldn't take just one side in a war. They granted equally fair chances to Ocelomeh and deinos alike; to pan-human history and Lostbelt alike. Tezcatlipoca is the kind of god who will just hand weapons to everyone and watch it unfold.
The King starts talking about Izcalli being a "one-year Tezcatlipoca" instead. In the Aztec civilization of Pan-Human History, the people and the king would make offerings to Tezcatlipoca by picking out a boy for him to incarnate into. Over the year, they were forced to mature into the strongest, most beautiful person alive. At the same time, they got food and riches befitting a king. If the vessel made it through this one year, they would be acknowledged as Tezcatlipoca made manifest. Izcalli says he knows this, and that the flower war is the final step in this process.
But the King simply asks what Tlaloc said to Izcalli, or if she said anything at all. This stumps Izcalli, and the King explains that no matter what, the boy should at the very least believe in the words of the god he can truly believe in. Izcalli is having a breakdown. He can't take hearing this, and he was sent here to kill a god on another god's orders, which he cannot disobey, but he also can't kill a god. The King seems pretty casual about it, calling it just another trial to see if Izcalli can do whatever it takes to achieve his purpose. The King won't even resist if that's the case.
Izcalli asks one last question: which side is the King on? If he's a PHH god, then he is the enemy, and it would be more than fine to kill him, even though he's a god. He even sided with Chaldea, so it must be the case that he is. But the King berates him again, saying he's stupid for thinking he gives a shit about PHH, claiming he's definitely a Lostbelt god, and that the Tezca on Izcalli's side is the PHH one. Why else would he have brought in those guns and built Mexico City.
Get this through your head! Black Tezcatlipoca...never had the SLIGHTEST intention of protectin' this Lostbelt!
With those words, Izcalli unloads his bullets into the god in front of him. He orders his henchmen to take the Solar Itinerancy and declare the end of the war. He also considers telling them to keep quiet about what happened here, but ignores his feelings on the matter, as he believes they cannot follow human conversation anyway.
--- Section 8 ---
- Seventh Lostbelt survey log, Day ○○ -
- The Ocelomeh assault of Chichen Itza came to an end on the same day it started.
- As soon as the siren had sounded, the Ocelomeh began to withdraw back to Mexico City.
- What we found on the altar was a bloodstained throne, and the traces of the stolen Solar Itinerancy.
- With its seizure, the sun's stoppage point moved from Chichen Itza to Mexico City.
- Even now, after 20 hours have passed, the sun's light still does not reach Chichen Itza, and so night continues.
- The battle was an Ocelomeh victory, but from a casualty perspective, it was a pyrrhic one at best.
- The amount of soldiers required to kill a single deinos was more than 30.
- 20 platoons... where each one contains 100 soldiers, in total about 2,000 of the finest Ocelomeh.
- By the time they withdrew, this number had dwindled down to all of 16.
- In addition, when we began burying the Ocelomeh corpses, their race became apparent.
- Apemen. Medium-sized primates with traits similar to those of humans.
- Though born in Mictlan, they never came under Malla's protection. They are the newest, and also the weakest species here.
- The circumstances behind their birth, combined with their paltry capabilities, meant that the deinos only ever saw them as animals about on par with insects.
- We believe Tezcatlipoca granted them knowledge, weapons, and jaguar masks, educating them to become the new mankind.
- 62 deinos survived, including Head Priest Vucub.
Vucub confesses to letting the Ocelomeh into the city. He says the Dino King couldn't protect them with his frail body, and that Kukulkan did nothing to do so either. Neither had the right to lead Mictlan. Vucub points to all the dead monkeys strewn about the city, asking the others why they would go to such lengths. It is of course to extend the life of this world. That's why they challenged the deinos: to energize the sun. This inferior race, ignored, are the ones fighting against the culling of this Lostbelt, and to save Mictlan from its fifth extinction event. Vucub believes he did nothing wrong. Even so, he was charged for his crimes of betrayal. The other deinos hadn't realized Vucub held such feelings, but they don't dwell too much on it, since they simply cannot understand how the flying deinos would think. They possess a survival instinct that the other deinos simply do not.
The deinos have existed for 66 million years, but have not developed at all during this time. They worship the sun, as intelligent beings find meaning in all things. That said, it's the case that intelligent beings will achieve progress in some way other than adaptive evolution, but the deinos were exempt from even this rule from the very beginning. Though they possess great intelligence, their comparatively high empathy made them unable to discover the "extraordinary". They didn't want for inventions, aspirations, or stories. They didn't need civilization for the sake of survival. They just lived their lives in paradise created by Malla. A paradise that will soon end.
I now finally understand why Malla didn't create their paradise above ground.
Malla intended to die out together with the demise of their sun.
Their will was to end this lost history here in the subterranean world, without anyone ever knowing.
No matter how complete its civilization may have been...
This Lostbelt could never have become a threat---or rival to mankind.
It is a pruned "what-if". One of life's many possibilities.
I'd like to believe that our recording of how their ending plays out will suffice as the only parting gift we can offer.
Signed, Gran Cavallo.
We see Kukulkan in her spacesuit form, staring out over the city at night with eyes lit green.
Indication of anomaly detected within deinos thought patterns. Evaluated as degeneration. However, unrelated to extinction.
Fantasy Tree in ninth layer, activity resumed. Due to regrowth of bark, decrease in leakage of cosmic rays.
Protection of Fantasy Tree assigned to highest priority. Forbidding all entrance into the ninth layer.
Her eyes return to normal.
I see... I didn't mishear. That was the voice of the collective I heard down in Metztitlán.
And it's telling me to slaughter all of our guests from Pan-Human History without exception, isn't it...
Aww... Malla almost never changes course, so I'd wanted to think it was some kind of mistake...
But, oh well, not much to do about it! Guess I'll go kill them real quick then!
It's just like squishing a few bugs, anyway! Besides, I always was a heartless god, wasn't I?
Chapter 16: Epilogue
You're back at the Border with the others, and everyone is at a loss for words. Everyone except Nemo, who urges everyone to remember you're in the middle of an operation here. It might seem heartless, but you have no time to mourn the dead as of now. Nemo and Gordolf recap the situation (the solar itinerancy stolen, the dino king dead, over 60 deinos dead and Chichen Itza almost destroyed). Most importantly of all that is the reiteration that the Ocelomeh turned out to not be humans of this Lostbelt or soldiers brought from PHH by Tezcatlipoca. They were apes, born here in Mictlan. In other words, the war between them and the deinos was not one between PHH and Lostbelt, but one of pure survival in their natural world.
As for your own "losses" this time around, Koyanskaya sustained heavy damage, but due to your actions she's now recovering in the med bay. She had been offered to contract with you to heal faster, but she refused, saying she doesn't need it. Of course, Gordolf suggests against doing such a thing anyway, since who knows how much magical energy she could drain from a Master in a minute. Anyway, Gordolf also mentions that the xoqqer brothers all seem to be missing. When the last one left, he left a message for the rest of you, saying "we'll turn it right around during overtime!"
And then, of course, you still have Daybit, Tezcatlipoca, and ORT to worry about, and now that Olga should have fully recovered her memories, all attempted cooperation with her should stop. However, Mashu and Gudao both cling to the idea that she's still the same Olga they knew, and that if they could just talk to her, they could work it out, but Gordolf refuses. Even if U-Olga is something composed mostly of their own Olga, she's still the Alien God; a being with a stellar-grade Saint Graph and the greatest enemy to the Grand Order.
Da Vinci then brings up the issue of Kukulkan, Mictlan's Archetype who has now several times been stated that she will turn against us in due time. Even if she hasn't shown signs of it yet, she inevitably will soon, as you need to fell the Fantasy Tree. To Kukulkan, at this point, you're probably no different from Daybit trying to awaken ORT and destroy the world. That must have been the same logic that compelled her to sink the Border initially, since outsiders would never be anything other than enemies to Mictlan. It was only due to your accord with the deinos that she remained your ally for so long. Or, put another way, Mictlan always just prioritized killing Tezcatlipoca and Daybit first, and would simply deal with Chaldea after that.
Thus, Gordolf suggests just letting Kukulkan and Daybit wear each other down, and you swoop in after. For now, you're given two hours to rest, so you go outside, where you run into Wak Chan. You ask him about Tepeu and the xoqqer brothers, who he says headed home and he doesn't know about, respectively. Most other deinos are gathered at the shrine, though, so best to look there, and you set off almost before he can finish. Kadoc thinks to himself that he needs to go after you to make sure you don't do anything stupid at a time like this, but before that Wak Chan stops him, and asks where Olga is, and what's going on between her and Chaldea. Considering Wak Chan defended the Border before, Kadoc tells him as a form of payback.
In Chichen Itza, you can't seem to find the xoqqer brothers anywhere. You run into a bunch of other deinos though, who all merrily ask you to tell them more of your journey. You're not in the mood right now, and really can't understand why nobody's upset about this. Hell, the whole situation is a result of Daybit, or more specifically of PHH knowledge, so it would only be reasonable for the deinos to hold you responsible. As Mashu breaks down crying, the deinos try to explain their stance on the matter. They know you feel guilt about this, but also that it's not the first time you've felt it in regards to a Lostbelt. You once asked them if they hated PHH, and they thought it was a lovely question, because it really showed that you always did pay attention to the worlds which you inevitably had to cull. Having to go through that six times already, it would have been much easier to forget them once you left, but you remembered. You made a point of remembering, and it's thanks to this that the stories of the Lostbelts remain in PHH now. That's the big difference between humans and deinos, they say. The deinos have no history, no stories. They don't record, and so they can easily accept extinction as a matter of fact.
Mashu remarks how similar the rest of the deinos are to Tepeu, and they clarify that Tepeu really wasn't any special in the way he was able to think. They all understood the state of things as soon as you mentioned Lostbelts, but they couldn't have cared less. They wanted to enjoy the journey you've had through you, and were happy enough with that. Now, with the solar itinerancy and the dino king gone, they'll leave the city and head for the sea of trees. In that moment, the city once full of life has become truly desolate. Until the very end, the deinos were more worried about you than they lamented their own fate. They don't hate each other, resent their environment, or hoard what happiness they have. So then, why does this all seem so sad? Surely, even if their extinction is inevitable, there must be something you can do.
From a distance, the Alien Priestess watches your despair.
--- Section 2 ---
Two hours have passed, so it's briefing time at the Border. Most of the ship has been repaired (aside from the engines), and it will take twenty hours to finish up the rest and have the ship combat-ready. Da Vinci reports the toxic gases in the lower levels of Mictlan are also dropping, so in about ten hours it'll be "safe" for you to go there. Still, you can't just sit here and wait for the Border to finish getting ready, since Daybit is probably preparing to move as well. As such, you'll send a field team (Gudao, Mashu, Nitocris, Koyan, Da Vinci) ahead of the Border. You'll have to choose between either stopping Daybit before he gets to ORT, or cutting down the Tree before he can do anything. Since ORT is part of this Lostbelt, as long as it vanishes, so will ORT. These plans both have about the same chance of success, so you can pick whichever, but Kadoc quickly chimes in and says that you won't pick. You'll do both.
By splitting into two groups, you can make the pilgrimage and have one group intercept and try to slow down Daybit, while the other one heads for the Tree to cull the Lostbelt. Naturally, Kadoc will go up against Daybit, and he asks to have Koyan and the rest of the Border with him as well. They'll intercept Daybit in the third Underworld, and they'll need the best driver for the job, one with high quality and high quantity circuits. Gordolf says who better for the job than him, and the camera pans to literally everyone else (other than Gudao) in the room.
Anyway, you'll also need to get some deinos to help with carrying you further down after the third Underworld, since it won't be safe to travel on foot. You should also take this opportunity to talk to Tepeu again. He's always curious, so if you tell him about what you're doing, he's bound to want to tag along, but if you don't tell him, he'll probably hate you for it. You decide to head out to talk to him while the others prepare for the operation.
--- Section 3 ---
In Mexico City, Izcalli is dealing with some unrest among the Ocelomeh. Some warriors who weren't picked for battle are upset, and women from the outskirts are disheartened their mates didn't return. He ponders the familial love and bonds among people. A love nurtured from birth that requires no words to express. He's never known something like that. He's simply the human form of PHH, manufactured in Mictlan. A soul raised to be the king of the Ocelomeh, that's all he is. He was told by his god to not ever forget his base impulses, that he would become a god only if he possesses a soul without hesitation. He should be proud that he has lead the Ocelomeh to where they are now, and that he's effectively cleared his one-year trial of becoming a Tezcatlipoca, being able to cast off his mask and childhood name now. So then, why has his thoughts become so muddled all of a sudden? Like an obsidian mirror that reflects only smoke.
Izcalli meets up with Tezcatlipoca, reporting that he killed the dino king. Even though they're both technically immortal, a Tezcatlipoca can still kill another. Anyway, now's the time for their pilgrimage as well. They'll head for the bottom, to the real city on the Lake of the Moon, Aztlan. That's where Izcalli was born, too. If it wasn't for that city, Izcalli wouldn't have been summonable. They head out of the city, where Daybit is waiting for them.
Elsewhere in the jungle, we see Rasputin and U-Olga conversing. Rasputin considers that no matter the form of mankind, they can never escape the accumulated weight of their sins, but Olga remarks that the deinos never really accumulated anything, not even Chichen Itza was built by them. Regardless, what remains now is two opposing teams heading for ORT. One to revive it, the other to erase it alongside the Lostbelt. All that's left to decide is what Rasputin and Olga should do now.
Elsewhere in the jungle, we see Rasputin and U-Olga conversing. Rasputin considers that no matter the form of mankind, they can never escape the accumulated weight of their sins, but Olga remarks that the deinos never really accumulated anything, not even Chichen Itza was built by them. Regardless, what remains now is two opposing teams heading for ORT. One to revive it, the other to erase it alongside the Lostbelt. All that's left to decide is what Rasputin and Olga should do now.
It should be obvious. The reason we chose this Lostbelt as our temporary base was to get our hands on a stronger Saint Graph.
ORT belongs to me. I won't give it up to an ant-like, powerless---
incompetent breed like mankind.
I've concluded that the Earthlings are wicked. I have no issues with their elimination.
I'm going to the deepest level. You stay here and keep an eye on Chaldea.
If I fuse with ORT, they'll no doubt flee with their ship.
When they do---you know what to do, right? Chasing after them each and every time is a pain. I've already had to do it twice.
Of course. I've already made the preparations.
Their lives will end when the Storm Border leaves Mictlan.
--- Section 4 ---
At Tepeu's house, you've already told him the whole plan, and he readily agrees to come with you. He's actually really pleased about this, since the deinos in general are so complacent about their imminent end, he had already resigned himself to the idea that you would think the same of him. Before you leave, he says he has one small favor to ask... (stay tuned to find out what this was!)
You head back to Chichen Itza as Tepeu prepares, where you suddenly run into Kukulkan again. She thinks you're perhaps being a bit too careless walking around alone at night right now. She offers to kill you here and now, but you claim it would be quite anticlimactic; a response which she thinks is way too boring, since she had so many cool retorts in mind. You then ask why she didn't come to protect the city, and if Tezca was telling the truth. She has no choice but to admit that he was right. She is the sun, and the sun both nurtures and burns the world. She points out that even when traveling with you, she never went out of her way to defend the deinos. Even when Camazotz showed up, and this battle happened, she just sat back in the sky, watching it all unfold.
Kukulkan doesn't think any of this really matters. Extinction comes to this world, just like it did in PHH. Even after all this ends, a humanoid mankind will surely be born into the world anyway. Life finds a way; PHH and you are proof of this. As such, she asks you to just leave right now. Your ship should be almost fixed, and there's no reason for you to die alongside Mictlan. Of course, you can't do that, and so she spells it out clearly for you.
I am Mictlan's arbitrator.
Deinos or Ocelomeh. It is my duty to ensure that one goes extinct, and to choose by which means that happens.
For that reason, the Lostbelt must survive.
The Crypter, who aims to revive ORT. Chaldea, who aims to cut down the Fantasy Tree. Both of you are my enemies.
---I'll see you in Calakmul. That's where we'll part ways.
Chapter 17: Fourth Underworld Yayauhqui
After a six hour drive in the Shadow Border, and a bit of traveling on foot, you're almost at the eight layer. Luckily for you, Wak Chan caught up to you and ferried you most of the way after you departed. He carries Gudao, Mashu and Nitocris, while Tepeu carries Da Vinci. You take this time to ask for info about the eight layer. Tepeu explains that it's a sunless underground mountain range, the "Black Border". It looks like a steep mountain at first, but it's actually hollow inside. A mountain range within a mountain range. It's also the lair of the bat of terror, Camazotz. In a sense, he's like the watcher of the fourth Underworld.
By the way, the topic of Kukulkan comes up here, and Wak Chan explains that even if she comes to attack you, he'll still help you. Just because she's their god doesn't mean they can't disagree on objectives, and he might as well help out where he'd actually make some sort of difference. Da Vinci posits that the teachings of Kukulkan are less like that of a strict father ruling over his children, and more of a nurturing mother who protects them. You always knew the Lostbelt King would become your enemy, but you're saddened a bit after having learned just how benevolent she actually is. Sion, back at the Border, also reports to you that it's very likely the "absent" Olga has also begun moving towards the bottom, so your final battle is more likely to be ORT and Olga both.
In the third Underworld, Kadoc has been asking the help of Ereshkigal Alter, but she says she cannot help out that directly. In the first place, the ones there right now haven't actually overcome that Underworld, so they should be lucky they're as free as they are right now, and to make things worse, Daybit actually has cleared it, so she's not allowed to interfere with him directly. She'll still report the path they're taking once they get there, so that Kadoc and the others can set a trap properly.
That was an hour ago now, and Kadoc and Gordolf are conversing about the plan in the Border. As it turns out, Gordolf did get to be the driver after all, since Meuniere still hasn't recovered fully from his wounds. Koyan's also his flirty co-driver, and she's also the one to relate the information sent by Ereshkigal. Daybit and Tezca have made it to the third Underworld, and their route has been plotted for Chaldea. Gordolf has to drive pretty fast to be able to intersect Daybit's path, so he floors it. Once they get there, they'll set up anti-beast magecraft and tons of claymores and bombs to stop Daybit and Tezca.
Now, on the way there, it's time for Kadoc to infodump about whatever information he found about Daybit's past in the Storm Border's library.
He starts by recapping that there are three parts to the Mage's Association (Atlas, Wandering Sea, Clock Tower), and within the Clock Tower, there are 13 departments (general fundamentals, individual fundamentals, spiritual evocation, mineralogy, zoology, lore, botany, astromancy, creation, hexology, archeology, policies, and modern magecraft). While most of Chaldea, including Kirschtaria, belonged to the astromancy department, Daybit was actually from the department of Lore. You might guess based on the name that it deals with myths and folklore etc, but that's not quite the case. After all, such things are actually part of most of the departments' research. Take Servants, for example, who are literally RECORD BANDS made manifest. The department of Lore was special in that it was governed by the Headmaster of the Clock Tower himself, Brishsan. Gordolf explains that it's a department which researches exoanthropic (that is to say, something outside the scope of humans) angels and demons, with nothing to do with legends of earth, really. Koyanskaya thinks that's not quite true since angels and demons are technically part of legends too, but Kadoc corrects her, saying it's not the same as she's thinking of.
The angels and demons she's thinking of, part of common mythologies, are known by all departments, since they're part of normal legends. That is to say, the department of Lore deals with something truly worthy of being classified as "unique lore": something not from Earth.
Super-artifacts scattered around Earth since time immemorial, spoken of in no mythologies, and tinctured by unknown laws: Out-of-place artifacts, or OOParts for short.
Even within the world of magecraft, where angels and demons are treated as common knowledge, these "angels" and "demons" are treated as taboo.
In other words, they're "threats to mankind". It's the Department of Lore that is charged with discovering, investigating, and storing them.
The other departments also contribute to mankind, but the Department of Lore exists for the purpose of quarantining things of exoanthropic nature.
This is also why the Headmaster is the Lord of Lore.
An ordinary mage born in the common era could never hope to control it.
Gordolf mentions that once you join there you're basically stuck, since obviously it would be hard to get out of such a job, so the Animusphere must've pulled some big strings to get Daybit out of there, but Kadoc says they had nothing to do with this case. In fact, neither was he exiled from the department, as commonly believed, he actually left on his own. Kadoc went through the eight years which Daybit spent at the department of Lore, but more importantly is the fact that no records before that time seem to exist. Not even in the mandatory basic classes all magi have to attend did he appear. It is only known that Daybit was a genius who appeared suddenly at the Clock Tower at the age of 10.
To find something more, Kadoc instead starting looking at the general documents of the department, getting help from Sion to unseal them, and then found what he was looking for. A document dated July, 2004, with the only thing written on the file being: "Document: 5 minutes". As for the contents of the file...well, it's most accurate to say that it "had nothing in it". However, there's something they know happened on that day: all across London, an incident of undetermined origin froze all the active magecraft spells in the whole area. It passed so quickly that despite everyone actually noticing it, they just kinda thought it was a fluke, and didn't bother more. That is to say, that incident and what is described in relation to the document he found are related.
Correct. At this time, in the preparation room of one of the instructors who worked at the Department of Lore, an Angelic Artifact was exposed.
The exposure time lasted for only 0.2 seconds in real time. This is most likely the origin of the freeze that happened to all the spells in the Clock Tower.
The name of the owner of this preparation room is completely gone. It's been removed not just from all the data, but from everyone's minds as well.
So there's no way to investigate it. I suspect the only one who recalls it is the Headmaster.
The criminal who, even if only briefly, incurred a loss on all magi in the Clock Tower has literally been "unpersoned".
However, the document detailing this incident does say that there was one survivor...
Given the circumstances, this survivor was probably the instructor's son. He was 10 years old at the time. His whereabouts are of course unknown after this.
A few months after the incident, a prodigy with no history at all suddenly appeared at the Department of Lore on the Headmaster's recommendation.
This was Daybit Sem Void, and though his age at the time is unknown, it is stated that his physical body was at the age of 10.
My conjecture is that this boy who lost his father through this Angelic Artifact was, in fact, Daybit.
This freaks Gordolf out a bit. Angelic Artifacts are actually kinda insane. He describes them as objects of the type where "a single glance is enough to drive you insane". Some theorize that they vaporize your brain and turn them into a receiver capable of picking up on the signals sent out by the beings who originally dropped the artifact off on Earth. In other words, that's what Daybit would have become. In Kirschtaria's own words: "We're missing something about Daybit Sem Void. The way he thinks and acts is different from how mankind does, and always was." Then, as the receiver for an alien being, was he the pawn of the Alien God all along? Unfortunately, there's no time to consider this possibility right now, as they reach their destination, and have to set up all the traps.
--- Section 2 ---
Daybit, Tezca, and Izcalli come driving into the desert in a cool car. There's a sandstorm raging around them that wasn't here last Daybit passed through. He immediately blames Tezca for it (as he should), but the latter concludes it must be Camazotz' doing, using his Command Spells to mess with the Underworlds via Servants. Tezca did pawn them off to him, but he didn't expect him to go so hard on the "Master" thing. Daybit chews him out a bit more, then asks for Tezca's opinion on Camazotz. Tezca says Camazotz is definitely the hottest shit in all the land, even stronger than Tezca himself in this Lostbelt. He also believes that once he's done playing with the Command Spells is when he'll finally show his true form. Daybit considers that an opportunity to pass Chaldea, and that they'll now only really have to worry about Kukulkan catching them. Tezca offers to sacrifice himself if it comes to that, considering their history, even if she's an imitation made by Malla.
All the while, Izcalli is just sitting quietly in the backseat. He's worried about where Tlaloc might have disappeared too, but Tezca thinks she's already served her purpose. The only reason he summoned her was so she could create a truly PHH city for the Ocelomeh. Although he called it Mexico City, its past name would actually have been Metztliapan, the Lake of the Moon; the Floating City, capital of the Aztec kingdom, in which they worshipped two gods. Izcalli seems to sink even further into thought, but there's no time to dwell, as explosions appear all around the car.
Daybit drives around them like some kind of stunt pro (saying he learned that in a "remote course"), and they make it out of the minefield unscathed. There to greet them is Koyanskaya.
---Welcome, welcome, to my very own Takamagahara. I've been expecting you, war-god.
I am pleased to inform you that this minefield is naught but the opening stanza of the opening act, with but enough gunpowder for one of my little fingers.
If I'm allowed both Kadoc and Gordolf's magical energy paths, then this is how it turns out.
Transfigured before thee stands the Deity of Weaponry, Ikusautsuwa-no-Okami. Allow me to be frank. This will be your burial ground.
Tezca is certain he'll lose if he takes her on the way she is right now, and so Daybit tells him to take Izcalli and proceed to the bottom layer. As long as they make it, it's fine. So they jump out of the car and get a headstart, while Daybit appears to be driving straight towards Koyan in a suicide attack. His enemy is obviously bewildered. What kind of Master does this sort of thing to allow his Servant to escape? It should be the other way around. That's how it would be for any normal person.
"What a normal human would do" is not something I thought I'd hear from you, who had such a good time imitating an Apostle of the Alien God.
Though I suppose you're on Chaldea's side now. Even if it's only a temporary contract, Kadoc sure has taken to drastic measures.
Providing magical energy to a Beast Candidate, and through two paths at that. Not a new realization---
But you mankind never have it easy, do you? And no matter how dangerous it may be, you'll do what you can.
Even fully aware of whatever consequences it may bring.
He approaches quickly, and Gordolf is itching to fire up the Border to get them out of there, but Kadoc tells him to sit down for just a minute. He wasn't expecting a simple minefield to stop Daybit, so Koyanskaya is their actual trump card. Right now, she's not only taking in all the magical energy of both Kadoc and Gordolf, but also of all the equipment in the Shadow Border. In this state, she is a Divine Spirit of the highest order. As Daybit draws near, Koyanskaya obliterates the car without as much as a sweat. Now they've surely won. There's no way a single mage without a Servant can stand up to her like this, and they'll be able to use Kadoc's beast-hunting magecraft to track down Tezcatlipoca quickly.
Except, something's not quite right. The instruments are going haywire. Whatever is out there in the smoke and debris of the exploding car, the measured value of the Human Order Foundation is showing strange fluctuations.
--- Section 3 ---
Back with Gudao and co, you've made it to the fourth Underworld. It's quite nice-looking, with glimmering metals and whatnot, almost like it's emulating the night sky. It's obvious enough that your goal here should be to make it to the "summit" of inside the mountain. Although the path looks treacherous, Wak Chan doesn't think it'd be a problem, but actually, as it turns out, there are tons of ghosts at the bottom of the cliff who will drag you down forever if you fall. To remedy this, you form a line with Mashu and Habetrot in the front (which helps since Habetrot can levitate for a short while to help anyone who slips), and Wak Chan at the back so no enemies can get through for a sneak attack.
Da Vinci starts talking about how this Underworld probably corresponds to PHH's Teyollocualoyan, which is the seventh level there, where starved beasts live, and those of the dead who lose their footing on the path forward are attacked by a jaguar who devours their heart. This jaguar, by the way, is said to be Tezcatlipoca's tonal (aka an animal with which he's spiritually linked), and it's also said to be as massive as a mountain. Thankfully for you though, since Mictlan's equivalent layer is the lair of Camazotz, the similarities probably end at "you'll fight a big scary thing". That'll probably also be the requirement to overcome this Underworld.
You make sure to check out the goods you got from Daybit beforehand this time: you've got bat repellant and raincoats left. Actually, the raincoats are made of alumite and are actually basically spacesuits. Da Vinci quickly realizes it's because there are cosmic rays all over the place here coming from the lowest layer, so you should put it on quickly to not straight up die from radiation. Mashu takes charge and actually forcefully changes your clothes in 0.7 seconds, so that's something. The bat repellant is also working to keep the super bats living in this mountain off you, but big doubt it'll work on Camazotz.
Speak of the devil, Camazotz appears behind Wak Chan without anyone really noticing, thinking it quite funny you're having a little race with the Crypter. In fact, he's not gonna be unreasonable. If your goal is ORT, then he won't meddle with you. You're glad to hear it, before you suddenly realize Camazotz is literally right behind you, and everyone freaks out. He has a hearty laugh at how utterly naive you are in regards to your enemy's power. In this sense, you are no more than laughing-stock, so really, why should he let you go?
I am more than willing to deliver you to hell rather than to the underworld.
Behold me! Behold my battle! Behold he in which dwells the ferocious blood of those sacrificed at Mictlan's sunset!
And now! The time to grovel in reverence before me has come! Grovel before the wellspring of death! Before the King of the Underworld---
Before the magnanimous wings in which your fates rest! Grovel before CAMAZOTZ!
He summons a bunch of Ka'an skeleton soldiers for you all to fight.
--- Section 4 ---
You defeat his goons, and so he'll offer you a "shortcut" if you want it. After all, your chances of staying ahead of Daybit grow more and more slim the longer you fight Camazotz, and as per his covenant with Daybit, he can't help fight him either. His sole condition for this shortcut is simple: he wants the purple-haired woman. You get to go on without being killed by Camazotz, and he gives up on his dream of becoming mankind's last Master.
To give up on one's dream is most heart-wrenching. To replace one's dream is most fruitless.
You of mankind ought understand the depth of such tremendous sorrow. Show some sympathy. And you may take my word for it.
The king deals not in falsehood.
If the enemy capitulates, they cannot spill blood, and so, Camazotz shall not desire any.
Now, give me your answer. Will you hand her over and avoid bloodshed? Or will you not, and let blood run?
Of course, you refuse, since you cannot just hand over a friend like that. Camazotz hears your answer, and so he shall take, and he shall spill blood, and the woman will be his regardless. You will not reach ORT. You will fall to the bottom of this ravine, and be immersed in a wellspring of death. However, before he can go any further, you actually interject with a single question: "is it true you defeated ORT?"
Camazotz wonders where you heard that? Was it from Malla? Or from Kukulkan or Ixquic? It doesn't really matter, as the answer is the same.
Such a question is a challenge to Camazotz. Such a question is an outrageous slight toward the Ka'an.
Outrageousness shall be answered by outrage. Were you not prepared for that, never would your words have been so firm.
Did Camazotz defeat ORT? Could Camazotz have defeated that planet-eating monster?
Hah... hahah... Ahahahahaha! Absolutely! Slaughter and defeat it I did!
I held nothing back as I slew the cataclysm that had consumed the Cosmic Tree Ceiba, and was encroaching upon Mictlan.
I threw it into the lava, and with my claws, I flayed open its chest, before I gouged out its bizarre entrails, and so fashioned it a lifeless cadaver.
And if so be it that you do not believe me, I will demonstrate it to you first-hand.
Something happens. Camazotz turns. His Saint Graph reading spikes, but not in quality, but rather in quantity. It reads 100,000 then 1,000,000 then 100,000,000! This goes beyond any case of having multiple Saint Graphs you've ever even imagined.
Priest of Chaldea. Your name matters not to me, but I did feel a sense of kinship with you.
It appears you are mankind's last Master. I can very much relate to such feelings.
No, not anymore... I have forgotten them. There was no need for them in battle. There was no need for them in a king.
Feelings are not needed for mankind's final warrior.
---Speak of my name. I am the Champion of the Ka'an. The Spider-Slaying Bat. The King Who Forsook His Crown.
Yet also...the weakling who could not save his world other than by sacrificing every last of his subjects.
Mashu confirms what is happening. His Saint Graph pattern reads clearly: Beast.
Test it, if you will! The lifeblood of Camazotz!
Test Xibalba, the depths of hell upon which the people of Ka'an were burned, and the pith of its horror!
(The intro cutscene says "Evil of Humanity", but the sin he represents is not visible at this moment. In battle, the Beast class icon is all messed up here and seemingly no dot filled, and his name reads "Beast I", with the "I" also being weird and kinda twisted.)
You try fighting him, but it doesn't go great. You then detect a swarm of bats appearing close to you, which neither repellant or light seems to get rid of. Your only choice is to scatter them with the Black Barrel. You adjust the output to not overdo it, and you fire away. Once you get your bearings, the bats are gone, but so is Camazotz. Tepeu mentions that within all the commotion, he could hear large wings taking off, so perhaps Camazotz went to the summit. Actually, now that you think about it, something's missing. Or someone, rather: Nitocris. In the middle of it all, Camazotz had swept in and snatched his prey.
--- Section 5 ---
We see a flashback to Nitocris' past, just when she had cornered the priests who killed her brothers, and is about to take their lives in retaliation. She harbors no forgiveness for them. How could she possibly, after what they did? The priests say it was their doing that put her on the throne to begin with, but she states that everything she's done she did for the sake of this moment. For the sake of the day where she could send them all to their graves. She cast off dignity, her very being, her body, her will, all so they would mistake her for someone they could freely manipulate, and so they would walk into her trap. She had baited them here with offerings, but she cannot possibly imagine what they thought she would have for them here. A revelry of debauchery? A treasure of gold? Or perhaps it was a taste of her body they wanted? Nevertheless, they will all meet their end here, by her hand. For the insolence of plotting against Pharaohs, they will all die. She shall not send them to the land of eternity, but they can rest easy, because neither is she. She is coming with them, so that she may ensnare them even in death; that she may lay opn them neverending suffering.
The flashback ends, moving into a monologue from Nitocris.
Yes. I have no regrets. I completed my revenge, restored the prestige of the Pharaohs, and then took my own life.
Deceased Pharaohs set out on a journey toward a paradise without suffering. I had that right. I had the authority to achieve it.
And yet, I did not make such arrangements. I thought myself lacking of that right.
My fury. Never did I forget it. My hatred. Never did I forget it.
And I...could never forget my sins.
No matter how righteous, no matter how justified it might have been... I believed that I must never forget the sins that I had committed.
Nitocris awakens, confused at her whereabouts. She soon spots Camazotz, who is gorging himself on an Ocelotl. Though they may be apes, it seems something has given them more flavor, recently.
Camazotz reveals that the reason he brought Nitocris here was actually out of habit, more than anything else. The first three (Kingprotea, Beni-Enma, Ereshkigal) were all Servants with a scent of the underworld, so he had found joy in abducting them, using his Command Spells on them, and turning them into Watchers of the Underworlds. By impulse, he had chosen Nitocris for the same reason, but he had forgotten he'd already used up all his Command Spells. As such, there's no use for her, and there was no point in him taking her away. In other words, now she is nothing more than a mere captive, all as a result of the impulse Camazotz feels.
She thinks he might live purely on impulse, asking if it was impulse that made him save them from Tlaloc back then, considering he had no real reason to fight then either. His answer is that at that point, he felt something unpleasant emenating from Nitocris; wavelengths grating at his ears. In fact, she emenates much the same thing right now. Nitocris asks what he means, but he becomes suddenly quiet for a moment. Once he speaks again, he has seemingly changed the topic completely. Only fools waste their time, and Camazotz is no fool, so he would have Nitocris answer a question of his to rid him of his doubts.
Why is it that you cannot forget? Why is it that after the deed was done, you took your own life?
Nitocris is taken aback, as she definitely never told him about this. It's not so strange, though. He has very good ears, and the Ka'an ruins are not far from Chichen Itza. Ever since he heard of this, part of him has constantly been thinking about it, and so he demands an answer.
You succeeded in your revenge. The liberation after your vengeance ought have been the remuneration for your life.
And in spite of it all, you took your own life. You chose to not go to whatever passed for your paradise.
The question has been gnawing at me. To deny oneself rightly deserved salvation after overcoming such toil! Then for what did you squander your life?
Nitocris tries to reiterate that she never had time to make preparations for her journey to paradise, but Camazotz calls the blatant lie. After she killed those priests, she should have had all the time in the world, as a ruler without a single enemy. Neither could it have really been for the sake of making those priests suffer for eternity either, because the underworld itself would have taken care of that. It is more likely that she never had any intention of leaving for paradise in the first place. What Camazotz wants to know is why that was. Was it perhaps because, despite her having all the justification and authority in the world to do what she did, she actually considers herself the most sinful of all?
Nitocris remains silent, avoiding having to answer the question. Thus, Camazotz takes her silence as affirmation, laughing it up. All her life she lived as an avenger, and her revenge was a complete success. And yet, she renounced that part of herself, setting herself up for judgement as a sinner. He thinks there could be no woman more foolish. Rather than taking the path towards godhood, she would martyr herself for her own beliefs. With this, Camazotz' curiosity is sated, but Nitocris thinks it unfair only her past is to be probed, and so it's her turn to ask the questions now. Camazotz claims to be the king of the Underworld, or even the true king of Mictlan, so then how does he feel aobut its imminent destruction? Won't he also perish alongside the sun going out?
Even with the sun gone, Camazotz will remain. Mictlan is the only thing which will meet its end.
The deinos will accept their extinction, just as they once did before.
But I will not. I will not be extinguished. Even with the sun gone, I can live on with nothing but the heat of the earth.
That is how the Ka'an lived for 100,000 years. That's how long it took them to go from their beginning as mammals into man.
100,000 years worth of history and dreams forged this body. And so, 6 million years have passed, but Camazotz lives on.
The Authority held by the king is "Imperishability". This is the only weapon Camazotz possesses.
And that will never change, even after this.
Whether the sun disappears, or the planet is shattered by ORT...
If I forget all of the past, nothing will remain of it.
The present will continue on forever, without any pain, sorrow, or any trace of me.
Once more, Nitocris is taken aback. To forget everything...to not grant oneself a single thing...
Camazotz thinks that's more than enough. He tells her that should she leave the summit, he will kill her, but should she stay, he will not. He has no wish for her to fulfill, so she is basically free. However, there is one condition to this: under no circumstances is she to become an Alter. He believes there could be nothing more vile than that, and he wishes not to look upon a Nitocris that is not truly her.
Nitocris thinks him stupid. The rest of Chaldea will surely arrive soon, and letting her go just means increasing the enemies for Camazotz. However, he thinks you couldn't possibly be so stupid that you'd go up against him again. Let alone for a single Servant. But Nitocris is so certain, she offers a bet. Camazotz claims it's not much of a bet when he is already sure to win, but he might as well take her up on it in that case. He is actually the one who puts up the wagers: if Chaldea flees Mictlan, as they will, then Nitocris shall speak her name to Camazotz, and offer herself up to her king; if they come to challenge him, then he shall give her his Underworld, and she might return as queen once more. Nitocris quickly agrees, and good thing that, because obviously right after this, Gudao and company arrives on the scene.
Refuse to ever give in, and you fear to never show respect. I could think of nothing more pitiful than a champion who has nobody to rein him in.
Yet I shall welcome him. I shall slaughter him. Let the sun of my lifeblood rise upon the peak of the Fourth Underworld!
Priest of Chaldea. It has been a quite the journey, for the both of us.
Once I have severed your head, and bathed in the deluge of your blood, the entertainment will become part of the past, and so be forgotten.
The thought tears at my heart. As such, allow me a show of gratitude.
Daybit is a mirror image. The more numerous the enemy, the more shadows he calls forth.
Is it conveyed? Then let the supper begin!
The blood of champions upon the altar! The party of Human Order into the grave!
The time has come for thee to kill thy brethren human history!
--- Section 6 ---
You try fighting him again, but once more you're unable to defeat him. As the representative of the human history of Mictlan, he's just too strong for you to beat. As long as that remains his duty, and his curse, there's nothing you can do. He will remain imperishable; his final weapon against the planet-eating monster. Nitocris starts thinking to herself about the words he spoke earlier, about how she never had any intention of heading for paradise in the first place. She finally admits that he was right. She considered that even though the priests were bad men, killing them outside the scope of the law is very much a sin. And sins are to be punished. Mistakes are to be atoned for. As such, if her act there was a sin, she thus took her own life. Instead of protecting her chance at entering paradise, she protected her own heart.
She thinks back on her conversation with Ixquic, and now we get to hear it too. Ixquic tells her that an Alter is one who has renounced the core of their Saint Graph. It is for a saint to renounce their sainthood; for a warrior unwilling to become king to become the very king they hated; for a Heroic Spirit to betray their belifs and their lives, of their own volition.
Kingprotea abandoned the love and adoration she held for humanity, and became a cruel and heartless goddess.
Beni-Enma abandoned her vow to remain the children's tale she was, and became an adult.
Ereshkigal abandoned her dream of making the underworld into a land of beauty, and became a ruthless goddess.
Nitocris is unsure what it is she's meant to renounce then, but Ixquic can't tell her that, only she can figure that out. However, she says, Nitocris' legend is one not very compatible with Mictlan. Compared to the other Servants, she will have to pay a much steeper price. No doubt, it will prove a point of no return for her. Nitocris thus thought long and hard about this, and arrived at a conclusion.
I know what it is I have to betray. And also, what offering it is I have to give up to this world.
Our underworld is one where the offering is to measure the weight of one's sins after death. The Aztec world is one where it is offered to the gods.
"When in Rome, do as the Romans do", wasn't it? I cannot imagine a betrayal greater than this.
So much so, that I do not know how long it will be before I can look the many other esteemed Pharaohs in the face again...
Stop it! Stop, stop, stop!
I said I shall not look! Were Camazotz's words forgotten!?
Your heart and your pride are not something to be offered up to any other!
They are what you offered to yourself! They are what signify your dignity!
O, woman. You fierce, tragic woman. Become not some tribute to the gods! Live not for the sake of some other!
No further---reduce not your life to ashes any further...!
I see now... I understand the reason why you impulsively saved me.
You've lived on all this time by forgetting all there is to forget, and by granting yourself not a single thing.
You kept yourself in control by making sure to never recall the past, so that you would never wish to take your own life.
You imposed upon yourself the punishment of undying perpetuity, all in order for your lost human history to be kept safe.
Camazotz refuses to hear this. Nothing could be more foolish. To forget is nothing but trouble, and all that matters is that he remains. This kingly body of his was forged by the Ka'an people offering up their selves. There is no room for a single shred of regret in him. And if that's the case, Nitocris says, she shall offer herself up as well.
The heart that upon my death is to be measured for my sins, I need no longer!
O Anubis, God of the Netherworld, bring judgment upon my soul.
Henceforth, I am no Incarnation of the Sky God. I am the one who has embraced vengeance, the manifestation of the one who metes out divine punishment, the God of the Netherworld.
---Neferu Suen Anubis. The Alter of Queen Nitocris.
Naturally, she shall accept the prize from their bet too. This Underworld is now fully her domain, and as such she is quick to enact a new decree: "Those who find themselves in this Underworld are forbidden from forgetting anything". Now, you are ready for battle with the King of Bats, the undying warrior who fled punishment six million years ago. As atonement, Nitocris Alter shall grant him a fitting end.
(Now we see the sin he represents: Oblivion (忘却). To give some TM context on this if you're not aware, this is a term that comes up in KnK, where it's roughly described as follows, though paraphrased: It is things such as sin, taboo, regret - nothing more than a negative in the intelligence cycle. Oblivion does not come about from memory organization, but it comes from malignant information that is contradictive to the continued survival of humans, causing it to be "intentionally" forgotten. People are able to lead healthy lives by forgetting the inconvenient truths that make up this malignant information.
In other words, it's very much the philosophical idea that says we as human beings need to ignore the obvious facts of life which would otherwise hurt our continued existence as "conscious beings", and here it's taken to the extreme. In that sense, I guess Camazotz represents it truly in the sense of "Beasts are that which humanity must overcome", because it shows how twisted he becomes when it is taken that far, and we let it spiral.
Also might be interesting to consider the connection between oblivion (the accumulation of malignant information) and the Avenger class being born from this concept, even having a resistance to it via the class skill Oblivion Correction.
I also want to point out here that if you look at the FGO wiki, you'll see that under this battle they list him as "Beast I:L", where L stands for "Lost". As far as I remember, this is not shown in game anywhere, and it's just an assumption that he would count as it due to him not being part of the actual "PHH Beast set", sort of like how Koyan was. The difference of course is that for Koyan it was explicitly stated she was a Lost Beast, and here it hasn't been. While it doesn't make much difference, just know the wiki didn't actually take it from the source.)
You haven't managed to fully neutralize the Beast, but at least you technically beat it this time. Before you can really finish him off, though, Nitocris returns to her normal self, and appears to have fallen unconscious. Since she was hovering over the ravine, she is now in danger of falling right down there, so you beg Wak Chan to get her, but before he can do anything, Camazotz uses his last remaining strength to catch Nitocris in his arms, and swoops downwards from the cliff. Except, to your surprise, the way he looked just now was as if he was defending her.
I was hasty to say that "there could be nothing more foolish". Consequently, I can no longer describe this as above it in foolishness.
Pulling out one's own heart is something not even I would dare do. The pain scares me.
Queen... I shall correct you on one thing. Whomever may die, I never grieve.
A million of my people stood at the precipice of our species' extinction. Tears of sadness, and of happiness. Cries of lamentation, and of exaltation.
Crying families threw themselves into the crucible, begging me to not let us die. Laughing warriors threw themselves into the crucible, imploring me to save us all.
At the bottom of that crucible, with a body that amounted to no more than a limbless piece of flesh, I had to watch it all unfold.
My mind was at ease. "Another one dead" was about the extent of my reactions.
Their deaths were their lives.
Even with the lives being offered up to me before my very eyes, that was no different from what had played out before me in the life I'd had up until then.
It was always the same. Be they parents, wives, or friends---no matter who died, grief never came to me.
And yet...I was someone who would shed tears to tales of fiction...
Truly, no matter who died, I never felt the weight of my sins.
I was indifferent both to the deaths of others, and to the death of myself. And that is why I became king.
---All while wondering... truly, what am I to do so that I may shed tears like a human would?
A strange tale, is it not? That someone like that would worry themselves over a single woman.
Ahhh... Still, to remember...is a good thing.
The time that has passed is now before my eyes. The things that I have lost are brought back in all of their beauty, over and over and over again.
---I understand now.
---It may not be forever...
---But I suppose this is what it means to live on after one's passing.
You make it safely down to the bottom, and find where Nitocris lies. It appears that she is perfectly safe still. She says she woke up mid-fall and landed safely, which is good and all, but you mostly wonder where Camazotz went. However, when she woke up, he was already gone. Or rather, she believes you killed him up at the top already. Tepeu confirms he cannot hear Camazotz' wings anymore, and the bats that filled this mountain also appear to be gone. The greatest threat in Mictlan, the God of Death, Camazotz, has apparently been slain.
Nitocris looks sad at first, but is quick to congratulate you all. After all, even if he was limited to the influence of mankind within Mictlan, he was still a Beast. Da Vinci says it's all thanks to Nitocris becoming an Alter, but also asks why it was so short-lived. Well, turns out that taking Anubis into one's body is something not even Nitocris could endure outside of an Underworld, so it's pretty taxing. You think to yourself that you never wanted her to do something like that, but you can't very well say it to her face, so you only thank her for helping.
Elsewhere, Vucub has "broken" out of prison, since there's no one left in the city at all. He ruminates on the pointlessness of deinos and their intellect and power when they don't use it to protect this world. This world will end, but the deinos ignores it. An intellect that never compares itself to others can never walk the path of progress. Not even time matters to them, but it does to Vucub, who is of a much shorter-lived species. As such, he will survive, and he will innovate. He will go to Mexico City to take the position prepared for him by Izcalli, and he'll do whatever it takes to live on.
Chapter 18: City By the Water (Aztlan/Calakmul)
You've reached the end of Mictlan. Before you sits what looks like the Fantasy Tree, except it's...empty. Much like Britain's tree, it's been dessicated. Despite that, Mictlan remains as a Lostbelt, so it's not quite the same. In Britain, Morgan had to turn the land into a Lostworld to get around not having a tree, but Ixquic told you Mictlan has stayed a Lostbelt this entire time, so most likely there exists something else keeping it here, somewhere else? Maybe a different tree? You'll probably find out when you reach the bottom.
You contact the Border one last time while you still can, since the radiation is interfering quite heavily with communications. Sion reports that it's been 14 hours since you departed, which means the Border's engines came online again four hours ago, and it'll be another four until the weapons and equipment are at a usable level (so 2 hours before schedule, actually). She continues by saying that they haven't been able to detect or track Daybit's group, and even worse, they lost contact with Kadoc's party four hours ago. That said, the Shadow Border is still emitting its signal, so she assumes they're just in a position where they can't really report back at the moment. Either way, you can't know for now whether Daybit and Tezca are still on their way, or if they already made it here during the four hours it took you to pass the fourth Underworld. As such, you can't afford to wait for Kadoc's party here, and have to keep heading down.
Mashu is still feeling quite guilty about having to cull the tree and end this world, but Wak Chan is there to console her. He says that no one's really responsible for the end of the world in that sense. It's like how a gust of wind may cause a branch to fall off. If you treat the wind as a bad thing, then that would mean all the works of nature would be bad too. If you treat the branch as a bad thing, then you'd be overlooking the hard work it put in to grow tall. And then, if there was someone who could push aside the wind and kick away the branch, Wak Chan would just see them as someone amazing, even not knowing their circumstances. Living beings may be used to dealing with other living beings, even ones much larger than them, but it's a whole different matter when it comes to dealing with the world. At that point it's not about the individual anymore. Only a world can kill a world, or in other words, you can only kill a world if you've got another world on your side. Tepeu thinks for a second Wak Chan is actually referring to the Counter Force, but drops the prospect just as quickly.
Anyway, you check on your Master status now that Camazotz has been defeated, and while you can still perform summonings, your actual right as a Master still hasn't returned. As such, it seems like you'll have to settle things with the one who traded you for them in the first place. Suddenly, you're beseiged by what appears to be numerous seeds from the Fantasy Tree, and you have to fight through them to reach the temple ahead.
--- Section 2 ---
You manage to make it inside the temple, and luckily, it seems the seeds won't follow you in here. More importantly, the temperature in here is very high. Mictlan is already pretty hot, but even with your Mystic Code protecting you, it's insanely hot in here. Still, this looks like a remnant from the Ka'an, so humans once managed to live here. You ask Tepeu about this place, and while he doesn't know much, he shares what little he has. This place is called Calakmul, and it's where the humanoid mankind of Mictlan originated. This was their capital of sorts, from where they migrated to the higher layers as their civilization grew larger. However, they never had to move because the heat was unbearable. Rather, it was this heat that allowed them to prosper. Tepeu moves to a nearby wall and points to some murals that appear to tell a story. Based on these, it appears the Ka'an kingdom was one built on the use of geothermal energy. The mural also mentions Chiconahualóyan, so you decide to read all of it in case there's anything actually useful. For context, Chiconahualóyan is the lowest level of PHH Mictlan, where the souls of the dead were cleansed and freed. It was basically the "true Mictlan", and its equivalent is exactly where you're headed. You can't understand much of the Mural, but thankfully deinos brains are like supercomputers so it's not really an issue for Tepeu.
In the beginning, the world had a tree.
The tree connected the land and the cosmos.
The cosmos it connected with invited a star.
The star shattered, the world burned, and the visitors who fell from the star became Malla and healed the land.
An age of peace began for the dragons, with neither natural enemies nor foreign enemies to speak of.
The era of the dragons continued on for 100 million years, and then the second star was invited---The star of the end.
Malla created a world beneath the land, and made themselves into a miniature sun.
Thus began Mictlan.
It's just as Izquic said. Malla was a fibroid life form that came here 300 million years ago from another celestial object, fused with the plants on the surface, fixed the continents in place, and created a supercontinent. The star of the end in the mural would be ORT, who arrived on the later meteor. It was supposed to have wiped the dinosaurs out, but Malla gave them shelter in Mictlan. They then modified the genes of the dinosaurs and had them evolve into a new mankind, creating the deinos. Then, 6 million years ago, ORT would have awakened from its suspended animation, causing the sun to vanish, and Mictlan was pushed to the brink of collapse, before the deinos and ka'an teamed up to defeat it.
Well, that's how it was told to you, but there's something that doesn't really make sense. You stare at the mural, and then Mashu notices it too (because Gudao can't be allowed to talk for that long). The order is in reverse. On the mural, ORT only emerged after the sun had gone dark, meaning Ixquic was wrong. ORT didn't extinguish the sun, it had already gone out by that point. Rather, it was only logical that the sun had reached the end of its natural lifespan. No matter how superior Malla was as a lifeform, they couldn't create a sun that could exist indefinitely. After 60 million years, it had to shut down, plunging Mictlan into darkness, and since deinos need sunlight to survive, they went into hybernation for 100,000 years. It was during this period, in a Mictlan without a prime species, that the Ka'an kingdom prospered. They were never under Malla's protection or the sun's blessing, so they created a civilization that relied on geothermal energy. Nitocris thinks back on what Camazotz said: even with the sun gone, he would live on. Mictlan might meet its end, and the deinos will accept their extinction as they did once already, but he will not. He will never be extinguished, and even with the sun gone he can live on with just the heat of the earth.
This actually presents another twist: the deinos and Malla had nothing to do with stopping ORT at that point. In that world of darkness, only the Ka'an, or rather, one person from there, could fight to protect Mictlan. By their efforts, ORT was defeated, the sun returned to Mictlan, and when the deinos awoke, the kingdom of Ka'an was already gone. Or rather, it would be more accurate to say that the deinos never even got to witness Ka'an, since they were dormant for that whole period. In a sense, this can be said to be the sole myth in Mictlan, which makes Camazotz the denizen of a mythological world.
Before you proceed, the final part of the mural has this to say:
"The king uncovered the star of the end, and thus the star became a seedling of the cosmic tree."
"Touch not the carcass of the star. For the carcass is already the cornerstone of Mictlan."
"The star of the end itself is now a seedling of fantasy."
In other words, ORT fused with the Fantasy Tree. Maybe it was driven into a corner by Camazotz and sought to use the Fantasy Tree as a source of energy, or maybe Camazotz used the tree as a means of cornering ORT. Either way, ORT is now fused with it, which explains the tree outside as well. What this means is simple. Your two goals have just become one and the same: annihilate ORT, and cull the Lostbelt.
--- Section 3 ---
You descend lower, and see a temple in the midst of lava. No wonder it's so freaking hot here. Basically, this would be the mantle layer of earth itself, except for some reason (probably whatever's under that temple), it's not as solid as the mantle should be. Mashu scans the place using SHEBA, and reports that the cave you're in right now is about 100 meters in height, and there's another 200 meter cavity under the temple. Needless to say, you need to get down there. Unfortunately, Wak Chan has to stay behind cuz he's just too darn big to make it across there.
You make it down to the temple in one piece, where you immediately run into two others: Tezcatlipoca and Izcalli. Tezca is surprised Daybit even foresaw you making it here at the same time as him, though he's surprised Camazotz didn't take out a single one of you. (I think Tezca actually implies here that using the Command Spells drained Camazotz of even his own energy, so we fought a way weaker version, but it's a bit unclear.) Izcalli simps some more for his god, and asks for the honor of eliminating you. Tezca lets him, saying if he hates PHH so much, he better vent all of that here and now. Having unfinished business won't be good for him. Also, surprise, turns out this is the place where Tlaloc was sent when spirited away by Camazotz. So actually, Izcalli won't get to fight you, because Tlaloc will do it again.
Tlaloc is all covered in blood and wounds after Camazotz manhandled her, and she even had her blood sucked by him, causing her to be "tattered on the inside" even. However, this is where she was summoned, so her wounds will heal down here. In PHH, this would be the place called Aztlan, the land of origin. Tezca tells Tlaloc to cut the crap and show her true self. As long as she keeps hiding her true name, she'll never defeat you properly. He also lets slip that she was always stronger when fighting "for the humans", which Izcalli finds rather weird. He has been taught that gods exist to rule people, meaning if she doesn't do that, but fight for them... Well, Tezca won't reveal more to him for now. He'll take Izcalli to the coffin. Tlaloc can take care of you then go die or whatever.
This will be your third fight against Tlaloc. First in the rainforest, second in Mexico City, and third in Chichen Itza. Not once did you truly win against her. You only evaded death through luck. She beseeches Tlaloc, god of rain, and Huitzilopochtli, god of war. Her Saint Graph becomes riddled with defensive concepts, and there's no way you'll be able to take her on like this. Considering you don't have time to find another way, Nitocris steps up. She'll vindicate herself here. She asks Da Vinci to take care of the rest, tells Mashu she's sorry for bowing out early, and asks Gudao to judge her fairly. She will show you the power of a Pharaoh who once took charge of her country.
Tlaloc is tired of fighting Nitocris over and over, though. If she runs away now, she won't be chased. But Nitocris rejects the offer, calling Tlaloc as generous as a pig, and a despot at heart; avaricious and melancholic.
It was merely a rival's instinct that spurred your attempt to destroy the Storm Border as well.
You sensed that it was superior in both grace and practicality, which made you so eager to destroy it.
Any who do not submit to you or who seem greater than you are subjected to thorough criticism.
A small-minded creature, no, an artifice merely built small. Am I inaccurate, charlatan to Tlaloc's name?
Tlaloc once again calls Nito out for speaking ill of a god, but Nitocris quickly stops her. This is all a farce. It's already plain to all that Tlaloc is no Divine Spirit. So why not just reveal her true name? Or would she prefer that Nitocris exposes her? Perhaps she's simply too obstinate to do so herself. But Tlaloc would be surprised if she even knew the name. Besides, only gods can judge other gods. Nitocris agrees, especially when it comes to false ones, so if a mere incarnation isn't enough, then she will simply offer up her heart once more. Nitocris assumes her Alter form once more, though this time with cuter, shorter hair.
Scheme not, for it is blasphemous. No statements of fraud or deceitful forgeries can withstand my scales.
Thou art no worshipped god!
It is not for divine law, or for the Human Order, but for city-dwelling subjects that thou shed blood!
Thy True Name is all too clear! The Lake of the Moon, Metztliapan!
Nay, there is a name better suited to thy appearance! The cradle for holy ground, Tenochtitlan!
The most prosperous waterside city of Mesoamerica, and enshrined with two gods!
Tlaloc, or should I say, Tenochtitlan's Saint Graph finally stabilizes. Nitocris was right in her guess. After all, nothing goes unseen before her golden eyes. Now, at last, you're ready to fight properly.
(Obviously, this is where her true name is revealed even for her profile. And yes, she's literally a city made into a Servant.)
You beat up a literal city, and as she's expecting the death blow to come...it never does. Nitocris Alter says she has no need for Tenochtitlan's heart, as she's of the living, nor is she returning the favor of being spared by her before. The only way for Tenochtitlan to make up for what she's done is to be broken thoroughly, but...now that she's sure she didn't overdo it, Nitocris relinquishes her Alter form once more. Once that happens, she begins to disappear as well. It's surprising she made it this far to begin with, but like she said before, she can only become an Alter in the Underworlds, and this is the result of doing it outside. It's unfortunate that the current her has to disappear here, but she doesn't regret it, even if it means Pharaoh Nitocris will no longer be summonable by Chaldea.
Tenochtitlan really doesn't understand what about this was worth sacrificing so much for. You could've killed her, but you didn't. At this point, she's so humiliated that she really wishes you would've. Nitocris puts it forward as feeling a sort of kinship, even if it's to a miserable, stubborn, and melancholic being like Tenochtitlan. She's a queen who only fought for her own vengeance, and was praised by some for her courage and wisdom, but she considered it all proof of her own folly.
It all happened too late. Those who I wanted to protect were already lost.
I didn't realize that the time to show courage and wisdom had long since passed me by.
However weak I was, I should have fought to protect my brothers rather than fight to kill the priests who had already slain them.
Whatever scars formed on my soul from punishing myself after the fact did nothing to change my regrets.
The way you so reluctantly fought reminded me of myself back then, before I lost my brothers.
So---while this is a self-serving wish, one only ever meant for my own salvation, I hope it finds its way into your heart.
When you should fight, and whom you should fight. Don't deceive yourself when you know the answers to those questions.
You promised to shed blood for your people, did you not, beautiful city incarnate?
Doesn't some regret still linger in that heart of yours?
With those words, she disappears. Likely, even the original stored at the Border will have been affected as well. No time to dwell on it, though, because the battle made the bridge start to collapse, so you have to hurry towards the temple.
Chapter 19: The Cosmic Tree
Tezcatlipoca and Izcalli have made it down to the "coffin". It's been a year since Tezca was last here, but now he's almost fully healed ORT, who will bore through the entire world and shatter the planet. Izcalli doesn't really get it, and asks if the "weapon" Tezca is after is within this place, but Tezca corrects him and says it's more like it's below them. The hole before them is something Camazotz gouged out of the earth, and the part they're standing on right now is actually part of ORT. In human terms, it's the cranium. The hole, on the other hand, leads straight to its heart. The tree in the background is the Fantasy Tree of this Lostbelt, Quasar. Tezca then recaps the same thing about ORT eating the Fantasy Tree and taking over its function that you already learned before.
Izcalli still doesn't really get how an "imperishable being" can be dead, so Tezca has to explain that too. No matter what kind of lifeform you are, if you lose your vital organs, you'll die. The difference for ORT is what happens after that. It doesn't really have a "biological death", per se. He brings up an example of losing organs or limbs, and how you can technically replace them to get back to "how it was", but in the case of humans, if you cease "activity", then it doesn't matter what part you replace, because you can't come back. "Ceasing to function" even once means organic life ends.
On the other hand, you have machines, who lack this aspect. Even if you disconnect them, or disassemble them or whatever, they can go back to how they were. To Tezca, living vs machine isn't about natural vs artificial or intelligence vs non-intelligence; it's about whether you reach the final end from just dying once.
Life is something that can die. If it can die, it would be correct to call it alive even if it was a machine (see KnK), but undeath isn't part of this deal. If something refuses to die, it's closer to a phenomenon than it is to life. That's kinda what ORT is: something closer to a phenomenon. As long as its "shape" remains, it'll eventually come back to "life" over and over. What's even scarier is that ORT can repair itself automatically. It doesn't matter what part of him gets blown off, all the cells in its body are equally unimportant parts. Every single cell possesses every one of its functions, and so no matter what, it'll restore itself. The only reason it remains inactive in Mictlan is because Malla actively tricked it into thinking it was already healed or something. Whether they do anything here, it will eventually reactivate on its own, but Daybit's plan is that they would tamper with it before that happens. See, if ORT wakes up on its own, it's just gonna wreak havoc for a bit and then fly off. That's no good. What they are planning to do is to give it a simple "order", and this is the whole purpose of Izcalli: to be raised as a Tezcatlipoca, become a god, and then be sacrificed to ORT.
Something falls from above. It's the arm of Tlaloc (in her city mecha form). Tezca has to wonder how you possibly made this outcome happen. Turns out you actually fell down alongside the arm, and it like softened your landing or something, I don't know. Basically, Tenochtitlan saved you all from a hundred meter drop. She of course says she was just trying to keep herself safe, though. Regardless, Da Vinci points out that Tenochtitlan's body is reaching its limit, so no matter whether she wants to remain an ally or enemy, she should just not move for a while.
Anyway, you're now also at ORT's "coffin", the same thing you saw in your vision at Metztitlán. Tezca asks what profit she sees in saving Chaldea, and since she cannot give an answer, he decides he simply has to cut ties with her from now on. More specifically, he's about to put her down right there and then, but Izcalli stops him, begging him to reconsider. By the way, it doesn't come through in the summaries but the whole story Izcalli refers to Tezca as one would a god, but that goes away here, and he addresses much more casually in comparison. Anyway, Izcalli's reason for stopping him is that Tlaloc (the name he uses, since he presumably doesn't know the true name) is Mexico City's and the Ocelomeh's patron god, so she would never save the PHH invaders. Tezca explains that's bullcrap, since she never even once looked at the Ocelomeh. That woman is a PHH heroic spirit to the bone; someone who would never side with the apes of Mictlan.
Izcalli is finding this hard to believe, but when told that she never even revealed her true name to him, he can't argue back anymore. Still, they have Chaldea to take care of now, and Izcalli, seemingly a lot more riled up than before, states that it is his responsibility, and only his, to do so. Tezca finds that he's dragging this out a bit, but humors Izcalli one last time. Since your last fight was so soon previously, you have to save energy, so this fight is just Mashu and Habetrot. Izcalli talks shit about how he wanted to kill you in Mexico City and in Chichen Itza but didn't get the chance, so he'll do it now and become a true Tezcatlipoca. He says there's no need for you here, and you will perish, still ignorant of your own foolishness. To this, you ask him the obvious question if that means he's aware of his own foolishness, which gets him a bit further pumped.
Both times you've fought him, you were focused on saving your allies. This time, you'll be fully focused on taking him on. He recognizes the fighting spirit in you, and understands. If he brings this monster back to life, he'll have become the invader who destroys your world. But so what? There's nothing he would want from PHH anyway. You stop, and ask him if that's true, considering he's also from PHH. He doesn't really get why you would think he is. Is it just because he looks like you? Or because he knows your language? Or because he acts the same as you? Even so, what's the point? The same species killing each other in PHH is just the normal course. He'll prove here and now which creatures harbor the most hate for their enemies.
--- Section 2 ---
You beat Izcalli, quite easily actually. It seems his previous bloodlust is gone. Tezca says playtime's over, and a black smoke starts enveloping the area. The deino hearts they've collected will have restored ORT's body parts, but it still needs the order, and the ignition to the ending. Izcalli approaches the hole, but stops. He can't do it, and he doesn't even know why. He doesn't want to revive ORT, because he feels like that shouldn't be allowed to happen. He begs Tezcatlipoca to reconsider once more. He doesn't care if PHH is destroyed, but there shouldn't be a need to destroy the planet or Mictlan too. He finally sees that Tezca's objective is not for them to be victorious. His divine character is that of destruction and rebirth, so once PHH is gone it would only makes sense that the age of Ocelomeh followed, fulfilling both, but that's obviously not what's happening here. Tezca didn't imagine he'd come all the way down here to be lectured, so he starts dropping some truths on Izcalli.
Izcalli---actually, Moctezuma. The king that ruined the Aztecs in Pan-Human History.
Had my doubts about the end of your era. Like how whether to start it anew was all that correct a decision.
So the one way to determine this was to give you another shot.
Call it pity, if you wanna be blunt. What choices would the betrayed soul make when given a second chance?
And you did good over this one year.
Even if only in soul, you very much did overcome Tezcatlipoca's trials.
So if someone like that feels like they can't do it, I'm not gonna protest.
Even if I did raise you into a god's heart with great care, I'll give up on offering you to ORT.
If the sacrifice himself doesn't have the will to destroy the world, then that future won't be realized.
Does that mean---
Yeah, see ya.
A single bullet. Right in the head. Those are the rules: if you wanna reprimand a god, do so with your life on the line. As if nothing happened, Tezca turns to you, saying he has a favor to ask. Since his last product fell off, he figures the heart of someone who has erased six Lostbelts should do the trick as sacrifice. You're used to destroying worlds, so ORT will probably take kindly to it. You ask why he killed Izcalli, but he just says it was a waste of time. He gave up his right lung for Izcalli to exist, which is quite costly considering he's in a human body right now. Well, either way Izcalli would've been dead in a few minutes no matter what happened. Now, you should have had time enough to rest, so it's time to fight Tezca instead.
(This fight is basically identical to the previous one, except you take out more break bars.)
As it turns out, you can't really do much to him (funny since you take out so many break bars in the battle). The black smoke surrounding you isn't just some sort of smokescreen, it's an Authority of probability manipulation. You can't hit him or anything. Hell, for all you know, even if you beat him he might have manipulated the result of "being defeated" into "not being defeated". As long as the smoke stays up, this battle won't end. You also can't blast it away with the Black Barrel, because the cave would probably collapse. Suddenly, thunder strikes the area. It's Olga, coming to the rescue!
It's a bird!
It's a plane!
It's the President, of course.
It's Director Olga Marie!
--- Section 3 ---
Olga says her finger just slipped from the sweat, hence the lightning, but Rasputin feels the need to add that it's unlikely she's even feeling this heat, or has the ability to sweat in the first place. She says she sweats quite a lot when she's in trouble, actually. Anyway, Olga has come to your rescue! Tezcatlipoca only wonders where the hell Kukulkan is hiding, and why she hasn't done anything yet. He addresses Olga as Beast, and tells her to stay out of his way. Is she really gonna pretend to be a regular human again after saying her goodbyes to these people? Of course, she says she's only here sightseeing, and it's all just a big coincidence. It's not like she was trying to save your or anything.
You think back to what Beni-Enma said about friends drifting apart, and immediately feel the need to apologize to Olga for not telling her about everything sooner. She says you can bury the hatchet here, but asks if you even understand why she's helping you here. "Well, that goes without saying," you start, "because we're friends!" Olga chokes up a bit, then begins: "Master of Chaldea, I command you to go all out against this guy!"
You finally manage to beat him! An overwhelming victory, actually, but no surprise when you've got Olga. And so, you exclaim that the plan to revive ORT has failed! Olga perks up, asking if that's really how it works, looking a bit nervous.
That is how it works, my lady. I told you so, didn't I? That you'd only have things to lose by helping them out?
The half-year of hard work we did while hidden away in the South American Lostbelt has now all gone by wayside. Hahaha.
Olga kicks herself but eventually says it's "good" and that she "totally intended" it from the start. Regardless, there's no way left for them to revive ORT, since neither Tezca nor Izcalli is left to be used as a sacrifice. Tezca confirms it, saying there's no using a soul full of regrets, or a damaged heart. Even if they did, ORT wouldn't take any orders from it, and would just snack a bit on the planet before moving on. He's not gonna sacrifice himself in some last ditch effort without even getting any results from it. So, he'll graciously accept defeat and simply bow out from here (no, he doesn't actually disappear, just leaves). His plan has failed, so now Daybit is all on his own. He tells you to do whatever you want, and that he'll see you in the paradise for the dead. With that, you've won! But, these footsteps you hear approaching...
--- Section 4 ---
Daybit stares you down. He didn't think you'd be able to beat Tezcatlipoca, so he's almost shocked seeing it happen. He confesses that he was being a bit conceited just because he had done the underworld pilgrimage before. As he continues walking, you yell at him to stop, but he says there's simply no reason to. If you want to stop him, show him that you're able to. He's just arrived here, and ORT's coffin is right behind you. If he just continues walking straight, the planet will meet its end. After all, he's already made preparations on his end to activate ORT himself. Mashu doesn't understand. Isn't he from PHH too? There shouldn't be any reason for them to destroy the world!
---But there is. And it is for that reason that I infiltrated Chaldea.
Still, you really think I'm someone from Pan-Human History? Do you think the same, Fujimaru?
Do I look like an Earthling to you?
Unarguably, yes. He thinks that's an uninteresting answer, though, since he's heard it so many times before. Anyway, he has to get a move on. He only has one minute remaining today. He already "minced up" Kadoc and the others, so now he'll just have to "cut you up" as well (no I don't know why he uses so much cooking terminology).
Da Vinci is shocked. He wasn't supposed to be able to summon Servants. However, Olga clarifies those are no Heroic Spirits. In fact, it's not even life from this cosmic sector.
He's from a place more than 14 billion light years away---the terminal of the dark stars that flew to the outermost realm of the cosmos when the universe was born.
Why is he connected to a past radio source 14 billion light years away, whose light cannot even reach this planet!?
Ever the Alien God, even in your degraded state. You deduced the truth about the things behind me.
Or rather, you always were very bright, Olga Marie. The problem was that the director before you was too competent.
An incompetent cannot run Chaldea.
The fact that you were able to direct Chaldea at such a young age is proof of your talents.
It's only because you yourself couldn't believe in that, that this friction occurred between you and your surroundings.
Not only that, but there was also Lev Lainur's psychological manipulation. He made you dependent on him, creating a barrier between you and everyone else.
Up to that point, Goetia's machinations---the plot of the Demon Pillars---was perfect...
Nevertheless, even then, something which could be said to be far more miraculous were the feelings Lev Lainur had towards you.
If it wasn't for that, there would've never been a possibility for us to turn the tables. The King of Mages, Solomon---no, the King of the Demon Gods, Goetia.
At that time, he not only incinerated the Human Order, he also birthed the Defenders of the Human Order.
Olga is a bit annoyed about how everyone seem to be talking to her like they all know her, so now she's getting riled up to fight. If you let him get any closer to the hole, he'll win for sure. You can't hold anything back here. You can't let him resurrect ORT.
(Fight happens here)
As you strike down more and more of the Angelic Remnants which Daybit summoned, he simply continues walking, and there is nothing to stop him. One step at a time, he draws closer to the end of the planet. As he does, we're treated to quite a long flashback about Daybit
The full line-by-line Rayshift translation is provided for Daybit's flashback.
In this midst, the past events that led to his decision are put into order.
His father was not a magus, but rather a mere researcher who had devoted himself to the research about the Semitic peoples.
Actually, "mere" is not the correct label.
He excelled on account of his inventiveness, persistence, tenacity, and most importantly, force of fortuity that let him encounter miracles.
In terms of the results of his research, it was enough to put him on par with prestigious magi who had spent centuries developing their Magic Circuits.
Much fieldwork he did, and at the end of it all, he discovered a single circlet. Nothing more than an ordinary wooden halo.
However, when he tried to look through to the other side of the circlet, that which spread across his view was nothingness. It was an Angelic Artifact.
He didn't need to be a magus to understand that this wasn't something that ought to exist on our planet. Just experiencing it was enough.
The father was bestowed with a lab, and from that day forward, he became an observer of this Angelic Artifact.
No matter what he tried, the Angelic Artifact could not be analyzed, and no matter what did, it never changed.
Twenty years after the founding of the lab, the father had been blessed with a child, who had just turned ten.
On that day, the father had invited his son to the lab. And this wasn't due to negligence.
It was because he had already deemed the artifact was nothing more than a totally unchanging gift from God.
And it was then that the light overflowed.
An eternity of 0.2 seconds. Once the brief light abated, the father had vanished from the world.
Both the father's name and his background had vanished from people's memories---from all records in the world.
It actually became as if he had never existed.
There was nothing left but the burnt-in shadow of a person on the floor indicating that someone had once stood there.
The child saw it all happen clearly.
He saw the shadow burnt into the ground. He knew that it had been his father, that his father was no longer alive, and that he himself was unharmed, but also...
That he himself having been present meant that he had also vanished from the world, much like his father had.
The headmaster had spoken, and so nobody ever stepped foot in the lab again.
Exam results showed that the substances that constituted the boy's body were the exact same as they had been before.
He retained the same memories and personality he'd originally had. In all respects, he was no different from the boy he had been before.
Yet the boy knew better than anyone else that he was something "different".
Whatever he did, he didn't feel like he was truly a part of the world. Whoever he was close to, he didn't feel like he was among the safety of his fellow people.
"He is no longer of this Earth."
So went the thinking of the magi in the Department of Lore. The boy did not disagree.
He lacked a human perspective and sense of distance. Those had been 's, who was now a stain on the floor.
Nevertheless, the boy considered himself part of mankind.
Even if his mind wasn't, the base sequence of his DNA was human in every respect.
He felt that even if he no longer considered himself human, he should still obey the laws---the Order of mankind.
In which case, what defines mankind?
The boy had learned the answer to that ever so elusive question from his father.
"Humans have all sorts of races, and all sorts of mistakes that they commit, but what lies at their core is the same for all of them."
"Even without being taught to do so, all humans strive to do good, in the same way bugs always move towards sources of light."
And that is how the boy would spend his eight years at the Department of Lore.
It was then that he became aware that he had a single defect.
The boy's memory, the system he had for recording events, had changed from how it was before.
He could only record 5 minutes worth of events out of the 24 hours that made up each day. For him, each day had become 5 minutes worth of events.
The reason this discovery came so late was because it caused no anomalies in his daily life.
The theory that the events a human needs to remember in a single day easily fit into five minutes was something the boy had put into practice.
For someone like him who compressed each day into 5 minutes, the 24 hours possessed by ordinary humans were a kind and gentle, yet inefficient amount of time.
A Day's Bit. Daybit. The one born from the artifact of emptiness handed down among the Semites.
As another aside, by the time he left the Department of Lore, Daybit had figured out the conditions necessary to activate the Angelic Artifact.
"When there are zero fatalities within a 20 km radius in one full day."
That was the truth behind the halo that so brimmed with malice towards civilization, and had erased the father and the boy from Earth.
We cut to another flashback, a conversation between Daybit and Marisbury. Marisbury is glad to see that Daybit showed up to join of his own initiative.
It seems you're in need of a precise view capable of observing the universe in a way that mankind's current level of technology is incapable of doing so, am I correct?
Yes. I don't care for its contents, just the shape is enough. I'd like it to be as elaborate as possible.
But I don't need it to go outside the universe. 13.8 billion light-years will do, no more.
Your findings will be most helpful to me. I'd very much like you to cooperate with securing the Human Order.
Securing the Human Order... the attestation of the future, or perhaps even its determination. That is indeed a righteous Order. But how, specifically?
Marisbury decides to let Daybit in on his plan, as long as he keeps it a secret, but unfortunately we do not get to partake of this info. Still, Daybit seems reluctant it would even succeed. The magi forming the core of the plan are too weak, and should any learn the truth, they'll try to stop it. Not to even mention the Counter Force. He seems certain that nobody but himself and Kirschtaria would survive. But Marisbury simply says that's the whole reason why they're keeping it a secret. From the Mage's Association, from the other Chaldeans, and even from the world.
In the upcoming Singularities that are part of the Human Order Restoration, the magi of the A-Team will not be Masters.
You will be concealers. Crypters. Will you keep that in mind?
It was in that moment that he decided on the Order which he needed ot fulfill. His plan was to destroy Chaldea, even if it meant destroying the planet alongside it. Daybit Sem Void approaches things from a cosmic perspective; he is neither a servant of the Alien God, nor fighting for the sake of the Human Order.
Flashback ends. You finally beat all the enemies, but you lost track of Daybit. When you notice him again, he's right in front of the coffin. You were simply two seconds too late, he says. Olga throws out a bunch of attacks to get him, but they have no effect. He says the reason is simple, and decides to show you: as you can see, he has the Alien God's heart right there.
Olga has a flashback to right before Kukulkan sank the Border, when she was hiding out in that cave. Apparently during that time Olga had inadvertently protected the Border from the attack while trying to protect herself. Either way, as she sits there restoring herself, it seems that Tezcatlipoca had snuck up on her. He straight up pulls the heart out of Olga's weakened body since his specialty is pulling hearts from living bodies, saying his boss needs it to transplant into himself.
Basically, that's the reason for why Olga is so much weaker here. Daybit had figured that just like ORT, the Alien God would have been able to restore a broken heart, so instead, he maintained it in an active state, constantly sending biosignals to trick her into thinking she still had a heart. He definitely didn't expect the trick to last this long, though. But he finally understands why: Olga had thought that she would be better off remaining as her weaker self. Because then, she could still be with the rest of you. What a very silly dream, he exclaims.
You've lost. Your defeat was set in stone the moment you started fighting him. However, before he leaves you, he deems it fitting he should answer Mashu's question first.
My objective is to maintain the balance. That is what I have deemed to be best for mankind.
Should all seven Lostbelts be excised, it would mean the completion of his Securing of the Human Order.
If that were to happen, it would surely give the Earthlings a bad name across the 13.8 billion light years around us. You'd be known as the most terrible intelligent life born in this universe.
Before that happens, I will destroy Earth. That's the only way I can destroy Chaldea---
The only way I can destroy the originator of this problem: the alien world known as CHALDEAS.
Mashu isn't following. CHALDEAS is a miniature copy of Earth, not an alien world. Well, no matter how perfect a reacreation it is, the original Earth is still right here. In that case, isn't it more accurate to say CHALDEAS is another planet? The Alien God is alien precisely because she's a god born within CHALDEAS, while the bleaching of the Earth was Chaldea's plan: the Animusphere Grand Order, the Human Order Security Organization. Daybit knows very well that even the A-team were just pawns for that end.
You don't believe this. After all, CHALDEAS was already destroyed, wasn't it? Wrong. It was protected.
Why else do you think Anastasia was chosen for the raid on Chaldea?
It was to preserve CHALDEAS within the ice.
The renaissance genius Da Vinci might have been able to realize the truth during the raid.
In which case, even if destroying CHALDEAS would be out of her reach, she might've been able to cause some kind of malfunction.
That in turn, could have served to delay the plan.
After all, Chaldea still had the option remaining to Rayshift into CHALDEAS at that time.
That was taken into account by CHALDEAS, which is why it was made to appear as if it had ceased functioning by being covered in ice.
And you actually did give up on CHALDEAS back then, escaping from the South Pole in the Shadow Border.
Thus distancing yourself from the point where the real culprit was located.
Of course, he says if you hadn't done so, you would've just been wiped out. In fact, all your actions have been correct so far, but only insofar as they were answers to questions on an exam prepared by Marisbury. In other words, you are the bad guys, and you've been playing right into the hands of the evil mastermind this whole time. That said, you did indeed save mankind once by taking back the future from the Human Order Incineration, and you should be proud of it. Chaldea might be the cause, but you are not the culprits. For the sake of mankind up to 2017, there could have been no better staff to safeguard it than you.
Neither me nor Wodime would ever deny that. Which is why---
If you disapprove of my plan and succeed in stopping ORT, then head for Antarctica.
That is where your journey ends. The land where you will part with the Grand Order.
There. I said most of what I needed to.
That was my agreement with Kirschtaria. We didn't form one per se, but we both had the same idea.
That should either one of us be the last man standing, then when we're trying to defeat Chaldea...
We should present our enemy, Chaldea, with this information as well.
And so, he simply walks off the ledge.
--- Section 5 ---
That's a lot to take in, but you can't stay here and theorize. ORT is coming, and as Daybit said, you need to make it to Antarctica if you want to stop everything. Kirschtaria must have thought the same. While the two of them followed their own ideals, they never once actually denounced you. It wasn't about good or evil, or even duty; it was about doing what one believes is right, and that's what the two of them did til the very end.
Mashu goes to grab Tenochtitlan, while you grab Olga, who's even weaker now that her heart has actually been crushed. It seems like she's trying to regenerate it as fast as she can, but it's no use, as some green alien-like thing comes up and envelops her. It seems that since ORT ate her heart, it now sees her as another part of itself, ready to assimilate. In other words, in a moment, she'll be disassembled completely and absorbed by ORT. However, you can't get close to it. It gives off so much radiation you would die in mere seconds, and not even a Servant could get close. And if it's impossible for a Servant, then no other living organism could do it either. But that doesn't stop some. Wak chan appears, quickly gnawing through the alien structure until Olga is freed.
Damn, that was close... Real close... Dammit...
Urgh, maybe I lost too much blood...? I'm feelin' dizzy...and...it's gettin'...dark...?
Whatever. You good, Olga?
You were makin' some crazy noises, so yeah, I hopped down here like my life was on the line.
This sucker got his for laying hands on my future wife, right? Though I'm well aware you're way outta my league!
It seems like Olga does try to respond, but it seems he cannot hear her. Maybe she's just tired, he thinks. He's getting pretty tired himself. He's even starting to lose the ability to speak. Maybe he swallowed something bad. He'll just have to puke it up again later.
Oh... but before that, there's something I gotta... something I need to say...
The reason I stuck together with Fujimaru was 'cause I thought I'd be able to meet you again.
It just bothered me all this time, yeah. That I couldn't express myself very well...
Stuff like that just ain't part of being a fighter. Maybe I shoulda become a priest like Tepeu, huh?
Still, what I said back then was true...
Can't see a damn thing anymore, but...Olga, your color at least, I know is as brilliant as the stars that glitter above.
---I'm happy to have met ya. I really do...have a damn fulfilling life.
With that proclamation, another life is lost.
No way... Earthlings are...evil creatures, aren't they...? They dissected me for years, decades, didn't they...?
I screamed, over and over, that I was human. I'm human, and yet...nobody...ever listened...to me.
So then, why---why... Why am I being treated so kindly? I don't understand...
You tell Olga you need to get out of here, and Rasputin agrees. ORT has obtained her heart, so it is in control. If the two were to merge now, she would simply become a subsystem. The "what-if" she has been experiencing in this world has come to an end. She must return to being Chaldea's enemy now. And so, they must leave this Lostbelt at once, and return to her homeland: the planet in the south pole. You try to approach her, saying that's not how things have to be, but...
---Stop. Don't even come near me with that pathetic human body of yours.
You're right, Rasputin. Not just my heart, but about 30% of my body was stolen by ORT.
I'm going to need some time to restore myself. I do not intend to watch the Earthlings breathe their last down here.
I'm headed for the surface. Come along.
Section 20: ORT
You desperately want to at least bring Wak Chan's body with you outside, but Tepeu stops you right away. The body is saturated with poison, so you have no way of transporting it back safely. Unfortunately, he has to be left down here. As for Tenochtitlan, she's conscious, but it would be too difficult to get her out of here as well, so she's gonna have to be left to her own devices for now. Tepeu will carry Gudao and Da Vinci out, meaning the only ones you're getting out of here are gonna be Da Vinci, Mashu, Habetrot, Gudao, and Tepeu.
A tremendous object is rising up from below you, forcing you to set your Mystic Code's temperature regulation to maximum just to remain conscious. SHEBA informs you that this object represents a maximum level of both danger and hostility. Its Saint Graph doesn't match anything found on Earth, with a Saint Graph grade of Satellite-class and rising. In just a few seconds, the object from below has completely risen, and you make contact. Now begins the showdown with ORT.
Despite boring through the Earth's mantle, it's completely unscathed. It's insane that you even managed to fight this thing for even a little bit back in Mexico City. What's worse, ORT is blocking the way out. Net-like metal fibers are being deployed in all directions, cutting off any alternative escape routes. It's a literal alien spiderweb, and were you to fight in this state, it would be tantamount to suicide. Suddenly, a voice is heard excusing itself for butting in, and something cuts right through ORT's net. It's Kukulkan, berating you for rolling over so easily. No matter how tough your opponent, you should always stand up and fight. She says she probably shouldn't have stopped for tea with Kadoc, and we're treated to a bit of an out-of-place flashback.
Back during Kadoc and co's excursion with Daybit, after Koyanskaya had been defeated by Daybit's shadows, Gordolf and Kadoc were about to be taken out as well, as the shadows had flipped over the Shadow Border and were making their way inside. At that point, however, Kukulkan had appeared and dealt with the shadows. She had lamented how weak PHH mankind must be if they're beaten by an extraterrestrial terminal that weak. Anyway, Gordolf was so thankful for his life being saved, he offered Kukulkan some world-famous British tea. She wondered if that's alright, considering she's their enemy, but Kadoc recounts what was in Gudao's reports about her: She might be the Lostbelt king who wants to keep Mictlan safe, but that doesn't mean she indiscriminately hates her enemies. Kadoc said, on behalf of even Koyanskaya who's not actually dead either, just sulking elsewhere in the Border, that they were very thankful for Kukulkan being such a generous god. Hearing this, Kukulkan had thought that she must continue upholding that demeanor.
Anyway, during teatime they had talked about Daybit, saying how his heartbeat was completely inaudible to Malla, so it was entirely up to Gudao to track him down and stop him. However, even after that, Kukulkan would have to engage Gudao to stop them from cutting down the tree. AS such, she offered to carry Kadoc and Gordolf down to the bottom with her, since she can fly and all, but they declined the offer. Their role from here on will be the rescue the advance party with the Border, so they need to remain here, fix up the vehicle, and then get going. Kukulkan wondered if it was really alright of them to let her go after you on her own, considering the circumstances, but Kadoc said it didn't matter, considering they would have no way to stop her anyway. Right now, the only thing that mattered would be to stop ORT (or its awakening). They could worry about Mictlan after that's over and done with.
So yeah, they had tea and sandwiches and now Kukulkan is here to help, since she cannot allow ORT to ravage Mictlan. Considering she's eaten a lot, Kukulkan will now also go all out in fighting, since she has extra calories to burn. As such, as ORT engages, she asks you to do your best in keeping up with her.
--- Section 2 ---
You...actually manage to defeat it? At least, the instruments show that ORT has ceased activity after your battle. Kukulkan seems to have had some revelation during this moment which completely broke her. Tepeu said he'd figured as much as well, and realizes she's finally found out the truth about herself. Before the conversation can go on any further, Kukulkan simply flies off, leaving you there. The entire cave begins to shake, and you wonder if ORT's gonna start moving again, but Mashu says the instruments actually show it cooling down. More specifically, it's as if all the heat from its extremities is "vanishing" by gathering at its center.
Da Vinci quickly realizes what's going on. You have to get away quickly. ORT wasn't even fully active when you just fought it. It hadn't actually reactivated when it rose from the coffin. Here and now is where you will witness the first reactivation of ORT to its full form.
Back at the Storm Border, everything is giving off a code red. Gravitational fluctuations have been detected all over Mictlan's lowest layer. The instruments are going berserk. The estimated Saint Graph of whatever this thing is keeps increasing, jumping from satellite-class to stellar-class. Nemo Marine confirms that the very Texture of the world is being overwritten from the lowest layer up. Now, finally, they are able to confirm the existence of the Fantasy Tree, but it's completely immeasurable. That is, until they actually look outside.
All the trees of Mictlan are turning into Fantasy Trees. This is what the reactivation of ORT has wrought. This is an ORT different from the one in PHH. It has adapted to the "what if" history of the Lostbelt, and though it may be inferior to the PHH one in both output and destructive instinct, to the point of almost being like a "subspecies", it has fed on the Fantasy Tree and altered its Reality Marble for it. An invasive species that transforms Earth's vegetation into Fantasy Trees, creating an environment more suited to itself. That's what this ORT is. This is no longer the Golden Sea of Trees. It has become the greatest, most terrible Lostbelt; a galactic hell forged in the depths of the Earth.
The Sea of Fantasy Trees: ORT Xibalba.
--- Section 3 ---
You make it outside the temple, seeing the changed world for your own. ORT is also resurfacing in the ninth layer, with its Saint Graph output and scale much, much higher than when you just fought it. It's also grown in size: now about 100 meters tall.
Fantasy Tree seeds, much stronger than the ones you fought earlier, approach you en masse. If you were to engage here, you're dead for sure. You have to retreat back to the temple. However, if you do that, you'll be taken out by ORT instead. You're stuck between a rock and a hard place here. Just then, the Shadow Border comes bustling out of the jungle, quickly picking you all up before making its escape. Gordolf congratulates you on at least accomplishing the most important objective of all: staying alive, and orders you all to rest while you can. Kadoc says Koyanskaya has already headed for Chichen Itza to help set things up there. You recap everything that happened down there, and you come to the conclusion that you might not even be able to stop ORT at this point. Even if you somehow managed to defeat it, considering ORT is part Fantasy Tree now, even if a single Fantasy Tree remained in this world, it would likely just reform. It will make its way out of the Lostbelt, to Antarctica, and destroy CHALDEAS. An impact of that magnitude, enough to destroy an actual planet, would likely shatter 40% of the Earth's surface along with it. PHH, Lostbelts, mankind, they will all be wiped out. In other words, although CHALDEAS might be something bad, you have to protect it at all cost right now. You have to destroy ORT here and now.
Gordolf can't agree to such a plan, though. You've seen and fought ORT once before already, you know what an impossible task that is. Chaldea being ready to lay down their lives for the sake of their objective is fine and all, but that only counts when there's even a sliver of a chance you'll succeed. He asks Da Vinci what alternative there is, but she says there are none. As soon as you failed to stop Daybit, or rather, as soon as Daybit joined the A-team, this was set in motion. You couldn't even escape the world ending, since the Storm Border isn't a spaceship, so you'll quickly die off either way. Gordolf still doesn't want to do this, especially when the one who has to pull it off is someone as young as Gudao, but Da Vinci seems convinced there will be at least some chance at success.
Sion contacts you, having finished her strategy analyzation. Since the four Underworld Borders are "unrestricted summoning zones" that allow even PHH Heroic Spirits, and considering Gudao's manyfold connection to Servants, you will be able to engage in large-scale summoning operations. The Storm Border will position itself over Chichen Itza and dedicate three of its engines solely to support the summoning ceremonies. All the Servants Chaldea has registered up til this point will be engaged in battle. This is an all out war using [however many Servants exist on your account at the moment], leading the first ever Heroic Spirit army in history.
The actual strategy will be for you to give chase to ORT and engage it in combat. According to TRISMEGISTUS II, you have 20 hours until ORT crosses Mictlan. You will need to immediately depart for the Underworld Border and perform summonings there. If you can't defeat ORT within this time limit, it will become impossible to observe the secret behind CHALDEAS, the true meaning of Earth's bleaching, and even the future of mankind. At least, TRISMEGISTUS II has responded to the question of whether there's any chance at all of you succeeding with a simple "affirmative", so a chance exists.
Thus begins the final operation: the Decisive Battle in the Sea of Fantasy Trees.
Now, at this point the map screen actually changes to reflect ORT overwriting the texture, but what's more is that technically this is where "Nahui Mictlan" actually ends. More precisely, you're forced to watch a cutscene here of the chapter banner changing to a red colored one, reading "ORT Xibalba".
Section 21: Decisive Battle in the Sea of Fantasy Trees
Gordolf orders you to stay 700 meters behind ORT as you pursue it up Mictlan. Things aren't really as tough as when you were chasing the Beasts of Calamity in Britain (like how insanely hot it was when Barghest transformed), but you still need to keep a solid distance, and you should be able to command Servants from this range. He also suggests starting out with some less demanding Servants so you can get a feel for its power level. In other words, don't throw your trump cards at it just yet.
The battle goes horribly (at best you can take out its big HP bar, which shatters and reveals nine more, but the battle ends when your party is wiped out). Something strange has happened to the Servants in battle, as well. They can't be recalled. The very information in their Saint Graphs has been stolen in its entirety, and their link to the Throne of Heroes destroyed.
Heroic Spirits are Ghost Liners---recorded strips of the limits we achieved.
They're basically the time period the hero was active, recorded as a phenomenon by our very own universe.
And that's what ORT just consumed! This is real bad! Not at all like how it played out in the Temple of Time!
It's quite literally eating human history!
This is actually insane. The Throne is something located in a higher dimension, it shouldn't even be possible to target with any attacks. But ORT's web-like tendrils seem to be stretching all the way into this higher dimension, using the Servants as terminals. In other words, it's likely ORT is able to damage the "main copy" stored in the Throne. What this means in practice is simply that any Servant defeated by ORT her won't be summonable again.
Sion is actively performing analysis to try and find a weak point you can exploit, but for now you just have to keep throwing things at it to slow it down. The one upside is that in all technicality, information cannot be digested. In all likelihood, ORT is simply storing them internally to use itself. Da Vinci likens it to deposits at a bank. The greater the deposits, the more important that customer becomes to the bank, or the cosmos in this case. That's the sort of concept ORT is working on right now, which means that if you can just break the "ORT bank", all those deposits should come pouring out again. As long as you defeat ORT, all your "debts" will be cancelled. And so, you need to keep fighting, to free the Servants, and to gather more data.
--- Section 2 --- (Plays when one break bar has been taken off from ORT. 8 remaining.)
You are managing to deal damage to ORT, but it's still a far cry from being able to stop it entirely. Gordolf orders you to rest, while Mashu goes out to clear seeds from the Shadow Border. At first you're a bit surprised the seeds have made it all the way up here, considering you're almost at the Fourth Underworld, but then you realize: Mictlan is now full of Fantasy Trees, meaning the seeds are scattered all over. There is no refuge remaining in Mictlan, no matter where ORT is. All living organisms in this world, be they deinos or ocelomeh will lose their lives. The Storm Border contacts you to tell you this exact thing again, but also that they have calculated the route ORT is taking.
Undeniably, it's actually heading for Mexico City. If it were just heading for the surface, that would be an unnecessary stop, so one has to wonder why it's going there. Even when you fought it in Tezcatlipoca's future, you didn't really think about why it was there in the first place. Nemo is sorry to say that despite how much you're struggling, ORT is actually in an incomplete state right now. As it is right now, all its components are functioning completely independently, because the "central unit" of sorts, or its heart, you could say, is missing. In other words, ORT is currently in what basically amounts to power saving mode, only generating enough energy through the rotation of its disc. Most likely, if it had its main power source, Mictlan would have been annihilated in mere moments.
Kadoc thinks perhaps Camazotz destroyed the heart back during their fight, but you have another idea: it's the sun. You might remember that the sun (or the solar itineracy) was moved from Chichen Itza to Mexico City, so that adds up. Tepeu starts sharing what he knows about this as well. How do you think a new sun came to be when the old one disappeared 6 million years ago? Malla used all their power to create the first sun, leaving them unable to replicate this feat a second time. As such, they had to get it from an external source. Once the Ka'an gave everything they had to defeat ORT, Malla took its heart and fashioned a new sun. It's effectively the exact same scenario as Daybit and Olga had just now. The heart might not be in ORT's body right now, but it is still active somewhere. That's also why ORT never reactivated: it didn't receive a command to restore its heart since it was still intact. For all this time, the energy that nurtured the deinos was the heart of ORT.
Obviously, you must defeat it at all costs before it can retrieve its heart.
--- Section 3 --- (Plays when three break bars has been taken off from ORT. 6 remaining.)
We're treated to a monologue by Tenochtitlan.
The end arrived without mercy. The end arrived without cause.
No longer does refuge exist in the underground world.
The Fantasy Tree seeds came in droves, ravenously consuming all vegetation as nutrients.
They considered all non-plant life as enemies, and attacked them indiscriminately.
The animals killed by the seeds were crystallized, and then shattered to become stardust scattering in the winds of Mictlan.
Deinos and Ocelomeh alike, all who lived in the forest dwellings lost their lives, powerless to resist.
No life could be felt in my soliloquy. My voice sounded demoralized and regretful.
Beside me laid a boy's motionless corpse.
After Chaldea had headed for the surface, I had intended to be swallowed by Earth's mantle, alongside the crumbling temple.
But looking at the boy's corpse which had been left here, an unidentifiable rage welled up inside of me, and I forced my near-broken body back into action.
That fire saw its limits here. My rage cooled down, and all felt dreary again. I laid down beside the entrance of the temple.
She thinks herself so stupid. What does it matter where she dies? It's all over anyway. She speaks to Izcalli's corpse, to the replica of the king who caused the city she exists as to crumble. It wasn't an act of malice, but simply that of a foolish king, unable to meet demands. She places her finger on his forehead, and runs her finger along his scar. Those chosen to be one-year Tezcatlipocas weren't allowed a single defect, yet this boy had a great scar on his forehead, and it had been there since the very start. No matter how many times he was reborn or no matter how perfect the spell, it would never heal. It was a scar of the soul, more than anything else.
Izcalli had never once cared to know who he really was. He only needed to serve his god, and he was happy to do so. His resolve had been razor sharp back then. This boy, forever unknowing from whom he had been created, was simply given the name Izcalli, and took it on himself to develop the undiluted vengefulness necessary to overwrite ORT's instincts.
My brother's choice of person had been correct.
Considering who he was---considering that it was the soul of Moctezuma II, he would surely, without fail, reject Pan-Human History.
He had been the one who believed in the foreign Spaniards, and welcomed them, only to be betrayed.
The disparate tribes of Mesoamerica ought to have come together to fight the foreign threat, but instead betrayed him.
In the end, even the nobles abandoned him, and so, he was stoned to death by the people of his own kingdom.
He shouldn't want to so much as look at Pan-Human History. He shouldn't want to so much as look at the city which had become his grave.
And indeed, the boy who held the soul of Moctezuma II within grew to become a king filled with rage.
"If you continue to be a king for this one year, you will become Tezcatlipoca."
"Kill the deinos. Offer up their hearts to the sun. The deinos are strong and smart, so you better not falter."
"This is a trial, Izcalli. A trial to see if your soul is worthy of putting an end to Pan-Human History."
It hadn't been a trial. It was assured to work out.
The unhealing wound upon his forehead indicated that Izcalli's hatred was eternal.
---Or so I had thought.
She thinks back to right after the battle in Mexico City, when she had a conversation with Izcalli about their wants. Izcalli had mentioned to her that the destruction he saw of the city in that future had caused him internal pain, though he didn't think it possible. It's not that he particularly feel any connection with the Ocelomeh or the city, seeing as he wasn't an Ocelotl himself, and the city being from PHH, but he felt great pride in the achievements of the Ocelomeh. Likewise, despite his hatred for PHH, he wasn't one to just renounce something so beautiful as this city. He knows he will probably be banished from this city at some point, considering he's an "outsider", but he wants to at least create a great kingdom for the Ocelomeh to live on in. This despite knowing he will be sacrificed at the end of the year. Still, as their king, he wants to see the fate of the Ocelomeh til the very end. Or rather, that's the dream he has, even if he knows it will never come to pass, as he's made for a single purpose. Thinking about those things are the only times when his scar stops hurting.
In the end, he wasn't able to fulfill either his dream nor his objective as Tezcatlipoca, and Tenochtitlan thinks him a kid into the very end. She also thinks back to what Nitocris told her back then: about how she shouldn't deceive herself when you know when and whom you should fight; to promise to shed blood for her people. After all, doesn't some regret still linger in her heart? With a heavy sigh, Tenochtitlan proclaims: "Humans are just so stupid!"
In Chichen Itza, a bunch of deinos have begun gathering. They don't really understand why, but they just feel so connected to this place now. Furthermore, being able to communicate with words and share stories is just too engrossing, so they decide to sit down and talk about PHH stories some more. The fact that so many of them came back to the city in which they once lived shouldn't matter, but it does feel really important to them for some reason. It's something they lost, and for once wanted to take back. In the end, they just hope Chaldea will be able to avoid being dragged down alongside their extinction.
--- Section 4 ---(Plays when five break bars has been taken off from ORT. 4 remaining.)
You ask for a time out as you drop to the floor, apologizing. Kadoc helps you into a chair and tells you to rest up for 15 minutes, and try not to think about what's going on. He also says you shouldn't be relying so heavily on energy ampoules, as it appears you've been quite liberal with them. Since you've got a bit of a window, you decide to decelerate and find a safe spot to rest up. You've now been in battle for nearly four hours straight, and it's starting to show on both Gudao and Mashu.
Tepeu is glued to the window, examining the Fantasy Trees. He mentions that he can indeed detect massive energy levels coming from inside them, although not exactly as strong as Mictlan's sun. Kadoc begins saying compared to the real ones (using the one in Russia as example) which are much bigger, these are more like tips of branches, but he quickly stops himself. After all, there's no such thing as a real or fake Fantasy Tree. Rather than a question of being genuine or size, as long as the shape is the same, it works the same. Tepeu continues musing:
It should be impossible for the galaxies inside of the trees to be real, but we cannot help but recognize them as galaxies.
There is a galaxy inside of the tree. No problem with that part. But what makes them serve as the anchor for a Lostbelt?
Despite the fact that ORT, the Fantasy Tree, had ceased activity, Mictlan still persisted.
The energy of the galaxies isn't actually being used, don't you think? That's purely something secondary---
Should the main premise be that they just have to hold a galaxy within? That there's some kind of meaning of there being a galaxy inside of them...?
You're not really sure where he's going with this, but Gordolf has something important to announce anyway. Due to the time constraint, there's no possibility for you to go out of your way to help any other deinos. This includes the one Tepeu cares most about, the one in Metztitlan, which ORT will pass right through. Well, while Tepeu appreciates the sentiment, he doesn't mind it. Even if you could get there in time, Ixquic can't ever leave that place. That's something both she and him accepted long ago.
Cut to Metztitlan, where Kukulkan is visiting Ixquic, telling her that ORT is heading straight there. Kukulkan praises her for her resolution in dying here, and vows as the arbiter who is to determine the fate of Mictlan to ascertain her final moments for herself. She also thinks about how when Chaldea was here before, Malla had already decided that "For as long as ORT is the Fantasy Tree, it must be left be," and "If Chaldea would try to deactivate ORT, then they are to be eliminated at Kukulkan's hand." Ixquic seems to feel kinda bad for Kukulkan, so she starts talking about Quetzalcoatl, who Malla used as the model for Kukulkan. Quetz was such a free being, yet Kukulkan is the opposite. In the end, both Kukulkan and Ixquic were "what ifs" that never managed to become like the real thing. However, Kukulkan is determined in her role as the creator god of this world, and in her responsibility to it. As such, Ixquic thinks there's nothing left to do but to say her farewells.
Malla. Based on the judgment of nobody but yourselves, you evacuated us underground and kept us alive.
You still regret that choice. For tens of millions of years, you tried your best to take responsibility for it.
"There must have been some other way." "I should've done the same thing as in Pan-Human History."
Thank you. But it's okay, really. We've been more than happy here.
Even if you are from a different planet, and are a different life form, you are still our mother.
Don't you have the right to mourn the deaths of your children in that what-if dream of an unreachable Pan-Human History?
Well, it seems to be just around the corner now. Now please, fly away from here so you don't get caught up in it.
I'm happy to have been able to say my final thanks. Farewell, Kukulkan.
My only friends were big brother Tepeu and...you, the sun who always watched over me.
We've had a dramatic and love-filled life, more so than any other mankind ever did.
--- Section 5 --- (Plays right after section 4, without further requirements.)
Rather than continuing to chase after ORT, you rushed ahead to the Third Underworld, where you have to make your final stand, lest ORT makes it to Mexico City. You'll be able to summon more easily here, so this should be fine. You call on Ereshkigal Alter, who already knows exactly what is going on, and is ready to help. Dumuzid says it's time for him to return all the magical energy he embezzled from this Underworld. Turns out, he had just made it seem like all the flowers here died out, while he stored the magical energy elsewhere to prepare just for this moment. As such, you now have a huge surplus of energy, and Ereshkigal has set up an "anti-ORT barrier", which is literally a wall of thousands of Gugalanna legs packed so closely together nothing could get through. Well, ORT arrives and blasts right through the wall. Without barely reacting to Ereshkigal's failure, you realize it's time to summon again. Ereshkigal isn't out of the game yet though, and vows to assist you.
...Ahem! Ereshkigal, the goddess of the underworld, commands you!
From henceforth, you shall summon without limitations! Both myself and the Storm Border shall support you!
Gugalanna's legs will be placed throughout the underworld, and by expanding and compressing the territory,
we'll increase the spatial density of the sixth layer! It won't be so easy to break through here!
Meanwhile, I'll slow down ORT with red lightning, and give your Servants the blessing of the underworld!
Let's settle this here and now, Fujimaru! I'll show you who's the real goddess of victory!
--- Section 6 --- (Plays when eight break bars has been taken off from ORT. 1 remaining.)
At the Storm Border, they're still under attack by seeds, though it's letting up a bit. They need to start charging the main battery now though, which will take a full four hours given their engine deficiency right now, and as such for that time, they won't be able to provide any backup to Gudao's party. Luckily, you have Ereshkigal's energy to compensate, but she'll need to be the one to maintain all the Saint Graphs. Actually, she's already taking some heavy damage from doing so. She's outputting so much magical energy that she's unravelling physically, starting from the fingertips. Even so, as long as the summoner retains a will to fight, she won't leave this battlefield. The damage to ORT is definitely starting to pile up, and so this battle of wills between the invasive species and the summoner who managed to even suppress Tiamat must be coming to a close.
--- Section 7 --- (Plays when all break bars has been taken off and ORT is defeated.)
ORT is starting to crumble. You've done it. You somehow managed to beat it! You go outside to bid Ereshkigal farewell before she disappears. She says all that's left now is Kukulkan, but compared to ORT, she could hardly be much of a problem. Ereshkigal leaves for a bit after apparently noticing something, and Dumuzid is left to convey her final thoughts. She fought as hard as she could, to the point where it was as if she was fighting as the underworld itself. In this state, she could have possibly fought off the civilization-reaping alien as well, but considering ORT is something which eats planets, this was just a bad match-up in the end.
Suddenly, an alarm sounds so loud it's splitting the head of everyone inside the Border. Dumuzid tells you they're all alright, but you should hurry back inside; you won't survive at this distance. Once inside, he bids you take a look a the monitor.
ORT's internal temperature is skyrocketing. It's performing nuclear fusion, producing massive concentrations of cosmic rays and gravitational pull. It's currently at 100,000 degrees celsius, estimated to reach 1 million soon enough, or even higher. It's becoming like a swarm of thunderclouds in outer space: a galactica supercell. Turns out, the "body" you were fighting all this time wasn't exactly that. It was more like "waste parts" left on the outside body after activity, like keratin on a human. As ORT is something which fell from the sky, a true unidentified flying object, its true body is the saucer-like object. Rather than think about this, you just wonder where Ereshkigal went, but Dumuzid says she went and took the full brunt of the space storm to help protect you. He hands you a single remaining flower from the Underworld: the last remains of a goddess who sacrificed her own wish in order to turn the Third Underworld into a decisive battleground. As long as you have that flower, you will have her blessing.
And her message. This is why I am here.
"I'm sorry I couldn't fight to the end. But at least I went out cool, right?"
She wasn't daunted in the slightest while facing that storm.
Triumphantly, her Saint Graph crumbled from her fingertips from providing the magical energy for the Heroic Spirit summons.
Her smile was as radiant as that scarlet flower. Unfortunately, it could only record one second of audio.
---Yeah. You were cool.
...Thank you, Ereshkigal.
With this, it's time for Dumuzid to disappear as well. Before that happens, he gives you some pointers. It appears the storm extends less far above ground, so you should give chase at a distance of two kilometers from now on. This is gonna increase the burden on you as the summoner fivefold, which will be painful. Dumuzid isn't too worried though. You are the one who reached the abyss and showed it the brilliance of the rainbow. The hero who the goddess of the underworld longer for so much she willingly risked her life for you.
(Since ORT reactivated again, the raid interface is replaced with 6 more break bars which need to be dealt with, and the model on the map is replaced with just the golden saucer)
Section 22: The One Who Rules the Planet
ORT has resumed activity and begun heading for Mexico City once more. Gordolf is growing increasingly uncertain about success at this point. If ORT absorbs the sun, you're completely done for. Maybe you should retreat, he says. But Gudao will not retreat. They will stop ORT, no matter the cost. And so, you'll continue your fight. You'll keep summoning, Gordolf will maintain the two kilometer distance, Kadoc will use the guns to take out any seeds heading for you, and Mashu will have to help out with that as well, since if she engages ORT at this distance she won't be able to come back, so that's a no go for her.
--- Section 2 --- (Plays when one break bar has been taken off from ORT. 5 remaining.)
A storm is coming. A world-rending storm is coming for the sun in an effort to regain its heart.
All the Ocelomeh in Mexico City had gathered in one place.
The Fantasy Tree seeds scattered around the forests had begun attacking their settlements.
For the non-combatants, Mexico City had become a citadel of hope dedicated to their protection.
The Ocelotl warriors equipped themselves with their weapons, and engaged in battle with the seeds attacking their city.
And now, the seeds have departed, and the storm is about to arrive.
This is something which was made clear an hour ago. That's when the storm approaching from the bottom layers of Mictlan had become visible.
It is a gale that blows away trees and nature. A rainbow-hued radiance which destroys animals from within.
It is a flying saucer boasting a hulk as massive as a city.
The Ocelomeh understand that staying in Mexico City will spell their doom.
They understand that their only resort is to evacuate the city and pray that the storm passes.
---And even knowing that, not a single one has chosen the future of leaving the city.
The Ocelomeh are all arming themselves, something which Vucub thinks is wholly insane. What good do they think that'll do? He orders them to flee with him, but no matter how much he begs and screams, they don't listen. Why is this? Why is it that they won't understand? Is it an order from their King, from Izcalli? But no, it's not. In that moment, an Olcelotl speaks out. It's a broken language, but it's an intelligent one nonetheless. "You, wrong. Not for king" he says. They fight not for a king, but for Mictlan. They want to live on in this world. They want to become smarter, let their families laugh. That's why they fight. Not for some god, but for the sake of their world. It's not that they don't understand what kind of monster ORT is, but that they'll fight to protect it despite that.
The Ocelotl points to the altar, implying that if they break it, the sun will leave. They want to get it out of here. Vucub thinks that's stupid. They just got the sun here, and now these dumb apes are trying to tell him what to do with it? He's not like them, he'll never be allowed to be treated like this. But they know he's not like them. They say he's a bad deinos, who betrayed his friends and fled here alone. But still, they don't hate him. He did the best he could to survive. While the rest of the deinos never saw the Ocelomeh even as enemies, Vucub was the one to acknowledge them.
Hearing this, Vucub pushes away the Ocelomeh who are trying to break the altar. He explains in a condescending voice how they don't how it works, but he does. There's a stone which they stole from Chichen Itza to which the sun is drawn. He takes it out of the altar, and says he will return it to where it belongs. The Ocelomeh are thankful, and in exchange give Vucub a candy skill, saying he is chosen by fate. Before they leave, Vucub asks for their names. They have to have names, at least. The leader of them says his name is Cuauhtémoc. It's not a good name, but it was given to him by his mighty father, and it "sounds like bravery". For context, that's the name of the last king of the Aztecs in PHH. He succeeded the throne of the Spanish-conquered Tenochtitlan after the death of Moctezuma II. He was a brave young king who fought until the bitter end together with just a few hundred subjects. The meaning of the name is that of the "descending eagle".
And so, the priest takes off towards Chichen Itza.
Back at the Border, Kadoc is telling you to get your breathing together, or you're gonna die from hypoxia. There's currently six kilometers between ORT and Mexico City, meaning it'll get there in five minutes. The Ocelomeh are trying their best, but their weapons are simply ineffective against it. But that's when you notice it. The sun appears to be moving a bit. As you look at the monitor closer, you see a faint source of heat, which seems to be the solar itinerancy. The biowave you see next to it is that of Vucub. You have no idea what kind of change of heart he had, but he's actually saving the whole world in this very moment. If the sun returns to Chichen Itza, you'll even be able to defend it using the Storm Border. But there's an issue: Vucub just isn't fast enough while carrying that weight. The solar itinerancy is about to be consumed by the supercell's massive sphere. You have about one minute until that happens, as ORT has now arrived at Mexico City's edge.
The Ocelomeh have had to retreat back into the city, but they haven't given up fighting yet. They definitely intend to fight into the last; to protect their home from invaders. Suddenly, you notice another weird heat source in Mexico City, which appears to be rising rapidly. Extreme amounts of magical energy is detected all over the city. This is the same reading as a Saint Graph of Divine Spirit-level.
There won't be anyone there anyway. Why would there ever be anyone protecting those short-lived abodes?
So, I thought I'd come here to disappear, watching as Mictlan breathed its last, in the middle of the abandoned city.
It was so lively that I could hardly believe my eyes. The cries of joy were so loud that I felt my ears hurting.
Not a single one of them had fled the city. They held their weapons fast, united in the face of the enemy.
"I want to stay here forever." "I want to live in this beautiful city forever."
They were so overjoyed to have such a cause to fight for.
There was still fear, of course. All who were headed for the battle lines were prepared to fight to the death.
"There is no way I'll live to tell the tale. We will all go extinct here."
"But we will still fight. Even if not a single one of us remains. For the sake of the time we spent here. For the sake of the happiness we had here."
This battle was not one between species trying to eradicate one another. It was a battle to protect what was dear to them in the face of unprecedented cataclysm.
They felt that purpose worthy of their lives. The final battle to protect their future home.
---Temple of the Two Gods, move to shoulder area. Convert city water streams into Magic Circuits. Inject Divine Core into Mamalhuaztli, Igniting Constellation.
---You cannot be serious... Just, what are they doing, honestly?
Do they have some kind of stupid fantasy of ascending to heaven if they die bravely in battle or something? I bet they do. That's how the Aztec world worked.
If you fight and die, it doesn't matter who you are, you will be recognized. If you win in battle, it doesn't matter who you are, you will be in the right.
However, that only counts when your opponent is another warrior like you. Those who die in accidents or from sickness all go into different kinds of underworlds.
Those who die from old age or disasters are allowed to head to Tezcatlipoca's paradise.
But Tezcatlipoca is no more. Even if they all die here, no god is going to save them.
---So... I guess it's up to me, right?
Ometeotl, Multigod Fusion System, approved. Cardiac City, launching---
YOU FFFFFFFFUCKING INVADER!! You're not taking another step into MY CITY---!
You can't believe it. Using the city itself, which was actually her Noble Phantasm, Tenochtitlan has managed to stop ORT in its tracks, allowing Vucub to escape. You'll change course and head for Chichen Itza as well. Preferably, your final stand will have to be in the second Underworld, where you will have to go all out yet again.
Meanwhile, Tenochtitlan is having more and more trouble with ORT. The momentum was in her favor only at first, and the longer she holds on, the more her ability to contend with it decreases. The saucer never actually stopped spinning, and so it smashed her pillar-arms to pieces, returning them to their original stone form. Ometeotl, this machine, is Tenochtitlan herself, meaning any damage sustained by it is returned straight back to her.
My tears stream forth. My screams flow out. A feeling of rage-tinged regret telling me I should've just stopped, assaults me.
If my soul weakens, the city will crumble.
Pathetic. I couldn't even hold out for a single minute. There wasn't a single point to me trying to stand in the way.
The only thing this stupidity has gotten me is more pain and a greater feeling of helplessness.
I can't protect anything. I couldn't in the past, and I can't in this Lostbelt either.
All the time I spent here only served to remind me of that. And just as I'm about to ungracefully collapse...
My tears begin to roll down my cheeks. My sobbing wells up. Rage-tinged happiness surges forth. Why can't I run away?
They are protecting the city. They're protecting me.
They're protecting what I failed to protect in the past, when no battle even occurred to protect it.
I was occupied by the invaders, then buried under the soil by the foreign culture's values, as if I had never existed.
But I'm not buried yet... If there are people here in this city who still wish to live, then---
Even if I can't stop you like this, and even if this single minute of resistance only extends to become two.
That still isn't reason enough for me to ever give up---!
Again and again will I be constructed. Again and again will I protect their sun, and their dreams.
My name is Tenochtitlan! The magnificent city by the water, where warriors are honored!
The beating heart of the Aztec world that rises even after death---!
ORT has gone. It just went ahead and changed its course. It probably didn't even see Tenochtitlan or the Ocelomeh as much more than pebbles on the road. Half the city is destroyed, and only a few people remain. It won't be long now until Mictlan comes to an end. Still, Tenochtitlan can't help but feel glad. Glad that she was able to protect the world of these people. She might have always been reluctant, but in the end she got to see the view before her now, one with a clear sky, where numerous happy voices share in their victory. If she got to experience this, it was all worth it in the end.
So long then, my city, my people... Also, you meddlesome Nitocris.
As you can see---the regret in my heart is gone.
The dreams that arose in this city end here. The hummingbird falls from the sky, and so, returns to the lake of the moon...
--- Section 3 --- (Plays immediately after section 2)
It seems like you actually passed out from exhaustion while you were approaching the second Underworld, but you've arrived finally. You've been chasing ORT until now, but from here on you're going to try to outpace it, so that the sun can move safely back to Chichen Itza. Since Chichen Itza is in the third layer, and the second Underworld is in the fourth, you should consider the first and second layer as non-factors, meaning this is the last place you can engage in battle. Gudao is barely holding on at this point, and Tepeu simply asks that you do not push yourself too hard, for which you are thankful.
Sion and Nemo Professor had formed a plan for Beni and Kingprotea in the second Underworld, but both of the latter deemed it such a stupid plan that would absolutely never work, that they practically refused to do it. That is, of course, until you arrive on the Shadow Border, ask them very kindly as their Master, and they then drop all pretenses of not wanting to help. Beni then transforms back into an Alter as she explains the quite simple plan.
Once ORT enters the second Underworld, you will slow it down, and Kingprotea will straight up grab a hold of it and stop its rotation. Once it's stationary, Beni will use her 4 ri (16 kilometers) sword to bisect the organs which generate the galactica supercell. That's it. Kingprotea laments that ORT is supposedly immortal, but Beni says in that case she'll simply have to apply the concept of death to it. Apparently, King Hassan just stuck around after you summoned him here last or something and straight up taught Beni a technique for that which is only usable in this Underworld (of course).
Your guard is down, ORT!
Serial Phantasm, deployed. My fingers surround the world---
Churning the ocean of milk! Releasing highly-concentrated liquid ether!
I'm trusting that you know how to play! After all, having to catch the ball is the whole point!
Uuuurryyyaaaah!!! Hold stiiiiiiiiill!!!
Brilliantly done, Protea! Now I strike with the Great Red Lotus, the sword that knows the boundary of life and death!
As the mountains shake, winds blow down from the hot stones! Thunderclouds of the galaxy, be gone!
The whole Underworld trembles, and finally you are able to confirm the cessation of the galactica supercell. It won't slow ORT down, but at least it'll make battle a lot easier for you. Now you just have to head for the third layer and beat ORT up as much as you can on the way. According to TRISMEGISTUS II, if you manage to destroy around 60% of ORT's outer shell, a point blank shot from the Storm Border's main cannon will take it out. The cannon is already charged, so as soon as you shave off enough of ORT, you'll head straight for Chichen Itza. You ask what happened to Kingprotea and Beni, but Da Vinci say they're both fine. They're just both breaking off here so that they won't be crystallized by ORT.
As you leave, we cut to a final scene of Kingprotea and Beni. They both praise each other's work just now, and say goodbye to the other. Beni asks if Kingprotea didn't want to have a proper farewell with Gudao, but Kingprotea only says that if they were to see her invincible-seeming self in this state, they would only grow more depressed. They might be used to wearing themselves out with summoning by this point, but Kingprotea really hates that forced smile they put on.
--- Section 5 --- (Plays when five break bars has been taken off from ORT. 1 remaining.)
The sun has been confirmed to have returned to Chichen Itza, and in an hour it'll be night too. This is actually Vucub's doing, as he made the sun dim more, so that it would be harder for ORT to notice. You also get a report from the Storm Border: 98% of all native life in Mictlan has now been confirmed dead. Thus, since there's nothing more to attack, 97% of all the seeds have also self-destructed. The only still remaining things in this world now are ORT, Chaldea and a small number of deinos.
Suddenly, you hear what sounds like a great stampede outside, and the amount of bio-readings spikes. They deinos are all coming your way. Turns out that when Koyanskaya went to Chichen Itza, she had at first been quite impressed with the calmness of the deinos as they simply shared stories while the world was ending, even to the point of wondering if sending her main body out into space was gonna be the wrong move. Following this, Vucub had arrived too, after having returned the solar itinerancy. He asked all the other deinos to take up fighting, but they had refused. Since they would go extinct either way, they could find no reason to fight, and why spend energy on something that achieves nothing. Vucub is defeated, and says that he guesses facts are facts and whatever they do won't change that. The Dino King, however (who has now regenerated after Izcalli shot him everywhere but the head), disagrees. Living's all about doing stuff just because of how it feels.
Result's the same, so you won't have an opinion about it nor do squat, huh? The hell's wrong with you all? You some kinda sad-ass slaves or something?
Goddamn dinosaurs, and yet you've lost all of your wild spirit. Apologize to everyone who's ever admired your kind in their youth, dammit.
But what's it matter, huh? What if shit doesn't change the result?
You guys were a highly intelligent and mighty species. You pretty much eliminated the concept of "wastefulness".
"If you do something wasteful, conflict will arise. If you do something wasteful, disparity will be born."
Malla's approach is sound enough, sure.
You are beings who cannot justify taking action if your only reason for doing so is a selfish and individualistic dislike.
But yeah, this is "the final day". Even if you do something selfish, it's not like it's gonna have any effect on what happens tomorrow.
It doesn't matter how many mistakes you commit today, because you won't have to reflect on it tomorrow anyway.
The deinos are confused. If it won't have any effect, doesn't that mean the outcome stays the same no matter what? Yes, the outcome won't change, but there is meaning in actions, and the meaning will remain. Dying in a struggle against death isn't "wasteful". One has to act for something greater than oneself. Right now, the "story" of the deinos doesn't have a proper conclusion. Meanwhile, the stories they have been listening to all this time had people who didn't go out willingly either. Their worlds were completely screwed, but they only "concluded" after Chaldea defeated them. Still, the deinos didn't mock those people when hearing their stories. They found validity in them fighting for the goal of coming to an end. To accept extinction and to resist into the last are two different things. There's gonna be nothing left here tomorrow, so what's the harm in doing something "stupid" to place your own conclusion in the story.
The deinos finally understand. And so, they take up arms handed to them by Koyanskaya. Literally.
Turns out they learn how the guns work super quickly, and are able to modify them to be even better. Perhaps dinosaurs with guns were the most dangerous mankind the whole time. Meanwhile, Vucub seems a bit down in the dumps. The Dinosaur King has a heart to heart with him about it, and Vucub at first claims that he's nothing like these deinos who would change their minds from one simple speech, but the dino king thinks they're exactly the same.
These buggers came back here because, in reality, they'd been itchin' to do "something" very badly.
And that "something" ain't exactly simple battle, or some wish to clamor for their existence.
"This is how far we came."
That's what they're trying to prove, as life, as a species. That's what's gonna spur you all on. No matter when it may be.
End of the flashback, and back with the Shadow Border. The armed deinos are all passing by you, waving, as they head towards the fourth layer where ORT currently is. There are about 60 of them, all armed with guns. Sion contacts you, saying the Dino King left a message for you: "No need for reinforcements. You in Chaldea should carry out your own responsibilities." In other words, you should simply ignore the deinos and link up with the Storm Border as planned. About the same time as you arrive there, ORT will be in attack range, as well. That is to say, the success of the operation will be heavily dependent on your ability to return in time.
Gordolf is actually kinda upset at this development. The gentle, wise, and practically ideal mankind of the deinos shouldn't have to do something like arming themselves to fight ORT in vain. Chaldea is going to deal with ORT by themselves, so there should be no reason for the deinos to fight. Tepeu simply urges him to step on the gas, but before that, he says he has to take his leave her as well. He's very grateful for your time together, but this is where you have to split. He asks for some kind of weapon, perhaps a knife (get it?), and says that he cannot be the only one not headed for battle here.
I'm sure in your eyes this looks like nothing more than dying in vain, or a show of pointless resistance.
That's what I think too. This is an avoidable battle. And it's a battle that should be avoided, most likely.
But this is about principle, newly born as it may be. If I ignore this, I'll cease to be a deinos.
Da Vinci hands him a submachine gun, and he bids farewell. However, Mashu is having an even harder time to accept this. Not only Tepeu, but none of the deinos should have to do this. They never took to conflict, never showed any hatred, and never discriminated. So why now of all times would they head for what amounts to guaranteed death?
We have seen so many different worlds at this point. And no matter how aberrant they were...
No matter how sinful they were, not a single one of them, and not a single person in them, deserved to die.
And even among all these---the deinos were really just...so wonderful---
So why---why are you headed out to lose your lives, not in the extinction of your species, but in a completely hopeless and meaningless battle!?
Tepeu is surprised that Mashu could get so riled up. Or rather, perhaps it's the case that because someone like her can feel so strongly about this because of all the things she's had to go through up to this point. He agrees that the deinos didn't see anyone as more "special" than anyone else. Everyone had the same worth and were equals, so there was never any conflict. But that isn't actually true for Tepeu. He did discriminate; for what he cared about. He refers back to Ixquic's words about how if everyone is exactly the same, then why should you feel grief over someone's death? For everyone to be equal, there can be no discrimination. Mashu found this both beautiful and hard to take in, at the time, but Tepeu says that's just how it is.
Mash. Differences exist. It's something which comes to be. Life is not all the same.
It's all right that you would feel sadder about the misfortune of someone close to you rather than someone you have little to do with.
You humans sought something to connect with---something which could allow you to shine. And so it was that mankind prospered.
It's rather cruel to say, but a "world of equals" would just become the same as ours.
A world where those who are special are neither acknowledged nor noticed... A world where it's not possible to save even a single friend...
I wanted to save her.
I wanted to save that girl who had spent 6 million years rooted in the same spot, not a single other of her species with her, and whose only role was to keep watching over Mictlan.
And because of that, much tension occured between us. Frustrated, I gave up, chose to forget it all, and lived my live away from others as a hermit.
I couldn't change anything... I accepted that I would just have to live out my own life as a lone deinos.
But then you showed up, my friends.
All the stories you had of Pan-Human History sounded dangerous, yet at the same time, wonderful.
I experienced so many things. There was the shock I felt when you first wandered into my cave. The trusting voices of you together with Habetrot.
The sincerity and lightheartedness of Fujimaru's temperament.
The sound of Marine's excited footsteps. The fearless smirk of U-Olga Marie.
The shady language of Father Kotomine. The cleverness and youthfulness of Da Vinci.
There is so much more, but if I kept going, it would never end.
I went off ostensibly as your guide, but you were the ones who guided me to a new world instead.
It was so much fun. And fun is good.
So please, don't see your own world and your own actions as something bad, and be burdened by them.
I told you, didn't I? Every single deinos is rooting for you.
We neither resent you, nor envy you.
In the end, he's rather sad about the fact that nothing in this world changed for 66 million years. In that much time, it should've been inevitable that they accomplished something, and yet they didn't make a single thing. Is that really "peaceful"? That kind of nature is inherently not the correct answer for sapient beings, since to not do anything wrong meant to not do anything at all. Humans cannot make the correct choice, and even if you choose the best thing based on the circumstances, afterwards you'll simply realize that there was a better option anyway. Anything with sapience will never arrive at a "categorical correctness", and will always choose "wrong". Deinos never undestood this, because they never needed to. But now, finally, they've been allowed to make the wrong choice. It took them 66 million years, but they're finally able to strive for the proper world.
With those words, he deems he's taken up enough of your time, and prepares to leave. He says he's already left "a message" for you in Chichen Itza. He turns to Mashu, and thanks her for everything. He always loved how when they first met, she lowered her shield immediately and greeted him. Likewise, he had returned her greeting with a polite bow. And now, with the same gestures, they bid each other farewell.
(After this section ends and you return to the map screen, the sound effect of Shiki's Arc Drive in Type Lumina is heard, and ORT's last break bar is removed. In other words, Tepeu managed to take out one of ORT's bars with his Mystic Eyes of Death Perception.)
--- Section 6 --- (Plays at the last bar remaining.)
Across the reddened plains, the last of the deinos ran.
Some fell before even getting close. Some fell trying to save their comrades...
Some fell while in the middle of attacking the enemy's shell...
Some fell after turning back against the flying saucer even as it had passed over them, biting at it into the bitter end, despite not inflicting so much as a single injury.
One fell streaking across the sky like a lightning bolt, killing one of the saucer's lives, before having his limbs torn off in return and plummeting to the ground.
And just like that, the enemy passed over the great plains, with the charge of the deinos having come to an end.
The mighty deinos did not die immediately even with half of their bodies torn to pieces.
Their tattered bodies laid still upon the ground, and though they had accepted the impending end of their lives...
There they still lay, with a vague look of longing, staring at the red sun that had long since left them behind, far off in the distance.
Kukulkan stands by the side with the dino king, simply watching. The king asks her how it feels knowing she could've turned the tables, given who she is, yet now she's here just looking at the extinction of the species she protected until now. She instead asks him if he put them up to this. Rather than go gentle into the cold embrace of extinction, he would have them experience a hellish bloodbath? That's just how Tezcatlipoca rolls, though: fight and fall. Well, either way, he doesn't think this can make up for 66 million years of monotony, and once their conversation wraps up, he disappears, having reached the end of his summoning.
Back with Chaldea, you have managed to join up with the Storm Border. This is it. Once ORT gets closer, it'll be the final blow. You'll unload the Hume-Barrel Rayproof and end this whole thing. There won't be any more close combat; either this hits and works, or it doesn't. That's all this comes down to. There is a bit of a catch to this though, since you need to annihilate every cell of ORT in a single blow it needs to be in 10km range, so what happens if it's possible for ORT to attack you outside of that range? Well, just don't think about that. You also won't be able to fire more than once, since it'll take too long to recharge the cannon.
I of course don't have to tell you that this catch obviously comes to pass. As ORT approaches you, now 30 kilometers away, its tentacles grow larger, extending to 20 kilometers each. If they connect with the ship, it'll start fusing with ORT, but you can't even move when the cannon is deployed, nor do you have anything to shoot them down with. But that's where the Type 79 Tamamo Tank comes into play!
Also called the The Type 79 Iz Tula Seven Drive: Mk. Mictlan, it's what Koyanskaya has poured all the resources she's gathered here into. With the help of the xoqqer brothers (they told you they'd make a comeback in overtime, didn't they?) she has deployed this beast of a weapon on the ground, and will use it to intercept the tentacles while you prepare to fire, and so you do.
20 seconds until ORT enters effective range. All safeties off. Maximum output. Main cannon: fire!
Too bad, that didn't work either. It somehow generated another space storm, even though you got rid of those organs earlier. It's not that it regenerated them, but that it's somehow recreated itself as what is effectively a whole new concept. That's why its matter increased so much as well, because as a result, it recreated the spider-shaped body. In other words...you have to do it all over again? There's no way you would manage that. Thankfully, it's not that it fully protected itself, but that it used the gravity field to redirect the cannon blast. You simply have to calculate a trajectory which would hit it regardless. Of course, easier said than done considering if ORT closes in any more, you're done for, and it would take at least two minutes to recharge the cannon if you redirect literally all power you have to it, which is simply not enough. Are you gonna have to retreat and leave Mictlan behind after all? Even if you do that, you won't get another chance like this to take out ORT. Thankfully, help does arrive...
I understand the sentiment. You are just one step away from victory, after all. So, that's where I have a proposal to give. How about it, gentlemen?
--- Section 7 ---
Rasputin asks you to give him a second to explain, and to your surprise, time itself has stopped. Or to be more precise, all of you are currently acting so much faster than time itself can keep up, so it only appears to be. This is one of the seven Super Authorities possessed by the Alien God: Tachyon Jail (a name Rasputin definitely didn't come up with). However, it won't last long. Suddenly, you're also able to hear Olga's voice from somewhere distant, telling Rasputin to get to the point. You're surprised she came back for you, but she already told you back at the coffin, remember? "I don't intend to watch the Earthlings breathe their last in this Lostbelt". The humanity of PHH will only receive their due administration back in PHH, so she has to make sure you get back, obviously.
Now then, Rasputin continues: because of what Daybit did, ORT is currently using the Alien God's heart, so it's kind of a principle thing that she has to take it out before she leaves. As such, she has decreed that you may fight together with her. You accept before even hearing the terms, and Rasputin goes on to explain the plan. They will maintain the localized accelerated space-time, as well as provide electric power for the Rayproof's second shot. In exchange, you will destroy ORT's "main entity", and allow them to control the Rayproof. Basically, this will work because in accelerated space-time, ORT's super fast regeneration won't be able to keep up with the damage you apply to it. As for the electricity, this is why Rasputin was sneaking around the Border back then. He was making some modifications to provide a relay to the outside they could use.
In order for you to manage this last sortie, you also reroute TRISMEGISTUS II's calculations to the summoning system, which will allow you to emulate some of the Servants you already lost to ORT. In that sense, this is truly the final battle between earthlings and ORT. You may hold nothing back, as you show Olga your maximum power.
You've done it. You manged to break ORT's main body. Now, you should just stand back and let Olga handle the rest. She doesn't want you to head inside, though. If you did, you'd miss witnessing the heroism of the one who rules the planet. Solenmly watcing the color you emit, which stayed the same the whole way through, she declares that she will use all of humanity's toys for this purpose, including the Rayproof.
Olga states that if you have anything to say, you should do so now. There won't be another chance. You don't want to steal the moment, but she calls you stupid for it, saying it's necessary to cheer people on. Well, she's only here to fulfill a promise anyway.
By the way, you still don't get why I would go so far to help you out, do you?
You didn't kill Kingprotea in the First Underworld. You didn't kill Beni-Enma in the Second Underworld.
You didn't ostracize your opponents just because they were monsters.
That's why I'm helping. I find your way of doing things so tiring, but you should keep cherishing it all the same.
One last thing... I was always afraid of asking this, but it's now or never.
Well? Who is Olga Marie? Was I...Chaldea's Director?
Yeah. You were an awkward, yet excellent director.
...I see. That sounds like a good dream.
Good grief. I really wish I'd been able to do better.
Annihilation of ORT visually confirmed. Olga did it! But...where is she? Mashu yells at the control room to quickly scan their surroundings, but nothing comes up. Her readings are completely gone. The destruction of her Saint Graph was confirmed alongside the firing of the Rayproof. This is the only natural outcome, doing something like that without a heart. She told you already, didn't she?
"Hey! There's something you've got to say, isn't there!? There won't be another chance!"
She saved Earth...just like she'd promised.
--- Section 8 ---
You decide to head back inside, considering you can barely walk at this point. But, well, of course it isn't really that easy. Nemo announces that some sort of crazy summoning formula is being activated nearby, and TRISMEGISTUS is telling you to clear the area immediately.
"Misappropriation of Pan-Human History mirror image."
"Summarization of 300 million years of Lost History."
"Confirmed that these have been used in the formulation of virtual Heroic Spirit entity."
"Biological classification: One Radiance Thing Grand Servant: Class Foreigner."
"ORT is being summoned."
Crazy as it is, because of how many Servants it ate, right before it died it came to understand the summoning ritual, formulated a virtual future, and summoned itself once it had been designated a Heroic Spirit within that what-if future. Just from existing, it warps the Border's hull. It's preparing to emit what is effectively a solar storm, and at this range you won't survive. You can't even move the Border at this point,since you redirected all the power earlier. You have to at least get inside for a chance at survival. Mashu tells you to grab her shoulder, but when supporting you, Mashu would simply be too slow. You yell at her to leave you behind, but she wasn't asking, she was ordering. And so, ORT fires.
A new Saint Graph reading has appeared: it's Kukulkan, having made it just in time! She flew here at mach speed while somehow not even breaking the sound barrier, but she is at least firmly intent on defeating ORT.
---Cease, thou being called from the void.
Thou who ate the Cosmic Tree and served as the keystone of Mictlan for 6 million years.
Companion mine. The one feared by all. Although it may be our extinction so to do, I shall punish thee nevertheless.
Pan-Human History needs no scars done by thy claws! In the name of the Sun God Kukulkan, I shall annihilate thee here!
We get a flashback to just before this, with Kukulkan standing on the battlefield where the deinos were slaughtered. Tepeu lies there, on the verge of death, as Kukulkan, the Doctrine of the Sun, approaches him. He has come to realize that dying is a painful experience, and dying an even scarier one. Still, he's happy that his battle gave him meaning in this form. He was so close to commiting a mistake by being too caught in his dream. In the end, he's glad he didn't make "her" go through any of this, no matter how good a reason he might have had. Kukulkan says she'll commit those important thoughts to memory, as her role comes to an end. The Ocelomeh are all dead, and the last deinos are dying on this field. With them gone, she'll cease activity soon too. ORT will head for the surface and shatter the planet, Malla will wait for new life to arise, and the cycle of extinction will repeat.
Still, she looks down at Tepeu, asking if he doesn't have any requests, seeing as how he's the last remaining deinos. Tepeu can only laugh at how sad she looks when asking this. She stood by during the assault on Mexico City and Chichen Itza alike. He had thought she couldn't feel sadness, but it was more that she didn't know how to display it properly yet. Yet now, here, she displays her emotions in full force. Though she may have once been a mere imitation, she has now taken on a face of her own. However, she doesn't know if it's really okay to grieve for something. If she did, she would be truly awful and inhumane. An arbiter who simply watches everyone die off can't be allowed to grieve for those same deaths, that would be unforgivable. But Tepeu doesn't agree. Who would be unable to forgive her? Whatever the answer, not like that would matter.
Why don't you just set yourself free already, Kukulkan? You've been trying so hard not to all this time, haven't you?
Don't worry about us. Please just do whatever you want to.
Actually, you can't just leave the cleaning up of our world to someone else. Your problems should be taken care of personally.
Doctrine of the Sun:
Wait!? You knew all along, Tepeu!?
Of course I did. It was obvious from the start.
That's why I'm fully aware that you want to go help them right now, but can't because your feelings of guilt are holding you back.
If you're going to sleep either way, please do so after you've gotten that load off your mind. I'm on my last legs, so I'd like to at least be sent off with a smile.
He also has one final request: please, give them one final dream. They, who could never birth even a single story, want to see her in a form so dazzling it will make them doubt their very eyes. Grant them their one and only legend.
Doctrine of the Sun:
Yeah... Even after witnessing the Heroic Spirits of Pan-Human History, I could never find it in me to help them.
My beloved will always be you deinos. You who lived in Mictlan.
You, who treasured me, and called me your friend, despite me being a false sun.
So if it would in some way prove as salvation---
---Then I will gladly become a Lost God.
I am Kukulkan. The Feathered Serpent. And as the Golden Sea of Trees Incarnate, I shall go steal my own heart---!
She assumed her third ascension form, and took off into the sky. The deinos lying on the ground looked up at the streak she left in the sky. Almost as if looking upon an as-of-yet-unknown, but nostalgic, beautiful star. They reflected on the joys of life, and felt regret as the embrace of death approached. For them, the future of PHH was a lost history, and yet, as they closed his eyes at long last, they felt as if it were his own. Even if the fifth mass extinction had not come, the sun born in the underground would surely light up the world once more. Upon the sunset sky flew now wings of gold. And so it was that a god was born in the Lostbelt bereft of stories.
And so, she has now come to defeat ORT. She explains that ORT used the last traces of its corneum as a catalyst to summon a Ghost Liner of itself, but its only purpose now is to prolong this Lostbelt. It's not even really alive anymore. However, since Mictlan spawned this thing, it's Mictlan's responsibility to deal with it, as well. As such, even if it means the disappearance of her world, Kukulkan cannot let that thing be. So once more, and only once, you shall fight together. Kukulkan's wings, though lost history they may be, exist for the sake of those who dream of the future!
You fight and defeat Grand ORT, but it's no use.
"Reporting: Collapse of virtual Heroic Spirit entity's Saint Graph observed."
"Warning. Advent of invasive alien life form observed."
"Lost records are embedding into the space-time continuum."
"Inflation caused by paradox effect confirmed."
"Invasive entity: Starcell."
"Ontological interval redefined to year 14.6 billion in observable universe time."
This is an opponent that can seemingly not be defeated no matter what you do. Well, Kukulkan knows the real reason, and she explains that it can't be destroyed because part of it always remains here: the sun. This is where her real duty lies, so she'll handle it.
Invaders that flew in from the void, the both of us... We were co-existent, weren't we, ORT?
By consuming the Fantasy Tree, you managed to extend the time you were active, and by us using your heart, we managed to keep the world alive.
Destroying you here would mean destroying the Lostbelt as well.
I cannot allow the future shown to me atop the sun altar by Tezcatlipoca's vision to be forced onto Pan-Human History.
---I'm very grateful for our time together.
I shall now speak the consensus of Malla: Mictlan...ends here.
The life nurtured for the duration of 66 million years, and its answer---
"It was good. However, there was another way."
We halted the progress of the species who live on this planet. We have acknowledged as much.
Extinction comes equally to all.
No matter your environment, no matter your ecology, as long as you are alive, you cannot escape it.
---And know this well!
This sun is your heart; the embryo which birthed and formed me!
My name is Kukulkan! The one born of the sun! And thus, we are one and the same!
So now it is that I return this body to the sun it whence came! Interstellar Voyage Engine, activate!
Wind cometh from the heavens. Stars falleth from the cosmos.
---None else but ORT may defeat ORT!
Your time has come to an end, Ultimate One! There is nothing upon this planet for us to consume!
And so, the sun burned out, its final duty concluded. The Sea of Fantasy Trees vanished, having never become more than a supposition, and upon the plains remained the deinos whose death was fast approaching. In the final moments of his life, the stargazing deinos looked up at the cosmos in the now sunless underground. It had been nothing more than a world of fantasy, the memories of which would fade from all eventually, but still, during that time, it was beautiful. Even if something lacks a happy ending, even if it's fantasy, or fiction, once something's created it can never disappear. Dreams once born forever etch themselves into the boundary. They remain, forever, in this universe. Even if there's no one to recount them, if it has happened, it could not have been meaningless.
In Chichen Itza, Koyanskaya thinks to herself that she can't compete with a Lostbelt King ending their own Lostbelt, and then lets this temporary summoning of hers end. The xoqqer brothers (so Tepeu wasn't the last deinos like Kukulkan said?) are gonna have one last xoqqer ritual before their lives burn out altogether. Back on the Border, Kukulkan laments that her blowing up the sun also took out all the other Fantasy Trees in Mictlan, since now the world will disappear. Whatever, it's not like she did it for PHH or anything. However, you argue that she is totally an ally of PHH, because she was never your enemy even once. She almost wants to capture you all here just so she can spend more time with you, but since she is the god of this Lostbelt, she can neither keep you here, nor come with you. She wants to witness the end of Mictlan as it fades away. At least she got to become a proper god in the end.
Lastly, she wants to share the consensus of Malla, even after everything has died out by now. "We're rooting for you with every fiber of our being," they said. Not because you saw Mictlan off, but because it is the natural course of life to root for the next ones to take up the relay. Kukulkan wishes you much hapiness and luck on your journey, be it past, present, future. With that, she too disappears, and the world begins to fade to darkness. As the sun has disappeared, gravity itself is beginning to change here, so you need to head towards the surface. However, there's something wrong.
You just simply, out of the blue, collapse.
Chapter 23: The Fifth Sun
You find yourself back in the same misty place as when you first arrived in this Lostbelt. That is to say, the afterlife. One has to suppose you succumbed to the fatigue and exertion of the battle against ORT, and finally kicked the bucket. Well, you don't really have any choice but to go meet him.
In one version of Aztec myth, the souls of the dead are divided between those who die natural deaths, and those who die in battle. Those who die in battle are led to the 12th of the 13 heavens, which is the paradise of Teteocan. This place was further divided into four: to the east was Tlahuiztlampa, where those who died in battle and those who were ritually sacrificed went; to the west was Cihuatlampa, where women who died in childbirth went; to the south was Huitzlampa, the realm of radiance, where children went; in the north was Mictlampa, the realm of stillness and rest, where Tezcatlipoca, the god of war and death, ruled. There was also this underworld which existed in nine layers (Mictlan), where those who died were put through trials to become strong and be brought back to the world, where Mictlantecuhtli and Mictecacihuatl, "pure" gods of death, ruled. Most all gods in Aztec myth were associated with death in some form, and it's because of this that Tezcatlipoca is so difficult to understand.
He was the god of war, which means battle was the greatest of all his traits. However, as explained above, the souls of those who died in battle were not led to him, but to the east of Teteocan. Tezcatlipoca might sow the seeds of war, but it is another god who reaps the rewards. Nobody really knows who went to his paradise of stillness, we only really know that his was not an underworld like Mictlan or Xibalba. Perhaps his realm was simply there for those warriors who finally deserved some rest?
You finally find him amidst the fog, where he's seen talking with Daybit. Daybit is saying that Chaldea stopped ORT, meaning Tezca's future wasn't true and he was lying, and liars should be punished, so maybe he should go get Quetzalcoatl from the west, but Tezca begs him not to. They then spot you, and drop the conversation. Daybit says he wasn't sure if you'd come here (it was a 50-50), especially since "this is just a detour anyway", but Tezca was sure of it, since you still have to take back the weapon you pawned to him. If you want to return to being a proper Master, that's what you'll have to do. If this is the boundary between life and death, you'll simply take your Master rights back into the world of the living.
Daybit seems kinda surprised you didn't have your Master rights this whole time, especially since you could summon stuff, so Tezca has to explain that summoning was still possible partly thanks to the Underworld Borders and the established bond with Servants, but you never had the "right" to be a Master regardless. Even when he gave the Command Spells to Camazotz, he kept the Master rights for himself. In other words, you were in a constant state of being nerfed this whole time, which Daybit thinks makes a lot of sense in hindsight.
Well, regardless, you're here, so now you'll fight. Here in Mictlampa, the "payment" you made doesn't matter, and you can fight in perfect form. The winner in this battle will have their payment returned: for you it'll be your Command Spells and Master rights, while for Daybit, he'll be allowed to come back to life and a second chance. More specifically, he'll be taken back to the point where he first summoned Tezcatlipoca. He'd get a second chance at ORT destroying the planet, though of course Chaldea would be there the second time again as well. To redo a whole year, all 516,600 minutes. Well, for Daybit it's only a 30 hour period, so it's more than fine.
You ask why he's so intent on destroying the planet, but he thinks that's a really strange question. After all, you are the same, you and he. It's not about responsibility, but a matter of self-satisfaction. Tezca just laughs at this notion, and then proceeds to declare that whoever wins here will be banished from the afterlife.
Those who flee, those who dare not kill, and those who doubt their cause. I will never acknowledge such cowards as warriors.
Your hatred of death is excessive. Nevertheless, given how long you've survived on those convictions, I have no choice but to acknowledge you.
Man of Chaldea. If your soul is that of a warrior's, then it is as a warrior I shall respond.
I welcome all warriors.
For the Aztecs, glory is only granted to victorious warriors, something I too endorse. However...
Battles have both winners and losers. The efforts, bravery and determination of the losers are not reflected in such an arrangement.
And that is something I cannot overlook. For those who die in battle ought be rewarded equally.
As such, mine is the realm of the defeated.
It welcomes the souls of those who fought bravely, yet were tragically defeated, destined to be forgotten by all.
These are the ones whose feats I acknowledge, and so I grant them the rest and peace they are worthy of.
So, which one will it be, Fujimaru?
Will you lose, pass over to the paradise beyond the horizon, and so earn your rest?
Or will you win, and return to your battle once more.
Win here, and the seventh Lostbelt officially ends, alongside Nahui Olin, the Fifth Sun. This is the ultimate time to show your resolve and choose between life and death. However, Daybit says your choice does not matter, only your actions. He is certain he will win here.
Chaldea's excessive abuse of the Human Order won't be good enough against the Alien God.
CHALDEAS---no, Marisbury is not an enemy of mankind.
Marisbury is an enemy of the universe. And if I'm the only one who could manage to see that---
Then by destroying the planet, I will make sure that the bad name that would befall humanity never happens.
You would save the world. I will save the universe.
Even if our objective of saving mankind is the same, as long as our methods are different, we will have to confront each other.
Ready yourself, Fujimaru. Neither of us has a handicap now.
I hereby challenge you to battle not as a Crypter, but as a Master.
Besides, this will be the last time. Let us see how it'll be to carry out the battle I simulated so many times in that Coffin.
Daybit (battle start):
Where there are no deaths, no births, and no cycles, there is nothing securing the Human Order, and a god lies in the void. Its name is CHALDEAS. Alien God CHALDEAS.
(During this fight, Daybit uses his 3 Command Spells (since I guess he has them all again here) to buff Tezca at each break bar, as per usual for boss fights, but once you "kill" Tezca in this battle, it does not end. Instead, he revives to full HP, proceeds to fully charge his own NP, and the NP of your entire frontline, while locking your non-NP cards. At this point, you have a single turn to wipe him out with your (up to) three NPs, else he will retaliate with his own and end your stay in Mictlampa. There are no revives here. You must win.)
As expected, when fighting as Masters, then you are the victor. Well, Daybit thinks it's a bit weird he didn't get any other Servants other than Tezcatlipoca, since you'd at least think an almighty god would have some "followers" to make use of, but whatever. What's lost is lost, and the outcome is perfectly clear. As he's about to leave, you stop him and ask if ORT was really the only way he could have fought the Alien God.
...It was. I'm not able to build up trust with others like you are.
After I joined the A-Team and understood the truth behind CHALDEAS, it was already too late.
The completed CHALDEAS is a planet unto itself. Nobody can destroy it.
I tried to threaten Marisbury into stopping his plan, but he took his own life instead.
All he said was: "My life or the Securing of the Human Order---which one should I protect? What a silly question."
At that moment, I had no choice but to play along with his plan. If I wanted to be able to destroy CHALDEAS, I couldn't do it as an outsider.
My prediction was that the chance to destroy it would only befall those who stayed part of Chaldea until the end.
In other words, you people. I chose to remain as a Crypter, but---
Who could've thought that a new Chaldea would fight against the old Chaldea?
Novum Chaldea, was it? Not a bad name.
He begins walking away, and once more you try to stop him, but Tezcatlipoca tells you to let him be. At this point you're robbing the loser of even their right to exit the stage, and he will not allow that here. You should just see him off. In this moment, there is no one more worthy of Mictlampa than Daybit. Well, he tells you not to worry. This place is like a spa of dreams, but it's not eternal. Once Daybit's rested, he'll be sent right back into battle, and then he'll actually be on the winner's side, he says. This place is just a pit stop, one to prepare you for the next battle.
Tezca returns your Master rights, and says it's a good thing you weren't partnered this time around. He's a god who picks everyone's side in battle, but this time he specifically chose Daybit because of the scope of his destruction. As a god who'd seen so many countries be destroyed, a planet being the target was definitely exciting. Still, he says, there are no battles in which everything is destroyed. You might have ended Mictlan, but you certainly didn't destroy it. Extinction is a common occurrence in Aztec myth, but so is the fact that something comes back afterwards. Even if everything ends, something lives on that can never be destroyed: time.
That "something greater" the Deinos were talking about.
Yeah, that's correct, boy. What the Deinos served was time.
If the Deinos come over to my paradise, this is what I'll say to 'em: "You guys had one hell of a friend."
I know you people like to think of time as something you measure. That it accumulates. That it's got significance just 'cause of that.
But even if you or your countries are destroyed, time will never disappear.
Humans usually have this idea that they're passengers through time.
But actually, time's the passenger, and humans are kinda like a river that carries it forth.
You better put this to memory, Fujimaru. Humans aren't the only ones who whittle away at time.
There's the time observed by humanity. The time recorded by machines.
The time that wears away at matter. The time that cools down the planet.
So long as they're all still around, our world's indestructible.
It has no end. Even if things disappear, and even if this planet loses its purpose...
Time will always keep on going toward the future.
Epilogue: To Antarctica (& Ordeal Call)
You wake up in the infirmary of the Storm Border, with Mashu by your side, apparently having just woken up herself. It seems you both collapsed on the deck of the Border and were brought here. Well, Mashu didn't have as big of a collapse I guess, since she was up already and was performing the check on you. Nurse says there's nothing too out of the ordinary about either of you, and you haven't suffered any cell damage from the cosmic radiation, so you're free to leave. However, Gordolf wants you to stop by the control room before anything else. Also, before you leave Nurse says that while your strength has returned, you need to take care not to overdo it, because the gist of your fatigue still remains.
Meeting up with Gordolf, he acts all tough, as if everyone but him were worried about you, but Da Vinci snitches about how he wanted updates on you every five minutes, trying to listen for anything Nurse had in the way of news. Kadoc wasn't worried about you though, he knew for sure you'd just wake up and walk away with some oblivious look on your face. There's no point worrying about you. It was also kinda obvious you were fine because Mashu was fine, at least according to Habetrot. Anyway, Fou has returned which apparently clues you in on the fact that the seventh Lostbelt really is gone. Gordolf proceeds to confirm the Lostbelt is gone, as is Daybit and Tezcatlipoca. Mission accomplished.
Now, you've learned that the "Alien World" is actually CHALDEAS. In order to verify what Daybit said, you'll need to head for Antarctica, and return to Chaldea's base. There you must surely find the answer to your questions. What purpose do the Fantasy Trees serve? What was the purpose of bleaching the Earth? What did Marisbury really intend with creating CHALDEAS? Whatever the answers, your goal remains the same: protect the future of pan-human history.
The meeting is adjourned, and everyone heads off, but you stay behind for a bit to speak to Nemo. You hand him something: the "message" Tepeu wanted you to deliver.
Ah yes, one more thing. I have a small favor to ask...
This is for Captain Nemo. A xoqqer ball I crafted for Marine.
I thought I should set it aside as a memento, but it is likely that I shall never return here again.
My feelings were that I had done something inconsiderate to Marine, but now it's too late.
I mustn't forget the trust he showed me, or the support he lent me...
Most of all, I mustn't forget the strength he showed at the very end.
So please, I would ask that you hand this over on my behalf.
Though we were from different worlds and different humanities, we shared in each other's smiles as proof of our friendship.
Nemo goes quiet for a bit, then says it's nothing, he's probably just looking a bit more miserable than usual. He doesn't really know much about it, but the Marines sure do love football, so he'll happily take it. When Gudao leaves, Nemo thinks on it by himself.
...No, I won't ever forget it.
Even if your people's world, and this gift, have to disappear along with the Lostbelt...
Your 66 million year journey under the earth. A paradise more peaceful and lush than any other.
Farewell, wise Tepeu. On "my" behalf---thank you for sharing in those smiles.
Cut to somewhere on the blecahed Earth, where "Romani Archaman" and Rasputin are conversing. "If mankind is able to excise all seven Lostbelts, then I will finally acknowledge you as an enemy." That's what Romani had said back in Mictlan, and now that has come to pass. Honestly, Romani wasn't sure if "Chaldea" could even bear to see CHALDEAS as their enemy. He would've thought it impossible, as its human nature to conceal the darker secrets they hold. However...
They do not seem to be the Chaldea I know. This "Novum" Chaldea...
I suppose they're a brand-new Human Order Security Organization, one meant to demolish Marisbury's Grand Order.
Rasputin says the Alien God's plan was only ever to have Chaldea cull all the Lostbelts. He never imagined they would form some sort of rival organization after the fact, and so he must hurry to get further instructions from the Alien World. Romani wonders if he's not going to recover the Alien God they lost. After all, though her Saint Graph was shattered, it seems some small parts of it still remain, so if you collected all of them, you would be able to put her back together, even as a soulless shell of herself. However, Rasputin says that's not his task, and to be perfectly honest, he'd rather let her rest at this but.
Let's see... were it up to the other available Apostle---the Count, then he would put her to cruel use.
So there really were seven Apostles of the Alien World.
Three to monitor and supervise the Crypters on the Lostbelt side: the Presbyter, the Atlas-Slayer, and the Evil Incarnate.
Three to monitor and guide Chaldea: the Detective, the Professor, and the Count.
And lastly, the God, their leader.
Even if Olga Marie herself likely did not know that she was actually a Servant.
But according to Rasputin, there was no need for her to know. She was an unpredicted god born in the Alien World, and nothing more. The fact that she died heroically without even learning that was probably a good thing for her. Now, two Apostles remain. Will they be able to stop Chaldea by themselves? Rasputin thinks that's a matter of course; if he didn't, he wouldn't have let the ship leave so easily. Then again, it's not their place to stop them, anyway. They will become their own hindrance, and if they cannot reckon with what they've accumulated so far, they will be put to judgement of the Human Order itself.