Chapter 1: The Beginning is Always with a Visitor
One year has passed since the events at the Sanctuary, and the Emilia Camp has relocated to the Mathers's main mansion. During that time, Natsuki Subaru has started training himself in parkour under the teachings of Clind, and he has just finished one of his training sessions. As he rests, he is greeted by Beatrice, his contracted spirit, who brings him a towel to cool himself off courtesy of Petra. He reminisces about how much has changed since then and how stronger he feels he has become, as well has how he turned the forest he had just trained in into his own obstacle course. As the two of them continue to play around, Petra comes outside to see them, where she tells them she came to get them per Emilia's request due to the arrival of some guests.
Returning to the main manor, Subaru is greeted by the first of the guests: Mimi Pearlbaton, who happily jumps into his arms. Subaru introduces her to Petra and Beatrice. As Mimi plays around with Beatrice, particularly her drill-shaped hair, Subaru starts to suspect that Julius Juukulius is the other guess since he and Mimi come from the same camp. Mimi, however, reveals that it isn't Julius, nor are her brothers present either. A little relieved, Subaru and the others make their way to the reception room, where they are greeted by Ram, who apparently was sent to find Mimi due to her running off (though she didn't do anything). Petra leaves to bake some tarts while Subaru, Ram, Beatrice, and Mimi enter the reception room, where they are greeted by Garfiel Tinzel. Subaru's attention is then turned to the other guest, who Emilia introduces Subaru to as her knight. The guest then introduces himself as Joshua Juukulius, who Emilia reveals is Julius's younger brother.
Everyone sits down, but their attempts to continue the conversation is halted by Joshua's reaction to Beatrice's presence, though he calms down when Subaru explains that she is his contracted spirit, which makes him somewhat a spirit knight like Julius. When Subaru mentions that he considers Julius leagues above himself, Joshua agrees, albeit he goes on a rant about how amazing he is, which Subaru sees is the real reason Ram wanted out of the room so she didn't have to listen to him. Eventually, they get to the matter at hand, which is an invitation from Anastasia Hoshin to Emilia for the Water Gate City Pristella. Otto Suwen, who was also present at the meeting, asks why she is inviting them, and Joshua says it is because she will be having a party, and also she has found what Emilia has been seeking for some time, which is a high-quality magical crystal that she can use to summon back Puck.
After the meeting ends and Joshua and Mimi leave (with Subaru even noticing Mimi talking with Garfiel in a way that Subaru surmises she has developed a crush on him), Subaru and Emilia talk in her bedroom as they discuss Anastasia's intentions. Subaru is concerned about the possibility that Anastasia will want them to be indebted to her, but the idea of having Puck return would benefit not just Emilia, but improve the reputation of the camp, because despite defeating the Oousagi by sealing it away, they don't exactly have any other proof for the public unless it doesn't show up several years thereafter. Still, Subaru says to Emilia that they should go to Priestella, with him even bringing Beatrice, Garfiel, and Otto. Petra and Frederica can't attend because they are joining Roswaal L. Mathers at his assembly of western nobles, which will leave Ram in charge of the mansion overall.
Later, Subaru consoles a drunk Otto over the fact that they weren't able to discuss the terms of accepting Anastasia's invitation, as Otto has become the Emilia Camp's chief domestic adviser. Still, Subaru and Garfiel can't help but mess with him. Subaru also sees that Garfiel is writing a letter for Ryuzu, who has relocated to Earlham Village with her other copies, though Garfiel changes the topic to what Anastasia seeks with her invitation, believing it to be a fight based on how Mimi was looking at him earlier (though Subaru knew the real reason for it). This prompts Garfiel to suggest they stay on guard at Priestella, and Subaru thanks him for being on their side. After that, Subaru decided to go to bed, while Garfiel decided to stay with Otto for a little bit more.
However, before going to his room, Subaru decided to pay a visit to Rem, Ram's twin sister who was rendered comatose by Lye Batenkaitos a year ago after having her name and memories eaten. Despite that, he spoke to her about the day's events, as well as how he feels his relationship with Emilia hasn't progressed despite his confession.