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Thread: Fate/Reclamation (IC)

  1. #181
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    Saber of 『 』
    15th of December, 2004
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)


    “I am a Servant. We can eat food, but we don’t need it.

    Are you not hungry?”
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    there aren't enough gun emojis in the thousandfold trichiliocosm for this shit


    Linger: Complete. August, 1995. I met him. A branch off Part 3. Mikiya keeps his promise to meet Azaka, and meets again with that mysterious girl he once found in the rain.
    Shinkai: Set in the Edo period. DHO-centric. As mysterious figures gather in the city, a young woman unearths the dark secrets of the Asakami family.
    The Dollkeeper: A Fate side-story. The memoirs of the last tuner of the Einzberns. A record of the end of a family.
    Overcount 2030: Extra x Notes. A girl with no memories is found by a nameless soldier, and wakes up to a world of war.

  2. #182
    焼け尽きた感情も Reiu's Avatar
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    Arwyn Cadfael Penrith
    15th of December, 2004
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)


    “……”

    For the first time in some time, he redirected his awareness to his physical state; a strangely unreal feeling.

    Lightheaded. Somewhat chilled, despite the shower. A vague dull pain somewhere, beneath the immediately more urgent sharp stinging of his arm.

    He ran the symptoms through his head.

    …The answer was an inconvenient one. He tried again.

    Perhaps he only imagining the lightheadedness. The chill could easily be explained as the remnant moisture on his skin from the shower evaporating, dispersing heat; after all, that was the same mechanism through which perspiration induced a lowered body temperature. As for the dull pain, perhaps he simply injured himself elsewhere without realizing. Or remembering. Somehow. It didn’t seem that unlikely. Did it?

    But in the end, he knew that if he couldn’t convince himself, he wasn't going to convince anyone.


    “…Not very……perhaps……
    ……j-just a little……”

    He mumbles, the last few words nearly inaudible.


  3. #183
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Mellon's Avatar
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    15th of December, 2004
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)
    Clock Tower (Department of V) - Alexandra's Office

    An amused noise suddenly echoed out from the doorway that led into Alexandra’s office.

    “The lady is right. It was quite a swift bit of gallantry there,
    Freogan. A true knight of the modern era, if I ever saw one."

    "I never knew you had it in you.”

    Accompanied by the slight wavering of his black and white attire, Trivian Vlastos walked into the room, seemingly completely at ease with the bizarre sight that welcomed him in Alexandra’s office. While his statement could be construed as mocking in some contexts, his voice held no real bite or animosity against his fellow Zoology lecturer. Simply some light-hearted ribbing at the expense of his fellow colleague. Unlike many in the Association, Trivian didn’t see his fellow lecturer’s family history as particularly important.

    Perhaps understandably, considering that his own magical lineage was on the cusp of fading out.

    Nevertheless, his lack of suprise at the current situation was peculiar… unless…

    There.

    You could sense something flickering in the barest edge of your consciousness, almost akin to a shadow flickering at the corner of your eyes before it suddenly skittered off again. Trivian’s Mazikeen familiars, no doubt. While at first glance one might try to categorize them as mere spirits, they were, in reality, a specific type of fairy from the Middle East that could not be seen using traditional senses and capable of surprising levels of magical destruction. No doubt the critters had been in the room far before the Greek magi had ever made his presence known. The fact that you could even identify their presence with the naked eye, suggested that their number in the room was quite significant. Interesting.

    Despite how it might look at first glance, and contrary to what Trivian himself had said mere moments ago, it seemed that Freogan wasn’t the only one who had been preparing for potential conflict.

    The dark-haired lecturer gave Alexandra a respectful nod.



    “Lady Chimeragenos, you requested my presence?”


  4. #184
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Alexandra Chimeragenos
    15th of December, 2004
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)
    Clock Tower (Department of V) - Alexandra's Office

    "Vlastos, your timing is as precise as always." The titan magus sat as still as the greatest mountains at the second arrival. From the instant the Lord had sent out her familiar to find the lecturer she had been actively counting the seconds, having already predicted the exact second at which he would arrive. Yet in contrast to her unflinching refusal to budge or react, the stone gargoyles hastily flew down to the floor, collecting the papers that had been scattered about by Freogan's heroic maneuver. A duo of the winged grotesques flew up to the Greek magus, offering him the handwritten specifics of the matter which Alexandra had called for him: the Holy Grail War. "Take a seat. Freogan, you as well."

    A final gargoyle, the one sent to retrieve Trivian Vlastos, flew in through the open door and directly over the man's shoulder. Perching itself atop the chair that matched the same one that Freogan had once seated himself in, the gargoyle turned dormant, its task complete.

    "As expected, Fenghuang will not be joining us today, but it's of no concern. The situation is not at a point where Vermillion is required."

    A flock of stone familiars unraveled a detailed map of London over the desk.

    "I am sure the both of you are aware that something has disrupted the leylines of London. It's unlikely that such a large scale uprooting of Second Owner privileges would escape notice of any magus of the Clock Tower. Undoubtedly there are meetings happening in every Department over how to respond to this situation, as well as efforts to ascertain the cause. In that sense, we are fortunate. I believe the ritual detailed in those papers to be the cause. The only feasible method to supply the energy necessary to see this ritual through would be to embed the core of the ritual to the leylines. The formal beginning of the ritual likely severed established rights to the land."

    The Lord leaned forward, resting her elbows on the desk and putting her hands together.

    "I have no interest in sweeping power plays, the available land will make its way back to the correct owners in time, but for now it should be viewed as assets. Assets that are available to more than just us."

    The Lord stopped there. There would be no need to talk down to the lecturers. At this point, her meaning couldn't be more clear. Now, she wanted their input.
    Quote Originally Posted by SeiKeo View Post
    Look, you can't just call something pedophilliac and expect everyone to believe you.


  5. #185
    Gendou Matou
    15th of December 2004
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rider
    Hmph, as if knowing my identity would be enough to save them. Nonetheless I concede to your plan, as much as I dislike the idea of skulking around in the shadows whilst battles are being fought. Still, I suppose rather than hunting down these places of power, I could look to hunting down our enemies instead. You would not take issue were I to find and disrupt a ritual attempting to take control of such a place, I assume?
    Ah, it seems I can't deter your from this decision of yours. It's only inevitable we'll need to battle on the first night at this rate...

    A shrug escaped the magus before he rummaged through his pocket. He'd need another one of these to get through this conversation...even if it was expected.

    We'll do both, recon and securing the area while gaining the rights to one of these places. I'm sure this is to your liking? A mixture of defense and offense, though I hope you know what we're getting into with this plan of ours. Still I suppose we'll be uniquely equipped to deal with anyone who comes snooping around in the worst case scenario.

    Glancing down to what he had taken out, a crumpled cigarette box with a not-too-common design, he shaked it slightly. Not too many left it seemed but it would have to be enough for now. With a tap, the smoke came out easily.

    There would be no room for mistakes tonight then.

    "Well, seems like we got a plan, lets make sure it works out."

    And then a thought struck him.

    He motioned the small box to the overbearing presence.

    "While we're at it, ya want one?"
    Last edited by Dranes; March 7th, 2018 at 08:24 PM.

  6. #186
    Berserker of Blue
    15th of December, 2004
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)
    Clock Tower (Department of V) - Alexandra's Office


    It would appear at first impression that Trivian Vlastos was Freogan's natural counterpart. It wasn't just the dry amusement in his remark that spoke of a well-worn familiarity; the poise with which the black-haired man carried himself set him at the opposite of his rowdy fellow lecturer. Berserker could imagine the kind of dynamic the two might have within the Department that Alexandra Chimeragenos presided over, but it was that woman's evident trust in them that established one thing beyond conjecture in the Servant's mind. Though they could not carry themselves any more differently, they were united in their deference to their Lord.

    Be that as it may, his arrival set off warning bells in Berserker's mind. It wasn't the man himself, completely at ease with the stranger in the Lord's office against whom Freogan was still on guard, but his familiars which afforded him knowledge of the events prior to his arrival. She had attributed the sense of observation to Alexandra's stone golems which littered the room, performing all sorts of menial tasks - wrongly; and what if those hidden little devils were the familiars of an enemy Master, or yet worse a Servant? She had allowed herself a modicum of laxness in her Master's home territory, assuaged by the Lord's unflinching confidence. That was a mistake.

    From the moment the ritual commenced there wasn't a single place in London that could be considered absolutely secure. Nor, for that fact, any person above all suspicion.

    With no outward sign of her self-admonishment, even this Servant found cause to acclimate to the reality of the Holy Grail War - the very same that Alexandra Chimeragenos outlined to her deputies in the meantime.

    "I have no interest in sweeping power plays, the available land will make its way back to the correct owners in time, but for now it should be viewed as assets. Assets that are available to more than just us."

    "A connection to a leyline is a boon for any Master," Berserker agreed. "With such a source of magical energy at one's disposal the strain of maintaining a Servant is alleviated, and that Servant can in turn fight unrestrainedly, beyond what is allowed by their Master's magical capacity. Needless to say, Heroic Spirits who are capable of setting up territories or weaving grand rituals will aim to do so by exploiting such a leyline."

    At that Berserker crossed her arms, her brow furrowing slightly.

    "It would be best to detect and tackle such disturbances from the onset. Breaching a well-entrenched domain anchored to the land would certainly be a monumental task."
    Last edited by Leftovers; March 8th, 2018 at 05:29 PM.

  7. #187
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Mellon's Avatar
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    Michael Blackmore
    15th of December, 2004
    East London - Apartment 5009
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)
    "Was something wrong? Is something still wrong? Sure, this mission wasn't given under the most ideal circumstances, but..."


    “I’m fine. It is nothing you need to concern yourself with, Blackmore.”

    It was as if Michael had run straight into a metaphorical brick wall. A dispassionate and curt dismissal of his question was all that Michael’s fellow Enforcer was clearly willing to give him. Either it was an issue that the Irish woman didn’t consider important enough to discuss or, more likely, didn’t want to discuss with her British colleague. Either way, it was unlikely that you would be able to pry anything out of the Bazett as she was now. Your violet-haired colleague was somewhat standoffish even at the best of times, surrounded as she was with her ever-present aura of professionalism, but now…

    Perhaps your questioning had been a bit too blunt on the matter to pan out successfully.

    “I see. You will be investigating together with that assistant lecturer…. In any case, I would suggest you two to be careful at whatever you are planning to do. Since the Association has lost control over London’s leylines, I have no doubt that things will escalate during the night.”

    “It’s extremely unlikely that our opponents will allow the Clock tower to simply waltz in and reclaim them without contention.”

    “Now. Was there anything else that you wanted to discuss?”

  8. #188
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    Michael Blackmore
    15th of December, 2004
    East London - Apartment 5009
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)

    Michael couldn't say he hadn't expected that sort of answer. Such was the price of having learned how to fight with spells instead of words. If it'd been Akechi he might have pried further, but this was his steely colleague. If Bazett said she said she was fine, then she was certainly well enough to handle a mission. He could bug her over drinks after the conclusion of the war.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bazett
    “Now. Was there anything else that you wanted to discuss?”
    "Not much; mostly the requisite checking up."

    What else was there? Just loose ends, really. And a big worry.

    "Kanzaki has summoned, and Lord Chimeragenos has sent a familiar. I expect her confirmation soon, but I've no means of communicating remotely with our other Masters to ascertain their situations, so the status of Edelfelt, Velvet, and Animusphere is unknown. Was half hoping your situation had gone better. I've a feeling that the outcome of any future encounters will depend more on how we work together than any individual's combat ability, so a team that can't even talk to each other is already at a disadvantage."

    Was he being a bit rude? Well, no, even a socially awkward person could tell that the individualistic researchers were unsuited to fighting a war. Enforcers knew well what separated them from regular magi: not ability, but a stark difference in mindset. Michael could hope that the various Masters on the Association side were practical enough to go out in pairs and take precaution... but he couldn't expect it.

    Especially not when he was talking to one of the biggest lone wolves of the Sealing Division. Not that he was worried about Bazett in particular. If any human could go up against a Servant, it would be her.

    "I'm also curious about the Servant you summoned. The folder said their temperaments could vary from helpful to dangerous. Archer has been nothing but polite and agreeable, and Kanzaki says her Caster is, uh, 'little-sister-like'."

    Michael cracked a grin that his senior couldn't possibly see.

    "Let me guess... the strong, silent type?"

  9. #189
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    Freogan Deofolgeat
    15th of December, 2004
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)
    Clock Tower (Department of V) - Alexandra's Office

    It would have been an utter lie to say that Freogan had calmed down. Sure enough, he had taken his seat when ordered, put as he sat upon it he could be only described as 'stewing'. First being praised by the strange girl who called herself a Servant, then the horrifying realization that Vlastos had witnessed what had happened in the office when Freogan heard the Servant talk... it was almost as if the blonde magus had dug himself a hole, filled it with boiling water and jumped in with some taters and vegetables. Now he fumed on his seat, slow embers of embarrassment still making his cheek slightly flushed. Had it been possible, smoke would have most likely risen from his ears.

    "... Bloody suck-up," Freogan grunted to Vlastos, under his breath.

    Still, as the conversation switched back to the topic of the Holy Grail War and how it had affected the political and magical landscape of London, at least from Clock Tower's perspective, Freogan seemed to ease back a little bit. His frown unfurled, though it didn't quite disappear. He paid close attention to what Alexandra and Berserker spoke of, clearly making notes and estimates in his mind, as his lips moved like he was speaking to himself. In addition a metallic sound of 'clink! clink!', started to echo in the room, having about five second interval between each repetition. The source was the old and worn zippo lighter that Freogan kept flicking open and closed absentmindedly. For Berserker, it might have seemed like an odd habit, but for the head of the Zoology Department, it was a sure sign of something.

    --- Freogan Deofolgeat was planning.

    He didn't really talk about it, but that rust-colored lighter was some sort of keepsake, or so the Spitfire aircraft carved on its surface suggested. And while he used it to light his cigarettes, he wasn't the type to play with it... unless he was making plans, designing a new chimera or researching a spell. And even then, the way he flicked it depended on what was in his mind at the moment. The slow, methodical pattern of opening it and closing it, palming it for a while and then repeating it... that was reserved for when Freogan knew to prepare for a scrap.

    "They'll be falling over themselves to get a piece of leyline, every single one of them," Freogan finally spoke after Berserker had finished. He fished for a cigarette from his pocket and put it between his lips... only for the man to meet Alexandra's gaze. The cigarette stayed unlit. "Especially those three families, all worked up over their need to win. They ain't got any backing in this place, since they're going against the Association. So that makes it bloody important for them to snatch themselves a leyline..."

    Freogan's lighter slammed shut with more force than before, and he grinned rather wickedly.

    "So that's where you grind them under your size 25.5 shoe, slam! Make as in Python's intro, you know what I'm saying?" Freogan cackled. "Servant or not, they'll need those leylines, and they need to be fast. And haste makes them careless. So either they make a mistake, go for leyline, get crushed... or stay hidden and stay weak. Either way, we'll paste them. Just a matter of when."

    Then, as if he had remembered something, Freogan turned to look at Berserker who now stood next to the department head.

    "Still... you sure about this, Gigantor? I mean, not to rain on your parade, but... I mean, I know that she's a Servant and all, but... you really think this doofer is a Berserker?" Freogan asked, cocking an eyebrow at Alexandra. "In other words, a bloody Heroic Spirit of Madness? From where I'm standing, she just looks like a cute-as-a-Northampton-button bridesmaid, not a tossing lunatic."

    As an afterthought, he glanced at Berserker.

    "Just calling 'em like I sees em, love. Don't take it personally."

  10. #190
    Berserker of Blue
    15th of December, 2004
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)
    Clock Tower (Department of V) - Alexandra's Office


    Though his speech was peppered with abstruse turns of phrase whose meaning Berserker could glean only from their context Freogan's argument was sensible, and the Servant found herself nodding in agreement to that assessment.

    This ritual could in simplification be likened to a peculiar, small in scale yet multifaceted military campaign. The initial scramble to secure vital resources before the rest of the competition was a golden opportunity for a preemptive strike for those who could predict and track those movements. It was an advantageous position precisely because any who wished to tap into the leylines were no doubt well aware that their actions woud be predictable, yet could not avoid taking that risk of giving away their location or identity - not to mention a direct confrontation - in order to claim an important piece for their upcoming battles.

    And when it came to information, Alexandra Chimeragenos seemed to hold the natural advantage.

    In truth, Berserker was not certain on what the title of 'Lord' that her Master held within this magical institution truly amounted to, but as far as she could conjecture from the way Alexandra had been treated by the members of her Department on the way to her office and from the obvious fielty and respect she commanded from the two men that stood before her she could exercise control over the resources of her fiefdom as well as any noble. Perhaps not to the point of disrupting its regular operations, and perhaps not as thoroughly as an absolute monarch who answered to none but God could have, but certainly the resources at her disposal must have been considerable. As a part of the institution that had sunk its roots deeply into this land over the course of millennia it could be said that her opponents in this Holy Grail War were fighting, as Freogan might've put it, on Chimeragenos' home turf.

    Then, as if he had somehow picked up his name being mentally mentioned, the eyes of the auburn-haired magus snapped from Alexandra to Berserker with an abruptness that very nearly startled her. The gaze that was fixed upon her was calculating, but not harshly so. Freogan looked upon the slip of a girl compared to himself or his aptly nicknamed superior who nevertheless claimed to be a legendary soul with scepticism, and she truly could understand him perfectly. If she were to look at herself in the mirror she herself would not be able to associate the gentle features of her youth with the being that she now was.

    These fingers that have only carressed the finest fabrics are to tear into the flesh of her enemies?

    These hands untrained to all but thread and needle should wield armaments with a warrior's skill?

    This body that has known no toil or hardship will match mankind's peerless heroes step to step?

    Even so, they would. They had to. Self-conscious though she was of that dissonance, the Servant knew that she would in due time live up to the name of Berserker. It was, after all, a part of herself.

    Freogan's thoughts had struck at some vein of truth, if by accident. Unfortunately, she could not be forthcoming in that regard, so the only remaining option would be to dispel his otherwise critical misunderstanding. And though she was by no means a mischievous person by nature, the robed woman still felt a faint urge to tease him. Perhaps under his rough exterior Freogan Deofolgeat was actually the kind of person that naturally invited that sort of thing?

    "Just calling 'em like I sees em, love. Don't take it personally."

    His upraised eyebrow lent an impertinent air that might have been absent in his words. Freogan's matter-of-fact assessment that Berserker would have readily agreed with came out as rather flippant patronisation. Unintended, most likely, but she could see how this man could rub quite a lot of people the wrong way both consciously and not. As for Berserker, she met his eyes and acknowledged him with another nod and a hum of agreement, her arms still crossed under her chest.

    "Your strategy is sound, good sir. Straightforward action does on occasion yield the best results, and the immediately obvious path often proves the least resistant. Yet I must caution you on applying that line of thought indisciminately in all aspects of this ritual. It is, quite frankly, a matter of life and death."

    With such ominous words, the lithe woman closed her eyes. Uncrossing her arms, she grasped the sides of her veil-like garment and with a flourish gave a little theatrical twirl, her hair and robes following her revolution like flowing water. It was the kind of display that in some deep forest or vale could have seen the Servant mistaken for a fairy or some other spirit of the wilderness. In Alexandra Chimeragenos' austere office it was almost comically out of place.

    "Not terribly mad, am I. Certainly not a picture of gallantry, either. But it is precisely those preconceptions that one must discard so as to not meet an ignoble end in the Holy Grail War."

    Berserker spoke softly but with purpose. Linking her hands behind her back, the Servant recounted a simple truth about her kind to the assembled magi.

    "Would you determine a fellow thaumaturgist's capabilities solely by their appearance? I should think not. The external self belies true essence, or else fails to reflect it in its entirety. Know this: the sublimates of truth and myth assume shapes limited only by human imagination. The Heroic Spirits you will encounter may not bear sword and shield and yet present all the more peril. Against a ragged vagabond, a blushing maiden, or even a child, do not for a moment assume that they are anything less than lethal foes. If you harbour doubts, do not explore them lightly."

    An azure eye cracked open to peer at Freogan conspiratorially. The small smile playing on her lips betrayed her light tone before she had even spoken.

    "So, try not to get me too angry, okay?"

  11. #191
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    Saber of 『 』
    15th of December, 2004
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)


    “Well, there we go, then! Was that so hard?”

    I take him by the wrist and start dragging him out the door. “If you are hungry, then you must eat. What’s the point of starving yourself? If you can pass out from blood loss, then you can pass out from hunger, too. What do you think you are, an ascetic? A plant, or something?”

    He seems to be dragging his feet all the while. I look back at him with a frown.

    “Or what? Would you rather eat after your business is concluded?”
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    there aren't enough gun emojis in the thousandfold trichiliocosm for this shit


    Linger: Complete. August, 1995. I met him. A branch off Part 3. Mikiya keeps his promise to meet Azaka, and meets again with that mysterious girl he once found in the rain.
    Shinkai: Set in the Edo period. DHO-centric. As mysterious figures gather in the city, a young woman unearths the dark secrets of the Asakami family.
    The Dollkeeper: A Fate side-story. The memoirs of the last tuner of the Einzberns. A record of the end of a family.
    Overcount 2030: Extra x Notes. A girl with no memories is found by a nameless soldier, and wakes up to a world of war.

  12. #192
    Roleplay PTSD Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Freogan Deofolgeat
    15th of December, 2004
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)
    Clock Tower (Department of V) - Alexandra's Office

    "So, try not to get me too angry, okay?"

    Freogan blinked twice at Berserker's words. First in confusion, then in apt realization. Immediately afterwards an embarrassed smile, one with a hint of self-mockery, rose to his face. Freogan spread his hands in a half-shrug and shook his head, looking like a young criminal who had been caught red-handed. It was clear that Berserker's words had struck some chord inside in him.

    "Sorry, that came out bloody patronizing, didn't it? Didn't meant to insult you, bridesmaid, but I guess I spoke before thinking. Again." His words were spoken with a self-derisive chuckle. "So if you're miffed about it, I totally get you. Just don't punt my head across the strait, alright? Gonna need it to look after your gaffer."

    Freogan winked at Berserker and his last word was accompanied by a small nod towards Alexandra. While Freogan was, in all honesty, a rude and inconsiderate person, it wasn't because he wanted to insult people around him. Even as a lecturer, even was a member of the Clock Tower's faculty, if he did something wrong he was the first one to recognize it and apologize. The only problem was, Freogan's sense of 'that was my fault' wasn't the same as everybody else's. He couldn't give a toss if he stepped on some Lord's shoes, metaphorically or literally, but if he doubted the abilities of one of the students he was teaching, there was a clear problem.

    In other words, Freogan was a man on the outside looking in. He had the morals, ideals and a sense of right and wrong belonging to a normal person living outside the Clock Tower, yet he braved its water. And that's why his mouth often landed him in hot water.

    "And yeah, love, I get you. I mean, just by looking at you I can tell you're a bloody nuclear reactor of magical energy. I ain't doubting you're a Servant. And if you say you're Missus Nutjob, then what's what you are. I ain't going to argue with you about that. I mean, there's nothing to argue about. I got a pair of eyes on my face, I'd have to be a total git to not believe them."

    So, even in this case, it was not that Freogan didn't believe Berserker to be who she said she was, not really. So what exactly was the problem?

    "Still, I suppose the problem ain't here," Freogan said and pointed his fingers, like a gun, towards his head. He then proceeded to bop his chest with his curled fist, right where his heart was. "But here."

    As that did not seem to make things any clearer, the blonde magus continued his explanation. However, as he did, the familiar redness appeared on his cheeks and he scratched it awkwardly with his finger. Even his blue eyes, often so sure and almost intrusive in how intently they stared, averted themselves from Berserker thanks to embarrassment.

    "Just feels bloody wrong, you know? To send someone like you to a tossing war, and right to the front lines," Freogan grumbled, his being somewhat quieter as even he himself realized how stupid he sounded. "I mean, I'm the type of lazy sod who should be booted from his chair to fight whatever arsemongers are skulking in the night. But hiding behind your back, love? That just don't seem right. You're gonna get those pretty clothes of yours dirty, and that's a damn shame."

    Freogan scratched the back of his head furiously; a sure sign that he was feeling awkward.

    "Just feels like I... Eh, the hell if I know. Like I ain't doing enough for either you, bridesmaid, or Gigantor over here. Useless, in other words."

  13. #193
    Rider of White
    15th of December 2004
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)


    Quote Originally Posted by Gendou
    We'll do both, recon and securing the area while gaining the rights to one of these places. I'm sure this is to your liking? A mixture of defense and offense, though I hope you know what we're getting into with this plan of ours. Still I suppose we'll be uniquely equipped to deal with anyone who comes snooping around in the worst case scenario.
    Know what we're getting into? I am no amateur to the art of war, Master, as you are quite aware. To even pose such a question to me is an insult, but nonetheless I shall ease your woes. You need not fear me as one who is a battle-hungry beast or a fool who is incapable of recognizing when the flow of battle has changed. Though if that does not suit you, you are free to remain in whatever stronghold you have secured yourself for this war, perhaps that would even be for the best with how weak you believe yourself to be.

    Rider slightly shrugged as he conveyed his thoughts to his Master. It was the truth, that whether his Master joined him on the battlefield or not mattered little to him. Of course the act of securing a ley line for himself would become far more difficult were he to do it by himself, but even still he wouldn't attempt to force his Master to come along. Some people were meant to fight, while others were simply meant to...till the fields, or whatever other menial labor the people of this day and age had come up with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gendou
    "While we're at it, ya want one?"
    Rider cocked his eye at the strange stick that was jutting out of the box Gendou had offered him. This was...a cigarette, tobacco that has been rolled up in some paper. As he understood it, these things were smoked for the purposes of recreation, which was why...

    "No, offer it to me again once we have actually achieved something in this war."

    It could wait until the night was over.

  14. #194
    焼け尽きた感情も Reiu's Avatar
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    Arwyn Cadfael Penrith
    15th of December, 2004
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)

    Arwyn froze, for a moment, as Saber grabbed his wrist. But before he realized it, he had let himself be dragged to the door.

    “Or what? Would you rather eat after your business is concluded?”
    He shakes his head wordlessly. The very thought of that business was enough to make any thought of eating unappealing, and he could only imagine it would be all the worse afterwards.

    Shifting slightly, he resigns himself to this latest turn of events.

    …Why was she the one leading, anyways? Did she even know where to go?


    “There’s one last thing.”

    Slightly self-conscious of the hold on his wrist, he tentatively tugs loose—and goes to retrieve a cleaning cloth, that he proceeded to wet in the sink.

    He steps directly outside the apartment door, and squats down. With fastidious focus, he wipes all the bloodstains in the hallway that had resulted from all the blood dripping from his arm while he had waited outside his apartment for…well, whatever that was for.

    With the task completed, he breathed a sigh of relief. Much better. Blood became more difficult to remove if it was left to dry too long—he learned this long ago from disastrous attempts in the kitchen—and it would’ve been incredibly inconsiderate to simply leave it for the cleaning staff.

    “Let’s go now, then.”


    Fortunately, there was no one else in the hallway, being the weekday afternoon it was; no one to question the presence of a young woman in what could only be construed as some exotic period costume.

    That was an issue, come to think of it. Saber was conspicuous, to say the least. Going out to the streets in such attire would only draw undue attention, and no small amount of it, at that.

    He supposed that made one extra place to stop by first.


    Proceeding to the apartment’s underground car parking without much incident, aside from the small matter of avoiding notice from the valets, he quickly ushered Saber in the car, only to pause.

    …Would she know how seatbelts worked? It seemed doubtful.

    Wordlessly, he fastens it for her, trying to dismiss the strange sense of self-consciousness.






    The drive through the London traffic didn’t take long, by London standards. It wasn’t far at all—n fact, it would have been quicker to simply walk—but the goal of this was after all to avoid flaunting Saber’s exotic garb in the streets.

    “…Wait in the car for a little while. I will return with more…appropriate attire for this outing for you.”

    He quickly got out of the car. The store itself wasn’t unfamiliar to him, but this time, he was headed to an utterly alien part of it.


    —The women’s clothing section.


    It wasn’t long before it became apparent to him that he had no clue where to even start. Now that he thought about it, he didn’t even know what size would fit her. Nor did he have any clue how women’s sizing worked, as it the realization sets in upon him for the first time in his twenty-two years, a possibility that never even occurred to him—that women’s sizing used an entirely different numbering system from the one he knew.

    As he tentatively unfolds a knit top from a nearby shelf, in a baffled attempt at visual estimation, the thought suddenly comes to mind of how he must look to passerby.

    A lone, unaccompanied male at the women’s clothing section, eyeing a garment up and down.


    “………”


    …Perhaps they would simply think he was browsing for a Christmas present? It was almost Christmas season, after all. Perfectly normal. He hoped with all his might it was. It must be. It had to be.

    There was really no reason at all that he should suddenly wish so much that he would simply vanish from this Earth at this moment.


    “………………”


    Really, no reason at all……
    Last edited by Reiu; March 15th, 2018 at 03:17 AM.


  15. #195
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    Caster of White
    15th of December, 2004
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)


    Quote Originally Posted by Aila Einzbern View Post
    "Aila. Aila Einzbern...
    I'm...
    I'm your partner..."

    Caster nods as she hears her Master, her Partner's name.


    "Aila, a name with a beautiful ring to it."


    Her gentle smile ever present, the Servant lets Aila take hold of her hand, showing acceptance of the girl's eagerness. Of course, Caster is not oblivious to the hesitance mixed in -- as one who had served as a ruler, it would be shameful for her to be unable to discern such emotions.


    "Still your trembling, Aila, for even though I ruled a great nation and left my mark upon history, I am still the very same as you've said you are to me : a partner. What good is it for anxiety to dwell in between partners?"


    A seemingly incredible amount of kindness, of will to cooperate. An acceptance of one's status as a Servant... but also the flexibility to go from being below their Master to becoming an equal. Was this all simply smooth manoeuvring from Caster's part to gain a better position in her relationship with Aila... or was this simply Caster's nature?

    Someone, something born to serve and only serve a greater purpose, a greater design.
    It would only be natural for her to be most compatible with Aila, who was also brought to life for the sole sake of accomplishing a goal.


    A mysterious glint shimmering within her golden irises, Caster, with a tone as soft as the dusk's lulling rays of sunlight asks Aila:


    "Tell me Aila, why are you fighting in this Holy Grail War?"
    Last edited by Ayakashi; March 11th, 2018 at 09:32 AM.

  16. #196
    ⚠ Trouble Sei's Avatar
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    Aila Einzbern
    15th of December, 2004
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)


    I see. My Servant is kind. Just like Lady Irisviel and the others. But it still seems as though these feelings of mine are leaving negative impressions on others still. I'd like to simply reassure her and say not to worry about it; however, I understand that would likely create even more unnecessary tension. Either way, I feel as though I've done something of a disservice to my new partner. Granted, I'm not entirely sure how I should rectify this.

    "Sorry..."

    My mind just defaults to the most reliable response.

    Still, my partner looks upon me with expectation. And though I'm not sure I can live up to that radiance in her eyes, I do feel that I can at the very least answer her questions.

    "I'm... participating in this Holy Grail War to realize the long-standing dream of the Einzbern. To achieve victory in the upcoming series of battles and finally deliver the Holy Grail to the family..."

    Those words spill from my mouth so easily. It is to be expected. After all, it is the purpose that has been programmed into me over the course of several years. Still...

    "I have no wish of my own to ask of the grail," Once the appropriate response has been given, my mind starts to stray and gives me a bit of pause, "But... If I had to say what I'd like to take away from all this... Perhaps... I would like to discern the value of life. Whether I stand at the end of this contest or fall halfway through... Maybe..."

    Unable to really comprehend what it is I want, I just let my words trail off before leaving it at that. I feel bad for not giving my partner a properly thought out response, but I don't feel it right to give her an answer I'm not sure of either. Perhaps, once I've thought it over some more, we can revisit this conversation.

    "And you?" Casting aside my own doubt, I look towards the radiant hero and begin to wonder, "All Servants summoned by the Holy Grail have some desire they pursue, correct? What is it that you seek?"
    Sei "Kanra" Slayers
    Resident Sadist. Enjoys stepping and sitting on people.
    Avid lover of butts and anime.

  17. #197
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    Caster of White
    15th of December, 2004
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)


    Quote Originally Posted by Aila Einzbern View Post
    "I'm... participating in this Holy Grail War to realize the long-standing dream of the Einzbern. To achieve victory in the upcoming series of battles and finally deliver the Holy Grail to the family..."

    "Mmmm... I see."

    Caster nods as she listens to Aila attentively.

    A wish that isn't hers, a battle for a cause that stems not from her own desires, but rather from the heritage and designs of those that gave birth to her. Similarities between the two crop up quickly, and even now, as Aila explains herself, the young Einzbern reminds Caster of herself when she was but a young girl, trying to come to terms with what she was 'meant to be'...


    Quote Originally Posted by Aila Einzbern View Post
    "I have no wish of my own to ask of the grail. But... If I had to say what I'd like to take away from all this... Perhaps... I would like to discern the value of life. Whether I stand at the end of this contest or fall halfway through... Maybe..."
    ... yes, while there were minute variations, the similarities between the two could be thought of like a reflection upon the water's surface. The feeling of staring at oneself, the impression of deja vu, they all wash over Caster as Aila unravels desires. Though the Servant's expression remains steadfast, inquisitive yet gentle, Aila would have perhaps been keen enough to notice the slight shift on Caster's visage, the light opening of her lips that betrayed the positive surprise she felt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aila Einzbern View Post
    "And you? All Servants summoned by the Holy Grail have some desire they pursue, correct? What is it that you seek?"
    The question leads Caster back to her final thoughts during her life.

    'To be a nobody, to serve no one, to be free of exterior obligations and duties, to be able to wholeheartedly devote myself to something, someone, not because of exterior designs or fate, but because of my own volition...'

    Her beloved had wished for her to live such a life once reincarnated, and she too pondered on it as she accepted her death... and now... now was the time for her to fight so that this wish could be fulfilled.

    However, with how her relationship with Aila was turning out, one could say that from a certain point of view, that wish was already being granted... yet complete fruition wouldn't be possible till Caster properly accomplished the duty this life gave her : to win the Holy Grail War.

    Even given a second life, some things never change.

    A hint of nostalgia permeates Caster's voice as she explains herself to Aila:

    "In a sense, my wish is the same as yours. A very simple, very selfish wish: to live once more and be able to experience life... a desire to see more of the world, to understand more of it. Perhaps that I've already done that during my life, but while it was magnificent, I was never 'free', and the lenses that I saw the world through were... never mine. Everything was for my Parent's designs, my Parent's will, my Parent's sake. Deep inside, even though I do not regret it, I feel as if the meaning of my life, of my relationships, all of it was diminished by the shadow of my Parent hanging over everything."

    An timid laugh escapes Caster's lips as she realises that...

    "... I'm sorry if I disappoint you Aila, for being so childish. This isn't exactly proper of a former Queen, is it?

    I just want to be 'free'. To be 'me'. Or at least ascertain if such a thing is truly possible."


  18. #198
    ⚠ Trouble Sei's Avatar
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    Aila Einzbern
    15th of December, 2004
    Afternoon Phase (1-2)


    "N-No! You're not disappointing at all! I-If anything... I'm glad you're this easy to talk to. To be honest, I didn't know what to expect of a hero from ages past."

    I frantically wave my hands back and forth in a desperate attempt to put Caster at ease. I've been told before that it's best to be warm in friendly in situations like this. If you don't want things to be awkward, it's best to just open up, be honest, and be yourself. Though I suppose that's easier said than done.

    "I... I mean... If anyone here is going to be called childish, it'd be me! After all, even though my body has physically matured to that of a young adult, I'm really only twelve years old. Although... I really never did end up growing to be that tall... And I guess my figure never did end up to be very womanly..."

    Feeling a bit of self-awareness, I find myself glancing at Caster's chest. It's embarrassing to do so, and I immediately avert my gaze; however, I can't help but feel like I just made myself feel a little worse. All attempts to laugh through it don't really help.

    "A-Any way... What I'm trying to say is... I'm the childish one," Too embarrassed to look Caster in the eye again, my natural instinct forces me to look down at my feet. In doing so, I am reminded wherein more disappointment lies, "In more ways than one..."

    Still. Caster says that her wish is similar to mine. While I do know a bit of her history based off of what I've read, it's hard to say if the records we have today are a one hundred percent accurate account. Furthermore, there's no doubt that Caster would have her own unique perspective one her own life.

    I'm curious about what kind of life would lead to such a wish. While I can somewhat understand her, Caster no doubt has lived a much fuller life than I have. Her freedoms were likely things I could only dream of and any desires she had were likely easily obtainable. So I guess... That's why I don't quite understand why Caster says her wish is similar to my own.

    Raising my head, I look at Caster somewhat inquisitively. My own nature is egging me on to discover more about this person, but my own restraints are keeping me back. So, I won't ask her anything. Not yet at least. For now, I'll just hold on to the idea that she is 'similar to me' and work from there.

    I give the radiant Servant a smile and reach for a nearby book. It doesn't matter what the contents are. After all, I don't keep much reference material in my private quarters.

    "Here," I present the text to Caster. One of the countless stories littering my room, "It may not be much, but whenever I felt like escaping, I just read one of these. They're probably not like the stories you heard back in your time, but I assure you they're still enjoyable. And... If you find one you like, perhaps you can imagine you're the character you're reading about. It's... a bit childish... But I like to think that our imaginations can let us experience the world like this."
    Sei "Kanra" Slayers
    Resident Sadist. Enjoys stepping and sitting on people.
    Avid lover of butts and anime.

  19. #199
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Mellon's Avatar
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    15th of December, 2004
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)
    Clock Tower (Department of V) - Alexandra's Office



    Vlastos could only shake his head wryly at the conversation on display.

    “And there it is again. For someone so keen on valuing hard work and dedication, you are surprisingly eager to force others to conform to your own warped social norms should someone deviate from them."

    “A half-step further and you will be lecturing someone like Vermillion or the Vice-Director on family values and the traditional role of women.”

    Vlastos’s own opinion on the matter was clearly evident in his voice. No, to begin with, magical families rarely paid any attention to the gender of their heir. The only aspects that truly mattered in that regard were their magical capability and the presence of a Magic Crest. Therefore, for Vlastos, the current situation was simply one of efficiency and optimal outcomes. Since it was clear, even at a casual estimation, that the enigmatic Heroic Spirits capabilities and talents far eclipsed Vlastos’s own, it was obvious that Berserker would have to be on the front lines for them to have any chance at victory. It might have been different if Berserker had actively fought against the notion of fighting on the battlefield, but… as things were, there was no moral quandary whatsoever from the perspective of the lecturer garbed in black and white.

    “As for charging at the enemy with no restraint whatsoever… A perfectly adequate course of action for very bold gamblers. Or those who are utterly confident in their own inevitable victory, I suppose.”

    “Since I am not much of a successful gambler, I myself would suggest a more cautious course of action. We can still probe the waters, so to speak, but I would keep most of our cards close to our chest and only use them when it is certain that we can ensure victory. I would definitely advise against mobilizing the entire Department if that is what you are aiming at, milady.”

    “While our position in the Clock Tower is relatively stable at the moment, a significant blow to the department could bring all kinds of vultures out from the woodwork. Both political and… otherwise. At the very least we should find something to occupy the attention of Lord Yumina. That should give us some leeway in this regard."

    “Now it still might be viable to simply go after the enemy even in these conditions, but…”

    The middle-aged lecturer turned his gaze towards Berserker.

    “Miss… Berserker, was it? Could you give us a general estimation of your own capabilities?

    “No, wait. That is probably needlessly indirect, considering the situation. My apologies.”

    “The more pertinent question is probably…. Can you guarantee us absolute victory based purely on your power as a Heroic Spirit?”
    Last edited by Mellon; March 13th, 2018 at 11:28 AM.

  20. #200
    Gendou Matou
    15th of December 2004
    Afternoon (Phase 1-2)


    "Exactly right, as a magus your Master happens to be quite low on the totem poll. That's simply the kind of person you've been saddled with."

    Once more he depreciates himself while talking to his servant. Lighting his cigarette, he paid no thought to whatever reaction the all-too-eager King had to him and the assessment he had given himself. In the end he knew himself better than anyone else and really, there was no use in lying about his own abilities to Rider now was there? Really, straining such an amicable relationship would just be silly...and potentially fatal.

    "Still that doesn't mean you can't count on me to be there, just don't expect a court magician."

    With a shake of his head and click of the lighter, he began to move off.

    "Lets do some final prep for tonight, who knows maybe the old man will check up on me."

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