The Feudists

Mash: Oh, Senpai.

Mash: Yes, I was just reading.

Mash: I wanted to learn more about Nezha, so I was re-reading her story.

Mash: I had read “Journey to the West” before, but I learned of “Investiture of the Gods” only recently.

Mash: Have you heard of it?

Fujimaru 1: Both novels are pretty popular.

Mash: Really?

Fujimaru 2: I don't think that many people have read the original text...

Mash: So there are many spin-off works from the original text.

Mash: Human culture never ceases to amaze me.

Mash: The frequently mentioned Chinese classics are: “Journey to the West,” “Romance of the Three Kingdoms,” “Water Margin,” and “The Plum in the Golden Vase.”

Mash: Though many of the passionate readers switch the “Golden Vase” with “Investiture of the Gods” to insist that it is one of the great classic Chinese novels.

Mash: And some say that the “Investiture of the Gods” is one of the great Chinese classics, along with “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” and “Journey to the West.”

Mash: I also took a brief look at related Chinese texts...

Mash: But it appears that the lore for Nezha greatly differs from work to work.

Fujimaru 1: Really?

Mash: It appears that she has Taoist, Buddhist, and even Hindu origins.

Mash: Although, that isn't really unique, even among the Servants we know...

Fujimaru 2: There's just one question (read: gender) to clear up.

Mash: Senpai, here's your coffee. I believe there are certain topics that are best left alone.

Mash: The Nezha that we know appears to be the most similar to the version from “Journey to the West”...

Mash: The Nezha of “Investiture of the Gods” seems like a better fit for a Berserker than a Lancer...

Mash: But Nezha is...hard to define. So many characteristics and aspects are jumbled together.

Mash: In “Investiture of the Gods,” many supernatural beings and spirits of various time periods assemble and participate in a bloody melee.

Fujimaru 1: It's like Chaldea.

Mash: If you're likening “Investiture of the Gods” to an all-star battle set during the Ming Dynasty, you would not be far off the mark.

Mash: Though, I would prefer to not use the word “melee”...

Fujimaru 2: Both Heroic Spirits and humans have hidden sides.

Mash:'s not right to judge others by rumors or titles alone.

Mash: On one hand, Nezha is enshrined as a god in China and Southeast Asia, even in modern times.

Mash: Don't you think it's odd for a god to be depicted as a youth?

Mash: I was very curious about that, and that's why I went to the library...

Fujimaru 1: Why don't we just ask Nezha?

Mash: Wouldn't...that be too...bold of us?

Mash: With so many aspects, maybe there are some she would prefer be left alone? Still...

Fujimaru 2: Long have I awaited this day...

Mash: ...Senpai.

Mash: This is that legendary drink called “coffee.” It's black, so please drink it all down.

Mash: Everyone is my teacher in life, and they are also my friends...

Mash: Even were it necessary for a mission, I'd like to avoid anything that could hurt them...

Mash: curiosity may be winning out over all that...

Mash: Um...Nezha's schedule for today is...

Mash: It appears that she is participating in a meeting run by the “Buddhist Club.”

Fujimaru 1: That's new. Where do they meet?

Mash: This is the first I heard of the group, as well.

Mash: I've heard of groups like “Old Men Seriously Reading Fairytales” and “Air Basketball Club”...

Fujimaru 2: How do you know about this club?

Mash: Because I'm aware of all the clubs that are active in Chaldea!

Mash: least I wanted to be. I may have exaggerated a bit...

Mash: So actually, an anonymous Japanese Lancer came to me to discuss something, and that's how I heard about it.

Mash: The meeting is the simulator room, it seems.

Mash: I can even hear the sounds of battle all the way out here. I can only assume that an extensive training session is underway.

Fujimaru 1: Forcing my way in.

Mash: Ah, Senpai!?

Fujimaru 2: I'd like to join the club.

Mash: If it's a Buddhist Club, would the conditions to join the club be renouncing the world and becoming a monk?


Nezha: Master! Have. No need. For assistance. Or strategizing.

Nezha: This is training!

Fujimaru 1: I know!

Fujimaru 2: That's why I wanted to join.

Benkei: Wonderful, Lord Nezha. Such superb fighting technique!

Benkei: My naginata is certainly getting a workout. Your mystical spear is especially ravishing!

Benkei: And this is called the Fire-Tipped Spear?

Benkei: Well, you are more than qualified to join our Buddhist Club!

Nezha: ...??? Do not. Understand.

Nezha: Buddhist Club? More like. Feudist club!

Nezha: But. You helped me train... You were. Enthusiastic. Thank you. For that.

Sanzang: Huh? When did this turn into a club admission test?

Sanzang: Actually, we welcome anyone and everyone to our Buddhist gathering.

Sanzang: But honestly, I was beyond excited when I learned that Nezha had come to Chaldea!

Sanzang: I'd be happy to spend time with you! Not just when we're training, either!

Sanzang: From eating vegetarian sweets, picking out a priest's stole, temple hopping...I'm game for anything!

Nezha: You just want. Me to indulge. Your desires.

Tamamo-no-Mae: ...Um...

Tamamo-no-Mae: I'm all for being wrapped in the warm embrace of friends old and new...

Tamamo-no-Mae: But I do not remember...EVER...joining such a club.

Tamamo-no-Mae: What I DO remember is being grabbed and dragged in here. Isn't this kidnapping!?

Mash: ...R-really? I was wondering why you were here.

Tamamo-no-Mae: Well, I'm relieved to know that at least SOMEONE is concerned about me!

Tamamo-no-Mae: Oh, but if Master is considering joining, I may be more inclined to do so, too. So, all's well that ends well!

Nezha: Don't go. Near...Master! Evil fox spirit!!!

Tamamo-no-Mae: MIKON!? The end of my poor tail is on fire!

Mash: Nezha!? She just used her Fire-Tipped Spear!

Fujimaru 1: What's going on!?

Fujimaru 2: We're not in the simulator anymore!

Benkei: If I may explain... Lord Nezha requested a match with Lady Tamamo.

Nezha: No. Not just a match. I am going. To kill her. KILL!

Tamamo-no-Mae: WHAAAT!?

Tamamo-no-Mae: No wonder it felt like you were just going after me! I don't understand this sudden assault against me!

Mash: Let me guess...does Nezha see Tamamo as the character from the “Investiture of the Gods”...?

Mash: That is, the fox spirit, Daji, who is said to have caused the decline of the Shang dynasty!?

Nezha: Yes! Correct!

Nezha: She is. The unparalleled trickster. Brutal. Conniving fox! She will. Surely cause. Chaldea's downfall!

Sanzang: Oh, really?

Sanzang: So, so...were you also Lady Huangyang from Tianzhu all that time ago? She was pretty foxy, too.

Tamamo-no-Mae: Hmmm...hmmm... Tamamo doesn't know♡

Tamamo-no-Mae: I can neither confirm nor deny such a thing... I'm a little fuzzy when it comes to my past life and stuff...

Fujimaru 1: Even so, that has nothing to do with the Tamamo in Chaldea.

Tamamo-no-Mae: Oh, Master...!

Benkei: Ah, that's our Master. Your acceptance and generosity toward others is more vast than any ocean!

Sanzang: Yes! That's my disciple you're talking about!

Sanzang: But...I will have a word with you later, Benkei, for starting this whole kerfuffle.

Benkei: Hmgh!

Fujimaru 2: Fight, and whoever wins shall be my consort!

Tamamo-no-Mae: Mikon!? I heard something just like that in my previous life! Ah, that brings back memories... Now I'm all fired up!

Nezha: C-consort!? I-I refuse! Why ME!?

Mash: That's right, Senpai! Please do not tease them like that!

Sanzang: That's right, my disciple! If we're going to do it, it'll have to be fair and square! Like in a tournament!

Nezha: X-Xuanzang! You half-witted monk!

Sanzang: Leaving the consort issue aside...

Sanzang: Fated enemies... Such encounters are bound to happen in a place where Servants assemble.

Sanzang: Nezha's grudge would probably have come up at some point.

Sanzang: But since she came by seeking help from our club...

Tamamo-no-Mae: I am not asking for help, not this shrine maiden♡

Sanzang: Leaving the source of the dispute alone would likely affect future activities for Fujimaru.

Sanzang: Now, you two...

Sanzang: Since we have the simulator here, why don't we banish our worldly desires here?

Benkei: Hm...what are you suggesting?

Fujimaru 1: A one-on-one all-out...battle?

Sanzang: Yep. That's right.

Sanzang: Personally, I prefer not to believe that Tamamo is a bad Heroic Spirit...

Nezha: Xuanzang...

Nezha: That. Is quite. A grand sentiment.

Tamamo-no-Mae: ...One-on-one!? (Ears twitching)

Tamamo-no-Mae: ...Teehee. That's the spirit.

Tamamo-no-Mae: You started this, so you won't mind if I hit back full-force, right?

Mash: Tamamo is quite riled up.

Tamamo-no-Mae: Very well. I accept your challenge!

Tamamo-no-Mae: And then I will assume the position of reliable consort, once and for all! Please watch, Master☆

Nezha: I thought. We dropped. The idea. Of becoming. Master's consort?

Nezha: !!!

Tamamo-no-Mae: Now, this will be a fair and square one-on-one fight! And your opponent will be ME!

Tamamo-no-Mae: Don't you dare say you've never seen anything like this in Chaldea! Just come at me!

Nezha: Body clones!? Divided Spirits!? Oh, yes!

Nezha: Even I. Know. Three-faced. Six-armed. Battle techniques. I shall. Be your. Greatest Opponent!


Nezha: I won! It is my! Victory!

Nezha: Even if. The evil. Fox spirit. Goes mad. Everything should. Be fine. Since I. Am here!

Tamamo-no-Mae: I...lost...unnnghhh... The path to becoming the perfect Servant...cannot be walked in a single day...

Benkei: But it was a grand battle.

Sanzang: You think so? I think Nezha needs more training.

Sanzang: Growing is good, especially for Nezha, who will always remain in her childhood form.

Nezha: I once. Sealed away. Ninety-six demons. So three. Or even. A hundred. Demons–

Fujimaru 1: I'm counting on you, Nezha.

Nezha: Oh...Master...

Nezha: Okay! Got it!

Nezha: I will focus. And work. My hardest!

Fujimaru 2: Thanks for holding back, Tamamo.

Tamamo-no-Mae: Master... Of course...

Tamamo-no-Mae: As the shrine maiden with a permanent spot reserved at Master's side, it's the least I can do☆

Mash: So it appears that Nezha not only possesses memories from “Journey to the West,” but also from the “Investiture of the Gods.”

Nezha: Yes. That is. Just another. Part of. My past.

Nezha: The “me.” From then. Always sought. New enemies. And I was. Violent... Dangerous...

Nezha: I was. Like...a Berserker. I had. No right. To bad-mouth. The Great Sage. Heaven's Equal.

Mash: ...

Fujimaru 1: What kind of person do you want to be now, Nezha?

Nezha: Master...

Nezha: I...I...honestly...

Nezha: Rather than. A strong god. Of martial arts. I want to be. A good god. One who. Is kind. To children.

Nezha: I hated. And cursed. My parents. Especially Father.

Nezha: Even now. Even with. My soul. Wandering so. The flame. Within me. Has yet. To be. Fully extinguished.

Nezha: And so. I wish. To cherish. The young. I want. To Protect. Children. And save them. From going through. What I. Once did...

Nezha: My desires...may not. Match up. With other. Strong people's...

Nezha: They may. Not fit. A Servant. Of Chaldea...

Mash: No! That's not true, Nezha.

Mash: We welcome Nezha with open arms! Right, Senpai!?

Fujimaru 1: Of course.

Fujimaru 2: There is strength in kindness.

Nezha: ...I see. Then...I'm relieved. Master...thank you.

Fujimaru 1: Hey, by the way...

Fujimaru 2: There's something I've been curious about...

Mash: ...Senpai...

Fujimaru 1: There's a subject we haven't addressed...

Fujimaru 2: Take a look at this list, and tell me which one you identify with...

Nezha: ...Hm?

Nezha: “Male,” “Female,” “Both,” “None,” “Beep-boop,” “Astrodroid,” “Non-binary”...


Nezha: NO, Master! Understand that. There are. Some topics. That I. Do not. Wish to. Talk about. Even at. My Master's. Earnest request!

Mash: ...Senpai! Please have this scalding hot cup of coffee!!!