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Part 16: Prayer
...Calling... Unit 13. E-emergency meeting... Meeting Room... *sniff*
...We should... go.
So we should.
There—there was no plan out there!
We all need to keep cooperating. Let's try to work together and win.
Gatou died to save all of us. I'm... truly sorry.
No, that's not how you should feel at all—or rather, that isn't the half of it.
Ms. Hikasa, with all due respect—
Ms. Hikasa, stop it!
To stand up to the dragons, we need people with S-class ability.
You're saying my troops are worthless?! But they're out there for your guys! They died for your guys! They laid down their lives for humanity, for their families! There's nothing worthless about that!
Private Makita: Hey, chief, quit it!
You think the only value of a human life is power?
You oughta be ashamed of yourself.
...Be damned, the lot of you.
Madam President, I... have a plan.
Why not bolster the SDF's armaments with material from an Imperial Dragon? If there's anything that could withstand that laser, that would be it.
Absolutely not. That's Murakumo's ace in the hole. Gatou should have had it.
Ms. Hikasa... It's sad to lose our comrades, fighting to take back Tokyo. But they died so we could fight. We can't close our eyes to the victims. What else are we fighting for?
You've been oddly quiet.
I've been attempting to cork my anger. Otherwise, I might spontaneously begin lighting nearby chairs on fire.
Well, you know, usually I expect Satsuki to—
Oh. Well, understandable—
So you should do it. The rest of us are still alive.
I don't wanna face Uncle Gatou in Hell and say we let him down.
I'm in agreement. And, personally, Mr. Ayafumi, I trust your judgment.
If there's anything I can do to help, please let me know. I might be a member of Unit 13, but I am still also your assistant, Sir.
...You're gonna make me cry, Richter.
I think Genji would be real proud of you kids.
Right... he was always talking about that, 'living without regrets'. So I want to do everything I can. I want to use my ability as a scientist to protect everyone!
I understand. Fine.
Perhaps I have made a mistake. This strategy was a failure. Kirino... I'll leave the rest to you.
Ms... Ms. Hikasa?
Koron your head is steaming
I'm aware. I'm letting it out now that the object of my ire isn't present.
Senpai... you literally have to let off steam?
I was very angry. Actually, I am very angry. But, you know, I thought you had it handled enough, and I figured that burning her to a crisp right here would likely be in poor taste.
Awful strong self-control you've got.
Are your eyes gonna be okay
It's just steam. I can polish them later if need be.
You can what?
...Kirino, Genji didn't have any family that you know of, right?
No, not that I know of.
Alright. I'll dig a little grave for him myself when I've got the time.
...Can I help?
It should take us about a day's work to upgrade the SDF's equipment. Please wait until then, everyone. And... get some rest. I think we could all use it.
...Uh, not to pry, before we start working. Is she... okay?
...I'm not sure.
Oh, and... could you go check on the Navs?
Seafaring Man: Oh, hey!
Seafaring Man: Jeez, I must've cut a pretty pathetic figure for you when you found me. My land legs aren't great, seeing as I'm usually out on a boat in the Pacific, my one true love.
She is a beautiful ocean, sir.
Seafaring Man: As long as I'm alive, there's hope that I'll get to sail it again. I'm truly grateful to y'all.
Secretary Makabe: Nevertheless, given the urgency of the situation, we entrusted the SDF to you. I deeply wish that we had seen that plan first.
You and us both.
Hey. Offloading some stuff.
Someone's not looking too hot~ Something happen out there?
...Chin up, kid.
Oh, but don't go out there, Keima! Your hair will explode.
Ah, geez, I don't get to go anywhere! Just got the boss man slaving over me all day.
Kirino's liable to be down any minute with an order for you all.
Then we'll do what we do best.
Don't worry, Satsuki! I'll make something sparkly you can want to steal~
Aww, you know me too well.
Whenever I saw him, he'd always pat my on the head and say "dang, you got big!" It always... made me happy.
...Damn it, Gatou, you idiot, why'd you do that?! Am I a failure at navigating? I couldn't have stopped him—or could I have? ...Could I?
I think a man like that is going to be incorrigible at the worst times. You shouldn't beat yourself up.
I'll be here if you need to talk, kids.
Thanks. I, uh... thank you.
...Chisa? Why... aren't you talking?
The moment Jeanne addressed me was the first moment I felt my body again since Gatou had passed. I lurched forward and fell to my knees while hugging her.
Ah! Y-you're tight!
She felt... warm. Alive. The young girl who navigated us was still alive. She hadn't gone anywhere. Feeling a warm-blooded human being's touch made me able to feel my own life again. I was alive, too.
Chisa Inomiko was alive and Genji Gatou was dead. That was a simple fact.
Is Mio... in our room?
...Alright. Thank you.
I'm glad you aren't a dead woman walking, at least.
Do... you need some time off, Chisa?
Intense Worker: The mission had already started a while back. She never mentioned she hadn't deployed!
Laidback Worker: Oh no, wait! I was supposed to prepare for next time, not stop and chat!
Chipper Worker: But you've got Mr. Gatou and Aoi. Together, you'll pu—
Now is super not the time, dude.
Chipper Worker: Did I say something wrong?
Gatou is dead.
Chipper Worker: ...Oh.
...May I... be alone for a while?
Of course, Chisa.
Right. Do what you need to.
That's his bandana.
I don't want it to go to waste.
...I'm sure he'd be glad to see you put it to use.
Yeah, we'll, uh... We'll leave you alone for a bit. C'mon, gang.
Huhwha? Where'zza... Barracks gotta.
You finished the barracks. We're back from Ikebukuro.
Hawawawa?! I missed it?!
The mission ended in disaster. We destroyed the main railgun, but the SDF took heavy casualties, as President Hikasa used them as sacrificial lambs to allow us passage. Gatou sacrificed his life to save Major Dojima and Aoi from a railgun blast.
Wait, wait, I—I just woke up—Aunt Natsume did what?
President Hikasa used the SDF as sacrifical lambs to allow us passage. Several soldiers died under the brunt of the electrolasers, as we weren't able to destroy them fast enough to save their lives.
As a result of this failed strategy, Gatou is dead.
Kirino, Richter, and Unit 4 are currently working on outfitting the SDF with material from Warcry in order to shield the remaining SDF troops from the electrolasers. According to them, it will take a day's work. I am currently off-duty.
Oh, no. Oh, no, Chisa. Come here.
Mio pulled me down onto the bed into her arms. I was limp.
Chisa, it's okay to cry. You don't have to hold it in.
"Heirs to the Inomiko family are not swayed by petty emotion. I know I taught you this. I know you learned it. Why are you crying? Why would you debase yourself by crying?"
You're holding it in, Chisa. I know how you get when you're holding it in. You're holding yourself in. You're stuck in there. You've gotta cry.
"What's happened to the daughter I raised? You cry, you shout. Has the girl I brought into this world died? My daughter could contain herself—You don't resemble my daughter in the slightest."
Nobody else is here. You can let it out. Nobody...
Chisa... I swear, please, nobody is going to hurt you for crying. Come on. Please don't disappear on me again.
...Mi...o? Is that... you?
Yeah. It's me. You don't have to worry. It's okay. You're safe.
Ggghhhh... ghhhaaah, aaaaaaah...
My head collapsed into her bosom, hot tears running down my cheek and onto her shirt. I am not, and have never been, a dignified crier. My nose began to run, and my head pounded with a pain I couldn't place.
Aaaaaaah, I don't understand, I don't understand, why is this happening to me, I don't understand I don't understand!! I don't understand anything! Why?! Why?! Why?! Why?!
Let it out.
Why is this happening, why, why?! Nothing makes sense! Nothing ever makes sense! Never! Nothing! Aaah, aaaaahhhh!
It's okay. You're safe.
I don't understand anything! Who am I? Who am I?
Ah. That was it. My head was splitting.
You're Chisa. My girlfriend. We've been together for eight years now.
But then why aren't I like the person you loved?! Why?!
People change as they get older. I'm not the same person you fell in love with, either.
It hurts! It hurts, it hurts! I don't understand anything! I don't understand ANYTHING!!
Gatou... Gatou's dead... Gatou's dead... Gatou's dead... Gatou's dead...
I... M-Mom... Mom, Dad, come back, please... I can't... I...
I don't know how long I sat there in Mio's arms, letting out three months' worth of tears all at once. I didn't know about anything—the passage of time, my own feelings... Mio was the one constant I had ever had in this world, the one thing I could ever be sure of. She was the only person who could hold together the one thing I could be least sure of... myself.
In that place within my own mind, that cold chamber I trapped myself within, I asked myself a question.
'What on earth is a will to fight?'
Locked within myself as I was at that moment before Mio let me out, I couldn't even begin to answer that question. I was... a disappointment to Gatou's dying wish.
However long it was... eventually, the pounding subsided. Thanks to Mio, I didn't break again. I think... I must've fallen asleep in her arms at some point, because when I woke up, I was on her lap.
Afternoon, Sleeping Beauty.
I didn't do anything you need to thank me for.
I know, but I'm saying thank you anyway.
Light flooded into my eyes again as we stepped into the hallway outside our dorm. There was a vending machine there that still had a few things inside at the moment. It, uh, it turned out we weren't the only person who'd had the idea.
Rassa-frassin', take my damn money.
Mom kicked the vending machine.
Gimme the goddamn juice or I'm gonna invent you out of history, you pile of junk!
Oh, hey, kids.
There some kinda trick to these things?
Oh, Youka did something last time we saw a vending machine.
I stepped in front of the vending machine, took a deep breath in, and...
...It wasn't as effective as Youka's, but the apple juice Mom had ordered did in fact rock enough to fall to the bottom.
Oh, that really did work!
Youka's so wise!
Fuck yeah, that's my daughter!
Mom cracked open the can and took a long, pointed swig.
You don't realize how damn hot it gets with that big guy's bits until you're working with 'em. My throat was so dry?
Y'know, the big guy. The one what barfed a fireball at Chisa and knocked her out for a month? Big Screamo?
That's the one.
Anyway, just wanted to grab a drink and check up on my two second-favorite people. I'm checking up on you now.
...Not doing too hot, Mom.
Yeah, yeah, that's about what I, uh, what I expected—
Goddamn fly, I swear to shit!
Mom began frantically swatting at a fly that was bothering her.
Chisa's dexterity wins the day again!
Wow, Mom, it's been ages since I saw you this depressed.
Is it that obvious? Can people feel my Sadness Waves emanating off of my hot bod?
See, I come out of my office, and everyone's all pouty, and Nacchan's not in her office. So I go find her on the roof and she's pouting, like she does. She likes to brood and pout and act like she's put upon when she's mad. Y'know? So I ask,
"Hey, friendo! What's got you all down in the dumps?"
And then she tells me. And now, I've known Nacchan enough to read between the lines about how she tells the story.
So basically, what I hear is that my best friend just intentionally sent a bunch of soldiers to their deaths and is baffled that people are mad at her about it.
And it's like, Machiavellianism is all fun and games until someone got hurt and folks got hurt, right? So Kirino has this big brain idea to use Big Screamo's bits and it's like—
Oh I'm heading to work by the way—
—it's like, was this whole suicide mission even a decent idea to begin with when you've got Japan's most beautiful genius as your bestie and you could totally just ask her,
"Hey, Homura, I could use something to defend against high-power electrolasers!"
and I'd be all,
"Sure thing, pal, gimme ten minutes and an appy juice for the blueprint!"
So it's like, she stiffed me on an opportunity to flex my enormous and also very attractive brain, and instead decided to be all Machiavellian, and so it's like, a bunch of people are dead, Genji was a fun guy, that's a horrific tragedy, seriously, and to top it all off my feelings are hurt!
How am I supposed to even deal with this? I've known this lady since I was like, in my early teens or something.
SHIBUKIIIIIII! How's it hanging, dude?
Mom and Shibuki exchanged an entire conversation in about five seconds through means that I can only assume are scientist-specific.
I'm all, like, righteously pissed and also really put out!
Many of my detractors often think that a mad scientist like myself must be unconcerned with the humanistic aspect. This is, as you know, daughters, not the case. I'm a humanist at heart, really.
For instance, it's a bit grim, sure, but painless euthenasia is a lot better than euthenasia that hurts, so you should still work toward it even if it's harder. Or, oh, tools that can be reorganized for left-handed use are more useful overall even if it takes extra work. If you're making something, it should make sense how to use it even if you don't fully get it.
I mean, your gofer boy's better at using YUUHI in combat than me, I donno how he does like half the shit he does.
So it's like, this cockamamie scheme was wasteful, inhumane, and a failure! And I'm JUST SAYING she could've figured out something better if she'd asked for my counsel because I'm very, very smart, even if I'm not a military woman. I'm sure that Major Dojima would help, because who can resist my charms, right?
And it's like she doesn't even know how to talk to people! She made things worse by being all Nacchan at the worst possible time! I mean, gawd, it's like—
WASSUP EVERYONE? How's it going? How're those dragons looking?
The resounding response seemed to be 'fascinating'.
—like she just decided that she was never going to talk to anyone and just totally gave up on the whole conversational skills thing, which is pretty important for someone in a big government office, right? It's like—you know, I feel like I might have to reevaluate her sense both tactically and businessly!
And it's a lot, you know?
Oh, you're done?
Yup. I've reached the end of my rant.
It's a shame WILD BURGER isn't open, you know? Those guys are such good listeners.
...Um, yeah. So... Oh, is this the Warcry sample?
Assa one! Real tensile strength on this one, I dig it. Might try some stuff with it if it's left over.
Thanks as usual, girls. You're awful patient, you know that?
It's hard not to be when you grow up with you for a mom.
Hah! True that!
Chin up, Chisa. I hate seeing you lookin' all sad, you know. Why, if I wasn't busy right now, I'd enact Genius Technique #17 and—
Please, god, no, not that one! Not again!
Mom reached over and ruffled my hair, laughing.
Get some sleep, kiddo, you look like shit. Probably gonna be another big day tomorrow for Unit 13 and their illustrious Captain, you dig?
It's pretty late. Are you sure it'll be done tomorrow?
Am I Homura Akaneno, Japan's most beautiful genius?
Then get your ass to bed!
I don't remember exactly when the others filed back in. Youka had been off making a grave for Gatou with Aoi, of course, and Satsuki and Koron... well, I'm not sure what they did. Richter, of course, was working with Kirino, but everyone needs sleep. Whenever they came back in, they were likely not too surprised to see us in the same bed. We hadn't done so until now since the beds weren't very large, but I needed her next to me, and I'm a flexible woman.
The point is, they all came back. In the morning, I'd see them all here.
Satsuki, Youka, Koron, and Richter. My friends in Unit 13.
Yesterday, Kirino... He seemed different from usual. Like we were seeing him for the first time.
I don't remember much of it.
It's true. He can pull through when it counts, it seems.
...sure enough, here they were. Even Youka was already up.
Are you doing alright?
Yes, thank you.
I'm sorry to have worried you guys.
It's fiiiine it's fine it's fine. I'm just glad you're gucci, dude.
He was the first person who spoke to me once I woke up... He'd been here the whole time. It's odd. In a way, it still feels like I could go over to Unit 10's room to see him.
Gnrnfffnnn, baaaaabe, come back to beeeed
Sorry, can't. Got work.
Oh, yeah, right, it's the apocalypse.
You're sure you're alright? You were in a bad way yesterday.
Yeah, I... Sorry. My, uh...
Don't worry, Youka. If anyone knows how to handle my girlfriend having an attack, it's me.
An attack? Of what?
Mio, I keep telling you it's not an 'attack' of anything—
She's done an admirable job working with it until now, if that's the case.
Or, you know, something like it, anyway.
Caaaaap! We're a team, remember?
See, someone here has this cockamamie idea that she needs to handle this all by herself.
You have no idea how hard it was getting her to admit she gets migraines from it, too. Her head was screaming yesterday.
Oh for fuck's sake!
Of all times to be cagey about intricacies of symptoms, now? When we've spent months together by now?
You harebrained fuckwit! Do you have any idea how worried I was about you?! Do you?!
I bet you don't! I bet you think, 'oh, even if I open up to Koron and present myself as a sympathetic figure who could genuinely understand certain parts of her psyche that the target demographic for are vanishingly small, she probably isn't THAT worried! She totally thinks I'm genuinely a well-to-do, totally fine person who never needs any assistance, especially after one of my friends literally died in front of me!'
The whole time I was with Satsuki and her cats, I could hardly even pay attention to the game she was showing me because I was busy thinking about you, dipshit!
And another thing—
You were playing with her cats?
...Yeah, why the hell wouldn't I? They're good cats.
Turns out Koron's good with animals. They liked her.
prolly cause she's so tsundere
I'm not fucking tsundere, Satsuki! Shut your goddamn mouth!
are we friends
No shit, dumbass!
I wasn't expecting that
You... stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid woman, Chisa Inomiko, you stupid, stupid moron idiot dipshit!
I'm glad I know about your symptoms more clearly now so that I can be more accommodating in the future! Fucker!
You know, I was going to approach this in a more Miss Youka-style fashion, but Koron basically said everything I wanted to say. So yeah.
as your friend, fuck you
...Ehehe. Sorry. At least Richter's not mad at me.
Oh Richter's gonna be fuming.
Richter can get mad?!
That wry grin on Kirino's face was an awfully comforting sight.
I didn't sleep much, but I'm feeling great. Feeling happy! Yeah, I'm feeling wonderful!
I tried to get him to sleep, I swear.
Oh, as if you didn't enjoy yourselves. Reimi?
This material's like nothing you've ever seen! It's so miraculously soft to the touch!
Ahem. Last night, with the dev team's assistance, we completed the upgrades to the SDF's shielding and equipment.
It's a very thin, light coating, but it'll provide superlative defense against EM radiation sources like we've been seeing.
The room went dead silent.
It wasn't just me being humble. For every one of us who doesn't make it back, many more people are going to live. We don't have special talents—we're no Dragon-Elimination Strike Team. That's Unit 13's job.
Kirino, can I trust this equipment?
Yes, of course!
Private Makita: Then let's do this. We're the SDF, and we have the power to protect the people!
Will to fight, huh?
I doubt I need to say anything, but... Even if I still don't totally understand what drove him, Gatou was a brave man.
I want to do right by him. And that goes for the rest of Unit 13, too.
It was nice having you back on my team for a bit there, Richter, but you've got a job to do.
That I do, sir. By your leave?
You've got my leave.
Have fun killing things!
Oh, I don't do much of the killing things. That's their job.
He's just a handy guy, that Richter.
That I am!
Let's initiate the operation! All forces, head for Ikebukuro!
Say, Richter, would you like to hear about what was ailing our dear Captain yesterday?
Oh, yes, I was quite worried.
We, er, headed back to our room to make the final preparations—
—poor for team cohesion if our leader isn't being honest about what ails her, as well. I trust your judgment on the battlefield quite a bit, Chisa, but this was clearly a lapse in judgment in terms of our dynamic as a unit. Not to mention, if we hadn't had Mio present to treat you, you would've gone into combat in an addled state, if at all, and your overall exceptional combat skills are a great boon to the team as a whole.
Which is of course completely beside the fact that as your friend, considering that just yesterday you confirmed you considered me a good enough friend for a first-name basis to be comfortable, I was quite concerned for your mental health considering your uncharacteristic silence and erratic behavior. If you're to properly act as Captain we ought to have proper plans in place for when your personal challenges cause you difficulties, and such a plan is a team operation more than anything. After all, proper delegation of duties—
There's, um, a bento on the table.
I helped her with it.
...Right. We need to do this for Aoi.
I am not done with you yet.
—to say nothing of the mental stress it causes the rest of us to have our friend so ailing, especially considering that Koron's skills are mentally-based to begin with! I respect her emotional fortitude, but it certainly doesn't make it easier on her, and being that she's one of our most reliable sources of non-martial damage in the field—
You're right, of course.
—our most reliable source of non-martial damage in the field, that could also hamper our abilities if it came to a combat situation where the both of you were having difficulties. Not to say that I don't trust Satsuki and Youka's skills in combat, but in such a contentious circumstance it does best to capitalize on any advantage we might possibly have—
Thanks for the bento, Aoi. We'll do our best for you, too.
Thanks, Senpai. I appreciate it.
I've been thinking—
—the difficulties it no doubt also places on Mio, who despite not being member of our combat personnel handles several important duties—
To a soldier, I guess what 'mission' means is watching your comrades die, huh?
That's not incorrect.
I don't regret slapping Ms. Hikasa. She was way over the line.
I fully agree.
—hampering the efficacy of primary sources for our various endeavors, possibly damaging the relaying of information to future personnel—
But... because I let myself get caught off guard, Gatou wound up dead. So... now I understand that a bit better.
Still, it's not like any of us are supposed to die. Screw the old lady, I wish I could've done it too!
Yeah, I bet.
You did your best, Aoi.
So we're gonna take down that bastard for you both.
Good luck out there, Senpai.
—overall thoughtless, insensitive act that I hope you reconsider in the future!
Um, taken into consideration.
I'm glad you're okay, Chisa.
Thank you, Richter.
See? Told you he'd be mad.
wow i hope richter never gets mad at me
Ready to go kick some ass, team?
You know it!
The Jigowatt won't know what hit it!
Back to naming them, huh?
I didn't know you were a fan of Back to the Future, Chisa.
Anyway, let's go!
The wind around the Railcage hadn't calmed down. The warp point we'd set up was right where Gatou had died, and there was a pang of pain in my chest because of it. But... I had to keep going. For Gatou.
This isn't a bad tactical position for us, but we've got our work cut out for us. Are you all ready for combat?
Honestly, I'd love to cut a dragon.
Fancy that, here's a wyvern for you!
It looks a lot like the first two dragons, that Renji and Kyoshiro fought with me.
Then those were wyverns, not dragons.
Our Bloom barrier dragon breed for the day is Thunder Dragons. They're pretty tough, too.
if this doesn't work this time i s2g
As expected. Ice is effective, Chisa.
The dragon reared back—
and blasted us with a stream of lightning.
The Thunder Dragons' Thunder Breath can inflict Paralysis, which, as previously stated, has a chance to negate any action. In this case, it's a 35% chance. Pretty nasty.
Thanks for the heads up!
I'll kill it dead!
Nothing to it!
They're threatening enemies, but having high Ice damage allows us to chew through their 1200 HP pretty quickly, no big deal. Just gotta watch out for Thunder Breath.
Ah, helpful. A wyvern's claw won't be without its uses.
We need to be on the lookout. Let's be careful not to—
...so basically, let's not let that happen again.
We should be more immediate about first aid, probably.
I'm good at video games.
sssshhhh. sssshhh. quiet.
...That actually worked, wow.
We got patched up and decided to take a different angle.
Why are we suddenly so bad at this?!
I'M GOOD AT VIDEO GAMES.
Can we be a touch more careful with these in the future, such that we don't take unnecessary damage?
a satisfying bit of loot.
you want it, richter
That was a dead end. Let's try a different direction.
We'll rescue that person sooner or later, don't worry.
Mandala Fans are ice-type enemies, with an all-target weak Ice skill and the ability to inflict Blind on the party. They die to a Dancing Bullets.
Proceed to the top of the stronghold. In close concert with the SDF, destroy the electrolasers and move onward, then defeat the Imperial Dragon. Does that sound good?
Gorgeous! Let's get to work!
We're not letting anyone else die! Over and out.
The Bloom was even capable of growing on those derelict trains, hanging sadly below.
Not exactly a user-friendly structure, is it?
I imagine it's much friendlier for dragons.
Alright, come to Mama.
Would that I had a colder barrier at the moment.
It's fine. I can work with this!
Sure enough, from that blast, Youka didn't even flinch—she used the momentum of it striking her guard to roll deftly beneath it and deliver a strike to the dragon's midsection.
Pictured: The usefulness of Breath Render in action.
Youka! Next, it's going to bite twice.
This exact sequence of events occurs again, aaaand...
The efficacy of Counters.Party, everyone.
A way down again?
Not a terrible way to go if we'd like to clear out more dragons.
No legmaster's gonna get one up on my juicy thighs!
It leapt into the air, and Koron took the initiative.
Not a drop on me.
There's a drop on me.
I can help!
These things are bothersome.
Nice shots, team!
There was a middle-aged man sitting on the tracks, whistling a little tune to himself.
You can't be serious.
He looked up, and his eyes somehow managed to dart past Koron to notice the rest of us first.
Girlish Man: Oh, is there anything I could do to repa—
Then he noticed her.
Girlish Man: I, um—Hi.
What the fuck are you doing all the way up here?!
Koron stomped over and reached over to pinch this man's earlobe, causing him to wail.
I don't mind you looking for dates in hot spots. Ikebukuro's a fine location to find strapping single men. But here you are, and you've climbed all the way up two hundred and seventy-three meters into the sky, sitting here where there are electrolaser encampments that are extremely lethal.
Girlish Man: Sweetie, really, it wasn't that big of a deal, I just hid behind the wyverns—
She stomped ever closer, and the poor man started wilting under her. I knew that feeling.
Reptilian dragonflies! Thunder-breathing wyverns! Ice-launching peacocks! And you decided to come up here?! This hasn't been here the entire time, I'm sure, so did you make a conscious decision?!
Girlish Man: Oh, come on, don't be so meaaan! I thought if I came up higher, I might have a better shot of signaling for rescue from the SDF—
Girlish Man: Wait, sweetie, why are you here?
Rescuing my dipshit father, apparently!
There was a moment of silence.
Hi, Mr. Nagataka! My name's Chisa Inomiko. Your daughter's part of my team, the Dragon-Elimination Strike Team, Murakumo Unit 13. It's very nice to finally meet you.
Mr. Nagataka: Oh! My baby girl, part of a special government team? I always knew you had a spark in you~
Don't think that this will get you clear of a berating. I've been worried about you for months, Father.
Mr. Nagataka: Noooo~ Don't squeeze my braiiin~
We've been operating out of Tokyo City Hall, and we're here to take you back to safety.
Mr. Nagataka: Well, that certainly beats hanging out up here! Ooh, my little Koron, a dragon hunter! You're really moving up in the world!
You had better be glad that I have more important things to do right now than follow you back to City Hall.
We're going to have words, Dad.
Mr. Nagataka: Heeeeelp~ She's so scaryyyy~
here's the way out by the way, just pull the string.
Mr. Nagataka: I'd love to! See you back at City Hall, sweetheart!
So that's why your parents divorced, huh?
Yes, it was perfectly amicable, Dad just realized he needed to live his best life, and that happened to involve becoming significantly more flamboyant.
He seems nice.
He is, he's just a moron.
You know, I knew he was your father the instant he said 'wyvern'.
What the hell is tha—
Ooooooh. May I, Satsuki?
heck yeah. live your dreams, koron.
Keima, eat your heart out.
I think this is the first time we've gotten a piece of unique equipment from a dungeon! These are one-ofs that can't be sold and oftentimes confer unique benefits. The Skytalon here is a flat upgrade along with giving Koron a speed buff, so she really appreciates it.
Guided Soldier: Uh, hey, just so you know, wrong way.
Thanks, we'll be right back.
See? Not really a big deal.
Kyehahahahahahhaha! What kind of moron lives here and doesn't immunize against lightning?!
Ooh, great idea!
(nice work! it can't jump now!)
Go Satsuki, go, go, go Satsuki!
Go Satsuki, go, go, go Satsuki!
This is probably about the limit of this side path, everyone.
Ice 'em, Mama Fudoji!
Youka delivered a spinning hook to the Tower Dragon's leg, causing it to lose balance and stumble, and then, on the reverse, she swung back around to deliver an opposite spinning hook straight to its head. It lost its footing entirely, spun out, and died without hardly a peep.
I forget whether I've covered it already, so I'll mention it anyway—Spinedge Blow is the defense-lowering 2-Depth attack skill, the counterpart to the attack-lowering Double Hook we saw earlier. The two skills deal identical damage (read: a truckload), so it's more a question of which stats you want to lower at the moment.
No need to worry, kiddo.
Middle Schooler: What the heck... y-you're the ones who saved me? Tch, why don't you just l-leave me alone... Can't you see I'm busy?!
That's what I thought.
We returned to the Hub, and continued onward to meet up with the SDF proper.
Fire extinguishing supplies, hm?
Always nice to have.
plus they have such a pleasing color
No matter how many of you stand in our way, it won't matter! Come on, everyone!
Exhaust does a lot more damage.
Let's see if this works!
Not a flaw in sight!
One thing that's pretty consistent about any Dragons using this model is they'll have access to Sonic Boom, a single-target ranged attack that deals a solid amount of damage.
I won't take that lying down!
It's time for you to fall in line!
I still wasn't entirely sure how it worked, but somehow or another, Richter managed to create some sort of feedback loop from the Thunder Dragon's strikes, causing them to wrap inside it and deal colossal damage to it.
Chisa, Koron, if you would!
I've ranted about these skills individually, but this is the first time y'all have seen Luvshock and Feedback in coordination. It looks like this. It looks fucking beautiful.
Here's the way up.
That person out there isn't on the ground that you can reach, you have to inspect from the offshoot passage there on the map. I forget about this, but I'll be back sooner than later.
Four hundred meters! It's time for the operation to begin!
Before long, we ran into some soldiers.
Shining Soldier: Hey, Unit 13's here!
As promised. How's the gear?
Then our calculations are accurate!
Shining Soldier: I always thought that Kirino guy was a wimp, but he really pulled through. Looks like we're gonna be able to handle the lasers. What a frickin' relief, huh?
Shining Soldier: Alright, let's move!
Shining Soldier: Tear it to bits for me!
And when the dust cleared...
Shining Soldier: ...heh, heh heheh! Mission accomplished! I'm alive... I'm alive! Yeah!
...it was like night and day, seeing him laugh like that.
Shining Soldier: Leave the rest to us! Get out there and kick some ass!
Nobody else is dying up here! Right, team?!
It doesn't look like it.
Next time, we finally take on the second Imperial Dragon.