Act 14: Hidden Research

第14節 秘匿の研究


Holmes:

You are Master Gudao, and she is Mash Kyrielight.
Over there is Xuanzang Sanzang, a Servant. And you are Tawara Touta, a Servant.
And you… Oh? What a surprise. You’ve befriended a knight of the Round Table.

A pleasure to meet you, Sir Bedivere. I mustn’t forget to extend my friendship to a fellow Englishman.

  1. How do you know my name!?
  2. How do you know everyone’s true names!?

Holmes:

Elementary, my friends.

Mash:

(There’s his signature line! He’s the real Mr. Holmes!)

Holmes:

We’ve already made contact, through an exchange of information before you came here today.

Mash:

Information?

Holmes:

You safely recovered the intelligence that I left at the Magic Association in London, right?
All I did was organize the documents, but I believe I did you a valuable service.
I picked out only the information you needed, and arranged it in a manner that was easy to understand.
At that point, you’d already accepted me as a collaborator aiding you from the shadows.

  1. Come to think of it…
  2. Andersen did say something…

Mash:

Yes, Andersen mentioned that someone had already organized everything before he started his research!
So it was all thanks to Mr. Holmes!

Holmes:

Yes. If I had made it too easy, Makiri would have found out.
I arranged it so that only a truly wise man would come to realize its meaning, in his pursuit of truth.
You needed to know that information. Not as observers, but as the investigators of this murder mystery.

  1. Murder mystery?

Holmes:

Indeed, a murder mystery. A case on a scale unlike any I have encountered. “The Exhaustive Slaughter of Humanity by the Incineration of the Human Order.”
Truly, a case of mythic proportions. Is it any surprise that I would appear on the scene?

Bedivere:

…Um, Gudao, Lady Mash, I’m sorry to interrupt when you’re so excited, but…
Who is he? Holmes… I remember no knight by that name…

Holmes:

How tragic.
It’s true that I was never knighted as a “Sir,” but the man who recorded my exploits received that honor.

Bedivere:

? The man who passed on your feats was a knight? Erm… my lady?

Mash:

Yes, Sir Bedivere. Mr. Holmes is the world’s most famous detective.
Your class is… Caster, probably? You’re the genuine father of all detectives.
Ahh, if only comms were up and running, the Doctor would be overjoyed!
I can barely contain my own excitement! Sherlock Holmes was real!
In other words, Sir Conan Doyle’s novels were Dr. Watson’s memoirs!

Holmes:

Heh. Our humble attempts to earn a living were worth it after all, if they brought this angelic child such joy.
But Miss Kyrielight, my true self is nothing like the man you imagine me to be. Sadly, that story will have to wait for another day.
Right now, I cannot accept you as a client, Mr. Gudao.

Mash:

Oh… Really?
Mr. Holmes just gave us his opinion without sugarcoating it at all… it really is him…

Holmes:

Hahahahaha! What an avid reader! You know me so well!

…Hm. There are many things I wish to help you with, but there are priorities to follow.
I have been charged by Sir Babbage to uncover a mystery.
He only left behind a slight shred of his intellect, but even that fragment was like a galaxy of brilliant genius.
Until this case is concluded, I cannot join Chaldea.
That is, however, not a critical problem. I shall leave the battle to your heroes.
I am a detective. I have no interest in justice or glory. I merely solve mysteries. It is my duty to do so.

Mash:

(H-He’s exactly how I imagined him!)

  1. You’re saying that you just got here before us?
  2. What could the mystery be…?

[1] Holmes:

Exactly! I opened the trap door to invite you in!

[2] Holmes:

I’m going to give you a lecture on just that. We’ve a long road ahead, after all.

Sanzang:

You’re saying that you’re on Gudao’s side, but you can’t join us?

Holmes:

Yes. My friends, you have come to this academy in search of knowledge.
The Old Man of the Mountain probably impressed on you the need to know everything, correct?
Thus, you must go to the center of the academy. I also have business there.
The core lies a distant 500 meters below the surface. These tunnels were deliberately designed to resemble an underground labyrinth.
I will lead the way to the core. You’ll clear the traps with your bodies.
I’m sure this will be a rewarding collaboration. Now, let us make haste. Infinite knowledge awaits us!


Bedivere:

We’ve come to work together with Master Holmes… Are you sure about this, Gudao?

  1. Let’s trust the detective.
  2. We share a common goal.

Fou:

Foh. Foh, fooh!

Bedivere:

I see. I was never good at dealing with his type. He gives off the same odor as Merlin…

Mash:

Master, mana signatures detected! Something’s coming!
This is the same as London — autonomous familiars!

Holmes:

So the defense systems are still active after all! I was right to wait for your arrival!
My existence is currently unstable, so I cannot engage in combat. I have high hopes for your performance!

[battle]

Holmes:

To begin with, what exactly is the Atlas Academy? A good question, Mister Gudao.
It is an academy of alchemists, founded in the Atlas mountain range of Egypt. It is also known as the Titan’s Pit.
It is one of the three major branches of the Magic Association, an institute of storage and analysis.
Its alchemy is not the modern alchemy established as the mainstream school in the Middle Ages. It was an organization of alchemists that analyzed the truth of the world, a collection of the ancestors of magi.
They were magi, but I have heard that they were acolytes of magic with meager magic circuits.
Accordingly, the process they used to study mysteries did not depend on magical energy. Instead, they relied on a great many tools.
Atlas’ development was similar to the progress of science and technology.
They used the quantifiable energy of the soul — pseudo-spiritrons — to engineer organisms with magic circuits. Homunculi.
“We have no need to be the strongest. We create that which is the strongest.”
That is a central dogma of the Atlas Academy’s alchemists. Following this principle, Atlas has birthed a great arsenal of weapons.
In the world of magic, they are called the Seven Taboos. It is said that the Atlas Academy created seven weapons to destroy the world before realizing their own limits, and sealed them away.
…There are many arguments as to why they created such weapons.

The headmaster of the Atlas Academy is given the title Atlasia.
Earlier, we saw a plate that read Zepia Eltnam Atlasia.
He was the last headmaster. It appears he had a successor, but that person’s name was not written.
The headmasters of the Atlas Academy surely must have gone mad, and created forbidden doomsday weapons as a result.
Or perhaps, the headmasters challenged the future, failed, and then went mad… so say the  various hypotheses.

In any case, this is a storehouse of Mystic Codes without equal on this earth.
Though to tell the truth, it’s a junkyard.
The Atlas alchemists invented many devices, deemed them failures, and dumped them into a terrifying mountain of weapons.
We are headed to its center. So? Do you have an overview of the Atlas Academy now?

  1. It’s really dangerous, got it.
  2. Why’s it called the Titan’s Pit?

[1] Holmes:

A simple understanding! Very good!

[2] Holmes:

Hm. In Greek mythology, remember that titan who held up the world? His name was Atlas.
Perhaps they inherited his duty.
The Atlas Academy has always been in the Atlas mountains. I’ve heard that its naming was just a simple decision.
The alchemists of the Atlas Academy are descended from the goddess Isis, the ancestor of magi in Egyptian mythology.
Its appearance in this Egypt may be thanks to that connection.

Bedivere:

They hid themselves underground in their study of magic… no wonder I’ve never heard of this school.
But I see no students. Is the Atlas Academy destroyed?

Holmes:

…No. According to my investigations, the Atlas Academy has operated from before the Common Era into the year 2016.
The fact that we haven’t seen anyone is probably…
No, let us avoid conjecture. All will be clear once we reach the core.
An underground academy full of mysteries. Laboratories built with unknown technologies…
It may be the ideal shelter. Or perhaps, it is little more than a mass grave.
Let us pursue the truth with hope in our hearts.


Bedivere:

The construction of this place is rather convoluted. It’s more like a labyrinth than an academy.
There have only been forks with two paths as we’ve descended, but turn back and you find yourself at yet another fork.
It feels intended to confuse the traveler. Almost as if…

Holmes:

Indeed, it is designed to confuse anyone trying to get out. One can enter, but leaving is no trivial feat.

Mash:

It’s the opposite of what you’d imagine as a defense against looters. I wonder why it’s built this way.

Holmes:

They feared people leaving more than they cared about visitors.
The Atlas Academy is an assembly of geniuses. They each have their own independent workshops, within which they conduct their research.
There are no taboos in this place. No penalties to prevent the creation of the most unethical of weapons.
There is only one rule here. That which is created here must never leave.
That is the founding principle of the Atlas Academy. They have observed this rule for over two thousand years.

If I were to name an exception, it would be the seven contracts created during the founding of the academy.
The Atlas Academy is bound to cooperate with someone who possesses one of these contracts.
I’m sure they posed no small source of headaches to the headmasters. They probably thought their predecessor created the contracts on a whim.
As of the year 2000, four contracts had been recovered, but the locations of the remaining three were unknown.

[alarm]

Holmes:

Oh, the automated defenses activated in the middle of our conversation! Take care of them quickly, would you?

[battle]

Holmes:

…Hm. Mister Gudao, do you care to hear my impressions of your battle command?

  1. Yes.
  2. No.

[2] Holmes:

Ha ha ha, too bad! It appears you don’t know me as well as Miss Kyrielight does!
Sherlock Holmes never holds his tongue, never restrains himself, and never passes up a chance to annoy people!
I merely offer my estimations!

Holmes:

In other words, Mister Gudao, I’m frankly astonished.
The might of your collective combat ability is breathtaking, of course, but this is merely secondary to a greater factor.
I might say that the root of your strength comes from the form of your contract.
Never before has there been a Master connected to so many Servants.
Even more extraordinary is the duration of your contracts.
Originally, the summoning of Servants was meant to be a temporary measure, something created only for a given battlefield.
An indefinite contract like yours should be impossible. And I expect that you, Master Gudao, have no secrets.
In other words…

  1. In other words? (gulp)

Holmes:

…By the way, Miss Kyrielight. I see that you still can’t make full use of your Noble Phantasm.
Why is that? Is it intentional?

  1. Did you just change the subject!?
  2. Mash still doesn’t know her true name…

[1] Holmes:

Ha ha ha. Hahahahahahahahaha.

Mash:

…Yes, I still don’t know the identity of the Heroic Spirit that granted me power…

Holmes:

That isn’t true. Its identity isn’t much of a problem. Your approach is merely incorrect.
But worry not. The solution will come soon. There is no problem I cannot solve with data.
…No, I apologize. I overspoke. There are still things you don’t know.
We are still locked in fierce baritsu with an outstanding problem — the culprit behind the incineration of humanity. The true nature of the King of Magic.
There is just no information about him at all.
He’s left many traces throughout the ages, but none of these clues lead directly to King Solomon.
If only there were someone who had met the King of Magic directly, we could perhaps parley with Solomon, or investigate him further, but I doubt there are any convenient witnesses to be found. All we can do is make guesses about him with the limited information we have.

  1. Um… We’ve seen the King of Magic.
  2. Well… We’re acquainted with the King of Magic.

Holmes:

! So you were the critical reference I needed! By all means, tell me everything!
What did he look like? What did he sound like? What style of magic did he use? And above all…
…Above all, I want to hear your direct impression of him.
Incongruity. Yes, that’s the word. Anything you noticed off about him will be key.
Please, try and remember. Any trifle is valuable, no matter how small. Did you notice anything strange about the King of Magic?

  1. I remember what he looked like, but…
  2. Come to think of it, something was…

[1] Mash:

I remember too, but I can’t match up my memories… My visual memory of him feels like it’s smothered in noise…

[2] Holmes:

Yes, something was…?

  1. There was one thing about his appearance…
  2. It felt like he wasn’t complete

Holmes:

Something incomplete… Something incomplete, eh? If someone meeting the King of Magic for the first time felt that, then…
It must be something unintentional, so subtle as to make one think, “oh?” in unconscious confusion.

Miss Kyrielight. Could I ask you to sketch the suspect?
I want you to draw the King of Magic that you saw. Normally, even this minor act would trigger a punitive curse, but we are in the Atlas Academy. Its countermeasures against external curses are likely impervious. There is no danger to you.

Mash:

Understood. Drawing isn’t my specialty, but I’ll do my best to get his form down on paper.
And… if you don’t mind, Mister Holmes, I’d like to offer my opinion as well.
It isn’t the same incongruity that Senpai mentioned, but the King of Magic we encountered felt unstable in his words and actions. That’s what stood out to me.
His moods swung from violent to calm, and there were times he was completely indifferent to us.
To me, the changes all felt very sudden…

Holmes:

Hm. Describe it in detail. What was your dialogue like?


Holmes:

I see. Thank you, Miss Kyrielight.
That information was truly beneficial. It was enough to give me a slight grasp on the true nature of the King of Magic.

Mash:

Y-You’re welcome. The honor was mine.

Holmes:

From your encounter, I believe that the King of Magic’s personality resembles a kind of mirror.

Mash:

A mirror?

Holmes:

Yes. A mirror that reflects those who stand before it. It reflects the personalities of the people talking to it.
If a disorderly person is speaking, he becomes vulgar…
And if an intelligent person speaks, he answers seriously.
He answers savagery with cruelty, and calm with serenity.
I doubt that he lacks a self. This isn’t also the same as having multiple personalities.
It is likely that the King of Magic possesses multiple attributes. Or rather, an excessive number of them. That appears to be who he is.

  1. Oh, so when Mordred was violent…
  2. Oh, so when Andersen was a jackass…

Mash:

But he also said that he was indifferent to us, and that life had no meaning.
I don’t think there was anybody there who was thinking that.

Holmes:

There’s the rub. That is what I find frightening, Miss Kyrielight.
“Indifference to humans” is one of the truths about the King of Magic.
After all, he has already annihilated humanity. He is unlike the Lion King currently attempting to destroy this era.
He’s already won. He showed himself because victory was in his grasp.
Of course he would feel indifferent to us. He has already moved on to his next endeavor.
For example, imagine that there is a desk here. On top of the desk is a plan titled “Human Order Incineration.”
He has long since completed that work, and is sitting at the next desk.
Normally, that would be the end of it. Humanity should not have the option to fight him.
But a miracle happened. It goes without saying that I mean all of you at Chaldea.
A slim, blank space on the now unoccupied desk.

Mash:

…You’re saying that the King of Magic is indifferent to us because the incineration of the human order is a task he already completed?

Holmes:

Right. It would be more accurate to say that he is busy with his current work.
I am afraid to learn what that new endeavor is.
Listen, my friends. This is what we call a perfect crime.
There was no one who could prevent it. We’ve been completely outplayed.
A detective’s job begins after the crime has occurred… After victims appear.
Even if we can shed light on the truth behind the crime, there is no way to reverse the deed.
But you are different, Mister Gudao. You alone have the power to defy this rule.
The King of Magic doesn’t believe that you can, and that is the sole weakness in his diabolical atrocity.


Holmes:

Rejoice, my friends. We’re almost at the core. Many answers await us ahead.
The Old Man of the Mountain sent you here for two reasons.
The first concerns this singularity. You are here to acquire information on the Lion King’s goals and holy lance.
The second has to do with all seven singularities. In short, it relates to one aspect of the mystery behind the incineration of the human order.
I am prepared to help you answer both of these questions. But before that…

[alarm]

  1. Before that, we have to clear out these defenses, right?
  2. Right on time!

Holmes:

No. I have a warning. Rather, a declaration.
The greatest reason I have come to you now is because Chaldea’s eyes cannot reach this place.
I will say this while I can. I do not trust Doctor Roman.

[battle]


Mash:

So this is the core of Atlas… There’s a sky in this underground chamber, Master!

Bedivere:

A space large enough to contain a town… To think someone could build such a massive cavern underground…
This indeed seems to be an academy. It contains all the things people need to live.
I’m sure the students find it wholesome as well, even if that sky is man-made.

Holmes:

Furthermore, those obelisks in the center are the Atlas Academy’s greatest storage media, the pseudo-spiritronic processor Trihermes.

  1. This is the… original?
  2. Now that you mention it, this construction…!

[1] Holmes:

That’s right. What you have in Chaldea is nothing more than a copy of this.
It is photonic crystal, which has even been called Philosopher’s Stone. It is an out-of-place artifact impossible for current terrestrial science to create.

[2] Mash:

You’re right! It’s the same as the control room in Chaldea!
Though… most of it is buried in sand…

Holmes:

Now, I’ve already acquired access rights. Normally, one would ask the staff for assistance…
But as you can see, we are in a completely unoccupied ruin. With apologies to its owners, we will have to use it ourselves.

Mash:

…Yes. I wonder why the staff is absent, though.
The entrance is buried in sand, but the facility seems to be in working order-

Holmes:

The reason is obvious — this is the Atlas Academy of 2016. It is from your era.

Mash:

The Atlas Academy of our time… Oh! Da Vinci mentioned that.
She said there was another temporal aberration within the Egyptian territory, already removed from this time period.
So this is what she meant!

Holmes:

Indeed. The magi have been incinerated, but the academy itself remains.
Now, then. Let us proceed to the main topic. All events are recorded in Trihermes.
Though we, not being Atlas alchemists, may be unable to learn all of that information…
Unadulterated truth…  We should be able to find what we need if we look for the outcomes alone. We’ll see the outcomes of the mathematical operations, at least.

  1. What are you looking for?
  2. It isn’t nice to spy on people, you know.

[1] Holmes:

I’m ashamed to say that I need records which even I cannot recall. I seek the document of a certain, secret event.

[2] Holmes:

Ha ha ha ha ha ha! That’s not it at all. I’m interested in the honest truth!
There’s not a speck of guilt on my conscience, nope! The truth excites me, not the ecology of private individuals!

Holmes:

Now, Trihermes, bird that soars through the afterlife! Answer my query!
I seek an incident that has been erased from all records. Show me the unabridged record of the Holy Grail War that took place in Japan, in the year 2004!

Mash:

The Holy Grail War!? You mean Singularity X?
T-The Director did say that a ritual called the Holy Grail War took place in Singularity X, but…
Do you mean that the truth of humanity’s incineration- That the spark was lit there!?

Holmes:

No, it didn’t begin there. But it is an important factor.
The Holy Grail War is a grand ritual in which Heroic Spirits are summoned and made to fight each other, after which the surviving Master and Servant obtain the Holy Grail.
You know that much, Mister Gudao?
Good. Now, it really did happen. And the final occurrence was in 2004, in the Japanese city Fuyuki.
I investigated the records of this war, but despite my efforts, I learned nothing about its course or its conclusion.
All I could find was data on the beginning of the Holy Grail War; nothing but a list of the seven magi that gathered to fight in the war.
And, one of those individuals is known to you. Rather, his daughter, I should say.

  1. Could it be…
  2. Chaldea’s previous director…?

Holmes:

That’s right. I speak of Olga-Marie Animusphere’s father, the late Director of Chaldea.
He was a Lord of the Clock Tower who traveled to Japan in secret and fought in that blood-soaked ritual.
His name is…

…Hm. The results are back. It’s kind of sad that it doesn’t make any noise.
But, I’m glad to see that they were within my estimates. Now, one of my questions has been answered.
In 2004, the Holy Grail War took place in Japan. Its victor was Marisbilly Animusphere.
Trihermes recorded that he killed six magi and obtained the omnipotent wishing machine known as the Holy Grail.


Mash:

He… obtained the Holy Grail?
Before the human order was incinerated… before rei-shifting had been developed?

Holmes:

Yes. The record goes on. Marisbilly brought an assistant with him to the war.
In the year following the Holy Grail War, this person received a special invitation to join the staff of Chaldea.
It was unheard of for someone to become the head of the medical facility at age 22. So much that I would hesitate to call him a normal human being.

  1. The head of the medical facility…
  2. ………

Mash:

Romani Archiman?
The Doctor… knew the previous director before coming to Chaldea?

Holmes:

Yes. What’s even stranger is that Romani Archiman’s history is completely unknown.
No matter how deeply I looked, I could find no records on him before the Holy Grail War. If we used Hermes, we could probably dig something up, but we simply don’t have time to sift through personnel files on billions of individuals, which change every year.
That is why I don’t trust Doctor Roman. Without a doubt, he is a human, and no magus, yet…
He is hiding something. It is something extraordinary. Something close to the truth of all this.

Mash:

……

Sanzang:

Umm… Can I ask something?
I’m not trying to complain that I’m tired of keeping quiet all this time, but…
You said that Marisbilly guy got the Holy Grail, right?
What did he wish for?

Holmes:

Unfortunately, Hermes has no record of his wish. It only shows the results.
According to Hermes, Marisbilly flourished as a magus after the war.
In the Clock Tower, Chaldea and the Animusphere family’s theories had heretofore been regarded as abstract and impractical.
But, a string of successes reversed the Animusphere’s fortunes. The Heroic Spirit summoning system was established.
Virtual experiments were conducted that allowed one to not only observe the future, but to interact with different time periods through rei-shifting.
Around 2004, Chaldea, previously a mere astronomical observatory, was built into a research facility.

Conventional reasoning would conclude that Marisbilly wished for prosperity.
He had no reason to wish for the incineration of the human order. According to documents, his personality was “hard-working.”
He had ordinary desires, ordinary envy, and he loved ordinary fortune. That’s the kind of man he was.
In that case, he may have been manipulated by a third party, or perhaps he unintentionally trod on a land mine.

Mash:

A third party… Might that be Professor Lev?

Holmes:

Lev Reynol was assigned to Chaldea in 1999, coinciding with the technology transfer for Observation Lens Shiva.
He was a pawn of the King of Magic. There is no doubt about that.
…This is the part that vexes me most, to be honest. Lev joined Chaldea with an agenda in mind.
In that case, it would mean that there was a problem at Chaldea before the Holy Grail War in 2004.
It’s possible that for Marisbilly, the 2004 Holy Grail War was just a career move which had nothing to do with incineration of humanity.
If true, I hate to admit it, but… It brings up the question of Romani Archiman.
We are left with an enigma whose activities are unknown, who is unrelated to the case, and who is a trivial nuisance that might as well not exist.

Sanzang:

What the heck!? That’s so sketchy!

  1. Sounds just like Roman!
  2. A mystery man that might as well not exist!

Mash:

Yes, how very like the Doctor!

Holmes:

In my view, he may well be an important player in this case.
Take caution in what you share with him going forward. He cannot be trusted until his secrets are revealed.
At the minimum, Romani Archiman knew about the conclusion of the Holy Grail War, and kept that information from you.


Holmes:

…Now, that’s all I wanted to know. It’s your turn now. But before that…
While I was looking through records on Chaldea, I found an answer for Miss Kyrielight.
I apologize for going off on a tangent, but do you mind?

Mash:

An answer for me…?
Oh, do you mean what we talked about earlier? The true name of the Heroic Spirit that granted me powers?

Holmes:

Indeed I do! I suspected the truth, but held back because I had no proof…
But now I can tell you with confidence. Are you ready to hear it, Miss Kyrielight?

Bedivere:

Wait. Lady Mash needs to discover that herself. It is not for us to say-

Holmes:

No! I will reveal it! Everybody’s figured it out already, anyway!
Only a fool turns one’s back on the truth. Is Miss Kyrielight a fool?
Absolutely not! Emphatically not, Sir Bedivere! What are you afraid of, in the first place!?
So what if nothing changes once she knows her true name? So what if she can’t activate her Noble Phantasm after hearing its name?
I declare that your misgivings are needless! After all…
Mash Kyrielight’s spirit is already whole! Her fears will not change whether or not she has a Noble Phantasm!
Therefore! Even if she cannot use her Noble Phantasm, she will never cease to rise to the occasion!
She will be brave and fight to the end, for the one thing she believes in!

Mash:

[speechless]

Bedivere:

[also speechless]

Holmes:

…Pardon me. I lost myself in the moment. May I reveal his name now, Miss?
The name of the Heroic Spirit who bequeathed to you a new destiny, and saved your life.

Mash:

…Master, do you mind?

  1. Go ahead.
  2. Too bad Roman isn’t here.

Mash:

…Yes. I would have liked for this moment to be a bit more special.

Please tell me, Mister Holmes. My true name. The name of this shield.

Holmes:

Very well. Then, I shall work my way to the truth, as a detective should.
To begin with, how did Chaldea stabilize its Heroic Spirit summoning system?
It was thanks to something which gathers Heroic Spirits.
Once, there was a gathering of heroes. A ritual of oaths, called the Round Table.
Chaldea processed that holy relic, used it as a summoning catalyst, and buried it within a compound body.
Do you understand, Mister Gudao? The weapon she wields looks like a shield, yet it is not.
The first Servant you contracted with would become the foundation upon which many Heroic Spirits would gather.

  1. I knew it, somehow.
  2. It’s totally a Round Shield.

Holmes:

A clever pun, to be sure. I applaud Chaldea’s engineers for this feat.
She holds the core around which the Round Table was built — the sacred Round Shield.

Hear me, Miss Kyrielight.
The second Heroic Spirit summoned in 2010 was Chaldea’s only successful Heroic Spirit fusion trial.
He decried Chaldea’s brutal experiments, but remained in the world to keep his host alive. Then, after the bombing of Chaldea, he entrusted her with all he had.

Your Heroic Spirit’s name is Galahad.

He was a sacred knight of the Round Table, and the only knight to succeed in his quest for the Holy Grail.

Mash:

Galahad, of the Round Table…

[Mash falls]

  1. Mash!?
  2. Are you okay!?

Mash:

Y-Yes… My legs felt weak, so I sat down…
But, I don’t feel pain, or surprise.
I’m just… very  happy.
I finally know the name of the person who believed in me, and saved my life…
I’m just… so, so happy right now.
Have I done his name justice…?

Holmes:

See, didn’t I tell you? That’s just the sort of girl she is.
She would never forget her gratitude. Do you think her someone that would be disappointed in her savior?

Bedivere:

…Truly, you were right. Galahad chose well.
Even in a different age, and among a different people, he would surely entrust his legacy to someone like himself.

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Holmes:

Well, I will leave the awakening of the Noble Phantasm to Mister Gudao.
Hermes is in poor condition. I believe it only has one search remaining before it loses power.

…I should apologize, as well.
I succumbed to the temptation of making it run background searches on the number of unsolved cases left in the world…

Mash:

Mister Holmes!?

Fou:

Foh!

Holmes:

Not to worry, it will function properly one more time. I am a man who never lets the truth escape.
You need to know about the Lion King’s holy lance Rhongomyniad.
Of course, I have heard of the artifact before, but this will be my first time learning of its nature.

Hermes, show us its true value.
……
…I see.

Mash:

(Senpai, I think it’s finished searching. Hermes sure is handy.)

Fou:

Foh. Foh.

Holmes:

Sir Bedivere, how much do you know of the holy lance?

Bedivere:

Nothing in detail. The king had several other treasures aside from the holy sword.
The holy lance Rhongomyniad was one of these. The knights of the Round Table never learned its particular details.
However, Merlin did refer to it the “Tower of the End.”
He called it a pillar of light far across the sea to the west of Britain. A tower that stands at the World’s End, beyond the horizon.

Sanzang:

A tower? But it’s a spear, right? Both of them are really long… so which one is it?

Bedivere:

That is beyond my ken… Master Holmes?

Holmes:

There are two holy lances, Miss Sanzang.
One is a gigantic tower that pierces this world. That is the essence of the holy lance, given form.
We were told that “the holy lance stands tall.” It actually is a tower, but it is out of human reach.
After all, it is at the World’s End. Thus, it is eternally distant.
The Tower stands beyond the world of humans, always watching over it.

Tawara Touta:

Hm, a tower with a commanding view reserved for the gods and Buddha, you say?

Holmes:

The other lance is in the hands of the Lion King. That one is like a shadow the Tower dropped onto the earth.
It is like a personal weapon that allows one to wield the powers and Authority of the Tower.

Mash:

So the Tower is the main body, and the lance is its remote terminal?

Holmes:

A satisfactory example, Miss Kyrielight.
The Tower stands at the end of the world, and its administrator wields the lance.
The question is, why does the Tower pierce the planet?
There is a theory that our world — the human world — is nothing more than one of the textured layers that wrap the surface of the planet, like a carpet.
To the planet, this is the consciousness of the intelligent lifeforms that reign supreme. In other words, our physical laws.
The “carpet” that maintains the laws of physics is our world. It is stitched to the planet so that it does not peel away.
This seems to be the phenomenon called the Tower of the End. It is also not limited to Britain.
There are multiple such pillars located throughout the world. One is the holy lance in the hands of the Lion King.

Bedivere:

So that’s the meaning behind the Tower of the End. The king held such a terrifying relic for years…

Sanzang:

It’s like a pagoda that people offer their faith in the Buddha to, right? I get it!
But what does that have to do with the Holy City? What’s the Lion King planning to do with the Tower?

Holmes:

…It’s likely that the Lion King intends to use the holy lance as the Tower.
The Lion King built the Holy City into a utopia, and gathered selected humans.
Not merely pure humans, but humans that will perform correctly under any circumstance.
According to Hermes’ calculations, the holy lance can absorb five hundred souls.
The Holy City was built atop the Holy Land in a single night. You may think it an impossible feat, but the truth is simple.
That city is the lance itself. The people brought to the city are meant to be stored within the lance.
The Lion King claimed that the pure humans would be protected, but the truth is that they’ve been sealed within so that they cannot escape.

Bedivere:

Impossible! That city is Camelot. It differs in small ways, but it is the castle of the Round Table.
It couldn’t possibly be used for such evil ends!

Mash:

No, Mister Holmes is right. That isn’t Camelot.
It’s true that Camelot was a castle built by the fairies. It also appeared in a single night.
But that… is different. I’ve felt something frightening since I first saw it…
It’s the outer shell of the holy lance Rhongomyniad. It can’t be something that helps people.

Bedivere:

Then… what about the people in the city? Under the king’s protection, are they forced into a life of oppression?

Holmes:

It is no matter of life or death. Everyone in the Holy City will be absorbed into the lance.
The holy lance is similar to the Atlas Institute. It is a shelter, Sir Bedivere.
Yet, it is no place to live. All within are processed as elements required for good humans.
Eventually, the Holy City will converge into a single tower. Only a compressed hell awaits those within the tower.
The people were not gathered to live in a utopia. They were collected as ideal samples of humanity.
Samples to be overseen by the Lion King for eternity. An example of humanity’s value, to be displayed in a show window.

Bedivere:

No!!! This is too disgusting to be the work of humans!

Sanzang:

……

Tawara Touta:

…I cannot judge whether the Lion King’s actions are good or evil. The king is protecting her own people. That is without doubt.

Sanzang:

Of course it’s wrong! What are you talking about, Touta!?

Tawara Touta:

Let me finish! The Holy City will go into the Tower.
What happens next? It’s obvious. The Holy City will disappear, and so will the Lion King’s army.
At the very least, the mountain people will no longer fight the Lion King. The Lion King will have shut herself away, along with her ideals.

Sanzang:

Oh… I get it. The fighting will end, then. For a while, at least.
“I will protect only the people of my land.” The Lion King is following that policy all the way through…

Holmes:

That would be optimal. I agree with Mister Tawara.
…That is, if it only went as far as Hermes’ analysis.

Mash:

…There’s more to it, isn’t there? The Lion King’s Holy Selection has a deeper meaning to it.

Holmes:

Yes. The Lion King will turn the Holy City into the Tower of the End. You all know the implications of that, I’m sure.
The creation of the Tower will turn its surroundings into the World’s End.
In exchange for creating a complete world known as the Tower, the world outside of the tower will disappear.
The Lion King is not only protecting the people of her own country. She intends to discard everything aside from her people.

And, that destruction has already begun.
This singularity is an exception among exceptions because it is already a place that exists nowhere in the world.

Sanzang:

…Oh. There’s nothing beyond the desert because this era is already cut off from the rest of history…

Holmes:

Correct, Miss Sanzang.
The party who both created this singularity and is now attempting to destroy it has long since ceased to be the King of Magic.
It is the godlike Lion King, going so far as to sacrifice a cornerstone of the Human Order in the quest to create an ideal city.

Sanzang:

………


Bedivere:

Everyone, let us return to the surface. We cannot afford to delay.
We must gain entrance to the Holy City before the lance is complete, and ascertain the Lion King’s intentions.

Sanzang:

I agree with Bedivere. Now we know why the skeleton boss sent us here.
Let’s hurry and meet up with the other skeleton folks. We need to tell them what we learned.
…Huh? But why didn’t the boss just tell everyone back then? It would have saved us a lot of time…

Tawara Touta:

Gudao needed to come here. Perhaps, to this desert, rather than this academy.
You can’t always depend on the aid of others. Even the first Old Man of the Mountain can only do so much.
Gudao still has something to accomplish in this land. That might be why we were really sent here.

Holmes:

[laughs]

Tawara Touta:

Hm? What’s so funny, detective?

Holmes:

Sorry. Was I laughing?
If so, it’s because your words were so full of implication. I couldn’t contain myself.

[later. alarms in the tunnels]

Sanzang:

Wait, there’s more of them on the way back!?

Holmes:

Of course. And this time, they won’t compare to what we’ve faced before.
Exit is not permitted at Atlas Academy. I said that, remember?
This will be our final battle in this lost underworld. Fight as wildly as you please!

[battle]

Mash:

Senpai, I can see light at the end of the tunnel! It’s sunlight!

Bedivere:

Our return was swift. It’s all thanks to Master Holmes.

Holmes:

Elementary, my friends. One cannot rely solely on visual memory when entering the labyrinth.
One must draw a concrete mental map while traversing the premises.

  1. Impressive, detective!
  2. Thanks, Holmes.

Holmes:

Hm. I’m glad I was of help in the end. And this is where we part ways, my friends.

Mash:

So… you can’t trust Chaldea after all?

Holmes:

Hrm. Chaldea does have its mysteries, but I am after a different quarry.
Its name is Phantom-
Ah, well, this isn’t really the time. I shall take my leave here, Mister Gudao.

First, let me leave you with a problem to think about. It is the simplest question concerning the incineration of the Human Order.
I’ve been thinking. Why did it originate in the year 2016?

Mash:

Eh?

Holmes:

Hasn’t anyone else considered the question? The King of Magic incinerated human history itself.
That’s just it. If he had done it at the start of the Common Era, the world should have ended without you ever being born.
But he began in 2016. The burning started in 2016, and traced its way into the past.
It was a flame that sparked in your 2016, and burned from there into the past.
Why did he do that? I considered the question, and came to one conclusion.

There must be a reason why the King of Magic had to wait until 2016. Let us suppose, for argument’s sake, that he is located in 1000 B.C.E.
About 3000 years of history must pass between 1000 B.C.E. and 2016 C.E. And, he needed to burn all of this.
Do you understand? The King of Magic didn’t destroy merely because he wanted to.
There was a need to destroy. The conclusion may be the same, but we cannot ignore this distinction.

  1. It isn’t because he hates humanity?
  2. Come to think of it, “indifference” means…

Holmes:

Right. Hostility cannot exist alongside indifference.
…However, this is where my contemplations become troubling. I mean my suspicions about the possible reasons, of course.
One hypothesis, which I mentioned, is that there is some significance in the length of time between 2016 and the distant past.
…Another, is that there is something beyond 2016 which even King Solomon could not see.

Solomon possesses clairvoyance that allows him to peer in to the future.
If there is something beyond that date which even he couldn’t see…

  1. …Maybe the future never existed to begin with?
  2. What if doesn’t exist because he destroyed it?

[1] Holmes:

I arrived at the same conclusion. I pray that we’re wrong.

[2] Holmes:

Yes, that is the simplest answer. I hope that’s the case.

Holmes:

Well, my friends, I shall take my leave here! The next time we meet, let me think…
Let it be in a bustling city, rather than a wasteland! I look forward to working together again in a city worthy of London!

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