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Thread: [Quest] Lost Singularity - Fimbulwinter

  1. #141
    Not always a dragon Draconic's Avatar
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    Changing my 3.
    3.
    Lure her back with visual promises of food (go to the next room and hold the pot of soup on top of the windowsill).
    Likes attention, shiny objects, and... a ball of yarn?

    I joined two years too late...
    Quote Originally Posted by Hymn of Ragnarok View Post
    That makes me think of Rin as a loan shark.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hymn of Ragnarok View Post
    Admittedly, she'd probably be the hottest loan shark you'll ever meet. She'd probably make you smile as she sucked you dry.


    Oh dear, that doesn't sound like yuri at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Techlet View Post
    Not with that attitude.

  2. #142
    Beats By Matthew ft. Dr. Para Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    I like that 3 Bird, I'll second it
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  3. #143
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    Javier: Hermes’ 3. We need to secure warmth, but we can’t just leave the girl outside.

    Maria: Arts. Play smart for now, then do the smashy when we’re confident on Reinhard(?)’s playstytle.
    Last edited by SleepMode; June 30th, 2018 at 12:05 AM.
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

    [Collection of my Servant Sheets]
    Now Revamped!

  4. #144
    UMU overload Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Quest Master's Q&A&V (the V stands for Venting)
    Quote Originally Posted by Draconic View Post
    (Do we not have the option to flee and go after the guy who hates Nazis?)
    No, you don't.

    Think carefully about what that implies.

    But seriously, it's like you guys purposely go for the most difficult choices, without outright going for the Bad End. I just can't take it easy, can I. Anyway, here's what you get. Welcome to Hard Mode, damn it.
    Casa Volante Hostel
    Day 01
    Evening Phase – 03
    Severe Cold (-18 °C/-0.5 °F)
    Snowfall


    Character & Base Status

    Health: Stable
    Sustenance: Stable
    Warmth: Poor
    Stamina: Stable

    Food: Good
    Water: Optimal
    Warmth: Poor
    Defense: Poor
    Right, like hell I can just let that girl go.

    I hurry downstairs, my muscles aching at exerting themselves in this insufferable cold. The difference between the partly-covered dorm room and the wider common area is obvious, especially with the front door completely blown open. Even if I fix the bedroom, the common area will remain exposed unless I do something about the front entrance. Nevertheless, it’s flung open right now, so I just dash outside—

    Holy fuck it’s ungodly cold!

    The hostel building is like a cave, and the passage connecting that front entrance to the street is a tunnel leading the onrushing wind inside this cave.

    Ah, whatever! Magic, on!

    Huh. That was easier than usual. Maybe it's got to do with the cold already feeling like it's burning my skin.

    Character Status Change
    Magic circuits activated.

    Health: Stable
    Sustenance: Stable
    Warmth: Poor --> Stable
    Stamina: Stable
    In any case, this is a little better. Still cold, but it won’t kill me, I hope. Now, gotta hurry to the main street and catch up to—

    Ah.

    What…the hell.

    Click here to toggle visibility of Pixiv image

    She is right there.

    She is right there!

    At the end of the passage, with her back to the main street. She is standing right there!

    What the—

    Aw, crap. I misunderstood.

    She was not walking away. She was making her way to the entrance.

    Her nod was not a greeting. She was nodding to herself upon making a decision.

    It’s too late now. She’s taken the first step.

    My heart, it hurts.

    It’s pumping so hard it hurts.

    Second step.

    What the hell.

    My face, it hurts.

    Tears and snot freeze on my skin.

    The thick blanket I was wearing like a mantle is blown away, as my arms hang limply to the sides.

    Third step.

    What the hell.

    I feel…this feels…like I’m already dead.



    Aaah, what do I do.

    She’s gonna kill me.

    Move. Move. Move! Run! Anywhere!



    Aah.

    I see.

    My body already understands.

    Running would be pointless.

    And now she stands three steps away, and I fall to my knees.

    There’s not even a fight. There was never a chance of survival.

    What the hell, me? Wasn’t it obvious from the beginning? That she is not human?

    I screwed up. Just because she was not a zombie or a Nazi soldier, just because she was a girl, I thought it would be safe—

    Aah, Maria.

    Maria, stay away from this thing.

    She looks down at me. Aah, so this is a true monster. Devoid of arrogance, lacking in conceit. She does not mock my weakness or my tears. She cares not for the feelings of her prey.

    And now, she reaches for her bag. For the instrument of my end.

    Her weapon of choice…

    Spoiler:

    …huh?

    “Prepare this for me, human.”

    huuuh?


    *** ***

    I’m too old for this shit.

    No. Rather, there is not a suitable age for any decent human being to deal with this shit.

    I’m sweating. Fuck, this is only going to make me feel colder. I’m trembling, and for once this ungodly weather has nothing to do with it.

    Nevertheless, here I am: standing in front of a frozen kitchen, to cook meat. New York cut, to be precise, definitely looted from some local supermarket. Good stuff.

    I have no choice in the matter. The monster sits at the dining table. Her eyes are daggers stabbing my back with impatience.

    What the hell’s with this situation!?

    What the hell’s with this unbelievable pressure!?

    Good God, how could I think this was just some girl for even a moment? How could I not feel this from the beginning? She’s like, some, insane clump of living, walking magical power.

    This must be what it feels like to be chased by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Or having to disarm a bomb in one minute.

    Fuck. This is bad. I mean, there’s food here, but it’s not like I bought spices. Maria didn’t add spices to the soup for a reason. Do we have anything to prepare meat with?

    Aah, clear your head, Javier Lucero!

    …hmm. A little better. Push the fear back. Focus on what’s in front of you.

    I check the drawers—the doors quickly gather frost, so it’s a struggle to open them each time—and take stock of exactly what we have aside from what I bought what it feels like ages ago.

    …I can work with this. I’ve worked with less.

    No matter what, I have to prepare a meal for this gi—this thing, whose name I don’t even know. Do monsters even have names?

    Ah, whatever. Let’s just do this. My very life depends on my cooking skills.

    Could be a lot worse, if you ask me.

    DANGER! CRITICAL CHOICE!
    Javier has been suddenly thrown into the ultimate challenge! Make your choice, and make it carefully.

    How will he prepare the meat?

    1. Well-done
    2. Medium-rare
    3. Rare
    4. Just serve it raw as it is.
    5. Throw it at her face and run away.


    Accompaniments?

    1. Soup.
    2. Rice.
    3. Salad.
    4. All three.
    5. Nothing.


    Javier doesn’t need his mouth to cook. Should he try to make conversation with his sudden guest?

    1. Sure (Pick only ONE among the following)
      1. Ask her name.
      2. Ask what the fuck she is, and if there are more like her around.
      3. Ask how she can withstand the weather so easily. Actually, just ask about this ungodly weather.
      4. Ask if she wants to help.
      5. Ask to keep an eye on the outside.
      6. Write-in.

    2. Fuck no.


    Last edited by Daneel Rush; July 2nd, 2018 at 07:47 PM.

  5. #145
    Beats By Matthew ft. Dr. Para Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    241A

    - - - Updated - - -

    full power airgetlam time let's go go gooooooo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  6. #146
    A Two-Named Thief Bird of Hermes's Avatar
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    2 - Medium Rare is the only way to have steak, especially if we're being judged on our cooking.

    4 - All out big display, variety is the spice of life after all. This way we can't screw up if she has a particular preference.

    1a - Simple and minimal to begin with to try and start a rapport. Too much at the beginning may not go so well so let's start small and see what angle we can work.
    Quest of Fate (Update: 09/09/2018)

    Hall of Hermes Praise

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




  7. #147
    fam Spartacus's Avatar
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    We played FSN, the smart choice never been rewarded.

    24

    1a

  8. #148
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

    [Collection of my Servant Sheets]
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  9. #149
    A Two-Named Thief Bird of Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus View Post
    We played FSN, the smart choice never been rewarded.
    Picking dumb things for the right reasons - the way of the protagonist.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daneel Rush View Post

    But seriously, it's like you guys purposely go for the most difficult choices, without outright going for the Bad End. I just can't take it easy, can I. Anyway, here's what you get. Welcome to Hard Mode, damn it.
    You'll get used to it (took me a while), you'll find something that works in the meantime till that first bad end is reached.
    Quest of Fate (Update: 09/09/2018)

    Hall of Hermes Praise

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




  10. #150
    Not always a dragon Draconic's Avatar
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    2 - If she's a monster, the inside part will satisfy her.

    4 - Always assume that the unfamiliar girl eats a lot.

    1D - I'll have plenty of time to get to know her while she's boarding up the windows with me.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Rafflesiac View Post
    full power airgetlam time let's go go gooooooo
    "Airgetlam?" Don't you mean "Lammy?"
    Likes attention, shiny objects, and... a ball of yarn?

    I joined two years too late...
    Quote Originally Posted by Hymn of Ragnarok View Post
    That makes me think of Rin as a loan shark.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hymn of Ragnarok View Post
    Admittedly, she'd probably be the hottest loan shark you'll ever meet. She'd probably make you smile as she sucked you dry.


    Oh dear, that doesn't sound like yuri at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Techlet View Post
    Not with that attitude.

  11. #151
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six SpoonyViking's Avatar
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    She wants it prepared, so she doesn't want to eat the steaks raw, and the best way to bring out the flavour is to cook it medium-rare; and if we don't have many spices, the soup or the rice won't be so tasty, so better to stick to a simple salad.

    My choices:

    2, 3

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    The Gift (a Fate/Stay Night one-shot)
    - A duel between Cú Chulainn and Scáthach.
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  12. #152
    UMU overload Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Casa Volante Hostel
    Day 01
    Evening Phase – 04
    Severe Cold (-19 °C/-2 °F)
    Snowstorm


    Character & Base Status

    Health: Stable
    Sustenance: Stable
    Warmth: Stable
    Stamina: Stable
    Magic circuits activated.

    Food: Good
    Water: Optimal
    Warmth: Poor
    Defense: Poor
    It took me a while to realize something was wrong.

    It took me too long.

    Everything had to be done with magic. Fortunately, converting magical energy into heat and transferring it efficiently through my hands is trivial by this point. It is among the first things I figure out, even before my voice began to change. I went with some finely-chopped tomatoes and leeks to support the meat’s juiciness—medium-rare, the best of both worlds.

    Soup was already made, courtesy of Maria. She won’t mind sharing in the current circumstances.

    Rice only needed water, salt and heat. The weather did not help, but it would be a matter of time.

    Everything went wrong when I started preparing the salad. A plain thing: lettuce, tomatoes and radishes with a dash of lemon juice in the absence of vinegar or any fancy sauce.

    All this time, she stared at my back. Only her right foot moved impatiently, but it felt like a lion pacing in his cage. Piercing and smothering, incisive and crushing, like the tip of a dagger poking my back while I’m running from a tsunami.

    It is not just a matter of cooking; achieving anything under this pressure is a little too unfair. A thing that is inhuman; a thing that seems to be pure, raw power in an unsuitable form was watching my every move.

    So I tried talking to it, because I’m apparently suicidal.

    “So, um, name’s Javier. Javier Lucero. Can I have yours?”

    That was a mistake.

    Drawing her attention was a mistake.

    The second mistake was assuming I had the luxury of time.

    And the third, and greatest, mistake was not taking into account who I was cooking for.

    “What is that,” she said with her raspy voice that I now realize is her normal voice. A question, lacking the interrogative inflection. Before I could even think of the words, she had already jumped to her feet and crossed the distance to the kitchen counter, to reach for…

    “Lettuce. I’m making a salad…?”

    “Lettuce…” she murmured, and the word felt like a profanity out of her lips. “…lettuce?”

    My legs became utterly stiff. A cold, numbing current traveled the whole way down my body, as I learned it was possible to feel utter terror at the sound of the word “lettuce”.

    “Human, you…you intend for me to eat vegetables, like some…puny hare?”

    She asked, but she waited for no answer.

    Thus, here I am, curled against the wall all the way across the common area, feeling blood tickling out of my every orifice.

    There is only pain.

    I don’t know what she did, I just know pain.

    “Uuu…aaah…” I can’t. Words are impossible. A plea for help…to who?

    The back of my head pulsates like a beating heart. My lungs forget how to draw air. My sight is blurry and my tongue tastes blood. Everything is cold: inside, outside, my very life has become feeble and cold.

    Character Status Change
    Health: Stable --> Critical
    Magic circuits forcefully deactivated.
    “A waste of time…” murmurs the girl, reaching for the slab of steak—uncaring that it still sizzles on the pan—and bites off an impressive chunk of it before turning her back to me and taking a step away.

    Ah, she’s leaving…leaving me to die…

    …my blood…will freeze here…

    …ah.

    …she stopped.

    She doesn’t move…no.

    It moves.

    Her jaw moves. Quite a lot.

    She takes a second bite. And a third. And half a pound of steak disappears at comical speed. Then, her hands drop to the sides, completely lax. Her head also limps a bit.

    “Ah…so good…”

    You’re…welcome.

    She turns to look at me again, and now she gasps, as if she has just realized she wrecked me.

    “Ah…aaah!”

    And now she’s panicking, scurrying to and fro, all around me. What the hell…

    “Aaah, what should I do? What should I do? What would Father do—wait, what am I thinking!? Aaah!”

    Why on your knees now—ah…poking me here and there…won’t help at all…

    “Ah, are you—ah, you’re not okay at all, that’s obvious—aaah, no good, no good, no good…”

    She’s…like a…ugh—!

    What—what is this!? Warm, cold, at the same time—

    Magic! My magic, it’s being—so suddenly! Aaargh!

    WARNING!
    Acute magical energy expenditure breached threshold.
    Stamina: Stable --> Poor
    This is…Maria…!?

    Shit…shit…shit…! I can’t…I need…

    “…help…”

    The girl jerks back as if startled by my miserably weak voice.

    “Help…help! A healer! Right!” She pauses. “Where do I find a healer…?”

    Ugh…

    Something else…gets her attention…something…what…

    …sounds…

    …gunshots…

    …soldiers…

    “Aaah, a healer! I’ll get one! Definitely!”

    Not reliable at all…but her face…her words…

    She is…an honest monster.

    A fast one, too. She’s…already gone.

    She will try. She will earnestly try.

    But, I…

    *** ***


    Errázuriz Avenue
    Severe Cold (-19 °C/-2 °F)
    Snowstorm

    Maria Westinghouse is breathing heavily.

    She is not tired, nor cold, nor afraid. It is an automatic response to her increased heart rate. Her metabolism is accelerating, and thus demands more oxygen. But it is above all her brain that is shifting it up a gear.

    Her mind is filled with memories: voices, images, scents, tears, laughter, gripping pain.

    She has traveled thousands of miles and endured many hardships for this moment. She has met countless people and followed many red herrings to reach this place.

    She cares not about the Panther tank. She cares not about the masked soldiers. She cares not for the strange and suspicious gauntlet worn by the man—the Servant—in front of her. She has not even paid that much attention to his face.

    What Maria sees, what she truly cares about, is the insignia on the collar of his black shirt. The Armanen runes.

    SS.

    Schutzstaffel.

    Something dark creeps up in her heart. Something she has held for too long, too deep, and it finally demands release. It is a dark flame, and it makes her blood boil and her eyes see red. The one who has borrowed her body feeds on that flame and feeds it its own violent will. It is an unhealthy loop in which Maria’s hatred catalyzes the Guardian’s thirst for violence.

    This man may have the answers Maria seeks. This man may lead her to the truth.

    But, it’s not like he needs his limbs to talk, right?



    “As long as he can still talk, it’s fine, right? Right!?”

    WARNING!
    Character condition has overridden player input!
    “AaaaAAAH!”

    She yells. It is not a kiai nor a war cry. It is a roar of superhuman emotion and a cry for blood. Her body generates magical energy—it demands it and it will take it from every available source. Maria’s darkest desire overcomes her rational thoughts, and the being inside her thrives in violence and knows only violence.

    Electricity crackles in and around the man’s bizarre gauntlet.

    Maria takes a step.

    The soldiers open fire, but the bullets pierce cold, empty air. She’s already closed the distance, leaping over the tank with sword poised to bisect the man at the waist—

    “Just a rabid dog, huh…”

    His words are smothered by the shrill cry of lightning—a bolt that pierces Maria’s belly and pulls her along down the street. She rolls half a dozen times on the snow before coming to a halt, lying face down on the white-blanketed pavement.

    “You’re a fucking idiot.”

    “Yup! Your granddaughter’s an idiot~

    Maria blinks. Whether it was the lightning bolt or the words that echoed in her mind in that moment of cold stillness on the snow, her beleaguered heart eases down, her eyes see something other than red, and the urge for violence is abated.

    Warning
    Character condition has stabilized.

    Player input reestablished.
    “Thank you, grandma,” she mutters to the snow, and a moment later she’s standing atop the entrance to the Unimarc supermarket, avoiding the automatic burst fire that aimed to catch her while prone.

    “A tough and quick dog, though,” muses the other Servant, all the while calmly attaching something shaped like an assault rifle’s magazine to his gauntlet.

    The soldiers maintain their two lines on opposite sides of the avenue, firing regular burst fire that keeps Maria on the move. Evading them is almost trivial. On the other hand, she thinks twice before approaching the man atop the tank a second time. It is likely he can fire his lightning bolts faster than she can close in and swing her sword.

    “Think, Maria,” she mutters to herself as she drops down and cleaves a soldier from shoulder to groin in the process. “Think of what just happened.”

    Maria has noticed—perhaps it is the presence of the Servant, but these soldiers are acting differently. These do care about avoiding friendly fire accidents, which opens infinite defensive options to her. Really, they are barely a distraction.

    Upon raising the non-gauntleted hand, the soldiers stop and retreat their lines until they are flanking the tank. Maria is standing mere steps away from where she had stood before she attacked.

    “At least have the decency to present yourself,” taunts the SS officer. “I am Servant Rider. Rider of the Fourth Reich.”

    Maria scoffs, smoothly concealing the small triumph she has achieved. Upon learning the Servant’s class and title, her mind has been flooded with valuable information.

    Wise up! (Rider)
    Rider of the Fourth Reich

    Parameters:
    STR ?
    END ?
    AGI B
    MGI C
    LUK ?
    Noble Phantasm ?

    Height & Weight: 180 cm, 76 kg
    Source: Historical fact
    Region: Germany
    Alignment: ?
    Gender: Male
    Attribute: ?


    Class Skills:
    Magic Resistance E
    Riding A


    Personal Skills:
    Item Construction B


    Quest Master’s Note: Opening post updated with detailed profile.
    Stabbing the snow with the tip of her blade, Maria tilts her head from side to side, taking her time and enjoying the growing irritation in the man’s otherwise stony face.

    “Servant Saver,” she finally admits, and the man nods as if he had expected those exact words.

    “Naturally, the Servant of the sword.”

    “No, that’s not what I—” Maria catches herself upon realizing… “Whatever. This is gonna be a thing, huh.”

    Probably.

    His assumptions mean nothing to her. She knows she is the host of a hero who brought salvation to the world.

    “It didn’t kick in, after all,” Maria then muses to herself, wearing a small grin on her face. She means her Class Skill, Counter Hero. She would have been quite pissed if the Servant system considered the man in front of her a “hero”.

    On the other hand…

    “That spark…actually hurt a little,” she says loudly enough. Indeed, despite a direct, point-blank impact, Maria did not seem any worse for wear. That does not mean she did not suffer damage, and that was precisely the problem.

    That puny spark shouldn’t have hurt me.

    Rider does not answer to the taunt, preferring to just raise the gauntlet, open fingers pointing at her. Those fingers then split and bend upwards, revealing hollow tubes—

    “No—gun barrels—!”

    The bullets are fired with the crackle of electricity, faster than any gun made by human hands. Maria dashes into an adjacent street (Almirante Señoret), and something like an “eeek!” escapes her lips when she hears further bullets blasting off chunks of building right behind her.

    Rider does not need to chase. His gauntlet railgun pierces through everything. Upon this dilemma, Maria thinks in three dimensions and takes to the roof of the three-story building to her left, now ominously shuddering beneath her feet. Keeping her head low, she waits a moment to check if her position remains known. Instead, Rider either gives up or runs out of bullets, for he ends his barrage and makes a hand signal.

    The tank begins its slow crawl forward, advancing only a few yards before making an equally slow turn, effortlessly crushing the metal fence dividing the avenue in halves. The soldiers make a half-circle behind the tank, covering its slow retreat.

    “Oh, no fucking way you’re leaving,” Maria mutters, clenching the hand holding the sword. She is about to make the leap to the neighboring building when she catches—lip-reading more than hearing—a single word out of Rider’s mouth.

    “…Archer.”

    She can’t react quickly enough.

    She can only scream and fall on her knees as the backside of her body is turned into a pincushion.

    “Fuck! Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, FUCK!”

    As if chastising her for her language, the building overburdened by railgun bullets and arrows the size of human arms decides it is a good time to collapse. The following seconds are an indecipherable confusion of sound and dust, and the only thing Maria can make out of the whole mess is the arrows disappearing for some reason and a lurching pull that takes control of her body.

    Three levels of brick and metal pour down on the corner of Errázuriz and Almirante Señoret, but Maria finds herself held on somebody’s shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

    “Um, are you a healer—”

    Then the newcomer jerks her arms, and there are suddenly half a dozen arrows on the street.

    This one, again
    “A healer! I need to find a healer!” She says with obvious urgency, first at Maria and then at the Nazi squadron in the distance. Rider has not let the intromission disturb his intent; if anything, it is a reason to retreat even faster. Maria all but throws herself off the other girl’s shoulder, landing on hands and feet like a cat. She is about to take off after Rider—

    “Wait! Please, I need help!” A hand on her shoulders jerks Maria to a complete halt.

    What the—! This girl is crazy fucking strong!

    Words have to wait, for Archer’s next barrage comes with even greater volume, but this time they are more than ready: Maria dodges and parries agilely, while the other girl seems to have a body of adamant, the arrows failing to pierce either clothes or skin. A hundred or so arrows thus fail to have any significant impact.

    But this time the arrow barrage was the distraction, and Maria can only wince when the Panther finally shows its power, hurriedly moving the sword in front of her…

    “Her teeeeeeth!” shouts the pseudo-Servant, her mind metaphorically blown, even dropping her sword to point at the absurd sight.

    Indeed, like a dog catching a frisbee, the girl in dark clothes has stopped the 75 x 640 mm shell with her bare teeth. Flakes of metal fall off her corner of her mouth, the shell casing crushed by monstrous strength. Then she spits it in disgust.

    “Blegh.”

    It’s like the world has stopped for a moment, unable to process the absurdity of what has just happened. Neither Maria, nor Rider, nor the unseen, distant Archer can do or say a thing. But the absurdity of the scene gives way to a sudden, heavy feeling of trepidation. Maria is closest to the girl so she feels it more strongly, but the hand on her shoulder is firm and unmovable.

    “A healer,” she insists. “Please.”

    And it is only now that Maria truly looks at the girl.



    “The human…the human’s going to die. I messed up, and now he’s going to die! Please, help me! He’s right over there!”

    Maria’s desire to chase after Rider is still stronger until the girl points with her finger.

    In that direction…the hostel is in that direction.

    “Oh, don’t fuck with me.”

    She glances in the direction of the tank…but Rider is no longer there. Only the Panther and a phalanx of soldiers cautiously retreating, their guns constantly on the two.

    “Fuck,” she murmurs, but softly spoken words will not ease her frustration.

    “Fuck!” stomping the ground until snow is parted and pavement cracks, Maria curses and rampages like a brat. It is Archer who interrupts, resuming their labor of covering Rider’s retreat with a major barrage. This time the other girl lets go, and Maria hurriedly seeks cover in a nearby building (Harbor Metro Station).

    “You’re going the wrong way!” cries out the dark girl, still standing in the middle of the avenue.

    “Oh shut up, I won’t take any more of those arrows!”

    “But the human—”

    “I know! But we can’t just go there; if that Archer sees where we’re going, he can just blast the whole place, human and all!”

    Maria’s words only appear to make the other girl more anguished. The swordsgirl, however, needs to confirm her fears.

    “Hey, girl! This human, tall, kind of lanky, messy hair, droopy eyes, name’s Javier?”

    “Um! Javier Javier Lucero! It’s long, but repetitive, so I remembered it!”

    “Oh fuck me in the ass…” Maria mutters darkly, wondering just what the hell her battery ended up doing this time.

    “Please, go help him!” insists the girl. “I’ll ask Mister Archer to stop.”

    “Wait, you’ll ask?” Maria retorts, but the girl has already dashed off in the direction of Sotomayor Square, and at about the same time the barrage does stop. Maria looks in the opposite direction; she can still see the tank, retreating along the avenue parallel to the coast to a destination unknown.

    She wants to go after it.

    She really wants to go after it.

    But there’s no way Maria Westinghouse will place her own ambition over the life of Javier Lucero.

    No matter how much she wants to.

    “Aaah, damn it all!” She shouts her frustration one last time before taking off to the hostel.

    *** ***

    (BGM)

    “She won’t make it in time, you know.”

    Wha…

    I hear steps. Soft, delicate, shoeless steps on the cold floor.

    Yes, it’s cold. My blood cannot pool; it just freezes, creating a dark stain on the floor beneath me. My eyes…no, it’s all blurry.

    It hurts to think. I can’t move. The frost and the blood may have glued me to the floor by now.

    It doesn’t…really hurt that much anymore. It’s all cold, and numb.

    “I guess she’s a good kid, but, um, I’m just no good with her type.”

    There’s somebody here. Somebody is leaning over me.

    “It would be trivially easy. I mean, you’ll die even if I do nothing, but I could just end it like this.”

    A new sound. The flick of a finger?

    Ah.

    Warmth.

    Warmth breath on my ear.

    “But, that would be boring.”

    Warmth. Breath. Power.

    This person…is another one of them monsters.

    “I’m so tired. Of so many things. That’s why I’ll do this. Because I’m tired.”

    The touch of a hand. It is the small hand of a girl, but it is unexpectedly rough.

    A girl who has labored mightily, from a very young age.

    “I want to have fun for a change,” she says. “And I think you can help me.”

    Something. A jolt, traveling throughout my body, which cannot stiffen because it is already so. But, it is not really uncomfortable. If anything, I feel warmth returning to my body…

    “Guh! Man, that girl really…what was the expression I heard? Ah, did a number on you, right.”

    Character Status Change
    Health: Critical --> Poor
    With the departure of the numbness and the return of warmth, pain also comes back. But this is no longer the pain of internal hemorrhaging.

    “Agh, ow, ow, I…I can only do this because I’m Servant. Should I take this as a good thing?”

    The person—no, the girl—is now talking to herself. Clarity slowly returns to my sight, but that only shows me the cold floor and bare feet that suddenly move away. I try to follow with my head, but all my muscles complain.

    “No, no, too early for that.”

    Wetness, but also warmth.

    Ah, this is the blanket. The one I dropped when I met the other monster girl.

    “This will have to do until your Servant comes back.”

    Her footsteps are completely silent; it is only because my face rests on the floor that I feel the faintest vibration.

    “Tonight.” Tonight? What about tonight—no, when did she get so close to whisper in my ear? “Muelle Prat. Go alone.

    In spite of the situation and my aching body, my heart does skip a beat at her velvet words. Whether it is arousal or fear, I do not know myself.

    “I’m looking forward to talking with you, so don’t you dare leave me hanging, alright? I’ll be very cross with you if you don’t show up.”

    Well, this feels like an issue. Not that I can complain to the person who just saved my life.

    “Oh, she’s almost here. I’ll be seeing you soon, Javier.”

    She actually ruffles my hair before disappearing. That’s kind of annoying. I don’t care what kind of powerful creature you are, respect your elders, damn it.

    “Javier!”

    Ah, hey there, Maria. I guess I don’t have to ask if you caught a glimpse of my savior on her way out.

    “Aw shit, what’s with all this blood!? What the heck happened here? Eh, you were cooking? Come on, even I didn’t fuck up this bad!”

    Oh, fuck you, Maria.


    END OF EVENING PHASE

    *** ***

    The Night Phase
    The Night Phase follows special rules. No Management Actions are allowed during the Night Phase, but Javier and Maria can make an Exploration Action. The Night offers unique opportunities, but it is also uniquely dangerous…

    DAY 1 – NIGHT PHASE SETUP

    Character & Base Status

    Health: Poor
    Sustenance: Stable
    Warmth: Stable
    Stamina: Poor

    Food: Good
    Water: Optimal
    Warmth: Poor
    Defense: Poor
    Singularity Map
    Choice Time
    Javier’s Night Action:

    • Exploration Action
      • Port: Sneak past Maria to meet your anonymous benefactor at Prat Harbor.
      • Sotomayor Square: So what was that about a zombie horde? Also, the port is just across the street, so maybe I can scout a little…
      • Unimarc: I can’t believe you left the backpack behind, Maria. And what was that you said about chocolate?
      • Yugoslavian Promenade: It’s the nearest vantage point to take a proper look at both the coast and the neighboring hills. And I’m still worried about the old man Scherer.

    • Rest
      • Bed Talk with Maria: I need to know. About magic. About monsters. About what the fuck is going on in this place.


    Maria’s Night Action:

    • Exploration Action
      • Port: Still haven’t checked it out properly.
      • Sotomayor Square: You know what? Fuck zombies.
      • Unimarc: Aw fuck, I forgot my chocolate! Also, proper food. Right. Did that asshole guy get away safely, anyway?
      • Yugoslavian Promenade: I still feel like I should secure this spot. Also, that fucking Archer…gotta find his sniping spot.

    • Rest
      • Bed Talk with Javier: It will be fun! Like a school trip! Only, it’s fucking cold. And we’ll probably talk about our serious situation. Shit.


  13. #153
    Beats By Matthew ft. Dr. Para Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    On one hand, I knew that if any food choice would make Scarface obliterate Javier it'd be the salad.

    On the more important hand, if you dislike salad you're a filthy stinking heathen unworthy of cuisine.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I wonder if Scarface is Berserker. She seems Berserkery.

    Ordinarily I'd say to sneak out for the midnight date but I'll leave the womanizing votes to bolder readers. Dual resting.
    Supports:


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

  14. #154
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six SpoonyViking's Avatar
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    Javier: Exploration, Port.
    Maria: Exploration, Unimarc. (Sorely tempted to say Promenade, though.)
    My fanfics:
    The Gift (a Fate/Stay Night one-shot)
    - A duel between Cú Chulainn and Scáthach.
    Passion Acknowledged (a Fate/Stay Night one-shot) (Lemon) - Shirou and Shinji finally acknowledge their feelings.
    He Was a Good King (a Fate/Stay Night one-shot) - A short exploration of Beowulf's character as a hero and a king.

  15. #155
    Not always a dragon Draconic's Avatar
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    Rafflesiac is a man of culture. You might be right about the scarred girl being Berserker, although I also think it might be possible (though not especially likely) that she might be a dead apostle.

    The supermarket date is tempting because it looks like there’s bonding over chocolate, but I’m gonna have to go with pillow talk.

    Javier: Rest/Pillow talk
    Maria: Rest/Pillow talk

    The scarred girl will probably return on her own, and we can go on a chocolate date tomorrow morning.
    Likes attention, shiny objects, and... a ball of yarn?

    I joined two years too late...
    Quote Originally Posted by Hymn of Ragnarok View Post
    That makes me think of Rin as a loan shark.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hymn of Ragnarok View Post
    Admittedly, she'd probably be the hottest loan shark you'll ever meet. She'd probably make you smile as she sucked you dry.


    Oh dear, that doesn't sound like yuri at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Techlet View Post
    Not with that attitude.

  16. #156
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    Salad without dressing is the peak of a fresh-veggie experience.

    That said,
    Javier&Maria:​ Rest.
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

    [Collection of my Servant Sheets]
    Now Revamped!

  17. #157
    A Two-Named Thief Bird of Hermes's Avatar
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    Now I although I understand preferring to opt out of salad if having more steak is an option but gurl you gotta have a balanced diet. My guess she's either Berserker or a Dead Apostle.

    After getting our teeth kicked it we should take it easy, I opt for the bed talk.
    Quest of Fate (Update: 09/09/2018)

    Hall of Hermes Praise

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




  18. #158
    UMU overload Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Casa Volante Hostel
    Day 01
    Night Phase – 01
    Severe Cold (-23 °C/-9.5 °F)
    Blizzard


    Character & Base Status

    Health: Poor
    Sustenance: Stable
    Warmth: Stable
    Stamina: Poor

    Food: Good --> Stable
    Water: Optimal
    Warmth: Poor
    Defense: Poor
    ”Sooo, I don’t just have to run back because some weirdo Servant was crying murder, I also have to finish all the stuff you started and didn’t finish here.”

    Maria’s words do not quite match the smile on her face. Could it be she actually enjoys housework? Or just using a hammer? Or maybe…

    “This your first time holding a hammer, isn’t it?”

    “Yes! If I think this nail is you, it’s almost therapeutic. You seriously have to reconsider your treatment of women, Javier Lucero,” she declares between the rhythmic sounds of hammering.

    “I’m not the one who can prance around in this cold in a chainmail bikini.”

    “It’s chainmail shorts!”

    I am wrapped again in sleeping bags and buried under blankets. Regardless…

    “God, it’s fucking cold!”

    (BGM)

    “I know, right!? I’m so glad I’m a Servant right now!”

    “Hammer those boards faster!”

    “I’m going as fast as I can, alright? Don’t push me! Men!”

    “Don’t you ‘men’ me, Maria!”

    Night has fallen, and the darkness brought a blizzard.

    “There! Done!” Maria announces a few minutes later. “It’s closed!”

    Indeed, at long last, the gaping hole that allowed the chilling winter wind into this dormitory room has finally been sealed.

    Base Status Change
    Warmth: Poor (Stable only inside bedroom)
    ”Aaah, it’s not windy anymore.” I can’t help but voice my relief. “But it’s still cold.”

    “Let’s light a fire.”

    “That really doesn’t sound like a good idea.”

    “Um, here.”

    The weight on my body increases, but so does the warmth.

    “Ah, thanks.”

    “Leave some blankets to meee!”

    The third person in the room does not seem to pay particular attention to Maria’s whining.



    “We never got your name,” I point out. In the darkness of the room, I can only perceive the girl’s fidgeting as she stands next to my bed.

    “Ah, no, um…”

    “Silly Javier, she won’t give you her name.” Maria has already switched gears to “pointlessly smug”, it seems. “Servants won’t reveal their true names willingly.”

    “You know, you really have to explain the whole ‘Servant’ thing to me, ‘cause I’m not really feeling the service.”

    “You’re one entitled son of a bitch,” growled Maria. “Who the hell do you think cleaned your body and changed your bloody clothes? I didn’t come all the way here to wash some asshole’s flabby dick!”

    There was a completely unnecessary adjective just now. So, I’ll be petty and pretend there are only two people in this room.

    “I take it you aren’t cold either.”

    I barely catch the nameless monster girl shaking her head like a dog its tail.

    “No. It kind of feels like home.”

    “Where the hell do you come from?” grumbled Maria—wait, when did you get on my bed? I can hear the creaking—these beds are singles, woman.

    The girl speaks after a long pause. She really won’t open up to us, after all. If anything, I’m surprised at myself for keeping a straight face in front of the girl who almost killed me, but it seems she helped Maria, and it’s really hard to see her as a threat right now.

    “A cold, gray, but very gentle place.”

    “Huh. Cool.”

    Maria’s eloquence is an inspiration to us all.

    “So, Servants,” Maria then declares, pushing herself back to a seated position—wait, were you lying down next to me?

    “Javier, let’s start with getting you to read Servant stats. Can you Structural Analysis?”

    “I’m pretty sure that’s not even a proper sentence.”

    “Fuck, you’re so useless.”

    “I’m gonna hit you.”

    “Won’t even feel it. Alright, so apples and oranges it is. Help me out if I miss something important, girl.”

    “Ah, I, I’m not really smart…”

    What follows is a lengthy explanation that would make an ordinary person question Maria’s sanity: Servants are familiars of the highest rank (which elicited a short detour to explain familiars) able to be summoned by magi. Even then, a modern magus cannot summon a Servant on his own, and it is generally achievable only through major rituals.

    Maria then describes that Servants are incomplete reproductions of the most powerful Spirits: those whose names have been permanently engraved in the world’s history, legends, folklore and mythologies.

    “You can then distinguish between Heroic Spirits originating from humanity, like, um. Böðvarr Bjarki, and Spirits not of humanity, like, eh, emm…Fenrisúlfr. There are also Divine Spirits like—ah, uh, um.”

    That is the beginning of the scarred girl’s somewhat broken contribution.

    “Oh! And, yes, that is why many Servants will not reveal their names. After all, if you know the Servant in front of you is Sigurðr Fafnirsbane, then you know he gained invincibility from the dragon, except for a small weak spot.”

    “Why are all your examples from Norse mythology?” Maria asks in a rather mirthful tone.

    “Eh!?” A surprisingly shrilly exclamation leaves the girl’s mouth, followed by a trail of meaningless sounds.

    “Ah, aaah, hau…”

    What the hell is this pathetic thing that almost killed me.

    “Anyway, from what I learned in Europe, magi have the terrible habit of summoning Servants and use them to compete among each other like fucking Pokémon,” Maria reclaims control of the lecture. “They compete for possession of the very system or artifact they used to summon the Servants in the first place. After all, anything potent enough to allow Servant summoning should allow any magus to do any sort of crazy magical bullshit. That’s why these artifacts are called ‘wish-granting devices’ or ‘Holy Grails’.”

    Why does that sound both unfathomably stupid, mind-blowingly irresponsible, yet crazy awesome at the same time? Is this my hot-blooded teenager self being stirred back to life by the same masculine romanticism that kept me from giving up on magic in the first place?

    “So, if I’m following you right, the fact there are Servants here means one of those magus contests is happening right now? But that doesn’t explain—”

    “Nah, I think this is one of those cases of ‘somebody using a Grail for crazy magical bullshit’,” Maria counters. “I mean, there’s the insane weather, and the people being imprisoned in ice and turned into undead, and the fact the Counter Force wouldn’t dispatch an agent if it were some lame-ass third-world-country Grail War.”

    Apologize to me and to all proud Chileans right now.

    “This could be a Noble Phantasm,” then says the other girl, and I predict more than witness her glance at the boarded window and the howling wind outside.

    “Don’t scare me like that, woman,” says Maria. “The issue here is that whoever started this crazy-ass situation has isolated this city from the Human Order. That’s a fucking big deal.”

    “You’re losing me, Maria.”

    The hooded girl groans.

    “To be honest, this is all new to me as well; the Human Order…I didn’t really know that term until Saver came inside me—whoa. Wrong choice of words there, Maria.”

    At least you saved me the effort of retorting.

    “In any case!” Maria continues, stretching the initial vowel. “Our only choice is to stop the one with the Holy Grail and return the city to the proper history of Man. Which brings us to Miss Scarface here.”

    The change in Maria’s tone preludes a change in the atmosphere. Something heavy has suddenly settled in the room, and I feel my body tensing as if readying itself to scamper away like a frightened rabbit.

    “Which side are you on, girl.”

    Maria is shining. She is literally emitting light, a dirty gold halo that envelops her and the sword now in her left hand, unflinchingly pointing at the space between the other girl’s eyes.

    The girl in question does not move and inch. She acts as if there were no sword, her single working eye fixated on Maria. Well, if I had her monstrous strength, I would fear little as well.

    She then gazes at her own lap, as if suddenly very interested in her hands that conceal unfathomable power.

    “I…do not know why I appeared here. I am a Servant, but I answer to no Master.”

    Maria seems honestly surprised.

    “A spontaneous summoning…?”

    “Perhaps…I was simply attracted to this strange place because it resembles home. Perhaps, if I do something here, she could also come…no.”

    She shakes her head. It almost feels like she’s forgotten about us.

    “I’m not smart, but I think that’s not what she would want. So, I have nothing to do here…no. There is one thing.”

    Really, rather than answering Maria, she was just monologuing to herself. She walks towards the door, uncaring of Maria or the sword, and it is perhaps with a little embarrassment that Maria finally lowers it.

    “If you are going to fight the people who did this, I will not get in your way. But your fight is not my fight. I…am not interested. In taking sides. I will…I would rather be on my own. I’d rather be left alone.”

    Thanks to Maria’s halo, I can look at the girl, and recognize the myriad indications of a socially awkward person. Although, that might not be quite right. She might better resemble a person who has been pulled out of her comfort zone against her will.

    Her hardened eyes attempting to project defiance yet contrasting with her defensive, shrinking posture.

    In her, I see myself ten years ago: alone in a distant land, away from everything I’ve ever known.

    Like the me of that time, she is lost.

    She then notices I am looking at her from my little fortress of warmth.

    “But…um, I, I would like to eat some of that meat again.”

    With that, she opens the bedroom door to leave, but she stops halfway, standing before the open door—goddammit, the wind is leaking in from downstairs so fucking cold aaaa—

    “My name…I cannot give it, but…if I was drawn to this place, then…’Herald’. I am the Herald.”

    Wise up!
    Herald of Fimbulwinter

    Class: Unknown
    True Name: Unknown

    STR A+
    END A
    AGI C
    MGI C
    LCK E
    NP EX

    Height & Weight: 166 cm, 55 kg
    Source: ?
    Region: ?
    Alignment: ?
    Gender: Female
    Attribute: Earth
    ”Uwah, what’s with those stats!? What’s with that EX!? That’s scary! That’s fucking scary!”

    Read the atmosphere, Maria. Please ignore her, Miss.

    “But I still owe you, so…I will stand guard until the morning. Nothing will set foot inside this building. Nothing will come to harm you tonight. This I swear on my name.”

    Base Status Update
    Defense: Poor --> Superb (Temporary)


    *** ***

    Severe Cold (-27
    °C/-17 °F)
    Blizzard

    “I’m used to having small portions on the evening, so having a full meal with soup at this time is a little too heavy for me.”

    It’s the same for me, although in my case it is more a matter of circumstances. I’m just used to making it through the day with two meals.

    “In this weather it is healthier to eat as much as possible,” I say, and after a moment Maria nods her agreement.

    “Yeah, yeah.”

    We’re sharing the fortress of blankets. Maria and I sit on the bed while eating the stuff I started to prepare for the Herald girl, and Maria later finished so it wouldn’t be wasted.

    “Sorry about going crazy on the mana back then,” Maria suddenly brings up. “Really, Saver wouldn’t normally need a backup like you, or a spare body like me, but in this place…”

    “Hey, you said it; my alternative would’ve been dying to the cold. At least now I have a chance to do something to end this hellish cold.”

    Maria looks up from her soup.

    “So you’re really into fighting back?”

    That’s a stupid question.

    “When the alternative is to just lay down and die, I think anybody would choose to fight back.”

    “Hmm…”

    If this is Maria’s attempt at conversation, it is a silly one. So, I quickly empty my plate and show her how it’s done.

    “So, when are you gonna tell me what happened out there?”

    “Ah, well…in the hurry to take care of you I kinda forgot.”

    Maria Westinghouse is a bad liar.

    “I was weak—hell, I’m still aching everywhere and I don’t think I can walk three steps—, but my eyes still worked, Maria. You had holes in your back.”

    “Oh, but those closed in no time,” she says dismissively, but there’s an unmistakable stiffness in her voice.

    “Holes in your back, Maria.”

    “Man, it’s really tricky to eat in the dark, don’t’cha think?”

    Maria.”

    “Oh, you’re done. Okay, back to bed with ya, I’ll do the dishes,” she says while gathering the dirty tableware and hurriedly escaping out of the bedroom.

    Silly girl.

    *** ***

    Enveloped in a cocoon of dark, in a completely dark room. In solitude, the darkness and the silence feel almost tangible. There is no other company but the cold and the sounds of the wind outside the walls. Sleep will not come easy.

    Thus, it is some relief I feel when I hear the sound of the door being opened and then closed again. Maria has returned, but she seems to linger in front of the door for a moment before—

    “Hey.”

    “You don’t get to monopolize the warmth,” she says as she crawls into the pile. QED.

    So that’s how end up sharing a bed not made to be shared. She is squeezed between my body and the wall, with her back turned towards me.

    “She’s really doing it, that ‘Herald’,” she says after some worryingly awkward minutes. “She’s standing watch on the roof like a fucking gargoyle.”

    “…that seems so unnecessary. Maybe we should’ve—”

    “No, it’s fine like this,” Maria interrupts me emphatically. “If she ‘officially’ joined our side, the enemy might decide to attack in force. That would be bad.”

    I…admit I didn’t think of that. But that’s not what I meant.

    “No, I mean, she’s like you, right? The cold won’t kill you, but you still feel it. She doesn’t have to stay the whole night out there.”

    “I don’t think we could convince her to come back in. I’m sure she can take this cold way better than both of us, anyway.”

    “Now you talk like you know her.”

    “Well, yeah,” Maria says, and her tone suddenly reminds me that she was, indeed, an American high school girl just a year ago.

    “I mean, she’s not really trying hard to hide her identity. If you think cold places, Norse mythology, and then look at her face, there’s only one name that comes to mind, right?”

    Yes, I know my Norse mythology well enough to know what she’s implying.

    “I don’t remember her being famous for her physical strength, though. And isn’t she supposed to be more, well, like a hag?”

    “I’ve seen her depicted both as a hag and as a young girl. And she is the daughter of a giant,” Maria retorts. “And look at her siblings, anyway. Maybe her strength was never in question, even if her appearance doesn’t match.”

    Maria keeps talking with her back to me. It’s a bit rude, but I guess the circumstances allow it.

    “So we’re going with that assumption?”

    She shrugs. “We can just ask her tomorrow. And speaking of tomorrow, we really have to do something about this cold. I can manage somehow, but you really need better gear. And get thicker blankets and stuff like that for the cold.”

    “Yeah, I know. I don’t think I can afford to stay cooped up in this room forever, either. I’ll see what I can do tomorrow.”

    In all honesty, I think I know a place where I can definitely find winter gear. Valparaiso is not a particularly cold place, but the Andes are close, and plenty of people go up the mountains for winter sports. It’s not like mountain gear is some rare item in this country.

    The problem is, that store is, like, two hills away from here. It would be a trivial trip on normal circumstances, but in this weird, magical winter…it could be tricky. It might be better to take it step by step, hill by hill, ascertaining which areas are safe and which aren’t.

    New Location Unlocked!
    You can now explore Atkinson Promenade.
    Silence ensues, but I am a patient man. Besides, like I said, it’s not easy to fall asleep; it’s like some sort of survival instinct that makes me feel like I’ll die if I fall asleep.

    So, I can wait. Good things come to those who wait—I think I remember my mother saying that.

    Eventually, patience does give fruit. Maria’s voice fills the room again, as she reports her encounter at the coast.

    “I…it feels like I screwed up, but I still don’t think I screwed up,” Maria says somewhat childishly. “I could’ve beaten that Rider; I’m still sure of that. Even if his lightning somehow made it through my Magic Resistance, it felt like a scratch at most, and both the tank and the soldiers are chumps. I could’ve won that easy. I just…”

    “You didn’t expect a second Servant.”

    “Um.” The single sound projects her dampening mood. “I…not, that wasn’t luck. I only survived because Saver is tough. Saver is tough, so she’s made my body tough. The arrows didn’t manage to reach my heart and my other vitals.”

    But now the Servant knows that.

    “Next time those arrows will be able to pierce my heart.” Maria comes to the same conclusion, and shudders at the thought.

    Yes, that’s the right reaction. Even with awesome powers, Maria is just a nineteen-years-young woman.

    “If only I could…if I had all of Saver’s powers, I definitely could—!”

    “Stop it.”

    She does stop talking.

    “Don’t push yourself. You have some great hero’s powers, but you’re not that hero. You need to cool down and take it a step at a time.”

    “But—!”

    “No buts. A step at a time.”

    It has to be like this. She is the one with the power to put a stop to this frozen hell, but that doesn’t change the fact I am the elder. Even if it is only seven years, those are seven years full of the harsh life experiences of an adult.

    Yes, even if it is kind of a hassle, it is the elder’s duty to be a guide to the younger. Just like I was once guided.

    “Don’t try to be something you’re not. That only works for actors and professional scammers. We just have to think our moves carefully so that situation doesn’t repeat.”

    The optimal way to overcome multiple enemies is to turn it into a sequence of one-versus-one fights. I’m not a fighter myself, but I can figure out that much.

    “More importantly, teach me more about Servants. I really need to know what we’re dealing with here.”

    “Fine, fine.” Ah, she’s sulking.

    Thus the night is filled with explanations on Servant Classes, Skills, and Noble Phantasms. I appreciate the straight categorization, but isn’t this whole thing a little too game-like? I’m starting to feel magi really don’t take seriously.

    Well, if there’s a plus to this is that, at some point, Maria deigned herself to stop showing me her back. Now we’re two fools staring at the boards supporting the top bunk, or we would if it weren’t so dark.

    “So, what can you figure out about that Rider?”

    “Hmm…he’s just a weirdo all around,” Maria says then and there. “Well, he wears the SS insignia, so it’s clear we’re not dealing with a Rommel or a Guderian, which I guess is good in its own way.”

    Why does it feel so weird that a nineteen-year-old girl knows more about Nazi Germany than I do? I guess it’s some strange form of gender bias.

    “Aside from that…I have something in the back of my mind, but I just can’t put it into words. But I’ll figure it out.”

    After all, driving the conversation in this direction was the best for Maria’s mood.

    “If I meet that Rider again, I’ll definitely figure him out.”

    I said she’s not the legendary figure inside her, but she has a surprisingly aggressive spirit. In that regard, we are almost complete opposites. Or maybe it’s just my soul that’s older than my body.

    “But that’s not really the issue,” Maria continues. “How is a Nazi officer a Servant? That’s just not supposed to happen.”

    “Why not? I mean, what they did was terrible, but it sure left a mark in history.”

    “That’s not how it works. People of the modern era can’t be summoned as Servants, or so I understand. Something about their ‘legends’ lacking the weight of Mystery.”

    I sort of understand what she means by that. Legends are such because they are greater than the figures themselves. Ancient legends were shaped by oral and written transmission; they were like paintings, and every person that narrated or recorded the legend added a brush stroke to the canvas. Legends are windows into the cultures that developed them; they are open to variation, adaptation and interpretation.

    The lives of modern day humans are too concrete, and the astounding progress of human technology in the last century has trivialized many things that would have been considered impossible in former times. In our modern, interconnected world, modern culture encompasses everything and is founded on recorded fact.

    There have been plenty of great people, but this world can no longer create “legends” in the traditional meaning of the word.

    “Looks like whoever is behind this whole mess keeps pulling off impossible things,” I can’t stop myself from commenting. It is sort of a joke, but it seems Maria does not take it as such.

    “The power to make impossible possible…Holy Grail…”

    “No, no, if we’re gonna use ‘Holy Grail’ as an explanation for everything, then there’s no point in thinking.”

    “Huh…good point,” she says quietly.

    “What about your Servant?” I bring up the question that kept lingering in my mind after this whole explaining. “I get it that you wouldn’t say it with the Herald around, but we’re alone now. So, who’s Saver?”

    “No idea.”

    Say wha’.

    “Do-don’t give me that judgmental silence!” Maria sulks again. “I really don’t know. Like I said, this place gave her all sorts of problems, to the point she had to use my body, and even after that the connection is all kinds of wrong. I’m missing, like, half her Skills, and I don’t have a Noble Phantasm.”

    “That’s kind of bad.”

    “I know! But I gotta do what I gotta do. Even if the only reason I’m still alive is because her base stats are pretty high on their own.”

    “But you do address Saver as a woman.”

    “Hmm. Well, yeah, I guess. We did have sort of a conversation. Or at least I heard the voice of a woman. Besides, if Saver were a guy, wouldn’t he have possessed you instead?”

    “Huh. Maybe.”

    And that is it. Even I am not sure myself why we are ending the conversation here, except that sleepiness is finally getting to me, but Maria decided to turn her back to me again, which is as eloquent as outright saying we’re done for tonight.

    However…a matter remains. Maria said it herself a while ago: she did not find wounds on my body matching the blood in my clothes and on the floor. I was no longer bleeding when she found me. Because I was saved by somebody else. The Herald did not say a thing about it, did she perhaps assume Maria healed me somehow?

    Decision Time
    Tell Maria about the person who healed me?

    • Yes
    • No

    In any case, it appears the time to sleep has finally come. It is an unannounced agreement—we just shift a little on the bed and it becomes clear in our minds that chatting is over. But silence does not our little bunker of warmth just yet.

    “How ya feelin’?”

    “Everything hurts. And you?”

    “My back hurts.”

    “Then why did you lie on your back all this time?”

    “So I don’t forget. This pain. Then I will do better tomorrow.”

    Okay, there is something I am not getting about this girl. It’s hard to keep up when she says idiotic things at one time and then makes me worry with things like this at the other.

    But, then again, why do I even care, really? Despite everything that’s happened, I haven’t known her for twenty-four hours.

    Focus on the things that matter, Javier Lucero. Even if I end up dying here, I’m not giving away my life cheaply.

    But, well, we can worry about that tomorrow.

    “Javier.”

    “Hmm?”

    “If you snore, I’m shoving your bloody boxers in your mouth.”

    Goddammit, Maria.

    Spoiler:
    Character reference updated with ‘Herald’.

    Saver character profile updated.

    END OF DAY 1

    *** ***

    DAY 2 – MORNING PHASE SETUP

    Character & Base Status

    Health: Stable
    Sustenance: Stable
    Warmth: Stable
    Stamina: Stable

    Food: Stable
    Water: Optimal
    Warmth: Poor (Stable only inside bedroom)
    Defense: Poor
    Singularity Map (Opening in new tab recommended)
    Choice Time
    Javier’s Morning Action:

    • Exploration Action
      • Atkinson Promenade: We’ve been looking north (towards the sea) this whole time. If we’re gonna look in a different direction, might as well try east. But there is a lot of east to go, so let’s start small and prudent.
      • Port: I was supposed to meet someone there. Now I wonder if it’s safe to go, or if there’s a point at all in going there.
      • Sotomayor Square: It is perhaps the city’s most important spot, so there might be something important there. Or someone.
      • Unimarc: Maria’s backpack is still there. Also, we can never have enough supplies.
      • Yugoslavian Promenade: It’s the nearest vantage point to take a proper look at both the coast and the neighboring hills. And I’m still worried about the old man Scherer.

    • Management Action
      • Forage
      • Prepare Meals
      • Repair
      • Instruction
      • Write-in

    • Rest



    Maria’s Morning Action:

    • Exploration Action
      • Atkinson Promenade: Javier says he really knows where to get winter gear. But it looks like it’s pretty far, so we’re gonna take it step by step, hill by hill.
      • Port: Still haven’t checked it out properly.
      • Sotomayor Square: It looked important in the map. People gather in places like that. Maybe so do zombies.
      • Unimarc: CHOCOLATE. Also, foraging. Also, investigation.
      • Yugoslavian Promenade: At this point it’s more of a hunch than anything else. Maybe it’s my tourist’s soul calling me there?

    • Management Action
      • Forage
      • Prepare Meals
      • Repair
      • Instruction
      • Write-in

    • Rest


  19. #159
    Beats By Matthew ft. Dr. Para Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    Yes; Double up on exploring the Atkinson Promenade.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  20. #160
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    boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    Where the hell are we going to find a soldier? Waiiiit a second. Time to kill some Nazis, huh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

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