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PSO2 Story Guide
The story of PSO2 has many chapters & is very long.
This isn't meant to be a substitute for the game, or as a transcript of the entire script/plot, but rather a way to understand, read-up-on, speculate, analyze & get a really good idea of what's going on in the game.
Character Guide
Planets/Areas Guide
Special Quest Mission Write Ups
Color key
Green Text: Speculation or opinions
What You Do/The official "Party Line" appears in RED TEXT
Bold Text: Important information
Choice Options: Blue Text
Dates & Times (Story is time travel related) Purple Text
Story Guide Page 1 * Story Guide Page 2 * Story Guide Page 3 * Story Guide Page 4 * Story Guide Page 5 *
Story Guide Page 6 * Story Guide Page 7 * Story Guide Page 8 * Story Guide Page 9 * Story Guide Page 10 *
Story Guide Page 12 * Story Guide Page 13 * Story Guide Page 14 * Story Guide Page 15 * Story Guide HUB

Ulc & Xiao Discuss Photoners
As you stroll up, they're discussing Photoners. Ulc asks if Photoners could manipulate photons directly to do their will, why should they invent the ARKS? He says she's too shrewd and direct but, he's found out that they lost the ability to control photons directly when they fought and sealed profound darkness. So, they test-tube'd up the ARKS. She asks logically, that does that mean she's some kind of clone? No, she had normal parents, mothers and fathers. The only ones from test tubes directly were the very first of the first. Ulc feels the action was a bit rushed, so Xaio says she's a realist who thinks like a politician. But, the photoners and Luther were hoping for a spontaneous mutation. Someone with great talent, Huey & Theodore were good examples, but other instances like Newmans who can't use photons at all do also occur. Ulc feels singled out about that. He explains that even in a controlled environment, deviation can occur, it's a mystery of nature.

Finally someone scrubbing 2 brain cells together and asking the important questions.
Why Xiao beats around a bush about 'shrewd' and 'politician thinking' is completely baffeling. Has he not heard of science? Getting to the point of a topic *Before* everyone gets killed is kind of vital here.
Important things are concluded here
"Humans" ARENT.
They're fake Photoners & were based on them (looks, minds, etc) but are a jumble of powers & non-powers. This 'new thing' may be called 'humans' but they are not at all like Earth or Coralian humans.
"Spontaneous Mutation"-
What he means is 'rolling the genetic dice' by allowing free will people to marry random others, and roll the genetic dice by having babies naturally. You never know what you'll get when 2 people have a kid & it's not controlled in a test tube. He's hoping to hit the 'lotto' on something he doesn't know how to control for in the lab. Xiao's point is that he can also hit the 'bust' square with people like Ulc who has 0 powers at all.

228 Younger  Zeno has questions
Back in time in the forest...You encounter an Oodan who jumps at you right away, so you punch it down and it dies. This impresses a young-ish guy with beige skin and bright red hair in a red outfit. He looks a lot like Zeno, but has "???" where his name should be. He also sounds like him. And he's full of questions! Are you a real ARKS? What do you do to train? What's your affinity for? But, before you can even ask who he is, or answer any of his questions, Echo calls him on his com-link and he runs off to help her out, hoping you'll give him the details next time. This is pretty much 100% guaranteed to be 'younger Zeno'

In the tundra at 228 8/4
You can find Matoi standing around. She's admiring the scenery of a pretty snow-scape with clear blue sky. It's so beautiful it makes the bitter cold feel more comfortable. She says that you think she's acting what's wrong with admiring pretty scenes? She's a girl you know, beautiful scenery will touch her heart...but not that often. So, how do normal girls react?

With a bit more grace
Not much differently

If you choose Not much differently, shel'll say you're just being nice, and it's ok to be honest instead. She's not normal and never resented the fact. She wonders if she acts opposite of how she usually is, would it make her more normal? With some concentration...she comes up with a formal greeting of "how are you, she is well, and looking forward to the day's conversation." You are surprised. So she says you're shocked that she failed...but she knows she can act more elegantly if she tries. But...she'll pass, if she starts acting all warm and fuzzy she'll lose the will to fight. That kind of normal girl act will have to wait until there's peace across the galaxy.

This interaction is rather confusing. HOW is she 'not elegant' or modest? The weather is the worlds' most modest topic. How do normal people react to a scene or weather? They comment upon it, just  like what she did. What could be of more grace? This is most likely a "Language Barrier Issue" where there's something in Japanese that doesn't translate, like she said "Hey y'all the weather's rippin' nifty!"
It's all pretty odd. Also, she doesn't realize that likely 'rough n' tumble' adventure fighter is what she actually is, and if she got suddenly tossed into peace-time with nothing to do, it's not like flipping a switch.

228 at 7 /11
Back in time in the forest, younger Zeno is surrounded by oodans, lamenting a tough training. But, you can leap in and punch one away so it doesn't get him. After you both defeat the rest, he says the more he fought, the more that appeared so he was starting to worry. But, he hasn't introduced himself yet, he's Zeno. (Your character will look a bit startled) He'll ask who you are, but Xiao goes on your communicator that we can't let out info of the future, so dodge the question fast!

I can't tell because I'm on a mission & its classified
Call me whatever you like

If you say It's classified, he'll understand that it's a secret mission, but he's got to call you something...mind if he makes it up? One Punch Man is too long, but Teacher is just right! (Plus, it's highly unlikely that you look like Saitama!) So, 'teacher', he's got some questions for you...but, before he can ask even one Echo is calling him again. He's got to go, or he'll never hear the end of her, but next time he wants you to teach him the tricks of getting stronger.

228 at 7/19
While walking in the forest, Zeno calls out to you, he's finally found you. He wonders how he can become 'truly strong'. Like, what did you learn from the teacher before you? You clearly think about the answer, then say 'something' (no dialogue, but moving) to him. The gist of it is The older Generation's duty to guide the newer. He'll attribute the lesson to you, and that you know a lot, it's the value of experience. All everyone talks about these days is fighting darkers because they're more aggressive. The ARKS don't care about newbies or regular people, their hands are so full of problems they can't look around. But, uh oh "court is in session" and he's here, he's got to go!

*What is court?

228 8/7 at 900
Matoi is in the seabed. She'll tell you the area's restricted, but that doesn't matter to you & her, as the rules don't apply. She explains she's here upon 'her' request, with 'her' being the Clarissa rod. It says there's a Photoner ruin somewhere down here, to study or maybe use. You then ask her what 'she' is. She doesn't know, and doesn't need to know. Everything the rod's said has come true and it saves her over and over without her knowing. It's not caused any problems so the details are irrelevant...and that's how she used to think. But that's changed now because she used to think that she'd always be alone. But, you came along and changed her thinking. She didn't used to try to understand or ask questions about arks, the rod or herself. So now, there's so much she wants to learn, to find out how much she doesn't know. But, before she can ask anything the rod glows, telling her something’s 'inside the ARKS ship' so she's got to run. The upcoming story chapter takes place RIGHT after this.

*Is the rod Xion's voice?
You already know it's the only thing that could open the 'water wall' that housed her manifestion/physical form
Into Strange Territory:
Interacting with Matoi here in this time over & over enough to change how she thinks and acts is signifigant because something leads her to almost die/lose her memory. Will it still happen if she keeps questioning the rod? (Yes, or it's what causes it to happen in the first place--remember, she kept saying 'you seem familiar' when she first awakens after you find her--so these interactions DID occur.)

228 at 7/28
In the forest, Zeno can catch up with you again. He's excited to see you, saying you're busy as usual helping someone out. But, if you're always lending a hand, is that how you got so strong? Maybe he should follow your example. But, before he can do anything else, Regius finds him there, calling him 'mischievous child', running off to the training grounds and being a trouble maker. The formal  complaints about him have made it all the way to Regius. Zeno is annoyed by his appearance and scolding, calling him "Grandpa Regius". He tells him to 'lay off' because he's learning great at his own pace and his grades show it. Regius counters with grades are one thing, but his current fighting style will eventually fail to protect what's that what he wants?
But the rules are rules, no exceptions even for exceptional people--so get prepared for a lecture! Regius apologizes for the scene, saying leave Zeno to him, and return to your mission. Zeno glooms along.

Zeno's memory may not be perfect, after meeting you as "teacher" here, but Regius's sure is. How does Regius not know or realize who you are when he inevitably encounters you again? But, perhaps this meeting appears so ordinary to him, he doesn't have a second thought of it when meeting you once more, many years later (and looking exactly the same, mind you!) on the attacked Themis. This isn't a problem for CAST characters, but it likely would be for any others vs. the plot. As you recall, Zeno keeps saying you look / seem familiar to him somehow when you first meet him. This encounter is likely the cause.
Grandpa Regius? This implies he thinks of him as a relative. That shines a different light on Regius going bad under Luthers' manipulation when Zeno had to show up as the fill-in seat for the council 6.

228 8/7 Zeno can't come too
Back in time younger Zeno finds you again. He wants you to teach him something new, because what you say is more interesting than school. But, you look gloomy (to him) so he guesses if you're leaving to some place far away...and he thinks he's got it. He laments that he hasn't known you that long so gets the idea to drop out of school to go with you, he only wants to learn what you could teach.

Flat out refuse
Gently persuade him not to

If you Gently persuade him not to...he concludes that he can't go cause he's not ARKS yet so he COULD go if he was? He says you'll say no...he knew it from just looking, but if you say yes he swears he'll get stronger to help you out, just you wait, he'll catch up to you so be prepared! Then, he runs off at top speed.

*It's likely he's emotional or very aggravated here but hiding it by going turbo into the distance.

Story Chapter: The Reason I was Born

228 8/7 at 1200
This is (NOT) The reason I was born

This is what takes place right-right after Matoi gets called away by the rod saying “On The Ship”, when she’s found in the Seabed earlier. She goes up & Xiao sends you up right after her.
On the infected ARKS ship
Citizens are fleeing as Dagans chase people and explosions go off. A woman is knocked down and a dagan stabs a man that tries to help her. Woman Apprentice and Luther stroll the streets. Luther reassures her that if she keeps rampaging, who she requires will show up. She sneers at if it's the best ARKS can do. Luther asks her 'who got you to this point anyway?', and she says surely not him--which clearly bothers him a bit, so he tells her she's on her own, maggot, and does his usual disappearing act. She hates him because he acts 'so high and mighty', which indeed, he does, but she is just as big a culprit.

There's a tiny child that's crying as she wanders through the streets wondering where is everyone. She has reddish hair and dark blue eyes.

Apprentice goes to see what's going on with her and no doubt taunt her about everyone dying. But, when she gets a good look at the child, she says her eyes remind her of 'that nasty bitch' (Matoi) and slaps her down to the ground, then doses her with a red/black darker infection cloud. (This kid is like maybe 5 years old) However, before the child can die, the Clarissa rod strikes Apprentice Woman, separating them & throwing the little girl down. Matoi floats down and says nothing, instead choosing to ask Clarissa about the state of the child. It says she has virtually no chance of recovery. Matoi asks it, ‘what if Clarissa links with the child?’, then, it’s response changes to good chance of survival, but warns that Matoi’s battle strength will be much lowered. She doesn’t care, requests purification of the girl via ‘the link’ and to watch over her as she retreats.

The wand asks her to confirm the order, but Matoi says she’s asking it done, for her own sake. (The rod has a built in safeguard of some kind, against dangerous decisions, obviously) At this, the little girl stops dying and gets up.

Why is Apprentice Woman just standing there watching all this? She could attack at any time, and somehow, illogically chooses to do nothing while Matoi fixes the girl. The girl wasn’t even part of Apprentice Womans’ plan, it was a VERY lucky bit she got, the universe throwing her the biggest bone in a tiny innocent child, who of course, no one would condem to death, and would willingly risk their life to save.

Matoi helps her up, and introduces the Clarissa, which affixes itself to the girls back. Matoi says Big Sis (herself) is here to protect everyone. The girl slowly leaves with the rod on her back. Apprentice is delighted, telling Matoi she threw away the weapon on filth. What can she do without it? She’ll never defeat her without the rod. Matoi steps up anyway, picking up a dropped weapon and lamenting the sadness and pain that’s here now, saying if she defeated her in the desert, none of this would have happened. She’ll kill her, erase, obliterate and destroy her. She shoots a grants the breaks the dropped rod, and AW sends dagans after her.

Xiao explains these events you see now are the events of 10 years ago that got wiped out by Xion. You need to hurry on into the city to solve the mystery.

You fight past El Dagans, dagans and loads of Krada to remove enemy related barriers. If you can pass them, you encounter the little girl running the other way with the Clarissa floating behind her. Xiao chimes in, surprised to see the White Tin Clarissa away from its owner, he also wonders where matoi is, and who the girl could be.

At 1220 You Encounter Little Girl
She begs you to save 'big sis' with the rod because she is feeling better now. Can you bring the rod to her? The rod itself then floats off the girls' back requesting to be taken further into the city. When you reach out to touch it, it vanishes (to you/you possess it) This leaves the girl alone, which is unfortunate because...

Luther was watching the whole thing from a balcony.
He's glad for the info that the rod can be away from the owner. He decides to confront the girl now that no one's there to say no. He tells her she's the sole survivor of the disaster, which sets her off crying again. He then asks if she'd like to be possibly save people, or to save everyone with great strength. She doesn't consider long (of course, because she's 5) and says yes...which makes him happy. So he asks her name and it is Sara.

at 1240
Matoi is destroying peoples' dropped weapons as she overloads them against Apprentice Woman. She keeps killing off every dagan she can summon, and it looks like AW is on the ropes, until she suddenly gets blocked and hit by a hunter man with a Calibur sword. He's staggering and stumbling up, along with several other 'zombie like' people. Apprentice begins gloating saying how great it is to see Matoi's shock at having to face regular people. She calls them 'her natural charm' & wonders what she will do. She says the trouble of putting on the show earlier was worth it to see Matoi now. She wants to see The Darker Eliminator face off against her own kind, the ARKS.

The emphasis on "the right weapons" for the task here is interesting, it makes "Getting RARZ" not this 'incidental bling' thing that people do, it adds weight via plot to WHY you are after so called 'great' weapons for yourself as well. Backing up a game mechanic in the plot is always good & makes the game stronger when it's something that makes sense.

You must battle past lots more dagans, kradah, el ahda, breedha, and some Dicada and kaltagots as well to progress to the next area past more walls. They continually appear as well, the darkers here are unlike any of the normal occurances of them in regular quests.

In the next area, vidoluda will appear, followed by goldradha and lastly a Vibrace. However, there are turrets and extra rounds laying around with which to fight all of them. Save the PB for the Vibrace and shoot him with the turrets to get rid of him in shorter order. Remember, the quest grade depends on your clear-time.

After you defeat the Vibrace and move on...You'll see a continuation of the Matoi vs Apprentice scene. Apprentice keeps provoking her with the 'zombies', so she tries to Gratnts on AW, but the hunter guy gets in the way on purpose and is struck down.

Naturally, AW uses the opportunity to accuse Matoi of being a monster who loves hurting people, because she always needs to say the worst thing and most lie she can think of to do harm. Matoi is super  upset, naturally, so AW commands the zombies to say Matoi an enemy. Matoi claims to be a guardian of the people, not a murderer, so the FOzombie shoots her with a Foie, knocking her down. She gets up, raging at Apprentice, so AW says its too early to kill her because she's not yet in the pits of dispair. Matoi begs AW not to kill the zombie people, but then...has a crisis of motivation.

Who is she to protect? Just WHO exactly is 'everyone' that she risks her life for? Is it even her own will right now, fighting? This illustrates that it's dangerous for a protector to not know who it is they're protecting. Loyalty isn't told, it's experienced for it to be real. But, YOU apparently show up to prevent an attack by the other AW-zombie folks. Knocking them down makes them dissappear into 'shards' and vanish upward. Apprentice is stunned by this sudden appearance, but you don't have your usual gun/rod/sword...instead, it is a purple Coat Edge D. Taking advantage of the confusion, Matoi blasts her with everything she's got from the FOzombie's fallen rod. This eventually causes a darkness 'explosion' where AW was pelted to the wall. (Presumably her death/release of power/photons) She turns to the fake you, confirming 'we got her' but then, the screen goes dark as the scene is cut with a clang.

228 8/7 at 1320
Because FakeYou has stabbed Matoi in the guts with the Coat Edge D, and left it there only to pull it out after a minute or so, this has given her a terrible infection of red and black swirls. You arrive just in time to stop it from finishing her off, and knock it aside. As Matoi flops around on the ground, she sees you, but also the other you. Suddenly, FakeYou changes into a fat guy in a black trench coat, but with your head on its body. (This happens if you are a boy, a girl, or an android)  Xiao is watching too, and he's shocked at your face appearing on the person, and some of your parameters. Also, he detects evidence of time travel. What's going on, and who or what is that Falz (Falz+Persona)?

Matoi is sad that she fell for 'such a simple trick'. Having been thus "found out", it puts a hand to its face and the mask of Persona appears in place of the face, and the body switches to a normal persona body because it was simply a ruse to get close enough to Matoi "pretending" to help her against the AWZombies, that it could stab the moment she defeated Apprentice.

Matoi recognizes the real you right away anyway, because the presence of the Clarissa can clearly be felt. Persona says it will grant her a swift end and to "Requiescat in Pace", which is just odd because Rest in Peace? And aims the blade, which makes a pool of darker energy on her. Xiao cuts in that something's seriously wrong with her. She asks if AW is really dead, you nod. She's relieved but pain takes her over so Clarissa materializes behind you, and you can use it to block another stab from Apprentice. Then, you can levitate it over Matoi, where it will protect her and try to heal her from the Apprentice stab.

Upon being pushed aside, it asks you please don't interfere, she has to die here. Well, of course, a darker thing will say this, so you have to keep defending her from it and at

You must battle Persona! It transforms the Coat Edge D into a double saber and is ready to show you some very unusual moves. It's got tons of HP too, so it'll take a good while to die. Persona is a very speedy and busy fighter. It has many more moves than anything up to this point, including Luther's teleportation (not FO-stepping), an AOE ground slam, a blocking maneuver where an omni-directional dome of purple hexagons is created to block any attack, and send it back at you, as well as all the WaberWhirling (Ethan Waber of PSU spinner tornado across the floor), combo'ing, and etc expected of a double saber. It's best to keep it at a distance, if you can. Gunners and distance users should have a better time with this guy. Blasting your mag on him too will help.

If you can defeat him/it...
Matoi is still changing into a darker/apprentice too. Her hair gets the pink tint, and her outfit switches colors to the Falz theme. She knows this, and tries to fight it off, but realizes she'll lose. She summons the Clarissa rod.  Xiao says something more powerful than a Falz is present. Matoi says its all the darker energy she's absorbed, so it's all over. She talks to the Clarissa, telling it that it knows what it has to do, which is kill her before she becomes her worst enemy, losing her mind. All the while, you keep a careful eye on the Persona, because it could attack. It does not, though, because it’s likely getting what it wants, in Matoi’s death here.  She begins having regrets though, she never met who she was to protect, couldn't be a normal girl, couldn't finish all your conversations, and didn't really know what life was like. There was much more she wanted to know, and to do. She asks you, because she doesn’t understand who ‘everyone’ is, or if they deserved protection, but if she could have been by your side as a normal girl… As she laments the spell to kill her builds more power. Persona doesn't know what to do, but also doesn't take the opportunity to leave, either.

Xiao cuts in, he's worried, going to pull you out of there because the crazy power build up who knows what can happen/you wont make it back. It goes off at last, stabbing Matoi with bright light.

Suddenly, you are in a strange rainbow tunnel with Xions' voice. It says she (Meaning Matoi) was created to become a savior, as one of her kin she responded to the desire to set things straight, by her power destroying the darkers and establishing peace, but I was a fool, I brought misfortune on an innocent child. (This means Xion regards Matoi as a relative of some kind) A mere observer is all that I am, I can't change anything, am powerless. All I can relate was this, I will cease communication, to protect it from Luther and others, I will erase all this information, seal away myself and my memories and speech until the day you arrive, you are t he only one to save her, hence I wait for you.  She calls your name, she waits.

At 1400 In The Lobby
Back up in the lobby...Xaio is there and he's got some things figured out. It was 'our' actions just now that brought Matoi to where she was at the very start of the plot: memory, photon arts, skills, and everything else forgotten, laying in the forest of Naberius. His  sudden yank of you through time to avoid the blast from the Clarissa accidentally grabbed Matoi too, inadvertently saving her, and somehow also disinfecting her/reversing the "Apprentice Color Change". He says that Xion erased the time 10 years ago, not just for protection against Luther, but also because she, herself didn't want to remember either. He also heard Xions' thoughts in the tunnel of rainbow.
Does / did Xion know that Xiao was there THEN? It seems unlikely. It depends on how smart Xion actually was at this point, which is impossible to tell because she's sometimes super stupid "I know all...but then someone said something confusing!" So Xion spies a time-traveller, knows it knocks Matoi into the future and onto Naberius, goes into hibernation (to the aggrivation of Luther, no doubt, you see he's evil & active now in the past) and then...what? Never figures out how you did time travel?

He goes on to say that the readings he got from when Matoi was going to turn bad were the worst ever. It was worse than any Falz, uncontrollably bad. He'll state the facts, so just stay calm and listen. The immeasurable malice, the possibility that she could lose control again, and that it's not the case now...this may be the opportune time to 'finish her off', objectively speaking, of course. (murder her)

But, just then Matoi comes trotting up, asking why the scary serious look?
He's surprised to see her, but gets over it, saying it's nothing. She wants to chat though, to ask you lots more things! Chipper as usual.

1400 As Well, But in the Ruined City 10 years Ago
Afin and his sister Eucretia are in the streets of the attacked ship. Afin wants to go home, but she calls him a coward, we can't leave the injured woman. It is AW...of course...and as Eucretia asks if she's all right, she turns her ragged face and glowing eyes to her...the end.

Not This Is Reborn (Last Chapter Episode 2)

There is no evidence that murdering Matoi wouldn't ALSO set loose the darkness within her.
It is perfectly expect-able that she would have TONS of darkness in her, because of what she stated earlier, that she's a “Dark Devourer”, she absorbs all their bad photons into herself when killing them. And literally ALL she does is go around every day killing tons of huge darkers. Of course she's loaded with the worst of the worst all condensed and concentrated down into 1 unit. The point being, instead of a shredder, she's merely a jar. Don't break the jar.

Eucretia, reaching AW first, had the evil transferred into her at that time. What you didn't suspect, was just how young Afin & Eucretia were at the time. When you meet him, he's likely a teen of some kind/late teen (newman, can't really tell as exactly) but he gives the impression that both he & the sister were older when she "dissappeard", like maybe 10 or 12 or something, but here they look like they're 5 or 7 or so. The 'body' of the woman likely then dropped dead. The question here is how did AW body get away when Matoi pummeled it into ash earlier? This smells like a death-cheat, however temporary it was, but possible IF every event seen here occurred within seconds of the previous. Persona in YouDisguise distracting a AWzombie long enough for Matoi to blast AW into the wall and hold her there, then getting stabbed 20 seconds later by Persona, then you showing up and everyone just watching Matoi flop around, then Persona starting the fight, nobody glances at Matoi—who is too distracted by pain to sense any darker creeping off, which is exactly what AW did.

Episode 3 239 1/7 Xiao & Matoi in the Lobby
Matoi has changed her clothes from what she had when you found her. This causes her name to become ???. She says long time no see, but you were busy and she was off getting the permit. She's really happy, but did you forget her name?

Don't worry Matoi I haven’t forgotten
You changed your clothes

If you pick You Changed Your Clothes she'll say it's to 'take a break' or 'confirm her commitment'. Why she would think you forgot her because she wore a different outfit is super unknown. She promises to work hard from here on out, that's why she called you. He's given her an admin position, but before starting he wants to give her 1 last lecture. At this, she glooms, but Xiao reminds her that you'll be listening along as well, so she cheers right up saying she'll listen. He says she's simple minded, but moves on to the 'refresher' of the ARKS state of current affairs. Remember: this is the intro to Ep 3, ep 2 actually ended it's active release a while ago, so this is specifically to bring people up to speed. The time has advanced about half a year or so, as you remember, the last dates of what was happening was their 7th month--though the last EVENTS you did were back in time.)

While ARKS is out of Luthers' control Xion remains lost/it was inevitable (that she died) Rebuilding is back on track, but Xiao feels its very hectic, everyone behaves as if him being there is natural, and Patty & Tea prove this by waving at him in the background. Matoi says now that he mentions it, things do look different, like the added Casino Entrance & slightly different dropship gate area. He credits Ulc with the work, she started with appearances first.

State of the darkers:
It's not pretty, but sealed Elder has revived, and Apprentice (Eucretia, Afin's sister) attacks frequently, but what's worse, here's some footage to watch. He summons a sparkle to his hand which, if you look into it you see the scene of outer space somewhere, a planet with an artificial ring orbits a star. The ring is obviously pretty technological, it's in 2 layers with 3 glowing 'nodes'  encased in it. Suddenly, two giant red balls materialize on either side of the planet, and are hurled into it. This shatters the ring, then all 3 planets are destroyed in a huge explosion.

Matoi is stunned, so Xiao explains the red orbs are replicated copies of 'consumed planets' that 'they' tried smashing into something else, like playing with a toy. They don't thrive through battles like Elder, nor seek something like Apprentice, it's child-like pleasure from destruction only from the last (how does he know there are no more?) Dark Falz: DF DOUBLE. It is on the move, targeting a new planet, Harukotan (Harkotan, maybe) It is civilized (meaning sentient aliens are there) Matoi says we need to hurry up and go too, but he says just one more thing, it's the ARKS purpose--but she interrupts him saying To defeat all darkers and Dark falzes in the entire universe and save everyone.

He says it's the only thing she's likely to have remembered. Matoi throws him a look, but rushes off to the transport, presumably to head to Harukotan. Xiao wants a word once she's left. He reminds you that no one can tell when the Persona thing from 10 years ago will attack again. Also, be sure to keep a good watch on Matoi, don't let her out of your sights. And also...if the worst should happen we have to take immediate action, that's our duty knowing the truth.

You don't have to say the rest
If the worst case happens?

If you choose If The Worst Case Happens? He’ll say 10 years ago she nearly became Profound Darkness itself, and that's a fact. She seems fine now, but there's no way of telling what can happen to everybody. Matoi hasn't heard this much, she's loitering  by the elevator, and urges you to hurry up and go. Xiao will leave her to you. No sooner are you gone than Sara shows up, so he says she knows what to do: If anything happens to them (meaning you & Matoi) contact him immediately. She asks what scheme he's plotting now, so he gets sad, saying he only hopes he doesn't have to.

Matterboard In Between White & Black

So, does this mean Xiao has discovered the ACTUAL top secret location of the source of all this darker BS, and it is Matoi? (Or hiding in her?)
If so, defeating Double or going after Double would be pointless if you could just stab her and end everything. He specifically states that Profound is what's keeping all the darkers and Falzes going earlier on.
However, due to lack of stabs, or flinging her into the sun, he likely doesn't think her demise is the solution. Again: Jar (break jar, release literal hell) or Shredder (left alone long enough the shredded darkers within her wither/vanish/erase) is the quandary Xiao must be facing because there's really no reason to not throw her into the sun if he's sure she's actually containing Profound Darkness itself. Remember, he has not only ship control powers but transport powers too, if he can change people's coordinates in time, he can surely change them in space, and simply switch hers to the core of a nearby star.

However, due to lack of stabs, or flinging her into the sun, he likely doesn't think her demise is the solution. Again: Jar (break jar, release literal hell) or Shredder (left alone long enough the shredded darkers within her wither/vanish/erase) is the quandary Xiao faces.

This chapter takes place mostly on Planet Harukotan
This is a strange planet that is divided in half by the color of its cloud cover. There are black clouds on half the planet, and white on the other. The planet is divided this way vertically, from north pole to south pole. It also has a ring around it. The ring is made of very large, jagged silver gray crystal like structures, and encircles the equator region. Why these don't/haven't fallen into its gravity well and devastated the planet is unclear.

In Shironia Town 1/8
Rushing down to Shironia, you and Matoi arrive in an impressive/big stone town. It’s clearly modeled after ancient Japan, with shaped roofs, tall ‘palaces’, flags with the town symbol (a circle with two crossed sword like marks in it) & various large boxes/carts. Matoi is impressed with how big it is…and it is big because…the inhabitants are giants. She remarks at one fortress that looks well kept and clean (nearby) and another that’s black, unkempt & boarded up the opposite direction in the distance.  She’s glad to be here with you & Xiao’s approval. But, before she can look around, natives approach.

Giant people (twice as tall as the tallest ARKS) with reddish tan swirled skin, silver/bronze armor, helmets with masks & horns on their heads walk up. They don’t wear shoes, and they’ve got a lot to say. Unfortunately it’s un-understandable. Matoi tries to introduce herself, but it fails. They make grand gestures with their arms and seem enthusiastic but not hostile. Matoi feels bad for not understanding them, but her thoughts are interrupted by a different native at the end of the street. This one is wearing a different black mask, trench coat & pants instead of armor. He also has shoes. She says he has a different Aura. As she contemplates they keep talking so she frets, feeling as if they might be trying to worship her, so you both run off to consult Xiao.

Consulting Xiao 1/8
Back up on the ship Matoi consults Xiao as promised but…she suspects he knew what would happen after the two of you rushed down. He attempts to not be smug about it, moving the subject onto that the data you gathered helps with the slowed-down (by what?) translation progress. These last pieces mean the translation is established so the next time you hear them, it’ll automatically be translated. (Presumably through the ever-present ARKS ear-piece everyone wears that also lets you hear the OPS girls & communications from the drop-ships (who sometimes fall) etc)

Wisely, Matoi asks why "we are revered by the natives?"
Xiao hasn’t got it figured out yet, maybe it’s something cultural. Matoi worries about being surrounded and worshipped again, but now that she’ll understand them, what will they say? Xiao says it’s better than being hated anyway. It’s all a part of the ARKS duty, Special Exception ARKS Miss! This makes her mad (he’s razzing her on purpose) so she flails a bit.

*You can really get a feel for how Xiao likes to operate around other people. He lampoons their wishes, and picks at their pet peeves. He also lets people rush headlong into random situations without cautioning...but only when the person SHOULD have thought it through first. He allows others to make their own mistakes, especially when he benefits if they succeed or not. Also, notice how he's FAILING his little 'games' with Sara, he said "oh Sara will say who cares to Matoi" to Sara herself, and she comes back at him feeling hurt by this, because it is an accusation that she is callous. She WAS. There was a point when Sara wanted nothing to do with Xiaos' plans or people, but she's well past it now. Xiao jabs anyway because people grow/change etc.