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View Full Version : Fate/Eightfold Illusion *Heaven's Gate Redux* (IC Thread)



alfheimwanderer
September 12th, 2011, 06:18 PM
*Fate/Eightfold Illusion*







January 1, 2000 AD
Midnight

The hour has just struck midnight, and around the world (but mostly Fuyuki City), members of Beast's Lair open their eyes to find themselves in a different bodies - that of one of the potential masters of the Fifth Holy Grail War (or closely associated character), one month before the outbreak of battle. You are not entirely yourself, nor are you entirely the character whose body you wear, as something of a merger of minds has happened.

This is who each of you awaken as, and what you were doing when you "awakened".

Characters Starting January 1: (Starting Now!)

Emiya Shirou (Froggie): Finished a late dinner with Sakura and Taiga not too long ago, and currently is in his shed, practising reinforcement. Intends to visit the temple for Hatsumode soon.

Fujimura Taiga (Mormarth): Back at the Fujimura house, knocking back a few too many portions of Sake.

Mitsuzuri Ayako (Lethum): A New Year's celebration with her family, prepping to head to the temple for Hatsumode soon (@home)

Seo Akira (EnigmaticFellow):Visiting her cousin Seo Shizune in Mifune

Ayaka Sajyou (Hyarion) - In the middle of a magic circle, having just finished a minor ritual to renew the wards at her house. Plans to take a late-night walk.


Characters Starting January 8: (Start time TBA!)

Kokutou Azaka (LeopardBear): Starting Conditions TBA

Matou Sakura (Theocrass): Starting Conditions TBA

Matou Shinji (Hoster): Starting Conditions TBA

Souchirou Kuzuki (Milbunk): Just returned from his trip Starting Conditions TBA

Ryuudou Issei (mangafreak): Wakes up in the temple, after a session of training with his brother. Keeps current progress from the original thread.

Makidera Kaede (mewarmo990): At home, in bed, dreaming of life, the universe, and everything. Keeps progress from the original thread.


Characters Starting January 12: (Start time TBA!)

OTL Master of Caster (Mellon): Wakes up in Fuyuki General Hospital, stricken with amnesia after a rather...unwise decision that he cannot remember.


Characters Starting January 16: (Start time TBA. Summoning now available - if you have some external prana source!)

Tohsaka Rin (Dark Pulse): In the shower, after a period of time without the original presence. Catalyst acquired from Mifune trip.

Luviagelita Edelfelt (Erlkonig): In the Edelfelt manor in Finland, preparing to head to Fuyuki for the Holy Grail War, after her adventures in Rome and procuring resources. Keeps progress from original thread.

Illyasviel von Einzbern (ItsaRandomUsername): Currently in the Einzbern Castle in the forest outside of Fuyuki, keeping progress from original thread.

Bazett Fraga McRemitz (Grant): In one of the two abandoned Edelfelt mansions ("Haunted houses") in Fuyuki, with a catalyst acquired and in the temporary company of a certain target of Sealing.

Yumizuka Satsuki (RacingeR): In an abandoned warehouse in the Misaki Industrial District, drinking from a blood pack.

General Notes:

You will find that you possess whatever canonical knowledge and abilities the character did, PLUS anything your RL self might bring to the table, so make good use of the time in which you have to prepare for the war, if you plan to. Train, search for a catalyst, make friends and connections, dispatch your enemies - but be warned, should you go too far out of character, those around you may notice and the resident personality may intervene, so be careful.

Also, Winter Break will last until January 7th, with school beginning again on January 10th, so for all you Homurabara students, enjoy your time off from school! For those planning on transferring or such, get to work.

With that, welcome to the Nasuverse, and enjoy the ritual called Heaven's Feel.

Rejoice, RPers. For if you strive cleverly enough, strongly enough, persistently enough - you may just get exactly what you ask for.*
*Some restrictions apply, see your participating GM for details. Not valid for cross-dimensional travellers, gaining True Magic, or defeating entropy once and for all. The GM takes no responsibility for consequences that may result from a granted wish and from the actions of other RPers, as the best laid plans of mice and men do often go awry. /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

Hyarion
September 13th, 2011, 10:13 PM
Ayaka Sajyou

For a brief moment, I stand on the edge of two “realities”.

Dreams or reality, to fall back into sleep or to wake – and no knowledge of which is which.

In the end, all I can do is watch as the choice is made for me.


75%

January 1st, 2000 – 12:00

I awake to find myself kneeling on a stone floor, barely registering the ring of intricate symbols around me.

Is this right? I should be... ... ...? No... a dream?

In this confused, half-awake state, there’s really only one thing that’s clear – my knees are killing me. I have no clue what I should be doing, but anything is better than kneeling on a cold, hard slab of rock.

Automatically, I get up and head for the stairs. Although my balance seems a bit... off... I manage to make it out the front door before too long, idly tossing on a coat before running a hand over the door and mumbling... something?

I don’t spend long dwelling on that, though, as the cold air hits me like a wall as soon as I step outside. By the time I’ve adjusted, the night air and the chill have thankfully cleared away most of the grogginess I’ve been trying to shake.

I’d assumed that actually being able to form a coherent thought would solve my problem, but no – the fireworks practically lighting up the nearby city were confusing me even more. Why were they celebrating? More specifically, why can’t I remember what they’re celebrating?

...In a nutshell, I quickly found out that my memories were all kinds of screwed up. I can’t even remember where I am, for one, though at the very least I seem to subconsciously remember my routine. Right turn here, left here – seems I’m slowly looping back around towards the house (my house?)

So... is this what amnesia is like? Normally I would accept that without a second thought, but it’s disturbing how... sluggish my reactions seem to be, like I’m barely in control. ...I really should go to the hospital, but I don’t want to risk a relapse on the way into town. For now, the house is probably the safest place to be until I find someone – or maybe a phone.

The decision made, I relax a bit and just let my legs carry me back...


75%

January 1st, 2000 – 01:25

The answers I’m looking for, of course, turn out to be in the last place I would expect – the bathroom.

Having just gotten out of the shower, I was finally getting used to the idea of not even recognizing my own body... though, granted, I can’t see worth crap right now. Note to self: look for contacts later.

Still, it just makes me curious what the most important part of me – the one part I can't see, my face – looks like. I retrieve my glasses and take a look in the mirror, but the face that looks back at me is not my own.

I don’t recognize it more than any other, sure, but this is on a completely different level. It is, somehow, wrong.

And with that, everything else makes sense: I’m not the one controlling this body. The girl standing here calmly brushing her hair, and myself, unable to look away from the face in the mirror – we are two separate people.

I doubt she’s aware of me, considering I’ve been accepting her actions as my own up until now. The most I can cause are small movements that I doubt she could ever notice, and communication seems impossible.

There’s really nothing I can do, is there...?

I mentally sigh and simply accept what’s going on – accept that I’m trapped in someone else’s body, looking for a chance to communicate with her but acknowledging that the chance may never come.

...Never, huh. That’s a sobering thought.
January 1st, 2000 – ??:??
I am suddenly pulled out of deep sleep, only to be subjected to a flurry of images and sensations I can barely comprehend. In my mind’s eye, the house fades away around me
the nearby city disappears from the landscape
the moon and stars above are all that are left, and I find myself
falling


75%

When I regain my awareness, I am standing on an unfamiliar hill. The landscape around me is remarkably varied – mountains to the west, the ocean to the east, forests to the south, and rolling plains to the north.

A small but complete “world” – a nice illusion, but from the very beginning it is clear that it is not mine. This illusion was built for one person alone, and as an outsider my mind fundamentally rejects it. All the same, it seems that the girl’s link with me was strong enough to drag me along when she began to dream.

...Even now, I believe I can feel her here. I begin walking, guided more by instinct than anything else, and as the landscape slowly begins to change I wonder – why am I, an intruder, heading towards the person who could very possibly make this situation worse for me? If she rejects me, I can’t imagine I would be unharmed – I may well lose my sense of self or possibly just fade away.

That’s not an easy question for me to answer. All things considered, I do consider the benefits to outweigh the risks... but just as importantly, it may be just simple curiosity. In other words, what is this person like?

Some time later, I find what I am looking for – the girl is sitting beneath a tree, seemingly looking at nothing in particular. Even at a distance, the fairly bright moonlight makes it clear enough that she is the same as the image I had seen in the mirror last night. The dark hair, brown eyes... and even without the glasses, the face I had burned into my memories was unmistakable.

...And with that, there’s nothing else to do but put my life on the line. Walking up, I lean against the tree and nod a greeting. But before I say anything –

“I thought I felt someone else here. So... who are you?”

--She asks the question I’ve been wondering myself. I search my memories, but... once again, I can’t remember anything beyond midnight. It feels as if it is there – this body, for one, feels like mine but it still appears vague somehow, and only gets worse if I begin to focus on it.

“...I don't know. My memory... it feels like trying to remember a dream.”

“Odd that you should say that here, of all places.”

I nod, though I note to myself that it’s not easy to find humor in that when you have to live with it. --With that, the silence between us returns, and I join her in gazing out at the fields and the faraway ocean. I’m not quite sure what she’s looking at, but I do have to admit that this place is rather calming.

“So... is this the first time you’ve met a wanderer like myself?”

“No. Though it’s the first time one has come into my mind.”

I sigh and take a seat as well. “Don't think too much about it, then. I expect I'll remember soon enough.”

“Maybe. Spirits don't normally come unless summoned, or if something else is awry.”

I take a moment to mull that over. It was interesting to consider myself a spirit, though it was more or less true, I supposed – but more importantly, it did seem like she had a bit of experience with these things... or she could be just an amateur. It’d probably be best not to assume that, though, as considering I’m here she’d likely have to be a pretty lucky one.

“...Interesting.”

Looking back at her, I note that she’s shifted a bit and is now looking intently at three cards of the Major Arcana: The Fool – The Wheel of Fortune – The Hanged Man. ...A reading, is it? Setting aside the implications of that for now, I do recognize at least these particular cards, which just leaves—

“Hmm. Correct me if I’m wrong, but does this placement refer to the past, present and future?”

“In this case, no.” She points to each card in turn. “What you are, what brought you here, and for what reason. The soul seeking wisdom, driven by the whims of fate, to find a different path. ...Fitting for a millennium.”

The millennium. 2000. Y2K. A few memories surface at the mention, but aside from letting me know just what those fireworks were all about they don’t tell me much. I set them aside for the moment and focus on the present.

“Ah, I see. Let’s see – the Fool, hm. That’s an interesting way of describing me. I like it. The Wheel of Fortune... that’s simple enough. The Hanged Man is what I’m wondering about, though – you said it could mean a ‘different path’? My impression was that the Hanged Man was just as much about giving something up as it is gaining something. If I were the only one affected by that ‘sacrifice’, that’s something I could accept without question... but readings aren’t always that simple, are they? It seems like a bit of an ominous way to start my journey here, is what I suppose I’m saying.”

She nods. “No, readings are never as simple as most think. The Hanged Man especially has many possibilities. Sacrifice, a new point of view or different path, even a suspension of disbelief.”

Her answer is rather vague, and on top of that I’ve yet to be able to read anything from her expression. ...I’m likely the same way, come to think of it. On that note, I just shrug and return to my stargazing.

“It's just something to keep in mind. I can accept what comes, but the fact is – I can't do much in this state. I'd rather not drag you into dealing with my own problems.”

“Uncommonly wise of a wanderer, though I doubt you would have been sent here without reason. ...I won't begrudge your presence.”

“Then that's all I can ask for. I'm sure I'll find my purpose here, as you said, but whether or not I do I’ll do my best not to interfere with yours.”

Everything fades back into silence, and I contemplate her words for a moment. Whether or not I ever manage to find out why I’m here and how to return to my own body, simply being accepted here and having a way to communicate with her from time to time... I find myself strangely satisfied with this situation. Being an observer should be interesting, at the very least.

“...I really am grateful that I ended up here, of all the places I could have been. Thanks for understanding.”

“...of course. I would wish the same, were I the one wandering.”

With that, our conversation ends, and I sit back and take in the sights until morning comes.
January 1st, 2000 – 09:05
Sajyou Residence, Fuyuki

I awake with a start as I realize that I’m already out of bed and apparently getting dressed. The confusion only lasts a moment, but... this is going to take some getting used to.

Good morning, wanderer.

Morning.

...That, too. No sooner do I manage to wrap my head around waking up in such an odd way than I find out that the girl is holding open some sort of... connection between us. It feels strange – like an extra limb, or a third eye – but still, using it to “speak” is natural enough that I respond almost before I register the connection.

Your presence feels stronger today. Do you notice any difference?

Not really, besides being able to speak to you. I assume that’s your doing?

Yes, it is.

I wait a while, but it seems that she isn’t going to explain yet. Eh, fair enough – wait. Hold on, I do notice something different now. I try to get a better look at the bookshelf we’re passing, but she barely slows down. Those books. Last night, I recognized the lettering on the spines as Japanese, but I could barely read it... and now, all I need is a glimpse and I can understand what they say.

...Interesting. She finally pauses, looking thoughtfully at the bookshelf for a few moments before moving on and abruptly changing the subject. I’ll warn you now: when we leave the house, you won’t be able to talk freely with me. If it’s important, I’ll know, but that’s the limit.

That’s fine. I know you’re busy here, so I don’t want to waste your time with questions right now.

I see. ...Yes, I could explain that if you’d like. You see, my mother is away on family business, and now that my holiday has begun I’ll be joining her tonight – I’d set aside today to finish preparing. You’ll learn the details soon enough.

Fair enough, then.


75%

January 1st, 2000 – 09:55
Shinto Outskirts, Fuyuki

...I should have known better than to expect that this day would be uneventful.

Our communication cut off, I’ve mostly just spent the time watching the girl go about her business. We haven’t been out long when we cross a bridge into a section of town that, compared to the more residential area her house is in, has seen a good deal of modern development – the landscape is almost completely dominated by towers of metal and glass.

The thing that catches my eye, though, is a small sign welcoming visitors to Shinto. More specifically, the part I can’t help but notice is the city we’ve been in all along. Suddenly, something snaps in my mind, and a single memory triggers more, and more, quickly building up to a torrent of information...

Fuyuki City. I know about Fuyuki...
But Fuyuki is fictional. It’s from Fate/Stay Night. I know what F/SN is...
Fate/Stay Night. That’s the story of a Holy Grail War. I know about the Grail Wars...
Holy Grail War. It’s a system designed to-----
-----------
-------
---
--Can you hear me, wanderer? What happened?

And it stops just as suddenly as it started. It seems that the girl had noticed fairly quickly, but by the time she had moved somewhere secluded my little episode was already over.

It’s fine, now. I just saw something that jogged... quite a few memories. All at the same time. There’s some pretty bizarre stuff here, so... look, I’m going to need some time to go over all of this, if you don’t mind.

Silently, she nodded and closed our connection. Once again alone, I retreated into my memories...
January 1st/2nd, 2000 – ??:??

A sudden jolt pulls me out of my sleep, and after taking a moment to let the fog lift from my thoughts I'm able to get my bearings. Seems I'm on a train traveling through the countryside... not such a bad scene to nod off to. Thankfully there’s no one in the seat next to mine, so I take a moment to stretch and – hmm?

Ah. That feel that’s quickly becoming familiar... I haven't returned to the waking world just yet. This is her dream -- explains why I’m back in my body, anyways. Let’s see, the last thing I remember is... boarding an overnight bus to Mifune? Yes, we should be sleeping there right now.

...Well. There’s really only one thing for me to do here. When I nudged her out of her way to go look at the Shinto park yesterday, I’d promised that I would explain later – it was about time that I made good on that.

Like last night, I’m fairly sure I can tell at least which direction she’s in, so locating her is trivial enough. Not surprisingly, she seems to have found one of the more secluded spots on the train: one of the private rooms on the sleeping car – not especially fancy, but large enough to hold the two of us comfortably. The girl nods to me as I take my own seat.

“Welcome back. Did you find what you were looking for?"

“Yes... I'm pretty sure these memories I've been piecing together are as clear as I can get them on my own now, and that's what I wanted to discuss with you. But first, one question.” Leaning back against the couch, I take a moment to study her one last time -- not that it's been necessary ever since that first meeting, but I'm finding it a bit hard to believe my suspicion, myself. "...Your name. I need to be sure you’re who I believe you are."

"Sajyou. Sajyou Ayaka."

--Yes, that was the name. A girl who only exists in my memory as a few sketches, nothing more than concept art for a novel that would never see the light of day... but I had clearly woken up in a town that was supposed to be fictional, and what's more, I had seen that with my own eyes. There was no denying that this was the Ayaka I'd heard of -- now, the only question was where to begin explaining...

“Well, to begin... let me tell you about a story I once read, then. This might end up being a bit long, but bear with me. Now, this story was actually set in Fuyuki, not too long from now, and begins with a man named Shirou..."


75%

With that, I gave the best summary of Fate/Stay Night I could... or rather, the first story of the three, Fate. The details of what Shirou had gone through weren’t especially important in this case. But still, even as I explained the Grail War system that he had stumbled into by accidentally summoning Saber, the King of Knights... I couldn’t help but delve a bit into the journey that they had shared, how they had each been changed by the experience, and even the distant possibility that Shirou would follow in Saber's footsteps and someday earn a place in Avalon alongside her. To Ayaka's credit, she listened patiently through the whole thing, simply nodding and asking questions from time to time.

"It's fictional, of course. Was fictional, at least." I quickly corrected myself, grimacing a bit. "Now I'm not so sure. See, Fuyuki was supposed to be fictional too. And then there's you -- you never showed up in the novel I read, sure, but it seems that the author had originally started writing it with the genders swapped. In otherwords, it was the story of the king of legends, Arthur himself, and the girl who summoned him, Sajyou Ayaka."

"...I see." If she'd found that surprising at all, she didn't show it. "Let me ask you, then... if I was already destined to follow that path, as you say, then why tell me this? Did you want to speak to me about my path, or simply find out more about yours?"

"Honestly...? Both, I guess. There's actually one thing I haven't mentioned yet, though -- the Shinto park. It's exactly the same as I remember, which means that the last War ended just as I'd read. Someone tried to wish on the corrupted Grail, creating... that torrent of death and destruction. You could probably feel what it left behind much more strongly than I could." Probably my weak connection to her Magic Circuits, I figured. In fact, I'd been able to sense her mentally closing herself off as we got closer to the site of the fire... but it'd be best to move on without mentioning that. "Basically... I don't know what the hell's going on or why I'm here, all I know is that history could repeat itself soon and there's no way I want that to happen. You might be able to do something about it, and I have information that might help -- that's about it."

"Mm." At that, the room grew silent again as she began looking out the window and simply watching the scenery go by. It wasn't until a while later that she finally spoke up again. "...I'm sorry, but would you mind excusing me for now? I'd like some time to myself to think."

I just shrugged at that. "You gave me some time to think, so -- I've got no problem with that."

"Thank you." She nodded to me as she got up from her seat and walked to the door. "Then I'll see you in the morning."

"Night then, Ayaka."
Central Bus Terminal
Mifune, Japan
January 2, 2000, 9:00 AM

Sajyou Ayaka (http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100407220440/typemoon/images/thumb/8/8e/Sajyou_Ayaka_CM.png/178px-Sajyou_Ayaka_CM.png) frowned slightly as she disembarked from the overnight bus from Fuyuki to Mifune, taking her suitcase with her. While the trip itself had proceeded without incident, the wandering wraith that currently shared her mind had given her a few things to think about. It certainly wasn't the first time she had encountered a wandering spirit, given her connections with the world of the occult, but most spirits did not anchor themselves to a person, but a place that held some significance to them. She knew that well, given how an invisible miasma of death and despair lingered in the place where a great fire had destroyed many lives and many dreams - each time she passed by the park in Shinto, she had to raise her mental barriers lest she be overwhelmed by the intensity of the grudges left behind.

Intensely sensitive to the unseen world of spirits - that was her curse as a descendant of the Fujou, an ancient bloodline of magi which specialised acting as mediums for other forces and other thoughts (though she was but the illegitimate daughter of a member of a branch family and an Association magus, and so had stood little chance of inheriting). Such extreme empathy with the emotions and feelings of others had its downsides, and this had led to her current, more detached outlook on life, where she functioned more as an observer than participant, save for when others requested that she join in (as they did at the athletic festivals sometimes). Few knew her secrets, which was the way things should be, given the pains she took to disguise her nature with tools that a traditional "witch" might use, running the occult club of Homurabara.

After all, no one ever thought to look for secrets in plain sight, as life was rarely that simple.

Which of course made her wonder why a wandering spirit had manifested in her dreamscape. While she knew that some beings that could be categorized as gods, demons, or other such lingered on in the collective layers of dreaming and belief of humanity, why had one simply appeared to her without request?

'It is most curious, especially with the knowledge he bears...'

Knowledge of alternate paths, alternate possibilities, alternate realms that had been labeled as fictional, though it was her experience that few things were completely the product of the imagination, and that all things followed certain patterns in how they played out. The story of mankind itself had a limited number of basic plots from which all others were derived, and so it wasn't impossible that the tale the Wanderer bore would be similar to reality.

...the details of the park and the mention of her name were even less of a surprise, given that such information was a possible reason why the spirit had come to her. Willingly or not, she had the abilities of a medium and could better communicate with lost shades than most traditional magi, and if the spirit were linked to her in some way, she could see how it might have simply come through the connection.

For now though, Sajyou Ayaka had other concerns, dealing with her business in Mifune. Her mother had come down days earlier for preliminary negotiations with the rest of the branch members of the Fujou, and after managing a few loose ends in Fuyuki, she had come down as well, with directions to head to the Ryougi Compound for the 3 days of the meeting.

'I have an address, but I do not know where the...'

Her brow smoothed as she caught sight of a raven-haired beauty (http://i1219.photobucket.com/albums/dd436/Salience1/Fujinoscan-1.jpg) dressed in what appeared to be a nun's habit near one corner of the station, with impassive red eyes and an air of quiet power that the girl found herself straightening slightly at. She was holding a white cane, and stood with a posture that seemed firm and graceful, if fragile. Talking with the woman was an amber-eyed redhead (http://i1219.photobucket.com/albums/dd436/Salience1/Kohakukimono.jpg), dressed in a flowing white kimono of the sort only worn at the most formal occasions and carrying a small satchel almost reminiscent of a doctor's travelling bag.

Even more curiously, the redhead was holding up a piece of paper with Ayaka's name on it, with the two seeming to look up as the bespectacled young woman approached.

"Ah...Sajyou-san, I presume?" the redhead inquired, seeming pleasant enough.

"Yes. I am Sajyou Ayaka," the young magus acknowledged, nodding slightly to the two. "Are you are here for the Fujou meeting as well, then. May I have your names?"

"I am called Asagami Fujino," the raven-haired woman in the garb of a nun intoned, naming herself as the heiress of the Asagami Family, which specialized in telekinesis. "I have the honor of escorting you both to the Ryougi Compound for the meeting of the Fujou branch families."

'The Asagami heiress?'

That was interesting, as protocol did not generally have heiresses or heads of family escorting those lower in station to their affairs.

"And I am..." the kimono-clad redhead began, but trailed off, frowning slightly, as if the name she was about to give was not completely familiar to her. "Kohaku. Fujou Kohaku, as I was named by the late Fujou Kirie."

The redhead's mention of her name as Fujou Kohaku evoked a startled twitch from Ayaka, as the use of that surname was reserved for the main family, or...

"You are the new clan head then, Fujou-san," Ayaka stated in reply. It wasn't really a question, but the redhead nodded anyway.

"Yes, I have that honor, Sajyou-san," the other answered, a hint of a smile on the edges of her lips as if she wasn't quite certain of this new...role.

With that, the introductions were complete, and all three proceeded out the station and to a waiting car that drove them to the Ryougi compound, though Ayaka did wonder how the Asagami heiress could find her way around so easily when she was blind...

80%

Approaching Ryougi Compound
Mifune, Japan
January 2, 2000, 9:30 AM

'Most curious indeed...'

The car went through most of Mifune, eventually stopping at the great mansion at the other end of town, a Japanese-style compound surrounded by groves of bamboo, which in legend sometimes played host to spirits. It was nearly impossible to tell the size of it from the street - one would need some kind of overlooking view to be certain of its true extent. But as they debarked and started walking through the stone paths of the grove, Ayaka could feel her guide tense up, as if the atmosphere of this place made her distinctly uncomfortable.

"Is something wrong, Asagami-san?" the medium wondered. Was it perhaps a simple rivalry between families, or...?

'...!!'

--suddenly she was on her knees, the impression of great pain and unease overwhelming her.

'Murder.'

A death had happened here some time ago, with blood flowing from a broken, slashed up body. A gaping wound in its neck and an angled cut transecting its torso, with organs spilling, bulging grotesquely out from the wound, transforming it into something inhuman. It appears as if some slimy, primitive being is trying to assume a human form, but the resemblance is so horrific that it's difficult to look at, as a killer consu--

"-jyou-san, are you ok?!" a voice cries out, as someone supports her, keeping her from topping to the ground.

She was hyperventilating, as she hadn't expected to feel the echoes of recent violence...but with great discipline, she managed to slam down her mental barriers and shut her mind to the outside world for a bit, against the overwhelming stimuli.

"I..."

"Let's get you inside..." the voice, which she now identified as Kohaku, stated, as Ayaka forced herself to her feet, with the trio heading again for the ancient gate, where a figure waited...at least until she saw the staggering Ayaka, at which point, she helped to relieve Kohaku of her burden and get the group inside.

80%

Ryougi Compound
Mifune, Japan
January 2, 2000, 10:30 AM

Once inside, the echoes of violence receded, and Ayaka felt a lightening of the burden on her mind, as if she'd stepped through a bounded field of purification of sorts. It took about half an hour, but after some calming draughts of tea and a whiff of incense, the medium was much recovered from her ordeal. To her surprise, the new Fujou head turned out to be skilled at the medical arts, and the redhead insisted on doing a quick physical exam, though nothing was apparently wrong.

"...you are not unlike Hisui-chan," was all the redhead said after that. Ayaka's mother had come in as well, and looked concerned when she saw how out of sorts the medium was, insisting that she take a shower and change before the luncheon.

She took the time to do so, with the refreshing feeling of water running down her ample curves serving to help reinvigorate her and focus her mind, as there was much to think about. Events in Fuyuki, events here in Mifune, events past and events to come. Still, what would come would come, so for now, she merely scrubbed herself clean, rinsed, and towelled herself off, donning into one of the white kimonos the Ryougi family provided for the occasion, along with footwear and styling her hair in a simple, if effective manner.

'Well, hopefully this won't end too badly...'

Frankly, she had her doubts, but she was compelled to be here, and hopefully, with a clan head already selected, some of the inevitable infighting would be cut short. Most likely not, as some new rumors had the clan head as belonging to a formerly disowned family that had violated a taboo, one that Fujou Kirie had elevated to the position of leader out of spite for the rest of the family, who had abandoned her and waited for her to die from her terminal illness. Still, one could only hope in the face of things one could not control...and perhaps, things might even prove interesting to observe, as the doors to the great banquet hall opened and Sajyou Ayaka strode inside to where the gathered Fujou branch family members awaited.


75%

Ryougi Compound
Mifune, Japan
January 2, 2000, 11:25 AM

The irony of the situation wasn't lost on me. Here I was, nothing more than a wandering wraith, invisible and untouchable to all but a few people -- and here in this banquet hall stood those with the greatest mastery over this power, the deepest affinity with spirits and the spiritual world. No doubt, if they so wished, any one of them could remove me from Ayaka as easily as one plucks a weed and doom me to wander these bamboo groves for the rest of my short life.

...But in any case, there wasn't much to worry about here, even if there was anything I could do in the first place. During our few minutes alone together after this morning's rather... disturbing incident, Ayaka had at least briefly reassured me that I was hardly in any danger -- my simple presence wasn't likely to warrant more than idle curiosity, and she herself hardly more than that. What she meant by that, she didn't mention... but the picture seemed to be getting clear enough, at any rate.

Bits of overheard conversation here, a quiet discussion there, and I quickly found out that inter-Fujou politics was more complex than I'd thought. Tuning it all out for a moment, I found myself much more intrigued by Ayaka's behavior here -- silently gliding from one small group to the next, simply watching and listening while hardly being noticed... returning the few greetings she received, but quickly and effortlessly moving beyond those with a little more vitriol in their gaze. No doubt their unhappiness was due to this strange new upset in the ranks, and Ayaka's place in it -- I could have sworn I heard the term 'half-breed' mentioned once. ...True, this might not have been the skill of a master, but to one little more than a novice, I found this method of silent observation fascinating.

Within the larger groups, I noticed a girl moving about who I vaguely recognized -- Azaka, a name whispered from somewhere within my lost memories -- seemingly mediating small disputes and the like. Watching her movements for a moment, I found my thoughts drifting back to this morning, and the shock when I had first seen that incontestable proof that I walked among 'fiction': that girl, Kohaku.

Fujou Kohaku.

Aside from the sheer novelty of sitting next to and briefly talking to a person like her while still in the waking world, my idle thoughts of which timeline we were in -- if it was one I would recognize in the first place, of course -- quickly gave way to a realization: if she had indeed accepted this position, then oddly enough... I trusted her with it. I trusted her to fulfill this role she'd been given to the best of her ability. Pushing aside the odd spiral of happiness and melancholy I felt for her personally, one solid determination was left. Under Fujou Kohaku... this family would become something worth watching, something I wouldn't mind sticking around to watch grow and develop once more.

...No, perhaps it was even more than that. Under Kohaku, I found myself willing to take a part in that growth myself, and aid the Fujous' new legacy in any way I could.

ItsaRandomUsername
September 14th, 2011, 01:01 AM
“Kyauughhh—uggh—Hwuah!”

Sharp jabbing pain jolts me out of my semi-conscious delirium.

As I am jarringly awoken, I find myself desperately scanning my surroundings, trying to get a grip, get acclimated to my surroundings before I lose myself in sudden rush of chaos tearing about all around me.

Gnarled forms of twisted trees. Glittering snow. The cries of life and death. Foreboding shapes dancing about and tearing into each other like a macabre play of shadow puppets. I know not where I am, but…All I know is that it is cold, dark, and scary.


Einzbern Forest.




WHAT?

Why do I know something like –

Snarls.

Hurts…
Oh.




Animalistic rage.

…It hurts…
I, see.




Crushing bone and mangled flesh.

…So…much…
Really? It couldn’t be, could it???




But it is.




PAIN.

“GWuhhgg, ugggh!”

I spasm. This time, a blood vessel in my arm pops – violently. The crimson fluid would surely spurt all over the ground were it not for the thin material of my silky nightgown impeding it, leaving only a growing stain of scarlet on the sleeve.

…since when do I wear nightgowns?

I might not, but I know who does.

A lupine form – one of many – and dark as pitch in the moonlit night lunges for me. Intense fear and dread rush through me as I hopelessly accept my end.

“Kyeeh! Uuu—puh” Tears stream down my soft face freely, like rivers in miniature.

“HRRaWWaGGh!!-!!-!”

A gargantuan figure meets with the hound head on and swings a massive, massive weapon. The animal’s yelp of pain is cut off in microseconds by the cracking, splattering sound of wolf brains spilling out to splay out over the white snow, and the body falls into a crumpled heap.

This ugly, ugly black giant…this monster, this thing that I hate so much for doing this to me…


Heracles.




My Heracles.
My Berserker.




Another wave of pain wracks my body in response to the actions of the giant. It brings me to my knees. This anguish, this pain—is indescribable. It is like someone is taking a rolling pin lacerated with nails and is shaking it all around my insides. But…it’s more than that; so, so, SO much more than that.

“Haaa—haau—heeeghh—hu—hu—hYYAaugghuuu!.!.!”

I bite my lip. Hard. Iron…I can taste iron. But I could always taste it, ever since I “woke”.

My nerves are on fire -

Make it stop.

”BYYArghg!-!-!”

Yips of pain as the starving wolves are torn to bloody hunks.

- They feel like they’re being torn out, twisted, pulled, bitten, cut, bent, shredded -


A dream….This has to be a dream…




In synchronization with his movements, my body jerks more and more – my pale white skins ruptures like knife blades ripping through.
I have only read about pain like this, and I know that I sympathized with the girl as it happened to, but too experience just what she went through is on an ENTIRELY different level.

- My bones feel like they’re being seared, shaved, scraped -

Make it stop...

“YARwaaWAG!-!-!-!”

I clutch my head in anguish. My nails dig into my scalp, drawing more blood.
It just adds to my already stained hands.

I – I’d rather get held down and violated over and over again than feel any of this. At least the humiliation and the false pleasure can trick your body I grimly rationalize, but with this, this is nothing but pure pain – pain at it’s most rawest form.
And it hurts.
It hurts SO much.
Nothing has felt this bad, it’s impossible for anything to hurt this badly – and yet, here it is, happening to me.

Make it stop…


A dream, right?




I can barely control my breathing. I can hardly maintain myself. But in spite of this, I know, I know that I cannot die – not like this. Not now, not so soon in.

WHOOSH!

Stoneblade whistles through the air, pulverizing enemy flesh. No matter what I think of him, he will hold the line, and he will ensure that nothing, absolutely nothing will get within spitting distance of me. As surely as his huge form looms over me in protection of my body, the very body that is going through so much for him right now, that is his promise.

Partner.
Training.
Servant.
Master.
GRAIL.

Hurts…
Make it stop…


It is a dream, right?




...Right?..
...Right..?





It’s not.




Make it stop!

“RARrrwww!!!”

He won’t give up – can’t give up, not as long as I am his, and he is mine.

As the pain and fear grips me, I search with desperation for something to hope for, to cling to when I’m scared. Anything to help me, us get through.

Father…Mother…

I reject those thoughts. After all, they had left me, hadn’t they? They had betrayed me, hadn’t they? Why should I care for their memory when all they did was hurt me in the end, why?

Because I know. I know what they did, I know what they tried to do, and I know what they couldn’t do – what they wanted to do so much, but could not because of Fate’s cruel and uncaring hand.

It’s okay…you can trust them.
Trust in him. And even...him - the one you do not know.

“YEEErgaRAWuGHughUGHuhh!-!-!-!!-!!-!!!”

The hulking form of Berserker is a storm, a living force of nature as he mercilessly hacks his way through the starving wolves. Ichor, fur, bone and pieces of meat and scattered about, bashed and cut into nothingness at the hand of his raw power.

“Eh…eh…EHHH!!”

I vomit, even though I hadn’t eaten in days. Bloody bile sprays from my mouth into a puddle.

Whether it be drawn out minutes or mere seconds I am unsure of – all I know is that it is eventually over. Broken, battered bodies of the desperate creatures litter the formerly pristine snowy grove. What was once innocent, freshly fallen white is now scarlet, scarlet in blotches and patches of unreal size and hue.

All … is quiet.

Standing like an ebon statue, silent and stalwart as one when not consumed with battle-lusting fury, is him…Berserker…staring calmly at my lithe, small form kneeling on the ground, reeling from the pain. At me.

Strength. He is strength. I am not strength. I am weak. Now I am weak. But…somehow…I do not know how…I muster, strength that I do not have…muster, muster it.

And I slowly limp towards him, leaving a trail of blood behind.

Slowly, slowly, slowly…

Using strength I do not have, I drag myself over to my Servant. Using strength I do not have, I lift my arm. Using strength I do not have, I touch his own - so big and powerful and invincible in contrast to my own small, pathetic, weak.

I now know what is happening to me, if only somewhat. I don’t know why, or how, or what I can do, but that can be saved for, for later…after this.

Using strength I do not have, I whisper:

“You’re strong, Berserker…”



_____________________________________



Happy New Year...Illyasviel Von Einzbern





ItsaRandomUsername
Januraruy 1, 2000
00:00
Einzbern Forest

Illyasviel Von Einzbern / ItsaRandomUsername
Date: Unknown
Time: Unknown
Location: Unknown


A child.

Young. Happy. Vibrant. Full of life and spunk, playing by the seaside as the waves crash on the sandy shore, splashing their spray like a gentle mist.

These aren’t her memories.


They’re mine.




My thoughts flash to the previous grisly events that befell me, although I try not to dwell too much on them. Right now in the midst of something extraordinary I am experiencing a much deserved reprieve, one brought on by the desire for the sleep of reason.

In the cold, unforgiving wilds of the Einzbern Forest, she’s … asleep.


Don’t I mean, “I’m” asleep?




Should I even be referring to her – to myself – like this? In such a detached, impersonal way?

Probably only until I can sort this out. If any time is a good time to do so, it would have to be now.

I send out my thoughts, feelings like probes into the dark unconsciousness of her psyche, taking care not to set off any mental alarms or whatnot. Honestly, I can’t really explain how it is I’m doing what I’m doing (given that this is my first time as a metaphysical existence) or what it even is in the first place, but I’m somehow “scanning” unobtrusively, trying to get my bearings.

Whether it takes years or seconds of real time doesn’t matter – time doesn’t flow here like it does out there. It’s only natural, I guess, given the state of the mind and the boundaries of thought.

Whatever, let’s see if I have this down right.

My soul does not seem to have overwritten hers; rather, it is more like two fluids are sharing the same container, equally yet separate – not unlike water and oil, perhaps?

I seem to be situated rather comfortably inside Illyasviel. Does this have anything to do with the fact that she is the container for the Holy Grail, the vessel that is meant to contain the souls of Heroic Spirits? If that is the case, then she shouldn’t have a problem with me hanging around in her. After all, my spiritual capacity is probably nowhere near as great as that of an embodiment of heroism.

It’s not the same, though. My thoughts and actions and desires seem to be dominant, ergo I seem to be the one in control of this body. I appear to have wrested control of it from her old consciousness, yet…the girl known as Illyasviel Von Einzbern is not gone. She is still here, below the surface, everything she knows of influencing my mind like the gentle ebb and flow of water. If I’m not too careful it wouldn’t be difficult for the simple mental barriers to get torn down, and then…


…I’d rather not think about that.




I’m hit with an idea. I’m not entirely sure it’s possible (or even if it’s a good idea in the first place) ,but perhaps, just perhaps it would be best if I could make contact with the other soul sharing residence with this body. After all, I am the one intruding in the first place, and it would be in my best interests to at least find acceptance with the tenant if I want to get to the bottom of this and potentially find my way back home to where I belong.


I’ll need to pull of some minor miracles if I want to live through this. God only knows what soul rejection would do to me.




Tentatively, I probe the black unconsciousness as unthreateningly as possible.

… ‘Illyasviel?’…



… ‘Illyasviel?’ …

…will I even get an answer? Or is my presence too strong for her to respond in…?









…kind?

‘Me? I, I’m…’

What am I, really? With all due honesty, I haven’t a clue how to explain myself. I was a person before, but now…Did I really not to expect to get this far, or do I simply just don’t know how I could possibly rationalize, quantify my existence? What a real pain. I hope she understands better than I do…

‘I’m…an angel.’



‘An…angel?’






Was that a hint of incredulousness there?

I do not know just how empathetic our new connection is – I know that I cannot “feel” her and what she thinks, but the pixie-faced homunculus has always been exceptionally good at reading others. Whether she actually peers into their souls or is just a good judge of character I can’t say. But, I do know that lying – even if it is a “white lie” such as this – isn’t exactly the best way to get off on the right foot. Better that the truth gets out, there can’t be secrets between the two of us.

‘I, I think…maybe? Am I an angel, a spirit, a ghost? Actually, I’m not entirely sure what I really am. That’s what bothers me right now. All I know is that I’m here now, in this body – your body.’[/i]



‘Ah. I see. Not an angel, but something…else.’






Well, if anyone can understand and accept weird things going on involving the soul with enviable grace and tact, it would have to be Illyasviel. That’s…a relief.

A childlike snicker gently “echoes” through the formless mindscape.

…I…guess she heard. Somehow.

How far does that extend, anyway? Will my mind be laid bare for her to see in all of its entirety like in the ending of that one show, or is it only surface thoughts? I’ll have to be careful what I think of down at this level if that’s the case. I like my mind being private, thank you very much. Consequences, could be dire. Blackmail potential…it sends shivers down my spine.



‘You’re a rather flustered angel, aren’t you?’






She giggles coyly. I bet she would be smirking right now, with that knowing smile of hers, like a porcelain Cheshire Cat.

‘N-not flustered!’ , I defend myself ‘Just…worried.’



‘About what?’






‘About why I’m even here. I really don’t have a clue – some random act of God or something.’



‘You must have been a bad angel, then~’





Again with the giggling…

Damn it, just how much does she know? This…could get volatile.
I have to get this back on topic before this gets completely derailed from its original purpose. At any rate, she doesn’t seem like she wants to reject me anytime soon, which is a good thing…



‘You’re too much fun, Mr. Angel.’





…don’t get baited.
You know what you want to do now, so go out and follow through with it.

‘Whatever I am; I think I may now know why I was sent here. And it doesn’t have to do with a scandal in Heaven…probably.’ I buck up, setting the mood for serious discussion. Even Illyasviel’s mentality can read that what I’m about to say carries some major significance…(even if I’m not entirely sure that what I’m saying is indeed the real explanation for why I’m here). ‘I’m beginning to think…I’m a guardian, or …a messenger.’



‘[COLOR=#ffa07a]Messenger?’





Perhaps it has something to do with your fate in the upcoming event you’ll be participating in. It takes my all to not express disgust at the notion of the Holy Grail War as I attempt to keep up the front of a benevolent messenger from the future. Good for fictional entertainment, bad for real-life situations. ‘I bear witness to several possible futures detailing more or less what will happen to you in the upcoming Heaven’s Feel. In order to assure that you will live through this, so that you can make the most out of your life, will you grant me permission to show you what I know?’

She ponders it for a few seconds before giving me her consent.

…and so it happens.

I mentally project everything that I know about her directly to her unconsciousness, Her fates in all of the endings; of her brother, initially shown to be the object of her hatred who would come to mutually love her whether he was aware of her true origins or not; of the “Bad Endings” where she succeeds in fulfilling her “revenge”; the unknown sacrifices of her beloved parents, twisted into manipulations by her elders to condition and raise a tool fitting for the Einzbern’s prize; the Grail itself, which she would eventually become host to unless even worse events were to occur – with the strong possibility of Illyasviel sacrificing herself in the end.

I can’t let that happen – not just for my sake, but hers as well.

I can only hope that she doesn’t take this the wrong way. But maybe I’m worrying needlessly. After all (as I said before), Illyasviel Von Einzbern is as human as the rest of us, but she can handle surreal revelations with enviable grace and ease.

‘Whether I’m an angel, a time-traveler, or a time-traveling angel, my existence is now tied with yours. And…I would appreciate it if we could help each other get through this.


[SIZE=3]
‘I see.’





Illyasviel says to herself, pondering and mulling over the possible futures I had shown to her. In the deep recesses of her mind where she is gently resting she’ll have plenty of time to come to terms with it.

‘Trust me with this, I’ll set things right. You won’t die on my watch.’



[I]‘Very well then, our lives are in your hands.’





‘Please, count on me.’ I reassure her as I proceed to disengage the mental link and awaken once more.



‘Oh, and Mr. Angel?’





‘Yes?’



‘I know that you really do have a name, but…you don’t have to call me Illyasviel. Just “Illya” will do.’






‘Alright then, Illya.’

Step #1 – acceptance: successful.

Step #2 – survival: to be determined…

Illyasviel Von Einzbern / ItsaRandomUsername
Date- January, 8, 2000
Time- 11:37 PM
Location- Einzbern Forest – Castle Outskirts


It is over.

After a long, hard week, it is over. An entire week filled with restlessness and unbearable pain, when the only time I could allow myself any rest was when I collapsed out of exhaustion during our brief reprieves that Berserker and I had between each wave of foes. Nearly 168 full hours of my Servant shredding starving, deranged animals and twisted, broken, failed experiments in order to keep me safe from harm; but in doing so forcing me to experience agonizing fits of suffering.


…Some training…




Killing for me.

Protecting me.

…was killing me from the inside out, rupturing, bursting my blood vessels like frozen pipes; was searing and ripping my muscles like scalding-hot vises; was making the life of Illyasviel Von Einzbern and another a living hell.

But…………..that’s okay.

Because I – we – made it through, just like the way it was meant to be.


’Not quite the same way exactly.’




That, that is true enough. Instead of finding our drive using the notion that we must succeed – that it is our right as an Einzbern to reclaim the long lost Third Magic as our own once more – our motivation was him, the young man who inherited Kiritsugu’s unattainable-yet-undoubtedly-noble dream. That understanding, thankless soul, the one who she and I could call family, who could give her the life she so strongly deserves. Why should we give our hopes to empty goals when unconditional love and kindness not just an old dream, but a nearly surefire possibility if it were given the chance?

It was with these thoughts, these goals in mind that I left the Einzbern Forest at the week’s end when the pain finally subsided with the support I was receiving from the Holy Grail’s power.

That and a heap of wolf pelts slung over Berserker’s shoulder.


‘Why is it that you decided to take along all of this wolf fur with you again?’




‘Because they’re trophies, that’s why. After what we went through last week, it’d be remiss of me to not collect some spoils to show “our” elders just how much ass we kicked. We ought to rub it in there faces juuussst a little bit, get them to eat crow. It’s fine by me if we get to spite them a little bit.’




I refrain from reminding us just how much on the verge of death we were throughout all that time, but it seems as if Illya understands the reasoning behind this.


‘Are you always one to collect trophies after you complete a difficult task, Angel?’




The all-too casual usage of that nickname when I requested that she refer to me using my alias sets me slightly on edge, and I mentally rub my head embarrassedly. ‘Umm, no, not really. I just really like wolf fur,’




‘Ah, I see then. Do as you will then, Irun. Provided it is within reason, of course~’





Just as soon as I am about to respond to that (even when I know that I should just leave it be and prevent it from going any further) the castle is in my sight, along with several members of the Einzbern lineage.

…figures that this would happen just as soon as I have come up with a witty response to her playful taunts, too.

Oh well.

I couldn’t care less about what happened next, and neither did my host. We were given the usual spiel by the higher-ups, including old man Acht himself. All the usual business about “Knew you would do well”, “We made a good choice”, “Feel proud for what you will do for us” and all that crap. Those are hollow congratulations, meaningless to us, and we let them know it as much as possible (without outright running up to the old asshole, socking him in the gonads and letting our Servant go to town on the rest) while accepting them enough to not set off any warning flags.

What I wouldn’t give to sic Berserker on them all right now. In a state like this, I’m pretty sure that Heracles could easily massacre the entire Einzbern clan with no problem, and that he could do it fast enough before they have a chance to react and go after me in order to put him to a stop…but that is not who I am. Who we] are. That is not our goal, and they are not worth our time.

But considering how visceral this sort of “family genocide” can be with regards to the guilty party, then perhaps we should put that on the to-do-list for later. AFTER this Grail War has been blown over for a while now.

So for now, it’s time to deal with the more pressing matter at hand.

…I wonder if we can’t get Sella to knit all of this fur into a nice, warm coat. Fuyuki can get rather chilly at night, and I’d like to stay warm in style. After all, if Irisviel can work a fur coat, why not us?

Illyasviel Von Einzbern / ItsaRandomUsername
Time - 10:42 AM
Date - January 14, 2000
Place - Einzbern Castle, Germany



No matter what I do it's there.

No matter how far I go, it comes after me with the tenacity and persistence of a hound from hell.

Not even getting thrust into the body of a homunculus with stunted growth, smack-dab in the Nasuverse is enough to keep it away from me.

God, do I dislike boredom.

But then again, I'm giving far too much credit to my sworn enemy. After all, I have had almost a week to aclimate myself to the castle, which is absolutely huge.

When I normally find myself in a new place, I usually take it upon myself to go on lengthy walkabouts around the property in order to get accquainted with my new surroundings. I deal with things best hands-on, to be honest. However, in my current situation my modus operandi would probably forebear some diastrous implications. Why?

Because Illya has lived in the castle her whole life.

I have not.

I'd damn us if I ever found myself lost merely going from Point A to Point B in the castle if I pretend to know where I'm going. But then it would also be even more incriminating if I was caught wandering aimlessly through the halls of my own accord in an attempt to get my bearings. Either one of these scenarios would present themselves as rather suspicious if I was ever to be caught like that. But, I knew that I'd have to figure out where things are for the rest of my stay at the Einzbern Castle. Fortunately, I came up with a compromise.

Illya was willing to provide me with a "mental map" of the castle, and I put up the front that I knew where I was going when walking through the place in order to obtain at least some muscle memory of the place.

Of course, being Illya she took it upon herself to have a little fun with me.

Her directions were exactly what I needed and spot-on, helping to reinforce what else I was picking up. MOST OF THE TIME. She was not above leading me astray in strange rooms for her own amusement, usually resulting in rather embarrassing situations (and myself trying to pass off my "absentmindedness" as sleep-deprivation in further preparation of the Holy Grail War).

And by embarrassing I mean EMBARRASSING.

I’m sorry Sella, Leysritt. I’m so, so sorry…

I would also like to apologize to cousin Johan, and cousin Anyasviel. Especially to Anyasviel, who I get the feeling will be the next in line if we fail this.

In spite of Illya’s mischievous intentions, she would always let me know which were the places to seriously avoid at the appropriate times. So at least it’s good to know that she is at least looking out for me underneath that impish nature of hers, that she won’t intentionally lead me to my death.

When all is said and done, though, these feelings could only last for so long, and as a result I find myself at the mercies of boredom once more.

‘Hmmm….I wonder…’



“What are you thinking?





‘I’ve been thinking, how about I make a familiar out of this thing?’
I tightly squeeze the stuffed wolf (made from the fur of our spoils) that I was staring at for the past six minutes, trying to deliberate what sort of things to do in order to pass the time. You can only read books about history and mythology that you’ve already read before a zillion times in preparation for the Grail War before it becomes somewhat tedious.



“Oh? And why would you want to do that?”





‘No reason, I’m just bored.’ I shrug my shoulders and shake my head as I confess. ‘That and I’d like to practice working magic hands-on. Besides…don’t you think it’d be kind of cute to have a familiar like this? Even if it isn’t all that strong, it’ll at least be a good warm-up.’



“Well, I can’t really stop you, now can I?






‘Okay then, let’s get to work!’

I do everything that is required of me. The preparations are sound: the circle is drawn, the offerings are, the vessel is ready and the prana is flowing.

I am ready to bind a soul to this wolf plushie.

Time to rock and roll.



*20*


Perfectly done. Of course, it helps that the forte of the Einzberns is souls, after all, along with Wishcraft. What I have right here is my first familiar, and I’m rather excited about it. It’s not much, of course, and cannot compare to Berserker (but then again, that’s like saying nothing is as hot as the sun…), but it makes me happy all the same.

Now then, what shall I name you?




Hmm, perhaps as a sign of good will I should let Illya name it. It’ll be another way of showing my appreciation for her not having expelled my soul to the void yet (or whatever would happen to me if my soul gets “rejected”…), plus I’d probably end up naming it something really stupid and obnoxious like Captain Logar the Unstoppable Fuzzball.





Yeah, I think I’ll do that.





“Hey Illya,” I talk aloud, the as of now sentient doll staring at me and gently wagging its stubby, furry tail. “Would you like to name this little thing? It’s my treat?”

Illyasviel Von Einzbern / ItsaRandomUsername
Time - 10:49 AM
Date - January 14, 2000
Place - Einzbern Castle, Germany





'...hmm...I'm impressed. You actually did better than I expected...even if it won't be much use.'








She seems slightly pleased by this development.




'...from your memories...I think, I'll name it Maugrim.'








"Maugrim?"

I rack my mind for a few moments trying to remember where I heard that name before. Then it hits me...

"Oh, yeah! C.S Lewis, right? I'm pretty sure that's the name of the wolf from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Maugrim. That's rather meaningful, I think."

But then, I think about what she just said.

''Wait...from MY memories? What exactly did you see in there that had anything to do the works of C.S Lewis?'' I ask her curiously. ''It's been years since I've read the stories."
And...why THAT book in particular...?




'It may have been years, but I'm rather good at looking into the past. I do it all the time with the ancestor's memories, after all.'








"Huh. I see. But, hmm, why go for THAT name? Do you like that book or something like that?"




'It just seemed appropriate. I originally thought of using Fenrir, but that's an awfully big name for an awfully small familiar...'








"Heh, I'll have to agree with you there. Okay then, Maugrim it is."

And with that, we have our first familiar - Maugrim. He (it?) might not be much, but already the little guy is growing on me.


Although you'll always be the spokes-toy of loyalty, Demonbane the Winter Wolf to me~
Umm......yeah.







I should talk with Illya more later on about why she even went into my memories in the first place (just for the sake of naming an incredibly low-tier familiar who will serve as nothing more than the "cute mascot"), and why she chose that piece of literature as her basis. If I can understand her a little more, then it's all the better for me then.

I find myself wondering....even though you're just a basic familiar, do you have hopes and dreams, Maugrim? Or even just feelings, like happiness? What I see before me was originally a hollow vessel of a doll - a shell, empty and void of life. Until I bound the soul of one of the slain wolves to it, that is? Because he came into this world artifically, does he count as "alive"?

I don't know what to think about this, but regardless I think Maugrim deserves to live just as much as anything else. If it has a soul, then it should be allowed to live until it is time for the soul to depart.

This belief rings true, regardless of whether it concerns a wolf-familiar or a homunculus. All should have that right to live, to see if they can find their happiness.

So no matter what, I will do my damndest to find new life for this girl and I.

'This I swear my soul on, and should I fail may you do with it as you please.'




"......."

Froggie
September 20th, 2011, 03:56 PM
Emiya Shirou: Finished a late dinner with Sakura and Taiga not too long ago and currently is in his shed, practicing reinforcement. Intends to visit the shrine temple for Hatsumode soon.


}ď{

Emiya Shirou / Froggie
January 1, 2000 AD
Midnight
Storage Shed, Emiya Residence.

I do not often remember my dreams.

Usually, for me, it is just a matter of going to bed and waking up in my room later, several hours having gone by with only a vague sense of ‘something’ having transpired while I slept; a something that slips from my consciousness rapidly as I try to focus on it. Dreams are fickle and elusive like that. I will wake up knowing that I dreamed something, but the more I try to dwell on the subject matter, the faster I forget what the content was as I edge towards lucidity.

Rarely, if ever, will I remember the contents of my own dreams.

Sometimes, I will jolt awake and realize that I have just woken up from a dream that I have been actively influencing, the act of changing the course and direction of the dream somehow being enough to startle me into consciousness, leaving behind only quickly fading mirages which are then promptly forgotten.

That is to say: becoming aware of a dream will bring it crashing down like that, freeing me from unpleasant or scary subconscious figments.

'I am dreaming.'

Except it doesn't seem to be working this time.

This can be nothing else than a dream.

There can be no other explanation for going to bed and ‘waking up’ in a location that is most definitely not my room.

So, since I am aware of this being a dream, I should be waking up soon, right?

Dreaming about waking up and then waking up for real is actually pretty standard for me. It’s almost like a reverse Inception, but rather anti-climactic and dull instead of thrilling and exciting.

However, I am not waking up.

So, if this is not a dream, is this reality?

‘Where am I?’

The room is somehow both spacious and cluttered at the same time, a neatly disorganized mess. It’s dimly illuminated by an overhead lamp and moonlight streams in from windows located near the roof. The area near the middle of the room is dominated by a strangely inscribed circular pattern on the floor and towards the edges of it are tables and shelves lined with various appliances, tools, parts and loose or rolled up sheets of paper.

‘A repair-shop?’

No, it’s a bit too small. It’s more like a shed were unwanted junk gets thrown in to be forgotten, rather like the one that mother kept in her backyard a few years ago before tearing it down. However, this particular shed is not dominated by a thin layer of dust so it certainly sees more use than that one ever did. There’s no dust here despite how disorderly things are and the circular pattern is certainly nicer than plain concrete.

‘Wait, what?’

I shift from my sitting position on the floor and crawl towards the nearby outline and that’s when I notice.

“Huh. Those aren’t my hands.”

That wasn’t my voice!

I stand up with a jolt and nearly trip over ‘my’ own legs due to my frantic thoughts not meshing properly with my body. I can’t help but stare at myself in abject shock. Not my hands, not my voice, not my body. I run my hands through my hair. Yes, that feels different too; it’s even shorter than normal. Basically, I’m not myself at all.

So far as dreams go, this one is more than just passing strange.

I’m aware and not waking up and I’m someone else other than myself. Do I often have dreams like these? I don’t know. What I do know is that I do not like it one bit.

I pinch ‘my’ cheek and twist hard.

“Ow!” I say in the voice that isn’t mine.

Yeah, I didn’t expect that to work at all.

Okay, I’m not waking up and the dream isn’t crashing down around my ears. I’m not myself and I’m not anywhere I recognize. If this is some bizarre dream, there’s nothing to do but ride it out until I wake up. If this is, somehow, reality the first thing would be to determine where I am and how to get back home. Whatever the case, the only thing that stands out is the strange pattern in the middle of the storage room so I suppose I’ll check that out first and then go from there, one step at a time.

And when I do, my breath catches in my throat.

It’s familiar. It’s very familiar.

And seeing it now, so does the rest of the messy shed.

But… this isn’t possible.

Is it?

Feeling a rising nervousness in my chest, I dash out into the yard as fast as I can stumble in this unusual body that doesn’t move at all like mine.

The Japanese styled house and dojo that I lurch towards only serve to increase my apprehension and dread. The oddly familiar rooms do nothing to relieve it either. I stagger, nearly tripping over my own feet, through Japanese styled rooms for what seems a small eternity until I find what I’m searching for.

A bathroom. A mirror.

It is, to use a certain turn of phrase, the final nail on the coffin.

I stare at the mirror in dumbfounded amazement. Idly, I notice that my jaw is hanging open. I try to close it, and instead find myself making expressions like a fish.

“What is this?!” I wonder out loud, Emiya Shirou’s voice incredulous, high pitched, and bordering on hysteria. “A self-insert fanfiction? But I HATE self-inserts!”

lethum
September 27th, 2011, 01:55 AM
Mitsuzuri Ayako
始まります













January 1, 2000 AD
Midnight

Time changed. That was the best way I could summarize what came before...right now? The date was wrong. I don't know how I knew the date, but it was wrong.

No, not wrong. Inconsistent with what I remembered.

And I remembered so little...it felt not so much like missing a forgotten memory but rather, somehow retaining the memory of remembering so much more...

I gathered myself, and shaped my environment. This came as a surprise, since this mental exercise had never done much but help me focus. I looked right and left, at my surroundings, having given myself human shape. Or perhaps I had always had a human shape, and it only became evident when my surroundings became something that a human shape could correctly interact with.

The mentally malleable surroundings were still there, though. I should do something about it, but to that I had to first learn a bit more. My sense of self was separate from my surroundings, so I could tentatively affirm that this isn't the inside of my mind. If this isn't my mind -and even if it was-, then the chance of finding someone other than me was not zero. So I tested my skill, by having a warm, kind, rainbow colored wind blow past the place I was in, the unrealistically green grass on the rolling hills swaying and dancing as the vividly blue ponds sparkled under the sunlight that poured from the king of stars in the cloudless sky.

I had succeeded. It could a coincidence, of course, but what I'd just was enough proof for me, the only witness. I had proved to myself that I had some control over my surroundings and that these surroundings were not constrained as much by physical laws as by concepts. But that begged the question, Where am I? If I discarded other possibilities for the first one that came to mind, then I was in a mind, only...not mine.

Having that as a hypothesis, there were two basic possibilities: either I was noticed, or I wasn't. Either way, there had to be something I could do...a way to contact whoever else was in this mind, if my unfounded guesses were right. The answer came to my mind in a second: nature abhors vacuums, so if I made a vacuum, then something would change and flow to fill it. If I was lucky, it might even work!

Making the empty space was easy, but the moment I felt it was going to be filled, the metaphor broke and I was floating in the darkness. I could hear the sounds of people talking, adults, teenagers and children chuckling, answering, joking, teasing, glasses -and drinks- shared, food eaten. Then, I could taste something...like I was drinking something, only I knew I wasn't. As I realized what was happening, I began to feel the glass in my hand the liquid in my throat, the warmth of the room, clothes...

The world took shape again, this time beyond my control.

I was floating in the middle of the room, with my feet through the ground, my legs through some low table and my knees shared space with some of the food and drink on the middle of the aforementioned table. A vaguely conical part of the world was noticeably different from the rest though, looking as normal as things always did, but the rest of the world was...different. Like a mix between movie Daredevil's echolocation and a collage of video clips of an approximation of the appropriate color. Before I coul do anything else, though...

"PFFT!"

From my right, someone spat their drink, and I got splashed by the flying liquid. Annoyed, I turned to complain.

"What the- what was that for?"

The culprit was a girl, a cute Japanese brunette that didn't seem a day over eighteen.

Instead of answering, she ignored me and looked at the glass she was drinking from, very close to empty. "Is there alcohol in this?" I heard her ask herself. She spoke so low that even in a silent room it would have been difficult to feel, but to me it'd had been obvious: I'd felt the words as they were spoken, as if it had been me who had been speaking. But I hadn't. My lips, tongue, jaw and vocal cords didn't move, and yet I could feel the words as she spoke them. I could even recognize them as being Japanese, even if my mastery of the language was sorely lacking.

I understood where I was. Especially when the cone shaped thing shifted rapidly and seemingly aimed itself at her glass.

And I chose to speak, "are you just going to ignore me?"

The girl raised her head to look at me so fast that some of her hair went flying. Having turned to look at her myself I could see the next room, where the lights were off but the TV was on -since the odd glow I saw was consistent with what I saw-, the source of the people noises I'd heard filtering through the doorway.

"Who the hell are you?" she yelled.

"I'm-" inside your mind, girl. No, not yet. I don't plan on saying my name anytime soon, but I do intend to say the truth, "please, call me Lethum."

"What kind of name is that?" she asked, "and what are you?" she finished, bewildered.

"It's my kind of name, thank you. And it's only polite to give your own name in return." Now that I was looking down at her, I realized that the intriguing phenomena that made stuff not in the line of sight of the girl in front of me odd was vanishing, with colors and shapes stabilizing into normal objects.

"Why should I tell you?" She asked, having gone on the defensive. It was still Japanese, but the understanding was so quick and natural that I slowly stopped noticing it at all. Not to mention I was speaking in English, and she didn't seem to mind.

"Well...I could just wait, I guess. You don't look the like the loner type, so someone will definitively call you by your name, eventually. Of course, I'll have to call you something in the meanwhile. Maybe a petty insult, so that we can be a petty pair?" Not that she was being petty, really. Giving away your name can be dangerous, even in the normal world, and given that I'm pretty sure that I'm on her mind, normal isn't something I can say about this place.

Crossing her arms, she answered.

"Fair enough." Even so, she didn't say anything for a moment. "My name is Mitsuzuri Ayako."

No.

For an indeterminate length of time, my will rallied against what I'd just heard, right before my mind began racing in trying to figure something out.

"Ah, nice to meet you, Mitsuzuri Ayako." I hesitated for a second before continuing, "Do you, perchance, happen to know a young man, a red haired child of your age, called Emiya Shirou?"

"Emiya? What do you want with him?"

"Nothing, I was just checking. He's pretty good with a bow, right?" There were many things I wanted to know, but of one thing I was sure. The Mitsuzuri Ayako in front of me was as close to the real Mitsuzuri Ayako as I could imagine. The clothes had thrown me off, but I would've eventually noticed, I'm sure.

My real concern was that a single swallow didn't make it summer: even if I could confirm that the normal side of Fuyuki City corresponded to what I remember of the Visual Novel, then I could at most be only reasonably sure that there would be a hidden, moonlit world in the twilight and shadows. And if there was evidence of the Fourth Grail War but not the Fifth...

"How do you know about him?" Asked Ayako as her hackles rose. I knew they did because I could feel it like it was happening to myself. I bet that her mind was racing, but the truth is that mine was, too. But...should I tip my hand this soon? Mm...Choices, choices.

Let's go with honesty.

It's not like I was going to tell her everything, in any case.

"I know...of an Emiya Shirou good enough at Archery to star in a sports manga. I know of an Emiya Shirou with enough admirers to star in an Eroge. I know of an Emiya Shirou who...goes to Homurabara, and used to be on the Archery club."

"How do you even know these things? Are you a Wizard?" Examining what I was feeling, I noticed that I was slightly lightheaded, the kind of mental pollution that didn't let one think right or quickly. I could think at my normal speed, so that was probably not my own sensation, but Ayako's. Still, she must have been very confused, to say something like that, given that wizard is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about someone who knows more than they should. It's quite uncharacteristic of her, if I may say so.

"Let me think...no, I'm not a wizard, Ayako. Why don't you lie down, for a while? It's night time, and you seem more than a little bit shocked," I said looking around. Come to think of it, I'm still standing on the middle of the table, maybe she just didn't want to think I was a ghsot and a wizard was a nicer explanation in her mind. Without a word, I tried walking over to one of the seats by Ayako's side. It seemed like it worked, with the table letting me pass as easily as air would. Once I was outside the table, I tested it with a leg and noted that it was now solid.

"Y-you are a ghost, aren't you?" She asked, looking like she'd just been told she'd have to chock a bunny to death: not scared, but certainly reluctant and somewhat dismayed.

"No-" I stopped. What exactly was I? Even if I remember being a normal human in a normal world...those same memories lead me to believe that I am, either no longer in my body, or a copy stuffed into this girl.

"I'm...not really sure what I am, really. I could be...a soul cutter spirit, I guess," I said as I looked up and tapped my chin with a finger and recalled that popular manga. This situation, with me knowing my own, real name that I refused to tell her, living in her mind and soul and leading her in her path to power... "Nah, I don't think so. Think of me as...an imaginary friend for now. Maybe we can find out what I am later."

Ayako just sighed and looked down. It was only for a short moment, though, a split second's rest before raising her head again. I could see it in her eyes that she didn't completely trust me, but had probably decided that I wasn't dangerous at the moment. Maybe.

"So..." I began, but Ayako pierced me with a glare.

"Can you please stop doing that?" She finally asked, exasperated at something.

"What?" I asked her, before tilting my head to the side.

"That!" She said, pointing at me...or rather, at my body.

Looking down to see what was wrong, I saw something that stopped me in my tracks. My body, or what passed for my body here had seemingly changed a lot since I'd last seen it, having more in common with an anime character's (Mitsuzuri Ayako in her Homurabara winter uniform) 3d hologram than a normal body. I raised my hand to look at it more closely.

What I saw didn't look like my body at all.

No, Wait. This isn't my body, this is the shell I'm using to interact with Ayako's mental representations of her surroundings. Since I'm receiving data from her senses, I can theorize that the sensation resonance led to a contagion of shape. My own perception of Ayako as a character and not as a person -not nice, but it hasn't even been five minutes!- had probably added the cosmetic changes.

"Huh," I said, still looking at my hand. It was kinda cool to see how reality, or at least my current surroundings, conspired to make my anime shape as inconspicuous as possible. Looking closely proved that I had fingerprints, that I had palm lines -maybe this will prove useful for Quiromancy?-, that I had nails, that my skin was still organized in those tiny patches and, perhaps more relevant than the rest, that my hair did not merge into the mostly shapeless hairdo blob that was drawn in manga.

I'd have spent more time watching myself for details, but it was frankly not that interesting. I was exited, of course, but I was fairly sure that things would stay like they are for a good while, and I didn't have a mirror to check other things out. Not that it was completely unreasonable for me to just manifest a full body length mirror, given that I'm in a mindscape, or a reasonable facsimile of such. Making something appear could be as easy as making that first utopia was in the first place, but I simply couldn't be sure until I tried, and I was holding that off for later.

"I wonder if I can sweat drop and face-fault..." I asked myself. Looking back at Ayako, I noticed that she was glaring at me. I opened my mouth to apologize and ask her what was wrong, but we both started when we heard a voice coming from outside the room.

"Ayako! We're ready, come here!" the yell of an older man reached the room.

I yelled, "I'm coming!" before jogging to the place the voice came from. I felt, more than saw, that Ayako had jumped to her feet and tried to grab my clothes, but I was just too far, and I was sure that she would just grasp thin air. Jogging as I was being chased by a jogging Ayako felt weird. Not only there was bouncing, it was doubled.

As I arrived at what looked like the entrance of the house a couple seconds later -it wasn't a particularly big house, after all-, I saw what I had been expecting from the beginning. My footsteps had gone unheard, my body was unseen and my presence was undetected. It seems like I'm an existence that transcends their senses, for now. More fuel for my 'I'm inside Ayako's mind', theory. A second later, Ayako arrived.

"No running in the house, Ayako. I thought you'd outgrown this already," said an older woman who stood by the man and the teen who were waiting at the door, in a reprimanding tone common to mother figures in general.

"Did you agree to meet with a classmate this early, Ayako? You seem to be in a hurry," said the older man, with the same voice that had called us over earlier.

When Ayako's eyes flicked over to me for a second, I spoke, "tell them that there's someone you wanted to invite, but never got around to. If Shirou is the nice guy I remember, then he'll say yes, even if you ask before 5 am in the morning. Then I'll answer your question and explain everything I think you deserve to know about."

"What are you thinking, Ayako?" asked the older woman who was most likely Ayako's mother. It seemed like staring at an empty wall and staying silent for a few seconds had been construed by the others as Ayako reflecting in silence.

"I-I want to invite someone..." she began. I tuned her out, honestly. I was wondering about Emiya Shirou. Ayako hadn't really given me verbal answers, but she'd shown other clues with her actions and questions that led me to believe that the Shirou who existed in this world was the same Shirou who I was familiar with. My left hand closed itself into a fist before relaxing again several times, a habit copied from Neon Genesis Evangelion's Ikari Shinji.

Shaking my head quickly -and flinging my hair into my face in the meantime-, I resumed paying attention to Ayako's discussion with her family.

"..then I don't think there is a problem, then. We will save you two a place in the line, Ayako. Don't take too long, you hear me?" finished saying Ayako's mother. Were they going to the Ryuudou Temple this early in the year?

"Yes!" Answered Ayako with a heartfelt nod. It honestly reminded me of those enthusiastic 'Hai's I've heard in anime before. I followed Ayako as she left ahead of the rest of her family, who in another direction.

We walked in silence for a while. But only for a little while, because once we were out of earshot from her family, Ayako spoke again.

"Is- how do you know Emiya, um...I forgot the name you told me, sorry." That was uncharacteristically shy of her...but then again, if it was a deliberate front she put for information, I had nothing to gain by shooting it down too fast. She'd feel more comfortable about information that she feels she outmaneuvered out of me, compared with what I tell her straight out. Until she trusts me, anyway.

"Lethum. L, E, T, H, U and M, in that order."

"I see. Thank you," she answered.

"You look like you want to keep asking me questions, Mitsuzuri." I said after thinking exactly that, "you can feel free to ask me things while we are alone, you know? If I don't answer, I'll give you a reason instead of getting angry."

"How old are you?" Was her first question, after wordlessly and automatically accepting my addressing her by her last name. Crafty, I thought with a mental smirk.

"I'm not sure. If I'm as new as I suspect, then I'm a few minutes old. If not, then I must say that I'm not certain how long the time I've lived translates into years. This was as much of a surprise for me as it was for you, you know?" I answered.

"What are you? Even if you say that you aren't a ghost or a wizard, you still walked through that table."

I was silent for a whole minute before answering. Not because I was preparing my answer, but to delay it. I took advantage of the pause to look around the city. I'd never been in Japan, and thanks to being inside Ayako's mind, it were her language centers that translated the writings around us into shapes with meanings I could read. I could bet that soon I'll understand Japanese by myself just by hanging around. And some of Ayako's foreign language's scores would rise.

"I'm pretty sure that I'm not any of those, unless I became one without finding out. Like I said, it's better to think of me as your imaginary acquaintance," I answered.

"..."

It looked like the long pause had taken out the life from the budding conversation. Or maybe Ayako was too busy thinking about Shirou to think about little ghost me. In any case, we stayed silent as we walked towards the place where Emiya Shirou lived. It was so lonely that I remembered an argument on Beast's Lair about Shirou's thoughts on Ayako's actions after she was attacked. Even if she was attacked now, chances are that I couldn't do anything except, maybe...

We arrived at the door a big house surrounded by a wall. We rang. Or rather, Ayako did as I stood by, watching her and feeling her every physical sensation, not mentioning outloud how much her heart had sped up, how much her face had flushed or how nervous she was feeling. A sudden gust of wind blew our clothes and hair, reminding me of the many instances in video games, movies, manga and television where it had happened and it'd looked good. It made me feel good about my looks, even before...

RIIIIINNNNGGG.

Mormarth
September 27th, 2011, 09:14 PM
Fujimura Taiga: Back at the Fujimura House, knocking back a few too many portions of Sake.


Fujimura Taiga / Mormarth
January 1, 2000 AD
Midnight
Fujimura House


I jerked, it was as if you were walking down a hallway and someone had jostled your leg in mid step, knocking you off balance. I had been ill, lying in bed, half-delirious, not sure if the room really was spinning or if that was just my head.


The darkness suddenly became light, noiseless void became filled with voices slurred with laughter and inebriation. Smells of alcohol and delicious food wafted to my nose as my stomach growled with hunger, someone next to me apparently heard this, and laughed out something about a tiger.


A back portion of my mind spun with anger, but most of my head was dazed and confused, I got up and mumbled something about the bathroom, and my legs, apparently knowing the way more than I did, walked towards what was presumably the bathroom.


'This is another hallucination. I'll stumble back to vague sobriety in a moment or two.'


My body seemed off-balance, I almost fell several times, and had to cling to a wall as my legs kept moving ever forward towards my destination.


My legs stopped and turned towards a sliding door, I reached up and opened it, Thankfully, it was the bathroom, and as I stumbled inside, I glanced at the mirror.


A mental record scratched.


The person in the mirror was not me, for one thing, it was a woman.


The drunken likeness of Fujimura Taiga stared at me with the shock I felt.


A single thought ran through my head, “What.” In the back of my, er, her mind, a sloshed tiger stirred.

Mormarth
October 20th, 2011, 04:29 PM
Morm/ Fujimura Taiga
Location: ???


I awoke in a field, the sun was shining, the birds, who I couldn't see, were chirping away cheerily. As if there wasn't a problem in the world, it seemed like this field would remain the same, for all of time, it would always be happy and bright. I rose up, and I stood steadily on two feet. I gazed around, the field was rather large, but off in the distance, I spied a small building. I began moving towards it, and appeared on the walkway to the door. It was a traditional dojo, like one would find in an old samurai movie, the door was a paper screen, and inside I could hear a voice saying something, my eyes flicked up to the plaque above the door, almost unconsciously. It was in some japanese text I couldn't read, but I somehow knew what it said. Tiger Dojo.


I opened the door, and before me lay the interior of the dojo, it was wallpapered with a tiger-stripe material, and stuffed tigers lined the walls. A girl was in the center of the floor, playing with a serious-looking tiger, its fur was black, and it had a cigarette in its mouth. The girl herself was laughing boisterously, throwing the tiger in the air, and calling after it, “Kiri-san! Kiri-san!” and laughing as she caught the tiger again.


I called out to her, “Hey, uh, who are you? Can you tell me where I am?”


She gasped, and the tiger fell to the floor as she looked at me, she then scowled, and leaping to her feet she shouted, “I'm Taiga! Who are you!? AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY HEAD!?”


I scowled right back and said, “I'm _______!” “And-”


Wait. WHAT? I scanned my mind furiously, my name, my NAME! WHAT IS MY NAME?! I paced back and forth, and chanced a glance at the mirror.


Nothing, empty space. I appeared to be a nameless shade in this girl's mind, less than anything I had ever been, But, still, she gave me her name, and so, I must be polite and give my name in return. So, reaching for something I held close, I said, “I'm Morm, and I'm just as confused as you.”


So, we spoke for a while, I attempted to sooth her fears that I was some monster, come to eat her soul, or a spirit that would forcibly take control of her mind without a hint of her consent. She slowly learned of my life, and I spoke about my confusion in great detail, and as we neared the end of our discussion, I chanced another glance, in the mirror. What.


It was another tiger, a frowning one, with a spiffing monocle about one of its eyes, wearing a nice suit, and sporting a top hat. I smiled, it appears that I had gained some semblance of an identity within Taiga's mind.


I had convinced her of the solidity of my story, particularly my confusion at being here. As our conversation came to a close, fog seemed to close around the room, and she slowly faded away, she waved to me, as we faded from each others sight, “Goodbye, Morm-san!”


My eyes blinked open, I was back in the bathroom, and, apparently, still Taiga. Hey! Why are you still me?!


I sighed, this was going to be a long talk.

Froggie
November 16th, 2011, 12:08 PM
Emiya Shirou / Froggie
January 1, 2000 AD
Midnight
Emiya Residence.

I am not panicking.

Why should I be panicking? I mean, certainly, this development is unexpected and more than a little bizarre, but that’s the way dreams work, right? It doesn’t matter that I had previously talked myself into the conclusion that this could not be a dream at all, that this was reality. It doesn’t matter that my arguments had made sense at the time. Because, quite obviously, if Emiya Shirou’s face is staring back at me with an expression of mounting horror, my own reflection in the mirror, this can be nothing more than a terrible dream, on the league of the infamous pizza induced nightmares. So, in the end, no matter my arguments, this can be nothing more than a food-coma nightmare, probably a subconscious effect from reading too much fanfiction or something like that.

Even if I didn’t eat more than an apple last night.

Even if I didn’t read any Fate/Stay Night fanfiction last night.

So that white knuckle grip on the bathroom sink, the heavy breathing, the thunderous headache, and that growing feeling of nausea? Not panic. Not at all. It’s probably some sort of, I don’t know, lucid dream reaction or something.



…Oh God, even I don’t believe myself.

…I think I’m going to throw up.

I lurch to the toilet and do just that.

Stuck in a self-insert fanfiction and my first reaction is to throw up. I wonder if this is a common reaction amongst people writing themselves into fictional universes. Whatever their own reactions might be, my own throat is burning and I feel thoroughly wretched. My head is pounding and it feels like my heart is about to burst out of my chest any moment now. I rub at my forehead, trying to somehow diminish the relentless drumming, and proceed to wash ‘my’ mouth and face in the sink. Shirou’s face, my face, does not look good at all. Rather, it looks positively ghastly. I scowl at the mirror and quickly exit the bathroom, not quite slamming the door behind me.

Okay, okay, so maybe I am freaking out, just a little bit.

Still feeling like death warmed over, I make my way through the Emiya residence, racking my brain to try and recall whatever I can about what self-inserts entail.

It is surprisingly little.

They’re all, basically, cheap, poorly written fix fics with characterization thrown out the window in lieu of a smorgasbord of indulgent fantasies with the author’s favorite characters taking center stage while the setting crumbles into a twitching, unrecognizable mess.

…How unsurprisingly unhelpful.

Right, okay, deep breath, deep breath.

Alright, firstly, I need to figure out what date it is so I can tell at what point in time I’m currently located. Due to a lack of any visible houseguests in my wandering through the large household, this is either before or after the whole ordeal.

…Again, unsurprisingly unhelpful.

I rub at my head, trying to ward of another headache.

Alright, that’s not much help at all. Moving on… I seem to remember that sometimes in self inserts, the author would be able to talk to and consult with the original owner of the insert body in order to receive information about the setting and situation before promptly shunting them into the background and letting the ridiculous drivel aping at literature commence. Will it work for me? Well… it’s worth a try, at least. Shirou’s not a bad kid, so I can at least try to make friends with him and try to steer him away from danger.

So… here we go…

‘Shi… Emiya-saaaaaaaan?!’

Asjdhajksdgahkug!

PAIN!

OHGODMYHEAD!!

THAT HURTS!

Bad idea! Bad idea! BAD IDEA!

I grasp frantically at my head and fall to my knees even as a low moan of pain escapes my lips. A horrible insistent, pounding noise smashes through my head, even as my stomach roils and heaves, making me feel horribly sick. Nnnngghh… Okay. Shirou is not available at this moment, if at all. Whatever threw me in here is probably not settled yet and trying to rush it apparently results in the equivalent of a mental electrocution. Either that or I’m on my own, a thought that is not at all a welcome one.

All in all, an abysmal failure that has left me feeling like death once more.

And that stupid noise isn’t going away, godamnit.

Oh wait… that’s the doorbell…

Unsteadily, knees trembling slightly, I rise to my feet and head in the direction of the noise, hopefully towards the main door of the compound. I don’t know if it’s just me being me, or if it’s the headache, or if it’s something else entirely, but I’m feeling quite frankly irritated. When I ran from the shed to the house proper, the moon was quite high in the sky so it’s probably rather late. Whomever it is at the door better have damn good reason for interrupting my all-important “rolling around in pain while clutching at my head” time.

Before too long, I’m by the main entrance of the Emiya household, cracking the gate slightly open to look outside, trying not to grimace from the building buzzing in my head. It’s not so dark, thanks to the light of the moon, and I can see rather easily outside and make out a feminine face with shoulder length brown hair. It’s the face of…

“Mitsuzuri…?”

Ayako? Here so late? What the..?

The buzzing noise reaches a crescendo and the welcoming smile I tried to give turns into a grimace, forcing me to close my eyes in an attempt to shut out the sudden spike of pain. With great effort, I do not lift an arm towards my face, rather clutching at the gate frame with a desperate grip.

But, hey, at least the buzzing is gone now!

‘Mitsuzuri?’

‘Ah! Emiya-san?’

Well, crap.

lethum
November 17th, 2011, 12:26 AM
Mitsuzuri Ayako
再発足よ




















January 1, 2000 AD
Early


RIIIIINNNNGGG.

...

RIIIIINNNNGGG.

...

RIIIIINNNNGGG.

...


RIIIIINNNNGGG.

As we waited for the owner of the house to answer, I stood still a short distance from Ayako. And when I say still, I mean it: I didn't fidget, I didn't blink, I didn't breath, I didn't twitch. The human body was liable to do that by itself, but...I am not quite in a human body human, though. The periodic electrical impulses that maintain the peripheral nervous system active do not run through myself, because I don't have a body. I have the mimicry of one that reacts to the outside stimuli detected by the body of Mitsuzuri Ayako...or maybe I'm just wrong and it's something else.

For the first time in my life, I hear a voice I have head over a hundred times, this time coming form the door. I'd apparently missed when the gates had been opened, since I could see eyes and hair of familiar colors through the gap I can see.

"Mitsuzuri…?"

Shirou smiled, and I felt my chest grow warm and my breath catch in my throat. When he grimaced right afterwards my heart skipped a beat. I could feel Ayako's legs shifting as she half jogged to Shirou.

"Emiya!" Exclaimed the girl. I breathed in deeply as I walked after her. Given that the distance between us was not very big, we closed in to Shirou quite quickly. However, she quickly got a hold of herself. I suddenly remembered that in Japan it was customary for people to keep their distance. Even with my own first row knowledge of her feelings, I literally stood by and watched as she let her upbringing hold her back from going and actually touching him. Not that I didn't feel the same, since even if he had grimaced and looked somewhat pale, he was holding on his own.

As Ayako stood, now a lot closer to Shirou than before, I decided to remind her of reason we'd come here.

"Ask him about him going with your family to the temple," I told Ayako. I realized as I spoke that, even if she didn't turn over to look at me, there must have been an awkward pause in the conversation as she listened to me speak.

She immediately did so, grasping at the words as a way to center herself like it was a lifeline. "Emiya...do you, will you go with us to Hasumode? I am, well we if you say yes...we are meeting with my family over at the stairs in Mount Enzou. Please?"

Huh? This is an unexpectedly feminine side to Ayako, I though. Maybe she didn't realize how much like a date this whole idea sounded before she spoke...

alfheimwanderer
November 28th, 2011, 03:42 PM
Morning
January 16, 2000 AD
Fuyuki City, Japan


Two weeks have passed since the beginning of the new millennium, and in Fuyuki City, many from one world have awakened into the minds and lives of others. They did not all arrive at the same point in time, nor in the same situations, with some having put plots and plans into effect, while some are only beginning to interact with their hosts, barely getting the hang of things in this town - in a situation where the Holy Grail War is fast approaching.

Some have already found a catalyst, mapped out alliances, made preparations to ensure the success of their summonings.

Some are frightened, finding themselves trapped in the nasuverse in a body not their own, with no hope of escape.

Some are trying to cope as best they can, subsuming themselves into the host's identity.

And some are on their way to investigate these oddities and find out if any others are present on the eve of the War.

100%

GM Note: For characters who started earlier than now, post an intro post on how you awakened, summary of your actions to date, as well as any meaningful RPed interactions between PCs. I need to know this so I can deal with summoning, diplomacy and other rolls (as well as evaluate how your plans have gone).

Just to remind you, here is who started when, and how much needs to be caught up on:

January 1: (Two weeks)Emiya Shirou (Froggie)
Fujimura Taiga (Mormarth)
Mitsuzuri Ayako (Lethum)
Seo Akira (EnigmaticFellow)
Ayaka Sajyou (Hyarion)

January 8: (One Week)
Kokutou Azaka (LeopardBear): Awakens while in Cafe with Seo Shizune, having dropped Kohaku off at a terminal
Matou Sakura (Theocrass): Awakened during "training" from worms
Matou Shinji (Hoster): Awakened while on a date with 5 girls
Souchirou Kuzuki (Milbunk): Just returned from his trip, awakened while meditating in bedroom
Ryuudou Issei (mangafreak)
Makidera Kaede (mewarmo990)

January 12: (4 days)
OTL Master of Caster (Mellon): Wakes up in Fuyuki General Hospital, stricken with amnesia

January 16: (NOW!)
Tohsaka Rin (Dark Pulse): In the shower, after a period of time without the original presence.
Luviagelita Edelfelt (Erlkonig)
Illyasviel von Einzbern (ItsaRandomUsername)
Bazett Fraga McRemitz (Grant)

100%
Major Events Planned:
Jan 8 - Fujou Kohaku in Fuyuki, considering a temporary school nurse position
Jan 28rd - Ghost Lantern festival in remembrance of those who died in the fire, arranged by Issei/Ryuudou Temple
Jan 30th - The War Begins

Mellon
November 29th, 2011, 12:43 PM
Alkandros Milyonecalion / Mellon





January 12, 2000 AD
7:43 AM
Fuyuki Central Hospital, Hospital Room nr 8







BEEP

BEEP

BEEP





When I awoke, I awoke to pain.

"Aaagh!"

My first immediate instinct was to grab the source of my pain, in the hopes that I could soothe the pain somehow. I could not. The moment I touched my left hand, it made the pain intensify by what seemed to be thousand fold. I felt like retching. No, to be more precise, I wanted to retch but nothing seemed to out of my mouth. Perhaps I had nothing left to throw up any more.

I gently removed my right hand and finally took some time to glance at my left hand. It was completely wrapped in bandages. I couldn't see the wound of course, but this was a pain I had felt earlier in my life. The only difference was just in the scale of it.

Burn wounds...? What the hell was I doing last night?

My last memories before waking up in this hospital seemed to be of... going to sleep in my room? Did our house caught fire? I looked at the rest of my body, which seemed to be completely fine. Which made his wounds seem even more perplexing. If there was a fire, he definitely should have other burns, besides just on his left arm. These wounds made no sense whatsoever.

I... I... I need to stand.

Pulling out the monitor connected to me, I stood up from the bed, taking great care not to irritate my left arm in any way.

Where am I?

I looked around in the room, trying to find a buzzer of some sort to call the nurse. But no matter how much I looked, such a thing seemed to be devoid from the room. I decided to head for the exit, to call for a nurse, before noticing a washing sink in the corner of the room. Feeling quite thirsty, I carefully walked towards the sink, turned the water on, and took a sip of cold water using my right hand.

It was then that I actually noticed it.

Dark skin...?

Carefully, almost as if afraid of what I would see, I raised my head, and looked at the mirror in front of me. Dark, relatively long, hair pulled back. Strong, almost too much so, facial lines that seemed to give me a quite menacing look. A strong muscled body that gave the impression of extensive training. And the dark skin, more reminiscent of someone from the southern European countries, rather then my own rather pale skin.

All in all then, a completely foreign individual that looked nothing like I did.

The moment I thought that, the memories hit me like a speeding truck. I lost balance and fell to the ground, as if a puppet with its strings cut. I could not even feel the pain in my arm any more, amidst the cacophony created by the foreign (or was it natural?) memories being slammed into my mind.

I remembered performing my first spell. I remembered the beaming face of my grandfather when he realized that I had inherited his Attribute. I remembered the day I arrived at the Clock Tower and how I used my magecraft to "show the maggots" the superiority of the Milyonecalion family. I remembered living in wealth and status when all the less fortunate mages worked themselves to the bone for even scraps of acknowledgment from the Tower. I remember the sharp stench of blood and the cracking...

This time I did manage to throw up.

All in all, I remembered being an absolutely horrible human being.

The name of this person whose body I was inhabiting was "Grand" Alkandros Milyonecalion, a magi of the Association and the 4th most important individual in one of the "6 Great Families of Europe" - the Milyonecalion family. Calling it just a body was apt, since there seemed to be no trace of Alkandros's soul. He felt there should be something, another... being here, but all he felt in this body, besides himself, was an empty void, filled with nothingness. The mind was here. The body was here. The soul... wasn't.

I had no idea why he had ended up in these circumstances. The last memories I had, were of... 9th January, 2000? The day Alkandros arrived in this city to take part in one of the "great" rituals of magic. It was called the Fu...

"....The Fuyuki Grail War? What!?"

So I am inside... Fate? What the hell? How does this make any sense at all!?

Taking a deep breath to calm myself, I focused my attention to the current moment. This situation I am in... it was without a doubt, real. The pain in my hand could not be emulated by something so simple as a dream. And if this was real, then I had no reason to doubt the memories of this.... body. Which made the worst case (and the most likely) scenario a daunting one.

I may not remember the specific circuimstances of his demise, but I do remember the catalyst, Alkandros arrived in Fuyuki.

Medea.

So I have been stranded in a different universe, inside a fictional characters body, one with an extremely low lifespan and importance at that, who is about to take part in a magical ritual to the death.

Great.

Which meant that unless I managed to get to Zeltretch somehow, my chances of getting out of this world were slim indeed. Which meant I had to do the best of the situation at hand. The Holy Grail War. It would be smart to get out of Fuyuki. Regardless of my knowledge, I was not a real magi. I lacked the... dedication, the drive, that real magi like Rin had. I had suffered nothing and made no concessions for my knowledge. No doubt that I, who would find it somewhat hard to inflict lethal harm on others, would be at a complete disadvantage, when faced with Magi like Kotomine, Rin and Bazett.

Yet....

A feeling of guilt wormed around in me. The deeds this... Alkandros, had done had no justification. And though my mind, quite clearly, told me that they were not mine... I could not help but want to redeem myself in some way. I felt that I had sinned in some way, by even ending in this body in the first place. Besides, I wanted to help this war turn out as positively as possible. These people... they needed saving. From the "Evil of All Mankind", from slavery and misery, from their powerful enemies, from themselves - the reason mattered not. And I, knowing the chances of failure (just by looking at the number of Bad Ends for instance)... could just not stand by and watch. I wanted to help them all.

Sigh.

Lifting myself up from the floor, I stood up with wobbly steps and started to look for my clothes. There was lot to do, after all.

SeiKeo
November 29th, 2011, 05:17 PM
Fate/Eightfold Illusion

"It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here."

Eh? I don't sleepwalk. So, a cafe? Eh? Uh... t'would be a good question to ask how I got here, seeing as I even have a drink in front of me, some kind of tea. I cast my eyes around, still groggy from... I guess awakening would be a good way to put it, even though it doesn't feel as if I've been sleeping. Or, is this a dream? No, that would be wrong. I don't usually sleep deep enough to dream, and if I did, I would be thinking of a riot in Detroit or a high snowy mountain, not a small cafe.

It's not even a cafe that I've seen before. A large space, almost more like a stereotypical Chinese teahouse than a cafe, with an upper floor... where I sit, looking down on the heads of the crowd. The bustle... it would seem that it's mid-day, height of the season.

This is... I don't even live near a two story cafe. The... no, that's not the question. The question is how, and why?

A drink of tea... yeah, that might help. Real or fake.... whatever, this needs to make some kind of sense. Lifting the cup, I can smell green tea... Japanese style? I can't say, not that much of a tea fanatic. And looking down into it as I prepare to drink...

Long hair. Water, being a bad mirror, did not show any of my facial features, but I could make out that my hair was certainly longer, down straight lower than my shoulders. And uh... oh man what. These are most definitely a girl's hands and...

Oh, that's a girl's chest too. Uh...

Okay, well... this is interesting. So... ideas?

One: I have been shoved into somebody else's body. Unlikely. Terrible sci-fi, highly impossible, plus, why?

Two: I have been genderbent by a mad scientist. Okay, this is... a tiny bit more plausible. Tiny. But, is it still likely? Nope. It's almost an attractive possibility: might be interesting. But, it's equally unlikely, and not a good thing for me, really.

Three: I'm going insane. A place that I've never seen, with me as a girl in it?

It sucks, but I bet I'm insane.

​"Eh? Who the hell are you!"

...okay, yes, insane. I have a girl in my head talking to me. "Ah, hi. How are you?"

I can feel a kind of mental pause from 'her', taken aback. Maybe... she didn't expect me to be like this? What am I like anyways? "Guh.-.. never mind that, get out!"

"Uh, yeah, about that. While I wouldn't mind going back to normal, I don't really have a clue what's going on here, same as you. So, uh, help?"

"I-" she starts.

"Azaka-san?" A voice comes from behind me. As a natural consequence, I jerk probably three inches into the air in surprise, dropping the cup flat on the table.

Azaka. My mind only has one thing identified with that name. Azaka Kokutou. Sister of one Mikiya Kokutou, lucky bastard of the century. There's no way: there can't be, can there?

But, now that I think of it, the cafe seems awfully similar to the one in Pain...

"Hello?" "Azaka-san?" Two voices interrupt at once. The girl's - real girl's - question in response to my dropping of the cup, and my sudden silence; the voice - Azaka's voice, I suppose - wondering what happened.

My mind starts talking on two channels, like talking to somebody while typing. To Azaka, I say: "Hold the phone: shall we deal with this later?" And to the new girl: "Oh, I'm sorry-" Seo "Seo-chan. You just startled me, that's all." An adorable, peppy, feminine voice flows from my mouth.

...

I'm going insane.

Mellon
November 29th, 2011, 05:58 PM
Alkandros Milyonecalion / Mellon
January 15, 2000 AD
19:25 PM
Miyamachou District (Outskirts) - Association Mansion - Living Room





My hand flowed easily on the paper, drawing symbols I had no right of knowing about. Alkandros had used a spell to directly insert the Japanese knowledge into his head, and while I was hardly going to use Magecraft to poke around in my brain, I could hardly argue with the results. Japanese felt like a first language to me and the kanji were written with calm, practiced movements. Finishing with the writing, I placed the newly written letter into the envelope and sealed it with a slight press of my thumb.

Placing the envelope on the table, I looked around the elegantly furnished room. The walls and furniture placed in the room seemed old. Not old in the sense as if the items were tired or worn of use, but "old" as in sense as if the building itself had jumped forwards in time. The elegantly furnished crimson drapes, the richly engraved tables and chairs. The armchair that seemed to be straight out of some British lords castle. All of it simply oozed of old money. In the beginning of the 20th century, this mansion was constructed by the Edelfelt family, as one of the bases for their foray into the Grail War. A mansion that was sold to the Association, when the Edelfelts pulled out of the Grail War altogether, after the Third. Left desolate and uninhabited, the building had achieved a reputation as being haunted. Alkandros had obtained the mansion from the Association for mere pennies. In fact, they seemed to be anxious to get rid of it.

When Alkandros had decided to have the building renovated for the next Grail War, he discovered, surprisingly, that most of the Edelfelt preservation fields placed on the buildings were still intact (something which he was quick to dismantle of course). Which meant that most of the furniture, interior and the items were in perfect order. In fact, it seemed that the worn facade was the only thing that was damaged by time. Something that was easily fixed when money was passed to the right people. The only thing that seemed to be missing, were electrical appliances. There was lighting, hot water and heating and that was it.

It was obvious that the previous owner of this body had not thought much of such conveniences as computers and television. A pity. It was something I needed to fix, some time down the line.

The dark edge of the forest was visible from one of the windows. The Boundary Fields placed by the Edelfelts had all been washed away by time. And those that weren't, were broken by Alkandros. During the past couple days, I had spent a considerable amount of time reinforcing the defences around the mansion. Due to obvious time constraints, it was simply impossible create something on the level of the Einzbern forest, but due to the relative obscurity of this place, he hoped that it was not necessary. What I had manage to conjure up from my shattered memories, however, was a detection barrier set over the forest surrounding the mansion and a more defensive field set on the mansion itself. Supported with numerous traps and illusions in the main area of the mansion itself.

Sigh... its been 3 days, and already I am thinking as if there are people out there who want to kill me.

My attention was drawn to the other important object on the table. The small statue of an elaborate ionic column. It was strange how such a small item could hide so much sheer power in it... The expedition I had taken yesterday proved that much at least. Though...finding a right source to fill it up was... troublesome to say the least and had required more care then I had hoped. Even with the foreknowledge I brought with me from back home, some things are better left untouched. That place was one of them.

I picked up the letter and calmly walked to the middle of the room. Passing a final glance on the letter, I made sure that everything was in order.


To Emiya Shirou

From a good-willed helper.




The space in front of me rippled, as if someone had thrown a stone into a pond. An image of a large Japanese home was seemingly etched into the air itself. The image was something I had seen numerous times in his life, though admittedly, always through a computer screen. In a way, he was looking at the building once again through a screen. Though in this case it was through a screen of magecraft.

The Emiya mansion.

The moment the Mystic Code that I was using passed through that boundary field, Emiya Shirou would feel it. And that is exactly what I wanted at the moment.

The defensive boundary in place was tripped and the slight warning pulse of prana that ran throughout the area made it clear that he was detected. Ignoring that, I guided the image deeper into the compound. Specifically, I had only one very specific target in mind. The shed in the back of the yard. Then, when my "helper" had reached the middle of the small building, I plunged my hand into the warped image before me.

The large space between the two locations was overcome in a flash.

I placed the letter and the statuette on the middle of the floor. There was no need to worry about either of his "gifts" failling into the wrong hands. Even if someone was quick enough to steal them, both the letter and statuette were paired to a rather... peculiar signal. One that probably only Emiya Shirou could undo. Not through wilful magecraft of course, but rather due to who he was and what he had.

The image winked out without leaving a trace.

Now then. It seems I only have one thing left to do. But first, I need to get some wood to heat up this stove, so that I could bloody cook something.





January 16, 2000 AD
00:24 AM
Miyamachou District (Outskirts) - Association Mansion - Basement






"Ye first, O silver, O iron."




The dragon statuette in my hands was liquidized in a second. I could feel the molten gold flowing from my fingers, splashing into the ground before me. Moving as if alive, the golden streams danced and joined together, finally taking the from of an elaborate magic circle, made only for one thing.

Summoning his Servant.


"O stone of the foundation, O Archduke of the Contract. "
"Hear me in the name of our great teacher, the Archmagus Schweinorg."
"Let the descending winds be as a wall."
"Let the gates in all directions be shut, rising above the crown, and let the three-forked roads to the Kingdom revolve."
"Shut. Shut. Shut. Shut. Shut."



My eyes fell on the items in the middle of the circle. Another small golden dragon statuette and couple of scraps of paper. Hardly what you would call a strong catalyst. With time in such small supply I was forced to improvise. And not in a good way. With my catalyst being as it is, I hoped to reinforce the spiritual connection with lesser items that possessed a spiritual connection to the Heroic Spirit I had in mind. Images, flags, symbols. These things possessed a connection to the various Heroic Spirits they were associated with. And even if they would not serve as direct catalysts due to their broad nature, they would still work to reinforce the catalyst I had used.

Or so I hoped.


"Five perfections for each repetition."
"And now, let the filled sigils be annihilated in my stead!"
"Set."
"Let thy body rest under my dominion, let my fate rest in thy blade."
"If thou submitteth to the call of the Holy Grail, and if thou wilt obey this mind, this reason, then thou shalt respond."
"I make my oath here."



Golden light started to emit from the circle. Wind picked up and started to whip around my coat. Nevertheless, my hand remained extended towards the circle, as I chanted the Toshaka ritual lines. I had no idea if every Master used the same lines or not. However, considering what had happened to Shirou in Fate (and to what had probably happened to Alkandros earlier), summoning without a proper incantation was not preferable.

"I am that person who is become the virtue of all Heaven."
"I am that person who is covered with the evil of all Hades."
"Thou seven heavens, clad in a trinity of words,"




The light and wind seemed to reach a crescendo, as I struggled to remain upright against forces pitted against me. I forced out the final lines of the summoning ritual through gritted teeth.



"come past thy restraining rings, and be thou the hands that protect the balance-!"



All I saw was an all consuming flash of light.



God I hope this wont blow up in my face again.

EnigmaticFellow
November 29th, 2011, 07:12 PM
Seo Akira

To say that I was shocked when I found myself in the body of a girl drinking with another women I couldn't recognize on sight would be an understatement. Then again, I attributed the experience due to some really surreal dream and acted accordingly, drink 'til I dropped. And I did exactly that, blacking out at some point in time only to wake up on some couch later on. It turns out that I'm in the body of a fictional VN character named Seo Akira, much to the amazement of myself as well as the spirit inside my head who claims herself to be said character. It also turns out that I'm boarding with a relative of hers named Seo Shizune and am living in a city called Mifune. Did I mention that I'm probably insane?

But back to the more pertinent occurrences. After going around the town for over a week, I seen what appeared to be a most disturbing vision (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSDUmtlYIQQ&t=3m38s) when my, I mean Seo's, eyes peered upon a girl who looked like Kohaku. I referred to her as 'a girl who looked like Kohaku' since there's no way that she could be over in Mifune if she's still working for the Tohnos. It still didn't change the vision, and it kept Akira completely silent upon seeing it. Then again, who could blame her when the subject just so happened to be a god embodying all the evils of the world and some mad priest asking it questions. I tried to warn the girl about what I seen since Akira would have done the same; however, she left before I had the chance. So now the both of us are stuck just wandering aimlessly around until I went to a cafe and ran across another girl who's probably Azaka.

Upon seeing her, another vision occurred, one no less ominous than the first. A burning city city with much blood splattered throughout the floor.

It became clear after seeing those two visions that they both had to do with the Holy Grail War; yet, why do citizens of Mifune seem to be inciting them? The only way to get this question answered is to attack the issue head on. Both Akira and I agreed with that, so we came up to the girl and asked, “Azaka-san?”

As soon as the question was asked, the girl dropped the cup she was holding. Then, she recognized us and said, "Oh, I'm sorry- Seo-chan. You just startled me, that's all."

The pause was rather weird. After all, shouldn't Azaka recognize Akira upon sight due to her friendship with Shizune. Still, it doesn't matter at the moment. Both Akira and I still have a question to ask . Let's just hope it's not a repeat of Alliance of Illusionary Eyes.

“Ah, sorry about startling you,” I said while attempting to blush. Got to act like Akira here to be convincing. “Are you going to Fuyuki?”

Grant
November 30th, 2011, 01:06 AM
Bazett
January 16 2000
00:25:00 AM
Abandoned Edelfelt Mansion


Not my fault. Not my fault. This is not my fault. That's how I'm going to remember things.

I am currently residing in the mind of a member of the Clock Tower's Enforcer's. An Enforcer who, through my actions, is currently helping someone designated for Sealing escape that fate. A person who is starting to go vampire. As a result of helping that person we may have accidentally caught the notice of another vampire. So now we are currently hiding from the Clock Tower, vampires and Kotomine, who Bazett still is not convinced that we need to kill. I'm not totally certain that we'll be able to summon the Servant she prefers and I'm also not certain that Sion is entirely trustworthy.

To top it all off, I think Bazett might be angry with me.

I'm currently on an old bed, looking up at a cracking ceiling and trying to avoid falling asleep. When I fall asleep I won't just be feeling her disapproval, I'll have to actually speak to her (we really need to find a way to communicate more easily when conscious). She is going to express a great deal of anger and she might decide to try to expel me. What's worse, she might somehow succeed.

So I'm trying to avoid going to sleep even though I know we need it and - what was that?

And now I'm feeling something happening in the town. Something involving a good deal of magic. Is a Servant being summoned already? The war hasn't started yet!

Damn it. We're tired, Bazett's really more suited for this and I don't know who it is. Decisions, decisions.

SeiKeo
November 30th, 2011, 07:36 PM
Fate/Eightfold Illusion


“Ah, sorry about startling you,” I said while attempting to blush. Got to act like Akira here to be convincing. “Are you going to Fuyuki?”

"Eh?" My response - oh god this is such a cute voice - matched what I happened to be thinking at the moment. I took a straight guess at the answer. "Uh, no, I was just meeting up with Seo-chan here. I guess you are?" Uh, heck, who is that? "I hear it's nice this time of year."

That was lame, idiot.

​Ah... yes, yes it was. But... I have to say something, don't I? By any chance, were you going to Fuyuki?

"Yes, in fact."

Oh. Uh...

Well. I sure feel stupid. "Ah, I mean not right now, I was heading out later today." Quickly, I backtrack on my previous statement; hopefully, it wouldn't seem too weird. But, why is Azaka going to Fuyuki...?

Erlkonig
December 2nd, 2011, 07:24 AM
Luviagelita Edelfelt
January 16 - 0500
Edelfelt Manor

"Are these yours?" I said, holding up some panties. After a resounding whack in my head, I yelped and dropped them inside the suitcase. I chuckled, as I finished with the packing.

Alright, pervert spirit. Wha- Let us go over our plans again.

Alright. The catalyst happens to be secured in our prescence, and not in our packed equipment. It'd be a shame if anything were to happen to it.

Yes, indeed it would be a most terrible shame that would end up with you in an uncomfortable situation...

I don't like the sound of that. Anyway, we are claiming one of the abandoned Edelfelt mansions after having confirmed it wasn't inhabited by intrusive people- Edelfelt Sr. is making sure the house isn't occupied by anyone else. Once we get there, we will begin to set up defenses. After setting up the standard defenses, we will begin the summoning ritual. Even if we'll lose some gems, acquiring a Servant at this point would be a tremendous advantage.

And if we were to obtain Saber...

Even if we weren't, which I hope won't happen. So, we are set, then?

I believe so.

Alright. I picked up a suitcase as servants grabbed the other travelling stuff, and I marched towards the exit of the Manor. Soon, the night of Fate would come, and the summoning would begin...

Luviagelita Edelfelt
January 16 - 0620
Plane to Japan

It was after the 20 minutes of flight passed that I realized I was very bored. Looking through the window, my bored gaze looked at the vast landscape below me. Then, in inspiration, an idea came to me. Hey, Luvia, do you like songs? Because I've got something in mind...

---

BABY COME BACK (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn-enjcgV1o), ANY KIND OF FOOL COULD SEE
THERE WAS SOMETHING IN EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU
BABY COME BACK, YOU CAN BLAME IT ALL ON ME
I WAS WRONG, AND I JUST CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT YOU

*Guitar riff*

Where's the music coming from?

Hahahaha, well... This is just our consciousnesses exchanging thoughts, right? Music can be included.

Where were we, now? Oh, I remember. We were in-

All day long, wearing a mask of false bravado...

EnigmaticFellow
December 7th, 2011, 01:20 PM
Seo Akira


"Eh?" My response - oh god this is such a cute voice - matched what I happened to be thinking at the moment. I took a straight guess at the answer. "Uh, no, I was just meeting up with Seo-chan here. I guess you are?" Uh, heck, who is that? "I hear it's nice this time of year."

This is rather strange to say the least. The way Azaka is speaking to me seems to be off given what I thought she would act. If only I actually read the novel or watched the movies so I can actually have a better idea of how to work this out, and Akira isn't familiar enough with the girl either to make judgments.


"Ah, I mean not right now, I was heading out later today."

Now there's several things that are off beside going back on what she said earlier. Why is Azaka going to that city? Due to what both Akira and I seen, could she possibly be chosen as master of the Holy Grail? If that's the case, it wouldn't make sense. After all, isn't Azaka a psychic? I guess talking with her will be the only way to figure this out.

“I'm sorry about asking you this Azaka-san, but I seen something that worried me. Did you get any tattoos recently.”

Now Akira is embarrassed about me asking such a personal question; still, it had to be asked. I'm wondering if I'm being to too direct with this, though.

SeiKeo
December 7th, 2011, 04:10 PM
Fate/Eightfold Illusion
January 8
Azaka


“I'm sorry about asking you this Azaka-san, but I seen something that worried me. Did you get any tattoos recently.”

Uh... what. I just stare blankly at the girl. Well, isn't that odd. Why in the heck would she ask that question? I can't think of any decent reason, in particular because Azaka doesn't know Seo. "Mmmm? No, not at all. What, do you want to tell me a good place to get some?" Azaka, can I get a good devilish smile here?

Ah, there we go. My mouth moves into a perfect little grin, way better than I could do.

SeiKeo
December 9th, 2011, 12:23 AM
Fate/Eightfold Illusion
January 8
Azaka

(Note: this post skips past the conversation with Seo)

I leave the cafe, relaxing slightly. Trying to act the part of a character is hard. Luckily, Seo doesn't know Azaka very closely, so it wasn't very obvious, but this is really hard. It's like trying to write fanfiction - where I always am nervous over how I'm portraying canon characters, of course - and not only trying to match their words, but also every single facial and bodily expression. It's nerve wracking. And of course, it doesn't get any better.

You do know - wait, of course you don't, never mind - that we're supposed to be heading to the office, right?

What office? I reply. Of course, I can guess that she means Touko's office, in an abandoned complex. But, I don't think it's wise to let her know that I know that. For now, I've decided to not mention any of the fact that... well, that I kind of know her entire life, her brother's, and his... I guess it would be wive's now. Well, there goes trying to arrange Azaka/Ryougi. Oh, you. Not that that was going to happen anyways, but it's a nice thought, now isn't it? Guessing from Seo, Tsukihime does exist, however, and that's... interesting. If it comes up, revealing that I know about it may be necessary to carry out the best plans.

My workplace, of course. Idiot. I need to look over some documents stored there.

I mostly listen to her, but I'm worrying about something else. Tsukihime... the end of Tsukihime is the beginning of Fate...

Uh oh. Oh man, that's a problem. The chance of Fate turning out alright is... it's not good. 5 good ends, 40 some bad ends, and 2 of those good ends still suck. Ilya, Rin, Ayako...

Well, fuck. Gotta do something about this. Oh? Documents for what?

Contract material. I'm supposed to be helping Fujou Kohaku in negotiations with the Tohno family for repayments.

My mind freezes, taking this information in order. Fujou Kohaku? I do recall something about her being from a side branch of the Fujou family, and, well, whatshername Kyrie died, so I guess she would be the head? And with the Tohno family...
Oh no. I'm supposed to be helping Kohaku and Akiha negotiate?

...well, shit. That sounds... uh... hard.

Hmmm, when are we supposed to be doing this?

The negotiations start on the 11th.

Okay, and it's the 8th. So, a few loose days. Well, time enough to fit something important in. Uh, Azaka, can we talk about something?

Eh? Yeah, sure, what is it? Gonna tell me who you are?

Yeah, kind of. See... oh man, this is gonna take a while.

100%

Whew. Even though I don't actually have to talk, explaining this is quite the challenge. Okay, first, I'm from another world. She seems to take this reasonably well, seeing as she already knows about the 2nd Magic from Touko. She's as lost as I am as to why I'm here, but can accept it. The second part is harder to sell. So, I'm from an alternate universe, okay. This universe just happens to have fictional works with Fuyuki, Misaki, the Tohnos, Kohaku, and Seo in them.

...harder sell. It took opening up parts of my memories to get her to agree to the reality of the situation - not the ones containing KnK, of course. I don't think I want her to see that picture with her, Shiki, and Fujino...

But luckily, I manage to sell it to her, along with convincing her that we should do something about it. It seems that Touko had mentioned something about the Grail before (oh...), so that wasn't difficult to pitch. Convincing her that it was a good idea to help took a little more talking. First, just say that it'll save lots of lives. On its own, that didn't sell it, but I think it helped. Second, it would prove for sure that she was an excellent magus. Ah, there we go, that got somewhere. She made the last connection herself. Maybe winning would draw Mikiya back to her.

Still on that, was she? Really, that was too bad. Mikiya and Shiki were pretty much solid, and she wasn’t going to draw that apart. And, she deserves better. Like, maybe Touko- no. It’s not really something that’s likely to happen, as great as I would find sleeping with Touko to be. Plus, she’d murder me. Wait, make that both of them.

In any case, she assented to joining the War. For myself, I couldn’t really say why I wanted to join. Perhaps, I hope that something will appear to return me? But, I doubt that’s possible. If I had to be honest… I think I had resigned myself to being like this already, or maybe in some kind of puppet. It’s morbid, but I couldn’t see any other way, short of a Vampire Wizard. So, maybe… maybe it’s more that I want to do something in the new world. Terribly selfish, but can you blame me? Well, I guess you could. Tis no matter: I told her, and with little input from me, she decided.

And of course, because we had a few days before we were supposed to meet Kohaku, it was fitting to go hunting for a catalyst. I floated an idea to her.

…not an easy sell. Mainly because of having to spend what would probably amount to a bit over a thousand USD, a sum that wasn’t exactly insignificant for her. But it was a pretty justifiable expense, and was about the best thing that I could think of given our position. Man, this would suck if I got shoved into Ayako or someone like that: no money, no magic, no nothing. So glad. Even better, Touko was out of town, so we could go off on our own with nobody the wiser.

100%

January 11

At 6 in the morning, Azaka and I stumble back off the plane. Thankfully, I was fairly able to sleep on planes: otherwise, we would be in terrible shape for the upcoming day. Hailing a taxi, we leap in, setting it off to a building close to the office: the boundary field would stop him from arriving at the actual destination.

The only luxury that we had time for was a quick shower and change of clothes to look somewhat presentable. Even then, we were cutting it close: when we left the bathroom, Kohaku was sitting in one of the chairs, ready to leave. I hate being late; I almost always make it a point to arrive early to anything: class, meetings, even parties. For my money, I think it makes you look good. And arriving late to leave for an important negotiation was not good.

Kohaku… Seeing her in real life is quite the experience. The divide between the cheery girl and the broken doll was creepy enough in text, but in person… my god, those eyes. You could tell from them, even for their life, that there was something in there. Deeply unsettling.

The car ride wasn’t any better. She had a driver, it seemed, so we were in the back seat together, not saying a word. She just stared out the window, while we went over the documents a final time.

Kohaku and Hisui: both close branches of the Fujou family, and as the last scion of the main branch was dead, its heirs. Under the system that the hybrid families and Demon Hunters operated under, one which I was regrettably not familiar with, the Fujou were demanding repayment for the abuse of their family under the previous Tohno head. Of course, as he had passed away, it fell to the new head to negotiate. And, as Shiki had never been involved in the family’s affairs… it was Akiha. I was to attempt to keep order in a negotiation between Kohaku and Akiha over Kohaku and Hisui’s mistreatment.

…needless to say, I was terrified. Azaka didn’t quite understand why I was so worried. I simply showed her Hisui’s end. After that, she understood where I was coming from, though she thought my terror overwrought. Perhaps it was true, but none the less I was worried.

100%

And hours later, I found myself in the sitting room of the Tohno mansion. Opulent as I expected, three chairs were laid out for all of us, a table in between. Behind the chair on the far side of the room stood the lady herself, Akiha, looking like she had had some badly prepared pre-negotiation coffee – like they’d screwed up the beans to make them bitter or something. Neither Shiki nor Hisui seemed to be around, but if Shiki did happen to be there, he may well have been able to cut the air in the room, tension filled as it was. Without a word, we all sit down and get to business.

First things first: this was not a meeting between Kohaku and Akiha, between a maid and her former employer. This was a negotiation between the head of a Demon Hunter family, and in fact the de facto head of the entire Organization – Shiki being as uninterested as she was – demanding reparations from the Tohno. Our role in this from Touko was evidently to keep them from bringing up the messy business that were the Nanaya.

To start, Kohaku led off with a list of grievances inflicted by the Tohno. It was all I could do to keep from just covering my ears as she recounted her various tortures in her bright, cheery voice: condemned to be raped while her sister played outside, day in and day out… “but of course, you already knew that, Akiha-sama.”

That would be a hard act to follow, of course. It was just about impossible to justify that. Akiha made a fairly good show of it, pointing out that Kohaku and Hisui were not part of the Fujou then, and not under the clan’s protection. They fence back and forth, covering SHIKI’s treatment, Kohaku’s, and many other issues.

Akiha was for all intents and purposes backed into a corner. She had little ground to stand on, and Kohaku, with her new position as head of the Demon Hunters, was poised to destroy her utterly.

I jump in. On the pretense of having had a long car ride, I ask if we can move the conversation outside to the patio. The current area wasn’t neutral at all: Akiha had chosen the sitting room to give her the upper hand, but instead Kohaku had turned it around on her, leveraging it as a reminder of the various abuses. Moving the debate to a more neutral area would hopefully cause both of them to calm down, and give Akiha a breather.

It seems to help. The conversation shifts, with the two stating the terms on the table. Monetary compensation, normalization of relations and return of property, and a formal admission of wrongdoing. They manage to spend the rest of the day wrangling over repayments. Man, negotiations. They reach a nominal sum: enough to cover Hisui’s costs of living and future education.

100%

The new day doesn’t make the talks any easier. Their talks over return of Fujou property don’t have any real differences, but of course, they insist on dragging out the fine print for hours on end, so that neither of them look like they gave ground.

During our break for lunch, I take Kohaku and Akiha aside in turn and try to figure out what they will accept for the third point, the declaration of apology. Kohaku, for herself needed no more than a personal one, which was easy to get. But, she was not here for herself. The Demon Hunter Organization would not allow it, as a lack of formal apology would be seen as a defeat on their part.

Likewise, Akiha could not agree to a formal statement. If she agreed to it, it would be highly possible that the hybrid branch families would launch a coup upon her weak leader, killing her and possibly Shiki. Shiki of course would be fine, but it was not an unfounded worry.

However, we do reach a breakthrough. The Demon Hunters were willing to protect Akiha in the case of a coup attempt, an assurance that Kohaku was willing to put in writing. Then, the midpoint. Kohaku and Akiha agreed to pen a formal apology, but seal it for five years, giving Akiha time to secure herself and her position. Another day was spent on minor details, but the hard work was over.

I must say, it turned out far better than I expected. The built up tension between the two was massive, and over this issue, I never expected them to come to an agreement: not at least one that they would both assent to. But, by some miracle, it happened.

100%

Kohaku returned us to the office in Mifune, inquiring as to how we would like to be paid. The money was tempting of course, given our recent expenses, but… the Demon Hunters could provide us with more useful things. My request didn’t shock Kohaku: she’d probably seen far, far stranger.

As we walk into the office, it turns out that Touko has returned to Minfue for a few days, from… from wherever she was, somewhere out of the country. She seems… inordinately excited to discover that I had resolved the whole negotiation mess. Taking it as my – Azaka’s – graduation, she apparently sees fit to give me a gift of… my jaw drops.

She’s holding out to me an orange coat in one hand, a battered suitcase in the other. The coat, she explains, is one of her older ones, capable of resisting all kinds of spells. And, she says, of course you know what the suitcase does. Yes, I did. Well… well, this was a coup. I thank her as she dashes out the door, off on one of her mysterious missions.

100%

December 15

Fuyuki was a pretty decent city. Basically clean, safe-seeming (not for long), reasonably pretty… I’d take it. Shame the War would likely scar it, but it would be a necessary loss. We had arrived yesterday, staying at the house of a Jinan Tokie. Kohaku had been so kind to arrange this for me as well. The face looked familiar, but I couldn’t place it… She seemed to have the same feeling, remarking that we looked like one of the girls at the local high school.

So, Azaka looks like Rin? I can see it. I always connected her with Akiha a little more, but I guess on looks, it’s rather accurate.

Two days of scouting hadn’t revealed anything worth really noting: or at least, there was nothing that I recall changing from the original work. While I played with the thought of trying to take the temple as a base, I couldn’t remember any kind of date for Caster’s summoning, and if I wandered in there when she was waiting… Dead End.

December 16

Luckily, Tokie was out doing her residency when the payment arrived. Not that it was impossible to explain, but I would have had to do quite a lot of elaborating as to why I was carrying a giant bag filled with bottles of liquid, as was another man behind me. I’d requested payment for my services in prana potions. I was pretty sure of grabbing a spot, since I could just snag it from Shirou or Rin, but it never hurt to be sure. So, to summon as early as I can, I was going to amp my summoning circle up to 11 with concentrated prana.

I planned to summon on the roof of the apartment block at night. It seemed fitting: a view of the city that we would tear apart, a view from on high instilling the fear of death. Plus, well, it was the only spot I could really get.

The day was spent getting the circle as close to exact as possible. Luckily, Servant summoning circles are not that complicated, nor is the incantation: I could even recall it from memory. But, I could not afford mistakes at this point.

7:06 PM
December 16
Fuyuki

The evening wind whipped around our body, blowing our new cloak about in a suitably dramatic fashion. We could see the sun setting as we walked out onto the roof, alone. The summoning circle already waited for us there, carved into the concrete hours earlier.

I dropped the bag over my shoulder with care. Opening it, I retrieved a glass flask, filled with a faintly pulsing clear liquid. Concentrated prana, pure spiritual fuel.

I began pouring it into the drawn lines, making sure to fill it evenly. It barely filled a single triangle on the inner circle. Well, I suppose it was good that I was paid this much. Taking another bottle, I continue the process, until the entire circle was drawn in glowing liquid.


Ye first, O silver, O iron.




I couldn’t see a reason to change the chant to any degree. Possibly, it could be improved, but I lacked the skill, and the risk was too high.


O stone of the foundation, O Archduke of the Contract.
Hear me in the name of our great teacher, the Archmagus Schweinorg.




Prana poured from my circuits resonated with the energy in the circle, raising the lines in light that concealed the catalyst within. I almost felt regret at having to destroy this artifact, but some things could not be helped. It would likely not be missed, nor should it.


Let the descending winds be as a wall.
Let the gates in all directions be shut, rising above the crown, and let the three-forked roads to the Kingdom revolve.
Shut. Shut. Shut. Shut. Shut.




I could feel the bindings slowly locking in place, securing the seals that held the spirit to the world. Chains, wrapping within my heart and blood-

No, keep going, past the pain. Resist.


Five perfections for each repetition.
And now, let the filled sigils be annihilated in my stead!
Set.
Let thy body rest under my dominion, let my fate rest in thy blade.
If thou submitteth to the call of the Holy Grail, and if thou wilt obey this mind, this reason, then thou shalt respond.
I make my oath here.




What is the line to mean? Oath? What do we swear? And to who?


I am that person who is become the virtue of all Heaven.
I am that person who is covered with the evil of all Hell.
Thou seven heavens, clad in a trinity of words,
come past thy restraining rings, and be thou the hands that protect the balance!




As the sun set behind the mountains, the entire circle exploded with light.

RacingeR
December 10th, 2011, 02:52 AM
Fate/Eightfold Illusion
January 16 – Early Night
Satsuki Yumizuka

A red searing pain invaded my head, like a hot knife being buried in my synapses. Something told me that this phrase was nonsensical, but I didn’t care. It had been the strangest dream in a series of strange dreams, twisted illusions and delusions, dancing beyond my comprehension, slipping through my fingers despite my best efforts, like a school of insanely shaped fishes swimming around me in the darkest depth of the darkest of all oceans.

And then. A ray of pulverizing light impacted my wandering mind, like an immense hand that grabbed my conscience and pulled it from the black night of sleep, towards the waking world, and it was truly a harsh wake up, as my sore body found itself on a strange unfamiliar place, resting over something that was definitely not a bed. Actually, it was similar to a floor. A floor he had never seen in his whole life.

‘I’ jerked up instantly, moving away from my waking spot in a shock, ‘my’ body feeling horribly cold. In front of my eyes, something that looked like a transparent plastic, covered by a red liquid. Most of it was empty, but the distinct odor reached ‘my’ nostrils, even as I tried to reject the answer about the identity of the red stains on ‘my’ mouth.

And then, I looked at ‘myself’. And I shat fucking bricks. I was wearing clothes, clothes that were tremendously familiar, yet that I had never wore in my whole life, that weren’t mine. My hair felt even longer than normal, and it had an auburn-brown color clearer than my normal one. Furthermore, my skin is more feminine, I have tits, I am... smaller? I have tits, the place seems an abandoned, dirty complex barely illuminated by a single light, it is cold, I have tits...

Wait.

“WWWWWWWWHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT??????”

A massive scream with a girl’s voice that I don’t recognize. Nearby, there are some broken pieces of glass from one of the windows, and I quickly scampered towards them, the shock having completely annihilated the sleepiness that had numbed my mind. I was NEVER a morning person, damnit. Also, I noticed that ‘my’ clothes where... kind of in a good state, actually, even if it had some tatters and were a bit dirty, for someone who I was already guessing...

And truly, when I reached the piece of glass, although the details were hard to see even holding it at the adequate distance and angle, the face of Yumizuka Satsuki, rather pale, returned my scared glance. “I must be dreaming.” I said out loud, and then pinched my cheek. Kay, not dreaming.

“What the fuck! This is fucked up! At least put me in a man’s body!” Wait, seriously Raci, that’s all you have to say about this?

Isn’t it sad, Sacchin? You got stuck with someone like me.

And then...

Huh? W-who are you? What...

... Name is Raci, and about what is going on... I have no idea, sorry.

I could sense her fear and confusion in our shared mindspace. She... feared me? Wait, this is Dead Apostle Sacchin, right? Yet... it is more like she is cowering before the invasion of on alien consciousness.

Heh, don’t worry, I will not hurt you. Tell me, what were you able to see of my memories?

And, it turns out that I had guessed right. It seems that when we were awakening, she had been hit by... well, by a wild mind being shot from some kind of mental metaphysical cannon, and she had been bombarded by some of my memories, which made her extremely confused, and probably fearful. Some of the fragments of my knowledge about the Nasuverse must have leaked to her... including...

Stop using my own arm to rub my head! Who are you? What are you???

The question is repeated more insistently, and I can feel the start of her lashing out, and sigh mentally. It wasn’t hard to figure out my... well, situation, even if I didn’t understand for my life how I had gotten there. And well, explaining this was going to be an absurd pain.

It took a bit of time, and repeating myself. That I was of an alternate world wasn’t that hard for her to fathom or even to accept, but explaining her about the Visual Novels containing her story and all that... it took opening my memories and showing her most of the FSN and Tsukihime novels, and including my fragmentary knowledge of KnK. All in all, after some convincing and sharing of memories, she believed me rather... easily? Well, maybe the fact that she was being shown my memories made it hard to negate its truth.

...

A cold wind ran past the shattered windows, as we both calmed down, a silence like a mantle having overtaken us. I could feel her body shiver slightly, and for a second, I tried to imagine her life after surviving Tsukihime as a vampire, and the result was... yeah, I wouldn’t like to be on her sho- wait I am on her shoes. Damn.

... Now what...?

Uh, let me think for a bit.

I kind of tuned out the still confused vampire in my mind, and started to calculate. More silence ensued, but it was the kind of silence that was filled by tension.

Heh, you know what? I like you, so I am going to help you.

Eh? What do you mean?

And then, slowly, calmly, I floated into her mind the plan that I had cooked in a mere pair of minutes, a plan that required insane amounts of luck to work. But still, something that still could work...

.....

What are you waiting, Sacchin? Move your cute ass, we don’t have any time to lose!

And thus, our route was settled, and our next direction was, after learning the date from Sacchin towards a certain place and a certain object...

Milbunk
December 13th, 2011, 01:28 AM
Souichirou Kuzuki / Milbunk
Date: January 8th
Time: Unknown
Location: Unknown

Milbunk

'The darkness is almost painfully bleak. In it nothing happens and nobody is there. Yet what is this feeling, it's as if some sort of consciousness is there. Waiting and biding its time. Feeling around in what appears to be nothing at all I have no idea where I am or what is going on. From what looks like my vision yet is obviously not, I can see myself? Training harshly in order to prepare for the day ahead but from what I can tell I don't have any idea who this man is.

Wait, from what I can see it looks as if this is some sort of bedroom very plain and ordinary in nature with not a single thing out of place. In fact from what I could tell all the things were so perfectly ordinary and organized it almost looked scary. Well whoever this person is I seem to not be in control of them, maybe I should try to think of something really hard that might help.'

"Umm is anyone there? Can anyone here me?"

Kuzuki:

'...another abnormality. Curious.'

Over the past month, the emotionless assassin Souichirou Kuzuki had borne witness to many strange happenings, and having been trained to look at things objectively, he had not told himself that what he was seeing could not be real. Indeed, he only saw what was actually there, not what he wished to see, for self delusion, whimsy, and imagination had been burned out of him an age ago. Thus, when a voice appeared in his head after he had acquired a stone from Sakura, he knew it was likely related to that.

"Yes," came the answer.

Milbunk:

'Oh someone actually responded?! Ok let's see if I'm in someone else's mind maybe they can help me figure out where I might be. Let's try asking a few questions. Whoever this guy is he doesn't seem like one to talk for long so I'll try and be direct.'

"Would you mind telling me where I am? Maybe tell me your name if it wouldn't be much trouble? I seem to be rather lost and I'm not quite sure how I got here."

Kuzuki:

The body seemed to pick up an oblong stone, studying it critically, expression a blank.

"Ryuudou Temple. Souchirou Kuzuki," the teacher-assassin answered curtly. He had never been a man of many words, and he wasn't about to start now. "Who are you, Unknown-san?"

Milbunk:

'Wait did he say his name was Kuzuki and that we were located at the Ryuudo Temple? That would mean that I would be inside the mind of a fictional character. But wait maybe he's not fictional or maybe I got whisked off to some other place. How in the world would that be possible? Wait, if I'm his body maybe I've been sent here for a reason. I guess it wouldn't hurt to ask the date, if my suspicion is correct then I think I might know why.'

"Ah I see, It's nice to meet you Souichirou. I guess I will be staying inside your head for a while if you don't mind. For now you can just call me by my nickname Milbunk as for who I am, honestly I'm probably here to help you with something, but if that's true I would like to know one thing. What is the date?"

I hold, what I consider to be my breath to see what his response is. If he the answer is what I think it is then we may have lots to discuss.

Kuzuki:

A quirk of an eyebrow was all the surprise that Kuzuki allowed himself, as the informal speech of the voice in his head was nothing like what legends said the fearsome spirits of times long ago spoke.

"January 16, 2000 AD," the man intoned, placing the stone into one of his pockets as he finished his preparations to head for school. "What is your purpose? Who do you serve?"

Milbunk:

'January 16th 2000 AD, so it really is the time before the war. But why in the world would I be here to help him? Surely there would thousands of other people who would do a better job so why me? Well I'm not one to question why so I might as well do what they say and go with the flow.'

"My purpose? Well honestly I'm nothing but an ordinary soul here to help you find what you have never had. As for what I serve, it appears that I now serve you. Believe it or not I come from the future and from what it looks like we are about to be thrown into something known as the Holy Grail War."

Kuzuki:

A war. A field littered with corpses.

Flames licking at the wreckage of buildings, cars, lives.

Bodies cut apart, crushed, ripped apart at the seams and ground into flesh-colored paste.

And he was about to be thrown into one such? He was an assassin, a cold-hearted machine who ended lives as others ended sentences, but...he needed information.

"Explain."

It was not a request.

Milbunk:

Explaining about the Grail War took quite some time with Kuzuki occasionally asking a quick question in regards to something that peaked his interest, eventually I had finally managed to tell him all that I knew of the Visual Novel and the time for the final question arrived.

"Alright Souichirou, I have decided that with the information I can provide I will help you find your own humanity. In fact I think I may have been sent here for that very reason so why not, but that really isn't up to me. I guess the more appropriate thing to say would be are you ready to search for such a thing?"

Kuzuki:

"I have no objections," was the simple, if brusque, reply. "You are the one with the information, so explain how to proceed and what you need of me."

And that much was the truth, as Kuzuki did know that he was missing something, but not where to go to find it again.

Milbunk:

'Hmm, if he wants it then I'll try my best to see what we can do after all it looks like I'll be stuck here till some sort of conclusion is reached.'

"Alright then it will be a pleasure working with you. As for proceeding I think it's best to not depend on the chance that Caster will be found again that chance might have already disappeared with my appearance plus it's better to not rely on the whims of fate. I suggest that we take the summoning of a Servant into our own hands and try to summon the Caster before she goes to that Master. The first thing we should do is try and find some sort of catalyst. (Which is a type of item that can be used to summon specific Servants.) Have you ever heard of an ancient greek women known by most as Medea?"

Kuzuki:

"I see," the assassin noted, letting all this sink in. "And what would function as a catalyst? This, perhaps?"

He drew the odd stone from his pocket, a stone that was jet black, and almost seemed to draw in all light.

Almost.

"Medea...I am unaware of her."

Milbunk:

'That stone, I don't know what it is but it might be something we could use.'

"Whatever kind of stone that might be it might be indeed a catalyst to some sort of heroic spirit though which spirit it may summon I am not sure. Can you remember where you found this stone? It might help to give a clue, As for Medea from what I can remember she was an ancient greek woman famous for her betrayal and deception. Though underneath all of that she was rather lonely and just wanted peace. She was the Caster that served you till she herself was betrayed and killed."

Kuzuki:

"Sakura," he states. "Near the rumored location of the broken Sesshoseki."

Milbunk:

'Hmm after thinking about where that might possibly be located I come to the conclusion that I know nothing at all about that.'

"I apologize but I am not familiar with that location, you see I am originally from the United States so Japanese history and location is not a subject I know. Though whatever this stone may be I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to keep it as a a backup plan in case the Grail doesn't recognize or we fail to find a catalyst. I guess for now you should head to school we can plan more on the way."

Kuzuki:

"The Sesshoseki - the remains of the nine-tailed fox Tamamo-no-Mae, located near the town of Sakura on the plain of Nasu," the assassin elaborated, before going off exactly as had been suggested and heading to school. It did not do to vary from routine without a reason, after all.

100%

Souichirou Kuzuki / Milbunk
Date January 8-11

Over the next few days I spent my time inside Kuzuki's mind learning all there was to know about the world that he lived in. If there was one thing I could use to describe him it would probably that he was extremely plain, never even bothering to do anything out of the norm.

While we got used to each other he would ocassionaly ask me a question or two regarding the other potential Master's in the war while I would ask him in turn if he had noticed anything out of the ordinary to which he responded that as far as he could tell, he noticed: "Rin Tohsaka, Emiya Shirou, Matou Sakura, and finally Makidera Kaede."

After observing these people I found out that Kaede had visited a business known to operate under Fujimura Raiga, she was seen leaving with a gun like weapon though it was hard to tell exactly what it might have been.

Along with this we had also managed to acquire a very good book regarding the legends of a certain Medea, the book was ironically going to be used for Kuzuki's class in the future. We had also continued our studying in the temple while looking for some sort fo clue that we might have been able to use for the war eventually coming across a few basic summoning circles guides that might come in handy.

Finally after 3 days had passed we had decided on another course of action and after contacting Rin we set up an appointment for the upcoming day.

100%

Souichirou Kuzuki / Milbunk
Date: January 12th
Time: Afternoon
Location: Tohsaka Mansion

*The door opens after a few moments, and Rin answers. Very formal wear, with long dress and a nice sweater.* "...Ah, good evening, Sensei. I trust you are well?"


"Indeed, Tohsaka-san."

*A small grey fox follows the teacher through the door*


*She watches it* "...An animal, Sensei? You did not say you were going to be bringing a pet."

"It followed me home from my trip. I am unused to animal care. Do you have...advice?"

"...Advice? For caring about animals...? *She furrows her brows a bit* ...I have no pets of my own, Sensei. I would suggest you speak to a veterinarian."

"I am unfamiliar with such. And the monks of the Ryuudou Temple know none," *He related evenly, stoic as ever.* "I will consider looking one up at a later date. Perhaps you should invite me inside?"


"...Of course. Where are my manners? Please, make yourself comfortable." *She steps aside*

*They walk into the large mansion where they take a seat in the living room. After a moment of silence Kuzuki resumes speaking* "I have heard rumors that you may be having financial troubles. Are they true?"


"...Well, I did have to make a short hospital visit, but it has not burdened me very much, financially."


"I see, have you been having any problems living by yourself?"


"No, Sensei." *She motions to the surrounding room.* "As you can see, my house is lit, warm, and I have everything that I would need. I'm doing fine."


"And your life at school, marks aside? It is unusual for someone your age to isolate yourself."

"...I would say it's rather normal, Sensei." *She blinks* "...Is there something that seems to be wrong that would cause you to ask?"


"I had heard that you were sent to the hospital on the 1st," *The ethics teacher says bluntly.* "This is...unusual. Even now, you seem to be... Uncomfortable." *He looks first at the left arm, which is still heavy and sore. And then up to neck and head*


"...Well, yes. I got a little ill. But I'm improving, thanks to my medicine. It's generally not something that would affect my day-to-day functioning." *She reseats herself slightly, and folds her hands in her lap.*

"A little illness does not linger for several weeks."

*The fox approaches Rin, brushing itself against her legs*


*She examines it.* "Does it look threatening, like it'll bite?"


"No, it is apparently rather harmless."


*She reaches down with one hand and lightly scratches behind the fox's ears, then.* "Anyway, my health is fine, Sensei. I am recovering well. But thank you for your concern."


"It is only natural that a teacher concerns himself with his students. I have recently heard that a festival is going to take place soon to honor the dead, are you going to participate in this event?"


"...It would depend on my sechedule as always, Sensei. When is this festival supposed to be happening? I cannot promise I will make it, but it may be possible."


"The evening of January 28th, most of the school and the some of the city will be attending this event."


"...Ah." *She frowns* "...I may be rather busy around that time of month, unfortunately. I'm afraid I cannot promise my presence, Sensei, but I will make my best efforts." *She bows respectfully in her seat*


"May I ask what other things you may have to do? You do not seem like the kind of person who often goes out."


"...Family affairs, I am afraid. It's... been a rather lengthy experience. It is nothing new; it has been ongoing for some years now." *She switches to petting the fox down its length. She smiles slightly* "Ah, it seems to like me." *She lets it, and continues to pet it carefully*


"I see... Now going to get straight to the point. I wish to purchase a few of the jewels that you own."


*...She blinks* "...Jewels, Sensei?"


"Yes, I have come across some information leading to the fact that you have a number of jewels in your possession." *He states all this while still not showing a single emotion, after a small pause he continues.* "I wish to purchase a small amount of them."


"...Information? From who?"


"Rumors spread very quickly inside school grounds, it is from these that I have pieced together this information."


"...Sensei. The opinions of a few jealous students are hardly to be considered reliable sources. If you have 'pieced together' the information, as you say, surely you can tell me where this rumor originated from. As I do not appreciate people talking behind my back, I would at least like to know that."


"While normally I would listen to such rumors this time though, they came from another talented student, Shinji Matou. It is for this reason that I decided to pay a visit."


*She sighs and shakes her head in disgust* "...I'm not surprised he would say something like that. But unfortunately for Matou-kun, he is mistaken. I do not deal in gems, Sensei. Please see a jeweler if you require some."


*The fox hops off of Rin's lap, trots over to a false table let where you'd once concealed some gems, cocks its head, then shakes it, the Azoth Dagger is currently hidden there.*


*Noticing this strange behavior Kuzuki speaks up on it.* "It appears that my friend has found something interesting inside your cabinet. Do you mind if we take a look?"


"...All I see is a fox scratching up my table. Shoo!" *She tries to shoo it away*


*It glares at you imperiously*


*It meets a similar glare back, one that indicates that the fox is in for some bad times if that leg gets opened up.*


*Noticing Rin's hesitant nature Kuzuki speaks up once again.* "It seems as if you do not want that cabinet disturbed, is there any reason why?"

"...Would you want an expensive cabinet scratched up by a wild animal, Sensei?"


*The fox looks somehow offended, but moves away.*


*As does Rin, once the fox does.* "...Really, Sensei. Forgive me for saying this, but is there any sort of logical reason why you would bring this animal to my home?"


"No, but it has been following me around lately and appears to be harmless so I see no danger in doing so."


"Yes, well, I will remember whom to send the bill to if it chooses to scratch up my cabinet or anything else." *She sits back down*


"My apologies, I will make sure he does not wreck your furniture. It appears that my business here is done. Thank you for your time."


"Very well then." *She stands up and opens the door for them* "...And Sensei? Please do not trust rumors from Matou-kun. He and I... do not get along, so this may well have just been something to annoy me or to waste your time."


"I see..." *Leaving the Tohsaka Manor, Kuzuki and Milbunk and the fox, went off to try and think of their next plan of action.

100%

Souichirou Kuzuki / Milbunk
Date January 13-15

After the obvious failure with Rin, Kuzuki and Milbunk decided to be a bit more cautious in their actions. They took the next couple of days to observe the other people and continue their studies of magical circles. Though they also tried to look for more literature on the witch Medea but to no avail.

Occasionally noticing things that were very different in the town Milbunk pointed them out. Out of the sightings I think I might have noticed a girl from a completely different work but I was unsure, I only mentioned to Kuzuki to keep a look out in case we might see her again.

After the last day of their mission had finished Kuzuki and Milbunk were almost about to try something to a much more risky degree when they came across an unusual visitor who had come to the temple for reasons yet unknown.

100%

Souichirou Kuzuki / Milbunk
Date: January 15th
Time: Mid-Morning
Location: Ryuudou Temple


After seeing a rather familiar red headed girl at the temple wander a bit before eventually talking to Issei, she was about to leave when Kuzuki stopped her and decided to ask a few questions.

"Hello, I've noticed that you seem to be unfamiliar with this place, is there a particular reason you are here?"

"Mou...I just wanted to see the temple, since there are rumors about it being built by a dragon."


"You do not seem like you are from around here. Are you a tourist perhaps?"


"Mm, you could say that. My sister was thinking about moving here for school"


"I see, how old is your sister? I am a teacher so I may be able to help you."


"The age to attend college, sensei. Ah, you are a teacher? Then what are you doing here?"


"I should be able to help you and your sister if you wish, as for why I am here. I was invited to stay by the monks who live in this temple. Are you hoping to stay in this city as well?"


"I see. No, I will be dealing with business in Mifune."

*The fox goes over to her, sniffs*


"Ah - and is this little one yours?"


"Yes, you can say we... Found each other by coincidence. Ever since she appeared she has stuck by me. Anyways, would you mind if I ask you a more personal question?"


"Yes?"


"Oh it's nothing too personal I just wanted to know if your name happened to be, Kohaku."


"...Fufu...and what if it is, Kuzuki-/sensei/?"


"So you know my name as well... Would you prefer to talk in a more private location?"


"...I have heard Cafe Ahnenerbe recommended as a location for such things. Then shall we go?"


*She leads the way. Surprisingly, Kuzuki is unfamiliar with the location of the cafe, having never found a need for such frivolous things.*


*Kuzuki stays wary for he has been told by Milbunk that this strange girl despite her appearances is very crafty in her ways.*


*You go in. "George" seems to recognize Kohaku and directs two of you to the back, it is largely empty today.*


*After a moment of silence with neither speaking, Kohaku eventually breaks the quietness.* "Mm. Don't be shy Kuzuku-/sensei/. You have something to say, right?"


*Not hesitating to wait he responds.* "First off, tell me why you know my name."


*Her smile fades.* "The only man ever to leave the Organization alive isn't exactly unknown."


*Instantly noticing the fact that she seems to know about the place he was raised Kuzuki orders her to tell him why she knows that * "Are you a member as well?"


"No, but I would like to hire you as an agent for the duration of... some oddness in Fuyuki. The group I represent - the Demon Hunter Organization - has a vested interest in making sure this does not become something unpleasant."


"Do you refer to the thing known as the Holy Grail War? Or is this something else?"


"...so you have your own sources," *The kimono-clad woman noted, looking at you with piercing amber eyes.* "But then the fox shows that much."


"Where I get my information is of no concern to you. Now what business do have for me?"


"We would like a field agent in Fuyuki, one who has become familiar with the area and situation - yet has no standing interest in the war, unlike the Tohsaka, Makiri, and Einzbern. Your skill with martial arts and your residence in the temple makes that ideal."


"I see, if I choose to accept such a mission will I be receiving any aid?"


"I intend to summon a Servant to be stationed at the temple."


"And you intend to have me as your ally? What type of Servant did you have in mind? Do you perhaps have a catalyst already?"


"Yes. Perhaps with the Servant giving you reinforcement. Fufufu...a Caster, of course, to complement your melee abilities."


"I see... And what would be my reward for aiding you in such a task? Surely you do not expect me to do it for free?"


"We can offer financial compensation, as well as membership in the Demon Hunter Organization. Would you not enjoy the challenge?"


"Money and membership to another organization is not important. Though for reasons of my own I will accept this request."


"Very well, ufufu. Do you already have a catalyst in mind, and any questions?"

"I have acquired a few of my own in my spare time, the temple may also suit as a catalyst."

The conversation continues with the necessary preparations being made for the summoning later that night. Though Kohaku was not going to stay at the temple herself she would be visiting almost regularly to aid in the plans they had created.

100%

Souichirou Kuzuki / Milbunk / Kohaku
January 16th 8:30 P.M.

Muttering in a seemingly random coherence of words and sounds, Kohaku prepared the circle that would summon their Servant. Kuzuki stood behind far enough away so that she would not be disturbed by his presence, the fox was also nearby intently focused on watching both of them. The catalysts which included the strange stone that he had found and the book on Medea.

She prepared the circle using the blood of her own body that she herself extracted a while ago under mysterious efforts. Mark after mark and symbol after symbol was strewn across the floor in a complex and almost rhythmic method that Kuzuki had shown to the best of his abilities earlier that day.

Finally the circle had been completed and silence enveloped the entire room. After a mere moment of this silence she broke the silence and began to mutter the words that she herself had learned. These words would decide the events of their own participation in the war for better... Or worse.

“ – Set"

She began to move her hands and entire body in an almost memorizing way.

"If thou submitteth to the call of the Holy Grail, and if thou wilt obey this mind, this reason, then thou shalt respond.”

One movement to the left, then to the right. The sweat poured from her face as she intensely concentrated on the summoning at hand.

“ – I make my oath here. I am that person who is to become the virtue of all Heaven. I am that person who is covered with the evil of all Hades.”

Faster and faster her movements were, with the best concentration that both Kuzuki and Milbunk managed they could not help but be mesmerized at this dance that she created. She continued to dance her form as perfect as nature itself, finally the final incantation was about to be spoken.

“Thou seven heavens, clad in a trinity of words, come past they restraining rings, and be thou the hands that protect the balance – !”

A final clap rang through the room as she finished this fantastic dance of the summonings. A bright flash of light followed, though what would happen next only the Gods knew.

Mellon
December 16th, 2011, 01:26 PM
Alkandros Milyonecalion / Mellon
January 16, 2000 AD
00:24 AM
Miyamachou District (Outskirts) - Association Mansion - Basement




Suddenly, for a brief second, the blazing light of the circle before me was completely extinguished. The entire basement was engulfed in complete darkness.



"Wha...?"



Then, without any warning, the light returned, with an intense white blaze that seemed almost out of this world. A wave of pure force rang through the entire room and my body was flung from my position as if it was nothing more but a rag doll. With a grunt, I was slammed into the sturdy wall and collapsed into a heap, still unable to take my eyes off the mesmerizing light show before me. The molten metal that had been meticulously set up earlier could not stand up to the forces raging in the room and had become nothing more but a golden smear on the floor. My so called "catalysts" had long been burnt to nothing more but ash. Yet the blaze continued, seemingly completely unheeding the disrupted circle underneath it, nor the lack of any catalysts.



And then I saw it.

Someone was coming.


Blue, silver and white. That was all I could discern from the bedazzling light show that filled my sight. The silver-white armour gleamed in the ethereal light of the summoning. In an almost ironic contrast to my position, collapsed in a heap, with my clothes dirtied and dishevelled, the knight before me seemed pristine and pure, as if no force in the world could ever taint him. As if he had ridden straight out of one of the storybooks I had read when I was just a little brat. In the hands of this fairy tale knight, laid a golden sword, inlayed with magical sigils that seemed to pulse before my eyes and glow with an inner light. A blade I had seen before, in what seemed to now be an age ago.



The Sword in the Stone ... (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gm7TUszgZVI/TtpEwRUhiUI/AAAAAAAAEUU/2WMyTrF-yMA/s1600/W__Caliburn.jpg)


The figure turned its green, piercing, eyes on me, as he stepped out of the remains of what used to be my magic circle. My left hand felt like it was on fire once more, but I could not take my eyes off the being before me. Even knowing beforehand who he was could not prepare me for the prana that this person held. It was like his very fiber, no the very air itself, hummed with unrestrained magical energy. Was this how Saber felt when she made a contract with Rin? This uncanny feeling of immense power? The blond haired man stopped before me, his face in a serious countenance (http://images.wikia.com/typemoon/images/7/7a/Archetype_Saver.png), but not one devoid of kindness, as the white light of the circle finally died out. (http://images.wikia.com/typemoon/images/7/7a/Archetype_Saver.png)



"The Grail has heard your call for help. To ensure that this Grail War will be run according to the rules set out for it, I, Uther Pendragon, have been summoned in the class of Ruler."

"I am here to do your bidding, Mediator."



"....What!?!"

alfheimwanderer
December 29th, 2011, 08:14 PM
January 17, 2000
Evening
Ise Shrine

Among the various shrines and holy sites in Japan, perhaps none were as grand or as sacred as the Ise Grand Shrine, the complex of shrines dedicated to Amaterasu-ōmikami and Toyouke no ōmikami, located in the city of Ise in Mie prefecture, Japan. It was a location veiled in mystery and age, watched over by a member of the Imperial line, who claimed descent from the sun goddess, with public access to the site strictly limited - as it should be, given that it was purportedly the home of the sacred mirror called the Yata no Kagami, handed to the founder of the Imperial line by Amaterasu herself.

A mirror which could reveal the truth of any situation, against which no defence or shield would suffice - a mirror imbued with some of the Sun Goddess' own power.

A mirror that served as the companion to a weapon of legend: the Kusanagi, the holy sword once called Ama-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi ("Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven"), filled with the power of Susanoo, god of sea and storms, a blade which was also rumoured to be housed in the Shrine.

For that reason, almost all the surviving Houjutsushi in Japan (at least, those did not dwell in the Imperial Palace) spent a good deal of time at this holiest of holies, learning the craft of bounded fields, curses, anti-demon arts and so forth, so that they could provide the best possible protection for these modern Noble Phantasms. Without these, the land of the Rising Sun would be bereft of the blessing of the Goddess, and they were prepared to lay down their lives to stop any intruder who dared to assail this location.

Thus, when the wards detected a fast moving interloper - an inhuman monster attempting to breach the wards, hundreds of shikigami in the form of paper cranes blessed with the light of Amaterasu took flight, all homing in on the enemy as they were programmed to do, seeking to drive it away with a show of force...or other more deadly measures if it proved necessary.