END8-1: An Epilogue, or a Beginning

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END8-1
An Epilogue, or a Beginning
Episode 08
Previous JT8-3 (Story)
Next EG-5

■■■■■, ■■■■■
Characters
RI Operator icon.png
Hawk
RI Medic icon.png
Medic
Reunion Soldier B icon.png
Reunion Member
RI Operator icon.png
Rhodes Island Operator
Sarkaz Mercenary A icon.png
Sarkaz Mercenary
Guerrilla Shieldguard icon.png
Shieldguard
Ursus Civilian
Backgrounds
Chernobog Control Tower Burning
1
Chernobog Downtown Burning
2
Chernobog Control Tower Outside
3
Chernobog Perimeter
4
Canyons
5
Desert Mountain
6
Lungmen Office
7
RI Surgery Room
8
RI Infirmary
9
RI Corridor
10
RI Room
11
RI Brig
12
Palace Hall B
13
Lungmen, Ursus, Rhodes Island, all three are picking up the pieces. Things are far from over, but everything is at an end, for now.
Good night.
<Background 1>
Amiya In Danger.png
Kal'tsit Damn it, Amiya!
Ch'en Ah...! What happened, Amiya?!
Doctor What’s going on? / How did...? / Kal'tsit, do something!
Kal'tsit ...Come here, Dr. {nickname}.
What I'm about to do next, you are not to tell anyone, ever.
Superintendent Ch'en of Lungmen!
Ch'en No longer.
Kal'tsit Then I'll ask you to keep an eye on the dragon over there for me. We'll be taking her into custody when this is all over. Any questions?
Ch'en Look after Amiya first.
<Background black>
Kal'tsit Yes. Doctor, give me your hand.
Doctor Okay! / (Stretch out your arm) / You'd just grab it anyway if I tried to back away, wouldn't you?
Kal'tsit *Sigh*. This isn't going to hurt. But, don't ask.
I'm going to jam this syringe into your arm and take some blood. And that's all I'm telling you.
It's for your own good.
Doctor Um...
Kal'tsit No questions.
<Background 1>
She's right, it doesn't hurt. You don't feel anything.
Kal'tsit places your freshly drawn blood into a device on her waist. Seconds later, she administers a blue solution into Amiya's neck.
Amiya's breathing stabilizes.
Doctor What happened?!
Amiya ....Nng!
Kal'tsit It worked. Amiya... wake up.
Amiya Huh... Miss... Miss Theresa...?
Kal'tsit ...No. It's me, Amiya.
[Amiya rises up.]
Amiya Dr. Kal'tsit... I...
Kal'tsit You're okay, Amiya. You don't have to talk. Let's get ready to go. It's all okay now.
Amiya Hm.
...Hmm...
*whine*...
Wah... Aahh.... Waaahhh...
Doctor Why are you crying? / Amiya... / (Silently stay with her)
Amiya Waaahhh... Doctor... Waaaaahh...
Doctor It's okay, Amiya.
The fight is over.
Amiya Um... Mm...
Hm.
...My tears... Doctor, I managed not to cry until the end... I... I promised... I... I...
...Doctor... Doctor...
...Dr. {nickname}...
[...]
Kal'tsit Ch'en, the aircraft will reach the control tower momentarily. We'll take Talulah and go.
Ch'en Are you sure? I haven't... even decided how to handle her.
Kal'tsit We need Talulah. Rhodes Island must take her first.
Doctor That's going to bring trouble! / ...... / The crazy shit you say doesn't even surprise me anymore.
Kal'tsit Are you worried we're going to get ourselves killed?
No need, Dr. {nickname}, that ship has long since sailed. It sailed as soon as we got involved here.
We have two swords hanging over our heads: one is Lungmen's and one belongs to the Third Army of Ursus.
We stopped the core city, we got involved in the attack on Lungmen, and we know the entire conspiracy. That's enough to have them plotting to destroy us.
What would the Third Army do if Lungmen decided to strike at us?
They'd grab the popcorn.
The murderers in their fancy uniforms would watch our landship burn into a scorched hulk in the wastelands, one of the thorns in their side melting away.
And on the other side, a private company without registration in Lungmen, not under the protection of Lungmen, finds itself attacked and destroyed by unknown forces.
That doesn't sound like a problem for Lungmen or Yan, does it?
Unless, of course, we're holding Talulah.
Anyone who might want to strike at us first needs to consider the signal they're sending. Does it say to their rivals that they need Talulah? That she's key to this case?
That she grants an advantage, that she could eliminate a weakness?
That is our one and only chance at survival.
It is to Rhodes Island's great advantage that the magnates of Lungmen and the ancient nobility of Ursus will not find common ground in the next century.
If we hold Talulah, their hands are tied. Neither will want to make the first move.
Neither will want to risk the evidence vital to both sides. Their best course of action will be to remain at a safe distance. Both parties want to distance themselves from this smoking gun.
It would take only one slight misstep to bring ruin to either the Third Army or Lungmen. Neither has the authority to stand for their entire country.
The Third Army tried, once. And they will pay a terrible price for the mistake. The stakes are too high.
So we will seize the advantage in this situation. We will use each side to protect ourselves from the other.
Talulah is vital to our survival. At least for now.
Those clever enough to survive will find a balancing point, and with Talulah in our hands, Rhodes Island can actively choose to be that very point.
At least until this all blows over, or they're swept up in the next storm.
Doctor I won't be able to convince you. / ...... / You planned this from the start, didn't you?
Kal'tsit *Sigh*...
There's the aircraft. Time to go. Get Talulah and Amiya in first.
We'll take the next one.
<Background 2>
Sarkaz Mercenary There's no point in fighting any more. The guerrillas are gonna kill us.
Fall back! Abandon the city! We lost! It's over.
W Says who?
Sarkaz Mercenary You're alive...
W If I went down that easy, I couldn't ask you to come with me.
Sarkaz Mercenary Why? Why should we follow you?
W Hah. Need me to spell it out for you? You're free, ya goof.
Sarkaz Mercenary ...Huh? Free? What are you talking about?
W You don't have to kill for anybody anymore. And it's not like I'm your boss now either, I'm just saying you can tag along with me.
You're done being hired muscle. Now you fight for yourselves! Oh, but still, you can't just be killing for fun. I'll blow your ribcage open if you do.
What I'm getting at is we don't have to listen to the bitches who just want our blades and bows. The ones who don't care if we die, as long as we take a bunch of lives with us.
But me? I'm built different. I appreciate money, and they gave us lots.
The thing is, we're still alive, and we can get more of it. Don't need to go piling up cash on gravestones.
See some haters? Kill 'em. Kill anybody who looks at us the wrong way. Kill anybody who wants to hurt us. Just wipe 'em all out.
Not for Reunion, not for all the devils, not for anybody.
We make our own way in the world. Maybe we wanna go to Yan and learn how to play Go. Doesn't matter. It's all good.
You in?
Sarkaz Mercenary Not like there's anywhere else to go.
We'll follow you. But no tricks, W.
W Sorry, man. All I got is tricks.
<Background fades out and in>
Elysium Is it over?
Hawk Looks good. I'm really glad we didn't have to pretend to be anyone's friend in order to kill them.
Hawk I never thought the plan would flip around to helping Reunion like this…
Reunion Member Thanks, bro! Nice work! Let's get out of here!
Hawk (Ursine) Don't mention it!
Now we're their accomplices.
Elysium Hawk, how about a coffee when we get back? I'll tell you about that op back in Columbia...
Hawk I was on your team.
Elysium Really?
Hawk Don't you remember your squadmates?
Elysium Well you were never there for any of the missions.
Hawk Well then... We might've really done some good this time.
<Background 3>
Shieldguard Just a minute, kitten. Is that your aircraft? What's it doing?
Rosmontis Oh, I know...
It must be here to take Talulah. Ah, there it goes... we already have her.
Shieldguard What? You took Talulah?
No, we can't allow that! Rhodes doesn't have the right!
She must stand trial! She can't just walk away!
Rosmontis Sorry... this is how it is.
You want revenge, but you can't have it.
We can't put her on trial.
Shieldguard But you're taking her from us. You stole our chance to execute her!
Kitten, don't be so quick to show off what you've learned...
Hatred runs in our veins. The hatred of Reunion and all the Infected brothers Talulah killed fills us with the rage that gives us the right to try her.
Only us. No one else.
Rosmontis Will you give her a fair trial?
Shieldguard We are justice. Talulah can't escape us.
Rosmontis Okay then, Mister. I'll make you a promise. We won't hand Talulah over to anyone but you and Reunion.
Shieldguard What are you going to do with her?
Rosmontis Even I don't know. But I can make you that promise.
Because I know we're doing what's right.
Kill me now if you have to. I believe in Rhodes Island. I'll stand in for her.
Shieldguard What are you talking about?! Don't talk like that.
Look, kitten, if you think there's any difference between your loyalty and ours, you've got another thing coming. I Trust you. You'll be a glorious fighter someday.
Go on! For you, I'll trust Rhodes Island, just this once.
But you remember. I don't care if it's Talulah or the Lord of Fiends... if I hear you've stepped out of line even just once...
If I hear you've done harm to the downtrodden people of this world, we will hunt you down, we will strike you, and we will kill you all.
Especially Talulah. Don't use her for evil.
We'll spike their heads on the highest point in the city, to honor the Captain, our great warrior, who died here alone.
This isn't how his story was supposed to end.
Rosmontis It won't come to that. Rhodes Island wouldn't do that. Even if they tried, I wouldn't let them.
Someday... I'll be just like you said. I'll be able to pick out who's good and who's bad.
No one should suffer the loss of a loved one. I'll do what's right. I'll be the judge.
I think I almost have my own standard.
Shieldguard We believe in you. We believe your promise, kitten! Young as you are, you're a lot stronger than so many spineless grown-ups.
Alright, we'll hold off on destroying Rhodes Island for now. Because you're there.
Rosmontis Pinky swear?
Shieldguard Huh? Haha, okay. Pinky swear.
Rosmontis Hm.
Shieldguard If I had a daughter, she'd be about your age.
Kitten, the other girl, the Lord of Fiends... the Cautus. If she can really keep doing good...
You can count on us. If you ever get into trouble, we'll be there. Because the Captain... the Captain and Yelena... they chose her..
I hope you'll prove right. I hope we're wrong.
But that's not how it'll go. Because we're doing the right thing.
Time to go.
Rhodes Island Operator Rosmontis! Thank you, Reunion fighters.... We have to go.
Shieldguard We're not Reunion anymore.
Goodbye, kitten. Hurry on home.
Rosmontis Bye bye, Mister.
Parted Ways.png
Shieldguard Bye!
......
They're gone, brothers.
But we can't. We have unfinished business.
Background-Chernobog Control Tower Outside.png
<Background 4>
"Emperors' Blade" Nothing from the leader of Reunion.
Chernobog's core city has stopped moving. Tell the Sixth, Seventh, and Twelfth Divisions, if they still want to proceed, we'll need...
??? Stop.
Or we will be forced to stop you.
Not that we would be able to, even if we tried.
Only you can put a stop to your nonsensical war machine in time.
"Emperors' Blade" You cannot resist the blade of Ursus. Not this time.
And you, the pawns of an incapable lord, who are you to give orders to us?
Shadow Guard (Gaulish) And how do you know you are not under the spell of Kashchey?
"Emperors' Blade" Never speak that language to me again! The age of Gaul is over!
Never again will that language be used to communicate between countries! Not a city of theirs remains!
Kashchey is determined, a determined champion of Ursus!
Shadow Guard You cut down the last man so praised by the people of Ursus.
You need not be so overly prudent. We can offer you assistance. There are things only you may do.
"Emperors' Blade" You would ask us to betray our country?
Shadow Guard Young one... As I see it, you commit treason in proceeding with this plan of yours. What happens next is up to you, but it is Ursus who will suffer the consequences.
Having done all this, you must know: the nobles started this war to solve a problem, but war is far, far worse than the problem.
Where is it you will find ultimate peace in Ursus?
You put an end to that era by your own hands. You know it better than we.
"Emperors' Blade" ——
Wei Yenwu's minions. How did you find us?
Shadow Guard By our own effort. You have a lot to learn.
"Emperors' Blade" Are you threatening me?
Shadow Guard No. Only... we have aged.
And while you boast of loyalty to your homeland...
There are some matters, however loyal you may view them... in which we will play no part.
"Emperors' Blade" What are you talking about?
Shadow Guard That which we will not do.
(Gaulish) Let's take a step back, young one.
The Royal Guard has fresh blood. You have more life ahead of you than we. If this is wrong, you will have time to right it.
But you must think of Ursus, so as to avoid the same pitfalls.
"Emperors' Blade" ......
Shadow Guard Who will right it?
"Emperors' Blade" We will. You put a stop to your people.
And you, old men... You're not in the Imperial Guard anymore. Don't interfere.
Shadow Guard Indeed, it has been a long, long time since we last were. Such is why we may speak freely. Long life to you, young one.
There will not be a next time.
<Background 2>
Reunion Member Please... I'm begging you!
If you're going to kill me, just do it!
Phantom Crossbowman ......
Reunion Member Just don't let them find me! They'll torture us... they always...
Phantom Crossbowman Enough gossip.
Move out! Come on, we don't want...
The Shieldguards to get you.
Reunion Member Are you... you really letting us go?
Phantom Crossbowman The captain would want you to live. Confusing one, that.
You stay away from them. Talulah's guards and the Shieldguards.
Confusing one.
<Background fades out and in>
Phantom Crossbowman You sure you want to stay?
Rhodes Island Guard? Yes.
Phantom Crossbowman But Reunion is gone...
Rhodes Island Guard? I think you can't even call the Shieldguards Reunion anymore.
They sure don't call themselves that.
Unless... unless we were going to make some changes.
Reunion Member If we're Reunion, we have to change ourselves.
Phantom Crossbowman You still believe that?
Reunion Member I know we Infected can pull ourselves up when we fall.
Background-Chernobog Downtown Burning.png
Over the next thirty-six hours, the soldiers from Ursus's Third Army who had infiltrated the Chernobog core city quietly vanished.
Of course, no one could prove they were Ursus soldiers.
Before leaving the core city, the Shieldguards found Reunion corpses with no identifying items, except for the wounds in their flesh...
They were all caused by the same thrown weapon.
The formless killers planned to kill the heavies they knew, sending a quiet warning to the unseen parties who were not present.
Of course, the Shieldguards were more direct with their message. Traitors drown in their own blood.
Background-Chernobog Avenue.png
A joint investigation team from Yan and Ursus submitted their reports two weeks after arriving in Chernobog.
They were clear: there was zero evidence that either of the two countries had anything to do with the tragedy.
They determined that the Chernobog Incident was created and caused by the Infected.
But the vagaries of political conflict meant that any further legal action to be taken against the Infected that might have been circulating in the major cities ultimately died in various legislatures, piles of unpassable bills...
Until finally meeting an unceremonious end in the old secretary's crank shredder during a cleanup.
Thus, the Chernobog Incident silently drew to a close.
<Background 5>
Ursus Civilian Ah...!
Crownslayer Calm down.
I'm not a killer. Go this way. You can't stay here! If the Ursus Army finds you, they won't care if you're Infected or not. They're wiping out the city.
Ursus Civilian ......
So you're the only one we can trust?
Crownslayer If you want to live... you'll live.
Ursus Civilian We'll live. Where should we go?
Crownslayer ...Alright. Sure. This way.
I can't do anything about you hating us. But I hope we won't have any more hate for you, since you also lost your homes.
Brothers! Here. Take them. They're not Infected, so be careful.
Reunion Member Crownslayer? What about you?!
Where are you going...? What should we do?
Crownslayer Why are you still following me?
Reunion Member You're a leader of Reunion...
Crownslayer I'm nothing.
I want to go back to Siracusa.
Reunion Member Why? Why would you...?
Crownslayer I'm weak. I need to get stronger.
Back when I was leaving Siracusa to go to Ursus, to take revenge for my father, my teacher stopped me. Saying I was weak, and I couldn't do it.
I didn't believe it. But it was the truth.
My brain doesn't work like Talulah's. I'm not as skilled as my teacher. I'm weak.
Even the cause I believed in... was just somebody's tool. You all know, right? Talulah betrayed us. No matter what the deal is, Reunion is over.
[Nine appears.]
Nine I don't think this is how the movement ends.
Crownslayer Aren't you from Lungmen?
Nine Yes. But where I come from doesn't matter to what I'm saying.
Whether or not she acknowledges it, and you have to realize it... No matter what happens to Reunion, Talulah already lit the flame.
And you can't just put it out like this.
Crownslayer Sure. If that's how it is, I think they're better off going with you.
Nine Are you asking that of me?
Crownslayer Let's say I'm entrusting them to you. You might be lying to me here, but these people lost their homes. I won't lie to you.
They'll be worse off with me.
Nine Okay, are you willing to come with me?
Reunion Member ...Crownslayer...
Crownslayer Ursus... us... Ursus.
The Empire just hasn't gotten to the point where they'll treat all the Ursus like we do.
Goodbye, all of you. Don't make the same mistakes I did.
Nine Girl...
Reunion Member What's your name? And where are you going?
Nine Call me "Nine."
I'm going to where the fire burns the hottest.
<Background 6>
Rat King I knew you'd be here.
Wei Yenwu Can't hide from you.
Rat King You came here to mourn them.
Wei Yenwu I may be mourning us. Or reflecting on mortality and greed.
Rat King Your sword says something else.
Wei Yenwu At least my sword isn't cutting your throat.
Rat King I know you don't mean it, Old Wei. If we were really going at it, who can say which one of us would drop first?
Wei Yenwu Be serious please.
Rat King I have to give you a few good jabs, old friend. You know, Hui-chieh and those Infected got it done.
You should think things over again, the arbitrary way you go about them. You almost dragged Lungmen into a war and wrecked the whole place.
Wei Yenwu I'm not sure about that. Even if Lungmen were to choose a certain future, it may yet choke it out over some small thing. A chance occurrence.
Rat King The city didn't choose her. We should be proud that she chose the city.
Wei Yenwu They're not mutually exclusive, Kojui. The city chose her too.
Even if it wasn't ready to accept who she is...
Rat King And you should tell that to her. It's time for me to go, Old Wei.
Wei Yenwu Wait, Kojui!
Did the Shadow Guard lie to me?
Rat King Oh?
They're your Shadow Guard, how should I know?
Wei Yenwu I should've known you and Lin Yühsia were working together.
Rat King Your Shadow Guard aren't the Imperial Guards they once were. They're human now.
Do you think they can stand to watch you make another mistake?
Wei Yenwu So that means... when I told them to handle the Infected, then you...
Rat King Shh. Heaven knows. Besides, when you knew we would—
Head back soon. That sick old tiger has something for you.
—Hui-chieh?
Oh, you're here.
[Ch'en, now sporting R.I. uniform and gear, approaches Wei and the Rat King.]
Ch'en Uncle Lin.
Rat King Look at you, dressed like this, it looks like you're headed right off somewhere.
Do remember to visit from time to time.
Ch'en I'm not sure I can.
Rat King Then you'll have to write us, let us know you're safe out there.
Ch'en I will, Uncle Lin.
[The Rat King leaves.]
Wei Yenwu ......
This is where Talulah's father is buried... And your mother.
In the end, they couldn't be buried in the city they loved. Or, in the case of your mother, it was a matter of both love and hate.
I'll never forget the look of this place, Hui-chieh. I think of them whenever I see it... my sister, and my sworn brother, with whom I shared no blood.
They are buried here.
A place too small to house their passion, words too weak to express their remorse.
Ch'en An unmarked grave.
Wei Yenwu Yes. Heh... names perhaps mean more to the living.
All around the world, we idealize burial, as all graves eventually disappear. No one knows a peaceful, eternal sleep.
Catastrophe, war, abandonment, and all such things. Should a city disappear, the souls buried within disappear right along with it.
And in the countless settlements that dot the land, I have never yet found one where the descendants knew the location of the graves of their ancestors.
There is a form of burial called the Tombway, it denotes a part of a nomadic city's pathing as the burial ground, where the dead will be tossed from the city, with the passing cycle as a form of honor.
I'm too forgetful. Too many things I forget too easily, too many things I want so desperately to forget.
But dare not ever forget them.
And so... I picked this place for them.
I brought my sister to Lungmen, I met Fumizuki in Lungmen, along with Edward, who had fled to Lungmen.
I can't say we made the best of friends, but he was smart, and bold.
Kashchey ruled Lungmen from the shadows, and saw us as thorns in his side. We knew we had no choice but to depose him... it was the only way to give us a future in the city.
Here, this grave, is the farthest Lungmen had ever been.
After we beat Kashchey and exiled him from Lungmen, the city sat a few dozen miles away, bright, and full of hope. Our future awaited us.
We drank, talked, laughed, enjoyed ourselves without a thought to our remaining fuel.
We very nearly died of thirst until Adams, that sick old tiger, coughed up his car to come get us. Boy did he give Edward and I the business after that.
Oh... he wasn't as old then. Nor was he as sick, or ferocious.
But who cares? We were all having a good time.
Lin was laughing... laughing like we didn't have blood on our hands... laughing like we were boys in the time of our lives.
Edward was the scion of the highest Londinium nobility. And we were keeping that secret in Lungmen. But Kashchey already knew, he may have long since started plotting.
He told my jealous twin and the Shadow of Londinium about Edward and my sister... about their relationship...
I was forced to choose between Edward or my sister's unborn child.
I hid it for ten years after Edward died. Only my brother and Kashchey knew. But now, Edward and my sister are both gone from this world.
Someday, a Catastrophe will strike and wipe away everything. No one will remember the tragic lovers buried here. These two, who died because of me, will be forgotten.
Ch'en I met 'Kashchey". He may be more evil than either of us know.
Wei Yenwu I can imagine.
Ch'en This grave...
...Mother.
Wei Yenwu It was my fault your mother wasn't so warm towards you. I had to have her marry that Yan noble, to protect her. I should have done better.
Ch'en It's all in the past.
Promise me, Wei Yenwu. Promise me you won't let Lungmen turn into a grave.
Wei Yenwu Never again.
Ch'en As if I could trust a word you say.
Wei Yenwu I never needed your trust. Hmph... But, you can believe me this one time. Like when I promised to train you.
Ch'en ——
You trained me well. I couldn't have gotten her back without you.
Wei Yenwu I'm glad.
Ch'en I don't think you've spoken to me in ten years as much as you did today.
Wei Yenwu I think we talked a lot?
Ch'en What I mean is as Ch'en Hui-chieh. Not as Superintendent Ch'en.
Wei Yenwu Haha.
Ch'en I'll be off.
Wei Yenwu What are you planning to do with your sister?
I have no feelings for Talulah anymore. Except guilt.
Ch'en Good. That's what you should feel.
We're one pair of the countless separated siblings in this world. Most will never be reunited.
Even so, I can't just let her go. I still don't know what she is, it's still not clear.
There's a prison to keep criminals, but Lungmen we know today can't hold her.
Wei Yenwu I can't make the Lungmen that could. Only you can create an L.G.D. that could keep the Infected and the uninfected together.
Ch'en It doesn't have to be me. We all have our own part to play.
I know that truth, no matter how correct it might be. If the people of Lungmen don't accept it, then they won't. I've seen too much of the slums.
And if it is possible to build something like that, I'd like to do it with Rhodes Island first.
Talulah... no matter how long it takes, I will get her a fair trial.
Wei Yenwu You really have grown up.
Ch'en I don't need to hear that from you, Sir. I don't think it's a good thing.
Wei Yenwu If I, on behalf of Lungmen, ask you to stay, will you do it?
Ch'en Hah.
Wei Yenwu If you and Talulah ever wanted to come back, Lungmen would make the move to take you back, if it can.
There are so many things we can't do. But maybe them, in the future, maybe they could.
Ch'en I just hope you haven't forgotten what you were reflecting on. That would be good enough.
Say hello to Aunt Fumizuki for me.
Oh...
Err...
Uncle...
Take care of yourself.
Wei Yenwu ......
Hui-chieh!
Ch'en stops for a moment, but she does not turn back.
Ch'en What is it?
Wei Yenwu The path before you is long and hard. But I know you will master it.
Ch'en I'll bear that in mind.
<Flashback starts here>
<Background 7>
Fumizuki Right then. What's the second condition you wanted to offer Rhodes Island?
Wei Yenwu ......
After using them to wipe out Reunion, I would ask them to take as many of Lungmen's Infected as they could.
Give them land, resources, funding, and all the materials they need.
They can't refuse. Even if they know this is a hard pill to swallow.
I have done this before, and I will continue to do it.
No hesitation, no regret.
Fumizuki And for now?
Wei Yenwu *Sigh*. The situation has changed. And we must change with it.
Fumizuki Is there a problem with you thanking them directly?
Wei Yenwu ......
Fumizuki You don't worry so much about winning and losing as you used to. And I think I can guess the reason.
It's about our little Ch'en.
That's why things have changed?
Wei Yenwu Lungmen's Infected belong in Lungmen.
Fumizuki So what about Ch'en?
Wei Yenwu She has her own path to walk.
Fumizuki Will you visit her?
Wei Yenwu The Chief of Lungmen can't have anything to do with an Infected organization.
Fumizuki Hmph. Harsh.
Then I'll go.
Wei Yenwu Well... say hello to her for me.
<Flashback ends here>
Wei's Grave Visit.png
When forced to choose between my sister and my sworn brother, I chose my sister. I vowed to let no harm come to them, but...
I broke that vow.
This time is different. I will never choose again.
Kashchey was wrong. I had no choice. Wei Yenwu, you have only one path to walk, in fact.
Even if it is the path of fratricide.
For the sake of my two nieces, for the sake of the Lungmen in my dreams. Even if it is my one and only path.
<Background fades out>
Wei Yenwu (Hui-chieh... live well.)
Background-RI Bridge.png
A few weeks later...
Kal'tsit Attention, honored Rhodes Island operators, this is Kal'tsit.
Thanks to our efforts, the Chernobog issue has been resolved peacefully.
......
<Background 8>
Rosmontis Does it hurt?
Blaze Ow... Only if you poke it!
Rosmontis Oh. Sorry.
Blaze It's fine... how are you?
Rosmontis Fine.
Blaze Ehwhaaa? No way, little kitten... since when do you keep things to yourself?
Rosmontis Is that bad...?
Blaze Oh, of course not! Scout, can you see? Our little kitten is all grown up! She's a big girl!
She's so big now... waaaahhhh...
Rosmontis D-Don't cry... I want to forget!
You're really crying? Why are you crying?
Blaze Waaaahhhh...
Rosmontis D-Don't cry, Blaze... don't...
Blaze Bluishsilver should know... Ace too... our kitten... she's grown up...
Rosmontis ...Blaze...
Blaze Waaaaaaahhhhh!
Rosmontis Hey!
Background-RI Bridge.png
Kal'tsit Much of the truth will stay buried forever in the ruins of Chernobog.
Because we live in an uncaring world.
But Rhodes Island will remember. No matter what else we undertake... we must remember.
A Rhodes Operator does not sacrifice her life for a single person or event.
<Background 9>
Medic Oh, this topical medicine is really useful!
There are lots of similar patents out there, but I think this cream is effective enough to have a market.
The main point is that even if it's not especially effective, it is very cheap to produce... all the components that came up in analysis were common, wild-growing plants.
It's a bit of a pain to get them from the northwest tundra, they're spread over such a wide area.
The inventor must've had more perseverance than medical knowledge.
Where do you want to apply for the patent, Amiya?
Amiya In Ursus. And make it cheap.
Medic But I think the Empire has similar tech?
Amiya Ursus has more people who need it.
Medic What should we name it then?
Amiya We'll call it... FrostNova.
Doctor Amiya? Were you looking for me?
Amiya Oh, Dr. {nickname}!
Medic, you and Warfarin take care of it.
Medic We'll take it from here!
Amiya Doctor, I'm coming!
Background-RI Bridge.png
Kal'tsit It is not for the results that we commit to what we do.
We do something not because we want to see it done.
As a business, this may be a foolish strategy. But we live for more than material gain.
Our brave operators have proved that life, and its value, lay not only in ensuring the survival of one or even many people, or in its biological definition...
We have to live on in the moral, civilized sense. Because the future of life needs support, and Rhodes Island is that support.
We are fighting for a cause that will heal the scars on our world.
<Background 10>
Dobermann Another mission?
Nearl Yes. With Meteorite.
Dobermann Care to bring a greenie? I have some new recruits who need to learn.
Nearl Oh? I don't think so. This is going to be a tough one.
Meteorite Jessica and FrostLeaf are going out on patrol. They might be in a better place to take a recruit.
Dobermann Jessica? Can she handle it?
Meteorite I think you've seen how far she's come.
Dobermann I have. I think she'll certainly be able to put some pressure on the new recruits.
Meteorite Then Nearl is going to crush me with all her pressure.
Nearl ...I... am I really that heavy?
Meteorite No, that's not what I meant. *Sigh*.
Background-RI Bridge.png
Kal'tsit It is for this belief that we are willing to die.
—Ace Squad, thirteen members. Ace, Bad Tom, Kerg, Hard Brick—
—WoodsPoon, Seventeen, Bronze Nose, Green Pea, Lunar Silver, Confidenty, Sandwash, Violet Flame, and Caries.
Amiya Squad, thirteen members. Dim Needle, B-Softhand, ChiliJimme, KeenEar.
AngerNeighing, Sunty, Marco Smith, Fade.
Divides, FrostNova, Antonio Lisa, Wildash, Hui, and Indigo Jade.
<Background 11>
Kal'tsit I can't put FrostNova on the KIA list.
Doctor Why not?! / ...... / Give me a reason.
Kal'tsit No matter what you say, she wasn't an official employee.
What of the consequences? What if our operators are outraged at you putting a Reunion operative on our casualty list? It's not something you should do.
Doctor She fought for the same goal.
Kal'tsit Is that all it takes?
Doctor Yes.
Rhodes Island fights for the same idea.
Kal'tsit Okay...
I'll do it. You've done your duty.
I hope you'll stay as you are now.
—And I'd like to apologize for that thing back there, Dr. {nickname}.
The question you asked me back by the sarcophagus. I can't give you an answer. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever.
I don't want to hide the truth, but I really can't give you the answer you're looking for, unfortunately. Neither I nor PRTS have a good explanation. I hope you can forgive us.
But someday, when the time is right, it will appear to you.
Doctor...
When that day comes. When you finally know the truth. Will you be ready?
Another thing, Dr. {nickname}.
Amiya has taken on a lot of burdens. I hope you could... avoid giving her more bad memories.
We should take more onto ourselves instead, those things which we can't even face ourselves. We can do it.
As long as you're here. As long as you are like this.
Background-RI Bridge.png
Kal'tsit Announcing.png
Kal'tsit Scout Squad. Thirteen members. Scout, Milim, Tipsy...
...Slink, Mimi, Leafa, Slanna, Mary...
...Thumbtack, Mudflower, Macron, Pter, Scorpion.
Rosmontis Squad, one member, Bluishsilver. Raidian Squad, one member, Liqusa.
Forty-one sacrifices in all, in the Chernobog Incident.
Rhodes Island will not forget. We will remember their names forever.
Even should Rhodes Island cease to exist someday, all that they have done will leave its mark on our world.
Amiya and the Doctor.png
Amiya Doctor...
You don't want to talk?
I get it. So much has happened.
But, with you by my side, I feel... I feel happy.
There are some things we can't do by ourselves.
Doctor But it's not like we do them for their own sake.
Amiya Right!
Rhodes Island... we always press forward, no matter what the dark clouds bring.
And no matter how many terrible stories unfold across the world...
I'll always believe in the warmth in your heart.
<Dialogue branch starts here>
Doctor That's a given. / ......
Amiya Welcome home, Doctor.
<Dialogue branch>
Doctor What will you do if I'm actually bad?
Amiya Then I'll have to stop you myself.
Welcome home, Doctor.
<Dialogue branch ends here>
Doctor Hi, Amiya.
Episode 08 End.png
<Background 12>
Rhodes Island Operator Did she say anything?
Closure Nope. Not a peep since you brought her in.
She's so calm. Even when, uh... Ch'en, was it? Even when Ch'en came to see her, she didn't say anything.
Rhodes Island Operator So what are you going to do about it?
Closure Me? Do I look like Ascalon...? And I don't think we have anything we need from her yet anyway.
More information is gonna depend on where you use it, I guess. I really don't know how to handle a person like that.
Rhodes Island Operator What about those L.G.D. people?
<Background black>
Swire What? It's not like it's your first time at Rhodes Island. What's there to be shy about?
Hoshiguma I just got promoted. I don't want anyone thinking I'm working under the table with Rhodes.
Missy, you're totally good with it, huh? You make it look like you're going shopping.
Swire Who could stop me?
Hoshiguma Sure enough. You got that rich girl brain.
Swire Hmm...? Chief Wei's office. Who's... that?
Hoshiguma ...An angel with blue hair? Or a Sarkaz?
Swire Woah! She's really hurt!
Hoshiguma Hey! You can't just barge in... Chief Wei is in there.
<Background 7>
??? Looks like you got company, Chief.
Wei Yenwu Anyone who could make their way in here is someone I can trust. Let's have you look after your own wounds first.
??? If you don't mind letting those two out there eavesdrop, then this little scratch is no big deal.
Wei Yenwu What are you doing here, Laterano Messenger?
??? I'm not here as an official Laterano Messenger...
(Although, the Church does actually have a message for you.)
Wei Yenwu Hoshiguma! Take Swire outside.
Hoshiguma Oh, roger that!
Swire Hey! Why just me...?
Wei Yenwu There.
Speak, Messenger.
??? ...He said... (Laterano language).
"What did you have for breakfast? And what will you eat for dinner?"
Wei Yenwu ...Odd. Why would he want to know what I think?
??? I think... You are the Chief, Mr. Wei.
<Background 13>
Closure They're not here in an official capacity. The blonde tiger and the green-haired Oni... I think they're probably here to meet an old friend or something?
But hey, if we carry on like this, we could have the Ursus Royal Guard taking a stroll around the landship.
Rhodes Island Operator When they came by, did the... patient, react at all?
Closure Nope.
I can only ever guess at what Kal'tsit's thinking. Oh, I'll get the surveillance set up, you stand under that camera. C'mon, c'mon~
Talulah Imprisoned.png
Kashchey Talulah.
Humans are weak, complicated, selfish creatures.
Even cystybeasts possess a nobility human beings lack. They forage the land day after day, never stopping, never giving up.
Unlike humans.
Humans kill one another for food. Humans harm one another for selfish desires.
As such, human beings use others to determine their own value, to measure their worth. You have what it takes to enlighten them them, you have the right to use them.
You know what you must do. I taught you all that you are... How do you overcome these countless years of oppressive history? The history of humanity is a history of struggle.
Wisdom, ideals, and methods... Your sight is my sight. Surrender your fantasies. Sooner or later, you will return to me.
I am your only end.
Talulah Imprisoned Close-Up.png
Kashchey... No, Kashchey. Absolutely not.
All that you taught me now weighs on my body, carved into it as scars forever. The past is behind us.
It's all... over.
Indeed... I must put an end to all you have brought.
All the ugliness and shame you cast upon me... will be my fuel. It will fuel my future.
Until I find you, until this world is liberated, I will never stop burning.
I will not deny you again, Kashchey. I oppose you.
Until all the wrongs have been righted and all our sins purged.
It will be done. Even if our end is the same, I will burn it all to ashes. Even if I burn to death.
<Background black>
How long have you been out?
Oh, I can't be bothered to count. I lost track a while ago.
But even if you run, you won't get away.
One needs a hammer to strike a nail. And if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Maybe now is the time.
Vina and the Seven Ravens.png
Kal'tsit Vina! Come here, please. I have words for you.
Siege Alright, Dr. Kal'tsit.
Kal'tsit Just a moment. One question. Are you ready?
Siege I'm not sure. But I guess I'm ready whenever.
<Background 13>
Islam Witte Your Majesty...
Here is the completed report on the incident.
Fyodor —How did this happen?
Did one of the Royal Guards betray us?
Witte, give me an honest answer.
My chest is an unlit fireplace on a winter day. Only honest words will get my heart beating again, whether or not an unpleasant truth may break it.
Islam Witte No. Your Royal Guards would never betray Your Majesty. They will remain loyal to you until the world itself is consumed by fire, as long as you are the rightful Emperor of Ursus.
Fyodor You and I both know those are but empty words. Would that the Guard did more than stand back and watch the old monster die...
Enough! No more platitudes, no more masks, I've grown weary! Witte, you are no fool. Tell me your thoughts! And look me in the eye as you do!
Where are the puppetmasters behind this plot?
Islam Witte ——
Grand Duke Baikal, Deputy Marshal of the Third Army and Governor General Rosin, and Viscount Kerque.
Of course, I still lack the evidence to prove that they actually orchestrated the entire ordeal.
Further, when the Royal Guard went to hang them all in their homes. They found...
These traitors, lacking the courage to face their crimes and your wrath, they took their own lives rather than bear their due punishment.
Fyodor Cowards... absolute cowards! Have they not even the meager courage it takes to stand trial?
They must have known! They knew that a trial would reveal their base desires, their corrupted minds, to all the people of Ursus!
And yet... now we will never bring them to trial.
Islam Witte True, Your Majesty. How regrettable that we must now keep this knowledge behind the curtain, rather than take it out onto the stage.
Even a stupid burdenbeast will do more than chew grass when roused.
Nevertheless, the Royal Guard disposed of their remains in the proper manner.
Their rotten corpses will dangle, stinking from the ceiling. No one will dare take them down.
Had their conspiracy succeeded, Ursus would have suffered another war, they would have seen their influence increase, proportionally draining the power of the Council... perhaps further degrading our cities.
We are most fortunate they failed.
Fyodor Traitors! Death was too good for them. I should feed them to the Flesh Buthidas!
But... that would be a terrible thing. No. We can't do that.
Pardon me, Witte. I didn't mean to lash out like that.
We must not go back down the road of ruin. No matter how much rage I have for my enemies, I cannot exhibit such behavior.
Islam Witte You did not resort to them during the Great Rebellion. To this day, I feel that only a proper, blood-soaked threat would have stirred them.
Pure terror is the only language those who terrorize the innocent can understand.
Although I am personally opposed to such measures.
Fyodor Unfathomable.
Must I resort to such ancient brutality, such poisonous traditions to stand against the ignorant?
And as these maggots seize the swords and shields of our empire, are even we left to naught but rot?
Islam Witte Forgive me, Your Majesty. I do not have an answer to that question. From a constitutional perspective, I am not your legal spymaster.
Fyodor More importantly, Witte, is the legend true? Is the "Deathleess Black Snake" a malignant deity that cannot be slain?
And are there other such deities like it in our realm? What can we do to free our people from this tyranny?
Witte, we stand now in the light... surrounded by darkness! Can we use fire to illuminate Ursus?
Islam Witte Your Majesty, I must point to one fact. In recent decades, only the Duke of Kashchey, among all the Ageless, shows clear signs of involvement in these events.
And even after his death, we are unable to confirm her identity.
That tells us that the Ageless of Ursus... still fear you.
They fear you and your contempt.
Nearly a thousand years have passed since we overthrew the Hippogryph. A couple of dying monsters cannot stand against the might of the Ursus people.
Let them do as they will. They will fail.
We will find them, and we will destroy them. Your Majesty need not worry.
Fyodor I hope it all proceeds as you've said.
What of the Infected situation? Any developments?
Islam Witte Your Majesty is overhasty. You acted too quickly to close the Infected mines the armies held in the northwest.
It may have been your hope to weaken the Army's supply reserves, or even show a little benevolence—
But as much as the Army opposes you, your people also oppose this. They fear the Infected.
It is unwise to go against your people, at this juncture. They by and large despise the Infected, and standing against the Army here could be seen as you standing against the people.
You lack the resources to pursue this course.
Fyodor ......
Even if it's the right thing to do?
Islam Witte Even if it's the right thing to do. This is to show leniency to the Infected by shoveling them into the jaws of hell.
It is time, Your Majesty. Yurodstvo has been waiting at the door for over fifteen minutes. I think you may want to see to him.
Fyodor Hmph. Raving lunatic with his holy visions! I'll make a proper joke of him.
But before that, Witte, do you think we can do it? Can we make Ursus great again?
Islam Witte I don't know, Your Majesty. Now is not an appropriate time to answer you.
But at least you do not lay waste to the world as your father did. That is already quite good.
<Background black>
Islam Witte Talulah the Infected... hm.
Should you break the curse of the Deathless Black Snake, then you should be able to break through everything that weighs upon you.
I hope that one day we have a real chance to defeat the country of the last emperor.
Part 1 End.png
<Background black>
Talulah?
You're doing a good service, standing guard in this weather.
I know it is what you want.
Talulah So you do. Until we walk out of this winter, my fire will keep burning.
Good Old Reunion.png
FrostNova (Sh. Quiet...)
(They're sleeping.)
Talulah (Oh, sorry. Shh.)
(They trained all day?)
FrostNova (The kid with the dark hair looks like he could handle a bow.)
(But he'll need to grow a bit.)
Talulah (Then let them sleep. But...)
FrostNova (I'm about to leave. I'm dropping the temperature too much. They'll catch a cold.)
Talulah (Sorry to bother you.)
FrostNova (You didn't. It's just the one with the white hair... he's a light sleeper. If I don't sing to him, he has night terrors. I don't know what he's been through.
Talulah (Time heals all wounds.)
(Is your father still working on tomorrow's battle plan? He told me something about an Ursus Infected transport center.)
FrostNova (He has to think carefully, keep our losses low. He always tells me to pay attention to that.)
Talulah (It's already so late.)
FrostNova (I've never seen him sleep. Not once.)
Talulah (Heroes need rest too. The other fighters should've taken some.)
FrostNova (Think of yourself before him. Who was that you reached out to a few days ago? Where were they from?)
Talulah (Lyudmila and Alex. Looks like they've been around Chernobog. They know the city well.)
FrostNova (That's a big city.)
Talulah (Yes. And with lots of Infected in it. We might be able to bring them in... with the right plan.)
(Lyudmila and the people with her seem strong. I think they might become dependable allies, even if they're a little ornery right now.)
FrostNova (Ornery as those of us fighting the Ursus Army all the time?)
(Chernobog. It's too far, and too many things stand in our way. How many years would it take? Three or four still wouldn't get us there.)
Talulah (Even if we don't fight it or stop it... it will have to come to us. With the efforts of the Infected in the city, we can build a city of our own.)
(And maybe, in three or four years' time... we'll be looking at tomorrow. Tomorrow is so close.)
FrostNova (I like the sound of that.)
(Get some rest.)
Talulah (Right. Good night.)
(Good night, Sasha, and Eno.)
FrostNova (Hurry back. I'll send the kids to the settlement soon.)
Talulah (Right.)
(My brothers and sisters...)
The Dragon Sisters.png
Good night.

Trivia

The interlude's description changes depending on the player's progress to unlock the secret interlude, EG-5:

1 out of 3 Every journey ■■■, but this world ■■■.
2 out of 3 Every journey has a , but this world knows no .
3 out of 3 Every journey has a destination, but this world knows no end.