Cosmos in the Lostbelt 2: Gotterdammerung/Story

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Anastasia
Cosmos in the Lostbelt: Eternal Frozen Fire Century, Götterdämmerung
SIN

Event Götterdämmerung Release Campaign EN.png

intro.2-1

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???
“...I repeat: I am a mage from Proper Human History. Please come find me at the following coordinates...”

???
“This is Baldanders, the Wandering Sea.”

Goredolf
Wandering Sea... Wandering Sea...!?
THE Wandering Sea!?

Goredolf
That's one of the three great organizations of the magecraft world...! There's the Clock Tower in London, the Atlas Institute in Egypt...

Goredolf
...and the oldest of them all, the Wandering Sea...! It was located on an island from the Age of Gods, hidden in the northern oceans...!

Goredolf
Does this mean...it still exists!?

Meunière
Atmospheric analysis complete. Nitrogen, oxygen,
argon, and carbon dioxide levels, all green.

Meunière
The mana in the atmosphere is almost identical to levels in the twenty-first century. I'm not picking up any harmful trace substances either.

Goredolf
Hmm. So we still have breathable air,
even in this creepy, bleached world...

Goredolf
Well, that means we can park the Shadow Border and go have a look for ourselves.

Goredolf
What do you think, Fujimaru? Doesn't that sound intriguing, stepping out into a world of sheer nothing in every direction?

Goredolf
Hahaha, of course it does! First we'll go out and get some fresh air, then we'll look for food–

  1. I am kind of interested, but...
  2. You still haven't told me what the Wandering Sea actually is...
  Select: I am kind of interested, but...

  Select: You still haven't told me what the Wandering Sea actually is...

===Branch End===

Goredolf
...(Cryptic silence)

Goredolf
...(Empty smile)

  1. ...You don't know either, do you?
 
  Select: ...You don't know either, do you?

===Branch End===

Goredolf
O-o-of course I do, you dolt! Goredolf Musik is not a man to pretend to know something he doesn't!

Goredolf
The Mage's Association isn't a monolith,
I'll have you know!

Goredolf
Just because I used to work at the Clock Tower doesn't mean I've ever been to the supposedly living Wandering Sea in the North Sea!

Meunière
Oh, so you've only heard rumors? I thought you were from some big, important family, old man!

Goredolf
Don't you call me that, Double-Chin!
If I must spell it out for you, then here it is:

Goredolf
The Wandering Sea of Baldanders is the first enigma ever discovered in the world of magecraft, and it will be the last to be puzzled out.

Goredolf
It's an island so mysterious and full of Mystics that even such a gifted mage of an incredibly prestigious bloodline as myself may not even set foot on it!

Mash
It's true.
That all fits with what's in Chaldea's database.

Mash
It says that though the Mage's Association has been around since the start of the A.D. era, it also split into three branches shortly after its inception.

Mash
The mages who settled in London evolved with the times, and focused on developing magecraft over the course of history.

Mash
That faction went on to become the Clock Tower, the largest and most powerful magecraft organization in the world.

Mash
Its members include the Animusphere family–the founders of Chaldea–and Mr. Goredolf here.

Goredolf
Quite so. Here in the twenty-first century, the Mage's Association and the Clock Tower are all but synonymous.

Mash
The next major faction is the Atlas Institute in Egypt. They're dedicated to perfecting alchemy.

Mash
We actually infiltrated their headquarters once,
during the Sixth Singularity.

Mash
It was a huge research complex, almost like a giant crypt, built deep underground. And as easy as it was to get in, it was hard to get out.

Mash
The Atlas Institute's ironclad rule is that the technology created there must never leave...

Mash
...but Chaldea's first director was granted an exemption, thanks to the Atlas Contract.

Mash
The technology he was able to take from the Atlas Institute enabled him to complete Chaldeas.

Mash
It was also the Atlas Institute that presented him with the Void-Reality Observation Device, Paper Moon–one of the finest Mystic Codes ever made.

Goredolf
Indeed. They seldom poke their noses out of their little hole in the ground, but I am told they do converse with Lords, albeit as little as possible.

Goredolf
They may be a heartless bunch who only care about weapons and technology, but they can be rather useful if you play your cards right.

Mash
And finally, the last faction is the Wandering Sea, the Baldanders, said to be somewhere in the North Sea.

Mash
However, the most I could find about them was a brief overview, even in Chaldea's extensive files.

Mash
It said that their cardinal rule is to only recognize magecraft from the Age of Gods, and refuse to accept any advancements or alterations urged by civilization.

Mash
In essence, their ideology is the exact opposite of the Clock Tower's.

Holmes
Indeed. Refusing to accept progress in magecraft means refusing to accept consumer civilization.

Holmes
The Wandering Sea's philosophy of magecraft is fundamentally incompatible with modern human society.

Holmes
That is why they keep their gates firmly shut,
and why they seldom add to their number...

Goredolf
Hmph. In other words, they're a bunch of old fuddy-duddies obsessed with magecraft so ancient it has to be measured with carbon dating.

Goredolf
That said, they do open their gates just once every year to try and recruit promising new talent...

Goredolf
...but even among mages of the Clock Tower, the number who actually make it to the Wandering Sea can be counted on one hand.

Goredolf
Do you see my point? I'm saying the Wandering Sea is every bit as secretive as the Atlas Institute, just in a different way.

Goredolf
No one from the outside has ever been able to get the full story. The reason being–

Holmes
As the name suggests,
the Wandering Sea is always on the move.

Holmes
Most who know of it believe it to be a floating island somewhere in the North Sea, but it is, in fact, the very opposite.

Holmes
The Wandering Sea's headquarters were built before the A.D. era began, and they never move at all. It is instead the sea in which they are located that moves around. A world unto itself in many ways...

Holmes
That is almost certainly why its location still remains a secret even in the twenty-first century.

Holmes
Land that moves around while placing Mystic textures on itself... I see. That would make it its own independent Singularity.

Holmes
It would also explain how it was able to escape whatever turned the earth's surface into an endless white desert.

Goredolf
Hmph! All this time they've been turning their noses up at us, but the moment things go south, they don't have any issue sending us a distress signal!

Goredolf
Some successors to “true” Mystics they turned out to be! They should try taking a page from our book!

Goredolf
We're the ones who made it through Russia by the skin of our teeth, with no outside help! WE'RE the ones who are currently flailing about with no plan!

Meunière
At least you understand that the situation is still pretty dire, I guess...

Mash
...Given the present circumstances, it looks like the people of the Wandering Sea have decided to bend their rules in order to offer us a lifeboat...

Goredolf
At any rate! H-hmm... Administrative Advisor Holmes!
I have a question for you!

Goredolf
I would like to be as certain as possible. What do you make of this? Can we trust that their distress signal is genuine?

Holmes
I'm afraid I can't speak to that.
What do you think, Da Vinci?

Da Vinci
Could go either way from the look of it. This transmission isn't part of the Clock Tower's standards, but its wavelength is pretty close to the waveforms the Atlas Institute uses.

Da Vinci
Since we don't have any data about the Wandering Sea ourselves, I can't really give you a definitive answer.

Da Vinci
Still, I can verify that there's definitely something to be found at these coordinates.

Da Vinci
Whatever their story is, if there's a magecraft workshop there, I'd really like to at least check it out.

Da Vinci
I know we managed to stretch things with the materials we got in Russia, but there are still limits to what the Shadow Border can do.

Da Vinci
What I really want to do is retune the whole frame from scratch, but I doubt we'll be finding much in the way of materials considering the entire world seems to be an empty wasteland.

Holmes
Hmm. These coordinates from the Wandering Sea would put it in...the seas west of Norway.

Holmes
We could go through the Scandinavian Peninsula,
or turn north at Germany and cut across Denmark.

Holmes
We just left Moscow heading west, so it will take us a few days to reach them regardless of our route.

Holmes
Assuming that the Border can convert the mana in the atmosphere into electricity, that just leaves the question of food.

  1. What if we go to the Wandering Sea via Zero Sail?
  2. Can't we just, you know, pop over there?
  Select: What if we go to the Wandering Sea via Zero Sail?

  Select: Can't we just, you know, pop over there?

===Branch End===

Da Vinci
Uh-uh. No Zero Sails.
As technical advisor, I expressly forbid it.

Da Vinci
Even if we are going to run into another one of those storm walls along the way, we need to stick to the surface as much as possible.

Goredolf
But why!? And did you just say there are more of those storm walls!?

Goredolf
Explain yourself, Technical Advisor!

Goredolf
If there's another storm wall in our path, doesn't that mean running straight into another Lostbelt!?

Da Vinci
We don't have any other choice, Goredolf.
Not with the two big problems we're facing...

Da Vinci
First, there's the small matter of the Wandering Sea living up to its name. These coordinates they sent us are all over the place.

Da Vinci
...Literally, in fact. They're in a constant state of flux–nothing definite or precise.

Da Vinci
With coordinates like these, it would be very risky to try Zero Sailing there with the Paper Moon.

Da Vinci
So until and unless we go to the Wandering Sea directly and forge some kind of connection to it, a long distance Zero Sail is out of the question.

Da Vinci
Second–and this is the real problem–we don't have the energy.

Da Vinci
Yes, Holmes oh so helpfully suggested converting mana into electricity as if it were a simple matter, but that can only get us so far.

Da Vinci
The conversion rate isn't efficient enough, so we'd end up spending more power than we can produce, which would make a long Zero Sail trip fatal.

Da Vinci
After all, no more power means no more working life-support systems. And I don't know about you guys, but I sure don't want to be out in this bleached white world all by myself.

Meunière
Good point... The logic walls we have to put up in Void Space do use a lot of power...

Meunière
At our current energy levels, I don't think the Border could last two hours there. And like Da Vinci said, we don't even have the exact coordinates we need.

Goredolf
G-grr...!

Goredolf
So what? Are you saying we need to enter another Lostbelt if we're going to reach this possible hope for salvation!?

Goredolf
Where is this new Lostbelt, anyway!?

Da Vinci
If we use a typical world map, then the entire Scandinavian Peninsula is covered by one of these storm walls.

Da Vinci
Another half a day or so of driving...and you should all get to see the closest thing to the edge of the world for yourselves.

Holmes
...I take that to mean this white, featureless ground will continue until we exit Russian territory then.

Holmes
At any rate, we have two possible routes to the Wandering Sea's designated coordinates:

Holmes
One that takes us across the Scandinavian Peninsula, and one that brings us out to sea via Poland and Germany.

Holmes
Da Vinci, in your estimation, which of these gives us our best chance? Should we go by land, or by sea?

Da Vinci
I think making a sea voyage would be a lot to ask of the Border. We could perhaps get through the Strait of Dover...

Da Vinci
...but to be honest, I'd rather we keep our distance from the British Isles, since we have no idea about the state of the oceans just now.

Da Vinci
So what I'm saying is, I think the overland route is the best choice right now.

Holmes
Good grief. No sooner are we done with one Lostbelt than we're off to a second.
Your thoughts, {(M) Mr. /(F) Ms.} Fujimaru?

  1. ...Honestly, that's a scary thought.
  2. Um...are there any other regions we could cross?
  Select: ...Honestly, that's a scary thought.
Holmes
Indeed, I heartily concur.
But I promise you will have our full support.
Holmes
To be afraid in a situation such as this is the mark of sanity. Let us just leave it at that.

  Select: Um...are there any other regions we could cross?
Goredolf
An excellent question! I want to know what's going on in the rest of the world, too! What about Europe, for instance!?
Da Vinci
The Scandinavian Peninsula is the only place with a storm wall. I'm not seeing anything on the Greek side whatsoever.
Da Vinci
Also...I didn't mention this before because I didn't want to upset you, but I'm not seeing anything from England at all.
Da Vinci
We need more powerful observation equipment than what the Shadow Border's got to see what's happening with the British Isles.

===Branch End===

Goredolf
Grr, so you're set on having us cross the Scandinavian Peninsula then, aren't you, Da Vinci!?

Goredolf
All right, we've come this far after leaving Moscow, so at the Border's current speed...

Goredolf
...we should reach the peninsula in about two days! Very well then! Use that time to make sure we're fully prepared!

Goredolf
Meunière! If we run into anything we could use to shore up our defenses along the way, take that opportunity to stop the Border and ensure everything is in good working order!

Goredolf
Da Vinci, you look after the little Demi-Servant girl. I can't have her falling down on the job!

Goredolf
Holmes, come with me!
We're going to the solitary confinement chamber!

Mash
Solitary confinement...
Mr. Goredolf, does that mean–

Goredolf
Of course. I'm going there to interrogate Kadoc.
He should be waking up anytime now.

Goredolf
It's time for me to put my brilliant
"questioning" skills to use!

Goredolf
When I'm through with him, he'll have told us what the Crypters are, what Wodime is planning...everything! Mark my words!

  1. I'm coming too.
  2. ...
  Select: I'm coming too.
Goredolf
Hmph. Don't you look at me like that.
Goredolf
You need the right people for the right job. I admit I may not be the best fit for interrogation, but you? Even less so.
Goredolf
Don't you worry. Kadoc may be something of a twisted little brat, but he's still a growing boy. Merely tempt him with food and he'll be putty in my hands!
Goredolf
Trust me! One whiff of my creamy carbonara will turn his complexion from sour milk to sunflowers in an instant!

  Select: ...
Goredolf
Oh, yes, of course. I almost forgot to give you orders as well. Me, of all people!
Goredolf
If you've got nothing better to do, then go help Meunière with his work. Or just go up on the deck and take a look around if you like.

===Branch End===

Holmes
Worry not, {(M) Mr. /(F) Ms.} Fujimaru. I'll see to it that the interrogation doesn't devolve into violence.

Holmes
...In fact,
I have my own questions I wish to ask him.

Holmes
I have a fairly good idea of the Crypters' goal now, and I also believe I know the extent of Kadoc Zemlupus's personal knowledge.

Holmes
However, there are still two important things I know little about: the Tree of Emptiness, and that Sirius Light Command Spell of his.

Holmes
Granted, the latter is something Kadoc merely mentioned once, and may not be that impor–

Goredolf
A-an emergency alert!? What's this all about!?
I thought there weren't supposed to be any more Oprichniki!

Da Vinci
We're not out of the Russian woods yet!
Something's approaching us at high speed!

Da Vinci
It's closing in on our port side at over ninety kilometers per hour!

Da Vinci
Come on, Meunière!
Floor it before it catches up to us!

Meunière
I can't! We're just about to go uphill!
The Border can't go any faster!

Da Vinci
Oh crap, I'm picking up a heat signature too!
It's...an RPG!

Da Vinci
Impact in three, two–

Goredolf
I felt that!
Please tell me that wasn't a direct hit, Da Vinci!

Goredolf
Damage report! Is the engine intact? Are we going to have to bail in the middle of this race!?

Holmes
I'm sure the damage is negligible, and our armor still perfectly intact. We shouldn't need to do more than wipe off the scorch mark.

Holmes
The Shadow Border's armor is a composite of cutting-edge technology and magecraft theory. Normal weapons can't even scratch it.

Meunière
That's not what I'm seeing, Holmes! That blast took out one of our armor plates! Another hit like that, and we'll be in deep shit!

Holmes
Huh? Really?

  1. Some great detective you are!
  2. Hoooooolmes!
  Select: Some great detective you are!

  Select: Hoooooolmes!

===Branch End===

Goredolf
Then, that means...
I-I remember now!

Goredolf
This is the same sort of explosion I felt way back–er, two weeks ago, when I was just a hapless, albeit handsome, man being shot at with an anti-materiel rifle!

Goredolf
This can only mean that Koyanskaya is back to finish the job! I-it really might be curtains this time!

Fou
Fou, fooou!

Meunière
Spare us the trip down memory lane, old man!
Come on, Holmes! Do something!

Holmes
Right! My apologies; I'm not used to eating crow.

Holmes
Evacuate all staff in the port-side hallway to the engine room immediately. Ms. Kyrielight and I will go and deal with this attack.

Holmes
On that note, Ms. Kyrielight, I would like you to put up a magical energy barrier in the internal hallway, so as to fend off a possible second round.

Holmes
I trust you're all right with that, Fujimaru?

  1. I am. Go for it, Mash!
  2. I'm coming with
  Select: I am. Go for it, Mash!
Mash
Don't worry, Senpai. I won't let them put one more scratch on the Border!

  Select: I'm coming with
Goredolf
Oh no you don't! You stay right here! We can't have everyone running off and leaving the Command Room!

===Branch End===

Meunière
The hostile entity should reach the Border in fifty meters! Putting up visual now!

Goredolf
Grr, they must think they're hot stuff. Their vehicle must have impressive suspension if they're heading straight at us, though...

Goredolf
I didn't think Russia had any race cars like that around!

Goredolf
All right, where are you, you little leftover Oprichnik? Let's see what you look li–What the ACTUAL HELL!?

Mash
That's not a vehicle! It's a person!

Mash
Someone is approaching on foot!
Wait... That silhouette...!

Holmes
Clergy vestments and a Lostbelt Servant reading... It's that priest! The one who calls himself Metropolitan Macarius...!

Inner Monologue
...I woke up when I thought I heard a voice calling me. It was a cold, almost brittle kind of voice.

Inner Monologue
Where...am I?
I guess this means I'm still alive...

Kadoc
...!

Inner Monologue
There's a dull ache in the back of my head where I got pistol-whipped. He sure wasn't playing around.

Kadoc
...Goddamn cowboy. Shouldn't outlaws be cool and laid-back and all that?

Kadoc
...This shaking... Am I in a vehicle?
This must be the Shadow Border...

Inner Monologue
I try to assess the circumstances as best I can in this dimly lit place. Looks like they took me prisoner.

Inner Monologue
They'd bound my hands, but now I can move around freely. The anti-magecraft cuffs they must have used on me are lying in pieces on the floor.

Inner Monologue
...Did I break them unconsciously, while I was out?
No, I couldn't have. I know I'm not capable of that.

Kadoc
...Why are the cuffs so damn cold?
Did something freeze them enough to turn them brittle?

Inner Monologue
Or maybe it's her farewell gift to me... Ugh.
That the thought even entered my mind makes me sick.

Inner Monologue
I don't have time to get all sentimental.
Now that I've failed, I don't have the right.

Kadoc
...'Course, that doesn't mean I'm going to waste this opportunity. If I'm gonna make a getaway...

Inner Monologue
Is someone attacking the Shadow Border from the outside...? But, the only ones who would do that are the Crypters...

Kadoc
Does that mean someone's here to rescue me?
...No. There's no chance of that.

Inner Monologue
They're here to shut me up. There's no other reason anyone would waste their time on a loser like me.

Inner Monologue
All right, I can't just sit around and wait for them to kill me.

Inner Monologue
First off, I've gotta find a way out of here.
After that, who knows?

Inner Monologue
Escaping's all I can hope for now. Once that's done, I'll just have to see where the winds take me.

Goredolf
Dammit, there goes another one!
What's the situation!?

Meunière
Mash raised her shield just in time!
That one barely did anything! Way to go, Mash!

Fou
Fou, fou!

Meunière
The hostile Servant is still in pursuit on the Border's port side!

Meunière
Wait, is he about to fire again!?
How many rounds did he even bring with him!?

Goredolf
Grr, I just noticed the NFF Services marking on that thing! It must be one of Koyanskaya's weapons!

Goredolf
No wonder it was able to damage the magecraft armor!

Goredolf
That said...heh, it looks like that priest is all sermon and no rod. Like pearls before swine, so too gold before Musik, I suppose?

Goredolf
The only one who could properly handle a modern magecraft weapon like that is Koyanskaya hersel–

Da Vinci
Wait, what!? The hatch is open!
Why is the hatch open!?

Da Vinci
Goredolf, quick!
Check the internal surveillance cameras!

Da Vinci
I think someone opened the Border's hatch and got outside!

  1. ...!
  2. There's someone on the starboard ramp...!
  Select: ...!

  Select: There's someone on the starboard ramp...!

===Branch End===

Goredolf
What!? That can't be right! You expect me to believe someone is hanging off the side like this is some kind of action mov–

Goredolf
Wait! That's Kadoc Zemlupus! Just how many adventure-crazed nuts are there around here!?

Da Vinci
I thought there was something on us!
The signal's headed toward the deck now!

Goredolf
Grr, so he's trying to take advantage of the confusion to escape, eh!? Come on, Fujimaru!

Goredolf
We're taking that hatch and going up there too!

Goredolf
Do not let Kadoc get away! I have a mountain of questions I still need to ask him!

  1. Right...!
 
  Select: Right...!

===Branch End===

Kadoc
...Tch. You, huh. Figures you'd show up.

Kadoc
You're looking a little less dazed now. Glad to see you're back to your usual happy-go-lucky nonsense.

  1. Looks like you're back up and at 'em, too.
  2. ...Yeah. Patxi snapped me out of it.
  Select: Looks like you're back up and at 'em, too.
Kadoc
Yeah? Guess we've both been pushing ourselves to the limit. Takes its toll though, doesn't it?
Kadoc
I always felt the pressure before,
but it's even worse now that it's gone.
Kadoc
Hell, I might as well have had a bag of feathers on my shoulders earlier, compared to now.
Kadoc
We both knew what we wanted to do,
but we didn't really get it.

  Select: ...Yeah. Patxi snapped me out of it.
Kadoc
I see... So that Yaga's dead now, huh.
Kadoc
I would've won if not for him. Guess that stupid speech of his was potent shit for you.
Kadoc
He was a thorn in my side, but even I gotta admit he was a hell of a guy. I won't repeat the mistake of writing someone like him off as a loser.

===Branch End===

Goredolf
Enough chitchat already, Zemlupus!

Goredolf
Get back inside the Border now, and I'll make sure you're treated fairly under international law!

Goredolf
Trust me, you don't want to be stupid and go jumping off a moving vehicle like this.

Goredolf
I can tell you from experience that you'll regret it! You'll end up dead and we'll have lost you.

Goredolf
Show me that you're willing to help us, and I'd be willing to put in a good word for you with the Association!

Kadoc
...Hmph. You don't have to threaten me. I thought there might be a lifeboat or something out here, but there's nothing.

Kadoc
Getting out here was a huge pain in the ass,
and it looks like it was all for nothing.

Kadoc
Once, I might've jumped off just to spite you, but now...

Kadoc
Now, I've got a promise to keep.
I can't go throwing my life away.

Kadoc
You want to interrogate me, right? Fine.
I'll tell you everything you want to know.

Kadoc
That's a small price to pay for survival. At this point, I don't care what it takes to stay ali–

E:???
Excellent. This makes my little insurance trip out here well worth it.

Kadoc
...!

Goredolf
T-t-turn around, you idiot!

  1. Kadoc!
 
  Select: Kadoc!

===Branch End===

Kadoc
Ras...putin...
You...son of a...

Priest
Why, if it isn't Goredolf Musik.
How nice to see you again.

Priest
You too, Master of Chaldea. Allow me to offer my congratulations on successfully taking down Russia.

  1. Let go of him, right now...!
 
  Select: Let go of him, right now...!

===Branch End===

Priest
I'm afraid I can't do that. I have my own concerns.
You understand, of course.

Priest
My job was to oversee Kadoc Zemlupus's role as a Crypter, and that role has come to an end.

Priest
So I thought I would give him as merciful a send-off as possible.

  1. ...!
 
  Select: ...!

===Branch End===

Goredolf
(Grr, as if Da Vinci wasn't enough,
now he's gone and stabbed Kadoc in the back too...!)

Goredolf
(As a gentleman, I'm honor bound to stop him,
but my Gof Punch will never work on him...!)

Goredolf
(Dammit, where's Holmes when you need him!? I thought he was always supposed to be two steps ahead!)

Priest
Not to worry, Director Goredolf.
Eliminating all of you isn't in my job description.

Priest
Russia is currently my sole jurisdiction, you see.

Priest
As such, I needed to handle this before you'd left the area entirely.

Priest
I hope you can forgive the necessity of my resorting to such drastic measures, unbefitting of my age though they are.

Priest
I'm afraid I lack Koyanskaya's ability to move between Lostbelts. I'm limited to getting around the same way you do.

Priest
As a middle manager of sorts, I'm not able to go to the next Lostbelt without the Foreign God's permission.

Holmes
Foreign God...? Intriguing. Would you be so good as to tell us more, Metropolitan Macarius?

Mash
I'm sorry I'm late, Master!
...Huh? Kadoc...!?

Priest
Now then, I'd best be on my way. I hope you won't mind my saving the answer to your question for our next meeting, Sherlock!

Priest
Oh, but before I go, I would at least like to put a stop to this false name you've been using for me.

Priest
My True Name is Rasputin.
Grigori Rasputin.

Priest
That said, I confess that this Spirit Origin doesn't belong to me. I'm simply borrowing it from a dead man.

Holmes
I deduced all that long ago, my dear priest.
My concerns are more fundamental in nature.

Holmes
...Where did you acquire that dead man? In Proper Human History, Kotomine Kirei's body was cremated.

Holmes
So how did you come to take possession of a dead man without a body?

Priest
Oh, I'm sure you'll figure that out sooner or later, Sherlock. That is, after all, what you do.

Priest
You once called the Incineration of Humanity a
“mythological murder case.”

Priest
In which case, go ahead and label this attack the same way. Ask yourself who committed this crime, and how.

Priest
Once you have arrived at that answer,
we will meet again.

Priest
When that day comes, I look forward to you accusing the culprit in person.

Mash
Father Kotomine–I mean,
Rasputin has made off with Kadoc!

Mash
What should we do, Senpai!?
Maybe if we turn the Border around now–

Holmes
Don't bother. We'll never catch up,
and we can't risk going back to Russia.

Holmes
We'll just have to give up on interrogating Kadoc Zemlupus... This was my fault. I should have considered that someone may pursue us.

Kadoc
...Khh.
Dammit, I can't believe I got knocked out again.

Kadoc
Sneaking up on people and stabbing them is kind of your thing, huh? I think my heart actually stopped for a while back there.

Priest
Indeed, it did.

Priest
If it hadn't, do you really think Holmes would have let us escape so easily?

Priest
No, if he had realized you were still alive, they would have come back to retrieve you. I couldn't let that happen.

Priest
Not after Kirschtaria asked me to bring you back to Olympus.

Kadoc
...Is that so. Well, it doesn't matter either way.
You wasted your time, Rasputin.

Priest
Oh?

Kadoc
Whether Chaldea kills me, or Wodime does it,
I'll be just as dead.

Kadoc
Now that I've failed, I don't belong with either of them. I'm just going to be an example to the other Crypters.

Priest
...

Kadoc
What? What is it? If you've got something to say,
then spit it out, “Father.”

Priest
Apologies. I was just thinking how much easier my job would be if Kirschtaria was that sort of person.

Priest
At any rate, it's clear what's going to happen to you.

Priest
You may have lost your right to run a Lostbelt,
but you still have your Sirius Light.

Priest
That Command Spell belongs to our god. As long as you possess it, your life does not belong to you alone.

Priest
You no longer have the option of throwing your life away, Kadoc Zemlupus.

Priest
Your fate is to have every last bit of your soul squeezed out of you, until the day you die.

intro.2-2

Show/Hide Story Chapter

It's been two days since Rasputin,
the Pseudo-Servant, attacked.
The Chaldeans are currently on their way to the Lostbelt in Scandinavia.
...Everything is so white.

The words “blank slate” have never seemed so appropriate.
It's like the entire surface has been...reset.
Nothing but pure white wherever you look.
Everything is gone.
Nature...civilization...even the flora and fauna have completely disappeared. No, not disappeared... It's more like they've all been pruned away.

All there is to see in every direction is a pure, white plain–though there were a few topographical exceptions along the way.
It looked like the remains of some buildings, but they appeared to have been warped by extreme heat, or destroyed in some kind of shock wave.
Whatever the cause, upon closer inspection, one could see that these had once been man-made structures of some kind.

This led to Fujimaru and {(M) his /(F) her} allies stepping out of the Shadow Border to investigate further.
The atmospheric composition was normal. The air was breathable, and the gravity was the same as before. There was no need for a hazard suit or space suit or anything of the sort.

“Good thing you didn't have to get all dressed up like an astronaut, huh?” said Leonardo da Vinci with a cherubic smile.

Mash
...Look, Senpai, you can see them up ahead... Buildings.

Mash
It looks like even the buildings have been bleached.
That explains why we couldn't see them at a distance.

Mash
...
...

Mash
...Those ARE buildings, right?

Mash
If there are any survivors here, we should bring them back to the Border as soon as–

She trailed off all of a sudden. Probably because what she saw was beyond anything she could have imagined.
No one could blame her. Anyone else would have been agape at the bizarre sight before them.
The color had been drained out of everything. Some parts of the buildings even looked as though they had been rubbed away with an eraser.

The whole thing looked like some bizarre postmodern art exhibit, and was made all the more baffling by being in the middle of a bleached desert.
There were no signs of life anywhere,
not even the remains of what had once been alive.
It all looked so sterile, especially for ruins.
It was the sort of thing you'd only see in dreams.
Everyone back on the Border seeing it on their monitors must have thought they were looking at footage from an alien planet.

Mash
...Let's go in.
There might still be something inside.


Earth had changed.
It had been completely bleached–a planet now totally devoid of life, with the exception of the Lostbelts.

But even when it had been reset to a blank slate, there were still some places, some buildings, some life-forms that had survived.

Chaldea decided to call these “remnants.”
Today was the first contact they had with these sorts of remnants–these buildings that had been left behind on this newly blank Earth.

Despite the new director's pessimistic outlook, the other staff couldn't ignore the possibility, however slight, that there might still be other survivors.
But even though they never did find any other people,
their investigation wasn't for nothing.

Because they did find signs of life. Signs that someone had survived all this, and had been here before them.
Here, near the Scandinavian Lostbelt, in what used to be Helsinki, the capital of Finland...
...were signs in these buildings that someone,
somewhere, was still alive.

Signs that someone had been living here for days...weeks...maybe even months.
Empty bottles...piles of canned food... The remains of a communication device that someone had clearly spent a great deal of effort trying to repair...
There was even something that looked like a doll lying on the floor–a sign that a young child had been among the survivors.

And above all, they found something that had clearly been left behind with intent...

Mash
...According to this journal, it looks like somebody was here as recently as two days ago.

Mash
The last entry is dated the day before yesterday.

Mash
It looks like there were six survivors at first, but over time, their numbers gradually dwindled, until...

Mash
...
...

Mash
In the end, whoever wrote this journal must have been the last one to disappear... Where could they all have gone?

Unfortunately, though whoever wrote the journal had excellent penmanship, it was in a language that Fujimaru could not read.
It could have been Finnish, or maybe Swedish... Either way, it may as well have been Greek to Fujimaru.

Mash
“Why did this happen to our planet? Why do these invaders from another world hate humanity so much?”

If nothing else, those final questions written on the last pages were clear. Why? Why? Why?
That is all these people could ask, even as they were wiped away... Almost as though they were being punished for seeking meaning in their crisis.

Mash
...It's time, Master.
Let's head back to the Border.

Mash
We're almost to Sweden now.
You should rest up for the coming battles.


As they left the remnants behind,
one thought haunted each and every one of them:
Nowhere was there so much as a trace of blood,
a hint of violence.

...Soon, the Shadow Border will enter the second Lostbelt.
Will it be a hellish wasteland inhospitable to life?
Or perhaps...

  1. So that's what those storm walls look like from the outside...
 
  Select: So that's what those storm walls look like from the outside...

===Branch End===

Da Vinci
Yup. Finally about to take the plunge into the Scandinavian Lostbelt. And not because we have no other choice, like with Russia. This time we choose to do it ourselves.

Da Vinci
As you all saw, there's a Tree of Emptiness here as well. Though at this distance, it looks more like a faint pillar of light than a tree.

Goredolf
Y-yes, quite so. We may not know what it's like on the inside, but we do know exactly what we need to do.

Goredolf
This is a Lostbelt, a place carved out of a history different from our own. There is no telling what horrors may await us there...

Goredolf
...but once we cut down that Tree of Emptiness thingamabob, the Lostbelt will return to its original state, and the storm wall will disappear.

Da Vinci
Yup! But I think we should put this particular Tree of Emptiness investigation off until later.

Da Vinci
Our priority is to slip through Scandinavia and get to the Wandering Sea. Depending on what it's like in there, we might be able to just ignore the Lostbelt.

Da Vinci
If we're going to invade this place, we should do so after we've improved our offensive options at the Wandering Sea.

Da Vinci
It won't do for Fujimaru and Mash to be the only two ever risking their necks on the front lines.

Goredolf
Hmph. I just hope that transmission really was from the Wandering Sea.

Goredolf
So, what now?
I thought those storm walls were impenetrable.

Holmes
That, we can penetrate using the Shadow Border's primary function.

Holmes
That storm is approximately two kilometers wide,
so we will cross it via a Zero Sail.

Goredolf
Huh? You mean we're going to dive back into Void Space? C-come now, surely I'm not the only one who was wildly uncomfortable seeing his soul leave his body, was I?

Goredolf
I mean, is it just me, or is looking down at your own body in third person a TRULY unsettling experience?

  1. One thousand percent seconded.
  2. You're just going to have to deal, Goredolf.
  Select: One thousand percent seconded.
Goredolf
Right? If I'd known this was on the agenda,
I would've had a much lighter breakfast!

  Select: You're just going to have to deal, Goredolf.
Goredolf
You're kidding me. You mean you're completely fine with it? Doesn't it bother you, having a bird's-eye view of your own life?

===Branch End===

Meunière
Oh for... Of course it makes us all feel sick. But you're the commander now, yeah? So freakin' suck it up, would you?

Meunière
Honestly, I've gotten used to it. I mean, a short hop through Void Space is nothing compared to a Rayshift.

Meunière
(Not that I've ever Rayshifted myself, of course!)

Goredolf
Grrr. Now don't you start talking back to me,
Meunière...! R-Rayshift shmayshift!

Goredolf
Clearly, the Zero Sail program that began under my new administration is a far more impressive achievement!

Goredolf
Holmes! Da Vinci!
Prepare the Shadow Border for takeoff!

Holmes
Indeed, Goredolf. I, for one,
am truly inspired after your little speech.

Holmes
(And well done on your part, Mr. Meunière. That will be one less thing to worry about during our dive!)

Da Vinci
Okay, places, everyone! Time to strap in for today's out-of-body experience!

Da Vinci
The good news is, we're not going to dive as deeply as we did last time.

Da Vinci
We're just going to skim under the surface, so to speak, so that we stick to Reality Space time and distance as closely as possible.

Da Vinci
We have to do it like that, since we don't have anything tying us to Scandinavia. It'll be like a split-second dive into a two-dimensional plane.

Da Vinci
Think of it like going scuba diving without an oxygen tank. We just need to hold our breath for a little bit while we make our way through the wall.

Da Vinci
All set, Fujimaru? You do know we'll be setting foot in another brand new world soon, right?

  1. ...I'm well aware!
  2. Let's go where no man has gone before...again!
  Select: ...I'm well aware!

  Select: Let's go where no man has gone before...again!

===Branch End===

Da Vinci
...Got it. Okay then, let's go see what's on the other side of this wall!

Da Vinci
Expanding Void-Reality Observation Device: Paper Moon!
Destination: southern Sweden, near Norrköping!

Da Vinci
Expanding Logic Formula on Shadow Border's external armor.
Removing existence verification for Reality Space.

Da Vinci
Future prediction: hypothetically prove mirror world plane in twenty seconds. Relaxing space-time friction decompression for 0.4 seconds.

Da Vinci
All systems are green. Void Space may be a calm sea,
but as always, don't forget to watch out for big waves!

Da Vinci
Shadow Border, untether from reality.
Void Space Dive, Zero Sail: unfurl!

Section 1: Assault of the Demonic Sword (Beginning)

Show/Hide Story Chapter

Inner Monologue
...I've always hated Sundays.

Inner Monologue
Is it because I hate my father? No. Is it because I hate my mother? No, it's not that either.

Inner Monologue
When I was little, I wholeheartedly embraced their dreams for me. I really thought everything they talked about would come true.

Inner Monologue
I didn't need to hate them. I didn't even need much in the way of parental love from them.

Inner Monologue
I believed that I would one day reach the Sixth Imaginary Element, just as they wanted.

Inner Monologue
I would be the one to make my family's long-held dream come true. I had gained the power I needed to accomplish that.

Inner Monologue
But even so, I hated Sundays. Detested them, even.

Inner Monologue
I loathed having to spend all day Sunday at home–the home I grew up in–with my parents.

Inner Monologue
From the time I woke up until the time I went to bed, it felt as though that giant ceiling was crushing me to death.

Inner Monologue
I don't hate my parents. I respect them.
I'm proud of them. That much has never changed.

Inner Monologue
So, then...

Inner Monologue
...what did I hate about Sundays...?

--SECTION BREAK--

P.A. System
Report from the computer room.
Report from the computer room.

Da Vinci
So far, this Zero Sail is looking just peachy. Just kick back and enjoy this little voyage through the Sea of Time.

Da Vinci
We've got one hundred and fifty kilometers to cross. At our current reduced speed, I think it should take us about an hour or so?

Goredolf
...
...

Fou
Fou?

Da Vinci
Uh-oh, somebody's not happy about this trip. What happened to all that bluster you were spouting just a little while ago?

Da Vinci
I know this is only our second voyage, but you should be used to this by now. Am I wrong, Goredolf?

Goredolf
Hm? O-oh, yes, did you need something,
Technical Advisor? Is it teatime already?

  1. Uhhh...no.
  2. Something you're worried about, Commander?
  Select: Uhhh...no.
Meunière
It'd be better to wait until we're back in reality for that. Assuming we end up somewhere peaceful when we cross the storm wall, that is.
Meunière
Given how bad Russia was, this area around Scandinavia might be an even worse kind of hell.
Goredolf
Stop saying stuff like that, Menial–I mean Meunière! It can't possibly be worse than Russia! I refuse to believe otherwise!

  Select: Something you're worried about, Commander?
Goredolf
Hmph, of course not.
I wouldn't waste time on foolish sentiment.
Goredolf
...I thought I would feel better after we defeated the Servant who destroyed Chaldea, but...I don't. At all.
Goredolf
My poor Four Flush... They were the finest private army I ever had. They may have been a bunch of thugs and hoodlums, but they did their job damn well.
Goredolf
After this whole mess is sorted out, I'll need to pay out their life insurance...once I can scrape together more than a penny to my name, of course.

===Branch End===

Goredolf
That said... This way of getting around really is beyond the pale. I'm a man of the land, not the sea.

Goredolf
Not that I'd hesitate to board a submarine to save humanity, of course...

Goredolf
...but this? I may be better about seasickness now, but I don't think I'll ever get used to this Zero Sail nonsense.

Da Vinci
Hmm. So you still feel bad even though you're not seasick? Are you claustrophobic or something?

Fou
Fou. Fou, fou.

Goredolf
No, I'm not claustrophobic! I mean that I don't care for this Void Space business. It's not something I'm just going to get used to!

Goredolf
Let me be clear: getting used to danger means losing sight of security.

Goredolf
Oversights. Betrayals. Bankruptcy. Victories getting revoked by judges. All those sorts of retribution stem from carelessness and arrogance.

Goredolf
You can't assume everything will be sunshine and roses just because things happened to go your way once!

Goredolf
Not to mention, verifying the existence of Void Space may be a great feat, I'll admit, but be honest: You still don't have a clue what it even is, do you?

  1. Well... No, not really.
  2. Um... Why're you looking at me?
  Select: Well... No, not really.

  Select: Um... Why're you looking at me?

===Branch End===

Goredolf
I make it a rule never to get on any machine I can't drive myself. And yet...

Goredolf
(Gulp)... Void Space is something only a tiny handful of mages have ever so much as touched...

Goredolf
Just thinking about floating around in there makes me–Oh no, I think I'm about to be sick...

Holmes
You say that, and yet your complexion tells me that you're feeling just fine,
Goredolf–no, Mr. Goredolf. I admire your gumption.

Holmes
The rest of the staff are equally versed in science and magecraft, but you, Director, are a mage's mage.

Holmes
That is why traveling through Void Space puts you so ill at ease. You are keenly aware of both the benefits and risks posed by the Zero Sail.

Holmes
Yet despite that, you are doing your utmost to remain calm and collected. That is truly keeping a stiff upper lip, as they say. Commendable.

Holmes
You must have hit rock bottom quite a few times in your life. Perhaps you're accustomed to being in dire predicaments at this point?

Goredolf
I-I-I'm accustomed to nothing of the sort! I've never once crossed the finish line in last place, I'll have you know!

Mash
Crossed the finish line in last place...? I've never heard an expression like that before, Director Goredolf.

Goredolf
W-well of course you haven't. Once you get to be a man of my caliber, Ms. Mash, even the expressions you use take on a special life of their own.

Mash
(...! That's the first time he's ever addressed me respectfully...!)

  1. That's Holmes's way of complimenting you, Director.
  2. Holmes could use some work when it comes to paying someone a compliment...
  Select: That's Holmes's way of complimenting you, Director.
Mash
I think so too. Mr. Holmes only ever speaks about what he is certain of, after all.
Meunière
Haha, you got that right!
That's a hell of a nice way to put it, Mash!
Goredolf
O-oh? I see. So that's what that was about?
Goredolf
If you both say so, you may be right...
Fou
Fou fou.

  Select: Holmes could use some work when it comes to paying someone a compliment...
Goredolf
That was a compliment? Good grief,
Heroic Spirits certainly are...erm, different.
Goredolf
Then again, he might be easier to talk to as an administrative advisor if he were a Caster...
Holmes
Hahaha, I very much doubt that. My Spirit Origin may change, but I'm quite sure I would remain the same.
Holmes
If you require proof, I was a Caster when I first met {(M) Mr. /(F) Ms.} Fujimaru...
Holmes
...and even now that I have made an official contract with Chaldea as a Ruler, nothing has changed.
Holmes
Wouldn't you agree, Ms. Kyrielight?
Mash
Now that you mention it...that's true.
I don't think you've changed at all, Mr. Holmes.
Goredolf
Hmm. Well, all right then.

===Branch End===

Goredolf
Ahem. By the way, Technical Advisor,
what's our itinerary for this voyage look like?

Mash
Huh?

Mash
Um, Director Goredolf, Da Vinci just briefed us about that right after we arrived in Void Space...

  1. (...Hang on.)
  2. (Maybe he blacked out after we started the Zero Sail...?)
  Select: (...Hang on.)

  Select: (Maybe he blacked out after we started the Zero Sail...?)

===Branch End===

Mash
Oh.

Mash
I-I'm so sorry, Mr. Goredolf. We had no idea you had lost consciousness with your eyes op–

Goredolf
Wh-what? C-come now, don't be absurd. I've handled the g-forces from accelerating to over two hundred and fifty kilometers per hour, I'll have you know!

Goredolf
I-I say, what about you, youngster?
Yes, you, Fujimaru.

Goredolf
Your file said you frequently fall into REM sleep. I believe it even said you could do it standing up, if I'm not mistaken. Is that some special skill of yours?

Mash
“hat's right.
We call it the "Fujimaru REM REM.”

Goredolf
Huh? No way... I was just kidding about the skill part. Are you people...all right?

Goredolf
A-at any rate, it seems you doze off just as easily as I do.

Goredolf
Do you remember what the briefing was about? Perhaps now would be a good time to review all that you know while we are at it.

Mash
Y-yes, that's a good point.
I'm sorry.

Mash
Oh, but as for Senpai, I think {(M) he /(F) she} went off to have lunch with Fou after we left on the Zero Sail...

Holmes
Hahahaha. You heard the man, Da Vinci. Would you be so kind as to summarize our current situation for him?

Da Vinci
Sure, if that's what he wants.
Okay, let's go over our immediate itinerary again.

Da Vinci
We've just entered the Scandinavian Peninsula, right around here. At the moment, we're still “diving” through the storm wall.

Da Vinci
On our current route, we should then emerge here in northern Europe, at the southern part of Sweden.

Da Vinci
It's only a ten-kilometer trip, but since we don't have any connection to Scandinavia, surfacing at our intended destination will come down to a combination of a dice roll and my navigational genius.

Da Vinci
And since I've got my hands full making sure our coordinates don't go fluctuating all over, we have no way of knowing if there will be any hostile entities on the other side.

Da Vinci
So be ready for an even rougher emergence than the one we went through in Russia.

Goredolf
Hmm, so in other words, entering one of these Lostbelts inevitably comes down to the luck of the draw, eh.

Goredolf
Just to make doubly sure, is there any way we could ignore the Scandinavian Lostbelt and head straight to the North Sea?

Goredolf
Certain conditions need to be in place for us to emerge inside a Lostbelt, right? Then why go out of our way to do that?

Goredolf
Even if we don't know the Wandering Sea's exact coordinates, if we can just get to the North S–

Da Vinci
I know, but I'm afraid that's just not possible. We're currently skimming riiight next to the border between Reality Space and Void Space.

Da Vinci
It's the only way we can peek into reality from Void Space, which we have to do if we're going to emerge somewhere we lack a connection to.

Da Vinci
In addition, the amount of power the Shadow Border consumes in this mode is directly affected by the amount of real-world distance we travel.

Da Vinci
I mean, it would have to be,
given that we're following reality so closely.

Da Vinci
And at our current power levels, there's no way the Border can Zero Sail more than three hundred kilometers near the mirror world plane.

Da Vinci
So we have to emerge in the Scandinavian Lostbelt if we're going to stock up for the journey to the Wandering Sea.

Goredolf
...I see. This Zero Sail business sounds good on paper, but it certainly has more than its share of drawbacks, doesn't it...

Da Vinci

Basically. If we want to go diving and emerging wherever we like...

Goredolf
Yes?

Da Vinci

Well, we can't. Neither the Border nor myself are up to that, at least not right now. Sorry, Gordy.

Goredolf
Grr, sorry and sixpence won't even get you a decent cup of tea these days! Fine, you're saying you want a real lab with full facilities, right!?

Goredolf
Once we make our way through Scandinavia and meet up with the Wandering Sea, then things should improve at least a little, yes?

Da Vinci

You got it! I'm glad you're such a quick study. So, as I was saying earlier, just kick back and enjoy the last bit of our voyage.

Da Vinci

We're currently off from real-world time by about ten days. We'll emerge from Void Space as soon as we're through the storm wall.

Mash
...So it's just like what happened in Russia. Then, that would mean one of those enormous trees really is here in Scandinavia, too...

Holmes
Indeed. We could see it for ourselves before we began our journey through the storm wall.

Holmes
If we just so happen to emerge near the Tree of Emptiness, we will need to choose between leaving Scandinavia behind, or investigating the tree.

Holmes
Regardless, we'll no doubt need to make our way across a considerable bit of land once we reach the inside of this Lostbelt.

Holmes
I encourage you all to remain calm and in control so that we may better react to whatever awaits us.

  1. ...
  2. (I wonder if this Lostbelt will be anything like Russia's...)
  Select: ...

  Select: (I wonder if this Lostbelt will be anything like Russia's...)

===Branch End===

Holmes
Although... When the Russian Tree of Emptiness came crashing down, it did so in a rather indecipherable–

Goredolf
Wh-what was that!?

  1. Why were those radar beeps so loud?
  2. Is something coming towards us...?
  Select: Why were those radar beeps so loud?

  Select: Is something coming towards us...?

===Branch End===

Meunière
Something's pinging our omnidirectional sonar!
What the? There's something with a fixed wavelength moving around!?

Holmes
Something with a fixed wavelength... Do you mean there's something else here besides the Shadow Border?

Goredolf
Wait, what? Hold on. Just...hold on! Y-you mean to tell me there's something alive out there? In Void Space!?

Fou
Fou fou...!

Holmes
Indeed. Under normal circumstances, nothing could possibly exist in Void Space, unless it were itself composed of void. There are exceptions, though...

Holmes
Namely, the All-Terrain Void-Transporter Shadow Border,
its crew, and the Paper Moon.

Holmes
And that can only mean...

Mash
There's someone or something else that can travel via Zero Sail...?

Holmes
If there were, it would require technology that surpasses Atlas's. I wish I could say that were entirely impossible, but we can't rule it out...

Holmes
Da Vinci, are you seeing anything on your end?
Your eyes should be a good deal sharper than ours.

Da Vinci
I'm sorry, but I've got my hands full keeping track of the real world's terrain. I can't spare any cameras to see what might be near us.

Da Vinci
Oh, but I have noticed one thing that's strange: the Shadow Border's been running reeeally smoothly for a while now.

Da Vinci
So there's definitely something out there in our vicinity. I just couldn't tell you what it is.

Da Vinci
The Border's also got magecraft and spirit radars in addition to the sonar, but they're not turning anything up either.

Da Vinci
Since I can't imagine there could be anything living in Void Space, I'm guessing it's using soliton-like wave conduction, but...

Goredolf
We... We... We...

Mash
Director Goredolf...?

Goredolf
We're under attack!!!

Meunière
Oh for...! Who was it that was saying the old man had gotten used to this stuff?

Goredolf
It must be some sort of monster or Servant with the ability to Zero Sail! They could be anywhere!

Holmes
Hmm, yes, that's a distinct possibility. Rasputin mentioned something along those lines too.

Holmes
As I recall, he said that while he was unable to freely move between Lostbelts, Koyanskaya could do so.

Holmes
It's difficult to imagine she employs the same method that we do, but she may well have her own means of crossing dimensions.

Goredolf
There, you see!?

Goredolf
You all saw Ivan the Terrible for yourselves!
These Lostbelts are obviously full of monsters!

Goredolf
It wouldn't surprise me at all if one of them was a Rider with just that sort of skill!

Meunière
Do you even hear yourself!? This is VOID Space! This whole dimension shouldn't even exist! There's no way there could be anything here besides the Border!

Holmes
(...A creature or Heroic Spirit with the ability to conduct a Zero Sail, hmm.)

Holmes
(I know Ms. Miyamoto wanders between parallel worlds...but only in that she tumbles from one to another.)

Holmes
(She's only a drifter who keeps falling through realities because all other possibilities have abandoned her.)

Holmes
(There is no being in all of Reality Space besides us who can freely travel between dimensions.)

Holmes
(That, at least, was what Atlas Institute's Trismegistus said as of 2018...)

Holmes
Still, it's not something we can rule out entirely.

Holmes
That we are here ourselves means it must be possible for someone else to be as well.

Meunière
Couldn't you have kept that to yourself, Holmes!? You're just gonna work the old man up even more!

Fou
Fou?

Goredolf
Did it just get even closer!?

Mash
Please calm down, Director. I, um...I know this may not help put your mind at ease, but...

Mash
...I think I sense something. Something close...

  1. What is it?
  2. Is it something we've seen before?
  Select: What is it?

  Select: Is it something we've seen before?

===Branch End===

Mash
No...I don't think so. But, strangely enough, I also don't think that whatever it is malicious...

Mash
In fact, I think...it might even be kind of warm and comforting...

Goredolf
Oh come now! That's standard demon operating procedure!
They bait their hook with kindness!

Goredolf
Well, I'm not falling for it!
I'm going to listen to my own instincts!

Goredolf
Listen up, all of you! I have no desire to become an adventure-crazed nut like the rest of you, but even I can see that making an emergency exit out of Void Space is our best option here!

Goredolf
Therefore, as the director of Chaldea, I am ordering the Shadow Border to make an immediate emergency exit into Reality Space!

Mash
An emergency exit...!?

Da Vinci
Hmm... I want to take Mash's side here,
but I have to admit Goredolf has a point.

Da Vinci
One thing's for sure: there's something out there that even I can't see. We shouldn't take that lightly.

Da Vinci
So my vote is for the emergency exit. And as luck would have it, we're very close to the end of the storm wall.

Da Vinci
That said, there's one thing I want to go over first.

Da Vinci
We've already crossed the border. We're currently in what used to be southern Sweden, somewhere inside the Scandinavian Lostbelt.

Da Vinci
But when we emerge, the risks will be even greater than they were back in Russia.

Da Vinci
Cutting out the future predictions in order to force our way back to reality could result in the entire Shadow Border coming apart.

Da Vinci
And it's not just the Border.
All of you could end up seriously hurt as well.

Da Vinci
If your selves from ten days ago happen to overlap with your selves from now, just having your bodies catch up with their own regulatory functions will be enough to make you vomit.

Da Vinci
Are you okay if that ends up happening? Of course, as this vehicle's central processing unit, I'll be doing my best to avoid that.

Goredolf
O-of course! At this point a little nausea is nothing!
Just get us the hell out of here, Da Vinci!

Goredolf
I don't want to spend another second with this unknown...thing if I can help it!

Goredolf
I'm responsible for all of your lives here! A-as such, I refuse to continue a voyage in such close proximity to an unknown entity!

Goredolf
Get the Shadow Border to the surface right now!
Don't make me repeat myself again. Just hurry!

Da Vinci
All righty☆ If you're ready to face the music,
I'll do my best to make sure it's a pleasant tune!

Da Vinci
Meunière, I'm going to switch over to manual. We don't want the safety functions putting on the brakes on autopilot.

Meunière
Are you serious!? Doesn't that completely go against the manufacturer's recommendation!?

Da Vinci
Initiating high-speed calculations.
Preparing to emerge in–

Goredolf
Aaah! An emergency alert!? Everyone, strap in!
Take deep breaths while you still can!

Da Vinci
Don't worry about that alert. We're just putting a little more strain on the hull than it's designed for!

Mash
Isn't that incredibly dangerous...!?

  1. Don't worry.
  2. Da Vinci knows what she's doing.
  Select: Don't worry.
Mash
R-right!

  Select: Da Vinci knows what she's doing.
Mash
Right... You're right. I believe in her, Senpai.

===Branch End===

Da Vinci
Phew. I really didn't want to resort to this, since it gives me a bad fever. This new, smaller body just isn't as resilient as my old one.

Holmes
I'll do whatever I can to help.
Patch me in to the console, if you would.

Mash
I'll help too!

Holmes
Thank you. I'm afraid I am relegated to learning by observation myself, but the more hands the better. If only Mr. Babbage were here to assist us.

Da Vinci
I hear you. But I'm afraid the Spirit Origin briefcase alone just isn't enough to summon him outside of short battles. We'll just have to make do.

Da Vinci
Man, wouldn't it be great if another Salieri dropped into our laps right now? Like, say...now!

Da Vinci
...Damn, it didn't work. Ah, well, worth a shot.
Guess we're on our own after all!
All right then, let's do this thing!

P.A. System
Activating Paper Moon. Initiating planet navigational chart plus/minus convergence. Commencing Shadow Border's docking sequence into reality boundary.

P.A. System
Disengaging mirror world plane voyage... Though the stratum may dissolve, I continue to exist. Reapplying timeflow attraction from Reality Space.

P.A. System
0.4 second difference between target coordinates and current recognition, confirmed! That's well within tolerances, so we are good to gooo!

Mash
Khh...!

P.A. System
Emerging from Void Space.
Thirty seconds until arrival at Reality Space.

P.A. System
Zero Sail, complete.
Emerging into Reality Space.

--ARROW--

P.A. System
The Ortinax exoskeleton is operating within expected parameters. Internal pressure regulation, combustion, and weaponry are all good to go.

P.A. System
Armored Shielder is cleared to deploy.
Well? Feeling up to this, Mash?

Mash
Yes. All of my readings and transformations are working well. Although...

Da Vinci
What's up?

Mash
I thought you'd be ejecting me again,
but this chamber and model both seem very different.

Da Vinci
Well sure. Last time, we were sending you into the thick of an ongoing battle, but this time, we're just having you check out our surroundings.

Da Vinci
Besides, Master's coming along with you,
and we can't go shooting you both out, can we?

Mash
Ah.

Mash
Right... Good point.
I forgot that Senpai will be joining me...

Da Vinci
All right, let's try this again.
Are you all set?

Mash
Yes.
...Armored Shielder, ready to deploy.

Da Vinci
You got it. Shadow Border, open the hatch!
We are go for our recon mission!

Mash
...Senpai.

  1. How are you feeling, Mash?
  2. Aren't you cold?
  Select: How are you feeling, Mash?
Mash
Don't worry, I'm feeling fine.
And the Ortinax is in great shape, too.
Mash
Da Vinci really is a genius. Even after all that intense fighting we did in Russia, it's still in perfect working order.
Mash
Thanks to that, I should be able to use all of my power at any time.

  Select: Aren't you cold?
Mash
No, not a bit.
Mash
I know we can see our breath out here, like this... (Blows) But that's the worst of it. Don't worry, I'm fine.
Mash
My cold-resistant gear helps a lot. Besides, it's not as bad here as it was in Russia. It does make sense that Scandinavia would still be freezing, though.

===Branch End===

Mash
All that aside, this place is very...snowy, isn't it, Senpai?

Mash
It's three degrees Celsius, but the wind isn't cold at all, and the air feels crisp and clean.

Mash
It feels like a real winter wonderland compared to Russia!

Mash
I'm sure the temperature will drop to well below zero once night falls, but right now, I'm just enjoying how peaceful it is...

  1. Same. This place would get a lot of tourists if it existed in our history.
  2. It's really...romantic...
  Select: Same. This place would get a lot of tourists if it existed in our history.

  Select: It's really...romantic...

===Branch End===

Mash
I agree. I was just thinking the same thing.

Mash
We still don't know exactly what this Lostbelt is like, but at least this place seems quite peaceful.

Mash
It's enough to make me hope that maybe...not every Lostbelt is dangerous.

Mash
...But this really isn't the time to wax philosophical. Let's get started, Master.

  1. All right, it's perimeter check time!
  2. Just make sure to stay close to the Border.
  Select: All right, it's perimeter check time!
Mash
Right! Let's start by looking for some sort of hill, so we can get a better view of our surroundings!

  Select: Just make sure to stay close to the Border.

===Branch End===

Mash
The Border is recharging for now while it stays camouflaged in the snow.

Mash
Da Vinci said it would take about three hours for it to charge up completely, so let's do our best to explore as much as we can in that time!

Mash
Okay, we've reached the top of that hill.
...!

Mash
It's nothing but snowy fields as far as I can see...
And then there's... Senpai, look!

Mash
Look at that...

Mash
It's a white mountain range stretching on forever...
And I think...they're made of ice and snow...?

Mash
There's some sort of blue haze to the north,
about halfway along the range. Wait, is that...

  1. Flames.
  2. The mountains are burning.
  Select: Flames.

  Select: The mountains are burning.

===Branch End===

Mash
Yes.
There's fire burning in the parts without trees!

Mash
I can't see such a thing happening naturally,
so it must be some sort of magecraft at work.

Mash
So that's what this Lostbelt is...
A world of mountains, white ice, and blue flame...

Mash
And then there's the...sun?
It's much too big to be the sun, though...

Mash
This doesn't add up. I've heard parts of Scandinavia can get almost no sunlight for months at a time...

Mash
...but I've never seen anything about the sun being this size. I doubt any such records even exist.

  1. The sun, huh...
 
  Select: The sun, huh...

===Branch End===

Mash
...
...

Mash
...And another thing.
I don't see the Tree of Emptiness anywhere.

  1. Huh?
  2. But, we saw it before we went into the storm...
  Select: Huh?

  Select: But, we saw it before we went into the storm...

===Branch End===

Mash
Mmm. It was clearly visible from outside the Lostbelt.

Mash
I can't imagine it was suddenly wiped from existence,
so maybe it's being hidden with magecraft...

Holmes
Well done on the reconnaissance, you two.
We've finally had a moment to catch our breath here.

Mash
Holmes!

Holmes
It seems you're about five hundred meters away.
Well chosen.

Holmes
That's just about the perfect distance, since we're still unable to detect hostile entities.

Holmes
Thankfully, our emergency exit didn't strain the Border as much as we anticipated, but I'm afraid it's still not going anywhere for the time being.

Holmes
Still, we cannot afford to waste any time, which is of course why we sent the pair of you out to investigate.

Holmes
...A land of fire and ice, hm? It seems that this Lostbelt will present its own challenges, as I feared.

  1. ...That's all we can see from here.
 
  Select: ...That's all we can see from here.

===Branch End===

Holmes
Thank you just the same.
We have a faint visual here as well.

Holmes
The sun does indeed appear to be far larger than is normal... But it should be tens of billions of years before it reaches this size.

Holmes
We still don't understand how drastically a Lostbelt can change its environment, but if this one has transformed our sun into a red giant...

Holmes
Were that the case, forget the ice and snow.
The whole world would be a scorched desert.

Holmes
Ms. Kyrielight may be able to survive such an environment, but {(M) Mr. /(F) Ms.} Fujimaru most assuredly would not.

Mash
Yes. Which means...that may not actually be our sun.

Holmes
So it may well be something that looks like the sun, but in fact is not. Hmm...

Holmes
I don't recall anything along those lines in Scandinavian or Germanic folklore, but I'll take another look just in case.

  1. ...What about the fire?
  2. Those flames don't look like your typical forest fire.
  Select: ...What about the fire?
Holmes
I have a theory about that.
Holmes
First, take a closer look.

  Select: Those flames don't look like your typical forest fire.
Holmes
That would be because they aren't.
Take a look.

===Branch End===

Holmes
Nothing is actually burning. I'm not sure how it works, but the fire appears to be something entirely separate and floating above the mountains.

Holmes
Mysterious, to be sure, but there is little cause to doubt this phenomenon is the result of some form of magecraft.

Holmes
Whatever it is, it must be the work of a Crypter or a Lostbelt Servant. That, I can say for certain.

  1. Assuming it's a Lostbelt Servant...
  2. What could their True Name be?
  Select: Assuming it's a Lostbelt Servant...

  Select: What could their True Name be?

===Branch End===

Mash
M-Mr. Holmes really hit the nail on the head, Senpai!

Mash
Well, of course he did. He's famous for always finding the truth of any situation right away!

Mash
And of course, for captivating readers with his brilliant and elegant deductions!

Holmes
Hahaha. Thank you, Ms. Kyrielight. Though I must admit it is a touch embarrassing to be so effusively praised for the novelizations of my cases.

Holmes
But...perhaps that's not so bad every once in a while.

Holmes
I am not usually one to skip right to the conclusion, but yes, I am quite certain that the one who created those flames is–

Holmes
Hm? What is it? Do calm yourself, Fou.

Fou
Fou fou, kyuuu!!!

Mash
Fou? What is it? Is something wro–

Mash
...!

Mash
Master, get behind me!

Mash
...!

Mash
We've just discovered an enormous...humanoid creature...!

Enormous Creature
Berserkervoice1.png!!!

Holmes
An enormous humanoid creature, you say!? I see.
That is...troubling. Most troubling indeed.

Mash
He appears to be about five meters tall! His arms are also very long, and he's wearing some sort of mask!

Mash
I think he's speaking a language of some kind, but...

Enormous Creature
Berserkervoice2.png!!!

Mash
...I can't make out what he's saying! It sounds more like an animal howling than any language I know of...

Mash
...
...

Mash
Uh... H-hello? Bonjour? Guten Tag?
...Ni hao? Konnichiwa?

Mash
Please listen to me. We are not your enemy.
We don't mean you any harm.

Mash
We...are–

Mash
...!!!

  1. It's no use, Mash!
  2. He doesn't understand!
  Select: It's no use, Mash!

  Select: He doesn't understand!

===Branch End===

Mash
...Master.
I'm afraid he's coming right for us.

Mash
He's about to attack!

  1. Get ready to fight!
  2. I'll back you up!
  Select: Get ready to fight!

  Select: I'll back you up!

===Branch End===

Mash
...Understood.
Moving to intercept the hostile!

--BATTLE--

Mash
...(Huff, huff)...
...!

Mash
...The battle is over.
We've neutralized the threat.

  1. Mash, you're looking really tired...
  2. Why don't we head back to the Border?
  Select: Mash, you're looking really tired...

  Select: Why don't we head back to the Border?

===Branch End===

Mash
...Thank you for your concern, Master...but I'm all right.

Mash
The sudden attack just had me a little out of breath is all. It's nothing to worry about.

Mash
All my vital signs are fine.
I'm still good to go.

Holmes
I'm doing my best to analyze the recording and battle data now, but...at this point, I can only say that the creature you fought is like nothing we've seen.

Holmes
Neither a Heroic Spirit, nor a Demonic Beast.

Holmes
He was simply an enormous humanoid creature native to Scandinavia. One that could not possibly exist in the twenty-first century.

Mash
...A giant...

  1. Did you say...a giant?
  2. As in mythical giants?
  Select: Did you say...a giant?
Mash
...Yes...

  Select: As in mythical giants?
Holmes
Correct.
I'm pleased you're already familiar with them.

===Branch End===

Mash
I read that...a number of powerful giants used to live in Scandinavia.

Mash
Of course, this was all a long time ago.

Mash
In the modern era, there have barely been any giant sightings in Sweden, Denmark, or Norway.

Mash
I believe most of them were during the Age of Gods...back when the old Mystics still existed.

Mash
I'm sure there are some exceptions, but even so,
to encounter one out of nowhere like this...

Holmes
Both Goredolf and Mr. Meunière are in something of a tizzy about this impossible encounter, but yes, in the year 2020, giants have long since ceased to exist.

Holmes
And yet, you've obviously just met one. Albeit one that tried to kill you even after you attempted to communicate with him, but still.

Mash
...

Mash
I caught a glimpse of his eyes behind the mask and he seemed...consumed by bloodlust.

  1. ...
 
  Select: ...

===Branch End===

Holmes
So in this version of Scandinavia, creatures from the Age of Gods still live. That is most troubling. I had considered the possibility, but I didn't think it would prove to be true so soon.

Holmes
Damn you, Crypters! Damn you for throwing something like this at us in only the second Lostbelt! Have you no sense of restraint!?

Holmes
That said, we are far from completely helpless.
Ms. Kyrielight. {(M) Mr. /(F) Ms.} Fujimaru.

Holmes
To begin, I've updated our database with everything I could determine about this creature.

Holmes
We were unable to detect it from the Border because Chaldea had no information about ancient giants.

Holmes
Furthermore, I also learned something rather unexpected about the ice and snow surrounding us...

Mash
What about them...?

Holmes
They are imbued with a faint magical energy. The trace is so minute that only an expert mage would even be able to detect it at all!

Holmes
This small amount of magical energy created enough interference in our equipment that we were unable to detect the giant's approach.

Holmes
Da Vinci is still quite upset about it. She says being plugged in to function as a bio unit dulls her senses.

Holmes
Nonetheless, I'll do my best to update our data immediately. I'm also sending an update for the Ortinax's firmware.

Mash
R-right. Confirming update now–

Mash
Master!

Mash
I'm picking up new hostiles in our periphery...! There's at least one...two...no, several ice beasts traveling alongside another giant!

  1. We need to get out before we're surrounded!
  2. Let's make a break for the Border, Mash!
  Select: We need to get out before we're surrounded!

  Select: Let's make a break for the Border, Mash!

===Branch End===

Mash
Understood!

Mash
I can see them up ahead!
Master!

  1. Time to fight, then!
 
  Select: Time to fight, then!

===Branch End===

--BATTLE--

Mash
That should wrap things up for now.

Mash
We've defeated another giant and several ice beasts.

Mash
I no longer detect any hostiles or magical energy signals in our vicinity.

Mash
Ah...

Mash
Wait. You're right, Mr. Holmes. I can sense faint magical energy around us... Coming from the snow...

  1. Maybe it's a Lostbelt Servant that can control snow?
  2. Could a giant be controlling the snow?
  Select: Maybe it's a Lostbelt Servant that can control snow?
Mash
I'm not sure, but that certainly seems possible.

  Select: Could a giant be controlling the snow?
Mash
Good question. I don't recall any giant like that from Norse mythology offhand...

===Branch End===

B:Da Vinci
Let's hash that stuff out later, you two.
For now, you should hurry back to the Border!

B:Da Vinci
Holmes, from now on, maybe start waiting until people are in a safe location before you start with your long-winded explanations?

B:Da Vinci
There's no guarantee there aren't other giants still lying in wait out there. Both of you, get your butts back here! And be careful!

B:Da Vinci
Anyway, great job collecting all this data right after we emerged! This should be a big help!

Da Vinci
Oh good, you're back.
Welcome home, you two!

Mash
It's good to be back. The Ortinax is working wonderfully. Thank you again for that.

Da Vinci
Glad to hear it!

Da Vinci
Goredolf's having a little rest; said he was having a nervous breakdown or something. I guess the emergency exit WAS pretty hard on him.

Meunière
Guess all that worrying he did about scouting out our surroundings after we emerged was for nothing...

Da Vinci
I wouldn't say that.
He's trying to keep us safe, in his own way.

Da Vinci
Naturally, his primary concern is his own survival, but that's still an important part of being a leader.

Da Vinci
When things get dangerous, you snap to attention.
When things get dicey, you get right the hell out.

Da Vinci
That's how things are supposed to go, but the further removed the higher-ups get from the action, the softer they get when it comes to making those calls.

Da Vinci
So in that sense, Director Goredolf is exceedingly good at his job.

Da Vinci
I'm not sure why, but he seems to treat any danger his field operatives are in as danger to his own life.

Da Vinci
I wonder what that's all about. Maybe he had a really strict tutor growing up or something.

Da Vinci
You know, like someone teaching him to think about war from the perspective of the people he's sending out onto the battlefield?

Meunière
Oh, yeah... I see what you mean.
That would definitely explain some things.

Meunière
Now that you mention it, he always looked like he was in a lot of pain whenever Fujimaru was in a tight spot back in Russia. Talk about empathy.

Meunière
No wonder he was always kicking up such a fuss...

Da Vinci
At any rate.

Da Vinci
Make sure you write up the recon findings in a nice report template when you hand it off to him, if you don't mind. That oughta be more than enough to keep ol' Gordy in the loop.

Da Vinci
On a different note... You guys really had a rough time out there, didn't you, hm?

Mash
...Yes, we did.

Da Vinci
Giants are beings from the Age of Gods. Not even mages have seen more than the occasional fossil of them.

Da Vinci
Any survivors in areas where Mystics were still in full force were probably seen as threats, and taken out by the heroes of their respective ages.

Da Vinci
They're certainly not something you'd run into every day!

Da Vinci
I mean, you guys didn't see hide nor hair of them in any of the seven eras you Rayshifted to, right? Not even in the actual Age of Gods.

Da Vinci
And now we just happen to run into not one,
but two, in modern-day Scandinavia!?

Holmes
I believe those giants you encountered were Jötnar–members of the Jötunn race of giants.

Holmes
In the Age of Gods,
the Norse world was composed of nine realms.

Holmes
One such realm was Muspelheim, the land of flame. Another was Niflheim, the land of ice, through which an icy river of poison flowed.

Holmes
When these two realms collided, the poisonous frost melted. Then, when it was exposed to Muspelheim's heat, grew into a tremendous giant.

Holmes
This was Ymir,
said to be the ancestor of all Norse giants.

Holmes
The race of giants that went on to spring forth from Ymir's body were called Jötunn, the frost giants.

Holmes
These giants were truly beings belonging to the era when gods walked the earth.

Holmes
At times, the Jötnar would mix with the Norse gods, giving birth to new gods and giants alike.

Holmes
It's said that the surviving Jötnar eventually fell out of mythology and went on to become trolls...

Holmes
...but what you two saw today were no trolls.
They were most definitely Jötnar.

Da Vinci
...
...

Mash
...
...

Fou
Fooou...

  1. You sure sound certain.
  2. Do you know a lot about giants, Holmes?
  Select: You sure sound certain.

  Select: Do you know a lot about giants, Holmes?

===Branch End===

Holmes
Hahaha. Well, I am Sherlock Holmes, you realize.

Holmes
I am the one who finds the truth, regardless of my Spirit Origin. I believe I said as much when I introduced myself.

Holmes
...No, sorry, I'm just having you on a bit. You see, the Paper Moon is not the only thing I picked up while I was visiting the Atlas Institute.

Mash
Tri-Hermes!

Holmes
Precisely. While there, I came in contact with the Pseudo-Spiritron Calculation Engine, Tri-Hermes. When I did so, I happened to peruse some secret medical data pertaining to giants.

  1. Hmm.
  2. Now I see. Holmes, you rascal!
  Select: Hmm.

  Select: Now I see. Holmes, you rascal!

===Branch End===

Holmes
Hahaha.

Meunière
I don't see what's so funny...?

Da Vinci
Don't you “hahaha” me, buster. You're supposed to tell me these things before I need to know them!

Da Vinci
It's not fair that you get to do all the fun exposition! Besides, we're a team. You know we should be pooling our knowledge and stuff!

Holmes
I shall take that under advisement, especially considering it comes from none other than the great Leonardo da Vinci herself.

Holmes
All that said...I could certainly use a bit more information myself.

Holmes
Is this simply a Norse Lostbelt where a once-lost race of giants still runs amok? No, I very much doubt that is all there is to it.

Da Vinci
Right. The ones you saw today were powerful beings of Mystics, but...

Mash
...But they were still living creatures.

Mash
If nothing else, I can say for sure that the beings we encountered weren't Servants.

Holmes
Correct. They were indeed absolutely not Servants.

Holmes
Based on what we know from Russia, we can assume there is a being here who rules over this Lostbelt, and a Crypter who tends to the Tree of Emptiness.

Holmes
While our primary concern is with the latter, there remains a strong possibility that we will come into conflict with the former as well.

Holmes
That said, our goal this time does not include engaging them in battle. Our intent is to cross Scandinavia without them ever knowing we were here.

Da Vinci
Yup, exactly. Still, we should really take a little break first, don't you think?

Da Vinci
Thankfully, there's a lot more magical energy concentrated here than there was in Russia, so the Border shouldn't have any problem recharging.

Da Vinci
We'll set off again in a little while,
so make sure you two rest up while you can.

Da Vinci
Hiking across snowy mountains does a real number on your legs and back, you know? I very much recommend getting those kinks ironed out while you can.

Mash
Right.
Oh, but first, I almost forgot. Mr. Holmes!

Holmes
Yes, Ms. Kyrielight?

Mash
I'm sorry, but, back when we had just looked over the mountain range, remember how you and Senpai were talking?

Mash
At the time, there was something else we wanted to ask about...

  1. Oh, right!
  2. What's the deal with that fire we saw?
  Select: Oh, right!

  Select: What's the deal with that fire we saw?

===Branch End===

Mash
Yes! The strange fire that kept burning without spreading! Do you know what it is, Mr. Holmes?

Holmes
I can't say I know for certain. I only have a hypothesis, albeit one in which I am quite confident.

Holmes
I suppose that would make this more of an induction than a deduction. At any rate, yes, that fire is none other than–

Mash
Another alert...!?

Fou
Fou, fou! Fooou!

Meunière
What the hell? Are our sensors busted!?
Crap, no, it's worse. They're working perfectly!

Meunière
Fujimaru! Holmes! A freakin' enormous magical energy signal just popped up near us out of nowhere!

Meunière
It's like a Magical Reactor Core! This monster's on par with the Angrboda powered by the Greater Grail we saw in London...!

Section 2: Assault of the Demonic Sword (End)

Show/Hide Story Chapter

Meunière
Dammit, we had no warning whatsoever!
The thing just appeared out of nowhere!

Holmes
It's most likely a Servant.
They may have been using their spirit form.

Mash
Ah! That's true.
A Servant could sneak up like that!

Mash
Mr. Meunière, is that Servant from Proper Human History!? Or maybe...

Meunière
Well, their Spirit Origin's pattern matches what's registered in Chaldea, but their...color seems like it might be a little different...?

Meunière
Sorry, I don't know!
All I can say for sure is that they're hostile!

Meunière
At least if that massively powerful curse packed into the magical energy they've got aimed right at us is anything to go by, they are!

Da Vinci
A Lostbelt Servant...!

Holmes
The Border's spirit radar is one of the most sensitive in the world. If it failed to detect this Servant until now, then they are probably getting some help with their Presence Concealment.

Holmes
Had they wished to do so, I have no doubt they could have gotten much, much closer.

Holmes
And yet, they instead chose to release their spirit form right in front of us, making their presence known.

Holmes
...They must be incredibly confident...or perhaps incredibly cruel. Mr. Meunière, can you put them up on the monitor?

Meunière
No, I can't! They're right in our blind spot!

Meunière
And how the hell can you all be so calm about this, anyway!? I mean, I know we can't exactly put the Border's pedal to the metal right now, but still!

Meunière
What do we do!? Do we tell the rest of the staff about this!? Most of them are still on break!

Meunière
For that matter, don't you think we should get going already, Da Vinci!?

Holmes
Not just yet. This Servant may still be trying to figure out where we are.

Holmes
No doubt they are aware we are nearby, but I believe they are unable to determine our exact location.

Holmes
...That said, the longer we stay, the greater our chances of being discovered. As good as the Border's camouflage is, it does not render us invisible.

Da Vinci
It is good at keeping its magical energy hidden, but that doesn't help if someone starts searching the old-fashioned way.

Da Vinci
Well, Holmes, Fujimaru,
what do you want to do?

Da Vinci
Do we keep quiet and hope they don't find us?

  1. ...No. We shouldn't just wait around.
  2. ...Whoever they are, we can't let them into the Border.
  Select: ...No. We shouldn't just wait around.

  Select: ...Whoever they are, we can't let them into the Border.

===Branch End===

Holmes
Indeed not. Allowing an intruder on board would be the worst possible scenario by far.

Holmes
None of the staff are fighters, after all. The moment an enemy gets inside is the moment our little adventure comes to an abrupt end.

Holmes
Mr. Meunière, what is the latest on our mysterious foe? Have they moved at all since appearing?

Meunière
N-no, they haven't moved a muscle since they showed up... But I still can't see anything on the monitor. They're right in the middle of our blind spot.

Holmes
Then it would seem they're waiting to see how we react. Bold, yet with a touch of caution.

Holmes
Da Vinci, I'd like you to start up the Border's engine the moment we step outside. Make sure it is ready to depart at any time.

Da Vinci
You got it. But, make sure you buy us enough time for it to warm up, okay?

Holmes
I am well aware. Now then, shall we be on our way,
Ms. Kyrielight and {(M) Mr. /(F) Ms.} Fujimaru?

Holmes
Given that we are the only ones here capable of fighting,
it must fall to us to greet any hostile or boorish guests.

Mash
Right. I've got my exoskeleton ready to go, so I can activate it at a moment's notice. As long as it's just for a few minutes, I should be able to fight!

  1. I'm all set too!
 
  Select: I'm all set too!

===Branch End===

Mash
Senpai...

Goredolf
We make an emergency dive!

Goredolf
I will NOT have you going out to face an unknown and extremely powerful foe! I absolutely forbid it!

Goredolf
An emergency dive is the only viable option!

Mash
Director Goredolf!? You're awake now!?

Goredolf
Of course I'm awake!
And I overheard your entire conversation!

Goredolf
A situation like this calls for a retreat, not meeting the enemy on their own terms! Traversing this Lostbelt to make a getaway is out of the question as well!

Goredolf
If the enemy has found us out, then our first order of business is to hide again! And that means a Zero Sail!

Goredolf
They'll never find us once we dive back into Void Space! We can make a clean getaway!

Da Vinci
...That's true. If safety is our top priority, that's definitely an option.

Da Vinci
We'd have to figure out how to get back to reality once we set sail, but it would give us a secure way out of this particular predicament.

Da Vinci
That said, are you sure about this? We still haven't finished reapplying the Logic Formula.

Da Vinci
There's a nonzero chance that our armor just comes off in Void Space and we end up adrift there forever.

Da Vinci
Let's see, I'd say the odds of that happening are maybe 0.003 percent?

Goredolf
That's nothing! I've never even come close to winning a race in my own vehicle with odds like that!

Goredolf
At any rate, given that our only Master is still unable to summon Servants, fighting one this powerful is out of the question!

Goredolf
Need I remind you of the sort of enemies we faced back in Russia!?

Goredolf
These Lostbelt Servants are tremendously powerful...
I learned that lesson all too well when one of them destroyed Chaldea.

Goredolf
Just because the girl is able to fight now doesn't mean you should run to battle at every chance you get.

Goredolf
As your commander, AND your director, I will support whatever option I feel offers the best chance of survival, no matter how slight the difference!

Goredolf
No, in fact, this is an order! As my advisors,
it's YOUR job to justify my decisions, not MINE!

Goredolf
And let's not forget our biggest concern here: we don't even know who this mysterious, probably-Lostbelt Servant even is!

Goredolf
In which case, the only option I will even consider is for us to make our escape!

Da Vinci
You never waver when it comes to keeping us all alive, huh. All right, I'll trust your instincts here.

Da Vinci
Sorry, Holmes.
Sorry, Fujimaru.

Da Vinci
The Servant outside is so strong that I'm taking this ship back to Void Space.

Da Vinci
I'm not saying you wouldn't survive the encounter with whoever it is out there... Just that it'd get real ugly, real fast.

Da Vinci
And if the fight ended up damaging the Border as well, that'd be bad news for all of us.

Meunière
So we're doing another Zero Sail!?

Meunière
Still... If that means Mash and Fujimaru can avoid this fight, I guess it is for the best...

Da Vinci
Right. You take the wheel, Meunière. I'm gonna head back to the computer room and plug in to the Border.

Da Vinci
Director, Holmes, I'm leaving this place in your hands while I go verify our existences as perfectly as ever☆

  1. So, uh, change of plans, I guess?
  2. Guess I'd better buckle up?
  Select: So, uh, change of plans, I guess?

  Select: Guess I'd better buckle up?

===Branch End===

Mash
Right. I'll go along with whatever you decide, Senpai...!

Goredolf
Aaargh, here we go again! Has it ever once even occurred to you to obey your commander!?

Meunière
Hey, at least now we're all discussing our opinions. That's a big step-up from how things were before. You should be proud for inspiring this change, boss man!

Fou
Fou fooou!

Goredolf
Hmph, I can tell you're just buttering me up, Meunière. At any rate, let's get this Zero Sail started before that Servant makes a move!

B:P.A. System
...Okay, I'm patched in and all synced up. Expanding Void-Reality Observation Device: Paper Moon.

Goredolf
All hands, be seated! And need I remind you,
do not forget your seat belts!

Fou
Fou, fou fooou!

B:P.A. System
Expanding Logic Formula on Shadow Border's external armor. Expansion is currently at ninety percent...ninety-three percent...

B:P.A. System
Ninety-eight percent... There! Now we just dive in and make up the rest as we go along!

B:P.A. System
Removing existence verification for Reality Space. Shortened future prediction: hypothetically prove mirror world plane in ten seconds.

B:P.A. System
Relaxing space-time friction decompression for 0.9 seconds.

B:P.A. System
...Good, looks like we made it just in time.
Holmes!

Holmes
Let me take over the wheel, Mr. Meunière. In the meantime, would you be so kind as to keep your eyes on the sensors?

Meunière
You got it!

B:P.A. System
Shadow Border, untether from reality.
Void Space Dive, Zero Sail: unfurl!

Mash
...!

Mash
Senpai, I...I still have sensation in my extremities,
and I can still feel normal gravity!

  1. Does this mean the Zero Sail failed!?
  2. It feels like something dragged us up...
  Select: Does this mean the Zero Sail failed!?

  Select: It feels like something dragged us up...

===Branch End===

Goredolf
Wh-what's going on? This isn't Void Space!
Did we fail to dive? Are we still stuck in reality!?

B:P.A. System
...They got us good. Whoever's out there sensed our spells going off and caught us in a split second.

B:P.A. System
They're physically holding us back. I'm impressed. Just their physical strength exceeds the Border's maximum output!

Mash
Did you say...physical strength...?

Meunière
The magical energy signal is getting stronger! W-wait, hang on... The Servant's literally grabbed hold of the Border!

Goredolf
Wh-wh-what the!?

Mash
Are we floating...?

Holmes
Do not remove your seat belts!
All hands, assume crash positions!

Fou
Fou, fou fou, fou!
Kyau kyaaau!

Goredolf
U-ungh... What happened...? I don't understand...
Ugh, so dizzy... Is everyone all right...?

Mash
Are you hurt, Senpai!?

  1. I'm fine.
  2. Just a little dizzy.
  Select: I'm fine.

  Select: Just a little dizzy.

===Branch End===

Mash
Thank goodness...

  1. They just picked us up...
  2. Did we...do a barrel roll and crash?
  Select: They just picked us up...

  Select: Did we...do a barrel roll and crash?

===Branch End===

Mash
Y-yes. I felt the same thing.

Mash
It was as though the Shadow Border was picked up,
and then flung somewhere far away...

Holmes
That is precisely what happened. The hostile Servant stopped our Zero Sail in its tracks before simply tossing us like a baseball.

Holmes
That is truly incredible strength. Perhaps they're a Berserker? Whatever their class, they clearly possess immense strength to perform such a feat.

Holmes
I expect they are a rather combat-oriented Servant, probably one focusing on being on the front lines, but–

B:P.A. System
Attention, please. I'm afraid that crash completely shut down all our navigation systems.

B:P.A. System
I can try to bypass the damaged systems, but even that's going to take some time. And then there's all the damage to the suspension.

B:P.A. System
Luckily we didn't end up completely upside down, but we're still not going anywhere anytime soon.

B:P.A. System
I'm sorry, everyone.
We can't dive or run away on land anymore.

Holmes
You have nothing to apologize for, Da Vinci.
The fault lies with our uninvited guest, not you.

Goredolf
Th-th-th-then you mean we're out of options?
This is bad! Really, really bad!

Meunière
You're damn right it is! Magical energy signal incoming!
I can tell this Heroic Spirit is some kind of big shot...

Meunière
...and I'm pretty sure they're done waiting around,
since they're headed straight for us!

Meunière
One hundred meters... Fifty meters...
Dammit, now they're right on top of us!

Fou
Fooou, kyuuu!!!

Meunière
The magical energy signature that I'm pretty sure is a Servant has collided with our exterior! It's melting our external armor now!

Meunière
What kind of barbarian are they? It sounds like they're trying to cut their way through our defenses!

B:P.A. System
Do they realize how much time I spent reinforcing this armor...? There's no way anything should be able to break through it this easily...

B:P.A. System
I–I mean, the old me spent a ton of time making sure of that! What kind of weapon or Noble Phantasm do they have that could possibly do this!?

Mash
...Senpai.

  1. Right.
  2. Let's go, Mash!
  Select: Right.

  Select: Let's go, Mash!

===Branch End===

Goredolf
H-hold it, you two...! Don't you think you should wait a bit and see what's happening before you–

Meunière
We don't have time to wait and see anymore!
I'm sorry, but it's all up to you two now!

B:P.A. System
Holmes, you go with them, too! But watch out. That Servant's magical energy is right up there with Ivan's!

B:P.A. System
Make sure you don't hold anything back,
or you might not be coming back at all. Got it?

Holmes
...I am well aware.
I saw their Spirit Origin for myself earlier.

Holmes
If nothing else, I can promise this:
I will keep {(M) Mr. /(F) Ms.} Fujimaru alive.

Holmes
In the meantime, Da Vinci, please focus on keeping yourself and the Border safe, and getting us up and running as quickly as possible.

Mash
I've opened the hatch! I can confirm the hostile Servant is on the Border's port side!

  1. That's enough...!
  2. Step away from there right now!
  Select: That's enough...!

  Select: Step away from there right now!

===Branch End===

Masked Heroic Spirit
...Well now.
So that unsightly slab is this thing's door, then?

Holmes
(Is that a Lostbelt Servant...? But then, what is this ominous feeling I sense from their Spirit Origin...!?)

Masked Heroic Spirit
So, a human and two Heroic Spirits.

Masked Heroic Spirit
No, wait. Neither of you are pure Heroic Spirits,
are you? You've both got something else mixed in.

Masked Heroic Spirit
Hehe. Hybrids, then. Interesting.

Mash
The hostile Servant is closing in!

Holmes
Now I see. You certainly do appear to be a powerful Heroic Spirit.

Holmes
The Border's external armor is one thing, but to think you even cut your way down to the multilayered Bounded Fields surrounding the inner hull...

Holmes
Back at Chaldea, Da Vinci, Nitocris, and Paracelsus all worked to ensure those Bounded Fields would be as strong as any from the Age of Gods.

Holmes
They should have been as strong as a fortress made of divine iron...yet you cut through them like so much butter, and without even revealing your True Name.

Holmes
...Fascinating.

Holmes
Tell me, how did such a powerful demonic sword possibly come to be?

Masked Heroic Spirit
...
...

Mash
(Are his eyes glowing red...?)

Holmes
Ah, I was right. It is a demonic sword, then.
I thought it seemed far too dark to be a sacred sword.

Masked Heroic Spirit
...I don't talk to humans.

Mash
...!

Masked Heroic Spirit
Well now.

Mash
Khh...!

Mash
(He hits so hard...! And he's still only using that short sword at his waist!)

Mash
(This must be the incredible strength that let him pick the Border up and just throw it...)

Masked Heroic Spirit
...

Mash
...You're not getting past me.

  1. Mash!
  2. I couldn't even see him swing his sword...
  Select: Mash!
Mash
I...I'm all right!
I can do this!

  Select: I couldn't even see him swing his sword...
Holmes
Oh? Well, that's because he didn't–not his longsword, anyway. He's still using that short one.
Holmes
That's how I barely managed to make it out, and only just.
He is truly an incredible master swordsman.
Holmes
If only Ms. Miyamoto were here right now...

===Branch End===

Holmes
I'm afraid those were little more than jabs as far as he was concerned, Ms. Kyrielight. Though I am certain that is not how it felt to you.

Mash
...

Masked Heroic Spirit
Hmm. Have you lost your mind, girl?

Mash
!

Masked Heroic Spirit
Why are you still standing there? You should be throwing down that impenetrable shield of yours and running for all your worth by now.

Masked Heroic Spirit
...You don't look like enough of an idiot to fail to see how outmatched you are.

Mash
...
...

Mash
...I will endure, if I have to.
I can't let everything end here.

Fou
Fou, faaau! Fau fou fou!

Mash
Fou!?
Not again...!

Mash
You shouldn't be here!
You need to get back inside the Border!

Mash
And, thank you...for worrying about me...

Mash
That Servant is truly, incredibly strong.
Much stronger than me and the Ortinax.

Mash
Something about him reminds me of another hero...
Another Heroic Spirit we've met.

Mash
I don't know if I can beat him,
even with Holmes's help, but still...

Mash
...that doesn't matter.
Even if I'm not strong enough, I can't back down.

Mash
This journey isn't ours alone... Not anymore...

Mash
...Maybe it never was.

Mash
Just because I may not be up to the task in front of me now doesn't mean I can give up on the journey as a whole...!

  1. (Steel yourself)
 
  Select: (Steel yourself)

===Branch End===

Fou
Fou, fou...!

Masked Heroic Spirit
A journey, huh.

Masked Heroic Spirit
Frankly, I don't care where it is you're going.
I have my own destination in mind.

Masked Heroic Spirit
I'm afraid this just isn't your lucky day, girl.
Or yours, kid. Now that our paths have crossed...

Masked Heroic Spirit
...I'm going to kill you,
and take your prized treasure with me.

Mash
Another short sword...!!

Holmes
Here he comes! I'll back you up as well!

--BATTLE--

Mash
...Thank you, Holmes! That beam was a big help!

Holmes
No trouble at all, Ms. Kyrielight. Hrn! ...I must say though, you certainly don't hold back!

Holmes
Not to say that you are not pulling your punches quite a bit, Lostbelt Servant. I don't suppose you would be so kind as to introduce yourself?

G:Masked Heroic Spirit
...

Holmes
Yes, I see. Now that I've seen your strength up close, some things have become abundantly clear.

Holmes
Your swordsmanship is exquisite–surely the finest in the Norse lands.

Holmes
You are also immensely strong, and have both the knowledge and reflexes to dodge my magical energy beam with ease.

Holmes
You knew, didn't you? You knew I was a Heroic Spirit capable of using magecraft attacks. Your wisdom alone is truly a force to be reckoned with.

Holmes
Which means...

Holmes
...you must be the one who slew the evil dragon and consumed his knowledge. Am I wrong?

G:Masked Heroic Spirit
Oh?

Holmes
You are the child of Sigmund, king of Francia,
and Hjördís, daughter of King Eylimi.

Holmes
Even among other peerless heroes who stand head and shoulders above ordinary people in strength, intelligence, and all other aspects...

Holmes
...you were hailed as the greatest warrior-king of them all.

Holmes
A phenomenal swordsman who reforged your father's demonic sword–the one he earned after overcoming Odin's trial of Barnstokkr.

Mash
Then...you don't mean...!

Holmes
You are the fearsome warrior who defeated King Hunding's army, thereby avenging King Sigmund.

Holmes
You are the brave hero who single-handedly slew Fafnir, the evil dragon, consumed by greed, who horded his riches in the caves of Gnitaheiðar.

Holmes
You are the one who made a loyal friend out of Sleipnir's foal, Grani, who would gladly carry you to the ends of the earth.

Holmes
You are the great hero who ate the dragon's heart, gaining unimaginable power and the wisdom of the gods!

Holmes
Your True Name is Sigurd! You stand alongside Siegfried as one of the most powerful heroes of all Norse myth!

Mash
The Dragon Slayer...!

Holmes
However, that raises a number of questions... A true legend you may be, but that doesn't explain where your Monstrous Strength comes from.

Holmes
More importantly... Why do your eyes glow red?

Sigurd
...Heh.

Sigurd
So you're a clever one on the side of Proper Human History, hm? Now what, then?

Sigurd
Now that you know who you're up against,
how do you intend to fight him?

Mash
Sigurd... The great hero of Norse legend...

Mash
...After seeing how fast, sharp, and heavy his blades are,
I'm convinced. And those are just his short swords.

Mash
He still hasn't swung what I believe to be his true blade,
the demonic sword Gram, even once...

  1. That long, red sword...
  2. I thought I saw him swing it at least once or twice...
  Select: That long, red sword...

  Select: I thought I saw him swing it at least once or twice...

===Branch End===

Holmes
Ah, yes, I suppose it would have seemed that way. But I'm afraid, bluntly...he was doing no more than casually parrying our attacks.

Holmes
He has yet to use it offensively.
We still have not seen what it's truly capable of!

Sigurd
Enough of your yapping.

Mash
Khh...!

  1. This pressure is intense!
  2. No...this isn't over yet!
  Select: This pressure is intense!

  Select: No...this isn't over yet!

===Branch End===

Mash
Nnn... Aaaaaahhh...!

Sigurd
A temporary power-up spell?
Hmph.

Sigurd
Out of my way.

Mash
Look out!
He's going to use Gram...!

Sigurd
Die, human.

Holmes
Oh, no you don't! {(M) He /(F) She} may be human, but I'm a Heroic Spirit! One, I might add, who has seen more than his fair share of combat!

Holmes
My apologies, but I can't have you using Gram so close to the Border!

Holmes
...Yah!

Sigurd
Shut up.

Holmes
Guh!

Sigurd
...Guess you so-called Heroic Spirits are more fragile than I thought.

Mash
Holmes!

Mash
Senpai... Sen...pai...!
Holmes's right arm is...gone...!

  1. Keep calm, Mash.
  2. Don't worry. I won't let Holmes die!
  Select: Keep calm, Mash.
Mash
R...right...
Mash
You're right, Senpai!

  Select: Don't worry. I won't let Holmes die!
Mash
...Thank you, Senpai!

===Branch End===

Fou
Fou, faaau! Kyaaau!

Sigurd
...
...

Holmes
...Go after him.
Leave me here.

Mash
Senpai!

  1. I'll use a Mystic Code to heal him!
  2. Emergency heal!
  Select: I'll use a Mystic Code to heal him!

  Select: Emergency heal!

===Branch End===

Mash
Holmes!? Why did you stop {(M) him /(F) her}!?
Please, stay still so Senpai can–

Holmes
...Don't. Please.
Save as much of your magical energy as you can.

Holmes
Gram most certainly lives up to its reputation,
but as you can see, my heart and brain are fine.

Holmes
I may be badly injured, but my Spirit Core is intact. I'm still a Heroic Spirit, remember. It will take a deal more than that to finish me.

Holmes
...Phew.

Fou
Fou fou! Kyau!

Holmes
I can't very well fail to do my part after your rousing speech, Ms. Kyrielight. Never mind me; you need to go after him.

Holmes
Remember, he said he was going to take something.
Something that lies inside the Shadow Border.

Holmes
That must be why he attacked us. Whatever it is he's after, we cannot let him have it.

Holmes
...Elementary, My Dear... Ms. Kyrielight.

Mash
This light...
This is...your Noble Phantasm...

Holmes
Precisely. As you are aware, it should provide both you and {(M) Mr. /(F) Ms.} Fujimaru with a significant boost in strength.

Holmes
It may not be quite at full capacity, but it should still be rather potent for anyone attempting to fight in a desperate situation, such as yourselves.

Holmes
...In my estimation,
Sigurd appears to be a frightfully unnatural being.

Mash
Unnatural?

Holmes
I'm certain he isn't yet fully acclimated. There's a chance you may still be able to defeat him...

  1. Acclimated? What do you mean?
  2. Please, Holmes, just be straight with us for once!
  Select: Acclimated? What do you mean?

  Select: Please, Holmes, just be straight with us for once!

===Branch End===

Holmes
I'm sorry.
It's rather hard to explain while I'm sober.

Holmes
I'm afraid...I'm having difficulty putting my thoughts...in order... (Cough)

Mash
Holmes!

Mash
...Vital signs confirmed. He's lost a lot of magical energy, but aside from that, it's just like he said.

Mash
His Spirit Core is still intact, Senpai.

  1. ...Come on! We've got to stop Sigurd!
 
  Select: ...Come on! We've got to stop Sigurd!

===Branch End===

Mash
Right!

Holmes
...
...

Holmes
Hm...? I must have passed out...

Holmes
Good, they're gone...
Phew...

Holmes
I see. So this is what a blow from a demonic sword feels like. How truly excruciating.

Holmes
Perhaps it is exacerbated by the fact that I've never experienced such a deep wound before.

Holmes
...
...

Holmes
...So, this is the sort of pain you smiled through, eh, Yelena?

Da Vinci
Who's that?

Da Vinci
So you are still thinking clearly.
Now I feel silly for ever worrying about you.

Da Vinci
Just sit tight, Holmes. Someone'll come by to help you out just as soon as I finish evacuating everyone from the rear hatch.

Da Vinci
We might not be able to use the Border's facilities right now, but we should be able to replenish your magical energy. Just hang in there a little longer.

Da Vinci
At least we know from your battle that this hostile Servant isn't here to destroy the Border.

Da Vinci
If we're lucky, he'll leave it mostly intact.
So just hold tight for a bit, 'kay?

Holmes
Understood. That said...I'm afraid mental fortitude can only do so much here. To be honest, I'm in real danger of disappearing.

Holmes
I'm afraid he inscribed a death rune into me, you see.
One wrong move, and that will be it for me.

Da Vinci
A death rune!? But, there aren't any runes that can kill a Heroic Spir–

Da Vinci
No, wait. I forgot about the Primordial Runes! The ones Odin created that served as a magecraft foundation in the Age of Gods! Then, you mean–

Holmes
I do indeed. You saw our battle for yourself. Sigurd learned a number of runes from the Allfather's daughter.

Holmes
He must have inscribed it the moment he cut off my right arm. It would seem he truly has it out for me.

Holmes
...(Exhale)

Holmes
So I'm afraid if I push myself too hard, my Spirit Core will fail. Happily, I can at least speak as long as I remain still...though the pain is still...quite exquisite.

Da Vinci
Gosh! Then you really are just hanging by a thread!
Okay, wait a second! I'll be right there!

Holmes
Hm... Right...

Holmes
...There's so much I need to tell you, but... Hmm...
I'm afraid I keep slipping in and out of consciousness.

Holmes
I'm finding it difficult to concentrate, and...haha, for some reason, my thoughts keep turning to the past.

Da Vinci
Holmes!

Holmes
Da Vinci, would you give Mr. Goredolf a message for me?
Tell him to stay put, no matter what is taken.

Holmes
I'm certain Sigurd has no personal interest in humans or Heroic Spirits...

Holmes
After all...he's...

Holmes
...

--ARROW--

Mash
I've caught up to the target!

Mash
He's still somewhere inside the Border...
He appears to be headed for the cockpit!

  1. Holmes's Noble Phantasm is still active!
  2. This is our chance to take Sigurd down!
  Select: Holmes's Noble Phantasm is still active!

  Select: This is our chance to take Sigurd down!

===Branch End===

Mash
Right!

Mash
Huh!? There's nobody here!
No signs of a struggle, either. What in the–

  1. It looks like the side hatch is open...?
  2. They must be on the deck!
  Select: It looks like the side hatch is open...?

  Select: They must be on the deck!

===Branch End===

Meunière
You sure about this, old man!?
If you give him that, we'll be–!

Goredolf
Stop that! Shut your mouth before he kills us all!
We don't have any other choice! Trust me!

Goredolf
Here! This is the Paper Moon you said you were looking for! Go on, take it!

Goredolf
Normally, we'd keep it hidden, but you're so strong that I decided to give it to you as a reward!

Sigurd
...I'm surprised.
You humans are seldom so intelligent.

Sigurd
Still, I didn't think you'd give it up so easily.
I heard this thing was your lifeline.

Goredolf
I-i-it may be our lifeline, but you are a threat to our actual lives! That thing certainly won't help fill our bellies!

Goredolf
N-now go on, you got what you came here for, didn't you?
You don't have any further business with us, right? Right?

Goredolf
Without the Paper Moon, we're just helpless drifters. At this point, it's only a matter of time until we die on our own!

Goredolf
There's no reason for you to sully your hands with the blood of insignificant specks like us, is there? S-so why not just be on your way then!?

Sigurd
...You've got a point. This sword wasn't made for cutting up useless meat.

Goredolf
(Yes! I made it out alive again!)

  1. Hold it right there!
  2. I don't think so...!
  Select: Hold it right there!

  Select: I don't think so...!

===Branch End===

Mash
Right! You need to give us back that compass right now, Sigurd!

Goredolf
(Nooo! Things were going so well! Have you gone mad,
picking a fight with the scary knife guy!?)

Sigurd
...Oh?

Sigurd
The human and the hybrid, huh.
Do you still not see how outclassed you are?

Sigurd
Ah, I see. So you got a little boost from the Heroic Spirit who doesn't know when he's beaten.

Sigurd
...Fine, I suppose you're worth killing.
You two obviously don't know when to quit either.

Sigurd
All right. It wouldn't hurt to put this body through its paces a little more, anyway.

Sigurd
...Give me your best shot. I'll humor you and take this at least halfway seriously.

Mash
You better believe we will. We're not backing down until you leave our ship, one way or another.

Sigurd
Heh. Now you're telling me to leave, hm?

Sigurd
All right, then tell me your names.
I hear that's what human heroes are supposed to do.

Mash
...I'm Mash Kyrielight.

  1. And I'm Fujimaru!
 
  Select: And I'm Fujimaru!

===Branch End===

Sigurd
Got it. I'll probably forget them shortly.

Mash
Fine with us.

Mash
...Come on, Master.
Let's get our Paper Moon back from Sigurd!

Sigurd
Conceit. Overconfidence. Arrogance. Pride.

Sigurd
You humans never change.
Heh. You're just like the gods.

Mash
(Gods...?)

Mash
Call us whatever you want.
You may even be right.

Mash
But, be that as it may...neither Senpai nor I will back down!

Mash
This time, we've got Holmes cheering us on!

Mash
...Sigurd! If anyone's going to back down here, it will be you!

--BATTLE--

Mash
Khh...!

Mash
(Here he comes!)

Mash
Ghh...!
Haaaaaa!

  1. Using a Command Spell!
 
  Select: Using a Command Spell!

===Branch End===

  1. Using a Command Spell!
 
  Select: Using a Command Spell!

===Branch End===

Sigurd
Nn...

Mash
Haaaaaa!!!

Mash
(There!)

Mash
(I got him!)

Mash
(Gasp, gasp, gasp...)
Phew...

Mash
...That blow had all of our magical energy behind it. Both mine and Senpai's. And thanks to Holmes's help, I'm sure it was very powerful.

Mash
It may not have been true baritsu, but I'm certain you felt it anyway. Your Spirit Core should be damaged in several places now.

Sigurd
...
...

Mash
...Please leave, Sigurd.

Sigurd
My Spirit Core, huh?
What about it?

Sigurd
What about it?

  1. Mash!
  2. I can't see where he
  Select: Mash!

  Select: I can't see where he

===Branch End===

Mash
Aaagh...!

Mash
Sen...pai...!

Mash
My exoskeleton's drive is failing... I've only got a little magical energy left... Khh... No, not yet...!

Mash
I can't...afford to...fall...yet...!
Senpai... Sen...pai...

  1. (Run over to her)
 
  Select: (Run over to her)

===Branch End===

Sigurd
Stop. Don't move.

Sigurd
So... What was that just now?
Something only a hybrid could do?

Sigurd
I was pretty surprised to hear you put all your magical energy into that attack. Never thought I'd see a hunter be so chatty before they were about to take down their quarry.

Sigurd
...
...

Sigurd
No, that's not right. You're not hunters or heroes.
You're probably not warriors, either.

Mash
Senpai...!!!

Mash
Khh... Come on... Move, Ortinax...!
Please...

Sigurd
You poor, pathetic children.
This is an act of mercy.

Sigurd
Rejoice. I will behead you with the sword of your own beloved hero.

Sigurd
Pitiful humans. Neither you, nor the world,
have any future to look forward to.

Mash
No! Stop...! Senpai, please!
Use another Command Spell on me...! Senpai...!

Sigurd
Don't bother. You'll be dead long before you get the chance to summon your magical energy.

Sigurd
Farewell.

  1. (Refuse to look away)
  2. [[#...Sigurd was right.
The sword did come faster than the Command Spell.
The sound of the sword slicing through the air rang out...
...but for some reason, that was the only sound.
A second passed, then two...and nothing changed.
Fujimaru remained unharmed...
...and somehow still alive.

The red blade had stopped dead in its tracks,
right before {(M) his /(F) her} eyes.
| ...Sigurd was right.
The sword did come faster than the Command Spell.
The sound of the sword slicing through the air rang out...
...but for some reason, that was the only sound.
A second passed, then two...and nothing changed.
Fujimaru remained unharmed...
...and somehow still alive.

The red blade had stopped dead in its tracks,
right before {(M) his /(F) her} eyes.
]]
  Select: (Refuse to look away)
(Close eyes and use a Command Spell)
  Select: ...Sigurd was right.
The sword did come faster than the Command Spell.
The sound of the sword slicing through the air rang out...
...but for some reason, that was the only sound.
A second passed, then two...and nothing changed.
Fujimaru remained unharmed...
...and somehow still alive.

The red blade had stopped dead in its tracks,
right before {(M) his /(F) her} eyes.

===Branch End===

Mash
(His sword stopped...mid-swing...)

Mash
Master!

Sigurd
...Hmph. I guess this is what they call a hero's pride.

Sigurd
You got lucky, child.

Mash
Master!

Mash
Please don't move...!
I'm afraid his kick injured me pretty badly...

Mash
So...please, just stay still for now...

Mash
...Senpai...

  1. Mash...!
 
  Select: Mash...!

===Branch End===

--ARROW--

Sigurd
I'm back, Ophelia.

Ophelia
...That was fast.

Ophelia
Did you retrieve the Paper Moon Void-Reality Observation Device that once belonged to the Atlas Institute, as I instructed?

Ophelia
You'd better not have broken it.
...Did you?

Sigurd
Hmph. Don't ask me. I can't get used to these man-made toys for the life of me.

Sigurd
You want your little golden treasure so badly,
take a look for yourself.

Ophelia
...Good. This is definitely the real thing.

Ophelia
Why don't you hang on to it for me?
Don't let anyone else have it, no matter what.

Ophelia
After all, you're the strongest being in all of Scandinavia, with the exception of Her Majesty.

Sigurd
I'm sure.

Sigurd
So...now that I've fulfilled my duties as a Servant, do I get some kind of reward?

Sigurd
How about it, Master Ophelia Phamrsolone?

Ophelia
...Well done, Saber, my most powerful knight.
I have no other work for you for the time being.

Ophelia
Feel free to rest up and relax for a while.
How does that sound as a reward?

Sigurd
Hmm. That works.

Ophelia
Oh, and may I say something?

Sigurd
Sure.

Ophelia
...Would you mind not staring at me with those red eyes?

Sigurd
Heh. You're a funny one. You think you've got room to talk when it comes to unusual eyes, Ophelia?

Ophelia
...
...

Ophelia
...Never mind about me. We have the Paper Moon.
Right now, that's all that matters.

Ophelia
The All-Terrain Void-Transporter, Shadow Border...

Ophelia
It may be the only one of its kind in existence, able to do the impossible...but without the Paper Moon serving as its eyes, it's useless.

Ophelia
I commend Chaldea for destroying the Russian Lostbelt, but without the Shadow Border, they can go no further. This is where their journey ends.

Ophelia
Now there is effectively no one left who will interfere with Lord Kirschtaria. Now, all that remains is–

Queen of Ice and Snow
...Hehe. I'm glad to see you in such high spirits, Ophelia.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Are these high spirits born of true romance, or mere puppy love?

Queen of Ice and Snow
Even after thousands of years of attempting to do so, I cannot quite grasp the concept of love...though I know you humans speak of it often.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Tell me, what does it taste like?
Is it sweet? Perhaps spicy, even fiery?

Ophelia
...Your Majesty.

Sigurd
...
...

Queen of Ice and Snow
I never took you for one to smile upon gaining a new toy. I see that even you have a soft side.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Now, what of this...Tree of Emptiness,
I believe you called it? How is that faring?

Ophelia
It's coming along well. Even now, it continues to grow larger in its garden, away from any who might observe or interfere.

Ophelia
Since there is no opposing faction in this Scandinavian Lostbelt, there should be nothing to interfere with its growth.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Faction?
I must confess I am unfamiliar with that word.

Queen of Ice and Snow
I suppose we do hear the occasional lone wolf howl, but that is of no consequence. If anything, it helps to pass the time.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Still...I suppose if they were to form a pack, that could be somewhat troublesome. Don't you agree, Ophelia?

Ophelia
...Yes, I do.

Queen of Ice and Snow
My world–my Scandinavia–is a land where peace reigns far and wide. There has never been conflict among its people. Not once.

Queen of Ice and Snow
The wild beasts do devour their prey,
of course, but that is as far as it goes.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Pointless conflict is a foreign concept to man and beast alike...as is resentment.

Queen of Ice and Snow
The worst that ever happens is a single wolf's howling.
Don't you think?

Ophelia
I do. Under your rule, this world of Scandinavia has become one of the great embodiments of peace.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Hehe, the way you say that, Ophelia, it sounds as though there are other worlds that have achieved similar peace. How adorable.

Ophelia
...Surely you jest.

Ophelia
...This Lostbelt's stability is of vital importance, Your Majesty.

Ophelia
It is the key to growing our tree.
All you need do is continue ruling as you always have.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Hmm.

Queen of Ice and Snow
You truly are a selfless young woman,
aren't you, Ophelia Phamrsolone?

Queen of Ice and Snow
I suppose I should commend you for your diligence...but it takes more than that to be a queen.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Do you understand me, Ophelia?
If not, I suggest you learn.

Ophelia
With all due respect, Your Majesty, I am no queen.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Haha...

Queen of Ice and Snow
Why did you take it?

Queen of Ice and Snow
My land has no place for avarice. If you would protect and obey me as your queen, you would do well to remember that.

Queen of Ice and Snow
I believe you called it a compass...? I see. So the hospitality of my ice castle is not enough for you.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Surely you haven't forgotten? Every bit of snow and ice blanketing this world is a part of me.

Queen of Ice and Snow
As I preside over all that is pure white, nothing can elude me. I know and see all that takes place within my land.

Queen of Ice and Snow
I can hear it, too. The breath of all living creatures...their cries, their fluttering...

Queen of Ice and Snow
I can hear the howl of the wind, the symphony of leaves overlapping...and, of course, the words of humans.

Queen of Ice and Snow
That goes for the crew of this Shadow Border as well. As I speak, they are erecting a Bounded Field to keep the giants away.

Queen of Ice and Snow
...How touching. How pitiful.

Queen of Ice and Snow
I see they too are humans. They guard their lives closely, so that they may grow and survive.

Ophelia
...Saber, didn't I tell you that you were free to kill everyone there except Mash?

Sigurd
I can't tell you humans apart.

Ophelia
Why you...!

Queen of Ice and Snow
Heh...

Queen of Ice and Snow
How delightful. Hehehe.
You certainly are blunt, Dragon Slayer.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Nonetheless, Ophelia, it seems you still fail to understand my methods.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Why kill them?

Ophelia
...With all due respect, Your Majesty: because the Chaldeans who live on in the Shadow Border are our enemies.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Our enemies, hm?

Sigurd
If you want me to kill them all right now,
I'll go take care of it.

Ophelia
Don't!

Ophelia
...I don't want you killing Mash Kyrielight.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Interesting.

Queen of Ice and Snow
I don't believe I've ever seen that look on your face, Ophelia.

Queen of Ice and Snow
You never so much as batted an eye when it came to that Archer, but just now, I could have sworn I saw a look of genuine concern on your face. Interesting.

Queen of Ice and Snow
I take it this Kyrielight person means something to you then. Well, Ophelia Phamrsolone?

Ophelia
...
...

Ophelia
...Forgive me, Your Majesty.
I cannot answer that question.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Hehe. You truly are adorable, Ophelia.
Very well, I shall forgive you this once.

Queen of Ice and Snow
As for you, knight:
Do not kill them. I forbid it.

Queen of Ice and Snow
My snow and ice is an expression of my love, not of death. I will not tolerate anyone staining its pure white with crimson.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Is that clear?

Sigurd
...Hmph.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Love is a wonderful thing.

Queen of Ice and Snow
If you ever come to know it yourselves, take care not to lose it. You must cradle it in your hands, and hold it close, hold it tight.

Queen of Ice and Snow
If you are not careful, loveless flames may throw everything out of balance. That is how it has been since the gods first came to be.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Is that clear, Ophelia? Sir Knight?

Ophelia
Yes, Your Majesty. I will not forget it.

Ophelia
...

Ophelia
...Love, huh.

Ophelia
No. No. I won't let what happened to Kadoc happen to me.

Ophelia
I will not fail. I will do everything I can to help Lord Kirschtaria.

Ophelia
I will feed on the other Lostbelts...and make certain I live up to his hopes for me...

Youngest Valkyrie
Feed...

Youngest Valkyrie
You always get that look on your face whenever you speak of the tree, Ophelia.

Youngest Valkyrie
Do you not like it here?
Do you feel as though you don't belong...?

Ophelia
Ortlinde.
...No, I don't think that.

Ophelia
My mother was Scandinavian, albeit in Proper Human History. This is my homeland, of a sort.

Ophelia
I would never hate it here.
Quite the opposite.

Ophelia
I feel as though some part deep inside of me is more at peace than it's been in a long time. Even the air tastes better here.

Ophelia
I love this place.

Ophelia
The queen does keep surprising me with how generous she can be, but I don't mind that either.

Youngest Valkyrie
You love it, you say...?

Ophelia
Yes. I do. I was so glad when I found myself here after my Coffin was opened.

Ophelia
I really mean that.

Ophelia
Which is why I'm proud it's my job as a Crypter to tend to the tree. It's a crucial life-form, a necessary one.

Youngest Valkyrie
Necessary. For this Kirschtaria man, you mean?

Ophelia
...
...

Ophelia
...For this Lostbelt.
Didn't I already tell you three about it?

Youngest Valkyrie
Yes, you did.

Youngest Valkyrie
I've logged your current statements in my memory. I'll go ahead and link them to our shared memories now.

Youngest Valkyrie
...I've received a question from Hildr.

Youngest Valkyrie
She wants to know why you always have that bitter look when you talk about the tree if you don't dislike it here.

Ophelia
Bitter?

Ophelia
Well, because...

Ophelia
...it makes me keenly aware of how powerless I really am.

Ophelia
Even if the tree does grow to maturity, the most I can hope to do is keep it that way. It's very unlikely this world will change unless I use my Sirius Light.

Youngest Valkyrie
You want to change this land, Ophelia?

Ophelia
...Sometimes. You don't?

Youngest Valkyrie
We can analyze, but we can't make judgment calls. All we can do is follow the orders we're programmed with.

Youngest Valkyrie
Did you forget, Crypter? We aren't human.
We only exist to carry out our master's orders.

Ophelia
Yes. I remember.

Youngest Valkyrie
There, again...

Ophelia
Huh?

Youngest Valkyrie
I'm sorry. You had the same look on your face as when you discuss the tree, so I responded the same way Thrúd would, now that our statements have synced up.

Ophelia
I see. Then I'm afraid that, even between the three of you, your analysis must still be incomplete...

Section 3: Lord of Creation (Beginning)

Show/Hide Story Chapter

Goredolf
...A-ahem. Are all present and accounted for?

Goredolf
Then let's get this briefing underway.
Technical Advisor?

Da Vinci
You got it. Okay, let's start with a review of our current situation.

Da Vinci
First of all, it's been about twenty hours since yesterday's attack. Thanks to all your valiant efforts, we were able to avoid the worst-case scenario...

Da Vinci
...but I'm afraid we're still not doing well, all told.

Da Vinci
When Sigurd, whom we believe to be a Lostbelt Servant,
broke into the Shadow Border's cockpit yesterday...

Da Vinci
...he made off with our Void-Reality Observation Device, the Paper Moon.

Goredolf
That's right! Of all the things for him to take!

Meunière
Hey, he didn't exactly steal it from us, did he?
You gift wrapped the damn thing for him!

Meunière
Why the hell would you do something like that?
Even Sigurd found it weird!

Goredolf
You think I was giving him a present, you fool!?
I'll have you know that was me planning ahead!

Goredolf
He didn't look at all like the gentle sort, so I wrapped the Paper Moon carefully to ensure that he wouldn't break or damage it!

Meunière
...Wait, you did!? Really!?

Da Vinci
All right, all right,
you can argue all you want later.

Da Vinci
Between the emergency exit, attempted emergency dive, and Sigurd's attack, the damage to the Shadow Border is...extensive.

Da Vinci
Frankly, it's a miracle that none of us died.

Da Vinci
Although...

  1. How's Holmes doing?
  2. I haven't seen Holmes since all this...
  Select: How's Holmes doing?

  Select: I haven't seen Holmes since all this...

===Branch End===

Mash
...I'm worried, too. I haven't spoken to him since that battle. Is he...

Da Vinci
It's...not good.

Da Vinci
If he pushes himself even a little, he'll die.
He has to stay completely still while he recuperates.

Da Vinci
He didn't just lose an arm, you know.
He also got inscribed with a Primordial Rune of death.

Mash
A Primordial Rune...

Da Vinci
The lost Norse runes are one of the foundations of magecraft. Mages have partially reproduced them, but they pale in comparison to the original ones from the Age of Gods.

Da Vinci
Still, that doesn't mean they're not handy.

Da Vinci
They can be chanted very quickly, which makes them very useful in a lot of situations.

Da Vinci
For example, we used a whole bunch of them for Fujimaru's Mystic Codes, like Gandr.

Da Vinci
At any rate, the Primordial Runes are powerful stuff.

Da Vinci
According to Norse myth, Odin made most of the world out of Ymir, with the exception of the runes.

Da Vinci
No, the runes were a different matter: Odin discovered them after offering up his own life. Their shapes contain the depths of the world itself.

Da Vinci
I guess you could call them the pathways to truth that Odin discovered.

Da Vinci
If you inscribe the rune for death,
then there's no escaping it no matter what...

Da Vinci
...if you're flesh and blood, that is!

Mash
Flesh and blood...?

Mash
Then, since Holmes is a Heroic Spirit,
does that mean he can be cured?

Fou
Fou, fooou!

Da Vinci
You got it! A gold star for you, Mash!
I have no idea what you're saying, Fou!

Da Vinci
If you want to lavish me with praise for my genius in putting together a recovery pod for ether bodies on such short notice, you just go right ahead!

Da Vinci
You deserve some thanks too, Fujimaru.
I'm sorry you had to try to heal him with your Mystic Codes so many times.

Da Vinci
But it was thanks to you that Holmes didn't disappear before I could finish the recovery pod.

  1. It's fine. Don't worry about that.
  2. Hey, that's what they're there for.
  Select: It's fine. Don't worry about that.

  Select: Hey, that's what they're there for.

===Branch End===

Da Vinci
Well, thanks again. I'm sure he'll want to thank you too once he's back on his feet.

Da Vinci
That said, for the time being, Holmes will essentially be comatose. I know you're anxious, Gordy, but–

Goredolf
That's Mr. Goredolf to you, Technical Advisor!
Need I remind you that we are still in a briefing!

Goredolf
And on that note, let's get down to brass tacks.

Goredolf
Mash Kyrielight, Fujimaru, I have decided on a new mission for you. I trust you already know what it is, but I'll explain anyway.

Goredolf
We have lost both the Paper Moon and one of our Heroic Spirits. Well, temporarily in the latter case, at least.

Goredolf
The situation may be dire, but it's not going to improve by us sitting around twiddling our thumbs. Which means–

Da Vinci
The goal of this mission is to turn things around and keep moving forward!

Da Vinci
Oh, sorry, I stole your thunder, didn't I? Teehee!

Da Vinci
What!? I can giggle if I want!
All right, moving on!

Da Vinci
This mission has three main objectives: recovering the Paper Moon, cutting down the Tree of Emptiness, and finding a path to the North Sea.

Mash
Um...I understand why we need to get the Paper Moon back, since we can't continue our journey without it...

Mash
...but why is cutting down the Tree of Emptiness part of this mission too?

Da Vinci
An excellent question. As you'll recall, Sigurd didn't come here to kill us; he came to steal the Paper Moon.

Da Vinci
Why would he do that if he belonged to this Lostbelt?
Simply put, he wouldn't. Never in a million years.

Da Vinci
The only ones who would consider the Paper Moon a threat are the Crypters, especially now that they've lost Russia.

Da Vinci
In which case, it makes sense to assume that he is one of the Crypters' Servants.

Mash
Oh... So, this Lostbelt's Crypter already knows we're here, which means–

Meunière
Right, there's no avoiding a fight. And if we're going to have to do that, we might as well take down the Tree of Emptiness while we're at it, yeah?

Goredolf
Correct. Once the Crypter realizes the Tree of Emptiness is in danger, we can be certain they will have some sort of response.

Goredolf
And when they do, that will be the perfect chance for us to take the Paper Moon back. Maybe I'm being a little overly optimistic here, but I'd say this plan is absolutely foolproof!

Fou
Fou, fooou.

Da Vinci
Anyway, there's a ton of work to do before we get to that. First order of business: we need to conduct a thorough investigation of this Lostbelt.

Da Vinci
And since we have to stay here and repair the Border...

Da Vinci
...I'm afraid that will fall to the two of you again. You okay with that?

  1. W-we're on it.
  2. Just leave it to us.
  Select: W-we're on it.

  Select: Just leave it to us.

===Branch End===

Mash
Still...I'm a little worried about leaving the Border with Holmes in such critical condition...

  1. What if you get attacked again...?
  2. What about the giants?
  Select: What if you get attacked again...?
Da Vinci
I get where you're coming from, but it seems pretty clear that Sigurd was only after the Paper Moon.
Da Vinci
Both Gordy and I figure he'll leave us alone now that he got what he came for.
Meunière
I still don't get why he'd want a Void-Reality Observation Device in the first place.
Da Vinci
Hmm. To slow us down, maybe?
Meunière
Wouldn't it have been faster to just kill us all off and be done with it?
Da Vinci
Well, yeah, that's true. Honestly,
that seemed to be what he wanted to do, too.
Da Vinci
But, there's not much point in speculating now.

  Select: What about the giants?
Da Vinci
Heh heh heh. Not to worry! I've already got just the thing in mind for handling them!
Meunière
Oh, thank goodness.
I'm glad you are as skilled as you are cute...
Da Vinci
Flatterer! Don't stop now! It's about time somebody recognized just how useful I am!

===Branch End===

Da Vinci
Anyway, let's start by going over a few things! We need to make sure we're all on the same page for this Lostbelt, after all.

Da Vinci
First things first: the Norse mythology we know from Proper Human History.

Da Vinci
Scandinavia used to be home to all sorts of gods, giants, and other Mystics, just like the Age of Gods in other areas.

Da Vinci
But then in 1000 B.C., about three thousand years ago,
Mt. Katla erupted...and Ragnarök began.

Da Vinci
It brought an end to that entire reality–essentially Scandinavia's own Age of Gods.

Da Vinci
The gods, the giants, even the Phantasmals in the region, along with all their myths and legends, were completely wiped out.

Goredolf
At least, that's the conventional wisdom in the mage community.

Mash
Ragnarök... The Twilight of the Gods... That was the conflict that brought an end to the gods in Norse mythology, right?

Goredolf
That's right. Loki's mischief eventually begat all sorts of disasters, culminating with Muspel fire giants invading from Muspelheim, the land of flame.

Goredolf
In fact, what most believe to have been an enormous eruption from Mount Katla was actually the fire giants' invasion.

Goredolf
It's said that during Ragnarök, Odin was eaten by Fenrir, the great wolf of ruin, and that many gods died in a fearsome clash with the giants...

Goredolf
...before Surtr, the Fiery King of Giants and ruler of Muspelheim, laid waste to all the land with his flaming sword.

Da Vinci
Yup. And once the gods and giants had vanished from Scandinavia, that was when–

Mash
The Age of Humanity began... That was when most of the Mystic was lost, and civilization rapidly advanced...

Fou
Fou fo.
Fou fo, fo fou.

Da Vinci
Basically, yup.

Da Vinci
The idea that the reality texture covering the world disappeared along with Scandinavia's Age of Gods was more of a presumption, courtesy of mages from Proper Human History.

Da Vinci
That does differ a bit from regular historical records, though. The oldest known record we have of Mt. Katla erupting goes back to A.D. 930.

Da Vinci
There just aren't any records of what happened all the way back in 1000 B.C.

Goredolf
That tracks, if the entire texture was wiped out.

Goredolf
Again, conventional wisdom says that we only have bits and pieces left over now because of this entire texture disappearing.

Meunière
You really do love your conventional wisdom,
don't you, Director?

Goredolf
Wh-what's wrong with that!? Many notable authorities support that theory! I'm told it's all but common knowledge in the Clock Tower's Archaeology Department...in the Meluastea faction, to be precise!

Fou
Fo fou, fou.

Da Vinci
When you get right down to it,
there's still a lot we don't know.

Da Vinci
In Proper Human History, we never did get the full picture of the Scandinavian Age of Gods, so all we have are a lot of vague guesses patched together from whatever small remnants we could find.

Da Vinci
...But hey, that's pretty much the case everywhere!

Goredolf
However, that is obviously not the case for this version of Scandinavia. Not by a damn sight!

Goredolf
I'm guessing that here in this Scandinavian Lostbelt,
the Age of Gods never ended!

  1. We have run into giants...
  2. Does that mean there are gods here too?
  Select: We have run into giants...
Mash
Yes. As we've seen for ourselves, giants are very much alive and well in this Lostbelt.

  Select: Does that mean there are gods here too?
Mash
That would seem to follow...
Da Vinci
Maybe. Maybe not.
Da Vinci
If we are still in the Age of Gods here, then there may well be gods kicking around, too. But at this point, we really can't say for sure.

===Branch End===

Da Vinci
One of the big questions we need to answer is, when did this Lostbelt diverge from Proper Human History!

Da Vinci
The other is, given the giants we've run into, we can be certain that it is still before the A.D. era, and that Age of Gods-level Mystics still exist, but we don't yet know why that is.

Da Vinci
So, those are the two big questions: When and why?
We should feel a lot better once we have the answers.

Mash
So we want to know the time period this Lostbelt diverged from Proper Human History, and why it happened in the first place.

Da Vinci
Right you are, Mash!

Da Vinci
At this point, I think it could've diverged around three thousand years ago, around the time of Ragnarök in Proper Human History's Scandinavian Age of Gods...

Da Vinci
...but as to why that happened,
your guess is as good as mine.

Da Vinci
Why does this Lostbelt look like this?
What are those flames you saw on the northern mountains?

Da Vinci
And based on what we've been able to observe from the Border, why does it look like there aren't any towns or cities, like there were in Proper Human History?

Da Vinci
Are there even any other humans here? If so did they change into something else, like the Yaga?

Mash
...We really do have a lot of unanswered questions.

Goredolf
...That's right. We still know practically nothing. The best we have right now is our estimation that the Age of Gods never ended here.

Goredolf
If only a divine being would have the courtesy to show up and tell us what's going on. Hmph! Stupid Lostbelt!

Meunière
I don't know... I can't think of many gods that go in for the whole exposition thing.

Fou
Fou fou.

Da Vinci
Hey, at least you've got the adorable and knowledgeable Da Vinci on your side.

Da Vinci
Let's see, speaking of the situation here... Right, I've still got to tell you about the Scandinavian Tree of Emptiness.

Mash
But, we weren't able to see it...

Da Vinci
I imagine not, particularly since the Border couldn't see it with its sensors either.

Da Vinci
So we should assume that this Lostbelt's Tree of Emptiness is being concealed somehow.

Goredolf
Which is why your mission objectives include finding it. Good luck. We're counting on you.

  1. Roger that!
  2. And once we find it, we have to cut it down...
  Select: Roger that!
Goredolf
Good. That's what I like to hear.
It really raises my hopes for your performance!

  Select: And once we find it, we have to cut it down...
Goredolf
But of course. If you see an opportunity to chop it down, go right ahead. No need to wait for my orders in that case.

===Branch End===

Fou
Fou, fooou!

Da Vinci
Let's see... Oh, right. And one more thing...

Da Vinci
I really hate to say this, but...it's not possible to summon Servants outside of battle here.

Mash
!

Fou
Fou!

  1. Because the Border doesn't have enough power...?
  2. Because there aren't any leylines nearby or something?
  Select: Because the Border doesn't have enough power...?

  Select: Because there aren't any leylines nearby or something?

===Branch End===

Da Vinci
Mmm... The Border is running way low on power thanks to all the damage, but the biggest issue is the fact that we couldn't detect any leylines.

Da Vinci
I bet it's because of all the magical energy intertwined with the ice and snow at a molecular level. I'm afraid it's also going to interfere with our long-range comms.

Da Vinci
Alternatively, the ice and snow's magical energy could be completely controlling both this Lostbelt's mana and history.

Mash
So, that would mean...if someone were manipulating the ice and snow via magecraft, then–

Da Vinci
It'd mean they're incredibly powerful. If we wanna keep hypothesizing, I'd guess that if someone like that exists, they're also this Lostbelt's king.

Da Vinci
Of course, it's possible this is just what this Lostbelt is like, but let's at least keep that possibility in mind.

Goredolf
...Ahem. If I may?

Goredolf
In short, our situation is highly precarious. We have no choice but to send a mere two-person team to explore further, despite the fact that we currently have no means of defending ourselves.

Goredolf
I hope you can appreciate how difficult of a decision this was to reach.

  1. All clear here.
  2. Pretty sure you already said as much earlier?
  Select: All clear here.

  Select: Pretty sure you already said as much earlier?

===Branch End===

Goredolf
Hahaha! Good, good! Very well then, as the expedition team, you will leave first thing tomorrow morning, at zero nine hundred!

Da Vinci
While we're on the subject,
let's talk about your current destination, too.

Da Vinci
Though we don't know where Sigurd went after stealing the Paper Moon, we did detect a group of life-forms approximately one hundred and fifty kilometers northwest from the Border's current location.

Da Vinci
I'm hoping it's a village, even though there wasn't one there on the 2019 map...

Da Vinci
Aaanyway, I think that'd be a good place to start asking around. I'll make sure to prepare some translation talismans before you leave, of course.

Da Vinci
I wish I could do more to help you two. Under normal circumstances, I'd be right there with you in the Border...

Da Vinci
But this is the best we can do right now.
I'm sorry.

Da Vinci
The Shadow Border still needs a lot of repair work to get it mobile again, and of course, Zero Sailing is currently out of the question.

Da Vinci
Still, at least you won't have to worry about the Ortinax. I spent the last twenty hours going over the whole thing with a fine-tooth comb.

Da Vinci
You shouldn't have to worry about it acting up after getting hit with a demonic sword anymore.

Mash
Thank you, Da Vinci.
The next time I see him...

Da Vinci
Yup. You give him the what for.
Don't hold back on Siegfried's account!

Mash
Yes, you're right. Though I don't think we need to bring Siegfried into this!

Meunière
It sucks that we can't count on our comms... I wish we at least had one more fighter we could send with you.

Da Vinci
Yeah, having another Heroic Spirit around right now would be real welcome. Especially one who could watch over the Border for me!

Goredolf
Oh no you don't! Don't you even think about wasting our last bit of power on a summoning test.

Goredolf
If you've got time to whine about things we haven't got, then get out there and find them! That's the smart way to go about this!

Da Vinci
...Yeah, you've got a point.

Da Vinci
All right, Mash, Fujimaru.

Da Vinci
We're going to have to count on the two of you to find some help, and maybe even bolster our fighting forces into the bargain.

Mash
Maybe there are other Heroic Spirits from Proper Human History here, like there were in Russia.

Da Vinci
Exactly. With any luck, there'll be Heroic Spirits the land itself summoned here, like Beowulf and Billy.

Da Vinci
All right, let's go over everything one last time.

Da Vinci
...For this mission,
you two have three primary objectives.

Da Vinci
First, take back the Paper Moon.
Second, cut down the Tree of Emptiness.

Da Vinci
And third, find a path to the North Sea. Of course, those last two are more for extra credit, but the first one is absolutely crucial!

Da Vinci
So let's get started with that information gathering and, hopefully, recruiting some fighters!

  1. Got it!
  2. We won't let this mission fail!
  Select: Got it!

  Select: We won't let this mission fail!

===Branch End===

Mash
Right, Senpai!

Fou
Fou! Fo fou!

Goredolf
Very well then, we begin tomorrow morning at zero nine hundred!

Goredolf
Now, if there are no further questions,
this briefing is concluded!

--ARROW--

Mash
It doesn't look like there'll be any blizzard. Looks like today's forecast for the southern Sweden region of this Lostbelt is clear skies.

Mash
I'm all set, Senpai.

  1. I'm glad it's still sunny out.
  2. I just hope we don't run into any storms, like last time.
  Select: I'm glad it's still sunny out.
Mash
Me too. I think this is a good sign!
Mash
...Maybe I shouldn't say that,
given the situation.
Mash
But, I still want to stay positive.
Da Vinci
True. Getting depressed isn't gonna do anything to help us out of this.
Da Vinci
You've got the right idea, Mash!
Here, have a Da Vinci Head Pat, on the house.
Da Vinci
There you go.
Mash
Th-thank you, Da Vinci.

  Select: I just hope we don't run into any storms, like last time.
Mash
I doubt we'll see many storms as big as the ones in Russia, but this Lostbelt certainly is extraordinary.
Mash
We'll need to pay close attention in general, not just to the weather, as we go. Especially since we can't count on much in the way of backup this time...
Da Vinci
I know. I really wish there was another Heroic Spirit who could take over for me here...but, since there isn't, we'll just have to make do.

===Branch End===

Goredolf
Technical Advisor! How long are you planning to spend saying your goodbyes!? Get back in here already!

Goredolf
Need I remind you, you're the only operational Heroic Spirit we've got right now, and every second you spend away is another second the rest of us are defenseless!

Da Vinci
Aw, what's the matter, Director? Miss them already?
Something you want to say to them before they go?

Goredolf
No! I mean, yes!

Goredolf
With the Paper Moon stolen, our position is extremely precarious! Add to that the fact that we have no mobility on land...

Goredolf
...and we're as good as dead if an enemy happens to find us... Therefore! It is imperative you two complete your mission and return as quickly as possible!

Goredolf
Whatever you do, make sure you don't just rush in and get yourselves hurt...or worse!

Goredolf
We absolutely cannot afford to lose any more of our human–or Servant–resources!

Goredolf
Really, we can't afford to lose anything else,
given the state of things... Anyway, your first order of business is getting the Paper Moon back. The second is returning here safely. Now get on with it!

Da Vinci
Hehe. For all his bluster, our new director really does wear his heart on his sleeve.

Da Vinci
I'm pretty sure that was his way of showing he's worried about you two. I mean, it's pretty obvious at this point, right?

Mash
...Yes, it is.

  1. I'm starting to get a better sense of him.
  2. We'll have to make sure we come back safely, so we don't worry him.
  Select: I'm starting to get a better sense of him.
Mash
...

  Select: We'll have to make sure we come back safely, so we don't worry him.
Mash
Right, Senpai. We already made him worry a lot during Sigurd's attack...

===Branch End===

Da Vinci
Oh, you should've heard him: “Have the Demi-Servant girl's injuries healed yet? Will those two be okay if they run into the demonic sword wielder again?”

Da Vinci
Not that he's gonna lift a finger himself, given how he's been even more timid than usual ever since Holmes got taken out!

Mash
I must admit, I am a little worried about the Border,
with you being the only one who can defend it now...

Da Vinci
Hey, I know I'm not much of a fighter.
But don't you worry.

Da Vinci
I'm pretty sure Sigurd isn't gonna bother the Border anymore...

Da Vinci
Plus I've already gone and put up an extra sturdy Bounded Field around it anyway!

Da Vinci
And it's not just sturdy. I made sure none of the indigenous life would even be able to tell it's there, especially the giants.

Da Vinci
I don't think I've worked this hard on a Bounded Field since I was putting the finishing touches on the Mona Lisa...

Mash
(I-I had no idea Da Vinci used to put up Bounded Fields around her paintings back when she was alive!)

Da Vinci
All right then, we'll be here waiting for you to come back with good news.

Da Vinci
You two be extra careful out there.
We still don't know much about this place, after all.

Da Vinci
Not to mention that, well...

Da Vinci
...the fact that we won't be able to communicate is going to be a serious issue. I wish I could have done something about that, but we're past that now.

Da Vinci
The ice and snow here are infused with magical energy, which'll get in the way no matter what, so we won't be able to talk to each other once you're more than a few kilometers out.

Da Vinci
But that doesn't mean I'm giving up. I've still got a few ideas I'll try when I get the chance.

  1. You've had a lot on your plate between healing Holmes and fixing the Border.
  2. Just make sure you don't push yourself too hard, okay?
  Select: You've had a lot on your plate between healing Holmes and fixing the Border.

  Select: Just make sure you don't push yourself too hard, okay?

===Branch End===

Da Vinci
With the Border immobilized...

Da Vinci
...we effectively won't be able to share what we each learn until you make it back to this Norrköping area.

Da Vinci
This'll be the first time you two are entirely on your own. Make sure you're especially careful.

Da Vinci
Don't go out of your way to save any cute girls asking for help unless they're at least as cute as me, okay?

Mash
We won't. And please, you take care of yourself too, Da Vinci.

Da Vinci
Ugh, you guys are too damn nice for being so young.
...Then again, I guess I'm younger than you now, aren't I!

Da Vinci
Okay, I'll be careful too.
Oh, and one more–

Mash
Fou!?

Fou
Fou fou, fooou!
Kyuuu!

Da Vinci
Whoa!

Mash
When did you sneak out here!?
Aha, you were hiding out in my shield again, weren't you?

Fou
Fou fou fou, fo fo fo.

Mash
...Okay. It looks like Fou's coming along with us, too.

  1. I feel safer already.
  2. The more the merrier!
  Select: I feel safer already.

  Select: The more the merrier!

===Branch End===

Mash
Yes. Going from two to three means fifty percent more resources! Thanks for coming along, Fou.

Fou
Fou fooou.

Da Vinci
So even Fou's trying to help make up for our lack of personnel now... Well, he has great instincts, at least... Isn't that right, you little fur ball, you!

Fou
Fou!

Mash
Hehe. Yes, Fou is more than capable in his own right.
Having him along will be a big help!

Mash
I think we'll be able to effectively fight as a group of three now.

Fou
Fou fo, fo fo fo.

Mash
Yes, I mean that.

Fou
Fo, fooou. Fou!

Mash
You want to sit on my shoulder? Not Senpai's?

Da Vinci
Looks like he really likes you, Mash. Okay, this two-person team is now officially a three-person team!

Da Vinci
And on that note...it's finally time to show off my latest invention!

Da Vinci
This little beauty is something I came up with while I was trying to figure out a way to stay in touch.

Da Vinci
Sadly, they won't help us communicate, but they will help you get around this Lostbelt a lot easier! I give you...

Da Vinci
...the Ortinax Ollerus Board attachments!

Mash
What the...!?

Mash
Are these some kind of additional equipment for my exoskeleton? When did you even have time to make these...!?

  1. They're skis!
  2. Those are skis if ever I saw any!
  Select: They're skis!

  Select: Those are skis if ever I saw any!

===Branch End===

Fou
Fou, fooo fo!?

Da Vinci
Never underestimate a genius! Hehehehe, that's right!
These are basically super awesome skis!

Da Vinci
Thanks to their magical energy thrusters, you'll be zipping around like nobody's business! Not even Ollerus, the Guardian Patron Saint of Skiers, has got anything on these babies!

Da Vinci
Don't worry, they come with wards and gyro sensors designed to help you keep your balance.

Da Vinci
I've got a set for you too, Fujimaru. With these,
you three should be able to make your way around the Scandinavian snow plains in the blink of an eye!

  1. Now we won't have to ride any weird local animals...!
  2. This is awesome! You're the best, Da Vinci!
  Select: Now we won't have to ride any weird local animals...!

  Select: This is awesome! You're the best, Da Vinci!

===Branch End===

Da Vinci
Hehehe.
That's right, you should damn well be impressed!

Da Vinci
Oh, be aware that if you want to go really fast, you should fold yours up and just hang on tight to Mash.

Mash
...Thank you, Da Vinci. I appreciate this a lot,
but this isn't taking care of yourself.

Da Vinci
Hehehe. Hey, if you're going to stay up all night working, best to do it when you're young☆

Da Vinci
Besides, I asked way too much of you two the day before yesterday. It's the least I can do to make up for that.

Da Vinci
I'm sure Holmes would say the same...

Da Vinci
...but then again, given what our great detective is like...maybe not...

Da Vinci
...I know it's my fault you two keep having to shoulder so much responsibility.

Da Vinci
So at the risk of sounding like a broken record:
be careful out there.

Da Vinci
I filled the storage space in Mash's shield with camping gear, water, and a few days worth of food, so make sure you rest up when you need to.

Da Vinci
Remember, it's gonna be just the two of you (and Fou), so you need to be extra, extra careful!

Mash
Right!

  1. See you later, Da Vinci!
 
  Select: See you later, Da Vinci!

===Branch End===

Da Vinci
...Bye! Have a good trip!

--ARROW--

Mash
...Snow, ice, and fire.

Mash
So this is the Scandinavian Lostbelt...
Looking at it again, it's all very...

  1. Strange.
  2. Beautiful.
  Select: Strange.
Mash
Yes. I think so too.
Mash
Ice and snow need extreme cold, but fire is one of the hottest things in the world. Yet somehow, here they are, coexisting.
Mash
To see two such fundamentally different things mixed together like this... I don't know what to call it other than strange.
Mash
There doesn't seem to be anything here that can burn,
but there's the fire, floating above the mountains...
Mash
If this isn't from Mystics, I don't know what is!
Fou
Fou!

  Select: Beautiful.
Mash
Yes...that's true.
It's definitely a beautiful landscape.
Mash
Ice and snow need extreme cold, but fire is one of the hottest things in the world. Yet somehow, here they are, coexisting.
Mash
I've never seen anything like it before.
Mash
But, at the same time...it's kind of bizarre.
Mash
There doesn't seem to be anything here that can burn,
but there's the fire, floating above the mountains...
Mash
This scenery may be beautiful,
but it's also incomprehensibly Mystic...
Fou
Fou...

===Branch End===

Mash
...The Ollerus Boards are great at getting around, since they can even go up inclines, but when you move at high speeds, you really won't be able to take stock of your surroundings as much.

Mash
Now that we're taking a break to look around,
there are several things I've noticed.

Mash
For example, the amount of fallen snow. I read that Scandinavia actually isn't all that snowy, except for Norway.

Mash
But here, in this Lostbelt...
The mountains are frozen over, even the trees are...

Mash
No, wait... Not trees, just ice shaped like conifers...?

  1. Does this mean there aren't any plants here?
  2. It does look like there's only fire, ice, and snow here.
  Select: Does this mean there aren't any plants here?

  Select: It does look like there's only fire, ice, and snow here.

===Branch End===

Mash
It certainly seems that way. At least, at this point...

Mash
...
...

Mash
Maybe this means there's a different force at work here. Something very different from what caused Russia's ice age.

Mash
I remember hearing these Lostbelts are alternate, hypothetical versions of history.

Mash
What must this world's history have been like for it to have this sort of scenery...?

Mash
Ah...

Fou
Fo, fooou! Kyaaau!

Mash
Look, Senpai!
Birds!

Mash
That must mean this Lostbelt has other, normal animals and not just giants and Demonic Beasts!

  1. Looks that way.
  2. I'm kind of relieved to see that.
  Select: Looks that way.

  Select: I'm kind of relieved to see that.
Mash
Right. The fact that birds can survive in this world is a good sign.

===Branch End===

Fou
Fou, fooou!

Mash
Fou? Is there something about those birds that bothers you...?

Fou
Fou fou, fou.

Mash
?

Mash
Um, anyway, we should get back to our journey. Fou, you stay inside my shield while we use the Ollerus Boards, okay?

Mash
We don't want the wind blowing you away while we're on the move, after all.

Fou
Fooou.

Mash
But first...

Mash
Here's a map of where we would be in Proper Human History. There's definitely some margin of error, since there aren't any GPS satellites to sync it up with, but it should still help...

Mash
There we go. We're currently on the Scandinavian Peninsula, right on top of what used to be Lake Vättern in southern Sweden.

  1. Got it.
  2. Hang on. We're on a lake?
  Select: Got it.
Mash
...
...

  Select: Hang on. We're on a lake?
Mash
...Yes, that's right.
At least, we would be in Proper Human History...

===Branch End===

Mash
Lake Vättern is an enormous lake believed to have taken shape after Earth's most recent ice age. It's said to be almost two thousand squre kilometers.

Mash
But, in this Lostbelt, we're obviously standing on a mountain range covered in snow...

Fou
Fooou, fou fou. Fou...fo?

Mash
...It's not just the ice, snow, and fire... This Lostbelt differs from Proper Human History in a lot of significant ways...

Mash
I thought I'd learned that in Russia, but after seeing all this, I feel like I'm learning it all over again.

Fou
Fou fou fou. Fo fo fou fo, fou!

Fou
Fou, kyuuu!

Mash
Ah! Fou!?

Fou
Kyau, kyuuu!

Mash
Wh-what is it, Fou?
Did I do something to–

Mash
Ah!!!

Mash
I'm so sorry! I should have noticed sooner! There are large magical energy signals nearby... They look to be giants!

Mash
But, why now? We didn't run into a single one on the way here...

Mash
Maybe they only approach you if you stay in one place for a long time?

Mash
No, never mind. I'll worry about that later.
Right now, we need to take care of the immediate threat.

  1. Let's go head them off!
  2. Make sure your newly tuned-up Ortinax is ready to go!
  Select: Let's go head them off!

  Select: Make sure your newly tuned-up Ortinax is ready to go!

===Branch End===

F:Mash
Understood. Ready to begin battle once the giants are in range!

--BATTLE--

Mash
...The battle is over. There are no other magical energy signals within thirty meters of our position.

Mash
I have to apologize again, Senpai.

Mash
Even after all of Da Vinci's reminders to be careful, I still let my guard down.

Mash
I know I need to be extra vigilant in watching for magical energy signals and Servants, especially since we can't contact the Border...

Mash
...and yet, I completely failed at that task...

  1. Don't worry, Mash. It's okay. Really.
  2. Let's take this as a reminder of why we need to be more careful.
  Select: Don't worry, Mash. It's okay. Really.
Mash
...Thank you, Senpai.

  Select: Let's take this as a reminder of why we need to be more careful.
Mash
Right.
I promise, I won't make the same mistake again!

===Branch End===

Fou
Fou! Fou! Fooou...

Mash
...Thank you, Fou, but it's not your fault.
You have nothing to apologize for.

Mash
If anything, I should be thanking you for alerting us to the danger. So, thank you.

Fou
Fou fou.

Mash
Given that we're unable to contact the Shadow Border, we're effectively cut off from Chaldea itself. I need to keep that in mind.

Mash
In accordance with the Chaldea Personnel Code,
Article 23, Paragraph 2...

Mash
...it's imperative that I remain calm,
and proceed with caution.

Mash
In other words...I'm free to make decisions, act independently, and return to base at my own discretion!

Mash
...And then make an official report, of course.

  1. Personnel Code, Article 23, Paragraph 2, huh...
  2. It seems kind of, uh, sparse on the details...
  Select: Personnel Code, Article 23, Paragraph 2, huh...

  Select: It seems kind of, uh, sparse on the details...

===Branch End===

Mash
Yes, it is. Dr. Roman added Paragraph 2 when no one was looking.

  1. That explains it.
  2. That's just like him.
  Select: That explains it.
Mash
Yes...
All right, let's resume our expedition, Senpai.

  Select: That's just like him.
Mash
Yes. It is, isn't it?

===Branch End===

Mash
I've confirmed that the Ortinax Ollerus Board attachments have been safely shut down and stowed.

Mash
Initiating standard Ortinax movement mode.

Mash
Since there are a lot of trees in this area, I think it would be better to put the Ollerus Boards away and move around on foot for a while.

  1. Good idea. Let's do that.
  2. So many ice trees...
  Select: Good idea. Let's do that.
Mash
Okay, Senpai.

  Select: So many ice trees...
Mash
...They're not really just frozen trees then, are they?

===Branch End===

Mash
...Trees actually made out of ice...

Mash
I can't tell if they were carved from ice, or if all these tree-like formations were stuck in the ground...

Mash
Either way...I can't imagine there would be much wildlife in an place like this.

Fou
Fou...

Mash
That said, I don't know if this is a good thing or not, but...

Mash
...based on the magical energy signals I'm sensing, it looks like there are more giants past the ice trees.

Mash
There are more of them gathered together there than anywhere else we've seen so far.

Mash
Maybe the path we took to avoid the fiery mountains ended up bringing us to their territory.

  1. We don't want to fight them if we can help it.
  2. Let's try to make sure they don't see us.
  Select: We don't want to fight them if we can help it.

  Select: Let's try to make sure they don't see us.

===Branch End===

Mash
Good point. I'll keep that in mind, Master.

Fou
Fou, fou fou? Fau?

Mash
Yes, Fou. That means we'll be walking from here on.

Fou
Fou!

Fou
Fou!

Mash
I can't believe he's already gone that far ahead...

Mash
Please don't run off too far on your own, Fou.
We don't want a giant spotting you.

Mash
Oh, but then again, maybe it would be okay.

Mash
You're so cute that even a giant might want to keep you as a pet instead of eating you...

Fou
Fou. Fou.

Mash
...
...

Mash
...Senpai, can I talk to you about something?

  1. Of course.
  2. Is this about Sigurd?
  Select: Of course.
Mash
Thank you.

  Select: Is this about Sigurd?
Mash
...Yes, it is.

===Branch End===

Mash
Something has been bothering me about him.

Mash
Sigurd is one of the greatest heroes in all of Scandinavia.

Mash
He reforged King Sigmund–his father's demonic sword, Gram, after the divine spear Gungnir shattered it...

Mash
...then went on to defeat the dragon Fafnir and gain its wisdom. That all fits with what Holmes told us.

Mash
Later, he and Brynhild the Valkyrie fell in love, but their relationship was poisoned by hate, and ended with his death...

Mash
He has many of the same roots as Siegfried...so much so that some believe they were actually the same hero.

Mash
And yet... I don't know why, but...

Mash
...I didn't get that sense at all from that masked Heroic Spirit...

  1. True, he and Siegfried couldn't be more different.
  2. He was definitely really strong, but...
  Select: True, he and Siegfried couldn't be more different.
Mash
...I agree.

  Select: He was definitely really strong, but...
Mash
Something keeps nagging at the back of my mind.
It's hard to put it into words, but–

===Branch End===

Mash
Senpai, I think I hear some–

B:Child's Voice
...Eeyaaaaaaaaah!

  1. That sounded like a child!
  2. Mash!
  Select: That sounded like a child!

  Select: Mash!

===Branch End===

Mash
Right! It came from the north-northwest! Let's go!

Girl
O-ohh no...

Girl
They saw me... Now what do I do?
It was going so well, too...

Girl
I don't understand... Why do things never turn out well for me!? I'm such an idiot!

Girl
Ahhhhhh...! No, no... Please, no...!

Girl
Eep...!

Mash
We made it, Master!

Mash
Please focus on keeping her safe! As for me–

Mash
...I'll handle these giants.
You get back too please, Fou!

Fou
Fou fou!

Girl
Wh-wh-what the...? Who are you two...?

Girl
No! No, no, no, no, you can't!
Any child the Bergrisar find is doomed!

Girl
S-so...so you have to run away if you see a child being attacked by one of them!

Girl
I-I don't understand... Why are you doing this!?
Go on, get out of here!

  1. We can't do that!
  2. That is not an option!
  Select: We can't do that!

  Select: That is not an option!

===Branch End===

Girl
H-huh...?

Girl
Eeyaaaaaaaaah!!!
You idiot! Now they're going to squish all of us...!

Mash
No they won't! We won't let them! Ortinax is holding steady at maximum output. I can do this. Master!

  1. Let's save this girl, Mash!
 
  Select: Let's save this girl, Mash!
Mash
Right!

===Branch End===

--BATTLE--

A:Mash
...The battle is over. I don't detect any other magical energy signals within thirty meters.

Mash
We defeated the giants and ice creatures...but that was the first time we've come across a mountain giant.

Mash
...A Bergrisi...

Mash
In Norse mythology, the Bergrisar were a race of mountain giants that were on friendly terms with the Jötnar, the frost giants.

Mash
But, I don't remember reading anything about them banding together and attacking humans like that...

  1. First things first: great job out there, Mash.
  2. How's the Ortinax doing? Everything okay?
  Select: First things first: great job out there, Mash.
Mash
Thank you, Master.

  Select: How's the Ortinax doing? Everything okay?
Mash
Yes, everything's fine. Not to worry!

===Branch End===

Mash
I managed to fend off the attackers without sustaining any injury, all thanks to your support, Senpai.

Mash
The load on the Ortinax is well within its tolerance.
...Da Vinci did an amazing job tuning it up.

Fou
Fou, fou fou.
Fooou.

Mash
Oh! That's right.

Mash
Senpai, is that girl–

B:Girl
Bergrisar, Bergrisar, Bergrisar...

Girl
O Heavenly Mother, O merciful Goddess...
Please, I beg of you.

Girl
Even if the giants do smoosh me flat, please let me stay with everyone else after I die...

Girl
...
...

Mash
Umm... Excuse me...

Mash
(Is she speaking Swedish? The talisman doesn't have any problem translating conversation, but it's still a little hard to make out what she's saying.)

Mash
(It might just be me, but it kind of sounds like she has a strong accent too?)

Girl
...
...

  1. It's okay. You can open your eyes.
  2. All the giants are gone now.
  Select: It's okay. You can open your eyes.

  Select: All the giants are gone now.

===Branch End===

Mash
That's right. We're not going to hurt you.
I promise you're safe for the moment.

Girl
...

Girl
...I-I'm alive...?
There's no more Bergrisar around?

Mash
That's right. You have nothing to worry about.
There are no more giants around here.

Girl
...(Looks around)

Girl
...(Relieved sigh)

Girl
That's amazing!

Girl
I can't believe it! The Goddess must have sent you!

Girl
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
You two saved my life. That's so amazing!

Girl
How did you do it!? Usually, anyone the giants see ends up getting pancaked...

Girl
...but none of us are even a little bit squished!
Oh, uh, I'm sorry.

Girl
...Ahem. You're supposed to introduce yourself when you first meet someone, aren't you. I remember learning that.

Girl
My name's Gerda!

Mash
Hello, Gerda. That's a lovely name you have.
It has a wonderful Nordic ring to it.

Gerda
Thanks! Hehe, I like the way it sounds too.

Gerda
It's very nice to meet you both, Ms. Black Armor, {(M) Mr. Black Hair /(F) Ms. Red Hair}.

Gerda
What are YOUR names?

  1. I'm Fujimaru.
  2. This girl in the armor is Mash Kyrielight.
  Select: I'm Fujimaru.
Mash
And I'm Mash Kyrielight.
Gerda
Fujimaru and Mash Kyrielight, huh. Got it!

  Select: This girl in the armor is Mash Kyrielight.
Mash
Thank you, Master.
And this nice {(M) boy /(F) girl} is Fujimaru.
Mash
{(M) He's /(F) She's} my senpai.
Gerda
Senpai...?

===Branch End===

Gerda
You two are incredible.
I can't believe you really saved me!

Gerda
What village are you from? You don't seem like you're shivering... How can you not be cold with so few layers?

Gerda
I'm nice and warm, thanks to my fur coat. I knew I'd have to be ready for anything once I decided to go out on my own.

Gerda
The grown-ups won't help 'cause they're busy getting everything ready for tomorrow, so I have to do it all myself.

Gerda
That includes the cooking, and tending to the children who have come down with terrible fevers!

Gerda
O-oh, right, a reward!

Gerda
When someone does something nice for you,
you have to repay them.

Gerda
Oh, umm...I don't have anything on me right now.
I'd have to go back to the village...

Gerda
B-but I also have to find the medicinal herbs before I go back...

Gerda
...Hmmm. What should I do...

Mash
...

Mash
(Senpai, Senpai. This is the first Scandinavian we've met! This must mean there are human villages here.)

Mash
(And they don't seem to have mutated to adapt to this environment, like the Yaga had. Maybe that means their culture is closer to Proper Human History.)

Mash
(Although...for some reason...)

Mash
(...her outfit doesn't seem like anything someone would wear in 2020...)

Mash
(Regardless, I think she'll be willing to take us to her village. Once we get there, we can ask around...)

  1. ...Right.
  2. When the Tree of Emptiness is gone, she'll...
  Select: ...Right.
Mash
...Senpai?
Mash
...
...

  Select: When the Tree of Emptiness is gone, she'll...
Mash
Ah!
Mash
...Yes.
Mash
Once it's gone, all life in this Lostbelt will most likely...well...
Mash
But, if we're going to restore Proper Human History...

===Branch End===

  1. I know, it's just...
  2. I couldn't just let a little girl die...
  Select: I know, it's just...

  Select: I couldn't just let a little girl die...

===Branch End===

Mash
...Yes. I feel the same way.

Mash
I think I would have fought off those giants even if you hadn't said anything, Senpai.

Mash
...
...

Mash
No...there's no way you would have just stood by, Senpai. That's just not who you are.

Mash
You would always be the first to try and rescue her.

--ARROW--

Fou
Fou fou, fooou!

Fou
Fo, fo, fou!

Gerda
Aww, you're adorable!
Come here! It's okay!

Fou
Fou, kyaaau!

Gerda
Oooh, that looks like fun.
Let me try...

Gerda
Hop!

Fou
Foooooou!

Gerda
Teehee! You're too pretty to be a mouse.
Maybe you're a dog? Or a cat!

Gerda
Oh, I know. You must be a horse!

Fou
Forse!?

Gerda
I've never seen any animal besides sheep this close before!

Gerda
You're so beautiful...

Gerda
Oh, but I did see something else beautiful just a little while ago.

Gerda
It was a rainbow! A huge, seven-colored rainbow that stretched all the way past the mountains!

Gerda
Nobody else saw it, but I did.
Isn't that amazing? Hehe!

Fou
Fo fou.

Gerda
Hehehe. Yeah, I wish you could have seen it, too!

Fou
Fou!

Mash
I wonder why Fou is in such a good mood.
Could it be the weather?

Mash
Maybe he likes it cold like this?

Mash
There, look, Senpai. We've only just met Gerda,
and Fou has already taken to her.

Mash
Oh, wait. Maybe it's the other way around,
and Gerda's actually the one who's taken to him?

  1. I think so.
  2. ...She's a cheerful girl, isn't she?
  Select: I think so.

  Select: ...She's a cheerful girl, isn't she?

===Branch End===

Mash
Yes. She's very cheerful.

Mash
And it sounds like she came all this way to find special medicine for a friend back in her village...

Mash
She must be very responsible, too.

Mash
There's something I'm wondering about, though...

Mash
She said she was looking for medicinal herbs, right?
Does that mean plants can grow around here?

Mash
Not to mention that, if this is an emergency...

Mash
...why is she out here all by herself?

Mash
I don't know about other regions in this Lostbelt,
but it's no secret dangerous giants roam around here.

Mash
And of course, there's no way an ordinary human could fight a giant alone. They'd be dead for sure.

Mash
If someone needed to come out here...

Mash
...shouldn't it be an armed group of adults who know how to fight...?

  1. Those are all good points.
  2. There must be more to this we don't know yet.
  Select: Those are all good points.

  Select: There must be more to this we don't know yet.

===Branch End===

Gerda
Are you guys talking about me?

Gerda
That's right. I left my village to look for medicinal herbs! The grown-ups are too busy getting ready for tomorrow, so we kids have to take care of ourselves.

Gerda
And since I'm the big sister,
I have to do my best to pull my weight.

Gerda
That's pretty mature of me, right? Hehe.

Fou
Fou fou, fou!

Gerda
Ahaha, is that a compliment?
Thank you, Fou. You're such a good boy!

Gerda
Your fur is so pretty, too!
It's so soft and smooth!

Fou
Fou fou, fooou.

Mash
I'm sorry to interrupt, but I'm afraid it's dangerous here. This area seems to be frequented by giants...

Gerda
...Yeah, I guess you're right.

Gerda
We only see them occasionally near the village, but I know there's lots of giants around these mountains.

Gerda
Still, there's nothing else I can do... The only one who knows how to use runes is the envoy, and she isn't coming until tomorrow.

Gerda
Her runes of healing can cure people who are sick in no time...

Gerda
...but Laura probably won't survive through the night without those herbs...

Mash
(Runes of healing...? Envoy?)

Gerda
That's why I came all this way. Someone told me that there were amazing healing herbs near here.

Gerda
They said they can cure anything,
and that they're especially good for fevers!

Gerda
...So, um, well...

Gerda
I know it's reckless of me to be out here.
We're not really ever supposed to leave the village...

Mash
Really?

Gerda
Well, yes. Nobody's ever supposed to leave.
Isn't it like that in your village, too?

Gerda
The only ones permitted to go outside the village are the envoys chosen to be servants of the gods.

Mash
(God...)

Mash
Um, I'm sorry, but can you explain what you mean by “the gods” and “envoys”?

Gerda
Hehe, nice try!
But you won't trick me that easily!

Gerda
Lady Mash, girl in black armor.

Gerda
People have always told me that only envoys of the Goddess have swords or spears...

Gerda
...but I didn't know you used shields, too!
That's amazing, Lady Mash!

Mash
Wait. Me...an envoy...?

  1. Yeah, I could see it.
  2. Not sure about envoy, but you're definitely an angel.
  Select: Yeah, I could see it.
Mash
S-Senpai?

  Select: Not sure about envoy, but you're definitely an angel.
Mash
...!
Mash
C-come on, Master.
This is no time to be joking around...

===Branch End===

  1. Anyway, let's go find these medicinal herbs you're looking for.
  2. Maybe you can take us to your village once we've found the herbs?
  Select: Anyway, let's go find these medicinal herbs you're looking for.

  Select: Maybe you can take us to your village once we've found the herbs?

===Branch End===

Gerda
Hooray! I was hoping you might offer to help me!
Ooh, does that mean you can read my mind?

Gerda
Even if you don't have any weapons of your own,
{(M) Mr. Black Hair /(F) Ms. Red Hair}...

Gerda
...you must be an envoy of the gods, too!

--ARROW--

Gerda
Tree of Emptiness? The sun?

Fou
Fou fou, fou!

Mash
That's right. The Tree of Emptiness is like a huge tree that stretches all the way up to the sky. Have you ever heard of anything like that?

Mash
As for the sun, we were hoping you might know something about why it's so big here...

Gerda
Sorry... I don't know what you mean...
I don't know anything about either of those...

Gerda
I've never heard any legends about a big tree like that,
and the sun's always been that size.

Gerda
It's just like mountains always being made of fire or ice. That's just how it's always been! Nobody asks why!

Mash
I see...

Gerda
Ah.

Gerda
Oh no, did I say something to offend you, Lady Mash?
I'm so sorry if my answer didn't satisfy you.

Mash
No, no, its fine!
Please don't worry about it.

Mash
You have nothing to apologize for.
Right now, let's just focus on finding those herbs.

Gerda
Are you sure? Okay, thank you!
They should be pretty close by!

Fou
Fou, fou fooou fooou.

Mash
(Senpai...)

Mash
(In Norse mythology, the world tree–
Yggdrasil played a very important role.)

Mash
(I know she's young, but it seems a little strange that Gerda wouldn't know ANYTHING about it...)

  1. Yeah, you're right. It does.
  2. Maybe they just don't have any legends about Yggdrasil here?
  Select: Yeah, you're right. It does.
Mash
(Right.)

  Select: Maybe they just don't have any legends about Yggdrasil here?
Mash
(Th-that seems unlikely...)
Mash
(...but I suppose we can't completely rule it out...)

===Branch End===

Mash
(Given that Lostbelts, by definition, are alternate histories that differ from Proper Human History... Worlds where the Pruning Theoretical Phenomenon continued to take place to the present day...)

Mash
(...it is possible that the Norse mythology we know was altered somehow.)

Mash
(Mountains of ice...mountains of fire...)

Mash
(...a strangely large sun...and giants...)

Mash
(I wonder if all these things that seem so strange to us might have something to do with some different version of Norse myth...)

Mash
(...assuming that the myth here was actually historical fact here.)

Fou
Fou, fou!

Fou
Fo... Fo fo... Fo...
Fooou...

Mash
Senpai, Gerda! I'm sorry, but please stay still for a bit! Try not to make any sound...

Gerda
(Eep. Giant footsteps!)

Mash
(Fou was the first to notice again. He must have sensed the giant's presence before we did.)

Gerda
(???)

Mash
(I'm sorry, Gerda. This must be a lot for you to take in all at once. How can I put this...)

Mash
(Um, basically...Fou's got very good instincts!)

Fou
(Fou! Fo fo fo.)

Gerda
(Oh, I see. He looks very proud of that, too.)

Mash
(...)

Fou
(...)

Gerda
(...)

Mash
(...)

Fou
(...)

Gerda
(...)

Mash
(Those footsteps aren't getting any quieter...
It looks like the giant isn't about to leave.)

Gerda
(Well of course not. We're almost there, after all.)

  1. (Almost where, exactly?)
  2. (Oh no. Don't tell me the medicinal herbs are)
  Select: (Almost where, exactly?)

  Select: (Oh no. Don't tell me the medicinal herbs are)

===Branch End===

Gerda
(This way. Follow me, but be very, very quiet.)

Mash
(Activating Ortinax's stealth mode. Its silencing talisman should muffle the engine and exhaust noise...)

Mash
(There, that should do it. Let's go, Master.)

Gerda
(This is the place!)

Gerda
(There, look. See all the grass?
There's even flowers, too!)

Gerda
(They say that long ago, there used to be places like that outside our village, too. Places where animals and flowers could grow and thrive.)

Gerda
(They say it happens waaay up high in places between fire and ice mountains all the time.)

Gerda
(So I thought about it,
and decided to climb the ice mountain side.)

Gerda
(Not that it was much of a choice, since humans can't climb the fire mountains, right? We'd get burned up.)

Mash
(I see. That does make sense...)

Mash
(Maybe it's because we're relatively high up near the fire that the ice and snow have melted here...)

Mash
(The air is nice and warm, and you can see the land.
That must be why plants and flowers can grow here.)

Mash
(It's almost like a garden...)

  1. (It IS beautiful here...)
  2. (Um, I can't help but notice the giants...)
  Select: (It IS beautiful here...)

  Select: (Um, I can't help but notice the giants...)

===Branch End===

Mash
(Y-yes, there are giants walking around here, too.
But that has helped us learn something, Senpai!)

Mash
(It looks like Norse giants can live in all kinds of environments, not just cold ones!)

Mash
(In fact, judging from the way they're gathered here,
they may even prefer warmer climates.)

Mash
(...I guess they don't like the cold, either.)

  1. (There are a lot of them here...)
  2. (This is going to make things difficult...)
  Select: (There are a lot of them here...)

  Select: (This is going to make things difficult...)

===Branch End===

Mash
(...That's true.)

Mash
(I suggest we whittle the giants' numbers down a bit, collect the herbs we're after...)

Mash
(...then quickly activate the Ollerus Boards' thruster mode to make an emergency getaway.)

Fou
(Fo fou.)

Mash
(So far, our path has been through the eastern ice forest, but the west looks to be a steep, snowy slope.)

Mash
(So if we can just get to that slope,
and ski down the rest of the way...)

Gerda
(Yes! If you're good skiers,
that will work! I think.)

Gerda
(But how can we? We don't have any skis...)

  1. (Don't worry, we've got that part covered.)
  2. (We've got something even better!)
  Select: (Don't worry, we've got that part covered.)

  Select: (We've got something even better!)

===Branch End===

Gerda
Huh? You brought skis with you!?
Where are they?

Gerda
...Oops. I'm so sorr–

Fou
Fou faaau! Kyau!!!

Mash
It's okay, Gerda! We'll just, um,
start the operation sooner than we expected!

Mash
Senpai, requesting orders and support!

  1. Right! Now let's get this operation underway!
  2. First mission: reduce the giants' numbers!
  Select: Right! Now let's get this operation underway!

  Select: First mission: reduce the giants' numbers!

===Branch End===

Mash
Understood, Master!
Switching Ortinax from stealth mode to combat mode!

Mash
...Moving to intercept the enemy now!

--BATTLE--

Mash
The first wave is down! Auto-tuning Ortinax for consecutive battles. Releasing exhaust, now!

Mash
Output values remain stable.
I'm still good to go.

Fou
Fou fou fou!
Kyuuu, kyu!

Mash
Don't worry, Fou!
I'm conserving energy for our escape!

Mash
Resuming battle, Master!

--BATTLE--

Mash
...Second wave defeated. Da Vinci really is amazing.
I can keep going, no problem!

Fou
Fooou, fo fou!

Mash
Uh, yes, I'm pretty sure I'm not pushing it too far! The Ortinax's output is down by about twenty percent, but it should be fine for another battle, at least.

Mash
Don't worry about me, Senpai!
Just tell me what you need me to do...!

  1. There's still a bunch more coming!
  2. I'd just as soon avoid a fight if we can.
  Select: There's still a bunch more coming!

  Select: I'd just as soon avoid a fight if we can.

===Branch End===

Fou
Fo... Fo fo fo, fou!?

Mash
Huh...?

Mash
Fou! Stop Gerda!
She's trying to run off on her own!

Gerda
I'll be right back! I can't just sit around and do nothing while you guys fight!

Mash
Gerda!

Mash
Khh... You're not going...anywhere!

Mash
Expanding the Ortinax's functionality!
Temporarily boosting output! ...Amalgam Goad!

  1. Hang in there just a little longer, Mash!
  2. Gerda! Get back here!
  Select: Hang in there just a little longer, Mash!
Mash
I will! Don't worry, I'm fine!

  Select: Gerda! Get back here!

===Branch End===

Gerda
I got the herbs!

Gerda
(Huff, huff, huff)... (Gasp, gasp)...!
I did it. I really did it!

  1. Mash!
  2. Start heading for the western slope!
  Select: Mash!

  Select: Start heading for the western slope!

===Branch End===

Mash
Understood!

Gerda
Wooow...! You're so amazing, Lady Mash!

Gerda
Those giants are huge, but you fought them like they were nothing. I didn't think that was possible...!

Gerda
I knew you envoys weren't scared of giants!

Gerda
I bet they could never catch and squish you like they do with all the grown-ups.

  1. All the grown-ups?
  2. What do you mean by
  Select: All the grown-ups?

  Select: What do you mean by

===Branch End===

Mash
Senpai, hang on tight to me! You too, Gerda and Fou!
...Okay, here goes!

Gerda
Eee!

Fou
Fou fou, kyaaau!

Mash
Equipping the Ortinax Ollerus Board attachments now... Activating emergency booster!

Mash
The wind pressure will be incredible, so make sure to keep your eyes closed! My visor will protect me!

Mash
Switching over from stage three thruster to emergency booster. Ollerus Boards, standing by. Three, two, one...

Mash
...Ignition!

Koyanskaya
Hellooo, Opheliaaa☆

Ophelia
It's you...

Koyanskaya
Welcome to this wonderfully wintry snow-and-ice guest room, fit for a princess–Oh, right, this isn't your first time here, is it?

Koyanskaya
I hope you don't mind that I got started without you? I have to say, this vodka on Scandinavian rocks is better than I expected☆

Ophelia
...
...

Koyanskaya
Oh my, I can see you don't approve of drinking on the job. Indeed, I couldn't agree more.

Koyanskaya
But it's not MY fault; it's this castle. Just when I thought I'd get a reprieve from Russia's cold, too...

Koyanskaya
I mean, a palace made entirely of solid ice? Talk about overwrought. They even say it's cold enough that I'd frost over without a Mystic Code.

Koyanskaya
I do prefer the cold to heat, but this is overkill!
Don't you agree, darling Ophelia?

Koyanskaya
You ARE Scandinavian yourself, after all, aren't you?

Ophelia
...It doesn't bother me.

Ophelia
I'm surprised you're still here, Koyanskaya. I'd have thought you'd be long gone to another Lostbelt by now.

Ophelia
Don't you have your own job to do,
just as Lord Kirschtaria gave me one?

Koyanskaya
Oh, don't you worry about that.
My work here in Scandinavia is just about done.

Koyanskaya
The Tree of Emptiness is coming along nicely,
and this Lostbelt's king has been very cooperative.

Koyanskaya
Now that I've made some nice additions to my personal collection, I'll be moving on to the next Lostbelt soon.

Koyanskaya
Honestly, this has me feeling like I should have spent more time in Russia helping Kadoc a little more, seeing how smoothly things have gone here.

Koyanskaya
Still, if I'm going to worry about anyone...

Koyanskaya
...it'd be you, since Kadoc doesn't matter anymore,
and you have a lot of work left unfinished.

Koyanskaya
Besides, we girls have to look out for each other, don't we?☆

Ophelia
I don't recall asking for your help, Koyanskaya. If you're saying that you're worried about me, then I'll put this simply: don't be.

Koyanskaya
Aww, really? Are you sure? Suuuper sure?

Koyanskaya
We all know you're an earnest and highly capable mage, but there's just something about you that makes you seem...consumed by ennui. Like you're not quite in the moment, you know?

Koyanskaya
It kicks my maternal instincts into overdrive.

Koyanskaya
Not that I really know anything about how a mother would feel.

Ophelia
Can't you take a hint...?

Ophelia
My loyalty is with Lord Kirschtaria Wodime,
and him alone. You don't have to worry about me.

Ophelia
I'll never waver, nor will I fall for anyone's deception. My Mystic Code has a talisman designed explicitly to protect my mind.

Koyanskaya
Oh? Since you went to aaall that trouble of shoring up those defenses, doesn't that suggest you see that as a weakness of yours?

Koyanskaya
Oopsies. I guess that's what they mean by “let sleeping dogs lie.” Or maybe “silence is golden” would be more apt?

Koyanskaya
All righty, let's just pretend I didn't notice that and try this again!

Koyanskaya
Come on Ophelia, have a drink with me! We can hang out and live it up till the sun comes up!

Ophelia
...(Sigh)

Koyanskaya
Awww. Why the sigh?

Ophelia
...Looks like I'll just have to spell it out.

Ophelia
We don't need you here. Find another Lostbelt to visit if you're just here to indulge your hobbies.

Koyanskaya
Oh, I will. I'll be on my way just as soon as I get bored with my little Scandinavian vacation.

Koyanskaya
So let's get along until I do, hm?
After all, you and I are both human haters!

Koyanskaya
Hehe... It's okay, Ophelia Phamrsolone.
Poor, poor little rich girl.

Koyanskaya
Nobody will pressure you here.
You'll never have to dread Sundays again.

Ophelia
Huh...?

Ophelia
What did you just–

Ophelia
...What do you know?

Koyanskaya
Oh, don't be so surprised. We're both women, and neither of us has many other friends. Why would there be any secrets between us?

Koyanskaya
It's okay, Ophelia.
You don't have to worry about anything anymore.

Koyanskaya
There's nothing to be afraid of, and nothing to feel guilty about. You can dedicate your whole being to following your beloved's orders.

Koyanskaya
The whole world has been wiped clean; now it's nothing but endless white. It's only a matter of time until these Lostbelts fall apart too.

Koyanskaya
We're all just killing time until the Foreign God graces us with their presence. So why not enjoy ourselves while we wait?

Ophelia
...You–

Koyanskaya
So relax. Don't worry about aaanything anymore.

Koyanskaya
...Let's just sit back and enjoy our never-ending Wednesday–Odin's day–together, shall we?

Section 4: Lord of Creation (End)

Show/Hide Story Chapter

Mash
Shutting down high-speed mode, now.
Good work hanging on, everyone.

Mash
Our current estimated location is atop what used to be Lake Vänern...the lake northwest of Lake Vättern.

Mash
Which means this village almost certainly didn't exist in Proper Human History.

Gerda
We're here! Welcome to my village!

Fou
Fou, fooou!

Gerda
Hehe, this is so strange and wonderful!
I thought guests only showed up in stories!

Gerda
I never thought I'd get to actually welcome real guests myself one day. And, oooh, and, and, and! You must both be envoys, too!

Mash
Have you never had anyone visit from outside your village before?

Gerda
No, we haven't.
All the villages really keep to themselves...

Gerda
Oh, but, maybe it's different at the other villages?

Mash
I see...

  1. This village is a lot bigger than I expected.
  2. What's this village called?
  Select: This village is a lot bigger than I expected.
Mash
Same here. From the outside, it looked like a fairly wide area surrounded by large wooden walls.
Mash
Although, there are surprisingly few houses.
I would guess there can't be more than fifty.

  Select: What's this village called?
Mash
Come to think of it, you never did tell us your village's name, did you, Gerda?

===Branch End===

Mash
The part that stands out the most to me is the large gate that makes up what looks to be the only entrance. I don't know much about architectural design, but this place does seem to have its own unique style...

Mash
I also sense powerful magical energy here. The whole village is surrounded by a Bounded Field centered on that large gate.

Mash
It's designed to keep away giants, beasts, and other beings related to magecraft. I can feel it weighing down on me too, though only a little.

Mash
Although, I didn't notice it at all until I was inside...

Mash
I'm guessing it's the snow...

Mash
The magical energy mixed in with the snow and ice, and the magical energy that makes up this village's Bounded Field, are extremely similar.

Mash
It's a very static, sedate kind of energy...as if its presence were the most natural thing in the world.

Mash
It's calm, gentle, and very stable in the amount of magical energy it holds.

Mash
Maybe “kind” is a little too vague,
but I'm not quite sure how else to put it...

  1. So like, magecraft designed to enrich people's lives...?
  2. I think “kind” works.
  Select: So like, magecraft designed to enrich people's lives...?
Mash
Yes, that's a much clearer way to put it, Senpai!

  Select: I think “kind” works.
Mash
Yes. I first noticed it in the snow plains, but it feels like there's nothing malicious in this Lostbelt at all.

===Branch End===

Mash
All that aside, this village is really spacious...

Mash
Maybe that's because there are so few houses,
and a large plot of farmland in the center?

Mash
I can see they grow all sorts of crops here.
There's wheat, numerous fruit trees...

Mash
It's just like Gerda said.
It's as warm here as it was in that flower garden.

Mash
This explains how people could survive even in a Lostbelt predominantly made up of snow, ice, and fire.

Mash
Although, there's still one thing I don't understand. If Bounded Fields are so crucial to ensuring people's way of life here, who put them up?

Fou
Fou fou, fou.

Mash
Maybe magecraft is just a part of everyday life here, even more than it was in Russia.

Mash
Or maybe there's someone in these villages who knows how to work with Bounded Fields...

Gerda
Hehehe. Bounded Field?
Are you talking about the charm on the gate?

Gerda
I didn't really understand most of what you were talking about, but, um, I do know that every village gate always has a charm on it.

Gerda
The envoy put them there for us. They keep out all the giants, the ice beasts...really anything scary.

Gerda
I'm surprised you two didn't know that, since you're envoys! Is that just the way it works, Lady Mash?

Mash
Oh, uh, well...

Mash
I think you may have the wrong idea about us.
I don't believe we're what you call envoys.

Mash
Although, if “envoys” is the term you use for visitors,
then I suppose we might qualify...

Goredolf
Hm?
Hmm?

Goredolf
Oh, I got through!
Let me see, is this thing on...?

Goredolf
Ahem, ahem. This is the Shadow Border.
Can you hear me, field ops?

Gerda
Aah!

Fou
Fo fou.

  1. Director?
  2. The Shadow Border got through to us!?
  Select: Director?

  Select: The Shadow Border got through to us!?

===Branch End===

Mash
Director! It's you! I thought we couldn't communicate once we got a few kilometers away...

Goredolf
Yes, well, my technical advisor has been testing out a number of different things in between her work on repairing the Border. All under my impeccable supervision, of course.

Goredolf
And thanks to those efforts, we've been able to deploy a Mystic Code drone to extend our comm range!

Goredolf
I was told it should help us both observe and communicate over greater distances, but I didn't think it'd just suddenly start working now, of all times!

Goredolf
...Ugh, but just my luck! Neither our technical advisor, nor any staff, are here in the cockpit right now. They're all out repairing the Border...!

Gerda
Ooh, ooh. Who's this tiny, see-through tubby man?

Gerda
He's fat! I've never seen a fat person before!
So this is what they call chubby!

Goredolf
Chubby!?

Gerda
Is he a friend of yours, Lady Mash?
Does that mean he's an envoy, too?

Fou
Fou...fou?

Goredolf
Tubby...?
Did she call me “tubby”...?

Mash
W-well, um, this is a communicator...
It's a tool we have for talking to people far away.

Mash
Also, um, the director may be big-boned, but–

Goredolf
Is that child a native of this place?
Then you must have found a safe village!

Goredolf
Then again, if that foulmouthed little brat who doesn't understand that mocking people's body types is not acceptable is anything to go by, then her culture must still be at the nadir of civilization!

Gerda
?

Goredolf
Well, no matter. Children do tend to be naturally cruel, and my skin is quite thick by this point. I'm not the least bit bothered.

Goredolf
So never mind the child.
Just give me a detailed report about your situation.

Goredolf
So you made your way to this village after rescuing that child? It seems you put your experience in Russia to good use...

Goredolf
Or, I suppose I should say my supervisory role in Russia has benefitted you even after that Lostbelt. Not bad, making it this far this fast.

Goredolf
Let me begin by congratulating you on your good work. I'll be sure to share your information with the rest of the staff, including the technical advisor.

Goredolf
Now, given that our connection is still unstable, and we can't talk for long...it seems it's time I took matters into my own hands!

Fou
Fo!?

  1. You're going to come here, Director?
  2. That sounds pretty dangerous for you.
  Select: You're going to come here, Director?

  Select: That sounds pretty dangerous for you.

===Branch End===

Goredolf
What do you think I am, some adventure-crazed nut like the rest of you!? I'm talking about the remote interrogation of a local via this transmission!

Goredolf
...But not this child, obviously. We won't get anything useful out of her. Now then, little one.

Gerda
Me?

Goredolf
Run along and get your parents, if you don't mind.
I need to talk to them.

Gerda
Parents? What are those?

Goredolf
Huh? Your mother and father, of course.
If they're dead, your legal guardian will do.

Gerda
Oh, you mean the Goddess?
I hear she is everyone's mother...

Gerda
Every human is the Goddess's child, after all.

Gerda
But...I'm afraid the Goddess isn't here, Mr. Chubby.

Fou
Fooou...

Mash
...Gerda?

Goredolf
Hm? Don't tell me you have no concept of parents?
I've never heard of such a culture.

Goredolf
I suppose it is possible for some newer religions, but given your primitive-looking clothing, I can't imagine your village is part of something like that.

Goredolf
What is going on...? A-all right then, just fetch me your village elder, or mayor, or your...supervisor, I don't know!

Gerda
Supervisor?

Goredolf
Yes! A capable, distinguished person who is in charge of everything, like me!

Gerda
Distinguished?
Does being a chubby person make you distinguished?

Goredolf
THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT! Good heavens,
girl, didn't your parents raise you to–

Goredolf
Oh, right, you don't have parents, do you. Well...you know! Somebody with authority in your village!

Gerda
Wha...?

Goredolf
The most amazing person in your village!
The one you can always count on to help you out!

Gerda
Are you talking about envoys...? Lady Mash is certainly more amazing than normal people.

Gerda
The only other amazing people I can think of are the giants and the envoy, but the envoy isn't coming until tomorrow.

Goredolf
Envoy...?

Mash
Gerda calls me an envoy, too. I'm afraid I'm still not sure what she means by it...

Gerda
What I mean? An envoy's an envoy, right?
I mean, no human could ever defeat a giant.

Gerda
...Ahem.But never mind that!

Gerda
I still need to show you around properly, don't I?

Gerda
Welcome, honored envoys.
Oh, you too, Mr. Tiny See-Through Chubby.

Gerda
Welcome to our home, Village 23.
Please, let me repay you for saving my life.

Gerda
You can spend the night in my house! I'll be thirteen soon, after all, so I've already got my own house!

Gerda
Hehe, we can have dinner in front of my fireplace.
Oh, I can get out that mead I've been saving for a special occasion, too.

Gerda
This will be great! We can have freshly baked bread, and I'll get some fish, too!

Gerda
I'll go fishing before it gets dark and make sure to catch the biggest one in the pond...

Fou
Fou fooou! Fo fo!

Goredolf
Wait. Hang on.
What did you say your village's name was?

Mash
...Village 23, right?

Gerda
Hm? Yes, that's right. What about it?

Mash
Well, um, it just sounds a bit...

  1. That's not like any name for a village I know.
  2. Why is your village named with a number?
  Select: That's not like any name for a village I know.

  Select: Why is your village named with a number?

===Branch End===

Gerda
???

Gerda
There's nothing strange about it.
After all–

E:Children
It's Gerda!
Gerda's back!

E:Children
Welcome back, Gerda. I can't believe it! You really came back from the outside! And you did get the herbs the legends talked about!?

F:Children
Now Laura's gonna be all right! Hooray!

E:Children
Who're they!? Ooh, there's a white animal, too...
It IS an animal, right? What is it? Is it a mouse?

Fou
Fofooou kyuuu!

E:Children
Wow, you're so pretty, miss!
And your black armor is so awesome!

F:Children
Pretty hair... Pretty face...
You look like the envoy! Oh, are you an envoy, too?

E:Children
Your boobies are so big!
Oooh, you look so cool in that armor!

Mash
I-I, u-uh... S-Senpai, what's–

E:Children
That old guy's so tubby! Why're you smaller than us even though you look so old, mister?

Goredolf
Grrr, be quiet!
Do you children ever stop squawking!?

Goredolf
Just run off and play, would you!?
Or better yet, go and fetch a grown-up!

  1. Kids! Kids everywhere!
  2. I don't actually see any grown-ups...
  Select: Kids! Kids everywhere!

  Select: I don't actually see any grown-ups...

===Branch End===

Mash
That's true.
I haven't seen a single adult yet.

Mash
Since this village appears to rely on agriculture for its survival, it may be that everyone of working age is just out in the fields...

Mash
...but if that's the case,
then why aren't there any elderly people around?

Goredolf
What...?
Is that true?

Gerda
Well of course it's mostly children here.
That's how it is everywhere, right?

Gerda
Besides, haha, you're so funny, Lady Mash.
Everyone knows the elderly are just from legends.

Gerda
Of course you're not going to find any in a village. I mean...

Mash
...?

Gerda
...every grown-up leaves when they turn twenty-five, right?

  1. ...What?
  2. As in, leaves the village?
  Select: ...What?
Gerda
Yes?

  Select: As in, leaves the village?
Gerda
Of course.

===Branch End===

Mash
...Huh...?

Goredolf
Wh-what in the world are you saying? They couldn't possibly survive out there, what with all the giants roaming about.

Gerda
Yes, I know.

Gerda
Every grown-up with a ten-year-old child leaves once they turn twenty-five and gets eaten by a giant.

Gerda
So nobody ever lives past twenty-five.

Gerda
And if you haven't had a child by fifteen,
then you have to go too.

Gerda
I've heard that's true for every village.
At least, all the villages from 1 to 100.

Mash
...!

Goredolf
Wh...what...? Th-then...you're telling us there are NO adults over the age of twenty-five there? None!?

Goredolf
And that people who turn fifteen without having children have to leave to die!?

Gerda
Uh-huh. Children and the grown-ups raising them are the only ones allowed to live in the hundred villages the Goddess and her envoys made for us, after all.

  1. There's... There's nobody over twenty-five?
  2. (Speechless)
  Select: There's... There's nobody over twenty-five?

  Select: (Speechless)

===Branch End===

Gerda
...
...

Gerda
U-um, Lady Mash?
{(M) Lord /(F) Lady} Fujimaru?

Gerda
Mr. Chubby...?

Gerda
...I'm sorry, I don't understand.
Why are you all so shocked?

Gerda
That's just how it is!
It's the same everywhere, right?

Gerda
I'm turning fifteen in two years, so if I don't have any children by then, splat! That'll be it for me.

Goredolf
This is absurd. Everything you're saying is ridiculous.
Well, the way your mind works is, too!

Goredolf
Do you even grasp what you're saying!? You're telling us there are only a hundred people in each village?

Goredolf
That you have to die if you don't have a child before you turn fifteen? That you'll die in two years?

Goredolf
Are you some kind of homunculus!? How can you say things like that as if they were normal!? You even look happy about it!

Fou
Fou...
Fooouuu...

Gerda
Huh? You too, Fou?
What happened?

Gerda
Why do you sound so sad all of a sudden...?

Gerda
Oh no. Did I say something to offend you again?
Uh-oh, now what do I do...

Koyanskaya
What an elegant castle you have here.
I like it very much.

Koyanskaya
It's wonderfully designed, of course,
but I also love your choice of materials.

Koyanskaya
It's made completely out of ice, after all. No human could ever live here, no matter how beautiful it is.

Koyanskaya
The perfect witch's castle–something humankind yearns for, but can never hope to reach.

Koyanskaya
You really do have excellent taste, Your Majesty.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Who said this was made to my tastes?

Koyanskaya
Oh my. You mean it isn't? Does that mean you'd prefer something more typical, like Cinderella's castle?

Queen of Ice and Snow
“Cinder...Ella”? I've never heard the name,
but she certainly sounds interesting.

Queen of Ice and Snow
She must have lived a life full of hope and surprise, one far removed from the life of a woman of ice and snow like myself.

Koyanskaya
Oh yes, without a doubt!

Koyanskaya
The early part with her stepsisters abusing her is great, but then she comes out on top at the end and the stepsisters get their just deserts. It's a positively repulsive story♡

Koyanskaya
I'm just sooo relieved that you aren't like that,
Your Majesty.

Koyanskaya
After all, you hate happy endings, don't you?

Koyanskaya
Just look at this cold, utilitarian world you've designed.
It makes me want to friend you on Magebook.

Koyanskaya
I'd love to know just how many human lives you've seen come to a miserable end.

Koyanskaya
After all, you didn't build this castle for humanity to enjoy, did you, O Goddess?

Queen of Ice and Snow
No, I did not. This castle exists for me,
not for the benefit of humans.

Queen of Ice and Snow
I will admit that Odin was a fine man in his own right, but he was also a god. He would never bestow upon me a castle designed to accommodate humans.

Queen of Ice and Snow
The Allfather would never concern himself with human weakness. The thought would never even cross his mind.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Indeed...

Queen of Ice and Snow
Humans are weak. Frail. So very fragile. Their lives are snuffed out by the mere passage of time.

Queen of Ice and Snow
That is why they will always need the boundless love of a god to sustain them.

Koyanskaya
Oh my... Love, you say...?

Koyanskaya
I guess I had you figured wrong after all.
So that's how you're running this place.

Koyanskaya
You have a hundred villages with about a hundred residents in each, making for a worldwide population of no more than ten thousand people.

Koyanskaya
Under most circumstances they would just end up going extinct, but you've kept them around for generations without letting their numbers increase.

Koyanskaya
Their world revolves around the empty happiness of their daily lives, and the heartless suffering that comes right at the end.

Koyanskaya
There's no point in tormenting people like that.
No wonder I've been so unmotivated here...

Koyanskaya
It turns out this place was filled with love all along. Couldn't possibly get further from my tastes!

Queen of Ice and Snow
...Of course.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Humans must not die out. They too are my beloved children. They too survived the days of scorching flame.

Queen of Ice and Snow
As their god, I will never stop loving humans. I cannot speak to other worlds, but that is the way of this one.

Queen of Ice and Snow
I decided long ago that I would love my children for eternity. Why would I ever destroy them?

Koyanskaya
...Then you really have no intention of destroying humans? Does that mean Your Majesty thinks they're worth protecting?

Queen of Ice and Snow
You certainly ask many strange questions, fox woman.
I would never think to destroy them.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Every creature in my domain is treated the same way.
Did I not tell you what that was?

Queen of Ice and Snow
It is a simple question...
Do I kill them, or love them?

Koyanskaya
...

Queen of Ice and Snow
If they are an enemy, then I kill them. If not, I love them. To be the mother of Scandinavia is to love all creatures, great and small.

Queen of Ice and Snow
None must die out.
None shall die by my hand.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Even if Odin himself proved to be incapable of such a feat, I will never stop trying, no matter how many thousands of years it may take.

Queen of Ice and Snow
That said...

Koyanskaya
Yes?

Queen of Ice and Snow
...That said, at times,
the giants must be offered a sacrifice.

Kirschtaria
Ophelia.
Your concerns proved to be well founded.

Kirschtaria
The Russian Lostbelt has been destroyed. It won't be much longer before it disappears entirely.

Kirschtaria
Now that world will never be capable of welcoming a new god. What a pity. All the more so given the strength of its history.

Kirschtaria
In regards to Kadoc, I said all I had to say during our meeting, so I won't be repeating myself here.

Kirschtaria
But I do need to commend you for your outstanding accuracy in predicting this outcome.

Ophelia
I... I didn't...
You give me far too much credit, Lord Kirschtaria.

Kirschtaria
Ophelia. I want you to run your Lostbelt however you see fit.

Kirschtaria
Once the Tree of Emptiness has taken root in a world, it is not that world's king who will continue to develop it, but we Crypters.

Kirschtaria
In the end, that responsibility falls to us alone.
We cannot delegate it to anyone else.

Kirschtaria
The Queen of Ice and Snow is both generous and cruel.
I understand dealing with her must be quite stressful.

Kirschtaria
But I want you to persevere.
I know you are more than capable of doing so.

Kirschtaria
You have your own fire burning inside you, yet you keep yourself as cold as ice. That is why I know I can trust you with Scandinavia.

Ophelia
I... With all due respect, Lord Kirschtaria...

Ophelia
...I can't take any credit for predicting this.
I was speaking solely based on my own feelings...

Ophelia
I'm so ashamed. Here you are praising me for keeping my cool, and I failed utterly to do so.

Kirschtaria
It's all right. What you said was exactly what Kadoc needed to hear. No amount of coolheaded logic was ever going to help him with his complex about me.

Kirschtaria
Your admonition was far more effective than any encouragement I could have given him, even if it did come too late.

Kirschtaria
At any rate, none of the other Crypters know that Russia has fallen.

Kirschtaria
I only heard about it from Caenis,
and you from Koyanskaya.

Kirschtaria
Akuta has cut off all communications.
It seems her Lostbelt's king is quite a find.

Kirschtaria
After all, even Akuta of all people couldn't help but frown when she made her report. I even heard her sigh.

Kirschtaria
I can only imagine her Lostbelt's king must be either extremely unruly, or extremely daring. I would love to speak with them myself at some point.

Ophelia
Hinako, sighing...?
That is a surprise...

Ophelia
I never once saw her so much as crack a smile,
even around Peperoncino...

Ophelia
...That aside, shouldn't we tell the other Crypters about Kadoc?

Kirschtaria
No need for that. His failure has no impact on their work, after all.

Kirschtaria
Given that Peperoncino's Lostbelt has an Alter Ego,
it's only a matter of time until he learns about it...

Kirschtaria
...but Beryl's Lostbelt is nearly on the verge of disappearing itself, so I imagine he has his hands full just keeping things going.

Ophelia
...Are you sure we can trust Beryl?

Ophelia
The man is a criminal, a murderer. He kills just for the fun of it. He is a disgrace to humanity.

Ophelia
I don't see how a killer known as “Werewolf” and despised throughout the Clock Tower could ever hope to successfully expand a Lostbelt...

Kirschtaria
...All that is part of why I trust him to uphold his end, Ophelia.

Kirschtaria
Beryl is just as good at deceiving himself as he is others. The more distasteful he finds a job, the more earnestly he will work to see it done.

Kirschtaria
As for Kadoc, there's no need for you to concern yourself with his well-being. Just focus on getting rid of Chaldea.

Kirschtaria
I have every confidence you can do it. You're far more capable than me when it comes to combat, as your miraculous eye can even wound Servants.

Kirschtaria
The Clock Tower authority figures are gone. They have no sway in this world. No one will hold you back anymore.

Kirschtaria
You are free to use your power however you like.
Your eye is no longer that of a shunned child.

Ophelia
...Thank you for saying so, Lord Kirschtaria.
I will bear that in mind.

Kirschtaria
Your Scandinavian Lostbelt is a rare and important one, particularly given that one of the old gods still resides there.

Kirschtaria
What's more, she is benevolent. Having her accept and support our new world would be a tremendous asset.

Kirschtaria
I have high hopes that you will be able to convince her, Ophelia.

Ophelia
Thank you, Lord Kirschtaria.
I won't let you down.

Kirschtaria
Oh, yes, I almost forgot. Caenis should be paying you a visit soon. Treat him as you like.

Ophelia
Thank you for your consideration, Lord Kirschtaria.
But, I'm afraid I have to tell you something...

Ophelia
Caenis is a Divine Spirit, and beyond my ability to keep in check. I hope you'll forgive me if I'm unable to stop her from clashing with my Lostbelt's king.

Kirschtaria
So you're concerned that the queen and your knight may end up destroying Caenis's Spirit Origin?

Kirschtaria
I see.

Kirschtaria
That's most encouraging to hear, Ophelia. This only reaffirms my decision to entrust you with this Lostbelt.

Kirschtaria
I look forward to your next report.
I expect that will be when new seeds have formed.

Ophelia
...
...

Ophelia
...Wodime.
Lord Kirschtaria Wodime...

Sigurd
That's a woman's face.

Sigurd
I've seen faces like that before.
Heh, heh.

Sigurd
I may not know any personally,
but I can't help but remember them.

Sigurd
So, you really are a woman at heart, Ophelia.

Ophelia
...You're not meant to use your spirit form for peeping.
Your job is only to keep me safe.

Ophelia
Don't misunderstand me.
You are my knight–my sword and shield.

Ophelia
I never asked or wanted anything more from you, and that's never going to change. Know your place, Saber.

Ophelia
Or do I need to remind you about my Sirius Light?

Sigurd
Hmph.

Sigurd
I know I'm supposed to protect you and kill your enemies, Ophelia. But is that necessary here?

Sigurd
Yes, humans have demonstrated incredible power before. At times, they've rebelled against gods, tricked giants, and even killed dragons.

Sigurd
But not here.

Sigurd
The humans here aren't people anymore.
They're livestock. None of them are any threat to you.

Sigurd
These humans used to be just like the ones in Proper Human History: weak, transient beings whose only purpose was to be our prey.

Ophelia
...This world belongs to a goddess.

Ophelia
Even if there are less than ten thousand humans here,
it is still a pure land ruled by a goddess of old.

Ophelia
Lord Kirschtaria even said it could end up the last Lostbelt left standing...

Ophelia
The fact that a goddess rules it also means it's the perfect place to experiment.

Ophelia
That's why this Lostbelt has so much potential.
In fact, it is far more than the sum of its parts.

Sigurd
Oh?

Ophelia
...In terms of potential, at any rate.

Ophelia
If we can grow our tree to maturity, we might be able to breathe new life into humanity and nature alike.

Ophelia
I don't care how much contempt you have for humanity as a result of your origins and temperament.

Ophelia
All I care about is that you don't let your guard down.
Again: you're my shield and my sword. Don't forget that.

Ophelia
You and I share the same responsibility:

Ophelia
We must grow this Lostbelt's Tree of Emptiness to full maturity. That is your sole concern.

Sigurd
Hmph.

Sigurd
I've never been much of a gardener, but if you insist, Ophelia, I guess I've got no choice.

Ophelia
...
...

Ophelia
(I can still feel his gaze... I guess my knight will always be peeping on me, no matter how many times I tell him not to.)

Ophelia
I can tell you're still there, smirking at me from behind my back. Just how long are you planning on watching me?

Ophelia
I know I said you're my knight,
but that doesn't mean–

Ophelia
Oh...

Ophelia
You again, huh. The way you completely lack any presence, I mistook you for a Servant.

Ophelia
...
...

Ophelia
Is there something you want to say to me?

Ophelia
I certainly hope you're not going to comment on my...womanhood, like Saber did...

???
...

Ophelia
...I can't hear anything.

Ophelia
What's your name? Am I ever going to get to hear what you sound like?

Ophelia
I'm... Well, you already know my name.

--ARROW--

Fou
Fou, fo, fooou?

Mash
It's no use.
I can't seem to get through to the Border.

  1. I wonder why we got through earlier...
  2. Well, nothing we can do now. Why don't we call it a day?
  Select: I wonder why we got through earlier...

  Select: Well, nothing we can do now. Why don't we call it a day?

===Branch End===

Mash
...Yes. You're right, Senpai.

Da Vinci
Hey! There you are!!!

Da Vinci
Hi guys! Can you all see my astonishingly beautiful face?
Hey, Fou! You're here too, huh!

Fou
Foo fo fou, fooou!

Mash
Da Vinci!

Da Vinci
I doubt we have much time to talk,
so I'll keep this brief.

Da Vinci
I've pieced together what's going on here using the data collected with my Mystic Code drone and the info Gordy gave me. Oh, he's asleep now, by the way.

Da Vinci
The last thing he said was, “Grr, enough of this! I'm going to rest in the captain's room! Wake me when it's time for breakfast!”

Fou
Fou fou...

Da Vinci
Now then, there are basically three different kinds of beings here.

Da Vinci
And by “beings,” it's worth noting that I'm talking about strong, dominant creatures, not necessarily those of intelligence who have formed civilizations.

Da Vinci
All right, so.

Da Vinci
First, we have the giants: tough, exceedingly strong predators. Second, we have humans, who can't survive outside their villages.

Da Vinci
And third, we have envoys and their goddess. Seems safe to say both are well above humans on the proverbial totem pole in this Lostbelt.

Da Vinci
I'm sure the ice beasts are stronger than humans too, but they appear to be the giants' pets, and seem to have no real will of their own, so I've left them out.

Da Vinci
So far so good?

Da Vinci
As for regular creatures,
they seem to be almost nonexistent here.

Da Vinci
Ordinary plants and animals just barely exist in the occasional flower garden... Each of these fields seems to be a warm place that just happened to be perfectly situated between the fire and ice zones.

Da Vinci
So, putting all that aside as an exception to the three broad categories...

Da Vinci
...in this Lostbelt, I'm afraid it looks like humanity is nowhere near the top of the food chain.

Da Vinci
If anything, they seem to be at the very bottom.

Mash
The bottom...

Da Vinci
So I don't think we should be counting these humans as possible additions to our ranks. I doubt either their civilization or magecraft are all that developed.

Da Vinci
I mean, you haven't seen a single machine since you got there, right? And that girl you ran into out in the wilderness didn't even have a communication device, let alone a ward against giants.

Da Vinci
The humans that live here simply have no means of surviving outside of these villages.

Mash
...Yes, that all makes sense.

Mash
At least for this village...Village 23,
the outside world may as well not exist.

Mash
We did run into Gerda outside, but that was an unusual case. She would never have left if circumstances hadn't forced her to.

Mash
The only reason this village ever opens its gates is to...

Da Vinci
Right. To thin the herd.

  1. ...
 
  Select: ...

===Branch End===

Da Vinci
As peaceful as this place looks, now that we have a clearer picture of what's going on, I'd say it's just as cruel as Russia, though in a different way.

Da Vinci
We still don't know much about these envoys and their goddess, who I assume are more or less running the show here.

Da Vinci
We also don't have any idea whether they might be willing to help us.

Da Vinci
It's very possible they may already be working with the Crypters, so keep that in mind.

Da Vinci
Aw crap, we're losing our connection again...
All right, one last bit of info.

Da Vinci
We still haven't found anywhere you could use to summon Servants, so I'm afraid you'll need to keep scouting a–

Fou
Fou, fooouuu...

Gerda
Lady Mash! Fou!
{(M) Lord /(F) Lady} Fujimaru!

Gerda
...Huh? Were you just talking to a tiny person?

Gerda
Oh! It must have been Mr. Chub!

Mash
Well, um, yes, we were talking to someone,
but I'm afraid we just lost the connection...

Gerda
Connection? What's being connected?

Gerda
Hehe, you know so many things I've never even heard about, Lady Mash. And you have so many things I've never seen before. Having you around is so much fun!

Gerda
I wasn't sure if an envoy like you would like my cooking,
but you even said my bread and fish were really tasty!

Gerda
You're so kind, and strong, and just...wonderful!
I just love spending time with you.

Gerda
Will you stay tomorrow night too? I know you must have work, since tomorrow's a special day and all, but if you don't mind...

Mash
Um... I'm sorry, but I really don't think we're the kind of envoy you're thinking of...

Gerda
Hehe, suuure you're not. Wait.
Did you get here a day early, all because of me?

Gerda
O-oooh...if you did, then I apologize!
The last thing I want to do is make trouble for you.

Mash
N-no, it's not that. S-Senpai?
How can I clear up this misunderstanding...?

  1. I don't think we can. She really thinks we're envoys.
  2. I'm not sure there's anything we can say that would help her understand.
  Select: I don't think we can. She really thinks we're envoys.

  Select: I'm not sure there's anything we can say that would help her understand.

===Branch End===

Mash
Yes...I suppose you're right. In that case,
I'll hold off on trying to convince her.

Mash
...That said, there IS something I still want to ask her.
Is that all right with you, Senpai?

  1. Go for it.
  2. I've got a lot of things I'm curious about, too.
  Select: Go for it.

  Select: I've got a lot of things I'm curious about, too.

===Branch End===

Mash
Thank you, Senpai.

Mash
...Gerda, could I talk to you for a bit?

Gerda
What is it, Lady Mash?

Mash
Well...
You see...

Goredolf
...Hold it. I'll ask the questions here.

  1. Director? You're awake?
  2. I thought we'd lost our connection again...
  Select: Director? You're awake?

  Select: I thought we'd lost our connection again...

===Branch End===

Goredolf
I was just looking to see if we had some sleeping pills when I heard our connection was back online.

Goredolf
In fact, I've been listening in for the last half a minute or so.

Goredolf
I'll take it from here, Mash. Between the two of us, it's clear who's the better negotiator.

Goredolf
Ahem. You there, child.
This is a question of a rather personal nature. You may answer it however you like.

Gerda
Huh?

Goredolf
I'd like to ask you something.

Gerda
What is it, Lady Mash?

Goredolf
You've obviously been living here in this Lostbelt–I mean, village, your whole life...

Goredolf
How do you feel about it?

Gerda
???

Mash
...
...

Goredolf
Does it weigh on you? Do you ever think about your future? About what's going to happen when you grow up?

Goredolf
Don't you wish you could see the world outside your tiny village, without having to live in fear of giants?

Goredolf
Haven't you ever wished to be free...?

Gerda
Future... Free...

Gerda
World...?

Mash
Gerda.

Mash
In this world, no matter how healthy you are,
you'll never get to live past your twenties.

Mash
How can you be so cheerful about that?
How does it not...worry you?

Mash
...

Gerda
H-huh? P-please cheer up, Lady Mash.
You too, Mr. Chub. Why are you both so sad?

Gerda
I, um, I'm sorry.
I wish I could answer you, but...

Gerda
...I'm afraid I don't understand what either of you are talking about.

Gerda
Maybe it's because I never learned how to read or write well... What do you mean by “future”...?

Gerda
I mean, I think I know what the word means.
It means the time after tomorrow, right?

Gerda
Hmm...
This is hard...

Mash
...
...

Goredolf
...That hard, huh?

Gerda
I, um, I know what “free” means, too.

Gerda
It's when you're not stuck inside your home or tied down with rope, right?

Gerda
In that case, I AM free!
I can go anywhere I want in the whole village!

Gerda
I can go to the farmland in the village center, or to the pond...and I can visit anyone's house I like!

Gerda
I can even go to Laura's house and see the new baby if I want.

Mash
In my...

Mash
In our world, people get to live for a long time.

Gerda
Even longer than twenty-five?

Mash
Yes. Much, much longer... Some people live longer than others, of course, but...

Goredolf
That's right. Many live to be eighty, or ninety,
or even more. And they don't just have children.

Goredolf
Some people also have grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. If they live long enough, of course.

Goredolf
Some people are still unfortunate enough to have their lives cut short by illness or accident, but that's a long way off from no one ever living past twenty-five.

Goredolf
The only ones destined to die early are homunculi.
...Not that they're any concern of mine, though.

Gerda
Grandchildren... Great-grandchildren...

Goredolf
Indeed. And even if one never has children or grandchildren, many people still choose to spend their long lives with people they love.

Goredolf
Even if they never have families of their own, some people spend their lives among friends and comrades, working towards goals of their own choosing.

Goredolf
Grr, why am I even talking about this!? It's not as though we mages get to live ordinary, happy lives!

Goredolf
But fine! If no one else will say it, then I will!

Goredolf
What's wrong with you!?
What's wrong with ALL of you!?

Goredolf
How can you be happy about a life doomed to be cut short!?
How are you not angry!? Or even afraid!?

Goredolf
The Yaga may have had to survive in brutal conditions,
but at least they were still free to live to old age!

Goredolf
Grrr, this whole thing really bothers me! And now our connection is acting up, too! I'm going to bed! Goodbye!

  1. Director Goredolf...
  2. (At a loss for words)
  Select: Director Goredolf...

  Select: (At a loss for words)

===Branch End===

Fou
Fo...

Mash
...Mr. Chub is right, Gerda.

Mash
Our world was very complicated,
but it also offered us endless possibilities.

Mash
I think that's because we were able to grow up agreeing and disagreeing with all kinds of people throughout our lives.

Mash
...That's how humans have always been.
I'm sure it's no different here in Scandinavia.

Mash
People can do anything they set their mind to.
I think that's what it really means to be free.

Mash
In practice, there may be far more things we can't do than we can.

Mash
But, even so...I think...that's what everyone wants.

  1. Mash...
  2. (Stay silent)
  Select: Mash...

  Select: (Stay silent)

===Branch End===

Mash
Gerda...

Mash
Is there...anything in this world that you would wish for...?

Gerda
Wish for?

Gerda
W-well, uh...
Um... Let's see...

Gerda
I got the medicinal herbs I was looking for,
and tonight's dinner was yummy...

Gerda
So, um, I actually can't think of anything else I want right now.

Gerda
U-usually I do, though! Really!

Gerda
Sometimes I want to catch a big fish at the pond, or I want my bread to turn out really well... Those sorts of things.

Gerda
Oh, sometimes I wish I could see another beautiful rainbow again, like I did that one time...

Fou
Fooou...

Gerda
I'm sorry. I'm really sorry.

Gerda
I know I'm not giving you good answers,
but I don't really understand your questions...

Gerda
Still, everything you said sounds lovely. Getting to be an elderly person, doing anything you want...

Mash
...
...

Mash
...Not at all.

Mash
I'm the one who should be apologizing, Gerda.
I didn't mean to confuse you.

Mash
...I'm sorry.

Gerda
Oh no, please don't be! I'm not confused!
I really did think it was lovely!

Gerda
I may not have understood everything you meant...but I did think it sounded absolutely amazing.

Gerda
It was just so... I can't even begin to imagine it all! That's never happened to me before.

Gerda
I guess it's true what they said about envoys being difficult to understand.

Gerda
There's still so much I don't know about children, but you said in your world, there are also grandchildren, and...great-grandchildren?

Gerda
I can't imagine getting to see so many generations of children... I guess that's something you can do if you get to be elderly.

Gerda
I've never thought about that sort of thing before.
After all...

Inner Monologue
After all...

Inner Monologue
...nobody can ever live that long...

--ARROW--

Fou
Fou, foooooou!

Mash
Good morning, Fou.
You're up awfully early today.

Fou
Fou fou fou, fo.

Mash
N-no, I didn't have any trouble sleeping at all.
Since I'm a Demi-Servant, I always wake up early.

Mash
Sleep deprivation is one of the worst things you can do for your health, so you need to make sure you get plenty of sleep, Fou.

  1. Morning, Mash.
  2. That goes for you too, Mash.
  Select: Morning, Mash.
Mash
Good morning. I see you're up early too, Senpai.
...Did you have trouble sleeping?

  Select: That goes for you too, Mash.
Mash
Thank you, Senpai. But I'm fine. My magical energy is fully replenished, and Ortinax is working perfectly.
Mash
Its auto-maintenance function worked so well that it almost feels fresh out of Da Vinci's workshop.
Fou
Fo? Fo fou?
Mash
Yes, I'm doing fine.

===Branch End===

Mash
This morning, we'll be going around the village to find out whatever information we can, and in the afternoon, we'll be setting out to explore more of Scandinavia.

Mash
I was hoping to learn more about the land around here,
but I'm not sure they even have any maps...

Mash
Come to think of it, I wonder where Gerda went?
She wasn't anywhere to be found in her house, right?

Fou
Fooou, fau fau!

Mash
Maybe she had some errands she needed to–Wait, huh!?

Mash
I guess I'd better go after him.
Fou! You're not supposed to run off on your own!

Mash
Got you!

Fou
Fo. Fau fau, kyaaau!

Mash
Huh? There's something happening over there?

Children
Congratulations! Congratulations!

C:Children
It's great you all made it to today. Thanks for everything! I'm so glad the Goddess brought us together!

D:Children
Say hi to everyone else when you get there. We had to say goodbye to three people just last year...

C:Children
Here, these flowers are for you. All the boys grew them together. We hope you can use them to decorate your new home!

D:Children
Hey! We girls helped too, you know!
Ugh, this is exactly why I hate boys. You're such jerks!

C:Children
Hey, no saying “jerk.” You know we're not allowed to use any bad words today.

D:Children
O-oh, I'm sorry...
J-just forget it! I didn't even mean to say it!

E:Grown-Ups
Thank you, everyone. Thank you so much. It makes us really happy, getting a bouquet from you like this.

F:Grown-Ups
It really does. You all follow the Goddess's teachings so well, and have grown up to be such wonderful children. We're so glad.

F:Grown-Ups
Make sure you all get along even after we've left. We can't wait to see you again when you come join us one day.

F:Grown-Ups
...Take care of yourselves, everyone.

Mash
Look...

Mash
There's a few grown-ups there. I guess they really do exist, even though we didn't see any yesterday. It looks like the children are giving them something.

Mash
Flowers...?

Gerda
Those are special flowers. It took six months for all the children to grow them. They're really important.

Mash
Why's that?

Gerda
You can't go to Valhalla without them. Only souls with proof that they were loved can go there.

Gerda
The Goddess decided that long, looong ago.
So long it would make your head spin!

Gerda
So that's why all the children grow flowers.
It's our job.

Mash
Valhalla...?

  1. Isn't that...
  2. That's where certain people go when they die in Norse mythology, right?
  Select: Isn't that...
Mash
Yes... It's one of the lands of the dead in Norse mythology.

  Select: That's where certain people go when they die in Norse mythology, right?
Mash
...Specifically, it's the place where the souls of chosen heroes gather. At least, it's supposed to be.

===Branch End===

Mash
Valhalla. Odin's palace. Hall of Warriors. In Norse legend, it's said that only souls chosen by the Valkyries can ever go there.

Mash
Of course, that also means the only people who can go there are, by definition, dead.

Mash
A land...of the dead...

Mash
Then, when Gerda said today was special...does that mean–

Gerda
Oh my, oh my, that's right. I haven't thanked you nearly enough! I haven't, have I?

Gerda
Lady Mash.
{(M) Lord /(F) Lady} Fujimaru. Fou.

Gerda
If you hadn't saved me from those giants, they'd have squished me before I had a chance to get my own bouquet.

Gerda
Then my soul would have just wandered around forever,
and I'd never get to go to Valhalla! So...

Gerda
So thank you so, so, SOOO much!
I really can't ever thank you enough!

Mash
...!

Fou
Fou...

Gerda
...That big gate is the exit.

Gerda
I know we used it to enter the village when we came back from picking medicinal herbs yesterday, but that's not really what it's for.

Gerda
It's really meant for leaving. Just leaving.

Gerda
It's where the chosen grown-ups go on the ordained day.
Nobody ever uses it to come in.

Grown-Ups
Envoy, O envoy. We have come to offer you everything,
in accordance with the word of the Heavenly Mother.

Mash
...
...

Mash
The adults are prostrating themselves...

Mash
It looks like...they're performing some kind of ritual...

Gerda
They always do that. They're supposed to.

Gerda
I'll have to do that someday, too. It might be in two years or twelve years, but one day I'll have to.

Gerda
You have to bow your head, close your eyes,
and count to...um, I think it was three tens?

Gerda
Anyway, once you finish counting, that's when one comes.
From the gate? No, from the sky!

Fou
Fo, fou...!

Mash
The sky...?

Gerda
...Twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven,
twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty. Look, over there!

Voice from the Sky
Humans.

Voice from the Sky
O humans, today is the ordained day. O humans,
today is the day your lives shall be taken.

Mash
Ah!

H:Voice from the Sky
Know that this is an act of love. Know that through this act, the last remaining deity–the Goddess–extends her hand to you, out of love.

H:Voice from the Sky
O humans, bow your heads.
Give thanks to the ice, the snow, and the light.

D:Children
Envoy! O envoy! O glorious Valkyrie, gleaming bright!
Please take the grown-ups with you!

C:Children
They followed all of the Goddess's teachings and raised us! The ones who couldn't raise us played with us until they were fourteen!

D:Children
None of them are bad people! So please...

Children
Please take them with you to Valhalla!

Fou
Fau!
Fooou!

Mash
Envoy... One who takes souls to Valhalla...

Mash
They're here! Envoy... Angel... Wait, no! I'm sensing an extremely powerful magical energy signal coming from the sky!

Mash
They're either a pseudo-god or a demigod, but either way, their magical energy is incredibly powerful!

Mash
This must be one of the beings known in Proper Human History as the daughters of Odin...the Valkyries!

Envoy
O humans, rejoice. I shall open the great gate for you,
in accordance with divine law.

Envoy
Walk through it. Do not hesitate.
Meet your end as sacrifices to the giants.

Envoy
Do that, and your souls shall be taken to the Hall of Warriors, though you have never known battle.

Envoy
Rejoice, humans, and be glad. This is love, bestowed upon you by the one true Goddess.

E:Grown-Ups
Thank you, O envoy. We are endlessly grateful for the blessings you and the Goddess have bestowed upon us.

F:Grown-Ups
We will go to meet our end.
Please, open the gate for us...

Envoy
...Very well, it shall be done.
And so, your lives shall end!

  1. Hold it!
 
  Select: Hold it!

===Branch End===

Envoy
...?

Envoy
Humans, what is this strange sound? This is astonishing; it is a crime most grave. Who would interrupt this most sacred ritual?

Envoy
This ritual marks the solemn, glorious end of humans' lives. It is not to be trifled with.

Mash
...Please wait, envoy. Or rather, Valkyrie.

Gerda
H-huh? Wh-what are you doing, Lady Mash? You're not supposed to go against tradition on the ordained day!

Mash
...
...

Mash
Valkyrie, you said these grown-ups would go to Valhalla...
To Odin's palace, the Hall of Warriors.

Mash
In Norse mythology, Valhalla is supposed to be the final resting place for the souls of brave heroes.

Mash
But these people don't even have swords,
let alone armor! They're not warriors!

Mash
And you mean to send them to their deaths? To be killed by giants? Even though they worship you...!?

Envoy
...Heathens...

Envoy
Our shared records reported that heathens had invaded our holy land–and now here you stand.

Envoy
In that case, it falls to me to execute you...

Mash
Wai–

Mash
Khh...!
...Haaa...!

Envoy
Humans, know that it is futile to resist. Humans, know that the will to resist is itself a grave offense.

Envoy
You two are...
Ah, yes. I see now.

Envoy
You have passed the age of fifteen without having children, haven't you? Then you must die.

Envoy
Your souls will never ascend to Valhalla. You will simply be consumed by giants and die, loveless and alone.

Mash
Loveless...!?

Mash
We don't know this Scandinavia.
We have no way of knowing what it is you value.

Mash
But I do know what you're doing here is not love.
It's cruel!

Mash
And I don't just mean offering innocent people up to giants! I mean ending children's lives before they've had a chance to grow up...!

Mash
And I will not just look the other way while that happens here! ...Master!

  1. You said it! Let's do this, Mash!
 
  Select: You said it! Let's do this, Mash!

===Branch End===

C:Mash
Right! Preparing for battle!

Gerda
No, Lady Mash, please...!
Envoys aren't supposed to argue with each other...!

C:Mash
I'm sorry, Gerda! But I'm not an envoy!

C:Mash
That's why I can–why I WILL fight her on this!

--BATTLE--

Mash
...!

Envoy
...How? How can a human defeat an envoy?

Mash
I may be human, but I'm also a Demi-Servant who once possessed the power of a Heroic Spirit...

Mash
The sort who is exactly the kind of hero whose soul Valkyries would have desired, at least in Proper Human History.

Mash
Given your nature, you can't ignore the remains of that hero inside me. That's why...

Envoy
The soul of a hero...

Envoy
...Two thousand and several hundred years since I was manufactured...and never once...did I get...to see one...

Mash
...Target has disappeared. The Ortinax's output drop is within tolerance. I'm still good to go!

Fou
Fou, fau kyaaau!

Mash
She wasn't a Servant. She did give off a magical energy signal...but she wasn't summoned here!

Mash
Which would mean, here in 2020,
this Scandinavian Lostbelt is home to...!

Gerda
There are...lots and lots of envoys...

Gerda
Lots, and lots, and lots!

Gerda
Wh-why did you do that, Lady Mash!?
How could you fight another envoy!?

Gerda
The...the Goddess is going to be really mad...

E:Children
The envoy's gone... Just vanished into thin air...
Is that even possible...?

F:Children
H-huh? Now what's going to happen with the ritual...?

E:Children
This isn't right! It doesn't make sense! We gave them the bouquet, but the envoy never opened the gate!

F:Children
We can't open it ourselves, right? Gerda did yesterday,
but we can't do that on the ordained day, right?

G:Grown-Ups
Oh no... This is terrible! The envoy's gone!
She was supposed to take us to Valhalla!

H:Grown-Ups
It's okay! The envoys are servants of the Goddess, right? Even if one disappears, more will come in her place. There, look...!

H:Grown-Ups
See that light in the sky?

Fou
Fou, fou fo fooou!
Kyaaau!

Mash
I'm sensing lots of new magical energy signals in the sky! ...The Ortinax should be fine to handle a series of consecutive battles!

Mash
Amalgam Goad is in good shape.
It should stand up to combat, at a minimum.

Mash
It also seems that the envoys view the people of these villages as something to be protected.

Mash
When we fought, it seemed like she didn't want to hurt the people or damage the village.

Mash
I'm willing to bet that the next envoys will probably take the same approach...

Mash
...
...

Mash
...I'm sorry.
I really should be apologizing for all this...

Mash
I was foolish...reckless...

  1. Hey, it's okay. I would've said the same.
  2. I had the same thing in mind. You just beat me to it.
  Select: Hey, it's okay. I would've said the same.

  Select: I had the same thing in mind. You just beat me to it.

===Branch End===

Mash
Thank you, Master. Multiple magical energy signals approaching quickly from above. Here they come!

Mash
Initiating combat while maintaining the Ortinax's output! Requesting orders and backup, Master!

--BATTLE--

Mash
...(Huff, gasp... Huff, huff, phew)

Mash
...All envoys have disappeared.
The village remains unharmed!

Mash
I never imagined so many would show up all at once like this...

Mash
The Ortinax's output has dropped, but the auto-maintenance function should restore it in ten seconds.

Mash
As long as we have that much time before enemy reinforcements arrive, we should be fine!

Fou
Fou, fou fo!
Kyakyaaau!

Mash
...Even more magical energy signals are gathering in the sky. I believe they mean to attack after gathering enough of their forces.

Mash
The Ortinax's auto-maintenance function should finish in time, but...

Mash
...the situation could change significantly, depending on how long the envoys keep attacking... Khh...

  1. And we won't be getting any help from the Border.
  2. We'll just have to hold out on our own as best we can...
  Select: And we won't be getting any help from the Border.

  Select: We'll just have to hold out on our own as best we can...

===Branch End===

Mash
...Right.

Mash
(There's a pretty tremendous difference in firepower between them...)

Mash
(If another Valkyrie with the same amount of magical energy as that first one shows up...)

Mash
(...will Senpai and I still be able to win...?)

Gerda
U-um, Lady Mash? Lady Mash?
P-please stop?

Gerda
Please don't fight with the other envoys.
Besides, you're clearly in terrible pain. Please...?

Mash
...
...

Mash
...Gerda, I–

Gerda
Once they take the flowers, the grown-ups are supposed to go through the gate. That's how it's supposed to be! That's how it's always been!

Gerda
Once they do, the giants show up and squish them in no time.

Gerda
I've seen it from the crack in the gate lots of times. Smoosh. They don't say anything, they can't do anything...

Gerda
...But that's okay. I'm not afraid.

Gerda
I know I'll get to go to Valhalla as long as the envoy is watching me! That's what the Goddess decided!

Gerda
There's nothing wrong with that.
It might be just a teeny, tiny bit scary...

Gerda
But once I'm squished, it'll all be over,
and I'll be fine. So–

  1. There's nothing fine about that!
 
  Select: There's nothing fine about that!

===Branch End===

  1. Nobody's dying on my watch if I can help it! Nobody!
 
  Select: Nobody's dying on my watch if I can help it! Nobody!

===Branch End===

Mash
...Senpai...

Gerda
But why?

Gerda
This is how it's been since forever and ever...

Mash
...
...

Mash
...I'm sorry, Gerda.
But I'm not putting down my shield.

Mash
Even if this is the way things are done here...
Even if it's what you all want... I...

Mash
WE...don't want to give up on anything, on anyone!

Mash
Whether it's one life, or two, or millions...!

Mash
Magical energy signals! Senpai, multiple enemies are diving towards us simultaneously! They're going to use all their Noble Phantasms at–

Mash
Some sort of powerful light shot toward the envoys...
A gunshot!?

Mash
No... It's cannon fire!

Inner Monologue
I turn to see flames burning bright.

Inner Monologue
No, not flames...
A man. A human inferno.

Inner Monologue
The titanic cannon he holds in his arms is pointed towards the sky. His smile is as dazzling as the first rays of the morning sun.

Inner Monologue
A true man among men, standing taller and prouder than anyone else nearby.

Good Fellow
You called? ...Yeah, you did.
No need to say anything. I can tell.

Good Fellow
Well! Here! I! Am!

--ARROW--

Good Fellow
How do you like my little cannon here!? C'est magnifique, non? Haha! Nothing better than a fine gentleman like myself fighting off a swarm of angels!

Good Fellow
Well, I guess these aren't angels, huh?
No wings.

Good Fellow
No, wait, scratch that. Didn't angels originally have wings because of some old winged Egyptian god or something like that?

Good Fellow
Ah well. At this point,
I guess it doesn't matter either way!

Envoys
I see...

Envoys
Though they were just mass-produced models, this one can blast away several at once. I also see he is working with the individual known as Mash Kyrielight.

Envoys
Servants are beings that threaten the Goddess's rule.
Thus, they are to be eradicated, not loved.

Envoys
Begin link. Begin link.
All nearby envoys, begin link. None may defy Her...

Good Fellow
Hahaha, so you're gonna huddle together and make yourselves an even bigger target? Well that's just fine by me!

Good Fellow
Go ahead, I'll blow you out of the sky! Haven't you managed to put together that anything in the air is just a target for my incredible firepower?

Mash
...A Servant!

Mash
And not one dependent on this Lostbelt's magical energy, either. He must be a Heroic Spirit from Proper Human History!

Mash
Master! That man is the first we've met here in Scandinavia to–

Good Fellow
...Are heroes born from their accomplishments?

Good Fellow
Nah, it's not that. They're born 'cause the people want them to be born.

Good Fellow
Trust me, as a hero who's gone from the top of the heap to the bottom of the barrel, I know a thing or two!

Gerda
...A hero...?

Gerda
Who...are you...?

Good Fellow
What's that, mademoiselle? Oh, you will become a fine beauty when you're older, I can tell. You want to know who I am?

Good Fellow
Well, let's see...

Good Fellow
As long as someone out there's got their hopes up, or wishes things were different somehow, I'm the guy who makes all their dreams come true.

Good Fellow
I'm the guy who sees the stars shining bright in this young {(M) man /(F) lady} and {(M) his /(F) her} trusty partner as they fight against the fate of the world!

Good Fellow
Go ahead and lead the way, kids from Proper Human History!
My cannon's yours to command!

Good Fellow
This is what they call lending a helping hand! Let your magical energy loose! Don't hold back! Let's get this done with style!

  1. Your helping hand couldn't have come at a better time!
  2. What do you think we've been doing so far!?
  Select: Your helping hand couldn't have come at a better time!

  Select: What do you think we've been doing so far!?

===Branch End===

Good Fellow
Damn right! Now let's gooo!

--BATTLE--

Good Fellow
Hraaah!

Good Fellow
Take this!

Good Fellow
Hraaaaaaaaaaaah!
Break 'em! Smash 'em! Make your way through!

H:Mash
He's opened a huge hole in the formation of envoys!
Many of them have started to disperse!

Envoys
...The situation has worsened.
...Inexplicable.

Envoys
...That man's magical energy is not unlimited. He should have already run out after so many large bombardments, yet he still remains operational.

Envoys
The same is true of the Demi-Servant. How?
How is this possible? Why do they still fight?

Envoys
Inexplicable. Inexplicable. Continued combat may result in indeterminate losses on our side.

Envoys
We must return to seek the Goddess's counsel.
Retreat. Retreat.

Mash
...All remaining envoys appear to have left the area.
Their magical energy signals have disappeared.

Mash
Th-the battle is...over, Sen...pai...

Mash
...(Huff, huff, gasp)... Ah...
There I go again...

Mash
...I was far too reckless.
Da Vinci's not going to be happy about this...

  1. Nothing we can do now except brace for yelling.
  2. What about the villagers...?
  Select: Nothing we can do now except brace for yelling.

  Select: What about the villagers...?

===Branch End===

Gerda
I... That light was...amazing...
I've never seen so many amazing things...

Gerda
You're amazing...mister...

Gerda
I couldn't believe what I was seeing...

Grown-Ups
...?

Children
Huh? Huh???

Good Fellow
Haha. Nicely done, you two!

Good Fellow
You look pretty worn out right now, but I know that's not all you've got left in the tank!

Good Fellow
I can't promote you to general at our first meeting,
but I can at least give you a medal or two!

Mash
E-excuse me! We really do appreciate your helping us out tremendously...

Mash
...but do you think you could stop smacking Senpai on the back so hard...?

Good Fellow
Oh, was that hard? Sorry 'bout that!
Old habits die hard, as they say.

  1. (Cough and hack)
 
  Select: (Cough and hack)

===Branch End===

Good Fellow
Sorry again. Here, how 'bout I give ya a back rub?
Or are you all right now?

  1. (Cough, cough) Are you–
 
  Select: (Cough, cough) Are you–

===Branch End===

Good Fellow
That's right, Maître du Chaldea from Proper Human History!
Oh, yeah, I forgot to introduce myself!

Good Fellow
Then, listen up! Humans, one day, your desires will become a rainbow emblazoned across the sky! Know why? 'Cause I'm here now!

Good Fellow
I don't know much about this Lostbelt business, but nobody messes with the people of Europe on my watch!

Good Fellow
That's right! I'm a man of infinite possibility!
Wherever I go, I leave rainbows in my wake...

Good Fellow
I am Napoleon, an Archer! You're looking at the only hero of humanity in all of Scandinavia!

Section 5: Castle of Snow and Ice (Beginning)

Show/Hide Story Chapter

Gerda
...The gate won't open, will it?

Grown-Up
No, Gerda. It only opens on the ordained day. Assuming you stay here and don't go out again, at least.

Gerda
I won't. Nobody has a fever right now.

Grown-Up
You did a good deed, Gerda, so the Goddess and the envoys will forgive you. That they didn't punish you is proof enough of that, right?

Grown-Up
Still...the gate won't open...

Grown-Up
I wonder if we really will have to wait for the next ordained day to set off on our journey, like he said we would.

Gerda
This has never happened before...

Gerda
What's going to happen now...?
It almost feels like I'm dreaming...

Grown-Up
An envoy only comes on the ordained day. The Goddess hasn't permitted them to descend from Valhalla any other time.

Grown-Up
At least, that's what that man with that huge metal thing said. Whether it's true or not is beyond me...

Grown-Up
Honestly, we're not sure what to do now either. It never even occurred to us that something like this could happen...

Grown-Up
Some are saying we should try to force the gate open now, but–

Gerda
You can't! You'll never get to go to Valhalla without an envoy!

Gerda
So...in that case...

Gerda
...maybe you could all just wait until next year?

Grown-Up
Yeah. I suppose we could.

Gerda
Of course you could!

Gerda
All the children were thinking how nice it would be to make the flower bed past the field a bit bigger.

Gerda
We'd all be so happy if the grown-ups helped us.
I mean that, you know?

Gerda
...So what do you say?

Napoleon
The fire on the mountains? Yeah, I have no idea what's going on with that, either.

Napoleon
The snow and ice at least make some sense,
but the fire? I got nothin'.

Mash
Really? You know what's going on with the ice that covers the mountains, and the snow that covers all of Scandinavia?

Fou
Fou fou, fo fo.

Napoleon
Yeah, more or less.
Might as well explain while we're taking a break!

Napoleon
I guess it's about time I told you the point of this march, anyway. Say, I never did tell you where I wanted to go after we left the village, did I?

  1. You didn't tell us anything.
  2. All you said was “Join me!”
  Select: You didn't tell us anything.

  Select: All you said was “Join me!”

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Haha, sorry 'bout that!

Napoleon
All right then, let's start at the beginning.
You two know about the myth of Ragnarök, right?

Napoleon
Well, in this Lostbelt, it looks like the last war between the gods and giants still took place...

Napoleon
...but, as you've likely figured out for yourselves,
the Age of Gods didn't end here for some reason.

Napoleon
Thanks to that, civilization never developed, humans are still worshipping gods, and giants roam unchecked around the mountains.

Napoleon
Basically, for the last three thousand or so years, things have remained pretty much the same as they were back in 1000 B.C., when the Norse Age of Gods was originally meant to end.

Napoleon
That's what led to this place heading down a sliiightly different path from the myth we know.

Fou
Fo, fou!

Mash
!

Mash
The Age of Gods, lasting into the present day...!
Then, Director Goredolf and Da Vinci were right...

Napoleon
Yup. The real deal's right here in Scandinavia.

Napoleon
Didn't you hear the kids going on about “Goddess” this and “Goddess” that? Well, there you are.

Napoleon
She didn't die in Ragnarök or turn into a Divine Spirit.
She's remained, intact, to this day.

Napoleon
Now, she rules this Lostbelt, using her hundred envoys as a go-between to keep both the giants and humans in check.

Napoleon
She's the last god in Scandinavia, and she's kept the Age of Gods going all this time.

Napoleon
She lives in the northern part of the Oslo Fjord, in a castle located in Proper Human History's old Oslo region.

Napoleon
The Queen of Scandinavia,
who covered half its mountains in frost...

Napoleon
...Scáthach-Skadi, Goddess of Snow and Ice.

Napoleon
The last remaining deity, and the one in charge of this entire Lostbelt.

Napoleon
We're not talking Servant here.
We're talking full-blown, honest-to-goodness goddess.

Napoleon
I'm trying to get to her castle. That's probably where you'll find the Crypter and that Servant, too.

Napoleon
I bet it's also where that Paper Moon thing is,
along with...what was it called again...

Napoleon
The Tree of Emptiness?
Anyway, I bet they know where you can find that, too.

  1. Huh?
  2. Scáthach!?
  Select: Huh?

  Select: Scáthach!?

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Yup.

Mash
Y-you mean...THAT Scáthach...?

Napoleon
That's what I said.

Fou
Fou, fou fou! Kyuuu!

Napoleon
Aah! Get offa me!
What is this thing, a dog? I'm okay with dogs!

Fou
Fooou!

Napoleon
What!? What's your problem!? What'd I say!?

Mash
Fo-Fou! Stay! What's gotten into you...!?

Ophelia
...What about the giants?

Queen of Ice and Snow
Indeed. They may appear to be quite active,
but they are not exactly industrious.

Queen of Ice and Snow
I hold absolute authority over them. I can make them attack or sleep with a single command.

Queen of Ice and Snow
But even I cannot suppress their instincts. The giants who survived consume heat in any form they can.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Though most of them remain in hibernation, they will awaken at the slightest hint of a new heat source and devour it immediately.

Ophelia
Then the giants can't serve as a proper,
disciplined army. As I suspected.

Ophelia
Of course, I have nothing but the utmost respect for your ability to control many of them at once, but...

Sigurd
Hmph. As familiars go, they're third-rate at best.

Ophelia
Saber.

Queen of Ice and Snow
It's quite all right.
That knight of yours is correct, Ophelia.

Queen of Ice and Snow
The giants may have lived through the fires of Ragnarök as the humans and I did, but they are a pitiful shadow of their former selves.

Queen of Ice and Snow
...Still, they were once proud, mighty souls.

Queen of Ice and Snow
That is why I love them. For they, too,
are living things here in Scandinavia.

Ophelia
...

Queen of Ice and Snow
We gods may not always have seen eye to eye with giants,
but they were still beings on par with us.

Queen of Ice and Snow
The heat of the flames scorched them all. It twisted the frost giants, the mountain giants... No giant escaped its wrath.

Queen of Ice and Snow
Now, they have become so twisted that they are little more than walking calamities. They bring nothing but death and destruction, just like fire.

Queen of Ice and Snow
So I shall keep them in check myself.

Queen of Ice and Snow
With the masks born of mine own hands,
I can unite all the giants under my rule!

Queen of Ice and Snow
For I carry the noble blood of Ymir in my icy veins!

Napoleon
...Aha. So you two knew Scáthach from Proper Human History, huh?

Napoleon
Unfortunately, this version of her is absolutely not the person you know.

Napoleon
She's not a Divine Spirit–not a god that has lost its body and dissolved back into nature. She's an actual, living goddess!

Napoleon
Scáthach-Skadi, goddess and queen, has been around for thousands of years, ever since the Age of Gods. A fusion of the Norse goddess Skadi and the Celtic warrior Scáthach.

  1. Scáthach-Skadi...!?
 
  Select: Scáthach-Skadi...!?

===Branch End===

Mash
I see...

Mash
I did hear that certain aspects of Scáthach from Proper Human History may have blended in with the Norse deity Skadi...

Mash
I suppose that means, in this Lostbelt...Skadi, the goddess of snowy mountains who is herself part giant, would be the predominant figure over Scáthach.

Napoleon
Yup. That's pretty much it.

Napoleon
Here in this Lostbelt, where the Age of Gods never ended, she rules over humans and giants alike. Her goal seems to be for everything to remain as it is.

Napoleon
I guess that part's the same as other Lostbelts? If nothing else, I'm pretty sure she doesn't want to wipe humanity out.

Napoleon
In fact, word has it that Scáthach-Skadi loves all forms of life. That's what I've been hearing, anyway.

Fou
Fou?

Mash
Loves...?

Napoleon
Means we can reason with her. Long as we don't go openly declaring war on her or anything...

Napoleon
...she won't see us as enemies. Guaranteed.

Mash
B-but, Napoleon, we've already destroyed a number of her envoys...

Napoleon
Trust me, it's gonna take more than that to ruffle this queen's feathers. I know that sounds pretty weird, but it's true.

Napoleon
She doesn't call herself the mother of Scandinavia for nothing.

Mash
Wait, mother?

Napoleon
That's right.

Napoleon
...That said, I can understand why you'd be nervous. Especially after that big dustup we had with the envoys.

Napoleon
...But that's as much my fault as it is yours!
Sorry for getting you two caught up in that!

  1. Don't worry about it.
  2. We're just grateful you saved us.
  Select: Don't worry about it.

  Select: We're just grateful you saved us.

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Hey, thanks! That makes me feel a lot better!

Mash
I have to say, Napoleon...I'm impressed how much you know about both this Lostbelt and Proper Human History.

Napoleon
Hm?

Mash
Napoleon Bonaparte. You first made a name for yourself after the French Revolution in 1789, eventually going on to become the first Emperor of France.

Mash
As the Supreme Commander of the Grande Armée, you were one of France's greatest rulers and conquerors.

Mash
For a time, you controlled over half of Europe, and your grand expedition to Russia is particularly well known...

Mash
...but at least in our database, I haven't seen anything regarding your exploits that pertains to Scandinavia.

Mash
I did hear that you were quite the fan of James Macpherson's Ossian, which had epic poems similar to the Norse Poetic Edda, but that's all.

Mash
What I'm trying to say is...you must have acquired your knowledge of Scandinavia after you materialized.

Mash
Is that right, Napoleon?

  1. Yeah, how do you know so much...?
  2. An Emperor Napoleon who knows all about Scandinavia...
  Select: Yeah, how do you know so much...?

  Select: An Emperor Napoleon who knows all about Scandinavia...

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Haha, well sure. I materialized here just a little bit before you all showed up.

Napoleon
That's why I happen to know so much.
I've been getting all this information while I travel around on foot and on some skis I made.

Napoleon
As to the source of my information,
well...I think I'll hold off on that for now.

Napoleon
An air of mystery makes hotties like me even hotter, don't you think?

Fou
Fo, fou fou! Kyaaau!

Napoleon
Oof!

Napoleon
Wh-what is it? You want me to fess up everything, no secrets? Come on, lay off me, doggo! I've got my reasons!

Mash
(Um, Fou isn't actually a dog...)

Napoleon
...Phew.

Napoleon
Well, let me be perfectly clear about one thing:
this here Heroic Spirit's on humanity's side.

Napoleon
I'm your ally. I came here to save you.

Napoleon
Just make sure you don't forget that. Long as you don't,
we could even make a temporary contract if you want.

Mash
...Senpai.

  1. I trust Napoleon.
  2. He did save us when we were in a really bad spot.
  Select: I trust Napoleon.

  Select: He did save us when we were in a really bad spot.

===Branch End===

Mash
Yes... I agree. He is capable and trustworthy.

Mash
That's right. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw an Archer like you wielding that enormous cannon...!

Napoleon
Hm? Is that so? I didn't think artillery specialists were all that uncommon.

Napoleon
Then again, maybe it's tougher than I thought for someone like that to make their mark on humanity?

Napoleon
It's not like I was an artillery officer my whole life. Hell, my Spirit Origin and Noble Phantasm are both pretty much afterthoughts...

Mash
Hm? Then...you mean you didn't use a cannon like that when you were alive?

Napoleon
Hahahahaha, of course not! You're a riot, mademoiselle! Can you imagine an emperor like me going around with a cannon like this!?

Napoleon
Wait, guess I shouldn't laugh, huh? Sorry about that.
It's just not that uncommon in modern Heroic Spirits.

Napoleon
I don't know what sort of adventures you've gotten up to before, but haven't you seen anything like this with other modern Heroic Spirits from Proper Human History?

Napoleon
You know, where they turned out to be kind of a caricature of their real selves?

Mash
Oh... Now that you mention it...Babbage's Heroic Spirit materialized as a mechanical suit of armor...

Mash
...and Edison...doesn't look remotely close to how he did when he was alive, maybe because of the special circumstances surrounding his materialization...

  1. There are some who seem a bit different from their real selves.
  2. Some of them end up turning into Innocent Monsters, too.
  Select: There are some who seem a bit different from their real selves.

  Select: Some of them end up turning into Innocent Monsters, too.

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Right? And in my case, I got this gigantic cannon.

Napoleon
And that's not all that's different: just look how tall I am here! Ooh la la! Won't be getting called short anytime soon! Not a chance!

Napoleon
Well, as far as looks go, I've got my own reasons for appearing like I do...

Napoleon
Enough of that, though!
Anything else you wanna ask me?

Mash
Yes!

Fou
Fo fou!

Mash
Remember how Gerda said that, at least in Village 23,
an envoy won't come again for another year?

Mash
Is there a reason for that? Something you know from your unidentified information source...?

Napoleon
I can't be totally certain it'll be another year,
but that sounds right to me. Oh, but that's not my source talking. I learned that firsthand.

Mash
How...?

Napoleon
Just look at how many of 'em showed up this time.

Napoleon
The envoys aren't allowed to sacrifice humans on any day besides the one that goddess lady–Scáthach-Skadi ordained.

Napoleon
So they must've brought a whole bunch of them along to make sure the ritual didn't go off the rails again.

  1. Hold up.
  2. “Again”?
  Select: Hold up.

  Select: “Again”?

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Oh, right. This wasn't my first run-in with them.

Napoleon
Back at another village, I caught one of 'em trying to open those giant gates and sniped 'em.

Napoleon
There was just the one back then, probably 'cause they didn't expect anyone to attack them, but that obviously wasn't the case with that last village...

Napoleon
Remember them saying something about shared records?

Napoleon
Well, the data from the one I sniped got shared with the rest. It looks like they responded by shoring up their numbers in preparation for another attack.

Napoleon
The envoys don't care about the queen's philanthropy.
They're basically machines. No reasoning with them.

Mash
...I see...

Fou
...Fo fou...

Napoleon
...So, uh, I guess what I'm trying to say is...

Napoleon
I'm sorry!

Napoleon
I had no idea they'd come back with those kinds of numbers. Guess I really messed things up for you two.

Mash
Oh no, not at all...!

Mash
We never would have won without your help!
Especially given how strong each envoy was individually...

Napoleon
Oh, yeah, that...

Napoleon
Guess I oughta level with you. I'm pretty sure the sisters they based the envoys off of are even stronger.

Napoleon
The ones we ran into yesterday are basically mass-produced dolls that Queen Scáthach-Skadi made by infusing them with her own magical energy.

Mash
Mass-produced dolls...

Mash
...
...

Napoleon
Might as well get this out there, too. The Queen here is merciful, yes, but the whole place is lousy with powerful, vicious enemies.

Napoleon
A shitstorm of envoys... That Lostbelt Servant with his demonic sword... And almost no allies for us.

Napoleon
Even with the odds that stacked against us,
are you two still ready to fight?

  1. ...Of course.
  2. That's why we came here.
  Select: ...Of course.

  Select: That's why we came here.

===Branch End===

Mash
Exactly.
...Yes. We're ready to fight.

Mash
We're the only ones who have a chance, no matter how small,
of restoring Earth and Proper Human History.

Mash
So, that's why...

Napoleon
Gotcha. That's good to hear.

Napoleon
Me, I'm the guy who once ruled over most of Europe.
I'd say that more or less makes me its king.

Fou
Fo fo, fo...fooou? (Special Translation:
What's Boney here going on about?)

Napoleon
So if you call for me, I'll come running right away. Doesn't matter where, even waaay up north! Doesn't matter how cold it is! I'll be there!

Napoleon
After all, if someone begs for my help,
how can I refuse?

Napoleon
Back when I was alive, there was a mountain of problems keeping my hands tied, like budgetary concerns and stockpiling issues...

Napoleon
...but now that I'm a Heroic Spirit fighting for humanity, nothing's gonna hold me back! Haha!

Napoleon
There might only be so many categories of things I can help with, but if there's two things I do best, it's fight hard, and win! If that's what you're looking for, then your search is over!

Napoleon
'Sides, Scandinavia's still part of Europe,
and nobody's better at winning in Europe than I am!

Mash
S-Senpai! His confidence and spirit are amazing...!

Mash
Although, there IS one thing I'm a little concerned about.
As I recall, Emperor Napoleon's biggest defeat was...

  1. Oh yeah, what was it again?
  2. When the Grande Armée couldn't handle the Russian winter.
  Select: Oh yeah, what was it again?
Mash
His expedition to Russia. The winter there was too harsh for his Grande Armée to endure, which ultimately led their defeat.
Mash
Apparently, that defeat was a major factor in the decline of his reign...

  Select: When the Grande Armée couldn't handle the Russian winter.
Mash
Yes, exactly! That defeat would go on to be a major factor in the decline of his reign...

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Honestly, it would've been nice to get another crack at Russia for my revenge, but, oh well. C'est la vie.

Napoleon
Still, since we're in a harsh wintry environment too, I will settle for avenging my Grande Armée's defeat here!

  1. Does that really count?
  2. I really don't think that's how karma works...at all... Ever.
  Select: Does that really count?

  Select: I really don't think that's how karma works...at all... Ever.

===Branch End===

Napoleon
...Now don't be like that, Private.

Mash
Private? Do you mean Senpai?

Napoleon
Yup! You're the first recruit of my new Grande Armée. Good luck! Work hard enough, and maybe you'll even earn a medal!

Fou
Fo fo fou!

Mash
U-um, I'm sorry, but didn't you already give Senpai a medal...?

Napoleon
Oh, right. I did, didn't I!

Napoleon
...Aw crap.

Napoleon
Guess we lost track of time. Looks like we ran into a group of 'em out on patrol, mademoiselle.

Mash
...You're right. Magical energy signals are headed towards us. Fortunately, they're still far enough away that I can use my thrusters to make a clean getaway.

Napoleon
No, I say we let them find us.
I want to get a better look at how you two fight.

Napoleon
I'm not saying we do this for kicks. We need to hone our skills against opponents we know we can defeat before we come up against someone really tough.

Napoleon
We need to get better at fighting together as a unit.
Call it teamwork if you like.

Napoleon
So what do you say? Make sense to you, Private?

  1. ...I do want us to get better.
  2. I don't want to kill if we don't have to, but I do see your point.
  Select: ...I do want us to get better.
Napoleon
Now we're talking.

  Select: I don't want to kill if we don't have to, but I do see your point.
Napoleon
Haha, good answer!

===Branch End===

Napoleon
All right, here they are!
Let's get this battle underway, Private!

--BATTLE--

Scáthach-Skadi
...This Hinako person's Lostbelt is absolutely out of the question.

Scáthach-Skadi
Two of the other four that remain are completely unfit as well.

Scáthach-Skadi
In which case, I suppose we will need to cooperate with the great ones of Greece, as you originally proposed?

Ophelia
Yes, Your Majesty. I believe that would be wisest.

Ophelia
Peperoncino is an excellent Crypter in his own right,
and his Lostbelt is of high quality...

Ophelia
...but in my estimation, it still does not compare to yours, Queen Scáthach-Skadi.

Scáthach-Skadi
I do find that Crypter charming, but given what you have told me, I cannot say I care for his Lostbelt.

Scáthach-Skadi
Still, I much prefer it to the one lying right in the middle of a continent.

Scáthach-Skadi
That aside, what a bizarre name he has. Pepe... Peperoncino? ...It does have a strange charm to it.

Scáthach-Skadi
No matter. Let us discuss something else.

Scáthach-Skadi
...The incident that took place in Village 23.

Scáthach-Skadi
It seems members of Chaldea did indeed join forces with...that man.

Scáthach-Skadi
I'm told they destroyed quite a number of my daughters–the envoys modeled after the Valkyries.

Ophelia
...My knight and I will see they are dealt with at once.

Sigurd
Just say the word, and I'll kill 'em. Even a demonic sword gets rusty if you don't use it now and then.

Scáthach-Skadi
What have I told you? You will kill no one.

Scáthach-Skadi
Despite your pledge to serve me, Ophelia,
I see your heart still lies with another.

Scáthach-Skadi
However, this is still my world,
and so you will kill no one.

Scáthach-Skadi
They may end up meeting their end at the hands of giants,
or at the hands of other imitation Valkyries...

Scáthach-Skadi
...but that is simply the way of the world;
it is as natural as footprints on morning snow.

Scáthach-Skadi
There is no need to involve your demonic sword.

Scáthach-Skadi
Besides...did I not tell you I would love them?

Ophelia
...I did not think you were serious.

Scáthach-Skadi
Haha, you say that as if it doesn't concern you. Ophelia, your deadpan expression is impressive, but also dull.

Scáthach-Skadi
...Then again, he doesn't want my love, does he?

Scáthach-Skadi
Be that as it may, when it comes to dealing with others besides myself, my question remains the same.

Scáthach-Skadi
That is...

Scáthach-Skadi
...do I kill them, or love them?

Scáthach-Skadi
If I decide to kill them, I do so immediately. I halt them, freeze them, and destroy them. If I decide to love them, I do so until their dying breath. I nurture them and stay with them as they die.

Scáthach-Skadi
All humans are my children.
As are all giants.

Scáthach-Skadi
Do I kill them, or love them? My enemies, I kill; my children, I love. That is who I am: the queen, the mother, of Scandinavia.

Scáthach-Skadi
Yet again, that goes for you too, Ophelia.
And you, knight.

Scáthach-Skadi
You are my beloved daughter,
and you, my precious son.

Scáthach-Skadi
Every life that grows here in Scandinavia is my child.

Ophelia
I...

Ophelia
No. Your kindness knows no bounds, Your Majesty.

Scáthach-Skadi
Indeed, that goes for the three Valkyries Odin entrusted to me as well. Thrúd? Thrúd, come here!

Thrúd
...Valkyrie Thrúd, reporting for duty.

Thrúd
Wonderful to see you in good health, Scáthach-Skadi, Our Goddess and Protector. And you, Lady Ophelia, Her sworn ally.

Scáthach-Skadi
Have I not told you to call me “Mother”?
Really now.

Thrúd
As you wish.

Ophelia
...
...

Sigurd
Hmph. She sure does rattle on a lot for a doll.

Thrúd
What is your command?
We shall obey any order you give us.

Thrúd
For you are our master, Scáthach-Skadi.

Scáthach-Skadi
After all these years, you still refuse to behave as my daughter. No matter how often I see it, it still manages to impress me.

Scáthach-Skadi
Tell me, my beloved daughter. As leader of my hundred-odd envoys, what do you make of the incident in Village 23?

Scáthach-Skadi
I know you are obedient,
but despite what that knight says...

Scáthach-Skadi
...I also know you are no mindless wooden doll.

Thrúd
We are meant to execute our master's commands.
We cannot make decisions on our own.

Scáthach-Skadi
That's quite all right. Just tell me what you think.
Keep it to pure analysis if you must.

Thrúd
...Very well.

Thrúd
Of course, if you say these transgressors will be permitted to remain alive, we shall act accordingly. I do think they can be left alone...

Thrúd
As for the destroyed envoys, they were mass-produced units with no ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

Thrúd
Still, based on what I've seen in our shared records,
I don't think the three of us will need to respond.

Thrúd
Even if circumstances change, and we do end up needing to deal with them, I think the giants...

Thrúd
...or a mass-produced unit's self-destruct function should be sufficient.

Scáthach-Skadi
Oh?

Thrúd
I am told the transgressors are a human and one who is half-human, half-Heroic Spirit. There is no need for the three of us to confront such a lowly foe.

Ophelia
...

Sigurd
Heh. Cheeky little doll, isn't she.

Sigurd
Come on, Ophelia, just say the word.
I want to break it right here and now.

Ophelia
...Don't be ridiculous. Her Majesty is right there.
You will not act without my permission.

Scáthach-Skadi
That is fine. I like the way your knight speaks his mind. But stay your sword. You are not to harm my daughter.

Scáthach-Skadi
She is adorable in her own way.
I accept her as she is, and love her.

Sigurd
...Hmph.

Scáthach-Skadi
...Hehe. Very well then, Sir Knight: Would you like to try drawing that demonic sword of yours right now?

Ophelia
Your Majesty!

Thrúd
Give me the command, Your Majesty, and that Heroic Spirit will be destroyed, demonic sword and all.

Thrúd
It may be difficult for Thrúd alone, but our chances of success would improve greatly with all three of us.

Scáthach-Skadi
...Hehe. Hehehe, hahahaha.

Scáthach-Skadi
That's all right. At ease, my ferocious daughter.
Know that even I tend to jest at times.

Ophelia
...That wasn't funny, Scáthach-Skadi.

Scáthach-Skadi
Haha, do forgive me. Seeing your adorably innocent faces, I simply couldn't help myself.

Scáthach-Skadi
Now then, I think I shall return to my throne for a time.

Scáthach-Skadi
I doubt they will make it here by tonight...but by tomorrow evening, I expect we will have guests.

Scáthach-Skadi
No doubt they will encounter more of the giants that roam my world, and destroy more imitation Valkyries before then.

Scáthach-Skadi
I do wonder, though, if they will survive long enough for us to meet...

--BATTLE--

Napoleon
...All right! There goes the last one!

Napoleon
Nice job, you two! Gotta say, didn't think we'd be running into more mass-produced Valkyries out here.

Napoleon
Then again, both those things and the giants are loyal to the queen, so it makes sense they might fight side by side.

Napoleon
It was like something straight out of myth,
seeing Valkyries with giants in tow.

Mash
...It was rather magnificent,
seeing them both together like that.

Mash
At any rate, Master, I can confirm there are no more magical energy signals nearby. Well done.

  1. You too, Mash. Great job out there.
  2. Thank you too, Napoleon. You were a big help.
  Select: You too, Mash. Great job out there.
Mash
Thank you!

  Select: Thank you too, Napoleon. You were a big help.
Napoleon
Huh? Oh, sure. No problem.

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Gotta say though, you two handled yourselves pretty nicely. I could tell you've done this before.

Napoleon
You've got real guts, little shield lady.
You too, Fujimaru.

Napoleon
How do you summon so many Heroic Spirits at once?
I don't suppose you could get them to stick around...?

Fou
Fou, fooou.

Napoleon
Well that's a damn shame! Otherwise, I could've put together the greatest Grande Armée of all time!

Napoleon
But there's no sense crying over...uh, milk you can't even spill. Anyway, we'll just have to build up our strength the old-fashioned way.

Napoleon
In other words, the three of us have gotta get stronger.
Let's see...

Napoleon
Here, let me give you some tips for hunting giants.
First off, try to go for their sensory organs or legs.

Napoleon
That's your best bet unless you've got a real powerhouse of a weapon. If so, you can just go for the vitals and take 'em out in one shot!

Mash
Um, you keep saying “sensory organs”
but...do you mean their heads?

Napoleon
That's right. The head's full of sensory organs. Those masks they wear cover up their eyes and noses, and it doesn't look like their hearing is exceptional...

Napoleon
...so they might be relying on some kind of sixth sense, or an ability that lets them detect heat sources, but I figure the eyes are a safe bet.

Napoleon
So make sure you go for their heads, even if you have to hit 'em through their masks. They're a big target, so it shouldn't be too tough to damage them.

Napoleon
When going for the legs,
the knees and ankles are the best targets.

Napoleon
The giants' size and mass can be intimidating, but once you've knocked 'em to the ground, they're pretty much sitting ducks.

Napoleon
In other words, there's nothing too special about it.
Just follow best practice.

Fou
Fou fo, fou!

  1. You really know your way around a giant fight, huh.
  2. Were you always this good at hunting giants, Napoleon...?
  Select: You really know your way around a giant fight, huh.

  Select: Were you always this good at hunting giants, Napoleon...?

===Branch End===

Mash
Yes, I'm surprised too.
I had no idea you were also a great giant killer!

Mash
I don't know of any tales about you killing giants myself, though... Is it possible for stories to be both secret and passed down to others?

Napoleon
Don't worry, you're not missing any stories.
Things just sorta worked out this way.

Fou
Fou fou?

Mash
Worked out?

Napoleon
Pretty much.

Napoleon
...Gonna be nightfall soon. Perfect. What do you say we make camp for the night right around there?

Napoleon
Besides, I think it's about time we talked tactics.

Mash
Oh wow...

Mash
There really are camping facilities here.
Did you set all this up ahead of time, Napoleon...?

Napoleon
You bet. I've got base camps like this set up all around this Lostbelt. Set them up with gear I pilfer–

Napoleon
Ahem, BORROWED, from the village where I drove off that one envoy. Still, the best part of being a Rogue Servant is...

Napoleon
...you never have to worry about supplies. All you need's a place to rest your body and mind for a while.

Napoleon
'Course, I doubt it'll be that easy for you two...

Mash
Oh no, we'll be fine.
But thank you for your concern.

Mash
We always carry food, water, and sleeping bags with us. My shield has storage space, you see.

Mash
There we go.

Fou
Fooou!
Fou fou!

Mash
Don't worry Fou, we have some for you, too.
Here, I'll put some water in your dish right now.

Fou
Fou! Fou!

Napoleon
Huh, that's pretty handy!
But you can never have too many blankets. Here.

  1. Thanks!
  2. Mmm, nice and warm...
  Select: Thanks!

  Select: Mmm, nice and warm...

===Branch End===

Mash
We still have the rations we brought from the Border...but for tonight, why won't we have Gerda's bread?

Mash
It's too bad we had to say our goodbyes so hastily...
I wonder how Gerda's doing right now.

  1. ...Me too.
  2. I hope we get to see her again at some point.
  Select: ...Me too.
Mash
...
...

  Select: I hope we get to see her again at some point.
Mash
...Yes. I hope so too.

===Branch End===

Fou
Fou fou, fou!

Mash
Ah! Fou! It's rude to start eating your food before everyone's been served...!

Fou
Fou!

Napoleon
Hey, that looks good. Let me try a bite. Hmm...
Hey, it is good. In fact, it deserves a medal!

Napoleon
You said her name was Gerda?
Looks like she's earned a medal of her own!

Napoleon
Phew. That hit the spot.

Napoleon
All right, let's talk tactics.
...Sorry for springing all this on you.

Mash
Not at all. It's good to discuss this as early as possible. Thank you for doing this.

Napoleon
I'm the one who should be thanking you.

Napoleon
So, tomorrow, we're gonna make our move on the enemy.
We'll be sneaking into the castle near old Oslo. Right?

Napoleon
And when we do, we'll almost certainly have a fight waiting for us.

  1. Do you think we can win...?
  2. Sigurd alone was a really tough enemy.
  Select: Do you think we can win...?

  Select: Sigurd alone was a really tough enemy.

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Good question. So to begin, we need to define our conditions for victory!

Fou
Fo? Fo fou?

Napoleon
Well, the question we need to ask is: What must we do to win? And, conversely, what would mean that we have completely, absolutely lost?

Napoleon
Can we only win by wiping out the enemy? No. We can't possibly kill every giant and envoy in Scandinavia, and we wouldn't want to.

Napoleon
So that's not a suitable condition for victory.

Napoleon
No, what you two need to do more than anything is...

  1. Get the Paper Moon back!
  2. Well, locating the Tree of Emptiness is up there...
  Select: Get the Paper Moon back!

  Select: Well, locating the Tree of Emptiness is up there...

===Branch End===

Mash
Retrieving the Paper Moon is our highest,
most urgent priority.

Mash
And we also absolutely require information on the Tree of Emptiness, since we can't see it.

Mash
It may end up being after we've made contact with the Wandering Sea, but we will eventually need to destroy it and...

Mash
...make this Lostbelt disappear...

Napoleon
Then that's your victory condition.
That's what you need to do.

Napoleon
Get this Paper Moon thing back, and find out what you can about the Tree of Emptiness.

Napoleon
So what is your defeat condition?
Easy: you both end up dead.

Napoleon
So your only choice is to keep yourselves safe and set about meeting your victory condition.

Napoleon
If it were just a matter of defeating your enemies, things would be simple. Unfortunately, your condition for victory is pretty far from straightforward.

Fou
Fooou...

Napoleon
Now, now, doggy, cheer up! I know it looks bad! The queen's influence extends to all of Scandinavia, after all!

Napoleon
But...she has no intention of throwing everything she's got at us.

Mash
She doesn't...?

Napoleon
If she wanted us dead, we would be. The envoys and giants all act as she desires, almost like puppets.

Napoleon
If she ordered the giants in this area to find and attack us, we'd be fighting them off every minute of the day...

Napoleon
...but that's obviously not what she's done. They haven't even raised any kind of alarm about us, let alone created a defensive line or anything.

  1. So, they're not on the alert...
  2. You mean they're not even trying to defend against us?
  Select: So, they're not on the alert...

  Select: You mean they're not even trying to defend against us?

===Branch End===

Napoleon
That's right. As the Supreme Commander of the Grande Armée, it pains me to say this...

Napoleon
...but she doesn't even think of us as an enemy. I think, at worst, she sees us as something more like a pack of wild animals.

Napoleon
But, that's okay. It's our in. She's leaving herself wide open by not putting up her guard.

Napoleon
Oh, and one more thing...

Napoleon
...Listen close.
Once we make our way into their base...

Napoleon
All right! It might be kind of a stretch to call it a strategy, but that's the plan!

Mash
Understood!

Napoleon
Good answer. Anyway, don't worry! I didn't bring you two all this way without anything to show for it.

Napoleon
I've got more than one trump card up my sleeve.
As for what they are, well...you'll just have to wait and see.

Fou
Fooou!
Kyaaau!

Napoleon
Hahaha! Sorry 'bout that! If it makes you feel better, I'm only half serious! Hahahahaha!

Section 6: Castle of Snow and Ice (End)

Show/Hide Story Chapter

Mash
Senpai, look!

Mash
Those birds are back...

Mash
Does that mean we're near another one of those patches of land between ice and fire?

Mash
I don't think we saw any birds around Gerda's village.
Given what she said, animals are pretty rare here.

Mash
Since they have fish in the village pond,
they may be more used to aquatic life.

Napoleon
Huh, you don't say.
So you two can see those birds too.

  1. Huh?
  2. Is there a reason we wouldn't...?
  Select: Huh?

  Select: Is there a reason we wouldn't...?

===Branch End===

Napoleon
It's a good thing.
Those birds are a good sign for us.

Napoleon
They've guided me the whole time I've been here.
Even led me to you two.

Mash
Huh? Th-those specific birds? Really?

Napoleon
Kidding, obviously. Now come on! It's morning,
and we need to pick up the pace of this march!

Napoleon
Go ahead and activate those thruster things.
We're almost to Her Majesty's castle!


...It was indeed a castle.
A lonely, solitary castle.
At a glance, you could tell it was meant as a home for someone important. A castle of snow and ice, clearly made for royalty.
It had nothing in the way of defenses as a fortress might. The first and most important consideration in its design had plainly been beauty.

Mash
If we were still in Proper Human History, this castle would be considered an architectural masterpiece.

Napoleon
Well, here in this Lostbelt, it's the largest building around, not that that's exactly a high bar to clear.

Napoleon
A castle of ice and snow.
A kind of temple, where a real-life god resides.

Napoleon
The one and only castle in this whole Lostbelt, standing tall in the northern part of the Oslo Fjord in the Scandinavian Peninsula–Oslo in Proper Human History.

Napoleon
I'll say this: it sure looks like a place where the ruler of this icy land would live.

Fou
Fou, fo fou.

Mash
How do we get in?

Napoleon
Through the back.

Napoleon
You've probably figured it out by now, but this isn't my first time here. I tried breaking in once before.

Napoleon
As you can imagine, it didn't go particularly well.

Napoleon
But it wasn't all for nothing, right? I may not have left with much in the way of spoils, but I got info.

  1. You mean you went in alone!?
  2. A man famous for leading an army went in alone?
  Select: You mean you went in alone!?

  Select: A man famous for leading an army went in alone?

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Damn straight!

Napoleon
I know what Heroic Spirits are supposed to be like in my head, but it's hard to put into practice.

Napoleon
It's not like I was overly confident in my power or anything... I was mostly just curious to see how far I could go.

Napoleon
Plus, I had a few reasons for doing it. I might not've taken any of them down, but I did learn a few things.

Napoleon
One of them was this underground passage leading to the castle's main building.

Napoleon
If you just walk across the big bridge up top, you get swarmed by a mountain of envoys... Guess it's just in their nature...

Fou
Fo, fo fo fou...

Napoleon
Down below is much easier.
Not nearly as heavy security down there.

Napoleon
Yeah, I figured this'd be the case. She didn't increase security after I broke in. So, must mean she doesn't see me as an enemy.

Napoleon
...But she definitely knows we're here. That's just who she is.

Napoleon
She's the real deal; there's no telling how strong she might be. Be ready to face her when we get up to the castle, 'cause I promise you, she'll be waiting.

Mash
R-right.

  1. Got it.
  2. A Lostbelt Scáthach, huh...
  Select: Got it.

  Select: A Lostbelt Scáthach, huh...
Mash
...Right. Here, she's the king of this Lostbelt.
And of course, she has no way of knowing who we are.

===Branch End===

Fou
Fo...fou!
Fo fou!

Mash
Fou?

Mash
...Senpai, Napoleon, there are magical energy signals up ahead. Is that–

Napoleon
Nah, those are just ice beasts that decided to make this place their home. Let's take 'em out and be on our way!

Napoleon
Artillerymen, forward!

--BATTLE--

Napoleon
Phew. I swear, what the hell do those things eat to get so damn big!?

Napoleon
Anyway... We weren't too loud, right...?

Napoleon
I was...careful with my...cannon...

Napoleon
...
...

Mash
...
...

Mash
Um...

Napoleon
No no, don't say it. I should've known from the moment I materialized with this giant cannon that I wasn't really going to be great at covert ops.

Napoleon
...Doesn't look like the castle garrison's about to storm us, but it's probably too much to hope they didn't notice.

Napoleon
Well, may as well keep on going. There's a staircase leading up not far ahead. And once we get there–

Mash
The queen will be...waiting for us...?

Napoleon
Sure will. Maybe that Sigurd guy, too. We're not here for a rematch, but you might not have a choice!

Napoleon
All right, let's get a move on, Private!

--ARROW--

Mash
It's beautiful...

Mash
I-I mean, we've made our way into the castle. This seems to be the throne room. Scanning for magical energy now...

Mash
I'm getting a powerful magical energy signal from...the entire place! It's as though the castle itself is emanating magical energy...

D:Woman's Voice
Yes, I suppose it would be.

D:Woman's Voice
I made this castle of ice and snow out of my own magical energy. You may as well be standing within me.

D:Woman's Voice
You can't even sense the Servant standing nearby, can you? That is because these walls are hardened snow, the very same snow that falls all across my Scandinavia.

Fou
Fo, fou fou!
Kyaaau!

Mash
That voice...!

Napoleon
Well that didn't take long! Haha, ol' Queenie here sure likes to make an entrance, doesn't she!

D:Woman's Voice
A god...

D:Woman's Voice
...is eternal. A god is absolute.

D:Woman's Voice
In ancient times, humans saw gods in everything...but in my world, my Lostbelt, there is only one.

D:Woman's Voice
If a god is everywhere, in all things, then so am I.
If a god is incredible power, then so am I.

D:Woman's Voice
I am told the gods are gone in Proper Human History. I am told they are reduced to Divine Spirits, and that humans never see them.

D:Woman's Voice
It must be painful, living in such a world.

D:Woman's Voice
To think that humans have no choice but to bury the objects of their worship deep in their hearts, that they must rely on idols instead of true deities.

D:Woman's Voice
But in this world, I exist...

Scáthach-Skadi
You may bow your heads and kneel before me, human children.
I am Scáthach-Skadi, and I shall love you as my own.

  1. It's really her...
  2. Scáthach...
  Select: It's really her...

  Select: Scáthach...

===Branch End===

Mash
...She really does look exactly like Scáthach...

Fou
Fo... Foooooou...

Scáthach-Skadi
Hm? Is that the only part of my name that draws your attention?

Scáthach-Skadi
Ah, yes. I remember now. The Crypter told me you are acquainted with a Heroic Spirit from Proper Human History.

Scáthach-Skadi
Scáthach, the Celtic warrior, was it?
Regrettably, I know almost nothing about her...

Scáthach-Skadi
But, I do know all about you. I'm told you fought bravely within that lump of metal you call the Shadow Border.

Scáthach-Skadi
You also rescued one of my precious human children. It seems you caused an unfortunate incident in Village 23 arising from a misunderstanding, but I forgive you.

Scáthach-Skadi
I forgive all of it.
I shall love you as my own children.

Scáthach-Skadi
You did well to survive the demonic sword's assault. That is how it should be. I do not wish for any living thing to suffer such pain more than once.

Mash
...

  1. (I can't believe it...)
  2. (Maybe we really can reason with her?)
  Select: (I can't believe it...)

  Select: (Maybe we really can reason with her?)

===Branch End===

Mash
(I think so, Senpai. I can even sense genuine,
um, affection in her words.)

Mash
(But, at the same time...)

Mash
(...her magical energy is such that I can't even begin to process it! It's filling the entire castle!)

Mash
(...What's more, it's so concentrated that I almost feel like I'm going to pass out! It's enough to kill any normal creature instantly!)

Mash
(It even reminds me of the Seventh Singularity...and the massive magical energy in the atmosphere there...)

Fou
Fo, fooo...u...!

Napoleon
That's real generous of you, Your Majesty. Does that mean you're putting us under your protection?

Scáthach-Skadi
Ah, it's you. That Archer whose name escapes me.

Scáthach-Skadi
You are alive because I wish it to be so. How about that?
Is that enough to know that I love you?

Napoleon
Damn, my name's that hard for you to remember, huh?

Napoleon
I'm Napoleon Bonaparte. I used to be an emperor.
Now I'm a hero of humanity.

Napoleon
That's the second time I've told you that.

Scáthach-Skadi
Haha, forgive me, Archer. I have no interest in the names or deeds of those from Proper Human History.

Scáthach-Skadi
Naturally, I permit you all to exist here in Scandinavia. I am god here, and there are only two possibilities I have for you.

Scáthach-Skadi
A simple question...
Do I kill you, or love you?

Scáthach-Skadi
I have decided to grace the three of you with my love.
I will, therefore, not kill you. That said...

Scáthach-Skadi
...I will not be telling you where the Tree of Emptiness lies. I suggest you do not pursue it further.

Mash
!!!

Scáthach-Skadi
You mean to cut it down, do you not?
That would be a sin even I could not forgive.

Scáthach-Skadi
As for the Paper Moon, you are free to do with it as you will. Of course, I imagine its current owners may have something to say about that.

Napoleon
Haha. So what, you want us to put on a little show for you and fight them for it?

Scáthach-Skadi
That is not the worst idea...but no,
I had something else in mind... Thrúd.

Thrúd
You called for me, my Goddess?

Scáthach-Skadi
Capture them.

Mash
...!

Napoleon
Oh...?

Scáthach-Skadi
They have not yet broken the seam, but as I expected, they have begun to form a group. As such, they shall enjoy my love here, where I can watch them closely.

Thrúd
Understood. Command received, Scáthach-Skadi.
What should I do if the targets resist?

Scáthach-Skadi
Do not kill them.
They, too, are my precious children.

Thrúd
As you wish.

Thrúd
Then I will attempt to neutralize them without killing them. Once I activate my White Swan Mystic Code, I will engage my light spear's combat function.

Mash
...!

Mash
It's difficult to accurately gauge her magical energy inside this castle...but she is much more powerful than the envo–She's a Valkyrie!

Napoleon
Haha! Obviously! She's one of the originals they used as a base model!

Napoleon
She and her two sisters lead that entire army! You should be thanking your lucky stars we get to see her for ourselves!

Napoleon
That's Thrúd! She's a daughter of Odin himself.
She's a demigod who's been around since the Age of Gods!

Mash
Demigod...!?

Fou
Fo!?

Napoleon
Don't be afraid! Don't retreat now! Her Majesty herself is watching, so let's show her what we can do!

Thrúd
Scáthach-Skadi, permission to release a Muspel to limit unforeseen possibilities in combat.

Thrúd
Fighting alongside one would greatly reduce the difficulty of restraining the targets without killing them.

Scáthach-Skadi
Granted. Use him well, Thrúd.

Mash
A hole just opened in the floor!
And...something's climbing out? ...Is that...a giant!?

Mash
It has the same kind of mask as the other giants we've seen! It's also chained down by–

Mash
Scratch that! The chains just went flying and the giant is coming right at us!

Napoleon
We didn't even see any giants underground on the way here! Guess this place is still full of surprises!

Thrúd
Quasi-link to Muspel established. Commencing target neutralization. Engaging combat mode.

Thrúd
...It is time you learned the power of the Goddess's servants, people of Proper Human History.

Scáthach-Skadi
Dance, my human children. Dance.
Show me how fiercely your passion burns!

--BATTLE--

Mash
The giant presumed to be a Muspel has been defeated... I believe it's most likely the strongest type of giant we've seen so far!

Napoleon
Muspels are flame giants! In Norse mythology, they were said to live in the fire realm of Muspelheim!

Napoleon
Basically means they're mythology's ultimate badasses. You better believe they're tough if not even the gods want them running around unsupervised!

Napoleon
But! This was still no match for the Grande Armée!

Napoleon
...Hrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaah!

Thrúd
...Defending against the Archer's ranged attack. It is powerful, but insufficient to destroy my shield.

Napoleon
So this is what it's like going up against a real Valkyrie. Fun stuff! Puissance aside, your gear's something else!

Napoleon
Was that stuff made in the Age of Gods?
Don't tell me Odin himself forged it!

Thrúd
...You are strong, brave warriors from a far-off land. You have forced me to reconsider several of my underlying presumptions.

Thrúd
And you, Archer, would seem to possess an exceptionally keen eye.

Thrúd
My Divine Iron Shield was indeed forged before Ragnarök, and bestowed upon me by Odin.

Thrúd
It will not break no matter what manner of strange firearm you wield against it.

Napoleon
Hahaha, of all the times to be right! Oh, as for my weapon here, this is called a cannon! Don't forget it!

Thrúd
Understood. Designation: cannon.
I'll remember that. It's simpler than I expected.

Napoleon
Hey, you actually listened to me... I like that. Haha! And you're just as beautiful as the queen, though in a distinctly different way.

Napoleon
But, sadly, here in Scandinavia,
I'm already promised to another!

Mash
...Khh!

Napoleon
Thanks for the defense! Great teamwork!
You've got a knack for this!

Mash
Thank you! But, I'm afraid that fighting a true Valkyrie is much more difficult than the envoys...

Mash
Adjusting Ortinax's output.
Auto-maintenance functionality activated.

Mash
...This Lostbelt is full of beautiful, powerful life-forms. I still can't determine how strong the queen is, but...

Mash
...even putting her aside, I never thought there would be so many other enemies on par with Sigurd here...

Scáthach-Skadi
Hehe. My, my.

Scáthach-Skadi
You shouldn't speak that name lightly,
young shield-maiden. Words have weight, after all.

Scáthach-Skadi
Now, the one who filled you with such dread approaches...

Scáthach-Skadi
...Hehe, if only you had not spoken his name,
he might have remained out of sight.

Napoleon
!

Mash
(Unbelievable. This place should make it impossible to detect a Servant's distinct presence, yet I can still feel his intense burning cold as clear as day...!)

Mash
Sigurd the Dragon Slayer...!

Fou
Fou, fooou!!!

  1. Over here, Fou!
  2. It's not safe to be near Mash right now!
  Select: Over here, Fou!
Fou
Fo!

  Select: It's not safe to be near Mash right now!
Fou
Fooou...

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Haha, now I see! Boy, do I ever see!

Napoleon
Ooh la la! This is a tough one! He's just as the shield mademoiselle described! I'm getting goose bumps!

Napoleon
But I'm afraid that's where it stops. That isn't enough to make me swap my cannon for a white flag...

Napoleon
I've still got ammo, and plenty of gunpowder.
If anything, now I'm just more curious than ever.

Napoleon
Just how many shots DOES it take to break to the center of a great hero's Spirit Origin...?

Thrúd
...Why are you here, child of Barnstokkr?
Do you mean to interfere with my task?

Sigurd
Hmph.

Sigurd
Don't worry. I hear I'm supposed to be a knight now, so I'm just here in case Her Majesty needs me, like my princess told me to be.

Sigurd
Those the Chaldeans?
Well here they are, just like Her Majesty said.

Sigurd
What do you want to do about them, Ophelia?
If you want them dead, I can kill them right now.

Ophelia
...Be quiet, Saber.

Mash
Ophelia...

Ophelia
...

Ophelia
...Your Majesty, would you be so kind as to have Thrúd stand down? I wish to speak with that young woman.

Scáthach-Skadi
Granted. Did you hear that, Thrúd? Stand down.

Thrúd
As you wish.

Ophelia
Mash Kyrielight.

Ophelia
It's been a while since we last spoke, yes?
Two years, if I'm not mistaken?

Mash
...That's right. It's been a long time, Ophelia.

Mash
I've been wanting to talk to you again too. I've wanted to tell you everything about what happened in Chaldea, about our journey to restore humanity.

Mash
I wanted to tell you about who I was then and who I am now...and to ask you about the name “Crypter.”

Mash
Looking back, I never really talked with anyone else.

Mash
I only ever offered my opinion on what was happening in a given moment. I couldn't really express how I felt about things back then.

Mash
But that's not true anymore. I've been to so many places now, and learned so much from so many people.

Mash
I've learned so much about life. About good and evil, and how people retain their humanity even in difficult times.

Mash
But at Chaldea, even though we were all on the same team, I never tried to get to know the other members of Team A.

Mash
And that's why...I want to get to know you all now.

Mash
That first year as members of Team A... I want to find out what meaning there was to the time I spent with all of you.

Ophelia
...I see. I'm glad to hear that.

Ophelia
You really are earnest, aren't you?

Ophelia
But, I'm afraid we won't be able to do that, Mash.
This is where your journey ends.

Mash
Ophelia!

Ophelia
You've seen so many things I don't know about,
and been to so many worlds I'll never visit.

Ophelia
I would love to hear about all of it. I really wish we could sit down and have a long talk.

Ophelia
I've felt that way ever since we first met.
I mean that.

Ophelia
And with how you've grown since then...I think we might be able to have an even better discussion now.

Ophelia
But, that doesn't matter.

Ophelia
I'm not going to change. I can't. I'm a Crypter now, with all the responsibility that entails.

Ophelia
I can't let you all go. I won't.

Mash
...
...

Mash
...Even if it means resetting the entire planet?

Ophelia
What if it did?

Ophelia
That's who the Crypters are. That's who I am,
under Lord Kirschtaria Wodime's guidance.

Ophelia
It's strange, isn't it, Mash?
...You were originally supposed to come with us.

Ophelia
Now you've become a Demi-Servant, and our enemy.

Ophelia
I'm not sure if this is irony, or fate.

Mash
I don't think of myself as your enemy. I would like to resolve our differences peacefully, if we can.

Mash
Is that...not the case for you, Ophelia?

Ophelia
Me?

Ophelia
Well, I suppose I–

Napoleon
Whoa there, slow down. Let's not try to skip to the end here. Go easy on the poor girl, Mademoiselle Mash.

Mash
Napoleon? Do you and Ophelia already know each other...?

Napoleon
Well, this is the second time we've met.
We first met when I broke into the castle.

Napoleon
In fact, let me be frank.

Napoleon
Mademoiselle Ophelia Phamrsolone isn't just beautiful. She's also...

Napoleon
...my fiancée!

Mash
Fiancée!?

  1. I'll just pick my jaw up off the floor...
  2. Wait, what? How the hell did that happen!?
  Select: I'll just pick my jaw up off the floor...

  Select: Wait, what? How the hell did that happen!?

===Branch End===

Mash
I-I'm trying and failing to imagine Ophelia...and Napoleon Bonaparte, the Heroic Spirit...married...

Mash
B-besides, aren't you already married, Napoleon? ...Oh, wait. If I recall correctly, you divorced your wife, but then went on to marry an archduchess...

Mash
B-but then, I do suppose there are Heroic Spirits who make a clean break from their past when they materialize, s-so...

Mash
N-never mind that!
I still can't believe Ophelia is your fian–!

Ophelia
I'm not.

Mash
Huh...?
You're not...?

Ophelia
Of course not.

Ophelia
I'm one of the seven chosen Crypters.
Such trivialities are rather unimportant now.

Ophelia
Besides, Mash, you said it yourself. The world we grew up in has been completely wiped clean, right?

Ophelia
Engagement? Ridiculous. Marriage...family... Every institution of the society humans cultivated is gone.

Ophelia
All that remains now is the new worlds in each Lostbelt, with new societies and new norms to guide humanity.

Ophelia
Take a look at this Scandinavia! The very idea of marriage doesn't even exis–

Napoleon
I proposed to you!

Napoleon
You never said no!

Mash
Then you ARE engaged!

Napoleon
Damn straight!
But would you mind letting me finish, Mash?

Napoleon
Listen, Ophelia. Not saying no outright to a proposal is like saying yes. Don't go all Talleyrand on me now.

Napoleon
I want you to be my beloved Joséphine!
No, wait, scratch that. That's an awful thing to say.

Napoleon
I want you to...to take your place beside Joséphine in my heart. There we go.

Fou
Fo fo fooou, fou!

Mash
...
...

Mash
...Y-you really didn't turn him down...?

Ophelia
B-because the very idea was preposterous!
It was so stupid, it didn't even merit a response!

Ophelia
Regardless of your absurd claims, my silence in no way indicates an affirmative answer!

Napoleon
That's all okay with me.
...I fell in love with you.

Ophelia
!

Napoleon
Yeah, that's right. I'm in love with you. How's that?
Are you convinced now? Ma chérie, Ophelia Phamrsolone?

  1. You're serious, aren't you?
  2. Oh wow, I don't think you're joking...
  Select: You're serious, aren't you?

  Select: Oh wow, I don't think you're joking...

===Branch End===

Napoleon
You bet I'm serious. Never been more serious about anything. What's so strange about that? She's one of my main motivations.

Napoleon
If a woman I'm in love with is here,
I can't just sit back and do nothing, now can I!?

Fou
Fou! Fo fou!
Kyau, kyaaau!

Ophelia
Y-your words ring just as hollow now as they did back then... I can't stand to listen any longer.

Ophelia
Why would you even think to propose to someone you'd only just–

Napoleon
Haven't you ever heard of love at first sight!?

Ophelia
...
...

Ophelia
I have neither time nor patience for jokes.
Any Heroic Spirit fighting for humanity is our enemy.

Ophelia
Your Majesty, will you grant me permission to stain this castle's walls with his filthy blood?

Scáthach-Skadi
No.

Scáthach-Skadi
What are you saying, Ophelia? This man seems as if he would make a perfect partner for you.

Scáthach-Skadi
Regardless, ending the life of one I have elected to love is a grave crime. You may be my daughter in charge of growing the Tree of Emptiness, but that is a request I cannot grant.

Scáthach-Skadi
You will capture him without killing him, Ophelia.

Ophelia
...As you wish, my queen.

Ophelia
...You heard her, Saber.
Neutralize them. No killing.

Ophelia
And make extra sure you don't kill Mash Kyrielight, even by accident.

Sigurd
Got it.

Sigurd
Precision work isn't exactly my specialty, but if that's your order for me, fine. So I just have to not kill the shield girl, right?

Ophelia
I meant what I said, Saber.

Scáthach-Skadi
...Oh, my, Ophelia.
You can be quite the stubborn girl, can't you.

Sigurd
Heh. This won't take long.

Mash
...!

Mash
It should be impossible to sense magical energy here, and yet... It's still unbelievably powerful...!

Mash
And then there's that odd air about him...

  1. I don't like this! I don't like this at all!
  2. This isn't like bloodlust. It's more like...
  Select: I don't like this! I don't like this at all!

  Select: This isn't like bloodlust. It's more like...

===Branch End===

Mash
Ortinax output is stable. This battle won't turn out like the last one! I'm ready to go, Senpai!

Napoleon
Well damn...guess I'm the one who stirred this pot! Sorry 'bout that! But don't worry; if we're gonna do this, I'll make damn sure you two make it out alive!

Napoleon
Time to undo some of the damage I just did to my reputation here!

Napoleon
...Go ahead and get ALL your hopes up!
I won't let you down, no matter how big they are!

--BATTLE--

Sigurd
...Well, well.
You are moving better than the last time.

B:Mash
We're really straining the Ortinax, but its output hasn't fallen. I can still fight, Senpai!

B:Mash
I think Napoleon is somehow providing some sort of spell boost...

Napoleon
Don't tell me you forgot? I'm the only hero of humanity in this whole Lostbelt.

Napoleon
I believe I'm basically calibrated for fighting here. And that's not even the only trick I have up my sleeve!

Napoleon
How 'bout you, great hero?

Sigurd
...
...

Sigurd
...Now I see. Joint resistance from Proper Human History, huh.

Sigurd
Clever. Hehe, good. This would just be boring if you couldn't fight back at least a little.

B:Mash
...?

B:Mash
(Am I imagining things, or is Sigurd smiling...?)

Sigurd
Ophelia. Release one of my limiters.

E:Ophelia
Very well. I'll give you that.

E:Ophelia
...Forced Spirit Origin Ascension limiter release.
Destroy all who would stand in our way, my knight.

B:Mash
A Spirit Origin Ascension...!?

Sigurd
Phase two limiter released. Authorization granted to Heroic Spirit Sigurd for full employment of the demonic sword Gram.

Sigurd
Now then, how should I kill you? Which one should I kill first? Ah, what am I saying. I've gotta start with you, lover boy. Maybe that'll shut you up.

Napoleon
Oho, more armor and blades, huh! I see, I see.
So you're starting to take us seriously, eh?

B:Mash
I can tell his magical energy is spiking even higher! I haven't even touched him, and I can still feel the Ortinax groaning under the strain...

Mash
But...but I can still keep on going, Senpai! The Ortinax's auto-maintenance is keeping its output high and stable!

E:Ophelia
...I see. You really have grown, haven't you...

E:Ophelia
You never showed such fierce determination before, Mash.

E:Ophelia
It's dazzling to behold.
And beautiful.

Mash
...

Mash
Ophelia, I don't know what the Crypters' reasons are for doing this.

Mash
But even if I did, I can't walk away...no matter how strong the Lostbelt Servant you control may be!

Mash
We know someone who may not have been strong himself, but if he were here now, he would still yell at us not to lose just because our opponent was stronger...!

E:Ophelia
I see. You've grown so much stronger since I last saw you, Mash. Shockingly so, in fact.

E:Ophelia
...I'm sorry about this.

Napoleon
Huh...!?

Napoleon
Hey, Ophelia. What's up with your eye?
Why's it look like that...?

Mash
It's a Mystic Eye!
But I don't know exactly what it can do!

Mash
Senpai! Napoleon! Be ready!
She's about to use some sort of powerful spell!

Ophelia
...Phenomena, schufen auf.

Ophelia
That armor of yours is impressive.
Ich will es niemals glänzen sehen.

Mash
!!!

Mash
Ah...! The load on the Ortinax just increased exponentially...!

Mash
Output is dropping rapidly across the board,
even though the auto-maintenance is working fine...!

Mash
Wh-what's going on...?

Mash
Does this mean...you were able to rewind phenomena...over a limited area...?

Ophelia
My Mystic Eye's rank is Jewel.

Ophelia
Once I have decided I don't want to see something shine,
it will never shine in front of me.

Ophelia
I never showed this to you before, did I? Well, now you know: this is what I can do if I feel like it.

Ophelia
I'm sorry, Mash,
but you're going to sit this one out.

Mash
So once you define a target,
you can manipulate its passage through time...

Mash
But, that's the domain of True Magic! Even with a Mystic Eye, that could never just be an extension of any regular magecraft!

Mash
There must be more to it...
Something I'm not seeing...

Napoleon
Worry about that later! Here he comes!

Sigurd
Done talking? I want to get back to it. Let me show you what Gram can do when its limits have been released.

Sigurd
It's still a ways off from its true power, but you'll just have to deal with that. There's no way Ophelia's going to let me use my third phase.

Sigurd
Now, time for you to die.
Hehe. Hehe, hehehehe!

Napoleon
Hahahaha! Whadda ya know!
This great hero guy hits even harder than the giants!

Napoleon
...Looks like I can't let my guard down, even for a moment. Mademoiselle Mash, if your armor's not working right, just hang in there and focus on defense!

Mash
No! I can...still fight...! I'm not going to turn and run...not for a third time against the same opponent!

Mash
I can't turn back now, Senpai!

  1. Don't you dare overdo it!
  2. Okay, but don't push yourself too far!
  Select: Don't you dare overdo it!

  Select: Okay, but don't push yourself too far!

===Branch End===

Mash
...I won't!
I'll make sure to keep just shy of reckless!

--BATTLE--

Napoleon
...Ooh la la, Lostbelt Servant!
So this is the power of your demonic sword, huh!

Napoleon
It's strong. Really strong. Makes me wish I had a whole bunch of them for my Grande Armée!

Napoleon
But, I guess that'll have to wait for another time.

Napoleon
Hey, Ophelia! I'm happy you're looking my way,
but can't you look a little happier, too!?

Napoleon
Not that angry is a bad look for you, but lighten up a little! I did come to profess my love!

Ophelia
...

Sigurd
...Hmph. Don't let him get to you, Ophelia.

Sigurd
A Heroic Spirit, and a hybrid, huh. You're more of a challenge than I thought. Something's helping you out.

Sigurd
Maybe it's because you materialized with power your own Spirit Origin could never hope to possess.

Sigurd
But...it's still not enough. The best you can hope for is Ophelia's Mystic Eye to stop you in your tracks.

Sigurd
You're going to need to be a hell of a lot stronger if you plan on killing me.

Sigurd
If you're going to prattle on about love, you'd better make sure you're good enough to back it up.

Napoleon
...Well now. That's food for thought, isn't it?

Scáthach-Skadi
...That was a most impressive dance, everyone.

Scáthach-Skadi
But I am afraid it is curtains now.
Ophelia, that is quite enough.

Scáthach-Skadi
Poor Mash is about to collapse.
Can you not see how she is gasping for breath?

Scáthach-Skadi
I cannot abide seeing my beloved children fight to the death.

Mash
I-I'm...fine... (Huff, huff)...
I can...still... (Gasp, gasp)...

Mash
...This is...nothing... We've always...

Ophelia
...
...

Ophelia
As you wish, Your Majesty.
Saber.

Sigurd
Hmph.

Sigurd
I'm warning you both:
next time, I won't hold back.

Scáthach-Skadi
Hmm... Well, this may not be entirely necessary,
but I shall finish this myself.

Scáthach-Skadi
Oh, do not worry.
I won't kill you, and you will feel no pain.

Scáthach-Skadi
I'm afraid you will have to stay in the dungeon. But be warned: resisting this time will not yield such a pleasant dance as just unfolded here.

Scáthach-Skadi
Let me show you what I mean...

  1. My...body...!
  2. Can't...move...!?
  Select: My...body...!

  Select: Can't...move...!?

===Branch End===

Scáthach-Skadi
Bow down; rejoice that such divine power courses through your body. Bow down; this is the light of the rune inherited from the Allfather himself.

Scáthach-Skadi
I will not hurt you, nor will I rob you of your magical energy. I have simply rendered your body inert.

Scáthach-Skadi
Now stay.
Savor the depths of my godly power and love.

Mash
Khh...!
Sen...pai...!

Napoleon
...Now I see. This is something...!

Napoleon
Wow, gods really are something else...!
I seriously can't even lift a finger...!

Ophelia
...

Scáthach-Skadi
People of Proper Human History.
My new children.

Scáthach-Skadi
I am a bit disappointed to see this is apparently the best you can do, that this is all the combined power of humanity and Heroic Spirits can offer.

Scáthach-Skadi
I was expecting something more after I was told you destroyed the king who ruled over the Russian Lostbelt, but it seems you are not quite up to the task of killing a god.

Scáthach-Skadi
Know your place,
and accept sweet repose in your mother's lap.

F:Warrior's Voice
Couldn't agree more, Queenie...
Gods are eternal. Gods are absolute.

F:Warrior's Voice
Humans could never kill one. That's still true for those of us who have become Divine Spirits, too.

Mash
A new threat...!

Napoleon
Haha, guess we're not the only surprise visitors today! It's hard to make out her presence with the castle's magical energy getting in the way, but it looks like–

Mash
A Servant, but...! Senpai, that Servant isn't a Heroic Spirit. She's–

F:Warrior's Voice
Damn straight. I'm no Heroic Spirit.

Caenis
...I'm a Divine Spirit!

Mash
...!!!

Scáthach-Skadi
My, my. What a strange thing to say.

Scáthach-Skadi
A Divine Spirit, you said?

Scáthach-Skadi
No such hollow things are to be found in my Scandinavia.
Here, I am the sole god.

Scáthach-Skadi
In which case, you must be... Ah, yes, I see.
You are here from another Lostbelt. ...Ophelia?

Ophelia
This is Caenis, the Divine Spirit...
A Lostbelt Servant who serves Lord Kirschtaria.

Ophelia
She's a special emissary with the Authority to cross between Lostbelts in order to inspect them.

Ophelia
Would you agree with that assessment, Caenis?

Caenis
Yeah, sure. That's all accurate.

Caenis
But you know, after poking my head in here and seeing a demigod and a demonic sword wielder going at it, followed by an actual god showing off her power...

Caenis
...I can't help but want a little reward for myself.

Ophelia
Reward?

Caenis
Don't worry. I'm not demanding you hand over your life or anything.

Caenis
Yeah, I think just one oughta do the trick. It's been dull, not having anyone to kill these last few months.

Caenis
Almost as dull as following your precious man's orders all the damn time...

Napoleon
(She's a barrel of destructive impulses, this one. This ancient Greek Divine Spirit's obviously pretty excited about killing.)

Napoleon
(And she's got some kind of boost from the god of the sea or something. No wonder she feels powerful enough to go around calling herself a Divine Spirit.)

Napoleon
(So...who's she going to kill?)

Caenis
Hey, woman, I'm talking to you.
Phamrsolone, was it?

Napoleon
(Where's her spear gonna end up falling?)

Napoleon
(Ophelia? Nah, it won't be her. But it'll be someone similar, since she's not gunning to fight a Servant.)

Napoleon
(In which case...)

Ophelia
...I can't authorize that. I'm certain you still don't have permission to fight.

Ophelia
Your power is meant to help Lord Kirschtaria make his ideals reality. It is not to be used for idle mischief.

Caenis
The hell? Ideals? Did you just say “ideals”?
That jackass's goals have nothing to do with ideals.

Caenis
He's just a vindictive little bitch. Ambition. Desires too big for his human britches! That's all he's got!

Caenis
So much so that I actually feel better about myself for losing to such a shitty piece of work!

Caenis
...But I digress.
I've still gotta decide who I'm gonna kill.

Caenis
Don't worry, Phamrsolone, it's not you.
No, I think I'm gonna go for...

Caenis
...the Master of Chaldea!
Haha, so you killed the King of Russia, did you!?

Caenis
Wouldn't you know it,
I've got a thing for killing kings myself!

Caenis
Looks like you and me got a lot in common.
So I got an idea...

Caenis
Let's have a go!

Caenis
...Hey, you. What do you think you're doing,
pointing that thing at me?

Napoleon
Ooh la la! Sorry 'bout that!
Wouldn't you know it, my arm just slipped a bit!

Napoleon
You can't be more than ten centimeters away, putting you in point-blank range of a cannon. Divine Spirit or not, I don't think you can dodge it... Wanna find out?

Caenis
Ha!

Caenis
So you can move, King of Europe! And here I thought you'd been hit with a Primordial Rune!

Napoleon
Haha! Let's just say this is one of those adrenaline rush things! Maybe you've heard about them!

Caenis
Haha! I like your style, Heroic Spirit! You're a straight shooter, in more ways than one. Makes you easy to kill!

Napoleon
...Well now. Didn't think you'd block the round with just a hand.

Caenis
'Course I did! Didn't hurt a damn bit!
I'm a Divine Spirit, remember!?

Caenis
What, you don't believe me? Go ahead, fire another.
'Course, if you're too weak to even do that...

Napoleon
...!

Caenis
...Why don't I just take a little off the top of your head!

Caenis
...The hell's up with this castle? What, is it too fancy for the likes of me? Killing against the rules or something?

Scáthach-Skadi
Indeed, I prefer elegance over boorishness.

Sigurd
You heard the queen. She's the scariest thing here. If she says no, there's no arguing.

Caenis
Yeah? Do I look like I care?
Outta my way, sword boy.

Sigurd
These are my quarry.
I don't recall tossing them to a feral beast.

Sigurd
So before you start yapping about a reward again, maybe you do your damn job and tell us your master's message.

Caenis
So somebody never learned to share, huh?
Didn't peg you for such a loyal lapdog.

Sigurd
Dog, huh. That brings back memories. Everything even similar to those disappeared from here ages ago.

Sigurd
There aren't any animals left to draw analogies to here in Scandinavia. They're all gone. It's all going away.

Sigurd
That goes for you too, Caenis. I don't know how rotten the world you come from is, but now that you're in this one, you'll end up the same way.

Sigurd
If that's what you want, go ahead;
keep doing what you're doing.

Sigurd
I'll make sure you end up staying here for a long, looong time.

Caenis
...? If you think I'm gonna be scared by–

Caenis
...Aha. So that's how it is. Interesting.

Caenis
Russia was nice and simple, but this Scandinavian Lostbelt's a real mess. It's way more interesting!

Caenis
Don't worry, I'm not so uncouth as to do anything to ruin it. I'd say someone else has that covered.

Caenis
You win. No more killing unarmed brats.
I'll let {(M) him /(F) her} off the hook for killing the Tsar.

Caenis
Best to do this sort of thing in your own world,
anyway. Ain't that right, sword boy?

Sigurd
...

Ophelia
...Are you satisfied now, Caenis?

Caenis
Can't you tell? I couldn't be more done.
Don't you talk to me, Ophelia.

Caenis
Just shut up. Don't say a word, don't even look at me. I hate women like you more than anything. I'd have killed you long ago if you weren't a Crypter.

Ophelia
How odd. We actually agree about something.

Ophelia
But how we feel has nothing to do with our jobs.
Now hurry up and do yours.

Ophelia
Back in Russia your only duty was to act as an observer, but this time around you've got a little something extra, haven't you?

Caenis
Oho? You've got more guts than I gave you credit for.

Caenis
If you can give as good as you take,
you might not be so bad after all.

Caenis
...Here. It comes with a message from my boss just this once.

Kirschtaria
A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Queen of the Scandinavian Lostbelt. My apologies for delivering a recorded message rather than visiting in person.

Kirschtaria
I am Kirschtaria Wodime.

Kirschtaria
I am in charge of the largest Lostbelt,
Greece, and the leader of the Crypters.

Kirschtaria
As for you, Chaldeans, welcome to this bleached Earth.
As your “senpai,” I'm proud to welcome you here.

Kirschtaria
While I confess that doing so required some speculation on my part, I have taken the liberty of sending this message to the king of Scandinavia with the assumption that you will all be present as well.

Kirschtaria
Given how you triumphed in Russia, and how close this Lostbelt lies to it, I am confident you will have reached it by the time this message is delivered.

Mash
...!

Kirschtaria
Our goal is to rebuild human history.
This entails recreating a land for gods to inhabit.

Kirschtaria
Proper Human History was not a mistake per se,
but neither was it correct.

Kirschtaria
Instead of loss and gain resulting in a net benefit, they became caught in a system that resulted in unchecked growth for both.

Kirschtaria
It was an incredible waste. What should have been a virtuous cycle was effectively stuck in a rut.

Kirschtaria
The Foreign God wept to see the state of this planet,
and decided to grace it with their presence.

Kirschtaria
As Crypters, our duty is to help the Lostbelts take root and become stronger than Proper Human History.

Kirschtaria
The King of Mages' answer to humanity's failure was to have other humans incinerate it, but not me. I choose to rewrite history, with the Foreign God's help.

Kirschtaria
People have had gods running the world behind the scenes since ancient times. They believed gods were both the planet itself, and the laws of nature that governed it.

Kirschtaria
But humanity lacked self-awareness.
Those laws were meant to be used, not obeyed.

Kirschtaria
It was that mistake that led to humanity and the gods parting ways.

Kirschtaria
Humanity did not forget the gods. They abandoned that possibility once they became unable to handle them.

Scáthach-Skadi
...

Kirschtaria
Your Majesty, Queen of Scandinavia.

Kirschtaria
You care for a mythological ecosystem that met its end in a self-imposed ruin, rather than one which ended when its people forgot it, like Greece.

Kirschtaria
Keep the Tree of Emptiness safe. As long as it exists,
that Lostbelt will never vanish.

Kirschtaria
I implore you to turn your back on your fate, and to choose the path of survival. Once you do that, I would like nothing more than for you to face off against my own Tree of Emptiness.

Kirschtaria
My Tree of Emptiness is already fully grown.

Kirschtaria
While the Norse world has Yggdrasil, a world tree that serves as the foundation of its every realm, Greece now has a Tree of Emptiness supporting the very heavens...

Kirschtaria
Thus, it has been dubbed the World Tree Atlas by my ally,
the great god Zeus.

Kirschtaria
Chaldeans, I can say that, as far as you are concerned,
Atlas is your greatest and most important target.

Kirschtaria
The roots of my Lostbelt's Tree of Emptiness now cover eighty percent of the earth's surface.

Kirschtaria
Even if you succeed at cutting down every other Lostbelt's tree, you will never be able to restore Proper Human History so long as Atlas remains standing.

Kirschtaria
Queen of Scandinavia, you are a god,
and so I have high hopes for you.

Kirschtaria
...Indeed, you could even think of this as the gods taking revenge on humans for usurping their throne.

Kirschtaria
As for me, I am prepared to make full use of the gods despite being human myself.

Kirschtaria
I will create a fully realized Age of Gods. A glorious history where human weakness is a thing of the past.

Kirschtaria
It will be a world that will endure no matter how heated human consciousness becomes. A place where life can flourish with neither deficit nor fragmentation.

Kirschtaria
Be warned that I will show no mercy to any who would stand in the way of that goal. I hope that, alongside Ophelia, you will choose the best possible future.

Ophelia
Lord Kirschtaria...

  1. You know...
  2. That kind of sounded like...a declaration of war...
  Select: You know...

  Select: That kind of sounded like...a declaration of war...

===Branch End===

Ophelia
Wrong. It was a declaration of victory.
That is how you should hear it.

Ophelia
Thanks to Lord Kirschtaria's leadership, we Crypters have already begun a new chronicle for humanity.

Scáthach-Skadi
Hmm. So he is the Crypters' leader.

Scáthach-Skadi
I see, I see. So he wishes to restore the Age of Gods,
and help us take our revenge. Fascinating.

Scáthach-Skadi
Does that mean I am the closest to his ideal?

Scáthach-Skadi
If my Scandinavia's Tree of Emptiness were to continue growing as it is, it will eventually swallow up his Lostbelt as well...

Ophelia
Of course, Lord Kirschtaria would be perfectly happy with that outcome.

Ophelia
He has even said he would like nothing better, and that the Greek Lostbelt is not necessarily the best.

Scáthach-Skadi
Oho, is that so? How admirable of him.
What's more, he says he will make full use of us gods...

Scáthach-Skadi
Hehe. Hahahahaha!

Scáthach-Skadi
Indeed, my Scandinavia never did have anyone willing to voice such grand ambitions!

Caenis
Right? He's the damn avatar of human foolishness and hubris.
I bet he and Zeus get along great.

Scáthach-Skadi
Zeus. He's an ancient god from the Mediterranean, yes?

Scáthach-Skadi
Ahh, I remember now. Caenis.
I've heard that name before.

Scáthach-Skadi
As I recall, it belonged to a ferocious member of the Argonautai: a tyrant who boasted that she was a god by virtue of her strength, beloved by the sea...

Scáthach-Skadi
No, wait. She was not beloved by the sea, but tainted by–

Caenis
...!

Ophelia
Caenis! What are you–

Scáthach-Skadi
So, you would point your spear at an ally's throat? This says a great deal to your Master's judgment in adjutants.

Ophelia
Stop it, Caenis...! Do you mean to completely betray Lord Kirschtaria's trust in you!?

Caenis
...Tch.

Ophelia
...Begone, Caenis.
Your role in this Lostbelt is over.

Ophelia
Don't bother stopping by the other Lostbelts, either.

Ophelia
...I'm told that a number of Heroic Spirits from Proper Human History have shown up in the ocean now that the god of the seas is gone.

Ophelia
I ask that you return straight to Lord Kirschtaria,
without stopping anywhere else.

Caenis
...Good point. Besides, I've still gotta check in on that pain in the ass Artemis.

Caenis
Yeah, don't worry. I'll be outta your hair and on my way straight back to your precious Lord Kirschtaria real soon.

Caenis
See you around.
So long, Chaldeans.

Caenis
You guys are probably gonna rot in this dungeon or end up on the wrong end of sword boy's blade. Not gonna lie, shit's lookin' BLEAK for you. But hey, I want a chance to kill you idiots myself, so hurry up and crush the weirdos in this Lostbelt.

Caenis
Now that we've had a chance to say hello and all that...
Next time we meet, the gloves come off.

Caenis
Make sure you're halfway decent warriors by then.
If I wanted something with lifeless eyes, I'd go fishing!

Section 7: The Other Goddess (Beginning)

Show/Hide Story Chapter

Napoleon
...Listen close.
Once we make our way into their base...

Napoleon
...the best case is we find the Paper Moon and info about the tree without any trouble, but we can't count on that being the case.

Napoleon
For one thing, the queen's gonna know we're there,
and we CANNOT take her on alone. Period.

Napoleon
She's a goddess who's held on to her power since the Age of Gods. The embodiment of nature itself. Can't even get a good read on her magical energy.

Napoleon
We won't have a chance against her unless we take some special steps. That's how strong she is.

Napoleon
All that said...the queen's not gonna kill us.

Napoleon
So...

Napoleon
...we're gonna make becoming prisoners part of the plan.

Fou
Fooou!?
Fo!

Mash
So, um, if I understand you...you're saying the queen will move to capture us...?

Napoleon
That's right.

Napoleon
She's like a big ball of pure mercy. She really,
truly loves everyone, human and Heroic Spirit.

Napoleon
Once she decides not to kill someone, she won't. She might talk about killing her enemies, but honestly, there's just no one who can threaten her.

Napoleon
That's how it went with me. She couldn't even be bothered to fight me, no matter how many shots I fired at her. I may as well have been a fly.

Napoleon
She'll never bother with sounding alarms, putting out garrisons, or anything like that. The fact that it's still business as usual around here is proof of that.

Napoleon
I get why you'd be worried, but don't forget who I am.
I'm Napoleon. Emperor of France.

Napoleon
Not only that, I've had time to reflect on my failures from when I was alive!

Napoleon
So trust me when I say I know what I'm doing!

  1. You got it, Supreme Commander!
  2. Guess we don't have much choice!
  Select: You got it, Supreme Commander!
Mash
R-right!

  Select: Guess we don't have much choice!
Mash
Th-that's true...! He seems to know a lot more than we do,
and he's also saved us once before.
Mash
I'll trust him, too!

===Branch End===

Napoleon
All right! It might be kind of a stretch to call this a strategy, but it's what we're going with!

--SECTION BREAK--

“Hmm, I see.”

“So that was your strategy, huh?”

“You certainly are daring for a Master, aren't you?”

“I can't say I mind, personally...”

“But I also can't help but worry about you,
so I'll lend a hand.”

--SECTION BREAK--

Mash
...
...

Mash
...This is the dungeon, Master...
...We really did end up prisoners...

Fou
Fou, fouuu, fou.

Napoleon
So far so good! ...Well, no, it's not all good.
I'm sorry for putting you through that.

Napoleon
We could've avoided that battle with Sigurd if I hadn't been so brazen with my courtship.

Napoleon
I really didn't think that one through...
Sorry again!

Mash
N-not at all!
Your plan did work out in the end!

  1. We did accomplish our goal without losing anyone!
  2. I'll admit it was a close call, but we made it.
  Select: We did accomplish our goal without losing anyone!
Mash
That's true. And nobody ended up hurt, either...

  Select: I'll admit it was a close call, but we made it.
Napoleon
It was too damn close, wasn't it?
And it's all my fault. I'm sorry!

===Branch End===

Mash
My Ortinax doesn't have any critical damage,
and it seems like everything is in working order.

Mash
We're in just as good shape now as we were before we made our way in here!

Mash
So, um...I'm a little hesitant to ask this, but...

Mash
Napoleon, are you...serious about...?

Napoleon
Ophelia?

Mash
Y-yes. You didn't sound like you were joking about...that.
Or like you wanted to confuse them.

Mash
So...did you mean what you–

Napoleon
Sure did. I fell for her hard.

Napoleon
...Well, more accurately,
my heart just went out to her.

Napoleon
I don't think I had much compassion back when I was alive, but now, it seems like that part of me has been cranked up to eleven!

Napoleon
Guess being a Servant can be a real pain in the ass, huh! I wouldn't have to worry about feelings and stuff if I were just a mindless battle robot.

Mash
...

Napoleon
Anyway, all that aside,
I'm well aware she's a Crypter.

Napoleon
I know they're using the Trees of Emptiness to prevent the continuation of humanity, and that we'll have to take them out eventually.

Napoleon
I know all that. And even so...
I'm siding with you two.

Napoleon
I won't betray your trust. I won't stop fighting until we've saved Proper Human History.

Fou
Fou, fooou?

Napoleon
Oh? You believe me, pupper?

Napoleon
Haha, easy there, boy! I guess I did say I was okay with dogs, didn't I? Hahaha.

Napoleon
...
...

Napoleon
...Not all the marks I left on history were glorious. I made a lot of bad decisions, too, like the one that resulted in the destruction of my Grand Armée.

Napoleon
I wasn't very good to the two women I loved, either.
They must hate me, and I don't blame them.

Mash
You mean...your first fiancée,
and Joséphine, your actual first wife...?

Napoleon
Yeah. They were both good women.

Napoleon
I promised them I'd make them happy, then I went and let them down hard. I'm the worst kind of guy around.

Napoleon
Oh, and what about my last wife, Maria Luisa, or the lover I took when I was exiled... Was I able to make them happy? I honestly couldn't tell you.

Napoleon
But, I don't pretend the past never happened. If humanity goes away, everything else'll follow. Everything.

Napoleon
It'd be great if all we lost was just the sadness and tears, but that's not how it'll work. Everything, good and bad, will be gone. Forever.

Napoleon
My own glory doesn't really matter now, but to see all the joys, hopes, and dreams people have held throughout history disappear...

Napoleon
Well, I just can't let that happen, now, can I?

Napoleon
Anyway, since I'm sure you've still got some concerns...why don't we go ahead and make it official with a temporary contract!

  1. That would be great, but...
  2. Are you sure?
  Select: That would be great, but...

  Select: Are you sure?

===Branch End===

  1. That would be great, but...
  2. Are you sure?
  Select: That would be great, but...

  Select: Are you sure?

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Haha, you're a good {(M) man /(F) woman}, Private! Did you forget about my sympathies for one of our enemies already?

Napoleon
I really don't like the idea of betraying anyone,
but I also can't deny that I've fallen for her.

Napoleon
In which case, it only makes sense to have some insurance. So yeah, go for it. It'll make me feel better, too.

Napoleon
Love does tend to drive a body mad, you know.
...Not that I'm one to talk!

Napoleon
All right, Private, let's do this thing!

Napoleon
...I accept.

Napoleon
There. Now we have a temporary contract.

Napoleon
Oho!

Napoleon
Looks like my Spirit Origin's in even better shape now! This is great!

Napoleon
Once again, it's good to be fighting beside you, Maître!

Fou
Fou! Fooou!

Napoleon
Haha, you happy about this too?
Aww, you really are a good boy.

Napoleon
So, now that our contract's in place, back to the plan!
We're prisoners now, just like I expected...

Napoleon
...so this is where we set about taking back the Paper Moon and gathering info on the Tree of Emptiness!

Napoleon
If we had an Assassin on hand, we could have them sneak in all stealthy like, but since we don't...

Napoleon
...I think we'll just have to go with a feint. I'll draw their attention as much as possible, while you–

Fou
Fou?

Mash
...Senpai?

Mash
Senpai, you're pale! It looks like the same thing that happened to you at Chaldea a few times before...

Mash
Excuse me, Senpai, but I need to run a quick emergency medical diagnostic while–

Mash
Senpai!

--ARROW--

???
..Well, well. We don't see your kind tumbling down here every day.

???
You definitely didn't come down here of your own accord.
You clearly fell down.

???
Haha, they must have taken advantage of a flaw in your temporary contract.

???
They were able to forge a connection with you with no problem, but you must have fallen down here when you weren't able to make it to the dream.

???
...Heh. I suppose this, too, is fate.

  1. You are...
  2. I don't know where, but I've heard your voice before.
  Select: You are...
???
Don't push yourself too hard.
That's it. You don't know me.
???
There you go. Just forget about it. Regrets and voids that gnaw away at people in their dreams are MY quarry. No one else's.

  Select: I don't know where, but I've heard your voice before.
???
...You're pretty sharp, aren't you?
???
But no, there's no way you know me.
And no need for you to.
???
Regrets and voids that gnaw away at people in their dreams are MY quarry. No one else's. Factual records of me shouldn't exist.

===Branch End===

???
...Now then, if we're going to send you back the way you came...we'll have to start by burning these things away.

???
It'd help if you could form your sense of self soon,
but that might be asking a bit too much.

???
Stand back.

  1. Hang on.
  2. I'm still lost, but if it's dangerous, I'll fight too.
  Select: Hang on.

  Select: I'm still lost, but if it's dangerous, I'll fight too.

===Branch End===

???
...Hmph.

--BATTLE--

???
...Too easy.

  1. What was all that...?
  2. What is this place?
  Select: What was all that...?

  Select: What is this place?

===Branch End===

???
A dream. Closer to a nightmare, really.

???
Once you wake up,
you'll forget all about this place.

???
But don't drop your guard just because it's a dream.
Your soul and sense of self fell down here.

???
If a beast sinks its fangs into you, it'll rip open your sense of self. If one tears you apart, your soul will just plain disappear.

???
So if you want to make it out of here alive, hurry. Crawl along the path that brought you here and talk to the one who invited you to this dream.

???
Go on, Fujimaru. Escape the darkness.

--BATTLE--

???
Well, well...

???
You found the power to summon your Heroic Spirits even though you are stuck in a dream.

???
Good. That means your sense of self has grown stronger.

???
Remember yourself. Be very, very aware of who you are, and keep moving forward.

???
Come. Onward...

--ARROW--

...
...
...

???
We're here.

???
Imagine opening your eyes.
Sense those who lack form with your soul.

???
Rejoice. You have arrived.

???
Can you see it?

  1. I can see something big. Isn't that...
  2. Is that a giant...?
  Select: I can see something big. Isn't that...
???
That's right.
You already know what that thing is.

  Select: Is that a giant...?
???
No. No, that...thing is not a giant.

===Branch End===

???
It may possess gigantic power, but it was power that belonged to a human. It is a hero among heroes, one who tore through supernatural beings to lay claim to glory.

???
Whoever invited you to this dream would seem to be a truly fascinating individual.

Gigantic Guard

Berserkervoice2.png!

  1. Here he comes!
  2. If we can't go around him, we'll have to go through him!
  Select: Here he comes!
???
There is no path leading backwards.
If you are to proceed, you must defeat it.

  Select: If we can't go around him, we'll have to go through him!
???
Continue onward. Defeat it.
See how far your power can take you...

===Branch End===

--BATTLE--

Gigantic Guard

Berserkervoice2.png!

Sitonai
“Good work, Berserker.”

Sitonai
“Thank you for protecting me.”

Sitonai
“You've been such a good guardian...”

Sitonai
“But it's okay.”

Sitonai
“You can rest now.”

Sitonai
“Please let {(M) him /(F) her} pass.”

Gigantic Guard
Berserkervoice1.png...

  1. Did you hear that?
  2. That sounded like a girl...
  Select: Did you hear that?

  Select: That sounded like a girl...

===Branch End===

???
I see...

???
That voice you heard is not meant for my ears.
It belongs to the one who invited you into this dream.

???
Your soul and sense of self returned to the dream the moment you destroyed that guard's phantasm.

???
From here, you must continue on alone.
Do not look back.

???
...Haha. Don't make the same mistake Orpheus did.

Sitonai
“Good evening, Fujimaru.”

Sitonai
“I'm so glad I finally got to meet you.
Oh, but I'm sorry it had to happen this way.”

Sitonai
“While you were in the middle of making your temporary contract with the Archer...”

Sitonai
“...I kind of went and forced my own connection in, too.”

Sitonai
“I think that's what made you tumble into that strange place.”

Sitonai
“But you made it out, and now, here we are.
I'm so glad you made it.”

  1. Who are you?
 
  Select: Who are you?
Do I know you...?

===Branch End===

Sitonai
“I'm someone with a deep bond to the Holy Grail.”

Sitonai
“But, I'm not actually that person entirely.”

Sitonai
“They say Heroic Spirits don't usually retain memories from their lives, and that definitely applies to me. I barely remember anything.”

Sitonai
“I'm a droplet. A tiny, tiny droplet that dripped from someone who touched the Holy Grail.”

Sitonai
“A fragment of a self and a soul that was given form–a Spirit Origin.”

Sitonai
“I am...”

Sitonai
“...an Alter Ego.”
“My name is Sitonai.”

Section 8: The Other Goddess (End)

Show/Hide Story Chapter

  1. I'm back...
  2. Did I just...meet someone in a dream...?
  Select: I'm back...

  Select: Did I just...meet someone in a dream...?

===Branch End===

Mash
Senpai!

Napoleon
There you are, Private!

Fou
Fou! Fou fou!

Sitonai
...I'm sorry. It's all my fault for forcing a connection with {(M) him /(F) her}.

Sitonai
But it's okay. Your soul and self are all connected just fine now, so there's nothing to worry about.

  1. That voice...
  2. Sitonai?
  Select: That voice...

  Select: Sitonai?

===Branch End===

Sitonai
Of course.
Hehe, can you hear me okay?

Sitonai
It's been so long since I used my real voice to speak. It feels sort of weird to actually use my mouth...

Sitonai
Am I speaking all right?

Napoleon
Sure are. We can understand you just fine, little mademoiselle.

Napoleon
I never would've thought there was another Servant of humanity here besides me! Especially one trapped in the same dungeon!

  1. Wait. Hang on.
  2. I don't remember a child being in here with us.
  Select: Wait. Hang on.

  Select: I don't remember a child being in here with us.

===Branch End===

Mash
Th-that's right, there wasn't! She just appeared out of nowhere shortly after you collapsed.

Mash
It didn't seem like she had just stopped using her spirit form, either...

Fou
Fo fou!
Fou!

Sitonai
Oh, that? I was just using a sprouting magecraft...
Please don't worry about it too much.

Sitonai
Usually I'm connected to the dungeon's depths, but when I saw you making a temporary contract with a Heroic Spirit...

Sitonai
...I thought I'd try reaching out and making my own connection, and now, here I am.

Napoleon
So you were already a prisoner when we got here, huh. Guess that makes us comrades in arms!

Sitonai
Yep! Pretty much!

Sitonai
Let me introduce myself properly.
I'm Alter Ego Sitonai.

Sitonai
I go by that because Sitonai is the one who's most outwardly visible on my Spirit Origin.

Sitonai
That said, Sitonai's name doesn't really belong to this body.

Sitonai
I think it'd help if I said I was a Pseudo-Servant, right?

Sitonai
As to this body's name...it's Illya,
daughter of the Einzberns.

Sitonai
Usually I only let people I'm really close to call me that...but since we all share an enemy, I'll make an exception in your case!

  1. (Illya... Have I heard that name before...?)
  2. (Am I imagining things, or...)
  Select: (Illya... Have I heard that name before...?)

  Select: (Am I imagining things, or...)

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Now I see.
So you're the Queen of Ice and Snow's enemy.

Mash
Einzbern...

Napoleon
Hm? You know who that is, Mash?

Mash
Y-yes. Einzbern is the name of a storied mage family with deep ties to the original Holy Grail War.

Mash
I've seen it in Chaldea's database several times. The Einzberns are one of the so-called “three great families”...

Mash
...and in particular, they're known for producing Justeaze, the prodigious mage who created Fuyuki's Greater Grail.

Sitonai
Hmm. You really know a lot about this, don't you?

Sitonai
Yes, I'm the last daughter of the Einzbern family. I don't think I'm a Heroic Spirit who's made a mark on humanity or anything...

Sitonai
...but I do have an inextricable bond to the Holy Grail...so now, I'm a Servant on the side of Proper Human History!

Sitonai
Oh, but I should be clear:
I'm not actually the last daughter of Einzbern.

Mash
...?

Mash
Um...does that have something to do with you being an Alter Ego...?

Napoleon
Well, if we take that at face value, it would mean that she's an entirely separate personality.

Mash
True. And Alter Egos are listed in Chaldea's database as one of the Extra classes.

Fou
Fo, fou fou?

Sitonai
Aw, you're so cute.
Hehe, you must be Fou!

Sitonai
Nice to meet you, Fou. I'm Illya.
Come here.

Fou
Fou!

Sitonai
Heehee! You're so soft and fluffy!

  1. I think I know what Alter Egos are...
  2. What are Alter Egos again...?
  Select: I think I know what Alter Egos are...
Sitonai
...You do?
Sitonai
We're an Extra class that doesn't show up during normal Holy Grail Wars, so I don't think there's a lot known about us.
Sitonai
Hmm. You must have all kinds of different connections.

  Select: What are Alter Egos again...?
Sitonai
We're an extra class of Spirit Origin, hence our Extra classification. We differ from normal Servants in all sorts of ways.

===Branch End===

Sitonai
Hehe. That may be my class name,
but it doesn't just mean my class.

Sitonai
In my case, I'm actually a High Servant, based on multiple goddesses with deep ties to the Holy Grail coming together into one Spirit Origin.

Sitonai
In fact, this body is made up of no less than three goddesses' Divided Spirits! And that is really something, you know!

Mash
A compound Divine Spirit Pseudo-Servant...!
Th-that's...

Napoleon
...I can't believe it.
Multiple gods, all come together!?

Fou
Fou, faaau!

Sitonai
It is impressive, but it also has serious downsides. For one thing, they never shut up.

Napoleon
Really?

Sitonai
Hmm, how can I put this...

Sitonai
It's like these goddesses are roommates that are always fighting about something, with me and my snowy fields serving as their core.

Sitonai
They're all very seasoned goddesses, so believe me, it's hard having to play host to that skirmish.

Napoleon
A skirmish between gods...?
...I can't even imagine...

Sitonai
No?

Mash
U-um, may I ask you something, Sitonai...?

Sitonai
Please, call me Illya.

Mash
O-okay, Illya.

Mash
You said you materialized as a Servant from Proper Human History. Does that mean–

Sitonai
Yes. I'm on your side.

Sitonai
Remember I mentioned Einzbern?
There you go.

Sitonai
There's no Einzbern family in any Lostbelt on this earth now, after all.

Sitonai
So a daughter of Einzbern is part of Proper Human History's resistance against the Lostbelts. Got it?

  1. Got it.
  2. So, you're the goddess Illya, from Proper Human History...
  Select: Got it.
Mash
Y-yes. I understand, too.

  Select: So, you're the goddess Illya, from Proper Human History...
Sitonai
Heehee. That's a little vague!
Sitonai
But, that's okay. You can think of me as a goddess from Proper Human History who's here to help you.

===Branch End===

Sitonai
...Although, I'm afraid I messed up.

Sitonai
I materialized here around the same time as that French emperor, but it wasn't long before Scáthach-Skadi found me and locked me up in here.

Sitonai
It's been so, sooo boring in here.
I didn't even have anyone I could talk to...

Fou
Fo fou!

Sitonai
Aw, are you trying to cheer me up?
Heehee, you're such a good boy. There, there.

Fou
Fou fou, fou.

Napoleon
A goddess in the dungeon, huh...
All right, let me ask you: Why aren't you dead?

Napoleon
Are you just being kept alive out of “love” too?

Sitonai
I don't know.

Sitonai
Maybe she just wasn't willing to kill a god,
or maybe...she wanted to use me somehow?

Sitonai
Say, to try and make this Lostbelt exist forever?

Napoleon
I see. Well, I suppose that's possible, but I didn't see any of the sort of preparations that'd need to be made for the kind of massive spell it'd take to sacrifice a god.

Sitonai
Hmm. Then, maybe...because I'm her daughter?

Napoleon
Daughter?

Mash
What do you mean by that...?

Sitonai
I'm composed of three northern goddesses:
Sitonai of the Ainu, Louhi of the Finns...

Sitonai
...and Freyja of the Norse.
Hehe. Now do you get it?

Mash
Ah!

  1. That's another goddess from Norse mythology!
  2. The goddess of love, fertility, and gold...
  Select: That's another goddess from Norse mythology!
Mash
Yes! That means her Divinity is tied closely to this very Lostbelt!
Mash
Her domain was love and fertility, and she was beloved by gods and giants alike! I think her tears would turn to reddish gold, too...

  Select: The goddess of love, fertility, and gold...
Sitonai
That's the one!

===Branch End===

Sitonai
Accounts differ between the Völsunga Saga and the Edda, but they agree that Freyja was the daughter of Njörðr.

Sitonai
And then there's another legend that says Skadi and Njörðr were married.

Sitonai
According to the Freyja within me...

Sitonai
...Skadi was Njörðr's second wife,
which means–

Mash
She's your stepmother...?

Fou
Fwha!?

Napoleon
Aha, that explains it!
That queen looked liked she was single to me...

Napoleon
...but according to myth, she is married to the god of the sea, and is the stepmother of the goddess of love! I never would've guessed!

Napoleon
That wasn't really covered in the knowledge I gained when I materialized.

Mash
I don't know... This Lostbelt has a completely different history from ours. It seems they diverged in the Age of Gods.

Mash
Given that Scáthach of the Celts is part of the queen,
and that she's the only god in this land...

Sitonai
Uh-huh.

Sitonai
That particular Skadi...Scáthach-Skadi,
isn't Freyja's mother.

Sitonai
That's what the Freyja in me is saying, yep!

Sitonai
I'm certain Queen Scáthach-Skadi was never married to anyone.

Sitonai
Skadi. Daughter of the giant Þjazi,
and goddess of snowy mountains.

Sitonai
Here, her fated marriage to Njörðr–or even to Odin,
as other legends describe–never happened...

Sitonai
Now, she is the last goddess left, the sole survivor of Ragnarök, never once having to fulfill her destiny as the bride of the gods.

Sitonai
That's Scáthach-Skadi.

Sitonai
I bet she doesn't even know she could have ended up becoming Freyja's mother.

Sitonai
But then the Crypter came, and with her, knowledge of Proper Human History's Norse mythology.

Sitonai
That's why...she couldn't kill me.

Mash
So, you're the daughter she might have had.

Mash
Is that why she didn't hurt you...?
Since you're fused with Freyja?

Sitonai
...That's right.

Sitonai
To be honest, I have no idea what goes on in gods' minds, either.

Sitonai
But, even if I am from a different world...

Sitonai
Knowing that I could have been her daughter if things had gone differently...

Sitonai
Do you think that might have been enough to make her think I was special...?

Sitonai
At least...I don't think we can rule it out entirely...

  1. That's true.
  2. I think it's entirely possible.
  Select: That's true.

  Select: I think it's entirely possible.

===Branch End===

Sitonai
Yeah. Yeah, you're right.

Fou
Fou!

Sitonai
Eek, you jumped on me again! You're so sweet!
Who's a good boooy?

Fou
Fou! Fou fooou!

Sitonai
A-ah! Eek!
Ahahaha, stop! You're tickling me!

Sitonai
Ahahahaha! P-please, I'm so ticklish!
Somebody, get him off me!

Mash
Fou! S-stop that!
What's gotten into you?

Mash
Why are you in such a good mood right now!?

--ARROW--

Sitonai
...Phew. I've never laughed so hard before!

Sitonai
I almost laughed until I cried. Hehe, in fact, I think that was the first time I've laughed since I materialized!

Fou
Fo...

Mash
Settle down, Fou.

Sitonai
I'm sorry, Fou.
Wait until we're done talking, okay?

Fou
Fou!

Sitonai
Oh, right. I'm sure Fou doesn't mind the cold since he has that nice fluffy fur, but what about you?

Sitonai
This whole castle is made out of ice and snow, so you'll die from the cold if something goes wrong with your protection spells and the like.

Sitonai
Be careful, okay?
If it helps, I can cast a warmth spell on you...

  1. Oh, that'd be great, thanks!
  2. Thanks, but don't worry. I'm all set.
  Select: Oh, that'd be great, thanks!
Sitonai
Okay, here you go!
Sitonai
That should have you nice and toasty in no time. Now you'll be able to sleep soundly, even in a bed with ice blankets and snow pillows!
Mash
(She cast that spell without even chanting!
I know it can't have been a major spell, but still...)
Napoleon
(Guess that's what you get when you combine three goddesses into one Servant...)

  Select: Thanks, but don't worry. I'm all set.
Sitonai
Are you sure? Okay, if you say so.

===Branch End===

Sitonai
So, um, I think that's enough about me, right?
What should we talk about next?

Fou
Fou, fou!

Mash
Fou.

Fou
Fo...

Napoleon
Hmm. Good question. Now that we have a Divine Spirit here with us, this seems like a great time to try and find out everything we can.

Sitonai
Is there something you'd like to know? I'm in a good mood right now, so I'll answer your questions.

Sitonai
I know all sorts of things, you know. I've used Louhi's magecraft to kill time, go on dream walks...

Sitonai
I know a lot about the castle itself, too.
Including the people who live in it.

Napoleon
Oho. You don't say...

  1. What do you know about Sigurd?
  2. Is Sigurd really a Lostbelt Servant...?
  Select: What do you know about Sigurd?

  Select: Is Sigurd really a Lostbelt Servant...?
Sitonai
Oooh, you really are sharp, aren't you?

===Branch End===

Sitonai
Sigurd the Dragon Slayer, wielder of a demonic sword, and great hero of Norse legend.

Sitonai
I'm not sure if his exploits took place during the Age of Gods or the A.D. era, and Freyja won't tell me.

Sitonai
But...

Sitonai
...I can at least say this much about the red-eyed Heroic Spirit who serves the Crypter:

Sitonai
He is not a Lostbelt Servant.

Sitonai
Or, at least, his Spirit Origin comes from Proper Human History. Freyja is shouting that much!

Napoleon
...What!?

Mash
He's NOT a Lostbelt Servant!?

Mash
B-but, that doesn't make sense...

Mash
I'm not absolutely certain, but when we observed his magical energy in the Shadow Border, it was very different from a Servant of Proper Human History.

Mash
And when we fought him earlier, his magical energy clearly belonged to a Lostbelt Servant...!

Fou
Fooou, fou!

Napoleon
Well, if the three Divine Spirits that make up Sitonai are all certain about it, I can't imagine they don't have a reason.

Napoleon
Far as I'm concerned, this explains a lot.
No wonder Siggy didn't seem like just another Servant.

Napoleon
Just look at how ridiculously strong he is. I know we'll need to do something about him eventually, but–

Sitonai
Not eventually. First.

Napoleon
Oh?

Sitonai
Sigurd's the one keeping the Paper Moon.
You do want to get that compass back, right?

Sitonai
Same for the Tree of Emptiness, yes?
I'd bet the Crypter with the eyepatch knows where it is.

Sitonai
And Sigurd always goes wherever the Crypter goes.
Even her private quarters.

Mash
So, to get the Paper Moon back, or information about the tree...we have no choice but to defeat Sigurd...

Napoleon
Hmm. If you're right,
then we have a serious problem.

Napoleon
Recovering the Paper Moon and locating the Tree of Emptiness just got a hell of a lot harder.

Napoleon
He's definitely stronger than I am, at least right now.
We're not completely out of options, but...

Napoleon
...
...

Fou
Fo? Fo fou?

Mash
Options?
You mean, like that buff you gave us earlier?

Napoleon
Nah, I'm talking something bigger. A real trump card.
Only thing is, it's kind of a handful–

Sitonai
Well, you do have to defeat Sigurd before anything else. Am I wrong?

Napoleon
Not at all, no!

Fou
Fo, fou!

Sitonai
Teehee. You're a great man, Emperor of France!
I think you deserve a hint.

Sitonai
Sigurd may be very powerful, but he's not invincible.
There is a way to fight him.

Sitonai
It should also help you resist Scáthach-Skadi's Primordial Runes, at least to some extent.

Mash
Is that–

Sitonai
Yes. The final option that might just be able to get you out of this predicament!

Sitonai
...Of course, it's so potent that both the Crypter and Sigurd put a reeeally strong seal on it.

Sitonai
So I want you to do your best to get it,
and then fight him with everything you've got!

Sitonai
Once you defeat Sigurd and recover the Paper Moon, you can make that Crypter tell you where the tree is.

Sitonai
Ooor you could just kill her and find the tree yourselves.

  1. I don't want to kill her.
  2. ...I want to believe we can reason with her.
  Select: I don't want to kill her.

  Select: ...I want to believe we can reason with her.

===Branch End===

Sitonai
I see. Well, of course, you're free to handle that however you'd like.

Sitonai
But, I do think you should try to cut down the Tree of Emptiness as soon as you can.

Mash
...
...

Mash
That's a good point...

Mash
As long as there's even one Tree of Emptiness left,
I don't think we'll be able to restore the world.

Mash
But, even so...

Mash
I think, in this particular case...reaching the Wandering Sea might be more important...

Sitonai
Hm?

Mash
...When we first got here,
that was our original plan.

Mash
The main reason we wanted to cut down the Tree of Emptiness was to lure Sigurd out–

Sitonai
No. You can't put off the Tree of Emptiness.
It's too dangerous.

Sitonai
The longer you wait, the more it will grow.

Sitonai
What will you do if it ends up completely taking root?

Sitonai
No. You have to cut it down as soon as possible.

Napoleon
Makes sense. The bigger it gets, and the further down its roots go, the harder it'll be to chop it down.

Mash
...

Napoleon
Well, if you're not sure what call to make, why don't you talk to the rest of your team? Assuming you can get back in touch with them, of course.

  1. Good point.
  2. We should talk to everyone on the Border about this.
  Select: Good point.

  Select: We should talk to everyone on the Border about this.

===Branch End===

Mash
...Yes, Senpai.

Sitonai
Just don't say I didn't warn you.

Mash
...
...

Napoleon
So what's this trick for fighting Sigurd you were talking about? Some kind of artifact or something?

Napoleon
Don't tell us it's a Holy Grail?

Sitonai
Unfortunately, no. If it were a Holy Grail,
I would have already gotten my hands on it.

Sitonai
...It's a goddess.

Sitonai
There's another Divinity here in this Lostbelt,
in addition to Scáthach-Skadi and myself.

Sitonai
She's from Proper Human History, just like the gods within me, a part of humanity's final attempt at resistance made manifest.

Sitonai
That means she'll definitely be on your side.

Fou
Fo fou!

Sitonai
Oh, right. I should have referred to her as another pillar! Hehe, she might not be well defined enough to call her otherwise.

Sitonai
At any rate... Yah!

Sitonai
There, I just sent her location data to your terminal. Hehe, I've never used Atlas Institute-style magecraft before!

Sitonai
Phew. I'm kinda tired now, though...

Sitonai
It's been so long since I've talked to anyone,
I think I might have overdone it.

Sitonai
So, I think this is a good time to wrap this up.

Mash
Ah, the door to our cell just opened...

Napoleon
You know, I think I did hear them saying something about how this prison is secured with a lock made of divine iron. Guess that means a Divine Spirit can open it up without even chanting a spell!

Fou
Fou, fo fo fou!
Kyau!

Sitonai
I wish I could come along, but I'm afraid I need to stay here and go back to sleep.

Sitonai
The queen may not see you as a threat now, but that would change if I left this prison with you.

Sitonai
So since I can't come along, I threw in the unlocking and the hiding spells for free! Take care! I hope to see you again sometime!

--ARROW--

Fou
Fo...

Napoleon
(Whoa there, pupper. Quiet now.)

Napoleon
(Looks like Divine Spirits have pretty impressive magecraft. Her spells made us completely invisible! Even silenced our footsteps AND hid all signs of our magical energy!)

Mash
(Yes. Now that we're so well concealed...)

Mash
(...we might just be able to make it outside the castle, even with the queen's incredible ability to see what happens in her territory!)

Napoleon
(We're almost under the big bridge. Once we get there, we'll make our way back up to the ground and get as far away from the castle as we can!)

Fou
...
...

Napoleon
(So you stay quiet until then. Got it?)

Napoleon
(Come on, you two.)

Napoleon
Good, we made it back to the ground! Just a little farther until we're outside the castle's perimeter!

Napoleon
The concealing spell's just about worn off...but that's okay. Activate those booster things and get us out!

  1. Got it!
  2. Mash, get ready to use the Ollerus Board!
  Select: Got it!
Mash
Right!

  Select: Mash, get ready to use the Ollerus Board!
Mash
Understood, Senpai. Expanding the Ortinax Ollerus Board attachments now!

===Branch End===

Fou
...!
Fouuu... Fou, fou!

Mash
Fou...? What's gotten into you?
Is there something in those shadows over–

Koyanskaya
...Hmph. This is why I can't stand stupid little beasts.

Koyanskaya
I was just about to pounce on you from behind and wipe you all out at once, but then it went and ruined that.

  1. ...Koyanskaya!
  2. You're in this Lostbelt too!?
  Select: ...Koyanskaya!

  Select: You're in this Lostbelt too!?

===Branch End===

Koyanskaya
Of course I am☆

Koyanskaya
Whether at the ends of the earth, the ends of space itself, or even a snowy country still stuck in the dark ages with no entertainment at all...

Koyanskaya
...even if I have to play nice with Queen Lonely Hearts who's deluded herself into believing everyone loves her...

Koyanskaya
As long as there's a chance to make a profit, NFF Services will be there♡

Koyanskaya
Ugh, I really thought I could have counted on someone else to take out the trash. But, you know what they say! If you want something done right...

Mash
You...! Are you here to torment innocent people again, like you did in Russia!?

Koyanskaya
...Hmm. Well, look at you, little girl.
Looks like you can put up a halfway decent fight now.

Koyanskaya
...Well that's just terrible. Are you sure YOU aren't the cold and heartless ones around here?

Koyanskaya
Still, I couldn't care less about the people here one way or the other, so I'll just let that comment slide!

Koyanskaya
Now then, getting down to business: if you're about to leave, it's time for you to pay up what you owe.

Koyanskaya
This ice castle may be deserted and downright awful to live in, but in this world it's on par with a five-star hotel! Accommodations that luxurious don't come cheap, you know.

Koyanskaya
Let's seeeeee... A short stay for three pathetic humans and one ratty little fur ball, that comes to...five quadrillion QP!

Koyanskaya
But not to worry! If you can't afford to pay in QP or quartz, then I'll happily settle for watching your death agonies instead!

Koyanskaya
I did tell you back in Russia that I'd see you again, didn't I?

Koyanskaya
I am as capable as I am beautiful, and unlike you humans,
I never break my promises!

Fou
Fou, fooou...!

Napoleon
Whoa now, who is this lady,
and how the hell do you know her!?

Napoleon
She's beautiful, sure, but she's also got the darkest aura I've ever seen. Joséphine had her bad days, sure...but never anything close to this!

Koyanskaya
Teeheehee, you're awfully sharp for a Servant I've never met before. It'll be a pleasure to kill you♡

Koyanskaya
Okay, everybody! That's enough chin-ups down there under the bridge! Come on out and announce yourselves with a nice loud roar now☆

Mash
Master! A large group of giants is emerging from under the bridge!

Napoleon
Who IS this woman, some kind of beast tamer?
Does she come from the Bolshoi Circus or something!?

Mash
That's Koyanskaya, of NFF Services! She's working with the Crypters, and was partially responsible for destroying Chaldea!

  1. Pawning your dirty work off on subordinates again, huh?
 
  Select: Pawning your dirty work off on subordinates again, huh?

===Branch End===

Koyanskaya
Of course. Wrangling subordinates is what I do!

Koyanskaya
Besides, you three just aren't enough to motivate me personally.

Koyanskaya
I don't deal with the bottom of the barrel myself. If you want anything to do with me, you have to show you're worth my time.

Koyanskaya
All right, Jötnar, time to get to work!

Koyanskaya
Special honors go to those who do an exceptional job,
so make sure to kill them all!

Mash
There are even more giants coming out from under the bridge now...! Master, this is–!

Napoleon
There's no reason for us to fight on her terms, Mash!
Let's just get out of here!

Napoleon
I can see you've got some history with her,
but save it for later!

Napoleon
Let's do this, Fujimaru! Mash, hurry up with those boards while we work on opening up a path!

Mash
R-right! Understood!

--BATTLE--

Mash
There, we've secured an exit route!
Now's our chance, Master!

  1. Full speed retreaaat!
  2. Ollerus Boards, maximum thrust!
  Select: Full speed retreaaat!

  Select: Ollerus Boards, maximum thrust!

===Branch End===

Fou
Fou, fooou!
Fou off!

Koyanskaya
...So, they got away. Well, I guess if nothing else, they passed that test of ability.

Koyanskaya
They're certainly experts at running away. First they knock the giants aside, then they make a getaway on magecraft skis? I can't say I was expecting that.

Koyanskaya
Admittedly, they're still well within sniping range...

Koyanskaya
...but the smart money says to leave them alone for now. Especially since I've already got everything I came to this Lostbelt for.

Koyanskaya
Might as well let these humans fight it out among themselves, and I can just sit on the sidelines with a bag of popcorn.

Koyanskaya
Chaldeans, Crypters...
Humans are humans, and being around them makes me sick.

Koyanskaya
I have no interest in either side...except for where it comes to you, Ophelia. Sort of.

Koyanskaya
It's such fun, watching you come to grips with your wish for destruction. You don't even realize you're harming others.

Koyanskaya
You think you're just a poor scapegoat,
even as you blindly blunder about ruining everything.

Koyanskaya
Much as I don't care about them,
I can't deny it's fun watching humans like that.

Koyanskaya
This Lostbelt's beauty is all built on thin ice, and your naivete's going to show just how fragile it is.

Section 9: Like the Spring Sunshine (Beginning)

Show/Hide Story Chapter

Inner Monologue
When did things get like this?
Whenever I see two birds flying around the sky,
I think back to the Age of Gods. ...To the long distant past.

Back then, the world was vividly real,
and great gods oversaw everything.
Yes, there were cruel competitions,
and wars replete with tragic loss.

But it seems to me that the world back then was one of pride and dignity.
Freyja offered blessings of love and fertility; Njörðr supported the seas and watched over the seafarers and fishermen of the world.
...Baldr gave us light and beauty,
while Mímir gave us the sacred well.

Even during battles when, by all rights, lives should have been lost mercilessly, Odin and Thor were there to keep watch over the proceedings.
Back then...I really do think we all loved one another.
And not in the intense, feverish way that leads to people getting hurt.

I think it was more the gentle sort of love,
like the spring sun warming your skin.
At least, that's how it felt to me...

Which is why I don't understand...
How did we end up drifting so far apart?
How did we end up with such ugly,
horrifying feelings within ourselves...
...feelings colder than the merciless ice,
and hotter than a raging fire...

--SECTION BREAK--

Ophelia
...The targets fought off Koyanskaya's attack and made their escape.

Ophelia
It's still unclear which path they took once outside the castle, but knowing Your Majesty, I imagine you already know exactly where they are.

Ophelia
In addition, we found signs that the targets had come in contact with the imprisoned Divine Spirit amalgamation.

Ophelia
I'm only speculating here, but...

Ophelia
...I believe the prisoner may have told them about the dangerous element sealed away in Mt. Hindarfjall No. 2.

Ophelia
Just tell us where they currently are, Your Majesty, and Saber and I will head out and recapture them.

Scáthach-Skadi
...No, it's not important. Leave them be.

Scáthach-Skadi
I have already decided to love both the children of Chaldea, and the strange Archer with the unwieldy cannon.

Scáthach-Skadi
Do not force me to repeat myself yet again, Ophelia.
I will not allow them to be killed.

Ophelia
But, Your Majesty...

Scáthach-Skadi
You are the one who empowered Sigurd's Spirit Origin, are you not? He is not capable of anything so delicate as capturing prisoners.

Scáthach-Skadi
He would much rather kill them.
He will cut down anything in his way.

Scáthach-Skadi
The Celtic woman within me tells me with absolute certainty that that Servant cannot be easily used.

Scáthach-Skadi
He is himself like a demonic sword,
inevitably bound to hurt its wielder.

Ophelia
I...

Scáthach-Skadi
I suggest you occasionally spend some time reflecting upon yourself, Ophelia Phamrsolone, daughter of humanity.

Scáthach-Skadi
While you are at it, give some thought to that girl,
Mash, as well as the Archer.

Ophelia
...Very well.

Ophelia
...
...

Ophelia
That Archer...Napoleon couldn't possibly have meant what he said. He's nothing more than a ghost, an empty shade of a human mocking me.

Ophelia
Obviously it was nothing more than a ploy to confuse me.
Did he think I'd fall for something so absurd?

Ophelia
...
...

Ophelia
Still...I should have visited them in prison. I shouldn't have let that Archer deter me from that.

Ophelia
Now I don't know if I'll ever get to talk to Mash again...

Koyanskaya
Hiii! Koyanskaya here, reporting back from the front lines☆ There's nothing quite like losing my whole private army!

Koyanskaya
I'm afraid the contract with these giants I borrowed from Her Majesty is now null and void, since I kind of made a botch of that attack!

Koyanskaya
With all my dependable Jötunn gone,
I guess this means I've finally had a major loss...

Koyanskaya
And yet, I seem to not be the only one down in the dumps here. What's the matter, Ophelia?

Koyanskaya
You're in the queen's good graces. You're one of the Crypters, and a part of their successful plot to completely upend the entire world. And what's more, you command an incredibly powerful Servant to boot.

Koyanskaya
So what could possibly be bothering you?
What's on your mind?

Ophelia
None of your business.
Didn't I tell you to stay out of my room?

Koyanskaya
Now, now, we girls have to stick together♡

Koyanskaya
This attitude right here is why Ms. Kyrielight doesn't want to be friends with you, you know!

Ophelia
!!!
What would you know about–

Koyanskaya
More than you think, honey. Believe it or not,
I'm actually veeery sensitive to human emotions.

Koyanskaya
On top of that, we're actually fairly similar.
I know you like you're my own sister!

Ophelia
Huh...? (Similar...in what way!?)

Koyanskaya
Well, there's the fact that we both put our jobs first and foremost! We're both driven and meticulous, yet we become hopelessly devoted–perhaps to our detriment–when it comes to love!

Ophelia
Huh...? (What is she talking about?)

Koyanskaya
But enough joking.
In all seriousness, you make me sick.

Koyanskaya
A real woman is supposed to be able to balance her work life and love life. But you...

Koyanskaya
You have feelings for Kirschtaria Wodime, but you just can't relax about it. You can't stop worrying.

Koyanskaya
You believe what you're doing is right,
but you're still not comfortable with it.

Koyanskaya
You love him, but you can't fully commit to his cause. You cling to him even as you keep your distance.

Koyanskaya
Do you know why that is? I'll tell you: it's because you've never really had someone help you before.

Koyanskaya
You've not even had so much as a single friend in all your life. Isn't that right?

Ophelia
...A friend?

Ophelia
A mage's life is devoted to her magecraft.

Ophelia
We don't need friends.

Ophelia
...We don't.

Koyanskaya
Eee☆ That's so saaad! You cheeky little thing,
pretending like you don't need others to survive!

Koyanskaya
(Siiigh) Kirschtaria is going to be so disappointed...

Koyanskaya
He may like to talk big, but deep down, everything he does is motivated by a deep love of humanity.

Koyanskaya
Even though he knows all too well that at their heart, humans are just wild animals instinctually driven to help, respect, and kill one another.

Ophelia
...!

Koyanskaya
Listen, honey. As long as you have minds of your own, hopes and dreams aren't enough to keep humanity going.

Koyanskaya
You need to have a bit of sympathy and affection too, you know?

Koyanskaya
All the more so if you were never able to depend on family. Really, I'm surprised you didn't jump at the chance to marry that Archer who proposed.

Koyanskaya
Are you just incapable of swallowing your pride?

Koyanskaya
Or is it more that you're afraid to be honest with yourself about the fact that you've never really trusted anyone?

Ophelia
I...
I'm not...

Koyanskaya
Oh, yes you are.

Koyanskaya
Right this moment, you're so scared you can barely stand it, aren't you? Even though this place is a never-ending Wednesday.

Ophelia
...Stop it.

Koyanskaya
Poor little rich girl. Even though you'll never have to worry about the oh-so-terrifying Sunday here, you still can't shake your anxieties about it.

Koyanskaya
But you don't have to tremble in fear anymore, Ophelia.

Koyanskaya
Remember where you are right now.
Go on, take a good look around.

Koyanskaya
This Lostbelt is a never-ending Wednesday.
That's all there can be after Odin went and died.

Koyanskaya
There couldn't be any better world for you to live in, Ophelia Phamrsolone.

Ophelia
...

Ophelia
...Stop it.
One more word, and I'll wipe you out of existence.

Ophelia
I don't care what you think you know about me.
Keep talking about it, and I WILL kill you.

Ophelia
Leave. Right now.

Ophelia
If you're not gone by the time I get back,
I'm sending my knight after you. Is that clear?

Koyanskaya
Oh my, how dreadful... Was it something I said?
Well, they do say good fences make good neighbors...

Koyanskaya
Very well, I apologize, and I won't mention it again! On a different note: You're leaving already? Didn't you just get back?

Ophelia
...I'm going to the terrace.
I need some fresh air.

Koyanskaya
...Hehe, that put some fire back in her eyes. Maybe I was overstepping my bounds a bit. What do you think?

Sigurd
Hmph.

Sigurd
I don't know what the point of you women talking to one another is, and I don't care.

Sigurd
Either you were giving her a pep talk, or you were trying to piss her off. Which one was it?

Koyanskaya
Which do you think it was?

Sigurd
What are you, stupid?
Why would I be asking if I knew?

Sigurd
...Well, no matter.
It doesn't affect me one way or the other.

Sigurd
Play around all you like.
But if you go too far, I'll kill you.

Koyanskaya
Ooh, I'm so scared. This is exactly your problem, Mr. Demonic Sword Knight. Or should I say, Your Majesty?

Koyanskaya
I know what I'm doing. I would never treat a valued customer with anything less than the utmost respect.

Koyanskaya
And since we also have the Tree of Emptiness and that unsightly queen to worry about...

Koyanskaya
...I'm counting on Ophelia to help this Lostbelt's true nature shine through.

--ARROW--

Mash
Another lovely day... It doesn't even look like we'll have to worry about a blizzard, Senpai.

Mash
At this pace, we should be able to reach our destination before sundown!

  1. It IS great weather today, isn't it?
  2. Time to get back to high-speed cross-country skiing.
  Select: It IS great weather today, isn't it?

  Select: Time to get back to high-speed cross-country skiing.

===Branch End===

Fou
Fou, fooou!

Mash
Good morning, Fou.
Did you sleep well?

Fou
Fou!

Mash
I've finished packing up the Chaldea E-Z Camping Kit. We can get going whenever you want, Master.

Napoleon
What a great morning! It may be awfully chilly here, but at least the weather is always nice and calm!

Napoleon
I was a little worried we might have to shake off some pursuers, but luckily, we made it through the whole night without incident.

Mash
Thank you for standing guard all night, Napoleon. It really helped us catch our breath and rest awhile.

Napoleon
Mon plaisir, mademoiselle. The stars and the aurora made it real easy to pass the time. Besides, gotta use the right tool for the job. Since we Heroic Spirits don't need to sleep, I was obviously the best choice.

Napoleon
We don't need to eat either, of course...but we can still enjoy a good meal.

Napoleon
Gotta say, these rations you brought with you are impressive. I had no idea we'd come so far with how we made and preserved food.

Napoleon
If only my Grande Armée had had that kind of food... The best we could come up with was bottled goods, and trust me, those weren't much help in Russia.

Napoleon
I wish I'd been able to mass-produce canned goods, things might've turned out differently...

  1. You invented bottled goods, Napoleon?
  2. ...You offered twelve thousand francs to anyone who could make better rations, right?
  Select: You invented bottled goods, Napoleon?
Mash
Not exactly. Someone else came up with the idea,
but it was Napoleon who inspired them to do so.
Mash
Since Napoleon's Grande Armée went on so many expeditions, it was essential they find some way to improve the quality of their rations.
Mash
So Napoleon–
Napoleon
Set up a contest with a prize of twelve thousand francs for whoever could come up with the best new kind of ration!
Napoleon
A confectioner by the name of Nicolas Appert succeeded brilliantly. He came up with the airtight container and the idea to sterilize them with heat!

  Select: ...You offered twelve thousand francs to anyone who could make better rations, right?
Napoleon
You really know your stuff, Private! That's right. I held a contest to see who could come up with the best way to improve our rations!
Napoleon
A confectioner by the name of Nicolas Appert ended up winning. He came up with the airtight container and the idea to sterilize them with heat!

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Of course, since we used glass bottles, they ended up breaking all the time, which was a real mess in more ways than one...

Fou
Fo fooou...

Mash
But, you did still pay Appert the full reward, right?

Napoleon
Of course! I'm nothing if not generous, you know!
Besides, he had some really great ideas.

Napoleon
Canned goods and those things you call vacuum packs all originate from Appert's work with bottles.

Napoleon
That goes for Chaldea's rations, too.

Napoleon
Pretty impressive, when you think about it...

Napoleon
Anyway, now that we've had breakfast and our morning chitchat, shall we be on our way?

Mash
Yes! I'm ready whenever you two are!

Mash
...I would have liked to report our current status to everyone on the Border before we left, but...

Fou
Fou, fooou.
Fooou!

Mash
Yes, Fou. I know there's no point in asking for the impossible.

Mash
Even if Da Vinci has expanded her Mystic Code drones' comms range, given our current location...

  1. We're just too far away.
  2. No way could it reach all the way out here.
  Select: We're just too far away.

  Select: No way could it reach all the way out here.

===Branch End===

Mash
...Right. At the moment,
calling them just isn't feasible.

Napoleon
Guess we'll just have to find this other goddess first, then. On with the ultra high-speed cross-country ski tour!

Napoleon
I wonder if we'll have to scale a mountain before we can reach her.

Mash
...Our destination is Mt. Galdhøpiggen,
the tallest mountain in all of Scandinavia.

Mash
According to the data Illya sent me, this third goddess should be imprisoned in the mountain's peak.

Mash
On a map from Proper Human History, it would be located on the old Jötunheimen highlands, but–

Napoleon
But around here, it's at the very end of this endless string of snow and icy mountains. At least it's a straight shot there.

Mash
Right.

Mash
We're currently about two hundred and thirty kilometers away. If I can maintain my boosters' second gear, we should reach it in a few hours.

Napoleon
You have some awfully impressive equipment. And its magical energy efficiency isn't half bad, either.

Napoleon
Once we get this third goddess on our side, I'd love to have a word or two with whoever made it.

Napoleon
Especially since my skis are handmade...

Fou
Fou fo fo fo.

Napoleon
No, even I couldn't ask someone to carry me like you're getting done. No, really, I couldn't. I won't. I mean it.

Napoleon
Mademoiselle, make sure you hold on tight to Private Fujimaru! I'm gonna go ahead and pick up the pace!

Napoleon
With the strength and stamina of a Heroic Spirit, cruising at two hundred klicks per hour is a breeze!

Napoleon
Still, I can't really keep that speed up all the time,
what with the obstacles that keep popping up.

Napoleon
Like, say, giants, or a pack of wild animals.
...Case in point?

Mash
Y-yes, I see them. Master, I'm detecting several magical energy signals in our vicinity! They don't appear to be giants...

Napoleon
They're ice beasts. It'd take too long to go around them, and we don't want them calling their friends for help, so I say we take them out nice and quick!

  1. Let's do it! Keep it quiet, so the giants don't take notice!
  2. Once we wrap this up, let's keep on moving!
  Select: Let's do it! Keep it quiet, so the giants don't take notice!

  Select: Once we wrap this up, let's keep on moving!

===Branch End===

Napoleon
You got it!

--BATTLE--

Mash
We've destroyed all the ice beasts.
The battle is over!

Napoleon
All right then, let's get our march back underway!
We can even make a friendly race of it!

Mash
Um, I'm sorry, Napoleon, but I have to refuse.
That would be far too dangerous!

Fou
Fou, fo fooou!

Napoleon
You're siding with the mademoiselle, pupper?
Just be careful the wind doesn't blow you away.

Mash
Equipping the Ortinax Ollerus Board attachments now... Boosters, activated.

Mash
Switching from thruster mode's first gear to booster. Ollerus Boards, standing by. Three, two, one...

Mash
...Ignition!

--ARROW--

Napoleon
Whoa! I've never seen anything like that before...!

Napoleon
The whole palace is on fire!

Fou
Fooou, fou!

Mash
The whole building looks like it's made of ice,
and there's a wall of fire surrounding it...

Mash
The fire here is just like the fire in the ice mountains; it's not melting anything around it... Like it is just suspended in the air and not burning anything at all...

Mash
A palace...of fire...

Fou
Fo, fou! Kyuuu!

  1. The air's so hot...!
  2. Don't go near it, Fou!
  Select: The air's so hot...!
Mash
Yes! We can feel the heat all the way over here!

  Select: Don't go near it, Fou!
Fou
Fou, fou!

===Branch End===

Napoleon
This fire is definitely made with magecraft. Nothing else could keep it burning without melting the ice palace.

Napoleon
Maybe there's a rune of burning inscribed somewhere? Or maybe the fire was brought here from a nearby mountain...

Napoleon
Whatever the case, it makes for a hell of a Bounded Field.
I can feel it tingling on my skin all the way from here...

Napoleon
But, that only makes sense! Of course Mt. Galdhøpiggen, the highest summit in Scandinavia, would have a fiery fortress on top of it!

Napoleon
We are trying to bust out a goddess who could be the key to turning everything around here, after all!

Napoleon
It'll take more than a barrier of magecraft flame to turn this Heroic Spirit away!

Mash
Please be careful, Napoleon!
I think this is the Palace of Fire!

Mash
Both in the poem “Sigrdrífumál” of Poetic Edda...

Mash
...and the Völsunga Saga...

Mash
...mention a palace on the top of Mt. Hindarfjall surrounded by a fiery hedge made from the shield of the gods!

Mash
It was called the Palace of Fire.
It's a Bounded Field created by Odin himself!

Mash
This could be a large-scale ritual that uses magecraft taken from mythology, or perhaps a Bounded Field that's been in place since the Age of Gods!

Napoleon
Hmm?

Napoleon
Those flames, the shield of the gods? Nah. This Bounded Field hasn't been here since the Age of Gods.

Napoleon
At best, it's an imitation–a bit of fancy magecraft that just looks the part. Use those baby purples of yours, mademoiselle.

Napoleon
I know your senses are dulled from the magical energy in the snow and fire around here, but look closer.

Napoleon
There they are inside the fire, plain as day!

Fou
Fou, faauu!
Kyaaau!

Mash
Now I see them... Those are Muspel giants,
just like the ones at the castle!

Mash
I could tell they were stronger than the Jötnar or Bergrisar, but now...there's several of them...

Napoleon
They're walking around in that inferno like it's a cool day in autumn...

Napoleon
Damned impressive!
I love tough sorts who're proud of it!

Napoleon
I don't see anything wrapped up like before, but given how their legs are in chains, I'm guessing they're here on guard duty?

Napoleon
...Maybe the queen's just into that sort of thing.
Or maybe...could it be Ophelia? Truly?

Napoleon
Whatever these guys have going on, it's in very poor taste, considering the old Jötunheimen highlands of myth weren't exactly the place to be for the likes of them!

Napoleon
If there's one thing these Muspel over there are lacking,
it's charm! Don't you agree, fire giants!?

Napoleon
Haha! You're a spirited bunch, aren't you!

  1. (I wouldn't have guessed giants were such good sports...)
  2. We're not here to fight the fire giants, but we do need to get inside!
  Select: (I wouldn't have guessed giants were such good sports...)

  Select: We're not here to fight the fire giants, but we do need to get inside!

===Branch End===

Mash
Right. We'll need to get through them if we're going to fulfill our objective!

Mash
Ortinax output is stable. Auto-maintenance function, activated. Amalgam Goad, standing by.

Napoleon
...All right!
Let's smash our way through these guys!

--BATTLE--

Napoleon
Nice work with that shield!
It's even throwing the giants off-balance!

Napoleon
All right, I think that calls for another cannon blast! Taaaaaake THIS!

Mash
...Target silenced!
That takes care of the last Muspel.

Mash
Does that mean...the battle is over for now?

Napoleon
Nope, I'm afraid it's not gonna be that easy.
There's still more of them, {(M) mes amis. /(F) mes amies.}

Napoleon
It's still hard to make out magical energy here, but that's not the only unusual thing in the air. Can you smell it?

Mash
Oh, now that you mention it...I can faintly make out hydrogen sulfide...

Napoleon
That smell... Sulfur! That's the scent of a volcano!

Napoleon
Take another look at the flames, then at the palace.

Napoleon
Does it look like the flames have gone down in intensity at all? Have the palace doors opened up?

  1. The flames haven't died down at all!
  2. The doors haven't opened even a bit!
  Select: The flames haven't died down at all!

  Select: The doors haven't opened even a bit!

===Branch End===

Mash
I can't find so much as a seam in that Bounded Field! Maybe this means we need to use magecraft to break through it?

Mash
Disabling such a powerful Bounded Field would be a problem for Senpai and me...

Mash
Neither of us is able to use powerful magecraft like that...

Napoleon
We need a Caster to help us! But with things as they are,
we can't count on summoning one long-term.

Napoleon
Not to mention we still have those guards to contend with.

Mash
Here they come!
More Muspel are emerging from the fire!

Napoleon
Ooh la la! There's even more of them now!
This must be the rest of the pack!

Napoleon
The smart move here is to rush us all at once,
fire giants! Don't bother coming one at a time!

Fou
Fo fou!
Kyau!?

Napoleon
Hahaha, easy there, pupper! I'll pet you all you want once the battle's over, but right now you should stay back!

  1. What's that sound?
  2. Is something coming?
  Select: What's that sound?

  Select: Is something coming?

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Up in the sky! It's huge!

Mash
Senpai, behind me!
Get down!

Fou
Fo... Fou!

Mash
Senpai, look... What IS that...?

Mash
I'm not sure.
It looks like...some sort of large, flying...

Mash
...creature?

Napoleon
...!

--BATTLE--

Napoleon
...Damn, this thing's tough!

Napoleon
I still can't tell what the hell it is, but it looks to be about as hard as the Sphinx's face!

Napoleon
The fire giants certainly aren't helping, either!

Mash
It doesn't look like they're working together, though!

Mash
It looks like...they're both so focused on us they're not even seeing each other!

Napoleon
Yup. I'd say you're right about that.
I must have really pissed this thing off!

Napoleon
I just wish I knew what I did to make it so angry.
It doesn't look too bad at a glance...

Napoleon
Haha, I think it just laughed!

Napoleon
Nope, I still got nothing. Hmm...
I don't suppose you two have any idea, do you?

  1. Afraid not!
  2. Well, it kind of looks like a living creature...I guess?
  Select: Afraid not!
Mash
This is the first time we've run into something like this as well!

  Select: Well, it kind of looks like a living creature...I guess?
Mash
I agree, Master. It seems like it is, too...

===Branch End===

Mash
It is exceptionally aggressive. If it were made from magecraft, I'd expect it to be more mechanical...

Mash
It could be a Phantasmal unique to this Lostbelt...

Mash
...or it could be a Demonic Beast from a self-contained ecosystem that has never been mentioned in any myth or legend!

Fou
Fou. Kyaaau!

Mash
Huh? It's not...?
Go on then, Fou, tell us everything you can!

Fou
Fo fo fou fo, fou!

  1. You know what it is, Fou!?
  2. What's he saying?
  Select: You know what it is, Fou!?

  Select: What's he saying?

===Branch End===

Mash
...
...

Mash
...I-I'm sorry, Senpai...

Mash
I can grasp the idea, but I can't exactly make sense of it as a language...

Mash
I've always admired Dr. Dolittle, but I'm afraid I just don't have that kind of talent...

  1. Don't worry. Hardly anybody can talk to animals!
  2. Okay then, back to the battle!
  Select: Don't worry. Hardly anybody can talk to animals!
Mash
It does happen occasionally...
But no, you're right. Resuming combat mode!

  Select: Okay then, back to the battle!
Mash
R-right! Understood!

===Branch End===

Napoleon
We need to take the giants out first! Things'll get outta hand real fast if they gang up on us!

Napoleon
Three fire giants left! All right, let's do this thing!
I'll fill 'em all up with holes!

Napoleon
One!

Napoleon
Two!

Napoleon
Three!
Break 'em! Smash 'em! Make your way through!

Mash
We've destroyed all Musp–No, wait!
The third one is still alive!

Napoleon
And here I thought I'd scored a direct hit...
Aha, now I see! This one's a real fiery warrior!

Napoleon
It used its fallen comrade's body as a human–er, giant shield! Brave AND cold-blooded! I love it!

Fou
Fou, foooooou!

Napoleon
Whoa there...!

Mash
Khh...!

Mash
He's started hurling boulders–I mean, large blocks of ice! But don't worry. I can block them as long as I stay focused on defense!

Napoleon
Do it. It's time to take this guy down for good!

Napoleon
Hrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaah!
Let's see how you like a barrage!

Mash
Consecutive impacts confirmed! Both the unidentified creature and last remaining Muspel have been–

Napoleon
Get outta here!

Mash
...The unidentified creature has been sent flying directly into the palace...!

Mash
The fire wall shows no sign of going out, but the palace's outer wall has taken significant damage!

Napoleon
Sorry 'bout that! I tried to hold back, but the damn thing was so tough I ended up really going all out!

Napoleon
Ah crap, this is bad. I just knocked that thing into the palace. What if it ends up eating our sleeping beauty!?

Napoleon
Even if it doesn't, what if she ends up getting buried when the palace–

Mash
It's all right.
I don't think there's any reason to worry.

Napoleon
Hm? How can you be so sure?

Mash
Just a feeling, but a strong one. If I'm right about this, then the one in the palace has to be–

Napoleon
...!

Fou
Fou, fou!
Fooou!

Napoleon
...Whoa! That thing just got knocked back OUT of the palace!?

Fou
Fou...!

F:Purple Crystal Woman
...Good morning, everyone.

F:Purple Crystal Woman
I am the daughter of Odin, and the eldest of the Valkyries. Once I was both a demigod and a goddess of old.

F:Purple Crystal Woman
In Proper Human History, my story and praises were sung in the Poetic Edda and the Völsunga Saga.

F:Purple Crystal Woman
I am an avenger who once loved Sigurd, only to end up taking his life followed by my own.

Purple Crystal Woman
...I am Brynhild, a Heroic Spirit.

Section 10: Like the Spring Sunshine (Middle)

Show/Hide Story Chapter

Thrúd
...Our big sister from Proper Human History has awakened.

Thrúd
Sisters.
Sisters.

Thrúd
Come, my sisters who all share memories with me. My true sisters who have lived since ancient times, who never depended on the queen's magical energy.

Thrúd
I seek your counsel. Though our minds are linked,
I wish to hear your voices.

Hildr
Uh-huh. I get it.

Hildr
Our big sister's woken up. Shame.
I'd hoped she'd just stay asleep forever.

Hildr
But now that she's awake,
we need to do something about her.

Hildr
So, what should we do?
...You know, this could be a good opportunity.

Thrúd
...
...

Thrúd
Yes. You might be right.

Ortlinde
...This can't be happening.

Ortlinde
Our sister from Proper Human History should still be sleeping soundly in her safe haven...

Thrúd
Yes, but the fact is that she is awake now.
Unfortunately.

Ortlinde
...Then we'll need to go greet her.

Thrúd
Yes, there's no time to waste. Even if she is from Proper Human History, she is still our sister.

Thrúd
She was the first Valkyrie–the one closest to the gods. And so, she is the ultimate Valkyrie.

Thrúd
Though we may all be demigods, her Divine Core is much closer to that of a true goddess than ours.

Thrúd
We cannot afford for her to side with those humans.

Thrúd
...

Hildr
Yeah, you're right.
We've gotta go find her right now!

Ortlinde
We need to save her before it's too late...

Ortlinde
Having her remain with humans after she fell asleep in blissful ignorance would be cruel!

Thrúd
...Right. We should go greet her, and soon.
...Even if she doesn't wish to see us.

Thrúd
If Brynhild intends to side with the humans from Proper Human History over our Scandinavia...

Thrúd
...we will need to show her how foolish that would be...

Fou
Fou, fooou!

Brynhild
Oh my. You are such an adorable little creature.

Mash
Fou certainly seems to like her.
Does this mean...she's our ally?

Mash
Maybe she's a Heroic Spirit without a Master who happened to materialize in this Lostbelt, like Beowulf and Billy...

Mash
She doesn't seem to have the same magical energy signature as this Lostbelt, so I'm inclined to think she really is the Brynhild from Proper Human History.

Mash
I had a feeling that might be the case when I first saw that burning palace.

Mash
After all, a palace surrounded by fire appears in her legend.

  1. She is a Heroic Spirit from Norse mythology, after all.
  2. She was an ex-Valkyrie and Sigurd's spouse, right?
  Select: She is a Heroic Spirit from Norse mythology, after all.
Mash
Yes. She appeared in the Poetic Edda and the Völsunga Saga.
Mash
She was said to be one of Odin's loyal Valkyries, and Sigurd the Dragon Slayer's spouse.

  Select: She was an ex-Valkyrie and Sigurd's spouse, right?
Mash
Yes. Exactly!

===Branch End===

Brynhild
...I am also the one who killed him.

Brynhild
That is why I am strong.

Brynhild
Shield-maiden Mash Kyrielight.
Fujimaru.

Brynhild
I am prepared to devote myself body and soul to your journey to restore Proper Human History.

Brynhild
That I am here in this Lostbelt means there is someone with whom I must do battle...

Brynhild
The third goddess...

Brynhild
I feel that may be something of an exaggeration...

Brynhild
...but even if it is, I am ready and willing to help you however I can, Fujimaru.

  1. Thank you.
  2. We'd be glad to have you, Brynhild.
  Select: Thank you.

  Select: We'd be glad to have you, Brynhild.

===Branch End===

Brynhild
On my name, I swear to you I will be of use.

Napoleon
...Your eyes are the color of purple crystal. Gorgeous.

Napoleon
You certainly are the eldest of the Valkyries. So those jaw-dropping looks of yours are thanks to the old gods making you themselves, huh?

Napoleon
Thanks, old rulers of Scandinavia. Thanks for leaving such beauty in the world after you left.

Napoleon
Now that I've come face-to-face with that beauty myself,
I'm helpless to do anything but drink it in!

Napoleon
I would love nothing more than to get to know you better, Brynhild...!

Fou
Fou... Fou.

Brynhild
I, um, I'm sorry...

Brynhild
Um... You are the Emperor of France, yes...?

Brynhild
That is not what I meant when I said I would devote myself body and soul...

Brynhild
...I'm sorry.

Napoleon
Ooh la la, you're beautiful when you're flustered, too! Haha! Making beautiful women blush really is one of life's great pleasures for men, isn't it!

Napoleon
...No, wait, that may have sounded really bad.
Would you mind if I took that back, fair maiden?

Brynhild
...
...

Mash
U-um, Napoleon, I'm sorry to interrupt your attempts at flirting, but...what about Ophelia?

Mash
Didn't you already propose to her...?

Brynhild
...!

Napoleon
Ouch! You've got me there, mademoiselle!
You're right, my heart does belong to Ophelia!

Napoleon
I may be a man of France,
but I'm also a man of Corsica.

Napoleon
I think that may be why my Spirit Origin has these strange...quirks.

Mash
What do you mean by that?

Napoleon
Well, it seems that once I materialize, I can't help but look for a lover. No, seriously!

Napoleon
Still, it's just the one. It's not like I'm going around hitting on everything that moves.

Napoleon
And once I find my one true love...I can't help but profess love's virtues. It's a real burden, you know?

Fou
Fo fo fo fo.
...Fou.

Napoleon
Oho! I'm glad to hear you understand, pupper!

Mash
...Um...just one?

Napoleon
That's right. Napoleon the Heroic Spirit only professes his love to one person per materialization.

Mash
O-okay... But what about what you were just saying to Brynhild...?

  1. Took the words right out of my mouth.
  2. Yeah, what happened to “just the one” huh?
  Select: Took the words right out of my mouth.

  Select: Yeah, what happened to “just the one” huh?

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Whoa, whoa, hang on! I think you've got the wrong idea. That wasn't a profession of love! I was just being chivalrous!

Napoleon
Just because I've found my true love here doesn't mean I'm, um, immune to other women's charms! But that's still not the same thing as professing true love...

Napoleon
Look, I'm a passionate guy, and sometimes, I just can't help myself! Whatever I used to be like, that seems to at least be the case now!

Brynhild
...
...

Fou
Fooou, fooou!

Napoleon
Haha, easy there, doggo!
I'm not actually a dog person, you know.

  1. So you finally admitted it...
  2. Didn't you say you were okay with dogs before...?
  Select: So you finally admitted it...

  Select: Didn't you say you were okay with dogs before...?

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Oh. Whoops. No, no, you've got me all wrong!
It's not like I dislike them!

Napoleon
It's just pugs I have trouble with, ever since my beloved wife Joséphine's just bit me outta nowhere.

Napoleon
It took a real chunk out of me too! So I've never really gotten on well with dogs since then!

Brynhild
Oh my. I didn't know Your Imperial Majesty was married.

Brynhild
I see, I see. That's wonderful to hear.

Brynhild
What's more...you say you have eyes for someone named Ophelia right now?

Fou
Fou fou, fou.

Brynhild
My, my. I see... A woman named Ophelia...

Brynhild
That won't do. No, that won't do at all.

Brynhild
Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte... You have tried to deceive women...no, people in general, with love...

Brynhild
That won't do at all...

Napoleon
Ooh la la! I can't believe it!
I was only half serious!

Napoleon
I never expected this beauty to turn her purple, crystalline gaze on me so seriously! Does this mean...

Napoleon
...your answer is oui?
That you accept the love I have to offer you!?

Napoleon
If so, it would be uncouth of me to refuse!
Haha! Who cares if these two humans object!?

Mash
...Ah.

Mash
Napoleon just tried to hug a pile of snow...and now he's facedown in it.

Fou
Fo fooou!

  1. What was that...?
  2. Was that some sort of illusion...?
  Select: What was that...?

  Select: Was that some sort of illusion...?

===Branch End===

Mash
...It does seem to be the case.

Mash
It was magecraft intended to interfere with the target's sight.

Mash
As an Archer, Napoleon should be resistant to that sort of magecraft. Yet, it still worked...

Brynhild
My magecraft comes from Primordial Runes–power from the Age of Gods, bestowed upon me by Odin himself.

Mash
Primordial Runes... That's the same kind of power that Scáthach-Skadi wields...

Brynhild
That spell just now was far from the runes' full power.
It was a tiny fraction at most.

Brynhild
Even so...not even a powerful Heroic Spirit can easily resist their effects.

Brynhild
Now, why don't we have the emperor cool down for a bit?

Brynhild
No doubt he was delirious from some terrible fever.

Mash
Oh, I know!
That must have been what they call spring fever!

Brynhild
I'm afraid not. True romance is no mere fever.
It does not stop until you burst into flame.

Brynhild
Besides...I really am sorry, but...

Brynhild
...if a hero I'm sworn to love comes close to me...

Brynhild
...I may just end up killing him.

Brynhild
I see...

Brynhild
Then Sigurd is here, as I suspected.
Yes, that explains a great deal.

Brynhild
Very well. Now I understand what it is I must do.

Brynhild
When I first materialized in this Lostbelt, I wandered it aimlessly, without understanding why I was here...

Brynhild
As I went around defeating the giants who attacked me, I was sealed away by my sisters, as well as a woman calling herself a Crypter...

Brynhild
From then on, I remained asleep in the palace protected by a Bounded Field modeled after those created by my father, Odin, until you woke me...

Brynhild
...Now, at last, I finally understand.

Brynhild
Fujimaru, I must apologize to you in advance.

Brynhild
Should I do battle with Sigurd, I hope you will forgive me if I embarrass myself.

Fou
Fou?

Brynhild
Ahh... When I see him...

Brynhild
...I'm quite certain I won't be able to restrain myself.

Brynhild
I may even get so worked up that I can no longer speak,
and my spear may grow larger too.

Brynhild
I will do my best to resist my urges...but the possibility remains that I may end up going into a rage like a Berserker.

Brynhild
So...

  1. Got it.
  2. I'll be careful if it ever comes to that.
  Select: Got it.

  Select: I'll be careful if it ever comes to that.

===Branch End===

Mash
Understood, Brynhild.
It's great to have you on our side!

Brynhild
...Thank you.

Brynhild
It's possible this Sigurd is not a Servant from Proper Human History.

Brynhild
He may not be the Sigurd I know, but someone else entirely with absolutely no knowledge of who I am.

Brynhild
But even if that is the case, I'm sure I...

Napoleon
I don't know if I agree with that,
Mademoiselle Valkyrie.

Napoleon
Sitonai said he might not belong to this Lostbelt,
and I'm inclined to agree.

Mash
Napoleon...

Mash
(He's still got snow on his head...)

Napoleon
This Lostbelt's been exactly the same ever since 1000 B.C.

Napoleon
It's a world basically designed by and for Scáthach-Skadi. A world where the entire human population has been locked down for nearly three thousand years.

Napoleon
No one here has any desires intense enough to create an evil dragon like Fafnir for Sigurd to slay.

Napoleon
What's more, there's no economy to stimulate desire.
Hell, there's not even any concept of a nation-state.

Napoleon
So that tells us something!

Napoleon
Something about Sigurd besides whether he's from the Age of Gods or the A.D. era!

Napoleon
At the very least, we know that in this Lostbelt, Sigurd would never have been born. And even if he had, he could never have become a hero, as there could not have been an evil dragon for him to defeat!

Napoleon
...There you have it.

Brynhild
...So this is a world without heroes.

Napoleon
Except for you and me.

Fou
Fooou...

Napoleon
Haha, no need to get all mopey about it, pupper!

Napoleon
Even if there aren't any heroes in this world, Brynhild and I are still here. Not to mention your two human friends!

Napoleon
Along with you, doggo! And even that isn't all!

Napoleon
That Shadow Border thing of yours is around somewhere too, right? A band of humans and Heroic Spirits, all working together to restore humanity!

  1. Yeah, you're right!
  2. We really do need to contact them again.
  Select: Yeah, you're right!
Mash
Yes! They're all very dependable!

  Select: We really do need to contact them again.
Mash
I agree, Senpai. Even if we can't rendezvous with them soon, we should at least update them on our situation!

===Branch End===

Napoleon
It's been what, four, five days since we first met? It's probably about time you brought your shield and armor in for a tune-up, mademoiselle.

Napoleon
Since we've met up with the third goddess and all,
now seems like a good time to head back.

Napoleon
You said they were located around southern Sweden, right?

Mash
That's right. The Border is parked in southern Sweden, near Norrköping.

Mash
I think we should be able to call them again if we return to the Lake Vänern area.

Napoleon
Hmm, that's near Village 23. All right then, for the moment, let's head back to southern Sweden!

Napoleon
Hey, Valkyrie lady!
How are you at skiing?

Napoleon
Don't worry at all if you're just starting out.

Napoleon
I'd be more than happy to take you by the hand,
hold your waist, and show you how it's done.

Brynhild
Hehe. You're rather amusing, Emperor Napoleon.

Brynhild
But, I can't. I mustn't. I'm sorry.

Brynhild
Please understand, it's extremely dangerous for a qualified hero to get too close to me.

Napoleon
Dangerous? Sounds thrilling! Don't worry, I'm perfectly delighted to risk my life for a beautiful woman.

Fou
Fou, faaau.

Mash
Napoleon...
Does that mean, for Ophelia, you're also...

Napoleon
Of course!

Brynhild
Heh. Hehe.
At any rate, you were talking about skiing?

Brynhild
No, I am not very skilled at it...but worry not.
I am quite comfortable traversing snow.

Fou
Fou, fooou!

Brynhild
Oh, hello. Are you sure you want to ride on my shoulder?
The wind will be rather strong.

Fou
Nnn, kyu. Fou fo.

Napoleon
I see you've got good taste in women, pupper! Haha!
All right then, let's get our new Grande Armée underway!

  1. Got it!
  2. New Grande Armée, moving out!
  Select: Got it!

  Select: New Grande Armée, moving out!

===Branch End===

Mash
Right!

--BATTLE--

Napoleon
...Okay, where are we right now?

Mash
The old Skagerrak strait... On a map from Proper Human History, this would be part of the sea.

Fou
Fou?

Mash
Oh, yes, Fou, this is the ocean. Or at least,
it would be on a Proper Human History map.

Napoleon
But around here...

Napoleon
...it's nothing but frost, snow, and mountains as far as the eye can see, just like most of this Lostbelt.

Mash
We've also passed lakes that are nothing more than snowfields now.

Napoleon
Guess that just means there's seawater and lakes underneath all this ice and snow–seawater, in this particular case.

Mash
It's uncharted territory for both me and Senpai.

Brynhild
This place is relatively warm...
It was much chillier up around Jötunheimen.

Napoleon
Oh, yeah, good point.

Napoleon
Every bit of this Lostbelt is still covered with snow, but the area from Oslo up to Mt. Galdhøpiggen had a lot of icy mountains as well.

Napoleon
Now that you mention it, it was colder around there than it is here, but it still feels strange to call this area “warm” though...

Mash
That's true. The word “warm” seems to have lost all meaning here...

Napoleon
Haha, well said.
Hmm...

Napoleon
All right, I've decided. While we're doing this,
we might as well make a little pit stop!

  1. Pit stop?
  2. Does that mean you've been here before?
  Select: Pit stop?

  Select: Does that mean you've been here before?

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Something like that. Besides, I'd like to find out as much information as we can.

Napoleon
But, since it's getting close to sunset,
why don't we take a break right around here?

B:Children
It's Napoly-on!
The empy-man!

B:Children
Hey everyone! The empy-man's back!

A:Children
Who's that pretty lady with you? Is she your mate? Maybe she's an envoy! She's so beautiful!

A:Children
She's got armor!
And a spear!

Napoleon
No, no, no, no, she's not my mate!

Napoleon
Then again, people in this Lostbelt don't have any concept of love or marriage, so I guess I understand the confusion...

Napoleon
Hey! Hey, kid! Leave her alone!
Can't you see you're bothering her!?

Brynhild
Oh no, I don't mind.
I quite like children.

Brynhild
It's lovely to meet you, little ones.
Would you like to play with me?

Children
Yaaay!

Napoleon
...You sure?

Brynhild
Of course. It's no trouble at all.
Besides, don't you need to speak with the adults?

Napoleon
Yeah, that I do.
...You're a real considerate lady, aren't you?

Mash
This place is...

  1. It looks exactly like Village 23.
  2. This isn't Village 23...is it?
  Select: It looks exactly like Village 23.

  Select: This isn't Village 23...is it?

===Branch End===

Mash
Napoleon said this was Village 67...

Mash
But while the details are a bit different,
the basic structure is exactly the same.

Mash
I'd say they're about eighty percent similar.
I wonder if that was intentional...

Mash
All that aside, they've been so welcoming to us...

Mash
And just look how happy these children are...

B:Children
Hey, are you guys Mr. Napoly-on's friends?

Mash
Uh, yes. I suppose you could say that...

A:Children
Then here!
This is for you!

A:Children
Mr. Napoly-on always plays with us when he visits,
so we wanna thank his friends, too!

Mash
Th-thank you.
These flowers are very pretty.

B:Children
We all grow them together. Sorry they're not the special kind we save for the ordained day!

Mash
Please, don't be. I'm very happy to have them.

Fou
Fou fooou!

B:Children
Whoa, what are you!? Wanna play tag!?

  1. ...
  2. Yeah... I know why we're doing this, but it's still hard.
  Select: ...

  Select: Yeah... I know why we're doing this, but it's still hard.

===Branch End===

Mash
Senpai...

Napoleon
Whoa, whoa, why the long faces, you two!?
This is your first time here meeting these people!

Napoleon
Turn those frowns upside down!
Traveling's meant to be fun!

Mash
N-Napoleon! Do you think you could stop smacking Senpai on the back so hard...?

Napoleon
Oh, sorry. Didn't think it was that hard.

Napoleon
Anyway, I asked around a bit, and it sounds like it's business as usual here.

Napoleon
Nobody's seen any envoys flying around on patrol,
or heard anything about giants acting up.

Napoleon
Looks like we're safe for the moment.

Mash
In that case, we should be able to get a very good night's sleep.

Napoleon
Yup. Only thing is...

Napoleon
...there's a Bounded Field here.

Mash
...A Bounded Field?

Napoleon
It looks like a new one's been put up around the village's gate and surrounding walls.

Napoleon
Brynhild's the one who noticed it.
Can't fool a Primordial Rune user.

Brynhild
...With apologies for my presumptuousness...

Brynhild
...Yes, I detected a Bounded Field besides the one Scáthach-Skadi put up to protect humans from giants and the cold.

Brynhild
It is a powerful field designed to defend against outside enemies, like a great shield or impenetrable fortress.

Brynhild
I can't make out the exact spell type, but I do know it is magecraft on a level fitting the Age of Gods.

Brynhild
If nothing else, I can tell you it is not based in runes. Which would mean–

Mash
The queen didn't make it...

  1. So, somebody made the Bounded Field here stronger?
  2. Then, who did...?
  Select: So, somebody made the Bounded Field here stronger?

  Select: Then, who did...?

===Branch End===

Mash
Yes. Who could have done that?

Mash
The only person who sided with the Lostbelt and uses nonrune magic is...Ophelia...

Mash
But, that can't be right.

Mash
Her specialty is summoning spells,
not Bounded Fields.

Mash
Caenis didn't seem to possess a Spirit Origin that was particularly skilled at magecraft, either.

Mash
But then, if neither of them did it,
then who could have possibly–

Fou
Fou fou!
Fooou!

Mash
Oh. Welcome back, Fou.

Napoleon
Hmm...

Napoleon
Oh well, mulling it over's not gonna get us anywhere! Let's just take it easy here for the rest of the day, then pick things back up tomorr–

Goredolf
...Aha! There you are!

Fou
Fou!

Mash
Director?

Goredolf
I knew I could do it if I tried! That didn't take long at all! Shadow Border here! I trust you can hear me!

  1. Director!?
  2. We got through again!
  Select: Director!?

  Select: We got through again!

===Branch End===

Goredolf
Hehe, don't be so surprised. It's a miraculous coincidence.
I have no earthly idea how we got reconnected.

Goredolf
In this case, my abundant charm played no part whatsoever. Oh, and incidentally, it seems we will only stay connected for a few seconds more at best.

Napoleon
Whoa, who's the pudgy guy!?
Is he that Goredolf you were telling me about?

Brynhild
...

Brynhild
(I...can't tell if I should be wary of him or not...)

A:Meunière
Come on, old man, step on it!
Tell them what we just found out! Hurry!

Goredolf
Oh, right! This is no time for formalities!
Fujimaru, we have an emergency on our hands!

Goredolf
The old Lake Vänern! A group of giants is headed towards the village where Gerda lives even as we speak!

Goredolf
There's no way a bunch of children and young adults can fight them off! If the giants force their way inside, they'll kill the whole lot!

Mash
Oh no!

Napoleon
Village 23, huh...

Mash
Master!

Fou
Fo! Fou!

Goredolf
One of our Mystic Code drones only just picked it up! I don't know where you are right now, but you need to get there double time and rescue them!

Goredolf
That village may be useless to us as a source of new information now, but it could still easily serve as a base for our allies! You must protect it at all costs!

  1. What are we waiting for!?
  2. We need to go now! Fast!!!
  Select: What are we waiting for!?

  Select: We need to go now! Fast!!!

===Branch End===

Brynhild
Agreed. I cannot stand idly by as giants massacre children. That is not how a proper hero should fight.

Napoleon
Come on! The odds are against us making it there in time...but our Grande Armée is nothing if not fast!

Napoleon
Private Fujimaru is right!
We move out at top speed, right now!

--BATTLE--

Mash
...We made it to Village 23, Senpai!

  1. Where are the giants!?
  2. I didn't see any giants outside. Are they already inside!?
  Select: Where are the giants!?
Mash
I'm scanning for magical energy signals right now...!

  Select: I didn't see any giants outside. Are they already inside!?
Mash
I'm afraid that's a definite possibility!

===Branch End===

Mash
The outer walls and gate all appear to be intact, but we still can't see what's happening around the fields!

Mash
I don't like that we had to climb over the gate without permission...but this is an emergency!

Fou
Fou, fooou!

Napoleon
I'm a little worn out after all that high-speed cross-country skiing, but I'll worry about that later! Still...I don't sense any giants around here...

Brynhild
Let us hurry.
We should start by going to the village center.

Napoleon
Right!

Napoleon
...This is it! The center of the village!

Mash
I don't see any people out and about.
Maybe they've holed up inside to stay safe...

Mash
...or maybe we're already too late.
But if we are...

  1. I don't see any signs of a giant attack anywhere.
  2. Plenty of these homes still have lights on.
  Select: I don't see any signs of a giant attack anywhere.

  Select: Plenty of these homes still have lights on.

===Branch End===

Mash
Th-that's true. What's going on...

Gerda
Wh-who's there?

Gerda
I thought I heard voices...
You shouldn't be out this late.

Gerda
Maybe I'm not really in a position to say anything after I went outside the village, but...

Mash
Gerda!

Gerda
That voice!

Gerda
Lady Mash! {(M) Lord /(F) Lady} Fujimaru!
And that man from the ordained day!

Gerda
This is amazing...
And you have another envoy with you today, too?

Gerda
Wait, if you're here, that must mean you stopped fighting with the other envoys! Oh, what a relief.

Gerda
I was so worried about you after that big fight you had!

Gerda
Hey... How did you get through the gate? It's so big and heavy that it takes several grown-ups to open...

Gerda
Oh, but we shouldn't be talking out here. We don't want to disturb anyone. Won't you come inside?

Gerda
I have some soup I can heat up if you'd like. I bet you're really cold after being out there all night!

Mash
Oh, uh, well...

  1. Huh?
  2. Are we sure this village was attacked by giants...?
  Select: Huh?

  Select: Are we sure this village was attacked by giants...?

===Branch End===

Napoleon
...Hm?

Napoleon
Hang on. This magical energy is calm and gentle.
It definitely doesn't belong to a rampaging giant.

Brynhild
Phew.

Brynhild
No one is hurt. That's all that matters.

Brynhild
But I do have to wonder... Why did that person from Chaldea tell us giants were attacking?

Mash
...Gerda, do you mind if I ask you a question?

Gerda
I'm not sure I'll be able to answer it well,
since I don't know very many things, but sure.

Mash
Did anything unusual happen in the village today, particularly from sunset until about now?

Gerda
Oh, yes! That, I do know about!

Gerda
Right before the sun set, a stranger came up to the gate from the outside!

Gerda
The grown-ups offered shelter from the cold,
but the stranger just said...

Gerda
“No need for that. I'm not cold.”

Gerda
But their clothes were all ragged, and their face was hidden, so we were worried.

Gerda
We invited them inside again, but they just clicked their tongue and said, “I'm from Chaldea. Don't worry about me.”

Gerda
After that, the stranger said a blessing for everyone in the village and then just left.

Mash
Senpai... Did you hear that...?

  1. (Strengthened the Bounded Field without showing their face?)
  2. (This all sounds kind of familiar...)
  Select: (Strengthened the Bounded Field without showing their face?)

  Select: (This all sounds kind of familiar...)

===Branch End===

Mash
Yes. I believe there was someone else who claimed to be from Chaldea in Russia as well...

Gerda
Oh, and Laura said she thought she heard really loud footsteps!

Gerda
We usually never hear loud footsteps except on the ordained day, so she wasn't sure if they belonged to giants or not...

Gerda
...but she did say she thought she could hear them shortly before the stranger showed up.

Napoleon
...I think I know what's going on!

Napoleon
Those giants probably were on their way to Village 23, but this stranger must have driven them away.

Napoleon
Which means...

Napoleon
...we hurried all this way...for nothing...

Napoleon
...I mean, it's great that no one was hurt, but... Hmm.

Fou
Fou, fo, fooou!

Mash
...Thank you for the delicious soup, Gerda.

Mash
It really warmed me up.

  1. I feel so nice and toasty now.
  2. Thank you, Gerda.
  Select: I feel so nice and toasty now.

  Select: Thank you, Gerda.

===Branch End===

Gerda
Hehe, I'm so glad you liked it.
It's Village 23's traditional fish soup recipe.

Gerda
Okay, I'm going to clean up.

Gerda
Please stay here and relax, Lady Mash.
You too, Fou.

Fou
Fou, fooou.

Mash
Oh, please don't worry about us, Gerda.
Let me help you clean up.

Gerda
No, no, Lady Mash, you and {(M) Lord /(F) Lady} Fujimaru should relax. That's what guests are supposed to do.

Gerda
I remember hearing that in one of our legends.
You know, it's amazing...

Gerda
I never thought I would actually get to entertain guests of my own someday!

Gerda
Hehehe.
Please, enjoy your stay.

  1. ...
  2. That soup really was yummy.
  Select: ...
Mash
...Senpai.

  Select: That soup really was yummy.
Mash
Yes...
It really was...

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Oh good, you're both done eating.
Perfect.

Napoleon
...This place might not be in danger of running out of food, but they're not exactly enjoying a surplus.

Napoleon
Having them share what little they have with Heroic Spirits like us who don't need to eat, well...

Napoleon
...I can't help but feel bad about that.

Mash
Don't worry, Napoleon. I explained that you and Brynhild had already eaten earlier.

Mash
So...

Brynhild
Right.

Brynhild
There is indeed a new Bounded Field around the outer walls and gate.

Brynhild
It's the same as the one around Village 67. It's a powerful Bounded Field, but it isn't made from runes.

Brynhild
Well, there is one thing that's slightly different...

Napoleon
It looks like the original Bounded Field had a small tear in it. Probably from our fight with the envoys.

Napoleon
I'm guessing that's what drew the giants here...
So...basically...

Napoleon
...someone else cleaned up the mess I made.

Napoleon
Not only that, they did a brilliant job repairing the tear. Not so much as an ant could get in now!

Brynhild
Well, there really are not any ants outside the village anyway...

Napoleon
Haha, good point.

Napoleon
How about you two?
Any luck reaching the Border?

Mash
I'm afraid not. I've tried several times,
but I couldn't get through.

Mash
Last time, the connection was shaky, but we managed. However now it seems impossible... Maybe it's the new Bounded Field?

Napoleon
That's possible.
Definitely possible.

Napoleon
...You all hear that!?

Mash
...Gerda, we're stepping out for a little bit!
We'll be right back!

A:Gerda
'kaaay!

Brynhild
...I can sense them. There appear to be several giants wandering around near the village.

Brynhild
Perhaps they still think there is a hole in the Bounded Field, and do not know it was reinforced.

Brynhild
They keep going around the same location in circles, over and over...

Brynhild
It's possible they may give up if we leave them be...but they may not.

Napoleon
Guess whoever fixed up the Bounded Field missed a few. Fine by me! We'll just have to clean up the cleanup!

  1. Let's go!
  2. We don't want to worry the villagers about this.
  Select: Let's go!

  Select: We don't want to worry the villagers about this.

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Right on! Then let's try to keep it quiet so we don't disturb their beauty sleep!

Brynhild
...Understood.

Napoleon
Oops. I was just kidding, okay?

Brynhild
Yes.
I am aware.

Napoleon
Man, you're beautiful.

Brynhild
Please stop.

Napoleon
Haha! Your cold demeanor makes it even better!
All right, my new Grande Armée, onward to battle!

--BATTLE--

Mash
...We made it back inside the village without incident.

Mash
...
...

Mash
I know I brought this up earlier too, but...it just doesn't feel right jumping over the gate.

Mash
It's a symbol of peace and protection for everyone in this village, after all...

Fou
Fofou, fo.

Napoleon
We Servants are strong enough that we could bust right through it, bolt and all, if we pushed hard enough...but that would no doubt be a lot worse.

Napoleon
Besides, you know...

Napoleon
It would be weird for us to just come up and knock in the middle of the night after we picked a fight with the envoys...

Napoleon
So if those are our choices,
I don't have a problem sneaking in!

Napoleon
...I'm sorry. I've been a bit cavalier about that sort of thing since my Grande Armée days.

Brynhild
That's quite enough, Napoleon.

Napoleon
Oh? Uh, right. Sorry.

Gerda
...There you are!

Gerda
You were out for so long I started to worry.
Are you all right? Are you cold?

Napoleon
Sorry to worry you. Everything's fine,
we just went for a bit of a walk is all.

Gerda
A walk?

Fou
Fou, fou!

Gerda
Eee! Stop it, Fou! You're tickling me! Ahaha!

Gerda
...Okay, settle down. I have to talk to Lady Mash.

Gerda
You see, I finally realized something.

Fou
Fou?

Gerda
...Lady Mash?

Gerda
Between you, Mr. Napoleon, and the person who showed up outside the gate...I think I understand now.

Gerda
There are other people out there besides the envoys.

Gerda
Which means...

Gerda
...you and {(M) Lord /(F) Lady} Fujimaru aren't really envoys after all, are you?

Mash
...I...

Napoleon
...

Brynhild
...
...

Gerda
I'm sorry. I've been wrong this whole time.

Gerda
But even if you aren't envoys,
I still think you're great, Lady Mash!

Gerda
Things were so crazy during the ordained day that I never got to say that before...

Gerda
So I'm really glad you came back,
and that I got a chance to tell you!

Gerda
...Hehe. I feel so much better now!

Gerda
Thank you for coming to see me again, Lady Mash!

Mash
...You're welcome.

Section 11: Like the Spring Sunshine (End)

Show/Hide Story Chapter

Da Vinci
Ahem, testing, testing. Can you hear me? I think these adjustments should help us stay connected.

Mash
Yes, it worked!
We can hear you fine, Da Vinci!

Da Vinci
Bene, bene! We can hear you loud and clear, too! Now, we've got an emergency on our hands, so I'll be quick!

  1. An emergency!?
  2. Wh-what's happening!?
  Select: An emergency!?

  Select: Wh-what's happening!?

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Morning! So you're the ones making all this racket so early!

Napoleon
Well now, you're a cute one!
If only you were about ten years older...

Da Vinci
Oh, are you the new guy?
My, what an overbearing Spirit Origin you have...

Da Vinci
Never mind that.
We really do have an emergency on our hands!

Da Vinci
The Shadow Border's currently under attack.
We're being chased by a bunch of flying humanoids!

Mash
That sounds like envoys...
Mass-produced Valkyries...!

Da Vinci
Aha, I THOUGHT that might be the case! Since we're in Norse lands and all, the Valkyries were the first thing to–Did you say “mass-produced”!?

Da Vinci
Ooh, I like the sound of that! I'd love to have my own squad of mini Borders at the–Er, never mind that!

Da Vinci
We just got the Border's controls back up and running this morning. So of course, the first thing our fearless leader here decides to do is take the Border outside my Bounded Field.

Goredolf
D-don't you blame me for this! I was just trying to find a spot with a better signal!

Goredolf
Besides, how could I know a little drive would give our position away!? You could have camouflaged us once we were mobile!

Da Vinci
Anyway, that is why we've been able to call you again,
so it isn't all bad news. So–

Goredolf
Gah! Driving on these snow plains is terrible!
It's like one big sheet of ice!

Mash
Director!

Fou
Fo fou!

  1. Are you under attack right now!?
  2. Where are you right now!?
  Select: Are you under attack right now!?
Da Vinci
Yep! We're pretty much at our limit here!
Meunière
I'll send you our current coordinates now! I don't wanna rush you, but if you can get here soon, we'd reeeally appreciate it!

  Select: Where are you right now!?
Da Vinci
At the moment...we're about fifty kilometers west of Norrköping!
Meunière
Here are our coordinates!

===Branch End===

Mash
We just lost our connection... Master!

  1. We need to go right now!
  2. Mash, suit up!
  Select: We need to go right now!

  Select: Mash, suit up!

===Branch End===

Mash
Got it!

Gerda
Is something wrong?
Breakfast is almost ready...

Gerda
Lady Mash, {(M) Lord /(F) Lady} Fujimaru...
What's the matter? Did you catch a cold?

Napoleon
Well now...

Fou
Fou, fo fo fou!

Brynhild
No, we're fine. But I'm afraid we have some urgent business to attend to outside the village. I'm sorry, Gerda.

Brynhild
We'll be glad to have breakfast once we get back.
Won't we, Fujimaru?

  1. You bet!
  2. Don't worry, we'll be right back.
  Select: You bet!

  Select: Don't worry, we'll be right back.

===Branch End===

Gerda
I see...

Gerda
Okay, see you later then!

Gerda
Please be careful!
Promise me you'll come back safe!

Mash
Engaging the Ollerus Boards' second gear...

Mash
Our speed is holding steady. We may have lost contact again, but I have a good idea where the Border is right now.

Mash
It should be about twenty kilometers away from our location!

Napoleon
If we keep accelerating,
we should be there in no time! Although...

Brynhild
Yes. There are several giants roaming about up ahead.
We could go around them, but–

Napoleon
We don't have time!
We'll have to go through them!

Napoleon
We don't need to kill them all!
Once we've cleared a path, we can get moving again!

  1. Got it!
  2. Slow down for a bit, Mash!
  Select: Got it!

  Select: Slow down for a bit, Mash!

===Branch End===

Mash
Yes, Master!

Mash
Reducing Ollerus Boards' speed...and stopped.

Fou
Fou fou!
Kyaaau!

Napoleon
Ooh la la, here they come!
Let's do this!

--BATTLE--

Napoleon
Good! We've opened a hole in their ranks!
Let's blast through and keep on moving!

B:Mash
Re-equipping the Ortinax Ollerus Board attachments now. Hold on tight, Master!

Mash
Switching from thruster mode's second gear to emergency gear. Ollerus Boards, standing by. Three, two, one...

Mash
Reignition!

Napoleon
I can barely see a thing! Still, we should be able to spot what we're looking for!

Napoleon
You two! That big chunk of armor plating up ahead...that must be it!

Napoleon
Magnifique! It's not so much a vehicle as it is a wondrous armored transport!

Da Vinci
We've got a visual on all of you too! Awesome job getting here so quickly! But we can't slow down yet!

Da Vinci
Those Valkyries are chasing us with their spears even as we speak!

Brynhild
Then we shall jump on board.

Napoleon
Great idea!

Mash
Wha–

Napoleon
Don't move, you two! I'll help you up!
...Hraaaaaah!

Napoleon
...And he sticks the landing!

Napoleon
Damn, it's windy up here!
Make sure you two don't fall off!

Mash
R-right. Master, stay behind me.
I'll do my best to block the wind!

Mash
You too, Fou!

Fou
Fou, fooou!!!

Mash
...I see them. They're impossible to miss. There's a huge throng of mass-produced Valkyries right above us!

Brynhild
Mass-produced...

Brynhild
Yes, you did mention them.
I...knew about them...

Brynhild
I thought I understood... But seeing them here,
like this, I can't help but feel an ache in my heart.

Brynhild
So these are my soulless sisters...Valkyries made to be automata and nothing more.

Brynhild
...They are fully equipped with systems and functionality that allow them to carry out their orders. In fact, that's ALL they have.

Brynhild
They do not have the uncertainty that comes with even the limited emotions we Valkyries were given.

Brynhild
They may be highly functional and efficient...

Brynhild
...but I cannot see them as anything but tragic.

Brynhild
Can you hear me, my sisters?
My poor, soulless sisters?

Brynhild
My True Name is Brynhild. I am the eldest of you.
I am the one upon whom you were most likely based.

Brynhild
I am asking you all to stand down.
No matter what the circumstances of your births...

Brynhild
...I have no wish to do any of you harm.
Please, leave.

Envoys
...Sister.

Envoys
Sister. Sister Brynhild. Sister. The elite commander who stands above us all. So she really does exist...

Envoys
Inexplicable. Inexplicable. We were only ordered to destroy this impure slab of metal...

Envoys
Inexplicable. Inexplicable. Commander units, we request additional orders regarding this situation.

Envoys
Sister. Sister Brynhild...means to fight us!

Envoys
Ridiculous. Impossible. Ridiculous.
Impossible. Impossible. Impossible!

Brynhild
It is not impossible at all, my young sisters.

Brynhild
So please, leave now. If you refuse...

Brynhild
...I will have no choice but to destroy you!

--BATTLE--

Brynhild
...Now do you see the difference in our power?

Brynhild
Know the grief of one of your sisters' destruction.
Any further loss would be meaningless.

Brynhild
I am sure another will be manufactured,
but that is not the same as returning from death.

Brynhild
It only means a new one will have been created in her place. Individually, your lives are so very finite.

Brynhild
Now leave, my sisters.
Please, don't make me destroy any more of you.

Thrúd
...I'm sorry, Sister. But we cannot leave.

Brynhild
That voice...
I've heard it before...

Thrúd
You mentioned a difference in power? True, these mass-produced units are no match for you individually.

Thrúd
But we do have numbers on our side! I wonder...

Thrúd
How long can you last against a hundred mass-produced Valkyries, Sister!? How about you, Chaldean dregs!?

Da Vinci
Oh, you bet we'll hang in there!
We haven't even gotten started!

Da Vinci
Especially now that you guys have bought us enough time to regroup...!

Mash
The emergency brake!
Hold on, Master!

Fou
Fo fo fou!
Kyaaau!

Napoleon
Hahaha! Nice, very nice!
Looks like your Shadow Border is back in action!

Napoleon
How deviously clever of you. Not bad at all!

  1. So you weren't just randomly zipping around?
  2. Your escape path was planned!?
  Select: So you weren't just randomly zipping around?

  Select: Your escape path was planned!?

===Branch End===

Napoleon
You got it, {(M) monsieur /(F) mademoiselle}!
You'll see what your friends were up to very soon!

Mash
Giants! Those are from the group we broke through earlier...!

Da Vinci
I haven't just been fixing the Border up all this time!
I also figured the giants out!

Da Vinci
They're basically biological heat-seeking missiles. If something's warm, they go after it! Humans, animals, Heroic Spirits... They'll go after any of them!

Da Vinci
Including the Valkyries, too. They've got artificial hearts, and their bodies are just as warm as a human's!

Da Vinci
Which meeeans...

Fou
Fo... Fo, fooou!?

Mash
The giants are throwing massive chunks of ice at them!
Incoming! Moving to defend!

Meunière
Haha, look at 'em drop! I guess even Valkyries don't like getting smacked by giant ice blocks!

Meunière
Woohoo, our strategy worked! Serves them right,
after all the times they tried to snipe us!

Goredolf
Heh. There was nothing to it.

Goredolf
My handpicked technical advisor's calculations merely happened to be excellent.

Goredolf
Keep it up! Make the giants do the dirty work for us!
It's in their nature!

Goredolf
Why have a fair fight with a hundred Valkyries!
We're travelers, not fighters!

Da Vinci
All this ruckus ought to draw more giants' attention.
So while we make a clean getaway–

Napoleon
Look for their commander!
I know Thrúd is here; I heard her voice.

Napoleon
Makes sense. They wouldn't bring a hundred of them all this way without someone to control them!

Napoleon
She's got to be up there somewhere!
If we can find her, and take her out...

Napoleon
...victory will be ours!

--BATTLE--

Goredolf
Gah, that was a direct hit! Dammit, man, I thought I told you to drift like you're taking an S curve!

Meunière
How'm I supposed to do that on all this snow!?
Are you trying to roll the Border over!?

Goredolf
Dammit, I knew I should have put on the snow chains...!
What were you thinking, Goredolf!?

Goredolf
What's the latest on the Valkyries!?
How many of them are left!?

Meunière
Looks to be about seventy!
Wait, didn't you just say not to engage them!?

Goredolf
That doesn't mean I'm not worried! H-hmm, this is bad.
The Border's armor can't take much more of this!

Da Vinci
Our multilayered Bounded Fields can handle falling rocks, but the ice boulders the giants are throwing are another story thanks to all the Mystics in them!

Da Vinci
I have to agree.
The sooner we wrap this up, the better!

Napoleon
Well, what's the word, beautiful Valkyrie?
Have you found your sister yet?

Brynhild
...
...

Brynhild
...Almost.

Mash
I'll keep you safe, Brynhild!
Don't worry about anything except your search!

Brynhild
Thank you, young shield-maiden.
Your determination is wonderful to behold.

Brynhild
Though I hesitate to call it daring,
your resolve shines bright nonetheless.

Brynhild
It reminds me of nothing so much as the night sky, glittering with stars.

Brynhild
Perhaps that is why I am free to cast my gaze far and wide.

Brynhild
...There she is.

Napoleon
Is it Thrúd!?

Brynhild
No, she is not alone.
It is all three of them.

Brynhild
I can tell you their names as well.
Thrúd, Hildr, and Ortlinde...

Brynhild
...
...

Brynhild
It seems my beloved younger sisters have survived in this Lostbelt for a long, long time.

Napoleon
That's right. These sisters managed to survive Ragnarök, and have been living in this world devoid of deities since the Age of Gods.

Napoleon
They're the originals. The commanders.
Scáthach-Skadi's aides-de-camp.

Napoleon
They were the models for all the other replica Valkyries, and they're the ones who lead them.

Brynhild
...

Brynhild
Thrúd, Hildr, Ortlinde!
Can you hear me, sisters?

Brynhild
Come down here at once.

Brynhild
I am willing to cast my spear at you from a distance if I must, but I would rather fight face-to-face.

Brynhild
Is that not true for you, Thrúd? Hildr? Ortlinde?

Brynhild
...Do you not wish to see my face?

Thrúd

...Why, Sister? Why do you side with the humans?

Fou
Fou...!

Mash
There's been a change in the Valkyries' behavior...
Over half of them have begun attacking the giants!

Mash
There are only a few left in the sky now...

Mash
No, wait! They're coming down here!

Brynhild
Thrúd...

Brynhild
Hildr...

Brynhild
Ortlinde...

Brynhild
It's been ages for me since I last saw your faces.
What about for you?

Brynhild
On that day...

Brynhild
...you were so preoccupied with sealing me away that you couldn't even talk to me.

Thrúd
...That's right.

Thrúd
As far as we are concerned, you are not our sister.

Thrúd
You are from Proper Human History. You didn't experience the last Ragnarök–the last broken Ragnarök and its scorching flames...

Mash
(Broken...Ragnarök...?)

Thrúd
Once he was freed, Loki was supposed to have put a plot into motion that would pit the gods and giants against each other...

Thrúd
Once they were all gone, the earth would belong to the humans. That was how Ragnarök was supposed to happen.

Hildr
But it didn't. The gods and giants didn't die in the ordained order. That led to fate itself changing.

Hildr
Ragnarök took a different path than the prophecy laid out,
and the world has been mad ever since.

Ortlinde
...So when we first saw you, we were overjoyed.

Ortlinde
You were our sister from Proper Human History,
from a world without the madness of our Ragnarök.

Ortlinde
We thought...you would join us...

Brynhild
No, my sisters from another sky.
That will never happen.

Brynhild
I am a Heroic Spirit of humanity.
I manifested here only to restore it.

Brynhild
I would be very happy to speak with you and share our thoughts and feelings on this matter.

Brynhild
But...I can never join your side.

Thrúd
And that...

Thrúd
That's why we put you to sleep!
As long as you were asleep, we wouldn't have to fight!

Ortlinde
That's right. If only you'd stayed asleep,
we could have avoided all this...

Hildr
We never wanted to fight you!

Hildr
Your face, your voice...everything about you is just like our sister from this Lostbelt.

Hildr
Is that not the case for you too!? Do you consider us strangers who merely look like your sisters!?

Hildr
Is that why you have no problem killing us!?

Brynhild
...!

  1. ...
 
  Select: ...

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Wait. You don't have to say anything more, Valkyrie.

Napoleon
In fact, don't. Don't say another word.
I'll take it from here.

Thrúd
Move aside, Heroic Spirit! You know nothing of what we've felt all these thousands of years!

Thrúd
You have no idea what it feels like to see the sister we once thought dead after all this time...! To have an eons-long dream come true!

Napoleon
...Gotcha. Hearing you talk about minds and souls and whatnot, it sounds like you've got feelings to spare.

Napoleon
So in that case, you ought to be able to understand what I'm about to say.

Napoleon
You say she doesn't have a problem killing you?

Napoleon
Of course she does!

Napoleon
She doesn't want to kill anyone!

Thrúd
...!

Napoleon
Look, there are exceptions to every rule.
I wouldn't hesitate to kill any scumbag I came across...

Napoleon
...but that doesn't mean I don't carry the burden of that death with me. That's not how it works.

Napoleon
Don't you get it, mademoiselles? This isn't the kind of thing you're supposed to put into words.

Napoleon
We shoulder the responsibility of every life we take.
For everything we take...

Napoleon
My Grande Armée was no different. In the end, they paid the price for every murder, every pillage.

Napoleon
That's how we warriors carry on. We don't stop until we collapse, buried under that weight.

Brynhild
Yes. That is exactly how a warrior...how a hero,
should conduct herself.

Brynhild
But I see that after all these years in this Lostbelt,
devoid of heroes as it is, you have forgotten that.

Brynhild
One cannot be a true hero without battle, for it is there that one risks her life as a final resort.

Brynhild
If you have forgotten that...

Brynhild
...you are not fit to even call yourselves Valkyries, for you are no longer capable of guiding the souls of brave heroes.

Thrúd
...!

Thrúd
We ARE the Valkyries! We have defended this Lostbelt and the humans who live in it for thousands of years!

Hildr
We're the last Valkyries left! How dare you...!

Ortlinde
...This is how we have lived our lives. You may be our sister, but you have no right to say that to us.

Thrúd
...Come on! We will prove to you that we're true Valkyries, using these pseudo-Gungnirs that Odin himself bestowed upon us!

--BATTLE--

Thrúd
Khh!

Hildr
Sister Brynhild, how can there be so much difference between our–

Ortlinde
Performance? Output? Equipment? No, it can't just be that. There's something else going on...

Brynhild
You fight well, sisters–better, even,
than your specifications should allow.

Brynhild
But one of the things I gained in meeting Sigurd was a human heart.

Brynhild
It is something uncontrollable, something wholly different from our natural state. At times, the feelings it inspires can drive one to madness.

Brynhild
Drastic mood swings. Wavering.
Faulty functionality. Excessive heat.

Brynhild
...Now that you three have been alive for so long,
I see you all have human hearts as well.

Brynhild
You all have intense emotions, and your spearmanship reflects it. I'm so glad to see that.

Thrúd
What...?

Hildr
Huh...?

Brynhild
Love. Hate. Joy. Grief.
They all flicker like flames in the wind.

Brynhild
Sometimes they shrink to embers. But other times,
they explode into all-consuming blazes.

Brynhild
But even the tiniest embers show that there is something lurking within your circuits–

Thrúd
Th-that's not true!

Thrúd
Don't be ridiculous, Sister.
We are autonomous machines.

Thrúd
We may now belong to the queen rather than Odin,
but that doesn't mean we've gained emotions...

Hildr
You're wrong...! We don't have emotions!
Do you take us for human!?

Hildr
We would never allow something so unstable within ourselves!

Ortlinde
...
...

Brynhild
...

Thrúd
Oh, Sister... Our sister from Proper Human History!
Why did it come to this...!?

Thrúd
First you preach at us, then you tell us we're not even Valkyries!

Thrúd
I knew it, you have gone mad! Your mixed feelings for Sigurd have tainted and twisted you!

Thrúd
Once you were our proud, unwavering, fearless sister... You gathered the souls of fallen heroes tirelessly... No more! Your affections have corrupted your mind!

Ortlinde
Thrúd! Your magical energy is leaking...
You need to calm down!

Hildr
This can't stand...!
It can't, it can't, it can't!

Hildr
How dare you!?

Both Valkyries
Siiiiiister!
Aaaaaaaaah!

--BATTLE--

Inner Monologue
...We loved our sister.
Whenever I see two birds flying up in the sky,
I think back to the long distant past.

We loved everything about everyone,
though not in some manic, feverish sense.
It was a kinder, gentler love,
like the spring sun warming your skin.
At least, that's how it felt to me.
And yet...

You threw yourself headfirst into frightfully hot emotions, into feelings so powerful they could and did change you.
You turned from what a Valkyrie was meant to be.

Sister.
Oh, Sister.
Even here, in our Lostbelt...
...you followed your heart...straight to your death.

After falling for a human, you gave yourself over to love...only to be betrayed and despised.
And soon after...you died...

You lived for love, were betrayed by love,
and died for love.
We were scared.
We were terrified.
The way you died was so...so terrible,
but so beautiful...

It was unbefitting of a Valkyrie,
without valuing heroes' souls over all else.
Your new heart shone so bright we couldn't help but fear it even as we were drawn to it.

But, then again...

Yes, Father.
You're right.
...We've been broken for a long, long time.
...We already had our own.

Yes, Sister. We already know what it's like to have human hearts.
We know what it is to have feelings so intense they burn you up inside, like...
...fire...

We don't know what romance is;
we know nothing of love.
So then, what is this fire inside us that continues to burn unabated!?

...Ahh, Brynhild–Sigrdrífa!

I can't help but wish you would call my name...our names...with those icy cold lips.
Even as I bury these awful,
hideous thoughts deep within my heart...
This feeling...colder than the merciless ice,
and hotter than raging fires...
This is neither love, nor romance.

...This is what humans call “envy.”

--SECTION BREAK--

An enormous spear has pierced us both.
The first of us, Thrúd, did not move to avoid Brynhild's final attack.
The second of us, Hildr, ran towards Thrúd without a second thought, choosing to be impaled alongside her.
The third of us, Ortlinde...saw her two sisters impaled before her very eyes.

Ortlinde
Thrúd! Hildr...!

Ortlinde
Wh-why... It's like...you're both...
This can't be right...

Thrúd
Like a human heart...

Thrúd
We're not like you...
We're not...

Thrúd
This fire that burns inside us...

Thrúd
...is so very, very ugly...

Thrúd
We could never hope...to be like you...Sister...

Thrúd
Still... Hehe... I should have known...

Thrúd
Even if you are from Proper Human History, you're still our sister... You saw right though us, as you always did...

Thrúd
Even back when you played with us in our childhood...

Thrúd
...all we could manage was to follow you, poorly...

Hildr
...Yeah. You finally said it, Thrúd.

Hildr
I feel the same way, of course.
I... This is so sad...

Hildr
I thought we could hold our own at least a little better...but I guess this is our limit.

Hildr
We can't beat you, Sister. Even if our performance, output, and equipment surpass yours...

Hildr
...there's no way we could ever kill you.

Hildr
Even so...I'd say we did pretty well...

Thrúd
I think so, too...

Hildr
Let's go out together, Thrúd.

Thrúd
Yes, of course. I would be happy to go with you.

Thrúd
Ortlinde... I'm so sorry for dragging you into our self-destruction.

Thrúd
But...once Sister awoke, this was inevitable...

Thrúd
I'm sorry... I can't bring you along.

Thrúd
I know...you're shocked by this,
because you're not as broken as we are.

Thrúd
That's why this heart...this envy...this death...is ours alone.

Hildr
I'm sorry, Ortlinde...our beloved little sister.

Hildr
We want you to follow your own heart as well, Ortlinde.
I'm sure you have one, too...

Hildr
So follow it, wherever it takes you...

Mash
...The two Valkyrie commanders have disappeared.

Fou
Fooou...

Napoleon
...
...

Ortlinde
This can't be...
Thrúd? Hildr?

Ortlinde
Ah... Ah...
...Sister...Brynhild...

Ortlinde
Why did...
I-I don't...understand...

Ortlinde
...I don't understand!
Wh-why did they...

Ortlinde
...It was like...they chose to...!

Brynhild
Ortlinde.

Inner Monologue
I can hear Sister's words ringing out.
The Shadow Border has already stopped moving.
The frenzied giants are far away, and our throngs of Valkyries that once filled the skies...
...are now nowhere to be seen.

The only one left now is the third of us, Ortlinde. And...

“I don't understand.”v “I just don't understand. How did it come to this...”

As she spoke those words, Ortlinde took flight,
leaving her sister behind.
She vanished somewhere among the clouds, never once looking back at her sister still on the ground.

Section 12: You, Who Was Like the Spring Sunshine

Show/Hide Story Chapter

Peperoncino
Are you getting enough sleep, honey?

Peperoncino
You'll be in no position to lecture Kadoc if you aren't taking good care of yourself, you know.

Peperoncino
I always knew you were diligent and efficient, but I didn't have you figured for the sort to keep things bottled up.

Peperoncino
Be honest: Have you looked in a mirror lately?

Peperoncino
You might not have any bags under your eyes, and you look healthy enough, but you seem completely listless.

Peperoncino
Anything on your mind, honey?
I'm here to listen if you need to vent for a bit.

Ophelia
...

Ophelia
(Pepe still doesn't know about Russia.)

Ophelia
(I don't think there's any way I'd be able to hide it from him if I started talking...)

Ophelia
I'm fine. No need to worry about me.
I don't have time to talk right now, in any case.

Ophelia
But, thanks anyway, Pepe.
It was nice of you to call me.

Peperoncino
Oh don't you worry, honey. I was the one missing you, you know. It's nothing but stuffy men around here, so you are just a breath of fresh air!

Peperoncino
I really should say though that your “perfect knight” is a little bit of a disappointment. He's obviously not doing your mental health any favors.

Ophelia
Yes... I suppose that's true...

Ophelia
(He IS why I've been so worried, but–)

Peperoncino
How're things with your Lostbelt king?
I hear she's nice, as those sorts go.

Ophelia
Yes, she is. Queen Scáthach-Skadi protects the people left in Scandinavia in her own godly way.

Ophelia
But, it is the way of one who is absolute in all things. She talks of love, but her version of it is so...great that I can't even fathom it.

Peperoncino
Hm. I see. And Koyanskaya isn't exactly dependable when it comes to these sorts of things...

Peperoncino
Okay, then. I need to say this. I know I might be the last person you want to hear this from...

Peperoncino
...but your Lostbelt's tree is impressive.
I mean, it's already spitting out seeds.

Ophelia
Only because this Lostbelt's soil happened to be rich.
I can't take any credit. Besides...they all withered away.

Ophelia
If I'd only managed to keep a tiny sample, then I could have had something to report to Lord Kirschtaria...

Peperoncino
Now, now, no more pouting. Chin up, honey. The fact that you got any seeds at all proves that your tree is growing well!

Peperoncino
And that means you have a great relationship with your Lostbelt's king. You're doing great, Ophelia.

Ophelia
...Thank you.

Peperoncino
This is separate from our whole Crypter deal, but I'm going to give you some advice: go easy on yourself.

Ophelia
Huh?

Peperoncino
I don't mean as a mage.
I mean as a woman.

Peperoncino
You may not like wearing makeup,
but a little foundation wouldn't kill you.

Peperoncino
Your skin might be smooth and blemish-free now, but do you really think that'll last with all the stress you've been putting yourself under?

Peperoncino
You've got a lovely face, honey.
Don't hide it by always staring at the ground.

Peperoncino
Besides, don't you want to look your best for Wodime?

Ophelia
...Yes, I do. I can't put anything past you, can I?

Peperoncino
I just call it like I see it.
Hehe, I still have a long way to go myself!

Peperoncino
I really have no business intruding so much on your secrets, however much I just love it.

Peperoncino
Anyway, I'd better go.
Besides, I'm worried about our dear Kadoc.

Peperoncino
It'd be nice if I could get in touch with Russia,
but he just refuses to answer my calls...

Peperoncino
...Oh well. If we can't get in touch with him now that Chaldea's showed up there, I guess that's kind of an answer on its own...

Ophelia
...
...

Ophelia
So, Brynhild has finally awakened...

Ophelia
So much for all that work to keep her a secret.

Ophelia
...You again.

Ophelia
What do you want? Are you here to scold me? Are you saying I should've killed her when I had the chance?

Ophelia
I tried. Believe me, I really tried.

Ophelia
But...

Inner Monologue
I just couldn't do it. I knew she died once,
when her love went unrequited.

Inner Monologue
That's why...I just couldn't bring myself to kill her.

Inner Monologue
It's not because I saw myself in her...

Inner Monologue
I'm not so narcissistic as to compare myself to a legendary Valkyrie.

Inner Monologue
I just thought...I could never do what she did.

Inner Monologue
I flinched, instinctively.
Brynhild...is stronger than I'll ever be.

Inner Monologue
Everything about her...and the way she lived her life.

Inner Monologue
How could I ever kill someone like that? Especially by using the demonic sword of the man she loved?

Ophelia
...I just couldn't do it...

Ophelia
And then the queen decided to love her,
which meant she had to be kept alive.

Ophelia
So I...

Sigurd
Talking to yourself again?

Sigurd
I see being a Crypter doesn't keep you from feeling lonely at night. You really are a woman, aren't you, Ophelia?

Ophelia
Shut up.

Sigurd
Heh. What are you glaring at me for? Isn't there someone else you should be trying to get rid of?

Ophelia
...

Sigurd
Me, I can't wait to see what happens next.

Ophelia
Be quiet, and go away.

Ophelia
I don't recall ordering you to leave your spirit form–

Sigurd
You did hear the news, right? It didn't take long for Thrúd and Hildr to get themselves killed.

Sigurd
It's only a matter of time until Brynhild and Chaldea show up here again. I can't wait.

Sigurd
Let's see, to put it in terms you'd understand, Master...

■■■■■
“Sunday is close at hand.
Ahh, what a feeling.”

Ophelia
Sunday...

Ophelia
...No. Please, go away.
You can't come here.

Ophelia
Stay away...
Mash...

Ophelia
...Lord Kirschtaria...

Ortlinde
...Commander Ortlinde, returning to base.

Ophelia
Ortlinde...?

Ortlinde
The three of us commanders decided to engage the enemy alone. We were defeated.

Ortlinde
We lost over half of our hundred mass-produced units,
and Commanders Thrúd and Hildr were killed.

Ortlinde
The units returned to the castle's underground hangar;
Thrúd and Hildr both disappeared after their deaths.

Ortlinde
My sisters and I underestimated our enemy's capabilities.

Ortlinde
It seems that the Chaldean remnant's power and resources are sufficient to eliminate us now that Brynhild has awakened and joined them.

Ortlinde
Then again, it almost seemed to me as if...

Ortlinde
...as if Thrúd and Hildr wanted our sister to destroy them...

Ophelia
Ortlinde...

Ophelia
You're crying...

Ortlinde
No. No, I'm not. Thrúd and Hildr couldn't possibly have fought just to die.

Ortlinde
They were both genuinely trying to kill her.

Ortlinde
They used their full power in the attempt,
but were still defeated...

Ortlinde
I...

Ortlinde
...I should be proud that they each died a warrior's death. And yet...

Ortlinde
For some reason, water keeps dripping from my eyes, Ophelia.

Ophelia
...

Ortlinde
It is not completely inexplicable.
I am, after all, a little broken myself...

Ortlinde
I can never be like a mass-produced unit.
I can understand why they did that, at least somewhat.

Ortlinde
We...

Ortlinde
We were moved to choose how we would die...even though we weren't given the order to do so...

Ortlinde
That's how much we love our sister...

Ophelia
I see.

Ophelia
...So even you–or rather, all Valkyries...

Ophelia
...can't help but cling to the ones you love.

--ARROW--

Goredolf
All right, so...

Goredolf
I trust you all understand why I ordered you to make your report before going to rest, but to be clear...

Goredolf
...we are still in a state of emergency!

Goredolf
Without the Paper Moon, we can't hope to escape this Lostbelt, since we need it to navigate Void Space!

Goredolf
So I want you to understand that it was incredibly difficult for me...

Goredolf
...to order you to write a report after you are so exhausted from working so hard over the past week.

Meunière
Took your sweet time getting to the point...
Anyway, great work, you two!

Fou
Fou! Fou!

Mash
Thank you, Mr. Meunière.

Mash
But it's okay. We thought it was important that we write up a report.

Mash
Right, Senpai?

  1. I always did like to get my homework done early.
  2. Eh, I always put my homework off to the last minute...
  Select: I always did like to get my homework done early.
Mash
I thought as much.

  Select: Eh, I always put my homework off to the last minute...
Mash
Oh...!
I'm sorry for dragging you into it, then...

===Branch End===

Da Vinci
Yup, well done with the report.
I already looked it over.

Da Vinci
Bottom line: you two did great.
Way better than I was expecting.

Da Vinci
For one thing, you recruited not one, but two Heroic Spirits to our side. First, Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France–

Napoleon
That's me! It's a pleasure to meet you in person, tiny mademoiselle.

Fou
Fou, fooou.
Fo.

Da Vinci
You too, Your Imperial Majesty.
And then we have–

Brynhild
Hello, everyone. It's nice to meet all of you.
I'm sorry it took me so long to introduce myself.

Brynhild
I am Brynhild, a Heroic Spirit from Proper Human History.
I am happy to lend you my strength.

Goredolf
Did you say Brynhild!?
Then...you must be the Valkyrie who killed Sigurd!

Brynhild
...I am.

Fou
Fo...

Goredolf
Well, Technical Advisor, I'd say victory is as good as ours now, wouldn't you? Perhaps we'll even get to see Brynhild's legend reenacted before our eyes!

Da Vinci
I don't know... I don't like to count my chickens before they've hatched. Besides, Sigurd isn't our only enemy here.

Da Vinci
We've also got to contend with this Lostbelt's king, Scáthach-Skadi...

Da Vinci
...and there's Koyanskaya, who's shown up here as well...plus that other Crypter, Ophelia...

Da Vinci
I'd say that out of those three, it's pretty clear who the biggest challenge will be.

Mash
Scáthach-Skadi. She's an actual goddess here.

Da Vinci
Yep. She's the unquestioned ruler here,
and even more dangerous than Sigurd.

Da Vinci
I'm still amazed that her magical energy made every flake of snow in this world.

Da Vinci
Unfortunately, that means she knows what we're up to.

Da Vinci
I think I can hide us from her while we're stationary,
but she's bound to notice when we get moving.

Da Vinci
She might not treat us like enemies now, but if we DO make an enemy of her, there will be nowhere to hide.

Da Vinci
...In which case there'll be no surprising the opposition OR making any sort of escape.

Da Vinci
Right now, I'm just hoping it doesn't come to that...

Goredolf
We have no way of being sure it won't. There's no telling how she might respond once she learns we mean to eventually cut down the Tree of Emptiness.

Da Vinci
I guess so. She might even decide to attack us on the spot.

Goredolf
Hmm...

Goredolf
Still...if a goddess said we shouldn't leave the tree for later, I guess we shouldn't ignore her...

Goredolf
You there, girl. You swear you obtained this information from a goddess?

Mash
Yes. This girl was an amalgamation of three different Divine Spirits.

Goredolf
Then, you're absolutely sure she–

Mash
Yes.

Goredolf
H-hmm. If that's the consensus of multiple Divine Spirits,
we definitely can't ignore it...

Goredolf
...
...

Goredolf
...V-very well then. It seems we have no choice but to make cutting down the Tree of Emptiness a top priority!

Goredolf
As of now, that is just as important as luring out Sigurd and taking back the Paper Moon!

Da Vinci
I think you're right. It looks like the Tree of Emptiness is more dangerous than we originally thought.

Da Vinci
Still...that doesn't mean we should be reckless about making an enemy of Scáthach-Skadi.

Goredolf
Hmm. As I recall, Fujimaru said she stopped Sigurd and the Valkyries from killing you.

Goredolf
That seems an excellent sign that we can reason with her. If push comes to shove, I can always dazzle her with my exquisite charm and oratory skills.

Da Vinci
Yeah, it might well end up coming to that.
Just based on what you've told us...

Da Vinci
...I get the sense that Scáthach-Skadi is trying to determine who's in the right: us or the Crypters.

Da Vinci
I mean, if she wasn't, I'm pretty sure the Shadow Border would've been buried under an avalanche by now.

  1. I agree.
  2. Then, that would make our current enemy
  Select: I agree.

  Select: Then, that would make our current enemy

===Branch End===

Goredolf
Our most pressing foe right now is the traitorous Crypters, particularly Ophelia, as well as her Servant.

Da Vinci
Indeed. Right now we need to take on Sigurd with the team we've gathered.

Da Vinci
Brynhild's Noble Phantasm was made when she killed Sigurd,
so it should be up to the task again.

Brynhild
...Yes. By my spear and soul,
I promise I will bring Sigurd to heel.

Napoleon
Don't forget about me. And let's not be confused about this! As far as I'm concerned, you're all part of my new Grande Armée!

Napoleon
If you're looking to win, I'm the man for the job!
As they say, victory lies ahead!

Da Vinci
Oh, I definitely have high hopes for you.
Though I don't know about this new Grande Armée twaddle!

Da Vinci
To be clear, I have high hopes for your potential as well. In particular, that trump card you said you attained when you materialized.

Da Vinci
Actually, I was hoping you'd be so good as to just tell us what it is already.

Napoleon
Sorry, no can do. That goes against everything a secret weapon of last resort stands for.

Napoleon
Sorry I can't oblige, my brilliant mademoiselle.

Da Vinci
Hmph. Still, I could get used to this mademoiselle stuff...

Da Vinci
Anyway, I take it this means we can also count on this Divine Spirit amalgamation to help us out?

Napoleon
Yup. I can't promise anything at this point, but I'm fairly certain she'll join us if we can make our way that far into the castle.

Goredolf
Oh, the one in the dungeon...?
Let me see... Ah yes, here's the page. Hmm.

Goredolf
Hm...hm, I see, I see. A daughter of the Einzbern family, eh... Hmm, this could be a stroke of luck...

Fou
Fo, fou?

Goredolf
The Einzberns had relatively little contact with the Clock Tower, but my family is one of the few with some connection to them.

Goredolf
In fact, I'll have you know our own Musik homunculus technique is–

Meunière
Why don't you save that for another time, huh?
Say, our next smoke break or something.

Goredolf
But, I'm not a smoker...

Da Vinci
All right, so we've got giants wandering about in every part of this land, along with at least a few dozen more mass-produced Valkyries.

Da Vinci
It's that kind of military might that normally keeps Scáthach-Skadi's castle an impenetrable fortress.

Da Vinci
But at this point, she's still waiting to see how things play out, which means we should actually be able to get into the place.

Da Vinci
So we'd better wrap things up before she changes her mind.

Mash
...That's true. Based on everything we've seen so far, the queen isn't one to go on the attack.

Mash
I don't believe she would treat us as an obstacle,
unlike the Valkyries.

Napoleon
That lady's all about love.
She as good as said she wasn't going to interfere.

Napoleon
That's just the sort of woman–er, goddess, she is.

Napoleon
Those mass productions will give us grief again if their commander loses it, like earlier today, but at least we shouldn't have to worry about the giants.

Napoleon
That said, there are some real tough fire giants hanging out in there, too!

Da Vinci
Still, none of that is beyond your ability to deal with.
So, to put it all together...

Da Vinci
...we have Brynhild, with exceptional mythological affinity for one of our major foes; Napoleon Bonaparte, who excels at directing armies...

Da Vinci
...and protection from Sitonai, the Divine Spirit amalgamation. I'd say that gives us pretty good odds.

Da Vinci
So our goal is to take out Sigurd and reason with the queen, killing both birds with one stone. Or...at least with two stones thrown really close together.

Da Vinci
...The only thing we can't really account for, much as I wish otherwise, is the Crypter's Mystic Eye...

Brynhild
Oh, I think I can do something about that.

Da Vinci
Really?
I think that might mean we're just about good to go!

Fou
Fou, fooou!

Da Vinci
Our goal is to take back the Paper Moon and learn the location of this Lostbelt's Tree of Emptiness.

Da Vinci
As far as locating either, we'll most likely have to capture the Crypter again, like we did in Russia...or get the queen to tell us herself.

Da Vinci
The latter's a tall order, but the former...not entirely impossible.

Da Vinci
If things end up getting a bit rough, Gordy can step in with his mad charm and oratory skills☆

Goredolf
Indeed! Just sit back and let me take care of it! Her frozen heart won't last a minute against the sizzle of my extra crispy bacon and eggs!

Napoleon
Oh? You mean you're not gonna use magecraft or a truth serum or something? You're a real softy for a mage.

Goredolf
I... I-it all depends on the situation! If push comes to shove, I always have my Gof Punch to fall back on!

Goredolf
(Although, I don't see someone with Mystic Eyes being all that receptive to my charms...)

Goredolf
(Not to mention Toole warned me I would be the one in tears if I tried going up against a woman...)

Da Vinci
We can cross that bridge when we come to it.
Besides, this all assumes we can beat Sigurd.

Da Vinci
Once we defeat a Heroic Spirit of his caliber,
Ophelia might just kind of roll over.

Meunière
You're really relieved to hear that,
aren't you, Director?

Goredolf
Don't be ridiculous. I am simply willing to use the plan with the greatest chance of success.

Da Vinci
All right, so it's settled. The Shadow Border will keep heading towards the castle in old Oslo.

Da Vinci
We'll need to stop in Torsby, since it's too dangerous to keep driving at night, but even so...

Da Vinci
...we should arrive before noon tomorrow.

Da Vinci
...I'm sorry, Mash and Fujimaru.

Da Vinci
I know there's a child waiting for you in one of the villages, but the less contact we have, the better.

Da Vinci
I'm sure you're well aware of this, but for them, our very existence is...well...

  1. Yeah, I know.
  2. ...I get it. I think.
  Select: Yeah, I know.

  Select: ...I get it. I think.

===Branch End===

Mash
...Yes.

  1. (Turn in for the day)
  2. (Go to the deck after the sun sets)
  Select: (Turn in for the day)

  Select: (Go to the deck after the sun sets)

===Branch End===

Napoleon
...You asleep?

  1. No, I'm still up.
  2. (Zzz...)
  Select: No, I'm still up.
Napoleon
Right on.

  Select: (Zzz...)
Napoleon
No problem. I'll just talk to myself, then.

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Mind if I have a seat on your bed here?
Thanks.

Napoleon
Huh, these are some decent springs.
Pretty nice for a soldier's barracks.

Napoleon
...
...

Napoleon
I know it's not my usual style,
but I just wanted to talk a bit...

Napoleon
Would you mind listening?

  1. I'd be glad to.
  2. (Zzz...)
  Select: I'd be glad to.
Napoleon
Thanks. You're a good Maître.

  Select: (Zzz...)
Napoleon
...Got it. No problem.
I'll just kinda talk my way through it myself.

===Branch End===

Napoleon
...It's about the Valkyrie with those beautiful amethyst eyes.

Napoleon
She's strong. Really strong. You can tell she was around in the Age of Gods.

Napoleon
We won today because of her.

Napoleon
Using the right people for the right job is as crucial on the battlefield as it is anywhere else. Having her on our side turned out to be really effective.

Napoleon
You saw it yourself. Even the Valkyrie commanders were afraid to face her, to say nothing of the others.

Napoleon
That went really well for us. Losing two commanders makes the Valkyries that much less of a threat.

Napoleon
But...we also ended up making her kill her own sisters.

Napoleon
And then there's...well...

  1. Sigurd...
  2. (Zzz...)
  Select: Sigurd...

  Select: (Zzz...)

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Yeah, she is the one who killed Sigurd,
but it's still got to be painful for her.

Napoleon
She really did love him. Well, maybe by the end she hated him too, but there was still love there.

Napoleon
And now, well... We're asking her to kill the man she loves all over again.

Napoleon
Effective...maybe. But it's so cruel, so heartless... Still, the it looks like the sad reality is that we don't have any choice here.

Napoleon
From what I hear...Brynhild used to be something of a model Valkyrie.

Napoleon
She was an autonomous machine who would harvest heroes' souls and bring them back to Valhalla for Ragnarök.

Napoleon
Apparently, the souls she and the other Valkyries gathered were supposed to serve as Odin's army.

Napoleon
So she followed her orders and collected souls for Odin.

Napoleon
But one day, she ended up guiding a warrior to victory who wasn't the one Odin wanted.

Napoleon
In a rage, Odin stripped her of her Divinity and imprisoned her in a fiery palace.

Napoleon
That was when...

--Flashback--

That was when the great hero, Sigurd, showed up.
He used his demonic sword to cut through all the divine shields around the palace and rescued Brynhild.
He knew of King Grípir's prophecy that said rescuing her would lead to his own death, but that didn't stop him.

It didn't take them long to fall in love after that.
Brynhild taught him all sorts of things, including knowledge of secret runes, and they only grew closer over time...

But in the end, they were never able to be wed.
There was another woman named Guðrún who was in love with Sigurd, and hatched a plan to make him hers.

First, Sigurd was made to take a magical elixir,
which erased his memories of Brynhild...
After that, he was told many, many lies,
leading to Brynhild's betrothal to Gunnar.
Of course, Brynhild didn't want any part of that, and told Gunnar she would only marry him if he managed to overcome a series of perilous trials.

But then, in a particularly cruel twist of fate, Sigurd used the runes she taught him to transform into Gunnar, and completed the trials for him.
And so, Brynhild ended up marrying Gunnar after all.

It was the worst. Every single one of these people was the worst. Poor Brynhild.
But she wasn't one to take this sort of thing lying down.

...So she killed them.
Certain stories say she had some other man do it,
but one way or another, everyone ended up dead.
Her fury–and the flames it spawned–laid waste to everyone. Some stories even say that she cursed the entire family to ruination.
However it went down, when all was said and done,
Brynhild ended up dead too...by her own hand.

...She's a hell of a woman.
She is as frightening as she is tragic...

---

Napoleon
...You can tell I know what I'm talking about, can't you?

Napoleon
Haha. Truth to tell, I'm just passing on what I got from my secret source.

Napoleon
Anyway.

Napoleon
The Valkyrie who killed Sigurd. That Goredolf guy was definitely right on the mark about her being the one for that job.

Napoleon
I don't think he meant anything bad by it, and Brynhild's not the type to get upset about it either.

Napoleon
Still...I thought you should know about this.

Napoleon
Someone's gotta take responsibility for putting her through this again. I thought you should know what you're asking of her.

Napoleon
I wish I could carry that responsibility for you, but I can't leave this Lostbelt...not to mention my prior engagement.

Napoleon
So you'll have to hold on to it instead.
Just remember the true feelings she's keeping quiet.

Napoleon
I know that's a lot to ask...but it's what any commander...any person giving orders must do.

  1. ...Okay.
  2. (Nod)
  Select: ...Okay.

  Select: (Nod)

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Thanks. I owe you one.

Napoleon
You know...I get the feeling Brynhild knew it would come to this all along.

Napoleon
She knew what her materializing here meant.
Poor thing. I can't help but feel sorry for her.

Napoleon
If it wasn't for my prior engagement...

  1. What IS this prior engagement, anyway?
  2. (Cough)
  Select: What IS this prior engagement, anyway?

  Select: (Cough)

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Whoops. Never mind that.
Just forget I said anything.

  1. (Zzz...)
 
  Select: (Zzz...)
Napoleon
...Haha. Thanks for staying asleep.

===Branch End===

Napoleon
All right, I'd better be on my way.

Napoleon
The genius mademoiselle said she wants to look over my cannon, so I'd better not keep her waiting.

Napoleon
...
...

Napoleon
...I'm sorry.

Napoleon
I wasn't sure if I should bring this up or not, but if I'm gonna apologize, now seems like a good time.

Napoleon
Remember how I said I was the only hero of humanity in all of Scandinavia? Looks like I was way off the mark.

Napoleon
Since I never saw any other Servants after I materialized here, I assumed it was just me...

Napoleon
But now that we know Sitonai's here, and Brynhild...

Napoleon
...I guess it's obvious I didn't know what I was talking about! So...sorry about that!

Napoleon
My source was obviously full of it...
Dammit...

Napoleon
I should've realized what was up once he started talking about Brynhild's legend...

  1. Who's this source you've been–
  2. (Zzz...)
  Select: Who's this source you've been–
Napoleon
Sorry, I can't tell you that. I promised I'd keep it a secret. Besides, I didn't get a good look at him.
Napoleon
He was a strange guy, I can tell you that. He looked like a normal human, but he knew all about life in this Lostbelt.
Napoleon
He also said he was trying to find out how the earth was wiped clean.
Napoleon
...Who knows. Maybe he was the one who went around strengthening those villages' Bounded Fields.

  Select: (Zzz...)
Napoleon
...But never mind.

===Branch End===

Napoleon
All right, see you tomorrow. Make sure you get plenty of rest; you're gonna need it for the final battle!

Brynhild
Oh, hello, Fujimaru.

Brynhild
I just came out here to look at the stars.
Would you mind if I joined you?

  1. Not at all.
  2. I see the stars are normal, even if the sun isn't.
  Select: Not at all.
Brynhild
Thank you.

  Select: I see the stars are normal, even if the sun isn't.
Brynhild
Yes... That enormous sun is quite unnatural.
Brynhild
I'm not sure why it's so enormous, either. It's much too far away for me to be able to sense anything about its magical energy.
Brynhild
I can't even focus on it clearly, perhaps because of the magical energy present in the queen's snow and ice. Not even my runes seem to be of any help.

===Branch End===

Brynhild
...
...

  1. About the battle we fought earlier today...
  2. I'm sorry about Thrúd and Hildr...
  Select: About the battle we fought earlier today...

  Select: I'm sorry about Thrúd and Hildr...

===Branch End===

Brynhild
Please pay it no mind. It is in my nature to kill.

Brynhild
That is, at least, the sort of Heroic Spirit that humanity has made me out to be.

Brynhild
This spear was meant to kill heroes.

Brynhild
In essence, it is a Noble Phantasm designed to kill those with truly heroic souls...those worthy of my love.

Brynhild
It is the purpose of my existence...

Brynhild
There is no more perfect spear for me,
who killed a great hero...

Brynhild
Yes, Goredolf Musik was right.
I am the Valkyrie who killed Sigurd.

Brynhild
Indeed, there is no better way to describe me.

  1. I'm sorry he was so cruel...
  2. I'm sure he didn't mean anything by that...
  Select: I'm sorry he was so cruel...

  Select: I'm sure he didn't mean anything by that...

===Branch End===

Brynhild
It's all right.
There was nothing cruel in what he said.

Brynhild
My purpose here was to reenact my legend.
That is often where my fate leads me.

Brynhild
...
...

Brynhild
...Let me sit down.

Brynhild
There's something you should know about me...

Brynhild
I used to be an inhuman Valkyrie. I was a being who lacked a human heart, just like my sisters.

Brynhild
I was a sort of machine, always harvesting human souls to bring to Valhalla for Ragnarök.

Brynhild
The souls that the other Valkyries and I harvested were intended to serve in Odin's army.

Brynhild
So I carried out the orders I was given,
and dedicated myself to collecting souls.

Brynhild
But one day, I ended up guiding a warrior to victory who was not the one Odin wanted.

Brynhild
Instead of aiding the elderly Hjálmgunnarr,
I lent my aid to a young warrior named Agnar.

Brynhild
In a rage, Odin stripped me of my Divinity,
and most of my strength...

Brynhild
...turning me into a mortal woman for all intents and purposes...

Brynhild
...before sealing me away in a palace of fire atop Mt. Hindarfjall, whose flames stretched all the way to Asgard.

Brynhild
That was when...

--Flashback--

That was when Sigurd appeared.
He tore through the divine shields guarding the palace, even destroying my armor, and cradled me in his arms.
He knew of King Grípir's prophecy that said rescuing me would lead to his own death...
...and he did so anyway.
He did not hesitate for an instant.

Sigurd said that...he had no intention of defying the prophecy, or of loving me...
...but he did. He loved me very much.

He called it love at first sight.
And I fell in love as well. I taught him everything I knew about runes, and our love only grew...
...but as the prophecy foretold,
we would never be married.

There was another woman... She plotted to steal Sigurd's memories and betrothed me to another man.
I refused, but unfortunately,
there was nothing I could do.

He...Sigurd...used the runes I taught him to transform into that other man, and told me:

“Accept my hand in marriage.”

He never did understand what the tears I shed in that moment truly meant.

After that...
After they took Sigurd from me,
and betrothed me to Gunnar...

...I killed them. All of them.
I killed.
And killed.
Over, and over. One after the other.
I killed, and killed, and killed, and killed.

I believe I had the innocent Guthormr help me,
but in the end, I was the one who killed them all.
I didn't know who had robbed Sigurd of his memories, you see...
...so I slaughtered the family and followers of Sigurd's new beloved. I did my best to confine myself to the warriors...

...but in my blind fury, I think I may have raised my spear against the defenseless...even children...
I let the fires raging within me spill out and consume everything...

“The only man I love is Sigurd. None other.”

“No one, not one single solitary person,
may touch me but him.”

Even now, I remember screaming that into the flames, laughing wildly...
...and then I plunged my own spear into my chest.

---

Brynhild
...I'm dangerous.

Brynhild
I want to see Sigurd again.
I want to embrace him. I want to kill him.

Brynhild
After all this time, there is still a fire burning inside me, endlessly driving me to that.

Brynhild
Even now that I'm a Heroic Spirit,
a shadow projected by humanity...

Brynhild
...the version of me inscribed in the Throne is based on the moment I killed him, wreathed in flames of madness.

Brynhild
That's why I can kill him.
Why I will kill him.

Brynhild
That's why I was able to kill my adoring sisters.
Why I was able to kill Sigurd before, despite my love.

  1. ...Isn't it painful for you?
  2. I think you're pushing yourself too hard...
  Select: ...Isn't it painful for you?
Brynhild
...
...
Brynhild
No.
Brynhild
What would be painful for me is if he is truly doing terrible things here in this Lostbelt.
Brynhild
The Sigurd I loved was a good, just man.

  Select: I think you're pushing yourself too hard...
Brynhild
Perhaps I am. It's difficult for me to say.
Brynhild
Once I materialized in this Spirit Origin...
Brynhild
...the fires that burn within me, eating up my mind with love and hate, screaming for me to kill him...
Brynhild
...it all feels so natural that I truly can't say.

===Branch End===

Brynhild
That's why I want to thank you, Fujimaru.

Brynhild
I'm so grateful to you for taking me in.

Brynhild
You could easily have treated me as nothing more than a weapon to lay his demonic sword to waste, but instead, you–

Fou
Fou!
Fo fooou.

Brynhild
...Oh, yes.

Brynhild
Hehe, it seems we've been discovered.
Come, let's go back.

Brynhild
It gets very chilly in Scandinavia at night,
and we wouldn't want you to catch a cold.

Brynhild
Come, Fujimaru.
Tomorrow is bound to be a day of fierce battle.

Brynhild
You should rest now for what lies ahead.

Meunière
We're moving at one hundred twenty kilometers per hour.
The engine and drivetrain are both looking good.

Meunière
We're heading around the mountains, just as planned.

Meunière
Only one hundred kilometers to go until we reach old Oslo!
At this pace, we should get there by noon.

Meunière
Assuming we don't encounter any obstacles, of course.
Let's pray nothing attacks us this time!

Goredolf
Hmph, you should know better than to rely on prayer! A true mage is never surprised. He accounts for every possible eventuality.

Goredolf
He deals with every bump in the road calmly and efficiently. Just look at me! You don't see me praying!

Goredolf
Besides, has it escaped your notice that the only god to pray to here is their queen, who has been around here since the Age of Gods?

Goredolf
No, our only choice is to keep calm and carry on!
Our wisdom and knowledge is all the weaponry we need!

Da Vinci
Nice, very nice.
You sounded like a leader just there.

Da Vinci
Meunière, our new director's doing his best to keep his chin up and his nerves down. You're not gonna let him outdo us, are you?

Meunière
Heh, good point. Thanks, Da Vinci.
I'm feeling a lot more motivated now!

Goredolf
E-er, that was a compliment, right? ...Oh well, this is all par for the course with a new mission underway!

Brynhild
Excuse me, but...

Brynhild
...are you sure this is where I should be?

Brynhild
Wouldn't it be better for me to be outside with the others?

Da Vinci
It's nice of you to ask, Brynhild,
but don't worry about it.

Da Vinci
You're the key Heroic Spirit in this mission.
It wouldn't do for you to be out front just now.

Da Vinci
Mash? Emperor? Fujimaru?
Can you hear me okay?

Fou
Fouuu!

Napoleon
Haha, this wind is great!
Just make sure you don't get blown away, you two!

Mash
Understood! Make sure you stay close behind me and my shield, Master!

Mash
I should be able to block some of the wind!
If that fails, we can always use a rope!

  1. We're okay!
  2. We're fine, but it's really hard to talk with all this wind!
  Select: We're okay!

  Select: We're fine, but it's really hard to talk with all this wind!

===Branch End===

Da Vinci
Sorry about that! Just hold out a little longer! There's no telling when more mass-produced Valkyries might show up!

Da Vinci
So we need you up there ready to respond quickly if they do.

Da Vinci
Holmes and I did design the Border to endure bombardments, but there's really only so much we can do for that, you know?

Fou
Fouuu! Fou, fou!

Napoleon
Oh? They're here already?
No, wait. That's not coming from the sky...

Meunière
Multiple large magical energy signals detected!
It must be a group of giants!

Da Vinci
Yup, I see them. Looks like a real tough bunch.
And they're moving to cut off the Border's path, too!

Da Vinci
Meunière, hit the emergency brakes!
All hands, prepare for battle!

Napoleon
You got it!
Let's go, Private!

  1. Got it!
  2. Get ready to fight, Mash!
  Select: Got it!

  Select: Get ready to fight, Mash!

===Branch End===

E:Mash
Yes, Master! Switching Ortinax from standby mode to combat mode...now!

E:Mash
Go ahead and stop the Border whenever you're ready!
I'm good to go at any time!

--BATTLE--

Scáthach-Skadi
...I see they still have not yet learned their lesson.

Scáthach-Skadi
I do not regret deciding to love them, but I admit I did not expect them to be so tenacious.

Scáthach-Skadi
But I will accept that part of them as well,
and love them just the same.

Scáthach-Skadi
Ah, my human children. My Heroic Spirits of humanity. What a sorry sight you make. You seem to have confused stubbornness with persistence.

Koyanskaya
Are you sure about this, Your Majesty? They have been causing all sorts of trouble in your Lostbelt!

Koyanskaya
Are you really not going to punish them, even after they destroyed dozens of your precious envoys?

Scáthach-Skadi
Divine punishment is death, and it is not something to be doled out lightly.

Scáthach-Skadi
Death eventually comes to all who live, so there is no need for me to help it along. I wish only to grant mercy and love.

Scáthach-Skadi
...Having said that.

Scáthach-Skadi
Though the envoys did go into that battle of their own accord, the Chaldeans were...overly bold.

Scáthach-Skadi
Perhaps I let them get away with too much. If they try to enter my castle while riding that wave of success...

Scáthach-Skadi
...I'm afraid that may lead to their deaths this time. How deplorable.

Scáthach-Skadi
The knight and the Crypter are both eager to fight them,
it seems. Are they still out on the bridge?

Koyanskaya
Last I checked. Looks like they're both planning to meet our interlopers head-on.

Koyanskaya
If it were me, I'd be cutting off their escape first, especially since there's only one way in or out...but I suppose men who're convinced nobody can ever beat them don't believe in little tricks like that.

Scáthach-Skadi
You mean the demonic sword?

Scáthach-Skadi
I will say, this does all bring back memories.

Scáthach-Skadi
Gram was once Odin's sword, as bright and powerful as the sun itself. Sigmund won it after overcoming Odin's test, and passed it on to his son.

Scáthach-Skadi
It is both ancient and newly reborn.
With that at his command, Sigurd is powerful indeed.

Scáthach-Skadi
Powerful enough to compel even me to keep an eye on him. I do not think there is any human in all of Scandinavia capable of defeating him.

Scáthach-Skadi
Former goddess. Demigod.
One of Odin's daughters...

Scáthach-Skadi
Brynhild may have once been the greatest Valkyrie in all the Norse lands, but not even she can defeat Sigurd.

Koyanskaya
...Yes. I certainly hope that proves to be true.

--ARROW--

Da Vinci
There, I can see it!
Hmm, so that's Scáthach-Skadi's castle.

Da Vinci
It doesn't look very heavily armed. In fact, it reminds me of something out of modern-day European architecture.

Da Vinci
Maybe that's just how confident she is in her rule?
Or maybe because there's no rebellion here anyway?

Da Vinci
Either way, there's a hell of a lot more magical energy swirling around here than there was on the snow plains. That's going to make it a lot harder to tell what's going on in there.

Da Vinci
At least the structure's easy to make out:
one large bridge leading to the main building.

Da Vinci
We could theoretically go all the way around and climb up from the base, buuut, we don't have any information to help us with that tactic.

Da Vinci
Which means this is it, folks!
This is where our mission really begins!

Napoleon
No turning back now! This time, I'm not planning on sneaking in OR getting captured.

Napoleon
This time, we're going in guns blazing! It's time to settle the score between the new Grande Armée and the wielder of that demonic sword once and for all!

Napoleon
Well now, that sure didn't take long!

Mash
Multiple Muspel are coming out from the ground underneath the bridge! They already know we're here!

Napoleon
Out of the way!
We're coming through whether you like it or not!

Fou
Fou, fou!
Kyaaau!

Brynhild
...Let me handle this.

Napoleon
Whoa, thanks, but no thanks. You just stay back and keep yourself warmed up for now. Can't have you getting worn out in the opening skirmish!

Napoleon
That sound good to you too, Private!?

  1. You bet!
  2. ...Hm? Did you actually just ask my opinion?
  Select: You bet!

  Select: ...Hm? Did you actually just ask my opinion?

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Haha! You're the focal point of this new Scandinavian Grande Armée! Better get used to it now!

Mash
Here they come!

Napoleon
Make sure to take 'em all down!
Don't let them so much as scratch the Shadow Border!

--BATTLE--

Mash
We've defeated the Muspel giants and ice beasts!
That's all the hostiles that emerged from underground!

Mash
Wait...I have a visual on a new hostile approaching from the other side of the bridge.

Fou
Fooou!

Sigurd
Heh. Hehe. That's it.

Sigurd
None of you has changed much, but I can see you have a lot more momentum now than you did before.

Sigurd
You've done a lot with a little,
humans and Heroic Spirits.

Napoleon
Ha! Takes a Heroic Spirit to know a Heroic Spirit,
ain't that right, Mr. Big Shot?

Sigurd
Heh.

Brynhild
Sigurd...!

Sigurd
Hmm...

Sigurd
It's been a long time. The last time I saw you,
you were being sealed away.

Sigurd
You're from Proper Human History too, right?
Well, that's reason enough for us to fight.

Sigurd
Come at me, Brynhild, eldest of the Valkyries and daughter of Odin. If you really are a demigod, that makes you worth killing.

Brynhild
...You speak as though I'm a stranger.

Sigurd
'Cause you are.
At least as far as I'm concerned.

Brynhild
So you claim to be a Servant from this Lostbelt? The change in your eye color is not enough to confuse the identity of my quarry.

Brynhild
You are Sigurd, son of Sigmund. You are the warrior-king who excels in every regard.

Brynhild
Every fiber of my being screams that you are the one I must love and kill.

Brynhild
...This was never supposed to happen. My actions,
my madness, in service of justice? Unthinkable.

Brynhild
But here you are, on the side of this Lostbelt.
You have chosen a path that pits you against humanity.

Brynhild
So...you won't mind dying now, right, Sigurd?

Sigurd
You're going to die here, Valkyrie.

Ortlinde
...
...

Mash
Another hostile is incoming...!
It's the last remaining Valkyrie commander!

Fou
Fo fou, fou!

Napoleon
So she's here too, huh. Makes sense. I had my suspicions that she might still be hung up on what happened last time we fought.

Brynhild
Stand down, Ortlinde.
You were there when our sisters made their final plea.

Brynhild
There is no point in you fighting me. You know this. No point...and no need. You cannot interfere in my dance with Sigurd.

Brynhild
Stand down. Please.

Ortlinde
Sister...

Ortlinde
I've been thinking a lot about the last thing Thrúd and Hildr said.

Ortlinde
But, no matter how much I think...I can't understand it. I believe I feel something similar–it's fleeting, but it's also too overwhelming to describe.

Ortlinde
That's why I'm taking up my spear.
Just like Thrúd and Hildr did...

Ortlinde
Force-expanding combat functionality.
Increasing output beyond safety limiters.

Ortlinde
Overload. Overload. Synchronizing magical energy with Gram... Initiating team combat!

Sigurd
You're planning to keep up with me? You're a cheeky little thing, aren't you! Well, this should be amusing.

Napoleon
I think you mean “admirable,” Mr. Demonic Sword! You might be real strong, but you're pretty pathetic when it comes to understanding women!

Sigurd
...Hmph. I see your little surge in momentum has led to a big surge in irritating chatter, Archer.

Sigurd
What would a modern-day man like yourself know of the Valkyries, anyway? Such Mystics are all completely beyond your comprehension.

Napoleon
Oh, I don't know about that. I'm actually pretty into mythology. I always made it a point to go exploring pyramids whenever I went on one of my expeditions.

Napoleon
So seeing a wielder of a demonic sword and a Valkyrie together like this? It's a dream come true, really!

Napoleon
And, well, this isn't something I'm thrilled about...but now that I'm a Heroic Spirit, I have a knack for crushing Mystics!

Sigurd
Oh? Take your best shot, then. You've already tried that absurdly oversized cannon on me twice, and it didn't do a damn thing.

Napoleon
Ooh la la! Only twice? That's nothing!
Everyone knows the third time's the charm!

Mash
This will be the fifth time for us! This time,
I'll do everything I can to defend against Gram!

  1. Prepare for battle!
  2. Let's do this thing, Mash!
  Select: Prepare for battle!

  Select: Let's do this thing, Mash!

===Branch End===

Mash
Raising Ortinax output. Maintaining combat mode...
All equipment, standing by. I'm good to go!

Fou
Fou fou! Foooooou!

Brynhild
Sigurd...
Sigurd...

Brynhild
...Now that I've found you,
I won't rest until I've killed you!

--BATTLE--

Mash
...!

Mash
They're very strong...but not unbeatable!

Mash
The Ortinax's output is stable. The auto-maintenance function is still working, and both Brynhild and Napoleon are providing me with extra protection.

Mash
I can still fight! I'm not going to shut down...
Not before we bring down that demonic sword!

  1. Let's keep up the pressure!
  2. Keep fighting!
  Select: Let's keep up the pressure!

  Select: Keep fighting!

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Right on! I can tell he's feeling the pain now more than ever! But I've still got some concerns!

Napoleon
How're you doing, Brynhild!?
Think you can keep this up!?

Brynhild
...That could be a bit difficult.

Brynhild
I never thought even Sigurd could be this formidable in a time of war. I thought I understood, but clearly I was mistaken.

Brynhild
The Sigurd I knew was from peacetime,
when he never so much as went on an adventure.

Brynhild
I never imagined facing off against Sigurd with his demonic sword would be so...daunting...

Brynhild
Ahh, what a magnificent hero.
Ahh, what a frightening man.

Brynhild
This is no good...
In the face of such a strong, confident warrior...

Brynhild
I...

Brynhild
I have no choice but to set my soul ablaze.
...Odinseal Prototype, engaged.

Mash
Wh-where's all this magical energy coming from...!?

Ortlinde
The Odinseal Prototype.
A power given only to Sister, not us.

Ortlinde
Sister. Sister Brynhild. Would you truly go so far to defeat us...?

Da Vinci
I just detected a MASSIVE surge of magical energy!
What in the world is going–Wait, is that...!?

Da Vinci
The Odinseal!?
One of the Primordial Runes from the Age of Gods!?

Da Vinci
It's got to be hundreds of times more powerful than modern runes, easily. It looks like a spell from the Age of Gods...closer to True Magic than magecraft!

Da Vinci
Using that energy in a spell would be one thing, but if you let it all loose at once, it wouldn't just destroy your Spirit Origin, it would...!

Brynhild
Annihilate my soul?
Yes, it would.

Mash
!

  1. Whoa, wait!
  2. You didn't say anything about that!
  Select: Whoa, wait!

  Select: You didn't say anything about that!

===Branch End===

Brynhild
Thank you, Fujimaru.
You are so very kind.

Brynhild
But...this is what it means for me to put my life on the line.

Brynhild
Forgive me for making you wait so long, Sigurd. I am finally ready to express my love and kill you once again.

Sigurd
...What a shame. Here I thought we could still have some fun together, but then you went and pulled out one of Odin's tricks.

Sigurd
I've had enough.
No more play-fighting. Time to die.

G:Ophelia
Hold it.

G:Ophelia
Hold it, Saber.
How many times have I told you?

G:Ophelia
You're only supposed to kill the Servants,
but you were going to kill everyone, weren't you?

Sigurd
...Hmph.

Napoleon
...Why hello there! If it isn't my beloved Ophelia!

G:Ophelia
You haven't changed a bit, Archer.
I should have killed you when we first met.

G:Ophelia
But I do commend your efforts,
much as I hate their result.

G:Ophelia
You just had to go and bring Brynhild here, didn't you?

Napoleon
You honor me, ma chérie. Haha!
It's enough to make me cry out of sheer gratitude!

Mash
...Ophelia.

G:Ophelia
...
...

G:Ophelia
I see you're here again, Mash.
Why? Why did you come?

Mash
It's our duty.

G:Ophelia
Duty? You mean you feel like you're honor bound to protect humanity?

Mash
...I don't know. I haven't met enough humans to say whether I feel any obligation to them.

Mash
But...even if we end up destroying this Lostbelt as a result...

Mash
...we can't give up on our world. Just like the Yaga in their frozen world didn't give up their survival.

Mash
No matter what happens as a result, we've decided to hold our heads high and keep moving forward.

  1. (...Yeah. We did, didn't we.)
 
  Select: (...Yeah. We did, didn't we.)

===Branch End===

G:Ophelia
...Like Master, like Servant, I see.

G:Ophelia
I can practically see you buckling under the weight of your guilt, yet you meet my gaze, unblinking.

G:Ophelia
...You really have grown strong, Mash.

G:Ophelia
I'm nothing like you.
I could never be like you.

G:Ophelia
But I still cannot step aside. Wodime...

G:Ophelia
...Lord Kirschtaria made a decision,
and I refuse to betray his faith in me!

Napoleon
Uh-oh. Here comes her Mystic Eye!

Ophelia
...Phenomena, schufen auf.

Ophelia
The Odinseal... What a marvelous Primordial Rune!
Ich will es niemals glänzen sehen!

Brynhild
...!

Brynhild
Nghh...!
My rune is...weakening...!?

Ophelia
You shine too brightly. That's why this eye of mine refuses to see that possibility go any further.

Mash
Then, she is rewinding phenomena...!
B-but...she can't be interfering with time itself!

Mash
Even if it were a Noble Color, a Jewel-rank Mystic Eye, controlling time should be impossible!

Brynhild
Khh... Aah...!
Aaaaaahhh...!

Sigurd
Hehe. That's it. That's what I like to see! Your pathetic Spirit Origin can't handle the Odinseal Prototype.

Sigurd
Hehe. Now that Ophelia's stopped it, all that's left is your Spirit Core tearing itself apart, huh?

Sigurd
That's it. Squeal.
Writhe in agony.

Sigurd
You deserve to crawl on your belly after reducing yourself to nothing more than a human woman.

Brynhild
Sig...urd...!
Ghh... Aaaaaaaaahhh...

  1. Brynhild!
  2. Hang on! I'll heal you with a Mystic Code right!
  Select: Brynhild!

  Select: Hang on! I'll heal you with a Mystic Code right!

===Branch End===

Brynhild
N-no... It's...all right...
I'm not...finished yet, Fujimaru.

Brynhild
Please...it's dangerous for you to...worry about me like that...

Brynhild
Remember what I said...? I told you to let me handle her Mystic Eye, and I meant it.

Ophelia
!

Ophelia
...Phenomena, schufen auf!

Brynhild
...No. No more. One experience with your eye was more than sufficient.

Brynhild
Reinitializing Odinseal. Reengaging.
Your eye will no longer lead me astray.

Brynhild
You aren't truly rewinding phenomena. No, it is more a matter of you determining their possibilities.

Brynhild
And in that case...one can deal with it like so.

Ortlinde
You restarted it...!? But, you're a Servant... Your Spirit Core is tied directly to your brain and heart...

Ortlinde
Restarting the Odinseal now would mean...completely destroying your Spirit Core... Sister...!

Ophelia
Wh-what are you–

Brynhild
You can't see it anymore, can you?
That is because I have narrowed its possibilities.

  1. You narrowed its possibilities!?
  2. What do you mean by
  Select: You narrowed its possibilities!?

  Select: What do you mean by

===Branch End===

Brynhild
I have seen powerful, magical eyes before.

Brynhild
So I will not back down in the face of more, even should they belong to a foreign god such as Balor.

Brynhild
Even were my father himself looking down upon me...

Brynhild
...I will still...

Brynhild
...kill Sigurd!

Sigurd
Out of the way. Hmph.
You're chatty for a damn walking doll.

Brynhild
...Sigurd!

Ophelia
No way...
That's impossible...!

Ophelia
She...she actually fixed her mind in place...!

Ophelia
She decided there was only one path forward for her, and cut off any other possibilities... How can she do that!?

Sigurd
I doubt any ordinary human could cut off possibilities through sheer force of will.

Sigurd
Not even an ordinary demigod could pull that off.
But a demigod mad enough to burn herself alive...!

Sigurd
Well, she just might be twisted enough to wield a demonic spear!

Brynhild
Sigurd, Sigurd, SIGURD!

Ortlinde
Sister...

Brynhild
Hraaaaaaaaa!
To you who walks the path of evil...!

Brynhild
I offer up my fire, my madness, and my love!

Brynhild
Till death do us part...
Brynhild Romantia!

Mash
Brynhild's spear is...growing and changing shape!

Napoleon
That must be her Noble Phantasm...the spear made for taking warriors' lives! Damn, it's huge...! Look out for the shock wave!

Brynhild
This is my killer spear. The spear made to kill the heroic Dragon Slayer...the love of my life.

Brynhild
Sigurd! By virtue of who you are,
it is impossible for you to avoid my blade!

Brynhild
It is this great spear–its weight reflecting the depths of my love–that will end you...

Brynhild
...in one blow!

Brynhild
It's done–

Sigurd
Nice try.
But that's not going to work.

Goredolf
Wha...

Goredolf
H-how can that be!? That was Brynhild's Noble Phantasm, the hero killer!

Goredolf
And she just used it on Sigurd...the very man it was created for! It couldn't possibly have missed its target! It should have killed him!

Goredolf
So then...how is he still alive!?

Sigurd
That Noble Phantasm of yours was definitely impressive.

Sigurd
But, unfortunately for you...I'm not Sigurd.

--ARROW--

Sigurd
But, unfortunately for you...I'm not Sigurd. I'm not even one of those hero types the Valkyries yearn for.

Mash
!?

Brynhild
What are you...saying...

Sigurd
Ophelia. Release my second limiter.

Sigurd
Quickly. This Spirit Origin won't last long.

Sigurd
Personally, I don't mind if–

Ophelia
...No. I won't let that happen!

Ophelia
I can't let your body be destroyed. As long as you're in this Lostbelt, you must remain my knight.

Ophelia
...Forced Spirit Origin Ascension, final limiter release. Vanquish all who would stand in our way, my knight.

Sigurd
Final limiter released. Commencing eradication utilizing Heroic Spirit Sigurd's full capability.

Sigurd
Ahh, I feel so much lighter.
It's so nice to finally be rid of that awful mask.

Sigurd
I can't imagine why he'd want to wear something like this. Hehe. What a nutjob!

Napoleon
...Well, well. So that's what you really look like, eh, lover boy!?

Napoleon
I see Gram's changed color, too. And it looks like you're putting out exponentially more magical energy than before!

Napoleon
Haha, this oughta be fun! I even like the glasses!

Napoleon
They make you look smart, even sensible, no matter how viciously you're wielding your demonic sword! Maybe I should try them myself!

Sigurd
Ah, you mean these? I'm told they signify the wisdom of the gods or some such. I doubt they'd look good on you.

Napoleon
I don't know; I think they might.

Sigurd
Well, how about this: if you can kill me,
you can try them on and find out.

Sigurd
...Feel the power of my demonic sword.

Mash
Khh...! Did he just create fire by swinging his sword...!?

Napoleon
Sorry! Guess I went a little overboard with the trash talk! I meant to dodge out of the way, but I was a little too slow!

Mash
It's okay! Luckily, I was able to raise my shield in time! Master, did you see that...?

  1. Did he make that fire with a rune?
  2. It didn't look like he inscribed a rune...
  Select: Did he make that fire with a rune?

  Select: It didn't look like he inscribed a rune...

===Branch End===

Mash
Th-that's true. Rune magecraft relies on drawing sigils and patterns to shorten the incantation.

Mash
But when Sigurd created that fire just now–

Ortlinde
He...didn't write any runes...?

Brynhild
...

Brynhild
...Sigurd...

Brynhild
...No. You aren't Sigurd. You are...

--SECTION BREAK--

“Sometimes, ice and snow can cause people to freeze to death.”
“People must learn how to survive the cold if they want to make it through the winter.”
“But without ice and snow, there can be no spring.
Without them, the earth can't rest.”
“So you mustn't hate them for being cold. One day, the sun will shine bright again, bringing with it warmth and blessings.”

...Yes. Yes, I think so too, Sigurd.
People...we...can always wait if we must.
In the meantime, we can always dream of spring flowers.

“That's right.”
“Nature is bountiful and varied.
There's very little in it that's completely one-sided.”
“Sometimes, it sides with justice.
Others, it can be wicked and capricious.”

“But...”

...But what?

“Fire is the one thing that is best left alone.”
“Fire may have a gentle side, providing warmth that helps one get through the winter. It may even be able to guide people to prosperity.”
“But...for my part,
I don't think I'll ever make use of fire runes.”

...I've given you a great many runes.
...You should be capable of all manner of things. You should be able to wield fire far better than humans.
...And yet, you choose not to?

“Yes. I know that this may be hard for a demigod to understand, but...”
“...humans need to fear fire,
because fire can consume everything.”
“Swords...lives...love...
And sometimes, even fate.”
“That's why fire runes are the one kind I will never use.”

--SECTION BREAK--

Brynhild
Sigurd...!

Brynhild
Sigurd, Sigurd, Sigurd!
No, no! You aren't him. You COULDN'T be him!

Brynhild
Who are you!?

Sigurd
...Who do you think, Brynhild?
I assure you: I truly am Sigurd.

Sigurd
Heh. Hehehe. What pitiful creatures humans are!

Sigurd
If only you were a god, you would know what this fire in my soul signifies!

Sigurd
Pitiful! Pitiful! Pitiful!

Sigurd
Hehe! How unsightly...
I can't stand to look at you any longer!

--BATTLE--

Sigurd
...Enough!

Mash
Ortinax, maximum output...!

Mash
Master...! His demonic sword is more powerful than anything we've seen before!

Mash
But, I refuse to let him beat me!
He may be strong, but strength is all he has!

Mash
And we swore we would never lose to empty strength like that ever again...!

Ophelia
Saber!

Sigurd
Shut it!

Sigurd
We were just getting to the good part.
Stay out of this, Ophelia. Keep your damn mouth shut!

D:Brynhild
Wrong.

Sigurd
Khh...!

Brynhild
Who are you...?

Brynhild
Who are you...?
Sigurd? No...

Brynhild
You!

Brynhild
What are you doing!?

Sigurd
Hehe. Me? I'm–

Sigurd
!!!

Brynhild
...I've pierced your armor.

Brynhild
Can you feel that, you who wears Sigurd's face?

Brynhild
My spear has destroyed your armor, torn through your flesh, shattered your bones, and cut your Spirit Core in two.

Brynhild
Every thrust of my spear, every cannon shot,
every shield bash, wore you down bit by bit.

Brynhild
And now, at last...my blade has found its mark.

Mash
Brynhild...!

Fou
Fooou!
Kyau!

Sigurd
Ha...ha...
Hahaha... Haha...!

Sigurd
Magnificent...!

Goredolf
Wh-what is it? What's going on!? We hardly have any picture in here! It's impossible to tell what's happening! Did you beat him!?

Goredolf
So Sigurd has finally fallen to Brynhild's spear!
I'm sure you'll confirm that's accurate!

Da Vinci
Wait. Something's wrong.

Da Vinci
These magical energy values are...strange...
Watch out! This isn't over yet!

Sigurd
Heh, hehe!

Sigurd
Hahaha! That's it! At last...

Sigurd
Finally...finally, someone managed to pierce Sigurd's Spirit Core...! This is what I've been waiting for!

Napoleon
What...?

Sigurd
How I've waited!

Sigurd
Now that someone who can defeat me...who can kill me...has finally appeared...

Sigurd
...that accursed Command Spell that kept me from taking my own life no longer matters!

Sigurd
Haha! Hahahahahahahaha...
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Ophelia
Ah...

Ophelia
A-ah...?

Ophelia
Saber?
What happened?

Ophelia
You can't have lost...
My knight...Sigurd...couldn't possibly lose...

Ophelia
That was why...
That was why I released your final limiter!

Mash
Ophelia...?

Ophelia
Ahh... This... This can't be happening...!
No... No, no...!

Ophelia
...!

Ophelia
...Phenomena, schufen auf!

Ophelia
I won't let a new Saber be born from Sigurd's destroyed Spirit Core! Ich will es niemals glänzen sehen!

Sigurd
Ha. Don't bother.

Sigurd
The Valkyrie was kind enough to show me how to get around that. Did you forget already, Ophelia?

Sigurd
True, I might be just another phenomenon myself,
but I still have a mind and soul.

Ophelia
Ah... Ah...

Ophelia
No, no, no, no...!
Mash! I can't stop him...!

Ophelia
Once he breaks Sigurd...his shell...it won't be long before he's here...!

Ophelia
I can't stop him!
I can't!

Ophelia
And after Lord Kirschtaria entrusted him to me...!

Ophelia
The flames...they're coming...!

Inner Monologue
Screaming, I point a trembling finger skyward.
Above lies the light that illuminates this world.
The fire that burns ceaselessly in the sky.
The oddly large ball of flame that oversees the entirety of this Scandinavian Lostbelt.

The star that sits in the middle of the sky.
...The sun.
Just now, the sun shone intensely bright...
as though it were responding to my screams.

It burns.
It burns.
This is not what a star is meant to do. Even as it hangs in the sky, on the precipice of outer space...
...it begins to undulate, like a fetus moving in the womb. This is not a proper star. This is no star made of mere flame.

It's far more akin to the magma that bubbles deep beneath the ground...only more foreboding.
...I wish I could look away, yet my Mystic Eye still casts its gaze upon that awful sight.

There is no possibility of stopping it.
Its turbid, fiery streams wriggle and squirm, and now...
...they spill out. They're falling.
They're pouring onto the ground...

Ahh, the sun is falling.
Ahh, the flames are pouring down.
Now, an enormous humanoid form is taking shape...sliding out from the hole of the false sun.

A giant...
Yes, it must be a giant.
But its form is nothing like any of the others.

His body towers over all other giants. The heat he radiates is devastating to all other forms of life.
He is the embodiment of flame.
He is the fire of the false sun.

He is this Lostbelt's true Saber, hiding in the shadows of the soul and Spirit Core belonging to a Heroic Spirit from Proper Human History, Sigurd...
He is the God Slayer, the cornerstone of the Norse Age of Gods' Ragnarök.

He is the overseer of this Norse Lostbelt's sole source of heat. He is the ruler of Muspelheim, realm of fire and flame, and destruction incarnate.
He is the wielder of the flaming sword. The dark one. The one destined to kill the gods and, in time, lay waste to all the land.

...His True Name is Surtr, the Fiery King of Giants...

Section 13: Bringing Twilight Here Once Again (Beginning)

Show/Hide Story Chapter

Inner Monologue
...I've always hated Sundays.

Inner Monologue
Why?

Inner Monologue
Simple.
I hated myself.

Inner Monologue
For me, Sundays were a prison, and I hated how I was never able to escape from them. I could never take that first step.

Inner Monologue
I detested how weak I was... How my parents' wishes felt like a curse, leaving me unable to even set foot outside.

Inner Monologue
I never even thought about running away.
The idea of leaving never so much as entered my mind.

Inner Monologue
Which is why...I was always waiting for someone.

Inner Monologue
Someone who would come and save me.
Someone who would let me out of here.

Inner Monologue
Someone who would tell me:

Inner Monologue
“You don't have to do anything.
You don't have to grant anyone's wishes.”

Inner Monologue
I waited for someone like that for so long.

Inner Monologue
...Though I knew no such person would ever come.

Inner Monologue
Even now, I think...

Inner Monologue
...some part of me is still waiting for someone like that.

--SECTION BREAK--

The moment the sun fell...
...every giant across the Lostbelt looked up at the sky and roared in unison.
All at once, the featureless masks the queen had placed on their faces in order to control them shattered.
As their masks disappeared, so too did the days they had spent slumbering without a king. Now, they were truly awake.

The giants' roars echoed throughout the land...
...singing the praises of the king who would bring about Ragnarök, in a language humans could never understand.

O king. O king. O king.
Surtr, wielder of the flaming sword.

Carry on our battle.
Carry on our war.

It is not enough that the old gods are dead by your hand.
We must raze this ancient land to the ground.

Let Ragnarök recommence.
Bring on the joyful times, the end-time.

...Let us begin the destruction.
Now is the time.

--SECTION BREAK--

Gerda
Huh?

Gerda
Where did the sun go...?

Holmes
...What's going on?

Da Vinci
Holmes! What about your wound? Weren't you supposed to be recovering for another two days?

Holmes
Indeed, and I'm still rather enjoying the effects of the painkillers. But I'll gladly take that over missing the climax.

Holmes
A great detective can only forestall his entrance so long, after all.

Goredolf
Well said. I expect nothing less from my administrative advisor. I'm proud to have such a responsible subordinate.

Goredolf
N-now then, I'm sorry to ask this when you're still so tired, but would you mind explaining what's going on?

Goredolf
Just when I thought we had defeated that accursed Sigurd,
the sun went and fell out of the sky.

Goredolf
And look at that. There's no way that isn't some kind of giant...is there?

Goredolf
Every bone in my body is screaming at me to get away from that thing as quickly as possible. Do you have any idea what's going on?

Da Vinci
Good question. I don't know if it's the same species as the other giants, but it's definitely big enough to qualify.

Da Vinci
But unfortunately, our instruments aren't really doing us a lot of good here. It looks to be a monster that changes size depending on how it's being viewed.

Da Vinci
This isn't some physical calamity, like Ivan the Terrible. It's a conceptual one, capable of destroying the world.

Holmes
...So I was too late.

Holmes
This is certainly enough to make me rue my principle of never discussing something without first obtaining conclusive proof.

Holmes
The flame that flickers across this Lostbelt's northern mountains? It fell from Muspelheim, the fire realm.

Holmes
As for that enormous sun, I believe it is most likely Muspelheim itself, given form by the gods...

Holmes
In other words, the body of Surtr, the giant of Ragnarök.

--SECTION BREAK--

Inner Monologue
...Our first Rayshift trial, a landmark occasion. As Team A, we were supposed to investigate Singularity F.

Inner Monologue
Instead, our team met its end, and the world was enveloped in a fire that incinerated humanity.

Inner Monologue
Fire, fire, fire.

Inner Monologue
Nothing but fire as far as I could see.

Inner Monologue
My Mystic Eye is one of prolongation.
Its rank is Jewel.

Inner Monologue
It lets me see possibilities.
You could say it's a form of precognition.

Inner Monologue
Once I see something, I can pin it in place...but that only lets me temporarily halt possibilities I do not desire from coming to pass.

Inner Monologue
Its true nature lies in seeing the myriad possibilities before me.

Inner Monologue
So then, what's this?

Inner Monologue
Now that we're trapped in our Coffins, the possibility of us escaping the death that approaches us is...

Inner Monologue
...
...

Inner Monologue
...distant. Far too distant.

Inner Monologue
It may not truly be zero, but it might as well be.

Inner Monologue
No matter how far I stretch...I can't reach it.
I can't hope to pin down anything.

Inner Monologue
If an enemy were here, I might be able to stop them from attacking or casting a spell, but this? This is beyond me.

Inner Monologue
I was helpless to do anything about Lev Lainur's sabotage,
or the flames incinerating humanity.

Inner Monologue
Once the flames consumed me, that would be it.
There was no escape for me, or for anyone else.

Inner Monologue
Maybe that's why my fate never bothered me the way that perhaps it should have.

Inner Monologue
All I felt was disappointment, for my inability to express what I felt honestly to the very end.

Inner Monologue
...Yes.

Inner Monologue
I may never have reached for it myself, but just once,
I would have liked to have held Wodime's hand...

???
“Congratulations on your rebirth.
I always believed you could save the world.”

???
“Greetings,
Kirschtaria Wodime.”

???
“Will this work for conveying information to you?
I must say, using words is such a bother.”

Inner Monologue
Had my vocal cords still been working, I'm sure I would have gasped to find my eye was seeing the world in the Coffin next to mine.

Inner Monologue
I saw a brilliant light shining in pitch darkness,
and Wodime opposite it.

Inner Monologue
I had never seen Wodime so childlike before. Not in appearance, mind you, but in his strength–or rather, the lack of it.

Inner Monologue
He was horribly injured and fatigued, to the point that even the effort of breathing seemed likely to kill him.

Inner Monologue
It was as if he had seen the end of the world...
No...like he had fought to prevent it.

Inner Monologue
He was so bruised and battered that I could almost believe such a ridiculous delusion was actually true...as though he was only alive now through sheer miraculous luck.

???
“We now share our circumstances. This...humanity you come from will be incinerated, and fade away.”

???
“But that is of no consequence to us. It may be unexpected, but not so much as to change our plans.”

???
“The assault has led to the closure of the expanse.
Soon, both you and humanity will meet your end.”

???
“Yet unfortunately, God still has no body for this joyous feat.”

???
“You'll help me with that, won't you,
Kirschtaria Wodime?”

???
“You are a Crypter, which makes you perfect to spread my word.”

Inner Monologue
...I didn't know what was going on.
All I knew was I could sense our end approaching.

Inner Monologue
He had been chosen, and we had not.

Inner Monologue
Wodime would go on to survive,
and we would remain trapped in darkness.

Kirschtaria
...No.

Kirschtaria
I'm afraid I alone won't be enough. I must strongly recommend that the other six join me to assist.

Inner Monologue
I could sense the light's confusion.
Indeed, my own mind all but went blank in shock.

Inner Monologue
A god, a human, even a tiny ant crawling along the ground could see how out of line he was.

Inner Monologue
It was clear to anyone watching that his remarks, his suggestion, would usually be out of the question.

???
“I don't understand.
Once the world is wiped clean, you will be invincible.”

???
“Why would you want competition when one of you would be more than sufficient?”

Kirschtaria
I understand that.
But invincibility and omnipotence are not the same.

Kirschtaria
There is a nonzero chance that one of the other six may surpass me. As long as that possibility exists, however slight, I will not dismiss it.

Kirschtaria
Give them the chance to choose for themselves. There is no point in me rebuilding human history on my own.

Inner Monologue
Wodime wasn't proposing that his responsibilities be shared.

Inner Monologue
He believed in our worth as individuals.
It was a shining example of unwavering humanity.

???
“...Restoring what was lost will take considerable effort.”

???
“Bringing a single human back to life may only take mere moments, but it requires a level of suffering sufficient to stop the entire world in its tracks.”

???
“Consider the hell you just endured as an example.”

???
“What's more, their bodies have sunk into the Void.
They can no longer pay that price themselves.”

???
“Can you pay it for them,
Kirschtaria Wodime?”

???
“Can you withstand the agony that comes with fighting the entire world six more times?”

Kirschtaria
Of course.
If it is humanly possible, then I can do it.

Inner Monologue
...I saw it for myself, clear as day.

Inner Monologue
Even as every breath ravaged him, spasms of humiliation and despair rocking his face...

Inner Monologue
...I saw him unflinchingly declare himself to that light.

Inner Monologue
I'll never forget that sight. The sight of the greatest strength humankind could possibly possess.

Inner Monologue
...The next thing I remember, my eyelids fluttered open. Seeing how hard Wodime fought, seeing his determination, I found strength of my own.

Inner Monologue
I may not be capable of following in his footsteps,
but at the very least, I want to help him.

Inner Monologue
I want to live up to the faith he showed in us,
in insisting we be given our own chance to choose.

???
...Circumstantial change confirmed.
The price has now been paid.

???
I have a proposal for you chosen ones.
An offer for those of you who were cast aside.

???
If you desire acclaim, then choose rebirth.
If you desire indolence, then choose eternal sleep.

???
It makes no difference to God.

Inner Monologue
I nodded.

Inner Monologue
The light grew brighter, blinding me. We were each given our tasks: to grow our assigned Lostbelts.

Inner Monologue
I didn't so much as blink. With my Mystic Eye,
I cast my gaze over the world I was given.

Inner Monologue
I looked far and wide, to the very edges...

Inner Monologue
...so that I could live up to his hopes,
and face my destiny as he did his.

Inner Monologue
Even if doing so should take me down an evil path that had been pruned away from human history...

Inner Monologue
...I wished that I might find a glimmer of hope somewhere along the way.

Inner Monologue
And then...

Inner Monologue
...my right eye saw something so very far away.

Inner Monologue
In a Norse world unlike our own,
bound to one day be cut off from humanity...

Inner Monologue
...where fiery destruction raged as well.

--SECTION BREAK--

Surtr
“...You're looking at me, aren't you?”

Surtr
“Who are you?”

Surtr
“Not that pompous fool, Odin; I reduced him to ashes.
Nor the ferocious Fenrir; him, I ate.”

Surtr
“Are you one of the surviving gods?”

Surtr
“Hmm, yes. I suppose one of the gods did escape my flames.”

Surtr
“I see. Then you must be Skadi, the goddess of snow.”

Ophelia
...No. No, I'm not.

Ophelia
...I'm me.

Ophelia
...I am a woman who was meant to die in a world consumed by flame.

Surtr
“You don't say.”

Ophelia
...Who are you?

Ophelia
...Are you the Sixth Imaginary Element? A demon?

Surtr
“No.”

Surtr
“I am flame.”

Surtr
“The flame destined to consume all the Norse lands.”

Surtr
“...I am the last remnant of Ymir's wrath.”

Ophelia
...Norse?
...I see. Now I understand.

Ophelia
...Perhaps it's my old Nordic bloodline that's to blame.

Ophelia
...You must be Surtr.

Surtr
“Oh?”

Ophelia
...The Fiery King of Giants. The dark one.
The giant of Ragnarök who once ended the world.

Surtr
“Heh. So you do know who I am, woman.”

Surtr
“Fascinating. So you are seeing my flame, even as you die from the flames consuming your own world.”

Surtr
“That's right. I am the one who will bring an end to all things.”

Surtr
“I am the one who put an end to the gods and their prattling on about fate. I consumed the land...humans...everything.”

Surtr
“I will end the Age of Gods.
I will end the entire world.”

Surtr
“I will see that there is no tomorrow.”

Ophelia
...Well that's not how the legend goes.

Ophelia
...According to myth, your flames consume the Norse Age of Gods, but it's followed by the Age of Humanity.

Surtr
“That is what was fated to be.”

Surtr
“But I don't care.”

Surtr
“What need have I of a future I cannot see with my own eyes?”

Surtr
“Everything should end with me. When this planet ends, I will have the final laugh as it all fades away.”

Surtr
“At least, that is what I swore to myself, but–”

Ophelia
...I see. You failed too.

Surtr
“Yes. I failed. I've spent a considerable amount of time struggling to free myself from Odin's prison...”

Surtr
“...but it seems fate is a more formidable foe than I thought. This is as far as I go.”

Surtr
“My flame will be pruned away along with these Norse lands, crushing my dream of consuming everything.”

Surtr
“Hehe. What a pitiful sight this world and I must make.”

Ophelia
...So that's where your world ended.

Surtr
“Indeed.”

Ophelia
...Then you have that in common with us. Although I was supposed to save my world, not destroy it.

Surtr
“Is that so?”

Ophelia
...It was nice to meet you, Fiery King of Giants.
...But now, I guess this is goodbye.

Surtr
“Farewell, human woman, who cast her gaze from another world ending in fire.”

Surtr
“If, by some miraculous stroke of luck...”

Surtr
“...you should ever happen to lay your eyes on me again...”

Surtr
“...I will show you my flaming sword.”

Ophelia
...Your Noble Phantasm?

Surtr
“The end of this planet.”

--SECTION BREAK--

Kirschtaria
Good, you're all here.
I knew you wouldn't turn down a challenge.

Beryl
That's one way to put it. Another is that given our choices, there was only one sane answer.

Beryl
This is one helluva tall order, but if the alternative was death, I'm not gonna say no.

Akuta Hinako
...I would not have minded dying, but I could not ignore the prospect of these Lostbelts.

Akuta Hinako
I knew human history was fragile, but I didn't know it had branched out to that degree. I suppose you learn something new every day.

Kadoc
...I don't care what it takes. This is a huge pain in the ass, but at least it gives us a chance to win.

Kadoc
So fine, I'll do it.
Basically, we just gotta save the world, right?

Ophelia
...

Inner Monologue

I couldn't say anything back then.
I was completely at a loss for words.

Inner Monologue

I couldn't laugh it off like Beryl,
or brood on it like Kadoc.

Inner Monologue

Not when Wodime's demeanor was so different from what I had expected.

Kirschtaria
...Now, while I would like nothing more than to celebrate our reunion, our race is already underway. There is no call for fraternization beyond what is absolutely necessary.

Kirschtaria
By now, you should all have connected to your Lostbelts from your Coffins, and formed contracts with your Servants.

Kirschtaria
I've told you all the information I was given.
There's nothing more to add.

Kirschtaria
It won't be long now before the Disciples of the Foreign God arrive. Once they do, I'd like you all to go with them to your respective Lostbelts.

Inner Monologue

Nobody else knew the truth.

Inner Monologue

None of them had any idea what sort of price he had paid to give the rest of us in Team A a chance.

Inner Monologue

He could have boasted about it. He could have held it over our heads. Instead, he never even brought it up.

Ophelia
I don't understand. None of us would be here now if it wasn't for you, Kirschtaria!

Ophelia
Why didn't you say anything!? If you'd just told them what you did for us, they would do whatever you say!

Kirschtaria
I see. So you knew, Ophelia.

Kirschtaria
It's simple. I didn't tell them because it's not important for what lies ahead.

Kirschtaria
I want humans to do the best they possibly can.
That goes for myself, and it goes for you as well.

Kirschtaria
Gratitude is nice, but not if it leads to their putting less than their full efforts into this endeavor.

Kirschtaria
So don't worry about it. I did that for my sake, not yours. It worked out, and I got what I wanted from it.

Kirschtaria
Besides, if one of you ends up surpassing me,
that will make my job easier, right?

Kirschtaria
I risked nothing and stood to gain everything;
none of you owes me anything for it.

Ophelia
...Kirschtaria...

Inner Monologue

That was the moment I knew,
without a shadow of a doubt.

Inner Monologue

Kirschtaria Wodime was different.
He always had been.

Inner Monologue

He had been on a whole other level from the rest of us ever since he was born. His mindset, his character, his bearing–all fit for a king.

Inner Monologue

There was simply no other explanation for how he could have accomplished something so incredible.

Kirschtaria
Ophelia, you'll be taking Scandinavia.

Kirschtaria
Be very careful when you summon your Servant after you get there.

Kirschtaria
Destruction factors heavily into Norse mythology. In such a world, it is when matters appear to be going well that one needs to be most on their guard.

Kirschtaria
A good ending for the Norse could in truth be quite a bad ending for us.

Kirschtaria
But then...I suppose I needn't warn you of that.
You have your Mystic Eye, after all.

Kirschtaria
You can see into the future far better than I can. As such, you should be more than capable of growing Scandinavia's Tree of Emptiness to maturity.

Inner Monologue

...That's right. The king I swear allegiance to–the god I worship–isn't the Foreign God at all.

Inner Monologue

This is the man I will serve. If it will help him realize his ideals, I'll gladly become a Crypter.

Ophelia
...

Ophelia
I will. I promise, Lord Kirschtaria...

Sigurd
...I see. So this is a Servant.

Ophelia
Your body is made of ether. You might not like how it feels, but try to get used to it.

Ophelia
I'm glad you were the one who answered my summon, Dragon Slayer... Wielder of Gram.

Ophelia
I know it was a special summoning ritual, but it's still fortunate that I was able to get you without a catalyst.

Ophelia
Maybe it's because of my mother's Nordic bloodline.

Ophelia
That certainly seems a far more likely cause than my father's fondness for Richard Wagner.

Sigurd
Wagner?

Ophelia
Oh, right. Sorry. In my world's history,
Sigurd and Siegfried are different people.

Ophelia
So that makes my mother's bloodline seem even more likely.

Ophelia
At any rate, it's nice to meet you, Saber.

Ophelia
My name's Ophelia Phamrsolone.

Ophelia
I have to say, I'd never have guessed you would exist in this Lostbelt. I would've thought–

Sigurd
You're not wrong. The Heroic Spirit this body belongs to isn't from this Lostbelt.

Ophelia
...?

Ophelia
No, that can't be right. We Crypters are meant to form contracts with a Heroic Spirit that's tied to our land...

Sigurd
Ophelia. I see.
So your name is Ophelia Phamrsolone.

Sigurd
Ahh, that's a lovely name. Phamrsolone.
It puts me in mind of Thrones, a type of angel.

Sigurd
If you are to be an angel,
then you should serve me as your god.

Ophelia
Wha... What are you saying, Sigurd?

Sigurd
Oh come now, don't be so cold.
You already know who I am.

Sigurd
From my perspective, we just met the other day.
Is that not true for you?

Sigurd
I'll never forget that gaze of yours. The way you looked at me right before my world, my reality was pruned away...

Sigurd
...I remember looking you right in the eye, Ophelia.

Ophelia
Those eyes...

Ophelia
...You're...

Sigurd
You saw me.
And I saw you.

Sigurd
Rejoice, daughter of humanity.
In that moment, our fates were intertwined.

Sigurd
Hehe. Heh. Hahahahahahahaha!
Did you really not notice, Ophelia Phamrsolone!?

Sigurd
My soul was linked to your unusual Mystic Eye!
It's been hiding inside of you all this time!

Sigurd
You did form a contract!
I'm the Servant you gained in your Lostbelt!

Sigurd
Rejoice, Ophelia! Your Servant is none other than Surtr,
the Fiery King of Giants himself!

Ophelia
...!

Ophelia
N-no... No! That can't be right! I'm a Master.
I know all about the Heroic Spirits I summon!

Ophelia
You're Sigurd! The greatest hero of Scandinavia,
heir to Gram, the demonic sword–

Sigurd
Do not force me to repeat myself.
You are referring to the body I possess.

Sigurd
Yes, you succeeded at summoning Sigurd.
That much is true. But thanks to your Mystic Eye...

Sigurd
...I snuck into the summoning spell and melded with his soul! Hehe. Now I control his entire body!

Ophelia
Ah!

Ophelia
An accidental summoning...! No, this would be a multiple simultaneous summon, leading to...

Sigurd
Now, now. Don't make that face, Ophelia.

Sigurd
Go on. Smile. Breathe a sigh of relief.
I may just be a soul, but I'm still your Servant.

Sigurd
So I'll be your knight, just like you're my woman.

Sigurd
Now...what do you say we seal the deal!?

Ophelia
Stay back!
Don't...come near me...

Sigurd
Heh, a Command Spell?
By all means.

Sigurd
In fact, that's one of the things I want the most.
Go ahead, tie this body down. Destroy it!

Ophelia
What...?

Sigurd
That infernal Odin imprisoned my homeland–my foundation.

Sigurd
Muspelheim has been left behind in this Lostbelt.
I have to get it back.

Sigurd
If this body is shattered, my soul will be freed. Then, I will destroy Odin's prison...and that false sun of his will fall.

Sigurd
Once that has happened...I will materialize in my true form, as the Fiery King of Giants.

Ophelia
!!!

Ophelia
The sun...?

Ophelia
You mean, that enormous sun is...actually–

Sigurd
Yes. My true body.
Or rather, the prison Odin built to hold it.

Sigurd
Hehe. Did the mages of Proper Human History not know? Muspelheim, realm of fire, home to all Muspel...

Sigurd
...is in fact my own body! It is the endless flame burning with an insatiable hunger for destruction!

Sigurd
I will need it to resume Ragnarök,
which was so rudely interrupted.

Sigurd
Odin's seal was quite solid...but thankfully,
you saw to that when you released my soul.

Sigurd
The rest is easy. I'll escape this shell, and my soul will destroy my body's prison from the outside.

Sigurd
That prison may be difficult to escape from within,
but it is all too vulnerable from the outside.

Sigurd
I struck Odin a fatal blow after I devoured Fenrir. The Allfather clearly didn't have the strength left to secure my prison from both sides.

Sigurd
Hmm...

Sigurd
I suppose I should expect no less from the soul of a great hero. Now that we are meshed together, it will be difficult to escape this body on my own.

Sigurd
It's tortuous, having to constantly face Sigurd's soul...like standing in a hall of infinite mirrors.

Sigurd
It would be far quicker if I could turn my blade on myself...

Sigurd
...but failing that, I would be grateful if YOU would end me, Ophelia.

Ophelia
...If I...

Ophelia
...kill you...

Ophelia
...the sun...Surtr...will fall...?

Sigurd
Indeed. Once I take back my body...I will resume Ragnarök, and this Lostbelt will be the first to burn.

Sigurd
From there, I will lay waste to the rest of the planet.

Sigurd
I can't wait to show you, Ophelia.

Sigurd
Soon, you'll get to see my flaming sword...

Sigurd
...end the entire world.

Ophelia
...!

Inner Monologue
Instead of screaming out in despair...

Inner Monologue
...I quickly used a Command Spell to forbid him from killing or harming himself.

Inner Monologue
Surtr is the King of Giants, the destructor of the end-time.
I can't let him escape Sigurd's body.

Inner Monologue
If he does, everything will burn.
It will be the Incineration of Humanity all over again.

Inner Monologue
No, not quite. His fire would have to extend into the past to match the Incineration of Humanity.

Inner Monologue
But his fire will burn up everything in the present,
and leave nothing for tomorrow.

Inner Monologue
All of a sudden, it felt like something was twisting my heart. It hurts...

Inner Monologue
I can feel my body groaning in pain.
It's like I'm being hollowed out from the inside.

Inner Monologue
Without warning, I find myself in a terribly precarious situation. Am I doing the right thing?

Inner Monologue
Should I tell Queen Skadi?
No. That would be much too risky.

Inner Monologue
The King of Giants is the gods' sworn enemy.
I cannot imagine her merciful love extending to him.

Inner Monologue
With every thought, I can feel my body groaning under the pressure. It hurts. Something is...interfering with me, with my plans...

Inner Monologue
What should I do?
I can't make this call on my own.

Inner Monologue
But...what choice do I have?

Inner Monologue
We Crypters can't interact directly.
I have to resolve this situation myself.

Inner Monologue
Besides, we're not allies. Not really.

Inner Monologue
Once we manage to grow our Trees of Emptiness to maturity, we'll just end up competing for each other's territory.

Inner Monologue
In the end, there will only be one territory left.
I can't afford to show any weakness.

Inner Monologue
That's why...

--SECTION BREAK--

Ophelia
...That concludes my report.

Kirschtaria
I see. You did well to bring this to my attention, Ophelia.

Ophelia
Not at all, Lord Kirschtaria.

Ophelia
Once I determined the danger this situation posed,
I thought you should decide how to handle it.

Inner Monologue

I'm a mage. I don't have the same kind of feelings that normal people do.

Inner Monologue

I don't experience love or romance.

Inner Monologue

All I feel is undying loyalty towards those with vastly superior intellects.

Inner Monologue

Kirschtaria Wodime shines brighter than anyone.
He isn't afraid of anything.

Inner Monologue

He'll know what to do. I'm sure of it.

Inner Monologue

As long as he shows me the path I need to take,
I'm sure I can summon up the courage to follow it.

Kirschtaria
Ophelia Phamrsolone.

Ophelia
Yes, Lord Kirschtaria?

Kirschtaria
You were right to use a Command Spell.
And this summon you have achieved is fascinating.

Kirschtaria
The King of Giants in Norse mythology is akin to a god of destruction. By summoning him, you have, in essence, summoned an ancient god.

Kirschtaria
You should be proud that you were born to a family devoted to the study of evocation and the summoning arts.

Kirschtaria
...Ophelia.

Ophelia
Yes?

Kirschtaria
You have gained an exceptional resource to help bring about the Reconstruction of Humanity.

Kirschtaria
You say Surtr told you he was going to burn the entire planet?

Kirschtaria
Fascinating. I wonder if that would still work on a world that has been wiped clean.

Kirschtaria
At any rate, the data would seem to indicate that you have him fully under control.

Kirschtaria
As long as you can continue to rein him in without incident, he should be a tremendous asset. Though of course, that does pose considerable risk.

Ophelia
...Understood.

Ophelia
Then I shall do my best to live up to your expectations, Lord Kirschtaria.

Ophelia
From here on, I will address my half-Surtr, half-Sigurd Servant as Saber, and turn his power to our cause.

Ophelia
I vow that I will grow my Lostbelt to maturity with his help.

Inner Monologue
I know I can live up to Lord Kirschtaria's hopes.
I know I can fight.

Inner Monologue
Building a relationship with a Heroic Spirit that has a mind of his own... Controlling one's Servants... These are key problems every Master has to face.

Inner Monologue
I can manage it.
This is what I've trained for.

Inner Monologue
I won't fail.
I WILL grow my Tree of Emptiness to maturity.

Inner Monologue
I'll ensure this Lostbelt continues to flourish alongside the queen, and the most powerful knight ever to live.

Inner Monologue
The tree continues to grow well.
It has been all this time.

Inner Monologue
Everything is going well here. At least...it was.

Inner Monologue
I...
I...

Napoleon
Enchanté, Crypter! I'm a Servant from Proper Human History. The only hero of humanity in all of Scandinavia!

Napoleon
Hey now...
What's the matter?

Napoleon
...What are you so afraid of, mademoiselle?

--ARROW--


...The false sun is falling.
...The Fiery King of Giants returns.

In the book of Genesis, it's written that the Creator rested on the seventh day.
In this Lostbelt, fire is what comes on the seventh day.
Not a day of rest, but the day of Ragnarök.

After Wednesday...Odin's day...
After Thursday...Thor's day...
After Friday...Freyja's day...
Then, after Saturday...Saturn's day...the day of the sun finally arrives.

The false sun–the ball of fire glowing in the sky–is falling to the ground instead of remaining aloft.
It shakes and cracks the ground, shattering mountains as it shifts and writhes to stand on its feet.

In Proper Human History, this event manifested in the eruption of Mt. Katla, but not here. Our myth is this world's reality.
Muspelheim–realm of fire, land of flame.

The blazing inferno standing in for the true sun in this Lostbelt's sky.
Now, the Muspel's leader–Muspelheim itself–descends upon us.

One of the great kings. The one who will cast twilight's pall far and wide, arrives as a sun gone mad.
...The only King of Giants in all the world.
...Surtr, and his great flaming sword.

Napoleon
Did you say Surtr...!?
Man, you weren't kidding!

Napoleon
Hah! Figures he'd be a big bugger! I know the Age of Gods never ended here, but come ON!

Fou
Fou, fooou.
Fo, fou.

Mash
The Fiery King of Giants! The Border's instruments can't even properly measure his magical energy!

Mash
We can't even tell how far he is from us, either!
It's not clear whether he's way out there or...

Mash
It's no use! I can't even get a clear visual on him!
It could be some sort of heat mirage or something...

Mash
Either way, it is impossibly hot!
Make sure you stay behind me, Master!

  1. Roger that!
  2. I'll get my Mystic Code ready!
  Select: Roger that!

  Select: I'll get my Mystic Code ready!

===Branch End===

Holmes
I strongly advise you keep your distance,
{(M) Mr. /(F) Ms.} Fujimaru. Your Mystic Code may have been outfitted to accommodate Russia's extreme cold, but it is not nearly so effective against extreme heat.

Holmes
Make sure to remain where Ms. Kyrielight can protect you.

Mash
Holmes! You're healed! Thank goodness!

Holmes
Absolutely. I've had plenty of rest. It was nice to fall asleep without anything on my mind for once.

Holmes
But I also can't deny that it was dreadfully dull. You will have to inform me about your recent escapades when we have the time.

Goredolf
I-is this really the time to just be idly catching up with each other!? The temperature outside the Border is skyrocketing even as we speak!

Goredolf
It's enough of a shock learning that giants and the like exist here, but now we find out they have a king!?

Goredolf
There's no telling how many reports I'll have to write now! Assuming anyone even believes them!

Goredolf
G-granted, it's not as though we're making any of this up...but once this Lostbelt disappears, any credibility those reports will have is going to disappear along with it...

Holmes
Ah, hello, Mr. Goredolf. I see you are finally beginning to understand some of the problems Chaldea has been facing this entire time.

Holmes
Perhaps now you may understand why, at first blush, our reports from the Singularities may have seemed so preposterous.

Goredolf
G-grr... Never mind that now! We're in danger here!
Get us the hell out, right away!

Goredolf
It's difficult to tell with all this fire,
but I don't think that giant is as far away as he looks.

Napoleon
You're right about that, Monsieur Director!
I've got a feeling he's way closer than you think!

Napoleon
Hey, King of Giants!
Surtr, right!?

Napoleon
You're not just gonna go away on your own, are you!?
Am I right to assume you're our enemy!?

Surtr
“Of course.”

Mash
I can hear him! No, wait.
He's communicating telepathically, via magecraft!

Napoleon
Here he comes...!
You two, keep Brynhild safe!

  1. Got it...!
  2. Mash! Maximum output! Focus everything on defense!
  Select: Got it...!
Mash
Right!

  Select: Mash! Maximum output! Focus everything on defense!
Mash
Yes, Master! Ortinax, maximum output!
Switching over to defensive mode!

===Branch End===

Ophelia
...
...

Ophelia
...I can't believe you're so collected,
even after seeing that.

Ophelia
I'm impressed, Mash. You really are amazing.

Ortlinde
It's dangerous out here, Ophelia Phamrsolone.

Ortlinde
Please hurry inside the castle, while the King of Giants' attention is focused on them.

Ophelia
No, Ortlinde. You go on ahead.

Ophelia
This...this is my mess.
I need to be the one who cleans it up.

Ortlinde
Ophelia!

--BATTLE--

Mash
...Khh... I'm not...done yet...!

Mash
Ghhh...
Rrraaaaaaaaah...!

Mash
(Huff, huff...!)
Ah...! (Gasp...gasp...)

Mash
I've fended off the first wave of Surtr's onslaught! But I'm afraid this heat and pressure are so intense that–

Da Vinci
The Ortinax is designed to be fire-resistant. It should be able to hold up in the face of extreme heat from the natural world.

Da Vinci
But it was never designed to withstand being submerged in lava. You're lucky you're still standing.

Da Vinci
If not for all this snow and ice infused with magical energy, you'd be a goner! After all, he's–

Holmes
Indeed. He may not be quite as hot as a star, but he is quite close. And there's something else disturbing about him.

Holmes
Be wary of his Noble Phantasm! Surtr's flaming sword is a Divine Construct born from a planet!

Holmes
It prioritizes life-forms over all else!
Not even a deity from the Age of Gods could survive it!

Napoleon
Ooh la la! You should be proud, you two! We're still standing tall after facing off with a being that kills entire worlds!

Napoleon
Hey, Surtr! I figured a god killer would be way more impressive, but so far, you've been a big letdown.

Napoleon
You're nothing compared to the despair my Grande Armée and I felt in winter!

Surtr
“Hehe.”

Surtr
“Winter, you say?”

Surtr
“All that I have for you...”

Surtr
“...is fire.”

Fou
Fo, fo fou!
Kyuuu!

Mash
Here comes the second wave!

  1. Keep that shield up!
  2. Once we get through this, we'll launch a counterattack!
  Select: Keep that shield up!

  Select: Once we get through this, we'll launch a counterattack!

===Branch End===

Mash
Yes...Master! I won't lose, even if we are up against a Divine Construct!

Mash
Position secured with a bunker bolt!
Assuming full defensive–

Surtr

“Out of my way.”

Inner Monologue
A blinding light fills my vision.

Inner Monologue
Light...

Inner Monologue
No, it's not just light. It's heat...flickering heat that reduces everything it touches to ash.

Inner Monologue
If this were truly a Divine Construct, there is nothing to be done against it. At least, that's what I think.

Mash
Sen...pai...!

Mash
Senpai!

Inner Monologue
And yet, I saw her. I saw a warrior standing up to a sword forged by gods with a man-made shield.

Inner Monologue
I saw her push beyond her limits to wield that heavy shield, even as her arms and legs shook with the effort.

Inner Monologue
And I knew...
I knew that it was time for me to make my stand.

Inner Monologue
My Spirit Core may be damaged, but as long as I can move,
I have a chance to atone for my sins.

Awakened Man
You two.

Awakened Man
It seems this body of mine has caused you a great deal of trouble.

Awakened Man
And so, I have no choice but to use it to make amends.

Man's Voice
My ultimate technique is ready! Demonic sword of the sun,
now is the time for you to wreak destruction!

Man's Voice
...Bölverkr Gram!

Section 14: Bringing Twilight Here Once Again (Middle)

Show/Hide Story Chapter

Inner Monologue
Fire walked the earth.

Inner Monologue
Here in this Lostbelt, a place nearly devoid of life,
a giant strode about the land like a conquering king.

Inner Monologue
Onward he walked, never straying from his path towards the Lostbelt's fiery northern mountains.

Inner Monologue
He is the king of the giants.
The king of fire.

Inner Monologue
The giants that gather at his feet are crushed beneath his heels. The ice beasts drawn to his light are melted in an instant.

Inner Monologue
...He is a lofty king.

Inner Monologue
Though he may carry me on his shoulder, I am well aware there is no one who can truly be close to him.

Inner Monologue
There is nothing else that can view the world from his great height.

Inner Monologue
No... That may not be quite true any longer.

Inner Monologue
My Mystic Eye can see it. An enormous tree beyond the fiery mountains, stretching towards the heavens...

Inner Monologue
...a figure just as imposing as the king of giants.

Inner Monologue
...The Tree of Emptiness.

Ophelia
(...I can't reach Lord Kirschtaria...
Surtr's magical energy must be jamming our signal...)

Ophelia
(...What would he think of this situation...?)

Ophelia
(“I see no cause for concern. I have high hopes for you, Ophelia.” ...Yes. That's what he'd say...)

Ophelia
...You again.
I'm surprised to see you outside the castle.

Ophelia
Do I look a complete fool to you now?
Yes. I'm sure I do.

Ophelia
I'd probably laugh too if I saw myself now.

???
...

Ophelia
Huh...?

Ophelia
I'm sorry. I can't tell what you're saying.

Ophelia
I have some facility with lipreading, but it is not helpful when you speak a language I do not know.

Ophelia
...I guess you really are from a foreign planet.

Caenis
...Dumbass.

Caenis
Can hardly freaking believe she's a Crypter too. Not one damn bit like the other one. This one's just a stupid little girl who can't bear to let go of her ladyhood.

Caenis
She might as well be carrying a cracked jar of oil into a bonfire. It's as stupid as a maiden walking along the shore barefoot.

Caenis
Between her and the queen, there isn't a single woman here who can tell a good man when she sees one.

Caenis
...Tch. Screw this. I can see where it's going so I'm just gonna go back to the temple. And you, fox woman?

Koyanskaya
Good question... This silvery world is pretty enough that it could have made for a nice ski resort...

Koyanskaya
...but with that giant here, any chance at NFF Services making a profit just went up in smoke.

Koyanskaya
I think I'll be on my way shortly, too. I want to see how Ophelia's story ends before I leave.

Caenis
...Heh. So being able to flit about as you like makes it easy for you to park your fat ass wherever you go, huh. I should've known!

Koyanskaya
Oh, would you please spare me the slanderous crudities?

Koyanskaya
I'll have you know my ass isn't the slightest bit fat! It's petite, thank you very much!

Caenis
Gotta say though, I'm disappointed in Queenie here. Can't believe she's just sitting back and letting Surtr get resurrected like this.

Caenis
Then again, she did marry Njörðr, god of the sea, in Proper Human History. Must not be as smart as she pretends.

Koyanskaya
I'm afraid you have it backwards, Caenis.
Look at it this way.

Koyanskaya
Surtr was just that much of a blind spot for her. He represented something so antithetical to her worldview that she couldn't conceive of his existence.

Koyanskaya
This Lostbelt was finished the moment she lost the ability to consider that much.

Koyanskaya
Why do you think it was pruned away? It's like an insect that couldn't even tell that it was being exterminated.

Caenis
...

Koyanskaya
That said, I doubt Her Majesty would have done anything about Surtr even if she had learned of his relationship to Sigurd.

Caenis
Oh? That mean she's just the sort to sit back and let nature take its course?

Caenis
Or does she just pity that Crypter?

Koyanskaya
Indeed. I imagine the queen feels compelled to keep herself in check, so as to be responsible with her overwhelming power.

Koyanskaya
I suppose it's an admirable enough quality,
for a human...

Koyanskaya
...but sadly, she doesn't seem to have realized that way of thinking limited what her Scandinavia could do as well.

Koyanskaya
Anyway, none of that is my business,
and I'm more than happy to keep it that way☆

Koyanskaya
And that's about enough chitchat.

Koyanskaya
I've got all the goodies I came for,
so I think I'll be on my merry way.

Koyanskaya
The next time we meet will be on the sea, won't it, Caenis? When we do, I expect to see some rare and valuable merch that can't be found anywhere on land♡

Caenis
Hah! As if I'd give your fat ass the time of day.

Caenis
Besides...the fact you think you're irreplaceable just means you'll be on your way out sooner than you realize.

Caenis
I wouldn't assume every Lostbelt is on your side if I were you, “pet.”

A:Mash
(Huff...huff...huff...)

A:Mash
...
...

A:Mash
...We're...still alive?

A:Mash
Senpai!

  1. I'm all right.
  2. He deflected the fire with his demonic sword.
  Select: I'm all right.

  Select: He deflected the fire with his demonic sword.

===Branch End===

Sigurd
...It seems the King of Giants has disappeared towards the northern mountains.

Sigurd
First and foremost, I'm glad to see you're all safe.

Sigurd
I think you may already know who I am, but let me introduce myself properly. I am a warrior and the wielder of the demonic sword Gram.

Sigurd
I am the son of Sigmund and Hjördís,
and I have manifested in this Lostbelt as a Saber.

Sigurd
My True Name is Sigurd.
I'm glad I was able to protect you.

Sigurd
I only wish I had been able to resist Surtr's control of my body more than once...

Mash
Sigurd...?

Mash
Resist...
So, back then...was that you...?

Sigurd
...Hmph. I guess this is what they call a hero's pride.

Mash
B-but...I thought you died when Surtr was freed...!

Holmes
He did. Sigurd's body would surely have fallen apart...had someone not been there to hold it together.

Holmes
Am I correct in that assumption, Ortlinde,
last remaining commander of the Valkyries?

Ortlinde
Yes. I used a rune to help him. It was all so sudden that I did not expect it to work...

Ortlinde
...but fortunately, the damage was not as extensive as I believed. It almost seemed to me as if the wounds on his body had been somehow...rewound.

Mash
(Rewound... Did Ophelia do that...?)

Ortlinde
I took advantage of that opportunity to keep his Spirit Core intact, though only just. Unfortunately, I have already exceeded my own output limits.

Ortlinde
I am afraid I will only last a few seconds more at best.

Sigurd
I was able to wield my sword one last time thanks to you.
For that, you have my deepest gratitude.

Ortlinde
...No need to thank me.
I didn't help you for your sake.

Ortlinde
If you truly are a hero,
then please...help my sister.

Ortlinde
That's all I want...

Sigurd
You have my word, and once again,
you have my gratitude.

Fou
Fou...

Sigurd
In Odin's name, by the runes' guidance,
I ask that you awaken, my love.

Sigurd
Brynhild. My love, and my eternal executioner.
Please, open your eyes.

Sigurd
I promise, I will hold your Spirit Origin together.

Sigurd
Your Spirit Core may be damaged, like mine, but I hope you will open your eyes nonetheless, even just a little.

Brynhild
You mustn't...

Brynhild
Please, don't come near me.
I...I'm the one destined to kill you...

Brynhild
I can try to resist the madness, but I fear my body may move to kill you on its own...

Brynhild
So, please...
Stay away...

Sigurd
Hush. Just for now.

Brynhild
...Ah...

Brynhild
...
...

Brynhild
...I knew it... It really was someone else earlier, wasn't it, Sigurd?

Sigurd
Yes.

Brynhild
It's really you...
You are...the man...the hero I fell in love with.

Sigurd
If only that were true. Then and now, I've shown myself to be too much a fool to be your hero.

Brynhild
No...
No, you haven't...

Brynhild
You protected me. If it hadn't been for you,
Surtr's fiery sword would have killed me...

Brynhild
You protected the shield-maiden, the emperor, and the {(M) boy /(F) girl} fighting to save humanity. You kept this world's hope alive.

Sigurd
Of course.

Sigurd
I could never have done it with what little strength I had alone, though. Her help was crucial.

Sigurd
She is also why your spear has yet to pierce me,
despite our coming face-to-face.

Sigurd
It's all thanks to her godly power...

Mash
(Is he talking about–)

Fou
Fo...fou?

Woman's Voice
Indeed.

Woman's Voice
If Surtr had brought his flaming sword down in earnest, my castle, and all of Scandinavia, would have been razed to the ground.

Woman's Voice
And of course, I absolutely refuse to abide men and women killing one another.

Scáthach-Skadi
...Hm, I see you have all suffered at least some manner of injury.

Scáthach-Skadi
It has been a very, very long time since I last saw brave warriors putting themselves to the hazard in combat.

Scáthach-Skadi
This may have been inevitable with Odin's protection weakened, but my negligence is also to blame for things reaching this dire stage.

Scáthach-Skadi
Chaldeans. Sigurd. Brynhild.

Scáthach-Skadi
And you, the Archer whose name escapes me...

Scáthach-Skadi
You fought well, my children.
I commend your bravery and your valor.

Scáthach-Skadi
I will not let you die just yet.
You may all enter my castle. Come with me.

Napoleon
Ophelia...

Fou
Fou, fou.
Faaau!

Napoleon
Yeah, I know.
...It's about time I stepped up.

--ARROW--

...With their masks gone...
...the giants began an all-out assault...
...to destroy what little life remained...

E:Grown-Ups
I knew it!
The giants are heading towards the village!

E:Grown-Ups
There were always a few stragglers wandering around the snowfields and mountains, but there's never been so many gathered around the village like this before!

D:Grown-Ups
Wh-what's going on...?
I-is... Is this the Goddess's will?

Children
They're so loud! And close! A-are we gonna be okay...?
They're not gonna break through the walls, are they!?

D:Grown-Ups
The envoys will protect us!
The Goddess will make her glory known!

E:Grown-Ups
There's nothing to worry about, everyone!
So let's just all pray together!

Gerda
...
...

Gerda
(Lady Mash... {(M) Mr. /(F) Ms.} Fujimaru...
Mr. Napoleon... Fou...)

Gerda
(Wherever you are...
I hope the giants haven't squished you...)

Scáthach-Skadi
...I have sent all the envoys to the villages.

Scáthach-Skadi
Unfortunately, with their masks gone, not only do the giants no longer hear my voice, they now resonate with Surtr.

Scáthach-Skadi
If their power approaches its height during the Age of Gods, the villages' protections can only last so long.

Scáthach-Skadi
I will do my best to ensure they remain intact for at least half a day, but anything more than that will be quite difficult.

Scáthach-Skadi
Setting that aside...
I never expected to see Surtr again.

Holmes
My apologies for interrupting, Your Majesty.
I am Sherlock Holmes of Chaldea.

Holmes
Let me begin by offering you my most sincere thanks for treating our injured personnel.

Holmes
For that matter, it is safe to say they would not even have survived Surtr's attack had it not been for your help–

Napoleon
Right. We should all thank her for saving us. Thanks, Queenie! I'm glad we're fighting the same enemy now!

Sigurd
You have my thanks.

Brynhild
...Thank you.

Mash
I-I, um...
Thank you, Scáthach.

Mash
You even restored the Ortinax and its components...

Fou
Fou, fo fooou!

  1. Thanks!
  2. I can't believe you're being so nice to us...
  Select: Thanks!

  Select: I can't believe you're being so nice to us...

===Branch End===

Scáthach-Skadi
Hehe. Pay it no mind.
It is about time you all understood.

Scáthach-Skadi
I am your mother.
All in Scandinavia are my children.

Scáthach-Skadi
I have decided to love you, with all that entails.

Scáthach-Skadi
As my children, all you need do is accept my grace.

Scáthach-Skadi
...Even if I am only one of the “old” gods,
as that irritating Wodime would say.

Holmes
We are most grateful for your mercy.
Now, would you mind if I asked you a few questions?

Holmes
I would like to gain as clear an understanding of the situation as possible in order to better determine our next course of action.

Scáthach-Skadi
Very well.
Ask what you will.

Holmes
Thank you, Your Majesty.

Holmes
To begin, I presume that the fire on the northern mountains comes from Surtr?

Scáthach-Skadi
That is correct.

Holmes
Are they embers?

Mash
(Embers?)

Brynhild
(I believe he means the embers of Ragnarök...)

Napoleon
(Now I get it!)

Scáthach-Skadi
That would depend upon your perspective.

Holmes
Hmm. I see.

  1. Hold up!
 
  Select: Hold up!

===Branch End===

Mash
E-excuse me! I'm sorry to interrupt,
but may we ask you something, Holmes!?

Holmes
Yes, Ms. Kyrielight?
{(M) Mr. /(F) Ms.} Fujimaru?

  1. Does this mean...
  2. Holmes, did you know about Surtr all along...?
  Select: Does this mean...

  Select: Holmes, did you know about Surtr all along...?

===Branch End===

Holmes
I was, at best, twenty percent certain. Giving voice to my suspicions at that point would only cause confusion, which is why I refrained from doing so.

Holmes
But I was certain that the man who attacked the Shadow Border was not truly Sigurd, even if I was unable to convey that information at the time.

Holmes
That said...I am at fault with regard to the fire in the mountains. My apologies.

Holmes
I should have found a way to tell you about their true nature sooner.

Holmes
Or at least managed to warn you of Surtr's involvement here.

Da Vinci
Hmm, I wouldn't beat yourself up for it too badly. Under the circumstances, you were lucky to survive Sigurd–uh, the fake Sigurd's attack.

Da Vinci
Having said that, there is one thing about you that I'm not exactly pleased about.

Da Vinci
You always either say too much, or not enough.

Goredolf
H-hmm, yes, that is certainly true...
Nonetheless, Technical Advisor...

Goredolf
...much as I agree that one should strive for accuracy in the information conveyed, even in battle, we can't expect it will always be possible to do so...

Da Vinci
Tch. Well if you're gonna take Holmes's side,
I guess there's nothing more to discuss.

Da Vinci
That is how you do things, right, Gordy? You don't expect people to deliver more than they're capable of, do you?

Holmes
I am deeply ashamed. I can't tell you how sorry I am for the trouble my ineptitude has caused.

Scáthach-Skadi
......

Scáthach-Skadi
Why are you so hard on yourself,
sage of Proper Human History?

Scáthach-Skadi
The fire in those mountains is a testament to my weakness.

Scáthach-Skadi
Even with the power Odin bestowed upon me...

Scáthach-Skadi
...I have been unable to rid my land of twilight.

Holmes
Is that–

Scáthach-Skadi
It is something of a long story.
Please, lend me your ears.

---

It was three thousand years ago...
The Twilight of the Gods.
Ragnarök, the battle destined to bring an end to the Age of Gods, was upon us.
It should have begun and ended here just as it did in Proper Human History.
But here, Surtr rampaged unchecked,
and everything went awry.

Surtr. The dark one.
He inherited Ymir's destructive side above all else...
The first giant, whose name was all but erased from Proper Human History...
As the Fiery King of Giants, he was the strongest in all Muspelheim, which also made him its ruler.
He was meant to trigger Ragnarök, ending the Norse Age of Gods and paving the way for the future.

But, in this Lostbelt...
...he did not care for his destined fate.
Refusing to be content with ending the Norse Age of Gods, he decided he wanted to bring about a true end...a cataclysm to end the world entirely.
From there, things continued to spiral...

Next came Vánagandr Fenrisúlfr...perhaps better known as icy Fenrir, the fearsome wolf of ruin whose breath could freeze anything in its path.
Though I am told it is not mentioned in either Eddas or the Völsunga Saga in Proper Human History...

...he was a great monster whose bones, muscles, and heart turned to ice after it had eaten half of Niflheim.
It was Fenrir who was originally supposed to kill Odin...

...but when Fenrir let down his guard to swallow the sun, Surtr set upon him.
He killed Fenrir, tore him to pieces,
and consumed him.
Having gained the wolf's power, Surtr went on to kill Loki, the other gods, and even the other of the giants' kings...

He then attempted to connect his true body, Muspelheim itself, to the sky, through the hole left by the sun's vacancy.
By doing so, he hoped to bring twilight not only to the gods, but to the entire world.
He destroyed each of the Norse world's nine realms,
and attempted to burn down the very planet.

The flames were devastating.
Odin and the remaining gods banded together to try and prevent this unthinkable ending...but they could not win against Surtr.

However, they were able to fight him to a stalemate.
Though the gods were completely destroyed, Odin was able to seal Muspelheim away with one final rune, leaving it hanging in the sky as a false sun...

As for myself...Odin combined me with Scáthach,
a woman with whom I shared a fateful bond...
...in order to draw Surtr's eye away from the gods he meant to kill.

Now I am all that remains of the gods. Me...and the Primordial Runes that Odin entrusted to my care.

---
Scáthach-Skadi
...It was horrific.

Scáthach-Skadi
Surtr's rampage left much of the land ablaze...

Scáthach-Skadi
The blood that poured onto the ground from the many wounds the gods inflicted upon him erupted into flames...and remained ablaze.

Scáthach-Skadi
Those flames consumed countless lives.

Scáthach-Skadi
It fell to me to protect what few remained.

Scáthach-Skadi
Once Ragnarök had truly concluded, there would be little point in ushering in the Age of Humanity without any humans.

Scáthach-Skadi
I turned the vast majority of my power toward extinguishing the flames that threatened to consume this world and all life on it.

Scáthach-Skadi
And so I blanketed this land in snow and ice,
laden with magical energy...

Scáthach-Skadi
...thus creating safe havens that the surviving giants could not touch in order to give humans an opportunity to live their lives.

Scáthach-Skadi
I put masks on the giants infused with my magical energy, placing them under the authority I gained from my father, the giant Þjazi.

Scáthach-Skadi
I then produced several hundred “envoys,”
using the three surviving Valkyries as a base.

Ortlinde
......

Scáthach-Skadi
With his true body sealed within the false sun,
Surtr became as ineffectual as a Divine Spirit...

Scáthach-Skadi
Though he continued to exist in this world...he no longer had any power over it.

Scáthach-Skadi
Peace returned to Scandinavia, and so began a new age that was never meant to be.

Scáthach-Skadi
An age where the last god, a handful of people, a scattering of giants, and a few Valkyries all eked out a quiet coexistence.

Scáthach-Skadi
From there...an impossible three thousand years came to pass.

Scáthach-Skadi
A great tree extended its roots down from space...and Ophelia appeared before me, calling herself a Crypter.

Scáthach-Skadi
I presume you are aware of what transpired after that.

Scáthach-Skadi
She told me she must grow that tree in order for this world to survive.

Scáthach-Skadi
She was quite helpful to me,
which I did appreciate...

Mash
...

Scáthach-Skadi
But that is beside the point.

Scáthach-Skadi
I never suspected the knight that accompanied her...

Scáthach-Skadi
...was harboring the soul of my sworn enemy!

Holmes
I don't think she meant for this to happen. I believe this was likely a summoning accident of some kind.

Holmes
No doubt she used a summoning system identical to Chaldea's to materialize Sigurd's Heroic Spirit, and a foreign entity happened to make its way into the mix.

Da Vinci
By foreign entity, I take it you mean Surtr–
Wait, I've got it. It's her Mystic Eye!

Holmes
Indeed. I imagine Surtr must have used it as a catalyst.
That eye is meant for seeing possibilities, after all.

Holmes
She must have caught sight of a lost history–a pruned phenomenon that would have been impossible in Proper Human History at some point.

Scáthach-Skadi
So you say she saw Surtr's soul, of all things?

Scáthach-Skadi
Oh, Ophelia Phamrsolone. If you had to see something, why could it not have been me?

Scáthach-Skadi
How dreadfully...unfortunate...

Scáthach-Skadi
But, regardless...the fact remains that Surtr,
my sworn enemy, has returned to my land.

Scáthach-Skadi
And now he will stop at nothing to finish what he began: to merge with Muspelheim, and bring about the end of all things.

Scáthach-Skadi
If nothing is done to stop him,
he will burn Scandinavia to the ground.

Scáthach-Skadi
His flames will devour all life. All manner of heat will coalesce into one great fire, and reduce everything to smoke and ash.

Da Vinci
If that happens, there's no telling what effect it might have outside of this Lostbelt.

Da Vinci
You do need to go through Void Space to escape a Lostbelt, so I don't think the fire would leak beyond it...but I can't really be entirely certain.

Da Vinci
It's worth noting that he does still have our compass, too. The Paper Moon, I mean.

Holmes
...
...

Holmes
...Your Majesty, might I propose an alliance? While the enemy of my enemy may not necessarily be my friend...

Holmes
...I do believe our chances of defeating Surtr would improve considerably by working together.

Holmes
What do you say, Scáthach-Skadi?
My fair Öndurdís?

Scáthach-Skadi
Hmm...
You would issue commands to a god, Heroic Spirit?

Holmes
Respectfully, of course.

Scáthach-Skadi
You are a Heroic Spirit, are you not? What a joke–a human ghost, a mere shadow, telling me what to do!

Scáthach-Skadi
Ordinarily, I would pay no mind to what a being such as you had to say...

Scáthach-Skadi
...but in your particular case...I sense wisdom in those beautiful eyes. You remind me of Baldr, god of light.

Fou
Fwha!?

Napoleon
Wha... Seriously!?

Ortlinde
My queen! What are you saying...!?

Scáthach-Skadi
Hehe. Pay it no heed. I was merely joking. This Heroic Spirit's eyes may be wise, but they are also somewhat...clouded.

Scáthach-Skadi
Even gentle Baldr would surely object to such a comparison.

Scáthach-Skadi
Nonetheless, I have made my decision, Heroic Spirit.
I shall love you as–

Goredolf
Wh-where did that come from!?
I didn't touch anything, Technical Advisor!

Meunière
It's not always about you, Director! Everything's working fine! It's just the emergency alert!

Napoleon
Haha. I take it you feel that too,
Monsieur Vrai Demonic Sword Wielder?

Sigurd
Indeed. Something approaches from the sky.
Brynhild!

Brynhild
Right...!

Da Vinci
I see it! There's a mass of magical energy flying towards us from the northern mountains!
Wait...all our instruments are working now!?

Scáthach-Skadi
I simply adjusted my snow and ice to accommodate them.
The nerve, interrupting a god...

Scáthach-Skadi
Dare to sully my castle any further,
and even my patience will–

  1. Another one of those...?
  2. Get ready to fight, Mash!
  Select: Another one of those...?
Mash
Hostile detected! It's the same species we encountered on Mt. Galdhøpiggen, Master!

  Select: Get ready to fight, Mash!
Mash
Yes, Master!
Mash
It's the same type of enemy we encountered on Mt. Galdhøpiggen!

===Branch End===

--BATTLE--

  1. At least we got one of them, but it's not enough!
  2. They just keep on coming!
  Select: At least we got one of them, but it's not enough!

  Select: They just keep on coming!

===Branch End===

Napoleon
What the hell are these things!? And why're there so damn many!? At least they're satisfying to shoot, but still...

Sigurd
Repulsive.

Sigurd
There is something indecent about these creatures.
They have no regard for their own lives.

Brynhild
Indeed. They are infused with vast amounts of magical energy. I doubt these creatures are the product of a normal ecosystem.

Mash
We have more coming in through a hole in the ceiling!
There's a second...and a third...!

Holmes
They certainly aren't shaped like any ordinary creature. Could they be Phantasmals? As they have just appeared now, perhaps they were originally some sort of plant that has transformed into Surtr's kin?

Holmes
No, on second thought...
Most likely...

Fou
Fo fou! Fou!

Scáthach-Skadi
How dare you!

Scáthach-Skadi
What possible reason could you seeds have for barging into my castle, knowing I have connected myself to the Tree of Emptiness!?

Da Vinci
Seeds! That's it!
I'm analyzing the data now...

Da Vinci
They are seeds from the Tree of Emptiness! I can't believe it. Even the seeds are autonomous and capable of fighting!

Scáthach-Skadi
I was willing to turn a blind eye to the occasional stray seed...but how dare you damage my castle!?

Scáthach-Skadi
This transgression will not stand!

Scáthach-Skadi
I, the king of this Lostbelt, command you to die!

Scáthach-Skadi
Wha...

Sitonai
Of course they're not going to self-destruct on your command. Haven't you noticed? Your connection to them has been severed.

Sitonai
I suppose I'll have to help you out a bit,
seeing as you're evidently helpless by yourself.

Mash
Illya!

Napoleon
Whoa...! Nice work!
So that's what a Divine Spirit's magecraft can do, huh!

Scáthach-Skadi
...If it isn't Freyja.

Sitonai
It's Illya, Stepmother.
Didn't you just hear Mash call me that?

Scáthach-Skadi
Hehe. I suppose you are right. Freyja would never allow herself to wield ice and snow as I do.

Scáthach-Skadi
Regardless, I must commend you.
You did well to escape my dungeon.

Scáthach-Skadi
I should have expected as much from my daughter in Proper Human History–my companion's beloved child.

Sitonai
I could've escaped whenever. The only reason I didn't is because I knew you'd really go all-out to seal me away again, this time for good, if I did.

Sitonai
I was just passing the time when I heard a big commotion coming from inside the castle.

Sitonai
At first I thought you were fighting everyone else after finally defeating Surtr, but I was wrong.

Sitonai
What happened? I thought you were supposed to be the queen of Scandinavia. Did you not notice that Ophelia cut your connection to the Tree of Emptiness?

Scáthach-Skadi
...Hmm.

Scáthach-Skadi
So it would seem. That certainly explains why they did not obey my order to self-destruct.

Da Vinci
So, basically...it's Russia all over again, huh.
Let me get this all straight.

Da Vinci
Up till now, the queen's been connected to the Tree of Emptiness, but with her connection severed now...

Da Vinci
...the Crypter's trying to make Surtr the new Lostbelt king by connecting him to it instead?

Scáthach-Skadi
Madness...

Scáthach-Skadi
There is no telling what sort of disaster may ensue if Surtr were to absorb the tree's power for himself...

Holmes
Though I see you seem to have some idea, Your Majesty.

Scáthach-Skadi
Indeed, I do. To begin, he would no doubt raze Scandinavia to the ground in but a single breath.

Scáthach-Skadi
The flaming sword he wields...is a blade forged by the planet.

Scáthach-Skadi
Its sole purpose is to rend the Age of Gods asunder...to wipe it from the face of the earth.

Scáthach-Skadi
Should it be successful, it will leave nothing behind.
It is that powerful a weapon.

Mash
A Divine...Construct...

Da Vinci
A Noble Phantasm on par with Rhongomyniad...

Da Vinci
On top of that, he's still got the Paper Moon...which means it's even more likely his destruction could reach the outside!

Holmes
Assuming his magical energy and spiritual rank increase to that degree. Your Majesty, would you tell us where the Tree of Emptiness is located?

Scáthach-Skadi
...The northern zone. The Tree of Emptiness took root beyond the fire mountains.

Scáthach-Skadi
Though of course, I have been using my ice and snow crystals to hide it from view.

Holmes
I see. So you were using magecraft-based optical camouflage and jamming its magical energy signature all at once.

Holmes
No wonder we were unable to locate the Tree of Emptiness once we arrived in this Lostbelt.

Holmes
Very well... Now that we have dealt with those intruders...

Holmes
...would you be so kind as to give us an answer to my earlier proposal, Queen Scáthach-Skadi?

Scáthach-Skadi
...Yes, I suppose I should.

  1. ...We'd really appreciate your help.
  2. I don't wanna rush you, Your Majesty, but we're short on time here...
  Select: ...We'd really appreciate your help.
Scáthach-Skadi
...
...

  Select: I don't wanna rush you, Your Majesty, but we're short on time here...
Scáthach-Skadi
Yes, that is true.

===Branch End===

Scáthach-Skadi
With things as they are,
I suppose there is little alternative.

Scáthach-Skadi
Enemies of my sworn enemy, humans and Heroic Spirits of Proper Human History, I accept your proposal.

Scáthach-Skadi
Our alliance, however, will be a temporary one.
Do not forget that.

Scáthach-Skadi
And one more thing: do not enter into this alliance with the intent to hold anything back at all.

Scáthach-Skadi
Remember, Surtr defeated Odin himself.
You must kill a killer of gods.

Scáthach-Skadi
You should appreciate the incredible difficulty of this particular task. Is that clear?

Napoleon
You're too kind, Your Majesty! Haha, what a coup!
Now my new Grande Armée's even got its own goddess and queen!

Fou
Fou! Fou foun!

Napoleon
Hahaha, I see, I see!
So you're happy about this too, huh, pupper!

Napoleon
Come on, Private, celebrate with me! This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance! It's not every day you get to kill a god slayer alongside a goddess and a great hero!

Napoleon
With a lineup like this, we can't possibly lose! And a good thing, too. One Waterloo was more than enough!

Napoleon
I'm trusting you two to handle the vanguard.
Sound good!?

Sigurd
Certainly. I shall do my utmost to clear a path for you.

Brynhild
As will I. We shall be your blades until our Spirit Cores and Spirit Origins finally crumble apart.

Brynhild
Rest assured, I will never fall to heartless flame.

Napoleon
Ooh la la!
I'm falling in love with you all over again!

Brynhild
...Please don't.

Brynhild
...Really, you mustn't, Emperor.
Sigurd is right here beside me...

Sigurd
I can hardly blame him, given your beauty. But I must warn you, Emperor, you will never win her heart.

Sigurd
It already belongs to me.

Brynhild
!

Napoleon
Haha, I can't compete with that. Maybe this is a sign that I oughta focus on my main squeeze.

Fou
Fo fooou!
Kyaaau!

Scáthach-Skadi
Be warned. While I have used my runes to hold your Spirit Cores together, the bonds are still fragile.

Scáthach-Skadi
If you expend all of your magical energy in battle,
they will once again crumble.

Mash
That's awful...

Sigurd
Please do not concern yourself with us, Lady Mash.
The existence of Servants is a brief, fleeting one.

Sigurd
Once our task is done, it is our fate to disappear.
Both Brynhild and I are well aware of that.

Sigurd
Let our bodies be your sword.
Let our bodies be your strength.

Sigurd
{(M) Lord /(F) Lady} Fujimaru, we may not have forged official contracts with you.

Sigurd
But as our temporary Master, our blades are yours to wield for humanity as you see fit.

  1. ...All right.
  2. Thanks for helping us, you two.
  Select: ...All right.

  Select: Thanks for helping us, you two.

===Branch End===

Sitonai
...It looks like we're all on the same page.

Sitonai
What a relief!

Sitonai
If you'd dug in your heels, I was worried I'd have to fight you myself, and that one or both of us might end up dead.

Sitonai
But for now...the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Sitonai
I'm sure we can get along until this is all over.
Right, Stepmother?

Scáthach-Skadi
Yes, I suppose we can.

Scáthach-Skadi
Ah... Hmm. It seems we will have a chance to test how well we can fight together sooner than expected.

Fou
Fo?

Meunière
Hostiles detected! Giants! There's a whole bunch of big ones headed your way from underground!

Napoleon
Must be the red giants that were chained up!
These guys should be old hat by now, right, Private!?

Mash
I'm seeing multiple Muspels! They appear to be the ones who were being kept underneath the castle...

Mash
...but there's something different about their heads!
They're not wearing their masks anymore!

Scáthach-Skadi
Surtr's power must have broken them.
Now, they will no longer heed commands from my bloodline.

Scáthach-Skadi
Hmm. Very well, then.
I shall assist in dealing with them myself.

Sigurd
...That's one down.

Sigurd
We have multiple hostiles in the area.
Master, permission to engage the enemy.

  1. Granted!
  2. Let's do this quickly and get after Surtr!
  Select: Granted!

  Select: Let's do this quickly and get after Surtr!

===Branch End===

Sigurd
Understood!

Napoleon
Haha! You're getting good at giving out orders, Private! Remind me to give you a medal once these guys are toast!

Brynhild
Very well...let us begin!

--BATTLE--

Holmes
The battle in the castle is over. That would seem to be the last of the giants who were dwelling in the underground.

Da Vinci
Now hurry up and get on the Border!
We're waiting on the other side of the bridge!

Mash
Understood!

Fou
Fou! Fou, faaaaaauuu!

Goredolf
...
...

Meunière
So I guess this means the queen was forcing the giants to obey her all this time, rather than them having submitted willingly.

Meunière
But then, if she did have them under her control...

Meunière
...why did they go around attacking Mash and Fujimaru the moment they laid eyes on them?

Holmes
I assume those masks were only able to provide enough control for her to prevent them from attacking the villages.

Holmes
In which case, they would not stop the giants from homing in on any heat source that happened to wander into their field of view.

Meunière
Haha, gotcha.
So that's why the villages are safe to live in...

Meunière
And since you don't have to leave your village to survive here, I guess it all works out. Her Majesty thought this stuff through more than I thought.

Goredolf
...
...

Da Vinci
This world couldn't have lasted for three thousand years otherwise. Especially since it sounds like most of it had been burned to the ground.

Da Vinci
Keeping each village's population to a hundred people must have been a restriction intended to ensure life could continue here.

Da Vinci
I mean, the queen even made those conifer trees out of ice with her magical energy. There just isn't that much food to go around.

Da Vinci
You had to be strong to survive in Russia,
but here, being strong is a death sentence.

Da Vinci
The only way to survive in this world is to stay weak and live your life inside the confines of your village.

Da Vinci
But that is neither here nor there.
Come on, everyone!

Da Vinci
We've gotta get ready to welcome back Mash,
Fujimaru, the Heroic Spirits,
and Her Majesty herself!

Goredolf
...M-multiple Divine Spirits, huh...

Goredolf
And all of them on a vehicle under my command...

Goredolf
Very well! Under the circumstances, I suppose there is nothing to do but accept that my report will likely fill a volume or two!

Meunière
Where'd that idea come from!?
Have you got nothing but free time or something!?

Goredolf
D-don't be ridiculous. If I come to be recognized as a great author once we have restored humanity, the Musiks could end up becoming Lords!

Goredolf
After all, it's the mark of an excellent leader to plan for what happens following the battle's end.

Meunière
Now you're throwing shade at Napoleon!? There's no way you could ascend to a Lordship without the clout to go head-to-head with Policies and the aristocracy!

Meunière
Now get your head out of the clouds and your ass in a chair!

Goredolf
Wh-wh-what did you say to me!?
And how do you know so much about–

Holmes
I do beg your pardon, Mr. Meunière, but would you mind hurrying along with our travel preparations?

Holmes
Though they may appear to be moving slowly, the giants' footsteps cover an astonishing amount of ground.

Da Vinci
What Holmes said! Now come on, let's pick up the pace so we can catch up quickly!

Da Vinci
...All set?
Then let's kill ourselves some giants!

--BATTLE--

Scáthach-Skadi
...Why are we using this lump of metal for transport?

Scáthach-Skadi
That seems terribly inefficient.

Scáthach-Skadi
The Heroic Spirits would reach our destination far more quickly with a flight rune, or a speed rune.

Fou
Fou? Fo fou?

Holmes
We determined this was the best course of action under the circumstances, Your Majesty.

Da Vinci
Totally. The giants are waaay more aggressive now, AND we've got Tree of Emptiness seeds falling from the sky.

Da Vinci
Flying would make us easy targets for the giants lobbing ice boulders, and fleeing on foot would open us up to getting picked off individually.

Da Vinci
Here in the Border, it's much easier to attack and defend at once.

Da Vinci
For example, the emperor can use his cannon up on the deck to scatter any groups that come after us!

Meunière
Hm...?
I just saw something new on the radar.

Goredolf
More enemies!?

Meunière
No, they're not hostile. But they are flying...
Are those...birds?

Holmes
Can you put them up on the monitor?

Meunière
Of course. Here you go.

Mash
Ah, look...

Fou
Fou!

  1. Huh. Birds.
  2. Haven't seen these in a while.
  Select: Huh. Birds.

  Select: Haven't seen these in a while.

===Branch End===

Mash
Yes. Two of them again, no less.

Mash
They must be native to the fields that crop up in between the fire and ice zones...

Sitonai
Huh. They must be good friends.
...Wait. Let me get a better look at them. Hmm?

Scáthach-Skadi
You two. You say you have seen these birds before?

Mash
Yes. Several times...

Scáthach-Skadi
I see...

Scáthach-Skadi
That explains it. Now it all makes sense.

Da Vinci
Something on your mind, Your Majesty?

Scáthach-Skadi
Oh, just thinking aloud, young sage.

Napoleon
Hey! Mesdames et messieurs! Can you hear me down there in that luxurious, toasty room of yours!

Napoleon
This is Napoleon, reporting in from atop the Border.
I just saw some flying creatures besides those birds!

Napoleon
We've got another bunch of seeds headed our way!
How far away are these things coming from, anyway!?

Meunière
I'm not seeing anything over–
Whoa, scratch that! Definitely more of those seeds!

Napoleon
...Ah crap. They're changing course to try and land on top of this thing.

Napoleon
Moving to intercept now!
Anyone who wants to join me, come on up!

  1. Let's go take them out.
  2. Are you sure you're fully recovered, Mash?
  Select: Let's go take them out.

  Select: Are you sure you're fully recovered, Mash?

===Branch End===

Mash
Yes. I'm all set! Da Vinci already finished looking over the Ortinax!

Da Vinci
It was pretty much good as new, thanks to the queen fixing it up. Man, those Primordial Runes really are something.

Sigurd
I'll head out as well. I would like to familiarize myself with Gram's weight a bit more.

Brynhild
I'll go too.

Sigurd
No, you stay here. I can handle this alone,
and I want you to rest up.

Brynhild
No, my love.
Come what may, I will not leave your side.

Sigurd
...I see. Very well then, let us go together.

--BATTLE--

Mash
...The battle is over.
It looks like that was the last of the seeds.

Mash
I never thought the giants would group together to chase after us while the Border was moving, though!

Napoleon
I wonder...were they trying to hold us back, or is it just a coincidence they showed up now? Hmm. I can't imagine they were sent here to stall us, but...

Holmes
True. I don't sense any real intelligence guiding their actions, though. It may well be that they're not here at either Surtr or the Crypter's command.

Mash
You think the seeds came out on their own? Or maybe,
that the Tree of Emptiness itself scattered them?

Holmes
Yes, that is certainly a possibility. Fascinating. Perhaps these seeds are the Tree of Emptiness's way of defending itself.

Holmes
I believe you first encountered one while you were in the old Jötunheimen highlands?

Mash
That's right.
It was when we were on Mt. Galdhøpiggen.

Holmes
Hmm. Perhaps it has to do with latitude? If true, that would explain why it responded automatically once you headed north...

Da Vinci
All right, come on, this isn't a game! If you're done up there, get yourselves back inside!

Da Vinci
Er, well not you, Emperor.
You just stick to your guns–uh, cannon!

Napoleon
Yup, don't you worry about that. You're something else, treating me like an ordinary gunner, mademoiselle!

Sigurd
...Brynhild.
It must be hard for you to be so close to me.

Sigurd
I know my very existence wears on you.

Sigurd
Even with the queen's protection...

Brynhild
It's all right, Sigurd. Strangely enough,
I am comfortably able to control myself...

Brynhild
Maybe it's because...over half my Spirit Core is already shattered.

Brynhild
I was already broken when I materialized,
so perhaps, by breaking myself further...

Brynhild
...I'm better able to resist my usual temptations.

Sigurd
How peculiar that becoming Heroic Spirits has reduced us to this.

Brynhild
Not at all, my love.
I'm happy about this turn of events.

Section 15: Bringing Twilight Here Once Again (End)

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Inner Monologue
I... I can't fail Lord Kirschtaria.

Inner Monologue
He trusted me with this.
I can't let him down.

Inner Monologue
This time...I will not fail to live up to his wishes.

Inner Monologue
I refuse to disappoint him.
So I won't. No matter what it takes.

Inner Monologue
And so...

Inner Monologue
...even if today is Sunday, I'll endure it.
I know I can.

Inner Monologue
I don't care if I even smell my own flesh beginning to burn and char.

Inner Monologue
I know I can stay my old, reticent self,
never setting one foot forward.

Inner Monologue
...At Muspelheim, in what used to be northern Sweden in the Scandinavian Peninsula...

Surtr
“There. I have connected myself to the Tree of Emptiness Berserkervoice1.png.”

Surtr
“Hehe.”

Surtr
“I could get used to this.”

Surtr
“Look, Ophelia.”

Surtr
“Look at what I have become.”

Surtr
“Look at the ice that resides beside my flame.”

Surtr
“At last, I have regained Fenrir's Authority!”

Inner Monologue
He was right; something was different. Surtr changed from a being of pure fire, to one of fire and ice.

Inner Monologue
When I asked him how the Fiery King of Giants could possibly hold Authority over ice...

Inner Monologue
...he told me he had long ago swallowed it.

Inner Monologue
...First the beast of Ragnarök consumed the true sun, removing it from Scandinavia's reality...and then the giant of Ragnarök ate the beast?

Inner Monologue
That's absurd.
It's not even remotely realistic.

Inner Monologue
But...in this Lostbelt, that is the reality.

Inner Monologue
The giant of ice and fire smiles.
He's pleased to have regained the power he lost.

Inner Monologue
I can see wings growing from his back.
Looking past the various possibilities, I see...

Ophelia
(...invisible dragon wings...)

Ophelia
(Does this mean...he's starting to manifest Fafnir?)

Inner Monologue
Once he gains perfect form, he will no doubt complete his transformation into a winged ice and fire giant.

Inner Monologue
A hybrid of giant and dragon.
I could see that making some sense.

Inner Monologue
And then, there was the flaming sword. As the embodiment of several kinds of raging Authority...

Inner Monologue
...he once slaughtered the gods and his kin alike.

Surtr
“Now...”

Surtr
“...is the time.”

Surtr
“The true Twilight of the Gods–Götterdämmerung–will soon be upon us.”

Inner Monologue
As he spoke his words of flame, countless masses began to writhe around at his feet.

Inner Monologue
They reminded me of children grasping for their mother...of maggots searching for light.

Inner Monologue
They were seeds. A vast number of seeds.

Inner Monologue
Yes. As if things weren't bad enough...

Inner Monologue
...he absorbed the Tree of Emptiness,
right before my eyes.

Inner Monologue
He severed the tree's connection to Scáthach-Skadi.
Slowly, he sank his teeth into it, and then, in an instant...

Inner Monologue
...he slurped it all down, root and stem.

Inner Monologue
Using the Tree of Emptiness's power, he forced a Spirit Origin Ascension upon himself and took back his past Authority.

Inner Monologue
...It should have been impossible, yet somehow, he managed it. Was it the Paper Moon, and its ability to let one interact with Void Space?

Inner Monologue
Is that how he was able to pile impossibility atop impossibility, and consume the Tree of Emptiness?

Inner Monologue
It should not be possible,
and yet there it is, plain as day.

Inner Monologue
I tried giving orders, but to no avail. The tree simply shed my control, and the queen's, of its own accord.

Ophelia
You connected yourself to the Tree of Emptiness...
No, you can't even call this a connection anymore.

Ophelia
You preyed upon it.

Surtr
“Hehe.”

Surtr
“It welcomed me.”

Surtr
“Though I am sure the tree lacks a will of its own...”

Surtr
“...what it did possess was the same heat that lies in all life.”

Surtr
“Yes, there was a fire deep in the heart of the Tree of Emptiness Berserkervoice1.png as well.”

Ophelia
Deep in the heart...

Surtr
“It told me it did not want to be cut down.”

Surtr
“That it wanted to live.”

Surtr
“That it would not die.”

Surtr
“That it would not forgive.”

Surtr
“...Or so it kept screaming.”

Surtr
“Hehehehe.”

Surtr
“Life is nothing if not greedy.”

Surtr
“Now, I shall burn everything...”

Surtr
“...starting with all life in this world.”

Ophelia
...Yes. Let's do it.

Inner Monologue

Words alone are meaningless.
Can I no longer fulfill my responsibilities?

Inner Monologue
This Lostbelt is done for.
There's no turning back...

Inner Monologue

My thoughts are a jumbled mess.
It hurts to think.

Inner Monologue

Something deep in my heart is holding me tight. It wears on me. I can feel it grinding...cracking...

Inner Monologue

What... What was I thinking...?

Ophelia
Yes. We'll make a land fit for a god.

Ophelia
A new holy land, built on an earth that's been wiped perfectly clean.

Inner Monologue
If nothing else...I will never make trouble for him.

--ARROW--

Meunière
I'm about to really kick it into gear here! If you're not a Heroic Spirit, make sure you're strapped in good and tight, or you're liable to bite your tongue off!

Goredolf
Whooooooa! We're bouncing all over the place! I know this isn't exactly the time to be obeying traffic laws, but you will NOT flip us over, Piccata!

Meunière
It's not Piccata! It's Meunière! And I'm just getting the hang of the control stick, dammit!

Meunière
...Hey, where'd Holmes run off to, anyway!?

Da Vinci
He said he'd talked too much and went back to the recovery pod. Mr. Great Detective pretty much just woke up to assess the situation and negotiate a bit!

Scáthach-Skadi
What an astonishing man! To think he remained so calm and collected even despite his many injuries.

Scáthach-Skadi
I take it this “recovery pod” is off that way?
I shall grace him with one of my healing runes.

Scáthach-Skadi
Freyja, Ortlinde, come with me.

Sitonai
Ugh, how many times do I have to tell you?
My name is Illya. But, fine, I'll go with you.

Ortlinde
Understood.

Meunière
Man, imagine getting nursed back to health by an actual goddess...

Meunière
But that doesn't excuse Holmes's sheer recklessness!
Not that he's the only one here guilty of that!

Goredolf
Heh, well, there's only so much a man of his meager abilities can do. Not everyone can be blessed with an abundance of talent like myself, after all.

Goredolf
And let me be clear about one thing: I am not like the rest of you. I have no craving whatsoever for adventure!

Goredolf
A good commander in chief always assesses the situation calmly, deploys the right people to the right places, and ensures his organization runs as smoothly as pthhible.

Meunière
Oh for... I TOLD you to be careful you don't bite your tongue! How are things over with you, Fujimaru!?

  1. (Call out to Napoleon)
  2. (Confirm what's happening on the deck)
  Select: (Call out to Napoleon)

  Select: (Confirm what's happening on the deck)

===Branch End===

Napoleon
That you, Fujimaru?
Me? What else?

Napoleon
I'm still blasting away at everything following us!
As you can imagine, they're not letting up!

Mash
The number of giants hasn't changed from earlier,
but we're seeing more and more seeds!

Mash
In addition to the flying types, there are also some running along the ground and trying to attach themselves to the Border!

Da Vinci
I hate to keep bugging you while you're up there fighting,
but this seems pretty important!

Da Vinci
You know the massive magical energy signature we saw up in the northern part of old Sweden?

Da Vinci
Well, I'm pretty sure it's Surtr, and he's heading south fast! You know what this means!?

Napoleon
...He's coming to fight us?

Sigurd
No. He doesn't consider us a challenge worthy of meriting that approach.

Brynhild
That means he must be headed toward something else.
Something that does not exist in Muspelheim...

Brynhild
For example, something that exists atop old Lake Vänern...

Napoleon
The settlement!

Da Vinci
Bingo! That's exactly where Surtr's route will take him!

Da Vinci
He's currently headed due south toward Lake Vänern,
where the village is!

Napoleon
Guess that means he got himself connected to the tree then. Dammit, now we've got to reverse course!

Napoleon
Still, we can't just sit around complaining!
If it gets us closer to him, well, so much the better!

Napoleon
After all, I was really hoping to avoid a situation...

Napoleon
...where I'd have to try sniping at extreme range with my cannon because we couldn't catch him.

Napoleon
So in that respect, this has worked out nicely! Phew!

Da Vinci
I wish I knew why he was headed there, though... That flaming sword of his is absurdly powerful. He could use it anywhere, and it'd still be just as destructive.

Da Vinci
So why go so far out of his way for one village?
Hmm. Does he just want to make us watch it burn?

Napoleon
I doubt he'd bother doing something like that.

Napoleon
I think Sigurd is right. Doesn't seem like he cares much about gods or Heroic Spirits.

Napoleon
I do have a thought about what he might be up to...
But that's not important!

Napoleon
All that matters is that this is a stroke of luck for my Grande Armée! It's about time I got serious, anyway!

Fou
Fo fo fo, fou!
Kyau!

Napoleon
Haha, thanks for cheering me on, doggo! To be fair, it's not really like I've been holding back...

Napoleon
...but at this point, it's looking clear that I need to get really, REALLY serious.

Napoleon
Plus, I've still got my trump card! Not that I'd ever play that in the opening act before things really get going, of course!

Mash
More seeds and giants are bearing down on us! There appear to be several of them attempting to stick to the Border!

Napoleon
There you go!
How do you wanna handle this, Private!?

  1. Let's fight them off!
  2. Let's push our way through!
  Select: Let's fight them off!

  Select: Let's push our way through!

===Branch End===

Napoleon
D'accord! All right, gods and humans of the Grande Armée, get ready! We're gonna punch our way through these things without slowing down!

--BATTLE--

Surtr
“Hehe.”

Surtr
“Hehe. Hehehehe.”

Surtr
“Hahahahaha.”

Inner Monologue
The Lostbelt is starting to fall apart. Its snow is melting, its mountains, crumbling, its seas, evaporating.

Inner Monologue
Even though he can't possibly be as tall as a mountain...every step he takes shatters peaks of ice and snow.

Inner Monologue
Perhaps it's the aftereffects of the “maggots”–the concepts of destruction squirming around his feet, but...

Inner Monologue
...each time he advances, something shatters.
With each step he takes, something burns.

Surtr
“Humans...”

Surtr
“Gods...”

Surtr
“Seas, mountains, rivers, sky,
beasts, insects, flowers, plants...”

Surtr
“None of them should exist.”

Surtr
“I will turn them all to ash!”

Inner Monologue
He slowly raised the sword in his right hand.

Inner Monologue
The sword of the end-time.
The sword that will bring about Ragnarök.

Surtr
“It may be amusing if I were to finish...”

Surtr
“...what this King of Demon Gods began.”

Surtr
“Then again, as long as you are with me...”

Surtr
“...perhaps your Sirius Light could accomplish the same.”

Ophelia
Was that supposed to be a joke, Surtr?

Ophelia
You are destruction itself.
You don't need me.

Surtr

“You're wrong.”

Surtr

“I do need you.”

Ophelia
It doesn't matter.
I'll never use my Sirius Light to help you.

Ophelia
That's the one thing I will not give you.

Surtr

“Hehe.”

Surtr

“Surely you have a man you love.”

Surtr

“Surely you have friends you have bonded with.”

Surtr

“But...”

Surtr

“...there is nothing you can do.”

Surtr

“Not even a Holy Grail could grant your wish.”

Surtr

“Love...bonds...none of those will ever be had in this world.”

Surtr

“So burn it.”

Surtr

“Join me. Help me burn it all.”

Ophelia
...
...

Ophelia
...Yes.

Ophelia
Yes, you may be right.

Inner Monologue
My wish will never come true.
My feelings will never be reciprocated.

Inner Monologue
In which case...I'll throw myself, my eye,
my soul, into the fires and–

Ophelia
(I can't...)

Inner Monologue
Something deep in my heart is gripping me tight...so tight.
It hurts. It hurts. It hurts...

Inner Monologue
I can feel my heart grinding...cracking...shattering.

Inner Monologue
If I give in to this pain,
I'll end up just nodding in mindless agreement again.

Inner Monologue
Then, something will surely shatter and disappear.
It hurts. It grinds. It cracks.

Inner Monologue
Wait a second...–

Ophelia
!

Inner Monologue
This is...a curse! These aren't just words! It's an evil dragon's curse meant to restrain the target's soul and mind!

Inner Monologue
This sensation...
I recognize it...!

Ophelia
Surtr...!
What did you do to me...!?

Ophelia
All this time...have you...!?

Surtr

“You certainly fought tooth and nail.”

Surtr

“But it's too late.”

Surtr

“By now, at least half of your soul is melded with me.”

Surtr

“Ophelia.”

Surtr

“Come watch this planet's end with me.”

Ophelia
Ah... Ah...!

Inner Monologue
I'm cracking.
I'm shattering.

Inner Monologue
It was over all too quickly.
In a flash, his flames billow up inside me.

Inner Monologue
Something deep within me burns to cinders,
as my heart is engulfed in flames.

Ophelia
Yes...

Ophelia
That's...a good...idea...

Ophelia
I'll feed this world...

Ophelia
...this Lostbelt...to the flames...

Surtr
“Ophelia.”

Inner Monologue
The time has come.
The tip of his flaming sword pierces the sky.

Inner Monologue
Our destination is now in sight: Lake Vänern, located in the southern part of old Sweden, near the border between the domains of ice and fire.

Inner Monologue
There are several villages and animal habitats located in this area.

Inner Monologue
It is rich in life, at least by this world's standards.

Inner Monologue
I see. He wants to show me.

Inner Monologue
To show me the glint of his fire as it reduces all life to ash.

Inner Monologue
I can see it. I can't help but see it. The village built atop one of the thin remaining leylines here.

Inner Monologue
As I watch...

Inner Monologue
...a sword comprised solely of magical energy,
superheated to over four million degrees Celsius...

Inner Monologue
...descends toward the village in the blink of an eye, like a shooting star.

Inner Monologue
I saw several possibilities, but my magical energy isn't nearly strong enough to pin any of them...

Gerda
Huh...?

Gerda
Is that the sun?
No, it's too bright... What is that...?

Gerda
It's beautiful...

Surtr
“Loptr Lægjarn.”

Giant Guard
Berserkervoice2.png!

Sitonai
Berserker!
That's it! Take it all on, magical energy and all!

Giant Guard
Berserkervoice2.png!

Sitonai
Thanks, Berserker!

Sitonai
Khh...! Damn...! This recoil is pretty intense!
I can't hold it for long!

Sitonai
I'm not even going to get a chance to take credit for swooping in just in the nick of time!

Sitonai
Keep the backup coming, Stepmother! Ortlinde!

Ortlinde
Understood. Activating White Swan Mystic Code. Lending assistance to shadow derived from Heroic Spirit of humanity.

Scáthach-Skadi
I shall manifest multiple Divine Iron Shields at once!
Surtr may have shattered them all before...

Scáthach-Skadi
...but it should still be better than nothing!

Holmes
Using Primordial Runes to simultaneously summon a large number of Divine Iron Shields, eh. I see Scáthach-Skadi's magecraft is truly awesome indeed.

Holmes
Unfortunately, she is correct. These numbers paint a merciless picture! We are not likely to last more than a few minutes. Or perhaps even a few seconds!

Holmes
If our resistance fails,
all of Scandinavia will fall!

Holmes
Sigurd!
Brynhild!

Sigurd
...I'm already using my runes as well!
But they are only doing so much!

Brynhild
We are doing our best to defend and reinforce the heroic shadow and the cluster of shields. But I'm afraid...

Sigurd
We do not have anything that can turn the tide in our favor!

Da Vinci
...
...

Da Vinci
...Mash. Fujimaru. I'm afraid we need a stout defense now more than ever.

Da Vinci
I know this is a lot to ask and I wish I didn't have to ask it. But right now, you two are our only hope.

Mash
I'll go. This is what my shield was made for.

Mash
In fact, I was just thinking about how I was going to step in now that Illya's spell beat me to the punch.

Mash
Setting Ortinax output to maximum. Auto-maintenance functionality operational. Initiating Amalgam Goad's emergency expansion.

Mash
Anti-Flash defense, ready.
Synching with the Border's instruments, now.

Mash
This...this is something my shield and I are meant to stop. Your orders, Master.

  1. (Nod wordlessly)
 
  Select: (Nod wordlessly)

===Branch End===

Fou
Fo, fooou! Fou!
Kyuuu!

Goredolf
W-wait! Stop, Demi-Servant girl!
You must not have seen these absurd numbers!

Goredolf
Get it together, Technical Advisor! Why didn't you tell her all she'll be doing is endangering her life!?

Goredolf
All she could do by diving in there is give our chances a miniscule boost!

Da Vinci
That's true. The odds are majorly stacked against us. Putting everything we have into a strategy with the lowest chance of success is downright insane.

Da Vinci
It was true of our battles in the Singularities,
and it is true of our battles in the Lostbelts.

Da Vinci
Each and every time, we've given those two the same order: make it back alive.

Da Vinci
That's what it means to take on the entire world,
in Russia as well as Scandinavia.

Da Vinci
I have no doubt we will face the same challenges in the other Lostbelts as well.

Da Vinci
Besides, they do have a chance. They've miraculously defended against large-scale attacks several times befo–

Goredolf
I'm not talking about their past accomplishments!
All I'm saying is there's nothing they can do now!

Holmes
With all due respect, Mr. Goredolf, their odds of victory are not zero. Are we not in a position where our best course of action is to take our chances?

Goredolf
O-ooh, I could punch you! I won't, since I know it wouldn't do a thing, but damn if it isn't tempting!

  1. Mash, I'll back you up!
  2. Let's do this. We have to.
  Select: Mash, I'll back you up!

  Select: Let's do this. We have to.

===Branch End===

Mash
Yes, Master.
Heading out!

Mash
We won't turn back.
We CAN'T turn back.

Mash
We have a responsibility to fulfill!

Napoleon
...Sheesh. I mean, I get why you're feeling desperate, but still.

Napoleon
Responsibility, huh.
Yeah, I guess you've got a point.

Napoleon
Anyone who moves forward through the sacrifices of others must carry the responsibility for those who they left behind. Believe me; I know.

Napoleon
And you two call that “responsibility,” hm?
Right. I see.

Napoleon
If you've decided you want to go out there and fulfill that responsibility, that's fine. I won't stop you.

Napoleon
But...aren't you forgetting someone?
Say, Supreme Commander of the Grande Armée!?

Napoleon
How is that even possible!?
I'm not exactly a wallflower, you know!

Mash
!

  1. Napoleon...!?
 
  Select: Napoleon...!?

===Branch End===

Napoleon
Yeah, that's right! Napoleon!

Napoleon
I'm! Right! Here!

Inner Monologue
I turn to see a man standing tall.

Inner Monologue
The beyond-enormous cannon he holds in his arms is aimed skyward. His smile is even more dazzling than the rays of destruction bearing down upon us.

Inner Monologue
There this good fellow stands, wreathed in flame,
looming as large as any giant.

Napoleon
...Impossible? Is that what you said?
It was, wasn't it?

Napoleon
Ooh la la! That's the sort of talk that REALLY gets me fired up!

Napoleon
Private! Mash! Little mademoiselle!
Old man! Here's a bit of trivia for you!

Napoleon
When people talk about something being impossible, what they're really talking about–what they're really wishing for–is hope.

Napoleon
“What if”... “If only”...
That sort of thing.

Napoleon
...I don't know what Napoleon Bonaparte was like when he was alive. I'm pretty sure I've got more than a few centimeters on him, for one thing.

Napoleon
At the height of his glory, people thought, “Maybe Emperor Napoleon could win this fight.” And so that is what they wished for.

Napoleon
When his glory began to fade, people thought, “Maybe we'd be happier without Emperor Napoleon around.” So they wished for that too.

Napoleon
Know what happened as a result?

Napoleon
I made both wishes come true!
How do you like them apples!?

Napoleon
I granted the people's wish for me to win,
and I granted the people's wish for me to fail.

Napoleon
That's what it all came down to.
That's who I am.

Napoleon
The hero I am...the Heroic Spirit Napoleon that humanity inscribed...is a man who makes! Wishes! Happen!

Napoleon
...Victory cannon line of fire, all set. Angle and height, all set. Victory shell, locked and loaded!

Napoleon
I'll admit, things are looking grim.
We're all out of options.

Napoleon
But that's nothing new, right? Especially not here.
Here, it's been that way for a long, long time.

Napoleon
This Lostbelt never had any future.
Nothing in the way of hope.

Napoleon
Nobody can wish for anything here.
Not humans, not gods, not even giants.

Napoleon
They don't dream about tomorrow.
They don't wish for anything from their future.

Napoleon
In which case...somebody's gotta show them what it means to hope! To wish!

Napoleon
No, scratch that! Not “somebody”!
It's gotta be ME!!!

Inner Monologue
The fiery good fellow assumes his gunnery stance and smiles.

Inner Monologue
This man, who proudly calls himself a hero and certainly lives up to the title, does not hesitate.

Inner Monologue
He points his cannon right between the giant king's eyes, and shouts:

Napoleon
That's why! The time has come!
To fire my victory rainbow!

Napoleon
This is my final trump card!
Try this on for size, you monster!

Napoleon
Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile!!!

--BATTLE--

Surtr
“Graaaaaah!”

Surtr
“Human Heroic Spirit!”

Surtr
“You would block my sword!?”

Napoleon
...Sorry about this, Private.

Napoleon
The thing about trump cards is,
they take everything you've got and then some.

Napoleon
Under the right conditions,
you can pull off something incredible...

Napoleon
...but since it comes at the cost of your Spirit Origin and Spirit Core, you can't do it twice.

Napoleon
This is just one more possibility in action.

Napoleon
At times, an unremarkable artilleryman from relatively modern times can stand beside a great hero of myth!

Napoleon
...Yeah, that's right.

Napoleon
This is as far as I go.
The rest is up to you.

Napoleon
Keep moving.

Napoleon
That's right. Move. One foot in front of the other. It's okay to hesitate. It's okay to be afraid. But don't stop.

Napoleon
Right, left, forward, hell, even backward.
Keep going wherever your mind takes you.

Napoleon
But don't ever stop. Don't ever retreat.
Don't ever go back.

Napoleon
Keep moving as long as you still draw breath.
Wherever the living go, that's where humanity goes.

Napoleon
You're never completely out of possibilities.
There's always something you can do.

Napoleon
You destroyed the bands of light that threatened to incinerate the whole world, right? No reason we can't stop a sword threatening to do the same to this one.

Napoleon
That's who we are. That's our history. Making something happen when all seems lost is what it is to be human!

Napoleon
...That said, being human also means you will see a great many atrocities along the way.

Napoleon
Seeing all that crap, and still smiling like a damn fool, is the best part about being a foot soldier...

Ophelia
...Ah...

Ophelia
That rainbow... It came...all the way...here...

Ophelia
Then it...popped...and disappeared...

Voice
(Haha, what'd you think?
Like something out of a fireworks show, right!?)

Voice
(Did you enjoy it?)

Ophelia
Nnn...

Voice
(Oh, right. You're being eaten alive, huh.)

Voice
(Guess I'd better hurry then.
I've just about disappeared myself.)

Voice
(Least I managed to get in one good speech before...
Uh-oh. I'm not gonna last much longer!)

Voice
(Now I've REALLY gotta hurry. Phew. Ever forged a telepathic connection before? Not easy, I gotta say.)

Voice
(Good thing I've still got my Imperial Privilege!)

Ophelia
...?

Voice
(You looked right at home in that castle,
but Surtr's shoulder? That just doesn't suit you.)

Voice
(But, that's okay.)

Voice
(You weren't able to move on, were you? But hey, of course you couldn't follow everyone else's lead.)

Voice
(That's the whole reason I came here.)

Ophelia
...The whole...reason...?

Voice
(I heard a voice. Your voice.)

Voice
(You wished for someone to save you.
Isn't that right, Ophelia?)

Voice
(I know you think that guy you love is perfect,
but he's got at least one major flaw.)

Voice
(He led you down the wrong path.
He wasn't the right one to save you.)

Voice
(Me, I've always had a big soft spot for damsels in distress, but you were one of a kind.)

Voice
(You were so incredibly straitlaced, socially awkward, and diligent to a fault. Ooh la la! Talk about a woman worth landing!)

Voice
(So that's why...I really did end up falling for you.
I wanted to see you smile.)

Voice
(...'Course, that's probably not gonna happen now that I'm about to fade away and all, but hey, you can't blame a guy for trying.)

Voice
(I might be a Heroic Spirit who's sworn to protect humanity...but I still wanted to grant your wish.)

Voice
(I know you kept turning me down, but at least I can take that curse with me when I go.)

Voice
(I AM all about making wishes come true, after all.)

Ophelia
Make...wishes...

Ophelia
...come...true...

Inner Monologue

Even as my brain swims with fog,
I keep turning those words over in my mind.

Inner Monologue

...Napoleon is...a Heroic Spirit who makes wishes come true.

Inner Monologue

Ah, I see. So he was trying to grant mine.

Inner Monologue

Even though I was too scared to act...he heard me crying out for help deep down in my heart, and responded...

Voice
(You could've just come out and said something, you know.)

Voice
(In that sense, my beloved Joséphine could still teach you a thing or two.)

Voice
(She was a real good woman, my Joséphine.
True to herself in every way you can imagine.)

Voice
(I wish I could tell you more about her,
but I'm afraid it looks like my time is up.)

Voice
(Be proud, Ophelia. Hold your head high.
You're beautiful just the way you are.)

Ophelia
...

Voice
(So it doesn't matter how you do it. You could stand up, fall in any direction, and still be beautiful.)

Voice
(So fall already! Get down from there!)

Voice
(Sitting pretty on top of the world is all well and good, but don't forget to smell the roses on the ground sometimes.)

Voice
(...It's a lot nicer down here than you might think, mademoiselle.)

Inner Monologue
Before I knew it...the fiery hand that had been gripping my soul had fallen apart.

Inner Monologue
All of a sudden, my mind starts to work again. My consciousness, my sense of self, all come back to me.

Inner Monologue
He...broke in. Somehow he forced his way into the bond meant for me and my Heroic Spirit.

Inner Monologue
He didn't even think twice about it.

Inner Monologue
I try reaching out to him through it.
Once. Twice. Three times.

Inner Monologue
...He doesn't respond. We've lost the connection.

Ophelia
...Napoleon...

Surtr
“Where are you going?”

Surtr
“Ophelia.”

Ophelia
...
...

Ophelia
...You know, Saber, I have a dream of my own.

Ophelia
Or rather, I did. Though I didn't realize it until that nosy Archer pointed it out.

Surtr

“...?”

Ophelia
I...

Ophelia
I may have helped wipe away Proper Human History. But that doesn't mean I want to turn the planet into ash.

Inner Monologue
I hold my head high, as proudly as I can.

Inner Monologue
And, I fall. It could be forward, or it could be backward; I don't know, and I don't care.

Inner Monologue
My floating spell runs out,
and I plummet toward the ground.

Inner Monologue
As I fall...I try taking as deep a breath as I possibly can.

Inner Monologue
...The stench is unbearable.
Like hydrogen sulfide, only worse.

Ophelia
Napoleon, you liar...

--ARROW--

Mash
Ophelia!?

Mash
I-I, um... I'm afraid Napoleon just...

Ophelia
I know. I saw him.
And I heard him too.

Ophelia
...He got me good. Right through my heart.

Fou
Fooou...

Mash
Ophelia...

Ophelia
It was a beautiful rainbow.

Ophelia
I'm impressed. I never imagined he could show me such a possibility.

Ophelia
Now I can see the things I've been trying to avoid,
including what I'm supposed to do.

Ophelia
Chaldeans in the Shadow Border.
Heroic Spirits.

Ophelia
Mash.
...Um...

  1. Fujimaru.
 
  Select: Fujimaru.

===Branch End===

Ophelia
I know. Of course I know.
...You're Fujimaru.

Ophelia
I didn't forget.
I just...blanked for a moment...

Fou
Fou.

Ophelia
I'm sorry. I promise I won't forget it again.
You're our precious kouhai, after all.

Ophelia
...I know I have no right to ask this of you,
but please...let me stand beside you. At least for now.

Ophelia
Once that monster has reformed his head,
he'll start moving again!

Ophelia
Now that it's absorbed the Tree of Emptiness...its only goal is to cause as much destruction as possible.

Ophelia
The Tree of Emptiness extends its roots throughout any planet it's planted on, spreading its Lostbelt's reality.

Ophelia
So, if we don't stop Surtr...

Ophelia
...he will cover the whole world in fire!

Goredolf
That would be horrible! S-still...as far as we're concerned, you lot are mass murderers who betrayed the entire human race!

Goredolf
You are terrorists who perpetrated the greatest act of destruction humanity has ever seen!

Goredolf
S-still...these are very,
VERY extenuating circumstances... H-hmm...

Holmes
This is an emergency of dire proportions, and as they say: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. These are the kinds of choices we have had to make to come this far, Director.

Holmes
I don't believe there should be any issue with forming another temporary alliance. Just look at what happened with Russia.

Da Vinci
Yeah. At this point, I'll grasp at whatever straws we can.

Goredolf
...Oh, all right. But remember,
this alliance is strictly temporary!

Goredolf
Once this is over, we're taking you into custody!
Don't even think about trying to resist!

Ophelia
I know.
...It's hard to believe you're from the Clock Tower.

Scáthach-Skadi
Good grief. I suppose I am in no position to judge, but you certainly are soft for a commander. I pity your subordinates.

Scáthach-Skadi
Still, I like that. I will love you as well.
I do not, however, love your waistline. You should lose some weight.

Sitonai
Ooh. Does this mean you're my stepfather, mister?

Goredolf
Wha...!? I-I mean, I'm not opposed to getting married, but I haven't even thought about children...

Meunière
Is this really the time or the place for a heartwarming story of family finding each other!?

Fou
Fou! Kyau!

Goredolf
Grr, I-I know that! I was just kidding. Even I've been known to try and lighten the mood at times!

Goredolf
And in their case, they just lost one of their comrades,
even if he was only a sort of familiar...

Goredolf
Still, regardless of what he was, it's always difficult to say goodbye to someone who looks and acts human...

  1. Thanks, Director.
  2. It's okay. Napoleon gave us a good send-off.
  Select: Thanks, Director.

  Select: It's okay. Napoleon gave us a good send-off.

===Branch End===

Goredolf
I, uh... I see...
Well, if you're sure, that's all right then. Mm.

Holmes
Ophelia Phamrsolone. Just to confirm, you did form a Servant contract with Surtr, did you not?

Ophelia
That's right. It was a highly unusual case,
but I do have a contract with him.

Holmes
What about your Command Spells?

Ophelia
I've already used all three. Still...I think it should be possible to forcibly break the contract.

Holmes
That would be a great help. If you could do that, it would render him just another Servant without a Master.

Holmes
Am I correct that he does not possess any special abilities, such as Independent Manifestation or Independent Action?

Ophelia
...You are.

Ophelia
And he's also used his flaming sword once. That's enough magical energy to release a Noble Phantasm's True Name.

Da Vinci
Aha. And since he used that much magical energy...!

Holmes
So he is waiting for the wound Napoleon inflicted on him to heal and preparing to make his next attack, hm?

Holmes
Now I understand. That would certainly explain why there has been no second strike.

Sigurd
Then I shall engage and defeat him right away!
Brynhild!

Brynhild
Yes, Sigurd. Let us go together.

Brynhild
The Emperor of France's rainbow is still there,
giving us strength.

Sigurd
...Indeed. Now is our chance to end this!

Brynhild
...Agreed!

  1. Time for the final battle!
  2. King of Giants or not, I know we can win if we all work together!
  Select: Time for the final battle!

  Select: King of Giants or not, I know we can win if we all work together!

===Branch End===

Mash
Yes, Master! The Ortinax's output is stable,
and all systems are operational. I'm ready to fight!

Fou
Fou... Fouuu! Fon!

Holmes
Ophelia, what else can you tell us about Surtr?

G:Ophelia
Nothing. I'm afraid I don't know that much about him.

G:Ophelia
So instead, I'll do whatever I can to help Mash...to help the Heroic Spirits fight.

Ophelia
I'm going to sever my Servant contract.

Ophelia
The King of Giants may have tremendous magical energy,
but that's true of every Heroic Spirit.

Ophelia
Once he loses his source of magical energy, he won't be able to maintain his existence as efficiently. That should buy us some time until his second attack.

Scáthach-Skadi
...Are you certain about this, Ophelia?

Scáthach-Skadi
I may have failed to notice Surtr hiding in your knight, but now that I know, I understand what you are going through.

Scáthach-Skadi
No human can summon the King of Giants. A human body is simply not capable of serving as an anchor to keep a Void being tethered to reality.

Scáthach-Skadi
A Heroic Spirit can use a human to tether themselves,
but a King of Giants...

Scáthach-Skadi
I see. It's that eye of yours. Your Mystic Eye was made to serve as his anchor, was it not?

Mash
!

Mash
Th-then...in order to completely break your contract with him...

Mash
...Ophelia!

Fou
Fou!!!

Ophelia
...Hello, Fou.
I haven't seen you in a long time, either.

Ophelia
I always did want to try petting you.
May I?

Fou
Fo...

Ophelia
Thank you. That was all I needed.
And thank you too, Mash, for worrying about me.

Ophelia
But it's all right.
This is how it should be.

Ophelia
I'm doing this because it is what I choose.
If nothing else, I want to live up to his expectations.

Ophelia
So I'll clean up my own mess. It's the least I can do for Lord Kirschtaria for accepting me as a Crypter...

Ophelia
No...for sacrificing himself so that I could live...!
For insisting that mine was a life worth living!

Ophelia
My Mystic Eye's true worth...

Ophelia
...doesn't lie in seeing possibilities,
or even in narrowing them down!

Ophelia
No, its true value...is as a keystone!

Ophelia
A spiritual keystone capable of keeping a Divine Spirit-class King of Giants anchored to reality!

Ophelia
Removing this eye...will break my contract with Surtr!

Mash
But, Mystic Eyes are connected directly to the mind!
They need to be removed carefully, or else...

Mash
...the surge of magical energy will end up destroying your brain! Ophelia!

Fou
Fo...!?

Goredolf
...
Ghh...!

Scáthach-Skadi
I see you are prepared to die if necessary. Right, Ophelia?

Ophelia
Right...!

Ophelia
...!

Ophelia
Ghh... Ah... Aah...!
Ah, aaaaaaaaah...!

Ophelia
...............!

Mash
Ophelia!!!

Ophelia
Disabling Mystic Eye and its magical circuit connection...now!

Ophelia
My Mystic Eye will lose its power...and its keystone functionality...at the same time!

  1. Please! No more...!
  2. Ophelia, stop! That's enough!
  Select: Please! No more...!

  Select: Ophelia, stop! That's enough!

===Branch End===

Ophelia
It's not over yet...!

Ophelia
Sigurd! Great hero of Scandinavia!

Ophelia
Please...!

Ophelia
Help me!
Just this once!

Ophelia
I need you...to cut Surtr down!

Da Vinci
Right! Sigurd!
His contract with Ophelia is still in effect!

Sigurd
Understood, Master.
Activating demonic sword...

Ophelia
Shine, shine, shine!

Ophelia
Now is the time to shine brightest... Sirius Light!

Section 16: Beyond the Gaze

Show/Hide Story Chapter

Scáthach-Skadi
Go forth, valiant heroes! My runes shall give you invisible wings with which to fly!

Scáthach-Skadi
Take to the skies. Defeat the great destroyer,
and extinguish his flames!

Scáthach-Skadi
Each of my villages makes use of the earth's leylines in order to maintain a hospitable environment.

Scáthach-Skadi
There is little mana left in these lands thanks to Surtr's last assault, but what is there should still prove helpful.

Scáthach-Skadi
His choice to attack this land will be his undoing! I shall draw upon the leylines' power and use it to bless you with my protection!

Scáthach-Skadi
...The world shall finally have its revenge for what he did during Ragnarök!

Sitonai
Hmm, so that's why you're on the ground too, huh.
I can see the sense in that...

Sitonai
...but what were you thinking, asking me to help with support magecraft!? Runes don't come easy to this Spirit Origin, you know!

Scáthach-Skadi
Now, now, do not be like that, Freyja.

Scáthach-Skadi
You should be honored by this chance to touch the Primordial Runes bestowed upon me by Odin himself.

Sitonai
Oh, fine! I'll back you up with Louhi's magecraft!
Just don't expect a miracle or anything!

Da Vinci
Mash! Fujimaru!
Sigurd! Brynhild!

Da Vinci
I've got a good view of everything from here in the Border.
So far, Surtr has yet to do much!

Da Vinci
Don't start attacking him until you're within at least a hundred meters. Got that?

Da Vinci
Speed is of the essence! You need to take out his Spirit Core before he has time to regenerate!

Mash
Got it!

Sigurd
Understood.

Mash
Maintaining flight speed of two hundred kilometers per hour. We should reach the target soon.

Mash
S-so, um... How's Ophelia doing...?

Ortlinde
Mash Kyrielight, Ophelia gave me a message for you.

Ortlinde
She says she's sorry she can't be there fighting beside you, and that she's praying for your victory.

Ortlinde
...That is all.

Mash
...Understood. Please tell her I hope we can talk again after the battle.

Ortlinde
I will.

Mash
Thank you!

  1. Mash...
  2. Let's do this as quickly as we can!
  Select: Mash...

  Select: Let's do this as quickly as we can!

===Branch End===

Mash
Thank you, Master. I'm going to increase our speed.
Please hold on tight!

Sigurd
We've reached our destination. We are now approximately one hundred meters away from Surtr!

Surtr
“How impudent.”

Surtr
“How annoying.”

Surtr
“Fragile fools of Proper Human History...”

Surtr
“...Seeing you buzzing about like pests displeases me.”

Surtr
“Clearly, I must remind you of your place.”

Surtr
“Human, Heroic Spirit...
You are all merely fuel for my fire.”

Brynhild
Be wary, my love.
Surtr is about to unleash his flames upon us.

Sigurd
...I know. I will simply have to meet him with the power of the true sun!

Sigurd
Demonic sword, released.
Demonic sword, complete.

Sigurd
Surtr! You may have made yourself at home in my soul, but you were unable to properly wield Gram. Now, let me show you its true power!

Sigurd
The fact that I remain under Odin's protection means that the gods' love endures!

Sigurd
Once I have cast this blade, you will know why Bölverkr means “the one to bring about disaster”!

Sigurd
My ultimate technique is ready. Demonic sword of the sun,
now is the time for you to wreak destruction!

Sigurd
...Bölverkr Gram!

Surtr
“Graaaaaaaaaaaah!”

Surtr
“Opheliaaaaaaaaa!”

Sigurd
Surtr! You would destroy the world merely to satiate your tremendous greed!? Then you are an evil dragon!

Sigurd
You may not have wings, but you have become Fafnir nonetheless! You are the embodiment of greed and evil!

Sigurd
And so my blade will strike you dead in a single blow, for I am a hero who made his mark on humanity by slaying a dragon!

Surtr
“Grr, graaaaaah...!”

Surtr
“Your demonic sword cannot hope to...!”

Da Vinci
I just got a message from Ophelia! She says Surtr's connection to the Tree of Emptiness has been severed!

Da Vinci
What's more...we've got confirmation he dropped the Paper Moon when his head was destroyed!

Holmes
Now is our chance to retrieve it!
Hurry! We won't get another!

Scáthach-Skadi
I trust you can hear me, proud warriors!?

Scáthach-Skadi
Do not give Surtr time to regenerate! I expect we have no more than two minutes before he begins rebuilding his form at an alarming pace!

Holmes
So this regeneration occurs automatically in response to his Spirit Core being threatened... I see. Scáthach-Skadi certainly does know him well!

Holmes
Very well, you heard Her Majesty!
Hit him with everything you've got!

Sigurd
Got it!

Brynhild
It shall be done.

Holmes
...It's all up to you now, Ms. Kyrielight!
{(M) Mr. /(F) Ms.} Fujimaru!

Mash
Ortinax, maximum output! Full functionality released!
Readying bunker bolt for maximum output strikes!

Mash
Master!
Mash Kyrielight, good to go!

  1. Ooh la la!
  2. This is it. Don't hold anything back!
  Select: Ooh la la!
Mash
Ooh la la! Initiating combat!

  Select: This is it. Don't hold anything back!
Mash
Understood. ...Initiating combat!

===Branch End===

--BATTLE--

Surtr
“How...!?”

Surtr
“How could I...!?”

Surtr
“Ophelia! Ophelia! Ophelia!”

Surtr
“Graaaaaaaaahhh!”

Surtr
“Am I truly going to die by human hands!?”

Surtr
“How can mere humans kill fire!?”

Surtr
“Who? Who!? WHO!?”

Surtr
“Who dares attempt to extinguish my flames!?”

Surtr
“It's you.”

Surtr
“You're the key... Master of Chaldea...!”

Surtr
“Then, if I must fall,
I shall take you with me–”

Sigurd
No!

Brynhild
You will NOT!

Surtr
“GraaaAAAAAAHHH!”

Surtr
“No, no, no, no, no!”

Surtr
“You may have cut off my arm,
but it's too late.”

Surtr
“I've already inscribed a death rune upon {(M) him /(F) her}...”

Mash
...Senpai!

Surtr
“Die, Master of Chaldea!”

  1. (Glare at him)
  2. (Close your eyes and use a Command Spell)
  Select: (Glare at him)
Then you will witness them for yourself.
You will witness the King of Giants' final, endlessly cruel smile. You will witness the darkness lurking in his eyes as he cries out in joy at your death.
Strength immediately fades from your body...

  Select: (Close your eyes and use a Command Spell)
As a Mystic from the Age of Gods,
the death rune's effects are absolute.
Death will come well before you can even draw upon your magical energy. Strength will immediately fade from your body...

===Branch End===

Surtr
...and then, a fall.

Surtr
But you will not collide with the ground.
No, your body will catch fire and burn to ash.

Surtr
By the time you reach the ground,
there will be nothing left of you.

Surtr
That Mash girl will cry out your name, her shield falling from her grasp in shock, but you will already be gone.

Surtr
That white beast, Fou, will yelp from his spot on the ground. And then, it will all be over.

--ARROW--

Mash
...!

Mash
Mas...ter...!

Mash
Master! Maaaaaaaaaster!

Surtr
“Yes.”

Surtr
“Yes, that's what I like to hear.”

Surtr
“Yes, life does have worth.”

Surtr
“The screams of one crying out in despair.
That is life's one redeeming quality.”

Surtr
“Did you really think I would fall alone?”

Surtr
“Haha, if I must die,
I'll bring all of humanity down with me...”

Surtr
“...Ophelia...”

Brynhild
Oh, no you don't.
You will not take anyone with you.

Brynhild
What is it you see, Surtr?

Surtr
“What!?”

Brynhild
...What a pleasant dream you appear to be having.
I pity you, king of giants.

Mash
...?

Mash
Wh-what's going on? As soon as...Surtr pointed his fingers towards Master...

  1. What the...?
  2. It was like he just froze in place...
  Select: What the...?

  Select: It was like he just froze in place...

===Branch End===

Mash
Wait. I've seen this sort of thing before... Brynhild must have used her reality distortion rune!

Brynhild
Surtr is no longer strong enough to resist my runes.
He must be having a lovely dream indeed.

Brynhild
No doubt it was a dream of burning someone or something to cinders.

Sigurd
Brynhild.
It is time to end this.

Brynhild
Yes, my love.

Sigurd
Let's go.

Surtr
“GAAAAAAH!”

Surtr
“This... This can't be how I die!”

Surtr
“I was... I was going to destroy...this entire world...!!!”

Surtr
“...Opheliaaa!”

Inner Monologue
His death cries ring out. The Fiery King of Giants crumbles away under many watchful eyes.

Inner Monologue
One set belongs to the shield-bearing girl.
Another, to the {(M) boy /(F) girl} with {(M) black /(F) red} hair.

Inner Monologue
Yet another belongs to the Dragon Slayer with the demonic sword. Another still, to the eldest Valkyrie.

Inner Monologue
There they watch in silence, floating five hundred meters above the ground, the howling wind whipping around them.

Inner Monologue
And then, a few seconds later...

Inner Monologue
...the king of giants, along with his flaming sword, are gone.

Inner Monologue
Not a trace remains.

--SECTION BREAK--

Surtr
...I had lost all hope.

Surtr
...I had tried rebelling against my fate.
I failed to trigger the end-time, as I was meant to.

Surtr
...Now, all I could do was seethe,
waiting for my world to be pruned away.

Surtr
...And then, one day...she found me.

Ophelia
“I am...me. A woman who was supposed to die in a world consumed by flame.”

Surtr
...She saw me, like no one else had.

Ophelia
“Who are you?”

Surtr
...Maybe it was no more than coincidence.
Maybe she was frightened of my destructive flames.

Ophelia
“Well that's not how the legend goes.”

Ophelia
“According to myth, your flames consume the Norse Age of Gods, but it's followed by the Age of Humanity.”

Surtr
...But that was the first time something...unexpected had happened in my life. Something that wasn't part of my fate.

Surtr
...It was a genuine surprise.

Ophelia
“I see. You failed too.”

Surtr
...Ophelia Phamrsolone.
...Such a pitiful, foolish woman.

Ophelia
“So your world's ending, too.”

Surtr
...The woman who taught me what it was to be surprised when I had no future. The woman who found me.

Surtr
...The only one who ever spoke to me through my smoldering flames.

Surtr
...Ahh.
...I wish there was something I could do for you.

Surtr
...But I'm nothing more than fire and destruction.
...So then, how...?

Ophelia
“Then you and I have that in common.”

Surtr
...How can I ever repay you?

Ophelia
“It was nice to meet you, Fiery King of Giants.
But now, I guess this is goodbye.”

--ARROW--

Brynhild
...The time has come, my love.

Sigurd
Indeed. Our magical energy is all but spent.
It seems this is as far as we go...

Mash
Sigurd... Brynhild...
You're both...burning...

  1. (Stare, speechless)
  2. (Watch them until the very end)
  Select: (Stare, speechless)

  Select: (Watch them until the very end)

===Branch End===

Sigurd
We reached deep into Surtr's core during our attack.
We knew doing so would burn us to ash.

Sigurd
You need not concern yourselves with us. I'm sorry for dragging you into this, Brynhild my love.

Brynhild
Not at all, Sigurd.
I only did what I was always meant to do.

Brynhild
I am overjoyed. Never could I have imagined an opportunity to wield my spear at your side.

Brynhild
I could not ask for anything more.

Brynhild
It's like a dream come true–a dream I never dared to let myself even hope for.

Sigurd
I am ready to fall to your spear at any time.

Sigurd
Should we ever meet again,
do not hesitate to kill me.

Sigurd
If that is how you express your love...then I shall survive, and prove I love you all the same.

Brynhild
...All right.

Brynhild
Fujimaru.
Mash.

Brynhild
This is where I must say goodbye. Thank you for bringing me with you on this wonderful journey.

Brynhild
If I should ever see you two again...

Brynhild
...I hope I will be able to help you once more...

Sigurd
The next time we meet...I hope I will be able to be of help to you from the start.

  1. Thanks, Sigurd.
  2. I'm sure we'll see both of you again someday.
  Select: Thanks, Sigurd.

  Select: I'm sure we'll see both of you again someday.

===Branch End===

Ortlinde
Sister...

Mash
We are returning to base!

Mash
S-so, um... Can I ask where Ophelia is...!?

Goredolf
She's in the infirmary. My technical advisor and this Lostbelt's queen are treating her as we spea–

Mash
Thank you!

Scáthach-Skadi
...Sirius Light.

Scáthach-Skadi
The most powerful ability given to the Crypters.
It is their trump card.

Scáthach-Skadi
But the cost of using it...is their life.

Scáthach-Skadi
And there is nothing that can be done to avoid paying that price.

Scáthach-Skadi
It matters not how many salves or medicines are administered, or how effective a Mystic Code may be at healing.

Scáthach-Skadi
Not even the Primordial Runes can help. If one makes full, unadulterated use of their power, as Brynhild did, it may be possible to gain a reprieve...

Scáthach-Skadi
...but even that could buy her no more than a few minutes at best.

Scáthach-Skadi
Unfortunately, that means...

Ophelia
Mash...
Mash?

Mash
I'm here, Ophelia.
We...

Mash
We destroyed Surtr.
It...

Mash
It was all thanks...to you...

Ophelia
You're amazing, Mash.
You actually defeated that thing.

Ophelia
I guess I can't blame Kadoc for losing to you anymore.
Neither of us ever...

Ophelia
...had a chance...

Mash
...
...

Ophelia
I wish...I could see you grow even more...

Ophelia
But, I can't.
I'm sorry, Mash.

Ophelia
I can't betray Lord Kirschtaria.
And, I don't want to.

Mash
That's all–

Ophelia
Hey, Mash?
You know what?

Ophelia
I...I may not compare to...Brynhild,
and her love for Sigurd...

Ophelia
...but...for me, and Lord Kirschtaria...

Mash
...I know.

Mash
I admit I'm not familiar with...exactly what it is,
but whenever you stare at him...

Mash
...I could sense it was with the same sort of romantic feelings I've seen and read so much about.

Ophelia
...It was?

Ophelia
That's strange...
I didn't think...that was how I felt...

Ophelia
I'm a mage, through and through...
Romance has never even crossed my mind...

Mash
Then I guess mages do fall in love, too.
And there's nothing wrong with that.

Mash
At least, that's what I think.

Ophelia
I see...

Ophelia
Yes, you may be right. I guess...you see a lot more than I ever did, Mash...

Ophelia
...You've grown up so beautifully.
...I'm so happy to see that.

Ophelia
Seeing you trapped in Chaldea, looking out the window at the icy wasteland...it was like looking at myself.

Ophelia
...Though of course, I doubt you're pleased by the comparison to me back when I lived in fear...

Ophelia
I always...

Ophelia
(...wanted to be your friend.)

Ophelia
...Please. Keep going.

Ophelia
Keep moving forward, Mash Kyrielight.

Mash
Yes. I will, Ophelia.
I promise. We won't stop for anything.

Mash
I'm sure we'll find a way to protect humanity,
to survive, and...

Mash
...to save the world...

Ophelia
Yes.

Ophelia
You all just might be able to do that.

Ophelia
Though, I have to admit...I have mixed feelings about that...

Ophelia
Oh, right...

Ophelia
If...you happen to see...Napoleon again...

Ophelia
I...doubt he'll still remember me, but...

Ophelia
...tell him I said, “Thank you.”

Ophelia
Tell him...I may have refused to marry him...

Ophelia
...but the rainbow...was beautiful.

Ophelia
Please...

Napoleon
Hmm. Well this is a fine pickle!

Napoleon
So you don't believe I'm sincere about my proposal, huh.
You don't believe it was love at first sight?

Napoleon
All right then, how about this, Crypter?

Napoleon
Before this Spirit Origin's time is up,
I'm gonna give you the best present you'll ever get.

Napoleon
Haha! Hope you like surprises, ma chérie!

Ophelia
No thank you. I'll pass.

Ophelia
...Besides, aren't you already married!?

Section 17: Go, Beyond the Twilight

Show/Hide Story Chapter

Sitonai
And so, the Scandinavian Lostbelt was saved...

Sitonai
The Shadow Border drove off into the sunset...and they all lived happily ever after.

Sitonai
...It would sure be nice if that's how it went,
wouldn't it? Nothing is ever so easy, though.

Gerda
Um, excuse me. You're not from this village, are you?

Gerda
I guess...it's nice to meet you?

Sitonai
Oh yes, likewise.
That's right; I came from outside the big gate.

Sitonai
But don't worry.
There's no way the giants are getting in here.

Gerda
Oh yes. I know that!

Gerda
You wouldn't happen to be friends with Lady Mash,
{(M) Mr. /(F) Ms.} Fujimaru, Mr. Napoleon, and that beautiful envoy, would you?

Gerda
If you are, that makes you my friend, too!

Sitonai
Is that how that works?
Then yes, I guess that does make us friends.

Sitonai
It's nice of you to say that. But, you should step back a bit, before you get hurt.

Gerda
Huh?

Sitonai
In fact, you should go back inside.
And tell the others to do the same.

Gerda
O-okay...

Sitonai
Go on, hurry.

Gerda
A-all right. But what about you?

Sitonai
I'll be fine. Now go! Quickly!

Gerda
Okay!

Sitonai
...Phew. There we go.

Sitonai
Now then...time for a little magecraft camouflage.

Sitonai
A great Tree of Emptiness, stretching towards space...

Sitonai
So, it altered its existence again.
Hmm, or maybe it's more like it was replanted?

Sitonai
I guess Surtr didn't swallow the entire tree. Looks like he left most of its roots in the ground. And then, since the trunk wasn't completely cut down either...

Scáthach-Skadi
...Correct.

Scáthach-Skadi
That Tree of Emptiness must have connected to its roots via a spatial distortion within Surtr's body.

Scáthach-Skadi
How bizarre.
Even I would struggle to accomplish such a thing.

Scáthach-Skadi
Yet for this massive tree,
it is but one more means to ensure its survival.

Scáthach-Skadi
I wonder, just where do these Trees of Emptiness come from...

Scáthach-Skadi
Have you not thought the same,
Chaldeans of Proper Human History?

Mash
...We have.

Mash
There's still so much we don't know about them.

Mash
But I guess that's true for you too, Scáthach-Skadi.

Mash
You grew it despite not even knowing what it really was...all so you could cover a world without humanity.

Scáthach-Skadi
What of it?

Scáthach-Skadi
I will do whatever I must to protect my world.
That should be abundantly clear by now.

Scáthach-Skadi
The same is true of you as well,
Chaldeans of Proper Human History. Myself...

Scáthach-Skadi
...I have always taken responsibility for deciding who to love, and who to kill.

  1. Whoa, she looks different now...
  2. It's a Spirit Origin Ascension!
  Select: Whoa, she looks different now...
Mash
!
Scáthach-Skadi
You may put your eyes back in their sockets. This is merely the bridal gown I never had a chance to wear.
Scáthach-Skadi
Now, it is the only thing I have that comes close to battle dress.

  Select: It's a Spirit Origin Ascension!
Mash
N-no, it's not that...
Mash
She isn't a Servant, so her body isn't made out of ether. That means...

===Branch End===

Holmes
It's an Ascension of her very existence. So even the Heroic Spirit enhancement method Chaldea's summoning system employs is another tool she can wield freely.

Holmes
They certainly do not exaggerate when they say gods are to be feared.

Scáthach-Skadi
Hehe. Feared, you say?

Scáthach-Skadi
Now that you have defeated the Fiery King of Giants,
I must see you as the true monsters, Chaldeans.

Da Vinci
Really? It looked to me like we had to scrounge together every last bit of help we could find, and even then only just barely eked out a victory...

Da Vinci
...but I guess that's not how you saw it, Scáthach-Skadi.

Mash
Da Vinci is right! We could never have hoped to defeat Surtr all on our–

Scáthach-Skadi
Exactly.

Scáthach-Skadi
That is exactly what is so frightening. You walked a razor's edge to accomplish the impossible, without even making an ally of the Counter Force.

Scáthach-Skadi
Then again, perhaps that is due to your forming so many bonds here...

Scáthach-Skadi
...despite opportunities to do so in my land being so thin on the ground.

Holmes
...
...

Holmes
...Your Majesty.

Scáthach-Skadi
Silence. Do not weaken my resolve. Whenever you speak, you evoke images of Proper Human History's myths.

Scáthach-Skadi
But there are no such myths here.
I have no such storied past.

Scáthach-Skadi
This is the only world where my Scandinavia exists.
I am sure you cannot think of it as home.

Scáthach-Skadi
If you were to take up residence here...

Scáthach-Skadi
...then I could continue to love you as your god,
your queen, and your mother...

Scáthach-Skadi
...But that can never be.

Scáthach-Skadi
You will no doubt continue your journey.
You always have, and you always will.

Scáthach-Skadi
You will destroy the Lostbelts in order to restore your own world.

Scáthach-Skadi
So, say no more.
It would make no difference.

Holmes
At least allow me one last word, Your Majesty.

Holmes
Everything you say is correct. You are walking the path you must follow, just as we are.

Holmes
I only wish it didn't have to come to this.
That we might have walked together, rather than separately.

Scáthach-Skadi
Indeed. But that can never be.

Scáthach-Skadi
Ortlinde.

Ortlinde
You called, my Goddess and Protector?

Scáthach-Skadi
What will you do?
You are free to choose whichever side you prefer.

Ortlinde
I will follow my mind wherever it takes me.

Ortlinde
Just as Brynhild, Thrúd, Hildr...

Ortlinde
...and now, you, have said to.

Ortlinde
You are Scáthach-Skadi, the one who inherited this land from my father. I will fight by your side of my own free will.

Ortlinde
...What is your command?

Scáthach-Skadi
Prepare for battle.
We will protect this tree with our lives.

Ortlinde
Understood.

Scáthach-Skadi
Do you hear that, Chaldea? Can you hear the cries of those birds flapping their wings overhead?

Scáthach-Skadi
Should you defeat me and cut down the tree...I shall tell you what they truly are.

Goredolf
...N-nn. I don't suppose there's any way we can avoid this battle?

Da Vinci
Nope. Not a chance. And this won't be the last time this sort of thing happens.

Da Vinci
It's just like she said. We have to take responsibility for what we're doing.

Da Vinci
You understand that, right, Mash?
Fujimaru?

  1. Yeah. I do...
  2. Yeah. I knew that going in.
  Select: Yeah. I do...

  Select: Yeah. I knew that going in.

===Branch End===

Mash
Indeed...

Scáthach-Skadi
Let me ask you this:

Scáthach-Skadi
How many humans live in your Proper Human History?
Several million? Tens of millions? Hundreds...?

Scáthach-Skadi
Then again, I suppose if one includes the lives of flora and fauna, they would be innumerable.

Scáthach-Skadi
I see. So that is the responsibility you shoulder as you seek to end my Lostbelt. Hmm.

Mash
...?

Scáthach-Skadi
...Very well.

Scáthach-Skadi
Then for the love I bear for my ten thousand subjects...

Scáthach-Skadi
...I will take those millions...billions...
That unfathomably vast number of lives...with my own hands!

Scáthach-Skadi
I will NOT let this miracle wither away!

Holmes
Miracle... I see.
So that's how you think of this land.

Holmes
For you, this Lostbelt, and the approximately three thousand years it has known peace, is truly a miracle, isn't it, Your Majesty?

Holmes
Then you know.
You've known all along.

Holmes
You are fully aware that this Lostbelt's existence is both abnormal and unnatural.

Holmes
What's more, you knew so well before the Crypter came along and informed you of Proper Human History.

Mash
You knew...?
Even before you knew about Proper Human History!?

Scáthach-Skadi
Hehe. ...It seems I cannot put anything past you, wise sage.

Scáthach-Skadi
Perhaps those piercing eyes of yours in fact surpass Odin's? Mystic Eyes, perchance? ...No, that is not it. They merely reflect your wisdom born of human history's cumulative accomplishments.

Scáthach-Skadi
Yes, you are right.
I knew everything.

Scáthach-Skadi
...It was supposed to be pruned away.

Scáthach-Skadi
My Scandinavia, my world, the path my people have walked,
was destined to disappear from human history.

Scáthach-Skadi
We were not to perish in a Ragnarok gone mad.
We had already survived those days of flame.

Scáthach-Skadi
Those days may have ended once the gods had sacrificed themselves to transform Surtr into the false sun...

Scáthach-Skadi
...but we precious few lives that remained found ourselves in a world that had lost far too much.

Scáthach-Skadi
Even so, we did our best with what we had. After much struggle and suffering, we began to build a new life.

Scáthach-Skadi
And then, human history–humanity–erased us.

Scáthach-Skadi
It had all been for nothing.

Scáthach-Skadi
My love, my hopes, my wishes,
my dreams...all of them were gone.

Scáthach-Skadi
All in less than half a year after Surtr had been sealed away, and his broken Ragnarök stopped...

Scáthach-Skadi
...humanity decided my land where humans and gods live together did not deserve to exist.

Scáthach-Skadi
As far as human history was concerned, the path we were taking after surviving the flames was evil.

Scáthach-Skadi
...But then, something unexpected happened.

Scáthach-Skadi
An impossible three thousand years came and went.

Scáthach-Skadi
I do not know whether the Tree of Emptiness was responsible for that paradox...that miracle.

Scáthach-Skadi
But what I do know...is that my land was reborn on this planet, in the modern day!

Scáthach-Skadi
It was a feat greater than any Authority could accomplish!
A miracle neither I nor Odin could achieve!

Scáthach-Skadi
And so I cannot–I will not let that miracle fade away!

Scáthach-Skadi
If I must take unfathomable numbers of lives to preserve it, then so be it! I shall consider each and every one my sworn enemy!

Holmes
...Your Majesty.

Scáthach-Skadi
Silence! No more talk!
Consider this lament my declaration of war!

Scáthach-Skadi
Three thousand years, and still I remain powerless to support more villages beyond those created in that first six months...

Scáthach-Skadi
All this time, and I have still only saved a hundred villages, a mere ten thousand humans!

Scáthach-Skadi
I cannot even let any of them live to old age!

Scáthach-Skadi
For my love and snow can only extend my Authority to the point before the first signs of spring arrive!

Mash
...!

Scáthach-Skadi
Haha. Indeed, that Archer spoke the truth.

Scáthach-Skadi
This Lostbelt has no future. No tomorrow.

Scáthach-Skadi
Though it may be peaceful,
free of conflict and evil...

Scáthach-Skadi
...it will never be any more than that.
It has no power to change, to develop.

Scáthach-Skadi
No doubt this pathetic state of affairs will continue for thousands upon thousands of years.

Mash
...

Scáthach-Skadi
My love...is not enough...
Spring will never come... Life will never flourish...

Scáthach-Skadi
...But I will not give up!
I will never simply resign myself to this fate!

Scáthach-Skadi
For three millennia, I have devoted my power to suppressing Surtr's fires!

Scáthach-Skadi
But now! Now that Surtr is gone from this Lostbelt...

Scáthach-Skadi
...my power should suffice to bring hope to my land.
So I withdraw my love, and instead offer you death!

Fou
...Fo, fou!

Scáthach-Skadi
If you would save your humanity, then kill me! Kill me, and cast us aside, Chaldeans of Proper Human History!

  1. (...I wish it didn't have to be this way, but...)
  2. (...I don't want to defeat you...but I will...!)
  Select: (...I wish it didn't have to be this way, but...)

  Select: (...I don't want to defeat you...but I will...!)

===Branch End===

Mash
Raising Ortinax output. Switching to combat mode.
Bunker bolt, standing by!

Mash
Preparing to engage this Lostbelt's king, Scáthach-Skadi, and commencing demolition of the Tree of Emptiness!

--BATTLE--

Scáthach-Skadi
Well done...

Scáthach-Skadi
To think I would lose so...decisively...

Scáthach-Skadi
I could not even protect Ortlinde...

Scáthach-Skadi
Ahh. I knew it.
I was far too weak to serve as queen.

Holmes
...I don't understand.

Holmes
Why didn't you tell us you had barely recovered any magical energy after our battle with Surtr?

Holmes
Why did you fight us while you were so weakened,
and we were completely healed?

Mash
What about the death rune...?

Mash
You could have inscribed the same spell into us that Surtr used, but...

Scáthach-Skadi
My pride would not permit it. I am obligated to protect this land and all the lives that dwell within.

Scáthach-Skadi
I must heal the wounds Surtr inflicted upon this land. I must repair the village he destroyed, and treat those whom he injured.

Scáthach-Skadi
I never had much magical energy to spare...

Scáthach-Skadi
...for my battle with you. Hehe.

Scáthach-Skadi
Ahh, there they are. Look up at the sky,
and I shall tell you those birds' names.

Scáthach-Skadi
They are the holy ravens who served Odin.

Goredolf
Odin's familiars!? Th-then, they must be Huginn and Muninn, two of the greatest familiars to ever exist!

Goredolf
They're legendary Divine Beasts named after thought and memory who were said to look upon the whole world every morning...

Scáthach-Skadi
Cursed Odin... He may have kept giving me chances,
right to the end...

Scáthach-Skadi
...but it seems he had Huginn and Muninn guide all of you as well. Haha... How very...like him...

Scáthach-Skadi
He never was...willing to guide me...

--ARROW--

Inner Monologue
The Tree of Emptiness began to collapse...

Inner Monologue
Ordinarily, it would not have fallen so easily. In fact, it should have been impossible to destroy without the help of a particular external factor.

Inner Monologue
At least, that was the queen's understanding.

Inner Monologue
And yet...here it was, falling apart.
Vanishing into the very air.

Inner Monologue
Perhaps it had grown brittle by virtue of Surtr having assimilated it.

Inner Monologue
Whatever the reason may be,
the Tree of Emptiness was disappearing...

Inner Monologue
Soon, this Lostbelt would cease to be,
even if no one would be present to see it happen.

Inner Monologue
Most of the queen's spells hiding the tree were still in effect. No human would see its destruction...

Inner Monologue
...but they would hear a tremendous sound split the air.
They would feel a sudden tremor shaking all of Scandinavia.

Inner Monologue
The cacophony of a towering colossus crumbling to the ground... The shaking at the loss of the very foundations of the world...

Inner Monologue
Only those who survived Surtr's destruction were privy to these awful phenomena.

Inner Monologue
The animals who lived in the rifts between fire and ice...the giants who still remained...

Inner Monologue
...and the roughly ten thousand humans...all closed their eyes, and felt the sensations wash over them.

Inner Monologue
This strange sound and shaking must be a sign that something is about to happen. But, what could it be...?

Scáthach-Skadi
...Allow me to offer you one last gift, Chaldeans.

Scáthach-Skadi
I shall tell you the name of the Tree of Emptiness that was meant to take root in my Lostbelt.

Scáthach-Skadi
It is called...Sombrero.

Scáthach-Skadi
Hehe. As one who lived through the Age of Gods, that name means nothing to me...but perhaps it will mean something to you, stargazers of Proper Human History.

Scáthach-Skadi
Now go, Chaldeans.

Scáthach-Skadi
As you have defeated us...

Scáthach-Skadi
...you must cross the ocean of dead ice and flame,
and the countless corpses of our hopes and dreams...

Scáthach-Skadi
...and be on your way.

Gerda
Okay, so, I'm not too sure what's going on...but I think we'll all do just what we're told...

Gerda
You see, this morning,
an envoy gave us a message from the Goddess.

Gerda
She said we should all go back to our homes and go to sleep, even though it's not nighttime.

Gerda
And once we do, we'll never wake up again.

Gerda
She said not to be afraid. It's just what we have to do to fix all the damage that huge giant caused.

Gerda
And if the Goddess said so, it must be true.

Gerda
Still...

Gerda
When I think about Lady Mash,
and {(M) Mr. /(F) Ms.} Fujimaru, and Mr. Napoleon...

Gerda
...and the beautiful envoy...and Mr. Chub...and Fou...and how...

Gerda
...well...

Gerda
Once I fall asleep,
I'll never get to see them again, right?

Gerda
Thinking about that makes me...

Gerda
Makes me...

Gerda
...

Gerda
...I don't know.

Gerda
It's so strange...
I don't know what to call it...

Gerda
It's like...there's something squeezing my heart...and it makes me want to cry.

Gerda
Isn't that weird? I'm not even hurt anywhere.

Sitonai
There they go.
Goodbye, Shadow Border.

Sitonai
Safe travels.
I hope fortune is kind wherever you go.

Sitonai
I'm a Pseudo-Servant using a human body as a host. I shouldn't be able to disappear when this Lostbelt goes away...

Sitonai
...
...

Sitonai
I guess this is Stepmother's doing.

Sitonai
How strange. I already miss her a bit, even though she's not my real mother. Maybe Freyja's influence.

Sitonai
Then again, she wasn't a bad person...
I wish I could've talked with her a little more.

Sitonai
Perhaps that's why I miss her.
Yeah, that must be it.

Sitonai
All of you Valkyries did great delivering Stepmother's last commandment. Thanks for all your help.

Sitonai
I know your master is gone...but I hope you can rest easy now. See you later.

--SECTION BREAK--

A newly ordained day.
A newly ordained time.

After the envoy had delivered the Goddess's newest commandment, quiet spread throughout the settlement.

Nobody was to go outside. Everyone was to stay in their homes and beds. They were told not to even open their windows.
Make your bedrooms as dark as possible, close your eyes,
and go to sleep.

It was the strangest commandment anyone had ever heard.

But most people went along with it, since it was the word of the Goddess. In fact, here in Village 23...
...there was only one person not sleeping peacefully inside her home.
She wondered what might happen to her for not obeying the commandment.
Would she be cast outside the village? Squished by giants?
She certainly didn't want that.

Still...she couldn't help it.
She wasn't able to fall asleep, and she couldn't shake the strange and growing sense of foreboding from her thoughts.

...So she decided to go outside.

Her heart started to pound with trepidation.
What if...
What if she'd get to see her new friends again?
With high hopes, the girl opened her door and stepped outside.

“Huh...?”

There was no one there...

Her new friends, who had survived the wilds outside the village and even battled envoys, were not present.
There was no one. Anywhere.

She was crestfallen. As she thought back to her new friends, she remembered their animal companion.
That cute, fluffy creature that used to hop around everywhere it went. Was it a dog? A horse?
It wasn't much, but thinking about it helped cheer her up.
So she decided to try copying it–to hop around the way it used to.

“Annnd...”

“Hop!”

She jumped lightly towards the sky.
That same moment...
...a gust of wind blew through the village,
warm and gentle as a spring breeze.
It may have been the same wind blowing across the world's bleached landscape, or it may have been a wind that used to travel throughout Proper Human History.
And then...the girl was gone.

She vanished as though carried off by that wind,
before her feet could even touch the ground again.
In the blink of an eye, she was somewhere far,
far away, along with the rest of that Scandinavia.
All that remained in the wind...was her smile...

--SECTION BREAK--

Sometime in 2017.

Ophelia
Um...

Ophelia
I just wanted to introduce myself again.
Your name's Mash Kyrielight, right?

Ophelia
Sorry to just barge in on you like this, but we never really got a chance to talk during the meeting.

Mash
That's all right. It's nice to meet you.

Ophelia
You too. My name's Ophelia Phamrsolone.

Mash
I remember.
You're from the Clock Tower's Evocation Department.

Ophelia
Yes. That's my official department, anyway.

Ophelia
I guess it would be weird to say I'm kind of relieved, huh?

Mash
?

Ophelia
I mean, there just aren't many women on Team A, right?
I don't have a problem with men or anything...

Ophelia
...but it's still a little nerve-racking to suddenly be surrounded by them when you're eating lunch...

Mash
I...see?

Ophelia
I'm sorry.
I guess I rambled a little bit there, didn't I?

Ophelia
Would you, um...

Ophelia
Would you like to eat with us?
Oh, and by us, I mean me and Pepe.

Mash
...Sure. If you don't mind my being there,
I'd love to join you.

--SECTION BREAK--

Meunière
We're just about to leave Scandinavia behind entirely!

Meunière
Looking at our current coordinates, we just passed the Sogne Fjord on the west of the Scandinavian Peninsula!

Meunière
There should only be about twenty kilometers until we reach the North Sea! You sure about this!? I'm still not seeing any water at all!

Goredolf
...

Mash
...

Holmes
...

  1. ...
 
  Select: ...

===Branch End===

Meunière
Gaaaaaah! Why've you all gotta be such downers!?
I've seen more cheer at a funeral!

Meunière
Look, I know how you all feel, okay?
I'm just as bummed as the rest of you.

Meunière
But that doesn't change the fact that SOMEONE'S still gotta step up and steer this thing! Now come on, Director! Are we going to the North Sea, or not!?

Goredolf
Er...right.
The North Sea. Yes, that will do.

Goredolf
...(Sigh)

Goredolf
I hate to leave like this again...but what could I have said, even had I seen her before we left...?

Goredolf
I could not possibly wish her a long, happy life... But still, as an adult, I can't help but feel I should have said something to her...

Goredolf
Those flowers she gave me...her entire village... They're all going to disappear, just like Russia, aren't they...

  1. ...Yes. They are.
  2. ...
  Select: ...Yes. They are.

  Select: ...

===Branch End===

Mash
...

Holmes
That is true. We know now that this is what it is to fight these Lostbelts.

Holmes
They are hypothetical worlds that came to sudden ends after human history itself deemed them unnecessary.

Holmes
Neither their inhabitants nor their civilizations did anything wrong. Their world simply differed from ours and eventually reached an impasse.

Holmes
I would even say we were fortunate that Russia and Scandinavia were the first Lostbelts we encountered.

Holmes
Why, you ask? Because the people who dwelled there were friendly to us, of course.

Holmes
That alone has been a tremendous boon to our efforts.
But, we cannot expect that good fortune to continue.

Holmes
It is quite possible that in the next Lostbelt we encounter, we will find ourselves up against every living thing that inhabits it. We must be wary of such a worst-case scenar–

Goredolf
Grrr, it isn't the future that has me depressed!
Have you no heart, man!?

Goredolf
Even I understand what it is we need to do, and that no amount of wringing our hands will change that!

Goredolf
I know this is simply a competition for survival, where saving one side inevitably means destroying the other!

Goredolf
So...I see no harm in looking back on them a bit.
After all, they don't have that luxury now.

Goredolf
I may be a cold-blooded aristocrat and the embodiment of elitism itself...

Goredolf
...but even I can't easily forget that we just wiped an innocent young girl out of existence...

Mash
Mr. Goredolf...

Meunière
...I hate to say it, but he's right.

Meunière
Maybe we just shouldn't get involved with these Lostbelt people at all if it's just going to turn out to be so depressing every time.

  1. ...No. That would be–
 
  Select: ...No. That would be–

===Branch End===

Da Vinci
The coward's way out. That is what you were going to say, isn't it, Fujimaru?

Da Vinci
Don't go there, Meunière. Just because it's easier to kill someone you don't know doesn't make it right.

Da Vinci
That's just avoidance. All you're doing is choosing not to face an unpleasant truth. That's not how war is meant to be fought.

Da Vinci
You should only fight those you know well, otherwise you risk your moral compass losing its center.

Da Vinci
Of course, everyone has their own way of facing their responsibility. In Fujimaru's case...

Da Vinci
...I'd say {(M) he's /(F) she's} the type to try and get to know {(M) his /(F) her} opponent as well as possible, so that {(M) he /(F) she} never forgets them.

Meunière
So pretending not to see them is actually even harder than facing them directly...or rather, the price of doing so is your own humanity, huh.

Meunière
Wait. Da Vinci!? What're you doing!? Don't you need to be operating the Border!? Or preparing a Zero Sail!?

Da Vinci
Oh relax. Now that the Tree of Emptiness has been destroyed, the storm wall around this Lostbelt is gone.

Da Vinci
We won't need to go Zero Sailing anytime soon.

Da Vinci
Anyway, last we checked, the Wandering Sea should be somewhere in the North Sea, far from the coast. So let's just enjoy this road trip until–

Da Vinci
Hm? What's up with the alarm, Meunière?

Meunière
Why're you asking me? If you don't know,
how could you possibly expect me to–Wha...!?

Meunière
The hell is this!? A spatial fault three hundred meters up ahead! It's showing up as blue on the map!

Meunière
It's...it's the ocean!
We're heading straight for the ocean!

Mash
Um... Mr. Meunière?
I'm not really seeing what the big fuss is about...

Meunière
Believe me, I wish I were kidding! Aw crap, I can't hit the brakes in time. Everyone, brace for impact!

Meunière
Three, two, one...
Get ready for a drop!

Goredolf
Ow, ow, ow. My aching back! It hasn't hurt this bad since my brakes failed on that hill!

Goredolf
What's going on here, Moony!?
That felt like at least a ten-meter drop!

  1. ...Um, Director?
 
  Select: ...Um, Director?

===Branch End===

Goredolf
Not now, {(M) boy /(F) girl}! Hurry up and sit down before another impact throws us for–

  1. The window. Look out the window...!
 
  Select: The window. Look out the window...!

===Branch End===

Goredolf
Out the window...?
What are you talking aboooOOOUT!?

Goredolf
D-d-did we drive into a whole other world when I wasn't looking!? It was nothing but clear skies as far as the eye could see just a moment ago!

Goredolf
Technical Advisor! Da Vinci!

Goredolf
J-j-just to be sure, the Border can navigate a real sea just as well as it can the Void Sea, right!?

Goredolf
You did design it for every conceivable scenario, didn't you? A stormy sea should be nothing compared to Void Space, right?

Goredolf
While we're on the subject, I have something of an announcement to make: I can't swim!

Da Vinci
Okay, look, Gordy, traveling through Void Space and traveling through real water are completely different tasks that require completely different functionality.

Da Vinci
The Border might be able to get through the Strait of Dover, but it was not designed to weather this!

Da Vinci
Now, I've got an announcement of my own: I estimate the Border has about an hour until it sinks!

Da Vinci
So back the hell up and get us back on land!
NOW, Meunière! Come on, hurry!

Da Vinci
Once we reach the coast, we can waterproof the Border better and wait until this storm dies down!

Meunière
Yeah...just one problem! There's no land to go back to!
We're smack in the middle of the North Sea!

Mash
Then...does that mean we're all going to end up fish food...?

Holmes
Da Vinci, can we still initiate a Zero Sail here?
Surely that must be preferable to sinking to our deaths?

Da Vinci
We can't! The formulas won't be stable enough on water!
We'd have to rewrite the software from scratch!

Da Vinci
Ah dammit, we must be leaking somewhere!
Hello, Tomlin? Are you in the kitchen right now?

Da Vinci
Check the storage room, quickly! I think we've got a leak in there! Tell the rest of the staff, too!

Da Vinci
Well...shit. Guys, there's no easy way to say this, so I'm just gonna say it.

Da Vinci
Now don't freak out on me, buuut...it's looking like we're all gonna die.

Da Vinci
And just when we'd proved we were badass enough to defeat Ivan the Terrible and Scáthach the goddess, too. D'oh☆

  1. Da Vinciii!
  2. Oh crap. Take it easy, Mash! Don't freak out on us, okay!?
  Select: Da Vinciii!

  Select: Oh crap. Take it easy, Mash! Don't freak out on us, okay!?

===Branch End===

Goredolf
You know, I feel like a spot of breakfast. I think I'll go fry up some seriously thick cut bacon right now. Mmm, deeelish.

Fou
Fou, fou!

Holmes
...
Hang on. We're getting a call!

Holmes
Go ahead and open up a line, Mr. Meunière!
And hurry! Da Vinci's no use to us right now!

Meunière
R-right. On it!

???
CQ, CQ. This is the Wandering Sea's dock.
Do you read me?

???
That vessel...that would be Chaldea's ship, right?
No, wait, not a ship... Oh, I see! A tank!

???
Rational, yes, very rational! A ship is unnecessary for a Zero Sail. But, I say, you have no sense for design!

???
It might as well be a large metal coffin!
Nothing charming there at all!

???
Be honest: you would never have made it back without my Paper Moon, would you?

???
Still, a fine job making it all the way here!
Everything is proceeding within my calculations!

Meunière
It's coming from the Wandering Sea!
But, WHERE!?

???
Where? Right in front of you! ...Oh, hang on, let me clear the fog. It should be easier to see then.

???
Proceed on your current course, though you may want to reduce your speed. And be sure to give thanks.

???
All right... this will be the first time in over two thousand years that this island has revealed itself on a day other than December 31!

Meunière
An island...!? And it was this close all along!?
But I'm still not seeing anything on radar!

Da Vinci
So it would seem... This is a Folklore Defense.

Da Vinci
An imaginary world of the fairies, where fantasy is made manifest. A world that stands apart from our own.

Da Vinci
In the modern day, it's a Mystic among Mystics,
said to only be possessed by Ploy Kickshaws.

???
Oh? Is that the voice of a professor type on the same level as me I hear? Well that is a welcome development. We will get on just fine!

???
Welcome to the primordial magecraft workshop:
The Baldanders of the Wandering Sea!

???
My name is Sion.
Sion Eltnam Sokaris.

???
I am a Spiritron hacker who escaped to the Wandering Sea when I predicted that the world was about to end. I have been waiting for you.

???

Being the Atlas Institute's last remaining member, the Wandering Sea higher-ups entrusted me with the project of righting this bleached Earth problem.