Part 34: Saluting the Fallen

We're nearly to the Station Crossing, so it's likely we'll find it there.

It would've made its home there, wouldn't it... It's been bothering me for ages, but we'll finally take it down.

Oh, what's this one's name, anyway?

Sleepy Hollow.

...What? That's a bizarre coincidence. As in—?

weird flex but ok

That works.

Since Youka is not in my party, this Tyrannosaurus makes it to Turn 3.

Access approved! Koron?

Right. Do your thing.




You're alright, so get back up!


Will you just...

Die already?!

One more shot!



Stay the hell away from her!

Ugh, that was far too much trouble. I don't know how you manage these things, Youka.

It comes with the muscles, I guess!

Takehaya's already south of here—hurry, to the station!


This gungus actually Confused Satsuki on Turn 1, but she'd already used Ricochet and it kept going. Lol cool

This dino goes down a bit more quickly, since I wise up and play more aggressively.'s not PRETTY, but it's FASTER.

There's only one dragon left here. Soon, we're going to have freed Shibuya completely.

That'll be a nice feeling.


At the Shibuya Crossing, Takehaya was true to his word—he'd pinned down the Sleepy Hollow. Aitelle had arrived herself.

Back down yourself! This isn't about pride—it's a matter of right and wrong. I won't let this thing keep polluting our skies with its filthy little wings!


Okay, tough guy, time to back off.

...Hah. You alright to fight, yourself? You're not much better off than I am, kid.

Naturally. Aitelle, take him and let him back off. I'll burn this oversized bug to cinders.

It's only natural she'd summon another beast that plays with people's hearts... I won't forgive you or Hikasa.

You ready, Satsuki?


Yeah! Let's do it, Koron! Let's blast this jerk out of the sky!

Youka and I are behind you all the way!

And I'll handle the support, as always!

Kick some ass, girls!

And Richter!

Much obliged, Miss Fudoji!

...The reason I'm alive hasn't changed, no matter what Hikasa does.

My name is Koron Nagataka! Mark well my name, so that you may answer the Devil when he asks you who has sent you!

After our two false starts, it's time for our fifth Imperial. Now that we're into its actual fight, Sleepy Hollow's HP now more reflects its actual self—it actually has the exact same amount of HP as Trinitro, and isn't much sturdier, along with being weak to both Fire and Aerial. As you've likely gathered, Sleepy Hollow is our ailment specialist boss—being able to inflict Sleep, a 38-damage Poison, and the unique Chaos, which is like Confusion except it guarantees you'll attack an ally, it's much more based around disruption to defeat you than direct damage.

Hm. Now if only we had a party member who was good at dealing with status ailments...?

I'm gonna set up!

You do that!

I saw Koron rear back, and then, with a cackle...

You're not going anywhere!

...she burst a few of the blood vessels in the Sleepy Hollow's wings, preventing it from taking off.


Oh god what am I going to do?! I-You need to look out! THERE'S AN ENORMOUS BUG ON YOU!

Oh, never mind.

the wonders of garbage collection


I love Refresh Waltz!

Alright, Satsuki, I've magnified the force of your bullets!

Ah... yes. The moment speaks to me. I can see... glowing weak points.


In response to that, the Sleepy Hollow reared up...

...and smacked Satsuki with its tail.


Don't worry, Satsuki! I'll—




you ready?

As I'll ever be! Let's rock!

Let's see... carry the two...

This should keep us fine until it tries for another flyover. You two still on the ready?

Yes ma'am, Vice-Captain!

You know, I actually like the sound of that.

Satsuki, it's—hrgk—


great shot! nice!

Did you know that Bush Trap automatically counts as a critical hit? It does. You know, just a cute little fact.


Hey, quit shooting Richter!

great teamwork! excellent.

An EX use applies to any actions done that turn, so this will remain an EX'd Ricochet for its duration.

EX continuing to apply during react turns feels busted to me, but I guess react turns are also non-trivial to get.

Nice shooting!

Hey, thanks! Anything to add, Richter?

What's a good one-liner? Ah, I've got one.

I know bugs like the back of my hand!

Not bad. Here you are.

Ah, thanks!


You know, that's not too different from normal.

I con—hrgk—cur!

Biokinetic feedback es—established—hrgk—

bullet to the face also established

Ugh, I hate being mentally debilitated.


Let's see how you like it!

Hehehehahahahaha! You've flown too close to the sun, Icarus!

It's cathartic to see disable-heavy bosses get slapped with tons of disables in retaliation.

I'm helping!

As if the bleeding from Koron's micro-bursts wasn't bad enough, Richter gave the Sleepy Hollow a taste of its own medicine.

Ah, sweet catharsis.

head shot. great. good.

alright back in just in case

Garbage disposal re-upped.



It missed! Excellent shot to the eyes, Satsuki!

thank you, thank you

Quit congratulating each other! It's readying for a flyover! Richter, magnify Satsuki's bullets!





That's fine by me.

Witness me, beast from beyond the stars! Witness the power of the one of ten suns that Hou Yi did not fell!


Koron's upgraded fire spell, Ifritbane. It does more damage.

I hardly had time to witness Sleepy Hollow's end amidst the firestorm Koron summoned. It was there one moment, and then... had burnt to ashes in the wind.

And that's the end of that.

Geez, you didn't even need us, huh.

Hey, that's a good thing, right?

You did a great job, Satsuki. C'mere.

And then I was treated to the sight of Satsuki being pat on the head by Koron.

ohhhh yisssss. this is it this is what i'm here for oh yeah. oh yeah baby.

I still have mixed feelings about this one.

Just think of it as defending the reputation of bugs everywhere.

Oh, that's a good way to think of it!

And at long last...

We'd finally cleared Shibuya of the Dragons.

You defeated the Imperial Dragon "Sleepy Hollow!"
"Meeting Room" slated for repairs!
"Residential E" slated for repairs!
"Industrial Area" slated for repairs!
"SKY Hangout" slated for repairs!

The petals fell from the sky, finally clearing off of the great trees and leaving Shibuya properly habitable again. The sun shone through the clouds, as if to tell us that we'd done a good job—or perhaps chiding Koron a little for invoking it so haughtily.

...Heh. Job well done. You're all pretty damn tough, huh.


Neko and Daigo, having apparently recovered enough to do so, arrived in the Crossing as well.


...! You did it?

We all did it. Together.

But Satsuki and I did most of the actual killing, yes.


We're alive, at least.

So?! The neighborhood and its people are screwed! If the Dragons attack again, we're toast!

What're we gonna do, run away again? Where're we gonna run if we do?

You could come to City Hall with us. We'd be glad to have you.

Yeah, and it would give us something to do with that last floor, right?

Figured you'd say that, but that isn't gonna happen.

That got Takehaya to sputter.

I'm—I'm not being stubborn. If I was being stubborn, I wouldn't have fought with them.

Oh, come on, Take. There's a kid on the line here, you know. I can hear her sniffling a little.


Please? Come on, come stay with us. Maybe because I'm Murakumo, I don't have the right to ask you that, but... I don't want you to suffer out there.

...Geez. There's too many of you nice kids there. Better for you not to fall into the wrong crowd.

You're not the wrong crowd!

I'm... I'm just like you. My body's on the fritz, too... I get fatigued more and more often. I'm not sure I'll live through my teens!


So if I want a big family... if I want you guys to be part of that family, too, are you saying you're just going to leave me?!

...Shit. Saying it like that, you're going to have people feeling sorry for us. Eh?

Did the girl sway you or not? Don't look at me like I'm meant to help you here.

I was just curious. Is that how you felt about it, too?

What, about Jeanne? I wasn't even the one who picked her. Chisa did that.

It's true, I did. Although, I...

I feel like more and more I've been left out of the loop on so many things?

But it's fine. I'll live with that. I think... I think it's important for us to come together in times like this, no matter who we are. You have your family, and I have mine, but there's no reason we can't coexist.

That's quite a turnaround from yesterday.

I've been trying my best to do some thinking about myself, and what all this means for me. I still don't understand, but...

Well... you know. You heard Jeanne.

...Sure. Here, I'll give it to you as bluntly as I can.

And like that, it felt like some colossal weight was lifted off my shoulders.

Finally, I can do this without having to run out to Shibuya every time I need to check on you kids.

Hey, nobody asked you to do that!

But they like it when I do. So do you.

I-I do not!

Shut up, Neko.

...Hey... Koron?

Later, Satsuki.

There were a few sniffles coming from the intercom, it's true.

Finally, after all this time, the fight with SKY had well and truly ended. The people of Tokyo no longer needed to be divided.

...if only that had been the last thing that happened that day.


Transmission: She's killing us with her bare hands! HQ, please copy! We need backup—! She's a monster! A goddamned monster!

...It's a pity, but I suppose this is how it ends.

We aren't strong enough. I'm sorry, Mr. President.

No, you've done enough. Even if all you'd done was allow Congress time to gather here safely, it'd have been enough.

You're too kind.

However... there really isn't anything else you can do? Were you able to contact anyone at all?

I'm sorry, Mr. President, but even I can't do anything more than this.

A protector of the planet, huh. Hah. When you say it out loud like that, it sounds so preposterous. ...What are we supposed to do against such a calamity? All we can do is pray for salvation...

Yours especially, Mr. President.

Thank you, Emille, but I don't believe I'll be able to see this through to the end with you. That's all I regret.

Thank you, but that will be unnecessary. Our troops are already routed—there's nothing I can do to help.

Secretary David: B-but!

You take my spot, David. You're still young.

Secretary David: Mr. President, if you don't go to the bunker now, you won't survive—

David, I don't want to see that new bride of yours crying. Like it or not, this is how I'll go out, so go!

Secretary David: I'll... I'll remember this, sir!

...By your leave, then, Mr. President.

Right. Be well, Emille.

Be well, Mr. President.

(Entrusting the safety of this planet to that thing...)

...Pfft...hahahahaha! Is this a dream? No, no, it's far too apropos to be a dream...

...Hello? It's me.

I'd prefer to be dying with her... but this is also nice, I suppose.

Transmission: What was that, sir?

Just talking to myself.



More of you were alive than I was expecting. That's good, at least.

...You've done a lot of looking after us, Fudoji. The rest of you, too. From now on, hopefully we can repay the favor—

All of a sudden, a quake rent the ground, and the sound of a distant explosion shook through my ears.



What the hell was that?!

Did that underground Imperial just wake up?

What the hell is she playing at?!

Damn it. Come on, we've gotta hurry back.


When we returned, only Major Dojima was there to greet us.

I'm glad you're okay, Rin. How're things?

Yeah, sorry I'm the only one left to greet you. The twins ran out of strength—they finished giving orders, then collapsed. They're in the Clinic now. We also got those refugee kids you got sent in from SKY. Lots of us have been freaked out about it, but they've been pretty quiet. What happened out there?

We killed an Imperial, as you're likely aware, and we managed to convince their leader to take his head out of his ass properly. That's the ponce with the scarf and the hair, for the record.

Ah, makes sense.

Am... I a ponce with a scarf and hair?

What? No. You work it. He doesn't.

Looks like Jeanne didn't get you the news, huh?

Oh, no!

Mr. Ayafumi?! Oh, no! Has the worst come to pass? Am I actually in charge of Murakumo operations now?!

Oh thank goodness I couldn't handle that right now

Yeah, well, a lot of people are still MIA. ...We've put Natsume and Aoi on the list, too. Everyone's in a state of shock—don't want to make it even worse.


But... I don't know where we go from here.

Makita was the only person left with any energy, it seemed. He booked it onto the scene.

Private Makita: Commander!!

What is it?

Private Makita: Just now, we got the report...


...You're okay.

Yeah. Sorry to have worried you.

I just... I don't know. I'm... I'm scared. I was scared. You...

I was scaring you.


To be honest, I can kind of hardly remember before I left. But, whatever happened... I got snapped out of it. I'm okay.

You're sure?

I'm sure.

Okay. I...

I don't wanna be alone. I don't want to lose you, too. And that... that includes your heart too, okay?

...My heart?

You're... you're not a soldier, Chisa. Or a killer. Or a perfect person. You're just you. And I want you to stay that way. Even if you change, as long as I can still see that bit of 'you' in you, it's fine... but I don't want that to die. And it looked like it might.

...Mio. I...


I just don't want to be the only one who's sad about all this.


That night, we held each other close, and our tears stained each other's shoulders. Out of fear, and... Mourning, I suppose. Mourning those who had died, but... also mourning a life that never was.


After all, I have destroyed my homeworld. I am the end of human history! Ahahahaha, my existence has reached its zenith! No more am I bound to that rigid husk, that wretched things keeping me trapped in that most pitiable form of an ordinary person. How magnificently I have overcome my prior powerlessness! How magnificent I am now, as a god, the true apex of human history! Now, my existence lies in ruling the universe, ruling all of space, with my Dragon kith and kin!

What the hell? What on earth—oh, it's you, is it? Come to stop me? I'd like to see you try!

Next time...


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