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Thread: Another Fantasia - Tales of the Conqueror (Quest)

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    秩序 Order Erlkonig's Avatar
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    Another Fantasia - Tales of the Conqueror (Quest)

    Would a World of Gods be any less violent than a World of Men?

    Such a fascinating question. Throughout the ages, ambition and a need for wealth and resources have driven entire societies to destroy themselves in the bloody path of conquest, shedding their blood to seize a sizable bounty... Or for a chance to shine upon history in a momentaneous blaze of glory. Because Man lacked Heaven, and feared the world beyond death, they sought in every way they could ways to rise above their peers and grasp a distant utopia, regardless of the price they would have to pay.

    But, what if in a world no more than a distant dream, did Heaven descend to grant unto Man its blessings? Would a world where the Gods speak and the humans listen drive the ambition out of human hearts?

    Or... Would the envy of those superior to mortality, drive humans to ever more destructive lengths to sate their ambition?

    ---

    Year 1215 of the Magna Byzantium Calendar
    Mongolia
    Forbidden Ruins

    “For the record, this is going to get us killed.” A deep, sharp voice echoed through the cavernous chambers of a long hallway of black stone, three figures emerging into it as they turned a corner.

    Only the pulsing red lines etched into the surface of the passage’s walls, as well as the flaming torch gripped in one of the three figure’s hands allowed them to see where they were walking towards, as they were so far underground that no sunlight could pierce through the layers of earth and obsidian that rested above them.

    The first figure continued, glaring at the other two’s nonplussed expressions. His eyes, a gleaming gunmetal that reflected the orange sparks coming from the torch, curved with exasperation. “Forget what the Khan will do upon hearing that we broke into the Forbidden Ruins, the village is going to go nuts and burn us to the stake. I know I said fearing Death is silly, but don’t you think we should wait before going to the Sky Father-”

    “Just can it, Tai.” The figure’s words were cut off by a rather unmanly yell, as a pale hand reached out from the dark to pull on the man’s single long braid of black hair, curling it around their fingers and causing him to twist towards the grip. “If what Zelme unearthed is true, then I don’t give two shits about what the Sky Father thinks.”

    “I suppose doing heresy of the highest order would attest to that…” ‘Tai’ chuckled, still grimacing from the pain. “I’m just saying, however good you might think I am in a fight, there’s no way we’re getting away with fighting thousands of men if this fails, Jin.”

    “...I understand why you’re worried.” All at once, the man felt his hair being let go of, a decidedly feminine sigh following the action as the second figure withdrew their hand and stepped closer to the torchlight, their face coming into view.

    Pink lips turned pale as they thinned into a determined line, and Tai couldn’t help but stare at the golden eye that looked his way, its other pair obscured by a mane of long black hair. “Trust me...” ‘Jin’ spoke, her voice soft yet severe with the weight of someone willing to face the threat of murder with little hesitation. “We will not fail.”

    Tai shifted on his feet, letting the silence stretch as he stared back at the girl’s eyes. Because of their difference in height, the tall man had to look at her properly. His lips twitched, as if he didn’t know how to respond to her, until…

    “Oh Tengri damn it, we don’t have time for this bullshit!” The third figure barrelled right into the pair, causing them both to yelp as he seized them by the shoulders and pushed them forwards, his messy brown hair almost catching onto the torch’s flames if not for his quick sleight of hand in pushing it aside.

    “...I suppose we don’t have time to discuss life or death, yeah.” His gaze averted from Jin’s eyes, he was quick to respond to the third figure’s actions. “Not when we’re in a suicidal trip like this, right Zelme?”

    “Can you stop being a cynical smartass for a second, Subutai?” Zelme sighed deeply, addressing the man by his full name as he looked on ahead. “Look, we’re almost there.”

    “...!?” His comment appeared to startle Jin the most, because ignoring the other two’s cries of warning the girl broke into a run towards the darkness, her silhouette highlighted by the glow of the wall’s red lines.

    “Oh Sky damn it- Subutai, go after Temujin before she gets herself ki-” Before he could finish his words, Zev blinked as the man quickly threw him off and dashed ahead, leaving him in the dark as he carried off the torch with him. “...Of course he’d go immediately.” The man shook his head, a bitter tone in his voice.

    Zelme sighed, hands inching towards the unlit torch strapped to his waist, but in the end the brown-haired man let out a curse and followed the torchlight in the distance, albeit at a slower pace than his two companions. I’m hardly their match as a warrior, after all.

    Still, a smile grew on his face as the man chased after his two friends into the darkness, every step taking them further down the depths of the ruins that had been proclaimed forbidden to enter ever since the Sky Father entered these lands and its creatures declared it to be a ‘Source of Great Evil’.

    But, if what Zelme had discovered was true, then this Great Evil was also a source of Great Power, and the ‘evil’ part may have been a mere exaggeration by the Gods. Even if it wasn’t, though…

    ...He didn’t doubt for a second that it would fail to stop Jin, not if it meant the girl could achieve what she dreamed of.

    But, in his haste to guide his friend towards this forbidden secret and ignoring the cries of the Gods, Zelme -and indeed, his two friends- failed to realize that power would not be the only thing that their actions would bring to the world. As they raised their hands in defiance to destiny, such an act would not just change their fates…

    ...It would change the world.

    ---

    The Year is 1214 of the Magna Byzantium Calendar, and over a millennium has passed since the greatest empire in the region of Europa rose to prominence, contesting the power of the Ancient Empires of the East. Freed from the hegemony of the Asian powers, new cultures then spread throughout the continent, forming Covenants of their own to populate their lands with magic.



    100 Years Ago, the Arthurian Empire, a nation whose leader had formed a Covenant with the Fae of Phantasmagoria, fell apart into a region of warring factions, with the islands of Albion the ones where the fighting became the heaviest, sinking its realms into Chaos.

    With the fall of King Arthur, the Empire’s great neighbouring states swept in to seize the now lawless lands into their domains, swelling with new territory and riches while stripping the Fae and Arthurian men of their own. Skandians swept in from the North, the Imperial Hellenics from the East, and the Sun King’s forces took great tracts of land in the South.



    A century has passed, and the glory of united Albion lies forgotten. The lands of Anglia are now nothing more than lawless domains or those where the people in power rule with an iron fist. The Welsh Kingdom of Draconia, the Kingdom of Eire and the Kingdom of Alba are impoverished by the instability of their neighbouring lands and pirates across the seas, which attack their trade and grow rich from stealing from their harvests.

    Once the center of the world, Anglia has almost become a ruin, and if the chaos continues it will soon become nothing more than a land of ashes where no creature, Man, Monster or God will inhabit to care for its land or nurture it with life. If nothing is done, the sun will soon set upon its people.

    All over its lands, the people of Albion cry out in discontent. They call for someone to save them, and once more save them from their terrible malady. With hunger, fear and hope in their hearts, they cry out to the sky:

    Who? Who will be the one to deliver us from our suffering?

    Who shall be the one to claim Albion, as Arthur once did?

    Who shall be… Our Hero?

    ---

    “William, watch your flank!”

    The shout cut through the air, and at that same time the sound of steel digging into flesh echoed across the dense air of the forest.

    “Gotcha!” You stepped away, withdrawing your blade from the whimpering creature before you in one fluid movement as you turned to deflect the other creature of its kind that had thought to ambush you from the side, the blunt edge of your sword smacking it dead center on its head, causing it to tumble along the ground from the impact.

    Not that a sword to the face will do much to stop a Barghest from moving.

    Normally, Barghests weren’t something that you had to worry about in the village- Even powerful as they were, a pack of Barghests wouldn’t wander into human territory unless they wanted to expose themselves against the cold iron of the guards’ swords.

    This particular group, however, had been far too tempted by the prospect of human flesh and the apparent weakness of an isolated village, and so had stuck their snout where it didn’t belong.

    You, as well as your mentor, were currently correcting that mistake.

    Brandishing your sword against the Barghest that had been driven away, you snuck a glance towards its dying companion. The haggard black dog, wolf-like in appearance but for its pitch black fur and its maw which could stretch farther and bite tougher than any mortal canine, was quickly bleeding out from the deep slash wound on its side, and another cut on its leg would ensure it could only limp, but even if it was dying that didn’t mean it couldn’t fight.

    Which meant that you needed to go on the offensive, lest the two monsters regain their coordination and get you in a two-pronged attack.

    Cernunnos, bless this hunt. Offering a small prayer to the Antlered God, you leapt towards the recovering Barghest that attacked you and braced your sword for an attack. The Barghest was quick to answer when you drew close, its great maw pooling with eerie shadows as they snapped towards you.

    A Barghest’s mouth was its most dangerous weapon. As a demonic creature, it was capable of manipulating the darkness in limited but deadly ways, such as to conceal itself when escaping from a greater foe or to summon a mass of shadows to manipulate in combat, such as turning into blades that could cut through flesh.

    That was the action the fiend had taken against you, its powerful bite suddenly gaining new reach and deadliness as a length of blades appeared along its maw to descend upon your body.

    However, you had already been expecting such a maneuver. With a contemptuous smirk on your lips, you easily halted your advance and side-stepped the Barghest’s leap. Left wide open for a split second, the Barghest could do nothing when you dived into his unprotected side and stabbed through its belly, sliding the blade and spilling its guts over the green grass.

    As dark blood and shadows alike poured forth from the open wound, the monster’s legs trembled before it fell to the ground with a loud whine, and it dropped to the ground to bleed out.

    You turned back to your first foe, only to find that the Barghest had decided to flee instead of aiding its packmate, the dog growling at you as its wounded body became enveloped in shadows that would take it back to whatever den it had claimed close by.

    “Oh no you don’t!” You weren’t going to let some beast that had wanted to eat the village’s winter reserves get away. Flipping your sword, you gripped the weapon by the blade and promptly hurled it at the monster, years of your mentor’s well-rounded training giving practiced ease to your swing.

    The blade struck true, burying itself right between the creature’s glowing red eyes. Said orbs widened briefly, trembling, before without a single sound the monster’s spell fizzled out of existence and it joined its slain companion in the embrace of death.

    Heh, turns out training that move on the side did help after all.

    “Well done, William.” As you were picking up your sword, your mentor’s voice approached, causing you to stiffen and turn back towards him with surprise. “Barghests may not be the strongest of Phantasmal Beasts, but they are still real monsters.”

    “Teacher…” You stared at the man with a dumbstruck expression. “You’re already done?”

    Your Teacher, Gallus, offers only a teasing smile on his wrinkled face. “Why are you surprised? I only had to fight four of them.”

    You look behind them, and your face pales at the sight of the four canine corpses on the ground, whose bodies have been cut apart with mechanical precision.

    “Unbelievable,” You shook your head, sheathing your weapon after you’d cleaned it of blood. “I don’t even know why you needed me when these fiends are no match for you, Teacher.”

    “Oh, don’t be that way.” Gallus laughed lightly, clapping you on the back. “These old bones can’t keep up this kind of strain for long.”

    Or so the man said, even as he strode in full plate and slung his longsword and steel shield behind his back.

    Not for the last time, you wondered where the hell your Teacher came from, and why he decided to waste his time raising a nobody like you in a tiny isolated village, when he could be making a fortune serving someone like King Aedric or King Harold as a Royal Knight.

    “Now, William.” Gallus’ voice broke you from your reverie, the man’s clear blue eyes turning away from the grisly scene and towards the forest. “Run back to the village and get some men so we can skin and butcher the Barghest corpses. Barghest meat makes for a fine treat, and their hides will make for fine cloaks, cloaks we could use when winter comes.”

    You nodded, agreeing with his sentiment. With only a couple months before winter arrived, your people’s ability to patrol the outskirts of the village would become greatly diminished, not to mention their ability to hunt and forage for supplies and food. Barghest hides were notoriously thick and had the magical ability to isolate light and heat, making them ideal for moving safely in cold winter nights.

    Still, looking back at him, you hesitated. “...Why don’t you go, Teacher? Not to downplay myself, but you’d probably get there faster…”

    At that, Gallus laughed. “Asking an old man to run errands, boy!? Did they drop you on the head when you were born!?” You glared at that, something which Gallus noticed as his laughter petered out. “...Sorry lad, I shouldn’t have mentioned your family like that.”

    “It’s alright… That wasn’t what I was angry about.” You sighed, shaking your head. You couldn’t even remember your parents’ faces- Gallus had taken care of you since you were a little kid, not even two years of age.

    “I see.” Gallus chuckled. “Besides, there’s another reason you ought to go on your own.”

    At that moment, Gallus’ smirk took a playful turn. “After all, didn’t you run off to help me out after ditching your girl at the village square?”

    “She’s not my-” As you were about to deny his comment, however, your face quickly paled as the full meaning behind his statement sunk in.

    Oh shit. You’d been so excited at the prospect of going hunting with your Teacher, that you’d completely forgotten to warn your friends you’d be missing.

    Which meant that she would be…

    “Alright,” You wheezed out, turning mechanically in the direction of the village. “Good work out there, Teacher. Now… I gotta go!

    As trees whizzed by, you jumped over the branches and roots in the way of your path, skillfully avoiding nature’s many obstacles on your desperate rush to get to the village before your chances of living through the end of the day became any lower than they currently were.

    After all, while most of your village’s girls were already known for being able to fend for themselves and being generally scary, your childhood friend topped them all, what with being…

    1) The child of a Fae, a half-breed capable of using nature magic.


    Name: Cerenna
    Age: 16
    Level: 18
    Skills: Nature Magic (B), Herbologist (C), Diplomatic (C),Staff Combat (C)
    Future Artifact: Asklepian

    2) Descended from Skandians, versed with a silver tongue, a mysterious ability to pop up whenever you don’t want to find her, and a disturbingly good talent for knifework.


    Name: Flokia
    Age: 17
    Level: 18
    Skills: Dagger Mastery (B), Silver Tongue (B), Stealth (B)
    Future Artifact: Mistelteinn

    ...Maybe you weren’t completely screwed, though. After all, it’s not like you had left her completely on her own at the village to stew in her wrath while you inexplicably vanished into thin air. If all things were right, then your good friend should be keeping her calm before she decided to cast you into the depths of hell.

    That’s right, surely he would have your back…

    A) Robert, the son of the village’s greatest hunter whose talent is not too far from his father’s.


    Name: Robert
    Age: 18
    Level: 18
    Skills: Hunter (B), Sharpshooter (B), Survivalist (C), Scout (C)
    Future Artifact: Failnaught

    B) Edward, the son of an elder merchant that settled in the village after he deemed it too dangerous to keep travelling. A fellow apprentice, he is as skilled with economy as he is with the sword.


    Name: Edward
    Age: 17
    Level: 18
    Skills: Merchant (B), Swordsman (B), Scholar (C)
    Future Artifact: Galatine
    Last edited by Erlkonig; October 7th, 2017 at 08:45 PM.
    Arthur-san is my waifu
    [20:57] frantic: I can't even remember what opinions I actually hold about the thing compared to shit I made up to piss people off
    [17:13] Airen: Its not an airen character unless gay

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    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    1)

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    quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1984 View Post
    Besides, I don't see what's so terrible about looting anyway. It's only property, they're not actually harming anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by lantzblades View Post
    when I say hero I don't mean hero in the spirit sense. I mean a morally grounded, good natured person who doesn't slaughter innocent people. No such person exists in the Nasuverse.
    [00:12] <~Katie> i can't defy my origin
    [00:12] <~Katie> of gay memes

    [16:15] <~Katie> lesbians has always been my gimmick and i will exploit it to the fullest

    [22:56] <@Sei> airen is pegging hero this time
    [22:56] <@Sei> for once airen isn't the uke
    [22:56] <@Kuroyuki> I thought Air was the Woman in the Relationship?
    [22:56] <@Airen> Yeah I kinda thought I was the girl too!

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    秩序 Order Erlkonig's Avatar
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    Character Sheet

    William Picture




    William Stats

    Name: William of Bretford
    Age: 17
    Level: 20

    Stats
    Strength
    : C
    Endurance: C
    Agility: C
    Dexterity: C
    Magic: --
    Luck: A+

    Skills
    Swordsman (B): Having trained since he was a child in the sword, William's prowess with it is no joke. Following his mentor Gallus' style of swordsmanship, William is an agile fighter that makes use of his skills to maneuver around opponents and break through their guard, striking quickly and decisively with hits guaranteed to wound or damage, wasting as little air or energy beyond what is needed. At this level, he can easily engage in combat with multiple opponents without being penalized, and can hold his own against an equally skilled opponent or an unskilled one with superior parameters to himself.

    Monster Hunter (B): Having helped Gallus protect the Village since he was a child, William has encountered many kinds of dangerous creatures, both Phantasmal and otherwise. This has led him to develop an experience fighitng against monstrous beings, and he can more easily discern their extraordinary strengths and weaknesses from experience. It also grants him a bonus when fighting enemies far bigger or stronger than him, as he is accustomed to supernatural power.

    Charisma (B): William's personality, perhaps from having been raised by the Village's own hero, gives his personality a magnetic edge that draws many of his peers towards him. He attracts friends quite easily, and through his noble actions has usually earned their long-lasting loyalty. For a village kid, he is surprisingly charismatic.

    Villager (C): As a villager, William is more than familiar with the lifestyle of the common man. He knows how to take care of the daily activities necessary for any person to be self-sufficient, such as farming, building houses, hunting and gathering, and he can understand the suffering that the average person experiences during times of chaos. As such, he gains a bonus when negotiating with those of a similarly low background, as well as those hurt by war or social outcasts.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Map of the World




    William's place in the world


    William currently lives in the village of Bretford, within a county that is nominally claimed by King Harold of Anglia, but in truth is completely lawless at the higher level, and is dominated by a menagerie of hedge knights, minor nobles, and the occasional army of bandits that carve out their own petty kingdoms across the land.

    All villages in the county are basically required to govern themselves, and while not needing to pay any taxes is a good thing, it also means that they must protect themselves on their own from any sort of threat, which includes the armies of bandits that plunder across the land and monstrous creatures going after easy prey.

    Disturbingly, paying taxes suddenly seems like a good alternative...
    Last edited by Erlkonig; October 7th, 2017 at 08:43 PM.
    Arthur-san is my waifu
    [20:57] frantic: I can't even remember what opinions I actually hold about the thing compared to shit I made up to piss people off
    [17:13] Airen: Its not an airen character unless gay

  4. #4
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Vritra's Avatar
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    The legend never dies!
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    Last edited by Vritra; October 7th, 2017 at 09:54 PM.

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    The Man Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elfs go and stay go

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    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    plz no more yanderes

    i've reached the saturation point


    quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1984 View Post
    Besides, I don't see what's so terrible about looting anyway. It's only property, they're not actually harming anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by lantzblades View Post
    when I say hero I don't mean hero in the spirit sense. I mean a morally grounded, good natured person who doesn't slaughter innocent people. No such person exists in the Nasuverse.
    [00:12] <~Katie> i can't defy my origin
    [00:12] <~Katie> of gay memes

    [16:15] <~Katie> lesbians has always been my gimmick and i will exploit it to the fullest

    [22:56] <@Sei> airen is pegging hero this time
    [22:56] <@Sei> for once airen isn't the uke
    [22:56] <@Kuroyuki> I thought Air was the Woman in the Relationship?
    [22:56] <@Airen> Yeah I kinda thought I was the girl too!

  7. #7
    1.
    B.

  8. #8
    The Man Mormarth's Avatar
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    implying that the Elf isn't the Yan

    Quirks aren't described at all!

    It's a trap, you fools

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    ...Seriously? Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    Kuro likes stealth and girls.
    Memorable Out of Context Quotes


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    <Reiu> idk ever since the night I3uster stayed over I haven't been sleeping well

    <Ayakashi> I'm not drunk, I just drink myself to sleep D:

    <KnightTurtle> it took me a year to understand that infinite stratos was bad

    <Bloble> HORNY LIVES

    <CruorCruor> but yeah then i just need more flawless dildos

  10. #10
    This seems like fun

    2
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  11. #11
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  12. #12
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    Last edited by SleepMode; October 8th, 2017 at 11:10 PM.
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

    [Collection of my Servant Sheets]
    Now Revamped!

  13. #13

  14. #14
    A Two-Named Thief Bird of Hermes's Avatar
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    Quest of Fate (Update: 17/11/2018) Currently on Hiatus

    Hall of Hermes Praise

    Quote Originally Posted by Saron View Post
    It's official. Hermes is the old man hipster of CaS.
    Quote Originally Posted by SpoonyViking View Post
    ...Are you the protagonist of a YA novel? Perhaps an otome game?




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    秩序 Order Erlkonig's Avatar
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    1) 4 votes
    2) 6 votes

    A) 4 votes
    B) 6 votes

    2B it is then.
    Arthur-san is my waifu
    [20:57] frantic: I can't even remember what opinions I actually hold about the thing compared to shit I made up to piss people off
    [17:13] Airen: Its not an airen character unless gay

  16. #16
    1B
    Let's conquer the world with economics.

    - - - Updated - - -

    ignore me
    I play hetero every once in awhile
    Spoiler:
    <~Katie> dude who gives a fuck about girls being gay, sometimes girls aren't gay and that decision should be respected
    Spoiler:
    [12:21.40] that might be a top tier post[12:21.45] frantic[12:21.47] post of the month, even[12:21.48] this right here[12:21.49] is MC [12:21.56] johnny has nothing on this dude[12:22.00] he's the MC of the nisio half[12:22.12] so wait[12:22.15] [ ] is, after all, my rival character[12:22.16] am i the gag heroine[12:22.20] yes

  17. #17
    秩序 Order Erlkonig's Avatar
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    May 13th, 1214
    Anglia, Lawless Land
    Village of Bretford

    With your quick pace driven by the deep-seated fear for a woman scorned, the thick and lush vegetation of the forest quickly gave way to a sprawling farmland, and several cries from a herd of sheep which you jumped over upon emerging from the forest like a man possessed. Their shepherd, formerly relaxed, started when he saw you.

    “William, what’s the matter boy!?” The middle-aged man shouted, bracing on his cane as you whizzed past him. Turning back, you grinned.

    “Can’t explain! I’ll tell you later if I still live!” Your cry, while making the shepherd laugh, was filled with true despair as you left him behind.

    Still, while you were in a hurry to get to the village, you couldn’t help but appreciate the beauty of the world around you. Despite the lawlessness of the local county, the village of Bretford had enjoyed several years of relative peace thanks to its mostly isolated ways of living, in large part due to the big forest that encircled it.

    This meant that unlike most villages you had heard about from travelers, which had either become much smaller enclaves or been reduced to no more than ashes by bandits (a thought that still made your stomach churn), Bretford was healthy enough to enjoy a harvest that could keep all of its people fed throughout the four seasons, and enough cattle that they could share meat with the townsmen during festivities.

    As such, when the village gates finally came within sight, the people tending to the crops in the outskirts remained in a jovial mood despite the hard work at hand. Even the gate guard, John, was dozing off next to one of the open doors, and his slumped head actually drooled a little.

    Of course, he received an unceremonious awakening when William rushed past, setting foot into the weathered dirt street with a single leap which lifted a large cloud of dust, which caused John to go into a coughing feat.

    “Sorry John!” You replied sheepishly, even as you rushed into the village. “I’ll pay you back with some of Karen’s stew later!”

    “What in the- Oh, it’s you William.” John looked at you with a hopeless gaze, shaking his head. “The poor sod is going to be sacrificed like a goat before the sun sets.”

    Leaving the grumbling guard behind, your eyes turned towards the buildings surrounding the main village street. While most were small stone huts barely worth talking about, the Village Chief’s building crowned the village square with an opulent splendor, three stories high and sporting wide glass windows that reflected the sunlight.

    It was the damn prettiest sight in the whole village, far more gorgeous than the mill or the smithy could ever be, but the sight of it failed to cheer you up in the slightest.

    After all, catching sight of the Chief’s home also meant you were in short vicinity of the Village square… Which meant that your coming doom was all but imminent.

    Really, leaving a girl on her own to cover himself in glory… I expected better of the boy.

    It’s a pity, William. I liked you a lot. By the way, you wouldn’t mind if I took that wine bottle Edward gave you once you die right?

    As expected of the future knight, he shall forsake everything, even women, for the sake of his ‘sword’.

    “You bastards! If you’re going drag me through the mud, you might as well throw the first stone too!” You exploded at the passing peanut gallery, whose warm eyes full of pity quickly avoided your gaze the moment you waved them off with your blade.

    “Hey, watch out with that thing.” A jovial voice which you recognized at once interrupted your rampage towards the giggling villagers, as a calloused hand seized the blade and lowered it to the floor. “Swing it any harder and it might fly off and get you into even more trouble.”

    “H-Henry!” You turned aghast to look at the man, whose head was bowed in greeting as he looked down at you with a smile. “I thought you’d be busy helping your father in the smith right now.”

    Village Handyman, Henry


    “Oh, the old fart will manage without me for a while. It’s been a good season- I mean, only five of our tools broke this spring!” Harry’s booming laughter echoed through the village as he walked besides you, leading the way to the square.

    “Yeah, but you’re not one to waste time just strutting around the village. I figured you’d be out training with the sword or something if you had the free time.” William replied back, a small smile back on his face as the sight of one of his friends helped him relax.

    At that, Henry made a grimace. “Well…” He laughed lightly. “Turns out, Karen came up to my home and nagged me that she was low on firewood, so I was just killing some time before we go out to chop some trees.”

    Oh?” A voice spoke up coolly, causing Henry to freeze up like someone had dumped a bucket of cold ice on him. “A nagger, am I now?”

    Village Princess, Karen


    “...Aw man, I’m about to get my ass kicked, aren’t I?” Henry sighed while you backed away, watching as the ticked-off village chief’s daughter stormed up to your friend with a savage grin on her face. “Come on Karen, you know I didn’t mean it!” He spoke up a little too desperately. “Have mercy!”

    “Oh?” The girl stopped, pausing at that last moment. Despite being several inches shorter than your tall friend, the presence the village girl emanated as she cocked her hips and raised a single twitching eyebrow could have sent a hill giant feeling back to its den. “Mercy, you say…? Maybe if you beg for it by going to your knees and pleading like a beast, I shall be lenient.”

    As the tone in her voice rang alarm bells in your head, you turned with wide eyes towards Henry and tried to warn him against taking impulsive actions…

    ...But it was too late.

    “R-Really!?” Henry’s eyes lit up like those of a puppy that was being offered meat. “Thank you! Thank you so much, Mistress!” Without a single ounce of shame in his bones, the man immediately moved to cowtow-

    And was immediately punched straight on the face.

    “Seriously!?” Karen doubled back on him with an irate expression while he gripped at his nose, kicking his knee and bringing him low so she could stomp on his back. “Where is your pride as a man, damn it!? You have a fucking spine, so put it to use!”

    “How the hell do you fall for that trick every time…” You sighed, palming your face exasperatedly. This wasn’t the first time that Karen and Henry got into one of their little love spats, but at times it baffled you the way that the village heiress would boss your friend around like she was raising him up like some kind of expensive horse breed.

    “Can’t say I blame him.” Another welcome voice approached you, causing you to smile as an amber-eyed boy rested one arm over your shoulder. “With a girl that terrifying, anyone would become whipped.”

    “I’m not his girl!” “She’s not my girl!” An unpleasant sense of deja vu wrapped around you as the two villagers immediately shot up to their feet, Karen’s irritation and Henry’s dread steering towards you instead.

    “Nice job, Edward.” You grumbled, giving a snide look to the man beside you.

    Edward calmly stared back at the fuming pair with a dry look, then promptly took a swig out a flask which smelled of alcohol and clapped you on the back, marching off towards them. “Don’t worry, I’ll go calm them down.”

    Then, making a slight pause, the Merchant’s son took a half-turn and gave you a smirk that chilled you down to the bone. “So while I’ll handle them, you can take care of your own girl again, right???”

    Your eyes widened.

    “You bastard-” You never finished your sentence, because while the moment you had been talking Edward’s smirking face was right before you, suddenly your entire world spun and you found yourself briefly in flight, before with an unceremonious thud and a flash of pain you were immediately pinned to the ground, a small weight pinning you down by the arm with an unnatural strength as said weight settled above you.

    Oh, and there was an ice-cold blade pressed right over your neck, its edge almost kissing a vein.

    “When the first hour passed, I thought you had gotten sick.” Flokia spoke sweetly, her blade caressing your skin like a mother would fuss over a baby. “Surely that idiot could not have forgotten that he promised to pluck the walnut trees with me for the coming festival.”

    “Flokia I-” You gasped in pain as the girl twisted on your arm a little too hard, causing you to squirm for a moment before she once more held you still with her dagger.

    “Then it became midday, and I actually started to worry.” Her voice, soft as silk, suddenly gained a harder edge. “That fiends had gotten too close to the village and ambushed him, or that Gallus had taken you for some kind of special, urgent training.”

    “Wow, now I feel guilty about being jealous that he wasn’t getting kicked around.” Henry said, looking at the scene with warm eyes. Edward laughed.

    But…” You whimpered, as your head was pulled back by her weapon. “Imagine my surprise when I, in my infinite concern, started asking around the village and found out that he had gone off with Gallus in some… routinely… patrol…

    The fear of the Gods was placed into your heart, as she spoke into your ear with a frosty breath.

    “What do you have to say in your defense, William? Depending on your answer, Edward might have to find a new outlet for his boredom.”

    “Hey, I resent that!” Edward spoke up. “He’s not just an outlet for boredom. He’s also my minion, my training dummy, my test subject…”

    “What am I, a serf!?” You immediately shouted your rebuttal, but this time any follow-up to your gag was brutally silenced by a pair of rust-red orbs.

    Enough jokes.” Flokia spoke with a deathly voice. “My family might count the Trickster at one of their gods, but neither his words will avail you, nor would anything even if you could summon thunder from the sky as the God of Man can.”

    “Now, speak up, William.” Your childhood friend growled. “Whatever drove you to ditch us and go in a merry adventure?”

    1) Beg for mercy, surely she wouldn’t pull a Karen right?
    2) Try to think up something witty to charm her. She won’t expect an offensive attack!
    3) Do something suicidal. It’s so crazy it might actually work!

    ---

    “...!” A sudden gasp echoed through a hill, where a number of armoured figures riding on horses looked down at the vast forest stretching below them.

    The source of the voice, and old man in robes with eyes pale as milk-glass, fell to his knees while holding on to his staff, whose outline was lit by a dark glow that quickly faded. The man’s voice, rough and hoarse like an aged oak, spoke up quietly. “The beasts are dead, my lord… Slaughtered to the last.”

    “Oh?” A smooth voice perked up, a tinge of mirth spreading through the air alongside soft laughter. “It seems that in the end you truly have been blessed by the goddess of fortune, Seer.” Despite the soft tone of the voice, there was a dangerous edge to it. It was uneven, tense, laced with madness.

    Handsome Man


    “After all, since none of our forces had ever succeeded in finding anything of worth in this area,” The man who spoke in an authoritative tone pulled down his helmet, revealing a handsome face and a devilish smile. “I expected all your efforts to come to naught, something which would have been… Unfortunate.” His smile widened, and the sickly Seer trembled.

    “But thankfully, that is not what has happened!” The man continued, with a louder cheer this time. Around him, the various men on horseback cracked open smiles at their leader’s cheer, as he threw up his arms in excitement. “Lo and behold, the Seer and his sorcery have managed to discover a long forgotten enclave!”

    “Y-Yes, and so…” The Seer mumbled, approaching the long-haired man with a hopeful gaze and a trembling body. “My granddaughter…”

    “...Oh, Ah… Yes, the promise.” The man closed his eyes in recollection and raised a wagging finger. “Certainly, Seer… I did promise that if you secured us a bountiful harvest, fat with riches, I would bestow upon thee and thine family freedom and protection. Well… What’s left of them at least.”

    At his words, all of the men around the long-haired man laughed, as if the man had cracked a hilarious joke instead of openly talked about death. The Seer trembled in fright, a reaction which only intensified when the man dismounted. “Milord, please…!”

    “Shh,” The man whispered, walking up to the Seer and resting an armored gauntlet on his shoulder. “Good man, my friend… Why do you fear me so?” He grinned, drawing a motion towards himself as his voice rose. “I am a King! My word is my honor, and oaths are my blood. What would my worth be, in the eyes of my brave followers, if I did not compensate them for a job well done!?”

    At that, all of the riders cheered, raising their swords to the air.

    “F-for certain, sire…?” The Seer brightened considerably. “You’ll let me and my granddaughter go?”

    The handsome man smiled. “I am a just man, after all.”

    The Seer slumped over in relief, holding on to the man’s shoulders and falling to his knees from relief. “Oh, thank you! Thank you, my Lord!”

    The man’s smile only widened, his eyes curving with a gentle joy.

    And then his sword stabbed through the Seer’s heart, stabbing him through the ribs and running him through.

    The Seer’s eyes widened from both shock and pain, as a scream of raw agony surged from his lips and his hands tightened on the man’s armour like a vice grip. His eyes, shaking from the mortal wound yet filled with renewed strength fueled by despair, looked up at the man. “W… Why…!?” The Seer gasped out amidst his choking as blood poured from his lips.

    “A King is just…” The man whispered sweetly. “But it is his duty to enforce the Law.”

    He twisted the blade, a fey weapon of black steel that churned the old man’s insides and caused him to make a terrible dying throe.

    ...And for interrupting a King when he speaks, such insubordination can only be punished with Death.

    “...Mon… ster…” The Seer managed to gasp out, before his eyes glazed over and the embrace of death took him.

    The ‘King’ grinned, pulling out his bloody sword and kicking the Seer’s body down the hill in the process.

    “Feed his body to the fiends.” Immediately, the man’s face became stoic but for the hints of a small smirk in his face as he gave out commands to his men. “Let them get an early taste of blood for the coming hunt.”

    “Sire!” A group of riders saluted, before spurring the horses down the hill. From amidst the camping site of the men-at-arms, a few pleased growls echoed.

    “My King,” One of the finer armoured men approached, beating his chest as a form of salute. “You are most wise in dispensing swift and immediate retribution for those who wronged you, but I must ask…” His voice became colder. “...What of the girl?”

    “The girl?” The King looked confused for a moment, before his eyes widened and he laughed out loud. It was curious- Such a childlike, and yet it was full of a demon’s malice. “Ah, yes, the criminal’s spawn.”

    His voice turned deathly cold again. “As her guardian was without virtue or sense, and faced a dishonorable death, she shall have to atone for his mistakes, as the man no longer can do it himself. I do believe her flesh could serve as further sustenance for the fiends…” The subordinate winced at that. “...But I am a merciful King, after all. With how much of her life she has left, it would be a waste. Actually…”

    The King smirked, looking at his subordinate with a calculating eye, which immediately caused him to become terrified. “You seem a little too concerned with the girl’s fate, my friend. Tell me true, does the sight of her please you?” He spoke softly, in a friendly tone, but the subordinate immediately regretted asking him.

    Now, however, he had no choice but to answer.

    “...Yes, your Majesty.” One thing had to be said for the subordinate- He did not stutter, even in front of such a terrifying man. “She is… Quite eye-catching.”

    There was a tense silence, as the King stared down the Rider…

    ...Until a booming laughter escaped his lips, rich and full of life, yet rotten with mischievous mirth.

    “Very well! What a surprise, indeed, to see one of my men spellbound by a witch’s beauty!” The King’s eyes gleamed as he looked down at the man. “So be it, then. If you want her, the girl is yours.”

    The subordinate stiffened. This could not be good. “...”

    “But!” He grinned viciously. “You shall have to fight anyone else who wishes to lay a claim on her body. Entertain me with the power of your love, my friend. Let me witness if the old stories of chivalry are as true as they claim to be. I am sure that many others would salivate over the promise of seizing such succulent flesh for themselves.”

    “...Indeed, your Majesty.” The man’s hands clenched in terror.

    “Oh, and of course, since the girl is by right as a criminal my property to judge, you shall have to pay me back for her. I say that any bounty you obtain from this little expedition should suffice, don’t you think?” The man’s smirk widened at the look of shock on the subordinate’s face. “Ah, but I am righteous after all! Any man you slay to protect the girl, you shall be entitled to half of their valuables.”

    It did not need to be said to who the other half would go.

    The subordinate bowed his head, wishing nothing more than to flee from this demon. “...You are most wise and benevolent, your Majesty.”

    “Indeed,” The man whispered. “You may return to your post, soldier. The time is almost upon us.”

    “As you command, sire.” The knight bowed his head, and returned to his post amongst the other men, whom jeered and made catcalls at him at both his expense and in admiration of his bravery.

    The King ignored them, his attention already diverted towards the distance, where he gazed beyond the forest.

    After many years of the land being ravaged, there were little riches to be plundered from a county of scared villagers who could barely sustain themselves and only due to the restraint of the lords that wished to perpetuate their existence. It was almost a pity, for his heart still hungered for more riches, a treasury fit for a king.

    So it was not an exaggeration to say that for once in a long time, he felt actual, genuine joy at the idea of bringing virgin territory beneath his heel.

    “When was the last time I felt like this?” He wondered, until his eyes drifted downwards and his smile softened. “Ah, yes… How could I forget? The day I found you, my frozen heart became alight with a roaring fire…”

    Glittering eyes followed the trace of the man’s fingers, as he stroked along the black steel of the sword placed on his lap, one digit following the shape of the runes inscribed on the fey sword’s blade.

    Seizing the weapon by the hilt, he held out the sword to the sun and smiled at its make. Long as a bastard sword, yet broad of blade like a greatsword. A claymore by any other name, yet it was light and nimble enough that it could be used with one hand without trouble.

    And the power with which it thrummed… A power that, even now, caused the fiends which were even willing to prey on human flesh to bow before him and fear for their lives.

    The ‘King’ sighed. Truly, there was no sword more fitting for him…

    After all, He smiled to himself, his eyes glinting with devilish light. What sword would be a match for me, other than the Sword of a Goddess?
    Last edited by Erlkonig; October 10th, 2017 at 11:30 PM.
    Arthur-san is my waifu
    [20:57] frantic: I can't even remember what opinions I actually hold about the thing compared to shit I made up to piss people off
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  18. #18
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

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  19. #19
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Besides, I don't see what's so terrible about looting anyway. It's only property, they're not actually harming anyone.
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    when I say hero I don't mean hero in the spirit sense. I mean a morally grounded, good natured person who doesn't slaughter innocent people. No such person exists in the Nasuverse.
    [00:12] <~Katie> i can't defy my origin
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    [16:15] <~Katie> lesbians has always been my gimmick and i will exploit it to the fullest

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  20. #20
    ...Seriously? Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    2) Try to think up something witty to charm her. She won’t expect an offensive attack!

    I was doing this for you or something along those lines.
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