Cosmos in the Lostbelt 5.2: Interstellar Mountainous City - Olympus

Section 1: Interstellar Mountainous City, Olympus

Narration:
People have always turned their gaze skyward.

Narration:
In ancient times, they saw gods dwelling in the heavens.

Narration:
For many long years, the sky was a sacred
domain that remained ever beyond reach.

Narration:
...But then, at one point, we–

Narration:
Proper Human History began to see untold possibility
in the vast space beyond the sky.

Narration:
From then on, it was no longer a mystery to be feared,
but a riddle to be solved.

Narration:
That's right. We will use every tool we can, our minds especially, to discover what makes you tick.

Narration:
We will never stop again.
Not until we have claimed the heavens for ourselves.

Narration:
We will turn our gaze skyward, and one day...

Narration:
...we will bring down the gods.

Narration:
Beyond the Great Pit...

Narration:
...an impossibly enormous structure floats on the other side of the vast ocean–the texture–that covers the planet's surface.

Narration:
As seen from the main monitor of the Storm Border
currently soaring through the air...

Narration:
...the structure appears to be a place inhabited
by thousands, if not millions of people...

Goredolf:
Is that...a city!?

Mash:
Senpai, look! Up in the sky!

Narration:
Atop the sprawling city sits another enormous structure.

Narration:
Above that, great mountains of translucent
crystal loom even higher.

Narration:
And there, beyond the crystalline peaks...

Narration:
...lies the very thing they've been searching for:

Narration:
The roots of cosmic fantasy stretching out into space.

Da Vinci:
That's...!

Mash:
The Tree of Emptiness!
That's the Tree of Emptiness we saw from Atlantis!

Mash:
But, that's the not the only thing that surprised me.

Mash:
I never would have dreamed that there could be such
a massive hollow space underneath the Great Pit...

Mash:
It doesn't look subterranean, either.
It's more like an entirely different world...

Holmes:
This is the true surface of the Earth.

Holmes:
While it no doubt would appear to be the
bowels of the Earth from up on Atlantis...

Holmes:
...it is, in fact, the true face of this Atlantic Lostbelt. Atlantis itself is mere camouflage.

Holmes:
In Proper Human History's Greek mythology, the Age of Man was ushered in through two great wars known as machia...

Holmes:
But what is going on in this Lostbelt?

Holmes:
How was it able to control this space to such a degree?
How was it able to advance this far?

Holmes:
It appears to operate in the same manner as the Chinese Lostbelt in that it fully embraces its Tree of Emptiness, but the manner in which it does so is wholly opposite the Chinese Lostbelt's.

Holmes:
While the Chinese Lostbelt hid its Tree of Emptiness completely, here, it has been allowed to flourish to the greatest possible extent...

Holmes:
At least, that's what it looks like.

Holmes:
That part down by the base must be the city.

Nemo:
Yeah. It looks just like something
you'd see in a science fiction novel.

Nemo:
It's easily as impressive as the pictures of Proper Human History's skyscrapers Sion showed me.

Nemo:
I can't tell what the exact dimensions of this city are just from looking at it, but it's safe to say there are at least ten million people living there, minimum.

Goredolf:
Ten million people...


Fujimaru 1:
So this is really it, huh...


Fujimaru 2:
So this is where our attack on the Atlantic Lostbelt really begins...


Holmes:
Indeed, it would seem we truly
have our work cut out for us.

Holmes:
That, of course, is as true here in this
fifth of the seven hells as it ever was.

Holmes:
And as Da Vinci said before, we cannot blind ourselves to the cost of our actions, not even for a moment.

Holmes:
That being said, how one reacts to such a cost
depends entirely on the individual.

Holmes:
And I, for one, am delighted by how you have all held onto your humanity in the face of such adversity.

Da Vinci:
Computer room here☆ Sorry to interrupt,
but I just finished scanning our vicinity!

Da Vinci:
And just like I expected, the atmosphere
here is just chock-full of magical energy.

Da Vinci:
So this is the Age of Gods... The magical energy density's at least on par with our records of the Seventh Singularity, if not higher.

Goredolf:
A-are you serious!? But the Seventh Singularity was in Mesopotamia DURING Proper Human History's Age of Gods!

Goredolf:
A-and you're telling me this place
exceeds its magical energy density!?

Meunière:
Aah! Something just forced its way into our comms line!

Meunière:
It's not from the Wandering Sea!
This is–

Da Vinci:
Look, up ahead!
The signal's coming from that colossal structure!

Narration:
Fear us.

Narration:
Praise us.

Narration:
For you gaze upon mighty Olympus...

Narration:
 The name of this Lostbelt I rule, given in honor
 of our great ark that has crossed the ocean of space.

Narration:
Now prostrate yourselves and weep before me.

Narration:
      For this grand throne of the gods...

Narration:
...is not meant for the eyes of such
insignificant specks as you.

Goredolf:
What's...going...on!?

Goredolf:
This voice is...so...heavy...!!!

Holmes:
This pressure is immense, and he's not even here in person! It's as powerful as a spell designed to attack the mind!

Holmes:
Da Vinci, quick! Raise our Bounded Field's output before something happens to Fujimaru or Meunière!

Da Vinci:
Got it!

Holmes:
...Now then.

Holmes:
Between this immense pressure and this manner of speech, it looks like they're rolling out the biggest of big guns.

Holmes:
If I'm not mistaken, this must be–

Narration:
My name is Zeus.

Narration:
Zeus the King of the Gods.

Narration:
I rule over this ancient ocean.

Narration:
I rule this grand interstellar city.

Narration:
I rule over all.

Narration:
I am king of the Atlantic Lostbelt.

Nemo:
!!!

Meunière:
Z-Zeus!?

Holmes:
I was going to say “one of the
Twelve Olympians,” but no matter.

Holmes:
This is, unfortunately, the worst of the possible scenarios I predicted. Of all the gods to come out and greet us...!

Nemo:
So that's...the Zeus of this Lostbelt...

Nemo:
I already had a good idea of this thanks
to the Poseidon we saw in Atlantis, but–

Holmes:
Indeed. This King of the Gods may be very different from the one in Proper Human History, but deep down, they are fundamentally the same:

Holmes:
The supreme being of Greek mythology; the winner of both machia wars, and the one who rules over the Twelve Olympians.

Holmes:
Not merely a Divine Spirit, but a genuine
god who once existed right here on Earth.

Holmes:
His deep ties to both the concrete and abstract planes mean that he is one of the phenomena shaping the very world itself.

Holmes:
To put it another way, the king of the gods of myth is, in a very real sense, the closest thing there is to a ruler of the entire planet.

Mash:
Then...does that mean he's like Scáthach-Skadi
in the Scandinavian Lostbelt?

Mash:
Or Arjuna in the Indian Lostbelt?

Holmes:
Unfortunately, no.

Da Vinci:
The combat data we collected from Artemis
and Poseidon alone speaks volumes.

Da Vinci:
We were able to weaken Arjuna's Divinity
by attacking the faith he engendered...

Da Vinci:
...but we definitely won't be able to do the same with these gods. Their existence is fundamentally different.

Da Vinci:
Their godly functionality is a core part of their being. Just look at the Theos Klironomia if you need proof.

Da Vinci:
Their functionality is what makes them gods; nothing can be done to alter that. And Zeus is the one who stands above all the others!

Goredolf:
So, what are you two trying to say!?

Goredolf:
That Zeus is more powerful than any
other foe we've faced to date!?

Meunière:
Th-that can't possibly be true!
Don't you remember how tough Arjuna was!?

Meunière:
He was a monster who'd absorbed every god in India! How could anything entire orders of magnitude more powerful than him even EXIST!?

Holmes:
If, like Artemis and Poseidon...

Holmes:
Zeus has continuously ruled over this planet since ancient times without changing his very nature...

Holmes:
...Then he is, without a doubt, in a league of his own.

Holmes:
For you see, the ancient dramatist
Aeschylus once described Zeus...

Holmes:
...as the omnipotent and omniscient god of justice.


Fujimaru 1:
...An omnipotent King of the Gods...


Fou:
Fou, fooou...

Mash:
Omnipotent... As in, all-powerful...

Goredolf:
Oh, come now!
How can he possibly be omnipotent!?

Goredolf:
Zeus is strong, yes, but he's known for being sneaky and lecherous! He used to take any old animal or person he came across and toss them up into the sky as constellations!

Goredolf:
He also, um...wields thunderbolts said to be
capable of...incinerating the entire universe...

Fou:
Fooou!

Meunière:
I-is that true, Captain!? Come on!
Give it to us straight!

Meunière:
You're a half-god on Poseidon's side, right!?
Just what the hell are the Olympic gods!?

Meunière:
Are they just like the myths say,
or are they something entirely different!?

Meunière:
'Cause if Zeus really does have the Authority
to destroy the whole universe–

Nemo:
I don't know, okay!? I mean,
I can say that my father wasn't a machine...

Nemo:
But if this Lostbelt developed along an entirely
different timeline than the one we know...

Nemo:
...then it wouldn't surprise me if Zeus turned out
to be a machine god, just like that Poseidon was.

Nemo:
If these gods are the embodiment of this planet's concrete and abstract, and possess the same abilities, properties, and Authority as described in the mythology...

Nemo:
And if, on top of that,
they also possess powerful mechanical bodies...

Nemo:
Then I suppose, maybe...those machines were always
their true bodies, even in Proper Human History?

Nemo:
And if that's the case,
that would mean this Lostbelt is...

Nemo:
...

Meunière:
Captain!?

Nemo:
Oh, uh, right.

Nemo:
Anyway, if he is omnipotent–and he seems to be–then he's the strongest being in Olympus.

Nemo:
So it's safe to assume he has Authority powerful and all-encompassing enough to merit leading the other Twelve Olympians.

Nemo:
I don't know exactly what he's like here...but in the Age of Gods I know, he was definitely the top dog.

Nemo:
So if at all possible...
I'd really rather not face him head-on...

Da Vinci:
Exactly!
He is NOT someone we want to go head-to-head with!

Da Vinci:
It'd be one thing if there was a way to snuff out all of his demiurge-class Divinity, like we did in Scandinavia and India...

Da Vinci:
But when it's an honest-to-goodness, genuine god
we're talking about, that's just not gonna work...

Fou:
Fou, fou!!!

Mash:
Fou?

Goredolf:
Wh-what was that!?
Some kind of turbulence!?

Narration:
Now fall...

Narration:
...insignificant ones.

Goredolf:
!!!

Holmes:
All hands, brace for impact!

Holmes:
Thunderbolts!
No... These are great thunderbolts!

Meunière:
These magical energy levels are bonkers! Every single bolt is ginormous! Wait... You're kidding me! They're all as strong as Artemis's cannon!?

Goredolf:
Oh come the hell on!
I've heard of power creep, but this is nuts!

Goredolf:
Meunière! Do whatever you must to make sure those things don't hit us! We only just got this new ship!

Meunière:
Wait...

Meunière:
Checking hull readings now... I was right!
They're all missing us! But how!?

Nemo:
Looks like our emergency scattering worked, Da Vinci.

Da Vinci:
Hell yeah it did!

Goredolf:
Well, I'll be! Excellent work, Captain! Technical Advisor! You're both far more useful than Acqua Pazza there!

Goredolf:
So what was that gizmo just now, anyway? Some sort of secret defensive system you put together when I wasn't looking?

Da Vinci:
Yup, pretty much.

Da Vinci:
It's basically a kind of Spirit Origin chaff grenade that uses extremely high performance dummy Spirit Origins to throw off enemy attacks.

Da Vinci:
I only just finished putting it together before we went down the Great Pit. It's the Storm Border's latest defense!

Da Vinci:
I might not've been able to finish it in time for our showdown with Artemis, but it's designed to even defend against attacks from orbit!

Da Vinci:
And as you just saw, it works brilliantly!
None of that lightning is hitting us directly!

Goredolf:
Whoa!


Fujimaru 1:
You're the best, Da Vinci!

Da Vinci:
You know it!


Fujimaru 2:
Nice job scattering it, Captain!

Nemo:
No problem. I was already reaching for the
console as soon as I heard the “Z” in “Zeus.”


Goredolf:
Heh... That's right! Wahahaha!
Our Storm Border is amazing!

Goredolf:
This is just the kind of dream ship I would've imagined Captain Nemo and the Atlas Institute could come up with if they worked together! Not even Zeus's thunderbolts can touch us!

Goredolf:
You see that, Zeus!? This is what Proper Human History's Mage's Association can do when we set our minds to it!

Goredolf:
...Now, all that being said, would you mind
if I brought up a different issue?

Goredolf:
I know we're managing to fight a brilliant midair battle at the moment, but technically...this ship is still falling, right?

Nemo:
...Heh.

Goredolf:
I knew it!

Meunière:
Of course we're technically falling! I'm doing my damnedest to slow our fall with the propulsion system and inertia controls, but I can't change the fact that this is a boat!

Meunière:
Of course it's not gonna work right anywhere
that's not on the sea, underwater, or Void Space!

Goredolf:
Fujimaru! Mash! Get to your seats and
don't move a muscle! And keep an eye on the monitors!

Goredolf:
Look for any body of water we could use for an
emergency landing! Sea, lake, pond... Anything!


Fujimaru 1:
Y-yes, sir!


Fujimaru 2:
Roger that!


Goredolf:
Dodging Zeus's thunderbolts won't do us much good if
we just end up being dashed to pieces on the ground!

Goredolf:
We need to keep the Storm Border,
and myself, safe at any cost!

Holmes:
...

Holmes:
(True, every aspect of this new Border is undoubtedly at the cutting edge of Proper Human History technology.)

Holmes:
(However...would the supreme being of a mythological system so advanced they've had futuristic technology like nanomachines for thousands of years really miss his first strike?)

Holmes:
(Then again, what if...)

Holmes:
Captain! Da Vinci! Open the engine up full throttle!
It's not safe to be up in the air like this!

Holmes:
Nearby body of water or not,
we need to land while the chaff is still working!

Nemo:
There! Target spotted four thousand meters below!
We can use the trees in that forest to cushion our descent!

Nemo:
Set inertia control to seven o'clock! Point the bow downward! Unfurl the Zero Sail by eighty percent!

Da Vinci:
G-got it! I'll handle the controls!
All you marines, get to your posts, now!

Nemo Marine:

Aye, aye, ma'am! We'll blast our way
out of here like a giant marlin!

Nemo:
Keep scattering the Spirit Origin chaff as we descend! Once we're one thousand meters from the target landing point, pitch the bow up!

Nemo:
All hands, brace for impact!
It's going to be a bumpy landing!

Goredolf:
Agh, this g-force is intense!
It feels like my gut's about to come clean off!

Goredolf:
Why are we going down this fast, Captain!?
I thought the Spirit Origin chaff was keeping us safe!

Holmes:
An elementary deduction, Goredolf. True, the Storm
Border's new weaponry is a force to be reckoned with.

Holmes:
However...take a look at the gale of thunderbolts,
and consider this.

Holmes:
What if Zeus is still holding back,
and this is just what he considers warning shots?

Goredolf:
...Warning shots!? Then, you mean he
still has yet to actually attack us!?

Goredolf:
Th-then we're all as good as dead! They might call me Phoenix but that doesn't mean I can fly out of here!

Goredolf:
Come on, everyone, hurry!
We need to get out of this airspace as soon as possible!

Nemo:
That's exactly what I'm trying to do!
...Damn, it's no use. I can't dodge every bolt!

Nemo:
We're going to take a direct hit!
Meunière, take the helm!

Meunière:
Huh? Me!?

Mash:
Senpai!

Goredolf:
Brace yourselves, everyone...!

--ARROW--

Meunière:
Aaaaaaaaaaaah!

Meunière:
Shit, shit, shit! How'm I supposed to emergency land a freaking battleship when I've never done it befoooaaah!?

Meunière:
And why'm I the one taking the helm!?
The hell are you doing, Captaaaiiin!?

Meunière:
Graaaaaaaaah!
All hands, make sure you're strapped in tiiiiiighhht!

Meunière:
(Huff... Gasp...)

Meunière:
...H-hey, we stopped.
I'm alive... I think?

Mash:
Master! Are you all right!?


Fujimaru 1:
Sure am! All thanks to my seat belt.

Mash:
Your seat belt... I see. I guess Director Goredolf's
guidance paid off in spades here!


Fujimaru 2:
I'm fine. What about you, Mash?

Mash:
I'm all right. I remained on standby in a half-sitting posture, so I could be ready for a worst-case scenario, and I guess it worked out.


Goredolf:
G-good, it looks like we stuck the emergency landing!

Goredolf:
Next, shut down Magical Reactors One through Three! And hurry! If Zeus notices their magical energy, he'll come after us!

Da Vinci:
Already done! Captain, would you mind
taking care of the ship's camouflage?

Nemo:
Don't worry, I'm on it.
In fact, I'm already done.

Nemo:
Since I disguised the ship right before we landed,
the enemy shouldn't have seen where we wound up.

Nemo:
Hurry up with the cloaking. They may not be able to see us, but they could still detect our magical energy.

Da Vinci:
Aye, sir!

Holmes:
...All right, now that things have settled down,
let's assess our current situation.

Holmes:
After Zeus attacked the Storm Border, we made an emergency landing near Olympus's western perimeter.

Holmes:
By deploying optical camouflage around the ship, we were able to evade visual detection during the landing.

Holmes:
We've also shut down the Border's motive power, namely the Magical Reactors, and surrounded the entire hull with a concealing Bounded Field to prevent the enemy from detecting its magical energy.

Holmes:
This should mean we've successfully landed the ship in Olympus with the enemy none the wiser as to our location...at least, theoretically.

Da Vinci:
First off, great work, everyone.

Da Vinci:
You should all be proud that we made it out of that
without having to resort to a dangerous Zero Sail.

Da Vinci:
After all, in the worst case, a Zero Sail taken without the necessary precautions could wipe us all out.

Da Vinci:
Really, the few times we've managed to pull
one off so far were basically miracles.

Da Vinci:
Whew.

Da Vinci:
Anyway, the important thing is,
I'm glad we're all okay!

Goredolf:
It just goes to show what an excellent
machine the Storm Border truly is.

Goredolf:
It can evade an omnipotent god's thunderbolts!
It can dive into Void Space!

Goredolf:
If we brought it back to Proper Human History, it would be the greatest technological revolution of all time!

Nemo:
That will never happen. This ship couldn't exist in a world where humanity was flourishing like it's supposed to.

Nemo:
It's only in this completely bleached world that my Nautilus Noble Phantasm, Sion's pseudo-Spiritron armor, aka the Hermes Skin...

Nemo:
...Hephaestus's nanomachines, and Chaldea's engineering could all come together like this.

Nemo:
The only reason the Storm Border exists at all is to defeat the Foreign God. It won't have a purpose beyond that.

Goredolf:
O-oh... I see. I suppose that's true, isn't it?


Fujimaru 1:
But that doesn't change the fact that it's still a great, dependable ship.


Goredolf:
Indeed, you're spot-on there.
I'm glad to see you understand, Fujimaru.

Goredolf:
At any rate, we can't let everything
we did in Atlantis be for nothing.

Goredolf:
And we certainly wouldn't be able to look the Atlanteans in the eye if we got ourselves shot down before we even landed the ship.

Goredolf:
We'll need to be ready to use all available resources. Have you finished replenishing your Command Spells?

Goredolf:
...

Goredolf:
All the precious backup Command Spells we saved
up in case we needed them for a huge battle...

Goredolf:
...and we're just going to use
them up like it's nothing!


Fujimaru 1:
All replenished, sir.

Goredolf:
Good!


Fujimaru 2:
I can't believe I was actually able to replenish all three Command Spells...

Goredolf:
Well, I did say they were precious. We can't exactly buy more refills from the Command Spell store!

Goredolf:
We were only able to scrape these together in time by running the Wandering Sea's Magical Reactors at full blast...

Goredolf:
...pooling my technical and administrative advisors' expertise, and having Sion pull a few all-nighters.

Goredolf:
Only time and luck will tell if
we're ever able to make any more.

Mash:
I see. So we were really fortunate
to be able to use them now.

Goredolf:
Yes, I suppose...
A-at any rate!


Goredolf:
Now that things have come to this,
we'll have to use every resource at our disposal!

Goredolf:
After all, we still have a crucial
mission we need to carry out.

Da Vinci:
Right. We absolutely must cut down
the Tree of Emptiness here in Olympus.

Goredolf:
Tell me, Technical Advisor, how safe
do you think we are right now?

Da Vinci:
Good question. From the scans of the surrounding area, I'd say we lucked out.

Da Vinci:
I'm guessing this area we're in
now is in the outskirts of Olympus.

Da Vinci:
There are almost no buildings here, there's no sign of any natives, and I don't see a single soldier or defensive weapon anywhere.

Da Vinci:
We can thank Meunière for his choice of landing spot, since he was the one handling the controls on short notice.

Nemo:
I agree. I would have landed the ship myself, but I had my hands full coordinating with the Nemo Series.

Nemo:
Great job, Meunière. When we have a chance later,
I'll give you a proper lesson on how to steer the ship.

Meunière:
!

Meunière:
W-well hey, haha, what can I say? It WAS pretty impressive if I do say so myself, but still!

Meunière:
Sure, I got a little panicked when you first asked me to take over, but I figured things would work out if I just stuck to my usual game plan!


Fujimaru 1:
Thanks, Meunière.


Fujimaru 2:
You made the right call.


Meunière:
Ah, I can't really take the credit. The Storm Border
did all the hard work. I just kept it stable.

Meunière:
Still, I'm glad I was able to help you out, Captain!

Nemo:
You definitely did. I was planning to station a
marine in the cockpit, but now I won't have to.

Nemo:
So since I'll have one to spare now,
I'll assign them to ship cleaning duty instead.

Goredolf:
Good. Keeping the ship clean at all times
will be a great boost to morale.

Goredolf:
Ahem. Well, Administrative Advisor, the bad news?
I know well enough by now that it can't all be good.

Holmes:
Right you are, Director.
You really are getting the hang of this.

Holmes:
Now that we've shut down all of our Magical Reactors, restarting them will take some time.

Holmes:
Which means, of course, that we are effectively stuck here for the time being. That means no Zero Sail, either.

Goredolf:
O-oh. I see...


Fujimaru 1:
At least they should have a hard time finding us here, right?

Mash:
Right. As long as we remain hidden,
the odds of them detecting us should be low.


Fujimaru 2:
So does that mean we can't get away if they find us here?

Mash:
...Good question. If they should happen to find us,
making an escape will be very difficult.


Nemo:
Right. As long as we're unable to start up the ship's engine at a moment's notice, we'll be out to sea without a lifeboat if we're spotted again.

Nemo:
If we end up taking several of those supercharged magical energy attacks head-on without even any of our defensive mechanisms to shield us, well...

Nemo:
...I don't even want to think about it.


Fujimaru 1:
Captain!


Goredolf:
Huh!?

Meunière:
Captain! Wh-why'd you collapse like that!?
Are you okay!?

Nemo:
...I'm sorry.

Nemo:
It looks like Zeus's great thunderbolts
were even more powerful than we thought.

Nemo:
The one that hit us didn't damage the ship too badly...
but it did...damage my Spirit Core...

Meunière:
!

Mash:
Oh no. Does this mean those thunderbolts
are actually Anti-Servant attacks!?

Nemo:
It's a good thing...only one of them hit us...
If even one more of those had struck...

Nemo:
...we might've ended up losing...our new ship...

Nemo:
Ngh... This is pathetic.
I don't...even have the strength to stand.

Goredolf:
Dammit, get Nemo Nurse in here, on the double!
Make sure Captain's as comfortable as possible!

Meunière:
R-right!

Holmes:
Does this mean you're injured as well, Da Vinci?

Da Vinci:
...Looks that way.

Da Vinci:
I thought I was just feeling off thanks to all the magical energy I used for the chaff and the concealing spell...

Da Vinci:
But since I was acting as the Storm Border's CPU when we got hit...

Da Vinci:
...I guess I actually got just as hurt as the Captain.

Da Vinci:
I think I'd better rest up for a while, too...


Fujimaru 1:
Da Vinci!?


Holmes:
Easy there.
...Good, I caught her in time.

Nemo Nurse:
Thanks for the nurse call.
Is it an emergency?

Goredolf:
I'll say! Thanks for coming, Nemo!

Meunière:
It's Captain and Da Vinci!
The former collapsed, and the latter's totally drained!

Meunière:
Please, hurry!

Fou:
Fou, fou!

Mash:
Holmes! Meunière!
H-how are Da Vinci and Captain doing?

Meunière:
They're both asleep now. Well, I say asleep,
but it's more like what we did back in Scandinavia.

Holmes:
They're in the recovery pods I used at the time. They may seem fine on the surface, but their Spirit Cores have both suffered significant damage.

Holmes:
It may take them a few days, but don't worry.
We expect them both to make full recoveries.

Holmes:
To put it in the modern parlance,
this will be no big deal.


Fujimaru 1:
Well, that's a relief.

Mash:
Yes, it is! It's too bad we can't visit them while they're in the pods, but I'm still glad to hear they'll be okay!


Holmes:
Quite so. Ideally, I'd prefer to wait for their full recovery before we begin our plan of attack in earnest, but–

Goredolf:
Indeed. We have neither the time nor the
mental capacity to spare for that.

Goredolf:
Both the Captain and the technical advisor
fulfilled their duties spectacularly!

Goredolf:
Yes, they may be useless for the time being,
but no matter. Their recovery takes priority.

Goredolf:
Meanwhile, those of us who remain have an obligation to make the most of this opportunity they've given us. Namely–


Fujimaru 1:
Make a move before we're found, right?

Goredolf:
Exactly. By this point, I suppose there was no need
for me to say anything after all, was there?


Fujimaru 2:
Buy them a nice fruit basket for when they wake up, right?

Goredolf:
Don't be daft, [♂ man /♀️ girl]!
I already arranged for one of those!


Goredolf:
Ahem. All right, as the new director of Chaldea, and
the commander of the Storm Border, here are my orders.

Goredolf:
Master Fujimaru.
Mash Kyrielight, [♂ his /♀️ her] faithful Servant.

Goredolf:
There is still much we don't know about our situation, but even so, I'll need you two to head out.

Goredolf:
While I'm afraid we won't be able to support you as
normal with our technical advisor incapacitated...

Goredolf:
...myself, Meunière, and our administrative advisor
will do our best to fill her shoes in the meantime.

Goredolf:
Your sole objective for now is to explore this Lostbelt and recruit other Proper Human History Servants!

Goredolf:
Hehe. At least this time, we won't be at a complete disadvantage thanks to the vanguard that got here ahead of us.

Goredolf:
Once you find the Heroic Spirits that came here from
Atlantis, the tide is sure to turn swiftly in our favor!

Goredolf:
If we're going to defeat that detestable Kirschtaria, cut down that preposterously huge Tree of Emptiness...

Goredolf:
...and destroy that incredibly dangerous Zeus,
you'll need to meet up with them, first!


Fujimaru 1:
Yes, sir!

Goredolf:
Hehe, just what I like to hear.
Now I can relax and really enjoy my breakfast.


Fujimaru 2:
Let's get going, Mash!

Mash:
Right, Master!


Holmes:
I've just run a scan of our vicinity...and I'm afraid
the circumstances are very much not in our favor.

Holmes:
Unfortunately, we will be no more able to bolster our
ranks via summoning circle here than we were in Atlantis.

Holmes:
Every last leyline for kilometers is under intense observation. They are too man-made–or perhaps I should say god-made–to be of use to us.

Holmes:
Suffice to say, we won't be able to secure the magical energy necessary to summon and maintain new Heroic Spirits while here in Olympus.

Holmes:
I'm afraid we'll have to be content with using the Spirit Origin graph for temporary, combat-only summons.

Fou:
Fou, fou...

Goredolf:
All the more reason you need to find the Heroic
Spirits who came here ahead of us as soon as possible.

Goredolf:
With the forces we have, we won't even be able to keep ourselves safe, let alone accomplish the mission.

Meunière:
It would've made things a lot easier if we could've summoned more combat-ready Heroic Spirits from a leyline...

Meunière:
...but I guess that was too much to hope for,
just like it was in Atlantis.

Meunière:
Well, in the meantime, I don't know how much
these'll help, but here, these are for you two.

Mash:
Thanks, Meunière.
But, um, what are they?

Meunière:
They're disguise kits–well, a kind of Mystic Code, really–that
Da Vinci made in secret based off the Atlanteans.

Meunière:
Basically, they use magecraft to deceive onlookers
both optically and perceptually...

Meunière:
...giving you the same effect as wearing a disguise
without actually having to put one on.

Meunière:
She said they make use of the same disguise principles as Holmes's Noble Phantasm. They should let you disguise yourself as residents of Olympus and–


Fujimaru 1:
Gather the information we need.

Meunière:
Right. I know this is business as usual for
you guys by now, but still, be careful.


Fujimaru 2:
Make our way into the city of Olympus.


Meunière:
The silver lining here is that your magical energy
readings are the same as any other human's.

Meunière:
Apparently, even Mash only has a tiny bit
of Servant aura about her right now.

Meunière:
So hey, in that sense, this should make it a lot easier to sneak in than it would be if you were bringing Servants along.

Mash:
That's true.

Mash:
Under these circumstances, the risk of a hostile
Servant noticing me or Senpai should be very low.

Mash:
So if all goes well, this should give us the chance we need to rendezvous with the Heroic Spirits who got here before us!

Meunière:
...

Meunière:
...But, uh, that being said, you'll still be at
a major disadvantage if you do end up in a fight.

Meunière:
So don't lean on the disguise kits too heavily, okay?

Meunière:
Then again, you're both old hands now with Rayshifts and Lostbelts, so I'm sure you already know that.

Holmes:
Director.

Goredolf:
Hm? What is it, Administrative Advisor?

Holmes:
I have two suggestions I'd like you to hear.

Holmes:
The first is that we send the combat and environmental information we've gathered to date to the Wandering Sea in a data packet.

Holmes:
And for the second, well, I think discretion would be the best course for this one...

Goredolf:
Wh-what's this now?
Hahaha, careful. I'm quite ticklish, you know.

Goredolf:
...

Goredolf:
...Wh-what was that!?

Goredolf:
Are you serious, Administrative Advisor!?
But that's... Surely you can't–

Holmes:
Director, do you remember the border guards
that Odysseus kept under his command?

Holmes:
I'm quite certain that your concerns,
while understandable, are nevertheless unwarranted.

Goredolf:
Nnn... Nnnnnnnnn...

Goredolf:
It's incredibly risky, but I can't deny that
it also makes a lot of sense... Nnnghhh!

Goredolf:
...A-all right.

Goredolf:
A-as the director of Novum Chaldea, I can't have my subordinates be the only ones putting themselves in danger to restore Proper Human History!

Goredolf:
Very well, Administrative Advisor!
I accept your proposal!

Holmes:
Thank you. I had every confidence
you would make the right decision.

Fou:
Fou?


Fujimaru 1:
Huh? What's going on?

Holmes:
Hahaha.

Goredolf:
This is no laughing matter, if you ask me...
Geez.


Fujimaru 2:
What were you guys talking about?

Holmes:
I'm afraid the time is not yet right.
Don't worry, you'll find out soon enough.

Mash:
Oh! I haven't heard you say that
in a long time, Holmes!

Holmes:
Ha ha ha.

Goredolf:
This is no laughing matter, if you ask me...
Geez.


Goredolf:
All right, once again: Fujimaru! Mash Kyrielight!
As director of Novum Chaldea, here are your orders!

Goredolf:
You two are to leave the Border at once
and make your way to the city of Olympus!

Goredolf:
Once you're inside, find out where the other Proper Human History Servants are and meet up with them posthaste!

Goredolf:
After you have secured an adequate fighting force,
you are to cut down the Fifth Tree of Emptiness!


Fujimaru 1:
Roger that!


Mash:
Understood. We'll go begin our
Olympus investigation right now!

Fou:
Fou, fo, foooooou!

--ARROW--

Narration:
Directly beneath the Fifth Tree of Emptiness, Magellan.

Narration:
Interstellar Mountainous City Olympus. Great Orbital Shrine Olympia Dodona, the center of its operations.

Europa:
A revelation is upon us.

Europa:
Now is the time of revelation.
Gather round, O noble gods of Olympus.

Europa:
He has ruled the heavens since the dawn of time,
emerging triumphant in no less than four machia.

Europa:
By day, he rules over clear blue skies.
By night, he conquers what lies beyond them.

Europa:
He is the wielder of the great thunderbolts capable of shattering stars, galaxies, even the very universe. Authorities no less than Uranus and Cronus themselves bow to his will.

Europa:
He is the great demiurge, the one who wields the Cronus Crown for all eternity!

Europa:
Now, behold the words of the almighty Zeus!

Zeus:
...I trust all are here?

Europa:
Indeed they are, my lord.

Zeus:
Rejoice, my fellow gods.
Rejoice, gods from foreign lands.

Zeus:
All is proceeding according to my will.

Zeus:
The seeds I planted have grown brilliantly, disturbed neither by chill rain nor merciless rays of sun.

Zeus:
Tree of Emptiness Magellan–No, Atlas,
the World Tree, is about to bloom.

Europa:
Glory to almighty Zeus.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Congratulations, Father.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
That's wonderful, Father.
Congratulations.

Zeus:
We must restore mythology to its rightful place.

Zeus:
This Lostbelt's divine power must not remain relegated to Olympus. It must spread across the world.

Zeus:
...Across every bit of bleached-white land.

Zeus:
If humans were unable to save it,
then the task falls to the gods instead.

Zeus:
I shall use all the power I wield to save this world in place of those gods who left during Proper Human History.

Zeus:
For it is still far too soon to lose the intelligent
human species that has taken root on this planet.

Limbo:
Mmm...

Limbo:
Mmm, mmmmmm. This is indeed all
unfolding absolutely wonderfully!

Limbo:
Even in my wildest dreams, I never imagined Atlas the World Tree would grow so large so quickly!

Limbo:
It even puts the Indian Lostbelt Tree's
explosive growth to shame!

Limbo:
This will undoubtedly be the land where our god–

Limbo:
The Foreign God, descends upon this world. Oh yes.
Of that, I'm absolutely certain.

Limbo:
Nothing could make we three Alter Egos, who have come here on behalf of the Foreign God, happier.

Limbo:
It is unfortunate that one of us could not
be present at this time, but no matter.

Limbo:
You have my pledge that I will do everything in my power to help you grow the World Tree to maturity, and to ensure the Foreign God's descent proceeds undeterred!

Aphrodite:
...The Foreign God? Excuse me? Ugh, it's always
Foreign God this and Foreign God that with you!

Aphrodite:
Are your ears working properly?
Did you not hear what almighty Zeus had to say?

Aphrodite:
He's the one who's going to save this world.
There's no place for your Foreign God here.

Aphrodite:
Now remember your place and hold your tongue,
foreigner, lest you say something you regret.

Demeter:
Now, now, Aphrodite.
There's no need to let anger mar your beautiful face.

Demeter:
Besides, you'd do well not to underestimate these gods
from foreign lands. Especially that monk there.

Demeter:
Rumor is that he single-handedly drove the ancient land of India into a hellish cycle of reincarnation.

Demeter:
So I'd be careful if I were you...

Demeter:
...lest he end up turning all of Olympus into Tartarus.

Aphrodite:
Ha! Tartarus? Ridiculous!

Aphrodite:
If you wish to joke, Demeter, save it for an audience who might appreciate your brand of humor.

Aphrodite:
As for you, you have some nerve speaking
of a foreign god in our presence!

Aphrodite:
How dare you speak of a god from an alien planet knowing full well that we descendants of Chaos migrated here from across the galaxy!?

Aphrodite:
Who do you think you are!?
You know nothing of Zeus's power!

Aphrodite:
You know nothing of what transpired fourteen thousand
years ago, at the moment our Lostbelt began!

Aphrodite:
You have no idea how Zeus's thunderbolts utterly destroyed the foreign invader who came to kill all life on this planet!

Limbo:
...Ha.

Limbo:
Who do I think I am, you asked?

Limbo:
I am me, of course.
No more, no less.

Aphrodite:
You insolent little–

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Wait, Aphrodite.

Dioscuri - Castor:
A moment please, O goddess of beauty.

Dioscuri - Castor:
If I may, allow me to remind you that we are all equally invested in seeing the World Tree to maturity.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Lord Kirschtaria, the Crypter, says that though our long-term goals may be different, for now, cooperating is in our mutual best interest.

Aphrodite:
Kirschtaria Wodime...

Limbo:
Oh? What's this?

Limbo:
My, my, is this truly happening? You, the goddess of beauty herself–the arbiter of value for all humanity...

Limbo:
...deigning to take advice from a mere human?
I never thought I would see the day.

Aphrodite:
!!!

Priest:
That's enough, Limbo. A joke is only
funny when its audience is receptive.

Priest:
So I suggest you be more judicious about playing the jester while in the company of gods. Especially given that same tendency led to your failure in India.

Limbo:
...You don't mince words, do you?

Limbo:
I was merely trying to lighten the mood,
but you're right. I did misjudge my audience.

Limbo:
It seems my failure in India has affected me more
than I realized. Forgive me, O gods of Greece.

Limbo:
Aphrodite, goddess of beauty.
Demeter, goddess of land.

Limbo:
All-powerful Zeus. Priestess Queen Europa.

Limbo:
I hope you will accept this humble apology.

Europa:
...!

Priest:
Limbo.

J:Limbo:
...Oh my.

Limbo:
I do beg your pardon.

Europa:
...Not at all. I am the one who owes you an apology.

Europa:
I hope you will forgive my momentary surprise,
O gods of foreign lands.

Priest:
Limbo.

Limbo:
Don't be absurd, my illustrious Queen Europa.
I am the one who has wronged you.

Europa:
Not at–

Zeus:
Silence, all of you.

Zeus:
I understand your anger. I understand your impatience.
But stay your tongues.

Zeus:
There are some facts we must accept,
no matter how humiliating they may be.

Zeus:
Namely, the fact that without the Tree of Emptiness,
none of us could exist.

Zeus:
Our glorious Olympus's prosperity... We Twelve Olympians' eternal reign... All depend on the Tree of Emptiness.

Zeus:
This we must come to terms with if we are to overcome the tree's hold on us.

Priest:
Overcome the tree's hold? Does that mean
you plan to cut down the Tree of Emptiness?

Limbo:
As long as you grow the Tree to full maturity, we have no objections as to what you do with it afterwards.

Limbo:
But still, the very idea of overcoming
the tree's hold is just... Hahahahahaha!

Limbo:
Are you truly capable of such a thing, almighty Zeus!?

Zeus:
Indeed, it is a task beyond
even my all-encompassing power.

Zeus:
Which is why I have formed an alliance with my
sworn friend, Kirschtaria Wodime the Crypter.

Aphrodite:
Zeus! Need I remind you that he is only a human!?

Demeter:
Zeus! You would still call
that human your sworn friend!?

Zeus:
Silence.

Zeus:
Kirschtaria Wodime the Crypter is no ordinary human.

Zeus:
One could well liken the mammalian humans from
Proper Human History to little more than sentient reeds.

Zeus:
And indeed, Kirschtaria is sentient.

Zeus:
But no mere reed could ever be that strong.

Kadoc:
...So this is the Machina Corridor of the
Great Orbital Shrine Olympia Dodona, huh.

Kadoc:
It's way too damn long if you ask me. How's a guy supposed to cross this thing and get where he's going on time?

Kadoc:
Did they just make it to scale with the gods of Olympus or something? At this rate, I'm gonna die of old age before I get anywhere.

Kadoc:
Still, on a different note, I can't believe he's just
letting me walk around like this unsupervised.

Kadoc:
Wodime...
I swear, I can't tell what that guy's thinking.

Kadoc:
(Now I feel like an idiot for keeping my guard up constantly, figuring it was just a matter of time before he sends someone to finish me off.)

Kadoc:
(I always thought a Crypter without a Lostbelt would be worthless, that he wouldn't have anywhere left to go, and no reason to be kept alive.)

Kadoc:
(I was sure he was just going to take
my Sirius Light and be done with me...)

Kadoc:
...Was I wrong? I remember Director Marisbury said:

Kadoc:
“The Sirius Light is the power to overturn the very world. Possessing it is what makes you a Crypter.”

Kadoc:
We studied every abnormality that could possibly occur during the seven ages. We trained for every scenario we might encounter in the simulator...

Kadoc:
Team A was supposed to save the world, and our Sirius Lights were supposed to be our trump card.

Kadoc:
But...

Kadoc:
(...It's strange. When you think about it, we were never actually told exactly what the Sirius Light is.)

Kadoc:
(Sure, they told us that they're even more powerful Command Spells, and that they produce more magical energy than the user could generate on their own...)

Kadoc:
(...but the only one of us who actually knows
when and why to use them is Wodime.)

Kadoc:
(After all, he was the one
entrusted with their timing...)

Kadoc:
(...so he should also be the only one who knows how
the Sirius Lights are really meant to be used.)

Kadoc:
(So then, why hasn't he taken mine...?)

Kadoc:
...Ever since we came back to life, Wodime's always said how the Crypters are all equal in the Foreign God's eyes, but it never occurred to me that he might really mean it.

Kadoc:
Does this mean...he seriously believes that?

Kadoc:
Dammit, what am I saying? There's no way he could. He's a noble. He's got to have an angle I'm not seeing.

Kadoc:
There must be something that only he knows.
Something about the Sirius Lights...the Foreign God...

Kadoc:
...the Trees of Emptiness...
and why the Lostbelts can exist in the present day.

Kadoc:
...All right, Wodime.
I'll find out what it is you're up to.

Kadoc:
Whatever it is you and Zeus are plotting,
I'm gonna bring it to light.

Kadoc:
And if I'm gonna do that...
I'm gonna need a distraction that really stands out.

Peperoncino:
You know, I was thinking.

Peperoncino:
I still haven't been punished for my failure
with the Indian Lostbelt, right?

Peperoncino:
So go ahead and punish me however you see fit,
Wodime. Whatever it is, I can take it.

Kirschtaria:
I hope I have not given you cause to mistake me, Pepe.

Kirschtaria:
We Crypters are colleagues, nothing more. I have no more authority to punish you than any of the others do.

Kirschtaria:
For the time being, Scandinavia Peperoncino,
let's just be glad you're all right.

Peperoncino:
You're sure taking all this in stride.
Not that I expected anything less, of course.

Peperoncino:
But I still wouldn't feel right getting off scot-free.
Why don't you at least take my Sirius Light?

Peperoncino:
Sure, I could probably save more face with the Foreign
God if I offered it up to them instead...

Peperoncino:
...but I couldn't care less about getting in either
the Foreign God or the Alter Egos' good graces.

Peperoncino:
So here, hon, you can have my Sirius Light.
Make sure you make good use of it.

Kirschtaria:
Thank you, Pepe, but there's no need for that.
You can keep yours.

Kirschtaria:
The Sirius Light has not been my responsibility since Team A ceased to be relevant.

Kirschtaria:
So no, you should hang onto yours.
What you do with it is up to you.

Peperoncino:
...I see.

Peperoncino:
So Ophelia didn't happen to die after using hers.
She died BECAUSE she used her Sirius Light.

Peperoncino:
Would I be right in assuming that's what Marisbury had in mind when he put our team together?

Kirschtaria:
...

Peperoncino:
Not at liberty to answer that, huh?

Peperoncino:
Nooow I get it. I'm starting to see just a little
more of what your relationship was really like.

Kirschtaria:
Despise me if you wish.
You are probably right to do so.

Peperoncino:
Despise you? Now you're just insulting me, Wodime.

Peperoncino:
I think the fact that you're refusing to say anything
just goes to show how much integrity you have.

Peperoncino:
Up to this point, I still wasn't
sure who was connected to what...

Peperoncino:
...but I think I'm finally starting
to see how the pieces fit together.

Peperoncino:
Teehee! It never really sunk in before, but I guess
we really are enemies of humanity after all!

Kirschtaria:
I have to say, Pepe, your sheer mental fortitude never fails to surprise me. I'm amazed you can still smile like that under these circumstances.

Peperoncino:
Hey, it's the one thing I've got going for me. Though, in my case, it's more despair than self-possession.

Peperoncino:
But hey, the important things are that I'm alive right now, and what it is I need to do next, right?

Peperoncino:
I'd never get anywhere if I spent all my time
fretting about a past I can't change.

Peperoncino:
So I'm just going to tell you this, in the hope
that it might lead to an even more fun future.

Peperoncino:
You know how the Disciples are always telling us the Foreign God wants the Lostbelts to flourish, and that the strongest one will become the foundation of a new humanity?

Peperoncino:
Well, I'm positive they're lying.
They're not planning on any of the Lostbelts surviving.

Peperoncino:
While we've been hoping that one of the Lostbelts
would become the next Proper Human History...

Peperoncino:
...they've got other plans entirely.

Kirschtaria:
...And why do you think that?

Peperoncino:
Hehe. I heard it straight from the Alter Ego's mouth back when he was elated at the prospect of his seemingly assured victory.

Peperoncino:
I swear, I never would've guessed his fondness for hearing himself talk would actually work in our favor!

Kirschtaria:
Haha. I see. So you got Limbo to talk.

Kirschtaria:
Then I won't be responsible for what you've learned, and it won't violate my contract with the Foreign God.

Kirschtaria:
...That being said, Myourenji, I can't say anything
more in response to what you've just told me.

Kirschtaria:
All I can tell you is that I am prepared to establish
this Lostbelt as the new Proper Human History...

Kirschtaria:
...and that I have done everything
I can to see that vision made reality.

Kirschtaria:
I will use everything at my disposal to ensure this Atlantic Lostbelt becomes this planet's future.

Kirschtaria:
In the meantime, I want you to carry out your duties as a member of Team A in whatever way you feel is best.

Peperoncino:
...

Peperoncino:
Hey, you don't have to tell me.
I was already planning to do whatever I wanted.

Peperoncino:
Besides, I was never really into the whole
“king of the Earth” competition thing, anyway.

Peperoncino:
But let me know if you ever need help with anything, all right? I'm not THAT much of an ingrate, you know.

Kirschtaria:
...Not that much of an ingrate, huh.

Kirschtaria:
Of course I know that, Pepe.
You've been of help to me more often than you realize.

Kirschtaria:
You always described yourself as a cold-blooded killer, but in fact, you were always the most humane...always honored your obligations more than any of us.

Foreign Priestess:
...

Kirschtaria:
Oh? Unless I am very much mistaken, there is a great deal of venom in your expression. Are you unhappy with what we just discussed?

Kirschtaria:
Peperoncino came to his conclusions based on what the Alter Ego said. There's no need to eliminate him.

Kirschtaria:
Nor did I tell the other Crypters any of the Foreign God's secrets.

Kirschtaria:
So far as I can tell, there have been no breaches of contract here. Am I wrong?

Foreign Priestess:
...

Kirschtaria:
Everything is proceeding according to plan. The Tree of Emptiness is now a fully grown catalyst, ready to bring your true form down to this world.

Kirschtaria:
Zeus no doubt means to use
this energy for his own ideals.

Kirschtaria:
For my part, I have no intention of getting in his way.
I promised him I wouldn't, after all.

Kirschtaria:
We agreed that, though our positions may be very different, Zeus and I would work together to ensure that the Atlantic Lostbelt is fully completed.

Kirschtaria:
And I will not be going back on my word.

Kirschtaria:
Not after he trusted me enough to let
me see him in a moment of weakness.

Foreign Priestess:
...

Kirschtaria:
I'm well aware. If Zeus's plan comes to fruition...

Kirschtaria:
...the Tree of Emptiness's magical energy will be depleted, and the Foreign God's descent will be delayed.

Kirschtaria:
Should that happen, I will be considered in breach of contract, and my life will be forfeit.

Kirschtaria:
...But that is not going to happen.
Much as it pains me to say this as his friend...

Kirschtaria:
Zeus's ideals will never work, even if his plan is flawless. Once they fail, that is where I come into play.

Kirschtaria:
Don't worry, I'll see that my job is done perfectly.
I value my life as much as anyone, after all.

Kirschtaria:
It would be equally trivial for me to complete this
Lostbelt and see Zeus's ideals realized...

Kirschtaria:
...or to conclude this Lostbelt and let
the Foreign God descend upon this world.

Kirschtaria:
The only unknown factor that could possibly pose an obstacle to either of those outcomes is Chaldea, and whatever course of action Fujimaru
chooses to pursue.

Kirschtaria:
I only hope [♂ his /♀️ her] spirit isn't yet broken. I'm counting
on [♂ him /♀️ her] to make [♂ his /♀️ her] way here and once more throw
[♂ himself /♀️ herself] into battle against me...

Kirschtaria:
...so that I can conclusively demonstrate
to [♂ him /♀️ her] that [♂ his /♀️ her] efforts were for naught.

Section 2: Olympus's Reception (First Half)

Mash:
It's been two hours since we left the Storm Border.

Mash:
Our comms still aren't working well,
so we can't get in touch with anyone.

Mash:
I doubt the Bounded Fields our disguises are generating are interfering with the signal, so it must be the magical energy in the atmosphere.

Mash:
I guess this means we'll need to head back to
the Border to tell everyone what we find out.


Fujimaru 1:
No need to rush. Let's just take our time.

Mash:
I agree.


Fujimaru 2:
First step: gathering information.

Mash:
Right.

Mash:
I just hope we can meet up with the Servants
who got here before us quickly...


Mash:
There are no hostile entities nearby.
I don't see any residents of Olympus, either.

Mash:
But going off the topographical information I was able to glean right before we landed, we should soon arrive at the city's western perimeter.

Mash:
We'll have to be careful as we
make our way there, Senpai.

Fou:
Fooou!

Mash:
It's nice to see you in good spirits, Fou!

Mash:
I don't think I've seen you this happy since Scandinavia. Is it all the magical energy in the atmosphere?

Mash:
Let me double-check the readings...

Mash:
The atmosphere's magical energy density is still on
par with the Age of Gods from the Seventh Singularity.

Mash:
I'm not seeing any abnormalities in your vitals either, Master. Everything looks to be within normal parameters.


Fujimaru 1:
It's all thanks to the Mystic Code.

Mash:
Hehe. They really are a jewel of
Chaldean engineering, aren't they?

Mash:
Still, if you ever do feel like anything isn't right,
please let me know right away.

Mash:
It's why I always carry a stash of emergency talismans!


Fujimaru 2:
How about you, Mash? Are you doing okay?

Mash:
Yes, I'm fine. The only difference is that my
skin feels a little more sensitive than usual.


Mash:
While we're here, why don't we check to make
sure our disguises are working properly, too?

Mash:
Activating disguise Mystic Codes now...
Everything looks fine.

Fou:
Fou, fou fou!

Mash:
A-aah! What is it, Fou!?


Fujimaru 1:
I think he's saying, “They work perfectly.”

Mash:
I see... Thank you, Fou.

Fou:
Fooou!

Mash:
Thank you, really!


Fujimaru 2:
I can't see your disguise myself, but I'm sure it looks great!

Mash:
Th-thank you, Senpai.
You're too kind.

Mash:
...

Fou:
Fooou, fou!


Mash:
...


Fujimaru 1:
Mash?


Mash:
Oh, I'm sorry...
I was just thinking about the disguises.

Mash:
We still don't know what Olympians look like,
so I hope they'll be enough to let us blend in.

Fou:
Fou, fooou.

Mash:
According to the instruction manual, these disguise kits reference current Atlantean fashion...

Mash:
...to simulate the kinds of clothes the Atlanteans
presumably wore before they were banished.

Mash:
Da Vinci must have figured that an advanced
civilization like Olympus...

Mash:
...would probably be the same today as
it was several thousand years ago.

Mash:
So I suppose whether these disguises are effective or not will depend on how accurate her simulation is...


Fujimaru 1:
I'm sure we'll be fine.


Fujimaru 2:
Don't worry. Da Vinci knows what she's doing.


Mash:
That's true.
Da Vinci's inventions have never let us down yet!

Mash:
All right, Senpai, let's keep going.
Olympus's western perimeter should be just up ahead.

Mash:
Time to start our close encounter of the third kind with the local populace of Olympus...in this fifth Lostbelt!

Fou:
Fooou, kyaaau!

Mash:
Okay, we made it to the city.

Mash:
It certainly looks very different than anything
we've seen in any other Lostbelt...

Mash:
Compared to, say, the Chinese Lostbelt,
which developed along its own unique path...

Mash:
...this one seems much more in line with what we would think of as a developed nation in Proper Human History.


Fujimaru 1:
It looks just like a modern-day city...

Mash:
I-it does, doesn't it? I got a glimpse of it from above while we were, um, making our way down here...

Mash:
...but I still can't quite believe
they've advanced this far...


Fujimaru 2:
I can't believe there are actual skyscrapers here...

Mash:
I know. They look just like the kind you'd expect to see in any modern city.

Mash:
I can see even bigger ones off in the distance, too.
I can't believe they've advanced so far...


Fou:
Fou, fo?

Mash:
...

Mash:
......

Mash:
Ah.

Mash:
I-I'm sorry.
I didn't realize I was spacing out.

Mash:
Anyway, the local residents don't seem to be paying us much attention, so it looks like the disguises are working.

Mash:
As I thought, there's even more concentrated magical energy in the atmosphere here than there was in Atlantis–as much as there was in the Age of Gods.

Mash:
Although...

Narration:
“Good day.
O glorious Zeus, blessed be his name!”

Narration:
“Blessed be his name!” “Blessed be his name!” “Glory to Lord Zeus for presiding over the sun in Apollo's stead!”

Narration:
“Did you sleep well last night?” “Of course. Thanks be to Lord Zeus for presiding over sleep in Hypnos's stead.”

Narration:
“I'm glad to see you're all doing so well.
Praise be to Lady Demeter for keeping you safe.”

Narration:
“Oh yes, you said it.
The ambrosia was delicious again today.”

Narration:
“I just know it will help me be even more beautiful.” “It's true. You were beautiful yesterday, and you're beautiful today, too.”

Narration:
“I can feel Lady Aphrodite's protection surrounding me. I'll have to stop by one of the branch shrines later to pray to her.”

Narration:
“Looks like the philosophers are debating something on the sidewalk.” “We're so fortunate to have them.”

Narration:
“Heeey! Wait up, Janis! You're going too faaast!”
“Race you to the fountain!” “Wait for meee!”

Narration:
"Hey, want to come to the Sacred Library in the East District with me? The dean terminal's closing the university for the day to give a lecture there."

Fou:
Fou fou.

Mash:
It certainly seems like the local Olympians
are all accustomed to this atmosphere.

Mash:
I suppose this means...
this is a humanity from the Age of Gods.

Mash:
Still, all that being said...

Mash:
I'm amazed to see how much foot traffic there is here!

Mash:
Between the buildings and the roads, it really does seem like a lost modern city from Proper Human History.

Fou:
Fou!

Mash:
And, what's more...

Mash:
Everyone here seems so...happy...


Fujimaru 1:
...They do, don't they?


Mash:
...Yes.

Fou:
Fou, fou fo.

Mash:
Don't worry, Fou.
It won't be a problem.

Mash:
We know we're still on a mission.
We won't forget where we're from or why we're here.

Mash:
Besides, we have an obligation to pay close attention
to how the people of this Lostbelt live their lives.

Mash:
Master, did you notice any familiar words
in those conversations we overheard?


Fujimaru 1:
Were there some?

Mash:
Yes, there were.
I heard the names of several ancient Greek gods.


Fujimaru 2:
You mean like Apollo and Demeter?

Mash:
Yes. Exactly.


Mash:
Demeter, the goddess of the land.
Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty.

Mash:
And I overheard a few others as well.

Mash:
I'm not sure if they were talking about the gods
of mythology, or other people named after them.

Mash:
They could also be talking about Divine Spirits...
Heroic Spirits... Mechanical gods, like in Atlantis...

Mash:
Or maybe there are other actual non-
Divine Spirit gods here, like Zeus.


Fujimaru 1:
Most gods here will probably be our enemies, but maybe not all of them.


Fujimaru 2:
Maybe there'll be gods like Apollo who are willing to help us.


Mash:
I hope you're right.

Mash:
Now that Zeus himself has attacked us, it's only natural for most of the other gods to follow his lead...

Mash:
...but there should still be other gods like
Apollo who will be exceptions to the rule.

Fou:
Nkyu... Fou.

Mash:
You'll let us know if you sense anything dangerous,
right, Fou?

Fou:
Fooou!

Mash:
All right, Senpai, let's start gathering information.

Mash:
We should be able to learn what we need by making
close contact with the local Olympians and talking to them.

Mash:
H-hello. May almighty Zeus's protection be with you.

C:Olympus Citizen:
Oh, hey there.
May Zeus and Hera's protection be with you, too.

Olympus Citizen:
Say... I don't think I've seen you around here before.

Mash:
R-right, I suppose you haven't.
I only just got here from the, um...countryside?

Mash:
Er, I basically came from the edge of town,
so I'm still not used to being around so many people.

C:Olympus Citizen:
Really? I'm pretty sure this is what
it's like everywhere in Olympus...

C:Olympus Citizen:
Then again, I've only been to Shrinetown a few times, and it's not like I've seen everything the city has to offer.

C:Olympus Citizen:
And hey, there were some less urban areas ten thousand years or so ago, so I guess it makes sense that there are still some districts like that now.

C:Olympus Citizen:
So, what brings you here?
You just move in or something?

Mash:
N-no, nothing like that!

Mash:
I'm just, um...passing through? On a trip?

Mash:
Anyway, I don't know much about this area,
so I was hoping you might be able to fill me in.


Fujimaru 1:
Anything you could tell us would help.


Fujimaru 2:
We just got here today, and we're really lost.


C:Olympus Citizen:
Oh, is [♂ he /♀️ she] with you?

C:Olympus Citizen:
[♂ I'm guessing you're married or something? You definitely don't look like siblings. /♀️ So are you sisters or something?]

Mash:
W-we're, um...

Fou:
Fou, fou!

C:Olympus Citizen:
Oh, hello, cutie. You a squirrel?
Some kind of Chimera pup? ...No, I'm guessing not.

C:Olympus Citizen:
Anyway, I won't pry. I think it's great you're traveling, and I'd be glad to tell you what you want to know.

C:Olympus Citizen:
This is the west side of the Interstellar Mountainous City of Olympus's Tenth Residential Layer. Here, take a look.

C:Olympus Citizen:
Doesn't the Holy Vessel Ring Cronus Crown
look beautiful from this angle!?

Mash:
Cronus Crown...

C:Olympus Citizen:
See the great shrine inside it up there? You'll never get such a great view of it over in the East District.

C:Olympus Citizen:
That's Great Orbital Shrine Olympia Dodona, the heavenly castle of our holy gods. Glory be to Zeus!

C:Olympus Citizen:
And way up there, above the crystal mountains that provide us with unlimited magical energy?

C:Olympus Citizen:
That's Atlas, the World Tree.

C:Olympus Citizen:
It used to be called the Tree of Emptiness,
but almighty Zeus gave it a new name.

C:Olympus Citizen:
It's a miraculous tree made up of Zeus's glorious light, and it was a gift from some gods of a foreign land.

C:Olympus Citizen:
You can see it real clearly here, right? When it blooms, we're going to hold a huge festival right in this district!

Mash:
A...festival?

C:Olympus Citizen:
Well sure. After all...

C:Olympus Citizen:
...that tree is what's keeping us alive after
we were cut off from Proper Human History.

E:Olympus Citizen:
Hahaha. I see, I see.
It's not every day we get travelers around here.

E:Olympus Citizen:
The last ones I met were a young couple a lot like you two about two hundred years ago. Yes, that's it. You should be proud.

E:Olympus Citizen:
There's nothing wrong at all with taking the path less traveled. I have absolute faith that the gods support us humans in all our vast diversity.

E:Olympus Citizen:
Still, that being said...
I don't have much I can teach you.

E:Olympus Citizen:
Surely, you'd already learned about
the Crown and the World Tree, right?

E:Olympus Citizen:
No matter where you go, Olympus's endless bounty surrounds you!

E:Olympus Citizen:
It's always been that way, especially over the
last few thousand years, and it always will be.

E:Olympus Citizen:
So there's nowhere in all of Olympus you could
go where we aren't positively spoiled by riches.

E:Olympus Citizen:
Just look at all these glittering production towers!
The ambrosia Lady Demeter bestows upon us every day!

E:Olympus Citizen:
Things like hunger, illness, injury, and
pain are all relics of the distant pas–

E:Olympus Citizen:
Hm? What's that?

E:Olympus Citizen:
...Yes, that's right. Two hundred years ago.
It was practically just the other day.

F:Olympus Citizen:
...My job?

F:Olympus Citizen:
Haha, you travelers are funny. Jobs are those things people used to have to do to earn money, right?

F:Olympus Citizen:
I'm amazed you still remember such an ancient concept.
Are you history buffs or something?

F:Olympus Citizen:
Well, I think that's wonderful.
There's just something romantic about archaeology.

F:Olympus Citizen:
It's such a shame that the gods don't like to talk about things that happened more than ten thousand or so years ago, and that there aren't more records of the past.

F:Olympus Citizen:
You must run into the same problems at every university and research organization. ...Me? Oh, no, I don't go to university.

F:Olympus Citizen:
I'm an artist. There's nothing that brings the gods
more joy than the evolution of art and culture!

F:Olympus Citizen:
I don't know what we would do without the gods. They watch over us, protect us, love us... Ahh, glory be to Zeus!

F:Olympus Citizen:
Oh, yes, in my case, I study under Educational Terminal No. 3 at the nearby art academy!

F:Olympus Citizen:
Well, me, and about five hundred
thousand other students. Hehe.

L:Olympus Citizen:
War?

L:Olympus Citizen:
Yeah, I've heard that used to be a thing. You can read all about it in the government records, libraries, and university archives.

L:Olympus Citizen:
Oh, wait. Is your district one of the ones that doesn't
have any big government offices or libraries?

L:Olympus Citizen:
I'm amazed there are still places in
Olympus bereft of the gods' glory.

L:Olympus Citizen:
Anyway, sure, I can tell you what I know.

L:Olympus Citizen:
A long time ago, there were
four great wars called machia.

L:Olympus Citizen:
The first was between Zeus's gods and Cronus's Titans. The second was between Zeus's gods and the White Death.

L:Olympus Citizen:
The third was between Zeus's gods and the Gigantes.

L:Olympus Citizen:
And the fourth was–

L:Olympus Citizen:
Huh? The exile that took place
a few thousand years ago?

L:Olympus Citizen:
Yes, that was part of the fourth machia, a tragic civil war fought between the gods themselves.

L:Olympus Citizen:
The followers of the gods who lost–the poor people who did not accept the gods' protection...

L:Olympus Citizen:
...left Olympus and descended to Atlantis.

L:Olympus Citizen:
Though another theory says that they left
in search of their far-off homeland.

L:Olympus Citizen:
Either way, it's all in the past now. Humans have never waged war with one another, and they never will.

G:Olympus Citizen:
Yeah, it's great here!
Every day's so much fun!

G:Olympus Citizen:
I played all day yesterday,
and I'm gonna play all day today, too!

H:Olympus Citizen:
Hey, what kind of animal is that?
A baby Chimera? A lion?

G:Olympus Citizen:
Huh? What'd you say?

G:Olympus Citizen:
Is there anything we're scared of?
Or anything that hurts us?

G:Olympus Citizen:
Uh, no? I can't think of anything like that.

G:Olympus Citizen:
Heck, I can't even remember the last time...

G:Olympus Citizen:
...I heard words like “pain” or “scary”!

H:Olympus Citizen:
Are you two in pain?
Are you scared of something?

N:Olympus Citizen:
You want to know more about the gods?

N:Olympus Citizen:
...You can't be serious, right?
Is this a trick question or something?

N:Olympus Citizen:
Huh?
You're from the countryside?

N:Olympus Citizen:
Do you know about Lord Zeus?

N:Olympus Citizen:
...I see.

N:Olympus Citizen:
I had no idea there were still areas within Olympus
bereft of the gods' glorious protection.

N:Olympus Citizen:
Do tell where you're from later, okay? I'll let them know during my regular prayer at the branch shrine.

N:Olympus Citizen:
I'm sure Lady Europa will take care of
it once we bring this to her attention.

N:Olympus Citizen:
You do know who Lady Europa is, right?

N:Olympus Citizen:
Queen Europa is Lord Zeus's wife. She's a demigod who assimilated with Lady Hera, so she's sure to hear your prayers.

N:Olympus Citizen:
...Really?
Don't tell me you didn't even know that?

N:Olympus Citizen:
What about the branch shrines? You know, the places
we go so the gods will hear our voices?

N:Olympus Citizen:
Do you mean you don't even know about them? ...How the gods can hear us better there than anywhere else?

N:Olympus Citizen:
You poor children.
That's the saddest thing I've ever heard in my life.

N:Olympus Citizen:
But don't worry.
The gods watch over all of us equally.

N:Olympus Citizen:
Ahh, glory to the great gods of Olympus!

N:Olympus Citizen:
Glory to the ones who sit atop
the great shrine, in possession of the Cronus Crown!

N:Olympus Citizen:
Lady Demeter! Lady Aphrodite!
Lord and Lady Dioscuri! Queen Europa!

N:Olympus Citizen:
Almighty Zeus!

N:Olympus Citizen:
Glory to our guests, the gods of foreign lands...

N:Olympus Citizen:
...and to Lord Zeus's sworn friend,
Lord Kirschtaria Wodime.

Fou:
Fou, fooou!

Mash:
Kirschtaria...

Mash:
I guess that means everyone in Olympus
knows who Kirschtaria is then.

N:Olympus Citizen:
Oh my, do watch your tongue. You can't refer to
Lord Zeus's sworn friend without a title.

Mash:
Oh! I-I'm sorry.
That just slipped out...

N:Olympus Citizen:
Hehe. I don't mind so much myself, but you could end up on probation if one of the guards were to hear you.

Mash:
Probation?


Fujimaru 1:
You mean, we'd be thrown in jail?


Fujimaru 2:
You mean, we'd be executed?


N:Olympus Citizen:
Oh my... This is even worse than I thought. I can't even imagine how undeveloped the place you grew up in must be.

N:Olympus Citizen:
You should really file a proper complaint with
your local government office about this.

N:Olympus Citizen:
Just to be perfectly clear, no guard would
ever do anything so barbaric as that.

N:Olympus Citizen:
Lord Zeus has decreed that not a single drop
of blood should ever be spilled in Olympus.

N:Olympus Citizen:
Oh my, I can't believe there's still even one
place in the city that uses language like that.

N:Olympus Citizen:
This is just beyond belief...

Mash:
I-I'm sorry. I was just reading a history book recently, and I guess I kind of got history mixed up with reality.


Fujimaru 1:
(Nice recovery, Mash!)

Mash:
(Th-thank you, Senpai.
I just wish I hadn't had to lie to her...)


Fujimaru 2:
(Easy mistake. We've all been there.)

Mash:
(R-really! I'll have to be careful about that!)


Fou:
Fo... Fou, fooou!

Mash:
Fou?

Woman's Voice:
Attention, my beloved Olympians.

Woman's Voice:
This is Queen Europa. I am speaking to you from
above Great Orbital Shrine Olympia Dodona.

Woman's Voice:
A revelation is upon us.

N:Olympus Citizen:
Oh my!

Fou:
Fooou...

Mash:
Fou?

N:Olympus Citizen:
Quiet!

N:Olympus Citizen:
Go on, stand up straight and pay attention!
We haven't had an unscheduled public broadcast from the great shrine in hundreds of years!

Mash:
Y-you know, you're not the first person who mentioned
something that happened hundreds of years ago. Do you–

N:Olympus Citizen:
Yes, of course I remember!
Now hush already! This is a divine revelation!

Woman's Voice:
Intruders from the outside have infiltrated
our Interstellar Mountainous City of Olympus.

Woman's Voice:
Be careful, my beloved citizens,
for these intruders are extremely dangerous.

Mash:
!

Woman's Voice:
Lord Zeus has sensed them here among you.

Woman's Voice:
...There are two of them.

Woman's Voice:
These monstrous villains are from Chaldea–
from Proper Human History.

Woman's Voice:
They are destroyers of worlds who have
obliterated four other Lostbelts.

Woman's Voice:
These arrogant malefactors believe themselves this world's true inhabitants, and look down their noses on our Olympus.

Woman's Voice:
We cannot peacefully coexist with such beings, so just this once, you are permitted to use violence against them.

Woman's Voice:
You will recognize one of these loathsome Chaldea demons by the red marks on their right hand.

Woman's Voice:
Should you find them, it is Zeus's
command that you kill them.

N:Olympus Citizen:
Red marks...on their right hand...

N:Olympus Citizen:
Chal...dea...?

N:Olympus Citizen:
No way. Are... Are you two them?
The ones from Proper Human Histo–

Mash:
Senpai!


Fujimaru 1:
Run for it, Mash!


Mash:
R-right!

N:Olympus Citizen:
Hey! Get back here!
Lord Zeus wants–

Fou:
Fou, kyaaau!

N:Olympus Citizen:
Eek!

Mash:
This way, Fou!

Fou:
Fooou!

E:Olympus Citizen:
Wh-why're those two running off like that!?
Wait. Are those...the Chaldea demons!?

Olympus Citizen:
A-a-aah! It's Chaldea!
The Chaldea demons!

Narration:
“It's Chaldea!” “Chaldea!” “The Chaldea demons!”
“Eeeeeeeeek!”

Narration:
“Get inside!” “Lock the doors!” “Hurry up!” “Don't let them kill you!” “I can't believe the demons of Proper Human History are here in our city!”

Narration:
“Somebody get to the branch temple! Hurry!” “We're not gonna make it!” “Help! Somebody!” “Somebody!” “Somebody!”

Narration:
“Kill the demons!!!”

M:Olympus Citizen:
...H-hold it.
This is as far as you go.

M:Olympus Citizen:
W-we citizens of Olympus heard
everything the revelation told us.

Mash:
!

Mash:
...Please, let us through!

Fou:
Fou, fooou!

M:Olympus Citizen:
You people from Chaldea...

M:Olympus Citizen:
...have been killing everyone in the Lostbelts, right?

M:Olympus Citizen:
And now, it's our turn.

Mash:
I... That's...

M:Olympus Citizen:
I have to say, it's still hard to believe. I would've expected you two to look more...evil or something.

M:Olympus Citizen:
I never would've guessed you'd actually look
like a couple of [♂ sweet kids /♀️ cute girls].

M:Olympus Citizen:
...Were you just trying to get us to lower our guard?

M:Olympus Citizen:
...

M:Olympus Citizen:
...I haven't done any combat training in a long time.

M:Olympus Citizen:
I've never wished Lord Ares were still
with us more than I do right now.

M:Olympus Citizen:
We may have done away with concepts like jobs,
labor, and professions a long time ago...

Olympus Soldier:
...but we do still have soldiers.

Olympus Soldier:
I may only be a reserve guard, but that's
enough to let me don the armor of the gods.


Fujimaru 1:
...!


Mash:
A magical energy transformation!? I can't believe a normal human is able to output so much magical energy!

Mash:
It's almost like a Servant's–
Master!


Fujimaru 1:
Mash.

Mash:
...Right.


Fujimaru 2:
...We need to distract him long enough to get away.

Mash:
...Right. I know.


Mash:
For this battle, I'll consider this soldier a single
Servant-class hostile. Initiating Ortinax combat mode!

K:Mash:
Setting output to maximum levels!

Olympus Soldier:
A black shield, huh?
So that's Chaldea's weapon of choice.

Olympus Soldier:
Very well then, let's see if your shield can withstand my divine steel, you heartless, merciless demons!

K:Mash:
Mash Kyrielight, preparing to engage
in combat with hostile entity!

Olympus Soldier:
Hraaaaaa!

--BATTLE--

Mash:
Haaaaaa!

Mash:
He really is strong...!

Mash:
(And he said he was only a reserve guard
who hasn't even trained in a long time!)

Mash:
(He's not giving us a single chance to escape!)

Mash:
(And then there's his sheer magical energy levels!
They're on par with a Servant!)

Mash:
(No... If anything, they're even higher!)

Mash:
Master, the hostile is extremely powerful! He's easily several times stronger than the Atlantis border guards!

Mash:
His overall combat abilities are the same
as a Heroic Spirit! Maybe even higher!


Fujimaru 1:
I'll find some way to get past him!


Fujimaru 2:
Sorry, Mash! Just hang in there a little lon


Voice:

Stand back, Ms. Kyrielight.

Olympus Soldier:
Reinforcements!?

Holmes:
I was afraid of this. Based on what we
know of the Atlantis border guards...

Holmes:
...I suspected the people of Olympus may each individually possess as much magical energy as a Heroic Spirit.

Holmes:
I swear, why is it always the predictions you most want to be wrong that turn out to be spot-on!?

Fou:
Fo, fooou!?

Mash:
Holmes!
What are you doing here?

Holmes:
Remember how the director was shouting right before you two left? That was because I had just suggested to him that I accompany you.


Fujimaru 1:
So, you've been following us in your spirit form all this time!?


Fujimaru 2:
So, you've been nearby in your spirit form the whole time!?


Holmes:
Indeed, I have.

Holmes:
I had hoped that, once my suspicions proved groundless...

Holmes:
...I could return to the Border and continue
protecting Da Vinci, Captain, and the director.

Holmes:
But now that my suspicions have proved correct,
it seems that is no longer an option!

Holmes:
Baritsu!

Olympus Soldier:
...!

Mash:
Let's take him down together, Holmes!
Please, follow my lead!

Holmes:
Understood!

Mash:
Haaa!

Mash:
!

Mash:
(He blocked it!
Now he's going to counterattack!)

Mash:
(But I should be able to defend, especially now that
Holmes is backing me up!)

Olympus Soldier:
...I'm surprised at you.

Mash:
Khh...!

Olympus Soldier:
I never thought your attacks would be so soft. Maybe deep down, you aren't really cut out for fighting.

Olympus Soldier:
But, you're still from Proper Human History, and Chaldea to boot.

Olympus Soldier:
So I'll start by cutting off your arms.


Fujimaru 1:
(I'll use a defensive Mystic Code!)


Fou:
Fou, fooou!!!

Mash:
...Holmes!?

F:Holmes:
...Baritsu can be employed for defense as well as offense. At least this is a damn sight better than what happened in Scandinavia.

F:Holmes:
Ms. Kyrielight!

F:Holmes:
Run for it!

F:Holmes:
And don't look back!
I'll find some way to hold him off!

Olympus Soldier:
...So, you care for your allies.

Olympus Soldier:
So then, how?

Olympus Soldier:
How can you bring yourselves to destroy Lostbelts!?

F:Holmes:
I could answer that if you wish, but would there be any point in doing so? Would you put away your sword if I did?

Olympus Soldier:
No, I wouldn't.

Olympus Soldier:
...I've wasted enough time talking. I'm a soldier. All I need to do is tear that Spirit Origin of yours to shreds.

Olympus Soldier:
Prepare to die, insolent Heroic Spirit without
so much as a drop of divine blood.


Fujimaru 1:
Holmes!


Fujimaru 2:
Get out of there!


Mash:
Holmes!

F:Holmes:
We will win this!
Moving forward is the only option we have left!

F:Holmes:
On a long and despondent journey like this,
none of us can afford to look back!

F:Holmes:
Mash Kyrielight!
Fujimaru!

F:Holmes:
Keep running, and don't look back!

Olympus Soldier:
Are you done prattling on now?
Then die!

Olympus Soldier:
Huh!?

Swordswoman's Voice:

Damn, you guys wasted no time kicking things into high gear! Couldn't you have been a little more elegant about it!?

Mash:
!


Fujimaru 1:
That voice...!


Swordswoman's Voice:
This is the most prosperous of all the Lostbelts;
a city-state ruled by real, genuine gods, right?

Swordswoman's Voice:
So don't you think you should be a little more dignified in how you go about baring your fangs!?

Olympus Soldier:
Who are you!?

G:???:
Ha ha ha! You wish to know who I am,
soldier from the realm of the gods!?

G:???:
I am a wanderer who crosses between worlds! I let the wind take me where it wished, and now, in my death, I have become a Servant!

G:???:
If you want to know more about who I am,
then I'll gladly tell you!

E:???:
I'm a Saber who's sworn loyalty to that Master there! I'm the swordfighter who's going to cut you down with two drawn blades, two hidden blades, and one secret blade!

E:???:
With my Niten Ichiryu, I have achieved mastery over the void! My True Name is Shinmen Musashi-no-Kami Fujiwara-no-Harunobu!

E:???:
Call me Miyamoto Musashi!

Musashi:
Eeek☆ That was just too cool, even for me!

--BATTLE--

B:Olympus Soldier:
I'm losing...!? How!?
They're just ordinary human Heroic Spirits!

Musashi:
(Too bad. He outclasses me in sheer ability and training, but he knows absolutely nothing about real combat!)

Musashi:
Forgive me!

B:Olympus Soldier:
Well done.
I mean it.

Olympus Soldier:
...Will you tell me your names again, Chaldeans?

Musashi:
Miyamoto Musashi, of Niten Ichiryu.

A:Mash:
...Mash Kyrielight, Demi-Servant.


Fujimaru 1:
Fujimaru.


B:Olympus Soldier:
...Musashi. Mash. Fujimaru.

B:Olympus Soldier:
Olympus will never let you escape with your lives.
We WILL kill you. On that, you have my word.


Fujimaru 1:
...


Fou:
Fou, fooou...

Mash:
Enemy hostile completely silenced.
The battle is over.

Mash:
...

Mash:
...I wasn't planning to take his life directly...

Musashi:
I'm sure you weren't. That's why I did it.
There a problem with that, Fujimaru?


Fujimaru 1:
...No. Well, yes... But it's okay.


Musashi:
Good. Now, do you know what we need to do next?


Fujimaru 1:
Get away from here as fast as we can...right?


Musashi:
Very good. Remember, you're in the heart of enemy
territory now, so get used to making calls like that.

Musashi:
...I'm sorry.

Musashi:
Anyway, I'm so glad you're all okay! Did I manage to make it in time for the start of the adventure!?


Fujimaru 1:
Of course. Thanks, Musashi.


Fujimaru 2:
Sure did. Thanks for showing up to save us.


Musashi:
You bet! Whenever Chaldea's in danger, I'll be there to help! I still have to pay you guys back for letting me stay there, after all!

Musashi:
Anyway, I know we have a lot to catch up on, but right
now, we should focus on getting out of here.

Musashi:
Like I said, this is the heart of enemy territory, so we don't want to stick around. Know the way out of town, Mash?

Mash:
...Y-yes, I do!
I'll secure an escape route right now!

Musashi:
Great! I knew you had a keen eye for this stuff.
How about you, Mr. Detective? Can you stand?

Holmes:
...I can. It would seem the bleeding's stopped as well. Thank you, Ms. Miyamoto. I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't come along.

Holmes:
It would also seem you're more right than you know.
Take a look.

Fou:
Fooou!

Mash:
Multiple Olympian soldiers spotted!
Master!


Fujimaru 1:
Guess there's no going back the way we came!


Fujimaru 2:
Mash! We need a new route, now!


Mash:
R-right! But, I'm afraid all three
major roads have been blockaded–

Musashi:
Then we can take the back alleys!
They're nice and twisty; perfect for making a getaway!

Holmes:
That would seem to make more sense than moving about in the open...but wouldn't our enemy be more familiar with the lay of the land than us?

Musashi:
True. That's why we'll just have to trust to our luck when it comes to whether or not we'll run into anyone!

Musashi:
If we do...we'll just have to
cut them down and keep moving!


Fujimaru 1:
...Okay, let's get going!


Musashi:
Right!

--BATTLE--

Musashi:
(Huff... Gasp...)
Phew, this is rough!

Musashi:
I swear, is everyone in Olympus as strong as a
Heroic Spirit!? 'Cause it sure feels like it!

Mash:
...I'm not detecting any magical energy readings nearby. I think we managed to lose them for the time being.

Holmes:
I'll use a talisman to put up a concealment Bounded Field. It's not much, but it should give you a moment to breathe.

Mash:
You did great, Master. You just ran the equivalent
of a fifteen hundred meter dash at full speed.

Mash:
You should use this chance to take some deep breaths and replenish your oxygen levels. Would it help to sit down?


Fujimaru 1:
No, that's okay. I'm pretty light on my feet.


Fujimaru 2:
No, I'm okay, thanks. Don't forget to rest up yourself, Mash.

Mash:
I won't. Thank you, Master.


Fou:
Fou fou.

Mash:
Right. Thank you, Fou.
That's very considerate.

Mash:
...

Mash:
......

Mash:
...I guess it wasn't just that first Olympian
soldier who turned out to be incredibly strong.

Musashi:
No, it wasn't. These people have all been powered up to an unheard-of degree. It feels like humans were brought up to Heroic Spirit-level while still somehow remaining human.

Musashi:
And they're not just physically strong. Their mental toughness is off the charts, too. They didn't even bat an eye at losing an arm.

Holmes:
Yes, well, you can understand why they might be so fired up, as they say nowadays. They're fighting for their world just as much as we are for ours.

Holmes:
No doubt they have their own loved ones they wish to protect here. It's little wonder they would put up such a tremendous fight.


Fujimaru 1:
...


Holmes:
There was always a chance that we would need to fight our way through the local populace in previous Lostbelts. Now, it would seem, that possibility has become reality.

Holmes:
Meaning, every person in this Lostbelt...

Holmes:
That is, everyone who lives here in Olympus...
should now be considered our enemy.

Mash:
...Everyone in this Lostbelt...

Holmes:
Zeus's revelation was extremely effective. From now on, we should consider the entire city to be on the lookout for us.

Holmes:
Suffice to say, the Olympians are simultaneously innocents who depend on the Tree of Emptiness for their survival...

Holmes:
...and vicious enemies who will take
any chance they can to end us.


Fujimaru 1:
...Yeah.



Fujimaru 1:
Which is exactly why we need to hold our heads high.


Musashi:
(Not “We need to beat them” or “We need to be strong,”
but “We need to hold our heads high,” huh?)

Musashi:
(...[♂ He /♀️ She] really does have [♂ his /♀️ her] head screwed on straight.
I didn't even have to break out a pep talk.)

Musashi:
(I guess they've both seen a whole lotta worlds in the time between Russia and here.)

Musashi:
...Oh, right. This really isn't the time
to let our guard down and relax, is it?

Musashi:
Besides, we don't know if these people can still
hear us through the Bounded Field or not.

Holmes:
They can't. Strong as they may be, the Olympian soldiers are still limited by their human perception capabilities.

Holmes:
The defensive systems do seem able
to sense magical energy...

Holmes:
...but given the sheer amount found in the atmosphere,
the addition of a few Servants shouldn't draw any notice.

Holmes:
So as long as we don't have, say, a Divine
Spirit-class Servant among our ranks...

Holmes:
...or they don't try to find us with something similar
to a god's own eyes, we should be safe for–

Mash:
!

Musashi:
...Mr. Holmes?

Holmes:
...As I was saying, something similar to a god's own eyes could be able to detect the Bounded Field itself.

Holmes:
A god, in this case, referring to any being that surpasses our common understanding of magecraft and Heroic Spirits.

Holmes:
In other words–

Fou:
Fo!?

Holmes:
In other words, to a god, or a being roughly on par with one, we would appear to be totally out in the open!

Mash:
An enormous magical energy reading is headed our way!
Thirty meters...twenty...ten...!

Mash:
It's coming from the other side of the alley!

Narration:
...It was humanoid.

Narration:
It was definitely shaped like a human...
but it was much too big to be one.

Narration:
It resembled nothing so much as a giant.

Narration:
The sound of metal scraping together pierced the air.

Narration:
Intruders detected.

Narration:
Initiating elimination.

Narration:
It was...a bronze giant.

Section 3: Olympus's Reception (Second Half)

Narration:
Intruders detected.

Narration:
Initiating elimination.

Holmes:
A bronze giant!
According to myth, it is a monster... Now I see!

Holmes:
It must have incorporated legends from the island of Rhodes... So the gods themselves must have minted this bronze giant!

Holmes:
And now, in Olympus, they've no doubt deployed it as an automatic defensive system for the purpose of eliminating intruders!

C:Mash:
Its magical energy readings are too
high for my sensors to measure!

C:Mash:
This output is on par with a Divine Spirit! And its
magical energy type isn't like any other kind of giant!

Musashi:
A bronze giant, huh!
I guess this means we really are in Greece!

Musashi:
It doesn't look like blades'll be much use against it, either...or that it's about to let us go without a fight!

Musashi:
Fujimaru! Mash!

Musashi:
Now that it's found us, we've got no choice
but to send this hardhead packing!


Fujimaru 1:
Got it!


Fujimaru 2:
Get ready to fight, Mash!


Mash:
Raising Ortinax output!
Engaging combat mode!

Mash:
All functions are fine-tuned and working properly! Spirit Origin awakening rate is well within standard parameters!

Mash:
...Here goes nothing!

Musashi:
I've fought and trained in all sorts of different worlds! I've lost track of how many monsters I've cut down!

Musashi:
I'm sure I've never fought a Greek bronze giant before, but now's as good a time as any to see if I can cut through it!

Musashi:
Now...have at you!

--BATTLE--

Mash:
Musashi!

Musashi:
Nice cover there, Mash!
Okay, you handle defense!

Musashi:
I'm going to try an all-or-nothing, full power,
five strike combo there on its right arm!

Mash:
Amazing! She made a crack in its arm with a combo
using the flat side of her swords...

C:Mash:
...and actually managed to
completely sever its right arm!

C:Mash:
The bronze giant's magical energy
readings are fading rapidly!

Musashi:
If you can't cut 'em with one strike, keep hitting 'em until you can! Split in half just like Old Man Yagyu's stone lantern!

C:Mash:
I-I see. I'll have to remember that one!

Fou:
Fou fou.
Fou.

Musashi:
No problem. This sort thing's a piece of–Hm?
Hmmm?

Musashi:
...Something doesn't feel right.
It's almost as if this battle still isn't over...


Fujimaru 1:
Musashi?

Musashi:
Sorry, Fujimaru.
It looks like my gambit didn't work at all.


Fujimaru 2:
Mash, get ready for battle again!!!

Mash:
Understood, Master!


Mash:
The giant's severed right arm is...
reattaching itself...

Mash:
It's been completely restored! And the bronze giant's
magical energy readings are rising back to unknown levels!

Holmes:
A self-restoration mechanism! While I would be truly fascinated to learn more about how it works–

Musashi:
Well damn! This is exactly what I hate about
fighting things that don't bleed!

Musashi:
How're you guys holding up?
You ready for round two with this thing!?

Mash:
I'm ready!

Musashi:
How about you, Fujimaru!?


Fujimaru 1:
I'm still good to go!


Fujimaru 2:
This time, we'll take it down for real and make our getaway!


Musashi:
Now that's what I like to hear!
Thanks for getting me fired up!

Musashi:
Unfortunately, there's no way we can take this
thing down without attracting more soldiers...

Musashi:
...so let's find some way to do that as fast as we
possibly can, whatever it takes, and beat a hasty retreat!

Musashi:
Oh shut up!
I wasn't talking to you!

Musashi:
All right, big guy, get ready!
This time, I'm taking your head right off!

--BATTLE--

A:Mash:
That did it! The bronze giant has fallen silent!
Its magical energy reading has disappeared!

A:Mash:
We did it, Master! We beat it!


Fujimaru 1:
Great work, everyone!

A:Mash:
Right...!


Fujimaru 2:
Great job! Now let's get out of here!

A:Mash:
Understood!


Musashi:
We need to move at top speed!
Mash, you carry Fujimaru!

Mash:
R-right.

Musashi:
Fou, you hold onto Fujimaru's arm! How about you,
Detective Guy? Need a shoulder to lean on?

Holmes:
Thank you, but that's quite all right.
I'm perfectly capable of running on my own.

Musashi:
Spare me the manly-man bullshit!
There's no way you can run with a beat-up Spirit Core!

Mash:
!!!

Fou:
Fo...


Fujimaru 1:
Holmes!?


Fujimaru 2:
It's your injury from Scandinavia, isn't it?


Mash:
I remember hearing you hadn't completely recovered from that injury, but I never would have thought your Spirit Core was still damaged...

Mash:
What were you thinking, fighting in that condition!? Your ether body could have fallen apart at any moment!

Holmes:
......

Holmes:
...I suppose I should have known I couldn't pull the wool over your Heavenly Eye, Ms. Musashi. Indeed, you've got me dead to rights.

Holmes:
I didn't want Ms. Kyrielight and Fujimaru to be the
only ones risking their lives, so I'm afraid I took
some rather foolish risks.

Holmes:
...Forgive me. I would be grateful for the assistance.

Musashi:
Much better.
Now come on!

Mash:
Right!

Mash:
We've come out on a major road!

Musashi:
Good, that's what I was going for!
And it looks like...there's no local Olympians nearby!

Musashi:
I guess they must all be hiding inside now
that oh-so-scary Chaldea's come to town!

Musashi:
I was a little panicked when they made that broadcast earlier, but if it got all the civilians off the roads, they did us a huge favor!

Musashi:
Now we've just gotta abscond
before more soldiers show up!


Fujimaru 1:
“Abscond”!?

Musashi:
Hehe, great word, right!?
I've been brushing up on my modern-day slang!


Fujimaru 2:
Uh, Musashi... Pretty sure nobody says “abscond” anymore!

Musashi:
Huh? You're kidding!
You mean it ISN'T modern-day slang!?


Musashi:
...Wait! Stop!

Mash:
Musashi!?

Musashi:
Something's headed our way!

Mash:
You're right! I'm picking up an incalculably massive magical energy reading right in front of us! Is that...!?

Narration:
T-t-targets spotted.

Narration:
R-r-resuming battle.

Narration:
Targets respotted.

Narration:
Resuming battle.

Musashi:
Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME!?

Musashi:
Did somebody hit rewind when I wasn't looking!? I could've sworn I cut its power source thingy in half!

Musashi:
Now I feel like an idiot for ever thinking it looked anywhere near as big and sturdy as a Wisdom King!

Musashi:
Things end when they end. When it's time to die,
it's time to die. I'm okay with that.

Musashi:
The intangible may last forever,
but all that is corporeal must one day end!

Mash:
...Master! I just realized we've seen this
sort of instantaneous regeneration before!


Fujimaru 1:
Demeter Klironomia!


Mash:
Right!

Holmes:
The various nanomachines we frequently saw in Atlantis! Of course such technology would have its origins in Olympus!

Woman's Voice:
Right you are.

Woman's Voice:
Behold, people of Proper Human History.
This is Demeter's Authority... Demeter Klironomia.

Mash:
!!!

Holmes:
Reinforcements...
And no ordinary ones, by the looks of it.

Musashi:
These definitely aren't soldiers.

Musashi:
(This magical energy is intense!)

Musashi:
(Now that I'm a Servant, I can tell these beings
easily surpass even that damn bronze idol.)

Musashi:
(I see. So these are this Lostbelt's Divine Spirits.)

Musashi:
(No... Its gods!)

Europa:
Stay where you are.
Do not bother trying to resist.

Europa:
My Tálos is protected by Olympus itself.
No mere humans can hope to defeat it.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Oh? I'm surprised to see that you deign to speak to them, Queen Europa.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Don't be rude, Big Brother.
Remember, Queen Europa has assimilated with Lady Hera.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
That thing is no longer human, but a demigod.
You mustn't glare at it like that.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Hmph.

Dioscuri - Castor:
It may have a god inside now, Pollux, but it is still human. That makes her no different from that failure Caenis.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Oh, Big Brother...

Fou:
Fo... Fou!

Mash:
The Dioscuri, the twin gods!

Mash:
Master, those are the Divine Spirits
we encountered once back in Atlantis!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Hm?

Dioscuri - Castor:
Did you look at me, human?
Did you point at me and speak my name?

Dioscuri - Castor:
How dare you?

Mash:
!

Musashi:
Not so fast!


Fujimaru 1:
Mash!

Mash:
M-Master.
I...

Mash:
I couldn't...even budge...


Fujimaru 2:
Musashi!

Musashi:
Don't worry, I'm totally fine☆
Just make sure Mash is all right, okay?


Dioscuri - Castor:
Why you–

Musashi:
Oh, was that rude of me? I'm sorry, I was just so
surprised at how light your pitiful little god sword was.

Musashi:
If I hadn't known better, I'd have thought
I was batting away a feather pillow!

Musashi:
(Yeah, right! I don't know how I'd even begin
fighting back against swordplay like that!)

Musashi:
(How the hell was his strike that strong? Or that fast!? That blade was practically moving at light speed!)

Musashi:
(Maybe it actually was light or something? What the hell!? Not even a bona fide sword saint could manage that strike!)

Musashi:
(Thank goodness for Holmes and his quick thinking. He must have figured something like this would happen when he cast that support spell on me!)

Musashi:
(If he hadn't...Mash's head would be lying
on the ground right about now...)

Europa:
Please, stay your blade, Castor.

Dioscuri - Castor:
...Are you speaking to me in your capacity as queen?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Big Brother.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Tch.

Dioscuri - Castor:
...I won't forget that insolent face of yours, human woman. I'll kill you myself when the time comes.

Musashi:
Oh my, whatever will I do?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Welcome back, Big Brother.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Thank you, Little Sister.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
You did wonderful, obeying the queen's orders.
I knew you could do it, Big Brother.

Dioscuri - Castor:
...Stop praising me, Little Sister.
Not in front of the humans.

Fou:
Fo...

Demeter:
Oh my, my, my.

Demeter:
Whatever do you think they're doing, Aphrodite?

Aphrodite:
I can't believe you already started. Don't you know
your bad behavior reflects poorly on us, too?

Aphrodite:
Perhaps you need a refresher on what
it means to be a god, Pollux?

Aphrodite:
You did get a new infusion of
Father's blood, didn't you?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
...What are you trying to say?

Demeter:
Nothing. She's not trying to say anything.
Come now, Aphrodite, you should know better than that.

Demeter:
Whatever happened in the past, the Dioscuri
are now a beloved part of our family.

Demeter:
So let's try to be a little kinder, okay?

Fou:
Fo...
Fouuuu...

Mash:
This magical energy is...overwhelming!

Mash:
Master! In my estimation...

Mash:
...these two women are most likely
also gods from this Lostbelt!

Holmes:
So, we're up against two Divine Spirit Servants,
three gods, and a bronze giant forged by yet another god.

Holmes:
At this point, it would seem they have more than
enough power to wipe us all out quite handily.

Holmes:
Suffice to say, these foes will be far more deadly than the Olympian soldiers. Now then, what are we going to do?

Fou:
Fo, fou fou!

Mash:
O-over here, Fou.
It's too dangerous for you to stay on my shoulder.

Aphrodite:
...

Aphrodite:
......

Aphrodite:
...Well? Aren't you forgetting anything?

Mash:
...?

Aphrodite:
(Sigh)

Aphrodite:
Oh for...

Aphrodite:
Really?
You really don't know?

Aphrodite:
You do realize you're in the presence of gods now, right? Didn't you meet any others in the Scandinavian or Indian Lostbelts?

Aphrodite:
I'm telling you to bow your heads.

Mash:
Ah... Aah...!
Ahhhhhhhhh!

Musashi:
My brain! I can hear it directly in my brain!
What's going on!?

Musashi:
Is she attacking our minds directly!?
Do something, Holmes!

Holmes:
Naturally, I've been using our mental protection talismans this whole time...but they aren't working! This must be Aphrodite's Authority...!


Fujimaru 1:
Mash...!

Mash:
Sen...pai...!


Fujimaru 2:
Guys...!!!


Aphrodite:
There, that's better.

Aphrodite:
Bow your heads, humans.
Know your place. Kneel before the gods.

Aphrodite:
Do not forget, this is Olympus,
the eternal paradise where we gods reign supreme.

Europa:
...

Europa:
...I think that's enough, Aphrodite.

Europa:
A revelation is upon us.
Their sentence is near at hand.

Europa:
Gods. Humans. All those gathered here. Open your ears, for the Almighty One is about to speak.

Europa:
Zeus. Zeus. Our almighty ruler.
The heavens incarnate.

Europa:
All await your presence.
Please, speak to us.

Mash:
The...sky...

Narration:
            I am...

Narration:
...I am the heavens.

Narration:
I am lightning. I am the supreme ruler.
I am Zeus, the almighty god.

Narration:
Those of you who now bow your heads...

Narration:
Those of you who have forgotten your place,
and reach for the gods...

Narration:
Remember.

Narration:
Humans must never defy gods.

Narration:
Humans must never commit sin.

Narration:
Humans.

Narration:
Foolish reeds who would prolong
the great sin of Proper Human History.

Narration:
         All of you must die.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Haha. Hahahahahahahahaha!
You're getting my hopes up, Father!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Hehe. Hehehehehehehehehe!
You said it, Big Brother.

Aphrodite:
Make it quick.

Demeter:
Oh my... I was hoping to at least
let them have some wine first.

Europa:
Zeus has made his decision.
Do not let them suffer.

Europa:
Make their deaths quick and painless, Dioscuri.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Did you hear that, Big Brother?
We have permission now!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
At last, you'll get to indulge in your favorite pastime: killing humans!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Since you're usually forbidden from doing so,
this is your chance to really enjoy yourself!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Oh yes, you bet I'm going to kill them! Watch this, Little Sister! I'm about to show you the full extent of my wrath!

Dioscuri:
Die, humans!

Mash:
...Master!
I managed to activate the Ortinax's emergency mode!

Mash:
Output is at sixty percent!
Spirit Origin stabilized!

Mash:
Our opponents are one Divine
Spirit and one hostile giant!

Musashi:
Dammit! Dammit, dammit, dammit!
These are the meanest gods I've ever met!

Musashi:
They couldn't even wait until this damn
headache wears off before attacking us!

Musashi:
But if that's how it's gonna be, then that's fine with us! Right, Fujimaru!?

Musashi:
Our opponents mean business, and they're more powerful than anything we've ever faced! What do you do!?


Fujimaru 1:
...You need to ask? We fight!


Fujimaru 2:
...We fight back as hard as we can!


Musashi:
You got it! One god destroyer, coming right up!
When we're done, they won't know what hit them!

--BATTLE--

Narration:
I hear...cheers.

Narration:
Cheers so loud they echo all around us.

Narration:
Cheers demanding the intruders be punished.
Cheers demanding the wicked Chaldeans be obliterated.

Narration:
Women and men, young and old alike, are shouting
from their windows, united in a single wish:

Narration:
The death of Chaldea.

Mash:
Khh...!

Musashi:
...

Musashi:
(Looks like Aphrodite, Demeter,
and Europa aren't joining in the fight...)

Musashi:
(...just to maintain their dignified
image in front of their human audience.)

Musashi:
(Those goddesses clearly aren't about to start working together anytime soon. I guess this means gods have their own special way they prefer to win.)

Musashi:
(In which case, that just leaves the giant and the unhinged Divine Spirit Servant to worry about...)

Musashi:
(I could probably take out one of them if I wasn't worried about making it out of this alive, but not both...)

Musashi:
(Ordinarily I wouldn't mind sacrificing myself to take them down, but that really doesn't seem like an option here.)

Musashi:
(Sigh)

Musashi:
(This must be just how Lord Inshun felt back then. How ironic that it took a situation like this for me to realize it.)

Musashi:
...Fujimaru!

Musashi:
It looks like we're all out of options!
I'll hold them off here while the rest of you–


Fujimaru 1:
We're not going anywhere.


Fujimaru 2:
We're not running away unless you're coming with us.


Musashi:
...Dammit, why'd you have to say that?

Holmes:
I understand this may not be convincing, seeing how
I just tried to do the very same thing, but that would
not be the best course of action.
No, I believe this is where I come in.

Holmes:
I have some experience with finding
ways out of desperate odds, you see.

Musashi:
Wait, really? So you've still got some
kind of trump card up your sleeve?

Musashi:
Then what're you waiting for!?
Odds don't GET much more desperate than this!

Holmes:
It's not the sort of solution I like to employ with any frequency, especially when there are so many unknown variables.

Holmes:
All right–

Musashi:
Huh? What was that!?


Fujimaru 1:
The sky just went dark again!


Fujimaru 2:
I don't like the look of those clouds...


Fou:
Fooou!

Mash:
Fou, please, get back in the storage space!
It's not safe outside right now!

Fou:
Fo fo fou!

Holmes:
Hmm...

Holmes:
The god of the heavens, eh. I see.
Apparently, he doesn't care for my trump card.

Holmes:
Fujimaru. Ms. Kyrielight. Ms. Miyamoto.
I suggest you focus on your battle with the Dioscuri and the bronze giant.

Holmes:
And one more thing:
do keep your distance from me.


Fujimaru 1:
Holmes?


Europa:
...Have you told your own fortune, sage of Chaldea?

Holmes:
Hardly, Your Majesty.
This is but an elementary deduction.

Holmes:
Ghh... Agh...

Mash:
Master! That lightning bolt just struck Holmes!


Fujimaru 1:
Holmes!


Fou:
Foumes! Fou!

Holmes:
Well, that's...certainly one way...
to get...my attention.

Holmes:
A thunderbolt...!
Zeus must...really... Ha...haha... Now I see...

Fou:
Fou! Kyaaau!

Mash:
Holmes!

Holmes:
Ahh...

Holmes:
It seems...I'm still...alive...

Holmes:
But...I'm afraid...I won't last...much longer...

Musashi:
What do you think you're doing!?
Didn't you see that thunderbolt!?

Musashi:
Didn't you see how ridiculously huge it was!?
You could at least act surprised!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Why should I be surprised? Every bolt that falls
from the heavens is but one of Zeus's blades!

Dioscuri - Castor:
What's the matter, Chaldea!? Is one of you getting a bit singed all it takes to knock the fight out of you!?

Mash:
A bit singed!?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Father's real thunderbolts completely
disintegrate whatever they touch.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
If he had truly wanted to be rid of your friend,
or that ship of yours, both would already be gone.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Now do you understand? The only thunderbolts of his you've seen so far are essentially him flexing his little finger.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
If the thunderbolts of his you've seen were rain,
they would be no more than a faint drizzle.

Dioscuri:
Now kneel before us, people of Proper Human History, and tremble in fear!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Did you hear that, Big Brother?
Tálos agrees with us!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Indeed he does, Little Sister!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Then come, Tálos, and let us end these
humans' miserable lives together.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Then, we will find where their diving machine is hidden and kill every human aboard.

Musashi:
...!

Mash:
Master!
Get behind me!

Fou:
Fo...

Fou:
...Fou?

Dioscuri:
!!!

Aphrodite:
Ugh! Where did that...accursed dissonance come from!?

Demeter:
Oh my, this isn't good at all.
This undulating magical energy...

Demeter:
I think it's...interfering directly...?

Dioscuri - Castor:
What is this unpleasant sensation!? Dammit!
Someone is messing with our god-made leyline network!

Europa:
...It seems matters have taken an unexpected turn.

Aphrodite:
Gee, thanks for the news flash! Now hurry up and
figure out where those people are hiding already!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Big Brother! Somebody is firing magical energy
blasts at us from our six o'clock!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Stay calm, Little Sister! Just keep your magical energy focused on defense, and we'll be able to weather this attack just fi–

Boy's Voice:
This way! Hurry!
Before the cannons' magical energy runs out!

Girl's Voice:
Yes, hurry!

Girl's Voice:
Can you hear us, Chaldeans?

Girl's Voice:
Then go on, run for it!
We'll keep those gods over there busy!

Mash:
!?
Who are you–

Hooded Man:
Save your questions for later.

Hooded Man:
Come with me if you want to live.
It won't be long before the Royal Guard shows up.

Hooded Man:
And I'm sure you don't want to face those insanely powerful gods and their also insanely powerful soldiers at the same time. Right!?

Mash:
R-right.

Musashi:
Mash! Fujimaru! If these people are offering
us a way out, I'm pretty sure we should take it!

Musashi:
Don't worry, I'll carry the pretty boy detective!
He might be burned pretty badly, but he's still alive!


Fujimaru 1:
...Come on, let's hurry.


Fujimaru 2:
...Let's go with them, at least for now.


Mash:
...Okay, Master.

Hooded Man:
This way. Come on.

Hooded Man:
Oh, right.
Minerva! One last blast for good measure!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Why you...!
You would dare disrupt our leyline network again!?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Why you...! You would dare interfere with my brother's killing of humans again!?

Dioscuri - Castor:
This treachery will not stand! You'll never get away!
I'll kill you all myself!

Dioscuri - Castor:
I'll tear you all limb from limb and set fire to your innards! I'll never sheathe my sword again until I've bathed myself in your screams of agony!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Rrrrrr...
Raaaaaah!

Dioscuri - Castor:
You'll pay for this! You'll all pay!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Chaldeaaaaaa!

--ARROW--

Mash:
What is this place...?

Musashi:
It feels like we've been walking forever. So if I'm not mistaken, we're basically underneath Olympus now, right?

Hooded Man:
I am told this is the underworld.

Musashi:
Huh?

Hooded Man:
Though that's not to say this is the land of the dead.

Hooded Man:
This is the foundation of Olympus–its underground infrastructure. Once, it was the domain of Hades, god of the underworld.

Hooded Man:
It is safe here. Zeus cannot find you.

Hooded Man:
Which is why they were using this place themselves.

Mash:
It looks like...some kind of headquarters...

D:Holmes:
I would surmise it's a secret base used by those
who rose in revolt against the gods of Olympus.

Musashi:
Nope, you keep leaning on me, pretty boy.
You're still in no shape to walk around on your own.

Holmes:
Thank you, but I'm all right now.
I appreciate your help, Ms. Miyamoto.

Holmes:
So, most benevolent savior, are my suspicions correct?

Hooded Man:
Don't call me that. It's absurd.
I just happened to be passing by.

Hooded Man:
I don't recall saving anyone's life,
and I have no plans to anytime soon either.

Hooded Man:
You lot just happened to be walking
behind me when I came here.

Hooded Man:
I didn't go up there to help you.
I just made a bad decision.


Fujimaru 1:
But you told us to come with you if we wanted to live.

Hooded Man:
I don't know what I was thinking.
I should've just kept walking.


Fujimaru 2:
Thank you.

Hooded Man:
Stop being so grateful. I mean it. I don't like it.
Don't make me tell you again.


Hooded Man:
...Anyway, I wasn't planning on any of this,
but what's done is done.

Hooded Man:
You lot can use this place if you want to. Or not.
I don't care either way, and I'm not getting involved.

Hooded Man:
If you want to know more, you can ask the two who
were firing those cannons when they show up.

Minerva:
Hoot. Hoot.

Hooded Man:
...Yeah, all right.

Hooded Man:
I'll do one more thing for you before I go.
I'll play the message those Servants left.

Voice:
...Good day, everyone.

Mash:
...?

Mash:
That voice sounds familiar...
Is that–

Voice:
Uh, testing, testing. Is the mic working?

Voice:
Ahhh. Is this being recorded right now? Hello?
Testing, testing, one two three.

Voice:
Hm? What is it, Lady?
It's recording successfully?

Voice:
Thank you.
All right, from the top.

G:Voice:
I am Nikola Tesla.

G:Nikola Tesla:
I am one of the Heroic Spirits from Proper Human
History that made their way to Olympus from Atlantis.

G:Nikola Tesla:
By the time you hear this recording, the rest of us will most likely have lost our transient bodies.

G:Nikola Tesla:
Bluntly...

G:Nikola Tesla:
...we'll have been annihilated.

G:Nikola Tesla:
Yes, that's right. By the time you hear this, every Heroic Spirit from Proper Human History who made it to Olympus will have vanished.

Mash:
...!

Fou:
Fo...u... Fooou...


Fujimaru 1:
They're all...gone...?


Fujimaru 2:
All those Servants...


G:Nikola Tesla:
I, um, hope you don't mind that I
started off with such bad news.

G:Nikola Tesla:
I just thought that leading with the bad would make
the good news that follows it sound even better.

G:Nikola Tesla:
Hm? What is it, Lady?
...Should we start the recording over?

G:Nikola Tesla:
No, let's keep it going.
Let me start by introducing myself more properly!

G:Nikola Tesla:
...Hm?

G:Nikola Tesla:
On second thought... You truly want to start over?
Well, if you feel that strongly about it...

Helena:
Okay everyone, we're doing audio and video this time!
Are you all ready?

Helena:
Then three... Two... One...

Nikola Tesla:
The God Destroyer Alliance!

Edison:
We will defeat the gods!

Helena:
Overcome all odds!

Mordred:
Revolt against this shitty destiny!

Sakata Kintoki:
And strive for a better future!

Nikola Tesla:
We are the forces that have gathered from across Atlantis and Olympus, the two sides of this Lostbelt!

Nikola Tesla:
We are the God Destroyer Army that has sworn to defeat the abominable clockwork gods ruling this world!

Section 4: Thou Art the Harvest that Reaps the Stars (I)

Narration:
Gazing up at the sky...

Narration:
...always reminds me of my beautiful, fragile daughter.

Narration:
My dear daughter, who was born solely to be loved.

Narration:
You always loved everything that grew on the land.
You always had such a bright smile on your face.

Narration:
I always hoped that one day, you would meet someone wonderful, fall in love, and have a dear child of your own who looked just like you.

Narration:
Then that child would one day have a child
of their own, and so on, and so on...

Narration:
...until one day, the land would
be covered with your descendants.

Narration:
That's what I used to dream about.
And I truly believed it would happen.

Narration:
But now...

Narration:
Ahh...
Why?

Narration:
Why?

Narration:
Why did you leave the land that day?

Narration:
Great Orbital Shrine Olympia Dodona.

Narration:
Hanging Perimeter Gardens.

Europa:
...

Europa:
...The birds are chirping merrily again today.

Europa:
They sing the praises of Olympus. They sing of how happy they are to be here amongst its glorious skies, bountiful harvests, and beautiful vistas.

Europa:
Ahh, and yet...

Europa:
My heart sits ill at ease...

Peperoncino:
Sounds like you've got it rough too, hon.

Peperoncino:
You're the queen, right? In my world's version of Greek mythology, I remember Zeus falling in love with a human queen at one point...

Peperoncino:
But they say you fused with Zeus's first wife, Hera?

Peperoncino:
Doesn't that feel like sharing a body with
your mother-in-law? How can you stand it?

Peperoncino:
And on top of that,
you're even acting as his priestess.

Peperoncino:
...I guess Zeus must be really attached to you.

Peperoncino:
By the way, just out of curiosity,
how does this Lostbelt feel about women's rights?

Europa:
During the Olympia Machia, Lady Hera suffered a grave wound, and her original mechanical body was destroyed.

Europa:
But Zeus was reluctant to lose
his beloved queen forever.

Europa:
By fusing her remnants with me, a Heroic Spirit from Proper Human History, he was able to prolong both of our lives.

Europa:
Such is the depth of his love for us.

Peperoncino:
...I see.

Europa:
Thank you for worrying about me, Pepe.

Europa:
Now, um... If you wouldn't mind...

Europa:
...I was hoping to ask you about the Chaldeans.

Peperoncino:
How could I say no to that? Especially after you've so kindly been putting me up in your lovely palace–er, shrine.

Demeter:

Oh, what's this? Are you two having a nice chat?

Demeter:
Any friend of Kirschtaria Wodime's is a friend
of Zeus's. Please, make yourself at home.

Peperoncino:
Why thank you. Don't mind if I do then.

Demeter:
I must applaud your initiative, Queen Europa.

Europa:
Lady Demeter.

Demeter:
I would never have thought to do something so dreadful as gathering information on Chaldea and Proper Human History.

Demeter:
What's this all about?
No, wait, let me guess.

Europa:
...

Demeter:
Is it because you feel responsible
for letting them get away yesterday?

Europa:
...Yes, that's right. I feel terrible about not
being able to fulfill Lord Zeus's revelation.

Demeter:
Oh, you poor thing.
You really are quite the worrywart, aren't you?

Demeter:
But you don't have to worry about things like this.
Just let myself and the other gods take care of it.

Demeter:
You may have assimilated with Lady Hera, but you're still only a demigod. Zeus would never want you pushing yourself beyond your limits.

Demeter:
All you need to do is sit and smile by the flowers,
like any young maiden your age.

Demeter:
Have you met my daughter Persephone yet?
I would just love to see you two become friends!

Europa:
...Lady Demeter, I'm afraid Persephone is–

Demeter:
A Servant, was it?

Demeter:
Heroes who were inscribed in humanity upon their
death, and now materialize as Heroic Spirits?

Demeter:
What a truly awful procedure.
I can scarcely think of anything more dreadful.

Demeter:
Everyone knows humans should
only be born from their mothers.

Demeter:
Say, I have a wonderful idea, Europa.
You should think of me as your mother now.

Europa:
I...

Demeter:
It's quite all right, Europa.
There's no need to be polite.

Demeter:
I'm the goddess of the land,
and the land has always been mother to all things.

Peperoncino:
Mother of the land, huh.
That sounds like Gaia.

Peperoncino:
In the Greek mythology I know, she was the mother of the Earth, the gods, and everything else under the sun. She was also married to Uranus, the first god of the heavens.

Demeter:
First, there was Chaos. Then Gaia, the land,
came forth and gave birth to everything.

Demeter:
The land has always been a mother.
That's how it's supposed to be.

Demeter:
And the sea...

Demeter:
The sea was...also a mother.
Or at least, it was supposed to be...

Europa:
...

Peperoncino:
The sea?

Peperoncino:
Hmm. I didn't sense any sort of femininity
from the late god of the sea in Atlantis...

Peperoncino:
Maybe that refers to the Oceanids–
the daughters of the sea?

Demeter:
Teehee. Oh, Pepe, human sage.
That isn't what I mean.

Demeter:
Hmm... I suppose it might be difficult
for you to understand.

Demeter:
But, all the same...

Demeter:
...I'm certain the sea was also once a mother.

--ARROW--

Meunière:
A magical energy signal is making its way towards the ship!

Meunière:
It's kind of faint...but I'd recognize this pattern anywhere!

Meunière:
It's a Servant!

Meunière:
Dammit, now what do we do!?
We don't have anyone here who can fight right now!

Goredolf:
C-c-c-c-calm down, Manual!
Have you tried a more thorough scan yet!?

Meunière:
It's Meunière! What, now you can't even
remember the food theme anymore!?

Meunière:
But anyway, good idea!
I'll run a thorough scan right now!

Da Vinci:
Easy there, guys.
Just keep it together.

Da Vinci:
I already scanned this Servant myself,
and there's nothing to worry about.

Meunière:
Leonardo!

Goredolf:
Technical Advisor! What are you thinking!?
You're supposed to be in recovery!

Da Vinci:
Hey, what's the big idea?
You know I prefer to be called Da Vinci.

Da Vinci:
Anyway, don't worry about me.
My recovery's still coming along fine.

Da Vinci:
Holmes was nice enough to set things up for me so I could connect my consciousness to the Border's core from the recovery pod.

Da Vinci:
That said, the most I can do right now is activate the systems that don't need the Magical Reactors to be rebooted.

Goredolf:
Hmm. So you're not overexerting yourself then?

Da Vinci:
Of course not. I'm still making my health my first priority. Isn't that what your family's homunculus used to do, too?

Goredolf:
...Yes, it is.
Ruthlessly so, in fact.

Goredolf:
But never mind that now. What did the scan tell us!?

Da Vinci:
Oh, right, the magical energy signal.
Well, like I said, there's nothing to worry about.

Da Vinci:
Their Spirit Origin is super high quality, but I can also tell from their low magical energy levels that they're in pretty bad shape.

Da Vinci:
So it looks like a really high-end Heroic Spirit–one with a Spirit Origin that's on par with a Divine Spirit...

Da Vinci:
...has drifted here, probably from Atlantis.

Meunière:
Drifted...?

Meunière:
So, what? You're saying they got sucked into the Great Pit's whirlpool...

Meunière:
...and they've been sort of floating around this area ever since instead of falling straight down?

Da Vinci:
They've probably got some kind of passive ability that lets them move around like this even when they're adrift.

Goredolf:
...

Goredolf:
...Then we need to make a calm, levelheaded decision.

Goredolf:
So we have a powerful, Divine Spirit-level Servant...
Drifting about in a weakened state...

Goredolf:
From Atlantis...

Goredolf:
...Hmmm.

Goredolf:
N-now what is it!?

Meunière:
Relax, old man. That was just our new message sound! Looks like we've got a bunch of data from the Wandering Sea!

Meunière:
Huh, the README's a video file.
I'll put it up on the main monitor.

D:Sion:
Firstly, I want to congratulate
all of you on making it to Olympus.

D:Sion:
Now that you have made it this far, I wish you success in cutting down the Tree of Emptiness.

D:Sion:
I have been going over all the data you sent me,
and it has proven extremely useful.

D:Sion:
Thanks to what you learned by going up against
the machine gods Artemis and Poseidon...

D:Sion:
...we now know we can expect that the other gods of Olympus are similarly powerful mechanical beings with combat abilities beyond human ken.

D:Sion:
And above all...

Sion:
We have gained information from the ultimate weapon that Hephaestus designed and forged out of Achilles's Divine Construct armor:

D:Sion:
The longbow Orion used to shoot down Artemis.

D:Sion:
That piece of data turned out to be the final key.

Goredolf:
The final key...

D:Sion:
This is the key that will give humans
the means to bring down gods...

D:Sion:
The last hope we have of fighting back
against these literal deus ex machina.

Section 5: Thou Art the Harvest that Reaps the Stars (II)

Edison:
The skyscrapers are collapsing!

Edison:
Damn these Olympian gods! Not even my defenses can stand in the face of their assault!

Edison:
They're about to break through every one of our defensive lines! Graaaaaah!

Edison:
Assemble, my mass-produced mechanical soldiers!
It's up to you to hold the last line of defense!

Edison:
Let them hear you roar, men! Even if we should vanish here today, the flag of freedom will still fly strong!

Edison:
Farewell, fellow Chaldeans!
The rest is up to you now!

Helena:
I finished the first two summoning positions.

Helena:
I'm so close to finishing more...
but we just don't have enough time!

Helena:
If we only had a few more minutes...
I could have at least finished the third and fourth...

Nikola Tesla:
I'm sorry, Lady. If nothing else,
we should have at least made sure you could escape.

Nikola Tesla:
Edison's group has been fighting admirably. They clearly learned much from their experiences in the Singularities.

Nikola Tesla:
But, I'm afraid this is as far as we go.
We are truly, utterly defeated.

Nikola Tesla:
The gods' lone strike will surely demolish this entire sector before we can deal them even a single blow.

Helena:
Maybe we threw caution to the wind too soon.
Or maybe we never had any chance of winning at all...

Helena:
Dammit... Dammit!

Helena:
Mechanical Olympian gods, huh. They're the real deal, so they might even know something about Mahatma–

Nikola Tesla:
I know, but remember,
they are the enemy of all Proper Human History.

Nikola Tesla:
They may well be ships that crossed the sea of stars
to come here, my wise and beautiful Helena...

Nikola Tesla:
...but they are absolutely not the stars you looked up to.

Helena:
Thank you, Mr. Tesla.
You're very kind.

Nikola Tesla:
It's the truth, Lady.

Nikola Tesla:
Hear me, gods!

Nikola Tesla:
This world does not belong to you! You were consigned
to the trash heap of Proper Human History long ago!

Nikola Tesla:
You aren't protecting anything! You only suffocate humanity with your enduring tyranny!

Nikola Tesla:
Humanity will never be your pets or playthi–

--ARROW--

Narration:
...

Narration:
...

Narration:
...


Fujimaru 1:
...Is that you, Mash?


Mash:
Good morning.
Good, you're already up.

Mash:
I hope you don't mind if I come in.

Mash:
Good morning, Senpai.

Fou:
Fooou!

Mash:
Did you sleep well last ni–

Mash:
Are you okay, Senpai?
You look pale...


Fujimaru 1:
I feel like I just had a really bad dream.


Fujimaru 2:
I just had an awful nightmare.


Mash:
...


Fujimaru 1:
Mash?


Mash:
...Senpai.

Mash:
As a matter of fact, I had a bad dream myself.

Mash:
I think it's probably because...

Mash:
...we heard that all the Heroic Spirits that
came to Olympus from Atlantis were...

Mash:
...wiped out...


Fujimaru 1:
I think so too...

Mash:
...Right.


Fujimaru 2:
So much for finding other Heroic Spirits to join us...

Mash:
...


Mash:
Still, they did leave this hidden base for us. It should be more than functional enough for our purposes.

Mash:
And Musashi is here to help too,
so it hasn't been a complete loss!

Mash:
Now that we've settled in here,
we should report back to Director Goredolf.

Mash:
Our comms situation still hasn't improved, but at least we might not have so much interference down here thanks to the difference in atmospheric magical energy levels.

Fou:
Fou, fou fou!


Fujimaru 1:
Thanks, Fou.

Fou:
Fooou!


Fujimaru 2:
Is he trying to cheer us up?

Mash:
Yes, I'm sure he is.


Mash:
Come on, Senpai.
Musashi and Holmes are waiting for you.

Musashi:
Morning, Fujimaru!

Musashi:
Did you sleep well last night? Oh, if you're hungry,
there's breakfast to be had over there.

Musashi:
I'll say this about Olympus:
the food here is yummy!

Musashi:
I visited lots of different worlds back when I was alive, and as food goes, this place is easily in the top five.

Musashi:
Must mean civilization here has flourished to the point they can really focus on things like refining their cuisine.

Musashi:
...It's just too bad they apparently
never got around to inventing udon.

Mash:
You really do love udon, don't you, Musashi? So do I.

Musashi:
Ooh, a fellow udon lover☆
Right? You just can't beat that texture!

Mash:
It's true. The way the noodles glide across your tongue while being delightfully chewy all at the same time always makes me end up eating more than I intended.

Musashi:
Oh yeah! I know Servants don't technically need to sleep or eat, but just because we can go without both doesn't mean we should, if you ask me.

Musashi:
Getting good rest helps you feel centered and focused, and a good meal just makes you straight-up happy!

Musashi:
I mean, since we materialized with emotions and all,
it'd be a waste to neglect them☆


Fujimaru 1:
I'm glad to see you're in good spirits, Musashi.


Musashi:
You bet I am!
I'm still me, no matter where I go or what I do.

Musashi:
Sure, things might be kind of depressing lately,
but in general, I like to smile my way through life!

Musashi:
That's the kinda gal I was in life, and it's who I am today!

Fou:
Fou fou.

Musashi:
Oh, morning to you too, Fou!

Musashi:
...So, now that we've had a chance to
slow down and catch our breath...

Musashi:
...I think it's a good time to tell you what I've
been up to since we last saw each other in Russia.

Musashi:
First, just so we're all on the same page...

Musashi:
I was able to meet up with you guys in
Russia because of my, um, unique constitution.

Musashi:
See, I was able to wander into neighboring worlds in life. I've always thought of it as Lady Kannon's guidance, though recently, I learned it's actually called drifting.

Musashi:
So I think what happened was that I ended up
drifting right before the world was wiped clean.

Musashi:
When I drifted back a moment later, there was nothing
left but bleached-white ground everywhere I looked.

Musashi:
At the time, I thought I'd ended up on some
blank slate parallel world somewhere...

Musashi:
...but after wandering around for a while, I drifted right into the snowy fields of the Russian Lostbelt.

Musashi:
You with me so far?


Fujimaru 1:
Yeah, that makes sense. Well, except for one thing...


Fujimaru 2:
I think so, but something doesn't quite add up.


Mash:
Right. Back at Chaldea, your drift was recorded
as something similar in nature to a Rayshift.

Mash:
So my understanding was that you could only drift
to different time periods in parallel worlds.

Musashi:
Yup. As a rule, my drifts always put me in different
worlds, never in the same one I drifted from.

Musashi:
Before, if I wanted to drift back to
the same world as all of you guys...

Musashi:
...I'd basically have to keep drifting between different worlds and hope I'd eventually get lucky.

Musashi:
But...

Musashi:
When I drifted out of Russia, I found myself
face-to-face with the same bleached-white Earth of 2020.

Musashi:
I tried a few more drifts after that,
and they all turned out the same way.

Musashi:
While I didn't always end up in the same location,
I did always end up in the same world and time period.

Musashi:
A bit surprising at first, but I realized I'd basically gained a superpower: the ability to teleport across long distances.

Musashi:
From there, I spent my days wandering around, fighting off weird creatures, and testing how much I could control my new ability.

Musashi:
Then, one day...

Robed Figure:
...Watch yourself, woman.

Robed Figure:
Colliding with another teleporter is unheard of,
even in the magecraft world.

Musashi:
I ran into this guy who was kind of arrogant but basically all right, and we ended up traveling together for a while.

Musashi:
He turned out to know a ton about all kinds of things! Like, he knew what kind of divine power my drift uses...

Musashi:
And what happened to you guys after Russia...
I'm not sure there was anything he DIDN'T know!

Musashi:
Anyway, he pretty much caught
me up on the whole situation...

Musashi:
...so I decided to sneak into the Atlantic Lostbelt
ahead of you guys and wait for you.

Musashi:
Oh, I even managed to drift into Olympus easy-peasy!
They never even knew I was here!

Musashi:
Unfortunately, my drift only works on me, so I couldn't bring Robed Guy or any other Heroic Spirits along.

Musashi:
They're probably gonna need more help besides just me. Should we spend more time looking for other Servants?

Robed Figure:
...No need. Circumstances being what they are, we can be assured that a Grand Servant will appear in the Atlantic Lostbelt.

Robed Figure:
That Servant will be a much more powerful ally than you could ever hope to be.

Robed Figure:
That being said...

Musashi:
Yeah?

Robed Figure:
They will need you as well. If you want to come along, I can take you as far as the Atlantic Lostbelt, but no farther.

Robed Figure:
...Hmph. The Counter Force truly is nothing if not
meticulous, meandering, and mean-spirited.


Fujimaru 1:
So basically, your self-warping powers really came through.


Musashi:
Yup! I always used to think of this tendency to drift as a problem, so I'm glad it turned out to actually be useful for once!

Mash:
So, in exchange for no longer being able to Rayshift
to different time periods in parallel worlds...

Mash:
...you're now essentially able to freely
teleport, at least to a certain extent?

Mash:
It's very impressive that you've been able to make your way into Lostbelts without embarking on a Zero Sail.

Musashi:
Yup. I'm not really sure how it works
myself, but that all sounds right.

Mash:
So in summary, your drift ability involved jumping into the rift between worlds, then emerging into another world.

Mash:
I think it's safe to assume that
it still works that same way...

Mash:
...since that would explain how you were able to get past the Lostbelts' storm walls.

Mash:
The idea is that you're jumping into a higher dimension,
then falling back down to a lower one.

Mash:
The only difference is that before, you could fall
down to any number of possible destinations...

Mash:
...but now, you're only falling back to this world,
which is why you always emerge somewhere here.

Musashi:
...

Musashi:
Yeah, exactly. Hehe. Guess I can't really call it drifting anymore then, can I?

Fou:
Fou, fooou.
Fooou...


Fujimaru 1:
...One last thing. Who is this robed guy you met?


Fujimaru 2:
...What about the robed guy? Can you tell us any more about him?


Mash:
...I'd like to know that too. Is he the robed figure
we've heard rumors about in the other Lostbelts?

Mash:
The one who claims to be from Chaldea?

Musashi:
Nnn... Sorry, but I can't answer that.
He made me promise not to.

Musashi:
And I still owe him for giving me food and shelter
for a night, so I can't go back on my word.

Mash:
I...see...


Fujimaru 1:
...Well, I'm still glad to know he helped you.


Fujimaru 2:
At least we know he helped you, Musashi.


Mash:
Right... He did, didn't he!?

Mash:
We may not know who he is,
but we do know he sent you here to help us!

Mash:
And if it's thanks to him that we were reunited,
he must be–


Fujimaru 1:
He's got to be on Chaldea's side.


Musashi:
U-uh, yeah, maybe? I mean, it'd be great if that turned out to be the case. Hahaha.

Musashi:
Anyway, Fujimaru and Mash,
there's something I want you to keep in mind.

Musashi:
Yes, the Heroic Spirits who came here
from Atlantis may all be gone now...

Musashi:
...but you still had allies here willing to risk their lives for you.

Musashi:
So while it might feel like you're fighting
all on your own sometimes, you're not.

Musashi:
You may not be able to see it, but your home world of
Proper Human History is still here to back you up.


Fujimaru 1:
Yeah, you're right.


Fujimaru 2:
Yeah... There's always been someone around to help us.

Musashi:
Hearing you say that is all the reassurance
I need to know you'll be all right.


Fou:
Fou, fou fooou!

Mash:
Aah! Fou!?

Musashi:
Ahahaha, I see you're raring to go too, Fou!
That's the spirit!

Musashi:
You're right! Motivation is the key to success! And we're gonna need all the motivation we can get so we can settle things once and for all!

Mash:
!

Musashi:
What, does saying it out loud scare you? Don't worry, we
can do this! You guys already took out two of the gods!

Mash:
B-but, we only managed to do that because we had so many Servants helping us!

Mash:
Not to mention they had all enhanced their Spirit
Origins using the Olympian gods' Theos Klironomia!

Mash:
On top of all that, they had to risk everything they had, and even then, we were only just able to eke out a victor–

Musashi:
Hmph!

Musashi:
Hmm, hmmm. This isn't good, Mash!
You've been bit by the cowardice bug!

Fou:
Fo?

Mash:
I, um... A cowardice bug...?

Musashi:
Bugs like that need to be shaken
off as soon as possible!

Musashi:
So on that note, go ahead and Ortinax up, Mash.

Mash:
Huh?

Musashi:
Go on. No need to be modest.

Mash:
???


Fujimaru 1:
Uh, Musashi? Is this really a good idea?


Fujimaru 2:
You know we only just got up, right?


Musashi:
Luckily, you can shake off the cowardice bug pretty easily just by getting in some exercise! Which means you're doing this too, whether you like it or not!

Musashi:
That goes for you too, Mr. Detective!
Don't think I don't see you watching over there!

Holmes:
Good grief.

Holmes:
It would seem Eastern samurai intuition, especially at a sword saint's level, is a frightening thing indeed.

Mash:
Holmes! Sh-should you be up and about yet?

Holmes:
Oh yes, I'm quite all right, Ms. Kyrielight. In fact, I feel even lighter on my feet now than I did before we left the Border.

Holmes:
As far as I can tell, I've recovered to the point that I may indeed engage in hand-to-hand combat once again.

Holmes:
These medical nanomachines are truly marvelous things.


Fujimaru 1:
Theos Klironomia!


Fujimaru 2:
You found Demeter Klironomia here, too?


Holmes:
Correct.

Holmes:
These Theos Klironomia–a collective mass of microscopic Authority–are named after Demeter, one of the goddesses of Greek mythology.

Holmes:
Demeter is the goddess of fertility and the deity
who cultivates ambrosia, a food which grants immortality.

Holmes:
According to the mythology of Proper Human History, she is best known for the tale of her beloved daughter's abduction:

Holmes:
Persephone was abducted by Hades and made the queen of the underworld despite Demeter's desperate attempts to bring her back to Olympus.

Mash:
Demeter Klironomia...
I remember seeing it once back in Atlantis, but–

Holmes:
True, but the Klironomia that were being kept here are far more effective than the Klironomia we saw in Atlantis.

Holmes:
If we could bring some back with us to
study later, I have no doubt we could–

Musashi:
Okay, no more questions!
It's time for morning training!

Musashi:
Don't worry, Fujimaru,
you can have breakfast as soon as it's over!

Mash:
U-um, Senpai?


Fujimaru 1:
Looks like there's no getting out of it!


Fujimaru 2:
Looks like you and I are doing some morning training, Mash!


Mash:
R-right. Understood!

Mash:
This morning training seems like it will be very different from the simulator training I'm used to, but I'll do my best to adjust!

Holmes:
Very well, Ms. Miyamoto, if you insist. But be warned, baritsu is a highly versatile martial art.

Holmes:
If you think your katana alone will grant you an easy victory, I would advise you to reconsider your tactics.

Musashi:
Oho, I see somebody remembered
to bring their trash talk!

Musashi:
Okay, guys, come at me whenever you like!
My void sword is ready and waiting!

--BATTLE--

Fou:
Fou, fooou!

Musashi:
I know, right? Food always tastes
even better after a good workout!


Fujimaru 1:
This food is amazing...


Fujimaru 2:
I think Olympian cuisine might be my new favorite food...


Mash:
I agree! At first glance,
it doesn't appear to be anything special.

Mash:
There's bread, ham, salad, milk... The same kind of staples we've seen in all sorts of different times and places.

Mash:
And yet, for some reason I can't put my finger on...
everything here tastes completely different!

Mash:
W-well, maybe not COMPLETELY different.
I mean, the bread is still bread...

Mash:
The ham is still ham,
the milk is still milk, and so on...

Mash:
But from the moment you first take a bite, you can
sense the flavors changing at least three times...

Mash:
...and every single one of them is
a breathtaking culinary experience!

Musashi:
I know EXACTLY what you mean! I had the same reaction the first time I went around sampling the local cuisine!

Holmes:
...

Holmes:
While we've still only seen a small
fraction of what Olympus has to offer...

Holmes:
We now know that it is an enormous, highly advanced city with many tall skyscrapers, that its nanomachines guarantee its populace long, healthy lives...

Holmes:
And that its incredible prosperity–prosperity, I might add, that is independent of any sort of currency...

Holmes:
...enables its people to devote themselves to art and academia, thereby further enriching its culture, with no need for any kind of manual labor whatsoever.

Holmes:
Their daily lives are happy affairs, praising the gods with bright smiles on their faces.

Holmes:
War and combat are simply unknown to the people of Olympus. Well, except for where we are concerned.

Holmes:
...Yes, I see.

Holmes:
There is no better word to describe this Interstellar
Mountainous City of Olympus than “utopia.”

Mash:
Utopia...

Mash:
The sort of earthly paradise people have been dreaming of since time immemorial...

Holmes:
Even the food here is simply sublime. The Chinese
Lostbelt's empire was arguably a type of utopia as well...

Holmes:
...but its ideals were only achieved by concentrating
its culture on a single point.

Holmes:
Olympus, on the other hand, shares its wealth in every sense of the word, and all without any conflict whatsoever.

Holmes:
It really is a paradise beyond human achievement. I must say, even I don't know what Proper Human History could do against an opponent like this.


Fujimaru 1:
...


Mash:
...

Fou:
Fou, fou.

Musashi:
...Hey, Holmes?

Holmes:
Yes?

Musashi:
Did you not notice Fujimaru and Mash
had only just cheered up?

Musashi:
Did you really have to rain on their parade like that?

Musashi:
Besides, as far as we're concerned, it doesn't matter whether this place is a utopia, an amusement park, or a front for organized crime.

Musashi:
You guys are from Proper Human History,
which means this is a fight for your very survival.

Musashi:
And the only way you guys are going to walk away from
this alive is if you beat them before they beat you.

Musashi:
Fujimaru, you're here on behalf
of all Proper Human History.

Musashi:
I know that isn't the kind of position you wanted, and that you didn't really get a choice, but there it is.

Musashi:
And you've got enough in your udon bowl as
it is without piling on extra toppings.

Holmes:
Hmm. Perhaps, but all that being said, Ms. Miyamoto–

Mash:
Um, Musashi?

Mash:
Thank you for worrying about us.
I really do appreciate it.

Mash:
But it's okay.
We need to know who it is we're up against.

Mash:
We need to know who the people of the Lostbelts are, even if we are attempting to cut their world off from Proper Human History again.

Mash:
We already decided that it would be wrong to avert
our eyes from the effects of our actions.


Fujimaru 1:
...


Fujimaru 2:
...


Musashi:
Wait, is THAT what this is about?
Right and wrong and stuff?

Mash:
Huh?

Holmes:
Hm?

Fou:
Fou?


Fujimaru 1:
Huh?


Musashi:
I mean, the key to walking away from a battle alive
is to keep things as simple as possible, right?

Musashi:
It's all well and good to worry about your opponent's circumstances, your own moral code, and stuff...

Musashi:
...but you have to be able to separate yourself from those things because worrying about them in the heat of battle is only gonna help you lose.

Musashi:
I mean, I'm not good for much except slicing folks up like some kinda human meat grinder, y'know?

Musashi:
So any undue pressure about stuff not directly related to matters of life and death when I'm in the thick of enemy territory is the last thing I need!

Holmes:
I see. So your comments just now were not meant to console [♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru and Ms. Kyrielight there,
but rather–

Musashi:
Yup. I just wanted you to cut it out
to make it easier for me to win.

Musashi:
Basically, there's a time and a place for everything,
and that includes thinking.

Mash:
I mean... Yes, that's obviously true,
and I do get your point, but...


Fujimaru 1:
Haha. That's our Musashi.


Fujimaru 2:
I don't know if I'll always be able to do that, but I'll try.


Musashi:
Exactly. Just take it easy.
Can't win a fight if you're busy moping.

Musashi:
Anyway, I'm sorry again for raining on our breakfast
parade. Aw man, now my soup's all cold!

Holmes:
No need to apologize, Ms. Miyamoto. I should have known better than to voice those thoughts at that time.

Musashi:
Mhmm.

Musashi:
Mm?

Musashi:
Hmm?

Musashi:
Hey, yeah! YOU were the one who rained on
this parade in the first place, not me!

Holmes:
Now that you mention it, I suppose I was, wasn't I?
Hahaha, I do beg your pardon.

Musashi:
Is that all you've got to say for yourself!?

Fou:
Fooou! Fou!

Mash:
U-um, please go easy on him, Musashi!

Hooded Man:
...What in the world are you all doing at this hour?

Mash:
O-oh, I'm sorry.
We didn't mean to disturb you.

Mash:
Oh, and thank you for breakfast.
It was absolutely scrumptious!

Hooded Man:
Breakfast?

Hooded Man:
Ah, I see. That wasn't me.
The twins made it for you.


Fujimaru 1:
Twins? Are those the people we saw yesterday?


Fujimaru 2:
You mean the two people who rescued us yesterday?


Hooded Man:
That's right. Though I doubt you
saw their faces at the time...

Hooded Man:
Why don't you two come out already?
This is your base of operations now, isn't it?

F:Girl:
Um...

F:Girl:
I'm, uh, glad to hear you liked the food.
Were you able to get enough rest last night?


Fujimaru 1:
It was delicious.


Fujimaru 2:
We slept great, thank you.


F:Girl:
Oh good! I've never had guests before, so I wasn't sure if I did a, um, good job or not...

G:Boy:
Never mind that now, Sister.

F:Girl:
Aww.

G:Boy:
...For the time being, it looks like you're
all at a point where you can talk again.

G:Boy:
I'm glad to see the Klironomia's working. I wasn't
sure if it would fit your Spirit Origin or not.

Holmes:
Indeed it did, and I am greatly obliged for your help.


Fujimaru 1:
Klironomia?


Fujimaru 2:
Wait. Did you give me some too?


G:Boy:
You? Klironomia?

G:Boy:
Don't be ridiculous.

G:Boy:
It'd be one thing if you'd undergone bio-modifications like the elite soldiers, but there's no way Klironomia could ever be compatible with a normal human from Proper Human History.

G:Boy:
No, all I did for you was cast a light healing spell,
since you didn't have more than a few scratches.


Fujimaru 1:
...Thank you.


F:Girl:
You're very welcome.
Hehe.

Fou:
Fou!

G:Boy:
...A-ahem.

G:Boy:
Chaldea. Visitors from Proper Human History. Well, I guess that doesn't really apply to all of you, but anyway...

Musashi:
Hehe, you must mean me!

G:Boy:
I'm Macarios.
And this is my older sister, Adele.

Adele:
It's very nice to meet all of you.

Macarios:
We're the God Destroyer Alliance.
...Or at least, what's left of it.


Fujimaru 1:
It's good to meet both of you.


Fujimaru 2:
I'm .


Mash:
I'm Mash Kyrielight.

Musashi:
I'm Miyamoto Musashi, wandering Servant.
How about you in the hood?

Hooded Man:
...I have nothing to do with those twins.
Introducing myself now would only complicate things.

Musashi:
Hmm, you don't say.
Okay then, who's your owl friend?

Minerva:
Hoot. Hoot.

Fou:
Fo...

Hooded Man:
All the gods of Olympus are machines.
A mechanical owl shouldn't exactly be a shock.

Musashi:
If you say so.

Mash:
Um...

Mash:
Adele.
Macarios.

Mash:
Thank you again for saving us yesterday.
I don't know what we would have done without you.

Mash:
Are you, um...both from Olympus?

Adele:
Yes, that's right.
We're both official Olympus residents.

Adele:
We have citizen numbers and permanent ration cards, and we live our lives by the grace of the gods' blessings and protection.

Adele:
But, the truth is–

Macarios:
Not now, Sister.
Save it for later.

Macarios:
They need to know what's going
on before we tell them about us.

Adele:
Macarios...

Macarios:
I said no. It's still too soon to tell them about us.

Macarios:
Besides, Chaldeans, I'm sure there's someone else you'd all rather be talking to.

Fou:
Fou!

I:Nikola Tesla?:
Voice recording for Chaldea.
Pattern B2.

I:Nikola Tesla?:
All right, where to begin...

I:Nikola Tesla?:
For the time being, I've entered all the information we possess into this base's data processing unit.

I:Nikola Tesla?:
It's embedded with a simple artificial personality program, so it can answer most questions you might have.

I:Nikola Tesla?:
That concludes the video portion of the instructions!

I:Nikola Tesla?:
I'll let the artificial personality take it from here.
...There, I think that should do it.

I: A.I.:
Activation complete.

I: A.I.:
From here on, I, the artificial intelligence,
will do the talking.

I: A.I.:
Yes, the picture remains the same, but get over it! The image is a recreation made by recycling existing video footage!

Holmes:
An A.I., eh? I suppose that shouldn't surprise me from one of the greatest scientific minds among the Heroic Spirits.

J: A.I.:
Don't forget, you can always switch to me if you don't
care for the half-witted eccentric's persona!

K: A.I.:
You can also switch to me, if you prefer. Hehe.

K: A.I.:
I can't do anything Mahatma-related, though.
Sorry I can't be more help.

K: A.I.:
Anyway, hi there, Chaldeans!
It's nice to meet you all!

Holmes:
...Yelena.

Mash:
So the Servants who left these recordings for us weren't summoned to Chaldea, nor are they ones we met in any of the Singularities...

Mash:
Rather, they're all Heroic Spirits from Proper
Human History who were summoned here to this Lostbelt.


Fujimaru 1:
Edison might be an exception.


Fujimaru 2:
I dunno; Edison only materialized like that in that Singularity.


Mash:
Yes. Good point.

Mash:
Thomas Edison's lion-head Spirit Origin only
came about in the Fifth Singularity...

Mash:
...so he should still retain his memories of us,
just like Jeanne Alter.

I: A.I.:
All right, let's begin with the basics of Olympus.

I: A.I.:
Your opponents here are, in a word, gods.

Macarios:
...That was me. I decided to pause the A.I. for a bit.

Macarios:
Before you hear any more,
I wanted to warn you that you guys'll probably...

Macarios:
...

Adele:
You'll probably be shocked by what they have to say. It might even be enough to make you despair completely.

Macarios:
Some of the Heroic Spirits that made it here only stuck around long enough to say nobody could win against gods.

Macarios:
So I just wanted to make sure you're
ready for what comes next.


Fujimaru 1:
We are.


Fujimaru 2:
It's okay. Keep playing.


Mash:
Right. We can't do anything if we
don't know what we're up against.

Mash:
So please, Macarios. Adele.
Let us see the rest.

Macarios:
...

I: A.I.:
First, let's begin with the gods.

I: A.I.:
The gods of Olympus–the rulers of this Lostbelt–are
genuine deities that have existed since the Age of Gods.

I: A.I.:
Those deities, including the ones
you may have seen in Atlantis...

I: A.I.:
...are beings who came here from far,
far across the universe.

Mash:
!

Musashi:
!?

Fou:
Fo! Fo fo fou, fooou!

I: A.I.:
I trust Macarios and Adele are there as well? They, like all residents of Olympus, refer to the gods as thus:

I: A.I.:
Deities who came here across the sea of stars.
The great ones.

I: A.I.:
The descendants of Primordial Chaos. The great systems of prosperity who bear the Cronus Crown.

I: A.I.:
And of course...
the Twelve Olympian Machine Gods.

Mash:
The sea of...stars...

Mash:
We knew that these machine gods
were interstellar weapons, but...

Musashi:
Th-this is way bigger than I was expecting...
I mean... Huh?

Musashi:
So, um...
Hang on, let me just make sure I've got this straight...

Musashi:
You said these are super ancient gods who came
here across a sea of stars, right? So, then...

Musashi:
That would make them space aliens!
Right!?

Fou:
Fooou! Fo fou!

Holmes:
Not quite. It would not be entirely accurate to refer to them merely as intelligent life-forms from another planet.

Holmes:
Based on everything we now know...it seems they are more akin to machines from an extremely advanced civilization.

Holmes:
One that may reside outside our galaxy, or at the far ends of our universe...or in an entirely different universe altogether.

Adele:
...Yes, that's more or less correct.

Macarios:
Huh, I'm surprised.

Macarios:
I thought you guys would be a lot more taken aback.
Why aren't you?


Fujimaru 1:
I am, believe me!


Fujimaru 2:
Well...after Atlantis, I had a feeling they'd be something like that.


Macarios:
...I see.

I: A.I.:
All right, now should be a good time to proceed.
Next, I have more information about the gods for you.

I: A.I.:
From this point onward...

I: A.I.:
I will be telling you how this Lostbelt differs from Proper Human History, and at what point in time it diverged.

I: A.I.:
First of all, how did these gods originally come to be? The first gods were born from Primordial Chaos, and eventually, the younger generation fought the Titanomachia, the first great war.

A.I.:
Up until this point, the world was largely the same as it was depicted in the myths of Proper Human History.

A.I.:
The Titanomachia was a war between the Titans, the gods of the old generation, and Olympus, the gods of the new.

Mash:
As I recall, Zeus defeated his own father–
Cronus, the king of the Titans...

Mash:
...and in doing so, he gained control over the rest of the pantheon...

I: A.I.:
The gods of Olympus won that war,
and Zeus became omnipotent as a result.

Holmes:
Omnipotent...

A.I.:
Then, there was a second machia. This one took place roughly fourteen thousand years ago.

A.I.:
During this war–also known as the Leucusmachia–the gods of Olympus did battle with an enemy that threatened the entire world.

A.I.:
Unfortunately, details pertaining to this event are scarce.

A.I.:
Not only was it not recorded in Proper Human History,
most citizens of Olympus know very little about it.

A.I.:
However, my distinguished colleagues,
what we can say for sure...

A.I.:
...is that we are certain this is the point where the Lostbelt diverged from Proper Human History!

Fou:
Fooou...

A.I.:
The third great war, the Gigantomachia–a battle against the enormous Gigantes that took place about thirty-five hundred years ago...

A.I.:
...serves as further evidence of that divergence.

A.I.:
In Proper Human History, this machia was the second,
and final, great war of Greek mythology.

A.I.:
In the version from Proper Human History, the gods of Olympus, aided by human heroes, eventually succeeded at vanquishing the mighty Gigantes.

A.I.:
I think the great hero Heracles even played a part,
if I'm not mistaken.

A.I.:
But! In this Lostbelt...

A.I.:
...the gods eradicated every last Gigant in an instant!

A.I.:
How did they accomplish such a feat? By–

Holmes:
By preserving their machine god bodies, which, in Proper Human History, had long since faded away, I presume?

I: A.I.:
Exactly!

I: A.I.:
The Olympian gods used their original machine god
bodies to obliterate the Gigantes all at once.

I: A.I.:
At least, that is our working theory. In Proper Human
History, the gods' machine bodies were lost long ago...

I: A.I.:
...but here in this Lostbelt,
the gods were somehow able to retain them.

I: A.I.:
The result is the very Atlantic Lostbelt in which we now find ourselves! A world ruled by machine gods who still possess their once lost mechanical bodies!

Mash:
So then, in Proper Human History...

Mash:
...the gods of Olympus were meant to lose their machine bodies between fourteen thousand and thirty-five hundred years ago?

Holmes:
So it would seem.
But here, the gods remained alive and well.

Holmes:
And as long as these mechanical gods from beyond our universe have their original bodies, they are not even affected by the deterioration of the Age of Gods that was meant to occur.

I: A.I.:
That brings us to the fourth, and final, machia.

I: A.I.:
As with the second, this one also has no equivalent in Proper Human History; it is peculiar to this Lostbelt.

I: A.I.:
A few thousand years ago,
the gods of Olympus split into two factions.

I: A.I.:
Their conflict revolved around what to do about humans–whether to rule over them, or to coexist alongside them.

I: A.I.:
This schism led to a fierce
disagreement between the gods.

I: A.I.:
Zeus, Demeter, Aphrodite, Hera,
and Artemis wanted to rule...

I: A.I.:
...while Athena, Hades, Poseidon, Apollo, Hestia,
Ares, and Hephaestus wanted to coexist.

I: A.I.:
We believe Poseidon initially sided with the rulers, but that he eventually ended up defecting to the other faction.

I: A.I.:
Gods on each side enlisted loyal lesser gods as
their disagreement devolved into full-blown war.

I: A.I.:
This battle went on to be called the Olympiamachia–
or the Great War of Olympus, as it's known in Atlantis.

I: A.I.:
Both sides fought fiercely...

A.I.:
...and the remains of the mechanical gods who were
killed fell to Atlantis, where they formed islands.

A.I.:
In the end, the faction supporting rule over humans was victorious, and the opposition survivors were punished.

A.I.:
For example, Poseidon, the sea-god.

A.I.:
His Divine Core was rewritten, reducing him to
little more than an Automated Defense Unit to protect the Great Pit.

A.I.:
And that brings us to today.

A.I.:
The gods who emerged triumphant in all four machia continue to rule this Lostbelt, with the city of Olympus as their capital.

A.I.:
Today, there are five gods who reside within Olympia Dodona, the great orbital shrine that makes up the center of the city.

A.I.:
Zeus, the omnipotent god of the heavens.

A.I.:
Europa, the divine queen who
fused with the goddess Hera.

A.I.:
Demeter, the goddess of the land.

A.I.:
Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.

A.I.:
And finally, the Dioscuri, the ancient twin gods.

Macarios:
The Dioscuri...!

Adele:
Not now, Macarios. Not now.

Macarios:
...

I: A.I.:
Technically, the twin gods of Dioscuri are a Divine Spirit, which makes them neither living gods nor mechanical ones.

I: A.I.:
They died once, and were transformed into a Divine Spirit.

I: A.I.:
Who killed them, you ask? I wish I could say it was the God Destroyer Alliance, but it wasn't. No, their killer...

I: A.I.:
...was the Crypter Kirschtaria Wodime.

Mash:
!!!


Fujimaru 1:
Kirschtaria...!


Fujimaru 2:
A mage... A human mage...killed a god?


I: A.I.:
After that, Kirschtaria formed a contract with the Dioscuri, making them his Servant.

I: A.I.:
To be clear, he did not summon their Divine Spirit from the Throne of Heroes. He formed a contract with genuine gods after they had been killed and reduced to a Divine Spirit.

I: A.I.:
...The Dioscuri are not among of the Twelve Olympians, but they are no mere lesser god, either.

I: A.I.:
They are one of the ancient gods who accepted Zeus as the supreme being. To be precise, they are a Divinity that have been around since before the Gigantomachia.

I: A.I.:
From what we've been able to gather, they joined the pantheon by imbibing of Zeus's divine blood...his Klironomia.

I: A.I.:
They are now considered children of Zeus,
with standing equal to Apollo in his glory days.

I: A.I.:
And Kirschtaria Wodime...
managed to kill them.

I: A.I.:
Hard to believe, isn't it?
Hahahaha!

I: A.I.:
...If only it really was as bad a joke as it sounds.

Macarios:
They should've just stayed dead.
Them, a Divine Spirit? What a load of crap!

Macarios:
The Dioscuri are deranged.
They don't deserve to be spirits, let alone gods.

Mash:
...?

Adele:
P-please forgive my brother.
He, um...

Adele:
He swore an oath to the late Athena that he would
one day take revenge on the twin gods...

Adele:
...for their murder of our hundred-odd
fellow alliance members...

Macarios:
The Dioscuri are bloodthirsty maniacs!
Death incarnate! Human killers!

Macarios:
They killed almost all of the humans
who joined the God Destroyer Alliance!

Adele:
...There are only a few members left now, including us.


Fujimaru 1:
That must have been really hard for you.

Adele:
...Oh, um...


Fujimaru 2:
...

Macarios:
...


Macarios:
...Well, Chaldeans?

Macarios:
Why're you acting like that?
Aren't you scared?

Macarios:
We're up against murderous gods. Gods who actually
enjoy going out of their way to slaughter people.

Macarios:
And if that isn't bad enough, there's another guy
out there strong enough to make them his flunkies!

Macarios:
Just the idea that you might have any
chance of beating them is absurd!

Macarios:
...

Macarios:
...Yeah. It's absurd.

Macarios:
We know some of the Heroic Spirits gave up and walked away when they found out how the Gigantomachia ended.

Macarios:
So what about you guys? What's your deal?

Macarios:
Does the fact that you guys aren't more fazed mean your world–Proper Human History, is even more messed up than ours?

Adele:
Stop that, Macarios!
That's no way to speak to people we've just met.

Macarios:
Oh.

Macarios:
...

Macarios:
...Sorry, everyone. I got a little out of hand there.

Mash:
P-please, it's fine.

Mash:
Really. I don't blame you for being taken aback.

Mash:
We've encountered so many different threats by now
that I suppose our reactions must seem strange.

Mash:
Gods from another universe...
Mechanical gods with frightening powers...

Mash:
Twin gods who enjoy taking lives... Kirschtaria, who's
strong enough to make those gods his Servants...

Mash:
Every last one of them is a tremendous threat–threats that we may very well not be able to deal with.

Mash:
...And these revelations ARE shocking for us. It's
tempting to despair in the face of such overwhelming odds.

Mash:
But, all that being said...


Fujimaru 1:
We still have a job to do.

Macarios:
!


Fujimaru 2:
We're just going to do the best we can.

Macarios:
You're gonna do the best you can? That's it?

Macarios:
...Haha. Are you kidding me?

Macarios:
You know, Fujimaru,
I honestly can't
tell if you're being arrogant or modest.


Macarios:
...Okay. I think I get it now.

Macarios:
Yeah, that's it. I get what you guys are like now.

Macarios:
You're just how Edison said you'd be!
Hahaha! He was right after all!

Macarios:
So you Chaldeans really are
just a pack of weirdos, huh?

Macarios:
Well, nothing wrong with that!
Haha! You've convinced me! I like you guys!

Fou:
Fou, fooou!

Musashi:
So you get it now, huh? That's great!
They really are weirdoes, aren't they!?

Fou:
Fooou!

Macarios:
Aah! Wh-what the hell are you? Don't jump on us!
What are you, some kind of squirrel?

Adele:
Hehe. Look, Macarios, I think he likes you.

Fou:
Fou, foun!

Adele:
Eek!

Macarios:
Ah! Hey! Get away from my sister!

--ARROW--

Hooded Man:
Weirdos, huh...

Hooded Man:
Yes, that's the right way to think about them, Macarios.
They're all hopeless weirdos.

Hooded Man:
That's been the case in every other Lostbelt so far, too. Though that's not to say that means they'll be able to accomplish the same thing here.

Macarios:
What are you talking about?

Macarios:
You're only here because the Collaborator sent you, right? So where do you get off acting like you know so much about Chaldea?

Mash:
Collaborator?

Adele:
That's what we call the person who's been
so kindly aiding our God Destroyer Alliance.

Adele:
We don't know their true identity either, but they've been a big help to us, especially with procuring supplies for combat.

Adele:
We were told that the Collaborator sent
this hooded man here to help us, but...

Adele:
...Say, you in the hood?
You ARE on our side, right?

Hooded Man:
Of course.

Hooded Man:
I am for now, at least. Otherwise, I would have let the gods do what they wanted with you.

Hooded Man:
I'm an acquaintance of this “Collaborator” you speak
of, and–On second thought, that's enough for now.

Mash:
...

Mash:
Um, excuse me. I apologize if I'm way off the mark with this, but are you–

Holmes:
Kadoc Zemlupus.

Hooded Man:
...!


Fujimaru 1:
Kadoc!?


Fujimaru 2:
Then, after Rasputin snatched him away...!


Holmes:
I'll spare you the details of this particular exercise in deduction, but suffice to say, I am something of an expert when it comes to disguises.

Holmes:
Well, Sir Hood?
Did we get it right?

Hooded Man:
...

Mash:
Kadoc!

Fou:
F-fo, fooou!

Macarios:
What? Do you guys know each other or something?

Adele:
Oh my... Does this mean you're part of Chaldea, too?

Kadoc:
Me? Part of Chaldea!? You've gotta be–Oh, forget it. Just, hell no!

Kadoc:
...Dammit. Holmes I get, but how the ACTUAL HELL did YOU see through my disguise, Mash!?

Kadoc:
I was using a disguise spell and everything!

Mash:
I-I'm sorry.

Musashi:
Whoa, whoa. What are you apologizing for?
It's not like you did anything wrong.

Kadoc:
...Yeah, fair enough.


Fujimaru 1:
Kadoc... You saved our lives.

Kadoc:
Saved you?


Fujimaru 2:
Thank you, Kadoc.

Kadoc:
For what?


Kadoc:
I only bailed you out 'cause it would've
been a waste to let you die back there.

Kadoc:
Far as I'm concerned, you're nothing more than pawns I can use to throw Olympus off-balance, just like you did in Russia.

Kadoc:
So I'm gonna use you guys to further my own agenda.
That's the only reason I bailed you out.

Kadoc:
It's not like you even have a snowball's
chance in hell of winning here, anyway.

Kadoc:
Between Zeus, Wodime, and the Foreign God's Alter Egos, you guys are hilariously outclassed.

Kadoc:
That's why I don't have to bother
trying to kill you myself.

Fou:
Fou...

Mash:
Kadoc, as a former member of Team A myself, I–

Kadoc:
I'm not part of Team A anymore.
I'm a Crypter now.

Kadoc:
...Hell, maybe I'm not even that anymore.

Holmes:
Does this mean you are not acting with or on behalf of the Crypters here, Kadoc Zemlupus?

Kadoc:
Hell no. I don't have the slightest
idea what Wodime's thinking.

Kadoc:
He went out of his way to have Rasputin get me,
but he never told me why.

Kadoc:
...He never told me why.

Kirschtaria:
You may have lost your Russian Lostbelt, but that doesn't mean you need to enter another Crypter's service.

Kirschtaria:
You can keep your Sirius Light, too.

Kirschtaria:
You're a free man, Kadoc. All I want you to do in
this Atlantic Lostbelt is whatever you see fit.

Kadoc:
...Is that your idea of a joke?
'Cause if not, it doesn't make any sense.

Kadoc:
Aren't you the one who sent Rasputin to get me off the Shadow Border?

Kirschtaria:
That was entirely the priest's decision.
I have no right to give the Foreign God's Disciples orders.

Kirschtaria:
As for why he saved you, your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps he only wished to prevent you from leaking information.

Kadoc:
Yeah, well, there's not much I could've told
them besides which Crypter was where.

Kadoc:
None of us have any idea what the Trees of Emptiness are actually made of, or who the Foreign God really is, after all.

Kirschtaria:
Of course not. The Foreign God couldn't
care less about any of you, after all.

Kirschtaria:
The Foreign God isn't going to tell you anything,
nor do they expect anything from you.

Kirschtaria:
They couldn't care less if you lived or died.

Kirschtaria:
Whereas the same cannot be said for me, as my every
action carries the weight of the grandest expectations.

Kadoc:
Is that so?
Well, excuse the hell out of me for being a third-rate mage.

Kirschtaria:
......

Kadoc:
(Huh? That's weird.
What was that long silence about?)

Kirschtaria:
It's fine, Kadoc. Just get some rest for now. We won't
have to worry about Chaldea for the time being.

Kirschtaria:
Caenis has told me they've made their way to Scandinavia,
but there's nothing we can do about them from here.

Kirschtaria:
So my only orders for you are to go
about and see Olympus for yourself.

Kadoc:
...And you actually think I can live up to your expectations? Even after the total mess of things I made in Russia?

Kirschtaria:
I'm not the one who can decide whether or not you'll do that, Kadoc. You are.

Kadoc:
...

Kadoc:
...He might as well not have told me anything at all,
for all the difference it would've made.

Kadoc:
So now, I'm doing whatever the hell I want, just
like he asked. That's part of why I'm here.

Kadoc:
I'm gonna uncover the truth behind Zeus,
and what Wodime's really thinking.

Holmes:
Oh? And what do you mean by that last part?

Kadoc:
...Hmph. I don't actually care what's going on in that head of his, but it's not like I've got anything else to do.

Kadoc:
So I'm gonna show that stuck-up aristocrat
that things aren't always gonna go his way.

Demeter:
...Oh? What's this now?

Demeter:
Goodness, it's been so long since
I've seen your face in person.

Demeter:
I think the last time must have been back then...

Demeter:
...when you tore those poor Dioscuri twins apart.

Demeter:
Kirschtaria Wodime.

Kirschtaria:
Good day, Lady Demeter, goddess of the land.
Indeed, it has been a long time, hasn't it.

Kirschtaria:
...It seems your memory partition is functioning properly,
at least in regards to me.

Demeter:
Oh my, how terrifying.

Demeter:
That sounds as though you could destroy our
true Aletheia bodies whenever you like.

Demeter:
Ahh, Kirschtaria Wodime. A dreadful human
capable of killing us single-handedly.

Demeter:
You're quite the problem child, aren't you?

Demeter:
It saddens me so, particularly since I think of you as my own son.

Kirschtaria:
Demeter. Mournful goddess of the land.

Kirschtaria:
Mother of the beautiful Persephone, who inherited much of Gaia's disposition.

Kirschtaria:
I urge you to share your boundless motherly
love with humans other than myself.

Kirschtaria:
I have no need of it.

Demeter:
Oh my...

Demeter:
But there can be no children without mothers,
nor can children grow without love and nourishment.

Demeter:
Gods and humans are the same in this respect.

Demeter:
Humans, humans, humans! This new intelligent species
still barely older than a newborn babe!

Demeter:
This precious, fragile intelligence we met on this planet. I love you all, truly.

Demeter:
I love you as though you were my own children.

Demeter:
And I love you too, Kirschtaria.

Kirschtaria:
...In the same way you love Persephone?

Demeter:
Why yes!
You know, Zeus is absolutely right.

Demeter:
There's nothing that brings a mother like me more joy than to see her children grow up strong and happy!

Demeter:
Which is why there's nothing I wouldn't
do to make that happen.

Demeter:
I would take an arrow for my children. I would gladly give up my body, my life, and my Aletheia for them. Truly.

Kirschtaria:
Then I will take you at your word, Demeter, and trust that you truly bear a mother's love.

Kirschtaria:
As a matter of fact, Zeus's ideas of the restoration of mythology are closer to your own notions than to mine.

Demeter:
Kirschtaria? What are you saying?

Demeter:
Do you mean that Olympus, the heart of our
Lostbelt, is not the ideal you seek?

Kirschtaria:
Of course it is. We only differ when it comes to our...end points.

Kirschtaria:
You see, I believe that the gods should
be even stronger than they are now.

L: A.I.:
Now, let me tell you one more thing.

L: A.I.:
This is the single most important piece of information
about the gods of Olympus I have to share.

L: A.I.:
The king of this Lostbelt is Zeus, an all-powerful god
who naturally still possesses his original mechanical body.

L: A.I.:
He has existed ever since the Age of Gods, just like
Scáthach-Skadi from the Scandinavian Lostbelt.

Mash:
It looks like this is information we already knew.

Holmes:
Zeus... An omnipotent god who has
continued to exist for millennia.

Holmes:
If we are to take his “omnipotent” nature at face value,
then we would seem to be well and truly outmatched...

Holmes:
And yet, Mr. A.I., I cannot imagine that the electricity expert whose visage you now borrow...

Holmes:
...would waste his time challenging an opponent
whom he truly has no hope of defeating.

L: A.I.:
...Hahaha! You cut right to the heart of things, don't you?

L: A.I.:
Still, I can hardly blame you for interrupting, Mr.
Holmes. You have every right to be concerned.

L: A.I.:
And you're correct. Your hope of defeating Zeus is small–perhaps even infinitesimal–but it does exist.

L: A.I.:
Zeus is indeed almighty,
but he is not truly omnipotent.

Fou:
Fou...!?


Fujimaru 1:
Almighty...but not omnipotent?

Mash:
So, if I understand you correctly...then,
while he does rule over many things...

Mash:
...he doesn't technically rule
over absolutely everything?


Fujimaru 2:
So, he can do all sorts of things, but he can't do everything?


L: A.I.:
You catch on quickly.
Yes, that's exactly right.

L: A.I.:
As King of the Gods, Zeus possesses Authority over infinite things, but conceptually, he does not possess infinite Authority.

L: A.I.:
We believe that Zeus turned into a nigh omnipotent god by synchronizing all of the Titans' Authority with his own...

L: A.I.:
Followed by the many lesser gods' Authority...and
ultimately, even his fellow Twelve Olympians' Authority.

L: A.I.:
That much, at least, would seem to be a matter of little doubt.

L: A.I.:
But, conceptually, he is not truly omnipotent, and so does not have control over all things and beings in this world.

L: A.I.:
At least...that's our working theory.

Holmes:
I see. Do you happen to have anything to support that theory?

L: A.I.:
Of course:
the very alliance base you're standing in right now.

Mash:
The underground infrastructure...!

L: A.I.:
Precisely. A truly omnipotent being would have known about “villains” like us lurking underground the instant we set foot in here!

L: A.I.:
And yet, he has no awareness of this underground infrastructure. This was the domain of Hades, his fellow god, and he doesn't even bother to look at it!

L: A.I.:
From this, we can surmise that the gods of Olympus are
conceptual deities, like those from other mythologies...

L: A.I.:
...And, simultaneously, that they depend on Klironomia–their Authority-like functionality–from the enormous mechanical bodies they used as ships to cross the sea of stars.

L: A.I.:
That is where our chance of defeating Zeus lies!

L: A.I.:
For if we are up against a nigh omnipotent King of Gods with Authority over infinite things, rather than a truly omnipotent god...

L: A.I.:
...then you should have a chance, however minuscule, of defeating him.

Holmes:
Thank you, Mr. A.I.
This has been both informative and hope-inspiring.

Fou:
Fou fou, fou.

L: A.I.:
...All right, let's get back to business.

L: A.I.:
Though that said, the only business that remains
is the information we have pertaining to Zeus.

L: A.I.:
The omnipotent King of Gods–head of the Twelve
Olympians and victor of all four machia...

L: A.I.:
...has formed a contract with Kirschtaria as his equal.

L: A.I.:
Well? Bet you had no idea about that, did you?

Fou:
Fou!!! Foooooou!

Mash:
You mean, Kirschtaria formed a contract
not with a Divine Spirit...but a god!?

Mash:
But... But that shouldn't even be possible...

Mash:
G-granted, there's no way to test that for sure
given that gods don't exist in our own time...

Mash:
...but theoretically speaking, forming a contract as equals is...!

Musashi:
Okay, hang on.
Let me make sure I've got all this straight.

Musashi:
You're saying this Kirschtaria guy formed a contract not with a Divided Spirit, but with an actual god, right?

Musashi:
And not just any god, but a demiurge that's
as big a deal as the Vairocana?

Holmes:
Full marks, Ms. Miyamoto. In fact, from an esoteric
Buddhist perspective, it was a truly perfect answer.

L: A.I.:
That's right. Zeus is neither a Divine Spirit
that returned to nature, nor a Divided Spirit.

L: A.I.:
He is a proper, almighty god...

L: A.I.:
And Kirschtaria Wodime has formed a contract with him! It puts him on completely equal footing with Zeus as his sworn friend, no less!

Musashi:
Holy cow! THAT'S the kind of mage you guys have been up against!?

Olympus Twins:
...

L: A.I.:
That's right. Not that we managed to
stand against him for very long.

Mash:
...

Holmes:
...Hmm.

Kadoc:
Wodime's been clear about his goal from the beginning.

Kadoc:
“We are about to fill this world with inhuman Mystic
secrets. We will restore the Age of Gods.”

Kadoc:
And if this Atlantic Lostbelt ends up becoming the new
proper timeline, that goal'll pretty much be fulfilled.

Kadoc:
He formed that contract with Zeus to be certain this Lostbelt's Tree of Emptiness would grow bigger as soon as possible.

Kadoc:
...But even with all that said,
there's something that doesn't add up.

Kadoc:
A Lostbelt needs its Tree of Emptiness to maintain its existence. But that doesn't change the fact that, as far as that Lostbelt's king is concerned...

Kadoc:
...that Tree of Emptiness is something strange and entirely foreign.

Kadoc:
But Zeus had no problem with this. I'm sure he and
Wodime came to some kind of secret agreement about it...

Kadoc:
...but at this point,
I can't see what their endgame could be.

Fou:
Fou, fou.

Kadoc:
...Keep that fur ball away from me, would you?
I never liked it even when I was at Chaldea.

Fou:
Fou!?

Mash:
E-easy there, Fou. It's okay.

Kadoc:
...Phew.

Kadoc:
All right, Mash, this is the last thing I have to tell you.
If you want to see Wodime...

Kadoc:
...you can find him in the Great
Orbital Shrine Olympia Dodona.

Kadoc:
That's where you'll find Zeus, too.


Fujimaru 1:
Where are you going to go now, Kadoc?

Kadoc:
Who cares?
It's none of your business.


Fujimaru 2:
Hey, Kadoc. If you want to come back to Chaldea

Kadoc:
What, have you finally snapped, Fujimaru?

Kadoc:
I might not be a Crypter anymore,
but that doesn't mean I want to go back to Chaldea.

Kadoc:
I can't trust either side,
and I'm sick of being somebody else's pawn.

Kadoc:
If I'm gonna fight back, I'm gonna do it on my terms.
So much more badass doing it like that, anyway.

Kadoc:
...Anastasia'd probably say the same thing,
if she were still alive.


Kadoc:
...Hmph. All right, that's it for me.
I'm getting outta here.

Kadoc:
I've said everything I wanted, and gotten everything I needed out of being the Collaborator's lackey.

Kadoc:
I doubt we'll ever see each other again...

Kadoc:
That'll really depend on you guys.

Mash:
Kadoc...

Kadoc:
See you around, Mash. Just make sure you don't
stick with the losing team there for too long.

Kadoc:
You felt for yourself how strong those gods were,
right? Well, Zeus and Wodime are even stronger.

Kadoc:
If I were you, Chaldeans, I'd take a good, long think
about how you want to spend the rest of your lives.

Kadoc:
If you do survive long enough...make sure you go see Wodime.

--ARROW--

Musashi:
You know, I thought I'd tail him for a bit to see where he's going...

Musashi:
...but he lost me pretty quickly. Too bad.

Musashi:
Man, turning invisible and then a rapid movement ability is a hell of a spell combo. It might not technically be teleportation, but it sure feels like it.

Musashi:
Maybe he's using talismans and Mystic Codes this Kirschtaria gave him or something.


Fujimaru 1:
Oh, Musashi...

Musashi:
Ehehe.


Fujimaru 2:
You were tailing Kadoc just now!?

Musashi:
Well of course!
How could I not after he tried to run off like that!?


Holmes:
Incidentally, I attempted to tail him as well, with equally dismal results. Hahaha, I suppose we should have known he wouldn't make it that easy for us.

Holmes:
That being said...

Holmes:
I believe the information Kadoc Zemlupus shared with us is trustworthy enough to use in determining our next course of action.

Holmes:
After all, he would have little reason to
lie to us except for personal revenge.

Holmes:
Well, while he certainly has cause to desire vengeance on us, taking into account his manner of speech, facial expressions, tone of voice, and what he told us–

Musashi:
We get it. We get it!
Enough with the deduction shtick already!

Musashi:
Basically, we have to make our way to Kirschtaria
just like Kadoc said, right?

Musashi:
And eventually, you guys have to cut down this Tree of Emptiness these insanely powerful superbeings are defending.

Musashi:
Boy, talk about playing on hard mode.
This is gonna be a fun challenge!

Fou:
Fooou...

Musashi:
Since this Collaborator person is good enough
to support this underground society here...

Musashi:
...I figured it'd make our lives a lot easier
if I could make contact with them...

Musashi:
But, it looks like that's not happening anytime soon.
So! What's our next step?

Mash:
...Great Orbital Shrine Olympia Dodona.

Mash:
If that enormous floating building is acting as the gods' and Kirschtaria's base of operations...

Mash:
...then our next step should be figuring
out how we're going to get to it.

Holmes:
We could try to get there in the Border through a series of Zero Sails, but even if Zeus's thunderbolts somehow missed us while we were preparing–

Musashi:
It wouldn't take long for the other gods and soldiers
to overwhelm us with sheer force of numbers.

Macarios:
There we go.


Fujimaru 1:
What was that sound just now?


Fujimaru 2:
Did you just do something, Macarios?


Macarios:
Oh, that?
I was just defrosting something.


Fujimaru 1:
Did you say “defrost”?

Macarios:
Yeah, I did.


Fujimaru 2:
Like, frozen food or something?

Macarios:
So Proper Human History has frozen foods too, huh?
I never knew that.

Macarios:
But this isn't food.
It's something way better.


Macarios:
...Fujimaru.

Macarios:
We'd like to officially ask you to join the God Destroyer Alliance. We want you to come fight with us.

Adele:
You want to go to the Great Orbital Shrine, right? And you also need to cut down the Tree of Emptiness Magellan that's even farther up past it, right?

Adele:
Then we should be able to help you with both goals.

Adele:
We have ways of traveling through airspace here. Furthermore–

Macarios:
The Great Orbital Shrine is the gods' throne.
It's forbidden for humans to set foot in there.

Macarios:
They won't let you in without a fight...but then,
you're going to have to fight the gods, anyway.


Fujimaru 1:
That's true. Which is why I hope I can count on your help.


Fujimaru 2:
I'd love for you two to fight with us.


Macarios:
...We will.

Holmes:
(Magellan... Another galaxy name.
Though I had suspected as much.)

Adele:
We'd be honored to help you.

Adele:
Oh, I just had a thought.
Why don't we take this occasion to celebrate?

Musashi:
Ooh! By celebration, do you mean yummy food!?

Adele:
That's right. I made a pretty simple breakfast,
but for a special occasion like this–

Macarios:
Sister.

Adele:
Hm?

Macarios:
Sorry to interrupt, but I need to use this
thing while it's still freshly defrosted.

Adele:
Huh? O-oh, I see.
Yes, you do, don't you?

Musashi:
So no yummy food just yet, huh... Bummer.


Fujimaru 1:
Oh yeah, the thing you defrosted...


Fujimaru 2:
What was it you were defrosting, anyway?


Macarios:
It's something you might have seen before.
Here it comes.

Mash:
The floor just opened up...and something
huge is coming up from underneath it!

Holmes:
Oho.

Musashi:
Huh?

Mash:
It looks just like...the hostile entities we
encountered in Atlantis a number of times!

Adele:
It's a steel Chimera–an autonomous weapon made out of high-purity Klironomia.

Adele:
It used to serve the gods, but after Edison and
Tesla made a number of adjustments to it...

Adele:
...and Ms. Blavatsky casting a spell to tame it,
it now listens to us. It does a very good job, too.

Adele:
Nemea! Sit!

Macarios:
As you can see, it's now this
alliance base's trusty guardian.

Macarios:
So, next up...

Macarios:
...we're going to use it to see how strong you guys are. I trust you're okay with that?

Musashi:
Yup, figured something like this was coming.

Musashi:
Oh no, you don't.
Where'd all that big talk from earlier go, huh?

Musashi:
Surely you're not about to say your baritsu is no match for a little Demonic Beast, are you?

Holmes:
Of course it is. I said baritsu was a highly versatile martial art, and I stand by that. But that doesn't mean using it to fight a creature like this isn't quite simply a pain in the posterior.

Macarios:
Hahaha, you two really get along, huh?

Macarios:
Anyway, we can back you guys up with artillery Mystic Codes, but we don't know that much when it comes to swordfighting.

Adele:
It's true. So we were hoping we could count on all of you to handle the melee combat, if you don't mind...

Macarios:
Hey, you'll be fine, right, Mash?
I mean, you've got that giant shield and everything!

Mash:
M-me!?


Fujimaru 1:
Sorry Mash, looks like it's emergency transformation time!


Fujimaru 2:
You heard him, Mash! Battle positions!


Mash:
Right, Master!

Mash:
...Just, um, give me a few minutes please,
if you all wouldn't mind!

G:Mash:
Emergency transformation complete.
Setting output to seventy percent!

G:Mash:
Preparing to intercept combat training target!

--BATTLE--

Macarios:
That's enough!
Okay, Nemea. You can rest now.

Mash:
The steel Chimeras are going back into their underground storage hangar. The battle is over, Master.

Musashi:
Phew. I never would've thought the Chimera
would divide itself like that.

Holmes:
Is it just me, Ms. Miyamoto, or were you
not taking this especially seriously?

Macarios:
...Looks like you guys really are strong. You've obviously had a lot of experience fighting up close.

Macarios:
That means you ought to be able to
go toe to toe with the Royal Guard.

Macarios:
But...it's still not enough to beat the gods.

Macarios:
So we're going to use Tesla, Edison, and Blavatsky's parting gifts.

G:Adele:
That's right. They left us a number of machines,
and a few different plans of attack to use.

G:Adele:
These god-slaying blades are the best tools
the God Destroyer Alliance can offer you.


Fujimaru 1:
Hold up!


Fujimaru 2:
Adele! You're hurt!


G:Adele:
Huh?

G:Adele:
Oh, this? I guess I must have gotten hit when Nemea's
shards went flying. Don't worry, I'll be fine.

Mash:
She's bleeding from her right arm!
We have to stop it!

Macarios:
It's okay, she'll be fine. In fact, this is a good chance to show you something. Just stand back and watch.

Mash:
Your injury is...healing itself...

Adele:
It still hurts, but the wound is gone now.

Adele:
By tomorrow, there won't be a trace of pain left.

Adele:
So it's really okay.
You don't have to worry.

Fou:
Fooou...

Macarios:
You can burn us, shatter us, tear us apart... It doesn't matter. We'll always go back to our “perfect” forms.

Adele:
That's right.
We never change, no matter what happens to us.

Adele:
Any injury we suffer heals itself.
That's how we've been remade.

Macarios:
Thanks to the ambrosia–the Demeter Klironomia they regularly give us to maintain our bodies...

Macarios:
...no citizen of Olympus will ever get sick.
We're practically immortal now.

Macarios:
No one can die.
No one can kill.

Macarios:
The gods are the only exception.
They're the only ones with the power to kill us.

Mash:
Huh...?

Mash:
I-I'm sorry, I think I may have misheard you a moment ago.

Mash:
Did you just say you were practically, um–

Holmes:
Immortal.

Holmes:
Yes, Ms. Kyrielight, he did indeed say that.

Holmes:
I presume that means that as long as the gods' Authority remains, you and the other people of Olympus will even come back from death?

Adele:
That's right.


Fujimaru 1:
Come back from death...


Mash:
Immortality...

Mash:
The one thing humanity has continued to long for since time immemorial... The ultimate goal of countless technologies, not to mention magecraft...

Mash:
And here, it's just...a fact of life...

Mash:
Just how advanced IS Olympian civilization compared to ours?

Musashi:
So every injury anyone gets heals automatically,
and they never even have to fear death.

Musashi:
It's damn impressive, that's for sure. I can't even
imagine what it would be like to live like that.

Fou:
Fou, fooou...

Holmes:
I knew this city had achieved long, healthy lives for its citizenry, but I never would have thought it had also found a way to bring them back from death.

Holmes:
Never mind utopia. This place would seem to be more akin to heaven–our collective idea of a blissful life after death.

Holmes:
It almost strikes me as a calculated plan to forcefully
evolve all of humanity into the realm of gods...

Holmes:
Good gracious, I can only imagine the look on Qin Shi Huang's face if they were to hear about this.


Fujimaru 1:
So, if Olympians can even come back from death...



Fujimaru 1:
...does that mean that soldier we fought is still alive?


Mash:
...!

Mash:
R-right! Now that you mention it...

Mash:
...that reserve soldier we first fought
after the alarm was sounded was...

Musashi:
He was dead. I killed him myself.

Musashi:
But now that you mention it, there WAS something strange about it. Even after I dealt the killing blow, I didn't feel as if I'd really won.

Musashi:
I guess him not actually dying would explain it.

Macarios:
He didn't die.
None of us can be killed here.

Macarios:
Inflicting death is a power only the gods have.

Macarios:
By this point, that soldier will have come back to life
and started thinking up ways to get his revenge.

Mash:
...

Macarios:
...While we're on the subject,
I might as well tell you this, too.

Macarios:
Even if we stop taking ambrosia,
like me and Sister have...

Macarios:
...the Klironomia inside our bodies
will continue to function.

Macarios:
So we'll always be like this, forever.

Mash:
...Forever?

Fou:
Fo?

Macarios:
That's right. Forever.

Macarios:
Immortality is, well, eternal.

Macarios:
Ever since that day the gods bestowed
ambrosia on us eons ago...

Macarios:
...we've always looked exactly like this.


Fujimaru 1:
You mean, you don't age either?


Fujimaru 2:
So, you don't just have eternal life... You have eternal youth, too!?


Adele:
All right.

Adele:
We've been alive for a long time.
A very, very long time.

Adele:
We'll never reach adulthood.
We both stopped growing long, looong ago.

Adele:
The adults are all happy that we're still children.

Adele:
They say children are weak and should be protected, so we should just let them and the gods take care of us, and be grateful for it.

Adele:
...Never mind that we passed adult age a long time ago.

Musashi:
......

Holmes:
Now I see.

Holmes:
While many Olympians may be fine with this enforced stagnation, the two of you are not.

Holmes:
And while the gods may have succeeded at preserving happiness at the level of a society, it seems they were unable to extend their control to individual emotions. Truly fascinating.

Holmes:
Very well. That at least makes clear why you two have chosen to rebel against the gods and assist us...

Holmes:
...but before we go any further, there is one
thing I would like to confirm with you.

Adele:
That's right.

Macarios:
Fine with me.

Holmes:
As you know, we are from Chaldea–
a group of beings from Proper Human History.

Holmes:
Our victory here would mean the
end of this entire Lostbelt.

Holmes:
Do you understand what that means?
If we succeed at cutting down this Tree of Emptiness...

Holmes:
...everything here–Olympus, the gods, and all the many people, including you two–will disappear. No exceptions.

Holmes:
Even knowing that...do you still wish to fight by our side?


Fujimaru 1:
...


Mash:
...

Fou:
Fou...

Macarios:
...Yeah. We do.

Adele:
We don't need to keep living the same day over and
over forever. We want to see a new tomorrow...

Macarios:
Even if it means we end up dying for it.

Mash:
...

Adele:
Oh no...

Adele:
Please, don't be sad, Mash. We've spent an entire century thinking this through from every possible angle...

Adele:
...and this is what we decided.

Adele:
We want to see tomorrow.
A real tomorrow.

Adele:
A day that's different from the one that came before. Something more than just another today.

Adele:
We've already lived more than enough for countless lifetimes.

Adele:
Do you have any idea how old I am?

Mash:
Um...

Mash:
Well, I remember everyone in Atlantis had a life span of at least a few hundred years...

Mash:
So I would guess maybe twice that?
Or several times...?

Adele:
...Hehe. A few hundred years, huh?

Adele:
The gods' protection must have worn pretty thin for them. I'm jealous.

Macarios:
Back during the fourth machia, we were actually
supposed to go to Atlantis ourselves...

Macarios:
...along with all the other people who supported the faction that wanted coexistence between gods and humans.

Macarios:
But what happened was–

Adele:
We missed the last boat.

Adele:
And we'll never have another chance,
since the gods don't allow any of us to leave the city.

Musashi:
Whoa, whoa. Hold up.

Musashi:
The fourth machia was the war between the gods. Didn't that happen something like several thousand years ago?

Musashi:
So...you guys are saying you're
a few thousand years old!?

Adele:
No, we're not.

Adele:
...I'd say we've been alive
for about ten thousand years.

Mash:
Huh?

Macarios:
That's right.
Ten thousand years plus a few centuries.

Musashi:
Ten thousand!?

Fou:
Fo!

Adele:
...We're citizens of Olympus.

Adele:
We're the gods' beloved playthings,
kept in their eternal cradle.

Adele:
Ever since the day the gods built this city...

Adele:
...we've been stuck living here forever.

Macarios:
That's right.

Macarios:
For over ten thousand years...

Macarios:
...we've been forced to live millions upon millions
of versions of essentially the same day.

Macarios:
Never getting to set one foot outside the city's limits... Never getting to grow or change...!

Adele:
For ten thousand years...

Adele:
...we've been utterly stagnant.

Section 6: Thou Art the Harvest that Reaps the Stars (III)

Narration:
Interstellar Mountainous City Olympus. Great Orbital Shrine Olympia Dodona, the center of its operations.

Europa:
A revelation is upon us.

Europa:
Now is the time of revelation.

Europa:
He is all-powerful justice, the direct heir of Primordial Chaos, and ruler of all things.

Europa:
He is the one who should keep all of humanity safe.
He is the one who should rightfully rule over all worlds.

Europa:
He is the wielder of the great thunderbolts capable of shattering even the adamas scythe. None less than the Authorities of Gaia and the Meliae bow to his will.

Europa:
He is the great demiurge, the one who wields the Cronus Crown for all eternity!

Europa:
Now, behold the words of the almighty Zeus!

Zeus:
...There is work to be done.

Zeus:
I command you by my name, Demeter.

Zeus:
Goddess of the land, who grants the vast earth an abundant harvest, and my own flesh and blood.

Zeus:
You are to eradicate the Chaldeans who lurk within my city.

Zeus:
I permit you to use your Aletheia in every district of Olympus. May your piercing shriek shatter the bones of the enemies that threaten our world.

Demeter:
As you wish, almighty Zeus.
Your will is my command.

Demeter:
These Chaldean demons strike fear into
the very hearts of our citizens.

Demeter:
And as the citizens of Olympus may as well be my own children, my duty as a mother is clear.

Demeter:
I shall use every power and Authority at my disposal to eradicate them.

Demeter:
...I swear it on my beloved Persephone.

Limbo:
Mmm...

Limbo:
Mmm, mmmmmm. What a lovely oath by
a lovely goddess. I'm touched! Truly!

Limbo:
I see, I see. So you have sworn this oath on
your precious daughter, Lady Persephone!

Limbo:
Then heavenly Zeus's will is certain to be fulfilled,
no matter who may try to stand in its way!

Priest:
Forgive me, King of the Gods,
but may I offer a word of advice?

Priest:
As nice as it is to see my Alter Ego colleague and fellow Foreign God Disciple Limbo so overcome with emotion, that is not why we are here.

Priest:
Might there be any room for us
to join her on this mission?

Zeus:
Your help is not needed.
I have no orders for the likes of you Disciples.

Priest:
Well, that's a pity.
It seems we still have yet to fully earn your trust.

Dioscuri - Castor:
May I say something, Father?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Yes, Father, may Big Brother say something?

Dioscuri - Castor:
While I do have my concerns about sending Demeter out on this mission, I am happy to abide by your judgment if this is what you think is best.

Dioscuri - Castor:
That being said, there is one
thing I would like to ask.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Please, tell me.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Why did you place such a curse on
that sage of Proper Human History?

Limbo:
Oh?

Zeus:
So, you noticed that, Castor;
child of old in whose veins runs my blood.

Zeus:
Very well then, I shall tell you. That sage is a prime example of the very worst of humanity.

Zeus:
Thus, he does not deserve to be met with the full wrath of my lightning. I trust you can understand that.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Father, if I may say one more thing!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Why did you not strike him dead on the spot!?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Big Brother!

Dioscuri - Castor:
And why did you even permit Chaldea's submarine to disembark on our holy land!? If you had only used your true great thunderbolts, their entire ship would be–

Europa:
Enough, Castor.

Europa:
You may be almighty Zeus's child, but that does not
give you license to speak to him however you like.

Europa:
Remember: you are in the presence
of the King of the Gods.

Dioscuri - Castor:
...!

Zeus:
...It's all right.

Zeus:
I forgive your transgression, Castor.
And I admit, your words possess an element of truth.

Zeus:
Indeed, I am all-powerful. If I wished,
I could have easily reduced them all to dust.

Zeus:
However, there is one thing you must never forget.

Zeus:
If I were to use the true strength of my great thunderbolts, they would demolish the city and obliterate the populace.

Zeus:
Not even Demeter's regenerative gifts would be able to bring them back.

Demeter:
...

Zeus:
We must protect the city.
We must protect the populace.

Zeus:
For ever since the second machia fourteen thousand
years ago–the day we obtained the Cronus Crown...

Zeus:
...we have ceased to be a fleet of mechanical
arks crossing the sea of stars...

Zeus:
...and have become gods.

Kirschtaria:
I take it your divine revelation is over then?
That must be quite tiring for you, King of the Gods.

Kirschtaria:
Especially since merely keeping Olympus running must
take at least ninety percent of your resources.

Kirschtaria:
I can't tell you how sorry I am for letting
these Chaldea insects slip inside.

Zeus:
I could say the same to you, Wodime.
You have nothing to apologize for.

Zeus:
You entrusted Caenis with the task of stopping as I did with Odysseus. Both failed.

Zeus:
Indeed, Chaldea surpassed both our expectations.
Revising our estimation of them is more than sufficient.

Kirschtaria:
I see. I don't know what to say. Hearing you say that to me, a mere human, makes me feel I have even less of a leg to stand on.

Kirschtaria:
I may seem cool and collected, but I was actually
steeling myself to face some kind of penalty.

Kirschtaria:
You are my friend, I know, so don't you want to admonish me at least a little?

Zeus:
Heh. I could never let the other ships–
gods, hear you tease me like that.

Zeus:
But as it is just the two of us here,
I cannot help but be more lenient with my judgments.

Zeus:
Be at ease, young mage.
There is no one else here for whom you need perform.

Zeus:
That goes for the Foreign God too, of course. Even as we speak, I am using all my Authority to keep this conversation private.

Zeus:
Whatever we do or say here remains strictly between us.

Zeus:
That said, even I cannot hide us from the priestess's
prying eyes, loath though I am to admit it.

Kirschtaria:
That's because she's the observer. In a sense, she's even more trouble than the Foreign God, who still lacks a body altogether.

Kirschtaria:
But simply knowing that she will not hear what we have to say is more than enough, since that will give us an opportunity to verify our endgame goals with one another.

Kirschtaria:
As you have surmised, Zeus,
the Foreign God is indeed keeping a close eye on me.

Kirschtaria:
The Alter Egos may be supervising the other Crypters,
but only I have a direct link to the Foreign God.

Kirschtaria:
If I were to act in any way counter to the Foreign God's interests, I would immediately be cut off from further aid.

Kirschtaria:
Which is why I had no choice but to say:

Kirschtaria:
“Grow the Tree of Emptiness. When it is done,
the Reconstruction of Myth will take place.”

Zeus:
Yes, I remember that.

Zeus:
You also said that this planet's surface activity would be restored to the Age of Gods, and that the gods would soon after resume their reign.

Zeus:
I agreed with your conclusion, but insisted we face one another in combat. I said that if you truly believed in the ideals of which you spoke, you should demonstrate that you wield the necessary strength to bring them about.

Zeus:
...Of course, I lost that fight. I never thought I would learn firsthand how debilitating complacency could be.

Kirschtaria:
That was only because I planned ahead. I took a calculated risk that you wouldn't go all out if I spoke to you alone.

Kirschtaria:
Olympus is not part of Earth.
It's a colony that continues to operate to this day.

Kirschtaria:
As its omnipotent god, you have an obligation
to keep it running at all times.

Kirschtaria:
So it follows that you would not employ your full strength in an opening move against a lone mage like myself, yes?

Zeus:
Hmph. I have to admit, you were a clever bastard of a human. As soon as you unveiled your meteor magecraft, I knew I had erred at the start.

Zeus:
I quickly changed outputs, but by then, it was too late. In boxing terms, I had already been knocked out.

Zeus:
Hehe, what I wouldn't give to show Hades the signals
Demeter and Aphrodite were emitting as they watched.

Zeus:
I doubt there are any stories of those two staring slack-jawed in shock in any myths from your Proper Human History.

Kirschtaria:
I could say much the same of your reaction as well. You looked more like a kindly old man than a cold-blooded, all-powerful god.

Kirschtaria:
Have the other gods of this Lostbelt ever even
seen those other possibilities you harbor?

Zeus:
As if I would ever let them see such a thing. I am Zeus, the flagship of all Olympus. I am the all-powerful one who rules over even the other gods.

Zeus:
Even this avatar to which you now speak is no more than a virtual self, created expressly to converse with you. It is both me, and not me.

Kirschtaria:
Yes, good point. I may be hiding something,
but being a ship, you are largely unable to do so.

Kirschtaria:
When you do something not expected of you, you create a new function and have it act in your stead.

Kirschtaria:
...I'm sorry. I didn't mean to put you out.
Let's return to the subject at hand.

Kirschtaria:
You recognized the Foreign God's existence,
and accepted the Tree of Emptiness into your world.

Kirschtaria:
After all, you need the Tree of Emptiness in order
to preserve this Lostbelt. But, at the same time–

Zeus:
As long as the Tree of Emptiness is here, the Foreign
God will one day descend upon our world.

Zeus:
And we Olympian gods cannot
coexist with the Foreign God.

Zeus:
All we gods need is the Tree of Emptiness. The Foreign God and the Alter Egos are our enemies, nothing more.

Zeus:
Thus, the instant the Tree of Emptiness has fully
blossomed, we will revolt against them.

Zeus:
I will claim the Tree of Emptiness for myself,
and destroy the Foreign God's point of arrival.

Zeus:
From there, I will purge this world of the last traces of insolent Proper Human History, and establish our world of Olympus in its place.

Zeus:
I remember you approached me with a contract
back when that thought first occurred to me.

Zeus:
Your exact words were, “There is no need for
you to explain your decision with words.”

Zeus:
“King of the Gods, I implore you to form a contract with me, for our ultimate objectives are the same.”

Zeus:
That was your way of suggesting we protect this
Lostbelt from the Foreign God, wasn't it?

Kirschtaria:
I wouldn't be so bold as to say “protect.”
As you and I both seek the same outcome...

Kirschtaria:
...I only wanted your help so that our goal would
be realized even if one of us were to fall.

Kirschtaria:
I trust your feelings on that have not changed?

Zeus:
...Of course not.

Zeus:
I may oppose Proper Human History,
but I do not oppose humanity.

Zeus:
I promise you that in the event of your death,
I will carry on protecting humanity in your stead...

Zeus:
...even if it should come to light that you have been
deceiving us and acting on Proper Human History's behalf.

Zeus:
As long as you are not openly to blame for your actions, I will accept you, warts and all.

Kirschtaria:
I hear you loud and clear, Zeus.
It seems our plan remains unchanged.

Kirschtaria:
There are only a few days left until the Tree of Emptiness reaches a critical point. Until that time comes, we shall continue to work towards the Reconstruction of the Age of Gods.

Zeus:
Heh. You continue to walk a tightrope with the Foreign God, Olympus, and Chaldea all aiming to knock you off...

Zeus:
...and you do so with aplomb.

Zeus:
Wait, Wodime.
There is one thing I would like to verify as well.

Kirschtaria:
Yes?

Zeus:
You told Caenis the stars indicated you
would need to fight two more times, yes?

Zeus:
One of those happened in Atlantis,
leaving only one more.

Zeus:
So you are to save your final
battle for me, understand?

Zeus:
I forbid you to waste it on either
Chaldea or the Alter Egos.

Zeus:
I want to fight you once again...and I want to stake
the future of this world of gods upon our battle.

Kirschtaria:
...Of course.

Kirschtaria:
When that time comes, I will gladly face you with all my strength, so that I may live up to your expectations.

--ARROW--

Aphrodite:
...What an unpleasant surprise.

Aphrodite:
Exactly who gave you permission
to stand there, human?

Aphrodite:
Olympia Dodona's corridors are reserved for gods alone.
They are no place for humans to loiter.

Beryl:
I see. Well, I do beg your forgiveness if
I've offended you, O goddess of beauty.

Beryl:
I was trying to hide my pitiful human self behind a pillar so as not to upset your divine mood, but I guess I wasn't successful.

Aphrodite:
...You're new here. Are you another one of those mages
from Proper Human History? Crypters, was it?

Aphrodite:
Let's see. There's Kadoc Zemlupus, who reminds me of a filthy little puppy... Peperoncino, who reminds me of a nasty vulture...

Aphrodite:
And you're... You're... What are you, exactly?
Are you really a Crypter?

Aphrodite:
Nothing about you stands out. I can't eve think of an animal you remind me of. How dreadfully boring.

Beryl:
Ouch! You cut me to the quick, goddess.
But yes, you're exactly right!

Beryl:
As you can see, I am but a humble, harmless human. If you think me pitiable, I would only ask that you find it in your divine heart to offer me some tiny modicum of compassion.

Aphrodite:
Compassion? You want me to spend my precious
time thinking about a human?

Aphrodite:
Humans are weak and deserving of our protection. I'm even willing to lend them a hand when they need help.

Aphrodite:
But that's as far as it goes.

Aphrodite:
We are the gods of Olympus! We would never waste our time on something so foolish as thinking about humans, especially not here!

Aphrodite:
Not even a comrade of Kirschtaria.

Aphrodite:
Know your place, human.

Beryl:
Ahh... You couldn't be more right, goddess.
Please, forgive my foolish offense.

Beryl:
You see, I only just arrived from
an incredibly barbaric island.

Beryl:
Every person there had their hands full taking care of themselves, and any faith they may have had in something greater had long been lost.

Beryl:
Not that there were ever any gods in that world to begin with, of course. Compared to that, Olympus has been truly divine in every sense of the word.

Beryl:
Indeed, your glorious light is still far too bright for my poor eyes. I only hope you can laugh off my slight as the foolish remarks of a hopeless country bumpkin.

Aphrodite:
A world without gods, hmm...
Such a place is better off being pruned.

Aphrodite:
Very well, Crypter. You may not be worthy of my
consideration, but I can spare you a bit of my pity.

Aphrodite:
I can only imagine how much you must have suffered
in a Lostbelt without a single god.

Aphrodite:
So I will overlook your transgressions here in light of your wise decision to abandon that foolish Lostbelt.

Aphrodite:
Now then, what is your name?

Beryl:
Ah, your mercy and kindness move me to my core, goddess! I have no words to express my gratitude and respect!

Beryl:
My name is Beryl Gut.

Beryl:
If I have proved worthy of you remembering me, even if only for a fleeting moment, I will know joy beyond measure!

Aphrodite:
Beryl... What a strange ring your name has.
It almost sounds like blood splattering against a wall.

Aphrodite:
Very well, Beryl, come to my shrine.

Aphrodite:
You're going to tell me, and only me, about this Lostbelt–this Land of Fairies at the Ends of the World you abandoned.

Beryl:
It would be my pleasure, my goddess.
But first...may I ask you something?

Beryl:
I can't seem to find a close friend
of mine here no matter where I look.

Beryl:
It's Kadoc, the one you said reminds you of a puppy.
Would you happen to know where I might find him?

Aphrodite:
Of course not. I couldn't possibly care
less about such a hapless creature.

Aphrodite:
He's probably out somewhere enjoying
one of the city's automated brothels.

Beryl:
(...Is that so. Well, that works out nicely.)

Beryl:
I see, I see.
Yes, that does sound like something Kadoc would do.

Beryl:
But in that case, Lady Aphrodite, if Kadoc is out in the city now, I mean, according to the revelation from the King of the Gods...

Aphrodite:
Oh, that? Yes, if he's out in the city now, he'll probably end up dead, caught up in the eradication of Chaldea.

Aphrodite:
As a pathetic member of Proper Human History, rather than one of our citizens of Olympus, I doubt there will be so much as a trace of him left.

Beryl:
Indeed. This may sound heartless of me, but if that is his fate, so be it. After all, you are the goddess of love, and love can, at times, be cruel.

Beryl:
You were never one to come to the aid
of mortals, even in Proper Human History.

Beryl:
For my part, I can only hope and pray that
Kadoc is still somewhere in this shrine...

Beryl:
What about the other Twelve Olympians?

Beryl:
Say, for example, the goddess of the land and harvest who has long protected nature, animals, and humans alike?

Aphrodite:
Oh, yes, Demeter.

Aphrodite:
Hmm... Good question. I'm not really sure.

Beryl:
?

Aphrodite:
There would be no problem if she could remain the steely, cold-blooded goddess she should be...

Aphrodite:
But Demeter...

Aphrodite:
She's always been much too kind for a mechanical god.

Narration:
Interstellar Mountainous City Olympus.

Narration:
South District.

Narration:
All of a sudden, an enormous flock of birds took to the sky, causing the people there to instinctively look up.

Narration:
But it was only a flock of birds taking flight.
Nothing else of note occurred.

Narration:
Today would play out peacefully, just as yesterday had. Soon, there would come another peaceful tomorrow to take its place.

Narration:
That was what everyone thought just before it happened.

Narration:
It was an enormous sphere.

Narration:
A massive steel object as tall as
most of the nearby skyscrapers.

Narration:
This was the true form of a god.

Narration:
This was one of the gods that reigned supreme over Olympus–one of the arks that had crossed the sea of stars long ago.

Narration:
This was the Aletheia that presided over the land. This was Demeter, the mechanical goddess of the land and harvest.

Narration:
As the mother goddess who inherited much from Gaia,
her name means “Mother Earth.”

Narration:
She saves humanity by giving them ambrosia, which grants immortality. She nurtures humanity by keeping her supply towers running at every hour of every day.

Narration:
Her love for humans is genuine.
But...

Narration:
Ahh, how sad. How tragic.

Narration:
Death is so sorrowful.
Endings are such misery.

Narration:
Oh, my beloved citizens of Olympus.
My darling, precious children.

Narration:
I'm so sorry to have to do this...

Narration:
...but I need to take your lives for a moment.

Narration:
Commence demolition.

Mash:
!?

Fou:
Fou!?

Musashi:
An earthquake! No, wait.
That didn't feel like it came from the ground...

Macarios:
This is Demeter's power. Believe me, I'd know these massive vibrations anywhere.

Adele:
Scream Eleusis.

Adele:
It's a, well, scream derived from Demeter's Authority
that can till massive expanses of land in an instant.

Adele:
It's powerful enough to destroy entire city districts. She could use it to plow all of Olympus in probably half a day.

Mash:
Did you say all of Olympus!?

Macarios:
That's right. She must be trying to kill us–

Macarios:
No... She must be trying to kill you guys, even if she has to reduce the whole city to rubble to do it.


Fujimaru 1:
So she's attacking the whole city...


Fujimaru 2:
But, doesn't that mean the people of Olympus will also


Adele:
Yes. Her scream kills everything it touches.

Adele:
She must be counting on all of us being somewhere in the areas she's targeting, as that's all she needs for her attack to succeed.

Macarios:
This was how the gods so brutally killed the Heroic Spirits from Proper Human History.

Fou:
Fou, fooou.

Mash:
...So they don't think anything
of sacrificing their own city.

Mash:
B-but wait, I just remembered.
Adele, didn't you say that–

Musashi:
The power of the gods is the only thing
that can kill these immortal people.

Musashi:
But while they're practically immortal, they're
not truly immortal. That's what you said, right?

Adele:
That's right.

Mash:
S-so then, does that mean that, at this very moment...

Mash:
...Demeter is massacring hundreds
of thousands of people!?

Macarios:
Yeah, but nobody's gonna care.

Macarios:
Not when they know she'll just regenerate
everything she kills or destroys later.

Macarios:
It's what she did back during the third machia, and it's what she did when she killed Nikola Tesla's group, too.

Mash:
...

Adele:
With Demeter's Authority, she could easily massacre
every Olympian who swears allegiance to her...

Adele:
... and bring everything back the
way it was in just a few days.

Adele:
Our glorious gods, eh?

Mash:
So, even death can be cured in this world...

Mash:
But, you also said you still felt pain, right, Adele?

Mash:
Even if they know they'll be brought back to life, being crushed to death inside a building must still be a terrifying experience.


Fujimaru 1:
...


Fujimaru 2:
(Maybe it only sounds weird to me because I'm not immortal myself.)


Holmes:
Assuming that the goddess of the land's Authority truly is capable of completely restoring a person's physical body...

Holmes:
...the notion that the experience of dying would somehow not affect the victims psychologically is...

Holmes:
I must admit that, while this is unexplored territory, the prospect seems extremely unlikely at best.

Adele:
...I see you care about the same things they did.

Adele:
Some said it didn't matter what the people of this Lostbelt went through, since they were all going to disappear when Proper Human History was restored, anyway...

Adele:
...but that didn't prevent the Heroic Spirits of our alliance from trying to save them from the gods' devastating attack.

Adele:
What's more–

M: A.I.:
Hahahahahahahahaha! Now that I've been on standby for so long, I took the liberty of rebooting myself!

M: A.I.:
Adele. Macarios. People of Chaldea.

M: A.I.:
Given how you twins are more
sensitive than most people...

M: A.I.:
...and, according to old Lionhead, the Master and Demi-Servant from Chaldea are just as much if not more so...

M: A.I.:
I imagine you must be absolutely twisting yourselves into knots over this dreadful state of affairs!

M: A.I.:
Hahaha, I know because we did, too!

M: A.I.:
And with the benefit of that experience, I will ensure you don't make the same mistakes we did!

M: A.I.:
Now then...

M: A.I.:
Let's resume Operation God Destroyer!

--ARROW--

Narration:
Ahh, how sad. How tragic.

Narration:
Death is so sorrowful.
Endings are such misery.

Narration:
However, as long as I have my Authority, death will be but a memory, and no life on Olympus will ever truly end.

Narration:
And yet...

Narration:
Ahh... I still can't help but
feel this is terribly sad.

Narration:
Razing South District.

Narration:
Even as they run about in confusion and distress,
the people of the city continue to pray.

Narration:
“O Lady Demeter.” “Lady Demeter!” “Lady Demeteeer!”
“Please, forgive us!” “Please, have mercy!”

Narration:
“Please. Please!” “Please return my lost arm!”
“Please! My child was crushed to death!” “Please, spare us!”

Narration:
“How can this be happening again so soon!?”
“Please, spare us!” “Please, give us ambrosia! Quickly!”

Narration:
...But their cries fall on deaf ears,
their prayers remaining unanswered.

Mash:
...

Mash:
The situation above ground is sheer chaos!
None of the people in town are even looking our way!

Mash:
I have a visual on the target.
Demeter is approximately two thousand meters away!

Musashi:
And as luck would have it, it's her big metal ass that's facing us. Let's go do what we can while we have the chance!

Mash:
Right!

Fou:
Fou! Fou!

G: A.I.:
Given that the Tree of Emptiness is deeply
connected to a given Lostbelt's king...

G: A.I.:
...logically speaking, the only god our Operation
God Destroyer would need to concern itself with is Zeus.

G: A.I.:
One could even go so far as to call whittling down the enemy's fighting forces completely meaningless.

G: A.I.:
However...

G: A.I.:
Well, there are certainly some Heroic Spirits–especially those from times of war or who ruled large countries–who are able to ignore the screams of innocent bystanders.

G: A.I.:
No doubt they are used to having little concern for human lives, throwing them away like so much refuse.

G: A.I.:
But to that, I say this!

G: A.I.:
Is throwing lives away what makes one a hero!?
Is being able to kill the mark of a champion!?

G: A.I.:
Yes, I suppose heroes may need to be callous at times, but it's not callousness that makes them heroes in my book!

G: A.I.:
If just killing and never doing any good was all it took to be a hero, then there would be no distinction between heroes and killers whatsoever!

G: A.I.:
No, it is overcoming adversity, breaking through the dark of night, and saving, not taking, lives that makes one a hero!

G: A.I.:
If a true hero is forced to take one life, it is only in order to save another, even if that other is their own.

G: A.I.:
...So, my fellow compatriots.

G: A.I.:
If you, like us, are enraged by the destruction you see before you...

G: A.I.:
Then rest assured, there is a way to defeat the one causing it! While we may have left for battle ourselves before it was complete...

G: A.I.:
...the Collaborator has since completed our secret weapon–one which gives us more than even odds of victory!

Holmes:
Thank you for sharing your opinion. However, it did strike me as a tad long-winded for an impassioned mid-mission speech...

G: A.I.:
Oh? Wouldn't you say that's the
pot calling the kettle black?

Holmes:
Hmm. I can't say I expected this A.I.
to come with a timer function...

G: A.I.:
The reason I went to the trouble of making that speech,
good Chaldeans...

G: A.I.:
...was to verify your feelings on the subject.

G: A.I.:
What happens next is up to you.
So, Fujimaru, what will you do!?


Fujimaru 1:
I'm going to stop that god!


Fujimaru 2:
I want to reduce their fighting forces as much as I can.


Mash:
Right!

Fou:
Fooou!

Mash:
Ah! You got out again, Fou?
Please, get back in the storage space!

Macarios:
Status report: Seven Link Heroic Spirit Cannon activated. Four hundred seconds until we can fire it!

Adele:
Commencing Operation God Destroyer One:
Demeter Maneuver!

Adele:
Good luck, everyone!

Narration:
Approximately thirty minutes ago.

Narration:
God Destroyer Alliance Base, Olympus underground.

Mash:
Operation God Destroyer? What's that?

Macarios:
It is what it sounds like. It's the name for the strategies we came up with to take down each of the gods.

Macarios:
They've been the God Destroyer Alliance's goal for a long time. Hell, they're the whole reason our alliance exists. And luckily, Tesla's group made a ton of headway on them.

G: A.I.:
Unfortunately, we failed in our attempt, so now,
we would like you to pick up where we left off.

K: A.I.:
Please help us.
I'm sure Mahatma had a hand in bringing you here.

K: A.I.:
These Spirit Origins of ours may not know you...
but you have fought alongside other versions of us before, right?

L: A.I.:
I remember you. We met back in America.
We fought both against and alongside each other.

L: A.I.:
I'm sure you will all fight to the very best of your ability, but knowing you, I can promise you this: it still won't be easy.

G: A.I.:
Which is why we have this.

Mash:
Senpai, that mechanism...!

Fou:
Fou?


Fujimaru 1:
It's a Theos Klironomia injector!


Fujimaru 2:
It's one of those nanomachine devices.


Mash:
Right. Externally, it appears to be very
similar to the ones we saw in Atlantis.

Adele:
This is an original model, so I'm sure it's a cut above what you saw in terms of effectiveness and precision.

Adele:
After all, Klironomia never degrade while they're
near the Cronus Crown–the symbol of the king of the gods.

Musashi:
I'm guessing the Cronus Crown is that giant mechanical thing up above the great shrine?

Adele:
That's right. It used to belong to
Cronus, back before the first machia.

Musashi:
So that's what keeps the Authority nanomachines in
good working order, huh? Sounds like extra divine
providence.

Fou:
Fou, fooou!

Musashi:
Whoa there, careful, Fou.
You don't want to get too close.

Musashi:
Not unless you want that adorable fluffy body of yours
to start swelling up like some kind of muscle balloon.

Fou:
Fou fou, kyaaau!

Adele:
These Theos Klironomia contain the Authority
of both Athena and Ares, the two gods of war.

Adele:
They're very pure nanomachines that are usually only given to the Royal Guard stationed in the great shrine. They should be a huge help in combat.

Adele:
At least, until their effects wear off...

Adele:
Anyway, they're one of the more powerful weapons we got with the Collaborator's help.

Macarios:
Normal Heroic Spirits can't hold a candle to the gods,
so you'll need these to power up your Spirit Origins.

Mash:
Ares Klironomia...!

Mash:
Back in Atlantis, we heard these were long gone...

Adele:
I see. Well, don't worry, that's not the case here.

Adele:
They don't exactly grow on trees, but rest assured...

Adele:
...we do have high-purity Klironomia
from all of the Twelve Olympians here.

Adele:
Usually, they would reject human-based Spirit Origins...

Adele:
...but fortunately, we know how
to adjust them to work on you.

Musashi:
So we're basically getting a free power-up, huh?
This is great! It's like Buddha himself has come to drag us outta hell.

Musashi:
Those of us who live by the sword aren't picky about using whatever gives us an edge! At least not if you live by my Niten Ichiryu!

Musashi:
Granted, I'm sure there are also regular Heroic Spirits
capable of cutting down gods, but never mind those for now!

Mash:
I'd like to use them too, if you don't mind.
Under the current circumstances...

Mash:
I also agree that we can't be picky about how we
even the odds. Is this okay with you, Master?


Fujimaru 1:
Yeah. Let's do it.

Mash:
Right.


Fujimaru 2:
You bet. Just be careful and don't overdo it, okay?

Mash:
Thank you, Senpai. Don't worry. If I feel anything is
wrong with my vitals, I'll let you know right away.

Mash:
That said...I think I'll be just fine.

Mash:
I saw what it was like for everyone else to fight with
Klironomia back in Atlantis. Now, it's my turn.


Adele:
If you'll stand over there, Mash and Musashi, I'll begin the Klironomia injection and bonding procedure.

Adele:
And while we're doing that...
I'll go over exactly what Demeter is.

Adele:
Here's a video feed of what's taking
place above ground right now.

Adele:
This is Demeter, goddess of the land.

Adele:
Aka Demeter, interstellar voyage
supply and production ship.

Adele:
She provides the Olympus Interstellar Fleet with the supplies they need, and on Earth, she provides people with infinite resources.

Adele:
She's said to be the god who inherited the most
from Gaia, one of the original prototype ships.

Adele:
She possesses Authority over the harvest–
in other words, production and regeneration.

Adele:
While her power does consume a fair amount of magical energy, she rarely has to worry about running out thanks to the connection she, along with all the other gods, have to the god-made leyline in Olympus's crystal mountain range.

Macarios:
Theoretically, she can regenerate from any amount of
damage, making it impossible to completely destroy her.

Macarios:
And if that wasn't bad enough...

Adele:
She also possesses Scream Eleusis–a destructive Authority that breaks down old and dead organic matter into reusable resources.

Adele:
Between infinite regenerating defense and massively destructive attacks, she's a very powerful opponent.

Adele:
...There's no way you can hope to
defeat her in a normal battle.

Holmes:
I see. Yes, that's certainly about what I would expect
when going up against one of the Twelve Olympians.

Holmes:
What about that aural dissonance you two used yesterday? It appeared to do a good job at cutting the gods off from their magical energy resources.

Macarios:
That? Well...

Adele:
That IS one of the Alliance's trump cards,
but it's not one we can use freely...

Macarios:
Plus, it takes a while to charge with magical energy,
so it's still out of commission right now.

Macarios:
Not to mention that the real thing
is somewhere else right now. Sorry.

Holmes:
Hmm. I suppose I should have expected
it wouldn't be that easy.

G: A.I.:
However, we've been developing
a secret weapon on the sly...

G: A.I.:
The Seven Link Heroic Spirit Cannon!

K: A.I.:
With it, we have a nonzero chance of actually slaying the gods!


Fujimaru 1:
The Seven Link Heroic Spirit Cannon!


Fujimaru 2:
That's a very impressive name, but...what exactly is it?


Macarios:
Unfortunately, it wasn't ready when Tesla's group was still here, but it's ready now!

Macarios:
With the Heroic Spirit Cannon complete, we can finally
fight back without having to cower in fear of the gods!

Holmes:
The Seven Link Heroic Spirit Cannon...

Holmes:
I'm not typically one to get excited about weaponry, but there is something about that name that gets my heart dancing. The Seven Link Heroic Spirit Cannon... Hmm.

G: A.I.:
Yes, the gods may have defeated us,
but our loss was not in vain.

L: A.I.:
Our path to victory was viable.
We simply weren't able to take it!

G: A.I.:
But now, our corpses have paved the way,
and the path forward is clear!

L: A.I.:
So go, and be victorious!

K: A.I.:
Okay, thanks, guys.
Now let me take it from here, or we'll be here all day!

K: A.I.:
All right, so, the Seven Link Heroic Spirit Cannon
is basically a giant, super Mahatma cannon.

K: A.I.:
It's a type of Mystic Code that all seven of us Heroic Spirits pooled our magical energy into making. You could even call it a magecraft weapon of sorts.

K: A.I.:
It uses Klironomia from the Olympian gods who were in the coexistence faction and were defeated during in the last machia–

K: A.I.:
Hades, god of the underworld; Apollo, god of the sun;
Ares, god of war; and Hephaestus, god of the forge.

K: A.I.:
All seven of us, along with the Collaborator,
designed it to fire a pretty powerful projectile.

K: A.I.:
It should be able to expose a mechanical god's Divine Core with a direct hit, which will open it up to further attack!

K: A.I.:
This can work! I'm sure of it!

K: A.I.:
Now, let's get down to how exactly
we're going to pull this off.

K: A.I.:
Our target is Demeter, the mechanical god destroying Olympus's South District, advancing as we speak.

K: A.I.:
It looks like she's digging deep down into the ground, too...which means it's only a matter of time until she also destroys this base.

K: A.I.:
So we've got to fire the Heroic Spirit
Cannon before she can get the chance.

K: A.I.:
According to our calculations, these are the four optimal positions at which the cannon can inflict the most damage:

K: A.I.:
Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta.

K: A.I.:
Our job is to lure Demeter to one of these positions and score a direct hit on her with the Heroic Spirit Cannon, after which we just whale on her.

K: A.I.:
This is our surest path to victory right now. But be
careful! The Heroic Spirit Cannon may technically
be complete now–

G: A.I.:
But it can still only be fired once!
If it misses, you'll be in big trouble!

Mash:
Klironomia injection and bonding process complete.
Vitals all look good!

Musashi:
I'm all set, too! This is amazing! I can feel the energy welling up inside me, magical and otherwise!

Musashi:
As for the stuff with the cannon, we were listening
along too, and I think we got the gist.

Musashi:
Basically, we hit this goddess...ship thingy with a special cannon, then it'll be time to cut her down to size!

Musashi:
Sounds like a plan to me!
Now let's all go make it happen!

Musashi:
Are you with me, Fujimaru!?


Fujimaru 1:
Let's do it!



Fujimaru 1:
Operation God Destroyer: begin!


Mash:
Right, Master!

Fou:
Foooooou!!!

Macarios:
There's just one last thing you should be aware of.

Macarios:
We don't have time to get into the details now, but just be careful about what you say up on the surface.

Macarios:
Down here, you can say whatever you want, but up there, make sure not to mention our base or our names.


Fujimaru 1:
I don't really get it, but, got it!


A.I.:
All set? Great!

A.I.:
Then let's get this operation started!

Mash:
I have a visual on the target! Demeter is making her way through the South District, moving from the northern area to the southern!

Mash:
She's laying waste to everything in her path... She's
going to destroy this entire region unless we stop her!

Musashi:
That's probably her game plan. If she doesn't find us here in the south, she'll keep destroying all the other districts one by one until she does.

Musashi:
(I'll say this about that plan: it's a pretty solid approach to killing us all no matter where we might be hiding.)

Musashi:
(Case in point, the alliance base is right in the
southern tip's underground infrastructure.)

Musashi:
These gods don't do anything by halves, that's for sure. If nothing else, I'll give them points for style!

Macarios:
Last time, Demeter stopped her assault after she'd
killed all the Heroic Spirits above ground–

Adele:
But this time, we don't know what her ultimate objective is. For all we know, she might really destroy the entire city.

Musashi:
Either way, we're not gonna take this lying down!

Musashi:
(No way in hell I'm gonna let this god destroy the city or wipe out our base!)

Mash:
What's the latest status on the
Seven Link Heroic Spirit Cannon?

Macarios:
It's all set up on the rooftop of a disguised skyscraper in the middle of the South District. We're aiming it at point Alpha as we speak!

L: A.I.:
Find a way to lure Demeter there.
We'll open fire as soon as we have her in our sights!

Fou:
Fooou!

Mash:
Ah! Please get back in the storage space, Fou!

Adele:
...Let me go over this one more time.

Adele:
Demeter is not acting alone.

Adele:
She's being accompanied by a number of
escorts located directly beneath her.

Adele:
Specifically, it's a swarm of destructive machines and steel Demonic Beasts.

Adele:
You should be able to draw Demeter's attention by finding these escorts and destroying them one at a time.

G: A.I.:
Our analysis tells us that Demeter relies exclusively on her overwhelmingly powerful abilities in combat...

G: A.I.:
...so she has no understanding of strategy or tactics as applied to battle.

Holmes:
So, the plan is to hit the nearby enemies hard, draw
Demeter's attention, and lead her to point Alpha, hm?

Holmes:
Fascinating. Yes, most fascinating indeed.

Holmes:
It seems phase one of this anti-machine god strategy can best be described as, “We won't know until we try!”

Mash:
!?

Fou:
Foumes!?


Fujimaru 1:
Holmes!?


Fujimaru 2:
Wh-where'd that come from!?


Mash:
I-I'm shocked too, Senpai. I can't recall Sherlock Holmes ever saying something so, um, cavalier before!

Mash:
I-it almost sounded to me like he was just, well,
saying something for the hell of it!

Holmes:
Hahahaha. I assure you, Ms. Kyrielight,
I was being quite sincere.

Mash:
!?

Musashi:
Uh, does he usually say that kinda stuff, or was he hitting that pipe of his when we weren't looking?

Holmes:
No, while I do very much enjoy a good pipe, I'm quite sober at the moment. Nor am I anyone else disguised at me.

Holmes:
Now, more importantly, I'm sensing a number of magical energy signals not too far from us. Am I the only one?

Mash:
You're right! It's a group of Demeter's escorts!
They appear to be about two hundred meters away!

Mash:
And Demeter herself is twenty-two hundred meters
past them! We're close enough to begin the operation!

Fou:
Fooou!

Holmes:
So, Fujimaru, what's your next move?


Fujimaru 1:
The only move we can make!


Fujimaru 2:
Mash! Musashi! Get ready for battle!


P:Mash:
Understood!

Musashi:
Prelim time, huh. Fine by me!

Holmes:
Very well! Let us begin phase two of this anti-machine
god strategy: “The only move we can make!”

--BATTLE--

Musashi:
Man, oh man. I feel great!
These Ares Klironomia are amazing!

Mash:
Confirming multiple hostiles down!

Mash:
These Athena Klironomia are amazing, too... I've been
able to raise the Ortinax's output to ninety percent!

Mash:
Master, with these on our side, I think we should have no problem going toe to toe with Olympus's forces!

Holmes:
However, we'll still need more power in order to face a mechanical god. In this case, we require the Seven Link Heroic Spirit Cannon to break through her shielding!

Holmes:
And let's not forget, it's only a matter of time until
the escort troops you just defeated regenerate!

Holmes:
So keep making your way through them
until you get to Demeter! Onward!

Narration:
Ahh, how sad. How tragic.

Narration:
Death is so sorrowful.
Endings are such misery.

Musashi:
!!!

Mash:
Demeter is...changing direction!?
Instead of heading to the southern edge...

Mash:
...she's started moving towards the east!

Macarios:
Wh-what the!? Why isn't she trying to use her unstoppable regenerative and offensive abilities on us!?

Macarios:
Dammit, change of plans! Forget about points Alpha and Beta! Hurry to point Gamma!

Adele:
Demeter's escorts are reconstructing themselves and changing formation. Try to get her attention by destroying them again!

Mash:
Multiple hostiles detected again! The reconstructed escorts are making their way towards us!

Holmes:
Good grief. Talk about your loyal guard dogs.
Still, this would seem to work in our favor.

Holmes:
Let's make extra sure to get Demeter's attention this time. Are you ready for another round of strenuous combat, ladies [♂ and gentleman]?


Fujimaru 1:
You know it! Let's do this, everyone!


Fujimaru 2:
Of course! Battle positions, guys!


B:Mash:
Right, Master.
Preparing to resume battle operations!

--BATTLE--

Mash:
There! We broke through the second wave of escorts!

Musashi:
Oh, we can SO do this. Seriously, these
war-god nano-whatsits are freaking AMAZING!

Musashi:
I'm not about to convert from Buddhism anytime soon, but I can still totally get the appeal! Thanks for helping out!

Musashi:
Anyway! That ought to have gotten
Demeter's attention by–

Narration:
Ahh, how sad. How tragic.

Narration:
Death is so sorrowful.
Endings are such misery.

Narration:
Oh, my beloved citizens of Olympus.
My darling, precious children.

Musashi:
...The hell? She's ignoring us?

Holmes:
It seems Demeter does not get involved in her escorts' affairs. I suppose they must all be operating independently then.

Fou:
Fo? Fou?

Holmes:
These escorts are only slowing us down.
If we're to lure Demeter to point Gamma...

Holmes:
...it seems we'll have to get out in front of her and make her notice us.

Holmes:
She may have limitless capacity for regeneration, but even she cannot ignore a direct attack to the face.

Mash:
So, you want us to directly attack a god!?

Holmes:
I'll even go so far as to say that the third phase of this anti-machine god strategy is “Hit them as hard as you can”!

Macarios:
So that is the wisdom Sherlock Holmes, great sage of Proper Human History, has to offer.

Macarios:
It's a reckless, foolhardy plan,
but the premise is sound.

Macarios:
Okay, Mash, Musashi, and Fujimaru.
The rest is up to you.

F: A.I.:
Don't even think about trying to defeat her. Just holding out against her will be more fiendishly difficult than you can possibly imagine.

F: A.I.:
But for the plan to succeed, you will have to evade her attacks and hold out as best you can until you can lead her to point Gamma!

Narration:
Ahh, how sad. How tragic.

Narration:
Death is so sorrowful.
Endings are such misery.

Musashi:
She's been repeating the same crap for a while now!
God? Yes. Master orator? Not so much!

Musashi:
Hell, I bet most modern-day kitchen appliance A.I.s are chattier than her. She could learn a thing or two from a good kabuki show.

Musashi:
All right, that's about all the bluffing I can muster.
What do you think, Fujimaru!?


Fujimaru 1:
Yup, she's about as eloquent as a microwave!


Fujimaru 2:
There's no way she's a match for your motormouth, Musashi!


Musashi:
I knew it!
Then let's keep this attitude up for one last push!

Mash:
Demeter is approximately twenty-six hundred meters away from our position! Deploying rapid movement charge to initiate battle!

--BATTLE--

Narration:
Ahh, how sad. How tragic.

Narration:
Death is so sorrowful.
Endings are such misery.

Narration:
Why? Why?

Narration:
Why do you hurry to your deaths?

Narration:
Shatter.

Mash:
I-I somehow managed to withstand her
large-scale magical energy emanation!

Mash:
The Ortinax's auto-maintenance is still working. Theoretically, I should be able to take two more strikes!

Mash:
Are you all right, Master!?


Fujimaru 1:
I'm okay!

Mash:
I'm relieved to hear that!


Fujimaru 2:
I'm fine! Thanks, Mash!

Mash:
...Of course!


Musashi:
There! We finally have the big gal's attention!

Musashi:
Although... Not only is her armor super tough,
it really does regenerate before your eyes, huh...

Musashi:
We'll obviously never get anywhere like this.
We've gotta fight mass with mass.

Musashi:
So!? How's that part going!?

Holmes:
It isn't much,
but she has slightly altered her course to face us.

Holmes:
Assuming she doesn't further alter her course,
she should arrive at point Gamma in due time.

Holmes:
So far so good, as they say, but I can't help but wonder: How many more times can we weather that assault?

Holmes:
Even with Ms. Kyrielight's considerable defenses, I'm also forced to conclude that two more strikes is our limit.

Holmes:
Suffice to say...

Holmes:
Things are not looking good.

Fou:
Fa! Foooooou!

Mash:
Fou!?

Macarios:
Dammit, this IS bad! Enemy reinforcements are headed this way from the East District, and fast!

Adele:
It's the Olympus official guards! Depending on their numbers, you might not be a match for them, even in your powered-up states!

J:Olympus Official Guard:
So you are the Chaldeans! The demons who would defy Lady Demeter and turn their blades on the gods of Olympus!

K:Olympus Official Guard:
We will cut you all down, women and children or not!

Mash:
Master!

Musashi:
!

Musashi:
(How'd they make it here through all these explosions!?
Oh, right, they come back to life. Makes sense!)

Musashi:
(Man, as if Demeter wasn't a hell of a handful on her own, now we've got a bunch of tough-ass soldiers who don't even fear their own deaths to deal with, too!)

Musashi:
(Let's see, one, two, three...
Way more than I can count!)

Musashi:
(Saying things aren't looking good
would be kinda an understatement!)

Musashi:
All right, Shinmen Musashi...
How are you gonna get out of this one!?

Section 7: Thou Art the Harvest that Reaps the Stars (IV)

Narration:
When I gaze up at the sky...

Narration:
I'm able to forget the horrible atrocities taking
place beneath me, if only for a moment.

Narration:
My beloved humans. My dear, darling humans,
born for the sole purpose of being loved.

Narration:
I'm so, so sorry I am such a terrible mother,
taking life as readily as I give it...

Narration:
Countless lives burst apart and vanish.

Narration:
But it's okay. Please, there's no need to worry.
This is the eternal cycle.

Narration:
Slaughter, rebirth, slaughter, rebirth,
slaughter, rebirth, slaughter, rebirth...

Narration:
So what significance could there be
in speeding that cycle up a bit here?

Narration:
Yes... That's right, isn't it?

Narration:
Being alive... Being dead...
It's all the same. There is no significance.

Narration:
“All the same?”

Narration:
Huh?

Narration:
Persephone? Is that you?

Narration:
“In that case, Mother...”

Narration:
“...I guess you won't mind if I stay dead too.”

Narration:
Ah... Aah...

Narration:
Aah, ah, ah, aaaaaaaaah

Narration:
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Narration:
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Narration:
Aaaaaaaaah!

Olympus Official Guard:
Lady Demeteee–aaahhh!

Musashi:
Wh-what the!?


Fujimaru 1:
Did she just kill her own soldiers!?


Fujimaru 2:
Why is Demeter attacking her own soldiers!?


I:Mash:
Over half of the Olympus official guards have been wiped out after being caught in Demeter's wild attack!

Holmes:
There was something different about that last scream!

Holmes:
Could Demeter be malfunctioning!?

D:Olympus Official Guard:
Curse you! Curse you, cowardly Chaldea demons!

D:Olympus Official Guard:
Those gods from foreign lands warned us you'd probably use some kind of trick!

D:Olympus Official Guard:
I don't know what you did to Lady Demeter,
but prepare to die!

D:Olympus Official Guard:
Gah!
You...stabbed me in the...back?

D:Olympus Official Guard:
You cowar–

Voice:

Shut up!

Olympus Official Guard:
Gaaaaaah!

I:Mash:
Whoever that was just took out that Olympian soldier...
like he was nothing...

Voice:
You guys're just gonna come back to life as long as the gods are around, right? Then I ain't gonna feel bad about killing you.

Voice:
Oh, wait! Never mind.
That shit doesn't work when you're up against me.

Voice:
Looks like you're gonna be staying dead forever then.
Sucks to be you, huh chumps!?

Caenis:
...Heya, you Chaldean shitheads. Been a while!

I:Mash:
!!!


Fujimaru 1:
Caenis!?


Caenis:
Damn straight!


Fujimaru 1:
Huh? Did... Did you just save us!?


Caenis:
Well, yeah. Isn't it obvious, idiot?

Caenis:
Far as I'm concerned, you guys and these piece
of shit Olympian soldiers are both my enemies.

I:Mash:
Caenis!? But, you're Kirschtaria's Servant...

Caenis:
Yeah.

Mash:
And...you said you were going to kill us...

Caenis:
Goddamn right, I did.

Mash:
???

Fou:
Fou, fou?

Musashi:
Excellent sneak attack back there! Caenis, was it?
Wow, so you're a beauty AND a spear wielder, huh!

Musashi:
Judging from that divinely rugged spearplay, I'm guessing you've got some connection to the Greek god of the sea!

Caenis:
Call me a beauty again, and I'll kill you.

Musashi:
Aww, come on. Wouldn't it be lying if
I didn't call beauty where I saw it?

Musashi:
Does that mean it's okay for me to lie to you whenever we talk? Aw man, that's gonna make me feel bad.

Caenis:
The hell? Don't even think about lying to me, bitch. You try it, and I'll cut out your eyes and turn your skull into a habitat for a damn octopus.

Musashi:
Right? Then it's settled. We're gonna be the kind
of friends who can tell each other anything!

Musashi:
Nice to meet you, Caenis! Seeing you mow down those
immortal Olympian soldiers was like poetry in motion–

Musashi:
...Huh? Hang on.
Shouldn't those soldiers have come back by now?

Caenis:
Ha!

Caenis:
Hahahaha, hell no they're not coming back!

Caenis:
I already told you, I'm a Divine Spirit, dammit!
And right now, I've got a sea-god backing me up!

Caenis:
Sure, I might be a Servant from Proper Human History, so that's the version of Poseidon backing me up...

Caenis:
But he's still a god, and his domain is still the sea!

Mash:
!

Caenis:
Poseidon's the same kind of ship god as Demeter, and he used to be just as much a god of land as Gaia was back when humanity wasn't worth shit.

Caenis:
So of course, I can use his Authority over the land, too! Which means I can easily neutralize the blessing that's making these punks immortal!

Goredolf:
Ahem. Testing, testing, one two three.
This is the Storm Border. Do you read me?

Goredolf:
...Excellent, it worked! We've got video again!
I trust you can hear me as well, Fujimaru!?

Mash:
Director Goredolf!

Musashi:
Oh hey, if it isn't Gof!

Fou:
Fof!

Goredolf:
Glad to see you're all right, Mash! And did that little fur ball sneak out of the ship AGAIN!?

Goredolf:
Hm? I see you managed to meet
up with Miyamoto Musashi...


Fujimaru 1:
Thank goodness! Reading you loud and clear, Director!


Fujimaru 2:
Our connection's back online! Thank goodness!

Caenis:
Hmph. Thank goodness, my ass.
I'm the one keeping you punks connected.


Goredolf:
Ahh, I see Caenis managed to find you, too!
Good, good! This is all very good!

Goredolf:
We gave Caenis a communications relay that should
boost our connection and let us communicate in real time.

Goredolf:
It's a special device our technical advisor put together to compensate for Olympus's environment!


Fujimaru 1:
Da Vinci did that...?

Goredolf:
I keep telling her not to work so hard and get some rest, but she never listens to me! You should put in a word with her, too.


Fujimaru 2:
Tell her I said “thanks.”

Goredolf:
Very well.
I'll also tell her you said to get some rest already.


Goredolf:
Now then, I've got a fairly
good grasp on your situation.

Goredolf:
Really, it's hard to miss the giant machine god destroying the city, given she's...well, giant.

Goredolf:
And knowing all of you, I was all but certain you'd be leaving the Tree of Emptiness aside in favor of doing something about her.

Goredolf:
Well? Am I right? I'm right, aren't I? Just to be clear, you can start with the praise whenever you like.

Goredolf:
At any rate, I don't know how much you're currently struggling, but now that we've got Caenis on our side, use the extra help as you see fit!

Goredolf:
Then I want you to defeat every last one of those damn machine gods and cut down the Tree of Emptiness!

Caenis:
You got a death wish or something!?
Who said any of you could “use” me!?

Goredolf:
Eep!

Goredolf:
W-w-w-well, let's not forget, Caenis,
you owe me a debt, do you not?

Goredolf:
In fact, I distinctly remember you admitting defeat in the face of my overwhelmingly skillful negotiation technique and saying you would do whatever we asked!

Goredolf:
Y-you are a Divine Spirit, are you not? Surely you're
not about to go back on your own word, are you!?

Caenis:
...Tch.

Holmes:
I'm not clear on the particulars of how this came to pass, but I trust we can now count Caenis among our ranks?

Goredolf:
P-precisely, Administrative Advisor! Now go ahead and use Caenis however you need to bring that god down!

Caenis:
Hey! The next time you talk about “using” me, I'm gonna skewer you alive and feed you to the nearest whale!

Goredolf:
S-save those sorts of threats
for Shark Fin in the cockpit!

Goredolf:
S-still... That was a poor choice of words,
so I'll...be more careful in the future. I'm sorry.

Caenis:
...Eesh. You punks really want a dipshit like that as your commander?

Goredolf:
Hahahaha. All right, everyone, now that you know Caenis is on our side, you should be up to speed!

Goredolf:
Try to get along as best you can!

Fou:
Foooooou.

Mash:
So...Caenis is...on our side now?

Mash:
I don't know how this happened, but if it's true,
this is wonderful news, Master!


Fujimaru 1:
I'll say!


Fujimaru 2:
Having someone as strong as Caenis on our team would be a huge help!


Caenis:
Ha! Don't get it twisted, you Chaldean dumbasses!

Caenis:
I owe Goredolf Musik there a debt, so I'm just putting
my spear in your hands until I pay him back.

Caenis:
Once that's done, I'm still gonna kill the absolute shit outta all of you, no matter what else happens.

Musashi:
Really? Are you suuure about that?

Caenis:
The hell you trying to say, bitch?
You think I don't mean what I say?

Musashi:
Oh no, of course not. I can tell you're serious,
and that you're not really our ally...at ALL.

Musashi:
I just mean, given how bad things are around here,
you might not be around long enough to pay back your debt.

Caenis:
So what?
You're saying I'm gonna die like a dog or something?

Musashi:
I wouldn't go that far, but yeah, maybe.
I mean, take a look.

Olympus Official Guard:
Impossible... Is that Lord Caenis!?

Olympus Official Guard:
No, it can't be!
It must be an illusion cast by the Chaldeans!

Olympus Official Guard:
All hands, destroy that fake Caenis! We can't let her make any more trouble for Lady Demeter!

Caenis:
Tch. Yeah, all right, I got it.
Less talk, more spear, right?

Caenis:
All right, Chaldean dipshits, it's your lucky day.
I'll let you command me in this fight.

Caenis:
When you're done, you'd better make sure none
of these Olympian soldiers are left alive!

--BATTLE--

Narration:
Half a day earlier,
inside the Storm Border...

Meunière:
Please, Director, stop! We don't have to do this!

Meunière:
Really, why in the world didn't you restrain this Servant when you had the chance!?

Meunière:
You couldn't have known what we had back when that Nemo Marine picked up a mysterious magical energy signal...

Meunière:
But why the recovery pod treatment once you did!?
And without restraints, no less!?

Meunière:
And if that wasn't bad enough, you went and
gave her a regular bed once she healed up!?

Meunière:
This is nuts! I don't know what you were thinking,
but I'm sure as hell not going in that room!

Goredolf:
Believe me, I understand the risks involved here.

Goredolf:
However, the fact is, this could be our only chance
to obtain something we desperately need.

Goredolf:
Remember, we still have yet
to hear back from Fujimaru.

Goredolf:
[♂ He /♀️ She] could have failed to rendezvous with the Heroic
Spirits who got here before us, and may be looking for a way out of a precarious situation even as we speak.

Goredolf:
And if so, what can we do? As things stand now, we have
nothing and no one we can send to help [♂ him /♀️ her].

Goredolf:
So it is imperative–absolutely imperative–that we find some means to fight back. Immediately.

Meunière:
Well, yeah, sure. I get all that.

Meunière:
But that doesn't make HER a good option!
I mean, she's just gonna kill us once she wakes up!

Goredolf:
Oh, stuff it! My inner Toole is telling
me to go for it, so I'm going for it!

Goredolf:
I've come this far without second-guessing myself, and I'm not about to start now.

Goredolf:
I'll present her with this luscious, freshly baked croissant and do whatever it takes to win her over to our side!

Goredolf:
Don't try to stop me, Pompadour!
Here goes nothing!

Goredolf:
...A-ahem, ahem. I-I take it you're awake now?

Goredolf:
My name is Goredolf Musik. I'm also known
as Musik the Phoenix and Musik the Brave.

Goredolf:
I'm the current director of Chaldea, though I'm
sure you could tell as much from looking at me.

Goredolf:
I apologize for the intrusion, but we've been monitoring your vitals, so I know you're conscious enough to converse.

Goredolf:
I, uh...

Goredolf:
I have a nice, fluffy croissant for you here,
which I offer with no ulterior motive whatsoev–

Caenis:
Shut up. Gorduroy, or whatever the hell it is.
I heard the whole thing.

Goredolf:
E-er, yes, while that does have a nice, strong ring to it, I'm afraid I must correct you. It's Goredolf, not Gorduroy.

Caenis:
You gave the order to pick me up?

Goredolf:
(Nod)

Caenis:
And you put me in that recovery-whatsit
without restraining me?

Goredolf:
(Nod)

Caenis:
And you also let me sleep in a real
room instead of a jail cell?

Goredolf:
(Nod)

Caenis:
...

Caenis:
...I don't get it. I'm Caenis. Remember how I swore I'd kill every last one of you dumbasses?

Caenis:
You must've known that when you chose to help me.
So that means...

Caenis:
You got a death wish?

Goredolf:
(N-n-n-n-n-n-nod)

Caenis:
Quit nodding and say something, dammit!
What are you, some kind of drunk freshwater mussel!?

Caenis:
Answer me! If you don't, I'll take your silence as confirmation you got a death wish.

Goredolf:
O-of course I don't want to die! I'm standing here now because I believe we can cut a deal!

Goredolf:
I saved your life! Th-that means you owe me a debt!

Caenis:
Huh? Are you serious?

Goredolf:
You're damn right I'm serious! You were on the brink
of death! Hell, you practically WERE dead!

Goredolf:
So no, you wouldn't be here right now if it weren't
for my bravery and my cunning calculations!

Goredolf:
That said, my original plan was to only heal you a little bit and negotiate with you while you were still weak!

Goredolf:
I never expected you to recover so much so fast! Dammit, Goredolf! Of all the mistakes you could have made!

Caenis:
You wanted to take advantage of me while I was still weak? That's extortion, not negotiation.

Goredolf:
Huh? Really? Is that how it comes across?

Caenis:
Damn straight.

Caenis:
It's no different from telling a POW that they'll
have to be your slave if they want to stay alive.

Goredolf:
(Cripes! I never thought of it
that way before, but she's right!)

Caenis:
Nice. That's WAY easier to believe than saving me outta the goodness of your heart. I'd've straight up murdered you if you'd tried to pull that good Samaritan bullshit.

Caenis:
Your plan's screwed though,
since I'm pretty much all better now.

Caenis:
I don't know what kind of magecraft or Mystic Code you used to heal me, but right now, I've got Authority over both the land and the sea.

Caenis:
Once I've snacked on a little magical energy,
my Spirit Origin'll pretty much heal itself.

Caenis:
See? I'm all healed up good as new,
so I don't need your help anymore.

Caenis:
So, you wanted to negotiate?
How you gonna go about that now?

Caenis:
'Cause from where I stand,
you ain't got shit for leverage.

Goredolf:
Well... There's the fact that I saved your life...

Caenis:
Heard that one already. What else you got?

Caenis:
Nothin'? If it's nothin', I'm killing you right now.

Goredolf:
...

Caenis:
Well? I thought you didn't want to die. You'd better speak up quick or my spear might slip. Or maybe I'll just kill you with my bare hands.

Caenis:
Which part of you should I crush? Your heart? Your skull? Maybe I'll start with your throat and then...get creative.

Caenis:
C'mon, you fat prick. Say something.

Caenis:
Don't you got anything else to throw at me!?

Goredolf:
W-w-w-we've also defeated P-P-P-Poseidon!

Caenis:
Huh?

Caenis:
Huh!?

Goredolf:
Th-the Storm Border, our state-of-the-art ship, defeated Poseidon, the mechanical god of the sea protecting Atlantis!

Goredolf:
Wh-wh-what do you think of that!?
You're the Caenis from Greek mythology, right?

Goredolf:
S-so hearing of Poseidon's destruction must make you feel p-pretty good, right!?

Caenis:
...

Caenis:
...I can't believe this.

Caenis:
Dammit! I can't believe of all people,
you Chaldeans beat me to it!

Caenis:
That shitty punk-ass bastard might not be the Poseidon I know from Proper Human History, but still!

Caenis:
I was supposed to be the one to finish that asshole off! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!!!

Caenis:
...Anyway, that aside...
You.

Goredolf:
Eep!

Caenis:
You beat Poseidon, huh?

Caenis:
Solid card to play. You might have some skill at this negotiation stuff after all.

Goredolf:
I-I, uh... Thank you...?

Caenis:
Five minutes.

Goredolf:
Five minutes?

Caenis:
I'll be nice and hold off on killing you for five minutes. Four minutes and fifty-nine seconds.
Fifty-eight...

Goredolf:
!!!!!!

Goredolf:
N-now just a minute! You mean everything I worked up the courage to tell you only bought me five minutes of leeway!?

Caenis:
You ought to be proud.
You got five whole minutes from me. Make 'em count.

Caenis:
You could run for away, not that it'll do you any good. You could call for help, which also wouldn't do you any good.

Caenis:
So, Goredolf Musik of Chaldea,
what're you gonna do?

Goredolf:
.........

Goredolf:
So, once five minutes have passed, you're going to kill me? No, not just me... Everyone on this ship?

Caenis:
Yup.

Goredolf:
!!!

Goredolf:
Th-th-th-th-then, I'll have to find a way to stop you... Wh-whatever it takes...

Caenis:
Oh yeah? And what're you gonna do, mustache?
You sure you don't just wanna make a run for it?

Caenis:
Look. You might be an idiot,
but I can tell you're not completely stupid.

Caenis:
So you do know that when I say I'll give you five minutes, I mean YOU are the only one getting the head start, right?

Goredolf:
B-b-be that as it may, I...
As director, I have a responsibility to–

Caenis:
You think I give a seahorse's shit about that?
Besides, what's responsibility compared to your own life?

Caenis:
Just forget about all your allies on this ship and
run for your life like the pathetic coward you are.

Caenis:
Nobody'd blame you for it.
Especially since they'll be kinda busy being dead.

Goredolf:
...B-b-b-be that as it m-m-may...
I-I still have a responsibility to–

Caenis:
Who cares?
What is this, some commander's pride thing?

Caenis:
All right, last chance.
Go on and get out of here before I change my mind.

Caenis:
If you don't get why I'm letting you off the hook, then fine. I'm gonna feel kinda bad, but I'll start by killing you–

Goredolf:
You're wrong!
This isn't about my responsibility as commander at all!

Goredolf:
NO! You've got it all wrong! This... This goes back WAY further than just my time as commander!

Goredolf:
I know! I know, God dammit! It was ME!
It's my fault the world ended!

Goredolf:
I'm... I'm to blame for Chaldea's destruction. Um, partly. You think I don't think about that every day!?

Goredolf:
Chaldea's staff didn't do anything wrong! The Incineration of Humanity wasn't their fault and I damn well know it!

Goredolf:
They didn't have a choice! They had to try to fix the apocalypse with just a few dozen people!

Goredolf:
I knew that. Even then, I knew it.
And STILL I insisted it was all their fault...

Goredolf:
They were... They were amazing...

Goredolf:
And if I hadn't come in and taken over as the director and screwed EVERYTHING up, things might have gone differently!

Goredolf:
So...there. There you have it.

Goredolf:
I don't want to do this. I'm terrified to even try,
b-but I still have to see this through!

Goredolf:
Y-you see...
I'm the most important thing to me. By a LOT!

Goredolf:
That's why I don't want to be a traitor to humanity!
That's why I don't want to end up just some useless coward!

Meunière:
Chubby...

Goredolf:
A-and it's why I can't run away now.
Even if it means I end up dying here...

Goredolf:
That's why I won't back down! I won't!

Goredolf:
Do you hear me, Caenis? I'm standing my
ground because I think we can cut a deal!

Goredolf:
I saved your life, my team and I defeated the sea-god you hate–even if he wasn't the one you know from Proper Human History–and what's more...

Caenis:
Well?

Goredolf:
What's more...

Caenis:
Two minutes. One minute, fifty-nine seconds...

Goredolf:
And what's more...I've got a freshly-baked croissant!
Right here!

Caenis:
...

Goredolf:
It's crispy on the outside, soft and flaky on the inside, and so delicious you'll–

Caenis:
Oh, so that's what you've had there all this time.
I thought it was some kind of poison... So it's food?

Goredolf:
Th-that's right. It's made with tons of butter,
and it has all the calories you could want.

Goredolf:
I-I've also got milk and tea to go with it, if you like. Croissants are delicious, but they can make you feel a bit parch–

Caenis:
...Ha.

Caenis:
Haha, hahahahahahahahahahahaha!
Ahhh hahahahaha! Are you serious?

Caenis:
Are you trying to win a Heroic Spirit over with food!?

Caenis:
Are you actually trying to negotiate with me, Caenis
the Tyrant, now Caenis the Divine Spirit...

Caenis:
...with a freaking piece of bread!?

Caenis:
Hahahahahahahahahaha! This is the funniest goddamn thing I've seen in...I don't even know how long!

Caenis:
It's too bad Kirschtaria didn't talk to you more! Hehehe, hahahaha! I've never seen anyone so insolent in my life!

Goredolf:
...

Goredolf:
...Surely it can't be THAT funny, can it?
Even Toole used to love these croissants.

Caenis:
...

Caenis:
Gimme that.

Goredolf:
Huh?

Caenis:
I said, give it here already.

Caenis:
...(Munch)

Caenis:
...Huh. So, that's a croissant.

Caenis:
Thanks. That was good.

Goredolf:
Wha...

Caenis:
That was good. And not only that...
I haven't laughed that hard since I manifested.

Caenis:
So I'd have to say you won
this little exchange of ours.

Caenis:
All right, Musik, I officially owe you one.
You name one thing you want me to do, and I'll do it.

Goredolf:
Really!? You mean it!?

Caenis:
I'm a lot of things, but not a liar. I'd never kill anyone who gave me such a warm reception.

Caenis:
I'm not a damn centaur, after all.
I might not act like it, but I'm still a king.

Caenis:
Go ahead, name your request. I'll do anything
you want that's reasonably within my power.

Goredolf:
...

Goredolf:
...P-permission to speak freely?

Caenis:
Sure.

Goredolf:
Could I make a second request as well?
One to return the favor I did you with the recovery pod?

Goredolf:
Wh-what do you say?

Caenis:
You're serious?

Goredolf:
Th-the fact is...I need help! I can't shake this
feeling that things are going very badly out there!

Goredolf:
Did Fujimaru's team manage to meet up
with numerous allies, like they did in Atlantis!? Or did the Heroic Spirits who got here ahead of us all meet an untimely end!?

Goredolf:
If it turns out to be the latter, then I–we,
need you more than anything!

Caenis:
H-huh?

Goredolf:
That is to say, we need your help!
Desperately! And while I'm at it...!

Goredolf:
...I also want that thing you've been holding so tightly in your right hand ever since we found you.

Caenis:
Hm?
My right hand?

Caenis:
Oh yeah, I guess I do have something here, don't I?

Caenis:
I must've grabbed hold of it when I
was floating around in the sea...

Goredolf:
That's a fragment of the moon goddess, complete with Artemis Klironomia! It's a bloody miracle that you happened to find it!

Goredolf:
Please, let us have it!
It's of the utmost importance that we have it!

Caenis:
Go nuts. I sure as shit don't
have any need for this thing.

Goredolf:
Aah, what a waste! Phew, it's okay. I don't know what
we would have done if it had broken–Oh, right.
I guess it wouldn't, would it.

Goredolf:
Thank you, Caenis. I appreciate this more than I can say. Now, at last, we have the means to fight back!

Goredolf:
Excuse me for a moment!

Meunière:
Wh-what the...!?
What're you doing back out here, chubby!?

Goredolf:
Perfect timing, Manuel! I need you to bring
this to my technical advisor at once!

Goredolf:
After that, I want you to use every bit of electricity the Storm Border has at its disposal to contact Sion back at the Wandering Sea, even if only for a few seconds!

Goredolf:
When you do, you are to tell her
“We have the last material!”

Goredolf:
Phew. And with that, my work is done.
My subordinates should be able to take it from here.

Goredolf:
Well then, now that things have settled down a bit,
there's something I need to ask you.

Goredolf:
This has nothing to do with learning our enemy's strategy, or figuring out his weakness or anything like that.

Goredolf:
I just want to know out of, um... Personal curiosity? Disbelief? No... This is really only about my pride as a fellow noble.

Goredolf:
What is your Master...Kirschtaria Wodime,
like as a person?

Goredolf:
Could I ask you to tell me your
personal thoughts about him?

Narration:
Present time.

Goredolf:
At any rate, the important thing to know
is that Caenis is not your enemy!

Goredolf:
I'll tell you all about the bond
of trust we've forged later!

Goredolf:
Fujimaru! Mash Kyrielight! You two are our
last hope for restoring Proper Human History.

Goredolf:
It is for that eminently logical reason
that I risked my own life to help you!

Goredolf:
Since my gamble has paid off, it's time for you two to take the proverbial ball and run with it!


Fujimaru 1:
Got it!

Mash:
Understood, Director!


Fujimaru 2:
Okay! We'll get Demeter to point Gamma one way or another!

Mash:
Right, Master! Resuming combat now!


Musashi:
If she doesn't want to follow us to our destination, we'll just have to drag her there, kicking and screaming!

Musashi:
Don't worry, I'll give everything
I've got to make that happen.

Musashi:
If four swords aren't enough...I'll break
out my immovable fifth to finish the job!

Musashi:
Can we count on your help too, Caenis!?

Musashi:
Even though if you do this, you'll be throwing your lot in with anti-Atlantic–I mean, anti-Olympus Lostbelt forces!?

Caenis:
Ha! Fine with me! If they didn't want me switching sides, they shouldn't've stabbed me in the back in the first place!

Mash:
?

Musashi:
?

Holmes:
Care to elaborate?

Caenis:
Sh-shut up! Forget I said anything! All I need
to do's kick this god's fat ass, right!?

Caenis:
Okay, Goredolf Musik! Time to see for yourself what a powerful asset I can be!

Caenis:
Don't you dare miss a second of this!
If you so much as blink, I'll kill you on the spot!

Caenis:
Now check this shit out!

Caenis:
Lapithai Caeneus!

Narration:
A bird with golden wings bursts forth!

Narration:
Its violent shock wave rocks
even Demeter's massive core.

Narration:
It's not enough to bring her down.
Only to make her lurch.

Narration:
Yet even so, all her disparate parts begin shaking
to help her keep her balance. Once. Twice.

Narration:
One more lurch, and she'll be where the God Destroyers need her to be...but it doesn't happen.

Musashi:
We're not done yet!

G:Mash:
Setting Ortinax to maximum output! Preparing
to pierce Demeter's base with the bunker bolt!

G:Mash:
Haaaaaah!

Adele:
There! Demeter's at point Gamma!

Macarios:
Now's our chance! Firing our final weapon,
the Seven Link Heroic Spirit Cannon!

Narration:
Aah.

Narration:
Aaaaaaaaah.

Narration:
Aaaaaaaaah!

Mash:
We hit her!
It...it sounds like she's screaming!

Musashi:
Do you hear that? Do you see that!? It's working!

Mash:
...You're right!
I can see cracks where the blast hit her outer shell!

Musashi:
Way to go, Seven Link Heroic Spirit Cannon! You actually managed to crack open that super tough god armor!

A.I.:
...It's not over yet. Do not let your guard down.

A.I.:
The blast still didn't manage to expose Demeter's Divine Core! I can't believe it. Her armor is even tougher than I thought.

A.I.:
I hate to say it, but I'm impressed. I can't believe she managed to take a direct hit from our Seven Link Heroic Spirit Cannon and remain intact. That being said–

Musashi:
Her armor isn't invincible anymore! Especially now that we've got Caenis's spear negating her healing Authority!

Musashi:
We've definitely got a shot at beating her now!
Come on! There's nothing to be afraid of!

Musashi:
Mash!
Fujimaru!


Fujimaru 1:
Don't let up now! Keep hitting her with all we've got!


G:Mash:
Understood, Master!

G:Mash:
Setting Ortinax output to eighty percent! I'll keep up the attack making use of the Klironomia's effects!

Caenis:
Haha, so I've got a chance to kill a god now?
Perfect! Hell yeah, let's do this thing!

Caenis:
You better believe I'm gonna use you for my own purposes, Chaldean dumbasses!

Goredolf:
Huh? Was that Nikola Tesla I saw just now? Is he one
of the Heroic Spirits that got here before us?

Goredolf:
Does this mean I was working myself up over nothing?
I don't recognize that boy and girl over there, either...

Goredolf:
W-well, no matter!
Right now, our top priority is taking down Demeter!

Goredolf:
Leave this part to me, everyone! Is that clear!?

Holmes:
Begin the attack!

Goredolf:
...A-all right, no matter! Begin the attack, everyone!

--BATTLE--

Musashi:
There, we managed to get her outer shell off!
Did it work!?

Mash:
Yes! Demeter's outer core is severely damaged!
What appears to be her Divine Core is now exposed!

Mash:
Ortinax output remains stable! I should be able to
maintain Anti-Divinity combat mode for at least ten minutes or so!


Fujimaru 1:
We're almost there!


Fujimaru 2:
Now we just need to take out her Divine Core!


Mash:
Right!

Caenis:
Hold it! Just hold the hell up! Are you dipshits blind or something? You can't just ignore her Klironomia!

Caenis:
...Dammit, she hasn't completely stopped regenerating!

Adele:
I can confirm her infinite regeneration has started
up again! Her wounds are beginning to close!

Macarios:
Dammit, we were so close!
...Demeter! How much are you going to mock us!?

Goredolf:
Wh-wh-what are you all doing!? Go on, keep hitting her! Caenis! Can't you use your land Authority to neutralize her regeneration!?

Caenis:
I am, dammit! But it's still not enough to stop that bitch of a goddess!

Caenis:
This damn Lostbelt Demeter really is directly descended from Gaia, isn't she! Dammit! I started celebrating too soon!

A.I.:
...It would seem this is well and truly the end. Even with all our great strokes of fortune, we still weren't able to defeat her.

A.I.:
We thought we had accounted for our enemies being more powerful than expected in our designs, but her regenerative powers exceed even our wildest expectations!

A.I.:
The Olympian gods truly seem to
surpass us in every way imaginable!

Caenis:
This isn't over yet!

Caenis:
If you punks can beat Poseidon,
you can sure as shit beat Demeter, too!

Caenis:
Besides, nobody kills you jackasses but me!

Caenis:
Now take this, Fujimaru!
It's a little present from Mustache!

Caenis:
He said this thing's guaranteed to be a game changer!


Fujimaru 1:
Phew! Just barely caught it!



Fujimaru 1:
Is this...some sort of attachment for the Ortinax?


Mash:
Is that... No way!

Goredolf:
That's right! It's a new piece of Ortinax equipment Chaldea's own technical advisor designed in tandem with our Atlas Institute alchemist ally!

Goredolf:
It's a form of cancer made to bring down
beings of a scale far beyond human capacity...

Goredolf:
We call it...
the Black Barrel!

Goredolf:
It's the Natural Longevity Conceptual Weapon,
one of the Seven Taboos!

Goredolf:
Not that I know much about it myself!
Wahahahaha!

--ARROW--

Musashi:
Nice catch, Fujimaru!
So...what is that thing, anyway?


Fujimaru 1:
I'm not entirely sure, actually...



Fujimaru 1:
I bet Mash'll know what to do with it!


Fou:
Fou, foooooou! (Special
Translation: Nice pass, Fujimaru!)

Mash:
...Yes, Master! I know exactly what to do with this!

Mash:
During Sion's lecture on life scales, she talked about a paradox effector that could let someone use a measurement as a weapon.

Mash:
Da Vinci took that concept and ran with it to make a new mechanism for the Ortinax.

Mash:
I actually had time to practice using it in the simulator while I was on standby at the Wandering Sea!


Fujimaru 1:
Whoa! The Ortinax doesn't look anything like a shield anymore!


Goredolf:
Ah... Whoooa! So that's how it all works!
It really is a gun barrel, isn't it?

Goredolf:
Anyway, get ready to have your
socks knocked off, Fujimaru!

Goredolf:
You're looking at one of the Seven Taboos–one of the Atlas Institute's crowning achievements, renowned throughout the entire magecraft community!

Goredolf:
Or so I'm told!


Fujimaru 1:
Seven Taboos...?


Fujimaru 2:
(That sounds vaguely familiar...)


Holmes:
Indeed. The Seven Taboos are something of a legend among the Mage's Association. They're said to be weapons of magecraft capable of destroying the very world itself.

Holmes:
And the Black Barrel Conceptual
Weapon there is one of them.

Holmes:
Ms. Sion already possessed a replica of it. I believe
she offered it to Chaldea as a souvenir of sorts.

Holmes:
I knew she was also working with Da Vinci on
a new replacement part for the Ortinax...

Holmes:
...but I didn't know they had finished
their work after we arrived here.

Da Vinci:
Good, no issues with the gun barrel transformation! Output and stability are all well above expected parameters!

Da Vinci:
Send out the Accomplishments Measure!
Begin the Black Barrel transformation when ready!

Mash:
Here goes! Initiating Accomplishments Measure!
Ascertaining Demeter's life scale!

Mash:
One thousand... Two thousand... Three thousand...
There! It stopped at forty-five hundred!

Mash:
Beginning Black Barrel transformation!
Preparing to burn the Dead Counter into the gun barrel!


Fujimaru 1:
Uh... Huh!?


Fujimaru 2:
I'm sorry, but can someone tell me what's going on here!?


Holmes:
I can hardly blame you for feeling lost. I doubt I could comprehend its workings either, even were I at my peak condition!

Holmes:
But while I may not know how it works, I do know
what it does! That's Demeter's life span!

Holmes:
Then again, since she's a machine, perhaps its her warranty period? Or her estimated number of years in operation? Well, no matter!

Holmes:
The point is, as long as this universe has a finite
life span, there is nothing in it that will last forever!

Holmes:
Everything that has a form must also inevitably have an end! A limit, if you like!

Holmes:
That gun barrel can measure that end and
make it tangible! In other words–

Caenis:
So it's a weapon that copies its target's mass and throws it right back at them in the form of magical energy?

Holmes:
Precisely! I must say, Caenis, you're far more intelligent than your behavior would suggest!

Da Vinci:
Right. It's not the kind of weapon you
could usually carry around like this.

Da Vinci:
But in this case, I was able to miniaturize and stabilize it by restricting the measurement function to machine gods only.

Da Vinci:
Sion gave me the blueprints for it some time ago.
All I needed was a benchmark to use for its core.

Da Vinci:
The first benchmark was Poseidon's Divine Core.
And the second...

Da Vinci:
...is the fragment of Artemis that Caenis was holding when drifting down from Atlantis.

Da Vinci:
That was the last piece of the puzzle we needed!

Caenis:
...Hmph. So that idiot Artemis turned out
to be good for something after all, huh.

Da Vinci:
But the Barrel still needs ultradense magical energy to do its job. And that means we're going to need you to use a Command Spell, Fujimaru.

Da Vinci:
And not just any Command Spell, either.

Da Vinci:
No, this one's going to have to be a little different.

Da Vinci:
You'll need to use everything you've got–your magical energy, your stamina... Even your own fate.

Da Vinci:
Make no mistake: if you miss this shot,
you won't get another.

Da Vinci:
And since Mash has her hands full working the Ortinax, you'll need to work together to time it just right. She'll do the aiming. You'll pull the trigger.


Fujimaru 1:
...Don't worry. I've got this!


Da Vinci:
Now that's what I like to hear.
Okay, good luck saving Proper Human History!


Fujimaru 1:
Thanks, Da Vinci. Now go get some rest already.

Da Vinci:
Ha! I swear, nothing throws you off, does it?
...Thanks, Fujimaru. I'm counting on you!



Fujimaru 1:
Let's do this, Mash!


Mash:
Right, Senpai!

Goredolf:
This may be only the first of Olympus's mechanical gods, but it's still a crucial moment!

Musashi:
!

Musashi:
Oh come on! After everything we did to get her
to notice us, NOW she's paying atten–

Caenis:
Oh shit!

Caenis:
That's the sound Demeter makes when she's about to get serious! She's storing up a metric shit ton of magical energy in that giant ass of hers!

Caenis:
To put it in terms you punks'll understand...
she's just about to unleash her True Name!

Narration:
I'm sorry...

Narration:
I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

Narration:
I... I love you.

Narration:
I really do love you.

Narration:
Persephone.

Narration:
Ahh, how sad. How tragic...

Adele:
Demeter's magical energy is rising rapidly!
She's about to unleash a massive scream!

Macarios:
I don't know what you guys just got hold of, but you'd better hurry! At the rate she's charging up magical energy, I don't think she'll care if she ends up blowing herself up!

Macarios:
You guys need to get out of there now,
before you're blasted into ether dust!

Mash:
...It's all right. We'll be fine.

Mash:
If my calculations are correct,
we should be zero-point-five seconds faster.

Mash:
It might not be much, but it's enough for us to win!

Mash:
...Connection in place.

Mash:
I've measured Demeter's destiny. Now I'll use the Dead
Counter to turn it from speculation into reality.

Mash:
Bunker bolt is at its limit!
Gun barrel is fully stabilized and synchronized!

Mash:
...Master!


Fujimaru 1:
Load Command Spell!


Mash:
Loading Command Spell into Spiritron chamber!

Mash:
Barrel Replica, full trance!
Go, Ortinax!

--ARROW--

Narration:
The black beam of light...

Narration:
...was a dream...a fiction designed to kill a god.

Narration:
A conceptual blade forged to shatter
beings with nigh infinite life spans.

Narration:
The concept of natural life span capable of ending the world...is what made it possible to bring an end to a life that would otherwise go on forever.

Narration:
The gun barrel replica, charged with god-slaying particles, made it possible to shatter unshatterable life.

Narration:
The black beam of light brought death.
A finality. An end.

Narration:
Ahh, at last...

Narration:
At last, I can finally make my way to you.

Narration:
You left my embrace when you encountered the darkness.
You changed irrevocably.

Narration:
You became a mother, and gained so very, very much.

Narration:
You smiled so proudly when I lost you forever, during
the fourth machia. I've never forgotten that smile.

Narration:
I loved you so much.
I loved you more than anything.

Narration:
Persephone.

Narration:
At last...I can finally go where you are.

Narration:
Demeter.

Narration:
Please, tell me.

Narration:
You're...

Narration:
Oh, you're not Persephone.
What are you?

Narration:
You there, from another planet.
You're supposed to be my beloved daughter.

Foreign Priestess:
Demeter.
Goddess of the land.

Foreign Priestess:
Now that you know you're about to disappear,
don't you have any regrets?

Demeter:
...That's very kind of you.

Demeter:
I do have one regret.
Just one.

Demeter:
I can only pray that these new,
tiny, intelligent beings...

Demeter:
These ten million of my darling Olympians...
are able to find peace.

Demeter:
I pray that when their time comes...
they are able to go without suffering.

Mash:
Direct hit! The magical energy bullet punched straight through her Divine Core!

Mash:
Target's magical energy readings are falling rapidly...
And the hostile entity signal is fading!

Holmes:
...I can confirm that the enormous hostile entity has gone completely silent. I'm not seeing any magical energy readings, either.

Holmes:
Congratulations, everyone.

Holmes:
The operation is over. We won!

Macarios:
You won...

Macarios:
You actually...defeated Demeter...

Macarios:
I-is this... Is this really happening...?

I:Mash:
Anti-Divinity combat complete.
We won, Master!


Fujimaru 1:
Thank...goodness...



Fujimaru 1:
I'm sorry...Mash... I can't...move...anymore...


I:Mash:
Senpai!

Fou:
Fou, fooou!!!

Adele:
Yes, I'm seeing this on our end, too! Fujimaru's
vital signs are dropping as we speak!

Adele:
Both [♂ his /♀️ her] magical energy readings
and vital signs are at dangerous levels!

Musashi:
This must be that thing Da Vinci was talking about!
Mash!

I:Mash:
Senpai! Grab hold of my shoulder!


Fujimaru 1:
I'm...sorr...y...


I:Mash:
Senpai!!!

Record's Fragment

Narration:
If anyone were to ask when my life changed, I know exactly what I would tell them: springtime, when I was fifteen.

Narration:
That said, this isn't the kind of thing you go around telling people about. By all rights, I should take it to my grave.

Narration:
Back then, I was enrolled in the Astromancy Department at the Clock Tower, aka the Mage's Association's headquarters.

Narration:
I was the thirteenth heir to the Wodime legacy–
the child who had been granted the protection of the stars.

Narration:
I was said to possess the greatest magical
circuits of any Wodime to date...

Narration:
...and that I was a genius who had already been promised the keys to the Wodime family in a few years' time by the eleventh head of the estate, who led the family even now.

Narration:
Those were the sort of things everyone
else would say about me.

Kirschtaria:
...Me, a genius? Even though I usually spend each
day sifting through other departments' files?

Narration:
That was always the sort of response I gave,
but I did so more from conceit than modesty.

Narration:
I knew I was talented. I was confident I would one day be exactly what everyone expected me to be and more.

Narration:
I wanted for nothing; not lineage, nor talent, nor affection. With so many things working in my favor, it was easy to push myself to greater heights without leaning on my environment.

Narration:
Back then, I took pride in my excellence,
and would constantly work to further improve myself.

Narration:
I believed those blessed with natural talent should still continue to apply themselves, should set their sights on even greater stages.

Narration:
I was completely convinced that there was nothing I
could not do, and nothing that was beyond my reach.

Child Crouching On Bridge:
...

Kirschtaria:
...

Narration:
For the past six months, crossing the great bridge to
reach the Evocation Department college had become something of a routine of mine.

Narration:
I noticed what appeared to be beggars by the path at the opposite side, but I never gave them any thought.

Narration:
At the time, I didn't even see them. It wasn't that
I disliked them, or that I was trying to avoid them.

Narration:
It was that, for me,
they may as well not have existed at all.

Narration:
I was a prodigy, born to carve out a new age of magecraft. I didn't have time to get involved with people like them.

Narration:
I was born into an environment far better than most could hope for, with talents far greater than most could dream of.

Narration:
That was why I had a duty to fulfill.

Narration:
I was going to create something beautiful.
I was going to create something wonderful.

Narration:
It was that ideal, that passion, that made me apply myself to my studies day in and day out.

Narration:
It was the reason I so frequently visited that college,
even when it arguably belonged to an enemy.

Narration:
I didn't realize how arrogant
I was being, how childish.

Narration:
On that day, I was headed home later than usual. It was the middle of the night, with no one on the bridge, and the stars hidden behind the clouds.

Man in Hat:
Kirschtaria Wodime.

Narration:
Everything happened so fast that I failed to react in time. That turned out to be a fatal mistake.

Narration:
I wasn't surprised that an assassin had been
sent to try to kill someone as young as me.

Narration:
I was surprised because my would-be assassin was a manservant I had frequently seen in my own house.

Narration:
I counterattacked automatically, before I even thought about what to do, thanks to the spells that had been engraved onto my body.

Narration:
The assassin never got another chance. Vacuum blades
sliced him to bits before he could pull the trigger again.

Narration:
But, it was enough. He had already critically
wounded me, and there was no hope of escape.

Narration:
He wasn't the only assassin who had been
sent to take my life. I knew because...

Man in Coat:
It's done. Send out more men.
Find Kirschtaria's body.

Narration:
...it was my father, trying to kill his own son.

Kirschtaria:
Ghh...!

Man in Coat:
He fell into the river! Find him!

Narration:
Of course, I wasn't the one who had fallen in.
It was my ring, after I had cast a weight alteration spell on it.

Narration:
I knew it wouldn't do more than buy me some time,
but at that moment, it was the best move I could make.

Narration:
After I drew the assassins' attention towards the river, I activated a footstep cancellation spell in my shoes and got as far away from them as I could.

Kirschtaria:
Okay... Now what do I...

Narration:
My consciousness began to fade away.

Narration:
I went back to the bridge instead of heading to the city exit, and my strength gave out just as I was making my way to a narrow back alley.

Narration:
At the time, I didn't yet know that my assailant's
weapon wasn't ordinary magecraft...

Narration:
...Rather, it was a kind of poison just like the sort used by a famous mage killer that was designed to attack magical circuits directly.

Kirschtaria:
...Ghh...

Narration:
I was in a dimly lit room. Within it was nothing more than the sound of dripping water and the scent of mildew.

Narration:
I was on a makeshift bed made from an old wooden crate.
A bare minimum of bandaging had been applied to my back.

Narration:
There was no pillow. No blankets.
And no restraints on my arms or legs.

Narration:
I was technically free, but unfortunately, I wasn't able to move so much as a finger. The wound in my chest had yet to close, and I lacked the strength even to stand.

Narration:
I had been laid down to rest with
no more ceremony than a corpse.

Kirschtaria:
Where...am I...

Narration:
At first, I thought my assassins had captured me...but
then I realized they would have no reason to keep me alive.

Narration:
After all, since it was my own family was trying to kill me, there was little sense in torturing me for information.

Narration:
I couldn't understand what was going on.
My thoughts refused to put themselves in order.

Narration:
Still just barely conscious, I managed to crane my neck enough to observe the dimly lit room...

Something Creepy:
Heehee... Heeheehee...
...Heehee... Heehee...

Kirschtaria:
...

Narration:
Something was in the corner of the room, as if it were
trying to hide from what little light there was.

Narration:
It was then that I noticed something...strange staring directly at me.

Kadoc:
(...Seriously?)

Kadoc:
(Just when I decide to stop by so it doesn't look
like I've been gone for two days straight...)

Kirschtaria:
(...Zzzzzz.)

Kadoc:
I can't believe this guy. He's just basking in the sun, snoozing away on a bench without so much as a single guard.

Kadoc:
...Hey. Hey, Wodime, don't you
think it's time you got up?

Kadoc:
You ARE the Crypters' leader, right?

Kadoc:
Aren't you the one guy representing humanity in the power struggle between the Olympian gods and humans?

Kadoc:
How can you just leave yourself completely defenseless
like this!? Come on, wake up already!

Kirschtaria:
...Is that you, Kadoc?
Wait... Kadoc...?

Kirschtaria:
What are you doing here?
This is my roo–

Kirschtaria:
...Never mind. No it isn't. This is the Hanging Gardens of the Great Orbital Shrine Olympia.

Kirschtaria:
Well, that was careless of me. The sunlight was so pleasant that I didn't even realize I had fallen asleep. I was dreaming about something I hadn't thought about in a long time.

Kirschtaria:
I feel very silly. I guess I just get too relaxed without Caenis around to keep me in line.

Kirschtaria:
Anyway, thank you for waking me up
before I could waste any more time.

Kadoc:
...You don't have to thank me. I only spoke
up 'cause it was weird seeing you like that.

Kirschtaria:
Weird? How so?

Kadoc:
Well, you're not exactly the sort of
guy to just doze off out in public.

Kadoc:
You're, like, perfectionism incarnate.
You don't get to take naps like a typical college slacker.

Kirschtaria:
...I see. While I do take some issue with the impression you seem to have of me...

Kirschtaria:
...I also understand now why it is you were so surprised. I'll be more careful in future.

Kirschtaria:
Now then, what is it you wished to see me about, Kadoc?
Do you have something to report to me?

Kadoc:
(Aw crap. I was so shocked seeing him sleeping like that I forgot I didn't actually have anything to tell him...)

Kadoc:
(And I can't just fib, or he'll know I've been up to something... Wait, I've got it.)

Kadoc:
They got Demeter.

Kadoc:
One of the great gods of Olympus, gone just like that.
Some perfect being she turned out to be.

Kadoc:
Oh, and one more thing.
A tan Lancer with white hair was helping them out.

Kadoc:
Luckily, it looks like Europa didn't catch that part.

Kadoc:
So, how's it feel, Wodime?

Kadoc:
How's it feel knowing the loser you thought you'd disposed of is not only alive, but actively working against you now?

Kirschtaria:
That is a surprise. I never would have expected Caenis to go over to Chaldea's side.

Kirschtaria:
And they managed to destroy Demeter's true form?
They must have been far better prepared than I thought.

Kirschtaria:
So, a tiny rebel force managed to bring down a powerful authority figure. How very...rock 'n' roll.

Kirschtaria:
No, wait. Heavy metal feels more appropriate,
given the composition of the gods' bodies.

Kadoc:
Uh... Am I going deaf or did you
just make a lame pun about music?

Kirschtaria:
...Apologies.
Perhaps I have not quite awakened yet.

Kirschtaria:
At any rate, I'm surprised you knew
something even Queen Europa did not.

Kirschtaria:
It almost sounds as though you were there watching things unfold in person, Kadoc. You must have found yourself a very good familiar indeed.

Kadoc:
...Well, you know, I can't just sit
around here mooching free grub forever.

Kadoc:
I'm still a Crypter, after all, so I need to be
ready to fight again at least one more time.

Kirschtaria:
I see. Then make sure you take good care of that familiar. An ace up your sleeve can mean the difference between life and death, after all.

Kirschtaria:
Rest assured, you don't need to tell me, the other Crypters, or anyone else in Olympus, what yours is.

Kirschtaria:
That said, if it should come to light that you
were using something you shouldn't be...

Kirschtaria:
...then I will unfortunately be forced to respond in whatever way is appropriate. I have my own role to fulfill, after all.

Kadoc:
... (Shit. How much does he know...?
I'd better change the subject, fast.)

Kadoc:
So, uh, by the way, about Demeter...

Kadoc:
Chaldea might've been able to beat her, but it still
wasn't because they straight up overpowered her.

Kadoc:
It looked to me like Demeter was looking for something... No, that's not right. Maybe trying to recover something.

Kadoc:
She kept apologizing, over and over.

Kadoc:
And not to the Olympians she was killing,
but to one person in particular.

Kadoc:
That's the only reason they were able to destroy her.
Any idea what she was looking for?

Kirschtaria:
...I see. So that did hold her back,
as I suspected it might.

Kirschtaria:
...Just like in Proper Human History, this Lostbelt's Demeter once had a daughter she loved dearly.

Kirschtaria:
Her name was Persephone. It's said that Demeter wept long and hard after Hades stole her away to the underworld...

Kirschtaria:
...yet despite that,
she never stopped loving her daughter.

Kirschtaria:
But, a few thousand years ago,
her daughter died during the fourth machia.

Kadoc:
...Hang on, Wodime. That doesn't add up.

Kadoc:
I don't know if she was a full god or a demigod or what, but I thought people didn't die in this city.

Kirschtaria:
Not necessarily.
Humans are simply incapable of killing other humans.

Kirschtaria:
The immortality humans enjoy in this Lostbelt is not true immortality, but pseudo-immortality.

Kirschtaria:
The gods can easily end their subjects'
pseudo-immortal lives if they wish.

Kirschtaria:
So the one who killed Persephone was–

Kadoc:
One of the gods? You mean, one of the
gods from the coexistence faction?

Kirschtaria:
No, it was not one of them.

Kadoc:
Then...

Kirschtaria:
Persephone sided with the coexistence faction,
so Zeus ordered Demeter to kill her own daughter.

Kadoc:
!

Kadoc:
...So, she was calling out to the daughter
she killed...as if she was still alive, huh.

Kadoc:
...Sounds almost human of her.

Kadoc:
These gods are machines, right? How can they function
properly when they're contradicting themselves like that?

Kirschtaria:
I understand your confusion, but it is precisely their machine nature that means this was no contradiction at all.

Kirschtaria:
Their minds don't work like ours, after all. That's the tragedy of the Twelve Olympian Machine Gods right there.

Kirschtaria:
Whether gods create humans, or humans create gods, both sides usually share a common understanding of the world in which they live.

Kirschtaria:
But the Olympians are different. They weren't gods to begin with. They only came to be defined that way over time.

Kirschtaria:
It was because their functions enabled them to control
the weather... Provide endless amounts of food...

Kirschtaria:
Destroy various life-forms' memories...
And mass-produce weapons...

Kirschtaria:
That led to the residents of this
Lostbelt seeing them as gods.

Kirschtaria:
They then incorporated this definition into their
functions in order to operate more smoothly on this planet.

Kirschtaria:
After all, the people of the ancient world wanted superior beings they could pray to, not cold, unfeeling spaceships.

Kirschtaria:
And so, they accepted the new roles they had been given, and became mechanical gods instead of mere machines.

Kirschtaria:
As a result, they ended up making this god play-acting into a new directive, all without ever understanding how the intelligent beings treating them as gods actually felt.

Kadoc:
...Cold and unfeeling, huh?

Kadoc:
So, is that why Demeter went nuts? Because she ended up with feelings tacked onto herself when she didn't need them?

Kirschtaria:
This was less a matter of contradiction
than it was of conflict.

Kirschtaria:
Humans can rationalize acts like that by telling
themselves there was nothing else they could have done...

Kirschtaria:
...but she had no choice but to treat the order to
kill her own daughter like any other assigned task.

Kirschtaria:
She wasn't crazy. She was just in pain.

Kirschtaria:
That's what it means to be a god in this Lostbelt.

Kirschtaria:
It's also why they were able to realize a real-life utopia, where nobody has to die or grow old.

Kadoc:
...And here I thought machines
always operated on pure logic.

Kadoc:
All right, if that's what the gods are like here,
then what's your game, Wodime?

Kadoc:
Your goal is to bring about the Age of Gods again, right? Is that really the kind of god you wanna be?

Kirschtaria:
Of course gods should run the world.
That being said...

Kirschtaria:
The future–the answer I seek–is a little different from Zeus's.

Kirschtaria:
What I seek, Kadoc, is an even more perfect age–an age where there will be neither conflict nor contradiction.

Kirschtaria:
It is my responsibility to see that age come about...
and, it is what the Foreign God wishes.

Kadoc:
...

Section 8: Thou Art the Ardor that Corrupts the Stars (I)

Narration:
Even as I gaze up at the sky...

Narration:
...I know nothing I see there
will ever excite me again.

Narration:
I'm not reminded of cheeky Artemis when I see the moon, nor do I think of aggravating Apollo when I see the sun.

Narration:
Even the stars are just fixed points of light. And I couldn't care less about Father Zeus's attempts to string them together into constellations.

Narration:
As far as I'm concerned, the sky is nothing
more than a vast inky expanse...

Narration:
...filled with lifeless spheres of flame
that blink in and out of view aimlessly.

Narration:
When was it that I stopped sensing
Father Zeus's love in the starry sky?

Narration:
When was it that the night sky began
to feel so far away to me?

Narration:
When was it...

Narration:
...that I became a cold, lifeless machine?

Narration:
When was it...
that I lost the love I once felt in my heart?

Narration:
Great Orbital Shrine Olympia Dodona.

Narration:
Machina Corridor.

Koyanskaya:
(Sigh) I swear, Beryl really knows how to make a girl–I mean, a stunning beauty work.

Koyanskaya:
I'm glad he introduced me to a new client, of course...

Koyanskaya:
...but I certainly wasn't expecting
a contract on this scale.

Koyanskaya:
Toilet paper, airplanes, and everything in between–basically, anything I can find that comes from Proper Human History is a tall order, even for me.

Koyanskaya:
I still can't believe I ultimately agreed to deliver an entire department store–fully stocked with both merchandise AND salesclerks, no less.

Koyanskaya:
Ugh, I'm exhausted. I've never wanted
to go on a vacation so badly before.

Koyanskaya:
Not that I can afford to take one now, given what things are like at my chosen vacation spot.

Koyanskaya:
To think that mighty Olympus, home base
of mechanical gods and Crypters alike...

Koyanskaya:
...would already have lost one of its key Divinities?

Koyanskaya:
So much for this being the greatest Lostbelt of all.
What an absolute joke this place turned out to be.

Aphrodite:
Teehee. Teeheeheeheehee.
And what might you be, hmm?

Aphrodite:
You were wailing too loudly to be talking to yourself, and your voice was too irritatingly shrill to be the growling of an insipid beast.

Aphrodite:
Whichever it was, I don't want to hear another word, you Lycaon painted wolf. Remember, you are in the presence of a god, so you are to conduct yourself accordingly.

Koyanskaya:
Oh my, I'm so terribly sorry.
I do hope you can forgive me.

Koyanskaya:
Had I known there was a god here, and one prone to something so base as eavesdropping to boot, I'd have spoken more softly.

Koyanskaya:
Oh, wait, I'm sorry. Perhaps I have it all wrong. Perhaps you're simply distraught over losing one of your mechanical comrades?

Koyanskaya:
In that case, I really must apologize.
I would never want to offend a customer, after all.

Koyanskaya:
I would understand perfectly if we were talking about one of the Twelve Olympians from Proper Human History who'd already lost the Aletheia they received from Primordial Chaos...

Koyanskaya:
But seeing how, here in this Lostbelt, you're all still completely static mechanical gods who never even heard of panta rhei...

Koyanskaya:
Well, I simply never would have dreamed you'd feel
anything in the way of pity for a fellow goddess...

Koyanskaya:
...who was so careless as to let
mere humans get the better of her.

Aphrodite:
Well, well.

Aphrodite:
You ARE a funny one, aren't you?

Aphrodite:
I've never heard a woman speak so defiantly towards me before. At least, not when they were aware I'm the goddess of love and beauty.

Aphrodite:
You're one of the gods from a foreign land, right?
I can certainly see how well you fit in with Limbo.

Koyanskaya:
That's very kind of you to say.
But I'm afraid I must correct you on one thing.

Koyanskaya:
I may be an Alter Ego Servant...

Koyanskaya:
...but I am not one of the
Foreign God's three Disciples.

Koyanskaya:
Our arrangement is purely professional.
Our mutual interests just happen to align. That's all.

Aphrodite:
Oh, really? Then whose Servant are you?

Aphrodite:
Oh, right. Come to think of it, I think I've heard about Servants who weren't summoned by anyone in particular.

Aphrodite:
Somebody once warned us that there were seven evil Spirit Origins that materialized on their own, without anything or anyone calling for them.

Aphrodite:
Hmm. I wonder who it was?

Koyanskaya:
Rasputin, most likely.

Koyanskaya:
He does so enjoy giving out warnings that seem nonsensical at first but turn out to be surprisingly helpful in the end.

Koyanskaya:
Still, that particular warning doesn't have
anything to do with me! Not yet, anyway!

Koyanskaya:
Nor, I'm sure, does the omen of a beast have
anything to do with you, O beautiful Venus.

Aphrodite:
...Heh.

Aphrodite:
Ahahahahahaha! Nice, very nice.
You really are funny, aren't you?

Aphrodite:
We've never had anyone like you in Olympus before.

Aphrodite:
Like Limbo, you don't even try to hide your wicked nature...but you...you don't sneer just to sneer, hm?

Aphrodite:
I like you. What's your name?

Koyanskaya:
Tamamo Vitch Koyanskaya.
But please, just call me Koyanskaya, Venus.

Aphrodite:
Very nice. I like the way you call me by
my other Proper Human History name too.

Aphrodite:
You know, I think you and I have a lot in common. Don't you think we could be at least something close to friends?

Koyanskaya:
Close to friends? Absolutely.
But are you sure that's a good idea?

Aphrodite:
What do you mean?

Koyanskaya:
Well, word has it that the gods of Olympus
protect all humans fairly, you see.

Koyanskaya:
Word also has it that you show extra favor to the Ancients–the descendants of intelligent beings from a bygone continent.

Koyanskaya:
Some even say that you, well, love them.

Aphrodite:
Oh, that.

Aphrodite:
True, Demeter did like to talk about love this and love that, but I've never gone in for that stuff with humans.

Aphrodite:
After all, I only oversee love.
I don't engage in it.

Koyanskaya:
Oh my. I see you're just as beautiful on
the inside as you are on the outside.

Koyanskaya:
So you only oversee love without engaging in it, hmm? Hehehe. How very interesting...

Koyanskaya:
Some gods in Proper Human History also liked to protect humans, while others liked to possess them, but I never heard of one who liked to keep humans as pets.

Koyanskaya:
While I can't say I share your particular tastes...

Koyanskaya:
...I do have to agree that you and I both appreciate the finer points of cruelty.

Narration:
In the Hanging Gardens.

Peperoncino:
I didn't overhear your whole conversation, but it certainly sounded like you two were getting along swimmingly.

Peperoncino:
I take it you and Koyanskaya are
really hitting it off then?

Aphrodite:
Who asked you, Crypter? What business is it of yours who I do or do not get along with?

Aphrodite:
Anyway, never mind that.
There's something I've been meaning to ask you.

Peperoncino:
Me? You have a question for me?

Peperoncino:
Normally, I'd be more than happy to expound at length about love...but I have a feeling my more modern sensibilities would be a tad too cruel for an ancient god like yourself.

Peperoncino:
Can I ask if you're, you know,
up-to-date on the latest beauty standards?

Aphrodite:
Up-to-date?

Aphrodite:
Why exactly would I need to update my standards?
I already AM beauty.

Aphrodite:
Beauty is my domain, so I and I alone decide what is beautiful in this world.

Aphrodite:
All you humans need to do is comply with my aesthetics.
Do that, and you'll be happy and well.

Peperoncino:
...Spoken like a true god.

Peperoncino:
You make a good point.
Some gods are kind, while others are strict.

Peperoncino:
I guess you're your strict self today, huh? Not that I've ever seen so much as a hint of your kind side.

Aphrodite:
Fortunately for you, I'm curious enough to overlook your insolence. At least this time.

Aphrodite:
Remember? I said I had a question for you.

Aphrodite:
Tell me, human who calls himself Peperoncino:
How does it feel to have lost your Lostbelt?

Peperoncino:
...Huh?

Aphrodite:
Teehee. That IS what happened, isn't it? You lost
the entire ancient land of India, just like that!

Aphrodite:
So I can't help but be curious about how impossibly
incompetent you must be to allow a miracle like that!

Aphrodite:
You know, I was really looking forward to
invading the other Lostbelts with Zeus.

Aphrodite:
I wanted to kill the tsar of those humans who turned themselves into Demonic Beasts... I wanted to kill the goddess who kept those human breeding grounds running for thousands of years...

Aphrodite:
I wanted to utterly destroy that uppity
emperor who claimed to be a Zhenren...

Aphrodite:
And I wanted to mash your head into paste, along with that insolent syncretic god who ate up all those other gods.

Aphrodite:
But now... (Sigh)

Aphrodite:
Chaldea's destroyed them all before we
had the chance. It's SO disappointing.

Peperoncino:
You're right. I have no one to blame for my loss but
myself. I'm sorry I couldn't live up to your expectations.

Aphrodite:
Hmph. Here I thought you'd either cower in fear or blow up in anger, but you didn't do either. You're no fun, Pepe.

Peperoncino:
Well, it's a fact, and you can't argue with facts. That
goes for both your godlike aspirations and my own failure.

Peperoncino:
But I suppose there is one thing I'd like to say in response. To be clear, these are just my honest thoughts. There's no deeper motive here.

Aphrodite:
Well? What is it?

Peperoncino:
You're not very attractive, are you? Your Proper Human
History mythological counterpart was much more charming.

Peperoncino:
I always knew of Aphrodite as the goddess of love and beauty, though as Zeus's daughter, she also acted as the god of death at times.

Peperoncino:
Her body was the Platonic ideal of the female form, and I also suspect that Ishtar, the Sumerian goddess of Venus, had some influence on her divine manifestation.

Peperoncino:
But in your case, at least as you are now, well...

Aphrodite:
...Go on, Pepe. Tell me, how do I seem to you?

Peperoncino:
Hmm. Speaking strictly personally...

Peperoncino:
I've always known Aphrodite to have two distinct sides
to her Divinity, but I can only see one side to you.

Aphrodite:
Never mind the rigmarole. Just spit it out already.
How do I seem to you, Pepe?

Peperoncino:
...

Peperoncino:
Well, unlike your Proper Human History self...

Peperoncino:
...you don't seem like you'd
ever choose to marry Hephaestus.

Aphrodite:
...Is that so?

Peperoncino:
That's not to say that certain aspects of you aren't just like your counterpart in Proper Human History, though.

Peperoncino:
Do you know about the Trojan War? The war fought
between Grecian allies and the kingdom of Troy?

Aphrodite:
A war fought solely between humans? Who cares?

Peperoncino:
You were partially responsible for it, even in Proper
Human History. You won over Prince Paris of Troy and offered the Trojans your protection, along with Apollo and the other gods.

Peperoncino:
Ultimately, your actions led to a massive
war that brought all of Troy to ruin.

Peperoncino:
Your self from Proper Human History never
wanted things to turn out that way, but–

Aphrodite:
She didn't?

Aphrodite:
Well then, she's nothing like me at all.

Aphrodite:
I'd never think twice about destroying a human
nation or two. In fact, I'd enjoy it!

Aphrodite:
And when I was done,
I'd give the survivors a big smile.

Aphrodite:
I'd give them my condolences on the difficult time they endured, and encourage them to do better next time!

Aphrodite:
Then I'd tell them I'd give them a reward
depending on how hard they worked.

Aphrodite:
And when there was only one human left standing,
I'd give them a genuine smile!

--ARROW--

Mordred:
No, no, no. This is all wrong...

Mordred:
No way do you show up looking like...that!

Mordred:
Where am I?

Mordred:
...Camelot? ...Avalon?
No, no!

Mordred:
This is Olympus! It's gotta be!
You and I got no reason to fight!

Mordred:
Who is that!?

Mordred:
Who's singing...in my freakin' head!?

Fran:
Aah, ughhh...
Aaaaaaaaahhh!

Mordred:
Fran? Is that you!?

Sakata Kintoki:
Easy there, girlie!
What's gotten into ya!?

Sakata Kintoki:
Mordred's our friend! Don'tcha remember fighting
that giant mechanical Argos together!?

Fran:
Ughhhhhh!
Aah, ah, aaaaaahhh!

Mordred:
Kin...toki...! You are...Sakata Kintoki...right?

Sakata Kintoki:
Hell yeah I am! Wait. You were just goin' to town on her yourself, weren't ya!?

Sakata Kintoki:
The hell's goin' on!?
You two were doin' fine just a little while ago!

Sakata Kintoki:
We even finally got that Argos thing to stop regeneratin' itself! All we had left to do was plant the goods!

Sakata Kintoki:
Boss!
Boss Raikou!

Minamoto-no-Raikou:
Kintoki...

Sakata Kintoki:
Boss, I need your help!
We need to get these two to–

Minamoto-no-Raikou:
It's too late, Kintoki. There's nothing we can do
for them now. We've made a dreadful mistake.

Minamoto-no-Raikou:
The Argos was nothing more than a decoy. We are little more than flies lured into the spider's web.

Minamoto-no-Raikou:
I'm afraid...I won't be able to
control myself much longer, either.

Minamoto-no-Raikou:
I was able to endure it a little
thanks to my Madness Enhancement...

Minamoto-no-Raikou:
But very soon...
I won't be able to stop myself from killing you.

Sakata Kintoki:
!!!

Minamoto-no-Raikou:
So please, Kintoki. My dear child, please...

Minamoto-no-Raikou:
Kill me! Right now!

Sakata Kintoki:
Don't even joke about that, Boss!

Fran:
Ugh... Ah... Aah...

Mordred:
Ah... Aah... Aaaaaaaaah!
Wh-what've I done...!?

Mordred:
Dammit! ...Fran!
...I'm sorry!

--ARROW--

Narration:
.........

Narration:
......

Narration:
...

Musashi:
Oh good, you're up.

Musashi:
Morning, Fujimaru.
You did great yesterday.

Musashi:
Oh, uh, right. You're probably wondering
what I'm doing in here, huh? Ahaha.

Musashi:
I did knock a few times, but you never answered,
so...I got worried.

Musashi:
Sorry!


Fujimaru 1:
No worries.

Musashi:
Hehe. That's very kind of you.


Fujimaru 2:
It's all good. Morning, Musashi.

Musashi:
Good morning.


Musashi:
I guess you're still a little sleepy? Now that
I think of it, you always were hard to wake up.

Musashi:
But that's fine. You did just get through a battle with an honest-to-goodness god, after all.

Musashi:
Not to mention you almost died.


Fujimaru 1:
I had a feeling that was the case.



Fujimaru 1:
...But I'm okay now. I think.


Musashi:
You sure?
As a matter of fact...

Musashi:
Mash was right by your side up until dawn.

Musashi:
She insisted she was going to stay with you until
you woke up, but she was pretty worn out herself.

Musashi:
So we all kind of ganged up on her to convince her to take a nap. It took a while, but eventually she agreed...

Musashi:
And now, here we are, with me checking in on you.

Musashi:
Sorry if I woke you up.
I promise I didn't mean to.

Musashi:
You don't have to get up if you're not ready to, okay?

Musashi:
I'm pretty sure your body's recovered by now, but if you still wanna rest a bit, you've more than earned it.


Fujimaru 1:
Well then, I think I'll do just that...


Musashi:
Go for it. And in the meantime,
I'll tell you about what's going on outside!


Fujimaru 1:
What happened to the city after we beat Demeter?

Musashi:
...You really want to know?


Musashi:
I took a quick peek outside earlier, and it looked
like recovery operations were already underway.

Musashi:
Over half the populace had come back to life, and I didn't see anything in the way of dead bodies or blood splatters.

Musashi:
I think they said something about Zeus taking over
the harvest Authority now that Demeter is gone.

Musashi:
No wonder they call him almighty.

Musashi:
As for Demeter's remains... Well, a whole buncha machines just showed up out of nowhere...

Musashi:
...disassembled her into her component parts,
and carried them all back to the big sky shrine.

Musashi:
It was a crazy sight, believe me. I wish you could've seen it. The way things were going, I bet the whole district'll be good as new in a few days.


Fujimaru 1:
Wow, that does sound amazing.

Musashi:
It was. Fighting might be our only option in the Lostbelts, but that part was still incredible.


Fujimaru 2:
...For the moment, I'm glad to hear that.

Musashi:
...So that's your reaction, huh.

Musashi:
It's true, we're lucky we got out of that with so few losses. Just don't push your luck too much, okay?


Musashi:
Anyway, how tough was Demeter, huh!?
Talk about a worthy opponent!

Musashi:
She totally would've kicked our asses if we didn't have Caenis's fire bird going all FWOOOSH! Not to mention the alliance and Chaldea's secret weapons!

Musashi:
Me, on the other hand...
Well, I was kinda useless.

Musashi:
Guess I should've known it wouldn't be easy
to cut through a hunk of metal that huge...

Musashi:
I only pulled it off in Russia 'cause I was suuuper focused. It's a whole different story when you're up against a solid mass of machinery...

Musashi:
...It just goes to show there's some things I can't cut even from the void. Honestly, it makes me wonder if there's anything an empty sword even CAN cut...

Musashi:
I can see the zero that lies beyond the void.

Musashi:
And I know that's my ultimate destination, whether it's Proper Human History Musashi or me, but still...


Fujimaru 1:
Well, I'm still glad you were there, Musashi.


Musashi:
Ehehe. Reeeallyyy?

Musashi:
Well, I'm really glad you're here. I tend to
fall into bad habits real easily, as you know.

Musashi:
That's why I need someone like you who's got
their act together counting on me for help!

Musashi:
Whoops, sorry about that.
Guess that means it's time for breakfast!

Musashi:
Like they say, you can't wage war on an empty stomach,
and breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Musashi:
Plus, Mash ought to be waking up soon,
and I bet she'll be waiting in the cafeteria.

Musashi:
So come on, let's go!

Mash:
Senpai, you're up! Good morning!

Fou:
Fooou!

Mash:
You look so much better than you did yesterday...

Mash:
You really are back to your old self again, aren't you?

Mash:
Oh, thank goodness...


Fujimaru 1:
Sorry to worry you!


Fujimaru 2:
Don't worry, I'm fine now! And I'm starving!

Mash:
Right!


Goredolf:
Ahh, there you are, Fujimaru.

Goredolf:
Hmm, yes, you look quite alert for
having just woken up. Very good.

Goredolf:
Fortunately, the Demi-Servant there has already
briefed me on your current situation.

Holmes:
Congratulations on your recovery,
[♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru.

Holmes:
Interesting. It would seem the medical facilities
in this alliance base are truly exceptional.

Holmes:
While we do have healing Mystic Codes of our own,
they alone would not have been enough to save your life.

Holmes:
Indeed, Olympian technology deserves all of the credit for your continued survival.

Holmes:
I am, of course, kidding.
It's actually Proper Human History magecraft.

Holmes:
Specifically, healing spells designed for people from Proper Human History that the Alliance Heroic Spirits left behind.


Fujimaru 1:
...So they really saved us in more ways than one then.


Holmes:
Indeed. If it had not been for both their Seven Link
Heroic Spirit Cannon, and their advanced healing spells...

Holmes:
...there is an excellent chance
we would not be here right now.

Goredolf:
Ahem. May I go on now?

Goredolf:
There's still the matter of you falling asleep at the beginning of our teleconference...but, under the circumstances, I'm willing to overlook it.

Goredolf:
Excellent work yesterday. Now that Demeter is gone, we've taken a significant step toward our goal.

Adele:
Good morning. Breakfast is on the table.

Adele:
I know you should be physically recovered now,
but you still need to eat to replenish your strength.

Macarios:
Sorry for serving the same kind of food as yesterday.
Neither my sister nor I are much for cooking.

Adele:
Hey, speak for yourself, Macarios. I like cooking
just fine. I even took a course for it, remember?

Macarios:
Yeah, two thousand years ago...

Macarios:
Come on, Sister, you and I both know you haven't really cared about food for at least the last few hundred years.

Macarios:
And that line about needing to
eat to replenish your strength?

Macarios:
You haven't said anything like that in at least
ten thousand years. Don't be silly, Sister.

Adele:
Come on, Macarios. Not in front of our guests.


Fujimaru 1:
I'll have breakfast later, thank you.

Adele:
Okay.


Fujimaru 2:
Director, Adele and Macarios are

Goredolf:
Yes, I've been informed.
They're the two locals who have been helping you out.

Goredolf:
Apparently, they know who we are and what we're here to do and are willing to help us anyway, despite being native inhabitants of this Lostbelt.

Goredolf:
Not just willing, in fact. As I recall, they asked to help of their own accord, hard as that is to believe...

Goredolf:
But, then again, perhaps I would feel similarly
if I had lived for as long as them.

Goredolf:
Perhaps if I'd studied magecraft to obtain a long life for myself, I might have had something better to say to them...

Goredolf:
Hmm...


Goredolf:
...Adele and Macarios, are you
two truly certain about this?

Goredolf:
If we succeed at cutting down the Tree of Emptiness,
then you two will... You know...

Adele:
You don't need to worry about us, Director Goredolf.

Macarios:
Yeah, we're just as dedicated to the God Destroyer Alliance as anybody, and we know exactly what's at stake here.

Goredolf:
I see. In that case, I have nothing more to say.

Goredolf:
...

Goredolf:
...So, you two are utopian humans
who never age a day, huh?

Goredolf:
There may be significant differences in your life spans...but seeing how empty you seem to be, I can't help but be reminded of the homunculi's–

Holmes:
I think that's enough for now, Director.

Goredolf:
O-oh, right.
Ahem!

Goredolf:
Now then, since you're only just joining us,
Fujimaru, let me fill you in on the Storm Border's status!

Goredolf:
Captain Nemo is still recovering, and while my technical advisor technically still is, too–

Da Vinci:
Hey, hey! Morning, Fujimaru!

Goredolf:
Hey! Aren't you supposed to be recovering!?

Da Vinci:
Oh come on, it's just a short talk!

Da Vinci:
So Fujimaru, are you getting enough sleep?
Did you have breakfast yet?

Da Vinci:
You might not be too hungry right now thanks to the load you put on your nervous system yesterday, so just take your time getting the nutrients you need.

Da Vinci:
You basically have to overload your
body in order to use the Black Barrel.

Da Vinci:
Since you were connected directly to it when you loaded it with a Command Spell, the recoil must have been intense.


Fujimaru 1:
I know.


Fujimaru 2:
Believe me, I noticed...


Da Vinci:
I mean, it's no surprise it took a hell of a lot out of you, seeing how it let you take down a god with one shot.

Da Vinci:
Command Spells might be incredible sources of compressed magical energy strong enough to control Heroic Spirit–that is, Ghost Liner materialization...

Da Vinci:
...but they're still not enough to fire the Black Barrel at full power.

Mash:
Then, you mean–

Da Vinci:
Like I said right before you fired it...

Da Vinci:
...the Black Barrel places a much, much heavier
load on your body than a normal Command Spell.

Da Vinci:
And that's just for a single shot. Trying to fire it in rapid succession could very easily kill you.

Mash:
!

Da Vinci:
Firing consecutively, without giving yourself time to recover in between, has a high risk of inducing heart failure...

Da Vinci:
...and it would also put Mash out of commission, since she's directly linked to the Ortinax when firing it.

Da Vinci:
So basically, try to fire it more than once,
and you all die. Be careful with it.

Note: Branch Begin


Fujimaru 1:
You're not sugarcoating this, huh?


Fujimaru 2:
Got it. I'll do my best not to have to fire it more than once.


Note: First Choice

Fujimaru 1:
You're not sugarcoating this, huh?

Da Vinci:
I'm sorry.

Da Vinci:
I thought it'd be better to just come right out
and say it instead of tiptoeing around it...

Da Vinci:
But in retrospect, I should've been a little more delicate. Again, I'm sorry.


Fujimaru 1:
It's okay.


Fujimaru 2:
It's fine. I appreciate you being straight with us.

Da Vinci:
...Glad to hear it.


Note: Second Choice

Fujimaru 2:
Got it. I'll do my best not to have to fire it more than once.

Da Vinci:
Good. The key takeaway here is mainly to be very,
very careful about when you use it.


Note: Branch End

Da Vinci:
...Whoops, got a little dizzy there.
I can't believe I almost fell down over nothing.

Goredolf:
Nothing, my foot!

Goredolf:
I swear, do you even realize how hard you pushed
yourself putting the Black Barrel together?

Goredolf:
And that's not even getting into how you were already worn out to begin with. Enough is enough, Technical Advisor. For the time being, you need to dedicate yourself solely to recovery, is that clear?

Da Vinci:
...'Kaaay.

Mash:
Da Vinci... I didn't realize you were
working yourself so hard to help us.


Fujimaru 1:
Please take it easy for a while, Da Vinci.


Fujimaru 2:
Even you need your rest, Da Vinci!


Da Vinci:
Ah, this is nothing compared to what you two are going
through on the front line. But, okay, I'll try to rest.

Goredolf:
Hmph, you'd better.
All right, that's enough from the technical advisor.

Goredolf:
Now then, let's keep bringing each
other up to speed, shall we?

Goredolf:
Er, Mash, this may be somewhat unseemly to ask,
but did you-know-who come in handy?

Mash:
Um... I'm sorry, I actually don't
think I know what you mean.

Goredolf:
Oh come now, sure you do! The terrifying helper I waited to send your way until the time was just right!

Goredolf:
We may be enemies, but for now, you can trust Caenis. Just do your best to stay on good terms, so you can keep making good use of–

Caenis:
Good use of what?

Goredolf:
I mean, er, good, useful steps toward recovery! That's it! A-at any rate, the, um, important thing is that you're all getting along!

Caenis:
Oh sure, we're getting along great. How's that saying go again? The closer you are with someone, the more you fight?

Fou:
Fo fou!?

Mash:
Caenis!!!

Mash:
I-I, um...
Good morning...?


Fujimaru 1:
M-morning.


Fujimaru 2:
Bonjour.


Caenis:
Hey. Morning pleasantries, huh?
Kinda laid-back bunch, ain'tcha?

Goredolf:
We make it a point to make ourselves feel at home wherever we go. S-so, how are things with you, Caenis?

Caenis:
Little sluggish since I'm low on magical energy, but I'm okay otherwise. Better now we smashed Demeter's face in.

Adele:
Good morning, Caenis.

Macarios:
So you were one of the Argonauts
in Proper Human History, huh.

Macarios:
I appreciate you helping us out against Demeter...
but does that mean you're going to join our alliance?

Caenis:
Huh?

Caenis:
The hell do you think?
Hey.

Musashi:
Yes? Do you need my seal
of approval or something?

Caenis:
Hell no.
I'm not here to be friends with any of you punks.

Caenis:
I'm just here to help and to repay my debts.
Both to you punks, and to Kirschtaria.

Fou:
Fou...?

Caenis:
But don't forget, dipshits,
this only lasts until my debt is paid.

Caenis:
Soon as it is, we're gonna right
back to killing each other!


Fujimaru 1:
Fine with me. Welcome aboard.


Fujimaru 2:
Glad to have you with us for as long as you're around, Caenis.


Caenis:
...Good.

Caenis:
Best of luck going up against those hunks of metal.
You're gonna need it.

Holmes:
Hmm. Interesting.

Holmes:
I was aware Fujimaru and Mash frequently
accomplished their goals with help from allies made
along the way, but I didn't know our new director
shared the same trait.

Holmes:
Alternatively, there may simply be something about
Chaldea that naturally attracts people of that temperament.

Goredolf:
Hah! As much as I enjoy the flattery, Administrative Advisor, be warned that it won't affect your bonus!

Goredolf:
Now, where was I...
Oh, yes. The Black Barrel.

Goredolf:
Just because you've had that Conceptual Weapon fitted to the Ortinax, Mash, doesn't mean you should use it lightly.

Goredolf:
Remember, you still ultimately need
Fujimaru's Command Spells to fire it.

Goredolf:
And since you already used one in
your battle against Demeter...

Goredolf:
...that means you can only fire the Black
Barrel two more times. Remember that.

Musashi:
Only two more times, huh?
...That's not very many at all.

Goredolf:
Indeed, it isn't.

Goredolf:
And don't forget, we can't replenish your Command Spells anymore, even if you're able to make it back to the Border.

Goredolf:
The only way you'll be able to restore them is to return to Chaldea Base and connect yourself to a few Magical Reactors, as usual.

Holmes:
Ah yes, speaking of which, what is the Storm Border's
status? Are you still completely defenseless?

Goredolf:
Funny you should ask, since you're the one who left us high and dry in the first place!

Goredolf:
Yes, needless to say, we're still very much completely defenseless. I wish you could send us a Heroic Spirit to help us out, but I know that's just not possible right now.

Goredolf:
So in the meantime, we'll be here laying low
as we wait and hope that your plan succeeds.

Goredolf:
Besides, I'm sure Captain will wake up soon, and when he does, I can ask him to defend the Border to the best of his ability–without exacerbating his condition, of course.

Goredolf:
Rest assured, I'm prepared to bargain with as many soft, buttery croissants as necessary.

Macarios:
...

Holmes:
Something on your mind, Macarios?

Macarios:
I was just thinking about how we could get you guys
back to your ship if you needed to go there...

Macarios:
You said you made an emergency landing
in the western frontier zone, right?

Goredolf:
Is that what you call this area?
At any rate, yes, that sounds right.

Macarios:
Gotcha. Never mind, then.
There's no safe way to get there.

Macarios:
Sorry for getting your hopes up.
Just forget I said anything.


Fujimaru 1:
Maybe there's no safe way to get to the frontier zone,but is there one for other zones?


Fujimaru 2:
Does that mean there's a safe way to get to the other zones?


Adele:
Yes, there is.

Macarios:
We can use the underground infrastructure. It won't let
us go everywhere, but it can get us to a lot of places.

Goredolf:
Hmm, I see. I'll have to remember that.

Caenis:
...Hey, Mustache.

Goredolf:
Y-yes?

Caenis:
If you only need to move one person around,
I can take 'em myself.

Caenis:
Having Authority over the sea means I've also got the power to navigate it. Basically means I can cross any border, Lostbelt or not.

Caenis:
But hey, it's up to you. 'Sides, I'm not gonna lie;
it can be a rough way to travel.

Holmes:
The Authority to cross borders...

Holmes:
So it was Poseidon's gift that let
you move freely between Lostbelts.

Caenis:
Do. Not.

Caenis:
Say.

Caenis:
That. Name.

Holmes:
Ah yes, I do beg your pardon. I'm afraid I'm one of those sorts who must think out loud to put their thoughts in order, you see.

Fou:
Fou, fou?

Caenis:
I don't give a shit why you do it.
Say it again, and I'll kill you then and there.

Holmes:
Duly noted.

Goredolf:
E-er, may I say something now? Is it safe to assume we're all just about up to speed now?

Goredolf:
Although...
Hmm.

Goredolf:
I never thought every Heroic Spirit who got
here before us would already be gone...

Mash:
...I'm afraid so.

Fou:
Fou...

Musashi:
But hey, at least you met up with me!
Don't worry, I got this!

Goredolf:
How!? There's only one of you!

Goredolf:
Th-then again, I suppose Miyamoto Musashi is an extremely powerful Heroic Spirit. Plus, we have Caenis on our side too!

Goredolf:
The Black Barrel's destructive force is truly remarkable, and we also have local allies providing us with safe haven.

Goredolf:
Looking at everything we have going for us,
I know I should be happy...

Goredolf:
...But, I still can't get over it.

Goredolf:
The instant we kill Demeter, Zeus just swoops in and takes over her Authority like it's no big deal!

Goredolf:
And not only that, he's already got the South District back on its feet, even after it was completely destroyed only yesterday! How can he be so damn omnipotent!?

J: A.I.:
Ah c'mon, General Gof, cheer up!
These guys are as golden as golden gets!

J: A.I.:
We might've tried to slay the gods,
but they actually pulled it off!

K: A.I.:
'Zactly! You oughta be throwin' your hands up in the
air cheering, not starin' at the ground and shit!

L: A.I.:
Ugh, aah!

M: A.I.:
Allow us to introduce ourselves again, Director of Chaldea. We are the God Destroyer Alliance–or rather, the A.I. built from its remains.

Mash:
Kintoki! Mordred!
You're here too, Fran and Raikou!

Goredolf:
Ah... Aah...
Aaaaaah...

Goredolf:
So all these powerful Heroic Spirits working together
still weren't enough to defeat the gods of Olympus...!

L: A.I.:
Uhhh...

L: A.I.:
Uh, aah.
Aaah.

L: A.I.:
Aah, aaaaaah!

Goredolf:
Eep!

K: A.I.:
All right, which one of you assfaces installed a Fran
persona!? How're we gonna tell 'em everything we need to tell 'em like this!?

N:A.I.:
Hahahaha! There's certainly never a dull moment with the second squad around! All right, I think this Nikola Tesla persona had best take it from here.

Macarios:
Tesla wasn't exactly a wallflower himself, you know...

Adele:
Just let it go, Macarios. We'll never get anything done
if we point out every little thing like that...

N:A.I.:
I never imagined we would get new reinforcements and weaponry at this point in the game. It seems things are looking up for the Alliance!

N:A.I.:
Now then, let us resume Operation
God Destroyer in earnest!

N:A.I.:
Let me be clear: this is not a plan for defeating the individual machine gods. This is a plan to bring down THE god: the omnipotent Zeus himself!

Mash:
Y-you really have a plan to defeat Zeus!?

Fou:
Fou fo, fooou!

Musashi:
Now that's what I'm talking about! I've been waiting to hear how us Chaldeans are going to take the fight to an omnipotent god!

Musashi:
This is so much fun, don't you think, Caenis!?

Caenis:
...Why're you dragging me into this?

Caenis:
You think fun even enters into the equation while I'm stuck with you morons? We're not friends, dipshits.

Musashi:
Now, now, don't be like that. Ours may be a business relationship, but that doesn't change the fact we'll still be fighting together!

Musashi:
Besides, don't you love throwing caution to the
wind and fighting battles against impossible odds?

Caenis:
You think I'm the same kinda headcase as you, bitch? I don't hate impossible odds, but I'm not a freakin' fan either!

Caenis:
My fun's in absolutely crushing my enemies!
I got no interest in a fight I know I can't win!

Musashi:
Oh reeeallyyy.
Then why'd you come over to our side, hmmm?

Musashi:
I'm betting you actually love fighting against impossible odds just as much as you love completely demolishing your enemies!

Musashi:
Don't worry, I totally get it!
I'm exactly the same way!

Caenis:
Didn't I just say I'm not a freakin' headcase like you?

Holmes:
Ahem. If you two would be so kind as to bond over
your shared lust for battle at a later time...

Holmes:
A.I., may I ask exactly what it is you have in mind?

Holmes:
As I recall, the Seven Link Heroic Spirit Cannon was a onetime only option. Are you saying you have something else on hand that can bring down a god?


Fujimaru 1:
You know, I think I had a dream about this...


Fujimaru 2:
I think I remember hearing something about a summoning circle?


J: A.I.:
Golden! That's it exactly, Boss!

J: A.I.:
Our last option for taking
down granddaddy Zeus himself...

J: A.I.:
...is to use a great summoning circle to summon
a major VIP ally of Proper Human History!

Mash:
A great summoning circle...

Mash:
So, you mean a spell designed
to summon a Heroic Spirit?

J: A.I.:
That's the one! Though it's gonna be a little different
from the Chaldea-style summoning you might be used to.

J: A.I.:
Now, lemme tell you how you're gonna go about summonin' this VIP! A whole bunch of Heroic Spirits from all walks of life put their heads together to come up with a foolproof, timeless method!

J: A.I.:
See, chain reaction summons happen pretty easily in Lostbelts and Singularities, so we figured all we needed to do was give that process a nudge in the right direction.

J: A.I.:
The result is the great summoning circle
I'm about to tell ya about! We call it:

J: A.I.:
The God Destroyer Grand-Class Designation Summon!

J: A.I.:
This right here's our ace in the hole!

Caenis:
A Grand Servant!?
Are you freaking serious!?

Caenis:
I don't know shit about magecraft, and even
I know a Grand Servant's a big freaking deal!

Mash:
A Grand Servant... The kind of unbelievably powerful Heroic Spirit that's usually only summoned by the true Heroic Spirit Summoning Ritual the Holy Grail War is based on!

Mash:
We've certainly encountered them before, like with Orion and the First Hassan, but even so...!


Fujimaru 1:
Yeah. We've never summoned one on our own.


Fujimaru 2:
Damn, way to go, God Destroyer Alliance!


J: A.I.:
Ahahaha! Right!? Super golden, right!?

Holmes:
I see. So your plan is to summon a Grand Servant here to Olympus, like how Orion was summoned to Atlantis.

Holmes:
But then...does that mean the conditions to
summon a Grand Servant are in place...?

Fou:
Fo, fooou?

J: A.I.:
So cool! So golden! Aw yeaaaaaah!!!

Musashi:
Yaaaaaay!

Fou:
Fooou!

M: A.I.:
It looks like the Kintoki A.I. has fallen into a
“so cool” loop, so I think I'd better take over.

M: A.I.:
This summoning spell uses multiple summoning circles
placed at various points around the city.

M: A.I.:
What's more, it also uses a certain device to ensure that the target–a figure who would normally be unsummonable–is called forth into this world.

O:A.I.:
We call it a Grand Summon Article.

O:A.I.:
In mage terms, I suppose you would call
it a Mystic Code, or perhaps a catalyst.

Mash:
King Arthur's Lancer Spirit Origin...!

Fou:
Fa, fou?

Holmes:
The King of the Storm–the avatar of the wild hunt that was seen during the Fourth Singularity. So there was yet another powerful Heroic Spirit here at one time...

O:A.I.:
The electric professor, lionhead professor, and Blavatsky designed the Article, and the Collaborator built it.

O:A.I.:
As for the great summoning circle...last we heard,
its components are still being set up in each area.

O:A.I.:
Unfortunately, the machine gods defeated us before we could see the operation through to the end, so we are trusting all of you to do so in our stead.

O:A.I.:
Destroy the gods and save humanity.

Adele:
There are seven summoning circles that make up the great summoning circle, and the Heroic Spirits managed to set up four of them.

Macarios:
Which still leaves three to go...

N:A.I.:
We can no longer help slay the
gods ourselves, unfortunately.

N:A.I.:
We ended up falling to the mechanical gods before the
great summoning circle and Article were complete.

N:A.I.:
But now, there are heroes gathered here once again,
and only three summoning circles left to go!

N:A.I.:
That sounds to me like a mission worth risking one's life over, no?

N:A.I.:
Hm? What do you think?

Caenis:
Ha! So he's all but admitting this could end up killing us,
huh? I don't know who that is, but at least he's honest!

Goredolf:
I say, am I the only one who finds the idea of an A.I. actively assigning us a dangerous mission somewhat unsettling?

P:A.I.:
Oh, for... Stop that, Mr. Tesla! You should know by now that not everyone's so eager to push themselves to their limits!

P:A.I.:
I'm sorry if we didn't convey it well, but we're not
trying to give orders. We're only providing information.

P:A.I.:
Whether you act on it or not is up to you guys.

Q:A.I.:
While we're on the subject, here is where the
remaining summoning circles need to be set up!

Q:A.I.:
This is Olympus's East District, and these three points of light are where the last summoning circles need to go.

Q:A.I.:
These other four points of light are the
ones we already finished setting up.

N:A.I.:
As of now, neither the machine gods, nor the people of Olympus, have noticed the existing summoning circles.

P:A.I.:
They'd better not, after all the trouble we went to
to hide them. Not to mention the Collaborator...

Mash:
The Collaborator...

Goredolf:
...I see. So this Operation God Destroyer was
forced to be suspended partway through.

Goredolf:
Then I suppose this is no time for half measures. We of Chaldea will pick up where the Alliance left off!

Goredolf:
And I'm saying that in front of everyone here,
Heroic Spirits included! Even you, Caenis!

Caenis:
Huh?

Goredolf:
Caenis, would you continue to aid us!?
Please! We still need your help!

Caenis:
Shut up. You think I don't know that?

Caenis:
There's no way you three Chaldea Servants
alone could possibly take down the gods.

Goredolf:
R-right. Good!
N-now then... Ahem! Ahem!

Goredolf:
We've decided our next course of action: we will complete the great summoning circle, thereby preparing for our showdown with the King of the Gods!

Holmes:
That means we'll need to make our way to Olympus's East District. I will disguise your Command Spells, so the locals are none the wiser.

Da Vinci:
So this'll be a covert mission, huh.
Good luck, Mash and Fujimaru!


Fujimaru 1:
We'll do our best!


Mash:
Right!

Goredolf:
Didn't I just tell you to get some rest, Technical Advisor!? Fine, fine. Take a moment to say goodbye, but that's all!

Goredolf:
After this, I want you going straight back into sleep
mode, no ifs, ands, or buts! Is that clear!?

Da Vinci:
...Hmph. Yeees, Teacherrr.

Goredolf:
And don't call me Teacher! I'm never going back to
the Clock Tower, not even if they were to beg me!

Section 9: Thou Art the Ardor that Corrupts the Stars (II)

Adele:
Initiating God Destroyer Alliance
Base underground transfer.


Fujimaru 1:
Huh?



Fujimaru 1:
Are we moving the entire base?


Macarios:
Yeah. Why?

Musashi:
Whoooa, everything's shaking!
Is this what riding an elevator's like?

Macarios:
This base was originally an all-purpose maintenance vehicle for the underground infrastructure. You know, the kind that goes around fixing whatever needs it.

Macarios:
We could also walk along the underground corridors, but
they're really hard to navigate, and it would take forever.

Macarios:
Of course, if you're willing to spend a few days to get to our destination, it could work. What do you want to do?


Fujimaru 1:
Let's just stick with moving the whole base.


Fujimaru 2:
Yeah, let's not even bother with walking.


Macarios:
Good call.

Macarios:
Besides, Sister and I wouldn't even be able to contact
you in the East District if we stayed here.

Macarios:
Anyway, it shouldn't take us long to get there at this
rate. Just be careful you don't lose your footing.

Musashi:
Man... I never would've even thought
to try moving this entire place!

Musashi:
It sounds like it's old hat to you guys,
but Olympian tech is pretty amazing to me.

Macarios:
It's Atlantis, not Olympus.

Musashi:
?

Macarios:
Atlantean, I mean. At least, that's
what I've heard; I don't know if it's true.

Adele:
They say our ancestors originally came to Olympus from the continent of Atlantis about ten thousand odd years ago.

Adele:
It's also why we think the second machia may
have played a part in Atlantis's destruction.

Adele:
Unfortunately, we don't know anything for sure, as all
the records pertaining to that time were lost long ago.

Fou:
Fooou, faaaaaau!


Fujimaru 1:
The continent of Atlantis?

Mash:
Th-that's right. It's believed to be a continent
that once existed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Mash:
It's one of Proper Human History's
most well-known legends.


Fujimaru 2:
As in, the mythical continent?

Mash:
Yes, that's right. The continent of Atlantis is one
of Proper Human History's most well-known legends.


Mash:
It was once a prosperous empire rich in natural resources, but over time, its people lost all respect for the gods and the rule of law...

Mash:
...so the gods punished them by flooding the entire
empire and sinking the continent into the sea.

Mash:
At least, that's how the ancient Greek philosopher Plato described it in his two dialogues, Timaeus and Critias.

Fou:
Fooou.

Mash:
It's one of many flooding legends that have been passed down through different civilizations, like Mesopotamia.

Mash:
The flooding of Atlantis is said to have taken place some time around 9000 B.C., but–

Holmes:
But the theory of continental drift claims otherwise.

Holmes:
If we assume that all our current continents were originally a single giant landmass, then there's no place where a mythical lost continent could fit.

Holmes:
...At least, that was the operating theory as of a hundred years or so ago. That said, I doubt the discovery of plate tectonics has done much to advance Atlantis's cause.

Holmes:
Furthermore, given that there have been exactly zero discoveries of any Atlantean artifacts, the sole historical record we have for its existence is Plato's writings.

Holmes:
However, that still leaves one question unanswered.

Mash:
R-right.
What if the continent of Atlantis really did exist...

Mash:
...but in a way that was completely unlike
any other continent we know about?

Holmes:
I can't deny it's a possibility.

Holmes:
Especially now that we know it is possible for something
to exist without leaving behind a single trace.

Holmes:
Namely, the realm of Mystics.

Holmes:
And that's not all. There's also the very act
of using magecraft to materialize a Servant.

Holmes:
While the existence of most things can be proven with physical evidence and written records, the same cannot be said of Mystics.

Holmes:
In which case–

Mash:
Right. If what Adele and Macarius told
us about the mechanical gods is true...

Holmes:
Precisely.

Holmes:
The gods of Olympus could have arrived on the continent of Atlantis long ago, thereby bringing civilization to prehistoric peoples.

Holmes:
Though of course, in that case, those events would be more akin to the work of Jules Verne than they would Plato's Timaeus and Critias.

Holmes:
Good grief. I can practically see Sir Doyle's face grinning in delight.

Mash:
As in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the prestigious author
who immortalized your exploits in novel form!?

Mash:
I've read every book he ever published!

Mash:
And I've seen the movie versions!
Well, at least all the ones you're in, Holmes!

Mash:
I still remember the first time I saw the
Granada version like it was yesterday...


Fujimaru 1:
Wow, Mash, you're practically glowing!

Mash:
...Ah.

Mash:
I-I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get carried away.


Fujimaru 2:
It's fun to gush about something you love, isn't it?

Mash:
...Yes, it is. Thank you, Master.


Holmes:
Hahaha. You're too kind, Ms. Kyrielight. I only hope I get a chance to tell Sir Doyle what dedicated fans he has.

Holmes:
Now then, back to the subject of Atlantis...
This has been a most fascinating discussion.

Holmes:
Depending on when this Lostbelt first came about, this could mean that the mythical continent of Atlantis truly did exist on our Earth.

Holmes:
...

Holmes:
If the same were true in Proper Human History...there would surely still be some trace of physical evidence pertaining to the continent's sinking.

Holmes:
Indeed, such an event would have affected the topography of the entire planet. No doubt someone would also have discovered something along paleomagnetic lines as well.

Holmes:
And yet, in Proper Human History, there is not one piece of evidence that the continent of Atlantis ever existed.

Fou:
Fooou...

Holmes:
...No evidence of the continent's existence, hmm.

Holmes:
Haha, by Jove, that's it! It may not be a proverbial
smoking gun, but we've got collateral evidence right here!

Mash:
Holmes?

Holmes:
Ah yes, I beg your pardon. This is still only a hypothesis, but I do believe I've solved the riddle.

Holmes:
If we assume that the legendary continent of Atlantis
truly did exist in Proper Human History...

Holmes:
...then we can now say with a fair degree of certainty
what it truly was. It's really no great mystery at all.

Holmes:
Take a look around.
Where are we standing right now?


Fujimaru 1:
On a floor...

Holmes:
Indeed we are.
But what is that floor a part of?


Fujimaru 2:
Oh, right! Olympus!

Holmes:
Precisely.


Holmes:
As you all know, we are currently standing on a small
part of the Interstellar Mountainous City of Olympus.

Holmes:
And what, pray tell, is the
nature of Olympus's existence?

Mash:
...Oh! I get it now! Olympus isn't a natural landmass.
It's a mysterious, enormous, artificial structure!

Mash:
It's essentially a virtual continent built inside a supernatural hollow space, and with advanced technology well beyond the scope of Proper Human History...

Holmes:
Right you are, Ms. Kyrielight. Granted, this is a most preliminary theory that may well change as more information comes to light. Nonetheless...

Holmes:
Hahahaha, I must say, I never dreamed this adventure of ours would involve me deducing the existence of Atlantis!

Musashi:
Ohhh, nooow I get it! Mostly!

Musashi:
Basically, Olympus and Atlantis are both pretty impressive, yeah? Totally got it.

Musashi:
Well, mostly. I mostly got it.

Musashi:
I definitely, absolutely, mostly totally got it.
...Yup.


Fujimaru 1:
If you say so, Musashi.


Fujimaru 2:
Somehow, I'm still not convinced you really get it, Musashi.


Musashi:
By the way, Adele and Macarios,
there's something I've been meaning to ask you.

Musashi:
It's about the underground infrastructure
we're using for transport as we speak.

Adele:
Sure. What is it?

Musashi:
You said this whole underground area was safe 'cause
it used to be Hades's domain or something, right?

Musashi:
I was just curious what the full story there was. Hades is one of the gods who was killed in the fourth machia, right?

Adele:
Yes, that's right.

Adele:
All the gods who fought for coexistence between human and god were defeated and destroyed during the Olympia Machia...

Adele:
...and Hades was one of them.

Macarios:
After the war, Zeus ended up taking over
the domains of every god they defeated.

Macarios:
That, along with enslaving Poseidon, gave him full control over the entire sea of Atlantis...

Macarios:
...but it was a different story for Olympus's
underground infrastructure.

Adele:
Hades decided to take his own life...and the resulting
explosion sealed off his underground domain.

Adele:
Thanks to that, the underworld became a dark
zone that nobody could easily touch.

Adele:
...Nobody except those who were allied with Hades and the faction fighting for coexistence.

Musashi:
Now I gotcha. That explains it.

Musashi:
I always found it strange how an all-powerful god like
Zeus knows everything that happens on the surface...

Musashi:
...but can't seem to do anything when
it comes to this underground area.

Macarios:
It's pretty much down to luck
that things worked out this way.

Macarios:
As ships, Hades and Zeus were both
based off of the Titan Cronus.

Adele:
As gods, that put them in the same class of deity.
So even when Zeus became omnipotent–

Macarios:
He'd still need to allocate almost all of his power
to see everything going on in the dark zone.

Macarios:
And right now, Zeus is using most of his magical energy to keep Olympus and Tree of Emptiness Magellan up and running.

Holmes:
Then...you're saying that is a weakness
we can take advantage of?

Adele:
That's right.
We believe that's where our hopes for victory lie.

Fou:
Fou!

Mash:
Oh. Everything just shook again.

Caenis:
Nn...

Caenis:
(Yawwwn)... Damn, I must've fallen asleep.
We there already?

Macarios:
Yeah, the base is done moving along the underground.
Let's go up to the surface.

Macarios:
We'll be going with you this time,
since this is a covert mission.

Fou:
Fooou!

Adele:
Eek! F-Fou!

Macarios:
Ah! There you go again! Didn't I tell you not
to jump on my sister, you big squirrel!?

Musashi:
Mmm. A cute boy, a cute girl, and a cute
animal, all together. You love to see it.

Caenis:
...That thing's not really a squirrel, right?

Caenis:
All right, try not to get yourselves killed out there.

Caenis:
There's no way in hell I'm gonna play pretend, so you guys can knock yourselves out acting like the idiots you are.

Caenis:
I'll hang around in my spirit form in the meantime,
and pop out if things turn violent.

Fou:
Fou?

Caenis:
What?

Mash:
Um... What do you mean by play pretend?

Adele:
Oh, yes. It means you need to be careful about your choice of words on the surface, or Zeus's scans will catch you.


Fujimaru 1:
Oh yeah, you said something about that back when we fought Demeter...


Fujimaru 2:
So that's why we need to watch what we say up there?


Macarios:
That's right.

Adele:
Now then, we need to get our cover story straight.
Let's see...

Adele:
Okay, I think I've got it.
Fujimaru, Mash, Musashi...

Adele:
You three will be our distant relatives
from the very edge of the South District.

Adele:
As for you, Holmes... Um...

Holmes:
No need to worry about me.
I'll stay close by in my spirit form as well.

Musashi:
Ooh, I call the oldest sister role! Hehehehe, I always
wanted a couple of cute siblings of my own.


Fujimaru 1:
Guess you'll be my other big sister then, Mash.


Mash:
Y-you mean, you want me to be the middle child!?

Mash:
I, um... I was kind of hoping I
could be the youngest child...

Mash:
...and you could be my big [♂ brother /♀️ sister], Senpai...


Fujimaru 1:
Okay, let's go with that then.

Mash:
Phew.


Fujimaru 2:
You got it, little sister.

Mash:
R-right!


Holmes:
I presume there's a risk our conversations may be
eavesdropped upon on the surface, Macarios?

Macarios:
Basically. You catch on quick, don't you?

Holmes:
It has been said.

Macarios:
It's not really eavesdropping, though. It's more like
he's openly listening to everything anyone says.

Macarios:
They say it's because Zeus himself watches over
everything we humans do. That he's protecting us.

Mash:
I see. So you live in a state of constant surveillance.

Fou:
Fooou.

Macarios:
Zeus might be able to see everything that happens aboveground, but he can't actually tell individual people apart.

Macarios:
It's just like how we humans can't tell individual ants apart. Or, well, that's about how I think it works.

Holmes:
Oh? Fascinating

Holmes:
That would certainly seem to lend credence to the A.I.'s belief that Zeus is exceptionally powerful, but not truly omnipotent.

Macarios:
However, his hearing's a different story. He listens to every single conversation people have on the surface.

Holmes:
...You mean he's able to meaningfully hear and comprehend the utterances of ten million people down to the sentence simultaneously?

Holmes:
I can scarcely imagine what such immense data processing capabilities must be like. Small wonder he had so little difficulty traveling the universe.

Holmes:
Such incredible multipurpose functionality would certainly make him appear omnipotent, even if he is not truly so.

Macarios:
Well, he's not a god for nothing.
Not to mention, this is Zeus we're talking about.

Macarios:
He does a bunch of things that'd be
impossible for humans to pull off.

Fou:
Fou, fou.

Holmes:
Most impressive. It sounds as though he's essentially
Olympus's one-god ECHELON program.

Musashi:
Oh, I've heard of that! That was a kind of super
surveillance system a few countries colluded on, right?

Holmes:
Hahaha. No, Ms. Miyamoto, ECHELON was never anything more than an urban legend. It's no different than the purported devil at the crossroads, or a serial killer hiding under your bed.

Holmes:
Then again, perhaps the devil at the crossroads is more of a Mystic than ECHELON? Well, no matter. It's still the same broad category.

Holmes:
But the same is not true for Zeus. His surveillance mechanisms and control devices are unabashedly present in all aspects of life here.

Holmes:
I took Olympus for a utopia, but in fact, the control its government wields over its people is far greater than any we've yet seen in a Lostbelt.

Holmes:
No wonder the division between the coexistence and ruling factions was so great that it led to a full-blown machia.

Macarios:
...You're starting to understand
what things are like here.

Adele:
...

Musashi:
So, think we can get going now?
Oh good.

Musashi:
Then let's get this great summoning circle
operation underway! Everybody ready?

Musashi:
Seeing how those soldiers we ran into last time
all looked like they came from the East District...

Musashi:
...I'm guessing we'll be in for an especially rough
time around here, so let's be ready for that.

Adele:
Thank you, Musashi.

Adele:
But we were actually hoping to stop by our house before
we begin the operation in earnest, if that's okay.


Fujimaru 1:
You have a house here?


Fujimaru 2:
You two used to live here?


Adele:
Oh, um, actually...
We forgot something there and we need to get it.

Macarios:
Yes, we have to postpone the start of this mission.
I'm sorry. We should've told you sooner.

Musashi:
Oh?

Caenis:
Ugh, seriously? Screw that noise. I'm takin' a nap. Wake me up when you finish whatever stupid crap you're going to do.

Musashi:
So you're going to camp out here just like that!?
Then again, I guess I'm not one to talk.

Caenis:
What are you, stupid? Don't you know it's dangerous
for a woman to camp out by herself?

Musashi:
Ahaha, really?
You're really going to lecture me on that?

Mash:
Um, Adele?
Can I ask what it is you forgot at your house?

Macarios:
It's something we're all going to need.
The last time we used it...

Macarios:
...we messed up the timing,
and our whole squad got wiped out...

Mash:
!!!

Mash:
Your entire squad...!


Fujimaru 1:
Okay. Got it.


Fujimaru 2:
No problem. Let's start by getting this thing you forgot.


Mash:
Right, Master!

Fou:
Fou!

Mash:
So this is Olympus's East District...

Mash:
There are so many statues as big as skyscrapers here!

Mash:
And the city itself is so elaborately designed...

Mash:
Yet it's also filled with a real gentle
sense of beauty everywhere I look...

Adele:
Well you're going to see giant statues in the art district. Hehe, is this your first time coming to this part of town?

Mash:
(...Oh, right!)

Mash:
(I have to assume that our old backstory about
being from the countryside won't work anymore.)

Mash:
Uh, no, of course not. But it has been long enough
that I couldn't help but get a little worked up.


Fujimaru 1:
True, they really are impressive statues.


Fujimaru 2:
It's always impressive to see them again after a long absence.


Mash:
Right!

Fou:
Woof. Fou. Woof. (Special Translation: Don't mind me.
Just your ordinary, everyday doggo here.)

Mash:
Who's a good boy, Plato?
Yes, you are. Yes, you are.

Fou:
Woof, woof!

Mash:
(Good. It doesn't look like anyone is paying
Senpai and me any special notice.)

Mash:
(Da Vinci's disguise kits must
still be working as intended.)

Mash:
(It seems like they're affecting Musashi too,
just like we hoped. So far, so good.)

Musashi:
It's been a long time since you've been here too,
hasn't it, Plato? Come on, who's a good boy?

Fou:
Fooou...

Musashi:
Hey! What's with the cold shoulder!?

Macarios:
Come on, enough playing around.
Our home sweet home isn't much farther from here.

Musashi:
'Kaaay.

Macarios:
Why don't we head back to the house and take a breather before we look around the city? You guys could use one after all the hard work you've been doing.

Macarios:
Plus, I think Sister here has been looking
forward to cooking something for you.

Macarios:
Can't say I'm especially looking
forward to it myself, but...

Adele:
Macarios.

Macarios:
...

Adele:
Macarios?

Macarios:
...Okay, okay, I want to have your cooking for
the first time in a long time, too. Happy now?

Macarios:
I swear, a few hundred years without cooking anything,
and now you can't wait to get in the kitchen.

Adele:
Well of course. You know we haven't seen our distant
relatives in forever. We have to make them feel welcome.

Adele:
Right?

Macarios:
Yeah, yeah.

Fou:
Uuu, fowow!

Musashi:
Aah! What's gotten into you, Plato? I was just watching a couple of beautiful people doing a little back and forth.

Fou:
Frrrrrr...

Mash:
Stop that, Plato.
You know it's rude to growl in public.

East District Children:

Hey! It's Macarios!

East District Children:

Look, Adele's here, too!

East District Children:
Hey, yeah! They're both back!
Oh man, it's been so long!

East District Children:
Ooh, they've even got a dog with them! At least,
I think that's a dog, right? It's so cute!

Fou:
Frrrrrr...

East District Children:
Where've you guys been all this time? Oh, yeah,
you're traveling all around Olympus now, right?

East District Children:
I think you went to the South District last, yeah?

East District Children:
It looked like things were pretty bad down there.

East District Children:
Are you two okay? Did you get caught in the cross fire?

Adele:
We're fine, thank you. But it was scary
seeing the city there in such disarray.

Macarios:
...You guys been doing okay while we've been away?

East District Children:
Oh yeah! We've been having ambrosia
every day, so we're doing great!

East District Children:
How about you two? Have you been okay?

Macarios:
Yeah, we're fine, thanks.

Mash:
(So this ambrosia is still being distributed,
even now that Demeter is gone...)

Mash:
(Does this mean Zeus has taken over Demeter's role, even while he's still pouring magical energy into Olympus and the Tree of Emptiness?)

Mash:
(Just how much magical energy
does he actually possess?)

East District Children:
So did you guys see the Chaldeans while you were in the South District?

East District Children:
They're demons who want to destroy our world, right?
Did they look really scary?

Macarios:
Beats me. We never saw them, so we have no idea.

East District Children:
They say one of them's got a demonic,
bloodred mark on [♂ his /♀️ her] right hand!

Mash:
(We disguised Senpai's Command Spells too
this time, so we should be okay. I think...)

East District Children:
So who are these people? Are they your friends?

East District Children:
Are you guys from the south?
Did you see the Chaldeans, [♂ guy with the black hair /♀️ lady with the red hair]?


Fujimaru 1:
Nope, I didn't.

East District Children:
Aww.


Fujimaru 2:
Maybe I did, maybe I didn't.

East District Children:
Whoa, really!? You saw them!?

East District Children:
Oh, wait. Maybe you didn't see them? Which is it!?


East District Children:
...Hey, those Chaldeans aren't gonna come here, right?
I don't want all of us to die.

East District Children:
I hate them.
I wish there were no such thing as bad people.


Fujimaru 1:
...Yeah. Me too.

East District Children:
But it's okay! We'll be fine!

East District Children:
Even if they do show up here,
our dad'll take care of 'em!

East District Children:
'Cause you know what?
Our dad's a soldier! Pretty cool, right!

East District Children:
Stupid Chaldeans. I hope Dad kills them all.

East District Children:
Yeah! They should just die and leave us alone!


Fujimaru 2:
They're unbelievable, that's for sure.

East District Children:
It's really scary knowing they're out there, isn't it?

East District Children:
Stupid, evil, scary Chaldeans...

East District Children:
They should all just die and leave us alone!
Queen Europa said so, too!


Mash:
...

Musashi:
...Hmm. I don't know if I agree with that.

East District Children:
Huh?

East District Children:
But Chaldeans do bad things.
That makes them bad guys, right?

East District Children:
Queen Europa even said so in her address.

East District Children:
And if they're bad guys, then they
should definitely die. Simple as that.

Musashi:
See, I think “they're bad, so they should die”
might be a little too simplistic.

Musashi:
If nothing else, I think it'd be good for us
to find out why they are the way they are.

Musashi:
Like, are they really destroying the world?

Musashi:
Are they really so evil that they deserve to die?

Musashi:
Who knows? Maybe they've got their own good
reasons for doing what they're doing.

Musashi:
Maybe there's some larger truth driving their
actions that we have to come to terms with.

Musashi:
And...

Musashi:
...maybe they don't want to be here taking on Olympus, but they are anyway because they think it's the right thing to do.

Musashi:
It's worth your while to imagine things like that, you
know? Especially since it doesn't cost you anything☆


Fujimaru 1:
...


East District Children:
Nnn...

East District Children:
That's pretty tough...

East District Children:
If that was the case...I don't
know how I'd feel about it.

East District Children:
Yeah. Me neither.

East District Children:
...But wait, hang on.

East District Children:
It's still bad to do bad things, even if
you've got a reason for doing them, right?

Mash:
...

Musashi:
Yeah, that's true. You're not wrong there.

Musashi:
But don't forget: there's nobody in the
whole world who never makes any mistakes.

Musashi:
People can't always make all the right choices. Sometimes, to stop evil, you have to let go of being good a bit.

Musashi:
And when you do,
the important thing is to be honest with yourself.

Musashi:
You can't just rationalize your actions away by
telling yourself you had no other choice...

Musashi:
...or that what you're doing is somehow right.

Musashi:
I know if I was up against someone who was under no illusions that they were doing something wrong for what they sincerely believed were the right reasons, I wouldn't want to kill them just because they were “bad.”

Musashi:
I'd want to know why they made a choice like
that–what motivated them to do it.

Musashi:
And while I was at it... I'd want other people to know how they felt, too. At least, that's what I think. What about you two?

East District Children:
...


Fujimaru 1:
(Musashi...)



Fujimaru 1:
(Is that why–)


East District Children:
Ah! That's our alarm.

East District Children:
Sorry. We have to go home now.

East District Children:
Bye!

Musashi:
See you later.

Macarios:
Later.

Adele:
Goodbye.

East District Children:
Byyye!

Macarios:
...What was that all about? Why were you
getting so worked up over a couple of kids?

Musashi:
What do you mean, kids?
Aren't they, like, ten thousand years old?

Macarios:
Heh, guess you got me there.

Fou:
Woof! Woof!

Macarios:
Settle down, you.
Come on, let's go already.

Macarios:
If those kids' curfew alarms are any indication,
it'll probably be sunset soon.

Adele:
See that residential tower next
to the statue of Aphrodite?

Adele:
Macarios and I live there,
in apartment 5203 on the fifty-second floor.

Mash:
(It's so spacious!)

Mash:
(Does this mean they're upper class? No, wait. The whole concept of a monetary economy doesn't exist here.)

Mash:
(And since they also have nothing in the way of jobs or professions, I don't see how they could have class-based distinctions like “commoner” or “aristocrat,” either...)


Fujimaru 1:
It's so big!


Fujimaru 2:
So you two have all this space all to yourselves?


Macarios:
This place is pretty average. People who really care about the size of their homes might choose somewhere bigger...

Macarios:
...but this is usually the kind of apartment you
get unless you have a big family or something.

Adele:
Please, have a seat and make yourselves at home.
I'll go get us some juice.

Musashi:
'Kaaay.

Fou:
Woof!

Macarios:
...All right.

Mash:
(There! He just snapped his fingers!)

Mash:
(That's the sign we agreed on to let Holmes know
it was okay to come out of his spirit form.)

Mash:
(The Olympians might have found his outfit strange...)

Mash:
(...but Zeus shouldn't be able to tell the difference.)

Holmes:
I do beg your pardon for the intrusion.
I hope my footsteps weren't too loud?

Macarios:
Don't worry, nobody'll notice footsteps. Just don't break into song or anything; our neighbors aren't too fond of that.

Mash:
(I see. If Zeus were also monitoring the number of people making footsteps in a given room, he would notice something was strange when that number suddenly increased out of nowhere.)

Mash:
(But if I'm understanding this right,
it looks like footsteps are beneath his notice...)

Adele:
Here you go.

Adele:
I'm afraid it's not freshly squeezed,
but it's still nice and cold.

Holmes:
Thank you, Adele. Most kind of you.

Musashi:
Don't mind if I do!
(Glug, glug, glug...) Ahh, that hit the spot!

Fou:
Woof!

Adele:
Yes, yes, don't worry, Plato.
I've got a shallow bowl of juice for you, too.

Fou:
Wouf!

Holmes:
Yummy! The sweetness doesn't overstay its welcome,
and it's got just the right amount of tartness.

Adele:
Hehe. Thank you very much.

Holmes:
Not at all. Thank you for the lovely drink.
I won't soon forget this flavor, I assure you.

Holmes:
Now then, before we go over whatever it is you two forgot, I need to ask you a more personal question.

Holmes:
Tell me, Adele and Macarios,
may I ask where the rest of your family is?

Macarios:
...

Adele:
...They died in the Olympia Machia.

Holmes:
Killed?

Macarios:
Yeah. Our mom and dad supported Athena and Ares, so.

Mash:
Oh...


Fujimaru 1:
I'm sorry we brought up such a painful subject.


Fujimaru 2:
You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to.


Macarios:
Relax, it's fine.
This was thousands of years ago, remember!?

Macarios:
And besides, it's not like our family's all gone!
We still have you guys!

Macarios:
There's nothing taboo about discussing the machia.
It's basically like extolling the gods' victories.

Macarios:
...Besides, Sister and I weren't part of the
coexistence faction, like Mom and Dad were.

Mash:
(He's lying.)

Mash:
(He and Adele were both part of the coexistence
faction during the fourth machia.)

Mash:
(But he's assuming Zeus is listening in, and being careful not to say anything that would arouse suspicion.)

Adele:
Ugh, guys certainly do love talking
about the machia, don't they?

Adele:
Anyway, it's getting late, so we should probably have
dinner soon. You'll help me, right, Macarios?

Macarios:
Yeah, yeah.

Mash:
I'll help too.

Musashi:
Then I'll help by playing with Plato!
Here, boy! Come on, boy!

Fou:
Grrrrrr.

Musashi:
Aww, come on. Why're you growling at me?


Fujimaru 1:
Let's all help them make dinner.


Fujimaru 2:
If you don't help, you don't eat, Big Sister.


Musashi:
Ahaha, I should've seen that one coming.
Okay, I'm in. Besides, it looks like fun!

Adele:
Thank you, everyone. Hehe, I can tell this is going to be the most fun we've had at dinner in a long time!

--ARROW--

Mash:
Thank you for the wonderful meal!

Mash:
It was so incredibly delicious...
I still can't quite believe just how good it was!

Mash:
It tasted completely different from
the kind of food I'm used to.

Mash:
I especially loved the, um, fish–

Adele:
Hehe, it's nothing special. All I did was sprinkle
a little powder on it before I cooked it.

Mash:
Maybe so, but it was still exquisite!
You really are an expert chef, aren't you, Adele?

Macarios:
I already told you, she hasn't cooked for
hundreds of years. But, uh, still, thanks.

Macarios:
I know she's really happy to hear that.
Honestly, it makes me feel good, too.

Adele:
Hehe, hehehehehe. Ahh, I'm so glad. I'd forgotten
how fun it is to cook for guests!

Adele:
Of course, it wouldn't have been half as fun
if you hadn't all helped, so thank you.

Mash:
Oh no, not at all.
All I did was help with the simple prep stuff!

Musashi:
(Slurp)

Musashi:
(Slurrrp)
(Munch, munch, munch)

Musashi:
Ahh, that was delicious...
Best noodles I've had in forever...

Musashi:
Oh! Sorry for polishing everything off. But in my defense, it was all so good I couldn't help it!

Adele:
Oh no, it's quite all right.
We have more, if you want thirds.

Musashi:
Woohoo! If there's one thing I've learned, it's that
you've gotta stock up on good food when you get the chance!

Fou:
Fou. Fatty fou.

Holmes:
Now then, before I forget again: Adele, perhaps it's time you secured this forgotten item of yours?

Adele:
You're right. We should.

Adele:
First, let me give you a bit of backstory.

Adele:
Um... Gosh, where do I begin...

Macarios:
Aphrodite.

Adele:
Right. Thank you, Macarios. So, you know how the East District's Statuetown is also the district dedicated to art and beauty, right?

Adele:
That's because Aphrodite's protection is especially strong here. She hears any prayers in this region's branch temples.

Holmes:
Go on.

Adele:
So we thought we could use a guide here.

Adele:
He's been cooped up in here sleeping for a while now,
but he should be waking up at any moment.

Mash:
Wait. Huh? Do you mean this thing you
forgot wasn't actually a thing at all?

Musashi:
(Munch, munch) More of a metaphorical thing, then.

Adele:
He's a huge help, even among you-know-who's friends.

Macarios:
Yeah. All the more so in this part of town.

Macarios:
...

Mash:
(It seems Macarios is looking at...a refrigerator?)

Mash:
(Yes, all I can see is a large refrigerator.)

Mash:
(Now Adele's standing in front of it...)

Mash:
(Wait! I recognize it now!)

Mash:
(It looks just like the one they used in the underground base to keep that steel Chimera on ice!)

Adele:
I'm sorry to have kept you waiting so long, Uncle.

Adele:
But it's finally time for you to wake up.

Caligula:
...

Mash:
(That's...the Heroic Spirit of Emperor Caligula
we met in the Second Singularity!!!)

Mash:
(Wh-what in the world is he doing here!?
And kept on ice, at that!)


Fujimaru 1:
(Caligula!)


Fujimaru 2:
(What in the world's going on here!?)


Caligula:
Indeed, it has been a long time
since I was last awakened.

Caligula:
Hello, my beloved twins, Adele and Macarios.
I am glad to see you both well.

Caligula:
However...I cannot help but notice
that none of my friends are here.

Caligula:
I won't ask why.
Your faces tell me all I need to know.

Caligula:
And good day to you, unfamiliar guests. If the twins have brought you here, then I know you are friends and comrades.

Caligula:
It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.


Fujimaru 1:
(He actually spoke!?)


Fou:
Woof! Woof, woof, woof!

Section 10: Thou Art the Ardor that Corrupts the Stars (III)

Caenis:
Oh, hey, the laggards return.


Fujimaru 1:
Laggards...?

Caenis:
That's right. You took freaking forever
to get back here, so you're laggards.

Musashi:
Hey, it could be worse.
What if we'd never come back at all?

Musashi:
Come on, Caenis, can't you be
a little more understanding?

Caenis:
There's nothing to understand. You're laggards
AND dipshits, and that's all there is to it.

Musashi:
Maybe so, but you could still sugarcoat it a bit.

Musashi:
And if you call us names for being late, you can't really complain if we call you names the next time you're late.

Caenis:
Hmph. I'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Caenis:
Actually, no. That shit isn't happening. Late or no, if anyone even seems to come CLOSE to insulting me, they die.

Musashi:
Oh, you.


Fujimaru 2:
Good to be back!

Caenis:
What do you look so happy about?
I've seen turtles who were faster than you lot!


Caenis:
I was only gonna wait another hour or so before heading back to the base or the Border. Eh, at least you're here now.

Caligula:
Oh my.

Caligula:
I did not know I was keeping a proud warrior waiting.

Caligula:
Forgive me for the trouble I have caused you,
and allow me to make a formal apology.

Caligula:
I am truly sorry, and also most grateful for your patience. I hope we may put this behind us and join as comrades in our battle against the gods.

Caenis:
Wha... Who the hell's this guy?


Fujimaru 1:
Emperor Caligula...


Fujimaru 2:
He's supposed to be Emperor Caligula...


Mash:
R-right, Senpai. This is Emperor Caligula,
the third emperor of the ancient Roman Empire.

Mash:
He's a Heroic Spirit from Proper Human History.
Although...


Fujimaru 1:
Caligula?


Fujimaru 2:
Is something wrong?


Caligula:
Strange. While these underground corridors that connect the alliance base to the surface are indeed free from Zeus's surveillance...

Caligula:
...I also recall them being guarded by a large,
hostile machine.

Caligula:
And yet, I can no longer sense anything
of the sort here. What does this mean?

Macarios:
If you're talking about Argos,
Mordred's gang already took care of it.

Macarios:
So don't worry, Caligula.
The underground's safer than ever now.

Caligula:
I see.


Fujimaru 1:
It's not just me. He really IS talking, huh?


Mash:
Y-yes, he is.

Mash:
I-I'm still not sure what to make of it. I've never seen Caligula speak so, um, fluently before...

Mash:
And, um, if he's one of the
Heroic Spirits in the alliance...


Fujimaru 1:
So he managed to survive somehow?


Fujimaru 2:
I thought all the God Destroyer Alliance Heroic Spirits were wiped out?


G: A.I.:
Er.

H:A.I.:
Um.

I: A.I.:
How can I put this...?

I: A.I.:
Oh, what the heck. I'll just come out and say it!
We didn't tell you about him before because–

G: A.I.:
We decided to go for dramatic effect.

Mash:
...

Fou:
Foooooou!
Fourons!


Fujimaru 1:
Are you serious, A.I.!?


Fujimaru 2:
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we have another ally, but come ON!


G: A.I.:
Now, now. Militarily speaking, it's perfectly legitimate to describe losing forces and no longer being able to continue an operation as "wiped out."

G: A.I.:
Huh? That's odd. It seems we're having some
technical issues with our connection...

Fou:
Fou fou!

Macarios:
Please don't be too hard on them.
We never told you the truth until now, either.

Mash:
O-oh, no, I'm sorry.
We're shocked, yes, but we're not angry.


Fujimaru 1:
Yeah, we'd never blame you guys for this.

Mash:
Of course, Senpai.


Fujimaru 2:
Besides, there wouldn't be much point in lecturing a bunch of A.I. personas!

Mash:
Oh, right! Good point!


Mash:
At any rate, it's wonderful to know we have another capable ally now. From here on, we can include Caligula as part of our operations!

Macarios:
Yeah, that's true. We'll definitely be having
Caligula come along with us from here on.

Macarios:
Especially after the alliance–we,
messed up last time.

Fou:
Fo...?

Macarios:
...

Musashi:
So it was a bad call on your part
that got everyone else killed?

Musashi:
Would you agree that that's a fair interpretation
of what you just said, Macarios?

Caenis:
Tch. The hell were you losers doing out there!?

Musashi:
Caenis. You should know that nobody wins
every battle they fight in a war.

Musashi:
Yes, some great generals in Proper Human History might
have come close, but they never had to go up against a god.

Musashi:
And there's definitely never been a general anywhere who could win every battle they wage against multiple gods.

Musashi:
So do you really think it's fair to just dismiss
their efforts with "the hell were you doing"?

Caenis:
...

Caenis:
...Yeah, I guess you've got a point.
Okay, I take it back.

Caenis:
...Sheesh. You always get serious outta nowhere.

Musashi:
(Hehe. So Caenis doesn't apologize, but IS willing to take things back, huh. I knew there was a strong sense of responsibility buried somewhere in there!)

Caenis:
In fact, I'll do you one better! Divine Spirits are one thing, but you brats were up against an actual god!

Caenis:
Hell, not just one, but a whole buncha gods. I'd say you did pretty damn well under the circumstances!

Adele:
...Caligula is our secret weapon.

Adele:
Just like the Seven Link Heroic Spirit Cannon
was in our battle against Demeter.

Holmes:
Oh?

Macarios:
That's why everyone in the alliance agreed to keep him hidden until Operation God Destroyer's final stage.

Mash:
So then, why didn't you hide him here in the base?

Fou:
Fou, fom?

Holmes:
I expect it was most likely an effort not to concentrate their assets in one place.

Holmes:
It may have been a different story if they had been able to perfectly secure their base, but as things stand...

Holmes:
...if they had kept all their eggs in this proverbial basket, a single successful strike would have meant the end of the alliance.

Adele:
Exactly.

Adele:
The underground infrastructure where we keep our base is very vulnerable to massive strikes, like what Demeter was capable of.

Macarios:
That's why we hid Caligula in the East District. Freezing him let us completely hide his magical energy...

Macarios:
...and it didn't draw any attention, since there's plenty of Olympians who freeze themselves when they feel like taking really long naps.

Macarios:
The only problem's that–

Musashi:
Aphrodite happened to show up, and the whole East District team was wiped out as a result.

Adele:
Right...

Macarios:
But we're not gonna make the same mistake again!

Macarios:
This time, we're gonna fight back with everything
we've got right from the start!

Musashi:
I get it, believe me.
But you can't let your anger get the better of you.

Musashi:
When things are most dire is when you gotta keep
a level head, or you'll start making mistakes.

Macarios:
...

Macarios:
...Yeah, you're right. Thanks.

Holmes:
Very well, if you'll allow me to make sure
I understand the situation correctly...

Holmes:
You expect that Aphrodite may once again try to thwart our attempts to complete the summoning circle operation...

Holmes:
...so you brought Caligula out of cold storage
as a means of fighting back against her.

Holmes:
Am I correct?

Adele:
Yes.

Macarios:
Yeah, that's right.

Musashi:
...

Musashi:
(Hmm. Doling out information to your allies in tiny bits at a time like this doesn't seem like a good call to me...)

Musashi:
(But, I guess I can understand why they're doing it.)

Musashi:
(Everything they tell us about the gods only underscores how much of a threat they are, even with all the countermeasures they seem to have in place.)

Musashi:
(And since they mentioned some of the Heroic Spirits who came here just bailed when they heard what they were up against, I can't blame them for being cautious.)

Musashi:
(It's all about emotion, isn't it?)

Musashi:
(No matter when or where, the human heart is always a key factor...)

Fou:
Fou, fo?

Musashi:
Uh, yes? What is it, Fou?

Fou:
Fo!

Musashi:
Huh!? Aww, just when I thought he
was finally warming up to me.


Fujimaru 1:
I have a question.



Fujimaru 1:
Can you tell us more about Caligula?


Adele:
Of course. As long as it's something
that's within our ability to answer.

Macarios:
So what's up?


Fujimaru 1:
How is he able to speak normally?


Fujimaru 2:
What happened to the Berserker madness that stopped him from speaking?


Mash:
Oh, right. I was just wondering about that, too!

Mash:
Caligula as we know him is a Berserker,
and he can't really...communicate very well.

Mash:
But here...

Caenis:
What, like he's hard to talk to?

Caenis:
Whaddya talkin' about?
He's talking just fine. Ain't that right, Emps?

Caligula:
Indeed.

Caligula:
I understand your bewilderment, and worry not,
for this is an answer I can give.

Caligula:
I believe it is because I was struck
by the moon goddess's attack.

Fou:
Fomuu?

Caligula:
You see, back in Atlantis, Diana, ran me through with some sort of invisible force.

Mash:
!


Fujimaru 1:
He means Diana, goddess of the moon!

Mash:
Yes! Diana was the Roman name for Artemis!


Fujimaru 2:
That's another name for Artemis!

Mash:
Right, Senpai!

Mash:
I believe it was the name she was known by in Rome!


Mash:
So, does that mean you were struck
by orbital cannon fire, Caligula?

Holmes:
No, he specifically said "invisible force," so we
should assume it was some other manner of attack.

Holmes:
Artemis was also the goddess of madness, so perhaps...

Holmes:
...she possessed Authority to control the mind, too?

Holmes:
What do you think?

Macarios:
Man...you really are sharp, aren't you?

Holmes:
Hahaha, well, I suppose the gods of these Lostbelts
do often call me a sage for a reason.

G: A.I.:
Caligula, the mad emperor of Rome beloved by the moon.

G: A.I.:
Given his connection to Artemis, we thought he
may have acted as a kind of lightning rod.

G: A.I.:
So we used him to lure Artemis out...

G: A.I.:
...and when she blasted him with
a precision mental attack...

H:A.I.:
...He was transformed.

I: A.I.:
The attack inverted his madness, making him rational.

G: A.I.:
Artemis was likely confused by this. We believe it led to her assuming Heroic Spirits of Proper Human History all possessed some kind of mental protection.

I: A.I.:
So she gave up on her precision mental attacks...

H:A.I.:
...and resorted to a more direct manner of destruction, in the form of a massive orbital bombardment.

Holmes:
...I suppose it would be a fruitless endeavor to discuss whether a physical or mental attack would be the lesser of two evils.

Fou:
Fou, fooouuu...

Caligula:
People of Chaldea,
I understand what your presence here signifies.

Caligula:
My goddess, Diana, has fallen, hasn't she?


Fujimaru 1:
Yes, she has.


Fujimaru 2:
That's right. Orion, and many others, helped us bring her down.


Caligula:
...I see. So Orion fulfilled his purpose.

Caligula:
Then I will not grieve for my goddess, for I am certain she has returned to where she belongs.

Mash:
...

Mash:
...Yes. I think she has, too.

Caenis:
...Are you done?
Do you punks ever shut up!?

Caenis:
Are we ever gonna actually get around to setting up
these Grand Servant summoning circles whatsits!?

Macarios:
Sorry. You're right, we've taken long enough.
It's time we began this operation in earnest.

Macarios:
Come on, let's head back to the surface. Holmes,
Caenis, Caligula, you three use your spirit forms.

Macarios:
Mash, Musashi, Fujimaru,
you three come with us.

Musashi:
You got it!

Musashi:
Let's go get revenge for your fallen allied Heroic Spirits and finish these summoning circles in one fell swoop!

Olympus Citizen:
Hey, it's Macarios and Adele!
I can't even remember the last time I saw you guys.

Olympus Citizen:
You two really love to travel, huh. How's that going?
Are you expanding your horizons?

Macarios:
...Yeah, you could say that.

Adele:
It's good to see you again.
We just got back from visiting the South District.

Adele:
Once we've got our things all sorted out, we'll be heading out again soon to Altartown this time.

Olympus Citizen:
Whoa, the south, huh!
Hey, wasn't that where–

Adele:
Oh, yes. But fortunately, we weren't affected by all that...unpleasantness, thanks to Lord Zeus's protection.

Olympus Citizen:
Ahh, I see. It's true, we really do
have a lot to thank Lord Zeus for.

Olympus Citizen:
Thanks to him, the ambrosia supply hasn't slowed down one bit, even with Lady Demeter resting in the great shrine.

Olympus Citizen:
It's just like how he provided for us
back during the Olympia Machia, too.

Olympus Citizen:
Ahh, what would we do without the omnipotent Lord Zeus, who took over the Authority of every fallen god? We're so lucky to have him.

Macarios:
...

Adele:
Yes, you're so right.

Olympus Citizen:
By the way...I haven't seen those friends of
yours before. Are they from the south, too?

Mash:
N-nice to meet you.

Musashi:
Hey there!

Fou:
Woof!

Adele:
Yes. They're distant relatives, actually.

Adele:
It's going to take some time for the south district to be restored, so we thought we'd take them to Altartown in the meantime.

Olympus Citizen:
What a wonderful idea. There's certainly no shortage of large branch shrines to visit in Altartown.

Adele:
Exactly.

Olympus Citizen:
Well, I hope your tomorrow is just as peaceful as today. May Lord Zeus's protection be with you.

Macarios:
...Good, he's gone.

Musashi:
Man, you guys really do know a lot of people.
Are you sure it's okay to be out here with us?

Macarios:
Don't worry about it. We can't just throw
you into the deep end of an unfamiliar city.

Macarios:
Sure, we could always just give you a map,
but that wouldn't be nearly as efficient.

Adele:
Right. We're bound to run into a lot of
trouble on our way to the second one...

Adele:
...so this'll go much smoother if we show you the way there ourselves.

Mash:
(If I'm hearing Adele right,
then what she's really saying...)

Mash:
(...is that there are going to be soldiers stationed near where we'll need to place the summoning circles.)

Mash:
(In which case, it would definitely be dangerous to try to navigate an unfamiliar city while checking a map, especially in the middle of a chaotic battle.)

Fou:
Fou, fou!

Macarios:
...Okay, it's not much farther now.

Musashi:
Yikes. There sure are a lot of people here, huh?

Mash:
I don't suppose we can take
our plans elsewhere, can we?

Macarios:
Nope. Apparently, it has to be these spots,
though we're not entirely sure why, either.

Macarios:
They said it's got something to do with the position
of the stars, and things like that.

Mash:
(So the summoning circles need to use celestial bodies. That makes sense for constructing a spell like this.)

Mash:
(If the Heroic Spirit this spell summons is really capable of destroying gods...then who, or what in the world is it going to be?)

Fou:
Woof!

Adele:
...All right, let's get started.
Is everyone ready?

Musashi:
I'm all set!


Fujimaru 1:
Ready when you are!


Mash:
Yes!

Fou:
Fou...!?

Musashi:
Whoa, the middle of the street is glowing!
This is definitely going to draw attention !

Macarios:
The spell's giving off magical energy!
There's no way the gods aren't gonna notice this!

Macarios:
Get ready! Enemies'll be here soon!

Mash:
The roads and buildings are all putting up shutters!
I'm picking up hostile entities headed our way, Master!

Mass Destruction Device:
Attention, citizens of Olympus.
This is an emergency alert.

Mass Destruction Device:
The Chaldean demons have appeared in Statuetown, ward twelve. Please evacuate the area in an orderly fashion.

Mass Destruction Device:
Initiating destructive countermeasures.

Musashi:
There they are! Guess we don't have to bother with these invisible disguises anymore, then!

Mash:
Right! Suspending disguise Mystic Code effects now!

Musashi:
Sorry, big guy, but we've got a job to do here, and we can't let you through until we finish what we came here to do!

Musashi:
I'm pretty sure I've seen that shining, giant red eye of yours before! You're one of those murder machines that just comes barreling after us without a thought in its metal head!

Musashi:
So, I'll see your brute force...

Musashi:
...and raise you my razor sharp blades! Caenis!

Caenis:
So it's killing time now!?

Caenis:
It is, isn't it, samurai chick?!

Musashi:
That's right!
Well, not killing so much as smashing, but same idea!

Holmes:
Hahaha, smashing machines, eh? That takes me back to
the Luddite movement of the industrial revolution!

Holmes:
However, while the Luddites are a thematic fit for us, as our enemies are machines, you should know that they ultimately failed, Ms. Miyamoto!

Musashi:
Then we'll just have to make sure
they succeed here in Olympus!

Caenis:
Who cares about any of that crap!?
Let's just get started already!

O:Mash:
Activating Ortinax's emergency combat mode! Output remains stable. Athena Klironomia synchronization successful!

O:Mash:
I'm good to go, Master!


Fujimaru 1:
I'll keep Adele safe!

O:Mash:
Right!


Fujimaru 2:
Let's race! Will Adele finish the circle first, or will we beat our enemies?

Caenis:
Hah! Like that'll be a contest.
We're gonna freakin' smash these things!

Musashi:
You said it! All right then...


Musashi:
Let's do this!

--BATTLE--

Mash:
All hostiles eliminated.
Ortinax systems remain green. The battle is over!

Musashi:
Nice job, everyone!

Musashi:
That was easier than I thought. I'm glad we didn't have
to deal with any locals getting mixed up in the fray.

Mash:
Now that you mention it, it does seem like the
Olympians cleared out of the area very quickly...

Musashi:
Maybe it's all thanks to their daily training? The gods must really have their people on a short leash...

Fou:
Fooou...

Adele:
...There, all done.
Come on, let's hurry to the next one.

Caenis:
Did it work? I thought magecraft was
s'posed to be all flashy and shit.

Adele:
Huh? Why would we want to draw more attention? If anything, Blavatsky went out of her way to make the spell as innocuous as possible.

Macarios:
You can talk about that stuff later, Sister! Now come on! The official guards'll be here any moment, so we're gonna have to make our way past them!


Fujimaru 1:
Got it!


Fujimaru 2:
Let's go, Mash!


Mash:
Understood! Preparing to move to the next target!

--BATTLE--

Olympus Official Guard:
I have one word for you, Demons of Chaldea–
insolent miscreants who shun the gods' glorious light.

Olympus Official Guard:
Die...
Die, die, die!

Olympus Official Guard:
Die, become part of Olympus's underworld infrastructure, and maybe then you can start making amends to the gods!

Mash:
Ghh... Caenis!

Caenis:
Die this, die that. Is that all you can say, dumbass?
I got a better idea. YOU die!

Olympus Official Guard:
Ghh!

Olympus Official Guard:
Curse...you...Chaldea!

Musashi:
I'm sorry you had to die holding a grudge. Hopefully,
your soul will at least find respite in paradi–

Musashi:
Oh, right. Olympians come back to life in no time at all, don't they? Guess there's no point praying for their salvation then!

Caenis:
(All compassion one moment, the next she's... Huh.
What's with this chick? Some kinda samurai thing?)

Caenis:
Wait. The hell am I admiring her for!?

Caenis:
C'mon, you freakin' nutjob dual-wielder!
We gotta do this while my Authority's still working!

Caenis:
I can stop their instant healing bullshit,
but I can't stop it forever!

Musashi:
(Hmmm?)

Musashi:
(I can't put my finger on it, but it's definitely a little easier to fight here now than it was before...)

Musashi:
(The Klironomia's power-up is definitely part of it,
and Caenis has been a big help, too.)

Musashi:
(But it feels like there's
more to it than that alone...)

Musashi:
(What could it be?)

Musashi:
Well, anyway, these Olympian soldiers really
do put up a hell of a fight, don't they!?

Musashi:
And there's no end to them with this healing stuff, so guess that goes to show we've gotta go after the big guys! Err...gods!

Macarios:
Right. Remember, we're not here to fight off soldiers.

Macarios:
Now come on, hurry! We're almost to the next spot, and there's no shortage of soldiers in Statuetown. It won't be long before reinforcements show up!

Adele:
Macarios! We need a distraction!

Macarios:
...Got it.

Macarios:
Heads up! I'm gonna cast a smoke screen spell!

Macarios:
It's not poisonous, but you'll still choke if you breathe too much in, so be careful!

Musashi:
(Cough, hack) Aha, so this is what
you used the first time we met!

Macarios:
The alliance developed this spell for emergencies! It can disrupt magical energy detection for a short time!

Adele:
This way, everyone! We're almost to the second spot!

Section 11: Investigate/Encounter/Cherish

Caenis:
All right! This where we're putting
up the second one of these things!?

Musashi:
I'll say one thing for this city: it's sure pretty!
Glad we're not seeing any civilians here, too!

Musashi:
Unfortunately, that probably means it won't be much longer before one of the machine gods shows up, huh?

Macarios:
Yeah. Aphrodite ambushed us last time. We fought back as hard as we could, but it didn't do us much good...

Macarios:
Come on, A.I.!
Let's get this done!

E:A.I.:
All right, this is where we've gotta put down
the second one. The exact location's...

E:A.I.:
...Hm? The hell?
We can't tell where it's supposed to go.

Fou:
Fo!?

Mash:
Huh? Wh-what do you mean by–

H:A.I.:
Shit, shit, shit!

H:A.I.:
Sorry! We've lost track of the proper coordinates!

H:A.I.:
Theoretically, this shouldn't even be possible, but we can't even find a trace!

Mash:
Then, if we don't know where we need to go...
we'll be sitting ducks for the Olympian soldiers!

Musashi:
What do we do now!?

H:A.I.:
We should able to sense the right spot once we get within a few meters of it...but I can't say for sure for some reason!

H:A.I.:
Ugh, this sucks ass! I wish we could just
talk normally without dancing in circles!

Musashi:
I'll say! I'd really prefer it
if we could get into specifics!

Musashi:
Especially specifics as to what
the hell's going on right now!

Holmes:
I'm afraid there's nothing we can do there. As long as Zeus is listening in, we simply can't delve into the details of our plan or objectives.

Holmes:
That being said, I believe we may be able to get around that with some manner of telepathy spell...though it may be difficult to maintain for several participants at once.

Adele:
I do know a spell like that, but I can only cast it once, since it's too risky to use the same spell twice.

Holmes:
I see. Presumably because Zeus can and will figure
out any spell used more than once. I understand.

Holmes:
Nonetheless, desperate times call for desperate
measures. What say you, Fujimaru?


Fujimaru 1:
Please cast it, Adele.


Fujimaru 2:
It would really help us to all be on the same page right now.


Adele:
All right.

Adele:
May wise Hermes protect us!

Musashi:
Whoa.

Caenis:
Nn...

Fou:
Fou!

Mash:
(Oh wow...)

Mash:
(Can you all hear me?)

Musashi:
(Oh yeah, loud and clear.
Man, this is amazing!)

Caenis:
(Ugh. First you dipshits won't shut up, now you're in my damn head. Just say what you gotta say so we can get this over with.)

Musashi:
(Now, now, don't be like that. We've never done this
before, and we might never get another chance!)

Caenis:
(Did you forget the enemy's practically breathing down our necks here, dumbass!? Pretty confident in your chances, ain'tcha?)

Musashi:
(Aww, thanks! That's so nice of you!)

Caenis:
(How freakin' stupid are you?
That was NOT a compliment!)

Mash:
(All these telepathic conversations are taking place
simultaneously... Can you hear me too, Senpai?)


Fujimaru 1:
(Yup, I can hear you just fine, Mash.)

Mash:
(Oh good.)


Fujimaru 2:
(Say... Does this mean I can understand what Fou is saying right now?)

Fou:
(Fou! Fou fou!)

Musashi:
(Aww, too bad...)

Caenis:
(Hahahahahaha, once a beast, always a beast, huh! Not that I'd want to hear this thing suddenly going off on tangents, anyway!)

Fou:
(Fou. Fo fo fo...) (Special Translation:
That's cause you've got no taste, bunny ears...)

Caenis:
(Hahahahaha. ...That's weird.
Something just kinda pissed me off for a moment there.)


Adele:
(Okay, here's the situation.
I'll go over the details later, but in short...)

Adele:
(The coordinates we need to complete the
God Destroyer Grand Servant Designation Summon...)

Adele:
(...all make use of a type of
magical energy distortion.)

Adele:
(Usually, those coordinates are closely linked to their physical space, so once you know where they are, it should be impossible to lose sight of them.)

Holmes:
(But since you have...does that mean the distortion
at the expected coordinates no longer exists?)

Fou:
(Fo, fou?)

Caenis:
(Well, that sounds bad.
Guess that's the end of that operation! Hahaha!)

Macarios:
(No, it's not. It'd take forever to go over exactly why, but basically, these distortions should last forever.)

Musashi:
(So then, why is this one gone?)

Macarios:
(W-well...)

Adele:
(This isn't the type of distortion that can up and vanish. So the fact that we've lost sight of it must mean–)

Holmes:
(Either it's simply no longer possible to sense, or the space it's linked to is no longer where it was.)

Holmes:
(For example, perhaps some unforeseen interference has temporarily moved it away from its original space?)

Adele:
(It's definitely possible.)

Holmes:
(I see. Then in that case–)


Fujimaru 1:
(We'll all just have to search this area for it.)


Fujimaru 2:
(It sounds like we should split up and search this area for it.)


Holmes:
(I concur. It would be quite inefficient to concentrate
all of our resources on searching a single location.)

Holmes:
(Not to mention that time is of the essence.
I suggest we split into two–no, three teams.)

Holmes:
(Caenis, Caligula, I would ask that each of
you search your respective areas alone.)

B:Holmes:
(Ms. Miyamoto, I would ask you to be our bodyguard.)

Adele:
(Here, Caenis and Caligula,
I'll give each of you an A.I. terminal as well.)

Adele:
(It should react once you get within
a few meters of the distortion.)

Adele:
(And since the A.I.s are all linked together, we'll
all be alerted when one of them finds it.)

Caenis:
...Tch.

Caenis:
(Fine. This all sounds like a major pain in the ass,
but in for a penny, in for a pound and shit.)

Caligula:
(Understood. Then I shall do my best to search
seventy percent of this area on my own.)

Caenis:
(Oh yeah!? Then I'll do ninety percent!)

Musashi:
(Come on, guys, leave some for us!
Oh, so when one of us finds the distortion–)

Mash:
(We all rendezvous posthaste!)

Musashi:
(Got it! Okay then, let's get going!)

Caenis:
Later!

Caligula:
Farewell for now!

Fou:
Fou...!

Musashi:
(Damn, Caligula's got some serious spring in his step!
I guess he must be planning to search from the skyscrapers.)

Macarios:
(Looks like Caenis's ultra-speed would
even give Hermes a run for his money.)

Adele:
(All right, I'm afraid this spell won't last much longer. We'd better start searching, too!)

Musashi:
(Let's do it!
But first...)

Musashi:
Mash! Twelve o'clock!

Mash:
!

Mash:
I'm sensing hostiles approaching! They appear to be
a group of Olympian guards and rare Phantasmals!


Fujimaru 1:
Guess we'll just have to make our way through them first then!


Fujimaru 2:
Good thing they didn't show up during our strategy meeting!

Mash:
You said it, Senpai!


Mash:
All right, preparing to fight...

K:Mash:
...and begin our search at the same time!

--BATTLE--

Musashi:
Hup!

Musashi:
Mash!

B:Mash:
Here!

Musashi:
...There we go, done and done. I tried to move around as much as possible as I fought. Anything?

E:A.I.:
Naw, no luck here. Come on, keep moving!

Fou:
Fooou.

Musashi:
Damn, too bad.
Can't let Caenis or Caligula beat us!


Fujimaru 1:
No turning back now! Let's keep going!


Mash:
Yes, you're right, Master.
But we can't push ourselves too hard, either.

Mash:
You especially need to be very careful not to overexert yourself this time... But then, you already know that, don't you? I'm sorry.

Mash:
Okay, let's go!
We certainly don't want our team to lose!

Musashi:
...

Musashi:
...Ohhh, you are just too precious!

Mash:
A-aah! Wh-what is it, Musashi!? Why are you holding my head to your chest!?

Macarios:

What're you doing...?

Adele:

Aww, it's lovely to see you getting along so well.
You're just like real sisters.

Musashi:
Oh, sorry. Just my instincts getting the better of me!

Mash:
Instincts...

Holmes:
Are you done now? Hmm. Then again, it seems like this was a well-timed break for Fujimaru.

Holmes:
Very well then, let's continue exploring
Statuetown, shall we!

Holmes:
I must say, it's been quite thrilling running around a
completely empty city like this! Wouldn't you agree?

Fou:
Fou fou, faaau!


Fujimaru 1:
Let's go!


Fujimaru 2:
My physical enhancement Mystic Code is still working. I'm ready to run!


Mash:
Right, Master!

--BATTLE--

Mash:
All hostiles have been defeated!
Continuing to make our way through this zone!

Holmes:
All right, by this point, we should start giving
Fujimaru's stamina reserves serious consideration.

Holmes:
How does this area look, A.I.!?

A.I.:
Jackpot, baby! You nailed it!

A.I.:
Looks like our idea about the enemy usin' somethin' conspicuous to cover up the site was right on the money!

A.I.:
I'm seein' a monster up ahead that looks
ta be warpin' the very space around 'em!

Musashi:
I see it!
Is that...

Koyanskaya:
Well, that's mean.

Koyanskaya:
What did I ever do to deserve being called a
monster by a bunch of lifeless faux ghosts?

Koyanskaya:
I may be an Alter Ego working with the Foreign God, but I've always strived to be a fair and impartial businesswoman above all else.

Koyanskaya:
Isn't that right, Chaldeans? Or were you too caught up in your latest Lostbelt smooshing to remember little old me?

Fou:
Foooooouuu!

Mash:
Fou, don't! Please, stay with us!

Adele:
A human woman...?

Macarios:
Hell no. There's no way that...thing could be human! She's not even trying to hide her savage magical energy, or the smell of death that hangs around her...

Macarios:
What the hell are you!?


Fujimaru 1:
Tamamo Vitch Koyanskaya!


Fujimaru 2:
Now what are you up to?


Koyanskaya:
Eee☆ What happened to the meek
little Fujimaru I remember?

Koyanskaya:
I never thought you'd ever try
to interrogate me so boldly!

Koyanskaya:
What could have changed you like this? Is it because
we're friends now? Because we bonded a bit in India?

Koyanskaya:
Anyway, while I'd love to discuss this newfound casual attitude toward me...

Koyanskaya:
...let's not forget that I'm still very much your enemy. I'm afraid I have nothing in the way of products or information for you this time.

Koyanskaya:
No, this time, I only came to check up on my Phantasmal
factory, since I'll need it for my...future endeavors.

Koyanskaya:
See, just between us, I'm actually trying to keep this
visit a secret from the gods of Olympus as well...

Koyanskaya:
So I think it'd be best for everyone if we just pretended we never saw each other and went our separate ways.

Koyanskaya:
I can see you're all very busy making preparations
to tackle this Lostbelt in earnest.

Koyanskaya:
My plan is to simply let things play out however they do, and hopefully come away with some choice Olympian products to sell when all is said and done.

Koyanskaya:
Doesn't that sound nice? Everybody wins, nobody
loses! What more could you possibly want?

Musashi:
(...Well, you heard the lady.
What do you all think?)


Fujimaru 1:
...I want to know what it is she's doing here.


Fujimaru 2:
...I think it's time we found out exactly what it is she's up to.


Holmes:
Quite right, [♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru.

Holmes:
Besides, now that Koyanskaya has seen us here,
avoiding conflict is no longer an option...

Holmes:
...since in the end, she is certain to be
the most formidable foe I need to face.

Koyanskaya:
Oh my... And why is that, pray tell? Don't you remember
the lovely chai I made you in India?

Fou:
Fou, fooou! (Special Translation: You never made anything of the sort, you stingy, two-faced fox!)

Holmes:
Koyanskaya is not part of Olympus's forces...

Holmes:
...so I rather doubt she could be motivated to actively interfere with our attack on this Lostbelt.

Holmes:
Indeed, we can say that with a fair amount of certainty,
given her behavior in all past Lostbelts to date.

Holmes:
Does this then mean she sides with the Crypters–that is, the Foreign God? Clearly not.

Holmes:
She has never once attempted to protect a Tree of Emptiness. If anything, she once treated it as no more than another product in her catalog.

Holmes:
Nor, for that matter, has she shown any sign of subservience to the Foreign God.

Holmes:
Koyanskaya, while you have told us several times
that the Foreign God commands three Disciples...

Holmes:
...you have never once directly declared
yourself to be one of them.

Holmes:
Your attempts to mislead us have been so brazenly obvious that the truth is quite apparent.

Koyanskaya:
Why yes☆ You might say that's
just my way of being sincere.

Koyanskaya:
You see, if a bunch of insects like yourselves were to accuse me of breaking a promise I never made, well, even I don't think I would be able to keep my cool♡

Musashi:
(Um... Is that true, Mash?)

Mash:
(Y-yes, it is. I'm quickly going through our past logs right now, and it's true.)

Mash:
(She never openly declared herself to be one of the Foreign God's Disciples! She's only ever said things that made it sound like she was!)

Musashi:
(Then she is just a fraud! I knew we couldn't trust
that damn monster! Being sincere, my ass!)

Holmes:
Quiet if you would, please.
I was just getting to the good part.

Holmes:
Now then... From here, our next question is obvious:

Holmes:
Who IS Tamamo Vitch Koyanskaya?

Holmes:
We know she attacked Chaldea's headquarters, and that she dealt a critical blow to Proper Human History.

Holmes:
We also know that she takes pleasure in tormenting the Lostbelt's inhabitants and seeing their lives end, even as she continues to, for want of a better way to put it, name-drop the Foreign God.

Holmes:
Even now, we can see her making moves in this Atlantic
Lostbelt as an unaffiliated third party.

Holmes:
Would it be all right with you if I voiced my
conclusions about her now, [♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru?

Holmes:
...Though of course, you may well have already
arrived at the same answer yourself.


Fujimaru 1:
(Wordlessly nod “Of course.”)


Fujimaru 2:
(Wordlessly nod in assent.)


Koyanskaya:
...

Holmes:
Who are the Foreign God's three Disciples–
the Servants they summoned themself?

Holmes:
We can say for certain that two of them are Rasputin,
from Russia, and Limbo, from Shimousa.

Holmes:
...And now, I suspect the third is Senji Muramasa,
whom we only recently learned of in Atlantis.

Holmes:
As Servants summoned by the Foreign God, they are naturally motivated to protect the Tree of Emptiness, and have attempted to do so at every turn.

Holmes:
You, on the other hand, have no affiliation with the Foreign God, yet their Disciples clearly hold you in respect.

Holmes:
From this, we can infer you are most likely a
being on equal footing with the Foreign God...

Holmes:
Or, in terms you might prefer,
a business partner. Correct?

Koyanskaya:
I like to think of it as a mutual
back-scratching sort of relationship.

Koyanskaya:
Indeed, the Foreign God and I did
sign a contract to that effect.

Koyanskaya:
“I will not eliminate you.
In return, you will not comprehend me.”

Koyanskaya:
“We will both abide by our respective principles
and see this planet through to its end.”

Koyanskaya:
But tell me, how did you come to that conclusion?

Koyanskaya:
How did you know that the Foreign God and I had
become something akin to business partners?

Holmes:
Elementary, my dear Koyanskaya. If we assume that to
be the case, everything else starts to make sense.

Holmes:
For one, it explains how you were able to work towards your own goals in each Lostbelt despite being in a similar position as the Disciples.

Holmes:
Namely, your goal of simply tormenting people, rather than growing the Trees of Emptiness.

Holmes:
We still have no data on what exactly the Foreign God is, and so cannot yet draw a clear picture of them.

Holmes:
We are, however, certain of their goal:
the destruction of modern humanity.

Holmes:
I suspect your goal is similar. Something along the lines of becoming humanity's natural enemy and destroying the entire species.

Holmes:
It is for that reason that the Foreign God did not consider you to be on the side of humanity.

Holmes:
They may even have recognized you as a competitor of sorts. No doubt that is why they chose to enter into a business arrangement.

Holmes:
I expect this agreement involved you both promising to use each others' resources, to ignore the other party as much as possible, and to avoid any direct conflict.

Holmes:
Never mind that the other party–the Foreign God, that is–appears to be the significantly greater threat.

Holmes:
Yet even so, the Foreign God clearly saw you as a threat, and so placed a collar upon you in the form of a contract.

Holmes:
You may be cruel, heartless, twisted, and depraved...but
for some reason, you take pride in being a businesswoman.

Holmes:
And of course, the quickest way to keep a freewheeling
competitor in check is to make them a partner.

Holmes:
By entering into a noncompete contract of sorts, you arrived at a position where you both stand on equal ground.

Holmes:
Am I correct, Ms. Koyanskaya?

Koyanskaya:
What an interminably long-winded explanation. Yes, that's all more or less correct.

Koyanskaya:
...So? What am I then?

Holmes:
...

Holmes:
I can only think of one entity who could give pause to
a god capable of wiping Earth clean in an instant.

Holmes:
You possess an exceptional ability to freely travel between different worlds–a power not even the other Alter Egos can wield.

Holmes:
You are a walking disaster–one with which even the Foreign God wishes to avoid coming into contact.

Holmes:
In Atlantis, we met Orion–a Grand Archer who
had been summoned by the very world itself.

Holmes:
And here in Olympus, the conditions appear to
be in place for a similar summoning ritual.

Holmes:
Taking all that into consideration,
the answer is quite clear.

Holmes:
You are an independent disaster, a being dangerous enough to merit the materialization of a Grand Servant.

Holmes:
In other words...you must be one of the
Seven Evils of Humanity; you are a Beast.

Mash:
A Beast!? But, her Spirit Origin is
still within standard parameters!

Holmes:
Because even though she's already reached a point that
warrants a Grand Servant...she's still not fully matured.

Holmes:
If she were, there would be little
call for caution on her part.

Holmes:
Well? Am I right, Ms. Koyanskaya? Or perhaps I should
call you by your True Name, if you'd care to share it?

Fou:
Fooouuu...

Koyanskaya:
Oh, Koyanskaya is just fine, Mr. Detective. After all, I don't have anything so silly as a True Name.


Fujimaru 1:
Where'd this fog come from!?


Fujimaru 2:
(Oh man, I'm getting some serious chills!)


???:
...At last.

???:
At long last, I've reached the point I've been waiting for. I would expect nothing less from you, my dear Chaldeans.

???:
One of the stipulations in my contract
with the Foreign God states:

???:
“I must not reveal my name of my own accord.”

???:
Thanks to that binding clause, I had no choice but to
go about my endeavors slowly and painstakingly...

???:
But now, at last...at last!!! I've regained a body that I can finally...stretch in. And it's all thanks to you.

???:
Hehe...
Hehehe...

???:
Ahhahahaha!

???:
You humans. Your best intentions always bring about the worst results. What you think is good sense always devolves into insufferable self-righteousness.

???:
You, with your absurd egos, always yapping about protecting humanity! You make me sick!

???:
Oh yes, I really must thank you again.

???:
Thank you so much for demolishing Goetia's nauseatingly naive ambitions beyond any possibility of repair!

Mash:
Her magical energy readings are suddenly spiking! This massive aura... The way she's eroding the space around her... It's as though she really is–

???:
Now that I've had my pick of all the finest breeds in every Lostbelt, I was wondering when the best time would be to unveil myself.

???:
It's been just unbearable, waiting for the chance to try out a tail or two of my own.

???:
So I thought, why not give myself a treat...

???:
...and toy with humanity personally for a change!?

Olympus Twins:
...!

???:
Hahahahahaha!
Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

???:
So I tell you what! As your just reward for figuring me out, I'm going to take my time with you!

???:
Who knows? Perhaps my tails will end up crushing
you before the mechanical gods get a chance!

Mash:
The target's shape and mass have both changed dramatically! It's absorbing nearby magical energy and growing larger!

I:Mash:
It appears to be some kind of shadowy
four-legged creature of unknown origin!

Musashi:
Here she comes!
Get ready, Mash!

--BATTLE--

Musashi:
Ghh!

Musashi:
(I can't figure her out! I can tell there's something
there, but that's it! I've got no idea what it could be!)

Musashi:
(So how the hell is she giving off this pressure!? Since when does magical energy alone make something tangible!?)

Musashi:
(It feels like she could blow up this whole damn
Lostbelt if I end up poking her the wrong way!)

Mash:
She's roaring!
She's about to blast the whole area!

Holmes:
It's not only that. She means to end this battle now.
At least, the one we're fighting here in this Lostbelt.

Musashi:
I bet she does!

Musashi:
I may not be able to get a solid read on her,
but I can definitely tell she's out for blood!

Musashi:
But as they say, it's all too easy to hide your head and end up showing your ass! And now, her ass is mine!

Musashi:
...Followed by!

Caenis:
Up here, bitch!

Caenis:
Ha! That got her good!

Caenis:
Not bad, you crazy samurai! Not bad at all!
How'd you know I love taking my enemies by surprise!?

Mash:
A falling strike from a great height!?
I didn't even see the jump...

Mash:
B-but never mind that! Caenis's strike finished her off! It looks like she's gone–

Fou:
Fooou!
Fou fou! Fou!

Mash:
...No, she's not. She's–

Koyanskaya:
...

Mash:
The enemy Servant is still alive and well! In fact, her Spirit Origin doesn't even seem to be scratched!

Musashi:
!!!

Koyanskaya:
Don't move, Saber.
This is not where you are meant to meet your end.

Koyanskaya:
So, we have a Lancer, a Shielder, a Master, and a coward who did nothing but stand back and watch.

Koyanskaya:
Yes, that's enough for my formal debut. Unless, of course, you'd prefer to keep fighting until you all perish?


Fujimaru 1:
...No, we don't want that.


Fujimaru 2:
...That's enough, everyone. Stand down.


Holmes:
...It seems the situation has changed.
I concur with [♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru's decision.

Holmes:
So, are you satisfied now, Ms. Koyanskaya?
Was our combined effort enough to win you over?

Koyanskaya:
...Yes, it was.

Koyanskaya:
You were neither too weak nor too strong.
You were juuust right.

Koyanskaya:
Looks like there shouldn't be any problem with letting the gods of Olympus here deal with you.

Koyanskaya:
At any rate, now that I've had a good long stretch,
and my shoulders aren't so stiff anymore...

Koyanskaya:
...why don't we stop all this fighting and prying so we can all get back to our respective business?

Koyanskaya:
Don't worry, I wouldn't dream of breathing a word
of this little tête-à-tête to anyone else.

Koyanskaya:
Consider it a token of appreciation for giving me such a nice little massage.

Holmes:
Can I take that to mean you won't mention this
encounter to either Zeus or the Crypters?

Holmes:
That would be a great help, and I see no reason to refuse. We are very much working against the clock, after all.

Koyanskaya:
Good. Then we have a deal.

Koyanskaya:
Just as well. I certainly have no interest in any
representative of humanity who can't even see the real me.

Koyanskaya:
All right, good luck growing
even stronger in this Lostbelt.

Koyanskaya:
I do hope your battles here
are fruitful and victorious.

Musashi:
...She's finally gone, huh. Phew.

Caenis:
Holmes, yeah? Got a lotta experience handling bitches like that or something?

Holmes:
Oh, I wouldn't say that. While I do have some experience dealing with spies...

Holmes:
...I'm not at all sure that would
be the right category in her case.

H:Mash:
Confirming that...um, I'll call Beast Koyanskaya for the time being, has retreated in her spirit form!

H:Mash:
The battle is over, Master!


Fujimaru 1:
Great work, everyone!



Fujimaru 1:
...Now, what about the second spot for you-know-what?


Macarios:
Don't worry, we've got this! Luckily, the spot turned
out to be right where Holmes thought it would be.

Macarios:
I guess that weird shadowy monster
you fought must have been hiding it.

Adele:
I already had the A.I. contact Caligula.
He should be here any–

Caligula:
Apologies for my tardiness.

Musashi:
Damn, speak of the emperor! Would be nice to take a
little rest... But I guess that'll just have to wait.

Caligula:
Now that our second objective has been fulfilled,
let us hurry on to the final one!


Fujimaru 1:
Let's go!


H:Mash:
Right, Master!

Fou:
Fou fou, fooou!

Section 12: Thou Art the Ardor that Corrupts the Stars (IV)

Narration:
Interstellar Mountainous City Olympus. Great Orbital Shrine Olympia Dodona, the center of its operations.

Europa:
A revelation is upon us.

Europa:
Now is the time of revelation.

Europa:
He is the supreme god that rules all from on high.
He is the lightning that flashes across the heavens.

Europa:
He is the one who shall emerge triumphant over all myths. He is the one destined to conquer the entire universe.

Europa:
He is the one who shall command the sacred bird and find the site of the sacred tree. None less than the Authorities of Hades and Poseidon bow to his will.

Europa:
He is the great demiurge. He is the one who shall forever serve as the core of the Zeus Olympia!

Europa:
Now, behold the words of the almighty Zeus!

Zeus:
...There is work to be done.

Zeus:
I command you by my name, Aphrodite.

Zeus:
You are to eradicate the Chaldeans who dare to disturb my interstellar mountainous city.

Zeus:
I permit you to use your Aletheia in every district of Olympus. May your gleeful laughter shatter the bones of the enemies that threaten our world.

Aphrodite:
It would be my pleasure, Father!

Aphrodite:
Demeter was my friend, and I shall avenger her and make amends for the sins she unwittingly committed in the name of love, which is my divine domain.

Aphrodite:
Indeed, it was love that proved her fatal weakness,
for it was love that warped her Divine Core.

Aphrodite:
But I have no such weakness. As love and beauty are mine to command, I would never fall prey to love's madness.

Aphrodite:
I shall use all the power and Authority
I command to eradicate our enemies.

Aphrodite:
...I swear on my husband, Hephaestus.

Limbo:
Mmm... Mmm, mmmmmmmmm?
Oh my, oh my my.

Limbo:
I never dreamed the all-powerful machine gods who crossed the sea of stars would think to avenge a fallen comrade!

Limbo:
What a truly bizarre thing to say!

Limbo:
You must have thought your comrade pitifully pathetic for letting herself succumb to the humans you all thought beneath your notice.

Limbo:
How utterly comical!

Priest:
...

Limbo:
Yes?

Priest:
...The gods have agreed to help us.
You shouldn't rile them up just for laughs.

Limbo:
...Ahh, yes, you're right! You're absolutely right!
This won't do at all!

Limbo:
Perhaps I'm letting my impatience get the better of me now that those loathsome Chaldeans are so close at hand!

Priest:
This is no joking matter.

Limbo:
Oh no, absolutely not! Believe me, I am quite serious when I say that we ignore Chaldea at our per–

Priest:
Which is why I have, of course, already taken measures
to deal with them. That's part of our job, after all.

Limbo:
I was speaking to you with nothing but the most
genuine convictions...but very well then.

Limbo:
In that case, I suppose I can remain here
and see how matters play out from on high!

Limbo:
O ancient gods of Greece–Or rather,
former gods of an ancient continent!

Limbo:
...I suggest you take this time to enjoy yourselves however you like, for the advent of our Foreign God is close at hand.

Priest:
Yes, it is.

Priest:
All we ask from you is that you continue
to support the Tree of Emptiness.

Priest:
Whatever you do with the rest of your Lostbelt
is strictly your concern, not ours.

Priest:
At least, that is the contract we
have struck for this Lostbelt.

Limbo:
Haha–

Dioscuri - Castor:
What are you doing, Aphrodite? Why are you still allowing that imitation human there to remain alive?

Dioscuri - Castor:
There is no need to restrain yourself merely because he happens to be a god-eating Alter Ego.

Dioscuri - Castor:
He deserves a thousand deaths for his
insolent behavior in Zeus's presence.

Dioscuri - Castor:
With your Authority, you could surely destroy any Servant with a Spirit Core connected to a brain and heart.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Big Brother, Aphrodite is–

Aphrodite:
Sorry, Dioscuri, but you'll just
have to grin and bear it.

Aphrodite:
Yesterday, I may not have stood by, but today, I am far more concerned with destroying the Chaldeans.

Limbo:
Hm?

Zeus:
Eradicate Chaldea.
That is your task.

Zeus:
This divine order is your highest priority.

Zeus:
Hear me now, Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, and my daughter.

Zeus:
Kill the Chaldeans. Leave no trace of them behind.

Aphrodite:
It will be done, Father.

Beryl:
First Demeter, now Aphrodite, huh.

Beryl:
Sending in your forces one at a time seems like piss-poor strategy to me, but these gods obviously still think there's no way they could lose.

Beryl:
I swear, why would these great deities
possibly think this is a good idea?

Peperoncino:
It does seem shortsighted,
but I can think of one reason.

Peperoncino:
My guess is, they feel it would be beneath them
to muster all their forces against mere humans.

Peperoncino:
I suppose that's one of the few ways their higher existence holds them back.

Beryl:
Well, the joke'll be on them
if they end up losing this fight.

Beryl:
Speaking of which, what do you make of Chaldea's chances? Think they can win?

Beryl:
Zeus said they've got one of Atlas's Seven Taboos, right? The Black Barrel, was it?

Beryl:
They're trying to fight superweapons with an even stronger superweapon, huh. That's humanity for you, all right.

Beryl:
Still, while I do admire the hustle, I can't
help but wonder if maybe they're going too far?

Beryl:
Forget the bleaching, it sounds like if they mess up when using that thing, it could end the whole damn world.

Peperoncino:
Well, this is all based off information Zeus overheard,
so I can't say anything more right now...

Peperoncino:
...but since he thinks it won't be a problem, I'm inclined to think it isn't all that dangerous of a weapon.

Peperoncino:
Of course, that assumes–

Beryl:
That it's not technology beyond
the Olympian gods' understanding?

Beryl:
Hey, I didn't give up on my own Lostbelt for nothing.
I know full well how scary each one is.

Beryl:
And while I'll admit that the Atlantic Lostbelt's
technology surpasses Proper Human History's...

Beryl:
...Proper Human History's also got some real
nasty bombs just waiting to be woken up.

Beryl:
And the Atlas Institute's one of the nastiest.
I'm worried, Peperoncino.

Beryl:
I'm worried the Olympian gods might be setting themselves up for one of those classic “pride goeth before a fall” scenarios, and that I'll have to kiss this sweet life I've got here goodbye!

Peperoncino:
...I understand. But don't worry.
There's no way Aphrodite is going to lose.

Peperoncino:
After all, she's not the kind of opponent
you can overwhelm with sheer firepower.

Peperoncino:
So it doesn't matter how many Heroic Spirits they throw at her. They'll still never be able to touch her.

Beryl:
That so? Well, coming from you, that makes me feel a whole lot better. Sounds like Aphrodite's one hell of a goddess.

Peperoncino:
Oh yes. Not a very attractive woman, though.

Peperoncino:
...And she's plenty sad in her own way.

Beryl:
You don't say. By the way, Pepe, any idea
where little Kadoc might've gone?

Beryl:
I haven't seen him once since Chaldea showed up here,
and I can't help wondering what he's up to.

Beryl:
He's always had something of a rebellious
streak to him, after all. If Kirschtaria...

Beryl:
Or worse, the Foreign God were to start suspecting he was up to something, the Alter Egos'd be all over him like white on rice, right?

Beryl:
Being the older brother figure for him that I am,
I can't help but worry about the little guy, y'know?

Beryl:
I've told him "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em"
a bunch of times, but it never seems to stick.

Beryl:
So, got any ideas, Scandinavia Peperoncino?

Peperoncino:
No, can't say I do. Now that you mention it,
I haven't seen Kadoc around anywhere, either.

Peperoncino:
But near as I can tell,
he's been hanging out in the city a lot recently.

Peperoncino:
You know how serious he is, right? He might just be
caught up in learning all about Olympus technology.

Narration:
Interstellar Mountainous City Olympus.

Narration:
East District.

Narration:
Once again, the very same alarm that rang yesterday sounds again to signal imminent danger.

Narration:
The people of the East District huddle together in branch shrines, which double as the district's emergency shelters, waiting with bated breath for the danger to pass.

Narration:
...Nothing happens. Ahh, thank goodness.
It must have been a false alarm.

Narration:
But no sooner do they start to let themselves relax than it appears.

Narration:
An enormous...

Narration:
...monstrosity.

Narration:
The form of one of the gods casting
a shadow over all below her.

Narration:
This is the Aletheia that presides over love and beauty–the mechanical god known as Aphrodite.

Narration:
In Proper Human History's Rome, she was also known as
Venus–a name that meant both “worship” and “blessing.”

Narration:
Aphrodite has two sides: Urania, the chaste and lofty Muse of astronomy, and Pandemos, the lusty and sensual goddess of the earth.

Narration:
Through these two sides–one reflecting ideals, the other reality–she guides humanity along a path she herself defines.

Narration:
As a deity, she did feel love towards humans.
But all the same...

Narration:
Beauty is control.

Narration:
Love is power.

Narration:
Citizens of Olympus–those who know my love and beauty well.

Narration:
Prepare to cry tears of joy.

Narration:
Rest assured, your suffering will not be in vain.

Narration:
Commence corruption.

--ARROW--


Fujimaru 1:
...!


Mash:
Ah...

Mash:
Ah... Aah... Aaaaaah...!
Sen...pai...!

Mash:
This attack... It feels like...it's
ringing right inside my head...!

Mash:
And, again... They're attacking...their own city...

Mash:
Their own...people...just to get to us!

Mash:
The Ortinax's output...is falling...
Magical energy...declining... Master...!


Fujimaru 1:
Mash...!


Fujimaru 2:
It feels like...my head's splitting open!


Musashi:
Nnngh... This is...argh!

Musashi:
Now I wish...I'd attained enlightenment...as well as...
the void...! Khh! Oh man...this is...really bad...!

Caenis:
...Dammit, dammit, dammit!
I can't even see straight anymore!

Adele:
This is Aphrodite's true form! A massive, intelligent life-form guidance terminal...and Spiritron info-warfare fighter!

Adele:
Her true body...
Her machine god unit...

Adele:
...can carry out mental attacks...across a
massive area... Ghh... Aaah...!

Macarios:
She can instantly induce mental breakdowns...
in any intelligent life-form... Even a Servant!

Macarios:
This is why...Kintoki's team...started attacking each other...

Macarios:
But this time...we've got...a plan!
Caligula!

Caligula:
...Not yet. It is still too soon. This is nothing
more than a sign of things yet to come.

Caligula:
All of you! I urge you to hold out as best you can!

Mash:
(...!)

Mash:
(All this power...and she's still not even trying!?)

Mash:
(So then, when she does begin her attack in earnest...is that when Caligula is going to activate his countermeasure!?)

Holmes:
Try to complete our primary objective as quickly as you
can! From there, we'll put as much distance between
her and us as we–Khh!

Holmes:
It feels as though she's directly mucking about in my mind... She must be using massive magical energy projections to interfere with our brains!

Holmes:
Is she attempting to destroy our brains? ...No! She's manipulating our perceptions, awareness, and sensations!

Holmes:
This isn't a physical attack!
It's a mental one!

Holmes:
Now I see... Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty! For what
is beauty if not the manipulation of the mind...!

Holmes:
...No, this isn't mere manipulation. She's outright
redefining our values, minds, and sense of self!

Narration:
Beauty is worth.

Narration:
Love, at times, can also be worth.

Narration:
Worth is derived from necessity and desire. It bestows
intelligent life-forms with a sense of fulfillment.

Narration:
Worth is what humans depend on.

Narration:
Therefore...

Narration:
As the god of love and beauty,
I control everything about you.

Narration:
So long as you are thinking, intelligent beings,
humans will never be a match for gods.

Narration:
Hehe...

Narration:
Hehe, haha, ahahahahahahahaha! You pitiful organic
life-forms only just learned to walk on two feet!

Narration:
You do not even know how pathetically
small and fragile you are!

Narration:
Compared to we children of Chaos...

Narration:
We who crossed the sea of stars, and even know the whereabouts of the glittering Tannhäuser mirror world plane in the outer universe...

Narration:
You pitiful humans...

Narration:
...are simply too tiny and powerless for words!

Musashi:
...(Huff, huff)...
Hrah!

Mash:
Musashi!?
Why did you attack me!?

Musashi:
Damn, it didn't work, huh. Really would've
liked to finish the job with that strike.

Musashi:
Regrowing your head right after it's been cut off is no fair! All right, come at me, you undead coward! If one strike won't finish you off, I'll just have to keep hacking away until you're done!

Mash:
Huh!?


Fujimaru 1:
Regrowing a severed head...

Mash:
Wh-what are you...seeing right now, Musashi...?

Mash:
Are you sure...you're perceiving reality correctly?


Fujimaru 2:
No way... Is she reliving her memories of Shimousa!?

Mash:
...!

Mash:
So...she's conflating past memories...with the present...


Mash:
I think...she must be seeing past enemies...
when she looks at us!

Adele:
It's Aphrodite's mental attack!
She mixes up memories...and incites anger...

Musashi:
Looks like we've got one...two...three...
four monsters in broad daylight.

Musashi:
That's a lot...but it's not too many for me to handle.

Musashi:
All right, you lot, let's start with those of you who aren't afraid of Niten Ichiryu. Don't worry, I'll cut you all down to size eventually.

Caenis:
...This is gonna be rough.

Caenis:
She just punches through my Saber Spirit Origin
Magic Resistance like it's nothing!

Caenis:
This shit is why I hate Authority!

Mash:
Master... (Huff, huff)...
Please, get behind my shield...!

Holmes:
...

Holmes:
...I expected you were a master marksman, Colonel Moran, but I didn't think you would use such an outdated weapon.

Holmes:
In that case, you'll be the next to go over the Reichenbach after I've plied you with a bit of baritsu!

Mash:
Holmes! Not you too...!

Caligula:
They have both lost their minds. Hurry. In the meantime, we must whittle away at their will to fight without damaging their Spirit Cores.

Caligula:
Is that all right with you, Master of Chaldea?


Fujimaru 1:
Go for it!


Fujimaru 2:
Yes! Please help us, Caligula!


Caligula:
Very well!
Come, shield-maiden! On your feet!

Caligula:
If you would face the difficulties that lie before you not with a sword, but a shield, then you cannot fall to your knees!

Caligula:
You must overcome your very self–the self that would eat away at your own heart if given the chance!

Mash:
!

J:Mash:
Engaging Ortinax's combat mode!
Activating forced output increase maneuver!

J:Mash:
...Initiating...battle!

--BATTLE--

Mash:
Musashi!
Holmes...!

Musashi:
...!

Musashi:
(What's going on!?
My body's moving on its own...)

Musashi:
(No, that's not it! Not even cutting my consciousness off from my corrupted mind is enough to retake control of my body! I can't stop fighting!)

Musashi:
(My urge to kill keeps growing all on its own!)

Musashi:
(This is...some kind of mental attack
that makes allies kill each other!)

Musashi:
(You'd think a god of all beings wouldn't resort
to such cruel and underhanded measures!)

Musashi:
(Mash! Fujimaru! You've got to get out of here!
If this urge to kill ends up consuming my entire consciousness, too...)

Musashi:
(I won't be able to stop myself from killing you!)

Musashi:
Aaaaaaaaah!

Musashi:
Stop...singing...inside my...head!!!

Mash:
Musashi just disappeared!?
Where did she go!?


Fujimaru 1:
Behind you!


Fujimaru 2:
Mash, look out!


Musashi:
(No!)

Musashi:
(Her neck is wide open!
I can't hold myself back anymore–)

Caenis:
Tch!


Fujimaru 1:
Caenis!

Caenis:
Nice. Very nice! So that's your real
fighting style, huh, samurai!?

Caenis:
It's greedy, and dirty...and the
way you kill, even more so! Hahaha!

Caenis:
'Course, I'd expect nothing less from a woman
carryin' around a whole bunch of swords!


Fujimaru 2:
(You shielded Mash!)

Caenis:
Don't be stupid! I just couldn't have
your own ally taking you punks out!

Caenis:
Nobody kills you but me. Don't you forget it!


Musashi:
...

Caenis:
...Aphrodite's Authority's a royal pain in the ass,
but this ain't so bad.

Caenis:
I can't let my guard down for a second with an opponent
like this, and that keeps her damn song at bay!

Musashi:
...!

Caligula:
Magnificent, Miyamoto Musashi. You have done a tremendous job fending off Venus's fearsome onslaught.

Caligula:
I can see you are holding yourself back considerably.

Mash:
Caligula! Did you just catch Musashi's blade...
with your bare hands!?

Caenis:
The hell you think you're doing, Caligula!?
Stay outta our way!

Caligula:
If Musashi had truly been serious, that strike would have sent both your arm and the shield-maiden's head flying.

Caligula:
Surely you of all warriors can understand that.

Caenis:
...Tch.

Caligula:
I shall take it from here.
Hrn!

Caligula:
My palm may now be slashed to ribbons...but that is a fair price to pay for depriving her of one of her swords.

Caligula:
Though I am unsure how effective taking one of her swords from her will be when she has four.

Mash:
Thank you...Caligula!

Caligula:
Neither Miyamoto Musashi nor Sherlock Holmes
are able to use their full power.

Caligula:
Thus, we have opportunities to counter them.

Caligula:
Take Miyamoto Musashi. In her peak condition, I would
never be able to keep pace with her swordplay...

Caligula:
...but with her body and her mind opposed like this,
I need but observe her to find any number of openings.

Mash:
A-are you sure...?

Mash:
In my case, I...
I'm not sure I can even stand much longer...

Caligula:
Do not fall to your knees!

Mash:
!

Caligula:
Remember what I said! You, of all people, must
never let your knees touch the ground.

Caligula:
You are an inspiration to me,
shield-maiden!

Caligula:
As one dedicated solely to the shield, you must be the descendant of a great hero who stood firm even against vast armies.

Caligula:
You are just the sort of soldier Mars, our guardian, and those he bestowed his protection upon, would be proud of!

Mash:
...Right!

Caligula:
...There. At last, the time is right.

Caligula:
I have continually resisted the goddess's song,
so my power will surely reach her.

Caligula:
Mash Kyrielight, Fujimaru, I ask only
that you buy me a small amount of time...

Caligula:
...with which to prepare my Noble Phantasm!

Mash:
R-right!


Fujimaru 1:
You...got it...



Fujimaru 1:
Huh?


Mash:
Senpai?


Fujimaru 1:
Who's...singing...?


Caenis:
Hm? Hey. What's wrong with–

Mash:
Master!?

Mash:
Caligula, wait!!!
Senpai is–


Fujimaru 1:
Mash!


Mash:
Senpai!

Section 13: Thou Art the Ardor that Corrupts the Stars (V)


Fujimaru 1:
...



Fujimaru 1:
Where am I...?


Voice:
You don't look like you're Rayshift-sick.
What, you didn't get enough sleep last night?

Male Yaga:
If you're tired, then go back to sleep.
But if you have a reason to be up, then stay up.

Male Yaga:
...Are you listening to me?


Fujimaru 1:
...


Male Yaga:
Ugh, fine. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

Scandinavian Girl:
Is something wrong, Patxi?

Scandinavian Girl:
Oh, good morning, [♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru.

Scandinavian Girl:
...?
[♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru?

Male Yaga:
See for yourself what's wrong with [♂ him /♀️ her]. I don't know what's going on. Maybe [♂ he /♀️ she] ate something [♂ he /♀️ she] shouldn't have, maybe [♂ he /♀️ she] heard some weird song somewhere...

Scandinavian Girl:
A song?

Male Yaga:
Yeah. Did they have songs back where you came from?

Scandinavian Girl:
Oh yes, we had seven of them. There were four
about the envoys, and three about the giants.

Scandinavian Girl:
The second envoy one was always my favorite...

Scandinavian Girl:
B-but never mind that now! What
are we going to do about [♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru!?

Scandinavian Girl:
Should we help [♂ him /♀️ her] lie down?
Or give [♂ him /♀️ her] some medicine?

Male Yaga:
Maybe we oughta take [♂ him /♀️ her] to a doctor.

Scandinavian Girl:
A doctor?

Male Yaga:
Now who do we know around here who might know
something about medicine... Aha, got it.

Male Yaga:
Hey, Asha! Over here!
And don't forget the horse!

Indian Girl:
Um...
Good morning...?

Indian Girl:
Oh, hi, [♂ mister /♀️ miss].
...What's wrong? Does your tummy hurt?

Chinese Horse:
A horse? Did someone just call me a horse?

Chinese Horse:
Well, Lu Bu's frame is as broad and gallant as any noble steed, and I am none other than Lu Bu!

Chinese Horse:
Regardless, I do have an obligation to let you and your father ride on my back through this stirring morning air, Lady Asha.

Chinese Horse:
Now, if you wouldn't mind, Lady Asha,
please get up on my back.

Indian Girl:
B-but, what about [♂ mister /♀️ miss] Fujimaru?
I think there's something wrong with [♂ him /♀️ her].

Chinese Horse:
Hm? ...Oh, now that you mention it,
[♂ he /♀️ she] does seem pale.

Scandinavian Girl:
Right? [♂ He /♀️ She] does, doesn't [♂ he /♀️ she]?
What should we do?

Chinese Horse:
I don't see what we can do.
It looks like [♂ he's /♀️ she's] hearing the song.

Male Yaga:
I had a feeling that was it.


Fujimaru 1:
...

Scandinavian Girl:
[♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru? Are you okay?

Male Yaga:
I don't think [♂ he /♀️ she] can hear us. Now that [♂ he's /♀️ she's]
hearing the song, there's nothing we can do for [♂ him /♀️ her].

Male Yaga:
[♂ He's /♀️ She's] gonna have to find [♂ his /♀️ her] own way out of this.


Fujimaru 2:
So...Ng? WHat...SonG...?

Male Yaga:
You know.


Head of R & D:
Your vitals and physical exams all check out.
Man, you are in incredible shape, you know that?

Head of R & D:
But, it also looks to me like you're
pushing yourself too hard.

Head of R & D:
I can observe your vitals and physical stats all day long, but aside from things like brain wave measurements, pulse rate, and blood pressure...

Head of R & D:
...the problem is that I can't actually take a peek into your mind.

Head of R & D:
...Hey.

Head of R & D:
You kind of instinctively know what you need
to do to pass these tests, don't you?

Head of R & D:
I guess that's no surprise since you've done them so many times, but just 'cause you can doesn't mean you should.

Head of R & D:
Listen, Fujimaru.

Head of R & D:
You're not here to make us happy by
getting full marks on your tests.

Head of R & D:
All you need to do is be honest and let yourself fail the
tests you can't easily pass now. It's for your own good.

Head of R & D:
Hm?

Head of R & D:
...If you fail, there's no one who can take your place?

Head of R & D:
Hm, that's true. There is a lot resting on your shoulders, and no one to take up what you can't carry. I understand that.

Head of R & D:
But if nothing else...

Head of R & D:
...you can still at least let us worry about
you and help you how we can, right?


Fujimaru 1:
OkAy.

Head of R & D:
...Thank you.


Fujimaru 2:
I caN hEar a SoNg.

Head of R & D:
Oh, right.

Head of R & D:
There you go. That's exactly what I'm talking about.
Thank you for telling me, Fujimaru.

Head of R & D:
...You're right. You are hearing a song right now. It is a divine melody, heard in your soul, not your ears.

Head of R & D:
The song's already seized your cerebral cortex and limbic system, so your mind could fall apart at any time.

Head of R & D:
...We need to find you a doctor.


Chaldea Engineer:
I'm talking about those two.
Man, when did they get so close?

Chaldea Engineer:
Makes me feel like I'm back in college...or even high school. It's enough to make me forget I'm actually at an advanced research institution.

Chaldea Engineer:
Oh, but don't get me wrong.
I mean it all in a good way.

Chaldea Engineer:
My job might be kind of dull, but when I see young people like that who're still so full of potential, well...

Chaldea Engineer:
It just gets me right in the feels, you know?
...Uh, and again, I don't mean that in a weird way.

Chaldea Engineer:
I think it's 'cause I've got a much younger sister back
home. I just get all misty-eyed whenever I see them.

Chaldea Engineer:
...Whup. Speak of the devil.

Chaldea Engineer:
All right, I'm heading back to work.
Don't tell them I said anything, okay!? I mean it!

Mash:
Oh! Good morning, Senpai.

Rayshift-Compatible Person:
Morning, Fujimaru.

Rayshift-Compatible Person:
...?

Rayshift-Compatible Person:
Are you okay? You don't look so hot.
Did you go outside the base or something?

Mash:
She's right, Senpai. You're very pale. In fact,
it looks like something is very wrong with you

Rayshift-Compatible Person:
Is it that bad?

Mash:
Y-yes! This isn't what Senpai is usually like at all!
I think [♂ he's /♀️ she's] in serious danger!

Mash:
We need to get [♂ him /♀️ her] to the doctor immediately!


Fujimaru 1:
Doctor.

Mash:
Yes, Dr. berserk1 !

Ophelia, would you cast a sedative spell on [♂ him /♀️ her]?

Rayshift-Compatible Person:
Sure.
Don't move, Fujimaru.


Fujimaru 2:
waNna Sing tOGetheR?

Mash:
...?

Rayshift-Compatible Person:
...No, Fujimaru.

J:Rayshift-Compatible Person:
We can't hear the goddess's song.
Only you can.

J:Rayshift-Compatible Person:
Hurry. It won't be long before her
song seizes control of your heart.

J:Rayshift-Compatible Person:
That song is a song of love. It twists your very soul. It can send even a thousand armies to their deaths in an instant.

J:Rayshift-Compatible Person:
It's a form of Mental Corruption that forces those who hear it to kill everything they hold dear, even as it sings of love and affection.

J:Rayshift-Compatible Person:
...You already know what's going on, don't you?

J:Rayshift-Compatible Person:
I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.
You heard all this before you fell into this state.

J:Rayshift-Compatible Person:
You need to wake up. Hurry.

J:Rayshift-Compatible Person:
You're in an especially precarious state
now that you've touched the Barrel.

J:Rayshift-Compatible Person:
You mustn't stay here for long.
Please. You need to wake up.

J:Rayshift-Compatible Person:
If you don't...

J:Rayshift-Compatible Person:
...you'll end up killing Mash.



Fujimaru 1:
Director?


Inspector:
Director? Whatever are you talking about?

Inspector:
I'm the reputable inspector the Clock Tower
sent here to, well, inspect the place.

Inspector:
Really, Sion, you simply must do a better job of training your employees.


Fujimaru 1:
Then...where is the director...?


Inspector:
How should I know where your director is? Wait...
Does this mean he's been dismissed from his post? Really?

Inspector:
Do you really mean to say you dismissed no less a figure than an ex-Lord from his post!? Just what kind of messed-up organization am I inspecting here!?

Inspector:
N-no. No, no, that can't be right.

Inspector:
In fact, now that I've taken a closer look, I can
see [♂ he's /♀️ she's] deathly pale! [♂ He /♀️ She] can't possibly be in
[♂ his /♀️ her] right mind!

Sion:
Oh, wow, you are right. This is not good at all.
[♂ He /♀️ She] clearly needs immediate medical attention.

Sion:
Doctor. Doctor! I am sorry to bother you
on your break, but this is an emergency!

Doctor?:

berserk1 .

berserk2 .

Doctor?:
berserk2, berserk1.
berserk1.

Doctor?:
berserk1. berserk1,
Fujimaru.


Fujimaru 1:
Are you...the doctor?


Fujimaru 2:
I heAr...siNginG

Doctor?:
berserk2, berserk1?


Narration:
...I must have been dreaming.

Narration:
...I saw people who couldn't be there.

Narration:
...And.

Narration:
...I heaR sIngiNg.

Man's Voice:
What incredibly...

Man's Voice:
...incredibly poor taste.

Man's Voice:
I see. So, if love and beauty are worth,
then the god of both controls worth itself.

Man's Voice:
I suppose I should have expected such an ancient machine to come out swinging. It certainly seems to have worked.

Man's Voice:
Though really, when it comes to humans–intelligent life-forms with minds that constantly seek fellow souls to form connections...

Man's Voice:
...I can see why an attack of this
manner would be so effective.

Shadow:
Gah! It's so damn noisy! My flames can easily handle a
fair amount of corruption, but this is just too much.

Shadow:
So, a god, huh? One that came right out of the gate as the ruler of minds.

Shadow:
And this god is a machine that's been around since ancient times? Hah. What a joke.

Shadow:
It's just a big hunk of floating metal! A broken-down
music box that happened to learn a few new tricks!

Shadow:
Listen to me, Fujimaru.
This is very important.

Shadow:
Remember the Black Barrel.
Remember the Command Spell ammunition.

Shadow:
No matter what kind of transcendent
destructive light you may touch...

Shadow:
...your soul is yours alone.

Narration:
But...in this dream...

Narration:
...there are people here...who shouldn't be.

Narration:
They're right here.

Narration:
I still want to talk to them.

Narration:
I still want...

Narration:
...to be with all of them.

Male Yaga:
Then stop.
Forget everything I ever told you and just stop.

Chaldea Engineer:
I'm not thrilled about it, but, as always,
the choice is yours.


Fujimaru 1:
But...


Rayshift-Compatible Person:
...Yes?


Fujimaru 1:
I can't stop now.


Rayshift-Compatible Person:
No, I suppose not.


Fujimaru 1:
I still haven't found an answer...



Fujimaru 1:
...I can be proud of.


Doctor's Voice:
...I see.

Doctor's Voice:
That's so like you, Fujimaru.

Shadow:
Then open your eyes, my accomplice!

Shadow:
Open your eyes and extend your hand up to the sky!

Shadow:
As the Roman emperor says, there is nothing beyond
your reach. Haha, hahahahaha! Nothing!

Shadow:
If you wish, you may give yourself over to the ancient goddess's song, fall to the curse, let yourself be overwhelmed...and snap your beloved flower clean in two!

Shadow:
Or, you may continue to rebel down to your very last brain cell, let loose a battle cry...and stretch your hand out towards the one you love!

Shadow:
To be human is to wish. To want. To struggle! To harbor immense desires! If this decrepit bucket of bolts calling herself a god would try to stop you, then kill her!

Shadow:
For if I know you...

Shadow:
...I know you can make it happen!

Mash:
Senpai!

Mash:
Senpai...!


Fujimaru 1:
Mash!?

Mash:
Yes, it's me! Oh, thank goodness...
You're awake again!


Fujimaru 2:
Is this...Olympus?

Mash:
Yes, that's right!
We're in Olympus, in the East District!


Mash:
Musashi and Holmes are okay, too!
Right after you collapsed, Caligula–

Caligula:
Fortunately, my Noble Phantasm, Flucticulus Diana,
was able to temporarily counteract Venus's mental attack!

Caligula:
I may not be able to use it multiple times in succession, but fortunately, I do not have to. Blavatsky's predictions were right on the mark!

Caligula:
The twins have already accomplished our ultimate objective! All that remains now...

Caligula:
...is to bring the floating goddess
of beauty down from the sky!

Macarios:
Damn straight.
We pulled off what we came here for!

Adele:
Thank...you...Caligula...

Adele:
Your Noble Phantasm...was just what
we needed to fight Aphrodite.

Adele:
We knew her power could control minds...

Adele:
But your Noble Phantasm uses Artemis's Authority to affect minds as well.

Holmes:
They effectively cancel each other out, hmm. Fascinating. At any rate, my apologies for attacking you all!

Musashi:
Same here! Sorry!

Musashi:
And thanks, Caenis and Caligula!

Caenis:
Ha! I was looking forward to cutting you in half.
Eh, guess it'll have to wait.

Caenis:
Right now, the important thing's that the emperor's
Noble Phantasm got rid of that weird singing voice!

Caenis:
Now's our chance to smack down
that overgrown pelvis on wings!

Caligula:
Indeed, we cannot let this opportunity pass us by!
Fujimaru!

Fou:
Fou, fooou!


Fujimaru 1:
It's time to strike back!

Mash:
Right!


Fujimaru 2:
But, how are we gonna reach her without a spell or Mystic Code for flight?

Macarios:
Leave that to us.
We've got just the thing!


Holmes:
Aphrodite appears to be hovering at a fairly significant height. She's apt to shoot us down well before we could reach her with an airwalk or the like...

Macarios:
Exactly. That's why we're going
to use this to take to the skies!

Macarios:
Connecting to Prometheus-Hephaestus transmission network... There! Linking spaces and transmitting matter now! Prepare for instantaneous expansion!

Macarios:
Everyone, stand back a bit!
This space is about to be twisted off!

Musashi:
Whoa. Did the space around us just start warping?

Holmes:
I initially assumed this to be some manner of large-scale spatial manipulation spell, but it seems to be more akin to ultra high-speed matter transport... Or perhaps teleportation!

Macarios:
Come forth, Stymphalides!

Macarios:
This is our aircraft, Stymphalides Blackwing!

Macarios:
It's the God Destroyer Alliance's one and only ultrasonic mobile fighter! Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Helena built it themselves!

Macarios:
Aphrodite's air-to-ground attacks cover way too much area, so we can't head straight for her Icarus-style!

Adele:
Instead, we're going to use Stymphalides
to send you all up even higher!

Caligula:
I see.
So we will be looking down on the goddess from above.

Caligula:
How very insolent.
However, I think such insolence suits me now.

Caligula:
I will go and face her from on high!
Who will accompany me?

Musashi:
Oh, you better believe I'm coming along too.
I've gotta make up for attacking you guys earlier.

Holmes:
I'll come too. I'll scarcely be able to look myself in the mirror until I've made proper amends!

Caenis:
Oh no you don't. I'm comin' along, too. 'Sides, this god's still got healing Authority keeping her safe, right?

Caenis:
Then you're gonna need me and my spear to dismantle it! 'Sides, I'm sick and tired of holding down the damn fort!

Caenis:
Me and Aphrodite got plenty of unfinished business of our own! I'm gonna smack her bitch ass outta the sky!


Fujimaru 1:
Let's all go together!

Mash:
Right, Master!


Fujimaru 2:
Can I ask you two to handle the controls?

Macarios:
Of course. Don't worry, I spent over two hundred hours mastering this craft. You won't find a better pilot anywhere!


Macarios:
Everyone, get on!
We're gonna take off in no more than five seconds!

Adele:
Initiating Stymphalides's flight preparations.
Unfurling beam sail.

Adele:
Releasing safeties.
All artificial gravity systems are green.

Adele:
Igniting reactor. Firing up the engine. All flight preparations complete. Macarios!

Macarios:
Here we go! Hang on tight!

Holmes:
This is faster than I expected! And it looks like...
Ms. Kyrielight!

Mash:
R-right! Senpai, you'll need to put
on a Mystic Code so you can breathe!


Fujimaru 1:
What about you, Mash!?

Mash:
Thank you, Senpai, but I'll be fine thanks
to my connection to the Ortinax.


Fujimaru 2:
Sorry for all the trouble!

Mash:
Not at all!

Mash:
Making sure you stay healthy is very important to me!


Mash:
All right, here you go, Senpai. This breathing Mystic Code should supply you with oxygen as long as you wear it.

Caenis:
Haha, you really are weak, aren't you?

Musashi:
And yet, [♂ he /♀️ she] still didn't think twice about coming
along with us. I think that's pretty impressive, don't you?

Caenis:
Huh?

Caenis:
Oh, for shit's sake...
If that's true, that makes Jason a badass too...

Caenis:
...

Caenis:
Well, I guess he kinda was, in his own way.

Macarios:
We're about to break through the clouds!
I don't think she's noticed us yet, but–

F: A.I.:
Whoooa! You all finally made it up to the sky, huh!

F: A.I.:
Guess this means it's time for Operation God Destroyer's second phase! Which means it's my turn to help out!


Fujimaru 1:
You're going to help us?

F: A.I.:
Hell yeah!


Fujimaru 2:
You mean, you've got another Seven Link Heroic Spirit Cannon type thing?

F: A.I.:
You're a sharp one, ain'tcha, Chaldea Boss! That's right! Though it might not be as flashy as that was!


F: A.I.:
We're all dead. Kaput.
There ain't a single one of us left anymore.

F: A.I.:
But, we did our best to leave behind everything we could. The Seven Link Heroic Spirit Cannon, the great summoning circle plan, Caligula...

F: A.I.:
And me, I left you a giant golden surprise!

F: A.I.:
It might not pack enough punch to take down a god in one blow, but it's still one of my hella cool favorites!

F: A.I.:
Now it's the God Destroyer Alliance and
Chaldea's to use however you like!

--ARROW--

Narration:
Weep in remorse, humans.

Narration:
Prostrate yourselves before me.

Narration:
Know that I hear every one of your anguished screams.

Narration:
Worry not.

Narration:
By tomorrow, your pain will all be gone.

Narration:
But residents!
Until I kill every last one of the Chaldeans...

Narration:
...you shall have to continue
killing each other awhile longer!

Holmes:
I am afraid the plan is to wing it.

Holmes:
At this point, that is the most effective tactic
we can employ for Operation God Destroyer!

Caenis:
You serious!?
Hahahahaha, so you wanna just roll the dice on this!

Holmes:
Unfortunately, there is no accurate way to measure the enemy's firepower, so we have little choice but to try to find an opening we can exploit.

Holmes:
Fortunately, we now have a number of methods available to us with which to fight back, so I am certain we will find a way to bring Aphrodite down!

Adele:
She's seen us!
And she's sending a Spiritron attack our way!

Adele:
!?

Adele:
Caligula!? Why are you opening the canopy!?

Caligula:
This is my stage!
It is only right that I stand proudly upon it!

Macarios:
Closing the canopy back up!

Mash:
Caligula is standing right on top of it!
And...his magical energy is spiking rapidly!

Adele:
Aphrodite's Spiritron attack is about to hit us!

Caligula:
Hraaah!

Caligula:
Flucticulus Diana!

Mash:
That's...Caligula's Noble Phantasm!

Holmes:
He's still able to neutralize the Mental Corruption!
But the enemy is bound to come at us even harder now!

Holmes:
We'll need to descend and evade her attacks
so we can get into position to strike back!

Holmes:
Macarios!

Macarios:
Hold on tight!
Caligula, grab on to the canopy and don't let go!

Macarios:
Here we goooooo!

Musashi:
Let's do this!

I:Mash:
Let's go, Master!

Narration:
I see you. I see you, tiny ones!

Narration:
How dare you humans brazenly use wings to reach me!?

Narration:
How dare you defy a god in your puny organic bodies!?

Caligula:
Rrgh...!
Rrraaaaaah!!!

Caligula:
Diaaanaaa!!!

Caligula:
Ahh, goddess! O Venus, exquisite goddess of beauty,
ancestor of my grandmother Silvia in Proper Human History!

Caligula:
A man called Aeneas was the son of Prince Anchises of Troy, a man you once loved yourself!

Caligula:
And Aeneas himself was my grandmother Silvia's father!

Caligula:
That means your love is directly responsible for the birth of Rome itself!

Caligula:
As you come from this Lostbelt, you surely know not those names, but I will never forget the debt Rome owes you!

Caligula:
Though you may now be a goddess of love who utterly lacks the emotion over which she holds sway, we shall never forget our love for you!

Caligula:
So now...

Caligula:
Now is the time for Rome to part ways with your Lostbelt self! Behold! This is humanity's yearning given form!

Caligula:
Come, Rider!

Golden Warrior:
Goooooolden!!!

Golden Warrior:
Aw yeah!!!

Narration:
What...!?

Narration:
What...ARE you!?

Narration:
On that day, in Interstellar Mountainous City Olympus's East District...

Narration:
...countless people turned their gaze skyward.

Narration:
Though the goddess of beauty's Spiritron attack had nearly destroyed the minds and souls of nearly eighty percent of the Olympian residents...

Narration:
...they still looked to the sky.

Narration:
There they saw a titanic steel suit of armor grab hold of the sneering mechanical monstrosity floating high above them.

Narration:
They were reminded instantly of one thing...

Narration:
Ares, the god of war who defied Zeus's rule thousands of years ago, choosing instead to coexist with humanity.

Narration:
Now, this giant humanoid figure has taken up his cause, and fights back against the horrid beast of metal.

Narration:
This new guardian of humanity
stands against the gods' rule!

I:Mash:
Senpai, a...a giant humanoid structure has appeared...

I:Mash:
...and has attached itself to Aphrodite!

I:Mash:
And there's something about it that seems
to evoke...Japan's Heian period!

Adele:
Our emergency test of the God Destroyer summoning circle is a success! Virtually releasing Sakata Kintoki's Noble Phantasm data!

Macarios:
It worked!

Macarios:
It's a virtual summon that uses
the great summoning circle!

Macarios:
This may not be Operation God Destroyer's key figure...but it's still going to be a huge help in the fight against the machine gods!

Golden Warrior:
We all risked our lives here in Olympus!

Golden Warrior:
The great summoning circle's meant to call on a Grand VIP Servant to take on Zeus himself, but first, we thought we'd put it through its paces with a little Noble Phantasm data!

Golden Warrior:
This here's something special we whipped up by mixing in part of my (read: Sakata Kintoki)'s Spirit Core! As the strongest of the Heian period, this was Boss Raikou and her Four Heavenly Kings' favorite set of armor...

Golden Warrior:
This is the same set that took down the Great Tsuchigumo of the Kitayama Rendai field...the Golden Huge Bear!

Golden Huge Bear:
Great Noble Phantasm:

Golden Huge Bear:
Settsu Armor Kumano!

Narration:
Impudent machine!

Golden Huge Bear:
You're one to talk, jackass!

Golden Huge Bear:
All right, Boss of Chaldea!
Fellow Heroic Spirits!

Golden Huge Bear:
Let's go all out for this one!
Full golden power! Hold nothing back!

Golden Huge Bear:
This god...

Golden Huge Bear:
...Is going down!

--BATTLE--

Narration:
How...!?

Narration:
How dare you touch my skin!?
How could mere humans damage it!?

Narration:
Your power...is nothing...compared to mine!

Narration:
Let go of meeeeee!

Golden Huge Bear:
...No way. Now that I got hold of you,
I ain't never letting go!

Golden Huge Bear:
Hey, Little Greek Goddess!
I got just one question for ya!

Golden Huge Bear:
Ever hear about Kintarou of Mt. Ashigara!? He had
supernatural strength! We're talking hyper golden here!

Golden Huge Bear:
And when it came to sumo, not even the toughest bear
could beat him, 'cause he was invulnerable, baby!

Golden Huge Bear:
Giga Golden Spark!!!

Narration:
What...!? Light...ning...!?

Golden Huge Bear:
Hahahahaha! Gooooooldeeen!!!

Golden Huge Bear:
And I'm not done yet!
Get ready!

Golden Huge Bear:
See, I was only just born from bright red steel made from a tiny bit of Sakata Kintoki's Spirit Core and his special Great Noble Phantasm!

Golden Huge Bear:
I'm basically a big old newborn baby!
Know what that means!?

Holmes:
...Of course! The Natural Longevity Conceptual Weapon will barely hurt you at all!

Golden Huge Bear:
You got it! Now...
Fire at will, Chaldea Boss!


Fujimaru 1:
Will do!


Mash:
Senpai...!


Fujimaru 1:
It's okay. You don't have to worry about me.

Mash:
...Right, Senpai.


Fujimaru 2:
Let's end this!

Mash:
...Understood, Master!


Mash:
Emergency Barrel Replica connection, complete.

Mash:
Firing position is clear. Releasing Paradox Effector.
Beginning countdown!

Macarios:
There! I brought Stymphalides as
close to Aphrodite as I can get!

Macarios:
You're all good to go!

Adele:
Opening canopy now!

Mash:
Initiating Accomplishments Measure.
Ascertaining Aphrodite's life scale.

Mash:
One thousand... Two... Three...There!
It stopped at thirty-eight hundred!

Mash:
Beginning Black Barrel transformation.
Preparing to burn the Dead Counter into the gun barrel.

Mash:
...Connection in place.

Mash:
I've measured Aphrodite's destiny. Now I'll use the Dead Counter to turn it from speculation into reality.

Mash:
Bunker bolt is at its limit!
Gun barrel is fully stabilized!

Mash:
Immediate synchronization with Barrel Replica complete. Ortinax synchronization rate is at fifty percent... Sixty... Seventy... Eighty...

Mash:
Master! Please load the Command Spell!


Fujimaru 1:
Loading Command Spell into Spiritron chamber!


Mash:
Command Spell confirmed.
Spiritron chamber is at critical mass.

Mash:
Selecting explosive round firing mode.
Barrel Replica, full trance.

Mash:
...Preparing to fire!


Fujimaru 1:
Do iiiiiit!!!


--ARROW--

Narration:
...I can see the sky.

Narration:
Demeter. Poor Demeter.
Is this what you saw at your end, too?

Narration:
I can feel my body falling apart, just like hers.

Narration:
I feel myself dying, just like she did.

Narration:
At last, I'll finally get to die. How ironic that
the last thing I see will be the starry sky.

Narration:
I lost what love I had long ago. I feel...nothing as I look up at that starry sky, even in these final moments.

Narration:
Still, now that I think of it...

Narration:
Caligula... That Proper Human History Heroic Spirit the little moon girl cared for said something interesting.

Narration:
Apparently, I was the ancestor of the founders of a place that became Rome, and loved a man by the name of Anchises.

Narration:
Who is that? Where is that? I have no idea. How could I, having lived in this Lostbelt all my life?

Narration:
The only one I ever loved was Hephaestus.
I've never even heard of these other things.

Narration:
Still...

Narration:
...it sounds like my Proper Human History
self's love managed to outlive her.

Narration:
That's so...

Narration:
Aphrodite.

Narration:
Please, tell me.

Narration:
What do you want now?
You really are foreign, aren't you?

Narration:
Let me guess:
Did you do the same thing with Demeter?

Foreign Priestess:
Aphrodite.
Goddess of love and beauty.

Foreign Priestess:
Now that you know you're about to disappear,
don't you have any regrets?

Aphrodite:
Of course not. Why would I?
I'm Aphrodite–a cold, heartless machine.

Aphrodite:
I'm a device for controlling others. A Spiritron information warfare fighter, and intelligent life-form guidance vessel.

Aphrodite:
I'm not as kind as Demeter was,
so I won't be giving you the kind of answer you want.

Aphrodite:
But you may watch and see how a
goddess meets her end, if you like.

Aphrodite:
And to see...what remains...

Aphrodite:
...after a life of control and arrogance...

Narration:
Hephaestus... I...

Narration:
I...

Narration:
Great Orbital Shrine Olympia Dodona.

Narration:
Hanging Perimeter Gardens.

Europa:
...

Europa:
......

Peperoncino:
Picking flowers, are we?

Europa:
...Yes.

Europa:
I thought it was the least I could do...

Europa:
...to honor our fallen goddesses,
Lady Demeter and Lady Aphrodite.

Peperoncino:
I see.

Peperoncino:
I was wondering what you were up to.
That's very kind of you.

Peperoncino:
Why, you seem much more affectionate than any of the other goddesses here, Queen Europa.

Europa:
You're correct.

Europa:
I only seem that way, Peperoncino.
You're a perceptive one, aren't you?

Europa:
The truth is...

Europa:
...I'm crueler than anyone else here.

Section 14: Souls To Be Equals in Due Course (I)

Macarios:
There. The Stymphalides has landed safely.

Macarios:
...How are you feeling, Fujimaru?
Can you move?


Fujimaru 1:
I'm fine. You don't have to worry about me.


Mash:
[♂ He's /♀️ She's] right; Senpai's vitals are stable.
But how?

Adele:
[♂ His /♀️ Her] body still contains traces of the healing
spell, so the effects are being prolonged.

Adele:
Blavatsky knew it would be very dangerous for a human from Proper Human History to take part in this fight...

Adele:
...so she did what she could to make sure
they would be as well cared for as possible.

Holmes:
I see. Then we owe her a great deal indeed.

Holmes:
However, there's no telling how long these effects will
last, so we should still avoid having [♂ Mr. /♀️ Ms.] Fujimaru
push [♂ himself /♀️ herself] for too long.

Mash:
Right!

Macarios:
...Okay. Luckily, it looks like [♂ he /♀️ she]
can still move for now.

Macarios:
Mind all getting off the Stymphalides so I can miniaturize it and put it away? After that, we'll head back home!

Musashi:
There we go. A brilliant landing♪

Musashi:
Are you okay, Mash?
Has your weapon cooled down yet?

Mash:
Yes, I'm fine.
The gun barrel has completely cooled off.

Mash:
Here, Senpai, I'll help you back down to the ground.

Mash:
Excuse me while I pick you up...
There.

Mash:
...Okay, we're back on the ground.
You did wonderfully today, Senpai.


Fujimaru 1:
Thanks, Mash.

Mash:
Not at all!


Fujimaru 2:
Great job yourself!

Mash:
Thank you! I'm glad our mission was a success!


Fou:
Fou, fou!

Caenis:
Nn...

Caenis:
Damn, so that big red armor's all gone now, huh.
I was looking forward to smashing it to bits.

Holmes:
Hahaha. Should you have another chance, Caenis,
I would ask that you kindly refrain from doing so.

Holmes:
That armor will undoubtedly be a key component in Operation God Destroyer going forward, after all.

Macarios:
We can only summon Huge Bear temporarily,
since he uses a ton of magical energy.

Macarios:
Basically, he's only a virtual Noble Phantasm, so it's
very hard to keep him materialized all the time.

Adele:
At least, that's what Kintoki and Blavatsky said.
I'm afraid we didn't really understand any of it...

Fou:
Fou fou! Fou! Fooou!

Mash:
Fou is really excited about Huge Bear. I suppose
he must really like those sorts of giant things?


Fujimaru 1:
Who wouldn't? They're AWESOME!


Fujimaru 2:
What did you think of Huge Bear, Mash?



Fujimaru 1:
Some people just love big robots, or anything that looks like them.


Fujimaru 2:
What did you think of Huge Bear, Mash?


Mash:
I...suppose?

Mash:
Yes, that's very true!

Mash:
I liked it, too.

Mash:
Its red-tinted color scheme was so vivid, but it
also felt soft and cuddly, like a plush animal.

Fou:
Fooou...

Holmes:
All right, we can continue this chat later. Right now,
we need to return to base as quickly as possible.

Holmes:
Most of this district's citizens may be gone now, but it's only a matter of time until more soldiers and autonomous weapons make their way here.

Holmes:
We completely exhausted our magical energy in our fight against Aphrodite, so our priority now is to recuperate.

Holmes:
From there, we can plan our next objective and–

H:Man's Voice:
Do you really think there will be a “next” for you?

Swordfighter & Warrior:
!

Caenis:
It's you! Goddamn twin bastards!


Fujimaru 1:
The Dioscuri!

Mash:
The Dioscuri, the twin gods!
Kirschtaria's Servant...!


Fujimaru 2:
Are you okay, Holmes!?

Holmes:
Oh yes. If not for Caenis's spear, my head would be tumbling across the floor right now.

Holmes:
...I must express my gratitude for that.

Fou:
Fo fou, fooou!


Dioscuri - Castor:
Congratulations, Chaldeans!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
We're going to kill you here, Chaldeans!

Musashi:
C'mon, guys. Now? Seriously?

Musashi:
We just finished a battle against a machine god,
and we're worn right the heck out.

Musashi:
There's no honor in taking us out while we're completely exhaus–

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Don't be ridiculous! My swordsmanship is light itself!

Dioscuri - Castor:
It's useless!
No mere human could ever take us by surprise!

Dioscuri - Castor:
If I were Ares, I might commend you for destroying two machine gods–four, if you count the ones in Atlantis...

Dioscuri - Castor:
But you'll get no such praise from me!
God Destroyers? What a joke!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Your efforts amount to nothing more than killing gods with the power of other gods! And if that weren't bad enough, you're even brazenly using Klironomia...

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Go ahead. Try to fire that black light at us, humans.

Dioscuri - Castor:
We ARE light.
We are what shines forth in the wake of a storm!

Dioscuri:
This is where...

Dioscuri:
The God Destroyer Alliance dies!

--BATTLE--

Dioscuri:
Is that all you've got!?

Musashi:
...!

Musashi:
(Divine Spirits, huh? Wow. I've never come up
against a sword and shield made of light before!)

Musashi:
(Their magical energy is tough enough as is, but the worst part is their insane speed! Even their fists move like light!)

Musashi:
(These two aren't at all like the machine gods who
just grind away at you with their Authority.)

Musashi:
(They're just a ludicrously powerful Servant!)

Dioscuri - Pollux:
You think you can compete with my sword?
Or with Big Brother's shield?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
You?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Do you think you're competing now? How are you going
to string enough moves together to cut us down?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Go on, human swordfighter. Tell me.

Musashi:
Niten Ichiryu!

Holmes:
...Niten Ichiryu baritsu beam! Well, that last part was only in jest, but it did take you by surprise, didn't it?

Holmes:
Caligula!

Caligula:
Hraaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
Hear me, O goddess...

Caligula:
Flucticulus Diana!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
That's Artemis's–
Big Brother!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Worry not, Pollux.
A little mental attack like this is noth–

Dioscuri - Castor:
Khh!

Adele:
Everyone, hurry!

Macarios:
The smoke screen spell won't last long!
We need to fall back, now!

Mash:
Senpai!


Fujimaru 1:
Fall back!

Mash:
Understood! Falling back at full speed!


Fujimaru 2:
Let's go!

Mash:
Right!


Dioscuri - Castor:
Curse you!!!

Dioscuri - Castor:
How dare you escape from me not once, but twice!?

Dioscuri - Castor:
Such insolence! Such impudence! Such irreverence!
How dare you disrespect us like this!?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Big Brother–

Dioscuri - Castor:

Chaldea! Chaldea! Chaldea!
Raaaaaaaaaaaah!!!

Dioscuri - Castor:
I'll kill every last one of you humans myself!

--ARROW--

Narration:
...You, and me...

Narration:
...we've been together ever since we were born.

Narration:
You're precious to me.
No one could ever take your place.

Narration:
I even think, at one point,
I could know your thoughts as if they were my own.

Narration:
But that was a long, long time ago.

Narration:
Now, honestly...

Narration:
...I can't tell really tell what you
are thinking anymore. Not clearly.

Narration:
Sometimes, I guess right.
Sometimes, I guess wrong.

Narration:
But, either way...

Narration:
I trust you.
And I love you.

Narration:
I love you more than anyone in the world.

Narration:
No... More than any person who
ever was, is, or ever will be.

Narration:
Great Orbital Shrine Olympia Dodona.

Narration:
Machina Corridor.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Damn them! Damn them and their cursed nature!

Dioscuri - Castor:
If this wasn't the Great Orbital Shrine,
I'd be burning it to the ground as we speak!

Dioscuri - Castor:
How dare that mere human Heroic Spirit use
a Noble Phantasm to hinder MY divine mind!?

Dioscuri - Castor:
Can you think of anything more humiliating, Pollux!?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Yes, it's terrible, Big Brother.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
But there was nothing we could do,
since that Noble Phantasm also uses divine power.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
As a Noble Phantasm derived from moon goddess Artemis's
Spiritron information warfare functionality...

Dioscuri - Pollux:
...of course it would be able to obstruct even us for a fleeting moment.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
But that was a singular occurrence. Now that we know about it, we have developed a resistance, and it will never work on us again.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
So please, calm yourself, Big Brother.

Dioscuri - Castor:
...Yes, you're right.

Dioscuri - Castor:
We may have died and been reborn as Divine Spirits, but Father's protection is still with us. That sort of cheap imitation Authority won't work on us twice.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
That's right, Big Brother.

Dioscuri - Castor:
All that remains now...is to find
out where they are hiding.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Indeed. Once we do, we will snuff
them out once and for all.

Dioscuri - Castor:
By the way, do we still not have permission to destroy the frontier zone?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
No, unfortunately. Queen Europa insists that, as one of Olympus's production districts, it is too important to destroy.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
It seems the only way we will be able to destroy an entire district is if one of Father's revelations permits it.

Dioscuri - Castor:
...Queen Europa, huh? She's got a lot of nerve for a fusion of human Heroic Spirit and god.

Dioscuri - Castor:
How dare she be the one to speak for Father, instead of proper gods like us? Whatever sort of connection she may have to Proper Human History, I still find her actions the height of insolence.

Dioscuri - Castor:
I can only imagine how poor Lady Hera must feel, being fused with...that. I wouldn't be able to stand it.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Big Brother.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Am I wrong, Little Sister?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
No, Big Brother.
However...

Dioscuri - Castor:
What is it?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
These decisions come from almighty Zeus himself.
I don't think it's our place to criticize–

Dioscuri - Castor:
Of course it's our place.
I have every right to be angry about this.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Big Brother...

--ARROW--

Adele:
Initiating God Destroyer Alliance
Base emergency underground move.

Adele:
Just a head up, everyone: the whole place is going to shake even more than last time.

Macarios:
Reconfirming emergency steps.
Everything checks out.

Macarios:
Sorry about all the shaking. We need to get out of here as soon as possible, so I'm really booking it this time.

Musashi:
Really? It doesn't seem that bad to me.
How about you, Fou?

Fou:
Fou, fou.

Musashi:
Hmm. Looks like you're doing fine, too.

Mash:
Are you doing okay, Senpai?
How are you feeling right now?


Fujimaru 1:
I'm fine, thank you.

Mash:
...Of course.


Fujimaru 2:
...A little unsteady, but I think it's just the floor shaking.

Mash:
So you're dizzy!? Then you might have other symptoms, too! You need to rest up as soon as possible!

Mash:
C-come on, Senpai,
let's find a place where you can lie down.

Musashi:
Hmm?

Musashi:
Hm hm, hmm. I see.

Musashi:
Don't worry, Mash, [♂ he /♀️ she]'s fine! This is nothing like
what [♂ he /♀️ she] went through after shooting Demeter.

Musashi:
It really is just the floor shaking
that's got [♂ him /♀️ her] unsteady. That's all.

Mash:
...Thank goodness.


Fou:
Fou fou!

Macarios:
...

Macarios:
...!

Macarios:
Dioscuri... Dioscuri! Dammit!
All I could do was run away yet again...

Adele:
Calm down, Macarios.

Macarios:
All we ever do is run, run, and run away again...
How many times has it been now!?

Macarios:
We're the only humans left in the whole alliance! I swore I'd avenge the others, but I'm no closer than I was back then...


Fujimaru 1:
Maybe not, but you still saved our lives.


Macarios:
...Only because I can't have you guys die on us.

Macarios:
Now that even the Proper Human History Heroic
Spirits are gone, you're all we've got left.

Macarios:
Failure's not an option. As much as I want
revenge, the mission still comes first.

Fou:
Fouuu...

Macarios:
...

Macarios:
...By the way, I need to tell you guys something. You know that smoke screen spell we used the first time we saved you?

Macarios:
Well, we can't use it anymore.
They've seen it too many times now.

Musashi:
Aww, really? That's too bad. It looked like it
was even cutting off farsight spells and such.

Fou:
Fou fom.

Holmes:
Do you mean those Mystic Codes that resemble portable cannons? I was most impressed by how effectively you employed them for both offensive and defensive purposes.

Holmes:
Then again, I did notice how you were swapping between different spells and magecraft bases with every shot, so I suppose this means you've used them all up.

Adele:
Yes, that's right.

Adele:
We worked with both the Heroic Spirits and the
Collaborator to make these Mystic Codes we've been using.

Adele:
They can use Egyptian, Scandinavian, Eastern European, Greek, Celtic, and Roman spells without relying on Divine Spirits.

Mash:
So your Mystic Codes can use spells from multiple different magecraft foundations in parallel... Th-that kind of thing would be unthinkable in modern magecraft...

Mash:
Really, they sound more like an incredible
artifact than they do Mystic Codes!

Holmes:
That is doubtlessly why they were effective even against gods. But unfortunately, it seems that effectiveness was short lived.

Macarios:
It's the same with Caligula's Noble Phantasm...
I don't think it'll work on them again, either.

Macarios:
By now, the Dioscuri are sure to have figured out that it's a mental attack derived from Artemis's Authority.

Macarios:
So next time, they'll be ready for it.

Caligula:
...I see. So the ancient twin gods have
already seen through my Noble Phantasm.

Fou:
Fouuu?

H:A.I.:
...Hello. Once again, I've come
back without waiting to be rebooted.

H:A.I.:
Let me just launch right into an explanation!

I: A.I.:
Time for Operation God Destroyer...

I: A.I.:
...to enter its final phase!

H:A.I.:
Thanks to you, the summoning circles are in place.
All that remains is the final key we need to destroy Zeus!

J: A.I.:
That means we need to finish the Grand Summon Article. Unfortunately, we can't with the alliance's R & D skills alone.

H:A.I.:
At this point, we can only hope that the Collaborator
has made significant progress with its construction...

H:A.I.:
...But unfortunately, we have
no means of contacting them.

Caenis:
Huh?

Fou:
Fou?

Caenis:
You're shitting us, right? Hahahahahaha! You came all this way, and now you're just leaving the rest to chance!?

Caenis:
So what, all this moving around we're doing
in this base really is just running away!?

Caenis:
Ha...

Caenis:
Hahahahahahahaha! This is great! I love
flailing about and hoping I get lucky!

Caenis:
You guys are even bigger idiots than I thought!
Hahaha, I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard!

Caenis:
You might be idiots, but you're my kind of idiots!

Olympus Twins:
...

Holmes:
...Well, I can understand where they're coming from,
at least in terms of security.

Caenis:
Hm?

Holmes:
It just goes to show how cautious this Collaborator is being with their identity. They must have an important reason for keeping it secret.

Holmes:
Though of course, I can make some...
educated guesses as to what it may be.

Caenis:
Oh yeah? Go on then, detective, let's hear 'em. And don't give me any of your clever talk shit or I'll cut your tongue off, and the rest of your head with it.

Holmes:
To begin–

Peperoncino:
Okay, that's enough of that.

Musashi:
!

Musashi:
(When did she get here?
Did she completely erase her presence?)

Musashi:
(No, that's not it.
She used some sort of spell to appear here instantly!)

Musashi:
(Is he using some kind of godspeed technique? Jinsokutsu? But that's way too good for a mere human practitioner.)

Musashi:
(He must be pushing himself really hard to pull off this kind of magical stealth.)

Musashi:
(...Ugh, man, I didn't think I would change all that much even after I became a Heroic Spirit, but I guess this is part of my new Magic Resistance...)

Musashi:
(Man, it's weird being this sensitive to spellwork of some kind!)

Caenis:
The hell? Aren't you one of the Crypters?

Peperoncino:
Hmph. After all the trouble I took to sneak past the Heroic and Divine Spirits and jump into your base while it was moving, this is the welcome I get?

Peperoncino:
I was hoping for a stiff cocktail,
not a bunch of silly infighting.

Peperoncino:
You really should have managed to learn at least a thing or two about style by now. Right, Mashie?

Mash:
Pepe!


Fujimaru 1:
Roastbanana Peperoncino!

Peperoncino:
Oh, you! It's Scandinavia Peperoncino!
I know it's a fake name, but it's still MY fake name!

Peperoncino:
I swear, you are such a little imp!

Peperoncino:
Lucky for you, I love that sort of thing!
You've got to enjoy the little things in life!


Fujimaru 2:
Pepe! You're here in Olympus too!?

Peperoncino:
That's right. Long time no see, Mashie and Fujimaru.
Then again, maybe it hasn't been that long after all?


Peperoncino:
Anyway, I don't need to bother introducing
myself at this point, do I?

Peperoncino:
So, you remember Kadoc, right? Basically, I'm the Collaborator's other little helper.

Peperoncino:
Kadoc all but begged me. He said to tell you
to come and get what you're looking for.

Musashi:
Wait. Does that mean what I think it means?

Mash:
I-I think so! Are you talking about the last thing
we need for the operation's final phase?

Peperoncino:
You got it, hon. The Article you've been waiting
for is just about ready for you to come pick it up.

Peperoncino:
Hey, twin cuties. Uh, what were your names again?
Macarios and Adele?

Macarios:
Yeah.

Adele:
Y-yes.

Peperoncino:
You can move this base anywhere underground you like,
right? Then I can give you the exact coordinates right now.

Adele:
I...

Macarios:
...The coordinates to where, exactly?

Peperoncino:
Why, the Collaborator's secret workshop-slash-hideout,
of course.

Section 15: Souls To Be Equals in Due Course (II)

Fou:
Fou, fooou!

Adele:
We've arrived at the designated coordinates.
...We're immediately beneath Altartown, in the middle of the city.

Peperoncino:
We'll have to hoof it from here.
Come on, everyone, get ready to leave.

Peperoncino:
I want to see you all ready to be out the door in
thirty–okay, sixty seconds! Looks like you're
already set, Mashie.

Mash:
Uh, y-yes, I'm ready.
I've already equipped the Ortinax.


Fujimaru 1:
I'm ready, too.


Fujimaru 2:
I'm good to go anytime, too.


Musashi:
No problems here, either!

Musashi:
Hehe, I am a swordfighter, after all. I'm always
expecting a fight to break out at any time.

Macarios:
So we're underneath Altartown, huh...

Adele:
...

Holmes:
Adele, Macarios, can you tell us
what this area of the city is like?

Macarios:
...This is right near where the gods reside.

Adele:
Altartown sits in the center of Olympus, right beneath the Great Orbital Shrine–the bearer of the Cronus Crown.

Adele:
There is a group of central shrines here that supervise all the branch shrines in the other districts, and the gods' Great Orbital Shrine lies directly above them.

Adele:
It's the area of the city that's closest to Zeus.

Mash:
So, we're right beneath enemy territory...

Macarios:
And on top of all that,
these coordinates aren't that deep underground.

Macarios:
So the remains of Hades's protection are at their weakest here, while Zeus's protection is at its strongest.


Fujimaru 1:
So, that means...

Adele:
It means we're at much greater risk than usual here,
even if we are still in the underground.


Fujimaru 2:
So things work differently in this part of the underground?

Macarios:
That's right.


Macarios:
We'd be fine if we were just a little farther down...

Macarios:
...but I'm guessing at this depth,
we're gonna have to walk?

Peperoncino:
I'm afraid so.

Peperoncino:
It won't be too long of a trip, but there's nothing I can do about the depth issue.

Macarios:
Then we'll have to be extra careful. Don't forget, there
could be autonomous weapons lurking around here too.

Macarios:
It'll be a major pain if one of them spots you,
so if you see one before it sees you–

Musashi:
Yeah?

Macarios:
...You'll need to run for it immediately, 'cause
destroying it won't stop it from alerting the others.

A.I.:
Autonomous weapons?

A.I.:
You mean the Argos?
...No, wait. We already destroyed the Argos.

A.I.:
Ugh, ah.

A.I.:
Yeah, right. Good point. They must be talking about the mass destruction devices and Anti-Personnel eradicators.

A.I.:
They're all linked right up to Zeus's senses.

A.I.:
Zeus may not be able to see into the underground directly, but he can sense what his machines see.

A.I.:
Think of them as his eyes. They don't show up at the depths we normally hide the base, but...

A.I.:
...we're shallow enough now that they do show up.
Watch yourselves around here!

Peperoncino:
Is that really an A.I.? I've never heard of one
swapping between personas like that before.

Fou:
Fou, fooou.

Musashi:
I'd say they're more like a trustworthy partner who
keeps giving us plans of attack and secret weapons.

Musashi:
They've already helped us out a bunch so far...
Hm.

Caenis:
So you noticed too, huh, samurai chick?
Hey, isn't there a saying for this sort of thing?

Musashi:
Speak of the devil!
Fujimaru! Mash!

M:Mash:
Magical energy reading two hundred meters ahead! And as far as I can tell, there don't seem to be any other paths alongside this tunnel!

M:Mash:
Our only choices are to meet it head-on, or to retreat...
Master!

Macarios:
Dammit, this is exactly what I hate about this depth!
Let's get out of here for now!

Adele:
I'll look for another route before it notices us!

Caenis:
Ughhh, this is such a goddamn pain in the ass!
Why can't we just kill this thing and keep moving!?

Macarios:
Don't you think we would if we could!?
Dammit, just get back for now and–

Synthesized Voice:
Don't worry. Everything is fine. I've severed this
device's connection to Zeus's neural network.

Synthesized Voice:
To simplify matters for the Chaldeans,
it's no longer online.

Synthesized Voice:
Well, that's not entirely true. I threw in some hacks so it'd still seem like it was online.

Synthesized Voice:
The point is, you don't need to
worry about leaving it intact.

Musashi:
...Well, that's the best news I've heard all day.

Musashi:
Just when I thought our only choices were to run
or hide, now we have a much, much better one!

Musashi:
Whoever you are, I'm going to assume Lady Kannon
sent you and trust that you're here to help!

Musashi:
How about you, Fujimaru?


Fujimaru 1:
...I believe them!


Fujimaru 2:
Let's take this thing out and keep moving!


Macarios:
Are you serious!?

Peperoncino:
You made that call faster than I thought. It's the right one, too. Just trust in your intuition and keep going.

M:Mash:
Initiating Ortinax combat mode. ...Hostiles are one hundred meters away. Preparing to engage in battle!

--BATTLE--

Mash:
Hostile has been silenced–

Mash:
Wait! I'm picking up another magical energy reading one hundred meters away! Heading straight for us at high speed!

Musashi:
Seems to me like another one of them happened to find us, rather than that last one calling for reinforcements! I'm fine taking it on, but how do the rest of you feel!?

Caenis:
Ha! How do I feel? I feel I could take a couple hundred of these things without breaking a sweat!

Caenis:
Let's do this!

--BATTLE--

Caligula:
Rrraaaaaah!

Mash:
All hostiles down!

Mash:
I don't see any other hostiles in the area. And the healing Authority doesn't seem to be working on their remains, either!

Caenis:
'Course not. Not with me here.

Caenis:
That bastard Zeus might've taken over Demeter's Authority, but these things aren't gonna be instantly healing themselves as long as I'm around.

Caenis:
I can't say what's gonna happen once we leave, but at
least you won't have to worry about 'em while I'm here.

Caenis:
Man, reassuring you punks.
Shit's pretty messed up if that's what I'm doin'...

Caenis:
I must be getting soft in my old age! Hrah!

Musashi:
...It was already destroyed.
Did you really need to hit it again?

Caenis:
Mind your own damn business.

Caenis:
'Sides, didn't you once chop a guy's head
off after you'd already taken him down?

Musashi:
Oh, that? That was just me tying up loose ends.

Caenis:
Loose ends? You serious?

Mash:
The battle is over, Master.
You did great.

Mash:
By the way, um...
About that giant hand we fought towards the end...


Fujimaru 1:
You recognized it too, huh?


Fujimaru 2:
Haven't we seen it in the simulator before?


Mash:
Y-yes. It looked just like the
one we've seen in the simulator.

Mash:
From what I've been told...

Mash:
...it's been a mock enemy archetype in Chaldea's combat
simulator since the simulator first began operating.

Mash:
We've also encountered similar-looking hostile entities
near the leylines of some Singularities.

Mash:
It's still unclear exactly where
their design comes from.

Fou:
Fou fou, fou.

Musashi:
Yup, it sure was a big hand.

Fou:
Fo.

Musashi:
Damn, and here I thought that
was my chance to pet him...

Peperoncino:
Okay, everyone, great work.
Sure, I may not have helped, but it was a good show!

Peperoncino:
So, shall we be going then?

Peperoncino:
Oh, then again, maybe we should just ask the
owner of this little hideout for directions.

Mash:
The owner?

Synthesized Voice:
...Yes, that's fine with me.

Synthesized Voice:
Of course, my secret workshop is just up ahead, so you don't have much farther to go.

Synthesized Voice:
Just keep going straight ahead.
Don't worry. The door's unlocked.

Synthesized Voice:
Welcome, God Destroyer Alliance and Chaldea,
to my Great Prometheus-Hephaestus Workshop.

Mash:
!

Fou:
Fo...!?


Fujimaru 1:
Hephaestus!? You're still alive!?


Fujimaru 2:
But I thought you were destroyed in Atlantis!?


Synthesized Voice:
Yes, a version of me was destroyed, but that was more of a backup version of the me which resides here.

Synthesized Voice:
Didn't that version of me tell you that another version
existed back before it met its end?

Mash:
Th-that's right, you did! You said there was another, separate unit of you here in Olympus.

Synthesized Voice:
There you go. I am that separate unit.

Synthesized Voice:
Though strictly speaking,
maybe I should say I'm more of a transcendent unit.

Synthesized Voice:
Anyway...this is very intriguing.

Synthesized Voice:
It sounds like you've come across my hands,
even in Proper Human History.

Mash:
Your hands?

Fou:
Fou, fou fou!

Musashi:
Aha! That giant hand was yours!? Well, being one of the Twelve Olympians' own hands explains why it was so huge!


Fujimaru 1:
Huh!?


Fujimaru 2:
Those were your hands, Hephaestus!?


Synthesized Voice:
Oh, no, not mine.
I'm sorry if my choice of words confused you.

Synthesized Voice:
They're replicas of my hands from back when I was just Prometheus, before I became Prometheus-Hephaestus.

Synthesized Voice:
It seems the version of me–that is, Prometheus–from Proper Human History was bestowing wisdom and experience on you. What a fascinating connection!

Mash:
Right... Prometheus, the god of wisdom,
is said to have give humanity the gift of fire!

Holmes:
Then, the enormous hand-shaped enemy we've been known to encounter in the Chaldean combat simulator is–

Synthesized Voice:
Prometheus's hand of wisdom.

Synthesized Voice:
Here in this Lostbelt,
it's only the remains of my former self...

Synthesized Voice:
...but in Proper Human History, I'm sure it's doing
everything it can to aid humanity in its time of crisis.

Mash:
...!

Mash:
I... I don't know what to say, except...

Mash:
...thank you!


Fujimaru 1:
Thank you, Prometheus.


Synthesized Voice:
Not at all.
After all, that was my Proper Human History self, not me.

Synthesized Voice:
Now, go on. This may not be quite the reunion you had in mind, but you are welcome in my workshop, nonetheless...

Synthesized Voice:
...you who continue to defy the gods.

Mash:
There's definitely something...similar here...

Mash:
...that reminds me of the temple remains we saw in Atlantis...

Fou:
Fou, fou fou.

Mash:
Does this mean this whole workshop
is actually your brain...

Mash:
...Prometheus-Hephaestus?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
That's right; it is. In one sense,
I suppose it's been a long time, Chaldeans.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
As for you, God Destroyer Alliance,
it's nice to meet you.

Macarios:
...Same here.

Adele:
It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance,
O god of knowledge. I mean, god of the forge–

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Don't worry, either is fine.
In my current state, I'm both neither and, well, both.


Fujimaru 1:
You know, come to think of it, you sound...different.


Fujimaru 2:
Say, is it just me, or are you sounding less, uh, mechanical?


Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Don't worry about that. If my speech patterns sound different here, it's because Prometheus's brain is the primary operator for this facility.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
In that sense, I suppose I really did die once.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Or at least, the data-based intelligence
that called itself Hephaestus did.

Holmes:
In Proper Human History, Prometheus was said to be the
god of knowledge who bestowed wisdom upon humanity.

Holmes:
Presumably here in this Lostbelt, you managed to survive by fusing with one of the gods who fell in the Olympia Machia?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
That's right. I fused with Hephaestus, who
had been taken prisoner after the machia ended.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...Hmm.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
It seems I wasn't able to disclose such
top secret information in Atlantis...

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...but I take it you're sharing all your information with the alliance? That's a wise decision, Chaldeans.

Holmes:
Yes, well, I'm afraid we have precious little to share in that regard when it comes to the Lostbelts. Indeed, we are practically starved for information.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
So it would seem.

Musashi:
Umm, I haven't really been following
this side of things too closely...

Musashi:
...but does this mean you're the God Destroyer Alliance
Collaborator we've been hearing so much about?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
I am collaborating with the alliance, yes.

Musashi:
Hmm, hmm. Then, in that case, I have
to thank you for saving our bacon.

Musashi:
The Seven Link Heroic Spirit Cannon
really helped us out a ton.

Musashi:
It might not have been enough to let us win with it alone, but we definitely couldn't have won without it.

Musashi:
I'm sure we're definitely going to need the Grand Summon Article we're about to take off your hands, too.

Holmes:
Pardon me. If I might, there is still one more thing I'd like to know.

Musashi:
Oh?

Holmes:
The first time we encountered the gods of Olympus,
we were saved in part by a kind of dissonant noise.

Holmes:
I noticed it interfered directly with Olympus's independent god-made leyline, and therefore seemed quite effective against the gods...

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Ahh, so you noticed that, did you?

Holmes:
And since neither Macarios nor Adele seem to possess such a thing, I can only conclude that it belongs to you.

Holmes:
Tell me, would we be able to borrow it from you?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Hahahahaha.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Don't bother. That ain't ever gonna work on 'em again.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
I mean... Ahem.

Adele:
That was a special Mystic Code that built on the heroic
Orpheus's musical magecraft. Unfortunately–

Macarios:
Now that we've used it once, we can never use it again.
It's just like our smoke screens.

Macarios:
It might not be completely useless anymore,
but it won't ever work that well again.

Mash:
...I see.

Mash:
I didn't realize you'd been using
such valuable things to help us.

Adele:
It's okay, Mash. It had to be done.

Mash:
Adele...

Fou:
Fou fou!

Adele:
Aah! Wh-what is it?

Macarios:
That little fur ball just wants to jump on you!
Get away from her, fur ball!

Peperoncino:
Oh my, what's got into you, little one? Develop a weakness for pretty faces in the short time since we last met?

Fou:
Fou!


Fujimaru 1:
If nothing else...



Fujimaru 1:
I'm really glad you're still alive, Hephaestus.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Well, I wouldn't say I'm “alive” so much as I
“synched up with my backup unit,” but thank you.


Fujimaru 2:
I'm really glad to see you alive and well, Hephaestus.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
For the time being, I can promise you
this unit is running just fine, Fujimaru.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
In the meantime, I'm both proud and impressed
that you all made your way here to Olympus.


Prometheus-Hephaestus:
In Atlantis, you defeated Artemis and Poseidon.
In Olympus, you've defeated Demeter and Aphrodite.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Now that you have triumphed over so many mechanical gods,
you are practically at Zeus's throat.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...What you have accomplished so
far is nothing short of amazing.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
There's just one more thing I'd like to ask you.
Did Aphrodite say anything about me?

Mash:
Well...

Holmes:
In Proper Human History's mythology, Aphrodite was the goddess of love and beauty, as well as Hephaestus's wife.

Holmes:
I gather from your question that you had a similar relationship with her in this Lostbelt?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...That was a long time ago.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
At this point, I'm just a mind without an Aletheia.
I don't blame you for killing my wife at all.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
But, however she may have changed after the Olympia Machia, she is still the woman I once loved.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...She was very loving herself, once.

Mash:
...


Fujimaru 1:
She said your name right before she died.


Prometheus-Hephaestus:
I see.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Now then, about the Grand Summon Article...

Musashi:
Damn, he sure moves on quick!

Caenis:
'Course he does.

Musashi:
Nn...

Caenis:
Forget cold-blooded; these things don't even have blood. Just 'cause they might look human sometimes doesn't mean they are.

Caenis:
And just like people'll never know what it's like to be
a beast, no god'll ever know what it's like to be human.

Caenis:
And if one did, they'd be an exception among exceptions! Really, these things are just overgrown piles of junk that happen to know a thing or two thanks to their Authority.

Caenis:
Doesn't matter if they're a god that sprung up all natural and shit from Earth, or a mechanical god that came from space.

Caenis:
They're all nothing more than containers
for the huge-ass power we call Authority!

Caenis:
So yeah, of course this guy's gonna
be quick as hell to move on!

Caenis:
You think the sea can ever know how a person feels?
Or a freaking storm?

Caenis:
...'Course not. And there you have it.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Caenis.
You must be the one who gained Poseidon's protection.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Come now, there's no reason we can't be friendly.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
I'll admit that Poseidon could certainly behave in...
less than admirable ways, but–

Caenis:
Don't you talk to me about him!

Caenis:
Just hurry the hell up and give us this
summon thing already, you pile of scrap!

Caenis:
Once you hand it over, I'll end your miserable life and
we can all be on our merry way! Now hurry up and–

M:Man's Voice:
Well some little punk's feelin' grumpy today.
Didn't get a full lunch or something?

M:Man's Voice:
If ya need a quick meal to fix
yourself up, you can take mine.

M:Man's Voice:
Oh, and watch that spear of yours. You could poke
somebody's eye out with that thing if you ain't careful.

Caenis:
!?

Caenis:
You...!

Caenis:
You touched my spear, didn't you!? What the hell
are you!? An Assassin? ...No, that's not right!

Musashi:
(Who is that? And how did they
sneak up on Caenis like that!?)

Musashi:
(I don't sense any bloodlust or hostile intent...
but something about this guy feels familiar!)


Fujimaru 1:
I-is someone there!?


Fujimaru 2:
Did someone sneak up behind Caenis!?


Mash:
Y-yes, Senpai! But, I'm positive there wasn't
anyone else here up until a moment ago–

Caenis:
What is this feeling!? Whoever this guy
is, he's no ordinary Heroic Spirit...

Caenis:
What the hell are you!?

Man:
Me?

Man:
This here's the god of the forge's workshop.
'Course you're gonna need a smithy to work it.

Man:
Fact is, I was just in the middle of castin' something
for that old “pile of scrap,” as you put it.

Man:
So, who're you? A customer?

Man:
If you are, then you oughta know to mind your manners.
I don't do business unless I hear a “please” and “thank you.”

M:Man:
In the meantime, why don'tcha put
that big stick of yours away?

M:Man:
It ain't a bad piece of work.
No sense in wasting it on some old geezer like me.


Fujimaru 1:
I know you... You're Senji Muramasa!


Peperoncino:
Oh my, now that's quite a big name.
I wouldn't say “geezer” fits by any means, either.

Mash:
Wait, Pepe! We've seen him before!

Mash:
That's Senji Muramasa, an Alter Ego! He's a Heroic
Spirit who helped Senpai back in Shimousa, and now...

Mash:
...he's one of the Foreign God's Disciples!

Caligula:
!

Holmes:
Senji Muramasa, hmm.

Fou:
Fou!?

Senji Muramasa:
Eesh. Maybe this is my payback for
spending my whole life in the forge.

Senji Muramasa:
Sure, I always had faith in the Tsumukari, but that alone don't explain how I ended up an Alter Ego.

Senji Muramasa:
Now I'm a glorified errand boy for something called the Foreign God, and if that weren't bad enough, it's made me an enemy of goddamn humanity itself. If it weren't so damn tragic, it'd almost be funny.

Senji Muramasa:
Well, at least I got to meet a true god of the forge outta this deal...

Senji Muramasa:
...though my excitement sure tapered off when he turned out to be a half-fossilized gizmo! Hell, he's more like an old man who's just been around 'bout as long as most gods!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
You know, there's something really sad about an already old man calling you an old man. Does smithing skill just have to come with a foul mouth?

Senji Muramasa:
Hey now, didn't mean anything by it. How 'bout I give
that bald head of yours a good polish to make it up?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
I am not bald.

Mash:
Um... Master, he seems to be... Uh...


Fujimaru 1:
He's definitely not like any of the other Foreign God Disciples...


Fujimaru 2:
I can't believe he works directly for the Foreign God...


Musashi:
...So you're one of the Foreign
God's Alter Ego Disciples, huh?

Musashi:
The Muramasa I knew used to complain
about materializing as a Saber...

Musashi:
...so I guess you made up for it by being an Alter Ego this time? You sure get around for an old guy.

Musashi:
So...what are you actually doing here? Is it just a
coincidence we ran into you, or is it maybe more than that?

Musashi:
You here lying in wait to take care of Chaldea for
getting in the Foreign God's way or something?

Senji Muramasa:
...You know, that's a good question.

Senji Muramasa:
I want to honor my mentor's requests, but I also
can't ignore my duties as a Disciple of the Foreign God.

Senji Muramasa:
So, do I settle things now, or should I be on my way... What do you think, Chrome Dome?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Hmm...
(Chrome Dome?)

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
So, Muramasa, my very last apprentice, and Chaldea, the
ones who carry on my Proper Human History self's hopes...

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...share a bond even I couldn't predict, hmm.
As the god of knowledge, I find this fascinating...

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...but it seems it has the Chaldeans on edge. Not that
I can blame them, given they're up against another god.

Senji Muramasa:
Right? Plus, that Zeus fellow said I gotta cut 'em in two and serve 'em up as an offering if I came across them...

Musashi:
...

Musashi:
(Alter Ego, Senji Muramasa...)

Musashi:
(No matter what he says about not lying in wait for us, he's still the Foreign God's Disciple, which makes him our enemy.)

Musashi:
(...I should probably think of him as a whole other Senji Muramasa, with a different Spirit Origin altogether from the one I knew, but...)

Senji Muramasa:
Hey, you. Tough-looking swordswoman.

Senji Muramasa:
You recognize this face or something?
Don't tell me you knew this body's original owner.

Senji Muramasa:
Nah, that probably ain't it. I'm guessin' you just
met me during a past materialization or something.

Senji Muramasa:
Well, whatever went on with that,
I ain't got a single memory of it.

Senji Muramasa:
Still...I gotta thank you all the same.

Senji Muramasa:
You must've really liked me, seeing how you're keeping
your hands off your swords even under these circumstances.

Senji Muramasa:
Haha, never would've thought a nioh like you'd go easy on an enemy standin' right in front of you.

Musashi:
Huh?

Mash:
...?

Caenis:
Huh? Isn't he our enemy?
Th-the hell'd he just say?

Mash:
I-I believe he said...thank you...

Fou:
Fou!


Fujimaru 1:
So, you're not our enemy after all?


Senji Muramasa:
Nope. Least not for now. But I ain't your ally, either,
so don't go getting those lines mixed up.

Caenis:
...The hell? What's going on here?

Caenis:
No fighting? No killing? The hell do you get off saying that kinda shit after you already picked a fight!?

Senji Muramasa:
Me? I didn't pick no fight. I just warned you
to take good care of that weapon of yours.

Caenis:
...(Sigh)

Caenis:
The hell's your deal, anyway? A kid who's old at heart? And you're in with Fujimaru and the samurai chick?

Caenis:
Ah, forget it. I don't know, I don't care, and I'm bored. Wake me up when things get interesting again.

Caligula:
I, too, know nothing of this man whatsoever.

Peperoncino:
True, I've never met a Heroic Spirit by his name before, either. He's definitely not like the other Alter Egos, though.

Olympus Twins:
(Nodding simultaneously)

Fou:
Fou fou.

Caenis:
You think I give a shit if you lot agree with me or not!? Tch. I'm turning into my spirit form and going to sleep!

Holmes:
Hmm. Senji Muramasa, Alter Ego.
I'd heard your name back in Atlantis...

Holmes:
...but I never would have guessed you'd remain neutral. Another fascinating phenomenon.

Holmes:
If an open discussion is on the table, Mr. Muramasa,
there are a few things I would like to confirm with you.

Holmes:
For example...

Holmes:
...can we assume you won't be sharing your knowledge
of our arrival here with the other Alter Egos?

Senji Muramasa:
Didn't I tell you?
At this moment, I'm just another smithy.

Senji Muramasa:
I can't be bothered to worry 'bout anything else
till I'm done with the job I signed on to.

Holmes:
I see. Well, we greatly appreciate that.

Musashi:
...Hold up.

Musashi:
Hey, you! The one hiding in the shadows!
Who might you be!?

Musashi:
I can tell you aren't even trying to erase your presence, so why don't you come out and say hi already!?

Minerva:
Hoot, hoot, hoot!

Mash:
A mechanical owl!
And it's the same model Kadoc had with him!

Holmes:
That must also be the device that was
used to set off Orpheus's spell.

Holmes:
But it would seem its master today
is neither Kadoc nor Peperoncino.

Europa:
Yes, that's right.

Europa:
That sacred owl has been entrusted to me.

Europa:
Good day, Chaldeans and members of the God Destroyer Alliance. I believe this is our second time meeting in person.

Europa:
I am Europa.

Europa:
I am shrine maiden and queen to Zeus, ruler of this Interstellar Mountainous City of Olympus...

Europa:
...and the God Destroyer Alliance's Collaborator.

Section 16: Souls To Be Equals in Due Course (III)

Minerva:
Hoot, hoot.

Fou:
Fou, fou.

Minerva:
Hoot, hoot!

Fou:
Fooou! Fooou!

Mash:
It's nice to see you getting along so well with Minerva, Fou. Is this the first bird friend you've ever made?


Fujimaru 1:
Careful not to break her, Fou.

Fou:
Fou...


Fujimaru 2:
Just try not to jump on her too much.

Minerva:
Hoot. Hoot!

Fou:
Fo!?


Musashi:
So that mechanical owl is a terminal for Athena, huh.
And here I thought it was some kind of weapon or something.

Musashi:
I mean, it was that owl who made the sound that
let us escape from the gods that one time, right?

Europa:
Yes, you could say it's also a weapon.

Musashi:
Oh?

Europa:
It's part of the Authority Athena left behind.

Europa:
At this point, it is simply a terminal,
with no knowledge of its godly nature...

Europa:
...but it was still able to interfere with the god-made
leyline by synchronizing with Prometheus-Hephaestus.

Mash:
Now that you mention it...

Mash:
...there's something about that owl that reminds me of
Paris's Apollo terminal–the one that helped us in Atlantis.

Mash:
Maybe there's something all the coexistence
faction gods' terminals have in common.


Fujimaru 1:
Could be.

Mash:
I knew it!


Fujimaru 2:
They're definitely both very cute.

Mash:
...Yes. I think so, too.


Europa:
...Now then.

Europa:
Chaldeans. God Destroyer Alliance members.

Europa:
I must apologize for keeping my
identity secret all this time.

Europa:
Even though we have put our fates in each others' hands, I regret that I did not even show you my face until now.

Europa:
And if that weren't bad enough, I even put
your lives in danger the last time we met...

Holmes:
Please, pay it no mind.

Holmes:
Now that we know you were actually something of a spy, we cannot blame you for trying to maintain your cover.

Holmes:
If anything, I must applaud you for managing
to do so in the face of an omnipotent god.


Fujimaru 1:
We wouldn't be alive now if it weren't for that owl.



Fujimaru 1:
So if anything, I'm grateful to you.


Mash:
Me too!
Back when we first came face-to-face with the gods...

Mash:
...I don't think we would have survived
if that owl hadn't intervened...

Musashi:
Oh yeah, they would have chewed us up like soggy udon,
so you definitely saved us!

Adele:
...It's all right, Lady Europa.
Please, hold your head high.

Macarios:
Yeah. The alliance would've fallen apart
some time ago if you hadn't helped us.

Macarios:
Don't worry. We know you're not like Zeus,
and we don't hold a grudge against you.

Europa:
...Thank you, everyone.

Europa:
It may not be my place to say anything, since I didn't
experience the tragedy of the Olympia Machia for myself...

Europa:
But even despite that...I could not bear to
simply remain on the sidelines any longer.

Minerva:
Hoot, hoot, hoot.

Europa:
Thank you, Minerva.

Europa:
I am Europa, a Heroic Spirit of Proper Human History.

Europa:
Though the Lord Zeus of this Lostbelt may care for me,
he is not the Lord Zeus I knew from Proper Human History.

Europa:
He rejected his duty to entrust the fate of this world
to humanity, and decided to rule everything himself.

Europa:
I find this to be a clear sign that he thinks humans
weak and incapable of fending for ourselves.

Holmes:
...As you surely know, Lady Europa,
all of Europe is said to be named after you.

Holmes:
In Proper Human History, Zeus fell in love
with you, and chose you to serve as queen.

Holmes:
You eventually went on to give birth to the founding
kings of many other dynasties.

Holmes:
I suspect that, as the progenitor to all of Europe, you feel a duty to watch over humanity, and that you still feel strongly connected to them.

Holmes:
No doubt that is why you had no
choice but to defy nature itself.

Europa:
...Humanity. Proper Human History.

Europa:
Truth be told, I am not entirely sure myself.

Europa:
The fact is, I love all people. Not only those from Proper Human History, but from this Lostbelt as well.

Europa:
Even if there is no Europe to be found in this Lostbelt...

Europa:
...I still love Adele, and Macarios, and every other
Olympian as though they were my own children.

Olympus Twins:
Lady Europa...

Europa:
And that is why...

Europa:
...I cannot accept Zeus's decision.

Europa:
I cannot let him continue to keep my children close
at hand, without ever giving them a chance to grow.

Europa:
I can understand the urge to keep children young and
innocent, for that is a dream many parents have at times.

Europa:
But...to actually do so...

Europa:
To actually keep them stilted and suspended...

Europa:
...for a span of ten thousand years...

Europa:
...is something I cannot, and will not tolerate!

Europa:
Not even if that is what Zeus
himself has decided is best!

Mash:
...

Europa:
...Lady Demeter once expressed this belief as well. In response, Zeus recalibrated her Divine Core, causing her to go mad.

Holmes:
Do you mean to say Zeus has made
modifications to other gods then?

Europa:
Yes, he has.

Europa:
It was Zeus burning Lady Aphrodite that made her forget how to love, and caused her to lose one of her two sides.

Europa:
It is said there were four gods who stood
by Zeus during the Olympia Machia...

Europa:
...but the reality could not be farther from the truth.

Europa:
The truth is, none of the other gods stood with Zeus.

Europa:
So he killed five of them, and brought the remaining
five over to his side with sheer force.

Mash:
The remaining five...?
H-hold on, please.

Mash:
The gods who survived the fourth machia...

Mash:
...were Artemis, Poseidon, Demeter, Aphrodite–

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
And me, Hephaestus. Though in my case,
Zeus chose not to destroy me completely...

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...but kept my brain alive in order to
help run Olympus more efficiently.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Though of course, for my part, I've been synching up with Prometheus and cutting off Zeus's supervision network...

Europa:
And together, he and I became the alliance's Collaborators.

Musashi:
So we're talking about a god who controls
people AND other gods, huh.

Musashi:
...Yikes.

Musashi:
I hope you can forgive me for speaking so
plainly in front of you, Your Majesty.

Europa:
Of course.
Frankly...I have felt the same way for a long time.

Europa:
Lord Zeus was so loving in Proper Human History, but...

Europa:
Ahh... Here in this Lostbelt...

Europa:
...he chose to become something truly frightening.

Europa:
Now, no one can reason with him.

Europa:
Not me...
Nor Lady Hera...

Adele:
Lady Europa...

Caligula:
...It is still too soon to weep tears of sorrow,
Great Mother Europa.

Caligula:
Now that we are all here together at last,
we shall be the ones to finally slay him.

Caligula:
So please, dry your tears, O loving Europa, for our God Destroyer Alliance is now joined by Chaldea!

Caligula:
And your tears will be much sweeter
when they are tears of victory.


Fujimaru 1:
Please don't cry, Europa.



Fujimaru 1:
Caligula is right. It's still too soon to cry!


Europa:
...Thank you, Caligula.
Thank you, Fujimaru.

Europa:
Yes, you're right. You're so right...

Europa:
There will be plenty of time for tears later.
I am here now to lend you my aid!

Europa:
Prometheus-Hephaestus, I now offer you all the magical energy I have saved up over these many years!

Europa:
Use it to complete the Grand Summon Article!

Europa:
And one more thing...

Europa:
Shield-maiden of Chaldea, Mash Kyrielight.

Mash:
Y-yes?

Europa:
I have a present for you.
Oh, but it's not from me.

Europa:
No, this...is a parting gift from the goddess Athena.

--ARROW--

Peperoncino:
Okey-dokey, I'm gonna head on back now.

Peperoncino:
I'd love to stay for dinner, but I'm afraid I'll have to take a rain check. Too many prying eyes and keen noses in the Great Orbital Shrine, all wondering where little old me might be, after all.

Fou:
Fou fo.

Peperoncino:
Aww, you going to miss me, Fou?

Fou:
Fon.

Peperoncino:
Well, you're no fun.
...But I wouldn't have you any other way.

Peperoncino:
Anywho, Queen Europa, I'll let you know if there's any news from over there, so you just take your time.

Peperoncino:
In fact, it'd probably just raise
suspicion if we went back together.

Peperoncino:
Oh, and I'm gonna leave Minerva here, so use her to
warp out of here in case of an emergency, okay?

Peperoncino:
All right then, ta-ta for now.
See you later, Mashie.

Europa:
It's a shame that Pepe won't be here to join us...

Europa:
...but if you like, I'd be happy to cook dinner for
all of you tonight. I'm sure you must be starving.

Mash:
You'll cook for us?

Fou:
Fou?


Fujimaru 1:
That's so...motherly...

Mash:
I see...


Fujimaru 2:
Come to think of it, we haven't had anything since lunch.

Mash:
Oh! Now that you mention it, we haven't, have we?

Mash:
It completely slipped my mind.
I'm so sorry, Senpai!

Mash:
Eating is crucial for you to keep up your strength. I
should never have let you go this long without any food...

Holmes:
Don't forget to keep up your own strength, Ms. Kyrielight. Remember, a Demi-Servant differs from a standard Servant in numerous ways.

Mash:
Right.

Mash:
Thank you for thinking of me, Holmes.


Musashi:
Well, we definitely can't do anything on an empty stomach, so I'm all in favor of having a bite to eat!

Musashi:
That said, Lady Europa...

Musashi:
...having you personally cook for us feels
like it'd be kind of...wrong somehow?

Musashi:
Oh, wait. Were you just joking?
Is this some kind of Greek humor?

Europa:
Hm?
...Huh?

Europa:
Oh, no, no, I promise you it was no jest.
I truly meant it.

Europa:
I may not know any cooking spells,
but I am fused with Lady Hera now.

Europa:
And while Lady Hera may not quite have been as skilled a cook as Lady Hestia, the goddess of the hearth, she was still the goddess of the home.

Europa:
So if nothing else, I can certainly make sure that
every dish will be brimming with divine protection.

Musashi:
Uh... I see?

Mash:
Then we'll help you cook.


Fujimaru 1:
What she said.


Fujimaru 2:
It'd be our pleasure.


Mash:
Right!

Adele:
Are you sure it's okay for us to join you too,
Queen Europa?

Europa:
Of course.
I'm sure there will be enough food to go around.

Europa:
Isn't that right, Prometheus-Hephaestus?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Oh sure. I've had an apprentice staying here for over a year now, so there should be more than enough for everyone.

Holmes:
Do you mean Mr. Muramasa?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
That's right. Even though he's a Heroic Spirit, he's still in the habit of eating meals regularly. When he's not smithing, he's usually making some dish or other from a place called the Far East.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
He's been using my workshop's small garden to grow soybeans and rice, and as of late, he's also been making miso and sake.

Europa:
Oh my! That sounds perfect for Japanese cuisine!

Europa:
I've never had Japanese food before!
Would you please tell me how to make it, Muramasa!?

Senji Muramasa:
Well, sure, I can walk you through it while I'm making my own meal... But didn't you say you were gonna do the cooking tonight?

Senji Muramasa:
Might as well join you. I can show you
how to cook rice and miso soup anytime.

Europa:
Great! I'm going to hold you to that!

Senji Muramasa:
S-sure thing... Ugh, you're a right different sort
when you're not around Zeus. It's really throwing me off...

Fou:
Fou fou!

Senji Muramasa:
Hm? What is it?
You that hungry?

Fou:
Fooou.

Adele:
...

Mash:
...Is something wrong, Adele?

Adele:
Oh, no. I was just a little lost in thought.

Adele:
I still can't quite believe that Queen Europa herself was our Collaborator, or that she's going to cook for us...

Adele:
...Up until today,
I never would have even imagined such a thing.

Adele:
You know, it's strange.

Adele:
I know this might sound odd, but...

Adele:
...ever since you all came here,
I've been remembering what it was like to enjoy myself.

Mash:
Only remembering?

Adele:
Yes. This is just like it was ten thousand years ago.

Adele:
Back when we never knew what might happen,
and each day wasn't yet a foregone conclusion.

Macarios:
Back when today was different from yesterday,
and you knew tomorrow would be different for today.

Macarios:
...You're right, Sister. I never thought the day would
come when we'd actually get to slay the gods...

Macarios:
...and I never thought I'd see you standing in
the kitchen happily cooking away again, either.

Macarios:
...And it's all thanks to you guys.

Adele:
Thank you, Mash.
Thank you, Fujimaru.

Adele:
I'm so, so glad...

Adele:
I'm so glad we rescued you.


Fujimaru 1:
I'm really glad you did, too.


Fujimaru 2:
I don't know what we would've done without you two.


Europa:
Are you all done talking? Then I'd like everyone
who's willing to help to come with me, please.

Mash:
Right!

Adele:
Coming.
Macarios?

Macarios:
...Yeah, okay, I'll help too.

Europa:
Wonderful. I'm thrilled to see you're all such helpful
children. Now let's go make something scrumptious!

Holmes:
...Now then.

Holmes:
While the others are busy preparing dinner, I would like to check my notes on this Lostbelt against your database.

Holmes:
Assuming that's all right with you, of course, Prometheus-Hephaestus.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Me? Well, since I've tasked my apprentice with supervising construction of the Article, I guess I've got time to spare.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Though my mental resources are sufficient for multitasking. I can answer your questions without slowing production.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
The Grand Summon Article should be ready
by tomorrow morning, no problem.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
So, sage of Proper Human History,
what did you want to ask me?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...I see.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Yes, your theory about the continent of Atlantis is
correct, as is your understanding of each machia.

Holmes:
Then, as I suspected, you and the other gods were originally supposed to lose your true mechanical bodies during the second machia...

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Exactly. About ten thousand years ago, when we fought the White Death that descended from the sky...

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...it was apparently supposed to wipe out the entire prehistoric civilization, gods and humans alike. At least, in Proper Human History.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
But we defeated it, and in doing so, managed to keep our Aletheia–or our mechanical god bodies, as you call them.

Holmes:
...Hm?

Holmes:
Just a moment. Did you say “prehistoric civilization”?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
I sure did.

Holmes:
Then, that must be the lost civilization of Atlantis
that disappeared during the second, Leucusmachia!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
It is indeed.

Musashi:
O-oh wow, this is a huge discovery!
Then your hypothesis was right, Holmes!

Musashi:
So the mystical continent of
Atlantis really did exist...

Holmes:
I see. So it was destroyed in the second machia, not sunk by the wrath of the gods as Plato would have it.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
My data on the great floods all comes from Proper Human History, not this Lostbelt.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
I heard there were two floods in total, but I don't know any of the details. You'll have to ask our Proper Human History counterparts about those.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Assuming you ever get a chance to meet
them in your future travels, of course.

Holmes:
Understood.

Holmes:
While the chances of summoning a demiurge-level Divine Spirit are slim, I will hope for the best.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...You know, all this talk about the
second machia really takes me back.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
That was one of the fiercest battles I've ever fought. The White Death that came from space was ruthless in its quest to destroy everything.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
The invader was called “Sefar.” Or perhaps “Sephyr.”

Holmes:
From space, hmm...

Holmes:
Was it anything like the Foreign God, perhaps?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Not at all. The Foreign God's Trees of Emptiness are
still comprised of a structure we can understand.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
But the White Death's structure was far beyond the
comprehension of any intelligence on this planet.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
But, it has nothing to do with Chaldea's endeavors, so there's no reason for you to trouble yourself about it.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
It came here for the sole purpose of destroying
us and this world's prehistoric civilization.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
There was no life-form on Earth that could stand
up to it. We gods only managed to survive...

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...because Zeus succeeded at becoming an omnipotent
composite god right at the last moment.

Musashi:
Composite god?

Fou:
Fou!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Yes, a combination of other gods.
Did you not already know that?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
We mechanical gods all possess the ability to
combine with one another. Or we did, anyway.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
In fact, we originally all used
to be a single being named Chaos!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Incidentally, our survival and combat capabilities tend to improve the closer we get to our Primordial Chaos roots.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
As evidence, the previous generation of Titan-class
warships were even sturdier than we are.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
But Zeus... Zeus is in a class of his own!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
He is the omnipotent supreme being–
the demiurge who wields the thunderbolts!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
He defeated the Titans, stole the Holy Vessel Cronus Crown–the mark of their flagship that ties our entire pantheon together...

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...and even managed to obliterate the White Death.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Yes, the only reason we Twelve Olympians were able to defeat the White Death is because Zeus served as the core of our fusion.

Holmes:
So what you are saying is...

Fou:
Fooou...

Musashi:
...Zeus is really, really damn strong.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Indeed. If nothing else, I can tell you that in this Lostbelt, he has wielded power capable of obliterating an enemy from beyond this very planet.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Even if he should happen to lose
all the other composite gods...

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...he is still the greatest,
most powerful god of all.

Section 17: Souls To Be Equals in Due Course (IV)

Musashi:
Mmm, that was so gooooood!

Musashi:
I've eaten in all sorts of ages and places,
and your cooking, Lady Europa...

Musashi:
...was some of the best I've ever had!

Musashi:
Man, when I first got to Olympus, I never thought I'd get to have such great breakfast, lunch, AND dinner every day.

Musashi:
Well, I guess I never did end up having lunch today...but this dinner more than made up for it.


Fujimaru 1:
It really was a great meal!

Mash:
Yes, it was! I learned so much about both
good nutrition and varied flavors from it!

Mash:
You know, I'd like to try cooking myself
once we get back to Chaldea Base.

Mash:
I think I may just be able to put these
experiences to good use in some way!


Fujimaru 2:
There were so many textures and flavors I'd never tasted before...

Mash:
There really were!

Mash:
It was like culinary techniques that had been honed to perfection over Olympus's ten-thousand year history were concentrated in every bite...

Mash:
It honestly made me feel as if
I was tasting history itself.

Mash:
The bread in particular was like nothing I could have ever imagined before today...

Mash:
Thank you so much, Queen Europa!
This has been an invaluable experience!


Europa:
Oh no, I didn't do anything special. I was simply copying what I've seen others do before. Adele and Macarios did all the truly hard work.

Adele:
...You are far too generous, Lady Europa.

Macarios:
All we did was follow your instructions. You're a way better cook than any mere culinary student.

Macarios:
Most of them only care about working on
their so-called cutting-edge research.

Europa:
Hehe. As long as you know the basics of Olympian ingredients and culinary techniques, anyone can cook like that if they put a little love into it.

Europa:
Still, I do appreciate the compliment.

Europa:
Thank you all so much for helping me.

Europa:
If we continue working together like this, Operation
God Destroyer should succeed in no time. Hurrah!

Musashi:
Raaah!

Mash:
R-raaah!

Fou:
Fooou!

Caligula:
Neroooooo!


Fujimaru 1:
Oh man, I haven't heard that in a while!


Fujimaru 2:
Caligula...!


Caligula:
I thought it only right that I shout
on Caenis's behalf as well.

Caligula:
She may not have shown herself for dinner, but I am sure she is nearby, watching in her spirit form.

Musashi:
Yeah, now that you mention it, I guess Caenis is probably still kinda ticked.

Musashi:
...Though I probably shouldn't let Caenis hear me say that, or she's apt to materialize just in time to bring her giant spear down on my head.

Musashi:
Hm?

Musashi:
Speaking of missing people,
is Holmes still at it?

Holmes:
Hmm, hmm.

Holmes:
Then, how much magical energy
will the Grand Summon consume?

Holmes:
Normally, a summon makes use of the mana in
the atmosphere and the summoner's own od.

Holmes:
However, if we are to summon a being capable of bringing down a god...

Holmes:
...I'm not sure even this Lostbelt's extensive reserves of atmospheric mana–which admittedly far surpasses anything to hand in Proper Human History–will suffice.

Holmes:
So if we're to complete this Grand Summon, as the Heroic Spirits called it, I presume we'll need to augment our magical energy supply somehow?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Of course you will.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Strictly speaking, this summoning ritual doesn't use a
summoner. Given its vast magical energy requirements...

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...I've designed it to make use of
the infinity crystal above Olympus.

Holmes:
Have you now?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
More accurately, I've designed it to access the infinity crystal through the Olympians' own god-made leyline, thereby providing us with an inexhaustible supply of magical energy.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
We will use the enemy's own power against them.

Holmes:
...The god-made leyline.

Holmes:
That's the leyline that's kept completely
under the gods' close supervision.

Holmes:
Our spells weren't able to so much as touch it, but that won't be the case for you. Then, does that mean that the god-made leyline was–

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Of course. I'm the one who made it, even if I only did so reluctantly and under Zeus's orders.

Holmes:
...I suspected as much.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
So yes, I know all there is to know about the god-made
leyline, right down to its unusual vulnerability.

Holmes:
Vulnerability, you say?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
The leyline may be an invisible magical energy network that serves as a transcendent source of magical energy, but since it was never completed, it's also full of holes.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Its greatest vulnerability is the fact that
it exists in spaces all throughout Olympus.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
By placing special spells and formations at these spaces, we're able to draw a truly massive summoning circle that covers all of Olympus, even as the gods remain none the wiser!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
That is the summoning circle that lays at the heart of the operation, and they are the very spells that you, and the Heroic Spirits of the alliance, have already put in place.

Musashi:
...Sounds like they're having a pretty, um...involved conversation.

Musashi:
Hmm...

Musashi:
I'm going to get some night air. A little walk to help my digestion ought to be just the thing.


Fujimaru 1:
It's dangerous outside.

Mash:
I agree. At this depth, the underground passages
are sure to be patrolled by autonomous weapons.


Fujimaru 2:
If you're going outside, I'll come with you.

Mash:
I will too, Senpai. At this depth, the underground
passages are bound to be dangerous.

Mash:
There's no telling how many autonomous
weapons may be stationed nearby.


Musashi:
Don't worry, I'll be fine.

Musashi:
Old man Prometheus-slash-Hephaestus cut off their
connection to the surveillance network, right?

Musashi:
Then, like I said, this ought to be
just the thing to help my digestion.

Mash:
B-but–

Musashi:
I'll be fine, I promise. If I really think I'm in trouble, I'll hightail it out of there immediately.

Musashi:
I might have reached the void, but I'm still an unscrupulous swordfighter at heart. I'm not gonna challenge an opponent I know I can't beat!

Musashi:
Anyway, it's walk time.
Be back soon!

Musashi:
...

Musashi:
...You know you guys didn't
have to come with me, right?

Musashi:
Or are you just here on a hunch or something?
Well, Adele? Macarios?

Macarios:
Fujimaru and Mash were right.

Macarios:
It's dangerous to walk along
these underground passages alone.

Adele:
Besides...I couldn't help but notice
that Muramasa wasn't at dinner.

Adele:
At first, I thought he might be at the back
of the workshop, but he wasn't there, either.

Musashi:
Ahahahaha.
Sounds like we're thinking along the same lines.

Musashi:
You hear that, Lord Muramasa? I know you can.

Musashi:
I'm sure you've got things to talk about you don't want the Chaldeans overhearing, so I came to pay you a visit myself.

Senji Muramasa:
...

Senji Muramasa:
Figured you'd show up here, but I didn't
expect those twins to come along, too.

Senji Muramasa:
Just to be clear, I don't got anything to talk about.

Musashi:
Oh? That's too bad, because I sure do. And it's got
something to do with how insanely dangerous you are.

Musashi:
I know you said you were staying neutral earlier,
but the moment you hand the Article over to Fujimaru...

Musashi:
...you're planning to cut [♂ him /♀️ her]
in two on the spot, aren't you?

Senji Muramasa:
...Well, yeah. When you finish one job,
you move on to the next, right?

Olympus Twins:
...!

Senji Muramasa:
That fake priest Rasputin gave me two jobs to
do as part of my Foreign God Disciple duties.

Senji Muramasa:
The first was to protect Prometheus-Hephaestus in Olympus.

Senji Muramasa:
Apparently, as the god of knowledge and the forge, his
skills are essential to keeping Olympus running smoothly.

Senji Muramasa:
And since old Zeus signed off on that job,
I got no reason to refuse it.

Senji Muramasa:
The second job was to destroy Hephaestus in Atlantis.

Musashi:
Those would seem to be at, um, cross purposes...

Senji Muramasa:
That one was all Zeus. Said he forbade Chaldea
and Hephaestus from coming into contact!

Senji Muramasa:
And taking Hephaestus out was the quickest
and easiest way to ensure they didn't.

Senji Muramasa:
But, killing a god's still a big deal even in Atlantis,
and not even Lord Odysseus there could go through with it.

Senji Muramasa:
So that's where we came in.

Senji Muramasa:
Rasputin demolished the Proper Human History Heroic
Spirits while I cut the forge god's main unit clean in two.

Adele:
That's terrible...
So here, you kept Hephaestus safe–

Macarios:
And elsewhere, you killed him, huh.
What the hell's the sense in that?

Senji Muramasa:
I told ya I cut 'em in two. Didn't say nothing about killing.

Senji Muramasa:
Though I did say that Hephaestus
had been destroyed in my report.

Musashi:
Huh?

Musashi:
So, what exactly does that mean?

Senji Muramasa:
...All right, here's the deal.

Senji Muramasa:
Prometheus-Hephaestus is incredibly skilled...

Senji Muramasa:
...but he's also the stubbornest
old mule I've ever met.

Senji Muramasa:
Said he wanted to make a summoner thingamabob and
was gonna blow himself up unless I helped him.

Senji Muramasa:
I couldn't let him since it was my job to protect him and all, so I agreed to the apprenticeship until the gizmo was done.

Senji Muramasa:
After that, he said his own manipulators were too old and decrepit for delicate work or some such, and wasted no time putting me to work.

Senji Muramasa:
And one of those odd jobs...

Senji Muramasa:
...involved going to Atlantis to fetch his backup data.

Senji Muramasa:
Said he needed an additional brain
to finish making the Article.

Senji Muramasa:
Bunch of bull, eh?

Musashi:
Hehe, are you kidding me? That's ridiculous!

Musashi:
First you follow the order by cutting him in half, then you go get his backup to effectively bring him back to life!

Olympus Twins:
!

Musashi:
That sounds like something out of a comedy routine.
You're a real scamp, Grandpa!

Musashi:
Anyway...

Musashi:
I take it that means you liked Hephaestus so much you were willing to really stick your neck out for him?

Senji Muramasa:
...Ugh. We might not agree on most things...

Senji Muramasa:
...but that Greek god of the forge's work's so
good it damn near brings a tear to my eye.

Musashi:
Is that so...

Senji Muramasa:
Anyway, there was one other thing Zeus ordered me to do that didn't have anything to do with Hephaestus.

Senji Muramasa:
Get rid of you lot.

Macarios:
!

Senji Muramasa:
So once I finish this job,
that's the next one I gotta take care of.

Senji Muramasa:
Aint no sense in doing things outta order. Gotta do my jobs one at a time to make sure they're done right.

Senji Muramasa:
It ain't like I'm ignoring the Foreign
God's orders or betraying Zeus.

Macarios:
So, does that mean...

Macarios:
...you're ignoring Zeus's commands
until the Article is finished?

Senji Muramasa:
'Course. Ain't like Zeus is paying me for this job. I'm just playing along with him 'cause they say he's the big Buddha in charge here.

Adele:
Oh my!

Musashi:
Yikes. Never thought I'd ever feel sorry for Zeus,
but I guess there's a first time for everything.

Senji Muramasa:
...That being said,
it does feel like it's time for me to move on.

Senji Muramasa:
I might be able to handle Chaldea on my own,
but deep down, I'm just a swordsmith.

Senji Muramasa:
No way I could take on Chaldea, Musashi, Caligula, and
Caenis all at the same time, so I'll try my luck elsewhere.

Senji Muramasa:
'Sides, now that you lot showed up, the Great
Prometheus-Hephaestus Workshop's all but done for.

Senji Muramasa:
I'd take the summon whatsit somewhere deep soon as you get your hands on it, before others come a-callin.

Musashi:
Huh?

Musashi:
So, you're going to leave us alone? I mean, that's great and all, but what about finishing the summon thing!?

Senji Muramasa:
You don't gotta worry about that.

Senji Muramasa:
It might not be done tonight, but I've
set it up so it'll get done by morning.

Senji Muramasa:
Well, see you 'round.
Don't forget to give my regards to the Chaldea kid.

Musashi:
...Uh, yeah, will do.
Take care.

Musashi:
...Wait. You mean you're leaving right this second!?

Senji Muramasa:
Aye. Rasputin's supervising the Crypters, and Ashi–I mean, Limbo's is to keep an eye on the Lostbelt kings...

Senji Muramasa:
...but my job doesn't really begin until
this Foreign God guy actually shows up.

Senji Muramasa:
Apparently, I'm supposed to be their butler or something. Anyway, if I'm going to do that job right, I can't go letting myself get defeated now.

Senji Muramasa:
In the meantime, might as well work
on getting the big god some clothes.

Senji Muramasa:
'Cause if what they say is true,
they're gonna arrive here buck naked!

Musashi:
!?

Senji Muramasa:
Don't worry, she's just here as an arbiter. She can't do
anything to you, and she wouldn't even if she could.

Senji Muramasa:
Oh, and one last thing.
You two're the last alliance survivors, right?

Adele:
Y-yes, that's right.

Senji Muramasa:
This might not be my place...but don't go throwing
your lives away like them Satsuma Hayato folk did.

Senji Muramasa:
Ain't no point in winning a war if
it ends up costing you your soul.

Adele:
...

Senji Muramasa:
'Course, that's just one man's opinion. I might be old, but I know I'm a hell of a lot younger than you two, so I won't insist you listen to me.

Macarios:
...I'm not really sure what you're talking about,
but I do appreciate your concern for us.

Macarios:
So thanks for that, foreign smithy.

Macarios:
And thanks for showing our great god of the forge–the last decent god in this whole kingdom...

Macarios:
...the kind of respect that even we couldn't give him.

Senji Muramasa:
Hey now, it's nothing like that. Like I said, he just
turned out to be even more of a stubborn old man than me.

Adele:
I'd like to thank you too, Muramasa.

Adele:
And...

Adele:
...I promise I'll remember your warning
right to our final moments.

Senji Muramasa:
...That so. Guess you already made your choice then.

Senji Muramasa:
I won't forget you two kids.
Make sure you both live good lives, you hear?

--ARROW--

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...Seventeenth process finished. Grand Summon Article
Aether summoning guidance spell inscription complete.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...Eighteenth process finished. Grand Summon Article
Aether Spirit Origin solidification spell inscription
complete.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Nineteenth and twentieth processes finished. Grand
Summon Article Aether perpetual magical energy source
synchronization complete.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...All processes finished.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Initiating Grand Summon Article
Aether materialization.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Grand Summon Article Aether
materialization output complete.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
All right, everyone. I'm sorry it took so long to complete, and I don't know where my apprentice got off to, but the project itself came out beautifully.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
This is the Grand Summon Article–the device that's going to materialize a being capable of destroying gods.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
And now, it's yours, humans.
Go on, take it.


Fujimaru 1:
I promise I'll take good care of it.


Fujimaru 2:
Grand Summon Article Aether...


Europa:
I'm the one who named it Aether.

Europa:
It may not be what the alliance Heroic Spirits
intended for it to be named, but–

A.I.:
There's no need to worry about us, Your Majesty.

A.I.:
Fine by me. Sounds plenty tough and shit.

A.I.:
Ughhh... Agh!

A.I.:
Yes, it IS a wonderful name! When you finally go up against the god of the heavens, Aether'll summon a being capable of destroying him!

A.I.:
Part of me does wonder why you didn't go with a more common name...but as our Collaborator, we're happy to go along with whatever you decide.

A.I.:
All right, Adele, Macarios, and Boss of Chaldea! We're
counting on you to take it from here and finish the job!


Fujimaru 1:
We will! I promise!


A.I.:
Awesome!


Fujimaru 1:
So, I just need to turn it on in the Great Orbital Shine then?


Adele:
...That's right.

Adele:
In order to accomplish the final god slaying,
you'll need to activate it when we're facing Zeus.

Adele:
Since we don't know how long their materialization
will last, that's our only viable option...

Macarios:
...Queen Europa. Prometheus-Hephaestus.
Thank you both so much for helping us.

Macarios:
That goes for you too, Chaldeans and Caligula.

Macarios:
And don't think I'm forgetting you two either,
Musashi and Caenis.

Macarios:
Thanks to all of you, the God Destroyer Alliance is finally ready to begin the last stage of our operation.

Fou:
Fou, fou!

Musashi:
So it's time to fight Zeus, right?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Be warned, the enemy is truly formidable.
No matter how many times I run the numbers...

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...I don't know how well the summoned being will fare
against him. And as for the Grand Summon's final catalyst–

Caligula:
That will not be a problem.
Consider that matter solved.

Mash:
You mean you already have a catalyst ready to go?

Caligula:
Haha, worry not, shield-maiden. I would not let
us come this far while we still lack a catalyst.

Caligula:
Rest assured, I will take care of it. And when the time comes to face this so-called omnipotent King of the Gods, I will show you something miraculous.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...Even with my capacity for calculation, I can't say what will happen once Aether has been activated, or how well the summoned being will fare against an omnipotent god.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
At this point, we are well into
the realm of the unknown.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Nonetheless, I can say this:
your chances for victory are nonzero.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
So as long as you keep that in mind–

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...Oh.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
I'm sorry, I should have asked sooner: Does the
concept of zero exist in Proper Human History?

Holmes:
Yes, most assuredly.
We've known about it since at least the third century.

Holmes:
I daresay we also have a fairly deep understanding of the concept. In fact, Ms. Miyamoto over there is something of an expert on it.

Musashi:
...

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Oho, fascinating. A mathematician or philosopher would be one thing, but I never would have thought a swordfighter could reach such an understanding.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
A scholar would no doubt use their understanding to pass the concept on to other people as knowledge, but for a swordfighter to understand zero...

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
I see. Then you must have attained it as a skill,
rather than as knowledge.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Zero. The line that lies between positive and negative.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
A number smaller than any decimal,
and greater than any negative number.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
It is the void– the lack of existence.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...I see. The fact that you reached such an understanding with the sword just goes to show you humans truly are an unsolvable mystery.

Musashi:
Oh, it was nothing.
I just happened to get lucky. That's all.

Musashi:
My old man used to go on and on about how he was the
strongest in the world, and how nobody could surpass him...

Musashi:
So I figured, since the only number that could surpass
“one” was “none,” that was what I had to strive for.

Musashi:
Still, it's pretty amazing that I actually pulled it off, if I do say so myself! Not every swordfighter could empty their mind as fast as I did!


Fujimaru 1:
Someone's confident today!


Fujimaru 2:
Now that's the Musashi I know and depend on.


Musashi:
Hey, I could never leap into enemy territory without
looking if I didn't think I could handle myself.

Musashi:
Aether here might be our trump card for the final showdown, but it's still my job to make sure we get that far.

Musashi:
And knowing you've got someone else on hand to do the heavy lifting means I can really cut loose, in multiple senses!

Fou:
Fou, fooou!

Mash:
You're very modest, aren't you, Musashi? I think I'm
starting to understand what makes you so strong.

Mash:
You always walk a fine line between
trying too hard and not trying enough.

Mash:
You're open and honest with everyone,
without ever looking down on anyone.

Mash:
I used to think of bushi and samurai as a kind
of warrior class particular to Japan...

Mash:
But when I look at you, Musashi, I...

Mash:
Um... I'm not quite sure how to say this...

Musashi:
You think I'm a real badass?
Aww, thanks.

Musashi:
I am something of a freewheeling, happy-go-lucky warrior, so I think, deep down, I'm really a lot like you guys.

Mash:
Right!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Hehe. Very nice.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
You're all the very picture of
warriors brimming with hope!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Even as you are about to face Zeus himself, your smiles are unwavering! You truly make me think that if anyone can make this happen, you can!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
You know, Queen Europa, at first, I thought
this gamble would be all risk and no reward...

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...but I see that, even if my calculations say their odds of victory are zero, these people may just be able to pull it off.

Europa:
Oh, their chance of winning is certainly not zero.
Of that, I have no doubt.

Musashi:
...Hey, forge god?
Sorry to interrupt, but I've got a question.

Musashi:
You said this workshop is cut off from the outside...

Musashi:
...and the only way in is through a door in the
underground passage that's been partitioned off, right?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
That's right.


Fujimaru 1:
Musashi?


Fujimaru 2:
Is something bothering you?


Musashi:
Then can you tell what's going on outside that door?

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Hold on. I'll run a periphery scan now–

Mash:
The outside partition was just blown to pieces!
Master!

Musashi:
Damn, I was too slow! Mash! Fujimaru!
Make sure we've got a way out of here!

Mash:
Right!

Fou:
Fooou...

Mash:
Over here, Fou! You'll be safer inside my storage
space than you will on my shoulder!

Caligula:
This magical energy feels as though it were burning. It has this Lostbelt's unique scent, and the gods' unmistakable intimidating presence...

Caligula:
But that is not all.
I also sense something unutterably foul here now...

Caligula:
Be careful, all of you!
There is a darkness here among us!

Limbo:
...My, my. How lovely to see you all here.

Limbo:
I suppose it's been some time since we last met,
fine members of Chaldea. And you, Queen Europa.

Europa:
...!

Limbo:
Oh yes, and I can't forget you,
members of the God Destroyer Alliance.

Limbo:
I must say, you've put up quite a valiant struggle against the gods.

Limbo:
I suppose I should introduce myself, yes? I am but a
humble monk–a Heroic Spirit named Caster of Limbo.

Musashi:
There you are, scumbag.

Musashi:
I remember you, and how your good looks are completely wasted on that head that keeps regrowing no matter how many times I cut it off! What are you up to here in Olympus?

Musashi:
Ah, screw it. I don't even care!
Your ominous aura tells me everything I need to know!

Limbo:
Oho! My, my, if it isn't my beloved Shinmen Musashi!

Limbo:
Mmm, yes, I remember you too, and how very many times you've thwarted my designs in the past!

Limbo:
What a shame that your vaunted Heavenly Eye is apparently so blind that it failed to even notice the spell thread I bound to the queen's garments!

Europa:
You... You tracked me with my own garments!?
How dare you, you...barbaric god!

Limbo:
Yes! Yes, that's right!

Limbo:
Your mewling sympathy for your home in Proper Human History was easily exploitable. Mmm, how utterly disgraceful!

Limbo:
Whatever you may have been plotting–and plotting you were, by the looks of it–it all ends now.

Holmes:
I'm afraid it's a touch early for curtains.
In fact, I think we have just begun a whole new act.

Limbo:
Ah, but there I must disagree.

Limbo:
I've been waiting for this moment
for quite some time now.

Limbo:
I'm quite aware of everything happening here. In fact, I only refrained from acting sooner because...

Limbo:
...I was waiting for this Grand Summon
Article of yours to be completed.

Olympus Twins:
...!

Limbo:
I can only imagine what lovely sounds you'll make when
you witness it shattering before your very eyes!


Fujimaru 1:
You are just the absolute worst.


Fujimaru 2:
Limbo, you bastard!


Limbo:
Mmm, how very kind of you to say so!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...My great workshop is like my home. It should have no
trouble detecting a spell from a single Heroic Spirit.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
What are you, really?
You're not a proper Heroic Spirit at all.

Limbo:
Detect? You thought you could detect my spell?

Limbo:
Why, of course you couldn't. Not when all
of my spells have been blessed by our god!

Limbo:
Ah, I should clarify. When I speak of god in this case, I am not referring to the gods of Olympus, but rather–

Dioscuri - Castor:
You talk too much, barbarian.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Yes, he does.
Shall we kill them now, Big Brother?

Limbo:
Ahh, yes, I do hope you'll forgive me! Very well then,
I will leave the massacre to you two.

Limbo:
After all, it would be quite absurd for a Disciple of the Foreign God to clean up a mess brought about by negligence on your family's behalf!

Dioscuri - Castor:
...Hmph. That's right, it would be. Now be quiet.

Dioscuri - Castor:
So, we finally found you, humans.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
...We found them, Big Brother.

Macarios:
The Dioscuri!
You... You always...!

Macarios:
You always snatch our hope away from us!
Every single time...!

Adele:
...Well this time, you won't.

Adele:
We won't let you take anything from us ever again!

Mash:
Both of you, be careful!
The Dioscuri are a Divine Spirit Servant!

Mash:
Please, get back before they hurt you!

Dioscuri - Castor:
...

Dioscuri - Castor:
...You've kept me waiting a long time.
Now, this is where it ends.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Don't think I've forgotten how you humiliated us
with your filthy, worthless spell, lowly humans.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Though our light will never be sullied by the pitiful
death struggles of weaklings like yourselves...

Dioscuri - Castor:
...you should be thrilled that
you managed to injure my pride.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
You're all in for it now.
No human has incurred Big Brother's wrath and survived.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Now, prepare...

Dioscuri - Pollux:
...for divine justice.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Death to all of you!

Caenis:
Goddamn bastard twins!

Caenis:
The hell're you so worked up over
a bunch of humans for, huh!?

Caenis:
...This is just like what happened last time, too.

Caenis:
You sure you little shits aren't forgetting anyone?

Caenis:
Ha! You thought I'm the one who
didn't belong among the gods?

Caenis:
You got balls saying that to my face after Kirschtara ground your asses into the dirt like it was nothing! Did you forget how you had to go crying to big daddy Zeus, pleading for your lives?

Caenis:
You got the great Caenis to deal with, and you dumb shits stay focused on these weaklings... Well I've HAD it!

Caenis:
Die, shitheads!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
The sea-god's spear!
I knew it was too good for the likes of you!

Caenis:
I said shut the hell up and DIE!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
...Are you all right, Big Brother?

Dioscuri - Castor:
I'm fine. Mere magical energy light from an ordinary
Heroic Spirit can never hope to match ours.

Holmes:
The Dioscuri, gods of light. They may indeed move at near-light speed, but it seems they aren't capable of nullifying all forms of light directed at them.

Holmes:
Does that mean they have openings we can take advantage of?
As they say nowadays, the jury is still out.

Caenis:
Stay out of my way, Trench Coat! Your magical energy
light show isn't gonna do shit, anyway!

Musashi:
Hey now, don't go throwing out the baritsu
beam with the detective. Anyway...

Musashi:
As far as we're concerned, gods of light, you're just one more milestone on the road to slaying all the gods!

Musashi:
I'm not exhausted like last time, and to top it off I'm feeling better than ever thanks to the queen's amazing food!

A:Mash:
Activating Ortinax's emergency combat mode!
Adjusting operational output to seventy percent!

A:Mash:
I'm ready, Master!


Fujimaru 1:
Don't forget to keep Europa safe!


Fujimaru 2:
First order of business: get past the Dioscuri!


A:Mash:
Understood!

Caenis:
LET'S FREAKIN' GOOOOOO!!!

--BATTLE--

Dioscuri - Castor:
Insolent worms!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Don't bother fighting back, humans!
You'll never escape death at my brother's hands!

Mash:
The Dioscuri are still alive and well!
Our current fighting forces just can't beat them!

Musashi:
Gah, my eyes! It's like looking into the sun!

Musashi:
(I don't know if they're actually moving at light speed or not, but I do know both their sword and discus are really freaking fast!)

Musashi:
(Mash is doing a great job defending against them.
Caenis's spearplay is as sharp as it's ever been.)

Musashi:
(And despite his injuries, Emperor Caligula's fists
haven't slowed down. Berserkers gotta berserk, I guess...)

Musashi:
(Still, the way things are going, it's only a matter of time until one of us gives up the ghost. I might just have to sacrifice one of my swords after all!)

Minerva:
Hoooooot!

Dioscuri - Castor:
!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
That trick again!?

Limbo:
Oh yes, of course it won't work!
Not against mighty gods of Olympus!

Limbo:
But just to be safe...allow me
to use my sorcery to negate it!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
What!? Did you just drown out the
waves jamming the god-made leyline!?

Limbo:
Why yes, I did!

Limbo:
And while I'm at it, I think I'll rid us of this
divine bird's intrusions once and for all!

Minerva:
Hoo–

Europa:
Aah! Minerva!

Limbo:
Hahahahahahahaha! Mmmmm, as you can see, I have some facility with the destruction of machines.

Limbo:
Allow me to demonstrate by ending the combined
gods of knowledge and the forge here and now!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Wha... Ghh... Ghhh!
My brain is...being eroded...!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
What did you...do to me!?

Limbo:
Why, exactly what you think I've done.

Limbo:
Machines, no matter their time or place of origin, have always been vulnerable to bugs, and you are no exception!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Bugs!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
I see... They transform...your pulsating
magical energy itself...into spells!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Aaaaaaaaaaaaargh! So even though my true self...
is formless data...they're still able to eat away at me!


Fujimaru 1:
Prometheus-Hephaestus!


Fujimaru 2:
Call your bugs off him, Limbo!



Fujimaru 1:
Activating Mystic Code!


Limbo:
Mmm, what a shame!

Limbo:
Hahahahahahaha, but then, that's hardly a surprise! That may be enough to let you break through simplistic karma without resorting to a Command Spell...

Limbo:
...but against shikigami insects filled to the brim with curses and blight, mmmmmm, one of your Mystic Codes may as well be a gentle breeze!

Europa:
What do you think you're doing, god from a foreign land!? Stop it, before you kill him!

Europa:
Surely you must know that Zeus considers him
to be essential for Olympus's welfare!

Europa:
So why are you doing this!?

Mash:
Europa, come back!
You need to stay behind us, where it's sa–

Limbo:
Aha!

Europa:
...!

Limbo:
To goad you into a vulnerable position,
O cruel and beautiful queen. Obviously.

Limbo:
Now then, if you'll kindly excuse us.

Mash:
Europa!

Limbo:
Oh, don't worry, I won't kill her here! My job is strictly to bring the traitorous queen back to face justice!

Limbo:
I'll leave the rest of these villains to you,
Dioscuri, guiding gods of light that you are.

Europa:
Shield-maiden!
Mash Kyrielight!

Europa:
Remember your last gift!

Europa:
May Athena's protection...be with yo–


Fujimaru 1:
Europa!


Mash:
Limbo's magical energy signal has vanished! I'm not seeing Europa's signal anywhere in our vicinity, either!

Caenis:
He got away!? How'd that piece
of shit jester pull that off!?

Holmes:
He appeared to be using some manner of instantaneous travel...although such a thing shouldn't even be possible with existing magecraft.

Holmes:
Perhaps it's some ability unique to the Foreign God's
Disciples, or a kind of spell still unknown to us.

Holmes:
(Or, alternatively, it could be a form
of an Eastern technique, Jinsokutsu–)

Dioscuri - Castor:
Worry not. You'll never need to know.

Dioscuri - Castor:
For what use would such knowledge be to corpses?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Right you are, Big Brother.
Come, let's kill them all here and now.

--ARROW--

Dioscuri - Castor:
So, this is where you so-called God
Destroyer pests have been hiding.

Dioscuri - Castor:
I suspected you worms might have
been laying low in Hades's domain...

Dioscuri - Castor:
...but I still can't quite believe you were truly lurking in the underground infrastructure all this time.

Dioscuri - Castor:
I doubt you've only restricted yourselves to Hephaestus's workshop, either. I expect you were able to rendezvous so easily because...

Dioscuri - Pollux:
...you must all be underground dwellers.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
The people of Olympus are meant to live in designated aboveground areas, where they can enjoy the light of the sun and the twinkling of the stars.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
But this underground infrastructure–Tartarus, to use its proper name–is a place of darkness created solely for resource distribution. It is no place for the living.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Right you are, Little Sister.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Tartarus is made up of parts from the old gods defeated during the Titanomachia, magical energy from the Gigantes defeated during the Gigantomachia...

Dioscuri - Castor:
...and the remains of the losers of the Olympiamachia.

Dioscuri - Castor:
In other words, the underground is no more than a land of death and darkness, where only the dead may roam freely!

Dioscuri - Castor:
And you humans, imbeciles that you are, decided to hide away here, even while you still live!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Death can be the only price for
this transgression, Big Brother.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Right you are, Little Sister.

Dioscuri - Castor:
This will be no execution and no administration of divine justice. We are merely exterminating vermin.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Yes, Big Brother.


Fujimaru 1:
...Vermin?


Macarios:
...I heard that.

Macarios:
Did you just call us “vermin,” Dioscuri?

Dioscuri - Castor:
You're damn right I did!

Dioscuri - Castor:
You humans were always weak and foolish, but once you chose to not only resist the gods, but openly revolt against them, you ceased to be citizens of Olympus!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Now, you are nothing more than disgusting insects!

Dioscuri - Castor:
...Yes, that's it.

Dioscuri - Castor:
I always thought you pathetic “god destroyers” reminded me of...something whenever I killed one of you.

Dioscuri - Castor:
And now I see what it is: insects! Nothing more than pests. Squash one and another pops up in its place.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Hahahahahaha, I finally figured it out! Insects!
That's exactly what you lot are!

Macarios:
...!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
It's not a very elegant comparison,
Big Brother, but it is an accurate one.

Adele:
...

Adele:
...You make me sick.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Hm?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Was that directed at me, human girl?

Adele:
Yes, it was, Pollux.

Adele:
All you ever do is compliment your brother or agree with him. You don't have a single original thought in your head.

Adele:
When you truly care for someone, you don't just stand by when they're making a mistake, like your brother is.

Adele:
Gods may have dominion over humans, but they don't just go around killing them out of spite.

Adele:
No, that's just the sort of thing–


Fujimaru 1:
The sort of thing humans do!


Fujimaru 2:
Hey, yeah! Gemini's Castor was originally


Mash:
...Right, Senpai. Castor of the Gemini constellation is said to have been human.

Mash:
We do know for certain that the gods known as Dioscuri
were originally twins in ancient times...

Mash:
...but over time, as they became part
of Greek mythology, they changed.

Holmes:
Pollux, the younger brother, was an immortal son of Zeus, while the older brother, Castor, was completely human.

Holmes:
The truth, Dioscuri, of your motives for all the atrocities and murders you've committed...

Holmes:
...including your brutal slaughter of the God Destroyer Alliance's membership is really quite simple.

Holmes:
Your orders from Zeus represented
an excellent excuse, but...

Holmes:
...you simply hate human beings.

Dioscuri - Castor:
!

Musashi:
Huh? That's what this is all about?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
...Stop it.

Dioscuri - Castor:
...

Macarios:
I can't believe it.

Macarios:
Are you kidding me?

Macarios:
Look me in the eye and answer me, Dioscuri!

Macarios:
Did you really kill our comrades...

Macarios:
...our father...!
...our mother...!

Macarios:
...over some stupid, petty resentment of our whole race!?

Dioscuri - Castor:
Shut up, vermin!

Dioscuri - Castor:
You are in the presence of gods!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Loathsome humans! You frail, pathetic things can barely even survive without us gods there to guide you!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Yet despite your weakness, you still somehow drag us down, changing us amidst the passage of eternity!

Dioscuri - Castor:
It was you humans' damn faith...your belief...

Dioscuri - Castor:
...that turned me into one of
you in Proper Human History!

Dioscuri - Castor:
And if that weren't bad enough...you also degraded my
beloved sister, turning her into a mere demigod.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Big Brother–

Dioscuri - Castor:
It was humanity's fault! All of it!

Dioscuri - Castor:
You're so weak that you cower, shivering in the darkness, yet you won't cease your revolting breeding! You continue to advance! To flourish!

Dioscuri - Castor:
And then, in your unparalleled insolence,
you name yourselves rulers of Earth!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Are the gods supposed to ignore this transgression?
Should we forgive this incredible sin?

Dioscuri - Castor:
No! Absolutely not!

Macarios:
THAT'S the reason you killed our friends?
Our family!?

Dioscuri - Castor:
Contemptuous fool! That alone is more than enough reason to kill every last one of your misbegotten species!

Dioscuri - Castor:
In fact, you should be down on your knees thanking me for my graciousness in only killing those of you who have turned your backs on Father!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Go on! Praise my benevolence and I will
give you the mercy of a swift death!

Adele:
...No. No, we will not be doing any of that!

Adele:
We are not going to die here today,
and we'll never let you two kill us!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
You... How dare you defy my brother!?

Caenis:
Well, what do you know? Now it all makes sense.
Guess old Kirschtaria has one hell of a sadistic streak.

Caenis:
So these little blonde shitheads hate humans with a passion, huh. Guess that explains a lot.

Caenis:
To be honest, up until now, I never could figure
out why you bastards killed me back in Atlantis...

Caenis:
Turns out the answer was pretty simple.

Caenis:
Truth is, you were jealous of me for becoming a Divine
Spirit and getting my hands on Poseidon's holy weapon!

Caenis:
Ain't that right,
Mr. Destined-To-End-Up-A-Weak-Ass-Human Castor!?

Dioscuri - Castor:
!!!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Sh-shut up! Shut up, shut up, shut up!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
One more word insulting my brother, and you'll live
just long enough to regret it, pitiful human!

Caenis:
Ha! See, that right there's why you idiots keep getting taken advantage of! That's how I ended up free enough to turn down the winning team and side with these Chaldea dipshits!

Caenis:
You think Kirschtaria trusts you implicitly, huh?
Well, I guess you're not wrong.

Caenis:
'Cause he definitely trusts you to keep to your absurd hatreds like the drooling morons you are!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
We've heard enough, Big Brother! Nothing more need be said! All that's left to do is to kill every last one of them!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Pollux...!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
We are the Dioscuri, the twin gods! Though our
light may normally serve as a guiding beacon...

Dioscuri - Pollux:
...for you lot, it will be an inescapable
blade of death punishing you for your sins!


Fujimaru 1:
Mash!


Fujimaru 2:
Keep Adele and Macarios safe!


Mash:
Understood! I'm ready, Master!

Mash:
Preparing to engage in Anti-Divinity combat!

--BATTLE--

C:Mash:
Oh no you don't!

Dioscuri - Castor:
That rigidity! That immobility! It can't be!

Dioscuri - Castor:
The light radiating from your shield... Is that–

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Athena's protection, the Aegis!?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Impossible! Now that Odysseus is gone, the Aegis
should no longer exist in this Lostbelt!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Indeed, that is not the true Aegis.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
But by extracting and purifying Athena's Theos Klironomia–Nike Sophia, her final Authority of victory...

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...I was able to change it...
into a form suitable for ingestion.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
...and, h-hehe, mixed it in...
with Queen Europa's cooking!

Dioscuri - Castor:
!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
And that's not all...
Heroic–or rather, Divine Spirit Caenis!

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
I know this may be overstepping my bounds...but I took the liberty of tweaking your Spirit Origin a bit...so as to better synchronize with Poseidon's Authority.

Prometheus-Hephaestus:
Forgive me...exalted tyrant...

Caenis:
Tch.

Caenis:
How the hell'm I supposed to complain to
a guy who's already dead, you idiot?

Caenis:
So I'll save that shit for later. Meanwhile...

Caenis:
I'll just help myself to every last bit
of that asshole god's vortex power!

Caenis:
Ha! Get ready, you little shits!
Now that my spear is sharper than ever...

Caenis:
Caenis is unleashed!

Caenis:
And I'm gonna pay you back for what you did to me in Atlantis, and for your pathetic, whiny grudge...

Caenis:
...a thousand times over!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Is that...Poseidon's trident I'm sensing!?
She must have raised her spiritual rank!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Be careful, Big Brother!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Humans! Stupid, pathetic, insignificant humans! What
use could the likes of you have for a divine artifact!?

Dioscuri - Castor:
Killing a god will forever be beyond your means!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Have at you, human scum!

Dioscuri - Castor:
I am the god of light! I will tear you
to pieces and scatter you to the winds!

Caenis:
Let's do this thing!

C:Mash:
I'll follow your lead!

Musashi:
Same!

Musashi:
(Looks like we've got one more shot at victory.
Fine by me! Let's make the most of it!)

Musashi:
(Now we've got Athena's Aegis, and a spear that's
been imbued with the power of Poseidon's trident!)

Musashi:
(Between an invincible shield and an unparalleled spear, we should be able to take them both out simultaneously!)

Musashi:
(Get ready, Dioscuri!)

Musashi:
(I'm taking both your heads
as soon as I get the chance!)

Dioscuri - Castor:
Ghh...!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Big Brother!

Dioscuri - Castor:
This ends now! I already know exactly what to do
to kill both humans and Heroic Spirits alike!


Fujimaru 1:
...!


Fujimaru 2:
(He just looked my way!)


Musashi:
Wha...!?

C:Mash:
Senpai!!!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Hahahahahahahaha!!!


Fujimaru 1:
(He snuck up behind me!?)


Fujimaru 2:
(He's got me by the head! I can't even move!)

Dioscuri - Castor:
Nobody move!

Dioscuri - Castor:
...On second thought, I take that back.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Move, if you like.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Just know that if you do, I will use my light speed to
rip [♂ his /♀️ her] spine clean out through [♂ his /♀️ her] neck! Haha!


Dioscuri - Pollux:
Well done, Big Brother.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
I'm so impressed that you keenly ascertained the enemy's key weakness even in the midst of this tumultuous battle.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
I was looking for a chance to take [♂ his /♀️ her] head myself, but
the little Aegis girl was irritatingly consistent
about protecting [♂ him /♀️ her].

Dioscuri - Castor:
Hahahahaha, it was nothing, Little Sister. After all,
this is far from my first time killing humans!

Dioscuri - Castor:
It's always the same with them. First they stupidly commit to fighting, then they die while trying to protect the weak.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Once you zero in on a target...
there is nothing they can do against our light speed.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Big Brother, you're bleeding from your mouth...

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Oh no! Please tell me you didn't use your
Authority to move faster than light!?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Have you forgotten that we're now only Divine Spirits, not proper gods!? Making true use of our Authority could destroy our entire Spirit Core!

Dioscuri - Castor:
...Heh.

Dioscuri - Castor:
A little blood is nothing to me–


Fujimaru 1:
...Getting pretty desperate, huh?

Dioscuri - Castor:
!!!


Fujimaru 2:
If you push yourself beyond your limits,you'll only make things worse for yourself.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
!?


Dioscuri - Castor:
How dare you!?

Dioscuri - Castor:
Let's see if you're still as mouthy
after I've torn your head off!

C:Mash:
Senpai!!!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Don't move!

Dioscuri - Castor:
...Hold it. You just moved, didn't you?

Dioscuri - Castor:
Then it seems I'll need to give you
a fitting punishment, shield girl!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Use that great shield of yours to cut off your own
head, and I may just spare this [♂ man's /♀️ woman's] life!


Fujimaru 1:
Don't do it!!!



Fujimaru 1:
Dioscuri!


Dioscuri - Castor:
......!

Dioscuri - Castor:
What...?

Dioscuri - Castor:
You... What was that, human?

Dioscuri - Castor:
That power I just felt...from your head...
Was that...?

Dioscuri - Castor:
No. It couldn't be...

Dioscuri - Castor:
...the power to kill a god?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
!

Dioscuri - Castor:
You...

Dioscuri - Castor:
It was you!

Dioscuri - Castor:
That black light that killed Demeter and Aphrodite!
The vile god-killing weapon that shouldn't exist!

Dioscuri - Castor:
You're its ammunition!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Damn you, Proper Human History!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Big Brother! Why did you let go of [♂ him /♀️ her]!?

Musashi:
Caenis!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Gaaaaaah!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Big...Brother!

C:Mash:
Senpai...!


Fujimaru 1:
Mash!


Fujimaru 2:
Thanks!


C:Mash:
Senpai is safe!
The rest of you, please take it from here!

Caenis:
...Take 'em down, twins.

Adele:
Death to mine enemies! Hades!

Macarios:
Let the blade of bravery shine forth! Athena!

Holmes:
Are those special Mystic Codes...?
No! They're using some form of magecraft!

Holmes:
And since they were calling out the names of gods...they must be using Age of Gods magecraft that makes use of Divine Spirit power!

Olympus Twins:
Rrraaaaaaaaah!

Dioscuri - Castor:
Damn you, humaaaaaans!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
What could you be hoping to achieve by allying yourselves with these revolting people from Proper Human History!?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Even if their help does enable your foolish rebellion against the gods to succeed...there will be nothing waiting for you afterwards!

Macarios:
Even if that's true!

Adele:
We're still not going to let this end here!

Adele:
We refuse to let this be our final resting place!

C:Mash:
...!

Macarios:
No matter how many times we are made to submit to the gods' power, at least we can keep shouting “This isn't over yet!”

Adele:
We may just be humans, not gods,
but we can at least do that!

Macarios:
Even if the heavens we seek are impossibly far away...
we'll still never stop saying it!

Olympus Twins:
This isn't over yet!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
...Then I'll ask you this.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Tell me, alliance woman:
Why do you not stop your brother?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Surely you both know where this path you're on leads?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Death.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Yes, death! From this point on,
no matter what you do, you will die!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Either we gods will tear you to pieces...
or you'll be destroyed along with this Lostbelt!

Dioscuri - Pollux:
So then, why!?

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Why do you two–

Adele:
...

Adele:
...Because both my brother and I believe...

Adele:
...that a real tomorrow would be
far better than an endless today.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Heh... What a joke.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Now that Hades is gone, and there is no one left to ensure the souls of the dead find new lives, death is truly the end. Don't you see that!?

Macarios:
Yeah... We see it.

Adele:
But even so, I...

Macarios:
We...

Olympus Twins:
...want to finally see a tomorrow
that's different than yesterday.

Dioscuri - Pollux:
Ahh...
Big...Brother...

Mash:
...The two enemy Servants' magical energy is rapidly
vanishing. They're about to disappear.


Fujimaru 1:
(Quietly nod)


Holmes:
The Dioscuri certainly had a tough Spirit Origin, but it seems our attacks finally reached their Divine Core.

Caligula:
Behold what has transpired here.

Caligula:
You both said it was impossible, but it was none other
than humans of Olympus who shattered your Divine Core.

Dioscuri - Castor:
...So it would seem.

Dioscuri - Castor:
Very well then, humans, keep pushing your luck. Go ahead and forge your path to a future where only despair awaits!

Dioscuri - Castor:
And know that it will never be anything more than a single step–right into a dead end!

Macarios:
...

Macarios:
...Be that as it may...

Adele:
We still don't want to live in a world where every day is like the one that came before.

Macarios:
Even if oblivion is the only thing waiting for us,
we still want to see a new tomorrow.

Peperoncino:
...And there you have it. The Dioscuri have vanished,
and Prometheus-Hephaestus has completely shut down.

Peperoncino:
But Chaldea is still alive and well...
along with the two God Destroyer Alliance members.

Peperoncino:
Oh, and Caenis is still working with them, too.
She must be preeetty peeved at you for forsaking her.

Kirschtaria:
Yes, I suppose he would be.
I cannot blame him for feeling that way, either.

Kirschtaria:
Of course I can't imagine an apology from me would be met with anything other than a demand that I shut up.

Peperoncino:
That's it!? You are a lot less
bothered by this than I expected!

Kirschtaria:
I do feel bad for what happened to the Dioscuri, though. I wish I'd been able to better get through to them.

Peperoncino:
Huh? What do you mean? I thought you
and the Dioscuri got along swimmingly.

Kirschtaria:
We may have gotten along, but we never truly understood
one another. They hated humans too much for that.

Kirschtaria:
I told them I was going to make a new Age of Gods,
and even revealed my friendship with Zeus...

Kirschtaria:
...but they simply weren't able
to discern what it is I seek.

Kirschtaria:
And for my part, I wasn't prepared to face the full extent of their hatred.

Kirschtaria:
You know, perhaps Fujimaru would have done a better
job than me of getting to the heart of their weakness
being their hatred for humans.

Peperoncino:
But the Dioscuri worshipped the ground Zeus walked on.
As his friend, didn't they look up to you as well?

Kirschtaria:
That's different. They never got as far as forgiving humans. They only accepted me because Zeus did.

Kirschtaria:
...You know, now that I think about it,
I wish I hadn't fought them in front of Zeus.

Kirschtaria:
I doubt things would have turned out this way if they
hadn't had Zeus acting as judge in the background.

Peperoncino:
Hey, what's done is done. You can't expect anything
and everything to go perfectly, even for you.

Peperoncino:
So let's just forget the past and focus on the present.

Peperoncino:
With Caenis and Dioscuri gone,
you've lost almost every soldier at your command.

Peperoncino:
Are you sure you're in good
enough shape for the endgame?

Peperoncino:
Now that Zeus has lost Demeter and Aphrodite,
he won't hesitate to use the Tree of Emptiness.

Peperoncino:
We both know Tree of Emptiness Magellan is currently the single biggest pool of magical energy on this entire planet.

Peperoncino:
But us Crypters are supposed to be the ones to use it.
We can't let Zeus get his hands on it first.

Peperoncino:
And that means when the chips are down,
your alliance with Zeus will fall apart.

Peperoncino:
So doesn't that mean your greatest adversary isn't Chaldea, but Zeus protecting the Tree of Emptiness?

Kirschtaria:
Oh, I wouldn't put it that way. My greatest
adversary certainly continues to be Chaldea.

Kirschtaria:
That's why I used up one of the last two times
I planned to personally fight on them.

Kirschtaria:
It's a shame how that battle turned out.
Fujimaru was just too amped up to think straight.

Kirschtaria:
If [♂ he /♀️ she] had held [♂ his /♀️ her] ground as resolutely
as I heard [♂ he /♀️ she] did in the Temple of Time...

Kirschtaria:
...it would have been a much closer call for me.

Kirschtaria:
The truth is, in practice, there wasn't much difference
between Fujimaru's and my combat capabilities.

Kirschtaria:
[♂ His /♀️ Her] various exploits to date have
proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Peperoncino:
I'm still a lot more scared of you and your ability to say so. It shows you know you've easily got the upper hand.

Kirschtaria:
...If you say so. At any rate, whether or not
we have a rematch is entirely up to them.

Kirschtaria:
I've already promised Zeus that I would fight him last.
It's even part of our contract.

Peperoncino:
Huh?

Kirschtaria:
You see, a rematch to decide the fate of this world
of gods was his condition for cooperating.

Kirschtaria:
Rather heartwarming, isn't it? I guess not even the King of the Gods could permit a loss to stand.

Peperoncino:
Huh, that's a surprise. I never would've thought the great and mighty Zeus would have such, well, human motivations.

Kirschtaria:
Of course he would. No one lacking that quality would take on the task of being the god who leads humanity.

Kirschtaria:
...Which is why I pity him for the decision he is about to have to make.

Kirschtaria:
Namely, the choice of what to do about Queen Europa,
and her betrayal of Olympus.

Section 18: I Am the Thunder that Smites Stars (I)

Narration:
Directly beneath the Fifth Tree of Emptiness, Magellan.

Narration:
Interstellar Mountainous City Olympus. Great Orbital Shrine Olympia Dodona, the center of its operations.

Limbo:
This will be neither sacrifice, nor prayer.

Limbo:
All we seek is the King of the Gods' judgment!

Limbo:
He has ruled the heavens since the dawn of time,
emerging triumphant in no less than four machia.

Limbo:
By day, he rules over clear blue skies.
By night, he conquers what lies beyond them.

Limbo:
He is the wielder of the great thunderbolts capable of shattering stars, galaxies, even the very universe. None less than the Authorities of Uranus and Cronus bow to his will.

Limbo:
Oh yes, he is the great demiurge, the one who wields the Cronus Crown for all eternity!

Limbo:
O, almighty Zeus! Please, grace us with your presence!

Limbo:
Tell us what should be done with this cowardly,
treacherous queen!

Zeus:
...Europa.

Zeus:
I trust you understand why you,
my priestess and queen...

Zeus:
...stand here awaiting sentence like a common criminal.

Europa:
...Lord Zeus.

Limbo:
Well now, I simply must ask:
What in the world were you thinking, O Queen?

Limbo:
Indeed, you are heavenly Zeus's queen and priestess.
You are the direct recipient of his love.

Limbo:
And yet, this is how you repay him!?
With treason and treachery!?

Limbo:
It was your guidance that enabled the pitiful dregs of the fourth machia to vanquish both Demeter and Aphrodite!

Limbo:
Ahh, how tragic! Ahh, how shameful!

Limbo:
Even worse, it was all for nothing. No matter how hard you struggle, your Proper Human History home will never return.

Limbo:
There is no longer a Europe to call you mother.

Limbo:
What a waste. What utter foolishness. I suppose this is simply what comes of letting humans act on their feelings.

Priest:
...Enough.

Priest:
You know we have no reason to involve ourselves with Olympus's affairs, Limbo.

Priest:
Our only job is to await the Foreign God's advent.
Your interference has far overstepped its bounds.

Limbo:
Oh, believe me, I was very uncertain
as to whether I should get involved!

Limbo:
But, when I saw such a deplorable spectacle unfolding before my very eyes, why, I simply couldn't help but take these matters into my own hands!

Limbo:
Indeed, if offering up my own head would make things right, it would be a small price to pay–

Zeus:
Gods from foreign lands.

Zeus:
The time of judgment is at hand.
There will be silence in my great shrine.

Limbo:
...Yes, of course. My most humble apologies.

Limbo:
In that case, yes, by all means.

Limbo:
We Disciples of the Foreign God humbly await your most just and righteous decision, O mighty Zeus.

Limbo:
...Please, take all the time you need.

Kadoc:
...What's gonna happen to Europa?

Kadoc:
If they're dragging her onto Zeus's altar, it's gotta
be 'cause they're about to cut her head off, right?

Peperoncino:
Very possibly.

Kadoc:
Dammit...!

Kadoc:
I don't get it. Europa still hasn't told them our names, even though we'd make perfect scapegoats.

Kadoc:
Why not? If she just tells them us Crypters made her
do it, I'm sure they'd at least spare her life...

Peperoncino:
Calm down, Kadoc.

Peperoncino:
(Sigh) You really should learn to think
before you speak one of these days.

Peperoncino:
I know Zeus agreed not to listen in on our conversations
as part of his contract with Kirschtaria...

Peperoncino:
...but we don't know for sure if he's keeping his word.

Kadoc:
...You're right. I'm sorry.

Peperoncino:
That said, the fact that his thunderbolts haven't already burnt us to a crisp is a good sign that he is.

Peperoncino:
As for Europa, it's really not
hard if you think about it.

Peperoncino:
There's a very simple reason she's not saying anything.
It's because she doesn't want you to die here.

Peperoncino:
...Or me, for that matter.

Kadoc:
...

Peperoncino:
Besides, I'm pretty sure she hasn't given up yet.

Peperoncino:
Even now, she's chosen to remain materialized
instead of ending her own life.

Kadoc:
...She's really strong, isn't she?

Peperoncino:
Well, of course she is. You don't get to
be the mother of Europe by being weak.

Kadoc:
...

Peperoncino:
Kadoc?

Kadoc:
I'm gonna go see Wodime. I don't know if it'll make
any difference, but I'm gonna try coming clean.

Peperoncino:
Go for it. In the meantime, I've got
something of my own I want to try.

Kadoc:
...You're not gonna kill yourself, are you?

Peperoncino:
Of course not. There's no way I'm dying
in a world without Daybit in it.

Peperoncino:
No, I'm just going to make sure a certain cartoonishly evil monk gets a bit of...comeuppance.

Zeus:
Europa.

Zeus:
I do not think you have gone mad.
I am certain you agonized over the choice you made.

Zeus:
However.

Zeus:
You should have said something to me
before setting down your chosen path.

Zeus:
If you had done that, we could have avoided needless
bloodshed...and gods who are now dead would still be alive.

Zeus:
What a tragedy. I loved you. In you, I saw a chance for our Lostbelt and your human history to reach an understanding.

Zeus:
But it seems your blood ties to your original
world were stronger than I realized.

Zeus:
What is done is done, as I well know,
but I must ask you all the same.

Zeus:
Why!?

Zeus:
This Lostbelt–this world over which I rule–is the path this world MUST take for Earth to be restored, for mythology to be restored!

Zeus:
This is the path humans are meant to follow!
And yet...

Zeus:
...Why, my queen? Why did you do it?

Europa:
O kind and gentle Zeus.

Europa:
Alas, what you feel for humans
like myself, my dearest Zeus...

Europa:
...is not love.

Europa:
You are a great protector of humans.
You do a wonderful job guiding us.

Europa:
I can even see genuine compassion in
your eyes when you look upon us.

Europa:
It is, however, not the manner
in which one looks upon equals.

Europa:
It is the manner in which one looks upon pets.

Europa:
Surely in your great omnipotence,
you must already know that.

Zeus:
Europa.

Zeus:
Indeed, I do.

Zeus:
The love we give to humanity has been the love one has for pets ever since we awoke as gods.

Zeus:
...Perhaps things would have been different back then.

Zeus:
Back when we were but unthinking ships with only
enough intelligence to cross the sea of stars...

Europa:
No, my dear Zeus.
I am afraid you are mistaken.

Europa:
Humanity would never have loved
a ship without a heart at all.

Europa:
Almighty Zeus, King of the Gods, I am overjoyed that you decided to take a form that resembles ours.

Zeus:
Europa. I have no doubt that the
love you feel for me is genuine.

Zeus:
However, I cannot overlook the sins you committed
by aiding in the deaths of two gods.

Zeus:
Even my twin children, the Dioscuri, are now gone from my Interstellar Mountainous City thanks indirectly to you.

Zeus:
...Thus, it is with a heavy heart that
I must pass judgment upon you.

Narration:
Attention, my beloved citizens of Olympus.

Narration:
I, the all-powerful Zeus...

Narration:
...bring you news from atop
Great Orbital Shrine Olympia Dodona.

Narration:
        A decision has been made.

Narration:
  Queen Europa...
  my beloved emissary from Proper Human History...

Narration:
...has, regrettably, committed a grave sin:

Narration:
Deicide.

Narration:
      Weep and wail, my beloved citizens.

Narration:
       Your lamentations are my tears.
        Your wails are my anguish.

Narration:
         ...At noon today...

Narration:
     ...upon Olympia Dodona's great altar...

Narration:
 ...there will be a public execution of Queen Europa.

Narration:
My beloved citizens...

Narration:
...you will all be shown video of the execution.

Narration:
          Watch it closely.
      Let tears spill down your cheeks.

Narration:
Once the execution is over, you will be permitted to
mourn the loss of our queen for the next hundred years.

--ARROW--

Fou:
Fou, fou fou!

Mash:
Did you hear that, Senpai!?
They're going to publicly execute–


Fujimaru 1:
I heard! We've got to do something!


Fujimaru 2:
I heard! And noon is only three hours from now!


Goredolf:
Easy there, young [♂ man /♀️ lady]! I can't have you running off
yet again when we've only just reestablished our connection!

Goredolf:
Just to make sure, you are safe and sound back in the alliance base, yes? Good!

Goredolf:
Now, hold on just a moment. I've just finished going over your latest reports, and I need a moment to think.

Goredolf:
Putting aside the fact that your recent run-in with Tamamo Vitch Koyanskaya is condensed into a single line that simply says “Encountered and fought Tamamo Vitch Koyanskaya”...

Holmes:
(Oh yes, I took the liberty of abridging our battle report, as she continues to be a rather...sore subject for Goredolf.)

Holmes:
(In the meantime, I would appreciate if you kept the truth about her identity just between us–at least until our mission here is concluded.)


Fujimaru 1:
(Gotcha.)


Fujimaru 2:
(True, we don't have time to worry about her right now, anyway.)


Goredolf:
I say, why are you all hushed up over there!?
We can hardly afford to be confused right now!

Goredolf:
I also see that Grand Summon Article Aether
is now in your possession. Good, good.

Goredolf:
It's most unfortunate that this Collaborator,
Queen Europa, was captured.

Goredolf:
It's also a great shame you lost a capable ally in Prometheus-Hephaestus, and that the enemy now knows about your underground hideout.

Goredolf:
However! In spite of all that,
we are by no means at a disadvantage!

Goredolf:
Thankfully, Queen Europa's execution does not change our situation, which is the most important thing.

Goredolf:
Really, now that the Aether is safely in our possession, it seems to me her role in the operation is over. Am I wrong?

Adele:
Well...

Holmes:
...True, I doubt the Collaborator will
have a major part to play from here on.

Holmes:
While this will, of course, be easier said than done, for the final phase of Operation God Destroyer, we need only to activate Aether in front of Zeus.

Holmes:
As such, painful though it may be, there is nothing for us to gain by rescuing Queen Europa from her public execution.

Holmes:
If anything, the prudent thing
would be to stay far away...

Holmes:
...as it is very likely a trap designed to
lure us in and wipe us all out at once.

Goredolf:
Hear! Hear!
Even I can see what an obvious trap this is!

Goredolf:
And besides...

Goredolf:
...the fact is, at this point,
whatever happens to her has no effect on us.

Goredolf:
Yes, no effect at all...
Y-you do understand what I'm getting at, don't you?

Goredolf:
Listen, um... This is difficult to say, but...

Musashi:
...

Caligula:
We are fighting a war, and in times of war, one must sometimes make unpleasant decisions. Even be callous.

Caligula:
So as one who has walked the path of cruelty and
callousness myself, let me offer you this advice:

Caligula:
Now is not the time to deliberate. Whatever you
decide, I urge you to make your choice quickly.

Mash:
...So, you think we should make up
our minds soon, Emperor Caligula?

Caligula:
Indeed I do, shield-maiden.

Mash:
......

Fou:
...

Macarios:
...Right now, our ultimate objective
is to cut down the Tree of Emptiness.

Macarios:
And to do that, we'll also need to slay Zeus.

Macarios:
Of course, we know what will
happen if we're successful.

Macarios:
Cutting down the Tree of Emptiness will end this Lostbelt, causing all of Olympus to disappear...

Macarios:
...and Adele and me'll probably both end up dying.

Fou:
Fou...

Mash:
We...

Mash:
We've never been able to observe from the inside exactly what happens to a Lostbelt when it disappears from Earth...

Mash:
...so I can't say for sure what will happen...

Mash:
But... Yes. We expect everything will disappear.

Mash:
And the chance of any life-forms
inside the Lostbelt surviving is...

Mash:
...vanishingly small...

Adele:
Yes. We understand.

Adele:
The gods once told us that the destruction of the Tree
of Emptiness would mean the death of all of Olympus.

Adele:
We knew that, and we still chose to
remain in the God Destroyer Alliance.

Macarios:
...Even if we are all going to
die anyway once we succeed...

Macarios:
...Queen Europa doesn't deserve to be executed.

Macarios:
She should at least have a more...dignified death...

Macarios:
...

Macarios:
...

Macarios:
...No. No, that's not it. That's not really how I feel.
That's only a pretext. An excuse!

Macarios:
Everyone in Olympus gave up on being a father, or a mother, or any other kind of parental figure long ago!

Macarios:
They're all just things to be protected! Mindless reeds who never think about anything besides prostrating themselves before the gods!

Macarios:
But...something about Lady Europa...

Macarios:
...reminded me of my mother.

Holmes:
I see. So she doesn't see humans like you and
Ms. Adele as mere things to be protected...

Holmes:
...but rather, as children whom she wants
to learn and grow, as a true parent would.

Macarios:
Yeah, that's right.

Macarios:
I know we only spent a tiny bit
of time with her last night, but...

Macarios:
...when I saw her grieving the ten thousand years we spent in stagnation, and how she and Adele laughed together...

Macarios:
...for a moment,
it felt like I was looking at our mother again.

Mash:
Your mother...

Fou:
Fou.

Macarios:
Yeah. As far as Olympus is concerned... No, that's not
it. As far as we're concerned, Queen Europa is the
last mother to ever look out for us!

Macarios:
She's the last person who ever wished for a future where we could learn and grow! That's why I–

Adele:
I want to witness the Tree of Emptiness's destruction,
and face our final moments with her. Together.

Musashi:
...Your final moments, huh?

Adele:
Yes. That's how we feel.

Macarios:
Sister...

Adele:
I feel the same way, Macarios.

Caligula:
There is dignity in death.

Caligula:
As an Anti-Hero who stole that dignity
from far too many people, Fujimaru...

Caligula:
...I too would ask that you grant their wish.

Caligula:
So that the end of all things past may at least be a peaceful one.

Caligula:
Indeed, that is also the wish held by the many lives I stole–lives that were lost thousands of years ago, and whose wish even now resonates firmly within my soul.

Mash:
...

Goredolf:
G-gnnn...
Gnnnnnn...

Goredolf:
I don't get it! I just don't get it!

Goredolf:
I could never make a choice that I knew would result in my death! Hell, I don't even want to THINK about making one! Or to remember that such choices even exist!

Goredolf:
But, that being said...

Goredolf:
...I would never reject another's choice made under such circumstances. Neither would I mock or deride it. I just find it very...sad.

Goredolf:
And I do understand that, if there was only one thing one could ask for in their final moments...

Goredolf:
...it would be to share those moments
with someone precious to them.

Goredolf:
W-well, not me, of course! Certainly not me! As a mage, my mind easily transcends such mundane human concerns!

Goredolf:
At any rate... Very well, Adele and Macarios.
I understand how you feel.

Goredolf:
So I think, under the circumstances–


Fujimaru 1:
Okay.



Fujimaru 1:
Let's go stop Queen Europa's execution.


Goredolf:
Right. Exactly. Besides, you two have done
nothing but help us ever since we arrived.

Goredolf:
And while I'd like to reward you, at the moment, I can't even present you with a single freshly-baked croissant.

Goredolf:
So, er, while this will undoubtedly be risky, if this is the best reward the God Destroyer Alliance could ask for...

Goredolf:
...then we at Chaldea are more than willing to help!

Goredolf:
...Hang on. You already agreed!? Why couldn't you
have let me finish my little speech first!?


Fujimaru 1:
Sorry about that, Director. And thanks.


Fujimaru 2:
Because I was already sure you'd agree.


Fou:
Fou, fou!

Macarios:
You guys...

Adele:
Thank you so much.
We know we're being very selfish, but–

Musashi:
Selfish my ass.
You don't need to thank us.

Musashi:
Besides, we know plenty well by now how far you
two are willing to go for what you believe in.

Musashi:
I barely remember what my own mother looked like, but if I could, I'm sure I'd have wanted to protect her, too.

Musashi:
So yeah, no way we were gonna ignore your request and go our separate ways after everything you've done for us.


Fujimaru 1:
...Yeah.


Fujimaru 2:
...Exactly.


A.I.:
It seems like you've reached an agreement. Then our next stop is Great Orbital Shrine Olympia Dodona!

A.I.:
Finally, Operation God Destroyer'll be takin' the fight to the enemy! You guys better not mess up this last part!

A.I.:
Now, now, we want to encourage them,
not discourage them. Good luck, everyone.

A.I.:
Aww yeah, it's time for the final golden attack!
Let's go teach that asshole Zeus a thing or two!

Musashi:
...But first.

Musashi:
Caenis!

Caenis:
Oh, you finally wrapped up the sappy crap? 'Bout damn time! Also, y'know, your samurai intuition or whatever can be kinda creepy!

Mash:
C-Caenis!? You were in your spirit form!?

Caenis:
Pick up your damn shield!

Caenis:
...You sense that? There's official guards headed
into every damn room in the underground!

Caenis:
I knew those Dioscuri bastards
must've tipped them off about us!

Caenis:
Check it out! They're crawling up our
collective ass even as we speak!

Mash:
!?

Mash:
Caenis is right! ...I'm picking up dozens of clearly
hostile magical energy signals near the alliance base!

Fou:
Fooou, fou!

Olympus Official Guard:
Targets spotted!

Olympus Official Guard:
There you are, vile Chaldeans!
I see the God Destroyer Alliance is here, too!

Olympus Official Guard:
Listen up, you scum. Do what we say, and we'll
grant you the mercy of a painless death.

Olympus Official Guard:
But, if you should show the slightest hint of resistance, we will bring the full force of the Olympus Official Guard down upon your heads!

Olympus Official Guard:
What is your answer!?


Fujimaru 1:
Get ready to fight!


Fujimaru 2:
Everyone, get ready! We're gonna push through!


R:Mash:
Understood!

R:Mash:
Activating Ortinax's emergency combat mode. Engaging auto-maintenance functionality. Output at sixty–seventy. Stabilized at just over seventy percent.

R:Mash:
The Aegis's protection is still in effect.
Commencing battle!

--BATTLE--

Mash:
...All hostiles have temporarily disappeared.
We've subdued the guards!

Caenis:
Ha! These guards are nothing now! Ahhhhaha!
I must've gotten even stronger than I was before!

Musashi:
We all know they're just as tough as ever, Caenis. We just happen to have momentum on our side at the moment.

Musashi:
But that won't be the case if we have to face two more waves in here, so we'd better git while the gittin's good!

Caenis:
I know! I just felt like saying it!

Caenis:
And why the hell do you talk so weirdly sometimes?
Cut it out! It gets on my nerves!

Musashi:
Aww, now whatcha got against cowgirls?
We ain't nothin' if not charmin' as all git-out!

Macarios:
We'll have to abandon this base! Come on, we can get
to the surface from the southern corridor! Hurry!

Adele:
...Nikola Tesla. Heroic Spirits.

A.I.:
...
Hmm...

A.I.:
Well...this doesn't look good.

A.I.:
I'm afraid our circuits were
damaged during that battle.

A.I.:
I hate to say it, but it seems this is as far as we go.

A.I.:
But please, don't worry about us, my lady.
We've already said our goodbyes.

A.I.:
At least, our Heroic Spirit selves have.
Remember, we're just A.I.s using their personas.

A.I.:
Indeed, and they certainly couldn't program
emotions into us on top of everything else!

A.I.:
So while we may not feel sad at this parting, it was still an honor to have fought by your sides, even if we are only heartless A.I.s!

Adele:
...Not at all. The honor was all ours!


Fujimaru 1:
Thanks, everyone!

A.I.:
Farewell, Master of Chaldea!


Fujimaru 2:
I hope we'll all get to see each other again someday.

A.I.:
Didn't I just tell you!? We're A.I.s, not Heroic Spirits! We're not going to be summoned again like–

A.I.:
Wait, of course you already know that! Yes, we agree. It would be wonderful to see each other again someday!

A.I.:
Well, goodbye, Master of Chaldea! Take care!


Fou:
Fou, fooou!

Holmes:
We're currently directly underneath central Altartown! We should be able to see the Great Orbital Shrine up in the sky once we reach the surface!

Holmes:
Our first step will be to escape to the surface, while
our second will be to use the aircraft to take flight!

Holmes:
From there, we'll make our way directly to the shrine!
Will that work, Macarios!?

Macarios:
Shouldn't be a problem!

Caenis:
Hey! Mustache!

Goredolf:
A-are you talking to me!? What is it?
Do you have an issue with my decision?

Caenis:
Nah. I'm sure you didn't make that call lightly.

Caenis:
Now, if you'd just agreed to go along on the spur of the moment 'cause the twins' speech moved you or some crap, then I'd be smashing your fat face in!

Caenis:
But nah, you were actually
weirdly persuasive back there.

Caenis:
...Hey. Goredolf Musik!

Goredolf:
Y-you used my name? What is it now!?

Caenis:
Once we leave the base,
we're gonna be fighting off enemies left and right.

Caenis:
So since we might not get another chance to talk,
I'm gonna go ahead and say this now.

Caenis:
I WILL kill Zeus. On that, you have my word.

Caenis:
And when I do...we'll officially be even.
You good with that!?

Goredolf:
...Absolutely! That sounds more than acceptable!
Good luck, Caenis!

Goredolf:
Also, once you all take to the skies,
we'll be right behind you in the Storm Border!

Mash:
!

Holmes:
Oho. So the Storm Border will be joining the fray as well! Now it's truly starting to feel like the final showdown is upon us.

Goredolf:
While I doubt we'll be able to control the skies
completely, w-we can at least throw them into confusion!

Goredolf:
We CAN do that much, right, Technical Advisor?

Da Vinci:
Yeah we can. I personally guarantee it. At long last,
it's time for us to take to the skies of Olympus!


Fujimaru 1:
Da Vinci!


Fujimaru 2:
You're back! But what do you mean, take to the skies!?


Da Vinci:
Captain's just about back up on his feet now, too. From here on, the Storm Border will be here to back you guys up.

Da Vinci:
First, we need to get it rebooted, but once we do that, we'll be ready to unveil its special flight capabilities!

Da Vinci:
Which means the next time we see each other,
it'll be up in the big blue yonder!

Da Vinci:
So make sure you survive long enough to take flight, and we'll do our best to survive long enough to reach the Great Orbital Shrine's airspace!


Fujimaru 1:
Sounds good!


--ARROW--

Kirschtaria:
I'm sorry to interrupt, Kadoc, but...
We've got wyverns!

Kadoc:
Are you kidding me!? I JUST defeated a Servant!
I'm running on fumes here!

Kirschtaria:
Oh, I see. Fortunately, I still have a
little magical energy to spare, myself.

Kadoc:
Oh, is that so!? Must be nice for you, being a hotshot
elite with magical circuits out your ass!

Kadoc:
Dammit, what the hell's with all those wyverns?
I can't believe they're actually blotting out the sky!

Kadoc:
Not even the tropiest of tropey blockbusters would resort to a played out cliché like this! What're two Masters alone supposed to do against numbers like that!?

Kirschtaria:
You said it! I would expect the French of all people
to go with something more avant-garde!

Kadoc:
What the hell kinda snark is that!? Just because I'm using movie comparisons doesn't mean you should too!

Kadoc:
Oh come on, now you're sulking!? I'm the one who feels like sulking! Ugh, come on, let's just get out of here! There's no way we can win!

Kadoc:
First, we're gonna find a leyline, then we're gonna summon a Servant and start fighting back! Got that, Wodime!?

Kadoc:
I'm sure as hell not giving up without a fight. We can't afford to lose, not with all of humanity counting on us.

Kadoc:
I already took my tendency to whine and my inferiority complex and tossed 'em in the Seine yesterday, so I'm ready to do this thing, one way or another!

Kirschtaria:
...Yes. Exactly, Kadoc.

Kirschtaria:
You're a much stronger, and more obstinate,
mage than you give yourself credit for.

Kirschtaria:
Good grief... Just our luck that this one would be
Rome where seasoned emperors are alive and well.

Kirschtaria:
I wonder if the Five Good Emperors are here too?
I've always secretly admired Emperor Hadrian...

Ophelia:
Didn't I warn you to keep that sort
of fanboying to a minimum, Wodime?

Ophelia:
As if what you babbled about
in France wasn't bad enough.

Ophelia:
“Hold on, Ophelia. If we use the Arc de Triomphe as
a catalyst, do you think we could summon Napoleon?”

Ophelia:
I couldn't believe it. Besides, that Singularity was in 1431, and the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile wasn't built until 1836.

Ophelia:
So it wouldn't even have been there in the first place.

Kirschtaria:
I'm not so sure. If history becomes muddled
in Singularities, why not space-time, too?

Ophelia:
Please try to take this seriously.
Whatever happened to your usual coolheaded self?

Ophelia:
All right, listen up. I'll handle direct combat.

Ophelia:
You'll handle things like negotiating with the locals,
ascertaining the situation, and coming up with plans.

Ophelia:
Any objections?

Kirschtaria:
Not at all. You're much more capable in battle than
I am, so I'm happy to let you take care of it.

Ophelia:
...Ugh, I swear. I didn't even know you
were capable of being so accommodating.

Ophelia:
Do I really have to remind you that we're the last two
Masters who have been entrusted with restoring humanity?

Ophelia:
This is the whole reason we were invited to Chaldea.
We can't afford to make so much as a single mistake.

Ophelia:
So let's go do what we came here to do, Wodime.
...It's our duty.

Kirschtaria:
Come now, Hinako. You should know better than to go
out on the deck without taking proper precautions.

Kirschtaria:
After all, you're... Well, you know what you are, right? Won't you drown the moment you fall into the sea?

Akuta Hinako:
...I think the you-know-whats you're talking about that can't handle running water are a Western thing.

Akuta Hinako:
Whatever the case, it has no bearing on me. I do know what I am, and it isn't what you seem to think.

Akuta Hinako:
I'm just an ordinary mage–a Master like any other. You know that's how I've been presenting myself all this time.

Akuta Hinako:
...If you knew my secret all along,
why are you only now bringing it up?

Kirschtaria:
I wish I could take credit for figuring it out
sooner, but I can't. I honestly had no idea.

Kirschtaria:
I knew you were hiding something, of course...

Kirschtaria:
...but I didn't realize you were a... you-know-what
until this Singularity. It was quite the shock.

Kirschtaria:
I never would have guessed you were hiding something this... Well, I don't know if “serious” is the right word, but it's certainly fascinating.

Akuta Hinako:
Fascinating my foot!
This is a matter of life and death for me, you know!?

Akuta Hinako:
Also, when did you get to be so insensitive!? I could've sworn you were a lot more tactful back at Chaldea!

Kirschtaria:
...I'm sorry. You're right; I shouldn't have
been so careless with someone else's secrets.

Kirschtaria:
I suppose this Singularity just feels so open and liberating compared to the others we've seen so far that I ended up being a bit more...freewheeling than usual.

Akuta Hinako:
So we've both been putting on an act then?
...Now it's my turn to be shocked.

Akuta Hinako:
I had no idea you were such a good listener. ...You
remind me of someone I once knew a long time ago.

Akuta Hinako:
He always acted and spoke like a perfect noble, yet he was surprisingly easygoing and soft on the inside.

Akuta Hinako:
He was too kind for his own good, too. So much that he
ended up poisoning himself just to keep the peace around him.

Akuta Hinako:
If that's what you're really like too, are you sure we'll be okay going forward? You do know we're the only ones left who can restore humanity, right?

Akuta Hinako:
Well, not that it matters much to me either way. I couldn't care less if human history keeps going or not.

Akuta Hinako:
So if I ever get bored of all this and bail,
you'll have to figure out the rest all on your own.

Kirschtaria:
It's hard to believe there's a Singularity in London as well. Even the Mage's Association is nowhere to be found.

Kirschtaria:
At least it looks like the Clock Tower underground is
still the same. What do you make of this mist, Beryl?

Beryl:
It's definitely not cursed.
This toxic fog is based in science.

Beryl:
I'd bet there's a giant boiler or something belching it out somewhere. I mean, we're dealing with the Industrial Revolution now, yeah?

Beryl:
Man, my old lady hated that age with a passion.

Beryl:
Said it made her little house in the
woods even more unbearable to live in.

Kirschtaria:
What about you?
Is this mist affecting your magical circuits?

Beryl:
Aww, thanks, Kirsch! I didn't know you cared!
But don't worry, I'm totally fine.

Beryl:
My old lady's the only one who hated consumer culture.
Me, I'm A-OK with it.

Beryl:
Trust me, when it comes to settling scores, I'll take a
trusty pistol over finicky magecraft any day of the week.

Kirschtaria:
True, I have to agree with you there. But only as long as your opponent is vulnerable to firearms.

Beryl:
Yeah...that's a good point.
It's pretty much all ghosts and automata here.

Beryl:
Whatever, I guess I can act like a mage
and do some actual magecraft for once.

Beryl:
All right, Kirsch, since most bad guys tend to make their hideouts underground, let's go find the nearest subway station so we can crush 'em and move on.

Beryl:
I gotta say though, between the two of us,
I'm not too worried.

Beryl:
Sure, I was kind of shocked when I found out the rest of the team had been killed, but as long as you're around, I figure we'll be fine.

Beryl:
But watch yourself, you hear? I'm not just weak, I'm notoriously fickle, too. If we're not careful, I could just as well end up going over to the enemy's side.

Beryl:
So just keep one hand on the reins while you're out
there trying to thread this needle, 'kay?

Kirschtaria:
I can't believe we need to cross the entire American continent on foot. That alone has got to make this the most difficult Singularity so far.

Kirschtaria:
What I wouldn't give for a jet plane right about now...
Hell, I'd even take a helicopter.

Peperoncino:
Now, now, that's enough whining out of you, mister.
It's only been three hundred kilometers so far, right?

Peperoncino:
We'll be at a city where we can get ahold of a car soon
enough. Ooh, I wonder if they'll have a pickup truck?

Kirschtaria:
You must have some very strong legs, Peperoncino. What was your movement technique called again? Jinsokutsu? One of the six Shugendou Rokujintsu?

Kirschtaria:
I've been using magecraft to enhance my own legs, but that only goes so far. I'm certainly not going to be running a marathon anytime soon.

Peperoncino:
Come now, Kirschtaria, didn't I tell you to call
me by my real name? It's Myourenji Arou, remember?

Peperoncino:
I figure it's the least I can do to show you a bit of respect after everything you've been through.

Kirschtaria:
...Is that one of your powers, too?

Peperoncino:
Right you are. Tashintsu, the power to read others' minds. Though in my case, I can only tell the color of others' auras.

Peperoncino:
Still, with a color scheme as complex as yours,
that's enough to give me a pretty good idea.

Peperoncino:
I swear, gods can be so cruel.
And you've done absolutely nothing but help us.

Peperoncino:
Anyway, tell me, when do you think I'll croak?
Which Singularity?

Peperoncino:
If I know that ahead of time,
I won't have to hold anything back...

Peperoncino:
...and that might help me be
at least a little help to you.

Kirschtaria:
I really can't say. But I do know that no one
has ever made it past the halfway point.

Kirschtaria:
And we're at the third Singularity right now,
which means we'll be at that point ourselves soon.

Kirschtaria:
But in your case–

Peperoncino:
You think I could stick around helping you out to the end? It would certainly be lovely if you were right.

Peperoncino:
But unfortunately, there's one
more power I have: Rojintsu.

Peperoncino:
It tells me how long I'm going to live,
and what my destiny will be.

Peperoncino:
And it's telling me there's no way
I'm going to make it to the end.

Kirschtaria:
Rojintsu... I see. So that's why
you were always so fatalistic.

Kirschtaria:
You were unfailingly considerate of everyone else back in Chaldea, but when it came to yourself, you only went through the motions.

Kirschtaria:
I always found it strange how someone so kind
to others could be so cold to himself.

Peperoncino:
Aww, please don't look at me like that, hon.
Trust me, I feel way worse about this than you do.

Peperoncino:
I don't know how many times you've done this before, but you did say that everyone else died partway through, right?

Peperoncino:
So you must have managed to finish the job all on your own. And I'm sure that's just what you'll do this time too, even if you have to fight back your tears over my death.

Kirschtaria:
...

Peperoncino:
That's why I want you to know my real name.

Peperoncino:
For me, this whole journey has been like a dream.
When I come back to life, it'll be like it never happened.

Peperoncino:
But if you use my real name, that'll be all my
“true” self needs to know I can trust you.

Peperoncino:
And that you really are the right person to lead us.

Kirschtaria:
...Yes, I suppose it would. You always have
been the most observant member of Team A.

Zeus:
Is something wrong, Wodime?
Your mind seems to be closed off.

Zeus:
Aren't you the one who asked to see me?

Kirschtaria:
You're right. My apologies, Zeus.

Kirschtaria:
I was just...reminiscing a bit, and I must have
been more lost in thought than I realized.

Kirschtaria:
I hope you can forgive my rudeness,
however unintentional it was.

Kirschtaria:
I'm only human, after all. It's difficult for me to
concentrate with your divine aura this close by.

Zeus:
...Heh.

Kirschtaria:
What's so funny?
I'm here because I'm concerned about you, you know.

Kirschtaria:
I wanted to talk to you about Queen Europa's execution.
I don't think you should go through with it.

Kirschtaria:
Not only for her sake, but for yours as well.

Zeus:
...The revelation has been proclaimed.
My decision will not be overturned.

Zeus:
I understand it is a fatal choice for me...but it
is what must be done to maintain order in Olympus.

Zeus:
It is what must be done for your
world that named us as gods.

Zeus:
I seek not to protect myself, but Olympus.

Zeus:
...Or rather, the miracle that is this world we only managed to find after years spent wandering.

Kirschtaria:
...

Kirschtaria:
You know, now that you mention it, you never did tell
me the story of why you all crossed the sea of stars.

Zeus:
...

Zeus:
...I suppose I haven't, have I?
It was a very, very long journey.

Zeus:
Before the intelligence that created us died out...

Zeus:
...they sent us on a meaningless expedition,
without so much as a single life-form aboard us.

Zeus:
Our very universe was on the brink of death.

Zeus:
So our flagship, Chaos, exhausted ninety-seven percent of their resources to send us to your universe.

Zeus:
When we arrived, we found this
universe to be brimming with life...

Zeus:
...but we were still unable to locate a planet that met the landing conditions with which we had been programmed.

Zeus:
We spent thousands upon thousands of years looking,
until there were only a scant few of us left.

Zeus:
Unable to maintain our convoy, most of our functions ended up wearing away and fusing together.

Zeus:
Then, just as we had come to terms with our fate, and accepted that our journey was about to end with our goal unaccomplished...

Zeus:
...we discovered this planet.

Zeus:
It was a miracle...a planet that met seventy-eight percent of our landing conditions.

Zeus:
We quickly made an emergency crash landing on this
planet's surface...and the rest, you know.

Zeus:
You humans gave us names. Even me.

Zeus:
In our fleet, the only ship with a name was our flagship, Chaos...and Chaos never landed on this planet.

Zeus:
After the first machia...
I became our fleet's flagship in Chaos's place.

Zeus:
Once, we were only functions, but then you humans gave us names, believed us to have personalities, and worshiped us as precious beings.

Zeus:
We were uncertain of how to respond The names, the personalities, the worship...none of it was important or even useful for voyaging.

Zeus:
And yet–

Kirschtaria:
You were delighted. So you decided to
accept the faith people put in you.

Zeus:
Yes. We were delighted.
It was the first time we had ever known joy.

Zeus:
Joy was a function we neither anticipated nor needed...

Zeus:
...but we also could not bring ourselves to abandon it.

Zeus:
In the end, we all agreed to operate from
that point on not as functions, but as gods.

Zeus:
But...I was the only one who understood...

Zeus:
...that putting down roots on this planet would mean
turning our backs on our original directive.

Zeus:
It was not to ensure the people of other celestial
bodies flourish, but to revive our home planet.

Kirschtaria:
...I see. So you decided to conduct yourself as though you were a god. Or rather, you changed your own programming.

Kirschtaria:
And you did so in order to protect the people of
Earth–of Olympus, no matter what it may cost.

Kirschtaria:
That meant ruling over not just the people
of Earth, but the Twelve Olympians as well.

Kirschtaria:
You encroached on the other god-ships' roles and
overstepped your bounds, and did so knowingly.

Kirschtaria:
And by integrating all functions within yourself...
you became an all-powerful god.

Kirschtaria:
Why?

Zeus:
It was the only way to resolve an
otherwise insurmountable problem.

Zeus:
Fourteen thousand years ago,
a calamity made its way to this planet.

Zeus:
I knew that something like the White Titan, Sefar–
a planetary envoy, and destroyer of civilizations...

Zeus:
...existed somewhere in this universe.

Zeus:
But, I never expected it to
make its way to this planet.

Zeus:
Sefar was an invasive weapon–a being capable of destroying entire civilizations whose threat only grew greater the more time passed.

Zeus:
There was no time to discuss what
to do with the other god-ships.

Zeus:
So I took control of the other Twelve Olympians functions, became a single god-ship, and drove off Sefar.

Zeus:
Thanks to that, Olympus was saved...

Zeus:
...but the other god-ships all came to hate me.

Zeus:
And who can blame them? I stole their functions
knowing it would lead them to ostracize me.

Zeus:
While all the other god-ships had the same integration
ability...I was the only one who chose to use it.

Zeus:
I was the only one who overstepped my bounds.

Zeus:
I was the only ship...who went mad.

Kirschtaria:
You're wrong there, Zeus. In that moment, as far as this world's people were concerned, you were the only true god.

Zeus:
......

Kirschtaria:
My story is just like yours, Zeus.

Kirschtaria:
I was changed in a way I never would have experienced if I'd stayed solely within the bounds of my assigned destiny.

Kirschtaria:
All of a sudden, I had motivations I had never been
expected to have...and a goal far beyond my reach.

Kirschtaria:
All this...excess drastically disrupted what
my life was originally supposed to be...

Kirschtaria:
But even so, I decided to dedicate the rest
of my life to that so-called excess.

Kirschtaria:
Ever since, it has been my guiding principle–
the most important thing in my life.

Kirschtaria:
I understand, Zeus. All you did was decide to leave your past self behind in order to save those who gave you meaning.

Zeus:
......

Zeus:
...I'm hearing a lot of commotion on the surface. It seems Chaldea has made their way here to rescue my queen.

Zeus:
How is the Tree of Emptiness faring, Wodime?

Kirschtaria:
It won't be long until it is ready. Once it is, the
only remaining step will be to have one of us use it.

Kirschtaria:
If you'd like to use it now,
I could always deal with Chaldea myself.

Zeus:
...No. If they are here to save Europa,
then I should be the one to greet them.

Zeus:
I will save the Tree of Emptiness for after I
have both eliminated Chaldea and defeated you.

Kirschtaria:
That certainly sounds ideal to me...
But are you sure that's what you want, too?

Zeus:
It is. This is the only way I can repay you.

Zeus:
I'm going to erase this terminal now. It will be the last self of mine I ever make for conversing with a human.

Zeus:
Thank you, Kirschtaria.
You gave me something I never had.

Zeus:
Something I could never have hoped for once I became all-powerful and began my rule of Olympus.

Zeus:
I never had a chance to share my burdens with
either Hades or Poseidon...but I did with you.

Zeus:
Farewell, young mage. Farewell...friend.

Kirschtaria:
...And farewell to you, King of the Gods.
I hold you in the highest respect.

--ARROW--

Mash:
We made it to the surface!

Mash:
I don't see any civilians in our vicinity.
Checking magical energy signals now...

Mash:
Multiple magical energy signals detected!
Hostiles closing in from all directions!

B:Mash:
I expect we're in for a string of fights, Master!


Fujimaru 1:
Focus on breaking through a single point up ahead!

B:Mash:
Understood. Setting the Ortinax to stand
by in continuous operation mode!


Fujimaru 2:
Adele, Macarios, you two take care of the aircraft!


Macarios:
We'll make sure the Stymphalides is ready to go at any
time! We can start flying as soon as we find an opening!

Caligula:
...Here they come.

Caligula:
I am surprised to see such great Phantasmals sent out to do battle in the middle of a city. But then, I suppose the Greek gods would never do anything by half measures!

Caenis:
Haha! Now we're talking! I love killing big nasties!

Caenis:
Come on! Those of you with a death wish–

Caenis:
No, scratch that!
Those of you who want to die by my spear, come at me!

Musashi:
Wow, nice! Now I feel silly for ever thinking you might
be bored! It's great having you on our side, Caenis!

Musashi:
You know, now that we're coming up on the final battle,
I think I'll get dressed up for the occasion!

Caenis:
What's with the outfit!? Isn't it gonna get in the way of fighting!? You don't want it to get ripped in battle, do you!?

Musashi:
Hah! You really think I'd save my best
outfit for my victory homecoming?

Musashi:
I'm Lady Musashi!
Gotta look my best while I'm at my best!

Musashi:
All right, you creaky mechanical gods,
get a load of this!

Musashi:
You too, Phantasmals! As a Heroic Spirit, I might not be on the same level as the great hero Heracles when he kicked your asses long ago...

Musashi:
...but as a soul inscribed in humanity, I'm still as strong as a thousand soldiers in my own right!

Musashi:
So come at me, steel Phantasmals from the Age of Gods,
and I'll lay you all to rest in no time!

Musashi:
Come on! Let's do this thing!

--BATTLE--

Kadoc:
...Good, no one's here.

Kadoc:
Wodime's off meeting with Zeus...

Kadoc:
...and since Chaldea's bound to show up to save Europa,
the Alter Egos are sure to be keeping their eyes on them.

Kadoc:
Everything's coming together, just as I planned.
Don't worry about anything else now, Kadoc.

Kadoc:
If there's ever gonna be a chance to sift through the data, this is it. You won't get another.

Kadoc:
I doubt they just left their whole plan lying around...but that's okay.

Kadoc:
I'll settle for anything they don't want me to know, even if it's just meeting logs.

Kadoc:
Anything that might provide a clue
to the Foreign God's true identity.

Kadoc:
There, the terminal's on. Okay, Wodime, don't mind me.
I'm just gonna take a little peek at your files here.

Kadoc:
They're password protected. Figures.
I don't have time to try to hack my way in...

Kadoc:
...but let's see if I can guess your password.
“Crypter.”

Kadoc:
Shit. Just my luck.

Kadoc:
Let's see, seven characters...

Kadoc:
Hang on. Seven characters, seven Crypters...
What if...

Kadoc:
“K-K-O-A-S-B-D.”

Kadoc:
No go, huh? Wait... Maybe he used “Peperoncino” instead of “Scandinavia”?

Kadoc:
“KKOAPBD.”

Kadoc:
...Seriously? I can't believe he...

Kadoc:
Nope, no time for that kinda crap now.
I'm sick of being a bystander in all this.

Kadoc:
For now, I'll settle for seeing what you see.
I'll figure out what I'm gonna do afterward.

Kadoc:
Now, what've we got here...

Kadoc:
A regularly scheduled report from Ophelia? Based on the
date, this would've been when Chaldea had captured me.

Kadoc:
...Weird. Why's this the only file saved by itself?

Kadoc:
Sorry about this, Ophelia.

B:Transmission Log:
...I'm contacting you in regards to the relationship
between the Lostbelts and the Trees of Emptiness.

B:Transmission Log:
To clarify terms, I'm defining Lostbelt as an extension of the Pruning Theoretical Phenomenon–an alternative history that could never exist on Earth as part of Proper Human History...

B:Transmission Log:
...and the Trees of Emptiness are the anchors
holding these lost histories in place.

B:Transmission Log:
...This is witnessed by the fact that Trees of Emptiness and their respective Lostbelts are so closely tied together.

B:Transmission Log:
All observational data we have for the Lostbelts further substantiates this connection, leaving no room for doubt.

B:Transmission Log:
As proof, we can look at the Russian Lostbelt, which is disappearing as I speak now that its Tree of Emptiness has been cut down.

Kadoc:
...

Kadoc:
...The timeline definitely lines up.

Kadoc:
So, the Russian Lostbelt disappearing is what definitively proved the connection between Lostbelts and their Trees of Emptiness, huh.

Kadoc:
Yeah, that sounds right.

B:Transmission Log:
However...

B:Transmission Log:
...the Russian Lostbelt's disappearance only proves
one particular trait about the Trees of Emptiness.

B:Transmission Log:
There is still one major mystery
remaining about the Lostbelts:

B:Transmission Log:
How do they fill in the gaps between when they were pruned from human history, until they were “replanted” in the present day?

Kadoc:
...

B:Transmission Log:
That mystery is what I'm reporting in on today.

B:Transmission Log:
The other day, I heard something from the king of the Scandinavian Lostbelt, Scáthach-Skadi, that points to one possible answer.

B:Transmission Log:
She clearly remembers the events of the past few thousand years, and does so as though it were perfectly natural.

B:Transmission Log:
What's more, she did so even while understanding
that the Lostbelts, including her own...

B:Transmission Log:
...were cut off from Proper Human History because their continued existence was deemed extraneous.

B:Transmission Log:
This means she is fully aware that nothing could have happened during the several thousand years between when Ragnarök took place and the present day...

B:Transmission Log:
...and yet, she and her Lostbelt all exist as though those several thousand years of lost history had actually taken place. Quite the contradiction.

B:Transmission Log:
Of course, while we can't make any definitive statements based on one king's single passing remark...

B:Transmission Log:
...I do feel confident enough to propose a hypothesis.

B:Transmission Log:
I suspect that the blank period between when a Lostbelt was pruned, and when it was “replanted” in the present day...

B:Transmission Log:
...may have actually taken place
inside each Tree of Emptiness.

B:Transmission Log:
In Russia, that period would have been about five hundred years. In Scandinavia, it would be about three thousand.

B:Transmission Log:
In China, it would be about twenty-two hundred, and so on and so forth.

B:Transmission Log:
To further expound on my hypothesis...

B:Transmission Log:
I suspect that the Trees of Emptiness take the point
at which a Lostbelt's history is pruned...

B:Transmission Log:
...and then simulate what would happen if that
history had continued on from that point.

B:Transmission Log:
By doing so, the trees effectively prove that history's
existence, and the result is projected onto the planet itself.

B:Transmission Log:
If my hypothesis is correct, that would mean the trees
are essentially creating history, not rewriting it.

B:Transmission Log:
Not even a demiurge-class Divine Spirit that once ruled the entire planet could wield this kind of Authority on Earth in the present day.

B:Transmission Log:
Wodime.
I mean, Lord Kirschtaria Wodime.

B:Transmission Log:
...Just what is the Foreign God, anyway?

Kadoc:
The Foreign God, huh.

Kadoc:
Guess you didn't know, Ophelia.
Me neither.

Kadoc:
...No, it's not just you and me. None of us Crypters know what the Foreign God looks like.

Kadoc:
All we know is, they're something that resurrected us from our Coffins in exchange for making us raise Lostbelts.

Kadoc:
Except...Wodime's the only one of us who's heard directly what the Foreign God's goal is...

Kadoc:
...Hm?

Kadoc:
What's this text file over here by itself?
Looks like some kind of note.

Kadoc:
Gotta say, Wodime. Between this, and the easily
guessable password, you're getting sloppy.

Kadoc:
Hang on. Is this really a plain text file?
...What is this?

Narration:
On the Trees of Emptiness and
the Bleached Earth Phenomenon.

Narration:
With the exception of us Crypters
and the Alter Egos...

Narration:
...the Trees of Emptiness are the only method
the Foreign God has employed to tamper with Earth.

Narration:
We therefore interpreted this phenomenon...

Narration:
...as signifying that it was the Trees of Emptiness
that wiped Earth clean when they descended to the
ground.

Narration:
...However, after re-reviewing and reanalyzing the
data taken from Earth's surface, I'm no longer so sure.

Narration:
To come straight to the point:
we may have been mistaken.

Narration:
...The Trees of Emptiness only appeared after Earth
had been bleached. This order of events is crucial.

Narration:
I don't know which of the Crypters will end up viewing
this file, but whoever it is, I hope they find it
useful.

Kadoc:
Huh? You're telling me the Trees of Emptiness only
came down to Earth AFTER it had been wiped clean?

Kadoc:
But, that doesn't make any sense.

Kadoc:
I thought for sure it was the Trees of Emptiness
that wiped out Earth and humanity...

Kadoc:
But if Earth had already been bleached before the Trees of Emptiness showed up, then why make them, or the Lostbelts, at all?

Kadoc:
...Wait. If the Foreign God wanted to get rid of humanity, they wouldn't bother making Lostbelts in the first place.

Kadoc:
If anything, it seems to me like the whole reason they want to see a bunch of different possible human histories is because they don't know anything about us.

Kadoc:
But then...why?

Kadoc:
Maybe the bleaching wasn't to wipe out humanity...
but to make an environment they could set foot in?

Kadoc:
...Maybe they only got rid of humanity
because they had no other choice?

Kadoc:
Maybe a world covered in pure white, brand-new textures
is the only kind of world the Foreign God can visit?

Kadoc:
But then, if that were the case, the Lostbelts would only get in the way. So what are they and the Trees of Emptiness for?

Kadoc:
...Dammit, I'm just going around in circles. There's
still some crucial piece of information I'm missing.

Kadoc:
Ugh, just my luck! There's too many files
on this terminal to find the data I need!

Kadoc:
And why are these folders scattered all over the place!? Is it some kind of anti-hacking measure or something?

Kadoc:
Shit. I was hoping I wouldn't have to touch the big files, but at this rate, I'll have to copy everything.

Kadoc:
...

Kadoc:
(The Foreign God...)

Kadoc:
(There's no question that they're an aggressor,
and that they can't coexist with our history.)

Kadoc:
(As for the whole “god” thing, it's way more likely
they're a new kind of life-form we know nothing about...)

Kadoc:
(...and “god” is just the best word we have for it.)

Kadoc:
...

Kadoc:
So why make the Lostbelts? Why use us at all?
Is it because they still don't know much about Earth?

Kadoc:
Nah, that can't be it. We're talking about a being capable of wiping the whole planet clean in a second.

Kadoc:
Come on, Kadoc, think. There's no way the Foreign God
doesn't know the first thing about Earth or humanity.

Kadoc:
They must've done their homework, or they wouldn't have
known to attack us–Chaldea, before making any other moves..

Kadoc:
...So from that, you can tell that the Foreign God is really, really cautious, which is why they're so careful about keeping their identity a secret.

Kadoc:
Zeus is omnipotent and omniscient, so he doesn't bother to hide who he is. He's also had no problem crushing any form of dissent himself.

Kadoc:
The Foreign God's not at that level yet, which is why they're still so careful about any information pertaining to them.

Kadoc:
...That's it. The Foreign God's got one major, fatal
flaw: they don't have a physical body yet.

Kadoc:
If they did, even if it was just a Divided Spirit or
a terminal, they wouldn't have to rely on anyone else.

Kadoc:
That's why they enlisted the Alter Egos, and us Crypters, to be their hands in this world.

Kadoc:
...Rasputin. Limbo. Muramasa. Why would a foreign being use Heroic Spirits from Earth?

Kadoc:
They might've dressed their Alter Ego Disciples up a
little, but they're still figures taken from our history...

Kadoc:
...Hang on. What if the Foreign God can
only make use of things on Earth?

Kadoc:
No, it's not even that. They can only use things from the past–things that USED to be on Earth.

Kadoc:
(At some point, the Foreign God plans on descending
to Earth. At least, that's what they told Wodime.)

Kadoc:
(And once a Tree of Emptiness is fully grown, it'll become the Foreign God's body... So what happens after that?)

Kadoc:
(Maybe, when the Foreign God descends
and incarnates on Earth...)

Kadoc:
(...they're going to base their body on the data
about Earth we've all been collecting for them.)

Kadoc:
...Yeah, that's not a bad theory.

Kadoc:
If the Foreign God absolutely has to have local
life-forms, then they must be for output... No, wait. For reference.

Kadoc:
And from there, as long as the Foreign God
can guide the local life-forms successfully–

Voice:

My, my, how very perceptive.
I see, I see.

Voice:

It would seem that, given enough time, humans will indeed cease to be mindless reeds and start reaching...conclusions of their own.

Limbo:
I used to laugh at the idea that a few Crypters putting
their heads together could ever arrive at the truth...

Limbo:
...but now that I see how close you've come to figuring out the Foreign God's true nature, it's clear I underestimated you, Lord Kadoc.

Kadoc:
Crap! An Alter Ego!

Limbo:
Indeed, it is I, Limbo!

E:Kadoc:
Guh... Agh...!

Limbo:
This simply won't do, Lord Kadoc.
Mmmmmm, no, it simply won't do at all!

Limbo:
If you're going to go snooping around like a spy, you really must be more prepared for the possible consequences! Don't you agree?

Limbo:
Wait... Oh, I see! I suppose you were prepared after all! Well, I do beg your pardon! I didn't realize that flimsy little shield around your body was meant to provide meaningful protection!

E:Kadoc:
...Bas...tard!

Limbo:
Oh yes, I'm terribly sorry.
It seems I've gone and punctured your little spell.

Limbo:
And, this wound being quite fatal,
I'm afraid this is as far as you go.

Limbo:
Much as I hope to see you again one day,
that seems rather unlikely now... Alas.

E:Kadoc:
Gaaaaaah!
You...Alter...Ego!

Limbo:
So tell me, have you shared this pet theory
of yours with any of the other Crypters?

Limbo:
For example, should I assume Kirschtaria Wodime
has reached the same conclusions as you have?

Limbo:
Ah, but no, he hasn't!
He'd never permit himself to do such a thing!

Limbo:
He's very smart after all, so he knows he'll be
disposed of if he should arrive at the truth!

Limbo:
That's why he kept his thoughts strictly as raw data rather than mulling them over and drawing conclusions! No wonder the Foreign God chose him for their Executor!

E:Kadoc:
...!

Limbo:
Mmm?

Limbo:
Oh my, I do apologize. I completely forgot about
the pain curse I still had embedded in my nails!

Limbo:
No wonder you can't answer my questions then!
Hahahahaha, how careless of me!

Limbo:
Well then, pitiful Crypter without a Lostbelt...

Limbo:
...it would seem this is goodbye.

Section 19: I Am the Thunder that Smites Stars (II)

Priest:
...Rather a lot of noise down below. It seems Chaldea et al. have come to save the queen after all.

Priest:
Even so, I doubt this is a matter of mercy or affection. They are still set on cutting down the Tree of Emptiness.

Priest:
I'm sure this is just something of a pit stop along their way to the tree. Don't you agree...

Priest:
...Kadoc Zemlupus?

Kadoc:
...

Kadoc:
...Guh! Urk... (Huff... Gasp...)

Kadoc:
...Y-yeah. You're probably right.

Priest:
I wouldn't try to talk if I were you. With a wound that deep, anything you say may end up being your last words.

Priest:
Well, I suppose it was I who asked the question, wasn't it? I do apologize.

Kadoc:
Ghh... (Gasp)... It's fine...
Don't worry about it...

Kadoc:
At least, I managed...to close the wound...

Priest:
Good. I'm glad to hear it. Then from here on, I suppose
it all just comes down to how lucky you are.

Kadoc:
...
...Hah. Good one.

Kadoc:
Aren't you going...to kill me...?

Priest:
No, I'm not.

Priest:
As one of the Servants summoned by the Foreign God,
I have indeed been ordered to supervise the Crypters...

Priest:
...but my orders really only apply to one,
singular Crypter: Kirschtaria.

Priest:
So, regardless of what ideas you consider, or what sort of antics you get up to, you'll never be eligible for purging.

Kadoc:
Ha... Now you tell me. If I'd known that sooner...
I wouldn't have snuck around so much.

Kadoc:
...

Kadoc:
...Hey. That thing you said earlier...

Priest:
Hm?

Kadoc:
About Chaldea...

Kadoc:
You said...they're working with
a samurai woman now...right?

Priest:
Ah, you mean Miyamoto Musashi? I'm told she's highly abnormal, even for a Heroic Spirit.

Kadoc:
Haha...

Kadoc:
She was probably pretty abnormal as a human, too.

Kadoc:
The only kinds of people who'd save someone from being executed just to let 'em die another way'd have to be either crazy, or samurai.

Kadoc:
Maybe she's rubbing off on them...

Priest:
Hmm.

Kadoc:
...You know, Rasputin...

Kadoc:
They say that samurai...
don't fight, or die, for gods...

Kadoc:
Instead...they risk their lives for duty...
and loyalty...and stuff like that...

Kadoc:
It might be...derived from
Confucianism or something...but still...

Priest:
A samurai, huh. That doesn't quite sound right.

Priest:
From everything I've heard about her, Miyamoto Musashi
is about the furthest thing from a samurai.

Priest:
In fact, if anyone is rubbing off on anyone...
I would guess it's Chaldea rubbing off on Musashi.

Kadoc:
...That so...?

Kadoc:
Honestly...I don't really know...
what you're talking about...

Kadoc:
All I know is...the way things are going...
this place is gonna see...some serious action...

Kadoc:
So what're you...gonna do...Rasputin?

Kadoc:
Me...I'm...

Priest:
So, your strength finally gave out, Kadoc Zemlupus.
I'm not surprised, given how much blood you lost.

Priest:
I'm impressed you were able to walk this far after Limbo tore that hole in you. It seems I misjudged your mental fortitude.

Priest:
The pain alone from the wounds he inflicts is enough to drive lesser people to madness and then death.

Priest:
How tragically touching.

Priest:
Perhaps this is your Crypter pride at work? Your determination to not let Kirschtaria Wodime alone bear the world's burdens?

Priest:
How very boyish of you–almost rebellious in your self-deprecation.

Priest:
Now then...

Priest:
While I do have to be present for an upcoming birth,
I should have some time to spare before then.

Priest:
...So I suppose now is as good a time as any to
fulfill the promise I made to the Grand Duchess.

Beryl:
Hey, hey, there you are, Koyanskaya!
I've been looking everywhere for–Whup.

Beryl:
Is this a bad time?
I've never seen you in such a foul mood before.

Beryl:
What's wrong? The mouse you were chasing end
up biting your prize tail or something?

Koyanskaya:
...Well now. I'm amazed you can be so droll to such an obviously grief-stricken woman.

Koyanskaya:
You should reconsider your handsome playboy act, Lord Beryl. I'm really not in the mood for jokes right now.

Beryl:
Good, that works out nicely. I enjoy a nice round of banter as much as the next guy, but there's a time and a place for that kind of thing.

Beryl:
See, I don't know if you heard the fireworks outside, but now that they've started, it's pretty clear this Lostbelt isn't gonna last much longer.

Beryl:
Whether Lord Zeus crushes Chaldea, or Chaldea ends up crushing Lord Zeus, the winners are inevitably gonna end up fighting over the Tree of Emptiness.

Beryl:
In which case, it's only right I start
getting serious myself, don't you think?

Beryl:
After all, you can't survive in this world if you don't stay on your toes, and I'm sure as shit not getting myself killed like Kadoc did.

Koyanskaya:
...Kadoc's dead? Who killed him?

Beryl:
Aw come on, you've gotta ask?
Limbo, obviously!

Beryl:
Guess he just couldn't shake his urge to rebel against
Kirschtaria. Too bad he got taken out like a chump.

Beryl:
'Course, if he'd resigned himself to actually being
a chump, I'd just've killed him myself.

Beryl:
Either way, Kadoc was on his way out the moment he came back from Russia with his tail between his legs. Poor little guy. You hate to see it.

Koyanskaya:
...Yes, I suppose you're right.
Beryl Gut–wolven impurity.

Koyanskaya:
You might have the others fooled, but not me.
You're a natural born killer.

Koyanskaya:
You don't have enemies or allies. You're just a mad dog, always hungry for his next kill.

Beryl:
Ouch. Judgmental much?
What do you even know about me, anyway?

Koyanskaya:
You kill people you find boring.
You kill people who deserve to die...

Koyanskaya:
...and you kill people whose deaths would be tragic.
That's what gets you off.

Beryl:
...

Koyanskaya:
And I have no interest in dealing with a brute like that. They make for terrible clientele.

Koyanskaya:
I'm not going to bother asking what sort of prey you're looking for, so I suggest you relax and enjoy your time in this palace until it all falls to pieces.

Koyanskaya:
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to say my
final goodbyes to Father Rasputin before–

Beryl:
Aww, don't be like that, Koyanskaya. Besides, I really
think you're gonna wanna hear what I have to say.

Beryl:
You're looking for monsters that were never part of Proper Human History, right? Well, I can lead you to one that's reeeally something.

Beryl:
Like, say, a creature that managed to fend off the Earth's bleaching, and still lives on today in the void path that stretches on to the inner sea of the planet.

Beryl:
One that goes by the name “Dragon of Albion”?

Koyanskaya:
...What did you just say?

Beryl:
Now we're talking! I thought that might get your attention, Vitch! I knew you were just as much of a sicko as I am!

Beryl:
Honestly, all this talk about establishing a perfect
Age of Gods is a little too big for my britches...

Beryl:
...so I thought I'd cut you in on something
a little more...life-sized.

Beryl:
Don't worry, I'm not gonna call you a cowardly fox
or anything. I know what you really are, after all.

Beryl:
So here's my proposal, Koyanskaya.
I'll find you something you'll really like...

Beryl:
...if, in exchange...

Beryl:
...you get me out of this Lostbelt.

--ARROW--

Mash:
Olympian guards have joined the fray!
And there are more hostile entities incoming!

Mash:
Still...they're not the only force to be reckoned with!

Musashi:
That ought to take care of all the ones from the north!
Adele! Macarios!

Macarios:
Connecting to remains of Prometheus-Hephaestus transmission network now! Linking spaces and transmitting matter! Prepare for instantaneous expansion!

Musashi:
All right! There's that spatial distortion!

Adele:
Come forth, Stymphalides!


Fujimaru 1:
Everyone, get on board!


Fujimaru 2:
Destination: the Great Orbital Shrine right above us!


Adele:
Preparing Stymphalides for flight!
Unfurling beam sail!

Adele:
Releasing safeties!
All artificial gravity systems are green.

Adele:
Igniting reactor. Firing up the engine.
All flight preparations complete! Macarios!

Macarios:
Let's go, Stymphalides Blackwing!

Mash:
At this speed, we ought to reach the Great
Orbital Shrine in well under a minute!

Mash:
And we still have over an hour until noon!
We're going to make it, Master!

Macarios:
Wait! Something's coming at us from the ground...

Macarios:
No, scratch that! It's more like ten...twenty somethings! Dammit, they just keep multiplying!

Macarios:
Shit! It's a bunch of autonomous weapons and Olympian
soldiers using flight spells to catch up to us!

Caenis:
Ha! So they're lining themselves up nice and
neat for us, huh? That works out perfectly!

Caenis:
I'm gonna blow 'em all away at once to get them
back for all those times they slowed us down.

Caenis:
Hey, twins, heads up! I'm takin' over the aircraft!

Macarios:
Huh!?

Caenis:
I can tell from this thing's scent that it's chock-full of Athena's and Hephaestus's Klironomia!

Caenis:
So now, I'm gonna use 'em all the way up!

Adele:
That's fine! If it'll let us shake off these
pursuers, then please, be our guest!

Caenis:
Hell yeah!

Caenis:
All right, here goes!
Poseidon Maelstrom!

Mash:
...!?

Mash:
Th-the enemies are gone! All pursuers have vanished!

Caenis:
Wha...
The hell...!?

Musashi:
Why do YOU sound so shocked!?

Caenis:
I-I thought it was gonna take at least two or three shots... Well damn, I guess when I set out to do something, I don't screw around!

Caenis:
Hah! I knew I was in great condition! Come on, let's
keep this up all the way to Zeus's domain!

Caligula:
While I do appreciate the sea-god's fury saving us,
it seems it has done so at a significant cost.

Holmes:
Indeed. The aircraft appears to be out of control–

Macarios:
...Dammit, I can't steer anymore!
We're not gonna be able to make it to the altar!

Macarios:
Still...if nothing else, I'm gonna make damn sure we
at least get to the orbital shrine! Rrraaaaaaaaah!

Holmes:
Well, it was nice being aloft while it lasted.

Mash:
Oh no... We're about to crash-land in
the Great Orbital Shrine's perimeter gardens!

Mash:
Stay with me, Senpai!
You too, Fou!

Fou:
Foooooouuu!?

Section 20: I Am the Thunder that Smites Stars (III)

Mash:
Emergency landing in three...two...one...

Mash:
Master! I'm going to release a simplified
version of my Noble Phantasm!

Mash:
...Are you all right, Senpai!?


Fujimaru 1:
All thanks to you, Mash.

Mash:
Thank goodness... S-still, there's no need to
thank me. All I did was use my Noble Phantasm!


Fujimaru 2:
Yeah, I am. What about you, Mash? Are you hurt?

Mash:
No, I'm all right too. All my vitals check out fine.


Musashi:
Oh great, you two are both okay!
I'm so glad you weren't underneath any of this rubble!

Musashi:
Then again, you two have made it through
a ton of battles I don't even know about...

Musashi:
...so yeah, no way a little fall would kill you. You know what they say! Any landing you walk away from is a good one!

Fou:
Fou!

Musashi:
Oh, you're okay too, Fou! How wonderful!

Caenis:
Wonderful, my ass!

Caenis:
Shit, that was too close for comfort. Not that the great Caenis is gonna go out like some punk in a goddamn FALL.

Caenis:
Hey, twins! Sage! Emperor!
You lot're all alive too, right!?

Caligula:
No problems here. As far as I am concerned, this may as well have been a walk in the park. Well, a garden, in this case.

Holmes:
I daresay I managed all right myself.
Oh, do watch your footing there, Adele.

Adele:
Thank you, Holmes.
There we go...

Macarios:
...So nobody else dislocated their shoulder or
anything like I did, huh? Well that's a relief.

Mash:
!

Mash:
Let me see that, Macarios.
I've had some training in treating dislocated limbs.

Macarios:
Don't worry, it's already healed. We haven't been drinking ambrosia for the last ten thousand years for nothing.

Macarios:
Remember? We can't die, not even from falling
or illness. Only the gods can kill us.

Macarios:
I'm just glad you guys are all okay,
since you don't automatically heal yourselves.

Caenis:
I do.

Macarios:
...I wasn't talking to you.

Caenis:
Hah! That's funny! Didn't think you even had a sense or humor, always sulking every goddamn second. Moody shit.

Macarios:
Who asked you?

Macarios:
...Okay, so we're all here. Good.

Macarios:
The Stymphalides isn't gonna be much help anymore,
so we're gonna leave it behind.

Macarios:
All that's left now is to keep moving forward. We should assume Zeus is hearing everything we say, so try not to talk too much.

Adele:
Macarios and I will operate Aether. We'll make sure it goes off without a hitch. I promise.

Adele:
So...in the meantime...

Adele:
...can we ask you to ensure it's not
destroyed before we can activate it?


Fujimaru 1:
Don't worry. We'll keep it safe.

Mash:
That's right, Master.

Mash:
The Aegis that Queen Europa and
Prometheus-Hephaestus gave me...

Mash:
...is still inside my shield.

Mash:
I don't know how well it'll be able
to withstand Zeus's thunderbolts...

Mash:
...but regardless, we'll make sure to keep you two, and Aether, safe.

Adele:
...Thank you.


Caligula:
Worry not. The Grand Summon WILL take place.

Caligula:
I swear it upon my name, Caligula, third emperor of Rome, and upon that empire's timeless glory!

Caligula:
Rest assured...the light of your prayers
will even reach the ends of Olympus.

Adele:
...Thank you, Caligula.

Musashi:
...?

Musashi:
Hm?

Fou:
Fou, fou fou!

Musashi:
Oh no you don't. Adele's too busy to play right now.

Macarios:
Just keep that fur ball stored away, all right?
From here on out–


Fujimaru 1:
We'll be in the heart of enemy territory.

Macarios:
Exactly.


Fujimaru 2:
I hear you. So, do you know where this great altar is?


Macarios:
No human's ever seen the inside of the orbital shrine before, but we have a good idea of its layout thanks to a few myths we've heard about it.

Macarios:
This is probably the hanging garden that surrounds the shrine, which means the Machina Corridor shouldn't be far from here.

Fou:
Fooou...

Mash:
Machina Corridor?

Adele:
It's just as its name suggests. It's a corridor of the gods big enough for even their massive mechanical bodies to traverse it.

Adele:
And according to myth...the corridor ends at
the great shrine where almighty Zeus resides.


Fujimaru 1:
Got it. Then let's go.



Fujimaru 1:
This corridor's the path we need to take now.


Mash:
...Right, Senpai!

Mash:
Please hold on tight to me, Master!

Mash:
I'm going to try to get there as quickly as possible!

Mash:
If we're going to reach the great altar soon–

Musashi:
Then a Heroic Spirit's legs are
the fastest way to get there!

Musashi:
I'm sure Fujimaru's used to this sort of thing by
now, but I hope you two are handling it okay, too!

Caenis:
Relax, I ain't gonna drop him! Just make sure you don't touch the spear, you damn brat!

Macarios:
Brat!? I'm over ten thousand years old!
I'm way older than you are!

Caenis:
Yeah, yeah, whatever you say.

Adele:
I, um, I'm sorry about this, Holmes...
Are you sure I'm not too heavy?

Holmes:
Hardly. A gentleman is honor bound to serve as a lady's
escort. Besides, I assure you, you're light as a feather.

Adele:
I-I see...

Caligula:
Hahaha! If you wish to be cradled in my arms, merely say the word, and I will let you experience an emperor's embrace all the way to the great altar!

Musashi:
Ooh, an emperor's embrace!
That sounds like quite the treat!

Fou:
Fooou...?

Musashi:
Now, now, settle down, Fou! Mash literally has her hands full with Fujimaru right now.

Fou:
Fooou!

Mash:
!

Mash:
Wait! Stop!
I'm picking up a large amount of magical energy nearby!

Musashi:
I was hoping we could get to our goal
without any more interruptions...

Musashi:
...but I guess it's no surprise they
weren't gonna make it easy for us.

Musashi:
Besides, I recognize this feeling, even if it isn't quite like any other kind of magical energy or Heroic Spirit aura.

Musashi:
Show yourself, scumbag!

Musashi:
I'd recognize that ominous stench of
death and unrepentant evil anywhere!

Limbo:
Hahahahahahahahahaha.
My, my, well done. Well done indeed.

Limbo:
No wonder you were able to reach the void, Swordswoman!

Limbo:
Believe it or not, I was casting a few stealth spells to stay out of sight, but apparently, you found me by my...stench, anyway. Hmm.

Limbo:
How strange. I didn't think
I had done anything THAT evil.

Limbo:
Well...not in front of you, anyway.
Mmmmmm, how very unusual!


Fujimaru 1:
Shut up, Limbo.


Fujimaru 2:
Stop. I don't need to hear anything else from you.


Limbo:
...Well now.

Limbo:
Someone's certainly learned how to be brave! I see, I see. So you're here to rescue the queen!

Limbo:
How very noble of you! Especially since you're still planning to squash her and this entire Lostbelt like bugs! Mmmmmm, what a most delightful joke!

Limbo:
Master of Chaldea!
Heroic Spirits of humanity!

Limbo:
Please, enlighten me, if you would be so kind!

Limbo:
Why... Or rather, how long are you going to continue filling back in these holes you keep digging?

Mash:
...!


Fujimaru 1:
...


Limbo:
What you're doing now is no different from toppling a pile of stones you've just stacked yourselves.

Limbo:
While I have been doing my best to
be a good jester for my god...

Limbo:
...I could never hope to compete with the sheer comedy
of destroying lives that you yourselves saved!

Mash:
I'm picking up a powerful magical energy signal!
Be careful, Master!

Mash:
Something's about to show itself up ahead!

Mash:
It's...Cerberus, the Divine Beast! It's probably a lot like the ones we encountered in Atlantis!

Mash:
...Here it comes!

--BATTLE--

Caenis:
Hraaaaaahhh!

Holmes:
Now to finish this!
Baritsu!

Limbo:
Hm?

Limbo:
Well now. Well, well, well, well. How strange.

Limbo:
I'm quite sure I heard these things worked
very well against you in Atlan–

F:Limbo:
Oh, my...


Fujimaru 1:
Did you get him!?


Musashi:
...No. It felt like I was cutting through paper.

Musashi:
I destroyed his body, but I didn't hit his Spirit Core. He must've been using a substitute body or something.

Limbo:
M-mm...

Limbo:
Mmm, mmmmmm, how unfortunate!
It seems a shikigami is no longer a match for you!

Limbo:
But, be that is it may, I'm afraid this is as far as this little jest of mine goes today. Indeed.

Mash:
...?

Limbo:
Oh, believe me, while I would love nothing
more than to toy with you endlessly...

Limbo:
...the king of this Lostbelt is far more cautious and
temperamental than the innocent one we saw last time!

Limbo:
Of course, I did try to kill him myself, but, as you can imagine, I'm afraid he was just too divine for me.

Limbo:
...I wonder how all of you will fare?

Limbo:
Needless to say, Zeus is the king of this Atlantic Lostbelt–a genuine omnipotent god

Limbo:
I wonder, what will you do when faced with his overwhelmingly powerful thunderbolts!? Mmmmmm, I look forward to seeing you, as they say, do your worst!

Limbo:
Oh yes, I'll be enjoying the show from–

Caenis:
Shut up already!

Limbo:
Guh!

Limbo:
...Ha, haha, hahahahaha! Yes, by all means, go ahead
and do whatever you like to this shikigami body!

Limbo:
You can't truly hurt me!
My life extension method is invincible!

Peperoncino:
Oh? Life extension, huh?

Peperoncino:
That's a very bold claim, Limbo.

Mash:
!

Peperoncino:
But when you see the same trick over and over–like, say, a seemingly immortal Spirit Origin that keeps coming back to life no matter how many times you kill it...

Peperoncino:
...it's just human nature to want to
finally trip it up, don't you think?

Peperoncino:
I'll admit, you did a good job piling concealer upon concealer. I doubt most people would ever be able to see through them all.

Peperoncino:
But thanks to my Tashintsu, as far as I'm concerned,
they might as well not be there at all.

Mash:
Pepe!?


Fujimaru 1:
Pepe!


Peperoncino:
Hey, Chaldeans. Hope you don't mind my taking
advantage of this little opportunity you gave me.

Peperoncino:
Now then, Mr. Alter Ego Limbo.
It's about time I paid you back...

Peperoncino:
...for all the ways you screwed with my Indian Lostbelt!

Limbo:
Wha...!? What...is this!? Onmyoudou?
...No! This is...

Limbo:
Shugendou!?

Peperoncino:
That's right. It's a little technique I whipped up just for you: a combination of Tashintsu and Rojintsu.

Peperoncino:
I hope you enjoyed your trick of prolonging your life by spreading it out over countless shikigami, “hon,” because you're never going to get to use it again.

Peperoncino:
Namushinpen Great Boddhisatva: Rojin-Tashintsu!

Limbo:
!?

Peperoncino:
You're going to die feeling every bit of
the hatred and regret you've incurred.

Limbo:
What are you...!?
Oh no. No, no, no!

Limbo:
Now I see... You figured out that my secret life extension method is a form of false reincarnation!

Peperoncino:
Why yes, I did. Usually, Rojintsu is only
used to end your own reincarnation...

Peperoncino:
...but in this case, I decided to use
Tashintsu to let you have it instead.

Peperoncino:
Now, you won't be substituting shikigami to save your
own skin anymore. That little trick is gone for good.

Peperoncino:
Your next life will be your very last.
Enjoy it while you can.

Limbo:
Curse yooouuu!

Peperoncino:
Toodles.


Fujimaru 1:
...Pepe.

Peperoncino:
That's me.


Fujimaru 2:
I guess I should say...thank you.

Peperoncino:
Aww, you don't have to do that, hon.


Peperoncino:
Don't get the wrong idea here.
I just did what I had to.

Peperoncino:
The rest of you should do the same.
Don't worry, I'm not gonna stop you.

Peperoncino:
Even if I wanted to, I spent all my magical energy on that spell, so I'm just going to kick back and watch the rest from the sidelines.

Peperoncino:
Oh, and just so you know, I can't root for you
when you go up against Kirschtaria, okay?

Peperoncino:
That said, you might be interested to hear what Kirschtaria once told me:

Peperoncino:
“Fujimaru and I are actually quite closely
matched in terms of combat ability.”

Peperoncino:
“[♂ His /♀️ Her] various exploits to date have
proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt.”

Peperoncino:
“[♂ He /♀️ She] is fully capable of defeating me all on [♂ his /♀️ her] own.”

Peperoncino:
It seems positively silly if you ask me,
but that's what he told me. Hehe.


Fujimaru 1:
...


Mash:
Um... Does that mean Kirschtaria wants us to–

Peperoncino:
And for my part, I'll say that I finally realized
you and Kirschtaria are a lot alike.

Peperoncino:
You're both very hard workers. You're both exceedingly earnest. You both stand up to adversity like it was the most natural thing in the world.

Peperoncino:
...And you've both had more than
your share of painful goodbyes.

Peperoncino:
Neither Daybit nor I could ever
hope to defeat Kirschtaria.

Peperoncino:
But you... You just might be able to. In fact...
I think you might be the only one who should.

Caenis: