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Thread: Eclipse

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    I'm bored Polly's Avatar
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    Eclipse

    ECLIPSE


    They are the proudest who have met defeat,
    They are the proudest who must walk alone,


    Cherishing the vanished and the sweet,
    Remembering blossoms broken on a stone.

    Go softly, you who have no loss to weep,
    Who sink at night to deep, untroubled rest,


    And envy the defeated who must keep

    The ghost of beauty in an empty breast.



    Frances M. Frost

    ***


    The inhuman laughter that echoed across the giant underground cavern would have frozen one's blood in their veins had they found themselves there to hear it.

    “Fufu... fufu, ahahahahahahaha!!!!!"

    It wasn’t the laughter of an evil schemer, cackling in triumph upon flawlessly executing their brilliant plan and gloating over their vanquished enemies. Nor was it a sinister snicker of a witch who’s just caught her latest pray into her web, her face lit up with impish glee.

    No, the laughter that permeated the stagnant and toxic air was the laughter of an empty puppet; of the one who laughs because a part of them tells them to, while the other part is shocked and terrified, their common sense and cognition corroded beyond repair.
    Was it the mind, the person’s own precious intellect and reason, which was terrified; and their heart, that deep and enigmatic pool of emotion and primeval, animal desires and impulses, the one which prompted them to laugh? Maybe it was the other way around, and the heart bled with horror while the demented mind laughed and roared.

    Whatever the truth might have been, the puppet who laughed madly in the middle of the cavern was the last person who could have answered that question.

    Fufufufufu...”

    Staring at her blood-soaked hand, Matou Sakura laughed and laughed, her empty eyes wide open, her own warm blood dripping down her fingers and onto the cold, moist rocks. Underneath her feet lay, in a small pool of blood, the corpse of her grandfather, Matou Zouken.

    She had crushed the disgusting worm effortlessly, finally setting herself free from the monster who had tormented her to no end for these last eleven years. She had got so used to the old man's presence, so used to obeying him, so used to bowing to his will, that the thought of one day being able to turn the tables on him and breaking the chains with which he had bound her never seriously crossed her mind.

    So it was no wonder that once she had torn the cursed parasite out of her own chest, and held her grandfather's helpless and squirming body between her fingers, his life hers to do with it as she pleases, her mind was overcome with... well, she couldn't quite put her finger on which feeling it was. Was it relief? Happiness? Satisfaction? Sadistic glee? Hatred?
    She couldn't tell, her mind breaking under the weight of all the emotions that suddenly assailed her.

    She gloated, toyed with her grandfather as he was overcome with terror and fear of death. Speaking in a sly voice and with a twisted smile on her face, she played with him a little, savouring his fear and panic, and indulging her demented and distorted mind in listening to his desperate pleas for mercy. But they were in vain, and his fate had already been sealed, for there was no pity nor mercy left in Sakura's blackened heart.

    “...fufufufu...fu...fu...” the laughter was gradually subsiding as the thrill of killing her grandfather slowly released its hold on Sakura’s mind.

    Once the laughter had died out completely she lowered her hand and rubbed it against her black robes, wiping it clean. She spared one last glance at her grandfather’s corpse, looking at the dead worm with cold disgust, and then let out a loud sigh of relief.

    “Gah!” she suddenly gasped, grabbing her bleeding chest and struggling to keep herself on her feet.

    The whirlwind of emotion that took hold of Sakura’s mind made her forget about the anguishing pain that was radiating from her wide open chest, but now that it had subsided it was impossible for her to ignore the agony any longer, and she gritted her teeth as she clenched her chest. She could feel her own heartbeat directly underneath her fingers, which were once again dyed crimson red.
    Every pulsation poured a little bit more blood between her fingers and down her chest, and sent a wave of excruciating pain up her spine and into her brain. She felt like her head could explode at any second, unable to withstand all that torment.

    “Ha! Ha! Ha...!” she gasped, trying not to lose consciousness due to such a massive blood loss.

    She quickly managed to regain her senses, though, and in spite of her pain she even mustered enough strength to laugh a little.

    ‘What the hell am I doing?!’ she thought to herself, cackling. ‘This is nothing! I can take care of this scratch without breaking a sweat!’

    She straightened herself up, and focused her mind on healing the wound. With an infinite amount of magical energy at her disposal, she didn’t have any problems patching herself up, connecting the severed nerves, regenerating the torn tissue, and closing her ribcage to prevent any further blood loss. The whole process only took a few seconds.

    “There.” she said, satisfied, as she looked down at her bare chest, and then quickly covered it with her prana-woven black robes.

    “Now, let’s...” she began, but was suddenly cut short by a sudden, violent cough.

    ‘What the...?!’ the girl thought, confused, as she fell to her knees and started coughing out blood onto the floor.

    ‘No way! I healed that wound completely!’ she raged, but the cough quickly subsided, much to her relief. It was only a bit of blood left over in her lungs.

    Breathing a small sigh of relief, she suddenly got an uncomfortable feeling of being watched, sensing a piercing gaze at the back of her head. She quickly turned around to look for the person observing her.


    She found them hiding in the dark shadows in the corner of the cave, their two golden eyes shining in the pitch-black like a lone pair of embers in the grate.

    “Saber...” Sakura whispered.

    ‘Just how long has she been standing there?’ she wondered, rising back to her feet and regaining her composure.

    The black swordsman remained still, hidden in the flickering shadows cast by the flame of the unholy altar that was the Greater Grail. Its shining light illuminated the cavern, fire blazing up all the way to the top of the underground dome. Above the giant crystal from which Angra Manyu was to be born floated a black sphere. With strange, unearthly light radiating from the edges of the black disc, it looked just like the Sun during the total eclipse. And while its light may have illuminated the cave a little, it made the shadows in the deep corners of the cavern all the darker. Had it not been for her two shining eyes, the Servant Saber would have been invisible. She did not blink once as she kept staring at her Master.

    “Did you enjoy the spectacle?” Sakura asked with a sneer.

    It took Saber some time to reply:
    ”I’m not sure what you mean.” she said, in a flat voice.

    “No need to play dumb, Saber. I’m sure my screams were quite pleasant to your ears. It must have been fun, seeing your Master endure such pain. Again.” Sakura retorted playfully and with a twisted smile.

    Once again, Saber stayed silent for a while before finally replying:
    ”I do not take pleasure in the pain of others.”

    She said so in an emotionless voice, closing her eyes for a few seconds while saying the words, but Sakura could have sworn that there was an accusing tone to it, as if she wanted to add “Unlike some.” It made her giggle:

    ”How admirable! An honourable knight to the end, huh? You’re so much fun, Saber.”

    The darkened Servant said nothing and continued to stand motionlessly in the shadows.

    “But... is that really true? How many people have you sentenced to death, or whipping, or forced labour? And you claim that you never took pleasure in seeing them suffer? Even though they deserved it?”

    Her provocation was met only with silence from her Servant. Saber did not even make the slightest flinch at Sakura’s taunting, still lurking silently from the shadows. But Sakura didn’t want to give up just yet:

    ”Nothing, huh?” she sniggered, walking aimlessly around the cavern. After a few paces she stopped, only a dozen or so yards away from the black swordsman. “Proud ‘till the end, aren’t you, King of Knights?” She made sure to accent the last three words.

    This, at last, provoked a reaction from Saber.


    She took a step forward and started to walk slowly towards Sakura. The sight of her Servant emerging from the shadows and stepping towards her made Sakura’s heart skip a beat, and she swallowed nervously. Even though she was her Master and could thus control her as she pleased, and had unlimited power of the Grail at her disposal, Sakura couldn’t help the fact that she feared Saber.

    She stared, virtually paralyzed, as the black knight slowly and sluggishly descended down the small slope and towards the centre of the cavern, where Sakura stood, her every step producing a loud, metallic echo which resonated throughout the cave, and the long, black robes she wore underneath her armour fluttering behind her a little like a cape. In a way, the sound of the iron boots grinding against the rocks and the heavy armour chafing against the massive gauntlets was even more frightening than Sakura’s deranged laughter from a minute ago.

    After some two dozen excruciatingly slow paces, Saber finally stopped, just three yards away from her Master. Sakura held her ground, still grinning at her Servant, even if her heart trembled a little at the sight of the woman in front of her.

    Even though she was of short stature, Saber loomed in front of her like a mountain. She appeared taller to Sakura now than when the two of them lived together with Shirou and the others at the Emiya residence. It was barely a week ago, but the transformation that Saber had underwent since that time was enormous.

    Sakura spared a quick glance at the knight’s massive charcoal-black breastplate and gauntlets before fixing her gaze with Saber’s; the small pupils of her eyes seemed darker than the black sun of the Greater Grail, and Sakura couldn’t decide whether she was more terrified of the dark abyss behind Saber’s pupils or of the golden irises which surrounded them. Like pieces of burning charcoal, Saber’s eyes glowed with burning, bright light in the darkness, but it was an evil light which promised only death and destruction, for Sakura knew fully well why the eyes of the woman in front of her shone with burning gold rather than beautiful, soothing green like they used to.

    The two stood like that for a few seconds, staring at each other, before Saber suddenly spoke:

    “Proud?” she asked, seemingly confused, but neither her voice nor her face betrayed any emotion.

    Just as she had uttered the word, there was a sudden strong surge of wind, and Sakura instinctively raised her hand to protect her eyes. She could see a cloud of black smoke swirling under Saber’s extended right arm, and after a brief but bright flash of red and violet light, a sword materialised in the knight’s hand.

    Sakura’s heart wavered once again as she gazed at the cursed blade in Saber’s right hand. The golden and silver sword, which she had seen in her dreams once or twice, had been dyed black and crimson. The holy blade which promised victory, which had shined so brightly at the battle of Dubglas, at Guinnion, at Badon Hill, was now almost unrecognizable. Almost.
    Even after being blackened, Excalibur retained something otherworldly majestic about itself. Just as much as the golden blade inspired awe and admiration, the blackened blade inspired fear and trepidation in all who gazed upon it.
    The holy weapon was forged from the dreams and hopes of all mankind, and the blackening could not alter that. The black Excalibur could not be powered by evil and hatred. However...

    ‘When the dream turns into a nightmare, and the hope into bitter despair...’

    Sakura understood the changed nature of Saber’s Noble Phantasm all too well. After all, the black sword wielded by her Servant was the embodiment of her own hopes and dreams, too. In a way, the fallen hero in front of her and the corrupted blade in her hand were a reflection of her own self. And black Excalibur shone not with evil and malice, but with the desperate cries of the wronged and betrayed, with the wrath of countless victims who had their dreams shattered and their prayers denied. The black light which had cut through the mighty Herakles was the power of human despair.

    It was only fitting that the one who had once carried all her people’s hopes and dreams on her shoulders would, after being blackened by Angra Mainyu, carry the burden of their despair and lamentations instead.


    Saber was silent for a few moments again, during which Sakura stood in anxious anticipation. She still grinned, but on the inside she felt very uneasy, just as she always felt when she talked to Saber. The black knight was always so silent, always only obeying her orders without uttering a word, that she was perplexed a little by her own Servant. While she couldn’t feel any real hostility from Saber, she also couldn’t feel any of the nobility with which the girl previously radiated, even in the mundane everyday situations in the Emiya residence, and that scared her.

    The Master and her Servant were reflections of each other to an extent, both having their dreams, prayers and hopes denied and eventually becoming possessed by All the Evils of This World, turning black and turning their back to the light; however, while Sakura embraced her darker side and reveled in using her newly found power to sow death and destruction, Saber became... lifeless. Her power had increased beyond that of any other Servant, but she only utilized it on Sakura’s direct orders. Rather than giving in to the curse of the Grail completely, she kept suppressing the rage and madness inside her. The stark contrast between this part of herself and that of her Servant confused Sakura, and the look in Saber’s eyes made her uneasy.


    Finally, Saber spoke:

    “I am a knight. The weight of my sword is the weight of my pride.” she declared, clenching her sword tightly. Her voice was firm, but as devoid of emotion as always.

    “And this blade...” Saber continued and raised her sword in front of her, holding the hilt in front of her chest and tilting the blade away from herself, so that it was pointed over Sakura’s head.

    Making a short pause, she looked at the blade, trailing the crimson carvings along its length, resting her gaze on the tip of the sword for a few moments before lowering her eyes back to the guard and the base of the blade.

    “...feels lighter than air.” she finished.

    To Sakura’s great surprise, there was a definite emotion to the Saber’s last couple of words. It was still obfuscated by her cold and stern voice, and barely noticeable to all but the most careful listeners, but there was certainly a feeling to that last sentence. It was a melancholic lamentation of the person who has lost the will to live.
    Sakura had no idea what to say to that. Was she supposed to cheer her up, give a motivational speech?

    ‘But what the hell would I say?!’ Sakura mused, puzzled at the situation she found herself in.

    There was certainly no higher cause to fight for, no ideal left for which she could give her life. And the realization of this fact shook Sakura as well, if only a little. She was in no mood to continue her teasing, so instead she asked:

    ”Then why do you keep fighting? Don’t knights fight with their honour and pride at stake?”

    Saber raised her head, locking her eyes with Sakura’s. Her look was still cold and emotionless, but to Sakura, the golden eyes burning with rage seemed accusing.

    “I am your Servant. We are bound by the contract forged by the curse. As long as it stands, and as long as I live, I shall obey your orders.”

    Cold, business-like, and straight to the point; the tone of Saber’s voice showed Sakura clearly that her Servant had no emotional attachment to her. They were bound by the curse of All the Evils of This World, and fought together to obtain the Grail. It was only natural that Saber would have this attitude; after all, the Master and the Servant only cooperated in order to win the Grail and get their wishes granted, anything else was unnecessary.

    “ ‘Obey my orders’, huh? Even if I order you to kill your old Master?” Sakura asked, unable to bring herself to speak the name of the one she loved. Or had loved. She couldn’t help but notice that Saber’s attitude towards her as her Master was very different to how she acted towards Shirou.

    “Even if you order me that.” Saber confirmed without hesitation.

    It surprised Sakura a little; she was half-expecting Saber to stay silent out of defiance or something like that.

    “Oh? Do you not care about your old Master anymore, Saber? I thought that you had sworn your sword to him?” she teased, but her voice was cold and without emotion.

    “I had.” Saber replied. “But now my sword belongs to you. I cannot protect him if I am to obey you.

    “Is that really true?” Sakura asked playfully, regaining some of her lost spirit. “You could have killed him easily when you defeated Berserker five days ago, and yet you didn’t.”

    ”That’s because you recalled me before I could strike him down. I did not hesitate when I swung my sword at him.”

    ”But you could have killed him before I had ordered you anything, and taken the Einzbern girl with you. And yet you didn’t.”

    “You did not wish his death back then. Had I tried to kill him, you would have stopped me.” Saber retorted.

    “I wonder if that’s all there is to it.” Sakura replied with a small grin. “Then what about yesterday when he killed Berserker? Why did you spare his life then?”

    This time, Saber did not reply. Sakura noticed that, although they were still gazing at her, Saber’s eyes seemed unfocused, as if she were lost in her thoughts.

    “Do not tell me that you care about him, Saber?” Sakura teased, grinning mischievously at her Servant.

    “No.” Saber replied with a blink. “Any personal feelings of mine had nothing to do with it. It was because he had earned his life with his own hands. I decided to spare him because of that.”

    “So you still are proud!” Sakura giggled, practically dancing in front of Saber in glee. “Still that honourable knight!”


    Saber suddenly narrowed her eyes, a dark shadow falling over her face, and after a small flinch of her right hand her sword suddenly began to shine with an eerie crimson light. It brought Sakura’s good mood to an end once more, and she gulped at the sight of the cursed blade shining in the darkness.
    She knew that she had no reason for fear, since she could always restrain her Servant using her inexhaustible pool of prana – an infinite number of Command Spells to use as she pleased. But Saber was stronger now than she had ever been before; freed from her inept young Master, and supplied with the huge reserve of magical energy from the Grail, she was truly invincible. There was no doubt in Sakura’s mind that if they ever fought against each other, the black swordsman would be victorious.

    Fortunately, in spite of everything, Saber had no intention of betraying her Master. She only activated her Noble Phantasm for show, and as soon as Sakura stopped giggling Saber sheathed her sword.

    “There is no pride left in my heart, Matou Sakura, and you should know very well why that is so.” she said in an ice-cold voice.

    Sakura flinched a little at the sound of her name.

    “Right...” she whispered, turning her back to Saber.

    Indeed, she knew why the black swordsman no longer felt any pride in herself.

    She had known ever since the Shadow swallowed the girl-knight at the Ryuudou Temple on that faithful night.


    The young girl had fought desperately to resist it, poring every last atom of strength to try to break away from its clutches. She had struggled to her dying breath to free herself from the grasp of the curse. Her death throes felt so sweet to Sakura’s corrupted mind back then that she couldn’t get enough of them. And those words...

    “Forgive me... Shirou.”

    The girl’s lamentations made Sakura go crazy; they were music to her ears.

    Even after she had been completely swallowed by the Shadow, Saber continued to resist. She fought the curse with all her strength, and her stubborn resistance surprised even Sakura. She refused to yield to the evil of Angra Mainyu for some time, fighting the curse which, having consumed her body, was now encroaching on her mind.
    But it was too much for her, too much even for the proud and brave King of Knights. The curse of All the Evils of This World was too much to bear for any human, even as strong and determined as Saber.

    And she was strong – Sakura had to admit at least that much. Stronger than most people, maybe even all people.
    Sakura later found out just how strong the girl had been, enduring endless hardships for the sake of her ideals, upholding the oath of the king to her dying breath.

    Betrayal, suspicion, fear, alienation; she had endured solitude and rejection for so many years, and treason was her final reward for a lifetime of service. The knights honoured and respected their king, but alienated her because she wasn’t human. The people praised her for saving the country and bringing prosperity, but feared her in spite of that because she was cold and distant.
    The girl who dreamed of peace and wished to save everyone; the knight who led the army from the front and fought with pride and honour; the king who sought to be just and fair, and selflessly devoted herself to her duties – her efforts ended in failure, and the last thing she gazed upon was a bloody hill covered in corpses. Sakura was not surprised that the girl’s strength and conviction wavered there, if only for a moment.

    The girl was strong, but the hill of corpses had left a deep wound in her heart. And when she was first summoned as the Servant Saber, her ideals were denied again. The man whom she called her Master said it plainly:

    ”The knights cannot save the world.”

    He denied her, and then took the thing that was supposed to be her salvation from her when it had already been within her grasp. How could she not despair at such injustice?


    The wound in her heart became the cause of her downfall.

    Angra Mainyu seeped into Saber’s heart and soul, taking hold of her mind and turning the silver swordsman black, putting her in the service of All the Evils of This World. The girl had seen the true form of the Holy Grail, the real nature of the thing that she had sought and which was to be her salvation. Seeing that it was nothing but evil and death, she despaired once more. The wound in her heart had not been healed, and the once proud knight succumbed to hopelessness as her prayers had been denied once and for all. Unable to save herself, unable to die, all that was left for her was to pick up her sword and fight on as she always had.

    ‘That’s right.’ she thought to herself. ‘This is how it’s always been’.

    She was as alone as she always had been. She had to fight and defeat her enemies as she always did.

    ‘Yes, nothing has changed.’ the darkened girl deceived herself.

    With no pride and no hope for salvation left, Saber fought on, now nothing but an empty puppet on a string.


    “Don’t worry Saber.” Sakura suddenly said. “This battle will be over soon. Once we’ve obtained the Grail, you will finally get your wish. After all, no matter its nature, it’s still an all-powerful wish-granting device.”

    “My wish...?” Saber asked, seemingly confused.

    “Yes. Win this battle for me and you will be able to set yourself free.” Sakura said.

    Saber remained quiet for a few seconds, staring at Sakura, before she finally replied:

    ”That thing cannot set me free. I only have one wish left, and that is not a wish that I need the Holy Grail to grant.”

    ”Oh...? And what wish would that be?” Sakura asked.

    Saber waited a little again before replying:
    “My fight will soon come to an end. One way or the other, I shall be released from my wretched existence.”

    With no goal left to fight for, and no pride left in her lonely heart, there was only one thing she craved. There was only one thing she still wished for. And the person who could grant her her wish should be coming soon.

    “I see... I think I finally understand you now, Saber.”


    The black swordsman said nothing and just stood silent, gazing at the opposite end of the cavern where the black sun shone more brightly than ever.

    Suddenly, she flinched, turning her eyes towards the entrance of the cavern. She could sense someone approaching, although they were still far away, having only just entered the huge underground maze stretching underneath the Ryuudou Temple.

    “I sense multiple intruders approaching.” she stated in an emotionless voice. “Your orders, Sakura?” she continued, turning towards her Master.

    “So, it seems that the final battle is about to begin.” Sakura said cheerfully, suddenly very excited. “I knew they’d come, it was only a matter of time. They’re coming, even though they know that they stand no chance.”

    She made a few restless paces around the cavern, and then turned back to Saber, who still stood motionlessly, awaiting her orders.

    “My dear sister is coming to visit me, Saber. Isn’t that nice?” she sniggered, her eyes shining bright with madness. “She’s been ignoring me for so many years, but now she can’t seem to get enough of my company!”

    Saber didn’t reply, and just stared at her deranged Master with her two burning, golden eyes. Sakura didn’t seem to care, and continued her charade:

    ”Yes, she’s always ignored me, always looked down on me. I was always the inferior one, always far beneath my perfect sister. She had everything, enjoyed everything, led a perfect life, while I suffered in hell for eleven years! And she never even noticed, never even tried to find out, not once asked me about my life; can you believe that?! But now the tables have turned; now I’m the stronger one, and I shall make her pay for letting me suffer for all these years! I’ll make all of them pay!!!”

    Sakura’s mad laughter slowly turned into screams of rage. Saber was unfazed by Sakura’s behaviour, and just said coldly:

    ”I can detect presence of multiple intruders, making their way here. What are your orders? Shall I go intercept them?”

    Sakura slowly regained her senses, and after calming down she replied:

    ”Saber, go and dispatch the intruders. Kill everyone you find.”

    Saber nodded and immediately headed towards the exit of the huge cavern.

    “Saber.” Sakura suddenly called her. The black swordsman turned around without a word.

    “Kill everyone... except my sister. I want to deal with her personally. Let her pass, but kill everyone else who tries to get past you.”

    ”Understood.” Saber replied. She was about to turn back and continue towards the outer cavern, but she suddenly asked: “And what about Shirou?”

    Sakura remained silent in contemplation for a while. Saber could plainly see her Master pondering over it, her eyes glowing brightly with excitement and trepidation. Eventually, she replied:

    ”Kill everyone except my sister. That is your order.”

    Saber narrowed her eyes a little after hearing her order; Sakura did not seem particularly convincing when she ordered her to kill ‘everyone’. It seemed that she’d prefer Shirou brought to her alive rather than dead, but her order still stood.
    Hesitating a little, Saber continued her descent down the slope and out of the cavern.

    “Very well, I shall leave Rin to you.” she said, her cold voice mixing with the loud metallic echoes of her iron boots grinding against the ground.

    Then, she stopped again, and turned her head a little to get a glance of her Master as she said:
    “Just beware that you don’t regret it later.”

    Sakura said nothing and turned her back to Saber, gazing at the black altar in front of her.

    Leaving her Master to her schemes, Saber slowly made her way towards the intruders. She still couldn’t determine how many of them there were exactly, but she was certain that Shirou was among them.

    ‘There’s no way you wouldn’t come.’ she mused to herself. Even if she only knew him for a few short days, it was enough for her to get to know the boy’s character.
    ‘I just hope that you haven’t been as reckless as usual.’ she prayed, as she prepared herself for her last battle.

    Clearing her mind of all thoughts, the King of Knights made her way down the dark passage and towards the underground cavern in which her enemies awaited.

    The deafening silence was only broken by eerie sounds of her heavy footsteps, echoing the slow beats of her empty heart.

    ***
    Last edited by Polly; October 13th, 2013 at 07:16 PM.
    My attempts at being a (fanfic) writer:

    Eclipse - a Saber Alter oneshot
    Requiem for a Race - Altrouge and Ortenrosse hunt the TAs ( 1/3 chapters, discontinued )
    Memories of a King - a 'Saber Origins' story ( 8/? chapters, discontiuned )
    A Small Warmth - a post UBW-Good oneshot, Saber/Rin
    Devil's Thrill - Narbareck hunts down a DAA Blackmore ( 10/10 chapters, finished )
    Boundary of Loneliness - Ryougi Shiki/Alphard Al-Shua oneshot. Lemon-flavoured

  2. #2
    The No Sleep King mAc Chaos's Avatar
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    I always like stories that delve into Saber Alter; nobody ever tries. The beginning was written a little clunkily, but otherwise it was good. I thought you captured Saber and Sakura well.
    He never sleeps. He never dies.

    Battle doesn't need a purpose; the battle is its own purpose. You don't ask why a plague spreads or a field burns. Don't ask why I fight.

  3. #3
    That was a very enjoyable piece. A little disappointed you didn't go with the battle sequence following and the results.

  4. #4
    I'm bored Polly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daiki View Post
    That was a very enjoyable piece.
    Thanks.
    And thanks to you too, mAc.

    A little disappointed you didn't go with the battle sequence following and the results.
    Well, for one, there are two alternative battle sequences following this: the normal battle which leads you to the Endings of the route, and Sparks Liner High.
    Since this was devised so that it fits into the canon ( this was actually an idea I had for the "Missing Scene" category in Arashi's fanfic contest ), it had to "cover" both the normal fight and the SLH.
    And secondly, we already know everything there is to know about the following battle(s) and the results, so I would be merely re-wording the existing scenes from the VN, which would be redundant.
    My attempts at being a (fanfic) writer:

    Eclipse - a Saber Alter oneshot
    Requiem for a Race - Altrouge and Ortenrosse hunt the TAs ( 1/3 chapters, discontinued )
    Memories of a King - a 'Saber Origins' story ( 8/? chapters, discontiuned )
    A Small Warmth - a post UBW-Good oneshot, Saber/Rin
    Devil's Thrill - Narbareck hunts down a DAA Blackmore ( 10/10 chapters, finished )
    Boundary of Loneliness - Ryougi Shiki/Alphard Al-Shua oneshot. Lemon-flavoured

  5. #5
    I wanted to read the struggle in Saber's mind rather than Shirou POV mostly. The battles aren't all that important. I think there is room to write something solid no matter which ending you choose for it. Well, just my feeling.

  6. #6
    This may hurt a little Neir's Avatar
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    Not bad. It's nice to see an Alter fic.

    And I totally agree that it would be kind of pointless to cover the battle that follows.


    an infinite number of Command Spells to use as she pleases
    should be pleased, for tense agreement.
    Quote Originally Posted by lantzblades View Post
    says the hater, you keep on hating, i'll be around ignoring your invalid, incorrect opinion.
    [18:00] Spinach: Because I don't like Saber's personality but boy oh boy does she make my dick turn to diamonds when I see her getting tentacled.
    [18:01] Leo: feeling superior to EU makes me hard
    [16:16] <Bloble> Drakengard? Is that a rhythm game?

  7. #7
    IT'S NOT THE BATTLE WHICH MATTER. -_-

  8. #8
    I'm bored Polly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daiki View Post
    IT'S NOT THE BATTLE WHICH MATTER. -_-
    Yeah, I get it, but what is there to tell about Saber's thought process which hasn't been already covered in this story and her dialogue from Sparks Liner High and that Bad End when you refuse to kill her with the Azoth Dagger and she curses you for it?
    I mean, I have thought of having this fic cover her thoughts during either SLH or the normal fight, but I couldn't come up with anything that I haven't already written in this.
    My attempts at being a (fanfic) writer:

    Eclipse - a Saber Alter oneshot
    Requiem for a Race - Altrouge and Ortenrosse hunt the TAs ( 1/3 chapters, discontinued )
    Memories of a King - a 'Saber Origins' story ( 8/? chapters, discontiuned )
    A Small Warmth - a post UBW-Good oneshot, Saber/Rin
    Devil's Thrill - Narbareck hunts down a DAA Blackmore ( 10/10 chapters, finished )
    Boundary of Loneliness - Ryougi Shiki/Alphard Al-Shua oneshot. Lemon-flavoured

  9. #9
    Dapper Deathwing YeOfLittleFaith's Avatar
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    Nice one shot Polly. You delved quite well into Saber Alter's mind I think. Well done.



    Quote Originally Posted by RadiantBeam View Post
    Not my fault Shirou is an awesome bro to lesbians.

  10. #10
    Super AI Youtuber BB-chan! Laith's Avatar
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    Yep this was good. Really liked it.

    Year 1

    Salt Corner

    Quote Originally Posted by hayate View Post
    He's the exception. We see him swimming in with the
    gold
    good
    waifus.

    He got his share of woes as with other players, but it has been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of different SSRs, both as F2P and P2P.

    I don't even wish to stand beside him as I got 2 consecutive IRs at my work the very same month after I got Jeanne.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriulio View Post
    Okay:

    First of all, a big FUCK YOU to everyone who got Holmes
    Second of all, a DOUBLE FUCK YOU at Laith because asahkwbebnfj,hhfshfls;
    Third of all, a TRIPLE FUCK YOU to people who quote Laith's gacha posts. THE WHOLE POINT OF HAVING HIM IN MY IGNORE LIST IS TO PREVENT THIS
    Quote Originally Posted by Aozaki-desu View Post
    fuck laith btw

  11. #11
    I'm bored Polly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YeOfLittleFaith View Post
    Nice one shot Polly. You delved quite well into Saber Alter's mind I think. Well done.
    Quote Originally Posted by Laith View Post
    Yep this was good. Really liked it.
    Thanks.
    And if you liked it, go recommend it.
    My attempts at being a (fanfic) writer:

    Eclipse - a Saber Alter oneshot
    Requiem for a Race - Altrouge and Ortenrosse hunt the TAs ( 1/3 chapters, discontinued )
    Memories of a King - a 'Saber Origins' story ( 8/? chapters, discontiuned )
    A Small Warmth - a post UBW-Good oneshot, Saber/Rin
    Devil's Thrill - Narbareck hunts down a DAA Blackmore ( 10/10 chapters, finished )
    Boundary of Loneliness - Ryougi Shiki/Alphard Al-Shua oneshot. Lemon-flavoured

  12. #12
    Super AI Youtuber BB-chan! Laith's Avatar
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    I don't recommend stuff because I want to create a buff so when I do so I add like a lot and make Kyte work a lot too am lazy

    Year 1

    Salt Corner

    Quote Originally Posted by hayate View Post
    He's the exception. We see him swimming in with the
    gold
    good
    waifus.

    He got his share of woes as with other players, but it has been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of different SSRs, both as F2P and P2P.

    I don't even wish to stand beside him as I got 2 consecutive IRs at my work the very same month after I got Jeanne.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriulio View Post
    Okay:

    First of all, a big FUCK YOU to everyone who got Holmes
    Second of all, a DOUBLE FUCK YOU at Laith because asahkwbebnfj,hhfshfls;
    Third of all, a TRIPLE FUCK YOU to people who quote Laith's gacha posts. THE WHOLE POINT OF HAVING HIM IN MY IGNORE LIST IS TO PREVENT THIS
    Quote Originally Posted by Aozaki-desu View Post
    fuck laith btw

  13. #13
    Evil Good RadiantBeam's Avatar
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    An interesting look at Saber Alter, to be sure. No one ever really delves too deeply into her, and I don't think anyone's ever tried this approach with her before or gone into depth about how Saber was corrupted. It's certainly an interesting read, considering the contrast between Saber's personality and Saber Alter's personality.



  14. #14
    The No Sleep King mAc Chaos's Avatar
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    What I liked was the contrast between her embodying people's hope and then later despair.

    By the way, Polly, you should write more stories like this. I would read them. As in, stuff directly set in canon or related to it.
    He never sleeps. He never dies.

    Battle doesn't need a purpose; the battle is its own purpose. You don't ask why a plague spreads or a field burns. Don't ask why I fight.

  15. #15
    Sentimental Fool NewAgeOfPower's Avatar
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    This is good.

    Was it inspired/influenced by Arashi's Sever & Bind?
    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster;
    And treat those two impostors just the same,

    -Ruyard Kipling, "If"

    -)|(-

    My works [Updated June 21st, 2013]


    "From a dusky world with an ever-setting sun, a limitless rain of Ryougi Shiki streaked down from gargantuan gears set in the sky." Fate: Over 9000, my best Crack yet.

  16. #16
    Well written, I think, particularly towards the end as you delve into Saber's and Sakura's emotions. As mentioned before, I felt that the start, before the first scene break, was a little shaky. Some descriptions (like Sakura's chest pain), to me at least, ran on a bit and were kind of... blurry? Didn't generate a particular response from me, although I'm sure there was supposed to be some metaphor there.

  17. #17
    The No Sleep King mAc Chaos's Avatar
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    I do want to mention that the characterization might be a bit off, but it's more of Polly's personal interpretation than anything. By that I mean, while this version is good, I also get the sense from canon that she didn't really mind any of the destruction she would cause, and was fighting affirmatively to win the Grail for the sake of Britain still. If she just wanted to die, I would have expected her to just commit suicide on the spot.

    I like this interpretation of her though, so maybe it just needs to be finessed.
    He never sleeps. He never dies.

    Battle doesn't need a purpose; the battle is its own purpose. You don't ask why a plague spreads or a field burns. Don't ask why I fight.

  18. #18
    Evil Good RadiantBeam's Avatar
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    I'd question if Saber Alter is even capable of suicide. The act of choosing to end her own life requires a certain amount of agency and control that I'm pretty sure she didn't have at that point, if she ever even had it. Any time we've ever seen a Servant kill themselves, it's at the order of their Master. So I doubt they can actively choose to end their lives right on the spot like that.



  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by RadiantBeam View Post
    Any time we've ever seen a Servant kill themselves, it's at the order of their Master. So I doubt they can actively choose to end their lives right on the spot like that.
    If we're including Apocrypha in this, then yes, it's possible.

  20. #20
    Evil Good RadiantBeam's Avatar
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    Ah, okay, I see. I never got into Apocrypha, I was just going by what we've seen from FSN and F/Z, which implies that the Servant can't choose to take their life. They have to be ordered by their Master.



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