rikoren: (serious)
[personal profile] rikoren


Stop. Before we begin our exploration of the city, isn't there something you have to say to me, Reine?

Nah, not really.

...You must have the memory of a goldfish. Try to remember what happened back at the control room!



Ah. I know what she means, senpai. It's that time you were snoozing in the control room, I'm sure of it.

 You'll remember if you concentrate. Here, it was like this———



We made it in time. Your number is...single digit, in the front row.

The front row looks empty, so feel free to choose a seat. It's magnificently bad luck to sit right in front of the chief.

..........



 It's best if you avoid idle talk. Look, it's already starting.

We couldn't start on time, but it seems everyone's here now. Welcome to the secret military agency Chaldea. I am Chief Olga Marie Animusphere. You are people in possession of a rare ability, chosen from many nations. The ability I speak of is the innate ability to perform Spirit Dives. You are people in possession of magic circuits, with the qualifications to become Masters. Hold that fact close to your hearts, however difficult it may be for you to imagine. You are new mages without precedent, reborn through the fusion of magic and science. Be that as it may, this is simply a unique ability; it does not mean you yourselves are unique people in any way. You all are inexperienced rookies, standing at the same starting point together. In particular, the mages dispatched from the Association apparently have yet to disconnect from the student mindset, a fact I'd like corrected immediately. This facility, Chaldea, is under my control. Any pedigrees or merits from the outside world hold no importance here. Your first lesson: What I say is law. The position I stand in is one much different from yours. Comments and objections are not allowed. You will be made to understand that you are no more than tools to be used for the sake of protecting human history.

[lots of chatter from the audience!]

...So noisy. Didn't I just say comments weren't allowed?

You, there. The one who was late. Is there something you find dissatisfying about what I just said?

.......Zzzzzz.

...Err. ...It must be a trick of the light...or eye strain, maybe...she can't be sleeping on her feet...there's no way, no matter how you look at it...



New Recruit (♀): What is this, this isn't what I was promised! We're experts gathered here because you value our ability! We didn't come all the way out to the mountains just to submit to you, do you think we're crazy!?

New Recruit (♂): That's right, there's a limit to how much mockery we're willing to take! As mages our bloodlines are of utmost importance, it's unbelievable that you would make light of that!

[the muttering gets louder!]

Quiet, all this chattering is not allowed! This is exactly why I said you're still students! All I've done is explain the optimum solution for the current state of affairs; if you cannot understand that then I advise you to leave Chaldea immediately!

Then again, we don't have the means to send you back to begin with. If you have the backbone to descend 6000 meters down a snowy mountain while effectively naked, then I'll happily raise my opinion of you.

Good, it seems we have no defectors here. Honestly, I can't believe we had to waste time on such a trivial issue. I want you to understand the urgency of our - no, humanity's current situation. Look. You should all follow the example of that girl over there. She hasn't given any objections or commentary. Obedience is good. ...Now then, let me continue. Alright, today———



 Do you remember now, senpai?

...Vaguely.

"Remember", you say...you obviously didn't hear a word of it! Sit down right here, right this minute! Coming into a singularity without knowing a single thing about the situation or the mission, this is some sort of cruel joke! I'm going to have to explain the whole thing over again, from the beginning. Alright, our organization, Chaldea, is--

[monster noise!]

Chief, this conversation will have to wait. Enemy reaction detected!

Let's fight, Matthew!

Aahh, wait-! Listen to me when I'm talking to yooouuuu——!

[after the battle]

...Hmph. Good work, Matthew Kyrielight. Now that the nuisances have been taken care of, we can finally get back to our conversation.

Go back...is there still more, Chief?

Of course there is! Reine! Don't tell me you've forgotten! We're only halfway through the briefing! In fact, what came afterwards was incredibly important! Remember it, right now! R-E-M-E-M-B-E-R-I-T!

...Guess there's no escaping this.

[beep beep]

Dr. Roman: Now now, don't say that. Chief's long speeches are helpful in their own way, Reine-chan. Do you want to know why you guys were brought to Chaldea as Master candidates? This brief should explain everything.



Listen up. Today, we of Chaldea are saving great achievements of human history. The origin of learning. The invention of religion. The acquisition of the art of sailing. The creation of information transmission technology. The undertaking of space development. Such uncountable pioneering stars can't be outdone--they are the exploits to exceed all others. We are the hand of God, not just making a single step for the advancement of civilization, but protecting the very concept of civilization itself. We change the recorded facts of history in order to stabilize humanity's shaky future. We are protecting the continuation of the logic of those called primates - that is to say, human reason. This is Chaldea's, your sole and unconditional goal. Chaldea has made many accomplishments thus far. The development of the Past Observation Computer Laplace. The projection of Global Environment Model Chaldeas. The completion of the Near-Future Observation Lens, Shiva. The construction of the Heroic Spirit Summoning System, Fate. And the activation of the Spirit Processor Trismegistus. With this technology, we of Chaldea can see one hundred years into humanity's future. We do not predict the future, but observe it outright. Chaldea watches over the future as one might look out at the stars. Whatever its contents might be, human history will continue those hundred years, and we will guarantee its continuance. Look above you. This is Chaldea's greatest achievement--the global environment model created through the most advanced magical theories, my most prized Chaldeas.



Olga Marie: If we were to define the planet as having a soul, then this tiny globe is a manufactured copy of that soul. As we all have differing wavelengths, we cannot obtain detailed information on any single human's perception or knowledge. Currently this is set one hundred years ahead. Chaldeas, then, is the same as the Earth of the future. As long as the light of civilization burns in Chaldeas, the future of humanity is guaranteed these next hundred years. In other words, its continued light is proof that civilization continues, just as the light of cities is proof of human inhabitance. However--Lev, return Shiva's polarized light to its normal angle.



Olga Marie: Current conditions are as you see here. Half a year ago, Chaldeas changed color, and the future became difficult to observe. The majority of places we have observed up to this point have become invisible to us.

[muttering from the audience]

Hm, that's a good reaction. It helps to have people with a few working gears in their heads.

That's right. If the light goes out, it means civilization has come to an end. This is highly confidential information, but you lot have the right to know. Based on our observations, the light of humanity on Earth can be confirmed up to the year 2016--in other words, we have estimated - no - confirmed, that it is in 2016 that humanity goes extinct. It goes without saying that such a future is impossible. It may be an inarguable fact, but it is physically impossible. There has been no collapse of economy or change in the earth's crust. There is no adequate explanation for how all of human history could cease so suddenly in a single day. We've spent the past six months investigating the cause of this abnormal phenomenon--the disappearance of our future. If it cannot be found in the present, then that cause must be found in the past. Through the use of Laplace and Trismegistus, we have uncovered information from up to 2000 years in the past. We attempted to find things that were not previously recorded in history. Foreign objects which did not exist on Earth before this point. As a result, we've observed a new abnormal phenomenon. It's here-- [the sphere lights up again] Spacial Singularity F. AD 2004, a suburban city in Japan. Here, history stopped at the year 2015, and we found an unreadable "dead zone" in its place. Under the assumption that this is the cause of mankind's destruction, Chaldea proposed the ley shift experiment to the United Nations, and was given the go-ahead. Ley shifting is the process of changing a human into spirit form and sending them to the past, where they can then interfere with events. In layman's terms you could call it time travel, though it isn't something just anyone can do. It is a journey only possible for Master candidates in possession of outstanding magic circuits.

Now then--you should understand everything I've explained thus far. Your assignment is the investigation of Singularity F.

You will go to the Japan of 12 years in the past, investigate the cause of the future's disappearance, and destroy it. This is an operation the likes of which has never been done before. We cannot predict what awaits you. But that should be no problem for you, who were chosen as the greatest hopes of nations around the world. The top brass want this investigation done as quickly as humanly possible, if not faster. There's no time for pointless arguments. One hour from now, you will be going through your first ley shift experiment. You should have had enough virtual training by now. We're sending Team A - the 8 people with the highest marks - to Singularity F. There are no orders to convey to the other groups, but they are Master candidates chosen by Chaldea. Team A has been working together for a month now. You could call them maturing soldiers. As Team A will be going in first, they will be building the base camp in Singularity F, and securing your safety when you continue work after them. Team B and on will monitor their situation, and prepare for participation in following experiments. Now the quantum boxes used to change human beings into spirit form and transcribe them into the past - the Klein Coffins - are each registered to an individual person. It's one tomb to a person; that cannot be changed. Each of you should treat them carefully and discretely. As soon as Teams B through D are finished registering, you will wait on standby in your Coffins. Be prepared in case any problems arise with Team A.

[more murmuring]

——What are you doing? I just explained what you're supposed to do.

Having responded to the call as Master candidates, you are already soldiers of a sort. Obey your orders. Adapt to the need to fight at any time. Don't complain about little things like this.

Or could it be that you have questions? Alright, you over there! Yes you, the late one! I give you special permission to ask any question you want. Your head is tilted as if you're confused, is there something you're displeased with?

Aren't there problems with changing the past...?

......You. Did understand when I mentioned singularities, didn't you?

The singularity we recently discovered is something not previously recorded in our observation records. Think of it like a hole suddenly appearing out of nowhere. The hole itself is detached from the normal time axis. The singularity in 2004 stands independent from the past and future. It has no need to fit in with anything before or behind it. We can safely shift to it with normal time travel methods, and whatever changes we make to it will have no effect on the stability of time. Singularity F is like a stain on the dress that is human history, a tiny unclean blot. A poison that would harm all that is beautiful. All you are doing is extracting this poison. Then our history will return to the original, correct state which we had observed before.

...Honestly. What could the organization be thinking, giving us people who don't even know such basic time-space theories? This operation was proposed as the magical community's greatest duty too, assigned by the grand magi themselves...

Well, whatever. Which team are you......wait. Let me see your ID.

What is this, this assignment has to be wrong! An ordinary cooperative worker, and no combat or virtual training on top of that!? You're mocking this organization! There's nothing in Chaldea's framework that allows laymen like you to join! Lev! Lev Raynor!

 I'm right here, Chief. What are you yelling so loudly for? Is something the problem?

There's problems all over the place, as usual! I want this rookie out of my sight, right this instant!

 Ahh...so that's it. But Chief, that girl is a chosen Master candidate as well. It's true she's inexperienced when compared with the others, but treating her so cruelly might be a problem in itself...

Letting a layman with no experience whatsoever is a problem in itself! What is she going to do when something comes up on Chaldeas!? Just hand her over to Romani! She can at least get the bare minimum of training done!

 ...Hrm. I don't much like this, but. I suppose I'll have to obey your orders for now.

 Matthew, escort Reine-kun to her private quarters, if you could.

Understood, I heard everything. All I need to do is escort her to her room?

 Sorry about this. I must help with ley shift preparations, so I can't go with you. Here, the experiment this time should be over in around two hours. I'll visit you afterwards.

Thank you.

 Oh, you don't need to thank me. You're very lucky, after all.

Alright senpai, this way. I'll show you to the senpai room for senpai use.



 And there you have it. Do you remember the details revolving around getting driven out of the control room now, senpai?

Perfectly.

...You say it so shamelessly. You're more impudent than you look.

At any rate! Now do you properly understand how much trouble you caused, right before such an important operation!?

Dr. Roman: Umm, Chief Marie? That's kind of a false accusation...

A false accusation, you say? Because of how long that Q&A session took, I didn't have any time to change my clothes!

? But Chief, there were no plans for you to dive, so you had no need to change into a suit...

I did! I did, I tell you! My formal outfit, made and prepared specially for the operation-! ...Ugh. I never got to wear it even once...too late now.

Anyway, you understand what your duties and responsibilities are as a Master candidate, yes? Right then, Reine. I'll trust you to be my guard once again. I expect you to carry out your duty to the best of your ability.

Yessir, roger that, Great Chief Marie.

W-what are you doing, that's creepy. I-I won't be softened up by flattery!

...It's good that you're getting along. Well then, let's get moving before more enemies arrive.

[later]

By the way. You should have knowledge of what sort of creatures Servants are, right?

Nope, I got nothing.

As I thought. There's no helping it then, I'll teach you on the move. Think of Servants as the highest-ranking familiar you can get in the magical world. Various heroes left throughout human history. Great exploits. Concepts. These are the sort of things summoned in spirit form. Heroes actually recorded in history, heroes who never existed. They aren't much different from "data generated on Earth." To summon a Heroic Spirit is to change the data stored in this planet into a form capable of benefiting mankind. It's a natural privilege for us to use the legacies of the past for the people of the present, just as it is the duty of living creatures to use their inheritance for the sake of the future they will leave behind. Do you understand? The being you contracted with is an existence above humanity, which nevertheless serves it as a tool. That is why we call them Servants. Because they are no more than servants who follow the orders of their Masters as if it were the will of God.

 Chief. My every cell is protesting that your way of thinking is too extreme.

...Hmph. In other words, the Servant you fused with must be an Earth attribute Heroic Spirit.

A hero of the past being used as a familiar is called a Servant. The one who forms a contract with the hero and uses them is a Master. Furthermore the Servants are split into seven classes, which can change according to their stories and abilities. It is difficult to fully revive a heroic spirit's body and soul. Human mages just don't have enough resources or memory to handle that. Therefore we fixate on only one aspect of the heroic spirit. That is where the seven classes come in - Saber, Lancer, Archer, Rider, Caster, Berserker, Assassin. Whichever heroic spirit they may be, they are always manifested in one of those classes. That is the Servant's true form...a form of protection that acts as the hero's name, hiding their true name. As for why their true names are hidden: because these heroes are powerful, this consequently means they are also well-known. Let's take Achilles of Greek mythology, for example. Achilles was a hero with an invincible body, but isn't his weak point a little too famous? When a hero is revived, their weaknesses are brought over with them. That is why heroes hide their names behind their classes. As long as their true form remains a mystery, they can use it as a sort of trump card. The wonder that hero holds, whose existence is crystallized. That is--



Chief, I'm sorry to interrupt you when you were enjoying yourself. Enemy lifeforms have been confirmed. We're entering combat.

 Eek-!? H-hurry up and get rid of them! I, I'll just be hiding myself!

[after the fight]

......

Dr. Roman: ...I can feel the tension from the other side of the monitor...looks like Chief is as cranky as ever.

What's she always so angry for?

No, it's still possible to feel compassion for Chief's mood. I'm sorry to say this, but you know far too little about Chaldea, Reine-senpai.

Y-you think so...?

It really is a problem. To a bewildering degree. The amount of interest you've shown in understanding your situation is comparable with that of a cat.

—Though I suppose I'm not much different. I've worked here for two years, and yet there is much I don't understand. As if I were leisurely hiding myself. I might as well be a crocodile, it wouldn't make a difference.

It's true, crocodiles don't know any of this stuff.

 That's right. The knowledge I have is something like a catalogue. But I will recite it for your sake, senpai.

Chaldea, the Organization for the Preservation of Human Reason. More precisely, the Organization for the Intermittent Preservation of Human Reason, Finis Chaldea. A research establishment and observatory that has gathered researchers of both magic and technology without distinction, in order to allow the long and resilient continuation of human history. It is a secret military agency erected by the combined efforts of countries across the globe, observing both a world invisible to magic, and a world immeasurable by science, for the sake of protecting mankind from the ultimate Bad End.

Wow. You're like a walking dictionary, Matthew.

 Yes. Well, there you have it.

Fou!

 Chaldea was established through the combined funding of many nations, but of those seven, for the mage's association of London - it was the Animusphere family that contributed to the funding. That is Olga Marie's family. Though Chaldea became a research establishment, it is due to their importance that the level of discipline within its walls is on the level of a military force. Because of the very strict rules and regulations that are laid out, the chief's high-handedness can actually be said to be rather reserved. She is not a scoundrel, but a villain. Any staff that do not please her will be beheaded without reservation.

Er, wait, is that right? Is it okay to call a bad-natured person a bad person?

...I'm sorry, senpai. I wanted to encourage you with some stylishly theatrical elocution, but I haven't had much practice with it.

Kyu. Nkyu, kyu!

[another monster has appeared!]

EEEEEKK!? Hey, what are you two doing!? Look, look behind you! Prepare for battle, hurry up!

! How did they get so close...! Senpai, your orders, please...!

[later]

Haaaa...you need to pay more proper attention to your surroundings. Romani may be monitoring us, but remember that this is a singularity. You never know what might happen! Just look at you, Kyrielite. Come over here. You're injured, aren't you? I can treat you if it's just that much.

 Ah...yes, ma'am. Thank you, Chief Olga Marie.

Sheesh. It's only when she's calm that the chief gets reliable...

Reine-chan, let me tell you something too. The chief...Olga Marie's in a difficult position, too. Originally she was just another Master candidate, just like the rest of you. But three years ago the previous chief...her father died, and though she was still in school she inherited his position as leader of Chaldea.

You can imagine it was day after day of stress from then on. The Animusphere family name was all on her shoulders now, after all.

Marie was putting her all just into maintaining Chaldea. And that's about when abnormalities popped up in Chaldeas. We could no longer see the hundred years into the future that we'd protected thus far. We got mountains of criticism from association sponsors. "Have this situation resolved immediately," was the command she was given.

To top off her bad luck, it was confirmed that she didn't have an aptitude as a Master.

Renowned among noble families, one of the Twelve Lords, the family governing the Mage's Association's Heavenly Body Department, the Animusphere family. For the head of that family to be unable to become a Master, that'd definitely be cause for scandal, right? It's easy to imagine how many malicious comments were whispered behind her back. Marie herself probably heard her fair share of those voices, too. Despite all of that, she's been doing her best as chief. She's been holding on by the skin of her teeth this past half-year.

The truth is, she's so overloaded I want her to come see me for her mental health, but there's never been any time for it.

That's why she's so strung up, both physically and mentally. Her treating you badly doesn't mean she doesn't like you.

Nah, she's actually kinda funny.

 Whoa, that's cruel! Ah, but I understand that, though. I kinda get how you feel.

The chief was a sheltered rich girl, so you could say all her reactions are honest, or naive maybe...don't let her hear you say that though. She'd have her eye on you more than ever. Anyway, you three are all we have to rely on right now. So get along, don't fight, and keep on investigating.

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