Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova
A Despairing Past and a Hopeful Future
Anastasia: Ah, there you are, Master. May I speak to you for a moment?
Fujimaru 1: Of course.
Anastasia: Wonderful. That's just what I like to hear.
Fujimaru 2: Sure, but what's this about?
Anastasia: Well, as it turns out, it's about something extremely important. Something that directly concerns me.
Anastasia: Let me get straight to the point: I have something I wish to confess to you.
Anastasia: Well, that's rude. There's no need to look as though you're bracing for impact.
Anastasia: Unlike a certain dragon princess I could name, I am under no delusions about who you truly are.
Anastasia: I know I may have been treating you a bit, well, coldly, Master. Not to put too fine a point on it.
Anastasia: Yet despite that, you have been perfectly patient with me and welcomed me with open arms.
Anastasia: Therefore, I feel it is only right that I let my hair down, so to speak, and be my true self around here.
Anastasia: I know what the others say about me.
Anastasia: “The young beauty so cool she's ice-cold.” “Prim and proper to a fault.”
Anastasia: “A porcelain doll who'll shatter at the slightest touch.” “Lovely bangs that half-hide her eyes.”
Anastasia: Those are just a few of the things I've heard myself called.
Anastasia: But the truth is...
Anastasia: I am...
Anastasia: An irredeemable imp.
Fujimaru 1: Bwa?
Anastasia: I suppose I should be thankful that you seem so befuddled.
Fujimaru 2: An imp? Really?
Anastasia: Oh? You sound skeptical.
Anastasia: Then again, I suppose I'm usually so elegantly well-behaved that it's no wonder you find it hard to believe.
Anastasia: At any rate, the reason why I went to the trouble of announcing it like this...
Anastasia: ...is because now that you and I are on better terms, you have an obligation to know who I truly am.
Anastasia: Specifically, I'm going to engage in mischief.
Fujimaru 1: Mischief, huh...?
Anastasia: Yes. Mischief.
Anastasia: There is something about making mischief that makes my heart dance with joy. Perhaps it takes me back to my childhood days or something like that.
Anastasia: At any rate, I can no longer bear to act like the good little girl I'm not, so I will no longer be doing so.
Anastasia: But I will apologize in advance for the mischief I'm going to cause. I'm sorry, Master.
Fujimaru 1: Got it. But what kind of mischief are we talking about here?
Fujimaru 2: Okay, so exactly what kind of mischief did you have in mind?
Anastasia: For that...
Anastasia: You'll just have to wait till tomorrow to find out.
Fujimaru 1: Okay, time to get up...
Fujimaru 1: ...and seize the...
Fujimaru 1: day!?
Anastasia: Did I surprise you!?
Fujimaru 1: I'll say you did...
Anastasia: Teeheehee. My first bit of mischief was to change your room around.
Anastasia: Of course, this is nothing the professor et al. haven't already done, so I'm still only getting started.
Fujimaru 1: Okay, but can I at least change into my uniform first?
Anastasia: Oh my.
Anastasia: Very well then, I'll just stay right here in the meantime.
Anastasia: No? I can't? Too bad...
Anastasia: But for the record, I've had some experience comforting wounded soldiers...
Anastasia: ...so I have no issue with a man getting changed in front of me. Hehehe.
Anastasia: Of course.
Anastasia: ...Well? What are you waiting for? The sooner you're done, the better.
Anastasia: What, do you need a hand? My, my, I guess I'm not the only princess here, hm?
Fujimaru 2: I guess that's one way to say good morning...
Anastasia: Indeed. Good morning, Master. Hehe, nothing fazes you, does it?
Anastasia: Now then, today is our combat simulation day, right? So let's get going.
Anastasia: Don't worry, Viy already set everything up.
Fujimaru 1: ...Mind if I tweak some of those settings first?
Anastasia: Oh my. How could you even suggest such a thing? (Crocodile tears)
Anastasia: No, I think we'll be leaving the settings right where they are, thank you very much.
Fujimaru 2: And by “set everything up,” I assume you mean “more mischief”?
Anastasia: Why yes.
Anastasia: We always train in the same boring environments these days...
Anastasia: ...so we decided to “mix it up” with some random data from the database.
Anastasia: Now then, come along. The day's not getting any younger!
Anastasia: Oh my, I wonder where we'll end up first. These random choices are so exciting.
Fujimaru 1: There's no possible way this can end well...
Beginning combat simulation in three, two, one...
Anastasia: Let's see. This looks like...
Fujimaru 1: ...So much lava...
Anastasia: So hot.
Anastasia: ...I mean, it's fine. This is fine.
Fujimaru 2: Aren't you hot in here?
Anastasia: Who, me? Don't be silly.
Anastasia: So hot.
Anastasia: ...What? I didn't say anything.
Anastasia: Ahem, ahem.
Anastasia: I must say, Master, it must be awfully difficult for you, having to prepare for combat in an environment like this.
Fujimaru 1: It's okay. I'm used to it.
Anastasia: Teehee, you're a stubborn one, aren't you?
Anastasia: But you know...I actually prefer stubborn people over wishy-washy types.
Fujimaru 2: You can say that again...
Anastasia: Oh, very well then.
Anastasia: I'll just have to cool you off a bit myself! And by “cool you off” I mean freeze you solid!
Anastasia: What's that? Thanks, but you'll manage? ...Hmph, too bad.
Anastasia: You'd be surprised how much cooler your whole body will feel with just a mildly frozen nape.
Anastasia: Anyway, I assume we'll be attacked shortly, yes? Let's see, where will the enemies come from...?
Anastasia: Huh? The lava?
Anastasia: Oh my... How did they all survive in there?
Fujimaru 1: Lava... Swimming... Khh, my head!
Anastasia: Master? Master! What happened? You look white as driven snow!
Anastasia: What is it? Cyanosis? Anemia? A migraine?
Anastasia: Well, don't you worry. I might not look it, but I've actually worked as a nurse (or something similar) before!
Anastasia: And if I remember my training correctly, you should be fine as long as I keep performing CPR on your heart!
Fujimaru 2: This is... This is from that Halloween!
Anastasia: That's that festival Chaldea holds in autumn on an irregular basis, right?
Anastasia: Does that mean you last encountered Servants swimming in lava during Halloween?
Anastasia: ...How does that work?
Fujimaru 1: Believe me, I wish I knew...
Anastasia: Ahem, ahem.
Anastasia: At any rate, I'll take care of them.
Anastasia: All you have to do, Master, is ensure I can make full use of my abilities as your Servant. Are we agreed?
Anastasia: ... ...
Anastasia: ...So hot...
Fujimaru 1: Well, we DID just fight while surrounded by lava...
Anastasia: Whose bright idea was it to set the combat simulator to an environment like this!?
Anastasia: Oh right! It was Viy!
Anastasia: Well, I've learned my lesson. From now on, I'll pay much closer attention when adjusting the simulator's settings.
Anastasia: Now come on, let's get out of here. I can't stand this heat for a moment longer.
Fujimaru 1: Fine by me.
Fujimaru 2: Okay, let's go ahead and shut the simulator down then.
Anastasia: Thank you, Master.
Anastasia: ... ...
Fujimaru 1: Hang on. It'll just be a minute.
Fujimaru 1: That's weird...
Anastasia: It's sooo hooot!
Fujimaru 1: All that squirming around is just gonna make you hotter!
Anastasia: Ghhh... But not moving makes the heat worse, too...
Anastasia: I know. Maybe some light conversation will serve as a distraction.
Anastasia: Let's see, what to talk about... Say, how much do you know about me, anyway?
Fujimaru 1: A little something, I'd say...
Anastasia: I see. Well, I'm happy to hear you've done your homework.
Anastasia: In that case, I'll skip ahead a bit.
Fujimaru 2: Nada.
Anastasia: Oh my. Well, that won't do at all.
Anastasia: Every good Master should know at least a little something about their Servants.
Anastasia: Very well then.
Anastasia: In that case, I will tell you about my background myself.
Anastasia: ...But I'll keep it to under five minutes, since it's so unbearably hot.
Fujimaru 1: That's like nothing!
Anastasia: What do you expect? I already mentioned the unbearable heat.
Anastasia: Now then. To begin, I was born into the title of Grand Duchess of the Romanov Dynasty...
Anastasia: ...And that is how I died.
Anastasia: Oh yes, it was dreadful. Growing up, I never expected I would die in such a cruel manner.
Anastasia: Even now, I will never forget this grudge. If those soldiers' graves were within walking distance, I would march right over there, spit on them, and rub it into the dirt.
Anastasia: And yet, strangely enough...
Anastasia: Here in Chaldea, it all seems like a far-off, vaguely nostalgic dream.
Fujimaru 1: Does that mean you'd be glad to see humanity die off?
Anastasia: Well, um... Not always, but... Maybe sometimes...
Fujimaru 2: Is that a bad thing?
Anastasia: Good question...
Anastasia: I would say yes, but there is also a part of me that's glad for it...because it makes me feel like I'm practically a normal person.
Anastasia: I suppose, deep down, I still believe people are fundamentally good.
Anastasia: Not people like those barbaric soldiers, of course, but people like my family.
Anastasia: ...Which isn't to say I'm not aware that, historically speaking, my family did some rather dreadful things, too.
Anastasia: I know they lived, and grew up, and learned, and ate, and lived their lives like any other person would.
Anastasia: Or at least, I thought I did.
Anastasia: I'm still not sure if our people starving to death was my fault or my father's fault.
Anastasia: Or perhaps it was entirely Father and the government officials who swore loyalty to him who were to blame.
Anastasia: Maybe the things they did were simply so terrible that my family...
Anastasia: ...Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and myself...
Anastasia: ...all deserved to be hacked to pieces and dissolved in sulfuric acid.
Fujimaru 1: I don't–
Anastasia: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bring up such unpleasant memories.
Anastasia: And besides, I know I will never find answers to those questions, no matter how long I look.
Anastasia: I just have to keep agonizing over them and looking back on them forever.
Anastasia: It's not right for me to expect you to answer them for me, Master.
Anastasia: Oh my, this won't do at all. If I don't snap out of it, I'm liable to end up being summoned as an Avenger.
Fujimaru 1: Yeah... I'd really prefer if that didn't happen.
Anastasia: Is that so? ...Hehe. All right, Master, if you insist.
Anastasia: Let's see... I believe this is how you make an unbreakable promise in your homeland, yes?
Anastasia: I swear that I will never become an Avenger. Pinky promise.
Anastasia: If this turns out to be a lie, then cross my heart and hope to die.
Anastasia: ...You know, I thought this would be a more lighthearted endeavor. I didn't realize quite how morbid it was until we got to the end.
Anastasia: Though admittedly, I'm still not sure how crossing one's heart could actually bring about one's death.
Fujimaru 1: And I'm still not sure how one would actuallygo about crossing a heart at all.
Anastasia: Good point.
Fujimaru 2: I'd just as soon not find out...
Anastasia: True. Some mysteries are better left unsolved.
Anastasia: Oh my, was that an earthquake? ...No, it couldn't be, could it? Hopefully, it's a sign that we'll get to leave soon.
Anastasia: I suppose this would never have happened in the first place if I hadn't encouraged Viy to play with the simulator's settings...
Anastasia: Then again, who's to say it wouldn't have?
Anastasia: Oh my. From the look on your face, I take it you don't believe it could have happened any other way?
Anastasia: Well, say what you will; my Viy is still adorable. Especially his eyes when he has them both wide open.
Anastasia: Though I know some people have complained that he's scary, or shows up in their nightmares...
Anastasia: ...or that they'd wish he'd stop glomming on to the backs of their heads.
Fujimaru 1: Me! I'M “some people”!
Anastasia: Hehehe, yes, I suppose you are, aren't you?
Anastasia: Still, you should know that Viy holds you in very high regard, even if he has his own way of showing–
Anastasia: It's freezing.
Fujimaru 1: If it's not one thing, it's another!
Anastasia: What is this place? It looks like...a prison made out of ice?
Anastasia: Well I've never seen anywhere like this before. Perhaps the system is “bugging out,” as they say. All right, shall we make our escape?
Fujimaru 1: Sure, but how can we get this cell door open?
Anastasia: There we go. Now we can walk right out of here.
Anastasia: ...Hm? Now why are you looking at me like that? Are you surprised that I would employ such a brutish method?
Anastasia: Well in case you need a reminder, I am the Grand Duchess of the holy Romanov Dynasty. Brute force is absolutely in my wheelhouse.
Anastasia: Now let's be on our way!
Anastasia: Oh my...
Anastasia: Now we're at a party hall? It's just one surprise after another.
Fujimaru 1: Looks like there's food for the taking, too...
Anastasia: Hmm... Well, the flavor is nothing to write home about. And it doesn't seem to have replenished any of my magical energy.
Anastasia: Then again, perhaps that's only to be expected, since we are in a simulation and all... I suppose that makes this no different than eating mist.
Anastasia: And in that case, does that mean I've become a wise parsley, able to live off nothing but the faintest drops of dew?
Fujimaru 1: Parsley? ...Ohhh, are you thinking of “sage”?'Cause if so, that kind of sage isn't a plant.
Anastasia: ...I swear, English can be so difficult sometimes.
Anastasia: Why can't you all keep things simple and just speak Russian like civilized folk!?
Fujimaru 1: From my perspective, I could say the same to you!
Fujimaru 2: Right back at you, only in reverse!
Anastasia: ...Fair enough.
Anastasia: On a different subject, I trust you're familiar with Jason the hero, yes?
Anastasia: And you're also familiar with the series of horror films starring an antagonist by the same name?
Anastasia: Well, can you even imagine our Jason running around with a shaved head and a hockey mask in place of that other Jason?
Anastasia: I certainly can't. The very idea of it gives me a huge case of the giggles.
Anastasia: I'm sure our Jason wouldn't be very happy to hear that...
Anastasia: ...but the way I see it, if you can't be free to imagine whatever you like, then where can you be free?
Anastasia: ...And on that note, it looks like Viy is doing his best to be considerate.
Anastasia: What's that? This is the opposite of being considerate? Yes, you may be right.
Anastasia: Anyway, I suppose this is still a combat simulation, so I won't feel too bad about crushing them.
Anastasia: Let's go, Master!
Anastasia: Phew, that's that. I would say that battle went rather well.
Anastasia: Your orders were absolutely on point, Master. Now then, shall we take our leave of this place?
Anastasia: ...We CAN leave, can't we?
Fujimaru 1: It'd be a really big deal if we couldn't.
Anastasia: Well, if we couldn't, I suppose we'd just have to throw a never-ending party here.
Anastasia: ...Yes, that might have been the case. Now that I think about it...
Anastasia: If we'd been left to our own devices, my family and I might have continued throwing endless parties forever.
Anastasia: We would have continued to eat, and learn, and grow, without ever growing tired of our day-to-day lives.
Anastasia: ...All the while oblivious to the people starving to death right beneath our noses.
Fujimaru 1: ...I don't think you can blame yourself for not noticing them.
Anastasia: ...I suppose you're right.
Anastasia: People can only barely keep up with what's going on around them.
Anastasia: They're just not capable of seriously considering the plights of perfect strangers in the rest of the world.
Anastasia: If there was an exception to that rule...I guess it'd be the person I'm looking at right now.
Anastasia: ...I take it from your expression that you have mixed feelings about that statement?
Anastasia: Yes, I know. It's very difficult to truly be concerned for others during peaceful, ordinary times.
Anastasia: But in your case, you still wouldn't hesitate to help anyone in your field of vision, would you?
Anastasia: I'm sure that way of life will bring you more than your share of headaches, but even so, I hope you never lose that spirit, Master.
Fujimaru 1: I'll do my best.
Anastasia: Good. That's all I ask.
Anastasia: Because I have every faith that your best will be more than enough.
Fujimaru 2: ...All right.
Anastasia: There's no need to think too hard about it.
Anastasia: Knowing you, I'm sure all you'll need to do is follow your heart. You can always rationalize your actions later.
Anastasia: In your case, I think that's all you'll need to be satisfied.
Anastasia: Now then, let's get out of here, Master. Tomorrow is another day, after all.
Anastasia: Say, Viy? Do you think there's something wrong with me?
Anastasia: I might be a Servant now thanks to meeting a creature as strange and mysterious as you...
Anastasia: ...but do you think I'm really doing the best I can? ...I am, right?
Narration: ...My chest feels like it's filled with knives. How can I be sickly, even though I'm a Servant?
This pain... It's just like the pain I felt back then, when my family and I were lined up in that basement.
But, that's impossible.
Humanity has been restored. Everything should be headed towards a happy, peaceful ending.
Narration: ...Is that right?
Something doesn't seem right. It feels like I've overlooked something important.
Narration: ...Who's there?
Is that me?
Hey, you. What is it you're doing there?
Narration: ...No way.
Anastasia: Huh? Am I...sleeping?
Anastasia: Even though I'm a Servant?
...Was this your doing, Viy?
If this is your idea of mischief, it's not funny. I'm very sensitive, remember?
Anastasia: Or what? Are you telling me...that's a scene from my future?
That's ridiculous. No, that's not even possible.
Viy: —. —.
Anastasia: ...Nobody's coming. Maybe this means Master isn't here.
Anastasia: ...There's nobody here.
Anastasia: Um... Who are you?
???: We obey your orders.
Anastasia: Who are... What are you talking about?
???: We will kill everyone here, because that is what you want.
Anastasia: Master! Where are you!? We're under attack!
Anastasia: ...Master? Where are you? Where is everyone...?
Anastasia: Khh... Open your eyes, Viy!
Anastasia: That's strange...
Anastasia: I don't remember the hallway...being this broken...
Anastasia: And...why is there nobody here? ...Master?
Viy: —. —.
Anastasia: Viy? Do you remember when I was summoned?
Anastasia: My head... It hurts... No... Stop it, stop it, stop it!
Narration: This isn't me! It's not, it's not, it's not!!!
???: ...Whose side are you on?
Narration: I know the answer to that. Or maybe, I only thought I did?
Narration: I can't tell. I think things always feel like some hazy dream.
Narration: It feels as though I'm suffering, then forgetting it all, then suffering, and then the whole thing just...repeats.
Narration: ...If only I'd never been born.
Narration: It's with that lament that... I wake up.
Fujimaru 1: What's wrong, Anastasia?
Anastasia: Aah! M-Master!?
Anastasia: I-I'm sorry. I must have fallen asleep.
Fujimaru 1: Yup. You were sleeping like a baby.
Anastasia: C-come now, Master, don't tease me like that. I'm supposed to be doing the teasing here, remember?
Anastasia: I am an imp, after all.
Anastasia: ...And don't look at me like that. This is perfectly fair.
Narration: ...Strange. It feels like...we've had this conversation before.
Anastasia: I just had a bad dream. A really, REALLY bad dream.
Anastasia: So, um... Would you mind holding my hand, Master?
Anastasia: Would you please hold my hand so that I don't go crazy or fall to pieces?
Narration: Yes... I know. I do.
I must still be dreaming. I've been suffering from my guilt all this time.
Anastasia: ...Master? I know I'm being a scaredy-cat now, but would you please help me anyway?
Fujimaru 1: Of course!
Fujimaru 2: I'm always here for you. Always.
Anastasia: Thank you...
Narration: Still, I know the truth.
Narration: I know there's still hope. I know tomorrow will always come. I know the future isn't a lost cause.
Narration: And I know that... because I know someone who taught me that.
Narration: Someone strict, and cowardly, and stubborn... Someone utterly adorable who's probably staring up at the sky even as we speak.
Narration: Thank you. I'm grateful to you. So for now, I'm going to get just a little sleep.
Narration: But I'll never stop waiting for you...because I believe that one day, this hand holding mine will be real.
Narration: You're the only thing I truly believe in as I while away in this dark, almost frozen time...
Narration: Fujimaru. I'll be waiting for you, my Master...