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Thread: Melancholy of One (A Grail Works. LTD. Story)

  1. #1401
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Speaking of the fan art... which fic was it for? Where can we find the fan art?
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

    For those that don't necessarily care if my fics aren't all Type-Moon related.




    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

  2. #1402
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors pureauthor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    ...the heck? How did Shiki get himself stuck in that predicament?
    Illya: Oh, yes, how did the reckless idiot who charged straight into the Moon Cell without the slightest plan or preparations get himself into even more trouble? GEE, I REALLY DO WONDER

    Shirou: Illya, do you want more tea?

    Illya: Yes! Because tea will definitely help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    Ah, yes - I remember that feeling. No worries, just enjoy it.

    I know it's going to be fun finding out . . .
    Oh yeah it's definitely the sort of thing that makes your entire day after seeing it. And hopefully I can get the chapter of the fight with viewpoints that are not Saber up relatively soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Speaking of the fan art... which fic was it for? Where can we find the fan art?
    Oh, it's for a Fire Emblem story I wrote: Here it is if you're interested.

    As for the fanart, it's a fancomic of a scene from the story.

  3. #1403
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pureauthor View Post
    Illya: Oh, yes, how did the reckless idiot who charged straight into the Moon Cell without the slightest plan or preparations get himself into even more trouble? GEE, I REALLY DO WONDER

    Shirou: Illya, do you want more tea?

    Illya: Yes! Because tea will definitely help!
    Kurai: Gee, you'd almost think his name was Shirou . . .



    Oh yeah it's definitely the sort of thing that makes your entire day after seeing it.
    Absolutely.


    And hopefully I can get the chapter of the fight with viewpoints that are not Saber up relatively soon.
    As I said, I'm looking forward to it.



    Oh, it's for a Fire Emblem story I wrote: Here it is if you're interested.

    As for the fanart, it's a fancomic of a scene from the story.
    I'll need to look up some background, but I'll definitely look into it.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

  4. #1404
    Drunk Anime Is The True Path. Mattias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pureauthor View Post
    and King Arthur moved forward as well, Excalibut flashing in the orange light of the setting sun. As she moved, she angled her blade, seeking to force down his spear instead of simply deflecting it
    Pretty funny typo, or are you subconsciously saying Excalibur is ass?
    Atlus: Just Make an Eroge Already.


    Gundam-a-thon Status: 0079 Zeta ZZ Char's Counterattck War In the Pocket F91 Stardust Memories Victory G Gundam Wing Endless Waltz 8th MS After War X Turn A SEED IGLOO 00 Unicorn AGE Reconguista The Orgin Thunderbolt S2 IBO


  5. #1405
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors pureauthor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattias View Post
    Pretty funny typo, or are you subconsciously saying Excalibur is ass?
    WORST. SSR. IN. FGO.
    Spoiler:


    (Thanks for pointing that out.)

  6. #1406
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors pureauthor's Avatar
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    Chapter Seventy Two: Fa/De/nied

    *~*

    Me to myself: Self, you really should get to updating your stories.

    Myself, to me: That is a great idea. I shall now disregard and instead proceed to spend money on trying to roll Okita Souji.

    (BTW I got Okita Souji.)

    Disclaimer: I own nothing

    *~*

    End of All – Lancer vs. King Arthur

    As both Lancer and Saber's weapons clashed with thundering blows, Kara tightened the grip on her own blade.

    So this is what it means to watch a fight between two real legends.

    The speed and skill of their clash was on a level almost unlike anything Kara had seen before. True, she had fought several powerful opponents herself, but back then her focus had been on trying to stay alive, to fight back.

    This was different.

    Here, as an observer, she stood, and watched the two Servants clash against each other, the Arena ringing with the force of their blows. Here she could simply see the raw grace and power with which the ancient king of Britain, and the greatest hero of Ireland faced each other.

    And she could see a pinnacle that still lay far beyond her grasp.

    Ha... What am I thinking? It's not as if I'd ever have the strength to stand on par with the heroes of legend.

    More importantly, she had to watch closely. This was a chance for her to observe King Arthur in person – and to see if there was any weakness, any chink in her armour that she could exploit.

    Well, thus far she had to admit that she hadn't been able to come up with much.

    King Arthur pivoted on one foot – and then she was rocketing forward, two darting strikes with her blade that left golden trails in the air. Lancer – Cu Chulainn – was just as fast, his lance blazing a trail of dark flame as he dodged and weaved to strike back. He struck upwards – and King Arthur had already jumped back, sword still at the ready.

    She could see the two Master as well – Leonard, his expression calm as he watched the fight progress. Rin, gasping for air, as if merely standing was an arduous task – and it probably was, with her devoting all of her power to prologing her existence in SE.RA.PH. Neither had moved yet to provide direct support to their Servant – she supposed that Leo wanted to see how the events played out, and Rin probably wasn't directy capable of providing support without compromising her existence even further.

    She's going this far just for one more chance at defeating her nemesis... Kara pursed her lips and took a deep breath.

    It had been more than 30 seconds, yet there was no report of combat being terminated, and the two Servants continued their deadly game. The virtual walls cracked and fragmented as both legendary weapons scraped against them from near misses, only to be instantly repaired.

    No, they wouldn't register this as a duel between two Masters. One of them isn't even supposed to exist any longer.

    And, just then, she felt a tingling in the back of her mind.

    ...Praetor?

    “Can you hear me? I wasn't sure this spell would work.” A nervous sounding chuckle in her mind. “First time I tried using a codecast for communication, after all.”

    I can hear you fine. What is it?

    A pause. What sounded like a sigh in her mind – an odd sensation. “I'm... going to target Leonard.”

    Wha-! She took another deep breath and nodded ever so slightly, an almost imperceptible action. ...I understand. What do you need me to do?

    “I'm not sure how fast King Arthur will be able to react. I'll need you to slow her down... just for a little bit.”

    Her grip on Old Iron tightened. I won't fail you.

    Just then, a flash of light from the two combatants. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw King Arthur drawing forth another blade – a different one from Excalibur. And then she was moving into position, her blade shining crimson as she brought it up.

    At her side, her Master dashed into position, bringing his sword up.

    She saw Leonard whirling, suddenly realizing something was wrong. Her Master's speed was nowhere at the level of a Servant's – yet he closed the gap between him and Leonard with astonishing alacrity. For a moment she almost thought that Leonard would be dealt a fatal blow right then and there – but she saw him evade at the last moment, and his right hand was now shining with azure light as he prepared a codecast of his own.

    A sound like an explosion. Kara whirled – saw King Arthur cutting down Lancer in a blast of light, sending the body flying back. And then she turned to see Shiki charging Leonard, the expression on her face morphed from controlled determination to one of wide-eyed shock.

    Delay her. Just for a moment. She had to trust that her Master would be up to the task. There was no other alternative. She couldn't help him any other way.

    Eyes that had widened in shock now narrowed in fury. Amd King Arthur was charging the two of them, shining blade held high.

    Just for a moment.

    She charged King Arthur – and her form rippled, changed. Vibrant red faded into deepest black, folds of royal dress hardening into plates of armour.

    And Kara saw King Arthur pull up short in her charge, the colour abruptly leaving her face.

    “Lancel-!?”

    Lancelot. The Knight of the Lake. The shadow that lurks behind King Arthur's legends. If there is any person that could rattle the king of Britain, it is he.

    A jet-black sword was now grasped in her hand. Kara slashed upwards with it, trying to catch King Arthur by surprise. But even as stunned as she was, she instinctively moved to the side, avoiding the blow and retaliating with a wide slash that forced Kara back.

    There was no way she could beat King Arthur in a straight fight. Even switching entirely to the defensive, she would be overwhelmed in moments.

    All she could do was be a wall, between her Master and his target.

    Master... the rest is up to you.

    (X)

    Shiki had to admit that he hadn't expected all this to be easy in the first place, but there had still been the hope that perhaps he might have been able to catch Leonard by surprise.

    Of course, that hadn't happened. And now the boy king was staring at him, his expression calm.

    “A battle between Masters, is it?” He stated calmly. The blue light on his hand increased in intensity for a moment, and then Shiki's senses were screaming at him.

    (64:;bomb')

    He kicked off – and not a moment too soon, as an explosion tore through the spot he had been standing in a moment ago. The force of the blast still sent him sprawling, and he twisted and crumpled as he fell onto the digital floor of the Arena.

    Kicking himself to his feet, Shiki took a quick glance at where Leonard was standing. He had his back to the wall, probably for the sake of safety. He had probably judged Shiki's speed and found he would not be able to outrun him. At that vantage point, if Shiki tried to charge him once more, he'd be a prime target for any shots fired by Leonard.

    Just as well Shiki didn't need a direct route then.

    “Gh!” Pivoting, Shiki turned and ran at the nearest wall. Turning his back on an enemy was incredibly foolish, but – if Leonard was surprised by his actions, he might be able to buy a crucial moment or so.

    One step, two steps up the side of the wall, and Shiki kicked with his foot, jumping.

    Not at Leonard, though.

    The opposite wall, just close enough.

    Twisting in midair, he caught the wall with his foot, angling it enough so that his next kick sent him downwards – to strike at Leonard from above.

    For a moment, just a moment, Shiki thought he had succeeded. And then Leonard's image blurred, and his knife struck empty air.

    And now Leonard was a couple of meters away, wincing from the strain. The same spell that he had used to survive Assassin's ambush three days ago.

    “I'll admit... I didn't anticipate for the final battle of the war to come down to this.” Once more, light glowing in both his hands, forming orbs of light that could be launched at a moment's notice. “But then nothing about this has been usual.”

    Just then, a cry of pain, and Shiki whirled to see King Arthur's blade coming up, carving a wide gash through Kara. His Servant's body hadn't even the time to fall before she was shoved aside and Shiki saw King Arthur bearing on him, eyes blazing with rage.

    A moment to check the distance, and then she was launching herself.

    “-BOLG!”

    A blast of red light, tearing through the air. At the last second, King Arthur weaved to the side – but there was still the shriek of torn metal, and she staggered.

    Don't waste this!

    No more tricks. No more assaults. Putting everything he had into one last dash, Shiki charged at Leonard. He could see Leonard bringing his hands up.

    [Seal; Attack; 32]

    A tingling sensation sensation, and Shiki had a half second to remember Gatoh using the same spell on him.

    Dammit, of course Leonard would anticipate being able to lock down a melee fighter from a distance!

    The paralysis was racing down his arm – in but a split second his fingers would be numb and-

    [Curse;48-GANDR]

    A black bolt, coming from behind him, slammed into Leonard's chest, knocking him back. And suddenly the pressure was gone.

    Shiki continued his charge, and his knife stabbed down.

    (X)

    15 Seconds Earlier...

    “Lancer, are you still alive?”

    “Heh... not for... much longer.” He chuckled, a wet gurgling sound as blood pooled in his throat and lungs. Nevertheless, he pulled himself to his feet.

    “I see... then. With the last of your energy... put everything you have into using Gáe Bolg, one last time.”

    “...Hey, missy. If I do that, I'll be draining all the energy I've been using too keep you alive, you know.”

    “I'm finished anyway.” A deep breath. “But... if Shiki's going to be the one to handle Leonard, then... I suppose I should repay him... for his help.”

    “Hmph. Well, fine.” He could see Shiki's Servant clashing against Saber, and while her ability to change forms was apparently giving Saber pause, it was clear that she was going down in about five seconds or so, max.

    He grabbed his lance, and focused. An attack that would normally have been trivial for him to use now sent searing pain all through his body. Still, he focused, pushing past it. I've been through worse.

    “ Gáe...” He almost stumbled even as he spoke, shifting into th stance. He was barely in range of Saber. His strongest technique, a spear strike that twisted fate itself to ensure that it would always strike the target. With his mana stores at almost empty, himself barely able to see straight or hold the spear steady, he couldn't be sure it would even work the way it was supposed to.

    Well, hell. His Master was right about one thing – they were doomed no matter the outcome of Leonard and Shiki's little tussle.

    Might as well go out swinging.

    “... BOLG!”

    The crimson spear surged forth, stabbing deep into Saber's torso. Not the fatal blow he had hoped for.

    But enough, to slow her down.

    From behind him, with the last of her own fading strength, his master fired a spell of her own.

    And then all of a sudden, exhaustion crushed down on Lancer and he fell, as if his legs had been cut out from under him.

    (X)

    Moon Cell, Digital Tsukumihara Academy, 1st Floor Foyer

    It happened in an instant.

    Every single light flickered off. Every door swung open. Every information terminal deactivated.

    In a moment, the school had went from a bright, if empty, location, to a series of silent, darkened halls.

    Father Kotomine pulled out his terminal, and a thin smile graced his features.

    “Well now,” he said. “Quite the unexpected outcome.”

    (X)

    Chapter End

    (X)

  7. #1407
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Now that is a TYPE-MOON cliffhanger ending, if I ever saw one . . .

    First, congratulations on achieving the above (). Second, I have to commend Kara's tactical insight; for all that she's not "real," she's certainly showing a lot of potential in her developing attributes. And lastly . . . Well, do we blame the infamous Tohno Gland, or the fact that Rin just has a type?

    . . . Actually, this is lastly: how long will Ilya hold it over their Rin's head, when she finds out?
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

  8. #1408
    Drunk Anime Is The True Path. Mattias's Avatar
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    Double Countout? Nice twist you had there, I guess there's only a couple of chapters left now.

    By the way, I recently started reading Morality Chain and was wondering if that was also you. Because that's a really, really good one.
    Atlus: Just Make an Eroge Already.


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  9. #1409
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors pureauthor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    Now that is a TYPE-MOON cliffhanger ending, if I ever saw one . . .

    First, congratulations on achieving the above (). Second, I have to commend Kara's tactical insight; for all that she's not "real," she's certainly showing a lot of potential in her developing attributes. And lastly . . . Well, do we blame the infamous Tohno Gland, or the fact that Rin just has a type?

    . . . Actually, this is lastly: how long will Ilya hold it over their Rin's head, when she finds out?
    Honestly I think Extra!Rin would just admire the sort of person willing to do everything to reach his or her goals, especially given that that's what she's like herself. As for Kara, she's had 7 weeks of experience at this point so she's also learning to think a little more on her feet. (Her talk with Saber the other nights probably helped her along there.)

    Thanks for your commentary! I really appreciate it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mattias View Post
    Double Countout? Nice twist you had there, I guess there's only a couple of chapters left now.

    By the way, I recently started reading Morality Chain and was wondering if that was also you. Because that's a really, really good one.
    Yup, we're on the endgame! As for the actual results of the fight... well, we'll get to it next chapter.

    And yes, I'm the dude who's also writing Morality Chain. Glad you like it too! And thanks for the comment!

  10. #1410
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors pureauthor's Avatar
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    Chapter Seventy Three: Champi/On/ward

    *~*
    My goal is to get the story finished by the end of the year. Will I make it? Who knows! Let's see!

    Disclaimer: I own nothing.

    *~*

    Victory – Solitude

    For a long moment, silence.

    plip

    The sound, so soft that one had to strain to hear it, of droplets of blood hitting the floor.

    Shiki took a deep breath. His shirt sleeve was torn at the elbow, and the exposed skin was charred and burned all the way up to his shoulder. Each gasp of breath sent a streak of burning lightning up his arm, and it took all his effort and will to keep his arm upright.

    And yet.

    Extending from his arm, his knife. The blade, pierced deep into Leonard's chest. The boy king was staring down at the wound, the slight widening of his eyes the only sign of his surprise.

    The two of them stood, without movement, for what seemed like an eternity.

    But yet, even that had to end.

    Shiki blinked once, before something like a frown came across his features.

    “You flinched.”

    At that moment, a smile came across Leonard's face and a laugh, a short, pained one that terminated in a cough. When it subsided, Shiki could see dark blood trickling down his chin. “So I did.”

    And just like that, the spell of stillness was broken. Shiki withdrew the knife, and Leonard took a single step backwards, before slumping heavily against the wall of the pathway they had been on. A moment later, he slid down to the floor as his legs give way under him.

    His reflexes were almost inhuman. Likely the product of... well, whatever he did in order to properly prepare himself for kingship. Slowly, Shiki returned his knife to his pocket. If he had been a bit more on target... well I might still have been able to get him, but that last spell would have pierced my heart, for sure.

    “How... shameful.” Leonard spoke once more, a pained smile on his face. “Every magus knows... to walk this path... is to deal with death. How much more... a king...?” His head drooped, as he lost the strength to keep it upright. “And yet... to make... such an error. At such... a vital point... Was I not... worthy... of kingship... after all?”

    A split second. As Shiki had rushed up to Leonard, eyes cold, there had been a split second of fear and alarm, instead of preparedness and caution.

    And that had been enough.

    “... Being afraid of death isn't something that disqualifies a king,” Shiki's voice was soft. “All it means is that I'm a more experienced killer than you.”

    Leonard blinked for a moment, and then, one more chuckle. “Is that... so. Heh. That's... one way of looking at it... I suppose.” A moment of silence, and then, with an apparent effort, Leonard lifted his head. “King... Arthur.”

    Leonard's Servant was on her knees, the blow from Gáe Bolg having hurt her badly enough that she was still unable to stand. But still she raised her head, an expression of grim resignation on her face.

    “Master Leonard. I could not... I could not protect you. Forgive me.”

    One final deep breath, and then a gentle smile on the face of the boy king. “Nonsense. You were splendid. In the end, it was... my own failure... that led to our loss.”

    “Master...”

    “What now...” Another soft laugh, and more flecks of blood on the digital floor. “At the end... of seven weeks... what did I gain? I... who would be king... what was all this struggle for?” His voice was softer now, barely able to be heard over the wheezing of his tortured breath. His eyes slowly closed. “But still... the time... with you... King Arthur...”

    A moment of silence. He lay back fully against the wall, a tiny smile on his face.

    “I am... happy... I was able... to meet you. King... of Knights. Thank you... for... your... ser... vice.”

    A soft sound of exhalation. Leonard continued to lie there, the smile still on his face. Peaceful in death.

    King Arthur closed her eyes and lowered her head. A long moment, and slowly, with shaking limbs, she pulled herself to her feet, even as motes of light started to eat at her frame.

    Shiki looked at her, and wondered if he should say something. It was so strange, to see Saber and yet know that she was so much unlike the one back home.

    Behind him, a grunt of pain, and Shiki saw Kara stirring up, once more in the guise of Nero. A gash had been cleaved through her torso, and she looked like she could barely move, yet she struggled to sit up as well.

    “King... Arthur...” she managed to croak out.

    King Arthur closed her eyes and let out a soft sigh in response.

    “Congratulations. Well fought,” she said. And without another word, she vanished, a rapidly fading light the only evidence of her having been there at all.

    *~*

    Despite the pain that seared her torso, Kara had managed to pull herself into a sitting position.

    King Arthur's last words lingered in the air, and Kara bowed her head even as a fresh wave of red agony flared across her chest.

    Well fought. What a joke. She had been utterly outmatched. If it hadn't been for...

    She gasped for breath as she shifted her gaze to Lancer, lying crumpled on the floor several meters away from her.

    “Lancer...” she managed to gasp out. He helped me. Helped... save Master when King Arthur was about to attack him.

    “Don't say it.” Despite the fact that he was clearly fading fast, Lancer still managed a devil-may-care grin on his face as he looked over at her. “This wasn't... about helping you, or... anything... like that.”

    Kara licked her lips.

    “In the end... I just... wanted to... settle the match... with her. On our own terms.” And now, the black miasma had started to creep up over him, swiftly overtaking his physical form.

    “I understand.” One more deep breath, and then she nodded once. “But thank you, anyway.”

    “Heh,” one last pained chuckled from him, “no worries. You probably... wouldn't... have been... much fun to fight... anyway.”

    With a brief crackling noise, the Servant Lancer was consumed by the darkness – this time for good.

    *~*

    Shiki stood over Rin's fading form, unsure of what to say. She lay on the ground, silent and still. To Shiki it appeared almost as if she were alredy dead.

    But then, her remaining eye cracked open, and she glared up at him. “So... Leonard...?”

    “... He's gone.”

    A smile spread across her face, slowly. “Well. Actually kind of... surprised. Knew this was... a long shot. Never thought... I'd actually... outlive the bastard.”

    He remained silent.

    “Still... can't... claim... the Grail. But... good enough.” Rin was fighting for breath, and her hand reached up to clutch at her chest. Nevertheless, she managed a weary smile as she looked up.

    “So, Shiki. Congratulations. The prize... is yours...”

    Suddenly, standing there, the reality of the entire War being over, that he had won only just starting to sink in, Shiki closed his eyes and sighed.

    “Thanks.” He said, his voice barely above a whisper. “I would never have made it without you.” And Rani. Everyone who sacrificed themselves to bring me this far.

    “Well... I wouldn't have... made it here... either... without you.” Rin smirked as he gaze drifted to his arm. She blinked, heavy and slow. “So... we're even.”

    Slowly but surely, the miasma that she had held at bay now began to creep over her body.

    “Ah...” her voice was so soft now Shiki had to strain to hear it over the crackling sound of her ongoing deletion. “Still... would have... liked... see... home... one more...”

    Almost too quickly for Shiki too process, Rin faded away entirely.

    And Shiki stood there, alone. The last Master of the Moon Cell's Holy Grail War.

    *~*

    Moon Cell, Digital Tukumihara Academy, First Floor Foyer

    As Shiki stepped into the darkened corridors of the school, he heard the sound of clapping to his side.

    “Congratulations, young Master Tohno.” Father Kotomine walked up to him, a thin smile on his face. “You are the victor of the Holy Grail War. You must be overjoyed.”

    “...” Instead of replying immediately, he cast his gaze over the rest of the school, now silent and empty. “You sure shut everything down quickly.”

    “Should we have not?” The mediator looked up and down the corridor as well. “You had a victory over Leonard. No matter the manner in which it transpired, you are the last Master standing. The War is concluded.”

    “Concluded, huh?”No, not just yet. Pausing to push his glasses up the bridge of his nose, Shiki turned to look at Kotomine. “So, what happens now?”

    There was no immediate reply. Instead, the Mediator turned and began walking, slowly. Very slowly. “Tell me, Master Tohno. What do you know of the Moon Cell?”

    “... Not much. It's a supercomputer of some kind.”

    “Correct, and yet not.” Kotomine smiled. “Technically, it is a mass of photonic crystals, coming together to comprised the greatest amount of computational ability yet known to mankind. The oldest known entity in the solar system, it predates the very moon that was formed around it.”

    “It's separate from the moon itself?”

    “Indeed it is. It has observed the recorded the Earth since before the planet was first formed. All human knowledge and achievements is stored within its limitless databanks. An infinite engine... capable of calculating infinite possibilities.” Kotomine slowed his pacing and turned to face Shiki. “Do you understand, Master? You now have in your grasp the power to demand anything you desire – and it will be granted to you.”

    He snorted, a bitter sound in the silence of the empty school. “Thanks, but... I figured that much already.”

    “Is that so?” A deep chuckle, and the Mediator nodded. “Very well, then. Make your final preparations, and when you are ready, come here to see me once more.”

    “Preparations?” He heard Kara's voice in his mind. “What else could there be to...?”

    Though the priest could not have heard Kara's voice, he smiled as if in response anyway. “Perhaps there is someone you wish to see? Before this entire chapter concludes.”

    Not bothering to respond, Shiki turned and began walking down the corridor.

    *~*

    The doors to the church were pushed open, and Shiki peered in to see Aoko rummaging through a pack, throwing all manner of unidentifiable objects inside. At the sound of the creaking doors, she looked up – and her expression changed from a frown into a tired smile.

    “Shiki.” She didn't say anything more, instead stepping off the podium and walking over to him. Kara appeared, keeping a silent vigil as she neared. “... Congratulations.”

    “Thanks, Sensei.” He hadn't been sure what he had wanted to say upon arriving here, but he only knew that he couldn't leave without at least saying goodbye.

    “You know, when everything shut off all of a sudden, I'll admit I was worried. I didn't really know what was going on.” Aoko blew out a breath of air in a sigh as she turned back and waved her hands at the alteration devices behind her, now cold and silent. “I mean, I figured the war was over, and that someone had won, but...” She trailed off, and she nodded. “If you're here, then that means... you're the victor, huh?”

    And now that he had won, Shiki had to admit it didn't feel like he had. The war was over, yet he could still see the collapsed forms of Leonard and Rin, lying in broken shapes on the arena floor.

    So many people... dead. Just so I could have this one chance at a wish.

    She must have seen something of what he had been thinking about in the expression on his face, because she leaned over, laying a comforting hand on his shoulder. “Shiki?”

    He took a deep breath, and managed to smile up at her. “I'll be fine, Sensei. After everything...” He chuckled ruefully. “I'm just a little tired.”

    He could tell by her expression that she wasn't fooled for a moment. But she patted his shoulder and leaned in close to him.

    “Shiki... whatever you went through to get here, whatever you felt you had to do... you're still alive. Right here. Right now. Look ahead, Shiki. Look ahead to what you can reach out to achieve. And don't look back.”

    Looking up at her, Shiki swallowed once, and nodded.

    *~*

    The Infinite Chimeric Lunar Sea

    The void stretched out before them, seemingly extending into infinity. Kara took the first, experimental step out onto the path. Satisifed that it was safe, she turned back to Shiki and nodded once.

    “It is safe to cross, Master,” she said.

    “This leads to the core, then?”

    “According to the mediator, yes.” Kara glanced about her. “This should be the way. Shall we proceed?”

    At his nod, the two of them continued to walk. As they progressed further into the abyss, Kara could see images floating around them – pictures, still images of human history.

    She was silent for a long moment as they continued their journey, before finally letting out a sigh.

    “This is it, isn't it, Master? At long last, you'll be able to claim the Grail.” She turned back to look at him even as she continued to walk forward.

    He did not reply immediately, but after a moment, he nodded. “And with that, the War will end.” He looked up, fixing her with that intense stare of his. “And then... what will happen to you?”

    She shook her head and smiled. “Did I not tell you already? I am... not a Heroic Spirit. Without my status as your Servant... I will no longer be recognized as something that truly exists. And so, I'll return to slumber.”

    His head dipped low. “That's...”

    “You should hold your head high, Master.” Kara kept her tone even as she turned back to face forward. “Would you feel bad on my account? This is already more... so much more than I could have hoped for in the first place.”

    I, who was not even meant to exist.

    I, who failed my first Master.

    I, who lied and lied and lied to you.

    Without waiting for a response, she looked up. The infinite void there was the same, as in all directions. “You smiled at me, Master. You reached out a hand to me, and asked if it would be all right if we worked together.

    “I was able to fight alongside you. I was able to serve you.” It had been like a dream. Her first victory. “I was... I found a name, because of you.”

    She didn't dare to look back any more. At the expression that was on his face.

    “After all that, how could I possibly ask for more?” And yet... and yet. “So come, Master. Let us proceed. Grant me this boon, at least, that I may be there to see you claim the Grail for your own.”

    Because, if it's possible... If I could give words to me own desire... I don't want us to part... just quite yet.

    The walk continued. And Kara looked down at her feet, mechanically taking one step forward after another.

    Suddenly, from the distance, the faint noise of someone shouting. Kara snapped to attention, and almost manifested her sword, but reason asserted itself.

    There were no longer any threats.

    And in the distance, she saw a white shape, approaching at speed.

    “Lady Arcueid?”

    “Hey, Shiki!” She heard her furious yell as she neared. “What's the meaning of all this? I was just minding my own business when suddenly everything shut off all of a sudden! And then I asked around and found you went and won the whole war already? What happened?”

    “Sorry, I was just... well, I thought you'd still be busy, and I couldn't find you anywhere around the school, so...”

    “Nuh-uh! Not good enough! You could have gotten Illya to contact me! You know I'd drop everything in an instant to come find you once I learned you'd won!”

    Kara half-turned to regard the two of them. Her Master, a sheepish smile on his face as he tried to calm Arcueid down. Arcueid, arms folded, her expression very much resembling a pout as she stared at him.

    Unnoticed by the two of them, Kara smiled.

    That's right.

    Master... already has so many people he knows. People who care about him.

    People he cares about.

    That's why... it's okay like this.


    The path stretched ever on.

    And Kara continued to walk forward.

    *~*

    When they emerged into blinding light, Shiki had to squint for a moment against the harsh glare.

    Where...?

    As his eyes adjusted, he realized he was standing atop what appeared to be a silent lake. He blinked in surprise for a moment, and he prodded the water under him with his toe. It gave way slightly before holding firm.

    All around him were dozens upon dozens of strange gray boxes, built from some stone Shiki could not readily identify. They were strewn about at all angles, with no rhyme or reason.

    And floating there, straight ahead of him, was a strange blue cube. Part of the cube was transparent, allowing Shiki to catch sight of the centre – and what appeared to be a sphere that glowed a fiery orange.

    “Is that-?”

    “The core of the Moon Cell, yes.” Arcueid's gaze was hard. “I couldn't find my way here before – I guess they'd sealed it off until someone actually won.”

    “Master!” Kara's voice cut the air. “Someone's here!”

    Suddenly, Shiki became aware of someone standing there, just in front of the Moon Cell's core. He was dressed in what appeared to be a white coat, and he turned to face Shiki, brushing dark hair out of his eyes as he did so.

    “It's you.” He could hear the quiet irritation in Arcueid's voice as she spoke, but he had no time to ponder it as the man took a single step forward.

    “Stay where you are!” Kara snapped as she moved to place herself between Shiki and the man, but then she froze midstep, her eyes widened with shock. “No... wait. You! You're...”

    “Welcome Shiki Tohno. Victor of the Moon Cell's Grail War” The man's gaze was fixed on him, completely disregarding both Arcueid and Kara. As he neared, he spread his arms open in a gesture of welcome. “My name is Twice H. Pieceman.”

    The smile widened, ever so slightly.

    “I have been waiting for you.”

    *~*

    Chapter End

    *~*

  11. #1411
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    To put it succinctly: . . . Oh, crap.


    Not that this was at all unexpected, mind you - indeed, it's been anticipated, eagerly - but it still came as something of a sucker punch. So I can only imagine how confused Shiki is right now, since he didn't know better.

    . . . And where or how this would (or might) lead into Extella, well . . . It's fun to think about, at least.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

  12. #1412
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    ...well, shit. I guess this is what Shiki gets for not seeing this sooner, so to speak.

    Here's hoping he can pull off a win against Saver and Twice H. Pieceman.
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

    For those that don't necessarily care if my fics aren't all Type-Moon related.




    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

  13. #1413
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors pureauthor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    To put it succinctly: . . . Oh, crap.


    Not that this was at all unexpected, mind you - indeed, it's been anticipated, eagerly - but it still came as something of a sucker punch. So I can only imagine how confused Shiki is right now, since he didn't know better.

    . . . And where or how this would (or might) lead into Extella, well . . . It's fun to think about, at least.
    Yeah, Shiki is probably going to be confused about what comes next...

    But it wouldn't be a Type Moon work without a long Motive Rant that explains the situation in minute detail. And also Arcueid has at least some idea that this is the guy she's supposed to be looking for so she'll be able to provide some clues too!

    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    ...well, shit. I guess this is what Shiki gets for not seeing this sooner, so to speak.

    Here's hoping he can pull off a win against Saver and Twice H. Pieceman.
    Oh well! Can't blame him too much about not knowing this sort of thing. After all it's at the core of the Moon Cell and Twice has remain hidden from the participants all this while.

    Thanks for the replies, and I hope the climax will be a satisfying one!

  14. #1414
    I have an inkling that it wouldn’t be VS. Saver, but I don’t know who it’d be. I hope the Kara plot thread is tied up satisfyingly!

  15. #1415
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors pureauthor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aodyssey View Post
    I have an inkling that it wouldn’t be VS. Saver, but I don’t know who it’d be. I hope the Kara plot thread is tied up satisfyingly!
    Sorry for the late reply! And yes, I've dropped a few hints about Twice's Servant that I think a few others already picked up on. In regards to Kara - well, I do have the conclusion planned out, so I can only hope it'll be good enough to satisfy.

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