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Thread: Reforged: The Twin Blade

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    Vigilant. Relied Upon. Vigilantia's Avatar
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    Reforged: The Twin Blade

    Table of Contents:

    Prologue
    Chapter 1
    Chapter 2
    Chapter 3
    Chapter 4
    Chapter 5


    ===



    Synopsis: Her wish had been simple, fix her mistakes and stop all the bloodshed she had caused. With the sacrifice of seven Servants, the Greater Grail pierced straight to Akasha and granted her wish. Now stranded ten years before the 5th Holy Grail War, Saber must adapt to modern society and survive. Original Character (OC) heavy. Contains some elements from Battle Moon Wars.

    tl;dr Battle Caster!Arturia hunts the supernatural while adjusting to modern society.

    - Reforged: The Twin Blade -
    - Prologue -

    - Fuyuki Burns -
    Shinto, Fuyuki City Hall

    Unnatural winds tore past the stone and marble ruins of Fuyuki’s former city hall, though the disturbance went unnoticed against the backdrop of burning fires and smoking ruins of former homes and apartments. Ashen wooden frames and concrete blocks and pillars crumbled to the ground as the wind wrapped around itself, forming a small cyclone that blossomed into a whirling tornado. In this one moment, the laws of physics were bent and time itself shifted as a greater force exerted its power. Solid matter appeared where there was only air before as a portal tore through reality itself. Azure light bathed the area as particles blue-shifted within the air, before a humanoid shape was thrown through the portal, closing the anomaly behind it. The sound of metal clattered behind the figure before the portal finally sealed shut.

    The small figure lay still for an unknown amount of time before finally stirring. The air was sickly warm and she coughed. There was the cool feel of wet stone against her cheek and she opened her eyes; blinking to see past the haze in her eyes. Pushing off the wet stone floor, the girl rose to one knee before her strength failed her and she slid and slammed onto the floor. The blonde girl lay there motionless, her green eyes looking at the open roof above her. Above her, she saw the blackness of the night sky tinged orange and the flicker of firelight that glowed and dimmed outside.

    She tried to remember what had happened. How had she gotten here? What... She had to know... Had it worked?

    The girl pushed herself to her feet, muscles aching in protest, and looked at her surroundings. The building she was in a shadow of its former self, with only the remnants of charred wooden frames and soot stained stone walls. All around her were the remains of hundreds of seats. At the front for what she took as the center stage was a massive gaping hole that descended into darkness. Behind her were numerous steps that led to the only significant source of illumination in the massive auditorium. Bright orange streamed in from an empty double doorway, blinding her as she looked upwards.

    “Had this place been a theater or auditorium?” she thought to herself. The place had a sense of familiarity that tingled in the back of her mind.

    Slowly, ever slowly, with each step sending aching pain through her weary limbs, the girl made her way up the steps before collapsing to her knees; her breath ragged from exhaustion and perspiration dripping from her brow.

    The air around her was sweltering hot, as if she were being held above a massive fire. The black clothing that clung to her body was soaked with sweat and clung to her like a second skin. It was too hot. She struggled with the tight knots that bound the black dress tightly around her abdomen and stifled her breathing. It felt a vise had closed around her chest. She fumbled with the clasps and knots on her corset before pausing, sweat streaming from her face. With a tired curse, she grabbed a shard of glass on the floor and simply cut the knots and cloth away.

    Tugging at her shredded clothes, she shed the heavy dress from her form, letting it fall from her shoulders. It felt... liberating. The girl sighed in relief as she felt the air against her skin like a burst of wind on a hot day. She rested there, trying to regain her strength.

    A glimmer of crimson caught her eye and only now did she notice the heavy gem around her neck. She looked at the heavy stone, a beautiful ruby that fit comfortably in the palm of her hand laced with to a silver chain. It was a beautiful jewel, but it wasn’t hers.

    After a painfully long climb, she finally reached the edges of the doorway. She squinted her eyes, her vision blinded momentarily by the change in brightness, before looking around the hallway she was in. Broken glass littered the carpeted floor of the wooden hall. She looked outward through the remains of the hall’s window panes and into the city beyond.

    Orange fire burned in the distance, sending up plumes of smoke high into the air. Hellfire burned the city around her, the blaze consuming everything it touched with no sign of stopping. In the distance, she could see the lights of emergency crews trying to help the wounded and stem the inferno’s reach. The fire burned with the ferocity of a rabid wolf, spreading to other buildings and trees.

    Exhausted, Arturia Pendragon fell to her knees and collapsed against the hallway wall. Her muscles ached from the simple task of climbing the set of stairs and she couldn’t even muster the strength to stand. Her eyes droop as the warm heat wrapped her tired body in a warm embrace and she simply lay there; content to watch as Fuyuki burned.

    There was a crack and then a roar, before Arturia felt the floor disappear under her feet. Her stomach seemed to twist in her chest before she collapsed onto solid ground once more, slamming her head against the hard floor. Her head was spinning… or was it the world that was tumbling around her?

    Chilling water washed over her, drenching the heat of her body. She looked back in time to see an avalanche of rubble following behind her and then darkness.
    Last edited by Vigilantia; November 7th, 2014 at 12:02 AM.

  2. #2
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Looks good.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

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    夜魔 Nightmare EVA-Saiyajin's Avatar
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    Pretty good thus far. Good details, well written. VERY interesting premise.

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    I Got This Sage of Eyes's Avatar
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    So why would the city burn if the Grail wasn't bad???

    Convenient Spoilering Is Convenient

    THE AHOGE HATH BEEN REMOVETH







    Quote Originally Posted by Kyte View Post
    I can't believe I'm gonna say this but you're missing a comma this time.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeopardBear View Post

    COMMAS

    THEY GO THERE

    THAT SPACE BETWEEN CLOSE QUOTE AND THE LAST WORD
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    Vigilant. Relied Upon. Vigilantia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sage of Eyes View Post
    So why would the city burn if the Grail wasn't bad???
    a) The Grail is corrupted, however, the ritual still works if you get ALL Servants into the Grail (or even more if you include the two Archers in the 5th) and punch straight to the root.

    b) Prologue. More details should be revealed next chapter.

  6. #6
    Preformance Pertension SeiKeo's Avatar
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    Okay I was going to make fun of you for your summary but the prologue is a-ok so I'll make fun of you if you drop the ball later ok?

    (Decent start get main plot soon tho)
    Quote Originally Posted by asterism42 View Post
    That time they checked out that hot guy they were just admiring his watch, yeah?


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    Sentimental Fool NewAgeOfPower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeopardBear View Post
    Okay I was going to make fun of you for your summary but the prologue is a-ok so I'll make fun of you if you drop the ball later ok?

    (Decent start get main plot soon tho)
    ^^
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    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster;
    And treat those two impostors just the same,

    -Ruyard Kipling, "If"

    -)|(-

    My works [Updated June 21st, 2013]


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    夜魔 Nightmare
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    Simple.

    Saber Alter of Heaven's Feel won the 5th Holy Grail War, made ​​a wish for the Holy Grail after betraying Dark Sakura somehow and wanted to go back 10 years in the past in the period in which the 4th Holy Grail War ended when Kiritusgu forced its former self destroying the Holy Grail that hour. Now having a mortal body and coming back to a period in which it can influence Emiya Shirou when he is young, payback in Kiritsugu and Kirei, accept the accounts with Gilgamesh and also a chance to meet her old self when she is called to participate in the 5th Holy Grail War by Shirou and put an end to its ancient past and their ideals, as Saber Alter can change the lives of future competitors in the 5th Holy Grail War while adapting to a life in the modern era today?

  9. #9
    I came here hoping for a D&D crossover set in Eberron.

    But this is fine too.

  10. #10
    Vigilant. Relied Upon. Vigilantia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeopardBear View Post
    Okay I was going to make fun of you for your summary but the prologue is a-ok so I'll make fun of you if you drop the ball later ok?

    (Decent start get main plot soon tho)
    Writing is hard Leo :P Although most likely easier than writing your lemons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fafnir View Post
    I came here hoping for a D&D crossover set in Eberron.

    But this is fine too.
    And why would you think that? :3

    Anyways, next ETA should be after Sunday.

  11. #11
    Preformance Pertension SeiKeo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vigilantia View Post
    Writing is hard Leo :P Although most likely easier than writing your lemons.
    Not to digress too much from the actual fiction at hand, but honestly most lemons are easy since they're rather mechanical if you do them without too much effort. Characters like each other, contrive a situation in which they fuck, they fuck, and done. The fucking part in this way of constructing a lemon is pretty much interchangeable across all lemons and so the difficulty pretty much resolves itself to contriving the situation and personalizing it, which is no great feat.

    This is of course a recipe for writing something average, but this is at least easier than average fanfic since that often requires at least a bit of innovation, wheras with half the lemons on the internet I can find-replace names and it will work, probably not well but at least well enough that it still fulfills the erotic purpose.
    Quote Originally Posted by asterism42 View Post
    That time they checked out that hot guy they were just admiring his watch, yeah?


  12. #12
    Vigilant. Relied Upon. Vigilantia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeopardBear View Post
    Not to digress too much from the actual fiction at hand, but honestly most lemons are easy since they're rather mechanical if you do them without too much effort. Characters like each other, contrive a situation in which they fuck, they fuck, and done. The fucking part in this way of constructing a lemon is pretty much interchangeable across all lemons and so the difficulty pretty much resolves itself to contriving the situation and personalizing it, which is no great feat.

    This is of course a recipe for writing something average, but this is at least easier than average fanfic since that often requires at least a bit of innovation, wheras with half the lemons on the internet I can find-replace names and it will work, probably not well but at least well enough that it still fulfills the erotic purpose.
    And then Cloud suddenly turned into Barret, although oddly enough with white skin and blonde hair. :P

    It might just be the fact I don't like the thought of writing Lemons. I'd prefer writing a castle siege or duel to that stuff.
    Last edited by Vigilantia; July 16th, 2013 at 05:51 AM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Vigilantia View Post
    It might just be the fact I don't like the thought of writing Lemons. I'd prefer writing a castle siege or duel to that stuff.
    "His hands shot out like stones from mangonels, flying to the towers of her breasts. His battering ram crashed against the gate again, seeking to breach her inner layers..."

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vigilantia View Post
    It might just be the fact I don't like the thought of writing Lemons. I'd prefer writing a castle siege or duel to that stuff.
    You too, eh?


    Quote Originally Posted by Fafnir View Post
    "His hands shot out like stones from mangonels, flying to the towers of her breasts. His battering ram crashed against the gate again, seeking to breach her inner layers..."
    . . . You write period pieces for Harlequin, don't you?
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




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

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




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    祖 Ancestor crystalwatcher's Avatar
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    I like the story so-

    *stares at the current conversation*

    Vigilantia kinda walked into that. Oh my god that was fucking perfect.
    End of an Empire

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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by crystalwatcher View Post
    I like the story so-

    *stares at the current conversation*

    Vigilantia kinda walked into that. Oh my god that was fucking perfect.

  17. #17
    祖 Ancestor crystalwatcher's Avatar
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    Sorry Vigilantia...
    End of an Empire

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  18. #18
    Vigilant. Relied Upon. Vigilantia's Avatar
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    Chapter 1: Modern Heroine

    - Reforged: The Twin Blade -
    - Chapter 1 -

    - Modern Heroine -

    Flames engulfed the simple two-story home on the other side of the river and collapsed the simple wood frame to the ground. Across the river, people lined up and watched the firefighters battle the raging inferno. It was an odd phenomenon, for so many people to watch the city go up in flames. Perhaps it was the change from the monotony of their lives, or perhaps it was due to the thrill and excitement that kept them staring at the inferno.

    That suited Nathan just fine. It simply meant there’d be less people to notice the home break-in. Parking his car by the side of the street, he headed towards the Agency’s safe house. Flashes of red passed by at the end of the road, police and paramedics heading towards the fire. The perimeter of the blaze were less than a kilometre away, but he knew a slight shift in the wind could have him surrounded by a wall of fire. The odd thing was that the blaze wasn’t his biggest concern.

    There had been over a dozen Shin’i agents in Fuyuki when the war started. The mission had been simple, stay out of sight and observe the war. With such a powerful artifact available, the Shin’i Agency had to know what was happening and who might win the war. A simple reconnaissance mission in theory. Unfortunately, it had been anything but simple. Several days before the end of the war, they had lost contact with all the agents in the city. Their last transmission to Shin’i had been... grim.

    Nathan approached the building and looked at the charred and blackened remains of a house, the result of a recent fire. Luckily, it looked as if the firefighters had gotten there in time to save some of the structure. He gently thumbed the sidearm under his midnight black suit, as if to reassure himself it was still there; a nervous tic he’d been trying to avoid.

    Taking off his sunglasses, Nathan walked under the yellow tape that surrounded the husk of a building and made his way through the remains of the doorway. Adjusting to the shadowy interior, he saw crimson painted along the walls of the room and dark burgundy stains on sections of the carpeted floor. He recognized the familiar signs of bullet holes through the walls and brass shell casings on the floor. There must have been bodies here before, but the authorities had probably sent them to the coroners already. From that amount of blood splatter, he knew the agents here were already dead. The floors of the building were still soaking wet from the hoses used to put out the fire, placing the event here within the last two days, about the same time they had lost communication with their team here.

    Quickly searching through the house, Nathan picked up a silver suitcase and the team’s waterlogged laptops before heading back to his car. The winds outside were changing and he didn’t want to press his luck. Down the street, he watched as more fire trucks made their way towards the fire and Nathan raised an eyebrow at one of the truck emblems. The battle must have been growing desperate. The last three trucks had come from over three districts away.

    This was his last stop. Three safe houses and only eight agents “accounted” for. Nathan supposed the remaining agents might have been alive, perhaps hiding in an obscure location somewhere. However, the fact that none of them had reported in over the last several days made that unlikely. The fact Command had only sent two agents to Fuyuki to discover what had happened also told Nathan what they thought about the survival chances. He didn’t blame them, however. Shin’i was a small counter-paranormal organisation. Losing even a single agent was a blow to the organisation. Losing over a dozen agents was a massacre.

    The big mystery, and his mission here, was to find out just how a simple reconnaissance mission had turned into a bloodbath. Placing the contents of his search into the trunk, Nathan looked at the plethora of folders, files, hard drives and photos stored in the back. He sighed. It was going to be a pain to pick up the bread crumbs the other agents had left behind. Slamming the trunk down, he got into the unassuming black Corolla.

    A loud beep issued from his pockets and he fished through his pockets for the magic “ticker.” About as compact as a large compass and containing a similar look, it was a fusion between magi magecraft and modern technology.

    In theory, the device would help locate major magecraft events in a nearby location. In practice, it was only useful at long ranges. Anything more powerful than a simple novice spell within a hundred meters would cause the device to go crazy and spin the arrow like a fan. He’d have to remember to hound the Magi Division and R&D to fix the damned thing.

    Nathan looked at the device. Whatever was drawing its attention, it was definitely far into the distance. Something that could be detected that far away would have immense magical properties, most likely something related with the Grail War. Bringing out a map, he placed the device on his position and drew a line from where he was to where the arrow was pointing. The only location it lined up with was Ryuudou Temple. The site where all of Fuyuki’s leylines met together.

    Turning on the car, he shifted the vehicle into drive before turning off onto the main road.

    ===

    Finishing his status update to Shin’i, Nathan pocketed his cellphone and drew his sidearm. The air here was oddly stifling despite the winter weather, most likely due to the flames that engulfed the city behind him. At least he hoped that was the reason. He recalled Agent Linden had said something to him before about how complex spells could release enough mana for even regular humans to sense.

    Following the ticker’s arrow, he went off the temple’s stone steps and headed deeper into the forest that surrounded Ryuudou Temple. It might have been his imagination, but he swore the air was getting more humid, like heading closer into the maw of some massive unseen beast.

    With only the rhythmic noise of the device to keep him company, he continued to wade through the thick forest foliage one step at a time, each step causing him to sink almost an inch into the soft forest floor. Passing by a gigantic boulder that lay next to the path, he looked down at the device once more. The distance indicator was broken, rapidly cycling between random numbers, however, the arrow he was following maintained its direction. Well, at least that was a nice change. The thing wasn’t completely broken for once.

    “Why couldn’t it just be smoking hot Magi girls for once?” Nathan thought to himself, “Oh, that’s right, because they’re normally Dead Apostles looking to carve my heart out.”

    With his sidearm in one hand and the ticker in the other, he swept the device back and forth to sweep the area. Just for once, he’d appreciate finding something that wasn’t inherently evil or intent on killing him.

    Moving past the treeline, Nathan found himself atop a cliff side that gave a haunting view of the burning city below. The smoking rising from the ashes clogged the sky and blurred the evening sun on the horizon. Against a nearby pine tree, clad only in her black underwear, slept a petite blonde girl. Head lolled against her shoulder, the girl’s locks of hair strewn against her peaceful sleeping face.

    “Huh...” said Nathan at a loss for words.

    ===

    Consciousness slowly returned to Arturia. The first thing she noticed were the soft bedsheets that lay against her back, telling her she had somehow moved from her spot against the tree. She shot up from the bed... and immediately regretted it. Her body ached in protest at the sudden motion and she collapsed back onto the white sheets. It felt as if every muscle in her body had been sapped of all its strength.

    Arturia examined her surroundings. Whoever had taken her here had been considerate enough to provide her with a simple white t-shirt and a pair of shorts, although the shirt was several sizes too large. It was almost comical how the end of it nearly reached her knees. The room itself was rather spartan, with simple white walls and only a bed, dresser and nightstand to adorn the room. Looking out the window, she could tell night had fallen outside. With no small effort, she pushed herself to her feet, wobbling slightly as she stood up.

    She felt... odd. Her body tingled, as if fully charged with electricity, and although she felt tired to the bone she also felt brimming with energy. It was a strange feeling she couldn’t quite place.

    Her legs ached in protest but she continued onward, opening the door and heading into what looked like the kitchen and living room area. The room was bathed in a warm glow coming from the deck outside. She turned and looked out the sliding glass doors and watched as Fuyuki fire burned in the distance.

    Against the wall and on the kitchen table were numerous files, newspaper articles, documents and photos. Strings led from one picture to another, forming groups and patterns to organise the plethora of information. Many were waterlogged and damaged, revealing only blurred snapshots of battles. Although grainy and out of focus, she recognized the people in the photos. How could she not? She had been in them, although it seemed as if that had been another lifetime. In one set, she recognized the battle on the Fuyuki docks that had ended with her arm bleeding from Lancer’s curse. In another photo she saw the smoke and vague silhouettes that had been Caster’s corrupted abomination before she had destroyed it with Excalibur. Another set showed images of shining dots and flashes in the night sky; Lancer and Archer’s fight above the clouds.

    So enthralled Arturia was she with her memories of the Fourth Grail War that she missed the firm footsteps that came up from behind her.

    “Hey,” came a voice behind her.

    Adrenaline shot through her veins and reflexes took over her body. By pure instinct, she whirled around into a combat stance, her right arm prepared to throw a defensive jab while her left prepared to deflect any attack.

    Arturia yelled, hoping to surprise her attacker, before burning bright light filled her view and she was forced to shut her eyes against the flash of light. Taking a step back, she stumbled and fell to the wooden floor. Once again, her body tingled and her right arm tensed, as if struck by electricity, while cold chills flew up and down her body. When it was over, she cracked open her eyes and they shot wide open in surprise at the sight before her.

    Blood was splattered against the pristine white apartment wall. The man from before lay wounded against the kitchen counter, blood pouring from the gaping wound in his abdomen, a smeared trial of blood leading from where he’d fallen. Against the far wall was a new hole that had burned all the way to the outside, the edges singed and flickering with fire. In the air she could smell ozone, smoke and fire.

    “Did I do that?” she thought in disbelief.

    Arturia looked at her right arm where she could still feel the heat radiating from the spell she had cast. It still tingled with energy. She looked down at herself, as if this was the first time she’d seen her own two hands. That was impossible... She had never... she couldn’t have...

    The sound of moans roused her from her stupor and she headed towards the man. Hurrying over, she noticed something metallic on the floor... a metal mug and stirring spoon dropped on the floor; warm orange tea pooling around it.

    Arturia knelt next to him, his breathing low and shallow as he desperately tried to contain the blood pouring from his abdominal wound. Blood was rapidly soaking through his white shirt and pooling on the kitchen floor.

    “I take it you’re not a fan of Ceylon tea then?” he asked between gasps of air. He gave a soft smile towards her before exhaling in pain.

    “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to... I don’t know how... I...“ she said.

    “It’s okay...” he said, silencing her words. “Just forget about it and focus."

    She looked at the man’s wound and knew it was a mortal wound. The gaping hole in his abdomen was easily the size of her own fist and blood was seeping through his hands like a sieve. Already, she could see his skin going pale from the blood loss.

    “Looks like... Main artery... been severed,” said the man. “I estimate I have a minute before I go into shock and then cardiac arrest... give or take a minute.” Even now, his breath was already short and sporadic.

    “Is.. is there anything I can do?” she said. She was reminded of the end of battles in Britain, watching her soldiers die from their wounds while she stood by watching in vain; watching as the light slowly left their eyes. Arturia looked into his brown eyes and he closed them with a sigh.

    He sighed and his posture slouched at her words. “A little too late for that, although, if I’m going to go it’d be nice to know your name at least," he said.

    “Saber,” Arturia muttered. She didn’t know why she’d said it. Maybe it was just from habit, or because it had essentially become a second name for her, but it was the first thing that had come to her mind.

    “Sable... huh? That's a... good name...” the man said before closing his eyes in pain. Arturia opened her mouth to correct him, but stopped. There was no point.

    “What’s your name?” she asked in return.

    “Nathan... Nathan McNab” he said, that weak smile showing up once more. He lay his head back against the counter, forcing himself to keep breathing. “I guess this wasn't the best of days for either of us, huh?”

    Arturia sighed and closed her eyes. She wasn’t a magus. The most she had learned from Merlin was the Invisible Air enchantment. All of it had seemed inconsequential all those years ago but right now she cursed herself for ignoring his lessons. There might have been something in his preaching lectures that she could have used.

    Everything she’d done since she’d taken up the sword had brought destruction. The end of her kingdom. The death of her own son. Whole cities reduced to mere rubble with thousands of people dead underneath. And most recently... Shirou... Rin... Sakura...

    She’d been a sharpened blade her entire life; strong, direct, focused.

    But... swords could only destroy. They couldn't create life or heal a wound.

    Arturia placed her hands over McNab’s and gripped them. Concentrating, she pressed down on his arms, his warm blood coating her hands. “Stay with me, Nathanial. Let me fix this.” she said.

    “Let me fix all of this,” she said, barely above a whisper.

    Light enveloped the small apartment for several seconds, before fading back to darkness.

    =====

    - Memories of Future Past -

    The soft drip of water upon Saber’s deathly white face slowly roused the Servant from the darkness. Opening her olive green eyes, she saw the roof of the cavern that housed the Greater Grail. Another drop of water splattered on her face and she blinked. Slowly, she rose to her feet, using her corrupted sword as support. Angry tendrils of crimson flared along her blackened armor as she stood. She looked down at her damaged chest plate where Shirou’s twin swords had sliced through her armour and disemboweled her. The flesh underneath had been healed, the results of her Servant status and a near infinite pool of mana from Sakura. The only sign of damage from the previous fight was from her armor where the Shirou’s twin swords had cut through the metal plating.

    She looked down at the figure on the ground before her. Even in death, Shirou’s eyes still stared towards her, as if judging her for her sins. He had given everything to buy Rin several more minutes to confront Sakura. Deep down somewhere beneath the shackles of rage and corruption, she felt a pang of regret over the death of her former Master. She’d failed him. She’d failed everyone.

    Kneeling down, she gently closed his eyes. Had she been able to shed tears, they would have dripped upon Shirou’s now crimson stained shirt. As it was, even that simple ability had been sealed from her. Shutting her own eyes in remorse, she sighed, before rising once more.

    She slowly made her way towards the plateau that housed the Greater Grail. Blackened sludge poured down the stone steps and began to pool and spread along the cavern floor. Being made of only mana, the black mud was neither hot nor cold; it was simple there. Still... she shivered as she stepped through the filth and ascended the stairs. She may have been consumed by it, but somewhere deep down inside her, Saber still detested its feel; the parts of her that the darkest of the corruption couldn’t touch.

    Reaching the top of the stairs, she finally saw the Greater Grail. Even from this distance she felt revulsion from the artifact. The Grail stood like a towering monolith in the center of the cavern. White spheres that looked like eyes peered from its depths, rolling and twisting as if the thing could actually see her, while tendrils of the Grail’s corruption writhed and wriggled in the dark container like a nightmare-twisted squid.

    Sakura was nowhere to be found, nor Rin. Saber mentally called to her current Master, but received no response.

    Could it be possible? She called out, her voice echoing up and down the cavern, but received no reply. Forcing herself to concentrate past her anger, she tried to sense the mana connection to her Master, only to discover a void.

    A sense of pride welled within her chest, one that drowned even the tendrils of hate for a moment, although it was tempered with sorrow. Rin had actually done it. She had stopped Sakura, likely at the cost of her own life.

    It was, however, a victory paid in full. Shirou was gone. Rin and Sakura were gone. Ilya and Shinji were dead. Thousands of lives in Fuyuki claimed by the shadow over the last few hours. The only one left in the war now was herself. The last person standing.

    Something glimmered on the floor and Saber kneeled down to examine it; Rin’s jewel pendant. It was a useless thing, now devoid of its mana. She reached for the pendant and then stopped. The cold and calculated part of her mind, controlled by the corruption, rebelled against her sentimental urges. It was a useless bauble that would only distract her in combat. Her armored hand stopped.

    And yet... she still wanted to keep it.

    Warring factions within her mind collided, until finally one side relented in frustration. Grabbing the pendant, Saber pocketed it.

    Turning, she looked back at the Grail. A lifetime ago, this might have been the victory she had seeking but now it was but a bitter tasting defeat. Everyone she cared for was dead, everyone she knew. Her wish was right before her and yet she realized she didn’t care. It had taken her over three wars to finally understand that she finally didn’t care anymore. She could make her original wish, but then Shirou would still be dead, Rin would still be dead, Taiga would still be missing and Sakura would be gone.

    Thinking back to her old kingdom, she realized that despite everything that had happened, her greatest grief and regrets lay here. Her duty to her Master and this time lay unfinished.

    Saber walked until she was close enough that the Grail towered like a castle above her. She knelt on the ground, Excalibur beside her. Memories flooded her mind as she thought back on all her failures... all her sins. There were enough regrets there to fill two entire lifetimes, and yet... there was still one last glimmer of hope for her. One last chance even if it did cost her everything to take it.

    Taking Excalibur with both hands, she thrust the blade through her chest. Crimson blossomed from her chest and dripped out in rivulets from her back. Pain erupted from her chest, emptying her lungs of air and nearly causing her to black out. She coughed, and tasted the familiar taste of copper on her lips. From pure concentration and willpower, she forced herself to stay conscious. There wasn’t much time left and there was still one last thing to do.

    With the last of her strength, she thrust her gauntlet directly into the Grail.

    “Let this be the end of this cycle of misery and despair. Let me right all the wrong that I’ve done. Let me save them... Let me fix this. All of this,” she whispered.

    The ground around Saber trembled and then shook as if she were inside an erupting volcano. Cracks formed in the Greater Grail’s shell and, staring into them, she saw brilliant white light that enveloped her view. Slowly, she could feel the life finally drained from her wound before she closed her olive green eyes and collapsed to the floor.

    =====

    - Earth and Humanity -

    “Intriguing, one of the rituals finally succeeded” the female figure said. She watched as the small ball of light travelled through the fog towards her. Twirling the wisp of light around her fingers, she levitated it above her hand and observed the life within. “It’s curious, had the original clans worked together each of them would have come here in time.”

    She observed the wisp. It was so small and fragile yet filled with potential. She scrunched her brow in thought before examining the light closer.
    “Intriguing. So... she has to be the one to fix it? Hmm... Too many variables, high chance for failure... It’s unlikely she’ll ever succeed... unless...

    Cupping the light between her hands, she pulled at the wisp until two identical balls of light floated between her hands. She smiled. Lifting the new ball of light closer to her crimson eyes, she whispered several incarnations under her breath, causing the wisp hue to shift a light azure. With a simple push, she sent the wisps back towards the direction they’d came.

    “I noticed you put your own unique touch on the new one,” said a second figure from the darkness. “How... human of you.”

    “It abides by her request in spirit and to the letter,” she replied nonchalantly, “I fail to see how that makes me anymore human than yourself.”

    The second figure returned a smirk at her quip. Returning her attention to her work. she watched as the wisps disappeared into the distance.


    =====
    Last edited by Vigilantia; July 22nd, 2013 at 08:43 PM.

  19. #19
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Still looks good.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




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

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




  20. #20
    Conduit Patcheresu's Avatar
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    I'm curious to see where this is going.

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