Part 75: Indra

I bounced out of the Searsand here because this was the last opportunity I had to head back to the Conference Room in Chapter 4—narratively it doesn't make sense but we're used to things like that, right?

is someone a hungry little boy for loot


Sure. Here you are.

Mr. Stuffy Scientist wanted to say thanks to you.

Stuffy Scientist: I'm truly grateful. This is a thank-you gift, from me.

Oh... haha, thank you, but you're a bit late on that one, chief.


Of course. Put up your guns.

Alright! Time for us to have some fun!

Our nation isn't something you can try to save just for your own egos! You're going down!

Oh, I'm going to enjoy this!

Today's the end of you wasting our time! Prepare yourselves!

Just as a heads up, I never wound up using Richter for any SECT11 battles, but I was not whistling dixie—Shouji is the only member of SECT11 who's actually immune to hacking.

Shouji is the real boss of Chapter 4, and he's not screwing around. This fight is brutal, and is probably the hardest mandatory fight save Tiamat. Here's some basic ground rules.

You'll notice I'm describing Shouji as the boss, even though Izumi is also here. While Izumi gets two actions here and Shouji only gets one, Shouji's attacks are by far the more threatening—Izumi only gets one new move, and while it's a doozy, it's also... well, a combo move with Shouji she can't use if he's dead. Moreover, Shouji has more HP, and if you defeat Izumi first, Shouji spontaneously grows a second action for the rest of the fight, which honestly makes the fight more threatening because, again, Shouji is fucking scary. This is a game of rocket tag—take down Shouji before he can kill you, and you've basically won the fight. He only has 2880 HP, less than half of Trinitro's, and less physical defense at that, but that does not mean it's easy. There's about a half hour's worth of failed attempts in my footage, including one where I gave killing Izumi first an honest college try and got instantly obliterated. (Izumi has 1824 HP, by the way.)

Let's play defensively, team!

Just in case that idiot gets any ideas.


You knew I was talking about you, so that just proves it.

I'll show you who's an idiot!



...Yeah, don't do that. Aim for Inomiko or Nagataka—I'll handle her when I've gotta.

Like that?!

Yes, idiot.

You're pretty sturdy.


As you can see, Shouji is a Gun Trickster, and as a result, he sure does get the two-hit normal attack, why wouldn't he? His normal attack hits twice for full damage, so he just doesn't really have any 'free turns'—he has no actions that aren't at least slightly 'get fucked'-shaped. Oh, and also, since it's two separate hits, it doesn't proc Pain React. Lol.

Screw you!

We should target Shouji first!

Yeah, a guy like him's liable to get more fired up if he's alone.

Well, I'm glad you know me that well.

Are you alright?

Fine, thanks.

You'll regret that!

Oh yeah? Watch me! Shouji, let's hit 'em with the big one!

Remember how in the first fight with Izumi I mentioned that Pour It On applies its charge effect to the entire enemy party? Yeah... man, it would be a shame if you had to fight her where she could use it to buff someone who's more threatening than her, huh.


...Yeah... mmhm. Thanks.

Screw you, asshole!

Here, let me help!

Ugh. Thanks.

Don't think I like the sound of a 'big one'.

Fuck you!

No thanks.

Let's go, Shouji!

Let's rock!

Damn it!

You'll... regret this!

Pour It On into SECT Combo is the most brutal combo the fight has to offer. SECT Combo hits everyone, and is pretty much guaranteed to inflict a 60% accuracy penalty Blind. Your ability to handle SECT Combo is basically the key to this fight—the Sakurabas have the capacity to dump an absolute buttload of damage on you at a moment's notice.

...incidentally, Izumi is actually faster than Shouji. The Freeze is actually pretty helpful in ensuring Shouji doesn't always get to pull off the double-tap after a SECT Combo.


I'm fucking pissed!


Oh, yeah. Auto Skills can activate at the end of a round even if a character gets revived during the Extra Turn phase.

Alright, can you two see?

I'm good!


They're not to be taken easily.

Well, Shouji isn't. Without him, Izumi is about as competent as a wet paper bag.

What was that?!

Quit it with the fog and just die!

Izumi, don't lose your cool! You're gonna piss 'em off.

Stop! Fuck you!

Sorry, nothing personal. You can heal people.

shouji is mean and a bad man


They give it their all, but eventually they'll run out of steam. They don't have the follow-through.

Sorry, but you've gotta take one hit to move that fast. Am I right?

Yeah! Get 'em, Sho!

Wait, Izumi—


Ugh, screw you!

Let's keep it up, gang!

Overtime is one of Mio's Auto skills. Basically, it extends the duration of statuses on the party for an extra turn—here, Chisa's Pain React and Mio's Dry Ice get extended. This can even apply to the buffs from Superstar! It's pretty good.

She did the thing again, so let's be steady! You two, turtle up!



SECT Combo does have a 1.1x accuracy modifier... but that doesn't mean it can't miss.

How the hell does she do that?!

I'm not sure, but why ask someone something if you're trying to cut them?

Quit flailing around, Izumi!

...Well, that didn't work as well as I thought it would.

The dark countess guarantee, baby!

Wide Shot has a 0.9x accuracy modifier, but can hit twice, and Shouji had Pour It On on. That could've gone VERY badly.

We can do this, guys!

Hey, hey, Izumi! Am I annoying?

Ugh! I hate you!

Quit getting mad, you're missing your shot for a takedown!

Not like you're much better, big guy.

She wasn't even in the briefing, but... is this girl really the biggest threat in the unit?

Nice work surviving, team.

Oooooooooh, where am I disappearing tooooo?


Wait, what's—

Hit it!

Uh, where's that music playing from?

In the darkest of night, creatures living in the darkest depths can count on her for protection! Mio Akaneno arrives on the scene!

...I like this song.

Wait, what the hell?! Why did that not hurt her?


Yeah, we gotta take 'em out quick.


The immortal flesh of the dark countess Akaneno can't be harmed by your mortal weapons, girl!

Izumi! Hit it!

She dodged?! Again?!

Ugh, shit! Mio! Kick their asses!

C'mon now, honey, don't stay on the ground! It's a party!

Go to hell!

Blade of Rage is a new Auto skill for Samurai that deals an attack on an enemy that knocked out a party member. Here, Shouji gets vengeance'd for Koron. Thanks, Chisa!

Um, Mio, Mio, she's our gal! If she can't do it... I don't know!

Stop! Shut up! Turn that annoying-ass music off!

Izumi! Aim for her, not the pyrotechnics!

I mean, you're barely grazing her!

Oh, you mean these pyrotechnics?

Because I've got plenty more effects, big bro!

About 480 damage total here. Shouji is more magically defensive than he is physically defensive, but that's still a damn good chunk of his health.

They're all back on their feet?!


Aww, you missed, pal!

Izumi! We gotta step it up!

Ugh! No way...

You didn't even have a chance!

Ow! Damn it!

You can... do it!

Grenade is a low-damage attack, but it is also quite likely to inflict that nasty Blind.

Wanna beat me? Better make it count!

Mio's Superstar status runs out here.

You can't break through me or my fell legions, guys. Might as well give up now!

Here it comes!

Sho! Sho, it hit!

Yeah, I can see that!

Eat it!

I may fall... but my spirit shall never die!

Thanks for the moment's reprieve, Mio.

Now get up.


You can't just get up again that fast! That's cheating!

Oh, stuff it.

Oh ow

Hah... hah...

This is the best fight... I've had in years!

I'm glad to hear that.

Allow me to end it!

Haha... hahahaha!

I admittedly got lucky here. Chisa was blinded. But this fight is swing-y enough that I couldn't guarantee I'd live if I didn't go for the kill, and I rolled it. Boom. Eat shit, Shouji.

Ah, and congratulations to us on our victory.

Wha?! Sho... t-they actually...?!

Once you defeat Shouji, Izumi not only loses her second action, but she takes double damage from physical attacks for the rest of the fight.

I'm not... I'm not gonna lose to you again! GO TO HELL!

Welcome back, Mio.

Thanks! Glad to be here.

I'm not—I'm not useless! SHUT UP!

Play us out, babe.

I'm Izumi Sakuraba! I'm... I'm the second-best fighter there is in America! I'm NOT WEAK!

Stop talking.

B-big bro...

And stay down, you hear?! We're all tired of you!

Bunch of vainglorious pricks!

And that's why Idol is the best class in the game. Any questions?


Man... we're beaten.

...I'd be lying if I said I didn't have to respect your abilities, Shouji. You're tough.

Not as big as the game you talk, but you're no joke.

Heh. I guess so. ...I'm a simple man, maybe simpler than you guys might like. I'd been wanting to fight you for a while, to settle my own doubts.

I... That rival you mentioned. What do I have to do to be like him?

He was a strong man. A bit single-minded and myopic, sure, but he drew people to him. And he fought for what he believed in to the end. He had beliefs—he had a will. To start with, you've got a lot of growing up to do before you could ever be like him.

'Beliefs', huh? Yeah, guess we don't have much of that in our business. Still, I'd like to meet him sometime. Izumi could use more than one hero.

W-well. I mean... y'know, nobody ever—

Stop. I really don't want to hear a sob story right now, and especially not yours. You can give me a sob story if you ever become someone who's worth taking seriously.


Soldiers of SECT11. Transfer the anti-Dragon weapon to Yokohama. Be advised, this weapon cannot pass into the hands of non-allied forces. If necessary, you must destroy it first.

There was a moment of silence.

...It's not a hostage, it's not a person. It's an anti-Dragon weapon, isn't that all? So stop hesitating. The interim government's approved this.

Another, longer moment of silence.

What are you doing?! Bind it! Immediately! While Unit 13 is exhausted!

...You gonna come try your luck, too? The team with the best shot at this needs her. ...That's Unit 13.

Wha—wait! Hold on! This is a severe breach of protocol! Insubordination, tantamount to betrayal! Treason against the United States—

Fred: Aww, well, fudge. Comms are out.

Will: Wow, what should we do? Shouji, hurry and give us our next order! We're adrift, here!

SECT11: Yes, sir!

So... is that it? Are we done here?

We're done here.

Meatheads like you who only change their tack when they've been beaten are the worst sort of person, I hope you know. I'm thoroughly sick of your sort.

Well, hey. We aren't planning to cause any more problems.

Casually switching sides like that after causing us more problems than the damned Dragons. You people are infuriating.

I don't... understand. What's going on?

We beat them, so they're with us now.

At least your grunts had the good sense to look a little sorry about it! You smarmy prick.

Hey, what can I say? I'm riding the high of a good fight. It's hard to bring me down right now.

Ugh. I hate you.

Better annoying on our side than annoying against us at a time like this.

I really do feel bad about it, though. You guys have a pretty impressive lifestyle. I wish I'd cottoned on sooner.

That doesn't sound like an actual apology. That just sounds like you're jealous.

Perhaps you should stop arguing for your own sake. I don't believe Shouji is the sort of man who'll give you the catharsis you're looking for.

Ugh. Boys.


Yeah, no thanks to them!

Hey, we can remember that they were jerks and still be glad they're not being jerks anymore.

Tony: Oh, geez. C'mon now! It's a shame to see a frown on that pretty face.

(Guessed right, go me.)

Yuki: We're going to treat you all, so please follow me, alright?

See, Marina, that's how not to talk to a lady. Fred's being a pig.


A-at any rate, Unit 13, Shouji, Izumi, we'd like to see you in the Laboratory once you're all settled!

...Oh. We get a room?

We have a room to spare in the dorms. Luckily for you, my little brother and his unit volunteered to take the futons in the hallways.

You have a little brother?

If you are ever rude to him, I will slit your throat.

It's not like we try to be rude, you know.

Could've fooled me.

So how long's the third degree gonna last?

Maybe until I know we're all safe and that we can finally stop worrying because of all the trouble you've caused us.

Yeah, that's fair.


We headed to the Laboratory. ...Sumie insisted on helping pick out some clothes for Marina, first.

We've had much to grieve, Unit 13. But at last... well. Shouji and Izumi. Thank you for your cooperation.

Oh, trust me, I know, we don't merit thanks. We've got no time to spare.

...Marina. You've finally returned to us.

'Unit 13'... Thank you for helping me.

Aww, no biggie!

But it's good to say thank you. Thank you. And...

You gave me food. Thank you! It was delicious.


You're sweet, Marina. Are you sure you're her mom, Emille?

What? I didn't do any parenting.

Sure, but I can't help but think some ambient hate energy might've leaked through. The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb, after all.

Be quiet.

Sorry to interrupt, but we should get to the point. Marina, is it okay to ask you about the Dragonslayer? We know we need orichalcum to make it.

Huh? Orichalcum? Dragonslayer? What are those?

Orichalcum... is a mineral that can purge immunities and cleanse toxins. Emille says that a blade forged of it could kill any Dragon.

...Wha? A blade?

I fail to see what's so strange about that.

No, no, it's just... With all the droning on about humanity's hope and whatever, I kinda expected something with more pizzazz than some sword.

I mean, she melted her handcuffs like butter, and halted the self-destruct.

Oh, right. We have to go through the exposition again for you. Okay tl;dr, Marina is a Lucier, they're the ancient race from Atlantis and they fought the True Dragon Niara like 12,000 years ago, metallurgy is a Lucier talent, we need to make a Dragonslayer out of orichalcum to whack Fomalhaut with, Marina can do that because she's really good at metal stuff.

...Okay, yeah. No clue. I wouldn't have known what to do with all this. Not my wheelhouse.

You think?

You were right. Sorry.

Thank you.

Izumi, say sorry.


Say it again.

Sorry. You were right. We were a bunch of bumbling idiots.

Ooh, again! I might want to record it!

Your sadist is showing, Koron. Don't be too mean in front of Marina.

Don't worry, I'm sure we'll have plenty of time to humiliate them for being a bunch of idiots who wouldn't listen to us!

And bafflingly racist, for that matter.


What did I say about sob stories? This is your payment for being like this, we get to bully you.

True, true. You are the new guys.

You gotta learn to have thicker skin, Izumi. Here, after this, I'll bow on the ground and say 'sorry' a hundred times or so.

Ahhhhhh. Music to my ears.

So... well, you and your unit are free to do whatever you like, I suppose.

Yeah, but we've got lost time to make up for. Looking forward to working with you and getting bullied.

Going forward, we'll attempt to pursue them. Unit 13, and Mr. and Ms. Sakuraba, please rest for tonight.

Thanks for letting us bunk here.

Do you know how to make any faces other than that vaguely smarmy grin?

Eh, maybe I'll figure it out sooner or later.

Good work today, Unit 13.


Kind Researcher: I think this is probably the fatigue talking, but... SECT11 probably aren't all bad people.

Will seems pleasant enough.

Bunch of 'em are pigs, but what else is new?

So it's the hearts of Dragons, right? I'd get some for you, but it might wreck them.

'Get some'?

Youka is quite powerful.

Um... excuse me. Chisa?


Are you a Dragon?


You don't smell like a human or like me. I... wanted to know.

Yes, I am a Dragon. Still, you don't need to be afraid of me.

Mm-mm. I'm not. You're 'family'. Right?

Exactly! You get it!

Family is family.

Thank you, Marina.

I am so tired.

You did quite a lot of work today. That's understandable.

I would be more surprised if you weren't.

I made to cut him in half.

Whoa, whoa! Hold up! What'd I do?

Insult me again and see what happens.

Hey, insulting your superiors is like a rite of respect in SECT11. Sorry. I didn't know. Cultural difference, I guess.


It's best to be polite when in a values system you don't understand, Shouji.

Noted. Anyway...

Well, less 'talk' and more 'I just said so'. Guess that makes us deserters. The other members of SECT11 agreed to join us unanimously.

It's about all you have left, considering the death of the dollar and the loss of your nuclear stockpile.

Ain't that the truth.

Wow, yeah. 'Honor'. That's a great motive, guys.

Grrr! Hey!

Remember, Izumi, we're the new guys. They have bullying privileges.


What I mean is... we started off pointing guns at you, but I just wanted to say... I never thought I'd come to trust you. You guys are the sort of folks who don't let stuff like national concerns get in the way of beating the Dragons and saving the world, and I respect that. Hell, that's the kind of guy I wanna be, as a representative of my country.

I really am being sincere here, for the record. I'm just not great at showing it. Anyway, good hunting in the days to come, senpai.

I feel bad for Shouji, being cursed with the most punchable face on the planet.

I'm not used to you being so forwardly hostile, darling.

I try not to be. I like to think I'm a nice girl. But they make me mad, so sometimes I need to vent.

There's a word for that in German, actually. 'Backpfeifengesicht'. It means, 'face in need of a fist'. Or a slap, depending. Generally, a punchable face.

What a useful word! Why don't we put Shouji in the dictionary next to it?

I believe legally that could be considered libel, but it might make a good prank holiday card.

I never thought I'd see the day that Sumie and Richter were both openly hostile to the same guy. Miracles do happen, I guess.

He's a miracle worker, that Shouji Sakuraba.

I'd like to ask him to stop.


That night, I was awoken by another visit from Emille.

Shouldn't you wait for me to say 'come in' before you come in?


What's up?

...Looking at you, my breast should be filled with explosive rage. Yet, I feel a curious calm. You're the first person I think to come see. Funny.

With this all squared away, all we need do is gather materials and await the completion of the Dragonslayer. And yet... in truth, I doubt that this will be sufficient for humanity to truly fell a True Dragon.


Because of Niara, you mean.

Just so. Even though I myself spearheaded this project, I find myself wondering—would Fomalhaut truly perish? Not his physical form, but the true, conceptual form of the beast. My soul cries to see him bleed, and yet... I myself...

You? What about you?

...To escape destruction, the planet of Hypnos and its people shed their form, and became spirit. Adrift in space, I came upon this planet. I am a spiritual existence—nothing ever meant to be a 'person', as you put it.

I myself know what it is to perish and be reborn according to your 'concept'. I've burnt out and come back many times upon this planet, and likely will many more. But have I been short-sighted?


...Humans are frail lifeforms, but with surpassing strength of spirit. As they work in concert, most surpassing. This race is my new hope. And yet, I find myself now, all of a sudden, worrying as to whether I've led them astray.

I know the feeling.

Do you.

All we can do is really believe that we've got the path to true victory in our hands. You did your best, Emille. All people like us can really do is give humanity the tools they need. Talent, or a Dragonslayer... All of that is just expressions of willpower.

...Chisa. Do you truly believe yourself not to possess will?

I don't know.

From my perspective, it's laughably obvious. I've been slapped in the face with the strength of your will, to live with humans and not devour them. You're insultingly genuine on that matter. For a time, it absolutely infuriated me—nothing new for me, but in a manner I wasn't sure of. I couldn't believe it.

Well, yeah. I could've told you that much.

Could you. Is it that obvious?

You aren't trying to kill me.

...Yes, I suppose so. Part of me still feels that you must be the enemy, but I've seen it with my own eyes that you are nothing of the sort. That, rather than an enemy to be destroyed, you are... most peculiar. My own sworn enemy, empathizing with me, attempting to understand me in a way that nobody else ever could. It's vexing, you know.

I just don't think you're as bad of a person as you make yourself out to be. Or, I guess, you have the potential not to be.

The 'potential'. Curious. I never thought of myself as having much potential, but... hearing it from someone like you, I almost want to believe it. Chisa, I...

...I want to believe in you, more than any human. Believing in you... feels like believing in a self I hadn't thought myself capable of.


Ugh. What am I saying? I sound like Aitelle. Disgusting.

...Hehe. Well, you are sisters.

Oh, shut up. You have better people to spend time with. Apologies for taking up your time. Good night, and... sweet dreams.

Yeah. You too, Emille.

That was the end of September 16th. We were finally done battling with SECT11, and the path to our victory had at last been secured. Feeling that burden lifted from my back was one of the greatest reliefs I'd ever felt. At long, long, long last, we could present a united front against the Dragons.

—If only that was the end of our tribulations.

Next time, Chapte—wait... what do you mean this game has two intermissions?

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