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Thread: King from the Other World [Fate/Grand Order x Dies irae]

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    King from the Other World [Fate/Grand Order x Dies irae]

    Happy birthday to me, and this is from me to all y'all!

    Contains spoilers for Fate/Grand Order and Dies irae ~Amantes Amentes~.


    Disclaimer:
    Fate/Grand Order, Dies irae, and its related concepts and ideas are the intellectual properties of Kinoko Nasu, Masada Takashi, Type-MOON, Notes Ltd., light, and other respective rights holders. This story is written solely for the purpose of entertainment, and not for any sort of monetary profit. If anything, consider this free advertising.




    5 June, 1942 — Berlin, Germany 00:00
    Operation Anthropoid had successfully concluded a little over a week ago. Obergruppenführer and chief of the Gestapo, Reinhard Heydrich, a man of unfettered ruthlessness and one of the 'Three Big Hs' of the Reich, had succumbed to his grievous wounds and died in a dingy ward of Prague's Bulovka Hospital.

    Thus, did that chapter of the ambitious and warlike nation's story end, and so a new one began, a transition smoother than that of a page being turned. The rebel assassins responsible for offing the head of the secret police would not be allowed the luxury of lives as war heroes. A massive manhunt would be conducted, the largest in Nazi Germany's history. The men responsible for Heydrich's demise would be hunted and driven to their deaths—victims and martyrs to the cause against German oppression. Thousands more, Jews, innocent of the assassination plot, would be killed as part of Hitler's revenge.

    That was the price of victory in this era of wartime. Though the loss of life as a direct consequence was immense it was a victory nonetheless. It was one step of many necessary to topple the Germans and to bring an end to the World War's continental fronts. That was the price of victory, the price of life.

    To both Allies and Axis, Reinhard Heydrich was a priceless existence, valuable whether he lived or died, and upon whose shoulders the future of that world-at-war resided.

    But, humans are capable of pricing even the priceless;
    To both Allies and Axis, Reinhard Heydrich was a man worth the thousands executed.

    These events and accompanying results—brutal in an era of concentrated brutality—was all to be expected. History properly proceeded according to the principles of common sense, grounded firmly in reality. No anomaly to be found there. There had been no body doubles. No curing him in a secret facility. No arcane rituals to be commenced hence. No matter his path, no matter his accomplishments, Heydrich lived and died as a man.

    While the rest of Nazi high command reeled from the loss of Heydrich, the Ahnenerbe went about their business as usual.

    It was the witching hour, on the clock, and only hours since the confirmed death of the Butcher of the Schutzstaffel. A stout truck, Mercedes-Benz L3000, as much a veteran tempered in the flames of this Greater War as the men aboard it, growled down the familiar streets of Berlin. Its headlights glowed in the darkness light like a pair of demon's eyes, looking like an infernal machine laden with fell cargo.

    "The nine fragments of the mummified saint is one thing, and the nine-headed hydra fetus is another, and that meteorite sword certainly has its own value," one of the Nazis said to another, idling away the last legs of the journey with conversation. "But, this is a first. Isn't this the first 'holy grail' that Ahnenerbe has claimed?"

    "Don't have the clearance to know our full inventory, but it's likely," replied his conversation partner. "Why else would the superiors send us south with an actual 'Fafner' class? Otto, it's got to be so!"

    When rumors of a grail buried in rural French territory had reached said superiors those men underwent a renewed thirst for it. Salt had been poured into the freshly-reopened wound of the German army's previous failure in Fuyuki City's battle ritual of years before and a fire had been lit under the collective arses of those within their group.

    Hence, this monster of a car was granted to this blitzkrieg of a retrieval operation. This vehicle was not only of sturdy, quality make at least as much as the rest of its brothers on the frontlines, it was a treasure truck. A grounded Ahnenerbe skua used to spirit away pilfered artifacts back to Himmler's grubby hands. It was custom-worked to the gills. The carapace of its caboose was far thicker than regulation decreed – fifteen centimeters of Teutonic steel, sandwiched about a layer of lead. Extra protection for the occult within. Pandora's Box on wheels.

    The Nazis within were well protected, yet trapped inside the cabin with their precious, deadly, deadly precious cargo.

    "Only folk as stupid as those pig-headed Gauls could call THAT a holy grail," the one named Otto Glas pointed with his chin toward the crate tethered to the center of the truck's pallet with a blanket of chainmail netting. Longer than it was tall, it was the only good being transported, sans the men looking over it. "It's not even a chalice. Damned romantics."

    "It grants wishes, so it's a holy grail in that village's book."

    "Get real, Seb! The only wish it grants is DEATH."

    "But it does so so reliably. No wonder her grave had become a secret altar."

    "If I looked THAT good when I'd been dead for a hundred-fifty-plus years I'd be worshipped, too."

    All of the men kept close watch on the crate, the coffin. Though they were weary from sitting down so much as the trip progressed to and from homebase and its destination their muscles bristled with apt wariness. If the coffin came loose, threatened to so much as drift in anyone's direction, they knew to jump out of the way and re-stabilize the box. If IT was loosed, if IT touched anyone, then that man would instantly die. Their neck would split. Blood would spray from the perfect cross-sectioned stump like water from an exploded hydrant. Their head would bounce and roll across the floor, their last seconds of consciousness to be experienced at jackboot-level.

    The blade of an invisible, unstoppable guillotine would claim their head. Just like what had happened to Ike, David, Jahn, Conor. The exhumation of her remains had a deadly conclusion for a few of the Ahnenerbe's good men. The treasure poachers could hardly be blamed for the extra-conscientious trepidation.

    Knowing that, they were still drawn to their tack, for reasons beyond interested professionalism. Every one of them who remained aboard the L3000 had participated in the exhuming of the remains. They knew just how beautiful this package was.

    No one knew the reason for her miraculous, immaculate preservation. With what was she blessed? Cursed? Whatever it was, it was extraordinary. Nothing they had ever seen in their time at the agency compared to her. Skin the color of fresh milk, wholly blemish free. Downy blonde hair that went well past the shoulders that would have caught the golden sunlight just so. Fertile and womanly curves, wide hips made for child-bearing and pleasantly plump thighs and voluptuous bosom—a body that just wouldn't quit in life and in death. Perhaps she'd've driven the village men wild. Perhaps she actually was a temptress. She certainly tempted even the Ahnenerbe men who had claimed her from the backwater French village.

    Simon Staussman had said, his voice a tad wistful as he took a swig from a canteen full of schnaps. "From the way she looks, if you warmed those remains up to a suitable temperature then she'd be just as taut and inviting as any living woman."

    Otto had quirked an eyebrow in judgment of his fellow. "The fact that her head is decapitated from her body is a bit of a turn-off, no?"

    "Yes," admitted Simon. "JUST a bit!" he grinned a cheeky grin and a bongo staccato of a laugh.

    Whether she was a saint, or a witch, or a goddess or a demon, all anyone knew was that the body of Marguerite Breuilh contained an absolute and highly specialized power.

    "Offering a quickly-answered prayer to her for swift death. Imagine if such a power could be controlled, redirected," said another, named Herman Siegkirk.

    "Now that's thinking like an Aryan!" Sebastian 'Seb' Amsel jovially wisecracked. Despite the tension in the cabin, a few other Nazis laughed. Yet, the always kept one eye on the coffin, on the watch for potentially deadly instability.

    Soon enough the expedition returned home. Ahnenerbe men back at Ahnenerbe HQ, the Berlin branch. Specifically, the top-secret storeroom of the project, where only the most potent and eldritch of prizes resided. The LJ3000 grinded to a half. That was the cue for the men to stand up and gingerly unpack the coffin from the truck. The box was picked up by the handles on its sides, and the squad of Nazis, evocative of funerary guests with their black uniforms and the young woman's remains in tow, pallbore the coffin away into their possession.

    They hid this holy grail—their FIRST holy grail—away from the prying eyes of the Holy Church, stowed it away into a particularly hallowed corner of the Ahnenerbe reliquary; a deep and secure chamber reserved for only the most sacred, most potent of artifacts.

    Thus, L'enfant de Punition was stored alongside Longinuslanze, and THAT was the catalyst for the abnormality that wracked this history.

    The end began the moment the relics were in proximity of each other. The air in the room changed. The smell of ozone and wet fields. Like lightning about to strike a graveyard. Struck, too, were the Ahnenerbe members. Their crew-cuts stood on end. Channels of energy flowed from crate to crate, aura that swirled and jumped between the vessels like a pair of explosive Tesla coils.

    "What is it?! What's going on?! I've never seen anything like it!" Veterans, the lot of them, and not a one had seen such a spectacle of a ritual commence itself so spontaneously violent before their eyes. The other relics shook in their containers, as is trembling in fear. "How can this be!" cried out the scholarly foot soldier Sebastian, "Why this synergy—?!"

    "Is it a relation between the two? Was she anointed by speartip?!"

    "Impossible! You saw the body! The stigmata doesn't match up! There is not a single stab wound on the body! She cuts off all heads, hers included!"

    Godly lance and the corpse of a goddess. Two artifacts of peerless supernatural might resonated with each other. Two artifacts with nothing to do with each other.

    The ritual grew exponentially more apocalyptic with each millisecond. Their uniforms rustled on their bodies, as if they were caught in the headwinds of typhoon. A nascent sunburst welled at the point where the two wildly undulating streams connected. Its light was blindingly powerful, cast bright darkness about the room that made shadows grow long and impenetrable and sinister.

    "We have to stop it!" cried Johan.

    "Yes, but how!? There's no precedent!" bemoaned Klein.

    "Just do something! Anything at all!" Simon snapped, fear and anger making his eyes twitch wildly.

    This disturbing phenomenon reminded all who were present to witness it of a lit fuse, brilliantly burning away and impossible to stop.

    The godly lance and the corpse of a goddess. Two artifacts of peerless supernatural might resonated with each other. Two artifacts with nothing to do with each other. Two artifacts with nothing to do with each other — except in a certain sector of the multiverse.

    A pulse of gravity made their stomachs feel like lead.

    They should have never been gathered in the same place. To associate one with the other was to reconnect the ties that bound the Mercurial Serpent's master plan.

    A small door had opened.

    Time seemed to halt in place for the people in that room. A svelte voice, smooth as molten gold spoke to them all.

    "Such a grave accident, one that sets all your fates in stone. Yet, it is a happy accident nonetheless. I thank you, fine gentlemen of an Ahnenerbe not our own. This fresh world is one that I shall embrace with all of my love."

    "...Heydrich?" they whispered in synchronized, reverent disbelief upon recognition of the voice.

    Time flowed again. A leyshift occurred in that very room.

    And all Hell broke loose.

    The door was small, but it was enough. Hell detonated forth from that nexus point like a supernova, and Berlin became ground zero for the endtimes.

    Boxes of insignificant and powerless artifacts were crushed in that storm of rage. Otto was pierced with so many bayonets that he resembled a pincushion, a brutally joyful ode to impalement as his flesh oozed juicy lifeblood, like from a hot, popped wurst. Sebastian was pulverized with a storm of lead. Robbed of his Aryan aesthetics in a moment's notice. Ground up into bullet-cooked hamburger. Simon was stuck with knife-blow after knife-blow, brained with the butts of countless firearms, tenderized into a soft loin with a brigade's worth of flailing limbs. Herman, Klein, Johan—the entire squad of treasure hunters was eradicated and shredded like cabbage. Put the 'Kraut' in sauerkraut.

    Their deaths, all, were but the first course of a perpetual feast for the still-hungering and invading Valhallans.

    Meat. Blood. Bone. Viscera. It all spilled freely but for an instant. An instant was all it took. Thousands of whooping ghastly warriors gushing from it per second had annihilated every single person in the room before any soldier's heart had a chance to even beat once. The Ahnenerbe compound was instantly reduced to vaporous dust, a finer level of destruction than what even the atomic bombs slated to be dropped on on the Nipponese Empire in only a few years hence would have been capable of. Such bombs would never drop in this timeline, for the absolute power henceforth would be the radiant demon of a man who had emanated his perverse desire all over the world.

    Berlin, the intended perpetual capital of Hitler's reign, was instantly overshadowed by the leering golden castle that hovered above the freshly-reaped capital of Nazi Germany.

    From the first universe that ever existed to the last that ever shall be, Reinhard Eugen Tristan Heydrich's foul Weltall was the true thousand-year Reich and would last a thousand years more.


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    5 June, 2017 — Chaldea Security Organization, 7:00
    The alarm clock on your smartphone goes off, and a chipper tune that you've heard hundreds of times before emanates out and allows you to wake up and start your day. With a groan and a yawn you greet the morning in kind.

    Upon checking to the best of your abilities to confirm that no troublemaker(s) have snuck into your bed for some amorous funny business, you strip out of your Four-print PJs—a gift from a certain Servant—and take a soak in the shower. No longer than ten minutes. As Chaldea's 48th, and only surviving, Master, you do maintain some responsibilities and obligations, even outside the times of crisis that arise with each new Order and strange singularity. Even though the Human Order has been saved, there's still this and that to be asked of you. Thus, you've made it a habit to wake promptly.

    "At least I have weekends off," you say to yourself as you pat the wrinkles in your immaculately-white uniform down and finger an ear to get the water out of it. "Sorta."

    There is a knock on your bedroom door accompanied by a small clattering. You perk up at the sound of a guest, and compose yourself further upon recognition of the voice. "Senpai? May I come in?"

    "Matthew? Door's unlocked. Come on in," you say to her.

    "Pardon me, but you sleep with your door unlocked?"

    "Why bother? Anyone who really wants to get in will get in, and there's nothing I can do stop them."

    "That attitude is why people like Kiyohime, Raikou, and Medb always pick on you."

    "That's one way to put it..." you muse, your mind briefly drifting towards remembered thoughts of hellish heavens brought on by them and others.

    "Anyway!" The one-and-only Miss Kyrielight squeaked, desperate to regain the conversational reigns. "I should have been more clear: may you please open the door for me? At present my hands are rather full."

    "Right. Of course. Sorry to make you talk through a door." You bow in apology, even though you're still talking to her through a door, and open up said door in order to let her in. Without any barrier to block your sights you see each other for the first time since you've woken up. "Good morning, Senpai," Matthew greets you. Bearing a covered tray, she enters, and with a trace of an uncertain wobble in her steps.

    "Jeepers creepers, Matthew. Your eyes are all red," and indeed, her bespectacled, amethyst eyes peeking through the dangling bangs of her fair hair are acutely bleary.

    "Oh! Oh no. Is it that obvious?" She pushes up her lens with the edge of her left forefinger and rubs at them, a feeble attempt to banish away the telltale sleepiness. Even though it quivers slightly without the additional support of the left, her hand still dutifully grips onto the tray. "Physical signs of fatigue, I can't say I didn't expect it."

    "What are you talking about? I mean, sit down, first."

    "I'm not the one who's supposed to be relaxing, but if you insist, then I shall," Mathew sets her burden down atop your clear glass end table and sits in the sleek chair beside it. Her head lolls for a moment, but then she quickly stabilizes herself and looks to you.

    "So? What's up?"

    "Am I not allowed? Does it trouble you that I'm here so early?"

    "Not at all. But, you seem very tired. It's worrisome."

    "Ah, that. Well, about that..." Matthew's words stall in her throat some, out of shyness and fatigue in equal measure. "Normally you'd leave to go have breakfast at the dining commons, right?"

    "Yeah, with you."

    "As would be usual. That is, until last night. I had an idea. Just once, I wanted to make breakfast. For us."

    "Oh..."

    "However, I lack that. The knowledge. The experience."

    You shrug your shoulders and tell her "Cereal isn't that hard."

    Matthew balks at that. "It had to be something special! I thought pancakes. So, I prostrated myself before Princess Medea and asked her to teach me how to make them.

    "I really am no good at cooking, but once she heard of my plight, got into her head what she assumed my motivations are, she became wholly dedicated and took me under her wing. It took me all night long, but I finally learned how to make pancakes!"

    "Can confirm that Medea Lily is hella into pancakes."

    "That's one way to put it..." Matthew muses, some shyness in her voice as she remembered the Colchinese royal's dusk-til-dawn heart-throbbing cooking lesson devoted to all of the Jasons and Senpais in the world.

    You dared to change the subject, ever so briefly, to a thought that had barely escaped you. "By now we've been friends for two years. Did you really not know that I always keep my door unlocked?"

    "You see, I never bothered to storm into your room all on my own before."

    "We need to preserve you for future generations because you're some kind of national treasure, Matthew."

    "I'm both flattered and concerned, Senpai!"

    "Anywho. So that means that the tray is—"

    "It's breakfast in bed! So, if you would kindly..."

    "Ah, alright," and you sit down on the bed, clearing up your lap and ready to make it available. Matthew stands up, renewed determination in her steps, and presents you with the tray. She takes the top off. Underneath it is a stack of still-steaming hotcakes. Fluffy and thick, brown on top yet delightfully pale in the middle, not soggy at all, despite being underneath a lid for the entirety of you and Matthew's back and forth. On the side: a sauce of butter, a pitcher of maple syrup, and a bowlful of fresh fruit. Cantaloupe cubes, sliced strawberries, whole blueberries, kiwi wedges.

    "Wow, Matthew! It looks delicious!"

    "I thought...it best to keep it simple, for my first time."

    "Matthew's first time... Uh! I, er, mean, yeah, it's simple, compared to the last time Medea Lily made pancakes." Putting aside impure thoughts, you remember it. The extravagance. The excess. A plague of pancakes. Drowned in an endless spread of sauces, fruits, whipped cream, chocolate, caramel, drizzles of every conceivable flavor, cloyingly sweet. It was a Herculean task to eat them all. It actually ended up as Herakles' Thirteenth Labor, you'd swear that much. Once again you gave thanks that the greatest hero in all of Greece was your ally.

    Matthew's pancakes, in contrast, were simple things. Intimate sweets.

    "Please enjoy it, Senpai. I made it for you."

    "Don't you wanna share? You've been up how long? When did you last eat?"

    "It's fine," said Matthew. "I had some coffee. That shall keep me up."

    "At least sit down here. You're welcome to do that. A girl who pulled an all-nighter isn't allowed to just stand around while I eat this tasty-looking breakfast."

    "If you insist," so she says, but she says it with a small, proud smile upon her face. At your behest the sleepy-eyed Matthew takes a seat besides you, atop your bed as well.

    You flash her a nod of approval, and give a word of thanks before you partake of the proverbial most important meal of the day. "Alright, let's see how it goes!" Butter and syrup are liberally applied. Then, a slice of the stack is forked and popped into your mouth. The taste of it immediately makes your eyes light up. "Holy crap! This is GOOD! And is that a fried egg in-between each layer? Ah, man, they're runny, too! Unexpected, but decadent! I like it! Hey, Matthew! You made this for us, right? Come and try some of—"

    Prepared to offer the chef a forkful of her own dish, you turn to the girl in question and see that she lies prone upon your bed. Bangs drape over her closed eyes. Her breathing is steady, slow.

    Matthew Kyrielight has fallen asleep on your bed.

    " 'Coffee,' huh?" you gently pat her head and continue to eat the breakfast that she worked so hard on.


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    The blaring klaxon jolts Matthew Kyrielight awake.

    "Ah! Senpai?!" She bolts upright, calling for you. A blanket falls off of her. But, you're nowhere in sight. She is alone in an empty bedroom, an empty tray of tableware and cutlery next to her. "Senpai?! Oh no!"

    The warning screeches at her. Urges her. Her heart is already racing, has taken a head start. She complies. She takes off like a loaded gun. Before she even realizes it she's already sprinting down Chaldea's white marble halls, veering straight for the command room.

    The young woman isn't sleepy anymore, of that much she is certain.

    Though she runs as fast as she can she feels like she has been dragging her feet the whole while. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" She holds back the tears as she apologizes for her neglect. It's her folly. She knows it. It's because of her that everyone's problems have surely compounded in her absence.

    "Miss Kyrielight, good timing! What I mean by that is this situation is truly bad, but at least your timing is good nonetheless!" said Leonardo da Vinci as she regarded the newly arrived girl. The Renaissance Man-Turned-Woman turns a blind eye to Matthew's sins, perceived or otherwise. Matthew takes a closer second look and sees you, the 48th Chaldean, alongside da Vinci. Stowing away the trepidation, she breathes a small sigh of relief, but the feeling is soured by the urgency. "Take a look at Chaldeas yourself."

    That very map, a world-egg of a globe, and the center of Chaldea's whole operation of the observation and preservation of humanity's future. Any problems with history, past or present, would show up as glowing blips, isolated singularities closely associated with a certain region that served as the base of the incident.

    "Oh no. What's wrong with Chald—"

    Then, Matthew Kyrielight sees it.

    "—eas?"

    "It's quite a sight," da Vinci says, a reserved and seriously-toned awe.

    Unlike another similar occasion, Chaldeas doesn't roil with flickering flames, its recognizable continents and shorelines being denigrated into tinder for history-burning schemes.

    The entire world has turned gold.

    Pure gold.

    Beautiful, featureless gold.

    Matthew regains a modicum of composure. "It's hideous," she says, still reeling at the sight of the totality of it all.

    "Isn't it?" da Vinci agrees, her expression still concerned and fixated. "We're burning serious rubber, running as many diagnostics as we are. There hasn't been anything of this scale since Beast I kickstarted our adventures."

    "Wow, how nostalgic," you sneer, also unable to peel your eyes away from the transfigured world suspended amid the massive pedestal of thaumaturgical technology. "So, what? Some kind of Reality Marble?"

    "Despite how impressive it looks, in the end it's all a singularity," The woman waves it off, as a means to regain command of the situation rather than to play it off as nothing serious. Anyone can tell that the whole world has been overtaken by something fearful. "Once the fine men and women of Chaldea pinpoint the date of the incident then it's down to business as usual."

    "Senpai? I'm sorry. I should've been here, right beside you as it happened."

    "Don't beat yourself up over it, Matthew. You were tired. I let you rest. You needed it."

    "Even so, I was neglectful. Irresponsible. I deserve demerits."

    "I told you. It's not your fault. It's some asshole's. It's our job to set things right."

    " 'Right?' Yes, 'right.' Of course. We just need to do it together, as always."

    "Be glad that you're a light sleeper. You barely missed anything."

    "Ma'am, da Vinci!" came Operator Vernon's voice from the other end of the comm. "We got a lockdown on it! 1942, Berlin, Germany!"

    Now that, that's a period that shook the world. A time that was modern history's infancy, baptized in the charred blood of millions. It's certainly no exaggeration to say that everyone who lives in modern society, as part of a global Planet Earth, has had their present and future influenced by those years of world war, you included.

    "If there was any place that a singularity would show, that'd definitely be it," you say, fist clenched.

    "Okay then, Vernon! You wonderful bridge bunnies know the drill. Fire up those coffins! Master, please prepare for a leyshift to that charming time and place."

    "Don't need to tell me twice!" and you make to step out and into the transference chamber.

    This time, it's a woman's voice that wells from the comm. "What the hell is this?! Da Vinci, these signals!"

    "Operator Tashi?! Report!"

    Tashi doesn't get the chance to say her piece before it happens. The globe shifts into a single aurum eye that runs through everyone in Chaldea to the core.

    —An evil eye.

    "We've been backtraced!"

    Your team has pinged the singularity, and the singularity has pinged back. The various meters that track and regulate the readings and systems of history and Chaldea spike and beep and whistle like they're all going to break. A massive influx of prana warbles about, makes the air feel as thick as pudding.

    Code red.

    Code red, indeed.

    "It's right outside!" says another of the panicked operators. "The energy is amassing on the facility's grounds! No, it's emanating—!"

    A churning vortex. A star of magical energy. Like the summonings you've seen done hundreds of times before exponentially expanded. Like an entire world has been dumped on your doorstep. A natural disaster is in progress, just outside of Chaldea's sturdy and flimsy walls. Space distorts under the weight of the presence. All monitors are turned to it, unable to look away.

    Space bleeds like a ruptured hymen, leaks foul essence into the surrounding air. A hole shreds space. A cyclopean golden skeleton slides through the causeway as if crowning out from a gargantuan birth canal. Like its lower body is still sealed away in some unholy womb in another time and place, another world. It looms over the facility of Chaldea, its shadow dark on the white snow that perennially litters the ground at these high altitudes.

    "TRISMEGISTUS' random access memory has been triggered! It recognizes this level of power! It's Tiamat-tier, at least!" O-Tashi explains, alarmed.

    "This is bad, Senpai," Matthew says in response to the data. "Shit," you iterate. "Yes! Very 'shit!' " she responds, in a tizzy that'd be adorable were it not for the gravity of the situation.

    Fear and loathing fill your heart. You remember the Pyrrhic victory in ancient Mesopotamia, courtesy of the immensely-powerful primordial goddess that this thing has been likened to. Powerful anxiety tempered by your experiences laps at your senses. You make the decision. You must keep yourself too busy to be afraid. Thus, you mentally shout a command that is received by every single one of the Servants contracted to you. Each one is living proof of the Human Order's accomplishments. Larger than life personalities, to boot. Many heads butted together. Many friendships and cliques formed within the ranks. Yet, despite it all, their reason for being here is singular. Despite their legion of differences their decision is unanimous.

    Your order:
    "Everyone to battle stations!"

    Their answer:
    "Don't need to tell us twice, Master!"

    They are here because of you. You and your unbreakable connection with them.

    Having relayed that order to all of your allies, you turn to the acting commander of the Chaldea Security Organization and call her name. "Leonardo da Vinci, Ma'am!"

    "Yes?"

    "Sorry in advance for the mess!"

    The sound of a choir resonates across the frozen mountains. Each of the hundreds of notes that its melody is composed of is the voice of a superhuman. Each phrase spoken by each mighty individual contains words of power that acts as the firing pin to the strengths that make them such venerated heroes. Beams of light fueled by hopes and dreams and fury and ancient magics and everything in-between; devastating blasts of draconic soundwaves, sure-shot bullets and rending lighting; exploding projectiles of powder and brimstone; unknowable rays from enigmatic spacecraft; the hungry spirits of the dead; the power of the sun itself mighty enough to vaporize everything in its wake. This is but a small descriptive sampling of the powers at your side, directed straight at the manifested monstrosity right in your backyard. There are no pulled punches to be found here.

    The golden bones remain unblemished.

    Then, a voluminous and sublime voice reverberates from that hole in the heavens and across the land. "Isaak," HE commands with darkly biblical absoluteness. "Pluck the root. Seize the commander."

    The titanic intruder acknowledges the god-given order with the impersonal voice of an emotionless doll. It is the rumble of an engine's gears turning, not a subordinate regarding their superior. "Lord Heydrich."

    For the first time since its arrival the skeleton moves.

    Its humongous hand surges forward as fast as a golden comet. It slams into the side of Chaldea, scatters the battery of Servants that had gathered atop her walls and launched their strongest attacks, their Noble Phantasms, at the device, the so-called "Isaak."

    The whole central building shakes like it's been hit with an earthquake. Ceilings crumble. Floors collapse. Electricity flickers, fades, blacks out, a patchwork of the systems giving way and dying from ruptured connections. The facility has been ruptured like a cracked nut, rubble all along the rift.

    But, this attack is no true attack. All of the widespread collateral is nothing for the mighty intruder to be concerned over. All that matters is the seizure of his given target.

    With ginger precision and speeds fast enough to threaten you into black out, you are spirited away straight from Chaldea's familiar halls and into the vast and bony grasp of the giant skeleton. It lifts you up and away and into the frigid mountain air, which buffetts your exposed face and hands.

    Part of you thinks that you hear Matthew passionately call out your name in anguished and longing sorrow brought on by your abduction, to accentuate the drama with raw and impotent emotions. But you know better. You saw her get knocked under a shower of rubble. What you hoped for, it was actually just the wind flaying your ears and playing with your mind.

    "O-Of course!" you bemoan your situation, the only possible choice. "Why me?! Why me!!"

    The skeleton does not reply. The exposed teeth would normally appear to a human's gaze as that of a deathly smile, perhaps cheeky. You now realize that that is just projection. The truth of the matter to you is obvious. There is no flesh here. No muscle, no skin. No way to express emotion at all.

    It does not revel in its might, nor does it find any pride in its action. It is an unliving thing that only follows orders and does nothing else. It is a tool, governed by a purely mechanical concept.

    Then, as to the one who wields said tool—
    He says nothing, for there is no need to narrate everything that one does while merely driving a car.

    The skeleton stirs again with further animation. It begins to recede back into the vortex. The flow reverses like unbirth on a gigantic scale. You feel like you're being airlifted straight into the gates of Hell.

    "H-Help—"

    You begin to call for aid, but you didn't even need to. Your Servants, routed though they were by the device's one and only 'attack,' have taken up the charge. Atalanta has fallen back into the rocky crags of the peaks that Chaldea juts from. The vantage point that the high ground provides is a boon to the Archer-class, and she takes advantage of it to launch a flurry of precisely-aimed arrows. Arrow after arrow crashes into the joints between each of the humongous knuckles.

    A broadsword hurled like a missile bounces off. A jet of whitewater that can slice through mountains runs over it like mere raindrops. Chains meant to hold the giant in place instantly snap apart into useless steel. Daggers coated in the most deadly of poisons, hoped to disrupt some internal system—any internal system at all—that allows the skeleton to move are not granted the right to even nick the impenetrable golden plating. Everyone tries what they can to free you. Everyone does what they can to take down the pillaging invader.

    The same song and dance repeats. Like a recurring chorus.

    It is all to no avail. The will of God cannot possibly be defied.

    But, no matter how futile such a venture might threaten to be, they would not be heroes if they didn't act in defiance of fate. They leap off the ramparts and into the air, determined to pry you directly away from your abductor. One Servant in particular amongst the many in this charge rockets away from Chaldea, and faster than the rest. Under the usual circumstances, he is not particularly agile, and is outclassed by many others in that regard. However, his magic—flexible, GRAND. He explodes his energy forth like an engine, aping the skill you recognize as Prana Burst, scattering the flight paths of his many co-Servants about him, and uses the propulsion to fly faster than any wind or hero the world has seen. He's full of determination and intention. "Master!" he calls to you.

    "Merlin!" you likewise call to him.

    "Master—grab hold!" As Merlin catches up to 'Isaak' and flies towards you he aims his staff forward, to you. You pull at your arm with all your strength, desperate to free it. You dislocate it, and the pain flares up and makes you scream. But, it's free, and you reach out with all your might to the Caster's powerful mystic code.

    The air swirls around you all, as if the vortex you're inside of is a monolithic hurricane, a whirlpool to damn you the darkest of abysses. You're pulled. Merlin pushes forward. It's his speed versus the bones' speed. You roar in agony. Merlin groans from the strain. There is an equilibrium of movement. He chases forever. You are chased forever.

    Then, the scale tips. The Grand Caster moves forward. It's enough. Your fingers find purchase on his magic staff, and he pulls himself right to you. Merlin's face is painted over with utter distress and anguish, sweat running down his face. "Master—! PLEASE—!!!"

    You oblige. You offer no resistance. Magic most powerful and venerated flows through your body. Magic cast directly on you. Magic that streams through your every capillary and pore, flows through your channels and outwards—

    'Nid oes lle i mi y lle hwn yn fy;'

    A miracle occurs. Not by chance, but from your body, used as the basis for the ritual.

    '——Cyfnewid meddyliol a chorfforol mil o filltiroedd——'

    One instant; you're captive to the most perfect prison to exist in reality.

    '———i gerdded yn eich esgidiau i fyny rhiw, sacrament o'n ffordd!'

    The next; you see Merlin in your place, and you're instead being blown about by the winds of time.

    'Teleportation... exchange spell, successful...' You could never hear Merlin's words, so he speaks directly to your thoughts. His words may be strained, but there is nonetheless satisfaction there. 'Thank goodness...'

    'Merlin? What now?' you ask, but your question is already answered, has been answered since the very start.

    With dim but dawning awareness, you recognize it: a leyshift in progress.

    With that, you close your eyes and welcome yourself to the year 1942.


    .

    - ] | [ -

    .


    5 June, 1942 — Berlin, Germany ??:??
    Without even a moment's notice, he was freed of the iron-grip that crushed his very soul. The hand had let go of him. So, he fell. He fell as much as was he drawn. He was like a fish, reeled in by a taut line to an inescapable boat. Fell. Drawn. Summoned, from the heavens atop the world from which Chaldea observed human history and into the pits of Hell. His spiritual body was tugged by the yoke through fiery red depths.

    The soul-crushing pressure returned, a millionfold—water-pressure from the burning sludge of an uncountable number of haunted souls. He heard a sound. Inexorably rhythmic, it promised of fates carved into stone; the foundation stones of this reality. Impossibly grand, it resounded from everywhere; the tune of an inescapable realm. Merlin was moved as the sound reverberated through the soulspace, and only as it did so.

    It took him but a moment to recognize the sound, realize where he was. It was a heartbeat. This was blood. He was in an inconceivably huge vein within the marrow of those bones.

    He fell again and collapsed where he sat, deposited by the leyline of a vein somewhere. When his mind caught up with his body and his vision un-blurred he took in the sight of a vast dining table. So vast, it stretched off into the far distance, past the horizon line of the equally vast hall. He was seated at an end of the table, and on either side, facing each other, sat the damaged souls; living dead that wore their fatal wounds like uniforms and badges of honor.

    Down the row, he spotted a Servant. Beowulf. The monster-slaying hero-king was in a fugue state, wore a tooth-gnashing grimace on his chiseled face as he nursed a flagon of chthonian grog.

    Beowulf wasn't the only other Servant. He felt others, scattered far and wide, but here.

    He turned to the gift of his clairvoyance with the ease that one would take a breath. He looked. He cast his vision upon this entire unworldly room. He saw it all from above, like images taken by an astral satellite. The millions of souls and their still-growing ranks. All of the Servants, his Master's Servants, standing out in that crowd like islands of lush and brilliant diamond, souls more dense and more powerful than undead tides about them.

    The table, supremely huge enough that each and every one of them had a seat at it—though it possessed distinct heads, was shaped like a swastika.

    "I reckon it's a bit much to hope for that this swastika is the one that stands for well-being and auspicion?" he asked, seemingly no one in particular.

    A fine voice replied, perfectly audible even over the black white-noise of a crowd of millions of murmuring souls, as if he were seated right next to him. "As a matter of course, it does. However, such opinions are entirely relative. In this castle one's fortunes and satisfaction with their lot in the afterlife is utterly in my hands."

    The host had deigned to show himself among the rabble.

    "The symbol is merely convenient. It has always been such, but was especially so for our long-departed ex-Führer. For us, it has lost its Aryan raison d'etre over the course of many lifetimes. Even in the humble beginnings of our Longinus Dreizhen Orden it was merely a flag to fly for many of us.

    "Regardless of personal conviction, convenience has its uses. Even now, there are many of my foot soldiers who still rally behind it and use it to kindle their rage. For me? It makes a fine table for a fine banquet."

    In his mind's eye, he saw the man who spoke all this. Golden hair. Golden eyes. Black jacket. A peerless entity garbed also in the white clothes of a savior.

    "Merlin himself," He said with a smile, at last using the Servant's name. "It's been an age since a great magus has been within these halls."

    "Do you know me? Ah, but a silly question that is, for you surely know of me, for what ears have not heard the name of the Magus of Flowers?" Merlin put forth. "Still, half-introductions are all-the-way rude. Might you have a name to share, sir—?"

    "I am Reinhard Heydrich, lord of this realm and your host. Address me with any honorific you deem suitable."

    "Heydrich, huh?" If Merlin had a wizardly beard like how we was depicted in so many imaginings he'd stroke it. Maybe he'd let it grow out just this once, just for such an occasion. "Now that, that is a most curious thing. The name is a familiar one, but an association with a Longinus Dreizhen Orden, and the scope of the power wielded by he who bears said name—"

    Incalculably vast. As deep and as dark as a golden sea. A great aurum flood to drown reality, and this castle, a hellish ark full to bursting with innumerable, unstoppable warriors, was borne in on the strange tides of this mighty man's truly, truly inhuman power.

    No. Not a man—a golden Beast.

    "—is incongruous," Merlin put lightly. "The magical foundation that empowers you—and this whole place—not one I've any familiarity with. But hey, a singularity wouldn't have manifested without an anomaly, and this is certainly a doozy of one!

    "By the by, do you not think it, also, a tad rude that we're having a long-distance conversation like this?"

    "There is hardly a need for us to meet face to face, much less speak. We can see each other just fine, can we not?"

    It was then that Merlin knew. Clairvoyance. This man, too, had the gift. "That's sensible. After all, this place is your realm, a proper extension of your own peerless body and inimitable soul."

    "Indeed. This eternal Valhalla of ours is tied to me, and me to it. Its Weltall is mine, and every individual thralled to it is a brick in the castle's mortar.

    "—that includes you as well, o' guest of honor." Heydrich's eyes narrowed with dangerous interest. "Or rather, FALSE guest of honor."

    "Oho? Whatever could you mean?" Merlin asked with a cheekily dopey smile on his face and a bead of sweat on his forehead.

    "Shift about in your seat, magus. See how it feels. It is good, is it not? Of course it is. It's at the other end of the table, diametric from me, the head. Such luxury is reserved for the guest of honor. Yet—it is slightly uncomfortable, is it not? Of course it would be. It is fitted, and not for you. It is for your commander: Legate."

    "Ah, how vexing that my Master couldn't make it to this fun little soiree!"

    "It was also clever of you as well, kingmaker of yore. You two were unable to overpower Gladsheim, so you ought to out-maneuver it instead."

    "Oh, you know, just the usual seat-of-your-pants kind of thing."

    "Quite so. But, such plans are never thought out beforehand, and often fraught with error. Your sacrifice was for naught, as you can see." Heydrich waved a white-gloved hand, indicated the sprawling troops about Him. "Perhaps it is because your contractor, your said Master, was unable to escape Gladsheim's pull. Perhaps it because of the paths that link you, in particular, and every single superhuman here. I'm sure that, were my dear friend here among us, he would be able to know for sure the exactitude of the mechanics behind it. But, that is a digression, and this is truth: not a one of your compatriots was able to deny my summons." It was exactly as He said. Sprinkled sporadically amidst Heydrich's legion, like dried fruits in a bread pudding, was each and every single Chaldean Servant, present and accounted for.

    "I'm more of a glass half-full kinda guy, Mr. Reinhard." Merlin returned the Golden Beast's smile with one of his own. "You mean to cast a glamour upon us? I see my fellow Servants here, but they're a far ways away from licking your heels and baying for blood."

    "Is that what you think?" Heydrich asked, an unassailable coyness in His tone. He then gave a mere nod.

    "—Anchin."

    The disturbed and banshee crooning of a woman slithered into the eardrums of those within the dining hall.

    "Anchin..."

    A Word; a Name; execrated and adored at the same time in a single breath.

    "Anchin..."

    It rose in volume, tempo, temperature, like a matchstick's mere flicker into a bonfire.

    "Anchin...!

    Repeated ad nauseam until it became a manta;
    Chanted as a mantra until it collapsed under the weight of its own words and lost all shape and meaning as a word.

    "AaAaaAAaAAAaanNnNnnnNchiiiIIIIIINNnNNnnnNNNN— !!!"

    A bestial squall devoid of humanity and reason reverberated off the walls. An inferno burned brightly down the line of the endless table. A dark shape silhouetted by the hot and bright flames surged forth. Like a burning flood barrelling down a narrow canyon, its body crushed and incinerated everything in its path.

    The dragon—the serpent—bumrushed him. "So that's how it's gonna be, huh?!" He sprung into action without skipping a beat. As if he had the foreknowledge that this battle was to be. As if he merely wanted an excuse to fight and fight and fight. With Hrunting and Naegling in tow, Beowulf sprinted down the highway-like table, kicking away plates, platters, and silverware as he charged headlong at the surging monster. He said to her, with a maddened snarl, "This ain't my first rodeo shitshow, lass! If ya really want an Anchin to stick it to ya this badly then let's get it on!"

    The hero, his legend which ended at the scaly hands of a dragon.
    The dragon, her story that only truly began in the end of her own legend.

    Without a moment's notice, Lady Kiyohime and King Beowulf indulged themselves and fought to the death right then and there.

    The crowd, every single deathless soldier, loved it.

    "These Servants," said Heydrich to Merlin, mind's eye to mind's eye, as the timeless battle between archetypes raged on. "as they are called, are like you, Merlin: famed individuals from humanity's glory-filled past. They are the strongest that this world has known, the strongest in this world that will ever be. Their personalities are as forces of nature that darken the skies and cast shadows over the common man.

    "But, no matter how far-reaching their escapades may have been, they all eventually succumb to death's grip. One and all their stories ended. But, strong personalities foster strong desires, and in death desires linger. The strong in personality leave behind the strongest ghosts."

    "Of course it stands to reason that the strongest ghost would have the strongest desire, Mr. Reinhard," the wizard said with regards to the former chief of the Reich.

    "Inaccurate," replied Heydrich. "There is a crucial difference between them and I, and one that is shared with you as well. Death is unknown to the both of us. Yet the Lord of the Dead I am. My desires are indeed the strongest there are, and thus the ghosts always find their way into my fold.

    "The dead have desires, but it is up to the living to acknowledge them."

    —and thus did the mane of the Golden Beast grow.

    "What is yours is yours, and what is yours is also mine. Whatever the Servants of this world may be, they too are also my Einherjar, in part. Some are more susceptible to it than others, those in which the spirit of war rings loudest, but eventually they will all succumb to Gladsheim's curse. It is their nature." he said. "They will rank amongst the strongest of my Einherjar, even without Krafft's boons."

    Merlin, mulling over the spectacle of Beowulf and Kiyohime killing each other and Heydrich's words, pursed his lips. "I take it then, Mr. Reinhard, that your goal is not to annex more soldiers."

    "Hm? Showcase to me the wisdom of Merlin. What meanings can you divine from this Golden Beast's thoughts?"

    "I'll do my best!" Merlin cracked his knuckles and steepled his fingers. "Exhibit A: 'This world' this, 'This world' that. You aren't from around here, are you? I mean, REALLY not from around here. You're, like, female-Musashi Miyamoto strange. Male-Arthur Pendragon strange!"

    "...hm." Heydrich raised an eyebrow.

    "That particular bit aside, am I right, or am I right? In this timeline, this singularity, Reinhard Heydrich is dead. But, there's a Reinhard Heydrich right in front of me, and he's a souped-up badass, to boot. Are you from a world where Heydrich survived?"

    "I hail from a world where Heydrich's death is a deceit."

    "Important nuance. I getcha," Merlin pointed a finger at Heydrich, even though the latter was nowhere within the former's physical sight. "Anywho, Exhibit B: the world's already gone to hell in a hand basket. Congratulations on your apocalypse. No one can stop you. No one can stop what's already happened. So then, why this? Why Servants? You already have the greatest army in existence, and the finest leaders, too, I can tell. I can feel the immense weight of their souls, all about us, even without looking for them. You don't need our help. Because you don't want Servants, you want our Master.

    "Alas, that I do not know why. That's as I far as I can go."

    "Not so bad. It seems as if the frog within the well has a telescope at his disposal," Heydrich gave Merlin a slight commendation. "Still, the frog is but a frog. Even if it can see the land above with its telescope it cannot dig beneath the surface of the earth and breach its infernal truths."

    "Then, what is it that you desire?"

    "You are an adequate conversationalist, so I shall allow you an answer. However, first you must properly prostrate yourself before me, magus. This arrangement of ours is a lasting one," and His words were pregnant with confident threat and inevitability. "Unless you'd prefer me to first strike you down and exert myself over you directly."

    "...That is unnecessary, Master Heydrich." Merlin swallowed what pride he had. "Then, why—what need is there for my Master?"

    "War is a force that calls men to arms and forever alters their path. It is unknowable and undeniable.

    "There is no need for your Master specifically, anymore. Their role has already been fulfilled. Their legion of comrades has been absorbed into my own legion of comrades. As the newest—and weakest—member of the Longinus Dreizhen Orden, what they're to do next is up to the them and to the unknowable will of War.

    "—and what the Chaldean tool can provide for my true cause."

    The bloody battle that had raged through this discourse had at last died down. So brief, yet so vicious, both hero and monster succumbed to their wounds. Beowulf's chest had been torn open. His ribs stuck out like the petals of a spider lily in bloom. Black with blood, black with char, he was reduced to a lump of grilled meat by dragonfire. Kiyohime leaked gallons of blood that soaked into the tablecloth and dripped onto the floor in pools. Her entrails, steaming and hot from the vicious wounds torn into her scaled hide. The beastly form that she appeared in was carved up like an exotic entree, as if to be served to the foot soldiers.

    The both of them faded away into sparks of golden light, the death knells of a Servant.

    They appeared again, a moment later, in the fiery miasma of an Einherjar. The crowd welcomed their new comrades.

    The first of Chaldea's Servants had given into the Valhallan curse. They would not be the last.

    Heydrich brought the tines of a fork to a wine goblet. At that sound the virtually infinite hall and its battalions of soldiers grew silent, a miracle easily achieved by the god of that world. "For the first time in one-thousand years we have a guest," he said. "This is a special event. Einherjar old and new should enjoy it as they see fit. Great honor and spoils await, and even treachery shall have its place here amongst the revelry. It shall all fit into the schedule, for our guest will inevitably join us."

    His word was absolute, had long since surpassed being akin to powerful magic and had instead sublimated into divine law like the aging of fine wine. Heydrich was lord of this realm. There was no way to defy Him, no way to overthrow Him. That was why there were no bounds on anything here. This lawless Cocytus of a Kowloon Walled City would perturb Him not, for they were His beloved Einherjar, and He was a peerless conqueror who would always get His way.

    The eastern Shambhala that had been thwarted by Zarathustra without even the completion of the Pentachroma? Then wait. Bide the time until the next one matured into a fine harvest worthy of reaping.

    The entire world had been overtaken with His war, leaving nothing but a stasis of violence and destruction and His desires still unfulfilled? A means to a new world would present itself. This one, so alike, yet ever-so different. Though fate governed this world, as it did the former, the very metaphysics of this different reality were off-kilter enough to perhaps work.

    The Golden Beast called them to arms. A million voices cheered. A select handful, His closest comrades, of the original Longinus Dreizhen Orden, and the oldest Einherjar, had their own thoughts.

    Number II felt nothing, its desires corralled in by the pale death mask it wore, like it had always been.

    Number III, having lost long ago, offered no resistance.

    Number IV's grin was wolfish, a perfect expression of his innermost wants.

    Number V's fire did not burn, had not burned for that long millennium, but could perhaps burn again.

    Number VI was everywhere and nowhere and felt nothing at all.

    Number VII was as silent as the grave.

    Number VIII, beneath the smile, carefully considered it all.

    Number IX was perfect and dignified.

    Number X rustled with excitement, shaking like a nervous dog.

    Number XI wanted to be somewhere else.

    And, Number XII had a dopey and cheery expression, just like a child's on Christmas morning.

    "As for you, kingmaker, feel free to watch the festivities unfold in its entirety from within your newfound Vivian-cave."

    Once again, Merlin was under house arrest.

    In the meantime, the deathless Einherjar acted on their own.
    Last edited by ItsaRandomUsername; Yesterday at 11:54 PM.
    McJon01: We all know that the real reason Archer would lose to Rider is because the events of his own Holy Grail War left him with a particular weakness toward "older sister" types.
    My Fanfics. Read 'em. Or not.



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    - ] | [ -

    .


    As a fading soreness gently welcomes you to consciousness, you come to in a hallway. You're greeted with the sight of tall pillars on either side, fine detail work rife with occult significance, and a smooth floor, all looking like it was filtered through bloody light. You are unnerved. Not a single seam can been seen in any of the stone, as if it was all carved from a single piece of marble. The architecture about you is an impossibility. You can tell that deep, powerful magic has shaped this place. An oppressive atmosphere begins to weigh down on you like a lead jacket, compounded by your solitude in unfamiliar territory.

    You mutter aloud to yourself. "First thing's first, first thing's first...!" Remembering that you're a seasoned adventurer allows you to quickly muster your feelings and gather your thoughts. You quickly huddle behind an immense pillar, out of the direct line of sight of anyone who'd walk this hall. It is ornately embossed with countless reliefs of skulls that seem to shift and follow you and squirm the closer you look at it. Regardless, you hastily, precisely set up a thaumaturgical circle in the shadow of the pillar.

    You don't get far in seeing through standard operating procedure. Marble finger bones grasp at your nape, hair, clothes. "Goddamnit!!" The cold stone makes you jump and yelp with fright. You leap forward, away from the limited grasp of the emotionlessly leering skeletons that make up the pillar. You glare at the things that are as sluggish as a filter-feeder predator. In a strange land as you are, you've been a frequent fish out of water and have bravery to spare. "Don't make me harvest you for resources, you cheeky oafs. Where I'm from, bones are always in high demand, and you lot have plenty to spare."

    An empty bluff that does little else but feebly raise your spirits. Not that there is anything you really could do to them in your present state.

    Not standing too closely to the pillar, you finish the circle. With your primary means of communication with Chaldea headquarters finally set, you fire up the communicator. The circle does its job and repeats your signal and sends the message back to the future in real time. "Hello!? Chaldea Security Organization?! It's me! Over???" The signal takes five forevers to get through, assuming it can even get out at all. You practically turn blue in the face, holding your breath as you wait for an answer that might never come.

    "Senpai? It's been so long! Uh, I mean—this is Matthew Kyrielight, hearing you loud and, um..." Chaldea, and your partner, pings back. "You're multiple layers into the singularity, but contact has been established with you, Senpai!"

    The audio gritty, lousy with static. "This is better than I hoped for, all things considered."

    "Senpai, it's terrible! They're all gone! They disappeared when we lost you. Even Madam da Vinci and Mister Holmes!"

    "It's okay, Matthew! You're still there. Are you alone?"

    "No, I'm not. The regular staff is here. They seem to be unaffected? Maybe it's because they're not Servants. That we're not Servants..."

    "You lucked out, Matthew. This place is pretty nasty."

    "Even so, I wish to be there, right by your side..." Her empty hand opened and closed, slowly, futilely, grasped for the shield that would no longer come when called, no matter how much she wanted it to.

    "D-Don't you worry about it, Matthew. You can still help me out, all the way in 2017."

    "R-Right! Y-You all, please attempt a remote leyshift to get Senpai back, stat!"

    "Even if that could work, don't try it!" you snap at Matthew, and she halts. "My Servants are still here. They've got to be. I can feel it."

    You don't feel anything at all. You can only guess. It's like the contracts were never to begin with. Still, you tell her this anyway.

    "I apologize. That was—unprofessional of me. It's just, well, nevermind," You cannot tell if the connection is taking a while to receive and is out of synch, or if Matthew is taking a moment to herself. "Do you have any particular requests?"

    "Yes. Let's narrow this down. Have the team scan for any signs of the Demon Pillars. If you catch so much as a whiff—let me know. "

    "S-Sure! If there're any powerful signals there, we'll detect them right away! ...I think."

    She assures you of the process' brevity, yet the moments tick on by. You feel the gaze of countless empty eye sockets blankly fixate upon you, not allowing you a moment of ease. You feel like you're at an aquarium, only the fish are the ones that, one-and-all, gaze at you. "I apologize for the delays, Senpai. But, we cannot seem to find any trace of pillar presence in the singularity."

    "Really? Not even dead ones or dormant ones? Or some other strange state?"

    "Not even scans used with the data gathered from the Remnant Epics turned up any signatures of Goetian entities in any form," Matthew reiterated. "Whatever the cause of this incident is, it's no fault of any hanger-ons. Again, I'm sorry I can't help you more."

    "Keep on apologizing like that and you'll pull the rug out from under poor Siegfried."

    "I'm sorr—!...oh. I see. Then, in that case, I'll—we'll—continue to support you from the sidelines."

    "You won't have to do it alone. I won't let a cute little lady overwork herself all the way from over there when this Master here could use some support on the ground!" interjected a familiar, very-much welcome voice.

    "Is that you, Merlin?" you ask.

    "In the flesh and taking upon himself to once again act as guide to wayward youths! Down here!" replied the famed sorcerer.

    " 'Down...here?' " With slight bewilderment in your voice you do as he says and crane your eyes downwards and to the center of the magic circle. A small, furry creature with white fur, large ears, and violet eyes stares back at you. Its tail wags mischievously.

    "How did Four get here?"

    "Ah! The simpleton routine! How trite, but yet I like it all the same! A pinch of dimwittedness here and there really suits ya, Master! Yes and no! I am Four but not, Merlin but not! Consider me a separate life form from that handsome devil and that adorable little rascal. Actually, don't, that's a bad idea. I don't wanna have an existential crisis when all's said and done."

    Matthew makes a sound of befuddlement, and you scratch your head as you process this. "Let's see here. You're some kind of familiar of Merlin's, right?"

    "I'm not just a familiar of Merlin's, I'm also his acting proxy. It might not come as a surprise, but because of our current, sticky situation, my real body's kinda indisposed at the moment. Please, consider this less of a familiar and more of an avatar of my true and magnanimous self. I've sequestered off a chunk of my consciousness and am remotely controlling this guy from where I am."

    You have thought partitioning and clairvoyance to thank for this Merlin/Four to be able to appear before you. "So! Check it out! I am Four but not, Merlin but not! I am — Four Kombat Model MK-IV!"

    " 'MK-IV?' What happened to the others?"

    "Four whacked them all like the dead-ass mafioso he is!" Merlin/Four recounted this with an acute shakiness in his voice. "He ambushed them, broke their spines, humped them to death, and then ate the remains!"

    "Four was always a territorial sort, but wow. He must've smelled you on them, Merlin. That or he hates doppelgangers.

    "—No, wait, he probably just hates you, Merlin."

    " 'Kombat Model?' " Matthew asks.

    Merlin/Four is eager to change the subject and crisply leaps upon the opportunity that Matthew presented. "This little guy's horns are bigger and badder than ever before! Also, the 'K' is in because we're in Germany, and if the jack-booty fits—"

    "Anyway, Four Kombat Model MK-IV is a mouthful, so I'll just call you Fourlin instead," said Matthew.

    "Wowza! What a dopey but lovely nickname! Wait, that's bad! Platinum bad! I said before not to individualize the me that's before you! I might develop too much of an independent personality and then that would fertilize a seedbed of ethical dilemmas!"

    "Your existing personality is already plenty independent, Fourlin," you say, siding with Matthew.

    "Hello? I need some vitamin D because that's some serious shade you've thrown on me. Every moment we insist at this I feel my mind drift further away from the original me. Nevermind! Let's cross that bridge and maybe burn it when we do! For now, we've got more immediate concerns—this singularity."

    Now that, that has Matthew's and your attention. She says "That's Merlin for you, I mean, Fourlin. His intelligence-gathering is like none other."

    Fourlin relays to you the essential details. He speaks of the commandeered Servants. Of the inescapable hell-world. Of the absolute lord who rules it all.

    "It's not the first hopeless situation we've been in," you say. "But a hopeless situation is still one, nonetheless."

    "You've become quite the professional, haven't you, Master? Many would instantly fall into despair the moment they realize the futility of their lot, but that self-awareness is a crucial first step to pushing forward." Fourlin gave a sagely nod, an adorable gesture coming from a small animal such as he, but one that was full of genuine empathy nonetheless.

    "They're immortal, you say?" Matthew asks. "The men of this Reinhard Heydrich?"

    "Aye, little lady, and I was unable to glean the method of their deathlessness before I was sent off to find you."

    There is concern in her voice. "That is unsettling. "Could you not divine your way into the foundation?"

    "I can't even try anymore when I'm like this. This consciousness is already partitioned off of Merlin's main mind. Clairvoyance is not among Fourlin's bag of tricks. Even then, I can't just look at THIS and figure it out from just a glance. I'd have to dig a mite deeper than just that. It is as you said, Matthew: 'The men of THIS Reinhard Heydrich.' The magical system that runs this joint is truly foreign. He, and his flunkies, by extension, are not of this world."

    "Are they...aliens?" she asks, and you can already envision how saucerplate her eyes look behind her spectacles and the charmingly befuddled expression on her soft face.

    "I doubt it," replied Fourlin. "Still! They're certainly not from around here, if you catch my drift."

    "But, Nazi aliens! Wouldn't that be something?" you say, with a hint of wonder at a positively pulp scenario.

    "I'm sorry, it's still too soon to laugh about that, Senpai."

    "For the record, YOU brought it up." you give a shrug. "Anyway, I trust you, Fourlin. If you say these bastards are immortal, then they're immortal. Like ghosts. Zombies. Skeleton warriors..."

    "Those are all beings we've dealt with before, Senpai."

    "Yes, because there was a way to disrupt them. Whether it be pure brute force, or something more arcane," Fourlin adds. "Even if it's some kind of mystical bullshit afoot, there's gotta be some sort of chink in their armor. Perhaps. In the end, it's up to you, the alpha prisoner."

    "...I want to fight this."

    The small furry avatar nodded. "I thought you'd say that."

    "I might have something in mind," you say. "But first, we'll need to find a few more allies."

    Fourlin quirked his furry head. "The same M.O. as usual, you say? It's pretty tried and true, and—at a glance—seems just as applicable here. All of your Servants have been spirited away to here, so there's no shortage of would-be comrades to be seen.

    "Therein lies another problem. Those allies of yours are being warped. At best you must consider them...conflicted, for your own well-being. We might be able to sway some, but their hearts are filled with fire and darkness. Let us go forth cautiously.

    "Let's survive, Master," says Fourlin. "For my sake, too – if I die here then MK-IV is all I have, and that's a death sentence if there ever was one! An imitation doesn't stand a chance against against the original! Except in highly specific and properly built-up situations! And I don't have the protagonist power to stack the odds in my favor! I'm the mentor figure, you know!"

    Of course Merlin would be way more scared of Four than the demonic and godlike commander of the Longinus Dreizhen Orden.

    Then, you hear it. Footsteps. Clomping boots, soles dragging across the ruby-red and gilt marble. Three Nazi-uniformed figures shamble down the wide hallway, bearing firearms. They converse amongst themselves, currently heedless of your presence.

    "Is that...?"

    "—the enemy."

    "Hey. 's that?" One of them cocks their head at you, in the direction of your voice. Sunken, tight skin – dark and piecemeal from decay. Bad move. They caught wind of your conversation straight away. Seems like these soldiers, undead as they are, possess wits far more astute than those of the nearly brain dead souls that form the building blocks of the fortress' entirety.

    "What do you mean, Walter?"

    "I mean, 's someone right there, that pillar."

    "So what about it? There are people here all the time... I think...?"

    "Yes, but they're alive. I feel it in my bones that they are." The shortest undead trembles slightly as it interjects into the conversation. The MP40 jerks in its hands, slowly yet erratically. Its fingers twitch over the trigger. Drool pools and froths over its cracked lips.

    "So you say, Marco. But, is that so strange? Someone alive, here? Is that so weird at all?"

    "Joachim. Joachim. JOACHIM. Listen. Think. I know 's been long... Wait. Has it been long? No, wait, yes, has been," The undead referred to as 'Walter' speaks to the fixated skeptic, Joachim. "So, Joachim. Think about it. The only one here, in this whole place, still alive, the only one that SHOULD be still alive, is Lord Heydrich. ............right?" It stresses that, trying to convince every one, itself included.

    "Is that so, Walter?" Joachim asks.

    " 's so, Joachim. 's so, so, SO so." Walter's corpse-grey tongue dances erratically about his stained, cracked teeth.

    "No. No. No. No. No. Not anymore," says Marco. "Our Lord isn't alone, anymore, no longer, in that sense. Ever since that happened. Valhalla's new reinforcements! Half-alive, half-dead. I feel it. You feel it too, don't you? Don't you guys? Like blood in the water. They're all too vibrant to not notice..."

    The undead trio is insane. Countless ages of deathless rot has seen to that. Yet, "Marco's" madness is to the point that it has cycled on and turned in on itself. His is a madness that manifests him being something of an idiot savant amongst the trio, and yet a madness it remains all the same.

    "I saw? But I didn't SEE it? I missed the forest for the trees? So many new brothers and sisters, so many of them so powerful, that I couldn't see the weakest of them all until stepped on them, like a vole under my shoe?" asked Joachim, raising his gun in hand.

    "The ingenuity of a child. Ahh, thanks, Marco." said Walter.

    "My age. I lied about it when I first joined, Hauptfeldwebel," said Marco, to Walter. "It has been so long that I'm surely a child no longer."

    "Dead or not, the young will alw'ys be younger! N' that's your privilege!" Walter jovially, weakly wheezes, over and over and over—the laughter of a superior's heart, amused by their underling ward.

    Walter went on. "But, if they're alive, and not so strong, that means...something important..."

    "Yes? Yes??? Oh, yes? They must be the one, then?" A spark of recognition flared up in the sunken, dark sockets of Joachim's sallow face.

    " 'es. Alive, but not mighty. Meaning they're special, but in their own way. Meaning--"

    "—they're Lord Heydrich's special guest!"
    "—they're Lord Heydrich's special guest!"
    "—they're Lord Heydrich's special guest!"
    They who were once part of a highly-trained regiment had begun to again work in tandem and spoke those words about you all at once.

    "It's been a while, right? But you heard Him, right? Glories and honors upon those who finish the job?"

    "We'll all move on from the preliminary events and we'll be heroes!"

    "I wonder if that's really what Lord Heydrich had in mind, since it'd cut the festivities short..."

    Even so, the trio raised their guns at you. They drew a shaky bead on you and the pillar between you and them. A moment passes, all too brief. Then, their guns roar, with the synchronicity of a practiced firing squad. Barrels spit. Bullets bounce. They woop and yelp and lead crashes against the human-bone ivory-marble of the pillar that separates you and certain death.

    "Snap! Master! Gimme a sec, and hold still!" Fourlin scrambles up your pant leg and shirt and latches onto your forearm.

    In confusion, you yell, trying to be heard over the gunfire and forgetting that your Servant-familiar can hear you in their thoughts just fine. "What are you—?!"

    "When the time is right, point me at them! I'll show you why it's called Four KOMBAT Model MK-IV!" says Fourlin.

    A moment passes, all too brief. Just as brief as when the firefight started. Did they expend their clips? Are they waiting for you? Either way, the undying Nazis moan and the ball is in your court.

    "NOW—!!" Fourlin commands, and sounding so very much like a master directing an apprentice. You hold your fist forward and steady it, like it's a gun, like how you've used the built in gandr-application of the Chaldea-issued combat uniform so many times before, and charge out and away from the safety of the pillar. You push all idle thought to the back of your mind and choose to trust, trust and focus on any and all orders that Fourlin might further give while you're on the battlefield.

    The hallway...is not a shooting range, nor are you the intended target of a threesome of deranged zombies' guns. You almost feel foolish, but instead of feeling foolish you instead feel wary. What should have been the site of a firefight is now unsettlingly quiet.

    The soldiers are still there, still standing in place, their rifles still drawn. They glare at you, snarl impotently, in frustrated confusion. "As soon...as we opened fire..." Their words and inhuman vocalizations come through clenched teeth and tight jaws. The three of them quiver. It is the most that they can accomplish in their current state.

    They can't move. Thread so thin as to be translucent has them so tightly entrapped that they cannot even resume firing on you.

    Just like flies caught in a spider's web.

    "Senpai, someone's there!" Matthew warns you over the comm, her voice crackling through the disrupted transmission.

    "Ah, what fortune. To think that I would be the first among His servants to come face-to-face with the newcomer. What fortune I have that you were dropped right on my very doorstep. Perhaps this is an omen of further fortune to come to me. Sounds fine to me, if that's to be!"

    A new man has appeared. He lowers himself down to the floor while he stands atop the shimmering, transparent threads. Unlike the zombies before, his SS uniform is immaculate. Not frayed whatsoever, nor torn from the struggles of battle or burnt from the fires of war. His pin is clean and shiny, and his armband is a vibrant crimson, the color of fresh blood. So too is he not plagued with the rot of the undead. His skin is fair, and his form gaunt, and his draping grey hair is thoroughly kempt. Without a doubt, this man is on an entirely different level of existence than the zombies.
    "But...we were here first, sir..."

    "Do be quiet for now, Schütze Schmidt and others. This moment is mine," the new man says that and flexes his fingers into a fist. The countless cords contract, strangling and slicing and slicing the soldiers in an instant. Their voice boxes and spinal nerves are severed, and the leashes tighten on them even further than before. Chunky coagulated blood gels at the site of their wounds, too thick and old to freely spill from the slits.

    "He's not a Servant, but with his spiritual density he might as well be one!" Matthew didn't need to tell you that. You can feel it. His presence reminds you so very much of a Servant's.

    "Hm? Do you have a radio on hand with you, newcomer? I regret to inform you that that probably won't do you much good here." His beady, sallow eyes gleam with a liveliness the undead lacked, and his wide grin is that of a trickster god's. "—and when your friendly neighborhood information officer informs you of that you know that to be a professional opinion!"

    "...what are you?" You look to the man and the entrapped, mutilated zombies. Men that should have been comrades-in-arms. What was to blame? Cruelty? Insanity? The very nature of this hell? "Who are you?"

    "Number X of the Longinus Dreizhen Orden—Spinne, Rote Spinne." He introduces himself with a bow and a renewed smile. "And, since the opportunity has presented itself to me, I shall welcome you to our order, oh newcomer!" Spinne takes your bare palm in his gloved one and shakes your hand. "Truly, this must be an omen," Spinne whispers in your ear, his words candid and intimate, his breath tickling your eardrum, "that you'll be the one to free me."

    "Pardon?" you ask.

    Fourlin dashes off of your forearm and chomps down on the back of Spinne's neck with his needle teeth. Spinne gives a startled cry and rips the small animal of a Servant's avatar from him, drawing some blood in the process. "Well now, you're quite the feisty one, and something else, too, to be able to harm me!"

    "You'd best stay away from my Master, you untrustworthy lout." Fourlin threatens him, an action less like Merlin and more suitable for Four's wheelhouse.

    Despite his light injury Spinne seems to instead find this charming. "Look at that! It can talk, too! What a wondrous world. Lord Heydrich picked up someone of true interest. Perhaps you might truly be the one to get things going."

    "What is going on here? What do you want with Senpai?"

    "Radio Maiden, we are in Gladsheim. Battles rage here, day in and day out, until time loses all meaning. Then, we continue on, until the end of time. All in the name of Lord Heydrich. We have no say in the matter. We're made to like it, the eternally recurring cycle of death," Spinne says. "Of course, life's nothing without some good kills, fine women to ravish, and valuable riches to take! A fresh and exciting world full of opportunity to plunder is the best! ...His world is nothing like that..."

    Fourlin asks, while still being held by the scruff of his furry neck. "Yet you're one of Heydrich's underlings. Why should we help a traitor? What guarantee is there that you won't betray us as well, or that this isn't a ruse?"

    Rote Spinne is a criminal. He's a self-admitted murderer, thief, and lech—

    "At least he's not an amnesiac old man," you say.

    —Yet, you can tell, that there is a sincerity in his words. The words of a man allowed his full faculties and freedom for the first time in ages, even if it be within this gilded birdcage known as Gladsheim.

    "Well, there you go. I might be considerably older than you, but at least I've my wits!" Spinne replies.

    "Spinne might be an unscrupulous guy, but as long as said unscrupulous guy is willing to help out then I don't mind."

    "It's that simple for you, huh, Senpai?" Matthew observes.

    "And you certainly did say that you wanted some allies, Master," says Fourlin. "This might not be exactly what you had in mind, but it's a start."

    "Actually," you say, "he reminds me a lot of Mephistopheles. I wonder how that guy's doing."

    "Mephistopheles?!" The Number X sputters, dropping Fourlin to the floor and at least freeing him. The weight of his Lord Almighty weighs heavy upon Spinne's mind so, that the mere mention of His name from such an unexpected source caught him off-guard. "The king of our world, of your world... The Golden Beast...!"

    "HahahahahaHAHA-HAAAH! Yes, Mephistopheles! Golden beasts, schmolden beasts! I know little of that and kings of so-and-so world, but they call ME a beast, and a king of Hell, to boot! Hahahahaaaa!"

    "Speak of the devil!" you say, and indeed, it seems to just that, for at the mention of his name—as if by magic—the Caster is at your side, cackling like a banshee and his eyes rolling as he prances about in his tight purple circus-wear.

    "Fear! Sweet, sweet fear, ripe to shear, and with the devil's blades! That vile soul that stands before you, Master—" He licks his chops, brandishes those forementioned shears, the devil's blades. "Heh. Hyahahahahaaaa~! The Hell that I hail from croons madly in my ears and begs me to drag that ancient evil to the bottom circle!!"

    "I wouldn't do that. He's our ally n—"

    Mephistopheles was never the most stable of Servants. However, the Mephistopheles before you now...

    "Yes! Yes! A fitting punishment for the war criminal! My
    curses
    bombs
    will blow him all the way to the center of the earth, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, faaaaar away from God's prying light—!"

    The hum of insect wings. The clicking of clockwork. The bite of scissors, hungry for flesh and blood and punishment. Screeching in maddened delight, Mephistopheles lunges towards Spinne and appears as a violet blur.

    Mephistopheles, the tempter, has fallen to the Valhallan siren song. A path that would have led to an additional ally is dead on arrival. A former ally of yours turns his blade on your compatriot and newfound ally and turns his back on you.

    The devilish Servant is faster than Spinne. But, Spinne is on edge. He is the Red Spider of Warsaw. He is an ambush predator. He deftly twists and turns out of the way of the wickedly serrated grasp of the scissors. "Einherjar or not, I'd prefer my insides stay on the inside!" He says with a wary smile. "A warrior's paradise, a world where the strong reign supreme and bloodshed happens every minute of every day--of course that's a world that a coward like me would despise!"

    "Is that so??? Ha! Hahahaha! Hah! Then of course I'd make my appearance, all to punish a naughty sinner like you!" Mephistopheles spins wide, overswinging with each blow. The homunculus looks like he's a dancer on a stage, playing the part of Faust's antagonist for a stage play. A violet blur of a Servant wielding a violet blur of a razor-sharp weapon; it is doubtlessly a role that he was born to play.

    The hum of insect wings grows louder. The clicking of clockwork is a background noise that raises in volume with each passing moment. Mephistopheles' parasitic bombs bury themselves, skitter across the ground, buzz through the air, eager to spread through the hall and infest Spinne with misfortune.

    "A mage without any familiars scampering about is practically naked, and I see that you've plenty on hand!" Observation and reaction are Spinne's bread and butter, the tools of his shadowy trade. Every successful operation owed to his intel, every successful assassination, silent execution, was the result of his frightful resourcefulness. His body was surely limber, but it was nothing compared to his mind.

    Those who remain sane can always plan against those who let madness drive them, and Mephistopheles was square in the middle of a mental spell.

    "Your bugs, I'll entrap them in my web—!" Spinne sneers slyly as he waves his arms and bounces off an ivory pillar. The xanthous-red ambient light of the castle's interior gives his threads a gossamer glow, like numerous strings of spun gold. He closes a fist and the strings likewise close in, coalesce. Spinne swings the hundredfold of cords, and the strings, infused with the hairs of the victims that he'd strangle nightly, slammed down onto Mephistopheles. The whip coils around the semi-Einherjar's forearm, like a python, of the same arm that he carries his wicked pair of scissors with. The wires cut into his arm, evidenced only by the blood that trickles past the cords.

    "HAH!" Mephistopheles gives a loud chortle, a true and sharp bellyache of a laugh. He clicks his large shears out of amusement, all that he can do with them now that he cannot even switch his weapon to his other hand, trapped as it is with him. "What about my bugs and your web, now?"

    "--I lied," the L∴D∴O member replies.

    "HAHAHAHAHA! What fun! You are quite a bad man, Rote Spinne!" The Caster laughs even as he's pulled and swung by the entrapping cord. "I REALLY want your soul, now! NOW! Haha! Come, now! Let me cut your web to bits! Bits!"

    "That's not allowed, my erstwhile foe!" Spinne shrugs and gives a verbal riposte. "Soldiers! Let him have it and the newcomer's yours!"

    You take exception to this treachery. "Spinne! Why you--!"

    "Ssh!" The would-be troublemaker puts a finger of his runic circle-gloved hand to his mouth and winks at you. As he does that, he adjusts his wrist.

    If the opponent is stronger than you, then do not get hit. If the opponent is faster than you, then control their movement options. If the opponent is vulnerable, then hit them with a decisive maneuver that'll end the fight.

    Spinne intended to do just that. He frees up the imprisoned footsoldiers only so much, but it is just enough for the handicapped glory hounds to resume their so-craved firefight. Their three MP40s again spew forth hot lead, directed this time at the frenzied and tied-down Mephistopheles. The mad homunculus pulls up, down, left, right, pulling this way and that like a powerful bass caught on a fishing line, cackling all the way. "What sort of spider frees the flies from his web so that they may do his bidding?!" He's on the verge of tears from so much laughter.

    Many bullets miss. Many bullets drive into him. Red wounds pepper Mephistopheles from whatever side he exposes to the gunmen.

    The gunfire ceases, their clips emptied. Mephistopheles collapses to the floor in a puddle of his own blood.

    "We did...it?"

    "W' did it!"

    "Yeah, we did it!"

    The trapped, undead soldiers celebrate the success of the operation, eager for rewards straight from Spinne's good graces.

    "Spinne... I spoke too soon. There truly is a place in Hell for a conniver of your impeccable caliber...!"

    "What?! The Servant Mephistopheles is still...?!"

    Though he spoke while prone on the floor, he undertook his actions.

    The soldiers, unable to move on their own beyond what access they were granted, squirm. Their insides squirm. "Spinne, sir...!" They call to their superior in agony. Agony and fear.

    "
    Tick-Tock Bomb
    Lullaby Explosives
    "


    Boom-boom-boom. The explosions go off inside of them. One after another, without pause, a head pops like a carcass-filled balloon; a chest bursts apart like a crushed spider lily; an abdomen's half-decayed guts spill forth like spaghetti shot out of a tube. Death has been visited upon the undead, the lowest tier of Einherjar, and their mangled bodies dangle on the web.

    Mephistopheles' parasitic bombs do their job, and more of them still remain.

    "Caster can use his bombs freely like this?" you ask, with no small amount of wary awe.

    "Perhaps it's due to the nature of this place that he is able to," Fourlin takes a guess.

    "Do you remember what I said, Spinne? About my
    curses
    bombs?
    and you?" Insect-bombs crawl up Mephistopheles' wounded body, gather on his trapped arm--right atop Spinne's threads. "There's a wonderful, cold place juuuust waiting for you!"

    With a somewhat worried expression, Spinne retracts the wires as fast he can. The garrotes snap back to him so quickly that the bugs a brushed off from the force, unable to directly harm said cords. "Smart choice. Smart choice! Very much like what a clever man like you would choose to do." Mephistopheles is wounded. He wobbles as he stands. His legs shake like those a newborn calf's. Still, he stands. Determination does not drive him--it is the spirit of war, the very vibes of this venerated Valhalla. "I do, do wonder what you'll do when I cut IT. Every single one of your precious strings. Straw spun into gold, heeheehee! I wonder how you'll react, what pain you'll display, where you'll bleed every last undying drop of blood."

    "--No cold place await any of you weaklings."

    A woman's voice, so harsh and so commanding, reverberates through the hall, and the temperature rises, as if the place were an oven and someone had turned on the heat.

    There is little doubt that that someone is her.

    "Senpai!"

    "Matthew!?"

    "Someone's coming. Stronger than anyone here."

    A flame billows forth from a minuscule spark into a raging conflagration in an instant. In that same instant, Spinne's cords set alight. "Auuuugh-!" he cries, and the Red Spider banishes the remainder of his web to somewhere safe before the weapon completely burns down. Smoke billows from him in numerous places, his body and uniform burning in sympathy to the flames that licked at the web.

    That doesn't stop the fire from burning. It continues to burn and burn, like fire at the heart of a great engine. A flame that continues to burn all for fuel. The zombies, undead and half-dead, screech as every molecule of theirs is kindled for a great flame, as if even their very humanity is obliged to serve as fuel for the arrival of this powerful soul. The fire grows larger, brighter, sublimates to the next level, from lordly conflagration to royal inferno. Your clothes are drenched in sweat that instantly evaporates in the heat. The fire in the hallway ignites a visceral and irrational fear in your heart. You fear that the fire will grow forever and consume the earth like a proto-sun.

    The absoluteness of this fire reminds you of Goetia's machinations.

    Tears well in your eyes, and those too evaporate in that merciless heat.

    After a few eternal-seeming seconds, the fire disperses, leaving a dreadful heat in its wake -- and a red-headed, scarred woman garbed in an SS uniform.

    "AH! It's a battalion commander, and Rubedo herself! She found us! Oh, what a short-lived rebellion this was!" Spinne laments, a wistful shrug about his shoulders and regret in his watery, manic eyes.

    "What sort of damn fool rebellion do you speak of, Spinne?" The woman, "Rubedo," less asks him a question and more interrogates the first L∴D∴O to have met with you. Being near her is like being deep under the sea, a sea of burning hot water, of utterly immense and utterly overwhelming pressure.

    "Oh? Ohhh! It was b-but a slip of the tongue, Samiel! There's been so much excitement recently and I haven't had such freedom as of late that it's been a tad overwhelming, don't you know?" Spinne replied, hasty, nervous.

    Rubedo, Samiel, the commander folds her arms, lifting up the crimson, rune-embroidered stole that drapes over the back of her neck and hangs down the front of her chest. "I understand that this is a time for festivities and that the rules have somewhat changed to reflect this. That said, even if Lord Heydrich were to forgive you for treachery, I never will."

    "D-Duly noted."

    "Same," you say, under your breath. Fourlin, who has climbed onto your shoulder, likewise nods out of grim acknowledgment.

    "Like a succubus sculpted from the fires of Hell itself..." Mephistopheles leaned up against a pillar, dressed with numerous gunshot wounds, but still holding himself together somewhat and somehow. "If there's anyone, ANYONE, who can put the fear of God into me..."

    You think that he might actually be a bit scared of her.

    "What manner of filthy thing is this?" Samiel catches sight of Mephistopheles and is absolutely underwhelmed.

    "That thing, Samiel, is one of the new recruits from the army that Lord Heydrich commandeered."

    "I know that, for I'm neither blind nor daft. That is not what I'm asking."

    "That, that-- Well, that is some kind of mage. It has some particularly nasty capabilities, too. It'll have its uses on the battlefield." He offers her a shrug and a frank explanation, all that he can do. You've been witness to leadership dynamics before, but nothing to this scale of might and fear since perhaps your adventure in the Camelot singularity and the Lion King. It's not a one-to-one comparison, but the authority and strength she possesses makes her and Spinne's interaction all the more uncanny to behold.

    "We'll see," she merely says, professional detachment and dismissiveness as heavy as ever. "Then, this person is--?"

    "They," said Spinne, "are the newcomer. And their pet rat."

    "Refer to them by their title, Spinne," Samiel walks over to you, her footsteps loud and pronounced to you because of how focused you are on the intimidating woman. "...Legate."

    " 'Legate?' " Everyone asks, in unison. Spinne, Fourlin, Matthew, you. You all linger on the word, and you, in particular, feel the weight of it upon your shoulders like the world's heaviest barbell.

    "Lord Heydrich's latest conquest was highly profitable. It is no exaggeration to say that it is the third most significant achievement undertaken by the Longinus Dreizhen Orden, and is up there with its founding and successful emanation. Hundred of new soldiers, legendary figures from across space and time, each one strong enough to rank on the Obsidian Round Table in some way. They are as strong as an Ahnenerbe user, and some are stronger than some of our Ahnenerbe users. The things we could accomplish with them, in His name.

    "--and yet, none of them will be offered a seat. Not even an honorary one. None sans you." Samiel looks you square in the eyes, and you feel heavy, cold, hot, nauseous. "The weakest recruit ever in the history of the Longinus Dreizhen Orden, yet the army you possess is enough to grant you an honorary honor. He truly smiles upon you, and His blessing is not to be taken lightly."

    You don't know what to say. So therefore, you say the most honest thought in your mind. "You've got to be kidding me."

    "It is no ruse. Hence, you are 'Legate,' of the Second Army, they who do not have a seat at the table and yet do all the same."

    "You've got to be kidding me!"

    As soon as those words pass your lips Samiel slaps you. You go flying until you smash into a wall. You've never been in a car crash before--or have you, you don't remember, your brain is scrambled--but you know that this must be way worse. Whiplash, bruised bones, burning nerves. Your canals are a mess. You have vertigo and you've fallen on the damn floor. "Master?! Master!" Fourlin scampers over to you from where he landed, concerned for you.

    "Hurts, shit..."

    Honestly, you're surprised that you're still conscious. You're surprised that you're still alive. Perhaps casting all of that magic, even if it was just vicariously through the various wearable mystic codes that Chaldea had at its disposal, was enough to change your body just enough to handle some "rough-housing." Even so, you cough, and you feel the pain deep within. You cough, and it hurts to cough. You cough up a bloody, chipped piece of tooth into your lap. Your mouth tastes like it's full of pennies.

    "You have some nerve, and I have little patience for the likes of a fool. I expected better discipline from a soldier, even one that's a monkey like you. There's no draft-dodging in Hell, little Legate. Get it over with and bend the knee to Lord Heydrich."

    "P-Piss off! You're a bunch of idiots," you force the words out. "You have no idea what I've gone through. What we've gone through to get here so that YOU guys could even come here! To go through all that, to just give up AND change teams just because you've destroyed the world and say that I have to throw it in with you...yeah, you're definitely idiots!"

    There have been quite a few moments where you instantly regret your choices. Letting the pain take over your lips is one of them.

    Samiel glares at you, her fury cold but her fire hot. "Very well. I realize that it has to be this way. Why should it be any different for our newest to-be member? One way or another, all of us were initiated into His legion by way of combat."

    Twenty tubes manifest around Samiel, pointed in your direction. "G-Gun barrels!" Fourlin exclaims, revealing the true nature of the metal cylinders.

    "Your desire to resist is natural, and will soon be overtaken. All who are here will eventually join His legion. All who join will eventually seek Lord Heydrich's blessings. You will soon never know life without it, nor will you never want to be without it."

    'If this is the end, then let the end come,' you think.

    The guns audibly cock, their chambers loaded up with bullets within the imaginary space that this battalion commander keeps her weapons and pokes them into reality.

    "The actions Eleonore von Wittenburg undertake are His actions, His will is mine. Grit your teeth, little Legate – an Einherjar's first death is always the worst of the bunch, I've been told!

    "———So, welcome to Hell, recruit!"

    'But, if there's someone, anyone, who can rescue me, I'd really, really, appreciate that--'

    The guns fire. The unfortunately familiar sound of firearm discharge fills the hallway again. If you never have to hear a gunshot again you just might die happily.

    "He comes! Alexander!" A voice full of triumph and vigor declares.

    If once is a coincidence, then twice.....

    "Speak of the devil..." you say, in weary realization.

    A crimson blur makes your world twist and turn. However, it is not the all-mighty red death of Rubedo dealing an enslaving killing blow to you. No, what it is, and what you see, is the charming red hair and clothes of the boy hero, the future King of Conquerors, Alexander III. "Oh man, you've gotten yourself into quite a pickle, huh Master?"

    No, right now he is definitely Alexander the Great.

    "Yeah..." you reply, tired and grateful. You feel the gallop of a horse beneath you, doubtlessly Alexander's original, most faithful steed.

    "Well now! We oughta to do something about that, doncha think?"

    "It won't...be easy, you know. To say nothing of the situation, she's so strong..."

    Even as he steadfastly holds the reins, Alexander cocks his head. " 'Easy?' What's that? Sounds like something not worthwhile. Let's take it one step at a time. That's how all conquests happen. You say she's strong, too? Great! I'm strong, I also like my enemies to be strong, so this sounds fun!" As he is atop horseback and circumnavigates the grandiose hall, Alexander the Great and Samiel make eye contact. From one military commander to commander, a connection is made.

    "I see a real hero has presented themselves," Eleonore notes, pulling a cigar from her breast pocket, lighting it with her rune, and taking a puff on it. "This is a much more fitting initiation for you, Legate. A simple beating without you even being able to showcase why you're qualified as Seat material would have made a terrible memory for you to carry into the eons."

    "Ooh! Scary lady!" replies Alexander, a bright and eager smile on his face. He draws his sword and you hang on tightly to his back.

    "Men," Elenore takes a long, hard drag of her cigar, long and hard enough to burn the thing all the way down to a third. She opens her mouth, breathes out a thick line of smoke. "Open fire."

    The MP40s materialize again and immediately spit forth bullets. "Hyah, Bucephalus!" Alexander calls and kicks at the side of the horse, beckoning it to higher speeds. The gunshots closely follow the horse, forcing it into a full gallop from the get-go. Chunks of marble dust is kicked up into the air where each bullet impacts. Walls, pillars, statuary, flooring -- anything

    "She's really riding your ass, Alexander!" Fourlin astutely notes.

    "She's changing projectiles, Rider!"

    "Cool! Grab those reins, Master!"

    "Huh?!"

    "You're not the only one here who has ridden horseback, hero." Eleonore refers to her noble past, and upon bringing up that detail she shifts focus from tracking you and Alexander with the machine guns. "Show me the moves of the Macedonian Genius and how well they work when you've an escort in tow, boy!" Eleonore changes up on you. Gone are those high-speed MP40s. In their place is an equal number of propelled grenades, their firing tubes and those who possibly pull the triggers out of sight and not even fully materialized. They are the Panzerfausts, so favored by the German Army during WWII for its cost-effective and reliable anti-vehicle capabilities.

    A boy-king, his magus Master, and a furball atop a horse is an unconventional target, but it is arguably a vehicle all the same.

    The twenty missiles jet forth, targeting the speeding Bucephalus and his precious cargo. Alexander was unperturbed. Thrilled, even. "Nice one, lady! Hey, let me show you the anti-javelin technique I learned during my early days of campaigning!" As you hold onto the reins for dear life, Alexander makes his move. He dares the deadly projectiles to come, and his eyes widen with focus and excitement the moment one of them gets too close.

    He spins atop the horse, gripping the back and holding himself in place, but enabling himself a range of movement. He sweep kicks atop his beloved beast of burden and knocks aside one of the rocketing explosives with a swing of his calf. The thing is knocked off course, drives into the floor, and detonates. Alexander does it again, changes position, reverses the flow and knocks aside a sneakier pair. They collide into each other, crash into a pillar, and the force of the explosion is enough to snap the architectural rod in two.

    A handstand atop Bucephalus that kicks the explosive up into the air, to fall to the floor. A stationary twist-kick, to take out two more at once, again. Over and over. He looks like he's playing. He looks like he's dancing. But these, these are tactics. All the while, his movements help steer Bucephalus from the proverbial backseat. Or, rather, it was the depth of their trust in their relationship that enabled the horse to move so adeptly, so complimentary to Alexander's defensive maneuvers.

    "Ha! That was fun! Hey, ma'am, if you're so bored then go and give me something a little harder!"

    Fourlin barks. "Alexander, please!"

    Despite moving at very fast high speeds, you spot something out of the corner of your eye. The MP40s floating about Samiel are shifting positions. "R-Rider! The guns' formation!" Engaging in Masterly duties, you bring this development to your Servant's attention.

    "She thinks she can pull a fast one. She's a sharp foe, alright! Get ready, partner!" Alexander urges Bucephalus, and the horse's tension increases.

    The guns again audibly cock, signaling the next round to start. Four rows of five guns orbit Samiel, pentagonally-oriented, and they fire and spin at full speed. It's a gale of guns, a storm of bullets fired in every direction, with no possible free space that would facilitate evasion.

    --If evasion isn't possible, then the only strategy is defense.

    Alexander stands atop Bucephalus' back, looking like a performer at a circus. He swings his sword, again and again and again. But, the bullets keep on coming and coming. Samiel is shooting to kill, just like she always has. "Alright, time to change things up just a pinch!" your boyish Servant admits. "Hold on REALLY tight this time, Master! I promise you that it's going to be a ride to remember!"

    "My memory is perfect! I don't need anything more memorable!" you say.

    "That's my line, Master!" Fourlin counter-quips, and he buries himself into your pocket.

    Still swinging his sword, barely able to keep up, the odd bullet whizzes by, a precarious and ominous thing. Alexander's face is contorted into a grimace, and his eyebrows are intensely furrowed in concentration. "Zeus'...! Thunder--!!!"

    Alexander explodes into a burst of lightning. The lightning envelops Bucephalus. Envelops you, too. Fourlin says something, but you can't hear him. Perhaps it was a scream of fear and pain. You know that's why you're screaming. You don't know why Alexander is screaming. It must be a battle cry. You can't hear it with your ears, but you hear it with your heart. Even without hearing it, with his sword drawn, and his mouth wide open, that visceral and unmistakable sight and sound has etched itself onto your soul again and again, now matter how old he is.

    The divine lightning outruns the bullets, drives away the bullets. The field of danmaku has been temporarily cleared through the timely usage of a limited-use power-up, so to speak. There isn't a moment to hesitate. In that so brief timeframe, Alexander charges Samiel, ready to strike her down.

    He swings his sword. He brings it down on her. The sound of metal striking metal is the first thing to greet your ears at the clearing of the thunderous lightning mode.

    Alexander the Great swung his sword. Samiel Zentaur swung her sword.

    This was no draw. This was no stalemate. It was just another blow exchanged in what would be a long and ongoing battle.

    "The number of people who have compelled me to draw my sword as I am now is few," Samiel says. "I'll let you relish the feeling for a brief moment."

    "An honor is an honor," Alexander said frankly, almost simple-mindedly. "I'll treasure it for the eternity allotted to me, both in and out of the Throne."

    "An eternity truly will await you soon enough, you to-be-legionnaires," Elenore, Samiel, Rubedo insists as if it is the most natural, most inevitable thing to ever occur.

    Deep down, somewhere, you believe her.

    That terrifies you, and drives you.

    "Master," says Alexander. "I have an idea. But first, you'll have to--"

    "First, you'll have to invite ME to this wonderful banquet! This exquisite party! The festival to top all festivals! The Valhallan Homecoming! No party is a party without me, because without me a party won't ever be a BANG! Your parties deserve a Mephistopheles to spice things up ever so gloriously and wondrously! Can't have the end of the world without the devil to see it through! Haahaahayayayahahahakehhhhhh!!!" says you-know-who, that bombastic Caster, as he excitedly clicks the shears.

    You ask, "Mephistopheles?! Did he recover enough to--"

    "No, take a closer look, Master." Fourlin replies.

    You do so, and you see it. The azures and violets and royal purples of his tight clothes are covered in thick, all-consuming blotches of red. Blood. Mephistopheles' blood. His body can barely stand, but stand he does, facing Eleonore von Wittenburg, one of the fabled battalion commanders of the Longinus Dreizhen Orden.

    From a safe distance, Rote Spinne looks on.

    "It's this thing again," Samiel says.

    "O' flame maiden! O' fire princess!! O' queen on the conflagration!!! This is your Hell! Yet, this Hell is my Hell, too! This place, this Hell, is a place truly, truly made for me! Here, a devil can be a devil! Mayhem reigns! Chaos rules! Behold, BEHOLD! An end of the world to celebrate the end of the WORLD! KA-BOOOOOM!" Dripping blood, shaking like a leaf, madness in his eyes, Mephistopheles detonates it.

    Explosions upon explosions. A veritable symphony of combusting parasitic bombs, nestled in little burrows they dug themselves into the soul-granite. The ground shakes. Cracks. Falls apart. Like a natural disaster ravages the hallway. Or a war has truly come to this part of the castle.

    "How dare you demolish even a single tile of Lord Heydrich's beautiful Gladsheim, you cur!" Samiel admonishes Mephistopheles, fury seeping into her voice.

    "All's fair in love and war, says that one guy that everyone knows! And Lord Heydrich, he certainly did say that all things are good to go in this war festival! Hahahahaha! Salud! Cheers!! Grazie!!! 乾杯!!! Drink and be merry, because we gotta kill each other really good!"

    "You--you are no devil. You're a mere imp, lost in the palace of the Lord of the Dead--Lucifer the Lightbringer, the true Mephistopheles here!"

    "KABOOM!" Goes the maddened Mephistopheles-Servant, and further explosions wrack the hall, shake the place like an earthquake. It's unavoidable. You, Fourlin, and Alexander and Bucephalus are swallowed up by a deep hole.

    You fall. You scream. You're afraid of death. After all of that, is this how it'll end? Friendly fire via a former ally turned liability? The injustice of it all, the unfairness makes you cry to the heavens that exist beyond the castle's ceilings.

    'Go on, Master.'

    As you free-fall, you hear it. A voice in your mind. The voice of your Servant...

    'Is that you? Is that really, truly you?' you ask.

    'Go on, Master. To the bottom of this world's well, where a secreted-away treasure surely exists.'

    'It's you, isn't it...?' you reply.

    'Good luck, Master. For now, I'll have some fun here. ...I can't wait to make this interesting world all the more interesting with my rambunctious presence!'

    '...See you later, Mephisto.'

    An explosion of heat and fire so intense that you feel it even at the depth you've fallen and the echoing howl of twenty Schmeissers unloading their 32-round clips into Mephistopheles bids you farewell as you all fall into the abyss, far away from God's prying light.


    .

    - ] | [ -

    .



    Next Time:


    TWILIGHT OF THE GODS

    STARCLASHED MATRYOSHKA

    LOSERS' CLUB

    F O R E K N O W L E D G E


    TO BE CONTINUED...


    Singularity Xth: A.D. 1942
    King from the Other World

    ~Rex tremendæ majestatis -- Die wunderbar Träumerei~



    CHAPTER I: There's no Draft-Dodging in Hell



    Table of Contents:
    I - There's no Draft-Dodging in Hell




    A/N: Looks like this is my return to serialized fanfiction.
    Also—
    Leyshift, not rayshift; Matthew, not Mash/Mashu; Four, not Fou; Senpai, but (sadly) not by choice; umu never
    Last edited by ItsaRandomUsername; Yesterday at 11:53 PM.
    McJon01: We all know that the real reason Archer would lose to Rider is because the events of his own Holy Grail War left him with a particular weakness toward "older sister" types.
    My Fanfics. Read 'em. Or not.



  4. #4
    Ein schwacher Mensch, doch ein starker Raucher I3uster's Avatar
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    ill pay attention to this

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    if you need german hit me up
    Quote Originally Posted by Strife ❤️ View Post
    Capitalism has failed me

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    TATARI Heiress ItsaRandomUsername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I3uster View Post
    ill pay attention to this

    - - - Updated - - -

    if you need german hit me up
    Ooh boy, this is gonna get
    authentic
    as
    f u c k

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, thanks.
    McJon01: We all know that the real reason Archer would lose to Rider is because the events of his own Holy Grail War left him with a particular weakness toward "older sister" types.
    My Fanfics. Read 'em. Or not.



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    この世全ての悪 ~ メイドラゴン Renko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaRandomUsername View Post
    Matthew
    Why? I'm confused.

    "......"

    Quote Originally Posted by Thedoctor View Post
    Why can't we all be as sexually devious as Renko?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renko
    "I really loathe Fanfictions that are so horrendously horrible, it makes me want to go get my massive NAIL BAT OF RAPTURE and swing it real HARD to any AUTHOR who will dare create such filthy and disgusting piece of literature!"

    "THEY WON'T SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY....THEY WILL SUFFER!"

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    TATARI Heiress ItsaRandomUsername's Avatar
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    Girls with boys names are cute.

    I mean, sure, Mash being Mash because "Mash the Chaldean" makes perfect sense. But, on the other hand, Matthew. It's super cute.
    McJon01: We all know that the real reason Archer would lose to Rider is because the events of his own Holy Grail War left him with a particular weakness toward "older sister" types.
    My Fanfics. Read 'em. Or not.



  8. #8
    Salt Manju Vacha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaRandomUsername View Post
    Girls with boys names are cute.
    Kentucky Fried Kirei, nah i'm joking. Nothin here

    well, told ya.


    Quote Originally Posted by Imperial View Post
    'kay
    You jest?:3

    Even ▆▆ end up on that place again

    The special hell on hill full of swords ---------------------------------------------------------The hill of bloody battlefield

  9. #9
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six RoydGolden's Avatar
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    I haven't had time to read the whole thing yet but this is incredible. Dies Irae fanfics are super rare, so just coming across one at all is a treasure, much less one that captures the original's grandiose chuuni feel.

    It's kind of a hard franchise to cross-over with anything though, given how insane(ly awesome) the power-levels get. Pretty much any of Reinhard's legionnaires could probably stomp the entire Fate cast with one hand tied behind their back. So far you at least seem to have done justice to that with Reinhard's skeleton monster tanking a bombardment from pretty much all the Servants in Chaldea at once, but I'm curious how you're going to give the Fate side a fighting chance here. Maybe they'll get some kind of power up from Marie's guillotine, like Ren in canon.

    That aside, I really love your writing style. Your prose can switch on a dime from incredibly grandiose and chuuni to very simple and casual, which makes for some startlingly comedic moments even in otherwise serious scenes. (I especially loved the "Put the 'Kraut' in sauerkraut" line). It can be hard to pull off such melodramatic writing without getting bogged down in purple prose, but you manage the balance perfectly IMO.

    Very nice job, and I'm looking forward to what you'll write next!

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    Eightfold Blessings of Smug Superiority Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    Oh boy, the first fic I've subbed to in years!

    You've got a reader right here, even if my only Deez Ears experience is the anime. Also bless your terminology choices, I knew we were friends for a reason.
    Supports:


    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

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    TATARI Heiress ItsaRandomUsername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoydGolden View Post
    I haven't had time to read the whole thing yet but this is incredible. Dies Irae fanfics are super rare, so just coming across one at all is a treasure, much less one that captures the original's grandiose chuuni feel.

    It's kind of a hard franchise to cross-over with anything though, given how insane(ly awesome) the power-levels get. Pretty much any of Reinhard's legionnaires could probably stomp the entire Fate cast with one hand tied behind their back. So far you at least seem to have done justice to that with Reinhard's skeleton monster tanking a bombardment from pretty much all the Servants in Chaldea at once, but I'm curious how you're going to give the Fate side a fighting chance here. Maybe they'll get some kind of power up from Marie's guillotine, like Ren in canon.

    That aside, I really love your writing style. Your prose can switch on a dime from incredibly grandiose and chuuni to very simple and casual, which makes for some startlingly comedic moments even in otherwise serious scenes. (I especially loved the "Put the 'Kraut' in sauerkraut" line). It can be hard to pull off such melodramatic writing without getting bogged down in purple prose, but you manage the balance perfectly IMO.

    Very nice job, and I'm looking forward to what you'll write next!
    Thanks. It was a bit of a balancing act, but I'm glad it seems to be effective. I wanted to say more, but I guess I'll hold off for now. Maybe for the next chapter? Who knows!

    Anywho, glad you enjoyed it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Rafflesiac View Post
    Oh boy, the first fic I've subbed to in years!

    You've got a reader right here, even if my only Deez Ears experience is the anime. Also bless your terminology choices, I knew we were friends for a reason.
    Make Fanfics Great Again, one update at a time.
    McJon01: We all know that the real reason Archer would lose to Rider is because the events of his own Holy Grail War left him with a particular weakness toward "older sister" types.
    My Fanfics. Read 'em. Or not.



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    ジュカイン Lycodrake's Avatar
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    IRUn writing again?
    Quote Originally Posted by Seika View Post
    Yes, excellent. Go, Lyco, my proxy.

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    死徒 Dead Apostle
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    I didn't know how much I wanted this until now.

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaRandomUsername View Post
    Simon Staussman had said, his voice a tad wistful as he took a swig from a canteen full of schnaps. "From the way she looks, if you warmed those remains up to a suitable temperature then she'd be just as taut and inviting as any living woman."
    Classy
    Quote Originally Posted by You View Post
    Achilles = You were forced to read the Iliad in high school. Oddessyus was cooler. You still cannot spell Odysseus.

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    Dead Apostle Eater Gally's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloble View Post
    whoa
    ^

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    ジョバンニの友人 Akyuu's Avatar
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    Was too busy to give this a read until now.

    God, this is really well written and I cannot convey with text how giddy I felt reading through that. I love how the grotesque descriptions accompany paragraphs where Reinhard is prevalent, and how the tone shifts into something lighter when Merlin or You speak and somehow it doesn't feel jarring. I love how in-character everyone is, particularly those from DI's side. Reinhard's lines are very charming, like the actual DI person, and Zamiel's are just as loyal. I love the choice of relevant servants so far, Merlin and Mephisopheles, and how fitting they both are so far. I love that random danmaku mention somewhere in there I don't remember, or the random 乾杯, wherever that was. And the battles felt almost as immersive as the ones in the VN, especially when Alexander appeared. Reading through this while listening to some of DI's tracks made the experience very authentic too. I've been starving for some fan DI work and this one just blew everything out of the park. And reading some parts imagining Mercurius narrating it was uh, an interesting experience too.

    That said, despite how well you've characterized Guda so far (not actually sure what to call him) I'm concerned with how his characterization is going to proceed going forward. The second-person narration made him bearable so far, but I'm not sure how much personality you can inject into him without feeling out of place, especially when personality is so important in DI. Cravings and whatnot. Are we going to get anything KKK related? Gudou and Hadou and all that? Concepts from KKK seems like it'd be awfully relevant to this.

    Please write more.
    updated 2017/10/15

  16. #16
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Wow... this is rather impressive! At least, I feel it is, and certainly others do as well.

    Anyway... I feel lost with the mention of KKK. What am I missing? Is that part of the Dies Irae universe or something else?
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

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




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

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




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

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