That’s all I have to report.
Sacrifices are unavoidable in war.
As king, I will prepare the memorial for the lost, and compensate those left behind.
You’ve been through a lot, Ritsuka Fujimaru.
Our enemy is the goddess Gorgon, wielder of the Authority of Tiamat!
We shall now talk of possible countermeasures!
First, let’s review what we know so far.
We’ll start with Gorgon.
Gorgon is the monster known for killing heroes in Greek mythology.
This refers to three sisters. Stheno, the oldest; Euryale, the middle sister; and Medusa, the youngest.
She’s here either because of the King of Mages’ Holy Grail or due to some twist of fate.
Whichever it is, she has restored her former appearance and power.
From the looks of when you guys faced her, the Authority to give birth to Demonic Beasts, Potnia Theron, must have come from the Holy Grail.
Indeed so. I’ve never heard of anecdotes where Gorgon herself gives birth to other monsters.
Precisely, Da Vinci!
In Gorgon’s case, the tragedy began…when the youngest sister Medusa angered the great goddess Athena of Olympus.
In her wrath, Athena transformed Medusa into a monster. Medusa’s sisters took pity on her, and the three moved to a remote island called the “Shapeless Isle.”
The people, influenced by Athena, saw all three sisters only as monsters. So, they sought to kill them.
After defeating many heroes who came to kill both her and her sisters,
Medusa truly became a monster. She even devoured her beloved sisters.
As the ceaseless violence, the prejudice and persecution all drove her mad.
That’s how Gorgon, a primordial goddess who possesses the divinity of the three sisters, was created.
Those events are probably the reason for her deep hatred of humans.
So, an exiled goddess returns as a goddess of vengeance, huh?
And only as one of the three goddesses.
What are you disappointed for?
This is where you should be laughing. Did Gorgon say humans have no chance?
Y-Yes. She said we humans are just an obstacle, and the goddesses are the only ones she needs to watch out for.
That is where our chance for victory lies. Strife among enemies is the most entertaining weakness there is!
Oh, I see, I see.
There is an order for defeating the three goddesses.
Order, you say?
Putting aside Gorgon, the lump of wrath who won’t listen to reason, and the still unknown Goddess of the Jungle…
Well, that’s what it ends up looking like.
My king, I cannot agree to that. No matter how much damage Ishtar causes, she is still Uruk’s patron deity. To fight her would be–
How disappointing, Priestess Siduri. Even Fujimaru understands.
What do you mean, he understands?
Who said anything about defeating her?
We’re going to bring her over to our side. Like taming a wild beast.
Bring the goddess Ishtar to our side?
And of course, that means that beast tamer…
…is you, Ritsuka Fujimaru!
I shall teach you a much-valued secret plan. Now go forth, my hero!
I’m glad you’re okay!
I’m sorry…I couldn’t be of much help at Nippur.
Not another word of that, Ana.
But…You are…Thank you very much.
You seem to be okay physically. We have no time to lose as we have a new mission.
Will you come along with us?
You guys are headed towards Mt. Ebih. It’s a mountain that Ishtar seized by force and occupied in the past. Apparently, after Ishtar flew out of Uruk, she made herself a temple on Mt. Ebih that she claims as her territory.
But to think you have to persuade Ishtar of all people…Wouldn’t it be easier to just defeat her? She’s such a tomboy that she even surprises me.
But this time, we have King Gilgamesh’s secret plan.
Yes. It’s more productive than fighting!
Besides, I think Ishtar is a pain, but she’s not a bad goddess.
You mean the bit…about how her attacks on the ranches were to protect them from Demonic Beasts?
Yeah. That, and the impression I got when we met her face-to-face.
But you know…the contradiction to destroy in order to defend is quite a stretch.
On top of that, she’s confiscating the ranchers’ fortunes.
But there might be some justification if you think it was a reward for protecting them, right?
Huh? I thought you were quite a character, but I didn’t think you’d see it that way.
Well, it’s true that her means are a bit awkward, but…
There’s no doubt she had been protecting Uruk.
So, if we can get by without fighting, I’d pick that.
Roger that. Best of luck! Oh?
There’s a signal nearby! Be careful!
Thanks, Da Vinci.
There’s no doubt this is Ishtar Temple! It’s very clearly an attempt to brag that “I conquered Mt. Ebih!”
Well now, we gain nothing by staying here, so let’s go.
So, you just waltz right through the front door like you’re here on a sightseeing tour, huh?
You just lost to the Goddess of Demonic Beasts, and now you’re visiting me?
You really underestimate me!
Ishtar, we just want to talk!
Talk, you say? In the first place, whose permission did you get to climb Mt. Ebih
and enter this temple?
Even if we wanted to knock, there’s no door, so there’s nothing we could’ve done.
Merlin, please stay quiet!
I guess I gave you the wrong impression with our previous encounters.
I’m not a friend or anything. I’m different from you humans.
But Ishtar, you are–
A goddess. Any further collusion goes beneath my own dignity! I am the goddess of war and the goddess of Venus! Taste the power of Ishtar, most fearsome of all goddesses!
Come on! We’re going to keep this going!
Goddess Ishtar is as strong as we’d expect her to be.
Fujimaru, are you ready now?
Yep. I’m counting on you, Merlin!
Let’s go once more!
Now I’m getting into this! I’m kicking it up a notch!
Are you still trying to cover for your Servant? That’s a bad habit you have, Mr. Master!
She goes crazy over gems.
Furthermore, she loves gems but has no luck when it comes to obtaining them.
She lacks what’s called the “Golden Rule.”
Isn’t that all too pitiful?
Until now, she’s been getting her share by getting offerings, but now there’s nobody making offerings to her.
Does that mean we should offer Ishtar some gems?
That’s not good enough! That would only make her more conceited!
You can just buy her off.
That is the secret plan I’ll entrust you with. I’ll entrust you with 30% of the rare jewels in my treasury. With that, I want you to go buy me a Goddess.
What? What is this? This is enough gems to power my Magecraft for a long time!
The gems we were presenting Ishtar as offerings!
What was that?
By the way…This is supposedly just the deposit.
The seven-jeweled crown?
Of course! We’ll give you all of these!
Huh? No way! What are you, a god?
I’m getting all dizzy! Okay, calm down, me. Also calm down, Ishtar-me!
There possibly can’t be a deal this good!
We would like to hire you as a powerful member for combat!
This is the wish of all the people of Uruk.
King Gilgamesh promises to open the treasury of Babylon for you.
Fujimaru, tell her the total sum.
If you were to join us as an ally, we offer you 20% of the treasury’s jewels!
What…did you say?
S-So, the treasury of Babylon…You’re talking about the treasury Gilgamesh is building for the future, right?
Once completed, it’s been touted to be bottomless. Or that it contains all mankind’s treasures!
Oh no, that sounds too good to be true!
How about 25% then?
25%? It’s still going up? No, hold on, I’m the almighty Ishtar! I can’t just… from such shameful conditions…
Mash…It’s a shame, but take the cargo back out.
Okay. It’s quite unfortunate,
but we shall take it back as our own.
Oh, wait! No! Oh no! Don’t do that! It would make me so sad I would just die!
You win, Ritsuka Fujimaru! I’ll join you!
Goddess Ishtar! So, you’ll fight to help the people of Uruk?
Just call me Ishtar. I think this is the start of a long relationship for us.
Thank you Ishta–
Okay, first start by kneeling and kissing the top of my foot. I’m still a Servant.
I need to properly form a contract, you know!
N-No! I refuse to allow that! That method of contracting isn’t in the manual!
And so, even though it’s only a temporary contract, I’ve honored you by becoming your Servant. Nice to meet you!
Goddess Ishtar…Let me go over the basics.
All right. I allow you to question me.
You’re a Pseudo-Servant, right? As in you use a human body as a vessel?
That’s right. Divine Spirits like me can’t normally become Servants. This is only a pseudo-formation.
What’s going on with the owner of the body you possessed? As Chaldea’s representative…No. As a doctor, I have an ethical problem with this.
Mash is a Demi-Servant, isn’t she? And now, you want to talk to me about ethics?
My mistake and your problem are different matters. And that’s why I’m setting things aside and asking you.
That’s a good answer.
I’ve changed my opinion of you a little. So, I’ll answer your question.
If you’re asking if I killed the owner of this body, then no.
If you’re asking if her mind can take control, that’s a “no,” too. She and I have become one.
Right now, it’s about a 70/30 ratio with me as the majority. Well, the main personality is me, but neither of us is more important than the other.
I’m always going to be me no matter what.
So, think of it this way…It’s not that this person was taken over by Ishtar.
It’s that she suddenly became Ishtar one day.
Such a way of thinking!
Or like two personalities merged into one.
It’s not like this girl is asleep. Like the bit about gems earlier, I was all over the place, wasn’t I?
Anyway, I’m saying that I’m me!
You satisfied? Is this okay?
By the way, have you ever had the experience of sleeping anywhere outside your bedroom, Ishtar?
Indeed. Today’s camp will be in a ruined building, so we can’t say it is quality bedding.
Will it be all right?
Thanks for worrying. But I’ve spent plenty of time outdoors.
Is that so?
I used to sneak out behind my father’s back all the time. If you want me to keep watch, I will!
How trustworthy! Nothing less from our trump card against Gorgon.
Yes! We stand a chance now with Ishtar on our side!
Actually, I don’t think you’ll lose to anything at all! She’s not called “the most powerful goddess in Mesopotamia” for nothing!
Tell me more! Tell me more! Flattery will get you nowhere, but don’t let that stop…
Wait. I don’t think I’ve done anything amazing in front of you yet.
Of course! We’ve seen Gugalanna, the Bull of Heaven that you have!
Gugalanna, the Bull of Heaven…The Divine Weapon you received from the god An!
Even King Gilgamesh recognizes its strength, so you can use it to destroy Gorgon.
Since that doesn’t count as fighting her yourself, it shouldn’t violate the pact of the alliance, I think.
Well, I’m told it’s a devastating weapon that changes the very terrain itself, so we’ll keep it as a weapon of last resort.
That’s all the more reason we feel so reassured that you joined us, Ishtar.
That’s right! You guys get it! But really, it would be a weapon of last resort!
By the way, I decided I’m going to be keeping a diary starting tonight! Bye! Have fun!
Okay! Take care!
Good evening. You’re still keeping watch?
You really care about your Servants as a Master.
I want Mash to get as much rest as possible.
Mash is the Servant with the shield, right? Have you had a contract with her for a long time?
Yeah, that’s right.
Um, well, can I sit next to you? I’d like to take this chance to have a little chat.
Oh, go ahead.
What is it?
Um…I still can’t believe you brought me to your side.
Or what? Was it love at first sight?
L-Love at first sight?
Right. Maybe that’s why you brought me over to your side.
I see. You’re not denying it.
There’s a misunderstanding! We want you to help us because at the rate we’re going, there’s no way we can win against Gorgon.
–I’m sorry, Ishtar, but–
Sorry to trouble you! I was just teasing you.
Yeah. I’m sorry, too.
That’s right! I had something I wanted to talk to you about!
I’m sorry. So anyway, back to what we were saying…
What, you want to run away from me?
Um, no… Huh?
No, you did, didn’t you? I saw you start to back away. I’ve seen it many times.
No, that’s not it!
Are you scared of me, too?
I don’t mean to look frightened. If I gave you a misunderstanding, I apologize. I’m sorry.
Really? You’re not scared of me? You don’t hate me because I’m a goddess?
I wouldn’t hate you for reasons like that.
That’s right! There’s no time, so I have to get to the point! You plan on fighting the Three Goddess Alliance. What do you really think about them, though?
What, you ask?
The Goddess of Demonic Beasts will never make peace with you.
I don’t know much about the Goddess of the Jungle. Our cultures are very different.
I have no idea what is good and what is evil in her eyes. And the third goddess…
That’s me obviously. I won’t forgive Mesopotamia for what it’s become.
I refuse to accept that you humans abandoned the gods…and tried to make your own world.
That’s going to bring you nothing but misery. Humans can’t escape the suffering of life or the terror of death. You humans became smarter. And all so that you could come to accept the world for what it really is.
But in the Age of Gods, that pain can be lessened…because there are things there that humans can’t understand. You can blame all the bad things and the crazy things in your life on the gods, and that makes life easier. I really thought that way of life was a good thing.
I took that blame for tens of thousands of years. That’s why I joined this alliance.
So that your human world could become a world for both gods and humans.
In other words, I’m not an enemy of humanity, but I’m an enemy of humanity’s world.
I just thought I’d make you feel special and tell this only to you. Th-That’s all I wanted to say. So, well…
Thank you. For being kind to humans.
I’m going to bed! Y-You should go to bed soon, too!
Good night. I’ll see you later.
Good night, Goddess.