“This is the End, as well as the Beginning ─”
The Legend of Heroes: Hajimari no Kiseki (英雄伝説
- 1 Synopsis
- 1.1 Setting
- 1.2 Plot
- 1.2.1 Prologue: "Crossbell's Liberation" (クロスベル解放作戦)
- 1.2.2 Lloyd's Route Chapter 1: "Day of Reindependence" (再独立の日)
- 1.2.3 Rean's Route Chapter 1: "Thaw's Homecoming" (雪解けの帰郷)
- 1.2.4 ???'s Route Chapter 1: "Night of Encounter" (出会いの夜)
- 1.2.5 Lloyd's Route Chapter 2: "Lost Soul" (亡失われた魂)
- 1.2.6 Rean/C's Route Chapter 2: "Darkness, Squirming" (闇、蠢く)
- 1.2.7 C's Route Chapter 3: "Recollection: Grasping Light" (追憶～掴んだ光)
- 1.2.8 Lloyd's Route Chapter 3: "Overcoming Illusions" (幻想を越えて)
- 1.2.9 Rean's Route Chapter 3: "Exposing Blue Sky" (暴かれし蒼穹)
- 1.2.10 C's Route Chapter 3: "Recollection: Grasping Light" (追憶～掴んだ光)
- 1.2.11 Lloyd's Route Chapter 3: "Overcoming Illusions" (幻想を越えて)
- 1.2.12 C's Route Chapter 3: "Recollection: Grasping Light" (追憶～掴んだ光)
- 1.2.13 Lloyd's Route Chapter 3: "Overcoming Illusions" (幻想を越えて)
- 1.2.14 C's Route Chapter 3: "Recollection: Grasping Light" (追憶～掴んだ光)
- 1.2.15 Lloyd's Route Chapter 3: "Overcoming Illusions" (幻想を越えて)
- 1.2.16 Rean's Route Chapter 3: "Exposing Blue Sky" (暴かれし蒼穹)
- 1.2.17 C's Route Chapter 4: "Elysium" (エリュシオン)
- 1.2.18 Rean's Route Chapter 4: "Encounter with Zero" (零の邂逅)
- 1.2.19 Lloyd's Route Chapter 4: "Resurrected Will: Besiegement of Black" (甦る意志-黒の包囲戦-)
- 1.2.20 Last Chapter: "The End, As Well As The Beginning" (終焉、そして創まり)
- 1.2.21 Beyond the Illusion
- 2 Characters
- 3 List of episodes
- 4 Future Visions
- 5 Development
- 6 Gallery
- 7 References
The game takes place after the Great Twilight and events of Trails of Cold Steel IV. It focuses the intertwining fates of three protagonists operating throughout Zemuria: the hero, Rean Schwarzer; the liberator, Lloyd Bannings; and the Hermit, a masked person named "C". The perspective of the game alternates between these three groups through the Cross Story mechanism.
- The Day of Reindependence (ザ デイ オブ リインディペンデンス) highlights the story of Crossbell's liberation from Erebonia's occupation, an event first mentioned in Ao no Kiseki and insufficiently addressed in Trails of Cold Steel IV.
- Lost Symbol (ロスト シンボル) continues the story of Rean Schwarzer and the rest of Class VII from where it was left off in the true ending of Trails of Cold Steel IV.
- The Miserable Sinners (ザ・ミゼラブル・シナーズ) follows four characters that form the crux of the game's story. Their leader, "C", named after the Imperial Liberation Front leader, investigates the Imperial Defense Force.
Prologue: "Crossbell's Liberation" (クロスベル解放作戦)
2/14 | Five months after the conclusion of the Great War, Crossbell City is forcefully occupied by remnants of Rufus Albarea's Imperial Defense Force. The soldiers are embittered by the swift conclusion of the war that they believe mocks Erebonia's military might and tradition, while the citizens of Crossbell City are helpless. As several citizens watch a rally, it is suddenly redirected to a performance of Arc en Ciel - Ilya Platiere, Rixia Mao and Sully Atraid. Two soldiers nearby try to stop the commotion, but are knocked out by Wazy Hemisphere, Wald Wales and Scarlet; the start of the performance is the beginning of an uprising against the illegal occupation.
All over the city, the Special Support Section, Crossbell Guardian Force and their affiliates start battling the IDF remnants, successfully pushing back against the surprised occupiers, who rush numerous soldiers and their remaining Zauber Soldats to stop the uprising. The SSS, accompanied by Juna Crawford, take over a Sorge unit and use it to ram straight into the Orchis Tower. The group finds hostages in the tower; Juna leaves to get them to safety, while the rest of the team battle their way up to the rooftop to apprehend the ringleaders. The enemy leaders unleash an Asmodine unit, but the SSS are able to disable it. With their trump card destroyed, the enemy leaders surrender and are apprehended. Their subordinates soon surrender upon hearing of their capture.
The group celebrates their victory, while the remnants are sent to Aurochs Fort to be imprisoned alongside Rufus. With Crossbell finally freed, they attend Olivert's wedding. As both Erebonia and Calvard cannot agree on the state of Crossbell, the Septian Church declares Crossbell to be a fully automonous state, securing their independence. The events are recorded on a terminal, but the mastermind of the events activates Project BABEL as everything falls into place.
Lloyd's Route Chapter 1: "Day of Reindependence" (再独立の日)
3/15 | With Crossbell now a fully recognized and independent state, the SSS and their affiliates take a short break before the announcement ceremony commences. Due to the importance of this event, ambassadors and representatives from across Erebonia and Liberl are expected to attend, including the Bracer Guild and Septian Church. Lloyd patrols the city alongside Noel Seeker and Wazy, clearing some monsters in Geofront before the independence speech starts.
The group returns to the city center for Henry MacDowell to begin the ceremony. Before Henry can sign the document to secure Crossbell's independence, the ceremony is interrupted by Rufus and his Black Guard, who declares that Crossbell is his as its Supreme Leader. This enrages Lloyd, who proceeds to fight Rufus, but Rufus easily takes all of them down, much to their surprise and the citizens' horror. Lloyd refuses to budge, so Rufus finishes him off to make an example of him. Dieter Crois, Garcia Rossi arrive just as two mysterious people teleport in, one of whom a dancer that Rixia appears to recognize. Watching from a rooftop, F. Novartis begins his own plan. The citizens attempt to flee, but are cut off by new Zauber Soldat models. The dancer then performs, brainwashing many of the citizens to turn against the SSS.
Rean's Route Chapter 1: "Thaw's Homecoming" (雪解けの帰郷)
3/15 | Elsewhere, in Ymir, Rean Schwarzer and Kurt Vander are fighting Matteus Vander, who appears to knock Kurt off the cliff. In another area, Juna and Altina Orion are fighting Claire Rieveldt. A few hours before these fights, Rean, Class VII and Claire arrived at Ymir, where Rean introduces his students to his parents, Teo and Lucia Schwarzer. After spending some time in the quiet town, Claire brings them to a mountain road, where they run into Matteus, who inexplicably attacks them. Matteus states that they will need to defeat him by 3 p.m. or they will be disqualified, just as Claire apologizes for misleading them, who activates a trap. Ash shoves Juna and Altina out of the way, but the trap still gets him and Musse.
In the ensuing fight, Musse is able to formulate a strategy to break out of the trap with Ash's assistance as Claire is busy pinning Juna and Altina with her rifle. The act catches Claire off-guard, allowing Altina to destroy the remaining traps. Impressed by their teamwork and resolve, Claire allows the four to catch up to Rean and Kurt. They barely save Rean, who informs them that Kurt was knocked off the cliff. To everyones' surprise, Kurt then appears, albeit slightly injured as he had to climb up the cliff face to get back in time. Class VII is able to defeat Matteus before the time expires. Claire reveals that the fight was simply a part of a test as Matteus returns to town to await them. As Class VII and Claire discuss briefly, a roar fills the air; back in town, Teo recognizes it as that of a Magic Knight.
The six make their way up the road and find the Magic Knight Ortheim, who has somehow become even more powerful than it was two years ago when it appeared during the October War. Despite the increase in its strength, they manage to defeat it. Rean finds everything about the Magic Knight suspicious - its sudden appearance without the presence of Divine Knights, movement in the septium veins, and its ability to cast Anti-Orders like the Ironbloods had. More roars fill the air and the group rush to town, but find Matteus has already dispatched three of the knights alone.
Returning to town, Claire reveals that the Courageous II, carrying Olivert and his wife Scherazard Harvey had gone missing. Claire and Matteus had gone to Aurelia Le Guin, who recommended Class VII for the task and that the search would start in Ymir. The class is honored to assist Matteus and sleep for the night; Rean decides to go to the hot springs for a second time, where he has a strange vision and reacts to it. Matteus enters the springs, much to Rean's embarrassment. He noted that Rean was off and came to offer him advice while thanking him for guiding Kurt.
As the two leave the spring, Rean is requested to head to the manor for an emergency meeting. Claire informs them that the independence ceremony was attacked by Rufus and his guards, who broke out of prison, much to Juna's horror. Claire also reveals that someone named "C" sent a message to them, apparently having kidnapped the prince and that the "sludge" underneath Heimdallr is next. They quickly throw out the idea that "C" is Crow, as he had no need to take up that alias anymore and that he had returned to Jurai. As Rean wonders about C's identity, he hears Juna outside, who is upset about Crossbell's current predicament. Rean lifts up her spirits and reassures her to keep fighting.
???'s Route Chapter 1: "Night of Encounter" (出会いの夜)
3/15 | In yet another area, several Black Guardsmen have apprehended a young girl and confiscate her belongings, only finding a teddy bear inside. The girl is assisted by a young boy, who takes out all four guards. The girl, Nadia, tells the boy, Swin, that she is tired and wants to rest, much to his chagrin. From a distance, a masked man watches the duo and trails them. A mysterious shell ambushes the two, with the man appearing and assisting them in disabling the combat shell, before taking the trunk for himself. Nadia wonders if the man is C, who confirms her suspicions. Nadia and Swin were tasked with delivering the suitcase to a man named C a month ago. The three then decide to open the trunk, finding a girl who awakens to the three, asking them who they are.
Lloyd's Route Chapter 2: "Lost Soul" (亡失われた魂)
3/17 | Lloyd awakens at a boathouse, where he is greeted by Rixia. The two were able to escape as the rest of the SSS and their unaffected affiliates secured an escape route for them. Lloyd, concerned for Crossbell's status, decides to return to the city with Rixia. On the way, they encounter the newer Zauber Soldat units. Due to the state of the citizens, entering the city is basically impossible as Lloyd would most likely be reported. The two wonder how Rufus got his hands on these new units as Lloyd contemplates the Asmodine unit he had fought earlier.
Black Guardsmen suddenly ambush the two, but the pair are able to fight them off. The remaining soldier tries to call for backup, but a red haired man puts him to sleep and calls the request off. The man is revealed to be Lechter Arundel, who is surprised by Lloyd returning to check on the city. Lechter states that he and Claire are not tied to Rufus' latest scheme and takes them to Armorica Village, where some of the unaffected citizens were led there by SSS members. On the way, they take a short rest, where Lechter informs them that Rufus had escaped custody and Olivert had gone missing. They soon arrive at the village outskirts, finding Elie protecting several children from monsters. After meeting up with Henry, the four find a throwing knife with a message hanging on it stating that they have Ilya and KeA in their custody, and that they must go to the Ancient Battlefield to save them.
The group makes their way there, encountering Cao Lee, Lau and several Heiyue lackeys. They had anticipated their arrival to the village, as Shanshan had betrayed them to him. The group notes that she is affected by the same aura as with many others in the city. The Heiyue members try to apprehend the group, but are repulsed. Garcia then appears, having helped Rufus in return to rebuild Revache and expand their influence. He fights alongside Cao, but the two are defeated.
As Lloyd and Rixia reunite with KeA and Ilya, Lechter notes that the two men are grinning and realizes that something is off and dashes forward. KeA also notes the same and warns Rixia, who barely dodges Ilya's attack. Rixia is shocked by the turn of events as Ilya tries to attack once more, only for Zeit to appear and protect her. Ilya then dons her dancer outfit, which Rixia recognizes as the one that brainwashed the citizens in the ceremony. She leaves with Cao and Garcia; Cao lets KeA go for having entertained their request.
Rean/C's Route Chapter 2: "Darkness, Squirming" (闇、蠢く)
3/17 | Rean, Altina and Ash arrive at Heimdallr to investigate the "sludge" that C had mentioned in his speech. As the city is far too large for all three to investigate, they decide to stop by the Vander Training Hall as their first step in the investigation. Claire and Juna headed to Crossbell to gather information, while Kurt and Matteus would search for Olivert, and Musse would get support from the branch campus. Elise comes in and offers her support in the investigation.
The first stop the four go to is the Imperial Museum, where they meet Dorothee. She informs them that there have been strange sounds in the catacombs the past few days and asks them to investigate. They find monsters in the catacombs; after clearing a few, a spectre appears, which they also dispatch of. As they continue searching for clues, they soon run into Jusis Albarea and Millium Orion, who reveal they're investigating companies buying bulk products, but these "companies" were simply fronts and that they can't track them. Jusis suspects that the bulk purchases might be linked to his cousin, unsure of what he is trying now. They then arrive at Mater Park and find Elliot Craig. As they leave, Carl Regnitz contacts them to meet at a hotel, where they also find Alfin Reise Arnor with him. Carl reveals that several soldiers and/or their relatives have been acting suspiciously and did not denounce Rufus' forced annexation of Crossbell.
Meanwhile in C's route, after opening the suitcase and finding what they believed was a girl, Nadia quickly realizes that the girl is actually a doll. The doll introduces herself as Lapis and that she is the latest in the Rosenberg doll line. Swin asks her for her identity, only to be hit by Nadia for pressuing Lapis. Lapis begins to cry, but states that it's because she has no idea who she is. C offers to assist her, and she agrees to accompany him.
As Swin and Nadia take their leave, C stops the two. Swin states that their contract is fulfilled, but C states that they are special and he needs their assistance. He offers them a lucrative pay if they succeed, and the money offered convinces Nadia to take it. Swin reluctantly agrees simply because Nadia is taking it, telling C that they must not kill anyone for the duration of the contract.
Arriving in the catacombs, Lapis quickly shows off her combat skills. They soon hear several soldiers discussing unknown matters and decide to trail them, with C using his RAMDA cloaking device to conceal himself and Swin, separating into two groups to gather intelligence. Due to his, Nadia believes that C is a member of Hercules.
During the investigation, Swin and C run into Rean and Elise in the city. Rean senses their presence, but is unable to spot them due to the RAMDA device. Moving on, Swin and C find the Black Guard in the catacombs, confirming their suspicions. Elsewhere, Nadia and Lapis go on a tour and eating spree. They bump into the rest of Rean's group, with Nadia tripping Lapis to steal Millium's Arcus II. Millium reveals a tracking option in the Arcus units, but the group simply ends up revisiting the food tour in the process as that was what Nadia was intent on doing. They trail the two to Mater Park, where they learn of a "masked man" and "sludge clearing".
Later that night, as C's group gathers at Mater Park, Rean's group gets the drop on them. Rean suspects that C had invited him over and asks what he has done with the prince. C eludes the question and a fight ensues. Nadia distracts them for an escape by claiming that the Arcus unit is fitted with a bomb, but it was just a ploy; despite this, they realize that they have fled underground, contacting Carl to send backup.
Inside, they find stockpiled goods, confirming Jusis and Millium's suspicions about the bulk purchases. As they investigate the catacombs, they also find the Black Guard and military rebels, confronting them. The Black Guardsmen escape, while the military rebels activate a Gospel R, forcing Elliot, Millium and Altina onto the sidelines. Despite this, the remaining members easily overpower the rebels. Carl's men soon arrive to apprehend the rebels, allowing Rean and his group to continue pursuing C's group. As the Black Guardsmen flee, they wonder how they had been exposed, when C and his group intercept and defeat them. Wishing to know more about the Supreme Leader, C has Nadia coerce the information out of the remaining guardsman, which she does by threatening a painful torture on him if he refuses to comply. The guardsman becomes terrified at how calmly Nadia relays the torture for him and spills everything he knows. With a new lead, the group makes their way out of the catacombs, defeating a demon that manifests before them before arriving at Himmel Cemetery. Crow Armbrust ambushes the group, having learned about the imposter. He stalls them long enough for Rean's group to catch up.
In the ensuing fiasco, C's mask is broken, surprising almost everyone as he is revealed to be Rufus. Rean asks if he is the same as the Supreme Leader; Rufus states that he is not, and that he is also investigating the Supreme Leader. Rufus calls in an airship to evacuate his group. Rean and Jusis ask if Rufus had kidnapped Olivert and Scherazard. Rufus states that he simply used the incident to draw the group out, and that the answer lies in the Nord Highlands. He states that they will meet again in Crossbell as the airship leaves.
C's Route Chapter 3: "Recollection: Grasping Light" (追憶～掴んだ光)
3/17 | Rufus' group takes a brief moment of respite on their transport, which is revealed to be the Bobcat and operated by Jingo. Jingo is surprised that her customer is Rufus, but doesn't pry more as she is only interested if he can pay up. Nadia explains to Lapis about Rufus' past, as Jingo explains what had happened the past few days. Rufus insists that he is the real one and the Supreme Leader is a fake. He informs the four that the prison he was in was attacked by his former soldiers, who were tasked with eliminating him. Rufus' resourcefulness allowed him to overpower his assassins and he learned a bit about his imposter, the disappearance of Olivert and Scherazard, a "trunk" and an important event occurring the following day, and decided to leave prison to see the events for himself. When he learned of the imposter Rufus forcefully taking Crossbell, Rufus decided to take action, disgusing himself as C and claiming that he had kidnapped Olivert and Scherazard to lure Class VII to the capital, while he himself went to Aurochs Canyon Road to intercept the trunk.
Rufus concludes that something must be done with the imposter and that the events be "cleaned up". Nadia agrees with Rufus' logic, believing that the fake saw the real Rufus as a treat and tried to eliminate him. Lapis interrupts the conversation, prompting Rufus to ask Swin if it was Joerg Rosenberg who requested they bring Lapis to him, wondering if he is okay. Swin and Nadia confirm that Joerg is still doing well, but note that Joerg had told them that someone else had asked him to do so. Swin then states that they had found the trunk in the Temple of the Moon; on the way, the pair passed by his workshop, but decided not to enter. Rufus states that the workshop will most likely have clues regarding Lapis' lost memories, and that he has a plan to enter Crossbell.
Lapis takes the time to talk with her allies, culminating with Rufus outside on the deck. Lapis begins questioning Rufus about his alignment, who states that he is a villain. He explains to her that he had abandoned his noble heritage and used everything in his grasp to acquire more power, disregarding the lives of others, even admitting that he using her and the others for his own gain. Lapis states that she'll do nothing, explaining that he is himself and no one else can replace him. These words shock Rufus, as he starts contemplating his own purpose. He then finds that Lapis had fallen asleep and brings her inside.
3/19 | Jingo pilots the Bobcat straight to Crossbell City, where the airship is intercepted by guards on duty. Rufus comes out, surprising the men as they salute him, mistaking him to be the Supreme Leader. They offer to prepare a car for him, but he refuses and has them return to their posts. Before they can realize that they were deceived, Rufus activates his RAMDA device to cloak himself, and the four begin wandering around town looking for clues.
They arrive at the city's Entertainment District, where they witness a pre-recorded speech by the Supreme Leader. The speech is then redirected to a mysterious dancer who begins brainwashing everyone watching the screen, including Rufus, Swin and Nadia. Lapis is unaffected as she is not organic, but is unable to discern what is happening to them. A girl then arrives, casting arts on the three to break the brainwash attempt, asking them to follow her.
Rufus recognizes the girl as the Angel of Slaughter, or simply Renne. Renne is surprised to see Rufus, but his presence simply confirms her suspicions that the Supreme Leader was a fake. Renne also recognizes Lapis as Joerg's work, which Rufus takes note of. She states that Joerg had recently contacted her and told her to help Lapis out when the time was right. As the group tell her that they are going to the workshop, Renne asks to accompany them, as it's being occupied by a person she despises and that she needs help in doing so. Renne explains to them that the dancing performed by Ilya is somehow brainwashing the viewers, and that her arts can cleanse people who haven't been exposed to it often. Rufus concludes that they can't do anything in the city at this point. As the group departs for the workshop, Renne introduces them to Valiant Rage, explaining that it's a better link system, but is still in development. Rufus and the others take note of its potential usefulness for the future.
On the way, Rufus pulls out a strange object, stating that someone put it in his pockets and privately wonders what it does.
Lloyd's Route Chapter 3: "Overcoming Illusions" (幻想を越えて)
3/19 | Lloyd, KeA and Wazy make their way to St. Ursula Medical College, noting that the Black Guard have not pursued them to Amorica and that the facility itself is not guarded. Prior to leaving, Shanshan apologizes to Rixia for betraying them, but Rixia states that she is to blame also for worrying her and Ilya's current predicament. Wazy also reveals that the RF Military Arsenal has been active recently with groups of Black Guardsmen and Zauber Soldat units going in and out frequently. Elie wonders if the Zauber Soldats had been produced in Crossbell, as it would be suspicious otherwise if they came elsewhere. Lechter states that the facility had produced Sorge and Melchia units during the war, suspecting that the Black Workshop might be behind the superior technology.
The group decides that they'll have to make their way to the arsenal, but find it difficult to do so as they'd have to travel through the city by foot to reach there and the airspace around Crossbell has become more alert, being capable of spotting the Merkabahs with ease. Lechter then reveals that he had a boat prepared and that heading to Ursula might be the best option for the time being. Zeit temporarily leaves to make contact with a special person, while Elie, Cecil, Lechter, Rixia and Wazy's squires decide to remain in the village.
The three soon spot Jona, Tio and Roberts conversing with some civilians. Tio apologizes to them for failing to protect the ceremony, prompting the civilans to doubt that Crossbell will be truly independent. Wazy and KeA back up Tio, returning the civilians back to normal. Inside the facility, Tio hugs Lloyd, relieved that he is safe after what had happened in the ceremony. She then learns from him that they are investigating the arsenal, having found many suspicious activities and that she had noticed Novartis observing them, suggesting that he might have a role in the occupation. She also reveals that she and Jona found underground tunnels linking to the facility, which they could use as a means of access, with one of them right under the facility. Roberts also states that Dr. Seiland had gone missing, wondering if the Black Guard was responsible for her kidnapping.
As the group begins to explore the underground system, Lloyd realizes that they too were also as fault, as the SSS were seen as a sign of independence which Rufus used to sway the populace towards his side, but resolve to restore their goals. On the way, they hear fighting, finding Tita Russell and Agate Crosner fighting off some Black Guardsmen and the new Zauber Soldat they had seen earlier, which the guardsmen call Helmode. The group dispatches of the guards and the Zauber Soldat after a tough battle. Tio and Lloyd are surprised to see the two, as they believed that they were fleeing from the city. Agate asks them if they had seen Erika; the three had been in the IBC when the occupation began, with the guardsmen apprehending Erika. Erika ordered Agate to protect Tita with his life and the two accompany the group to search for her.
On the way, Lloyd takes out the mirror and finds it resonating once more.
Rean's Route Chapter 3: "Exposing Blue Sky" (暴かれし蒼穹)
3/17 | Class VII gives Carl a status update on the arrested rebels and their supporters, while questioning Rufus' appearance in the capital. Claire then calls in, confirming that the Rufus they had met appears to be the real deal, as the Supreme Leader did not leave Crossbell. She states that they don't have information on the three children that accompanied him. Jusis, Millium, Ash, Altina and Elise remain behind, while Musse intends to join the investigation alongside Kurt and Mueller Vander. At the city's train depot, Mueller states that the RMP will provide a private train to Zender Gate, seen off by Alfin, Elise and Altina.
3/19 | As the four arrive at Zender Gate, they're met by Emma Millstein and Sara Valestein, who were briefed of the coup and the two Rufuses running around Zemuria. Emma tells Rean that Gaius Worzel is waiting for them at his village. Albeit skeptical of the information provided by C, they decide to take the lead regardless. Mueller states that Zender Gate is being overseen by the 23rd Armored Division instead of his uncle, Zechs Vander.
They meet with the division's commander, Dalton, who states that the soldiers at the watchtower and villagers might know more than he does regarding Olivert's disappearance. Kurt and Musse are mesmerized by the vast plains, while Emma recalls the field study she had two years ago. Horses are provided for transportation, with Mueller making his way to the watchtower, instructing the others to make for the village.
Upon arriving, the group is greeted by Thoma. Rean and Emma are surprised to see how fast he had grown, having failed to recognize him immediately. They also recognize Sharl shortly afterwards, who Thoma had met during the academy festival. Gaius soon arrives and brings the group in to share some tea with the rest of his family. As they drink, Gaius reveals that he didn't find much regarding Olivert, but found suspicious burnt-out fires and discarded food containers in several blindspots. Gaius also states that someone else had arrived before them, but the person had left. Fortunately, Sheeda tells them that they had gone north from the village.
They soon find the person is none other than Grace, who was expecting their arrival. She states that she was supposed to attend the independence ceremony, but was lured away to investigate Olivert's disappearance. She saw men dressed in black from top to bottom, who the group recognizes as Black Guardsmen. She had been unsuccessful in finding evidence, but suspects that something big is happening in the highlands. As they return to the village with Grace, the group decides that they should start searching south. Rean then remembers about Mueller and has Kurt call him, but Kurt finds that Mueller is not responding.
As the group prepares to leave, Rean notes that the strange object is resonating once more.
Lloyd and Rean's groups soon encounter Rufus' group in the Infinite Corridor. They all agree that their memories are partially blocked and are unsure of what is causing it, but choose to work together to uncover the cause. Rufus' group heralds the start of a new level in the corridor, which is cleared.
C's Route Chapter 3: "Recollection: Grasping Light" (追憶～掴んだ光)
Arriving at the workshop, Rufus' group finds that the workshop has been drastically changed, full of monsters and traps. As they navigate their way through, they find a terminal. Renne is unable to hack it, as the door linked to the terminal will only open when the other one is also in use.
Lloyd's Route Chapter 3: "Overcoming Illusions" (幻想を越えて)
Meanwhile, Lloyd's group arrives at the military facility, only to be ambushed by a massive archaism that is capable of movement. Alisa and Sharon soon arrive to offer their assistance, destroying the machine. Investigating the situation themselves, they found that the facility was responsible for creating the newer Zauber Soldat units. The two offer their aid, which Wazy accepts. Entering the facility, they find it completely active, albeit fully automated. They eventually reach a door with a terminal nearby. Alisa states that the door will only open when both terminals are turned on, but they have no idea where the other terminal is. KeA however is able to assist by connecting to Renne, who picks up the connection. As a precaution, Rufus dons his C mask and voice changer.
C's Route Chapter 3: "Recollection: Grasping Light" (追憶～掴んだ光)
Renne sends out a call, which is answered by Lloyd. Tita is surprised that Lloyd gave his full identity without caution. Renne is surprised that he is answering, but notes that everything is fine after hearing Tita's voice. The two open their terminals, allowing them to proceed further down their respective areas. Rufus states that there are likely to be more terminals up ahead and that they must work together to clear them.
Lloyd's Route Chapter 3: "Overcoming Illusions" (幻想を越えて)
In both areas, additional defenses are deployed, which Lloyd's group takes as a good indicator that there is confidential information to be discovered. On the way, they discover an arm from the Asmodine unit and that it and the Helmode units were produced in the facility. As it becomes more clear that the Black Workshop is involved, Alisa states that the engines in the Zauber Soldats were completely incomprehensible that Erika and Schmidt were unable to perform a complete analysis.
Clearing a second set of terminals, Lloyd's group finds a section of the arsenal being used to create archaisms. They also find an inactive OZ Mirage unit and another data terminal. From it, they learn that Novartis was experimenting with humanoid doll weapons. Tio finds it worrisome that there is almost no information regarding the project, but that it had apparently succeeded.
As a third set of terminals are cleared, the group discovers that the arsenal was creating more powerful weapons, but Alisa is unsure as to where the resources came from as Crossbell's mines could not support the production effort. Using the data terminal, they find "Project BABEL", but Sharon finds it suspicious as to how it connects with a Unified Nation.
Reaching the last set of terminals, Rufus believes that Lloyd has caught on to his identity, noting that it would be troublesome if he did.
C's Route Chapter 3: "Recollection: Grasping Light" (追憶～掴んだ光)
Back in Joerg's workshop, the five run into a trap that separates them into three groups. Renne is greeted by her "parents", but she realizes the deception and cuts them down before they could kill her. She then scolds Novartis for such a dirty trick, stating that Campanella was likely to perform such an act. Novartis wonders if Renne still hates her parents, but she states otherwise and that she'll give him a painful death if he tries to interfere with her old family. Novartis states that he has no intention of doing so and asks if she would like to return. Renne declines, stating that her older brother and sister would look for her if she did so. Novartis states that he needs to greet the other guests, so Renne continues on alone.
In another area, Lapis states that she is afraid of regaining her memories as she might lose the ones she has made with Rufus and the others. As they continue on, they run into a hallway full of Lapis lookalikes that swarm her. Rufus quickly pulls out the real Lapis from the pile, reminding her of what she had told him earlier. Lapis is touched and yells that the lookalikes will not share her memories, causing them to become aggressive. The pair dispatch of the entire swarm and proceed onward.
In the final area, Nadia and Swin are subjected to another gravity pressure, realizing that it is coming from none other than the Emperor. The Emperor states that he is working on his own accord to help the Supreme Leader, without the consent of the Organization or his fellow Wardens. The Emperor requests that they rejoin the Organization in return for clemency for underestimating them back then. The two refuse to comply and break through his pressure, having done so in the past. During the fight, Nadia notes that the Emperor before them is a fake due to his fighting style, and that the real one would never tolerate betrayal.
Novartis then chimes in, impressed by how quickly Nadia recognized that the Emperor was a fake. Nadia states that she and Swin are professionals and that the Emperor working with the Supreme Leader was another glaring flaw. Novartis then tries to recruit Nadia, but Renne shoots him down. The Emperor is angered at Novartis' interruption and destroys the terminal he was communicating from, before resuming his attack on Swin and Nadia. Rufus, Lapis and Renne soon join in to help the pair and the five apparently destroy the Emperor for good.
Novartis then reappears as a hologram to converse with the group, stating that the Society's plans in Crossbell and Erebonia had since ended with the conclusion of the Rivalries, so he is simply working on his own accord. He does not intend to stop them as his own plans would be interrupted, so Renne asks what is making him so excited. Novartis states that it is the work of a singularity, but quickly realizes what Renne is doing and drops the subject. As a reward, he opens the final door in the room that would allow Lapis to regain her memories.
Inside, Lapis hooks herself up to the machine while Renne runs the program. Lapis comes to a bit later; her memories did not return, but she states that she needs to see someone named Ian. Rufus recognizes who she is talking about and states that they will be returning to Crossbell. Meanwhile, the Emperor's artifacts resonance with an unusual amount of energy.
Lloyd's Route Chapter 3: "Overcoming Illusions" (幻想を越えて)
Lloyd's group soon encounter Novartis himself. Agate demands that he release Erika, but Novartis simply relays a live feed of her with Seiland in a nearby room. Erika is surprised that Agate apparently denied her request, but Tita states that she came of her own accord. The two women state that Novartis required their assistance, but Novartis cuts them off before they could reveal more. Novartis then calls in McBurn; Sharon finds it suspicious as the two never got along; even McBurn himself states that he has no idea why he is responding to the call.
The group fights McBurn, who becomes impressed enough to transform into a demon. Much to his surprise, his arm blows off, revealing him to be an artificial construct, a simulacrum. Novartis proclaims that the simulacrum will be the newest generation of doll weapons, and that he used Erika and Seiland to replicate the "Divergent Laws" to create them. Novartis then activates a hand-held device to destroy the facility. He states that the Supreme Leader would not mind the loss, and that he was working with him for his own benefit. As he prides himself on creating a better simulacrum later, he is nearly killed by a fireball from the fake McBurn, who warns him that he'd better hope the real one doesn't find out that he made a simulacrum of him. Novartis then teleports away from the arsenal.
The McBurn simulacrum remains behind to be destroyed as Erika and Seiland are freed. They escape the facility before it collapses; near the end, an oil drum explodes, cutting Lloyd off from the rest of the group. Fortunately, Noel arrives on her motorcycle to save him.
Rean's Route Chapter 3: "Exposing Blue Sky" (暴かれし蒼穹)
Upon arriving at the watchtower, Kurt notices a massive pile of weaponry in the distance. Gaius explains that these were weapons made for the Great War, but are intended to be disposed of within two weeks' time. A soldier greets the group and laments that the weapons will go to waste, before realizing his mistake. Rean doesn't catch on however, believing that the soldier was concerned for the citizens' well-being. The soldier then tells them that Mueller went off somewhere after arriving at the watchtower, but the group finds it suspicious that he hasn't contacted them yet.
As they return to the village, Dalton makes contact with them, telling them that Calvardian tanks are making their way to the watchtower. The village prepares for evacuation while the group intercepts the tanks, who stop to attack them. The group destroys the tanks, finding that they were fully automated. They quickly drop the idea that the Society was involved, as Crossbell's occupation has thrown everyone off-guard. They then notice smoke coming from the village. Several Achtzehn tanks had attacked the village, but were destroyed by Aurelia, who had been on standby. Schmidt states that the tanks had fluid movement as if someone was operating them, but all of the tanks were also unoccupied and that they don't have the technology for such movement. He then tells them that he sensed a strange device in the watchtower, just as Mueller arrives and informs them that the 23rd was in a deal with another party. Mueller decides to return to Zender Gate to search for Dalton, while he tells the group to investigate the watchtower.
The group finds the watchtower deserted of its garrison, only finding archaisms inside. Rean and Aurelia also sense someone familiar at the top of the tower. Fighting their way up, the person they sensed is none other than Arios MacLaine and a strange device. The team defeats Arios, but note that something is off about him and conclude that he is most likely a fake. Schmidt then arrives and begins inspecting the device, turning it off. The weapon stockpile in the distance then transforms into the Courageous II, to the group's shock. Like the tanks, Schmidt states that the technology used is far beyond their grasp. Dalton then contacts the group, ordering them to surrender if they wish to save Olivert.
Earlier, Olivert and Scherazard had begun to get bored from their confinement on their ship. Olivert accesses a terminal in the room, learning of the current situation and decides to make his own move too. Olivert takes out a pistol that had been concealed in the room. As Scherazard's whip had been confiscated, she is only able to assist with orders. They free the crew and interrupt the conversation between Dalton and Rean's group, fighting their way to the deck. Emma teleports the group straight onto the Courageous II's deck, defeating the enemy soldiers. Aurelia temporarily leaves the group to escort the crew to safety. They fight their way to the bridge, where Dalton explains that the swift conclusion of the war is unjust and that Olivert will be the one to guide them to glory. Olivert states that he has no intention of doing so and defeat the group. Dalton flees to the bridge as he calls for backup in the form of airships. The ship then tumbles, as a soldier informs Dalton that the tanks have started opening fire on them.
Musse activates the ship's shields, but the ship is in danger of being overwhelmed by cannon fire. Fortunately, Mueller and Aurelia arrive on their Panzer units and dispatch of the tanks before additional reinforcements could arrive. The members of the 23rd are detained as the group learns that a massive force consisting of both Erebonian and Calvardian equipment is gathering for a second attack. Sara is sent with Sharl to deal with the railway guns while Rean is sent with Thoma to destroy the remaining device. Rean and Thoma run into another Arios, the former sending the latter off to the village. Rean destroys the Arios copy, before turning off the device with Schmidt's guidance, apparently stopping the attack.
As the team celebrates their victory, Musse finds it suspicious with how everything is being played out, even noting that the Supreme Leader is far more cunning and ruthless than Rufus himself. She then realizes that they have been playing into the Supreme Leader's hands as the 23rd were simply sacrificial pawns. Sara then contacts the group, alerting them that the railway guns have activated once the device was turned off. She is unable to disable them as the group hurries off to stop the guns from destroying the village.
Rean laments the loss of Valimar, but suddenly clenches his left eye as he calls for his replacement unit, Tyrfing S, instantly arriving at the village and destroys the shell just in time. Just then, a white knight appears and attacks the Courageous II and Gaius' Merkabah. Roselia and Zeit arrive to rescue both ships respectively, just as Aurelia and Mueller arrive. The mysterious knight then disappears. As the group helps Rean out of his unit, they note that his hair and left eye has changed to a tone similar to that when he was the Sacrifice.
C's Route Chapter 4: "Elysium" (エリュシオン)
3/21 | Rufus' group makes their way to the academy/detention center where Ian is being housed in. On the way, they find a knight facing off against several Black Guardsmen, assisting her in defeating them. The knight is Duvalie, who is surprised to see Renne with a different group. She tells her that her fellow Stahlritter are also investigating. Rufus takes off his mask, which enrages Duvalie as she attacks him to avenge her master's death by his hands during the Rivalry. Renne is not surprised by the sudden turn of events as Lapis, Swin and Nadia move to protect Rufus. Rufus sends them off, knowing that what he had done was wrong and offers a one-on-one fight with Duvalie, who accepts. Rufus defeats her thanks to his arts and Duvalie concedes, expecting to die.
To her surprise, Rufus spares her and then asks her to work with him, bewildering her even more. Renne points out to Duvalie that it wouldn't make sense if Rufus, as the Supreme Leader, would be fighting his subordinates. She then explains to her about the recent events. Duvalie appears to gain a better understanding, explaining that she snuck in with her fellow members when they were attacked by Garcia, Cao and even Arios. Rufus asks her to reconsider once more, promising to have another fight if they succeed in their mission. Duvalie is convinced to help and begins to accompany the group.
Arriving at the academy, they find it full of Black Guardsmen who they quickly dispatch, just as two Arios clones appear. A third Arios then appears, destroying the two clones and signifies to the group that he is the real deal. Arios immediately understands the situation, but asks what Rufus is doing in Crossbell and warns him that he may be his enemy based on his response. Rufus states that he is investigating the Supreme Leader, as what the Supreme Leader is doing is not what Osborne would have wanted. Arios states that Rufus was a good leader, even if he didn't agree with his policies, and that he was going to visit Ian anyways. He then joins the group as they fight their way to Ian and also find Arios' daughter, Shizuku MacLaine. Ian learns of Lapis and states that he had been expecting her.
Before Ian can start however, the Emperor busts in, completely malformed from his artifacts. He uses his artifact to manipulate gravity, but Zeit arrives and deflects its power. Arios uses the opportunity to slice the orb-embedded arm off, but it does not kill him. Swin and Nadia perform a joint attack to destroy the orb, killing the Emperor for good this time.
With the situation resolved, Ian explains about the origin of Elysium. He theorizes that the manipulated septium veins connected with the orbal network, which in turn created Elysium. Elysium's computing powers made it possible to see the future, something that Epstein himself had theorized in the past. Ian states that Elysium chose to speak with him to learn more about humanity; through his conversations with it, it ultimately chose to side with humans and gaining a distinct personality in the form of Lapis, who was an administrator of sorts. He then lost all contact with Lapis just as the Supreme Leader appeared and requested his services, realizing that Elysium had played a part in this.
Ian used the time to contact Garcia and Dieter, where the two would work with the Supreme Leader in order to deceive Elysium while he remained behind to tell the truth to anyone else who wished to learn about it. Lapis then realizes that someone had hacked into the system and tried to erase her. She was able to create a scenario to stop the hacker, which was achieved throughout in the past few days by choosing Rufus, believing that he was the best option to resolve the situation quickly. Renne is surprised by this revelation, unsure of who might have hacked Elysium. Ian asks her if Novartis had done so, but she states that her encounter with him concluded that he was not the hacker, as he had no incentives to do so.
Lapis resolves to remove the hacker from Elysium. Seeing that she is the center of all of these events, Arios and Duvalie decide to continue accompanying Rufus' group to the end. Duvalie contacts Ennea and Ines to protect Ian and Shizuku while Zeit returns to meet up with Lloyd's group. Lapis thanks Ian for helping her, telling him not to be scared anymore. Ian admits that she saw right through him, having contemplated the decisions he took. He nonetheless thanks her for allowing him to re-evaluate himself. Renne then takes out her Arcus and notes that the communication block has been lifted. Rufus realizes that the final stage is about to begin.
Rean's Route Chapter 4: "Encounter with Zero" (零の邂逅)
3/20 | With the situation in the highlands resolved, Calvardian soldiers arrive to deal with the aftermath of their runaway weapons, promising Rean that they will recover all of them in the next few days. One of the officers then asks Mueller to create a special non-militarized zone, who accepts the offer. The mysterious knight, machines and Arios copies had mysteriously disappeared in the aftermath. The Courageous II and Gaius' Merkabah had taken severe damage and would take several days to be repaired; more worrisome was the disappearance of the Round of Seven, which made the situation in Crossbell harder to understand.
That night, Rean's friends wonder what happened to him and ask that he stop telling them that it's fine. Kurt comments on how he looked similar to how he was as the Sacrifice. Emma confirms that the Twilight no longer exists, while Jusis states that Rean's body was special and wonders how he summoned a Soldat out of nowhere. Roselia then comes in and asks Rean if he felt something when the white machine was there; Rean tells her that when he looked at the mysterious unit, his mind was flooded with images and memories. Roselia concludes that Rean is undergoing a "Resonance Phenomenon" between himself and the Eighth Knight. The group is shocked by the revelation, but Roselia states that the Divine Knights had disappeared at the end of the Twilight. She is still unsure as to how the knight appeared, wondering if it was a former Awakener or something else. She then calls in Celine and Zeit.
Zeit tells them that he had been monitoring the septium veins since the end of the Twilight and that they are disturbed by an unknown source. Laura is confused as she believed that they had all subsided when the Twilight ended. Roselia believes that a singularity of sorts is the source of the disturbance and linked to the knight. Zeit then states that the first disturbance was in Crossbell, while Musse chimes in that some of the weapons had been sent there after acquiring testimony from the 23rd's members. Rean concludes that they must go to Crossbell, with both his former classmates and current students accompanying him. Zeit tells them that because the septium veins are disturbed, they can use the spirit paths to enter the country, bypassing the tight border security.
Roselia and Emma teleport the group to Crossbell's marshes, where Roselia recalls that it was where the Stahlritter had buried Arianrhod half a year ago. Juna becomes nostalgic and begins worrying about her family. Claire and Schimdt also accompany them, the former wishing to learn of Rufus' intentions while the latter wishes to study the technology, as not even the Society is capable of creating them. Lechter arrives, telling them that Machias and Towa are doing fine, and that they should avoid the roads and Mishelam as the Black Guard are patrolling those areas. He is also suspicious as to where the transported weapons are stored, knowing that Crossbell is too small to conceal them. The entire group decides to separate into three smaller groups and agree to avoid head-on fights as they don't have their Panzer Soldats to support them.
Rean's group makes their way to Mishelam, Sara's heads to St. Ursula while Claire's heads for the city. They quickly run into some patrolling guards, but are ushered into hiding by Matthew before they are spotted. Rean asks Matthew about the presence of the Black Guard, who tells the group that they arrived just as the Supreme Leader attacked the ceremony. The guards did not hurt anyone, but the facility has been closed down. The guards had also setup their base in the main villa, protected by a massive archaism. The group is curious as to why there are plenty of guards and the archaism in such an insignificant location, but conclude that they are hiding something if there is this much security in the area. Rean decides to liberate Mishleam, as enemy reinforcements are unlikely to arrive in time.
The group storms the villa, taking out the enemy defenders in the process. They find a security room, where Juna is surprised to see that the Black Guard have set up monitors in all of Mishelam Wonderland. Fie comes in after having examined the villa, stating that the room was the only one with brought equipment. With one of the guards held captive, the group wonders how they will get information as to why the Black Guard has set up in the area. Celine coerces the captive into revealing their motives, who tells them that they were sent to "monitor" something. The group decides to investigate for themselves.
As they explore the theme park, Mecha Mishy arrives and orders them to turn back, as the area is under its control, and that it will find the "Treasure of M" as it flies off. Rean is surprised to see such a strange unit, telling the others that a Mecha Mishy was loaned to the theme park, but went on a rampage and was returned. He concludes that this unit is a different unit as the rampaging one was not a high performance model. Juna states that a similar event happened two years ago and that if they acquire all of the treasure, they can make a wish that can come true. They decide to search for the treasure, first arriving at the ferris wheel where they find a gargoyle and defeat it, acquiring the first piece of the treasure. The group is troubled the gargoyles are actually machines and wonders who made them.
They then arrive at the Horror Coaster, where Rean takes one of his fellow group members (apart from Crow), running into another gargoyle in the process. Crow then arrives and destroys it, acquiring the second piece. Returning to the shopping area, they find several guests running away and head to the beach, finding two gargoyles. They destroy them and acquire the final piece of the treasure. They then return to the spot where they met Mecha Mishy, where it confronts them as a final test but is critically damaged in the ensuing fight. Juna convinces Mecha Mishy about the errors of its ways, causing it to realize that what it did was morally wrong. It gives Juna a key to the Castle of Mirrors, where the "King" is waiting for them, asking her to send his regards to his siblings before flying off and self-destructing.
Inside the castle, they find it restructured and discover a sphere at the end of the room. Celine informs them that they will be entering a spiritual version of the castle once they step foot inside. After making the necessary preparations, they enter the spiritual world to search for the supposed king. While navigating the castle, a copy of Juna tries to kill the real counterpart, but Rean is able to sense it and parries the attack, saving her. The copies of Celine and the other student then emerge from the mirror with the Juna copy, all of which are destroyed in the ensuing battle. As the group moves on, Rean looks at himself in the mirror before Fie calls him over. His reflection in the mirror turns into that of his Sacrifice variant.
As they continue exploring the castle, they fall into a trapdoor, separating them into two groups. As Rean reunites with Crow and Celine, Celine notices what she believes to be a fake Crow about to attack Rean and yells at him. Rean notices Crow firing from the mirror dodges the shot, turning around to find that the Crow he had spoken to was a fake as the real one emerges from the mirror. The rest of the group arrives as a copy of Laura and Fie back off to the fake Crow and destroy the three. As they continue on, Rean looks at the mirror once more and finds the Sacrifice version of himself and draws his sword. Celine wonders what Rean is doing and calls him over, as the Sacrifice version walks away in tandem with him.
Fie notes that the copies of themselves are unusual as the Supreme Leader doesn't even know of their presence in Crossbell. They reach the end of the castle, where they conclude the source of the disturbance is not too far ahead. They arrive at the mirror where Juna recognizes it as the one where KeA transformed in a hidden room behind it. As Rean walks up to the mirror and places his hand on the mirror, he is sucked inside into a void. Inside, he gets a vision of his friends and allies mourning his death, the outcome that played in the normal ending of Trails of Cold Steel IV. A malicious voice tells Rean that this is the ending he should have had, but Rean refuses to accept this fate and breaks out of the void, returning to his strange form.
As the rest of the group arrive, Rean tells them that they have to face "him" - a copy of himself and most likely the "king" Mecha Mishy spoke of. Crow is disturbed by the copy's appearance as it summons Zoa Balor, Alberich's combat shell. The copies is just as strong as the originals, just as Rean begins to suffer from an assimilation effect. Rean decides to fight the copy alone to get over his fears, noting that he had a similar feeling when he became a Divine Blade. As the two duel, Rean is able to confront his fears and lands a precise blow against his copy, destroying its mask.
The rest of the group is surprised by the identity of the copy. Rean asks for its name, but the copy is unable to remember, shocking Celine. Crow asks Rean to restrain the copy, but it suddenly incapacitates the entire group in an instant. Rean is able to get back up on his feet and demands to know the copy's identity and the purpose of a Crossbell Unified Nation. The copy states that the final stage is setting as it calls on the Divine Knight, Zoa-Gilstein. It then compliments the rest of the group before urging them to kill it in their next encounter, leaving with the Divine Knight.
With the copy of Rean and the Divine Knight gone, Sara, Matthew and Schmidt soon arrive, the former two surprised and relieved they are fine. Schmidt begins examining the terminals, stating that they are similar to the ones in the highlands but are even more advanced, even using the Round of Seven to block communications. He then offers to remove the Round of Seven to restore communications, reminding Rean that the enemy will be aware of their presence once he does so. Rean states that they need everyone's participation to discover the truth, so Schmidt removes the device. Just then, the group gets a report from the Intelligence Division, emergency transmission from the guild and even the Supreme Leader's broadcast. Schmidt wonders if an artifact was reproduced, surprising everyone as they don't have the technology to do so yet. Rean concludes that the recent events have allowed him to see the true essence of the enemy and decides to contact Lloyd.
Lloyd's Route Chapter 4: "Resurrected Will: Besiegement of Black" (甦る意志-黒の包囲戦-)
3/20 | Noel brings the group to a small encampment of the Crossbell Police where they are met by Fran and other members, who are relieved to see Lloyd is well. At the camp, Tio sets up an old-fashioned communication network to connect with the others at Amorica Village. Lloyd and Wazy wonder what the Supreme Leader's intentions are, as their encounter with the McBurn simulacrum makes him wonder if he is also a fake too. Tio successfully sets up the network and the group reconnects with those at Amorica, where Wald reveals that they had captured some Black Guardsmen and learned that the best forces are assembling in the north-western part of Crossbell, which aligns with Noel's information. Lloyd concludes that Randy and the other CGF forces are at Mainz and that the Black Guard has laid siege to the village.
Randy and the others are at a disadvantage despite having fought there two years ago, so the group quickly decides on how they can infiltrate and break the siege. Erika decides to return to St. Ursula in the process. The group decides to have Lloyd and Noel move up to scout the situation, while the others remain behind on standby once the all-clear is given. Arriving at the tunnel, they find a large number of Black Guardsmen and Helmode units, but are able to bypass initial security using an old route. Noel and Lloyd agree that Rufus had taken advantage of the SSS' reputation to turn the people against them when they lost, but promise that they won't make the mistake again. Noel also thanks Lloyd for his support back then, promising that she'll return the favor for him.
As they leave the tunnel, they are ambushed by several guardsmen. Although they continually hold them off, their numbers are endless and they are nearly overwhelmed when Randy intervenes and saves them. Randy berates Lloyd for comiming to him with just Noel, but when Lloyd states that he had worried them, Randy realizes that he's telling the truth and takes back his words. A few more members soon arrive, with Lloyd recognizing the Thors graduates - Towa and Machias, who had escaped in the confusion and joined the CGF at Mainz. Noel notes that Sonya Baelz and Mireille are not with them, upon the mentioning of Mireille's name, Randy becomes saddened, while Machias and Towa decide to tell them of their current situation when they return to the village.
Lloyd helps set up the communication network to connect with the others, before clearing the tunnel so that the rest of the group can arrive. They learn that Mireille was injured while evacuating citizens. Seiland tells Randy that she can treat her, but she doesn't have the right equipment on hand. Lloyd learns from Towa that Sonya and other CGF members were holding out in the Temple of the Moon, which is in an even more precarious situation than Mainz. Randy reassures Lloyd that they will be able to save her now that he's brought the police force with him.
The group then makes preparations to rescue Sonya, while Lloyd and Randy take rounds to see what everyone is up to. Randy has some nostalgic memories as an instructor at the branch campus and regrets leaving before graduation, but Towa assures him that he is welcome to come back. They also find Harold and Colin had safely escaped the city. With preparations complete, Randy has a conversation with Lloyd, vowing revenge on the Supreme Leader and the Black Guard. Lloyd is able to discern that he is acting similarly back then when the Red Constellation arrived in Crossbell. Randy admits that Lloyd saw through his act, stating that he felt powerless while his friends and family were taken from him. Lloyd states that he's also angry with the recent events, but tells him that they'll retake Crossbell. Noel, Machias and Towa then come in and reassure him, bringing Randy back to his normal self.
The five then hear yelling below them and find a dazed CGF member wandering into the village. He tells them that the Black Guard suddenly attacked them, led by a dancer who summoned demons. Sonya and the others retreat inside the temple, which prompts the group to launch their attack early. Harold and the villagers stay behind to defend the village while they are gone. The police force attack the blockade, which they are able to break through in part due to Lloyd and Randy's efforts.
Making their way through another tunnel, the group is met by more Black Guardsmen and their Helmode units, but Estelle and Joshua defeat the enemy group. Joshua tells them that they were also making their preparations and that they brought more reinforcements to assist them. As the new group deals with enemy reinforcements, Joshua has fellow bracers Scott and Lynn help out, while Randy sends Aeolia to Mainz to help Seiland.
Upon arriving at the temple, some ghosts materialize and attack, but are easily dispelled. Joshua notes that the spirit veins in the area are active again, while Lloyd tells them to clear all enemies in their path. Back at Mainz, Aeoila had just arrived while several citizens believe the situation is hopeless. Harold, Lugnov and Gantz rally them to arms, revealing several crates of weaponry.
The group arrives just as Ilya brainwashes Sonya's remaining CGF forces to apprehend her, breaking her control over them. Noel wonders if the Ilya before them is a fake, but Lloyd concludes that she is the real deal as he was enthralled by her performance, feeling that a simulacrum would be incapable of replicating such an effect. Ilya concdes that she is real, before dancing to suppress the group in an attempt to control them with an overflow of negative energies. Lloyd refuses to give in and breaks her hold over them, stating that the SSS had regained their vision. Ilya in turn summons two demons to assist her, telling him to back up his claim with strength.
Ilya loses the resulting fight and appears to be returning back to normal, but the mask's grip is too strong for her to resist and she runs to the top of the temple, just as the Bobcat arrives with more allies. Ilya finds Rixia on board; Rixia tells her that Shanshan had helped bring her back to her senses. She tells the group that the final stage is setting and that their final encounter will be in Crossbell City itself as she teleports away.
At the bridge, the CGF/police force is fighting the Black Guard, but are on a losing battle as more enemy reinforcements are arriving. The Black Guard is suddenly attacked by gas, where it is revealed that Harold and the other villagers have arrived as backup. Lloyd and the others soon arrive, forcing the Black Guard to withdraw. They then return to Mainz, where Mirielle has recovered from her injuries. As the entire group assembles at the inn they learn that Rean's group has entered Crossbell due to Lechter's assistance. Tio discovers that the Supreme Leader is making an open declaration of war against all of Zemuria if they do not work with them. The group wonders what the Supreme Leader is up to, just as Lloyd is contacted by Rean.
Last Chapter: "The End, As Well As The Beginning" (終焉、そして創まり)
3/21 | Lloyd and Rean's groups are able to connect, with people on both sides relieved to see each other safe. Due to Calvard's new president being far more ambitious than Rocksmith ever was, Claire is concerned that they will attempt to take Crossbell by force. Randy and the others are also surprised to learn that the Supreme Leader is a fake. Rean is concerned about the assimilation effect his copy told him about, but Lloyd reassures him that they'll find the answer together.
Rufus then interrupts the conversation and shows them his own group. He then informs them about Elysium and how Lapis is the only one who can resolve the issues that have been popping up recently, requesting their help. Both groups decide to help him, as Elie concludes that if they can depose the Supreme Leader, they can prevent Calvard from invading. Jusis asks Rufus for a private conversation, but Rufus tells him that he'll grant it when the situation resolves, wishing to atone for his sins and another reason, but does not go further.
With a plan in mind, Lloyd consults with Sergei and Sonya to finalize a plan to retake the city. Each group would attack one of the entrances to the city while heading towards Orchis Tower in order to confront the Supreme Leader. Meanwhile, KeA, Jona, Schmidt and Erika would return to the Castle of Mirrors to analyze the strange contraption that Rean's group had discovered.
3/22| The Supreme Leader rallies his men to prepare for a defense of the city, having learned of the rebels' intent to attack it. Dieter and Garcia watch from afar, preparing their own coup. Dieter is unsure as to how Cao will act, but Garcia is confident that he will help, while he tells a mysterious group of people to get ready.
With everyone in place, Sonya commences the start of the operation to retake the city. The CGF and police force battle the Black Guard at the city's entrances, while the other groups take advantage of the chaos to get into the city.
Lloyd's group enters from the southern gate, dispatching of arriving enemy reinforcements just as Renne and Zeit appear to cut the enemy off. Tita is relieved to see Renne well, just as Tio is glad to see Zeit again. Just then, Sully, Wendy and some of Wald's former gang members come in from one of the Geofront's entrances. They are glad to see the SSS, believing that they would return to liberate the city and give them some supplies they had accumulated while living underground.
Pressing on, more Black Guardsmen intercept them, including several Helmode units, but they are joined by a joint CGF/police force. Just as a second batch of enemy reinforcements arrive, one of the Helmode units is shot at. The SSS is surprised to see Dieter and even Gareth with him. Gareth admits that he was surprised Dieter reached out to them for another job, but Dieter tells him that he could only do so and that he's paying them well to complete the job. Red Constellation members then join in on the fight. The Black Guard are enraged by the deception, while Dieter tells the group to press on and stop Ilya with the resolve they showed him when he was president.
At the west gate, Rufus' group is able to enter, while Renne leaves to catch up with her family and Tita. After clearing some enemies, Claire and Lechter arrive, the latter surprised that he took a page from Crow's book. They join their group, just as Pete, Oscar, Lina, Ken and Nana arrive. Pete recognizes Rufus, having been informed of the events by Ian. Lina gives Rufus her blessing to liberate the city, while Oscar gives them some special bread and accumulated supplies to help them.
Heading to the Entertainment District, Claire wonders what the Supreme Leader will do at noon when the other powers refuse to give in to its demands. The Black Guard arrive with an archaism . One of the guards is surprised to see the Supreme Leader, but the other one reminds him that the Rufus they're seeing is a fake. After defeating this group, more reinforcements arrive, including several Helmode units. Heiyue then comes in and dispatches of the enemy reinforcements. Cao meets with Rufus and tells him that they have terminated their contract with the Supreme Leader, although admitting that he had been consulting with Dieter and Garcia well before the attack started. He urges them to continue forward while he and his members deal with the situation at hand.
At the east entrance, Claire temporarily leaves Rean's group to catch up to Rufus. Jusis asks Millium if she is not going to Rufus, but she insists on supporting her classmates first. They run into several Black Guardsmen facing off against Towa, Machias, Alisa and Sharon, defeating the enemy. Machias and Alisa are concerned about Rean's appearance, but all four join his group to defeat the enemy. The city's local Bracer branch and Scarlet soon arrive to lock the area down so that they can press on. Roy gives the group some supplies to help them with the battles ahead.
As they advance, more Black Guardsmen and a single Helmode unit arrive to intercept but are defeated. Additional enemy reinforcements arrive, refusing to falter. Garcia joins in with several Imperial Defense Force members to assist Rean's group, ordering his men to knock sense back into the Black Guard. Rean is surprised that Garcia is helping them. Garcia states that he had knocked some of the Black Guard to their senses and sent the teams around the city to secure the surrounding areas. Sara recognizes Garcia as the Killing Bear, which in turn makes Fie recall that he used to work with Zephyr but left due to unavoidable circumstances, which made the boss lonely. Garcia in turn states that he heard the boss pick up a "brat" and of his death, having been able to visit his grave but is confident he enjoyed his life. The two promise to talk with each other about him when the situation is over as he urges them to press on.
They soon run into an enhanced Asmodine unit just as Ilya appears and activates the Zauber Soldat. As they fight, Tio and Emma manipulate the energy to the monitor cars. Rixia's performance breaks Ilya's grip over the citizens of Crossbell, while Rean's group disposes of the Zauber Soldat. Ilya flees to Orchis Tower.
At the tower itself, Rufus' group arrives and confronts the Supreme Leader. Unlike the McBurn simulacrum, the Supreme Leader is aware he is a copy of Rufus, but states that it strived to be perfect like the original. It offers to step down quietly if Rufus replaces it as the Supreme Leader, but Rufus refuses, as he sees the Supreme Leader as a manifestation of himself in Tuatha De Danann, trapped by desire to be perfect. The Supreme Leader is disgusted by this but resolves to replace him to unite all of Zemuria.
After an initial fight, Ilya arrives to support the Supreme Leader as Rean and Lloyd's groups arrive. In the ensuing battle, Rixia destroys Ilya's mask, while Rufus fatally damages his copy. Ilya returns to her normal self, and with the mask's powers gone, the Black Guard is completely incapacitated, securing Crossbell's liberation. The Supreme Leader admits that it would never have defeated its original. Rean notes that his own copy was not present with Zoa-Gilstein and asks the Supreme Leader where they are. The Supreme Leader laughs and states that it is time before shutting down, just as Rean clenches his left eye and states that something's coming.
In the skies, Vandyck wonders what the Supreme Leader meant at noon when he is informed by Emily that something appeared in Elm Lake. A mysterious structure emerges from the lake and fires a massive beam, which ends up leveling Juno Naval Fortress. Everyone in Crossbell is shocked by the appearance of the structure and the destruction it wrought in an instant. Novartis, who had gone to the lake, is delighted with the singularity that appeared before him as he can begin his research in earnest. A pre-recorded message then broadcasts from the cars, where the Supreme Leader states that the weapon, "Reverse Babel", will unite all of Zemuria by destroying those who oppose the Crossbell Unified Nation.
With Crossbell finally secure, the three groups begin looking into Reverse Babel, an optical weapon that can instantly destroy targets in the blink of an eye. The President of Calvard, Roy Gramheart, then joins in on the conversation. He reveals that his army is preparing to mobilize in response to the Supreme Leader's threat, as Reverse Babel is aimed at the Baratie Air Force base, the Republic's main headquarters, and will destroy it by 1700 if no response is given. Knowing that Erebonia will not cooperate, he urges Henry to resolve the situation before he is forced to take action.
Despite this, the group is aware of Roy's intentions and refuse to let Calvard occupy Crossbell. Instead, they opt to seize Reverse Babel before the time limit. They are aware that it will be heavily defended, as it itself has an impressive array of weaponry and has several Zauber Soldats on reserve. Lapis confuses the entire group by stating that she will not be helping them, before clarifying that they'll be helping her - as the former administrator of Elysium, as the appearance of the massive weapon has caused Elysium to generate a physical form she can interact with. Soon after, the group is contacted by Olivert and several others, who are willing to assist in infiltrating Reverse Babel's tough defenses, as it is also protected by a spiritual barrier.
As Sonya disusses a strategy with Olivert, the rest of the group spends the rest of the day patrolling Crossbell. Before they set out, Lapis tells Lloyd that he is the only one who can reach the conclusion, having calculated it beforehand. Lloyd resolves to finish the mysterious case on her behalf.
Returning to the Reverie Corridor once again, the core decides to restore everyone's memories due to Elysium's actions, but still forbids them from taking any knowledge about its existence out. It also allows them access to the fourth stage of the corridor.
3/22 | Two hours before the deadline, the plan to seize Reverse Babel is initiated. Elysium immediately deploys its garrison of Helmode and enhanced Asmodine units. This is in turn countered by both the Arc Royal and Derfflinger arriving and deploying several Panzer Soldats. In response to this, Elysium deploys the rest of its enhanced Asmodine units. The group fears that they have underestimated its defenses when several airships, including those from Ouroboros, join the fray. Elysium in turn then charges up several volleys of red beams, but the attacks are intercepted by the arrival of the Merkabahs. Inside Reverse Babel, Rean's copy can be seen looking at all of the errors in Elysium's prediction with annoyance.
Taking advantage of the confusion by the singularity, the group is contacted by Olivert. Estelle also notices a white bird flying alongside the falcon, just as Roselia and the other witches, along with Zeit, teleport the strike force onto the waiting ships. It is later revealed that the other ship is the Arseille II. Completely thrown off, Elysium then charges up a powerful spiritual attack, just as the witches teleport Erebonia's strongest men and Aurelia, enchanting them to repel the attack. This failed spiritual attack significantly weakens the barrier, which both the Courageous and Arseille II take advantage of by destroying it with their cannons. The witches then teleport the group inside; the mysterious Divine Knight inexplicably appears and tries to stop them, but it fails to do so.
Elsewhere, Novartis is excited with the information he's acquired when Vita comes in and scolds him for interfering too much. Novartis states that she is exaggerating his role and that she also has plans to attend to as he makes his leave.
Teleported inside the tower, the group is divided in two. Rufus and Nadia are upset to be seperated from Lapis and Swin, but both groups resolve to press forward. Both groups arrive at points where they can see each other temporarily, much to their relief. The tower is filled with numerous archaisms and strange monsters. At one point, Lloyd's group is hammered by a gravitational field, but Rean's group is able to destroy the device causing the pressure, allowing Lloyd's group to defeat the ambushing monsters.
Eventually they arrive at a final point with lifts. that will reunite both groups. As they take them, they are ambushed by a particularly powerful monster on both lifts, but are able to prevail against them. Arriving at the control room, they find a blackened variant of the Sonorous Seashell, explaining how Elysium's powers were amplified. Rean's copy then appears to confront them, just as both Old and New Class VII soon become saddened by its presence.
After Emma notes that its existence is distorted, Lloyd finally realizes the copy's origins; an alternate of Rean from another timeline. He recalls that during the Azure Tree incident, he and the others learned of their deaths while fighting Joachim Guenter, something that had been avoided due to KeA's intervention. Even the smallest of actions can cause a drastic change, which he asks Rean about. Rean recalls that if he had not taken Argres' blessing, Ishmelga would have overwhelmed him. He then realizes who the copy is as it takes off its mask, revealing itself to be a Rean calculated by Elysium and introduces itself as Ishmelga Rean, drawing a corrupted Sword of the End.
Juna wonders if the copy is actually Ishmelga, but it states that it is not Ishmelga, nor is it Rean - simply an existence meant to have been created during the Great War. It explains that after Ishmelga corrupted Rean, Rean flew Valimar away into the atmosphere alongside Crow and Millium. The latter two did not survive, while Rean ended up in a place ruled by darkness and nothingness; space. Both Rean and Ishmelga fought each other for dominance, but could not prevail against each other - resulting in an endless Rivalry until it appeared in the present timeline. Due to Rean refusing the intended timeline, Ishmelga Rean was able to live as its own as the Great One. It then states how that Lloyd was the one who solved the mystery first, but he simply states that it was because of having a similar experience.
Juna then asks why it is throwing Zemuria into chaos. Ishmelga Rean replies that it is to save Zemuria from itself and unify the continent in eternal peace, as there will be more calamity, not even in the distant future. As such, Elysium concluded that Ismelga Rean would be the only suitable candidate who could stop the calamity for good, and that humans would evolve once again after recreation. Lapis calls Ishmelga Rean out on this claim, as the singularity was meant to observe, not intervene, and as such, a "bug" when it was created. Ishmelga Rean states that she had gotten kicked out for being unworthy, but the experiences she had showed that she had more to learn. Lloyd then charges Ishmelga Rean for its crimes; seeing as the group intends to interfere with humanity's recreation, Ishmelga Rean summons a group of archaisms and monsters to assist him in wiping the group out.
Ishmelga Rean then summons Zoa-Gilstein, the eighth Divine Knight and the form Valimar took by absorbing all six of its fellow knights and both the Sept-Terrion of Earth and Fire. The witches then teleport the Panzer Soldats into Reverse Babel, alongside Rufus' golden Helmode unit which he had prepared in secret. The Great One easily overpowers the Panzer Soldats, explaining that its power is absolute. Rean refuses to give up however and launches a suicidal attack on the Great One, but the tachi inexplicably shines and is able to scratch the Great One.
Rean is shocked to see that Valimar is back, who explains that the casuality created by Zoa-Gilstein allowed the Divine Knights to alter their existence, allowing them to connect from the Outside. As such, both Ordine and El-Prado soon join their respective Awakeners. Ishmelga Rean greatly overestimates its strength to the three Divine Knights, while Lapis tries to revoke its rights to Elysium. It notices Lapis trying to hack into the system and attempts to hack her, but Rufus blocks the attack, urging her to continue on. Lapis revokes some of Ishmelga Rean's rights, allowing Rean and Crow to launch a powerful strike.
Rean soon finds himself in another dimension, where he finds his other self greeting him. The corrupted copy tells it to go into space to stop Ishmelga, but Rean refuses, as he has friends that make him happy and share his burdens, having realized that he had been too hard on himself. The other Rean then realizes the mistake he had made and does not press further into the matter, telling him to prevail. Rean then separates his other copy from Ishmelga Rean, simply leaving Ishmelga by itself. An enraged Ishmelga then fights the group, only to be defeated. Enraged at its loss, Lapis then reveals that she is deleting Elysium when Ishmelga refuses to release control. She states that Elysium came too early for humanity, but hopes that they will be worthy of it in the future.
Seeing this, Ishmelga then proceeds to grant its privileges to the collected consciousness of humanity itself, meaning that Reverse Babel will fire at whatever humanity universally hates. All over Zemuria, Pleroma Grass manifests and numerous targets show up as a result of peoples' hatred for others. The group realizes that ruin will await them as the weapon will not stop until everyone is dead or the spirit veins run dry. Rufus comments on how ironic the situation is. Unable to stop the countdown, Emma and Celine prepare to teleport the entire group. Lapis then notices Rufus stepping off of the magical platform at the last second.
Roselia notes that Rufus stepped off at the last second, when Rufus launches a global broadcast. Playing on as the Supreme Leader, he takes credit for all of the calamity that had occured in recent years, focusing all of the world's hatred onto him. Rufus is hoping for this to save Zemuria from Reverse Babel, even if it means sacrificing his own life. Lapis cries out for Rufus when the weapon destroys itself, but she soon finds herself to and realizes that it was a premonition shown by Elysium. Lapis asks the group to save Rufus, so Lloyd takes her request as he has more to speak about. Zeit tells them that he can only carry a few people with him, so Jusis, Swin and Nadia also join the group.
Returning to Reverse Babel's control room, Lapis calls out for Rufus when some debris falls on her. Lapis is unexpectedly saved by the other Rean, who has regained his senses now that Ishmelga is suppressed. It asks about Crow and Millium's status, with Jusis telling him that they are doing well. Rean tells Lloyd of an approaching calamity in three years' time - referring to the Primordial Nothingness, but Lloyd and the others refuse to hear of it, having rejected Elysium. Lloyd is confident that they will overcome whatever lies before them, so the other Rean tells Lloyd to give his regards to the others as he fades away.
Lapis then notices an active door nearby and the group enters, finding a badly injured Rufus in the process. Rufus comments on how his whole life had been for nothing when they arrive. Surprised they intend to rescue him, Lloyd takes Rufus into custody for his crimes and failing to see the bonds he had created. Rufus laughs as he realizes that he had them for so long in his hands as Zeit teleports the group away just before the weapon fires on itself.
3/29 | With the destruction of Reverse Babel, Calvard restrains from sending its forces over as the city returns to normal, given aid from various countries including Calvard themselves and the assistance by the locals, while an investigation panel was formed to look into the phenomenons during the incident. Rean and Crow are slightly upset that they couldn't say farewell to their Divine Knights, but resolve to continue on without them. As Rean prepares to depart for the independence ceremony, he comments on how everything will work out as long as Valimar is with him. Valimar replies in the control panel, silently watching his Awakener from afar.
In another area, Rufus comes to and finds Lapis sleeping on his bed. Lapis comes to soon after and is relieved to see Rufus again, just as Olivert enters the room. Olivert tells him that if it were not for the group's timely intervention, he would have died from his injuries. Rufus is upset that he was denied a chance to die, much to Lapis' chagrin. Olivert tells him that due to his crimes, sentencing him to death was justified. However, he tells him that everyone that saw his broadcast believed him to be dead when Reverse Babel fired on itself. As he has failed to atone for his sins and everything he had is now forsaken, he will have to live as a wanderer. Lapis then tells him that he can serve as her attendant like Swin and Nadia, wishing to see the world that gave rise to Elysium. Rufus laughs at the idea of serving as a doll's attendant, but agrees to her request when she points out that their interests align.
Swin, Nadia, Jusis and Millium soon arrive, with Jusis relieved to see that Rufus is alive and well despite his mysterious ways. Olivert then remembers that the independnce ceremony is about to begin and shows Rufus a live feed, with everyone in the room watching. As Henry addresses the crowds, Lloyd is nervous about being in front of a live audience, but resolves to press on as Henry requested him to speak. Henry soon calls Lloyd, who addresses the group as the credits cue.
At the Celestial Globe, the real McBurn cleaves his way inside using Angbar. He meets with the Grandmaster, who comments on how its been years since he personally came. Having restored part of his memories and having had to get inside without Campanella's aid, he tells her that she will not be able to conceal her identity if he knows who she truly is. She tells him that he still has work to do as an Enforcer, which he likewise accepts as he is beginning to like Zemuria. McBurn asks her if she found a replacement for Arianrhod, who confirms his suspicions.
Just then, Novartis comes in, but is surprised to see McBurn. McBurn is less than pleased that he used him without consent, confusing the Anguis, but he shakes it off and states that the recurrence and disappearance of Elysium was forcefully halted, unsure of who had done it. McBurn does not know either, recalling that the Thousand Oathbreaker said something about "things starting to move". Novartis states that it was set up in Ored just as they are interrupted by Roy. Novartis is surprised by how Roy managed to break in, recognizing the mark, but Roy states that he is not affiliated with "them"; instead, an intermediary from the CID is doing so on his behalf.
The Grandmaster appears to have been waiting for Roy and sees him as a threat to her plan. Roy appears to be aware of the plan, but offers a truce; Calvard will not interfere with the Eternal Recurrence Plan, while the Society will not interfere with Calvard's "Possible Worlds" for two and a half years. The Grandmaster accepts the truce for there are significant gains for both sides. Roy reminds her not to infringe on Calvard's charter.
Beyond the Illusion
With the Elysium case in Zemuria dealt with, the Reverie Corridor is now suffering from its problems. The group resolves to clear the situation, so the core grants them access to the deep layers beyond the Fourth Stage, expecting success. They find and defeat a manifestation of McBurn's true form, just a a white shadow appears briefly, telling them to "prepare" and quickly leaves, baffling the group.
The core tells the group that it appears to be an entity living in the uncontrollable parts of the corridor. Seeing that the threat is worse than it expected, it grants long-range communication to the rest of the group in the garden, where it explains that it could not replicate McBurn due to its protocols; rather, he was created by an anomaly.
Around this time, the real McBurn arrives in the corridor, having finished up some business in the real world. He has no intentions of fighting the group, but offers to assist them in their investigation, which they accept. Making their way to the sixth stage, they find the white shadow once more, which summons a copy of Roselia's Divine Beast form and Argres. Dispelling these manifestations, the white shadow reappears, who the SSS recognize bears a likeness to KeA. It claims that they are the intruders, just as the core appears and states that she is the irregularity. Regardless, the white shadow informs them to stop or calamity will fall.
Inquiring the core's identity, Roselia soon realizes that the core is actually AZOTH, the author of the Black Records. AZOTH is the observer of Erebonia since its activation by Adjudicator Arnor over 1,200 years ago, with the Black Records intended to see how Erebonia would fare in the future. With one final stage to clear, AZOTH expects the group to cleanse the irregularity from the corridor.
On the final stage, the white shadow reappears once more, this time summoning copies of Thomas, Wazy and Gaius. After defeating them, the white shadow opens a rift to another dimension and introduces itself as OzXX, the first Originator Zero created by the Gnomes. It states that it needs to be defeated, but failing to do so will bring ruin faster than expected.
Returning to the Garden, the group realizes that OzXX was created by the Gnomes 500 years ago and was replicated by Elysium. AZOTH is able to regain control over some of the areas OzXX had corrupted and that there is no need for further action. Regardless, Altina decides to reach out to OzXX, with Millium, Lapis and KeA supporting her. Seeing that it cannot force the guests out, AZOTH wishes them luck on their final fight. They head into the "Zeroth" stage and defeat a copy of a corrupted Valimar, eventually confronting OzXX.
OzXX confirms that Elysium had replicated her, but it was meant to be a vessel for Demiourgos, something which should not be possible but occurred regardless because it was distorted. OzXX states that she can hold Demiourgos' power in the Reverie Corridor and that they should leave, but Altina and the others insist on helping her. The Pleroma Grass begins to resonate, a sign of Demiourgos trying to awaken. Zeit asks OzXX what she wants, who tells the group to bring her back into slumber. Not holding back anymore, she transforms into Demiourgos, albeit partially incomplete. The group is able to defeat it before it could fully manifest. With her purpose fulfilled, OzXX disappears, grateful for the group's assistance.
AZOTH then appears once more; without OzXX, it now has full access over the Reverie Corridor. With the interference fully purged, the corridor will shut down, and the group will lose the memories made inside. AZOTH is impressed with how the group's bonds overcame its calculated limits and decides to allow the group to retain some of their adventures inside as memories. It warns them that further calamity is imminent, but hopes that their bonds will overcome them.
|The Day of Reindependence||Lost Symbol||The Miserable Sinners|
|Round of Seven characters:|
|Cross Story/Episode characters:|
List of episodes
These are side episodes that take place before the events of the main story.
|Machias, who visited Crossbell in anticipation of the Imperial Army's withdrawal, and Dudley, in command of the re-independence signing ceremony, order the same coffee at the same café during working hours now work together to investigate the trouble that has been brewing.||Machias Regnitz|
|Mark of Alumni
|Former Student Council members Lechter, Lucy and Klose hold a tea party before the organisation of a reunion in Liberl. During their gathering, Lechter is contacted by Intelligence Division and has to leave the place.||Lechter Arundel|
Klaudia von Auslese
|Recollection of the Witches
|Having returned to Eryn, Emma one day discovers her mother's hidden notes in Roselia's possession. Emma and Celine guess these are related to her mother's death and team up with the visiting Vita to investigate an unknown Spirit Shrine.||Emma Millstein|
|The Path I Chose
|Randy and Michael each decide on go their own way after the end of their term at Thors Branch Campus and Rean continues to guide students as instructor of Class VII. As her co-workers set their plans for the future, Towa heads toward the Thors' reunion still worrying over how to continue her own path.||Towa Herschel|
|Reunion: Melancholy of the Maiden
|As the confusion from the Great Twilight is settled and peace returns to Heimdallr, someone rendered invisible through technological means invades the RMP office and steals information related the Imperial Army. Claire suspects the involvement of Hercules or Ouroboros and enlists Sara Valestein and Sharon Kreuger's help to track down the culprit. In turn, Claire is watched by a woman with scorned eyes.||Claire Rieveldt|
|Right before the wedding ceremony, Scherazard opens up before Empress Priscilla about her anxieties in front of her traditional imperial family wedding dress. When she returns to the Valflame Palace's anteroom to meet up with Prince Olivert, who discussed his future life with Mueller and Zechs Vander, they find a message card from a certain someone.||Olivert Reise Arnor|
Bright Family Vacation
March S.1207| The Brights decide to take a short vacation in Ymir after attending Olivert's wedding and learning of Crossbell's liberation. Cassius is slightly worried due to his position as a general, but Estelle reassures him as it is unlikely he will be recalled so fast. Both Estelle and Joshua note that Renne and Cassius appear to be somewhat distant from each other, but hope that the trip can bring them closer.
Upon spending some time in the town, they head to a frozen waterfall that Teo suggested they visit. Estelle and Cassius get into a snowball fight; during the fiasco, Estelle accidentally throws a snowball at a boar. The four drive the boar off and return to town, where the Schwarzers thank them for driving the beast out.
After finishing their meal, the four go to the hot springs. Cassius relieves his stress while Joshua notes that he has a lot of work to do. Cassius states that the new Calvardian president, Roy Gramheart, was trying to impose himself onto the other powers, but he, Klaudia and Olivert have been standing up against him. Cassius is worried about strange movements in both the Empire and the society's activities, while Joshua is aware that their next plan will begin, albeit with a slight delay due to membership issues.
Cassius wonders how he manages to juggle his duties as a general and as a father, as he doesn't have much time to speak with Renne and is aware that she appears to be distant from him. Joshua reassures him that he'll do so sooner or later. Cassius then asks him if he needs help setting up a wedding, as Scherazard's dress reminded him of Estelle's marriage in the future. Joshua is slightly surprised as Cassius admits that it was a bit out of the ordinary, but is willing to consent to having him marry her due to the bonds they had during their travels.
On the other side of the springs, Estelle and Renne are enjoying themselves as the latter is surprised with how inspired the springs are from the eastern countries. Estelle is optimistic about going to Eryn's hot springs in the future. Renne realizes this is how her original family was like when they went to Mishelam. She then asks Estelle if she's going to Crossbell with Joshua, who confirms her question as they are going to set up a consulate there. Renne then wonders about the message Joerg had sent her, but decides to leave it out to avoid worrying her family. Estelle is happy to see how Renne has grown and tells her that her family will come to help her if she ever needs something done. As Cassius tries to join in, the four hear gunshots in the distance.
Quickly getting their clothes back on, they head to the exit where Teo and Lucia are about to leave. The two tell them that they're hearing gunshots and boar cries in the distance. Teo states that he will handle the issue, but the four offer to help in his stead while he and Lucia alert the residents. Teo takes them up on this offer and tells them not to overdo it.
Back at the frozen waterfall, Gilbert is seen in his G-Apache fighting the boar, who is running in circles trying to avoid getting hit. The four then arrive and both parties are surprised to see the other. Renne examines the boar and tells it to run away so it can avoid further injuries. Gilbert tells them that he was doing some shooting practice when the boar appeared and attacked him, so he naturally defended himself against it in response. He also hints at Cedric as an "arrogant newcomer", but none of them are able to pick up on what he said as they aren't even aware of Cedric's promotion to an Enforcer in the first place.
Estelle tells Gilbert that his presence will mess up the local environment, before realizing that it was why the boar was in a foul mood; it was trying to protect its territory. Cassius asks Gilbert to turn the archaism off and step down for a talk, but Gilbert refuses to do so, knowing that he stands no chance against two former Enforcers, let alone Cassius. He then realizes that the shield he used to protect against the boar should work on them and uses it against them, proclaiming that they stand no chance against him with the barrier active. Renne notes that the G-Apache shouldn't have such power before realizing that it wasn't meant to do so.
Just then, the G-Apache goes critical from being overburdened by the barrier's power consumption. They realize that if the archaism blew up now, it would cause an avalanche and engulf Ymir in the process. Cassius decides to help, while Renne calculates a spot him to send Gilbert flying to. Renne calculates the correct spot and Cassius launches the archaism into the air. Gilbert proclaims that he will be back and will never give up as he is sent flying and the archaism explodes safely in the distance. Cassius credits Renne for the victory, who then calls him by his name again, much to his bewilderment. Estelle and Joshua are relieved to see that the two are slowly opening up to each other.
They then examine the crash site but find no signs of Gilbert or the archaism. They also treat the boar's injuries before returning to Ymir, where Teo attempts to reward them, but they turn down his offer. As Teo and Lucia see the family off, they tell them that their home and hot springs will always be open to them. The two then remark that the family is more than the rumors said they were and hope to see them again.
Justice Duo (2人のジャスティス)
2/17 | Three days after Crossbell City was liberated by the SSS, Carl sends a detachment of the Government Accountability Inspectorate to the city, led by Inspectors Machias and Reiner to oversee cleanup efforts due to the stubbornness of the Imperial remnants. As Machias looks over the damage and reports, he spots a familiar green-haired man speaking with a few people. Machias is exhausted from the day's events, looking forward to a cup of coffee the next day.
As Machias continues his work and enjoys his coffee each day, during one of his visits, the server informs him that they have run out of the requested coffee. Machias is surprised just as the green-haired man comes over and inquires; the two then speak to the owner. The owner redirects them to the airport, where an employee tells them that packages and deliveries haven't been arriving on time or getting mixed up as they recently reopened for international trade.
As the pair leave, they conclude that everything is completely off but the people don't appear to suspect it. The two introduce themselves to each other, having learned of the other through reports. Dudley states that he was supposed to have a day off, but because his coffee is being threatened, he has no other choice but to investigate who is disturbing his quality of life. Dudley then asks Machias if he would like to help in the private investigation, who accepts his offer.
The pair first head to the department store, where Machias asks Patiry to help inquire about recent trades. After visiting the store, they meet with Harold, ending with a visit to Ashleigh. She tells them there had been a shifty supply line that she had dealt with earlier. The two are surprised with how deep the problem is when a drunken man approaches the two, berating the Erebonian government for returning the city to its original title, the City of Sin. His friend soon arrives and apologizes to the pair. The pair asks the man a few questions regarding the goods, who tells them that he's heard rumors of a shady merchant having set up shop and that the shops have bought their knock-off high-quality goods, hurting their businesses. He gives them a list of said stores, which they immediately visit.
With all of the stores investigated, the pair spot a familiar pattern; various high-quality goods are "magically" out of stock, just as a merchant appears and offers them discounted goods, which are cheap knock-offs. Machias is slightly troubled by the events, prompting Dudley to reassure him that it wasn't his fault. Dudley states that Machias reminds him of his youth, as they both share a similar mindset in performing their duties to the best they can, and tells him not to rush himself.
Pete then comes in and tells the pair that he remembered that there was a similar incident a few years ago that the SSS had dealt with and that the documents related to the case were still on file. Reading the documents, they are soon able to discover their suspects. The two suspects are later seen at the pier; Minneth and a woman, celebrating the success of their scams in Crossbell. The pair then confront them and their bodyguards, who try to call in reinforcements as they loathe the SSS for ruining their "careers". However, most of the reinforcements have been intercepted, leaving a few to defend them, who Machias and Dudley easily defeat. Minneth shoots Dudley, successfully disarming him, but to his surprise, Dudley charges and tackles him into submission. The woman tries to flee on an orbal boat, but Machias had already sabotaged the engine beforehand. They and their lackeys are soon arrested and the supply routes return to normal.
The next day, the two return to the cafe and enjoy their coffee. Dudley wishes to speak with Machias more and offers him lunch and coffee later on, which he accepts.
Radiant Departure (光まとう門出)
As Olivert declares his marriage to Scherazard, preparations are made for their wedding. In the Valflame Palace, Scherazard thanks Priscilla for spending the time to find her a dress. Scherazard has doubts about whether she is worthy for Olivert as she comes from the slum and has no idea who her parents are. Priscilla tells her that she was in a similar situation and urges her to think about the present, not the past. As Priscilla leaves for official duties, Scherazard gets a call on her ARCUS and answers it. On the other side is Aina, who is taking over Elnan's duties at Grancel. Scherazard tells her that she will still be a bracer, but might find it more difficult to take on jobs upon marrying Olivert. Aina tells her that she cannot attend the wedding, but congratulates her marriage with Olivert.
In another area, Zechs congratulates the prince for his marriage. Olivert states that he was only able to do so in part due to an instructor, even though Zechs notes that it was meant for military tactics. Mueller, having accompanied Olivert, sarcastically states that someone finally wants Olivert, who tells him it's the other way around. Zechs then asks Olivert if he is certain he wishes to reside in Alster; Olivert confirms his decision, as he is an illegitimate child and that he has already renounced his claim to the throne. He then states that he also wants a residence outside of Erebonia, but Mueller states that he will also need to be informed if he intends to use it as a permeant residence.
As the two depart, they run into Scherazard, who takes her ARCUS out. Aina congratulates Olivert and expresses remorse at being unable to attend, but Olivert states that it's fine and congratulates her on her promotion. Olivert states that there are many others coming to attend, such as Zin, Kevin and Ries. Scherazard then takes the two so that they could see her new dress, but it has gone missing; the tiara remains unscathed. They then spot a message card on the mannequin's chest, recognizing the card as Bleublanc's. Bleublanc has taken the dress and that to recover it, they must solve his riddles, which they rise up to as they wish to cause as little trouble as possible.
Heading to the Garment District, the two reminisce on their past and head into the jewelry store. They find a tiara in a display case, where Olivert explains that it is a duplicate and the real one was lost ages ago. They find a card underneath the stand, which leads them to the Courageous II. Bleublanc has not touched the Round of Seven, much to Olivert's relief, as they find the next card. The card leads them to Karel Imperial Villa. The pair find it odd that Bleublanc's riddles are easier than usual, but take no chances and head to the villa, where they find a trunk in the pavilion. Finding one final card, they read it, learning that Bleublanc wishes them well on their marriage and requests they open the bottom board. As they do so, doves and roses emerge from the trunk, along with the Arnor family's tiara they had been talking about earlier.
Olivert states that he found the tiara in the court of a "western country" and offers it to Scherazard, who accepts. Olivert then states that there's another message on the card, which Scherazard reads. She recognizes the handwriting as Luciola's, who like Bleublanc is also congratulating their marriage. Scherazard is thankful that Luciola is still doing well. Olivert promises to make Scherazard happy, who likewise promises the same to him.
The White Rabbit and Sleeping Puppet
3/6 | Rean, Millium, Jusis, Alisa and Altina arrive at Milsante to meet up with George Nome, who had called them to the quaint town because he had found "him". Schmidt soon arrives, telling him to stop stalling and bring them to the spot. A little bit away from the town, the group arrives at a gate where Millium places her hand inside, who successfully senses her combat shell, Airgetlam, which had fused with Millium was sublimated into the Sword of the End during the Gral of Erebos. Much to her sadness however, Lammy did not reunite with her when she was revived.
Therefore, she contacted her classmates to help find the Black Workshop, but all of these attempts were unsuccessful, even with the help of the branch campus and Bracer Guild. George tells them that Lammy is at the end of the factory, but it needs both Millium and Altina's DNA, and that the facility is overrun with generic combat shells and OZ Mirage units. To help Millium out, George loans his combat shell, Naglfar, while he and Schmidt act as remote observers.
Inside the facility, the group razes through the automated defenses. On the way, Alisa states that she's impressed behind the technology used for the combat shells, as they're made of a material that's solid and flexible and have complete automony. Millium notes that she's been busier as usual dealing with the aftermath of the Great War. Schmidt states that Alisa is a proper daughter of her mother and father, possessing the foresight and using all negotating tactics possible, while ensuring the company's growth at the same time. George also states that Irina has been working hard for her late husband's sake.
As they continue on, Millium states that she was surprised that she had slept for half a year, despite having woken around ten days ago. As Alisa states that it seems like their lives will get back to normal, Jusis reminds her about his brother, who is being imprisoned at Aurochs Fort and that the trial is a bout to begin soon. Rean asks him if Rufus intends to take all of the blame, who tells him not to worry as it was what he chose, and that his meetings with him had ended with him hanging his head in shame. He also ponders his brother's words regarding the nobility system, but the group reassures him that they'll be there to support him when the time comes.
They eventually reach the end of the facility, where they find Airgetlam's core being held in stasis. As Millium runs off to grab it, a Melchia unit suddenly materializes to attack. The group destroys the Zauber Soldat, upon which Millium revives Lammy and the two hug each other. A voice then states that they arrived without much trouble, which they realize as Franz's.
It is simply a hologram of him with a pre-recorded message, but Franz states that Altina and Millium are free of the Twilight and should live how they want. He then tells Schmidt to continue supporting his students in his stead for not making a graduation project of his own, who simply rebukes the remark by stating that his other students are unlikely to surpass him. He tells Alisa that he is relieved to see his loved ones are still doing well. Realizing that he is speaking too long, Franz warns them that Zemuria is filled with ancient technology that had since been lost, but they will be discovered in the foreseeable future and can bring terrible calamities based on how they are used, but is helpful that they will perservere. Alisa thanks the group for being able to see her father one more time, even if it wasn't a true meeting.
As the group leaves the facility, the gate disappears. The group then informs the others about Lammy's return, all of whom are relieved to see another friend returned to them.
These are events calculated by the singularity that occur after the events of this game.
Another Hot Spring Town
January S.1208 | The Schwarzers are invited to Longlai and indulge themselves at the Hekizanrou inn at its manager's invitation. Elise is worried about the cost as she is used to spending as little as possible, even though they could afford all of the expenses. It is also suggested that the Schwarzers will invite the owner to Ymir as an exchange program of sorts for their hot springs.
After relaxing in the inn's hot springs, Rean decides to go for a stroll in the night. It is revealed that he is looking for his master Yun Ka-fai, as during the events of the Cold Steel series, they had been in contact with each other, only for communications to abruptly stop since last year. He had much to ask of him, even asking Cassius and Arios for help, but neither of them were able to find him. Rean was about to give up hope when he heard rumors of a master swordsman around Longlai, which he assumed was Yun, since his last letter mentioned that he was heading to the far east, which Longlai was considered to be the gateway for such lands.
While gathering intelligence on Yun's whereabouts, Rean also decides to buy some souvenirs for his students and former classmates, thinking about his students' upcoming graduation as it will be livelier than his. He does not find Yun in the city, and assumes that he might be in the mountains, so he drops his gifts off at the inn and makes his way there.
Exploring the mountains, he is set upon by two ninjas, members of the Ikaruga. They tell him that they were sent to observe and deal with "those of notable interest", Rean falling under that category. He manages to hold the two off, just as a larger, imposing figure arrives. The man dismisses the two ninjas before telling Rean to leave. Rean refuses to do so as his objective is not completed. The man introduces himself as Kurogane, a practitioner of the Hazy Moon school. As the two clash, Rean manages get the initial advantage. Kurogane commends his swordsmanship, but states that it is nothing compared to the "Princess".
Kurogane then uses his best technique against Rean, remaining invisible while throwing his weapon around from numerous directions. Rean is forced to use his Lucid Spirit Unification, pinpointing Kurogane's location. The seasoned Ikaruga is completely caught by surprise at Rean's new power, but before Rean can land the finishing blow, another figure comes in and breaks Rean's tachi effortlessly in half. Kurogane is shocked at the newfound arrival, who expresses disappointment in him for hogging all of the fun.
Rean looks at the girl and notes that she must be around his age and that she is extremely experienced. The girl comments on how impressive his tachi was, but that it could not stand up to her odachi. Rean then realizes that she must be one of Yun's other disciples, who confirms his suspicions by stating that he's a "cute little brother" compared to the dull seniors. Before Rean could finish his question, the girl silences him and tells him that Yun is not here, he should enjoy his trip and that he needs more practice.
The experience makes Rean even more curious about what is going on, before concluding that he is not meant to uncover the mysteries of Calvard. Regardless, he notes that he has to train himself even further to prepare himself for his inevitable fights.
That Girl's Ordinary School Life
April S.1208 | A girl transfers to Aramis High School; one of Calvard's most prestigious academies. The girl is later revealed to be Renne, who has transferred from Jenis Royal Academy as a second-year student for the spring semester, but it is quickly revealed that she is simply attending to cover up her true intentions and intends to maintain a low profile. Despite this, Renne becomes immediately popular with Aramis' students for both her appearance and intelligence.
While packing up for the day, she is met by Ronald Griffith, who asks her out for dinner. Renne declines the offer, but Ronald does not give up and becomes slightly irritated at the refusal, which she notes. Ronald's father is a member of Calvard's Congress, who in turn abuses this influence for his own personal gain, intending to become the new Student Council president in the upcoming election. He therefore believes that by taking in Renne, he will surely win the election. Having known human emotions in part due to her Enforcer past, Renne continues to decline Ronald's offer, causing him and his entourage to become angry. Renne continues to remain calm and tells them that she knows everything about his group and that his already hostile intentions have already put her off. She then returns to her dorm and engages in a conversation with Tita.
It is revealed that the Verne Company has broken off from the Epstein Foundation in creating combat orbments, which came as a massive shock and upset to the technological world. The Verne Company expressed a desire to create a sixth-generation combat orbment vastly different from RAMDA. It is also implied that because Erebonia was forced to reduce their military size, the Republic would likewise secretly improve their military while maintaining a similar front. Erika and Albert's attempts to contact L. Hamilton have all ended in failure.
Renne's refusal causes Ronald to become furious and he and his entourage try their best to harass her, but fail, unaware of her Enforcer origins. Eventually, he requests a private conversation with her, angrily telling her to stay out of his way for the next few days. Renne prepares to teach them a lesson, but before she can start, a first year girl comes in and begs for them to stop. Out of respect for the girl, Renne complies with Ronald's request.
As election day looms closer, Ronald's ambitions appear to come to fruition as he forces his competitors out of the race. As he starts up the election video, it instead reveals the ugly truth he kept hidden; threats, bribery and more. Renne then walks up and confirms that the video is true. As the students angrily glare at Ronald, he flees from the area, while Renne clears up the mess he made.
Renne then detours to a park, having anticipated Ronald would lash out and act rashly. As suspected, Ronald has hired a low-tier criminal gang to permanently deal with Renne. To his horror, Renne easily dispatches of the criminals with her scythe. Ronald states that his father will protect him, but Renne smugly shows him a magazine showing that he is being investigated by the CID. Ronald becomes horrified and faints when Renne attempts to "play" with him; as she leaves, she senses another person having witnessed the entire debacle. The man is impressed with her reputation as both the Angel of Slaughter and Kitty and how she exposed Ronald's father in record time. He introduces himself as Dingo Brad, who had been acquainted with Renne through Grace. The two had worked together to expose both father and son.
As expected, Ronald's father is forced to resign, while Ronald himself drops out of Aramis. Due to the scandal, Renne is forced to take up the mantle of Student Council president, going against her intentions. As she ponders about the future that is awaiting Calvard, she decides to take a time to enjoy her school life.
And the Sword Maiden Moves On
A girl refuses the offer to become an A-Rank bracer, feeling that she is not worthy of the role. The Bracer Guild has been trying to get her to accept the promotion so that they can maintain a stronger presence in Calvard, as prosperity also comes with criminal activity. Zin reveals that he is intending to accept the promotion to an S-Rank bracer, even if Cassius still beats him in everything.
The girl heads to a bar, where she is served a drink. She then asks the bartender for information regarding the case she is on, but he has nothing to give her. The girl then thinks about the missing persons case she is handling, as two young children have been kidnapped from a loving, caring family. However, there are no leads to go on, just as another former childhood friend of hers comes in. She becomes upset at their presence, but they tell her that they have some information to go on regarding the missing persons case.
With the new lead, Zin formulates a plan to attack all of the criminal organization's bases all at once. The girl is assigned to tackle one of these bases, easily overpowering the mafioso in the base. As she confronts the leader, he panics and confesses that the children she is looking for are deeper inside. She then hears screams and rushes out, only to see all the men she had spared were killed. Realizing her mistake, she then returns to the officer, where the leader has also been killed. A mysterious person is still present in the room and she engages them, but they are far too powerful for her. The person is still content with their brief fight and tells them that the children are deeper inside, and hopes that she'll get stronger in their next encounter. The encounter leaves her shaken, as she now regrets that she couldn't take them down too.
As the girl reaches the children, they try to attack her, hence the person's words of fear being a driving factor. She manages to calm both of them down, where it is revealed that the two had witnessed an illegal trade and that the criminal organization wished to brainwash them into assassins like Garden did, but failed and were ultimately caught by the CID and their parent organization. The girl is still shaken with all the death she had seen, but Zin states that it is a lesson for her to take to heart. Zin then promotes the girl, Elaine Auclair, to an A-Rank bracer, breaking the record as the youngest A-Rank bracer ever, surpassing Sara's record.
In celebration of the series' 15th anniversary, Nihon Falcom revealed details for the next Kiseki title in Dengeki PlayStation, Volume 677. The reveal includes a key visuals with all the protagonists, including a trail leading from Estelle Bright, Lloyd Bannings and Rean Schwarzer to the back of two new characters.
The article points out the possibilities that these two characters are the protagonists and their similarities with the eponymous protagonists of the novel series Three and Nine, which could be collected in Trails of Cold Steel IV. Standing near them are Wazy Hemisphere, without his Gralsritter attire, and Crow Armbrust. Rixia Mao, Thoma Worzel and Scarlet, whose character designs were previously shown at Dengeki's Game Festival on March 24, 2019, are confirmed to appear in this title. A map of the entirety of Zemuria, shrouding its eastern half still in darkness, was also revealed.
The new Kiseki title was revealed as Hajimari no Kiseki on 18 December 2019.