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Thread: [FF] Grail Works, Ltd.: Fate/Anarchy (Type-Moon/Scion crossover)

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    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Kieran, I don't disapprove, but I wanted to make sure that Fiore (I typo'd that as Firo, from Rising of the Shield Hero, but corrected it before now) could be given a chance at happiness in her love with Frid... and this is gonna screw everyone over if Hel gets her way, right, man?
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

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




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

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




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

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    死徒 Dead Apostle RanmaBushiko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    ...so you made that one scene canon? O_O
    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    ...oh, yeah, I forgot that I did. Whoops.

    Well, since I asked for it, I might as well accept the inevitable truth here.
    Yeah, it took a LOT of arguing over abilities, etc. to make the scene canon, to be fair. At the same time, we LIKE listening to our readers. (Also, no love for my last chapter? I noticed you may have missed it being posted...)

    Seriously, though. Kieran was planning for an Exalted style character. Having to make it a Scion 2.0 character kind of threw things up into the air a bit for abilities. So we had to work out (more HIM than me, considering the sheer amount of work I'm putting in for this, and any sequels I may write on my end...) exactly HOW to make a Scion that would be able to handle some of the issues that'll be coming about as a result of the story's next few events, while making him not be "Yay! Overpowered curbstomp ahoy!" like Erik can be.

    At the same time, he also has the grace of being a "Friend" of Erik's, at least to a point. And since Erik is the one last God that can create and Craft Relics? Much less of a power that he may never see created again? ESPECIALLY with Erik's current issues... which makes for some "fun" things for Godafrid as a possible mid-story upgrade, so to speak. Technology Erik may favor, but he's still the last student of Wayland Smith, also known as the one who forged Gram.




    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    I'm a bit weirded out, now that I think about it, at how the Hanging Gardens are EX Anti-World. I'm guessing the Anti-World is because it's essentially a mobile superweapon, though many other Anti-World effects are more "capable of destroying everything" (Ea) or "permanently rewrites the world somehow" (Elementary My Dear, Queen's Glass Game). And EX makes sense in that even if you pretend it's like an item Noble Phantasm (without any particular special technique, like Rule Breaker) it's on a different scale than most of those, and much harder to use. I'd rather expect an "Anti-Nation" designation or something, in that it's not affecting the World, just its contents.

    Looks like we got some time loop things going on with Krampus/Frid in the Scion universe. Probably, anyways.
    That conversation sounds like it was EXTREMELY awkward.
    Yeah, the Hanging Gardens are bullshit like that. I could see Anti-Nation being a better designation, but as it is? It's going to make future fights more FUN, at the same time. And by fun, I mean it in the Dwarf Fortress sense of the word.

    As for the time loop shenanigans... it's a little more complex than that. Though there might be some. I'm not sure what Kieran's planned for his side of things, fully on that front. Just like he's not sure on the full breadth of what's going to happen for Erik's side of things. Makes things more interesting to work out.

    And as for the conversation with Fiore? Yup. Likely. The conversation with Hel, on the other hand, would be PANTS SHITTING GRADE TERRIFYING, considering exactly HOW she was portrayed in both Norse Mythology and the Scion game we played. As it is, there's a lot going on behind the scenes for this.



    On a different note, for anyone curious. My next chapter should be up much later today, with any luck. Tomorrow at the latest. Just gotta finish this last scene I've been working on.
    I'm starting to suspect that talking with Kieran influences my rolls on Fate/Grand Order Heavily. How else can you explain me talking with him, then rolling for 30, only to get 3 Archer of Shinjuku on my second ten roll?

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Kieran, I don't disapprove, but I wanted to make sure that Fiore (I typo'd that as Firo, from Rising of the Shield Hero, but corrected it before now) could be given a chance at happiness in her love with Frid... and this is gonna screw everyone over if Hel gets her way, right, man?
    That is true - but there are plans involved . . .



    Quote Originally Posted by RanmaBushiko View Post
    Yeah, it took a LOT of arguing over abilities, etc. to make the scene canon, to be fair. At the same time, we LIKE listening to our readers. (Also, no love for my last chapter? I noticed you may have missed it being posted...)

    Seriously, though. Kieran was planning for an Exalted style character. Having to make it a Scion 2.0 character kind of threw things up into the air a bit for abilities.
    This is also true.

    My original plan was for a Lunar Exalt; both because their shape-changing abilities (which are so complete that they're capable of assuming the destiny of the one they're targeting) would allow Frid to continue in the Works as their intelligence/infiltration specialist, but because the general suite of abilities is largely translatable to one degree or another across multiple rule systems. In essence, he'd get around the need for paradigm shields by being so innately protean that no one paradigm could stymie him.

    I wasn't enthused about everything to do with Exalts, but I could work around it - and Fiore was theoretically a candidate for Solar Exaltation . . .


    So we had to work out (more HIM than me, considering the sheer amount of work I'm putting in for this, and any sequels I may write on my end...) exactly HOW to make a Scion that would be able to handle some of the issues that'll be coming about as a result of the story's next few events, while making him not be "Yay! Overpowered curbstomp ahoy!" like Erik can be.
    It helps that Second Edition is limited (thus far) to the Hero tier, rather than Demigod, but yeah.

    Of course, finding an appropriate power set has been half the problem; the Greeks are supreme shape-shifters, but given Rider's presence in the Works, something I'd rather avoid - their new defining Virtues of Ego vs. Storge (family love) aren't thrilling, either. Likewise, I'd prefer to avoid the Norse, because RB and I have very different conceptions of the pantheon . . .

    Annoyingly, the Welsh pantheon apparently has the Arthurian mythos - but they haven't been put out, yet - which limits me to Celtic (whose Virtues of Honour and Face I'm not sure I could reasonably portray), or Egyptian, of all things; because Order and Vengeance are Virtues I can get behind.


    /QUOTE]At the same time, he also has the grace of being a "Friend" of Erik's, at least to a point. And since Erik is the one last God that can create and Craft Relics? Much less of a power that he may never see created again? ESPECIALLY with Erik's current issues... which makes for some "fun" things for Godafrid as a possible mid-story upgrade, so to speak. Technology Erik may favor, but he's still the last student of Wayland Smith, also known as the one who forged Gram.[/QUOTE]

    True, but I'd rather not overdo it . . .



    As for the time loop shenanigans... it's a little more complex than that. Though there might be some. I'm not sure what Kieran's planned for his side of things, fully on that front. Just like he's not sure on the full breadth of what's going to happen for Erik's side of things. Makes things more interesting to work out.
    Which can make discussion between us interesting, to say the least.


    And as for the conversation with Fiore? Yup. Likely.
    Yup - hence, offscreen.


    The conversation with Hel, on the other hand, would be PANTS SHITTING GRADE TERRIFYING, considering exactly HOW she was portrayed in both Norse Mythology and the Scion game we played. As it is, there's a lot going on behind the scenes for this.
    Yes and yes - wholeheartedly.


    On a different note, for anyone curious. My next chapter should be up much later today, with any luck. Tomorrow at the latest. Just gotta finish this last scene I've been working on.
    OK, I'll await it for proofing.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

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    死徒 Dead Apostle RanmaBushiko's Avatar
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    Chapter 41: Plans and Warfare



    July 4, 2004
    12:30 AM, Yggdmillenia Castle



    "So. To summarize the multiple hour meeting, let's review the terms of agreement we've reached here.



    One, you agree to supply my Wolfen and its Mecha with the jet fuel we need to replace.
    Two, you agree to ensure that once all is over with, the Clock Tower will not attempt to dissect myself, my wife, or anyone else on board my Wolfen.
    And finally, that you will help me deal with the Heart of Winter, ensuring that it is either sealed, or completely destroyed.
    In return...
    I have to one, ensure that the Greater Grail isn't lost by you during the fighting, while we're under the effects of the Truce between the Masters of Red and Masters of Black.
    Two, help retrieve the Greater Grail if it's stolen.
    And three, ensure that the Heart of Winter isn't influencing anyone on your side of things." Erik settles back, thinking, as he studies Darnic and Vlad. "I can deal with that, certainly."



    At that, Darnic nods, even as Vlad sighs. "I do not envy you this irritation, my Master. Are you sure you cannot be convinced to ensure the Masters of Red don't stay on your ship?"



    Erik narrows his eyes at Vlad, calmly. "You DO understand Norse Gods and their guest rights, correct? Even if I could be, I'm still one of the last of my pantheon. Legend itself states that I must show guests proper rights by Norse Standards, as all Norse Gods have shown in the past."



    At that, Vlad sighs. "A fair point, when worded that way. I'm not unfamiliar with unsavory parts of my own legend..."



    "The Dracula stuff? I can't exactly blame you there. To be fair, Castlevania wasn't a bad game series, even if it showed you as a vampire..." Erik pauses. "I will admit, though, they'll adjust it, to having not been you for that series, somewhere around 2013. My wife was rather fond of traveling through time to collect video games before we went through what we did."



    Vlad blinks repeatedly. "Truly? That is nice to hear, if disconcerting about your wife. Some group realizing that I could NOT possibly be an inhumane vampire is a relief for one such as I."



    "To be fair, I have quite a bit of respect for you as a King, rather than as a monster. You did damned good for your people. You may have scared people, and been seen as a boogieman by many, but it was for your people. So I can't blame you one bit on that front." Erik sighs, studying Darnic. "So—we're agreed then? Do you need a Geas oath or a Geas contract for this?"



    "I suspect our word will be enough for ourselves. May I ask, though, why you have so few of your... Mecha being sent?" Darnic studies Erik, calmly, as the fire grows dimmer in the room, from the nearby fireplace.



    "To be honest, we weren't exactly expecting more combat after escaping what we did. The Heart of Winter escaping mid-transit? Worrying. It getting in the hands of your Caster? FAR more worrying. Zelretch, on the other hand, personally telling me to get it back before tomorrow?" Erik sighs. "Most of the quick assembly setups were pancaked when our device, meant to help us escape, left us over Mars—as in the planet. The run-in with Type MARS of all things left us having to leave for here early, to get supplies, as well. I simply haven't had time to rebuild the equipment for assembling mecha faster, so I'm stuck with my Legion of Coal reassembling the spares one at a time. And with losses to that from fighting your little army, earlier..." Erik trails off, meaningfully.



    "You're low on worker machines, and thus, speed." Darnic sighs, rubbing his forehead. "While you must have a lot on your ship, considering the sheer size..."



    "Most of it's a matter of figuring out what's still working after the trip? I've had most of the trip back to Earth to deal with the bulk of the worst, but the reactors started showing issues out of the blue. And I'd rather not see most of the city gone as over a dozen nuclear reactors cook off one by one."



    "May I ask, exactly why you're so worried about that? I understand the logistics, but the size escapes me, even though you said it earlier." Vlad thinks, as he studies Erik.



    "Are you familiar with cancer, by any chance, Vlad—odd growths on the body, that keep growing bigger until someone dies from them?" At that, Vlad nods, slowly.



    "How about infertility—women and men not being able to have kids, no matter how much they try?" Erik continues, calmly.



    "I am, yes." Vlad studies Erik.



    "You saw one of those explosives earlier from my Wolfen, when they took out some of your Golems. So imagine an explosion the size of a mountain, one that could destroy this castle, and the outlying city... but all the dust from it makes the ground poisoned for centuries. An invisible poison, that leaves people both with stupidly high rates of getting cancerous tumors, as well as driving birthrates down drastically."



    At those words, Vlad flinches.



    "And now you get why they're so dangerous." Erik sighs, rubbing his forehead.



    Vlad simply nods, even as Darnic stares at Erik. “Then why, may I ask, do you use them? I would think there are better alternatives out there.” Darnic eventually asks, still studying Erik intently.



    One, they produce far more power than most everything else I've built. Two, the other Gods did their best to keep information on them being built, or even existing, buried, which lead me to building mine from scratch. Mine may not be as powerful, but they're more reliable, and less likely to have issues. However, it's reliability that I really needed them for. Something like my Wolfen, if fueled on gasoline, would run out of power within days even if I had an entire oil field used to keep it fueled. I'm referring to trillionsof tons of oil here, Darnic. And keeping it flying with that sort of weight, pound for pound, is stupidly expensive, because I'd have to store it on board.



    Steam would be a cheaper alternative, but is still too expensive for the sheer amount of generation I'd have to set up to keep one of the antigravity coils going, much less the number I have. I could probably figure something out to make it efficient enough, but I'd need a couple centuries. Centuries I don't exactly have right now.



    Finally, don't even get me started on the ideas of using solar power, or hydroelectric power, or wind power on it. They just don't work well if you're on a ship, even if it's a ship of that size.”



    At that, Darnic slowly nods. “I see there are decent reasons, at least—if irritating ones, since it means it won't be helping us for this upcoming fight.”



    Erik nods, and sighs. “If that's all, I'll be heading back to that ship out back. I want to check up on how things are going.”



    Darnic nods, shortly followed by Vlad nodding, before Erik leaves calmly.






    1 AM
    Millennium Falcon Copy



    "Scylla? Do you read me?" Erik says, calmly, as he settles back into the chair.



    "Yeah boss. What's up?" The Scylla's voice replies, over the communication system.



    "How are we faring?" Erik sighs, softly, and studies the ship's controls.



    "Approximately 3/7ths of all starting Mecha forces has been assembled, not including losses in those figures. We've also gotten pretty far with the reactors, too! However, it's taking time."




    "And we've got that flying fortress of them showing up in four hours... damn." At that, Erik leans back into his chair, thinking. "How much coolant do we have, spare?"



    "We're practically topped off for that, considering the situation we've been in, boss. What're you planning?"



    Erik muses, thinking, before he nods. "Take 5,000 of the Legion of Coal that's willing to, and start setting up refrigeration units in the outer hull, as well as water cannons to spray over the hull in such a way that we can build up ice armor. With the bottom of the ship already in water, it's easier to coat with ice, but we can still use it as a tactical advantage... especially if we drain the lake some, to ensure our water stockpile, and fish stockpile is shored up."



    "Oh, that's smart. I'll get right on that, boss! Anything else?" The Scylla sounds excited at the idea of new upgrades.



    "That... put another 2,000 to removing the armor layers for the Metal Gear Rex MK3, and put in lead lining between layers, if you can. Expedite it, if you need to. We've got four hours before that floating fortress of theirs shows up, and I don't like copycats." Erik pulls his flask out, and sips on it. "It'll give me a tactical advantage with the Radiant Wave Surger setup on my War Beast."



    "Not a problem, boss. Shouldn't even be too hard!" At the Scylla's words, Erik nods. "Next... how much do we have left in terms of nuclear material, once it's all said and done?"



    "If we take some from our nuke, we can have two lower yield ones, boss. Not sure it's tactically viable, though. I'd suggest not using it for now, or using it for projects instead." Erik sighs, sipping on the alcohol in his flask, as he thinks. "It might be paranoid of me, but put half of the uranium aside, for a Radiant Wave Surger system. Ragnarok Contingencies planning, if you will."



    "Boss, we never got that fully working right! We'd lose..." The Scylla drops off, after a moment.



    "Yeah. I know. But with how Zelretch is so damned worried about the Heart of Winter, and me not being able to find the damned thing while in the castle? I'm worried for good reason. It shouldn't have been able to keep me from finding its specific location, weakened God or not. The fact that it did make it hard to find the specific location except in a general area, even with my advantages of Earth Sounding...?" Erik sighs, taking another sip off his flask. "It means nothing good—especially with the 'Needing to find the damned thing by tomorrow’ deadline. Have some set aside for the Ragnarok Contingencies, as well as an oversized Laser Blade or two, will you? Just in case."



    "Yeah, boss. I'll do just that." At the Scylla's words, Erik nods, thinking.



    "Next... do we have enough material to coat the Millennium Falcon copy with the stuff we used to counter most of the influence of that... space between universes? If so, get ready to get it covered when we can—possibly after the battle later, depending on how it goes."



    "We should, I think. Hoping to use it as extra armor?"



    "Yeah, pretty much. That, and some of EMIYA's crap he'll likely to be throwing around is..." Erik trails off for a moment. "Stupidly destructive, and some of his crap might be able to damage the ship otherwise."



    "Fair enough, boss. Anything else?" The Scylla asks, as Erik thinks.



    "Would the Cloning technology finally have enough bugs fixed, that Scathach might be able to help us with the next fight?" Erik sips on his flask again, thinking.



    "Looks like... the issues being tested by the computers set up by you and your wife should finally be done in... 7 hours? So unless there's a massive emergency, we likely won't have her help until then."



    "Got it. Damn. She'd probably be damned helpful with this next fight, too. Let's see now... ah, right. How goes the progress with updating my Wolf Wing, to a Mark 2 version?" Erik studies his flask, glancing in, and then finishes it off.



    "We've replaced the bulk of the computers, and the connection ports for the seat to your Mechanical Linkup Suit for better results, and enough processing power that it could probably let its runes affect the Wolfen for a short period of time. I've got it on the Battle Bridge for if an emergency happens. To be fair, though, if you do use it with the Wolfen, it's going to likely hurt worse than anything you've experienced to date."



    Erik nods, then sighs at the realization the Scylla likely can't see him nodding. "Yeah, I get that. Too many issues with how old my suit is, I suppose. Or the size of the connection cables I'd have to use..."



    "That, and the last time you tried connecting with something that big, you nearly killed yourself doing it. Anything else, boss?" At the Scylla's words, Erik thinks, muttering as he goes over the list of items he's already discussed. "Maybe check in with Mordred, see if she needs lessons for piloting our stuff? And did Mysterious Heroine XX get any sleep?"



    "Godafrid's Servant? She'll be waking up in 4 hours, to grab some treats and ensure the Hanging Gardens hasn't sped up, boss. Not sure about Mordred yet, though. I think she's with you."



    "Okay, then. Scylla? Before I forget, how many prepared warheads for cloaked firing do we have?"



    "I've managed to get up to 50, boss."



    "Thanks for that. Can you keep up production, just in case? If we take the Hanging Gardens on with the Wolfen, I want as many advantages as possible—especially if it's mostly made of rock, rather than metal. The sheer size of it alone makes me wonder if our explosives will pack enough of a punch to get through easily."



    "No problem, Boss. Is that all?"



    "Yeah, that's all. Thanks, Scylla." Erik sighs, settling back, then blinks at Mordred coming in. "You needed me, Erik? Your wife told me to come to the cockpit—something about her overhearing something?"



    "I thought you were on the Wolfen, already, to be honest." Erik chuckles, studying her, then motions her to sit beside him, in the copilot seat. "I thought you might want to learn how to fly some of my stuff, in case we need to send you to chase the Hanging Gardens later."

    Mordred's mouth opens, as she stares at him in shock, before it turns into a massive grin on her face. "Oh, hell yes! Sounds good to me!"




    Erik chuckles, then nods, rapping on buttons, before the cockpit controls adjust for a training mode, then abruptly to the mode for the Metal Gear Rex line. "Luckily, with the huge amount of computers on this one, we can simulate the mecha, not just the air fighters... Now, do you see the big lever on your left, here, beside your arm and hand? For the Metal Gear Rex line, this controls the height of the cockpit, while the one on your right controls if you're looking left or right. This, and the foot pedals, gives you the ability to walk forwards, backwards, sideways, or even to jump. And with the Hydraulics supplying most of the power for the system, it's good even with low power situations, if it has to run on emergency batteries. Add in the thumb selection setup for selecting weapons, as well as the triggers for each finger as an option, most weapons can be fired simultaneously."



    "Huh. That's actually fascinating. How'd you come up with that, Erik?" Mordred muses, while settling in, and testing the controls on her seat beside him. "And the pedals come up for this training mode, huh? Neat!"



    "Yeah, I built that in, just in case I wanted to teach someone while in here. You can see how the screens show you moving around, as if you were in a real cockpit? It's not exactly as good as the real thing, but it's close enough for testing purposes." Erik nods at her movements, then reaches over to adjust her grip on each lever, somewhat. "As for why, with the original model, I had the legs built so that I could actually move it with my own body, in an emergency, but it left me pretty tired as a result. But, considering how poorly it fared against that damned Fafnir... Well, it survived his nation's army, but fell to him eventually."



    "Wait. Fafnir, that one legendary dragon?!" Mordred blinks, and then stares at Erik in wide eyed shock.



    Erik nods, with a bit of a smirk. "If you do well for this training, I'll let you watch the surviving footage from the original machine."



    Mordred nods, laughing. "Next stage then, please. I'd like to really see that!"



    Erik nods, and then adjusts the controls more. After a moment, Erik shifts the screen, as well. " With the Mecha Fafnir line, rather than controlling the head moving up or down, the left lever controls if you're going higher or lower, same with the other fighter craft, and this ship. With the Valkyrie, there's an additional lever here that controls which form it's in, as well as if the Radiant Wave Surger is used. Just like this button right here for the ship, see?"



    Erik thumbs the button, as Mordred nods. "With the right controls, it's pretty similar, left and right. Afterburners are keyed to the right thumb, though. Even if this ship barely got those tested, or calibrated. Now, if you'll note, while on the ground, the outermost two foot pedals make you sidestep left and right, while in the air, they make you turn instead..."



    4 AM:



    "And that's the basics of it. Any other questions or comments?" Erik says, as he finishes showing things to Mordred.



    "Not at all—it makes a surprisingly large amount of sense to have standardized controls for your line of machinery, too. I mean, it could likely be simplified, but as it is, I think it works pretty well." Mordred smiles. "And, to be honest, I would have never even thought about finger and thumb controls for the weapons, either."



    "To be fair, that makes it simpler than the 'one person per weapon' control scheme the original started with..." Erik grins, before Mordred starts laughing. "Okay, that's perfectly fair. So! What's your plan for the inevitable fight?"



    Erik smirks. "I'm going to pull a Sabin and suplex a train onto the Hanging Gardens, from above."



    "Suplex... A train?"



    Instead of answering, Erik pokes at the computers, before showing a video clip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2u84cH_bmTA (The clip in question)



    "Okay. You know what? That's fair. That looks like it would be awesome to do, just to say you did it. But considering the sheer amount of rock that thing's made out of, what happens if you fail to actually damage it with that suplex? Will you keep on suplexing the train? Or..."



    At that, Erik pauses, thinking over his options. "You know? I honestly hadn't gotten that far ahead... but I should have enough legend in store after the suplex to try using Rainbow Bridge to go up to the edge of the atmosphere, and throw the train down. I'll bet you that if suplexing it a few times won't work, that WILL."



    Mordred grins as she laughs, before pausing. "And then how would you survive the fall without getting hurt?"



    "I have tricks, you know. Even if the train is close to how much I can lift, with all that weight taken out, it's only..." Erik pauses, thinking over the math. "Roughly 600 tons? Weakened though I am, I can still dead lift 625 tons by myself, give or take maybe another thousand pounds on top of that."



    Mordred's jaw drops, as she stares at Erik. "That has to be a record. But... If you're weakened... How strong were you originally, Erik?"



    "Full Strength? I could bench press 6,500 tons." Erik admits. "Why do you think I keep calling myself weakened? That's a pretty big drop in Strength. I'll admit, I'm nowhere near as strong as other powerhouses. If you think I'm crazy, some of the top tier ones could bench press a hundred times what I could, easily. Though, to be honest? What I lost wasn't Strength, so much as Dexterity, Charisma and Intelligence. Most of my skill revolved around how good I was at shooting, or throwing weapons, my smarts for building and designing things, and how good I was at convincing people to work with me."



    Mordred simply whistles, as she thinks things over, before she pauses, and grins. “Where are you hoping to have me, down with the others below, attacking from below?”



    I mean, would you rather try flying one of the mechs, Mordred? Or would you rather try riding on a train as I prepare to suplex it into the Hanging Gardens?” Erik grins.



    I mean, being down below could be fun, but it's mostly going to be taking on those skeletons, isn't it? Getting dropped in right before you suplex the train would work better.” Mordred grins. “And it would give me a chance to show off!”



    Erik laughs at that, nodding. “Sounds like fun to me, then. I'll be glad to have you at my back for this. Now, if you're willing to keep a secret, want to hear me manipulate our foe, before the fight? It'll involve some politics, but using that little floating bit of bullshit to ensure that Yggdmillenia has issues is something that I'm fine with. That and ensuring we don't have to worry about the Heart of Winter, so damned much.”



    Mordred pauses, as her sense of chivalry fights her sense of pragmatism, before she simply nods calmly. “Sounds good enough to me. I'll do my best to keep it a secret from everyone else, too, if you wish... It's not like my Master focuses much on me.” She blinks, and then looks up at Erik in surprise, as he pats her on the shoulder.



    To be fair, he's scared for his daughter's life. Otherwise, I suspect you two would get along like white on rice, or a house on fire.” Erik smiles. “But, you've chosen to worship me. How could I not help someone like you out? And... You remind me of me, when I was younger. Fiery, worried, wanting to do anything for my father figure...”



    Mordred stares at Erik, then smiles softly. “Oh? I'm glad to hear that, at least. And yeah, I chose you, didn't I? You're going to be stuck with me sticking around for a while, you hear?”



    Erik smiles, nodding, and then glances back. “Amaterasu, mind pulling up some illusions, so no other Servants can hear in here? Or Masters?”



    As you wish, Son-in-Law—just keep in mind that I'm still rather weakened. And you being without magecraft, you're not able to easily heal me, leaving my recovery time even longer.” Amaterasu replies, before a slight ripple appears in the air around them.






    4:15 AM
    The Hanging Gardens, En-route to Trifas, Romania



    Shirou stands, watching the view from the Hanging Gardens. Next to him, Semiramis sits, looking to the world as if she's resting on the bench she sits in.



    Come, sit with me, Master.” Semiramis smiles at her master, as she adjusts herself. Shirou jumps, slightly startled.



    I thought you were meditating, or asleep, Semiramis,” Shirou admits, as he moves close, taking a seat beside her.



    Isn't that your situation? You should be sleeping and recovering from the expenditures of Prana that you used yesterday, not standing here, to watch the stars.” Semiramis smiles calmly.



    Yet, we're so close to my dream being realized... Can you blame me for wishing to see it through like this?” Shirou admits, quietly. “It's a dream, but—still one that I still desperately wish to see.”



    It's why I'm helping you, you know? I wouldn't summon these Hanging Gardens for just anyone, Master.” Semiramis smiles, and then looks out to the distance. “I'll admit, I worry about that ship. That Norse God, he could prove troublesome.”



    Shirou nods, softly. “I can't disagree. With our... New ally as exhausted as she is, we can't afford to rely on Assassin of Black in case we have to fight them off from your Hanging Gardens, either.”



    Fair enough, I'll admit. I have a Bashmu prepared, in case things truly go bad for us, or if that War Beast, or whatever, of that God's winds up on the Hanging Gardens, but I'm hoping it won't come to that. If our snatch and grab goes properly, we should be fine, my Master.” Semiramis, smiles, and as she watches her Master, her smile turns a bit fonder.



    Semiramis... Why did you summon these Hanging Gardens? You said it would only be for a truly special person, so... Why me? What about is it about me that...?” Shirou thinks, as he settles back, watching the stars, relaxing beside his Servant.



    What about you, Master...?” Semiramis pauses, as she studies her Master intently. The silence drags on, as she decides on how to word things, or if she even would word things to him. After a moment, she sighs softly, smiles, then moves closer to him, while turning his face to look her in the eye.



    In my life, I was seen as a thing, an object; someone to be possessed, shown as a prize—never a person, not really. You, my Master, Amakusa Shirou Tokisada, are the first and only one to approach me not as a tool, or a prize, but as an equal—someone that can truly help them. In truth, I'm helping you less because of your dream, or that you could make me queen of the world, and more...” Semiramis pauses, as she forces herself to be honest, just this once. “More because you've become precious to me, in all the ways that everyone in my life could not.”



    Shirou's eyes widen, as he stares at his Servant's own. Then, his eyes go wider as she closes her eyes, pulls him gently close, and kisses him.



    For a long moment, he's staring at his Servant, even as she just continues the kiss, softly. Then, one long eternity later, she pulls herself back to smile at him.



    Semiramis... Why?” Eventually, Shirou asks, as he stares at her.



    When I look at you, I feel like we don't have much time together. Like it could all go crashing down beneath our feet, at any moment—and rather than let that happen, and ignore what I want... I chose to grasp it, at least for now, with my own two hands; to hold SOMETHING of my own will. Something precious to me.” Semiramis smiles, as she takes his hand with hers. “I know that you might not want it. I know that it might be unrequited, but I care for you. And it could easily become more, if you truly...”



    *Ring, Ring*



    Semiramis pauses, as she starts to twitch.



    *Ring, Ring*



    Slowly, her head turns, to stare at a small mechanical drone, hanging in the air, with a phone hanging off it.



    *Ring, Ring*



    There's a big button on it, saying “Answer”, and slowly, with a look of great irritation on her face, she reaches over to stab at it.



    You've interrupted us at a greatly irritating moment, God.” Her voice snarls, as Semiramis, glares at it.



    Aww, and here I was just thinking you'd rather I don't nuke your little floating piece of bullshit, there.” Erik's voice is smug, over the phone call.



    You know that I can find those things, now that I have my Hanging Gardens? With them, my ability to see through stealth has increased dramatically.” Semiramis' voice is like dust and ashes.



    Fair enough—but now that your Master's with you, I thought you'd prefer a deal that doesn't involve you and a nuclear weapon being used against your Laputa knockoff?” Erik's voice, if anything, sounds more irritatingly smug.



    We were rather... in the middle of something, but I suppose we can talk. What are you after, then?” Shirou asks, with an irritated look on his face.



    See, I got invited to the Masters of Black's castle, and I thought you might want to make an exchange.” Erik's voice sounds smug.



    Do explain, please. My patience is not unlimited.” Shirou admits, his irritated look going nowhere.



    See, I have a skill called Earth Sounding, as well as a handy little relic that lets me see where legendary items are located. Earth Sounding, amongst other things, allows me to get a perfect mental map of all stone in a building, or all the areas below a building.” Erik explains, almost sounding like a teacher. “And, between then and now, I've drawn up a map involving the entire basement of the castle, as well as where the Greater Grail is, for you.”



    At Erik's words, Shirou's eyes widen, as well as Semiramis' own. “And what do you want for this map, Erik?”



    See, your little trick with those triple plates for a cannon? Nice shooting at my prototype ship, by the way—great way of testing that thing out for the first time . . . But I digress. I'd like you to aim for another section underneath that damned castle. You take out my little problem, as well as not aim for a couple of people that are Masters of Black, for someone I've started becoming friends with, and I'll let you have the Greater Grail.” Erik sounds suddenly convincing to them, like it would be so easy to go along with what he wants.



    Who, and why are you with the Masters of Black in the first place, then?” Semiramis eventually asks.



    Your little assassination attempt on Ruler didn't expect to encounter my Wife's own skills with healing, as well as knowing how to heal a body, even from nearly impossible things to cure. It was a bitch and a half, for her, but Ruler yet lives, and called a truce until your side is dealt with. However, I don't trust most of the Masters of Black one bit, and their leader leaves me more paranoid than when I dealt with my own Father.” Erik admits. “There's a truce on for both sides until both Assassins of each side are dead, I'm afraid. Doesn't mean I can't cut a deal with you, though, and ensure both of us get what we want.”



    Shirou slowly sighs. “And so you're offering us the plans, a place to shoot, two people to NOT shoot—and in return, a guarantee that you won't consign us to a nuclear explosion . . . I suppose I've heard of worse plans; unless you can see any problems with this, Semiramis?”



    Semiramis slowly shakes her head, before she sighs. “No. I don't think I can see a problem with it. I suppose this is a fair deal. Does this mean you won't be fighting my Hanging Gardens, then?”



    I don't plan on bringing my Wolfen to bear against it, yet. The reactors still need tune-ups, anyways, so I've been taking advantage of things for that. I've given them a small tithe of mecha for the upcoming fight, let them believe that the mechs I'm sending are all I can afford to send, for now. You'll see me fighting with a couple things, but nothing like the Millennium Falcon copy, since that's dealing with moving things over for now.”



    At that, Semiramis smiles. “So, troop compositions, admitting you’re weakening your ally... All so we can fuck them over? My, how cruel of you.”



    To be fair, I had to spend over 2 hours dealing with Darnic Yggdmillenia earlier this evening. He leaves me more paranoid of his actions and plans than my father did—and considering Uller was the reason why I became a God of Paranoia in the first place, amongst other stations? Let me tell you something: that man is like a pit viper in a den of rabbits, disguising himself as another rabbit. Whenever he has his little trap go off, I get the feeling we're all going to suffer for it.” Erik admits, leaving Semiramis, as well as Shirou, going cold.



    Well. That IS indeed good to know, then,” Shirou admits, “I agree to your terms, oh Norse God.” He folds his arms. “You'll want this artifact destroyed thoroughly?”



    Yeah, pretty much. I'm wanting you to take aim at the Heart of Winter, and then hitting it with at least 5 barrages of those triple plate attacks, unless you have something higher. It's gone from being a part of the basement, to moving maybe 400 feet down under the basement, from what Earth Sounding gave me, and every time I checked, it was further down. Damned thing is running, and I don't want to have to drill it out.” Erik admits, with a sigh.



    That... Sounds like it's trying to go active?” Semiramis half asks and half states.



    Yeah. And it's why I'm willing to make a deal involving not nuking you, if you can work to ensure it's GONE. Zelretch told me, initially, that I've got until tomorrow to ensure it's gone, before it goes active. I'd rather not take chances, and if that means ensuring you come out ahead with the fighting to come, at least a bit? So be it.” Erik admits.



    Thank you for the information, then.” Semiramis grinds out, calmly. “Now, about that map you mentioned. . . ?”



    The phone, to her amazement, adjusts, the screen on it turning from text, to showing a small wireframe map of Castle Yggdmillenia. “And, sent—you should have my drawings right there. The spot with the blue aura is where the Heart of Winter was registering to me last. The spots in yellow, on the other hand, are the areas where the Greater Grail is likely to be at—more specifically, the only places large enough for it.”



    Semiramis takes the phone, staring at it. Shirou experimentally prods at the phone, and then blinks at the picture moving to his finger.



    Touch-screen technology? I've only heard about this sort of thing in movies.” Shirou admits.



    Well, I thought you'd appreciate it. Put two fingers on it, and pull them apart, to zoom in, or push them together, to zoom out. With that, our deal's done, and I'll hold you to it.” Erik admits, before the screen briefly shows a picture of a phone hanging up, then returning to the picture of the castle's drawn blueprints.



    Slowly, Semiramis turns, looking away from the phone, and at Shirou. “What do you want to talk about? Us. . . Or—plans?”



    Shirou studies the phone, then Semiramis, beside her, before looking down and thinking. “You'll not mind if I take time to think things over, I hope? This has been sudden, if nothing else... What you admitted to.”



    Semiramis smiles softly at him, a gentler smile than the haughty one she normally shows. “As you wish then, my Master.—just please... Don't take too much time, okay? The assault is within the hour.



    4:25 AM
    Millennium Falcon Copy, Outside Trifas



    And that, Mordred, is how we manipulate them into targeting the Heart of Winter, which has decided to go missing, ensure that Darnic Yggdmillenia's trap isn't properly sprung on us, but on them instead, as well as learn that the bitch can now see through my Wolfen's cloak.” Erik smirks a bit, and then sighs. “I still hate manipulating people by being charismatic, but did you catch all that?”



    You... Ensured they'd be overconfident, got her to admit she could see through your standard cloaking... got her to fire those huge blasts of prana that could likely destroy the castle with a single hit... Ensured that Darnic would likely try to pull his trap off early, so he'd die, and... You even ensured they'd likely sign that contract, when they don't have anywhere else to go?!” Mordred's voice grows more and more excited, as she realizes exactly what Erik's done.



    Erik simply grins. “Oh, indeed. This gives Godafrid his allies, once my drones give her the pictures of those two and their Servants, my Wolfen perfect aerial superiority while the Hanging Gardens deals with Darnic's shit, and now all we have to do is figure out how to upgrade my Wolfen's cloak...”



    Mordred laughs. “Oh, that's just beautiful! Playing both sides against each other like this!”



    Erik grins. “And the best part is, we're on top tactically! There's no way in hell that her little flying Laputa knockoff can counter my full army of mecha! The moment she goes after my Wolfen is the moment when she loses!”



    Erik pauses, glancing up. In the far distance, he can see the Hanging Gardens. “Well, damn. There the Hanging Gardens are, in sight. Let's get over to the staging area, where the train is, shall we Mordred?”



    Mordred grins widely. “Sounds good to me!”



    You know, Son-in-Law, if you're looking for an upgrade to the cloak, my own descendant’s body has a mastery of illusions for stealth and assassination. Perhaps I could be of help in upgrading it, and teaching my daughter how to upgrade hers?” Amaterasu asks, with a smile.



    I think... We've got a beautiful plan coming together, here.” Erik admits, with a smile, as he starts prepping the ship to move.



    Author's Notes:



    So, another 20 pages worth of story, all in about a week. Yeesh. Don't say I never try to write too much.



    Legend Calculation notes:
    6+14 legend for the Rainbow Bridge jumps using the Millennium Falcon copy.
    4 to go on the Millennium Falcon for the jump TO there, 10 planned legend for the return trip to handle 10 people.
    Leaving Erik at 7 legend, since Amaterasu's Noble Phantasm costs 9 legend.
    So, current legend is at 27, with an odd legend pulse from Mordred he hasn't figured out fully yet.
    Last edited by RanmaBushiko; October 1st, 2019 at 10:35 PM.
    I'm starting to suspect that talking with Kieran influences my rolls on Fate/Grand Order Heavily. How else can you explain me talking with him, then rolling for 30, only to get 3 Archer of Shinjuku on my second ten roll?

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    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    ...this was a rather unexpected story update. Me GUSTA!! XD
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    For those that don't necessarily care if my fics aren't all Type-Moon related.




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

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




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

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    リビングデッド Living Dead
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    Ice armor... ablative against magic, or reflective? Seems like it would be ablative. The weight might be an issue, and it has a low melting point, but great thermal capacity.

    Oh, those are the cloaked warheads that reinforce the cloak and don't drain 10 legend per shot? Yikes. That was fast. While rock isn't as hard as metal, and tends to fracture rather than deform, the Hanging Gardens being just absurdly huge and not needing to worry about weight means there's probably a lot more rock.

    Convenient that Erik didn't have a Geas with Darnic, though I wouldn't put it past him to be using Charisma for that (and the Norse reputation for being straightforward). I was going to say Darnic probably doesn't want to commit that way to such a deal either, but there isn't really anything in his clauses about not screwing Erik over later. I'm also assuming Erik interpreted the "help retrieve the Greater Grail if stolen" clause as having the same conditions as the "not lost during the fighting" one, as only lasting for the truce duration. Or he just really doesn't care, because if we're not doing magical contracts, it's not like anyone is enforcing this stuff.

    Erik, master of timing. I wonder if he decided to wait for the moment there. I'm suspecting yes.
    <WildSpeculation>
    I'm also expecting the Heart of Winter to get into the Greater Grail during the conflict, especially after blasting open the earth during the smash and grab, and Darnic to throw himself into it after doing that Legend of Dracula thing he does in the original Apocrypha, due to Heart of Winter influence. That might actually explain our Great Enemy...
    </WildSpeculation>

  7. #307
    死徒 Dead Apostle RanmaBushiko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    ...this was a rather unexpected story update. Me GUSTA!! XD
    I TRY to get out chapters when I can. Sometimes writer's block takes up days of writing time, though. Or working out things with Kieran, for specifics involving both sides, dialogue between characters, and the like.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    Ice armor... ablative against magic, or reflective? Seems like it would be ablative. The weight might be an issue, and it has a low melting point, but great thermal capacity.

    Oh, those are the cloaked warheads that reinforce the cloak and don't drain 10 legend per shot? Yikes. That was fast. While rock isn't as hard as metal, and tends to fracture rather than deform, the Hanging Gardens being just absurdly huge and not needing to worry about weight means there's probably a lot more rock.

    Convenient that Erik didn't have a Geas with Darnic, though I wouldn't put it past him to be using Charisma for that (and the Norse reputation for being straightforward). I was going to say Darnic probably doesn't want to commit that way to such a deal either, but there isn't really anything in his clauses about not screwing Erik over later. I'm also assuming Erik interpreted the "help retrieve the Greater Grail if stolen" clause as having the same conditions as the "not lost during the fighting" one, as only lasting for the truce duration. Or he just really doesn't care, because if we're not doing magical contracts, it's not like anyone is enforcing this stuff.

    Erik, master of timing. I wonder if he decided to wait for the moment there. I'm suspecting yes.
    <WildSpeculation>
    I'm also expecting the Heart of Winter to get into the Greater Grail during the conflict, especially after blasting open the earth during the smash and grab, and Darnic to throw himself into it after doing that Legend of Dracula thing he does in the original Apocrypha, due to Heart of Winter influence. That might actually explain our Great Enemy...
    </WildSpeculation>
    Let's see now... Ice Armor will be mostly Ablative, with hints of reflection here and there, depending on what hits it. It's mostly for future fights that are yet to come, that it's involved.

    And yeah, the cloaked warheads ARE fast, but that's because the Scylla knows SOME engineering himself, having been around Erik for a long time. Nowhere near as good as Erik is, but nearly no one IS as good as Erik, in the first place. At the same time, it's also remodeling older torpedoes for the longest railgun on the ship, so it's easier than making them from scratch.

    At the same time, there IS a whole lot more rock in terms of sheer bulk for the Hanging Gardens. Erik's been treating it as mostly "Prana shaped to look like rock", while it's more "Prana and Myth reconstructing the real, true rock, as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon". It's going to make a mess of Erik's plans in the very near future, here. Thus my next chapter being aptly named.

    As for a possible Geas with Darnic? It's what left the meeting going so long. Darnic refused to have a Geas in any way, shape or form with Erik, to the point that Charisma didn't help as much as it could have. That, and Darnic used Magecraft to ensure he'd think of his own plans over all other things.

    And yes, Erik's treating the deal as "for the length of the truce" between himself and Darnic, but because Darnic refused a Geas, he's treating it as "only worth the paper it's written on", just like Darnic is.

    Also yes, yes Erik did wait for the moment there, to give them a call. He's quite evil that way, sometimes. You'll get to see more of Mordred's reactions to things next chapter, as well as more on why Erik is treating Darnic the way he is.

    As for the Wild Speculation? You'll just have to wait and see. It's interesting to see how guessing is working for this... *chuckles* More than that, though. I think it's going to be an honest surprise for everyone when it finally IS properly shown! Still, guesses are fine, and help us both write faster.



    On a different note, I'm about 10 out of 20 pages for the next chapter. It COULD be done tomorrow, but most likely will be done later this week, or next weekend. *Shrugs* Sorry for not having better details, but we're having to review every fight involving the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to make sure we're not overselling, or underselling the Hanging Gardens as a fortress, and a threat. I've already realized how strategically bullshit the Hanging Gardens can be, if you take some abilities it shows in Apocrypha and extrapolate abilities it could have, but simply were never used since Canon Shirou has so many extra Servants, compared to Anarchy's Shirou. So you'll be seeing a bit more of THAT sort of thing from my side of the story, if not Kieran's, for specifics on the larger battle.
    I'm starting to suspect that talking with Kieran influences my rolls on Fate/Grand Order Heavily. How else can you explain me talking with him, then rolling for 30, only to get 3 Archer of Shinjuku on my second ten roll?

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    OMAKE: If Frid Goes to Retrieve the Sword (and Certain Patterns Continue) . . .

    En route to Shade Academy
    The Kingdom of Vacuo
    Remnant









    As a native Canadian, once upon a time, Godafrid was used to snow.

    Used to it, but not overly fond of it; it was cold, wet, tended to clump together, was impossible to walk comfortably in, showed up in gloomy if not outright dark conditions, and was no better under sunlight, when it sparkled blindingly.

    Sand, he was learning, was no better. It wasn’t cold, but it was as hard as ice pellets, as fine as snow, and again, sparkled blindingly under sunlight—which it also absorbed to become really damned hot.

    In other words, he thought to himself, “sand” is a four-letter word for a damned good reason . . .

    Frid spent several minutes cursing the gods—and a number of specific ones in particular. First, Krampus, Norse God of Just Desserts (for lack of a more official title), for giving the Sword of Atli to Erik Uflricson; also Erik, for losing the damned thing, Gaia, for trying to push it to the Reverse Side of the World, and the “Brother of Light” for being a lazy ass . . . Why bother making a “Relic of Destruction,” after all, when you can just steal one that’s conveniently nearby (relatively speaking, in multiversal terms)?

    And so, naturally, he’d been sent to retrieve it . . .

    ‘We should do our best to eliminate all cross-contamination,’ they said,” he muttered under his breath. “‘It’ll even help them, as a bonus,’ they said . . .”

    It had taken way too damned long to trace the bloody sword’s trail, and when they’d finally found it, Frid had been ready to chew marbles. Of all the places to wind up, it was on freaking REMNANT?!

    And of course, he thought disgustedly, of all the places on Remnant for the damned thing to be, it just had to be the kingdom and school I know the least about . . .

    The engine snarled for him—and wasn’t that a shock? He, who’d wanted nothing to do with driving, had a car. Even worse, he was pretty much the only one of the Works with it; Rider could drive it, with her skills, but not Saber, let alone the magi. And the one time it had been suggested that Rider trade her motorcycle to Saber for the Relic, the sheer amount of murder that had come off that woman had the subject killed so fast it was worthy of an Assassin-class Servant . . .

    That said, the sleek, mist-gray vehicle wasn’t all bad; in addition to giving him access to the Journeys Purview (and letting him transport passengers), it never ran out of fuel, could travel over water as easily as land—making it a literal all-terrain vehicle—just like its namesake, and was a lot quieter and tougher than it looked.

    Plus, the possibility of getting in an accident is a lot less worrying, now, given what I’ve got going for me now . . .

    Still, even if the car handled like a dream, and gave him better paths than any GPS, he wasn’t entirely comfortable behind the wheel. And that was unlikely to change anytime soon; which made Frid ever so grateful to be able to get out of the car, and start walking towards the school—

    And of course, that was when the sinkhole opened under his feet.

    He cried out, briefly, and spent the rest of the fall spitting out sand, rather than attempting to breathe it. When he landed, Frid grumbled and hacked up a lung on his way to his feet.

    Right,” he rasped. “Hidden chamber under the school; I forgot. And naturally, I just ‘happen’ to literally stumble into it—just my luck . . .”

    Frid coughed up another wad of gritty saliva.

    Still, he reflected, while getting out might be a problem, it did make what he came here for easier to do.

    The primary defence of any of RWBY’s four Relics (no relation, in theory, to the kind of Relics found in Scion, current situation notwithstanding) was that the vault containing them could only be opened by a specific one of the four Seasonal Maidens. As of when Frid had left his home reality, only the identities of the Spring and Fall Maidens were known, and—assuming that the wiki was correct—this Relic needed the Summer Maiden to get to it. But he had a way around that.

    It took a while to etch the symbols of the summoning circle, but he remembered how. And the chant just needed a little modification . . .




    “For the elements: silver and iron.
    The foundation: stone and the archduke of pacts.
    And for my great master Schweinorg, let SUMMER be the season that I pay tribute to . . .”





    As he’d hoped, the summoning circle flared with light, revealing—










    “Saber,” the swimsuit-clad woman introduced herself cheerfully, “Katsushika Ōi—whoops, it’s ‘Katsushika Hokusai!’

    Staring wordlessly at the Servant as she continued chattering, with a diabolical mini-squid on her shoulder, Frid made a truly heroic effort not to rub his temples.

    . . . OK, as with many things, if summoning Summer Servants is somehow being woven into my fate, I will be very annoyed—and what is it with it always being FOREIGNERS?!
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

  9. #309
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    LOL!! XD I had to laugh a mile a minute there... I can totally see that happening.

    I want to know, though... will you be going after it, Kieran?
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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    LOL!! XD I had to laugh a mile a minute there... I can totally see that happening.
    Me, too - and with the "Relic of Destruction" being depicted as a sword, I just had to . . .


    I want to know, though... will you be going after it, Kieran?
    Yes, probably - though it may not involve this exact scenario . . .
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

  11. #311
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Okay, that makes some sense to me, Kieran. Personally, though, I want to see this exact scenario actually happen (even if it's not that result).
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    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

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




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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Okay, that makes some sense to me, Kieran. Personally, though, I want to see this exact scenario actually happen (even if it's not that result).
    . . . How do you mean, then?
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

  13. #313
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    I mean, even if that's not the end result, I want to see more of that scenario about Frid on Remnant. It's sure to be an interesting adventure for the amateur Indiana Jones type of character.
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

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




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

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




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

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    True - and I can't deny that RWBY has enough in it to require the Works' intervention - unfortunately, given the last couple of volumes, I'm starting to honestly believe that that world's problems could probably best be solved by a couple of discreet assassinations and letting Rider use her Mystic Eyes on Salem . . .
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

  15. #315
    死徒 Dead Apostle RanmaBushiko's Avatar
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    Chapter 42: Of Battles and Trainwrecks




    4:45 AM
    Outside Trifas, Romania



    "You know?" Erik admits, with a grin to Mordred, as she sits behind Erik, his hands working the controls as the metal train's engine starts up. "I suspect that the look on Assassin of Red's face is going to be utterly hilarious—should be as funny to us as Fenris' first prank."



    Mordred blinks, grinning, then studies Erik. "Do tell?"



    Erik grins, adjusting the train, calmly. "Keep in mind, I told him that the best way to get revenge on Odin, the All-Father, wasn't by eating him, but by pranking him. So he decided to mess with some of his sister's guests, first."



    Mordred's grin widens. "Oh?"



    "See. Hel was, literally, half skeleton, half flesh and blood Goddess. Not that pleasant to look at, believe me. So, Fenris' first prank? When Hel had a party involving her impending engagement to one of Baldur's sons, Fenris pranked the party . . . By dousing every person's cup with Viagra."



    Mordred pauses, blinking. "What is Viagra?"



    "It makes guys get... Er, an erection, if you will. So, every man there suddenly had erections at the party, including her husband-to-be—while he was looking at other men. Things sort of went south from there, involving the future groom nearly getting murdered, and Krampus, of all people, winding up in the shoes of the original groom, after he showed her more kindness than her planned fiancée did. But the sheer looks of horrified confusion, as over 50 Gods, stood up, only to stare down at their erections in horror?"



    "He... Made them all... Ahaha—seriously?!" Mordred laughs, softly. "Oh, that would have been hilarious to have back in Camelot! Then again, with some of the stuff that DID go down, I have to wonder if Merlin hadn't been pulling that sort of stuff..." Mordred pauses, folding her arms.



    "Seriously? I suppose that's why he's supposed to have been an utter troll. Nevertheless, Fenris got off with the excuse that as her big brother, he had every right to ensure she'd be happy, as a GOOD big brother should. And, that he has many, many years to make up for not being a good one.” Erik grins, adjusting the train, then pulls himself out of the window. “Good—looks like the spike is welded onto the front properly.”



    Erik... how you played things earlier...” Mordred sounds, almost hesitant.



    Yes, Mordred?” Erik looks over, his hands still working levers and controls.



    It's... I'll admit, it's a great job in playing them against each other for the inevitable fighting, but at the same time. It... Reminds me a bit of how my mother manipulated people. Could you explain more why you're doing this?” Mordred is quiet. Hesitant. But her voice grows stronger as she speaks, and questions him.



    For a moment, Erik sighs, softly, before turns to Mordred, looking her in the eye. “To be honest? For the manipulation part, manipulation is more my wife's thing than my own. I'd rather guide people with charisma; inspire them, help them learn to be better. I can be cruel sometimes; all Gods can be, and I'm no exception to that... But I still want what's the best for everyone—humanity as a whole, not just certain people. My inventions are made to help humans, and I see them, as a whole, as being worth it.”



    Erik glances away, looking at the Hanging Gardens, in the distance, his eyes spotting dozens of spots in the massive rock that could possibly be weak spots, before he turns back. “I don't trust Assassin of Red. Nor do I trust her Master. Not really. But ensuring they blow the bulk of his prana stores, and the bulk of their offense on Yggdmillennia isn't wrong, when we'll likely have to fight them once all is said and done. They're very much watching us, working out our abilities, what we can and cannot bring to the table, Mordred.”



    Erik turns, looking over the controls, then sighs and moves back, studying Mordred point blank. “At the same time, Darnic reminds me of Uller. He's asked his Servant once, if his Servant would reconsider his Second Noble Phantasm, as well as its use. His Servant, in return, insists he will never use it, and will kill Darnic if he ever brings it up again... More than that, his Servant is Vlad the Impaler, who's commonly known by the name of Dracula in stories—which is an undead abomination that drinks blood, while being shown as superhuman in all stories.” Erik trails off, thinking.



    That's... Concerning. You think he may have a Noble Phantasm because of those stories, involving him becoming a monster?” Mordred asks, thinking, as she folds her arms.



    That's what I'm worried about. It could be as a demon, it could be as a being that made a pact with a devil, or it could show him as various other forms. But if he wound up as a vampire of some sort, due to that second Noble Phantasm, we could have issues. I'm hoping it's something simpler, like being able to transform into a swarm of bats, or something similar, like Dracula was supposed to be able to do. Well, according to video games, at least. But... Considering dear Vlad HATES Dracula with a passion? I'm worried that it's something messier.” Erik admits. “And Darnic seems to have all three Command Spells, as well. Add in that Darnic seems to be planning something, for if all else fails? I'm not sure exactly WHAT that would be, but...”


    Erik trails off, and sighs, moving to punch a wall, before stopping his fist an inch from the metal.



    Yeah, I get what you mean. And Vlad the Impaler as a Dead Apostle would be the worst case scenario... Little wonder you're aiming them at each other. If he has some sort of power-up he hates...” Mordred sighs, softly. “Ugh. I always hate having to think things out. I prefer to fight my way through things, but none of this backhanded dealing. You know?”



    Erik chuckles. “A worshipper after my own heart—I prefer the same, to be honest. And if it wasn't for Godly politics, and Pantheon-level politics, I'd stay out of them altogether.”



    Mordred laughs. “So, how are we going to get this thing after the Hanging Gardens? Are you going to fly it towards them with jet boosters, or something?”



    Erik laughs, softly. “No, Frozen Panoply's going to handle it for us. Sometimes the simplest methods are best, you know?”



    Mordred tilts her head, blinking. “How will that work, exactly? Or, should I say, how does that work, exactly?”



    Erik chuckles softly, while adjusting the trains systems a bit more. “Frozen Panoply can make stuff out of ice, statues, ladders; the simpler the easier. But I've managed to make train tracks before, with no issues, as well as a bridge for this to go on, when I first tested it. It might be higher, but it shouldn't take any extra cost. And if it does, I have plenty of Legend in stock for handling it.”



    May I ask... What your wish is, exactly, Erik? I know a bit about you, but...” Mordred pauses, looking a bit hesitant. “No, forget it. It's not much of my business, anyways.”



    Erik pauses, and then looks at Mordred, studying her. “I suppose that has to go into my own explanation of things, huh?”
    Erik sighs, and then nods, sitting in a chair.



    Godafrid, as a side effect of what I suspect is 'many things he's been through', knows a lot about stuff—including that somehow, the apocalypse I saw the Gods go through back home tends to be cyclic. To be honest, before? I was going to wish for Gods to not be stuck on the Other Side of the World, for this world. Not for a New Age of Gods, but so they could live in harmony, and so my wife could be with this version of my mother-in-law... Now, however, I need to be a bit more selfish.”



    Mordred tilts her head, studying Erik, as he continues. “The Nature of my divinity is that I am the son of Uller. And Godafrid has hinted that while in the history before, my father existed as part of the Norse Pantheon... History has now been rewritten there, as has all of history, back to the beginning, and Uller never existed.



    Mordred stills at Erik's words, as he haltingly goes on. “Furthermore, the Gem of Power, the fancy dining room table you like to study? That's the one anchor I seem to have left as a God, Mordred. And it's slowly breaking. So my options, simple as they are, are to figure out how to ascend to become a divine being according to the rules of this universe, or let myself be remade, and hope I don't die from my divine nature coming into conflict that according to history in my home universe, my father now never existed, and thus I should never have existed either.



    Mordred stares at Erik, and then simply gives him a hug. “I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Erik... I'll help you figure things out, okay? I promise.”



    Thank you, Mordred.” Erik sighs, hugging her back, gently, then breathes out, as he sits beside her, studying her. “I'll be honest. I'm not sure what to do. At best, I might be turned into a mortal, or become a weak Demigod, as weak as my wife or Fenris has, my nature fighting the shift and forcing me to be remade into the child of another God... At worst, non-existence awaits me. So I'm hoping the Grail will be able to help me figure out a way that doesn't involve too many sacrifices.”



    Then we'll figure it out together.” Mordred smiles. “Anyways, I'm one badass Saber, you know? Even if it's just us at the end, I'll still help you.”



    Erik nods, a hint of a smile appearing on his face. “You wouldn't happen to be interested in adoption, would you?”



    Mordred grins, laughing. “Nah, leave that for Mysterious Heroine XX if she wants it. My father is my father. Though I'll freely admit that your wife is a better woman than my mother ever was, I still want Father to be my father.”



    Erik simply nods. “Fair enough, then.”



    The sounds of massive explosions erupt in the distance, as Erik turns to watch. “It's begun, it seems.” He turns, adjusting the engine, then focuses, as massive railroad lines made of ice form, before turning the train, and sending it onto the tracks.






    4:50 AM
    News Room 1
    The Wolfen



    Hello, everybody out there in the Wolf Home! This is Tamamo!” Tamamo cheers, with a wide smile on her face, on one side of the screen.



    And this is your friendly brain-in-a-jar host, Scylla!” The Scylla's orb has a top hat on it, as it is somehow in a chair, facing the camera.



    And together, we're covering the newest things! Today, this Greater Grail War continues, and my Darling Husband has a wonderful, beautiful plan!” Tamamo cheers, a wide grin on her face, as she playfully swoons.



    Boss is taking out the old mag-lev prototype train for a spin today! He's planning on suplexing it into the enemy force's main base, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon!” The Scylla shouts, as it somehow spins the chair around in a circle. Somehow, except for the hat revolving, it doesn't seem to emote much, and yet he still seems to show excitement. As a giant ball—which is, effectively, a brain in a jar.



    How on earth you do that, I'll never know.” Tamamo muses, with a glance towards her co-host. “Even still! We've got live footage, and we'll be sending it to Mars with the next railgun launch of supplies for you all! So enjoy, folks! We'll be commentating over this, live and personally, with my co-host occasionally giving orders to our very own Legion of Coal!”



    So, as our Boss wanted music for the audience back home, what would you suggest for this, oh Wife of my Boss?” the Scylla asks, bemusement in its tone. “Perhaps something from an anime—or maybe a video game?”
    Hmm,” Tamamo muses, while looking over options. “There're so many options we could pick from... Revolutionary Girl Utena's movie, Beelzebub Place could be good...”



    Ooh, ooh! Scroll back up! That one, The End is Nigh!” Scylla shouts, almost hopping in its chair somehow.



    Eh? Wait. Actually, the name of the game IS perfect for how our enemies are going to fare... Perfect! Let's see now—what sounds suitably intimidating...” Tamamo giggles, softly.



    Ooh, hmm... I'd say number 4 sounds pretty good! It should be perfect for the upbeat fighting at first, then goes on long to match the long, hard fight.” The bouncing stops but Scylla's still seeming somehow eager—for a giant orb.



    Somehow.



    Fine, fine, we'll give your video game music a go for a change.” Tamamo giggles. “Well, for all of you out there, we fully expect my husband to punch a hole straight through those Hanging Gardens of Babylon in the distance, once he reaches it with that train he's riding!”



    With those words, the screens behind them shift to show the battlefield in particular, as the music starts to play.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Fa2ZkgLUJU (Overflow ~ The End is Nigh)



    At first, the battle is distant, for all involved. Massive mechanical dragons dance to and fro in midair, launching bombs at the massive form of the Hanging Gardens. Attempts at lighting the Hanging Gardens on fire with flamethrowers are nowhere near as successful, but 77 massive Mecha Fafnir Production Line units attempt it anyways.



    Next, the Railguns on each of the giant T-Rex shaped mechs open fire, individually firing, before slowly firing in sync, aiming at the same points on the Hanging Gardens.



    Scylla to all Mecha units! It appears that the smaller railgun loads are useless, switch to the big bombs! All Mecha Fafnir units, keep up with the Tail Spikes, those seem to be damaging it!”



    Roger that, Scylla. Switching over now.”



    As massive explosions rain against the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, for a long moment, it looks as though it's actually working. Stone plows away from the bottom of the Hanging Gardens, for a long moment, as explosion after explosion assaults it in various places.



    Now, now—did you really think it was going to be so easy?” Semiramis' voice echoes over the battlefield, as chunks of stone reverse their falling course, moving back into position as several of the orbiting stone plates glow.



    My Hanging Gardens of Babylon are not so easily damaged as that, Masters of Red and Black. Now, let's see how long you can fight me when your precious castle is destroyed, hmm?”



    At her words, the massive plates orbiting the Hanging Gardens switch to five triangular patterns, before opening fire at Yggdmillennia Castle, carving through massive sections of stone like a hot knife through butter.



    Oh! You can see Godafrid jumping out of the castle tower he was apparently in— along with his fiancée? How sweet! Ooh, and now he's using one of those... Command Spells? Command Seals? To summon his Servant to save them both! Neat!” The Scylla shouts in its seat.



    Tamamo simply giggles from behind a fan. “Pity it seems to have destroyed our rival force’s main base, though—don't you agree? My, it appears like they're going to need to sign a contract with us if they wish to remain a power for this Grail War... Wait. The castle's still mostly there? Hmm—I could have sworn I saw it... Ahh. Fancy magecraft, I suppose.”



    Silence reigns on the battlefield as the guns momentarily stop, the Legion of Coal simultaneously looking at the damage to the castle, before opening fire again upon the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. And yet, as lasers are finally tested upon the massive flying fortress, they don't carve deep.



    Well, crap. It looks like the damned Hanging Gardens are made out of Solid Rock, not just prana shaped to look like rocks, as we originally estimated—magically infused stuff, too, if I'm not wrong. Boss might have more issues with that damned thing than we initially thought. Good thing he had us weld a huge spike to the front of the train...” The Scylla remarks, its chair bouncing as it seems to adjust its position.



    Tamamo stares in wide-eyed surprise as more lasers attempt to carve into the Hanging Gardens, several hundred carving into the same spot, and slowly melting rocks, before smiling softly. “Well, we'll be able to deal with some of it, I think. Ooh, there's my hubby there! Looks like his train's picking up speed, while circling the outskirts of Trifas to flank them, and ensure he can't be seen until the end! Oh and there's those damned skeleton things coming out...”



    As several thousand Dragon’s-Tooth Warriors emerge from the Hanging Gardens, the Legion of Coal adjusts their weapons, targeting them. But, more and more continue emerging from the Hanging Gardens.



    Well. Crap. That's far too many compared to before. Did that Servant make extra, just for this?! Boss might have more problems than we thought.” The Scylla remarks, as it seems to somehow be peering carefully at the screens.



    The battlefield shifts, as the seemingly endless hordes of Dragon’s-Tooth Warriors drop from the Hanging Gardens, charging the Legion of Coal and the Metal Gear Rex Production Line units, as well as hundreds of Homunculi and Golems.




    Counting... Confirmed—enemy Servant has somehow produced 3 times more Dragon’s-Tooth Warriors than earlier counts from the Millennium Falcon copy registered; looks to be approximately 9,000 of them. As a guess, she's been up all night producing as many as possible for this assault, and may have required a Command Spell to produce this many. Otherwise, we've drastically underestimated how many she could make in the first place.”




    Wide-eyed silence is all Tamamo can give, as she watches the one-sided fight, as the massive number of Dragon’s-Tooth Warriors start tearing into the defenders. As hordes of them topple her husband's war machines, she shivers softly.




    How long, Scylla, before we have enough reactors finished so we can fly?” Tamamo asks, quietly.




    Not for another 3 hours, minimum. Best bet is 5 if we want to cut things close, 8 if we don't. Sorry, but I can't go any faster than I am, unless we want to rewire half the ship for the extra power flow.” The Scylla admits. “Still, it looks like those things are brittle, and weak to the lasers! Even the flamethrowers on the Mecha Fafnir Production Line seem to be able to damage them pretty well! We just have to trust in the boss, that his plan will win... Oh? Looks like Vlad the Impaler's moving out in force, since his Master's castle got damaged!”




    As Vlad steps in, Kazikli Bey showing its might, the tides start to reverse. As hundreds of skeletons are impaled on his spears, he smiles, moving forwards to slaughter more—and in that moment of self assured victory, disaster strikes at him.




    A colossal beam of prana the size of a jumbo jet, not controlled by the stone plates, but from the very tower at the core of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, slams out at him. He turns, desperately putting spears in between himself and it, as he tries to dodge.




    Lord CAMELOT!” Mash's cry can be heard, even over the din of the battlefield, as a shield forms between herself, the beam, and Vlad.




    As Vlad moves, trying to counter the Dragon’s-Tooth Warriors, using his Noble Phantasm to rain stakes upon them, or impale them from below, Mash guards him, even as more blasts from the Hanging Gardens aim at him, occasionally trying to punch through Mash's defenses.




    Wait. What are all those plates doing...? Oh, that's sneaky. She's aiming to finish off the castle as he fights her cannon fodder!” The Scylla seems to grin in its seat.




    What do you mea... Oh, interesting.” Tamamo blinks, then studies things closely, pulling her fan away from her face to stare in undisguised interest.




    The Hanging Gardens has pulled all the stone plates, to form not 5 arrays of 3, but one array of 15 plates in a massive circle formation.




    There is no sound as it fires; nothing that can be audibly heard, at least. Only a bone-deep thrumming sensation, as the sound goes below the frequencies the human ear can hear. But the blast's result is awe-inspiring, as the entire top of the Millennia Fortress, Castle Yggdmillennia, vanishes, followed by the rest of the castle and the earth below, as the beam pulls down.




    The Greater Grail is shown, in one chunk underneath the castle, miraculously unharmed by the titanic blast. But no sign of the storage room that the Heart of Winter was in appears, except for a few frozen blocks.




    Did... Did they just flash vaporize the Heart of Winter?! I think she destroyed it!” Tamamo cheers. “Wait—my Husband will be facing off with THAT?! That's got to rival the Wolfen's main cannon! No, that thing HAS TO BE... Oh crap, dear—what have you gotten us into...?”




    Silence reigns on the battlefield, as all the parties involved stare at the shattered remains of the castle, before turning towards the Hanging Gardens of Babylon




    Wordlessly, the fight resumes, the defenders pushing themselves harder to fight against the forces arrayed against them—this time, far harder.




    Vlad's spears reach out again, this time trying to contain a plate, as most of the remaining mecha shoot at it, trying to break the plate in question. As a response, six plates reform into triangles, then start spinning around the Hanging Gardens, spraying two massive beams of magic out in a 360 degree circle, carving through the majority of the Mecha Fafnir units, as well as a good chunk of the Metal Gear Rex units, before switching to simply orbit the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.




    Desperately, against Vlad's best movements, the stone plate he's holding still starts to pull away, slowly forcing itself to rotate once more with the rest of them—and yet, it's still slowed down enough for EMIYA to grin with teeth . . .


    As Caladbolg 2 meets the massive stone plate, and shatters it.




    Great shooting, Archer! I knew you could do it!” Rin shouts over the battlefield's pause, as EMIYA's grin slowly fades. He can see even if she can't, the sheer number of Dragon’s-Tooth Warriors that have changed position to look directly at him.




    Oh my, it looks like EMIYA has problems,” Tamamo smiles, once again hiding her face behind her fan. “Perhaps he'll be saved by Siegfried, who's coming up on him to help?”


    But it is not Siegfried who comes to Rin and EMIYA's aid first. That honor belongs to a finally-healed Chiron, who introduces the closest ones to his arrows.




    4:55 AM


    The Grassy Hill
    Behind the Ruins of Yggdmillennia Castle




    EMIYA frowns, as he fires his bow again.


    You'd better hurry up! They're getting closer, and it's obvious that those two Servants of Black won't be able to keep this up forever.” Rin shouts to him.


    His only reply is a terse nod, as seemingly endless numbers of Dragon’s-Tooth Warriors rush them.


    Archer of Black, was it?” EMIYA shouts, while shooting more. “Can you get the Hanging Gardens down lower, by any chance?”


    Chiron's eyes widen in surprise, before he nods. “I can, though I can only use it once. Will that be enough?”


    EMIYA thinks as he shoots, his eyes narrowed. “It should work, but I'll need maybe 20 seconds of cover, and the Hanging Gardens directly overhead, if I'm going to do this right.”




    Chiron's eyes widen fractionally, before he nods and calls out. “Saber! We need an opening!”




    Siegfried's response to that is a massive shockwave of Prana, vaporizing Dragon’s-Tooth Warriors around him, followed by bringing his sword down with a cry of “Balmung!” and leaving the way clear for a moment.




    EMIYA nods, rushing forwards into the gap, dismissing his bow, and Tracing Kanshou and Bakuya as he rushes forwards.




    What follows are several minutes of brutal fighting—skeletons land everywhere, as the three fight their way towards the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.




    It'll be overhead in 30 seconds! Best chance we'll get is right now!” Chiron calls out to the others.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc5DdW7UNnU (Emiya ~ Crow's Claw)




    Emiya nods, his eyes narrowing, before he closes his eyes, and focuses, going to one knee.




    I am the bone of my sword.” Prana flares around him, as Dragon’s-Tooth Warriors go after him like lambs to the slaughter.


    Steel is my body, and fire is my blood.”


    Balmung flashes like lightning in the background as Siegfried works, doing his best to cover EMIYA through his incantation.




    I have created over a thousand blades.” EMIYA's incantation continues, the prana shaping around him.




    Chiron wordlessly growls, as he continues shooting, doing his best to protect all of them.




    Unknown to Death, nor known to Life.”




    Siegfried pushes over a dozen Dragon’s-Tooth Warriors back with his sword, nearly going back to back for a moment with Chiron as they struggle to hold their foes off.




    Have withstood pain to create many weapons.”




    A jewel, thrown by Rin, stops a horde of Dragon’s-Tooth Warriors cold, as the ambient Prana stored within the jewel detonates, destroying them. As several turn towards her, she shouts at EMIYA with a yell of “HURRY IT UP ALREADY!”




    Yet, those hands will never hold anything.” EMIYA's eyes glance up, looking at the Hanging Gardens, and then he nods towards Chiron.


    Chiron's eyes widen, before he points his finger up. And Antares Snipe doesn't fail him, the drawn bow of his constellation launching a comet directly towards the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. It hits hard, sending the Hanging Gardens flying down hundreds of feet, its clawed stone points at the bottom nearly brushing the ground, as the Noble Phantasm fights to stay airborn.




    EMIYA can only smile, as he recites the final line. “So as I pray, Unlimited Blade Works.”


    Fire runs outwards. Yet, it doesn't burn. But, when the eyes of everyone open to stare... it is no longer the grassy plains behind Trifas, and the ruins of Yggdmillennia Castle.


    Instead, it's a massive hill, covered with swords, knives, spears, polearms—weapons of all capabilities, some mundane, and others legends. Massive floating gears hang in the sky, churning. Moving. Grinding. And on that hill EMIYA stands with a smirk, as he raises one hand, the countless, endless blades floating up with his arm's movement to hang over the heads of all his foes.



    Now, it's my turn.” With those words, a dozen copies of Hrunting Break, and launch themselves at supersonic speed towards the Dragon’s-Tooth Warriors, as an endless number of blades shoot out towards the Hanging Gardens, doing their best to weigh the Hanging Gardens down, so the other Servants can board it and defeat the Servants within.



    Unlike his earlier strike, however, this time Semiramis is ready for weapons shooting at the Hanging Gardens. Massive chains snap into existence, capturing weapons with the chain links, working as massive whips that do their best to swat the more dangerous blades out of existence.



    One unlucky Homunculus stares at a chain having punctured her chest, before screaming in utter agony as the poison formed into chains sets in.



    EMIYA narrows his eyes, his bow forming, as he starts notching another copy of Caladbolg II. With a moment's effort, he sends it flying, altered and this time, Broken.



    But unlike the first time, scales form around the next stone plate, soaking most of the blow, as the Hanging Gardens force itself skywards and back out of the Reality Marble, leaving most of the Servants stuck inside, while Semiramis makes her move.



    However, so too is Erik making his own; as the Hanging Gardens rise out of EMIYA's Reality Marble, forcing their way back out, Erik guns the engine of the train with a grin, one hand clutching the grip of his laser rifle. Mordred's grin matches his, as she rides the top of the train, Clarent out and at the ready, as the train makes the last turn and accelerates straight for the Hanging Gardens.



    In the Hanging Gardens, as the massive structure moves and raises back skyward, Semiramis pauses her motions, and turns. Her eyes widen as she spots the train coming towards her.



    Erik's eyes, with Telescopic Senses, see the exact moment she realizes his train is coming. “Get ready, Mordred! She just spotted us! I could see her eyes widening, from here!”



    There's not many Dragon’s-Tooth Warriors left, as most of them are trapped within EMIYA's Unlimited Blade Works. But those few left turn, and launch themselves at the train, as well as the train tracks, desperately trying to stop the massive train, and the constantly forming train tracks holding it up.



    I'll deal with them, with a single blow, Erik! CLA- eh? I SAID, CLARENT-” Mordred stares at her blade, refusing to channel her rage, or anger, or hatred at her father with confusion. “Aww, crap.—Erik, It's not working right, we'll need to go to plan B for dealing with them!”



    Erik nods, opening fire with his laser rifle, as the train continues to push forwards.
    Use that prana-to-electricity conversion trick, and electrocute them, then!” he shouts, before continuing to use the laser to carve through the flying ones with spears that seem to aim for either of them.



    Got it!” Mordred grins, as her body crackles with electricity on occasion, as more and more desperately try to slow the train down.
    They aim for the wheels, only to find that the wheels are armored on the outside. They aim for the windows, only to find that the material, whatever it is that makes the windows is NOT glass like they assumed. More and more desperately try anything they can, even trying to dog-pile the train and try to fly forwards to slow it down. Nothing works, as the train continues pushing through towards the Hanging Gardens, the ice train tracks constantly forming from Erik's power. As Erik's train grazes the Reality Marble EMIYA has formed, he blinks, as his power surges within him before fading back to normal.



    Mordred can't help but laugh, as she clears off the foes from the front of the train. “We're doing it, Erik! We're doing it!”



    So sure of yourself, are you?” Semiramis' voice echoes over the battlefield, as three plates take aim.



    Erik simply grins, then focuses as the train tracks finish forming, and then a massive ice slab forms between his train and the three stone plates. The sound is insane, a loud thrumming sound that echoes within his bones, as his ice slab faces off with the Hanging Gardens attack...



    And barely curves the shot enough that it won't hit.



    Oh, hell yes! Good job, Erik!” Mordred grins, adjusting herself before swinging at the last few Dragon’s-Tooth Warriors, even as Erik pulls his head out the window.



    His eyes narrow, as he judges the distance, then smirks, adjusting the speed, before offering her a hand. “Take my hand, then grab onto my back for this, will you?”



    Mordred nods with a grin, grabbing his hand, as he flings himself to the top of the train using the other. Then, turning, he focuses as she pulls herself onto his back. As soon as she's grabbing onto his back, he tenses, dashing forwards, and runs to the end of the train tracks, hanging over a part of the Hanging Gardens.



    Then, he turns himself around grabbing the train as it passes by, and with a feat of strength, launches himself and the train skyward. As it moves in the air, he twists it, forcing the entire train to flip upside down, and then he grins as he rides it down in a massive suplex.



    The train skids along, off the surface, rather than doing anything to the Hanging Gardens, leaving Erik and Mordred staring in shock.



    Oh, were you thinking that my Hanging Gardens of Babylon was a construct of prana? No, little Norse God, they're very much real rock, magically enchanted. This is an EX-ranked Noble Phantasm for good reason, you know.”



    Erik twists himself, flipping the train, and tries suplexing the train into the structure again, with a growl. It skids along, still doing nothing.



    See? Your attack method was hopeless!” Semiramis sounds smug. “Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be stealing the Greater Grail! I'll come to find and deal with you after that's secured on board.”



    Erik growls, harder. Less like a human, more like a wolf, as he studies things, before he smirks softly. Then, he covers his face with a metal-covered nautilus shell, and passes one over to Mordred.



    Put it on for Plan B.” Her eyes widen, before she grins as she puts it on. Then, with a burst of power, he uses Rainbow Bridge to move up.



    More specifically, he moves straight up—to the edge of the Earth's safe chunk of atmosphere to be in, without dying instantly.



    Wow... it's beautiful, Erik! And... Oh, I get it now!” Mordred's voice sounds amused.



    Erik nods, adjusting his aim, even as the reactor within him glows slightly with warmth. “Did you know, Mordred, that I've found an interesting use for a skill known as Mighty Heave, that I have? When it's with blunt weapons, like this train normally is, then it'll punch into someone's body anyways, acting like a bullet, or a spear. But, when it's done with something that has a pointy tip on it already...” Erik throws the massive train down, locomotive first, with those words, as he uses his skill. “Then it becomes armor piercing, and punches through armor like a hot knife through butter!



    The train launches downwards, punching through the sound barrier with the help from gravity, as it pushes towards the Hanging Gardens like a missile from a not-so-loving God.



    And yet... A stone plate intercedes itself between the train, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, in an attempt to counter Erik's plans once more.



    Stone shatters, crushing rock into powder and dust, sending dust and rock fragments flying high into the air, as the train hits with a massive Bang”.



    Holy crap—you did it! That had to have left her regretting going against us!” Mordred shouts, with a grin.



    But the sight that reveals itself below is not the one they'd been hoping for. The massive locomotive had punched a hole straight through the plate, but the string of carriage cars behind it had gotten lodged in the hole, pulling it to a halt.



    Oh? A well-done attempt! If it hadn't been for all those other carriages, I suspect that would have actually hit me, little Norse God! I applaud your attempt, but it looks like you've screwed yourself over in the process!”



    Erik narrows his eyes, as he feels gravity start to affect himself and Mordred, and they start to fall.



    Erik. PLEASE tell me you've got something planned for this. Are we going to have one of your mechanical flying dragons catch us? Or is it going to be something else just as neat?!” Mordred sounds a bit worried, but Erik gives her a thumbs-up.



    I've got this covered.” Erik grins, followed by a shout down below. “HEY, ASSASSIN OF RED! GUESS WHAT?”



    Oh? Fine, I'll play your game with the last few moments of your life, before you die from the fall. Are you going to fall and go splat? Are you hoping that your little mechanical dragons are going to save you?”



    Erik grins, behind his re-breather. “YOU MISSED A TRICK!” To his dismay, nothing happens.



    Oh? I missed a trick? Right, right, that irritating teleport of yours—I suppose I'll deal with that soon enough...” Semiramis grumbles. “You'll probably show up on my Hanging Gardens together, and I'll have an irritating time fighting you before you discover the joys of dying to me . . . Certainly—back to the Greater Grail, then!”



    Erik swears, as he calls the Wolfen with a phone. “Scylla? WHERE THE HELL IS MY WAR BEAST?!



    Oh! Boss! Yeah, sorry, the welds are just finishing cooling off! You'll have it in 15 seconds!” Over the phone, the Scylla sounds sheepish.



    And how fast am I falling, right now?” Erik snarls over the phone.



    Ah... you'll have 75 seconds to get in, before it hits the Hanging Gardens, boss! No worries, there’s plenty of time—for you, at least.”



    In 15 seconds of free-fall, Metal Gear Rex MK3 teleports to them, forming around him. “Finally!” Erik mutters, as it forms.



    Mordred blinks, as she looks down, while climbing in. “You know? I think that she's quit paying attention to us entirely.” Mordred grins softly.



    And now, for my next trick...” Erik mutters, pulling his goggles down, before grabbing the edge of the mouth of his War Beast. “Another Mighty Heave, to increase our speed... And—”



    Erik grins, his trick successful, as he throws the mech downwards towards the Hanging Gardens of Babylon with one hand, while keeping a grip with the other. It goes just as well as the train did, but this time, towards a weak point.



    Erik grins back at Mordred, as the systems boot up, while the mouth clamps shut, even as the massive War Beast breaks the sound barrier on its way down. Then, as his grin widens, he turns the Radiant Wave Surger on, turning it into nothing less than a nuclear comet of doom.



    Oh, HELL YES! This is going to be AWESOME! Best God EVER!” Mordred shouts, as Erik nods towards some gun controls while pulling his goggles back up.



    Take the secondary controls over there,” he told her. “We've got a couple Legion of Coal units in the back of the mech ready to reload the micro-missile launchers and rail gun with extra explosives, too! Then strap yourself in, it's going to be a rough landing!”



    With those words, Erik activates the clawed feet.



    Author's Notes:



    To be honest? The music was a tossup, here. On one hand, you had Beelzebub Place from the Adolescence of Utena soundtrack, which COULD fit the fight if we wrote it right. On the other hand, you have the song Overflow from The End is Nigh, and... to be honest? Overflow felt better with the scene.



    Thus, the little bit of commentary between Tamamo and the Scylla here.



    As for the rest of the fighting? I'm hoping I did this scene JUSTICE. Also, yes. Erik is capable of shenanigans, as a God turned Demigod.



    And a skill is unlocked for Metal Gear Rex MK3's own sheet!
    Metal Gear Rex MK3

    Radiant Wave Surger Plating, 3/∞ shots, depending on if it wants to work as a relic or not. Vaporizes anything that touches it, if it does work. Doubles as a shield system, and proven to be functional with other machinery.
    Twin Gas Powered Ballista Crossbows 10 lethal damage each, 6,000 shots, 3 speed
    4 Micro-missile launchers, 0 accuracy, 10 lethal damage, fires 6 shots each at a time, 6 speed
    3 shots of 6, or 18 shots, per launcher. Can have power switched over to the Radiant Wave Surger instead, but takes a minute, or 60 speed, to switch back and forth.
    Railgun has two types of rounds.
    3 bombs, 500 pound equivalents, 100 lethal damage, 12 speed
    500 rail gun bolts, 5 lethal damage, 1 speed, but the longer the speed is held back, the more damage it does. Maximum of 16 lethal damage, 12 speed
    Sextuplet Barrel Articulated Laser, 6 aggravated damage, 6 speed.
    Unlike the original laser, mounted at the “crotch” of the machine, this one has been articulated, and modified to be able to cut at anything touching the legs, or even move up to cut anything off that might be grabbing onto the back of the machine. Mostly because the first model didn't have the articulation, and thus it got stuck when some foes dropped it in lava, and Erik's attempt to break free hardened the lava into rock, instead.

    Abilities as a divine, legendary relic:
    “It's not over, not yet!”:
    ???????

    “All Systems! FULL POWER!”:
    ???????

    “Hey, you missed a trick!”:
    Summons this machine to Erik's location, no matter where he is, or what the situation is. Damaged, mostly destroyed, a ruined wreck? Still comes. No Legend Cost.

    "Svartalfheim! Where this weapons' fate was born! The fate and legend that you'll die to!":
    The First was made mostly of Pykrete and Stygian Iron, and fell to Fafnir
    The Second was made from steel, using liquid nitrogen as coolant, and fell to Surtr.
    The Third is made from Meteorite Iron, and utilizes pure brutality.
    Can always be repaired unless fully destroyed in Svartalfheim, irregardless of damage taken.

    Erik's personal war machine, this has been upgraded and fine tuned past the point of any other machine he has. Unlike the Mecha Fafnir line, Metal Gear Rex MK3 has probably the best chance of surviving an apocalypse. As the issues with the radiation has been fixed, Tamamo no longer has issues with the Radiant Wave Surger plating being used as a shield system. Even if she still doesn't exactly trust it fully.



    Health: 1320. Armor: 12. Speed: 60 mph. Control: - 5.



    Legend Calculations:
    27 legend
    -2 legend for the Frozen Panoply uses
    -2 legend for Mighty Heave
    -2 legend for Rainbow Bridge to move Erik and Mordred up
    21 legend left



    Casualties and equipment lost:
    Troops for Yggdmillenia:
    Yggdmillenia Castle
    300 Homunculi
    250 Golems
    Troops left:
    100 Homunculi
    430 Golems
    (Yeah, most of the Golems managed to survive. They didn't have the same range as Erik's mecha, after all)
    Troops for Erik:
    4,000 Legion of Coal units
    154 Mecha
    Troops left
    642 Legion of Coal units remaining from the battlefield.



    Troops for Semiramis
    7,500 Dragon's-Tooth Warriors
    Troops Left
    1,500 Dragon's-Tooth Warriors
    Last edited by RanmaBushiko; October 8th, 2019 at 10:34 PM.
    I'm starting to suspect that talking with Kieran influences my rolls on Fate/Grand Order Heavily. How else can you explain me talking with him, then rolling for 30, only to get 3 Archer of Shinjuku on my second ten roll?

    I write like Douglas Adams. Proof: http://iwl.me/s/696f37bd

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    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Ugh... should've posted this sooner, but a lot of classwork had to be done, guys. Really sorry about that.

    Now, where to begin with this latest chapter...? It is, in one word, chaotic. I wish I were making that up.
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

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

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




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    死徒 Dead Apostle RanmaBushiko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Ugh... should've posted this sooner, but a lot of classwork had to be done, guys. Really sorry about that.

    Now, where to begin with this latest chapter...? It is, in one word, chaotic. I wish I were making that up.

    Well, classwork happens. As a college graduate, I get that perfectly. Glad to hear feedback, irregardless. Trust me. It very much helps writers write faster.

    Admittedly, it IS chaotic, and for good reason. But I was A. Trying to write a new story style, to a point here, mimicking a movie referenced in it. B. Juggling a whole ton of Characters. And C. Needing the train suplex attempt to be finished by chapter's end. You're going to get a lot more general information from Kieran's side of things.

    At the same time, keep in mind, this was Semiramis pulling a Smash and Grab, going all in with everything she had. And considering the results of it... well, I think the chapter speaks for itself, there.

    Now, I'll be honest. I'd write more? But I'm in the middle of packing for a 2 day camping trip, too, and I'm leaving for it in... 48 minutes-ish. So the soonest I can go into detail on this stuff is Sunday.
    I'm starting to suspect that talking with Kieran influences my rolls on Fate/Grand Order Heavily. How else can you explain me talking with him, then rolling for 30, only to get 3 Archer of Shinjuku on my second ten roll?

    I write like Douglas Adams. Proof: http://iwl.me/s/696f37bd

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RanmaBushiko View Post
    Well, classwork happens. As a college graduate, I get that perfectly.
    University was a while ago, for me, but I still have nightmares of going back to school - so no worries.


    Glad to hear feedback, irregardless. Trust me. It very much helps writers write faster.
    Truer words have never been written.


    Admittedly, it IS chaotic, and for good reason. But I was A. Trying to write a new story style, to a point here, mimicking a movie referenced in it. B. Juggling a whole ton of Characters. And C. Needing the train suplex attempt to be finished by chapter's end. You're going to get a lot more general information from Kieran's side of things.
    Though that may be a bit longer than I'd hoped - work has been . . . Let's call it "aggravating" this week.


    At the same time, keep in mind, this was Semiramis pulling a Smash and Grab, going all in with everything she had. And considering the results of it... well, I think the chapter speaks for itself, there.

    Now, I'll be honest. I'd write more? But I'm in the middle of packing for a 2 day camping trip, too, and I'm leaving for it in... 48 minutes-ish. So the soonest I can go into detail on this stuff is Sunday.
    And in the meantime, I will try to have something ready for then. If not, I have Monday off due to the holiday . . .
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

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    Is the update coming today or tomorrow? I hope to find out soon.
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    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

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




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

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    Chapter 43 – Eyes in the Storm

    DISCLAIMER: Lunar Legend Tsukihime, Fate/Stay Night, and all related characters and concepts are the creation and property of Kinoko Nasu and TYPE-MOON, along with whomever they’ve happened to license them to, such as Geneon, Funimation, A-1 Pictures and Netflix.
    This is a not-for-profit, just-for-fun project.





    Millennia Fortress
    Trifas, Romania
    July 4, 2004









    When the alarm went off, Fiore snapped awake. With a well-practiced motion, she rolled herself off her bed and into her chair—only realising her previous position once she’d done so.

    Now is not the time! Fiore snapped at herself, even as she slipped her hands into the gloves which comprised her Bronze-Link Manipulators (it was unlikely that she’d need to enter combat directly, but just in case . . .).

    “Archer, situation report,” she ordered.

    “The Hanging Gardens are approaching, exactly at the speed and direction predicted, Master,” the centaur reported. “The castle’s forces are responding with heavy armaments—sadly, also as predicted, even when enhanced by magecraft, modern siege weaponry has no appreciable effect. I fear that short of using our own Noble Phantasms, we will be reliant on our Norse ally’s forces . . .

    “Fortunately,”
    Archer added wryly, “it seems he is nothing if not punctual.

    Reaching through their link, Fiore tapped Chiron’s senses, and saw . . .

    Armies—forces akin to what Yggdmillennia had gathered for this Grail War, but wrought in bone instead of flesh, metal instead of stone; and each seemed to outnumber what they’d managed to salvage for the battlefield tenfold. It was a sobering observation for Fiore: the sudden understanding that, barring the efforts of their individual Servants, Yggdmillennia would’ve had no way to defend against either force effectively—far less both of them combined, had the Red Faction been as united as it had been intended to be.

    That said, however, their Servants were present, and while not as encompassing in their power as might have been hoped—not with the high-mobility Rider and the army-moulding Caster absent—they were far from ineffective. Siegfried was sweeping aside dozens of skeletal creatures with every stroke of Balmung; Lancer was sending out waves of stakes that, if less fatal to creatures that were merely hollow structures of bone, nevertheless served to pin them down until he or another warrior could deliver a finishing blow.

    Even Caules’ Berserker was attacking with wild enthusiasm; her electrically-charged mace’s blunt, crushing force seemed especially well-suited to eliminating Assassin of Red’s minions, leaving quickly-dissolving fragments of bone. Nor were their allies (however temporary) idle; in addition to the machine army itself, several spells and bursts of power that had to be Servant-based in origin were either blasting away at the army, or attempting to penetrate the defences of the Hanging Gardens themselves.

    Though the latter, Fiore noted, seemed largely unsuccessful . . .

    However, it had to be said that neither was their enemy idle. The skeletal Phantasmal Beasts—whether conjuration, summoning, or some intrinsic part of Assassin, the Gardens, or Shirou Kotomine’s legend—had mostly numbers on their side, but it was not an inconsiderable advantage. In addition, the Gardens themselves were still airborne, and well-shielded; worse, they showed themselves capable of being—

    “M—” Chiron’s voice rang out, as a sudden agony gripped her shoulder, and Fiore was hurled violently from her chair.

    —arms around her, smell of leather, impact—

    “—AS—”

    “Catch—”

    —sound of glass
    breaking, rush of wind—

    “—us—”

    “—TE—”


    “—XX!”

    “—R!”

    The echo of her Archer’s shout preceded a blaze of heat against her back, which Fiore only understood afterwards to be Magic Circuits and Command Spell flaring to life. At the time, however, she was too preoccupied with the sudden and unexpected intervention of gravity, as well at the sound and fury of her room exploding behind her. She didn’t even register the warping of space that heralded the arrival of her fiancé’s Servant, becoming aware of the third party’s existence only after she started falling up instead of down . . .

    Glancing upward in disbelief, Fiore saw an armoured humanoid figure—as though someone had decided to fashion a knight in the manner of those “mecha” the Norse deities used—gripping Godafrid in an underarm hold, much as he had her pinned against his chest. For a moment, she thought it was one of those, until it spoke.

    “Master, are you injured?” asked their armoured rescuer, in a voice that was just as mechanical as its look, but somehow audibly conveying a tone of concern.

    “Coat took most of it,” he grunted, voice taut. It might simply have been because of the strain—she was effectively dead weight in this position— but she could see a few hints of blood where glass shards had scratched his skin, at least. “Fiore . . .?”

    “I . . .” The young magus halted and took a breath to centre her thoughts, staring into those literally sparkling eyes before admitting, “I might’ve bruised my shoulder”—seeing the wince form on his face, she quickly and sharply cut him off—“but considering the alternative, I’m fine, Godafrid.”

    The faint exhalation of his breath, and its accompanying movement of his chest, was the only sign he’d heard her. Instead, his attention and words were directed to the flying Servant.

    “We need to go!” he ordered, yelling to be heard over the rushing of air caused by their high-speed movement. “We’re too exposed here.”

    “Affirmative, Master,” the Servant responded—and somehow, Fiore thought it sounded like a child trying to seem grown-up, somehow. Especially when it added, “Never fear—you’re in capable hands.”

    “I concur in both respects,” Chiron interjected. “You are too exposed in the open air, and should get under cover as quickly as possible—and your judgment as to your betrothed’s capabilities was undeniably accurate. I cannot help but be pleased.”

    Even though she knew he couldn’t see it, Fiore blushed at the compliment—after all, it had only made sense, she thought, even if he’d been unhappy with the decision at the time.

    Unlike Caules, whose room was opposite her own—therefore with no strategically-vulnerable window, nor connected to the castle’s structural integrity—hers was ideally placed to view the battle outside. Adding in her personal defences and her mobility issues, it was both her ideal command location and a glaring vulnerability for her. Chiron, however, was far more valuable in a strategic oversight position, and her room was (she’d believed) well-enough fortified to protect her long enough for her to either deploy her Bronze-Link Manipulators, for Chiron to rescue her, or both. Failing that, however, she’d trusted that Godafrid’s combat instincts—and the ability of his Mystic Eyes to follow high-speed movements—would allow him to guard her in his stead.

    Which, Fiore had to admit, he had not only done, but he’d exceeded her wildest expectations in the accomplishing of it. After all, in the end, a magus was only human—but he’d still managed to allow them to dodge an attack (admittedly not directly focussed at them, but still) from a Noble Phantasm!

    It was astonishing, exhilarating . . . And more than a little arousing, admitted a quiet whisper in the back of her thoughts.

    (Though she quickly bottled that thought up and marked it down as the adrenaline-rush of a near-death experience and being abruptly woken while spooned together not that long ago.)

    Regardless, it was an impressive feat; and a much nicer thing to focus on than the fact that, first, she’d nearly been killed—and second, had he not been there, she would have been—before ever even realising she was under attack . . .

    Taking another breath to centre her thinking, Fiore forced her mind onto a more relevant line of thought. With their presumed “fallback point” approaching (she could see it getting closer), and the Hanging Gardens’ proven long-range offensive capabilities, there was no longer any excuse for holding back. The Great Holy Grail War, proper, would not and could not resume until this threat was eliminated; whatever the cost, it would be negligible under the current circumstances.

    “Chiron,” Fiore ordered, putting will and prana into her order. “By the power of my Command Seal, I order you to be fully recovered from your injuries!”

    Let’s see how they handle your Noble Phantasm . . . she added mentally.

    . . . And if the tone of her thoughts sounded a little more bloodthirsty than usual, even to herself—well, Fiore felt she was entitled.








    Godafrid was glad of the stinging across his face, really—it distracted him from how pants-browning terrified he felt.

    Because he wasn’t bonded to his D&D character anymore, with the druid’s literally supernatural strength of will, and lifetime of combat experience; nor, despite whatever had been done to him, was he really a magus, with their accompanying self-discipline and near-psychopathic mindset. He was just a middle-aged guy in the body of someone a lot younger; while he wasn’t exactly a stranger to near-death experiences, they weren’t all that easy to shrug off, either—and this one had been closer than most.

    What the hell am I DOING HERE? I’m not an adventurer, I’m not a magus—I’m just me! I’m not what Fiore thinks I am—never mind who she thinks I am—and while I’m not willing to bet against Erik and Tamamo, given what I know they’re capable of, if I was a god, somehow, it was a long damned time ago . . .

    . . . And who the hell
    knows who or what XX thinks I am.

    “Master,” said Servant’s voice broke into his thoughts. “Once you and La—dy Fiore,” she hesitated over the choice of words but continued smoothly, “are safe, what are my orders?”

    Right, Frid thought with a sigh, even as he catalogued that XX had started with “lah,” not “lay,” before adding the second syllable of that title. She thinks I’m her boss—for now, at least.

    “Where did you have in mind for ‘safe?’” he asked. Knowing Erik, he’d be throwing ludicrous amounts of firepower—including everything up to the kitchen sink—into the fight; even if that meant bringing his primary base (which would of course be mobile, heavily-armoured, with ridiculous weapons and even crazier support gear).

    On the other hand, though, the Hanging Gardens were an Anti-World Noble Phantasm . . .

    I don’t suppose she has her spaceship handy . . .?

    “My Servant can operate at a distance from me,” Fiore shouted in answer, interrupting his thoughts, “but I don’t know about yours—so we can’t leave the combat area!”

    Frid was reasonably certain that XX had a better Independent Action rating than Chiron did—but before he could even start figuring out how to try to explain that, she blurted, “Also—your Servant flies!

    “Yes?” he prompted.

    “So,” she continued, “that means we have a plan!








    XX smiled to herself as she ascended once more, with Fran (“Berserker of Black” in this operation, she reminded herself) in her arms this time. While it was sometimes an open question as to who had been a bigger influence on her life—her Master, or her teacher—there were things and times where their often-contradictory outlooks and approaches overlapped.

    And all three of them would agree on this: using a meteor just to knock your target into range was AWESOME.

    Berserker perked up as they got close, and XX murmured “A lot of free-floating prana, huh, Berserker?”

    “Uuh!” the redhead grunted, nodding slightly.

    “Good—take as much as you can manage. My Master says this is going to be one rough fight . . .” She scowled under her faceplate. “And he’s never wrong about something when it’s bad.

    “Mm . . .” This groan was much more solemn. As XX knew, Berserker was much more intelligent than most gave her credit for—and while she might not consider things in the heat of the moment (as might be expected, given her class), she was far from incapable of it.

    “Be very careful, Tori,” her Master’s mental voice cautioned quietly. “She likes to spam attacks—beams and chains for sure, but I can’t say what else . . . And I don’t think she’ll have had time to summon it yet, but I know that Semiramis can whistle up a giant frigging SNAKE that’s got venom on par with a Hydra’s—and for the cherry on top, the lady herself can turn everything around her to poison. Your Existence Outside the Domain and Fran’s quasi-undead nature might give you some resistance to either, but it was toxic enough to take out Mordred Pendragon, so don’t engage if you don’t have to.”

    “Understood,” she sent back.

    The mission, in this case, was not to take out Assassin, but her Master; not only was he the primary threat, he was also the sole known source of Assassin’s prana—and with as much of it as she was burning right now, Semiramis probably wouldn’t last seconds.

    Of course, that first meant they had to find the guy . . .

    Her sensors picked it up first, which was why she had the time to throw Fran to one side even as she fired her vernier thrusters—just in time for the absolutely massive reptilian head to pass through their approach vector.

    It was a shade of black with green tints to it, with four yellow-white eyes—two to a side, with a consistency like a shark or octopus’s—and from chin to nose, about as tall as she was . . . Which meant that when it opened its mouth, displaying stalactite-like fangs as long as her arm, that space tripled; easily more than enough to swallow them both whole.

    [Bašmu (larval stage),] Avalon’s database informed her. [Known traits: high-speed attacks, high toxicity, draconic resistances . . .]

    She kept reading as Berserker, her feet having hit the stone wall XX had thrown her against, braced against it—and then shot forward with a roar, trailing lightning in her wake.

    Unfortunately, while the momentum of her blow moved the serpentine form off-course from the point it’d been rearing to strike at, Berserker didn’t seem to penetrate the scales at all. Which meant it was up to her . . .

    Spinning up her lance’s blades, XX darted in to stab at the point Fran had hit, landing multiple staccato blows—that chipped off some outer scales.

    Heavily-armoured and heavily-muscled, she realised. Of course, it would have to be the latter, to be so fast and still be the former.

    This was going to take a while—

    Having finished looping itself under and around, the Bašmu pulled back to thrust forward again, only to meet the Close-In Weapons Systems of her Avalon Armour—what Erik-sensei had called her “quick option”: a dazzling burst of firepower to force an enemy to veer off, but sacrificing heavy hits for speed and multiple attack vectors.

    “Well, Master—we found the snake,” she sent. “Any suggestions?”

    Snarling below, Berserker continued her charge-and-slam pattern, seeming to only grow more infuriated and forceful the longer she seemed to have little effect.

    “Mordred took it with B-ranked Strength, her Prana Burst, and using Clarent as just a sword, he told her. “So I know you can take it; use your Noble Phantasm if you have to!”

    “Are you sure?” she asked uncertainly. “Mine’s EX-rank, too. The drain—”

    “—Will hurt a lot less than feeling you die! he finished for her. “If that’s what it takes, DO IT!”

    Fighting down the warm feeling in her chest that fought with her concern for her Master’s health—even as it agreed with its arguments—Artoria Pendragon weighed her options.

    “. . . Berserker!” she called. “I need you to keep it busy!”

    “RAAAAGH!” came the screamed response—but whether that meant Fran had actually heard her, XX had no idea.

    “I didn’t want to have to . . . No, I really want to use this!” XX proclaimed, charging her weapon once more.

    “The Dazzling Azure Galaxy, namely, Cosmos,” she intoned. “Order of the Aether Universe!” Raising her weapon high, she warned her comrade, “Here I go!

    “TWINMYNIAD DISASTER!”


    The twin spiralling blades of her lance, charged with the Light Beyond the Ends of the World, swung down, bringing with them a veritable maelstrom of power . . .

    She carved through the serpent . . . And then the ground . . . And a sublevel . . . And another . . .

    Eventually, XX hit empty air, the wake of her attack sending a wave of hurricane-force wind barrelling towards the ground—

    “Oops . . . I might have overdone it,” the Anti-Saber/Foreigner Weapon admitted sheepishly to herself, even as she looked up to see the Hanging Gardens several hundred feet in the air above her.

    Mentally, she shrugged, beginning to re-ascend. It would be fine, ri—?

    XX flinched suddenly.

    Why does it feel like Master ought to be yelling at me about now . . .?








    Back atop the Hanging Gardens, Berserker stared in frustration at the large crater her teammate had made, not sure whether it was annoyance at having to wait or at not being able to do that herself that irritated her more.

    And then confusion set in, as the crater was suddenly covered in a thick blanket of fog . . .








    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Is the update coming today or tomorrow? I hope to find out soon.
    Hopefully it's not "tomorrow" where you are, yet; sorry, I had to write it all, first!
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

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