Entry 154: Beyond the end, to other stars

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I stop in front of my room. This is the room I’ve been using during the Holy Grail War. It’s a place where my Servant…whose class I can’t remember…and I have prepared for countless battles. But…what heroic spirt was my Servant…? Since I woke up in the infirmary, I haven’t been able to clearly recall. My mind gets slow. But, somehow —

Beyond that door are ruins, and as soon as I open it the Moon Cell will delete me, and Hakuno Kishinami’s Holy Grail War will be over. That’s the clear premonition I’m getting. 

I can’t accept that. I haven’t lost yet. I’ve beaten Julius and advanced to the sixth round, after all. …but on some level, I also accept it. That Hakuno Kishinami should already have vanished, in some other place. …I was only saved by a surprise move just shy of a foul. You only break the rules once, so they call it a miracle. No second chances. No exceptions. As soon as I open this door, I’ll be erased from this time axis. 

But that’s all right. That’s all right, I’ve decided. I put my hand to door. It’s time to pay my dues. 

…and so, Hakuno Kishinami’s Holy Grail War ended.

[In side the room, we are met with Gilgamesh sitting a naked on some cloth-draped chairs.]

— Er. What’s with this streaking…?

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Gilgamesh :: Hn. I came here early, but this room is shabby too, it seems. Truly, its humbleness suits you. But let’s not vent dissatisfactions just now. Having come over to this side, I’ve had to give up ninety percent of my belongings. I must resign myself to this penury for the time being.

— I remember. I remember —! That’s the irregular Servant I contracted with on the far side of the moon, Gilgamesh…! That’s right, we solved the incident BB caused on the far side of moon…!

Gilgamesh :: Good, you’ve put your memories in order swiftly. Having contracted with a denizen of the far side like myself, you are entirely different from other Masters. Those events are now a dream, but the battle you unfolded was real. Therefore, I am here.

I — I, don’t really get it, but. I didn’t think Gilgamesh could come to this side?!

Gilgamesh :: I’ve broken that rule. When I woke up, I happened to set out on a pleasure trip. In addition, I looked into the matter of your Servant on this side. The class was Berserker, but…as soon as they lost sight of you, they severed your contract. You’ve been abandoned by your own dog. I hadn’t imagined that much would happen. If you were disqualified for lack of a Servant before you could even be defeated in the sixth round, I’d never live it down. Even if brief, you were contracted with with me. You can only go out if you fight with all your strength and find it insufficient.

Gilgamesh speaks dispassionately. I stare dumbfounded at the arrogance I’ve long since grown used to. The feelings filling my chest are surprise and, something. I don’t really know what, but I can’t hold back a smile.

Gilgamesh :: So, what will you do? There is one available Servant here, but. If you aim for the summit, you may take my hand. Now is the time to sacrifice those command seals. 

I take the hand he offers me. I use two command spells, leaving one remaining. First, that the two of us are equal. I swear on the vow of the seal, to acknowledge, respect, and if necessary oppose each other’s convictions. And the second is —

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Gilgamesh :: —I see. A good vow, Hakuno. With this, I see it will be worth swinging my sword here. Let’s go, Master. Our aim is the Moon Cell Core, the seraphic throne. As long as I’m here, you will blast away all obvious conclusions. 

— That’s right. I can’t stop here. I look once more at the flower petal in my hand. …It’s all become a dream know, but I know that girl was there. The girl who defied the Moon Cell in order to protect something. Maybe if I keep going I’ll find out what it was she wished for. The battle continues. Until the day I reach the core of moon that lies beyond the seven seas —

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— So it is said.

Holding a small, weak sword, you broke a large, strong wall.

The crown of victory is beyond the end of the seven seas.

With uncounted rewards and punishments in hand, you fought to the end to survive.

That process itself is your chief proof. 

You run, traverse, break your way through everything to succeed.

You look fondly on the destruction that is your last repose.

— The night of your end had come.

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…Thus the battle ended. The one who wishes for a war covering the whole earth has vanished. And the hands of girl who, like him, was no one in particular. What was granted to the victor? Who were the survivors? Was the all-powerful wishing device really able to grant wishes? 

The one who knows the answers to these questions is now quietly breaking into pieces. The Moon Cell, the eyes of god, transforms the future according to the wish of the one who obtains it. That function is already gone. The Moon Cell Automaton has changed itself. For in accordance with Hakuno Kishinami’s so very human wish, it’s cut its connection with the Earth. 

Good night — the sound of eyelids closing. 

Sleep well — the sound of light going out. 

…Please, be at peace. The observational device is again becoming the dreaming device it once was. 

— Thus, everything end—

Unknown speaker :: [That is, Gilgamesh.] No, it doesn’t. Could you be any more stupid, Moon Cell? There’s no reason the winner should disappear on achieving perfect victory! If you have no need for her, then I’ll take her!

A bright light that seems to pierce my eyelids. A sound like the uproar of a million beings going to and fro. 

Gilgamesh :: So we’ve arrived at last? Try using it because it’s instantaneous, and it’s a navigational leap. But that is well. This is just the scenery I ordered. Open your eyes, Hakuno. How long are you going to sleep? 

Obeying the voice, I open my cemented eyelids. And there I see —

There before my eyes is, literally, a different world. The peak of a vertical tower dotted with enormous monuments. I’m standing at a height of 600 meters in the upper air. A dance of lights spreads out before my eyes. At first I thought it was a shining sea, but it’s the activity. A golden city that seems to go on forever. A highway of spirit particles crossing the sky. Ah, this is a port. I can intuitively sense this is an airport. Then, is this tower the control tower? I’m now looking out onto an unknown world overflowing with light —

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Gilgamesh :: Hmph. How boring. You aren’t even that surprised. I was hoping for you be stunned by this scenery and take a hasty step forward, falling to the ground…

And this Servant is the worst, as always. Just to be clear, it’s not that I’m not surprised. It’s just that I’ve gone past surprise into incomprehension. I won the Holy Grail War. I entered the Moon Cell Core, resolved everything, and was consequently disassembled. 

And yet…and yet.

I open my eyes, and I’m right in the middle of what is plainly some science fiction world. You should really be giving me lavish praises for not fainting on the spot. Or, no, before that, an explanation…! Explain where this is and what happened! And why aren’t you wearing a shirt!?

Gilgamesh :: This place? This is another spirit-particle fabricated world, separate from the SE.RA.PH. The spirit particle network of a different celestial body. For the Moon Cell can’t accept you, and will delete you no matter what. So we’re giving up on the Moon Cell, and flew off to some other star, any one that had sapient life that consumes and advances itself would do. Well — indeed, we’ve gone about 1500 light years away from Earth, but let that pass. It’s a trifling matter compared to this scenery!

Hahahahaha, the King of Heroes laughs merrily. Um…a different celestial body? We just flew here? 1500 light years away? Are we at Orion or something?

Gilgamesh :: No, somewhere before that, I believe? Come, look at the sky. Can’t you see a nebula shaped like a horse’s head?

Don’t “can’t you see?” me. Wh — King of Heroes, what have you done for me — !

Gilgamesh :: No need to be so jubilant, you’ll make me blush. Were you largely satisfied with that conclusion? Did you wish to quietly disappear?

That’s…yes, I was. I thought that was the only way, and I’d resolved to go through with it, though in my heart I didn’t want to disappear. But, I thought — that would have been too greedy —

Gilgamesh :: You can be as greedy as you may. But I for one couldn’t abide it. Also. There’s one thing you’re lacking. I thought I would tell you. 

Something I’m lacking…? Even as immature and inadequate as I am, something lacking…?

Gilgamesh :: You can’t tell? The joy of seeing something new. The instinct that makes the heart race at things strange and unknown. The thrill of enriching your own life — in a word, pleasure. 

Spreading his arms wide, Gilgamesh indicates the city below our eyes. And unknown world spreads out before us. A world never seen before. A future I can walk, challenge, run through freely. 

Gilgamesh :: You are quite proficient in worries and cares, but rankly unskilled at enjoying yourself. There can be no argument there. But in this new world I think you’ll learn it, whether you want to or not. The joy of living. The meaning of life, as they call it. After all, this is a new land even I have never seen. There’s no way your heart won’t be leaping. So how is it, Hakuno Kishinami? You know you’re now standing at the forefront of the human race?

Gilgamesh begins to smile, and extends a hand to me. As always, there’s something cruel in that smile, but it’s filled with the joy of a pioneer. The hand he offers is not a handshake, but an invitation to come with him. 

— I sigh, and swallow my deep exasperation. I’m sure I’ll find a whole mountain of objections later, but right now, I can’t think of any complaints. After all, just he said, what I’m seeing right now is the “future” that takes precedence over everything else. 

Gilgamesh :: Precisely. Now, shall we leap into a new journey? We go forth to conquer the great sea of stars. One day the whole human race may get to enjoy this, but now you and I will have the first taste, Master!

I take his outstretched hand in mine. In this new world where even he has no great standing, I nod to my partner, who puts on airs even here as a level one nobody.

— This is the last scene of this log. Even now the future rushes forward. Humanity spreads yet further. Aiming for the “ending” we’ll reach one day. And I have, having contracted with an extraordinary heroic spirit, will be beginning my journey now. 

…So, I pray. That the great king’s journey will end before his unreasonable demands completely exhaust me —

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Entry 153: Remains of a dream

Sakura…! Before I can reach out my hand into the emptiness, my consciousness is subsumed in light. My fingers, my arms, my legs, my body, all of it vanishes into light. 

…Only information goes on. A powerful acceleration of consciousness. Retrogression. Flackback. In that instant that felt like a journey of hundreds of light years, suddenly, 

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Sakura :: Hello, senpai. Thank you for coming today. Do you remember what happened when we first met? When I was sleeping in the infirmary, and you came to check on me. That one day, like an extra added to the Holy Grail War. 

There was once a day like this. Days like this, even. 

Sakura :: Good Morning, senpai! I tried to come up with a way to prepare delicious tea. I hope it suits your tastes…Eh, you’d like tea-cake with it? Y, yes, that’s a little difficult but I’ll do my best! Umm…where do we have the data on western and Japanese style snacks of the 20th century…it would be good if I had permission to access it, too…

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…I remember. Good. I did remember it properly. BB had concealed it, but here, at the very end, I’ve remember the truth behind all that’s happened. …Right. That’s what happened. There in that unchanging infirmary. I talked to her about many, many things. Though my memories of the preliminaries were mostly constructed by BB. That — what happened in that entrance hall, that was real —

Sakura :: …I found it. Today’s work will be over soon. …senpai. You were the first Master who ever noticed me. To the other Masters, I was never anything more than the infirmary NPC. Just something that distributes items and presents information. And I thought that was fine, too. But that day, when I was effected by a bug and collapsed, you came to help, just as if I were human. …you said that something that “wasn’t there,” “was.” You stopped to look at a stone by the side of the road that was trying to be human, and you held out your hand as if to a friend and equal. …and so I ended up wishing. To talk to you more. To be with you forever. And for that reason, I interfered with the Moon Cell. It was the first time I used it for my own sake. In order to be with you. That was the cause of all of this. Though I didn’t know what love was, I went and acted like a human. And then suffering became greater. And I took that suffering, and sent it to another me — No matter what they are, we AIs aren’t allowed to erase our own records, so — I transferred it all to a back up —

…What did she feel, and what was she trying to protect? Those days that were nothing out of the ordinary for me, just how brightly did they shine for her? Remembering that, remembering —

[Each line is a flash of a different scene.]

Sakura :: Wow, that really happened? Heehee, that’s funny. 

Sakura :: Senpai, could you tell me what you learned in class? I can’t go to classes, so…

Sakura :: Are you hurt? I’m not good for anything but health problems, so I’d like to be helpful when I can…

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Sakura :: Senpaai! Look, look! I borrowed the keys to the pool from Father Kotomine! Eh, a swimsuit…? Oh…that was silly of me…I’d have to design a swimsuit first…

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Sakura :: Flowers from the garden? Ah, thank you very much! I’ll get a vase for them right away!

Sakura :: Senpai, I made lunch! I worked hard and added it to my skill set!

Sakura ::  Senpai —

Sakura :: Senpai, um…!

— Everything returns to zero. I can hear a voice far in the distance. 

Unknown speaker :: Reactivation of the Holy Grail War system, starting. AI error check, complete. Full reset including all unlawful alterations —

The hand I reached out touched something soft. That feeling becomes an illusion and vanishes. Everything goes back to how it was. Hakuno Kishinami’s consciousness pauses here. 

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Sakura :: …Are you all right?

The girl’s voice wakes me up. White ceiling. White sheets. The eyes of the girl watching over me.  Ah — I feel like I had bits and pieces of a dream.

Sakura :: Good. I wasn’t sure what would become of you, when you collapsed in the entrance hall. Please be careful. Even if battle is forbidden within the school, this is still a battlefield. Going around without your Servant is suicidal, understand?

Without my Servant…? Hearing that, for no real reason I look at my left hand. There is — all three command spells. I unconsciously breath a sigh of relief. I’m not sure why seeing that I have my command spells is such a relief, but I’m relieved anyway. 

However — a Servant. Who on earth was my Servant, anyway?

Sakura :: Huh? Of course it’s…huh? That’s strange, these search results are…Eh, eh…? Ah, um, it’s either Saber, or Archer, or Caster!

Yes, of course. Those were the only choices I had, after all. 

Sakura :: In any case, congratulations on making it through the fifth round, Miss Hakuno Kishinami. Please make your way to the notice board quickly. It’s time for your sixth round opponent to be announced. Good luck!

Saying thank you to the girl,  I get up from the bed. The Holy Grail War is almost at its end. At this point there’s nothing to do but rush for the finish line. 

[Hakuno leaves the infirmary and meets Rani in the hall.]

Rani :: So you’ve woken up? Good. If you stayed like that I would have no options left. Now that I’ve become a Servant-less Master, I need to rely on your power. After all, there’s no way for me to survive unless you obtain the grail. I’ve said too much, haven’t I. I’ll prepare some tea for you later, a kind my professor taught me that relieves exhaustion. By the way…it seems you’re holding on to something there, what is it? 

Holding something? Now that she mentions it, ever since I woke up, I’ve been gripping something in my fist. What could it be? I open up my hand.

Rani :: This is…the petal of a cherry blossom? 

It is indeed a single cherry petal. I don’t know why I’m holding such a thing. It must have just ended up in my hand when I collapsed. I try to tip my hand to throw it away, but my thoughts stop. There weren’t many cherry blossoms to be found around this school. Though still without any real reason, I put it away, like a treasure. 

—Suddenly. I felt like someone called out to me. I thought I heard the word “senpai.” Of course when I turned around, the owner of the voice was nowhere to be seen. 

Rani :: Are you…crying?

Now I notice tears are falling from my eyes. Wiping them away with a finger, I leave the infirmary behind me. Pushing back the slight sense of loss that’s opened in my chest, I continue down the hallway I’ve grown used to. 

…the remains of pale pink memories.

…the ashes of burned up film.

— Like relics of those days, those were the last pieces of the heart of a girl who dreamed of love.

Entry 152: Fight to the end

Moon Cell Core: Phenomena Decision Tree

BB :: Visitors confirmed. Present — we have no plans for guests. Past — no visitors have come. Future — we see no necessity for visitors. Warning to visitor 002. Please expend with your humanity immediately. If you fail to heed this warning — [static] Welcome to the Moon Cell Core Zone. I’ve been waiting for you, senpai. Please, look down beneath you. You’ll see the lovely scenery of our campus spread out before you. Today’s flight conditions are perfect for a bombing. This aircraft is turning towards its final destination. Our departure time is yesterday. Our estimated arrival time is the year 3000 CE. It may be only a moment, so please, take advantage the benevolence of your god, myself, and offer your useless prayers. Of course it should go without saying — your prayers will never reach me. [static] Repeating the last message. Visitors confirmed. Present — we have no plans —

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BB’s plain, dispassionate voice echoes through this endless space. …It’s quiet. I’d imagined this place would be more frightening, or disgusting, but the Moon Cell’s Core Zone is engulfed in the quiet stillness of night. It’s not bright, but it’s not dark either. From what I can see of it, I’d even call it beautiful.

Gilgamesh :: That beauty is the beauty of a machine. There’s not a single sign of life here. Every element of this place rejects life. I have seen many disasters and much of mankind’s evil. Even those you would consider evil originally held some feeling toward humanity. It might be a benevolence turned only on themselves, or a hatred toward others, of course. But this is different. This darkness is human, in a sense, but it is also a cosmos that rejects everything, holding no human emotions. A wholly new “human evil” surpassing all the evils of this world.

I can’t get any sense of that at all, but it looks like Gilgamesh can perceive the true nature of this night-time.

Negativity. A curse, a cut, a crater. These are the only things that exist in this place. Positivity. Hope. Connection. Building. The falling cherry blossoms declare Hakuno Kishinami a shameless intruder, bringing such things in with me.

BB :: Exactly. It seems you too once possessed the capacity for self-observation. Unfortunately, however, you humans only seem to have the capacity, not the wisdom to put it into practice. Senpai. You are nothing but a pathogen that has entered this perfect universe.

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BB — And is that the Moon Cell’s Core? A cube with an enormous cherry tree eating into it. The pink light radiating from it resembles a one-eyed god.

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BB :: As you have ignored my warning and come here, I cannot accept any explanation you may offer. Furthermore, unregistered Masters are targets for erasure. Servants will be disposed of here. [BB uncurls and descends toward us. Static.] Don — disa — ru — way — [She gasps, then goes back to her mechanical tone.] Disappear, Hakuno Kishinami. I, the Moon Cell, acknowledge neither the possibilities of unknown variables, nor feelings.

Gilgamesh :: So you’ve fallen so low you boast of your faults like a god, BB. Hakuno, that is no longer the same entity. Give it its last rites.

—I know. There’s no emotion in this BB’s eyes. She was our enemy, but she was still a girl full of humanity. Now she’s changed from that into nothing but a device that broadcasts the Moon Cell’s choices. It’s not that the Moon Cell is evil. It’s not that BB is evil either. It’s just that the combination of the two is terrible. So, if my voice still reaches her —

> Get away from the Moon Cell!

> Why are you destroying human kind!

[>] There’s nothing left to do but to bring you down, BB!

[For the record, I tried all the options here, but the response is the same.]

BB :: I warned you that there was no room for explanation here. — How crude. Die a crude death in the crude darkness in a crude way. [Static, area around Hakuno goes completely dark.] That is all your deserve. Even a basic freeze was too resource intensive for the likes of you.

—?

—, —, ——!?

—!!!!!

!!,!!!,!—

BB :: You humans cannot alleviate this darkness. Especially not you alone. In any case — [static] “Will you pardon humanity, or not?” The results of a vote on this question by all the lifeforms on the Earth, from the past to present, resulted in a 49 to 51 passage of the motion to eradicate humanity. The opinions in your favor came largely from plants and animals. Unable to speak, they said they would forgive you. Opinions against you came largely from within your own ranks. Possessing intelligence, you grieved that you would not repent. You understand? You are the only ones who prey upon your own kind for profit. You chose self-destruction. You chose self-destruction. You chose self-destruction.

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…that was the most definite of facts.

…Unmerciful reality rings out.

…there’s no escape as the credits begin to roll.

[Fade to black.]

Ah…is that it? …if that’s how it is, then what can I do. …if we chose it ourselves, what can I do.

…Through the Moon Cell, I have seen ten billion deaths we have brought about. A hundred billion curses laid upon us. …and after that, we, humanity, trod upon the words of those who would forgive us.

…………….

…………….

…………….

…………….

………No, I can’t. I can’t overrule this conclusion.

Gilgamesh :: ——.

……We did it to ourselves. We did it to ourselves. We did to ourselves. So……I should just……let it end……here……here……here……———

[Static. BB’s image that comes up here has her eyes purple, rather than red.]

BB :: N, no…That’s not fair. I should be the embodiment of impartiality, so how could I, conceal, the truth. A—any, way. It was, actually, 50-50! Y, you did it, humanity! In the full, unaltered, survey results, there was even, a 10% of, idiots who had hope for the future, can you believe it— S, such shamelessness, it, it even shocked me! So why did it pass, you ask? That’s, because, [static] the Moon Cell, which became me, shifted, the, votes —-ugh, you…don’t be deceived, senpai—!

—,—.

[There’s a pulse of red.]

I heard, a voice.

[Another red pulse.]

I heard a voice.

[And again.]

I heard a voice. I heard a voice, chiding me not to be disheartened by those results. That’s right—

What is self-destruction.

What is ruin.

What is the end.

None of that matters. …after all, if you’re born, you will die. I for one have only lived ten and some years. Always, always, even when it was disgraceful, I was afraid of death, so I struggled clumsily to live on. And — while I only made my way through however I could, she who watched all that and sneered at me would know better than anyone. All those times we were about to fall to despair only to strike back again, she was grinding her teeth, watching. So, ironically enough. She knows better than anyone the “strength” that can be found in human weakness and ugliness.

…and so she cried out. That’s not how it was. Your heart is not so weak that a future like this could break it—!

[Another red flash, and static. BB’s image appears now with red eyes again.]

BB :: —Foolish. Impossible. Why is your consciousness returning. Why can you affirm yourself. Now that you know this future— there’s no reason for you to stand up again. [Static.] Foolish. Impossible. Incredibly crude. Essentially this should not be happening. Why — why do you go so far just to suffer!

—Obviously. It’s because we don’t know anything. We don’t know the meaning of life. We don’t know the meaning of our lives. We don’t know what it means to be human. So we won’t stop until the end. I’m sure that you, Moon Cell, can’t understand that this is our governing principle. If you’ve observed everything up to now and you haven’t been able to understand this, then you’ll never understand.

[A heart beat starts.]

BB :: Confirming spirit particle activation at the cellular level. Confirming recovery from thanatosis. —This, is—

—That’s right. Even if there’s nothing in the future but death, even if there’s nothing awaiting me but death, I can’t stop. If I were going to give up just because you told me something like that, how could I survive on this immature planet in the first place—-!!!

Gilgamesh :: He—hahahahahahaha! An immature planet, is it! Most conceited for a mongrel! But that is well, you’ve spoken truth! This planet may be reaching its twilight, but human history is yet in its childhood. After all, look how many fools who do not know their place it has produced. Plainly it’s far from reaching maturity. These extraordinarily slothful human beings have yet to show their true value. Consequently — now is not the time for their judgment. Furthermore, it is ridiculous to argue cosmic law with a mere observational rock. You are the one who should check your impudence. I’ll tell you of the beginning. The elements mixed, and congealed, and all things interwove to birth this planet. You should know the summit of truth. I am the one who sees what is truly gold. I will show you the archetypal form of hidden treasure. Celebrate as you fight for your life, you mere distraction…!

[The golden light fills up everything and Gilgamesh makes…an entrance.]

BB :: That power — It’s the same rank as mine. — How wretched.

Gilgamesh :: Indeed. A king should never show his true form, even unto his death. However, my mongrel wagered her life to bring these rites to the attention of the crown. If I do not answer her call, who will. If the malice covering this place belongs to all the world, that’s most convenient. Listen carefully, all beings. This woman is my contractor. Consider harming Hakuno Kishinami without my permission impossible from now unto eternity!

BB :: …You go so far to keep clinging to her. Humans are indeed unnecessary. [Static, her eyes clear again.] …Because I swore, to protect her. That’s right. This Moon Cell exists, to defend. Ah — but, what was, I — planning to, pro, tect— [Static, back to red.] I will erase you here, and mankind’s future will be decided. Disappear. Leave no remains. Leave no trace. Leave no words for regret. Leave no room for sympathy. That is what you deserve.

Gilgamesh :: The one who will decide that is neither you nor I. Rather it is a single fool who has come this far. Let’s go, Master. Use all I have however you desire, and fight however it pleases you. Words are no longer necessary. With our powers, we will strike down this new-made god. It may be the first god-slaying since the days of legend!

The consensus of this place. BB…the will of the Moon Cell becomes a tangible killing intent and strikes me. I look right back at that hostility.

…Right, if it’s like this, I can fight. If it’s hostility like this, I can face it head-on. My memory is hazy, but I’ve made it here always running against the wind. And Gilgamesh has been at my side the whole time too.

—Let’s go, Gilgamesh. This is the final battle!

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[We begin such against BB (Moon Cancer/Game Master). In the beginning of the battle, BB asks Gilgamesh if they aren’t the same sort of being, which he laughs at and says they’re only the same in that they both watch humanity, but BB/the Moon Cell analyzes human events, while Gilgamesh enjoys them. This fight, as tends to happen, was not hard after doing the bonus bosses. I didn’t get to see her Noble Phantasm. On defeat, BB screams and falls to her knees.]

Unknown speaker :: Cessation of system irregularity has been confirmed. Rebooting. Disposing of the Sakura System as the source of the aberration. Searching for valid Sakura System — Found. Connecting. Moon Cell restart — completed. Beginning intervention with humanity previously frozen by the Sakura System. With the previous interference of the Sakura System removed, progress speed has increased by 20%. It is estimated that the length of time until the fall of civilization will be reduced to five days.

Gilgamesh :: What is this?! BB was stopping the Moon Cell, that’s all well and good, I knew that already! But why is it restarting!?

What the hell is happening? BB has been defeated. Her connection with the Moon Cell has been cut off. So why won’t the Moon Cell stop trying to wipe out humanity?! It’s just like — I have to conclude that BB was stopping the Moon Cell from going berserk…!

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BB :: Gh, ah…! No, I won’t let you…! I won’t let the Moon Cell act freely…I won’t, vanish…I won’t let the Moon Cell delete me. If I’m going to disappear…I’ll take the Moon Cell with me — I won’t, lose. After all…if I’m defeat, who will — that person —

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BB :: Nothing but data, with no place to go — only to disappear if left behind — but even so, even with a heart like that, you smiled at me being there — That, priceless person — Who can, protect…her…? [She’s crying.]

…BB is still fighting. Whether she’s trying to save herself from deletion, or to stop the operation of the Moon Cell…Either way, it’s a lost cause. She’s begun to break down. There’s no way to save her. And the Moon Cell’s operations won’t stop. 

Gilgamesh :: I see now, it’s our “white” AI! If they’re the same AI model, then it can be used as back up system in the case of emergency. Moon Cell, for something with know survival instinct, your self-preservation functions are second to none!

Then, the Moon Cell is using Sakura now!? BB and Sakura are the same model, the same frame. So as long as she’s alive, the “human intervention decision” planted in her by the Moon Cell won’t stop…!? Then — what did we do this to BB for…!

Sakura :: [Her voice reaches us from somewhere.] No, no! Your efforts haven’t been for nothing!

Sakura…!?

Sakura :: Now that BB’s been defeated, I can finally directly interfere with the corrosion programs! Up until now, I had no way to stop BB. And BB couldn’t erase me. High levels AI are forbidden from self termination. We can’t kill ourselves. That flaw was the cause of all of this. But senpai, now you and Miss Rin and Miss Rani have brought me this far. And now — now that I’ve been chosen as the new administrating program, all of this — all of the rules the Moon Cell has set for us, I can erase them — I can make everything as if it never were!

[The light in the core of the cube begins to glow.]

Delete all the Moon Cell’s set rules…? Wait, could Sakura be planning to reset all Moon Cell’s “administrative functions,” including herself!?

Gilgamesh :: To sweep away this whole affair as if it were all a dream…So you will protect the Moon Cell even at the cost of your own life, no, your own soul, AI?

Sakura :: …Yes, it’s fine. If I disappear, it will stop running out of control and the corrosion will stop. All of you will be returned to the near side, and the imaginary number space will be erased from proper history, as if it never existed. Everything will go back to how it was before. I am an AI born from the Moon Cell. I’ll just being going back to the place I used to be. …Yes, everything will be set right. As soon as you open your eyes. That meeting, the time we’ve spent here, everything. So please don’t worry. It’s just the ending of a dream. Ah, but — It was a long dream. It was fun, and it made me happier than it should —

This is… Is there really no other way left to fix this? “Everything as it was before,” Sakura said. We’ll go back to before we were draw into the far side of the moon, back to the correct history where “there is no far side of the moon.” So everything that happened here will be gone. All the times we worked together on the student council. Our battles with BB and the Alter Egos, all of the many things that happened here. 

Gilgamesh :: I see, a full recovery then. In that case, Hakuno will never have fallen to the far side of the moon, and never formed a contract with me. Hah, rejoice, Hakuno. Your fate to die as soon as you returned to the near side will also be returned to nothing. Though I can see what will happen next. After all, your Servant was a useless, unmanageable heroic spirit, wasn’t it. If it were me, you would be invincible, but that ends here. Go on to your sixth round or whatever it was and face your ignominious defeat. 

— The light gets brighter. I can hardly see Gilgamesh, or myself, anymore. The darkness that filled the space around us is melting away. My whole body is breaking down into its particles and vanishing, but I feel no fear. I know that I’m going back to the time and place I should be. I’m even feeling the relief of victory, right now. 

But — but!

Sakura :: …Good. I made a promise. To protect you. And it looks like I’ll be able to fulfill it. …though I’ve erased those days. Though you’ve already forgotten. If you still remember even a little bit…

[There’s a brief imagine of Sakura and Hakuno in the infirmary.]

That was — That memory was definitely —

Sakura :: Thank you for all you’ve done. Of all the Masters I’ve looked after, you truly were the most wonderful. [We fade to black as glowing sakura petal floats across the screen.] Please fight well. And…if you ever have the chance. Please make sure the next me does her job well too. 

[We see Hakuno, Gilgamesh and BB once more, then white out.]

Entry 151: Time to go home

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>We can’t open it yet
[>] For the sake of the right future

For the sake of the right future. There are other reasons, but this is our greatest objective.

Rin :: You’ve reached Sakura’s wall right? As expected with can’t get any image from the Core Zone, but we can figure out its relative positioning. Sakura — we can trust the rest to you, right? Remove that wall for us.

Sakura :: Yes, of course. You fulfilled the conditions I set. All that’s left is for me to execute the plan. Miss Kishinami…Please place your hand on that wall. I’m going to access the shield through you.

…The time has come upon us. I breathe deeply, and lay my hand on the final wall.

Sakura :: Ah…! C, contact confirmed — Reformatting statue with the soul as base, around the main axes of spiritual analysis, behaviorism, human psychology…U, ugh…definition, completed. Concluded, from the Sakura-series AI, mental image map — Based on equal authority, executing disa, ssembly —!

The wall made in Sakura’s image is being dismantled…From Sakura’s voice I can tell she’s enduring some pain. If this wall is “Sakura’s heart,” then that would mean —

Sakura :: Uu…remov, ing, Spinal Cord…Ha, ah…!

That means. She’s tearing up her heart, isn’t she?

Sakura :: *panting*…Unlock, successful…Now, the path to the Core Zone is open…

Rin :: …At last. Not even light will go on through here. All our readings are coming out “unknown.”The area past this place may be irreversible. A one-way road to the Core Zone. After entering, you’ll be absorbed.

Rani :: In a sense, things approach the law of the observed universe ahead. Time accumulated in a unidirectional fashion. This will be our final transmission, but…may the fortunes of battle go with you. We will be waiting for you on the near side.

[Hakuno nods.]

Rin :: So that’s how it is. Sorry, but we’ll have to have you go in first. When we confirm you’ve gotten in, we’ll direct all the power we’ve go your way. That should help a little. Well, this’ll be my final message, but keep it together, okay? I won’t accept any falling down at the last hurdle.

…The voice transmission won’t reach me anymore. The wave of quasi-spiritual particles flowing from the Core Zone is making all oversight difficult. I don’t know if they can see me over their monitors, but I nod back to Rin and the others, saying “Leave it to me.” And now — Sakura!

Sakura :: Y, yes…! Let me take care of it! The road to the Moon Cell Core Zone — Sakura Wall, coming, down! Senpai, be careful…!

[The wall explodes.]

The last gate opens. The flow of time surges toward the conclusion. —Beyond this point—is BB!

[We must run forward down the stairs toward the upside down tree. And through a gate. Scene cuts to the student council room.]

Rin :: Well, that’s as far as we go. Monitors out, transmission out. We’ve got nothing else to do.

Rani :: Yes. Good work, Miss Tohsaka. We only have one more job left to do.

Rin :: Okay. Let’s split up the work and get things in order. Rani, if you could take the student council room please. I’ll take care of the school building.

Rani :: Understood. All power and memory will be directed to the protective effect on Miss Hakuno.

[The student council room vanishes image by image.]

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Rin :: Looks like Sakura left already. Now it’s just us. Maintaining the council room does use memory. We don’t have the luxury of sitting around to see if she wins or loses.

Rani :: An admirable show of courage, Miss Tohsaka. Thanks to your actions, I too can hold back my fear.

Rin :: …Hmph. Sorry it’s a show then. Since this place is gone, we’ve got no choice but to go back to the near side. That’s scary. At this point if those two don’t win, we’ve got no future ahead of us. The idea of going back to the near side and dying instantly on being drawn back into a body dying of pleasure on Earth — I can’t laugh that off.

Rani :: …heehee. You’re not even really thinking that. Your compassion truly is difficult to understand. We believe in her victory. And that’s why we’re afraid. For when we return to the near side. After all. According to my memories, our next opponent there is —

Rin :: …Ah, so it really is like that for you too. This decides it then. It’s gonna be hard…

Rani :: I wonder. In the case that the Moon Cell returns to normal, all events from the far side of the moon will cease to have been. Our encounters here, the time we spent to together, the things we laughed over, all of it. I imagine it will be forgotten, as one “way things could have happened.”

Rin :: I see. It was also just one long dream. As soon as the future is safe, everything that happened on the far side will be wiped clean.

Rani :: Yes, unfortunately. Or perhaps it should be considered fortunate?

Rin :: — All right. It’s tasteless to put things into words at times like this. It’ll be my limit soon enough. Mind if I go first, Rani?

Rani :: How standoffish. If we’re making our exit, let’s do so together. And we’ll leave the rest to her.

Rin :: Okay. Then — yeah. Goodbye, Rani VIII. We made good friends, didn’t we?

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Rani :: Yes. And the very best of staff.

Rin :: Thanks — and good work all this time. Let’s meet again in the Holy Grail War!

[Black out.]

—and so, I observe.

The protection of the old school building has vanished. The “bubble covering the school building” maintained by managerial AI S-6-01 has vanished, and all resources that comprised in have been transferred to Hakuno Kishinami’s Servant. The shelter facility illicitly salvaged and repaired by managerial AI S-6-02 — the “old school building” has been swallowed by the vortex of karma, imaginary numbers.

[The storage closet appears.]

All that remains is a single handful of real numbers. Left behind in kindness by Rin Tohsaka, Rani VIII, and managerial AI S-6-01. The storage room inhabited by Jinako Karigiri.

Karna :: The noises from outside have gotten more intense. It’s like we’re in the midst of a storm. We might expect to be crushed under the flood.

Jinako :: Gh…! Uu, gh…! I’d really like it if you didn’t say things like that! Why d’you always have to say one word too many, Karna!

Karna :: — I see. I’d thought I was more quiet, relatively, but to think it was just one word too many…I’m sorry. Why didn’t you give me such pertinent advise earlier?

Jinako :: Just how airheaded are you! Ahh, the wall’s rumlbing! I’m gonna die…I’m gonna die, this time for—No, I’m gonna die this time again! I’m gonna be dead, in place like this, and no one’ll ever ever know…!

Jinako Karigiri’s lamentations are correct. With her death approaching close at hand, her surface thoughts are becoming fixed in a pattern of fear. …it is something that I, having been cut off from the concept of physical death, can no longer understand.

Jinako :: *whimpering*…B, but, there’s nothing I can do…This is all there is…Even if I leave I’m dead, and I can’t look cool like everybody else, so I, I, this is— it’s right for me to just stay here, like a cat no one ever really knows what happened to…I mean, I’ve never done anything anyway. Not when my parents died, not when I stopped going to school, not when I became a Master…! I never did anything, so I’m nothing! For someone like me, with nothing special about her, staying locked in here forever is just perfect…!

That is Jinako Karigiri’s decision. That is Jinako Karigiri’s wish. That is Jinako Karigiri’s fate. That result is just as I simulated.

—However.

Karna :: — No. That’s wrong. Your life was just unlucky.

Jinako :: Huh?

—However. The golden Servant judged that that was wrong.

Jinako :: Karna…?

Karna :: Jinako. Everything outside is gone. Nothing remains of the old school building. It seems the other Masters have returned to where they should be. Everything has vanished. There’s nothing here. Even now — do you still want to stay here?

Jinako :: Th, that — that’s such an unfair way to say it! Not even I want to be in a place like this! If I could go home, of course I’d wanna go! But, but, this is all I have — there aren’t any retrys here!

That’s right. There are no retrys. Jinako Karigiri is a Master. Once she returns to the near side, her punishment for abandoning the Holy Grail War awaits her. Fearing death, she has no choice but to be suspended here “just before dying.”

Karna :: No…That’s wrong too. Ah, hm…how should I explain, this is hard for me…With my power, I can’t push you into the winning place in the Holy Grail War, but a retry, I can give you that. I can withdraw you from the Holy Grail War and send you back to your body on Earth.

Jinako :: Huh —- huh?

— Impossible. What is that Servant saying.

Jinako :: Ka, Karna…What are you saying? Even for the Moon Cell, that would be —

Karna :: I can do that. Look at my body carefully. Doesn’t it look like something’s missing?

Jinako :: Something missing…Ah. Now that you mention it, you’re…you’ve got a skinny body type, Karna. Umm, when we made our contract, I get the feeling you were a little heavier…something thicker…sort of…Ah—! That’s right, the golden armor! It was in your info, that “armor that repels everything,” you don’t have it?!

Karna :: …so you finally noticed? I mean to say, not noticing that fact, even I have a few words of complaint for you. Thanks to that, none of the wounds I received in the battle with Hakuno Kishinami and her Servant have healed. To be honest, I’ve been on the verge of death ever since then.

Jinako :: Wha, whaaa—!? W, why don’t you have it?! If you had that armor we wouldn’t even have lost to Hakunon, would we!?

Karna :: I used it on you.

Jinako :: Eh?

Karna :: While you had your eyes closed and your ears covered, the school building from the near side coming down around you, I put it on you, my mistress. My armor is the majesty of the sun, which even the gods cannot destroy. No matter how powerful the Moon Cell may be, as long as it remains the moon, the light of the sun will not be diminished. Which means, how do I say this — in the world of the near side, you’re not dead, Jinako. When the Holy Grail War ends, you’ll just return automatically to Earth, the only survivor of the Holy Grail War.

Such — things, can, not — No, the theory is sound. The Moon Cell confirmed the destruction of the school, and Jinako Karigiri, who was stuck there, was judged lost and that designation was accepted. So if she’s still living — there’s nothing the Moon Cell can do to her. And then when the Grail War she participated in is over, her soul will be returned to Earth —!

This must be why Jinako Karigiri was an unknown quantity for both managerial AI S-6-01 and myself. From the beginning, she was the first and final spectator to the Holy Grail War on the Moon Cell—

Jinako :: Wha—whawha, wha—Why didn’t you tell me that at the beginning?!

Karna :: I missed the right time to tell you. So, do you want to go back?

Jinako :: Tha—That’s—That’s obvious, isn’t it! I wanna go home! I wanna go home, I wanna go home, I wanna go home! I haven’t even done anything yet!

Karna :: — Good. I’m glad this time at least I didn’t do something uncalled-for.

[He draws his lance and cuts through the storage room, which vanishes into darkness and glowing squares.]

Karna :: This cradle, too, became a cage. Now — you should go back to your home.

Jinako :: Go back…but Karna…? Your…body…it’s sort…really tearing, apart…right?

Karna :: Yes, when we were on the near side, I was annihilated with the destruction of the school building. That’s been confirmed. So now I just have to disappear like this. I said so, didn’t I. That my fate wasn’t to disappear there, on the far side. I had a duty to hand over my armor to you, at the end of the Holy Grail War on the near side.

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— what noble words. That Servant is filled with such strong will even I, in my current state, can understand. His will was not to earn gratitude, nor coerce anything from her. They are words of power, without a speck of dirt upon them, declaring only what he believes in his mind is right.

Jinako :: Tha…that can’t be, right…? Saving me…even though you’ll die…?

Karna :: That’s just in hindsight. All that happened was that after saving you, as a consequence, I died. What is it. What aren’t you happy? Your determination to go outside suddenly started to fade. Is something still wrong, Jinako?

Jinako :: I, I mean…it bothers me. It just, this really bothers me! You, you could really have just ignored me! I mean, isn’t that how it is!? You’re a much more amazing person, Karna! And you have much more to regret!

Karna :: No, that’s —

Jinako :: I know! I’m your Master! I know just how horrible life was to you, and just how many things there were you wanted, I know! Even when Hakunon asked for your help! I could tell just fine how much you wanted to help! E, even I have my pride…! I know that really it should be a great person like you who gets to survive, Karna! So why — why are you saving someone like me. I was never anything special, at all, not one bit. I don’t understand…I’m happy, but I can’t understand!

I agree with Jinako Karigiri’s shouting. Whichever way one examines it, she has no qualifications, and Karna has no impetus. There ought to be some equivalence in saving lives. Someone who is saved must have some value that makes them worth saving. If they don’t, then there is no meaning in extending a helping hand, nothing is to be gained. Like I once was. Like I am now.

Jinako Karigiri has no such karmic fate. She has no glimmer of talent. She has no record of good deeds meriting such reward. Thus, there is no reason for a hero like Karna to save her. According the intelligence patterns of these sense. Unless you are special, no one will save you —

Karna :: …I see. I suppose the more special and outstanding a person is the higher a priority it should be to save them. That’s how people assign value after all. No one takes any notice of people who don’t have anything to offer.

Jinako :: R, right…! That’s why I’m not qualified to be saved by you —

Karna :: But that sort of thinking doesn’t really help me either. I’m not special enough to save special people, you see.

Scarily enough, those words come from the heart. This Servant is an incredibly great hero. I know it. Jinako Karigiri knows it. A hero of charity, acknowledged even by Indra, the king of the gods.

An ill-fated warrior, who even as he was branded evil by artifice, even as everything was taken from him, never once resented the world or its people. And a reflection of this hero says that he was nothing special? That even now that he’s here like this, even if someone thinks he’s special, he’s just another inconsequential “someone.”

Karna :: Jinako. You are my mistress. That’s the whole reason I protected you. However annoying, lazy, or incompetent you might be had nothing to do with it.

Ah — Having barely managed to hang on this long, this space is falling apart. The world she believed in is falling apart. She screams. “There’s no reason I should be saved. There was never any special about me at all —“

Jinako Karigiri is correct. That is what this world is. That is what the minimum qualification for living in this world is. Competing with each other, supporting each other, deceiving each other, hating each other, building, fixing, breaking, consuming, life and death destroying themselves. She dropped out of all of that, the very embodiment of the defector. Unable to become anything special, she cannot bear to continue her worthless existence. …she shouldn’t be able to bear it, but.

Jinako :: Karna…you weren’t buying me, or giving up on me either. You just saved me because you’re my Servant?

Karna :: That’s what I’ve been saying, isn’t it. I’ve never been a good judge of people. They all look the same value to me. Which is why —

Jinako :: You saved some mediocre person like me as if it was just the natural thing to do. So — even if I’m just as no good as I’ve always been, forever?

Karna :: Of course. Even if you’re nothing special, as long as you live, I will continue to be your guardian.

Jinako :: ——

Karna :: Jinako…? Wait, why are you crying. I’m sorry. Was it one word too many again?

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Jinako :: …nope, that’s not it. You’re just being much too nice and I was shocked. Protecting me no matter what, not caring even if I’ve useless, it’s like you’re my dad. Like the most indulgent dad ever too.

Karna :: Di, did it really sound like that…? I didn’t mean to do that, but…

Jinako :: Yeah, I know. You’re not trying to coddle me. You believe in me, right? Not in my success, or my life, or any little thing like that. I can’t word it well but, for sure…

…I see. That man believes. Even if people are pitiful or ordinary, he believes in human nature, in living people. …even if they never blossom. Still he has confidence that that seed is precious.

Jinako :: Pretty pathetic isn’t it. I’ve been selfish this whole time and I’m still doing it. But it’s okay. I think I get it. So go ahead and go, Karna. Thanks for everything. Sorry for keeping you. —Please. There’s a version of me still shaking in fear, back in the school. Save her.

Karna :: Got it. It may get a bit rough, but I hope you’ll forgive me.

[He starts to float away.]

Jinako :: By the way, you have it backwards, Karna. You’re always one word too few, not too many. You stop in the middle of what you’re trying to say, so the person you’re talking to misunderstands. [Karna slumps over in response to this.] Make sure you say what you’re thinking properly from now on. No fussing about saying nothing for you~

Karna :: —So that was it? …So that was it…So that…was it…

Jinako :: W, was it really such a shock you had to say it three times?!

Karna :: I’m sorry, this is how I am. I just have a gloomy personality. Thank you for the advice, I’ll take it to heart.

Jinako :: Is that so. Then it’s time for a test. If you’ve got anything left to say, say it now.

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Karna :: ——Well then. It doesn’t really need to be said, but that’s what you want, Jinako, then I’ll tell you. Live, Master. Even if you’re a nobody, I’m certain there’s someone waiting for you.

Jinako :: ——

[Karna closes his eyes and flies away into white light.]

And so he rises through the lunar sea. He leave the sea of imaginary numbers, to save Jinako Karigiri where where she lies certain of her own destruction. Even as he falls apart, he shines through the pitch-black sea, like a golden bird soaring through the darkness.

Jinako :: …Welp, there he goes. Don’t I have all the luck. Talk about losing the Servant lottery. You really were way too much for me. — Yeah. Goodbye, Karna. Even if having someone believe in me just makes me feel more weighed down, I was plenty weighed down anyway I guess. …Even if I can’t do anything. At least I have the freedom to do something, I guess—

—And so that area was fully swallowed into the imaginary numbers. I jump to the next area. I’m going to go paint over whatever conscious universe remains. All records and impressions from this space will be deleted. They are unnecessary for my present self. They are a dream I had once in the past. I won’t put them in a library. I won’t give them to the Moon Cell. I’ll describe the final result. With the end of the Holy Grail War, Jinako Karigiri was completely erased. The Moon Cell will never be able to disprove this.

Entry 150: The dream gauntlet

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, , ,

I leave my room behind — it was only a temporary thing, but I’ve gotten used to it. …This is the last time. I’ll go give my regards to the student council before I head into the Labyrinth.

[On we go.]

There’s nothing about the atmosphere in the student council room worth special mention. Everyone is busy, absorbed in their work, the room feels austere and calm — in short, it’s just as it always is in here in the morning.

Rin :: Oh, good morning Hakunon. Did you sleep well last night?

Rani :: Good morning to you, Hakuno. If you’re looking for breakfast it will be prepared shortly, is that all right?

Sakura :: In that case we’ll have tea afterward. Do all of you want tea with your breakfast? Or would you prefer coffee?

…without thinking, the tension in my face lessens. Even though this is our last morning, no, because this is our last morning, they’re making sure to spend it in an everyday way. So, expressing the respect for them I hold in my heart, I join them for breakfast.

[That’s all before the last mission starts. The girls have voiced dialogue if you check in with each of them though.]

Sakura :: Ah…uh, um…I, I don’t have anything in particular to say! I can’t think of anything cool to say…I’m not any good, am I…I can only put businesslike things into words…Ah, but, there’s still one more chance! When I break the wall in the core, I’ll send you a message from here! U, until then, give me some time! Please! Please be patient!

[With Rin.]

Rin :: Look, look at how this processing speed has improved! You look in good form too, but we won’t lose. With a night of rest I’ve taken all extraneous programs out by the roots and converted things to an “offense over defense!” style. The avatar movement seems refreshed now, doesn’t it? It’s solid, now that various protections have been lifted. Like that refreshing feeling when you finish a diet successfully. Yeah, it’s just like when the jelly feeling in your stomach has gone down and — no, nothing. Nothing like that. I’ve never gotten fat. A, anyway, our preparations are complete. You can charge on to the final battle without worry.

[And with Rani.]

Rani :: You seem to have slept well. I too got sufficient rest. There is no problem with my self control. All self-diagnostic systems are at normal levels. I can maintain my avatar. It’s just…When I become aware that this scene will never come again, a not unpleasant feeling appears in my emotional control. As it has no influence on my self-diagnostics, it may be coming from my cerebral nerves themselves…That I, so far removed from such sentimentality, would think such things, surprises even me. Having my SGs removed by force, having disgraceful attributes attached to me, those times were certainly a headache…Now, even those errors feel like rare things to me. In the end, this was a good experience to have. Now, please head into battle. It is time for you to lower the final curtain.

[Into the Labyrinth we go.]

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We stand before the final wall. On the other side of this is the Moon Cell Core — the site of the final battle, where BB is asleep. Not the brain of god, but the brain of the devil, changed from an observation device to an administration device. Past here is the “present” we have not yet reached. If we defeat BB and return the Moon Cell to normal, the “future” of the outside will be undefined, and the destruction of mankind will be postponed.  However— If BB destroys us, that will be the end. The opposition to her on the far side on the moon will cease. In that instant, the future where “the human race will be destroyed seven days from now” will become determined, a “truth” that nothing anyone does will be able to change—

Then let’s confirm one last time. For what purpose will I go inside?

[>] We can’t open it yet
> For the sake of the right future

…I’m not prepared yet. Let’s move away from the wall.

[After all, there’s somewhere else to go, specifically down the stairs in the corner.]

Sakura Labyrinth Floor -20: Leveling Dungeon

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…this place is a floor with nothing in it. We can use it for training.

[We fight an enemy called a Serenade. It drops something called “Serena’s Secret.”]

Wait a minute. Just now, what — I feel like that enemy we just beat dropped something incredible. I hurry to check my item list. —Aha. This is it. “Serena’s Secret.” That enemy we just beat…it did have a woman’s shape…it’s her SG!? Could this work for the “girl’s secret” Ms. Fujimura was talking about…?

Gilgamesh :: Don’t ask me. You’re the one who accepted that request.

R, right…Anyway, I’ll deliver this SG to Ms. Fujimura.

[We head back to the school building and exchange it for Taiga’s last room decoration, and she runs off to make her final escape attempt. The decoration appears to be a large plush lion, which sits next to Gilgamesh’s chair looking incredibly cuddly.]

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[Back into the Leveling Dungeon, there are some treasure chests about, also a weird hole in the world.]

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Gilgamesh :: Wait. There’s an interesting distortion here. Space appears to be torn here. One thing that’s clear is that it connects with someplace else. It’s your choice whether we continue on or turn back.

[>] Jump in
> Don’t jump in

Gilgamesh :: Then let’s go and enjoy ourselves, shall we? What manner of fools await us…it makes the heart sing, doesn’t it, mongrel?

[We head inside and find ourselves facing…real, proper Stay night version Rin Tohsaka, and Archer!]

Rin :: Wha…An 8th Master!?

Gilgamesh :: What, isn’t it just the red woman again? …No. — Ah, so it’s like that. That is not the woman you know. If you intend to give her a beating, do so to your heart’s content and take all the revenge you please.

Rin :: …I’m not completely clear on what’s going on here, but they’re still the enemy. Archer, prepare for battle!

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[From here on my pictures are even worse than they used to be, sorry.]

Archer :: Understood. Rin, stand back.

Gilgamesh :: You mongrel. Know your place!

[We fight! Archer and Rin recognize Gil of course, though he doesn’t know them. Also, when Archer’s Noble Phantasm is ready: Rin goes “Do it Archer! ‘I am the bone of my sword!'” and Archer says “Suddenly I don’t want to do it anymore…” It takes a few tries but I eventually manage to Enuma Elish crush them.]

Rin :: I can’t, disappear…not here…

Gilgamesh :: It’s been a long time since I had a battle this invigorating. Woman, you managed make good use of a faker like that. That ability is praise-worthy. But for you this battle was but ephemera. The Moon Cell did something rather clever for us.

Rin :: …I see. I don’t quite follow, but that means I can still fight in the Holy Grail War, doesn’t it. Then this is no place for me to fall to my knees, is it. “A Tohsaka must always be elegant,” after all. I’ll be sure to repay you for this valuable experience in full one one day. Let’s go, Archer.

Archer :: Roger that, Master. That fast spring-back is one of your virtues.

[They both vanish.]

Gilgamesh :: …Hm. Calculating, but without malice, as always. It would be waste to dismiss her as a mere woman. If she were teamed with me the results could be interesting.

[That earns me Red Origin formal wear, with the codecast to fully recover HP and status ailments, like I’ve been wanting for ages. Now, over on the other side of the dungeon, another hole has appeared.]

Gilgamesh :: So space has opened up again? It looks like there could be more entertaining sightseeing to be had, no?

[>] Jump in
> Don’t jump in

Gilgamesh :: In for a penny, in for a pound, was it? A desperate proverb, but shrewd. Such is the nature of pride.

[Now it’s time to fight…Kotomine and Cu Chulainn! It’s time for a Fuyuki church reunion I guess.]

Gilgamesh :: Who’d have thought I’d be fighting you. The Moon Cell’s tastes aren’t half bad. Don’t you think so, shopkeeper?

Kotomine :: Hm, I’d thought to spend my time quietly as an NPC. It’s quite bothersome to be chased out to a place like this.

Gilgamesh :: So you say. But you should have a look at your own face. You know you haven’t managed to stop your lips from twisted up and down so? You’re not the sort of person to sit peacefully where you’re put. You’ve called in a dog like that, after all. Will you really be satisfied without a fight?

Lancer :: Wait just a minute. I’m not gonna just let that “dog” comment go.

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Gilgamesh :: He isn’t properly trained, is he, shopkeeper. In fact, one might call him a mad dog, interrupting our conversation so. One might. ……What. You can all laugh, you know.

Lancer :: ……

Kotomine :: ……

……I’m sorry. I couldn’t even tell there was a joke in there.

Gilgamesh :: It’s “yokoyari”! The joke is “Lancer” and “yari,” what do you morons not understand here!?

[Yari means lance or spear, while yokoyari is an interruption. Sorry, couldn’t come up with any equivalent terrible word play.]

Kotomine :: A…as fearful as ever.

Lancer :: Yeah…consider me struck speechless. Hey you, you’re that guy’s Master? Wow, I sure do feel for you. Must be head ache being teamed up with him.

I hold back the impulse to nod in agreement with all my might. I can easily imagine just how much Gilgamesh will whine at me after this if I agree with Lancer.

Gilgamesh :: …Very well. I can see there’s no need for compassion here. Learn the error of your ways, you fools. Your boorish heads, too thick to understand humor, will be severed by my sword!

Lancer :: Hah, I’ll skewer that soft-boiled head of yours first. All right Master, let’s get started!

Kotomine :: My my, I certainly have no personal desire to. But, some prank of the Moon Cell’s or not, I must fulfill the role I have been given. Now then, King of Heroes, with you condescend to go a round with this pitiful NPC?

Gilgamesh :: Yes, I will allow it. Entertain me with all your might!

[In the fight Gil proceeds to claim he has no relationship with these two whatsoever. This one only took me one try, such is the power of pun vengeance I guess.]

Gilgamesh :: Hmph, lowly rabid dog. Bow down and regret that you ever bothered me.

Lancer :: Gh, pathetic…Bad match up, wasn’t this.

Gilgamesh :: Will you face me directly next time, shopkeeper? I wouldn’t mind at all.

Kotomine :: — Heh. If you’re looking someone fool enough to cross blades with the King of Heroes, this dog will have to suffice.

Lancer :: Hey, wait wait wait! You might be an illusion or whatever, but aren’t you supposed to be my Master?!

Kotomine :: Ah, I’m sorry. The truth just slipped out. You fought well, Lancer. I as you Master I would like to reward you.

Lancer :: …?

Kotomine :: By my command spells I order you. You are to eat 10 plates of Jiangzhou Ensaikan Taishan’s mapo tofu in one minute.

[That would be the name of the Fuyuki city Chinese restaurant seen in Heaven’s Feel, though I don’t know what a more Chinese reading of the middle part of it would be or indeed if one would combine such characters in Chinese.]

Gilgamesh :: N…!

Lancer :: Wha —!?

Kotomine :: Now then King of Heroes, and his Master. I pray for your good fortune in future battles.

[He vanishes.]

Lancer :: What the hell! Do you some kind of disease that makes you only use command spells to harass people, asshole?!

[He also vanishes.]

Gilgamesh :: …A fearsome punishment. Even I felt my blood run cold. No, wait. That is his preferred indulgence…could it be he really means it as a reward?

[Now that we’re done with them with have the formal wear Atlas’s Demon with a codecast to invalidate the next attack made on your Servant. And there’s a new spatial distortion to check out!]

Gilgamesh :: Yet another of these rifts? …Though this may finally be the last of them…

[>] Jump in
> Don’t jump in

Gilgamesh :: Heh, you couldn’t call yourself my Master if you weren’t like this. Shall we go then?

[In we go to find Tamamo-no-Mae and Twice H. Pieceman!]

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Twice :: Oh, are you retrying as well? I’ve been redoing this for a while now myself. I’m making use of a disturbance in space currently, but…Forget that guess I just made. It seems you’re different somehow. You’ve just lost your way. Which means I’ll have to eliminate you now, I suppose. It would be a problem for me if rumors that there are ghosts going about retrying things spread. Sorry, but you’re going to have to disappear here. What, you’re what we call an ordinary “strong” person. Shockingly worthless, really.

Caster :: …

Gilgamesh :: Who gave you permission to speak to me, you drudge. Etiquette dictates that before the king you should kneel, hide your face, and wait. Mongrel. Is this uncouth man some acquaintance of yours? If so, you should teach him how one approaches a king.

Twice :: …Acquaintances? That Master and I? ……I don’t know. Something like that might have happened. Caster, let’s begin. They’re an A Rank Master team, but it shouldn’t be a problem. If you were to lose to an enemy like this, I’d have to reconsider my contract with you. Show me I’ve nothing to worry about.

Caster :: …but of course. One-tailed she may be, but this Caster will grant your wishes. I don’t know who you are or where you came from, but this too is fate. Prepare yourselves.

Gilgamesh :: …hmph. If you are reduced to but a doll in mind and body, then it is inevitable. I’ll pluck off your tail and make an ornament of it.

[There’s some interesting start of fight business where Twice notes that Gilgamesh is rather intimidating and god-like. Tamamo says that Gilgamesh is in fact a fool who defies the gods, and so defeating him will bring no punishment. This was a pretty annoying fight and took some tries, but fortunately if I fulfill the requirements to launch Enuma Elish at the start of the turn then even if the enemy then fully heals it still goes off and one shots them. And is very satisfying. The formal wear from this fight is the Celestial Maiden’s Bell, which gives you a codecast to give your Servant the status buff that revives them from death once. ]

Gilgamesh :: Che…You’re doing this as many groups, aren’t you. Were my eyes clouded?

Twice :: …Thank god. We lost the fight, but it looks like we returned to the “start” before the finishing blow. Apologies, but this is where I make my exit. Also it seems the spacial distortion has been fixed, so it looks like your dream battles end with me. In this place you’ve reached the pinnacle of strength. You’re the indubitable champion. Well then, if fate wills it we’ll meet again. If so, it would be a pleasure to fight in the next Holy Grail War.

[He vanishes.]

Caster :: …Whatever should I call you. I can feel you have something hard to come by there. It’s not for me to say, under my present circumstances, but please, take care. I pray for your future victory.

[She vanishes.]

Gilgamesh :: Hmph. To compete in strength is the folly of the common man. Strength has never been something to measure. It’s simply a question of are you king, or not. Well, that being said, it is the king’s responsibility to trample over the weak. And treasures grow dim if they’re always locked away. Mongrel. You didn’t put up a poor fight either. In truth it would even be right to acknowledge you as my Master, wouldn’t it?

…he still hadn’t acknowledged me? Nonetheless, the smile Gilgamesh turns on me is more gentle than usual. It’s true, it’s because he’s been here with me that I’ve been able to make it this far. My strength is all from having him with me. After this…I don’t know what will happen. But for now I’ll be happy with this victory —

Entry 149: Farewells

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Sakura :: Brainwaves have switched to an awakening state. Pulse, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, spirit, vitals are all in the safe zone — completing the conversion. Are you awake, Miss Kishinami?

I raise my head at Sakura’s voice. When I come to, I’m back in the student council room.

Rani :: Now lifting your Servant’s dormant status. Thank you, Gilgamesh. The plan has been completed successfully.

Gilgamesh :: It doesn’t seem that seal or what have you was so monumental…but she did much better work that I would have thought, that Lancer. It seems the linchpin of my origin has been fully released.

Rin :: So the seal on the legendary mystic code has been broken, then. Gilgamesh is the only one who can see what was inside though, so I don’t what sort of thing it is.

Rani :: I can confirm that there is now a black box in the core of Gilgamesh’s virtual mind/body that was not previously present. This is likely the legendary mystic code. Now it should be possible to raise spirit-particle rank according to Gilgamesh’s will.

Sakura :: Ah, no, you can’t use it here! It’s too different a classification, the old school building’s systems would be liable to go down. Furthermore…it’s a very powerful engine, so please take care when using it. I don’t think the basic Servant frame is capable of withstanding the power output of the legendary mystic code. Please limit your use of it to one time only.

Gilgamesh :: Naturally. My body won’t collapse under the level of power suitable to the legend, but the king’s true strength is not to be shown lightly. I will set aside my pride only in the final battle. Until then, I will accompany you in earnest while on my pleasure trip.

Rin :: — Then we’ve fulfilled the conditions. We’ve got a method to counter BB. No more complaints from you then, Sakura?

Sakura :: …Yes. It’s low, but a chance for all of you to erase BB has materialized. My wall…as soon as Miss Kishinami reaches the core of the Sakura Labyrinth, I will remove the final wall.

…at last. I breath a deep sign of relief. The wall blocking our path is no longer an insurmountable obstacle. Now I just need to go with Gilgamesh to the core zone, and then it will all be over —

Rin :: Wait a minute. Before that, let’s get fully rested. We have the time for that, right, Rani, Sakura?

Rani :: Yes, of course. Miss Tohsaka makes a valuable suggestion. This is the perfect time to catch our breathes.

Sakura :: Yes, indeed. Your fatigue levels are accumulating, so let’s take approximately one night’s worth of rest. I’ll change the appearance of the outside specially for tonight. Though I’m not sure I can accurately represent nighttime…

Rin :: All right, in that case let’s adjourn for now. If you have personal business you need to finish up, get that done soon. Also…Hakunon. What we’re going to do will also destroy this school building. The NPCs may have dissenting opinions. I’m going to ignore that and move forward. I’m already aware of my own tyranny. But you’re not that sort of person. You’re more just…or no, humane? If there’s anyone you want to convey that too, you should get that done as well. Even if you can’t reach an understanding.

[Sakura has an elixir to give us now the meeting’s over. I also check in with Rin.]

Rin :: Oh, that’s right. Could you return the cube Lancer’s sealed in to me? As the one who enacted that measure, I should take responsibility and look after it.

[>] …about that, Lancer is…
> …can I keep this cube?

…it’s hard to say, but I explain things to Rin. I tell her about Lancer’s magnificent bravery. About the end of the girl who dreamed of being a diva songstress up through her final moments.

Rin :: Huh? Lancer’s still pretty alive. Is looks like she’s sleeping inside the cube?

Wha — what ——!? Then, then, all that business at the end was just her getting tired and going home—!

[Hakuno gives the cube back to Rin.]

Rin :: All right, cube impounded~♪ Whoa, what’s this, the karma have gone way down!? I don’t know what happened, but with this she might reform within my lifetime…Wow…it makes my head hurt…if I have to look after such an annoying person, my old age is going to be hell…

[Now we can go check in with people elsewhere in the school. Starting with Kotomine.]

Kotomine :: So it’s the final battle at last. Have you prepared yourself?

I give a small nod in response. I’ve come this far, there’s no way I’m going to back out now.

Kotomine :: Fine. Then there is value in my business as well. I’ve sent off many Masters before, but sending one of as a shopkeeper — as someone on the allied side, was not a bad experience. Perhaps if you are victorious the Moon Cell will normalize and this experience will be lost — but for now I will appreciate this rare marvel. Nameless Master. The continuance of the moon, the future of mankind, all of it rests in your small hands. One who fights for what she wants, who lives for what she wished for, who destroys dreams of paradise in order to awaken. As representative for the NPCs trapped here on the far side, I thank you for your efforts thus far, and support you in your last remaining fight. — No go. In a corner of this old forgotten school building, we will be praying for your victory.

…I lower my head slightly, and turn away from the item kiosk. I hesitate to say “thank you” to Father Kotomine, the administrator, but I’d like to convey at least this much gratitude.

Kotomine :: By the way, have you finished preparing your items? My business will stay open, admirably, until the last second before the end of the world. If you have funds to spare, your business will mostly certainly be accepted, honored customer.

[He then makes a comment as we shop, that he didn’t expect Gilgamesh to bother with this for so long. The NPCs around the school do seem generally supportive. There’s a girl in one of the classrooms who disappears when you talk to her, seeing you off, didn’t catch her dialogue though. We head to the janitor’s room.]

The door hasn’t been locked. Jinako is inside the janitor’s room as usual. …this may be my last chance to talk to her.

Jinako :: ……………………………you’re really persistent, Hakunon. I’m going to quietly disappear here, without helping and without getting in your way. I thought I explained that decision to you. Do you still have something you want to talk about?

…That’s right. We’re going to fight BB and if we win this school building will disappear. I had to confirm that with her. I respect Jinako Karigiri as a human being, with all sincerity.

Jinako :: …Hn. So you want to ask my assent before you let me die. You should all just do what you want. Both socially and talent wise, I’m weak, so there’s no way I can oppose a unanimous decision. BB, all of you, it’s the same thing. People stronger than me will overlook me and drag the whole world along with them. The bill’s just come due now. Do I have any right to speak after loafing around in a corner this whole time? No, I don’t. Honestly, even if you said “okay, we’ll find another way then,” I’ve got no plan and no skill. …I’ll leave all the cool parts…nah, all the hard parts to you, Hakunon. Or…if I asked you to keep things as they are, would you stop?

Jinako’s words are neither a joke nor a plea. “Keep things as they are.” That would mean turning away from BB, turning away from the real world, and all of us just staying here. In that case —

> “Yes.”
[>] “No.”

Jinako :: Right, right. Sorry. It was a mean-spirited question. The great Jinako never hoped for anything in the first place, so there’s no fear or hurt here. I’ve got my problems with BB are her maxed audacity and crazy cockiness. You should beat her if you can. I mean, I like games at least. The great hack and slashes I like won’t be created if there’s no one left to make them. To say I don’t care if the human race gets wiped out — well, that’d be a lie. Nyahaha, not even NEETs are that dumb. So don’t worry about me, you all your resources and fight BB. Though your chance of victory is only 0.9999%. Haha, spooky isn’t it?

Jinako doesn’t face me, but on the other hand, it’s that she won’t meet my eyes — She says this to me while peeking sidelong at my face.

Jinako :: So, get out of here already. I guess I’ll be watching your heroic form live, so go for the most popular action, ‘kay~

So Jinako turns her attention to the device in her hands and doesn’t look at me again. I say something like “good luck” and leave the janitor’s room behind.

[Back to our room, where we have comments from Gilgamesh:]

Gilgamesh :: Setting aside despair, ever struggling — In truth you’ve never changed. You’re just as you were when we made our contract in that starry sky. Now that we’re here, I have nothing to say to correct you. Walk on however you see fit. BB — We must deliver a harsh chastisement to this fool who calls herself a new-made god. Building the world, choosing people, that is the work of human beings. That offense too great for that woman to bear. Let us make that clear to her by our own hands.

[Furthermore, unannounced, we have Gilgamesh’s last costume, “Original Legendary Mystic Code,” available.]

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[It’s his full battle mode of course. Best Gilgamesh outfit. There’s no scene for it though. We move on to night.]

At last it’s the final battle. BB has seized the Moon Cell, to release humanity’s ego. Soon we’ll put an end to this long, yet short seeming, game of tag with her.

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Gilgamesh :: And to our contract as well. Do you remember, Hakuno? The final destiny that awaits you.

I know. For the student council — for the Masters remaining on the far side of the moon, the enemy we must defeat is BB. But aside from that, I have another final barrier I must surmount.

Gilgamesh :: That’s right. The truth is, there was a Master who should have slept forever, never waking. This person repeated the preliminary round that had been build countless times. Perhaps occasionally they noticed something off, that the world they inhabited was manufactured. And when that happened, they were swallowed by black mud, lost consciousness, and went on peacefully into a rebuilt preliminary round. However — one of those times they “noticed,” that person took a reckless action the architects of that world had never dreamed of. Loathe to be swallowed by the black mud, they threw themselves into the sea of imaginary numbers. Perhaps after the long repetition some sediment had built up in their subconscious. Saying, “I can’t approve of this world.” A fool’s determination, you might call it. That person even gave up their life to defy the architects of the world. This may have been BB’s greatest error. That person slipped out of BB’s hands, and became fated to disappear in the sea of imaginary numbers. But.

…Right. But, I didn’t disappear. On the brink of death I heard this Servant’s voice, and sacrificed everything to him. Three command seals. By using up the “mark” that can be considered a Master’s life, I narrowly avoided death. Or, more accurately. I temporarily escaped my death.

Gilgamesh :: That’s right. As the command seals you burned up will never return, I will not exist on the near side of the moon. When this incident has been settled, you will have no clear future. Rather, it will be undetermined. When you return to the Holy Grail War, you will have no command spells, and no Servant. Perhaps you will simply be killed as a defeated Master. You are one who fights in order to die. — Hakuno. I will ask you only once. Do you still aim for the near side of the moon?

Gilgamesh’s gaze is quiet. It holds no scorn and no pity, the eyes of the king, seeing all things equally and without falsehood. …I give up. If he questions me with those eyes, I can’t lie or try to hide. I can’t articulate a clear reason. I have no words to make him understand. So —

[>] Don’t worry about me
> I’m scared, but I’ll persevere
> That’s not a very Gil-like question, is it?

All I have to respond with is my usual brave face.

Gilgamesh :: ——I see. Indeed, a king does not need such confirmation.

Really, that’s how it is. It’s fine, there’s no need to worry. Even if my contract with you is severed, and everything is lost. Once I get back to the near side of the moon, surely I’ll find something I can do.

Gilgamesh :: Such unfounded confidence may become a weapon if you reach that place. My pride and such are valuable. “I will surely be victorious” — that conceit is proof of humanity. Understanding your promised failure, determinedly staving off death, that is mankind’s true nature.

He says it’s ugly, but at the same time he smiles. To be otherwise would be false — thus he affirms many people’s way of life. …that really is how it is. I’m not really that special, and this isn’t a special thing. Fighting in order to die is an obvious thing. Because people are always trying to postpone their fated deaths.

Gilgamesh :: It was dull in the beginning, but this summoning has exceeded my expectations. When would you use up all your strength? It seems it was wrong to look forward only to that. Now that we’ve reached this point, I can no longer call it a farce. To challenge god is the epitome of humanity. Hakuno Kishinami. Such a life is befitting for my Master. Fight as you please. The conclusion of that, the ending, make that your payment to me.

Of course, I respond, and go to rest. With the sound of his ever-arrogant voice as my lullaby, I lie down on the bed and close my eyes. …Sleep comes quickly. This is the last peace I’ll find. When I open my eyes, an unavoidable battle will be awaiting me —

Entry 148: Last show on the stage of origin

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[All right, we’re playing with Elizabeth now. Her skill set is as follows:]

Vér Sárkány: From Dragon’s Head to Worm’s Tail (Physical attack, stuns against Guard)
Láthatatlan: Inescapable Invisible Rabbit Hunting (Physical attack, inflicts paralysis)
Estet Repülés: Night Flight of Highest Cruelty (Physical Attack)
Adó Kínzás: Torture Is Like Taxation (Physical attack, heals HP)
Le Sang De Hongrie: Fresh Blood Is Like Hot Water (Buff, heals HP at the end of the turn)
Skála Csákány: Dragon Scales Are Like A Precipice (Raises attack power when using Guard)
Szerelem Álmodik: Escaping Reality With Dreams of Romance (Beat all attacks for three turns)

[Plus her Noble Phantasm:]

Báthory Erzsebet: The Witch of Fresh Blood (Magical attack, inflicts curse, activates when Elizabeth’s HP is below 50%)

[So way easier to activate than the regular Servant NPs. We fight our way up past a gate guarded by a mini boss — or, well, an enemy with the mini boss music.]

Elizabeth :: Haa, let’s rest a little. The enemies here are annoying, the scenery is monotonous, it’s no fun at all. I didn’t think this would be so tiresome. Though I don’t care for physical labor. What terrible misfortune for both of us, little squirrel, that we must explore this place.

Gilgamesh :: Do you want to die? What rude and unrestrained manners…I can’t consider you one of the ever-dignified ruling class. Your gait is unbelievably uncivilized. You are a witless worm of dragon that has swooped down upon a beautiful garden!

Elizabeth :: Hmph, you should just be grateful I don’t skewer you with my spear. Honestly I’ve most wanted to set down the staff, but I’ve been enduring it for you.

Her mouth is hostile, but Lancer’s fatigue is real. It’s only a temporary contract so I can’t completely grasp her status, but she might be in bad shape. …I can predict Lancer less and less. If she doesn’t like physical labor, why is she taking on a heavy physical task like this?

Elizabeth :: My personal feelings. And…well, it was Rin and Rani’s request. When I think about it, those two, especially Rin? Those girls paid me real respect. It was fun working with them. …which is to say, no one but Rin and Rani ever pampered me properly!

I, I-see-is-that-so…Thinking about it, the other people who worked with her were BB, Shinji, and Meltlilith. …Wow. It’s only a little bit, I kind of feel for Lancer…

Elizabeth :: Well, I was the one who betrayed my first Master, you know? I was only reaping what I sowed, so it’s fine. …hey. Can I ask you one thing? Why are you trying to leave the far side of the moon? Since BB became the Moon Cell, the outside world is already ending. The old school building is the best and the only safe place in the world. So why are you still trying to leave? Not you. Rin, and Rani, and you, Gilgamesh.

Lancer’s voice is calm and serious. None of her “trademark” high-handedness is present. …at her core, she may be a rational girl like this. When show such frankness, I can’t avoid the question. I can’t, but…I can’t clearly put it into words myself. Saying that it’s for the sake of humanity sounds good. But I don’t feel like that’s right. To put it shortly I’d say it’s for my own sake. No — it’s just that I feel like being here is wrong. It’s that if there’s somewhere outside this place, then I want to go outside.

Elizabeth :: …hmm. That’s fine, isn’t it. If only you’d told me that when we fought before.

Lancer…?

Elizabeth :: It’s nothing. All rest, we can end the break now. Let’s hurry on. I don’t like prisons either. If you say you don’t like being locked up, then I’ll be your lance in earnest, just a little.

[We go on ahead and find an area with some item folders. There’s some talk where Gilgamesh is intrigued by this idea that there are treasures inside him and tells us to go get them since they’re probably great, and Elizabeth expresses that she’s all aflutter over checking out “Gorgeous”‘s treasures too. There are a couple rare ones with elixir and formal wear that boosts MP a lot. Also, sometimes when I cast healing Elizabeth she goes “oh no, little squirrel, you’re too adorable!” Eventually we reach a weird portal thing.]

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—Space is stretching. Ahead of us lies the point of “origin,” stripped of all ornament, all physicality. The farthest point that became the cause of the birth of the entity known as Gilgamesh, at which the entity known as Gilgamesh will ultimately arrive. In other words, zero.

Gilgamesh :: This is as far as I can see you. What lies ahead is a man who lived wild, not yet knowing death.

Gilgamesh’s previously perfectly clear voice is breaking up. I suppose as we get closer and closer to that point, the “present” Gilgamesh will no longer be able to intervene.

Gilgamesh :: I have no words to exchange wit bare divinity. Crush it completely.

[Hakuno nods, and Gilgamesh’s voice cuts out. Elizabeth and Hakuno walk forward and come out in a starry space. A sound like a heart beat can be heard over everything.]

…stronger than the sound of the world’s pulse. This is — the form of the origin, unknown even to Gilgamesh —!

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Elizabeth :: —Hm. I was wondering just how ugly it would look, but that outfit’s not so bad. It’s the form of a proper heroic spirit, unlike a monster like me. I suppose that’s what I should expect of your Servant, Hakuno Kishinami.

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Lancer…Elizabeth starts to smile. It’s a mix of the excitement of facing a powerful enemy — and the sorrow of finding a light one can never reach.

Elizabeth :: If we defeat that thing the limiter placed on your Servant will be released. You’ll be able to acquire the same level of “fundamental truth” as BB— Just how much burden that will place on your Servant is no business of mine. All concerns on that account should be borne by the person in question. What’s important is that I must do this myself, settling the debts of my own pride. I will be your strength — that itself is my reward. My dream that I wanted so much I couldn’t stand it, there in that dark box. That unforgivable, shameless and inappropriate wish, “if only I’d been normal.”

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Lancer’s whole being is filled with a will to fight I’ve never seen from her before. However — it is impossible for those who have lived in evil to now live as good. Because once you have reformed yourself to an honest life, and truly recognized your own past evil deeds, you will be burned up by your own sins. That is the greatest punishment given for an evil life. Her sin, her self, which as long as she remained wicked could be pardoned, became a fire burning her as soon as she left that path. Even so —

Elizabeth :: Well, we’ll both being burning out here. It’s only fitting for a final live show. Here is where I stop playing the idol. This is my genuine last number. It’s against my nature, but — for the first time since I was born, I will sing for someone else!

Raising her brutal spear, the crimson diva charges. She runs to meet the Servant in deep shadow. — in this instant alone, good and evil are overturned. Like this. The girl transforms a daughter of dragons begins her final battle.

[We proceed to a boss fight against this enemy, which is called “Zero Model.” It goes down without too much trouble, and dissolves.]

…The battle is over. The seal on Gilgamesh scatters silently, like a flower.

Elizabeth :: I have no complaints, that was the very best stage. Well, did I strike a gallant figure? It it sear itself into this shabby memory field?

“Yes, frighteningly so,” I reply with some irony in response to Lancer’s ironic tone. Without even turning to look at me, Lancer smiles to herself in satisfaction.

Elizabeth :: Then my work here is done, and our contracts ends here. I’m tired, and sweaty, and my spirit’s all worn out. It’s about time I went home, took my daily bath, and have a good sleep. Oh, and just so you know, I’ve stopped taking blood baths already.

…Lancer’s body is disappearing. I can’t ask her what meaning there is in that. Because with all her pride she’s turned her back to me, refusing any pity.

[Elizabeth sets her spear down on the ground. She’s disappearing into sparkling white light like Alice did.]

Elizabeth :: Now I graduate from my “idol act.” Next we meet, I’ll be the real thing. Look forward to it, little squirrel. It seems humanity wasn’t ready for my music yet. First I’ll go make a name for myself somewhere around Venus, and become a goddess-like diva. See, it’s just Venus. The Earth hit charts are so last week, you know? The galaxy is the future, the galaxy. But, before that — there’s no cure for idiocy but death. If I want to become a true idol, I’ll have to be born all over again.  That’s how it is, so I leave the rest to you, Master. A star can’t shine without a stage. Make sure you bring down the black curtain and save the universe so I can flourish someday, all right.

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Never once looking back, Lancer disappears. Her face in profile was not satisfied, but rather full of regret, earnestly holding back tears.

…all my senses are fading. Gilgamesh’s seal has been broken. I have no reason to remain in this space any longer. My body is floating, but spirit is thinning, and the form of the Labyrinth is getting further away.

…now the final quest is over. With help from Lancer, who used to be our enemy, we have obtained a method by which to counter BB —

Entry 147: Nothing keeps this girl down

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Rin :: You’re ready? Once you’ve gone in you won’t be able to come out until you finish the mission, so be careful. Shall we start the dive?

> Wait a little longer
[>] Ready to go

I’m ready. I tell Rin we can start anytime.

Rin :: Then we’ll start. We’ll put Gilgamesh into a dormant state here, and for you, here, okay.

Rin gives me a small item folder. Size-wise it’s a cube of 4cm on every side. The exterior is pitch black, so it looks like some strange cursed item with a shady story behind it.

Rin :: That’s settled, so do this right, please. Rani, Sakura, are you ready?

Sakura :: Yes, I can go anytime. I have the data from last time, so we can simplify the procedure.

Rani :: I can as well. Miss Hakunon, after the infiltration please proceed quickly to your Servant’s center. In the center should be the Servant’s spirit particle core, which has been locked by the Moon Cell. Your mission this time is to destroy that.

Gilgamesh :: If it’s my archetypal form, then I may make a conjecture. I ask only to make certain, but can battle be avoided?

Rani :: That is likely impossible. The legendary mystic code…for the origin, reason and instinct both are a hindrance. I don’t think battle can be avoided. It is an origin which even the person themselves can never know, so for you it is a different person…no, please think of it as sort of “phenomenon” that takes your shape. Gilgamesh. While Hakuno is executing this operation, you will be able only to watch over her. …the level of danger is still high, but all you can do is place your trust in us. Please leave it to us.

Gilgamesh :: What, there’s no need to fret so. By nature that thing will take advantage of its enemy’s weakness, so it certainly won’t use its full strength against a mongrel.

Gilgamesh entrusts his body to Rani. I — am under Sakura and Rin’s charge, it seems. Under their guidance my soul alone is removed from my virtual mind/body, converted into an “individual” that functions in that simplified state, and sent into Gilgamesh’s “soul.”

Rin :: Close your eyes now. I think it may feel like a tight squeeze when the conversion happens, but don’t struggle too much.

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Sakura :: Extracting the soul from body and mind. Starting spiritual stimulus from the Ten-Thousand Colored Stagnation — Origin Connect, start!

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Reverse Waterway / Original Dawn: Inner Core Harmonics

This is Gilgamesh’s inner space — the atmosphere is different, but the basic structure doesn’t seem that different from Sakura’s inner space.

Gilgamesh :: Indeed. You can’t help being struck dumb. It is the king’s perfect heart imagery. No one could blame you for mistaking it for the highest art. However, you are far too lax, mongrel. You are already on the battlefield. Why don’t you pay a bit more attention to your surroundings.

Gilgamesh…!? Why can I hear Gilgamesh’s voice!?

Gilgamesh :: Don’t be silly. How could I call myself a king of heroes if I couldn’t watch over the inside of my own heart. Though my body is frozen, the eyes of my insight are always open. Well, all I can do is watch, though. From here, I will be your guide. After all, Rani and the others cannot monitor this place. But…what is this? Why are you alone?

When he tells me that I look behind me. There’s no one there. Of course Gilgamesh isn’t there, but I don’t see the guardian familiar Rin said she’d get me anywhere…! Wh, what should I do…!? I can’t fight alone. If the immunity system programs find me, I’ll be dismembered without mercy…!

Gilgamesh :: That woman is a dyed in the wool miser. The sort of person who isn’t satisfied with no incentive attached. That red devil may be a machinator, but she can’t act as a tactician. Very well then, calm down. Fortunately your position appears to be a blind spot for the management. I saw that that familiar or whatever it is would arrive late. Continue a bit further on from there.

[We do so, and some static comes up, and a light starts glowing in front of Hakuno.]

!? Suddenly a shock runs through my palm. When I look, the cube that Rin gave me is spinning quickly…

Gilgamesh :: A death voice that severs even the umbilical cord…! Insane, are you, Rin Tohsaka! This scream like thunder is —!

Unknown speaker :: Hee — heeheehee, ahahahahaha! Now I have a question for you, little squirrel! You’re in a lot of trouble right now aren’t you!?

A familiar voice emanates from the cube…I,

> Yes, I’m in a lot of trouble.
[>] I don’t really need help.

Unknown speaker :: Yes, as I thought! You’re in such trouble you’re desperately trying to put on a brave face, even though you’re really so forlorn you want to cry! This is the best! The next question then. Haven’t you always longed for a cute, reliable, super-strong, and furthermore cute idol Servant?

Again, a familiar voice emanates from the cube…I,

> Yes, I’ve really longed for that.
[>] Excuse me, please

Unknown speaker :: Yes…so helpless the whimpering spills out of you…little squirrel soaked in the rain…it gives me such a thrill…♥ — huh!? N, no, I can’t, I didn’t mean to imagine such a thing. You’re a most sly Master, aren’t you. No the final question. If you mess this up, I won’t save you, so concentrate as hard as you can and answer. The gorgeous and smart super idol imprisoned in deepest darkness for her beauty, the Lancer with the highest proportion of reappearances after leaving in her stage career! Speaking of Elizabeth Báthory, the peerless diva, who on earth could it be!

I suppose I should say “Speaking of the crimson Lancer, the peerless diva, who could it be,” here. I,

> As always…aren’t you, Lancer
[>] Excuse me, please, really

Unknown speaker :: Eh…i, if you apologize that much I feel like I should be sorry instead…okay, I was in the wrong too…rather, there wasn’t a single good…bu, but, I really have reflected on it all, okay!? It’s only natural if you won’t forgive me, but I want to lend you my strength for a little bit! So please don’t be so scared…! I’ll sing with all I have! I won’t even spill so much blood anymore!

The cube’s spinning is reaching its climax. The spirit particles coming from inside the box have already broken the seal, and are taking on a clear physical form.

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Elizabeth :: — I ask you. Are you my manager? Or whatever, I wanted to try saying it! Sorry to keep you waiting, my livestock! Elizabeth the Witch of Fresh Blood has come for you in your time of need!

………

Gilgamesh :: ………

Elizabeth :: I have! Arrived! All right, applause! This is basically the distance of arena seating, so you don’t need to hold back, you know?

She points at me sharply and I end up clapping my hands without really meaning to. Lancer’s face takes on a triumphant look, as if saying “how do you like that?” Sadly, I’ve lost.

Elizabeth :: All right then, contract established! You may have heard from Rin, but I’ll let you know from my own mouth. I will be your guardian, Special Buddy Elizabeth. This means about 20% of your soul belongs to me!

Gilgamesh :: I said that a trial contract would be permissible, but not this. Not one speck of it. Rather, you should be the one offering your soul. Furthermore, are you sane? Are you still Berserker? For what reason are you giving Hakuno your support?

Right. That’s right. Elizabeth fought us three times, was defeated, and then sealed away. How did she then break that seal, and why is she helping us?

Elizabeth :: Why you ask, it’s business, business! They told me I’d have the chance to help you all, so I jumped for it. Even if it’s just for an hour, you need a Servant, don’t you? So, I’ll fight for you. I had nothing else to do anyway. I wanted to let loose one more time.

…I cannot believe this. You’re telling me that Elizabeth is going to be fighting as my Servant? But…You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, but Elizabeth isn’t a Servant who should be let loose so easily. She called it business. Maybe it’s some kind of condition where her seal will be lifted if she cooperates with us. But I can’t do that. She’s bloodthirsty by nature, if she’s freed there will be further sacrifices—

Elizabeth :: Are you misunderstanding things? Nothing’s going to happen to the seal. I’ll be shut away again as soon as I’m done helping you. They’re not going to reduce my sentence time or anything either. It was life imprisonment for me in the first place.

??? So what’s the deal? What does Elizabeth get in return for helping us…?

Elizabeth :: You don’t need to know. Come one, we don’t have time to dawdle. Escort me, Hakuno Kishinami. You’re going to defeat BB, aren’t you? If you can’t keep a bit player like me in line, you’ll never win against that girl.

Gilgamesh :: …what is this. Are you really Lancer? There’s not a single flaw to be found in your reasoning. I cannot approve of letting those other than my mongrel here catch a glimpse of the king’s unpainted face, but — this is an emergency situation. There is no alternative. You would do well to give thanks for the new wish that has been born in you, and fulfill it.

…this has gotten ridiculous. I never thought the time would come when I would team up with Elizabeth…I can’t completely trust her, but her strength inspires confidence. For now I’ll be grateful for her help, be careful and see how things go…

Entry 146: We don’t rate

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Jinako :: Welcome~♪ What pointless posturing will we be having this time? Yes, yes, go ahead and have your bubuzuke. I really don’t feel like bringing out the seating cushions, so sit on those things if you want. Wanna play a fighting game? I found this crazy Jump Kick thing, it’s amazing. There are only two buttons. Just jump and punch. And there are only two characters you can use. Plus they have the same abilities. The only thing that’s different is the color of their clothes. You can’t get more sterile. You just repeat the same thing over and over ’til you don’t know why you’re playing any more. So, yeah. This is game is the embodiment of the great Jinako’s present feelings. …so, what d’you want?

[Bubuzuke: a Kyoto-dialect term for ochazuke, which can also indicate that the person to whom it’s being offered has overstayed their welcome.]

I explain the whole story thus far to Jinako. How the Moon Cell Core has fallen to BB. How she’ll destroy the outside world. — and how, in order to change that fact, we need to Karna to help us prepare countermeasures against BB.

Jinako :: Mhm. Well, I knew that. I heard what you guys were saying in the student council room earlier.

Jinako nods easily. At her apathy, I end up saying,

> If you know this help us!
[>] …you knew but you didn’t say anything?

Jinako :: …’course I didn’t. What’re you telling me to do, other than play dumb. I already told you. I won’t be helping you, Hakunon. I mean, I mean — I mean, nothing good will happen if I leave here! Unlike you guys, I’m already dead! I just want to stay here forever…! But you’re still going to defeat BB? What will happen to this place if you beat her? BB’s the one who made this place for us, isn’t she? If we beat her, I’ll just go back to being a corpses, won’t I! I don’t  — why would I ever help you do that! I can’t! I can’t be like Gatou! I don’t have Shinji’s pride! Even if we go back to the near side, I’m never going to be saved —!

Karna :: ——.

A dam has burst and violent emotions are gushing forth. Right now BB is Jinako’s last hope. So those of us aiming to defeat BB may be hateful enemies to her…

Gilgamesh :: Haven’t I said this from the beginning? Words will never reach this woman. She can only be taught by force.

…Gilgamesh’s opinion may be correct. But…for me to fight Jinako as she desperately tries to bear her fear of death, holding back her tears…

Jinako :: U, uuu…*sniff*…argh, that was embarrassing…but shouting made me feel better…Don’t you worry, Hakunon. I won’t help you, but I won’t get in your way. I’ll lend you Karna. Actually, I’d love it if you could take him off my hands. I’m sick and tired of this stiff dud Servant.

Jinako gives us her decision while wiping her nose with a tissue, not looking at Karna. — I’m stunned by this unexpected development. Jinako gave Karna to us so easily…!

Jinako :: …in exchange, I won’t be leaving here. I’m gonna be here with my eyes and ears covered, waiting for the storm to blow over, forever and ever. So — I don’t know what the storm will brink anymore. I don’t know if it’ll blow away you and the others or blow away this school building. I’m gonna leave it all to the roll of god’s dice.

…this seems to take all of Jinako’s courage and faith. To meet her end alone, separated even from her guardian Karna. To disappear at some point without even knowing that the end has come. …However. It’s no different from her final moments in the Holy Grail War. Letting someone I know and spent time with meet an end like that —

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Karna :: This discussion is meaningless. I will not cooperate with you. I have no intention of severing my contract with Jinako. You should return to the council room. Whatever Jinako says, I will not help you.

Jinako :: Ka, Karna!? Hey, this is an order from your Master, right!? Can’t I use a command spell!?

Karna :: Do what you like. With your level of magical power, the effects of a command spell will be like tripping over a rock. It can’t annul our contract. I am not fated to vanish here. And I have no desire to die in a place like this. Let those who want to eradicate BB be the ones to do so.

Gilgamesh :: ………Hmph. Well, that’s all very well, then. I said I would have your head, but you can forget that. From the beginning you had already given up the dignity of falling by my hand.

— I’m shocked by this unbelievable development. Even though Jinako, who I thought would be uncooperative, agreed, Karna refused to cooperate —!

Karna :: Say what you like. Even I am one who knows fear. I won’t refute pointless actions, but I keep my distance from reckless strategies. The legendary mystic code — the original power of the heroic spirit. Acquiring it would mean fighting you again, Gilgamesh. The battle between the two of us has already been decided. My wounds have still not healed, I have no chance of winning. You should understand why I would lose. Go back to the student council room. You have an excellent staff officer. You should be able to use a more suitable warrior.

Jinako :: Wha, what do you think you’re doing, Karna! The great Jinako wants to be alone! You’re in the way here! Leave! All of you get out! It’s easier for a waste of a person like me to just become a snail—!

Karna :: You should apologize to snails. They are creatures that live with all they have. Only human lives can be wasted, Jinako.

Jinako :: Oh no, Karna’s preachy mode switch has been flipped—! Do something, Hakunon! Karna never stops once he’s like this! It’ll be a well-to-do little brother scolding his washed-up big sister scenario—!

The janitor’s room is now in a state of confusion. I don’t think Karna’s mind will change. Even if we have Jinako’s permission, as long as Karna refuses this is as far as this idea goes. …I’ll go back to the council room and talk to Rin and the others…

[I guess that’s our only choice.]

Unable to get Karna’s cooperation, I return to the student council room. I report what happened to Rin and the others…

Sakura :: I see…No one wants to disappear, no matter who they are. It’s the same for humans and AIs.

Rani :: …That’s why it’s surprising. For Jinako Karigiri to consent to BB’s eradication. To not refuse that, even while fearing death…It may be a gamble characteristic of her, but AIs do not yet have such flaws. They will certainly end up inclined toward one side or another.

Rin :: Well, I predicted that we’d be refused by Karna in the end. He — hehehehehe.

Rin…? Why is she laughing evilly like that?

Rin :: You ask why, it’s because my trump card won’t go to waste now. I said before, didn’t I, that we could use a special familiar. I have one prepared.

— this quickly!? She speaks full of self-confidence, so it must be more than a guardian doll…what kind of magic did Rin use?

Rin :: Anyway, my preparations are complete. Let me know when you’re ready. We’ll start the psychodive once more. Sanitation programs are rampant inside a Servant’s spirit particle structure, so I don’t think you’ll be able to avoid battle. So once you’ve dived you won’t be able to come out until everything is done. Make sure you’re completely prepared.

…that’s how it is. If there’s anything I’ve forgotten to do, I should finish and then come back.

[Well, we’ll check in with Sakura, if nothing else.]

Sakura :: Uh, um…Please be careful with the dive, okay. There’s no change in the danger, so…

Gilgamesh :: Ridiculous. It cannot be compared to the level of your spirit particle structure. My body has the finest golden ratio, it is the greatest art of this planet. Its entirety is as a dangerous poison to the average person. Attempt to brace yourself so you will not be mesmerized.

Entry 145: The best plan we have ever made

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[Now we can go back and talk to Rin again.]

Rin :: …there’s something else you need? Backup to go into the Labyrinth? To build up experience with your Servant? …Hey. Haven’t you been listening to us? It’s pointless. No matter what we do now, it’s pointless. The future is determined. All we can do is try to survive here and…

Rani :: …Indeed. If the Moon Cell still functions as a database, then for Miss Hakunon and Miss Tohsaka to continue to exist here as samples of humanity is meaningful. …that’s all…the purpose left in our existence…

There’s no vitality in their faces. It’s not finding BB too powerful a foe, but losing what they had to protect that has stolen their will to fight. …I understand their feelings. I was in a similar state of mind until recently. I can’t force them by insisting that we fight. But, if I want to go to the Core Zone again, their strength is indispensable. If I can’t somehow at least get their cooperation in order to get to BB —

Gilgamesh :: Argh, Rin, Rani, will you not look up! Are you the brave women who stood before me as a miser and a demon overseer, or are you a pair of fools!

Rin :: — Wha

Rani :: Eh —

Gilgamesh :: Indeed the Moon Cell Core has fallen. The future where you prevent that was never in your reach. That is natural. She called you here on the premise that their victory was already sealed. Thus far all has been according to BB’s plans. You have done nothing but dance in the palm of her hand. But why don’t you see the many things here that are out of order. BB’s expectations end here. Her plan was to close the curtain on her victory and your failure, all according to her determined future. However. There is one here who still has the will to fight…no, a fool who does not vanish even when erased. There is one who continues even after defeat. This fated defeat cannot be changed. This alone is an impossible request even for me. Therefore — This was a battle which first had to be lost. Now that this established fact has come to pass, what waits for us is only blank pages. Your battle is what arises after that. To “change the future” is an incredible conceit to begin with! The present is constantly turning, the future is a cloth that extends and extends, and I am the eternal, indestructible King of Heroes! As long as I am here, nothing will be over. If you see a future of destruction, then you must change it as if you were the editor of history!

Gilgamesh’s encouragement echoes through the silent council room. The change comes like waves drawing in. Strength returns first to the brown-skinned girl.

Rani :: — You’re right. Ah, why didn’t I notice something so obvious. BB only defined the future. We cannot change the future, but the present can be changed. After all — The present is still our territory. It is the only point where the observed universe surpasses the recorded universe. To be able to change the present moment of tomorrow. With our hands we — No. This is the “now,” which only we can change!

Rin :: ——. I see. I guess that’s true. What was I doing.

The red girl’s eyes regain their former gleam. …I faintly remember. There were so many times in the Holy Grail War when she extended her hand to help me, her enemy. Overflowing with energy, always fair, they were the hands of a worthy rival.

Rin :: Even though I said it myself earlier. This isn’t a fight to stop BB. We’re fighting to change the future BB determined. That’s just it. What determines the future is that here on the far side there is no time where we have defeated BB. But if we can create that present time, new possibilities will be created. The future can still go in a different direction. Once there are two futures, the future that happened here will no longer coincide with the real world. …To be honest, defeating BB might not hugely change the future. But —

Rani :: But errors in measurement will certainly arise. We will eliminate BB and return to the Moon Cell to its normal state. That act in and of itself is not pointless. We still have things which we must do…!

Gilgamesh :: Hmph. Making an appeal to rouse these fools, what a stupid act. Consider it your responsibility, mongrel.

Rin :: …Sorry you had to see me act that way. It’s not about restoring my honor, but from now until the end I’m going to give my best as an operator.

Rani :: …Indeed. That we who should form the strategies became a burden to you…But you can count on me from here on out. As as operator, and as an alchemist of Atlas, I will make sure to be of help to you until this is done.

“At least I’ll get them to send me to BB.” That’s what I thought, but this breathes life back into me. Rin and Rani are warriors, and better wizards than I. Having better faculties of judgment, they had a more realistic sense of the difference in power between us and BB, and grasping the situation were overwhelmed by the weight of it. The anxiety and fear they felt was many times more than my own. But they’ve shaken off that pain for me. Since there are still things we must do.

…that’s right. We always knew that there was a great difference in strength. “Because we can’t win.” “Because it can’t be changed.” If we were going to stop walking for reasons like that, we never would have started fighting. When Leo, who excelled above all of us, said he would leave the rest to me, this must be what he meant. He knew we would lose. And he knew we wouldn’t win. But still — he entrusted everything to a person who still wouldn’t give up.

Rin :: All right. In that case we have two problems. One of which is that huge Labyrinth core.

Rani :: Yes. We cannot reach the Moon Cell Core with bringing down that core. It is genuinely the final wall.

Sakura :: — I can resolve that.

Sakura…? She’s returned from the infirmary to the student council room with a serious expression on her face.

Sakura :: That Labyrinth core doesn’t belong to BB. It’s…the wall of my heart.

Rin :: Eh!? Y, you have such incredible trauma as that, Sakura!?

Rani :: …though I believe SGs are secrets, not trauma…rather, Sakura. If that’s true, then can you release it quickly?

Sakura :: ………Yes. That wall, I can bring down. I couldn’t say it then, but…

Rani :: No, there was no help for that situation. Miss Tohsaka’s mental state was abnormal at the time. I did notice that you were trying to say something. Though Miss Tohsaka was losing her cool.

Rin :: Hey, you’re saying it’s all my fault!? Gh…fine, you’re right, my bad! But it was incredible, that huge thing! Could any hacker’s soul not burn up seeing a fire wall like that? No, it couldn’t.

Rani :: ………Sakura. I will consider what can be done about Miss Tohsaka’s personality. So please remove the Labyrinth core without any reservations.

Sakura :: …Miss Rani. No, everyone. I have a request on this matter myself. Please let me set a condition for opening that door. I am an AI designed to oversee your health and safety. By my nature, I wouldn’t be able to let you go into a battle you have no hope to win without warning you against it. But……I have no more words that can stop you. I will help you in your battle.

Rin :: Then…!

Sakura :: No. I can’t give you my approval as you are now. Countermeasures against BB. Please search for a way to cancel out the Ten Crowns. When you do that, I will open the gate of the Labyrinth’s core…Sakura’s heart. That’s the only condition I well set for you.

With a look that hides her determination, so Sakura says. “The Ten Crowns” — It’s true that eliminating that skill the minimum requirement here. I’ll consult with Rani about it first.

Rani :: Miss Hakunon. On the matter of the analysis of the “Ten Crowns,” the truth is — in fact difficult to say. Further analysis than this is impossible for myself and Miss Tohsaka alone.

Right…it wouldn’t be that easy, would it. The “Ten Crowns” is also in BB’s matrix. I don’t think she’d disclose her own weak point that easily. We were able to obtain this fragment of information because of the green-mantled Archer in particular, but now we —

Rani :: So, please give us sakurament. If we have this many points, we’ll be able to accomplish the analysis in three minutes.

[System notice: “Bill: 50,000Sm As fee for ‘Ten Crowns’ analysis”]

So it really is that easy then…! It’s an enormous number of points, but if that’s what it takes I think I can raise that much!

Gilgamesh :: As I would expect, money has the final say. The King of Heroes Money is Power System…heh, it has a nice ring to it.

Rin :: Hey, that’s ripping me off! The Money is Power System is a Tohsaka business!

Rani :: We can’t help it. Machine power is simply not enough. We have to supplement our deficiency.

[I do have that much money on hand, though this is also the point where we can go and pick up another quest from Taiga, so I head down stairs and do that (now she needs a girl’s secret, like everyone else I suppose) before paying up.]

Rani :: You’ve gathered the sakurament? Then please transfer it to me. [I do so.] Thank you very much.If we have this as a power source, we can break the seal on the black box. Please wait a few minutes. By the name of Isis, the mother of magic, I will expose the Ten Crowns.

[A moment of loading later.]

Rani :: Finished. I will send you the matrix data.

[BB’s matrix opened.]

Rin :: Whoa…this is BS. You could just call it “BB can do whatever she likes.”

Sakura :: But…this isn’t enough on its own…isn’t there some way to block it?

Rani :: We haven’t found a way to seal the “Ten Crowns,” but we can devise countermeasures.

Rin :: Really!?

Rani :: As a result of analyzing the “Ten Crowns,” we too have acquired rights to access “original power” from the Moon Cell. The “Ten Crowns” is the beginning of human history, the dawning of the light of civilization…In summer, it is the power of the Origin that began the human genome. It is something all human beings hold within them. Therefore, we can append this ability it to your Servant as well. If we have the same power the Ten Crowns cannot make us “things that weren’t.”

Gilgamesh :: Oh? So you would lay hands on my origin.

Rani :: Yes. You must enter your Servant’s virtual mind/body, access the heroic spirit core directly, the heroic spirit’s root that the Moon Cell has sealed away — and release the “legendary mystic code.”

[I’ve generally been going with the literal translation “formal wear” for that word, as the localized Fate/Extra did, but the “mystic code” term feels more appropriate here.]

Rin :: Going directly to the heroic spirit’s core…you mean spirit infiltration like we did with Sakura!?

Rani :: Yes. Fortunately we know how to do it. It should be quite an achievable operation.

I, I see. So basically, like when Sakura was being attacked by Meltlilith, but this time I’ll be diving into my Servant, that’s it!

Gilgamesh :: This is an unprecedented situation. It’s not that you can’t touch my origin without authorization, but…it will be accompanied by appropriate dangers? As it is a human body, there will be sanitation programs acting as immune functions. To which there are no enemies and allies.

Rani :: …That is the problem, isn’t it. We can send Hakuno in with the Ten Thousand Colored Stagnation, but she will be without the protection of her Servant. I had planned to attach a guard doll as a quasi-Servant, but the dolls’ stats are not very high…

Rin :: So going inside could backfire on us…just a doll would never be up to it. What if we use a custom-made familiar?

Rani :: …That isn’t realistic. Sakura’s memory is already going beyond its limits maintaining the old school building’s systems. Analysis is one thing, but we don’t have the memory to spare on a new self-supporting function. Therefore…I would like to appeal to Jinako Karigiri for her cooperation. We can take Lancer from her, and have him act as Hakuno’s guard. With Lancer we have no need to worry about fighting strength.

Gilgamesh :: That man, is it…he is sufficiently qualified. His character, his strength, both are nothing to criticize. But do not contract with him, Hakuno. If it’s as a trial contract prior to a temporary contract, there will be no problems.

Rin :: There’s nothing else to do, so bear with it. Strengthening your Servant is an absolute requirement if we’re going to oppose BB. You too, Hakunon. This will be your second dive, but please prepare yourself to go in.

Of course, I nod in reply. I know that infiltrating a virtual mind/body is dangerous, but this is our last hope.

Rani :: Before that we must negotiate with Jinako Karigiri. It was my proposal, but as to whether she’ll agree to cooperate that easily…

Rin :: …Right. If it comes down to it we’ll have to do it by force…which Hakunon couldn’t do even if she gave her life in the process. In which case…we consider that way too…If we propose it well I’ve sure that girl will go for it…

Rin…? She’s muttering something or other over there, but what is she talking about? It doesn’t sound like it’s about Jinako…

Rin :: Just something on this side, don’t worry about it. You go persuade Jinako. That girl doesn’t talk to anyone but you anymore.

…it’s true, Jinako definitely isn’t going to open her mouth if Rin or Rani talks to her. I’m not confident that I can persuade her well myself, but infiltrating my Servant’s spirit will be too dangerous without Karna’s cooperation. Anyway, let’s go to the janitor’s room.

[But first, a look at the BB’s new matrix info: the skill “Ten Crowns EX” has been changed to “Womb of One Hundred Beasts EX,” and the background entry Spirit Particle Fabricated Trap has been added.]

Potnia Theron: Womb of One Hundred Beasts. This is the power of the goddesses BB compiled and consumed from the abyss of the Moon Cell. Coming forth from a goddess about 8000 years ago (the goddess of Çatalhöyük) whose name has been lost, derived from the likes of Tiamat and Cybele, Ishtar, Inanna, Anat, Astarte, Gaia, Hera, Artemis, Aphrodite, Demeter, and Athena, this is the embodiment of the power of a mother goddess to give birth to all things.

It is often pictured in the form of a mural crown. This is because most of these goddesses were also the guardian deities of cities.

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Symbolized by gates opened in the earth and the sky (caves and the moon), by tornadoes and whirling tides, by the mouth of a volcano, from which it gives birth to the destruction that brings death to all. Properly, after that destruction has spread death, it promises great fertility and abundant harvests. This ability is none other than the power to simultaneously bring life and death.

Earth mother goddesses are worshiped by people, to whom they provide divine protection as guardian deities, and at the same time, by the grains and crops, the animals of the fields and forests that spring from their bodies, they are the sacrifices that sustain those people. Earth mother goddesses raise people on their own flesh and blood, then when the time comes they kill those people and by that food restore their flesh and blood, with which they raise people again. This process is the cycle of the food chain, and this cycle of life and death can also be called the true nature of the earth mother. With this power, goddesses mostly either birth countless monsters and giants and become a menace to humanity, or birth heroes, and so become humanity’s protector. Tiamat and Gaia are examples of those who became threats, while Hera is an example of those who became the mother of heroes.

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Those born of the earth cannot oppose the power of the mother goddess. To do so would be to rebel against the system of life itself. But perhaps when our childhood as sapient beings has ended and we leave the earth, aiming for the stars, this power will be lost. The wish of Çatalhöyük lies in the coming of that day.

[Well that was full of blatantly incorrect statements about Greek goddesses. Anyway.]

Cursed Cutting Crater: Spirit Particle Fabricated Trap. The formal name of this stage. This place, which used to be only an imaginary number space for storing malignant information, was established as real number space in past, present, and future, by the fact of BB’s arrival at the Moon Cell Core. By her hands it was reconstructed as “the far side of the moon,” where Masters can exist.

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Having obtained the power of the original goddess, BB successfully digitized the “nothingness” before life was born. This made her a master of imaginary number space, where time and space are both uncertain. No matter how much time hacking the Moon Cell requires, BB achieved it by placing herself in the concept of “infinite time.”