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Twelveseal
March 17th, 2011, 10:23 PM
Warning!!! This fanfiction contains pornogrophy. The author is not responsible for damaged brains or that "unclean" feeling.
I need to repost this it seems. I may not be posting much in it, but I will when I can. The first couple of posts are reserved for Character Sheets. I'll fill them in when I get a chance.

For those of you interested... The RP idea thread. (http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread.php/568-12-s-RP-Brainstorming-Thread?p=114988#post114988)
Table of Contents (http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread.php/146-The-Loli-Grail-War?p=124206&viewfull=1#post124206) courtesy of Darthcourt.


Masters

Emiya Shirou, Master of Archer

Strength: F
Endurance: F
Agility: E
Prana: G
Spirit: F
Luck: E
Class: Archer

Independent Action: E
Projectile: C
Item Creation: C


Order: Knight

Eye of Mind (True): D
Riding: G
Magic Resistance: E


Personal Talents

Magic Circuit (True): G
Transcendece (Fake): E
Expert of Many Specializations: E
Magecraft: H


Phantasms

Unlimited Blade Works, Infinite Sword Creation: ?



Matou Sakura, Master of Archer

Strength: G
Endurance: E
Agility: F
Prana: F
Spirit: D
Luck: F
Class: Joker

Magecraft: E+
Magic Circuit (Fake): E
?
Willpower: D
Magic Circuit (True): G
?


Order: Pariah

Regeneration: G
Independent Action: G
Intuition: E


Personal Talents

Charisma: H
Golden Rule: H


Phantasms


?, Master of Assassin

Strength:
Endurance:
Agility:
Prana:
Spirit:
Luck:
Class:
Order:
Personal Talents
Phantasms


?, Master of Assassin

Strength:
Endurance:
Agility:
Prana:
Spirit:
Luck:
Class:
Order:
Personal Talents
Phantasms


Matou Shinji, Master of Avenger

Strength: F
Endurance: F
Agility: E
Prana: G
Spirit: F
Luck: D
Class:

Charisma: D
Pretension: D
Explorer of the Stars: F


Order: Expert

Disengage: D
Expert of Many Specializations: E
Golden Rule: E


Personal Talents
Phantasms


Tohno/Nanaya Shiki, Master of Avenger

Strength: E
Endurance: G
Agility: C
Prana: G
Spirit: E
Luck: E
Class: Slayer

Mental Pollution: G
Nihilism: D+
Veil of Deceit: E


Order: Knight

Aristeia: C++++
Riding: G
Magic Resistance: G


Personal Talents

Mystic Eyes (Pure): G
Presence Concealment: D
Willpower: E
Regeneration: G
Resilience: G


Phantasms

Shinigami, Mystic Eyes of Death Perception: ?



Illyasviel von Einzbern, Master of Berserker

Strength: I
Endurance: F
Agility: F
Prana: EX
Spirit: F
Luck: F
Class: Harbinger

Child of Alchemy: EX+++++
Independent Action: E
Transcendence (True): C


Order: Pariah

Regeneration: E
Intuition: A


Personal Talents

Magic Resistance: D
Charisma: E
Golden Rule: E


Phantasms


Makidera Kaede, Master of Berserker

Strength:
Endurance:
Agility:
Prana:
Spirit:
Luck:
Class:
Order:
Personal Talents
Phantasms


Kuzuki Souichirou. Master of Caster

Strength: D
Endurance: E
Agility: D
Prana: E
Spirit: F
Luck: D
Class: Striker

Iron Fist: C
Savagery: E
Resilience: C


Order: Pariah

Independent Action: E
Regeneration: E
Intuition: C


Personal Talents

Chinese Martial Arts: C
Presence Concealment: C
Veil of Deceit: E
Precision: E


Phantasms


Ryuudou Issei, Master of Caster

Strength:
Endurance:
Agility:
Prana:
Spirit:
Luck:
Class:
Order:
Personal Talents
Phantasms


Caren Ortensia, Master of Lancer

Strength:
Endurance:
Agility:
Prana:
Spirit:
Luck:
Class:
Order:
Personal Talents
Phantasms


Inui Arihiko, Master of Lancer

Strength: F
Endurance: E
Agility: F
Prana: F
Spirit: F
Luck: C
Class: Harbinger

Elemental Ancestry: D++++++
Independent Action: D
Transcendence (True): E


Order: Knight

Savagery: C
Magic Resistance: E
Riding: G


Personal Talents

Charisma: G
Eye of Mind (True): G
Regeneration: G


Phantasms


Tohsaka Rin, Master of Rider

Strength
Endurance:
Agility:
Prana:
Spirit:
Luck:
Class:
Order:
Personal Talents
Phantasms


Mitsuzuri Ayako, Master of Rider

Strength:
Endurance:
Agility:
Prana:
Spirit:
Luck:
Class:
Order:
Personal Talents
Phantasms


Fujimura Taiga, Master of Saber

Strength:
Endurance:
Agility:
Prana:
Spirit:
Luck:
Class:
Order:
Personal Talents
Phantasms


Luviagelita Edelfelt, Master of Saber

Strength:
Endurance:
Agility:
Prana:
Spirit:
Luck:
Class:
Order:
Personal Talents
Phantasms


?, Master of Saver

Strength:
Endurance:
Agility:
Prana:
Spirit:
Luck:
Class:
Order:
Personal Talents
Phantasms


Rion Rance, Master of Harbinger

Strength:
Endurance:
Agility:
Prana:
Spirit:
Luck:
Class:
Order:
Personal Talents
Phantasms

Twelveseal
March 17th, 2011, 10:24 PM
Servants


Archer 1

True Identity: ?
Master: Emiya Shirou
Strength: D
Endurance: E
Agility: C
Prana: EX
Spirit: B
Luck: D
Class Talents

Independent Action: C
Projectile: A
Item Creation: A+


Order Talents

Eye of Mind (Fake): A
Magic Resistance: D
Riding: E


Personal Talents

Charisma: C


Noble Phantasms

?: ? A golden sword with unknown properties that appeared alongside Archer at her summoning.



Archer 2

True Identity: EMILYA (Emilyasviel von Einzbern, Emiya Shirou)
Master: Matou Sakura
Strength: B
Endurance: C
Agility: D
Prana: D
Spirit: B
Luck: E
Class Talents

Independent Action: C
Projectile: B
Item Creation: A+


Order Talents

Eye of Mind (Fake): A+
Magic Resistance: E
Riding: C


Personal Talents

Magic Circuit (True): E
Transcendence (Fake): H
Immortality: H
Transcendence (True) H+
Pretension: A
Mystic Eyes (Pure): G
Regeneration: G


Noble Phantasms

Nine Lives Blade Works, Hero’s Style: EX+++++ Type: Support/Anti-Unit/Army. Max Range: Varies. Max Area: Varies.
A fighting style derived from a multitude of sources, including Cu Chulainn, Heracles, Sasaki Kojiroh, and countless others whose weapons were included in the Artificial Phantasm. A Divine Mystery in and of itself, this technique allows for the wielder to use his Pretension Ranks to emulate the entire Talent list of a given individual in addition to the Talents normal benefits, at no additional cost. It is a natural extension of the use of the original Artificial Phantasm and the techniques of ancient heroes.
Unlimited Blade Works, Infinite Sword Creation: A+ Type: Support. Max Range: 1-99. Max Area: Varies.
The Reality Marble of Emiya Shirou. As one who has deviated from the origin of this ability, it does not function at normal capacity. It cannot be materialized. However, it grants the wielder several benefits. It functions as its Rank in Affinity (Sword), Eye for Art, and Magecraft (Gradation Air) at A+ Rank.
Apotheosis, I am the Bone of My Sword: EX+++++ Type: Support. Range: Self Only.
The true manifestation of EMILYA’s rendition of Unlimited Blade Works, the fusion of internal and external worlds. When this Noble Phantasm is active, EMILYA ceases to be comprised of flesh and blood, her body now made entirely of Noble Phantasm-grade swords warped and distorted in such a way as to appear as a human body. This Phantasm adds it’s Rank to Transcendence (True), Immortality, Regeneration, and Magic Resistance. In addition, it grants access to Mobility (Flight), Eye for an Eye, and Blade Mastery at this Rank. Lurking at the core of this new body, in place of a heart, is a certain sword, usable only through the emulation of another weapon located elsewhere within the frame.
Last Trace, Exceed Origin: E+ Type: Support. Range: Any Created Objects.
A technique that has manifested as a Divine Mystery in its own right. This simple, passive Noble Phantasm increases the Rank of all Items produced by the wielder by 4 Ranks, while at the same time allowing them to be subjected to Variation, distorting them into a desirable new form, and allowing to the user to manifest the item overflowed with Prana, as a Broken Phantasm, if so desired.



Assassin 1

True Identity: ?
Master: ?
Strength: ?
Endurance: ?
Agility: ?
Prana: ?
Spirit: ?
Luck: ?
Class Talents

?
Precision: ?
Veil of Deceit: ?


Order Talents

Golden Rule: ?
Disengage: ?
Expert of Many Specializations: ?


Personal Talents
Noble Phantasms


Assassin 2

True Identity: ?
Master: ?
Strength: ?
Endurance: ?
Agility: ?
Prana: ?
Spirit: ?
Luck: ?
Class Talents

Presence Concealment: EX
Precision: A
Veil of Deceit: D


Order Talents

Golden Rule: G
Disengage: A
Expert of Many Specializations: E


Personal Talents
Noble Phantasms


Avenger 1

True Identity: Kohaku/Night of Wallachia
Master: Matou Shinji
Strength: E
Endurance: C
Agility: D
Prana: D
Spirit: A
Luck: A
Class Talents

Eye for an Eye: E
Resilience: E
Nihilism: C


Order Talents

Regeneration: A
Intuition: EX+
Independent Action: B


Personal Talents

Magecraft: A+
Territory Creation: C
Item Creation: D
Mechanical Genius: D


Noble Phantasms





Avenger 2

True Identity: Tohno SHIKI
Master: Tohno/Nanaya Shiki
Strength: A
Endurance: A
Agility: B
Prana: E
Spirit: C
Luck: D
Class Talents

Eye for an Eye: B
Resilience: C+
Nihilism: A+


Order Talents

Regeneration: B
Intuition: F
Independent Action: E


Personal Talents

Demonic Blood: A+++++++
Vampirism: E++++


Noble Phantasms

Angra Mainyu, This World of Sin: EX++. Type: Support. Range: Varies. Max Area: Varies.
A potent Noble Phantasm derived both from the Taint of Angra Mainyu and SHIKI’s personal will. This power grants an equal Rank in Prana Well and Sorcery Trait, Eye for an Eye, and Curse Mastery, as well as Magic Circuit (True). The Sorcery Trait condition allows for the summoning and manipulation of the Curse form of Angra Mainyu, though the manifestation must have a valid source. The body of an Avenger is itself a valid source, though.
Blood Maiden, Scarlet Sacrifice: B. Type: Support.
The bound familiar of the vampire, in this case, Yumitsuka Satsuki. A largely independent existence, she must receive Prana or blood from an external source, usually her Master. In turn, he may use her as food as well. She has her own stat block as well, though as a familiar, her abilities are roughly half those of a Tier 7 Character. AP=21, PP=21, TP=21.
Nazar, Mystic Eyes of Life Perception: A+ Type: Anti-Unit/ Support. Range: Varies. Max Area: Varies.
An ability similar to Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, this ability allows the user to see the flow of life-force on targets as lines and spirals. These flows can only be seen on creatures, not objects. By cutting or piercing these phenomena, the user may drain the life-force from a target with great ease. This Talent allows the wielder to ignore the Resilience property when making attacks, as well as to ignore armor. In addition, it seals the Immortality Talent of the target, and adds to both damage and Attack values.



Berserker 1

True Identity: Arcueid Brunestud
Master: Illyasviel von Einzbern
Strength: B
Endurance: A
Agility: A
Prana: A
Spirit: C
Luck: D
Class Talents

Mad Enhancement: A+
Battle Continuation: A
Might: B


Order Talents

Regeneration: C
Intuition: G
Independent Action: A


Personal Talents

Vampirism: EX++++++++++++


Noble Phantasms





Berserker 2

True Identity: Tohno Akiha
Master: Makidera Kaede
Strength: B
Endurance: B
Agility: A
Prana: B
Spirit: C
Luck: D
Class Talents

Mad Enhancement: A
Battle Continuation: E
Might: E


Order Talents

Regeneration: C
Intuition: C
Independent Action: E


Personal Talents
Demonic Blood: A++++++++++++++
Charisma: E
Golden Rule: E
Noble Phantasms


Caster 1

True Identity: Len and White Len
Master: Kuzuki Souichirou
Strength: E
Endurance: E
Agility: B
Prana: A
Spirit: B
Luck: C
Class Talents

Magecraft: EX++
Territory Creation: EX++
Item Creation: G


Order Talents

Golden Rule: G
Disengage: A
Expert of Many Specializations: C


Personal Talents

Savagery: A
Variation: A
Independent Action: E
Transcendence (True): G


Noble Phantasms


Caster 2

True Identity: Nursery Rhyme
Master: Ryuudou Issei
Strength: E
Endurance: E
Agility: D
Prana: B
Spirit: A
Luck: A
Class Talents

Magecraft: A+
Territory Creation: EX+
Item Creation: E


Order Talents

Golden Rule: E
Disengage: C
Expert of Many Specializations: A


Personal Talents

Pretension: D
Reality Marble: EX
Variation: A


Noble Phantasms


Lancer 1

True Identity: Vlad III
Master: Caren Ortensia
Strength: C
Endurance: A
Agility: EX
Prana: D
Spirit: D
Luck: D
Class Talents

Pole Arm Mastery: A
Celerity: C++
Battle Continuation: A


Order Talents

Eye of Mind (True): A++
Magic Resistance: A
Riding: E


Personal Talents
Noble Phantasms


Lancer 2

True Identity: Seventh Apocryphal Holy Scripture/Nanako
Master: Inui Arihiko
Strength: C
Endurance: D
Agility: A
Prana: D
Spirit: C
Luck: C
Class Talents

Pole Arm Mastery: A
Celerity: A++++
Battle Continuation: C


Order Talents

Holy Smite: A+
Magic Resistance: A
Riding: D


Personal Talents

Aegis of Faith: A+
Animalism: G
Variation: G


Noble Phantasms

Ciel, Vestment of the Master: Ex. Type: Support. Range: Master. Max Area: 1.
A special Noble Phantasm that targets the Master and not the enemy or Servant. Allows Nanako to revert to her pile-bunker form, as well as producing a host of armaments and vestment. These automatically appear on her Master, granting him access to her Talents and Ability scores through Addition.
Black Keys, Keys of Providence: A++. Type: Anti-Unit/ Anti-Spirit. Range: 1-60. Max Area: 10.
A form of instantaneous Item Creation that produces Black Keys from Prana, allowing them to be fired like bullets. Is treated as an equal Rank in Precision, Projectile, and Item Creation. In addition, all items created are considered to be Noble Phantasms, and have the shadow binding and sealing property inherent in them. The phantasm is the ability, rather than the item produced.
Roa, 17th Incarnation: A++++. Type: Support. Range: Master. Max Area: 1.
Grants the collected memories of Roa’s skills and Talents to the Master, allowing access to Magecraft of the Kabbalah, Numerology, Thaumaturgy, Necromancy, Sacrament, and Alchemy schools while active. In addition, grants access to High Speed Aria and Kuji Kiri.



Rider 1

True Identity: Altrouge Brunestud
Master: Tohsaka Rin
Strength: B
Endurance: C
Agility: EX
Prana: B
Spirit: A
Luck: E
Class Talents

Cavalry: A
Riding: A
Military Tactics: D


Order Talents

Eye of Mind (Fake): A
Magic Resistance: E
Riding: See Above


Personal Talents

Vampirism: A++++
Willpower: H


Noble Phantasms

Primate Murder, White Beast of Gaia: Rank: EX++++.Type: Support/ Familiar. Range: 1-2. Maximum Area: 2
Appearance: The physical appearance of Primate Murder varies. In its passive form, this Noble Phantasm appears as a awkward, clumsy, floppy-eared puppy with long white fur that dangles to its paws. It’s muzzle is long and slender, with the faintly arrow shaped nose projecting significantly further than the actual mouth, which slopes back, giving the face a faintly rat-like appearance. The tail is long and covered in long hair as well, though the length decreases as it nears the tip. The body is slender, and the paws overlarge.
In its active state, the beast is roughly the size of a Clydesdale horse, its oversized paws hand-like. It is still slender, and clearly has physiological features, such as a missing collarbone, that are not common in canines. The creature is more a chimeric amalgam of multiple predatory animals. It just happens to most closely resemble a dog. Its forelimbs are capable of free independent movement like a cat’s and it is capable of walking upright with a swift but awkward gait. It is very graceful in this state, and is remarkably efficient at leaps, swimming, and climbing.
Description: The White Beast of Gaia, the embodiment of Gaia’s absolute authority over the life and death of her creations. In this case, humanity. The beast acts as the primary mount and weapon of Rider, adding Rider’s Talent Ranks to its own in order to determine Combat Ability. Murder is a Tier 13 Familiar with its own Talent Ranks and Phantasms.



Rider 2

True Identity: GORGON
Master: Mitsuzuri Ayako
Strength:

Stheno: A
Euryale: D
Medusa: D


Endurance:

Stheno: C
Euryale: E
Medusa: D


Agility:

Stheno: B
Euryale: A
Medusa: A


Prana:

Stheno: D
Euryale: B
Medusa: D


Spirit:

Stheno: C
Euryale: B
Medusa: A


Luck:

Stheno: E
Euryale: D
Medusa: D


Class Talents

Cavalry: B
Riding: A
Military Tactics: A


Order Talents

Eye of Mind (True): B
Magic Resistance: B
Riding: See Above


Personal Talents

Stheno:

Divinity: EX++
Holy Smite: F
Holy Awe: F


Euryale:

Divinity: EX++
Holy Smite: F
Holy Awe: E


Medusa:

Monstrous Strength: B
Divinity: E-
Mystic Eyes: B



Noble Phantasms

GORGON:

Triumvirate, Three Sisters: A: Type: Support. Range: Self Only.
A rare type of Noble Phantasm found in the possession of holy trinities, this allows the possessors to be treated as a single being, despite having multiple unique and independent bodies. This Noble Phantasm allows the Three Gorgons to share the same Order and Class Talents, but have unique Personal Talents, as well as have full Ability Points allotted to each of them. However, this sort of Phantasm is a double edged sword. Should one Gorgon be fully destroyed, the other two will die as well.
Gorgon Shell, Venom of the Gods: A++++: Type: Support. Range: Self Only.
The Transformed state of the Gorgon Medusa. This nightmarish beast gains the Might, Celerity, Savagery, and Resilience Talents up to Rank A. In addition, it adds an 8 Rank bonus to the Rank of Medusa’s Mystic Eyes, effectively making them EX Ranked.


Stheno:
Euryale:
Medusa:



Saber 1

True Identity: ?
Master: ?
Strength: C
Endurance: E
Agility: B
Prana: D
Spirit: D
Luck: A
Class Talents

Blade Mastery: A+
Regeneration: E++
Resilience: C


Order Talents

Precision: A
Magic Resistance: A
Riding: C


Personal Talents
Noble Phantasms


Saber 2

True Identity: ?
Master: ?
Strength: ?
Endurance: ?
Agility: ?
Prana: ?
Spirit: ?
Luck: ?
Class Talents

Blade Mastery: ?
Regeneration: ?
Resilience: ?


Order Talents

?
Magic Resistance: ?
Riding: ?


Personal Talents
Noble Phantasms


Saver

True Identity: Yamase Maiko
Master: ?
Strength: B
Endurance: EX
Agility: A
Prana: D
Spirit: A
Luck: D
Class Talents

Reality Marble: EX++++++++++++++
Holy Smite: G
Holy Awe: G


Order Talents

Chinese Martial Arts: A++
Magic Resistance: A
Riding: E


Personal Talents

Battle Continuation: C
Expert of Many Specializations: C


Noble Phantasms


Archer 3

True Identity: Gilgamesh
Master: Kotomine Kirei
Strength: D
Endurance: D
Agility: C
Prana: D
Spirit: EX
Luck: A
Class Talents

Projectile:
Independent Action:
Item Creation:


Order Talents

Magic Resistance:
Riding:


Personal Talents
Noble Phantasms


Harbinger

True Identity: ?
Master: Rion Rance
Strength: ?
Endurance: ?
Agility: ?
Prana: ?
Spirit: ?
Luck: ?
Class Talents

?
Transcendence (True): ?
Independent Action: ?


Order Talents

?
Magic Resistance: ?
Riding: ?


Personal Talents
Noble Phantasms

Erlkonig
March 17th, 2011, 10:24 PM
Posting in epic thread.

Twelveseal
March 17th, 2011, 10:25 PM
I do not own anything made by Type-Moon or related companies. This is not for profit.

A Bite to Eat
Something was watching her. Someone else, some presence, moving about the house. It was far too early for her brother. Years of conditioning, honing her body and senses in the martial arts, had granted her enough ability to gauge the interloper within her own home. She had come to trust those hard-won abilities. She had come to rely on her experiences, on her sparring, and showed not an ounce of suspicion to prying eyes. Her hands continued their work, carefully crafting the meal that would become her lunch.

There it was again. That shifting presence, just on the corners of perception. A shadow of movement. The faint presence of a subtle predator just beyond her vision. Using the movements of her task to hide her true intentions, she glanced at the mirrored surface of a hanging pot, seeking this ominous hunter.
There! Standing in the doorway, using the frame as cover. Pale skin and black leather. A cascade of lavender, a band of violet. A crimson brand like a scar. The very presence of this being was beyond any human scope. Even to her senses, the Qi pouring from this creature was immense. This was not a thing of this world. It was not of this time. It had no place here, nor was it welcome. And yet here it was, an intruder into the comfortable confines of reality. Why was it here? Why now, why her? This creature from beyond the grave, peering at her from behind a veil of weird leather. How could it even see her? And yet she was certain it could. For the Gorgon of legend, the dreaded Medusa, had come to this time, this place, to hunt. And now, Mitsuzuri Ayako had been chosen as the beast’s prey.

She wouldn’t go down without a fight.

She could feel it. The presence grew. The monster prepared to pounce. She felt the pressure change, deepen. In the next instant…

“Onee-chan, we’re hungry!” “What’s for breakfast, Onee-chan?”

The voices ringing through the kitchen break the tension as readily as the silence. The two sisters step through the threshold, virtually identical. One, probably Stheno, from what she knew of them, reaches back in passing and hoists their younger sister by the back of her dress, carrying the tiniest of the child-like Gorgons single handed. Medusa hung limp, a virtual rag-doll in the hand of her elder sister.

The white gowned sisters moved with the eagerness of children, which was fitting all things considered. Medusa found herself plopped unceremoniously on a cushion at the table, her head striking it with a resounding thud that made Mitsuzuri cringe inwardly. Dents to the table aside, the little Gorgon simply lay there, head down on the table unmoving. Her sisters didn’t seem the least put off, Stheno settling opposite her tiny sister, and Euryale beside her, leaving only the place next to the would-be hunter, Ayako’s preferred cushion, empty. “Is this breakfast, Onee-chan?” “Will there be baklava, Onee-chan? I want something sweet.”
Nevermind the fact that the elder sisters were entirely too demanding, and the abject silence of the youngest downright creepy, baklava was well beyond Ayako’s skill. She had no idea about Greek dishes, so they’d have to put up with Japanese for now.

“No, there isn’t any baklava. Unless one of you wants to show me how to make it, of course…”

“No thanks, Onee-chan!” In unison, no less, veritably dripping with disgust at the thought. “Aren’t you going to join us, Onee-chan?” Cheerful, now?

Heaving a sigh, Mitsuzuri Ayako finished putting away the unused ingredients and joined the sisters three at the table. “Itadakimasu!” And set to work on her own food. A part of her wondered if she should check on the seemingly unconscious child, but a larger part told her that would probably be a bad idea. Just a gut feeling, but…

As she continued eating, her mind wandered to the events of the past night. The strange appearance of the three girls claiming to be the Gorgons of legend. The sudden, mind numbing battle with the silver haired girl and her jagged spear. The inhuman strength of the one called Stheno, the impossible speed of Euryale, and that looming, monstrous presence that seemed to flow from the smallest like a raging torrent. The only reasons she hadn’t pulled her hair out by now due to the sheer insanity of it all were engraved on the back of her hand, two twining serpents surrounding a single, leering eye. A stigmata that proved her worthy. Of what, she had yet to fully understand.

A Holy Grail War? A Miracle? Things like that were impossible. And yet, so were the child-gods sitting at her table. This was all too much, too fast.

“Please pass the soy sauce, Onee-chan.” Stheno spoke up, breaking her reverie. The three sisters had hardly touched their food. In fact, Medusa still hadn’t moved from where she’d been dropped. That… probably wasn’t good. “Uhh, sure. Here…” Mitsuzuri handed the bottle across the table, stretching over the downed goddess. As she did “Um, is she all righ…”

The Gorgon had sat up. The movement was so quick if barely registered, less like a human being sitting and more like a cobra rising in preparation to strike. Mitsuzuri found herself looking down into the face of the predator-child from before, the realization of just how open she was dawning too late.

The Gorgon exploded into motion. By the time Mitsuzuri realized Medusa had moved, it was already too late. Her back went numb for a second, followed by a shock of pain. The Gorgon-child had pinned her, flattening her to the floor in an instant. But…

Just how the hell did that thing get inside her shirt! The shock of pain, the sensation of something snapping, and a sharp lance of pain over her left breast! “Gah! Ah! Ah! Getitoffgetitoffgetitoff!”

Tiny monster writhed like a serpent in her clothes, heaving her blouse up to reveal a torn bra and exposed breasts. The Gorgon had latched onto her nipple, suckling not on milk, but blood, tiny teeth pricking. Why!? What the hell!? She tried to pry the little bloodsucker off, but Medusa was firmly clamped. Just yanking her off would do way more damage… She started pounding the child-sized leech in the ribs, hoping to get her to let go, each breath a yell of “Get off!” or a gasp of pain.

A faint numbness, a faint heat was starting to spread from the bite, something lapping and… This is bad. This is very bad. This is starting to feel… not so painful. “Getoffgetoffgetoffgetoffgetoffgetoff…ah! Ah getoff!”

Just as things seemed to be going in even more sordid directions, the slender hand of Stheno once again reached down to Medusa’s back. All suction, all clamping, instantly ceased. The little monster had gone inert again, like someone had simply ripped the batteries out of an electric toy. The limp child was easily lifted by her elder sister, held aloft single-handed beside Stheno’s head. The two elder sisters stood over her, looking down with a mix of concern and curiosity.

Gulping breath, trying to get over her panic, Mitsuzuri examined her bite. A faint ring of teeth marks, blood welling ever so slightly from them, her nipple stiff and sensitive from too much stimulation. It hurt, really. It kept hurting, as a faint line of blood started to form and run. What the hell kind of monster kid was that! A Vampire!? Was she poisonous!?

“Are you all right, Onee-chan?”
“Wh-what the hell was that!?”
“Imouto-chan gets really hungry sometimes, Onee-chan. She can’t control herself…”
“But it’s alright. You’re all right, right Onee-chan?”
“Y-yeah. But what the hell!? You mean she drinks blood!?”
“Of course, Onee-chan. Normal food isn’t enough to satisfy the needs of Gods…”
“It’s great that you’re all right, Onee-chan! After all, we have to take good care of each other!”

The smile that spread across the faces of the elder sisters was enough to chill the blood. With a flick of her wrist, Stheno sent the tiny Medusa sailing through the air over her back, the limp child landing somewhere out of sight with a dull thud.

The two remaining Gorgons reached for her, hunger in their eyes. Where was her brother!? Why wasn’t he awake? Had they already eaten him!? She desperately tried to back away, but sprawled on the floor as she was, facing enemies whose power far outclassed hers, she knew she was already lost. What, what could she possibly do!? Only one thing:

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOO!!!!!!!”

Thus began Mitsuzuri Ayako’s first morning as the Onee-chan of the Gorgon’s Three.

Erlkonig
March 17th, 2011, 10:29 PM
HNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

Twelveseal
March 17th, 2011, 10:35 PM
Matou Family Morning

For the first time in many a year, dawn had come to the Matou household. The light of the warming sun played upon walls and floors long accustomed only to the gloaming darkness. Lancing past drawn curtains and shutters thrown wide, the sun’s blessed radiance drove away the fearful night. It was as if the whole of the world had agreed that this place need be sanctified. For on this night past, a miracle occurred.

Two young girls had come to this house from a place at once near and far. They were holy children, saintly youths who had no place in the lair of the darkness. And thus the coming dawn had a greater meaning. Light and life had returned to this place of misery and death.

The young lady of the house, Matou Sakura, had set about her morning ritual as any other day, the curious stigmata on her hand concealed behind a simple bandage. Today, just as every other day, she would prepare herself and then travel to the home of a young man who was the unwitting light of her life. There, she would care for his needs as his happiness cared for her heart. If she was a bit lighter of step this morning, if she felt an ease of tensions long held, she was unaware. To her, it was a morning like any other. And so she had set off, leaving the two young girls with her elder brother, Shinji. She felt a bit of worry for them, but knew the strength they possessed better than he, and knew that they could defend themselves well from any advances he might make.

Fifteen minutes had passed since Sakura had left the house in the hands of her brother, the children, and her sleeping “grandfather,” just returned from one of his many business trips. In that short amount of time, the young child called Archer had done the work of a veritable army of servants. With speed and precision beyond compare, beyond human ability, the girl with long red hair had opened every window in the house she could find, swept, dusted, scrubbed, and had begun to vacuum the carpeting, drawing out the hidden cache’s of filth piled up by too much disregard.

Near the ominous stair hidden in the wall, a small girl sat. In her hands was a glass jar with a curious thing in it, which Archer had yet to see clearly. The girl, called Avenger, quietly shook the jar from side to side, a simple, slow motion that stirred whatever floated inside. She sat upon the top stair, looking down into the blackness, an eternal night beyond the reach of the sun. What captivated the girl, in her classical Japanese attire? What drew her attention to the darkness lying below? If one listened, there was the sound of a slithering within that void. The scent of old decay floated from within, however distantly. This was a place that Archer would not be able to clean, surely. So what was it that drew Avenger so?

For a moment, Archer thought. Where was the man of the house? Where was Matou Shinji? Surely not… He couldn’t be. Archer knew all too well what dwelt in that black recess. And so too did the Matou heir. That was no place for a human being. That place belonged to the crawling things born of nightmares. And then he heard it, over the din of the vacuum.

“Are you sure this will make me a Magus, Avenger?” The voice of Matou Shinji rose from the bleak depths.

“Of course, Onii-chan! All you have to do is trust in Avenger-chan’s potions! They never fail!” The child on the stair answered with an angelic smile. A smile that seemed empty for all its perfection. Archer felt a slight chill despite the warming light. There was something… not… right about this girl. Turning off the cleaner, Archer made her way over to the stair to stand behind Avenger.

Peering into those foul depths, she caught the faintest sound of movement, the echo of breathing, and the slithering sound of unholy worms. Was Matou Shinji really so foolish as to… Archer looked at Shinji’s Servant, at the red-headed Avenger quietly kicking her feet on the steps. Was she humming something?

“Umm. So all I have to do is drink this, and then I’ll be able to control the worms? They’ll let me be a magus, right? So I just…” After what sounded to be Shinji convincing himself, there was the sound of a stopper being pulled, of swallowing. A gasp of breath. “So, now I just need to go down there and… control them, right?”

“Avenger, what are you doing? Get him out of there. He’s your Master, right? If he dies, you die.”

“It’s all right, Archer-chan. Avenger-chan knows exactly what she’s doing.” That unnatural smile turned towards him. “Now Onii-chan, just go on to the wigglies down there! Avenger-chan’s special medicine will make sure you’ll be fine!”

There was a deep intake of breath, and then the sound of footsteps. Was he really…? What had she told him to make him walk into that pit of, of things!? All too soon, however, an odd sound came from the darkness. “Wha… ugh!” Followed by a thud, and the sound of gasping. A moaning was coming from the darkness… but the voice sounded… strange. Was that really Matou Shinji? A slithering sound erupted from within, followed by strange gasps and short screams. Archer’s eyes bulged, unable to see around the curving stair to the scene below. Maybe if she stood where Avenger was? But the Servant wasn’t moving.

Suddenly, a blood-curdling scream, so high it didn’t sound like it could come from the throat of a grown man erupted from within. The rapid sounds of footfalls, rising from the depths, the sound of vile slithering, of dark crawling terrors. Archer’s face whipped up from the Avenger to look into that abyss, to see what was happening. She prepared to rush to the aid of the boy, even knowing his nature. From out of the darkness, a naked form emerged, a… What the hell!? That… that… What the hell!? Archer’s eyes bulged at the impossible site before her. What power had that potion held to produce such a dramatic transformation?

The form of Matou Shinji was… No, that couldn’t be. Archer was seeing things. That’s… that’s the only possibility. Such a transformation, just from a simple potion? No. Just no.

“Oooh. It’s too soon, Onii-chan! You’re not done yet!” And the Avenger lashed out with the bristles of a broom resting beside her, shoving the emerging form back into the pit, knocking it over to roll into the darkness. “Avenger-chan will let you know when you’re a Magus, Onii-chan, er. Is that right? Maybe?” Avenger seemed not to know how to handle the circumstances herself. “Oh, don’t look so worried, Archer-chan! Onii-chan will be just fine. After all, those things don’t kill that type of person, right?” She turned as she spoke, facing Archer fully for the first time.

In her hands was a simple glass mason jar, filled with a mysterious fluid. Inside that jar, thrashing like a dying fish, was a strange worm. Great prongs stood from behind its head, and its long body tapered like a whip. The whole wretched thing looked like some vile gamete. Archer knew what that worm was. Archer knew all too well exactly what that worm was “But, but how…?”
Avenger giggled, her smile seeming to be genuine for a moment. “Avenger-chan knows what she’s doing. Her plans are perfect, and her potions never fail! Most of the time, anyway.” Her smile is a bit sheepish now.
“Say, Archer-chan! You wouldn’t happen to want to try one of Avenger-chan’s potions, too, would you? I have another one just like that one…” She points into the darkness below.

“So Archer-chan. Would you like to try being an Archer-kun?”

Twelveseal
March 17th, 2011, 10:36 PM
Room Service

He was having that dream again. A sea of flames surrounded him, their intense heat baking his flesh even as he ran. The screams of the dying filled the air, warring with thick clouds of smoke and ash for dominion of the night’s sky. Every drop of water baked off him by the hellish blaze while a pitch black sun cried filthy tears for the dead and dying. The cries of the people around him hounded him like the wild hunt, preying on his will to live. Why him? Why not any of the others? Pain and fear and envy and despair were carried into the flames and burned to nothingness. The fire would consume him as it did everyone else.

All he could do was run. All he could do was live for all the people who couldn’t. If he had even a single spark of life left, he would not die. There was nothing left of him but life, even though that too was swiftly fading. He would not give up, without purpose or hope, he would still not give up. If he did, how could he face those who had died without even his chance?

He ran into the dancing darkness, the heat only growing. He ran, knowing he would die.

Dawn broke over the nightmare field, as he lay dying, unable to move. A face appeared above him, a face with a smile of pure joy beyond even his understanding. How he wished he could be like that person. He strained to see, knew that the face should be familiar, knew the path of the dream, but for some reason, he couldn’t make out the details of that visage.

Then there was a light, and a coolness that washed away his pain. He felt all the wounds visited upon him fade to nothing in an instant… But this wasn’t how the dream went. The coolness that had pressed upon him focused below his waist, and there was a sensation of pressure, as if a weight were pressing down on his hips. A scent, strange and alluring, filled his world as the visions of that holocaust fled. The world had become a place of warm, moist breezes and soft, caressing silks.

Why? Why had this dream become so different? The pressure on his hips shifted, and the heat moved. Something in him answered that heat, growing quickly into a fire. What had caused such a drastic change? The heat above him spread, the pressure shifting farther, and the haze of sleep began to fade. He was waking up, this dream that had stirred primal yearnings passing with it.

Blinking blurry eyes, Emiya Shirou began to wake up. He began to stir, hearing the vibrant songs of the birds as he did. But… his body was strangely heavy. His foggy mind didn’t fully process it. It was a little hard to breathe, as if there was a weight on top of him. It made it hard to move, whatever it was. What on earth was laying on him? Wiping the sleep from his eyes with the back of a hand, he looked for the first time at what was laying on him.

And froze.

A young girl, a loose shirt and a pair of pink and white striped panties her only clothing, was laying on top of him. Her eyes closed, the tiny, silver-haired beauty reminded him of a china doll. He tried to lean a bit, hoping to find some way to lever her off without waking her as his mind began to catch up.

What had he done last night!? Where had the girl come from!? Who was she!? Why was she here!? How old was she!? Could he have done that to her!? How the hell was he going to explain this to Fujinee!?!? Could he really have... Wait! There was something. The sensation of pain, a faint memory of something impossible. Something extraordinary had happened last night, but what…

“Hnnnaahhh!” The little girl yawned and stretched, reminding him of nothing so much as a cat first waking. She pushed up on his chest with one hand, her weight pushing him down, and blinked scarlet eyes veiled behind long lashes at him.

“Good morning, Oniichan.” She slumped against him, her slender arms wrapping around him, her weight pressing on him. Between the dream and this… He felt himself stirring. No, this was bad… He could smell her scent, feel the warmth of her through thin cloth, her body on top of him beneath the covers. He felt it. He was jabbing her, pressing against her. But the look on her face, that was not the look of a young girl. She was smirking at him. That was a teasing look that had no place in this situation. Why did she have such an expression?

“Hmmm? Oniichan is feeling better this morning! Good!” A laugh like tinkling bells, and her small hips ground against him in a way no child ever should. The girl, eyes smiling even as her mouth smirked, leaned forward and pressed teasing lips to his. He was too shocked to react. The slight brush of soft lips ended, the girl leaning back as she levered herself up using both hands against his stomach. The girl was straddling him, just above his… He could feel her small butt brushing against the tip. This was really, really bad.

“You were hurt pretty badly last night, Oniichan. You’d better not get too vigorous now, or you won’t get any better…” Her face still held that taunting smile, even as her hips wiggled, slowly crushing his reason. “Hah. Hurt? What do you…” And then he remembered.

A night of madness. A tiny child atop a great white hound. A strange creature like a hellish serpent. A fierce battle that left him running for his life. The wild fangs of the viper gouging him, and the buzzing voice of an unknown savior. The return home, only to find the child with the sword and shield. A desperate flight to his sanctum, and salvation in the form of this radiant girl. The child that Tohsaka had called Archer. The walk to the church. The realization that Archer was someone he had to protect. Someone who swore to protect him. He had come to believe her in that short time.

Only to find her double seeking his head. The rending claws of an inhuman maiden. The feel of his own guts splattering the pavement as his consciousness faded… How was he alive? Had Tohsaka saved him? Had this child somehow staved off that bloodstained monster?

“How? How am I alive right now?”

“Oniichan was hurt really badly last night, but you have something special inside you.” Her smile is still mocking, and she begins to bounce, just above his lust. She’s giggling a bit. “All I had to do was give you a little Prana to stimulate it.” Her smile seems almost lewd, and the giggling starts where it left off.

Mustering his willpower against the growing tide of desire, he reached up and caught her wrists. “Just stop. Hold on for a minute. How did you save me again?” What she had said, the way she said it… Something about that statement sounded volatile.

She began leaning back, his hands still holding her wrists down, as she peered down at him with that smirk.

There was a rush of air and “Good morning Semp-!!”

Standing in the now open doorway to his room was the familiar form of his friend’s sister, the girl who had cared for him in his moment of weakness, Matou Sakura. All color had drained away from her face at the sight of him, a tiny girl in mount. Her mouth hung slightly open. She began to lean back, taking a single step into the hall. If she took one more, she would certainly bolt, but that second step wobbled. Her knee buckled, giving out. She began to fall as her eyes rolled back.

“S-Sakura!!!” Before he knew it, Shirou had lunged from his futon arms reaching to catch her. The girl in his bed forgotten for the moment, Shirou grabbed her and pulled her in. “Sakura! Sakura! Are you all right!!” Her eyes fluttered behind closed lids, and she was muttering something over and over again in a voice too quiet to hear, but she seemed to be all right. She had just fainted, he thought.

Not sure what to do, Shirou lifted the unconscious girl into his arms and carried her to his now vacant futon. He settled her in, hoping she’d be all right, as the girl from before, Archer, pouted at him from the other side of his bed. “I need to go get breakfast ready, and come up with an explanation for someone. Can you take care of Sakura until I’m done? Make sure she’s all right? I need you to let me know if anything changes, ok?” He couldn’t look at the girl without blushing a little. He still remembered exactly what she had been doing, how it felt.

She must have seen it. Her smirk returned full-force. “All right, Oniichan! Leave it to me!” And she pumped a tiny fist. He stood up from the bedside and turned to leave.

At which point he felt the world spin, a weight slamming into him and shoving him forward, the slender limbs of Archer wrapping around him. “You’re too good for her, Oniichan, but I’ll do it for you. But there’s one condition.” “Wha-what kind of condition?” He felt the firmness of her slight body pressing against him, rekindling that fire within. “Oniichan has to let me make sure his health is juuuust fine. Ok?” Ah, well. That wasn’t a bad thing, I guess. Heaving a sigh, he pried her off. “Alright, but I have to go get ready for Fujinee. If Sakura wakes up, let me know. And don’t tell her anything about what was going on, ok. She doesn’t need to be involved with the world of the Magi.”

“Sure, Oniichan!” Her beaming smile ended the conversation, and Shirou Emiya hurried off to the kitchen, thinking about how he was going to explain the sudden appearance of a mysterious little sister.

Maybe he could say she was Kiritsugu’s, and that she had been living abroad due to some custody issues, or something. Maybe Fujimura would buy it…

He glanced at the holy stigmata on the back of his hand, so like a bow and arrow, and wondered just what lay in store for him.

Twelveseal
March 17th, 2011, 10:38 PM
Pancakes

She pounded away at the batter with a vengeance, a thousand curses pouring from her lips. The whisk in her hands whirled with the fury of a tornado, yet not one fleck of the sticky mess flew free of the bowl. She had already added everything that was needed, even the ridiculous amounts of brown sugar that deranged girl had demanded. Yet she continued to thrash the stuff with a fury. Why? Why!? Because! Was making pancakes for that brat something fitting the station of the Voivoda of Wallachia!? No!

Cursing under her breath with the skill of a seasoned war veteran, Vlad III, the legendary Impaler Prince of Wallachia labored at the work of a lesser woman. Why!? She had earned her place and position! Hard won battles, dark and terrible deeds, sins that would never wash away, all piled upon the shoulders of the small child. She had withstood indignities, slavery, betrayal, abuse, injury, torture, rape, and more in her life, and had come back stronger each time. She had earned the fear and respect of the people who had raised her to the title to shame the traitors within her own family.

And she had been reduced to making pancakes for twit. Where was justice!? The Impaler Prince, brought down to the frailty of her youth, and made to cook for a wretched priest and his daughter. Nevermind that Cheshire Cat Thing that hung around like a crow on a battlefield. What had she done to deserve the wretchedness of her life, only to find her own afterlife so… so… humiliating. She slashed the whisk through the air, a distinctive whistling sound, and the telltale noise of gore splattering echoed in her ears, even so far from a battle. Her imagination was starting to run wild. What she wouldn’t give to just mount them all on a spike and be done with them.

But she couldn’t. That girl bore the marks. The crossed spears. The sign of the Impaler’s pact. What was done was done. And so, Vladette, as she was now called, made pancakes. She bit her lip, careful not to pierce it with one of her newfound fangs. She began to pour the batter into the heated skillet, careful not to overlap them.

As she worked, she remembered her clash with the strange spirits the night before. The three figures that had come to deface the church, the symbol of the God Vladette had served, and still did. Those three monsters, roving about without a leash, and that young woman they had led astray. Their power was maddening. An army could not defeat them.

But that was fine. An army could not defeat her, either. The soil itself had given her strength, her faith and skill granting her the means to drive those pagan things back where they came from. It didn’t matter if they had come there for her, or for the ruin of a symbol of their own downfall. They had not succeeded.

The clash of spear and shield, the scent of shed blood and roar of the wind as blades ripped the night air to pieces. These memories flowed through her mind, bringing a respite from the stream of invectives. Though she was a person of great accomplishment, of leadership and scholarly pursuits, a person of the faith, she was first and foremost a soldier who had come to appreciate the finest of battles. And certainly, those were the greatest of foes she had ever fought. The blood in her veins heated with a passion for more battles to come.

She flipped the pancakes.

It wouldn’t do to get too excited when there was no one to fight, after all. The scent of rich sweetness had long since filled the room, and footsteps could soon be heard as she entered. Heavy footsteps.

Behind her stood a tall man in the black robes of a priest, a man with the air of a warrior, a soldier like herself. She had known him for that the moment she saw him. But she had also felt the wrongness in him. This was a man who was as unnatural as her own false life. This was a man she should never trust.

His eyes judged her somehow, weighed her on some inner scale. Against what measure she didn’t know. Somehow, he made her… uncomfortable. Nevermind his authority over her Master, his status as a priest in a church she could feel as hollow was enough. She could smell the blood in the basement, even without going there. This man was only barely human.

His heavy tread carried him to the stove, where he stared at her work. “Make another batch as well, Lancer. Add this to it instead of the sugar.” He reached up into a cabinet above the stove as he spoke, pulling down a sealed glass jar. He set it on the counter and turned, leaving her with the new ingredient. Her eyes widened. Inside the jar were tiny flakes of numerous shades. Some sort of dried spice… She turned it and read a strange word on a piece of tape wrapped around the jar. Habanero. What the hell was that!? It was bad enough that her Master, her Oneechan, was making her cook, but now this weird priest wanted her to do it over!?

“Bah!” She tossed the jar into a corner, aiming perfectly for the garbage can. The sound of shattering glass, though new to her, was an oddly appealing thing.

The sound brought the priest back into the room. Where before there had been an odd ghost of a smile on his face, now there was only a coldness. “What was that?” “I slipped.” A simple statement, she didn’t even bother to hide the smirk. Flakes of the odd spice still drifted in the air over the can, slowly fluttering.

It was odd. His expression didn’t change in the least. He simply reached out and placed his hand on her head, as if to deliver some sort of lesson. It was the grip that followed that was so surprising. The man was strong! With one hand, he lifted the tiny Lancer clear of the stool she was standing on and held her aloft.

For her part, Lancer merely dangled there, unmoving. Was it shock? Pain? Fear?

Hell no!

She was pissed. Wide, child-like eyes seemed to bulge, turning a shade of red more natural on a vampire than anything even remotely human.

“Unhand me you treacherous dog! Heathen Cur! False Priest! Infidel! You worthless…” The stream continued on and on, the curses muttered under her breath from before loosed in shrill screaming fury. Turning the whisk into a brutal weapon, the dangling girl rammed its curving wires into the priest’s body over and over again, each blow striking a vital point. Splatters of batter tagged each strike clearly, like blood from fresh wounds. Blow after piercing blow flew, the priest’s eyes bulging, his mouth hanging open.

It was a testament to the man’s durability that he could withstand even a single strike from a Knight, let alone the whistling rain pounding him now. What supernatural resilience did he have? Or was she merely holding back? Perhaps the whisk was just that poor of a weapon? Yes, blame it on the whisk. It was an import, after all.

After what seemed an eternity, though it was surely no more than a few seconds, the priest’s hand went slack. Eyes rolled back, the man fell to his knees, then collapsed forward. Lancer quickly, elegantly sidestepped the falling man, chuckling at his foolishness. Had he really thought she would do nothing? What idiocy had caused him to think he could handle a Servant in such a manner?

For a moment, she thought she heard the chuckling of a youth from somewhere in the depths of the church, but… There was no presence. She must be hearing that bizarre cat again.

She returned to her place, quickly flipping the pancakes onto a waiting plate and turning off the stove. How convenient technology was in this modern era. She set the skillet in the sink to was after it had cooled a bit, and turned to serve the super-sweet pancakes to her Oneechan in the next room.

Except her Oneechan was standing in the doorway already. A look of exasperation was plastered across the young woman’s face. “Oh Lord, forgive this wayward child.” Showing not a single ounce of concern for the downed man, she looked around the room. Lancer’s eyes followed her gaze.

Pancake batter was plastered to the walls and ceiling in countless places. In stripes from a whisk that slashed the air, in spots where a twisting, thrusting implement had flung off bits.

“Your second chore for this morning, Lancer, is to clean this room. It was a bit lower on the list, but it would be bad if this was allowed to dry.” And she took the plate of pancakes, heading back to the next room, a strange cat-thing looking in. It looked for all the world like it was laughing at her. She had to contain the anger, to stop the fury shaking her tiny frame. It was just another indignity. Just one more small humiliation. Just…

The young Lancer’s morning had only just begun.

Twelveseal
March 17th, 2011, 10:41 PM
Tenderizer

She felt like she had been beaten. Which made sense. She probably had, not that she remembered it, having just woken up. She was lying on the floor, cold, half-naked, and aching in every particle of her being. It was like someone had taken a thousand tiny ball peen hammers to her. She tried to sit up, but her muscles, stiff and sore, quivered and she slumped back to the floor for a. Somewhere overhead, there was a monstrous sound, wailing of impending, inevitable doom.

It was an alarm clock. Her mind still hazy with sleep, or maybe a mild concussion, Tohsaka Rin finally managed to drag her woefully unwilling body from the clutches of gravity. All that just to sit up. The world was coming more into focus, and with it, more sensations.

Such as the melodious sound of a chainsaw ripping through a particularly resilient tree. Oh, wait. No. It was just her Servant snoring. So much for the sleep of the dead. Sleep to wake the dead, more like it. The snore stuttered and her eyes bulged. Survival instincts honed through a night in hell kicked in as the little girl rolled around and lashed out with a foot. The blow would have likely taken her head off at that distance, such was the strength of a Servant. Only the sublime technique of the Tohsaka family’s Kempo allowed her to dodge the strike, heaving a ragged body to the side as the foot cut through the air.

What had ever possessed her to let that thing crawl into her bed in the wee hours of the morning? She half remembered thinking something about cuteness… Cuteness be damned, that little monster had nearly killed her last night! No matter how graceful, elegant, and refined she was while awake, saying that Rider was a restless sleeper was the understatement of the year. She rolled. She kicked. She punched. She elbowed and kneed. She glomped with enough strength, with both arms and legs, to make a girl see stars. She even bit… wait. That one could be really bad!

Heaving herself to her feet as quickly as she could, and wobbling a bit despite her best efforts, she got ready to head to the bathroom and…

Her body froze in place before she was even aware of it. She tried to move, and then just stopped. Her hair was standing on end, a cold chill touching her skin, giving her goose-flesh. Electric current was running up and down her spine, the most primal parts of her mind screaming conflicting orders. Freeze. Run. Freeze. Run. Over and over again those two options were running through her mind. Her stomach was turning over itself, and she tasted bile in the back of her throat, foul and stinging. Tears were starting to form at the corners of her eyes. Yet she couldn’t even look up. It was as if some unholy spell had overcome every ounce of resistance she had developed as a Magus. What was causing this? What made the room, her own bedroom, feel like a promise of oblivion?

One eye, like glacial ice, had opened. It was looking at her. That thing she had resolutely refused to acknowledge. That thing her mind had tried to ignore, to overlook. The white dog. The white hound, aberrant body like a mix of dog, cat, and weasel, was looking at her. One solitary frigid orb, half lidded, had focused all of its attention on her. And her body had responded in the only way it knew how. It had prepared to die. Freezing had won out. Flight was impossible. If the dog wished for her death, she would die. It was as certain as the fact that she had been born. This dog would kill her, and her much vaunted Magecraft, her great skill in the martial arts, her treasury of jewels strong enough to challenge even the mightiest of modern magi, would do absolutely nothing to stop it.

Death looked at her through the eye of a white hound. And death whuffed. And death went back to sleep.

Tohsaka Rin, genius Magus, heir of nobility, top of her class, struggled to keep her bowels in check in the face of a puppy she could lift one handed. That fact alone made her want to gag. The only thing that kept her from retching right there was the fact that no one else had seen it happen. No one would know that the White Beast could cause such a reaction in her, let alone with such a look. It was unbecoming for a Magus to fear death, after all. Even if it was solely the part of her brain that was that had anything to do with that reaction.

Freed from the eyes of death, Tohsaka Rin rushed to the bathroom, seeking to solve a problem that had not existed before the thing had looked at her. After finishing her business, she set about checking her body for any bite marks the little brat might have left. Bruises she could fix, cuts and scrapes, even broken bones and some minor organ damage. But a solid bite from her Servant… That was more than a physical wound. There was no cure for that.

Finding her skin unbroken, Tohsaka set about preparing for the school day. She went back over the events of the past few days, considering how things had played out. The strange phone call from that fake priest about the date of the Grail War changing unexpectedly. The appearance of the priest’s daughter. The rushed summoning. And now this. She hadn’t even gotten the Saber class. Not even a Knight. She had gotten the Rider. Her head hurt. But it was the best she could do on such short notice. She’d have to make do. Not that the thing she had summoned was weak.

Certainly not. If her opponent was truly human, she was guaranteed victory before the battle had even begun. Even those Servants and Masters who might have been more, or less, than human would still be at a disadvantage to the monster at her command. And the girl’s ability to regenerate Prana on her own… Certainly, she was one of the best Servants a skilled Magus could ask for. But still, Tohsaka had her misgivings.

This was the earliest the war had ever occurred. Early September. And it hadn’t even been a full decade since the last war. Not to mention that Kotomine had seemed nervous about something. He had continued to glance at the Spirit Board, as if there was something wrong with it. It was a dangerous time, but she might need to ask around. That novice Sajyou might have heard something. Or maybe the Sashirono family. They tended to be well informed, for hybrids. Even that strange one, the young man in black who lived on the other side of the hill… No. Maybe not him. Something wasn’t right with that one. His presence reminded her of her Servant too much. Plus, it was easy to miss the road that led to his house. She’d walked by it more times than she could count without realizing it.

Maybe she could go ask the Matou’s… Their pact had been one of non-interference, but in a situation where the Holy Land could be endangered, her status as the Second Owner took precedence. Plus, she could check on… things. Yeah, that sounded like a good plan. Start with the Matous, and go from there.

Finishing up, Tohsaka stepped out of the bathroom and into the living room, only to find a bleary eyed child standing there, her nightgown and hair disheveled with sleep. In one hand was the white dog, held more like a cat and looking for all the world like a white mop head with teeth, and the other rubbed fitfully at a sleep-caked eye. Looking at that image, and noting that the dog wasn’t producing the same detestable reaction it had so recently, Tohsaka was struck with an understanding. She knew why she had let Rider sleep with her. Cuuuuuuuuuute!

The little girl’s mouth was moving. It seemed she was mumbling something. Walking over to the petite Servant, she asked “What was that, Rider?” It was a surprisingly gentle tone. “ ‘M thirsty, Oneechan.” It was a simple question. It was a cute question. A cliché, really. Cute little girl wakes up in the middle of the night and wants a glass of water.

Except this was Rider. She didn’t want water.

And she was holding something that could paralyze Tohsaka Rin with a glance.

As she crumpled to the floor under the dog’s gaze, her Servant spoke. With a drowsy, slurred voice devoid of malice, she said “Don’ worry, ‘Neechan... won’t… turn you…”

And a pair of sharp fangs pierced her neck.

Twelveseal
March 17th, 2011, 10:43 PM
Needs Food Badly

“Oniichan…”

Hmm? ‘S too early. I’m sleepin’

“Oniiiiichaaaaan.”

“ ‘S too early, ‘m sleepin’”

“ONIIIIIICHAAAAAAAN!”

“Leave me ‘lone”

“ARIIIIIIIIII-HIIIIIII-KOOOOOO-SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!”

“Gyaaah!” A tremendous weight slammed into his abs, blasting the air out of him in a mighty whoosh. Along with it went all vestiges of sleep. Eyes bugging, Arihiko Inui found himself once again face to face with Nanako-chan, now sprawled with all the grace of a dead goose across his stomach.

“Good Morning, Oniichaaan!” She beamed up at him, her face radiant with childish joy. Somewhere deep inside, something stirred. It was a feeling he could not hope to resist. Slowly raising one hand, with a beatific smile, the young man prepared to do something he probably shouldn’t.

He drove his fist into the top of the brat’s head. “Good Morning, Nanako-chaan!” His smile was a lot more forced than hers.

“Owowowow. Is that any way to treat your imouto-chan? Abuse! Abuse!”

“It’s only animal abuse! It won’t hold up in court!” For whatever reason, this had turned into a chase scene inside his room. Just what waited at the end, who could say?

“Oniichaaaaan! We need more carrots! The icebox is empty!” No. He could tell. Death lay at the end of this chase.

He had fully stocked that refrigerator last night.

“Raaaaaah. We’re having horse for dinner!!!” Yet for all his desire to strangle the horse thing, he had to admit, it wasn’t so bad. It had been only a short time since they had said their farewells, expecting never to meet again. And yet here they were. It was as if they had awakened from a strange dream, only to find it had been real.

Eh. Poetic stuff really wasn’t his thing. He’d just catch her, beat her senseless, and then make her compensate him for the food she ate. Wait. Was he contemplating bestiality again? Ok, so she was a bad influence. Still though, who would have thought just how crazy things could get?

It had all started a few weeks ago, when Tohno’s delicious, er, lovely little sister had said something about a Grail thing in this city. Supposedly, it could solve all of their problems, from Tohno’s bad health, to finding their missing classmate, Sacchin. Of course, there was supposed to be some kind of competition, and it wasn’t supposed to start until later that year. Go figure.

Arihiko hadn’t really bought into it. I mean, sure, he had seen a paranormal thing here or there, and Sacchin had always given him some weird vibes. Not to mention Tohno himself, or his imouto. But, I mean seriously. A Holy Grail? A real, honest-to-God, Holy Grail? No way. And it had been a casual conversation, anyway. Nothing serious. It was like, I dunno, a Temple Pilgrimage, or something. It was just some weird tourist thing, right?

Unfortunately, he got a look at Tohno’s eyes back then. He knew that look. Tohno was going to do something, probably really cool. And he was going off to do it alone. Hell no. Tohno had had plenty enough adventures for one year it seemed, what with that hot foreigner that kept showing up, and Ciel Sempai. And the Maids. And that little girl with the funny ears. And then there was that girl with the braid. It seemed like he was forgetting someone… Eh, must not be important. No. Just no. Every time Tohno got that look, he wound up with another girl chasing him.

Not this time. This time, it was Inui Arihiko’s turn! So he had asked around. Turns out, Fuyuki was a pretty popular place in the summer. And as it turned out, one of his sister’s friends (she had friends!?) owned a timeshare out that way. It was a sweet beach house with a great view overlooking the bay. And the bathing suits. And what wasn’t always in the bathing suits. Problem was, if Inui wanted a shot at whatever this adventure was going to turn into, he needed more than just a spot to crash. He needed Tohno-kun. Besides, it just wasn’t cool to leave a brother out, you know. Unlike some people who shall remain nameless…Cough cough Tohno cough.

Well, it stood to reason that the best way to get Tohno on board was to bring up the beach house. But it didn’t do them a lot of good if this thing only went on during the winter. It was a real let-down. Everything was good, except for the timing.

But then that cute maid with the smile said something awesome. Apparently, some person she knew called Mr. Chin (how the hell did she know some strange foreigner when she never left the house?) and this guy had told her about a change of date. Apparently, something had happened that had bumped the time-table up.

It was a blessing of the gods! Everything was set. Except now they needed a ride. Maybe Tohno-chan could hook them up with that limo of hers…

As it turned out, she couldn’t. Some kind of business had come up, and she was out of the trip. There went part of his incentive, but by this point, he was getting psyched for it anyway. And she was awesome enough to loan them enough money for plane tickets two ways. One way, and then enough cash for both the stay and the tickets back. Damn! He really wanted to marry into this family…

So, everything was set, bags were packed, and away they had gone. Apparently, there was some kind of weird ceremony thing, traditional whatsit or whatever that they had to do, but it could wait. They got settled in, explored the kickass beach house, checked out both sides of the town, and generally hung out.

Problem was, Tohno seemed pretty tense the whole time. It was like he had something on his chest. Finally, a couple days in, Tohno finally spilled. He told Arihiko about his weird-ass eyes. About the Tohno family. About the crazy vampire shit that had gone on earlier that year. He told him about the girls. Oh, sure, there were things he left out. Arihiko was willing to bet he’d banged more than one of them. Lucky bastard. But damn! And the thing was, he could tell it was true. Even without Tohno showing him how his eyes worked on a lead pipe they’d found laying around the back of the house. They had known each other a long time. He could tell when Tohno was lying.

And he definitely wasn’t lying.

That sobered Arihiko more than anything else. That blonde woman was a vampire. The little girl was a succubus. And a cat. The girl with the braid was an alchemist, some kind of magic-user like in a video game. Ciel was a vampire hunter. The maids were psychic. And his cute little sister. She was a demon. Or something.

What.

The.

Hell.

Ok. Maybe he didn’t want to marry into the family. Then again, he had considered doing the horse thing. On second thought, a demon is fine, too.

Well. All said and done, Arihiko realized he had shoved his nose in some crazy shit. And that was just the beginning. Because he knew he wanted a piece of the action. He may not have had crazy Eyes of Kill-it-now, but he had kept the pace with Tohno well enough over the years. He’d always felt a little different than everyone else. Maybe he had what it takes?

So he’d given the ritual a try when Tohno had. And it worked. Nevermind the weird-ass thing Tohno had summoned, though. Arihiko had wound up with this damn horse again.

And now here she was. In his house. Eating his carrots. Again!

It’s on!

Twelveseal
March 17th, 2011, 10:48 PM
Brother, where art thou?

The wind roared, a storm caged inside the building. Light and power, fierce beyond imagining, ripped through the fragile air, scattering it with the power of an unbound void. He felt as if he were going deaf, as if her were going blind, as if he were going mad. The world had been torn asunder, shattered and broken by a strength beyond mortality.

The fragile walls of the place shook with each pulse of energy, each surge of Prana. Not for the first time, Tohno Shiki wondered just what it was he had determined to do. Staring into the maddening void, he stared into an impossible future. Could he save Arcueid from her lust for blood? Could he rescue Akiha from the curse f her own birth? Could he cure Sion and Satsuki? Could he save himself from his own fate, from the weakness of his body and the ruin of his terrible eyes? With eyes that could see the unseen, he stared into a realm no mortal was meant to.

In that moment, looking beyond the pale, an understanding dawned. For in looking into the realm of the dead, he looked into the face of the world. And he learned. His mind shattered and was reborn time and again, so that the Tohno Shiki who stood there was the same and yet not. For the Tohno Shiki who stood there knew better than ever before what it truly means to die.

His stomach heaved. He wretched everything he had eaten onto the floor. His vision swam and blackened to nothing, crisped away by a sight that his human mind could not handle. He had looked into the realm of oblivion for only a fraction of a second, but it had been more than anyone had been meant to see. Not even the twisted Circuits lodged in his eyes and brain were enough to buffer him completely.

Fighting to remain conscious, Tohno heaved desperate gasps of air into a throat burned with stomach acid, into a nose that smelled blood and filth. Into lungs that felt as if they would burst. Outside the realm of his own body, the storm of power raged, driving him to greater and greater stress. His body itself could feel the unnatural power roiling from that rift.

He collapsed, nearly falling in the pool of wretchedness he had just plastered to the floor. His eyes still couldn’t see, but it felt as if the world itself were spinning, his body having some kind of fit. It was like a seizure, muscles spasming out any semblance of control. His hand burned, deep and agonizing, as if to the very bone itself. And still the wind roared.

He couldn’t see it, nor could he hear it over the gale, but he felt it. There was a presence in that maelstrom. Someone was there, standing. Waiting. Watching him writhe on the floor like a landed fish. He felt a weight settle into him, pulling at pathways in his body that he had never felt before. He felt the energy that had always flowed through his eyes flowing outward as well. It was as if his eyes had grown into something else as well.

The wind had begun to die, so that now he could hear the fluttering of cloth in the night. He absentmindedly wondered if Arihiko had had any luck. If he stayed blind like this, he wouldn’t be doing anyone any good, Servant or not. Damn!

His mind had begun to resolve itself into something a little more reasonable, his body more under control. But he still couldn’t see.

So he listened.

And heard a voice.

“Shit! Don’t tell me you’re my Master, you thief!” Huh? That voice sounded familiar, but…

“Damn! Damn! I’m definitely going to kill you right here and now!” What the hell!? Ok so that was definitely… Oh crap! And he couldn’t see!
He could feel the presence advancing, skirting the vomit. It was way more powerful than he remembered, but… The voice was off. And it felt smaller. He delved into the instincts he had discovered since the last time they had met. He gave himself over to the blood of the Nanaya. The Demon in front of him… he would certainly kill it.

If he could see.

The best he could hope for now was…
“Huh?” There was an odd rustling sound, cloth fluttering with no wind.
“Wh-wh-what the hell!?!?!?!?!?!? It’s fucking missing!?!?!? WHAT THE HELL!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Huh?
“WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO TO ME!?!?!?!?!? YOU BASTARD!?!?!?!? FIRST YOU TAKE MY NAME, THEN YOU TAKE MY PLACE, MY SISTER, AND NOW FUCKING THIS!?!?!?!?!? GYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There was a resound thump, followed by what sounded like crying. The Demon was crying.

Maybe it was the vision from before, the understanding that came with it. Maybe it was past experience, after all, he had gone blind like this before. Maybe it was fate playing some kind of sick joke. His vision was returning.

Lying on the floor, crying, was a small child with shoulder-length white hair. He was sure the eyes were red as blood, even though they were squeezed shut. A small dagger was clutched in one white-knuckled, shaking hand, and the body was wrapped in a simple kimono that had come loose. The person was unmistakably Tohno SHIKI, the true heir of the Tohno family. The person who Shiki had long ago called brother. The person who had lost the battle with his demonic blood. The person who had become the vessel of an unholy vampire. Even with the strange red marks, like twisted blood vessels crawling across its skin, it was clearly Tohno SHIKI.

There was only one problem. There was something horribly wrong with the Tohno SHIKI collapsed in anguish on the floor.

It was a girl.

Twelveseal
March 17th, 2011, 10:50 PM
Mountain Dawn
The rays of the sun scattered the clouds as the great sphere rose above the horizon. Elsewhere, the people of the city of Fuyuki were just stirring from their rest. The light raced through quiet streets and sleeping homes, heralding the day to come, carrying life and warmth to all of humanity. All was right. All was at peace.

Despite the ominous forest surrounding it, one of the first places touched by that warmth was the temple atop the mountain. It was one of the best places in the city to see the stars at night, and the coming of the dawn. The great height, so far above the city’s lights, gave a clear view of the sea, of the vast blue horizon, the play of the clouds becoming a radiant canvas in the boundaries betwixt day and night.

It was a breathtaking sight.

And it was of no consequence to Kuzuki Souichirou. Certainly, there was a beauty and meaning in it. A spiritual and philosophical essence that he could appreciate.

But these were things that did not concern him.

Focus.

Purpose.

Meaning.

These were the things which Souichirou sought. These were the things into which he delved, not in the world, but beyond it. These were things he sought within himself.

And so Kuzuki Souchirou had begun this day like any other. With focus, purpose, and meaning. With breathing.

He found his center, his body resting in the simple Lotus Position. He felt the flow of blood in his veins, the breath in his lungs passing into that blood. He felt the minute sparks of nerves firing. He felt the molten flow of Qi throughout his body, slow but hot like fire. Swift and cold like ice. It was all of this and more. His breathing aligned with his body, reaching a state of perfection, however limited. Within him, all was in harmony. If he had found the power to look without as within, he would have found the comparison full with meaning.

But to one whose focus was forged through years of strict conditioning, such luxuries did not exist. All there was, the moment.

He faced away from the sun. He faced away from the coming dawn, as he had for over an hour already. He faced the placid lake, a caldera that held a tranquility mirroring his own inner world.

Within the Temple, the monks had already begun to stir. And yet not one looked at Kuzuki. They had long since known him, and knew of his habits. No, many envied him. He had a determination that few could match, as if he held himself to a standard beyond all measure, and yet falling just within his scope.

However, one thing was different this glorious morning.

For today, Kuzuki Souichirou did not sit alone.

Beside him, silent and unmoving as a stone, as Kuzuki himself, sat a cat.

It was a black cat, dark as the deepest night. It was a small cat, more a kitten, really. And in the course of its days, someone had tied a bow around its neck. A simple collar, certainly, marked by the clear sound of the bell hanging from it. It was a fine cat, clean and well-groomed, with a fine coat. Its eyes were striking, the color of rich heart’s blood, and carried the weight of ages. To look at this cat, truly look at it and understand, was to see a fragment of a memory of elder Egypt and her subtle gods. Certainly, this cat had a bearing worthy of Bast.

Together, the two figures sat in silence, their thoughts their own. And this was as it should be, too. No words were needed between a cat and its master. There was only the moment. Meditating on that which is beyond the worldly coil, the two faced the lake in which ancient secrets lay hidden still, listening to the wind’s whispers as the reflection of dawn shone up from the clear waters.

The light rose up their bodies, filling them with its heat. And Kuzuki rose with it, body stretching, muscles tensing and loosening as he began to stretch. Still the cat sat there, unmoving. But were its eyes watching the man? Perhaps. Perhaps it was merely a trick of the light.

The lake, filled with the colors of the dawn, bore witness to the secrets of Kuzuki’s technique. And the cat watched, its council known only to itself. Each strike, each step, every breath and shift was flawless. Movements beyond the reach of sport, to the true depth of Budo. This was a technique beyond purpose in the world, as meaningless to the world as the man’s inner searching had been. For of what value to the world is the purpose of a single man in this era?

It was such a question that Kuzuki Souichirou would one day defeat.

The clarion chime of a simple bell spoke volumes. In that moment, Kuzuki understood.

For now, at least, he would not fight that question alone.

The bell chimed again, and whether it was an omen of good fortune or ill, he knew it meant change on the horizon.

And so it was that Kuzuki Souichirou and the cat, the spirit Caster, greeted the morning.

MrTags
March 17th, 2011, 11:01 PM
*Rolls on the ground twitching and shaking*

My brain, give me back my brain... epic but sooooo soooo...

*twitch twitch roll* loli argh

Erlkonig
March 17th, 2011, 11:03 PM
It's so GOOOOOD... And so MOOOEEEEEEEE, and so HNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

Twelveseal
March 17th, 2011, 11:09 PM
Three’s a Crowd

She was sitting in comfortably at the table, peacefully eating a fine breakfast that the light of her life, her beloved Sempai, had painstakingly crafted for her. He himself sat opposite her, quietly eating as well. The time passed slowly, lazy, relaxing. It was just that kind of restful quiet. For some odd reason, Fujimura-sensei hadn’t arrived, otherwise that peace would have been different. It was just the kind of thing that filled her with happiness. But not today. Today…

Today, the food tasted like ash in her mouth. Their juice was sour. Today, everything was wrong. Today it was vile. Today it was impure. Today it was underage… ahem. That was unbecoming.

The food was fine. Sempai’s cooking was perfect as always. No matter what he said, his food always tasted better than hers. Maybe she was a little biased, but it at least tasted better to her. So why was there so much wrong. It wasn’t like she had walked in on… No. No. It was all perfectly fine. She was his little… sister.

That she had never heard of.

That looked nothing like him.

That was clearly not human.

No. It was all fine… Something inside was starting to crack. She heard it in her mind. Like the sound of a window spidering after an impact.

She had known something like this might happen. Her Grandfather had ordered her to observe the house for over a year now, just in case such a thing did happen. After all, Emiya Kiritsugu had won the previous Holy Grail War. As much as she hated that command, hated betraying her Sempai like that, she secretly blessed that old man for the chance to spend time with the man she loved. Was she blushing? She hoped not. She kept her head down as she ate, just in case she was.

Emiya Shirou had always been a potential enemy of the Matou Family, and as the heir apparent, that meant he had always been her enemy. At least according to Zouken. But she had seen just how… umm, inexperienced… he was as a magus, and had managed to convince her Grandfather that he was no threat. Still, she was lucky. He had wanted her to continue the surveillance.

But things had taken the worst possible turn they could have. A few days ago, Sempai had developed an odd bruise on his left hand. And it had bled. It had such a strange shape, like an elaborate tattoo. To anyone who saw it, that’s what they would have called it.

Unless they were a Magus. That mark was the beginning of a powerful pact with a familiar of nearly god-like power called a Servant. A hero of the past, or present, or even future, drawn from a place beyond time to serve as the champion of a Magus in return for a single wish.

It was a mark of worthiness. It was a mark of honor. It was a mark of power. And it was proof that they were enemies. Because only one person with those marks could be victorious in the War they heralded. And she, too, had those marks. This tiny girl, pale silver hair and eyes like blood, overflowing with so much Prana that it was a wonder the air itself wasn’t solid, was turning Sempai into her enemy. Oh, Sempai! Why couldn’t you have just… just… just stayed out of it!!

It was a certainty that her grandfather would make her fight. It was a certainty that no matter how hard she tried, she could not resist the torments he would force on her. He would take her into the basement, and… she wanted to cry. She wanted to just give up.

And then she had found them doing… that! She had wanted to touch him for so long… for so long, and she hadn’t. He deserved better than a filthy woman like herself. He deserved someone who was pure, someone who he could trust. Someone who could make him happy. She couldn’t do that. She knew she couldn’t do that. She knew she had no right to be here. But she was selfish. She wanted to be near him, even if he never looked at her, even if he never touched.

No matter how much she wanted his hands holding her, caressing her, she knew she was unworthy of him. She felt sick. She wanted to die. She was here, taking advantage of him even now. She was here, getting in the way of this l… this lo… this love he had found. How could she possibly compare to a hero?

So here she sat, bitter disgust flavoring Sempai’s meal. And that in and of itself only made it worse.

The young girl sitting beside Sempai seemed to be enjoying the awkward silence. After all, Sempai hadn’t said anything after introducing her. He hadn’t even given her a name. He just said that she had crawled into his futon from the other room at some point in the night.

She wanted to believe him. She trusted Sempai. But she didn’t trust that girl. There was something about her… She felt familiar somehow. It was really weird. She felt like there was something in common between them. If they had something in common, then she… yes. She was definitely a lewd girl. No one her age should act like that. No one should crawl into Sempai’s room and do… She couldn’t finish that thought. She knew the moment she saw.

She wanted to do that with Sempai. She was jealous of this little…muuuu.

“Ah, I-uh, I need to go get lunch together.” And Sempai quickly stood up and headed back to the kitchen, his food finished. Ohhh. She had made Sempai uncomfortable. If she had just not come today…

There was a light chuckle. Matou Sakura turned at the table, now shared only by the two girls. The pale vixen sat there eyes half-lidded in satisfaction, that nasty smirk on her face again. It was that same face that had greeted her when she had woken up in Sempai’s f-fu-futon. She could feel her face reddening. She still remembered his smell, lingering in it… She felt it stirring inside her, and tried to clamp down on the lust, and what it brought. That… that was bad.

Wait. The smell. It had smelled like Sempai, warm and musky and… and she needed to stop, or it would get worse.

Ah. Ok. Better. It hadn’t smelled like that other… thing. So they hadn’t. Umm. Ahhhh. She felt a weight off her chest. Maybe things weren’t as bad as they looked.

“Are you through convincing yourself we didn’t do anything?” That smug little brat. Muuuuu. That wasn’t nice of her.

“I trust what Sempai says. I’ve known him for a long time, after all.” She was quite confident that she knew Sempai far better than this little sl… Ok, so she was angry. She needed to calm down. This wasn’t like her.

“Ooh. I see. So you know him much better than me. I understand. Sooo… how was he?” Wha… What did she just say!? “I-I…” Her face was beet red, she knew. And it wasn’t the only place flushing, thinking about Sempai.

“Oooh. He was just great with me! And sooo big!” Her hands were spaced so… so far apart! Oooh. Could Sempai really be that bi… Stop! Stop! Stop! Bad. She was starting to feel warm… If only she were normal, but, she could feel them stirring.

Taking a deep breath, she settled herself. For some reason, it was easier than normal. She coughed into her hand, using it as cover to make sure her nose wasn’t bleeding.

“And he knows just how to use his hands, too!” Ok, this is getting ridiculous. “And his tongue…”

“Enough!” It was quiet, but with force. “Sempai and I don’t have that kind of relationship. We’re a pure family.” That almost hurt to say. But it was true. That’s all she could ever be to Sempai. It was more than she deserved, even if she wished with every fiber of her being for more. She should be happy with the time they shared. It was enough. It had to be enough.

“Oh? Are you sure? We could share him, you know? After all, you’re pretty cute, too!” Wut?

“Hmm? How about it? We can take turns, and then maybe…” That did it. The worms were on the move. She felt a warm trickle down her lip. Her nose was bleeding. She had to go to the bathroom, now. NOW!

Otherwise, this was only going to get worse, fast. Ohh. Doing such a shameful thing in Sempai’s home.

Again.

And Again. And Again. At this rate, she might be later for Archery.

After a while, she felt a bit better. It wasn’t perfect, but it was manageable. She was really starting to not like this Servant. Come to think of it, she didn’t even know the girl’s Class. If she didn’t at least find that out, her Grandfather would put her back in the pit for an extra hour, she was sure. If she was lucky. And he was in a good mood.

As she came out of the bathroom, she looked around, and… that girl was standing right next to the door.

“Feeling better? You should invite me next time.” Her smile felt sincere, but… Oh no, she wasn’t letting this start again. This girl… was she more perverted… was she actually more impure that Sakura? Even with the violations, the surging passions, she strove for self-control.

But this child… It was as if she didn’t care. Or maybe she cared too much. Was she really serious? About all of it? No. No. The room hadn’t had that smell. They hadn’t…

“You know, I bet I know what you’re thinking right now. Just so you know, there are lots of rooms in this house.” That smirk, that wicked little smirk. And now she wanted to run up and down the halls just to see if it were true, check every room and closet and even the shed.

But doing that would mean she didn’t trust Sempai. She had to trust Sempai.

“You should think about my offer. It’d be a lot of fun!” From that smirk to a genuine smile again? “You should respect your elders a little… more?” Why was she laughing?

And with that, the little girl walked off into the houses depths, leaving Sakura alone in the hallway.

She needed to find Sempai and get going, or she’d miss practice. She had to ask him something before she left.

She found him finishing up the cleaning after preparing his lunch. And for a change, he handed her a box as well. “Here, Sakura. Since I did the cooking, I went ahead and made our lunches together.” The Bento was filled. She could feel the weight. As much as she hated to admit it, she did love food. She’d have to work it off somehow, but she felt he was really spoiling her. And that alone made so much of this morning worth it.

“Oh, umm. Sempai. What did you say your sister’s name was, again?” He stopped for a moment, surprised. “I thought I told you earlier? Her name is Archer.”

She nearly dropped the bento.

Because her Servant was also Archer.

Twelveseal
March 17th, 2011, 11:17 PM
Cracked

It had been a long night, and would likely be an early morning. Neither of which were really that weird for Tohno Shiki. He had grown accustomed to that kind of thing over the past months. Between Arcueid’s nocturnal habits, his sister’s love of strict rules and early mornings, not to mention all of the late night patrols he had taken, he had started to get used to running on only a few hours of sleep.

Not that it was particularly healthy for a guy with anemia. But what can you do?

Heh. Sometimes event those hours in bed weren’t really sleep. Between Arc’s growing libido and keeping Len fat and happy, well. He really needed a good rest. Just a nice, long sleep. On the plus side, his sister and Ichigo-san had vouched for them needing a leave of absence from school, so they had managed to dodge that particular flying sword of blood.

Speaking of which, he seemed to be finding those somewhat common, at least as of last night. Somehow, the ritual in that book his sister had given them went a little… haywire. Like something Kohaku would make level of haywire. Instead of summoning some legendary hero, the way the book had described, he had wound up with a very unhappy step-brother. Who had somehow become a very unhappy step-sister. And who also happened to be significantly shorter than he remembered.

The last time he had seen this guy, he had been wrapped in bandages, shocks of hair turning black, or was it white, and getting nailed, literally, by Sempai. Combine that with the fact that he had looked into something that he had the distinct feeling was supposed to be beyond the scope of human existence, and that it had messed up his eyes even more than they were…

He really, really just wanted to sleep. Arihiko had been lucky. He had summoned something weird, too. That horse thing Shiki had seen in his room once. But at least he got along with Nanako. She seemed like a good kid. It was strange. They were nothing alike, but she reminded him of Len somehow. And Sempai.

He tried to ignore the lines across his vision. Even with his eyes closed, he could see them now. He saw them on the back of the lids themselves. Now that was strange. Before last night, he had been able to escape them by closing his eyes. But not anymore. The glasses that Sensei had given him, which had worked so well for eight years, weren’t good enough anymore. Since last night, he could see lines through them, as if the glass were cracked. In fact, he wasn’t sure, but he thought he could see lines on the glasses. And that scared him.

But there was something stranger still… He had always gotten very sick when looking at the lines. The longer he looked, the harder he focused, the more it hurt. Arcueid had told him that he might burn out his brain that way, ending up a vegetable. That, as well as Sensei’s lessons all those years ago, had given him a healthy respect for his eyes.

But now he didn’t feel sick. Now, his head didn’t hurt. He had gone to bed, his vision still blurry, with the only things in focus the lines. And now they didn’t bother him at all. And that, more than anything else before, scared him.

He felt that killer creeping up on him. The one killer he couldn’t stop cold.

Himself.

Fading in and out of consciousness on the edge of sleep, these were the thoughts of Tohno Shiki. Oh, what he wouldn’t give to have Arc hold him right now. Or Len come and sit beside him. It was a weakness, but we all have such. And right now, he was facing the one thing in life he feared the most, only half awake, caught in the fringes of a nightmare that would have done Wallachia proud.

He didn’t notice it, at first. Something sliding into the western-style bed, so much like his own at the old mansion. Something cool to the touch, but growing warmer. He felt a comforting presence, something that chased the nightmares away. He felt an odd sense of peace come over him as slender limbs encircled him. It was as if his mind had conjured Len to comfort him, silent and reassuring, and he went back to sleep fully. It would be a long time before he would wake up.

Many hours later, the smell of something cooking wafted into his room. It seemed as if one of the others had started cooking. Since it smelled so good, maybe they had been cooking for a while. He didn’t really recognize the smell, but he did remember that Arihiko had said something about buying a cookbook, last night. Apparently, he had decided to learn some new dishes. Something about things that didn’t need carrots.

What ultimately got him up, though, was a lot less pleasant than he was used to.
“Hey, Shiki!” Heavy footfalls in the hallway.
“Seriously, dude. It’s time to get up. Even I don’t normally sleep this late. Well, at least unless it was a good night, anyway! Ahahaha! Come on. Up we go!”

And the warmth binding blankets were ripped away by a loud ogre.

“Huh!? What the hell!? Shikiiiiiii!” Ok. He was awake.

And stuck.

Looking down, there was a tiny girl latched onto his chest, arms wrapped around his chest, legs wrapped around his waist. Ok. It looked really bad. At least she had clothes on though. Had Len followed him? She could change shape, after all. Changing the shape of her ears, turning her hair brown, darkening her complexion a little… Ok. No. It wasn’t Len. The girl clinging to him like a koala was definitely not Len. For one thing, she had slept through Arihiko yelling. And for another, she was chewing a hole in his nightshirt.

And that’s when he realized it. He knew someone who had looked kind of like this… And that outfit was all too familiar…

“Uhh. Shiki. Is… that… Sacchin?” Shiki was thinking the same thing, but his eyes were still having trouble focusing.

“What? I heard somebody call my name?” A feminine, shudder, voice came from the door. SHIKI was standing there, though he, er, she looked like a blob of white and light purple at that distance. He really needed to see a doctor about his eyes. This was serious. It hadn’t gone away at this point, and the only things he could make out now were lines and dots. Wait, some of the dots actually looked kind of like… spirals? Had they always been like that? He was starting to wonder if he was really seeing the lines with better clarity as well…

“HEY! What do you think you’re doing with my slave!?” Huh?

SHIKI stomped into the room, reached onto the bed, and caught the Sacchin look-alike by the band of her skirt, heaving her off the bed by main force. Somehow, she had woken up the moment he touched her. Tossing her aside, she landed on her ass, seeming almost to bounce once, before drawing her knees up under her chin and sitting, back facing him. He thought he heard sniffling.

“Umm. Yumitsuka-san? Is that really… you?” The little figure twisted around to look at him, snaggle-toothed fang showing, crimson eyes welling with tears. But were they tears of loss, or joy?

“Tohno-kun… you remembered me?” It was almost painful to hear. “You do realize that’s not really his name, right? I’m the real Tohno-kun, okay? Call him Nanaya-kun, or something.”

“Tch. You’re more of a Tohno-chin now, anyway. I wouldn’t let it bother you, short stuff.” Arihiko’s as eloquent as ever.

Okay, okay. This needs to stop before it explodes.

“Umm, who’s watching the food?” “Hmm? Oh shit!” He realized Nanako had to be somewhere, but since she didn’t have fingers…

As Arihiko raced off to save whatever it was that was starting to smell a little scorched, Shiki found himself alone with a couple of vampires. Maybe that wasn’t the best decision.

“So, uh, what’s going on here, anyway? I know I summoned you, but how did she get here? And why is she tiny?”

“Hell if I know. I was under the impression that we were pulled from the Throne of Heroes, or something, to take part in a Holy Grail War. Whoever wins gets a wish. All we have to do is kill anybody that gets in our way, and we’re set. Of course, that means that every other Master is an enemy, so eventually, you’ll have to fight that idiot in there and his horse. But, considering you basically killed me, I’m not too worried. As for why she’s here? She’s my bitch. I turned her, if you remember. Well, she never got free of me. When I died, she became the new vessel of me, or would have if it hadn’t been you and that damn nun. So yeah, spiritual connection, all that crap. She’s eternally connected to me. If I get revived, she get’s revived. After all, she’s kind of like a Noble Phantasm of mine. Well, actually, she is one of my Noble Phantasms.”

His mind was spinning. What the hell was this? His brother was his sister, the girl that had had a crush on him since middle school looked like she belonged back in middle school, and now he was hearing about crap like having to kill his best friend. From a guy that eats people. And just what the hell was a Noble Phantasm, anyway?

“Hey. Did you guys buy any coffee? I’m fucking thirsty.”

This was not going according to plan.

He blamed Kohaku.

MrTags
March 17th, 2011, 11:36 PM
Satsuki Alert Satsuki Alert Moe Level has increased to the red zone.

Release of Moe recommended all Moe valves to open.

MASSIVE MOE BLUURRRGGHHH!!!!

And he still blames Kohaku...

ItsaRandomUsername
March 17th, 2011, 11:41 PM
By AZURA, BY AZURA, BY AZURAAAaaaa....

The moe epiness has returned in full force! Twelveseal, you are STILL my personal God!
I'm having a Cuteness Overload right now, this is SOOOO good.


I'm still looking forward to the Nanako/Arihiko epicness.

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 12:10 AM
I know, right? I keep wanting to make Arihiko and the crew the MC's. But I'm trying to keep it fair. Hell, I even wanted to add a good subplot for Shinji.

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 12:11 AM
Ultimate

It was an ocean of flames as far as the eye could. Rock boiled and frothed, and streams of noxious vapors and ash billowed into the sky, hiding the stars with hellish light and choking shadow. From one horizon to the next, beyond sight and mind, this place was hell. It was the beginning and the ending. It was beyond the scope of even young Dante’s childish imaginings.

Not one mortal soul could live in this place. Nothing could originate here save the most primal of elementals, those who were truly nothing but the will of the world given a semblance of life. This was a place upon which no life had stood. This was a place where no life could take hold, no sentience grow. It was a virgin world, untouched by the march of ages, a hell-world. It was complete. It was absolute. It was perfect.

Until now.

For Death had found the world.

The storm of smoldering filth parted before an alien terror, riven apart by a force from beyond. The roiling darkness parted like the red sea, revealing the light of the heavens. A terrible swirling took shape in the vile air, cooling it, calming it to stillness. The seething tides of molten stone slowed, turning to black, and then ash grey. It was the first scar, the mark on the body of the unsullied world.

It was proof or mortality.

It was the sign of the Crimson Moon.

Standing amid the law within the chaos, there was the form of a man. Perfect in very detail, surely, if this was not the first man, then it must be his twin or his model. Clad in nothing but a wetsuit, scarlet and white, the blonde-haired death rested his finely muscled body. He leaned against an odd thing. A surfboard.

It’s contours were as perfect as his own, but the model was strange. It was oddly long, and rounded. It was unlike the modern boards seen in human hands. No, this hearkened back to the original surfboards, mighty things upon which the greatest of kings rode. It felt as if it should have a throne upon it. Certainly, it was an odd surfboard. For it was not made of wood. Nor was it fiberglass. It was something else entirely.

It was power.

The board had been forged long ago, made from the pure spirit of the Moon’s Grain, the same force that had given birth to him. It had served him well for eons, riding the waves of his own world’s seas. It had cut the waves of countless worlds, be the water or acid, magma or condensed nitrogen. It had dominated the gulfs of space and time, overcome the whorl of black holes and cut through the glories of untold suns.

It had ridden upon powers cosmic, this might board.

And now, after so long loaning it out to another Ultimate One, the blood-red moon had finally reclaimed it. He could do no less. It was the best board in the universe. It was the Ultimate, this silver surfboard.

It was proof of just how serious he was.

No one had ever defeated him in anything. No one. Not one creature in the whole of the multiverse had bested him in combat. Until that man. Until Zelretch. And now he would prove what a fluke that was. That upstart… that impetuous little punk. Brunestud would eat him alive and screaming. At surfing anyway.

Immortality be damned, his jaw still hurt.

Fuck that. He hadn’t come here to wax poetic, anyway. He was here to dust of his old skills. It had been a long time.

For the first time, the strange, alien world rang out with the sound of words. Those who heard them would have thought them to be their own native tongue, no matter what language that was. “Let’s go!”

The bubble of sanity caved. The tide of chaos and doom rolled in. A silver board thrust forward as feet heaved against crumbling stone, shattering it to nothing. Flying forward, the oldest of vampires slammed the board forward, parting the tides of the world into a wall. Such was the power of the king. But would it be enough? He heaved himself into the molten tide, unharmed by heat and poison. Lava dripped off him like water as he rode up paddled up into the molten wall. A thousand feet and more, it began to curl, and the king stood up.

And he surfed.

It was a good idea to start small, but he didn’t have a lot of time. He’d practice a bit, and then move on to harder things. After all, it was like riding a bike. You never really forgot. And he would need every moment of hard practice.

After all, he was going to face the only person who had ever beaten him.

At anything.

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 12:13 AM
Head-desk Festival

Archery had been hell. It was one thing to work your muscles over and over, tightening, holding, releasing. It was another to do it when you could sport a brand new pair of nipple rings. Damn, they still stung. Every time she moved, it hurt. Bandaids only helped so much. And all that pain, not to mention the bandaids, and the constant movement… ugh. They were sensitive as hell. She had tried to spend most of the club assisting the kohai, but things hadn’t gone as well as she’d liked, and she’d had to do enough demonstrations for the new members to make her want to scream.

The only saving grace was not having to deal with that loud-mouthed idiot, Matou-kun. It wasn’t odd for him to skip club, and normally she’d be pissed, but today… Today she praised the gods for giving her mercy. She couldn’t handle his stupidity today. She’d have killed him outright. Ugh. Whatever happened to the days when he was actually tolerable?

Dragging herself into homeroom, she sat in her desk with a heavy thud. Maybe she should be more worried about her figure? She was gaining weight in muscle mass, and she didn’t want to end up looking masculine. She’d lose her bet with Tohsaka if that happened.

And that was really not something she wanted to do.

But that was in the future. Right now, she knew how she felt. Honestly. From the depths of her heart and soul. It was a truth beyond words.

Those girls were evil.

She was weak, she was tired, she hurt in ways that she had never hurt before. And she was scared. In all her life, she had never felt so truly helpless. Those… those things were so far beyond the scope of humanity that she couldn’t even begin to compare. The way that one, Euryale, moved, dancing from rooftop to rooftop like a ballerina, rolls and flips and pirouettes to make the greatest of Olympic Gymnasts give up the art. And Stheno, her strength was mind-boggling. To watch a little girl rip a slab of concrete out of the ground and throw it like a discus… Reason had left her at that.

She had fled in the face of that madness. She had hidden inside the school as those three monsters had tried to rip that little girl to pieces. She was ashamed, but…

She was glad she did. Because the moment she heard the first howl, she knew. She could never have stood out there. She would have died the moment she saw that thing, whatever it was. She had actually… leaked. Uuuuuuggggh. And it had only been the beginning. The smallest one, that tiny Medusa, who had bounced and leapt and cartwheeled with that ridiculous chain and daggers like a circus performer, had become something that went beyond reason or understanding. Just seeing her from behind, she knew with absolute certainty. This was real. None of it was a dream. The clash of steel, that glimpse of black blade and bronze meeting in the night. The sparks of metal on metal and the crush of great impacts.

War had come to Fuyuki, and she had witnessed it.

Heaving a sigh, Mitsuzuri Ayako let her head slump to her desk. Glancing over to where her eternal rival Tohsaka sat, she noticed something funny. Tohsaka-chan was doing the exact same thing. She looked pale, anemic really. And dead tired. Yeah. That was funny. There was no way she was putting up with something insane like this. What reason did she have to be that tired? A bit surprised, she looked around the room a bit, only to find the phenomenon there, too.

Makidera was just as enthusiastic about the love affair between her face and her desk as they were. And Himuro? And Saegusa? Was there something going around? This wasn’t normal. But…

She was too tired to care. Kuzuki-sensei would not be happy, but he was a disciplined man, so it was ok. He would understand if she said she was feeling sick. Though with this many…

She heard a bell for a moment. Not the normal school bell, but a faint chiming. Glancing around from her desk, she noticed a cute kitten on the windowsill, looking into the room. It looked well-cared for, with its big bow and little bell. But it was gone almost as soon as she saw it.

At which point Kuzuki-sensei entered the room. He asked for roll, and the class rep handled it perfectly fine, as usual. At which point he went on, in that hypnotic monotone of his, to explain something unusual.

“Beginning today, your class will have a new student. Please give her the same respect you give each other.”

“Thank you, Sensei.” Looking up from her desk, Ayako saw something truly…

She had hair like a croissant. Huge, dangling ringlets. It was just so ridiculous. How much time did it take to make your hair stand out like that!? Even simple care could take a lot of time, if you were thorough. Mitsuzuri did have her pride as a woman, after all. She wasn’t going to abandon her appearance totally in favor of her athletic development. She knew about good hair care. But something like that would need to be carefully styled and prepared, and it would need help.

Then there was that vivid blue dress. And those heeled boots… She was like something out of one of those eroge things some of the boys in the club played. She was too over-the-top. It was surreal. And to top it all off, there was one more thing.

She was beautiful.

If she had been only a little attractive, she couldn’t have managed that look. But she had it. Curves in all the right places. That regal bearing of status, and clear signs of wealth. It was like she was looking at someone who would fit that title Ojousama. Someone who would conquer the school with her good looks, charisma, and wealth.

They were going to have one of those relationships. She could tell.

They were only going to be friends if they went at each other with everything they had.

This woman was just like Tohsaka-san.

Speaking of which, Tohsaka looked like she had already reached a similar conclusion, but… Was that recognition in her eyes? Did they know each other? Nah. Couldn’t be. I mean, why would Tohsaka know this foreigner? As far as she knew, Rin had never left the city, let alone the country.

“Introduce yourself to the class.” It was a straightforward command. “Of course, Sensei.” She turned to face them all. Wait. Was she staring at Tohsaka? “Hello, my dear classmates. Please, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Luviagelita Edelfelt. I would be most grateful if you would welcome me into your class.” It was elegant, refined, and rehearsed. It wasn’t natural at all. But she bet she, Tohsaka, and maybe the Track Squad were the only ones aware of it.

Luviagelita Edelfelt. This one was going to be trouble.

With disturbing unity, the heads of five worn girls returned to their desks. The thump was stereo.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 18th, 2011, 12:14 AM
Then I can expect the quality of this story to keep? AWESOME. The multiple subplots going on is one of the reasons I like this story so much.That and the lolis and sex-goddess Archerko.

Don't forget the background shorts with those other characters as well, wouldn't wanna miss those! You will be posting everything you have written thus far, right?

EDIT: I see that the Crimson Moon one has already been posted. Excellent~
Broken link is broken D: ...

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 12:28 AM
Other Side
His head hurt like a bitch. Did anyone get the number of that Type? Oooh. He wanted to puke. Hell, it felt like he’d been cooked on the inside, and frozen on the out. It sucked. And the sad thing was, he knew exactly what that feeling meant.

Something had interfered with his Magic.

There wasn’t a lot that could do that. Another Magic. A Type. A handful of Servants. Gods. Terrors. Planets getting pissy. Most of the above had learned not to mess with Zelretch. Anybody who can punch out a Type can handle himself. Hell, he had even beaten Chuck Norris once.

What? He asked for it.

But that was beside the point. He felt like he’d been binging Dwarvish Ale all night. Hell, he might have been. You don’t remember shit after that. It’s some good shit.

He tried opening his eyes. And regretted it. It fucking hurt. He wondered if this was what a migraine felt like, all blinding light and pressure. It felt like his head was going to pop. He took some deep breaths. He tried to calm down some. He’d need to get his bearings and figure out how the hell to handle this shit. Damn. He still couldn’t remember anything.

Whooooo. Time to get up. He pushed himself up slowly, his body feeling weird. It was a lot lighter than he remembered. And he felt really dizzy. That didn’t help any. Still, he managed to get to his feet. Wobbly, sure, but on his feet.

He wasn’t really doing too bad at all, all things considered. He was the only person he knew who could survive fucking up inter-reality gating. Except maybe those Witches. And they were no fun really. Their games were always predictable. Still, they knew how to relax in style, at least. Maybe they should hang out again. Some of them were pretty cute. Ahh, what was it about the lolis?

Oh well. He had work to do. Shielding his eyes, he took a good look around. Well damn. Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Let alone Hawaii. This isn’t Japan, either, is it? This is… Is this even part of the Earth?

The scene before him was like some trippy 60’s dream sequence. Seems like he should lay of the Beatles for a while, at least. There was running color, half-melted buildings, like some distorted cityscape. There was the beach he had been sitting on, and a huge expanse of water. That was way more than he had brought. Taking a good luck, there were odd patches of black ooze that looked like some sort of solidified curse seeping through the scenery in places. It was like everything was bleeding black blood. All around it were the accoutrements of modern society, ancient society, and things in between. Heh. Was that a British Phone Box over there? That big blue clunky thing. Damn. It was, wasn’t it?

Hmm? It was moving. Ok. It’s not like this is a weird or even remotely dangerous situation. Time to stick his nose where it didn’t belong. He sensed Troll potential.

Walking up to the thing took longer than he expected… About halfway there, he realized something. Why hadn’t he noticed before, actually? His skin, once tough like old leather, had smoothed out and softened. And he was a lot shorter. What the hell? He’d need a mirror, but he’d get around to it later. Everything seemed to be intact, at least. It’s not like he had turned into a little girl or anything. I mean, that’s just absurd. He knew he was way to awesome for that.

He started back up the beach, and before long hit the abandoned board walk. The Phone booth was tilted, leaning on a fence, and something was moving around inside. Heh. Alright. Let’s do this. He reached up, put both hands on the raised edge, and heaved down, flipping the thing all the way upright.

The sudden movement dislodged whatever had been rummaging around inside. That just happened to be a little cherry redhead girl who looked like she should be in middle school. And who also looked really pissed. But that didn’t matter. It was funny watching her pick herself up off her cute little ass. Damn, what was it about the loli’s? Heh. A blue eyed red head. And cute. Wonder if she’s a tsundere.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing, punk? You’re supposed to be working on the Gate Crystal. Get your shota ass over there and get that thing set up, or I’ll kick your ass.” Hellooooo. What the hell was this? He wasn’t used to hearing somebody talk to him like that. It was kind of refreshing, really. He could get to like the little firecracker. But wait. Did she say shota…

He took another look at himself, and… Well damn. He’d been turned into a kid. Heh. This was… different. Not really bad, but different. He hadn’t been a kid in a long time. Not since before he’d been a teenager, really. Hardy har har.

Okay. This wasn’t bad at all, actually. Now that he thought about it, if this was real, it could add damn near another fifteen centuries to his life. Not to mention it’d be easier to get the old Kaleidoscope going. Hmm. There was something he was forgetting though. Hmm. What was it?

Eh. He couldn’t remember. It must not be that important. It was odd though. This girl seemed to think he was someone else. Well, time to burst some bubbles.

“Sorry kid, but I have no idea who you are. So why don’t you tell me where exactly I am, ok?” Ok. Odd reaction… She looked hurt for a sec, but now she just looked really pissed. “Soooo. Even after we did that, you still… Ooh. Oooh. You may not have turned into a girl the way that other guy did, but I’m gonna do it for you!” Her leg flashed out with crazy speed, aiming a shot for his crotch that would have crushed a couple bricks with ease. It had to be that strong at least just to hurt his monster balls. But he was already gone, a good two meters back by the time it passed where his body had been. Heh, pretty spry, for a white guy. Great. One bad joke and he had a song stuck in his head.

And that’s when shit went nuts. The girl’s foot exploded in blue light, some monster circuit in her body rolling out so much power he couldn’t even begin to understand where it was coming from. A beam of searing blue light flashed down at his head like an executioner’s axe, melting everything in its path. Concrete boiled, wood vaporized, and sand turned to glass where the beam hit. He dodged nimbly to the left, the arc missing him by a hair as it scorched the edges of his Hawaiian shirt.

But that wasn’t the end. The girl kept that foot going, slamming it down into the planks beneath her, it detonated like a bomb. A tremendous shockwave of raw Prana roared outwards, shoving the phone booth back over like it had been, causing the ground to buck like a wild animal. Only the swift cut of his jeweled sword saved him, its edge drawing on the sharpness of countless possibilities. As the land heaved, though, so did the girl. She used the force of the blast to hurl herself at him, turning in mid-air to bring her other leg around. It, too was wreathed in a nimbus of blue Prana.

He lunged forward to dodge the tremendous arc of her leg as it cut a horizontal swath of ruin amidst the already ravaged place. The tremendous heat singed of some of his hair, the smoking smell of it lost amidst the growing scents of ruination. But… this was his chance!

As he passed under her, he started to pivot, heaving his now small frame to the side, aiming for the fulcrum of her turn… her ass! In the epic tradition of all lecherous old men, Kischua Zelretch Schweinorg palmed both of those little cheeks and grabbed, yanking on her blue jeans, and slamming her into the ground. She landed with a yelp, turning and pointing. Butt, uh… I mean, but… What exactly was this crazy girl pointing a… Oh. Shit.

Countless tiny sphere were floating in the air. Clusters of them surrounded him, each one a pulsing blue bomb, just the same as those beams. She took the time to rub her ass where it had hit the ground. It would probably bruise, assuming she lived through this mess. He had held back, but still, he was a strong old ma, er, young kid. Too bad. Maybe he should have slammed her head instead. Then he wouldn’t be in this situation. A storm of death was waiting. Not that he couldn’t survive it, but still, it would probably hurt a little.

“I’m going to kill you. I’m going to flatten you like a pancake.”

“Hey, Aoko! What are you doing blowing stuff up again! At least tell me you found Gil. I’ve already finished the Crystal, so we need to find that Goldie for the damn Vimana. Once we’ve got that, it’s just you, so hurry up with the Tard… uhhh. What?” That’s exactly what he’d like to know. Did this guy just say Aoko? As in Aozaki? Nice. That explained a lot. But who the hell was this handsome little kid.

Wait. Now he was starting to remember. The reason he had come here in the first place, wherever the hell here was. The damn surf contest! So that meant…

“Let me guess. Wizard Marshal Zelretch, right?” It was said in stereo by the same person.

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 12:30 AM
Broken links? There was a broken link somewhere? Or do you mean the old board?

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 12:32 AM
Curse of Lorelei I

Fujimura-sensei hadn’t come. It was like a sign She had called only a few minutes after she had asked Senpai about his “imouto.” There had been some sort of emergency in the immediate family, and she had been forced to take the day off from work. Not to mention she hadn’t been able to make it for the rest of her normal routine. She hoped everything was all right, but she wished Sensei were here right now. She wouldn’t have stood for this fake sister. Muuuuu…

It wasn’t just jealousy, or anger, or a sense of loss. No, really, it wasn’t. It was that girl. She knew that girl was lying.

She trusted Senpai. She knew him, and knew how honest he was. And she trusted her Servant. That girl had the same… feel, to her as Senpai. Both were very honest people. She could trust them both. Have faith in them both. So she believed her Servant when she said her class was Archer. This girl could not also be Archer. There was only ever one member of each class. Well, except for that one time with the Edelfelts, but that was a unique circumstance.

This girl was lying to Senpai.

But why?

That’s what really worried her. She couldn’t let Senpai stay with something like that. What would happen if they were attacked, and she couldn’t fight the way she said? What if she was using Senpai? She had heard of cases where a Servant had turned on its Master before, though they were very rare. She had never heard of a Servant lying to its Master though. She had to make sure Senpai stayed as far away from that girl as she could. For his own protection.

Maybe… Maybe she could ask… No. They wouldn’t help her. Just because she asked, they wouldn’t. Well… Grandfather might. But he’d use it against her. He’d make her “pay” for it. And Shinji, would he help? No. He’d be even worse. Plus, without a Servant…

She’d have no reason to come here anymore.

Spying on Senpai, as much as she hated it, was the only reason Grandfather allowed her to come here. No matter how much… ooh. She was a selfish girl. She couldn’t just walk away from him. Even if it hurt him. Could she? I-if his life was really in danger…

Senpai was more important. She didn’t deserve his kindness. She was just a lying pervert. She should just do it. She should ask them for help. Even if it meant even more time in the basement. Even if it meant never coming here again. So long as she kept Senpai safe… That was all that mattered. But she needed to get those two apart. The longer that Servant was close to him, the stronger her control would be, sooo…

“Umm. Senpai? W-would you like to go to school together?” It wasn’t something she had a right to ask. She knew it wasn’t. He was too good for her, but maybe he would. Ohhh. She had never wanted to walk with him so much as now!

Please, please, Senpai, just say yes!

“I’m sorry Sakura.” He looked surprised, and sad. “I really need to finish getting Archer settled in before I go. She just arrived last night, and things aren’t really set up for her just yet.” He looked upset, but she couldn’t tell why. Was it because she had asked him for something? Was it what she had asked? Was it because he couldn’t do it?

Or was it because she had annoyed him?

She thought back to what she had seen that morning, what she had walked in on. Had that been… No. It couldn’t have been. Could it? Had he really wanted that Servant to… Had she actually walked in on them trying to have s-sex?

Maybe… Maybe he was just trying to make her feel better. Senpai was kind like that, wasn’t he? Maybe he had really wanted that girl. Maybe he had chosen that girl. Maybe he l-loved that girl. And maybe she was in the way of his happiness.

Was she in Senpai’s way?

She felt something crack inside her again. “O-okay, Senpai. I’m sorry I bothered you with it.” He looked really surprised. “It’s not a problem at all, Sakura! Any other time, I’d love to. It’s just that right now, I really need to take care of some things around the house. I’m really sorry!”

He felt as honest as always. But maybe he was just looking out for her, trying to make her feel better. She didn’t deserve his kindness. No, here she was, making him go out of his way to make her feel better. Maybe he knew? Maybe he had known, all this time. Maybe he knew how she felt about him? And he didn’t feel the same. She knew it, deep down. She had never had a chance. Who would want an impure woman like herself? Someone who was so… so… unclean.

No. She was like his little sister, too. Just like that Servant claimed to be. And now she was getting in the way of his love with that girl. He was trying to make her feel better when she had… But, but wait! She could be jumping to conclusions. After all, Senpai wouldn’t lie to her, would he? She knew it was a selfish thing, but please, let her ask just one more thing. Please, Senpai!

“S-senpai, could we, maybe…” She was blushing. She had blushed before, with her last question, but asking another only made it worse. She lowered her head to hide her face. Her hand clamped down on her wrist where her other arm hung in front of her, tightening until the fingers dug into the underside, where Senpai couldn’t see. She deserved the pain for imposing on him. It was part of her punishment for asking for too much.

“Would Senpai like to eat lunch with me?” It was a meek little voice. “The Archery Dojo is always empty at lunch.” Please say yes! Please say yes! Please say yes!

At some point, it had become more to her than just a mission, than just his safety. It had become a sign of his care for her. Please say yes!

He brightened at that, a big smile on his face. “Sure. We’ll meet up outside the dojo at lunch, ok?” She just nodded, so happy she felt like she was going to tear up.

And so she had headed out. She would put her faith in Senpai, just like always. He would meet her for lunch, and she would find some way to save him from this deceitful little… Ahem. This deceitful Servant. She headed out into the morning, prepared to face the day as best she could.

But like the horizon, slowly hinting at a coming storm, there was a shadow of doubt in her.

Was she in Senpai’s way?

ItsaRandomUsername
March 18th, 2011, 12:43 AM
The link that says "Ultimate" is broken.

And the "Curse of Lorelei" sub-plot begins - a personal favorite of mine.

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 01:04 AM
Oops. My bad. That wasn't supposed to be a link. I accidently wrote the wrong tag.

Grant
March 18th, 2011, 01:07 AM
This is good. I have no idea how it's happening or even what's going on, but it's good.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 18th, 2011, 01:10 AM
You'll find out eventually why these fair maidens have been called to do battle for the Waltz soon enough.

Whoops, wrong eroge.

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 01:17 AM
Ahhhhh. I feel Princess Waltz should have had a sequel, myself. Especially with that open ending.

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 01:19 AM
Coffee Run
“No. Seriously. Just no.”

What was this brat’s…

“WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN WE DON’T HAVE ANY COFFEE!!!!???”

Gaaaah! Shit! That freakin’ hurt. Ok, so he got the idea. They were out of coffee, and little SHI-chan wanted some. Big deal. It wasn’t exactly something they were going to die from.

Besides, the entire reason they were out was because the little caffeine junkie had already drunk it all. Just how the hell she did that without ever using the bathroom, he could only guess. They had had half a can left in the pantry.

“Look! Just go get me some damn coffee, already. And not the canned shit, either. Good beans, you hear! That canned crap only tastes good if the company’s good.” He wondered if that was some sort of thinly-veiled insult. Alright. So he didn’t wonder. He was just being nice.

Shit. He wasn’t going to get any peace if this kept up. And he couldn’t send the brat out to get her own. She may look like a kid, but damn, there was a limit on just how weird you get and still go out in public! It wouldn’t have been a big deal for somebody his age to go around with a red tattoo all over on side of his face and neck, or with bleached white hair and red contacts, or pointed fingernails like claws. I mean sure, he’d stand out, but there were people like that, especially in bigger cities.

It’d never work for a little girl that looked like she was twelve.

Can you say Child-Welfare?

Tohno wasn’t much help in that. From what Arihiko could tell, he couldn’t see anything more than a meter in front of him as anything but a blob. Except for those lines he was talking about. He said those were clearer than ever before. He said they looked like they glowed… Still, it wasn’t like he could just go walking outside like that. Especially not in place this big that neither of them knew.

And Sacchin wasn’t any help, either. She had spent most of the morning, locked away in the deepest, darkest closet they could find. Apparently, she didn’t tan well. Sucks to be her.

That just left the horse.

No.

Just no.

So he was the only one who could go get the groceries, and SHI-chan’s damn coffee. And don’t forget the filters, blah blah blah. Shut up!

He heaved a sigh of resignation. “Yo, Shiki. I’m heading out to get some stuff. You need anything? Snacks, Eyedrops for the Blind condition?” He laughed a little. Too bad it was dry. “Sorry to burst your bubble, Arihiko, but last time I checked, this wasn’t a video game.” Oh really? “And last I heard, summoning spirits from beyond the grave was something you only did in video games. I guess you’re probably right, though. If your life was a video game, knowing you, it’d be an eroge.” He stopped for a second and looked at the closet. Maybe he should… Just in case. Yeah. “Speaking of which, dude. Should I get some condoms, or what?”

“Nah. Don’t bother. It’s not like I have anyone to use them with.” Really? You serious?

Huh? He could swear he could hear crying coming from the closet. Eh, must be imagining it. Vampires sleep during the day, right?

“Later then, dude.” He started to head out when…

“Arihiiiiko-san!!! Take me with you!”
Hell.
No.
Why should he go walking around with the freakiest of the freakshows in this house. She didn’t even have hands, man! Just hooves! How the hell do you explain that to people? ‘I’m sorry, my sister was born deformed.’ No. Not happening.

“You can stay here and keep SHI-chan company, right? Right! Then it’s settled!” He gave her his best ‘elder-brother’ look, which really wasn’t that good considering he was a younger brother, and patted her head.

“Just shut up and take her with you. You don’t need to go off on your own and get yourself massacred until after you bring me some coffee. Then you can go die. She should be able to enter Astral form, so no one will see her but you, and people with weird eyes like that guy. And don’t call me SHI-chan. If you have to talk to me, call me SHIKI-sama, or Goshujinsama, or Kami.”

Riiiiiiiiight.

“Alright, watch it around these freaks, bro. Later Sacchin,” Damn, it still sounded like someone was crying in that closet. Must be the sea noises. Yeah. Just don’t think about it. “Later, SHI-kun!” “Don’t call me that either, dumbass!” What the… He nimbly dodged a flying boot from the next room. Just where the hell had she found a boot? Nobody wore boots here. Looks like there still might be hidden spots in this old house.

“C’mon horse. Giddyup!” “That’s not very funny, Onii-chan! I’m a well-respected holy book, remember?”
Yeah, right. Whatever. You’re a horse. A dead horse.

Wait, didn’t that add a new fetish to his list of… nevermind.

But damn! This town was huge! He had been comparing it to Misaki, but really, there wasn’t much of a comparison at all. This place was a big port town, with great beaches, lots of businesses, and big residential areas. They had toured the city before, but it was just a general look-around. Nothing detailed. There was really a lot here. That said, he should get started, especially with those clouds coming in. It looked pretty nasty out over the sea.

All in all, the whole trip took a couple of hours. He had stopped at a few places along the way, done some window shopping and stuff. He had picked up a three small hoodies for the “kids.” Nanako and SHI-kun really needed them, what with the weird marks and the odd ears and things. He picked up a couple of flashlights, too. That storm looked nasty, and he really didn’t want to be caught without light in a strange house. Especially with Shiki nearly blind already. He also picked up some bath-sets and some spare clothes for the kiddies. They couldn’t run around in freak-gear all the time, right?

All the while, Nanako oohed and aahed over his shoulder like an idiot. Apparently, she wasn’t normally allowed out of the house. He could understand why. She could get really annoying if you let her just run around. Still, she was kind of cute like that… Damnit. There he went again. Oh, hell with it. If you discounted the freaky parts, she was pretty cute. Give her a few years, and she’d really be worth going after. Sad thing was, when she wasn’t talking, SHI-kun was the same way.

He really didn’t know how to feel about that.

Well. He had bought all the basic stuff he needed. A lot of the bare necessities were already in the house to begin with. Hell, the pantry had even had some canned food and coffee and stuff that was still good.

At least until the horse had demolished it all.

The groceries were next. Fresh vegetables, fruit. Lean meat. Milk and eggs. Good fish. Bread. Butter. Lots of rice. Soy sauce. Vegetable Oil. He lucked out. Carrots were on sale. He bought a whole damn box. Juice, of several kinds. Some salt, pepper, seasonings, and flour. And yes, a shit-load of coffee. The good stuff that crazy brat kept asking for. Not to mention some tea, and hell, even some hot chocolate. Hell, the only reason he had been able to get all that was that the grocer worked with a delivery service. It would all be dropped off by bike by the time he had managed to walk back. Now that was a convenience store! By that time, it was starting to get dark. Which was odd. It was too early.

Oh shit. That storm from earlier was really moving in. They really needed to get home if they didn’t want to get soaked. He could hear thunder in the distance.

He could feel the temperature dropping as he headed out, the air pressure going with it. It was coming. The wind was starting to pick up now, fluttering his white shirt and ruffling his hair.

It took him a lot less time to get home. No. Really. He moved pretty fast. But even so, pretty fast wasn’t fast enough.

The bottom dropped out when he was just in sight of the house. Why had he tried to dodge traffic along the beach. The surf was pounding hard a little too close for comfort. Visibility was pretty low, with sheets of cold, stinging rain falling fast.

This was the kind of weather to make a guy sick. He felt sorry for anyone caught out in it.

Self included.

“Oniichan.” Hmm? What?

“O-oniichan! Look!” What now!?

He looked. And he saw.

He dropped the few bags he had carried with him.

He had to hurry.

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 01:20 AM
Curse of Lorelei II

She had been shocked when she reached the school.

Not only had Nii-chan not made it on time to the Dojo, he hadn’t made it at all. It wasn’t that unusual for him to miss club, but he usually let her know when he was going to skip. It worked out though. Mitsuzuri-senpai looked very tired, and her movements were stiff, awkward. She seemed off her game, too. She was usually much more accurate when she shot, and she didn’t normally spend as much time coaching the other members.

It must have been hard on her, with Fujimura-sensei gone as well.

The hard work in club, the strenuous activity and the help she had to provide to Mitsuzuri-senpai helped keep her mind off what had transpired that morning. She just kept telling herself over and over that she would be eating lunch here in a few hours with Senpai. That was enough to make her blush and smile. She wondered if anyone noticed.

Even so, there were times when that nagging doubt came back. She couldn’t help but worry about it. Could she possibly be in the way of Senpai’s happiness?

It was like that through all of the first half of the day. The only thing that caught her attention was the absence of that foreign student, Rance-kun. It was the first time he had missed. Still, it was only a passing thought, and nothing more. Maybe she should feel bad, but she couldn’t bring herself to worry. She knew that one was a magus, after all.

As the time passed, she became more and more anxious. She really wanted to see Senpai! The more she thought about that morning, the more worried she became. But she couldn’t stop thinking about it!

And then the bell rang.

Lunch had begun.

It was something none of the other students had ever seen. Matou-chan? Running? Sure, it wasn’t flat out, but that was the fastest anyone had seen the normally sedate Matou Sakura move outside of gym. No one was hearing complaints from the male half of the student body. Or, for that matter, some of the female half.

She clutched the bentou close. She was in such a hurry, she nearly ran over a half-dead looking Tohsaka-senpai in the hallway. “Aahh! I’m sorry, Senpai!” She bowed profusely. It had been an accident, after all, but she had still bumped into Rin and… Was she all right. Now that she got a good look, Nee-san was very sick-looking. She was pale. Too pale. Even her lips were a lighter shade of pink than normal… And she wobbled a bit when Sakura had run into her.

What was wrong? Ohhh. B-but it was none of her business, right? Ohh. Senpai was waiting for her! But was Nee-chan alright like this? Muuuu. This wasn’t fair.

“U-umm. Tohsaka-senpai? Are you alright? Do… you need to go to the nurse’s office?” Her Nee-chan looked at her, surprised. Was if from the bump, or that someone had noticed how badly she looked? She knew the students well enough, even if she wasn’t really close to any of them. Not one person would acknowledge that Tohsaka Rin was anything but perfect, let alone sick. Well, except maybe that Senpai on the Student Council.

“I’m fine, Matou-chan. I’m just a little tired. I think I just need some fresh air. Be a little more careful next time, though.” And she headed up the stairs towards the roof. It seemed she had a lunch in hand, but it was really just something from one of the vending machines, so it couldn’t have been too good for her when she was sick. And it looked like it was going to rain, too. Was the roof really a good idea?

But she had no right to tell her sister what to do. And she had no right to keep Senpai waiting, either. She went more slowly now, but she still went.

The Archery Dojo was calling her name.

But Senpai wasn’t there.

She waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And the bell rang. She still wanted to wait. But she trudged back to class, late. Senpai had never come. Her bentou was untouched. The food Senpai had made that morning, had given her, had not even been uncovered. Her body was hungry. She wanted to eat. But right now, she didn’t feel like it. The food would not be eaten. Instead, a sick feeling was growing in her stomach.

She was in Senpai’s way, wasn’t she?

ItsaRandomUsername
March 18th, 2011, 01:22 AM
Ahhhhh. I feel Princess Waltz should have had a sequel, myself. Especially with that open ending.

Yeah, with a big fantasy world that they live in, there is a good opportunity for a PW expaned universe. A fantasy eroge (with multiple routes, naturally)...might be fun.


And we have more Arihiko/Nanako goodness. Most excellent...

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 01:26 AM
Changes

A face was staring back at him. It was smooth featured, with large, expressive eyes. They were feminine eyes, childish eyes. They were a rich golden hazel color, somehow both strong and innocent. The hair of this person was long. Very long. It had a distinct reddish color to it, its length shining. It would be silky to the touch, he knew. The skin was oh so very pale, almost like porcelain, if it had veins like quartz in it. That skin was just as smooth as the hair.

This face would be the picture of a beautiful and exotic little girl. Except for one problem. The face was his. And he was definitely not a she anymore.

Archer stood, amazed at the change Avenger’s creations had produced. Gone were even the slightest hints that his body had ever been female, save for those smooth, childish features. And even then…

One could hardly mistake the rest of the changes. The second flask she had given him had granted him an adulthood that his female body could have never attained. Perfectly defined muscles, lean, strong, supple. His height, too, was excellent, or at least better than he had ever really hoped for. He had spent his whole adult life as a little girl. He had never heard of Alchemy that could do such things, with such ease.

Even if temporarily.

As if on cue, there was a groan behind him. Matou Shinji, looking very haggard, lay across the bed in his own room, face down. He was naked, except for a white towel hanging over his waist, as Avenger went to work rubbing some kind of concoction into his skin. A couple of hours ago, he had reverted back to his original state.

Except now he was hosting those… things.

It wasn’t Archer’s area of expertise, really, but someone he knew very well, someone he would die for, had once told him that those worms would kill a man. Or close to it, at least. They devoured the spine, part of the brain in men, rendering them paralyzed. In women, it was a different kind of hell, but…

How was he still healthy? Sure, he had been a woman when she had forced him into the hole. He would have stopped her, had he known what was going on. Shinji was… He deserved a lot worse than what he had gotten, but even angry, that wasn’t something Archer would have forced on anyone. He had seen what kind of torment that was.

But now he was here, out of that pit, looking very, very sick. But still very much alive, and very capable of moving. So how had the strange girl done it? Just what were those weird mixtures she was using? Just what had she convinced him to drink? He had an ominous premonition… Something told him to be very careful around this Servant. She was weak, at least physically, but… That mind, that spirit.

She was dangerous in a way that was all too much like that old man.

Still, she deserved his thanks for this. With this, he could protect Sakura better. An adult body, a strong body, his reach and mobility improved. The vestiges of its circuits still intact, and the sheath of bone and muscle both sword and shield under his will. He flexed, testing its limits, stretching as far as it would go. He could hear the sinew cracking.

Maybe it was that faint noise that drew her attention, but Avenger glanced up from her work. “So, Archer-kun. Or is it Archer-san? Do you like Amber-chan’s work?”

“Yeah. It’s perfect!” And it was. Really. Even with the time limit, it was more than he could have dreamed of.

“That’s great! Ah, but just remember. It’ll run out eventually. When that happens, just come back here, and I’ll have some more ready.” The little Avenger giggled, hiding her mouth behind a sleeve. Somehow, though, he didn’t feel comforted by her happiness. And that was something truly strange, for him. Maybe it was just because he had to rely on someone else? He had never been too comfortable with that, after all.

“Thank you, Avenger-san.” It was honest. After all, he was the type of person who would be honest to a fault. Wait, did she just blush? “It’s nothing, Archer-san. You remind me of someone I used to know, though, so I couldn’t help it.”

Really? He wondered who. Maybe he could get away with asking?

“And who was that?” A past lover, maybe, or someone who had saved her life? Maybe even a childhood friend?

“My sister! She was sooo good at cleaning. I always envied her.” Oh. She was giggling again, this time it seemed, at some far off memory. Or at him.

Well, on to other matters. He really should see how Shinji was doing. He was a dick, but Archer had been his friend a long time. He at least owed him a little concern. Maybe.

“So, Avenger-san? How’s he doing?” It was hard to tell if Shinji was conscious or not. His eyes were fluttering, but…

“He’ll be fine. Onii-chan may not look like it, but he’s pretty resilient. His body was suited to this kind of thing, after all. It just needed some outside help. He should be awake and moving again by the end of the day.” She seemed pretty happy about that. He should probably warn her about his… interests. “Though he might walk funny for a while.” Eheh. Ow.

“Umm. Avenger-san. You really shouldn’t stay too close to him, when that happens. He’s not exactly…”
“I know, Archer-san. He’s a rapist, an abusive, dishonest little boy who can’t even admit his own weaknesses, so he takes it out on everyone around him. Right?” How did she… Could she read his mind!? He wasn’t even going to be that blatant about it, but she knew exactly what he meant. He remembered the darkness that the Avenger of his own time had been. The cursed brand, the consuming nightmare. This girl showed no signs of it, but he felt there was something very wrong with her, anyway…

He glanced over at the clock, and noticed just how late it was getting. Sakura should have been home already. And it seemed like it was getting darker… He went over to the window and looked out. Night was coming early. A storm was coming in. It was a comfort that he knew Sakura wasn’t in any danger. His bond as her Servant would let him know if she was. But still, he was starting to worry. She didn’t normally stay out like that. Not unless she was going over to hi- uh, to Emiya’s house.

That had to be it, right? She felt awfully far away, but maybe it was just him imagining it. He had no idea how the bounded fields layered in this house would interfere with his perceptions.

It came softly. The gentle tapping of rain on the roof far above. Soon, it turned into a pounding. The storm cut loose, thunder echoing in the distance as it rolled in off the sea. He knew what these were like. They could be really bad. A squall beaching itself on Fuyuki. They came with the Spring and the Fall. He quietly hoped that Sakura was at her Senpai’s home, warm and dry, in a place that loved her. It didn’t bother him at all if she spent the night there, with Shirou and Fujinee and Saber. His bond had to be distorted, after all. This place could do it. Why would she be that far…

And then he felt it.

Sakura was in danger.

Avenger had glanced down to check on her Master, only to look up with shock.

Archer was already gone.

He himself didn’t even understand how he had managed it.

Outside, freed from the damping fields of the Matou house, he could see her, blazing like a torch. His senses had been right. She was nowhere near the Emiya house. “Trace On!” A bloody red sword formed in his hand, the hilt as long as the blade. Long ago, he had seen a weapon like it, but he had never been able to master it. So he had made his own. He drew on it, on the speed of the original’s wielder, and was gone into the storm.

Because Sakura wasn’t inside, safe and warm as the monstrous storm slammed into the shore.

She was on the beach.

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 01:28 AM
Curse of Lorelei III

She was sitting on the beach, thinking. They were not happy thoughts.

School had gone just the same as always. Empty. But Senpai hadn’t come.

He must have had something more important. She was definitely in his way. That was the way her thoughts had gone, a vicious circle that had continued throughout the day. Each repetition, each spiral, was like driving a nail into a coffin. It didn’t matter what it was that had drawn him away, really. It didn’t matter if it was that girl.

All that mattered was that she was in his way. Just by being there, she was in Senpai’s way. She was hurting him. She had no right to do that. She had never been good enough for him. She had always known that. But he had made her happy. Without even trying, he had made her happy. Maybe… maybe if she had been a little more forward…

No. No one could want something as broken as her.

And so the spiral had continued.

She knew she should have gone to Senpai’s house. He would expect her, right? She had to make him dinner. That’s what she had thought when she left school, but it wasn’t all. What if she got in the way of his love-making again? What if she interrupted him and that girl? What if, what if, what if…

Each question hurt. It was like someone were peeling back the layers of her skin to expose the wriggling worms beneath. She had walked. No. She had wandered. All through the streets of Fuyuki, careless of Masters and Servants and Grail Wars and death. What did it matter?

She had nothing to go back to.

Zouken and Shinji. They were waiting for her. It would be more of the same. More pain. More suffering. More mindless lust and humiliation. Her Servant couldn’t save her from that. She knew she couldn’t resist him. She felt sorry for Archer. That girl had wound up with such a pathetic Master, in such a worthless place. Why had that Servant even answered her? Pity?

She wanted to cry, but the tears wouldn’t come. So she had wandered. And she had stopped here.

She sat in the cooling sand, watching the lightning dance on the horizon, hearing the thunder’s primal rhythm. She wanted to scream at it, throw all of her anger, her sadness, all of this love that dug into her heart out at that storm. Somehow, it had become the symbol of everything that had gone wrong with her life. Had it really only been one day? Had all of it lost meaning in a single day? She lowered her head to her knees, but she still couldn’t cry.

The wind was starting to pick up, and she felt the first drops of rain. It made her think of the Matou’s. Of her twisted body, her distorted Affinities. They had made her into something unnatural. She hated them, deep down, but… It didn’t matter. She had never been the kind of person who would act on that, had she? She had always been too weak to fight them. After all, if she had seriously fought them, Zouken would have killed her, wouldn’t he? And then it would have ended. She had always been too scared, first for herself, and then for losing Senpai.

But now Senpai didn’t need her. He had someone else, didn’t he?

What did she have to lose? If Zouken reallywanted to, he could just stop her, right?

She stood up in the soft sand. And started walking towards the surf. Towards the storm.

She was in Senpai’s way. She was in Senpai’s way. She was in Senpai’s way.

“I’m in Senpai’s way. I’m in Senpai’s way. I’m in Senpai’s way…” It became a mantra, driving each step forward as the waves came up to greet her. She would end it, or Zouken would. One way or another.

She started to cry, finally, as the force of the sea drove her down, the sand swallowing her feet. The water stole her balance, and she toppled forward, sand and debris swirling around her. The surf blasted the air from her lungs, and her body jerked back in reflex, gasping for air. She absentmindedly wondered if she could be seen. The surf pulled back, dragging her forward, out towards the open waters. Only the grip of the wet, cloying sand held her to shore.

And then the water was back, pressing her down and pulling her out with the tide, digging furrows in the beach’s boundary, taking her breath with it. And this time, only water answered her lungs’ need. She stood looking into the border of two worlds, waiting for death. She choked, gagging, but it wouldn’t matter soon. How many waves would it take to pull her out? So long as she stayed here, it wouldn’t matter, would it?

Spots danced at the corners of her vision already, the edges blurred from the salt water. The sound of the surf and the sea filled her ears, along with the steadily rising beat of her own heart. She was getting dizzy, her body screaming for air already.

But there was only more water.

Somewhere in the back of her mind she wanted Senpai to prove her wrong, but he wouldn’t, would he? He didn’t even know where she was. It would be best for him if she just disappeared, right? Then she would be out of his way, and he could be happy. But still, she wanted him to save her.

The world began to fade. She couldn’t tell how many times the water had crushed her down. She couldn’t even tell that the rain had started in earnest. She couldn’t feel how cold it was, how cold she was. She was just numb. Her eyes weren’t working right. Her lungs, her whole chest, ached.

She saw something white, flickering across her vision.

Something red.

Senpai…?

She reached out with the last of her strength, and kissed him.

And then there was only darkness.

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 06:23 PM
Longest Night I

“It’s getting pretty bad out there.” Tohno Shiki sat by the fire they had set in the fireplace. SHIKI had found some wood in the basement, along with a bunch of other things, when she had gone exploring.

Heh. He hadn’t even known there was a basement. Apparently, the house had been very well-made. It seemed it was situated on an outcropping of solid rock. The stone had been cut out to a natural cave system, and a foundation had been poured to even it out and stabilize it. The place had a huge basement, most of it actually just a lighted cave system that went on for who knows how far.

He wondered just who had built it, and how it had wound up as a time-share in the hands of one of Ichigo-san’s friends. Not for the first time, he wondered just who his friend’s sister really was…

The storm outside could have been heard easily for a long time, though it had been far away for most of it. Just the wind, and a few short bursts of rain up on the shore itself. Even without being able to see it, Shiki could hear the rain out there over the waves when the surf pulled back. That was one really big storm. You didn’t get stuff like that in Misaki.

And then it had bottomed-out. The downpour sounded like a thousand hammers on the roof. With the sun so thoroughly blocked, even Yumitsuka came out of hiding. SHIKI had started some coffee a while back, and she had been willing to share it, at least once she got her own cup anyway. So they had sat by the fire, absorbing the warmth while the storm played out.

He hoped Arihiko and Nanako-chan were alright out there. He knew that the shopping had gone well. After all, a guy about his age had delivered all those bags of groceries. SHIKI kept saying something about the man having some nice scars, but with his eyes the way they were, he couldn’t tell.

Heh. He couldn’t help but chuckle. That had reminded him. It seemed Arihiko really had bought eyedrops. Not to mention condoms, apparently. Just what was he hoping for, anyway? He couldn’t seriously be thinking about… Well, he supposed he wasn’t one to talk. There was Len, after all.

He wondered just how everyone was doing back home. Right now, this trip seemed like it was a bust. Sure, they had summoned the Servants Akiha had talked about, but these definitely weren’t mythic heroes of legend. All he had now were more questions, and the distinct sensation that the world had a sick sense of humor.

“Heh, looks like that idiot finally made it back.” Hmm? Arihiko was outside in this? Damn! He should have just stayed indoors. Then again, they say idiots never catch colds, so he should be alright. Still, sometimes he wondered just why he had become friends with an idiot like that.

“I’ll get it.” He stood to get the door, walking at what he felt was a safe pace. Until he tripped and fell on something.

“Gah!” What the hell! What was… Why was there a boot laying in the floor? No one wore boots here. Where the hell had it come from? And why was SHIKI laughing like that? It wasn’t that funny, was it?

At about that time, the door started to shake. Arihiko must be really pounding on it. But why? “Oopen uuup!!! Hurry!” Nanako-chan? She kept on yelling. What was going on? The pounding just got louder. It sounded like he was trying to kick the door in, almost. Shouldn’t he have been able to do that? Shiki had fought with him before, and he could attest, Arihiko was pretty damn strong for a normal person. Without relying on his Nanaya’s breeding or his Mystic Eyes, he’d actually be hard pressed to keep up with his friend. Especially in strength and endurance.

“I got it!” Sounded like Yumitsuka had made it to the door first. He didn’t think SHIKI had even moved from her chair. He heard the sound of the door unlocking, followed by…

“Kyaaaaah!?” Slam! Thud. It sounded almost like the door had been ripped off its hinges. Yumitsuka groaned from somewhere nearby as the fury of the storm outside blasted in. Cold air and water slanted in the doorway as Arihiko and Lancer rushed in. His clothes were soaked through and plastered to his body like a second skin. But that wasn’t important. What was important was slung over his back, just as soaked, and caked with sand.

Arihiko was carrying a girl.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 18th, 2011, 06:25 PM
Kickass story arc starts...NOW

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 06:34 PM
Red Devil Under the Weather

He had managed to make it to school with only minor molestation. It seemed that his Servant, Archer, or Archerko as she insisted he call her, was a lot more… mature… than she looked. After Sakura had left, she had tried to take a bath with him. And then some.

Umm. Not that he wasn’t a healthy young man, far from it, but there was a bit of discomfort in the idea that this little girl wanted to jump his bones. Especially considering they had just met and, well, he just wasn’t… experienced with that kind of thing.

Besides, he really needed to get to school, and he had just promised Sakura he would eat lunch with her. He had seen how she looked at Archerko. There was a lot of disapproval there.

It hurt him to admit it, but he could see where she was coming from. What kind of little girl acted like that? Where had she learned those… things. His mind was starting to fog at the memory. Really not good. He wasn’t a pervert. He was not a pervert. He was not a pervert. But the memory of that bare, slender body coming at him… No! Be strong, Shirou!

He had gotten to class to find everything normal. The only odd thing was Shinji’s absence, but that wasn’t a big deal. Sometimes Shinji skipped, after all. And he could more than keep the grades needed to pass, so he usually got away with it. Come to think of it, though, Shirou had never actually seen him sick. Weird.

At one of the changes in class though, something weird did happen. Tohsaka-san, from one of the other classes, came and stood by the door.

And that made him remember last night. That crazy little black-haired girl with the sword that had followed Tohsaka, the monstrous blonde child and the girl that looked like Archerko. It had all been so surreal. The feeling of claws rending his flesh… He shuddered. And it wasn’t just the memory. Tohsaka was glaring at him. He could feel it digging into his skin like needles.

She had said something about wanting to talk last night, but circumstances had prevented it. Archerko had said she’d sent her away, whatever that meant. And now he was starting to worry about just what that did mean. Tohsaka did not look well, or happy.

If he valued his life, he’d really better see what she wanted. Now.

So he headed out into the hall. For some reason, Tohsaka had an eraser in her hand. Weird. Up close, she really looked bad. She was pale, and looked sick. Was she anemic?

“I need you to come to the roof at lunch. It’s about what happened last night.” There was something he was supposed to do at lunch. He had to see Sakura. But… Damn! He hoped she’d understand. Someone could die if he didn’t handle this Grail War thing carefully. He could never forgive himself if that happened. Maybe, if he could make it short…

“Alright. I’ll see you there.” He hoped he wouldn’t regret this…

Class went like normal, though for some reason Kuzuki sensei’s class was observed in its entirety by a small black cat at the window. He guessed he should add to that Fujinee’s absence, but he had already known about that.

When lunch had come around, he’d managed to dodge the students asking for bites of his lunch to sneak away to the roof. It surprised him just how dark it looked on the horizon. It seemed they were in for a big storm tonight.

By the time he had arrived, Tohsaka was already there, a vegetable juice in hand. One of this healthy mixed kinds with lots of vitamins and minerals. Actually, it looked like she had a couple of those. Did she like that kind of thing?

The second she saw him, she started talking. Beginning with, “Close the door.” It turned out she wanted to make sure he understood what was really going on. The priest last night had been… difficult. The man seemed to enjoy twisting words and meanings, especially when they were important to his victi… uhh, listeners. He didn’t like that man. Yet he couldn’t quite place why. He had helped, after all. There was just something about him, though…

Something off.

Tohsaka went on to explain why he needed to keep his Servant by his side all the time. Easier said than done, there. The girl kept trying to do things to him.

“I really didn’t think you were like that, though, Emiya-san.” Hmm? What did she mean by that? Maybe she noticed his look of confusion, because she went on. “I didn’t think you liked little girls. No wonder you never, ahem, um, nevermind.” Huh!? Liked little girls!? Where did that come from? He had never had that particular… well, wait. He had that this morning, he supposed, but it was an entirely new thing. He had always liked women more like Tohsaka herself, or Sakura, though he hated to admit it. He really shouldn’t be looking at his best friend’s sister like that. Speaking of which…

She started to blush. “Well, she said that you needed to do a Prana Transference. Last night, I mean. In order to get your healing abilities working fully. She said you had done that before, so she didn’t need to worry about asking…” Prana Transference? What was that?

“Umm, Tohsaka? What are you talking about? What’s a Prana Transference?” He had a bad feeling…

She was blushing even more. “W-well. It’s where one person sends some of their Od to another, in order to give them more Prana to use for spells, or other stuff. Wait. How come you don’t know this?” This was the first he had heard about this kind of thing, and he said as much. At which point she blushed even further. She was starting to look like her sweater. It’d be really cute, but… She was starting to look mad, too.

“Umm. In order to do share Prana like that, the two parties need to share bodily fluids. Blood works, but… well, other things work better.” What exactly was she trying to say… He didn’t like where this was going…

“What do you mean, Tohsaka?”

“It means you had sex, you idiot!!! She had sex with you last night!!!”


Wut?

Saaaaaaaaaay Whaaaaaaat!!!!!????

He nearly dropped the bentou, which Tohsaka had been snacking out of for a while now.

He thought back to that morning, to the little girl half-naked in his futon. No. No. No.

Nonononononononononononononononononononononononono nonononononononononononononononononononononononono nonononononononononononononononononononononononono nonononononononononononononononononononononononono nonononononononononononononononononononononononono nonononononononononononononononononononononononono nonononononononononononononononononononononononono nononononononononononononononononono. No. Just no.

Somewhere in the conversation, not very far back, his mind had stopped working properly.

It seemed he had lost his virginity.

To a little girl.

And he didn’t even remember it.

Wait. There was a spark of clarity. She had said they had done th-that before, right? Hell no. He had only just met her moments before Tohsaka had arrived, so…

“She has to be lying. She only appeared a little before you showed up, so we couldn’t have done that before. Could she have really done that to me while… while I was unconscious like that?” Half-dead was more like it, really. He distinctly remembered the sound of his intestines splattering across the street.

“Uhh. I guess she could have, but you mean you didn’t summon her until then? So. Your Servant was lying, but why? What did she have to gain from getting me to leave?” Like he knew. What was that girl up to?

So, was he still a virgin, or not?

He passed the rest of lunch in a sort of daze as Tohsaka went on to explain what was going on and propose an alliance. It seemed strange things were going on with this war, if what Tohsaka had seen and the Priest had talked about were true. He had agreed, knowing it would help protect everyone if they worked together.

By the time he heard the bell ring for class, his confused mind had already forgotten that one important thing.

He had forgotten his promise.

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 06:38 PM
King

The storm outside raged, rattling the panes of the fine stained glass windows. Thunder followed the bright flashes of lightning as the wind howled like a savage beast. Sitting inside the church on the hill, one could truly appreciate the works of man and god alike. God’s creation, in all its power, roared without, while faith and the mercy of God protected those within. Such thoughts were worthy of this place.

But such were not the thoughts of Kotomine Kirei.

Things were not going well. Ignoring the injuries that had been inflicted on him that morning by his daughter’s Servant, things easily cured with simple Magecraft, the information Rin had brought him was nothing short of disturbing. And it made him better understand what was happening.

Last night, the spirit board had lit up. It had marked the appearance of several new Servants, much as it had ten years before. But there had been a troubling problem. Some of the lights had grown much brighter than normal. In fact, they had quite literally burned out, catching fire and smoldering like a burnt offering to a pagan god. Rider had been one such light.

In fact, it had been one already lit.

The only thing that made sense to him now was that there were somehow more Servants than the board could handle. Too many Servants. Too far beyond his control. Each and every light on the Spirit Board was black and charred, now. To him, that meant that there were at least two, if not more, Servants of each class.

Even more troublesome, at least three of those were things that should never be summoned by the Grail. A group of ancient Goddesses. A Dead Apostle. A True Ancestor. He couldn’t help but feel a little on edge. His wish to see the birth of the one in the Grail had hinged on his plans, and now…

Fraga was gone. Called away on some last minute mission before she could serve his purposes. His own Servant, Gilgamesh, had vanished over a month ago, with absolutely no idea where he went, only to return warped a few days ago, presence and power greatly diminished. His own daughter was not fully under his control, and her Servant…

And now, there were so many unknown factors. The filth in his veins even felt weaker, as if something were drawing on it. This was not normal. Not in the least. It was so strange that even the normally collected priest had misgivings. Not to mention his own ingrained discomfort at having vampires running around the city, even if they were Servants. If things got out of hand… The Burial Agency would ruin everything he had worked towards over the last decade. They would likely raze Fuyuki, and the Grail with it, just to keep the plague from spreading. It would be the perfect excuse to rob the Magi of their treasured Holy Grail.

And then there was that man. The one Tokiomi had bargained with. The man in black from Estray. The bounded fields that had covered his home had vanished last night. Even without venturing too close, Kotomine could feel it. That place had been the lair of a powerful vampire.

And now it was empty. He had absolutely no idea where that thing had gone, but he had felt a spike of power like nothing he had ever experienced in the moment that field fell. And then it vanished into thin air, as if it had never been there.

For once, as rare as it was, Kotomine Kirei was worried.

“What’s the matter, you fake priest?” The voice was distinct, carrying the bearing of absolute confidence and authority. It had faded some, it seemed, but it was still, unmistakably, the Archer. Gilgamesh.

“It doesn’t matter what’s summoned, or how many of them there are. They’re all just mongrels, after all. I’ll have my wish, and you’ll get to see what the Grail holds.” He turned to look at the golden king.

“No mongrel could ever claim what belongs to the King of Heroes.” It would have been more convincing if Gilgamesh had kept his former power. Or his height.

Or his gender.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 18th, 2011, 06:39 PM
Oh you little minx, loli Archerko. ;)

Fem!Gil.....LOLOL, still lulz worthy.

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 08:20 PM
Longest Night II

This was becoming a habit.

Hadn’t he met the horse the same way?

On his way home, looks out into the water, sees something that catches his eye, and just has to dive in and get it.

Of course, last time, he hadn’t realized it was a girl. This time…

Hell yes! She was hot!

And when he had dragged her out of the water, she had kissed him. Sweet.

Could you blame him for hoping there would be more? He didn’t think so. But selfish things aside, it had looked bad there at the beginning. She had inhaled a lot of water. Right after she had kissed him, he had had to give her CPR anyway. At least he didn’t feel as guilty about that. Not that he really felt guilty, anyway. I mean, he had to, right? She was going to die. What? Don’t judge.

And after that, he had to get her out of the rain. She was freaking cold, man. Soaked through and freezing out in that weather. On the beach. Maybe she was crazy or something. Who in their right mind would want to be out in that? Storms had never bothered him much, but most people would have some serious issues out there.

She had, at least.

He had lugged her all the way to the beach house after he had gotten her breathing again. She wasn’t that heavy, probably, but all that water in her clothes didn’t help things much.

It had taken a little bit to get the door open in that, but hell, once it was open, he was in there! Could have sworn he heard someone groaning. Probably the girl on his back. Damn, she was soft in all the right places. This was something the horse could never compete with. Why did he keep comparing girls to the horse? Whatever.

Between Sacchin, SHI-kun, and himself, they managed to get her out of her soaked clothes and wrapped in blankets by the fire. What? You think he would miss that? Hell no. Still, they genuinely needed the help. Strong they might be, but the midgets weren’t exactly built to manhandle an adult out of their clothing. Especially an unconscious adult in soaked, clinging clothing. Tohno had gotten the blankets and towels with Nanako helping him find them.

Everything was starting to look up, except that once she warmed up, she hadn’t stopped.

It looked like the stress and the cold had gotten to her. She had a fever. And she still hadn’t woken up. With the storm tearing up the shore out there, they had a sick girl, and not a lot in the way of medicine. They had some fever reducer, some painkillers, but not a lot, and there was no guarantee her fever would go down anytime soon.

Then Shiki said something strange. “Use that.” What? If he had had anything else, he would have used it already. What did…

“No.” SHI-kun? What the hell was going… And then it hit him. When Shiki had explained that story about his family, he had said that some of them could transfer life force. Now he knew what that meant.

He was telling SHIKI to use some of his life force to help her recover. But why say no? They had no idea if this girl would live or die. None of them really knew how to deal with this kind of thing!

“Hey, c’mon SHIKI.” He got a glare for it, but he asked anyway. “We have no idea what we’re doing here, dude. If you can help then…”

“You see this?” She pointed to the red lines etched along the side of her body. They looked like some sort of tattoo, but he had a feeling they weren’t. “This is some kind of taint. I have no idea what it is, except that it was there when I answered the call. It was part of the pact to get a shot at the Grail. It’s some kind of demon, or something. It’s not affecting me that much. Hell, I’ve been possessed before, and held it off for years. I even… nevermind. Just trust me, you don’t want me sharing any of this shit with the girl. It’d eat her alive from the inside out.”

“You can filter it, can’t you?” It was a quiet question, from Shiki. It was more of a statement, really. So… this girl could control what passed through that bond? Shit! Why not do this in the first place, then?

“Fine! I’ll do it. But you owe me! I can work with this, but I’ll be out of commission while I work on it. This crap is thick, and it really wants to kill stuff. You’d better protect me until I’m done, or I’ll haunt you for all eternity!” Wha…? Protect her from what? There was nothing out there but the storm… right?

“Don’t tell me you idiots didn’t notice… That thing out there is trouble.” He took his attention away from the girl long enough… Sacchin looked really nervous, and Nanako was staring off into the same direction. Out towards the door. Out towards the beach, into that storm. Now he could feel it, ever so slightly. It tugged at something deep inside him.

There was something out there.

Something strong.

“A Servant.” Oh hell. “Shit! I should have set up a territorial field, made this place my lair. Damn! Too late now. Horse! Take care of this. You can either have me save the stupid brat here, or you can have me kill that thing out there, your choice!” Why ask her!? Asshole.

“Save her. You can do it, right Nanako-chan?” Shiki was pretty calm, all things considered. Maybe it was because he had dealt with this kind of shit before? Hell, just the idea that he could feel how strong that thing was… that was scary. There was no way a human could…

“I can’t do that! I need help to fight! I’m a weapon, not a soldier!” Aww hell no. Don’t say it. Don’t say it. No, really don’t…
“Arihiko-san, you’re going to have to help!”

Shit.

Why him!? It’s not like he had any experience with this kind of thing!? Why not Shiki?

Oh, yeah. He couldn’t see. Damn. And Sacchin was a vampire, right? No touching the holy weapon, and all that. Fuck.

Wait. Now he felt really bad. No really bad. He had just considered sending out a couple of girls and a blind guy to go fight before him. Ok, that was lame. And hadn’t he signed on for this? This was entirely voluntary. Yeah. He couldn’t back out now, just because things had gotten crazy! That wasn’t his style at all! He took a deep breath for a second. Another. He’d been through plenty of fights before, and no one but Shiki had been good enough to take him.

He was going to kick this guy’s ass.

“Alright! Let’s go, horse!” She still looked worried, but… She looked relieved, too. How the hell she could do both at the same time, he had no idea.

He stood up and started walking for the door. His hand on the knob, Nanako spoke up,”Umm. Onii-chan?” She looked like she was reconsidering. “Onii-san. I’m not like a normal Servant…” He turned the knob, stepped out into nature’s fury, and saw his opponent.

Pale skin and streaming red hair caught in the wind, whipping like serpents. A strong man, sure, but short. This guy was only about 160 cm. Arihiko had a reach advantage, except…

In his hands were blades. A sword that looked like it was made of stone, all jagged edges like teeth. It looked like it was heavy enough to cave the roof of a car just by sitting on top. In the other had was a sword as red as blood, something that seemed to throb with an evil power. He hadn’t been able to feel shit like this until the summoning, but…

Holy shit, this guy was powerful!

“You’re going to have to use me as a weapon against him!”

Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!!!

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 08:58 PM
Longest Night III

“Hey, you’re a magic book, right? Can’t you, I dunno, turn into a giant, demon-stomping robot or something!?”

“I’m not that kind of book, Onii-san!!!” Well, there went that idea. It was worth a shot at least.

But damn! That guy looked pissed, even through the wind and rain. What the hell had he done, stolen his girlfriend?! He had started walking slowly towards the house, the wind flaring all that hair out like a cape. Oooh, look at you. So badass. Ok. So it would have been funnier if he couldn’t feel the pressure this guy gave off. That kind of shit belonged in anime.

It felt kind of like he was staring down Lu Bu in Dynasty Warriors. Except this was real. Suddenly, he had a greater respect for all those grunts you just slaughtered to rack up the kills. This is what it must have felt like to actually face something like that.

“Ok, so how does this work, exactly?”
“Umm. I invoke a Noble Phantasm that should protect you from the worst of it. It should help compensate for the differences in power, but you’ll still have to fight. I can give you the experiences of my best official wielder, but it’s only temporary! You’ll have to make sure we don’t run out of power, or it’ll fade out. Umm, you seem to have a really high recovery rate for Prana, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem… but if we have to start using a lot of other things…” Wait. Did she just say…

“You can make me badass enough to fight that!?!”

“Umm, I… guess?” Oh. Real convincing. Shit.

“So just who exactly is this most badass of previous wielders, huh?”

“Ciel.” Wut.

“Ciel-senpai !?!” Oh, wait. Shiki said something about that, didn’t he? Wait… She’s as powerful as that thing!?! Holy Shit!!!

The man on the beach kept advancing slowly the whole time. He wondered why this guy hadn’t just attacked yet.

Maybe it was because there was another Servant inside? So, he was waiting for them to make the first move, huh? That’s not very promising. He knew enough about fighting to realize he’d give away his inexperience the second he tried to attack. He’d die on the first counterstrike.

But he’d die on the first strike if that thing attacked, too.

“Alright, give it to me!” He felt her change, drawing on power from him and the world around him. He felt something inside himself shift, starting to move where it had been at rest before, and the weight of her presence actually lifted some. What the hell was that!?

“CIEL [Vestment of the Master]!!!!!!” Her form shattered, dissolving into a mass of light that washed over him, through him. When the light had cleared, he was wearing the dark robes of a priest, a heavy weapon like some sort of jackhammer in his hand. He could feel her power invading every cell in his body, strengthening, enhancing. Everything seemed to slow down, even the rain falling and the flashes of lightning. His body felt impossibly light, impossibly fast, impossibly strong. It was as if he had become someone else entirely, even though nothing had changed on the outside. This felt like something out of the Matrix, like that bullet-time crap.

It felt freakin’ sweet.

All that power, and it wasn’t even through. His mind jumbled with images of the insane things that Senpai had known. Memories of her own techniques. Memories of Roa. Suddenly, he knew Magecraft. He knew and understood what had been happening inside his body since the summoning. He felt a spark of something not quite human in himself, that answered that power. This wasn’t just making him like Senpai, this was adding Nanako’s power to his own, granting him her strength and knowledge. Where there had been a gap in power before…

Now, he might actually be stronger.

The man had frozen the second she had spoken that name, but he had started again, faster.

Much faster.

Holy shit fast!

But somehow, Arihiko was faster. Lancer is the most agile class, Arihiiiikosaaaaaan! What the fuck! She was in his head!

The stone sword crashed into the sand, blast torrents of it in all directions as Arihiko {or was he Lancer now?} lunged to the left, his own footwork spraying grit with its speed and force. Rain stung his face as he slammed into it at speeds no human body had a right to move with. The air screamed as that scarlet blade thrust out, one, two, ten, a hundred times. Nothing could have saved him.

Except speed. Pure speed. Each thrust of that demonic sword was just too slow. It was as if it was fast, until it actually struck, at which point he was somehow faster. It was so… surreal. But it kicked ass! His body had become a living bullet capable of outpacing this freak! He could run circles around him. And his style…

The red blade thrust like a spear, the length of the handle giving it more reach than its blade suggested. It was fast. Really fast, but it could be dodged just by backing out of that range. If he watched the guy’s body, watched where the pommel of the sword was, he could tell where the next strike was going to go. And that stone sword… It was like an axe, or a club. It was just for swinging in wide arcs. One hit would be the end of it, sure, but he had to turn and pivot to make it good use of it. It was like it was meant for someone a lot bigger. And it definitely wasn’t meant to be used one-handed like that.

Every time this guy attacked, he would open with either a sweep of the big sword, or a thrust with the long one, and the type of attack he used would limit the rest of his movements. If he thrust first, he couldn’t sweep the other one without changing his footwork. If he struck with the big one first, he could thrust immediately after, but not at a good angle. Those were the openings to look for. But how to get into his range…

Try the Black Keys! The what? Oh. Now that he thought about it, the information for what they were flooded in. Swords made for throwing. Blades that could bind an opponent by stabbing their shadow, or exorcise certain types of evil spirits that had made oaths to Christianity. He had a feeling they wouldn’t hurt this guy like that, but they might break his momentum, break his rhythm. If he could do that…

Right!

He kicked off the ground as the big sword swept where his feet should have been, sending up another spay of sand. Floating in the air like that was bad, since he couldn’t control his direction. It left him open for a thrust, but…

His left hand hurled a hail of black blades, piercing the night air like arrows. Each one carried force enough to pierce the armor of a tank. They drove into his enemies body, impaling him.

Or would have, if not for that stone blade. The huge weapon had twisted in his hand with unnatural speed, becoming a heavy shield against those razor edges. Not one had gotten close. He watched in awe as the man shoved the axe-like blade into the beach and heaved, driving up a wave of sand to match any out there pounding the shore. How the hell!?!

The air whistled as a hail of blades exploded through the yellow curtain, aiming for just where he was going to land! Countless swords of countless designs, a river of steel cutting through wind and rain and sand like nothing. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttt!!!!!!!!!

Fire me down!!! No time to question. He pointed the pile-bunker straight down and fired it, the shockwave blasting water and air back over his shoulders as he fell.

It drove every blade into the ground with sheer power.

The instinctive responses carried by the Noble Phantasm drove him to reload the thing, cocking it like a giant gun. A single page fluttered out like a spent shell, accompanied by a gust of hot air that smelled of libraries and old books.

His landing safe, the air cleared of grit by the still falling rain, he got a look at the guy again. They were closer now, and he could tell, his face was really girly. He looked a lot like a chick for such a badass. But that was definitely a guy. The walk was a man’s. The way he moved. Shit. He was kind of reminded of Sephiroth. This guy was a monster!

His best bet right now was to pull those Black Keys again and try to pin the guy’s shadow. But he seemed to know that. He was keeping that axe-sword-thing in the way like a shield. And with that red sword working like a spear… Damn. It was a good form. The irregular edges of the big blade gave him rests for the smaller on, steadying his strikes and making them more precise, while at the same time letting him reach farther. And since he hadn’t planted that big one he could turn with it. It was like that old Roman trick, the phalanx, but targeting only a single opponent.

No human could do that. Just how heavy was that freaking thing!? And he wasn’t flagging at all… Hell, the big hunk of rock wasn’t even dipping any. It was like it was nothing.

If that guy got a hold on him… it was over.

Shit.

And just where the hell had all those swords come from? This guy wasn’t packing anything else that he could see, let alone a damn armory. Was it like those Black Keys? They seemed to be made from nothing but Nanako’s power, so… Was he doing the same thing?

So much for an advantage in that department. And this guy didn’t seem to be limited to just one type of weapon, either. There were a bunch of different kinds of swords in that mess down there. If his keys had powers… Those things probably did, too. Which made him wonder about just what the ones the guy was actually wielding could do. Suddenly, he was stricken by a sense of intense fear at what he had just avoided. Don’t Onii-san. We’ll be fine! There’s still a lot left we can do! He hoped so, cause as things were now, he really didn’t like his odds. He might be faster, and he might be stronger, but this guy had all his bases covered.

Wait.

He had an idea.

It was reckless, but… Hell, sitting on his ass and cowering just wasn’t his style! He got ready, and passed it back to Nanako. If it worked…

He took a step back, setting his feet. He’d pull this guy’s stunt, and see if he fell for it. He leaned forward, a perfect target, and lunged forward, sand erupting in a geyser behind him. His body followed the style of Senpai, leaning forward so that he nearly drove his face into the beach. It was as fast as he could go.

The man seemed to slow down. Everything slowed down. The rain seemed to stand still. He watched lightning flow across the night sky like water. He could see every the details of the axe-sword, its cruel edges and irregularities like the teeth of a savage animal. The ominous gleam of the red sword behind it. That blade seemed to shake, and rain was steaming off it on contact. It was drawing in a huge amount of power. This was bad, but he had no other choice. He had to get through this guys defenses!

“I’m sorry.” It was a simple thing. The first words the man had said, as far as Arihiko could tell. He slammed the pile-bunker forward and fired, kicking off at the same time so that his body left the ground.

“GAE BOLG [Spear of Impaling Barbed Death]!!!”

ItsaRandomUsername
March 18th, 2011, 09:44 PM
Still kickass.

So, I guess this means wise-ups will happen soon, then?

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 10:03 PM
I'll need to do some updates, it seems. I'll probably post the Wise-ups after I repost all the old chapters. After all, I've got at least one reader who missed out on finishing the old postings. I may not have anything new just yet, but still...

Also, I'm thinking of starting another Fic. I don't expect to update it very frequently, though. The title is False Arcana. It's a twist on the Grail War in part of my Everdream Setting.

MrTags
March 18th, 2011, 10:07 PM
Great, now not only do I need more posting readers for my own fic...

I NEED MORE OF THIS FIC!

MOAR!! It's addictive. O_O, Go Go Arihiko luck!

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 11:45 PM
Longest Night IV

The demonic red lance screamed it’s fury to the night air. Even from behind that stone shield, even from an impossible angle, through storm and sand, it pierced the distance between them. It was not fast.

Fast did not describe it at all.

No. It had already occurred. It had already found its target in Arihiko’s heart.

Or had it?

The pile-bunker had fired into the ground, blasting sand forward and back, the momentum driving Arihiko out of the reach of the weapon after its curse had been named. But that would never save someone from that monstrous weapon. So how?

How was it that Arahiko, no, Lancer was still alive!?!

Answer: Arihiko Inui had always been a very lucky man. Even more so with the good fortune of a Servant layered over his own.

The red blade had swung wide. It had missed completely, even as its namesake, its original, had driven into King Arthur’s breast. This young man was more fortunate than that, now. And he had only one thing to say…

“Fuck you!” And he hurled a fistful of black keys at the dumbfounded Archer.

Too stunned to react quickly enough, the blades pierced his legs, driving through him and into the sand, binding both his flesh and his shadow.

“Yes!” Arihiko had won! Well, sort of. He had the guy pinned, at least. Somehow, he didn’t think that would last very long. But could he really kill somebody? I mean, when it came down to it, could he really kill this guy? He didn’t even know him! Then again, maybe that should make things easier?

He took a second to catch his breath and look at the guy… They were enemies, but he didn’t even really know why. Maybe they could talk things out, you know. Man to…

“Graaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” Or maybe not.

The guy’s body surged with power, what the Phantasm told him was called Prana. And then it exploded. The blades piercing his legs shot out of him like bullets as a wave of Prana erupted from his body, a shockwave of pure magical energy that tore them free of the ground, and tore the ground itself, without him ever even lifting a finger.

Shit.

Time for Plan B: Run like hell.

The guy dropped the red sword, flinging his arm back. “TRACE ON!” A host of swords appeared out of nowhere above his outstretched hand. He brought it forward, as if throwing a javelin, and each blade flew as if he had launched them. These had a lot more power behind them, not that the others were exactly weak…

This was bad, this was…

They were fast!

The sand and rain caved in behind them, drug along by a force that easily exceeded the speed of sound. No, that wasn’t even right. It was like they laughed at the speed of sound. Even with his enhanced speed…

He tried to dodge, but he couldn’t manage it completely. One of the blades gouged a line through that black cassock and into his back. It wasn’t even hot. The cut didn’t burn with the friction, with the pain.

It was numb. It was cold as ice.

The rain that blade had touched froze and shattered, a trail of ice and snow that fell back into water within moments. But it was still bad. He could feel his skin cracking and splitting where it had grazed him.

He was lucky it had been something so harmless. Because, as those blades struck the shore…

The explosion set his ears ringing. Each of those blades had been loaded to the breaking point with who knows how much Prana. So much that they had detonated on impact with something solid. Shards of metal and gems erupted along with tons of sand, the shockwave pushing him forward, back towards his enemy.

Holy Shiiiiiiiiit!!!

If even one of those managed a direct hit, he was going to die!

What the hell!?! This guy had all of his bases covered! He was good in melee, he was good at range… He left no real openings, and that damn red sword had almost killed him.

Just how the fuck had it bent like that!?!

In the fraction of a second it had taken Arihiko’s enhanced mind to process this truth, the warrior had already regained his dropped sword and was charging again.

This time though, things were different. This time he turned.

This time, the stone sword swung on both sides.

Against all reason, that heavy sword slashed around like a twig, the man’s body twisting and turning at impossible speeds, the arm wielding that crude weapon lashing like a whip, slicing and crushing with seeming abandon.

But each strike was precise.

He wove to evade it, bobbing and ducking, dashing backwards and weaving to narrowly escape each brutal strike. The roar of the blade seemed to drown the howl of the storm, each strike coming almost too fast for Arihiko to even register. His mind had moved beyond thought to one continuous exclamation. Probably something along the lines of Holy Shit, but less coherent.

This guy had pulled speed and power out of somewhere, and he had no idea where. It was all he could do to keep out of reach, each strike coming a hair closer to taking his head off his shoulders. They screamed by like demons from the bowels of hell. Sand flew from the turning and reversing steps of the maelstrom-like technique, spraying in sheets even against the wind and rain.

And then the red blade came for him again. It thrust between the swings, lancing out to catch him in the moments between direction changes, those miniscule holes of total stop in his movements. Only Nanako saved him, her heavy form turning the demonic edge aside every time.

And then he took a hit dead on.

The stone sword crushed into Nanako, so hard she screamed in his own mind. He felt a sensation of weightlessness as the darkened world turned pure white and then exploded. Then gravity returned with a vengeance, and he found himself digging a furrow into the beach with his spine.

The force of the hit had thrown him twenty meters, even though he blocked it. His vision spun where the pile-bunker’s casing had slammed into his head from the defense. His ears were ringing again.

Fuuuuuuucccck!!!

This was seriously not good. He couldn’t see straight. Hell, it looked like there were two of that guy staring at him. Somewhere in the back of his mind, a bad thought registered. In that one game, there was a line for just this kind of moment.

Finish Him.

The man, whoever he was, whatever he had wanted, was about to kill him. And until he could stand… Shit!

That red sword was raised, but so far away… He carried it in one hand, gripping the pommel like a javelin, the heavy blade hanging to his side. He turned, leaping and twisting as he rose, power gathering in that cursed blade. It was like watching some kind of sick rocket rise into the night sky.

He desperately levered himself up, sand sticking to him like glue. He was bracing himself with Nanako, but at least he was on his feet. Maybe he could…

“GAE-BOghhhhhhhhhhhhh!?!?” Huh?

What the hell was that?

Didn’t he call that thing Gae Bolg before?

Was this something new? Was he going to kill him with some other crazy ass trick he had been saving? Ass.

But the death never came. There was no rain of doom, no deadly accurate sword, no more exploding blades. There was just the storm. The wind, the rain, the pounding surf and rolling thunder.

And the laughing.

Something was laughing out there, like little bells jingling. Something hovering in the air near where the man had jumped…

He finally stood, steadying himself as some inner power strove to heal the damage that his enemy had done. He stood and looked into the storm, into the darkness of the angry sea. What had happened to that guy?

And who was that laughing?

A flash of lightning.

A moment of day in an impossible night.

A nightmare perfect for the occasion.

Like some unholy beast dredged from the mind of Howard Lovecraft, like some demon called from the depths, it was all sinuous lines and gleaming, wet flesh, dark and monstrous. It ground into the sand and sea, tentacles lashing.

How had it gotten there!?! What the hell was it!?!? Had they really missed something like that arriving during the fight!?! It was as big as a fucking house!!!!

And then he heard the other sound.

Just as a titanic mouth swooped down out of the night to devour him.

He heard the hissing.

Twelveseal
March 18th, 2011, 11:51 PM
Longest Night V

“Shit!”

Things had gotten bad out there. Between that, the throbbing in his, no, her head, the whole scenario, just, just all of it!

“Shit!” Summed things up pretty well, actually.

She hadn’t signed up for this kind of thing. Get summoned, get a wish, and she got to kill a lot of people, or things like people, on the side. Maybe those were some messed up priorities, but that’s just how things were. Wasn’t her fault she was like that, you know? Ok, so she didn’t really want to kill people all the time. She just got… urges. Like anyone else, right? Right?

“Fuck!” The little bitch she was dealing with was a lot more messed up than she looked. She really just wanted to sit there and gut her for being so difficult. Hell, she didn’t even want to eat this one. She was cute enough, sure, but damn!

She was filled with worms.

Everywhere.

It was like her whole body was a breeding ground for some kind of parasitic familiar. They were lodged between the layers of muscle, burrowing and sliding through her flesh like maggots in a corpse. They clamped onto nerve endings and extended outward, into the soft meat and fat like feelers. They were so small… She bet no one would notice without an extensive examination. Even a small cut should have revealed them, but they were fast, mobile. It was like nothing she had ever seen.

It was even more complex than that. With all those other lives buried in her, hell. But she was almost as tainted as SHIKI herself was with that same curse. How it had found its way into a modern girl, she could only guess, but it seemed like the worms had something to do with it. At this point though, it was impossible to tell if they had tainted her, or the other way around. That might have made things easier, in a sense, but… There were some differences in the curse itself, as if it had changed. So she still had to watch how she handled the situation, and filter her own curse from her life-force.

If she could get it right, it wouldn’t take much to get the girl in perfect health again. Her own body’s properties would see to that, but…

If she slipped up, she had no idea what could happen.

And to make matters worse, something else had appeared out there. Something big. It hadn’t come from a distance. If that were the case, she could have used her slave to warn them, but…

It had materialized out of thin air.

It had literally teleported from fuck all knew where.

Shit. She should have set up some bounded fields, designated the place as her lair. At least then she could have hidden the house. But she hadn’t thought about it, and now it was too late. Fuck distractions, she should have done it anyway. Maybe if they lived through the night, she’d do just that.

She kept at it, working on this waste of time. The faster she got done, the sooner she could be out there ripping something to bloody pieces. Damn extra crap to do.

There! Finished. “Slave! Take over, I’ve got work to do!’ She had a nasty, feral grin as she said it. This was going to be good! That thing out there was a real monster, and with the other two…

“Hell yes!”

She reached the door only to find it open already, that thief staring out into the stormy night, straining vainly to see what was going on. With the punk’s eyes shot, he wasn’t much good. She hated to admit, but…

She felt bad about that. She actually was worried about her brother.

It really was hard to stay mad at the guy, when they were right next to each other like this.

Shit! She was getting soft. The only person for her was Akiha, and that was that! Though now…

No. Leave it at that. That thought made the headache worse, made her really want to eat someone. It kept repeating things over in her head. Things she had done, things she hadn’t done. Theft, Deceit, Assault, Rape, Murder, Cannibalism, and so many others. Too many words, too many violations to count, all bundled up into a ball of rage and hate and evil that sucked at her very soul like some unholy parasite. Like the worms in that girl.

It was nothing new.

She had put up with this kind of thing before, after all. Never this bad, sure, but Roa had been like this. Actually, Roa had been smarter. Roa tried to override you, to hijack your thoughts. This thing just repeated over and over again in your head, slowly driving you nuts. It wasn’t something she would wish on anyone, especially not that one person… that girl from long ago. That’s why she had stolen it all.

But there was something wrong there, anyway. She could tell before the summoning had been completed. The curse was gone, but…

Best not to think on it. All there was now was fire. Fire in the brain. Fire in the blood.

“I’m going, thief.” And she crossed the threshold without waiting for a response.

Out into the wind a rain, her loose kimono plastered to her body within moments. She raced along the shore, covering the hundreds of meters the battle had taken in seconds. Her keen eyes witnessed the writhing mass in that tempest, a seething nest of snakes that looked like they were a couple meters thick each. At the peak, the crown of that towering nightmare was a pair of baleful eyes, to monstrous for any mortal to look upon and live. The power in those eyes washed over her, and she felt her body stiffen.

So she responded. She dredged the filth of her own blood and pulled forth power, pouring the wealth of inhumanity into her own body, turning aside whatever curse those wretched eyes produced. Those things were shit! They weren’t enough, not by a long shot!

She plunged forward, wet sand exploding in torrents. She ran straight towards those sliding coils, ignoring the laughter that echoed in the night. She had seen those two, white shifts soaked through and clinging as much as her own clothing. A pair of little girls that could be twins standing on the monsters coils, no, on the shoulders that projected out from those coils.

Two sisters. No. Three. The monster was one also. Eyes that could petrify.

The Gorgons.

They were gods.

Fuck.

Titanic maws lashed out, striking as quickly as any blow dealt by the two before. The struck to swallow whole, to crush with muscles and devour with acids. Just as they had swallowed the Lancer before. But SHIKI didn’t know that. She only knew one thing.

Her eyes were burning. Her brain was burning.

She could see the lines.

Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill it. Rape it. Murder it. Violate it. Destroy it. Devour it. Ravage it. Crush it. Slaughter it. Break it. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill.

Her blood was boiling.

She hit the first serpent with a simple cut, the blade of a well made dagger, a phantasm in name only. The blade traced a fine line along the seam of its mouth as it rushed in. It was such a small cut.

The head exploded in a scarlet rain, brains and bone flying free as the essence of its mortality was stolen from it. There was nothing left to keep it alive, so it died. Its bloody ruin dug into the beach, adding another rut into the sand as the waters rushed to fill the hole.

The second head was sheared clean off with a single stroke of a dagger barely six inches long. It flew free into the night to crash and bury itself far behind them.

A pirouette with that tiny, simple blade split the next head from the jaw all the way into the neck, splitting it nearly in half with brutal precision.

It was impossible.

It was ridiculous.

It was madness.

It was SHIKI. The eyes which see life, which take life.

Tiny feet raced up the massacred necks, bounding from side to side and flesh to flesh, seeking out the only true head. Seeking the top.

And then the night was full of strange words. A language that had not been heard in an eternity.

The words of the ancient Gods filled the night.

She didn’t have time to scream. Her flesh exploded, torn to ribbons by the song of the Gods.

MrTags
March 19th, 2011, 07:24 PM
Wow, 2nd page already this place is BUUUUSSSYYYY!!

Cuteness combat, well sorta... Until the goobly lovecraftian wannabe came around. Problem with hurting SHIKI like that, it only works once, so they better hope they get it right. Gotta wonder if SHIKI kept Roa's regen and reincarnate abilities though. That would make him hell to get rid of. Nothing new I suppose.

Squish ewwy gooey! Squish her I say! No ugly medusa monsters ruining things I tell ya!

Grant
March 19th, 2011, 09:21 PM
Are you threatening RIDER! Even if you have Lancer's avatar I won't forgive you!

Twelveseal
March 20th, 2011, 12:16 AM
Longest Night VI

The little girl exploded. That was all there was to it.

Blood and meat and bone erupted in a shower, scarlet mist filling the air as the remains of an arm painted a scarlet arc through the air, only to be caught and lofted by the heavy winds. The red cloud was sinking already, mixing with the falling water to tinge the sand below pink. Hunks of meat and ruptured organs slid along the ruined serpent, dropping slowly to the earth below. Other bits wheeled through the night to splatter against the distant pavement or slap messily on the beach below.

In but a moment, something that had carried to form of a human had been reduced to chum. Shards of bone and gristle fell like the shrapnel they were. There was only one thing of interest to the lavender haired maidens standing atop that monolithic beast they called a sister. There had been something else mixed in with the gore. Something that even they recognized. Something far older than even they were.

That which Pandora had loosed on mankind.

All Ills of the World.

The Curse of Angra Mainyu.

Black filth flowed like tainted water, burning all it touched. The flesh of their sister, already dead and drained of all semblance of life began to melt as the putrescence touched it. The sheer volume of that evil seemed to be beyond the capacity of a single body to contain.

They watched in mute horror at just what could have happened if that little girl had reached them. That… That was an evil even the greatest of the Gods, the mightiest of the Titans, had feared. It was a God in its own right. The essence of every sin, every excess, every evil deed and blasphemous thought given form.

A shudder passed through Euryale that had nothing to do with the cold or the wind, or even the binding cloth glued to her body. She looked over at her sister, Stheno. It seemed she was still looking at the carnage below. Or was it…

The young man wrapped in their sister’s coils.

Bright red hair.

A strong body.

A heavy stone sword.

He was the equal of any would-be hero that had sought to conquer their home, slay their sister, and violate their maidenly bodies. As such, he was no match for them.

And he knew it.

He had stopped struggling as Medusa crushed him. One arm had escaped the embrace of her lengths. It clung with determination to that stone hilt, and his eyes held the look of determination found only on those who would never surrender, no matter the odds.

They had seen it all before many times.

Such things were meaningless in the face of the three Gorgons. No hero, even Perseus, had dared to challenge them all at once, no matter the technique or armament they carried. Who amongst mortals could withstand the monstrous Medusa, and her sisters. Their native tongue was the magic men called Divine Words, their status as Gods full. The might of their holy power manifested in their very weapons. They were power. That was all.

With Medusa’s strength, the power of a monster that could slay countless mortals with ease, her eyes that could kill with but a glance, her speed and power, what more did they need?

The hero knew this too, of that, they were sure.

And so they squeezed the life out of him, crushing his body with tremendous strength, grinding him to nothing between the great coils. The sound of flesh tearing as the mighty body peeled it away. The sickening crunch of bone as ribs creaked and caved. The wet snap as the spine broke. And then they fed the broken body to their sister, one of the great serpents swallowing it wholesale as they set to work, speaking spells to restore the ruined flesh of Medusa to its original state, just as they had done after battling the girl and her hound, or the maiden at the church. Prana was no concern, for Divine Words relied solely on the world for energy.

And then the mass beneath them shifted, lurching to the side. Medusa screamed, a nightmare hiss that echoed far into the city, even over the storm’s fury.

Something was wrong.

Very, very wrong.

Far below, hidden in the darkness of their own shadow, something moved.

Twelveseal
March 20th, 2011, 12:42 AM
Longest Night VII

Writhing in the darkness, shielded from the storm and sight by a mountain of dead flesh, a pale shape lurked. Concealed by the behemoth’s own body, a young girl shuddered. Her breath was short, swift, urgent. Her body shook, spasming, spine arcing in the darkness. A soft, low moan. Bare skin pale as snow. White hair, and blood red eyes with bright tears forming. A trickle of saliva escaped her lips.

One might have thought her in agony, her flesh torn open in scarlet wounds. Blood and black ichor oozed along the ground, pooling as more dripped and fell from above, sizzling the tower of meat above with its virulence. But this was most certainly not the case.

Between newly reformed legs, something dribbled that was not blood, nor waste, nor rain, nor the curses of the world. Thick and slow to wash away, it’s heady smell clinging. For Tohno SHIKI, there was one truth spoken by her demonic blood, shared with the boundless sins of man.

Pain was Pleasure.

Coherent thought was gone, her mind racing with lust for the flesh, for pain, for death, for destruction, for murder. She had been ripped to pieces. Her tendons snapped, muscles twisted until they ripped apart, blood sprayed in fountains and organs flung far and wide.

It had been the most exquisite thing she had ever experienced.

Pain was pleasure, be it someone else’s, or her own. She continued to dribble, her body wracked with unnatural passion, even as the flesh reformed from nothing. Over and over again she peaked, every nerve in her body, every cell, violated by the power of the goddesses, each tiny fragment a piece of its own heaven and hell.

It was only a moment, less than a second, but to her it was forever. Her mind could not measure the release. It was so far beyond anything she had ever experienced. Even when she had murdered, even when she had eaten people alive and screaming, even when she had vented her lusts as a man on those who too closely resembled her beloved sister…

Never had it been this good.

She wanted more. More pain. More pleasure. More death.

She slid one shaking, slender hand along the flesh of the fallen serpent. It was dead, as surely as the meat sold in a butcher’s shop. The touch of the cooling flesh brought back some semblance of sanity.

Fuck! Fuck! Again! Do it again!

More! She wanted so much more!

She clutched the knife still. Her right hand had clung to it in a death-grip. It had been one of the last pieces to return before she was whole. By the time it reached her, she had already grown a new hand instead.

It had been less than a second. The tide of ecstasy had taken longer to recover.

She flipped the grip on her knife. She wasn’t done. Oh hell no!

This was only the beginning! She chuckled in the darkness. It was a throaty sound, vulgar and lewd. It was a sound full of lust that should not exist in a body so small.

She crossed her arm over her shoulder and slammed the blade forward, piercing the back of her hand and driving the cruel weapon into the dead flesh beyond. She moaned again, the pain turning to heat deep within her. This was so much greater than in life! But why!?

Black filth oozed out of the wound with the blood, and she understood. She had willingly taken in more than her share… As the Serpent had before it, the dark passions of her new possessor ran wild within her. This… this was but a manifestation of that. Her own sins, her own lusts, driven to depths of power beyond her own understanding. Fear and desire had become her sword.

Blood flowed from the joining, mingling in the darkness, hidden from sight and storm by her victim. Darkness flowed from one wound to the next, sin and blood and madness. And where it touched, cancer grew.

An unholy tumor festered in the dead flesh of the Gorgon, even as it hung limply from her still living body. This was a curse, surely. But this did not come from a demon.

This was a curse from a vampire.

This was the curse of the vampire.

This was slavery. This was eternity. This was death.

It forced its way into Medusa’s veins, corrupting all it touched. Each drop of blood poured out was another lightning bolt of passion up SHIKI’s spine. Drool ran from her mouth, her body shaken over and over from within.

This was the consummation of Demon. Of Vampire. Of Angra Mainyu. What mind could withstand it? She was breaking again… The sound of her own mind cracking as she drove the sins of the world and her own vampiric blood deep into the dead flesh of her foe, conceiving a new unholy life within.

The head of the serpent, split in half by her blade, stirred. Filaments of blood and filth leapt across the void, drawing the two halves together in union. And still SHIKI poured forth her blood. Every drop restored the instant it left her, only the blade steady jerking kept it flowing. The moment it was withdrawn, it would close again.

She shuddered one final time, twisting the knife sideways and ripping it free, joyously slicing off her own fingers. New ones grew the instant they left her hand.

She reached up, sinking claws into her own shoulder, raking her flesh with restless fury. Blood sprayed into the air, only to halt in mid-flight. The droplets hovered in the night, and then fired, each one a bolt of ruin seeking to invade the dead tissues of the Gorgon, even as the vampiric force within the first continued to spread. All too soon…

The Gorgon screamed, a keening sound somewhere between a hiss and a screech. Her whole body listed to the side as the corrupted flesh met living god and warred for dominion. That sound of pain, the connection to her new familiars, the slain serpents…

These too sent waves of pleasure through her.

She leapt, twisting in midair, to lay flush against the newly made Dead. The titanic serpent rose, turning against its own body as a mindless corpse enslaved to her will.

Reason had returned, but the lust was still there. Avenger stood and watched as the creeping death passed over a head which held an odd thing. Six black blades protruded from its sides, as if…

Twelveseal
March 20th, 2011, 12:42 AM
Longest Night VIII

Most.

Disgusting.

Thing.

Ever.

He had been eaten by a freaking snake. What the fuck!?! It had come out of nowhere, took one shot at him, and swallowed him whole. And now?

Now he was stuck in the damn thing’s throat, lodged in there with a bunch of Black Keys, while Nanako, still shaped as a pile-bunker, was clutched in his clamped legs. Seriously not fun. She was freaking heavy! And to make matters worse, the throat kept convulsing, trying to swallow them deeper as it squished them. Plus, the fluid oozing out of it stung.

Not to mention he was in a damn snake. This was not cool.

How come Shiki didn’t have to put up with this kind of thing? What, he probably just waltzed in, poked some asshole with a pocket-knife, and got his fill of women. And they kept coming back, too! Where was his luck in that! He had a horse, and he had gotten kissed by a half-drowned girl that probably thought he was someone else… Shit!

Oh God! It burns! The damn thing burped!!! What the hell have you been eating besides me!?!

Ahhh fuck! The snake had started to move, compressing in painful ways, widening the holes the keys had made. This was baaaaaaaaaaaaaad! Shiiiiiiiiiiittttt! Stop moving you daaaaaaaaaaaamn monsteeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrr! He was gonna be sick. That was it. He’d puke, and it would spit him out. Sorry Nanako, sacrifices had to be made. He’d give her a sponge bath later. Wait… Damnit. Bad thoughts. Why the freaking horse again!?!

Ummm. Arihiko-san? Something’s poking me. “Just forget it.” Please just forget it. And don’t say anything else about it to anyone, ever. Eveeeeeer.

He had to get out of this thing, but he couldn’t make it gag. And he really didn’t want to go out the other way.

And then the snake lunged, the passage tightening. It felt like the air, which wasn’t exactly that great to begin, you know, had just been squeezed out. Both from the inside of the snake, and the inside of him. It felt like he was gonna die right there, crushed by snake guts. Now that… that was a hero’s death. Like the ninety-nine guys who went to go slay the dragon before the Chosen One got it.

Why did he feel like Shiki was the Chosen One right now? Not good.

What the…? Shiiiiiiiiit!!!!

The head crashed with a mighty thud into the ground, tossing everything inside it. It had stopped moving around, sure, but the insides kept twitching. What the hell!? Had somebody killed it? He smelled blood from the way he had come.

Looks like it. Guess Shiki really was the knight in shining armor, huh?

But nobody got him out. Nobody came to cut him out, and he could still feel the limb dragging some. The snake was attached to something, of that he was sure. It kept trying to pull him up instead of down. So whatever it was stuck to was still moving. Maybe that meant…

Had it killed Shiki!?!?! Oh shit, dude, be all right!!! Don’t die on me bro!

And then something strange happened. The flesh withered, and something, some presence flowed forward through the meat around him. It was alive but…

It felt so familiar. So wrong. What the hell was this crap?

It’s a vampire! Someone must have killed this serpent and is turning it into a vampire of some kind! Wut?

He had been swallowed.

By a vampire.

Oh hell no.

Did this mean he was going to turn into a vampire too!?!? “Nanakoooo!!! Am I infected or what!?!” No. You weren’t bitten, Onii-san. You should be fine, so long as you don’t drink any of its blood… “Ok, so is this going to make getting out any harder?” Actually… umm. It might make things easier? You should know a Litany for Baptism from our connection. If we baptize the vampire… It’ll die. At least, that’s the way he figured, anyway.

Alright! Time to kick vampire ass!

Twelveseal
March 20th, 2011, 12:46 AM
@Mr. Tags: I'm not telling just yet what mechanic goes into SHI-kun's regen, but I will say this. She regenerates more HP in a single turn than her HP total. And she has Battle Continuation. Lol. Fun times!

ItsaRandomUsername
March 20th, 2011, 01:12 AM
Combat is still orgasmically good.

Wise-ups imminent?

Twelveseal
March 20th, 2011, 01:14 AM
Eh, I guess I should do a Wise Up, huh? Time to start Cracking.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 20th, 2011, 01:24 AM
Weabo moment:
GAMBATTE!

Twelveseal
March 20th, 2011, 01:58 AM
Hey, no problem. It may take a while though. Some of the abilities are going to have changed slightly. After all, my game system is still evolving. I've got about 40 Sub-Talents of Magecraft now, and about 130 Talents altogether. Plus, I'm reforming the way I handle Noble Phantasm purchases. The sheer Rank of some of the old NP's I had were insane. Changes were needed. Don't expect the NP's to be up just yet.

Oh, and this time around, I'll be posting Master Character sheets as well, given enough time.

Twelveseal
March 20th, 2011, 02:00 AM
Longest Night IX

His body was broken. His bones had been crushed, ground to shards and spread through his body, cutting into muscle. His joints had all been dislocated, everywhere but his neck, head, and right arm. His liver was shot. So were both kidneys. His spine had snapped in two places. He couldn’t feel his legs. His ribs had collapsed in wards, piercing both lungs. His heart was intact, but it was made of sterner stuff than mere flesh and bone.

Everything else was…

With what strength he could muster with his one working arm, he had twisted the heavy blade of Heracles into crude plug, wedging the point and pommel on opposite sides of the throat. He had braced himself as best he could, but it wasn’t doing much good.

The muscular action of Medusa’s throat was enough to loosen the dull blade with each contraction. She’d swallow him soon enough unless he did something fast. The irony of this situation was not lost on him. In another lifetime, he had even made love with this creature. And now… Now she was trying to swallow him in an entirely different way. At least Sakura wasn’t here to see this.

Then again, this one wouldn’t know about the irony. She’d just see the horror. And that was something he couldn’t allow. She had seen too much already. The only wish that man had was to see her smile again. To truly see her smile.

Right now, though, that was a long way off. But at least he had an enemy he could face now, instead of just some nameless fear and unknown assailants. The Gorgons clearly weren’t allies of these people, and while that really didn’t mean anything, his experience told him that they weren’t his enemies. It was strange that he had only come to this realization now. He liked to think he had gotten better on the uptake than he used to be.

He didn’t really have time for this kind of thing, though. He only had one good hand, and the only thing keeping him alive was that scabbard lodged in his bones. He was channeling Prana into it, trying to make it work faster, but there was only so much he could do without tracing that sword. And that was something he couldn’t afford to do right now. He needed something quicker, less consuming. Something more efficient. Ruthlessly so.

An elaborate sword formed in his mind, a twisted, treacherous blade that embodied secrets stolen and secrets kept, a hypnotic Damascus whorl crafted from a weapon he had once wielded himself. It was a short sword, its blade shaped to catch others, its guard an elaborate basket. This was a blade meant to be used for protection, the teeth at its back making it a swordbreaker. It was a blade made to ruin other blades. It was a sword with power over warriors. And the technique it carried…

He whispered words that had already rung in the open air that night. Words of healing from a tongue long lost to mortals, with a speed near that of the gods themselves.

And his body responded. Wounds closed, bones knitting back together perfectly. Every shard was returned to its rightful place, every drop of blood and bruised tissue restored. It was a healing spell of the highest caliber, lost to the woman who had wielded the original. But in his hands… All secrets were revealed. Only one blade had every escaped his scrutiny wholesale, and only one still kept secrets from him. This was neither.

He thought for a moment. Should he drive the blade into the flesh of this Medusa? Should he sever her? Somehow, he doubted that would work.

He could tell that the three here were one spirit. If he severed the connection of one, the other two would restore it just by existing. That type of gambit was ineffective here. No. Something else was called for.

Yes, that…

But how? The space was too small for…

And then he felt it. His time was up. His body shifted, collapsing in on itself. Lean muscles gave way to soft, smooth skin. His bone readjusted, and flesh rearranged. He had reverted. He was a she again. It seemed that creation of hers really did end after a while. If he wanted to… Ahem. Yeah. He’d need to get some more. Which meant he’d need to do some dealing, or some Tracing. Honest was always better. And she didn’t seem so bad, really.

Well. On to other things. More pressing matters. Like getting out of Medusa’s hair. In a situation like this, the best response was a show of brute force.

“I AM THE BONE OF MY SWORD…”

Twelveseal
March 20th, 2011, 02:02 AM
Longest Night X

“Amen!”

Is that all? It was longer than he expected, but where’s the boom? He was still stuck inside as snake. What’s that hissing sound? And then it was past, and he was laying on the ground, streamers of pungent smoke billowing into the air as the monstrous thing thrashed and writhed, its substance already dissolving into ash that was quickly swept away into the whirling winds. Fire continued to race up the corrupted limb, burning away the taint and leaving only the untouched stump.

It was…

Awesome!

Hell, he might convert! That ruled! I hope so! Maybe we can work together She was giggling in his head. Heh, that might be nice. Or not. Ok, note to self. Don’t get too caught up in the moment. Now then, what the hell is going on out there?

Let’s see, big freakin’ monster: Check.
Shiki kickin’ ass: No Check. I figured he was out here…
Crazy sword guy: No Check. Maybe the damn thing got him.
Ok, there’s gotta be a vampire out here, right? Something made that thing turn, sooo…

Huh? What’s… A little naked girl.

Huh.

IS THAT SHI-KUN!?!?!

Vampire: Check. Why is she naked…

The little girl leapt around like a flea, vaulting from limb to limb as bolts of light and force rolled out, blasting away at her and the monster’s growing undead tissue. Now that…

That was badass. She was fast as hell. He wouldn’t have thought there was anything to the little brat, but damn! She could move. But what really impressed him was…

The ruin of her left arm. Even from here, the moment he had seen her, he could tell. She had no left arm anymore, and it didn’t slow her one bit. No, if anything, she seemed faster for it. But even that paled in comparison when he finally saw what was in it’s place.

Where her arm had been, there was only a pulpy mess. As he watched, it healed. Or tried to. He could tell it was healing. His new awareness was more than enough for that. The Curse of Restoration, the Immortality of a vampire. No, somehow, she was able to change the shape and nature of her own body as it grew back, turning the ruin of her body into deadly weapons. Titanic claws of blood and bone, scythes of living tissue, hung in the night air, plunging down and anchoring her, allowing her to balance and leap with impossible skill. Their huge forms were attached to a multitude of tentacles of sinew and muscle and blood, twisting and writhing like serpents of her own. Those serpents dripped black venom that ate away to the flesh of her foes with brutal efficiency, so that scales and hide sloughed off in strips to crash into the sand below.

And wherever those morbid weapons killed, the flesh turned to undeath. The blood of a vampire was its curse, and her weapon was blood itself. Dead flesh became the vessel of unlife…

Even from there, he could here that girl laughing like mad, her voice heated. It sent a shiver through him. Was it a thrill of fear, or… No. Not that. It was probably disgust. Yeah. Had to be. No way in hell that was hot. No. Never. Nada. What!?

A voice echoed in the night. It was low, but insistent. He heard it even for the storm and the battle. Maybe he would have missed it if he hadn’t been standing like an idiot while SHI-kun went to town. It was the voice of a little girl.

“I AM THE BONE OF MY SWORD [Steel is My Body, and Fire is My Blood]” He could feel it. This was just like when that sword-freak had used the red blade… But this was way more powerful. Just… just what the hell was that!?

All of that Prana was churning deep inside the core of one of the snakes, one infected with SHI-kun’s blood. It was starting to…

Oh shit.

The whole thing exploded as a column of light shot into the air. No, that wasn’t a column… It was like a rocket leaving a burned fuel in a trail behind it. That trail was nothing less than a rain of bloody chunks turned to ash instantly. The night sky lit up as a star rose into the heavens. Wow, he wasn’t normally that poetic. But what was it?

It shot up into the night until it hovered above the heads of even the monster and the little girls on top of it. Everything had halted. Even SHI-kun had stopped, not that he blamed her. Hell, this was freaky. That thing had reached its peak and…

It opened.

There was a rasp of steel against steel and sparks fell in a glowing cascade. Red and black and silver… An angel spread its wings in the darkness.

An angel made entirely of blades…

MrTags
March 20th, 2011, 08:48 PM
Go archerko... but not quite archerko... but go anyway sort of archerko archer person! Koarcher? Shirouko? Blade Angel Shirouko. EMIYAKO!

I'll get there sooner or later don't mind me.

Twelveseal
March 20th, 2011, 09:19 PM
Longest Night XI

The wind howled as it passed across razor-edged feathers, muscles of steel. The wind played a song, her body the instrument. It was an eerie, haunting sound. A sad, mournful song for humanity lost, ideals cast aside for the sake of someone’s happiness. She had abandoned the path of self-sacrifice for others, only to find it had not abandoned her.

Her mind raced back through the years, through battles long and hard won. Battles that should never have been fought. Each and every one a conflict to protect a single woman. The woman who had become her everything.

The torment had not ended at the Matou house.

It had only been the beginning.

A woman of peerless magical potential. A woman who was a Holy Grail, holding the deepest secrets of the Einzbern family. A woman who had been tied to the Akasha through the curses of an ancient God, who had carried the souls of fallen heroes, and who still boiled with the Grail’s awesome power, the might of Angra Mainyu.

A woman who could not defend herself.

It had not taken long for the vultures of the Association to come hunting for her, the perfect sample. For the Einzberns to come and claim their stolen secrets and expunge any record of their humiliation. Not even the backing of that Ancestor and her sister were enough to prevent those who hungered for knowledge and power to come for her.

And every time, she had fought them. She would not allow Matou Sakura to suffer anymore. She killed, and killed, and killed for the sake of one person, trampling the ideal she had followed for so long. She knew it was madness. She knew it would never end. Together, the three of them had run, and fought, and run. For an eternity it seemed. Three companions fleeing from an endless pursuit, seeking happiness and a normal life that could never be theirs. Emiya Shirou, no, Emilya, Matou Sakura, and another, they had struggled against the impossible.

But fate was unkind.

And in the end, she had failed. A foe had come for them that was too great. And they had fallen. The last sight of her life, the last glimpse of the living world, had been the first torment of the woman she had sacrificed her body for, her life for, her ideal for.

And she could not stand it.

In that moment, she had called out to the void for one thing. One impossible thing.

Another chance.

A chance to make that girl happy.

And something answered. In return for her eternity in servitude, killing those who defied the greater good, just as she herself had, she would be given another chance. It was one final betrayal. She reached out, and took the hand of the dark-skinned man she could have been. The man who had started it all. She reached for that second chance.

But fate was unkind. And now she stood upon the heavens themselves, looking down at the one person she had come to trust with her life above all others. Looking down at the woman, now but a child. Looking down at the monster, Medusa. The third person who had shared her fate.

The twisted sword in one hand, the stone in her other, her wings tearing the night with power dredged from the stolen secrets of infinite worlds, Archer looked down at the Rider she had once known and mourned silently.

There was no other option. Death.

She let the stone sword fall to the sands below, its weight driving it in to the hilt. In its place was that cursed red blade. Gae Bolg II. She dredged deep into the crystal heart within her, pulling forth more Prana than she could possibly contain.

She had one more technique. How shameful to reveal so many in a single night. Were her foes really that strong?

Yes. They were.

Rider had not used any of her hallmarks, her Noble Phantasms, yet.

And Archer was about to unleash her last secret. But…

The world did remain still forever. Nor did the Gorgons.

The scarlet child was racing up her limbs again, spreading death and ruin with abandon, and it seemed that the priest was free as well. If she were to strike now…

She would die. Of that she was certain. Even if she could strike at them all, a feat well within her scope, she could not kill them all. Those that remained would destroy her before another strike could be made. But…but Sakura! Her mind raced along the bond between them, to see…

She was safe!?

Nothing had been done to her. If anything… she seemed in better condition than before. But… How? Why? Were her instincts really right? Were these people not her enemies?

No. They definitely were her enemies… They also sought the Grail. But for tonight…

She readied the red sword, a Broken Phantasm, drawing it back like a javelin. If she could, she would end this farce of a Rider now! A quick end. It was all she could offer her friend, even though she surely did not know…

The red blade was shot! It screamed through night with a power and speed beyond all reason.

And struck nothing but sand, the result an explosion that dug a titanic crater in the beach, rending the road behind it and ripping the parking lot to shreds. Small shops and restaurants were flattened by the force alone, and even the other warriors vanished in the cloud of sand.

Only to come out a moment later looking…

Sandy.

She wanted to laugh, but it came out as a rasping sound from her metallic throat. It looked so ridiculous, especially after the incredible feats from before.

The priest and the vampire. That’s what that one had to be. Or a demon. Either way, it was funny.

Maybe… maybe it was time to talk.

Twelveseal
March 20th, 2011, 10:06 PM
Longest Night XII

He felt… crusty.

Which stood to reason considering he was now covered from head to toe in sand. He had sand in his hair. He had sand in his new coat. He had sand in his shoes. He had sand in his pants. He had sand in places he didn’t know could have sand in them.

All in all, he was very well acquainted with sand. They could probably get married now, him and sand. At least SHI-kun wasn’t any better. He walked up beside the naked girl, sand plastered to her with blood and sweat and rain. And maybe something else, too. She had been really into it. It… it was kinda hot. Yeah, really don’t need to link hot and this one. Really. Time to change the subject.

“At least you’re wearing something, now.” She turned a look at him that made him want to laugh and cry at the same time. He’d pissed her off again, it seemed. Niiiiice. It was more fun that way. But the look she had next lacked any concern whatsoever. She just turned her head , put one hand to her nose, and…

Proceeded to blow all the sand, and everything else up in there, right onto him. Uhhhh. Did she really just do that!? And now she was…

“Hey, stop wiping your nose with my coat!!!”

Ok, she just lost cute points. M-my dignity!!! She really… EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!! Get it off, get it off, get it off!!! Wait, what?

It wasn’t like it was actually on Nanako, after all…

It IS on me!!! Just what do you think you’ve been wearing! Holy shit. The whole thing was her!? So… He had been inside Nanako this whole time… Kinky. Hold on. Was she hearing all of his thoughts? As in all of his thoughts?

Yup, Arihiiiiikooooo-saaaan! Every thought. Oh God. Hadn’t he thought about…

Yup! Doom.

And why did she sound so happy!?

Heeheeheeheeeee. Bestiality was illegal, right? Even if it was consensual? Wait, was this even… Stop laughing. Stupid mind-reading horse. Stop.

Just.
Please.
Stop.
Laughing.

Ugh.

The only reason that he even had time to contemplate crap like this had to do with that guy from earlier. He was willing to bet that the main reason the snake-thing had taken off wasn’t just any one of them making its life hell, but the combination of them. Still, this guy was the one with the nukeage. If he had been hit with that, he bet he wouldn’t have SHI-kun’s luck. Every time she had taken a hit, she’d healed from it instantly. Hell, she looked like she enjoyed it.

The sword-guy had gone all mellow on them though. He had slowly floated out of the air about a minute after lobbing that thing. And he kept making this weird rasping sound. Hell, he made a weird rasping sound every time he moved, like sharpening a knife. But this…

He was laughing. It finally hit him. The sword-freak was laughing. At them. Not cool. Although…

They did look pretty funny. Covered in sand, soaked. They looked like half-drowned cats. Hey wait… Half-drowned! Oh shit, the girl!

“Hey! Weren’t you supposed to be helping that girl!”

“Relax, dumbass. I did everything I could. She’s fine. Now I own you, bitch.” Ok. Attitude: Check. No need to see if she’s really alright. If she’s that bitchy, she’s fine. “When I get hungry, you’re the main course.” Wut. She’s joking, right? Right?

Whatever. It’s a joke. Has to be.

“I’ll take her back now.” It was a voice completely unlike anything he had heard before. It was as if a garbage disposal had learned how to talk. It sounded like steel scraping steel. Which was exactly what it was, he realized. This dude’s body was actually… Made of swords. Holy shit.

Wait. Who was he going to take…

“The girl inside that house. The one who was here before. She is someone in my care. It’s my duty to take her back to where she belongs. Please, return her, and I’ll leave.” He had no idea if that sounded honest or not. The face looked like a helmet, and the weird voice changed the inflection… It was a really hard tone to read.

So he went with his gut.

His gut told him that this guy was being honest. Maybe it was because he wasn’t carrying a weapon anymore. Or maybe because he had dropped the high ground. Maybe it was because he had said he was sorry earlier, when he had made that thrust.

This guy was alright. That’s what his gut said. Trust him.

“Alright. I’ll go get her. But you better be careful with her, dude. I’ll kick your ass if you drop her.” So. Don’t judge. She had kissed him. Maybe he had a chance. Arihiko-saaaan. Please no. He really hoped the horse wasn’t jealous. That would be bad. Very bad. Alright. That was enough. “Off. Now.” Awww.

And the power that had flooded him until now vanished, pouring back out into the world, once again taking the form of the horse he knew and… what else he didn’t really want to think about right now. That way lay madness. Madness I tell you!

As he started to head back he heard SHI-kun start talking to the sword-freak. “So. I guess that makes you hers, huh? You know about the…” But anything else was lost in the storm. He found Shiki leaning on the door, soaked. He had been watching the whole thing as best he could from there. Arihiko wondered just how much he could really see. He’d have to ask him later. “Looks like it’s over now. Seems like that guy from earlier came to pick her up.” He pointed to where the girl lay on the bed, still unconscious.

Damn. He hadn’t even learned her name. It couldn’t end like this, could it? Nah.

He’d always been a lucky bastard. This wasn’t the end. He knew it.

It was just the beginning.

He carefully picked her up, wrapped in the blankets and towels still. Sacchin had been awesome, and gotten a tarp from somewhere that he used to cover her as best he could. It’d be bad if she got worse out there. Even with a little help from the brat, she probably wouldn’t do too well. He had a sudden impulse to kiss her, but… Probably not a good idea, right now.

He hefted her as gently as he could and walked her out to the waiting swordsma…hunh!?! The steel-bodied freak from before was gone. In his place though, was not a short badass, but…

It was another little girl. A little girl with that same long red hair. Those same golden eyes. Fuuuuuuck. He had been getting his ass handed to him by a little girl. That really sucked.

The hand off went fine. The guy, er, girl made no promises, just said thanks and took off. How the hell she carried a girl so much bigger than herself… These people were all freaks. That was it. Just that. And he thought he was weird. Damn.

SHI-kun had already vanished back into the house. She kept saying something about a shower and coffee. He stood there in the rain for a moment, Nanako beside him, thinking. He thought about what had happened so far. About the fight. About Shiki, and Nanako, SHI-kun and Sacchin, the girl with purple hair, and that little sword-freak. He thought about the monster that had almost eaten him. Hell, made good headway on it, too. And after a few minutes in the chilling rain.

“I need to get stronger, don’t I?” He hadn’t said it to anyone in particular. But she answered anyway, even if with just a solemn nod. But then she brightened, a big smile beaming despite the situation.

“But you know what, Onii-san! I like sponge baths!!!” Oh hell.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 20th, 2011, 10:56 PM
Arihiko just scored some points for the Nanako-route. Does he get lucky? Only time will tell.

Twelveseal
March 20th, 2011, 11:00 PM
Longest Night XIII

She had come straight home from school. And why not? She was dead tire, her breasts hurt still, and she had no plans. It would have been fine at that, but she knew she was going to be facing those three demons when she got there.

So she had gone to bed as soon as she got home. This was one fight Mitsuzuri Ayako knew she couldn’t win. A tactical retreat was in order. Especially under the circumstances. She was alone in this fight.

She had completely forgotten that her brother, Minori, had arranged to spend a few weeks at Ryuudouji. It would increase his walking time, which was good for him, but it wasn’t the only training he was getting there. He wanted to impress a certain girl in her club, and thought that it might help. Heh. Maybe he’d offer a little more challenge afterwards.

If the Gorgons didn’t kill her first, that is.

She had only been stuck with them for a day. Not even that, really. And now she could wear nipple rings. They hadn’t eaten much, except her, and showed absolutely no regret or sympathy. Well. The little one showed some. Maybe. It was hard to tell with her eyes covered like that.

She couldn’t help but feel that Medusa was a victim as well, the way they dragged her around, hauled her and tossed her like trash. She felt kind of sorry for her. But she was still creepy.

She took a deep breath, laying where she had flopped. Life had gotten complicated. Very, very quickly. It had all started a few days ago, when she had decided to go shopping with Makidera-san, Himuro-san, Saegusa-san, and a friend of theirs named Sajyou-san. One thing had led to another, and the conversation had wound up on boys and good luck. Astrological signs. Fortune-telling. Superstition. Magic. It had gotten kind of surreal.

She had gotten the feeling Sajyou-san was serious about some of the things she had talked about. Conjuring the dead, seeing the future, people with weird powers and dream visions. It had gotten so… weird. And it hadn’t stopped. She had to admit, she was curious. And so were the others. Sajyou-san knew a lot about the paranormal. But she never gave anything concrete. Never said anything that they could verify. Even so, even with her cagey answers and noncommittal responses, Ayako had felt she was serious. This girl actually believed it. All of it.

And Makidera-san had called her on it. They had tried to laugh it off. Well, except for Saegusa-san. She just looked kind of worried, but…

Sajyou-san had taken it as a challenge.

In some ways, they were alike. If someone had laughed at her martial arts, she would have proved their value, too. Sajyou-san had taken a challenge of reading everyone’s fortunes. They had stopped at a café at the time, and she had pulled a stack of cards out of her bag. They looked like Tarot Cards, but there were other things in the mix, too. Like she had taken other cards and combined them. They seemed to all have the same back, though. It was like they were all part of a set, but…

She had seen other people tell fortunes with Tarot Cards before, but never anything like this.

What’s more, she was very accurate.

It was kind of scary. She predicted everything from the exact form the change from their drinks would be to, she would find later, Minori leaving the house for his personal training camp. And she could tell she wasn’t the only one who had been pegged. Sajyou–san could accurately predict the future with a set of cards.

So they had asked what any sane girl would ask in that situation. They had asked about their love-lives. Who would they meet, when, where? Would it be true love or something else? Even she hadn’t been immune, though she tried to keep her dignity. Himuro-san seemed like she was disinterested, at least, but… She still asked, too.

But Sajyou-san had refused. Finding soul-mates, to twin flames, or whatever it was she had called them, wasn’t something she could do. They had to do it. She had been able to make predictions on who they would meet, though.

She hated to admit it now, but she couldn’t remember the cards the others had drawn. It was like a fog had filled her brain whenever she tried. She did, however, remember the three cards she had drawn. The High Priestess, a card she hadn’t recognized at all called the Beast, and another unknown card. The Rider. It had really started there. They had wanted to know. Who would they meet?

So she had given them a way to check for themselves. She sketched a shape on a notepad, a paragraph or so of text, and told them to go buy a set of the normal cards and a couple of scented candles or some incense. She said that, if they followed the instructions on the paper, they’d find out. She said an image would appear, and reveal who the person was. But there was a catch.

They had to do it alone.

More people would interfere with the questioning. It had to be alone.

She had held off for a bit. Some people believed that magic was evil, right? And she didn’t want to seem ridiculous… What if it was all a prank? So she had waited. Finally, though, the suspense had gotten to her, and she had gotten the incense. She’d followed the ritual the night Minori had left for Ryuudouji. That was probably why she had forgotten the fact, actually. It helped that her parents were away on business for a while. She had had the house all alone, so there was no problem at all. But she didn’t want to do it there, just in case someone was watching her. She’ snuck onto school grounds after hours. She’d done the ritual in the storage room of the Archery Range, since she had a key and could lock it.

She had followed it well. She couldn’t help but rehearse it in her head. It had become something like an obsession. She wondered if the others had felt the same way, or if they had just laughed it off and gone on with their lives.

Because hers…

The ritual hadn’t done what Sajyou said it would. It worked just fine, yeah. But it didn’t summon some image of her one true love. It had summoned three monsters from Greek mythology to come terrorize her every waking moment with their cruelty and demands. Her life had become, in less than a day, a living nightmare.

They had appeared out of the circle her ‘true love’s image’ was supposed to come from. She seriously hoped that none of these three were her true love. They had stepped out of a glowing circle of raw power that made her hair stand on end. She had felt something move for the first time in her life, something turning that she hadn’t even known existed, and a searing pain had lanced through her upper arm. Blood had dripped onto the store-room’s floor from a mark like three entwined serpents wrapped around her arm.

And then the older sisters had spoken, and she couldn’t do anything but stand dumbstruck. Their presence alone was enough to make her want to obey them. It had taken memories of stories about evil demons that devoured their summoners to keep her from just doing everything they said. They had asked her something then that had left her even more dumbstruck.

“Are you our Onii-chan?”

But that hadn’t been the end. Almost immediately, they had rushed off, this, this look of pure… bloodlust on their faces. She had watched from hinding in stunned silence as the three attacked a small, black haired girl. One Gorgon, she later learned was Stheno, wielded a bronze shield and short sword, rushing in straight and using her shield as much as the sword. The second of the two older sisters, Euryale, had leapt from one roof to the next with skill that shamed any acrobat, using a golden colored bow that shot arrows that sizzled and glowed as they ripped through the air. And the smallest one, Medusa, bounded about like a flea, whirling and turning in midair and on the ground, lashing out with a brutal chain and spikes as long as swords compared to her tiny little body.

Stheno would crush the foe, trying to hold her, while the other two would attack in earnest, firing arrows from a distance or leaping in for sudden, brutal rushes.

But the pale girl had power of her own. She lashed out with brutal claws and a huge black sword, and she was just as fast, no, faster than any of the Gorgons. Her attacks were so strong that even with her shield, Stheno was often driven back, digging ruts in turf with her heels. But that didn’t stop them. Blows rained so fast she couldn’t begin to see them. It was all just a blur of light and sparks as they fought, punctuated by flashes of searing light. The clang of metal on metal, the rattling of chains, the twang of a bow’s string, oh so familiar… It was all so unreal. So impossible. At some point, reality and dreams had merged, and she was there to witness it.

And then the White Hound had appeared. She was frozen even before she saw it. It hadn’t noticed her, but she knew, if it saw her, she would die. But she couldn’t move.

And she had watched in abject, helpless terror, as the Gorgons responded in kind.

She saw Medusa. The monster.

And it was the last thing she remembered before waking up in dojo’s floor. She had no idea how long she had been out. She just knew it was late, and she needed to get home. She had cleaned up the occult items she had gathered, too afraid of what she had seen to throw them away. They might visit some curse on her, after all.

She had hurried home, and gone to bed, only to be awakened to the creaking of the house as someone moved inside it.

The monsters had followed her home somehow. They stood there in the darkness, staring at her with those otherworldly eyes. And they had explained what was going on. About the summoning, the Grail War. Her role as a Master, and theirs as a Servant. She was scared. No. Understatement. She was terrified. The whole world had stopped making sense. Everything she had believed t be true… It could all have been a lie. She had spent hours awake, before sleep had finally taken her exhausted body.

Only to have a morning like that. She had no idea where her “Servant” had gone while she was blacked out. She just knew that they were completely beyond her control. And then her morning had gone like that. It was no wonder she craved sleep. But…

They weren’t home.

She had no idea where they were, but it wasn’t in the house.

She had taken the chance to go sleep. And sleep. And sleep some more. But at some point in the night, she had woken up to an odd sensation. What was…

There was something in bed with her, wriggling its way up her body. She wanted to jump, but instinct told her no. She just waited, and felt. And realized what it was.

A small child was nestled against her.

She looked down slowly, only to find the top of Medusa’s head facing her. The tiny Gorgon had slid under her sheets, and was…

Hugging her? Her small head was nestled against her still sensitive breasts, and she was shaking ever so slightly. She looked… sick. Very sick somehow. Like something horrible had been done to her. She was curling up and…

Ayako couldn’t help herself. Even with what had happened that morning. She wrapped an arm around the little body, holding her.

After a while, the girl’s shaking eased, and it seemed like she had fallen asleep. But Ayako didn’t really know that.

She had fallen asleep, too.

Twelveseal
March 20th, 2011, 11:11 PM
I know it's a bit late, since I'm about halfway through the old material from Proboards, but please, feel free to give your input and opinions. I'd love to hear what people think. What parts do you like most, or least? Which are your favorite characters? Did I butcher somebody's fav personality wise, or is the characterization good?

Comments are welcome. Speculation is welcome. I took suggestions in the old thread, and I probably will here too. Let me know what you like, what you don't, what you want to see.

Also, the original credit for this goes to Dark Pulse. He's the one who started the idea, so it's really his baby. I'm just running its daycare.

MrTags
March 21st, 2011, 03:46 PM
I'd like to help on that but I'm a more speculation/reference person myself. I get so caught up in a fic that I typically don't catch things like slight alters in personality. If it was anything bad I couldn't read the fic so I suppose that's something.

Everyone so far is acting within specifications given their situations and basic personalities. I'm a bit to caught up to notice anything further though.

Twelveseal
March 22nd, 2011, 01:39 AM
Ooooooh... Whahahahaaaaa! I'm up to that chapter! Insert evil grin here... Seeing as I'm at this one, I think I need to add the porn tag to my first page. Some of you may remember it...

Twelveseal
March 22nd, 2011, 01:50 AM
Longest Night XIV

He hurt. Everywhere. His whole body burned from head to toe. His muscles spasmed irregularly, twitching a writhing, and lancing spears of pain made him want to curl up into the fetal position. He shook, agony taking up the most of his world. Every so often, a groan made it out of his tightened throat.

He hurt everywhere. Even in places that didn’t exist anymore.

Was this what that stupid girl had put up with!?

For the first time in his life, Matou Shinji was starting to understand what it meant to be a magus. What it meant to be willing to sacrifice for power, for ability. For the first time in his life, he understood that being a magus meant one thing above all others.

Pain.

Shit it hurt!!! He just wanted it to end, and no matter how many times he yelled at it to stop hurting in his head, the pain never listened. It just kept on as the worms crawling through his body made a home for themselves in his soft flesh. He felt every wriggle, every bite, as the maggots squirmed inside him. It hurt. It just kept hurting, never lessening. The only reason he could even think was because the pain was steady. If it had throbbed…

Blood trickled out of his nose, out of one of his tear ducts, and the young girl sitting beside him wiped the rivulets away with a soft cloth. It felt like sandpaper against his agonized skin. Drool was beginning to pool on his sheets. He had long since lost control of most of his body.

He couldn’t feel his legs. He couldn’t feel most of his lower body. But he was still alive. Still breathing. The only places where he felt no pain were the spots where Avenger was rubbing one of her creations into his skin. She dabbed soft cloths into bowls of strange-smelling things, pushing the rags against his body gently. In those places, there was a cool, electric tingling. That was the only way he could describe it. Every so often, Avenger would mutter something to herself, but he couldn’t make out what it was.

Matou Shinji was scared.

He had lived in fear. Fear of Zouken, fear of being inferior, of being humiliated. He had lived in fear of rejection, of not meeting the standards he had set for himself. Of not being worthy. No matter how many times he had said otherwise, he knew he was a failure. So he had grasped at every chance he had. And he had hated everything that denied him. He still did. That would never change. After all, he was better! He was just plain greater than the common man. Hadn’t the lineages of Magi throughout the world been the guiding light of knowledge, wisdom, and power through the ages? They had taught the greatest of men how to live their lives. They had been respected. They had been feared.

And fear was something he could understand.

He was a part of that class. Those sacred rulers of the world. Even if he had been born with this shit body that couldn’t do any kind of magic, he had studied. He knew more about Magecraft than that girl ever would! He was worthy. He knew it. He had begged for the chance. Just one final chance to prove himself. Let him try, he had asked. He had raged at the old monster. And finally, with that cruel smile, Zouken had relented. He had been allowed to try. And he had succeeded. Against all expectations, to the utter shock of that piece of shit worm, he had succeeded. The look on the old fucker’s face had been priceless.

Matou Shinji had summoned a Servant.

Sure, it had been a really basic ritual. Just Formalcraft. But it had worked. And the old fart had eaten crow! If he could have moved his face, he would have smiled.

But it had gotten better. Or so he had thought.

His Servant, Avenger, had wanted to know what his wish was. He didn’t care what hers was, even though she had told him. Some crap about saving the world. Hah! Like the world needed saving. It was just fine! But that was beside the point. She had asked, and he was happy to tell her. He had wanted to be a magus. A real one worthy of inheriting the Matou tradition. He had tried, but…

Zouken had always stopped him. The old worm had always kept him from delving into the real secrets. He had taught himself a little, but he needed a real teacher. Someone willing to reveal the real secrets of the world to him. Whenever he had delved into something that was really promising, the book would vanish. And Zouken would just smile at him. That evil, knowing smile…

But when Avenger had heard his wish, she had told him something unbelievable. There were forms of Magecraft that didn’t use Circuits at all! Divine Words and Unified Language. And others that barely used them. Things like Formal Craft, which he had known a little about, Alchemy, and other, stranger things. She knew about so much! And she said that, if he wanted to, she could make him a Magus that very night. He would just have to wait.

Sakura and Zouken would stop her, after all. They couldn’t allow him to surpass them, right? They knew he’d exact revenge on them for all of the consdescension, all the insults, all the denial. They knew he’d give them what they deserved for taking away what was his by blood! It was his, damn it! He had always succeeded at everything he did. He bet that in just a couple of days, he’d be able to squash that bug of an old man, and show that girl her place once and for all. He wouldn’t kill her. Oh no. As much as he resented her, he still remembered how he’d felt when she first got there. No. She’d spend the rest of her life making it up to him, though. He’d have her whenever he wanted her, however he wanted her. And she wouldn’t be hanging around Emiya-kun anymore, either.

She was his.

And only his.

With that kind of thing in mind, he had listened to what Avenger had told him. She would give him a spell in the form of a potion. He would go down into the basement, and drink it. And then he would let the worms touch him. She said it would hurt, but that didn’t matter to him. If it hurt to be a magus, he’d just have to bear it. Otherwise, how could he ever be good enough? Even if he had been born to the family, he was still like those others… He had to do it. That was all.

But first, there was something Avenger had to do. She had to get rid of the opposition. She had to remove Zouken. So he had told her which room the old man was staying in. He had come back home for the War in the winter, even though it was here a few months early. But she had used some kind of charm, anyway, and tracked Zouken somewhere else entirely. He had been in the basement.

He had been in that girl.

Avenger had drunk some of her own potions, had walked right in past all the worms, and not one had reacted to her. He had watched, having had some of the same stuff. She had unstoppered another one of those things she made, knelt down over that girl’s naked body, and shoved her hand right into her chest. It had slid in easier than he did. And she hadn’t done a thing to her. It’s not like he had worried or anything. The girl deserved it, if something happened to her, but… He had still felt a little nervous. It must have been the basement. Or maybe he was a little turned on. She was naked, and kind of cute. A slut, but still kind of cute. Yeah, that had to be it. He must have been feeling horny, or something.

When she had pulled her hand out, she had dragged out this tapeworm thing that thrashed around and dropped it in a jar of liquid she had carried with her, sealing it in. The girl hadn’t moved at all. She had slept through the whole damn thing. Shit, it was nasty though. It was like that old American movie, with the aliens.

She had come out of the basement with that thing while the girl’s Servant, some cute redhead, ran around cleaning the house like a real woman. Now that was something he could appreciate. And he didn’t even have to tell the little bitch.

But anyway, Avenger had nabbed the old bug, and shoved in preservatives. He had just wanted to squish the thing, but she had pointed out that he knew a lot of shit, so he had agreed to keep the worm around. And so they had waited. He had gone to sleep, and Avenger had gone back down into the basement. She said something about setting up shop. Hell, if it helped him become a magus, go right ahead! He’d wanted to start right then, but the girl might get in the way. Or her Servant, really. So he had waited. He hadn’t been happy, but he had waited.

And then she had woken up, and gone over to that asshole’s house like always. He knew that guy had to be banging his woman, but he’d let it slide for now. After all, he had more important things to do! He’d get him back later for stealing that girl, and especially for hitting him. But right then, he was about to become a Magus! Who knows? He was feeling charitable. Maybe he wouldn’t do anything to Emiya-kun, after all. She had told him to strip, and had taken and folded his clothes for him.

He had gone down into that hole full of confidence, but…

When he had faced the worms, and thought about how much that girl screamed down there sometimes… He felt nervous. Just a little. Just a little bit. Not much. Really. Stop with that look already. He had asked her about it, alright? She had told him it would be fine. Every time he had asked.

He had drunk the thing Avenger had given him. At first it hadn’t done anything, and the worms had started to wriggle in closer. The nasty things were pretty fast, considering.

And then he had started to feel really sick. He started getting chills, like the room had turned into a freezer, but he was sweating really hard, and… and…

His dick felt cold. Really cold. Like he had outside, in the winter, naked. It started to pull in, like it was cold. But it didn’t stop. He felt like he was melting inside, all over, and he puked. It felt like his insides were being pulled apart. He had looked down, his vision blurred, and felt this intense pain in his crotch all the way up into his stomach. His dick… was…

It was gone, his crotch splitting open into a soft pink slit. It was the single most painful thing he had ever experienced. It hurt so bad he hadn’t been able to scream. His joints burned and popped as his abdomen exploded in agony. He had dropped, right there, doubled over in the most excruciating pain he could imagine. He couldn’t move. He couldn’t talk. He couldn’t think. The only thing passing through his mind was ‘I have to get away.’ It was an instinct. But he couldn’t even remember what he needed to run from.

Until it was too late.

The worms had found him.

Or should he say the worms had found her.

She had felt blunt bodies pushing against her ass, against the new slit, driving into the openings. And still her body wouldn’t respond. She had tried as they slithered over her, filthy, disgusting bodies writhing against her hot skin. She had felt the first one, thick and grotesque delve past the lips. Into the new opening. It burned! It was pressure forcing her open, and it kept going. It just kept wriggling in deeper. She had felt pain, but also this disgusting heat, and she wanted to scream.

She was scared. Really scared.

More of them had started, her ass aching as they wriggled in places they should never go. Her new hole… It had stopped. The thing had…

Pain erupted in her body as the thing breached her, sharp teeth biting through. It bit in, and kept going, heading deeper into her new folds.

That was enough. It hurt enough to get her body moving again. She finally managed to scream as they went for her face, her body lurching upwards from the warm, wet floor. She staggered, the writhing things eagerly slithering along after her. She kept screaming, one long continuous, shameless scream. She had lurched up and out, still feeling the agony as the things wriggled deeper into her. Her body didn’t want to move, it kept trying to lock up again, but adrenaline and fear and pain wouldn’t let it. No matter how crude the movement, she had climbed those steps!

And she had made it to the top, Archer and her own Servant waiting, Archer’s face a mask of some indescribable emotion. Let her out, just please let her out!!! It hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt.

They were crawling in her flesh, tearing through walls and places that never should have been there in the first place and it hurt and hurt and hurt and oh god just end it just let her die just let it end please stop hurting just let her lay down and die!!!!!!!!!!!

She felt them dig into meat and wrap around bone. Her mind screamed wordlessly at Avenger to help her. But…

“Oooh. It’s too soon, Onii-chan! You’re not done yet!” And she had been hit with a broom, enough force behind it to send her rolling back down the stairs. She felt like she was breaking with every step, but it didn’t stop the pain from the worms. They just dug in deeper. She had rolled back into the swarm, her body crushing some of the putrescent things as she landed. But still the kept coming, covering every last millimeter of her, wriggling into openings new and old alike.
“Avenger-chan will let you know when you’re a Magus, Onii-chan, er. Is that right? Maybe?”

And then it had started to change. The heat from before began to grow, matching the agony, and a new squelching sound started to join the wet sounds of the worms. An all too familiar scent began to fill the dark depths. She could feel that heat rising, spreading, the pain being overridden by a new sensation.

Pleasure.

Lust was filling her in a way she had never understood, even though it hurt and she wanted it to end. She wanted it to continue, too, now. She felt like her own body was betraying her as it twitched to a lewd rhythm, hips rising and falling, the worms eagerly climbing to fill her new cavities, pushing ever deeper, wriggling against soft folds and sending electric shocks of pleasure up and down her spine. Her body dripped clear fluid onto the floor with ever-increasing speed. It ran if streams from her, and the wriggling things bathed in it as they climbed into her.

She felt it rising deep within her, from her very core. I exploded as her back arched. And it didn’t stop. It just kept going. She had climaxed from those foul things, but it didn’t stop. They were driving her mind white with their movements! She had wet herself, but had long since passed the point of caring. It felt so good it hurt! It hurt so bad it was ecstasy! And it didn’t end. Finally after an eternity, her mind had faded completely, and there was nothing.

At some point, Avenger had come down into the darkness, and the worms had fled from her, slithering away into the dark holes they hid in. The young woman Matou Shinji had become lay violated, humiliated and half-broken. Blood and a clear fluid that had turned frothy white at some point during that torment pooled around her hips, as did urine and other filth left from voiding herself in the madness that she had walked into. The air was heavy with the smells of crude humanity.

Avenger had taken the unconscious girl out of that nightmare, and washed her in the bathroom. She had kept slipping in and out of consciousness, so she really didn’t remember it well. Just that Avenger had been very gentle with her. She hated Avenger for that torment, but…

She had brought it on herself, just to hear the words Avenger whispered to her.

“You can be a Magus now.” And she had blacked out again.

She later found out that Archer had helped carry her to her room after she had been bathed, and that Avenger had laid a towel over her and massaged some oils and stuff into her body. Eventually, she had woken up, her whole body hurting, and Avenger had started to massage things into her again. It was at this point that she realized Archer had taken something like she had. The little girl was now a handsome young man that… Her body reacted to that in a way that made her want to be sick. She felt a bit of heat rising in her, even after all, that, and it had made the worms inside her move more. She had had to turn her head so she couldn’t see him in order to get the feeling to go.

She was scared, and it wasn’t going away.

You see, eventually, the potion that had turned her into a woman faded.

And then the pain had really come back. The transformation hurt just as much as before, but now the worms really hurt. It felt like when that first one had bitten through him, except it was all over and he couldn’t run.

What little movement he had managed up till then died. His body stopped working, and Avenger had started in with new things to drive into her body. And she had taken to muttering to herself.

And now here he was, very scared. Very, very scared. But he was scared because he had hope. The things she was rubbing into his skin eased the pain, and he felt like he might be able to move a little. Maybe. She had told him he was a magus. And that was what mattered. So long as the pain ended, it would be worth it. He had to hope for that. The pain would end, he told himself. He would move again. He wouldn’t end up like that traitor that had left them.

But what was it that Avenger kept saying? Over and over again. Every so often. It sounded like…

Cut.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 22nd, 2011, 01:53 AM
Oh lord, It's LoliTATARI!Kohaku?

GAAAAAAAH

Twelveseal
March 22nd, 2011, 01:56 AM
Kihihihihiiii

ItsaRandomUsername
March 22nd, 2011, 01:58 AM
I'm frightened of the Loli Grail War's Avengers, very much so... :p

Twelveseal
March 22nd, 2011, 02:00 AM
Ahhh. But they're soo much fun. Now you know what SHI-kun was talking about, though. That whole "trying to save someone from corruption, but there was already something wrong" thing.

Twelveseal
March 22nd, 2011, 02:08 AM
Longest Night XV

The steady pounding of the rain on the roof of the old mansion hammered out a hypnotic rhythm, something to set a time to. And timing was important. The black shadow of a beast watched her, the familiar of her departed master. Even if he had moved on to other places, he still watched her, still judged her.

He had fled his death, but had left this piece of his mystery behind. In all honesty, she had thought her mentor could not die. But it seemed even Rance-sama could die, under the right circumstances.

The black wolf sat on the floor, watching her finish her preparations. The circle had been drawn. The sigils inscribed, the incense burning low already, masking the scent of wildness that had filled her teacher’s old abode. She had spilled her own blood as a sacrifice, such as it was, and her left hand felt cold from the loss. She thought back to what had led her to this place, this time, this fate.

She had always been a lover of the miraculous. Tales of myth and magic, of epic romances, of tragic fates. The might of legendary heroes, of gallant knights rescuing the weak and innocent from oppression. She had loved it all, every last hero, every battle, every cunning word and plan. The spells of mighty sorcerers had entranced her, the deep and lasting love of the princess and the price.

She had spent her life dreaming of these things. Looking for them. She had sought texts and books, gems and cards, anything that might allow her to connect to that world. She had tried to embody the spirit of the maiden, the knight, and the sage all at once. And she had only half succeeded. She lived in a world that was more fantastic than the real one, she had come to believe. Even if it was only a fake.

But there was always one thing. No matter how much she dreamed, no matter how much she sought, she could never grasp that impossible illusion. It was a dream, after all. Even though she dreamed over and over again of a handsome knight in silver and cerulean that would guide her to the truth, whisk her away to that world of impossible deeds, he had never come. Only in her dreams did she see him, embrace him. No amount of magic texts, of psychic workbooks, of rituals and new age religion, could grant her those dreams.

And then she had met a man.

A man clad not in blue and silver, but in the deepest black. No clean and noble knight, that one. He was a beast, through and through, untamed, wise, dangerous. She wondered if she would have fallen for him, had she not already lost her heart to the knight in her dreams.

The dark man had known her name on their first meeting. He had known so much about her it was terrifying. And so she had asked him if he knew about her dreams, about the knight that ruled them. He had looked at her, his brows furrowed, and then he had chuckled, and said “I do now.” And she had felt like an idiot.

But something he said caught her attention. “You wish to know. I will teach. But on one condition. You will do as I say.” Against all better judgment, she had agreed, and that had been the beginning of her studies.

He had said she would learn only what she already knew, but she had never found out what he meant. She had learned fortune-telling, astrology, and the fundamentals of Magecraft, Formal Craft. She had learned magic from the man, and in return, had become his mouth in the world. For he stayed locked away with his familiars in the darkness. She had met a lot of strange people, and learned of the truth of the places normal humanity refused to look.

It had been sobering.

But still… the romance was still there. She still loved the world of mystery. And now…

Now that romance, that mystery, was finally at her fingertips…

An old book of stories in hand, she began to chant…

“Even I cannot say what will answer.” The wolf spoke in that familiar voice. And then it too faded into the night, and she was left alone with her words.

Tonight, she was sure.

She would meet him, for the first time.

Tonight, Sajyou Ayaka would meet the Knight who was the King of her dreams.

Twelveseal
March 22nd, 2011, 02:53 AM
Summer Day I

The hot summer sun beat down on his back, stinging his neck and darkening his exposed skin. Sweat streamed down his bare back and chest as he continued his labors. The cicadas sang their melody in the mountain air, a steady concert that set a fine rhythm to the work at hand. His muscles tightened and stretched, flexing as he lifted another box of texts and set it with its mates. Few who knew him would have recognized him immediately. One did not often think of such definition and muscle tone in the quiet, Student Council Presidential hopeful.

But then, Ryuudou Issei was very well suited to inherit his father’s position as the Priest who presided over Ryuudouji. After all, it was a temple renowned for its history in the Martial Arts, said to have been taught by a dragon, no less. How could he not devote himself to such a practice? Even more so with Kuzuki-san staying there. He felt that man was an example for himself. And so he had pushed himself even harder since Kuzuki-san had come.

Perhaps this had something to do with why Issei had devoted so much of his summer vacation to doing extra work around the temple. There were always many tasks around Ryuudouji, great and small, that aided in the quest for enlightenment the monks sought. Labor was a means of focusing the mind, in the end.

The task that he had chosen to focus on had been a thorough cleaning of some of the unused outbuildings. The temple had once been more popular, and had many structures that were no longer needed. Most of these had become storehouses for gifts and offerings to the Buddha, or as a means of separating their owners from worldly ties, as well as ceremonial implements, worn or damaged texts, statues, and tools.

The sheds and outbuildings were as often as not filled with random junk visitors had left behind. The priests were somewhat obliged to keep it, in a sense, though it had mostly been a matter of practicality. Just what exactly were they supposed to do with unwanted gifts? Not to mention having to take it all down the mountain. Some of the things were quite large, such as one large, heavy, oxidized copper Buddha from Thailand that… Well, there really was no practical way to move it. He wasn’t even sure how it had been brought up the mountain. It had been there longer than he had, after all. Supposedly it had been resting in the same spot for nearly five decades. No one had been able to move it safely without a massive concerted effort.

The monks had kept a general consensus that it was safer to leave it there, just in case it toppled while they tried to shift it to a better location.

It had been while working on the furthest shed he knew of, that he had first noticed it. Issei had lived on the temple grounds all of his life. He believed that he knew them better than anyone save his own family. He had run through the forest as a child, crawled in the great cave on the back of the mountain, and splashed in the dragon’s lake, the dead volcano’s caldera. But this…

He didn’t remember this building. It felt… familiar, but he couldn’t remember ever exploring it.

Nestled behind the tree line surrounding the lake, hidden within a thick copse of the forest, there was one more building. At first, all he could see was faded wood, warped by rain and faded by the passage of the ages. But his curiosity was getting the better of him. He kept getting closer, and more of it came into view.

It was an old, old building. It looked like it might be as old as the main temple, part of the original construction… But why here? It was so far from the main grounds. The door was unusual, too. It had been built heavy, as if to resist outside interference. It seemed to deny anyone who would enter. However…

It was old, and the door had sunk as the building had settled over the years, popping of the heavy hinges. If there had been a locking mechanism, it had long since fallen away. It may have been a door more like those of a sentry post than a shed, but it hadn’t stopped nature in the least.

It hadn’t taken much to pull the door open, though he couldn’t get it all the way thanks to the overgrowth. Once inside, though, he had wished for a flashlight. However, enough light trickled in through cracks in the walls to see, and…

It was a treasure trove of junk.

Weather worn and ruined wall scrolls, books, sutras, manuals, records, all faded blank and molding, written in dialects so far out of date it was almost like another language. Where it could be read at all for the wear. Ancient ceremonial tools, wooden parts worm-eaten, metal rusted, cloth frayed and crumbling.

He could tell this had once been a storehouse for the temple when it had been much younger. How long had it been undisturbed, he wondered? The building itself needed heavy restoration, well beyond his ability. He wondered if Emiya-san was any good with this sort of thing. He had a knack for repair work. Maybe… No. He had a feeling that would be asking too much. He hated to impose on his friend like that.

The floor creaked ominously under him as he carefully explored the place. It was deceptively large, much of it hidden in the woods. He was starting to realize…

This wasn’t a shed at all.

But… what was it?

It had tools for ceremonies, what appeared to be books of Koan, piles of ruined cloth… And, at the very back…

A small shrine.

No Buddha sat there. No Bodhidarma.

There was a statue made of what had to be pure jade. Even over the years, in the weak light, it seemed to shine, its milky green and white surface beautiful, its sinuous curves entrancing.

It was a dragon.

He felt a presence then, the senses honed from years of study to become the successor of the temple alerting him. There was something there, watching him in the half-light. It was the first time he had experienced such a thing. As a novice still, he had not developed the higher faculties the senior monks displayed, so why did he feel…

It was gone. Whatever it had been, not a single person had been there. It was as if some ghost had been watching him. Judging him.

Instinct told him to run, but…

Whether he was aware of it or not, Ryuudou Issei had set a task for himself. He was not a person to shirk such a task. He would see what lay on that altar.

His feet brought him across the groaning floor, but he dug into his center, finding the concentration he had cultivated. He drove away images of the floor collapsing, dragging him into the unknown. He cast aside images of ghosts rising up to exact terrible revenge for his trespass.

The focus of his mind had become the jade dragon. Because now, he had realized what it really was.

It was a box.

The dragon was affixed to the lid of a lacquered black box. It was about half a meter long, and maybe a quarter of that wide. It was only about as deep as it was wide, the jade dragon resting low on the lid, its sacred pearl clasped in its mouth, as if it were speaking wisdom.

The box was perfect.

It showed no sign of age… No weathering, as if some power had kept it intact. But that couldn’t be right. The tales of the dragon were just legends. Still…

Perhaps it was a joke. An elaborate joke.

But…

He couldn’t resist. He took the box.

There were no enraged screeches, no sudden attacks, no traps of springing jokes.

Just the sound of the cicadas in the growing twilight.

The box felt warm in his hands, its weight filling him with a sense of reverence. This was something sacred, he could tell. Should he give it to his father?

He thought for a bit about that as night approached. His father should have it, after all, but… He was a very traditional man. Issei felt that its trappings as something that may well have served as a focus for the worship of the legendary dragon might not sit well. It could end up back in storage again, whatever wisdom it held lost again.

How did he know it held wisdom? Intuitive understanding was more important than simple communication. He understood what the box was, what it contained, without even confirming. There was no need. He felt that this was, in a sense, the Lamp that had been passed to him by a great teacher.

He decided to observe it first. The Buddha had chosen which lessons his disciples received according to their own choices and aptitude. That he had found this, it meant that he was supposed to be the one to open it, right?

He had taken the box to his room, hoping to find an atmosphere of peace, quiet, and solitude. He felt it was important to have an environment suited to meditation. He reached for the box’s lid, pushing back thoughts of Urashima Taro, and gently slid the lid open.

There were no outpourings of otherworldly spirits, of strange creatures, cursed vapors, or all the evils of the world. Only the faintest scent of stale air and… books. The smell of books. Or old paper and binding.

Inside the box was a collection of books. There were traditional folding books used for Sutras, some small, others quite thick. There were books bound in the Japanese style, with thin covers threaded with string. There were narrow cases of bamboo, doubtless holding scrolls. Lining the bottom were countless tiles… fine, nearly flat wooden tiles with images carved into them. They looked like… print blocks? What was he looking at?

He gently lifted one of the Sutras, fearing it was old and might tear of crumble in his hands, but… It was certainly old, yet it felt as solid as any modern copy. This had to be fake. No matter how well sealed that box was, it couldn’t keep these in such a condition. Could it?

The text in his hand appeared to be the Lankavatara Sutra, a copy of the text said to be the foundation of Chan, and therefore Zen, Buddhism. There was a power in it. Just holding it… It was as if the folded sheet of paper were alive. There were others. The Diamond Sutra, the Heart Sutra, Surangama, and an impossibly thick copy of the Platform. There was a Japanese bound book of Koan. What was this!? It was like… And then he found the manuals.

A martial arts technique.

A fighting style that seemed to incorporate elements of Shotokan, and… something from the west. Something that didn’t feel like any form of Karate he could recognize. It felt like it was Chinese… From the south, perhaps? Hadn’t Chan formed in the south? He understood at that point. It was not like, but rather, was…

Ryuudou Issei was holding the foundation of Ryuudouji itself.

The Sutras, the Mantras, Precepts, Dharmas, Koan, even the martial art said to have been founded by the mountain’s dragon patron.

And that was not even everything. The box contained sheaves of thin scrolls, depicting practices that lay outside of Buddhism, things that were like religious rituals, but… He did not know what those were. The only thought that made sense to him was that the monks of Ryuudouji had once performed miracles. Was this what was called Houjutsu? He scanned the sheets, the odd script written in archaic dialects. The diagrams, the concepts and ideals, the states of mind and body… It was a sort of meditation. A meditation performed with the whole of the body, in a single moment, and then released.

There were images of such things in the martial arts manuals, as well, of techniques with states of mind and being, as if the form itself were a form of meditation.

He had devoured the knowledge in those texts, reading those texts with eyes accustomed to deciphering inner meanings and intention. He had studied copies of older texts before, seeking to avoid errors brought on by translation. It was not easy, but he could still read them.

He lost himself in that. He missed a meal. He read through the night, entranced by the power of the Sutras, their presence. He had finished the Diamond and Heart in under an hour, and impressive feat for one so young. The pocket sized editions were folded back and returned to the box. Sheaves of notes, scrolls on mysteries outside of the Buddha’s teachings… These were read with care. He felt that there was great value in them. The took the principles of Chan and Zen, and then expanded them into a practice. There even seemed to be those that were founded in Shinto, Confucianism, Daoism. It was a collection of lore, taking the scriptures of faiths and pouring them out into a tangible form…

He had missed more than one Zazen, but his father and the monks knew about his cleaning project. They had suspected he might miss some, due to effort or weariness. It hadn’t been anything to worry about, really. But who would have guessed that he was spending that time in such a manner?

He eventually fell asleep in his room, old books spread out where he had left them. A technical manual for the dragon’s style lay on his chest.

Twelveseal
March 22nd, 2011, 03:41 AM
Summer Day II

There is no knowledge which is not power. Words of wisdom. Something worthy to meditate on. The destruction of ignorance within the self was one of the many tasks needed in the path to the Bodhi. There was power in the words Ryuudou Issei had found.

It is said that those who progress down the path of enlightenment often find strange gifts. Abilities far beyond those of the laymen. Perhaps that was what had been contained in those scrolls, those manuals?

It had taken only a little time to develop a measure of skill and control over the secrets of the texts. After all, he had been practicing the forms and meditations all his life. There were only minor differences, as if the lore had been misinterpreted through the passing. Intuition had failed the monks of Ryuudouji in the past, it seemed. But now…

Sweat beaded and dripped from him, the summer sun bearing down with ferocity. The movements of a technique that had faded from the world resurfaced in his form, the star of the world bearing witness. The form was akin to Karate, at first, but… It was more fluid, more elegant. It had the sinuous movements of the Dragon itself, as if the beast lived in the form. Each breath, each step brought forth surges of Ki that he had only felt in the depths of Zazen, when he had shut himself off from the world. The secluded grove, hidden in the woods on the mountain quivered with his power, the illusory sound of rattling chains hanging in the air, waves of heat rippling that had nothing to do with the summer sun..

The technique was alive.

It lived and breathed in the world, guiding his movements through intuition. It was a force of nature, drawing power with every breath, exhaling it through the vessels of his body. The wind seemed to roar with each fluid strike, and in the steps between, the cicadas cheered. The strength of the world flowed through him, even as the art of Houjutsu had begun to take root in his mind.

Issei had continued to study the books he had found in what he had become convinced was a dojo, of sorts. For a reason he couldn’t guess, the whole thing had been abandoned long ago, left to rot. But he power of the arts hidden in that box had kept the laws of the world at bay, and given him the chance to read it.

There had been more in that box than he had first thought. Buried beneath the layers of printing plates, there had been one more book. A record. It talked about the history of the Temple, the founding. It talked about the land of Fuyuki. It talked about the mountain. It talked about foreigners. It had talked about Magi.

It had been a record of a ritual called Heaven’s Feel.

While everything else in the box had pertained to the foundation of his family’s traditions, that one book…

The text had described a ritual that had occurred in that very site, two hundred years before. Three great families, guided by a strange immortal with great wisdom, performed a ritual meant to link the world with the Pure Land beyond the cycle of Reincarnation. The spirits of great men and women were drawn from that land to share their wisdom and power in the endeavor, in some manner, and allow others to attain that truth beyond the illusion of the world. Or something like that. The book was very vague on some important things.

He stopped his movements, sighing. Things had been unnaturally intense for the past couple of weeks. He had lost himself in a discovery that he wasn’t sure he should share.

There hadn’t been any path to enlightenment in the scrolls. The Sutras, certainly. They held a power, what he now thought of as a Mystery, all of their own. But they were little different from the normal texts used in the temple itself. The manuals… maybe. If someone took long enough. It was a valid path, but it alone? No. It was just one step in the path. What he had stumbled on was magic, plain and simple. The scrolls, the manuals, and that record.

It was magic.

It had no place in the path he had chosen to follow. It was a distraction. Though… Well, he wasn’t always the most traditional of followers, was he? A little distraction here or there… It was a failing, but he enjoyed the feeling. And he had to admit, the allure of being able to reach the Pure Land in a single moment… He wondered if that was meant in the traditional sense, or as a matter of the awakening of Buddha-Nature. Either way, it was worth seeing.

Before he had realized it, he had set a new goal for himself.

See the Heaven’s Feel ritual.

But he had read that record all the way through. There were things that didn’t sit well with him. For one, it had devolved into a bloodbath. The three families had disagreed, and fought one another over who had the right to attain the prize. It seemed that only one person could take it, in the end. He wanted to see it, but feared just what might happen, since the power wielded by those involved seemed beyond comprehension. What would happen if such a thing were to occur in the modern day? The secrets he had gained from the other texts were testament to the truth of that thing’s claims. It was real, he was sure. And that made him worry.

Another thing was that a summoning ritual was needed. He had no idea what that involved, though he suspected that it would only require reading those scrolls a bit. But… Just what would appear?

The real issue, though, was the names. The three great families. Einzbern. Makiri. Tohsaka.

TOHSAKA.

That was a name with a lot of meaning for him. He had known that red devil since junior high. She was not someone to be trifled with. The girl was a devil, a devil! She did what she wanted, when she wanted, with little, if any, concern for anyone else. It didn’t matter whether he was used to talking to women or not, that girl was evil, plain and simple. Surely, if she obtained Nirvana as she was, she would despoil it. That was not something he could allow.

It was a sad state. A part of him wanted to see it. A part of him didn’t. But… He knew he had to.

If Tohsaka acquired the Holy Grail, the key to the promised land, it would be the end.

So he had chosen to take a shot. He had used an augury. He would summon a “Servant” when the time was right.

And he would protect the Holy Grail from that red devil.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 22nd, 2011, 03:53 AM
Issei-ARC! :D

Twelveseal
March 22nd, 2011, 03:54 AM
Waking Up

Senpai? Where… are… you?

It was her first coherent thought. The most important thought to her. Even more important than her life itself.

“Sen…pai?” A warm hand gripped hers, gently squeezing. It was a comforting touch, driving away restless dreams of warriors clashing. Soft lips brushed lightly against hers, filling her with a peaceful warmth. Senpai was there. He had come for her.

Senpai had saved her.

She drifted into a peaceful sleep, the strain fever gone, the strain of supporting a battling Servant only a foggy memory. Darkness came, but it was a warm, comforting blanket for her.

She stumbled back to the waking world hours later, a soft bed holding her close. She felt smooth sheets and the weight of a comforter on her bare skin, sliding across her naked body as she shifted. Rain pattered on the roof above. She smelled her own scent, her Nii-san’s, the smell of old lusts. The smell of the rain and the wet earth. It was all so disorienting. The last thing she remembered, she had been on the beach. It was all so blurry…

And then she remembered what she had tried to do.

Senpai had abandoned her because she got in his way, but… That couldn’t be right!

Senpai had saved her. She remembered him. He was there!

His strong hands grabbing her, firm arms holding her and pulling her out of the waves. The feel of his lips as she had kissed him. The feeling of his mouth against hers, so insistent, so desperate… His hands on her chest, his weight bearing down… So much was foggy, so why did she remember…

She felt her body heating at the thought, at the sensations half remembered of Senpai’s touch, of being embraced, of being held and carried, had kissed her so many times…

The heat grew, her nipples stiffening, flush with joy. Senpai had come for her. He had saved her. When no one else would, the man she loved had saved her…

She felt a moistness between her thighs, the memories replaying in her head, making the warmth in her core greater. The sheets brushed her sensitive skin, a small gasp passing her slightly parted lips. She remembered the hand that had held hers in the moments of half-waking, the gentle brush of sweet lips against hers… She could feel it starting to trickle from her slit. She wanted. Ohhh how she wanted. Her body cried out to be filled, a need deep within desperate. It was a deep, demanding need.

Her hand trailed down her body, her skin reacting, tightening at the sensation of her own hand. It slid down of its own accord, pressing against the soft mound between her legs. She could feel the wetness on her fingers. She started to rub, fingers gently gliding over the lips, her body trembling. How many times? How many times had she dreamed of Senpai, had she done this to those dreams? She dreamed of him holding her gently, of his lips on hers, on her neck, gently kissing, his tongue tracing the lines of her throat, her collarbone, the curves of her breasts and her hard nipples. She dreamed of his teeth closing on them, on his mouth kissing her belly, the flesh above her womb, his hands sliding along her ribs and down her arms.

She dreamed of his mouth pressed where her hand even now began to caress, tongue sliding, wriggling across flesh swollen with love and lust. She dreamed of him lapping up the juices that flowed from her, pushing his pink tongue into her.

She dreamed of her legs around him as his manhood pierced her, wished she could give him her first breech. Tears flowed down her cheeks as her fingers moved desperately, her body demanding release from a lust so intense it ached. Her body hurt from the need! She dreamed of his thrusting, slow and deep, to her very core, a hot point that passed in and out of her, the molten bar of his love for her. He fluids poured, her free hand grabbing desperately at the bedding. Her soft moans mixed with the sounds of the rain. Her hips thrust in time with the rhythm of her invisible lover, the tempo of her need, rising from the bed and driving up. Her hand shook furiously, the air filled with wet sounds and the smell of passion.

And then, molten fire from her core, her body arcing, in perfect time with the image of his own release and the heat it would pour into her. Every nerve in her body exploded in pure joy. Her opening clamped down on her fingers like a vice, spasming in the ecstasy of her love for him, fluid boiling forth around her hand. But still…

She didn’t stop. Once was not enough, and her hand continued to twist and writhe, fingers curling to reach the rough places deep within, desperately stroking her weak points. She released again. And again. Her palm ground into her nub, her body shaking as she was rocked by waves of pleasure.

How long she continued, she couldn’t say, but the worms within her had been sated, their lust for her own fulfilled. She lay in the wetness of her own bed, a bed she had never slept in, soaking in the smell of what she had just done and gasping for breath.

She was filled with shame. But also…

She was filled with joy. Joy and love. Because he had come for her. He had saved her.

Her eyes half lidded, she bent her head back and basked in the feelings of a fulfilled body, a soul filled with love.

And looked right into the face of Archer.

Her eyes bulged, her hand still pressed between her legs, the sheets and blanket soaked from her drippings, the room stinking of sex, and she looked right into the eyes of a girl who looked at her with…

Sadness? Compassion? Understanding? …Love? And maybe…

Lust?

The girl she called her Servant looked at her with such a complex expression, she felt she might almost forget to blush. Her hand flew from her crotch, the cooling wetness making her feel chill. She would have to get out of bed, or it would get cold. She’d need new sheets, a new blanket, a new mattress maybe. It didn’t matter if the bed was only used by Nii-san to do those sorts of things with her. The appearance was what mattered.

No.

It was what Zouken said that mattered.

Still, she rolled over, hiding her face from her Servant. She wanted to cry, but… all she had were dry sobs. She was so pathetic! She had let her body control her again, just like this, no, yesterday morning? She had lost track of time.

She heard the soft rattle of dishes, but didn’t turn to see. She smelled… well, sex. But also… rice porridge? It was a familiar smell. It reminded her of Senpai, always cooking. Which in turn, reminded her of her current situation. Mortified didn’t cover it. Not even remotely.

And then she felt a gentle hand on her shoulder. It was a familiar feeling, that reassuring touch. Just like… like the hand that had held her when she had drifted in and out of consciousness. She felt the light pressure of Archer’s weight and turned to see…

Soft lips pressed against hers, familiar lips. Her eyes widened again, her Servant gently kissing her. And then it was over.

“It’s all right. I’ll save you.”

The only words spoken, the first words spoken since she had awakened.

And then Archer faded back into her Astral state, an unseen ghost watching over her.

But in those moments, Archer’s touch, her kiss.

It had felt as if Senpai had been the one to give them.

She turned to the bowl of rice porridge, and somehow knew, it would taste just like Senpai’s.

Twelveseal
March 22nd, 2011, 03:55 AM
Summer Day III

It would be a lie to say that summer never touched that land. There was a time, every year, when the warm sun drew back the pall of ice and snow to reveal the life hidden beneath. Green grass, hardy and strong, sprouted thick on the hills and mountains. The colorful explosions of flowers painted the land in myriad hues, their rich fragrance filling the air. The songs of countless birds danced in the air, the deep rhythm of buzzing insects accompanying their light voices. Bees droned as they went about their work, and animals great and small raced about the day. At night, the sky was lit with the lanterns of countless fireflies, the subtle clicking of bats chasing the shadows echoing in the darkness. It was a festival of life, freed from the shroud of grey clouds and looming cold.

It was beautiful, the brevity of its time making it all the more precious.

And yet…

There was one place in that land where the joys of the season were never felt. The hard heart of winter, long brooding, lurked in that land. A frozen soul that never felt the warmth of life. No. Not once.

Not once in a thousand years.

In the mountains of Germany, her home stood.

The castle Einzbern.

It stood like a kingdom of myth and legend plucked from the dark tales of the ancient past. It was a place that made others tremble in fear. Ringed by thick forests and backed by the looming face of the mountain, in truth cut into the very stone itself, it was a monument to ancient power. It was a castle town. A fortress set against man and nature, beautiful, terrible, and seething with a peerless hatred. An ancient grudge against the world had taken root in this place, this bastion of winter in the mountain’s shadow.

It was never warm here. Light did not reach this land easily. One would have to range into the woods to find morning’s light, and even there… There were things in the woods that had no right to exist, save that given by the lords upon that castle’s throne. It was a land as forbidding as any faerie kingdom.

And just as treacherous.

Furnaces belched forth fire and soot, venting it far from the pristine face of the castle, the scent of chemicals thick in the waste. Sparks of electricity danced from towering spires that capped parapets and towers, arcing through the clear mountain air, charring it and leaving the stench of ozone. This was a place for the unnatural. And the people that walked those cobbled streets fit it.

Like some antediluvian race of sidhe, the people of that town all bore the same marks. Pale skin like snow. Hair like spun silver. Eyes of the deepest crimson peering out of perfectly molded faces. This land had not known the touch of a human being in a millennium.

Until her father.

Like a faerie tale, her father had been convinced to work for the svartalfar that dwelt in that monument to Magecraft and Alchemy. He had been seduced with promises of love, of power, of knowledge, but especially…

He had come for a single wish.

And they had sunk such terrible claws in him. For over eight years he had served them. He had married her mother, the first man to do such a thing. And her mother had become the first of the Homunculi created in that place to step outside her role. Irisviel von Einzbern had become a mother, and Illyasviel had been born.

But the fae, the children of Gaia, always watch for their own gain. The Homunculi of Einzbern, much of their animus brought forth by the world itself, were no different. They had prepared for his inevitable failure. They always prepared for failure. Obsession would not allow them to surrender so easily.

The decision had been made before she had been born. No human child, this one. She would be as much a Homunculus as any other. The vat she would be grown in was different.

That was all.

She had been changed into something that would fit the needs of her family even before she had drawn her first breath. From that point, her life had been decided. Her death had been decided. If her father succeeded, they would have no need for him. Or her. What was unnecessary, would be made into something more… useful. If her father failed, her life would be ended by the Grail, one way, or another. She had no choice, no say.

Who had ever heard of such a ridiculous thing as that? A Homunculus, choosing its own path? It was so pathetic it was funny. Only one had succeeded, right?

Her body was tiny, that of a child, her life short. She would die soon. She could feel it. Even if she could succeed where her father failed, take revenge on him for abandoning her, take revenge on that child he had left her for! She would still die. The Grail would kill her, or her body would fail.

The chance of another Master or Servant killing her, though…

She looked at the forest around her, turning her gaze away from the solemn fortress, bare skin protected only by a thin dress that fluttered in the breeze. Behind her, there was only death.

Beasts of all shapes and sizes, crude creatures prepared by the craft of the Einzberns, the fleshwoven monstrosities of the Himmelsteins, the white dolls of broken Homunculi, heavy weapons shattered, flesh rent and torn, trees clear-cut to the ground and sliced to pieces, a veritable sea of blood-stained snow. All of it marked her passage. Only one thing stood behind her.

A white princess.

The girl was not taller than she was, her skin as pale, her eyes as red, her hair as long. Only that color was different, pale gold to her silvery-white. The sun and the moon. But those roles were reversed, weren’t they?

It had been over twenty years since a vampire had walked the halls of Castle Einzbern. How that old beast would have crowed for the blood of this child.

The Princess of the True Ancestors, Arcueid Brunestud.

Her bodyguard. Her sword. Her shield. Her Servant.

Her Berserker.

For a whole month, they had left her alone in the wilderness, with only that white child for protection. They had let the beasts come. And when that was not enough, they had sent more. And when that was not enough, they had called on greater and greater terrors. They had even resorted to armed soldiers and trained Homunculi. Mercenaries. Magi. Experiments of unparalleled strength. Homunculi approaching the might of a Servant, sent in waves, driven by the grudge of a thousand years.

And each and every one had died.

The white princess could not be touched. She could not be broken. And through it all, not once…

Not once had Illya felt any strain.

No. No Master, no Servant could kill her. Berserker was too much.

The soft crunch of snow alerted her. The princess strode forward lightly, utterly free of the blood that stained the snow around her.

“Onee-chan? I don’t like this… And I’m bored. Can’t we go in now?”

Too bad she was like that.

All she wanted to do was watch tv, play video games, and find some boy named Shiki. What had happened to this girl in her lifetime!? It was like everything she had ever heard about the princess was wrong!

Her family had carved those monstrous command seals on her body in hopes of gaining a Servant that could, and would, destroy every other Servant. They summoned the most powerful Servant they could, pulled from the preordained end of the world itself. An engine of destruction nearly capable of killing all life on the planet!

But…

Arcueid was by no means an emotionless killing machine, as the data had suggested. She was like a child, not just in body, but in spirit. All she wanted to do was play around. When they were outside, she just wanted to run around and chase bugs. At human speed! Why!?! When they were inside, she just wanted to play games. Video games, board games, word games… It was maddening. Especially considering they didn’t have video games.

At least until she had somehow summoned some with Marble Phantasm. Illya realized she was slowly banging her head into a tree.

Any shred of dignity she had once had had been uprooted by the spontaneous vampire child. It was one thing to play, but she couldn’t hope to keep pace with that monster! She would tire out just by running! How was she supposed to play with a child that could run faster than the speed of sound!?!

She needed to add another source of death to the list. It was said that Berserker’s always killed their Masters.

She was starting to believe it.

Grant
March 22nd, 2011, 03:59 AM
I still know nothing but it's at least interesting to read. I can't really say about personalities because the situation's so different (as well as the characters) that I need to see more of their activities. And poor Sakura, she really can't catch a break even with her senpai.
On another note, if I hear a single USO DA! I'm getting the hell out.

Twelveseal
March 22nd, 2011, 04:41 AM
USO DA? I don't get the reference. Could you explain, please?

Twelveseal
March 22nd, 2011, 05:25 AM
Night of Fate Memorial I

He spent the rest of the day spaced out. He hadn’t been able to concentrate on afternoon classes. Even the nagging sense he had forgotten something important never fully managed to get through the shock of what Tohsaka had told him. He could feel the pressure building behind that mental fog, slowly reaching a boiling point. He needed to let it out, just like he had years ago when his father had died. But… No. He really needed to talk to someone, get it off his chest.

When school had let out, he had just wandered where his feet would take him. He couldn’t take this to Fujinee. Not only did she seem to have problems of her own right now, she’d probably kill him for touching a little girl. Even if he had been unconscious and bleeding out at the time.

Which brought up another important point. He really couldn’t talk to Fujinee, or Sakura, or Issei, or even Shinji without running the risk of revealing secrets normal people just weren’t supposed to know. Tohsaka was the only person he could talk to, and she had already done everything she could for him. Archer herself was out of the question. He really didn’t want to see her right now. After what had been said… Could he look at that girl is just that, a little girl, or would he see her as… Damnit!

He didn’t want to talk about it, but at the same time, he did…

The only other person left he could talk to was… That priest.

He really didn’t want to talk to Father Kotomine.

So he wandered, trying to walk off the thoughts, the growing anxiety. He finally settled in a small park in Miyama. It was a comforting place. It was a place with memories, where he had played as a child. Things had been so much simpler then. He sighed, settling into the too-tight seat of a swing.

His mind wandered a bit, choked with a haze he was starting to recognize. It had only been last night. It had all started last night. With that realization, waves of exhaustion assaulted him. He slumped, more tired than he had ever been in his whole life.

Last night, Emiya Shirou had become a part of this mad ritual called the Holy Grail War, drawn into the world of the Magi that his father had tried to protect him from.

It had all started with Issei. His long-time friend, Ryuudou Issei, had been swamped with work with the approach of one of the school’s festivals. As the President of the Student Council, he had been needed almost continuously. Shirou had been the kind of person who couldn’t pass up someone in need. What kind of Hero of Justice would he be if he did that? He had volunteered to help, and Issei had been just as grateful as always for it. They had worked for a long time, working on budgets, space allotments, accepting or declining amendments to class projects and club booths. Issei had done most of that, but he had found himself running and endless stream of errands, helping with signs and construction, and, of course, repairing any equipment that might have been broken. When no one was looking, that is.

It turned out that some of the lighting and sound equipment in the auditorium had been acting up lately, so he had volunteered to help fix it. It had taken a lot longer than he had thought. It seemed that mice or rats had been chewing on the wires, so there were many things that needed repair. It had been dark by the time he had finished, with everyone else already gone home. Even Issei seemed to have something that demanded his attention back at home.

That hadn’t bothered him at all, but… He could swear he heard thunder. It had been clear out, though. Maybe a storm had come in while he was working? Or so he had thought, anyway. Being lodged in the potentially faulty wiring of his school’s lighting wasn’t exactly the best place to be in the middle of a storm, so he had wriggled his way free and decided to pack it in. He didn’t even have an umbrella…

Toolbox in hand, Shirou had walked out into the night air, only to freeze.

What had sounded like thunder inside the muffling walls of the auditorium was definitely something else.

It was the clash of metal. The roar of beasts.

He was drawn to that sound, like a moth to a flame. Even though that howl filled him with a sense of certain doom, it was like he couldn’t fight that pull. As if it called him to an inexorable destiny. And when he saw it…

A group of children were fighting. Three little girls, one with a black sword almost as big as she was, a throbbing, screaming, unholy thing that made him hurt just looking at it, all covered with serrations like teeth. The other two fought with weapons that looked like they were bronze, a shield with artwork on it like on those ancient Greek pots, a fine short sword thrusting and sweeping with grace. A bow that looked as if it were made entirely of metal, shining arrows lancing through the air. All at a speed that his eyes saw as terrible blur. But what he could not look away from…

The beasts.

A creature like some unholy wolf, a huge white hound that made him want to run screaming into the night, ridden by that pale, raven haired child. A writhing mass of serpents as tall as the school building itself. No. Taller. These things…

Despite their size, they were just as fast as the children. No. Faster. The wolf leapt, bounding from one wall to the next, trying to bring its claws and teeth to bear on the two girls, the black blade roaring as it cut through the air to crush against a shield that protected the serpent beast. Bullet-like thrusts of the short sword answered as the white beast leapt clear of a hail of arrows. The dancing archer leapt from one vantage to the next, spraying arrows in sweeping arcs meant to control her enemy’s movement, but that white hound always managed to be one step faster. Huge fangs lashed at the dog and its rider.

It was a scene of pure madness. The rational part of his brain shut down. This was… There were no words to describe what this was. The magical energy each of those creatures, human or beast, was insane! Human was the wrong word entirely! There was no way any of those things were human.
The mountain of serpents leapt back, it’s bulk crashing down on the roof of the school’s main building, long, slender arms, lean, muscular, and covered in dark scales crushed the fence down beneath clawed hands. Somehow, the roof had withstood having that thing land on it, the writhing core of those serpents peering down at the smaller foe. He glimpsed a mouthful of black teeth like swords amidst that roiling mass. A low, rumbling hiss rolled out shaking the soft tissues in his body with its intensity.

He broke right then and there. It was the final straw. That movement had broken whatever spell held him, and he ran. And not one of those terrifying monsters spared him so much as a glance. Or so he thought.

He had run like there was no tomorrow, which, well, there probably wasn’t at that point. After all…

The little girl with the bow was already in front of him…

She stuck out her tongue at him. “Hee. Good night, Onii-chan!”

There was no chance to dodge. The world had seemed to slow down as he watched that arrow fly. He could see the fletching fluttering as it flew. An arrow that was still so fast!

He didn’t feel anything at first. No pain, no pressure. The power and sharpness had been that great. No, the first thing he felt was that his heart wasn’t beating right. That, and he smelled the acrid stink of ozone and burned meat. His vision swam, and he collapsed, the cauterized tissue of the wound that passed all the way through his body and out again ripping open as he slammed into the floor.

He didn’t know it at the time, but the arrow had hit both his heart and one of his lungs, easily slicing through his ribs twice over. There was a chunk gone from his left shoulder blade. If he had looked, he would have seen a hole that ran all the way through the wall at the other end of the school’s hallway, the place where he had met this monstrous girl.

His life began to replay before his eyes. It was pretty short, really. Only about ten years. After all, he had died before. But… It can’t end like this. Giving up was something he refused to do. He kept struggling to live, even as his lung filled with blood and his heart shuddered, spurting dark life-blood. His vision faded, and only the sound of his own ragged breathing, the fitful beat of his dying heart, rang in his ears.

And then he heard another sound. A voice. A familiar voice, but one he couldn’t place, said something. The rattling of a chain, a tiny chain, and then warm hands pressed against his ruined, chilling body. That warmth spread through him, and his mind blanked out finally. The last sound he heard was the clicking of heels in the dark.
He had no idea how long he had been out. It didn’t help that he had no idea when he had gone out, either. He woke up, still laying on the cold tile floor of the hallway, sitting and a pool of his own blood. He felt dizzy. He felt sick. But he was whole.

Someone, maybe that other little girl, had saved him. But… why? There was no sign of his savior, nothing asking for repayment. He stood up, slowly, the movement making his vision swim. The magus in him knew he couldn’t leave evidence like this. Even with incidents like those gas leaks, and that family… A blood splatter like this would be too much. It would attract attention.

He cleaned it up as best he could, mopping things up, quite literally. And then he went home. There was nothing else that really mattered right now. He had to get out of there, in case the girl with the twintails came back for another round of target practice. He had had more than enough of new holes in his body, thank you.

He stumbled off for home, sick and disoriented. But his feet knew the way, and after a long, slow, painful walk, he found himself slumped in his own living room. His breathing was still irregular, as if his lungs were out of synch somehow. It made him nauseous, made it hurt to move.

He hadn’t bothered to turn on the lights. He had just walked in wrangled the house-shoes onto his feet, and collapsed in the living room. He sat there in the dark, alone and tired. What the hell had that been!?! Those creatures… And he was sure he was dead!!! Someone had saved his life, and he desperately needed to thank them. But he had no idea who it had been.

A distinct sound broke his train of thought. It was like the sound of a clay pot shattering. The problem was, that was the sound that…

Someone had broken the bounded field around his house. Someone had entered his home. In the dead of night, someone had broken into his house! And on this night that could only mean…

He heard the laughter of a little girl. High and musical, a sound like the tinkling of a bell. Ask not for whom the bell tolls… Damn! Damn! It had to be. The shadow of a young girl passed by the sliding door. If she got a clear shot at him, it was all over! He quietly tried to slip out of the window. At least the house-shoes were soft… He might be able to make it, if he was light on his feet.

And then the walls of his house exploded, bolts of deadly light, the trails of glowing arrows, piercing through. One passed close enough that he felt it. It had nearly hamstrung him. He could already feel a bruise rising on the back of his leg as he rolled out of the window and into a run.

He heard the twang of a bow, but… She must have shot up! He leapt back, and then immediately forward again, the arrow sinking deep into the earth a fraction of a second before he leapt over it. The grass around where it landed crisped, as if it had been scorched by lightning.

She was toying with him. Playing. She shot just ahead or to the side, seeing if he would make a wrong move. She was baiting him. It hurt his pride, but he knew damn well there was nothing he could do about that thing. One wrong move, and he would die.

In fact. One move she didn’t like, and he would die, too.

Twice, in one night. Emiya Shirou was going to die twice in one night.

He did everything in his power to make it to the shed in his back yard. Maybe he could find something in there he could use as a weapon. The arrows flew, blasting holes in the wall around his home, into the turf, into the shed. They grazed him as he danced desperately for his life, all to the music of that girl’s laughter.

He sympathized with mice caught by cats.

As he rolled aside from one more arrow, his hand closed on a fallen tree branch, ripped off earlier in the season. He hadn’t removed it yet, and now he was thankful for that. This was a desperate measure, but it was a desperate time, too! He forced his Prana through the dead wood, filling its flaws with himself. The next arrow would come soon, but this time, he’d intercept it!

He turned, seeing the position of the girl’s feet, her hands, the three arrows in her hand. She had been missing not because she was a bad aim. She wasn’t aiming at all. She was firing fistfuls of arrows at him without even bothering to aim. He started the swing before the girl released, the branch passing into the trajectory of an arrow that would have impaled him.

The impact drove him a foot before anything else happened. And then it all exploded.

The arrow, the branch, both blew up. The wood shattered under the strain, the arrow detonating in a burst of heat and light that hurled him into and through the door of his shed to slam against the wall inside. He felt his shoulder shift with a gruesome pop, the joint dislocated. The fact that he nearly blacked out from it was enough to tell him that, though. The inside of his mouth was cut and bleeding, the work of his own teeth. Splinters of wood were stuck in his chest and body, but it seemed that everything the arrow was made of had ceased to exist before it could hit him.

He was dripping blood, unable to move. It trickled down onto the broken door, down to the floor. The little girl was framed in the doorway, pearl-white teeth shining in the darkness, feral smile to match the inhuman, violet eyes. She raised the bow one more time as the wind began to whip, a storm rising from…

From the shed’s floor?

Electricity danced as a gale tore through the tiny building, forcing him to close his eyes. He heard the twang of the bow, and his world exploded with the impact. A point blank shot, with perfect aim.

But he was still alive.

The twang had been stereo.

Two arrows met in mid-air, exploding with enough force to rearrange the room.

An obscured form stood in a circle of light and power, its presence causing the little archer to leap out of the building, gaining distance. A new factor had appeared on her battlefield. Even so…

He couldn’t help but stare at the form in that circle.

The wind died down to nothing, the light faded, until only the autumn moon lit the room. Standing before him, in that crude circle he had made to train himself, was a vision.

The first thought that crossed his mind was…

Beautiful.

Smooth, perfect skin, pale and shining. Deep eyes like rich red wine. Hair like a cascade of silver. A slender body graceful, her slight frame like a fragile doll. She was beautiful, radiant in the moonlight. Her clothing, crimson red and deepest lavender. She was a perfect, porcelain doll. She looked at him, her black bow loose in her grip, and in a voice like music…

“I ask of you… Are you my Onii-chan?”

Grant
March 22nd, 2011, 10:04 AM
USO DA? I don't get the reference. Could you explain, please?

Higurashi. All those mentions of cute girls who get obsessed with cutting things.

Twelveseal
March 22nd, 2011, 10:53 PM
Ahhhh. Yeah. You shouldn't have to worry about that. Maybe SHI-kun getting a bit into the "cutter" vibe later after she realizes just how much she enjoys pain... But nah, no Higurashi nuts.

Kohaku is more the "End of Scene" type of cut.

Twelveseal
March 23rd, 2011, 12:12 AM
Night of Fate Memorial II

The girl’s words rang clear in the moonlight night, a sound like sweet music. It was a captivating sound that washed away his awareness. He forgot the pain, the fear, the weariness. It was as if the only things that existed in the world were this fair-haired child, framed by the radiant moon’s halo, and himself.

Lavender armor covered her chest, form-fitting. A scarlet jacket like a mantle and flowing coat-tails spread out around her, the petals of a glorious rose. Red leather hugged slender legs, revealing the black cloth within at her center. Dark boots shod in silver, half hidden by that same crimson leather. All of it embellished with that shining silver. A long braid, itself a rope of silver, bound with crimson ribbon. She was a flower. A beautiful flower. A rose.

Complete with dark thorns.

Arrows like swords, no, swords like arrows clutched in slender hand. A black bow that made some deep part of himself resonate, and…

A sword, radiant gold and pure sapphire. A narrow blade like liquid silver. The hilt curved back, heavy, solid. A beautiful sword, but…

He could tell that sword was nearly useless. Its balance was all wrong. It would have no power. It was useless to for cutting or thrusting. So why…

It was still overflowing with power.

Wait, just what was that angry look on her…

“Well!? Are you my Onii-chan or not!?” Huh!? There was no way he was related to this weird girl! But… Ok, she did save his life. He owed her, so if that’s what she wanted to call him, it was the least he could do. Her voice had broken whatever spell had come over him. His throat wouldn’t respond when he tried to talk, but he managed a nod.

She smiled, and his breath caught. It was something so innocent that it numbed him. This girl… She had truly wanted to call him brother. But… Why?

And then the smile was gone, and so was she, her small hand brushing his cheek as she rushed out of the building. Where she had touched him, a coolness began to spread, like water poured over him. It washed away all the lingering pain, his injuries fading in moments. It was as if they had never happened, even though he still felt a little stiff. He tried to ignore one of the places he felt stiff, at least. That’s just not right…

Wait! That girl had gone out there with…

And then the song of war echoed through the quiet darkness.

Beneath a radiant full moon, two childlike dancers leapt and swayed. Not once did they draw near one another. Each danced alone in the darkness, each to their own song and rhythm. And yet…

The space between them danced as well. Dozens of meters separated them, and yet the air warped, sparks flying. The dull crush of impacted air became a drum beat to which the two ballerinas performed. The twang of bowstrings was like the hum of a deep bass. It was a dark and brooding song, full of power that shook his flesh, rattled his bones. He felt every pounding note.

Two archers danced in the darkness, arrows clashing tip to tip.

Each graceful step sought higher ground, greater range, each subtle hand playing the bow like a harp, a hail of arrows to each note. An orchestra of ruin played a masterpiece for his ears only.

The darkness was ripped to pieces by the flares of intersecting arrows, the rain of sparks and whorl of Prana. An aurora of power flowed around them, the world shaking. The fallen leaves that had begun to litter his yard were cast into the night and shot through. They fell like snow, only to be lanced and burned by the forces that clashed there. But for all this, one thing was apparent.

The girl who had saved him…

Was much more skilled.

As the dance of destruction continued, each clash of arrows came closer to the lavender-haired girl, her bronze bow not quite fast enough to match the girl in red. Her steps were swifter, her movements more fluid, less human, but…

The silver-haired archer fired as if knowing where her opponent would move, where she would strike next. And so the space between those hunting darts grew ever closer to the white clad maiden, until finally…

A single arrow, shaped like some warped sword shot past her own and…

She was gone.

Vanished before the shot found its mark.

For the first time, one arrow went wild, digging a hole through the outer wall of the compound. A hole all the way through, the size of a bowling ball. Umm. At least it hadn’t hit the house… Wait.

Hadn’t the other one shot through the walls at him!? Old man Fujimura was not going to be happy…

The young girl in the yard seemed fine. It was as if nothing had happened. She turned to look at him with that perfect smile, but then her expression changed. The smile faded, replaced by a look of anger again.

And then he felt it. A tremendous power was approaching. Something big was coming.

Something he had felt before.

RanmaBushiko
March 23rd, 2011, 02:16 AM
Well, I've gotta say, it's an interesting piece, for what you've written. Confusing ocasionally, since I have to think of whom is with whom, but well written.

Twelveseal
March 23rd, 2011, 02:25 AM
Thank you. Part of the fun of this fic is the disjointed nature, imo. It's easy to write, and it makes people guess as to what's really going on. The key is the timeline. Once you start putting things in order, it makes sense.

But it's important to keep in mind that everything isn't as it seems. After all, there are two representatives of each class. There has to be a reason for that, yes?

Twelveseal
March 23rd, 2011, 02:41 AM
Night of Fate Memorial III

Even before he could fully recognize that primal feeling of dread, it soared over the boundary wall around the compound. A white, rippling blur tore through the air above his head, hiding the moon and stars like some impossible cloud. It had become a white comet in the night sky, devouring the light of everything else in the heavens. The only sounds that announced its monstrous shape were the gales of its own passage, and the deep, endless thrum of bowstring. A storm of arrows lanced into the night sky, glowing like the embers of tracer fire, white fur swirling as the force of each molten shot pushed it aside. Where the darts found flesh, the sunk in with a wet thud, so that the night soon filled with splatters. But even so…

It did not stop the beast.

To say that it turned as it landed would be wrong. That didn’t even begin to describe the movement of the white monster. It flowed like the wind, doubling back on itself in a movement so swift the fur and the afterimage blurred into one sinuous shape. The next thing he saw was…

Teeth.

Fangs like knives bearing down!

In that moment, the world seemed to freeze. He could feel his heart stop. Everything slowed down to a crawl. Everything except the white beast. His body recognized the hound as death. Everything even remotely human would. Had it been anyone but him sitting there, they would have died from the intention alone. But he was someone who had died before. He was resistant.

And so he would be merely frozen, torn to shreds on the teeth of the beast. The jaws began to close around him, the hot breath blasting forward in the autumn air. There was no salvation within his grasp, only…

A bright silver light.

Streaks of silver shot through the darkness like a thousand falling stars, slamming into the head, neck, and back of the beast. They dug into the earth, digging out divots and hurling dirt and debris into the chill night. A rain of arrows, falling from the heavens, becoming an encircling cage of bars between him and the wild thing. But…

He hadn’t heard the bow! Were these…

They were.

The arrows she had fired at the beast as it cleared the wall, silver light shot into the darkness. But how!?! Could she have really planned the fight that far!?!?

A spray of sword-like arrows sailed into the beast’s side, the archer’s face a devilish smirk. He couldn’t see the individual arrows any more, even as streaks of light. It was a river of boiling silver, screaming as the air itself gave way before it. Each point struck home, a wave crashing agains the shore, and the great monster lurched to the side, but…

The arrows had been snared in thick fur.

The white monster’s pelt was like armor. Only by virtue of striking in the spaces between the thick ropes of hair had any of her arrows actually penetrated. And where they had pierced…

The arrows were being forced out. The monster was healing right in front of him.

But the young archer hadn’t stopped. Flights of arrows hurtled into the air, a clouds of silver ruin that came crashing back down to the earth. The bow hummed, missiles lancing like machine-gun fire. But now, the beast was dodging… She had changed her target, as well.

She was shooting for the black and red forms held against the beast’s back.

The white monster flowed across the ground like a flash flood, so fast that his eyes could only see the blur, but somehow the girl kept up. She led it somehow, firing ahead, aiming shots at its riders.

Finally, after an eternity that could only have lasted a moment, something changed. A red shape flew free, and a greater blackness appeared. If that dark blot had been the little girl from before, then that new shadow must be the unholy sword she wielded. But then…

What was that red thing.

As it sailed through the air, Shirou realized it was a person. A young woman, body limp. She was wearing a red sweater, short black skirt, and matching thigh-highs. And white panties. He blushed despite the impossible circumstances.

She landed with a heavy thud, not moving at all.

This was bad. This was really bad.

Seeing someone else in danger like that was enough. He was on his feet before he knew it, running headlong for the fallen girl. He tried to keep his eyes off her hitched up skirt, and what it wasn’t covering. He didn’t dare look away, though. Not from her at least. If he saw that monster again…

He’d be frozen again.

He could feel it raging at him, hear the movements of the young girl and the roar of the wind as her arrows flew. Just where were all those arrows coming from!?! “Tch. Onii-chan, you’re an idiot.”

He couldn’t pay attention to that girl, no matter what she said. She could take care of herself, and she was laying down cover, so…

It was his job to rescue this girl, right? He poured on the speed. He could feel the wind from the shots and the rending monster as they came closer. He had to get that girl out of there!

He didn’t even bother to look, he just picked her up and ran as fast as he could.

Damn!

Running like this, he wasn’t going to make it very far. That thing would be on him the second it got away from the silver-haired girl. He had to get this one awake. He lurched through the sliding door to his house, hoping the building would offer cover.

At some point the electricity had gone out. Probably from one of the arrows the first girl had fired. He charged through to the center of the house as fast as he could. He had to wake this girl… Huh!?!

He finally got a good look at just who he was holding in his arms. It was a girl he had admired from school. Beautiful, popular, athletic, with perfect grades. The idol of the school.

She was undoubtedly Tohsaka Rin.

The girl he had a crush on.

In his arms.

With those white panties…

And then he got a good look at her face. Her eyes were rolled back, so that he could only see the whites, and a trail of frothy white drool had formed around her mouth. It… It worked wonders for stopping the sensation he had started to get. Even with her softness in his…

No! This is definitely not the time to be thinking like that!

Then he remembered how he had felt when he had faced that dog. It felt like his heart would stop. And she had been…

He put his face close to hers, listening for her breath. He checked her chest for the sound of her heart beating, her neck for a pulse. He couldn’t find it, he couldn’t…

He heaved a sigh of relief. She was breathing, very faintly. She was alive!

But now he needed to wake her up and get out of there before…

“RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

The roof began to buckle as some tremendous force pushed on it.

He felt Tohsaka stirring in his arms, as if that scream had started to wake her. Or maybe the creaking of timbers…

“Wha…?”

“Give me back my Nee-san.” A cold voice sounded in the darkness. It was dark, liquid. Otherworldly. It sent a shiver down his spine. It was the voice of a child, but it was filled with the weight of ages. It washed over him, making him feel numb.

Standing in the doorway was a small girl in a white dress, black lines like thorns contrasting. Eyes that froze him in place, an unnatural gold that seemed to peer into his very soul, so different from the crimson color before. Were these what his father had called Mystic Eyes? Long hair as black as night, and a sword that was darker still.

The roof pushed in deeper, as if the weight were growing.

“Give me back my Master…”

Marth
March 23rd, 2011, 02:44 AM
...this is relevant to my interests. Proceed.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 23rd, 2011, 02:55 AM
Yup, just the right amount of fanservice, action, and humor. This is definitely one to keep an eye on, no doubt.

Can you say, "Overpowered Lolis"?

Twelveseal
March 23rd, 2011, 03:06 AM
Night of Fate Memorial IV

High above his head, a battle raged. The wind howled as countless arrows pounded down on a white beast that was as immovable as a mountain. It cared nothing for the destruction that such a hail could bring. After all, its master held all the cards. It need only stand as a shield for her. Its claws sunk into the timber, and the house groaned beneath it and the weight of that assault. But he was not aware of that.

Nor was he aware of the young woman in his arms, rapidly returning to the world of the waking, her mind cleared of the shadow of death left by that hell-hound’s presence. Soon, she would be awake enough to act, but how that would play out, who could guess?

No, there was only one thing he was aware of.

Only one thing in the world.

Gold.

Her eyes were like molten, roiling gold. Light and darkness played in her eyes, swirling in myriad shades of gold and amber, drawing his eyes in, devouring him. He could not look away.

The thought had not even occurred to him.

The eyes held him with his own will, his own desire to see them. He could feel them eroding his sense of self, his identity crumbling.

He was Emiya Shirou. He wanted to save everyone.

He fought back with that, but…

His mind was breaking.

Everything was fading away except…

Give her back.

That was all.

He no longer wanted to resist. Every part of his mind wanted to give Tohsaka to these golden eyes. But…

His body wouldn’t move. It was as if it would not allow him to betray himself like that. Or maybe it was just some last vestige of willpower hidden deep in his subconscious…

A new shape filled his vision. Or was it an old shape? It was familiar…

The image of a small girl in white, a demonic black sword in hand. The blade was parallel to the ground, held out from her shoulder. It was a slow movement, elegant, like a ballroom dancer. The blade was so big, how could the girl hold it like that? And those eyes…

The blade plunged forward, thrusting for his heart with a fluid grace.

Twelveseal
March 24th, 2011, 02:41 AM
Night of Fate Memorial V

The black blade cut through the cloth of his shirt like paper, its tooth-like serrations tearing it to shreds. Instinct failed him, transfixed as he was by those golden eyes, and he felt the pressure of contact with the cursed edge. This was the end. He understood, but those eyes had robbed him of the ability to resist. Not to mention the will. All that mattered was following the intent those molten orbs decreed.

He felt death touch him for the third time in his life, the second in that night.

And it paused.

The hellish blade dimpled his skin, but its deadly swing had stopped, all the force gone from a stroke that would have split him in half.

The sword was crying, a deep humming sound he felt in his bones and organs. It shuddered with rage at being held back. It wailed for his blood.

That black sword was a living thing. A cursed, living abomination.

And it was hungry.

But the little girl that wielded it had held back…

Why?

She sighed, the raven cascade of her hair shifting. Her eyes began to fade, roiling gold becoming rich crimson. Her pupils, once slits, widened into a more human shape.

“Fine. Have it your way, Onee-chan. But I really think you should just go ahead and let me kill him. It’d save us, and him, a lot of trouble in the long run.”

“No. I consider it an obligation of my office to make sure this idiot at least knows the rules. About what you just said, though. Was that…”
“A Prophecy? Of course. My visions never lie. They may be unclear, but they never lie.”
“Great.”

It seemed like a conversation was going on. One of the voices was familiar, but his mind was still hazy. He couldn’t really tell where he was, or who was talking. He was having trouble remembering what had happened.

“Sheesh! His Servant’s really going at it up there. Emiya-san! Are you awake enough to call her off? We need to talk, but with her fighting up there, it’s not going to be easy.”

Huh? This person knew his name? And why did she seem so familiar? Ughh. His head hurt. There was an intense pressure behind his eyes, and he was seeing flashes of light. It reminded him of what he heard a migraine was supposed to be like.

He took a few deep breaths, trying to calm down and collect his thoughts. His whole mind was foggy, memories coming slowly. He felt dizzy, his sense of balance shot. He tried to get to his feet. At some point he’d collapsed to his knees, but he didn’t remember it. Unfortunately, he didn’t have enough control, and just toppled over as soon as he got to his feet.

“What did you do to him!?!” He felt a soft hand on his shoulder. His vision was swimming.
“Nothing serious. I just looked at him. He’ll be fine in a few minutes. I think.”
“Very reassuring. So you have no way of knowing how someone will react to that!?!”
“Not at all. I can only tell how effective my Mystic Eyes are once they have started to take effect. Once I can read the emotions of my prey, then I can tell.”
“Great. Just great. So we have an angry Servant up there, and her Master in here.” She rested her head in her hand. He couldn’t remember who she was, but he knew he recognized her. He couldn’t help but wish he knew her better. She was gorgeous. But he just couldn’t remember! Was there something wrong with him?

“Umm. I really have no idea what’s going on. Just who are you people? And where am I?”

The young woman in red held her hand to her face, her eyes widening in shock as she gasped. That was a bad sign… wasn’t it?

“Rider! What did you do!?!”
“Nothing much. Sometimes the Mystic Eyes of Enchantment cause memory loss. It’s usually temporary. Like I said, give him a few minutes, and he’ll b fine. I think.”
“What happened to your Prophecies!?! Aren’t you supposed to be able to see the future!?! Just how long am I going to have to stay here until I can… ahem.” She took a moment to calm down. She was beautiful, but wasn’t she a little too angry? He’d have to watch himself around her. Plus, this really wasn’t clearing anything up. Had they really said something about Mystic Eyes? His head gave a mighty throb, making him cringe.

At least the fog was lifting, some. He thought the girl in red’s name started with a Toh sound… What was it?

She sighed again. “Look, just call off your Servant. We can talk this out later. Right now, we need to make sure she doesn’t bring the roof down on us!” Roof? Wasn’t this his house? The roof was fine. It wasn’t.

The support structure groaned dangerously, and he looked up. Timbers were splintering, splitting under some tremendous strain. The sound he had thought was a storm at first…

Something was raining outside, but it wasn’t water.

He could hear the wind howling now, as if some monstrous gale were trying to tear the house apart. It was muffled by the building, and maybe something else, but… He could feel the power dancing around out there. A huge chunk of Prana was sitting on top of his roof, a steady stream of energy pounding into it. It was like a boulder in the path of a river. Holy shit! It was just like before, at the school!

And his memory came flooding back. He remembered Tohsaka-san. He remembered the girl with lavender hair, his silver-maned savior, and this dark-haired terror with the golden eyes. She had tried to kill him. Two out of three new acquaintances he had made in one night had tried to kill him. And he thought one of them might have succeeded. But then again, he was alive, so maybe he was wrong?

But now it seemed like the dark-haired girl, Rider, was listening to Tohsaka-san. And she wanted to talk. But could he really get that girl to listen to him? She had just shown up and fought everything that had threatened him. He hadn’t even really talked to her! He realized he didn’t even know her name.

He stood on unsteady legs, wobbling out of the house. Every where he looked, the signs of conflict were obvious. Holes bored through the walls where arrows had been shot. Small fires tried to catch and failed. He was glad Sakura helped him keep the house so neat, or it might have gone up already. He stomped them out where he could.

Dust and wood chips littered the floor where the timbers had shifted or split. Vases and pictures lay cracked or shattered on the ground where they had fallen. Several of the doors were off their tracks, the frame’s settling from the forces unleashed. Furniture had been toppled or pierced by divine arrows, holes burned through. The kitchen was a disaster, pots and pans and utensils scattered across the floor. He thought he smelled the sulphur additives of natural gas leaking, and he really started to worry. What if that hit one of the fires!?! The had to get out right now!!!

But Tohsaka didn’t seem worried in the least, following along behind him, Rider behind her. She had pricked a finger, and was mumbling something under her breathed while the little girl eyed her welling blood with something akin to… lust? No. That couldn’t be right. Could it?

He abruptly stopped smelling the gas. He wouldn’t have known what to make of it, if he hadn’t felt the flow of Prana. He turned back to look at her, his eyes widened a bit.

“Tohsaka-san! Are you a Magus?” She goggled at him. And suddenly he felt very stupid. That kind of thing was obvious in this situation. He blushed a little, turning back around to hide it. He hoped, anyway.

So now he was going to have to get that girl to stop fighting? But what was she fighting… That lavender-haired girl, or…

That white monster?

He guessed he’d find out when he got outside.

Assuming the house didn’t blow up, first.

He was starting to smell gas again.

RanmaBushiko
March 24th, 2011, 03:34 AM
Interesting. Definitely interesting, that's for sure. I'll enjoy seeing more.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 24th, 2011, 04:01 AM
By the way, you do plan on releasing that little tidbit detailing EMILYA's backstory, right? I liked that snippet.

Twelveseal
March 24th, 2011, 04:18 AM
Tidbit? Didn't that get posted already? I thought that was part of "The Longest Night"?

Or are you talking about EMILYA Stories? I've only got a bit of development in that right now.

Edit: Looks like the Tidbit is in "The Longest Night X" Or am I forgetting something?

ItsaRandomUsername
March 24th, 2011, 12:01 PM
Nevermind, I remember now. Sorry about that. :)

Twelveseal
March 25th, 2011, 10:18 PM
Night of Fate Memorial VI

He stepped out into the darkness, but…

There was a false dawn. Above his head, a war was raging. A castle of pure white was under siege by an army of archers. That each force was only one being didn’t change the matter any. The tiling all over his house’s roof had been peeled back or shorn off, cracked shards thrown into the yard by rending claws and bone-jarring shockwaves.

An impossible stream of arrows pounded away at the white form of a titanic beast clinging to his home’s roof, shattering against its body to little effect. Or maybe not…

The monster wasn’t moving from where it was. The steady stream was keeping it rooted in place. Unable to advance, nor retreat.

He realized it had been protecting the girl, Rider.

And Tohsaka.

But now…

The white monster lunged forward, claws shattering the timbers that supported his roof. The whole building collapsed under the force falling in on itself and…

It came right for them!

He felt the intense heat, the pressure.

It roared around a mountain of white flesh as the house exploded. Whatever gas-line that had been leaking finally sparked. Whether it had been the remains of one of the small fires already in there, or one of those arrows, or even the beast moving, it didn’t matter.

Tonight, the Emiya household went up like a bomb.

His ears were ringing, but most of the force had been absorbed by the white monster, and some spell Tohsaka had flung up at the last moment. Even so…

Debris rocketed into the air, and the grass all around them flattened and crisped. Clods of dirt were torn up and cast to the winds. The roof of the shed melted, the walls cracking and caving under the force. Even the stone wall around the compound didn’t escape the devastation, as chunks of it fell free.

His house…

Holy shit his house was gone!!!

All the memories… His father, Fujinee, Sakura… It had all been burned away in a single night! A single moment!

What the hell was going on! Wait…

Where was that girl!?!? Had she been caught in that blast!?!? There was no way a human being could survive that! He should be dead right now himself. He only had Tohsaka to thank for that, he was sure. But there was no one to save that girl!

And then he realized…

Amid the smoke and falling debris, there was something strange…

There were two moons.

One was the normal orb, but the other was a whirling sphere of Prana. An intense bounded field that seemed to hover in the air itself. It was like it wasn’t fixed at all…

No, it really wasn’t fixed! The sphere descended to the ground, fading. Inside was that same young girl. She looked at them, at him, her black bow raised, and then sighed. The bow dropped to her side, then faded away to nothingness. She raised her head from where it had hung, but her expression…

She was wearing a self-assured smirk.

“It looks like this is over, huh? I guess I should thank you for protecting my Onii-chan, but since you’re the cause of all this, I don’t think I will. Instead, how about you use that family fortune of yours to fix Onii-chan’s house?”

Tohsaka blanched, but was it fear or…

“Wh-what are you talking about!?!? You fired first!!! And it was one of your arrows that did that,” She jammed a finger in the direction of the burning ruin that had been his house. “Do you really think I can fix this!?!? Even with Magecraft, it would take time! And in the middle of the Holy Grail War!?!? I think not!!!” What was that? Holy Grail War?

“You can’t prove a thing, can you? One of my arrows, or that hell-hound’s claws? After all, the roof was falling in before the explosion. And more than that, didn’t your Rider attack my Master? Fufufufu, you really don’t have a leg to stand on, coming over that wall thirsty for blood like that. Will you be putting my Master up in compensation?” The look on that girl… it sent shivers up and down his spine. Was that the feeling of evil? Was it?

What was that dumbfounded look Tohsaka had? At school, she was so… so… controlled. But out here…

Tohsaka Rin was an entirely different person. He couldn’t tell if that was a good or a bad thing.

So this was the real Tohsaka?

“There is no way I’m letting a Master stay at my house!!! Umm. Maybe Kotomine can… That’s it! Emiya-san! We’re going to go see the officiant for the Grail War. I’m sure he can find a place for you to stay while someone fixes… this.” There it was again. Holy Grail War? Time to ask!

“Uhhh. Actually, I have no idea what’s going on here. I don’t know of any Kotomine. And you keep mentioning this thing called a Holy Grail War. I have no idea what that is. Or what that dog-thing is,” they both seemed to be trying not to look at it. Just being near it made him feel sick. “I was just leaving school when all this started, and now…” Now his house was gone. Thinking about that made his head spin. The shock finally settled in, and he collapsed to the ground. He found himself sitting in the dirt, filthy as that was.

Through it all, Tohsaka’s face had begun to look more and more astonished. She gaped for a bit before she finally responded. A deep breath and…

“I guess you really don’t know, do you? Nothing about Servants and Masters, the Holy Grail, any of it?”
“No. Nothing. I mean, I know a little about Magecraft, but not much. My father didn’t really want me studying it,” Why’d she look so angry all of a sudden? “But I don’t know anything about what you just asked.”

She closed her eyes and sighed, unclenching the fists that had formed at her sides. “I don’t know what kind of Magus turns down his own son as a pupil if he has any ability at all, but I’ll get angry about that later. I guess I need to cover the Holy Grail War first. It’s a recurring ritual held in this city. Seven magi converge to take part in it. They are the Masters. Each one summons a Servant, a Heroic Spirit from the past, of present, or whatever, and then fights the others for the right to win the Holy Grail. Oh, but it’s not the Christian Holy Grail! It’s something one of the families responsible for the ritual made a long time ago. When all of the other Master’s are defeated, the Grail appears, and the winning Servant and Master get to make a wish. Of course, the winner also gets bragging rights among the Association. Since you summoned a Servant… I guess I just figured you already knew. You’re Servant is an Archer, right?” She looked at the silver haired girl. And she wasn’t the only one. Shirou himself looked to her for confirmation. She closed her eyes and nodded to them. “Yup. You can call me Archer, if you want, but… I prefer Archerko.”

What was it about that girl? There was something so, so familiar about that girl. At least he knew what to call her. Archerko. Or Archer? Maybe he didn’t know. Not yet, anyway. He’d get back to it when he was less stressed. Right now, he needed more of an explanation.

“Oh. One more thing. Don’t worry about the house.” Huh? What do you mean don’t worry about the house? His house was gone! Even Tohsaka looked dumbfounded.

“Gimme a sec. I’ll fix it all.” She couldn’t be serious. There was no way to just…

She took a deep breath, raised both of her hands skyward, and…

The world flooded with Prana. His senses went numb from the sheer volume of energy that expanded out from Archerko. A globe of raw magical energy erupted out of her, tingeing almost immediately with the color of some spell, and then detonating like a bomb. It rolled out in a vast wave that engulfed the flaming ruins of his home, the soot and smoke flowing into the night, the snow-like ash that fell from the sky. Even the shed and boundary wall.

And when it was gone, not a single scratch remained to prove that anything had happened. His house was perfect, pristine. Nothing was out of place. Even the objects within… He could see a vase that had been broken before was now whole, even from where he stood. He closed his gaping jaw.

Just what was this girl!?!?

What was a Servant?

Even Tohsaka was impressed, her eyes wide, face pale. She took a single step back, though he bet she wasn’t aware of it. And what’s more…

Archerko hadn’t seemed to lose any of her steam. She just stood there like she had done nothing but stretch. Maybe… Maybe that really was all she had done? What kind of monster was this girl? He was glad he was already sitting. Otherwise, he would have collapsed again.

“Umm. I think I need to hear that explanation again…” That was just too unreal.

“S-sure.” Shaken though she was, Tohsaka started to explain it all again, going into more detail about the classes, the Great Families. She didn’t ask about why Archerko had made her earlier demands. He didn’t want her to, either. He had a feeling he wouldn’t like the answer. Actually, he had a feeling he wasn’t going to like any of this. He had no interest in wars. Especially for something petty, like a wish. It was pretty clear people were willing to kill for it, if the night’s events were any indication.

After a long explanation, Tohsaka told him one final thing.

“We need to go see the officiant. He can explain things better.” Oh boy. More explanations.

MrTags
March 25th, 2011, 10:34 PM
Yay, more chapter! Yay!

Going back going forwards, you really jump around.

Twelveseal
March 25th, 2011, 10:45 PM
Indeed. If it helps any, this was originally just supposed to be a One-Shot. The old thread was just titled "A Bite to Eat: A Loli-Grail War Story", but I had another idea or two to play with, so I wound up with like, three shorts in the original. Then I started getting feedback from the Surfing Zel crew, so I decided to continue. Since the orignal few posts were not part of a set story, the later ones jumped around as well. In effect, I was building a timeline in my head, and then posting tidbits of it where it was important or exciting.

That lead to the LGW as it is now, once you take into account the fact that I did (and still do) take suggestions from the readers as to the content of upcoming chapters. It's a puzzle that's meant to be fitted together. There are no dates or times, so it adds a degree of suspense as you try to figure out exactly what is happening at the same time. Keeping in mind the timeline of the original VN helps, but it's also important to realize that everything is happening months ahead of schedule.

RanmaBushiko
March 25th, 2011, 10:58 PM
Yeah, I can understand that. Kinda like what I've got going for my own story, which has spiralled WAY out of control for where I originally had it going. Gotta say, this has been going quite well, though, and I hope to see more of it, too.

Twelveseal
March 25th, 2011, 11:10 PM
So do I, actually. Basically, I'm just reposting old stuff still. The original manuscript is 263 pages in Word. I am currently on 204 right now. However, I bogged down in the characterization of a certain chapter, and I never finished it. That said, I guess I need to get back to work in it, yes? I'll need to bust out the writing music.

RanmaBushiko
March 25th, 2011, 11:22 PM
What have you been listening to, for music while writing? Out of curiousity...

I myself been listening to that new "Myth The Xenogears Orchestral Album", and it's rather good for focusing my mind on writing Fate/Stay Night.

Imported it with Fate/Stay Night, and been listening when it got here two days ago... unlike my copy of Fate/Stay Night, which came much earlier this month.

Yeah, I know it's a bit off topic, but still. just curious.

Twelveseal
March 25th, 2011, 11:33 PM
Well, let's see here. The Main Theme from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni for some of the darker, slower paced sections.
Keiyaku and Eiyuu Ou from the FSN anime, Godsibb from the Xenosaga series for some parts. Not to mention Azazel's Chamber from Tekken 6.
Most of the Longest Night chapters were written to Alter Bridge's "Isolation"
Other parts were written to a small host of EMIYA remixes, or Tohou remixes, mostly versions of Suwa Foughten Field, Necrofantasia, and Solar Sect of Mystic Wisdom.
Still others were written to Code ZTS Label's Eleison cd.
And let's not forget the theme song to Higurashi's anime and a couple of songs from Guilty Gear 2 Overture. Diva, Dignity, and Holy Orders (Be Just of be Dead) mostly.

If I really wanted to, I could probably set a theme song to each character, though that would be more of a battle theme in most cases.

RanmaBushiko
March 26th, 2011, 12:19 AM
Interesting. I'll have to broaden my listening horizons, then. Thanks for the list.

Twelveseal
March 26th, 2011, 12:27 AM
Hey, no problem. Also, Mudvayne's "Scream with Me", Disturbed's "Another Way to Die" and "Animal", and eventually the theme from Sekien no Inganock "Adenium" should be added to that list. And Alice in Chains's "Lesson Learned", "A Looking in View", and "Check my Brain"

Twelveseal
March 26th, 2011, 12:31 AM
Night of Fate Memorial VII

The wind was starting to pick up, lifting the girls’ hair and streaming it out. The changing of the seasons always brought storms, especially in spring and fall. The wind was a sign that a fierce one would be on the way soon. But until then, it would gust like it did now.

It set the manes of hair dancing with the fallen autumn leaves, painting the night in fall’s colors beneath the silvery moon. It nipped at his nose, cool and wet, coming off the sea. The cold seeped into his face, his skin, his muscles, even his very bones. So close to the ocean, the humidity made the temperature all the more intense, so that his body ached with it.

The whole night was hypnotic. Surreal. It was as if all the world were nothing but a haunting, fleeting dream. He would wake up at any moment, and forget the whole thing before lunch. Everything had become so impossible that it could only be a dream. And yet…

It definitely was not a dream.

The trio of girls walked with him in the moonlit night. One with dark hair, garbed in scarlet and black, the lashing threads of her twin-tails whipping the night air, her skirt ruffling. Every so often he would catch a glimpse of white, and he’d look away. At least a little. This was a girl whom he had admired, an ideal in her own right. Tonight, he had seen past her mask of perfection, to the woman within, and had learned something. More than anything, she was a mystery to him. He couldn’t help but feel drawn to that.

Another with hair as black as the darkness itself, her eyes intoxicating crimson moons reflected in the pristine snow white of her graceful face. Cradled in her arms was a white pup, paler still, its frigid eyes closed in what seemed to be sleep. She was fear and ruin and graceful cruelty, her movements the swaying of a dancer. She was pain and death. She was eternity. Even someone as half-trained, as ignorant as himself, had heard of the Dead Apostle Ancestor, Altrouge Brunestud. Even knowing that, though, even knowing that she would have killed him that night… He couldn’t help but think of her as beautiful. She was like a porcelain doll, perfectly crafted.

And the third…

The girl he owed his life to. Silver hair streaming like the moonlight itself, the little Archer who had fought twice in one night to save him from certain death. The girl who had restored everything he had lost in a single night. It had all been petty. Meaningless objects. Only the memories, and the happiness those things could bring to Fujinee and Sakura had really mattered. But still… He owed her everything he was already, and he had known her less than a single night.

They walked in silence broken only by the sound of the world. The wind whistling through the trees and across the road. The leaves rustling in its grip. The quiet click of feet on the pavement. The distant sound of the waves crashing on the shore far below. In this world of darkness, this place where ordinary people did not belong, silence reigned.

It had been broken before. Tohsaka had explained to him about the War. The Servants. The Masters. She had covered a bit about the world of the Magi, though not in any great detail. She had mentioned her status as the Second Owner of the Holy Land of Fuyuki, both of which were facts he had not known. It seemed he had stumbled on the very thing his father had tried to avoid. Or had she stumbled onto him?

She had asked questions, as well. How long had he been living here? What did he know about the families of the area? Was he the heir of his line? He had explained it all. None of it was important, after all. As far as he knew, he was the last Emiya around. He hadn’t known anything about the families, or the Association, or the protocols. Not really, anyway. And he had always lived there. Even if it hadn’t been with the same family.

No, that had all been fine. And she had accepted his answers. But then she had asked something different.

She had asked about his father.

Things had gone downhill.

He had told her about his training. Sort of. He wasn’t so naïve as to think that Kiritsugu would want him to just hand out the secrets of his Magecraft, but… Well… Tohsaka not only wasn’t impressed, she had started to fume. He didn’t know what had set her off, but even he could tell. The set of her shoulders, the way she wouldn’t look at him. And she had stopped talking. It was like he had insulted her. To make matters worse, he had no idea what he had said wrong. He had ended with a sigh when she had told him to stop. Whatever it was he had said, she didn’t want to hear the rest.

Through the whole thing, Rider had patently ignored him, showing not the slightest interest. It hadn’t mattered to her in the least. He guessed he was just plain beneath her notice. Then again, maybe that was a good thing.

Even so, there had been one attentive audience member.

Archer had edged closer to him with every word, hanging on it all. Sure, she tried to hide it, but she was eager to listen. He couldn’t even begin to guess why she cared so much when the others were so displeased, but…

It made him feel better.

About both himself, and his father. He was grateful to her for that, too.

When he had finished, she had pulled away again, her head down, lost in her thoughts. He wondered what deeper meaning his words held for her. After all, they had meant something to Tohsaka, too. It must have been more important than he had thought. But…

Archer hadn’t said a word. She kept her thoughts to herself. Somehow, it just seemed wrong to interrupt her.

So they had walked in silence. The disinterested Rider. The fuming Tohsaka. The thoughtful Archer. And a very confused Emiya Shirou. It seemed that they were heading to Shinto, to the old part of town that had survived the fire a decade ago. With that in mind, he had spoken up, guiding the group down an alley that opened into the park by the bridge spanning the river that divided the two towns.

“Ah! I see! So if you follow that little street, it opens out here!” It was the first thing Tohsaka had said since his father had come up in conversation. It made him feel a little warm inside. It was a tiny spark of pride at knowing the city so well. Maybe it should have been bigger, since he knew it better than the Second Owner, but that didn’t matter. He was proud that he had helped her learn something new.

She had lost some of her fire, then, but she still wasn’t talking to him. At least the atmosphere wasn’t so unwelcoming anymore. They had crossed that footbridge in better spirits. Or so he had hoped, anyway.

They had continued through the moonlit world in a more peaceful silence. This one of serenity, like a tour of an alien world in the darkness. It was somehow relaxing, walking down the old streets. The road slowly inclined, growing into a hill lined with trees and homes. It tugged at memories that had burned away long ago. But that didn’t matter. That had been another life, after all.

And finally, they had reached their destination. “This is it. Kotomine Church.” Tohsaka spoke first, a voice devoid of emotion. If she had had any kind of feelings for the place, she had hid it well.

“I think I’ll stay outside, if that’s alright with you, Onee-chan. I find such… places… disagreeable.” He supposed Rider would. Vampires and the Holy Church didn’t exactly see eye to eye. But…

“I think I’ll keep her company, Onii-chan. You’ll be alright, right?” Archerko’s smug look was back, that smirk on her face reminding him of his youth. He had known that same look before. It was the look you got when you were in on a joke no one else knew about. Now that he had placed it, he was starting to worry. They had both nodded to the Servants, and he had a strange feeling.

As he placed his hands on the old wooden doors of the fine Church, he felt that he was making a monumental decision.

He would not be able to take this choice back.

Right here, right now, his fate would be decided.

Grant
March 26th, 2011, 12:41 AM
Rin against Archerko. Poor Rin, she has no idea what she's in for.

Twelveseal
March 26th, 2011, 02:59 AM
Night of Fate Memorial VIII

The great wooden doors of the chapel opened as he pushed them, the hinges offering up a groan of protest. He stepped across the threshold of the building, and into the symbol of one of the most powerful organizations of the magical world. He stepped into the House of God.

Inside, it was a pristine symbol, a perfectly maintained temple, even to his untrained eye. Every pew was cleaned and dusted, small holy texts, Psalms perhaps, waiting for the parishioners to come for Mass. The aisles were uncluttered, swept clean of anything the faithful may have left behind. The Confessional was well polished, though its handles showed much wear. The peerless altar was watched over by a polished wooden cross, simple, and yet powerful. And above all else in sight, the stained glass showed the power of this place. Its wealth. Beautiful stained glass adorned every window. Each depicted a Saint or Martyr, or a scene of biblical importance. He had known it was an important church by its size, but the cost of such things was a final confirmation. The place, Kotomine Church, stood in glorious testament to the material wealth and power of the Christian God and his faithful.

It did nothing for him.

Certainly, it was a beautiful church. And he could definitely feel the power of the people’s faith. But he, ultimately, was no Christian, and had no interest in conversion. To him, the whole thing seemed a little… oppressive. He didn’t feel comfortable here. He told himself it was just because he wasn’t one of the faithful, even though his sense of unease continued to grow slowly. It was like an orchestra, but there were one or two violins out of tune or time, and it was slowly throwing off the rest of the group.

It didn’t help matters that there wasn’t a person in sight.

He supposed that was normal. After all, it was the middle of the night, and they had come there unannounced. It wasn’t like the place could be staffed with priests all the time, right? He was actually a little surprised that the doors had been unlocked at all. Speaking of which…

A creak told him that Tohsaka had shut the door behind her, separating them from the outside world, and their Servants. He was alone with Tohsaka, and it only added to his discomfort. Before, he really hadn’t had time to let that fact sink in, but now…

The girl he admired was a part of this strange world he lived in. They were both Magi, both practitioners of Mysteries beyond the ability of normal people. They had lived in this city all of their lives, and had known nothing about each other. It was as if fate had thrown them together. He found himself staring at her as she walked past him towards the altar. He felt like it was bad luck to approach that when the priest was out, but she didn’t seem to take notice. The way she moved captivated him. The confident set of her shoulders, the noble turn of her head, the swaying of her hips with each step.

Without a word, he had found himself following her, even against his misgivings.

“Umm… Tohsaka-san? Maybe there’s no one here right now?” The whole place seemed empty. It was hollow, empty. Not a sound or sign that anyone was there, except for the lights. And even those were unchanging.
“No, that fake priest is definitely here. I’m sure he already knows we’re here. He’s just enjoying making us wait.” What did she mean by that?

“Fake priest?” She sighed, a disgusted look on her face. Had he just stepped on a landmine? He remembered how easily he had made her mad, and he still didn’t know what he had said before. After a moment of shaking her head, her hands on her hips in a way that reminded him of Issei somehow, she started to tell him.

“He’s a cheat of a priest. He became a magus without leaving the Holy Church.” But wait… Didn’t the Church forbid its members from practicing Magecraft? “He’s also my senior as an apprentice, my father’s student in other words, and my legal guardian.” She sounded bitter, as if the whole thing were something distasteful. He supposed it might be. After all, what would it be like to rely on someone like that? After all, wasn’t he doing just that? And he didn’t feel too comfortable with the idea. What would it be like to have that person in control of your life? Just what kind of person was this priest? But also…

He guessed something must have happened to Tohsaka’s parents at some point, if her father’s apprentice had taken her in. He felt bad for her, but he also understood that that was the path a Magus walked. The moment they took up the craft, their fate was sealed, even if the date and method were unknown.

He wondered what it must have felt like for his father to know he was dying, to know that he hadn’t been able to save his child from the world of the Magi. But he had chosen this path himself, even if he hadn’t understood it that well when he had. What had Tohsaka’s father felt, knowing that he left his daughter behind? Pride? Regret? Hope?

He supposed it didn’t matter anymore. The dead were gone. All that anyone could do was live on for those who couldn’t anymore.

He uncurled hands that had clenched into fists without his knowing. Life was cruel. It did him no good to get angry about it.

“There you are you fake priest! What’s the idea of making us wait so long?” Gah! He hadn’t heard the man approach, even for his size. He was tall, with broad shoulders, the straight posture of a soldier, and intense, piercing, hawk-like eyes. His shoulder-length dark hair framed his face, and the priest’s cassock made him seem even larger. He was a man with presence, yet he had slipped in behind Shirou without any sign. He was a man with the lean, hungry features of a predator, and yet he carried an air of peace that seemed at odds with his appearance.

This man disturbed him.

Something was not right.

“I’ve come to announce my position as a Master in the Holy Grail War. This happens to be another Master, as well.” She indicated him with a wave of her hand. He couldn’t help but feel like she had just dismissed him. The priest, Father Kotomine, he supposed, looked at him with those eyes, and a shiver went down his spine. It felt like the priest was looking straight through him. And then he turned his attention back to Tohsaka.

“Rin, I see that you finally decided to acknowledge the regulations of the ritual. I had begun to worry your summoning had failed.” She turned her head to the side, pointedly not looking at the priest. It was an odd reaction, like she was somehow ashamed of something. Had something gone wrong? “You know better than that! There’s no way I could fail at such a simple ritual! And besides, that rule was one you made just for this Holy Grail War.”

“Yes, but rules are still rules, regardless of where they come from. So I take it your summoning was a success? And just what is this young man’s name?” He had a bad feeling about this but…

“Emiya Shirou.”

The priest’s eyes widened for a moment in surprise, and then an odd smile crept across his face. “I see. Well then, Emiya Shirou. I trust you understand the rules of the Holy Grail War?” Not really, no. And why did he feel so uncomfortable? He shook his head. “Not really. Tohsaka-san has tried to explain it, but it just seems so unreal.”

The priest smiled. It was an oddly disturbing expression.

“That’s all right. There is not much that you need to know. This city of Fuyuki has hosted a recurring ritual to determine who has the right to hold the Holy Grail and receive the Miracle it represents, in the form of a wish. Everyone who has gathered here today has done so for the purpose of attaining that wish, their heart’s truest desire. No matter how great or small, it can be achieved with the power of the Grail. You should rejoice! You have been given a rare opportunity! You should cast aside your doubts and accept the blessings given to you. Go out and take what is rightfully yours, Emiya Shirou! After all…” “We don’t need a sermon. Just hurry up and explain what the War is.”

The priest looked displeased, but Shirou realized he owed Tohsaka. For a moment, he had believed that man. Fighting in this war… it meant killing people. That was something he couldn’t accept. “I don’t have a wish.” It was a simple phrase, but loaded with meaning. What kind of person would fight for something they didn’t want? “Of course you do. Everyone has wishes, even if they refuse to acknowledge them. Wishes are what allow us to live. We wish for the basic needs of life, and we seek them out. Even you have a wish. You need only ask yourself what it is.”

To save everyone.

He didn’t even need to think about it. It was the wish his father had carried, and dropped. He wanted to save everyone, help everyone. That’s why he wouldn’t fight. In order to get a wish like that, he would have to hurt someone.

“I can see it on your face. You want to save others, do you not?” He looked up sharply. “Then you truly should rejoice, young Emiya. You are more blessed than you realize. In order for you to save others, others must first need to be saved. They must suffer. In such a war as this, you will certainly find those who need saving.” He had no desire for that. He wanted everyone to be happy, not hurt just so he could save them! Those two things didn’t have to go hand in hand, did they? But… It was true that others would be hurt. He didn’t want to think about it, but there were many people who would hurt others just for their own personal gain. Surely they wouldn’t kill each other, though? He tried to hide from the fact that he knew he was deluding himself.

And then he remembered the callous little archer. The girl who had put an arrow through his heart. And when that had failed, she had come back for him.

Yes. People would kill for the Grail. He could not deny that. No matter how much he wanted to.

But he had no place in this, did he? He didn’t want to fight people. He wanted to help them, to save them.

“Yes, there will certainly be those Masters who would be willing to kill each other for the Grail.” But wasn’t it possible…

“But they don’t have to kill each other, do they? Tohsaka-san said that the Servant was needed to win, that only they could touch the Grail. The Servants are already dead, right? All we have to do is return them to where they came from, right.?” Asking that made him feel very uncomfortable. The whole situation was making him feel nauseous.

Tohsaka had a surprised look on her face, like she had forgotten it. Or maybe she thought it was obvious, and hadn’t needed to tell him? “That’s right. It’s not like you have to kill the other Masters. There’s no rule like that. In fact, this church is here to be a safehouse for Master’s who lost the war.”

The priest had an almost sad look on his face, though. “Yes, the Servants are spirits. They will return to the Throne of Heroes when they are destroyed. And there is no rule that demands that a Master die. You are right. This church was made for that purpose, even though it has only served that purpose once. In three Holy Grail Wars, this church has only once acted as a safehouse for a defeated Master. Tell me, Emiya Shirou. Do you think that you could defeat your Servant?”

That was a stupid question.

He remembered the speed and power of her arrows, the river of death that flowed from Archerko’s hands. He remembered the impossible spell she had cast to restore his home, the bounded field that had shielded her from the explosion. No, she might be a little girl, but there was no way he could defeat her.

“I see you understand. It is nearly impossible for a modern human, even a fully trained Magus or a fully ordained priest, or even the most powerful of vampires and demon-hybrids, to fight a Servant. Killing one is even more absurd. Killing a Magus is difficult, but not impossible. Compared with fighting a Servant, it’s the only reasonable option.”

So… Every Master would be looking to kill each other. Which meant that Tohsaka…

She wouldn’t do that, would she?

“You could also try to force another Master to use all of their Command Seals. Without those, the Contract between a Master and Servant will fade, and unless the Servant finds another Master, it will fade away, too.” So there was another way! Thank you, Tohsaka!

“Yes, that would work,” said the priest, chuckling, “but just how do you intend to do that?” Oh. “In truth, that is just another reason to kill every Master you encounter. A Master who retains his Command Seals after losing a Servant will retain the ability to be a Master. He may form a new Contract with any Servant he encounters, so long as the Servant is not already bound.” Damn! And if he didn’t fight… That would mean that Tohsaka would be out there, wouldn’t it? Could he really leave her alone to that? Could he just walk away when people would die if he did nothing? But those people had made that choice…

“Further, Emiya Shirou, just what do you think happens when a Servant is not enough? After all, it is difficult for even a Servant to kill another Servant. If a Master is desperate enough, he may involve people who are not even related to the war.” Father Kotomine was wearing a faint smile, one hand gesturing as if displaying something.

“What do you mean?” He was afraid of what the answer would be. But it was Tohsaka who answered.

“Spirits need sustenance of a similar type to themselves. A nature spirit will absorb natural elements in order to restore its power or grow stronger. But, since a Heroic Spirit is a human…”

“They consume human souls in order to become stronger.” The priest finished. “I suppose that is a bit misleading. They do not grow stronger. They merely gather more Prana than they had originally possessed. A Master who needs to restore the power of his Servant may command that Servant to devour the souls of normal people.” He suddenly felt very, very sick. Wasn’t anyone safe from this!?!

“What’s more, such a person is more likely to succeed, so long as they do not draw the attention of the Association. After all, their Servant has more fuel than the others. Such a Master is more likely to succeed in obtaining the Grail. Tell me, what do you think a person of that character would do with their wish?” His thoughts stopped. It was a moment before they started again. He didn’t want to consider what would happen if someone like that made a wish…

“Tell me, Emiya Shirou. Do you remember the fire from ten years ago?”

Of course he did. Everyone in Fuyuki knew about the Great Fuyuki Fire. Even now, they were still investigating the cause. An entire city block had exploded in a massive fireball one night, the blaze claiming hundreds of lives. His parents had died in that fire. Everyone he had known had died in that blaze.

Even he had died there.

But the man he called father, Emiya Kiritsugu, had saved him. It was that very incident that had set him on the path to becoming a Hero of Justice. The people screaming, dying around him, their hands reaching for him, their voices crying in the night. It had been hell. And only he had survived.

All he could do was nod. Even now he dreamed of that night.

“Of course. Did you know that it was caused by a wish?” “What!?!?”

“Yes. During the previous Grail War, an unworthy Master touched the Grail before it had manifested fully. I do not know what he wished for, but the fire was the result. Such is the power that the Holy Grail can wield, even while incomplete.”

“You… you’ve repeated something like that… in this city…” He could barely think. This was madness!!! To… to do something like that, over and over again!!! To let just anyone have that!

“Why hasn’t the Church just taken the Grail!?!?” His voice was much louder than he intended, but it wasn’t important!

“Emiya! Calm down!” He felt her hand on his arm, steadying him. He hadn’t even noticed he was wobbling. His teeth were clenched so tight they hurt. But the look she gave him, calm and commanding, and supportive…

He took a deep breath. In. Out.

He wondered why she cared enough to do that. It wasn’t her problem, was it? But he still appreciated it. “Thanks, Tohsaka-san.” It was a moment before he answered, but he meant it. He was finding himself in debt to many women tonight.

The priest clasped his hands behind his back, looking down at Shirou. “The Holy Church has no interest in imitations. The Holy Grail of Fuyuki is but one of many hundreds of similar objects throughout the world. It is not the cup which caught the blood of Christ. Ordinarily, the Church would have no interest in it all. However, the power of the wish is great. It is possible that the wish could deliver the true Holy Grail to Fuyuki. Since that is a possibility, my father was sent to observe, and to act as an impartial ‘referee’ to this war between Magi. No. If we simply took the Grail, which belongs to the founding families, it would lead to a conflict between the Association and the Holy Church. In this era, peace is preferable.”

So…

The only option was to fight, wasn’t it?

But he wouldn’t fight for a wish!

No. He’d fight for the people themselves.

He’d save everyone.

“I can see you’ve made your decision. If you wish, I can simply remove your Command Seals, and you may go. Return to your normal life. I can leave you one so you can break your Contract with your Servant,” it sounded good, but he knew he couldn’t do that, “or you can choose to fight.”

His hand clenched into a tight fist.

“I’ll do it. I’ll fight!” The priest smiled.

“But I won’t fight for a wish! I’ll fight to protect everyone!” Tohsaka gaped at him, but the priest just smiled wider.

“Excellent. Then by the power vested in me, I officially declare this Holy Grail War as begun!”

It was a proclamation to no one but the three. It was empty.

“Oh, one final thing. The Classes to which your Servants belong? It seems that the device created for monitoring the Servants has failed.” Tohsaka looked stunned. Her eyes bulged, though he couldn’t tell what part of that statement had caused the reaction.

“My Servant is a Rider.” She looked both shaken, and angry. This was apparently very bad.

“Umm. My Servant is an Archer.” He bet he just looked confused.

“Hmm. The second…” The priest continued to mutter to himself, almost as if he had lost interest in them. Tohsaka had a worried look on her face. It seemed this kind of behavior wasn’t normal at all. Or maybe she knew something he didn’t?

“Umm. What’s going on?” He was really feeling like an idiot today. He had thought he had known so much about the way the world worked, but…

His whole concept of reality had been shattered in a single night. And now he was facing an uncertain future, where terrible things were just waiting to happen. The priest had walked away, disappearing into the church. There would be no further advice, distressing as it had been.

He was still very confused. He couldn’t understand why such a thing was needed in the first place. But he at least knew what he had to do. He walked back out of the church, Tohsaka leading. His head was cast down, but in thought, not defeat. And when he looked up…

She was there.

That silver-haired girl that he owed everything to.

Archerko was standing there, facing him. Her hair and clothes fluttered in the wind. There was something he had to do.

“Archerko… I should have asked you first, shouldn’t I? I’ve decided that I’ll fight in this Holy Grail War. I don’t have a wish, and there may be other Masters who would have a better chance of winning, but… I want to protect everyone, and I want you by my side in this. I already owe you so much, and I shouldn’t ask for more, but will you help me?” He stretched out his hand.

Her smirk faded, her face serious. She looked at him from the corner of her eye, as if measuring him.

And then she smiled. It was a small, radiant smile, like the innocent girl she appeared to be. It was a radiant smile that stirred something deep inside him.

A slender hand reached out, and he closed his over hers. “Alright, Onii-chan. But you’d better not regret that decision, or I’ll never forgive you!” Her smirk was back, but he wouldn’t forget that smile.

Somehow, he knew he’d always remember it.

“My name is Emiya Shirou. It’s an honor to meet you, Archerko.”

ringlhach
March 26th, 2011, 03:28 AM
Nitpick off the port bow!


“Of course. Did you know that it was caused by a wish?” “What!?!?”


Not sure if this was deliberate or not- but when you switch speakers, you usually start a new paragraph.

Also, I feel slightly ashamed at not having connected the dots where Rider is concerned.

Twelveseal
March 26th, 2011, 03:37 AM
Yeah, I probably should have started a new paragraph. I do that sometimes though, mainly to represent how quickly the second speaker responds. It can get a bit awkward, but the odd spacing in the text is meant to help control the pace that the words register in the readers' minds.

That's why some of my lines have a single space, others double spacing, and the size and position of paragraphs are sometimes odd. It represents the flow of time in text.

Like I said, it's a bit awkward, but it's a style I'm experimenting with. I hope it turns out well.

Twelveseal
March 27th, 2011, 12:18 AM
Night of Fate Memorial IX

“This is all very touching, but I’d rather not linger around a Church any longer than is absolutely necessary.” Rider’s voice was filled with a combination of boredom and disgust.
He supposed that made sense. After all, the Holy Church was famous for its crusade against vampires. The animosity flowed both ways, since the Twenty Seven Ancestors were also known to hunt the hunters, on occasion, even if such events were rare. It was closer to say that vampires feared the power of the Church, especially if they had been Christians in life. Such Dead Apostles were more susceptible to the holy sacraments of the Church.

He very much doubted that Rider had ever been a Christian. She was a True Ancestor, right? But they might still be troublesome for her. Or maybe she just disliked them? There could always be some bad blood between them.

He heard Tohsaka sigh, even as he glanced at Archerko. He looked at her, hands on her hips again with a displeased look. “Rider’s right. We should go ahead and head back. That fake in there failed to mention it, but once the War has officially started, we can’t go back to the Church. At least with a Servant, anyway. It’s off-limits unless you’ve been defeated, and need asylum. That way no one can come in and kill off the competition or carry out grudges.”

He nodded in understanding. It made sense, with what Father Kotomine had said about stray Servants bonding with other Masters. Really ruthless Masters might come to kill people who had already lost in order to prevent them from rising again with a new Servant. And to make sure a Servant that had been defeated, stayed that way.

“Alright. Let’s go home.” Tohsaka nodded, and then turned to go, the wind gusting at their backs as they headed down the hill.

At first, it had seemed like it would be another quiet walk in a quiet town, but…

It seemed Tohsaka wanted to talk about something.

“I just want you to know that you don’t owe me anything for this. And I don’t want you relying on me any, either. I helped you as compensation for trying to save me, that’s all. I can’t stand something that unbalanced. I’m not your ally. Someday soon, we’ll have to fight, and when that happens… Rider will win.” The named Servant smiled viciously, full of confidence in herself, and pride in her Master. But why say something like this? “From here on out, you and I are Magi fighting for the same goal. Masters in the same war. Do you understand, Emiya-kun?” Emiya-kun? Hadn’t she called him other things, before? It seemed she was still deciding on just how to treat him. But that was beside the point.
Yes, he understood what she meant. And at the same time, he had no idea.

She was telling him they were enemies, and that she would kill him. Or at least kill his Servant, Archerko. Neither of those were things he planned to let happen. Yeah, she was saying that they would be true Magi, utterly devoted to their goal, from here on out.

But that was wrong. If that had been the case, then why help him in the first place? If he was just a hurdle in her path, then why raise him to her level? A true Magus would have walked over him when they had first encountered each other, wouldn’t they? It was something he didn’t agree with, but it was how they would work. It was how the Association worked, at least according to his father.

So why would someone who intended to act as a Magus aid an enemy?

He looked over at Archerko, seeking guidance, but she just snickered and turned her head. Was it that obvious? He felt like he was missing something important. Rider, at least, seemed not to notice. Or care, at least. He sighed.

“Yeah, I understand…” He was not at all happy about it, though.

They continued on in silence for a long time, passing down the hill. It would be a long way home.

Much longer.

It happened when they had reached an intersection in Miyama. Tohsaka had said her farewells, telling him that they would be enemies the next time they met. It hadn’t sounded any better then, either. She had started off, heading up the hill towards the western homes there. He couldn’t help but stare at her back and wonder what had happened to his previous life.

“Onee-chan!” Tohsaka whipped around at the odd warning from her Servant. She turned, and looked right at him. But why…

“Hey, are you done talking yet?”

And then he felt it. Some massive power flowing over him. It filled the air like a dense fog. The hair on the back of his neck stood on end, and he slowly turned.

There, framed against the bright moon, stood two figures. They were like matching dolls, two small girls, looking down on him from atop the hill. Two pairs of crimson eyes. Two cascades of fair hair, one pale silver, the other faded gold. Pale skin on childish faces flushed from the cool wind autumn wind. One wore a white skirt and violet blouse, the other a white sweater and violet skirt. He was reminded of the Dao, the spiral of yin and yang. Magical power radiated from that place on the hill, as if it were a volcano of Prana, belching forth death and destruction.

It was an image that stuck in his mind.

“A… Servant…” Rider threw herself in front of her Tohsaka, the black blade already in hand as the white pup was engulfed in a cloud of Prana, swirling around it before giving way to reveal the beast in its monstrous state. But it’s power wasn’t directed at him. It was aimed at that faraway hill.

“It’s been so long…” The black haired Servant spoke, but…

“Onee-chan.” The golden one answered. Her lips curled in a slight smile. No, both of them were smiling.

But it wasn’t the look of anger, or rage.

It was the look of two sisters who had not seen one another in a long time. There was bitterness, sadness, happiness, wistfulness, and other emotions flickering in there that were beyond recognition.

Archerko drew close, edging him backwards, her black bow in hand. For the first time, he noticed that the string was the bright red of a ruby. It seemed to thrum with a power all its own. It was the first time he had been that close to it. It had been moving or too far away before. He looked at it, and understood it. That piece of wire was made of metal, and it throbbed with Prana, maybe even more than Rider’s sword. What was it? Was this what Tohsaka had called a Noble Phantasm? He remembered what she had told him about Servants. Was that the proof of her heroism?

What was he doing, letting his mind wander in this situation!?

They had to get out of here. That Servant gave him a very bad feeling…

“Good evening, Onii-chan. We meet again.” The silver haired girl curtsied, her voice ringing clear. He understood! This was why Archerko had seemed so familiar! He had met this girl yesterday, just for a moment. She looked, and even sounded, just like Archerko. Well, not quite. There was some power in Archerko’s voice that this girl lacked, but…

No, this girl was something else… Her voice was innocent, but…

It was the same kind of innocence a child held as it pulled the legs off of an insect. He felt a chill race through him, as if he had been plunged into a wintery river. His body and mind went numb, the combination of that monster that looked like a girl, and this child’s voice bearing down on him.

Tohsaka may be standing ready, and Archerko is definitely prepared, but, in all honesty…

He doubted he could move.

“It’s good that I managed to catch you all at once. It saves me the trouble of looking for you later.” Her cold, pure smile is something terrifying. Her eyes glitter with amusement. Yes, an insect with its legs pulled off.

“Nice to meet you, Rin. My name is Illya. Or maybe I should say, Illyasviel von Einsbern?” The silver child curtsies as if preparing to dance. Tohsaka’s stance shifts as she repeats the name, “Einsbern…” Recognition joined fear and resolve on her face.

The little girl, Illya, smiles at that reaction.

“Great! Ok, I’ll go ahead and kill you now! Go on, Berserker!” Oh hell. She sounded like she enjoyed saying that!

“Aww. Ok…” Huh? She sounded sulky. Maybe she would be slow to…

The world exploded, the asphalt beneath the golden girl’s feet shattering in clouds of dust and debris as her body lunged forward. No, shot forward like a cannoball! There was no way to stop that charge!

A red string hummed, a wave of steel rising to meet the golden missile that girl had become. Her raised knee crashed into the wall of death, through it, one dainty leg lashing forward to crush them!

The wind howled, the pressure intense. It was a gale wrought from the force of a blow, great enough to eclipse any burst of wind the night had yet thrown at them. Death rode that wind, but…

A chorus was singing to the night.

A black harp with a single scarlet string played an endless tune for accompaniment to the wailing of a demonic sword. The tide of steel flowed as a black blade parried the rush. But it was only the beginning!

Tiny hands became cruel talons, ripping the air. Each blow was met with an arrow, two, three! Dark sword’s edge cleaved the air, slashing forward.

The howl of a white beast cut the night, roaring into the wind.

Heedless of the thousand arrows, the monster pressed in from the side as its master cut to flank. Archerko dropped back, arrows firing to hinder rending claws and lashing heels. It was a brutal, simple tactic. Surround your foe, and crush it from each side. Not one of the combatants could be caught in their crossfire, but…

The golden child was faster, her talons batting aside each cut and claw, each gaping bite dodged. He could not keep track of the blows. It had become a blur of conflicting colors, black and white and silver and red. The air was in a full gale as their movements drew it in and crushed it like a black hole.

It was a natural disaster.

A typhoon.

Fall had spawned a storm unlike anything he had seen, had ever dreamed of seeing. Prayed he would never see again. Event the clang of steel on diamond hard claws, the thrum of a bowstring, the growls of a beast and a shouts of the combatants were drawn in and torn to pieces.

The ground cracked and caved, pipes deep beneath it surrendering to the force of more blows than could be seen by human eyes. The earth sank in on itself as the pressure of a war played out upon it.

The white beast lunged back and to the side, Rider mirroring, opening the path to Archerko! What were they doing!!!

The golden Berserker crushed forward, grit flying from beneath her. A sound like a gunshot rang out as black spheres flew forward like bullets, only to crash impotently against that tiny monster. Tohsaka was doing something! But he was the only one here who could do nothing!

And then she was there! Rider flew in from behind, black sword screaming!

It was a dangerous gambit. Arrows flew past them like water as she pressed in from behind Berserker, trying to pin her between the two Servants. But was Archerko suited to something like that!?!? And where had the white beast gone?

He saw it! The white form was flowing back up the hill, towards the girl!

“Berserker!” The ground beneath her collapsed in on itself, only to explode outward! Both Rider and Archerko were heaved into the air, bowstring still singing.

Berserker twisted in the crater, slashing out with a cruel claw. Once more, the ground erupted.

The night was filled with a cold rattling. Clinking of metal on metal rang out like an evil omen in the dark.

Chains enveloped the white beast, just a meter short of its reach.

They crushed and pulled it, dragging it back towards the golden child, the ground churning as the links ripped free like the dead rising from a fresh grave.

Her footing restored, Rider lunged forward, Archerko planting herself and drawing a single twisted arrow. But it was too late! She wouldn’t be able to fire before Berserker reached her!

He was only a step away. If Berserker reached them, they would all die. Their only hope was that Archerko could push her back with that arrow, that monstrous arrow that pulsed with energy like a beating heart. Rider’s black blade cut deep, only to have the wounds closed. It was not enough to kill this monster. But maybe that arrow!

His feet moved before he realized it. A woman shouldn’t be forced to fight, let alone a girl. Even if her enemies were the same, none of them should be here. It had to stop! He leapt sideways.

He hadn’t wanted to push her aside. Something in his mind had broken that night, he was sure. He had thought, somehow, that she would live if he could stop the blow. He had no weapon. He had no magic. All he had was his body. And it was all he used.

If he could have seen it, every face in that spectacle spread wide in shock. His own. Tohsaka’s. Illya’s. Even Berserker. All save one, who acted without hesitation.

As his body hurtled into the path of those claws, was split open like a melon, as his guts flew and splattered against the broken road. As his world exploded in pain.

She remained. It was a sight that would burn itself into his memory for the rest of his life. It was the moment he had understood. In one night, he had made two such memories of her.

Firm like a statue, peerless form. Gales tearing at silver moonlight hair. Black crescent bow and blood red string. An arrow like the spiral of the world.

The night roared.

The arrow flew.

It was a point blank shot. There could be no interceptions. It was so fast! Nothing before compared. It had been nothing but a flash of light, like an explosion. No, it had been an explosion, it was just that his dying body couldn’t feel it. His vision shook as the world did.

The dust cleared as his vision faded in and out. The pain kept him conscious, even if for a moment. Something in him throbbed, but his awareness of it was low. He had no idea what it was, but it was there, nonetheless.

Rider, much farther away than he remembered, leaned on her black sword where it was thrust into the ground, glaring at a place further ahead. The white monster heaved at chains that fully encircled it, stretching them. Soon they would give, but would it be in time?

Archerko stood there still, untouched by the blast through a shell of magic, but…

Where was Berserker!?!?

He couldn’t move. His body wouldn’t listen to him. But…

She came down in his field of vision.

Her clothes were charred, a smoldering ruin. A gaping hole yawed in the left side of her chest, her left arm gone below the elbow. Dark blood poured out where the cauterized wounds split open, splattering against the earth.

Crimson eyes were closed, but not in pain.

Shock. Anger. And then one faded. The other remained.

Only anger on the face of the one called Berserker.

Even as he watched, even as his own wounds stole his life away, hers closed. Her arm was restored. It was as if no injury had ever occurred.

They were doomed.

“Why?” Why what? He had made a mistake, but wasn’t it right to save her? He couldn’t just let her be killed.

“Berserker… That’s enough. I’m bored.” Wha…? “Rin, I’ll kill you if I see you again. We’re leaving, Berserker.” His vision was finally fading. Whatever it was inside him that was keeping him alive, it wasn’t enough. He could feel it fading.

The golden Berserker smiled at Rider, an unnaturally cheerful expression compared with her earlier rage. “See you later, Onee-chan!”

The last thing he heard was Tohsaka’s voice saying something strange. “What were you thinking!?!? I can’t save you again!!!” He didn’t know what he had been thinking, either. Not really.

And then darkness took him.

He had learned later that Tohsaka and Archerko had worked together to carry him back. Apparently, they thought that Primate Murder, or his master, would eat him. Tohsaka had done her best to keep him alive. She hadn’t been alone, it seemed, as there was something in him that had been doing some of the work. It kept him stabilized, at least.

How did you stabilize someone who was missing so much tissue, though? Just what the hell was in him!?!? His intestines, his stomach, his liver, kidneys, all had been plastered across the street. Just keeping him alive in that condition was miraculous.

Whatever it was, though, it seemed like it had a finite amount of power. Tohsaka didn’t have the energy to heal a wound like what he had.

So Archerko had volunteered. She had said that she could heal terrible injuries, but that, balanced as he was on the verge of life and death, introducing foreign magic could tip the balance.

He didn’t know about that, but it might. After all, when someone was reinforcing an object, it wasn’t uncommon to damage the object in question with external Prana. It was a very exact science. Or Magecraft. So maybe taking one of her spells would be enough to tip his state of shock to the fatal?

However, she had said there was another method. It seemed that there was something inside him, something related to his abilities as a Magus that she could exploit. It had the power to heal him safely, but she couldn’t tamper with it directly.

She had said she could do it by transferring some of her Prana to him, slowly. Over time. It would be difficult, but she could save him by activating the “thing” imbedded in his body.

When he had first heard that, he had imagined her meditating over his body, and trying to reinforce him. That image had managed to last for a second or two, at least.

And then Tohsaka had told him what it really meant.

Somehow, in that ridiculous condition, she had taken his virginity. He could only imagine that Tohsaka’s ministrations had somehow closed his wounds. After all, just how did you have sex with something that torn to pieces?

Wait. Things didn’t add up. Archerko had said that they had had done that many times before. He had only met her that night. That was complete crap! And if Tohsaka had been healing him, then how could her magic be dangerous!?!? Why didn’t Tohsaka catch that!?!? Why didn’t he catch it until now!?!?

What the hell was going on!?!?

Had she done something with him, or not?

His head sunk, his shoulders shaking. He was very angry with himself. He had let it get to him, but that girl had to have been playing a prank on him. It had to be some cruel prank. He hadn’t thought Tohsaka would have that kind of sense of humor, but…

Then again, she had seemed genuinely disturbed by it herself, so, maybe…

Was it Archerko playing the prank? He stopped to think.

She had certainly been powerful. She had repaired his home like it was nothing, withstood two explosions like they were nothing, and dealt all that damage to Berserker. And his gut told him she had been right about the “thing” inside him, whatever it was. He had felt it when he was injured.

But had she told the truth when she said she had to sleep with him? Had she healed him with her Magecraft instead, like Tohsaka had tried to do? Or had she really done what she said? Or…

Had she done both.

His head was starting to hurt, a feeling of sickness coming over him. The whole thing felt wrong. And it felt like he had forgotten something important, too. Why had things become so complicated so quickly?

“What are you doing out here, Onii-chan?” An unmistakable voice. Like clear crystal. It was a voice he really didn’t want to hear right now. He turned his head to look at his Servant, saying “Archerko, I need a little… gah!!!”

Behind him stood a small girl in a white dress and violet jacket, her silver hair hanging below her waist.

“I didn’t expect to see you again, Onii-chan! I was sure you died!” A smile turned her lips. She looked genuinely happy, but there was only one thought in his head right then.

Crap!!!

ItsaRandomUsername
March 27th, 2011, 02:11 AM
Oh, wait 'til you find out the truth, Shirou~

Twelveseal
March 27th, 2011, 08:48 PM
Tea

It was uncomfortable. His legs were stiff, crammed as they were in this awkward position. And he was sure he still had more cramping to come. After all, it wasn’t even half over, was it? No. Certainly not. That girl still had plenty of tea left.

At least it was good tea.

Ryuudou Issei found himself squeezed tightly into a finely made, elegant, western-style chair. It looked faintly Victorian era, but he wasn’t sure. That kind of thing had never really been in his interests. He supposed it wouldn’t have been so bad, really. Under the right circumstances. Having tea outdoors, taking in the serene beauty of the forest and the lake in the distance. A tea party in a forest clearing. No, it wouldn’t have been so bad, even if it wasn’t really something he would be particularly enthusiastic about.

Except the chairs, the table, even the tea set, had been designed for children to play with. They were meant for someone half his height. It was a testament to their craftsmanship that the chairs didn’t simply collapse under the burden. Just what storeroom had his father dug these things out of, anyway? He didn’t remember seeing anything like them over the summer. It was like they had materialized out of nothing. Like something out of a Fairy Tale.

Or a Nursery Rhyme.

Yes. Like that child had. The little girl with blonde hair and eyes of purest blue. Eyes like the lake behind his temple home. Deep pools that held many secrets. Was there a dragon stirring behind those eyes, too? He brought the tiny teacup to his lips and sipped the aromatic drink. His brow furrowed a bit, one eyebrow arching. It really was good tea, even if it was a western leaf. He didn’t know for certain, but he suspected it might have been Earl Grey. This girl was full of strangeness. Had she made this luxurious tea form from nothing, as well, or had she convinced his father too open some secret stash? He didn’t know, and that only made it worse. It was… troubling.

He avoided looking at the other guests, the stuffed animals, or that one in a similar fix. He really felt bad for that one, but it was a misfortune they shared, at least. Even if not wholly. He peered into the pool of dark tea at the bottom of the tiny china teacup, peered into his own darkened reflection. He felt sorry for Minoru, he really did, but there was little he could do, now. No. Not in such a situation. His mind drifted into contemplation as he sat a strange tea party in the woods, surrounded by eerie stuffed animals and his kohai. And the little girl who was not a girl. The little girl who was not human. The little girl that wasn’t even real.

The little girl who was nothing but a story.

It had taken such a turn only a few days ago. Driven by dark premonitions of what would happen if Tohsaka Rin could obtain the power spoken of in those hidden records, he had set out to summon his own Servant. It was strange, but he felt that he could not trust his father with this. He was a very traditional man, and something so… unconventional, was a little too vague for his tastes. He had gone to the one person he felt he could trust with such a bizarre situation. His ethics teacher.

Who better? Kuzuki Souichirou literally lived with them at the temple. He was a man of stern demeanor, strict discipline, determination, purity. Issei had looked up to Kuzuki-sensei as if he were a member of the family, an elder brother. He had the utmost respect for him, admiration. He was an example of how Issei himself wished to be.

So he had taken this bizarre phenomenon, this strange discovery, to Kuzuki-sensei first. He had explained what he had learned. He showed his teacher the books, hoping to get some kind of support. Some confirmation that the path he had chosen was right.

He had felt very foolish. Who would believe in things like “magic” in this day and age? He wasn’t sure he believed it himself, and he had witnessed it firsthand. Performed it firsthand. He could still feel the power flowing through his limbs like molten steel, flowing out into the world and the earth. And still he wondered if it had been real, or some delusion.

But the response had been unexpected.

Kuzuki Souichirou had merely read the books. He had taken his time in answering, and when he did…

“I have seen something like this before. Once.” In his hand was a book of techniques handed down from the Dragon. “A long time ago. I met a man who could do something like this. His name was Fa Li Xion. He died many years ago.” Okay. So his mouth had gaped open. It really wasn’t what he had expected. Kuzuki-sensei had said it with such a straight face, not that his face really changed much, but… He had to be telling the truth. He had to be.

“I would like to study this.” He felt his spirit leaving his body. Yes, it was definitely floating away, flying free from his mouth. This was the first time Kuzuki-sensei had ever asked something for himself in Issei’s memory. For work, yes. For the Temple, yes. For his students, yes.

For himself, never!

“It appears to be genuine. I have no goals of my own, so I will help you in yours, Ryuudou-san.” No. That hadn’t been what he had wanted. No. He couldn’t involve Kuzuki-sensei in something like this. It was like, no it was a personal issue between Tohsaka and himself. He had merely wanted to know what Kuzuki-sensei thought about it all!

But…

This was the first time Kuzuki-sensei had done that…

So maybe… it was his decision?

So be it. He had decided to accept that. If Kuzuki-sensei wanted to take part in this ritual, for whatever reason, and accepted his reasons, then wasn’t that reason enough to celebrate? He knew he was right, with this.

So they had gone ahead. Kuzuki-sensei had chosen to take a full part in the proceedings, not just as an advisor, so…

For once, Issei found himself teaching Kuzuki-sensei. Needless to say, it was a very strange feeling. But there really wasn’t much to the ritual. A circle, a few lines of text, and a Catalyst. He had no idea what that was, or even if it was really needed. Since he didn’t know what it was, and the texts assumed that the reader did, it was either something very fundamental, or totally unimportant.

They had each tried on their own. Concentration was important, and he really didn’t want to interfere with Kuzuki-sensei’s.

He had chosen the hall where he had originally found the box. He had drawn the circle described in the book. He had said the strange incantation. He figured nothing would happen, in all honesty, but…

Before he had gotten halfway through the verses, he felt an intense pain in his right hand, as if someone had placed a hot iron against his bare skin. Blood dripped down his arm, splattering onto the circle. He kept going, even through the shock and surprise. Even though it made him gasp. He hardly halted at all. He had finished the lines, the world erupting in a pillar of light and wind. His eyes failed him, blinded by something vast within that light.

There had been a crash, a thud. The light and wind had faded, leaving only dust and debris to mark its passing. Only a little had really changed in the room. Except for one corner. That one corner of the room was in shambles.

The tools there were crushed.

Wooden hafts ground to dust and splinters. Clay jars shattered, their long wasted away contents joining the dust on the floor. And amid it all.

Bright blue.

Like a piece of the sky had been thrust into the room.

Blue dress. White ribbons. A blue bonnet. Tiny black shoes. White petticoats.

Laying flat in a cloud of dirt.

Coughing lightly, the little girl stood up. And glared.

His face must have been painted in shock. Awe. Disbelief. Had that thing actually worked!? But if it were real…

Who had ever heard of a legendary hero who was a little girl?

She dusted herself off, rising, elegantly, and stomped over to him with the indignant glare of…

He didn’t even see it coming. By the time he realized he had just been slapped, he was already on the floor. A good three meters away.

His whole head was numb.

There was only one thing that really fit this situation.

What the hell just happened?

He groaned as he levered himself up off the floor. He felt like his father had just kicked him in the head. What had he done?

“Wha…”

“You must never, never look at a lady’s undergarments so!!!” Oh. That. He hadn’t even realized… But, now that he thought about it… Those were real bloomers, weren’t they? Or something like it. Some old-fashioned underwear from a long time ago. It was so weird, it hadn’t even registered what he had just seen.

He had just looked straight up a little girl’s dress, and stared at her underwear…

If his face hadn’t already been red from getting kicked by a mule in the form of a little girl’s hand, he would have blushed. But…

He had absolutely no reaction to those things.

They were the least appealing women’s underwear he had ever seen. Not that he had seen a lot. But, well. He was still male. His eyes wandered sometimes… And there was always television. Not that he watched a lot, with his lifestyle. He felt slightly empty, suddenly, but…

He crushed that feeling with the resolve of his own decisions. Such things would come later. He had obligations to uphold now. Maybe when he was older, and better prepared to accept his father’s position. A slight twinge in his chest.

“I-I’m… I apologize for that. For looking at your underwear. My name is Ryuudou Issei. I was the person who summoned you here, umm…” He was at a loss. How did you address someone, or something, like this? Even though he was inexperienced, he could tell just how powerful she was. This girl was in an entirely different league from him. He’d never be able to catch her in sheer power. And her physical strength, too. Her magical energy, her Prana, was unreal.

“Caster. I am Servant Caster.” She sighed. “It looks like you’re my Master, after all.” She was looking at the hand that had bled during the ritual. On it was a curious image that reminded him of an opened book. It looked like a tattoo. But this temple wasn’t that kind of sect, so…

This could be trouble.

And hadn’t she said her name was Caster? He didn’t remember that being one of the Servants. Archer. Lancer. Saber. But no Caster. So. Had he botched things when he had stumbled over his words?

“This could be trouble. I was hoping for a much younger Master. But it seems I can’t be too choosey. Ryuudou Issei, was it? Well, Ryuudou Issei, could you please tell me the current time?” Huh? She was concerned with the time? He pulled out his watch. He had pocketed it before he had started the ritual, just in case. It was around midnight. And he said as much.

“Hmm. Later than expected. Oh. It seems there’s another Servant nearby, Ryuudou Issei. They’ll surely come and investigate, and I’d like to prepare a bit, first.” Her small, fine features twisted into a smile that somehow…

Why did this girl make him think of Tohsaka!?!

Yes, this was definitely not what he had planned.

“Oh. But as my Master, you should know my identity. I suppose it’s a bit confusing, but… Well… Nursery Rhyme.”

Wut.

Twelveseal
March 27th, 2011, 10:34 PM
Tea II

Preparations she said.

This wasn’t preparation.

This was… he didn’t even know what this was.

Nirvana?

“Wandering the ways of Mother Goose,
Lost in woods of Brothers Grimm,
Fetters of thy self set loose,
And abandon your way within”

The words left her petite mouth as one corner curled up, and the room…

Twisted.

The world bent, as if it had been turned sideways. A cloud of fog, thick and cloying, filled the room, pouring out of her tiny frame as if she were steaming. It stole his vision, blocked out the world, all sound, all sight. He was adrift in a sea of gray that tried to seep into his mind. But something was there, blocking it, keeping that gray shade out of him. The fog of his mind cleared, and lessened, flowing out like the tide.

He stumbled, fell, event though he had only taken a single step. He couldn’t see anything but gray. But…

What he landed on wasn’t the hard floor of the abandoned hall. Beneath his backside, in his hands, he felt soft grass.

The presence of the room was gone. There was no roof over him. Only space. He could feel it in the air. And…

He heard noises.

Animals. Beasts. The strange howls and eerie wails of unnatural things. The night had become filled with voices that the old mountain temple, no, the whole world, had never heard.

Sounds like nothing of this world rang out in the dark grey fog.

Rustling of leaves, snapping of twigs, creaking of wood and the sounds of an unnatural world.

The fog was filled with the terrors of youth. The powerlessness of a child left in the dark, of the unknown. Phantom dread that sent chills up and down his spine. The fog toyed with his mind. There was nothing there, he told himself. Just fog.

Even Caster was gone.

But that only made the unease grow. What had happened? What had she done? Where had she gone? As alien sounds assaulted him, the smell of the fog and wet earth, of the deep forest and loam came to him. The smell of beasts, of predators filled the night.

It drew on for an eternity, clawing at his mind, as he felt shapes draw near, heard the whuffling of hunting terrors. The fog swirled as forms flowed around him, half-glimpsed shadow-fears, strange noises rumbling, shaking the darkness, echoing in his chest.

His heart was racing, even as he tried to quiet it with his training. He heard a rustling overhead, and felt something pass over him.

Glowing jade eyes opened in the darkness, hovering over a maw of teeth like needles, only to fade back into the night. His hands clamped down of tufts of grass and…

The fog began to lift. Slowly, the grey veil lifted, and his eyes adjusted to the eerie darkness. The flickering of multi-colored fireflies danced in the air, the calls of beasts more distant.

The world he knew was gone.

In place of that old room, there was a dense forest, trees towering far overhead. Their forms were unnatural and twisted, but their trunks were vast, straight, strong. The color of their leaves was wholly wrong. In places there were trees of copper, silver, gold. Fruit made of gems. Their limbs moved, as if alive. Or…

They were alive. Branches twisted like hands, metallic leaves whistling in the night. Others bore strange fruit, or were in myriad colors, or…

He thought of the thing he had heard about drugs, wondering just what that fog had been.

Was this all just some bad trip?

But… There was one thing that made sense in the world.

She stood there.

Caster.

In one hand was an axe. It wasn’t a weapon, just… just what you’d use to cut fire wood. He hoped.

“Well. I suppose that should be good enough. For now at least.” She ran her thumb gently along the axe’s edge, drawing a thin line of blood. The wound closed as he watched. An odd smile played on her face, and…

She shifted.

She twisted into something…

Her body warped, gaining height, her clothes ripping and darkening to the color of rich wine and the midnight sky.

Where before, there had been a young child, there now stood a teenage girl. A girl his age. The axe was still in her hand, but…

Now she had the reach, the leverage, to use it. A simple brown satchel hung at her side, but, her identity… Was she really…

She wore a scarlet cape and hood. Her clothes were built for movement, a woodsman’s clothes. This was no dress as before. She looked the part of a young girl, a tomboy who dressed as a boy from another era. A girl who might go wandering through a strange forest alone.

She looked like Red Riding Hood.

But…

That was just a nursery rhyme…

There was no way that girl could be real. That story had a talking wolf! But…

He looked at the forest, the madness that his world had become. His eyes bulged behind the lids of his glasses. Just… Just what was she!?!?

“It’s coming.” And then he felt it. A power like hers. A Servant had come.

He could feel the world twisting again, as if two gods waged a battle of wills over creation. The trees bent, shaking, and a frigid wind blew between the trunks, setting his teeth to chattering. The damp grass became freezing cold, frost forming and crisping it. Rime formed on the limbs of psychedelic trees, sheeting into icicles like daggers. Snow drifted, sharp and cold. It stung where it touched his skin.

Somewhere above, a bell jingled.

“Good evening. It’s a pleasure to meet you on this fine evening.” It was a cold voice, like the frigid air that stilled the wood. A voice like tinkling glass. Like shattered dreams.

Caster’s eyes had already turned. He just followed her gaze.

Perched atop a branch was a silver-haired child. Eyes like blood. Lips like polished silver. White ribbon and dress, as if she were clad in snow, and a jingling bell at her neck. A cold, ruthless smile on those silver lips.

“It seems my forest wasn’t to your liking. Please, leave the décor to me!”

Trees twisted in the air, shattering frost and sloughing ice in sheets. Branches like swords, clad in leaves of silver and gold sliced through the air. Their bladed edges carved the night, flashing through white… But it was only snow.

The white maiden had already vaulted away, dancing into the wood, heedless of the menacing, lunging shadows.

A wisp of cold light danced with her, cutting through the forms of nameless terrors.

And then, one clear voice. A familiar voice.

“That’s enough, Caster.”

Grant
March 28th, 2011, 01:52 AM
Things have really changed. I've never seen anyone try a story as a Servant (which is a great idea). This actually would be pretty fun to see animated, cute little sister characters brutally subverting a genre by being as horrific as Higurashi and ruthless as Black Lagoon.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 28th, 2011, 01:57 AM
If I could fund this, I would. So. Hard.

Oh, and Twelve, if you ever need someone to bounce ideas off of/help brainstorm, feel free to look me up!



Edit: Wiseups imminent!

Twelveseal
March 28th, 2011, 02:43 AM
Yeah, I keep forgetting the Wise-Ups. We're actually due for a few Master Wise-Ups, too, so I actually have to get off my butt and make them. On the plus side, I've written a couple new LGW chapters, so there will be new material eventually.

Edit: And I don't mind bouncing ideas around, either.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 28th, 2011, 03:20 AM
New material?! Huzzah!

A random thought: Shirou'll have a lot to think about when he begins having dreams about Archerko's past. Good luck coming up with it!
I also imagine that Archerko might say something along the lines of this Grail War being different from "hers" after the cat gets let out of the bag.
And a question: Would the Avenger class appear on the spirit board, and if they did, what would Kotomine think about that? That is, if they even turn up at all...

Twelveseal
March 28th, 2011, 03:36 AM
I wouldn't post the Avenger on the Spirit Board. In practice, those two, SHIKI especially, are a bane to Kotomine. One of the worst things he could possibly do is run into SHIKI, since he shares so many similarities to Roa, whom SHIKI resents, and he relies on Angra Mainyu, a force that SHI-Kun can control, to live.

As for dreams, yes, I have lots of potential there. Much like the others, really. Imagine what Sakura will see, for example. Or Shiki. Or Rin and Mitsuzuri. And not just that, but how will those dreams affect them. Issei's going to be especially fun then.

As for Archerko's take on things, well, we'll just have to wait and see.

Also, anyone want to give me some pointers on Minori Mitsuzuri's personality? It'd really help. Otherwise, I'm going to have to make him from scratch.

Kotonoha
March 28th, 2011, 07:41 PM
Also, anyone want to give me some pointers on Minori Mitsuzuri's personality? It'd really help. Otherwise, I'm going to have to make him from scratch.

Well, what kind of things do you need to know?

ItsaRandomUsername
March 28th, 2011, 07:43 PM
Twelve told me he wants to know what else is there to Minori besides his crush on Sakura.


And it's about time you started re-reading this, Koto. D:


Also, when the forest morphs about and changes I'm getting this very Madoka-esque mental image. It's very trippy, and it feels OH-SO-RIGHT. :)

Kotonoha
March 28th, 2011, 11:51 PM
Hmm, I get the feeling if you were read the scenes he's in it'd be easier to understand than if I explained it.

Uhh... he gets embarrassed easily (gets picked on by Ayako a lot because he's like that... not to mention Himuro). Pretty serious, we never see him smile. Kind of makes a point of being polite to upperclassmen (which includes every character we see him interact with since he's at least a year below all of them...). Doesn't like Shirou much, probably because of Sakura.

(Unrelated, but I went through some scenes involving Minori to verify this, and at one point Sakura says "Senpai" to bring up Ayako in conversation. Then later Shirou shows up and she says "ah, Emiya-senpai!" Could I blow Mike's mind with this information?)

Twelveseal
March 29th, 2011, 01:40 AM
Yes, I believe you could, Koto-senpai. Also, thank you! The getting embarassed easily and politeness were great examples of what I was looking for. I figured he would dislike Shirou already, and I was writing him as a serious character, too, so I wasn't too far off. In truth, I don't think I'll have to change anything.

Any specific quirks he has, like behavior, body language, or speech patterns would be great, too, but I don't have to have that. I can write most of it from scratch if I have to.

Edit: also, now that I go back and reread that, Tea II does sound like the activation of a Witch's Barrier. Freaky. I didn't even watch episode one of Madoka until Koto gave me the link after the old board died.
Does this mean I think like Urobochi!!! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!

Twelveseal
March 29th, 2011, 01:45 AM
Tea III

The snow that had piled up on the forest floor soaked into the seat of his pants, chilling him to the bone. It crunched softly beneath the shifting feet of Caster as another axe materialized out of thin air. Her red cloak fluttered in the chill breeze that flowed among the the titanic trunks of the eerie wood.

Louder was the crunch of snow beneath that man’s feet. He understood it was deliberate. He was being alerted to the presence of a newcomer.

After all, Kuzuki-sensei had always been quiet.

A black cat sat on his shoulder like a parrot out of some old pirate movie. Even so, Souichirou Kuzuki was an island on sanity in a mad world. The single point of reason in the layered delusions that had turned his own backyard into a scene from a fairytale. But the words he had spoken were weighted with meaning.

That’s enough, Caster.

It was too much to assume that he had commanded Issei’s Servant. The incredulous look she gave him made it clear that she wasn’t interested. She looked at him like he had said something very stupid. It wasn’t a look Kuzuki-sensei got very often, he was sure, so…

The girl in white spun out of the dark woods in an elegant pirouette, her dress flaring. Not once did she make a sound, save for the jingling of the bell around her neck.

Not once did she break the crust of snow, even when she landed beside Kuzuki-sensei.

So…

Things had most certainly changed from what that book had said. There had been no Caster in that book, but now…

Now there were two.

His Caster stood resolute, the axe in her hands. She was ready to face this threat, no matter what it was. Even if it was something impossible. The shadows of the woods moved among trees as thick as a car was long. But…

Kuzuki-sensei merely stood there. Waiting.

Issei knew he was the one who would make the first move. As the person who had acted first, as his Caster’s Master, and as the person who had brought this to his teacher, it was his duty to take the first step.

“You too, Caster.” She half-turned, her hood hiding her face. She had clearly expected something else. She had expected to fight. The girl in white quirked an eyebrow at that name, but, after a moment, curtsied. His own Caster followed suit. It seemed they were both well-mannered. When they weren’t fighting, at least.

He lifted himself out of the snow, the chill wind numbing him where the melt had soaked through his clothes. He felt himself shivering, even as his skin started to go numb. A thousand glowing eyes peered out of the darkness, watching them. Waiting. Even Caster stood ready.

He clamped his jaws, set his back, and tried not to let his teeth chatter. He nodded to his sensei. This was exactly what they had tried for. To summon Servants. He had thought that there would only be three. If he and Kuzuki-sensei had drawn the other two, then Tohsaka-san would be checked for certain. But…

It was not to be it seemed. Even with them both summoning Servants, there was no guarantee that they could control her, or that they even knew the rules of this distorted ritual. The book was out of date. The rules were different. And now… Now he had to stand by his decision. But he had set that path for himself. He wasn’t the kind of person who would just walk away from something like that.

He had something he needed to be certain of, however great of small it seemed. He didn’t know what Tohsaka-san would do with the power she would get from the Grail, but he knew to trust in his own intuition about her. This wasn’t something about a personal vendetta. This was the genuine feeling that nothing good could come from her holding that much power. No. From anyone having that much power.

He stood, facing Kuzuki-sensei. “I guess we should get ready.” From what he had seen, they really were going to have to fight.

It was a surreal world, an impossible world. Everything had changed. But protecting the daily life of these people, the people of Fuyuki… He knew that if something like that fell into the hands of anyone… It could bring about a disaster.

Kuzuki-sensei merely nodded in return, and started to walk away, the frost fading.

Caster’s form swirled, collapsing until all that was left was the young girl in the blue dress. Her enemies had left. The forest faded, returning to the world it had been, and he found himself standing in that dark outbuilding again, staring at the little girl who had appeared from nowhere.

She looked back at him with pale blue eyes, peering into him. He could only guess what she saw, but…

Her brow wrinkled. She wasn’t happy. There could be any number of reasons, but he didn’t doubt that she wouldn’t be happy with him. At least not yet. He had a long way to go to earn this little girl’s trust. The only thing he could do now was, well…

“Um. Would you like some tea, Caster?” It was only hospitable after all.

Her eyes brightened a little.

Twelveseal
March 29th, 2011, 02:11 AM
Ahhh. We're getting close to the new material! Another chapter or two. Sooo. Anyone want to help out? I'm taking the following:
Suggestions for upcoming chapters and arcs. I may use it or not, but getting your idea out there isn't bad, right?
Information on the personalities, habits, speech patterns, behavior, likes, dislikes, home life, and histories of the following characters: Mitsuzuri Ayako Makidera Kaede Yukika Saegusa Mitsuzuri Minori Himuro Kane Ryougi Mana Luviagelita Edelfelt
Your opinion! Anything you think needs work, anything you like.
Art, Short Stories, what have you. Try your hand at it, just make sure you use the "Title" option on your post.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 29th, 2011, 02:35 AM
Let's see here, you're probably best off PMing Alfheim about Mana and her mannerisms. He's the one who knows the most about her, after all.


Luvia I can offer more help with:
She's the daughter of an insanely rich and powerful magus lineage, who specialize in using Gandr...and gemcraft. The Tohsaka's ripped them off of Gandr and the Edelfelts did so likewise with gemcraft - in the old days the bad blood between the two families probably originated with accusations of Crest-tampering/stealing. They got to blow off steam at each other back in the 3rd Grail War, as we know.

As for how she behaves; very aristocratically. She's haughty and proud, prideful and confident - a perfectionist of sorts. However, she has an intense rivalry with Rin. Very intense. But she does not let her pride step all over others (sans a certain Tohsaka): she understands and truly loves the common folk, and prefers simple hard working men.


Has the obligatory Ojou-laugh.



Edit: IRUn dun goofed and made a typo :X...

Twelveseal
March 29th, 2011, 02:38 AM
That typo made me think Rapenaya was her type. I lol'd. Thanks Irun!

ItsaRandomUsername
March 29th, 2011, 02:39 AM
D'OH!

EDIT: Fix'd

Kotonoha
March 29th, 2011, 08:02 AM
Yes, I believe you could, Koto-senpai. Also, thank you! The getting embarassed easily and politeness were great examples of what I was looking for. I figured he would dislike Shirou already, and I was writing him as a serious character, too, so I wasn't too far off. In truth, I don't think I'll have to change anything.

Any specific quirks he has, like behavior, body language, or speech patterns would be great, too, but I don't have to have that. I can write most of it from scratch if I have to.

Hmmm...
Body language: He suffers from "sprite artist only bothered to draw one pose" syndrome (hands in pockets, FOREVER), but one thing that was mentioned was that he looked away a lot. Also blushing. Lots of blushing.
Speech patterns: I could describe this if we were speaking Japanese, but it wouldn't make much sense in English... :P Let's just say, don't confuse "polite to superiors" with "really polite speech". He still sounds normal.


Edit: also, now that I go back and reread that, Tea II does sound like the activation of a Witch's Barrier. Freaky. I didn't even watch episode one of Madoka until Koto gave me the link after the old board died.
Does this mean I think like Urobochi!!! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!

YES TWELVESEAL. BECOME A HEALING WRITER. OHOHOHOHO.

Mike1984
March 29th, 2011, 09:44 AM
(Unrelated, but I went through some scenes involving Minori to verify this, and at one point Sakura says "Senpai" to bring up Ayako in conversation. Then later Shirou shows up and she says "ah, Emiya-senpai!" Could I blow Mike's mind with this information?)

Hmm, yeah, that is pretty surprising. Certainly I don't recall her ever doing that in-game (even when she was hanging around with Rin and Shirou, both of whom she was referring to as "Senpai").

Twelveseal
March 29th, 2011, 09:10 PM
I think she might have done it in the anime... Maybe. But that thing has a few shout-outs to HA, it seems, so that may have been intentional. Or maybe it's the other way around? I don't know which came first.

Also, thanks for the support! It helps me stay consistent with characterization. I hate it when someone butchers a character, so I really want to avoid doing the same myself.

Altima of the Gates
March 29th, 2011, 09:29 PM
Let's see here, you're probably best off PMing Alfheim about Mana and her mannerisms. He's the one who knows the most about her, after all.


Luvia I can offer more help with:
She's the daughter of an insanely rich and powerful magus lineage, who specialize in using Gandr...and gemcraft. The Tohsaka's ripped them off of Gandr and the Edelfelts did so likewise with gemcraft - in the old days the bad blood between the two families probably originated with accusations of Crest-tampering/stealing. They got to blow off steam at each other back in the 3rd Grail War, as we know.

As for how she behaves; very aristocratically. She's haughty and proud, prideful and confident - a perfectionist of sorts. However, she has an intense rivalry with Rin. Very intense. But she does not let her pride step all over others (sans a certain Tohsaka): she understands and truly loves the common folk, and prefers simple hard working men.


Has the obligatory Ojou-laugh.



Edit: IRUn dun goofed and made a typo :X...

Don't forget the fact that she and Rin (and Sakura) are somewhat related. Because Tokiomi's grandmother was from their family. IIRC, it was the third war where one of the Edelfelt siblings of that generation after losing, stayed and married the Tohsaka of that generation. Which is one of the reasons they are really angry with the Tohsaka's.

Twelveseal
March 29th, 2011, 09:59 PM
Tea IV

That had been how it had started. Last night, he and his teacher had gone through with the ritual described in the book. It had worked, obviously, but things had not gone well, so to speak. It seemed that the ritual itself had changed since that book had been written, and now he was stuck in a precarious position.

After staring at her underwear, even on accident, and after holding her back in a fight, after allowing that other Caster to get away with harming her creatures and violating her world, only to ally with that same figure, it was no wonder she wasn’t happy with him. She hadn’t been thrilled with his desire to prevent someone else from taking the Grail, as well. It seemed that she wanted it for her own reasons. Not that she had told him what those reasons were. She just got angrier with him, and he had decided not to press the issue. She actually reminded him a little of Tohsaka-san herself, a fact that scared him.

She seemed very even tempered, but she could suddenly change her mood with little warning whatsoever. It made him worry for what the future held. On the plus side, however, was her ability. It seemed that she was quite capable with a multitude of magical abilities. She had incredible perception of the world around them, maybe stemming from her odd nature.

She had told him that the Grail itself would appear above his own home. He wanted to take that as a blessing, but he had to think about what that would actually mean. Tohsaka would come to him for it, yes, but that would put his family and the monks in danger. She told him that there was a powerful blessing of some kind surrounding the mountain that she could use to her advantage, at least, and that the keystone of the ritual was still buried beneath the mountain in a great cavern. She could even show him where it was, and that it would be ‘quite amusing to go down the rabbit hole.’ It seemed that she had spread her forest to cover the whole of the mountain, or close to it, and had used it to scout the layout.

All in all, they were in a very good position. Even Kuzuki-sensei seemed to be having no trouble maintaining his Servant. It seemed that the mountain itself was a focus for all the leylines in the area, making it rich in supernatural power. With that, and some strange power that other Caster had, it was possible for even Kuzuki-sensei, who lacked the natural talent for magic, to support his Servant.

The two Casters seemed at odds, though. Neither one was particularly interested in being near the other. Only the fact that their Masters were working together kept them from turning on each other.

The girl in white, and the girl in blue.

He wondered just how they were going to have to deal with this. Both seemed to have their own quirks. To make matters worse, many of the monks seemed to be in a bad mood. They jumped at shadows, and kept muttering to themselves. When he had asked one of them what was wrong, the man only blushed, and said something about evil dreams. And hurried on.

It wasn’t what he had expected.

He suspected one of the Casters had something to do with it, but he didn’t know which one. Moreover, he felt prying might be hazardous to his health. With his Caster, at least, he didn’t have to worry about death. But the other one…

There was something very wrong with that girl.

She seemed unnaturally cruel, what little he had spoken to her. His Caster made him cautious, but that white one set off alarm bells in his head. And he still didn’t know what to make of the black cat that seemed to be her familiar. Did that mean she was a witch? He honestly wasn’t sure she was human at all. She seemed even less human than his own Caster, and she was…

Well…

It seemed she was what was called a ‘Reality Marble.’

An artificial, self-contained world, much like the Pure Land. She was a world with a mind, given the appearance of a little girl. She could take any form or ability, so long as it was within her own world. And she had a big world.

She was a manifestation of all the fairytales of Northern Europe. British Literature, mostly, but it seemed that she could adopt the forms of things from beyond as well, due to the spread of stories across borders. Or something like that. She was literally every children’s story from that region given form. Mother Goose, as it were. Or Nursery Rhyme, as she called herself. After all, she kept to the form of a small child. She wasn’t much of a ‘mother.’

Needless to say, she wasn’t exactly what he had expected of a “Heroic Spirit.” But he wasn’t complaining, either. She had already proven herself invaluable with her information. And even a novice like himself, self-taught and new to the tradition, could tell that she was ridiculously powerful. Even without her summoned forest as proof. And even though she scared him a bit with her odd behavior, he could tell she wasn’t exactly evil. If Tohsaka felt twisted to him, Nursery Rhyme was more… bent. A little off, but not in the callous way he felt from that red devil. She was like the child she resembled.

He sighed again. Early that morning, he had introduced her as “Alice” to his father. He had figured his father would find her eventually. He was the head priest, after all. His spiritual senses were a lot stronger than Issei’s. Or at least they had been. She actually did most of the talking, though.

She had claimed to the daughter of a foreign businessman who was vacationing in the area. She said that she had met him a few days ago, when he was heading home from school, and that she had learned he lived at a temple. She wanted to see it, and her father had given his permission, if they would allow her to stay for a while. She even hinted that he might be interested in making a donation in the near future, to help improve his prospects in the area. And she had somehow made herself sound childish while she did it. Apparently, being a work of fiction helped when making fiction.

He had honestly thought his father would say no, and that he would have had to smuggle her in somehow. But she had done something that made herself seem more normal, more human. And…

It seemed his father had a ‘thing’ for small girls.

He felt a little awkward. For the first time in his life, he realized that his father had wanted a daughter. Maybe even more than he had wanted a son.

His father had, or course, allowed her to stay, granting her a nice room, and catering to everything she asked. He had spent most of the morning doting on the little girl, showing her around the temple, asking her if there was anything she needed or wanted, and making sure she got it if there was. It was an embarrassing experience, to see his father acting like that in front of the monks.

Doting on her was one thing, but leading her around by the hand was a little… excessive.

Between the summoning, and the conflict between the Casters, the way his father was acting, not to mention the monks, and his lack of sleep, he had completely forgotten Mitsuzuri-kun was supposed to arrive that morning to begin his special training.

And now his head hurt.

Thinking about all of that really piled on the stress. Mitsuzuri had dropped off his belongings and headed straight to school. At least that was a blessing. Not that he disliked his kohai, but he really had too much on his plate at the time. He had headed off not long after, leaving Caster in the capable hands of his father.

After all, she had said she needed to make some ‘arrangements.’

He remembered her ‘preparations,’ and shuddered. But he couldn’t just abandon his duties as the Student Council’s newly elected President. With that in mind, he had headed off to make the most of his morning hours.

He had gone to school like normal, but it seemed he had missed Emiya. Normally, the two of them met on the way to school at the intersection, but it seemed their timing was a little off today. He headed on anyway, a little disappointed. Oh well, they’d meet in class anyway, so it wasn’t really a problem. He had just hoped that talking with his friend for a bit might have gotten his mind of this mess. Plus, it was shameful, but he was going to need to rely on Emiya’s skills. There was a cultural festival approaching, and a lot of things needed to be fine tuned before they were put into use. Emiya had a magic touch when…

An odd thought occurred to him. Maybe Emiya-san really did use magic? After all, he seemed to be able to fix things in minutes, where other people he had relied on seemed to take far longer. And it was strange how he could tell what was broken in things without ever looking inside them. If someone had said something like that to him just a few months before, he wouldn’t have considered it. Emiya just had a talent. But now…

Was Emiya a magic user as well? Now that he seriously thought about it…

It made sense.

And didn’t he always ask to be left alone with the equipment he was working on?

It didn’t matter though. It didn’t change his opinion of his friend. No, maybe he held him in a higher opinion. After all, Emiya was using those skills to help others. He knew his friend’s personality. Determined, honest, generous, trusting to the point of naiveté. There was no way he would intentionally use that kind of power to hurt someone. Not unless he had to hurt them to stop them from hurting someone else.

No. Thinking about that just made him realize how useless the things he had learned from those books and scrolls really were. Emiya, if he really was using magic, was using it to fix things that were broken. All he had learned, really, was how to break things. Only the healing skills were really useful. What good was knowing a spell like Edict of Binding if you never met a demon? He wasn’t even sure such things had existed until he read those texts. What were the chances of him even needing to know something like that?

He sighed again. He had long since lost count of how many times he had sighed since summoning his Servant.

Oh well. What could he do? Maybe he really should let the other members of the Council handle things for one day? Or at least the afternoon. He felt like he needed to be back at the temple before things got too out of hand there. He seriously worried what would happen if the two Casters couldn’t get along.

School seemed to drag on, and the Council was no exception. He decided not to impose on Shirou just yet. Maybe tomorrow? There was some electrical work that needed to be done in the auditorium, and he wanted to have it finished and tested as soon as possible, but his spirit just wasn’t in it. He hurried home as soon as classes were over.

And had wound up in this weird situation.

Now he was stuck having a tea party in the woods around his home, with Mitsuzuri-kun, Caster, and a host of ‘dolls’ that he suspected were more alive than they seemed. To make things worse, it seemed that the forest they were in was hers, as opposed to the natural one. At least there weren’t any of those nightmare-things around. That he could tell.

Mitsuzuri-kun looked as uncomfortable as he felt. He had arrived later, but they had both been wrangled into the tea party at the same time, so they had been squeezed into this tiny chairs for the same time, too.

The only saving grace was that it would be over soon.

Well, actually, the food and tea were good, too. But that was beside the point. He had asked for this when he had performed the ritual, but she should at least let Mitsuzuri-kun go.

He desperately wanted to leave. But instead, he took another sip of tea, apologizing to Mitsuzuri-kun with his eyes.

And tried desperately to ignore the dolls.

Their eyes followed him.

Mike1984
March 29th, 2011, 10:07 PM
Don't forget the fact that she and Rin (and Sakura) are somewhat related. Because Tokiomi's grandmother was from their family. IIRC, it was the third war where one of the Edelfelt siblings of that generation after losing, stayed and married the Tohsaka of that generation. Which is one of the reasons they are really angry with the Tohsaka's.

I think that's just fanon, although it's not canonically disproven (and is at least plausible).

MrTags
March 29th, 2011, 10:15 PM
*Has to do the 'Evil Laugh' (TM) at the dolls*

Twelveseal
March 29th, 2011, 10:31 PM
Indeed. Cause you just have to have the creepy dolls. Like IRUn said, looking back at this, it's got shades of Madoka, even before I encountered Madoka. As for fanon use, well, this is definitely fanon, so I may use it anyway. After all, at least some of my own insane theories may appear in my fanwork.

It's one reason why I said some of the things a I did about Emilya back in the old thread. Speaking of which, I am actually starting to write EMILYA Stories now, so there may be a third fic of mine lurking on here before too long.

Twelveseal
March 29th, 2011, 11:14 PM
Autumn Snow I
He jerked to his feet, lurching out of the swing, turning as he went. It was a really awkward movement, and his feet became tangled, nearly sending him sprawling. What had at first seemed like that girl in red, his Servant Archerko, was…

Standing behind him were two little girls. One had silver hair like glittering moonlight, the other with hair like spun gold.

His stomach turned in memory of last night, a feeling like someone had driven thorns into it and twisted. A wave of nausea hit him, but he suppressed it. His rational mind screamed at him to run from that thing that leaked power like a failing dam.

Berserker.

The monster that had splattered his guts all across Miyama’s main intersection last night. The thing that had left him to die a slow, agonizing death in the autumn night.

But…

Neither girl showed any signs of hostility. Illyasviel stood there, an open umbrella in hand, an odd smile on her face. It was quirky, surprised, but… genuine. It honestly seemed like she was glad to see him alive and well. He hoped it wasn’t so she could have the pleasure of eviscerating him again. And behind her…

That thing. Berserker. That monster was…

Was a lot more concerned with an ice cream cone than she was with him. She was actually pretty cute like that, as she demolished the treat. She seemed almost normal. If you ignored that monster magical presence.

“Not that I really mind, but… Onii-chan… You really shouldn’t be out without your Servant.” She glanced back at the golden-haired monster, and then at him. He felt a drop of sweat trickle down his spine, despite the chill autumn air. “Just because I won’t attack you during the day, doesn’t mean the other Masters will do the same.”

Wait. What did she just say?

She had no intention of attacking him during the day? So… She hadn’t come here to kill him? Despite himself, he felt his body lose some of its tension. But he was still wary. This girl was unpredictable. She had tried to kill him last night, would have succeeded if not for what he had to call a miracle, and now she was acting like it was nothing.

“So you didn’t come here to kill me?” His throat felt dry, but he still said it.

“Nope. Master business is for nighttime. During the day, I’m just Illyasviel.” She paused for a moment as if thinking, and then, “That’s kind of a hard name to say for a Japanese person, isn’t it?”

Well, she was right.

It was long and awkward, full of sounds that his native language didn’t process well.

“Call me Illya, Onii-chan!” She said it with a bright smile on her face, and, despite himself, he felt his mood lighten a little. A little of the tension left his shoulders. Not much, but a little.

So…

“Umm, why are you out here? Shouldn’t you be at home? Preparing for tonight or something?”

“Heehee. Why would I need to do that? There’s no way anyone could summon something more powerful than my Berserker. Besides, this is my first time getting to see Fuyuki! I don’t want to spend all my time here stuck in that boring old house.”

Well, she was right about the Berserker thing. After last night, he really doubted there was anything that could fight that ice cream chomping monster on even terms. Cute or not, she was definitely something no human should ever have anything to do with.

“But two little girls shouldn’t be out by themselves alone. There are a lot of…” What was that angry look Illya was giving him? Even Berserker seemed a little confused.

“I’m old enough to take care of myself!” Uh oh. “I don’t need anyone but Berserker for protection, if that’s what you’re thinking!”

Okay, that did sound pretty stupid, now that he thought about it. They might look like children, but she was a magus, right? And Berserker, well, best not to think about what would happen to a pervert who tried anything with her.

“I didn’t mean it like that. I just meant that there are a lot of people out there who might try to do, umm, certain things to two litt- uh, young ladies like yourselves who were out alone.” It was true. And with what might have happened last night, with the way his thoughts had been going… He was seriously wondering if he might be one of those people. “That kind of thing would draw a lot of unwanted attention, right?”

And that was definitely true, too.

“Hmph! If you’re so worried about us, Onii-chan, then why don’t you show us around, hmm? It’s the least you could do in return for me sparing your life last night!”

He should have seen that coming.

He really should have.

He let out a sigh. There were a lot of things that he needed to think about. He didn’t really have time for this. And it was about to rain. But…

He couldn’t just leave these two out here. They might be strong enough to defend themselves, but he was just as worried about anyone else’s safety if they happened to make the two girls mad.

And despite himself, there was something about Illya…

Best not to think about it.

“Alright. But not for too long, okay? It looks like it’s going to storm soon, and it’d be best if you made it back home by then, alright?”

“Yay!” She launched herself at him like a human missile, clamping down on his arm like she owned him.

“This is our first date, so treat me nice!”

What? Wait!?!

Why were little girls taking over his life!?!?

ItsaRandomUsername
March 29th, 2011, 11:32 PM
Ufufufufu~

A double date with a homunculus and a True Ancestor? How will he live through it?!?!? > : D



I forsee Arc glomping a Shiki-lookalike in the near future for the LULZ.

Twelveseal
March 30th, 2011, 12:27 AM
Yin and Yang

He had always been called “sensitive.” He had learned not to let it bother him over the years. Not that he particularly liked it when people called him weird, but it was just something he had to live with. His sister didn’t have his problems, and neither did his parents. Sure, they had done research. They had looked into it. But it didn’t really matter. He was what he was.

Mitsuzuri Minori was one of the Indigo Children. Not that that really meant a lot, either. There were a lot of Indigo Children. Children born with odd minds, at least by everyone else’s standards. Weird senses, odd abilities, strange behavior. Most of them wound up medicated and sent of to a normal life. Others wound up in special institutes or research groups, or running New Age and music stores.

Minori, well, he wasn’t there just yet. He still had a fair amount of high school to work through, and then college, and a host of other things that could be done with his life besides sitting behind a counter hawking the latest book by Silvia Brown or this exotic rock, or that particular Enya CD.

Really, he was hoping for something a bit more normal, strange as that may be. But they say that like attracts like in the realm of the spirit. It would be an uphill battle.

You see, there was this girl he liked. Loved.

From the moment he first saw her, he knew. Corny as that may sound. His odd senses had helped. He could tell.

There was definitely something strange about her.

Her aura was all… warped. He had seen other people with some of the same qualities, but never something like this. It was just… She was in pain. All the time. It hurt him just to see it, and he wanted to help her. But, how? How do you ask someone about something like that?

I can tell you’re in pain because I can see your aura? I want to help you?

She’d just think he was weird, or crazy, or both. Even if it was true, he’d never be able to get close to her. To help her. He could see who and what she really was, hidden behind those steel-hard layers of defense, but he could do nothing for her. She was his Helen, but he was no Paris.

No, he was much too weak to save her.

Which was why he was here, staring up the long steps to the distant Ryuudouji.

He had come here to become strong. To hone his senses, his body, his mind, so that he could come up with a better solution than ‘I’ll join her club and get close to her like a stalker’. Which actually was his original plan. He let out a sigh.

It’s just that…

Things hadn’t turned out as planned.

He looked up the mountain, through that corridor of trees, to the torii high above him, and shuddered.

There was something very, very wrong with the mountain. The aura of the holy mountain seethed with some kind of unnatural presence. He had known some of the legends about the mountain from Ryuudou-senpai’s advice. In fact, it was those stories of martial artist monks and strict training that had given him hope. That, and a load of shonen manga.

But now…

The mountain was angry, brooding. It sat steeped in a miasma that made his skin crawl even at the foot of the stair. He shuddered, feeling his skin tighten. It was time to make a decision.
Step up, and fight for the woman he loved.
Or run away from this alien presence.

Option two was seeming pretty sensible right now, but…
He couldn’t abandon that girl. He knew he had no right to do anything for her. He knew she loved someone else, and he knew that guy was an idiot that would never in a million years notice the beautiful woman who cared for him. But there was no way he was going leave her the way she was! He had no idea what was wrong, or how he could help, but damnit, he’d find a way!

She was worth it.

He took the first step. One foot up, then forward.

It was like walking into a wall.

His foot went numb the second it passed beneath the first torii at the mountain’s base. Chills and waves of heat danced across his skin. Waves of nausea roiled like a boiling pot in his stomach. He could feel sweat begin to break out on his brow, down his spine.

His foot touched the stone step, and shot through with a burning sensation. He could taste bile in his mouth, and he swallowed hard to keep it down. His breathing was ragged. The air pressed in on him like a living thing, trying to force him back, trying to force him out of that place. Lights danced in his vision, and he felt lightheaded.

This was bad. Really bad.

This was worse than visiting a haunted house. A real haunted house. No, this was…

The whole mountain was tainted with something. Shadows flickered amid trees, looking like no creatures he had ever seen. Mist and fog, floated out of the dark places there, hiding the steps. Strange cries, like no animal he could recognize drifted out of the woods.

He should turn back.

Every cell in his body demanded that he turn back.

His reason screamed to just turn and run and never speak of any of it.

He put another foot forward.

She was worth it.

One more step. Another. Another. And another. And still more.

The wind rushed down from the mountain, down that hall of haunted life, the breath of the mountain trying to blow him back. It was like walking into a storm, the thick air like pelting rain, the wind shoving him back. He was drenched with sweat despite the cool air. His muscles were trying to spasm, shuddering from the tension. He couldn’t get enough air, so that his whole body burned like fire, his lungs screaming.

One more step.

And another.

He fought it like through will, her face in his mind. No, her face at the top of that mountain. He saw her standing there in his mind, each step one more closer to her. He lost it. He abandoned the feeling in his body just as the sensation of his skin peeling away started.
It didn’t matter.
Each step was one more closer to her. There was no way he could stop now.

He had lost all feeling. He had no idea if his body was in any condition to move or not. Was what he had been feeling real? Was it an illusion? He didn’t know. And it didn’t matter anyway.

He passed the torii at the top of the mountain.

Yin and Yang.

As he slumped at the base of the gate, the pressure lifted, and he looked up. Yin and Yang looked back.

Two cats. One black. One white.

And then they were gone, vanished into the temple grounds, leaving him there, leaning against the gate.

Kotonoha
March 30th, 2011, 07:04 AM
Mitsuzuri Minori was one of the Indigo Children.

o_O

I think I must have failed in describing him.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 30th, 2011, 09:21 AM
Fanon~

Jussst roll with it.

Kotonoha
March 30th, 2011, 09:31 AM
Fanon~

Jussst roll with it.

That's not really what fanon is, fanon when something non-canon is accepted by the whole fandom to the point that people forget it's not canon.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 30th, 2011, 11:22 AM
Sorry. Meant to say "liberty". He's taking a liberty with the fic for storytelling purposes, so yeah.

Mike1984
March 30th, 2011, 10:06 PM
Hmm, yeah, that's an interesting way of using Minori.

I think I might actually even like this version....

Twelveseal
March 31st, 2011, 02:04 AM
Yeah. That really is a total fabrication. And it is taken for storytelling purposes entirely. Anyone who reads it, please don't assume that anything posted here is accurate in any way, especially about Minori having any kind of special abilities. After all, this was originally a joke plot that turned somewhat serious. I figured that he wasn't going to have any kind of abilities, and having an aura reading capacity really helps the plot move along. After all, it can help explain his interest in Sakura when, afaik, he has no significant personal knowledge of her. She's just some cute, nice girl at his school. It also allows him to have a better understanding of what's going on without freaking out and running screaming out of town.

He was mostly written before the explanation you gave, I just took what little I knew of him and ran with it. By the same token, I've also done similar with some of the other characters a bit, though only one other to his degree. It's really almost better to think of him as an OC that happens to be very similar to a character in the canon. It's in no way a failing on Koto-senpai's part.

Also, that said, I'm glad he's going over so well. I hope that I can manage to make him stay in character while still adding to Nasu's original. After all, there's a fair amount of personal liberties taken in this. The occasional OC character or idea, characters with unexpected abilities (prime examples already are Arihiko and Issei), and general craziness should abound.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 31st, 2011, 02:11 AM
Oh yeah, Issei knows how to seal demons now (among other monkly exorcism-like skills), doesn't he? That might prove to be useful.

Twelveseal
March 31st, 2011, 02:13 AM
Silent Tea

What was this he didn’t even…

This was definitely not what he had signed up for. The stone steps were bad. No, really bad. He got chills just thinking about it. But this…

He was squeezed into a chair meant for a little kid’s playset, surrounded by a host of dolls, a little girl, and Ryuudou-senpai. In the middle of the woods. On the top of the mountain.

And the only part of the whole scenario that was normal was, well, him.

He tried not to look directly at anyone. What he was seeing was nauseating.

For one, each and every doll had some kind of aura to it, like it was a living thing. Like it had a soul. He could swear that they were watching him, especially when he wasn’t looking directly at them.

Then there was Ryuudou-senpai. He had always seemed to be a really strait-laced kind of guy. Very down to earth, in a pure sort of way. Not exactly the kind of person that was easy to be close friends with, he guessed, but a good guy. But here he was, in this uncomfortable situation too.

Ok, so maybe that wasn’t a bad thing. Except that there was definitely something very wrong with Ryuudou-senpai.

Something was eating his soul.

There was something leeching off of his aura, feeding on him like some demonic parasite from the old folk stories. He had seen enough of the world to know that that kind of thing was real. Ghosts were real. He figured demons and spirits and kami were too. But to think that something like that was feeding on the head priest’s son…

He was really in over his head. Really.

The torii hadn’t been an attack. It had been a warning.

And he had ignored it.

Now he was stuck here, at this childish table, with the thing that was eating his Senpai. A strange little girl that seemed utterly at home in this warped forest of drifting miasma, dancing shadows, and unearthly sound.

Caster-chan.

He couldn’t look directly at her even if he wanted to. Her aura burned so bright it his eyes felt like they were going to bleed. No. That wasn’t even right. It wasn’t as if her aura was that big, it was as if the woods were her aura, and they were inside it. She was just the core. It was almost as if there wasn’t any substance to her. She was just this one, ridiculous ball of spiritual power floating there, like some impossible powerful ghost. The outer layers were just the woods.

She made his head throb, like a migraine, this long, pounding ache behind his eyes that made it feel like they were going to come jumping out of his skull.

It had been like that with the cats, too, but they had gone so quickly… And he had been so tired then, too.

This was like sitting next to a spotlight that was turned directly on him.

The only good thing about this surreal situation was the food. The food and the tea were pretty good. Whoever had made them had some skill.

No, this was not what he had expected at all. Physical labor. Spiritual cleansing. Martial arts instruction. Meditation. Kyu-do. Maybe even gardening or fasting.

Not sitting at a cramped table with a… a… was she even a living thing!? She was going to break his brain, or his eyes, or both.

Ugh! She smiled at him.

She could tell, couldn’t she? She could tell he could see her for what she really was. He had to somehow free Ryuudo-senpai from her evil. There was no way he could know what she was an just sit there like that! He was supposed to be in training to be a monk. He had even said that he had a degree of spiritual sense once, without lying! He had read Senpai’s aura at the time, so he knew.

The only explanation was that she had somehow tricked him, and she was feeding on him.

Unless…

Unless it was voluntary? Could Ryuudou-senpai be willingly supporting her for some reason? He was seriously worried, if that were the case. What if she was some kind of demon? What were the Buddhist ones, umm, Rakh-something or others? Rakshasas!

He had never heard of one looking like a westerner before, but there was always a first time for everything, right? And they were supposed to be shapeshifters…

This was very, very bad.

But there was just plain nothing he could do. He had promised himself, and even if she didn’t know it, Matou-senpai, that he would do this. There was no way he was going to back down! This was just the first trial! No, this would be a true test for him. If he could overcome this, then he was sure he could protect her from anything and everything that would ever make her hurt.

That thought filled him with strength. He nodded to himself.

It seems you’ve come to a conclusion. What?
You have interesting thoughts. Dreams. And you certainly seem to care for your friends quite a bit. He turned to look at Caster-chan. She wore an eldritch smile, her eyes half-closed. He couldn’t read her in spite of that aura. Weren’t Rakshasas supposed to be able to speak directly to the mind? Maybe she really was a demon.

He turned to look at Ryuudou-senpai, but he was peering into his tea, as if deep in thought.

It’s alright. I mean the people of this temple no harm, your friend included. I am merely here to fulfill a role, and to receive the reward that is my due should I play it well. I came in answer to your friend’s request, so you needn’t worry about him.

Just what are you? Just how can you do this?

I am the fancies of youth. I exist wherever my stories are heard. Even in you. He shuddered. Her aura hadn’t wavered in the least. No, there really was no way to read this creature, was there.

He shuddered again. His gut told him she was telling the truth. But there was still doubt.

But what… no, why was she here, then?

To live. To love. To be real. No matter what dream I may become, I have never once been that. A sad smile crossed her face. It was almost scornful, painful.

How do you respond to that? There was no further answer. No more thoughts in his head.

Just the awkward, almost peaceful absence of talk, and the crying of strange shadows.

Just what was this girl? And what did it mean for Ryuudou-senpai. What did it mean for him?

ItsaRandomUsername
March 31st, 2011, 02:34 AM
I'm feeling for Caster!Nursery Rhyme now. That last bit made me hope she finds some happiness while living as a Servant. Also, Minori's determination is rather inspiring - even though he himself believes he's in way over his head, he's willing to give it his all.

Twelveseal
March 31st, 2011, 02:39 AM
I was hoping for that. Minori has almost nothing going for him but a really minor skill that most New Age enthusiasts will tell you anyone can learn, and a boatload of determination. Maybe he'll prove that even the "normal" people in the Nasuverse can really make a difference. Besides Mikiya.

Like I said in Lantz's Opinion Thread, I hate it when a character just gets left on the side with no development. Hmmm. Which reminds me. Wasn't there another guy from Hollow Ataraxia? Goto Gai, or something like that? Any information on him? I may be able to use him, as well. The only thing I have on him is from the anime, where Taiga busts his ass in class.

Kotonoha
March 31st, 2011, 09:00 AM
Goto Gai, or something like that? Any information on him? I may be able to use him, as well. The only thing I have on him is from the anime, where Taiga busts his ass in class.

I have no idea. Uhhhh let's see... he watches TV dramas and then comes to school the next day acting like a samurai or a cop or something.

Aaaand that's about it. Background character without any sprites, pretty much.

ItsaRandomUsername
March 31st, 2011, 09:17 AM
Otherwise known as a "blank check"~

Twelveseal
April 1st, 2011, 12:53 AM
Thanks for the info on Goto. I may well be able to work him in, but we'll have to see just how...
Also, no new chapter just yet.
Instead, Wise-Ups. It's not complete just yet, but I've added a few Master sheets, and updated some of the Servants a bit.

Twelveseal
April 1st, 2011, 10:50 PM
Once, long ago, in a faraway land, there was a peaceful and prosperous kingdom. The land was wisely ruled by a gentle king who was beloved by the people, and his kindhearted daughter. But the king was aged, his daughter born late in life, and he had no son to take the throne when his time came.

As his time drew near, suitors from lands near and far came seeking the hand of the maiden princess. And yet she bore only the needs of the people at heart. Each suitor came with lust and greed, and each she turned aside, for they loved not her or her people, but only coveted the wealth of her kingdom.

All save one.

One suitor from a land far to the southwest came for her with genuine love. But he was not a good king. No, he was a warlord, risen to power on blood and steel. He was a cruel man who crushed all who opposed him beneath his iron fist, be they friend or foe. Armed with foul sorcery and an army clad in enchanted armor, the brutal, rapacious king had subjugated every land surrounding his own. No foe could oppose him, so that even rival kings and warlords bowed to him.

Yes, though he adored her, she turned the iron-clad king aside. She could not love one such as he. No, her people could never prosper under the rule of such a brutal man. She denied him as fiercely as all before.

And so it came to pass that the gentle king passed away, leaving the kingdom to his unwedded daughter. The whole of the kingdom grieved, but the princess was strong of heart, and so she took up the mantle of ruler with determination. She would guide her people just as her father had.

But the cruel warlord would not be satisfied with such a rebuttal. He would have her, one way, or another.

And so the King called forth his advisors, summoned up the children his mistresses had borne him, the kings and lords he had bound in servitude, his wizards and his commanders, and he issued a decree. He would have the northern kingdom by force. He would take the princess for his own.

Eager for spoils and land and riches beyond number, his soldiers girthed themselves in their cursed armor. Gold flowed like water, as the King bought mercenaries from foreign lands and bolstered his forces with an army of reavers. He ravaged the jungles and forests, chaining great beasts and monsters to drive before them. The King and his wizards conjured forth all manner of evil spirits, dredging up the souls of the restless dead, and forced the hapless villagers in their path before their armies.

They would take this rich land, the princess’s fair kingdom, at all costs.

The King’s advisors and children commanded the field as he watched on from aboard his mighty airship. His gold and emerald armor shone like a star on the battlefield as his soldiers crushed all who opposed them.

The princess’s people fought valiantly, but to no avail. They had no weapons to compare with those of the King, his might forged in countless battles.

But the princess was not helpless.

Long ago, her kingdom had won its prosperity through sorceries of its own. A power lay sleeping, sealed beneath the castle that was her home. An artifact, long ago sealed, which held a forbidden power. With it, she could turn aside the forces of the King, save her people, and restore what had been broken.

If the artifact could be trusted.

Unbinding the seals through the blessings of her royal blood, the princess gripped the ancient scepter in hand, and rushed to the highest parapet of the castle.

She looked down upon a horror as the last of her soldiers fled the field before the onslaught. The King was at her very doorstep.

She raised the device high above her, a final barrier against the king who would destroy her people. And she prayed that it would work.

Bind them.

Make them harmless.

Leave them in the form that they so resemble. Leave then as mere beasts of the land.

The crystal which adorned the rod shuddered to life, a fitful glow rising in its heart.

Golden light pulsed, then became as silver as the radiant moon. It throbbed above her head like a newborn star in the night.

Wave after wave of power rolled across the field, so that the King’s ship faltered, his armies fallen to the shaking earth. And then a terrible transformation began to take hold. Their bodies twisted and warped. Their armor became bound to their flesh as they shrank and slumped… As they became beasts.

But the King and his wizards would not fall so easily. They brought forth a powerful sorcery to turn aside the power the princess had unleashed. Even as they began to warp, they cast their curse. The crystal scepter shattered into a thousand stars, a thousand shards, blasted far across the land by the force of that eldritch working.

The curse of the artifact ran wild, so that none were safe, nor any curse complete.

As the princess watched in horror, her own people became transfigured by the curse, even as their foes did.

The horror was too much.

The King’s armies fled, fearing the hideous forms of one another. They turned on each other, they ran screaming into the wilds. But so too did the princess’s people.

The King’s advisors raged with boundless fury at the King and his folly. But still, no fury could match that of the King himself.

And in his rage, he took to the castle himself.

The walls shuddered beneath his monstrous form, the flagstones shattering beneath his cursed might. Stairs crumbled and still he climbed ever higher. The people of the castle fled before him, the princess’s knights left broken at his feet. Eldritch fire like dragon’s breath seared away all that stood in his path.

He roared her name in the voice of a monster, over and over again. His claws gouged the stones from the walls. And finally, the king stood upon the highest tower.

There stood the princess, unchanged save a single bleeding wound in her chest, the shining of a crystal shard beneath her collar.

She screamed in terror at the monster that had come for her. Laughing in his rage, he clutched the princess in his steel-like claws. The once handsome king was a beast, and all he could do was laugh at it all.

No.

With her blood, he could still change it all.

With her blood, and the shards of that artifact, he could change it all.

It was only the beginning.

ItsaRandomUsername
April 1st, 2011, 11:01 PM
Hmmm....shouldn't there be a title?

Also, this is still the Loli Grail War, right?

Gah! So intrigued~

Twelveseal
April 1st, 2011, 11:27 PM
It's an April Fools post.

That aside, care to guess what franchise this actually is? First person to get it right gets a special info-cookie about the LGW!

ItsaRandomUsername
April 1st, 2011, 11:29 PM
I'd say Super Mario Bros., but that doesn't seem right... :p

MrTags
April 1st, 2011, 11:31 PM
The crystal seems pretty Sailor Moon looking, but the universe seems almost Lodoss wars inspired.

The breaking looks Inuyasha inspired too...

Twelveseal
April 1st, 2011, 11:34 PM
Buuu.

IRUn got it in one. Cookie will be appearing soon.

Mike1984
April 1st, 2011, 11:34 PM
Wait, what?

Since when does that happen in Mario?

Twelveseal
April 1st, 2011, 11:36 PM
Since you get the idea to do a Lord of the Rings/Legend of Zelda take on the the Super Mario Brothers.
Spawned by wondering what the characters from the SMB would look like Twilight Princess style.
It kind of grew from there. I may yet expand that thing into an actual FF.

MrTags
April 1st, 2011, 11:36 PM
I don't see much Mario brothers at all. I'm with Mike on this. Big WTF there.

Kotonoha
April 1st, 2011, 11:39 PM
Is it weird that I immediately thought Mario as well (before seeing Irun's post), but have no idea why?

Twelveseal
April 1st, 2011, 11:40 PM
Keep in mind the plot setup. Classic quest for "stars", rescue Peach from Bowser's clutches, once peaceful land filled with monsters...

It's the backstory to the SMB story, where Bowser invades the Mushroom Kingdom and kidnaps the princess, except in this case, I went for a slighlty darker theme. The nature of the monsters and their nature as Bowser's soldiers are explained, and it also helps cover why so many creatures in the setting look inhuman, and yet Peach and a few others look normal.

Edit: Also, it's not weird at all, Koto. It just means you have a good sense for my ideas.

ItsaRandomUsername
April 1st, 2011, 11:44 PM
I got it right?!



HOREY SHEET. How does that work out?

Anyone who wants a rad-copy of my kickin' PM can just PM me in response for a request. I'm chill liek dat.

Mike1984
April 1st, 2011, 11:45 PM
I don't see much Mario brothers at all. I'm with Mike on this. Big WTF there.

Well, I can see where he's coming from, actually. The kind princess is Peach and the tyrant is Bowser. Her people have obviously been turned into mushroom men, and Bowser has now kidnapped her, thereby setting up the story of the SMB games....

The only bit I didn't get was the "stars" bit, but then that's probably because I've only played old-school Mario games....

ItsaRandomUsername
April 1st, 2011, 11:47 PM
A Twilight Princess-esque Mario title? That'd actually be pretty cool, IMO.

Fans would undoubtedly be butthurt about it, but that's a given. And hey, I'd play it anyway, so yeah.

Twelveseal
April 1st, 2011, 11:54 PM
@Mike: A lot of the newer Mario games focused on the power of the "Starmen" you could get in the old games. Basically, stars became a symbol of power for the series, giving you all kinds of abilities. They've been a major theme in the setting since the first SMB RPG back on the Super Nintendo/Super Famicom.

Imagine the PC's. Mario, Luigi, those are a given. Add Wario and Waluigi for the hell of it. Deck them out in medieval gear. No swords here. Mauls. Straight up, turtle-shell crushing warhammers. Of course, a set weapon type for each would be nice, too. Ordinary dudes from the "Real World" who get drawn into the Mushroom Kingodm by the eldritch forces unleashed when the Starwand shattered. They must find the star pieces and rescue the princess in order to return home, but Bowser and his allies also seek the shards in order to become human again.

Add to the list of villains King Wart, King K. Rool, and maybe even a few others, with possible cameos from other characters, like say a certain southern tribal prince turned gorilla, or a green clad hero from across the seas, and well, awesome may be had.

ItsaRandomUsername
April 1st, 2011, 11:57 PM
Brofist coming your way for this, Twelve.





DK and Link!

Twelveseal
April 2nd, 2011, 12:08 AM
Brofist accepted!

Now, seriously, try imagining what Koopas and Goombas would look like in the dark theme of Twilight Princess. Hunched monsters with spike covered shells and huge, predatory beaks, like giant snapping turtles that can walk upright, scales dark brown, warty, with thick, knotted muscles and long forelimbs that can be used as hands or feet, lurching along with heavy clubs, axes, swords, spears...

Goombas as slimy, oozing mushroom creatures that spread dangerous spores and erupt from the ground and trees.

Shy Guys as nothing more than robes and masks, long spears and scythes in hand, devoid of living things within those crimson vestments. They collapse in tatters should they become too damaged, revealing their hollow nature. Literal nightmares enslaved by Wart.

And there are others. Try imagining other creatures, such as the Kremlings, or even just Bowser himself.

Twelveseal
April 2nd, 2011, 12:34 AM
Recital

For the first time in a very long time, Makidera Kaede was speechless.

The world was filled with sound as the steady beat of the rain set the time to a singular performance.

A young girl stood in her house where none had been before, and despite what she had told her parents about taking care of a friend’s little sister, this girl was by no means familiar.

No, the red and white stranger was stranger than most.

The bow in her hand danced across the strings of a fine violin. Or at least she assumed it was fine. After all, it sounded good, right? That meant it was a good violin. Or player. Or something. Whatever.

The music rose and fell like a living, breathing thing, it danced slow and stately, an elegant sound that made her think of solemn times. It was such a sad sound, mournful, grieving. She felt her eyes misting over, but didn’t know why. There were no words, no sad tale, and yet the song encompassed that feeling, carrying it on the air like the whispering of the wind itself.

Was this even real? Couldn’t it have all been nothing but a sick, warped dream that she was still stuck in? It made her think of Ryuudou and that temple on the hill. Didn’t the monks there say that everything was a dream, or an illusion, or something? But thinking too much about religions and stuff gave her a headache, so she tried not to. That kind of thing was just asking for a migraine.

Instead, she listened to the music. Let it carry her. It was like a force of nature, like the tides pulling her out into the vast grey sea. This was like no song she had ever heard. No pop, no rock, no rap. Just music, living music.

No, this girl was definitely real. Unless she was hearing voices in her head and seeing things. Experiencing hallucinations about things she had never heard or dreamed of before.

Somehow, this girl had come from some great beyond, some magical spell. What exactly for, she didn’t really understand. She had been too freaked out at the time to really keep track of anything. She should really ask Sajyou about this when she got the chance.

Seriously. She had done everything Sajyou’s note said.

Ok, so she had skimped a little on the candles. And the “sacrifice”, whatever that was supposed to be. And maybe the circle hadn’t been that even.

Ok, so she probably botched it really bad. She was supposed to find her soulmate, right?

Instead she had wound up with this little girl, who, in her mind, was entirely too much like Tohsaka.

She had somehow called Tohsaka’s midget twin from the great beyond.

She sighed.

She was stuck with the freaky-eyed minor. She couldn’t send her back. I mean, really, how? She had no idea what the hell this little brat really was. She was just some… thing. A thing that was definitely not human. People didn’t have glowing eyes! Sure, only one glowed, but still. She was just lucky the girl could keep her hair in the way. Otherwise, she’d be dealing with a lot more trouble.

The sound slowed, finally halting, the girl’s eyes opening just slightly.

From that cracked right eye, a lurid glow poured, dyeing the violin a bloody red. She mouthed words that were lost in the rain, and looked out the window at the blackened sky, the falling rain.

The name of this girl ran through her mind. That name that couldn’t really be a name at all.

Berserker.

Yes, for the first time in a long time, Makidera Kaede was speechless.

ItsaRandomUsername
April 2nd, 2011, 12:47 AM
Oh great, another Berserker! D:

*shudders*

But seriously, a new Servant character is always a plus.

alfheimwanderer
April 2nd, 2011, 11:10 PM
I spy a Tohno Akiha.

Twelveseal
April 3rd, 2011, 01:53 AM
Krystalnacht

Thunder rumbled in the distance, but to Emiya Shirou, such a thing was meaningless. The coming storm, and all that it might portend, mattered not at all. The only thing that mattered, the only thought in his head, was a simple one.

Please let it end.

But stuck behind a pair of energetic, inquisitive little girls out on the town, that wasn’t happening anytime soon.

Their “date” had started as soon as it had been announced, with Illya dragging him by the arm back to the shopping district in Miyama, Berserker in tow behind. It seemed they had hit the place already, since many of the shop owners and employees recognized the duo. He guessed that made sense. They had to have gotten their ice cream from somewhere, and it wasn’t like a pair of little foreign girls were easy to forget.

What got him was just how much of an impact they had made.

It seemed that more than a few of the workers down the market strip had taken a liking to the pair already. It had to be their first outing, since they seemed to not know any of the shops, but…

This was almost scary. Just how many people had Illya-chan talked to before she met him!? This girl was utterly defenseless against strangers. Why, if someone were to try anything with her…

Oh, right. Berserker. It was hard thinking of these little girls as the super-powered people they were.

And Illya was a magus, too, wasn’t she?

He really needed to get it into his head that these little girls weren’t defenseless. Not that they should be fighting, hell no. But if it came down to it, any one of them so far outclassed any normal attacker, it would end up like some kind of shonen anime parody.

But really… They looked like little girls. They acted like little girls. But just what were they, really? A magus. A vampire.

He was in over his head.

Even now, just trying to keep up with the pace of these two was mindboggling. If it had been just one, he’d have been fine, but between Illya’s questions and almost insulting misconceptions, and Berserker’s tendency to pick things up (and accidentally break them) made keeping either of the two in check a serious challenge.

It was all he could do to keep them both in sight at all times, with Berserker frequently wandering off to look at this curiosity or that piece of media.

No, he wasn’t in over his head. They were just going to drive him nuts.

All the while, high overhead, the thunder was starting to rumble. No, it had been doing that for a while, really. It was just closer now. The occasional flash of lightning could be seen in the distance, and it looked like rain was falling over Miyama and the bay. Great.

He called for a breather, needing to figure out what to do next. Their adventure through town had led them across the great bridge and into Shinto, where Illya had seen her first game center, and bought a strange looking doll that seemed eerily familiar. Why did that grey muscle-man plush set off alarm bells in the back of his head? He sighed and slumped, finally coming to rest on a bench in a certain desolate park.

It was a place from a past he cared nothing for. The site of the fire. Thinking of what that priest had said… This was where it had all started for him, wasn’t it? In more ways than he realized, than he had understood in all of his years, this place had tied him to this ridiculous Holy Grail War.

“I don’t like it here.”

It caught him off guard. Berserker had been silent for a while, but now…

“Let’s go… Hey, Nee-san, let’s go somewhere else.”

But Illya only stood there in silence, looking out into space. Her eyes seemed vacant, as if she were remembering something, and he noticed that she was starting to breathe hard.

“Nee-san? Nee-san?!” Berserker’s tone took an edge of worry… Her eyes were confused, concerned.

“I died here for you, for our dream. And yet… Our wish couldn’t…”
What? What was she saying?

“Illya-chan.” He placed a hand on her slender shoulder, gently shaking her.

Her hollow eyes turned to stare sightlessly at him, and he felt a shudder pass through him. What was wrong with her!? “Illya-chan!” He shook her harder, with both hands, and suddenly snapped into focus, “Uh aah! Wha-!?” He immediately let her go, but his hands still remembered her heat. She was fever hot, a fact that made him start to worry. “Illya-chan, are you all right?”

“Nee-san, something strange happened… You…”

At that moment, he felt the first fat drop of rain on the back of his hand. All too soon another followed, and another, and another.

For the first time, he paid attention to what the two girls were wearing.

Clothes suited to the warm weather in Fuyuki. Elegant sundresses of exceptional quality, with fine lace accents.

In white.

White.
Plus rain.
Equals trouble.

Uh-oh.

“We need to get out of the rain, fast!” For his sanity. And maybe his life if they noticed certain, ok, he needed to stop that train of thought now, before it got worse.

He took Illya’s hand without thinking and started to run for the nearest buildings. “Umbrella, Illya-chan. The umbrella.”
“O-oh, right. Hey, be gentle with me!” Please don’t say things like that, Illya. Despite her protest, though, she managed to get the device open, and they huddled beneath it as they ran. Even Berserker trotted along behind the canopy. It was really going to be too small, though, and he couldn’t really fit thanks to Illya’s height so…

He got soaked to the bone when it cut loose.

His hair immediately went flat, his clothes gluing to him like a mold. The wind roared in force with the rain, driving it into him. It was as if the storm had waited just long enough to make it plain they were outmatched.

Illya cut loose with a squeal as the gusts tried to pull the umbrella out of her hands. Still, they ran on, desperate to reach that elusive cover. His vision was starting to turn gray from all the water. Berserker didn’t seem bothered by it in the least, though. She just kept going at that same trotting pace, and yet not once did she fall behind. Somewhere in the back corners of his mind, he wondered how she managed that feat.

And finally they managed to get under an overhang, the awning of a heavy concrete building. Probably some office building, or a hotel or something. It was hard to tell in this weather. The rain drowned the light, so that the colors were muted, an early night falling over Fuyuki.

As his eyes adjusted to the gloom, he came to realize that it was a hotel building. Not open yet, either. It looked like it was new. Or maybe in the process of changing hands? Things happened fast in Shinto.

“C-cold.” Huh? He glanced over at his companions.

And froze.

The umbrella had done absolutely nothing. It had tried its hardest, but the wind had ripped it inside out. And with wind like that, the rain could fly sideways.

He looked at the speaker, and new that his face was turning a deep red in the darkness. Illya’s clothing stuck to her like a second skin, her long silver hair soaked. One crimson eye peered out at him from that silver cascade as she stood shivering in the darkness. Her white dress…

He could see it all.

The stiff nubs of her chest proof of just how cold she was. The white panties adhering to her skin hid nothing, it was as if she stood naked there as the rain still tried to lash them. The tiny mound between her legs… those round, pink, rosebud nipples, those slender, faint curves, the soft feel of her smooth skin where he had shaken her before, the warmth of her body…

Berserker, her dress just as soaked, stood impassively, her golden hair pulled back out of her eyes. She stood facing him, her full body revealed by the water, from the tiny , rigid peaks of her chest, to her own hill and valley.

No.
No. No. No.
NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO NONONONONONO
But his mind wouldn’t listen. He remembered Archer, her weight pressed against him, her hips driving against him, grinding insistently into his. The heat of her, the softness, the pressure of her thin legs gripping him. This very morning, a girl with that same face had been doing those very things to him… Had been lusting for him. And now…

Even as he told himself no countless times, his body wouldn’t listen.

His pants were too tight, wet and clinging, they displayed for both girls his desire. It was wrong. It was so very wrong! So why!? Why did this kind of thing keep happening to him? Why were these little girls appearing out of nowhere to make him like this!? Why was his body reacting like this!?!

His mind said no over and over and his body still wanted to take hold of these two, push them down, and…

Stop. Just stop. Focus on something else.
He took a deep breath. This was a really bad situation. They needed to get out of the rain. Out of the cold, or they might get sick. Maybe die. It was early yet, but it was still fall, and while he doubted Berserker had anything to worry about, both Illya and himself needed to get to a warm, dry place for their own safety.

But the only options were to go back out into that storm, or get inside the building. Even as it was, the wind was still driving water under the awning, soaking them further. Even he was starting to feel the chill, despite the heat that was growing in him.

“W-we need to g-get in here!” He pointed at the sealed glass doors. He tried opening them, but it only confirmed that they were locked tight. This meant that he’d have to break…

“B-berseker!” Oh. Right. Her. The golden-haired servant only nodded.

The door cracked and shattered with only a push from the little girl, who promptly hefted her Master and carried her over the shards. Shirou had to make do for himself, careful of the razor-edged pieces. He had the vague sensation of walking into the mouth of a many-fanged beast.

It was definitely a hotel. Or had been, or would be soon. It was hard to tell. There was no sign of life. No people, no luggage, not one light or sound. The quiet was eerie, unsettling enough to lessen the attention he put on the two girls. On Illya’s rounded… Damnit. If he had lost any excitement, it was back with a vengeance. It actually hurt.

First thing was first, they needed to see if there was anyone, anyone at all, around. If they had just triggered some kind of security alarm, or were going to have guards chasing after them, they really didn’t want to be here for i… Huh?

He glanced over his shoulder as he felt Prana surge slightly. Behind him, the shards of glass were lifting into the air, joining together back at the door.

Illya stood there in a stance he had seen once before.

It was just like when Archer had…

That brought back memories of this morning, and his crotch started to ache again. His body was telling him to do it. She was right there…

No. Just think for a second. This wasn’t how a hero acted. Besides, Berserker would kill him. Probably. If he could keep that in mind next time this happened, then…

He was planning for next time. THERE SHOULDN’T BE A NEXT TIME!!!

“Haaah… We need to see if we set off an alarm or something. If we did, we’ll have trouble, and…”

“Got it.” He felt a pop, as if the room had depressurized. An energy rolled out from Berserker like nothing he had ever felt.

“It looks normal from the outside. Besides, nobody can find it now without being a strong Magus or something.” Ok.

“Umm, can you tell if there’s anyone here?”
“Nope. Nobody here but us.”

Ok, that was good, but… freaky. She wasn’t using Magecraft at all, at least not that he could tell. It was like something else entirely.

Yeah, in over his head. He’d been thinking that a lot recently, hadn’t he?

Ok, so nobody home, no security, probably no cameras. This was too convenient. But what choice did they have? He was starting to shiver, so Illya had to be pretty bad off. They needed somewhere warm. A heater, some blankets. He hoped the electricity was on. Maybe there was something they could use in one of the rooms.

And he needed to find a bathroom. He had to take care of his problem, or he wouldn’t be able to look at either of them. He might not be able to, even then. It was a little hard walking.

“O-onii-c-chan, a-are you a-alright? Y-you’re limping.” She said it through chattering teeth, but still, why did she have to notice that? Well, she had probably seen it outside, anyway. Ugh, he could feel his neck heating with the blush. Damn!

“W-we need to f-find someplace w-warm. Umm, t-towels, blankets, a h-heater. S-something.”

“C-can’t you j-just use M-magecraft to f-fix it?”
“Uhh, I’m n-not g-good at t-that k-kind of thing.”
“Oh.”
“C-could you m-maybe…”
“I d-don’t know t-that k-kind of M-magecraft.” Huh? He thought for a second that she smiled. It was hard to tell, though. It was really dark in there. Even so, hadn’t Berserker looked a little…
He had a bad feeling about this. What had she said about doing ‘Master Things’ at night?

And Archer was nowhere nearby…

It wasn’t like he had much of a choice, though. They needed to get warm, or a chill would be the least of their problems.

He led the way through the dark halls, searching the ground floor. Most of those rooms were locked, except for a maintenance closet. At least he found out what was going on, though. A flyer advertising the grand-opening was set for two weeks from then. The hotel had just gone through a remodel.

The second and third floors were just as locked, but he found a door that was ajar on the fourth, as if someone hadn’t shut it tight enough. It was a nice hotel, but this wasn’t one of the best rooms, he gathered. It had a bathroom, but there were no towels in it. Nothing had been laid out yet. Just a single bed with thick, warm-looking blankets. And it was a small bed.

Which meant they’d have to huddle together in order for them to use it… Even without Berserker.

Plus, they needed to get out of their wet clothes…

He could feel himself getting bigger. Damn! Why did this kind of thing have to keep happening?

Everything about Archer, and now this. This tiny, beautiful girl. And he was going to have to…

His clothes were staying on. Hers too, if he could help it. His shoes he left on the floor.
“W-we should get in. To the b-bed, I mean. Umm.” He tried to tell himself his chattering teeth were due to just the cold, but a part of him was strongly disagreeing. Painfully disagreeing with him. No. Getting in bed with her would make this worse. Better plan, strip the bed and just wrap up in the bedclothes. “O-on s-second th-thought, h-hold o-on.”

He yanked the blankets the sheets, all of it off. The pillows, too, and gave her one to sit on. “W-we c-can just w-wrap up in th-this.”

“O-ok.” Her teeth were chattering, but she didn’t seem worried. “S-shouldn’t w-we t-take off o-our wet c-clothes?” Oh god, she wasn’t looking at him directly. Her head was turned to the side, and… was she blushing? Why was Ber… wait. Where did Berserker go?

“N-no, l-let’s l-leave t-them on. W-we d-don’t h-have a w-way to d-dry them.” Oh please just leave them on, he was having enough trouble as it was without them both being naked. If he was naked, he couldn’t even pretend. She’d see his hard-on, and that’d be the end of it.

He could imagine it now. She’d scream, Berserker would come out of nowhere, and rip him to bloody pieces like the night before. Except there would be no getting back up. He’d die a pervert, wanting this little girl. “N-no. I-if y-you g-get s-sick and d-die f-from t-this, I’ll n-nev-ver forgive y-you, O-onii-ch-chan!” And she started peeling off her own dress. It stuck to her, coming away with a wet, sucking sound. No, it was almost like something tearing. It pulled free from her milky thighs, her slender body as she wrestled it over her head. Her hair lifted up with it, only to fall down across her face, back, and tiny breasts. Her pink nipples were still hard from the cold, standing as erect as his member.

She bent over, laying the dress out on the bed. He tried to look away, but couldn’t. His heart was racing. He traced the smooth line of her small back, the curves of her hips and ass, so small and yet... He felt his crotch twitch as she slowly straightened the dress, smoothing out the wrinkles, her legs opening and closing as she moved. He saw the faint swells of her breasts from behind as she bent, making them seem larger than they were. The soaked cloth of her white panties clung to her, translucent, so that he could see everything.

He wanted her. He wanted to stand up and take her right there, as she bent. His shaft throbbed for it. He wanted to pierce her to the core until there was nothing in the world but the two of them, nothing to interfere. No matter how many times he looked at her, he saw the girl who had saved him, the beautiful girl that shone like the moon. He wanted her. He wanted her so badly he felt like it was choking him. His mind was blanking out, staring at her slight movements. He felt cold, and yet he felt hot. He felt sick to his stomache, nauseous, as if his insides were turning, and an intense, demanding feeling, like some unholy itch deep inside his sack. He needed release.
“Umm, w-where d-did Ber-berseker g-go?” He felt that was pretty important right now. He at least wanted to see it coming when he died. He was at the threshold, he was sure of it. If it went any further, he’d lose himself in her. She half-turned to look at him, and if she saw anything of what he was feeling on his face, she didn’t show it.

“S-she w-went t-to g-go ch-check o-on s-something.” The deeper meaning of that didn’t even register. She had turned to him fully, her body open defenselessly. Her panties did nothing to hide her.

His eyes went wide. His face flushed hot. He’d die of a heart attack at this rate. All of his blood was flowing to his crotch and his face. His heart was pounding.

“C-come o-on, O-onii-ch-chan. I-I’m c-c-cold.” It was a pleading sound. If his mind had been coherent, maybe he would have thought about something different. Maybe she had meant to get out of his clothes. Or maybe this was what she had wanted all along.

He wasn’t even conscious of what he did. All he knew was that she was now laying on the bed, her legs partly open, and he was leaning over her.

She looked up at him with wide eyes, her breathing heavy. His own was ragged, his chest heaving inside the false skin of his clothing. He leaned forward, his eyes staring into hers, as if waiting for some final signal. His face drew nearer, and hers rose to meet him. Her lips were parted, and he could feel her beating heart through her slender limbs, through the pounding pulse.

His lips brushed hers, softly, gently. It was as much a kiss as a question.
She did not draw back. That was her answer.

He leaned forward, his own lips parting…

And it howled.

A roar like a thousand savage beasts ripped through the wind’s screams.

It was not a human sound. It was not the sound of one being. It was the roar of the world’s end.

It was a voice of rage and hunger.

And it was accompanied by one other sound.

The night was filled with the sound of breaking glass.

Marth
April 3rd, 2011, 02:06 AM
You goddamn tease. Were it not such good writing, I would throw a brick at your crotch for this...

nosebleed.gif

Twelveseal
April 3rd, 2011, 02:10 AM
Indeed. I was in a trolly mood. But mostly, Nasu never has his characters get laid on the first few encounters unless they're a villain, or are getting raped. Or both. I don't consider these two to fall into either of those categories, but it makes for an interesting situation later... Plus, you just have to wonder what it is that's making that roaring, yes?

Marth
April 3rd, 2011, 02:18 AM
Sexy loli takes precedence over everything. EVERYTHING.

...quite well written, though.

Twelveseal
April 3rd, 2011, 02:33 AM
Heh. Perhaps, perhaps. Here's the relating Interlude, though.

Twelveseal
April 3rd, 2011, 02:33 AM
Hunger

She felt cold.
Hungry
It had been a long time since she had felt cold.
She was wet, soaked to the bone.
It had been a long time since she had been drenched like this. The last time, it had been…
Red
Lightning flashed, painting the world in violet light. It was a surreal landscape, alien. Foreign.
It had been a long time since she had seen the world, too.
Or had it?
She wasn’t sure. Her mind was jumbled.
Confused
Why? Memory didn’t agree with HeR. wHo Was She? She didn’t know.
Letters. Numbers. They had meaning, but no sense to her.
What was she, who, why, when, where, how…
Her mind cycled through countless possibilities. Countless thoughts. A thousand eyes peered at her, but they meant nothing nor knew anything that was not her. She knew that, at least.
Were they her?
No.
They weren’t her.
She was something else.
Maybe.
Why?
Why did it hurt?
She hurt everywhere.
She was hungry, everywhere.
Her mind did not understand that, but her body did. It was hungry.
It growled.
Eat.
Devour.
Feed.
Consume.
You are what you eat.
She wanted to be something else. She wanted to be someone else. She wanted to eat someone.
She felt sick, and yet her body wanted to consume.
She hurt, and it made her angry.

She looked up into the night sky, a black shadow lost against the darkness, and roared. She loosed all that she felt, all that she knew, into that one, long, monstrous sound, and howled it into the storm’s fury. It ripped apart the sounds of the night.

It was a sound of rage. It was a sound of pain. It was a sound of loss. Of regret, of sadness, of guilt, of despair, of lonliness, of abandonment, of cruel fate and injustices. It was a roar that had brought salvation through destruction.

But mostly, it was a sound of hunger.

The sound ripped the night to pieces, shattering the storm’s roar with her might. It was a sound greater and more terrible than that.

No human being could make that sound. No single creature could make that sound. It was the howling of a thousand nightmares. It rolled on for an eternity in the storm, and all who heard it shuddered.

It was the roar of the world’s end.

Throughout Fuyuki, that howl was answered. The night became a chorus of screaming souls.
Her Master had spoken. Her Onee-chan had spoken.
She had loosed the hunt.

SHE WAS HUNGRY.

Marth
April 3rd, 2011, 02:37 AM
MAN MEAT.

That was my first thought upon reading the line 'She had loosed the hunt.'

No, I don't know why I thought that. Odd, isn't it? >_>

ringlhach
April 3rd, 2011, 02:38 AM
Please tell me a berserk Arc didn't just slip her leash.

'Cos that'd be bad.

... I'm torn between hoping Shirou's Archer shows up and joins in or beats him for being tempted, though.

Twelveseal
April 3rd, 2011, 02:40 AM
Taking guesses on what that thing really is.

alfheimwanderer
April 3rd, 2011, 02:42 AM
What the hell is the TATARI doing in Fuyuki? The Dust of Osiris variant, from the sound of it.

ItsaRandomUsername
April 3rd, 2011, 02:43 AM
I'm writing this message from the second circle of hell where I ended up (you know, for the perverts?), because I just died of MOE-OVERDOSE. ;)

It's actually rather fun down here. But the problem is.....the internet...it's dial-up.

I need a shower now. A cold one.
Random Guessing time: I'd say that the roar is probably either Medusa again (not likely) or Berserker!Akiha. Considering who Illya's Berserker is, this should be interesting.

Also:
Why did that grey muscle-man plush set off alarm bells in the back of his head?
Heracles doll! Pull the string and it talks with Kevin Sorbo's voice! xD

And Loli-Arc punching out the door non-chalantly and carrying Illya through it bridal style is a funny and cute image.

All in all, I approve of this chapter.



What the hell is the TATARI doing in Fuyuki? The Dust of Osiris variant, from the sound of it.
That would be AWESOME.


Also, read through the tease-part with VN h-scene BGM music, and then imagining it vinyl scratching when the roar happens. Scary and LULZ-worthy.

Twelveseal
April 3rd, 2011, 02:44 AM
Hmm? Wrong. Tatari is indeed in Fuyuki, but due to a technicality. It's actually listed on the first page in the character sheets. That's not the Tatari, though.

It's also not Akiha or Arc.
That thing's most certainly insane, but it's not a Berserker. It could have been, but it's not.

ringlhach
April 3rd, 2011, 02:46 AM
It does sound like a Dead Apostle, though. I'd thought Nero, but that doesn't feel quite right.

alfheimwanderer
April 3rd, 2011, 02:47 AM
Yamase Maiko, the one who inherited Nero's RM.

Twelveseal
April 3rd, 2011, 02:47 AM
Bingo

alfheimwanderer
April 3rd, 2011, 02:50 AM
Well, I figured it had to be either a loli Dust of Osiris or Yamase Maiko, given the nightmares, but also the eyes...

ItsaRandomUsername
April 3rd, 2011, 02:51 AM
Yamase????



FUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

This is gonna be AWESOME.

Chaos Beasts in mah Fuyuki! As long as there is a hotel, they'll be there. ;)

RanmaBushiko
April 3rd, 2011, 02:52 AM
Nice. I'm eager to see more, too.

Twelveseal
April 3rd, 2011, 02:55 AM
Yamase is now listed on the Servant's post. Her stats and Master are a mystery, though...

ItsaRandomUsername
April 3rd, 2011, 02:59 AM
Y'know, I just realized that Dust of Osiris could qualify for either a robot (AlcheMECH, GO!) or Saver.

Just a random musing here.

Twelveseal
April 3rd, 2011, 03:04 AM
She probably could. If I was using homebrew classes for the Servants, I could also stick her in Harbinger, Harrower, Commander, or Enforcer, or if Verg let me use his classes, Invoker, Artificer, and maybe a couple others.

But if I used all of the classes I've either built of modded for my system, you'd be looking at over 30 different Servants without the doubling seen in LGW.
Verg hasn't answered my PM about using his classes, though. And they're really his, so I can't just take them.

ItsaRandomUsername
April 3rd, 2011, 03:05 AM
Also, I noticed something interesting in the park. And it has to do with Fate/Zero and Irisviel.

Twelveseal
April 3rd, 2011, 03:17 AM
Yup. Now just how does this work, I wonder... :3

ItsaRandomUsername
April 3rd, 2011, 03:33 AM
Jesus, Saver!Yamase has a Master as well, I just realized. Must be someone really twisted, has to be...that or accutely unaware.

Either way, shit's gonna get bad, FAST.

alfheimwanderer
April 3rd, 2011, 04:17 AM
...would be amusing if it was Yamase Akemi, since she's technically the imouto, not the Onee-chan.

Grant
April 3rd, 2011, 06:32 AM
I'd guessed it was Taiga from the talk of hunger. And poor Shirou, he never even realized he was following a hostile Master into an empty building with no one around.

ItsaRandomUsername
April 3rd, 2011, 11:53 AM
Well I certainly wouldn't discount Taiga as a Master (in the LGW, none are exempt~), but it's not really Shirou's fault that he failed his luck check and ended up in a hotel about to be besieged by Chaos. Illya doesn't set traps - although Saver's Master just might be nearby... [/ominous]

IRUn predicts: Arc'll tear through the Chaos Beasts, as befitting of a Berserker. However, Shirou will offer backup by calling Archer using a Command Seal (although he'll be VERY conflicted about it, due to what happened previously... ;) ). After that?

Comartemis
April 3rd, 2011, 05:37 PM
Just burned through the whole thread in one sitting. You do some pretty damn awesome work Twelveseal, and I like that you're willing to tread ground most other authors would shy away from.

Twelveseal
April 4th, 2011, 03:11 AM
Thanks Com. I work with what I like, story-wise at least. Somewhat ironically, I'm not actually a pedobear, I just happen to be catering to the theme for the idea. So, to anyone and everyone, what do you like best about the work?Longest Night Revisited I

The sound of breaking glass filtered through the silence that had reigned, so that he could hear it through the walls, over their heavy breathing. His body craved her, but his mind used that moment of opportunity to exert the full force of its reason.

They had to stop. Something bad had just happened.

His lust fogged mind shook itself fully awake, but Illya had been even faster at it. Her slender limbs struggled in his grip where they had been unresisting before, and he heaved himself off of her. In that moment, he glanced at her face, and what he saw set him to motion.

Her eyes were wide with fear.

“She’s fighting! She’s fighting and telling me to get away!!” What? She’s…

Berserker.

Berserker was fighting something, and telling the to run through her bond as a familiar! But… What could possibly make that monster worry? She had handled two Servants easily the night before!

He realized that whatever it was, they didn’t want to meet it. He rushed to his shoes as Illya scurried to put on the dress. Somehow, they had ended up on top of it, he noted. Had he done that? His face heated, but he didn’t slow.

In moments, they were fully clothed, and he silently thanked himself for keeping his pants on so long. It made him realize what he had almost done. He had shoved a little girl down, had almost… he hadn’t asked her. How bad would it have been if he had actually…

He really, really needed to stop thinking about that. Now wasn’t the time.

As Illya donned her shoes, he glanced around the room for something he could use as a weapon. He was horrible at Magecraft, and he didn’t know what Illya could do, so he wanted to make sure they weren’t going out there unarmed. It probably wouldn’t do any good, but better armed than not.

The only thing he saw was the broken remains of the umbrella. There was no way to use that, unless…

He looked at it as if it were a sword.

He saw the structure, understood it. If he could fuse the veins, shape the handle and form a tang, if he could Reinforce it.

It was worth a shot.

He grabbed the handle, and drove a white hot bar of steel down his spine. As the Magic Circuit slid into agonizing place, he heard Illya gasp. Whatever it was, he’d need to be ready for it.

He didn’t have time for process. For method. They needed to get out of there. Come on! Just this once!

“Come on, Onii-chan!” He could hear her desperation. She had to know better than he did what was going on, but…

“Trace… On!” Power coursed through him, flowing from his palms into the broken, twisted metal. He felt it coursing into his target, filling it at a breakneck pace, and he slammed his Circuit shut. He lifted the thing up and…

He wanted to laugh. He had abandoned everything his father had taught him. Rushed the process, no abandoned it entirely. He had thrown it all out the window. And this was what it had gotten him.

It was perfect.

He held in his hand a sword. The thin steel rods had melded together, the hollows filled and became a fuller, the tang of the blade extending all the way to the pommel. It was one solid piece of metal, filled with his magical energy, with a molded plastic grip that fit his hand perfectly.

It was too good to be true. It can’t be this good. But it was.

He glanced at Illya, only to see her staring at him in shock.

He took her hand, the sword in the other, and reached for the door. It was time to get the hell out of here.

He shoved the door open as quietly as he could, only to have sound assault him.

It seemed the rooms were really well insulated, as the sound of the pounding rain could be heard. Thunder rumbled all too close, flashes of lightning giving the long fourth floor hallway an eerie feel.

Now that he was out in the hall, though, he could hear other things besides the storm, though.

Like the sound of fighting far below, of a little girl roaring in rage. And pain. What the hell could hurt that girl!?!
He heard the sound of splintering wood, of ripping cloth. Of growls, of roars, of bleats and screams and wails. It was as if an entire zoo had been loosed in the building. And amid it, there were other sounds he couldn’t even begin to understand, half-formed ululations and wet, hissing, throaty cries that made his hair stand on end. All of it was coming from below.

But down was the only way out.

There were two stairwells in the hall, one at either end of the horseshoe-like building. The only one in sight led down. The other, at the opposite wing, led up. At least if the other floors had the same plan. The problem was, up meant the roof.

They couldn’t exactly jump down, now could they?

They’d have to find a way down the stairs, through the halls that seemed to be filled with animals, and back to the ground floor. Where it sounded like Berserker was having serious troubles.

Going down was suicide. But so was staying put.

He squeezed Illya’s hand, turning to look at her. Her eyes were wide, but she nodded. She understood what they had to do.

He started moving slow at first, worried that any loud noise might alert the things below. Maybe, if he was lucky, they were all in the rooms, and the hall would be clear.

As they neared the stairs, though, he realized he wouldn’t be so lucky. There was a whuffling sound, and the scrabbling of claws in the darkness. He instinctively pulled Illya behind him, setting the blade ahead of him. He pushed her back with his had as he backed away slowly.

And then the head cleared the stairwell, turning around the dividing wall.

It was a hound. A dog or a wolf, or something like it. And it was big. It looked like his whole forearm could fit in that muzzle.

They were going to die.

The head snapped up, staring directly at them, blood red eyes focusing on them. Those eyes glowed with some inner, monstrous light. With hunger. Drool streamed from those hideous jaws as it opened wide, revealing rows of cruel spike teeth.

Yup. They were going to die.

He could feel Illya’s breathing speed up, and realized his hand was on her chest. Damnit. “Run.” He whispered it.

And then he shoved her, sending her reeling away from the monster, and wha..?

And her hand clamped on his hard and dragged him along.

Suddenly, he was running beside her, and the beast was lurching forward, claws tearing the carpet as they dug in.

He heard the sound of breaking glass then, as he careened down the hall, now dragged, now dragging Illya. The beast was right behind them, and he realized with horror that it wasn’t a wolf or a dog at all.

It had hands.

It was a damned werewolf.

They were being chased by a freaking werewolf.

Runrunrunrunrunrunnowmustgofastermustgofaster!!!

And they made it past the first corner, the first wing of the building just as one of those hands flashed out and ripped chunks out of the wall. It passed through the structure like it had hit water, ripping a hole in his shirt as it narrowly missed splitting his lower back in half.

The creature turned the corner, it’s mouth hanging open, nostrils flaring, and…

Illya said something in a foreign language. It sounded like German. Her fingers snapped, and suddenly the dark hall was filled with light. The air in that part of the corridor had transformed into something else.

Fire.

She had transmuted a gas to plasma.

The black monster vanished in a wall of flame that roiled down the corridor they had just been in, the blast of heat turning his own skin pink, then red as a sunburn, stinging, he felt it becoming tight. It hurt, but the blast of air was also a blessing. It shoved them further down the hall, making them run all the faster. Illya just kept running. No, she hadn’t even stopped.

And he could understand why. That blast didn’t last long, the black shadow… The creature was still moving!

His feet pounded on the carpeted floor, pushing him further along.

But soon their muffled footsteps were drowned out by the sound of splintering wood. The doors were cracking, bulging outward.

The sound of breaking glass from earlier! Things were coming in the windows, too! As he looked on, he was something barreling at them down the hall, like some kind of boar. A long, insectile claw slashed through a door as they ran by it, nearly taking his head off. He saw gnashing teeth through the holes in the wood, heard roars as small bodies slammed into doors, great cracks as the doors gave beneath bigger abominations.

He thrust himself forward, ahead of illya, and did the only thing he could think of to turn aside the oncoming beast. He slashed it as it came on, as he dragged Illya to the side.

The beast gored him, a jagged tusk gouging his leg as it passed, but the blade caught it behind the head, biting deep. He nearly lost the sword as the creature barreled on into the wall, digging a furrow in the plaster with its tusks.

How the hell did a boar get up here!? No time to question, just run!

He turned to the next wing as a creature the size of a bear lunged out of a breaking door.

He turned dragging Illya behind him, driving the blade forward like a spear right into the eye of the indescribable thing.

The blade stuck, and he left it, the creature thrashing in the doorway. It looked like it was melting, but that was just his final glance.

They charged past a menagerie of horrors dodging and weaving where they could. But still he was taking nicks and cuts as he tried to keep Illya away from the things.

And that’s when he realized. They were focusing on her.

They were trying to kill her.

This whole thing was a Servant!

They bounded up the steps as fast as they could, the inhuman shapes of the creatures after them proving to be awkward on the footing. He slammed into the door with the full force of his run, nearly ripping the it off its hinges as they plunged onto the roof, into the storm.

It was going in full fury, so that it was virtually impossible to see. The wind blasted them, ripping at Illya’s dress. She turned back, and shouted that same word as before, but this time, something else happened.

The water that poured over the stairwell and down the steps froze solid, becoming a wall of ice that only continued to grow. The plug sealed the chamber shut, keeping the beasts in.

But now they were trapped. The only way out had been up. And now, there was nothing.

He barely saw it.

A black shadow, darker than the roof itself, darker than the storm, rising beside her.

He jumped, shoving her aside.

He landed with a roll, Illya in his arms, and he turned…

No, he fell.

He tried to turn but, he couldn’t. He couldn’t feel his legs…

Because they were gone from the knee down.

Illya’s eyes widened in shock, a wordless scream piercing the darkness as a black form sank into the roof.

“Onii-chan! Onii-chan!!! Don’t move! Oh god.” He could feel her hands on him, but it was a distant sensation… He felt kind of numb… And cold. It was the rain, right?

He… felt… cold…

His eyes… felt… heavy. Why was…he so… tired?

“No! Onii-chan! Don’t close your eyes! Don’t die!!! Oh God, Shirou, don’t die!”

Huh?

She called… his… name?

How… did… she… know… his…

ItsaRandomUsername
April 4th, 2011, 08:02 AM
And then awesomness started. If there's one thing I always liked about this, it would have to be the nightmarishly fluid fight scenes. They really set the tone for the story.



@Twelveseal: Aside from that, the fanservice gags are always worth a few good laughs, the humor hits home and is consistently funny when the tone calls for it, and the horror-derived bits are nice and edgy - the way they're supposed to be.

Definitely an atmospheric work here.


Also, LOL'd at Shirou accidentally coping a feel while they're running for their lives.

Grant
April 4th, 2011, 08:12 AM
Poor Ilya. Was he even aware he could summon his Servant?

Twelveseal
April 5th, 2011, 01:33 AM
Not really. He hasn't figured out how the Command Seals really work. As far as he gets it, they're really just used to command a Servant to do something it doesn't want to, which is why the thought hasn't even crossed his mind.
Shirou's in trouble, to say the least. If you stop and think about it, what they're up against is ridiculous. Yamase is basically what you get when you take the Servant level NRVNQSR Chaos, and then make him a Counter Guardian. Considering that Kagetsu Tohya happens at about the same time as Melty Blood, and Arc is at 30% there (4 Servant output, or 2 Servant combat ability), the combined forces of Arc and Ciel couldn't even dent her, even with Arc pulling a full-force Marble Phantasm directly on her. Plus, Arc has issues with fighting multiple enemies at once, hence why she'd have problems with two Servants. Saver is a queen of the Zerg rush, with what amounts to immunity to both of Arc's primary attack forms... In other words, boatloads of affinity against Arc. Couple that with the fact that Arc has a set physical reach, while the Beasts reach and attack methods vary dramatically, and you can kind of see why Arc isn't dominating the fight.

Twelveseal
April 5th, 2011, 03:40 AM
Longest Night Revisited II

No. No. No. Nononononononononononono.

Why?

For ten long years she had hated him. He had stolen the last true family she had. She had lost the last vestiges of human warmth in her life to this red-headed boy.

Her father had chosen him over her, his own child.

So why didn’t she want him to die?

When Old Man Acht had told her his name, she had turned it into a curse. Everything that was wrong with her life she blamed on him. The absence of her father. The experiments. The modifications. Her short life span. Her barren, immature body. She blamed it all on him. If her father had been there, none of it would have happened. He could have turned it around. Her father could save people. He was her hero. Her rationale was broken. She knew that, but that didn’t matter.
She wanted to hate him, because she didn’t want to hate her father. She didn’t want to hate the man that had held her, that had made her laugh and patted her head, that wiped away her tears when she cried. She didn’t want to hate the man who had played with her in the woods hunting nuts.

She didn’t want to hate Kiritsugu, so she had hated Emiya Shirou instead. For ten years, she had studied everything about this boy that the Einzbern family would give her. Hating him.

She burned his image into her mind. Hating him.

But there had been doubt. She knew her father. She knew how much he had loved her. Or thought she did, at least.

So she couldn’t help but wonder what kind of person her father had chosen over her.

She was just curious.

That was all.

She had summoned her Servant, she had gone through the trials. She was ready to exact the revenge that had been withheld for a decade.

And then the day had come. Just for a moment, she had met that strange, oblivious boy. It was capriciousness. A whim. But still, it was better if his destruction had more meaning. She was the real child. He was the imposter, the pretender, the fake, the thief.

She had told him he had better summon it soon, or he’d die.

After all, she had come to this city to kill him and her treacherous father.

He had only stared at her in confusion, that boy. He didn’t know what she meant. That’s what his face told her. Maybe if she had told him she had come for his head, maybe he would understand. But she hadn’t said that. Only that he should summon it.

Even so, it had not been enough for her. She’d find out who he really was as Berserker shattered his bones and ripped his flesh to bloody ribbons. That was what she had told herself.

And then he had done something impossible. So mind bogglingly absurd, so… so…

So like what her father would have done. After all, Iris had always called him a hero.

He had sacrificed himself for a girl with her face, just as she had imagined her own father coming to rescue her from that frozen castle. He had jumped in front of certain death, her own monstrous Berserker, in order to protect a Servant. A Servant!

She hadn’t known what to do.

How did you react to that?

He had put the safety of that girl before his own.

She was supposed to kill him herself slowly, torture and torment him for all the pain she had suffered at the hands of the people she called family. She was supposed to make him suffer. She wasn’t supposed to watch him die saving her own mirror image.

She had run away. Plain and simple. She didn’t know how to deal with what she had just seen. This monstrous, selfish boy who had taken the only good in her life had just done that for someone else. She had fled, feigning disinterest. But it didn’t change the facts.

He had been willing to give his life to save a Servant. Something that wasn’t even human.

Something like her.

She wanted to know why. She needed to know why. But he was dead, and that was that. Death was the end. Her mother had died, even though fragments remained in her mind.

She was wrong.

She had found him the very next day, alive and well. So she had to know.

Just who was this strange boy?

She had approached him, Berserker in tow. She had talked to him. And she had realized something.

He reminded her of Kiritsugu.

He was kind to her. He was gentle. He was generous. He carried no grudges, even with what they had done the night before. He feared her, Berserker, but he didn’t hold it against them. He didn’t hate them for trying to kill him.

She couldn’t understand.

He was too alien. Too different from everything she had known. Only…

Only her parents had been like this.

The need to understand him had only grown. Her hate… all those years of hate were lost in her confusion. Her curiosity. She had to know! Who was this boy that reminded her so much of Kiritsugu? Why did she feel that way?

So she had manipulated him. She had forced him to follow her. He was reluctant, but what choice did he really have? She could have just made him obey with Berserker if she had to. But she didn’t want to do that. She didn’t know why for that, either, but she didn’t want to hurt him.

She felt like her mother was smiling at her from in her memories.

And so he had accompanied her through the city, through shop after shop after shop. He had been patient with them. He had given her answers, guidance, without asking for anything in return. He had helped her when there was need, despite the odd looks of the people. He looked embarrassed at times, and yet he had still gone with them.

In those few short hours, he had shown her more humanity than had been in the whole of the past ten years of her life. He had treated her like a human being, instead of a tool for revenge, instead of a curious experiment, instead of a specimen to be tested, instead of a piece of equipment to be used up and cast aside in the quest for a miracle.

He made her want to cry. She wanted to cry for what she had lost, for her mother, Irisviel and her father, Kiritsugu. For the family that had been taken from her. For all the things that she had missed in these last years of her fading life.

She wanted to cry tears of joy for this moment of happiness, however small it might be to the people of this distant land. She wanted to cry for not having known a person like this existed. She wanted to cry because she was wrong, and somehow, was glad that she was wrong.

But instead of tears, this boy had made her laugh. He had made her smile as she had not since she was truly a child, and not just an imperfect product.

This boy could not have stolen her father.

And even knowing all of this, it was not enough. She had wanted to know everything about him. Who this boy was, what his dreams were, what his hopes and his desires and needs. She wanted to know his emotions, she wanted to see the contents of his heart and soul.

So she had guided him. She had brought him close, even if it meant lying about her abilities. She had tricked him into being close to her.

She had wanted to ask him many things. To know everything about him, no matter what.

And so when he had touched her, she hadn’t resisted. Deep inside, she trusted him without knowing why.

And wasn’t this, too, knowing about who he was?

She had never experienced this, locked away in that castle of ice and snow, frozen heart and soul. She had never known such a thing as passion. She had never felt such a touch. But she remembered it.

Iris remembered the loving, gentle hands of her husband.

Justeaze remembered the strength of Makar.

She, too, would remember it, and bear his scar. She would remember his touch, his love. Deep inside her, her frozen core welcomed that human warmth, craved it in a way that she could not understand. This boy had brought so many unknowns, so many uncertainties into her life.

And yet she welcomed it.

She wanted it.

And then it had gone so wrong.

Berserker had cried out through the bond. A foe had come, and the beasts with it. It was a fight that Berserker could not win as she was now.

But releasing the seals on Arcueid, unleashing Berserker’s full potential, would kill her. No mortal, no matter how great, could support the full power of the Princess of True Ancestors.

So they had fled in the wild hope that there was escape. But there had been no escape. Only violence, and this time, he had saved her, and not her double.

And now she stood here, over his dying body, his blood pouring from the ruined stumps of his legs. Her mind had frozen at the site, her mouth repeating the word ‘no’ endlessly.

If she released Berserker, the enemy would fall, but so would she.

And then no one would be left to save him.

She had come here to kill this boy, but…

She could not let him die.

She had not been made with Magecraft in her. That was superfluous. Unnecessary. Her design had no use for Alchemy. If she wanted to spend her free time learning it from Sella, so be it. All that had been needed were her Circuits. Her proof as a Holy Grail. And one more thing.

Wishes.

She could grant wishes.

So she opened her Circuits, felt the heat flowing through her.

And she wished. She wished for him to be whole. For him to be healthy. For him to open his eyes and smile at her and take her hand in his own.

Nothing happened.

She wished harder.

And something repelled it.

There was some great power at work within him, rejecting her wish. It was as if there was some great conflict going on inside him, as if two forces were clashing for control of his body. Caught between those two powers, her wishes were just illusions.

She knelt down, oblivious to the world, pressing her hands to him. Tears were flowing from her eyes, had been for a long time now, but she looked hard. She brought forth a spell that Sella had taught her, and looked at him. At his structure.

He was made of swords.

Blades were forming beneath his skin, trying to seal the wounds in his legs, to protect the skin burned by her transmutation. And there was something else. While his body tried to become a blade immune to harm, something else was trying to make his flesh mend. Avalon. The voice of her mother whispered in her mind. But the two were in conflict, one making his body steel, the other flesh.

And they were both rejecting outside forces.

She could not wish him whole.

She could not heal him.

But maybe…

She could try to tip the balance in that conflict.

She wished for herself, this time. Wished and touched him with her hands, with her lips to his.

She poured herself into him, into those countless blades, into that strange power. And she pushed.

She pressed down on the blades, pushing them back with her wish. She pushed the unseen relic, driving it forward. And she found that inside that power, there was already another, so much like her own. The differences were so minute…

It mingled with hers, as did the strength of those swords, the peace of that Noble Phantasm. And it guided her hand.

She felt her power flow through her, pouring through his body as the holy sheath sprang to greater life, invigorated. It poured it’s healing into him, and her tears became those of joy.

She could save him!

She looked up, eyes clouding with tears of happiness.

Into the open maw of a shark.

ItsaRandomUsername
April 5th, 2011, 03:53 AM
Damned cliffhangers! And preceeded by such a tear-jerker, too.

Oddly enough, I was going to request a landshark. After all, you can't have Nrvnqsr (or his successor) without landsharks, right? ;)

Twelveseal
April 5th, 2011, 03:55 AM
Indeed. It already appeared, actually. It's what took Shirou's legs.

Marth
April 5th, 2011, 03:57 AM
FUUUUUU-

Cliffhanger ahoy, maties! Grab the lynching spears and the torches! ;p


I'M A SHARK
I'M A SHARK
I'LL EAT YOUR LEGS
I'M A SHARK

ItsaRandomUsername
April 5th, 2011, 03:57 AM
Well, I figured it was either that or the Chaos Gator. Now, it's confirmed!

Marth
April 5th, 2011, 03:59 AM
I should be getting supper, but instead I'm posting here. Damn you and your lolis!

Twelveseal
April 5th, 2011, 04:01 AM
Lol. I rather enjoy cliffhangers in the fight scenes.
I did that quite a bit on the first Longest Night chapters. >:3

I'm actually working on the next chapters. I have a couple days off, so you may be looking at multiple releases in a single day.

For those of you who weren't around on the old board to find out, most of my chapters are written in a single day. I come up with an idea in a notepad while on a 15 minute break or at lunch while I'm at work, and then either finish the chapter on my comp, or tinker with the idea. The most chapters I've written in a single twenty-four hour period was 5, on Thanksgiving Day. A couple days off could mean a whole shitload of new chapters, so long as things work out.

Edit: Don't feel bad, Marth. It's 3:00 am here, and I haven't eaten either.

Marth
April 5th, 2011, 04:03 AM
Back when my muse was still around, I'd do about 1 chapter a week, on average. >_>

Relevant to recent events in the story-

http://modernshark.com/wp-content/uploads/error-1.png

ItsaRandomUsername
April 5th, 2011, 04:03 AM
And the thought just occured to me that this is going on at the same time as Arihiko+Lancer!Nanako/LoliAvenger!SHIKI/Rider!GORGON/ArcherEffeminateBoy!EMILYA's playdate.

Fast times in Fuyukiville.


The moral of this story-arc is: Forcing your lust-ridden self onto sexually repressed yandere legal jailbait will save your life.

Twelveseal
April 5th, 2011, 04:05 AM
Yep. This is also why Shirou is having so many issues with Avalon healing him and UBW taking over.

Just try to list all the shit that's happened to him in the past 48 hours, and then compare with how much actual rest he's had. Then add in the fact that Avalon isn't working right, since there's no Saber around.

Marth
April 5th, 2011, 04:08 AM
The source of your avatar eludes me, good sir. I can haz sauce, plz?

Also, less leg-eating sharks, more loli lovin'. =P
A good piece, though your propensity for cliffhangers will be the death of you, at this rate, methinks.

ItsaRandomUsername
April 5th, 2011, 04:11 AM
But it's the right of an author to troll their readers! It's a sign of their success if people react this way!

Also, I'll request for an explicit mentioning of a Chaos Crab, please.

Twelveseal
April 5th, 2011, 04:23 AM
@Marth: Mine Avatar... Hmmm. It's by an artist on Deviantart called xImperfections. It looks like the original work was removed, though. You can still find it if you search images for Yazoo by xImperfections, though. I used that pic since it's one of the closest to my Fate/Regalia rp Master. Interestingly enough, from an OC branch of the Einzbern family who has been referenced in the LGW.

@IRUn: So... you want the loli to have crabs, eh...
That can be arranged. >:3

Marth
April 5th, 2011, 04:26 AM
Duuude, soooo not cool! >_<

Twelveseal
April 5th, 2011, 04:28 AM
Which part of that, the lame joke inolving not-so-funtimes with the zoo-girl, or the fact that I don't have a direct link to the pic?

Here's what the Bing Search turned up: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Yazoo%20by%20ximperfections&form=HPNTLB

Marth
April 5th, 2011, 04:45 AM
Err, I was talking about the crabs reference that IRUn made, actually. =P

Link is nice, though.

Twelveseal
April 5th, 2011, 04:50 AM
Heh, it is a bad reference, yes. But I think I can actually do something with it with a degree of seriousness. And I do like to take requests.

It may not be a mention of a crab, though, but the actual appearance of a giant chaos crab. depends on how things work out.

Marth
April 5th, 2011, 04:51 AM
Oh lordy... XD

If I don't see at least one reference about MASSIVE DAMAGE in relation to the giant crab, I will be very disappointed.

http://www.motifake.com/image/demotivational-poster/0805/giant-enemy-crab-demotivational-poster-1212019803.gif

Twelveseal
April 5th, 2011, 04:54 AM
We'll have to see. There are a lot of weird things in that body of hers. It would not surprise me in the least if there was a Giant Demon Crab in there.

Oh god, now I'm thinking about Yukito Kishiro's Aqua Knight.

Marth
April 5th, 2011, 04:56 AM
Lol at the thread tag 'Better than it sounds'. XD

Twelveseal
April 5th, 2011, 04:57 AM
Ah, you just noticed? I have no idea who tagged it, though. I didn't place either.

Marth
April 5th, 2011, 05:01 AM
I don't pay attention to these newfangled tag things. =/

Hmmm.....

Twelveseal
April 5th, 2011, 05:03 AM
Basically, you go down to the tags section at the bottom of the screen, and then put a label on the thread. Whatever you want. You can only do two per thread, though. Gives people an idea of what to expect.

And you can go back and change em later.

Marth
April 5th, 2011, 05:10 AM
[old man rage]
Eh, sounds rather unnecessary to me. Read the damn story if ya wanna know what it's about. Back in my day, we had to go through the whole topic just to find out what it was about! None of this 'tag' nonsense, and if we wanted to find a specific story type, why, it took us days to find!
[/old man rage]

And on that note, I'ma go back to reading Razors Edge.

EDIT: Suddenly, a wild Poll appeared!

Twelveseal
April 5th, 2011, 05:16 AM
Ok, now i feel dumb. I just made a poll, and then realized that it has that function built in already... Buuuuuuu.

Marth
April 5th, 2011, 05:17 AM
Ah well. Live and learn. I voted already, anways.

Twelveseal
April 5th, 2011, 05:18 AM
Sweet. Oh well, i need sleep. And food.

Just not in that order.

Marth
April 5th, 2011, 05:22 AM
I'm heating up some toaster strudels, myself. I'd cook some eggs, but we're all out. >_>

Grant
April 5th, 2011, 07:50 AM
We'll have to see. There are a lot of weird things in that body of hers. It would not surprise me in the least if there was a Giant Demon Crab in there.

Oh god, now I'm thinking about Yukito Kishiro's Aqua Knight.

I think there actually was some mention of crabs or something in Tsukihime.

Twelveseal
April 6th, 2011, 04:23 AM
Longest Night Revisited III

This wasn’t fun anymore.

She had liked it so far. Sort of. Beating all those creatures at that castle, in the forest, that had been fun. She had been made to do things like that. It hadn’t been hard at all.

A part of her wanted the challenge of a good fight, but just having a companion had been fun. Illya-onee-chan reminded her of herself. She was too serious, though. Arcueid had learned a long time ago that if she spent all of her time focusing on her “duty” she’d miss so many things that were really worthwhile. A man had taught her that, even without trying.

So she had decided to show Onee-chan about more things than just her obligations. There was more to living than just that. She had brought Illya out into the city as soon as she could. She had shown her what life was like outside of that mountain castle.

Problem was, she was a little rusty at that kind of thing, but… Ok. So she had never really been good with that. She had more in common with Onee-chan than she had realized at first. But still, she had way more experience there than Illya. She felt it was her obligation to show this little girl the way.

And have fun while she did. Hee.

She had helped wrangle them out of that tiny manor every chance she got. And Illya seemed to enjoy it. Her face lit up with wonder at each new place and object, even if she tried to hide it.

Of course that hadn’t been all. She had been on patrol, too. Looking for enemies and all that. But she hadn’t really sensed any other Servants. She thought she had, once, but it was an old signature, and it was really faint. Familiar, but faint. She didn’t understand it, so she had figured it was just something left over from a past war or something.

And then they had hit the jackpot! That’s what Inui-kun had called it, right? Hitting the jackpot?

Eh. They had run across a pair of Master’s with their Servants…

It was great seeing her sister again after so long. They hadn’t always seen eye to eye, but it was still nice. And they had sparred, too! It was just like old times.

Except for that weird girl. She could swear that girl was her Master, but there was something odd about her. That Servant was not something she could understand. Still, that felt a little familiar, too. She just didn’t like listening to that dark place inside her, and it was what remembered that feeling.

Then, of course, things had gotten a little serious, so she had had to try a bit. If her Onee-chan could do a bit more, maybe she could fight harder, but as it was Arcueid was a little limited. And after that oddity, that silly boy doing such an absurd thing, well, she had kind of slipped a little.

She didn’t recognize the arrow that the Servant shot her with, but it had hurt!

She might have recovered fully after only a few moments, but that hadn’t been very fun. Oh no. Not fun at all. But that was fine, too. After all, she’d have to fight that girl soon enough. If one thing could be said of her, she didn’t leave wrongs alone. That time would come.

But her Master hadn’t been interested in finishing that fight, so that had been that.

And then things had turned interesting. She could understand her Master a bit. She could relate to wanting to understand something new and strange. After all, was the situation so different from her own, so long ago? It had been meeting Shiki that had changed her own perceptions, had shown her just how much of life she had been missing.

So she could really feel that this was a really important thing for Onee-chan.

Of course, it had been fun for her, too.

She didn’t get to go out in the human world that often, instead staying in that empty castle. It was really nice to get out and see the world as humans did sometimes. And if she wasn’t mistaken, it was around that time, so maybe she could go see him again. She’d really like that.

But things hadn’t turned out so well now. The rain wasn’t really a problem. She knew full well it wouldn’t harm her, and her Master had plenty enough ability to fend off anything of that magnitude. But her Master hadn’t done that. Instead, she had acted strangely, and now they were stuck in this mess.

It was inevitable that she’d have to fight many Servants, and it was inevitable that she’d kill them all, but this kind of thing was just annoying. Her Master had gotten into something that, while a very fun thing to do, wasn’t exactly good for their situation. She hadn’t done anything like that, anyway. But she could go with it. Humans were only young once, after all. She knew that too well, also.

But then she had felt the presence of a Servant. An eerie, familiar presence.

But it couldn’t be.

There was no way that guy had been a hero. Right?

It looked like she had been wrong, though. A blue crow had been standing in front of the glass doors, staring. His eye was staring at her. He knew where they were.

And then the beasts had loomed out of the storm. Countless black shapes, animal, transcendent, demon, it didn’t matter. They were legion.

She had faced him before.

She had fought him three times in her life.

Each time she had been stronger than him.
Each time she had been faster than him.
Each time she had been tougher, had more Prana, wielded greater forces.

And each time she had only won because of chance.

He had walked away from her because of the hour and the rising sun. He had lost because of Shiki’s eyes and underestimating that man, or he had lost because he had forgotten. Or had surrendered. She had never been able to tell that one time.

That monster had resisted her completely then. Marble Phantasm had been useless. Her claws, despite her superior strength, could only shift the material of his body. They dealt no real harm to him. Even that Agent’s Black Keys, concept weapons that had been made to fight vampires, that had hurt even her, had done nothing.

If not for Shiki, she didn’t think she could have killed him then. She hadn’t recovered enough power to do it. Maybe if it had been later, but not then.

He was a nuisance.

An eyesore.

And he was here, somehow, as a Servant.

She was annoyed already. But at least this time she could pay him back for her past humiliations.

He had attacked en masse, that army of beasts he called a body swarming her. And they were easy pickings.

If they had been anywhere near her level, she would have had trouble, but nothing in that body of his could compare with her.

Bears she gutted inside the reach of their paws. The great cats cracking the building’s foundations found her rending their spines open. The heads of hounds flew free in fountains of black gore.

She danced in a fountain of black blood, claws flashes of light and fury. Not one beast could touch her as she moved. Every reaching limb was torn and broken, flayed by black-stained talons. Anything that came within her reach was lost.

But then she had come to a realization. They had swarmed her, but there were many who had not joined the swarm. Instead…

Instead they had torn through the rooms.

Instead, they had climbed the stairs.

They were looking for her Master.

She had sent a warning through the bond then and there, tried to break away and join the two above.

It hadn’t worked.

They had surrounded her, those black piles of flesh. Cut off her movement. And despite her superior speed, there were just too many to get past. If she had even a moment, she could have wielded Marble Phantasm, simply flew, or even teleported, but they assaulted her from all sides, so that she had no time to imagine such a possibility, to connect with the world and make it real.

And they just kept coming, no matter how many she cut down.

That’s when she realized just how much of a problem she had.

NRVNQSR wasn’t using his main body at all. He was just sending wave after wave of beasts. So long as their essence returned to the whole, they could regenerate. No, unless she could actually kill the lives within him, they would simply come back using their own remains to form bodies.

She had been fighting and killing the same monsters over and over again, only to have them take up their corpses and fight again.

And each time, they had edged closer, hemmed her in more. She had no way to run. The only space she had was her own tiny reach, the length of a child’s arms.

And then the first one had hit her.

The claw of a demonic insect had slashed out, cutting her shoulder.

And it hadn’t healed.

No, it had. But… not fast enough. Something was slowing the process. Something…

There was a power in those dark forms she didn’t recognize, some force that disrupted her connection with the world. The black ooze that the claw had left behind bubbled in the wound, as if it were trying to dissolve her. It seethed, gnawing at her flesh, eating through her dress with ease. And where it touched, the bond with the world became weaker.

Even just their bodies… Just by standing in place, they were somehow disrupting the world’s nature.

They were the form of a Reality Marble. An alien world where the laws of hers did not apply. They were the Concept of Chaos. Natural Laws still had power over them, but… No, they lessened the strength of those laws. They were a corruption of the order. A vile, wretched distortion.

She was inside the creation of humanity, a manmade building that stagnated the flow of the world already, the beasts slowing it further. The moon above the clouds gave her power, but its light was filtered through that storm, through the floors of the building. All this unnatural matter was clouding her judgement, her senses.

And then it had closed on her from beneath.

The jaws of a shark clamped itself on to her legs. Her whole lower body vanished down its gullet.

It burned! The teeth bit into her like, rending and tearing her body with their jagged edges. She should have been able to tear the beast open, but her connection with the world was only open on one side, and that was blocked by layers of concrete and steel.

She ripped the snout of the shark open, all the way through its tar-black cartilage, but the filth of it poured over her.

And from it, more forms, half-shaped, rose. Claws and fangs filled her world as the black ooze rose up, trying to engulf her, and no matter how far she spread it, it crept higher with each motion. The black beasts merged into a single mass, flowing together as they turned on one another, biting each other, tearing into each other, devouring each other, joining into a single unholy mass that lifted her free of the ground and began to tear at her.

No.

This wasn’t fun anymore.

Twelveseal
April 6th, 2011, 05:19 AM
Longest Night Revisited IV

The longer it went on, the better she felt.
Maybe that was normal.
If it ended too soon, she wasn’t satisfied.
This, this gave her a clarity she had been lacking. A focus. That act of taking something into herself. Of answering her body’s needs.

The taste of that sweet flesh as her teeth ripped it apart was unlike anything she had ever known. And despite it all, she felt sick.

Her body hurt. It was hungry. It craved flesh and blood. And it made her want to be sick. As her teeth crunched bone and pulped muscles, rending it to shreds, she wanted to wretch.

Each and every beast was a part of her. It was one with the rest of her body. No matter how far, she could sense through them. She could channel through them, birth monsters from other monsters.

She felt what they felt, she tasted what they tasted.

And she wanted to retch. It was disgusting, but it was what her body craved. She was crying, she didn’t want to do this, she didn’t want to be this.

But she had to.

In order to stop being a monster, she had to become an even greater monster.

The claws of that girl cut her, but they did not hurt. Her body merely flowed around them like water. The power of that silver-haired child had been actual pain, as if her body had been popped with hot oil. She remembered that feeling, cooking with her mother when she had been younger. She had gotten too close to the pan after putting in too much frying oil, and it had popped on her.

She had cried then, but now that she was older, something like that was just unpleasant. She had learned to deal with pain. It came with living. The more you lived, the more you would hurt.

She understood that better than ever, now.

But she still wanted to live.

There was so much she had left behind. There was a family that had been missing her at home. There was a sister to protect.

But she couldn’t reach out to them with these monstrous, bloodstained hands. She couldn’t hold them with these inhuman claws, when her body wanted to eat them. It answered her, but it didn’t obey her. It did what it wanted, and only this strange power she didn’t truly understand allowed her to exert any control. Her will, yes. She could will them to obey, but there was something that had grown in her now that could restrict them.

A voice in her mind told her it was her own power, but she didn’t trust that voice.

It was an old voice. The voice of an educated man. But a callous man. She did not want to listen to him.

His voice reminded her of pain.

So instead she focused on the hunt. Her introspection was at an end. The flesh she even now tore from the white princess fed her, gave her the reason and focus she had been missing. That one would not die so easily. Her wounds regenerated almost as quickly as they were made.

No, she had been ordered to hunt the pale-haired Master. Find and kill this one. The representative of the Einzberns. They cheated, they were ruthless. They had murdered all of the other Masters they could in the past wars, without mercy or remorse.

It stood to reason that her Master would want them dead. Especially since she seemed to have a powerful Servant.

Yes, Saver could tell. This Servant was beyond her, if she went all out. But she was holding back, and that meant she had a chance.

The boy…

She had not wanted to do that. But she did not have so much control that should could change the path of her own strikes. It was his own fault for getting in the way, but…

Maybe that was why she was crying?

Was what had happened to him so different from what had happened to her?

No. Don’t think about it.

Just kill the girl and be done with it.

Grant
April 6th, 2011, 07:42 AM
If anything this War seems like it's going to be sadder than canon.

ItsaRandomUsername
April 6th, 2011, 09:20 AM
^
It certainly has the capacity to be, aye. So far we've had a good amount of despair from a few parties (namely the Berserker/Illya, two Archers and their respective Masters), but no real body count as of yet. Shirou being on the verge death, however, is just par for he course.

This is a pretty hopeless situation, so if this doesn't result in a bad end I'm just dying to know how they make it out of this way.

ringlhach
April 6th, 2011, 09:46 AM
"Shirou is on the verge of death" is a pretty good way to sum up big chunks of the plot where he's concerend. It's either that, "I'm not noticing!" or CG-MANA!ANIMALS.

Stupid censoring.

ItsaRandomUsername
April 6th, 2011, 10:54 AM
I get the feeling that censoring isn't going to be an issue here, if we're lucky~

Twelveseal
April 6th, 2011, 08:25 PM
Longest Night Revisted V

Rage. It was such a simple thing.

And yet so strong.

Yes, she was raging, despite her calm face.

The wind and rain buffeted her as she looked on into the early, storm-born night. But the chill did nothing for her anger.

She had watched him, knowing who he was, knowing the kind of choices he made.

He couldn’t be left alone.

Not now. He placed others before himself without even thinking about how much it would hurt him. How much his pain would hurt the people who cared about him. If he died…

If he died, she’d never forgive him.

And she’d never forgive herself.

Hadn’t that been proven already?

So she had followed him, watched him. All day long. He was a long way off from the peak of his senses. He had a lot of work to do before he reached that point, so she had completely slipped by him. She had seen his day, starting from the moment he had left his house.

It hurt her to think of his reaction to Rin’s words. But sometimes, lying was necessary. She couldn’t let anyone know about Avalon, or they’d want to take it away from him. He’d give it up freely, but she knew just how much he’d need it soon.

So she had lied, told Rin that she had needed to transfer her Prana into him. It hadn’t been a total lie, after all. She really had needed to do that, but it was really something a lot less minor than what she thought. And she had made love with him many times in the past.

Her past, anyway.

So she didn’t really feel guilty, she just didn’t like that it caused him so much pain. Had it really been so hard for him to accept the idea of loving her so long ago? Was it so hard to accept now. That made her angry, and sad, and fueled the emotions that whorled inside her.

Her eyes continued to scan the horizon from her vantage high above the Nasu Building.

She saw him fall, saw his injuries. That made her even angrier! Why do you keep doing this, Shirou!

But it made her happy, too. He had done that to save [i]that[i/] girl, so it made her happy.

She wanted to rush down and save him, to heal him with her Magecraft or her touch, but instead she wished that the girl would notice what was already there. She had poured a lot of energy into Avalon already, but she realized it hadn’t been enough. The sheath was trying to compensate for all of the strain his body was suffering from the past two days. It had been expending energy almost constantly in order to keep his exhaustion at bay.

She had been a little too short-sighted.

But that girl could do the same thing. If she was aware. So she wished for it, and left it at that.

And kept scanning the city.

There was a spell in her eyes, peering through storm and structure, looking for the source. In her own life, she had faced a monster like this. A black beast that spewed forth countless monsters. Maybe it had even been the same one. That thing hadn’t died, that she knew of. It had just fled. But fleeing was good enough, now.

She needed to find the main body.

If she could disrupt the main body enough while it controlled its dark army, she could disrupt every creature that made the thing up.

Her black bow was in hand, the crimson wire strung. A twisted sword rested in her other hand, a sword that was like an arrow.

Even though it had not been a sword to begin with.

No, it had been a scarlet spear. A crimson Irish rose.

If this thing was like the one she had faced, this little toy would do a lot more than just sting. Sometimes, she could really appreciate her strange memories.

She stopped.

There it was.

Standing at the edge of a building roughly a mile from the park. Even further from hotel building. A dark shape, female. Black filth poured from her exposed abdomen, streaming down her legs like some unholy birth. Where that tar-like ichor touched, forms seethed, shapes rising and clawing and gnashing at each other, only to pull free and fall to the earth far below. It was disgusting. And yet vaguely hypnotic. She was reminded of old gods, Lilith, Lamashtu.

So, she had been sending those things over all that distance, huh? She wouldn’t have been able to do that without the storm. It would have been too noticeable. Well, it was time to try her hand.

She raised the bloody arrow, set it to the string that shared its shade, and drew. The bow was a good one. It didn’t creak as it bent, silent and strong. Her eyes half lidded as she poured magic into her body, pushing the limits of her vision, of her muscles, her nerves, her bones, and poured even more into that arrow, until it was filled to bursting.

It wasn’t her technique. But it was one she had mastered.

The arrow became a glowing star in the night, a piercing red light. It was hot. So very hot in her hand.

And then she released.

The string hummed like a harp’s.

The red star became a blazing comet that sheared through the rain, passing over the hotel roof, straight for the source of that hungry darkness.

It roared as it flew.

And roared louder when it hit.

The otherworldly scream that echoed in the storm-tossed night was something no human should ever hear.

The rain helped. It washed the debris from the air quickly, so that she could see better how well it had worked.

There was nothing there. Not just a lack of black monsters, but the whole roof. The arrow had reduced the roof and a fair portion of that office building’s wall to dust. Arrow of Exorcism indeed.

She glanced at the hotel’s roof. Both her Master and that girl were there. Good. This was…

Wait.

Some kind of reaction?

The night filled with an unholy roar.

A black nightmare writhed behind the ruin she had made…

Wings like the sails of a ship.

A black mouth filled with teeth!

The maw opened and…

The night lit with a pillar of fire and light!

She heaved to the side as the hell-light ripped through the air. Water converted to steam, was washed away with power. Rock converted to steam, was washed away with power. The top five floors of the building she had stood on became a molten hell, the clouds parting like the red sea before that ancient Heroic Spirit.

For a moment, she glimpsed the bright moon as she fell.

Rational thought was surprisingly easy, all things considered.

Archer had lost most of her lower body, even though she had leapt. That…

That blast was similar to Excalibur. Not quite as great, but.

She’d have to remember that for next time.

Well, since she was this damaged, she might as well finish it. She twisted in midair as best she could. Raised that black bow, and let the red string play its song.

The night was filled with steel shooting stars as her body faded to nothing.

Yeah, she’d have to try a little harder next time.

ItsaRandomUsername
April 6th, 2011, 09:27 PM
Slight hints into Archerko's past life, huh? Not much, but I'd say well worth the wait. And that beam-attack, JESUS.

Lower body? That's a pretty serious wound she has. Thank god for Independent Action and whatever other skills/abilities Illya!Archer might have, otherwise she'd have died instantly. Guess that's the first casualty of the LGW then, huh?


...if she really is down for good then I expect you compensate us with complete wise-ups for her stat-sheet then, Twelveseal~


Now this really is not looking too good at all, although it would seem as if Shirou and Illya are going to get a brief reprieve.

And I have the feeling that I should recognize that arrow from somewhere, yet the name escapes me...Arrow of Exorcism, irish rose... :p

RanmaBushiko
April 6th, 2011, 10:24 PM
Interesting... very interesting indeed. I'm looking forwards to more!

Twelveseal
April 6th, 2011, 10:50 PM
Longest Night Revisited VI

The night was filled with an inarticulate roar, the sound of pain and fury, the sound of destruction. Blood red light painted the looming beast in ruby shades.

The maw of the shark closed on her.

And collapsed into black filth. She wished as it fell, and the ichor flowed around them in a circle. Even as she watched, it dissolved to dust and was washed away in the pouring rain.

She turned back to the boy. To Shirou. Already, he looked better. His cheeks were flushed, where they had been pale, his breathing steady. Blood no longer streamed from his legs, and… it looked like they were longer.

He was regenerating.

She felt strange, though. Her body felt weird, as if something she had touched had remained with her.

Maybe it was just relief?

But they didn’t have time for standing around. They needed to get out fast.

She couldn’t carry him. She wasn’t that strong, and he was significantly taller than her, and broader. She didn’t think she could even lift him.

She needed Berserker…

Who was doing much better than she had been!

Berseker, I need your help on the roof.
Right, Onee-chan!

It didn’t take long at all. A minute at most. Of course, she hadn’t expected Berserker to come through the roof, but whatever worked.

“We need to get out of here! Can you carry him?”
“Hah! Easy! But I can’t fight like that. We need to deal with th… Oh.”

Why had she trailed off?

And then she felt the flow of Prana change.

Something big loomed out of the darkness, it’s shape rearing back.

And then it breathed.

Night turned to day as a black dragon breathed.

Even from so far away, she could feel the heat of it as the blast roared by overhead. For a moment, she could see perfectly in that night.

She saw a figure in red tumble from the path of that infernal blast. Felt its presence as a Servant.

A hail of light shot from that ruined form as it broke apart in midair, until nothing was left.

But each arrow hit home.

The black beast rocked, its perch on the ruined building crumbling as it scrambled for purchase.

“Oh no you don’t!” Berserker spoke in anger now. A tremendous force ripped out from her as the light of the moon flowed down, revealed by the dragon’s breath.

The rain became sheets of ice, the air around the dragon turning solid in an instant.

The whole beast was sealed in a block of ice.

They had to leave. Now.

“Let’s go, Berserker!”
“But he’s not dead yet! I can finish him now!”
“Not now!” She looked pointedly at boy, still in such a dangerous position. If Berserker couldn’t kill that thing in one movement, it would reduce them all to ashes. She had no illusions. If Berserker hadn’t been able to fight it that well before, there was no way she was going to risk it now.

Even if Berserker could survive it, neither of them could.

And besides, he had lost his Servant just now.

Even at that distance, she could recognize that shape well enough.

“Come on!” And she went to lift his limp body. Her Servant would have to help her, right?

She was, of course. Berserker hefted him in her small hands, her strength far greater than Illya’s own. Enough of his legs had regenerated for easy carrying by then. Only a bit of the feet remained.

But still, something made her pause.

There was something odd about his hand.

After all, she had just watched that Servant die, so why…

ItsaRandomUsername
April 6th, 2011, 11:45 PM
Gah! You and your cliffhangers! D:

Nice use of Marble Phantasm, by the way. And that last part about the hand....*guh*! So intriguing.
And a Chaos Dragon? Holy shit man.

MrTags
April 6th, 2011, 11:46 PM
Chaos has always had a dragon... just never a dragon with a omfgsdf1 BEAM CANNON...

ItsaRandomUsername
April 6th, 2011, 11:47 PM
That's why it shocked me. o____0


That and I wasn't expecting it, either. Although I should have seen it coming.

Twelveseal
April 6th, 2011, 11:59 PM
NRNVQSR never really used it to its full potential. He just threw it at Shiki when he started panicking, and we never got to see it again. I doubt it had beam-spam, but still, it felt right.

The next chapter will probably be up tonight, if it makes you feel any better.

ItsaRandomUsername
April 7th, 2011, 12:05 AM
:3

Twelveseal
April 7th, 2011, 12:16 AM
DEAD

He woke up feeling strange. Both of his legs were asleep. He couldn’t feel them at all. He felt something heavy on his chest, too. He wondered what it was, but he felt so tired… He felt as if he hadn’t had a good rest in so long. His eyes just wanted to stay closed. But he had things he needed to do. Sakura would be coming over to make breakfast soon. He needed to get up. Plus, he didn’t really want to go back to sleep.

He had had such strange dreams.

Nightmares.

He had almost done something very bad to a little girl in them. Almost raped her. And there had been black monsters he had fought with a strange sword. It was cold, rainy. He was lost and running through strange rooms from evil things. And then something had taken his legs, ripped them off, and…

That was really a disturbing thought, considering he couldn’t feel his legs. His eyes popped open.

Where was he?

This wasn’t his room.

And…

There was a little girl laying on him, asleep.

Her silver hair spread out like a blanket around her, her head laying on his chest. Wha…? She was sitting in a chair, leaning over him, and had fallen asleep there.

She looked so familiar. Archer?

No, this was…

This was the girl he had almost forced himself on in his dreams. But why was she here!? No, where was here in the first place!?!

She started to stir as his body moved, looking up at him with sleepy eyes. There was something enchanting about her, and he felt his body reacting despite himself.
No, wait.

Why was he naked under these blankets!?!

Oh shit!

“Good to see you’re awake, Emiya-kun. I didn’t expect it so soon, but I guess I should have.” A familiar voice. “You’re going to owe me for this, Emiya-kun.”

He looked up to find Tohsaka Rin staring at him from the doorway. Her voice was light and energetic, but he could tell she was dead serious. And what’s more, there was something in her voice, her posture that told him…

She did not approve.

He couldn’t look at her directly. He didn’t know why, but he had a bad feeling he had done something that warranted her disapproval. Was it this girl on top of him, or had she looked at his waist? He was blushing already, trying to hide it with his leg, but, well, for once he wished he was a little smaller.

No, wait… don’t…

Illya had glanced at his lower body, and though it was hidden by the sheets and blanket of this nice bed, it could still be made out. Damnit! She was staring at it! Please don’t stare at it…

Tohsaka sighed, which blissfully took Illya’s attention away from his erection. “As soon as you can walk, I need to talk to you. I could do it here, but I really don’t want to when you’re like that.” And she once again turned their attention to his stiff member.

Damn you Tohsaka.

“Come on, Illya-chan. We have some things to discuss in the meantime.”

Why did he get the feeling those two were doing some kind of bonding? Was it because of the tone Tohsaka had used, or was it because the smaller girl had obeyed without objection?

Maybe they just wanted to get away from the pervert.

It was his turn to sigh. He deserved that. After what he had tried to do to Illya, he deserved worse. He guessed Tohsaka, or maybe Berserker had come to the rescue, if he had sorted dream and memory right.

He really owed them. Even if it had been Berserker, he guessed he had been put up in Tohsaka’s house.

She had saved his butt twice now. At least as far as he saw it, anyway.

When his body was a little less, active he climbed out of bed and went in search of his clothes. They didn’t take long to find. His outfit had been laid out over the back of a chair. It didn’t take long at all to get them back on, and they felt clean, so he guessed someone had washed them and mended the tears and scrapes while he was out. He owed his hosts something else, it seemed. He couldn’t help but wonder who had undressed him in the first place, though.

And he couldn’t help but shake the feeling that he was being watched.

Weird. There was no one there.

When he was done, he marched himself out the door the girls had used, and followed the narrow hall down the only direction with light at the end.

It opened into a nice, well furnished sitting-room. Every eye promptly turned to look at him. Tohsaka Rin in her red and black. Illya in her white and lavender. Rider in her black and white, and Berserker in that maroon and white outfit.

He felt cornered. Trapped.

“Glad you could join us, Emiya-kun. It looks like you’ve gotten yourself into trouble, again.” He cringed at Tohsaka’s tone. She wasn’t happy. Which meant he had a bad situation on his hands.

She sighed again. “But there’s not a lot I can do. I feel like it’s my duty to take you to see Kotomine again. After all, if I had been more careful, then maybe you wouldn’t have been involved in the first place.”

“See Kotomine?” He didn’t want to do that. That priest made him uncomfortable.
“Of course. A Master who’s lost their Servant is to report to the priest of Kotomine Church for their own safety.”


… …
… … …
What did she just say?

“Umm. Tohsaka? What did you just say?”
“I said you lost your Servant last night, Emiya-kun. She died saving your life from that Servant. I swore I wouldn’t help you anymore, but you’re just so pathetic, I couldn’t stand by and watch. Besides, Illya-chan brought you here last night in that mess, and even offered to tell me about the Servants she’s encountered so far in return for my help.”

Wait. So…

Archer was dead?

ARCHER WAS DEAD!?!

His mind shut down. One moment. Two. Three.

It started slow. It started with her.
Their first meeting in the shed, when she had saved his life. The walk in the darkness through the city. Her eagerness at hearing about his past. Her valiant battle against Berserker, her strength, her determination in the face of that overwhelming power. Waking up with her astride him, pushing against him. Breakfast with her, with Sakura. What Tohsaka had said to him at lunch, about what she had done to save his life, about being his first. And now, she had come to save him again, and… and died for it?

She had saved his life four times in the span of two days.

She had given her life to save him one final time.

WHY!?!

She couldn’t be dead!!! He was supposed to be the hero of justice!!! He should have been protecting her!!! So why did she have to do that!?!

He could feel tears welling up in his eyes, but he blinked them away.

“It’s a lie.” It was his only response, faint and weak. “She’s not dead.”

“But… her presence…” Illya spoke up. “Her presence faded completely. She’s gone, Onii-chan.” Even the way this girl talked sounded so much like Archer. That voice. And when she called him that.

He only shook his head. It had to be some kind of trick. She was still alive. Waiting for him at home.

“She’s gone.” Berserker this time. “My eyes are better than my Master’s. Archer faded away. She was destroyed by NRVNQSR.” Tohsaka wore a disgusted look on her face at that name. It seemed she recognized it.

“That’s enough of that.” Rider this time. “It’s no fun to lose someone close to you. Leave him be for a bit. He can think it over while we walk to that church.” She actually looked like she did understand, but he didn’t want understanding. He wanted for Archer to be alive. No one should have to die for him. No one.

And then Illya was beside him, holding his hand and looking up at him with those deep red eyes. “Come on, Onii-chan. At least this way, we aren’t enemies anymore, right?” It was true, but… He had never really thought of any of them as enemies. They were just people who shouldn’t be fighting in the first place.

Just look at them now. They were all sitting in a room together peacefully. Rider and Berserker were chatting quietly in a corner by themselves, for all the world like two sisters despite whatever past they might have had. Illya had tried to kill both Tohsaka and himself, and yet now it seemed like those two were allies.

So why couldn’t Archer be here for this?

He put his shoes on numbly when they had led him out of the Tohsaka Manor. It was a big house on a hill, and he thought he could see Shinji’s house. It had been a long time since he had been there, though, so he wasn’t sure that was it.

And then he finally realized what had been gnawing at the back of his mind.

He had stood Sakura up.

Son of a bitch!

He just wanted to sit down and cry. His life had gone to hell in two days time. He had met someone extraordinary, only to find out they died saving him. He was turning into a lolicon, and he was afraid of what that meant for him. He may have lost his virginity to a little girl, except that he couldn’t even ask her, since she had died. He had almost raped a little girl.

And he had stood up his best friend’s sister when she had clearly needed support. When he had suggested it in the first place.

He felt like shit.

He really felt like shit.

And yet, everyone was being so nice to him! He didn’t deserve this! They should have left him to those beasts and just run away. Then… then maybe Archer would still be alive. She could have found another Master, maybe. She wouldn’t have died saving him. That’s what Tohsaka had said. She had died. Saving him.

He could feel bile rising in his throat, burning. His eyes watered.

He couldn’t do that here. He would not throw up. He would not throw up. The least he could do was show the dignity these girls deserved. He took a deep breath. Another. And walked on.

They had a priest to see.

ItsaRandomUsername
April 7th, 2011, 12:50 AM
Damn. Poor Shirou. What a terrible feeling. Feeling alone, worthless, what a shame....

Uh-oh, to the church again. Will Shirou throw in the towel, or will his determination to fight induce further trolling potential from Kotomine? Only time will tell.

And these cliffhangers are tearing me apart!

Twelveseal
April 7th, 2011, 01:08 AM
I use cliffhangers to keep my readers coming back. It's a tradition learned from such trolly shows as X-Men and Spider-Man, where every episode was a "to be continued" monster.

On the plus side, you don't have to wait a week for my next chapter. You get to have it tonight.