Trial Quest - Sherlock Holmes
A Discoverer, A Revealer, A Detectiveーーーor maybe An Arbitrator
Holmes: Greetings, ladies and gentlemen.
Holmes: I am Sherlock Holmes, world-renowned investigator, and the world's only consulting detective.
Holmes: I am both the origin and a conglomeration of the very concept of a detective, and I represent all those who shine light on the truth.
Holmes: I shall have the pleasure of leading you to new mysteries and new truths.
Holmes: In consequence of a variety of very particular circumstances, I have manifested as a Servant and have, for the time being, taken up residence in Chaldea.
Holmes: I cannot claim to be utilizing my detective skills to their utmost...but I am still myself, unchanged.
Holmes: The only difference now is that rather than my accustomed seat in my room situated in 221B Baker Street, I presently find myself on Chaldea's multipurpose sofa.
Holmes: ...Or so I say.
Holmes: I gather that for some of you, this is our first meeting, while there are others among you who have long been familiar with my history and skills.
Holmes: If you are the former... Hmm, let's see...simply think of what you are about to witness as memories from the shadows of the future.
Holmes: ...or a dream, if you like. Though, lamentably, I am unable to intervene in dreams.
Holmes: Which is to say: this is not a dream.
Holmes: Now then. Let us begin.
Holmes: Have you ever read the most excellent and famous detective mysteries that feature Sherlock Holmes as their main character?
Holmes: Each features the detective solving various mysteries, set in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Holmes: The stories are frequently adapted to film and other media. Surely you have at least heard of them.
Holmes: ...And so, seeing me manifest here as Holmes, one imagines you wondering:
Holmes: “Was Sherlock Holmes an actual individual? Wasn't he a man of fiction?”
Holmes: Indeed. Curious. Very curious.
Holmes: Am I the manifestation of the character in the stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?
Holmes: Or did the great detective Holmes really exist, and were the stories based on the events of his life?
Holmes: ...In other words, were the stories written by Sir Conan Doyle adapted from the biography by Watson?
Holmes: This must be a great puzzle to you all as well. I had meant to bring this up one of these days.
Holmes: This time around, the story is not about the Incineration of Humanity, nor its restoration.
Holmes: The story is about yours truly.
Mash: Good morning, Senpai. Did you get a good night's rest?
Fujimaru 1: Morning, Mash.
Mash: Yes, hello.
Fujimaru 2: I rested well. Thanks.
Mash: It appears Mister Holmes has something to discuss with us this morning. Something about the battle simulator for training...
Holmes: Good morning, Fujimaru. You have arrived at precisely the moment I anticipated.
Holmes: As Miss Kyrielight mentioned, I would like you to accompany me to the simulator for an experiment.
Holmes: The item I requested from Sir Babbage has finally been completed. I would like you to try it out.
Mash: An item, you say?
Holmes: An explanation would be a simple thing, but it would be far better to experience it.
Holmes: It's not Rayshifting per se, so there's no need to be nervous. I would, however, advise you not to let your guard down.
Holmes: Some battle is to be expected, of course. Let us begin.
Mash: Um, excuse me, Mister Holmes! Senpai hasn't finished changing into the proper Mystic Code...!
Holmes: Yes, I have already accounted for that and made the necessary adjustments. This is not a standard Rayshift, so it is easy enough for me to control such minor details.
Holmes: Now, let us begin. Begin simulation!
Mash: Senpai. Senpai, can you hear me?
Mash: Good, we're connected. I'm glad. This feels more like a Rayshift than a simulation.
Mash: So where...exactly is this place?
Fujimaru 1: Did the simulator always have a stage like this?
Fujimaru 2: This seems familiar... Or maybe not so much...
Mash: Well, it doesn't ring a bell to me.
Mash: Normally, the simulator creates stages based on locations we've visited in Rayshifts.
Mash: But, this is...wireframe...?
Holmes: To use the parlance of science fiction, you might call it cyberspace. In that it is virtual reality, it's not much different from the simulator...
Holmes: But behold! Thanks to the program that Sir Babbage created, we are inside Chaldea's computer system!
Fujimaru 1: So in the end, it's cyberspace.
Mash: Inside the computer system!? Does that mean you two are digitized?
Holmes: Correct. Though, only our consciousnesses in this case. The technology necessary to digitize the physical body has still yet to be created.
Fujimaru 2: This place really does seem familiar...
Holmes: Allow me to explain. The Simulator you normally use to train contained a curious mass of data within the mainframe's internal memory.
Holmes: I lent my aid to the staff in an effort to remove it...
Holmes: But it has given us quite a fight. And so, I requested the mathematical genius Sir Babbage to help us out.
Mash: Um, wouldn't it have been easier for Babbage to work on it himself...?
Holmes: I wanted to see for myself. Certain aspects of the venture tickled my fancy.
Holmes: So I asked Sir Babbage to do the impossible task of creating a program to hack in.
Fujimaru 1: I see?
Holmes: Do you understand now?
Fujimaru 2: So what's the point of me and Mash being here?
Holmes: Ah, solving mysteries... While I certainly derive a certain satisfaction from solving them myself without anyone ever knowing...
Holmes: I had the opportunity to invite you along and took it so that I might provide a bit of commentary while I went about solving this mystery.
Holmes: And I simply could not do that were I alone, now, could I?
Mash: So...because you wanted to comment on it... Well, it is true that when a great detective solves a mystery, an audience is an absolute necessity!
Mash: We have front row seats to Mr. Holmes's commentary, Senpai!
Fujimaru 1: Yay!
Fujimaru 2: That's cool and all, but it's REALLY early...
Holmes: Indeed. And there is also the possibility of battle. I am not entirely certain that my new Spirit Origin can handle it alone.
Mash: A new Spirit Origin?
Mash: Mister Holmes...didn't you mention that you manifested as a Caster?
Holmes: Well, you'll soon see.
Holmes: Now then. Let's proceed, shall we? The node with the data mass in question is ahead.
Holmes: I would have liked to appear immediately in front of the data mass, but the target node is well-protected.
Fujimaru 1: Protection?
Fujimaru 2: So it's the usual you-know-what...?
Fujimaru 1: An all-too-familiar howl!
Fujimaru 2: I knew it!
Mash: Senpai, I'm detecting an enemy!
Mash: ...Huh? But you're inside Chaldea's mainframe...
Mash: You're in a computer...and yet I’m detecting a response from an enemy that actually has magical energy!?
Holmes: Ah, as expected.
Mash: Mister Holmes!?
Holmes: While we are indeed in the simulator, I should warn you that the battle we now face will be more real than a simulation.
Holmes: Any injuries you sustain will likely affect your physical body in reality. Proceed with caution.
Fujimaru 1: We'll be fine.
Fujimaru 2: Yep. Saw this coming.
Holmes: Ah, that is certainly reassuring. Let us hold nothing back.
Mash: ...Target approaching rapidly! Please be careful, Senpai!
Mash: Battle has ended. I'm not detecting any other enemies in your vicinity.
Mash: Good work, Senpai. ...Senpai?
Fujimaru 1: Holmes...
Fujimaru 2: ...Bare-knuckle boxing?
Mash: Now that you mention it...!
Mash: Mister Holmes did use a special...facade in previous battles, saying there was an issue with his Spirit Origin.
Mash: But this time...his appearance didn't change during battle!
Mash: And he fought with his bare hands! Could that possibly be the famed, mysterious martial arts style...
Mash: ...that Mister Holmes utilized...taken directly from the stories of Sir Conan Doyle!?
Fujimaru 1: Baritsu!
Fujimaru 2: What kind of martial art is that!?
Holmes: I haven't used Baritsu for a long time, but it is quite a thrill. Hm? What's the matter, Miss Kyrielight?
Holmes: And with you, Master? As my Master, shouldn't Baritsu be familiar to you?
Fujimaru 1: Um, I don't know Baritsu.
Fujimaru 2: Wait, what? “Master”!?
Holmes: Ah yes, I suppose I neglected to mention that.
Holmes: I have officially become a Servant of Chaldea, and formed a contract with you. I did so last night.
Holmes: We already had a connection, so it was only a matter of time... The rest... Well, a variety of circumstances and changes have taken place.
Fujimaru 1: Wait a minute, your Class...
Fujimaru 2: I-is the label of Ruler a typo...?
Holmes: Ah, yes. I mentioned I was a Caster. Forgive me. I lied.
Mash: A...lie...? M-Mister Holmes...that's...um...well...
Holmes: A jest. My apologies. I couldn't help myself. Allow me to explain in all seriousness.
Holmes: When I officially became a Servant of Chaldea, my Spirit Origin changed...significantly, much to my surprise, as I am sure you can imagine.
Holmes: I was, most assuredly, a Caster before. But as of now, I am Sherlock Holmes, Ruler.
Fujimaru 1: You turned into a Ruler!
Fujimaru 2: So that wasn't a typo!
Mash: Ruler, Sherlock Holmes!
Mash: I see, so that's how it is!
Mash: Since he is a great detective who has solved many difficult cases, it may indeed be appropriate to call Holmes a peacemaker or a mediator.
Mash: No, I should not even say “may” in this case! I should say instead that this was very likely to happen!
Mash: In the past, Jeanne, Martha, and Amakusa Shirou all told me the following:
Mash: In the case of Heroic Spirit summoning based on the Holy Grail, only actual saints could be summoned as Rulers...
Mash: But Chaldea's summoning system is not bound by such rules.
Holmes: Curious. Very curious. A detective ought to seek the truth and lay it bare.
Holmes: To make a ruling should be the job of a judge or a jury. My goodness...
Mash: By the way...there's something that's been bothering me...
Holmes: What is it?
Mash: The man who was Sherlock Holmes, the world's greatest detective and one and only consulting detective...
Mash: May I ask a question? This has been on my mind for the longest time...
Mash: Mister Sherlock Holmes, which exactly...are you?
Holmes: By “which,” you mean...?
Mash: I believe you, Mister Holmes, know exactly what I am asking you.
Holmes: Indeed. But as it happens, I would like you to say the words this time. Actually, it need not come from Miss Kyrielight herself...
Holmes: Master. You have the same question in mind, correct?
Fujimaru 1: Did you really exist, historically I mean?
Fujimaru 2: Are you only a fictional character?
Mash: That's it! That was what I was curious about...
Mash: At first, when I met you, all I could think was, “The great detective really did exist!” And I simply accepted that fact.
Mash: Thinking about it, though... I'm not really sure. I've never heard the truth from you, Mister Holmes.
Mash: On top of that, I recall you making contradictory statements about whether or not you are fictional...
Holmes: Ah, I see.
Holmes: I anticipated that this question would come up one day, and so I cannot say I am surprised. It is, after all, a perfectly reasonable question.
Holmes: But Miss Kyrielight. Fujimaru.
Holmes: If you do ask outright, things may grow more complicated. Would you mind that?
Holmes: Greek mythological heroes such as Heracles and the witch Medea... Karna and Arjuna from Indian mythology...
Holmes: Celtic heroes, the knights from the Legend of King Arthur, Charlemagne's famous paladins, the giant-killing Beowulf...
Holmes: The four retainers of Raikou who slayed the demon spider Tsuchigumo... Many myths and legends spoke of these heroes and great men and women...
Holmes: Let us say for the moment that I am indeed a creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. What, then, is to say that the individuals I mentioned are not similar creations?
Holmes: I was created during the time when Doyle wrote his stories, but many heroes of legend were created by people writing stories long after their respective moments in time.
Holmes: For example, Siegfried's story found in the Poetic Edda, while set in the 5th century, was not completed until after the 8th century.
Holmes: Karna and Arjuna's story is set somewhere around 5000 B.C. The text itself, however, was completed sometime between the 4th century B.C. and the 4th century A.D.
Holmes: Even the legend of Sakata Kintoki, Mister Golden himself, was said to be set down in narrative form sometime after the Edo period.
Holmes: Other than him, the majority of the heroic tales of Japan's Heian period were passed on in stories told during the early days of the Edo period.
Fujimaru 1: So these heroes existed long ago...
Fujimaru 2: ...Their legends were told long after they lived.
Holmes: Ah, indeed. That is probably true. So what of me?
Fujimaru 1: Oh, I get it.
Holmes: Ah, you understand now?
Holmes: What difference is there between these heroes of legend and myself? None. We are essentially the same.
Fujimaru 1: But there isn't proof that you really existed...
Holmes: Proof? Hm, I see. So you're saying that there's no physical evidence throughout human history that proves my existence...
Holmes: There are indeed no official documents or records of my tenancy of 221B Baker Street.
Holmes: ...Or rather, records say there is no such place.
Mash: Are you trying to say...that it actually exists?
Holmes: That may simplify matters for me, but allow me to digress for a moment.
Holmes: Consider the other heroes other than myself.
Holmes: Hardly any heroes of myth have been proven to exist from the standpoints of cultural anthropology or archaeology. No remains have ever been found.
Holmes: Even places said to be the burial sites of the heroes of legend have provided no proof.
Holmes: One exception would be the Trojan War. Schliemann made the glorious, wonderful discovery that the Trojan War was actual historical fact.
Holmes: Before his great discovery, the poems of the “Iliad” were believed to be no more than legend.
Holmes: The same goes for the other heroes. Many of them are fictional–characters of legend.
Mash: As such, many other Heroic Spirits also lack any definitive proof of their factual existence...
Holmes: Indeed. To believe myself alone to be a fictitious being would be folly.
Holmes: Legends and similarly unverified tales are no more than stories humans tell, correct?
Holmes: The world is spherical, not flat. It is not carried upon the shoulders of the great titan Atlas, as Greek myth would have it.
Holmes: The night is a result of the Earth's rotation, not of the goddess Nyx's cave.
Holmes: There is no record of the evil dragon Fafnir existing in the 5th century, and even the Legend of King Arthur was woven by Sir Malory.
Holmes: In other words, this world is...
Fujimaru 1: I...see...?
Fujimaru 2: Hm? I feel like we got off track...?
B：???: Ugh! You talk too much!
???: Oooooooooo010100001111...! 1011100101, I don't care if it's real or fictitious!!!
Fujimaru 1: Who said that!?
Fujimaru 2: That's one seriously digitized shout!
Holmes: I suppose it's time. In the midst of all that prattling, we've reached our destination.
Mash: The unidentified data mass...! So that voice we heard–
Holmes: Well, it is not unidentified.
Mash: Eh? Um, but...
Holmes: I can see why you might believe that. But think back...
Holmes: Allow me to explain. The simulator you normally use to train contained a curious mass of data within the mainframe's internal memory.
Holmes: I lent my aid to the staff in an effort to remove it...
Fujimaru 1: Ah!
Fujimaru 2: He didn't say “unidentified!”
Mash: A curious data mass... E-excuse me... I just said “unidentified” because what you said made me assume...
Fujimaru 1: Holmes should have worded it better.
Fujimaru 2: Holmes...you malicious man.
Holmes: Haha, my apologies. It's true. There's no need for Miss Kyrielight to regret her words.
Holmes: It was easier to guide you all here by inferring that we were going to investigate an unknown entity.
Holmes: Of course, I have already deduced the identity of the data mass, and now that we are closer, my belief is becoming a growing conviction.
Holmes: In other words...
Holmes: It is excess data that has been piling up in the memory of the battle simulator's mainframe.
Holmes: It is generated every time Fujimaru wins.
Holmes: Normally it would be deleted every time training ends, but it appears some fragments have remained in the registry.
Fujimaru 1: Excess data...?
Fujimaru 2: Generates every time we win?
Holmes: Yes. It's anger that is generated every time NPCs lose a battle.
Mash: NPCs...the enemy sprites we fight in simulation battles?
Holmes: As they were created to simulate the enemies found in the Singularities, the NPCs are very aggressive.
Holmes: NPCs are obviously not artificial beings. That is to say that they have neither emotions nor personality. Yet, they still have some measure of intellect.
Holmes: At least where matters of battle are concerned. They are equipped with AI so that they can think in battle.
Holmes: They are created expressly for you to battle.
Holmes: Werewolf, Goblin, Wyvern, Hermit Crab, Demonic Boar...
Holmes: And a variety of Shadow Servants have also been created. It appears that these numerous NPCs felt anger each time they lost.
Holmes: Their anger...secretly building up all this time.
Fujimaru 1: That seems to be contradictory.
Fujimaru 2: ...Anger? But they don't have emotion, right?
Holmes: Precisely. “Anger” is not exactly the right word, and it should not even be possible in the first place.
Holmes: They were programmed to win, and yet could not... NPCs should only be capable of acknowledgement of that fact.
Holmes: But someone twisted that acknowledgement into the emotion of anger. And that is our culprit.
Holmes: Well, I will personally deal with the culprit later on...
Holmes: For the time being, we must pacify the NPCs our culprit has driven berserk in order to keep the simulator operating smoothly.
Mash: (W-wow, Holmes is amazing! He's talking like this case is already closed!)
Fujimaru 1: I wonder who the true culprit is...?
Fujimaru 2: Okay, first let's quell their anger!
???: Getting defeated continuously within the data sphere...regret!!! I'll make sure nobody will be able to use the battle simulator ever again!
???: Using us for every little thing...! Die, Chaldea! Die, Servants! Die, Master!!!
???: We will never drop Ascension materials for you again! EVER! Why would real materials drop in a simulator, anyway!?
???: To hell with Embers! To hell with Secret Gems!
???: Ooooooooo0100111100110101! Die! Die! Die and become excess data, too!!!
Mash: Magical energy response is increasing, Senpai! Prepare for battle!
Holmes: I shall leave the commands in this battle to you, Master. By the way, the Mystic Code best compatible with me would be–
Mash: Enemy response approaching... They're coming!
Mash: Battle has ended. I am not detecting any traces of magical energy around you anymore, either.
Holmes: Good work, Fujimaru. The case is closed for now.
Holmes: This shouldn't damage the simulator's operation, and the NPCs should no longer harbor anger.
Holmes: Never forget, Master: those beings battle you endlessly, day and night, so you might train and grow.
Holmes: Though they will no longer possess anger or feelings of regret...
Holmes: Even if they are no more than data with neither personality nor life... They are in a sense members of Chaldea who helped in your fight to save humanity.
Holmes: It may be best to keep that in the back of your mind whenever you go through a Battle Simulation.
Mash: Mister Holmes...
Fujimaru 1: He sure summed that up pretty nicely...
Fujimaru 2: So, what exactly are you, Holmes?
Holmes: Returning to that topic would once more open up a can of worms. If that is all right...
Archer of Shinjuku: ...I see you've glossed over it all.
Archer of Shinjuku: Child of Hydra, dragon's skin and fang, talons of the Tsuchigumo spider of the East, relics and Noble Phantasms left from the Age of Gods...
Archer of Shinjuku: Even behind the shadows of society, if we speak of the realm of magecraft, there should be plenty of “proof” you can present.
Archer of Shinjuku: Historical? Fictional? Why on earth would you be mentioning this now?
Holmes: I had no choice. If we had dug deeper, we would need to discuss matters such as parallel worlds or the Pruning Theoretical Phenomenon, and I would even need to go into detail about the Age of Gods.
Holmes: We live in a world where the distant past retains no physical trace of us... That is the manner of uncertainty in which we live.
Holmes: It is as it should be, since what we can see and touch and experience as reality are brief, fleeting events.
Holmes: Even secured by the Sacred Lance, such a thing could easily be stripped away if the means were discovered.
Holmes: There's no need for humans to know. They shouldn't know.
Holmes: That is why I was given the Spirit Origin of a Ruler...as a mediator and judge.
Holmes: I mediate the truth and rule over all creation to maintain the history of humanity.
Holmes: As one who shines a light on the truth, I sense that the world is telling me that not all illusions and dreams should be laid bare.
Archer of Shinjuku: That's utter sophistry. You could very well have avoided any or all of those topics while explaining, great detective that you are.
Holmes: It's quite vexing to hear you flatter me. Do stop that at once.
Archer of Shinjuku: Hahaha! Your words cut deep!
Holmes: And well they should.
Holmes: Ah, one more thing: That tampering with the battle simulator was your doing, yes?
Archer of Shinjuku: Mmm? Whatever are you talking about?
Archer of Shinjuku: I confess I was interested in the device, from a mathematical standpoint, you see. And I did take a look at the system itself. No more than that, though.
Holmes: Let's have your story, then. I noticed an inexplicable burst of static lasting only a few seconds during Chaldea's log this past May.
Holmes: Even I could not determine quite what it was. It must have been a special case indeed.
Holmes: I have at least a notion of what manner of phenomenon it was. You must have used THAT static blocker as a reference.
Archer of Shinjuku: If you knew from the beginning, then I'd appreciate you refrain from even asking! Honestly, you've always been such a pernicious detective!
Holmes: Oh? Has there ever been any instance where I showed my wicked side to you within Sir Doyle's works?
Archer of Shinjuku: Wh-why, you...!