Part 47: One Who Spins Samsara

I supported Koron in my arms, as the two of us slowly staggered behind the front line and Mio. The final battle was just ahead, and it was all I could do not to break down into tears. I knew, deep in the pit of my heart, just how powerful Niara was. And Richter, Satsuki, and Youka—Koron's power was born from the Earth responding to my existence, and I was a True Dragon, destined to do battle. But they... they were just humans. Perhaps the three most powerful 'just humans' in the world, but nevertheless...

Hey, gang. Are you relaxed? I'm relaxed. Hey, wanna go fight the final boss? I'm into that idea.

Rather than simply await your world's ruin, you shall be consumed with honor. Power that hunted the Imperial Dragons, power deemed worthy to stand alongside VFD... You shall make a—

Quit calling her that. That's not her name.

Oh? And these labels your little world forced upon her are any more valid, then?

We can figure out who she needs to be later, but you don't get a say in it, you big jerk! All you wanna do is eat her! And also us! That part's bad too!

Your belief in these words of yours is wonderfully amusing.

That Dragoness believed her power to be absolute, yet she was overcome by you. To the end, she understood not the meaning of true power.

I'm real sick of assholes blathering on about 'power'.

Right? I... I can't help but think about the matter of... of agency—!

C'mon, take it easy.

People don't want 'power' without 'agency', is... is what I'm saying. In this sense, 'power' is the ability to exert change on your surroundings, but without agency, the freedom to choose how to exert that power—

Have you ever... heard of Stanislav Petrov, o great god of dragons?

Ahah! Humor me, o impudent one. I find you amusing.

Mio. Water. This is going to be a long one.


Ahh, thank you. Okay. So, in order to explain Stanislav Petrov, I need to explain the geopolitical situation that led to the Cold War between America and Russia. I'm sure that you, in your omnipresence, are aware of the second World War that occurred in our 1940s, eight decades ago now? Why, our own nation of Japan suffered the only two wartime detonations of atomic bombs and lost a great chunk of its spiritual identity in needing to surrender, but that's beside the point.

The point is, the world situation left the United States and the Soviet Union as the two strongest powers in the world, and an incredible degree of weaponry had been developed at the turn of the war. The two nations were not very friendly with each other—the Americans, a capitalist, explosive, and brash nation, did not enjoy the communist ideals of the Soviet Union, and their leader, Josef Stalin, was himself rather an unpleasant man to not only live under, but fight against. However, due to the ability of these weapons to cause unparalleled destruction, the situation entered into a 'cold war'—a war fought entirely through the realms of espionage, information, and, importantly, an arms race.

Oh, fascinating. Please continue.

In several fields—particularly, in the later years, the race into space travel—the Americans and the Soviets battled against each other to be the first into given industries, so as to avoid the other obtaining some manner of dominance. This included developing larger and larger weapons—the stockpile of weapons with the capability to render our planet uninhabitable increased to an astronomical number. The two nations entered into a state of what's known as 'mutually assured destruction'—essentially, if one nation attacked, the other had enough power to counterattack, leading to a full-on nuclear war that would likely obliterate mankind. Russia, in fact, even had a system called the 'Dead Hand'—a system by which their weapons could be fired even if the entire nation was obliterated. But that's for another time.

Stanislav Petrov was a man in the Russian army. He had a simple job—he was the man in charge of the Oko missile detection system in an underground base in the Russian wastes. Here is what happened to him—when the relationships between the countries were at an all-time low, in 1983 after the Soviet military shot down a Korean airplane, Petrov found that the system displayed a missile being launched towards Russia by the United States. Four more appeared shortly afterwards. Petrov was the man in charge of whether to counterattack—it was entirely up to him, whether to fire the missiles to destroy the United States in retaliation.

And what occurred to this man Petrov?

Petrov's judgment told him that an initial strike by the United States would be far larger than simply five missiles, and determined that the report was a false alarm, making no call. He was, as it turned out, correct—it was an error caused by an odd circumstance of sunlight.

Fascinating. And the purpose of this diatribe is...?

It's likely that if Petrov had made the call to counterattack, the world as we know it would have been obliterated before any of you and your ilk had gotten here. Petrov's decision was incredibly powerful—he and he alone possessed the power to determine whether humanity survived, and yet he had no agency, no freedom as to whether to exert that power on his surroundings.

You claim to possess 'power', but what you really mean is that you possess power with agency. Hikasa, too, desired agency, even if she understood it through the lens of power. So, please—words do mean things, o great god of Dragons. Speak correctly.

That was a really interesting story, babe, but I kind of don't get your point.

Look, I'm being carried up this spiral, I hardly have to concentrate on walking. What else am I going to do?

Well, I believe we've reached the peak of—

Oh, dear.

He'd taken a loss of his wing in his previous attack on Earth, but the glittering, golden form of the Wild God was as garish as ever. Even from a distance away, the power he commanded was obvious—the force he exerted over his domain was strong enough that it was liable anyone but us would've been sent to their knees.

Welcome to the throne beyond. I—

Oh, fuck off! You don't even have the decency to have four legs?!

Yeah, what type is this guy?

He's a wyvern.

...Excuse me?

You have two legs and two wings. You are a wyvern. Dragons are quadripedal and possess wings. The Zero-Blue was a dragon. You are not a dragon.



...VFD. With this last remark, I have grown tired of your flock of chattel.

Koron, must you make the god angrier?! I'm already quaking in my boots here!

(It's okay. It's okay. I can do this. I can do this.)

Wow, man. Do you dress yourself in the morning? No offense, but you're definitely the ugly one in the family.

Seriously. What, is this like a dragon muscle car, outfitting yourself in gemstones to flaunt how rich you are?

It seems some can't wait to die.

Please, guys... Run. Please. I can't bear to watch you guys die—

Nobody's gonna die but this guy! This loser's already failed to conquer Earth once, right?

Come on, guys! Let's show him what happens to people who mess with our planet!

Right! I concur! I swear to you I will not fall here!

I'm scared, but I'm gonna do this!

I said once that I'd kill God if I met him.

Glad I get the chance to make good on that, bastard!

Then offer yourselves for my delight! Today, I shall conquer the peak of evolution!

The world bent and twisted under his screech,

and my friends entered into battle against the final opponent of the war.

Returning from 7th Dragon on the DS to reprise his role as final boss, it's series veteran Niara! (In the official localizations, he's Nyala, fun fact.) He might be silly-looking, but he's packing a whopping 30,000 HP, offensive stats nothing else in the game can sniff, and a nasty bag of tricks.

Standard procedure, everyone!

A blast of light emanated from one of Niara's gemstones, and struck Youka in the chest.

What was that supposed to be? An attack? Try harder.

Very well.

Try harder, shithead.

It seems this one is made of sturdier stuff than I expected.

Satsuki, behind me!


Cheer activated! Nice shot, Youka!

Watch out!

It appears I'll have to expend a modicum of effort.


Black Blaze gives a 21-tick Burn that hits you with a 10% offense debuff and 5% defense debuff. It is Fire, but it's his only elemental skill. It's a 50% infliction chance, so fairly common—a dangerous thing to have on.

Luckily, I was already preparing for that!

Alright, let's get you guys up! Work with me, 119!

Huh, not bad, kiddo.

And for the burn!

I see... so you mean to set a trap for me, do you?

I tire of this little trifle of yours.

From Niara's mouth, a beam of light erupted, coarsing over them and searing their flesh.

Oh god oh god oh god

Whoa! I'll be there in just a sec!

Argh, damn!

Attempting to rout into my being?! Your arrogance is unparalleled, boy!

FYI, Rush Shot's maxed out now—it deals its full 8 hits. I don't get lucky enough for a React, though.

It is time for you to perish, pugilist!

Get... bent!

Youka's body began to slow from the onslaught of malfunctions the light of his gems brought forth.

Nihil Gaze is near-guaranteed to inflict Freeze (20% Speed penalty, 21 damage ticks) and Poison (28 damage ticks), as well as having a 75% chance for Downer and a 50% chance for a 5-turn Sleep. It is nasty.

She kept swinging back, but...


Aa, aaagh!

Satsuki fell.

Youka, wait—!

Damn it...!

Only Richter and Mio were left standing.

With only yourself left, surely you realize the hopelessness of this endeavor.

...No. You're wrong. I've—

I've been hit by any number of awful, awful things across this war! I can stand up to you!


I... won't die! That's a promise!

Nanomachine 119, Ignite Mode, activate!

...and, amazingly, both Youka and Satsuki leapt up from the ground, in perfect fighting condition.

Nice job, Richter!

I haven't been a punching bag to not build up some tolerance!

Alright, let's get the drop on this guy!

...What is the meaning of this.

You want the meaning of this?


To send me flying like this... perhaps I have underestimated—

oh my god i just did that to a guy who eats planets

Nice shot.

...Mrr... mortals! What have you done to me?!

Try being less dumb next time, idiot.

C'mon, big guy, where's your best shot?

Curse youuu! I shall bathe in all the blood your tiny bodies have to offer!

Don't let him knock you down! He'll gain a surge from it!

Niara's signature ability, Killer React, gives him an extra pair of turns if he takes down a party member. This is very bad—it pretty much means that anyone going down is liable to turn pear-shaped real fast.

Niara expelled the toxins from Satsuki's bombs through his gem, and roared with a renewed vigor.

I shall rend you limb from limb, thoroughly enough that your ancestors in the primordial soup writhe in agony!

Try me!

Mio! Load me up with another grenade!

Uhh, don't know if we have one?!

Then hand me a dragon egg or something, make it quick!

Gotta try harder!

True Dragon Fang is a random 3-hit, and I got real lucky here—it has a 65% chance to inflict a 27-33 damage Bleed, which managed to miss on all three.

You! Pugilist! To sully me with the fists of a dirty beast such as yourself—I tire of you! Trouble me no longer! Go to join the carcasses of that wretched nest of yours!


Youka lurched as though she were being weighed down.

...right. I guess that the one in Yotsuya would've been your kid, huh?

You wanna say that shit again?!

Now I'm gonna rip you apart even harder! Bad idea, asshole!

Youka tore a small gemstone from Niara's hide, causing him to roar in pain.

Sorry if I'm being a bother here.

This crop's damnable tenacity vexes me once more!


Satsuki then managed to land a bullet into the open wound.

Impossible! You're a mere human! Why can I not slay you?!

You wanna know why?

I couldn't believe my eyes. I knew, I knew for a fact, how powerful Niara was. And yet... Youka was shrugging off his attacks like it was nothing.

It's cause you pissed me off! And blowhards who piss me off don't get off without at least a few broken bones!

Alright, thanks, should be fully loaded.

Hurry up and waste this guy!

On it!


Damn you! Begone with this trickery!

Isn't Ragweed Ammo such a normal skill? What a normal skill for normal people. Normal.

I've never been more satisfied to say: Connection established! Prepare yourself, True Dragon!

Gargh! What is this?!

This—this can't be! To manipulate me?! I, a True Dragon?!


Argh! What IS THIS?!

I should mention at this point that Niara has one final trick—at low HP, he'll start healing himself somewhat and has a two-turn buildup to True Dragon Meteor 2020, an attack that deals basically triple the damage of True Dragon Breath. It does a lot of damage... but, I mean, Richter's here. I could just use gg.bat to survive it. The point here?

Hoo... hoo...

(you can do this, sumie. it doesn't matter where you started from!)

Get dead!

Sumie unloaded every bullet left in her guns into Niara...


...and I knew once and for all that there was nothing 'just' about the humans I loved.

Niara lay, broken and ravaged, more and more of himself having been torn to pieces by the force of Youka's blows and Sumie's bullets.

Why... by this planet, again...! Just as before... what is this unaccountable power?!

Then, from elsewhere entirely, voices—

But the little we did do has borne impressive results.

You see, Emille? They didn't need her power to triumph.

It's true. They're mighty indeed, aren't they. ...Ahahahahaha!

Graaaaaaaaahhhhh! Be silent! The power of a god alone shall rule this planet! Livestock shall not surpass a god!

You're the egotistic prick who let us up here!



He had enough strength left to launch a blast at the three of them that knocked them on their feet.

You guys okay?!

Dammit, just give me a sec...

Come on, then, shithead, give it your best shot! I'm ready!

...But it wasn't aimed at them. It wasn't even aimed at me. It was aimed...

Oh crap, oh crap! Mio.

Mio! No!

If this one perishes, VFD will be mine! I will surpass this absurd race by becoming the ultimate being! Begone!

I leapt toward Mio to shield her with my body, but just that moment, from above—


My grip on Mio loosened, as I turned to see a true warrior of mankind carve out his role in this final battle.

Can't surpass a god?! Who are you to decide that?!

Don't you dare underestimate humanity!

I'm alive? I'm alive. Okay.

Another hybrid?! So you still had one remaining...!

If only I'd been stronger to begin with... but you're a damn fool, you know that?

Fudoji! I'm counting on you to take care of my kids! Show this asshole what humans can really do!

Stalling for time with impassioned pleas?! What a contemptible little trick!


With one last declaration to the woman he loved...

...Takehaya's body gave out, and he fell from the sky, all the way down to Earth.

...Dammit. What am I supposed to tell your kids, huh?

He really was my opposite. The hero with fake power, but a real heart, burnt out in pursuit of his heart to save the life of the thing he was made in imitation of. In that moment, it was clear to me—no matter his flaws, Takehaya was endlessly stronger than me.

Mama Fudoji...

...I know he was gonna die anyway. It wouldn't have been any more than a few more minutes with the kids who loved him, and the woman he loved.

In his broken state, Niara stood once more, roaring again.

...But I don't care.

You're gonna die. Right now. It's gonna hurt.

I'll leave nothing but corpses in my wake! You no longer merit my consumption! Better to leave you as space debris!

I disagree. It'll be your corpse we leave in our wake.

Get the hell out of our city.

Cocona! Ryoma! Watch me! And when you see this guy, give him another round for me!

I will end you! No more shall your damned race vex me!

Sorry, but I disagree!


You're child's play, True Dragon!

Youka batted away Niara's jaws like they were nothing.

Tear him up!

Honestly? You're not even the toughest guy I've faced in the ring.

How dare you?!



On August 30th, in the year 2020, in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Youka Fudoji, a forty-five-year-old woman from the town of Yotsuya, defeated a god in direct combat. And thus ended the first Dragon War.


You... surely you were just... seeds we planted to devour, and yet... you stand in opposition to us...?!

Trifling, headstrong, foolish ephemera, attacking the movers of all creation...!

You said that your little brother died from the people from her home planet, right?

Go ahead and join him.

Progenitor, was this your aim as well? For VFD to be born not amidst the dragons, but among this damnable race...?

Whatever your brethren designed, we will protect our planet and our friends, no matter whether she is human or dragon.

This willpower, that which roused those such as you to murder me...?

...I don't know. I don't know how they do it. I still don't really understand. But... a man who's now dead told me that the 'will to fight' was what separated man and beast. Not just a will to continue existing, but a will to leave a trace of your existence, even in the face of a calamity like the dragons. The moment you underestimate humans and their will to fight... They'll crush you.

A 'will to fight'... what flavor it must have!

In one last explosion, Niara vanished from this world. The war... was over.

Yeah... that's right. Eat shit.

And don't... come back.



Ugh, I'm up, I'm up. Can't a girl sleep for once?

Youka! Youka, you're awake!

Argh, hey, c'mon, don't be so handsy, I'm tired. Just had a big fight.

Sorry, it's just... after the fight...

How'd I get back to City Hall?

SKY and the SDF found you lying there, and helped Mio and Chisa get everyone back. Kirino joked, 'dang, I thought for sure it'd be Chisa who was unconscious this time.'



I haven't seen her. Neither has Miroku. But... we were the ones who found that file, and... Mio told us about what happened to her after she got there.

...Yeah. All that True Dragon business. I don't even know where to start.

But... we have time now, at least.

What, they all up and vanish when I killed the bastard?

Well... yes.

Welp, time for me to get up, then.

You're heading out?


Satsuki! Richter!

Youka! You're awake!


I'm fine, I'm fine!

Might have to take it easy for a bit, though. My back's killing me.

Alright, kids, I better not find any magic marker on my face.

Ino: Huhwha? Magic marker? Haha, we'd never do anything like that, right, Guchi?

Guchi: Yeah, yeah! As if! C'mon! You're a big shot! Hahaha.

Nami: You having a few more scars is okay, though, if it got you to today. But... be careful, ma'am. I don't want to see you have more scar than skin.

It's fiiine, c'mon, we can walk.

Yuki: We aren't allowing visitors for now, but... well, everyone wanted to see you, Youka, since they say you killed the final dragon. The lobby was jam-packed. Go on, show everyone your smiling face!

Everyone? ...Sure, everyone. Let's go see everyone. Let's see how many of these NPCs you remember! Starting with 2F, the Clinic.

Frail Nurse: ...! Cough, cough, cough! AHEM! Sorry! I'm so happy, I feel light-headed!

Doctor: Okay, I'm satisfied. We've done all that can be done. The only thing left now is to pray. ...Can God help us, you're asking? Hahaha. Good question.

Private Musashi: Just now, when you all came home, all of us, nurses and SKY kids, cheered as one! A lot's happened, but all of us, celebrating together with the children, it was more wonderful than I can express with words.

...That kid. I'm gonna have to give him a few lessons on respecting our autonomy.

Private Musashi: Please do! They could use a mother who's actually a woman!

Private Musashi: ...Er, Daigo's not—?

nah i'm p. sure he's a dude


3F, the SDF Barracks.

Supply Corps: It was hard work getting all this, but I figured it was only right to give you guys a sweet reward. Yeah, that warehouse Aoi wanted me to check out finally panned out! That's where I gathered all this. So, c'mon! Drink up!


Private Sakon: ...Huh? ...The tip of the clasp here snapped off. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

Private Kamachi: Hahaha, that Sasuga. He got smashed already! Sounds about right for a day like this, though. You guys gonna go introduce yourselves soon? Until the heroes of the day show up, we can't break out the really good stuff!

Private Sasuga: Whoaaaa! Aoi, I thought I heard your voice! I also thought Unit 13 finally did it! And, and then, and then...!

Private Sasuga: I'll never give up! If there's no body... I can't ever give up! (*sniffle*) Waaaaaaaaahhhhh!!!

Private Saneda: Unit 13! Are you still in one piece?! Yes, the fifth platoon is still on duty. Senba was throwing a fit because he wanted to be at the party, but Kagawa and Yoshino took it well. Now, we can focus on reconstruction, with everyone devoted to searching an area. And, of course, to rescuing people! When people hear that Unit 13's done, they'll be happy for sure! Broadcasting on all frequencies!

Hey, to be fair to us, it was just Mama Fudoji who was asleep.

I would've liked to sleep.

C'mon, get over here, we've got a mountain of things to get through! Pull up some chairs, get yourself a drink!

Private Makita: ...Yeah, I don't think it's a great idea for them to get drunk right now, Major.

Hey, idiot, I'm not drunk! You! Yeah, you, thirteen! What're you smirking at?

Glad to see you, too, Rin.

Geez. Seriously, though.

Private Makita: Good grief, our commander... Had to get drunk to try and accept help on paperwork. She's the same to the very end, huh? I mean... really, truly...! Ahahahahahaha!

Yeah. It's a relief to have her around.

Private Tonami: It's been an annus horribilis. Seemed like eventually we might run out of tears... But you did good. Real good. Mr. Kirino's waiting in the Meeting Room, so go there once you're done.

Wanna give a RIP to my boy JOHN. He is unfortunately dead of Mizuchi, but his spirit will live on.


4F, the Murakumo Dorm.

Nishiki: Welcome back! You're finally home, huh, Unit 13? This is... your home. The Murakumo dorm! If you ever want a tour of the floor from me, this might be your last chance?

Hard Worker: Phew. It's been a long fight... but a short one, too. At first I wondered if we could do anything, but... then we all came together. We definitely put in a lot of hard work! So... is it okay to rest a little, now?

Lisa: You made it back, huh? Yeah, I bet you were lonely in the sickroom. By the way, take a look at this! It's... a Unit 13 cocktail I put together! To go with the theme, it's got a Dragon claw floating in it—Hey! Hey, where are you going?!

Lively Bartender: Heeey, you made it back! So today is the victory party! This calls for the best bottles we've got!

Kihada: I was making a big deal about it, but it turns out that wasn't the grand finale after all. But we're heading into our big comeback, so I'll work twice as hard as everyone else! Just watch me, okay?

Mutsu: Still a lot of hassle waiting for us, but people who aren't grateful are the worst! And today's the big party, Unit 13! When you go to see Mr. Kirino, let me know first!

Hey, you two!

Hey, hey! I'm still coming down from an adrenaline high from being alive.

As am I.

Speaking of people who should be in the Clinic.

Come on now. Can't a girl celebrate her victory before she collapses into bed for a few days straight? I may not have fought that golden blowhard directly, but I feel worthy of some luxuriating.

Aww, c'mon. I can't argue with that.

Besides, I want to spend today with you.


I'm so glad we're all alive and okay! I was INCREDIBLY SCARED!

yeah same.

You did a great job out there, Mio.


C'mon. We're going to see everyone in City Hall. They're gonna wanna see you too.


Intense Worker: ...So that's how it went down? Knowing you guys, you did it right. She'll be seeing that kid and the rest of them in hell soon, then? Ah, that's just perfect!


5F, the Murakumo HQ.

Himuro: The previous incarnation of Murakumo really hit a wall after this one hijacking mission. All I could think at the time was... "This shitty mission's over. From now on, I'm only gonna sleep!" After all this, I can hardly imagine what I was even thinking back then.

Himuro: Hey, you... It's Nagataka, right? I'm remembering right?

Yes, you are.

Himuro: From one psychic to another... I hope we can keep working together for a while to come.

Yeah, sure. You too.

Hamachi: Banzai! We finally beat Hamachi.

Oh my god.


You gotta stop letting him get you hook, line, and sinker.

Are you gonna tell him he coelacan't?


...Oh god.

Oh, dear! Is it contagious?!

But I wanna remember some things. Putting my faith in you, Gatou's unit, I... I wanna remember that spirit. That can't all be data.

You won't, kid. And we'll remember you, too. We're not leaving you, remember? You and Jeanne are family.

...Geez. I'm gonna cry if you keep that up.

From now on... I want to be as close to you all as possible. But since my life is only going to last a few more years at this rate, I can't do that forever. While you were sleeping, Youka, I thought a lot about what to do with myself, so I decided—oh, well, we can talk about this later, okay? I'll be waiting with Kirino and the others.

Whatever you both decide, we'll support you.

Masaki: You guys are beyond S-class! SS-class, no, SSS-class, no, no, still not enough pizzazz. No amount of esses could've won this one. But you still did it!

Sengoku: This armband Director Masaki gave me was in recognition of my work. But I haven't had the heart to open the note. Lemme read it out... ahem. "To Lun, a Murakumo armband, a mark of rare talent." But my name isn't Lun. I found it one day in a likely ledger and thought it sounded nice. I'm a fake, and I've been using this armband out of my own selfishness, so... I'd like you to expel me. Farewell, Unit 13, and farewell, Director Masaki.

Frazzled Aide: Unit 13!! Thank you so goshdarn much for winning!! If things had gone on like this for even a month longer, I'm sure Murakumo woulda thrown me out by the scruff of my neck! Banzai, Unit 13, and banzai for me too! Looking forward to simpler times!

Kawakami: So, I found out about my brother. It seems he was in the vicinity of others confirmed to be abducted by Mizuchi. But he was always lackadaisical... he might've been out for a stroll.

...You know, I was a bit less thorough in talking to people in the endgame chapters, especially those you rescue in those dungeons, so I gotta be honest: I have no idea what the fuck is going on with Sengoku and Kawakami.


6F, the Laboratory.

Stuffy Scientist: Since we've reached a turning point, I think it's time to deep-clean the lab. If we had a banquet somewhere like this, all manner of bugs would likely emerge. People as valuable as you shouldn't be here. Don't you have a safe, clean private room, or at least passable barracks? Go, go!

Young Scientist: Ugh, I think I overdid it with the alcohol. Drinking's really not my strong suit. But it's great peace is finally here! I can take a break and do what I want. Oh, and do you think you could find time to chat with Mr. Kirino about my workload?

Taciturn Scientist: I'm... really happy. I'm sure my brother is happy, too.

Mad Scientist: It's going to be hard for me when we clear all this research equipment out. I mean, I won't get another chance like this! Astronomy, cosmology, and history combined! You're the ones who did it, though, Unit 13, thank you very, very much. You kept me alive so I could research it all!

Calm Scientist: Oh, hey, have you seen that little girl with the blonde hair? I wanted to let her toast the victory, too, so I got her a glass of warm milk, but...

Ah, see, that's your mistake right there. I'm sure Emille only drinks the finest cognac. Anything else would be beneath her.

Top Scientist: We've been waiting, Unit 13! Well, well, well, well. What's this? Could it be? A Mizuchi sample? Don't be stingy, give it to me! Eh, what's that? She's gone? She disappeared into fragments of light? No, you must be joking! Ms. President, I object! I can't allow this!!

But you're gonna help with the rebuilding, right?!

Otaku Scientist: O-oh yes, of course, rebuilding, yes, anything for you, dark queen Bathori-sensei! Oh, ah, how is Gracia-se—

Shibuki: But through your relentless hard work, you've spread hope everywhere. Dark caverns, dizzying heights, even the frozen and frigid seas... Wherever you've gone, you've found people, people who will never forget you. No matter what lies ahead.


7F, the Meeting Room.

I'm forty-five.

Prime Minister Inazuka: Well, yes, but the rest of you are twenty-somethings. Why, you only just turned twenty this month, yes, Ms. Nagataka?


Oh my god, it's only been a month?!

Prime Minister Inazuka: At any rate, it's time for us to stand together as a nation again, but—well, I'll cut the blathering. As a member of City Hall, I'll be singing your praises with everyone else.

Still, hell of a thing to happen during your first term, huh?

Prime Minister Inazuka: ...I certainly hope, at the very least, that most of you voted for me, or that would be awfully awkward, aha.

I'll be honest, sir, you've likely done as good of a job as anyone could given the circumstances. The 2017 election was a mess.

I wasn't in the country yet, but I do hear it was an unfortunate situation. One of the forerunning candidates died shortly before the election, yes?

Prime Minister Inazuka: If he hadn't, I have to have some doubt I might not have won. Were any of your unit proponents of Councilman Kozakura?

No. He was cringe.

Yeah, no, he was pretty cringe.

That was the UN Party representative, right? Ryuji Kozakura?

Yeah, that's the one.

Ugh. No thank you.

Prime Minister Inazuka: ...I'm glad the youth of today have such strong political opinions, I suppose!

I knew his son. And his granddaughter, for that matter. So, long story short, yeah, not a fan myself.

Prime Minister Inazuka: I will choose to take all of this as a vote of confidence.

MP Ariake: I want to go tell Tomoko about all this once things have settled down a bit. Neko probably won't want to come, though... no, I'm sure she will. Someday.

Entering the main meeting room will end the game, so we're skipping that for now.


1F, the Entrance.

At that point, this City Hall will serve as concrete evidence of our fight to survive. Overseeing the renovation of such a building has been my greatest achievement. So what's next? Shall I build you a monument, Unit 13?

I ain't seen Chisa-chan around! Taihen, taihen! We've got takusans of quests pouring in!! Minna-san's in a rebuilding mood! Did I scare her off?!

No, some... some stuff happened. I don't think it's that.

Well, please to let her know we're closed! My favorite hero-tachi get the day off! I'm not gonna make you work!

Okay. I will.

Was it that loud racket that woke you? Oh, I was making a new work helmet! Here it is, see! I'm hammering on a double layer of plating! WHAM!! WHAM!! But, while I've been making it... I think I've finally blown out my eardrums! It's probably best you don't need it~

There are concept art sketches of Reimi with her new helmet and they are painfully cute. I'll find some time to show some artbook stuff at some point.

When they brought you guys back in, you were already busted up... I thought you'd fought your hearts out and died fighting for all of us, and now you just come walking right back on out...! It's like... whoa!!! I'm really, like, thank you, cough, cough, ahaaaugh... My weapons were probably useful too, right?

nobody tell him

I'm fine, so go tend to the other two. They're getting noisy. But... thanks.

Sasaki: Do you guys wanna hear about status effects?!

nah i think we're good

Rumi: All the conversation tonight is gonna be about what badasses you lot are. You must have a ton of stories I don't know. Tonight you gotta tell me everything!

Scared Soldier: Nothing out of the ordinary here! So given that, permission to go and mingle at the party!

Watchful Soldier: We're increasing security! Come what may, we'll keep all drunks out of this area.

Alert Soldier: Lemme tell you something. Ever visited the world map with a postgame sa—

Shut up, idiot, that dungeon isn't canon to the narrative of this LP (we're still doing it tho)

Watch Soldier: Are you headed out again, Unit 13? Please... come back.


8F, Residential A.

Forlorn Girl: Ah... you woke up! That's good. When I heard you were still asleep, I started searching through my medicine. I found a bottle of something called Nano-Hope Extra Strength, but... it was already all gone. What a pity.

Crafty Woman: Booze? Juice? I have some dried roper tentacles, too! By all means, take as much as you want! You can even come back for seconds!

Old Softy: I have something here. All the seniors have sent Unit 13 some thank-you presents. Candy, crackers, Snackoos... and even some heating pads. It's not much, but please, accept it! It'll be in your room.

Mrs. Nagare: This is wonderful to see. Sleeping, these kids look like different people. ...What would my husband say right now? Probably something like, "Happiness is a sleeping baby". Thank you so much. I mean it. And thanks from him, as well.

Yuri: Hey, Murakumo people, did you beat all the Dragons yet? Mrs. Nagare says I still can't go outside, but I gotta! I have to look for Mom and Dad!

Kouta: M-Mrs. Nagare's husband wasn't there? But the Dragons are dead, his mission's over! Is he sleeping in the Clinic?

ABC Manager: While everyone is sleeping, I'll go gather goods from the Shibuya branch. No need to be stingy today. ...Of course, a tip would be nice. Just saying!

MANIC Manager: I had another great idea for you guys! Can you come work at my store? I know, I can't believe I thought of it either! With my awesome reputation? And your aura of danger? Isn't that a freaking awesome plan? The problem is, with your buzz right now, isn't every store gonna want that? So why work for me? More like, WHY NOT?! What, you wanna talk before signing? I asked first! And I have the skills! It's a total no-brainer who to choose! Hey, what's that? Talk is cheap, you say? You'll think about it? Okay, 'scool. But wouldn't it be cray-cray awesome? Well, I'll be waiting, lemme know!

All of that was totally unedited. Have I mentioned I transcribe this all by hand? I have a script, but it's in a pretty awkward format for copy-pasting, and I do a lot of incidental edits anyhow. Anyway, that was nine straight text boxes. Just thought you should know that.

Privy Man: Hey, I've been waiting for you guys! I can't tell you how refreshed I feel! Long story short... she told me I smelled like sour milk and made me wash! Now, I didn't think I'd wanna take a bath, but it was better than expected! Still, why was she meddling like that? Why'd she care so much? Could it be...?

Lost Woman: How are you? Did you notice? He doesn't smell anymore! Quite a lotta trouble to get him in a bath, and I didn't leave until the smell was gone! Even if the baths were all you'd done for us, Unit 13 would truly deserve our thanks!


9F, Residential B.

Exultant Believer: Over here or over there, we'll take it however it comes. I kinda wish I had some friends though. Jeez, how embarrassing. Forget I said that!

Thinking Believer: ...I finally understand. And I've come to terms with my feelings. I never thought I'd see this day. There's still time for me... things will change.

Fearful Believer: Everyone's smiling... I'm happy... too! I want everyone to know... how I feel!

Gamer Dude: Hey, hey! Is your adventure really over just yet? After you crush the final boss, there's usually the postgame content! Even the nominal final dungeon's enemies can't match up to the enemies there!!

Oh my god, yes, I'm going to do the postgame, geez!!

Salving Senior: Oh... are you hurt? I heard you were badly injured. Pff... ahaha! And you just walk in here nonchalantly, okay. You'd better not talk too much, or the gaping wounds might burst open, you know.

Hey, Asami.

Asami: Koron! You guys are amazing! You solved my problems, and everyone's problems!

How's Sachi? I've been pretty busy, sorry I haven't checked in.

Asami: It seems like she's gonna go talk to the SDF about her issues with the Founder. With... with her content with what's happened, we can face every day happily. I'm gonna head out with her in just a moment, but... you can't leave the party, okay, Koron? You're the guest of honor!

Come on now. Everyone here is.

Sachi: Oh... Koron. ...With the Founder booted out, I'd like to say something. I... I wanna make amends for what I've done, and accept whatever punishment I deserve. I need to apologize to Shiba, too... I want to take my licks right now, and live together happily from now on, so... hit me! Right now! In the face!

No. I'm wearing claws. I'd hurt you.

Sachi: Eh? Oh, I guess you are.

Not to mention I wouldn't even if I wasn't. I don't think I'm in the mood for that, and at any rate if I tried to throw a punch I think I might start coughing up blood.

So you and Asami just live happily together. If I really need you punched, I'll ask Youka to do it.

Do you want me to crush this poor kid's head?!

Quiet Lady: I found something even I could do right, so I really put in a lot of effort. 24 colors in all, a mountain of mufflers... I-I know only you wear scarves, sir, but—!

I really appreciate it. Thank you very much.

Quiet Lady: Oh, thank goodness! I did it!

Calm Girl: ...Good morning. Glad to see you back...

Mrs. Nagataka: It sure is! Now, I know you mentioned that trip to Tottori, sweetie, but surely you can wait a day or two to just relax at home once we've rebuilt it?

I'll have all the time in the world for that soon, I suppose.

Mrs. Nagataka: We'll need lots of materials for that. Oh, so let's say, for a "City Hall Memorial" commemorative dinner plate... 50,000 Az, does that seem like a fair price tag?



10F, Residential C.

Cub Reporter: Since you wouldn't give me permission, I had to tail you in there surreptitiously! The whole time, I was feeling pumped. I knew it would make a great article! But halfway through, the SDF caught me, so I couldn't see to the end. Nuts to that!

Mr. Nagataka: Hey hey hey, pumpkin! Has someone come for her reward?

No, Dad. I've just come around because we're going to see everyone.

Mr. Nagataka: Aww, no need to play coy! Which'll it be? Hugs? Kisses? Oh, I'm on tenterhooks! Tenderhooks!

Those are my job now actually

Mr. Nagataka: ...Oh hoooo? Is that right?

Later! Bye!

Breadline Aide: We're going to be busy today, huh! I'll finally get to show off my maid skills. Sadly, the Dragon attacks have almost entirely depleted Japan's stock of maids. As the last one standing, I've got to pass on my service skills to the next generation!

Zealous Cook: Our Murakumo VIPs woke up, did they? Whew, I've been real busy with this dish! I'm going to have it ready right away! Just chat a bit longer and give me a sec! It'll be the best you've ever had! Promise!

Surveyor: Before I leave and get started surveying, I'm glad I get to congratulate you guys! From now on, I'm mapping the new Tokyo. And then, Japan. And then... the world. There just might be a few places left where monsters are still lurking, though, so be sure to be ready to level them for me!

Big Bully: You did it! You guys're amazing! Just this once, I gotta admit, you're cool. I guess you've got lots more pals who want your time today. But you did good, okay?

Coach Fujita: One way or another, we've eked out a win. No, don't get me wrong, you've done well! Unit 13, naturally, you're the star players. But I tried every day in my own way, too. It's no small job to be a coach. But, please! You can just call me Fujita.

MP's Son: They stopped me out at the entrance before I could go find grandma. But she's still got to be out there alive somewhere! When I grow up, I'll be brave and go! Because... I'm a good boy! I'll find her... for sure.

Celeb Starlet: Ooh, it's already happened? Just like I thought, you're pros. ...You're pretty interesting, you know. Wanna be my personal Murakumo posse? No worries, wealth and high society, and a short commute if you want it. And the salary will be good too. I'll be waiting to hear from you, alright? Even you, Ms. Zombie!

Religious Woman: It's too late for salvation. All is ruin...

Arrogant Girl: Looks like you beat all the boss Dragons! You guys are awesome! Maybe now that's done, my mommies and my brother will come back soon, hehe!

Plump Man: Where will my wife's grave be? A place we visited often, called Shonan. Ah, you say you can't be sure how the areas outside of Tokyo are doing? Hoho. I'm not worried so long as you're here. Another reason for you to stay alive.


11F, Residential D.

Chatty Boy: Hey! You! Today's words to live by from all of City Hall! "Congratulations, our heroes!"

Melancholy Girl: The Dragons are gone now. So I really got my revenge? ...Now my mommy and daddy will feel okay. I better get back to my new mom and dad! All four of them are probably worried about me.

Soldier's Son: I may not be part of Murakumo, but... just like my father, I'm going to be an excellent soldier one day. That way, I can protect that girl...

Female Teacher: If all we had was our knowledge and technology, we would have lost. Previously, we haven't spent much time in school on those other important qualities. From now on, I'll teach them about heart!

Collected Child: This time, it's my generation's turn to fight! Someday, I want to return Tokyo to the way I remember it being!

im going to kill you kvasir

Cheerful Athlete: Alllllright! Let's run a Freedom Marathon to celebrate! No cars, no trains, no Dragons, either. We can run wherever we want! ...Huh? Yeah, of course there's still work to be done, so let's finish in record time!

Missish Masseuse: Unit 13, I'm all set up now to give you the sixty minutes of bliss special! Of course, there's no charge! Instead, could you, possibly... go on a date with me, Mr. Esslinger?!

Ah, excuse me, huh? What?

Bookstore Clerk: You've shown you are heroes indeed! Goodness me, what a pleasure to be a means of keeping your legend alive!

Gentle Husband: Thank you very much, Murakumo. From now on, we're going to find a new family in City Hall and live on.

Gentle Wife: Rebuilding will be hard, but whatever the pains of that struggle, they're worth it. We'll overcome the difficulties, and build another happy family together.

Cheeky Boy: Heeey, Unit 13! Our heroes take the stage! Next time you go, take me along too! We can find some sweet stuff together. With my luck, that is.

Pleasing Lass: Everyone's chatting out there. It's all thanks to you all. ...Is your captain alright? She came by and tried to return her sword to me, but it was a family heirloom, so I didn't feel right taking it...

Newscaster: Today's the day for us to try and test out that radio broadcasting equipment. And since this is the day our own Yotsuyan hero woke up, that's what we've decided to lead with!


12F, Residential E.

Intimidating Man: Yeah, ya did good out there.

Baseball Fan: I've been working hard for a while now. It's not all fun and games, but I won't gripe. If I've got a ball and glove, I'm a happy guy!

Boss Carpenter: Up til now, we've just been trying to make optimum use of the materials you send. But from now on, we have to start pulling stuff out of the rubble that we can use ourselves. That said, though, your development and construction teams are the real deal! Nothing to worry about on that score!

Serious Staffer: Even at a time like this, our City Hall still has an important role to fulfill. To you, and to City Hall itself... I'm truly grateful for all both of you have done!

Seaboard Man: Ahoy, Murakumo! Even seas to ye! All day I've been getting ready to fish! I'm gonna come back with some big ones! What, you think the party'll last till morning? Well, yeah, I should hope so!

Drunk Man: ...Mmmph? Something about your faces... I feel like I should know you.

Miserly Man: I changed my worthless land for supplies! Thanks to that, my urgent needs are met. So if the reconstruction gets bogged down, you can go ahead and blame me! Bwahahaha! There can't be many skilled construction workers left alive. Can I corner the market?

Ageha: Naga-chaaaan! Heeey! You made it back safe!

Barely. It was a real hassle up there.

Ageha: Man, my Naga-chan, saving all of Japan... I'm so proud of you! Oh, but hurry up and get to the meeting or whatever so we can party, okay?! I wanna hear all the juicy deets about this new girlfriend of yours!

Do I have juicy deets am I sufficient here

Of course you do.

Disdainful Girl: There, I said it. Don't expect me to say it again.

Fervent Fangirl: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Unit 13 d-d-d-did it!!!! And and then, they walked over this way!!!! They even came specially to meet me?!?!?!! Ohhhhhhhhh my God!!! Surely this is all some wondrous dream!


OG Scientist: Okay, I'm going on a trip! To somewhere far away, where nobody knows me! I'll spend my last years raising cattle and living off the land! ...'s what I was thinking, but until things settle down I'm staying here.


South tower, 13th floor, the Industrial Area. Yes. This segment is still going.

Dev Team Lead: Things were getting tense here while everyone was waiting for Unit 13's return. Reimi had her grenade launcher pointed at the tower doors for ages... Keima broke down crying, wondering if and when you'd return... Mr. Waji said nothing, and I could only smile bitterly.

Tetsu: Hey, hey, when we catch a break in the rebuilding, lemme drag you to Shiba! I swear I'm going to remember that splendid idea I once had there! Might be many years... decades, even, but someday I'll show you for sure!

Eri: *sniff, sniff* I'm getting a different smell off of you. An unaccustomed and unknown smell... what were you fighting out there?

Iino: Phew. It's over?

Shirai: We made it to the end without failing. It's finally time to loosen up. You guys ready to go on vacation? I can't wait to see the look on your face!

Ishizawa: Okay, okay, I admit it. You guys are the real deal. If I'm saying it, you know it's gotta be true! I've been watching you out there, and you've been really showing off my expertise. I've been very fortunate—and I'll be even more fortunate when I see you return home from it safely!

Ken: Even going forward, I'm going to keep making and making and making things! But this time's a special one. I'm glad that I could help you...

Oga: Oh, you're here at the right time! Lemme see your weapon, just for a sec. What for? So I can melt it down and make an adequate serving dish for the banquet, naturally! ...I'm kidding, of course! It's your best bud! Friends don't melt down friends!


South tower, 14th floor, the SKY Hangout.

Akira: ... Dun-dun-dundah! Dundundundah! Dun-dun-dun-daaaaaaaah! You have our most sincere gratitude, Unit 13! ...Okay, that's done with. I only did that 'cause of Tao, don't think it was cause of you! Yeah! Yeah.

Tao: I know, I know, I should be grateful too. But didn't he look freaking ridiculous? Man, even us guys in SKY are having a hard time looking hard at a time like this. But we'll sharpen up again, yeah?

Sou: She and Takehaya... they still haven't come back, huh. It's okay, though. They must be happy somewhere, right? That's what I've gotta believe.

...Yeah. For sure.

Maki: It's... been a while. I finally remembered what I did in Shibuya. Congrats on your victory, but I still... keep seeing the people we used to hang out with. I remember Tora, Yuu, Jin... I killed you guys. And even so... you guys all tried to help me. It's so kind of them, it makes me wanna cry.

Shino: ...It's done. I can't ever forget it, either... dammit. That time in Shibuya I woke up alone, I wanted Maki to forget it like a bad dream... So I prayed, and prayed, and she really did. Even if the Dragons are gone, the people we lost aren't coming back. So now... she knows. But... at least she's got me by her side. And... you too, right, Miss Fudoji? You aren't leaving, are you?

Of course not. What do you take me for, a flake?

I'm gonna help rebuild the city. It'll stay dangerous here for a while... and all the kids here are growing on me.

Hard not to love the little racals, ain't it?

...Did he go out like he wanted?

...Yeah. He did. He was real cool, Daigo. Wish you coulda seen it.

Akino: Miyoshi, you jerk, this is so sudden! Just because we made it out together... Still... oh man, I can't stop shaking, gimme a moment to think, Ms. Fudoji, please?!

Ako: Only Takehaya didn't make it back? What happened at Tokyo Tower?! It can't be! This must be a hoax!

Miyoshi: It's so irritating I can't just go out! To Saitama, or Chiba... I wanna get ready to take a trip with Akino! It's gonna take a lotta prep!

Sui: It's here... my once-in-a-lifetime chance! And even when she's feeling low, Neko's so gosh-darn cute! Ahh, my hea—

Sui: Ow!

Never mind. I found someone I was willing to punch.

Hey, Neko, you—

Oh, joooooooy~! I'm a happy, happy girl for now, ya hear?

Hey, besties, and you too, old lady. You think my dear ol' dad'll come back for me someday?

I... um. Do you, like, want an honest answer?

No, idiot! You can give me an honest answer tomorrow or something! Lie to me!

Yeah, totally!

Hari: Ta-ke-ha-ya... you dumbass!!!! Leaving Neko behind like this, she may forgive you, but I won't! It's the worst!

Look, Hari, I get it, guys running out on you is the worst, but I really do think you're misreading Neko's feelings here.


I casually invited Junpei to the Power Room. Ergh, Junpei, or maybe, Zero... ergh. You can see the result of our conversation.

Private Shinezaki: I want him to get a good rest now, but what about hitting that party?

Private Yamada: ...zzzzzz... party... me too...

Yashima: Here in this dimly lit, quiet, metallic, lonesome, rarely-visited room... It's been just about my ideal place. During the reconstruction, I want to stay.


Oh my god we're so close. North tower, 13th floor, the Baths.

Fleeing Man: Thanks for everything, Unit 13! Please hurry in for a perfect bath! Oh, you're still bleeding? No worries! Science tells us this is the perfect remedy!

Cowering Man: From now on when reconstruction starts, these baths'll be soaking off a lot of mud. But I think that's good. Lots of talk today about what you've done!

Safe Woman: Er, um... if there's anything at all, please let me know! ...W-why...? Are you going in the bath in your clothes?! Don't you think that's a bit startling? For now, please take off your clothes, first!

Tatsuji: ...Go in the bath again. I was able to optimize the temperature.

Tomiko: You've really done well, haven't you? You probably want a soothing bath, but have promises to keep. Well, a nice bath can't be hurried. You'd best go take care of stuff first.


North tower, 15th floor, the Diva Room. Hey, how's our favorite Vocaloid doing?

No problem.

Happy to help, Ms. Hatsune.



I saw her earlier. Chisa, I mean. She seemed depressed. Can I help at all?

Sorry. I think this is something that I've gotta deal with first of all.




Long story, I'll explain it later.


And finally, North tower, 14th floo—oh wait

Oh! Hey! Daughter! Everyone! Fudoji! You're a mom, right?

Fuck off.

Yoshida: The wine we're using for the party was scrounged by the Logistics team. I've only glanced at it, but... It looks like the good stuff to me! Unit 13, you're in luck tonight!

Seriously, okay, so like, what am I supposed to do if I'm in a situation where like, an alternate dimension version of me did something really, really bad and now Chisa hates—

Fuck off, Homura.

Hey you guys wanna see a really funny joke

I deadass forgot to get the accessory for the Skylounge Level 2. It's an accessory that boosts Exhaust gain.

Splendid Steward: Dr. Akaneno, if you please... ahem. I scarcely dare to express my gratitude, as your own gift has been so overwhelming. You must have a long line of people waiting to give you their thanks, eh? Those glad for the defeat of the Dragons... perhaps those whose love has blossomed in the lounge you built for them... Or even a simple steward somewhere who may have his own compliments to offer. It'd be nice to quietly toast your accomplishments, eh? That would be my recommendation. ...I'll be waiting for your next visit.

Takano: Is your throat getting dry from talking to so many people? You mustn't commit a faux pas at the party, so please, have a glass of water. Here!

Oh, thanks.

I don't have anyone to turn to!

I'm right here.

Well, yeah, but I think you're also mad at me, right?

Of course I am. I just think it'd be nice if you could've confirmed that first.

Concierge: However... a certain someone has reserved this lounge for an hour or two from now. You're expected, Miss Mio. The rest of you are simply too high in demand.

And she isn't?

Concierge: I'm hardly one to turn down a request from a girl who looks so forlorn. I'm not a monster.

Rescued Woman: Well, now... since I promised the sergeant, I'd better go try my hardest now...

Rescued Man: Where do we go from here? As long as I'm with her, I'm happy.

I'm begging you! What do I do to make this right? She's miserable! Both my kids are mad at me, and I can't—I can't even say they're wrong, so what do I do to make it right? What do I do to get them to stop being mad at me? You know, right?

Honest answer? Your kids don't have any responsibility to forgive you, Homura. Nobody has any responsibility to. I hated Hikasa, but she didn't, either. So why don't you go home and think about why you want your kids to forgive you before you beg me to tell you how to get them to forgive you?


...Yeah. That's... probably a good idea. I guess.


Oh my god! That's it! That's every NPC! All of them! Every last one! That took me three and a half real time hours.

I stood, staring blankly at the door to the Meeting Room. I hadn't had the power to move in or to face anyone else. One arm hung limply by my side, and I grabbed that wrist with my other hand. I wanted to sink into the wall and become invisible. Before she'd left, I'd managed to catch Aitelle, and return Ame-no-Murakumo to her—I didn't deserve it. Tomoegozen was inside Unit 13's room. For the first time in a long time, I was well and truly unarmed.


...I don't know how long I stood there, staring at that door. But... it was long enough for the rest of them to find me.



Have you just been standing here?


I couldn't bring myself to say much of anything until Mio spoke up again.

...Hey. What's wrong?

I don't deserve to be in that room. I don't deserve for any of these people to look at me and see me as anything more than a monster.

Of course you do. You fought with us all this time. We could never have won without you—

You know that's not true, Richter. You all beat a True Dragon without my help at all. ...And I'm not what this party is being held for. If the people at this party knew what I was...

I don't deserve to be Captain of Unit 13. I never did. I'm not a 'hunter'. I'm not even human. I don't want people to look at me like that. I'm scared of it. You five are the real Unit 13. It would be better if everyone just forgot about me.

It doesn't work like that.


You don't get to choose who remembers you or not. You just get to choose what you do about it. So... I think you kinda do have to go in there, at least for a bit. For long enough for you two to get out of there.

For right now... You're Chisa Inomiko, the Captain of Unit 13. No matter how you see yourself...

...I'm a 'hero'. Right.

I balled up my fists and took a deep breath.

Right. Okay. Let's do this.

Well, okay. Chisa looks really depressed, most of you look at least a bit like you've been through the wringer, you somehow managed to get Mio in the battlefield... But really you mostly seem alright. Physically.


That is true. I was quite concerned there for a minute. So...

Kirino turned around.

After you all disappeared from the radar right after defeating Mizuchi... well, an enormous energy source disappeared.

As a scientist, I'll be honest—I don't have words to describe the phenomenon I observed.

It's similar to apoptosis. Without the source of the Bloom, the drakelings were no longer able to inhabit this planet, and as such, they vanished.

Oh, you know, I should've counted on you to inexplicably have knowledge of this phenomenon. So, you managed to eliminate the source of the Bloom, huh? Must've been an awfully tough fight, I imagine.

The slacks came in quite handy, sir.

Well, I didn't have those words, you had those ones, Chisa, so here's some I've had prepared for you. Ahem.

Huh! I guess we did, didn't we?

...You saying that so bluntly is starting to make it settle.

We saved the world. Little ol' me helped save the world. How 'bout that, huh?


Well, technically it ain't my first rodeo.

Yeah, hey, why did you just run out of the building and go up there?

Later, sir. I'll describe that in the after-battle report tomorrow, if that's alright.

Well, okay, I guess that makes sense. Lots to talk about, and today's not the day! So on the behalf of the world you've saved, let me offer my sincerest gratitude—and from your pal Kirino, my thanks as well.

Unit 13, you guys have received a lot of missions. And even now, we'll probably still need you to help rebuild this world. But that's for the future. Tonight, we'll be hosting the grandest gala around for you guys, our guests of honor! So let's go!

Saved the world, huh...



Akira Ishida as Kirino Ayafumi

Miyuki Sawashiro as Navigator 3.6 "Miroku"

Aki Toyosaki as Navigator 3.7 "Jeanne"

Amidst the festivities, the sleeve on Richter's sweater-vest was pulled.

"Um, Richter?" Jeanne said. Both of them held a glass of juice. "I just wanted to let you know, we managed to establish communications with some of the UN, and..."

"Ah, yes?" Richter said.

"Well... whenever you have a chance... you have a call," Jeanne said, twiddling her thumbs. "From your parents."

The hitchhiker from Germany shed many a tear that night.

Haruka Terui as Aoi Unose

Joji Nakata as Genji Gatou

Megumi Toyoguchi as Rin Dojima

Rina Satou as Sharon Furusuga

"...and so, we started dating just before the final battle," Koron said. Her face was shockingly stony against the three people who were encroaching on her space. The same could not be said of Sumie, who was emitting an ever-higher-pitched screech.

"Listen, Satsuki—oh, it's Sumie, right—" Mrs. Nagataka said, coming in beside Sumie to prop her up back onto her feet, "I trust you, I know the two of you are going to be great together, but please make sure Koron is safe or I'm going to be very unhappy."

"Oh, come on!" Sumie wailed. "She's the one who gets into trouble! All I do is play video games and rescue cats and break into government facilities—okay never mind I think I kind of proved your point there—"

All of a sudden, there was a fourth person here. Chelsea Toranosuke, as she was wont to do, seemingly appeared from nowhere. "I'm sorry to intrude. I heard that Koron is romantically involved with someone?" Sumie's wailing continued.

the unvoiced President Jack Muller

Yukari Tamura as Emille

Yui Horie as Aitelle

Nana Mizuki as Natsume Hikasa/Dragoness Mizuchi

"...and so that was when I leapt up into the sky and crashed down on the bastard, crushing its neck. I made a big ol' crater."

Most of the children present, Miroku included among several members of SKY, had crowded around for storytime with Mama Fudoji. "See," she said, "I'm pretty heavy. Don't know if you can tell, but usually I don't leave the ground. So all I had to do was make sure they couldn't hit me while I was jumping."

"Are you taking notes?" Neko said, turning her head to Daigo. "You should take notes!"

"He's taking notes," Daigo said, cocking his head in turn to Miroku, who was scribbling a diagram of the 'Skyhigh Meteor' in his notepad.

...In the shadows, an unseen woman from beyond the stars smiled. "I pray they are in good hands."

Takahiro Sakurai as Takehaya

Yukana as Neko

Daisuke Ono as Daigo

and using the protagonist voices of
Yui Horie as Chisa Inomiko/Human Dragon VFD
Takahiro Sakurai as Richter Esslinger
Yoko Hikasa as Koron Nagataka
Yukari Tamura as SATSUKI & Sumie Kazuki
Hoko Kuwashima as Youka Fudoji
Emiri Kato as Mio Akaneno
Rie Tanaka as Homura Akaneno



I'm here.

Mio and I sat down in the only place in the building there could be any quiet at all.

I should be happy, shouldn't I? I should be happy that we won. But... I don't feel happy. I'm miserable. I've always been miserable.

Mio... All this time... I've been a shackle around your ankle, haven't I? Having to live with me. I know you'll say that you don't care, that I'm worth it, but... It's true. For years, you've lived with someone who has to deny herself in order to live. You've lived with a monster who desperately wanted to be human. I'm just another person who doesn't give you what you deserve.

Babe. Seriously.

You can't stop me from thinking that. You are a good person and you deserve a life that's some semblance of normal, not to have your life destroyed by these interstellar conflicts and your mother. I'm not normal. I'll never be normal. I don't have human will. I never did.

I don't think that's true. I think that a lot of this is still because of what your parents did to you. I think you're letting them convince you they're right about you.

They were.

No, they weren't. No matter what happens, or who you really are, they were not right about you. They thought you were worthless. They wanted to make you someone you weren't. They thought there was no value in the person that you are, and that is not true. I love the person you are. So do Koron, Richter, Sumie, and Youka, too.

...But I'm not human. I'm not anyone.

You're you.

Who is 'you'?

I don't know yet. I think you have to figure that out yourself.

There was a moment of silence. And then—

It's not over. Nothing's over.


Sooner or later, it'll happen. They'll be back. They won't stop coming until one side is dead. I don't know when. I don't know who it will be. But it's not...

Nothing's over! I want it all to be over! But it's not! I want everything to stop! I was never supposed to exist in the first place! Whoever I am isn't supposed to be and I just want everything to STOP!

Hey. Hey, it's okay. Come here. It's okay.

I sobbed into Mio's chest. It wasn't the first time I did that, and it wouldn't be the last... but I was probably the only miserable person in that entire building that day.

—But I was right, of course. After all...

that was only the first Dragon War.


Sympathy for Chisa Inomiko Act 1: Beast of Annihilation Additional Credits

Written and Directed by: Kinu Nishimura II

Technical Support, Co-commentary, Editing: Rea

Character artwork: KiraKiraKat

Original Character Concept (Raven Hillshead): Araxxor

Original Character Concept (Mio Akaneno): Endorph

Etrian Odyssey V Character Designs (Raven Hillshead, Mio Akaneno): Yuji Himukai

7th Dragon 2020 Original Protagonist Character Designs (Chelsea Toranosuke, Touko Kujo): Shirow Miwa

"Furueru Kokoro" / "In Your Belief" (Theme of Youka Fudoji)
Composed by: Chikayo Fukuda
Vocals: Tomoyo Mitani

"IN MY WORLD" (Theme of Koron Nagataka)
Song by: ROOKIEZ is PUNK'D

"Hartes ciel, melenas walasye" (Mio Akaneno EX Quest)
Composed and sung by: Haruka Shimotsuki
Arranged by: Takashige Inagaki
Lyrics by: Nao Hiyama

Special Thanks to:
My wife Taylor
The people who made the model viewer for the PSP Black Rock Shooter game, seriously what a serendipitous thing to exist, I refuse to explain this
All composing staff on the following games:
-Breath of Fire 4
-Ys 8: Lacrimosa of Dana
-Team Fortress 2
-Portal 2
-Super Robot Wars V
-Super Robot Wars T
-Karous: The Beast of Re: Eden
-Asura's Wrath
-Yakuza 4
-Yakuza 5
-Ar Tonelico 2

all Imageepoch staff

and you, for reading to the end of the first half of the story. Thank you very, very much.

We'll be rounding out Act 1 with the (non-canon) postgame as well as Youka's Reminiscence, since there really isn't anywhere better to fit it. After that will be a break—I have an entire second game to record footage for, after all. I hope when the time comes, you'll join me in 2020-2 for Sympathy for Chisa Inomiko Act 2: Maiden of Creation. See you there!

Technically it wasn't a standalone Imageepoch format model viewer that people made for Black Rock Shooter, it's a Noesis plugin— I'm ruining the joke.

Yes, thank you, Mike Morasky. Rocket Jump Waltz will loop in my head until I die.

Anyway, I'll still be here for 2020-II! I replayed through the game recently and actually took notes on it this time, so I'll have considerably more to say. I also have a lot of thoughts about that game's balance changes, but that's for another time, another place...

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