Hikikomori Milky Way
Narration: ... ...
Narration: Dear Ma-chan.
Narration: I was officially summoned to Chaldea some time ago...or maybe a long time ago.
Narration: Now that I'm here, I want to live up to what's expected of a Servant.
Narration: But the thing is...
Shakespeare: Ah, there truly is something to be said for keeping one's head cool and one's feet warm. I can't remember the last time my quill flowed so freely!
Jaguar Warrior: Somebody grab me one of those tangerines over there!
Murasaki Shikibu: ... ...Oh, were you talking to me?
Murasaki Shikibu: I'm so sorry. I didn't realize...
Murasaki Shikibu: Here you go.
Jaguar Warrior: Thanks, Purple Shikibu!
Jaguar Warrior: (Gulp) Mmm, deelish! There's nothing better than tangerines. Fresh or frozen, they're always tasty. Talk about the fruit of the gods!
Jaguar Warrior: Oh, wait, I'm the god here, aren't I! Between the tangerines and the kotatsu, I thought I was turning Japanese! I really thought so!
Shakespeare: Does Japan not have its own share of gods, Jaguar Warrior? Could you not be both a god and Japanese?
Jaguar Warrior: Hm? (Casual whistling)
Shakespeare: Oh, never mind!
Mordred: Yo, let me get in on this! Turns out it's still kinda early for surfing!
Mordred: Not that the seasons ever change 'round here!
Osakabehime: ... ...
Narration: I'm surrounded by so many strangers that I'm not quite sure what to do...
Osakabehime: (Well, I guess I've met Murasaki Shikibu before, but that writerly aura is still a lot for me to take.)
Osakabehime: Chotto a minute! Why are all you Servants hanging out in my room again!?
Mordred: Where else're we s'posed to go? You've got the only kotatsu in Chaldea!
Jaguar Warrior: Honestly though, I have to wonder if leaving it out all year is really the best course of action, meow.
Jaguar Warrior: Then again, I guess I used to do the same thing. There's something to be said for leaving your kotatsu out even in the summer. Something dark, I mean.
Murasaki Shikibu: I'm sorry. I didn't realize I was intruding...
Osakabehime: Waaaaaah! How am I supposed to make any progress on my manuscript like this!?
Shakespeare: Oh come now, I rather doubt you would have made any progress even in our absence.
Murasaki Shikibu: It's okay, Lady Osakabehime.
Murasaki Shikibu: If you just let your hair down and be yourself...
Murasaki Shikibu: ...your story will eventually take wing of its own accord...
Osakabehime: That only works if you're a genius!
Osakabehime: Waaaaaah! Help me, Ma-chaaaaaan!
Fujimaru 1: ...Okay, I'm in Batty's room now, but where's Batty?
Kiyohime: I've lost count of how many times she's gone into hiding at the first sign of trouble. It's a terrible habit of hers, isn't it, Master?
Fujimaru 2: Guess Batty isn't home...
Kiyohime: Batty? Not home? That is simply not possible.
Kiyohime: No, she's definitely in here somewhere. I'm sure of it.
Kiyohime: Come on, let's search the room for her. Huh? How do I know she isn't actually out?
Kiyohime: Hehehe, oh Master.
Kiyohime: You saw for yourself how eager Osakabehime was to use Musashi's absence as an excuse to shut herself in, right?
Kiyohime: There's no way!
Kiyohime: She would ever leave!
Kiyohime: We have been friends for a long time, so I know her well enough to say that with one-hundred-percent certainty♡
Kiyohime: Now come on, let's look for her. Baaatty! Where aaare yooou!
Kiyohime: Come out now, while neither Master nor I is upseeet!
Fujimaru 1: Olly olly oxen free!
Kiyohime: Oh? Did you just hear something, Master?
Kiyohime: Hmm. Now where could that voice have come from...
Fujimaru 1: Under the kotatsu, maybe?
Kiyohime: Under the kotatsu? ...Ah, yes, I see.
Osakabehime: Go away!
Fujimaru 2: It came from over here...
Kiyohime: So it did. Well done, Master♪
Kiyohime: Huh... It looks like this kotatsu is connected to an alternate dimension.
Kiyohime: What do we do now, Master?
Fujimaru 1: Simple. We dive in headfirst!
Kiyohime: Understood. Okay, Master, here I go!
Fujimaru 2: We go get her!
Kiyohime: Yes, I'm sure Batty is waiting for us to retrieve her. All right then, let's go!
Fujimaru 1: Nooooooooo!!!
Kiyohime: Master. Master! Please, get a hold of yourself!
Kiyohime: Of all the places I thought the kotatsu could lead, Csejte Pyramid Himeji Castle was not one I even considered!
Kiyohime: I've heard you go on about isekai before, Batty, but this is ridiculous!
Osakabehime: Urushaddup! Just go away! I'm shutting myself in and working on my damn book!
Kiyohime: Huh? That sounded like it came from...the castle keep?
Osakabehime: This is MY kotatsu now! Nobody gets in or out unless I seiso!
Kiyohime: You said that as if you're just calling dibs, but I'm honestly impressed you made this place its own separate world. You're more skilled than I thought, Batty.
Osakabehime: I've gotten a lot more used to fighting as a Servant than you'd think!
Osakabehime: Heh heh heh, and on that note...byeanara, Ma-chan and Kiyo-yo!
Kiyohime: Oh my.
Fujimaru 1: We're back again...
Kiyohime: I guess Batty must have complete control over that Csejte Pyramid Himeji Castle.
Kiyohime: I'm not sure what we can do if she can send us back here with just a flick of her finger...
Osakabehime: Bye now! I'll come back once I'm done with my final draft!
Kiyohime: ...I don't know about this, Master.
Kiyohime: Batty is lying. I don't think she really means to come back at all...
Kiyohime: No, that's not it. I think that SHE thinks she can't possibly come back.
Kiyohime: Hmm, now what are we going to do. I do feel bad that her kotatsu kept getting taken over...
Kiyohime: ...but that doesn't mean she can just run away from her responsibilities as a Servant.
Kiyohime: And I think Batty knows that better than anyone.
Kiyohime: Which would mean her lie about coming back after finishing her final draft is actually...
Kiyohime: Well, Master? What are you going to do?
Fujimaru 1: What else?
Narration: ...In short, I can live here in peace and tranquility.
Osakabehime: Kotatsu, kotatsu, I'm so into you, kotatsuuu♪
Osakabehime: Don't come to get me, 'cause I don't wanna leeeave♪
Osakabehime: Besides, who'd even want to go out when it's raining? Everyone knows rainy days are the perfect excuse to stay in.
Narration: I'm not cut out to be a Servant.
Osakabehime: ...No, no. No, no, no.
Narration: Of course I know that's no excuse. I get it.
Narration: But just like a Berserker can't help but go berserk, I can't help the fact that I'm a shut-in at heart.
Osakabehime: So it shouldn't be a problem if I shut myself in for just a little bit now and then, right?
Narration: Let's see... I think I should be okay for twenty...thirty...fifty years or so?
Narration: I'll still be happy to serve Ma-chan even when [♂ he's /♀️ she's} an old [♂ man /♀️ lady}.
Narration: That wouldn't bother me at all–
Fujimaru 1: It might not bother you, but it sure as hell would bother me!
Fujimaru 2: Don't I get a say in this!?
Osakabehime: Huh? I... Wha...?
Osakabehime: Wh-wh-wh-what are you doing here again, Ma-chan!?
Kiyohime: What do you think, Bats-for-Brains?
Osakabehime: Where do YOU of all people get off insulting my intelligence, Kiyo-yo!?
Kiyohime: What do you mean "of all people"? I'll have you know I could demonstrate my own intelligence in any number of ways.
Kiyohime: ...But that is not what is important right now.
Kiyohime: I guess the fact that you'd casually consider shutting yourself in for fifty years just goes to show how ridiculous your innately inhuman sense of time is.
Kiyohime: I, on the other hand, acquired my inhumanity later on, so my sense of time is so finely attuned I was able to match my breathing to Master's down to the second. I'm keeping count, so there's no mistake!
Fujimaru 1: ...(World's longest awkward pause) Right!
Kiyohime: Hmm. I'll have to get to the bottom of what that long silence meant later.
Fujimaru 2: Are you now. Gee, what a coincidence.
Kiyohime: (Sniff) You can be so cold sometimes, Master... But I won't let that bring me down!
Osakabehime: Hey! What do you think you're doing!?
Kiyohime: That's just what we came here to ask.
Kiyohime: As if turning your room into a separate world wasn't bad enough, now you want to shut yourself in it for fifty years!?
Kiyohime: From one hime to another, I refuse to let you get away with this!
Osakabehime: Nooo! I don't wanna! I'm too scaaared!
Osakabehime: Forget it! If you think you can drag me out of here, go ahead and do your worst!
Kiyohime: Ugh. I'm sorry you had to see my friend behave so disgracefully, Master...
Kiyohime: Still, she was at least being truthful in what she said.
Kiyohime: She truly is frightened, and does really want to shut herself away.
Kiyohime: But she's also determined to put up a fight to make that happen now. She never had that kind of confidence before.
Kiyohime: To put it simply, Master...
Kiyohime: ...she's just as proud to be your Servant as any of us.
Kiyohime: Yes, that pride may have led her to be weirdly confident about all the wrong things, but that's just Batty for you.
Kiyohime: All right, Master, let's make our way straight to the castle keep, shall we?
Fujimaru 1: Are those the monkeys we saw on the mountain?
Kiyohime: They must have taken a liking to this place.
Kiyohime: But I'm afraid they'll just have to move to the Enma-tei, whether they like it or not.
Fujimaru 2: This place reminds me of Mecha Eli-chan...
Kiyohime: Oh my! Talking about another woman when you're here with me!?
Kiyohime: Well I never!
Kiyohime: At any rate, my nose is telling me we should keep heading up.
Kiyohime: Unfortunately, there's a limit to what my Stalking Skill can track when I'm not using them on you...
Kiyohime: But, hehehe, the good news is, I don't need them to know where she's hiding.
Fujimaru 1: Yeah, I'm pretty sure she's in her room again...
Kiyohime: Agreed. Now come on, let's head straight up to the top of this castle.
Fujimaru 2: Haha, maybe the kotatsu in her room here leads to yet another alternate world.
Kiyohime: So a world inside a world, like a set of Matryoshka dolls? That does sound like an interesting idea.
Kiyohime: Hehehe. All that aside, we haven't had many chances to be alone lately, Master.
Kiyohime: We can't let this one go to waste! Now come on, let's take it niiice and slow.
Kiyohime: Like, three steps forward, three steps back slow♡
Fujimaru 1: That's not slow, that's literally going nowhere!
Osakabehime: Chotto a minute! Are you just using me as an excuse to get your own fun in, Kiyo-yo!?
Kiyohime: I sure am♪
Osakabehime: Waaahhh! I thought we were besties! Have you no kokoro!?
Kiyohime: Me? Heartless? How rude.
Kiyohime: I'll have you know there is no Servant in this entire world whose heart burns hotter than mine.
Kiyohime: Right, Master?
Narration: ...All sorts of Servants have started visiting my room.
Narration: I know it's probably a good thing.
Narration: I used to be sad and mopey all the time. Now I think I'm leading a fuller life.
Narration: Every day here is great. The work, the training, the small talk... It's all so refreshingly straightforward.
Narration: I have old friends here I can be myself around, and I've made new ones, too.
Narration: If someone asked whether or not I liked this, my honest answer would be that I do.
Narration: But every time I come to that conclusion, I can feel the gears in my heart creaking against the strain.
Narration: No, no, no. This isn't who you are.
Narration: That's when I start to feel bad again. Not at how wrongly I'm behaving, but at how right.
Narration: ...I want to be left alone.
Narration: It's just as hard now as it was before. Being around people is tiring, all the smiling gives me a cramp, I can't get any work done on my book...
Narration: But at the same time, I can't pretend to be a proud lone wolf. I still get lonely.
Narration: Unlike a certain king I could name, I can't really say I'm okay just being all by myself.
Narration: It sucks. My feelings are all over the place, and I can't put them into words in any kind of way that makes sense.
Narration: I half-ass everything... I can never choose a side... I'm a bat, a snake, a castle monster...
Narration: ...I don't know WHAT I am.
Kiyohime: ...Is something wrong, Master?
Kiyohime: You looked as though you were dreaming even while you were walking.
Fujimaru 1: Sorry, I guess I spaced out.
Kiyohime: Hmph. I can't believe you'd space out when you're here with me!
Fujimaru 2: I think...I just saw one of Osakabehime's dreams...
Kiyohime: Well, this is Batty–Osakabehime's domain. It's no surprise something like that could happen here.
Kiyohime: It's nothing as strong as a Reality Marble, of course. It's just a big papier-mâché delusion stretched as far as it'll go.
Kiyohime: I could burn it all now and this would be over in an instant, but Batty really would shut herself away if I did that.
Kiyohime: So I'm afraid I'll need you to join me for at least a little while longer, Master.
Kiyohime: What is this writing?
Osakabehime: Ah! That's my–!
Fujimaru 1: Is something wrong?
Kiyohime: ...No, everything's fine. Now that its magical energy is gone, it's just a plain old bit of text.
Kiyohime: I'll just put it in this box over here and leave it by the wall.
Kiyohime: You owe me one, Batty.
Osakabehime: ...I'll do my best to make it up to you.
Kiyohime: This hall is very long...but my Stalking Skill is never wrong.
Kiyohime: And right now, it's telling me it won't be long until we see Batty in person.
Osakabehime: Grr. So you finally made it, Kiyo-yo and Ma-chan...
Osakabehime: But I'm daijo... I'm okay. You can leave now. I'm essentially just hiding out in my kotatsu, anyway.
Kiyohime: You need to go outside sometimes, Batty.
Osakabehime: No I don't. What's wrong with staying in?
Kiyohime: You're only being halfway honest about this. You want to go out, but you also don't want to go out.
Osakabehime: ...It doesn't make any sense, does it?
Osakabehime: I have been enjoying myself here, thanks to Ma-chan giving me the push I needed.
Osakabehime: But...it's also so exhausting!
Kiyohime: I understand. Okay then, let's fight it out.
Osakabehime: ... ...
Osakabehime: ...Uh, why?
Kiyohime: Master wants to help you, and you want to turn [♂ him /♀️ her} away.
Kiyohime: We could talk it out for days and never get anywhere. Violence, on the other hand, is a much faster solution.
Osakabehime: I think you might be spending too much time with Tomoe these days, Kiyo-yo! You're starting to sound just like her!
Fujimaru 1: Can we at least try talking this out first?
Osakabehime: N-no! There's nothing I want to talk about!
Fujimaru 2: ...Are you hiding something, Hime?
Osakabehime: N-no! Not a damn thing!
Kiyohime: Now that was just an outright lie.
Kiyohime: You have something you want to talk about, and there's something you're hiding.
Kiyohime: But you're too embarrassed to share.
Osakabehime: Gnnnh...! You big baka lie detector!
Osakabehime: Fine then! If that's how you want to play this, then kakatte come on!
Osakabehime: If that's what I gotta do to maintain my hiko lifestyle for a while, I'll meet violence with violence!
Osakabehime: Yeooowch! Hot, hot, hot!
Kiyohime: Mmm, roast bat♪
Osakabehime: I knew you were a dragon, but I didn't think you were a demon too!
Osakabehime: Ugh, fine! You win! I give up!
Kiyohime: Good. All right, Batty, tell us what's really going on.
Osakabehime: ... ...
Kiyohime: Here, Master, I'll give you two some space. That's two you owe me now, Batty.
Osakabehime: I know, I know.
Osakabehime: ...I felt us syncing up earlier. You saw something, didn't you?
Fujimaru 1: I saw what life in Chaldea has been like for you.
Osakabehime: Then I shouldn't really need to say anything.
Fujimaru 2: I saw the same you I always do.
Osakabehime: ...That isn't who I always am.
Osakabehime: I could never live with myself if it was.
Osakabehime: Basically, I guess...
Osakabehime: I've been having a constant stream of visitors in my room lately.
Osakabehime: They're loud, and annoying, and exasperating...but I don't have the guts to tell them to leave.
Osakabehime: And even if I hole up on my own like this...
Osakabehime: ...it just doesn't feel like the amazing paradise it used to...
Osakabehime: I can't make up my mind how I feel. I don't make any sense.
Osakabehime: When I'm alone, I want company. When I have company, I want to be alone.
Osakabehime: Pretty selfish of me, huh.
Fujimaru 1: Is it...?
Osakabehime: Yes! It is!
Fujimaru 2: I wouldn't really call that selfish.
Osakabehime: Well it is!
Osakabehime: ...That said, this really isn't that big of a deal. Honestly.
Osakabehime: I just need to try a little harder.
Osakabehime: If I'm alone, I can just go hang out with someone. And if I'm with someone, I can just go be by myself.
Osakabehime: The only problem is, I can't find the courage to do that. I mean, how could I?
Osakabehime: The only one who inspires me to be brave like that is...well...
Fujimaru 1: Who?
Osakabehime: How can you be such a baka!? I'm talking about you, of course!
Fujimaru 2: Wait. You don't mean me, do you?
Osakabehime: You're really just starting to wakarunderstand!?
Osakabehime: Between last winter and this spring the frequency of you visiting me considerably dropped!
Osakabehime: This is a huge problem, Ma-chan! Now look me in the eyes and tell me the truth!
Osakabehime: Did you stop visiting because my kotatsu is too hot? Have I been getting in your way somehow?
Osakabehime: (Gyaaaaaah! What am I even saying!?)
Osakabehime: (Yabe! I can barely believe what I'm saying, and I'm the one saying it!)
Osakabehime: (Still, there is no arguing [♂ he /♀️ she} hasn't been coming to my room lately!)
Osakabehime: (Whatever [♂ he /♀️ she} tells me, I have to be ready to handle it!)
Osakabehime: (At least this isn't a normal Holy Grail War, so I shouldn't have to worry about getting fired!)
Osakabehime: (Although, I guess [♂ he /♀️ she} could force me to go into my spirit form... Iyaaaaa!)
Fujimaru 1: I didn't want to get in the way of your writing...
Osakabehime: ...Huh? What're you talking about?
Osakabehime: ... ...
Fujimaru 1: Is everything okay?
Fujimaru 2: Maybe you should take a little break...
Osakabehime: Sorry Ma-chan, but would you mind being shizuquiet for a bit!?
Osakabehime: Rrgh, none of this is working! I can't seem to get my thoughts in order!
Fujimaru 1: I, uh, I see.
Osakabehime: Done! It's all done!
Fujimaru 1: Congratulations!
Osakabehime: Now to ride this high and get started on my next book!
Fujimaru 1: Um...
Fujimaru 2: I'm just gonna get going, okay?
Osakabehime: (Humming happily)
Osakabehime: I... I... I...
Osakabehime: I was so focused on my books that I didn't even realize how much of a jerk I was being! I'm so soooooorry!
Kiyohime: ...Well? Is everything better now?
Osakabehime: If by “better” you mean “deeply hazukashii at how badly I treated Master and my completely dumb misreading of the situation”...
Osakabehime: ...then yes, I guess you could say things are better now.
Fujimaru 1: It's okay. I should have said something sooner.
Kiyohime: Ugh. You really need to stop coddling your Servants so much, Master.
Kiyohime: Still, it's obvious that you didn't do this out of malice, Batty.
Kiyohime: So if Master is willing to forgive you, I'll at least hold off on calling in Musashi.
Osakabehime: Okay, would you mind not just going from zero to nightmare scenario like it's no big deal!?
Osakabehime: Whenever Musashi shows up, she's always smiles and positive energy, and she absolutely destroys my entire gloomy shtick!
Osakabehime: But anyway...I'll go back now.
Osakabehime: As long as you're with me, Ma-chan, I can deal with just about anything.
Osakabehime: So, um...do you think you might be willing to come visit me again?
Fujimaru 1: Of course!
Narration: ...And so, my selfish attempt at running away–or running and hiding, in this case–ended just like that.
Narration: Once again, my room became a popular hangout spot...
Narration: ...but thanks to the little pipsque–Ms. Beni-Enma's advice, I decided to make a “Do Not Disturb” sign.
Narration: It turns out people here can be surprisingly respectful of each other's privacy.
Narration: Now, when I need to focus on my books without interruption or intrusion, I just put up the sign.
Narration: And if I feel like having company again, I just take it down and the place becomes lively in no time.
Narration: ... ...
Narration: ...Of course, I told Ma-chan [♂ he /♀️ she} can ignore that sign and come in whenever [♂ he /♀️ she} likes.
Narration: I don't usually notice [♂ him /♀️ her} coming in when I'm focused on my book...
Narration: ...but whenever I turn around and notice [♂ him /♀️ her} sitting nearby, just cheerfully reading manga...
Narration: ...it makes me feel both incredibly happy and incredibly apologetic all at once.
Narration: I'll probably need to come up with a name for this feeling someday...
Narration: ...but for now, I'm content keeping it tucked away inside my kokoro...
Osakabehime: All right, time to put up the “Do Not Disturb” sign and get to work on my–
Osakabehime: Gyaaaaaah! Did I just kick something soft!?
Low Blood Pressure Kunoichi: Zee zee zee... Zee zee zee...
Osakabehime: Are you really asleep? 'Cause you're just saying the letters in “zzz” instead of actually snoring!
Narration: ...Oh well. This sort of thing just comes with the territory now. And for the most part...I'm really enjoying my life here at Chaldea.