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Thread: Fate/Apocrypha Translation (no spoilers)

  1. #261
    分かろうとするな、感じれ Mcjon01's Avatar
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    Just copy it into a .doc, man. Good enough for the Chinese, good enough for me!

    That's an "I don't know", btw.
    Last edited by Mcjon01; June 27th, 2012 at 03:33 AM.

  2. #262
    そうじゃろそうじゃろ Canon's Avatar
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    Sure, no problem. Though I think the inserts look a little too big.
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  3. #263
    祖 Ancestor Matsu's Avatar
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    There's a translation in the works? I love you all Y^Y
    Im proposing a toast: to this beautiful fabric that binds our very world together.
    Of course, Id say the most beautiful thing is watching it elegantly ripped apart.
    Now, drink up! Surely you know, theres always the best time to be had
    in that dangerously intoxicating state, right on the border of consciousness.

  4. #264
    そうじゃろそうじゃろ Canon's Avatar
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    It's not us. At least, I think it's not us.
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  5. #265
    Κυρία Ἐλέησον Seika's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanonRap View Post
    It's not us. At least, I think it's not us.
    Well ... you know those unexplained gaps in your memory? That is absolutely nothing at all to do with a drugged state induced to get you to translate. Just so you're sure.
    Beast's Lair: Useful Notes
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  6. #266
    そうじゃろそうじゃろ Canon's Avatar
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    (゜Δ゜)
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  7. #267
    鬼 Ogre-like You's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seika View Post
    Well ... you know those unexplained gaps in your memory? That is absolutely nothing at all to do with a drugged state induced to get you to translate. Just so you're sure.
    So Canonrap is the Poe of translations?

  8. #268
    祖 Ancestor Black Sword's Avatar
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    Sure, only instead of alcohol, Canonrap is kept on a feed of sodium pentothol!
    Quote Originally Posted by eddyak View Post
    That thread has simultaneously respawned my disgust for 4chan, and ripped away some of what little hope I have left for humanity.

    Was still hilarious, though.
    The first time I was overwhelmed by anime cuteness
    Quote Originally Posted by Black Sword View Post

    Oh my God they look like adorable kittens I want to take them home with me!

  9. #269
    そうじゃろそうじゃろ Canon's Avatar
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    Prologue

    It was a place which existed nowhere else. A world which existed nowhere else.

    Released from the concept known as 'time', the place had neither morning nor night, sun nor moon. Only a pale aurora lit the sky.

    There are no changes in this world. Its wide ocean did not know of waves, and the clouds in its sky did not know of flow. Unable to see the moon or stars, the man who inhabited this world lamented somewhat.

    That was why the man closed his eyes. When he did, he could see memories of dearly missed days. There were many.

    He was so very proud of his past, so much that even after repeating it thousands and tens of thousands of times, he still did not tire of it.

    As always, the man had turned his head to the right, to the left, down towards the earth, up towards the sky, confirming that nothing is out of place as his eyelids closed. Then, he began to see the dream, the phantasm known as 'the past'.

    Now, for the sake of his honor, something needs to be said.

    This truly was the only thing left for him to do. To fight, to heal, to be saddened or angered - these were no longer necessary for him.

    Was it tedious? He could only consent.

    Was it painful? He would likely deny.

    As always, moments from his past would be projected into his eyes, vivid and distinct. His past had been short and thus, its scenes were always clear. They would never fade - never be polluted - and never, ever be fogotten.

    "Wake up, please."

    To repeat once more... there are no changes in this world. Winds did not blow, waves did not break. It was simply a static place.

    That is why, if change were to occur in this world... it would unmistakably be an interference coming from the outside.

    The man opened his eyes. Seeing the unbelievable, he froze. Just how long had it been since his emotions were so swayed?

    "It's been a long time."

    Before him, she smiled. The man felt as though his brain was being jolted, and the sensation made him open the mouth from which words no longer came.

    A lovely girl was there, her hair soft as the springtime sunlight.

    The man knew her well. Every time he closed his eyes, she would appear. He would never mistake her for another. But why was she here? Why was she here... here, where she must never be?

    The girl's brows knitted in sorrow, and she softly touched the man's face with her hand.

    Her finger, pointing out as though in appointment, made the man breathe out a sound of joy.

    "So many wounds... so alone, in this world."

    This is my fault, the girl murmured sadly. That's not true, the man declared.

    This is nothing you need to worry about. This is the domain of my pride. There is no perpetuity here, no eternity, no tedium, no despair, and no fear.

    "I won't ever leave you by yourself any more."

    Ah - and yet your words, the fact that you are here, brings me joy. Simply nothing but joy.

    It should have been an unchanging, perfect world. A world where time was frozen.

    But the girl is here now. And so perhaps it has fallen, no longer perfect, becoming a vulgar and common world.

    The man could not contain his happiness.

    The world will change.

    Time will march on.

    - - - Updated - - -

    ***

    It would be no exaggeration to call this place a battlefield.

    There were homunculi built for combat, swinging gigantic halberds and producing complex thaumaturgical rituals that brought massive destruction to the area around them. Not born naturally, these homunculi possessed corporeal defects which needed to be compensated for, resulting in an extremely short lifespan of two months. But it would make little difference even if it were just two weeks, as their lives were meant to be spent on this war.

    From the moment they were born, forged by alchemy, the homunculi were well and fully matured. They were man-made organisms, born to fight, born to destroy, and born to die.

    At the same time, there were golems constructed by Kabbalistic techniques, doll servants which executed the commands of their master. Compared to the homunculi, built to resemble the human form, these golems were inhuman creations of stone and bronze. What they lacked in number, they made up for in sheer recklessness in face of any and all attacks, using their gigantic bodies and stone fists to crush and pulverize the enemy.

    Any single homunculus or golem here would easily match an average magus in combat. However, both of these forces were being overwhelmed by the opposition in pure quantity.

    Dragon tooth warriors - these were skeleton troops created using the fangs of dragons. By the power of the dragon race, and bestowed with knowledge from the earth itself, every fang buried into the ground becomes an inexpensive soldier. Although they were nearly powerless against the homunculi and golems that had been built for battle, they were legion.

    Created for sport by a Servant of the Red camp, these warriors were thrown into the fray in numbers that might well be endless, wave after wave that gushed out from a massive swarm. And they would not stop until they were completely shattered. Wielding swords and axes made of bone which was tougher and sharper than steel, they came in droves, smashing golems and cleaving homunculi apart.

    It was the very image of brutality. With their simple thought processes and emotions which barely existed, these golems, skeletons and homunculi simply performed the same attacks over and over, never stopping until their deaths, never resting their weapons while their enemies still existed.

    Flames raced, and earth became shrapnel. Wounded soldiers immediately healed through recovery thaumaturgy, instantly returning to the field.

    Let them fight. Let them break. This battle was defined by its expendability. Its soldiers were mere pawns, nothing more than a statistic... no, the battle would never be decided by them.

    Every once in a while, parts of the field of battle would be engulfed by enormous explosions. They came from the powers that be, standing alone yet unmatched by thousands, scything down and breaking down entire hordes with one swing from their weapons.

    For they were the greatest pieces in play, the ones who would decided the fate of this war. Nimble yet unyielding, they flashed like bolts of light, personifications of heroism.

    Suddenly, the air brought violent quakes, bringing down the skeletons and golems in the surrounding area. Everything was scattered, shattered, and turned into rubble.

    A peculiarly empty patch of land had formed on the field. And yet no one, be they homunculus, golem, or even the mindless dragon tooth warrior, would take a single step within. They understood that this one place was the pit of Hell. They would be shattered without reason if they were to fill the space.

    Only those chosen - only Servants possessed the right to exist there.

    Even now, two Sabers stood there.

    On the one side was a silver knight whose small frame was entirely wrapped around by thick armor, making it one single mass of steel. Due to a face-concealing helm, the knight's race or gender was completely unknown. Its weapon was a silver sword adorned with splendid decorations.

    On the other side was a tall man surrounded by an unusual air. The greatsword he held with both hands, much like the sword of his opponent, boasted a magnificence and enormity possible only for weapons which had been tended to by inhuman hands. The blue jewel embedded in the hilt stood out in particular.

    The colors of their swords were silver and gold respectively, and while their shapes differed, both weapons had a brilliance worthy of being wielded by heroes. However, this battle was impossible. The era of swords had announced its end ages ago. Firearms ought to be the conquerors of the battlefield.

    In that case, were they barbarians left behind by time, only existing to be mocked by the bearers of guns?

    No, that would be all the more impossible.

    "...Here I come, Black Saber!"

    Then, gold answered the call of silver.

    "...Come, Rot."

    In an instant, the Red Saber leapt forth with a lion-like roar. The knight's stomp shook the earth, and the speed of the charge pierced the sound barrier. This jump was possible due to a skill Red Saber possessed, called Prana Burst. By instantaneously releasing the magic power carried by the arms or in the body, the knight could rush forward with a momentum like that of a bullet's, and swing the over-sized weapon with ease.

    The force of the jump blew away the remains of golems and skeletons which had fallen to the earth. With such speed, such destructive power, even the strongest land weapon of modern war, the main battle tank, would be pulverized.

    -However, while the leaping knight was one not of the ordinary, its opponent was also an existence who had reached the realm of demons.

    With a fierce war-cry reminiscent of a massive dragon, Black Saber took several steps forward with his golden greatsword in hand. Not hesitating in the slightest at the enemy charging towards him at incredible speeds, the sword he held aloft was swung down.

    If one were to call the silver onslaught a bullet, then what came to intercept it was a high-speed golden guillotine. Steel clashed with steel, and the destruction wrought upon their surrounding by the impact was almost surreal.

    "Ha! That was weak, Black!"

    "Unh-!"

    Steel masses and fighting spirits clashed. Sparks flew. There was no pity, no hatred, only powerful wills who would deny the existence of the other, as well as the whirl of utter joy found in facing a powerful enemy. Ever since the start of this battle, their swords had already crossed ten times. Unconsciously, Red Saber's cheeks drew into a grin.

    Neither of them were supposed to exist in this world in the first place. They were the corporeal forms of extraordinary human beings who had left their names in history and made legends. Heroes whose names did not disappear even after their deaths but continued to live on in the hearts of people, they were known as Heroic Spirits, and the two of them were the duplicates of such - Servants who materialized in this world to follow another.

    Their thirteenth clash - immediately, the world became silent. Their weapons not shattered, their flesh not scattered, the two knights displayed an equilibrium that could even be called elegant, their swords still locked with each other. At first glance, it was clear that the Black Saber held the advantage in terms of physique. The difference between him and the Red Saber was practically that between a man and a child.

    However, it was in fact the golden knight who was being overpowered - the silver knight was overpowering him.

    The reason was, as before, the Prana Burst skill. This time, the silver knight was not using magic power to charge forward, but to augment physical strength. Right now, Red Saber was like a shell with its fuse lit and about to be fired.

    "Haaahhh-!"

    The silver knight - Red Saber stepped forward, its foot crushing down into the ground, and gave a spirited roar.

    Unable to hold on, Black Saber was blown backwards, but as expected of a hero, he simply leapt back instead of rolling around clumsily. His knees did not give out, and his expression did not change.

    Red Saber thrust her sword out. Even without a face to see, one could tell that the low chuckle emanating from the helmet was dripping with scorn.

    "And you call yourself 'Saber', one who ought to be the greatest amongst all Servants? What a disappointment. Or perhaps this is as far as a forgery can go?"

    "..."

    Black Saber became quiet. Certainly, as the Red Saber said, he was a fake Heroic Spirit. There was no way for him to match a proper Heroic Spirit like his opponent.

    Even so, that did not mean he could admit defeat. To save the fallen comrade behind him -- willing or no, he had to fight.

    "...O sword,"

    Black Saber chose the best course of action to bring down the enemy before him.

    "Let thee be filled."

    His voice was detached. He announced this, without a single change in expression despite the incoming death. The greatsword held above his head began to overflow with an orange light.

    "So you would release your Noble Phantasm... excellent!"

    Red Saber muttered with a growl. There was no trace of urgency in its tone.

    A Noble Phantasm - it was the ultimate weapon of the Servant, something which activated by chanting its true name. It could be something which simply had incredible destructive power, or something with a special property of always penetrating and killing the opponent once released, or even something that was not a weapon at all, but the strongest of shields with a speciality against thrown weapons. There were as many Noble Phantasms as there were legends.

    And of course, like Black Saber, the Red Saber also possessed a Noble Phantasm.

    "...Well then, seeing as my Master has given me permission, allow me to respond in kind!"

    Red Saber took a stance with the silver sword. At the same time, the heavy face-covering helmet split into two and became one with the armor.

    Their eyes met. Black Saber raised his eyebrows a little, as though in slight surprise. But of course, for the Red Saber had the face of a young girl. Normally, Servants were summoned in the form of their peak. As such, most heroes were in their twenties and thirties, their prime. However, she was clearly too young. It was likely that she hadn't even reached twenty.

    Besides, the fair features of the girl did not conceal her brutal nature - rather, she did not bother to conceal it in the first place. In her eyes, glaring fixedly at Black Saber, there was a mix of the joy found in battle, and cruelty.

    "...Why did you remove your helm?"

    Red answered the question of Black, sounding irritated.

    "It's nothing. I just can't activate my Noble Phantasm without taking it off first. Do you not have more pressing matters at hand, Black?"

    In an instant, the space centred around the Red Saber and her sword became stained with blood. What was more, the blade of her sword was enveloped by a radiance of blood and, giving off bizarre noises, began to transform.

    Of course, this was not the original appearance of the Noble Phantasm. The pure, beautiful and famous sword was being transfigured by her wanton hatred into a sinister and wicked blade fit to be wielded by a demon.

    "It is time for your execution. Come, meet an end worthy of an imitation, Black Saber-!"

    Red Saber raised her grotesque sword.

    It was clear to any who saw that it would be a killing blow-

    "...I come."

    Black Saber, just as before, stood and faced her directly without any hesitation. Whether he had a winning chance or not meant nothing to him.

    ...It needed to be done.

    Black Saber understood that. He was not risking his life, because he had no life to risk to begin with.

    The orange light and blood radiance swelled instantly. The whirling air around them screamed, letting all around them know that the two Noble Phantasms were completely released.

    They were truly the swords of legend. They thundered, as the stuff of dreams, phantasms which slaughtered foes and pierced demons in the hands of heroes who raced across the fields of battle.

    In their hands were swords. They were two Servants of the Saber class. And they were both of them, enemies whom the other must defeat.



    Clarent
    Rebellion
    ...

    Red Saber raged.


    Bal-
    Phantasmal Greatsword,


    Black Saber bellowed.





    ...
    Blood Arthur
    Against My Beautiful Father
    !!



    -mung
    Felling of the Sky Demon
    !!




    Twilight and crimson lightning raced out and crashed into each other. The two streams of light, like surging waves with simply the purpose of destruction, attempted to swallow one another.

    It was the most unlikely scene possible in the history written by man. It was a clash of two deadly Noble Phantasms, from two heroes who were born in different eras and flourished in different lands.

    Light filled the space and annihilated everything in the surrounding area. The golems and skeletons crowding around them were overcome and faded into dust.

    Everyone who witnessed this majestic, unrelenting scene swallowed their breath. The space filled with Red and orange seemed as though it was declaring the end of the world.

    However, all stories must have an end. The light that had only swelled began to calm, and disappeared like specks of dust.

    The ground where the two had stood was a tragic sight to behold.

    Imagine a butterfly spreading its wings. Such a mark had been carved into the ground. It was the trace of an explosion, so enormous it could be seen even from far up in the sky.

    How many would be able to believe that such a trace was left behind by the slash of a sword? It was certain that a new legend had been born today on this land.

    The impossible clash between the legendary holy sword and the anomalous demonic sword gouged out the earth.

    What decided the battle between them was not their skill, their power nor the difference in power between their Noble Phantasms.

    The Noble Phantasm released by Black Saber spread a wave of twilight in a semi-circle centred around him. On the other hand, Red Saber released a straight line of red lightning from the tip of her sword. What decided the battle was the qualities of their two Noble Phantasms, and the distance at which they chose to take on their opponent. If Black Saber had been a few steps closer, the battle might have gone differently.

    In any case, the victor and the defeated were determined. One Servant had fallen. The other was unable to stand. Brought down to one knee, Red Saber stood back up while shaking with shame.

    Filled with murderous intent, she glared at the fallen Saber.

    "Why are you still alive...?!"

    The Noble Phantasm should be a weapon which ensured death, and at the same time, a source of enormous pride. Its true name having been released, it would be a matter of honor if it did not kill its enemy. And with a Noble Phantasm crowned with the name of her father, the King of Knights, it was not truly pride to Red Saber but closer to a sort of grudge.

    Thus, to Red Saber, the mere survival of Black Saber was unforgivable. Continuing to grip his sword would earn him her hatred. That he would raise his head and even attempt to stand up was something Red Saber could never accept even if it meant she could slash him apart a hundred more times.

    Intense pain racked her body, but it would be no obstacle to any act of battle. Having used her Noble Phantasm to such a degree ought to have exhausted an incredible amount of prana, but her Master was exceedingly competent, so much so that she had the strength to move immediately after using her Noble Phantasm.

    "Don't you dare move, Black Saber. I, and nobody else, will be the one to kill you...!"

    She would lop off his head, and run her sword through his heart. It was a privilege only allowed for her.

    Red Saber took a step forward.




    -At least, I am still alive. Or perhaps I am only alive.

    As always, my heart played its powerful rhythm. The magic circuits in my body sparked, trying desperately to continue being Saber. However, that last attack scattered every last drop of prana I had accumulated. There was no longer anything left for me with which to continue being Saber.

    The armor covering my entire body disappeared, like it was being stripped away. The golden greatsword symbolic of Saber followed, dissolving into the air.

    At this moment, Black Saber vanished from the world.

    When that happened, my consciousness was overwhelmed by the pain of when I had been Saber. Blood spewed from my mouth; tears welled in my eyes from the pain of severed nerves, the force which tore apart my flesh, the impacts which crushed my bones. I desperately tried not to scream, but unable to endure it completely, I began to moan.

    After a while, the pain began to subside, but I could no longer swing a sword. Besides, having lost the power of Saber, there was no way for me to overcome this situation. I still possessed two Command Spells... but my voice would not sound. It was not due to a lack of courage, but the physical pain on my body raising an alarm instinctively. Transformations could only be done in certain intervals. If I were to attempt another transformation, my body would not be able to hold together.

    Red Saber approached, her thoughts filled with murder. There truly was nothing that could be done. A miracle did not occur. No - even after accepting a miracle, this was as far as I could go.

    It was the regrettable truth, but one I must accept.

    I did not feel much fear for death. In my case, it was the same as simply disappearing. I did not have any great regrets. If I had one, it would have been the fact that I failed the ones whom I ought to protect.

    But that was it. It was no great regret.

    It was not wished of me, nor was I asked for help. It was simply a purpose which, for the first time since I was born, I considered and chose for myself. I only wanted to hold to it.

    I did not regret this result. The only thing left was to wait for death. As it drew closer, time stretched out like melted toffee. Unconsciously, I wished for it to come more quickly. Because the more time slowed down, the more I would have to think about that forbidden question.

    -For just what reason did I live for?

    There was no answer. Rather, I wished for there to be none. I never wanted to accept the answer - that I was born to be expended.

    Yes... to die here without care or thought had been predestined of me. There was nothing which I must do, nothing to call a purpose.

    "It humiliates me to no end, not to have finished you in that one blow... but not so much that I would let you live."

    Red Saber glared at me with the cold eyes of a warrior. Even a novice such as myself understood that the sword she held was aimed for my neck.

    "Time to die, Saber of the black."

    Her words were dispassionate; her blade, swift. And white filled my eyes-
    Last edited by Canon; August 4th, 2014 at 12:47 PM.
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  10. #270
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    Lol CanonRap is going to mushroom-slap Commie and steal their Internet Glory?

  11. #271
    そうじゃろそうじゃろ Canon's Avatar
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    It's been out for months without anyone really working on it, I consider it fair game.

    Anyway, I guess I'll do this like Fate Zero - put the 'draft' here and let BL edit/proofread it before I upload it to other places.
    <%canaki> can we move the toast down to be emergency pantsu and put the boiled egg in her mouth
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  12. #272
    は愚かである BlackField's Avatar
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    Thanks for this CanonRap. More Mordred is always a good thing.

  13. #273
    分かろうとするな、感じれ Mcjon01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackField View Post
    Thanks for this CanonRap. More Mordred is always a good thing.
    But this is the same Mordred as before.

  14. #274
    Thanks CanonRap.
    Araya, what do you seek?
    「アラヤ、何を求める」
    ------True wisdom.
    「――――真の叡智を」
    Araya, where do you seek it?
    「アラヤ、何処に求める」
    Only within myself.
    「――――ただ、己が内にのみ」
    Araya, what is your favorite color?
    「アラヤ、好きな色は?」
    Blue. No, ora-- Auuuuuuuugh!
    「青、いや、オレンジイイイイイアアアっ!」

  15. #275
    Inactive Imperial's Avatar
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    Excellent

    Job well done, CanonRap

    I wonder who it is in that unnecessarily vague prologue.

  16. #276
    屍鬼 Ghoul
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imperial View Post
    Excellent

    Job well done, CanonRap

    I wonder who it is in that unnecessarily vague prologue.
    My guess would be Shishigou.

    ""So many wounds... so alone, in this world."
    The kanji was "傷"it could mean wound, scar, etc. Shishigou's described as a "scarface" in Chapter 1 (lollionking).

  17. #277
    は愚かである BlackField's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcjon01 View Post
    But this is the same Mordred as before.
    More Mordred is always a good thing even if its the same Mordred translated slightly differently.

  18. #278
    そうじゃろそうじゃろ Canon's Avatar
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    (No, I have no idea how some of these names are supposed to be spelt.)

    Chapter 1

    It is strange how the dim, empty room seems to twist all sense of distance. It appears unbelievably wide, and yet makes one feel uncomfortably pressed. The candles placed in its center faintly lit the faces of the men in the room, their features unclear and indistinct. The air within the vague boundaries of this room was filled with an inexpressible anguish.

    "So... only one has returned."

    Three gathered here. One is an old man, short but straight-backed, the creases on the skin of his face gleaming like he were a statue carved of wood - Rocco Belfaban, the head of the Department of Summoning who is said to have held this position for over fifty years, though no one is certain.

    Another nodded at Belfaban's hoarse murmur.

    "I witnessed the battle for myself, as well... it was a fearsome sight. That thing should not be allowed to exist."

    It was a younger man, handsome and with red hair. With a single glance at his strong, high-minded gaze and refined features, you can perceive that he is a member of the elite. There was a strong sense of duty in his words.

    His name is Bram Nuada-De Sophia-Ri, the successor of the head of the Department of Evocation, and one of the first-class instructors employed by the Clock Tower.

    The old man nod in agreement and shifts his gaze to the last person in the room who continue to maintain his silence. It is a man with loose long hair, furrowing his brows in seeming displeasure.

    "What do you think, Lord El-Melloi?"

    Lighting the cigar in his hand with the candle's flame, the man called El-Melloi shook his head slowly from side to side.

    "El-Melloi the Second. As much as I appreciate questionable respect coming from an elder such as yourself, keep the 'II'. That name is unbearably grating without it."

    "My mistake. How do you perceive the situation, El-Melloi II?"

    "Well... it's clear that we must alter our approach. After all, we just lost forty-nine magi. One of them survived, but he won't be of much use any more."

    Their operation had been planned in detail, organizing fifty magi. When it began, it was proceeding perfectly in every respect. However, everything was ruined by a single familiar.

    As a result, forty-nine magi perished, and only the last one managed to retaliate.

    "Thanks to his efforts, the chance has come for us to counter-attack. If we can assemble seven Masters, victory may yet be ours."

    "But who can go? Any half-wit magus wandering in would only suffer the same fate. The area of Trifas is under their control."

    After a brief silence, El-Melloi II gives the clear and simple truth.

    "We need to bring in the professionals from the outside. This Holy Grail War is on an utterly different scale from the ones we have experienced so far. The Clock Tower must still provide at least one or two magi, of course."

    The other two signal their agreement. They must choose the seven Masters now. However, there are pressing issues at hand. It would be a great undertaking to choose from the great families of the Clock Tower. It would likely require over three months before the selection can be confirmed due to a variety of reasons, not least the succession and safekeeping of family thaumaturgical crests. It will be far more effective to contract the more readily available freelancers.

    "Then we shall begin gathering the ones whom we feel best for the situation. Let the Holy Church send the last Master. We must obtain their involvement in this war by any means necessary to let all know of our legitimacy."

    "In that case, I will make the selection regarding the holy relics. Time is not on our side, but it should be possible to gather catalysts which will give us strength on par with the enemy's."

    Hearing Bram's words, Belfaban struck the stone floor with his rod as he announced.

    "This is completely unlike all the imitations of the Holy Grail War rituals of our time. In scale alone, it is beyond the Grail War which took place thrice in Fuyuki. We must brace ourselves for what will come. Let them fully regret sullying the name of the Clock Tower."

    Without another glance at one another, the three men each left the room in separate ways.

    ***

    It was the night before Nazi Germany invaded Poland, beginning the Second World War. The city of Fuyuki in Japan was holding its third Holy Grail War ritual. Seven Servants and seven Masters, for the sake of their own desires, began a battle royale until only one would be left standing. But in the course of the war, circumstances occurred which led to the shattering of the Lesser Grail. It was then that that Grail War came to a close, unsettled.

    The problem was what came after.

    The Greater Grail, an omnipotent wish-granting device, had been hidden in the caverns of Mount Enzou. Through a quirk of fate, it was discovered by a magus supporting the Nazis, who then attempted to remove it using military aid.

    There was hard fighting as the three great families of Einzbern, Makiri and Tohsaka, as well as the Imperial Army, attempted to thwart this plot, but coming immediately after the end of the Grail War, they were in a weak position and thus defeated. The Greater Grail, forged by the combined labor of all three great families, was plundered by the Nazis.

    This battle was written in no texts, recorded on no images, existing not even in the minds of the people. However, it was the indisputable truth that a terrible war between guns and thaumaturgy had taken place.

    Now, with the Greater Grail in their hands, surely Nazi Germany would be able to rule the world as they saw fit.

    Of course, such a future did not arrive. As it was being transported to Germany, the Greater Grail mysteriously disappeared. Perhaps it was stolen back by the Imperial Army, or raided by Soviet forces.

    In any case, the Greater Grail which could have become the symbol of the Third Reich and realized the dream of world unification, vanished without passing into the hands of any man.

    With its caretakers having been dismissed and all individuals related to it being sent onto the fields of battle, even the Nazis - the supposed victors - did not know the whereabouts of the Greater Grail; to begin with, there was no one left who even knew of its existence. The magus who took part alongside the Nazis, known as 'Yggdmillennia', had disappeared as well.

    The Greater Grail disappeared. Like a mist, the dream of the three great families - or perhaps it had only been a tenacious attachment to their own mistaken vagaries - dissolved, and Fuyuki was able to welcome the end of its war in tranquillity.

    And so the years went by, until even the youth became elderly...

    ***

    England - where the so-called headquarters of the Association of Magi, the Clock Tower resides. Based in the British Museum of London, here is where aspiring tyrants who wish to lay claim to his or her own section of thaumaturgical history, and many other magi filled with their own ambitions, gather from all around the world.

    It is a fact that, out of one thousand magi, every single last one of them will be met with failure somewhere along this path... but it is well within their rights to dream, after all.

    That is the opinion of former student Shishigou Kairi, in any case. Something hit his shoulder. Apparently, he was so deep in thought that he ran into one of the students. He was about to apologize when said student, face stiffening, escaped from him as quickly as possible.

    He sighed. Then again, this was the usual for him.

    Due to the chemicals they deal with, or perhaps the kind of thaumaturgy they work with, magi will sometimes have their own appearance distorted. It is nothing to be ashamed about; in fact, it is the norm for magi to see it as a source of pride rather than humiliation.

    Yet... Shishigou wondered if his treatment was rather unfortunate.

    Simply walking down the street brought police officers to perform body searches three times (and every time he would escape by casting a suggestion on them). After arriving at the Clock Tower, he was heavily questioned by security magi four times. He no longer remembered how many times students he met in the hallways looked at him with fear in their eyes.

    This is racism! Discrimination! Shishigou wanted to complain, but they would definitely give him this answer.

    "No, but you scare me."

    It is a sorry tale indeed. True, he will admit that he looks rather formidable; he will admit that the clothes he wears is somewhat different than that worn by regular magi. But he is sure that he never forgot to smile...

    That he would think this at all shows that Shishigou Kairi does not really understand what makes him fearsome. It is in his scarred face, his razor-sharp eyes and gaze, his muscular frame, and his black jacket fashioned from hides skinned from magical beasts. On top of that, having lived through many battlefields as a freelance bounty hunter, a thick stench of blood and gunpowder emitted from his entire body. Even to a magus for whom ethics might well be anathema, the horrible is still horrifying.

    "Your smile truly is a horror in and of itself."

    The old man soothed the discontent Shishigou even as he gasped sharply between guffaws. They are in the room of Rocco Belfaban, the head of the Department of Summoning at the Clock Tower.

    In a display case mounted on the walls, there is the skull of some beast that looks like a chimera of ape and elephant. Beside it is a scroll which is clearly over a thousand years old, but rather than carefully kept, seems like it was left there without a care. Recklessly placed on top of the case is a heavy glass bottle, containing a small snake with its head split in nine, preserved in formalin.

    "You really can find anything in this place..."

    If his expert's eyes are correct about the formalin-preserved lizard, it is quite likely one of a kind in the entire world. As he thought this, Shishigou lowered himself onto the guest's sofa.

    "Hardly. It is rare, but serves little purpose. Is it really so valuable?"

    "You mean the preserved juvenile Hydra? Is 'valuable' even the right word to use?"

    "It is a forgery."

    Belfaban let out a low chuckle, as though ridiculing him. Shishigou simply glanced at him and, without any gesture suggesting that he wanted to dispute, sipped his medicine wordlessly. The taste was horrible enough to choke on, but Shishigou contented himself with its recovery effects in dealing with fatigue.

    "Now, there is only one reason for me to call for you. Do you know about the Fuyuki Holy Grail War?"

    Shishigou frowned slightly.

    "Well, yeah. I do."

    A Holy Grail War is any battle that revolves around an omnipotent Holy Grail which is said to be capable of granting any wish. However, when preceded by 'Fuyuki', any magus knows that it refers to an exceedingly unique conflict in which Heroic Spirits are summoned as Servants to fight each other to the death.

    Perhaps due to Association supervision being rather light in this small nation of the East, this Holy Grail War had repeated three times without drawing much attention. It was a poor joke to even suggest that an omnipotent wish-granting device could manifest in some Far East farmland - that was all the recognition the Association gave it.

    However, that all changed by the third Holy Grail War. The Second World War likely had an effect, as due to the intervention of various nations, the Holy Grail War of Fuyuki ended in unusual circumstances. At the same time, information on the system behind this Grail War propagated throughout the magi of the world.

    It was proof of how superior the Holy Grail War ritual constructed by the three great families of Einzbern, Makiri and Tohsaka was.

    To pose a what-if question to this moment of history: what if the third Holy Grail War did not expand to such a scale? This Holy Grail War would likely remain a ritual unique to Fuyuki. The fourth Holy Grail War would likely have taken place just ten years before now. However, the Greater Grail having been lost, the Holy Grail War can no longer occur in Fuyuki.

    Today, variations of the Holy Grail War ritual unfold across every continent. Of course, the majority of them are small in scale, with most only capable of summoning five Servants; even were the ritual itself established, it could not proceed to the point where it could grant any wish.

    "Do you know the true purpose behind the Holy Grail War of Fuyuki?"

    "That I don't know."

    Belfaban looked at him with an unpleasant smirk. Shishigou frowned and urged him to continue.

    "It was meant to pierce a hole to the Swirl of the Origin."

    "What did you say?"

    Shishigou was dumbfounded by the unexpected answer. According to what Belfaban said, what the ritual truly needed was not Masters, but Servants. In other words, the souls of Heroic Spirits.

    The Lesser Grail would temporarily prevent the souls from returning to their throne. With the powerful souls of seven Heroic Spirits, they would open a path to Akasha. That was the true purpose of the Fuyuki Holy Grail War.

    "So, basically, it's different from all those other Holy Grail Wars?"

    Belfaban nodded.

    "The essence of the ritual is unlike any other imitation which copied only the purported purpose of 'granting any wish'."

    The ability to grant any and all wishes was only a torch with which to draw moths to the killing. Even the free-for-all between Servants was essentially meaningless. The format of the ritual was simply too excellent and had to be hidden, though it was ironic how the three great families ended up having to participate fairly as well.

    It is true that Shishigou felt surprise. Surprise - but not much besides. Yes, perhaps that was the true meaning behind the Fuyuki Holy Grail War. However, there was no one left who truly knew this Holy Grail War. The Greater Grail having been stolen from them, the three great families did not conduct a fourth Holy Grail War.

    While Shishigou is unmistakably a first-class magus, it is impossible for him to reproduce the Holy Grail War of Fuyuki. Even amongst the instructors at the Clock Tower, the core of the Association of Magi, just how many would be able to completely replicate such a system?

    Basically, it is a precious piece of knowledge, but a worthless piece of information.

    "So, Gramps... what am I supposed to do about it?"

    Slow down - Belfaban held the impatient Shishigou in check.

    "This is where the complications begin. The most important foundation of the Fuyuki ritual, the Greater Grail, disappeared from knowledge after the third Holy Grail War. You know this, don't you? Well... three months ago, we finally found it. Or rather, we finally found out where it was hidden."

    "So... where is it?"

    "Romania, in the city of Trifas on the outskirts of Transylvania. We believe it has been installed in the oldest building of the city - the fortress of Millennia."

    "And you want me to secure it?"

    "Hm, well, the request is something like that, I suppose - but before that, there is more troubling news. The one who brought this information to us was the elder of the Yggdmillennia clan, Darnic."

    "...You mean that Darnic?"

    "Yes - the 'Eight-Forked Tongue'."

    Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia - the elder of the clan of Yggdmillennia, supposedly having lived for over a century. He attained the rank of Grand, the highest within the Association, and was a second-class instructor in elemental conversion, but his students had a rather low opinion of him. Rather than education, he exercised his true worth in politics.

    Factional infighting, power struggles, competitions for budget - these were all ordinary occurrences within the Clock Tower. However, exhibiting extraordinary political skills, he manipulated and cheated anyone who trusted him, and even those who didn't, betraying and double-crossing - truly, a first-rate swindler.

    "So Darnic is the problem?"

    Knowing him, he likely wanted to involve some sort of transaction regarding the Holy Grail. However, Belfaban shook his head, and a very rare expression appeared on his face - one which twisted his features with displeasure, revealing his anger.

    "The problem is not with Darnic, but the entire Yggdmillennia clan."

    "What do you mean?"

    "The clan owns the fortress of Millennia... and they have elected to secede from the Clock Tower."

    ---

    (Continue.)
    Last edited by Canon; June 20th, 2014 at 10:38 PM.
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