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Thread: The Grail Works Mission Dossier (Discussion & Ideas)

  1. #6701
    吸血鬼 Vampire
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    Forum limits search query results to 500 results, so your search isn't specific enough (that is, between 2012-2014, you posted > 500 times in this thread alone, so it finds the first 500 and stops there)

    If you do "Find Posts: A Year Ago and Newer", you'll find results in the last year, which might be more useful. You could also do keywords to limit the search results more. I found https://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthrea...=1#post1942792 for example, but you might have better results just trawling the thread from page 300 or so, since that's most posts since 2016

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    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    ...the parameters I have for forum posts is fifty posts per thread page. Anyway, point about the amount of time to wade through, thankfully.
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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Cries of Confusion, Part 2 (Higurashi X-over)

    Continuing . . .




    Still unknown place, only later








    After what felt like an hour, Frid was willing to admit that picking a direction at random, so long as it led away from the schoolgirl with the machete, might have been a practical idea in the short term, but not necessarily the long term.

    Some parcel of time after that (another hour, maybe?), he was regretting the fact that he hadn’t just taken the chance to go past her; sure, he felt like hell and she was armed, but at least his death probably would have been quick, as opposed to slowly broiling alive . . . And by the time Frid noticed that the sun had visibly moved, he was getting uncomfortable flashbacks to his second (and last) visit to a particular anime convention, where he’d gotten lost en route due to travelling by different means. The sunburns had left him peeling skin off his arms in strips for a week afterwards, and he suspected now would be no different.

    Assuming that he didn’t just drop dead somewhere on the road, at least . . .

    He’d ditched the coat in the dump. Not only was it the most likely piece to have picked up THE STENCH (along with God knew what kind of germs and other substances), the state of it was too difficult to explain. Most of the damage to the rest of his clothes could be passed off as a maybe-unusually-high level of common wear and tear—or, depending on when he was, a fashion statement—and the remainder would need close examination to determine that it wasn’t, anyway. The other issue (and currently a major one) was the real possibility of heatstroke; the coat wouldn’t help with that, other than to induce it faster. While he might regret leaving it behind by nightfall, depending on how temperatures dropped, for the moment, it was the right call.

    Frid had searched the coat’s interior thoroughly beforehand (choking back germ-phobic paranoia the whole time), and turned up a handful of Japanese yen in a hidden pocket. Not enough to qualify as an emergency stash, more along the lines of “I need to put this somewhere out of the way.” No weapons that he could find, which was both good and bad—there was nothing he’d need to explain carrying, but no means of self-defence, either. Still, having some local currency was a bonus . . .

    Frid was fairly certain he was in Japan, even if “the Japanese countryside” was as specific as he could get. Aside from the psycho schoolgirl from earlier, what few definitive features the landscape had put him in mind of anime like Tenchi Muyo and Spirited Away. What he was doing here, when his last clear recollection put him in Romania (to say nothing of which Earth he was on), was still a complete mystery, but he was reasonably certain that was where he was.

    . . . When the heat wasn’t getting to him, anyway.


    He’d already felt bad upon waking up. Then he’d walked for what at least felt like a couple of hours (and the sun’s position argued that there was at least some truth to that), in summer temperatures, with no shade (he missed tall buildings) or breeze. At this point, only sheer stubbornness was keeping him on his feet—and even that was flagging.

    If I stop, I’m never moving again—if I stop, I’m dead. Keep going. You’re walking along a road—there has to be civilisation somewhere . . .

    Finally, buildings came in sight—though the nearest one gave him pause. It was a pleasant-looking two-storey structure, but the sign . . .

    I should probably take the fact that it’s named
    “Angel Mort” as a bad omen . . . Screw it—I’m too hot, tired, sore, and dizzy to care.

    Mildly curious as to who would think “Angel Death” was a good name for any kind of business, while silently taking it as confirmation that he had to be in Japan (who else would use anything like that, and in French?), Frid took a deep breath, steeling himself, and began to walk towards it.








    Ryudo Temple, Fuyuki
    June 20, 2004









    “Once again, Emiya-kun, I must express my shame at having to call upon your services,” Issei said in a tone of contrition so sincere that it bordered on self-loathing. “It is a gross and unforgiveable abuse of our friendship, I know—but truly, I was at my wit’s end.”

    Shirou chuckled ruefully. “Issei, it’s no problem, really—I’m happy to help.”

    “Truly, you are the most generous of souls, Emiya,” the student council president—and arguably Shirou’s closest male friend—said in admiration. “Nevertheless, I will find some way to repay you for this.”

    Shirou shook his head. “Don’t worry about it—even if it mattered to me, I haven’t done anything yet.”

    The temple, as a place of tradition and worship, was naturally old-fashioned; Austerity and asceticism were practiced and followed here, as a rule. Nevertheless, it had at least some modern amenities, simply as a concession to necessity when dealing with the outside world. Homurahara required a phone number to call, for example, in case of an emergency related to Issei’s attendance. Barring said emergencies, however, or the infrequent appearance of guests, they were rarely used—and even more rarely maintained.

    Naturally, this meant that when they did break down, it typically happened while they were in use and needed; hardly ideal. And even in a relatively small place like Fuyuki, repair technicians had backlogs to deal with . . . Fortunately for Issei, Shirou had a reputation for working small-scale repairs in a hurry—and even more fortunately, he’d been desperate enough to swallow his pride and ask.

    All of which brought Shirou out here at an admittedly early hour for a Sunday, but emergencies, by definition, weren’t the sort of thing that took scheduling for convenience into account.

    “On the contrary,” Issei rebutted. “You’ve already determined that the problem does not lie with the refrigeration unit—and while that bodes ill for the actual scale of it, it means we waste no resources in replacing it, only to find that our difficulties remain the same.”

    “Diagnosis is easy,” Shirou waved him off. “Actually fixing the problem is what counts.

    The shed containing the temple’s fuse box was cluttered to the point of being claustrophobic; it kind of reminded the redhead of certain areas in Tohsaka’s house—where the things she or other members of her family hadn’t wanted to deal with had just been shoved out of sight, with no other consideration than that they were out of sight.

    “You really ought to have someone clean up in here,” he observed. “It’s a trip hazard, if nothing else; and potentially dangerous, with all the electrical wiring running through here.”

    Stuff (there really was no other word for it) was packed everywhere, leaving a “path” that was barely twenty centimetres wide—and even that was hardly a consistently uniform measurement.

    “I will make a note of it, Emiya-kun,” Issei said diligently. “If nothing else, the initiates might welcome the change of scenery in their usual chores.”

    For now, though, Shirou noted, it’ll make hiding my magecraft a lot easier.

    “Step back a bit, please?” he requested. “I need a bit of room to poke around.”

    Issei complied, and Shirou took care to position his body to block the other boy’s line of sight.

    “Now,” he muttered, deliberately pitching his voice low, and dropping the volume with every word. “Let’s see what we have here . . .

    “Trace, on.

    With the cocking of a gun echoing in the back of his mind, the redheaded magus called forth a surge of prana from himself, and sent it flooding into the object before him. Analysis was both a practised skill, for him, and among the most basic of magecraft, so it didn’t take long to produce results—in point of fact, the process was near-instantaneous. Still, Shirou drew things out for several seconds, making thoughtful noises and adding random motions, in order to make things look natural.

    (Third-rate magus he might be, and not necessarily attached to the idea of secrecy, or of “the sacrosanctity of Mystery,” to borrow from one of Tohsaka’s lectures—not to mention, a lousy liar in general—but he could keep a secret, when he had to. And this particular one was a long-ingrained habit.)

    “Ah,” the magus said, as though just discovering something. “There’s a bit of build-up on the fuse, from where it wasn’t quite properly plugged in; not enough to be visible, but enough to keep the contacts from connecting—which explains why it doesn’t look blown. Do some thorough and careful cleaning of both points—say, maybe ten minutes’ work?—and everything should be fine.”

    “That’s a relief,” Issei said with a sigh. “You once again live up to your reputation as a miracle-worker, Emiya-kun.

    “You’re exaggerating,” Shirou denied. “It’s a simple problem, with a simple fix; you could’ve worked it out without me, if you’d known what to look for.”

    “Nevertheless, I am profoundly grateful,” the other boy said earnestly. “And once more, in your debt.”

    Shirou sighed, resolving to just let it go. Issei just wasn’t the type to not give people credit, even for the simplest, everyday things . . .

    (He flinched, suddenly feeling like Saber, Tohsaka and Sakura-chan were frowning at him, for some reason. And Ilya was smirking, which felt worse.)

    Removing the fuse in question, Shirou continued, “Anyways, if you have a fine wire-brush and some cloths, I can—”

    The red-haired magus’s words and train of thought were brought to a sudden halt as his foot struck a randomly-jutting object unexpectedly—but sadly, his momentum was not. With a cry of alarm, Shirou abruptly found himself careening into a tower of knick-knacks, which proceeded to add insult to injury by half-collapsing atop him upon impact.

    “Good heavens!” Issei exclaimed, alarmed. “Emiya-kun, are you all right?”

    Shirou grunted, feeling no major injuries (even allowing for his acquired pain tolerance) as he slowly crawled out of the debris he’d been partially buried under. “I’m fine—lost the fuse, though.”

    “That’s of far less concern than your health!” the other boy admonished. “Are you certain you should be moving?”

    “I’m fine,” he stressed. “Here, let me help you pick some of this up . . .”

    Ignoring Issei’s protests, he rose to a crouch, and began reaching for fallen items. Noting a stack of photographs half-spilled from a box, he began to pick them up, careful not to damage them. Once he had them all, he flipped them over in preparation to see if they were meant to be in a particular order—

    And froze.

    “. . . Issei,” Shirou asked, “what’s this?

    He was very proud of his efforts to seem nonchalant; his voice sounded almost perfectly level.

    “May I see?” his friend requested, hand held out. Receiving the stack, he flipped them back over, muttering, “There should be—ah, here it is. ‘Cotton Drifting Festival, Furude Shrine, Hinamizawa Village: June 19, 1983.’” He looked up, frowning. “I vaguely remember that trip. Father wished to help an old friend’s family, following some tragedy—or series of them, I’m unsure of which. In my defence, I was only six, and did not quite grasp his meaning at the time.”

    ‘Hinamizawa?’” Shirou repeated. “Where’s that? I can’t say I’ve ever heard of it.”

    “I’m unsurprised,” Issei remarked. “He said it was very small—even compared to here—not at all modern, and quite some distance . . . If I remember right, it was supposed to be somewhere on Honshu.” He tilted his head inquisitively. “Where does this sudden curiosity come from, Emiya-kun?

    “Oh,” Shirou said, caught by surprise. Nevertheless, he went with a portion of the truth, as it would be credible. “It just struck me as weird, you know—the American in the photograph really sticks out against the background, and I wondered why he was there.”

    Issei flipped the photograph over, and blinked. “Ah—of course, I understand. That was what prompted my questions, too, when I saw this photograph the first time. I don’t recall that Father was sure himself, honestly; though I do recall he said the man was quite polite and soft-spoken, I think—yes. His exact words were, ‘I was surprised that such a quiet voice could come out of someone so big . . .

    The other boy trailed off, frowning suddenly. “I seem to recall something my father said afterwards about some sort of fuss being made about him, but I don’t know what about—I simply have the impression that it was bad.” He shook his head. “As I said, I was very young when I heard the story, and it was long ago. Nonetheless, I’m sorry I can’t be more enlightening to you—we could go ask my father, if you wish?”

    “That’s fine, Issei,” Shirou reassured him hastily. “It’s just something odd, piquing my curiosity—there’s no real need to trouble yourself over it.”








    Avalon Castle, Phantasmagoria Island (Grail Works, Ltd. Headquarters)
    Outside the boundaries of time and space









    Shirou stormed through the door from his house, demanding in a near-panic, “ILYA—how and WHY would or could Frid-san have wound up in a village in Honshu, in 1983?!
    Last edited by Kieran; October 25th, 2020 at 06:59 PM.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

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    "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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    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Kieran, if only this was done yesterday... then I would've been able to see it on my birthday, man.
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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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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Kieran, if only this was done yesterday... then I would've been able to see it on my birthday, man.
    Sorry, but it was only half-done by then - think of it as a belated present?
    “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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    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Thank you for that. I appreciate the sentiment.
    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.




    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?

  7. #6707
    吸血鬼 Vampire
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    That was a very off-screen Rena there. Interesting that Godafrid seems to have fell through time into the Works' home universe, assuming Shirou is helping out in his normal day-to-day life. That seems... confusing given your theory about how certain spoilers work. And Issei is going to be there, but probably relatively unimportant.
    Not really a lot happening here, apart from some travel and the Works becoming aware of Godafrid's position. Now that I think about it, Ilya doesn't necessarily have full knowledge of this particular story, so they might have to do some investigation.

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    That was a very off-screen Rena there.
    Well, since when does Higurashi go for the obvious . . .?


    Interesting that Godafrid seems to have fell through time into the Works' home universe, assuming Shirou is helping out in his normal day-to-day life. That seems... confusing given your theory about how certain spoilers work.
    It kind of is, but perhaps not . . .?


    A background explanation
    From the arcs I know of (even if I haven't seen them yet), events in Hinamizawa can take very different turns; there's one that's essentially a global zombie apocalypse, one that has Rika as a magical girl, and so forth. It doesn't seem a great stretch that you might eventually hit one where the background follows Nasuverse metaphysics - in which case, things like the dimensional looping (Second Magic), and the purported demon blood of the Three Great Families, can take on interesting implications . . .



    And Issei is going to be there, but probably relatively unimportant.
    Probably - but he may not be the only one . . .

    Not really a lot happening here, apart from some travel and the Works becoming aware of Godafrid's position.
    *Nods* It's mostly setup, true - partly because I'm now playing catch-up (the series arrived last week), and partly because I'm still deciding how some of it slots in (or doesn't, as the case may be).


    Now that I think about it, Ilya doesn't necessarily have full knowledge of this particular story, so they might have to do some investigation.
    None of them likely do, as the Association isn't liable to pay it much mind, and Ilya's better at divining the future than the past in her current position (particularly given the metaphysical issues surrounding the events). Really, there are two likely possible sources, in my estimation, for information; neither will be easy to coax it out of, either (though it may be fun to see them try).

    . . . In any case, this purports to be a rather interesting story, from the perspective of trying to solve a mystery from two different time periods.
    “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. #6709
    吸血鬼 Vampire
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    Spoilers
    Oh yeah, that's not the weird part, that seems like a perfectly reasonable thing, and your previous case about "taking place in the Works' actual world" still holds, though I kinda forgot you wrote that, since it's been a couple weeks. The weird part to me is more that
    Very much spoilers
    the loop in the Works' timeline didn't end horrifically in a way that Issei would recall. Either Godafrid makes it in one go there, or he just happens to end up in that one last, and gets lucky. I did just realize that you could parallelize him and have the Works ITSELF serve as the changing factor between Groundhog day loops, in addition to other dimensional complications, which would be fairly imperfect information transfer in a way that could be amusing, but would rapidly get very complicated.

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    Oh yeah, that's not the weird part, that seems like a perfectly reasonable thing, and your previous case about "taking place in the Works' actual world" still holds, though I kinda forgot you wrote that, since it's been a couple weeks.
    I kind of thought you might have; hence the reminder. It struck me as a neat way to do a crossover that I've rarely actually tried before (and never as a full fic). I have seen them done, and when done well, they're quite interesting . . .


    The weird part to me is more that
    Very much spoilers
    the loop in the Works' timeline didn't end horrifically in a way that Issei would recall. Either Godafrid makes it in one go there, or he just happens to end up in that one last, and gets lucky. I did just realize that you could parallelize him and have the Works ITSELF serve as the changing factor between Groundhog day loops, in addition to other dimensional complications, which would be fairly imperfect information transfer in a way that could be amusing, but would rapidly get very complicated.
    Spoiler
    Well, do keep in mind that people rarely tell six-year-olds certain things (unless they absolutely can't avoid it) . . .

    And yes, that would be complicated; working them in (pardon the pun) in any significant fashion will take effort, but I'm willing to at least give it a shot.




    . . . And with any luck, I'll have another chapter ready tomorrow.
    “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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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Cries of Confusion, Part 3

    Writer's Note: Part 2 has been revised, as I accidentally confused Issei's rendition of events with my plans for another character entirely - sorry about that. I guess I'm too used to thinking in ten-year gaps when thinking of TYPE-MOON . . .



    Continuing . . .








    Angel Mort
    Okinomiya, Shishbone City
    May 29, 1983









    Shion Sonozaki was wiping down a table for the thirteenth time (or so it felt like, at least) when the bells jingled, signalling a customer.

    Looking up, she couldn’t make out much detail, as they were essentially a silhouette backlit by the late afternoon sun, but her first impression was “big.” Then the door closed, leaving only the restaurant’s lighting, and the sight combined with the smell had her think that a walking corpse had somehow stumbled in.

    He was clearly an outsider to the area, as she’d not seen him before—that he was a foreigner was actually a little harder to distinguish, as only the shape of his face made it clear; his exposed flesh was too deep a red to judge its original hue. That, plus the glistening of that skin, and the dampness of his shirt (not to mention the smell) indicated that he’d been out in the sun for far too long. His eyes were more noticeable for being bloodshot than for their colour, as well as the bruise-coloured circles underneath them. His dark hair was matted to his skull, and his posture was unsure; more swaying in place than standing.

    Overall, he gave the impression was someone who was extremely drunk, drugged, or ill, and liable to either throw up or pass out at any moment—so Shion was startled to hear him speak in remarkably clear and polite, if slow (and very hoarse) Japanese.

    “Sorry for the intrusion—could I have a glass of water, and directions to a hotel? Hospital? Police . . .? I can pay . . .”

    The care with which he spoke gave made her think that he was concentrating very hard—trying to remember words from a phrase book, maybe. Or maybe he actually was about to pass out, and it was just that hard to speak. But it was the way he stood, in those moments that he wasn’t wavering, that struck Shion most; he looked exhausted, defeated . . .

    Most of all, he looked broken, and while Shion hadn’t yet fallen so far—she’d never be in her present position if she had, instead, likely still locked up in St. Lucia’s—but she would be lying if she claimed never to have seen shadows of that expression in the mirror.

    When (she’d allowed herself to think that she would never see Satoshi-kun again, to wonder where he was, what had happened to him) Shion had been at her lowest, there had always been someone there to pick her up (her sister, Kasai, her uncle, Satoshi-kun) and they would want her to return the favour, right . . .?

    “O – of course, sir,” she said aloud, stumbling a little on her words as she decided on her course of action. “Just a moment—Master!

    The manager of the restaurant wasn’t too hard to convince; granted, Shion was the employee, but she’d worked for him for a while, now, after all (and more importantly, he was well-aware of her connections). With a painfully-visible effort on his part, the poor tourist (?) followed her towards a corner table, out of sight—something standard in the design of Angel Mort’s franchises, as there were always customers who wanted privacy for certain reasons . . .

    He barely managed to avoid collapsing into a sprawl on the booth’s padded seat and apologised for the display, which surprised her again—weren’t Americans supposed to be rude?

    “It’s nothing,” Shion assured him professionally. “Now, I’ll be right back with some water—in the meantime, please use these if you’d like to clean up a bit.” She set one of her unused cleaning cloths on the table, and a package of baby wipes.

    “Thank you,” the man uttered, bowing as deeply as the confines of the seat allowed.

    “It’s nothing,” she repeated. “I’ll just be a moment, sir . . .”

    She came back with one of the parfait glasses and a pitcher of ice-water. Again to her surprise, he didn’t gulp at it, as she’d have expected a man dying of thirst would, instead slowly sipping—but it was clear he savoured it. Still, to both know of the risks of simply gorging on water after being so dehydrated, and have the presence of mind to remember it under such clearly trying circumstances . . .? She’d certainly made such mistakes before.

    (Like a certain would-be lunch date . . .)

    It was impressive, in a way, and made her wonder just how someone who hinted at possessing such apparent competence had wound up the way he had—but then again, it wasn’t as though her own life didn’t contain plenty of similar examples . . .

    “Thank you,” he repeated, much more clearly, and Shion blinked. His voice made him sound a lot younger than she’d thought—maybe closer to her age than Kasai’s? How did you tell with foreigners, exactly? So far, the only she knew for sure about him was that he wasn’t blond . . .

    The whimsical thought flitted through her head that anime had lied to her.

    A few minutes later, after half the pitcher was gone (and he’d asked where the bathroom was), she was giving directions to the Suekino Hotel. Aside from being where most of their tourist patrons stayed (for the rare tourists they got, anyway), it was one of several places she’d looked at as a possible refuge on breaking out of the Academy, so she knew the address.

    “Thank you,” he said again. “Now, if you’ll bring me the check, I’ll be going.”

    “Are you sure I can’t bring you anything else?” Shion asked, in that coaxing tone used by waitresses the world over.

    “The water was more than I honestly expected to receive,” he assured her, “and it’s all I needed. The quiet rest and pleasant company were a welcome bonus.”

    Shion felt her cheeks redden, a little. He didn’t sound like he was flirting; that, she knew how to handle, but the statement was too matter-of-fact for that.

    “Then it’s OK,” she said. “A little water isn’t worth worrying about.”

    His eyebrows rose. “Are you certain?”

    “I’m sure,” Shion assured him. It really didn’t cost much; her paycheque could take the hit. The worst part of it would be that she’d owe the manager a favour, and she could handle that, too.

    She didn’t mind taking advantage of people, when she could—she’d been chastised about it more than once, in fact—but there were limits.

    The foreigner gave her a long look, causing her blush to return. “. . . I see.” He closed his eyes and looked thoughtful for a moment, and then opened them again and called in a raised voice, “Master?”

    The manager appeared. “Yes, sir?”

    The foreigner smiled without showing teeth. “I did get that right—good.” He reached into his pocket, and pulled out a battered-looking wallet.

    “I am told, Master, that the Western custom of tipping is not looked well on in Japan,” he began, speaking slowly again. “Because good service is expected of employees, and they are compensated by the company for meeting those expectations. However, I would like to show my appreciation of your gracious understanding of my circumstances, and for the kindness of the young lady—because in my opinion, both are beyond what could reasonably be expected.

    “And because kindness should always be rewarded,” he added quietly but firmly, looking at her, “though in my experience, it rarely is.

    He removed a stack of bills, counting off two and laying them on the table. “For your understanding . . .” Three more were added to the pile. “And for the young lady’s kindness.”

    He specifically used “ojou-sama” to refer to her—a title she more often heard referring to her sister.

    “Whatever you do with it, I feel you have earned it,” he finished, rising to his feet. “Thank you for your hospitality, and my apologies for the trouble.”

    He bowed—again, not quite as well as a native, but as well as might be expected of a foreigner trying to be polite—and left, saying “Have a good day Master, and Mis—”

    “Sonozaki,” she said hastily, seizing on the opening. “Sonozaki Shion.”

    His eyebrows rose. “Your parents have an interesting sense of humour, Sonozaki-san—naming you ‘remembrance,’ when you’re so difficult to forget . . .” That toothless smile showed again. “Until later.”

    He left, and Shion stared after the most interesting thing to happen to her in almost a year, not quite sure what to do next, when the manager’s voice startled her out of her contemplation.

    “—rate, that’s almost twenty thousand yen for a few glasses of water and some directions,” he muttered. “I wish every bum off the street paid this well; I’d sell this place and open a soup kitchen . . .

    She blinked. While it wouldn’t be the first time she’d handled a tourist with no understanding of Japanese money, they rarely made this big an error. Glancing at the bills in the manager’s hands, she noted they were foreign currency.

    Definitely looks American . . . But still, that much?

    Shion was no stranger to seeing loads of money being thrown around casually. While very little of it had ever been spent on her, the Sonozaki family was both powerful and ridiculously wealthy compared to most people she knew. Still, it seemed odd for a tourist in that bad a condition to have that kind of money in the first place; she’d have thought he was mugged, going by the look of him—and who would do that and leave him his money?

    Now she was curious. Who was this guy? How did come to be here, and to end up like that? Shion resolved to call her sister when she got off work. She would either know about him, or be able to find out; it couldn’t be that hard for her to learn more about a stranger in their area who looked—

    (Grateful. He’d looked at her, and been grateful . . . When had anybody done that before . . .?)








    Suekino Hotel
    One hour later









    For once, his luck wasn’t all bad. The hotel concierge had been willing to accept his American currency, and arrange for laundry service, while providing a bathrobe while he waited; and all at a very reasonable price. This meant that he could bathe and sleep in relative modesty, without worrying overmuch about his appearance, or spending all his available funds. Apparently, the restaurant waitress was apparently not just nice, but indicative of how friendly place this was, even above the normal reputation of the Japanese for courtesy.

    Apparently, I hit the jackpot when it comes to “places to get stuck in,” Frid mused.

    Now clean (after much, much scrubbing, the loss of at least three layers of skin, and possible second-degree burns) and gowned, he tried his first step towards fixing his problems.

    “Ilya?” he called experimentally.

    Nothing.

    “Not especially surprising, given the last time,” he muttered. “I think . . .?

    By now, he’d more or less accepted that he’d been involved in “the Great Holy Grail War” somehow, but what memories he had of it were still fragmented. How he’d wound up here, he still didn’t know; and he still had the sense that there was something missing; not just the memories, but . . . He’d been an Exalt, hadn’t he? That status didn’t just stop—Exaltations only ended with the death of the host, followed by its passing to someone else. And while it was possible to destroy one, he thought, the host wasn’t going to survive the process . . .

    “All right,” he told himself, “focus on what you know, or can deduce.

    “I’m somewhere in Japan I’ve never heard of—it could be real, or fictional. Judging by the English undertone I could hear when I concentrated on people’s speech, though, it’s some kind of Japanese media; it’s the same effect I got when listening to the Misaki and Fuyuki crews. They sound like I expect them to when they talk, and if they have multiple voice actors, then it depends on who I expect . . .”

    For example, when she was actually trying to use English, Rin switched to Mela Lee’s voice rather than Kana Ueda’s, at least to his ears. It took a bit of getting used to, but he’d managed.

    “Given that things are apparently a lot cheaper than I’d expect, and there’s no sign of a debit machine anywhere, this place is either seriously rural, or it’s the setting of a historical piece of some kind,” Frid continued. “Odd timeframe if the latter, though—unless it’s a Makoto Shinkai or Studio Ghibli piece, maybe . . .?”

    He couldn’t think of anybody else that did late-twentieth-century era stuff without obvious anachronisms like robots, UFOs, or the like. And he’d only seen the first couple of the former’s works, and was almost as behind on the latter, so it was certainly possible—and even of those he’d seen, it’d been a while. Short of spotting Kiki zooming overhead on her broom, he wasn’t likely to recognise anything easily.

    “Can’t contact the Works directly,” he muttered. “And I don’t know if I even have the capacity to utilise a summoning circle—”

    His last identity had been a magus, but if he was no longer a Lunar Exalt, did he still have access to that shape . . .? The fact that he (mostly) looked like Godafrid Úa Súilleabháin was, if not coincidental, just lucky—if he didn’t even resemble what little identification he had on him . . .

    “Too tired to think,” he decided at last. “Not injured that I can tell, and there was that library we passed on the way here—go to bed, and worry about it all after sleep.”

    And if he happened not to wake up, well . . . It wouldn’t actually be his problem anymore, would it?

    Frid sighed as he collapsed on the bed.

    “At least this is a nice, peaceful place for a vacation—involuntary or not . . .

    Contrary to his usual patterns, he was asleep almost the instant his head hit the pillow. This was unfortunate, because he had stayed awake, he might’ve realised the sin he’d just committed: He had tempted Fate—and as Frid himself had spent so many years fondly reminding people who did so, the woman had no self-control.

    He would later look back on his statement in that moment and laugh . . .
    “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

  12. #6712
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Okay, that? You made my day even better, man.
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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? You made my day even better, man.
    Oh? A Shion fan, are you . . .?
    “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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    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Who knows? I might be... if I was able to get the series at all.

    ...okay, in all seriousness, I was talking about the very end of it in particular.
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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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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Who knows? I might be... if I was able to get the series at all.
    Well, I wish you luck if you'd like to try - I managed it, but while the price wasn't unreasonable, neither was it cheap . . . The original "sound novels," by comparison, are - but they're a heck of a lot longer to get through (and there's something like eight or more of them).


    ...okay, in all seriousness, I was talking about the very end of it in particular.
    *Chuckles* Fair enough. I haven't yet decided where or how things will go wrong (God knows, with this series, I'm spoiled for choice) but I am trying to follow the formula - which is, "Everything starts out light, fluffy and fun before it all goes to hell . . . "
    “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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    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    That's a good point, yeah... I'll keep it in mind, especially if I wish to go through with this understanding of the story.

    Yeah, I can imagine how you'd be spoiled for choice, seriously. Now, if only I can figure out how screwed Frid will be by the end of it, and not in the good way.

    Speaking of figuring things out... I hope I can write something up soon for this. I need a definite concept for the story I plan to tell... actually, I have one idea, but I need to run it by you and whoever else first.
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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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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    That's a good point, yeah... I'll keep it in mind, especially if I wish to go through with this understanding of the story,
    Well, failing spending money (or seeing if your local library has the manga as a compromise option), this isn't a terrible introduction to the general concept . . .






    Yeah, I can imagine how you'd be spoiled for choice, seriously. Now, if only I can figure out how screwed Frid will be by the end of it, and not in the good way.
    The video will hopefully answer that; and yeah - given that the characters are generally 15 or younger (17 if I use the live-action variant), his being "screwed in the good way" isn't likely here, either.


    Speaking of figuring things out... I hope I can write something up soon for this. I need a definite concept for the story I plan to tell... actually, I have one idea, but I need to run it by you and whoever else first.
    Oh?
    “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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    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Yep... simply put, in my idea, Shirou becomes a father through adopting two children. Of course, this is part of a mission that he goes on, but the one who urges him to adopt the kids also urges him to make sure that a certain German ends up staying alive and away from the role of Tubal Cain.

    ...maybe a fair bit of backstory would help out here. A number of years prior to this mission starting (according to the local timeline), a God made a human version of himself with the name of Karl Ernst Krafft. He predicted (read: saw this exact event happen so many times, it's not even funny) the plot to assassinate Hitler in the year 1939, was arrested by the Gestapo, and later met with a man in the Reich who made him the chief of propaganda. He then teaches the man who gave him the role the formula of godhood... and, if anyone here is familiar with World War 2 history, you're probably thinking it's Hess who gets this formula.

    Wrong.

    Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich is the one who gets this formula, all because of history being played way too loose for the rest of the story. You can imagine that most of the story plays history straight, but the key portions of it are different. For instance, Heydrich survives a car bombing through last minute mystical surgery, and Himmler commissions a Japanese family to recreate the Longinuslanze Testament (which is supposed to be the spear that pierced Jesus Christ in this universe). They failed.

    Now, this is where the Tubal Cain role comes in. Whoever thinks they can recreate the Longinuslanze Testament gets a curse on the family bloodline, mainly because the one who originally made the Ahnenerbe (which means Holy Relic... I hope I spelled that right) was kinda... what's the right way to say this? *ahem* Anyway, the point is, the Sakurai family (the ones who were chosen) got this curse from Sakurai Musashi down to his great-grandchildren (and whoever marries into the family in the meantime). Then again, the one who inspired the name of Tubal Cain was also a cursed man, but I'm getting off track with that.

    So... how does Shirou fall into this? Simple. Ilya notices that someone requested a mission to save people from their fates in a parallel universe, sends Shirou over to this universe, and waits a week for him to return. Unfortunately (or, if not looking at it short-term, very much fortunately), Shirou had a portion of his paradigm shielding botched by someone stronger than Ilya to allow for him to blend in better... this portion dealt with his aging. This is rather fortunate in that he can find the right time to save the three people he needs to from their fates without having to worry about sticking out like a sore thumb when he's been there for a grand total of 7 years and 7 days in the parallel universe. Eventually, though, he gets married (thus saving one of the three people from her fate as the Fourth incarnation of Tubal Cain) and adopts the other two people as his son and daughter, respectively.

    ...before you think I'm just trying to take Shirou off the market, I'm not. The one he marries is willing to share her husband with his canonical harem (including Rider and Ilya, supposing the latter ends up getting out of her role as the Grail Spirit and has a more mature body by the end of it).
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    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

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  19. #6719
    吸血鬼 Vampire
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    Fast follow-up, nice. Frid's generosity when he doesn't know who he's dealing with is interesting. Given the USD to JPY exchange rate in 1983 (that was ~250 yen to the dollar) he either just gave away ~$80-100, or $200 if you were using the shorthand 100-1 ratio that's been accurate for a while now. Bill denomination was not specified anywhere, but $80 seems implausible with two bills. Using Shion's perspective there was a good touch, seeing Godafrid's behaviour from someone else's point of view is always enjoyable.
    His lack of knowledge when we return to his perspective is more emphasized here, and that is going to be a change of pace. Admittedly he usually has to improvise a bit, but he is deprived of his greatest superpower. I may need to actually watch or read Higurashi at some point just to try and catch things.

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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
    Yep... simply put, in my idea, Shirou becomes a father through adopting two children. Of course, this is part of a mission that he goes on, but the one who urges him to adopt the kids also urges him to make sure that a certain German ends up staying alive and away from the role of Tubal Cain.

    ...maybe a fair bit of backstory would help out here.
    It might, if I understood any of it - I know enough history (and Latin) to recognise a few names, but I genuinely don't understand where you're getting this from. Is this an original novel of yours . . .?


    Unfortunately (or, if not looking at it short-term, very much fortunately), Shirou had a portion of his paradigm shielding botched by someone stronger than Ilya to allow for him to blend in better... this portion dealt with his aging.
    Paradigm shields don't deal with aging at all - it's more a defence against a given universe doing something like, "Oh, you're a magus? We don't have those here, so no." Physical effects still apply, otherwise Works members would be effectively immortal and invulnerable when off-plane.


    ...before you think I'm just trying to take Shirou off the market, I'm not. The one he marries is willing to share her husband with his canonical harem (including Rider and Ilya, supposing the latter ends up getting out of her role as the Grail Spirit and has a more mature body by the end of it).
    . . . This is, I think, a very bad idea. I appreciate that you're trying to leave things open for shippers (and taking people's feelings into account), but doing this would still require every future writer to know his wife and family well enough to write about them, and take them into account when writing about Shirou in the future (not to mention seven years of experience in Nazi Germany). Because once it's done, they can't be ignored - and if they're killed off, somehow, then what was the point . . .?

    . . . It's like turning Saber into a dragon: a neat idea, but a big, sweeping, permanent change.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    Fast follow-up, nice. Frid's generosity when he doesn't know who he's dealing with is interesting.
    It's my inner ham.

    . . . More honestly: partially, he's playing it up for the pretty girl; partially, he's trying to be formal, because it's the way he's been taught to deal with Japanese people, and he's also tired enough to be a bit loopy, and well-aware that they've possibly saved his life, just now . . . But a lot of it is the ham, too.


    Given the USD to JPY exchange rate in 1983 (that was ~250 yen to the dollar) he either just gave away ~$80-100, or $200 if you were using the shorthand 100-1 ratio that's been accurate for a while now. Bill denomination was not specified anywhere, but $80 seems implausible with two bills.
    239 yen to the dollar, specifically, according to my research; and five $20 bills, yes.


    Using Shion's perspective there was a good touch, seeing Godafrid's behaviour from someone else's point of view is always enjoyable.
    Thank you, although I'm not positive I got her perspective entirely right - as yet, there hasn't been much of Shion on her own (when she's not in mid-breakdown) shown, so I defaulted a bit to "professional waitress demeanour" . . .


    His lack of knowledge when we return to his perspective is more emphasized here, and that is going to be a change of pace. Admittedly he usually has to improvise a bit, but he is deprived of his greatest superpower.
    Yup, which will be half the fun . . .


    I may need to actually watch or read Higurashi at some point just to try and catch things.
    *Nods* I'm about halfway through Season 2, myself - but from what I've heard, I've been thinking I may need to pick up the games, just for the level of detail they go into (not that the anime isn't anything but self-contained, so far, but I've heard the inner monologuing is insightful) . . . Either way, I wish you luck.


    Meanwhile, I shall continue my efforts to integrate Higurashi canon into the Nasuverse mythos; surprisingly, I'm almost spoiled for choice in how, but it's working out the most believable adaptation that's stymieing me.
    “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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