Houzouin Inshun

A Fight Against the Self (Literally)

Inshun: Hmm, hmm, hmm. I see, I see.

Inshun: So he is somehow me, but also not me...

Inshun: ...Lancer of Purgatorio.

Fujimaru 1: I'd rather not think about him too much...

Inshun: I understand. I am very sorry about this, Fujimaru.

Fujimaru 2: Sorry we don't really have much on him...

Inshun: Not at all. This is more than enough. Hmm, I see he was quite the monster.

Mash: Can I ask what brought this up, Inshun? What made you want to see the information on Shimousa now...?

Inshun: A fair question.

Inshun: As I see it, one could make a compelling case for Lancer of Purgatorio's sins being my own.

Inshun: Despite being summoned as a Heroic Spirit...

Inshun: ...it was my own strength that made me a target–a catalyst to facilitate my fall to Lancer of Purgatorio.

Inshun: That will never do. It is a far more miserable fate than I could have ever imagined.

Fujimaru 1: But, that wasn't your fault...

Inshun: Indeed not.

Fujimaru 2: You have a pretty intense sense of personal responsibility!

Inshun: I am a monk first, you know. Even before I am a hero.

Inshun: Of course, I have no memory whatsoever of the time I spent as Lancer of Purgatorio.

Inshun: So, from my perspective...

Inshun: ...it is no different than having a doppelgänger going around causing destruction in my name.

Inshun: However, Master, there is one aspect of this in particular that I absolutely cannot abide.

Inshun: This evil doppelgänger of mine cannot–must not be stronger than me.

Inshun: For if giving myself over to evil made my spear techniques that much sharper, I would have no choice but to do so.

Inshun: Of course, I would see it as a failure, as I would have given up my humanity.

Inshun: But had I learned of it while I was alive...I cannot say for certain that I could have resisted the temptation that would have offered.

Inshun: Indeed, I cannot be certain at all. And that worries me!

Inshun: Lady Musashi was kind enough to assure me that I was definitely stronger than Purgatorio...

Inshun: ...but that is not enough!

Inshun: No, I believe the only choice left to me now is to prove it in the simulator.

Inshun: It is possible to do that, yes? If I can converse with him there too, so much the better.

Inshun: This way, I can find out which of us is stronger...me, or my evil doppelgänger.

Fujimaru 1: ...All right, I can see you've made up your mind.

Inshun: Indeed, I have. Thank you for indulging me, Master!

Fujimaru 2: Okay, let's do it!

Inshun: Wonderful! No evil version of me will ever get the better of my true self!

Mash: ...Now I see. Fighting Lancer of Purgatorio really is something you need to do for yourself.

Mash: Understood. I'll boot up the simulator right now!


Inshun: Too easy!

Inshun: In fact...they all seemed strangely weak.

Fujimaru 1: Yeah, the real one was way stronger than that.

Inshun: I thought as much.

Fujimaru 2: Maybe you're just that good...?

Inshun: Thank you, Master, but I know that the Purgatorio I saw in Chaldea's database was capable of more than this.

Inshun: Lady Mash, I appreciate your thoughtfulness, but there is no need to hold anything back.

Inshun: Please, give me something closer to the true Purgatorio.

Mash: R-right!

Mash: Okay, let's see... I know, I'll try raising the difficulty!

Mash: I'll also increase his base stats, unlock his Noble Phantasm, and give him more subordinates to command...

Mash: There, that should do it. Commencing second battle now!


Inshun: Hmm. That was certainly a more challenging foe... but still a far cry from what I was hoping for.

Inshun: His spear technique was lacking in both refinement and bloodlust.

Mash: I see... I'm sorry. I'm afraid this might be as close as the simulator can get.

Inshun: What a shame. Then I suppose it will not be possible to compare our skills in this manner.

Inshun: I apologize for wasting your time with this, Master!

Fujimaru 1: Don't worry about it. All part of the job.

Inshun: Hahahaha. Spoken like a true leader.

Inshun: Very well then, let us call it a day. Thank you again, Master!

Fujimaru 1: Anytime, Inshun.

Fou: Fooou...

Narration: The sky is stained red as blood. Crimson crows caw eerily in the distance.

Narration: Blood drips from the tip of my spear. I will not relax my grip until those before me are dead.

Narration: ...Rejoice. Your offerings are all here.

Narration: I will kill all manner of innocents. Children, the elderly, infants, invalids...

Narration: Why, you ask? To sharpen my spear. Spears are meant for killing, and so only killing can hone their edges.

Narration: The time for the massacre is at hand.

Fujimaru 1: Wh-what the hell!?

Lancer of Purgatorio: Hahahahahaha! Hee... Heeheeheeheehee!

Lancer of Purgatorio: What a delightful discovery! I can feel my skills sharpening with every life my spear takes!

Lancer of Purgatorio: Thinking back on it now... my life could not have been more dull!

Lancer of Purgatorio: Behold, behold, behold, Fujimaru!

Lancer of Purgatorio: The more bodies pile up, the keener my spear grows!

Lancer of Purgatorio: Now, you will bear witness as I kill hundreds, thousands, all to propel my spear into the realm of the gods!

A:???: Ahem... I apologize for interrupting your speech, but I take it you are Lord Lancer of Purgatorio?

Lancer of Purgatorio: ...So, you've come... Houzouin Inshun...!

Inshun: Of course. Now that I have heard your third-rate villainy for myself, I cannot simply stand by and do nothing about it.

Inshun: My name is Houzouin Inshun. Now, let us have a good, fair fight.

Lancer of Purgatorio: Hahaha! You, Inshun? At best, you are a pale imitation.

Lancer of Purgatorio: You live in a dreamworld, whereas I live in reality. Refusing to take life? The Buddha's mercy?

Lancer of Purgatorio: Foolishness! Complete and utter foolishness!

Lancer of Purgatorio: You reached your limit the moment you allowed such pointless notions to hold you back!

Lancer of Purgatorio: There will be no fight! Only a slaughter!

Inshun: If killing truly made one stronger, the Warring States period would have overflowed with masters of the blade.

Inshun: Hmm... Be honest with me, Master.

Inshun: Between him and me, who do you think is stronger?

Fujimaru 1: You!

Inshun: Hahahaha! You have a good eye indeed, Master!

Fujimaru 2: Us!

Inshun: O-oh, right. It is a bit embarrassing to have it pointed out so bluntly, but I cannot deny it!

Inshun: That aside, if anyone here should be laughing, it is me!

Inshun: Purgatorio, you have been going on and on about making your spear sharper, which leaves me a bit confused.

Inshun: Which is it? Do you wish for your spear to grow sharper, or do you wish to grow stronger?

Lancer of Purgatorio: What was that...?

Inshun: The best mouse-catching cat in the world would be no good to anyone if it also went around eating people.

Inshun: After all, a cat's most important duty is to be cute. Would you not agree?

Fujimaru 1: Meow.

Inshun: Exactly. All a cat need do to be cute is meow.

Fujimaru 2: Yeah, I guess that's true.

Inshun: Unfortunately, it seems Purgatorio here has gotten his priorities mixed up.

Lancer of Purgatorio: What are you even talking about!?

Inshun: It's simple.

Inshun: If all you want is a sharper spear, there is a better way to obtain it than by slaughtering people.

Lancer of Purgatorio: What...!?

Inshun: All you need do is let someone stronger handle it. What could be easier?

Lancer of Purgatorio: Ridiculous, Inshun! You're not making the least bit of sense!

Inshun: And what sense is there in causing others unnecessary pain and suffering?

Inshun: Is your desire merely to brag about all the lives you have taken?

Inshun: If so, I can think of no more hollow or foolish endeavor than the one you undertake.

Inshun: I imagine the corruption makes it impossible for you to know any better, but I cannot help but laugh when I think how you truly believed that was all you needed to grow stronger.

Inshun: All right. I've learned all I wanted to know. Now the only thing left to us is a duel.

Inshun: Indeed, I consider this an act of mercy, for I have never in my life met a more pitiable opponent!

Lancer of Purgatorio: Enough of your foolish prattling, Inshun!

Lancer of Purgatorio: You will see for yourself how sharp my spear has become...as it slices you to ribbons!

Inshun: Come then, Master.

Inshun: Let us bring this to a speedy end and be on our way back to Chaldea!


Lancer of Purgatorio: Mwahahaha! Is that all you've got!? None can match this body and its sheer techni–

Inshun: It's over.

Lancer of Purgatorio:

Wha...!? Ah... Ahhh!?

Lancer of Purgatorio: Impossible! This can't be right! Your strike had all the strength of a house cat swatting at a reed! How could I not parry it...!?

Inshun: You have wasted so much power; power that already exceeded your limits. Of course it would leave you vulnerable.

Inshun: You completely failed to understand your own body, Purgatorio.

Lancer of Purgatorio: No... No! This cannot be true!

Lancer of Purgatorio: I haven't even avenged my defeat at the hands of that Musashi woman!

Lancer of Purgatorio: My miraculous resurrection was meant to be my chance to exact my reven–

Inshun: Hmm, I suppose you may fare a bit better against an opponent with swords since that has been your focus...

Inshun: ...but the rest is quite sloppy. You may have gained in one area, but you have lost much in others.

Lancer of Purgatorio: Wha...

Inshun: Whether they reach the level of the Buddha or become an oni, everyone eventually hits their limit.

Inshun: Speaking for myself, I find it an incredible waste.

Inshun: Your spear may have grown sharper, but as a Lancer, you have grown weaker.

Lancer of Purgatorio: How... How dare yoooooou!? You'll pay for this, Inshun!

Inshun: Farewell, Purgatorio.

Inshun: ...What a disappointment. To think I would be no more than a common highwayman if I fell from grace...

Lancer of Purgatorio:

Urk... Ghh...

Inshun: Phew, there we go. Now that was a good simulation.

Inshun: Lady Mash, would you be so kind as to turn the simulator off now? ...Lady Mash?

Fujimaru 1: I don't think we're in the simulator.

Inshun: ...Are you sure?

Inshun: They called me here so suddenly that I simply assumed this was some sort of emergency training...

Fujimaru 2: I think this is just a dream.

Inshun: I see. Just another dream sequence, huh. ...Wait. A dream!?

Inshun: Ahh...

Inshun: I never thought this would only turn out to be a dream I shared with you, Master!

Inshun: Hmm... Well, I suppose that is all right.

Inshun: If the only life I took was my own, surely no one could be upset about that!

Inshun: Indeed, I believe they refer to this as a win-win-win!

Inshun: ...No?

Fujimaru 1: All's well that ends well!

Inshun: Right!

Inshun: Now then, I think I will have to try dueling Lady Musashi as soon as I wake up...

Inshun: Otherwise, all the effort Purgatorio put into his anti-Musashi techniques will go to waste.

Inshun: Still, there is one thing this incident has assured me of, Master.

Inshun: I am now certain that I truly am the best version of myself!