Part 14: Lost in Green

Alright, we should be on the lookout for any dragons. We should hurry before the Imperial fires again.


Miss Fudoji, I understand your anger, but—

Whose blood do you think that is

It's dried enough that I doubt we could conclusively answer that without a forensic expert, considering that they're likely dead.

Wow. You can't go, "They might be alive" or something? No hope at all?

What's wrong with you?

There's a big fucking gun that could blow up City Hall!!

I mean, okay. All jokes aside? I'm a little on edge right now!

I mean, it's been a long time since I really had IRL human friends and I've got a bunch of them in City Hall, y'know? I'm concerned! I mean, what if we're in there when it happens? Y'all would, like, die!

You'd die too, Satsuki.

Oh yeah, I guess so. But like—

I'm sorry.


I'm sorry I said that. Obviously I didn't really read the room. My mother is there too. really care that much about the rest of us?

I mean... yeah. I mean, I know we haven't known each other that long and all. But... but like...

Chin up, Satsuki. We're going to survive this. All of us. Alright? sure?

I'd be failing at my job if I let any of us die, for my part.

There's a little smile! C'mon, don't look so down. Your enthusiasm really helps me, Satsuki.

well, if the beautiful satsuki must,

Aw, c'mon, Koron. Quit polishing your eye awkwardly and look me in mine.

it's okay. i forgive you. we're friends.

I see. Thank you.

Satsuki's a more sensitive girl than she lets on. You've gotta treat her nicely sometimes.


I'd be pretty worried about you most of all, missy.

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

Well, someone is all 'oh, pain is supposed to be bad?' If you got shot with a lightning bolt, you might not even lay down! Chisa, Richter, and Mama Fudoji are all reasonable people in this regard, y'know, but you might just keep overworking yourself until your life force goes poof in a puff of smoke or something. You need to take better care of yourself.

In what universe is Youka someone who's reasonable about physical endurance?!

well one of you is a behemoth superwoman and the other one is a paper-thin rachel alucard style-a-like

...I can't deny that.

Wow, Koron! A 'behemoth superwoman'!

I think she—

Oh, haha, you're joking. Right.

(Is Rachel Alucard an anime character)

(She's from a series of anime fighting games called BlazBlue. Very complicated plots, I've never honestly been a big fan and neither has Mio, but Mio, being a vampire fanatic, owns some Rachel merch. I can see the resemblance.)

(Thanks, Chisa.)

Anyway, I do know how to take care of myself.

But I trust you to have my back, too, Satsuki. You're a deft hand with a box of first aid.


Oh, is someone a little off-guard?

It's awfully nice to be in a team like this, isn't it?

That it—!

Wait! Wait wait wait, wait a second!

Ooh, nice spotting.

What? No!

Aaargh, leave us alone!

I am having...


Ugh, the diffusion could still use some work.

Okay! Back to this.

When Satsuki realized we weren't getting to that chest this way either, she frowned a little.

Richter! Atten-TION!

Yes, Captain!

You all heard that, right? Or did you, we were whispering—He finally called me Chisa!

So he did. Congratulations.

Um, have I—I'm sorry. Am I—

No, no! That's good! Keep doing that! We're friends, Richter, it's fine. Really. Seriously. For real.

I'm sorry, was I bothering you?

I mean, I wouldn't say 'bothered' so much as I was just a little sad about it, because I figured by now we were good enough friends for it and I was a little worried you might not have thought the same way—

Oh! No, no, uh, no, ma'am.

You said I didn't 'have' to call you Captain. 'You can call me Chisa', those were your exact words.

ah, i see. the programmer's literality at work

Aren't you a programmer, too?

I would like you to call me by my name! I don't want you to feel like I'm your, you know, superior, or your boss, or anything.

I don't, ma'am. I just think you outrank me.

hey wait a second. wait up. You call Chisa 'Captain', Youka 'Miss Fudoji', and Koron 'Agent Nagataka'. Why am I the only person you call by my name?

...Er...? I... tried? You just only ever responded to 'Satsuki', so I thought...

Wow, did I really just totally ignore you?

You did.

To be fair, Satsuki, of the five of us you command the least innate respect.

it's true

We all stopped for a moment to look at what we saw ahead of us. A portion of the Scaber's body reached all the way from Nakano Station to Toshima, evidently, and it just sat there, blocking our passage.

Well, shit. It's bigger than we thought.

It's natural that the underground beast would be large, but I'll admit I'm a touch surprised to see something this long.

If we don't disturb it, the Scaber's not likely to disturb us while we're working on it. It's scared of light, so it can't come aboveground—the Imperial at Ikebukuro is a much larger priority.

So let's continue exploring in here without disturbing it.

...It's funny. It's been ages since I was ever in such a large group. If such a dramatic set of circumstances has become bizarrely normal, so has this.

Stress makes odd bedfellows.

But I'm sure Richter doesn't mind being partnered up with four beautiful ladies, right~?


Even if it does mean he gets hit with the 'and' so often.

W-well, uh. I mean.

I just like being included.

god, that's wholesome. what the hell.

Perhaps Richter's pure heart is his strongest asset.

please continue being so endearingly dorky, richter

A-am I endearing?

You're not going to contest the 'dorky' part?

Well, of course, I've long since made peace with that. I—

Miroku, I can hear you laughing over there.

When did you turn that on?!

When you started laughing.

Ugh! Get back to work, Jeanne!

Pot calling the kettle black, much?

...yes, ma'am.

Hello, ma'am. We're—

Bossy Scientist: Aren't you a little late coming to help? Chatting amongst yourselves like you're on a trip to the mall, I suppose you've got no qualms about abandoning me in a filthy sewer to perish, did you? Unbelievable! Give me that box and get me out of here without any more words, please.

Alright. So, we've got all this nice friendship talk under our belt. Mutual bonding with my very good pals here in Unit 13.




Please, Satsuki. Give us your best.


Alright, let's get in there!

In case it wasn't obvious here, the gimmick of the Toshima Sewers is that we'll have to keep ducking into the sides to get past the Scaber's body parts. These sewer segments also have elevation, and you go up and down through those small staircases. They're never too complex.

Nothing much new here.

Isn't this usually where you'd be gritting your teeth about the roadblock?

Aww, am I that predictable?

Just poking fun.

Well, in this case we're just looking for dragons anyhow. It's not like there's anywhere else I'd rather be.

Jeanne, are these the same sort of—?

Readings indicate rapid wind movement, yes. It seems like these are consistent everywhere in the Scaber's domain. ...Um, why is it named Scaber?

I shrugged and made a noise.

Oh! Perhaps it's a 'scab-er', in that it leaves scabs along the earth, and that's what the vegetation is!


We've got a Grandie on the warpath.

We should be able to handle this. Let's go, everyone!


Richter, now!

Counteraction rising!



There's no time for your little games. You won't even get the chance!

The importance of debilitation really can't be understated.

It didn't even manage a cave-in! Great job, Koron!

Sand in my eyes is troublesome. I'd prefer to avoid it in the future.

Burn and Freeze combined can do some real damage to dragons—since dragons take two actions a turn and both of the ailments in question proc on each action, they can rack up some hurt. Combine with counterattacks, and we're strong enough to take down the once-brutal Granderodons in two turns.

For various reasons, Samurai and Psychic make a great team. Also don't worry about Richter—levels heal, remember?

Let's jump in the hooooole?!

...Aaaand it's a split path.

It's okay, Chisa! Really! Just take it at your own pace... I don't mind. Nobody minds., also, turning west here will lead back to that treasure chest that—


Satsuki bolted off so fast I could hardly even see her.

When we got there, Satsuki was already holding the box's contents up proudly.

...What is that?

joke's on you. it's a carburetor. great for lawnmowers.

Ah, yes, so we can take a weed-whacker to the Bloom?


Was it worth the wait?

The contented smile on Satsuki's face was all I needed to see.

Down the other path was another wind tunnel.

Might as well follow the rabbit hole—



Ah, two of the little drakes.

That's paydirt, baby!

These dragons move in a set pattern, so it's very easy to get a preemptive on them.

If we want to press our advantage, we'll need to kill this one immediately.

Or you could lure them both in and wipe them both out at once.

A bold plan. I like it.

Help us out, Richter!


Chisa, Koron, if you would!

...Why is it on me?

Because they tend to target the healthiest person and Chisa's taken a few nicks.

Am I about to get bitten?

Um... you might be.

Yes, I'm sorry?!


Alright, do your worst!

That hurt but not nearly as badly as I thought it would?

Thank you for putting up with logic, dearest Richter.

I appreciate the heads up, but I'm really not built for taking too many bites.

Have some faith in Unit 4's stuff! It can take a few licks.

I suppose that's true. You'd been paying that much attention to the dragons' patterns, Koron?

Naturally. They go for the healthiest person, whoever that may be. Otherwise, those we faced in the subway could've easily torn me to shreds.

That's our Koron! Smart and deadly.

I'm so glad someone notices.

Sir, we're here to rescue you.

you good, dude

Sickly Man: Ooooh... it's cold. These wet clothes are f-freezing, ah-choo! P-please, do you—

We've got doctors, sir. Please just snap this string?

His hands shivered a bit as he did it, but he did do it.

Alright, we're making decent progress. Jeanne?

Dragon activity is more concentrated in the area up ahead, so, um... please be careful.

Further into the tunnel, we met a soldier from the SDF.

Careful Soldier: Whoa there, careful. Up ahead, this area's full of gas. It's not poisonous or anything, but you can't see.

No need to worry. We won't need eyes to see.

Careful Soldier: Heh, yeah, I get it. That's a good movie.


She's psychic, sir.

Careful Soldier: Oh! Oh. Okay.

Sure enough, a thick, soupy gas filled the air. It wasn't too hard to breathe, but it was certainly annoying.

We're in a clear space. Head to our right.

That's our Koron!

It must be awfully handy, having vision that doesn't use your eyes.

No, 'handy' is if I can grab things without using my hands.


i felt what you were going for but it kinda bombed

No matter how many of you stand in our way, we'll take you all down!

I thought it was funny.

Oh! I've got a route in! Don't worry, I'll stop the cave-in—


Oh, come on...

Actions like Atmospheric Vibration are out-of-turn actions that'll activate at the top of the round no matter what, even with priority skills like Luvshock. A sad day for Mr. Esslinger.

Thank you, Koron.

Don't mention it.

How did you even figure out that you could heal people?

A patient who'd been rooming near me shortly after a procedure when I was fourteen was wailing in pain from a broken leg. The sound got to me, and I enforced my will upon the fracture to mend it.

I bet the doctors were pretty surprised.

Patients around the hospitals would sometimes talk about the 'miracle room', a room that could fix grievous injuries overnight. It was just my room, but it gave me something to do with my time other than read. Eventually, doctors started asking for my help, as well. It wasn't taxing on me, either.

It was a decent way to come to truly understand the anatomy of the human body, as well. What sort of injuries could or could not be healed? What was an illness my mind could cure, and what was not?

It's noble work doctors do. You might think from my general demeanor that I would dismiss them, but that's not the case—I respect them greatly for doing what they can with the bodies humans are given.

On reflection, I'm sure the Koron Nagataka of 2012 certainly wouldn't have imagined herself becoming bedfellows with surgeons and diagnosticians before she'd even entered high school.

Um, I have a question. You're psychic.

Is that a question?

Um, no. Er, the question is—well, it would've been 2015, right? Were they really rooming Psy-Gene patients in with ordinary patients at the time?

Mine was a special case. My parents and the hospital had come to an agreement that I was not to be left alone, and at times that meant sharing a room with other patients.


Koron's glass eyes could move like real eyes through a sort of localized telekinesis—they dilated like real eyes, too. Koron once told me it was because she'd learned the habit of making them appear to do so by manipulation of light as part of a grounding mechanism for herself. I say this so that I can say—in her eyes, I saw a feeling I didn't know how to describe.

...It's a long story.

For the time being, we should head on.

This deep into the Toshima Sewers, new enemies start spawning. These feral hogs do not pose a threat to my daughters and Richter, as they're surprisingly fragile. They can use Gather Qi to buff their own attack, but it's not really that big of a deal.

Hello, sir. We're here to rescue you.

Cute Scientist: Oh, thank goodness.

Isn't that a Murakumo armband? How'd you get down there?

Cute Scientist: I came back from studying in America, and thought I'd go visit my parents... guess not, huh?

The scientist took a deep breath in.

Cute Scientist: Alright, gotta man up. Let's get rid of these goddamn dragons!

...his voice squeaked.

Cute Scientist: ...yeah. D-do I look any more manly to you now?

I think you're very manly, sir.

It looks as though we've made it to the other side.

Aaaand that we found a guy!

Splendid Steward: And you are?

We're with the government agency Murakumo. We're here to rescue you.

Splendid Steward: Ah, is that so? Yes, please do. We've met with true disaster... God has truly forsaken us now.

...'God', huh?


Something bothering you?

Well... I've wondered about this before, but if there is some kind of God that could explain my circumstances.

Ah. More old thoughts resurfacing? And if you met a god who claimed responsibility, what would you do?

My grip on the hilt of my blade tightened.

...I don't know. Maybe ask them what kind of joke they're trying to pull?

We turned back around into the caverns to explore what we'd missed.

If I met God, I'd probably kill him.

We know.

It's a goddamn dead end.

patience, mama fudoji. remember your grounding techniques.

Back into the breach.

Watch out for that pair of dragons just ahead of us.

That what?

Oh, that.

These puppies are aggro, so they'll charge you in the fog. Nasty trick!

We managed to dispatch them, but I won't lie and say it wasn't hard without being able to see.

Let's curve around the left wall from the southern entrance.

Yes, here. Keep going straight, we're heading to a bend.

Turn... right here.

As the fog began to clear, we found another refugee cowering near a Granderodon.

Buntaro: *hack, cough* I-I can't see... is someone there?

Not to worry, Boss! We'll have you out in a jiff.

I am through with these today!

This should stop the cave-in properly!

The two of you, now!

It's freezing! Koron, help us out!

Shatter to bits, weakling!

That was a clean one!

Oh, it's another one of those nice little rings.

That one makes ya go fast.

May I?

The Swift Ring gives us +8 Speed. That's a pretty sizable boost, so when I slap it on Koron she becomes the fastest member of the active party.

There's another Dragon in here... Um, Koron, do you see anything else?

...Perhaps we should check from another angle.

Alright, a fair distance back, now. And—

That's probably the monster Sharon meant.

Cowering Man: It's getting closer... dammit!

Pleading Woman: I don't wanna die in a place like this! Somebody! Somebody help me!

Murakumo's hero-tachi on the job!

Keep up the pressure!

Nice shot, Richter!

We've got this!


Do us all a favor and hibernate!

The Mad Bear isn't that weak, but unfortunately for it it is hilariously weak to Hacking, being that it's not a dragon. That's Richter, baby.

Wow... I didn't know—

Did he just hack a bear?

Well, yes.

...(If Richter hacked a bear, and then the bear wrestled Youka, who do you think would win?)


(Look, it's important, shut up.)

Just as we finished cleaning up, we heard footsteps behind us—it was a few familiar SDF troopers.

Private Kagawa: What was that dreadful racket just now?!

Private Senba: You're—Murakumo Unit 13, huh?

Kagawa and Senba, from the fifth platoon, right? It's nice to see you again. We've just cleared out a rampaging monster and rescued three people.

Private Kagawa: Really?! And three whole people, wonderful!

Private Senba: Well, that's Unit 13 for you, huh? Ms. Yoshino's gonna be thrilled.

Speak of the devil and she did arrive, like a bolt from the blue came Sergeant Yoshino.

Sergeant Yoshino: Unit 13?! That's highly irregular... What happened?

Private Kagawa: They already cleared out the monsters and rescued three people.

Sergeant Yoshino: Are any of them injured?!

One of the men back there cleared his throat.

Fleeing Man: Well, my throat's so dry I feel like I'm gonna die, but I'm not hurt.

Safe Woman: Same here.

Sergeant Yoshino: Ah, that's terrific. Kagawa, get them someplace safe.

All three of these people count as separate rescues. Nice!

Private Senba: So that's three people in all? Huh... y'know, when they gave us this mission, I thought it was hopeless. Never give up, huh, Ms. Yoshino?

The nod Sergeant Yoshino gave was a little hesitant.

...A quota?

Sergeant Yoshino: If you keep doing our missions for us, you're going to leave us in the dust. So... try not to drop in from now on.

Private Senba: Ms. Yoshino, maybe just thanks is okay?

Sergeant Yoshino: Er—hm.

It was about two seconds before she continued.

Sergeant Yoshino: Well, let's head back, and no need to stress the extra help in our debriefing. Apologies.

The fifth platoon headed off into the tunnels again.

A quota. Huh.

A bit disgusting, if you ask me.

That's the way of the military, even in times of crisis.

Back through the hole... This is getting exhausting.

Hang a right.


It's three Medicine 2s and three Mana Waters. And this guy.

Seafaring Man: I can't pass away like this... please, take me to the ocean...

How's about we keep you from dying, instead?

Seafaring Man: That works, too...

Dragon ahead. It hasn't seen us.

...Even the lightning doesn't help.

...It's a dead end.

Wasn't there a dragon left?

We have enough... if we can't get through, we might just have to leave it.

Maybe if we clear out the Scaber, we'll be able to get to it then?

I smell loot.

This should be the exit.

Oh, this is awfully spacious.

Clear of monsters, too. I wonder why?

The water in the reservoir likely has something to do with it. Richter, Jeanne, Miroku, if any of you ever come up with an answer, it'd be most appreciated.

I'm not your navigator!

Oh? But you're having such fun listening in on us.

Miroku cut his communications line.

Finally. All that walking was hell on my legs.

Oh yeah, says the tallest person here. Imagine being my height. I've taken at least twenty percent more steps than you.

Yeah, okay.

Tetsu: But, even in a bad situation, you can still come up with a great idea—AHA! Eureka!! Any of you got a pen and paper?

Instead, may we rescue you and send you to City Hall?

Tetsu: Yeah, sure, that works, too!

A successful spelunking!

I still can't help feeling like we missed something.

There's one dragon left in the Toshima Sewers. You might be wondering, well, how do you get to that rogue dragon icon?

It's a secret passage on the map in the larger fog area. You head south at one point and just walk through the wall. It's the only secret passage in either of the two games. The one. The single one. It's the only one. There's three treasure chests in there, too, and the contents will be hilariously obsolete by the time we get to it.

So!! There's that!! The 1 on this area's dragon counter is going to mock me for several chapters to come!! I'm good at video games!!!

Stressful situation aside, I'm very glad to be back.

Let's clean out the rest of our to-do list.

sup, bruh. sewer monsters ganked.

Tadaima, hero-tachi! You beat the sewer monsters! Isn't that amazing? Yeah, astounding!

And three Medicine 2s.

Cap'n Yoshino and her crew seem like they were feeling genki? Everything daijobu, everything OK?

everything daijobu, everything OK.

Niiice! Happy trails, SATSUKI-chan-tachi!

Next we have a delivery to make.

ABC Manager: Hey, now look at that! Games, magazines, even juice! Haha, so there was still some left after all. Good to know, good to know.

I'm sorry we couldn't find anything more important.

ABC Manager: You kidding me? This stuff is the most important right now!

ABC Manager: The power of entertainment to give people a breather is important right now. These games and magazines are sure to bring people joy.


I suppose that's true.



(nice catch!)

Nothing, nothing~ Just thinking about how you're coming around.

ABC Manager: Heh, always so lighthearted... More juice cans can probably be recovered from other vending machines, but that's a job that should be left to the SDF. Taking you all with that is unacceptable given... the current circumstances.

Of course, sir.

It served as a little trip down memory lane for me, too.

250 AZ and two SP Up 100s in the bag.

tbh it's a shame. can't exactly ask anyone to go to the shelter if they need entertainment but i can't move my shit anywhere else.

I'm sure you've got all sorts of games, right?

oh yeah. hella.

I may have a few cartridges for that Genesis we found, though. Gonna have to rifle through my stuff.

You're a kind girl, Satsuki.

And that's why they call me the beautiful Satsuki!

We all braced ourself for another barrage.

Shibuki: Thanks to you, a precious fifteen in dire straits have been saved. On behalf of those you've rescued, please, let me thank you for your assistance. I call this the Cultivation Set I, a mechanism designed to increase the growth of your latent abilities in these deadly battles, and a few supplements to assist you. Still only fifteen people, but such precious fifteen they are! Please, keep us in mind going forward!

...Thank you, Shibuki.

The Skill Up Shibuki gives us is an accessory that increases the SP the owner gets from battle by 20%. It's not half bad, though I don't use it for a while out of worry I'll knock my catchup numbers out of whack. We also get two SP Up 200s.

Here we go! Time to git 'er done!


There's a soldier named Tonami waiting to thank you in place of his superior. Oh—please thank Ms. Mio for me. She handled the material transport as well as assisting in construction—for someone without formal training, she can really move.

Yeah, she does her best work under deadlines. It's a good trait of hers.

Um, calling Unit 13.

Right, of course. Just give me one second.

I returned to our room, and sure enough, I saw Mio, one leg hanging off the bed, glasses still on her face, completely unconscious. Her hair was a mess, and she's gone to sleep in such a hurry that she'd wound up drooling just slightly.

I raised the blanket over her as she slept, and then took a drawing out from inside the notebook I'd been using and placed it in her hands.


Hehe. Good work, Mio. You did an amazing job. We'll take care of the rest.

(i hope someone tucks me in someday)

Next time, the good news is we get a badass accessory.

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