[You enter the control room with Mash.]
Oh. Is that…?
This is cheap wine. However, perhaps fearful of the honor that I grant this disgusting, vulgar liquid for passing through my throat, it quickly disappears.
I will acknowledge its grace in doing so, at least.
Ha ha ha! Does that you mean you rate it highly as a thirst-quencher? What a roundabout way of saying so!
Are they having a… party?
Ah, Nitocris is at the end of the table, watching soberly. She seems to be the most settled of them.
Let’s try talking to her, Senpai.
Oh, Master and Mash. What brings you here?
We just happened to be passing by.
Um… What are you all doing?
As you can see, we are having a drinking party.
The two pharaohs there invited me…
Or rather, I’ve volunteered to pour the wine.
But why here, in the control room?
If you are asking about the location of our feast, it is because Pharaoh Iskandar declared it fit for a banquet of kings.
If you wish to know his intent…
What are you doing at the end of the table, Nitocris!?
Drink! Empty your cup, and drink again!
This is a gathering of pharaohs, and you are one yourself!
I invited Cleopatra, but she seemed to be torn between emotion and dismay, and then she went into shock.
Anyway, that leaves none other than you to join us as the representative of Chaldea’s female pharaohs!
…I am unworthy of the honor, but that’s what happened.
Now that you mention, it is true that you all have the title of pharaoh.
- Iskandar, too?
Mm, if it isn’t our Master and Mash. Were you lured here by the aroma of wine?
Hrm, I don’t mind! I grant you special leave to join us as mutual friends! Now, drink up!
You would cheapen this party of pharaohs?
Besides, they seem to be at the age where they should still avoid liquor.
I’d also add that your status as a pharaoh is in question to begin with. You never get angry, despite your age. Still, I will permit it. Now, drink!
Haha, what a critic. But I do have a proper title. It’s Meryamun Setepenre!
Hm, you bear the same Setepenre name as I, though many pharaohs do.
I am he who was loved as King of Upper and Lower Egypt. Usermaatre Setepenre, son of Ra, Ramesses, and Amun.
It is I, Ozymandias, the Sun itself! Very well — carve this memory deep into your spiritual core and Saint Graph.
Impressive! It’s like we’re actually brothers!
You are no brother of mine! We aren’t brothers, but, hmm…
O Sun King, in my eyes, you are certainly a pharaoh!
…That’s probably what Cleopatra would say.
Oh? You dare test my will?
N-No, Pharaoh. I would never do such a thing! It just crossed my mind that she might say that, so…
She certainly would say something like that. Since when did you women pharaohs grow so close?
Surely you jest… Please forgive me. My only lord is the Sun King, and my only confederate is Ritsuka!
Cleopatra is more like… a sister many years younger than me, who requires special care…
Hahaha. Don’t tease her so much, Sun King. Though, Cleopatra probably would say something like that.
She was the world’s last pharaoh, so I suppose she is like a granddaughter to us.
I won’t deny that. Even if we lack a blood connection, she was the last to inherit the title of Pharaoh and the grace of the gods.
That’s right. Hm, but that means…
Nitocris. It would be you.
You are the most ancient pharaoh among us. That would make you like our mother, would it not?
Hm. It’s true that you are a venerable avatar of Horus.
M-M-Me!? As Ozymandias’ mother!?
That means I could do this or that for him!? A mother must care for her son…
Like cooking, and lap pillows! In addition to telling him fairy tales and scary stories!
I-Is that really allowed for me? I’ve never raised a child…
N-No, I do not deserve this honor!
It is too much for me. For instance, Iskandar…
You accomplished far more as a pharaoh than I ever did.
You are the King of Conquest who burst forth and conquered many lands. I am unworthy to even touch your feet, truly.
What is there to see in a king who merely expanded his domain until it was destroyed? I am a god, the sun itself, and a true pharaoh.
Pharaoh Ozymandias! I need not even recount your glory!
You are Ozymandias, king of kings — the pharaoh who is king of the gods.
It would be presumptuous of me to measure my deeds against those of a guiding figure like yourself…
…And that is true of Pharaoh Cleopatra, as well.
I never attempted to protect the kingdom as earnestly as she did.
- Right, Cleopatra…
- She destroyed her kingdom, didn’t she?
If we are to speak of destruction, then the downfall of Upper and Lower Egypt was ordained as soon as I, the true pharaoh, was lost.
In the absence of my rule, the reign of any other pharaoh would be imperfect.
It was inevitable, just as the the Nile must reach the sea. I would not expect much from anyone else.
Hahaha. I feel like I’ve said this before, but no kingdom lasts forever. That’s true even of my Macedonia.
Yes. In spite of her country’s inevitable destruction, I believe that she fulfilled her role splendidly as a pharaoh.
- You seem sad.
Yes, Senpai, I agree. Being here seems to sink her spirits.
She… well, I can see why she hasn’t been drinking.
…You understand, don’t you?
I am… far too inexperienced as a pharaoh.
When I witness these great pharaohs of history, whenever I present myself before them… I feel terribly downhearted. N-No, I mean that I feel great shame.
But, Iskandar said it earlier. You’re the oldest pharaoh in Chaldea, right?
That means you were one of the pharaohs that lived during the Age of Gods…
That is the perspective of your magic: ancient, profound mysteries must contain power.
In my case, however, no, it has nothing to do with age.
The issue is my status as a child of the gods, a king that reaches the gods, and a pharaoh who is an avatar of the gods.
………Why am I a Heroic Spirit?
Do you know why I did not pass to the Eternal Realm after my death?
The great Ozymandias is an exception. Someone of his stature would surely have never chosen the Eternal Realm.
But I… I would never reach the Eternal Realm.
Ritsuka, as my confederate… perhaps this is something you need to hear.
I was a foolish pharaoh who sealed the path to the Eternal Realm.
I took my own life without preparing myself for resurrection in the next world. But I have no regrets.
For my brothers, I took a knife to myself.
The traitors who thought to make a puppet of a pharaoh, and the fools who dared to mock a pharaoh…
Without a shred of mercy, hesitation, or regret, I drowned them all in the waters of the Nile.
- It was revenge.
- You… killed them.
Yes, I slaughtered them all, with my own hands.
To oblivion with you, foul beasts!
Scream, wail, and plead all you like! No one will hear it!
I will kill you all! Drown in the waters of the Nile and die! Rather, you should rejoice!
You fiends manipulated my brothers as puppet pharaohs, and then murdered them!
I will never forgive you! How could I!? I will never, ever forgive you! Long have I awaited this day!
Why, Nitocris!? We are the ones who made you pharaoh!
It was all for this day, so that I could butcher you like the swine you are.
I have lived for that sole reason. So that you would choose me to be your next puppet…
So that I could trick you into thinking you could toy with my dignity, my being, and my body.
And then, you fell into my trap. What did you imagine when you heard I had a gift for you?
An extravagant banquet? Mountains of riches? Or perhaps… you longed to taste my flesh?
It’s over. I will end it all. For the arrogance of presuming to exploit a pharaoh, you will die!
Stop! No! I don’t want to die! Somebody help us!!!
Then, beg my beloved brothers for salvation! My brothers, whom you slaughtered without mercy!
You will never reach the Eternal Realm. Heh. But, rejoice — neither will I, for I shall follow shortly.
I will seize you and inflict eternal, untold suffering on your souls!
I killed them… And then, I took my own life.
It was my long-awaited vengeance.
When I reflect on it, my deeds in life may be the reason for my short temper as a Heroic Spirit.
I was a puppet pharaoh. Vengeance is the only feat that I can lay claim to.
Still, that is all the more reason I strove to do right.
I punished those who disrespected the throne, and tried to return the pharaoh’s glory to the land.
I certainly have my pride as a pharaoh. But, still…
Compared to other pharaohs, I tremble at my insignificance. I am far too pathetic…
To be honest, I… I cannot even raise my head!
Insignificance, you say?
[Iskandar walks over to a console. It beeps.]
Let me see. Is it… this? Beep, beep.
Difficulty setting? Oooh, “Spartan Mode.” That has a nice ring to it. Lacedaemonians truly are formidable in spirit. We must go with this one.
Iskandar? What are you doing at the console?
(intercom) Huh? Hey! Hellooo?
The training program just started up. What are you guys doing down there?
We are doing something, indeed! This drink has warmed me up, so I thought I’d cool off by giving my sword a few swings!
Oh, we’ll be helping the enemy side, by the way.
My tongue tires of this swill. I shall join you for this children’s game!
Rejoice, false warriors. You will not disappear, for I shall stand behind you to light your way!
Weep in gratitude, lifeless folk. Burn the radiance of a pharaoh into your flesh!
Hrm, hrm. So the other side will be Master, Mash, and Nitocris. A good balance of teams.
When did we sign up for this!?
(intercom) Uh, I don’t really know what’s happening, but you’re fighting in the simulator, right?
Um. Well, try not to hurt yourselves, okay?
Me? Fighting the pharaohs in honorable battle? That would be impertinent of me-
Desertion before the enemy is forbidden. If you flee, I’ll give you an appropriate punishment.
What say you, Sun King?
A godly pharaoh has no need for retreat or defeat! After all…
Indeed. All right. If you intend on running, then abandon your title as a pharaoh.
Do not call yourself pharaoh. Do not use your status. Also… hm.
Apologize for playing pharaoh all this time.
I… I cannot do that.
I am a pharaoh. No matter how short my reign was, that is the one thing I can never-
Then you have no choice but to fight. Ah, and this goes without saying, but you’ll do the same if you lose. It would be boring if you lost on purpose.
On the other hand, if you win…
Well, I’ll think of a reward.
King of Conquest, you talk too much!
Nitocris. Can your mirror still reflect darkness before the light of my infinite radiance?
If you are a pharaoh, then endure it! If you cannot, you will disappear. Ha! That’s all there is to it!
It looks like we have no choice!
Ritsuka! My confederate!
I am but an untested pharaoh. Still, I am proud of the fact that I was a pharaoh.
I cannot lose that pride. I must not flee, and I must not lose!
Bluntly put, we must win! I command you to lend me your strength! No, I implore you to aid me!
[battle against Iskandar, Ozymandias, and Cleopatra]
S-Such incredible spirit!
Y-You won? You beat three pharaohs that were iconic of their eras!
Heh… Ha ha ha! The loss is ours!
I did not intend to hold back. Cheap wine poisons the mind into arrogance, I suppose.
Why are you all…
(Oh, right. Cleopatra is here, too. When did she join the match!?)
Hey, that’s not a face a victor should be making.
I didn’t hold back against you. Your spirit merely triumphed over ours.
Indeed, you… Well, I did too, actually… You have fought multiple pharaohs, and won.
Queen of Mirrors, from a bygone era. You are a more than adequate pharaoh.
I stake on my honor on that claim. Accept this praise as your reward.
He is correct, great Nitocris. I witnessed your words, as well.
They were the proud boasts of a pharaoh.
(Wait… When did you get here?)
Hrm. At the very least, it is something that I lack.
Have you not proven yourself to be an even more excellent pharaoh than I? What you are you so ashamed of?
Excellence as a pharaoh? What nonsense! A pharaoh is glorious simply by virtue of being pharaoh! You presume too much to wish for anything greater!
For I am the greatest and most magnificent of pharaohs, and all others are worthless before me!
Whether you are a pharaoh who labored in darkness and vengeance, a conquering pharaoh who conquered, the very last pharaoh…
…or even a child pharaoh who ruled for but a few days before his death…
To me, they are one and the same!
Still, that is all the more reason to strive for my perfection. Insolent though it is, you should try to comprehend it.
Humans reach for the sun, even as they know they cannot touch it. They are creatures that yearn to touch the gods.
There is no act more meaningless than the loss of hope, simply because you cannot reach me. That would be true insolence.
Hey, did you just count me as one of the pharaohs? I feel like I just got a certificate!
………Haha, this wine is terrible indeed! I see it has beguiled not only my mind, but my tongue as well!
Let us have a change of venues and begin again, my knights. And next time, bring some wine that won’t twist my words, at least!
Knights? You know, you’re a Rider too. I don’t mind drinking some more, but there isn’t much to choose from in this place…
Oh, come to think of it, I happen to know a king whose ego knows no peer. His wine isn’t half bad.
He might still have some left in that vault of his. Where’s he hanging about?
[Iskandar, Ozymandias, and Cleopatra leave the control room]
Could… Could it be that the pharaohs…
…wanted to tell me this all along?
In my foolishness, I failed to reach the Eternal Realm, and was guided to the Throne of Heroes instead, where I became a Heroic Spirit.
I always thought this was my punishment from the gods, but…
I have been able to meet the great Ozymandias, and other pharaohs. And, I have found in you a comrade like no other. Perhaps this was not meant as a punishment, but rather…
…No, never mind.
I was rambling. I took leave of my senses. Quickly, forget what I said. I command you to forget it!
(intercom) Hey, I hate to interrupt the mood with bad news, but there’s something you should know.
Thanks to your full-power battle, the simulator is in terrible shape! The cleanup is going to be a really tough job, you know!
- Leave it to us.
- The two of us will take care of it.
Yes, Senpai. You’re right.
We’ll take care of this, Nitocris, so you can go where you like.
…Are you sure?
Pharaohs… the rulers of Egypt. I’m sure that, since they reigned for such a long, long time, that name must bind them in some special way.
Now, Senpai. Let’s work hard to clean this up!
But, this is going to be a tough job for just two people, so I recommend that we call for some help first.
Doctor? Are you listening?
Yeah. I’m still here, of course. You said you two would clean up…
They even messed up the simulator systems… Those pharaohs fight way too flashily… *sobbing laugh*