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Thread: Lord El Melloi II Case Files

  1. #901
    Animation upgrade for El-Melloi II doing BARITSU when?

  2. #902
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightsCall View Post
    Chapter 1 Part 1



    Chapter 1



    Part 1



    (...has anything changed since then...?)

    At the sudden recollection, my eyes narrowed.

    The reason I had remembered it was nothing special. Just seeing my master hanging his head, lit from behind by the setting sun, I thought it was a similar image.

    Becoming able to do something that you couldn't do before is not the only way that you can measure growth. And yet, my master continued to pile on new skills and knowledge as if that was all he knew. That's why his life held so much suffering. And yet from that excruciating life, he neither ran nor cowered. Even now I still didn't know from where he drew that strength.

    We were on a hill.

    From the place we had been observing the twin towers of the Sun and Moon before, we were now looking at them from the opposite side. The overpowering scent of the densely growing grass was enough to make you choke. Hidden amongst the dirt and grass were a number of rabbit holes, making it not hard to believe that such a place was often the stage for many famous works. Even in my hometown we had a number of books of the adorable Peter Rabbit and his family.

    From this angle, the blood-like colour of the setting sun over the mist and grasses gave the impression the world had been replaced by some sort of far off fantasy.

    My master stood silently, scribbling in his notebook.


    "-Now, shall we start preparing for the coming battle?"


    After such an impressive declaration, he had just gone back to his observations.

    That being said, perhaps because of some sort of development caused by the piece of paper Svin had brought for him, he occasionally would pop his head up from his notebook to confirm details of the case with Reines.

    "...the one who asked for asylum at the start was really the Princess of Gold, right?"

    "Of course, esteemed brother. There's no way you could mistake her for someone else."

    "And, the next morning, you found the body in her room. The Mystic Lock was still set."

    "Correct."

    In this way, he was slowly getting things in order.

    After the Iselma's Social Assembly, the Princess of Gold had approached Reines hoping to seek asylum with the El-Melloi family and the Artistocratic Faction of the Clock Tower.

    After that, when she went to meet her the next morning, Reines was the first to find the Princess torn apart, and soon became the main suspect. After that, Caleena was found dead by Trimmau, who had blood on her hands, prompting Iselma to take the Mystic Code hostage.

    My master wrote all this down in his book with a fountain pen stylized in the manner of a gryphon. It was a treasure left behind by the head of the El-Melloi of two generations ago, so for my master to take to it after rejecting virtually all of the El-Melloi estate meant it must have been something of significant interest to him.

    The smell of ink mixing faintly with the air was something I liked, as well.

    Just like the smell of his cigars, it was something that always seemed to cling to him. For some reason, whenever I recognized that scent, I could always calm down. I didn't know the reason why. Perhaps my master had laced the smells with some sort of magecraft to help relax the mind, but I didn't feel the need to ask.

    Alongside that came a certain rambunctious voice.

    "That's why I'm saying the culprit must be a Baritsu user! It's really invincible! You can use it to survive when you fall off a cliff, or even to make a person explode! Turning invisible or passing through walls would be a piece of cake!"

    "What kind of ridiculous magecraft are you on about now? First of all, is that even magecraft, or just a martial art?"

    "Baritsu is Baritsu! Sherlock Holmes is famous for using it, so the professor must be able to use it too! It's a skill all detectives have!"

    "Flat...are you saying our professor is something as plain as an ordinary detective?"

    "Hey, real Baritsu uses a cane too! That cane must be the catalyst for some kind of magecraft! So it must be a martial art that was created to be used by magi! The only reason it hasn't spread more is that one family must have kept the secret of it to themselves!"

    Though they had the same blonde hair and blue eyes, the impression they gave couldn't be more different. While the former's hysterical declarations painted him as a young, naive boy, the latter had an air of savage beauty about him.

    Flat Escardos, and Svin Glascheit.

    Even in the illustrious El-Melloi classroom, these two stood head and shoulders above the rest.

    "On top of that, Sherlock Holmes is a hero! He's a true super star of London! The same as Jack the Ripper, though I feel a bit bad for his victims."

    "Don't put our professor in the same group as a serial killer. In the first place, whether it's Sherlock Holmes or Napoleon, our professor isn't someone who can be compared to poeple who just showed up a bit in novels and history!"

    Yes, well. Svin wasn't entirely right. While my master was looked up to as a true hero among the New Agers, the fact of the matter was that these two were the real vanguard. And while most people hoped dearly to just leave them to their own thing, the fear that their interactions could escalate to the point of destroying the classroom itself was the greatest source of unease in the current El-Melloi classroom.

    That being said, I would do anything to avoid getting close to Svin.

    If he was going to get that worked up and aggressive whenever he saw me, I couldn't think anything other than that he hated me for some reason. I was used to not being liked by people, but such a vicious rejection was still enough to make me feel a little sad.

    No doubt, his gaze constantly flickering to me while he talked to Flat was a measure to try and keep me in check.

    "Hold on, that's not true at all." Suddenly Reines, who was sitting beside me, spoke up. Sitting with her head resting on her knees, even so she seemed to be thoroughly enjoying herself as she looked sideways at me. That small smile at the corner of her lips was as good an indicator as any that she was going to begin teasing me again.

    "...w-what do you mean?"

    "Well, you're thinking something like 'Svin must hate me,' aren't you?"

    My breath caught with a sudden jerking motion at being so clearly read. "...Miss Reines, mind reading is..."

    Before I could say anymore, she put a hand to her mouth to hide her giggling. "I don't need anything like that. Anyone could tell just by looking at your face. To be precise, by looking at the way your eyes move and how you're resting your hands and fingers. You may think of yourself as somewhat uncommunicative, but you're quite talkative in your own way, you know? I'd say about half as much as Add."

    "T-that..." After such a shocking evaluation, I found myself at a loss for words.

    "Ihihihihi! Me? Talkative?! Everyone knows I'm the quietest, most intellectual, most elegant box around!"

    To the best of my ability, I ignored the voice coming from around my right hand.

    Unfortunately, Flat was not willing to do the same, instead turning around to face me.

    "Ah, Gray! Can I talk to Add today? Show me, show me! Let me talk to him! Let me take him apart!"

    "Hey, don't talk to my...don't talk to Gray so flippantly!"

    As the two drew closer to us, I could feel my shoulders start to tremble.

    "...quiet down, you guys. Also Svin, keep at least five meters away from Gray unless it's an emergency."

    With an exasperated voice, my master spoke.

    And then,



    "It seems we have a guest."



    So saying, he capped his pen.

    "-did you discover something?"

    Just hearing it, I could feel that intoxicating voice cloud my thoughts as it washed over the grass.

    Cutting through the scent of cigars and the colour of the sunset was the figure of that woman. Her shadow, cast by the setting sun, felt like something completely different coming from her.

    Perhaps, the shadow of a God of Death.

    "Princess of Silver."

    My master called the name of the veiled woman.

    And, one step behind her, her maid stood quietly waiting.

    "Rejina..."

    "..."

    The remaining of the twin maids stood quietly, avoiding our eyes.

    In her stead, her master spoke.

    "A pleasure to meet you, Lord El-Melloi II. I've heard quite a bit about you."

    "I can't expect there's much in the way of good rumors about me floating about."

    Before my master's bitter smile, the Princess lifted her head.

    It felt like the wind had stopped entirely. It was as if all sound had ceased, as if even the flowers themselves were spellbound by her face. Peering out from within her veil, her appearance was ever so slightly different from her sisters, yet it was of course still unfathomably beautiful.

    "My sister....Did you discover something about the deaths of Caleena and the Princess of Gold?"

    That voice hit my master head on.

    It's awesome beauty pierced right through to my core.

    "I would like to express my deepest condolences for your loss," he replied with a polite bow.

    His voice had an unmistakable sincerity to it. Maybe because he was someone who knew what it meant to lose someone. What exactly had he lost in that battle so long ago? Even if one were to say he had gained a lot since then, would that be enough to even the scales?

    "However, that is why I feel it all the more important to discover the true culprit."

    "You believe your sister is innocent, then?"

    "Yes."

    His reply was instant.

    For a moment, even I was stunned. Just a little, the Princess of Silver's manner seemed to soften.

    "...you have a good brother, don't you?"

    "Yes, I certainly do," Reines replied calmy, a nod indicating the deeper meaning behind that for her.

    When Reines was like this, I sometimes felt like she would be better off acting and expressing herself more clearly. Maybe.

    Following that, Reines spoke again.

    "May I ask what happened with Trimmau?"

    "If you mean Volumen Hydrargyrum, then my father has carefully stored it away somewhere."

    "Good. I'll leave her in your care, then." Reines nodded sagely.

    Even if it was her, there was no way she was as relaxed as she was putting on. Trimmau was one of the most important Mystic Codes of the El-Melloi family, so there was no way she didn't feel like she was backed into a corner.

    As if under the threat of an invisible knife, a strange nervousness hung on the world. If magecraft was something built up out of will, then that may have been another kind of magecraft in itself. An ancient curse known by all humanity, independent of any sort of magical foundation or ritual. Words and will were both invisible, and therein lay their Mystery. Such was the driving force of many legends among those with no connection to magecraft.

    Suddenly, my master moved.

    "...by the way, I believe this belonged to your sister."

    Saying that, he pulled an object from his pocket and showed it to Rejina.

    A necklace, in which was set a stone engraved with a whirl. Rejina's eyes widened slightly as she saw the blood-stained accessory.

    "...thank you. Yes, it was my sister's."

    "It looks Celtic to me."

    "Yes. When she was born, our grandmother..."

    As if wrapped up in nostalgia, the Maid seemed to get lost within her own memory.

    Suddenly, I was assaulted by a piercing chill across my entire body. Wrapping my arms around myself, I called out as if fevered.

    "...M-Master..."

    "Hm?"

    "Yes, I felt it too. Though with his dull senses, he probably only felt slightly uneasy."

    With one eye shut, Reines interjected. Were her Mystic Eyes reacting as well?

    "Hey, watch what you're saying!"

    "I'd appreciate it if you didn't get all up in arms about basic facts. More importantly, Miss Silver Princess, would this happen to be related to Iselma's Boundary Field?"

    Fundamentally speaking, a Boundary Field was 'something that divided the inside from the outside.' If hiding something was the objective, then the highest levels of Boundary Fields were ones that were themselves impossible to discern. After all, no matter how powerful a magi was, they couldn't dismantle a Boundary Field they didn't know existed. As such, it was kind of a given that they would be difficult to detect.

    However, there was one other purpose for Boundary Fields.

    In short, for defense.

    A barrier to protect those inside from any sort of external force. A Boundary Field that reacted to the presence of enemy magi was one such example. A common type were those that would signal the presence of an enemy magus once they had stepped into the defender's territory.

    Of course, something like a Boundary Field that revealed a person's thoughts didn't really exist. If they did, something like a murder investigation would be entirely unnecessary.

    In short, this was a case of magecraft that wasn't bothering to hide itself from its opponent.

    "Please excuse me."

    With a succinct word of farewell, the Princess of Silver spun around and took her leave.

    "...Professor."

    "Flat?"

    "I think, probably over there." Flat pointed down the hill towards the nearby forest. "Looks like more than ten people. Or twenty...thirty?"

    While Flat's ability in most fields of magecraft were already fairly advanced, when it came to magical detection he was truly peerless. So while most of what he said was often dismissed out of hand as being silly or absurd, in this one area even my master put a heavy weight on his words.

    "If there's that many...someone is attacking Iselma now, of all times?" Reines' reply was clearly coloured with surprise.

    There was no way it could be a coincidence.

    While still dealing with the serial murder investigation, an army of magi were attacking. If this were a coincidence, then something like magecraft would be completely unnecessary. Magecraft was at its core a method of deceiving the world in order to recreate supernatural phenomena, but if that kind of negative miracle were possible, then magecraft had long ago taken control of the world.

    "Of course, there's no way it could be a coincidence," my master said. "Svin, it's the people you were investigating."

    "But Professor, if that's the case then we-"

    Svin's words cut off abruptly.

    From the beginning, Iselma thought of us as enemies. Would this be a situation we could work to our advantage? Or would we just get crushed along with everyone else? What would be the best play for us in this kind of chaos?

    A problem of this magnitude, while our ability to think was already wearing thin.

    Suddenly, the sun darkened.

    Clouds. Dark storm clouds were racing across the sky from the east, throwing a shadow over the entire Iselma estate. As we watched uneasily, the clouds spread above us with a clearly unnatural speed.

    The low rumble of thunder reached us.

    "-Master!"

    Instinctively, I leapt towards my master and grabbed him tight.

    At the same time, a powerful impact struck my whole body from behind.

    It felt like a bomb. I could only wonder at how much magical energy had to be invested in that attack, for it to shake the ground under us to such a degree. While the lightning itself had flowed mostly into the ground, the aftermath was enough to throw everyone around it into shock.

    "-Gray!"

    "...Gray?"

    "I'm...okay..."

    In response to Svin's alarmed shout and my master's quiet inquiry I gave a small nod. Even in this situation, Svin was keeping to my master's instructions to stay at least five meters away from me. His desperate, helpless meandering outside that space was almost amusing to watch.

    "That lightning was-!"

    "...their way of a polite greeting, it seems," my master whispered softly. Surrounded by the burnt smell left by the lightning, my master clicked his tongue as he looked up at the sky. "Weather-based magecraft aiming for an attack at sunset...doing things the old fashioned way, I see. The objective was to strip Iselma of the protection offered by the land, was it?"

    By wounding the land itself, the natural flow of magical energy would be disrupted. If that land were being managed by a magus, it was natural to expect the land itself would be enchanted with protective measures, and as such it was equally natural for an attacker to begin by attempting to neutralize that advantage.

    While the attackers' methods were certainly the opposite of subtle, there was still intelligence in them.

    Without delay, I could feel magical energy begin to move in one of Iselma's towers in response.

    The fact that the response came from the Tower of the Moon was as good as definitive proof that it housed Iselma's Workshop. While the form of the magecraft that had been set in motion there was still a mystery, the idea that it would treat us kindly was farfetched, to say the least.

    "...Master."

    "First things first, we need to withdraw to avoid taking losses of our own."

    While 'withdrawing' made it sound nice, really what he meant was we needed to hide so we didn't get caught in the crossfire. Of course it was obvious that whether we considered the attacker or the defender, neither was a magus my master's skills in magecraft could hope to equal.

    Reines replied with a small laugh. "'Let's run as fast as we can,' basically?"

    "Of course we're running. I'd rather just cover my head and get out, and never have to set eyes on this place again. If only a certain someone hadn't given them collateral."

    "To think, my brother would level such harsh words against me. My whole body is about to be set to trembling at the disgrace. Though if that's the kind of thing you're into, I think I can work on it a bit."

    "As if anyone would be interested in seeing that in their sister. Now let's hurry up and find somewhere safe to hide until this blows over." The bitterness was evident in my master's voice as he spun to leave.

    "...or," he stopped, taking back his previous words. "perhaps it's already too late for that."

    "...huh?" At first I was confused, but the meaning behind my master's increasingly bitter voice soon became clear. "...Flat!" Turning, I blurted out his name without thinking.

    Flat was, of course, nowhere to be seen. Even if we were stunned in the aftermath of the lightning, there was no way my master, Reines, and I would all fail to see him leaving unless he was intentionally trying to sneak away. Well, such sneaking was his specialty as a magus, anyways.

    "I'm going after him!"

    "Wait, Svin!"

    Without waiting to let anyone stop him, Svin immediately broke off running. And at a speed that would be hard for me to match even if I had Add's support, too. Perhaps following his scent, he ran off in a straight line to the forest nearby despite having no apparent clues as to where Flat went.

    "This is exactly why I told you two not to come here!"

    Holding a hand to his stomach, my master's perpetual frown deepened as he gave a long sigh.
    Gray...Gray afabsusvsjs you think Svin hates you?????

    - - - Updated - - -

    >let me take him apart.

    Flat...

  3. #903
    死徒 Dead Apostle jennajayfeather's Avatar
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    First we thought Gray didn't like Svin because he was too clingy. Nope. Nope. She think he hates her. Man, I actually feel bad for Svin, like its one thing when the person you like doesn't like you back, but it's a whole other level when the person you like thinks you hate her fklagrag

    And then Flat...........Flat's wanting to take Add apart was so far the creepiest thing Flat's said in CF. Also Flat mentioning Jack was CUTE.

    this was a good chapter.
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    >"As if anyone would be interested in seeing that in their sister

    Haha, about that Waver...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by jennajayfeather View Post
    First we thought Gray didn't like Svin because he was too clingy. Nope. Nope. She think he hates her. Man, I actually feel bad for Svin, like its one thing when the person you like doesn't like you back, but it's a whole other level when the person you like thinks you hate her fklagrag

    And then Flat...........Flat's wanting to take Add apart was so far the creepiest thing Flat's said in CF. Also Flat mentioning Jack was CUTE.

    this was a good chapter.
    Svin and Gray are just so unfortunate in general and the more I learn the more I feel sorry for the both of them for this kind of unfortunate situation.

    And the strange fake reference was indeed rather cute, Flat's just a wild card no matter where he appears

  5. #905
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six asterism42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennajayfeather View Post
    First we thought Gray didn't like Svin because he was too clingy. Nope. Nope. She think he hates her. Man, I actually feel bad for Svin, like its one thing when the person you like doesn't like you back, but it's a whole other level when the person you like thinks you hate her fklagrag

    And then Flat...........Flat's wanting to take Add apart was so far the creepiest thing Flat's said in CF. Also Flat mentioning Jack was CUTE.

    this was a good chapter.
    Flat is meant to be kinda creepy, it's why his family wants nothing to do with him
    Quote Originally Posted by Sandstorm77 View Post
    He's just putting the bone of his sword into other people until it explodes and lets out parts of him inside them.
    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerEmiya View Post
    Genderswaps are terrible, but I think I and other people would hate them less if Fate didn't keep ignoring actual heroines throughout history and folklore. Like, why bother turning Francis Drake into a woman when Ching Shih and Grace O'Malley exist?
    Quote Originally Posted by Five_X View Post
    Fate Zero is just Fate Stay Night for people who think Shirou is too girly

  6. #906
    Knight of Joestar SirGauoftheSquareTable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennajayfeather View Post
    First we thought Gray didn't like Svin because he was too clingy. Nope. Nope. She think he hates her. Man, I actually feel bad for Svin, like its one thing when the person you like doesn't like you back, but it's a whole other level when the person you like thinks you hate her fklagrag

    And then Flat...........Flat's wanting to take Add apart was so far the creepiest thing Flat's said in CF. Also Flat mentioning Jack was CUTE.

    this was a good chapter.
    Loved that SF reference there.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by mami-kouga View Post
    >"As if anyone would be interested in seeing that in their sister

    Haha, about that Waver...

    - - - Updated - - -



    Svin and Gray are just so unfortunate in general and the more I learn the more I feel sorry for the both of them for this kind of unfortunate situation.

    And the strange fake reference was indeed rather cute, Flat's just a wild card no matter where he appears
    I think CF is just doing whatever it takes to make me feel worse and worse for Svin. Also, I guess Gray's self-esteem is just so catastrophically low that she cannot even fathom being liked in that way that aggressively. That's also sad.

    Finally, I think it's obvious she has a pretty huge crush on our resident TILF.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by asterism42 View Post
    Flat is meant to be kinda creepy, it's why his family wants nothing to do with him
    For me, the best comparison is Gon Freecs. Both happy, peppy, but also extremely unsettling.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deathhappens View Post
    Really, all 3 of the romances in F/SN are 'for want of a nail' kind of situations.
    Quote Originally Posted by forumghost View Post
    You mean because Shirou winds up falling for the first of the three that he Nailed?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias View Post
    I speak for the majority of important people* *a category comprised entirely of myself

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    Quote Originally Posted by SirGauoftheSquareTable View Post
    Loved that SF reference there.

    - - - Updated - - -


    I think CF is just doing whatever it takes to make me feel worse and worse for Svin. Also, I guess Gray's self-esteem is just so catastrophically low that she cannot even fathom being liked in that way that aggressively. That's also sad.

    Finally, I think it's obvious she has a pretty huge crush on our resident TILF.

    - - - Updated - - -


    For me, the best comparison is Gon Freecs. Both happy, peppy, but also extremely unsettling.
    She definitely comes off as someone with a crush that's she's not aware of, it's rather cute.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also with this chapter, it's probably Waver that issued the restraining order against Svin

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    Knight of Joestar SirGauoftheSquareTable's Avatar
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    Yeah, regardless of how unaware Gray was of Svin's real intentions, he still does make her uncomfortable, so a restraining order was logical.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deathhappens View Post
    Really, all 3 of the romances in F/SN are 'for want of a nail' kind of situations.
    Quote Originally Posted by forumghost View Post
    You mean because Shirou winds up falling for the first of the three that he Nailed?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias View Post
    I speak for the majority of important people* *a category comprised entirely of myself

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    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirGauoftheSquareTable View Post
    Yeah, regardless of how unaware Gray was of Svin's real intentions, he still does make her uncomfortable, so a restraining order was logical.
    Anyone wanting to get into your personal space to sniff you probably needs a restraining order I'd say.

    Kind of surprising that Gray believes Svin hates her though. I wonder how that idea came about?

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    死徒 Dead Apostle jennajayfeather's Avatar
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    He seems “aggressive” and her self-esteem is so low. Also she mentioned she was used to people hating her :c so I guess it’s all of those things put together. I will say it makes me root for Svin a bit more than I did in the past since I figured he was just a pervert. But I think he’s also kind of genuine too it’s just he’s also a problem child

    Spoiler:

    Svin later says how he’s not sure if what he’s feeling is “love” but it was rooted in how he understands that both he & Gray were artificially made. He felt he was neither human nor beast, while Gray likewise also feels alienated & it was those feelings of loneliness that made him empathize with her.

    so like I like that he seems to have some genuine feelings
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    Knight of Joestar SirGauoftheSquareTable's Avatar
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    Except actual dogs and cats.

    About Gray believing Svin hates her, again, I think it's just her really low self-esteem making her unable to view herself as a possible target of anyone's affections. Also, she did say she was used to hate, and even Waver got to her by being uncomfortable about her face, so outright liking is probably a foreign concept.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by jennajayfeather View Post
    He seems “aggressive” and her self-esteem is so low. Also she mentioned she was used to people hating her :c so I guess it’s all of those things put together. I will say it makes me root for Svin a bit more than I did in the past since I figured he was just a pervert. But I think he’s also kind of genuine too it’s just he’s also a problem child

    Spoiler:

    Svin later says how he’s not sure if what he’s feeling is “love” but it was rooted in how he understands that both he & Gray were artificially made. He felt he was neither human nor beast, while Gray likewise also feels alienated & it was those feelings of loneliness that made him empathize with her.

    so like I like that he seems to have some genuine feelings
    Spoiler:
    I also like how he himself is aware this may not quite be love, but it is a strong connection/empathy nonetheless.

    It reminds me of the whole "Trish is me! Her pain is my own!" bit from Narancia in JJBA Part V.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deathhappens View Post
    Really, all 3 of the romances in F/SN are 'for want of a nail' kind of situations.
    Quote Originally Posted by forumghost View Post
    You mean because Shirou winds up falling for the first of the three that he Nailed?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias View Post
    I speak for the majority of important people* *a category comprised entirely of myself

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    Presia messe noce yor tes mea TwilightsCall's Avatar
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    Chapter 1 Part 2

    Chapter 1



    Part 2




    "...not bad."

    Atram gazed down at the crater left by his own magecraft with a cruel smile.

    From a plateau nearby, though he was still a few kilometers away from the site, he was looking down on Iselma's territory using a pair of antique opera glasses that had been left in the hotel lobby.

    Holding tight the scantily clad woman sitting near him, he whispered softly.

    "What do you think? Doesn't it feel like calling down fire to burn away the castle of your rival in love?"

    Patterning himself after the deeds of an ancient Heroic Spirit known as Medea in her massacre, he boasted about his work.

    Of course, his actions could hardly be called comparable.

    For someone like her, who had existed before the common era in an age where mankind was much closer to magecraft, a simple One Count spell would have been sufficient to replicate the effect of a modern bomber aircraft. If a modern magus dedicated their life to study and layered up ritual after ritual, it was still questionable whether they could reach the same level.

    But, in that respect, that was what made this particular spell impressive.

    While magecraft that put the weather to work was certainly of an enormous scale, it wasn't particularly rare. On the contrary, it would be harder to find a single place didn't have it's own long history of Rainmaking rituals. However, if one looked at modern magi, examples of success were few and far between, especially when one considered how much the current state of magecraft had declined. While it was true that Atram's success had hinged on the lakeside country of his target being the perfect environment for generating storm clouds, they were still results worthy of praise.

    For this purpose, dozens of magi connected to his family had gathered to participate in the ritual.

    On the border between night and day, where many kinds of defensive magecraft grew weak, he had drove forward the vanguard of his assault.

    "Now, plunder! Take everything! Let's start this raid with efficiency!"

    The young man laughed, his voice clear and bright.

    That was how Atram's family - how the Galiasta family had risen to prominence.

    If you want it, then take it.

    If there's a blade in your hand, then swing.

    Such was the teaching Atram was given. In order to determine the next head of the family, his father had pit him and his brothers against each other in a number of trials meant to curry political power. Atram was the one who dealt with those trials most efficiently. And so, while earning a title in the Clock Tower, Atram surpassed his father who had refused to step into the world of magi and joyfully adopted it as his own.

    Seeing magecraft that was considered old and outdated, he instead saw profit and potential.

    Even the agonizing physical pain of accepting his family's Magic Crest was pure pleasure for him. For that pain was a symbol of the power, of the value he had won.

    "Now..."

    Standing, he raised his glass of wine.

    "...it's time to make you regret the sin of robbing me of my rightful spoils."


    *****************


    Of course, the custodian of the land was aware of the attack that had taken place.

    In the Tower of the Moon.

    A water basin.

    In the center of the room, an old porcelain basin was filled with water drawn from the land itself. The ripples in that water reflected the strength and scope of the enemy magecraft.

    While there were any number of similar magecrafts, this level of precision was only possible within one's own territory. On top of that, the usage of these kinds of Mystic Codes was a specialty of
    Value
    the Faculty of Creation
    .

    "A declaration of war, is it?" the magus muttered in a hate-filled voice.

    Looking down at the water filling the basin, he bit down hard on the mouth of his pipe.

    The moment Lord Byron, the head of the Iselma family, had felt something was wrong, he immediately activated the basin and took stock of the opposing force.

    And that's why he had called it a declaration of war. If it was anything else, they would have been easily able to sneak in, just as the ones who had murdered his beloved daughter and her maid. Rather, that would have been more orthodox. Just as was often requested of by kings and aristocrats, the most powerful ability a magus could hope for in combat was to be able to kill their opponent without laying a hand on them. If one was to ignore that fundamental rule and act with such a grandiose opening move, one couldn't think of it as anything less than a declaration of war.

    He had always thought that they would come for Iselma eventually.

    He had heard the rumors of the Galiasta family, and was well aware he had earned their displeasure. While they were a family who had only just left the Middle East and begun their rise to fame, that was all the more reason to expect a kind of fervant savagery from them. Just as with many a family within the Clock Tower itself, if there was a reward to be gained, they would have no qualms with using force to get it.

    But...for them to attack with this timing...

    After mulling over the problem for a while, Lord Byron exited his Workshop. Two magi were standing immediately outside the door.

    "Maio, Islo."

    "Y-yes!"

    "...yes?"

    The pharmacist responded showing his clear nerves, while the seamster answered with a demure nod.

    "Please accompany Estella."

    "...and the fight?"

    In response to Islo's question, Byron shook his head.

    "That's not really your strong suit anyway, is it?"

    Without another word, Byron walked off with as much speed as his cane could afford him.

    As he did, he caught the attention of another servant.

    "What is Lady Inorai doing?"

    "Lord Valueleta is within her personal room. She has given instructions that she does not require dinner tonight."

    "I see," he gave a small nod to the servant.

    For a bizarre occurrence like this, there was no way a woman like her hadn't taken notice. In other words, she had as good as declared neutrality. That even if Iselma were to fall into some sort of quarrel, the head family of Valueleta had no intention of intervening.

    "If Lady Inorai doesn't wish to be involved, then so be it," Lord Byron said.

    There was one thing that concerned him, however. Like a thorn that had pricked his finger, one possibility sent waves of unease through his soul.

    At first, he had thought the death of the Princess of Gold and her maid to be the work of an enemy faction.

    Just like their main family Valueleta, Iselma was a family associated with the Democratic Faction of the Clock Tower. Any sort of sabotage from the Aristocratic Faction lead by Barthomelloi, or even by the fence-sitting Neutralist Faction would be par for the course. Within the political struggle of the Clock Tower, human life held value less than even refuse.

    But now, a far more terrifying possibility was sprouting in his head.

    (...Lord Valueleta herself is colluding with that family?)

    He wanted to deny it.

    But at the same time, a deep, cold part of himself refused to let that possibility go.

    It was far from unprecedented. If it was for the sake of advancing their own magecraft, pillaging the resources and manpower of one's own branch families was an everyday occurrence. Stories of bloodlines who resisted such blatant thievery being completely extinguished were common. Though aligning oneself with one of the political factions of the Clock Tower added the benefit of their protection, it also added this equally unpalatable demerit.

    But then again.

    (Maybe, the one who killed the Princess was...)

    Another terrible possibility raised its head in Byron's mind.

    There was no way for him to deny it. Even if they were in a place of good standing with each other, that was far from a relationship of trust. After all, the person he was talking about was someone who had given up everything for the sake of magecraft, who would no doubt tear their own flesh and blood to pieces were it to become an obstacle.

    Who could become a magus without such an attitude?

    "...ah," he nodded, his voice like that of old machinery creaking. "If it's Lady Inorai, then she would even welcome the company of an upstart. That's what democracy means in the Clock Tower, after all. 'If one has the passion, they should be accepted. If one is a magus, they should accept the change.'"

    While walking down the hallway, it was difficult to keep the disgust from mixing into his voice.

    Certainly, Iselma was aligned with that Democratic Faction, who believed that those with the ability should rise regardless of their bloodline. But it wasn't like they had embraced that philosophy whole-heartedly. A magus' instinct was always to reach towards the past, and that meant a strongly developed bloodline was crucial.

    Beauty itself is amazing. Even if it exists for only a moment, the fact that it existed at all gives it value. There's nothing for us to do but run as hard as we can through that one moment graced to us. In the same way, those of the present should pursue their work with no regard for past bloodlines. That is our belief.

    Inorai had said as much during the Social Assembly.

    And that was exactly right. The eternal ideal of
    Value
    the Faculty of Creation
    was right here. But an ideal was just an illusion that could not be touched. Those of us who lived in reality needed to maintain a firm grip on it.

    And what if bringing in new blood was just a means of expelling the old?

    How would that young man - the Lord of
    Norwich
    the Faculty of Modern Magecraft
    answer that question?

    Byron ground his teeth.

    Thunder rumbled. The brief flash of white light illuminated the cane-holding gentleman - and for a moment, something else was revealed.

    "...in that case, this Byron Valueleta Iselma will see to things himself."

    The shadow briefly cast behind him could be described as nothing less than a demon lurking on the wall.


    I'll be away for the next week or so, so there probably won't be any progress for a while. After that, I hope to get back into the weekly schedule.

  13. #913
    Knight of Joestar SirGauoftheSquareTable's Avatar
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    Oh, didn't see this potential twist, though really, I should have, since Touko and Inorai are clearly friendly, and the former is definitely involved.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deathhappens View Post
    Really, all 3 of the romances in F/SN are 'for want of a nail' kind of situations.
    Quote Originally Posted by forumghost View Post
    You mean because Shirou winds up falling for the first of the three that he Nailed?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias View Post
    I speak for the majority of important people* *a category comprised entirely of myself

  14. #914
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six asterism42's Avatar
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    Patterning himself after the deeds of an ancient Heroic Spirit known as Medea in her massacre, he boasted about his work.
    I can almost feel the author going nudge nudge wink wink
    Quote Originally Posted by Sandstorm77 View Post
    He's just putting the bone of his sword into other people until it explodes and lets out parts of him inside them.
    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerEmiya View Post
    Genderswaps are terrible, but I think I and other people would hate them less if Fate didn't keep ignoring actual heroines throughout history and folklore. Like, why bother turning Francis Drake into a woman when Ching Shih and Grace O'Malley exist?
    Quote Originally Posted by Five_X View Post
    Fate Zero is just Fate Stay Night for people who think Shirou is too girly

  15. #915
    Knight of Joestar SirGauoftheSquareTable's Avatar
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    He definitely is. Also explains why Astrum even summoned her in the first place, even if he was also an idiot about it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deathhappens View Post
    Really, all 3 of the romances in F/SN are 'for want of a nail' kind of situations.
    Quote Originally Posted by forumghost View Post
    You mean because Shirou winds up falling for the first of the three that he Nailed?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias View Post
    I speak for the majority of important people* *a category comprised entirely of myself

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