Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Chaldea's Case Files

  1. #1
    死徒 Dead Apostle Comun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Kagoshima, Japan (from Manaus, Brazil)
    Age
    24
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    827
    JP Friend Code
    262.110.454

    Chaldea's Case Files

    Index:

    Spoiler:
    Dark Crime Skyscraper: Manhattan - by Yugo Aozaki
    Part 1

    Toshizou Hijikata (and the) Kidnapping - by Korumono Migiwa

    Ishtar and Ereshkigal's Case Files - by Ryou Amane

    Girls in the cage - by Kyouya Origami

    Malice or Romance - by Van Madoy

    Chronology:


    Translation by Comun
    Proofreading by Narmbo
    Last edited by Comun; February 20th, 2020 at 12:53 PM.

  2. #2
    死徒 Dead Apostle Comun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Kagoshima, Japan (from Manaus, Brazil)
    Age
    24
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    827
    JP Friend Code
    262.110.454
    Part 1 is up. As I explained in the other thread, the POV is kinda wonky, with Fujimaru attempting to do a neutral first-person narration but often slipping into first person.

    Spoiler:




    The thousands of lights below compete against the night.
    The street lights, the traffic signals, the theater’s decorative illuminations. The headlights of the taxis and the red lamps of the police cars. Lights in bars, diners and stores, or the reflections of those lights on the park’s lake, on the bottles littered all over the streets or on people’s jewelry. And on the windows of the skyscrapers, the giant buildings spread around like symbols of vanity.
    From one of said windows, a girl looks at the city below her. Her sunset-colored hair is tied in a sidetail and its tip is touching the window.
    “That’s so pretty.”
    “Yeah, it’s not half bad.”
    One of her teammates nods in response to her inept commentary. It was not only her first time coming to this city, but also her first time coming to this era. The night scenery from 40 years in the past shows as much liveliness and enthusiasm as the present one, if not more. This is the land of constantly expanding hopes and dreams. A melting pot of boundless greed and activity.
    Yes. This place has been the greatest metropolis in the world for the past 40 years.
    It was the brightest, busiest, richest
    and scariest of all cities.
    The girl kept looking at the window.
    She didn’t want to look into the room she was in, because she will be met with a glare. Her group is surrounded by dozens of big men in suits. It’s been about an hour since they were brought there, but none of them were talking, nor even smiling. No one could relax this tense mood.
    Two sets of footsteps approach and open the door.
    “Hello, Boss!” “Hello, Boss!”
    The men lower their heads immediately. The girl stops observing the night city and looks at the people who just arrived.
    One was a beautiful woman.
    The information I got states she is in her 40s but looks at least 10 years younger. Her face has Irish traits and her long hair is crimson red, looking as if it was dyed with the blood of her enemies. While her body would look magnificent in a dress, it was instead covered in a dark suit for men and releasing a silent but tangible threatening aura. Like her hair, her necktie was also had the color of human blood. Her sharply trained reddish-brown eyes could see through this dazzling city as easily as they could see through an unpopulated wasteland.
    And the other person was an Asian man standing behind her.
    He wasn’t wearing a jacket, only a poorly tied necktie, a white shirt and pants with suspenders. Even though it was impossible to hide guns and knives dressed like that and he had a very thin physique, his aura was the most dangerous of them all. Tattoos were visible from his rolled-up sleeves. His long black hair was tied in the back. His face was handsome, aloof and… Wait!
    I’ve seen him before.
    “Yan Qing?”
    I say it out loud. The man looks at me stupefied.
    “Have we seen each other, miss?”
    “You know her?”
    “Dunno. I guess this is just because I’ve been showing my face around a bit too much.”
    The Asian man answers the woman with a shrug. Is he just a lookalike…? I don’t think so. That’s clearly Yan Qing. Though he doesn’t seem to have his Shinjuku memories. Why is he here?
    One of the men in suits approaches and bows to the woman.
    “Boss, may I have your time.”
    “Sure. What is the matter?”
    “There’re… some people wanting to join our family.”
    She raises her eyebrow, making her aura even more intimidating.
    “Interviewing newcomers is not my job. Deal with this yourself.”
    “W-we know, but these ones are a little… not normal. You see, there was a fight against the Russians on the First Avenue this afternoon…”
    “With the badgers? No one told me about that. How many casualties?”
    “Zero, ma’am… Those guys intervened and sent everyone away.”
    The woman they call boss threw a piercing glare at the girl’s group.
    After a few seconds of evaluation, she moves forward. The sound of her polished shoes echoes throughout the whole room.
    “We follow a principle of never rejecting those who come to us, but… do you know the rules of our family? We discard the useless. We kill the traitors. We kill the smokers even harder. Because there is nothing in the world I hate more than tobacco. Say your names and skills, one by one.”
    The first one to raise her hand was-
    “I am called Ushiwaka!”
    -The black-haired girl with an oodachi. She was wearing what seemed to be samurai armor over her naked body, with only the armor’s armpit guards unreliably hiding her chest. With no signs of noticing how eye-catching her outfit was, her blue eyes looked only straight forward.
    “I am mainly good at combat, swordsmanship and horse riding. I am proud of my strong loyalty. I will devote myself to my family in all sincerity!”
    Her earnestness is totally out of place in an underground business. The boss just says “Ok” and moves her eyes to the man next to her. A young adult wearing a dark green hood. He uncovers his head and says his name.
    “Robin. My skills are, I guess archery and logistical support. About my cigarettes… I can quit any time.”
    That was all. His uncaring eyes, visible behind his wheat-colored hair, showed no signs of being intimidated. Before the boss could get displeased, the informant nervously added:
    “It was those two who drove away the badgers. They’re useful. And while this other one may look like a kid…”
    “He just had his growth cut short due to some problems.”
    Two voices said the same words.
    The one doing this was a 12-13 years old boy, at least head shorter than everyone around him. His hair and eyes were cobalt blue and he was wearing a waistcoat with tights and a bow tie. However, from his throat came the voice of a grown man weary of life. With a fearless smile, he starts talking.
    “This causes me a lot of inconveniences, but it gives me one great advantage. I can infiltrate about anywhere by pretending to be a stupid brat who doesn’t know better. I don’t have to worry about the police questioning my occupation. Your main scene is smuggling, right? I’m someone you’d find useful as a carrier. Am I wrong? The name is Hans. Work me well.”
    “I’ll tell you the second thing I hate the most in the world: men who talk too much. But you do look useful.”
    The boss responds dispassionately and faces the last person: the girl with the sunset-colored hair.
    “She’s so normal compared to all the others”. That’s the opinion written in the boss’ face. She was in fact normal. She couldn’t think of anything to advertise herself. After thinking some, the girl finally opens her mouth.
    “I’m Ritsuka Fujimaru. My skill is… err… being resistant to poison, I guess?”
    “To poison?”
    “Yes. As far as I tested…”
    She had already confirmed that her Poison Resistance Skill hadn’t vanished in this land. She tested it in the afternoon by taking something from Robin’s bag.
    The boss stares the girl from head to toe with the skeptical eyes of someone watching a late-night infomercial, until she flips her hair and says indifferently:
    “Very well. Starting today, you are members of my group. Welcome to the Cascade Family.”
    Her name was Kate.
    Kate Caroline Cascade.
    The boss of the Cascade Family, one of the New 5 Great Mafias of New York.
    Clap, clap, clap. Yan Qing, leaning on the wall, was clapping his hands. In reaction to him, all the previously unsociable men start applauding, too. But the sudden shift into this welcoming mood wasn’t enough to make me feel relieved. Ushiwakamaru, Robin and Andersen were looking terribly displeased. They all probably want to say the same thing.
    Looking down to avoid being noticed, their Master, Ritsuka Fujimaru, whispers:
    “H-how could this happen to us…”


    -


    “I want to applaud me as hard as Melzi used to do. My service today was distinguished.”
    Leonardo “da Vinci-chan” da Vinci puffed her bountiful chest in pride of her ever-improving skills.
    “Before going to sleep, I decided to play with the Sheba Lens like it’s Google Earth, and there I found the tiniest Holy Grail reaction. We would never had found a signal this weak on a normal search. Oh wow, I’m not even surprised at my own frightening skillfulness…”
    “Permission to make a joke about the Google Earth comment?”
    “I’ll pass.”
    “But the point is that you found a Micro-Singularity, correct?”
    Mash Kyrielight asks briskly from the next chair. Ritsuka regained her seriousness and waited for the engineering advisor’s explanation.
    Micro-Singularities.
    Those are small faults appearing all over history as an aftermath of the 7 Singularities destroying Human Order Foundations in the Demon God King Goetia’s plot to incinerate Human Order. Even after Ritsuka’s Human Order Security Organization Chaldea put a stop to their plans, its residue is still being found en masse.
    And what we found today was another of those. Or so I thought.
    “I’d say this is not even Micro.” da Vinci leans her arm on the control panel to support her head. “It’s on a pre-Singularity state. A Singularity in potential. Consider it an egg of a Singularity. You know how normal Singularities have something wrong about them? It could be topography, buildings, weather, lifeforms, anything. But as far as I’ve observed, there’s nothing out of place with this one. Which means it hasn’t become a Singularity yet.”
    “Huh, but… ” Ritsuka tilts her head “a Holy Grail did manifest there, didn’t it?”
    “Although it manifested, no one picked it up yet, I suppose. Before any contact, the Grail is just a neutral mana resource. That’s all. Your job today, Ritsuka-chan, is to Rayshift to the Singularity egg and retrieve the Grail as quickly as possible, preventing the land from turning into a Singularity. Just like removing a tumor before it goes malignant. How about it? You like handling a super easy Order?”
    “Yeah… that does sound better than what I got before.”
    “Then take 2 or 3 Servants that aren’t doing anything and move ASAP.”
    “I’ll handle your support, Senpai.”
    “Ok. Thanks, Mash.”
    “Roger!” The kouhai nods, swaying her violet hair. Mash’s power as Servant has weakened since her fight against Goetia, shifting her to the mission control. But this mission sounds doable even without her helpful but sometimes annoying support.
    As she went to the cafeteria to search for companions, Ritsuka notices she forgot to ask one question.
    “Hey, da Vinci-chan, where am I Rayshifting to?”
    “1977, Manhattan, New York.” She answers with a wink. “It’s an unsafe era, so beware of robbers and mafiosos.”
    The mission was supposed to be easy enough for this joke to be funny.
    She would retrieve an unused Grail from a completely unaltered city. Difficulty level: zero.
    But after Rayshifting, Ritsuka’s party immediately encounters something out of the ordinary.
    “Hey… something’s wrong. I can’t chant anything.”
    “Huh? I’m using my mantle, why am I not invisible?”
    --Hello? Senpai? My screen is blank. Can you hear me?--
    “We have a problem, my lord. I can’t tell where the ‘buroodowei’ is!”
    “Wait, wait, wait!”
    Analysis results: we confirmed that in the entire Manhattan area no one can use Noble Phantasms, Skills, Mystic Codes, going into spirit mode, and not even Command Spells. We had to find our way to Broadway by asking people.
    “I don’t seem to find any issues with my Saint Graph’s maintenance, mana supply or physical abilities. But every other magical element is entirely restricted.”
    Ushiwakamaru makes her self-analysis as she practices her sword swings by the Central Park’s fountain. She hears da Vinci’s sad voice from the transmitter in Ritsuka’s wrist.
    --This must be why we can’t get any images. A source of mana jamming indetectable by our monitor and able to affect even Noble Phantasms and Command Spells… doesn’t sound very possible for a normal Bounded Field. Unless…--
    “It’s the Grail’s power?”
    --Possible. I’m assuming this land…--
    --Don’t you think this land has already turned into a Singularity?--
    The voice of an intellectual man cut into the transmission. It’s Sherlock Holmes.
    --Sorry, da Vinci, I just happened to overhear your conversation. This is just a theory, but don’t you suppose someone already obtained the Grail and wished ‘I don’t want anything out of the ordinary to happen’? Said person perceives magecraft as out of the ordinary and the Grail is responding to that.--
    --Makes sense.-- says Mash’s voice. --That would explain everything.--
    --Though that’s quite the paradoxical wish to make to the Grail. The fact that the more fundamental parts like mana supply are running without problem must be because the wish needs to avoid contradicting itself. In that case, we can deduce the owner to be a… no, I’ll leave their profiling and the rest to you. I have to leave now. The Professor invited me to some board game named Scotland Yard. Though I wish I didn’t have to play against him…--
    The detective’s voice fades out into grumbles. Following that, Ritsuka hears a refreshing laughter right next to her. It’s Andersen.
    “What a masterpiece! A Caster with no chants or magecraft! I’ve always called myself the most useless weakling, but now that went to the extreme!”
    He looked more happy than disappointed. Tourists start gathering around Ushiwaka as she continues her practice swings. Robin is sitting at the edge of the fountain, holding on to his mantle, now turned into a regular piece of cloth.
    “This sucks. I went into this thinking it would be fun… This’s gonna be a bit of a chore, huh?”
    This turned out very different from what he expected.
    It’ll be more than “a bit” of a chore.
    The investigation itself went along swimmingly. Information circulates in droves in a metropolis with 8 million people. After going through a people, the group finds useful information. About a month ago, an influential person obtained an item of extreme magical power.
    When we ask about it, the information broker points to a skyscraper that can be seen from anywhere in the city.
    It’s a tall building in Midtown Manhattan, the center of the metropolis. Its silhouette is a long and thin cuboid, with tympanums on all windows giving it Renaissance airs. Its height seems to approach 250m, being on par with other famous buildings like the Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Building.
    “Publicly, they are an import company, but everyone knows that’s not their deal.”
    “Then what they really are?”
    “The Cascade Family. A mafia.” The man strongly rubbed his fingers together. “I can tell you more details for some chips.”

    -

    “Our infiltration was successful… What’s our next action?”
    “That man back there was the Youxia, no doubts about it. Why’s he here?”
    “How would I know? Regardless of why, the fact the enemy has a Servant is a huge problem for us.”
    “Was that boss really the one who wished for nothing to happen? Why would she wish something like that?”
    “HEY, greenhorns, stop blabbering and get over here.”
    They hear the high-pitched yell of a man. A black man with an afro is at the end of the hallway gesturing at them to come closer.
    Once they approach, they hear the beep of an elevator arriving.
    They are guided inside it. Until now, they have been on the 70th floor, the highest floor in the building. The elevator was glass-sided, so the sick-looking Ushiwakamaru held herself close to Ritsuka without a second thought. If I recall right, she mentioned before that she was afraid of heights.
    The man with the afro presses the 1 button. As the box begins to descend, he turns to Ritsuka.
    “I heard you’re looking for a place to live. There’s an empty apartment on 29th Street, go there. Take the key. Name’s Billy. I’m the official instructor here. My dudes call me Billy the Kid.”
    “You don’t look very much like the real one.”
    “You’ve seen the real one’s face?”
    “I meet him often in the cafeteria…”
    “You’re a funny chick.”
    “By the way, Billy the Kid-senpai,” Robin makes little effort to hide his displeasure. “What kind of lady is our boss? She seems to be more than your average honcho.”
    “Kate is a badass. The woman came to this city all alone 10 years ago and made this huge organization in an instant. The only problem with her is that she hates smoking. Hahaha.”
    “Where was she before she came here?”
    “Some random organization in London. Clock Fort…? Clock Tower…?”
    “It’s Tower.” Andersen answered. “Of course, she’s from there. Was it the boss who summoned Yan Qing then?”
    “Summoned? Don’t know what you’re talking about, but Yan Qing is one of the new capos who joined last month. The Boss’ bodyguard. You better obey his orders.”
    “We’ll take care. But, man, this org must be doing pretty well to have a man like him around. Our bread and butter is smuggling, right?”
    “Yup. We have regulars all over the city.”
    “Then we should be trading some really rare stuff. I’ve been hearing rumors around that the boss got some amazing treasure…”
    “Oh?”
    Billy-senpai raised an eyebrow and Robin closed his mouth. Did he speak too much? The elevator ride gets tense. The floor number lamp is the only thing still moving.
    After the number lowered past 40, Billy-senpai showed his white teeth. His laughter was like that of an obnoxious child trying to show off their expensive toy.
    “You mean the Holy Grail? ‘course the rumors already spread outside.”
    “Oh, that’s the one!” Ritsuka’s voice cracked. “Hehe, I wonder where it is. Sounds like a fun thing to see.”
    “Ok, we can stop there before we leave.”
    Billy-senpai presses the 35 button, the exact center of the building. The elevator soon stopped and opened its doors. He walks cheerfully through a hallway with no signs of life. Ritsuka’s party follows him.
    “Nice flirting, you’re a pro.”
    “You should start learning from me.”
    I quietly praised Robin and got a mean retort. This victory wasn’t even thanks to his interrogation skills, it was more thanks to the interrogated party’s personality. Billy-senpai is still talking without a hint of suspicion even now.
    “The Boss’s only got one person in her family, a son named Kevin. He’s going to high school in Paris now, but in half a year he’ll come back and inherit the family’s throne. The Boss is planning to give the Grail as present to lil’ Kevin. And our most important job is to protect the Grail until he’s here.”
    To pass it on to her successor.
    To protect it from enemies for six months.
    “Ah, so that’s why she wished for nothing to happen…”
    The moment Ritsuka felt all pieces of the puzzle fit together, she saw the end of the hallway.
    Billy-senpai pushes open a double door with the words Security Room written on it. Beyond the door was an empty room with no windows. In the center of the room was a desk with a black telephone on it. Next to it, a single chair.
    A man was sitting on the chair.
    Seeing the visitors, he picks up the weapon by the side of the chair and stands up. He was wearing a suit instead of his armor, but his purple hair, stern face, broad shoulders, and most of all, his broadsword beautiful like dawn’s reflex on a lake were unmistakable. Ritsuka’s confused mind recalls Billy-senpai’s words. “Yan Qing is one of the new capos who joined last month.” One of the new capos…
    Yan Qing is not the only Servant the Cascade Family has.
    “Any problems?”
    “Hello, sir. I’m just show the greenhorns the building.”
    “I see. But don’t go any further than here.”
    He’s saying whoever gets any closer will be cut down.
    An implicit warning said by Sir Lancelot of the Round Table.
    While the four of them where unable to hide their shock, that was just the appetizer. The main dish was still waiting them behind Saber. Noticing that paralyzed the party harder than any Stun effect.
    “Hey, Billy-senpai… Is the Grail perhaps…”
    “Yup, inside here. We call this place the Cradle. A safe crib for lil’ Kevin.”
    The thing occupying most of the wall behind Lancelot. The thing a knight of the strongest level was indomitably protecting. The thing releasing a silver light as the room’s illumination reflected on it.
    It was a visibly secure, clearly solid, absolutely thick…
    giant vault door.

  3. #3
    死徒 Dead Apostle AAM1232's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Age
    22
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    652
    JP Friend Code
    525,113,064
    Thanks Comun!

  4. #4
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Age
    20
    Gender
    Female
    Posts
    1,983
    Quote Originally Posted by Comun View Post
    Part 1 is up. As I explained in the other thread, the POV is kinda wonky, with Fujimaru attempting to do a neutral first-person narration but often slipping into first person.

    Spoiler:




    The thousands of lights below compete against the night.
    The street lights, the traffic signals, the theater’s decorative illuminations. The headlights of the taxis and the red lamps of the police cars. Lights in bars, diners and stores, or the reflections of those lights on the park’s lake, on the bottles littered all over the streets or on people’s jewelry. And on the windows of the skyscrapers, the giant buildings spread around like symbols of vanity.
    From one of said windows, a girl looks at the city below her. Her sunset-colored hair is tied in a sidetail and its tip is touching the window.
    “That’s so pretty.”
    “Yeah, it’s not half bad.”
    One of her teammates nods in response to her inept commentary. It was not only her first time coming to this city, but also her first time coming to this era. The night scenery from 40 years in the past shows as much liveliness and enthusiasm as the present one, if not more. This is the land of constantly expanding hopes and dreams. A melting pot of boundless greed and activity.
    Yes. This place has been the greatest metropolis in the world for the past 40 years.
    It was the brightest, busiest, richest
    and scariest of all cities.
    The girl kept looking at the window.
    She didn’t want to look into the room she was in, because she will be met with a glare. Her group is surrounded by dozens of big men in suits. It’s been about an hour since they were brought there, but none of them were talking, nor even smiling. No one could relax this tense mood.
    Two sets of footsteps approach and open the door.
    “Hello, Boss!” “Hello, Boss!”
    The men lower their heads immediately. The girl stops observing the night city and looks at the people who just arrived.
    One was a beautiful woman.
    The information I got states she is in her 40s but looks at least 10 years younger. Her face has Irish traits and her long hair is crimson red, looking as if it was dyed with the blood of her enemies. While her body would look magnificent in a dress, it was instead covered in a dark suit for men and releasing a silent but tangible threatening aura. Like her hair, her necktie was also had the color of human blood. Her sharply trained reddish-brown eyes could see through this dazzling city as easily as they could see through an unpopulated wasteland.
    And the other person was an Asian man standing behind her.
    He wasn’t wearing a jacket, only a poorly tied necktie, a white shirt and pants with suspenders. Even though it was impossible to hide guns and knives dressed like that and he had a very thin physique, his aura was the most dangerous of them all. Tattoos were visible from his rolled-up sleeves. His long black hair was tied in the back. His face was handsome, aloof and… Wait!
    I’ve seen him before.
    “Yan Qing?”
    I say it out loud. The man looks at me stupefied.
    “Have we seen each other, miss?”
    “You know her?”
    “Dunno. I guess this is just because I’ve been showing my face around a bit too much.”
    The Asian man answers the woman with a shrug. Is he just a lookalike…? I don’t think so. That’s clearly Yan Qing. Though he doesn’t seem to have his Shinjuku memories. Why is he here?
    One of the men in suits approaches and bows to the woman.
    “Boss, may I have your time.”
    “Sure. What is the matter?”
    “There’re… some people wanting to join our family.”
    She raises her eyebrow, making her aura even more intimidating.
    “Interviewing newcomers is not my job. Deal with this yourself.”
    “W-we know, but these ones are a little… not normal. You see, there was a fight against the Russians on the First Avenue this afternoon…”
    “With the badgers? No one told me about that. How many casualties?”
    “Zero, ma’am… Those guys intervened and sent everyone away.”
    The woman they call boss threw a piercing glare at the girl’s group.
    After a few seconds of evaluation, she moves forward. The sound of her polished shoes echoes throughout the whole room.
    “We follow a principle of never rejecting those who come to us, but… do you know the rules of our family? We discard the useless. We kill the traitors. We kill the smokers even harder. Because there is nothing in the world I hate more than tobacco. Say your names and skills, one by one.”
    The first one to raise her hand was-
    “I am called Ushiwaka!”
    -The black-haired girl with an oodachi. She was wearing what seemed to be samurai armor over her naked body, with only the armor’s armpit guards unreliably hiding her chest. With no signs of noticing how eye-catching her outfit was, her blue eyes looked only straight forward.
    “I am mainly good at combat, swordsmanship and horse riding. I am proud of my strong loyalty. I will devote myself to my family in all sincerity!”
    Her earnestness is totally out of place in an underground business. The boss just says “Ok” and moves her eyes to the man next to her. A young adult wearing a dark green hood. He uncovers his head and says his name.
    “Robin. My skills are, I guess archery and logistical support. About my cigarettes… I can quit any time.”
    That was all. His uncaring eyes, visible behind his wheat-colored hair, showed no signs of being intimidated. Before the boss could get displeased, the informant nervously added:
    “It was those two who drove away the badgers. They’re useful. And while this other one may look like a kid…”
    “He just had his growth cut short due to some problems.”
    Two voices said the same words.
    The one doing this was a 12-13 years old boy, at least head shorter than everyone around him. His hair and eyes were cobalt blue and he was wearing a waistcoat with tights and a bow tie. However, from his throat came the voice of a grown man weary of life. With a fearless smile, he starts talking.
    “This causes me a lot of inconveniences, but it gives me one great advantage. I can infiltrate about anywhere by pretending to be a stupid brat who doesn’t know better. I don’t have to worry about the police questioning my occupation. Your main scene is smuggling, right? I’m someone you’d find useful as a carrier. Am I wrong? The name is Hans. Work me well.”
    “I’ll tell you the second thing I hate the most in the world: men who talk too much. But you do look useful.”
    The boss responds dispassionately and faces the last person: the girl with the sunset-colored hair.
    “She’s so normal compared to all the others”. That’s the opinion written in the boss’ face. She was in fact normal. She couldn’t think of anything to advertise herself. After thinking some, the girl finally opens her mouth.
    “I’m Ritsuka Fujimaru. My skill is… err… being resistant to poison, I guess?”
    “To poison?”
    “Yes. As far as I tested…”
    She had already confirmed that her Poison Resistance Skill hadn’t vanished in this land. She tested it in the afternoon by taking something from Robin’s bag.
    The boss stares the girl from head to toe with the skeptical eyes of someone watching a late-night infomercial, until she flips her hair and says indifferently:
    “Very well. Starting today, you are members of my group. Welcome to the Cascade Family.”
    Her name was Kate.
    Kate Caroline Cascade.
    The boss of the Cascade Family, one of the New 5 Great Mafias of New York.
    Clap, clap, clap. Yan Qing, leaning on the wall, was clapping his hands. In reaction to him, all the previously unsociable men start applauding, too. But the sudden shift into this welcoming mood wasn’t enough to make me feel relieved. Ushiwakamaru, Robin and Andersen were looking terribly displeased. They all probably want to say the same thing.
    Looking down to avoid being noticed, their Master, Ritsuka Fujimaru, whispers:
    “H-how could this happen to us…”


    -


    “I want to applaud me as hard as Melzi used to do. My service today was distinguished.”
    Leonardo “da Vinci-chan” da Vinci puffed her bountiful chest in pride of her ever-improving skills.
    “Before going to sleep, I decided to play with the Sheba Lens like it’s Google Earth, and there I found the tiniest Holy Grail reaction. We would never had found a signal this weak on a normal search. Oh wow, I’m not even surprised at my own frightening skillfulness…”
    “Permission to make a joke about the Google Earth comment?”
    “I’ll pass.”
    “But the point is that you found a Micro-Singularity, correct?”
    Mash Kyrielight asks briskly from the next chair. Ritsuka regained her seriousness and waited for the engineering advisor’s explanation.
    Micro-Singularities.
    Those are small faults appearing all over history as an aftermath of the 7 Singularities destroying Human Order Foundations in the Demon God King Goetia’s plot to incinerate Human Order. Even after Ritsuka’s Human Order Security Organization Chaldea put a stop to their plans, its residue is still being found en masse.
    And what we found today was another of those. Or so I thought.
    “I’d say this is not even Micro.” da Vinci leans her arm on the control panel to support her head. “It’s on a pre-Singularity state. A Singularity in potential. Consider it an egg of a Singularity. You know how normal Singularities have something wrong about them? It could be topography, buildings, weather, lifeforms, anything. But as far as I’ve observed, there’s nothing out of place with this one. Which means it hasn’t become a Singularity yet.”
    “Huh, but… ” Ritsuka tilts her head “a Holy Grail did manifest there, didn’t it?”
    “Although it manifested, no one picked it up yet, I suppose. Before any contact, the Grail is just a neutral mana resource. That’s all. Your job today, Ritsuka-chan, is to Rayshift to the Singularity egg and retrieve the Grail as quickly as possible, preventing the land from turning into a Singularity. Just like removing a tumor before it goes malignant. How about it? You like handling a super easy Order?”
    “Yeah… that does sound better than what I got before.”
    “Then take 2 or 3 Servants that aren’t doing anything and move ASAP.”
    “I’ll handle your support, Senpai.”
    “Ok. Thanks, Mash.”
    “Roger!” The kouhai nods, swaying her violet hair. Mash’s power as Servant has weakened since her fight against Goetia, shifting her to the mission control. But this mission sounds doable even without her helpful but sometimes annoying support.
    As she went to the cafeteria to search for companions, Ritsuka notices she forgot to ask one question.
    “Hey, da Vinci-chan, where am I Rayshifting to?”
    “1977, Manhattan, New York.” She answers with a wink. “It’s an unsafe era, so beware of robbers and mafiosos.”
    The mission was supposed to be easy enough for this joke to be funny.
    She would retrieve an unused Grail from a completely unaltered city. Difficulty level: zero.
    But after Rayshifting, Ritsuka’s party immediately encounters something out of the ordinary.
    “Hey… something’s wrong. I can’t chant anything.”
    “Huh? I’m using my mantle, why am I not invisible?”
    --Hello? Senpai? My screen is blank. Can you hear me?--
    “We have a problem, my lord. I can’t tell where the ‘buroodowei’ is!”
    “Wait, wait, wait!”
    Analysis results: we confirmed that in the entire Manhattan area no one can use Noble Phantasms, Skills, Mystic Codes, going into spirit mode, and not even Command Spells. We had to find our way to Broadway by asking people.
    “I don’t seem to find any issues with my Saint Graph’s maintenance, mana supply or physical abilities. But every other magical element is entirely restricted.”
    Ushiwakamaru makes her self-analysis as she practices her sword swings by the Central Park’s fountain. She hears da Vinci’s sad voice from the transmitter in Ritsuka’s wrist.
    --This must be why we can’t get any images. A source of mana jamming indetectable by our monitor and able to affect even Noble Phantasms and Command Spells… doesn’t sound very possible for a normal Bounded Field. Unless…--
    “It’s the Grail’s power?”
    --Possible. I’m assuming this land…--
    --Don’t you think this land has already turned into a Singularity?--
    The voice of an intellectual man cut into the transmission. It’s Sherlock Holmes.
    --Sorry, da Vinci, I just happened to overhear your conversation. This is just a theory, but don’t you suppose someone already obtained the Grail and wished ‘I don’t want anything out of the ordinary to happen’? Said person perceives magecraft as out of the ordinary and the Grail is responding to that.--
    --Makes sense.-- says Mash’s voice. --That would explain everything.--
    --Though that’s quite the paradoxical wish to make to the Grail. The fact that the more fundamental parts like mana supply are running without problem must be because the wish needs to avoid contradicting itself. In that case, we can deduce the owner to be a… no, I’ll leave their profiling and the rest to you. I have to leave now. The Professor invited me to some board game named Scotland Yard. Though I wish I didn’t have to play against him…--
    The detective’s voice fades out into grumbles. Following that, Ritsuka hears a refreshing laughter right next to her. It’s Andersen.
    “What a masterpiece! A Caster with no chants or magecraft! I’ve always called myself the most useless weakling, but now that went to the extreme!”
    He looked more happy than disappointed. Tourists start gathering around Ushiwaka as she continues her practice swings. Robin is sitting at the edge of the fountain, holding on to his mantle, now turned into a regular piece of cloth.
    “This sucks. I went into this thinking it would be fun… This’s gonna be a bit of a chore, huh?”
    This turned out very different from what he expected.
    It’ll be more than “a bit” of a chore.
    The investigation itself went along swimmingly. Information circulates in droves in a metropolis with 8 million people. After going through a people, the group finds useful information. About a month ago, an influential person obtained an item of extreme magical power.
    When we ask about it, the information broker points to a skyscraper that can be seen from anywhere in the city.
    It’s a tall building in Midtown Manhattan, the center of the metropolis. Its silhouette is a long and thin cuboid, with tympanums on all windows giving it Renaissance airs. Its height seems to approach 250m, being on par with other famous buildings like the Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Building.
    “Publicly, they are an import company, but everyone knows that’s not their deal.”
    “Then what they really are?”
    “The Cascade Family. A mafia.” The man strongly rubbed his fingers together. “I can tell you more details for some chips.”

    -

    “Our infiltration was successful… What’s our next action?”
    “That man back there was the Youxia, no doubts about it. Why’s he here?”
    “How would I know? Regardless of why, the fact the enemy has a Servant is a huge problem for us.”
    “Was that boss really the one who wished for nothing to happen? Why would she wish something like that?”
    “HEY, greenhorns, stop blabbering and get over here.”
    They hear the high-pitched yell of a man. A black man with an afro is at the end of the hallway gesturing at them to come closer.
    Once they approach, they hear the beep of an elevator arriving.
    They are guided inside it. Until now, they have been on the 70th floor, the highest floor in the building. The elevator was glass-sided, so the sick-looking Ushiwakamaru held herself close to Ritsuka without a second thought. If I recall right, she mentioned before that she was afraid of heights.
    The man with the afro presses the 1 button. As the box begins to descend, he turns to Ritsuka.
    “I heard you’re looking for a place to live. There’s an empty apartment on 29th Street, go there. Take the key. Name’s Billy. I’m the official instructor here. My dudes call me Billy the Kid.”
    “You don’t look very much like the real one.”
    “You’ve seen the real one’s face?”
    “I meet him often in the cafeteria…”
    “You’re a funny chick.”
    “By the way, Billy the Kid-senpai,” Robin makes little effort to hide his displeasure. “What kind of lady is our boss? She seems to be more than your average honcho.”
    “Kate is a badass. The woman came to this city all alone 10 years ago and made this huge organization in an instant. The only problem with her is that she hates smoking. Hahaha.”
    “Where was she before she came here?”
    “Some random organization in London. Clock Fort…? Clock Tower…?”
    “It’s Tower.” Andersen answered. “Of course, she’s from there. Was it the boss who summoned Yan Qing then?”
    “Summoned? Don’t know what you’re talking about, but Yan Qing is one of the new capos who joined last month. The Boss’ bodyguard. You better obey his orders.”
    “We’ll take care. But, man, this org must be doing pretty well to have a man like him around. Our bread and butter is smuggling, right?”
    “Yup. We have regulars all over the city.”
    “Then we should be trading some really rare stuff. I’ve been hearing rumors around that the boss got some amazing treasure…”
    “Oh?”
    Billy-senpai raised an eyebrow and Robin closed his mouth. Did he speak too much? The elevator ride gets tense. The floor number lamp is the only thing still moving.
    After the number lowered past 40, Billy-senpai showed his white teeth. His laughter was like that of an obnoxious child trying to show off their expensive toy.
    “You mean the Holy Grail? ‘course the rumors already spread outside.”
    “Oh, that’s the one!” Ritsuka’s voice cracked. “Hehe, I wonder where it is. Sounds like a fun thing to see.”
    “Ok, we can stop there before we leave.”
    Billy-senpai presses the 35 button, the exact center of the building. The elevator soon stopped and opened its doors. He walks cheerfully through a hallway with no signs of life. Ritsuka’s party follows him.
    “Nice flirting, you’re a pro.”
    “You should start learning from me.”
    I quietly praised Robin and got a mean retort. This victory wasn’t even thanks to his interrogation skills, it was more thanks to the interrogated party’s personality. Billy-senpai is still talking without a hint of suspicion even now.
    “The Boss’s only got one person in her family, a son named Kevin. He’s going to high school in Paris now, but in half a year he’ll come back and inherit the family’s throne. The Boss is planning to give the Grail as present to lil’ Kevin. And our most important job is to protect the Grail until he’s here.”
    To pass it on to her successor.
    To protect it from enemies for six months.
    “Ah, so that’s why she wished for nothing to happen…”
    The moment Ritsuka felt all pieces of the puzzle fit together, she saw the end of the hallway.
    Billy-senpai pushes open a double door with the words Security Room written on it. Beyond the door was an empty room with no windows. In the center of the room was a desk with a black telephone on it. Next to it, a single chair.
    A man was sitting on the chair.
    Seeing the visitors, he picks up the weapon by the side of the chair and stands up. He was wearing a suit instead of his armor, but his purple hair, stern face, broad shoulders, and most of all, his broadsword beautiful like dawn’s reflex on a lake were unmistakable. Ritsuka’s confused mind recalls Billy-senpai’s words. “Yan Qing is one of the new capos who joined last month.” One of the new capos…
    Yan Qing is not the only Servant the Cascade Family has.
    “Any problems?”
    “Hello, sir. I’m just show the greenhorns the building.”
    “I see. But don’t go any further than here.”
    He’s saying whoever gets any closer will be cut down.
    An implicit warning said by Sir Lancelot of the Round Table.
    While the four of them where unable to hide their shock, that was just the appetizer. The main dish was still waiting them behind Saber. Noticing that paralyzed the party harder than any Stun effect.
    “Hey, Billy-senpai… Is the Grail perhaps…”
    “Yup, inside here. We call this place the Cradle. A safe crib for lil’ Kevin.”
    The thing occupying most of the wall behind Lancelot. The thing a knight of the strongest level was indomitably protecting. The thing releasing a silver light as the room’s illumination reflected on it.
    It was a visibly secure, clearly solid, absolutely thick…
    giant vault door.
    Finally found time to read this, thanks Comun!

    I'm used to several volume novels so the story progressing so quickly is new to me, but I like the handle the writer has on the characters personalities and I'm curious how this is going to pan out considering the lack of powers and the vault (Though I can't believe they continue to keep Ushi in her horrid outfit no matter the medium).

    Hans is amusing in his self depreciation as always

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •