Part 148: The Book of the Truth
BGM: S/he End
Until I undo this seal, I can't even stick the key in the keyhole.
"...You can remove this, right?"
To sum it up in a phrase, it was like a trench in the ocean floor. No, that's not quite right. It was... a library. However, the number of books and the height of the shelves vastly surpassed all of those that existed in the world of humans. If height is the measure of greatness, then the gods must surely be giants taller than mountains. This place appeared to be a library big enough and grand enough for such gods.
Each individual book was no larger than those from the human world. However, the shelves holding them stood like the walls of a valley... or like a deep-sea ocean trench. So, Ange and the others looked like little more than a few small butterflies who had wandered into this vast library. Like miniscule deep-sea fish swimming about all alone in an ocean pit.
"Isn't there some way to just smash it open?"
"...Do you like to thaw your frozen fish by smashing it with a hammer?"
"Sorry, I was always terrible in cooking class."
"...Kitties, thaw this seal."
Bernkastel threw the Book of the Single Truth down to them, and only after several seconds passed, the school of fish seemed to gather around it and carry it away. Those few seconds made it clear just how deep this bookshelf trench went. Ange was once again dumbfounded by this unimaginably vast and godly library...
"We can just let them handle the rest."
"...And you really will let me see what's inside?"
"If that is your wish, I'll grant it. And, of course, I won't be able to read it myself without that key of yours."
Ange silently gripped the golden key in her pocket... This journey has been so long, and so strange. In search of the truth from 12 years ago, I left my home, met President Okonogi, met Amakusa... And, at some point, that adventure became wrapped in the Illusion of the Witch.
However, here I am. Ushiromiya Eva's diary is here. The truth written inside it is sitting right before me.
"Rest for a while. Even I don't have enough free time to spend it all with you."
"...Well, I'm not really tired though."
"Erika. Serve Ange some tea or something."
"Yes, my master!"
"...Bernkastel. If, by any chance, you're planning to use me and steal both the key and the book, you won't get off easy."
"H, how dare you say such a thing to my master?!"
"Sorry. After my long experience with witches, I've decided not to trust normal words."
"...Very well. I'll promise it with the red truth. When the seal on the Book of the Single Truth is dissolved, you, Ange, will be the first to read it. ...Is that good enough for you?"
For some time, Ange considered the witch's words, searching for some sort of trap hidden within them...
There was no greater guarantee than a red truth given by a witch. Ange understood this well enough. If one did start to doubt even this red truth, there would be nothing left to trust in this entire world. If one began to suspect even this, then even the truth would no longer be truth.
"...Are you still unsatisfied about something?"
"Nn... No, I'm fine."
She would need Bernkastel's help if she wanted to read the Book of the Single Truth. Ange finally realized that she had nothing to gain by complaining more and annoying this witch further...
"...Once you've dissolved the barrier, call me right away."
"Of course. I also want to read it as soon as possible. I'll call for you at once."
Bern spun away from them, then vanished into the dark bookshelf trench. Ange saw a school of emerald green fish appear and follow behind Bernkastel. Could those be her familiars? As she stared at the emerald lights that resembled some sort of deep-sea fish, Ange was poked from behind.
"...You're creeping me out, so please just call me Ange."
"Then you can call me Erika-sama."
"...Let's get going, comrade Erika."
The pair began to swim in the direction Erika indicated. 'Swim' seemed a better way to describe what they were doing than 'fly' would have.
"It's not like you'll be able to remember its name, so why not just call it the library?"
"I'll decide what I can or can't remember. Tell me."
"It's 'the Great Witch of Theatergoing, Drama, and Spectating's Noble City of Carefully Selected Books'."
"...Yeah, 'the library' works fine."
"Knew you'd say that."
Yeah, the name fits. The bookshelves on either side of this canyon are skyscrapers. If I think of those emerald green lights flowing beneath us as headlights on a highway, then this really does seem like a city of books.
"These things aren't just books, are they?"
"That's right. Each volume is packed with an ensemble play. They look like books from here, but if you open one up, you'll find a whole world inside."
"...So, even our long tale is only one of these."
"Great witches who live on a far, far higher plane than we do are hardly any different from a Creator or God. From their perspective, our little tale is worth little more than a single book, if that."
From the theatergoer's perspective, our individual lives are hardly worth anything at all. If they're writing down an entire world in a single volume, then my life probably isn't even worth a single line.
"But we're the main characters. I am, and so are you."
"That's right. Even if the tale of the gods doesn't mention us, the main character in the story we write for ourselves is always us. Becoming aware of that fact is the first thing that separates witches from humans."
BGM: L&D Circulation
It didn't go in very deep, making it look like a room that had been cut in half. It was filled with the tools of everyday life, as though this was Erika's hidden house.
"My master has ordered me to serve you some tea, so if you don't feel like drinking, I'll have to pour it into you with a funnel."
"...If you try, I'll have to serve you some matcha."
"...Nothing. Just talking to myself."
Ignoring Erika as she made tea, Ange looked down upon the bizarre, otherworldly scene below. Until Erika finished getting the tea ready, the scene held Ange's gaze like it was sucking out her soul...
"This might sound strange, coming from me."
"So, you really did make a deal, to throw away your life to learn the truth."
"...I had nothing to gain from life. It was easy for me to trade away the time I had left."
"My master really does take to idle whims. To think she would make a contract for the meaningless life of a powerless girl."
Ange chuckled, not bothering to argue. That was exactly right. How incredible that Bernkastel would lend her power to a worthless life that was trying to throw itself away.
"Good point. Even if Bernkastel hadn't appeared, I would've still taken that step off the edge that day."
"...You really are a cheap woman, aren't you?"
"Well then, just how much are you worth?"
"Me?! Hahaha, ahahahahahahahahahaha..."
The way Erika cackled was disturbing. Still, Ange realized that this was her way of answering the question. People don't become witches of their own choosing. If they're capable of living, all people want to live their lives as humans.
...When something comes along to trip up that life, that's when the road to living as a witch opens. Even Furudo Erika, who calls herself the Witch of Truth, must be like this. The two Witches of Truth, sitting here drinking tea without even looking at each other, are exactly the same.
"I know that."
"I like exposing secrets, then watching those people turn pale as they wonder how I figured it out. That's when I know I've reached the truth, and it's a moment of ecstasy."
"There's something seriously wrong with you."
"Well then, what does the truth mean to you?"
Ange was about to give an immediate answer, but she bit down her words. Then, she gulped, not knowing how to respond. After all, to Ange, the truth itself was the goal. At first, it was out of hatred. Could Ushiromiya Eva, the sole survivor of Rokkenjima, be the culprit behind everything? She hated Eva, but she had no proof that her aunt was the culprit, and of course, Eva never talked about what happened on that island. So, at first, 'the truth' meant proof that Eva was the culprit, in Ange's eyes.
However, that feeling withered away with Eva's death. Now that Eva was dead, even if Ange did find some kind of proof, it wouldn't mean anything. So, eventually, the truth Ange wanted to find... became nothing more than the simple desire to know what happened on that island that day. However, one thing was obvious. Even if she did find out the truth, that wouldn't bring any of her family back to her.
"You're going to expose the truth your beloved Onii-chan is hiding, even though it's meaningless? You're the one that's not making sense."
Erika laughed mockingly. Ange laughed too, as though she agreed.
"And so, my own truth became my goal. Maybe you could even call it my reason for living."
"So, once you do reach the truth, there won't be any point or purpose to you living anymore, right?"
"That's right. So, I'll die. Hasn't it been long enough? I've already lived 12 years too long. Don't I at least deserve to have a witch appear and grant my wish in my final moments?"
"...Or, to put it simply, you're just tired with life. Does that sum it up?"
"Yeah. So, my reason for living, my very existence, and everything else is meaningless. That's why this goal of finding the Book of the Single Truth has put a little sparkle back into my life, now that it's nearly over. At least on that score, I'm grateful to Bernkastel."
"I see. Battler wants you to live, so he hid the goal that would let you die. I think I pity Battler-san for the first time. After all, you can't choose your little sister."
Sorry, Onii-chan. I'm... tired of life. 12 whole years. I've been living off nothing but the illusion that someone might come home someday. Just let me find peace already. Finding the truth of that day... I decided I'd use that to mark the end of my life. For 12 years, I've believed in a miracle, but there was no miracle... I won't... believe in miracles anymore...
"...The Book of the Single Truth. Of course, I'm also dying to find out what's in it, but from what I hear, it doesn't sound like the truth inside is something spectacular enough to mark the end of your life with."
"Yeah. At first, I hoped there would be something earth-shattering written in it. But now... I guess I've cooled on it."
"Any truth searched for by a worthless person is bound to be worthless. It'll probably make for a fitting end to your worthless life."
"...Yeah. I'm... sure it will."
Regardless of why Eva decided not to talk about what happened... The real events of that day... probably weren't anything earth-shattering. Some sort of malfunction made the bomb in that secret underground base explode. Yes. It was just... an accident.
But... the public believed that some sort of conspiracy surrounded the events of that day, so that's what they expected. If Eva, who was a suspect herself, claimed that nothing strange happened, it's doubtful that anyone would have believed her. Of course, this included Ange. In that case, shutting up like a clam would just make things easier. It was hardly surprising... that Eva chose to say nothing.
"...Right now, I don't feel any sense of accomplishment. I just feel... sort of worn out and listless."
"Being able to bear the truth is what makes a witch a Witch of Truth. Comrade Ange. It looks like you don't possess that strength after all. If you did, you wouldn't be thinking about dying."
"...You're right. I've dreamed that someone might come back for 12 years. I've just used Beatrice's cat box to shut away the truth, denying it for 12 years."
"...When you read the Book of the Single Truth, I wonder what will happen to you."
"Who knows. Won't Bernkastel carry out the contract by slicing my head off with a scythe or something? Or will I be turned into chunks of meat again? Maybe I'll get some salt and pepper this time."
"...I see, so that's where the chunks of meat thing came from."
"Did you say something?"
"Nope, nothing at all. Anyway, would you like some more tea?"
<No thank you.>
Ange listlessly gazed down from the balcony with no handrail, down into the darkness of the abyss at the bottom of the bookshelf ravine... no, the gap between the bookshelf skyscrapers. From the beginning until the end of my journey, I haven't taken a single step away from this spot.
This journey of mine, not even a single step long, will end soon...
BGM: 7 weights
"Oh, those? Probably a group of guests coming to the great Lady Aurora's party."
"Great Witches from the Senate, Voyager witches who are trying to escape boredom in their endless travels, powerful witches who have woken from century-long sleeps, as well as witches who control the future world and noble witch hunters. It seems she's planning to hold a grand party tonight."
"...Is it a birthday party or something?"
"From what I've heard, while the great Lady Beatrice, the Endless Witch, is an outsider among witches, she's also the genius who created 'Beatrice's cat box' out of her formidable magical compendium, the endless factory capable of producing endless tales. From my point of view, she's just stupid and a weak finisher, but in the world of great witches, she's apparently pretty famous."
"So this is Beatrice's birthday party?"
"My master says she'll be holding a dinner party with Beatrice's guts. After all, it's only natural, right? The cat box was only able to generate infinite tales because there was no Single Truth. However, tonight... the Single Truth will be revealed, thanks to your key. And that means the cat box will be opened. Really, it's no different from slicing open her chest as she still lives and tearing out what's inside."
"...Everyone in that huge crowd which looks like a packed freeway is going to one dinner party? I'm not sure what's stronger, my shock at how famous Beatrice is, or my revulsion at those sleaze-bags."
"For you, the Book of the Single Truth is nothing more than an end. However, for all of those enjoying the mystery of Rokkenjima, this is an event that can't be missed."
"I see. So, that's a crowd of those goats who're chewing Onii-chan's game board apart."
Ange's analogy was an accurate one. The crowd far, far below them... was made up of nobles wearing beautiful outfits and goat masks. They were all so intent on tearing the guts out of Beatrice's cat box that they couldn't even hide the drool trickling from their mouths. Those gluttonous goat nobles, who derived pleasure from violently exposing the truth, were in a line of cars heading towards the meeting place.
"...Beato and the others have holed up in the Golden Land, the last leftovers from the game board. Battler and Beato have strengthened their defenses and destroyed the first wave, but they won't be able to stop the second. My master has given me an armada capable of destroying the very concept of defensive measures. The Golden Land's ramparts are as good as gone."
"...Those goats who appeared all over the island... They're the personification of random opinions in the future, and all of them want the island's tale to be a tragedy."
"That's right. Those goats keep getting born from the sea of the internet. That first wave was just the riffraff. The second wave will be entirely different. It's made up of the best of the best, elite goats selected from the crowd that are capable of denying all the cowering pieces one by one. In total, they number in the hundreds of thousands. A hundred thousand people to deny the existence of a few dozen hiding on an island."
"...Looks like... this is it for Onii-chan too."
"Are you sure you're ready? You understand that Ushiromiya Battler died in 1986, and that this man is an illusion created by the cat box?"
"...Yeah. I understand."
Regardless of whether he's my real brother or an illusion... Regardless of whether he's who I'd like him to be or not... The Battler who created this game board for my sake... will die. No, it just means that I'll accept the fact of his death, so it's not like he's going to die now...
Ange thought to herself. Shouldn't performing the last rites for her brother... be her responsibility? This was her final trial, which she had assigned to herself. All of those people down on the game board... were the personification of Ange's naivety. By denying the existence of all of them, wouldn't she finally be able to accept the truth?
Even if it's all an illusion, it wouldn't make that bizarre Halloween party any less heartwarming. Onii-chan said it himself. That Halloween party may have been an illusion. However, he was trying to use that party to tell me something...
"About that second wave..."
"My master has appointed me to be their commander. Leave it to me, Ange-san. My master isn't so malicious that she'd make you dirty your own hands."
Yes, that might be kind of her. These are... my lingering attachments we're talking about. I should be grateful to Bernkastel. If she really were cruel, she would probably have ordered me to take charge of the second wave and execute my own family.
"Comrade Ange. You are a Witch of Truth, aren't you?"
"...That's right. Probably."
"Then let's accept the truth, okay? Finally, after 12 years, the Single Truth lies before you."
"...I'll just sit around here until Bernkastel breaks the seal."
"You'll probably be summoned as a guest for the party. We've got a mirror, so maybe you should wipe the sleep from your eyes."
"And maybe you should shave before heading out to battle."
BGM: Melody (instrumental)
At its base, there was nothing except some floor tiling about as thick as a rug, so it was fairly hard to imagine that this was Kinzo's study. By now, all of the game board except the Golden Land has been eaten away, leaving only this door floating in a sea of nothingness...
There were two shapes in front of that door. It was Battler... and Beato. They may not have been literally covered with wounds, but they definitely seemed to be dead tired. Battler, leaning against the door, seemed to have finally caught his breath. Beato was also sitting against the door, letting her legs dangle gracelessly.
Could the battle against that force really be called a battle? It was more like a mere pushing fight on the increasingly small bit of ground that remained. They had wanted to protect at least Kinzo's study no matter what. And, the only fruit of their desperate struggle was the thin bit of flooring that they were sitting on now. Those goats fell into the abyss whenever they had nowhere to stand. So now, with so much of the floor gone, there was no way for them to attack anymore.
If Battler thought this, his naive hopes were quickly crushed.
"So, their plan was to gather their forces and crush us in a single stroke..."
As they could clearly see, the decks of those ships were packed with goats, with some of the more foolish and overeager ones spilling over the edges into the emptiness below.
"Dang... I've gone through a lot of crazy stuff in your games, but being surrounded by pirate ships is definitely a first for me."
"...They probably do possess the strength to break through the Golden Land's perimeter. Those cannons are no bluff. Doubtless, they will be able to use those to smash through this door and pour in."
Along the sides of each ship were several open gun ports, each with a cannon pointing at the door. If this many ships all around them fired all of those at once... There was no point trying to imagine what would happen next. Battler and Beato grimaced and hung their heads.
"...How long will the Golden Land perimeter hold out against those cannons?"
"I do not know. However, since they are still awaiting reinforcements after amassing that many, I doubt the barrier will break that easily."
"True. I can't think of any other reason to delay your attack without even sending terms for surrender..."
"I hope we can take advantage of this time they give us."
"...Time is always the ally of the weaker side. After all, we can always hope for a miracle."
"Though it might also give us more time to wither in despair."
At that moment, something small and hard hit Battler in the forehead.
"...Ow! The heck is this? Konpeitou...?!"
The candy was Lambdadelta's transformed body. She was the only one of their allies capable of crossing the sea of Fragments.
"Oh! That's the great Lady Lambdadelta for you!"
"They'll be able to see us here. Let's talk inside. It's getting crazy out there."
"Got it. Is anyone there?!"
When Battler knocked on the door, it opened, and Shannon and Kanon came into view.
"My apologies, but we need you two to keep a lookout."
"Leave it to us."
"...When they begin their attack, don't worry about fighting them. Escape to the Golden Land as soon as they start. Don't worry about closing the door."
"But that means..."
"They're planning to ignore the door and smash the Golden Land directly. Making a last stand here won't do anyone any good."
"We'll take care of things here, so go inside and work on a counterattack."
"Indeed. We're counting on you."
A gentle rain poured down over the Golden Land rose garden. The Golden Land's weather reflected the hearts of those inside it. The quietly falling raindrops spoke for the pain felt by those who could do nothing but hide here, waiting for the enemy's final assault...
When they returned to the arbor, the konpeitou flew out of Battler's pocket, jumped onto the table, and returned to its original form.
BGM: Revelations (instrumental)
"Let's get down to business...! Just where are Ange and Bernkastel...?!"
"The City of Books."
"...I have heard of it. They say it's a place where great witches, travelers of the sea, store countless Fragments in the form of books."
"Indeed, the Great Witch of Theatergoing, Drama, and Spectating's Noble City of Carefully Selected Books."
"So, the Great Lady Aurora is the ruler of the City of Books. Truly a suitable place for her."
"Nice going, Lady Lambdadelta. Hard to believe you could pick out that spot so quickly from all the other possible hiding places."
"Actually, it was pretty easy. I didn't even have to search, since they're advertising it as loud as they can. They're planning a huge party to celebrate the announcement of a great secret. The secret to the cat box of the Great Lady Beatrice, the Endless Witch."
"...Hmph. I see, so they haven't been delaying their attack because they await reinforcements, but because the party hasn't begun yet."
"So, in this party, they plan to use Ange's key and announce the contents of the Book of the Single Truth?"
"You've got it. Aurora hasn't held an event like this for ages, and she's gathering VIP guests from all over the place. The Book of the Single Truth will probably be the party's final showpiece."
"Time-wise, that may be true. However, there's a really simple and obvious problem."
"The City of Books is a sacred realm under the supervision of the Senate. It's protected by a holy barrier. Only a witch of the Senate can enter it."
"...Aren't there any invitees who aren't members of the Senate?"
"Yeah, there are. It looks like they're being given special 'invitations', which allow them to enter the sacred realm for a limited time.
"My, my, now this might be interesting."
"That's what I thought...! However, there's a strict policy on punctuality, so these invitations automatically become useless unless you present them before the party begins! And, I'm afraid to say the party started a short while ago."
"In other words, it's too late to try stealing an invitation from a guest who's running late."
"That's right. So, what do we do now?! Could someone get me popcorn? I'd like a nice candy flavor this time!"
"...We're already done for, aren't we..."
"Can't we do anything except sit here until they attack?! There must be something we can do...!"
"That's right. There is just one thing we can do."
"We can keep on strugglin' for each second of survival... and hope for a miracle."
"So, we're stuck defending the Alamo."
"We cannot surrender. Our only option is to hold out as long as we can, waiting for a miracle."
"...Uryu-. What kind of miracle?"
"There is a chance, maybe one in a million, that Ange will change her mind for some reason and come back."
"...Hmph. With a probability such as that, it truly would be a miracle."
"Yes. Ange-san has nowhere to call home except where we are right now. So, we must defend this place to the last minute, waiting for her to come back."
"Awaiting the master's return is the duty of a servant...! N, n, n, now that it has come to this, I, Gohda, am prepared for what may come...!"
"...Battler-sama. All of us are prepared."
"We of the Chiester Sisters Imperial Guard will fulfill our oath and remain by the Great Lady Beatrice's side until the bitter end!"
"45 here, no problems! I shall fight until the end."
"...Finally, a fitting place to die, nyeh. No problems from 410 nyeh."
"The Seven Sisters of Purgatory will stay with Beatrice-sama and Battler-sama until the finish!!"
The six younger sisters also showed their resolve with their eyes.
"The former SSVD's got your back too."
"...And please, lend us your power as well."
"Me?! No way. Didn't I just give you some excellent intel? I think I've done more than my fair share, don't you?"
"How do you know that Ange-chan is in the City of Books?"
"I saw her with my own eyes, of course. I never trust anything unless I see it for myself."
"Which means you're qualified to enter this sacred realm called the City of Books, right?"
"...Indeed. The Great Lady Lambdadelta is a witch of the Senate, after all."
"...What's with you guys? You aren't gonna tell me to do more work, are you...?"
"My, what an unexpected development...!"
"Lady Lambdadelta is the only one who can enter the City of Books!"
"And could that possibly mean...!"
"Enough kidding around! Are you people crazy? You're telling me to go, all by myself, and sneak into there one more time, and then bring Ange back out here?!"
The several dozen people surrounding Lambdadelta all nodded in unison.
"How stupid can you be?! If I were to save Ange, that'd mean crashing the great Aurora's party, get it?! I'd have the whole world as my enemy! And what's in it for me?! Nothing, obviously! There's nothing you all could possibly offer me, that'd be worth getting on the bad side of Aurora and her monster friends...!"
"You'll get to see a happy ending, where Aurora and Bernkastel's schemes are crushed, Ange comes back, and everyone makes peace with one another."
"...What do you say, Lady Lambdadelta? There could be no greater thrill. If you pulled off such a marvelous feat, you would be able to forget your illness for a thousand years, would you not?"
"We're begging you, Lambdadelta...!! Lend us your power!!"
Please, please, we're begging you! Help us save Ange...! Everyone surrounded Lambdadelta, asking for her help.
"Please, Lady Lambdadelta...!! Only you can do this...!!"
"Give us your strength!! I'll show you the greatest of tales!! You'll get to see it from the front row!! So please, lend us your strength!!"
Lambdadelta leapt to her feet and crushed the cup of popcorn in her hands. Sweet, candy-flavored popcorn flew all over the place, hitting everyone in the face. It may have been a hilarious sight. However, no one laughed. Lambdadelta's face was filled with a rage that none of them had seen before.
"Could you please stop getting the wrong idea?! I'm a spectator... a spectator!! I'm just a guest who was invited by Beato to come and watch this game! So, why I am supposed to risk my life for you people?! You think you'll get a happy ending if Ange comes back?! Are you really that stupid?! Bern and her forces will come sweeping through here, mad with rage, and wipe us all out!"
"There's only one reason I'm here, and that's because Lion over there said I'd get to watch an interesting show!!"
"Yeah, and now I'm sure I'll get to see a sublimely interesting tale very soon...! A sad, sad tragedy as you fight desperately against Bern's forces and get wiped out one by one! Oh, I'm sure you'll each get one last time to shine as you're torn apart!"
"If I just wait a little, I'll get to see all that, won't I? Pretty soon, all of you'll be dead!! But not me! I'm a spectator, a guest!! There's absolutely no reason why I should agree to die with you!!!"
...No one was able to say a word. In the still silence, with no sound except that of the rain, even Lambdadelta finally hung her head in dismay.
"...But still, unlike the rest of you, I'm not 'a character who appears in the story'. I can't die. It's like it's midnight, and you're telling me that we're almost at the best part. But tomorrow's Monday, and I've got early cleaning duty at school...! We live in completely different worlds...!! And so, and so... Haaaah..."
Lambdadelta staggered as though dizzy, then plopped down into a chair. Then, she became expressionless like a doll, just staring at a single point in space, silently...
Battler softly apologized. However, Lambdadelta remained expressionless.
"...It's not fair for us to force you to risk something on your own, not when we haven't yet tried everything we can do."
"We'll fight here and defend this spot until the last moment. We'll believe in the miracle of Ange choosing us over the Single Truth. If we aren't prepared to do that, we're in no position to ask you to give up your life alongside us."
Battler rose from his seat and span around.
"I'll switch places with the pair outside. When they come, I want to be in the front lines. That's the fastest and most direct way I can show Lambdadelta my determination."
"I shall go as well. Teacher, please find Lady Lambdadelta some more popcorn."
"I know Ange will return. If we don't believe, even a possible miracle will not bear fruit. You can't win a lottery unless you buy a ticket."
Beato also stood up and followed Battler.
"I agree. Nothing stupider than just sitting around here...!"
"Good point. If we're reaching the end, let's put on a good show."
"...We've got to make sure there's a place Ange-chan can call home."
"And we should hold a strategic CONFERENCE."
"Yeah. We have furniture, weapons, demons, and inquisitors. Must be some way for these mismatched forces to cooperate."
"Let's go, little sisters. Break time is over."
"Chiester Troops, rise."
The humans and the fantasy creatures all rose to their feet and left the arbor.