...Understood. As we've been ordered, Izumi and I will work to recover the weapon.
If you understand me now, that's fine. Don't slack off on the surveillance either. Unit 13 is doubtless seeking it as well. Find where they're going and take it.
You say that, but... we're soldiers, not thieves. Our ultimate objective is to fight Dragons—to defeat Fomalhaut. Isn't that right?
As always, I'm putting my faith in you.
...Tch! Why do we care about what some politician thinks about this? Think about how many people have died! How much simpler does this this to be?
Will: "How much simpler does this have to be?" You're starting to sound like Unit 13 yourself, boss.
No, but... They disregarded Ms. Emille's orders and prioritized preventing civilian casualties, and they're our enemies? Think about it for a second, Izumi. Those guys have been rock solid.
Wha—you too, Sho?
Regardless, we of SECT11 are soldiers. We take pride in it. And we take our pleasure from victory on the battlefield.
In some ways, the battle on September 14th was a relief—time to breathe with something more comfortable, more familiar. After the brutality of the battle against Oceanus, a relative breather was something anyone could appreciate.
...In other ways, it represented a new and horrifying angle for our war against Fomalhaut. But I digress.
Sumie Kazuki was an odd girl. I knew that much. Perhaps not as much of an oddity as me, but she was an oddity without a doubt. I'd known it from the day I met her, and yet by this point I knew the fewest specifics of the kind of oddity she was.
What? Does that sound absurd to you? Of course, she was my friend, and I like to think I knew her quite well—but you can know someone well without knowing everything about them, and in Sumie's case, you can know her quite well hardly knowing anything about her. I knew her personality, her loves, her ways, without knowing what brought her to that place, or without truly knowing her internal world.
I knew the shape of Sumie's 'will', but not its color, its volume, its consistency. I think in many ways, that's how she wanted it... or, well, no. That's not quite right.
Sumie desired to be known. SATSUKI defied being known. A young girl from unfortunate circumstances who desired companionship... and a 'hero' who appeared suddenly to save the day, then ride away into the night. The tragic drama of a heroine loathed by circumstance, and the inspiring folktale of a lone ranger on a loyal horse... Within the world of the Dragons, both could be brought to fore. Perhaps in that way, SATSUKI was the truest 'hero' in all of Unit 13.
—But I did know one thing, at least. I knew what her favorite video game was. In Japan, it was called 'Red Seeds Profile', but she always referred to it by its overseas title—'Deadly Premonition'.
Part 66: In the Interval of War
As usual, we started the day with Jeanne as our alarm clock.
President Emille and Kirino are calling, so please head over when you have a moment.
My back is sore.
You're awfully peppy this morning.
Oh, am I?
She's high off of being appreciated again. She gets like this.
it's true i do
oh richterrrrrrr kirino made you a bentoooo
That says 'To Unit 13'. Not to me.
yeah but it's for you
Lisa: Man, I knew how courageous you guys were, but beating an Imperial in that downpour?
We just woke up. Probably not wise to drink yet.
I do not want to drink acid.
Much better, thank you.
Shichiro: Unit 13, I doff my hat to your resolution! I, too, will madly pursue my own death, that I might join you in the field!
Oh, for fuck's sake, is that the lesson you're taking from this?
Taichi: Yeah, see, I've been trying to tell him all day that the whole point of sending you on suicide missions is they aren't suicide missions when you guys go on them, but he's not listening to me.
Bad boy, Shichiro. None of us are seeking death!
Anymore. None of us are seeking death anymore.
...Yeah, that's true.
Don't look over knowingly at me and act like you weren't the same way, Youka.
I'm not. I'm looking over knowingly at you because I was the same way.
Was it the same way? You had nothing left to live for, Koron was trying to go out like a martyr.
And you desired death a few times as an escape from the crushing existential despair of your absurdly tragic circumstances.
Yes, but that wasn't a continual thing like it was with you two. That's kind of... I mean, you two didn't really care if you lived or died, that was bits of me actively wanting to die. That is kind of different.
...U-um... you know, now that you're saying it aloud...
The overall psychological profile of this unit is deeply concerning!!
Oh, you're only figuring that out now?
yeah we're all kinda sadsacks
Shichiro: In conclusion, I, too, will madly pursue my own death!
Taichi: Guys! Quit enabling him!
Welcome, hero-tachi! Nani's good?!
We're all just talking about how we love each other dearly.
Why are you holding those behind your back?
Anything to declare, Shizuka?
U-um... well, yes.
Did you see? Did you hear? Kitte kudasai! It's our ever-ready tenshi in white! A request from Nurse Nami! A puzzling new virus comes out—a big panic pandemic!
A pandemic? We've been stuck in the Diet Building for just over a week. Are you serious?
Koron? Fomalhaut is the God of Plagues, you know.
Ugh. They're looking for materials to assist in developing something for it, yes? We'll get on that.
Er, yes, anyhow...
Mr. Kirino sent messages of thanks for improving the Research Ward, and the floor head wished to say hi. And—
Er, yes, so, the third Residential Ward is now operable. We have the citizens moved in.
Yosha! Is this your card?!
Sharon whipped the remainder of the requests out from behind her back.
Ehh, this one's a bit kowai. Kitte? You kudasai? Want it anyway?
If anyone's qualified to handle bears here, it's me! I fought one in the ring once.
The streets that nemurenai in Roppongi are a hotbed for monsters now, but this bed's not for sleeping, ne? The requester's going apples and bananas over not getting to her store! Res Ward C! In a snap, hero-tachi!
What is this one called?!
Hai, hai! This requester's familiar, ne? It's us! The WRO! Hiroe in Res C has details!
Give us the last one so we can go!
More situation in Roppongi! I'm getting the 411 on 911 24/7! Itte, kitte, ASAP! Someone's waiting for help!
YEAH OKAY BYE SEE YOU
The Med Ward's on the way let's stop there
Sorry, Nami, but we're in a bit of a hurry.
Nami: You guys again? Oh, geez, you're way too busy for this, I'm sorry. But, um... We've diagnosed a vehemently virulent strain of virus among the newly admitted. We've got to administer a vaccine to everyone already living here while we administer care to the already infected. It's the Roppongi survivors who are sick—we need one sample of the guts of a Suncrab. We can culture it from there. Thanks so much!
I happen to be unlucky enough that I have zero Glitterguts, which are a 30% drop off of Suncrabs. Lol. Lmao.
Cool, yeah, we'll get back to you.
Relief Org Chief: You're here to speak with Hiroe, yes? Take this, with my thanks.
Gouda: Hey, the WRO rules! Doing good things and hearing people's thanks really sticks with you. Plus, Hiroe is here, too...
Gouda: I-I was talking to myself! Aren't you just supposed to politely look away?
SDF Veteran: The SDF is doing a bang-up job this time. But no matter how hard they work, when peace comes, they'll be tossed aside...
Ughhhh where's Hiroe
Unhurried Lady: You beat the Dragon in Roppongi for us. Well, now isn't that fantastic? Nice job~ I hope you'll keep it up for us
Oh no! I can't say no to that!
We're weak to that kind of thing.
Polite Miss: Here's today's special, a 'Cerberus' claw. You seem like you could use it, miss.
Ah, it's this one. What's your price tag?
Polite Miss: 2000, please!
Polite Miss: Thank you! Please use it well!
Looking sharp, mother.
Mrs. Nagataka: I am a 'Sharp Businesswoman' now, you know! Oh, look at you, look how much you've grown! I think you're getting a little buff, Koron!
Mrs. Nagataka: Are you taking good care of her, Sumie? You had better be! You know her, if you don't, she's liable to blow at the drop of a hat.
I'm really sorry, ma'am, but we're in a bit of a hurry, do you mind if we get to the part where you sell us something?
Mrs. Nagataka: Oh, sure, sure, speaking of 'sharp', I've got a nice sword for Captain Inomiko here! 2000, if you please!
It's a good sword. I can't deny that.
Mrs. Nagataka: That's my Unit 13! Savvy shoppers!
Koron's not in the party at the moment, but the Masamune is a solid +18 number for Chisa. Great stonking number!
Okay, back to looking for Hiroe!
Science Prez: You know that superacidic rain? I hear that that Fomalhaut guy loves suffering, so maybe we should call it, 'sufferic acid'?
...I... don't think that's very accurate.
Shaken Madam: W-whoaaaaaa! It's Unit 13! Hi, I'm Momoko, I didn't realize you would be taking my request. Unit 13 deigning to take a request from little old me... what an honor!
What? I mean,
Of course, fair citizen. Please. Lay it on me.
Shaken Madam: Not a big deal or nothing, but open 20 years, and we were doing brisk business a year ago. Romagna and Dom Perignon in the wine cellar, and every big-shot politico stopping by... I'd finished cleaning the place up, bit by bit, and I was ready for the grand reopening, and then all this happened! There were oodles of monsters crawling in, so I couldn't even save my storefront... and now all I have are memories... I'll be so grateful! I'll pay you anything! Please, get those monsters outta there! I want you to save my beloved club!
Well, it's not in Yotsuya, but defending nightclubs was basically my job anyway.
Hiroe: Oh, it's you guys. Thank goodness. I've done all I can, but it's not quite enough, so seeing you is a big relief. Let me quickly explain the situation.
Hiroe: No, different Alan Smithee. He's a person of some fame on the internet.
Hiroe: And, you know, at first it was a place to share safety bulletins and just chat, but... Since Fomalhaut's offensive, someone named Alan Smithee has made a series of posts to our forum. Under the guise of harmless conversation, there's keywords that are highlighted differently.
Is this Tokyo In Touch? We should be able to access it from a PC in the Laboratory without leaving a record.
Hiroe: I should've expected you'd be aware of that. Thank you in advance.
This one, right?
Looks like there's about... 20 posts from this user. Lemme just scan on through, and...
Here is what the messages spelled out—
"When times are hard, I think it's best to run. Sometimes we must close our eyes to reality. We are entering a new era of Darwinism. I believe that instead of being eaten alive, the tender-hearted deserve a gentler end."
"I am reluctant to say first-come, first-served, but supplies are limited, so time is of the essence."
...What the fuck.
We've gotta hurry.
Stuffy Scientist: Oh, before you go wherever it is you're going, I'd like to say thank you for repairing the Research Ward. Nothing makes a scientist happier than a well-appointed laboratory.
Stuffy Scientist: This may look unassuming, but it's the fruit of considerable—
No time! Gotta go!
The quest location is all the way in the back here, but the Underground is small so it's not much of a trek.
Toshiya: Cyanide... so this is the drug we need.
Toshiya: Let go! This is mine!
Erika: Hey, what are you doing?! You're using it all up!
We're too late...
What the hell are you doing?
Erika: Y-you're... Unit 13?
...This is ridiculous. Sometimes I wonder what we even save you people for.
Erika: Who even asked for your help?!
Erika: Every day, I have to live with a face like this... It's torture! Everyone in my family is dead, and even the partner I finally found dumped me!
Even after you just saw that guy die in front of you? ...That's sad.
Ahh, c'mon. Even if you really did want that, you've missed your shot. You're coming back to the Diet with us, both of you.
They put up very little resistance. The girl with the scarred face hardly even responded at all as we came back, and the young man didn't say a word.
Nami: Okay, let's see... We're going to go for a bit of a walk. Can you hear me? Here, let me... Let's take it easy.
...Sorry. One guy did wind up dying before we got there.
Hiroe: That's... Well, at least two people are alive, right? We can make Alan Smithee's evil intentions clear to everyone. I'll go post about it, and propose to management that we strengthen moderation of Tokyo In Touch. Here, take this.
We also get a Nano Hope.
Hiroe: Try and cheer up, okay, Miss Kazuki? You did good.
If it weren't enough to have Fomalhaut and SECT11, naturally we had to have this Alan Smithee character as a problem, right? It's absurd. Anyway...
MEANWHILE, AT THE FLEA MARKETS
Crafty Woman: Hello, my favorite customers! I hear some politicians got on you for taking bento bribes. You wanna pay for some ingredients fairly? 1000 Az for it.
Sure, sure, I haven't made enough bentos this week.
You really are awfully quick about those.
Crafty Woman: This time around here, all the refugees are either stingy or flat broke. Not much point in selling to people like that!
MANIC Manager: This time, I've got these SP Up 300s, right? 700 Az, what do you say? Talk to me, babe!
Do we get more than one for the deal?
MANIC Manager: Nope!
300 SP for 700 Az isn't a terrible deal.
Forlorn Girl: Um, can you see this? I went and found more medicine for you... Well, actually, I have two backed up... This is the first one, my... second one. 900 Az?
That would be lovely, thank you.
I forgot to purchase from her in Chapter 2, so first we get the First-Aid Pack 2, with 7 Medicine 2s, 7 Heal Aero 2s, and 5 Nano Fixes.
Forlorn Girl: Oh! Thank you so, so much! And this batch of supplies... w-well, it'll be 1500 Az, if that's okay.
Sumie, what's that look for?
Thaaaat's actually a bit rich for our blood right now, can we go handle some errands and be back for that one?
Forlorn Girl: It is for you all... I won't sell it to anyone else.
This is on the 29th Floor, just past the midway point we fought the first Tentacle at.
wait hold up
Manly Man: H-how did we end up in this situation?!
Sgt. Yoshino: It's alright, we're protecting you. When we engage the enemy, if you see a chance, please, escape. Kagawa, I'll leave the civilians to you!
Pvt. Kagawa: Yes, ma'am!
Courageous Girl: But, what about you?
Sgt. Yoshino: Don't worry about us, please just try and get out of here safely. We'll hold the monsters here for sure!
Manly Man: But... it feels like we're just abandoning you to save ourselves...
Sgt. Yoshino: Move, Senba!
Pvt. Senba: Whooooaaa!
Sgt. Yoshino: Ah, crud! Don't give him an inch! Keep attacking and make an opening!
In the nick of time, who would arrive but Tokyo's dark queen herself?
Hail to the queen, my subjects!
Manly Man: C-Countess Akaneno?!
Sgt. Yoshino: Unit 13!
Yeaaaah, probably best to leave this one to us.
It's everyone's favorite buffboys! The Destroyer Dragon is unchanged from its brethren in the first game skill-wise, but that doesn't mean it's not a threat.
Okay so what do these ones do?
Probably look away when their eyes flash.
Okay that didn't work great I'll have to give Masaki some field results another time
Kraken is the new basic Dagger skill for Satsuki. It Blinds. You'll have to take my word there.
Sumie, are you actually stuck or is this a joke?
Alright, she's actually stuck.
Here, while Sumie is frozen.
For some reason, perhaps on account of being in Roppongi, this Destroyer Dragon has a 20% weakness to Fire and a 20% resistance to Ice. Shrug.
No, no, that's not right. "Expe"—"Ex"—
Here, let me help you with that, Mio.
Ow ow ow
Thank you. I can't do that thing.
I'll kill you!
Is that all you have?! You're pathetic! I'll devour you whole!
Good to see her getting into it.
It doesn't manage to kill anyone this turn...
...except itself through the Burn DOT.
Good game, buddy! Unfortunately, you didn't count on me having a furious god for a girlfriend.
How dare it.
I think they sell shirts for people like you, Mio.
All in a day's work, boss!
Sgt. Yoshino: Fomalhaut's invasion has drastically increased the number of missing persons. We've gone from clearing rubble to the old search-and-rescue beat, patrolling the city looking for anyone in need of rescue... If you don't mind, we'd appreciate your assistance going forward.
Of course, Sergeant. I seem to recall we gave you our assistance even when you didn't want it.
This is a party of chronic do-gooders, after all.
Sgt. Yoshino: True enough.
Pvt. Senba: The SDF should have a reward for you back at the Quest Office.
Our other errand in Roppongi is in the eastern half of 1F, accessible from 18F's elevator here.
Based on the data she gave the Quest Office, it seems her club should be right over there, so that must be the monster she mentioned, right?
Whoa! They're multiplying quickly! Please hurry and beat them!
Always a good time!
I have very little to say about this fight. They have 828 HP each, but all Mad Bears is hit, Gather Power, and hit more. They aren't all that sturdy, so...
Once even one of them goes down, the fight's basically over.
All local monster lifesigns extinguished! Phew... Report back to the requester to let her know her store is safe!
Unfortunately, we still have to locate some crab guts.
A bit later, I get this encounter, which thankfully does actually get me the Glitterguts I need. Aaaalso,
Colorful Stage, one of Mio's Auto Skills. It boosts the SP you get from battle by 50% and has a 25% chance to activate at the start of a fight. It's good. It's really, really free real estate.
Okay now we've actually finished our errands at Roppongi.
And here's a good reward for you! Real kakkoi! Hashtag HELPING, hero-tachi!
And an SP Up 300.
Shaken Madam: Oh, hey, c'mon in, y'all! Thank you so much for doing this for me. Well, here you are. I promised you a reward, so go on, take it!
And an SP Up 200.
Look at all this. All this wine and wine paraphernalia...
such blissful loot shall fetch a fine price.
Guy on our floor might like it. I could go for a drink tonight.
Shaken Madam: So I bet the place was in pretty dire shape? When things calm down, though, I'm determined to clean it up again and reopen.
Shaken Madam: He disappeared like everyone else... back last February. The store feels like all I have to remember him by... yeah.
Hey, it'll happen. I'm sure people will want at least a few clubs to go.
Shaken Madam: Alright! You've all got to come by the place once it's reopened. Free drinks for all! ...Well, one drink.
Shaken Madam: Oh, come to think of it. No offense, but you're pretty small—should I get you something weaker?
I don't drink, but if you get me a drink, make it something strong. I'll do this right or I won't do it at all.
Actually, I'll take whatever Youka has.
Koron, I appreciate your moxie, but you should not jump right in with vodka.
Honey if you get too drunk we have no guarantee that your gestalt personality won't temporarily collapse again, please practice moderation
That's a good point, actually. Once was mortifying enough.
I'll start with something lighter, in that case.
MEANWHILE, AT THE FLEA MARKETS
We're baaaaaaaack with the gooooooods~
The First Aid Pack 3 consists of 5 Medicine 3s, 5 Heal Aero 3s, and 10 Stonols.
You have no idea how much Chisa looks forward to your packages, you know.
Forlorn Girl: Oh! W-well, I didn't realize... Please try not to get hurt so much!
No, no, I don't really plan to get hurt. I just like having them.
Novice Nun: The divine prophecylactic, the Stone Cut! Deliverance from becoming a pillar of salt. You must have faith... and additionally, a donation of 1500 Az—
Yeah, yeah, here you go. Give it here.
Novice Nun: Thank you for your devoted patronage! Er, I mean, ahem—May the Lord protect you, and watch over you wherever you go, heroes...
Got your guts, Nami! All boxed up nice for you!
Nami: You guys are really the best. Here, take this from me.
And an SP Up 100.
Nami: Please, leave the rest to us. I swear, by the Diet Building Medical Ward, we're not having a pandemic on my watch!
We believe in you!
...I'd ask if I could help, but we have been really busy this week.
Alright, who wants to bet whether Emille yells at us for being late?
Who would take that bet?
Took your sweet time, didn't you?
We had some urgent business at the Quest Office.
How urgent is 'urgent'?
We had to avert a mass suicide.
Oh, that Alan Smithee business, huh?
...Alright. That's fairly urgent. At any rate.
Luckily, it still appears to be within Shibuya! There's EM jamming throughout Shibuya, so we can't yet pinpoint its exact location, but there's no indication that it's moved...
Thank heaven for small mercies—it seems the rainfall from Roppongi kept it from being stolen. Whatever the cost, we must recover it before SECT11 can spirit it away.
You mind if I take point this time?
Well, yeah. I'm the only one who really has any idea what we're looking for, right?
First you've only heard about it in passing, now you're a downright expert, are you? Well, at any rate, you are the specialist in this team at locating valuables and/or lost people. No funny business, Kazuki.
I'll have it back in a jiffy, boss!
And please. Why would I, the beautiful Satsuki, get up to any funny business whatsoever?
'Funny business' is kind of your whole thing, isn't it?
That's true. You are quite funny, Sumie.
You guys should confirm SKY's safety first off. Nobody knows Shibuya better than they do—it'd be pretty wise to get their cooperation, and they're good in a fight, too.
Daigo's right hook has really improved, y'know!
We need allies we can count on or none at all—look at what happened with SECT11. As soon as you've recovered the weapon, you're to return with SKY to the Diet.
Your first priority should be the weapon. Joining forces with SKY should be a trivial task. ...At any rate, I trust you, Unit 13.
That's a step up.
Oh, quiet. I always trusted your ability to get the job done. Frankly, even if I didn't, succeeding in the battle at Roppongi would be proof enough to me of your curious ability to come through under pressure. Ideally, this mission won't even require any combat.
...I will admit to being a touch vexed, mind you. Ordinarily, I'm the person who's in the know on such subjects, and with the shoe now being on the other foot, I'm realizing it's rather bothersome to not know important details of such a situation.
You too, huh?
Yeah, that happened to me all the time last year. Takehaya, Aitelle, Natsume, Iod... People would talk at me, either assuming I knew what they were talking about or specifically not telling me out of some kind of kindness. They weren't always wrong to do so, but it got really frustrating. You, too, actually, but I think that was because you hated me so much you didn't feel like explaining why.
...I'll have to get that habit fixed, then. Apologies. How do you deal with it?
I dealt with it by trying to ignore it, basically. It worked for a while, and then I found out all of my anxieties regarding my sense of self that I'd ever had were actually true, and then on the way over to Tokyo Tower I came into the understanding that I was VFD, and then I was a disaster for a good few months from there... so I suppose it didn't really work very well after all.
I see. Well, I suppose I'll deal with it by telling you and yours to hurry up.
That sounds like you, yes.
Tch. You should learn how to get these humans of yours to be more candid, Chisa.
Gawd, it's a long story, okay?
Two more stops before we head out. We've rescued 31 people total now, and that's 30 or more!
Shibuki: It's a relief and a delight to see things getting closer to normal around here! To thank you for your efforts, we've toiled again to create you this Cultivation Set 2! Please, do avail yourself!
And two SP Up 500s.
And finally, a Makunouchi from Sharon.
(I wouldn't really say scared, just nervous. Last time we did this, it was easier. I didn't know as much, and... well, I mean, it wasn't part of saving the world, you know?)
(c'mon, are you scared that they're going to get mad at you? or freak out?)
(What? No. Chisa's a dragon. That's way crazier than anything I could say. I'm not scared of getting rejected or anything, it's just...)
(Everyone else is so amazing. I don't want to have to be protected, but being totally honest is scary even if it's with people I trust. I...)
I hear the voiiiiiice, in Greeeeenvaaaaale... I hear the voiiiiiice, in Greeeeenvaaaaale... Night and day, misty rain~ Hide and seek, hide and seek~ You and I, kids at play~ Hide and seek, hide and seek~
Is she okay?
She's fine, she starts singing that one when she's feeling introspective.
Next time, it's back to Shibuya.
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