Yet I Want to Remain a Flame

Narration: Memories...

Narration: No... It would be better to call them “records.” In life, I did not have regular memories like a human's.

Brynhild: ...

Narration: Now, it is time to begin my nightly routine.

Narration: Here, alone in the room provided to me when I formed my contract with Master, I will review my records.

Narration: It should be fine. It's safer than getting worked up thinking about Master.

Narration: That's what usually happens whenever I'm on my own. I can never control myself.

Narration: ...And then I start confusing Master with “him.”

Brynhild: Always. Without fail.

Brynhild: The kind of love, the kind that makes me want to kill them... I don't want it anymore.

Narration: That's why I review my records. To stop me from becoming flames. To quell the fire in my heart.

Narration: Tonight. Again. Alone.

Narration: ...Ah. The record of the snowy mountain.

Narration: I remember this well...this pure white landscape where the ground blurs with the sky.

Narration: In life, I wandered the land, I soared through the sky...

Narration: I did only as Odin, the Allfather, commanded: I gathered the souls of fallen heroes.

Narration: The brave. Men of valor. Heroes. Those who would fight for the sake of others, even at great cost to themselves.

Narration: I approached them, led them, and at times granted them victory. But in the end, I set them on a journey leading ultimately to their deaths.

Narration: That was what it was to be a Valkyrie.

Narration: Mechanical puppets in the guise of women, created by Odin. Reapers of souls who only appeared human...

Narration: With icy, impassive countenance, the dolls watched over their chosen heroes and slowly crept ever closer.

Narration: I am...

Brynhild: ...Yes. That's right.

Brynhild: Ice. I am ice. I can be ice.

Brynhild: ...I shall smother the flames... Do not burn...

Brynhild: I cannot allow myself to burn. If I do...

Brynhild: My flames will consume Master. That is the one thing I cannot allow myself to do.

Brynhild: Hm...?

Narration: I'm not conscious of it. Really. That thought never crossed my mind. Not once.

Narration: But...

Brynhild: What...?

Brynhild: No... Why... Don't do that... I... Don't rouse me...

Brynhild: I'm not supposed to burn like this...

Brynhild: ...No.

Narration: The auto replay has begun. No. I can't stop it. Even after all the safeguards I've put in place...

Brynhild: ...!

Narration: It hurts. It hurts. The fragments of these replaying records are shards of glass through my heart.

Narration: My beloved. Sigurd.

Narration: A stern yet gentle warrior. Eyes that shone with crystallized wisdom. Loving lips.

Narration: My brave Sigurd. My valorous Sigurd. My hero, Sigurd. No matter how much time passes, you are always with me.

Narration: No... No, I can't... So hot... These flames...they'll consume me!

Narration: Stop... Not that first encounter at Hindarfjall... No, don't play that record!

Narration: I'm doing this to pacify myself. Be cold... I must be like snow. Like ice.

Narration: Please, Allfather, give me the strength to be as cold as the great wolf Fenrir's breath. I beg of you...

Narration: I am a Servant. I am a Lancer who serves Fujimaru.

Narration: I am...a broken Valkyrie. I must never again allow myself to be consumed by the flames.

Fujimaru 1: Where am I...?

???: ...I never expected to meet you again.

???: Then again, this may not count. This is not truly a place, nor any real time.

???: It's not a physical world at all, really.

???: It is a sea of the mind. Your dream. It is also the memory of a Servant with whom you've contracted.

Fujimaru 1: That voice...

???: Do I sound familiar?

Fujimaru 2: I've heard that voice... Or have I?

???: ...I knew it. So it's not obvious.

Arthur: Let's put introductions on hold. As it happens, I should not be standing between the two of you.

Arthur: It seems that in my warping, I have synchronized with your dreams, your consciousness.

Arthur: ...This IS a dilemma...

Arthur: This is actually a first for me. I'm not sure if it was kinship between you and me, or you and her...

Fujimaru 1: Who are you...?

Arthur: If you don't remember then, so be it. I am but a simple knight who is destined to meet you one day.

Arthur: That's all you need to know for now.

Fujimaru 2: You're from another world

Arthur: So you remembered. Amazing. I can't believe you can keep all that straight even trapped in a dream world.

Arthur: But, yeah. Let's just not count this.

Arthur: You, who is entrusted with tomorrow, who faces the world head-on... We shall meet again...someday.

Arthur: For the moment, we need to make a move. It seems she's in a very fragile mental state.

Fujimaru 1: “She”...?

Fujimaru 2: Is there a Servant in trouble!?

Arthur: Exactly.

Arthur: A Servant with whom you've formed a contract. Namely–

Arthur: ...No. Explanations have to wait. Action is what's needed here.

Arthur: I've sensed something. Let's go.

Arthur: It should be around here. From here, you might have better luck detecting her than me.

Arthur: Trying to pick up anything. It can be her magical energy, or her presence, or simply a hunch. Just reach out your hand.

Arthur: I cannot do it. The relationship I have with her is one purely of combat.

Arthur: You...are the only one who can save her.

Fujimaru 1: ...There's something around here.

Fujimaru 2: I can feel it... It's troubling...

Arthur: ...!

Arthur: You never fail to impress! So she's under the snow. She must've been buried after collapsing. Let's dig her up!

Arthur: ...Lancer. Lancer, can you hear me?

Arthur: Your Master is here. You're not the sort to sleep here forever.

Arthur: Lancer. Brynhild.

Brynhild: ...Yes...

Fujimaru 1: Brynhild!

Fujimaru 2: You collapsed in the snow. Are you all right!?

Brynhild: Master...

Brynhild: Yes. I am... I am fine...for now.

Brynhild: Ah, Master. Adorable, adorable [♂ boy /♀️ girl}. My contractor.

Brynhild: You always greet me. You always have a smile for me.

Brynhild: It brings me such happiness, such love...such pain... That's why I...

Brynhild: ...Do you understand, Master?

Brynhild: I am constantly trying to kill you. I confuse you with Sigurd...always, all the time.

Fujimaru 1: I know.

Fujimaru 2: Yes, you do that a lot.

Brynhild: ...Yes.

Brynhild: I need to stop doing that. I do not want to confuse you two anymore. You are not my Sigurd.

Brynhild: You are a warrior of your own. You are a [♂ man /♀️ woman} who will save the world. The newest of the heroes.

Brynhild: That is why I decided to follow you, to obey you...

Brynhild: ...The reason I allowed myself to be summoned... The reason I came to Chaldea, even broken as I am...

Brynhild: was all to save you. Yet I...

Brynhild: ...I cannot control my desire to kill you. I want to love the moment of your death.

Brynhild: It is... I do not want to remain this way, trapped in this madness...

Brynhild: I...I was replaying my I do every night.

Brynhild: The records of me as ice. The records of myself as a Valkyrie.

Brynhild: I awaken the frigid cold within me to keep the fires at bay. I...I use it to quench the flame.

Brynhild: By doing so, I can prevent myself from killing Master. Just barely.

Fujimaru 1: do this every night...?

Arthur: ...I see.

Arthur: For the man you loved, you put aside being a Valkyrie, and then when you lost him, you shut your heart away.

Arthur: Existing as a Servant... It must be an excruciating contradiction for you.

Arthur: So even without Mental Corruption, or a Madness Enhancement, a certain madness afflicts you.

Brynhild: ...

Arthur: And so, you're fighting against your own madness.

Arthur: To hold it at bay, you've been making adjustments to your mental state on your own.

Arthur: Whether that's due to the Valkyrie in you, or just because of who you are as a person... I cannot say.

Arthur: What I can say is this: it must be an incredibly difficult, painful trial for you, Lancer.

Brynhild: ...?

Brynhild: You... You're–

Brynhild: No. It can't be. You are from a different world...

Brynhild: ...Ah. But of course. We're inside my own records. It's perfectly possible for a shadow like you to be mixed in.

Brynhild: A kind man... Saber.

Arthur: Yeah. I guess I am that sort of man now.

Arthur: (So, she can stop herself from killing...)

Arthur: (Could her Spirit Origin itself be broken?)

Fujimaru 1: Does this count as saving her?

Fujimaru 2: Is Brynhild fine now?

Arthur: ...No.

Arthur: If the problem had been resolved, you would already be returning to your own reality.

Arthur: Which is to say, you'd wake from this dream.

Arthur: But you're still caught in this record of hers. We're still in a snowy field.

Arthur: So no. Not yet.

Brynhild: Yes. Saber is correct. I...

Brynhild: I had succeeded in cutting myself off as an emergency measure. And that is why I collapsed here.

Fujimaru 1: Cut off from what?

Fujimaru 2: You cut off your...self?

Brynhild: ...

Fujimaru 1: Brynhild.

Fujimaru 2: Tell us. It's okay.

Brynhild: ...I cut myself off from the flame within me. From...myself.

Arthur: Flame?

Brynhild: ...

Brynhild: The being that smoldered within the depths of my heart, that bubbled up whenever I let myself go even the slightest bit.

Brynhild: Master. If I think of you as my Sigurd, I...

Brynhild: I go up in flames. I burn. So hot, so hot.

Brynhild: Hotter than the sword of Surtr... That is what I become... My love, my everything...

Fujimaru 1: Let's go find it.

Fujimaru 2: You probably should have kept that.

Brynhild: But Master. That flame will kill you one day.

Brynhild: I cannot allow that. I... That's the one thing I do not want to... This is no good...

Arthur: Lancer. Don't you understand?

Arthur: Your Master is confident that you will not kill [♂ him /♀️ her}. [♂ He /♀️ She} even has the resolve to accept you, your madness notwithstanding.

Arthur: What a great Master, don't you think?

Brynhild: ...

Brynhild: ...Yes. A wonderful Master.

Brynhild: Like everyone I've gotten close to, [♂ he /♀️ she} has the heart of a hero.

Arthur: Yeah.

Arthur: Then it's settled. Let's go find this flame of yours!

Fujimaru 1: ...So, the snow's on fire.

Fujimaru 2: We're in the middle of a blizzard! Why is it so hot!?

???: Welcome, my Sigurd.

???: Oh, how I have waited for this day. For my wish to become reality...

???: ...Reality?

???: Hehe. Aha, ahahahahaha! What IS reality? This is merely a small segment of my own records.

???: And Master–my Sigurd–this is your dream, too! But I don't mind! I don't care if it's a dream or not!

Severed Flame: I know. I know! Even if it is just a dream, my lance still brings those I love the sweet release of death!

Severed Flame: Even if it be a hero! Even if it be a great individual who could save the world! Even if it be HIM!

Severed Flame: Nobody can escape from my love...

Severed Flame: My love! Mine mine mine! Me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me ME ME ME ME ME ME ME!!!

Severed Flame: From ME!

Severed Flame:None can escape my burning love!

Severed Flame: Wherever you and I stand, it is always a place to love... A place to kill! Always!

Severed Flame: ...After all, I was the one who killed Sigurd.

Fujimaru 1: This is...her flame?

Fujimaru 2: I guess I'm Sigurd to her now.

Arthur: There's no talking to her. That woman is fire itself.

Brynhild: ...I'm taking her back into myself. I should never have let her out.

Brynhild: Master. Would you please lend me your strength?

Fujimaru 1: Of course!

Fujimaru 2: I could never neglect a Servant in distress!

Brynhild: Thank you. Now let's go get that flame of mine.

Arthur: You are a great Master. I shall assist you with my blade as well.

Severed Flame: Eh? Eh? Eh? What? Are you telling me you're not going to hand over my Sigurd?

Severed Flame: No. You can't. Can't can't can't can't can't can't can't can't can't can't CAN'T! Give my Sigurd back to me!

Severed Flame: I'm the one who kills Sigurd!

Severed Flame: That's what the Allfather decreed! It's what the legends have said for generations!

Severed Flame: I... I still remember the day I did it, Sigurd.

Severed Flame: Now! Let us go up in flames together! Let us become ash!


Severed Flame: Ah...

Severed Flame: Aaahhhhhh—

Brynhild: ...

Brynhild: The flame... I can tell it is coming back to me. Please stand back, Master.

Brynhild: It... It is possible...that I may end up attacking you...just like it said I would.

Brynhild: So please...stand back a bit.

Fujimaru 1: It's okay.

Fujimaru 2: I trust you.

Brynhild: ...

Arthur: Seems like it's fine, Lancer. Your Master really is impressive.

Brynhild: Yes.

Arthur: ...Yeah.

Arthur: Looks like I'm about to wake up. The dream will soon end, so you will wake up and return to reality too.

Arthur: Although... I'm not sure how much of what happened here you will remember...

Arthur: Lancer. Is there anything you want to say?

Brynhild: No, Saber–kind shadow within my records–I have nothing to say.

Brynhild: But my heartfelt wish remains the same.

Brynhild: Master. Fujimaru. The next time I see you in reality, I only hope...

Brynhild: ...I hope to be free of the desire to love and kill you. To be free of the need to stab, to shred, to tear your life to burn it to cinders.

Brynhild: That is my only wish.

Brynhild: Yes. Because I...

Narration: I want to be of some use to you.

Narration: As one who was once a Valkyrie, as one who loved and nurtured a hero...I want to be alongside the brave warrior who fights to save the world.

Narration: But. But...

Narration: My flaming love still confuses you with Sigurd. I am sure one day it will come to the surface.

Narration: That's why... Today... Tomorrow... The next day... Forever...

Narration: ...I must remain cold as ice.

Dear Little Sister

Arash: All right! We won!

Serenity: Yes. We have exhausted the enemy forces and suffered minimal casualties ourselves.

Brynhild: ...So...we won...

Arash: We sure did! Nice job out there, Ms. Lancer!

Arash: (Hey, missy. You seeing this?)

Serenity: (Yes. She seems to be a bit...)

Arash: (Yeah. She's kind her game? Like her mind's somewhere else.)

Brynhild: ... ...

Fujimaru 1: Brynhild?

Fujimaru 2: Everything okay? Are you feeling all right?

Brynhild: Oh, yes. I'm fine, Master.

Brynhild: Thank you for your consideration, but there's nothing wrong with me. I'm operating within normal parameters.

Brynhild: At least...I thought I was...

Brynhild: ...No, you're right. I'm sorry.

Brynhild: I have had difficulty concentrating in battle. I am worried that I have been holding you all back.

Brynhild: Would you mind if I took a leave of absence, Master?

Da Vinci: I see. So she asked for some time off, huh? That IS pretty unusual.

Da Vinci: Servants ARE supernatural beings, but their minds are still essentially human.

Da Vinci: We're waaay more durable than any human physically, but that doesn't mean we're immune to stress or exhaustion.

Da Vinci: Plus, she's been doing her best not to bring up Sigurd lately... So that might be related.

Da Vinci: Nothing good comes of repressing your feelings like that, you know.

Fujimaru 1: Has she been making an effort?

Fujimaru 2: She mentions him CONSTANTLY though...

Da Vinci: I mean comparatively. You know how much more she used to bring him up.

Mash: ... ...

Mash: I only know what it's like to be a Demi-Servant, so my experience may not quite match Brynhild's...

Mash: Even when I was regularly Rayshifting to Singularities, I was always very glad to have some time off...

Mash: Talking with Senpai... Eating meals together...

Mash: Chatting with Dr. Roman during my checkups...

Mash: I enjoyed every moment of it.

Mash: I don't know how much that downtime affected my magical energy or vital signs...

Mash: ...but it was very important to me, and I'm sure it did me a lot of good. So...

Fujimaru 1: Yup, everyone needs breaks.

Fujimaru 2: Even Servants need their rest.

Mash: Right, Senpai.

Da Vinci: Remind me... Is she spending her time in her room right now?

Mash: Yes. She's been there ever since she returned from the Rayshift.

Holmes: I just so happened to overhear your discussion and I must say that it does seem Brynhild would benefit from something of a tune-up, as it were.

Da Vinci: A tune-up, he says! What a delightfully tactless way to ignore everything we just said about even Heroic Spirits needing rest. Truly, you are a detective without equal.

Da Vinci: Still...I guess Holmes does have a point.

Da Vinci: Brynhild's Spirit Origin is something of a special case even as these things go, since she was created by the Allfather of the Norse gods, Odin.

Da Vinci: She may have managed to fit into the Servant container now, but she's still technically half Divine Spirit.

Da Vinci: Frankly, that she's materialized like this at all is a miracle.

Mash: A miracle...

Fujimaru 1: Don't we see Divine Spirits all the time now?

Mash: That's true... They may not make up a large number of the Servants we see, but...

Fujimaru 2: Just off the top of my head...Stheno, Euryale, Quetz, Jaguar...

Mash: ...Ishtar, Ereshkigal, and Gorgon are all Divine Spirits as well.

Da Vinci: It's easy to lose sight of this now, but the fact that there are so many of them is still miraculous. I suppose it's also true that Chaldea's system for summoning Heroic Spirits is pretty special too.

Holmes: ...I would say so. They ARE Ghost Liners, after all!

Holmes: That term refers to Heroic Spirits, a type of superior spiritual entity whose existence is comprised of records tied to humanity.

Holmes: Harnessing their awesome power is one of the most difficult spells imaginable, even compared to the Clock Tower's evocations–ah, summoning spells, in layman's terms.

Holmes: Not to mention that such power is a far cry from something like low-level Demonic Beast or ghost summons. Heroic Spirits are indeed rare and powerful.

Holmes: And from there, when you delve into how their ether bodies are given form and personality nearly identical to their living selves...

Holmes: could one call the results anything BUT miraculous?

Da Vinci: ...Well now, you certainly know a lot about this, don't you, Mr. Holmes?

Holmes: Well, I can't take TOO much credit. It is one thing to know, but quite another to act on that knowledge.

Da Vinci: I see. So you don't deny it, huh... You never change, do you?

Da Vinci: But we digress. Getting back to the topic at hand... The short of it is that Brynhild is special even by our rather odd standards.

Da Vinci: A good Master would be wise to pay some attention to her.

Da Vinci: And while I'm at it, I think I WILL give her Spirit Origin a tune-up. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary at her last checkup, but you never know.

???: Ho ho ho. I see you're in quite the predicament.

Mash: Th-that voice!

Fujimaru 1: Altera!

Fujimaru 2: Attila the San(ta)!

Altera Santa: That's me. Ho ho ho! Just Santa Claus passing by.

Altera Santa: ...I see. Say no more. I understand.

Altera Santa: There is something amiss with that one, is there not? It seems she's found herself in a difficult position.

Altera Santa: It happens to everyone sometimes. I think.

Altera Santa: That is why I am here now! Yes, even though it is not yet that time of year, Santa Claus is coming to town!

Fujimaru 1: Um...

Fujimaru 2: Why are you back in your Archer Spirit Origin?

Altera Santa: Please don't ask about that... I'll go back to my old self if I lose my concentration.

Altera Santa: Please be nice. I'm trying very hard to remember what it was like in this Spirit Origin last time.

Altera Santa: Besides, I need to save my strength for you-know-what.

Altera Santa: Please help me, Fluffy Master?

Mash: Master! Altera!

Mash: I turned on the simulator like you asked,, what do you plan to do in there?

Altera Santa: We'll hunt and enjoy the winter wonderland, of course. But first, I need to recharge my Santa Power!

Fujimaru 1: “Santa Power”?

Fujimaru 2: Uh...fighting helps with that?

Altera Santa: Don't think too hard on it, young [♂ man /♀️ lady}. You just need to believe in Santa. And be careful not to get hurt!

Altera Santa: Now, we can start by getting me accustomed to this body again! The first step is reclaiming my Santa Power. Or, at least, so I'm told.

Da Vinci: I take it this means she wants to adjust her Spirit Origin to Santa Claus Archer?

Altera Santa: Now, let us be off! I shall soon fill my cane with dreams! Assemble, rainbows, and fly across the sky!


Fujimaru 1: So what do you think?

Fujimaru 2: Did you regain enough Santa Power?

Altera Santa: ...Hmm.

Altera Santa: I'll need more Santa Power if I'm going to give Brynhild her present!

Altera Santa: I think I'll stay here a little longer and try to gain more Santa Power.

Altera Santa: But we shouldn't push ourselves too hard. Let's take a break, Master. I'll make an igloo so we can warm up.


Mash: ...According to legend, Brynhild and Altera were family.

Mash: It is said that Brynhild was the younger sister of King Atli, who many believe is based on Attila the Hun.

Altera Santa: I've heard stories to that effect before, but I can't speak to it myself.

Altera Santa: One of them said I married a princess after her husband was killed. I think his name was Siegfried? Sigurd? Something along those lines.

Altera Santa: No, I really don't remember any of that. I am a fighter, not a lover.

Altera Santa: I can barely remember my wife at all, and I'm not even sure whether I had a sister or not.

Altera Santa: I do recall the elder Huns worrying about my successor...

Altera Santa: ...but I don't know anything about it myself.

Mash: ...Something about this doesn't make sense.

Mash: Altera, you're Attila the Hun, a figure from the fifth century.

Mash: But the Norse legends from the Saga and the Edda, including the one Wagner wrote about Brynhild, all came much later...

Mash: the timeline doesn't really seem to make sense.

Fujimaru 1: What do you mean?

Fujimaru 2: So you're saying the time periods don't match?

Mash: Right. There's no way to reconcile the legends and stories.

Mash: First of all, Norse mythology has a legend regarding the end of the gods: Ragnarök.

Mash: It was said to be the last battle waged between gods and monsters. This battle would bathe the world in fire and smash the ground down into the sea.

Mash: And by the end of the war, gods, monsters, and giants would all cease to be.

Mash: You could call it another sort of ending to the Age of Gods. In time, the Norse world began a new age of humans, rather than one of gods.

Mash: But it's unclear even now whether Brynhild's legend takes place before or after Ragnarök.

Da Vinci: Yep. If the story of Brynhild and Sigurd and her death took place after the Christian era began...

Da Vinci: ...that is, if it took place after the end of the Age of Gods...

Da Vinci: would mean that she and the other Valkyries would have been collecting souls for a war that was long over.

Da Vinci: You've heard of the Valkyries before, right? They were a group of female warriors tasked with collecting the souls of fallen heroes to serve in the final battle.

Da Vinci: So you'd think that must mean Brynhild came from the Age of Gods, before Ragnarök, right? But as it turns out–

Mash: ...Yes. A number of contradictions emerge there, specifically Altera, aka Attila the Hun.

Mash: There is just no way that a story about a king of the Huns from the fifth century...

Mash: ...would appear in a story that takes place during the Age of Gods and still make sense.

Mash: So...

Da Vinci: Well, you shouldn't take myth and legend at face value. You've gotta go digging for the truth in them.

Da Vinci: For that matter, even in the world of magecraft, which is all about finding secret truths, opinions are mixed as to when exactly Ragnarök happened.

Da Vinci: The most plausible theory puts it at around 1000 B.C.

Da Vinci: It says that the eruption of Mt. Katla at that time was actually the fires of Muspelheim rampaging across the earth...

Da Vinci: ...and that in turn kicked off Ragnarök, the chain of events that led to the extinction of the Norse pantheon of gods as well as the giants.

Altera Santa: ...The fall of Norse civilization, huh?

Da Vinci: If we consider the Age of Gods to be a sort of civilization, then yes, you could say that.

Da Vinci: On the other hand, there's nothing in the geological record about a large-scale eruption of Katla taking place prior to A.D. 930.

Da Vinci: But then, how could there be with an entire texture missing!

Da Vinci: And by texture, I mean an entire layer of reality...the thin membrane covering this planet where our ecosystems exist.

Da Vinci: That's why the Saga from the ninth century is the oldest known document we've got.

Da Vinci: Humanity took a long time to collect those stories depicting the Norse Age of Gods in the Saga and Edda–

Holmes: ...Hmm. That does seem to be what they say in the world of magecraft.

Holmes: It took quite some time for mages to investigate and turn up anything about the eruption's aftermath and the end of the Norse Age of Gods.

Holmes: And there is yet a great deal of uncertainty about even that. Between all the conjecture and inference necessary to arrive at that conclusion, the extent to which it is factual is still very much in doubt.

Fujimaru 1: ...R-right. Of course.

Mash: (I'm impressed you were able to follow along with them, Senpai!)

Fujimaru 2: ...I'm so lost...

Mash: (M-me too, Senpai!)

Mash: (I know I brought this up, but I actually lost track of things somewhere around Muspelheim...)

Da Vinci: Well sure, if the lost carrier of the gods were to suddenly show up, that'd certainly upend the general scholarly consensus on the subject.

Da Vinci: But that's just how most of these Age of Gods things go. You could count the ages we've been able to verify on one hand, and you wouldn't even need all of its fingers.

Holmes: Indeed.

Da Vinci: ...Brynhild might know something about that time period, but she refuses to talk about it.

Da Vinci: More often than not, that's how it goes with Heroic Spirits and Divine Spirits. Not that I'm one to talk.

Holmes: Hahahaha.

Da Vinci: What's so funny? You're certainly no better, you know! Worse, even!

Da Vinci: Phew. The truth is difficult to discern, as always...

Mash: R-right...

Altera Santa: Hmm, what a difficult topic. But then again, it seems like the real problem is the timelines not lining up.

Fujimaru 1: What do you think, Altera?

Fujimaru 2: Any opinion?

Altera Santa: No, not really. More of a hunch than anything solid.

Mash: A hunch?

Altera Santa: ... ...

Altera Santa: I can't say this for sure, but...I'm guessing my origins have something to do with it.

Mash: Your origins? You mean, Attila the Hun's...?

Da Vinci: Oh?

Altera Santa: I don't really have a clear grasp on it myself, so it's hard to explain, but I believe you could think about it like this:

Altera Santa: Santa Claus is the Valkyries' big sister.

Altera Santa: Santa flies across the sky with his reindeer, and if am not mistaken, the Valkyries fly around on winged horses.

Altera Santa: They're so similar, it can't be a coincidence! There, I have just overturned the consensus!

Mash: (That was Jeanne Alter Santa Lily levels of ridiculous...!)

Fujimaru 1: I, uh, I see?

Fujimaru 2: What's...that got to do with legends again?

Altera Santa: Never mind that. Replenishing my Santa Power comes first. There! I see more enemies!

Altera Santa: That's it, Christmas fairies! Help me remember the spirit of Christmas!

Altera Santa: It's more than a little embarrassing to be wearing an outfit like this and not be at all feverish.

Altera Santa: Now I'm counting on you fairies to blow that embarrassment right out of me!


Altera Santa: ...There, that should do it.

Altera Santa: I was worried that without Doomzy here, I might just be my normal self in this strange costume...

Altera Santa: ...but fortunately, I was able to restore both my Archer Spirit Origin and my Santa Claus power.

Altera Santa: At least...I think.

Mash: You think!?

Altera Santa: At any rate, my Santa Power should now be more than sufficient to bring Brynhild her present!

Altera Santa: Now let us be on our way! This is where Santa's work truly begins!


Altera Santa: ...Hm? Is she out?

Altera Santa: Oh, there you are. Why are you just standing in the corner like that? It's very strange.

Altera Santa: In any case, Brynhild, I am sorry it took so long, but Santa Claus has finally come to town.

Brynhild: ...

Brynhild: I'm so sorry. You came all the way to my room, and I didn't even bother to greet you.

Brynhild: Master. And you–

Altera Santa: Ho ho ho. Santa Claus is here even out of season! I never did bring you a present, so I am here to remedy that now.

Altera Santa: And lucky for you, young lady, I have just the thing for a very beautiful, very sad woman.

Brynhild: I...I already made my decision. I will not let myself be a bother to Master any longer.

Brynhild: I may not be able to stabilize my existence, but I can at least make sure I don't get in everyone's way.

Brynhild: That's why I asked for a leave of ab–

Altera Santa:Denied!

Brynhild: ... ...

Altera Santa: Not to worry. Whatever is wrong with your Spirit Origin, I'll fix it.

Altera Santa: Ho ho ho. I may once have been known as the Whip of God...but today is different!

Altera Santa: Today, as I am even Santa Claus off-season, I'm here to smack you with the Whip of Love.

Altera Santa: Or, more accurately...

Altera Santa:...I'm going to punch you.

Fujimaru 1: A punch!?

Altera Santa: Oops, scratch that. I mean whap you with my cane. Just a little bonk on the head; nothing to worry about.

Altera Santa: Once I smack you with my cane, there'll be some stars, and you'll feel better right away.

Mash: B-bonking? Stars...!? That sounds like...something out of a comic book...

Mash: But, Altera, how can just hitting someone be anything but–!

Altera Santa: Don't worry. She and I have much in common, so I know how she feels.

Altera Santa: She looks like a delicate flower, but she's actually very tough at heart.

Altera Santa: Since she's focused her skills and stats on combat, she should eventually remember her true Spirit Origin if we fight her in earnest!

Fujimaru 1: I think I maybe possibly kind of don't get it!?

Altera Santa: That's okay. I'm not completely sure either!

Fujimaru 2: Santa isn't violent!

Altera Santa: Don't worry. I have no plans of destroying her!

Brynhild: ...So we're going to fight?

Brynhild: If you command me to fight, Master, I will obey. I have this form solely to be your Servant.

Brynhild: Whatever your orders, I will obey. Yes, I will follow you to the ends of the earth.

Brynhild: I am happy to fight by your side, Master. I am happy to be your opponent, too.

Brynhild: Use my skills however you must, Master.

Mash: I-if you insist on fighting, at least go to the simulator! Our rooms are NOT designed for combat training!

Mash: Da Vinci, would you mind prepping the simulator right away? I think we're about to have a battle!

Da Vinci: I had a feeling we might, so it's all warmed up. Come on down whenever you're ready!

Mash: R-right. Senpai!

Fujimaru 1: Change of venue! Right now!

Fujimaru 2: We're off to the simulator!

Altera Santa: Very well, let us be off! Brynhild, this is your chance to truly cut loose. I can take whatever you throw at me!

Altera Santa: My cane's rainbows shall soon set you free from the unease that weighs upon your heart!


Altera Santa: ...There we go.

Altera Santa: I'll admit I was a bit worried when you broke out the runic flame, but I'm glad to see you have returned to your former sharpness! Ho ho ho.

Altera Santa: That is as it should be. Your spear is free of uncertainty.

Brynhild: Lady Altera...

Altera Santa: ...Uh-huh.

Altera Santa: I'm so sorry, Valkyrie. I wish I could remember your name and face, but I cannot.

Brynhild: ... ...

Altera Santa: But...

Altera Santa: ...though it may only be a hazy fragment of something much larger now...

Altera Santa: ...if there truly was once a great Norse god we both worshipped...

Altera Santa: ...and if I truly was a big sister to you and the other Valkyries...

Altera Santa: ...then I think that would make me happy. And proud.

Altera Santa: Brynhild. My sister.

Altera Santa: Live in beauty, battle maiden. Please, don't go around looking so forlorn.

Altera Santa: Hold your head up high. You and the others may have met tragic ends in myth, but I think THAT is what makes you so beautiful.

Altera Santa: I am sure you lived a full life. If I close my eyes, I can see you so clearly, running across grassy plains.

Altera Santa: So please...please don't feel so ashamed.

Brynhild: ...

Altera Santa: Divine Spirits, Heroic Spirits, Servants...we all feel out of sorts at times.

Altera Santa: So when you have a problem, don't be afraid to ask for help. There is nothing wrong with that.

Altera Santa: I promise you, our Master, and the rest of Chaldea, are more than strong enough to accommodate any difficulties that Servants may be having.

Altera Santa: [♂ He /♀️ She} won't crumble beneath the weight if some of us must lean on [♂ him /♀️ her} for support. Right, Master?

Fujimaru 1: You know it!

Fujimaru 2: I could handle a hundred of you, easy.

Brynhild: ...Master...

Altera Santa: Of course, I'm here too. And I think we'll need to keep talking about this, sister.

Altera Santa: Otherwise, when your beloved makes his way to Chaldea one might not be able to make full use of your spear.

Altera Santa: And that would be a terrible waste, wouldn't it?

Brynhild: ... ...

Brynhild: ...You're right, Lady Altera.

Brynhild: Thank you so much. I promise I'll shape up. I see now that I must do better.

Brynhild: Yes. I'd almost forgotten who I really was.

Brynhild: One day, I know I will take my beloved Sigurd in my arms and kill him with my spea–

Fujimaru 1: Whoa, whoa, whoa!

Fujimaru 2: Nobody's killing anybody!

Brynhild: ...Right. I don't want to make trouble for you, Master. I only want to be useful.

Brynhild: So I will continue to do my best. Next time, I'll do better.

Brynhild: From now on, I'll always make sure to be completely open with you about what is happening. I will neither hide, nor run away.

Brynhild: Er, as long as that's okay with you...Master.

Fujimaru 1: You know it!

Fujimaru 2: I'm glad to have you beside me, Brynhild.

Da Vinci: ...There we go. I'd say that's another case closed.

Mash: Yes. The battle is over now. I'll return the simulation to its default settings.

Mash: Master, Brynhild, Altera. Great work today!

Da Vinci: I just made a fresh pot of coffee, so why don't you all come have a cup!

Fujimaru 1: Got it!

Fujimaru 2: Let's go, Brynhild!

Brynhild: ...Yes, Master. As you wish.