Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Entry 52: Chasing the ideal

[We go down into the new torture room, which is not much of a room.]

Rani and Lancer are here! According to Rin, when I talk to Rani I need to say “no” to her the whole time…

Tamamo :: Before we talk, this won't be much of a conversation unless someone does something about that red one. With our current power level, we might not be able to do much, though.

Lancer :: Ooh they’re here, a great way to kill some time. Come on Rani, let’s start. It’s time to show off my real musical skills!

She’s coming…! Lancer’s smile is different from when she was with Rin, it’s the smile of who who truly enjoys slaughter from the bottom of her heart. Even before she was clearly a cruel Servant, but now she overflows with a bloodlust sharp enough to cut you if you touched it.

Rani :: I can’t permit you to do that. Please put away your mic…your spear, Lancer.

Lancer :: Leave it to me, taking off with my first number — wait, what!? Hold on, another postponement!?

Rani :: It is necessary to take responsibility for one’s statements. We will not fight on this layer.  Since that is what I declared, we will not fight here. Please follow the rules, Lancer. To always keep to one’s schedule is a requirement for a top idol.

Lancer :: …so these are the obligations of the service industry? Fine, I’ll sign off on it. It is the destiny of the flower blossoms to be unable to move freely. I’ll clear up my frustrations with the pigs in the torture chamber.

Rani :: …now then. As you can see, we’re not doing anything. Killing me will not open the shield. Essentially, this is a stalemate. Rin Tohsaka self-destructed, but I’m different from her. I’m a homunculus. A manufactured life. No embarrassing secrets were placed in my heart.

…is that so? The memories are fuzzy, but Rani in the Holy Grail War had a heart. She fought, made decisions, and laughed by her own will. And —

Julius :: …that’s wrong, isn’t it. It’s because she has a heart that BB chose her as a Sentinel in the first place. So that homunculus has a heart. …all living things do, though it may be hard to see and understand. Kishinami. Ask her why she made the Labyrinth like this. If Rani VIII behaves logically, she should be compelled to answer.

Julius is right. Rani said she hates pointlessness. Therefore she must have some reason for this Labyrinth’s “corrective program.”

Rani :: The reason…? It goes without saying. You were not yet qualified to meet with me. Humans have many extraneous qualities. Things that are of no benefit to them. I am administering proper education. This Labyrinth utilizes my heart. Therefore, those who enter it must also attain a nature that lacks pointlessness, according to my wish.

Tamamo :: Hmmm. She's brought out the Rani-style "correct lifestyle" she espouses so much. But she can't match up with me.

Rani :: Yes, you have a problem with that? I have always thought that Hakuno was wasting her talents. Therefore I will give her discipline. It’s all for her sake. I you could call me a mother…well, an underclassman, obsessing over her education, I wouldn’t bother me.

Pain faintly runs up my left arm. Do I need to respond to what Rani just said?

> Thanks, sister in education!
[>] I never asked for this!

Rani :: …there’s no way you didn’t. Why else would you, one grade above me, have come to me for help?

> You helped me out.
[>] You were no help!

Rani :: …so I wasn’t helpful? But you must have considered it. That it would be good to do so.

> I considered it.
[>] Of course I didn’t!

Rani :: …that’s not – possible. Based on objective statistics, I improved you life style, Hakuno. Showed you how to a superior human being. You cannot deny that. You felt better, didn’t you?

> I did feel better.
[>] I didn’t feel good at all!

Rani :: …impossible. My program is perfect. And it is entirely aimed at making you a superior human being. I do not take violent actions. I am only here to provide superior management. So why, how can you deny that?

Rin :: Obviously because you made a mistake. Hakunon, tell her. Rani’s inconsistency, the opening to her heart.

I’ve already come this far, there’s nothing to fear. Rani’s inconsistency. Her secret desire. It’s —

[>] This is nothing but Rani’s idealized image
Rani :: …!

Right. All these requirements are nothing but the ideals Rani wishes were reality.

1. Do not take meaningless actions.
2. Never stray from perfection.
3. Do not make a single mistake.

These three are Rani’s ideals.

4. Actions without clear purpose are acceptable.
5. You may fail occasionally.
6.  A mistake or two is acceptable.

These three are Rani’s compromises.

7. Those who would be prey are more desirable than those who would be predators.
8. Cold colors must be preferred to warm colors.
9. Girls with glasses are supreme.

These three are Rani’s desires. This Labyrinth contains the words of her heart which she would never normally have given voice to. Namely —

[And we have glowing!]


Rani :: Ah…u, ugh…! N-no…my heart, it’s…

Tamamo :: Allriiight! Flower garden of secrets, grand opening! Master, GO, GO!

[SG capture go! The sequence is no different from with Rin. Shielding, body fading out and all. Also Rani’s eyes go dead again for moment, though.]

Rani :: Don’t…please, don’t look…I’m so…selfish, I…Ah…this is having one’s heart seen…my body heat goes up…it seems, I’m vanishing…

Hiding her face with both hands, Rani shatters like a glass ornament. …I wonder if that Rani was a “quarter” separated from the real Rani, like with Rin. I’m sorry we had to expose her secret, but with this we’ve invalidated the shield. Now we should just need to keep going forward, but…

Lancer :: …hmm. I thought you were odd back with Rin, but you really are an interesting one, aren’t you? Now this floor’s Rani’s gone, it’s fine to break that “no fighting here rule,” but…with a little more polish, I think you could make lovely pet rabbit…all right, I’ll give you a chance. I’ll just go home this time. I’ll go as far as to leave you here, see, and you know how I love tormenting the weak. Come on, let the force of my generosity and beauty bring you to tears. You could throw psyllium or something too if you like.

…It’s hard to believe, but we’re saved. I don’t know if she’s observing her contract with Rani, but it looks like Lancer won’t fight us on this floor. Perhaps she’s also being made to fight against her will by BB…?

Lancer :: Against my will? Of course not. I mean, I’m the one who made the offer to BB, you know? I chose the far side of the moon because I like it. Um, my real Master…the wizard who summoned and contracted me? I had no interest in that girl. So I stabbed her from behind and killed her. Maybe you could call it musical differences?

Tamamo :: I can't overlook what you just said. Can you explain in more detail?

Lancer :: Oh, you want to know? Hee…the document is usually star level, but it’s fine, I’ll tell you. My previous Master was a clown. I don’t why, but she dressed as a clown. BB was interested in her, and brought her here alive…but the clown refused BB’s invitation. She said “you love isn’t tasty,” something like that. And then something about how she’d starve to death like this? And that would mean I’d have to go too, see. So, there really wasn’t anything for it but to kill her, you know? That’s why I stabbed her. And then I said it, loudly. “This woman is unfit to be my manager. But BB, what you say is beautiful. Eternal life, those words are as sweet as the mock strawberry. Give up on this starving cat and rely on me. I will fight for you.” And so we established a contract. I was pretty easy transfer for an idol, but, well, nothing I could do, you see? If I hadn’t done it I would have vanished. And the loss of this beauty would be a loss to the whole world, don’t you think?

[Okay, Lancer’s previous Master was in the 4th round of Fate/Extra, Rin route, and her Servant at the time was Vlad Tepes. She looked kind of like an emaciated female Ronald McDonald, and was some kind of bugfuck crazy cannibal. I would like to take this moment to thank Lancer for stabbing her to death.]

…and that’s the only reason she betrayed her Master? Because her Master chose to defy BB, when she was brought to the far side of the moon?

Tamamo :: —–.

Lancer :: The only reason? The only reason, you say? It’s the most important reason there is! I will be eternally beautiful! I will never age! As long as I am more beautiful than any other, that is all that matters!

Lancer screams out her desire as if intoxicated. I can feel Caster's anger. However — Lancer, who thinks it natural to make a surprise attack on her own Master, is fundamentally different from other Servants. There has never before been a Servant so devoted to her own desires. Servants have their own ideas, but they all have the same intentions as their Masters. But this Servant is different. This girl cannot love anything but herself…!

Lancer :: You can say what you like. It’s just something a little squirrel like you can’t understand yet. I will live eternally. Beautiful, beloved, unsurpassed! You Masters and your Grail War are nothing but scenery to me. Just like a lemon with the juice squeezed out. BB is an ugly, stupid bug woman who does nothing but augment her memory, but…She’s infinitely superior as a manager, see? Soon she’ll grant me the ideal body. Until then, tremble and sleep. For very soon the world will be my personal stage!

So Lancer loudly proclaims, and leaves. I’d very much like to stop her, but if we find her now we won’t win. …anyway, the path to a new layer has opened. Now I should activate the checkpoint and return to the old school building…

[We return. And we’ve now got Rani’s Secret Garden. Its first entry is called “Desire for Control.”]

Modified from the translation at https://tsukinoura.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/entry-52-chasing-the-ideal/. Please support the original translator.

Entry 51: Rani’s test

Once again we enter the fourth floor of the Sakura Labyrinth. …I wonder. The ambiance here is different from before. It’s stinging, or maybe it’s more formal…

[Something appears to scan Hakuno and Caster.]

Caster :: I feel something in my tail. I think some woman just looked over all our stuff!

Rani :: Rani check, complete. — All out. Welcome, Miss Hakunon. We’ve been awaiting your arrival. However, I cannot welcome you in your current state. You cannot be permitted to invade this Labyrinth as you are now. If you wish to proceed further, you must accept a corrective program, and acquire the necessary qualifications. Rather, no matter what you do, I will have you acquire the necessary qualifications. You have too many imperfections. Bear in mind the following things, and come to see me. 1. Do not take meaningless actions. 2. Never stray from perfection. 3. Do not make a single mistake. 4. Actions without clear purpose are acceptable. 5. You may fail occasionally. 6.  A mistake or two is acceptable. 7. Those who would be prey are more desirable than those who would be predators. 8. Cold colors must be preferred to warm colors. 9. Girls with glasses are supreme. That is all. I expect great intelligence from you.

Rani’s message cuts off before I can respond. She explained it without much concern, but what it sounds like is that if I don’t do as Rani says I can’t continue…?

Tamamo :: Rani check, huh. She looks kind of cold from a distance, but she really is a girl, isn't she? I've changed my view a little, but, Master... You don't have to worry about 7 and 9.

Leo :: The Labyrinth here has become quite like Rani. There’s a marked different from Miss Tohsaka’s sentimentality.

Rin :: And who are you calling sentimental! Don’t compare the two, President Cold-Blood!

Sakura :: …Um…the data entry just now was extremely inconsistent, but…is that all right?

Leo :: That’s true. I found it interesting myself, but for now let’s just go forward. Hakuno, take 

[Some new paths have appeared since last time — we head down one toward a treasure chest, but when we approach this red gate closes up and we get scanned again.]


Rani :: Rani check, complete. —- Minus twenty points. Wait until given permission. Please abstain from pointless actions.

Tamamo :: It's not pointless! Gathering treasure is a woman's instinct and a man's resourcefulness!

Rani :: Please continue on without distractions. The next exam subject is waiting for you. Now, hurry up.

[Proceeding roundabout the dungeon, we reach an large area with a number of enemies, and as we enter red gates lock us inside.]

Rani :: With the results of the battles I’ve observed thus far, your command score is 50 points. Please fight more flawlessly. Achieve three perfect victories, nothing less will be accepted. You will be tested as many times as necessary for you to succeed, so proceed.

Tamamo :: Geh. Making me compete earnestly - this is the worst. Master, fistfights don't really suit me.

[We do this pretty easily since there’s a healing fountain in this area, so there’s no reason not to just spam attack skills on all unidentified moves. In my case, you can also just use Tama's OP skills on all of the cards, that counts. The game goes through the trouble of explaining what a perfect victory is before this, so I assume this is meant to be some kind of tutorial. So, the gates open and we get scanned again.]

Rani :: Rani check, complete. — Plus twenty points. Well done.

Leo :: Yes, well done Hakuno, splendid powers of discernment. Being able to read your enemy is your strength.

Jinako :: Aww, what a betrayal. I was so sure Hakunon there was a battle invalid like me.

Gatou :: Prometheeeeeuuusss!

…It’s Gatou. He’s collapsed. No, he’s freaking out. I feel less worried, but also like this is pretty much what I expected.

Gatou :: Tiger Jātakaaaaa! Yonder girl, how wonderfully you’ve come for me. As you can see I was in something of a crisis. With the hunger and fatigue, the lack of sleep and the teething fever, I could truly see Calvary. My pain is as that of Prometheus who brought civilization to mankind. Odin close to death on the ash tree would also be a good comparison.

Jinako :: No one cares about your comparisons. …the point is, why’d you go into the Labyrinth, Gatou, old man? You’ve got no Servant, don’t you know that means you’ll die if you go in?

Gatou :: Hahaha. Servant or no Servant, this life exists ever at the brink of death! Nothing stops my training! Though, it’s true I was inspired by Hakuno Kishinami. I wanted to investigate the Labyrinth and see what it hid for myself!

Rin :: Very courageous, but to go this far is nothing but idiocy. Gatou, have you ever heard of “probability of success”?

Gatou :: Of course I have. But you’re pronouncing it wrong. It’s said “an excuse.” To fail to tackle a dilemma when there’s no chance of success makes you no better than a corpse. And I’m alive, as you can see. My feet will never halt their progress for such a petty thing as “danger.” All right, embarrassing girl? To challenge, facing dilemmas the value of which is in themselves alone, that is called adversity. And adversity exists to be passed through. With the summit before us, are we not to strike the flames of life!

Rin :: Gh…hey, what’s with you Gatou, that was almost cool.

Jinako :: Though Amazon still wouldn’t stock it. Can you stand up on your own, old guy?

Gatou :: Shameful as it is to admit, I can’t move a single step. But while I’m stuck here I can’t heal. Could you somehow bring me back to the old school building?

Sakura :: Transferring Mr. Gatou from that location will be impossible. We’ve set things up so we can bring Miss Kishinami back in once, but…

Leo :: …But to recover Mr. Gatou would require investigating this level all over again. I leave the decision to Hakuno.

To save Gatou and take him back to the old school building, we’ll have to redo our exploration of this layer. So —

[>] Investigation is our priority.
> Let’s save Gatou.

I feel sorry for him, but investigating the Labyrinth is our top priority. It seems like Gatou will be all right even if we leave him here.

Gatou :: Impossible — ! Eli, eli, lema sabachthani — My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!?

[We get scanned again.]

Rani :: Rani check, complete. —– Plus thirty points. A wise choice, Miss Hakunon. You have avoided the height of pointlessness well. With that I am done with him, too. Invoking Sentinel privileges. Deporting Gatou Monji. Ejecting to the old school building. The minimum of necessary data has been collected. The program is complete. You are now authorized to explore freely, within the limits of this layer. Incidentally, as unlike Rin Tohsaka I do not possess defects, you will not be able to get an SG out of me. I will earnestly await your pointless challenge.

[Gatou vanishes, and all the red gates in the dungeon open.]

Leo :: …has the message ended? It’s good that her test is over, but as she said, we weren’t able to obtain clues toward her SG.

Rin :: Huh? It was obvious. What, Leo couldn’t tell? Really? Are you really that innocent, President Leo?

Leo :: Yes, to my embarrassment. I’ve yet to even have my first love. I’d like to experience the bitter-sweetness of youth myself, but…it’s truly unfortunate, but there are no suitable ladies around. This school has nothing but people with problematic personalities. If there were a girl who liked me, though, I’d omit all the unnecessary steps and pin her down without delay.

[Leo I think there are some things people have failed to explain to you.]

Rin :: …that’s not bitter, or sweet. That’s…meat. Like eating a steak.

Leo :: I think it would still be delicious for both parties. Right, brother?

Julius :: …please don’t talk to me about that kind of thing. Tohsaka. If you have ideas, tell them to Kishinami.

Rin :: Yes, yes. Hakunon, if you find Rani, talk to her, and deny everything she says. That will expose her true character, I’m sure of it.

 Modified from the translation at https://tsukinoura.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/entry-51-ranis-test/. Please support the original translator.

Entry 50: Andersen knows what’s up

Leo :: Thank you for you efforts. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t locate Mr. Gatou, but Hakuno’s safety comes first.

Rin :: Welcome back Hakuno. I’m working on analyzing the image data and information from the cameras that were tracking you. The truth Rani’s better suited for this kind of thing than I am though. But it looks like she’s our enemy, so Leo and I will have to do our best to analyze instead.

[Rin is dressed in the same sailor-style uniform as Hakuno now.]

Leo :: As you can see, Miss Tohsaka has made a full recovery. From now on backup will be performed by Miss Tohsaka and myself.

It feels good knowing Rin will be on back up now. She has lost her Servant, but she’s an exceptional wizard. She’ll be much more reliable than I am. My only merit is that I have a contracted Servant.

Rin :: Though as a result we’ve asked Julius to undertake some very dangerous work. While you keep Rani and her allies’ attention, he will be investigating the Sakura Labyrinth. It’ll be layers you’ve already gone through, but there may be some clues left behind. …it is a dirty job though, with high risk and low returns.

Gawain :: There’s no need for concern. Subversive tactics are Julius’s specialty. He is a knight of shadows, carrying out his duties. No matter what dangers he encounters, no matter what he becomes, he will return to Leo’s side.

Rin :: …which is to say, our white knight won’t say he’ll come back safely. I didn’t think the say would come when I’d sympathize with Julius, but here we are.

Leo :: He trusts in my brother. Now, Miss Tohsaka. Please share the results of our earlier analysis with Hakuno.

Rin :: Yes, yes. With Sakura’s help, I’ve tried to measure the depth of the Labyrinth by passive sonar. We found that the Labyrinth is six floors in total. As my Labyrinth was three floors, we think the remaining three are Rani’s. So if we capture Rani the same way you did with me, we should be able to reach the Labyrinth’s exit.

[I’m sorry Rin, but the dungeon entrance screen shows way more levels than that.]

Leo :: Which coincides with the Sentinel System. The only women used as protective cores were Miss Tohsaka and Rani VIII, after all. The shields aren’t so much strong as they are impossible to penetrate under normal circumstances. Thanks to Kiara we have a way to unlock them, but if she weren’t here we’d have been trapped forever. Including girls’ hearts in the core of the Labyrinth is certainly an impressive stunt. It wouldn’t be possible if she weren’t possessed of an exceptional quasi-spiritual form. This is just based on the scope of my own knowledge, but the only ones in our Holy Grail War with a disposition able to survive as a Labyrinth core were those two.

Gawain :: Lady Rin and Lady Rani…you mean that BB was unfortunate in that she only found two qualified persons?

Leo :: Certainly. It’s possible that she’s still searching the near side for qualified candidates at present, but that’s a race against time. We should acquire Rani’s SGs and break through the Labyrinth before BB can secure a new Sentinel.

Rin :: SGs…SGs…! I’m opposed to forcibly exposing people’s secrets, but…and when we get back to the near side I’m going to give all of you a merciless beating…but for now escape is the top priority. So there’s nothing we can do but make Rani put on a humiliating show for us like I did before…?

Leo :: Indeed. Hakuno, please continue to make contact with Rani, and find an opening in her heart.

[On the way back to the arena, I stop to talk to Andersen, whom Kiara would prefer I not inform of the stuff she told us before…?]

Andersen :: Gathering information…? You’re an incorrigible layabout. I don’t care, I’ll help you if it’s within my area of knowledge. My Master happens to be a depraved woman, as you can see. What’s your game, coming here asking me for assistance. Do you think I’m some obscure rental library? How *friendly*! But this is business, you can’t choose your readers. The topic of this composition will be Servants. Now, what shall I discuss?

[>] About the red Lancer

Well then…I’ll try asking about that red Lancer.

Andersen :: Ah, the dragon-child employed by BB? An ugly woman. And not just her appearance, though that much is clear, but her personality as well. Her upbringing was ugly. Her thoughts are ugly. Her idiosyncrasies are ugly. Her senses are ugly. She doesn’t bear looking on. She may seem very proud at a glance, but in fact no one else can see its source. That woman’s pride is aimed toward no one. What a joke! She treats humans as pigs. Which is to say, she puffs herself up in pride to lord over pigs! She may be the very incarnation of self-love, but, well then. What is love in the first place? Something stolen? Something bestowed? A woman who does not even notice its source is an uncontrollable monster in this world. That woman seems proud of her own beauty, but — Heh. No matter what gaudy decorations you festoon over a sack packed with garbage, it won’t change the stench of the contents. To fixate on beauty is a woman’s saga, I suppose. Take care, that brand of ugliness is contagious. The women of your acquaintance may some day come to say similar things, you know?

[>] About my Servant

…this is a good opportunity. He can tell me about Caster.

Andersen :: Your Servant? Well then, bring her out. I’ll give you an expert opinion on every nook and cranny, down to the asshole.

[Okay, hold up.]

Caster :: Ufufufu. Just because you're a writer you think you can say whatever you want, yes? Right, let's go. Rooftop, now. I'll blow you into the Sakura Labyrinth.

Andersen :: I'm not the only one who doesn't think before I speak. And what the hell are those fox ears, anyway? It's over the top even for the whole "charmer" shtick. Isn't it embarrassing?

Caster :: I'm not a "charmer" or anything! They're lovely little idiosyncrasies! I guess a child like you wouldn't understand that, though!

Andersen :: I'm firmly in the cat ears faction. If you pushed enough, I could come around to dog ears. But the very existence of fox ears is nothing more than an error. My pen feels heavier just thinking about it.

Caster :: Su -- SUNSHINE 2030!


Caster :: Ah, that was close. I almost got so mad I blew up the sun. I haven't felt this humiliated since Abe no Seimei! Master, let's go! Any time spent with this rebellious brat is completely wasted.

Andersen :: Wait, fox-ears. I've changed my mind. Those ears aren't too bad, actually. In fact, the fact that they're ugly actually makes them more appealing. Show them to me a bit more.

Caster :: Wh-what are you doing! Don't touch me there! Even Master hasn't touched me there yet!

Andersen :: Ah. I see. Hmm. Yes. ....Damn, they were real. Haaa.... I was hoping for some new form of cosplay. You're a letdown.

Caster :: Your entire character is a letdown! Why are you only such a hard hitter when it comes to me?!

Andersen :: They say the soul of a child lasts 'til adulthood. I'm bored already. Let's move on to fairytales.

Caster :: Master, your orders please! I'd like to go ahead and blow away this straw house of a kid... Wait-. Oi, brat. What's going on under that uniform?

Andersen :: What, you're interested in my naked body?

Caster :: Nope.

Andersen :: I see. The pink made me think there wasn't much going on between your ears. But I see you're sharp-eyed - or, rather, sharp-eared. As you've guessed, my body isn't something that can be lightly shown. It's the curse of the mermaid princess and the match seller. The stories I've written are encroaching on my body.

Caster :: -----. [Surprised]

Andersen ::  I'm taking damage from the gossip my readers spread. Every time I wrote, my readers thought "The authors must be this kind of person". That idea was then fixed on my body. My legs are covered in fish scales. My arms are covered in burns. And my heart is a demon that can only seek bad endings. This is the price of fame. Actually, the readers really captured me. They're really persistent in considering subjectively how others might be. After all, you're the same, aren't you, fox-ears? You who admired humans, went so far as to reincarnate into a human, and finally was considered as a monster by humans. In Japanese children's literature, there's a story called Gangitsune. It's a perfect fit for you. All that awaits those who love and attend humans is death by misunderstanding. But - It's because you understand that and still serve them that you're able to touch their hearts. Fox-ears. Your devotion will, well, eventually, reach their hearts.

[Nankichi, the author of Gangitsune, is sometimes referred to as Japan's Hans Christian Andersen. Cool reference.]

Caster ::  --hmmph. I didn't ask for your help. And you've got the wrong impression.... But, well, it'd be immature to lash out at a kid, right? I'll spare you a death by big bad wolf for now.

Andersen :: That was fast. Already dere, huh.

Caster :: There won't be a time when I go dere for you even after the Sun's gone out!

[>] About Andersen

I’ll try asking about this boyish Servant, Andersen.

Andersen :: About me? You idiot. This is the furthest boundary of pointlessness. To ask this of a man who is to all ends exactly as he appears…

…No. I asked because judging from appearances tells me absolutely nothing about him. What powers does he have? Can he fight with that physique? And why does he take the form of a child in the first place?

Andersen :: How should I know? When I was called out, I was already in this form. Of course I have no combat capabilities. I am, at my core, completely useless.

Andersen declares himself useless. Perhaps this is why Kiara Sesshouin is so afraid. Even if Kiara herself were an A-rank wizard, partnered with this Servant she wouldn’t be able to do anything, Grail War or otherwise. Also, Servants exist in the form they had in their heyday in their myth or story. It seems Andersen doesn’t follow that rule either.

Andersen :: I think I follow it. My interpretation is that in my case, I had much more sensitivity as a child. And something else comes to mind. Looking over the documents of my past self, their style is so far from mine I want to die. Don’t make a fuss about it, child prodigies are just people once twenty years have passed. What is more frightening is…it’s just a possibility, but, if I had been called with this age because of some special interest of that witch. I would ask, but even I am afraid to know if it’s true. Therefore, I avoid the subject.

Kiara :: My oh my, what cheery voices I hear from you two. Would it be all right for me to join your discussion?

Andersen :: ………

Andersen sighs heavily. His melancholy too much to grasp. I think I should also take care in matters relating to this question…

[This updates Andersen’s information matrix. His stats are STR E, AGI E, Mana EX, Luck E, END E, and he has the skill High-Speed Incantation E – not the same skill as Fate/stay night Caster’s High-Speed Divine Words.]

 Modified from the translation at https://tsukinoura.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/entry-50-andersen-knows-whats-up/. Please support the original translator.

Entry 49: Rani’s Idolm@ster strategy

[I can't believe the FGO event's been announced already. I'll try to get to Melt before then, if I can, but we'll see. Rest assured, though, I'm finishing this regardless.]

[Some more points have shown up in the Information Matrix – Lancer’s Stats are STR C, AGI E, END D, Mana A, Luck B, she has the skill Dragon’s Breath E, and “torture techniques” as a keyword. Meanwhile, BB has appeared on the roster, but with “Gamemaster” next to her name instead of “Servant.” Her file lists her as masterless, named BB, and of the class “Moon Cancer.” She has the keyword “high level AI.” Also, Tamamo's got another My Room dialogue available.]

Caster :: Rin's taking this... better? than I expected. Still, this must be pretty hard on her. Master, are you alright?

I'm definitely pretty down - and that might be understating it. This is close to the worst possible situation. To say nothing of my vague memories, ripping open the secrets of everyone I meet isn't a great feeling. All the more so because they're all girls. It's different from seeking those of men, and I can feel that especially when looking at Rin's extremely composed demeanor. It's less breaking through and more of a boring into the soul, and as BB said, a girl's soul is the strongest firewall there is.

Caster :: Don't make such a troubled expression! I just wanna squeeze you... in particular, right... here ♡!

…For now, stop shoving your breasts in my face, Caster. You're really bringing down the room's tension gauge.

Caster :: Well, I do understand why you're having trouble. You really do have to be careful when prying into women's secrets. To say nothing of the fact that you've got a special predisposition towards Rani.... I guess that time has finally come for me.

I have to admit, she's a little scary when the fur on her tail stands on end like that. But - I see. I value Rani just like I do Rin. That must be why this is so hard.
Caster :: Right, the time for unnecessary concerns ends now! Master, my primary objective is to return to the near side of the moon. The same goes for everyone in this building - as well as Rani, of course. And the only person who can do that is you. So let's act before we think. We can worry about the consequences after we save her.

It's just as Caster says. I've got reservations about prying into Rani's heart, but now's not the time for that. Only I can unlock the SGs we need.

[After that I find the real Taiga Fujimura AI hanging around on the first floor of the school – she’s confused about how she got here and wants to find a way out. She plans to do this by assigning me fetch quests in the Labyrinth, as was her role in Fate/Extra. First she wants a ladder. Hopefully she will give me random room decorations in return like last time (also completing all her quests unlocked the bonus boss, but I never fought the bonus boss).]

Sakura Labyrinth Floor -04: Honeytight Dresscode

We’re deep under the sea. It’s an indistinct memory, but I feel like the ambiance of this layer is close to that of the Grail War’s arena on the near side. But there’s one large difference from the arena. I can hear singing echoing through the Labyrinth like ripples in the water. The voice is so lovely, I feel like if I closed my eyes and listened closely its feelings would become clear to me. But…is this the red Lancer’s voice…?

Tamamo :: Um... Is this singing voice, perhaps, Lancer? I can't believe it! Whatever god has domain here is way too generous, giving her this beautiful a voice!

Anyway, this is the Labyrinth, controlled by BB and her cohort. I’m interested the new Sentinel, but after that SOS I’m also concerned about Gatou’s safety. “Let’s focus,” I signal to Caster with my eyes, and my terminal rings its alert.

Sakura :: Can you hear me Miss Kishinami? This is the student council room. Monitoring, scanning, both maintaining normal levels. Hm…as the layers get further down our memory usage increases, but it’s not a problem yet. We can provide back up.

Leo :: Good work, Sakura. It may be hard on you, but please maintain the council room’s subengine at all times. Hakuno. As Mr. Gatou’s rescue signal has been cut off, please try to go as far as you can. As we’re in a new layer, stay alert during battle — if you find yourself in danger, return to the stairs.

Jinako :: No need to panic about ol’ Gatou, I’m getting life signals from him. That guy’s not the sort to die if he gets killed.

[We descend to a platform with a shield on the other side of it, where we find Rani and Lancer. As we approach, walls rise around the platform like those in the torture chamber back on Floor -01.]

Here they are…! I don’t think I’m seeing things. It’s Rani, now a Sentinel of the Labyrinth like Rin was, and the red Lancer who was Rin’s Servant. But — what is this room? The torture chamber for captures Masters and NPCs should have disappeared as one of Rin’s policies, but —

Rani :: 64 escaped Masters and 23 discarded NPCs have been successfully salvaged from chronological coordinates 2020 07 22. They will be delivered to the torture chamber as new patrons.

Lancer :: Lovely. A new supply of pigs. Nicely done, Rani. You may be a mood-killer, but you’re an excellent worker.

Rani :: Of course. I accomplish the jobs I undertake. That is the purpose of my existence, and my pleasure. However, Lancer.

Lancer :: Oh, I know. We have guests we didn’t kidnap, yes? Good evening, little squirrel Master. It’s nice to see you again. It’s true! I wouldn’t flatter you, you know.

Tamamo :: This is the worst. A total disaster. Could you not show my pure and innocent master this kind of scene?

[She uses the English word for "calamity" here.]

Lancer :: What a nice response. Cheeky and rude, yet charming. You’re the prey I’ve been longing for, you’re lucky your audacity was made for smacking. I cut corners, so the last round was my loss. Caster. That humiliation will be paid back to you and your Master three, no, sixfold.

Caster :: Wouldn't two be fine? Seems a bit excessive to repay us six times. Wouldn't that cause trouble for your household finances?

Lancer :: Worrying about that kind of stuff evokes the distinct scent of old age! If you're going to do something, go all out. You remember what it's like to be young, old-lady fox?

Caster :: --Okay. Lizard barbecue. Now.


Lancer :: Heehee…looks like you still can’t figure out the fragility of your position or the power balance of my present station. Behold my new torture chamber! Even in life I never had so much blood on hand! Ahh…how amazing it is! A font of beauty that never drys up no matter how much I draw! This is the Eden of beauty treaments I always longed for! Last round…when Rin was my attendant, I couldn’t display my true powers. But it’s different this time. Thanks to Rani’s flawless provision of mana, I have become by true self!

Lancer speaks triumphantly…it’s true that the pressure she gives off has increased since last time. But the problem isn’t that Lancer’s gotten stronger. It’s the fact that Rani opened a new torture chamber. My memories are vague, but Rani’s not the kind of girl to do something so inhuman. She’s a homunculus…a man-made being built back on Earth. A counterfeit, like her virtual counterparts the AIs. Though she is a constructed being, she lived as an individual “person.” There’s no way someone like her, with such rational conduct and so little selfishness, would ever make a torture chamber like this!

Sakura :: Miss Kishinami, please call out to Miss Rani! She must be under BB’s control!

There’s no doubting that. I call out to Rani —

> You’re back to yourself, Rani!
[>] Sorry to make you wait, Rani!
> Is it true you’re not wearing anything under there, Rani!?

Rani :: I don’t know what you’re talking about, but there’s no need for you to apologize, Hakuno. I’m not angry. I am a Sentinel entrusted with the keeping of this Labyrinth. That matter should have been publicly explained and settled already. You and I are enemies. But knowing that, you still entered the Labyrinth? Did you understand the discussion?


[I’m not sure it comes across in the photo, but Rani’s eyes have gone pretty strange looking in her portrait.]

Rani’s words bore into my chest. …The discord I'm feeling comes from the fact that though I've already been through Rin's labyrinth, I don’t think it will go so smoothly this time. It’s just, apart from that, Rani’s tone makes my chest ache. She hasn’t changed at all. Although I’ve forgotten most things, I feel like she was a hard-won friend, and it's difficult to reunite with her in this state.

Rani :: It appears you haven’t come to fight. Then go home. I have things I need to do. I am a Sentinel of the Sakura Labyrinth, but it is also my duty to nurture Lancer.

Leo :: To nurture Lancer…? Rani. Are you actually illegally modifying that Servant?

Rani :: No. Lancer will become a top-class Idol, to which end I will act as her producer. These are the terms of our contract. Therefore I retrieve data from the past that took place on the near side of the moon. I am temporarily maintaining the Masters who were erased after losing, and salvaging those resources.

Sakura :: Then…the people in there aren’t people who were captured by BB!? They’re people who were really alive…!?

Rani :: Do you consider it inhumane? They were all deleted by the Moon Cell seconds later – destined failures. I am simply temporarily bringing them into imaginary number space, and harvesting the elements in their quasi-spiritual forms corresponding to their blood. There is no effect on their lives. They were originally to be erased. If it pleases Lancer, we can keep them here in this prison, and they can live an eternity in that instant. I repeat the question, then. Is there some problem with my actions?

…pinned down by Rani’s cold gaze, no words come to me. The losers in the Holy Grail War were all to be erased by the Moon Cell. She’d bringing those defeated Masters here from the moment before they were erased, and making them sacrifices to Lancer. She asks me if it’s inhumane, and I’m certain it is.

However — I have to wonder what the Masters brought into this torture chamber actually think. To make a comparison, they’re like criminals sent to the guillotine. The guillotine will mercilessly fall, and they will die an instant later. But then, that instant was extended into eternity. The body bound at the guillotine has no freedom, but even bound, if that instant continues eternally — I wonder if they would denounce that as an act of the devil?

Jinako :: That sort of human rights issue happens in other places! I hear it’s a thing in Leo’s Western European plutocracy!

Leo :: No, it’s not so bad as that. We have freedom of work and study, and our welfare program works perfectly.

Jinako :: You sure are rich, putting on a smile while saying stuff like that! Anyway, what about the old guy! Where’s ol’ Gatou!? Did they already throw him into the torture chamber!?

Lancer :: Gatou? Oh, that big man from before. I have no need for boars like that, nothing but muscle even in their blood. Rani dealt with him, but what happened?

Rani :: I felt no need to dispose of him, nor to educate him. He was a “Prince Power minus” contaminant. It was troublesome, so I quarantined him in a corner of the Labyrinth. Perhaps if we leave him there like that for ten years he will change into a more pleasing form.

Lancer :: Ah yes, you take pride in that prince scoring system. You’re just ignoring the Masters with no potential? …Hmm. So, what about this little squirrel?

Rani :: Right. According to the measuring function on these glasses…Protagonist Power no higher than 5…

[She has a scouter? This would have been useful in Extra. ...maybe.]

Lancer :: Trash, then. So, why don’t you clean up this garbage?

Rani :: …however, she has the potential to shine with polish. No, I will make her shine. I cannot allow that potential to go unrealized.

Rani’s glasses glitter. An intensely unpleasant premonition runs through me — I feel a faint reaction from my left hand, where the Five Thought-Stopping Meditations is stored.

Rani :: I’ve made up my mind. I will proceed with Plan D. Lancer, let us go back temporarily. I will be remodeling this layer in accordance with my own preferences.

Lancer :: Roger, I’ll accompany you, producer. In return, have that exclusive stage and the thousand fan club slaves you promised me read soon, okay?

[They disappear.]

Tamamo:: Hold up, Indian glasses girl! "Protagonist Power no higher than 5"... There's clearly something wrong with your glasses!

…Rani and Lancer have transferred away somewhere. As Rani is the master of this Labyrinth, we have no way to follow her. At least we’ve confirmed that Gatou is alive, so let’s go back to the old school building.

Modified from the translation at https://tsukinoura.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/entry-49-ranis-idolmster-strategy/. Please support the original translator.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Entry 48: Back to our scheduled meeting

Leo :: Everyone’s all right. It seems that was just a vision jack. External access has ceased. BB can’t normally interfere here…or so I’d like to believe.

Rin :: Yes, you’re right in this case Leo. For unknown reasons, BB can’t enter this school building. She can listen in on just and jack our vision like just now, but that’s all. Which is why she set traps in the Labyrinth.

Sakura :: I think BB can’t interfere well here because it retains the structure of the near side. And I manage it currently.

Leo :: Good news following bad news. Unpleasant as its intent was, we’ve learned new information from the BB Channel. Well then, I will declare once more the student council’s objectives. Our goal is to escape from the far side of the moon. We will repel BB, who stands in our way. With Miss Tohsaka as our new vice-president we should be able to provide more solid back up. I hope we will all be more unified than ever.

I nod, “of course,” to Leo’s declaration. …but not everyone in the council room nods. Rin, me…and Julius, who nods reservedly, are the only three.

Shinji :: No thanks. I just came to see what was up, I told you I’m not joining the student council. People who have Servants should do the dangerous stuff. I won’t do anything!
Jinako :: I agree with Shinji. BB said she wouldn’t do anything to us if we stay in the school, y’know.

Leo :: Ah, that’s too bad. If you change your mind, you can come knock on the door any time. …Now. What about you, Kiara? You previously said you wouldn’t join the council, but the situation has changed. Are you still unable to cooperate with us, now that the threat of BB has been made clear?

Kiara :: My plans have not changed. If my techniques can be of help to you I’m happy to cooperate, but to align our motives…

Sakura :: Miss Kiara…even though you did so much to help us in acquiring Miss Rin’s SGs…we were only able to expose Miss Rin’s embarrassing secrets because you were there.

Rin :: Th-that was your doing!?

Leo :: Is that so. Then let me ask a question. Kiara. Did you, by any chance, already know about BB?

Leo asks a strange question. BB just recently revealed herself as the culprit after we defeated Rin. We had no awareness of her here in the school building, so there’s no way Kiara would be able to know about her —

Kiara :: — Yes. I met BB before the rest of you did. It was when I was imprisoned by the black noise on the near side. The reason I don’t have the same goals as the rest of you is because I’ve made a pact with BB. She would spare my life as long as I did not oppose her…on those terms I was confined to this school.

Julius :: — !

…Kiara was already captured by BB…? Back during the preliminaries, back when I abandoned her, she fell into BB’s hands — ? …which reminds me, Kiara said that she had compassion for whoever it was that shut us in here. So that’s what she meant…But how did Leo figure that out?

Leo :: Because she said she had no will to leave. Kiara knew something, and had already decided it was impossible — that was the implication. Kiara was being observed by BB, so she couldn’t say anything that would suggest BB’s existence. But still she wanted to let us know, so she phrased things in this way on purpose.

Kiara :: Oh, you make too much of it. I’m not that clever.

Rin :: A pact with BB…a contract in other words. What were the terms? Something like a collar that detonates if you disobey her?

Julius :: …what a gruesome imagination. Make it a device that stops her heart or something.

Kiara :: No, there are no physical restraints. It is simply that if I ever antagonize BB, our peace treaty will be scrapped. …so. If it comes down to it, I will have my last resort.

Rin :: …same as Leo. So, will you be staying as a spectator like Shinji until then?

Kiara :: Yes. However, the only stipulation of the pact is that I not stand against BB. Helping all of you to escape does not fall under that restriction.

Rin :: I suppose that’s true from the wording, but…Would that be fine for an AI, Sakura?

Sakura :: Yes. Cooperating with all of us is not in opposition with the protocol “you may not oppose BB.” If BB had declared that it was forbidden to attempt escape, that would be another matter, but she encourages those who can escape to try to do so, so…

Kiara :: Indeed. As long as I do not associate myself closely with the student council, to BB I am nothing more than a person who happens to be in the school building. Therefore I beg your forgiveness. If you demand it, I will devote all my abilities, poor though they be, to assisting you.

[I couldn’t make it work in English, but she refers to herself as “Sesshouin” in that last declaration.]

Kiara bows and leaves the room. We can’t really stop her when she puts things like that. She’s not the same as Shinji and Jinako, who refuse because the can’t stomach it, it’s not their problem, etc. For now we’re happy just to have her on our side.

Rin :: …sorry, but can I go get some rest now? I’m at my physical and mental limit right now. Sakura. Could I get a key to a suitable empty classroom?

Sakura :: An empty classroom? If you want to rest, there are beds in the infirmary…

Rin :: That’s not it, I need to be alone! I need to go to a classroom to let out my stress and bury the wounds on my heart! No one come near me for a while okay! Especially Hakunon! If you come after me I’ll hit you with a beam attack, beams I tell you!

[Is Rin a Saber now?]

Rin leaves the council room in a huff. …right…I forgot what with the BB Channel and everything, but I exposed a lot of Rin’s secrets. For any normal person that would be so humiliating they wouldn’t be able to go out in public…but in spite of that Rin came and participated in this meeting.

Leo :: Miss Tohsaka has a firm and strong constitution. We should leave her be and let her heal on her own. Now, Sakura, a question…or rather, I’d like your opinion on something. Do you think BB uses Sentinels because she’s the same type of AI as you are?

Sakura :: …Yes. No matter how much she augments her memory, even if she is able to hack the system, she’s a managerial AI. She has no combat functions. All BB can do is alter the system, and create Sentinels…I think.

Julius :: So she can’t fight for herself — I see. That’s why she utilizes pawns…Sentinels.

Leo :: Very good to know. I was hoping to hear that. Now, Hakuno, why don’t you take a short break. You must be tired, you should rest. After that, as general affairs officer — oh?

[Phone ringing]

Julius :: It’s a message from outside. It’s…Gatou? Leo, turn on the transmission.

Gatou :: President Leo — ! President, Beautiful in your slight resemblance to my lovely God, Leo — !

Leo :: Brother, turn off the transmission. We’ve done quite enough talking, let’s all go eat.
Julius :: …I understand the feeling, but wait. This transmission is coming from the Labyrinth. It’s not a trivial matter.

Gatou :: Ow, ouch, ouch! Those glasses, those cold glasses deny the whole being of an unpopular man, destroying 40-somethings! It’s hard to understand, is that it? Well them, to be specific, I’m being pursued by a dangerous cutthroat! I beg you, as if you were a god, please come save your lost believer post-haste! God save me!

…his words are nonsensical, but Gatou has conveyed his desperation if nothing else. If the source of the transmission is the Sakura Labyrinth, could Gatou be…!?

Jinako :: You an idiot old man!? Why’d you go into the Labyrinth by yourself!?

Gatou :: Uuooooh, it’s red! Very red! A fluttering red girl and a fluttering girl with glasses attacked me! On the seventh day they will come to sterilize all dissipate men! What fin-de-siecle, oh truly, quo vadis garbage! That sort of thing they said, but I’ve shaken them off, so, where am I? Where are the stairs back? Huh? Have I been trapped? Uuoooooh! Mass! Recruiting! Life guards!

Leo :: …My deepest apologies, Hakuno. I must ask you to go into the Labyrinth once more before your break. We must ascertain Mr. Gatou’s safety.

Jinako :: Nothing else for it. I just got tired of this item-farming, so I’ll monitor with you.
…things have gotten serious…even if Gatou doesn’t seem like he’d actually die if someone killed him, the Sakura Labyrinth is no place for joking around. I haven’t had time to catch my breath, but I have to go help him.

Unchanged from the original at https://tsukinoura.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/entry-48-back-to-our-scheduled-meeting/. Please support the original translator.

Entry 47: BB Channel, educational programming


BB :: To everyone behind the monitor - good evening. It’s time for the BB Channel, the number one most-browsed content in the Moon Cell. I’m your host, everyone’s little devil BB-chan! And my viewers are all of you pitiful sheep holed up in the old school building. Ah, you over there, umm…seaweed-like-hair guy, not matter how much you struggle, you can't escape!

[Laugh track.]

BB :: This program is brought to you by hacking your senses of sight and hearing in their entirety. ♥ Closing your eyes won’t help. Blocking your ears won’t help. This is a nightmare that shakes all of your escapism-prone brains. It’s a real jet coaster movie you have no choice but to watch through until the end! Heehee, this service is so spirited and lively, it even embarrasses me!


…what’s going on!? In a complete change from the student council room, I find myself in a studio. No, I’m not in a studio, I’m seeing a studio. There’s nothing else here. I can’t see Leo, or Rin, or my own hands and feet. It’s as if I’ve become a camera…!

BB :: Oh, I’ll also be dismissing your questions. Only Hakuno-senpai has the right to speak, so Leo, Rin, you can both shut up, okay? All right. This time on the BB Channel, I’ll be explaining the basic rules. Your problem is “How can we escape!?” You all want to know, right? Really, I was planning to explain earlier and get rid of Rin, buuutttt…silly me, I was having so much fun surprising senpai, I just ended up playing around. I'm repentant ☆.

BB stands there in the middle of the studio smiling. …but what she just said was awful. She said she was going to “get rid of Rin.” It sounded almost like a joke from her tone, but…

Caster :: Her eyes aren't smiling. That evil Sakura - Dark Sakura? She really meant to kill Rin.

BB :: Oh? Is that Caster? Ah, speaking rights were shared to you because you’re contracted to Senpai. Well, that’s okay I guess. So, like Leo conjectured, there’s an exit when you get out of the Sakura Labyrinth. If you want to escape from the far side of the moon, just going through the Labyrinth should be okay! But that would be boring, right? That’s why I’ve added a special program to the Labyrinth. Now for a question ♥ What is that special program? Senpai, do you know the answer?

> Shields?
> Walls?
[>] R-18?

BB :: [laughs] A-ah, of course you went with that one! But unfortunately, that's incorrect. If it were up to me, I'd like to make you correct, but I do still have to play my role as host properly. Correct answer: Shields. Incorrect answer: Walls. Please read the mood, you eight bit fool?

[Laugh track]

BB :: And you all know what the shields are, right? They’re my new program, my pride and joy! Putting girls into the core of the Labyrinth…my ground-breaking fire walls!

Putting girls into the core of the Labyrinth…? Which means that she used Rin…she uses humans as her tools…!?

BB :: Yep. Human or AI, it doesn’t matter, you’re raw materials. Please think of being treated equally as an honor instead. Practically speaking, it makes an excellent fortification, doesn’t it? Girls’ hearts are complex and mysterious. There exists no stronger fortification. ♥ The only difficulty is that there are limits to their breadth and their number. One girl’s heart can only repaint three floors at most. Superior Masters to act as cores…Girl Masters, with secrets, in quasi-spiritual form, are rare materials, quite hard to come by. Among the Masters I captured, she and Rin were the only ones I used as cores.

— Wait. “She and Rin were the only ones I used as cores,” meaning…

BB :: Heeheehee…Well then, it’s time to introduce the next Sakura Labyrinth boss, our sentimental sentinel makes her appearance! 

[She waves her point/wand thing and Rani appears.] 

BB :: Our boss this time is exotic and academic! With an intellectual white coat and glasses, and a glamorous forehead, a hopeless/smooth slender beauty! Yes, she is the pride of the Atlas Institute, the last homunculus on Earth! Rani VIII!

Rani :: ……….

BB :: I really don’t know about that thing she’s wearing under the cardigan, has the Atlas Institute no sense of shame? My heart starts racing just thinking about it.

[Look BB, I don’t think you’re in a position to make comments like that about other people’s outfits.]

Rani :: ………

BB :: …Hm. Unlike Rin, Rani doesn’t seem to be talkative. Come on, go ahead and say something. Let’s have a biting comment for the little puppies who’ll be challenging you from now on!

Rani :: — BB. I don’t like excessive direction. If they invade the fourth layer, I will simply deal with them as befits foreign bodies. Miss Tohsaka was the trial version, after all. I will be the proof of just how dangerous the applied structure of a girl’s heart is.

…I wonder. I can’t see or hear her, but I get the feeling that nearby, Rin is loudly booing that line.


BB :: Yes ♥ Thank you so much for that splendid comment ♥ [She disappears Rani.] You all understand now, right? Simple games are boring. The idea here that wasn’t in the near side’s Grail War is my Sentinel System. If you want to get out, you’ll need to capture our unassailable Rani. Take however long you need. This is the far side of the moon. Since you’ve dropped out of the Holy Grail War, you’ve been freed from its rules. “Losers will be eliminated” — that rule no longer applies. When you’re here, you don’t have to disappear. …though it’s really aggravating that that infirmary AI followed you here…but BB-chan has a heart larger than the sea. So as long as you’re in the school building, I’ll leave you be. I won’t guarantee your human rights, but I recognize freedom in itself. All dreams and delusions are free. Brain simulation is an embarrassing source of motivation for humans, isn’t it. Please, discharge your youthful libido freely, everyone. Oh, but be careful, okay? Since, at my core, I loathe all of you — The Labyrinth is always waiting, licking its lips, waiting to kill you.

[The “screen” winks off.]

 Unchanged from the original at https://tsukinoura.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/entry-47-bb-channel-educational-programming/. Please support the original translator.

Entry 46: Apparently the Laws of Robotics don’t apply on the moon

[I find Shinji and Kiara standing outside the student council room.]

Shinji :: …oh, it’s Kishinami. Leo made a school-wide broadcast earlier. He said it was a state of emergency so gather at the student council room. I don’t like to come over here, but it was little out of the ordinary. Ms. Kiara told me too come too, so I’ll be participating just this once.

Kiara :: Now, Shinji. I’m not your teacher anymore, you can simply call me Kiara.

Shinji :: I…I know that! But, you’re just kind of…teacher-like, Ms. Kiara! Anyway let’s go inside! Did something happen in the Labyrinth? Maybe they’ll tell us.

[So we all go in and take a seat at the meeting table.]

All the surviving Masters are gathered in the council room. The only absent one is Jinako, holed up in the janitor’s room, and…Gatou, who joined the the student council on his own.

Shinji :: Huh? That Gatou guy’s not here? Isn’t he usually the first one to raise a ruckus at times like this?

Jinako :: The old guy went off a little bit before. I looked for him some, but he’s not in the bathroom or anything. Eh, I never know what that guy’s up to in the first place, but maybe he’s out training behind the school where my cameras can’t stalk him or something?

Shinji :: Ack, where’s that transmission coming from!? Who’s talking? Some third-tier character?

Jinako :: Same as always with you, Shinji~ You really shouldn’t look down on people the first time you meet them. “Super champ” hehe, “tease-me-chan” hehehe, “seaweed head” hehehehe…this’s why they call you all that on PJ~ That’s the great Jinako’s warning to you from on high.

Shinji :: Jinako…you’re that Jinako!? The FA overall champion with over 6000 hours of playtime!?

Jinako :: Nyahaha, don’t flatter me, don’t flatter me, it won’t get you anything~ Playtime equals the mark of a winner. That’s just common sense for gamers.

Shinji :: You’re just some invalid player! It hasn’t even been a year since FA came out, playing 18 hours a day on average, what grade are you in!

[I’m guessing the “FA” acronym is in reference to when Fate/Apocrypha was intended to be an online game.]

Jinako :: That’s a secret! The great Jinako is an invalid who needs nothing but sleep. And I can level up even while I’m sleeping, you know.

Shinji impulsively snaps at Jinako’s messages. As I recall, Shinji was the All-Asia Gaming Champion. Jinako seems like some kind of video game maniac, and it looks like they had some kind of connection before they came to the moon.

Kiara :: Excuse me. I thought it odd, but are Jinako and Mr. Gatou acquaintances of some kind?

Jinako :: Yeah. That old guy comes by the janitor’s room a lot. He’s noisy and doesn’t shut up. …well, he’s never come inside. But he brings me snacks, so I listen to him at least.

Leo :: Oh, really? I do find it odd that he didn’t respond to my summons, but let’s focus on what Miss Tohsaka has to say for now. We’ve seen it ourselves, but please give us a detailed explanation. About what happened to you, and the identity of that black-robed girl.

Rin :: …Ahem. First of all, I’d like to briefly apologize. I’m sorry, it was was my fault, now please forget everything. Though I was being used by BB, I caused difficulties for all of you, especially Kishinami.

While almost pouting, Rin inclines her head to me in apology. I can guess what her general situation was, and in the end Rin didn’t cause any harm to us. Money aside, she doesn’t need to worry about being our former enemy, I reply.
Money aside.

Leo :: There’s nothing to be concerned about, Miss Tohsaka. I’ve always trusted in you. This result is just what I expected.

Rin :: …Leo…you really trusted…I’m sorry, I’ve misjudged you. Although I thought you were some sheltered little master, a fanatical elitist, and an evil bastard to the core…

Leo :: Indeed. I’ve been certain since the beginning that you had no chance of winning, Miss Tohsaka. This unfortunate result is indeed just as I imagined.

Rin :: Isn’t that the wrong thing to believe in!?

Leo…A warm feeling wells up inside me. Behind that declaration of his faith in Rin, he was concealing such a fiery heart…

Rin :: Argh, I knew it, you are my enemy! I was stupid to be moved by you for even a second!

Leo :: Oh my, did I do something so incredible? I would think moving the heart of Miss Tohsaka would be harder than winning the Holy Grail War.

Rin :: Hmph. Say what you like, you cold-blooded animal. Now, let me re-introduce myself. I am Rin Tohsaka. A participant in the Holy Grail War, and one of the Masters captured by BB. However, I can’t clearly remember what happed in the main rounds of the war, or how many rounds I’d gotten through. All I remember is being attacked by black noise during the primary selection rounds, and that BB tampered with my mind afterward. “If you maintain the Labyrinth as it is, I’ll grant any wish you want,” BB told me. When I came to I was within my own heart and obediently acting as a “boss” in the Labyrinth. You all know what happened after that. I became the master of that Labyrinth along with the red Lancer. I feel like I knew some other things when I was master of the Labyrinth, but…I’m sorry, I can’t remember that either. I think it’s less that I forgot those things, and more than they were never recorded in my memory in the first place…

Leo :: …I see. Perhaps a portion of your consciousness was completely controlled by that black-robed AI. Something like an external hard drive. While you were connected to the AI you were under her command, and at the same time able to access information from her. But now that your connection has been severed, in exchange for your freedom, you no longer share in the AI’s knowledge. So, the Rin Tohsaka we were dealing with up to now was both Rin Tohsaka, and a segment of the black-robed AI…is that it?

Rin :: …very clever of you. But I think you’re right. To put it mildly, I was a marionette. The criminal who trapped us all here. The culprit who made a mess of the Holy Grail War, the AI BB.

Most of Rin’s explanation is what I would have expected. Rin was also attacked during the primary selection rounds and dragged to the far side of the moon. Having lost most of her memories, Rin was captured by the black-robed AI girl BB and posted as a boss in the Labyrinth. And now Rin is back to her right mind. She’s lost her Labyrinth-boss powers and she no longer has a Servant, but having an excellent wizard like her on our side is a promising step. So, the next problem is —

Leo :: Concerning BB.

Sakura :: ………

All eyes turn to Sakura. BB has the same face as Sakura. It’s obvious that there’s some relationship between the two AIs. If BB is the true culprit behind all of this, we have to investigate her true nature.

Leo :: Let’s get straight to the point, Sakura. Who is that girl AI? From what I’ve seen of her, her face is identical to yours.

Sakura :: She…she’s the same model as I am.

Leo :: The same model….so, a managerial type AI model that sends information on the Masters to the Moon Cell…is that it? There are many NPCs with the same model, so for there to be another with your model is not that strange, but…

Rin :: …of course. If she’s a model that reports data to the Moon Cell like Sakura, then she has a free pass code to the Moon Cell. So it wouldn’t be odd for her to be able to just hack the SE.RA.PH like that if she wanted to. Anyway, that’s the reality before us. A managerial AI went out of control and threw our Grail War into chaos. Is it all right for us to conclude that, Sakura?

Sakura :: …Yes. There are no contradictions. I don’t know what caused it, but the present situation is conclusive. That managerial AI…BB’s goals are unclear, but I agree that she is the culprit who brought all of you, and us NPCs, here to the far side. However, I…I’m really sorry, but I have neither the power nor the authority to stop her…

Rin :: No helping that. You’re a properly functioning AI, she’s an out of control AI. You conform to rules, while BB is a mass of cheats, so you can’t stop her.

Shinji :: Hey, could you hold up a second? That BB, how do you know she’s gone out of control? What if she was always this kind of AI? Like if she had a police-like role, showing up if people took illegal actions in the Grail War.

Jinako :: Some kind of super-level regulatory measure? Like to delete all participants if a malignant player appeared.

Shinji :: Yeah, like that. You speak up quick, like I’d expect of an invalid player.

Sakura :: …That’s not possible. The Moon Cell punishes transgressions of the rules set for Masters, but it would never destroy the rules themselves. To corrode the school building that served as the stage for the Grail War in its entirety…no AI with that authority exists. Nor does the Moon Cell make AIs with such enormous operational capacity in the first place. BB is an AI that should not exist.

Julius :: …right. The Moon Cell is a controlling monster. It wouldn’t construct its dogs so they could bite its hand. We must assume that the Moon Cell lost its control over that AI…BB, due to some accidental bug. After that, with algorithms based on her particular judgment…perhaps self-preservation and function optimization…she chose to augment her own functionality. And by that method she took in and reinforced further memory capacity. BB decided to disassemble Servants and NPCs and use them as her own memory, thus growing into a more advanced AI. There are no limits for an AI that has escaped supervision. So, without limits, BB captured the Masters and submerged us here in the far side of the moon. We’ve been stored as convenient additional memory for that woman, but thanks to this old school building we’ve managed to survive…that’s the situation.

Julius’s hypothesis sends chills down my spine. Absorbing Servants “additional memory capacity”…It would be impossible for any creature of the earth, but in the Moon Cell, built from electrons and quasi-spiritual particles, it’s become reality.

Shinji :: Hold on, so she’s going to kill us and use us for spare parts!? Tha-that’s the same as murder! An AI opposing humans, are you screwing with me!?

Julius :: …on Earth, perhaps. But this is the moon. The Three Laws that require obedience to humans were not established for these AI.

Sakura :: Right. Our only laws are “properly operate the Moon Cell” and “carry out the task you are granted.” As I am AI created to ensure the Masters’ health, by those laws I protect all of you. However…the other AIs are different. Some of them might eliminate all of you for the sake of efficient management if the Moon Cell decided your were no longer meaningful.

[I can testify that several of the NPC students around the school have shared anti-human opinions with me.]

Shinji :: What is this. That means, in a place where the Moon Cell can’t see us, the AIs and the NPCs are our enemies…?

Sakura :: …I don’t know. I’ve heard that, not just the AIs, but among the NPCs there are those who hold displeasure toward humans. However…there should be no AI who can take over Masters the way BB does. There is no reason to do so. Even if we become dissatisfied, it should only move us on an emotional level. It doesn’t lead to such…devilish actions. BB is out of order. She is a failure as an AI. She’s made her goal the expansion of her own functions. If left to her own devices, BB will continue to consume NPCs and Servants for no reason, and finally go after the Moon Cell itself.  Someone has to stop BB before that happens.

Leo :: I see. So it is more appropriate to say that she's "out of order" rather than something like "gone haywire". BB attempts to expand her functions…or possibly maintain her life, but she is does not choose the means by which she does so. Or more properly, she cannot choose. She appears human, but she is an AI. The ethical function the Moon Cell designed for her has been damaged, so she has become a machine that just chooses the most efficient means possible.

[Worth pointing out Sakura mentions AIs have emotions here, it seems like.]

Sakura :: ……Yes. Please think of it that way. You all must try to improve the situation with your own power. The situation is completely outside the Moon Cell’s predictions, an even outside its measurements.

…outside predictions and measurements. This is the far side of the moon. Sakura said the Moon Cell cannot see us here. So it didn’t predict that this abnormality would arise, and it still can’t observe the abnormality. It shouldn’t be able to happen, and it hasn’t been discovered. In other words — we can’t expect any help from system-side.

Shinji :: So we have to do something it ourselves!? Even though our Servants are gone!

Jinako :: Oh, isn’t that just you, Shinji-san-kun? Eh? Or maybe I’m just a winner since I’ve got a Servant? Winning, right?

Julius :: But you render that Servant useless. The only Masters here who can withstand battle are Leo and Kishinami.

Leo ::  No, I won’t go out and fight. Don’t consider me part of our combat force.

Shinji :: What? What’re you saying. Are you saving your Servant for later? Aren’t we cooperating here?

Rin :: …ah, I see. Indeed, it’s better for Leo to not go out. It’s currently Hakunon’s job to lead the way.

Leo :: Yes. How like you, Miss Tohsaka. You understand quickly and viciously. You would do the same thing if you were in my place, I imagine.

Rin :: — Hmph. What an honor to receive your praise. It doesn’t make me happy, but I’ll at least thank you for your efforts, President Leo.

Shinji :: What is this? Is Leo trying get an advantage in the selection rounds by hiding his Servant here?

Rin :: Of course not. Leo’s openly displayed his Servant throughout the main selection rounds. He hasn’t tried to hide him once. Not fighting now is a strategy. “The only possible move.” Let’s say in this situation Leo has a trump card, and his opponent is seriously thinking about his sealed move, but as long as his opponent doesn’t know the contents of his trump card, they can’t plan any counter-measures. Therefore he’s saving Gawain’s Noble Phantasm for a truly critical moment, if I’m not mistaken.

[I’m adding shogi terminology to the list of things I don’t want them to talk about in this game any more, by the way.]

Leo :: Amazing. I’d expect no less. Indeed, you are the only choice for the vice-president for our council, Miss Tohsaka.

Rin :: …so it’s been decided that I’ll join your team. Even though all I wanted was to repay you for the trouble I caused you as your foe.

Leo :: Oh. Are you dissatisfied with the position of vice-president?

Rin :: No. I have no problems with being vice-president, and I wouldn’t mind playing at being students either. And Kishinami does general affairs, right? So it’s her job to take any requests the student council makes of her. ♥

Leo :: Of course. Hakuno’s skill at running errands exceeds even mine, and I’m the president.

Jinako :: That’s not a skill you’d really want.

Leo :: Well, now that we understand the situation, let’s go over our plans for this point forward. If we surviving Masters want to return to the near side of the moon, we need to get through the Sakura Labyrinth. Hakuno will act as our vanguard, and we in the student council will act as her backup. BB, who trapped us on the far side, may hinder us, in which case we must all cooperate to repel her. It’s a rough plan, but are there any questions or objections?

Of course there are no objections. Leo’s plan is easily understandable. But…what should we do about Sakura? She’s a Moon Cell AI. Her job is to look after the health of the Grail War’s Masters, which is why she’s on our side now, but wouldn’t it go against her duties to fight against another AI of the same model like BB…?

Sakura :: I…I want to help you all. You may not be able to have confidence in me since I’m the same model as BB, but…

Leo :: There’s no need for you to worry, Sakura. Your ethical circuits are functioning perfectly normally. I can guarantee that your level of refinement as a AI is very high.

Kiara :: Indeed. If you think about it, the reason we can use this old school building at all is because Sakura is here. If we didn’t have Sakura, we would have been stranded in the imaginary number space and have disappeared into foam by now. We should have both confidence and faith in her.

Shinji :: I guess. This Sakura has a stupid-looking face, but she doesn’t look like she could be clever enough to betray us, does she?

Jinako :: Rare, get! ~ …oh, ‘s something going on? Whether we can rely on Sakura? Nyaa, and you want my opinion too. As long as they don’t disturb the peace of the janitor’s room, the great Jinako bears hate toward no one. Sakura’s kinda sad, so I think she's interesting, y’know?

Rin :: Indeed. I’d also feel better having you working with us. I mean, you did a lot for us on the near side and all that.

Sakura :: Everyone…thank you so much. I’m really happy. I’ll try to be of as much use as I can.

Sakura’s eyes tear up as she bows to us. She’s an AI just like BB. She must have been prepared for us to treat her as an enemy no matter what she did. I was worried everyone was going to reject her myself. My needless fear being alleviated, I put a hand to my heart in relief.


Unknown speaker :: Ahahahaha! “I’ll be as useful as I can,” - are you insane? There must be some limit to stupidity and poor performance!

Rin :: That voice — ! Leo, what’s our line to the outside? Have you set up proper fortifications!?

Leo :: Of course. I’ve made sure the security on the old school building is perfect. But —

Unknown speaker :: Right. You may be on the far side of the moon, but this is the SE.RA.PH. A cloud computer-type world whose basic operations are performed by the Moon Cell. As long as you’re dependent on that network, perfect security is impossible. Which is why I can do stuff like this! So, are you all ready to applaud? I’m re-shipping your candy, wrapped all together for the good kids and the bad kids alike! The BB Channel starts now!

[…Well at least it doesn’t air at midnight.]

Modified slightly from the original at https://tsukinoura.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/entry-46-apparently-the-laws-of-robotics-dont-apply-on-the-moon/. Please support the original translator.