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- "If I'm gone... Take care of Haseo."
- — Shino —
Tragedy is the thirteenth episode of .hack//Roots.
Wanting to recover from the disbanding of the Twilight Brigade, Shino and Haseo travel to the Arche Koeln Waterfall. Haseo asks her about the rumors spreading through the BBS about the Brigade, but Shino says to ignore them, since they don't matter anymore. She tells Haseo that she hasn't had any luck contacting Ovan in the real world, since his cell phone is always off. Haseo uses the opportunity to ask Shino for her phone number, which she gladly gives to him with instructions to "call her whenever he likes".
In Mac Anu's market district, Tabby and Sakisaka lean against a wall. Bored, Sakisaka asks Tabby what they should do next. Tabby talks about the fun she had in the Twilight Brigade, and suggests that they form a guild themselves. Meanwhile, in the city's Alchemy District Haseo meets with Phyllo. Haseo says that even though the Brigade never found the Key of the Twilight, and even though it probably doesn't exist, that it felt like Ovan truly believed it existed. Haseo tells Phyllo that he doesn't think Ovan would be a person who would get taken in by fairytales or baseless rumors, and wonders why Ovan was able to believe in its existence. Though he listens intently, Phyllo neither agrees, nor disagrees with Haseo's assessment of Ovan. Elsewhere, in the Serpent of Lore, Pi tells Yata that Ovan has disappeared without a trace. Yata orders her to analyze the data they retrieved from Ovan prior to his escape, and to continue with their plan. As she walks away Yata uses his scanner to observe Haseo.
Inside their new guild's @HOME, Tabby plays with a Grunty modeled after Sakisaka. Looking up she notices that Sakisaka is late. Outside of the @HOME, Sakisaka is approached by one of his friends. The friend tells him that he's about to cancel his subscription to The World R:2, and says that Sakisaka needs to hurry up and join him and his other friends in a new game. After saying goodbye to his friend, Sakisaka enters the @HOME. Picking up on his bad mood Tabby asks him what happened, and Sakisaka says that he's decided to quit playing The World. He says that he invested too much into the Twilight Brigade, and that he feels he can't enjoy the game anymore. He tells Tabby that he's decided to start playing a game called Riot Gun with some real life friends. He asks Tabby if she wants to join him, but she says that she still feels attached to Shino, and can't quit The World. After apologizing for leaving her so abruptly, Sakisaka tells her to do her best, and leaves the game for good. Tabby looks around the now empty @HOME, and realizes that she's alone again.
Meanwhile Haseo and Shino visit the Guild Shops in Mac Anu, Shino notices a plant for sale and begins to examine it. Looking at it, Haseo realizes that it's the same type of plant that was in the Twilight Brigade's @HOME. Shino tells him that in the real world she lives by herself in a cramped apartment, and doesn't have any room to grow plants. She reveals that one of her dreams is to somebody own a big house where she can keep plants, but until then she has to settle for raising them online. Haseo says that when she gets her big house, he'll buy her a plant as a gift. Shino surprises him by telling him that Ovan said exactly the same thing. They begin walking through the city, and Shino points out the spot where Haseo first asked her about Ovan. She tells him that her words back then were a lie, her real feelings for Ovan were those of admiration. She says that she admires Ovan, because of the way he's able to give people a reason to exist. Haseo tells her that she has done the same thing, by giving him a reason to exist. Before Shino can respond, the entire area begins to flicker. Haseo looks around confused, but Shino seems to understand what just happened.
Later, Shino talks to Phyllo. She tells him that she feels a lot of things are about to happen, and that if she suddenly disappears that it's up to him to take care of Haseo. Phyllo jokingly says that if she disappeared Haseo would probably commit suicide, but Shino tells him that she's being serious. She was able to keep herself together after Ovan disappeared because Haseo was there, and she wants Phyllo to be able to do the same thing for Haseo if she vanishes. Phyllo says it's not normal for Shino to be so morbid, and Shino agrees that that's probably true.
At the Chaos Gate Haseo prepares to warp away but is interrupted by Tabby. The two go into the city, and Tabby tells Haseo about Sakisaka. Haseo says that there really isn't anything you can do to stop somebody from quitting, and that it was Sakisaka's decision to leave. Tabby reveals that she'll probably be quitting too, but Haseo simply says that if that's what she wants, he won't stop her. Tabby says that if Shino asked her too, she probably wouldn't quit. Haseo tells her that she's online right now if Tabby wants to talk, and walks off. Glaring at him as he walks away Tabby curses him under her breath.
Traveling to a dungeon, Haseo begins fighting monsters. He is interrupted when a band of PKers appear. Haseo recognizes their leaders as IYOTEN and Asta, the players who PKed him on his first day playing The World. IYOTEN recognizes him as well, and after some taunting gets ready to attack him. Haseo cooly draws his weapons, and tells him to "Bring it on." Meanwhile, outside of the normal parts of The World, within the data of the game itself, an orb of blue light flies towards some damaged data. The orb grows, revealing a strange Tri-Edge. He uses a bracelet on his right arm to repair the data, then disappears.
In Mac Anu, Shino talks with Tabby about Sakisaka. Suddenly the area flickers again, Tabby looks around confused then notices that Shino has frozen in shock. As she watches, tears begin to pool in Shino's eyes. Turning to Tabby, Shino tells her that she has to go to the Hulle Granz Cathedral right away. She runs off, leaving a depressed and confused Tabby behind. In the dungeon, the PKers attacking Haseo notice the flicker as well. Recovering quickly, Asta says that it shouldn't take more than two people to take down Haseo. Proving her wrong, Haseo knocks her back using a charge attack. IYOTEN tries to attack Haseo from behind but Haseo easily dodges his attack, sidestepping at the last second he causes IYOTEN to attack Asta instead, killing her.
Outside the Cathedral, Tri-Edge appears. Readying his unique weapons, he advances towards the entrance. Inside the Cathedral, Shino waits at the altar. Hearing the doors open, she turns around to face the entrance. Elsewhere, staggers backwards, he wonders how Haseo could have grown so powerful since their last meeting right before Haseo finishes him off with a special attack. Standing over the defeated PKers, Haseo suddenly receives a flash mail from Tabby asking why Shino went to the Cathedral. Haseo tells her that Shino didn't tell him anything about it, but that he's going to go find out. Severing the connection with her, Haseo rushes to the Cathedral.
Appearing outside the Cathedral Haseo rushes inside, only to see Shino falling to the floor, a Sign behind her. Rushing to her side, Haseo tries to revive her with healing magic only to find it ineffective. Suddenly her PC begins to slowly disintegrate. Desperate, Haseo tries calling Shino on her cell phone, but gets no answer. Unable to do anything, Haseo can only watch as Shino's PC body continues to fall apart, then vanishes. Unable to comprehend what just happened, Haseo begins to scream in despair. Behind him Tri-Edge puts away his weapons, and walks away.
In Mac Anu, Tabby tells Phyllo to give a message to Haseo. Phyllo asks why she doesn't just tell him herself, but Tabby says that it wouldn't be right to tell her rival she's quitting the game because of Shino. Though Phyllo is unsure what she means, he agrees to give Haseo her message.
Meanwhile in the real world, Shino opens her eyes to the ringing of a cell phone. However, she isn't able to stay awake, and slips into unconsciousness without answering it.