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Thread: I think, therefore I meeeeo-am.

  1. #1101
    Whew! About to slip down. VelspertheCat's Avatar
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    You can make some hot dogs.

    Thanks for the heads up.
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    Is it pimping myself out if it's hidden?
    Index of Stories, Conceptual Writing, and Scenes


  2. #1102
    Don't @ me if your fanfic doesn't even have Shirou/Illya shipping k thnx ItsaRandomUsername's Avatar
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    Oh, and the lack of Grail-supplied knowledge to Mordred even though she's aware the opponent is Siegfried, and that Siegfried here has Gram instead of Balmung? That's got me thinking that this one isn't actually Siegfried, but rather Sigurd, a nuanced but important difference. Not sure what the deal with the 'parasite' is, though it sounds reminiscent of Zouken's MO.

    Lanru is good, wholesome, family fun. Kill the American Fatburger Pig-Eagles. For the glory.
    McJon01: We all know that the real reason Archer would lose to Rider is because the events of his own Holy Grail War left him with a particular weakness toward "older sister" types.
    My Fanfics. Read 'em. Or not.



  3. #1103
    Inactive Imperial's Avatar
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    Feedback of substance:

    The Siegfried lead-in was fantastic. Really sold me on how big a deal he is on the legendary hero circuit.

    I love the dystopian setting. You already got at it with Grail Wars as sporting events, but it was nice and horrifying to see how deep the corruption goes. Grail War-as-rebellion. Cool concept.

    Nice change of pace to see the Association on the back foot for a change, though it makes me wonder if mages as a whole are weaker now thanks to that notion of mysteries losing power as more people learn about them. If I am right about that, though, the Yggs can probably just use the Grail as a cheat code to get back up to par. Weakens all of their enemies while keeping them high-tier. But that's all speculation.

    Given that this was spun off from the Apo initial pitch, I have to wonder if the David and the Rejects will appear. But you also worked in Mordred's absolutely ridiculous final outfit from GO, which makes me wonder in the other direction. Will it stay purely Apocrypha sales pitch?

    But most of this post has been idle speculation, so I'll just sit back and see where our intrepid heroes go next in this brave, new world.

  4. #1104
    Whew! About to slip down. VelspertheCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaRandomUsername View Post
    Lanru is good, wholesome, family fun. Kill the American Fatburger Pig-Eagles. For the glory.
    This is an anti-freedom fic, sadly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Imperial View Post
    Feedback of substance:
    Fortunately I get to do more world building a bit more naturally in the next chapter. Was rough sneaking in bits between attempts to make Sieg seem threatening and not let him be a total push over. Actually, if there's anything on that end that I could've done better I'd be happy to hear. I'm aiming towards the pitch, but with enough differences to make it entertaining.
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    Is it pimping myself out if it's hidden?
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  5. #1105
    Inactive Imperial's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VelspertheCat View Post
    Fortunately I get to do more world building a bit more naturally in the next chapter. Was rough sneaking in bits between attempts to make Sieg seem threatening and not let him be a total push over. Actually, if there's anything on that end that I could've done better I'd be happy to hear. I'm aiming towards the pitch, but with enough differences to make it entertaining.
    I think you're doing an admirable job of it. It's still the opening chapters, so some exposition and worldbuilding is in order. The goofy social media stuff does a good job of showing how deeply ingrained it is in this culture that it's so casual and the school lessons show us how far back it goes.

    But as for Siggy himself: I think you struck a pretty good balance. Mordred got a leg up on him with that nearly fatal blow to the neck, but then she also didn't seem to eager about trying her luck a second time at the boat. Gave a sense that the fight really could have gone either way when she's not quaking in her boots at him nor rolling all over him like a nobody even if she does boast about being ready for a second time. Wouldn't be Mordred without the ego.

    I have to wonder what all that parasite stuff was, whether it's a pseudo-Command Seal like the Book of False Attendant or a sign that Sieg doesn't really like his line of work. If I take the word "parasite" at face value, it makes me wonder why anyone would want to siphon power away from what should be a top-tier Saber. I suppose we'll see.

    I'm also going out on a limb and assuming Lanru is Vlad's Master this time around, which begs even more questions. Is Darnic rocking a different Lancer? Will Lanru have a hard time controlling the nobler, more sensible Apo-Vlad? How many more cameos of that stripe should we expect? Et cetera.

  6. #1106
    Never quacked for this Kyte's Avatar
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    The brainstorm is still primarily initial pitch, but we throw in certain ideas when they're good or funny. In this case, Mordred's outfit was entirely to enable the gag. Originally it was just gonna be armor spikes.

  7. #1107
    Whew! About to slip down. VelspertheCat's Avatar
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    Zeroth Grader Disease, 2

    "Love Conquers All"

    *-*-*

    Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald really hated Japan, even thought it hadn't started that way. The history professor had been all pluck and vigor when he had been personally invited. It had brought his Mum and Dada almost to tears. Now, though? He was always going hungry because of their tiny portions, the locals always stared at him, and the worst thing...

    They had fired him from his teaching position at Tokyo University.

    Him!

    Weren't they the ones that had invited him all the way from Britain to come bring them out of their scholastic Dark Ages? It wasn't his fault the small minded gooks he taught were too busy worshipping penis statues or whatever banal practices they believed in, he had wanted those research papers turned in when they were due and nothing was going to stop it. He didn't care about 'micro aggressions' or whatever poppycock the mindless fool complained about, egalitarian practices or not.

    Worse was that a few of his co-workers had agreed with him about the crappy students, proving that he was clearly in the right.

    So now he sat, in some washed up dive of a bar, staring at stupid Japanese people as they guzzled piss water and made fools of themselves. Kayneth, the oldest of the group of professors, simply sniffed derisively and waved over the bartender. The rotund man, who looked like he had monopolized the nation's supply of rice, jiggled over towards the ex-professor.

    "Do you have anything better to drink?" He asked, refusing to raise his tone over the drivel that was warbling through the set of speakers on the ceiling.

    "What?" The bartender wheezed, breath on the more humid side of death. "Speak up, pretty boy."

    A set of choice words leapt up to Kayneth's lips, but the bartender slightly moved to the side and exposed a baseball bat on the back wall. Of course, the idiots that had come with Kayneth were too busy wrapped up in themselves to see what was going on. The ex-professor assumed that the feeling he had towards the bartender must be quite mutual.

    Kayneth's lips curled into a nasty expression, causing the tip of his nose to start twitching. The muscles on his neck visibly were visibly spasming as he tried to keep the flush of anger off his face. He pushed the glass towards the bartender.

    "Give me another."

    "Of course."

    A throbbing beat began to burst out of the plasterboard through hidden speakers, making the professors around him slur excitedly and throw their arms in the air. Kayneth jerked in surprise, reaching for the stained countertop despite his own intentions. It stayed a very unelegant fall, but he felt a pinch on his finger.

    He swore to all the heavens that if he caught some sort of disease, he was going to...

    "Woo!" One of the professors swayed in place, taking a swing at Kayneth in a misguided attempt to hug him as he slurred. "It's starting!"

    The ex-professor leaned to the side.

    Kayneth rubbed at the cut with his embroided handkerchief, ignoring the pitiful moans of his former colleague from the ground. He looked up to talk to the bartender; the fatman could hopefully get Kayneth something to use to treat himself, but the oaf was looking towards the back. Actually, most of the men in the room were looking that way too, weren't they?

    "Why are the lights dimming?" He demanded, but wasn't heard. "I can't drink like this!"

    Now what could be that interesting over there?

    Just a group of chairs tacked up high, along with some tables, and someone walking out from behind cover?

    Oh, it was a woman, was she a waitress?

    The cheers started up.

    "What are you idiots doing?" He asked. "Stop this at once!"

    Kayneth nearly joined bobble-headed Mino from the engineering department on the ground. He scrambled to his feet as fast as he could, feeling every fluid ounce sloshing around inside his belly. It was all he could do to keep himself from topping over on his face from his hampered mobility.

    The music continued to pump, a dull thump that was matching the beat inside the back of his head.

    "You stupid japanese, listen to me!" Kayneth shook his fists inpotently, swaying forwards.

    Boos rose, and a few napkins were thrown at the British man.

    "Bully on you!" He threw his arms out. "Smart little gooks can throw, good on you."

    The woman blinked at Kayneth, gauged him with a once over, and promptly stepped around him to continue.

    Kayneth smiled at the cheers, keeping his back towards the waitress.

    "That's right!" He swaggered to the right. "You idiots like that sort of thing, don't you? Well, then let old Professor Kayneth educate ya! At least you're better than my old class."

    "You get her, Archibald!" Mino hollered from his spot on the ground.

    Kayneth blinked owlishly, spinning around to the left, while the red haired woman behind him swayed around his back to the right.

    The crowd started to laugh.

    "Miss," He swiped at the air in front of her. "D-don't encourage 'em."

    "Shut up." She ordered in English. "Get out of my way."

    Wait, up close, wasn't she a European? She had the cheek bones of nobility to her! What was she doing serving these idiots their piss water.

    "Take it off! Take it off! Take it off!"

    Kayneth wheeled about, pinwheeling his arms to keep from toppling over.

    "You *animals*," He proclaimed, spittle falling from his mouth. "I will not have reprobates such as yourselves-"

    He felt a tug on his overcoat's sleeve.

    "Hey, I think it's cute and all, but..." The waitress had her top off, exposing herself to all the lights. "Why don't you pick your battles a little better?"

    "OH MY GOD!" Kayneth shied away, arms shooting at perpendicular angles to keep him from even touching her bare skin.

    "Hey." The redhead frowned. "Ouch, man."

    "Get the fuck out of Sola's way, gaijin!"

    A bottle flew out from the crowd, slamming into the back of his head, knocking Kayneth down and out in a single shot.

    "Oi!" The woman hollered as a warm darkness swept over Kayneth's vision. "Watch the merchandise, I just got a lif-"

    *-*-*

    A sharp pain registered in the back of Kayneth's head as he woke. He found his face pressed up against a couch with an elementary arithemtic board pattern. Right now, his nose was smooshed up against nine. His right arm and part of his body was dangling off the right side.

    He tried to sit up, but his head helpfully pulsed.

    "Oh, you're up." A woman with a sort of familiar voice spoke from behind. "Don't recommend getting up, you took a real nasty looking hit."

    Kayneth's body went stiff; head injuries were terrible things, if he remembered right. It could lead to all sorts of complications, even death. His posture must have said the whole story, because the woman drew near.

    Her bare legs came into view.

    "It'll be fine. I've been in a few scraps too. It just looks worse than it really is. I went ahead and patched it up for you." The disembodied set of legs told Kayneth.

    Painted toes wiggled boredly up at him from a set of black sandals.

    "D-do you have something to drink?" Kayneth asked, deciding he really needed to clear his senses if he was thinking like this.

    "Huh? Oh, sure." She said, retreating. "Really lame of all your buddies to jet on you, though."

    Kayneth closed his eyes. Ah, so that's how he wound up in this place. This overly illuminated room that was trying to sear the back of his eyeballs off.

    "They weren't." He started, and then clarified for the benefit of the woman. "Friends of mine."

    She returned and squatted down. He tried to shift in place enough not to set off the hurting and the splitting of his head. It afforded him a good view of his benefactor.

    "I'd certainly hope not." That waitress half smiled. "Here you go, 'Professor'."

    She handed him a cup of water.

    Kayneth placidly took it, and took a deep sip of water as he looked over her shoulder. Several feathered boas dangled on hooks. Minimalistic wear, with emphasis on maximum cover also were lazily thrown about. Posters of women twirling on poles were plastered over as much of the walls as they could get away with. A large circular mirror dominated one side of the room with a stand in front of it loaded with makeup; there were a few large denominations of yen stuck on the frame.

    So she was definitely not a waitress, huh?

    "Former." He said. "How did you know...?"

    "Not curious? Everyone gets surprised when they find out how good I can hear things." The lady said, looking disappointed. "I'm Sola-Ui. Just call me Sola. What's with that look? You've been surrounded by Japanese too long if you think I'm giving you my last name."

    "Uh, that isn't your last name?"

    Sola shrugged.

    "I know, right?" She shook her head. "I think my uncle got to name me when I was born. Or was it my aunt? They were from the old country, didn't speak very good english."

    Kayneth found himself smiling.

    "I'm Kayneth." He said.

    "Well met, Kayneth." She clapped her hands, and then placed them on her hips. "By the way, you owe me ten thousand yen. I had to end my session earlier 'cuz of you. But don't worry, I went ahead and helped myself."

    "Eh?!"

    *-*-*

    Why did he bother coming back?

    He took a left immediately after walking past the third traffic light at the corner of Sakamoto.

    She made him feel so terrible every time.

    The base was a little ways ahead, which made this dive the best place in the city for people looking for piss water.

    Was this what being an addict was like?

    And he entered a short alleyway, focusing on his surroundings instead of giving his thoughts the time needed to reach more terrible depths.

    Kayneth waved aside some leaflet banners that had been strung between two poles, but had lost enough tension to droop down to face level. He reached for the entrance ahead of him, illuminated with tacky neon signs. At least he still had enough awareness to proclaim this the shittiest bar in existence.

    The door bounced off its track when Kayneth entered the Red Top.

    Case in point.

    Whatever frustration he going through must've been audible. The fat owner looked up from where he was attempting to chat up a square jawed, dead eyed foreigner. The foreigner used the distraction to take her drink away from the bar and take up a seat at one of the small, circular tables strewn about the small bar.

    "Just kick it, lover boy!" The fat man hollered at Kayneth, and then clicking his tongue when he noticed the woman had left.

    The tip of Kayneth's nose twitched, but he slammed his foot hard against the door, kicking it back into place. Part of the door, directly where he was sure his heel had slammed into it, felt substantially weaker during the blow. He wasn't going to say anything to that lardass about it, simply walking up and just dropping some bills on the table.

    "I assume our prestigious professor won't be having anything today?" The bartender asked, but the question was purely academic, since Kayneth was already walking over towards another empty table. The sweaty man picked up a towel that must've been white at one point and waved it at Kayneth's back. He didn't stop hollering after the former professor even when Kayneth was already seated. "Have fun! I'll put on a nice song for you and Sola, okay? Hahah."

    Kayneth pulled out a book on job certifications, pens, paper, and a few applications out of a backpack he had with him.

    Finally, he took out a brick as big as his head, and let it land heavily on the corner of the table.

    A few of the people not used to the sight stared at Kayneth strangely. He was used to it, and he wasn't going to be changing his routine any time soon. There wasn't anything worth drinking here, and most of the clientele had an air of desperation to them. Kayneth started reading through the technical manual, making a few notes if something caught his eye.

    *-*-*

    At some point in his work, Kayneth decided it was time to check that letter. He had kept putting off reading it for so long that the paper had taken up permanent residence in a corner of his backpack. If he was a more superstitious person, he would've claimed that his pack felt about eight kilos lighter as he removed the paper and opened it up.

    His eyes scanned through the cursory well wishes, written in Mum's flowery cursive. It went on to talk about the countryside had started getting colder this season. Then talked about how one of the servants had a baby, and had taken a paid break for a few months, and what a chore it was to break in the new help in the meantime.

    Blah blah blah... remodeling for the season ... blah blah blah ... sister missed him - ha, that was laughable, that shrew had only a chunk of frosted over coal for a heart.

    It wasn't as bad as he had been fearing, he had stopped taking calls from his family a week before this letter had arrived. He had been expecting something sharper in tone for his decision to stay in Japan. Maybe he was just being a silly billy afterall. Kayneth set aside the third page of the letter he had been sent and picked up the last sheet.

    It only had a single phrase written in plain script.

    "You're disappointing me, boy."

    Kayneth winced. So that's what it felt like when the axe came down.

    The man grabbed the letter, crumpled it in his fist, and shoved it back into his backpack. At the moment, it could stay down there and grow moldy for all that he cared. At least the little brat hadn't contributed towards the letter, he would have tossed it in an incinerator the first chance he got.

    The back of his head started to throb, his old injury acting up again.

    Kayneth sighed, and pressed his forehead against the books. He was losing his temper more easily these days. The doctor had told him that the cuts he had gotten in the back of his head that terrible night had healed up, but he didn't really trust that quack. They had told him to take it easy too, but look at him, he was doing just fine.

    He had too much work to do to take it easy.

    Kayneth shifted his head so he could look at another of the books he had brought with him. The statutes inside were still vaguely mystifying without the help of a lawyer, but he thought he had a case. He just had to figure out how to pitch his argument that his firing was illegal, and he'd get back. No shit head politician nor their pansy liberal kid was going to keep him from getting tenure.

    He had been so close to it too...

    Once he got it, *then* he'd quit on them and go back home.

    Now, if only this damnable headache would just go away!

    The lights in the room began to dim.

    Kayneth shifted in place a third time, putting on airs as he blankly stared down at his notes, while all around him leers and catcalls were thrown with abandon as Sola came out.

    Ah, it was almost time to actually talk to someone decent for a change.

    *-*-*

    Another 'female performer' brushed past Kayneth and Sola while they headed backstage. Kayneth had been told to at least call them that or risk the wrath of the police. The girl, probably about college aged, gave Kayneth a nod of acknowledgement. The older man paid her boss enough to be able to go backstage, so he was allowed in the back. What mattered was that Sola seemed to be alright with the guy too, so none of the girls had any reason to complain.

    Neither of the two British borns said much as they entered Sola's room, letting the cheers rise up behind them.

    Sola undid the lock to her room and headed inside with a sigh of relief, but looked back at Kayneth. He was squirming in place with his backpack in front of him, looking like a little boy as usual. The redhead rolled her eyes and somewhat harshly barked at him.

    "What are you doing?" Sola asked. "Do you want an written invitation? Get your ass in here. I swear..."

    Kayneth felt his headache fade a bit when he shut the door behind him. He wondered why the rest of the bar was so cheap if the rooms were soundproofed so well. Well, he wasn't going to complain, he walked over towards the couch and sat down on it. The second he sat down, he felt something loosen in his body, and he practically melted in place.

    Sola snickered, walking over to her dresser and pulling out a cloth, she started her own usual rub down as she removed layers of makeup.

    "I tried something a little different tonight." She said.

    Kayneth had gotten into her cooler, and was pulling out a bottle of his favorite soda.

    "I noticed the idiots were more eager than usual tonight." Kayneth said, having been focusing on his work.

    Sola scrunched up her lips, she hated that stuff.

    "That stuff is going to kill you." She chided, making a face as she looked into her towel. Yuck. Sola tossed it aside and grabbed another one. "Why not some Steamed Apple Juice?"

    She could grab it at Starbucks with her Frapuccino, and save herself some time in the morning.

    "Mmm."

    "I like cinnamon with my Steamed Apple Juice." Sola said. Then she swiped beneath her eyes with her clean towel. Animal fat sloughed off her skin and onto her clean towel. Geez, it sometimes made her shudder to think what her complexion would be like if she didn't let herself air off most of the day.

    "Ah."

    "It's a really healthy alternative to soda." Her ears perked up, but she could only hear a bit of laughter bubble from the direction of the bar. It never made sense to her - who mixed stripping and comedy? Her ego would shrivel up and die if anyone so much as giggled after she took her clothes off.

    "Cinnamon is a pretty weird name, huh?" She ducked to pick up a bottle of lotion she picked up.

    "Hm?"

    "Yeah, but it could've been worse, it could be cinnamomum. I heard that on the cooking show I saw last week. Trying saying that three times fast. Cinnamomum cinmamonum ci- damnit." She started rubbing her cheeks.

    "..."

    What the heck?

    "...mmm."

    Was he ignoring *her*?

    "Like, not to be mean or anything, but diabetes risk factors are a pretty common thing at your age." Sola could at least recall reading something like that before.

    "..."

    Sola looked at Kayneth, the man seemed to be staring up at the ceiling. She slowly started matching the hue of her red hair. Her cheeks puffed out like an enraged squirrel, and she immediately damned her own mind for making that old comparison that her father used to make.

    "Hey," She started, uselessly waving at him. "Cinnamon is mostly grown in Tibet."

    "Huh."

    "A long time ago, holy people were chosen because the scent stuck to them." She hopped off her seat. "They were called lamas. Llamas? Whatever."

    "..."

    Sola walked over towards her fridge and rooted around in it.

    "Like, the scent proved they were the old holy people, reborn or something." She uncapped her water bottle. "I bet I'm like a really super powerful witch reborn."

    "Ah..."

    "You were probably my first victim." Sola walked up to him, staring down at him. "Don't piss off a witch."

    "What?" Kayneth blinked awake.

    Sola poured the water down on him.

    *-*-*

    "So, you lost your case, cheer up." Sola stretched out her legs on her dresser, humming as she did her exercises without a care that Kayneth was in the room with her. Had to limber up since she had to do a twofer tonight. The wannabe comedian had gotten scouted out, how nice for her. "There are still people working at this shitty place, so you're still a step ahead of us in life!"

    Kayneth looked like a sad shriveled up little raisin sitting on her couch in his ratty suit.

    Well hey, here was a perfect target. Besides, he'd be eager to get his mind off his troubles. Maybe if she got good she could get out of this dump too?

    "Wanna hear a joke?" She asked, wanting to practice her positively fossilized sense of humor. "Knock, knock."

    Kayneth sighed.

    "No?" She held up a hand, fingers held a little bit apart. "Just a little?"

    Kayneh looked up at her, with his lips practically drooping off face.

    "Geez, now you're making me feel bad too." Sola huffily responded. She turned around and reached into her bag. A tiny little bottle gleamed in the light. "Look, here, drink this."

    In deference to Kayneth's lack of hand-eye coordinations at the best of times, she gave him an easy underhanded lob. The man fumbled with the bottle and managed to keep it from spilling all over him. Since she was feeling like a good girl today, she passed on the opportunity to rib him - because seriously, not even her softball league back in highschool needed such a delicate toss.

    "What's this?" He asked.

    Now why did he have to start with a hard one.

    "Eeeh." Sola drawled. "Just drink it."

    Kayneth stared back at her.

    "Liquid Courage!" She rooted, waving her arms up. "Get up and at 'em."

    "Why?" He asked.

    Sola mimed a drinking motion.

    "Like 'ganbatte' and stuff, huh?" She responded.

    Kayneth turned an accusatory expression at the tiny bottle in his hands.

    "What's in it?" He asked.

    "If you have to ask, you definitely need to drink it." She used some circuletous logic on him.

    "Sola..."

    Sola heaved a long suffering sigh.

    "I'm just trying to help you." She said. "I would've charged anyone else for it."

    Kayneth still looked hesistant.

    "If someone gives you something, says it's going to help you out, and they aren't trying to scam you or get laid, you should take it on blind faith." She crossed her arms in front of her, as if to end conversation.

    "But..."

    "Don't you trust me?"

    "That...!"

    Sola stared at him.

    "Oh, what the hell." Kayneth unpopped the cork and swigged it in one shot. "Got nothing better in my life."

    She smiled.

    Kayneth stopped paying attention as all the colors and lights just bled all together.

    *-*-*

    Brave Sir Kayneth rode amidst the bountiful hills and down through the treacherous valleys.

    Slant eyed goblins always heckled at him through his journey, lashing at him with a thousand arrows, but they could not pierce the fairy enchantments on his jet black bodysuit. They tried to run him down with their war engines, but his faithful steed Penelope was always a step ahead. The fools ran their own weapons into the sharp cliffsides, shattering themselves up against mother nature herself.

    Survivors crawled out of the shattered remnants, broken and battered, but Kayneth was already guiding his horse onwards away from the pathetic wretches.

    Thanks to the sudden attack, he now knew that their camp was nearby, because why would there be such immobile equipment out in the middle of nowhere?

    He pulled on the reigns while making a call to ride.

    Penelope answered with a heartful neigh.

    The paths twisted and turned, darkened and lightened as the canopy overhead shifted. Before too long, the knight could smell the faintest traces of smoke in the depths of the valley. For a moment, he felt a moment of pity for the creatures, it was truly unfortunate that they could not do more. They were intelligent, but they turned it only towards aggressively attacking the innocent.

    The goblins were too dangerous to leave alive.

    Knight and horse charged a camp of monstrous little creatures, shouting war cries as they rushed through a sea of tents.

    Many of those monsters met him, but none bested him. His spears and Penelope's hooves were gore stained by the time they finished their grim work. Finally, all that was needed was to make sure to destroy the spirits of any that might have wandered away on scouting missions or left to go hunt. His twin spears speared through their banners, giving the goblins their own notice of dismissal.

    Kayneth took a few deep breaths when his ghastly work was over.

    Penelope grew startled, nearly knocking the man off when a mountain of a goblin pushed his way out of a half collapsed command tent to the east. It was ten times the size of the goblins that were lying dead at his feet, but its dull eyes lacked the hint of humanity that he had seen in the others. The rotund butterball in front of him was simply a beast, wearing tattered rags about its frame and holding a chain.

    Kayneth urged his mount onwards with a shout, swearing at the beast to end its life here and now.

    The beast exposed its rotted teeth with the dopey smile it gave him. Suddenly, the beast pulled on his chain, eliciting a shriek from a woman that stumbled out from the tent. He only had time to see the fear in her eyes before he pulled hard on Penelope's reigns. It must have come as a shock, she wasn't able to stop herself in time, and both of them took a spill as they rolled in the mud. His heart sank as he heard her call out in pain; Kayneth prayed that none of her legs had been broken.

    The hambeast bobbed in closer, sneering down at him, while it dragged the woman behind him. While the beast looked as pleased as a pig in the slope, the woman looked to be on the verge of tears, ashamed of the part she had unintentionally been forced to play. She looked away from Kayneth, presenting her full profile to the righteous knight.

    Wait- wasn't that Lady Sola-Ui of Ur?

    Kayneth was only able to find one of the spears. The other one was nowhere in sight. He leveraged himself out of the muck with it, and charged at the beast. It snarled at him, dropping the chain and coming at him with a large mug in its hand. The moment it let go, Lady Sola-Ui started running away to the cover of the woods to the east.

    Smart girl, he thought, as he met the goblin in battle...

    *-*-*

    Kayneth opened his eyes. He was lying down on old cobblestones. They were scattered about a forest clearing. Signs indicated that there had been a rather large building around, collapsed pillars and large archways still standing. A deep jade forest stretched as far as the eye could see, wild and chaotic growth unchecked by civilization.

    "A heart full of justice, huh?" A man in the same bodysuit he had been wearing walked out of the forest and addressed him rather familiarly. "I can't say I dislike that sort of thing."

    Huh? What was he talking about? Where were they?

    "Uh," His brain caught up, remembering his dream. "I don't think it was justice I was fighting for there."

    Maybe Sola was right, he needed a break.

    "If you fight for justice, I will stand at your side!" Did the other man just ignore Kayneth? What a cheeky little bint. Kayneth really hated being ignored, he was similiar to Sola that way.

    "No, that was for my ego." Kayneth shot down the pretty boy.

    The other man seemed to struggle with something internally for a moment.

    "But you are just!" He finally decided, causing Kayneth to sigh. "And justice makes you worthy of being my lord!"

    "Wait a second..."

    "Just call out for Diarmuid Ua Duibhne," The man started quickly walking away. "I will always answer, Master."

    The collapsed pillars and foundation of some large sort of ruins faded away.

    *-*-*

    Snores greeted Kayneth as he woke up for what seemed like one too many times today and stared up at a familiar ceiling. He groaned as he sat up, cans of beer sloughing off his body. An grunt resounded from somewhere deeper in the refuse, it sounded angry at the noise.

    He looked around, shortly finding the glass divider in the center. It was filled with water and had countless jellyfish swimming inside. The ceiling had a glittering chandelier which had strings of shining lights dangling off it.

    Everything was colored a calm blue.

    He remembered these rooms, he was at the Hotel Hyatt.

    He used to come here all the time on the college's dime. Why did he wake up here? Wait, where was Sola? Oh no...

    Kayneth staggered up, drunkenly swaying and almost falling onto his face every step of the way, and took stock of the room.

    The room looked like a tornado had come sweeping through. There were a handful of people drooped against the walls. Others were had various degrees of clothes on their bodies.

    Kayneth's hands shot up, covering his crotch and chest, and he breathed a daint sigh of relief when he felt his clothes.

    Okay, okay, now what?

    He didn't want to get involved in whatever he had woken up in the midst.

    While he considered running, he heard the tell tale noise of the room's lock coming undone, taking away the decision for Kayneth. The blond quickly looked around for a weapon, finally settling for an overturned lamp that had someone's jean skirt dangling off it. He yanked its power cord off the wall jack and held it up above him like an improvised club.

    Sola blinked at him, holding a plastic bag in between her arms, which overflowed with bottles and cans full of chilled alcohol.

    "Oi!" She slammed her cargo down on an oak table next to the door, making a few females utter angrily from the direction of the self service bar in the corner. "Good morning, sleepyhead!"

    Kayneth hesistantly lowered the club.

    "What's going on?" He asked.

    "At the rate you were going this last week, I thought I was going to drop dead soon!" Sola grinned at him. "Really nice of your sister to give you that loan too, glad she agreed with m-hey, what the heck are you doing to yourself with that cord!"

    *-*-*

    Wise Up!



    Sola-Ui

    (An Unladen Sola is Worth Three In The Bush)


    Sex: Ahah, he wishes.

    Blood Type: Blue

    Weaknesses: Poverty

    Preference: Chocolate

    Circuits: Short-distance

    Circuit Count: Two before breakfast!

    Land Speed: 10km/hr


    A return to form and in a brand new world! Welcome, welcome! Madame Sola-Ui returns to us as the apple of Professor Kayneth's eye, and he wouldn't have it any other way. This new edition of the classic comes with new features, like kung fu action grip! Try it out, just put a credit card in between those mitts of hers and say goodbye to ever seeing that line of credit ever again!

    So, about her relationship with that black Lanc-bzzztskap!
    Last edited by VelspertheCat; January 29th, 2016 at 12:05 AM.
    Spoiler:
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    Index of Stories, Conceptual Writing, and Scenes


  8. #1108
    Whew! About to slip down. VelspertheCat's Avatar
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    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/1175056...uy-With-50-Yen : Oh yeah, I also wrote a Dagashi Kashi thing. Gotta keep up on all the latest dank memes. Heh.
    Spoiler:
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    Index of Stories, Conceptual Writing, and Scenes


  9. #1109
    Drunk Anime Is The True Path. Mattias's Avatar
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    Holy Don Quixote, Batman!

    I think I need to re-read this when I'm drunk so it all makes sense.

    Gundam-a-thon Status: 0079 Zeta ZZ Char's Counterattck War In the Pocket F91 Stardust Memories Victory G Gundam Wing Endless Waltz 8th MS After War X Turn A SEED 00 Unicorn AGE Reconguista The Orgin Thunderbolt IBO

    DONE!!!!!! 4 years, 1 week.

    Bonus Rounds: Gundam-san Escalflowne Build/Try/Divers

  10. #1110
    Whew! About to slip down. VelspertheCat's Avatar
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    Play sound effects in the back of your head, it'll make it better.

    Pew pew.
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  11. #1111
    Drunk Anime Is The True Path. Mattias's Avatar
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    I thought that was waiting for the chapter where Kiri and Kirei 'fight'. "Pew. I shot you" No you didn't, I blocked it with my swords" "You already threw away your swords!" "No I have 99 swords I can summon at any time!"

    Gundam-a-thon Status: 0079 Zeta ZZ Char's Counterattck War In the Pocket F91 Stardust Memories Victory G Gundam Wing Endless Waltz 8th MS After War X Turn A SEED 00 Unicorn AGE Reconguista The Orgin Thunderbolt IBO

    DONE!!!!!! 4 years, 1 week.

    Bonus Rounds: Gundam-san Escalflowne Build/Try/Divers

  12. #1112
    Whew! About to slip down. VelspertheCat's Avatar
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    Kirei seems like the type of person who would spam trap cards, yes.
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    Index of Stories, Conceptual Writing, and Scenes


  13. #1113
    リビングデッド Living Dead
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    "Wait a minute; did you just summon a bunch of swords in one turn?"

  14. #1114
    Whew! About to slip down. VelspertheCat's Avatar
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    Is it better for you guys if I post chapters as I write them? Segments at a time. Or do you guys just want the chapters as a whole.

    Also: OG_Procupine - Maximum Edge, the card.
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  15. #1115
    Whew! About to slip down. VelspertheCat's Avatar
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    http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread...27#post1279627 : Last chapters

    Tsukihime is property of Type-Moon. Any additional references belong to their respective companies.

    Chapter 3, Part 1: Round Two...

    *-*-*

    "What are you going to do tomorrow?"

    "I'm not sure."

    "Uhm, well, why don't we watch a movie at my place? I rented this cool looking thing at the commisary. What? Why are you looking at me like that?"

    "Heh. Why not?"

    "I-I didn't mean it that way..."

    Hisui tried to ignore the pair of boys behind her, although her attention certainly was piqued. The ex-maid was now trying to copy some notes that she had bummed off of Sayoko. Hisui still wondered why the girl seemed so standoffish, she was certainly a good person towards her.

    She flipped the page over, and realized Sayoko had mixed some of her math notes in with history.

    The redhead paused her scribbling, staring at the mathematical formula on the sheet with a worried look. Her eyes crossed a little as she tried to get a handle of the word problem written down in there. She quickly flipped that page face down on the table. For good measure, she pushed further away with her mechanical pencil.

    The front door to the lecture hall opened, letting in a haggard looking Ms. Gima. Her frizzy hair was even more poofy than usual as she tugged on her skirt to straighten it. As far as the Tohno heiress had seen, Tomoko Gima had never been late, or at least she had never run late for any of her classes. Hisui hoped she hadn't run into the wandering photocopier, that thing always had a taste for women, and was particularly insistent if it took a fancy to someone.

    The murmuring died down as she looked up at them, finally with a look resembling an adults.

    "I'm sorry I'm so late, class." Ms. Gima set her bags down. "Thanks for not ditching on me, wouldn't have been worth it to smash school property otherwise."

    A good amount of the class smiled at the thought, while Hisui and a few others nodded - guess they didn't have to worry about looking over their backs at night now.

    "I'll make it short, since you've all been such good, serious kids." Their homeroom teacher clapped her hands, silencing them utterly. "I just want to remind you that we'll be doing our quarterly biorthymns next week."

    A chorus of groans answered.

    "Yes, yes, I know you're all young, invincible, would-be light novel protagonists in your own minds." Their teacher dismissively brushed off their complaints. "But just humor us old people, and we'll not bother you for a few months."

    The bell went off at the end of her spiel, causing the students to look pointedly at her.

    "Go!" She smiled, brushing them off. "I release you back unto the wild."

    Miyako wandered into the room, and waved at Hisui.

    The redhead smiled and energetically waved back, ducking her head a little shyly when her neighbors looked over at her. Hisui quickly stacked up her papers and stuffed them and her books away before bounding down the stairs towards the bottom of the lecture hallway. The former maid caught a snippet of dialogue as she retreated.

    "That was Tohno, right?" One of the boys that had been behind her asked the other. "More calm than I expected of that family."

    "Well, sorta. She married into the family. I guess."

    "Juicy."

    "Ah, are you alright, sensei?" Miyako was in the midst of a conversation with the teacher. "Sorry I couldn't get there in time."

    Ms. Gima's hands started insinctively moving towards her hips.

    "T-that's fine, Arima." She stuttered, jerking in place to stop herself. "Ah, Ms. Tohno is here, I'll leave you both to your devices."

    Hisui held a hand up, catching her teacher's attention before she wandered off.

    "Yes?"

    "About the exercises..." Hisui began, but a figurative lightbulb went off behind her teacher's eyes. The older woman awkwardly brought a finger up to her forehead. Whatever she was thinking about must've been troubling, it stormed across her features pretty readily.

    Miyako hopped in between both women.

    "Hey, Hisui, she's gone through a little trau-"

    "We'll schedule a meeting." Ms. Gima smiled at them, but it was a little forced. "I'll send you an email later tonight, but I'll definitely tell you what to expect for the territorials, okay?"

    Hisui felt a little bad for causing the discomfort, but nodded silent agreement.

    Ms. Gima wandered off, muttering something dire about electronics beneath her breath, and leaving both of the Tohno girls in a rapidly emptying room.

    "Hm." Miyako stared up at Hisui, big brown eyes searching for something.

    "What is it?" Hisui asked.

    "I'm not sure." The younger girl dismissed the conversation. "Anyway, let's go, they managed to score hot pots for us!"

    Hisui made a face, and nervously began to rub her case's handle. Her younger relative had to grab her by the front of her uniform and start tugging them towards the cafeteria. Even the attempt to slow them by digging her heels in did little to dissuade her cousin.

    "But-" She tried to utter her worries. "It's a hot pot."

    "Meat." Miyako denied her. "Real meat."

    "There's..."

    "You can't mess up a hot pot, Hisui." Miyako brutally got to the heart of the matter. "Not even you, no matter how much you suck!"

    That was...!

    *-*-*

    This month's hot pot night was a runaway success, as usual. They were packed in like sardines; rows of students squeezing past each other, taking a seat at the long tables that had been specifically dragged up from the bowels of the school for tonight. Extra chairs had been specially ordered this year, since the janitors were sick and tired of having to move the aluminum seats from the gym to the cafeteria and back within the span of a few hours every month.

    Hisui and Miyako had been fortunate enough to get there early, as neither girl had a club to go to after class. There was still plenty of competition, though. Many people had jockeyed for position in the hallways, just on the right side of the law as they power jogged past the slower students. Hisui didn't even want to know why Miyako had slipped a baseball to her friend Chiyo when they had entered the cafeteria, or why both girls had allowed a slimy expression to pass between the two.

    "Hot pot is civilizaaaation!" Hisui cheered, pumping her fists.

    Miyako nodded next to her, humming around a piece of chicken she was eating with an expression that should've been reserved for religious experiences. Or that one time that Shiki and her were - nevermind. Back to Miyako, she was now attempting to gum to it to oblivion, with how she was eating it so oddly. Who ran their lips up and down their food like that while eating it?

    The girl sitting in that dangerous spot between Miyako and more food spoke.

    "I'm sorry," Chiyo said, putting down her utensils for a second. "I've attempted to civilize my friend, I really have..."

    Miyako jabbed her friend on the bicep, causing her to wince.

    "I'm not a dog." Hisui's cousin retorted. "You can't train me with food."

    Chiyo raised a finger.

    "That was just a fluke." Miyako hurriedly shut the conversation down. "Now Hisui, do you see what I meant?"

    Hisui nodded twice, reached over towards the pot in front of Chiyo, and took out some vegetables.

    "It must be expensive." The redhead mused. "Will it be okay?"

    "Please, the organization takes care of everything, and I don't think they would want their kids going hungry. In fact, they should definitely feed us better throughout the month. What's up with this joke? Hot pot once a month? Give me it three times a week! Minimum!" Chiyo shrugged, snapping up a piece of celery and mumbling around it at the end.

    Miyako made a face.

    "Porky is right." Miyako agreed, causing a murmured complaint from Chiyo.

    "Oh..." Hisui suddenly looked a little crestfallen. "But I'm not-"

    Miyako laughed, took Hisui's dish over her protests, and slapped some more meat on it.

    "None of that, now." Miyako shoved the plate into her unresponsive hands, forcing the older girl to take it. "Big brother is one of the most important members of the organization and you're his wife."

    "Ignoring Arima's moment of biased thinking-"

    "Hey..."

    "-that's almost like being a princess."

    Chiyo pressed her palm against Miyako's face, pushing her away.

    "We're not going to judge from whatever you are or did. We'd be eating more rice and less meat if that was the case. Thank god we've got Europeans here-"

    Miyako was nodding along, and both summed up and shut up her friend's blabbing about the glorious western powers.

    "Anyways, keep the pity party invitations to yourself, just deal and eat."

    Damn, Miyako thought, be a little more patriotic, Chiyo. They were the reason Japan was having such a rough go of things. Also why she was going to have to have three kids to help fix everything.

    Now, if only she could put big brother's name in theirs without making it too obvious...

    Hisui frowned. She wasn't going to sulk. The redhead jabbed at her meat a little harder, yelping as she got some juice on her face.

    Miyako and her friend exchanged looks.

    "Well, maybe a noble in training." One said.

    "Definitely." The other agreed.

    They continued to eat in relatively comfortable silence.

    "By the way," Hisui realized something important. "This is kind of rude, but..."

    She stared over at Chiyo, and the girl pointed at herself with a utensil.

    "Mmm?"

    Incredibly important.

    "Who are you?" Hisui smiled beatifically.

    Miyako managed to cover her mouth with a napkin, but a strain piece bounced off Chiyo's thunderstruck expression.

    Hisui tilted her head, confused.

    "Life is confusing outside the mansion." She muttered.

    Miyako silently tapped the table with her tiny fists over and over again, silently shaking in place as she fought back her laughter.

    *-*-*

    "So upperclassman Ah was finally suspended for attacking Jui-En a week ago." Chiyo chatted, taking a few licks of a popsicle she had snuck into the cafeteria. "He'll be out of the campus in a few days."

    "Really?" Miyako lightly kicked her feet back and forth. "That's news for me."

    Dinner came and went, but Miyako was still eagerly chatting with her Chiyo.

    "Well, that's cuz you hardly ever listen..."

    "Hahah, that's because that'd just encourage you to be more of a gossip, Chiyo!"

    "Tch," Chiyo refused the attempt at a consoling hug that Miyako reached in to give. "Why do you care about this guy, then? Got a crush on him? Want me to get you his room so you can sneak in and bang before he leaves the campus?"

    "D-don't be so gross!" Miyako shrieked, shaking her head and covering her ears. "It's just...Ah seems like a sweet guy...he even tried to convince me to go to the martial arts club."

    "Well, don't tell me, Jui-En had lots of people backing him up."

    Miyako's expression darkened.

    "That's just groupies." She scoffed. "Shallow lot of them would throw themselves off a cliff if he said so..."

    Hisui had tried her best to pay attention, but she drifted away. There were just too many names she didn't recognize and events she hadn't been around to see. The older girl tapped her chin, resting her cheek against her palm while she zoned out.

    Miyako looked so happy right now, she was pantomining something to her friend with her whole body. Hisui looked past her giggling cousin, looking for a familiar face in the crowds. Three tables down, she caught Sayoko Mihara skittering away, awkwardly holding a pair of trays in her arms.

    How curious, where was the girl was going?

    Hisui muttered some made-up excuse, something about getting some more water that sounded sketchy, but was accepted by the chatty younger girls. She stood up, dusted her skirt, and trotted away. Outside of a few stragglers like their group, only the cleaning staff was present in the cafeteria, and that sort of made her feel awkward about things.

    "Hello." Hisui greeted Sayoko. "Need any help?"

    Sayoko looked up at Hisui from where she was bent over a table and wiping it down. The girl was wearing a checkered apron over some casual clothes and had her long hair in a bun covered by a bandanda. Some of the strands of the other girl's hair fell out of the neat bun when she looked up from her rough wiping and towards Hisui.

    "Tohno?" She blinked, and swiped the hair out of her face. "Why're you lingering about?"

    Hisui pointed over at her cousin.

    "Ah." Sayoko nodded, and a she smiled a little. "I wouldn't mind some company."

    "Okay." Hisui grunted, thinking about dirty that table looked, but decided to take a spot nearby.

    Sayoko smirked.

    "What? Trying to take my job? Sorry, but I gotta do this to pay for my meals."

    Hisui's hand rose to her mouth.

    "I'm sorry..."

    Sayoko shrugged, dipped the rag she was using in a small bucket, and wringed it out.

    "Eh, I'm not, you shouldn't be." She grabbed a spray can and liberally hosed down another section of the table. "It keeps me honest and stuff."

    Hisui's shoulders relaxed a little. She eagerly nodded along with Sayoko. Yeah, a little work was fine, wasn't it?

    "Anyway, you don't really look like you're pitying me. So, whatcha doing over here? Got some weird hobbies? Or you just a neat freak, Tohno?"

    "Uh," Hisui decided to not give her opinion on the poor way Sayoko was swiping against the grain. "I wanted to thank you for the notes."

    "Well, that's fine, I wanted to pay you back for not being a snitch about me freaking out the other day."

    Hisui touched her cheeks. She wasn't scary. Everyone gave her discounts back home, she was a mascot!

    "-That doesn't mean I'll go easy on you. Especially since you got me that one time. I'm gonna have to beat ya when we get the assessments done, just to show you I'm not so easily spooked by a manifestation of your power." Sayoko was saying, snapping into her thoughts.

    "About that..." Hisui started. "My teacher was going to explain it to me, but can you tell me a little?"

    Both girls walked over to the other side of the table.

    "Huh? Oh, sure. I don't mind." Sayoko swung her legs around and took a wide legged stance on the bench. "I can give you the basics, probably better than the teachers, lazy lot."

    She looked away for a second, trying to order her thoughts.

    Hisui glanced around, but no one was looking. She plucked the rag where Sayoko dropped it and took a seat. The redhead started swiping at the table a little, smiling at the familiar motion.

    Sayoko snapped her fingers, startling Hisui.

    "Okay." Sayoko nodded to herself. "We're abominations against man and nature."

    "What?"

    Sayoko grinned and crossed her arms.

    "In short, you are the bump in the night!"

    Hisui leaned away, eyes wide.

    Wasn't that an old Disney cartoon? Wait, there was no time to think about that.

    "That's mean!" The redhead muttered, thinking about why she'd be called such a thing. "I only licked his recorder that one time."

    "That's..." Sayoko got back to her feet. "...not what I meant, but okay."

    "A-ah..." Hisui fidgetted.

    "Deep within our souls, we've got a primal connection to things that walked around way before people showed up, and that side of us hates everything that's human." The dark haired girl snagged the cleaning rag from Hisui and went back to cleaning the table. "We get all sorts of amazing abilities because of that, but you know..."

    Hisui blinked as she listened attentively as Sayoko rambled onwards. So, this was about half bloods?

    Shiki had told her she should do her best to play along. Vaguely, it made her feel like one of those superheroines with a secret identity. The comparison with that old cartoon was pretty apt now.

    "So our demon sides give us powers, basically. The school tries to see if we're safe to go back into human society. If we pass all these sort of assessments, back we go. But if we don't..."

    "And if not..." Hisui trailed off while reaching towards her neck and made a slicing motion.

    "We..." Sayoko simultaneous continued, nodding back and overdramatically rolling her eyes into the back of her head. "We'll get held back from graduation."

    Both girls traded looks and then started laughing.

    *-*-*

    "Hm?" Miyako looked up from where she was getting her hair played with by Chiyo. "Oh, do you wanna go back to our room now, Hisui?"

    Chiyo grunted around the scrunchie she had in her mouth, looking annoyed as she tried to gather up Miyako's hair.

    "No, it's fine." Hisui was next to Sayoko, both of them standing over the two younger girls. "Sayoko was going to show me around."

    Miyako looked a little hesistant, but let out a shriek of pain as her head was tugged back. At the same time, her friend leaned her head towards Hisui, surprising her. Chiyo grinned and waved a hand at the two older girls, ignoring Miyako's struggles.

    "Go ahead, senpai." She leaned to the side, avoiding a strike. "We'll just stay here."

    That sounded convicing.

    Hisui felt a tug on her arm.

    "C'mon, Tohno," Sayoko promised. "They're getting along like a house on fire."

    Sayoko started walking away, balling up her hair net and stuffing it into her pocket.

    "Wait!" Miyako blurted, but Chiyo pressed herself against the smaller girl, muffling her complaints.

    "Miss Tohno," Chiyo said seriously. "Being a third wheel probably isn't any fun, right?"

    Hisui and Chiyo exchanged a silent look, mutual understanding flashing between them. The redhead glanced at Miyako one more time before trotting after Sayoko. She made sure to call out before she left the cafeteria.

    "I'll be back in an hour!" Hisui shouted back before leaving.

    Miyako finally shrugged off Chiyo's hold, throwing the bigger girl's arms off her with a bark. She greedily gulped in air, glaring at her friend with flinty eyes. She was about to get to her feet, to follow after Hisui, but Chiyo grabbed her hands with hers.

    "Let her go, Miyako." Chiyo said.

    "What?" She sounded offended. "No, big brother asked me..."

    "He isn't here." Chiyo continued patiently. "You can't keep doing that to her."

    Miyako blinked, not understanding.

    "She needs friends." Chiyo declared.

    Miyako sputtered.

    "You're her family and that's great too," Chiyo said. "But we're both kids compared to her. She needs to know people that are her equal at school too. You can't let her hide in your shadow all the time."

    Miyako looked down, and kicked at an imaginary dust of dirt on the ground.

    "You won't let down your big brother. I bet he sent her here to make all kinds of friends too. Why else come to school, right?" Chiyo's assurance made Miyako look at her. "What? I know you care a lot about him. I'm your friend, after all!" She laughed.

    Miyako smiled a little.

    "I hope she doesn't get such a meddler for a friend, then." The brunette finally said.

    "Hmm, yeah, she's the type to get pushed arou-" Chiyo was in the middle of agreeing when her brain clicked. "Hey! What the hell, Arima?! I'm not a meddler!"

    Miyako smiled and leaned back as Chiyo angrily vented, having gotten even for the hair pulling.

    *-*-*

    Hisui was lead towards a brown brick building by Sayoko. There were a few interesting things about it, foremost was that there was a large glass dome cap over the building. Secondly, the very tip of another building could be seen through the dome.

    "Is that a tower?" Hisui wondered.

    Sayoko nodded, smiling as she lead them off the paved path and through the grass. They reached a set of heavy black iron doors. She reached for one of them and casually yanked it open, despite being only a tenth the door's size.

    "This is one of the school's claims to fame." Sayoko explained, walking besides Hisui as they entered. "The Astrology Tower was built about eighty years ago..."

    She trailed off deliberately, to let Hisui take it in.

    Hisui had been right, but there was more than she expected. The interior was like one of those biodomes she had heard about once. Or maybe a geofront? Geofronts were a kind of building, right? It was warmer in here than outside, and plenty of plants grew all along the interior. Vines grew up the walls, steadily reaching up towards the glass cap that was set over the whole affair. It even smelled cleaner in here, probably because of the plants.

    The redhead walked away from Sayoko and stared at one of the vines.

    "What is it?" Sayoko wondered.

    "The Tohno home has plants like these." She pointed at the climbers. "My sister tells me that they were a hassle to take care of all the time."

    "Oh, you have a sister?" Sayoko smiled, thinking about her own.

    Hisui blinked, shaken out of her musing while she looked at the built in plant pots on the brick wall. She looked over her shoulder at Sayoko, lips curled down a little. The former maid silently chided herself, now she was going to look like a fool, or worse.

    "Her name was Kohaku." She said, like ripping off a bandaid. "She's gone now."

    "Oh..." Sayoko's face fell.

    "Sorry." Hisui apologized, cursing herself for ruining the mood. "Maybe I should just go-"

    Sayoko reached out and grabbed Hisui's arm, shaking her head.

    "No way, Tohno." She dismissed the thought with a shake of her head. "I said I'm showing you the Tower, and I mean it."

    Hisui was pulled towards the central building.

    "Thank you." Hisui murmured, glancing down through her eyelashes.

    "A teacher takes care of the plants, by the way." Sayoko kept speaking, acknowledging Hisui's thanks only with a nod. "She used to study here too and then she came back to take care of the plants here."

    A bronzed set of doors were at the base of the tower, but Sayoko led them past them and around the building. A few windows were down on the ground floor, with some others higher up, but they were all dark at this time of the night. Maybe they were classes? Hisui wasn't very sure. What was certain was that there was a metal staircase on the east side of the tower, and Sayoko was walking up it without a care.

    "Are we going up?" Hisui asked breathily, baffled at what was going on.

    "Yeah. If you like how the place looks from down below, up top it's even better. C'mon, Tohno."

    Hisui shivered as they ascended, holding onto the railing tightly once they ascended the third floor. It wasn't helping her that the staircase rattled whenever they stepped on it together. She occasionally glanced downwards, which only fed into the negative loop. Why did they have to go up so high? It was way too tall to be walking up on a staircase. People weren't meant to be up so high. If they were supposed to be in the skies, they would be birds.

    And what the heck was that droning noise? It was steadily increasing in volume.

    "So the tower was renovated about twenty years ago," Sayoko was casually saying, not at all affected by the height. "The school invited some pretty infamous magus back in the day to play with the instruments up top."

    "W-why?" Hisui's teeth chattered a little. "Didn't they force them make an elevator with their magic?"

    Sayoko glanced back at Hisui.

    "Well, they were good at time magic, so they wanted to improve the recording devices up top..."

    They stepped out onto the peak of the tower, startling a cluster of birds that had been idling and pecking at some potted plants drapped along the edges of the roof. Both young women followed the flock of birds away with their gaze, losing them as the light of the moon got in their eyes. Both of them walked towards the center, one with far more gratitude than the other, and turned towards the source of the noise.

    A bronze gyroscope appeared before them, resting in a sitting area with several seats arrayed around it. The gyroscope was definitely the source of the wobbling noise that Hisui had heard on the way up. The redhead raised a hand, drawing Sayoko's attention away from the device.

    "May I ask what that device does?"

    "Don't be so formal, Tohno. It's the recording thing I mentioned. That magic I mentioned? It's going to play a condensed version of history for us!" Sayoko replied, and gestured at the seats. A few of them were actually taken by students, now that Hisui's attention was redirected. She saw some of the teachers fiddling with the gyroscope, too.

    "Huh." Hisui grunted. "That sounds interesting."

    Horror dawned on her face when she realized that inelegant noise had come out of her own throat.

    'Please don't notice, please don't notice, please don't notice...' Hisui crossed her fingers.

    "Oho." Sayoko smirked. "Thanks for captiulating so quickly!"

    "Fudgenuggets." Hisui finished her thought outloud, slumping her shoulders in defeat. "Let's just grab our seats!"

    The redhead almost huffily stormed away before Sayoko's grin.

    "Tohno's pretty fun." The girl murmured, smile fading a little. "I hope she gets along with senpai."

    Jui-En had made her promise to get him in contact with Hisui after he had found out about their relationship, such as it was. Sayoko had tried her best to dissuade the upperclassman, but Jui-En got what Jui-En wanted. Thinking about the older male caused Sayoko to rub at her wrists nervously. Fortunately, things were looking pretty good.

    She'd bring Hisui to him soon.

    *-*-*

    The internal mechanisms, some greased up large wheels from the look of it, started rolling. Hisui felt a slight rumble beneath her feet. Were there more mechanisms at play? Questions for another time, because she was distracted by the massive gyroscope itself. The device was clicking, making her feel nervous.

    Maybe it was her slippery fingered history with things back in the mansion, but she actually started looking around when the gyroscopes and rotating rings starting emitting a gentle sounding whirling.

    Sayoko was sipping a water bottle she had taken out of her purse.

    No one was panicking or blaming her, so it seemed to be standard for this machine, thankfully. The device had another surprise in it, as several lights that were set around the roof went off. Only blood red lights designating the edges of the roof remained active, as a safety precaution.

    The tower's distance from the rest of the campus finally made sense; you could see the night sky clearly once your eyes got used to the darkness.

    'The moon is so beautiful tonight, Shiki.' She thought, getting a clear look of the skies through the dome. 'I wonder if you're looking at the same sky as I am?'

    The gyroscope made several clicks; rods jutted out of the frame and their tips blinked at them with blue light.

    The pulsing drew the eye, and the pattern changed - speeding up and down at random times.

    Hisui's eyes started to grow heavy...

    "Here it comes!" Sayoko blurted next to her, grabbing the top of Hisui's arm.

    The redhead's sleepiness was blown away.

    A solitary golden flash flew heavenward, erupting into a wave of electricity that swept across the skies. Murmurs of shock rose up from younger students, Hisui one of them. The outlines of the stars grew hazy, and several people jumped up in their seats as they moved towards the east! The skies were moving? Hisui felt Sayoko's steely grip on her arm, keeping her from joining the standing students.

    "It's not the end of the world." Sayoko assured her, bringing her heartbeat down. "This is the magic, what I told you about."

    The blurs turned into streaks, and night became day simply as the sky itself became a patchwork of shining silver beams of light. The younger students and old were mesmerized. Hisui had her heart in her throat, and found it hard to swallow as the moon faded in and out as it joined them, urged onwards by the playful stars dancing in and out of reach of the satellite.

    "These are the past thirty years." Sayoko said. "Recorded by the device for us to see."

    The heiress stared up at the highway of light, a cosmos of lights sweeping across her vision.

    "It's beautiful." Hisui breathed. "Who made this?"

    Sayoko let go of Hisui's arm when she felt the redhead settle back into her seat.

    "A Mr. Emiya, he worked with the staff on this device, using some sort of time method?" Sayoko shrugged, as if she was remembering something she read once. "He helped the school set up many of the things it uses to make sure we're all healthy to this day."

    Hisui looked over towards Sayoko.

    "Thank you for sharing this with me."

    "Yeah." Sayoko said, voice oddly thick.

    Hisui's gaze fell, and she reached for the other girl.

    "Are you okay?" She asked.

    Sayoko blinked hard, turning her face half away from Hisui.

    "Oh, don't mind me, I'm just being silly." She tried to laugh, but it came out warbly. "This just gives me a little perspective about life, is all."

    Something about Sayoko's tone made a faint memory stir in Hisui's chest.

    'Hisui-chan,' Kohaku's voice drifted into her thoughts. 'Have you ever thought about what'd you like to do later in life?'

    She thought it had gone that way.

    A door opened sometime, Hisui thought.

    'Excuse me.' Lady Akiha's voice was as straightlaced as ever, but there was a hint of offense. Or was there? Was it a glare? Hands on her hips? 'What is an employer supposed to think when their workers are casually speaking about future prospects *while still working for them*?'

    A guilty laugh, maybe awkward shuffling?

    'High treason!' Kohaku had laughed then, taking Hisui's hands and running away with her. 'Run, run, or Lady Akiha will make us walk off the plank, oh no!'

    Impressions of clothes fluttering, was Lady Akiha sputtering or was it her, and then the twins were racing through the hallways.

    Running.

    Running...

    Where did they run?

    Had Lady Akiha followed?

    The memory faded.

    Hisui was left staring up at the sky with wide eyes, which watered at the edges.

    Hisui brought a hand to her hand with a gasp, and felt her heart painfully skip in her chest as it and her personal time came to a dead stop. Her blood thickened in her ears and the blood in her veins went cold. How old was the memory? She tried her best to remember. A year ago? Six months ago? Was Lady Akiha wearing her new uniform or was she just dressed like she did at home?

    She...couldn't remember.

    Not well enough.

    She began to shiver in her seat.

    Time, Hisui suddenly realized, was cruel.

    "Shiki..." She entreated the heavens. "They're never coming back, are they?"

    notes: I feel like it's missing something, might add an extra scene towards the beginning, but this is what I have so far. Don't want to make it seem I'm dragging my heels again. Now back to Eureka.
    Last edited by VelspertheCat; February 17th, 2016 at 09:54 PM.
    Spoiler:
    Is it pimping myself out if it's hidden?
    Index of Stories, Conceptual Writing, and Scenes


  16. #1116
    Whew! About to slip down. VelspertheCat's Avatar
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    http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread...27#post1279627 : Last chapters

    Tsukihime is property of Type-Moon. Any additional references belong to their respective companies.

    Chapter 4: ...Fight!

    *-*-*

    Students flowed away from the base of the Astronomy Tower, walking around Hisui and Sayoko. Their excited chattering drifted in and out of the two young women's ears. Both of them were too busy nursing their own thoughts, leaning up against the wall.

    "I'm sorry," Sayoko apologized for the fifth time.

    Hisui smiled at her, limply shaking her hand.

    "It's fine," Hisui said. "That was my fault."

    The redhead tugged at her collar, trying to cool herself. She was embarrassed to admit that she had a breakdown. The only thing she could do was just try and sweep it under the rug.

    Sayoko shifted in place.

    She wanted to give Hisui an out -- say that if the redhead wanted, they could wait another day, and meet in a more convenient place, but...

    "Is that right?" She uneasily asked. "Are you thirsty? How about I treat you? I've got some sodas in my club room."

    "Aren't the rooms locked?" Hisui asked, groggily rubbing her cheek. "Would you terribly mind if we did this another day?"

    "It's on the way to the dorms." Sayoko blurted. She resisted the urge to take Hisui's hands. That would be too weird. "Besides, I have the keys so we'd just duck in and out."

    Hisui was too tired to notice the way the other girl tensed.

    "Oh. You wanted me to meet your friends, right?" Hisui suddenly recalled, face flushed. "I almost forgot - my apologies."

    "You don't need to apologize," Sayoko said, shaking her head. "Even if it's totally your fault, it's not a problem."

    Hisui weakly smiled. By now she was aware that Sayoko didn't mean anything by it, but she wondered if the girl wouldn't benefit from a class on public speaking or something.

    *-*-*

    Hisui stood between a beaming Sayoko and an otherwise unremarkable door. A sheet of paper was tapped onto the oak surface. It depicted a stick figure flinging another one over their shoulder and into... a volcano?

    "Nice, isn't it?" Sayoko asked, yipping like a puppy. "It shows off the essence of Judo well, right?"

    "This is Judo?"

    "Yeah. Been a member all my years. Practiced it growing up - my parents paid for a lot of lessons." Sayoko grew contemplative. "My parents always said it'd be especially important for me to know how to defend myself, but I never figured out why."

    Hisui blinked.

    "Ah. Your parents truly love you."

    Sayoko pouted.

    "Everyone always says that..."

    Hisui stepped aside, letting Sayoko get at the door.

    "Why'd you have a sword that day?" Hisui asked. Well, it was more like a practice sword. "Does the club practice with them?"

    Sayoko laughed, opening the door.

    "That's just my hobby!" She said while practically flouncing inside.

    The redhead was sedate in comparison.

    "It sounds like a dangerous hobby." Hisui chided. "People without experience shouldn't play around with swords."

    "I'm back!" Sayoko ignored her, practically nuzzling the boy waiting for them inside the room. "Did you miss me, Jui-En?"

    Hisui's mind pinged as the name slowly dredged itself from the depths of her memories, where had she heard that name before?

    The older boy had his leg propped up against a pile of mats. He looked like he was trying to take on the airs of a king, but it wasn't quite meshing with his appearance. His uniform was slightly ruffled and he was leaned back against his chair as he watch them with a hawkish gaze.

    Hisui didn't regard herself as an authority on male attractiveness, but she supposed that somebody like Sayoko would find Jui-En attractive. Given the girl's very obvious response to the guy, in any case.

    "Mistress Tohno," said the boy, "I am Jui-En."

    *-*-*

    Hisui twisted her lip slightly. She wasn't sure if she liked the way he said 'Mistress.' It sounded dirty, somehow, as if he was calling her a woman of the night.

    Jui-En rose up from his self-made throne, and brushed past Sayoko, causing the girl to stumble a bit with the motion.

    "You won't believe the efforts my family has gone through to reach you and your husband," He continued, taking her hand and bending theatrically to kiss it. "That man of yours is a hard person to find."

    Hisui tried to tug her hand free, but his grip was firm.

    Jui-en refused to release her hand, neither noticing nor seeming to care, choosing to glance over at Sayoko and forcing Hisui to turn along with him.

    "Sayoko," He spoke at her. "The young Mistress Tohno seems parched."

    Sayoko started to smile.

    "Yes, I was going to get her a-"

    The older boy kept talking through her.

    "Get her a drink," Jui-En turned away from her stuttered affirmation to smile down at Hisui. "My apologies."

    He walked them over towards some desks in the corner. They were pushed together into a makeshift table, away from Sayoko. The girl was looking through a grey steel supply closet on the other side of the room.

    "She didn't do anything wrong," Hisui said, thrown off by how quickly everything was moving.

    "Hm? Oh, she didn't? That's refreshing," He dully said, offering her a seat and pushing her into place.

    Hisui frowned, both his words and the bite of the table's edge against her.

    The boy took a spot directly across from her, at the head of the table. He pushed aside some folders and markers off his side of the table dismissively, sweeping them off onto another chair. Some stationary spilled onto the floor, but he didn't seem to particularly mind as he kept an intense look on her face.

    "How are you enjoying our school, Mistress Tohno?" He asked.

    "It's nice," She blandly answered.

    "Indeed," He responded. "This is the place for us."

    "Pardon?" She blinked.

    "Here," He gestured at their surroundings. "Amongst our own kind."

    Hisui felt a hint of pressure in between her shoulders when she saw a queer gleam enter his eyes.

    "Of course." Hisui broke their gaze, catching something besides a wall scroll. "That's..."

    "Hm?" Jui-En followed her gaze as well.

    A picture of Sayoko and four other girls was nailed up on the wall. There was a little bronze plaque set on the base of the frame. The lights were too dim to make out the details, but she could tell there were no men.

    "Interesting," The redhead concluded.

    "Taken before my time," He smiled. "Now, the reason I came to talk with you..."

    "My husband deals with matters of the Tohno household." Hisui gave him a canned answer. "I'm simply here to finish my education, nothing more."

    Jui-En leaned forwards.

    "Surely you must have contact with him?" He asked, an edge in his tone. He must have realized how he sounded, because he backed into his seat. "I mean, it would be madness for a man to leave a beauty such as yourself alone. I wouldn't trust this beastly world to treat a beauty like yourself delicately."

    Hisui quirked her head.

    "Shiki trusts me." She translated what he said and spat it back at him. "He chose to let me come alone."

    Jui-En scrambled to backtrack.

    "Ah, what of...?" He stumbled. "Oh, what is that thin blood's name?"

    "Miyako." She narrowed her eyes. "My little sister."

    "...Miyako, yes." He let the words thud onto the ground uselessly. "She's the reason my father needed to speak to Master Tohno..."

    "I see neither here."

    "Right," Jui-En ran a hand through his slicked hair. "Which is why I must speak to you. I must speak to you of a looming threat. One large enough that your husband, despite his profound trust, assigned Miyako to watch over you..."

    "I've got our drinks!" Sayoko walked towards them, arms laden with soda. "I didn't know what you wanted, so I brought a few if that's okay."

    "Don't interrupt!" He glared up at her, nostrils flaring.

    "H-huh?" Sayoko flinched, stepping over to the left, towards his side of the table. "What'd I do?"

    Her heel caught onto some of the markers that had rolled off the table, sending her leg flying up and smacking him in the shin.

    A pregnant silence descended on the room. He flowed up onto his feet, clenching his fist. She closed her eyes, letting go of the soda.

    She joined them on the ground shortly after.

    One of them popped open as her body weight fell on top of it.

    Hisui threw herself onto her knees.

    "What do you think you're doing?!" She shrieked, glaring up into his quivering eyes from where she craddled Sayoko's head. "Sayoko didn't mean to do that!"

    Jui-En lowered his fist, but kept it clenched.

    "Apologize to Mistress Tohno," He hissed down at Sayoko, ignoring Hisui. "You're making a scene."

    Sayoko flinched at the guttural tone, but her eyes were still glazed in shock.

    "You stupid little..." Jui-En stepped forwards.

    Sayoko curled around Hisui, covering her face with her hands. Hisui wrapped an arm around the other girl, pulling her in close. The other jabbed towards the older man.

    "Stop!" Hisui commanded.

    Jui-En froze, realization dawning on him.

    "Wait!" He exclaimed.

    "We're leaving," Hisui pulled herself and Sayoko up to their feet, ignoring the sticky sugar clinging onto their skirts and stockings. The redhead's eyes filled with pity as she spotted Sayoko still clinging to one last can of soda.

    "It's okay, it's alright," Sayoko offered the can to Hisui. "Okay?"

    "Come on, Sayoko," Hisui shut her down. "This isn't fine."

    Sayoko groggily looked up at her friend's smile, and mechanically placed one foot in front of the other.

    "No?" Her face fell.

    Jui-En slid across the table and bounced in front of Hisui, throwing his arms out and blocking her.

    "Wait, dammit!" He demanded. "What are you doing?"

    "I'm leaving- With my friend." Hisui bared her teeth. "Unless there's a problem I need to tell my husband about?"

    His lips twisted into an ugly pout, nose twitching.

    "No..." He stepped aside.

    Hisui huffed, pulling at Sayoko and carrying more of her weight. Sayoko moaned something, leaning her head against the crook of Hisui's shoulder. The redhead visibly struggled, but silently bore both of them towards the divide.

    "Good night, Mistress Tohno."

    Hisui flashed him a glacial look, colder than anything his father had ever given him.

    "Goodbye," She stumbled out with her friend.

    Jui-En closed his eyes.

    "Goodbye."

    *-*-*

    Hisui entered her room, glancing out the large window on the back wall.

    She didn't see Miyako out in the courtyard.

    "I'm sorry," She apologized to Sayoko. "There was a line in the break room."

    Hisui handed Miyako's ceramic mug over to her. It was the largest cup they had in the room. The younger girl loved to fill it up with hot chocolate or other treats and sneak it into their room.

    It should be enough water to wash down the medication she was going to give her friend.

    "You didn't have to worry about me," She answered, accepting Hisui's reason. "The school is always dragging their feet about running clean water to our bedrooms."

    Sayoko's fingers traced the image of a dancing playtpus in her hands.

    Hisui leaned over their small study table to reach a shelf. Some sports magazines with half dressed men she didn't care to know shifted, nearly falling off the table along with her own study materials. The redhead made a note to tell Miyako to put her things away better.

    Then she saw one of the books and winced.

    And made sure to return those other notes back to her classmates later.

    She swept her eyes across the comprehensive set of medicine inside the drawer. Hisui had unfortunately grown very used to making sure she knew her way around medicine, Shiki was starting to see their doctor more. Her eyes caught the white cap of the bottle she was looking for and took it out.

    She silently handed her friend some aspirin, sitting down next to her. The redhead's bed squeaked a little under their weight. Darn mattress never was right after Miyako bounced on it a few weeks ago.

    "You're getting fat." Sayoko accused, taking the pill with some clean tasting water. "Work out more."

    Hisui sighed.

    "Are we going to talk about what happened?" The smaller girl looked up into her friend's eyes. "Or are we just going to look outside the rest of the night?"

    Sayoko's fingertips danced along the ruffles of the bed covers.

    "I messed up," She said, staring past the reflected image of her swelled cheek. "You shouldn't get mad with Jui-En."

    Hisui's cool expression made her opinion on that well known.

    "I remember him now," The redhead said. "Wasn't he involved with a boy that was thrown out of school for fighting?"

    Sayoko knew what Hisui was implying.

    "He didn't do anything," She defended him. "You have the wrong idea about him!"

    Hisui hummed.

    "Jui-En has been tense lately," Sayoko tightened her grip on the mug. "Then I heard him mention the Tohno."

    "Shiki?" Hisui asked. "So he made you bring me to him?"

    Sayoko emphatically shook her head.

    "No, I'm the one that that arranged everything. I didn't want him to look worried anymore. Can't you please go back and talk to him? He's not a bad person, I swear."

    She finished, clutching at Hisui's sleeve.

    It was possible, Hisui supposed, that she was being unfair to Jui-En -- that the terrible first impression he'd made on her owed entirely to acute stress or extenuating circumstances she wasn't aware of.

    That, however, didn't give him any excuse to be a brute to his closer acquaintances.

    "What's that?" Sayoko perked up.

    Hisui started at the noise of her neighbors yelling down the hallway. That was odd; they were usually polite enough to disagree with each other quietly. Barring Miyako's occasional fits of melodrama, shouting matches simply didn't happen.

    Sayoko unsteadily stood up, but she caught something moving outside.

    "Oh, it looks like your cousin is back, Hisui."

    Hisui joined Sayoko at the window.

    Miyako was walking away from the black iron gate with her friend, both of them with smiles on their faces. They were taking their time walking up to the dorm, chatting with each other. Miyako even splashed Chiyo with some water from the fountain.

    Hisui hoped Miyako didn't butt into whatever trouble was boiling over. It was just going to turn into a bigger mess, if it wasn't already - why did it sound like the voices were moving up and downstairs? Either way, Miyako was too nosy for her own good. Nosy, and too eager to solve everything with her fists.

    The redhead moved up to the window, undoing the latch and leaning out to call down a warning to her cousin.

    Miyako looked up, and her expression brightened.

    "Oh, Hisui!" She hollered, hands around her mouth like a makeshift megaphone. "Did you have fun?"

    Sayoko moved next to Hisui.

    "She saw aerodynamic effects on a human body." She quipped softly, rubbing her cheek. "It was educational for the whole family."

    Hisui gently nudged Sayoko in the stomach with her finger, shaking her head.

    "Hisui?" Miyako asked again, embarrassing her friend with her volume. Her companion was looking around, pretending to not be with Miyako. The younger Arima looked overwhelmed from where Sayoko and Hisui stood. For some reason she was looking rapidly at them and then down at the lobby entrance below their window. "What's going on? Huh, wait, what's going on in the lobby? Wait, is Sayoko hurt?!"

    Sayoko raised a hand to cover the purpling bruise on her cheek, surprised the young girl saw it from a floor down.

    Hisui winced, that was something she'd wish Miyako hadn't spotted yet.

    Chiyo, getting tired with Miyako's antics, crossed her arms and let her eyes wander.

    "Don't be so tactless," She muttered.

    It was only thanks to her inattention, brought by her capability to feel shame on behalf of her friend's naive actions, that she was looking in the opposite direction. Her keen senses of awareness, honed from perhaps a sad amount of gossipping, are what led her to shout and stumble to the west side of the courtyard.
    A monstrously large beetle, having ripped a hole the size of a tall man through the hedge walls which divided the girl's dorms from the rest of the campus, tore diagonally across the yard and straight towards Miyako's back.

    "Watch o-"

    The older girls needn't have bothered to shout.

    Miyako leapt over the goring horn, arced her body over a glistening carapace reflecting her nonchalant face, and touched down on the formerly grassy surface of the ground. It was now very uneven, the beast having furrowed it asunder with its horn and insane charge. The beast dragged hooked talons across the ground, pivoting in place like a drifting racecar.

    Miyako narrowed her eyes, lightly shifting in place.

    The beast straightened, its silhoutte growing even larger.

    "Miyako!" Hisui almost fell out the window, but she was pulled back by her friend.

    The young girl was going to have to thank her once she took care of this trash.

    "Kunimitsu Takahashi, you are not." Miyako raised her hand, beckonining the creature with as she bounced in place. "Bring it on, ugly."

    *-*-*

    The battered girl found herself the stable one for once.

    "Get out of the way!" Hisui practically bellowed in Sayoko's face. "I have to make sure Miyako is alright!"

    She didn't particularly like it.

    "You got flabby arms," Sayoko had her arms extended to her sides, making herself as large as a peacock. Or maybe a beluga whale. "And stick legs. You're not going out there. You'll die!"

    Hisui was having none of it, pushing at Sayoko's arms down. She was only proving Sayoko's point by flailing at the more athletic girl. The redhead used her nails at one point.

    Sayoko didn't hold it against her.

    "She's my little sister!" She blurted, desperation edging into her voice. "Please!"

    Sayoko stared back.

    "Nope."

    "Please..."

    "I'm not letting you go out there. That's stupid. You can hate me, like Jui-En does, if it helps you."

    Hisui's eyes started watering. She bumped Sayoko against the door. The shorter girl shook her head, staring at her taller friend's reddened arms.

    "Miyako." She mumbled. "Not you too..."

    Sayoko quietly stood and let Hisui rest against her chest.

    Neither of the girls were in the right mental state to see the insect crawling up from lip of the window.

    *-*-*

    A stone dashed across the surface of the beetle's carapace, wildly spinning off into the distance and breaking against the dorm's walls. The beetle came crashing down where Miyako had been standing, flailing about as it sent minced dirt and rocks into the air. Miyako skipped over to the other side of the creature, scooping up another rock and cracking it against the beetle's side.

    "That's not doing anything!" Chiyo exclaimed from inside the bushes making up the walls of the courtyard. "You're just making it angrier!"

    "You don't think I know that?" Miyako complained, swaying to avoid one of its willowy appendages as she retreated. "Tell me something useful or shaddup for a sec!"

    Chiyo's hedge rustled angrily at Miyako, but no further input came from the scaredy cat's direction.

    The grounds were a mess, a spiral drawn through the manecured lawn as Miyako lead the creature on a destructive path through the plaza and gardens. That was intentional on Miyako's part. She was deliberately leading it around its nose. She had to know if it was smart enough to switch tactics.

    It hadn't so far. The monster plowed straight through the fountain in the center of the plaza. The bulk of her attacker was enough to tip over the statue of the dorm's first headmistress and founder, shattering it to pieces. So it wasn't clever, that was good.

    Miyako rolled a beheading strike, noted the comparatively tiny 'legs' supporting its bulk, and out of the monster's personal space. She leapfrogged upwards like a gymnast over a vaulting horse when the beetle headbutted the space she was going to be. Unfortunately, it was strong.

    "Tell me you have a plan, at least?!" Chiyo yelped, afraid for Miyako's sake.

    "Probably!" The fighter breathlessly answered.

    "That's not reassuring!" Her friend yelped.

    Crackling, clicking noises came within the creature while countless legs dragged its bulk towards her. It was bullish, insisting on getting in Miyako's face. There was no good time to break away and catch her breath. It was a slog, a trial, something that would've killed an average person dozens of times over.

    She needed a big stick.

    "I'm going to trip it," Miyako eyed the creature, assessing the monster's mass. "Then beat the crap out of it!"

    "That's stupid," Chiyo's voice gained a manic edge when she saw Miyako charge. "You're stupid!"

    "It's all I got!" Miyako chirped. "So I gotta make it count!"

    So she invested everything she had into a burst of athleticism that would leave her sore for the next few days.

    Miyako felt her muscles burn when she leapt high overhead, descended hard on the ground, and dove towards the fountain. The beast made a racket of clicks as it raced after her. She slid forwards, sending dirt flying everywhere. The martial artist caught a hold of the leg of the broken statue, rolled onto her side, and scrambled away.

    The beetle practically obliterated the base of the fountain, causing water to spray everywhere.

    Its claws lashed out into the rapidly moistening ground, letting it spin back towards its target.

    Miyako was standing behind it, holding the statue's leg like a baseball bat.

    "Goal!"

    The beetle's mandibles twitched.

    Miyako's swing ripped its legs off its body, sending them flying away.

    The torso flopped down to the ground, almost catching her in the process. It angrily wiggled in place, helpless before the girl. More and more clicking rose from its depths, growing frantic as its motions just covered it with grass. Its arms splayed out, stiffening from shock while digging shallow furrows in the dirt.

    Miyako's moved closer to the beetle, casting a shadow over it.

    "Chiyo, let's go," She called back. "I have to check on Hisui."

    Chiyo's head popped out of the hedge, twigs stuck in her hair.

    "Shouldn't I go fetch security or the adults?" She said, walking out and trying her best to look composed.

    "If they haven't shown up yet, I doubt we can rely on them," Miyako declared, adjusting her grip on the statue. She stabbed down, cracking the beast's carapace with her leverage. The beetle let out a shrill noise and fought her, but she leaned more into her weapon and twisted until she left ruins of its innards.

    Chiyo looked down at the twitching mess below Miyako.

    "Wow, who knew you could be cool, Miyako." She mused.

    Chiyo's smile wasn't matched by Miyako.

    "This isn't cool," She shook her head, leading them towards the dorm while still holding onto her impromptu weapon.

    *-*-*

    A misshapen lump softly landed below the window of Miyako and Hisui's bedroom.

    "I'm sealing this place up," Sayoko said. "I don't want you to get shot through the window or something."

    The creature skittered away, a black blur with the speed..

    Sayoko approached the window, raising her hands towards it. A wall suddenly blocked the view of the outside. It was strange looking, sort of transparent. Just a little bit.

    There were eight solid looking portraits on the wall, pictures of cities and a few outlandish locations that Hisui wasn't sure were even real. She wasn't sure what that blasted wasteland with melting clocks was meant to be. Nor did she want to know.

    "We should have left the room," Hisui was saying. "If you think we're in so much danger."

    While both girls admired the addition to the room, they didn't see the invader cross beneath the light of a baby blue lamp that stood tall in the corner. It was some sort of insect, maybe, if you ignored all the extra legs.

    The insect dove into a bunch of plushies arrayed around the lamp as if resting against its surface. It used its pincers to pull a large nearby dolphin closer. It would serve well to camouflage its hairly, oily-colored exterior from the approaching girls.

    Sayoko had hopped onto Miyako's bed, reached up for an aluminum pole hung over it, then hopped back down to the ground. She gave it a spin, noting its odd weight distribution. Was this thing a flagpole?

    "Your cousin has weird stuff."

    "We could ask her about it," Hisui archly responded. The redhead sat down on the bed, pushing aside her backpack carelessly oThe redhead sat down on Miyako's bed, carelessly pushing her own backpack off and onto the floor. Now wasn't the time to worry about cleanliness. She hugged the doll of her husband that had replaced all the dolls Miyako used to keep up on the bed with her. "If we went outside and helped her."

    Hisui hoped she got a chance to make Miyako one too.

    "It's safer in these rooms than in the hall." Sayoko responded, nodding over where the windows used to be.

    "Seems like we're sitting ducks," Hisui sourly said. She looked at the exit to the room. It had been thoroughly blocked by a teddy bear's arms and face. "Did you do that when I wasn't watching?"

    "Maybe."

    The scent soaking through to the creature from its surroundings wasn't the same as its target. It needed visual confirmation. Having decided to do so, it crawled out of the pile of dolls and away from the light. It went up some books that had flown out of the bag and ducked under the half-opened backpack's shadow. The bug extended its neck like a periscope, peering up at the bed to confirm its target's position.

    Sayoko finished twirling the pole, deciding she liked it enough to keep a hold on it. She walked over towards Hisui, grabbed her hand, and pulled her away from Miyako's bed. Both of them stopped in front of the teddy bear shaped door.

    "The school built these rooms to let us draw more of our powers while we're inside them." The battered girl explained to her friend, "We run this place, our rules call the shots, and nothing can get in unless we want it to come inside."

    "How industrious." She distractedly said.

    "This is a safe place," Sayoko continued, annoying Hisui a little. "Nothing can hurt me."

    "Like that brute earlier?"

    "Ouch." Sayoko spun the pole like an oversized baton. "Good one."

    A trace of hurt was hidden in the glib answer.

    Guilt bloomed in Hisui's breast, making her shoulders slump. she averted her eyes from Sayoko, resting then on the wall she'd created. One of the portraits caught her eye, drawing her away from the larger girl. It was of a park she recognized in Misaki, where Kohaku and Hisui had taken breaks together often. Hisui made a note to ask Sayoko about it another day. If they still counted as friends after tonight.

    A low hiss came out from the insect, segmented coils that pumped chitinous legs fowards across the wooden ground, pushing itself closer to Hisui.

    "I'm sorry," she mumbled.

    "You're stressed," Sayoko shrugged. She made a sluggish wagging motion with the pole. "I'll bop you one another time."

    The redhead pressed her forehead against the wall, unknowingly getting closer to the insect. She could faintly see something beyond the wall, but not nearly enough.

    The creature retreated behind a dresser when Sayoko approached with the pole. Space was at a premium. Stuffed among the clothing was a stack of leaflets full of math equations covered with red ink.

    "She'll be fine," Sayoko tried to encourage her. "It's too bad you haven't been to the classes."

    Hisui took the bait, knowing her friend was trying to distract her.

    "Classes?"

    "They teach newbies how to bring out their power."

    Hisui remembered Lady Akiha's strength.

    "Isn't that dangerous?" She whispered, falling back onto a chair.

    "In controlled areas like these, of course." Sayoko moved herself stiffly to stand at attention next to Hisui, holding the flag pole like a spear. "It only takes place during next week's medical exams."

    "Good timing," Hisui mused.

    "Not implying anything," Sayoko drawled. "But that bug seems focused on your sister, and you don't know nothing, so this seems the best time to get the drop on you."

    Hisui gripped her seat's rests.

    She looked up when she felt Sayoko's hand rest on her head, ruffling her hair.

    "It's cool, it's cool," Sayoko flashed her a crooked smile. "I'm a helper."

    Hisui's returning smile was weak.

    "Why don't you lie down on your bed?" Sayoko wondered. "Now, don't give me that look, I'm not saying to take a nap."

    Hisui stood up from her chair. She made sure not to throw her whole weight as she got on her bed. She didn't want the springs to scratch up her sister's chemistry set.

    The insect bristled in anticipation.

    It skittered out from Hisui's dresser beneath her bed. Finding a wooden case in its way, the creature pushed itself against its banged up surface, moving it in spite of the case's size.

    Sticky fangs slid ever so slightly out of facial numbs on its head. No second bite was needed.

    *-*-*

    "What are you doing?"

    "Hey, stop, don't you dare open that door, Jui-En."

    "Go away!"

    "Have you gone insane?!"

    "Jui-En?"

    The young man strode past women while he made his way through the female dorms, ignoring their confused and increasingly beligerent calls. His intense expression dissuaded them from doing more than speaking. On the inside, his turbulent emotions were whipping about in a fury.

    'Damn idiots should've listened to Father,' He swayed, gripping the banister while ascending. 'Well, it's their funeral. The Heir will destroy them. I'll take care of his woman.'

    He felt especially gratified once he started hearing the shrieks of surprise and fear downstairs.

    He knew it, his father had been right.

    "Out of the way!" Jui-En didn't have time for societal concerns, pushing past an anxious looking girl that was lingering at the top.

    "Eh?" The freshman was too shocked, nearly falling.

    Jui-En's highly arched brow lowered a bit.

    "If you're going to do nothing, hide in your room. Your territory shouldn't be breached. They're not after your life, but it'll be taken if you don't get out of the way of the tide." He said.

    "What?"

    "Don't get in the way of people with important errands to do." Jui-En slapped her shoulder. It was hard enough to probably leave a mark in the morning. The pain snapped her out of her stunned state. "Show some spine, you're a half blood dammit!"

    She stuttered something while she ran away.

    "Good," He grunted. "At least you did that much."

    Jui-En was already heading down the short hall towards the south. From there he'd turn left and reach the Heiress' room. Hopefully before his efforts were rendered pointless. He would not be pleased if his reward for ruining his reputation was a sack of meat. The upperclassman would far prefer a snide attitude over failure.

    He felt her the moment he was within twenty feet.

    Jui-En's stride became even more confident as he raced towards the door. Sayoko was behind that door. He couldn't fathom why she was using her power to protect the room, the Heiress was clearly stronger.

    He hoped he could lean on her sentimentality a while longer.

    "It's me," He told the mundane looking door. "Let me in."

    He reached for the knob, ready to receive painful feedback if he misread the situation.

    The door swung open without a hint of resistance.

    From the poleaxed looks on both of the women, they were almost as surprised as Jui-En felt at the moment.

    "What are you doing here?!" Hisui shot up.

    Sayoko stared at him.

    He would have to consider its meaning another time. The distortion was inside. The alien presence that neither the Heiress or Sayoko could have known was there.

    Jui-En remembered it well. The night he had seen the devastating effects firsthand. It was the same night that he had seen Akiha Tohno's stony expression as they sat with his family and watched a half blood die in agony

    The insect crawled out of cover.

    "Sayoko, throw it there!" He barked.

    Aluminum flashed.

    The guts of the creature were smeared across the ground.

    *-*-*

    The unholy light emanating from the beetle's eyes finally went out.

    They had lost.

    Its carapace split apart. What had once been a single layer of shimmering armor became thousands of black ants. The army oozed off the corpse of the beetle, glittering in the night. They marched over the shattered bodies of hundreds of ants that Miyako had pierced.

    Tiny feelers and small, sharp jaws clicked as one.

    The arms spasmed, clawing the dirt.

    They burst off the main body and fell to the ground. The inchor poured out of the corpse and onto the arms. Their rigid, spiked frames shuddered and began to crack apart.

    From within, a host of winged insects angrily buzzed as they swept out from within their cocoons.

    Far from the main body, the only leg that managed to survive Miyako's attack whole twitched. Long feelings curled away from it as it stirred awake. Beady little eyes opened. What Miyako had assumed to be sharp talons on the legs extended outwards, becoming smaller legs for this creature. Once it finished assessing its damage, the centipede rose up.

    The arrayed force of insects headed away from the dorm.

    *-*-*

    The door that stood in the way looked old. Old in a way that made you worried if you were committing a crime if you touched it. It had carvings in it of artistic depictions of hell, or some sort of purgatory. Figures were stretched out in painful looking positions with their eyes and mouths wide open as they were held up over flames.

    However, the door wasn't an art piece.

    Larval insects nested within the pores of the unfortunate figures. Spiders crawled along the surface of the stone. One darted into the ear canal of one of the men.

    Did the eye twitch? Or was it a trick of the light?

    Regardless...

    A bloody knife flashed multiple times.

    The door crumbled into either rusted pieces, wet pieces, or shattered nests of insects.

    A trembling man in his sixties huddled against far away from the door. He was naked. Several recent cuts and lashes flayed his skin open. Parts of it were green and others had a bluish tint.

    A smell of waste drifted from below, through large grates.

    He held a stained bowl over his head like an impromptu weapon.

    "S-shiki?" He blinked, second guessing himself. It wasn't the first time he had been fooled. "Is that really you?"

    Shiki Tohno walked into the light provided by the bulb swinging overhead. The man's clothes were covered in inchor, but he showed no signs of injury. His blue eyes blazed with renewed light beneath his glassed when he took in the skeletal frame of the doctor.

    "Let's get you out of here, Sougen."

    "But..." Sougen Jinan flinched. "The creatures..."

    Shiki stepped aside, letting Sougen look down the hall.

    Several corpses were scattered. They were nightmareish fusion of man, insect, and beast. All were slaughtered to the one.

    A man that had caught Sougen with tumorous growths on his upper arms hiding spinnerets was cleaved down the center by a brass candlestick holder. It was still stuck in his torso. His second set of arms, made out of the same natural armor of a crab, had been ripped off.

    They were stuck in the face and chest of a wolf with a set of mandibles extending out of its mouth.

    The hallway itself showed damage as well. The eastern wall had been cleaved in a spiraling pattern. A large section of the southern wall was gouged out. Sougen could see several people crushed beneath a segment of the fallen wall. The insectal chitin exoskeleton beneath their torn skin hadn't provided any protection from that.

    A hive of dragonfly and scorpion mixes burned on the ground, having fallen off from the roof at one point.

    Shiki took off the collared coat he wore.

    "They won't be a problem." The younger man kindly said. "Tokie misses you."

    The old man froze.

    A flash of another young woman appeared in his eyes.

    "No!" He tried to pull away, but he was too weak. "I-is she alright?!"

    "It's oka-"

    Sougen's breath stank as he pulled Shiki's head close.

    "She isn't hurt, is she?!"

    Shiki's brow furrowed. Tokie was never in any danger. She had called him when those men had abducted her father.

    "Everything will be fine," He pulled away a bit. "I'll just have you and Tokie moved somewhere safe-"

    Sougen flinched. The good will burned like acid. His breath was uneven.

    "I told them Hisui was human!" He slurred. "Or they would've... Tokie..."

    Shiki tightened his hold on Sougen.

    "I was prepared for something like this," He tried to soothe the older man. "It was going to come out sooner or later."

    "I've betrayed you and my students!"

    Shiki wrapped Sougen in his coat.

    "I'll take care of this," He declared.
    Last edited by VelspertheCat; April 10th, 2016 at 01:05 AM.
    Spoiler:
    Is it pimping myself out if it's hidden?
    Index of Stories, Conceptual Writing, and Scenes


  17. #1117
    Whew! About to slip down. VelspertheCat's Avatar
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    May 2011
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    Previous chapters here

    Type Moon, cures all fungal infections, just one application! Type Moon is wholly owned and operated Notes Co. Ltd. (tm). All additional references belong to their respective companies.

    03 - Lightless Forest

    *-*-*

    The ocean was magnificent, stretching far and wide.

    It was petty, too big to particularly care.

    Perhaps it even showed antipathy. A deep grudge against everything that chosen to breath air instead of staying in the water. A messy divorce that was in the midst of being closed out, millions of years in the making.

    There a freight sailing to Africa full of supplies to an armed rebellion, over there a luxury cruiser fleeing to Antartica, and finally a small boat fleeing from London.

    Let's see what happened if you shook them hard.

    Oh.

    One sank, crates full of supplies - treasure mundane and not, pulled to the depths. It would be in good company. Many things had sunk to the bottom of the seas within the recent years.

    The ocean tried to bat at the boats again.

    "Toll for the Brave," A speck on the smallest of the boats sang back, almost in spite to its attempts to knock them askew. "Brave that are no more! All sunk beneath the wave; Fast by their native shore!"

    The waves recoiled, hissing back.

    Kairi didn't have much room, so he leaned against the side of the cabin while singing.

    "Nice tune," said a bored looking blonde. "I don't really get it, though. It sounds sorta ill-fated to me. You sure we should be singing while the weather is like this?"

    She glanced up at the clouds overhead.

    "You gotta sing when you're out at sea!" Hiroto laughed from behind Kairi, at the controls. "We gotta show something who's the boss around here."

    "What do you mean?"

    "Nature's slipped its leash in the last few decades." He shrugged, thinking about what they had to do in the name of destroying Yggdramillenia over the years. "So all we can do is stare at death in the face and sing."

    Kairi stopped singing, taking in her quizzical expression.

    "Have you never been on a ship before, Saber?" Her Master wondered.

    Mordred leaned into her right arm, looking over the side.

    "Can't say I have, no." She said, scooping her hand through nothing in particular. Water sprayed onto her fingers off from the sides of their boat. The knight breathed out an annoyed huff, shaking the droplets off. "I was stuck in Wales all my life."

    Kairi was reminded of the mannerisms of a child that hadn't been taken on a trip.

    "That's a shame," Hiroto shook his head. "Well, you get to experience something new now."

    Kairi walked up to his servant, nudging her with his boot. She glanced up, her Master had taken off his sunglasses. He plopped them onto her face, their overly large frame almost falling off her face.

    "Eight hundred of the Brave, whose courage well was tried," Kairi prompted her, slowing down to prompt her to follow along. "Had made the vessel heel, and laid her on her side,"

    She blinked back at him.

    Kairi waved a finger back and forth, keeping time.

    "A land breeze shook the shrouds," Hiroto added his gravelier voice to Kairi's attempt, adjusting their speed as they skid over a small wave. "And she was overset,"

    Mordred grabbed the side of Kairi's glasses, holding them steady.

    "Down went the Royal George with all her crew complete." She trailed off, following the two men's lead with a hint of a smile.

    *-*-*

    Interns rushed about backstage. That was a fact of life. They had the thankless job of taking the blame whenever something went wrong.

    Shit rolled downhill, as the saying went.

    Normal interns had to worry about getting slapped or spit on at the worst. The ones that worked on Ranru and Friends wished they had it as good. As we observe, whilst one screams bloody murder and pours out the same from the gaping hole in their gut.

    A puddle of blood swiftly grows, staining the plastic cup that had been filled with an ice cold latte.

    Ranru, halfway through removing the makeup on her face, looks past the cooling corpse. Her eyes stare pointedly at the wide open door. Which was appropriate, since she had just stared literal holes through the former intern. The other person in the room didn't seem to care about the lethality of those eyes. The clown's gaze drips with annoyance while looking at the other person sitting at a makeup station next to hers.

    Hopefully the combination of latte, blood, and annoyance caused her Rider to slip and made them crack their head open.

    Rider is aware of the look, but doesn't care. They're in the middle of holding up a backless black top. A very careful gaze is sizing up the size of their shoulders against the size of the outfit.

    "Close the door," Ranru ordered. "The children aren't allowed to see their hero out of makeup."

    "Why's that?"

    "It'd traumatize them for life!"

    "You aren't that ugly, Celenike." Rider matches her syrupy tone, trying to console her. "Well, you know, people always say stuff like, into every life, a little rain must fall? So, it's perfectly okay for you to show your ugliness to people -- even though that might be a body image thing. I mean, for the kids, it can help build character!"

    Ranru's eyebrow twitched.

    "My great uncle Constantine used to say that the scariest monsters tend to look pretty or cute, but I think that's probably hyperbole because he used to say a lot of things he didn't believe. Like, I'm cute, and I don't think I'm a monster, right? I mean, monsters go around blowing people up randomly, and-"

    "Astolfo-"

    "Hm?"

    "Close the door..."

    "Why don't you do it? Stop making them into bloody corpses that scare the children. Maybe meet some people. Also, I'd appreciate it if you didn't get your desperate self all up on me, thanks. Expand your horizons. A dark magician clown is the stuff of nightmares." Rider blabbed on rapidfire, taking a pose. Was Rider imagining what they'd look like with the top on. They lightly pout their lips together. "Think this top would go good with red lipstick?"

    "You're my Servant."

    "You got interns." Rider made a pahpah noise, wiggling their hand dismissively. "Work them to the bone and then kick them to the curb with a slightly padded resume as their own recompense."

    "My intern is dead, Rider."

    "Well, that sounds like a personal problem..." Rider said. "I wonder if Shishigou and Tohsaka are cool in person? TV sure does lie to you about people's personalities, y'know?"

    Celenike Icecolle Yggdramillenia finished wiping off her make up. She placed Ranru's wig carefully down on the mannequin. The woman slicked her hair back with her fingers and put on her glasses over her cold eyes, uncaring of the slight bit of blood that had splashed on her hands.

    "It won't matter," She looked at her smartphone. "They won't be alive much longer-"

    The message she had received was curt.

    'Two days,' - Gordes.

    Rider scrunched up their face.

    "Dying surrounded by mummified cats..."

    Celenike ignored the jab. She started stroking the wig she wore. She raised her hand, winking at herself while sticking her tongue out.

    A flicker of red light appeared from within her remaining eye.

    "Now don't be like that, Rider!" She pitched her voice even higher than she did as Ranru. "Cuteness beat justice!"

    Pieces of the mirror rained down from a head sized hole in it.

    *-*-*

    They had traveled a whole day now. The choppy waters had grown tentative, the currents now nudging their boat to and fro. They could see waves building up around them, somehow avoiding the vicinity yet surrounding it, like a beast on the prowl.

    It was slightly unnerving.

    "Aah, the weather is clearing up," said Mordred, casually pulling out her sword from the engine. It briefly sputtered and died as it was deprived of precious electricity. She pointed Clarent down towards the clear waters, for emphasis. "Too bad we don't have fishing rods."

    Kairi adjusted the rear view mirror the previous owner of the boat had whimsically place in the cabin he was sitting inside.

    "You can fish?" He wondered.

    Mordred held her arms apart far past her shoulders, as if bragging about the size of her catches.

    Hiroto stirred from his seat in between Mordred and Kairi, rubbing sleep out of his eyes with the back of his hand.

    "What are you talking about?" He mumbled, coughing once to clear his throat. "You'd snap a line with something like that."

    Mordred's eyes narrowed.

    "You calling me a liar?"

    "Are you the heroic spirit of fly fishing?" Hiroto asked.

    The blonde blinked.

    "I'm the Knight of Treachery."

    "So there's my answer."

    "Hey!"

    "We're slowing down. What are you two doing back there?" Kairi reached up to adjust his glasses. Then he remembered his Servant was still wearing them. When was she going to give them back? Was he going to have to ask for them back?

    -would he have to use a Command Seal to get them back?

    Were sunglasses worth a miracle?

    Well...

    Kairi turned around in his seat, cutting that thought.

    "Saber, Hiroto, are you two going to unzip your pants next?" He frowned a little. "That's going to be pointless- one of you is lacking pants at the moment."

    "What?" Hiroto blinked.

    "For that big dick waving contest you two are having," Kairi shook his head, waving at the horizon. "We gotta keep going, guys. We won't hit Amsterdam by tomorrow morning at this rate. Didn't you two want us to engage in glorious combat? Knowing the Yggs, they're waiting for us on the shore with twenty thousand cannons and a red carpet."

    Saber looked down at Hiroto smugly.

    "That means you too, Saber."

    "..."

    Mordred didn't budge.

    "I believe you about the fish." He had a very Saint-like look in his eye. "Please, Saber?"

    "You people and your stupid technology," Mordred threw up her arms, shrugging without apparent care. "I'm not a walking battery."

    "Yes, but my training doesn't cover raising the spirit of a dead engine." He pointed out. "Can't you Tesla this thing any harder?"

    She spun towards it with a huff.

    "Can't believe my Clarent is being used this way," She grumbled. Then she thought a little, pulling the memories she had been gifted from the Grail. Tesla was who again? "Tesla was a sham!"

    Hiroto gasped, looking at her in horror.

    Mordred plopped down, fiddling with her glasses. Victory was hers.

    *-*-*

    The moon shone on the surface of the water.

    The ocean gleamed like a mirror beneath them, its dark depths reflecting the skies above them. It was like their boat was sliding across the heavens. Mordred looked a touched unnerved seeing her own face reflected back at her.

    "What's going on here?" She wondered, pulling away from the edge.

    Kairi had his hands on the engine, fiddling over the rumbling piece of junk. The old man was standing next to him, occasionally humming or nodding. She could recall some of her knights doing the same in the past. Except it was standing over their horses whenever they inevitably broke their legs, hemming and hawwing over whether to put the damn beast down.

    "Is it going to carry us the whole way?" Kairi was asking Hiroto, rapping his fist against the casing. "It can't last much longer."

    "I got some tricks," The older man mumbled something under his breath. "Prana burst won't get this old man down."

    "Hey," She called out again. "Why is the sea so reflective?"

    "You're just mumbling, old man." Kairi was louder. Probably because he had to start shouting over the banging noises the engine was making. "Repeating the word 'gemstones' isn't solving our problems."

    Hiroto pressed the upper part of his fingers against his forehead.

    "Kaleidoscope?"

    "That isn't a solution either!"

    Mordred sighed. Was she going to have to cut that infernal mechanism down? It was going to end like it did with that one squire's mare, wasn't it? Mordred didn't do tears, she did solutions.

    She turned away from the annoying sight, gazing down at the water.

    Reflected in the surface of the unnaturally smooth water was an island they were about to hit.

    Three seconds ago.

    The two men, who were too busy debating the use of gems as an alternative fuel source -dinosaurs became gemstones *and* fuel, Hiroto argued to Kairi's red faced ire-, were sent stumbling forwards against each other. The front of their boat had collided against the rusted frame of a once mighty beast, which the Grail had informed Mordred was an automobile. It didn't look particularly mobile now, plucked clean of its innards by the carrion crows of time, but it was rather pointy.

    "We've sprung a leak," Mordred idly pointed out, up to her bared toes in water. "One of you fix it, I'm going ashore."

    She placed a foot on the edge of the boat and sprung off towards the island.

    "We made her mad." Hiroto blushed a little.

    Kairi grunted, making a face as he looked after Saber's back.

    "She still has my glasses..."

    *-*-*

    Mordred had been getting antsy. Nothing had shown up during the days following their escape. There was a high probability that this island was the attack she had been expecting for the last three days.

    She squinted behind Kairi's glasses as its outline became clearer.

    Guess they had dropped the act too.

    Mid-way through her leap, prana surged to life around her form.

    She couldn't wear her father's face into battle. She donned the helmet she preferred to show her lessers. Time to take care of this before the magi were dragged into combat.

    Saber barreled through the sand, her shoulder charge blasting aside more of those automobiles as she went. One flipped end over end before slamming into the rocky shores of a cliff. Rocks fell, crushing a circular pastry held up by a rather rotund man. His jolly red cheeks had cracked with age, turning pinkish in hue.

    Mordred had successfully stormed the beach.

    Fatalities: One mascot.

    "Come out here!" She waved Clarent about, "Does this fat man have the most honor?!"

    Apparently, yes.

    "Saber, what the hell?" She heard splashing and Kairi's voice behind her. "You killed Mr. Donut."

    "He looked suspicious."

    "But he gives delicious treats..."

    Kairi stepped next to her, scanning the horizon. He was water logged up to the knees. It was hard because a tangle of light poles and other refuse was stacked up top. At the same time, it told him all they needed to know.

    "We go further?"

    "Yeah, Hiroto is pulling the boat free."

    They saw more signs that someone was around, tracks in the sand lead off the beach.

    "Something got dragged up there."

    "These footsteps look off. They aren't deep enough if that's the case, Master. I'm not exactly in full control of the way my lightning arcs, could you stay a little further back? I don't want you to draw in the storm."

    "Alright."

    Mordred kept on point. A set of stairs went up to a cracked road. Neither Master or Servant wanted to go down that way. There were more automobiles, with far more metal on them still, that way. It was a good ambush point.

    They went further up the hills.

    Kairi saw common waste off the path. Some candy bars. Beer cans with the plastic ties wrapped around their necks- the necromancer imagined Teene would've throttled that can's former owner particularly hard.

    A set of eyes staring at him from the stump of a tree.

    "Zap. Three o'clock."

    His Saber pivoted in place, but she didn't zap. Her sword met the descending branches of a tree. They sliced through several reedy looking ones, but got tangled in supernatural growth.

    Kairi moved to interfere, a curse of rot on his lips.

    A child sized tree trunk slammed into his back, wrapping roots around his back and legs as it pulled him.

    "Get off!" Saber punched a treant in the face, but more came at her.

    More yellow-orange eyes flooded onto the stairs, overwhelming numbers.

    *-*-*

    It was a good half hour before Hiroto got the boat ashore. The boat now had a large patch of zinc growth along the hull. The scales had sealed up the hole rather well.

    The elder Tohsaka took a moment to look over the island from top to bottom. Now where were the others -- he could make out a hastily scrawled message in the sand, written with a burst of magic. It had been wiped away.

    Now wasn't that ominous?

    Hiroto couldn't feel the presence of a Servant nearby.

    "Hello?" He called. "Kairi? Saber?"

    No answer.

    Hiroto hung his head. His young ward and Servant must be using the excuse of a midnight island paradise to sneak around. Well, Kairi was about the age for it, wasn't he?

    Well, he would not get in their way and ruin the mood.

    Still, that left Hiroto alone, and without a thing to occupy his time.

    That just wouldn't do.

    Hiroto fetched his cane from the boat and began to scrawl lines in the sand. Once he was done he slammed the butt of his staff into the center of the pattern. The air over his head lit up with magical circles, a tiny part of the larger system that had been engraved into the land itself.

    "Concealing an entire island within the spot dust specks linger," Hiroto clicked his tongue in admiration, leaning forward and poking a line in the spell. "What a brilliant idea! I wish I could meet whoever came up with this. They must have been a genius."

    "Eh?" A flustered young woman asked, suddenly standing on his side. "You think so? That they were a genius?"

    "Oh yes," He looked away from the magic. Well, there was half of the mystery solved. Now why was she wearing that tasteful floral kimono. "You wear that well, Saber."

    "H-huh?" Her hair looked a little more ash grey in the moon. "Thank you! You wouldn't believe the hassle I went through to get this out here."

    Hiroto was too much of a gentleman to say outloud why he thought she had gotten meeker all of a sudden. And why she had to change outfits in the aftermath. He sure could think about it the privacy of his own head, however.

    "Well, let's go fetch that useless man, Saber."

    Maybe pin some sort of award to his chest for calming Saber down so much, ye gods.

    Hiroto started to move, but felt the cold metal of a katana press up against the side of his neck.

    Large tendrils rose from the depths of the ocean, dragging up thousands of gallons of water and covering the entire beach with a freezing mist. They waved about the multiple limbs of the kraken, but groaned like an old wooden armoire. It smelled faintly of jasmine.

    "Again, thank you so much for the compliment! Well, master didn't think there was any practical use in turning a martial arts technique into a magecraft, but even he admitted that it turned out better than he imagined. I didn't think that made me a genius!" The person that definitely wasn't Saber was pretty infectiously cheery. "It almost makes me wish I didn't have to feed you to Master Einnashe!"

    One of the tendrils came down smashing their boat to pieces.

    *-*-*

    The steady beating of a drum, puncutated by sudden beats, lead a long line of treants up the winding mountain road. They swayed from side to side, undulating to the beat. Their vines swayed up towards the skies, striking them against power cables above with a synchronized twanging noise.

    Electricity raced along these cables, briefly lighting up countless buildings in that pitch black mountain.

    Golden lights shining against the dark for a brief moment.

    "Where are they taking us?"

    "Let me go!"

    "They caught you, old man?"

    "I burned down six before I was caught."

    "Yeah? I got eight. Had to get jumped from behind."

    "I'll ram Clarent down your pistils!"

    A kimono wearing girl twirled a little as she hopped backwards to join the trio, still beating her drum to the beat. The three treants the outsiders were strapped to and dangled from shook from side to side. Vines tickled their faces, the tips blooming into flowers.

    "Please don't shout." She said. "We very rarely get guests, why not enjoy the show?"

    Mordred froze.

    "That's Father's face!" She roared, bouncing towards the kimono clad female with gauntlets outstretched. "It's mine! Give it back! Witch!"

    The treant shuffled to the right, slamming Mordred hard against its bark. The knight struggled, but part of her body sunk into the trunk. Predominantly the lower part of her head.

    The insults were effectively silenced.

    "Yikes!" The woman leaned away. "You got an attitude."

    The treant swayed into Okita, bumping into her hips.

    "Thank you!"

    The magi looked at each other.

    "What are you?" Kairi asked.

    The kimono clad girl danced away from the treant, wiggling her hips back and forth to the beat.

    "I'm Okita," She bobbed her head. "No more questions. The only thing that matters is Limbo."

    The treants hopped up, slapping their vines against the cables once again, and came down with a thunderous clap.

    A devastated city stretched out as far as the eye could see all around them.

    Okita danced out in front of all three of them, bowing towards a pair of treants. The duo twirled and spun around her. Their vines lightly touched, as if they were waltzing.

    "It's the only thing they have now." She said, profile lit by bombed out buildings.

    *-*-*

    Just wanted to post. Show I'm still on the ball. Need to rework that last paragraph. It isn't descriptive enough I think.
    Last edited by VelspertheCat; April 16th, 2016 at 07:23 AM.
    Spoiler:
    Is it pimping myself out if it's hidden?
    Index of Stories, Conceptual Writing, and Scenes


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