Part 41: No Cake For You

In the days leading up to the final battle, as Kirino attempted to complete the Dragon Chronicle, a number of events occurred.


One day, I encountered Daigo in the Skylounge. He was staring out the window, pacing about.

Hey, Daigo.

...Oh. Hey.

Something up?

Ms. Fudoji's not with you.

She's off assisting Mio at the moment. May we take a message?

Yeah. I just wanted to have a chat. Something I was curious about.

Someone looks like she's in a good mood.

What? Something wrong with me bein' in a good mood? You guys brought those two idiots back, what, a girl can't be happy? Gotta read some kind of sub-linimal messaging into my words?

Has Hari been bugging you?

No! God! A girl can't just say things without getting subtext read into them!

...Y'know, I think maybe you have more in common with Koron than I thought.

Yo. Wanted to see me?

I've been thinking a lot about the kinda stories I heard about you, and I think I figured something out. You're not using those weapons 'cause they make you stronger, huh.


Well, if anyone was gonna figure that out, it'd be you. Yeah.

Why're you still holding back?

...Mm. Well, at first it was because of all that legality business. Said if I went at them with my bare hands, I'd be too strong for it. But I've been wondering lately. Koron goes on about how her powers can only destroy, but look at me. All this body's good for is killing and breaking things.

And I like to think I'm a reasonably responsible adult, y'know?

...You're ashamed?

Ashamed, huh... I became the Raging Bomber in the ring to try and fight for a better life for Cocona, but she's gone. I guess maybe I'd decided there just wasn't a point to it if I wasn't protecting my daughter.


I'd kind of stopped thinking about it. That battle in Yotsuya was the last big battle I had before all of this went down, and I'd just kept rolling on without thinking. I don't think 'ashamed' is quite the right word, though. I just... wasn't sure what kind of life I wanted to live after Cocona died.

A girl I care a lot about showed me something, though. She showed me what it means to really want to live. And... Well, I guess I'm just the kind of person who lives to protect people. Them, and you kids, too. So... Yeah, you're right. Thanks for pointing it out, Daigo.


I oughta fight my hardest, so you kids have a world to live in. Them, too. And myself, just for the heck of it.


Think I'll keep coming around and bugging you kids afterwards, too.


The reward for Daigo's Heart Quest is Youka's ultimate weapon and armor... uh, y'know. For a certain definition of 'weapon' and 'armor'.

...Also, here's Ako.

...she said, with her album of Daigo and Takehaya photos open and arranged with loving care.


Mio delivered a bento to the room at one point.

It's Kirino's.

Ah, I see.

And it has a message for a certain Mr. Assistant.

Oh, really.

He wants to see you in the Skylounge, Mr. Assistant.

You wanted to see me, sir?

Sorry, I'm... y'know, I'm busy, and I didn't want to deal with other people when I came up to say something. You've... You've always been a big help to me, Richter. Really. All these tasks, these quests, these missions... You've been supporting Unit 13, and me, like a champ this entire time. So, y'know...

Thank you very much, sir.

...It's like... well, you know.

Do I?

I bought you, ah... or, well, no, not 'bought' necessarily...

Oh, these are lovely! The make is wonderful, just my size, it's just the right color to accessorize with my scarf and beret, and do I detect a hint of fiber-weave supplementary tech for 119 to bolster my physical defenses?

They tell me you get hit a lot, so.

That I do.

But that's all part of the job, sir. Still, thank you ever so much, these are lovely!

Not that I think of you as a research subject. Even if I just made you a normal pair of slacks, I'd be satisfied to see you wear them.

Of course, sir.

But seriously, even by Murakumo standards I know I overdo it. I'm a researcher at heart. I don't take very good care of myself. So, you guys in Unit 13 are all wonderful, but you especially, Richter. You're always there for me. I'm very grateful to have you—as an assistant and as a friend.

! Yes, you too, sir!

Ms. Hikasa spoke to me of despair. In order to fight for everyone's hopes, we're going to have to burn her down. It's a tough situation for everyone. So, uh...

You know. If you ever need anything. Midnight medical exams, just wanna talk about the day's agenda, please do message me! I am always available.

I'll pass this on, sir.

Well—uh, right, pass it on. Right. Of course. Uh, right! Have a nice night!

Richter's ultimate armor! Isn't that nice? Thanks, Kirino!


...and in a third incident that occurred in the Skylounge, this bento was from Jeanne.

I accompanied Mio on a few of her rounds beforehand.

When you start to slip a little, I'm gonna catch that banner of yours, y'know.

I'll welcome it.

It seems all the pieces are in place. You've done very well, Miss Inomiko.

Oh, hey, Aitelle. You have a second? You're always in the Clinic, right?

...I occasionally take a moment to pace, but the majority of my time is spent here, yes.

Have you seen a little girl? Blonde, red eyes, this super vivid beret and suit. She got in here a few days ago when the Scaber operation happened, and I was checking in on her while she was out, but I haven't been able to find her.

Ah. You are concerned for Emille. Please do not worry yourself. I have no doubt that she is attempting to force herself into proceedings at the Laboratory, perhaps making your mother's life more difficult.

Oh ho, a precocious one, is she?

She is very driven.

The name 'Emille' sounded familiar, but I couldn't quite place it.

I'm glad she's okay.

Pff. I'm not. That kid's a brat. Wouldn't stop mouthing off to me. Felt like it took forever.

Well, with that kind of loud personality, I have to imagine she'll probably place up a notice on the Quest Board sooner or later, and then I can steal your banner of getting mouthed off to.

Great. Thanks.

...We left Yuki to her work.

Hey, that's okay. I mean, it's not like we're doing much else.

...Mio, why are you over there?

Just attempting to be unobtrusive.

Well, um... so... What do you think of your choice in Navi?

I just want to say that if you choose the second choice, you are objectively a monster, and you are not my friend.

You're always doing a great job, Jeanne! I'm perfectly happy.

Really? Oh, thank goodness, ehehe... Nothing to be ashamed of.

NAV 3.5 was a failure, so even before we were born, there was trouble. With short lifespans and weak bodies... just because we can do arithmetic quickly doesn't make us successes. So... after our creation, the NAV program was cancelled.

But... being given the name Jeanne, and being able to be your little sister... It's changed that. Thank you, Chisa. I hope that... even after the war, we can stay a family.


So, um...

You baked cookies?!

Please let me know how they were! I'm heading back to the control room now. Um, thank you for being unobtrusive, Mio!

Any time.


She's! So! Cuuuuuuuuuuuuuute! Aaaaahhhh!!

The Navi Cookies are the ultimate buff item, giving a 15% buff to ATK, MAT, DEF, and MDF to all party members for 5 turns. You only get this pack of 8, but they're very worth using.

That same day, we came to visit Miya.

Ah. Unit 13. I should let you know something.

They've built a new room at the Skylounge with the rest of the materials you brought back from Daiba. I'm not sure what purpose it has.

The Level 2 Skylounge is a very silly object we will talk about later.


I was up pretty quickly the next morning, and was in the middle of stretching out the sleep when Jeanne rang.

Kirino seems to have a prototype built. There's going to be a meeting in the Meeting Room. We'll be there too, so head in when you're ready.

That probably means this'll be the last day before the Tokyo Tower assault.

The last battle of the war, huh...

Well, then we'd better make the most of it. Shall we go see Sharon?

Did you just actively say we should go check the Quest Office?

Listen. It's the last day before the Tokyo Tower assault, and that means that people are going to want to clear up a few last things.


Don't you want to know how that business with MP Ariake and Neko is going to go?


We must go now.

The sanctity of the plot relies on it. I concur.

Looks like it.

Then... these are your saigo quests too! Whoa! This is the climax for realsies! Are you gonna do it?

Yeah, we gotta do it!

Yahoo! Go and hunt down those quests!

That's right, folks, once we're done with this batch we've cleared all of 7th Dragon 2020's quests. We've got two running storylines to mop up, some goofballs to give a final sendoff to, one last sidequest dragon to mop up, and a precocious brat to deal with, so LET'S WORKING!!

Whoaaaa! Your popularity is sekai ichi envy, yo!


Look at what that yankee-tachi gave me as an excuse to talk to you!

Miss Sharon ain't a matchmaker! To the Clinic with you!


Shit. Platoon 5's in a bind again?

The kuroikaze blows, thick with the scent of danger! Get the lowdown at the SDF Barracks!


Something on your mind? Well, forget it and kitte kudasai!

...But the boy wants help with medicine.

Hai, hai. Find out which one he wants! Chop, chop!

Wow. Aitelle wasn't kidding.

The requester this time is a mysterious darling! A winsome little waif, ne? And what, pray tell, does she ask? With sad eyes, and a pounding heart?

That is not what happened.

Oi, oi, Miya-chan! It's the mystique, the mystique!

She charged up to the quest board, climbed over the counter, and slammed her request on the board, ignoring proper channels. When Sharon asked her what the problem was, the girl said, "I don't have time to blather on with you. I'm delegating tasks, and your task is to delegate this task to someone who can actually accomplish it." She left, leaving Sharon looking dejected at the idea that a child might act so rudely to her.

Wow, Koron. I didn't know you had a sister.

Shut up. I am not and have never been that bad.

Koron-chan? "I Hate Scientists" Koron-chan, never that bad?

Shut up!

Yessss. I knew it.

The MP from earlier has an appointment! That's a new one! But doesn't that oji-san have like, a totemo serious mood about him? Miss Sharon said, there's nothing our hero-tachi can't do, so punctuality is key!

Okay, first off.

The two of them were... they were certainly acting in a manner.

Guchi: Mmm, soo, you probably know, we totally love you guys!

Ohhh do you now~?

Guchi: Hahaha, I could listen to that all day.

Ino: We've called you here today for an important announcement. You're on, Guchi!

Guchi: Eh, eh, ahem.

...What, that's it?

Guchi: Yeah, I mean, we're kind of embarrassed, so we used the Quest Office to tell you in person!

Ino: That, uh, 'fight' a few days ago kinda stuck with us.

Ino: So it seems like we're just civilians.

Guchi: We're not losing the SKY spirit, natch! But I think after this battle, we're gonna hang up the gloves.

Just wanna loaf around all day, huh, kids?

Guchi: N-no way! It's not like that! With everyone else fighting, too, I—c'mon, you're breaking my heart!

Guchi: Like... we could stand in front of the elevator and say, '4th floor, school infirmary!'

Ino: Wicked, right?! That's as civilianesque as it gets!

But this is the second floor. And it's called the 'Clinic', not the 'Infirmary'.

Guchi: Sooo, uh, what else is there? How about helping out in the kitchen?

Ino: Guchi's a master of that, but he's pretty much terrible at anything else.

...That might actually be rather tasty.

Guchi: See, see?! You know what's up, man! I mean, not the white ones obviously, I'm talking the big round red ones! Yeah, shrimp chips are—

Ino: STOP! Guchi, focus! See? He's no good at anything else. Uh, next, uh... do we have anything we could show off?

Guchi: Oh, what'd be cool to look at? We could give tours of Shibuya.

Ino: Gah, no! I mean like, show and sell! Stuff we found ourselves! Stuff we could make cash off! Stuff that would be useful to someone!

if you have any can i have it

Ino: ...Yeah, that's a good point actually.

...Where did you guys find a Dreamcast?

Guchi: I mean like, if we do something to help you guys we're covered for life, right?

Ino: ...Yeah, I think that'd do it.

I might be able to make use of this, actually.

Guchi: Cool.


Guchi: ...

Ino: ...

So see you guys again when we get back?

Ino: Yeah.

In terms of raw attack power, the Dreamcast is actually Richter's ultimate weapon, believe it or not.

Hey, don't underestimate the combat potential of order-independent transparency.

MP Ariake: It was improper of me to ask for you by name, but I can't trust this matter to anyone else. My request is, ah, related to—

Your daughter, right?

MP Ariake: Neiko, yes.

MP Ariake: But I think I have to know more about her. I want to know who she's become. I... would like you to speak to the members of SKY about this, if you would.

Right. Got it.

Wow, yeah, I do not see any resemblance.

She must look like her mother.

Private Saneda: Previously, we'd received reports of a fearsome monster at Daiba... but the fifth platoon had already moved in, looking for survivors!

And Yoshino said she'd still go do it?

Private Saneda: They didn't want to contact you about it! They said you were too busy! But I'm worried about Yoshino—please, go help her!

Of course. Those guys are our pals, too!

Sui: How do I feel about Neko? T-that sure came outta nowhere!

It's important. Humor me.

Sui: She's like, a buddy you can depend on, but also part of your family, but also she's like, really cute. And she's crazy strong in a fight, and she's cute—

ah, like koron

Okay, that's enough. I think we're good here.

Yeah. Lay it on us, buddy.

Sou: I know you guys already know it's Takehaya I'm asking about. I don't know much, but I want some help looking for something effective.

I'm not sure how successful we'll be, but we can try nevertheless.

Sou: Yeah, thanks. I'll check the clinic, so go check that Lab of yours, right? And when you're done, give it to Aitelle.

Haha, true.

Hey, Neko, I'm about to bring in this huge pile of fish

I'm out!!

Anyway, so Hari, has anything been bothering Neko lately?

Hari: What's with the sudden questions?

It's a mom thing.

Hari: Well, the other day she managed to drop this pendant she always wears. Looked real tore up about it.

Oh, no! We better go get it for her. You know where it was?

Hari: She said it musta been in Yotsuya, but isn't that place like, super toxic?

I can handle that one! I'm a native.

Hari: Whoa, is that why you're so buff?

Nah, that's from all the fights.

It seems she's lost a pendant in Yotsuya. We're likely going to attempt to find it.

MP Ariake: That's enough to go on for now. Here, your initial payment.

...Did we just get paid in installments?

MP Ariake: Is that so unusual? Anyhow, I'd love to go look myself, but it's much too dangerous for me, even with the Bloom having receded.

Let's see... Who should we ask?

While I was wondering that, I suddenly realized that we had an appointment in the Laboratory anyhow.

Oh! Hi! You must be Emille!

You made that request, right? I'm Chisa Inomiko, and I'm the captain of Unit 13. We'll be handling your—

I know who you are.

Oh, right. I'm sure it would've come up—

She very pointedly turned away from me and addressed the rest of the group.

Here straightaway, are you? Well, fine. You'll do.

Wow. Okay. What's with this sassy lost child?

Where are you from that you think you've got the right to talk to us like that?

That's none of your business. Slay me a Snow Boar in Daiba and take its tusk, then get me a Slender Petal from the nearby subway line. Bring them back here.

I mean. Okay. But as the leader of Unit 13, I think I have a right to ask some questions—

You have no right to ask me anything without first completing my request, Captain.


I was starting to get the oddest feeling that I'd spoken with this woman before. Not even that long ago, in fact. I was also starting to get the distinct feeling that I would not get along with the young lady named Emille.

Calm Scientist: Oh, do you know that kid? She's been in here for a while, and... well, she was bothering Dr. Akaneno for about an hour until the doctor went to go hide.

Wow, okay. She is clearly very powerful.

Anyway, we're looking for medicine for adverse reactions to body modification?

Calm Scientist: ...Excuse me? Uh... okay, without clearer symptoms, stronger stuff might do harm... oh, well—okay, this one's supply is limited, since it needs a specific sort of Dragon blood to compound, but...


Calm Scientist: So, if you can draw some blood... uh, be careful, though. Try to draw it, ah, gently?

She was looking directly at Youka as she said that.


Ah, must be that one.

Cross-checking the data, it certainly seems to be.

Alright, let's go!

The Killhorn Dragon has 4100 HP, so it's chufty, but not all that sturdy. Its real danger is that its Attack stat is through the roof, so it can really lay on the hurt.

Watch out! It's rearing up.

Not to worry! I've got this one!

I do, too!

Hard Target is Youka's Tier 4 counter skill, and it's basically just a bigger, beefier version of good ol' Counter Stance.

No, I think you misunderstand.

I've got this one.

Is that a Dreamcast controller?!

No, what? Come on, that would be absurd. That's clearly a Saturn controller.

A standard six-button one, no less. I don't think Richter would have a very fun time playing NiGHTS on that.

...What is he... doing?

I'm activating my most powerful contradiction!

Whatever it was Richter did, somehow or another, all of us remained perfectly unharmed by the dragon's charge—none of us even flinched.

Ooh, never mind, this makes it way easier.

GG.bat makes the entire party completely invincible for a turn. It's obviously more situational than the offensive EX skills everyone else has, but against big windups like this? It's invaluable.

I can actually tell you exactly how much damage that would've dealt, by the way. The Killhorn Dragon's Great Horn is a 2.5x multiplier, so with its 206 Attack, against Richter it would've dealt 190 damage, enough to instantly kill him. 123 damage against Youka, which is well over half her health, and that's Youka—and it has a 55% chance to inflict Stop, too. So yeah, uh, thanks Richter.

I honestly would not be surprised if gg.bat's font was based off an actual debug menu the game had during development. That extremely plain monospaced not-sarif-but-also-not-sans-serif font, I swear I've seen it so many times in other similar games, albeit with slight variations.

Also worth considering that multiple pieces of promotional art featuring the female hacker portrait (the one that Koron is based off of and which Chelsea uses, if you forgot) features that same Saturn controller with her.

Here, lemme be gentle!

So, I took the samples...

...and Youka took its life.

And it looks like that was the last one—Kokubunji is now free of the Dragons! Good work, everyone!

Alright, got it safely tucked away. Thanks, Satsuki.

yeah no prob fam

Now let's hurry and help the fifth platoon!

The 5th Platoon are over here, in front of the room that used to have the big ice wall.

...and what's worse, the fifth platoon are over there, too!

Hey! Sorry to barge in!

Private Senba: Phew! You guys are like guardian angels!

Sergeant Yoshino: ...Sorry, but you gotta help us!

I'll say.

This ain't my first rodeo with bears, kids!

The Bandit Bears all have 1300 HP. They're not un-sturdy, but let me be blunt: these guys are not ready for Bare Knuckle Youka.

We should have this in the bag.

...Hey is Mama Fudoji not wearing armor? Or a weapon?


Never mind she clearly doesn't need them.

All three attack her. The one Chisa hit dies.

After I slew the second bear, Youka dashed in toward the third bear, and delivered an uppercut that sent it flying into the air, then leapt after it.

She then flipped it in the air, and pinned its arms, causing it to become stuck in a cross shape. It crashed into the ground, essentially exploding on impact as Youka caught herself with her feet and flipped back up onto them.

Saw that one in an anime once!

Well, not quite. But I don't have horns.

i have absolutely no doubt that you could do the full hurricane mixer to chojin cross slam sequence if you wanted

Private Senba: ...I think I've said that literally every time.

Private Kagawa: Yeah... I'm ashamed of how often you have to help us. We thought we were fine, but...

Sergeant Yoshino: I'm satisfied with these two. Let's head home.

Sergeant Yoshino: Hey, what's wrong? You're in a—What the heck happened to your leg?!

Rescued Woman: ...I still can't move it. It's just the wound and the cold. ...I... what should I do from here?

Hey, that's not even remotely true. You—

Rescued Woman: Don't waste time trying to cheer me up! Aren't you wasting your time taking care of me anyway?! You can't bring back my family!

Sergeant Yoshino: No matter what happens... With time, you get used to it. I won't say you'll overcome it all and come out even stronger.

Sergeant Yoshino: Of course, I'll support you. I can't do much, but... I'll do my best.

Private Kagawa: Me too, please!

Private Senba: And me! I'll do it!

Private Kagawa: Yoshino!

Sergeant Yoshino: ...Yeah!

...I'm happy for them.



Private Kagawa: Yeah, no kidding. I really respect you for that.

Sergeant Yoshino: D-don't make fun of me. I... just said what I thought.

Sergeant Yoshino: You've saved us many times over. Without you, we couldn't help anybody. So, thank you. I'm really grateful.

That's what cooperation is for. I'm glad we could help, too.

Sergeant Yoshino: ...That reminds me, who told you we were in Daiba? Was it Saneda?


Sergeant Yoshino: Well, feels a bit awkward having a subordinate reward you for my sake, so... here. For the timely reinforcements.


Mine. Mine. Gimme. Mine. Mine. Mine.

Sergeant Yoshino: Each commander's been issued top-of-the-line gear for the upcoming showdown. If it's any use to your unit... well, I'd be pretty gratified.


Satsuki spent a moment and took in the smell of her new weapons.

Private Senba: Unit 13, we'll do anything for you!

Private Kagawa: Yeah. Me, too. I'll do anything I can as well. Good luck out there!

Sergeant Yoshino: Well, goodbye. ...And stay safe.

You too, Sergeant.

You've likely gathered, but the AAA Victory and Glory are Satsuki's ultimate weapons. So next up on the itinerary is






Oof, sorry. I just had some kind of strange dissociative episode. Anyway, let's head to Yotsuya.

Our goal is over here, in Area 4.

Ah, I think this is it!

I believe that is all of our duties outside of City Hall. Come, let us return.

IS WHAT I WOULD SAY, if this update weren't going on really long, so I'm splitting it in half and you can get the exciting resolution of Sidequest Time next time.

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