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  1. #1
    鬼 Ogre-like You's Avatar
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    Fate/MOBA

    The Holy Grail War I am writing. Chapter 1 - 6 will all be posted today.



    Servant List

    Completed Servants go here.



    Opening Ceremony

    A disrespectful stray branch gashes my naked inner thigh, but because I’m moving so fast the neighboring leaves smear the blood into a dried dull red mark that almost glints orange. Muffling a pained cry, I don’t stop running away from the goats.

    To be honest, I have no idea why I’m naked and running away from goats in this forest – other than the fact that the goats are going to kill me if they catch up. To be even more honest, I actually don’t even know who I am or what I was doing up to a few moments ago, when I woke up to find two giant goats charging at me. Scurrying to the left to dodge the charge, I managed to make it into the shrubbery with only a couple of scratches on my left arm. The moment the first goat realized that its horns didn’t crush every bone in my body, it quickly turned and spotted me struggling to get back up. That was when I started running.

    By the way, when I say goat, I mean giant goat. Even with a blank in my memory, I know how big a goat should be and how big a big goat is. But just one of those helical horns was the size of a normal goat, the ones you see in the simulators. Well, I guess those aren’t really normal goats. Simulated goats aside, I came to about half of the goat’s knee.

    I think I’ve gotten away because I don’t hear the thundering of their hooves anymore. I try to slow my ragged breathing, but my breath catches the moment I realize that I am not actually safe. All around me are trees. All around me could be other giant goats ready to charge me down. Have I done anything to deserve this? Even if there’s a question, it’s not like I can answer it. I want to laugh. It’s comical, absolutely insane, that giant goats should even exist. But not a chuckle comes out of me; it’s as if my body accepts this, as if it knows why this is, and what it has to do.

    Was I actually some giant goat herder?

    That was not some sort of jest.

    Either way, my wounds aren’t that bad and I think I can make it home…

    Home.

    That one syllable word. Why did tears well up in my eyes the moment I considered my home? What is home, where is home? It’s something that I should never forget, something stamped onto my soul that I refused to let go of even if every other part of me flew away with the eastern wind.

    Honestly, that was more pretentious than poetic when I think about it. Was I really that sort of person? But there’s no time to consider such a stray thought because a shadow paints a tree far to my right. I say “paint” because I’m sure it was intentional. I have no real way of knowing, but my intuition says that if whatever it was didn’t want to produce a shadow in the forest, it has the skills to not be so obvious.

    I get up and brace myself, making sure not only to focus on each individual tree, but also the forest as a whole. There’s no disturbance in the magical energy in the area, but then again, I didn’t think there would be.

    Wait, magical energy? What’s that?

    That moment, that lapse in concentration was when it was fired. Unable to move, unable to react, I watched a supposedly delivered death, never arrive. Even if it was fast enough that it seemed like a shooting star, I only saw the flash erupt the ground before feeling the resulting sonic boom that tore through the forest, scattering birds from the branches as well as causing a cascade of now stray branches. Needless to say, the sheer force threw me down until I could taste ground while leaving the left half of my rib cage shattered.

    Lying helpless among the earthworms, in an unknown place, not even knowing who I am, my life is about to end before it even begins. Even with my ears still ringing and an intense pain racking my body, I have enough strength left to force my right hand to grab my death. Unable to move my head, I hold it up to the sky as some sort of closure.

    A thin rod as black as pitch tapered towards one end. As for the other end, there’s still some evidence of feathers.

    An arrow.

    The moment I identify what it is, it disperses into particles of light like a nightmare. Oh, how I wish this was just a nightmare. But to what and more importantly who would I be waking up to?

    With the arrow gone, I can finally see the cold-hearted Death above me.

    “—Wha…”

    The wind blows through the forest, sending the leaves into a fine frenzy before they settle that a whirlwind is preferable.

    This is the Archer who destroyed the very ground I was standing on and knocked me down with a single arrow that didn’t even touch me.

    “Y-You’re just a child.”

    The woman’s voice is full of surprise as she immediately dematerializes the divine longbow she holds in her right gauntlet.

    A wild wealth of green and golden unkempt hair framed by– umm, cat ears? But more importantly those green eyes speak of the brutality of nature yet also of a simple, innocent kindness. In that moment, I am entranced.

    Even if I am losing consciousness and I cannot be sure that I will still be the me of right now when I wake up, I vow to carry this scene to hell with me.


    This meeting meant something. This meeting was important.

    A thump, and something lumpy covers me. It feels soft, like some sort of pelt. For some reason, I’m instantly repulsed, but I don’t have the energy to fight it. Instead, I can only let this hopefully restful sleep take a hold of me as lights start to dance around this forest clearing.

    I don’t want to lose anything else.

    Fate/MOBA


    If I try to reach out to the past, this is the first and only memory I can grasp. Needless to say, it will disappear the moment I wake up.

    The first thing I felt was cold.

    It was not the bone-chilling, painful cold you feel when half of your body is braving a blizzard and the other half is submerged in winter snow. That was cold that I could handle, the cold that I reveled in. This coldness was more primal, as if I was in a place that I didn’t belong.

    Things that I had were no longer there.

    Things that I didn’t have were suddenly there.

    As if trying to push a round peg in a square hole, I believe the expression goes. Yes, even if it fit, it did not fit well.

    Looking around as the raw yet meager ether in the air subsided, I was surrounded by hundreds of hooded figures. Some were on the ground in pain, others had already fainted from the exertion. I could only presume some kind of ritual had taken place, and I… Was I the result or the failure?

    Yet in that unfamiliar place surrounded by all these unfamiliar people, I was not allowed to feel scared. That’s right, I wasn’t scared because ■■■ was beside me.

    But even if there was no fear, there was dismay; a gnawing, heart-wrenching feeling in my gut. Something that I shouldn’t forget, something that I can’t forget.

    This is the moment I was born.

    Even if I lose everything I am and everything I’ve done from when I came into being, I can’t forget this moment.

    For amongst the cold, amongst the dreary ruins, and the hooded members who were now nothing more than sacks of meat, was me, lying there, shivering and sobbing, wanting nothing more than to go back home.
    Last edited by You; August 16th, 2016 at 02:01 AM.
    Though abandoned, forgotten, and scorned as out-of-date dolls, they continue to carry out their mission, unchanged from the time they were designed.
    Machines do not lose their worth when a newer model appears.
    Their worth (life) ends when humans can no longer bear that purity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ticeexcenny
    In my opinion you are not right. I am assured. Let's discuss it. Write to me in PM, we will talk.

  2. #2
    Don't @ me if your fanfic doesn't even have Shirou/Illya shipping k thnx ItsaRandomUsername's Avatar
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    A new You fanfic?

    Okay, I'm gonna stick around for this one.
    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. #3
    鬼 Ogre-like You's Avatar
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    “We can’t just kill him, Professor. Archer would have our, well, my head.”

    “Fuck, I know. Killing a kid would leave a bad taste in my mouth anyway – as if it wasn’t a terrible day already. Can’t you just remove this part of his memory or have Lancer keep him asleep until this all blows over?”

    Two voices bordering on a slightly heated argument echo throughout my hazy mind. Am I still dreaming?

    “Yes, but he was already in the bounded field. There’s no way a normal human could-”

    “-Get into this place. And picking through his memories didn’t work. What did Lancer say again?”

    The glare of the swinging lightbulb reflecting the yellow nylon forces my eyes open. I must be in some sort of tent an almost well-to-do family uses when they go camping once every three months to stay “active.” As for the person talking, while it sounds like a man, I can’t actually see him. He sounds raspy enough to be a pretty heavy smoker though.

    “The contents of his available memories doesn't seem like those of a child, but we can’t find anything relevant. Lancer said they’re compartmentalized somewhere, more or less in self-defense from some kind of shock.”

    And that voice comes from the woman with her back towards me as her hands are splayed on the ground. I spot five tattoos on her right hand, Command Spells?

    “And he isn’t a magus is he?”

    “There aren’t any signs of a magic circuit or a magic crest.”

    The gravelly voice sighs, “What is a ten-year old kid doing in the middle of a god-knows-where forest in Sweden?”

    That makes me reflexively shoot up from the sleeping bag. Pretty big mistake since now all the eyes in the room are on me.

    It turns out the person who was talking wasn’t a person, but ummm, a toy? Stop me if I’m rambling, but seriously this freaks me out. I don’t really know how to describe this well because it’s more like something out of a cartoon than anything else. Let’s start with that it was a bull. At this point you would expect me to say it was a giant bull like the giant goats that chased after me. Yeah, me too. But if it was a giant bull, it definitely wouldn’t fit in the tent. Instead it was a bull you could fit on the palm of your hand – a palmtop bull? A palmtop bull with tiny wings and could talk. Like a Happy Meal gone wrong, it was definitely one of the weirdest familiars I’ve seen before, and I’ve seen a lot of familia-

    The woman clears her throat trying to make this less awkward for all involved, but to be honest that wasn’t on my mind.

    I know the bull is a familiar even if I don’t really understand what a familiar is. I also remember having seen a lot of familiars before, even if I don’t specifically remember them. Finally, I know that this isn’t common knowledge – much like knowing what Command Spells are, isn’t.

    “I’m sorry if this might be confusing for you,” the woman starts, “its name is Al and the person you’re talking to, well, his name is Professor El-Melloi.”

    “The second, you’ve got add the second or it doesn’t work,” El-Melloi II, or should I say the voice of El-Melloi II coming out from Al chastises the woman.

    “And I’m Noma, Noma Goodfellow,” says Noma with a smile. It’s a pretty smile meant to reassure me. After all, I think I’m supposed to be a ten-year old child. “What’s your name?”

    She looks like a clueless woman who is more on the cute side. I don’t think I should put my life in her hands no matter the reason because she’d just drop it along with whatever else she happens to be holding. Her orange hair that glints slightly of strawberry when the lightbulb hovers over it doesn’t improve my confidence in her either; in fact, it just makes me wonder if she has a soul. No freckles though, so that’s a good sign.

    I open my mouth, “I-I want to go home….”

    From that, I guess I really am a ten-year old? I hate ten-year olds.

    “This is why I hate dealing with kids.”

    “Oh, shush you,” now it’s her turn to chastise him, “we’re trying to do the best that we can. For now, I think it would be nice to at least know what to call you.”

    In the brief time I was conscious, I didn’t even think about that. However, now that she asks, I think I can sound it out in my head because it’s not that complicated…

    …God, was my name really that edgy? It’s almost like slit my wrists, drown in my angst, edgy. God, I really don’t want to say it out loud.

    “Raven… Mooney or maybe Mooney Raven?”

    El-Melloi II said something about me not looking Irish. I don’t feel Irish either, no offence to the Irish of course, they already get enough of that.

    “Hmmm, well, it sounds like your first name is Rave-“

    “Please don’t call me that,” I instantly cut her off without any expression, “j-just Mooney is fine.”

    For the first time in my brief time conscious, I want to tear apart whoever gave me that name. The only time it’s not pretentiously edgy is when you’re a sassy black girl with a grand personality who is trying to keep her psychic powers a secret. Actually, I’m starting to regret asking to be called Mooney, when Rae is such a better choice. And yes I know that Mooney is a last name, you don’t have to point that out Mr. Talking-Through-A-Palmtop-Bull.

    “And do you know where you are?” she asks.

    Okay, this is starting to sound like more of an interrogation. I know that I’m in a tent, I know that I was in a forest, but I don’t think that’s what they’re after. They did say we were in a forest in Sweden before they realized I was awake so I could just regurgitate that. Judging from those Command Spells though, “We’re in a Holy Grail War aren’t we?”

    Boom, mic drop, get off the stage, literally, figuratively.
    Though abandoned, forgotten, and scorned as out-of-date dolls, they continue to carry out their mission, unchanged from the time they were designed.
    Machines do not lose their worth when a newer model appears.
    Their worth (life) ends when humans can no longer bear that purity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ticeexcenny
    In my opinion you are not right. I am assured. Let's discuss it. Write to me in PM, we will talk.

  4. #4
    改竄者 Falsifier Petrikow's Avatar
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    Seems League inspired?

    Though I guess not an actual crossover.

    I remember having a lot of ideas for an actual Fate MOBA type game, but since I do not actually create games, they are quite useless.

    At least most people agreed it was a natural fit.

  5. #5
    鬼 Ogre-like You's Avatar
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    I have absolutely no idea what those three words mean. I mean, it sounds like a war for a holy grail which does sound dumb but something within me reassures me that its actually possible to war over a holy grail.

    Other than that, Noma is shocked. I'm sure El-Melloi II, whatever he looks like, is looking at me like that as well. So right now, I'm getting some vibes that a ten-year-old should not know what a Holy Grail War is, whatever it is.

    It's not like there is something within me feeding me information. This is information that I actually know for some reason or another. It's just that the information has been… muddled – that's a good way to put it. When the right circumstances present themselves, I piece things together without knowing the specifics. For example, just now, I remembered that you could organize the memory into four systems: writing, saving, replaying, and recognizing. If one of these functions has an issue, that is what we call a "memory disorder." I think that my issue is with "replaying." While I can replay anything from when I was chased by goats up until now, I need triggers to replay anything that happened before that time. I'm slightly reassured that my memories are there; I need a bit more effort than most to retrieve them.

    That was actually pretty deep, maybe I was a neuroscientist?

    That wasn't a jest either.

    I tried to explain what happened to me and everything I could remember to Noma and El-Melloi II – hoping they wouldn't kill me. By the end of my story it seemed they just resigned themselves to the fact that I was a mystery that this Lancer fellow could probably solve in an instant if he felt like it. But according to them, this Lancer fellow wasn't going solve me without Noma expending a Command Spell. Oh, I also learned what Command Spells actually do as well so yay me in that regard?

    The Holy Grail War, they explained, was a war for a holy grail; more specifically, it referred to the wars held for the 726th Grail – that's a lot of grails. Turns out there are a lot of grails because they are all fake. Well they're not exactly fake – as what defines a Holy Grail is its wish-granting ability – but they were definitely not real, as in they did not receive the blood of Christ. I'm not too sure about the specifics because El-Melloi II went into a lot of detail about what defines something as genuine in magecraft terms and I kind of tuned out.

    The 726th Grail is also commonly known as the Fuyuki Grail after the city where the ritual was held. It was there, two hundred ago, where Heroic Spirits were first summoned as Servants and did battle for the chance to make a wish upon an omnipotent vessel. Held in secret, the ritual was finally stopped on the eve of World War II. During the third Holy Grail War, Darnic Prestone Yggdramillenia, one of the Masters, stole the Greater Grail, whatever that was. To hide his trail, he was also forced to spread information around the globe on how to manufacture a Holy Grail. Thus began the age of sub-category Holy Grail Wars – of which this is one.

    The original Fuyuki Grail re-surfaced almost a decade ago in a Romania town called Trifas, but El-Melloi II said that was another story. What was important was that magi continue to fight in these wars as the Holy Grail is said to grant any wish; however, these sub-category grail wars generally can't even support five Servants, not to mention how buggy they usually are. I didn't really know what he meant by "buggy," but I felt he just gave a nice brief overview of what a Holy Grail War was.

    After he finishes, Noma tells me that El-Melloi II is a lecturer so that makes more sense. He's probably talked about Holy Grail Wars over and over again – in front of entire lecture halls of people. Then, Noma apologizes – she says that it's her fault that I'm in this mess. Even if she says that, I don't think she's the one who put me, naked, in front of angry giant goats.

    While this Holy Grail business is interesting, I don't want anything to do with it. I know throwing away a chance at getting anything I could want is childish, but so am I, I guess. That is why I once again ask her if she could take me home.

    She shoots me a sad smile and tells me there is something I should see outside.

    I was about to protest that I was naked, but I saw the sleeves around my arms. I don't have much experience with clothes or I should say that I didn't have much experience with clothes, but I was could tell that what I was wearing was rather plain. Although, not to be ungrateful nor downright ew, I couldn't help noticing that I was wearing a pair of women's underwear. It makes sense considering I doubt that Noma would carry an extra pair of male underwear with her. I will admit though, while slightly embarrassed, it didn't feel that uncomfortable. Underwear manufacturers must put more effort into that type of stuff for women.

    With that slightly lingering on my mind, I push off the sleeping bag and open the flap of the tent. Hopefully this time there won't be any giant goats around.

    "I know he's a liability. Then again, once upon a time so were you and I. What did Gray say about this?" Noma's voice is the first thing I hear while coming out. It seems like she's talking to Al who is firmly on her shoulder.

    "Gray is still in London," El-Melloi II answers shortly. "You aren't going to budge on this are you? He's not a magus but he's obviously involved in this somehow. This is different from what happened to you."

    "This isn't any different. Not all stray children are Assassins who have lost their memories. He's like I was, someone caught in the middle of someone else's Holy Grail War and I'm going to help him get back to his home. Even if he wasn't involved, he's still a child for God's sake!"

    A moment of silence then, "You've changed, Noma. If you are going to be that stubborn, he's your responsibility."

    I decide to pipe up, "Excuse me?"

    I'm going to assume that's unnecessary confirmation that I have a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    The air in the camp is quite different from the air in the forest. It seems to be easier to move around here; it also seems heavier in a sense. Other than the air, the "base," as Noma called it consists of zero point two five times pi r squared. Ummm, sorry about that, it's just hard to explain. Maybe it'd be easier if I said one quarter of a circle? When we reach the edge of the base Noma stops and shows me the hot springs. There are a few hot springs around Sweden, but I'm pretty sure there shouldn't be any around here; even if, I can't say that I'm entirely surprised.

    The hot spring is not why she brought me here though because there are an unnatural number of trees around the hot spring. The closer we get to it, the more my vision starts to become distorted I realize there is absolutely nothing wrong at all. It almost feels as if there is a conceptual gap in the space between the other side of those trees and where we are just a nice view of trees.

    "No one can get in or out. Lord El-Melloi II is actually sitting in a hotel in the closest city to this forest, Valhalla," Noma says after watching me shake my head, trying to get rid of those thoughts.

    I don't think I need to overstate the irony of having a Holy Grail War near a town called "Valhalla."

    "If that's the case, how did you get in here?" I ask Noma.

    She points to her eyes, "They're called
    Glam Sight
    Fairy Eyes
    . It might sound like I'm able to see through glamours, but that's not really the case. You've heard of mystic eyes?"

    I nod. Again, it's one of those things. I could ask her to elaborate on it, but at this point, I don't think I want to hear another lore lecture.

    "They let me see things which are 'out of place' in reality. So while I can see the presence of magecraft as well as the flow of magical energy, what these eyes are truly made for are identifying invisible phantasmal species like fairies and their mysteries. This bounded field is so complex that it fools nature. It might as well be one of those bounded field that hides an entire alternate world. With these eyes, I'm not only able to comprehend this, but I can also follow a trail of crumbs and make my way through. Actually, that's why the Clock Tower asked for my help. I guess Holy Grail Wars and I go hand in hand," she laughs nervously.

    "But even with those eyes you can't get us out."

    She apologizes, "It took a miracle to get in. I still have a long way to go."

    "The Second Owner of a nearby town alerted the Clock Tower about suspicious activity in this region. It seemed she was conducting a large scale ritual – one that would even affect the land here – yet the leyline activity seemed completely normal," El-Melloi II finishes for Noma, having taken an interest in this conversation or maybe the lecturing mood is contagious.

    I'm not sure about the specifics. I guess it's just a bad idea to hide one unnatural phenomenon with another – no matter how complex the bounded field is. While the second distortion hides the first one, it also draws attention to itself. Maybe the only way to hide a phenomenon then is to explain the phenomenon away to everyone whose attention it captures. Like say that it's due to gas leaks or something.

    He continues, "A few bounded field specialists were sent to the area but they couldn't find anything. At that point, I suggested that we send Noma here with my familiar."

    "His name is Al," she retorted. "The entire class decided that. You should use his name; otherwise, you'll hurt his feelings."

    He ignores her, "Upon finding the bounded field, I told her to wait until I arrived so we could assess the situation. But after a day of waiting, she entered the forest without me."

    "I had no choice, I saw a surge of magical energy inside the bounded field. That was the trail I was talking about before."

    "And when have you ever run towards danger? Aren't you a self-proclaimed coward?"

    "When I came out of the forest to this base, I gained these," she ignores him in return and shows me her Command Spells, "and I knew that I would have to win or destroy the Grail to get out."

    Pausing for moment like she realized someone she adds, exactly like last time, before motioning me to follow her to a giant structure right in the middle of the base.

    It's a big expanse of paved land, one could almost call it some kind of ruin. Three giant statues or should I say, giant statues of giants are holding giant crystal rune stones protected by what seems to be magecraft shields. And the treasure they're guarding is floating on top of a pedestal – a giant yellow crystal. I have no clue what it's made out of or who made it; however, from the shape, I know there's something inside of the crystal. Right, the crystal isn't the treasure, it's merely the final layer of defense. The crystal glimmers in the sun and from following those glimmers I realize we are standing on a magic circle – a summoning circle.

    "You can't see it, but inside that crystal is a single spiritual core. The spiritual core is the essential part of a Servant. Once the spiritual core is damaged beyond repair, the Servant will disappear. This spiritual core wasn't always here though; it only materialized when I summoned the Servants."

    So then the three giant, giant statues are the final line of defense. The moment they all fall, the spiritual core becomes vulnerable. At the same time, as long as long of the statues is still up, the core cannot be harmed.

    We continue walking until we arrive at the outer edge of the base where another one of those giant, giant statues stands guard.

    "There are actually three of these statues around the edge of the base. Each guards a possible path into the base as well as this," she taps the structure next to us. A large pit half covered with stone, it looks like some sort of burial mound but feels like a magical energy furnace. At the bottom of the pit is another summoning circle; however, this one looks different.

    "Instead of the ward of purification, it's the exact opposite, a ward of putrefaction. Not to mention instead of the crystal ball in the middle, there's an eclipse," El-Melloi II remarks, "shouldn't be much of a surprise that those come out of it."

    The magic circle starts to glow as we climb out of the structure. A few seconds pass as scores of effigies march out of the mound. While their general shapes are humanoid they don't have any joints, neither are any parts interlocking. Magical energy, rather than physical means, holds them together. Their heads are not attached to their bodies, neither are their thighs attached to the trunk of the body – the ones that even have legs, that is. Not all effigies look the same. As far as I can tell, there are five distinct types: the first type has both arms attached to a greatsword, the second has a quiver poking out of its back and a bow in hand, the third's arms are attached to a spear, the fourth doesn't have legs and floats while holding a giant mallet in one hand, and the fifth is something like a centaur and comes with an assortment of weapons.

    While having no idea why this motley army is leaving the safety of the base and into what seems to be a straight road to nowhere, El-Melloi II asks me, "Have you ever heard of a MOBA?"

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrikow View Post
    Seems League inspired?

    Though I guess not an actual crossover.

    I remember having a lot of ideas for an actual Fate MOBA type game, but since I do not actually create games, they are quite useless.

    At least most people agreed it was a natural fit.
    Never actually played league. Played smite for a week.
    My sibling plays league though, so I know the general stuff.
    Yeah definitely a natural fit though.
    Though abandoned, forgotten, and scorned as out-of-date dolls, they continue to carry out their mission, unchanged from the time they were designed.
    Machines do not lose their worth when a newer model appears.
    Their worth (life) ends when humans can no longer bear that purity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ticeexcenny
    In my opinion you are not right. I am assured. Let's discuss it. Write to me in PM, we will talk.

  6. #6
    鬼 Ogre-like You's Avatar
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    MOBA.

    Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. While it originally could be considered a sub-genre of Real Time Strategy games, it has proliferated into a phenomenon that generates much more revenue. Popularized with the custom Starcraft map, Aeon of Strife, which was inspired by Future Cop: LAPD, eventually the map was adapted for Blizzard's other game Warcraft III. It was called Defense of the Ancients or DOTA. You can consider this the beginning of the MOBA juggernaut.

    Next.

    With the map being a mirror image of itself, there are three main paths: top, middle, and bottom. Each lane is guarded by three turrets with each turret getting progressively stronger as the enemy penetrates deeper and deeper into one's territory. A jungle separates these three lanes and is filled with monsters, or "mobs," that can be killed for buffs and experience.

    Next.

    The player does not control the rank-and-file soldiers – minions. Instead they select one hero character, that they control to fight other hero characters. Usually, there are five players in a team, making it ten players in one game. The heroes start off weak but as they kill minions, jungle mobs, and other heroes they progress and gain new abilities as well as currency to buy equipment. When a hero dies, they will respawn after a period of time proportional to their current level.

    Next.

    There are two team bases: one on the bottom left edge of the map and the other on the top right edge of the map. Each base contains a respawn point that also serves as a healing location. This healing location usually also contains a shop where the heroes can purchase items to grow stronger. At the edge of the base are the base turrets as well as the "inhibitors" or "barracks". The inner towers must be destroyed before these structures can be touched. After the inhibitors or barracks are destroyed, the minions are strengthened. Of course, after a period of time, they will be repaired. In the middle of the base are a certain number of more turrets. These turrets protect the most important part of the base. While its name changes depending on the game, the moment this structure is destroyed, one side wins.

    Is there anything else?

    While there are many similarities to the traditional MOBA, there were also a few fundamental differences in the Holy Grail War we find ourselves in. Seeing as the game had already started when I was found we can already see some of those changes; however, we might find even more later on.

    And like that I just summarized El-Melloi II's summary of what a MOBA was as we walked back to the Spiritual Core Crystal.

    "I can accept all that, but why would someone go through the effort of conceptualizing a Holy Grail War as a MOBA?"

    "Grounding the concept," El-Melloi II responds instantly. "I've been thinking about it as well and that's the only reason I can think of. Because they're so popular these days, someone is trying to use the setting of a MOBA as a conceptual framework for something." He lingers on "something."

    Al doesn't move but I think El-Melloi II is shaking his head.

    "It's not like you need to attach a Holy Grail War to anything to begin with," El-Melloi II continues. "After all, the ritual itself is just the degraded version of another ritual."

    Noma sighs. It must be pretty normal for El-Melloi II to be this lost in thought then.

    "Anyway, that's the situation I found myself in. With the Holy Grail War in progress, the Professor wanted me to see if the lanes and the jungle did contain what he suspected they did. Usually in a MOBA when the minions and the jungle mobs spawn, it means the match has begun. We knew the effigies had started spawning so I sent Archer to che-" she stops herself, "Wait, I haven't even introduced you to everyone have I?"

    I look to the left sheepishly.

    She apologizes again and calls everyone out.

    Particles of light gather as the ether bodies of past traditions materialize into this world.

    Servants, an aspect of a Heroic Spirit taken form in the modern era through the blessing of the Holy Grail through one of seven classes. To see a Servant is considered a miracle of the highest order, but right now there are five.

    "Saber," Noma starts to announce each of them in turn.

    The man whose entire body is encased in radiant armor has a greatsword on his back. His grey-silver shaggy hair contrasts his chestnut skin.

    "Servant Saber," he pauses for a second as if wondering if he should continue, "Servant Saber, Siegfried, responding to these summons. Well met-" he pauses again.

    "Raven, his name is Raven," Noma supplies.

    Saber nods, "Well met, Raven."

    "Mooney's fine," I shoot back as quickly as possible.

    "Sorry about that… Truly, I'm sorry."

    "Archer."

    The woman who attacked me in the forest. I shirk back a little, but she tries to smile at me. It must be something rather uncharacteristic for her because it looks like a beast about to eat her prey. From her bright verdant clothing and her long, unkempt hair it might be fitting to call her a beast in human form.

    "I'm sorry for attacking you in the forest. I honestly had no idea."

    I begin to tell her that it's fine, but she absentmindedly comes over and starts patting my head in bliss. I feel a bit guilty because she probably really likes children and I don't really feel like a child. If she found that out, she'd probably be disappointed beyond belief.

    The man next in line coughs "Atalanta" into his fist and Archer glares at him before moving back.

    "Lancer," he proclaims, "Protector of Erin, leader of the glorious Fianna, the person who bested Nuadha, Fionn Mac Cumhaill is present. Let's do our best."

    A handsome, blond young man who most girls would be taken with in a heartbeat. While he is pretty, I think the most attractive thing about him might be his infectious cheer and his confidence.

    "Lancer was the one who healed you," Noma slightly lowers her head in acknowledgment.

    "Oh, than-" I start.

    "No need to thank me young man. I was only doing what any member of the Fianna would. We don't do these brave, valorous, and selfless acts for the thanks or praise, you see."

    "Umm, well thanks anyway."

    An odd fellow for a god-slayer.

    "Rider is next."

    She's a stunning holy woman with a surprisingly revealing robe. Calm and composed, she looks as if nothing can taint her. The proof is the cross on top of her staff.

    "I am Martha, just Martha. I swear I shall do my best to help you."

    Finally, "Berserker."

    Standing two meters tall with actual horns on his head, the brute of a man exudes a physical strength that is wrapped in madness.

    Lancer laughs, "I don't think you'll get anything much out of Berserker there."

    "Dddddddoooooooooaaaaaaaaaaa-!"

    Everyone jumps back. No one expected that rebuff.

    "Blood…Axe…Er…i…k…" An almost impossible to understand string of words.

    "So everyone," Noma speaks up, her voice a little shaky. I'm sure anyone in her position would be, "I called you here so we could make a decision about what to do with Raven. He wants to go home."

    What.

    "I have my own opinion, but since you guys will be the ones helping me, well, I think you should all have a say as well," Noma opens up the floor.

    Lancer laughs, "I honestly don't think you'll get much of anything out of Berserker here."

    "Gggggguuuuaaaaaaaa-!"

    I swear they're like a broken record.

    Archer is the first to speak up, "If any of you even lays a finger on him, I'll tear you to pieces."

    It's nice having someone in your corner I guess, a bit scary, but nice. Actually, really scary. Like, I'm going to wet Noma's underwear scary.

    "Archer, I don't think you will have to go that far," Rider replies. "I'm sure there's no one here, other than maybe Berserker who would hurt a child."

    Archer instantly materializes and then draws her bow, aiming it at Berserker, "You're right, Saint. Maybe it's better to take care of him before that happens."

    The tension between the Servants feels like Archer's taut bow. Berserker's face twists and his eyes turn red. It seems that no one can stop a fight from breaking out.

    I look at Noma. She's fingering her Command Spells. If she's going to stop the fight, she's going to need two of them at the very least. But even if she can invoke the first command fast enough, there's no way she can get the second one off before either Archer or Berserker kills the other one.

    "It's an affront that you would think my husband would attack a child!" A strangely comprehensible voice comes from Berserker.

    During the appropriate amount of time that we are all shocked for, the voice announces, "My name is Gunnhild. For the impropriety of summoning my dearest husband, I would usually take all your lives."

    All the eyes around the Spiritual Core Crystal narrow. I'm sure I'm not the only person thinking this is a ruse. Don't you dare try to catfish us.

    "We have no wish to see blood spilt in front of a child. Also, we know too well the pain of wishing to return to one's home, yet being unable to," Berserker relaxes, "we will excuse this disgusting slur, the next howe… aaarrrgggghhhh!"

    Archer dematerializes her bow in disgust.

    "Well it seems like our dear Berserker is full of surprises. As expected of the Mother of Kings," Lancer puts his hands up in air – probably half in relief, "what about you, illustrious dragon-slayer?"

    Without saying a word, Saber gazes into me with his deep green eyes for an awkward moment.

    "Protecting those who can't protect themselves, helping a child get back home, that is justice, enough."

    Lancer smiles and claps him in the back a few times, "Well said, very well said, friend! Then we are all in agreement! The boy will be under Mistress Goodfellow's care and we will endeavor to protect them the best we can."

    Noma laughs half relieved and half in disbelief.

    I'm sure I could hear El-Melloi II's disapproval from the other side of Al.
    Though abandoned, forgotten, and scorned as out-of-date dolls, they continue to carry out their mission, unchanged from the time they were designed.
    Machines do not lose their worth when a newer model appears.
    Their worth (life) ends when humans can no longer bear that purity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ticeexcenny
    In my opinion you are not right. I am assured. Let's discuss it. Write to me in PM, we will talk.

  7. #7
    鬼 Ogre-like You's Avatar
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    After the Servants all agreed not to feed me to the goats, they receive their orders. Noma takes out an ensorcelled map she found in the base’s storehouse. Not only does it show the lay of the land, but it also shows the movement of our effigies as well as our Servants as yellow dots. The rest of the map is filled with a fog of war. This fog would clear up next to the effigies but return as they fought and died against the opponent’s effigies – whoever the opponent is.

    El-Melloi II notes that MOBA are usually five versus five affairs, so it makes sense that the opponent would also have five Servants. Rider asks him why he knows so much about MOBAs. You can hear him choking on his coffee. Noma answers that El-Melloi II is an avid gamer and that he would be helping her with this Grail War. Saber is silent while Archer frowns a little. I think she didn’t like the idea that a war is based around a child’s game. El-Melloi II reassures Archer that he is trained by one of the best MOBA players – Cruentum.

    Rider frowns, “Doesn’t that mean blood?”

    “Battle isn’t something that one should revel in…” Saber trails off almost disapprovingly.

    “Username… That’s a username. I’m sure it’s something he came up with when he was thirteen and thought it was cool. It happens to everyone.” El-Melloi II tries to dismiss it.

    Lancer nods approvingly, “It is natural for a child to have dreams of glory without realizing the realities of war.”

    “What a world the modern era is.” Archer’s face is scary. “For children to name themselves after the blood of their foes. All the more reason they need to be saved.”

    “A-Anyway, as El-Melloi II was saying…” Noma interjects.

    The conversation turns to the basic meta of a MOBA. The Servants would split up: one would go to the top lane, one in the middle lane, one into the jungle, and two into the bottom lane.

    After being assigned their roles, the Servants quickly leave as a new wave of effigies spawns. Noma and I would track their progress on the map. Furthermore, Noma gives each group a familiar, a spirit in the shape of a fairy. Along with being able to see what the Servant saw, this would allow Noma and me to follow what was happening on the battlefield. To help facilitate this, there were multiple magic mirrors in the base’s storehouse she could project the images her familiars saw. Most likely they were put there just for this purpose.

    This doesn’t make much sense to me. If the enemy Master is the mastermind – the creator of the system, why would that person give us these resources? El-Melloi II says he is worried about this as well. He also said we shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Whether or not the mirrors are a gift horse or a Trojan Horse, Noma projects the images from her familiars, including the Servants, onto the mirrors and we start to watch their approach with the effigies.

    El-Melloi II explains that Servants move much faster than the effigies can; after all, they are Heroic Spirits. I nod. If a Servant went too far from an effigy, they would eventually reach a giant, giant statue alone. However, from what I knew about a Heroic Spirit, dodging or blocking what would come out of a turret didn’t seem that hard.

    “So then is this one of those differences that you mentioned? Usually a hero starts off very weak right?” I ask El-Melloi II but it’s Noma who answers.

    “A Master has a special form of Clairvoyance; it allows a Master to see a Servant’s information, parameters, skills, and Noble Phantasms.”

    Noble Phantasm – another one of those words.

    She continues without noticing my slight twitch, “While most information is visible at the beginning, certain skills and Noble Phantasms need to be visually confirmed before they’re known. Anyway, from this status screen, a Master can tell roughly how strong a Servant is.”

    I nod, not really knowing what this has to do with my question.

    “Some of these statuses are databased in the ‘Subcategory Holy Grail War Walkthrough Wikia.’ Of course it depends on how many Masters actually survive as well as how many are willing to put up the information. Sorry, but from watching Archer scouting in the forest, I don’t think they live up to their statuses.”

    That puzzles me.

    El-Melloi II fills me in on that, “I am sure that you can see there is only one spiritual core. Usually, the spiritual core is “inside” the Servant. After all, the Servant materializes around the spiritual core. Yet the people who created this system was able to separate the core and the Servant. Even then, there shouldn’t be one spiritual core and five Servants.”

    I think I’m beginning to understand, “So you mean there’s actually just one Servant. Or rather, the five are sharing the power of one Servant.”

    “There is an Assassin said to have the ability to split itself into eighty different partitions – Servants. I assume the principle is about the same, but on a smaller scale. Because they share the same spiritual core each of our Servants only have one fifth of their inherent power,” El-Melloi II concludes.

    “After all,” Noma picks the conversation up, “there hasn’t been a subcategory Holy Grail War that can summon ten Servants. Two Servants however… that’s entirely possible. So then the parameters that I can see are normalized to fit that mold.”

    But using a single spiritual core to contain five Servants, I don’t even know if that’s possible. Then again, I don’t really know that much about magecraft or Servants anyway. I just… I just feel like there’s something wrong with that explanation.

    “There’s a trick,” El-Melloi II repeats this a few times, “there’s something that we’re all missing here. This ritual is too excessive: excessive items, excessive rules, excessive set-up. Whenever you perform a ritual, you want to only have the exact number of components that is necessary to make it run the way you want. After all, magecraft is equivalent exchange. Yet this Holy Grail War has so much that’s unnecessary.”

    Noma apologizes for El-Melloi II getting off track then, “We’ve surmised each effigy contains a spark of life from each Servant. That is why there are five types of effigy; they correspond with the classes of our Servants.”

    “Wait, Noma, so then when you summoned those Servants…” Something clicks.

    “Yes, I went up to the summoning circle, chanted the incantation, and those five appeared. I don’t think there was any other option.” She shakes her head. “Sorry, back to the matter at hand. We believe that if a Servant defeats an opponent’s effigy, they’ll gain a portion of that spiritual energy – boosting their abilities by a minuscule amount.”

    Like leveling in a standard MOBA.

    “Considering this is a Holy Grail War,” El-Melloi II seems to have come back from the depths of his thoughts, “death should be permanent. So then unlike a normal MOBA, if you kill all the opponent’s Servants and you have your own left, it should be easy to take the Spiritual Core Crystal.”

    A fight more desperate than that of a MOBA, one where every misstep could mean death. It might even be impossible to come back from behind. On that note, I can do nothing but lean back and wait for the inevitable mistakes made. In the words an actual ten-year-old playing his first MOBA game, “no flame pls ty.”
    Though abandoned, forgotten, and scorned as out-of-date dolls, they continue to carry out their mission, unchanged from the time they were designed.
    Machines do not lose their worth when a newer model appears.
    Their worth (life) ends when humans can no longer bear that purity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ticeexcenny
    In my opinion you are not right. I am assured. Let's discuss it. Write to me in PM, we will talk.

  8. #8
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Malgos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by You View Post

    MOBA.

    Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. While it originally could be considered a sub-genre of Real Time Strategy games, it has proliferated into a phenomenon that generates much more revenue. Popularized with the custom Starcraft map, Aeon of Strife, which was inspired by Future Cop: LAPD, eventually the map was adapted for Blizzard's other game Warcraft III. It was called Defense of the Ancients or DOTA. You can consider this the beginning of the MOBA juggernaut.
    You always do your research so well You. Going to give this a try once I got the time to do so. By the way a little fun fact during the Warcraft 3 era "MOBAs" (Which I still think is way too broad of a term) those sort of map types were called AoS, after Aeon of Strife, yup even DotA which Valve now calls "Action Real Time Strategy".
    Last edited by Malgos; August 2nd, 2016 at 04:26 PM.

  9. #9
    鬼 Ogre-like You's Avatar
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    Laning (Top)

    There was once a hero. A great hero who killed a dragon.

    Originating from Northern Europe, his is a song sung all around the world, for the dragon-slayer was stronger, braver, and more just than anyone else.

    Saber is not that dragon-slayer.

    Siegfried is not Sigurd.

    Siegfried’s was a life spent
    granting wishes
    serving others
    . His was a life held hostage by the very word, “hero.”

    The phantasmal greatsword cleaves yet another enemy effigy into two.

    Please punish these people. Please slay this dragon. Please help me marry this queen.

    He claims it was a life well lived. He was proclaimed a hero and the people loved him. But did he love himself?

    The blood armor of the evil dragon naturally nullifies several more barrages of crossbow fire as he breaks through the entire line, forcing the enemy effigies to regroup.

    Even when he hurt the pride of a foreign queen, did he feel what he did was right?

    Even when he hurt the woman he loved, the woman he vowed to protect, did he feel what he did was correct?

    Sparse fireballs have no hope of singeing either his skin or his sword. They are all either batted into the ground or deflected back at their attackers. That is why Siegfried lays claim to the title of the strongest.

    But what does being the strongest mean when you are shackled to the infinite obligations that you hold to your country, to your people, to the hopes and dreams of others. When so beloved and trusted, where does your obligation to yourself dare fit?

    Siegfried doesn’t know.

    That is why even his song is glorious, it is tinged with the melancholy of a hero who was unable to do the things he wanted. The wretchedness of a hero who even arranged for his own death to stop a situation that was not even his fault from spiraling into chaos.

    I want to go home.


    It’s a sentiment that Siegfried understands. To return to the time before his brother-in-law asked him to embrace the queen of Iceland, before he slayed
    Fafnir
    the evil dragon
    , before he retrieved
    Balmung
    the phantasmal greatsword
    . To return to a simpler life. To throw away Siegfried the Dragon Slayer and just be another forgotten Prince of the Netherlands.

    Even so… there were people who thanked me. There were people who were smiling.


    The dragon-slayer readies his sword in preparation for the next wave of effigies. He can see the giant, giant statue now. He only has a quarter of his original effigy force, but he knows he can hold off any incoming force until his Master’s promised reinforcements come in about half an hour. After all, Saber is a walking fortress. After he bathed in the blood of the
    Fafnir
    evil dragon
    there was no one who could wound him.

    And yet even if no one could wound him, the dragon-slayer asked his friend, a man he exchanged cups of brotherhood with, to kill him.

    I… shouldn’t have asked that of you.


    Meticulously working day and night to find out the dragon-slayer’s weakness, the man’s only wish was for his aim to be true when that day came. And one day, as the dragon-slayer was drinking water, a blade stole his life. That moment his
    friend’s
    assassin’s
    heart was broken from killing his ideal. Yet, that was not the end.

    The dragon-slayer had no idea that the woman he loved, his wife, would exact her mistaken revenge. He had no idea that she would kill hundreds and involve thousands until she herself burned out in rage.

    I think…. I should have handled it more delicately.


    But that was the exact reason why when he heard that boy needed help he-

    Blood pours out of Saber’s chest. He hasn’t felt this sensation in a long time and hesitates before quickly retreating out of the giant, giant statue’s range.

    Bathing in the evil dragon’s blood not only changed the color of Siegfried’s skin, but also increased its durability. As it seemed Saber’s skin was dragon blood itself, this Noble Phantasm was rightly called
    Armor of Fafnir
    Blood Armor of the Evil Dragon
    . All attacks B rank and lower are nullified while any attack higher than B rank is reduced by a numerical value equivalent to a B rank. In simple terms, when attacking Siegfried, an A rank attack only does the equivalent damage to an E rank attack.

    That was why Siegfried did not fear the giant, giant statue. No matter how strong the magecraft, even if Siegfried didn’t have any Magic Resistance, he was sure that his Noble Phantasm would decrease the damage until it was nothing more than a cigarette burn. Yet, that obviously wasn’t the case.

    Behind his quickly decreasing effigy force, Siegfried is almost forced to his knees. Half of his stomach has been blown out – a fatal wound to any human. But Servants aren’t human, as long as the brain and heart, nodes to the spiritual core, are intact and there’s a healthy supply of magical energy, the Servant will survive.

    Siegfried can feel his Master’s paltry healing magecraft working in tandem with his own inherent healing factor. Noma Goodfellow is not a magus, but a spellcaster, and even among spellcasters she specializes in the type of magecraft useful for treasure hunting. While she can now cast basic healing spells without the help of a mystic code, that’s all they are, basic. Luckily for her, it was not the physical wound that almost brought Siegfried to his knees.

    Siegfried is a moving fortress. Cleaving all that comes close to him with his exquisite, otherworldly swordplay, he takes the remaining few with his body – either nullifying the damage or reducing it to scratches before beheading the one who dares try to pierce his defense. This has been how Siegfried has fought since he bathed in Fafnir’s blood. This style has served him through hundreds of conflicts, not to mention a number of Holy Grail Wars that are more like hazy dreams than anything else. That was why he paid no real attention to the runic spray from the giant, giant statue. Being a prince from the Netherlands, Siegfried understood that the giant, giant statue held a replica of the lost “Primal Runes,” carved by long dead giants. Covered in a layer of liquid crystal film, the runes are magnified a hundred-fold. Being so familiar with this process, Siegfried knew the spells that came out of the rune stone would not be higher than A rank. His blood armor should have easily reduced those attacks.

    Somehow, Siegfried miscalculated and he was damaged more than he believed possible. Even so, Siegfried would not have retreated. Using the information gathered from that wound, he would have adjusted himself accordingly to deal with the next barrage of runes instead of concentrating on the effigies like he did before.

    That knowledge was the hesitation, but why did he retreat?

    The reason why Siegfried retreated clears a twisted path out of Siegfried’s remaining effigies. The heroes’ eyes meet as a wounded phantasmal greatsword clashes with a lusty twisted greatsword who grins and shouts, “We finally meet, Saber of Yellow!”

    ***

    “It affects Noble Phantasms as well, that’s surprising,” El-Melloi II remarks deliberately, trying to break the silence.

    Noma is focusing all her efforts on healing Saber though, so I’m the only person who can offer an opinion.

    “I mean, you did say that in the beginning of a MOBA, the turrets would deal major damage to the hero characters.”

    “This is Siegfried, the hero of the Nibelunglied. He’s a hero who has encountered numerous spells and enchantments. While a single attack from that rune stone is High-Thaumaturgy, it shouldn’t have hurt him that much. It should be obvious that the Servant’s Noble Phantasms have been scaled down as well.”

    His matter-of-fact way of explaining that slightly ticks me off.

    “If you both knew that, why didn’t you tell him to avoid the turrets?” If they knew that, Siegfried wouldn’t have taken that much damage.

    They’re both silent for a moment until Noma says, “In a Holy Grail War, the Master takes care of the planning while the Servant takes care of the battles. Even if I’m called their Master, I don’t actually have that much authority over them other than my five Command Spells. After all, they’re helping us because they want to.”

    Her soft yet strained voice shuts me up.

    Servant and Master, even if the titles seem otherwise, their relationship ideally should be equal – the Master who is given Command Spells, and the Servant who is infinitely more experienced. Furthermore, the Holy Grail War is fought so a personal wish can be granted. Although Noma doesn’t have a wish, I’m sure most Masters and Servants do. Yet, these five Servants have agreed to put me before those wishes.

    I’m not a hero myself, so I don’t really understand that sentiment. I do know there exists a quiet but robust trust between Holy Grail War veteran Noma and her Servants. Noma’s role is to give her Servants the best possible information so they can make the best choices they can on the battlefield. Because Noma doesn’t question their choices, they don’t question the forever apologizing and slightly blubbering Noma and her orders.

    “If he didn’t back off from that tower, I probably would have ordered him to retreat anyway,” Noma mumbles moving from Saber’s battle to check the map only to blink in disbelief once or twice before, “Enemy Servant incoming, top!”

    Her voice projects verbally as well as telepathically, but it seems Saber already knows about the threat. Bewildered, Al and I quickly check the map and see the ominous green dot just about to clear the enemy’s front-most turret.

    The Servant couldn’t count on the support of the turret now Saber was out of its range. At the same time, Saber didn’t have many effigies he could use as a shield. He would at least need to last twenty minutes on his own.

    “Class!” El-Melloi II barks at Noma.

    She stops healing altogether and concentrates on moving her familiar so we can identify the enemy Servant. There’s no need to though as he makes a bee-line for Saber and their weapons clash.

    A tall, robust man with short, black hair and lines for eyes laughs and drives what seems to be a drill into Saber’s sword. Even if I can’t see his eyes, I can tell he has some sort of endless virility.

    “S-Saber. He’s also a Saber.”

    So then the drill is a sword? We should call him Saber of the Drill instead of Saber of Green, right? Still, why am I so familiar with drills?

    Maybe I was a dentist?

    That wasn’t a jest either.

    “Saber,” El-Melloi II repeats it a few times, “If he’s a Saber, I think I have a good idea who he might be. He won’t be on the wikia, though. What are his parameters?”

    “Saber of Green has higher Strength and Luck. Siegfried has higher Strength on burst and higher Magical Energy,” Noma reads out her Master’s Clairvoyance output using her familiar’s senses.

    “Fuck, he can hurt Siegfried.”

    The swords break away from each other as Saber of Green opens with a barrage of thrusts. No matter how fast Siegfried parries or blocks, the next thrust defies not only expectation but physics and is already ready. This type of battle makes Siegfried’s fight against the effigies look like child’s play. The combatant’s weapons are moving so fast that I can’t keep track on them and judging from Al, El-Melloi II can’t either. However, Noma seems to be able to make out most strikes. Maybe it has to do with her Mystic Eyes?

    Siegfried tries his best to close the distance, but Saber of Green manages to repel Siegfried while executing a fresh barrage of thrusts to keep up the pressure. It seems as Saber of Green knows exactly where to poke Siegfried to break any possible momentum.

    “Just goes to show you, stats don’t mean much,” El-Melloi II says, his voice filled with disdain.

    Listening to Noma read out the parameters, I expected these two would be evenly matched. However, it’s clear that Siegfried’s wound is greatly hindering him. Even if Siegfried is a first class hero… No, it’s because Siegfried is a first class hero that he can still keep up with Saber of the Green as well as he has. So then I’d have to disagree with El-Melloi II’s statement. The parameters predicted exactly what was going to happen.

    “You’re a hardy one aren’t ‘cha. Anyhow, I’m going to end this. It was fun.”

    Saber of Green is right. While Siegfried has managed to block most of his attacks, the remaining few that penetrated Siegfried’s defense are still fatal. They would instantly kill someone like me; however, Siegfried’s blood armor reduced even those attacks to mere scratches that can be healed in an instant. The issue is that no one has healed those scratches. Focused on healing the internal wounds from the giant, giant statue, the scratches have started to accumulate, affecting Siegfried’s performance.

    Of course, Saber of Green has taken a few attacks as well. You couldn’t tell from looking at him, though. His Master has already healed all his wounds except for the three giant gashes on his chest. I think he was summoned with those.

    It’s pretty obvious who has the advantage right now and if Saber of Green keeps on pushing that advantage…

    Using all the centripetal force he can muster, Saber of Green swings his drill-sword and manages to throw Siegfried off balance – it’s Saber of Green’s strongest attack yet. No matter though, as a Heroic Spirit of the Sword, Siegfried will take less than a moment to correct his stance. Yet, his opponent is also a hero, one of the historical few who is able to take a split second opening and convert it into a fatal final attack.

    The drill-sword closes in on Siegfried. Without any ceremony, the drill-sword will shear through the dragon-blood armor twice: the first time, piercing through Siegfried’s chest; the second time, blossoming from his back. It is a simple, fast attack only meant to kill. A hero could not ask for a more honorable death. In fact, Siegfried can do nothing but whole heartedly receive this blow. There is no time for him to retreat and even if he tries to block the blade, his footing isn’t solid enough to repel the attack. Honorable death or not, it’s a situation that would make even a hero grimace and accept his fate.

    But Siegfried is a dragon-slayer.

    Approaching what they know will be a massacre, every nerve their bodies tells them to run away. Yet, they draw their blades, not knowing retreat, even if they know full well they are at a complete disadvantage. It’s a situation where literally every attack they receive could very well be their last.

    But still… they bet on the chance of a lifetime – that split second opening that only occurs when the stars themselves align. How many others before them have waited for the same opportunity, only to never have it actualize?

    According to Noma, Saber of the Green has A-rank Eye of the Mind (True), but Siegfried’s entire way of being was forged in the poisonous pits of that hell. So then, dealing with an undefeatable attack should mean nothing.

    Letting out a scream, Siegfried bursts in motion. Throwing himself off the ground and into the air, he puts as much magical energy as possible into this one attack. It’s an extraordinary acrobatic display of a defensive fighter completely throwing away all that earned him that title. The wound that Noma so meticulously healed bursts open and blood paints Saber of Green’s drill-sword and half of his face his namesake.

    With Siegfried’s down being Saber of Green’s up and vice-versa, Phantasmal Greatsword and Rainbow Spiral Sword meet once more, only this time Saber of the Green is blown back, smashing into the turret’s magecraft shields.

    He groans, pushes himself off the ground, drops his sword, dusts his pants off, and retrieves his sword, all in a manner or seconds – a grin never leaving his face.

    “So that’s the sword of Siegfried, the great dragon-slayer of the Burgundians.”

    El-Melloi II and Noma gasp. I can appreciate the gravity of the situation as well. Siegfried was an invincible hero, save for one spot on his back where a linden leaf fell when he bathed in Fafnir’s blood. To know Siegfried’s name is to know this legend, this vulnerability. More importantly, I think this just proved that the choice of Servants was something already decided by the mastermind of this Holy Grail War. In that case, the opponent knows the identities of our Servants as well as what they’re capable of, while we know close to nothing.

    “But that’s not enough, not nearly enough, I’m still not satisfied! Why aren’t there any good women on our team? I guess I’ll just have to settle with showing you what a true rainbow is!”

    Still smiling, Saber of Green lowers his center of gravity, strengthening his stance. His bare feet grip then crush the very ground he is standing on. But more than that, the air itself freezes. The magical energy wells up inside Saber of the Green then rushes out into the drill-sword, flash-freezing the mana around him as well. I was shocked when I saw the spray of runes, but this may be something beyond even that.

    “Noble Phantasm!” El-Melloi II urges, “It’s going to at least an Anti-Army, Sab-”

    “Yes, I know!” Noma yells, “Saber, you need to activate your own or you’ll be completely blown away!”

    But Siegfried is ahead of both El-Melloi II and Noma. Thrown back, he crashed or should I say destroyed an entire thicket. He was not thrown back from blocking the attack like Saber of Green was; he was thrown back from the force of his own strike. A softer fall meant a faster recovery and a faster recovery allows him to pour extraordinary amounts of magical energy into the greatsword behind his head.

    “With the felling of the evil dragon, all heads towards the final light and the final shadow. The sun has set on the world.”

    “Two legends are about to descend,” Noma mutters under her breath.

    “Noble Phantasm,” El-Melloi II starts to explain to me, “a Servant’s trump card. A legendary feat, crystalized as a mystery. A Servant’s Noble Phantasm is their proof of heroism, their pride itself.”

    A twilight aura begins to cover Siegfried’s sword the same moment a brilliant rainbow covers Saber of Green’s.

    “This is the sword that shall twist the earth and the heavens,
    Caladbolg
    Rainbow Spiral Sword
    -!”

    Rainbow digs. There’s enough magical energy to obliterate any opponent, but Saber of Green didn’t aim it at a person. No, instead, he aimed it directly into the terrain, the ground. The ground splinters, torn to shreds by the excavator. Yet the Rainbow Spiral Sword is relentless. The earth itself shakes in protest and all the effigies are forced onto their knees only to be squashed by the erupting boulders. The area around him has already become something close to primordial chaos – plowed, fertile soil ready to sprout forth a more vibrant life.

    Caladbolg, the moment I hear the name I auspiciously remember a little factoid that seems like it’d either come an internet anthology or a college mythology class that everyone takes for the easy A. Caladbolg is the name of a famous sword that cleaved the tops of three hills with its “rainbow-like brilliance.” It is also the prototype for many holy and demonic swords. That attack must have been the landscape destroying aspect of Caladbolg draw out to its full potential.

    The land being destroyed expands towards Siegfried, threatening to tear him and anything in its path asunder.

    In reply, “Shoot it all down,
    Balmung
    Phantasmal Greatsword, Felling the Sky Demon
    -!”

    Twilight runs.

    The orange aurora blazes through the incoming rubble. It is a dazzling semi-circle of finality. The Holy Sword of the Nibelungs is truly deserving of its epitaph as the sword which heralds the twilight of the gods. The True Ether dissipates boulders the moment they dare encroach on its territory and now the wave spreads outward to contend with the rainbow encrusted land itself.

    Twilight and rainbow mingle, fighting for supremacy. If the rainbow is a serpent – trying to choke all the light out of the twilight – then the twilight is a mongoose – its twilight hide serving as a defense, ready to smother the rainbow to death.

    Not only engulfing their surroundings, the two Noble Phantasms raze the entire area. Gusts pick up and throw the remaining effigies into the sky while the younger trees begin to be uprooted.

    In the midst of this destruction, Noma commands Siegfried to retreat.

    With one hand on the ground to support himself, Siegfried looks out into the eye of the storm and I’m sure I’m the only one who saw his eyes brighten for a moment. He then turns his head to find a new set of effigies ready to hold his lane. After verifying the reinforcements, Siegfried disengages.

    “May we meet again, Saber of Green… Fergus mac Róich.”

    Saber of Yellow

    Class: Saber
    Master: Noma Goodfellow
    True name: Siegfried
    Gender: Male
    Height/Weight: 190cm/80kg
    Alignment: Chaotic Good
    Attribute: Earth

    Strength: B+
    Constitution: A
    Agility: B
    Magical Energy: B
    Luck: E
    Noble Phantasm: A

    Class Skills
    ■ Magic Resistance: -
    Lost as compensation for obtaining 「Evil Dragon's Blood Armor」.
    ■ Riding: B
    Riding Ability.
    A majority of vehicles can be ridden with above average ability. Magical Beasts, Holy Beast cannot be ridden.

    Personal Skills
    ■ Golden Rule: C-
    A life in which money is fated to revolve around.
    Due to the Nibelung treasure promised a life untroubled by money, but LUC is Ranked-Down.
    ■ Disengage: C
    Ability to break away from combat.

    Noble Phantasms
    Armor of Fafnir
    Blood Armor of the Evil Dragon

    Rank: B+
    Type: Anti-Unit
    Range: -
    Maximum number of targets: 1 person
    A Noble Phantasm embodying the story of his bath in the blood of a dragon. B-rank equivalent physical attacks and magic are nullified. Attacks of A-rank and above register as damage after defensive values of an amount equal to B-rank are subtracted from them. If facing a Noble Phantasm used by a proper hero, defensive values are equivalent to B+. However, his back, which was not bathed in the blood, does not gain defensive values, and he is unable to conceal it.
    Balmung
    Phantasmal Greatsword, Felling of the Sky Demon

    Rank: A+
    Type: Anti-Army
    Range: 1-50
    Maximum number of targets: 500 people
    A cursed holy blade which had accomplished the feat of dragon slaying.
    It also possesses the attributes of its prototype, the demonic blade「Gram」, and will change attributes between holy sword and demonic sword depending on who wields it. The blue jewel of the hilt stores and preserves magic energy (true Ether) from the age of gods, and upon releasing it, emanates a twilight aura. Those with the blood of dragons take additional damage.


    Saber of Green

    Class: Saber
    Master: ???
    True name: Fergus mac Róich
    Gender: Male
    Height/Weight: 161cm/49kg
    Alignment: True Neutral
    Attribute: Earth

    Strength: A
    Endurance: A
    Agility: B
    Magic: E
    Luck: C
    Noble Phantasm: A+

    Class Skills
    ■ Magic Resistance: B
    Magecraft invoked with an aria of three verses or lower are nullified.
    It is even difficult to harm him with High Thaumaturgy and Ritual Spells
    ■ Riding: B
    Riding Ability.
    A majority of vehicles can be ridden with above average ability. Magical Beasts, Holy Beast cannot be ridden.

    Personal Skills

    ■ Eye of the Mind (True): A
    Insight fostered through training, discipline.
    Calmly grasps the situation as the opponent’s abilities when in a predicament. A “combat logic” capable of allowing one to escape such a situation.


    Noble Phantasm
    Caladbolg
    Rainbow Spiral Sword

    Rank: A+
    Type: Anti-Army Noble Phantasm
    Range: 10~40
    Maximum Amount of Targets: 400 People
    Also known as the Spiral Rainbow Sword or the Spiral Sword.
    In legend, with one swing, its beam “cut off three hills” denoting it’s terrifying power. However, swung as a Noble Phantasm, Caladbolg’s aspect as a terrain destruction weapon is more pronounced even though in legend it cut the hills with “beam that extended like a rainbow.” That is, it’s abilities are denoted as an earth shattering giant attack.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Malgos View Post
    You always do your research so well You.
    eh you give me too much credit, that's just from wikipedia.
    except for the revenue part that's just a guess.
    Last edited by You; July 19th, 2016 at 05:58 PM.
    Though abandoned, forgotten, and scorned as out-of-date dolls, they continue to carry out their mission, unchanged from the time they were designed.
    Machines do not lose their worth when a newer model appears.
    Their worth (life) ends when humans can no longer bear that purity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ticeexcenny
    In my opinion you are not right. I am assured. Let's discuss it. Write to me in PM, we will talk.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by You View Post
    one of the best MOBA players – Cruentum.

    Rider frowns, “Doesn’t that mean blood?”

    “Username… That’s a username. I’m sure it’s something he came up with when he was thirteen and thought it was cool. It happens to everyone.” El-Melloi II tries to dismiss it.
    You is a legend

  11. #11
    改竄者 Falsifier Petrikow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zurvan View Post
    You is a legend
    That is very poor grammar.

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    改竄者 Falsifier Petrikow's Avatar
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    Yes, you forgot a period!

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    Don't @ me if your fanfic doesn't even have Shirou/Illya shipping k thnx ItsaRandomUsername's Avatar
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    Snappy, self-aware, sharp and rather mysterious. Definitely not off to a bad start...well, middle, actually.
    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.



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    鬼 Ogre-like You's Avatar
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    Laning (Mid)

    I guess it’s true when they say that knowing a Noble Phantasm means you also know the Heroic Spirit’s identity. By they, I mean El-Melloi II. After all, it’s not like I have anyone else to talk to.

    Throughout human history there have been as many heroes as the stars in the sky. But if we’re talking about fame, couldn’t you say that some of the details related to the heroes are more famous than the heroes themselves? For example, if I were to say Excalibur, you would instantly know that I was talking about a famous sword, but unless you are also one of those nerds who loves Monty Python you might not even know it’s the sword of King Arthur. Then again, knowing about King Arthur isn’t actually that uncommon. Either way, Noble Phantasms and Heroic Spirits come in a pair; to know one is to know the other. Of course, if I asked you about Houtengeki then no one except for a couple of even nerdier nerds would have an idea of who even owns that – much less what that is. Well, maybe if they were a Japanese person with a great interest in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms they would know.

    This brings up a good point about how the way someone is raised changes the Heroic Spirits they know about. As for me, well, I mean, I know enough mythology to confidently tell you that Siegfried killed Fafnir and wields the sword Balmung while Fergus mac Róich is the owner of Caladbolg. Siegfried is Germanic and Fergus is Irish, so either I had a stint as a very underpaid professor of the classics, or I’m a serious nerd.

    Fear of being socially stigmatized aside, Fergus mac Róich is the owner of Calabolg. I think the most famous thing he did was get married to a goddess and be a horn-dog. I guess that legend wasn’t a lie then, considering what he said to Siegfried during their fight. Now that I think about it, maybe he was also hitting on Siegfried?

    A giant splash in the hot springs takes me away from my thoughts. It seems as though Siegfried had made it back okay.

    “Isn’t teleportation… Well, isn’t teleportation just kind of ridiculous?” I ask El-Melloi II.

    By now, I figured out he was the guy to ask about these sorts of magecraft-y questions.

    Al kind of looks at me. Al is actually pretty cute. Whoever worked on him must have put a lot of time and effort into him. Kind of seems pretty wasted on a grumpy-pants like El-Melloi II.

    “Servants are pretty ridiculous themselves, but yes, teleportation, the kind we just saw… that’s a mystery equivalent to True Magic,” he pauses for a moment, “Yet, you never see a MOBA without it.”

    When Siegfried disengaged and retreated far enough, he made a magic circle appear around him. After a few minutes, he disappeared and then came the splash. As it turned out, when Atalanta retrieved me, she supposedly used the same technique and teleported to the same place.

    “Honestly,” El-Melloi II continues, “it’d make a whole lot of sense if it was just converting the Servant to spiritrons and sending them back to the spiritual core, but considering Atalanta took flesh-and-blood-you with her as well…” He shakes his head.

    “This doesn’t have to be the work of some magus, Professor,” Noma butts into our conversation. “It could be something else, like an Elemental.”

    Al nods. There is something I’m not getting here. “That’s what I’m afraid of. Fighting off Servants is bad enough. Fighting off a Servant and an Elemental who may be stronger than those Servants… I guess that’s your job isn’t it?”

    Definitely something I’m not getting here. But onto something that I kind of get.

    The familiar on Siegfried shows him sitting naked in our hot springs. A moment ago there were scratches all over his body, but now they’re all gone. It seems that the waters contain magical energy or are blessed with a healing spell – a magical spring then. Either way, even if he will be all better in an hour or two, we shouldn’t be peeking on someone bathing.

    Watching his swift recovery makes me wonder, “Why don’t we just use Siegfried’s Noble Phantasm against a turret?”

    It makes a lot sense. Turrets may be strong and Siegfried’s Noble Phantasm may be “weakened-” Actually, considering I have no idea what it’s supposed to originally look like, it doesn’t really matter much. One of those attacks could easily take out a turret. And if each Servant has one Noble Phantasm then…

    “It’s a trade I don’t think we’ll ever be willing to make,” I can almost feel El-Melloi II shaking his head. “Not until later, at least.”

    Noma glares at the person talking through Al, “What he means to say is that a Noble Phantasm costs an enormous amount of magical energy. Siegfried doing that… it… it actually hurt me. I mean, the pain is manageable and the next time I don’t think I’ll get so dizzy because I’ll be ready for it. But since it costs so much, the Servant kind of shuts down afterward, especially if it’s an A-rank Noble Phantasm like Balmung.”

    “Shuts down, like stops working?”

    “Being unable to move anymore. There are twelve turrets altogether and you have five Servants. Each would have to use their Noble Phantasm at least twice.”

    I pause for a moment to process that. Disregarding the damage done to Noma, the moment a Noble Phantasm on that scale is fired, the Servant itself becomes temporarily weaker. This would mean a Green Servant could easily take our Yellow Servant down. Even if all our Servants focused on one lane that would still mean six turrets; therefore, each Servant would need to use a Noble Phantasm at least once.

    Right, this is a Holy Grail War, Servants aren’t revived so Servants are much more valuable than turrets. But there is a case where it’s possible to use a Noble Phantasm to destroy a turret.

    “When the Master has used all his command spells and his Servants are on the other side of the map. I think this is what they call ‘split-pushing’ in the genre,” El-Melloi II confirms it for me.

    And that will never happen in this game.

    I decide the switch gears after remembering something from before, “So then, if using your Noble Phantasm is giving up your name, why did Fergus do something that… dumb?”

    Ever since we saw the rainbow blade, I’ve been mulling over this question. That’s what originally got me to this point in the first place. To use your trump card is to reveal the full extent of your abilities, so then shouldn’t you save it until you actually need it, or when your opponent has already figured out your identity?

    “I might be wrong, but I think he wanted to use it,” Noma offers an explanation while checking the map and then one of the mirrors.

    Wanted… to… use… it?

    I’m not sure I understand that. If using your Noble Phantasm is a drain on your Master and also reveals who you are, why would you even use it if you couldn’t ensure victory? How could you ever want to do something like that?

    El-Melloi II on the other hand nods, “Fergus mac Róich is known for that sort of behavior; after all, he was a king who was betrayed by his own queen and ended up having to give up the throne to his step-son. After being betrayed yet again, which resulted in the death of another son, he switched sides from Ulster to Connacht. There are all sorts of people among Heroic Spirits. Some aren’t even very heroic.” El-Melloi II added that last part after pausing for a few moments.

    “A Noble Phantasm is a proof of heroism; it may even be something more important than the Servant’s life. You might as well call it a legacy – something famous they’ve left behind. I guess Fergus is the type of man who lives for comparing swords with other men,” without her eyes leaving the battle, Noma tries to hammer the nail.

    It’s some sort of useless pride then. Pride in oneself, pride in what one has done. As someone who literally doesn’t have any of that, I’m not sure I can understand. But it’s still useful information that I think we can exploit.

    “By the way, Noma, what’s happening?”
    ***

    The huntress Atalanta generally appears three times in Greek Mythology: The Calydonian Boar Hunt, The conditions for her marriage, and as an Argonaut. While her ending could be considered tragic, Noma assures me that Atalanta kind of likes her tail and ears – she thinks they are cute.

    I wonder whether “she,” refers to Atalanta or Noma.

    Growing up among bears and then being raised by hunters, Atalanta’s domain is undoubtedly the forest. So then why was she sent into the middle lane instead of the jungle. While, Eric might be easier to control in the jungle where there are a lot of distractions for him, this type of situation is like having a shark and the demanding the shark to fight on land instead of in the water…

    Actually, I should let myself finish the previous train of thought first. Thanks, myself.

    So the question I’m trying to think through is why Atalanta didn’t kill me. There was nothing to lose from my death. If I had been an enemy, saving me would have been a terrible mistake. If I was just some innocent bystander, killing me wouldn’t have meant anything either.

    Of course, I’m not proposing they should kill me right now. I want to live, thank you very much. I also want to go home, thank you very much. But from Atalanta’s perspective, there was absolutely no need to save me. So when I asked Noma why that happened, she pulled out a piece of paper and declared it was “Minutes from our Icebreaker.”

    I honestly think this the first time, someone’s ever held an ice-breaking session with some Heroic Spirits. El-Melloi II sighed when she said that. That was when I believed the session was as awkward as I am imagining to be. At least they didn’t play two truths and a lie. That would have been all sorts of terrible – terribad, so to speak. Instead she asked each person to go around and give their name, something they liked or were good at, something they didn’t like or were bad at, and what they wanted from the Holy Grail. After hearing that, I didn’t feel like this was her idea. No, I don’t mean I thought it was El-Melloi II’s idea, neither did it sound like a sham – it just… it didn’t seem like something Noma would think to do on her own. It seemed as if she was drawing on someone else’s previous experiences.

    Either way, the list went something like this -

    Noma:
    Likes/Strengths: Running away, watching fairies dance, Gray
    Dislikes/Weaknesses: Running away, being too self-effacing
    Wish for the Holy Grail: Although it’s impossible, I’d like to say thank you to someone.

    Saber:
    Likes/Strengths: Justice
    Dislikes/Weaknesses: Reading the mood of a room
    Wish for the Holy Grail: Nothing in particular

    Archer:
    Likes/Strengths: Smiling children, Forests.
    Dislikes/Weaknesses: People who hurt children, Apples but apple pie is okay, sly men.
    Wish for the Holy Grail: To ensure the happiness of all children. To create world where all children can be raised with loving care.

    Berserker:
    Likes/Strengths: GGGGAAAAAAAAA
    Dislikes/Weaknesses: RRRAWWWWWWAAARR
    Wish for the Grail: CHICHICHICHIIIIIIIIII

    Rider:
    Likes/Strengths: Housework, Praying.
    Dislikes/Weaknesses: Oh? I’ve never considered this question…. Of course I’ve never hated anything.
    Wish for the Grail: I would have to say world salvation, but Archer’s wish is a very nice one. I wouldn’t mind wishing for that that either.

    Lancer:
    Likes/Strengths: Being chivalrously modest. But I also admire justice, righteousness, nobility, and why not add a bit of grace in there for good measure.
    Dislikes/Weaknesses: That’s a tough one. While much like the angel over there, I don’t have anything I particularly hate. If I had to answer, maybe betrayal? I don’t think you should betray someone who trusted you. And well, in my humble opinion, I don’t think I’m actually bad at anything.
    Wish for the Grail: Well, I’m sure you can see on my status, I have trouble with women. I would love to bestow all you ladies with my attentions. But we would be fated for tragedy. Ahhh, what a cruel fate, this world cannot share my beauty. Must not allow this pervert to obtain the Holy Grail. Remember to save one Command Spell.

    So a few lessons learnt from this, the first is that Noma actually keeps really detailed notes. I’m surprised how much of the conversation she caught. Secondly, El-Melloi II’s section was nowhere to be seen. I guess that’s not really that surprising. Maybe most importantly, you probably shouldn’t have an ice-breaker with a group of Servants. Lastly, it seemed that Gunnhild didn’t come out until our previous confrontation.

    But why did I get on this tangent to begin with?

    Oh, yes, to explain what was happening in the mirror that Noma was so preoccupied with as well as to answer the question of why Atalanta saved me.

    Without a doubt, I feel some guilt about that. Atalanta saved me because she thought I was a child in trouble. Atalanta’s wish for the Holy Grail, the one thing that consumes her heart and is the very reason she fights is so that children can be happy. It’s an admirable and foolish goal, so admirable that it brings tears to my eyes, so foolish that it also brings tears to my eyes. Of course they’re two different types of tears. However, I cannot deny her wish because I know it as ‘true.’ Therefore, all I feel is guilt. I may look like a ten-year-old child, but I’m sure by now it’s obvious that what is outside does not match what is inside. I do not know if it’s an illness, a curse, or something else much more sinister, but from the fact that I think a ten-year-old should not have an internal monologue like this tells me I’m not a ten-year-old child. So then, the person she saved is nothing more than a raven in a child’s clothing. Wow, I am hilarious. But technically, I’m in Noma’s clothes, and now I’m explaining the joke so maybe I’ll stop.

    Thinking about it, the easiest way to explain my situation is to compare it with my other one. Noma is helping me because she wants to help me. I don’t think it matters who or what I turn out to be, as long as I don’t betray her, Noma will help me find my way home. Unlike Noma, who for some reason helps me because I need to be helped, Atalanta only saved me because she thought I was a child. To her, it doesn’t matter who I am, as long as I am a child. I could be a serial killer, she wouldn’t care. It’s completely understandable. Abandoned at birth because of her sex, she was raised by bears and then adopted by a hunter. After a period of time, the father who abandoned her wanted back but only to marry her off. At this point, I can only hazard a guess to whether Atalanta’s wish is out of gratitude for the bears who raised her and wish all children can have that opportunity or if it’s out of the despair of being abandoned and then used. Though, like with most things in this world, it’s probably a bit of both.

    So what does this have to with what she’s currently doing in middle lane? Well, nothing really except set up the comparison that I’m going to make a little later.

    When I asked Noma what was happening and she showed me the mirror, well, it’s a bit hard to explain. I guess what was happening, was what was not happening.

    Atalanta was fighting. She was moving and taking out effigies but there were ■■■■■■■■■. You’re hearing that right, ■■■■■■■■■. I honestly don’t what that is either, just that the moment I try to recall ■■■■■■■■■… Yeah, that happens.

    “Has to be a Noble Phantasm,” El-Melloi II swears a few times but I decide to cut that out, “There is a skill that allows one to erase the information gathering during the battle, after the Servant has retreated, but this… this is different.”

    Oh, so I guess this phenomenon even affects someone using magecraft to watch a scene that is also being displayed through magecraft. What’s the name of the movie about dreams within dreams again? Well this is that, just magecraft.

    “Oh, you mean that story Caules told one time. The one you dragged out of him?” Noma says an unfamiliar name. I guess he’s someone who also had experience in a Sub-Category Holy Grail War.

    “So then all we have to do is take a picture…” she trails off.

    Yes, that’s a problem. I wouldn’t dare rummage through anyone’s belongings let alone a lady’s, but I don’t think she has a smartphone on her. I don’t think she even has a camera in that bag of hers. What she does have in her bag are probably things that are completely foreign to a normal person like me. As for me, it should be obvious that I do not have a camera. So then, the only person who could have a camera is El-Melloi II or rather Al.

    “Can’t you use Al to take a video?”

    “Al isn’t a drone, idiot.” Got to admit, that kind of stings.

    “Professor, t-talking like that to someone who isn’t used to your abuse isn’t good!”

    Well to be honest, talking to anyone like that isn’t good but I’ll take that defense. Though I am kind of interested to the person or people who are used to that sort of abuse.

    El-Melloi II mumbles an apology, “Al is connected to me through a path; it’s very similar to the paths Noma has with her Servants. Like how she can see what Atalanta is seeing, I can see what Al is seeing. The strength of this-” Al’s head which was turned towards the mirror goes limp. In fact, all of Al goes limp.

    “Ummm, Professor?”

    We wait for a few moments, but no response.

    Atalanta is still dealing with ■■■■■■■■■ and there is no way we can help her. She weaves in and out of ■■■■■■■■■ trying to take as many effigies as possible before having to retreat from ■■■■■■■■■.

    “Atalanta, the Professor should be coming soon really soon with a fix, just hang on for a couple more minutes,”
    Noma telepathically projects to everyone.

    We get a grumble back.

    “Do you honestly believe that?”

    She smiles a little at me, “He might not look as much and he’s pretty much hopeless without Gray, but in the ten years I’ve been his student the ‘Great Big Ben London Star,’ has always pulled through.”

    If you say it like that, you’ve almost even got me convinced.

    “So then, what’s the story about this Caules person?”

    I mean Caules might be a weird name that I haven’t heard of before but at least it’s less pretentiously edgy than Raven. Though, not as cool as Mooney, so I guess we’re even.

    “Caules was a student of the Professor’s who’s the current head of the Yggdramillenia clan. Well, I heard they’re close to civil war, so hang in there, Caules.”

    I cough into a fist.

    “Oh, sorry about that. One of the Servants summoned in the Great Holy Grail War had the skill Information Erasure. It-”

    She explains the skill to me, but somewhere inside of me, I feel that I already know what it does. Sure, just the name itself says a lot, but I don’t know, it’s that feeling of déjà vu that sprouts from the bottom of your stomach but never grows further than the tip of your tongue.

    “Not knowing this, Caules took a picture of the scene, and when it turned out everyone else forgot what happened, they had a picture. While the skill affects the memory of a person, it cannot affect the memory of a device. After all, you can consider that evidence.”

    “And what is El-Melloi II going to do about this?”

    She purses her lips for a second, “Whatever he does, I’m going to assume it’s going to be a complicated piece of magecraft. The only thing I can think of that might work is to convert what you’re seeing into an electronic signal and then sending that information to an electronic device. Sorry, that was dumb. To process that much information you’d need to be from Atlas, and at that point, that’s basically no longer magecraft.”

    I think I can agree with the last line. El-Melloi II is a person who actually loves magecraft; such a solution isn’t impossible because we don’t have “a person from Atlas” – whatever that is – but because there is no mystery. It’s just a mundane phenomenon that seems complicated.

    Hey, what’s this weird, embarrassing, feeling I’m starting to feel from those last few words. Go away, will you.

    Watching Atalanta should help me get rid of this feeling. And after a few moments of intently watching the screen Noma starts to explain some things as we watch Atalanta.

    According to Noma, this is not the first time that Atalanta was summoned in a Holy Grail War. In fact, there are records of her participation in the Great Holy Grail War on the wikia. I reflexively tell her not to trust the wikia. But when she says that Caules confirmed it, I can only shrug.

    Seriously, this Caules sounds like a six-foot, unassailable genius with six-pack abs who won an entire – I believe they said it was a seven versus seven – Grail War all on his own. Seriously, El-Melloi II why did you send Noma instead of Caules? We want Caules!

    As a Servant, Atalanta only has two personal skills. Let me back up; because Atalanta is an Archer, she naturally has the Magic Resistance of a knight class and also has Independent Action. Also, obvious as this sounds, her personal skills are unique to her. That is how Noma is explaining it to me; I have no idea why someone’s personal skills would not be unique to them. Anyway, you can see Atalanta’s first skill, Crossing Arcadia, in action right now.

    The ability to mitigate whatever is currently on the field is the very reason for Atalanta’s grace on the battlefield. The origin comes from her legend as one of the swiftest heroes in Greek Mythology. Actually, if we’re talking about Greek Heroes, here’s probably only one other hero faster than she is.

    Weaving in and out of not only the enemy but her own effigies, she uses her entire body for support. By entire body, I mean to say sometimes her arms, sometimes her legs, sometimes an arm and a leg, sometimes even her tail, and when she no longer has a foothold she retreats into a tree and fires off a barrage of black arrows.

    Never forward though, she never retreats forward since ■■■■■■■■■ are the ■■■■■■■■■ forward.

    Honestly, what a terrible situation. The opposing team knows the identities of all our Servants while we can’t obtain information on at least one of their Servants. No matter how extraneously fair El-Melloi II might declare this war to be, it seems like they hold all the cards while we aren’t allowed to take any.

    Atalanta’s second skill, Aesthetics of the Last Spurt, is also based off the same legend as Crossing Arcadia. During her marriage races, she would always give the suitor a head start. Right before the finish line, she would start sprinting to clinch the victory. Then she would behead the loser. Although, now that I’ve met the woman, I think she’s more the pincushion type. Anyway, she would give the opponent the first move, allowing her to examine what type of person he was: did they immediately rush ahead with vigor, did they linger back thinking this was a ruse, perhaps they didn’t even notice. Whatever they did, this afforded Atalanta certain information about the target – like a good hunter who learns everything she can about her prey before even attempting to take it down. I’m sure it’s a skill which has served her well in her life as well as a Servant in other subcategory Grail Wars. It’s just that right now, it’s being completely “not sold,” I believe the expression goes, I believe.

    This is the type of enemy who you cannot collect information on. It doesn’t matter who goes first, second, or last, every exchange is exactly like the first. Noma tells me there’s another skill that’s similar to this, Knowledge of Harmony and Respect. So then maybe the opponent’s Noble Phantasm is a combination of these two skills?

    In all respects, Atalanta, who has her primary tactic sealed, is cornered. Yet she’s adapting; no, at this point I think she’s beyond adapting. In first couple of exchanges, she needed to scurry away from the ■■■■■■■■■ plaguing her. But now it’s almost like she can predict ■■■■■■■■■ and then react accordingly to bring maximum damage to the opponent’s effigies while ensuring her safety.

    Yes, Atalanta may have been brought up by a hunter, but she was raised by bears. If you force her to throw away all the hunting experience and knowledge so you can corner her, well, you are left with a cornered beast. Throwing away every inkling of a past or a future, she lives in this very moment, making a judgement based on all the information she can absorb in the present. But more than that, there’s this reliance on her instinct. No, it’s not an instinct garnered through experience neither is it something that is inborn. If possible, it’s something more primal than that, yet something that doesn’t transcend humanity. Right, you could even call it a regression; she’s tapping into the abilities that humans lost yet animals retained.

    Dancing in the lane, around the lane, but never out of it, each barrage of arrows starts to push ■■■■■■■■■ and stop them at their roots. At the same time, her own force of effigies pushes forward, yet ■■■■■■■■■ immediately sweeps them up. ■■■■■■■■■ must have an awesome amount of wave clearing power. Even if there are no friendly effigy faces in the ballroom, Atalanta still dances. For a second it’s a bloody waltz, the next a blazing hot, crimson tango with at least fifty partners. The beat shifts and the tempo of the dance changes. Truly, it’s mesmerizing.

    But she can only keep it up for so long. While Servants can fight for days without letting up, Atalanta is a green comet, streaming fast enough to avoid sinking into a ■■■■■■■■■ sun. The moment Atalanta makes a misstep or she loses even a fraction of her speed she will be consumed. It’s not like Noma can’t support Atalanta with enough magical energy, neither is Atalanta using up magical energy at dangerous rate. It’s just the strain and the mental energy Atalanta is using up is possibly a hundredfold of what ■■■■■■■■■ is using to maintain ■■■■■■■■■.

    Forced to use a speed that decreases the more you use it, at the same time, trapped in a situation that takes every ounce of not only your brain, but also your entire being, Atalanta has no choice but to throw away the knowledge that she will eventually burn up. She does not retreat, she does not relent because no matter her attitude, I’m sure a little bit of her believes in us.

    And I’m honestly really glad to know that belief is rewarded.

    “Got it!” Al perks back to life again.

    Atalanta, you can start retreating now,” Noma announces relieved.

    A brief silence, then one word.

    “No.”


    Without even needing to look at her, I know that Noma is shocked.

    “W-What do you mean?! You need to get out that situation Atalanta
    ,” Noma practically begs her.

    “The
    ■■■■■■■■■ destroys our effigies in one stroke. The moment I retreat they’ll take our turret. You know they have the ability to. Also, this is nothing.”

    I can see Noma’s grip tighten for a moment. I don’t really see what’s wrong; Atalanta is right. She may definitely be more important than our turret, but from watching her, I think she can handle it. Yes, Atalanta will be killed if the moment she stops running. Yes, Atalanta is losing energy every passing second. But if she uses her effigies as shields, she’ll be able to recover for a precious couple of moments prolonging her stay.

    “You should believe in her,” El-Melloi II says while turning Al’s head upward to face Noma. “Also, it’ll give me more recording time.”

    “F-Fine,” Noma’s grip loosens. “Honestly, Atalanta, the moment you feel even the smallest strain, I want you to retreat straight away. I’m going to look for a way to get you of there as well.”

    No matter how reassuring Noma’s words sound, Atalanta is already kilometers past that point of strain.

    “Well,” Noma demands. I think this is the first time I’ve seen her irritated. Thank god she’s irritated at El-Melloi II.

    “Looking at your mirrors, I realized how much of a fool I was,” El-Melloi II pouts. “It’s easy to project what a familiar sees onto a pool of water or a mirror. So I projected what Al saw onto the inn’s bathroom mirror, then bought a smartphone. Using the smartphone to record what Al sees, I can stream that onto this laptop. Honestly, technology these days.”

    Gah, so much for the elegant mystery loving El-Melloi II. This solution is basically the same as using duct tape and rags to make a makeshift mop because you’ve never felt the need to own a mop and bucket yet there’s going to be a party at your place and the floor is filthy. Maybe I should explain. So on his laptop, El-Melloi II is streaming what the smartphone is recording. His smartphone is recording the images on the bathroom mirror. As for the images on the bathroom mirror, they’re what Al sees. Al is looking at the mirror Noma is using to project what her familiars and Servants see. It sounds convoluted but it’s more a less an infinity mirror that isn’t infinite. Actually it’s very finite series of recursions. Either way, the smartphone is able record the ■■■■■■ and El-Melloi II is able to watch a video of ■■■■■■ to tell us what it actually is.

    Take it away El-Melloi II.

    “The Servant isn’t in the lane.”

    What?

    “It’s… the forest. The branches, roots, the trees themselves, they are what is attacking our forces.”

    Archer of Yellow

    Class: Archer
    Master: Noma Goodfellow
    True name: Atalanta
    Gender: Female
    Height/Weight: 166cm/57kg
    Alignment: Neutral Evil
    Attribute: Earth

    Strength: D
    Constitution: E
    Agility: A
    Magical Energy: C
    Luck: C
    Noble Phantasm: C

    Class Skills
    ■ Magic Resistance: D
    One step (Single Action) spells are nullified.
    Equivalent Magic Resistance as a magical energy repelling amulet.
    ■ Independent Action: A
    Can act in the absence of a Master.
    However, when in cases where an enormous amount of magical energy is needed like using a Noble Phantasm, Master backup is necessary.

    Personal Skills
    ■ Crossing Arcadia: B
    Can jump over all obstacles, including opponents, while moving on the field.
    ■ Aesthetics of the Last Spurt: C
    Allows the enemy to take the first move, the confirmation of this action allows oneself to anticipate further actions.

    Noble Phantasm



    ■■■■■■ of Green

    ■■■■■■

    Saber of Green

    Wiseup
    ■ Nature of a Rebellious Spirit: B
    A temperament that makes one never stay in the place or embrace one lord.
    A wandering star who cannot find a king and does not have the capacity to be king.
    Negates the effects of 「Charisma」 with the same rank.
    Though abandoned, forgotten, and scorned as out-of-date dolls, they continue to carry out their mission, unchanged from the time they were designed.
    Machines do not lose their worth when a newer model appears.
    Their worth (life) ends when humans can no longer bear that purity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ticeexcenny
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  16. #16
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    Jungle (I)
    “It is as though the forest itself is attacking Atalanta,” El-Melloi II concludes.

    From his description, I imagine torrents of branches and roots turning into improvised spears. Maybe some of them even turned into tentacles to seal her movement as well. Well, maybe not the tentacles. From that image, I’m starting understand why Atalanta decided to stay no matter the consequence.

    Being raised in a forest, it’s her parent as well as a home. She knows that the forest can nurture those who respect it, as well as kill those ignorant of its ways. Atalanta, who was raised by bears, knows this better than anyone else.

    But no matter how strict it is, to have your home taken from you and then being forced to fight against it must be a crushing despair. But worse than that, it’s a continuously crushing despair. Each second, she forgets the despair she felt and feels it once more just to forget that despair again to find it the next second.

    That is why she stayed. “The responsibility is mine and mine alone.” For anyone else fighting against the forest it would just mean the opponent has a special ability he needs to figure out. Just like how the warriors of Greece would hunt without even caring about how their actions impacted the environment, this means nothing to any other Servant. But for Atalanta, this is an affront to almost everything she is. To take the forest and bend it to one’s will so it is nothing more than a tool is something she can’t, won’t, forgive.

    But that sentiment is useless. It won’t help anyone else and will only get her killed. That’s why we need to learn the mechanics behind this special ability before Atalanta foolishly and uselessly dies.

    “Shen Nong,” I posit, “he would have something that can control plants like this.”

    “He’s also known for dealing with medicines and poisons, I haven’t seen either,” El-Melloi II denies yet another guess.

    “How about Robin Hood? He’s someone who can remain unseen and manipulate plants.” Now it’s Noma’s turn.

    “Again, this person is not using poison.”

    “Well, he could be a different Robin Hood…” Noma pouts. She sounds disappointed.

    We’ve been playing this game for quite a while now instead of helping Atalanta. We would be silent for a few minutes before Noma and I would suggest yet another Heroic Spirit that might make sense given the evidence we have, only for El-Melloi II to knock it down. He sounds very used to this, I wonder if he does this on the message boards for the Holy Grail War Wikia as well.

    “What about… and hear me out on this one… Nebuchadnezzar II. And this entire place is actually the Hanging Gardens and that’s why we can’t get out.”

    It’s genius. I’m genius.

    “Where’s the reversed flow?!” They both shout in disgustingly perfect harmony.

    Wow, sorry for trying to help.

    “I just hope the Servant isn’t someone ridiculous like a female Green Knight. Although, knowing those Round Table freaks…”

    El-Melloi II says something awkwardly sexist enough stop this game of ours. Seriously El-Melloi II why couldn’t have the Green Knight been a woman? Stop limiting yourself.

    “We need to launch a gank from the jungle.” Al floats down from Noma’s shoulder onto the map.

    “Gank?” I, of course, am asking for Noma, who is, of course, wearing a puzzled expression, of course.

    Al points to the yellow dot in middle lane, “First, we get Atalanta down to our turret, forcing the Green Servant to follow.” He traces the path with his adorable hooves. “Then we have Erik come out and cut off the Green Servant’s escape path.”

    Two things wrong with that plan El-Melloi II.

    I point to the green dot in middle lane. “Even if the map tells us where he is, we can’t actually track where he is. Even your video feed catches him, we’ll only know where he has been. There’s no way Erik and Atalanta can corner him.”

    I then point to the green dot that’s always on top of Erik’s dot. “And this Servant seems like he’s going to follow Erik wherever he goes.”

    Noma nods, “We can concentrate on Raven’s second point as Atalanta retreats to our turret. But there’s no point in any of this if the first point stands.”

    I glare at her. She should really stop calling me that – or at least call me Rae like El-Melloi II sometimes does when he’s not insulting me.

    “We’re not trying to defeat that Servant. The issue is how easily he clears our minions.”

    “Are you trying to force a team fight this early on?” I instantly ask.

    “How do you know what a team fight is?” El-Melloi II rebuts incredulously.

    Oh, is that really a term in MOBAs? Well I don’t know why he’s surprised I’m using it. His reasoning isn’t that hard to follow. Having Erik come into middle lane means the Green Jungler is going to follow. That means it’s a two on two. Siegfried is busy, but if we can have the two in bottom lane come in as well our numbers will be superior. Although I don’t really know the purpose behind this strategy though.

    From my point of view, we can’t gain anything from such a gigantic skirmish unless one of our Servants is going to annihilate everyone in the fight.

    I tell El-Melloi II that and he shakes his head.

    “Well then,” I insist, “What’s the use?”

    Call it spooky, call it an assumption, but I can feel him raising an eyebrow.
    ***
    “GGGGGAAAAHHHHHHH----------!!“

    Erik’s roar scatters all the birds in the forest. There’s no killing intent behind the roar so I’m not sure why the birds flew away. At first, I believed he was screaming because it was natural for a Berserker. After listening to him a few times, he’s making sure the opposing Servant knows exactly where he is.

    Five bolts flash down from the trees in response, two of which Erik bats down with his axe. Two more puncture his shield. I’m not sure what happened to the final arrow though.

    Oh, a stream of red starts flowing down Erik’s leg. The final arrow must have grazed his calf. It’s a deep cut, but Noma instantly heals the wound. Knowing Noma’s skill, I think she just superficially bound the cut with magical energy and is now working on the rest of it.

    “GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH----------!!“

    Erik’s roar is louder this time, as if daring his opponent to come forward.

    We’re also sort of panicking. The green dot in the jungle that we were tracking just disappeared. Green dots disappear all the time. The moment a green dot steps into the fog of war, we won’t be able to see it. However, from Erik’s situation, we know that the Green Servant is right on top of Erik, yet there aren’t any green dots around him. It’s like what happened in middle lane, just exactly the opposite.

    “Presence Concealment?” El-Melloi II asks.

    Noma is speechless. After shifting her attention to the jungle, she hasn’t said much. I guess rather than being speechless she’s just continuing that trend.

    “But can whatever that is remove someone from the map?” I ask.

    “The skill itself doesn’t work like that, but there’s no way of knowing how it’ll interact with this setting.”

    I can almost feel the shrug.

    “Then couldn’t someone with Presence Concealment walk all the way here and assassinate us?”

    “That was called ‘Hassan-gate,’ on the wikia,” Noma finally says something. “In the beginning of the Subcategory Wars, any one of the nineteen Hassan-i-Sabbah were top picks because of their high ranking Presence Concealment. It was even deemed, ‘The Golden Age of Assassins.’ Soon, the fear of having to deal with an Assassin overwhelmed the actual threat.”

    I am well aware the only way to counter a Servant is with your own Servant. An Assassin with Presence Concealment could be anywhere anytime, so the safest thing to do is stay by your Servant’s side no matter what. Even a Command Spell might be useless considering how fast a Servant can kill a person. But imagine worrying about your safety every second for the rest of your Grail War experience. Even when you’re fighting against another team you have to make sure your Servant is close enough to ward off any assassination attempts. Even when you’re in the bathroom you have to make sure your Servant is close enough so you don’t get shot by a crossbow. That… the moment I realize we could be facing an Assassin I start to actually fear for my life.

    “It’s not one of the Nineteen,” El-Melloi II states matter-of-factly, “None of them shoot arrows. However, it could be some other Assassin.”

    “So then what’s to stop them from sneaking here and assassinating us,” I repeat myself. If they don’t answer, I think I’ll repeat it again since I really, really want to know the answer.

    “What’s to stop them from teleporting here and killing us outright?” El-Melloi II rebuts.

    I think about that, but I don’t have an answer. Having created a base-return teleportation system, there’s no reason why the mastermind couldn’t exploit it to teleport to our base and kill us with his Servants. But… he hasn’t. I’m starting to understand what El-Melloi II means by excessively fair. At the same time, another thought hits me.

    I don’t think the other Master wants us dead. It seems that he’s content just with destroying our Servants. But the fastest way to win a Grail War is to defeat the Master…

    I guess that’s where the disconnect that El-Melloi II was talking about comes from – unless the mastermind of this war just happens to be a person who really values fairness.

    On that thought, I try to stop panicking and move back to what Erik’s doing.

    Following the plan, Erik’s positions himself deeper in the Western jungle. The jungle in this map can be split into four quadrants, North, South, East, and West. We are currently at the South-West corner of the map and the opponent’s base is at the North-East corner. As for where I was found, I was found where Erik is right now, the southern part of the Western jungle. I guess these directions aren’t that helpful without a map.

    Either way, Erik makes his way to the giant goats with his stalker in pursuit. Considering the situation, it might seem smarter to enter the enemies’ jungle, but right now that isn’t necessary. I think I’ll explain that later, since I’m more interested in what Erik’s going to do those goats. Finally get what they deserve, oversized redneck lawnmowers.

    Now that I see Erik standing next to a goat, I can honestly confirm they’re as large as I remember them to be. Even Erik, a Viking almost two meters tall, only goes up to the goat’s pelvis. Yet, with one motion, he deflects two arrows while cleaving one of the goat’s legs off. It’s an effortlessly clean cut that severs the flesh, muscle, and bone in one powerful strike.

    The goat angrily bleats; it’s more annoyed than anything else. After all, it does have three spare legs. But Erik’s roar drowns the bleat out as a second swing of the axe beheads the goat. It’s almost unbelievable how easily that goat was taken down, but the more unbelievable thing is that the axe is absorbing the blood.

    Erik’s axe has always looked peculiar. It’s an extraordinarily large, double headed behemoth with veins all over both flat sides and down the handle. Since these veins were the same color as the axe, a dull grey, I believed it was just a pattern some blacksmith meticulously carved because Erik is well, Erik. However, the moment the axe dispatched the goat, the veins closest to the blades started changing color. They went from that dull grey to a deep scarlet. So then could it be that the axe actually isn’t even absorbing the blood… but drinking it? But then if it’s drinking the blood, is the axe alive?

    Yet, even if it only took a few seconds to dispatch the goat, a few seconds is a lifetime for a Servant. Ten consecutive quarrels, all aimed at Erik’s bare back, come out from the Servant hidden in the trees. The ten flashes will shred all in their path, just like a machine gun. Yet, a larger red flash overwhelms even them.

    Only moving his axe, Erik bats away the crossbow bolts. He seems… stronger. I guess it was a good decision to put him in the jungle instead of middle lane.

    “The general composition of a traditional MOBA is Bruiser in Top, AP Carry in Mid, Assassin in Jungle, AD Carry and Support Bot,” El-Melloi II explains when I voice that opinion.

    “The Servants we have don’t all fit the traditional meta,” he continues, “and I’m sure the Servants the opponent has doesn’t fit it either. Either way, we don’t have to play to this metagame if there are better options available.”

    Hmm, a Bruiser isn’t that hard to understand. As for support, I’m pretty sure Fionn is our support considering he healed me and has access to other magecraft related abilities.

    “What’s an AP Carry and AD Carry?” I ask

    “They refer to a certain type of stat MOBAs have. AD is attack damage, usually a ranged fighter who deals high amounts of damage, like Atalanta. AP Carry generally refers to attack based magic users – the video game equivalent of Casters who can cast High-Thaumaturgy in less than a second. AP Carries are usually in Mid because they’re less prone to ganks as it is the shortest lane – they can hide behind their tower rather easily. Furthermore, they’re able to initiate more ganks because they have access to both other lanes. The closest Servant we have to an AP carry would probably be Martha.”

    “But Martha’s in the bottom lane.”

    “Right, Martha’s Bot because there are two better options for jungle.”

    At first, that doesn’t sound like El-Melloi II is addressing my question, but when I think about the placement it makes sense. While we don’t have an Assassin who can gank, we do have Atalanta who was raised in the forest and Erik who gets stronger the more phantasmal goats he kills. I’m sure his axe gets stronger when it drinks the blood of other phantasmal things as well. Anyway, we have these two great options for the jungle yet if we stick Atalanta, the AD Carry, in bottom lane in accordance with the metagame, she wouldn’t be able to show her true potential. That’s why we have Atalanta or Erik in Mid and have the other one as Jungler so they can switch in and out whenever the situation deems it necessary. At the same time, it’s this flexibility that allows us to run our “Save Atalanta,” plan.

    Props to El-Melloi II for figuring all this out beforehand.

    With his new found power it seems that Erik will make short work of the other goat. Even facing its ground rendering charge, Erik is a stalwart wall. The instant before the goat’s horns crush his ribs, the blade of the axe comes down, ready to sever the goat in two. The expected crash rings throughout the forest clearing, yet it is Eric who is thrown back, caught in between the goat’s horns.

    Two ugly black bruises accent his burly chest hair, like two giant cockroaches just having a grand-old time on a prized carpet. Even if no blood is drawn, I’m sure more than a few ribs are broken. Yet, Erik doesn’t roar in pain. Actually I’m wondering if he can roar anymore.

    Crashing against a tree and then breaking said tree, slumps Erik forward on. What remains of the stump is his only support. It seems that he’s lost all his strength, like a puppet with his strings cut.

    “It’s poison,” Noma quietly says as she finishes healing the first wound and starts to work on this one, “The arrow that grazed him must have been poisoned.”

    This is bad. This is really bad.

    Faced with an angry, charging goat and an invisible Assassin while gravely injured as well being poisoned with god knows what, Erik has no chance. I don’t understand why El-Melloi II and Noma aren’t more worried. Noma should be preparing to use a Command Spell right about now instead of staring at the mirror.

    The giant goat kicks up the forest floor and charges. Its thundering hooves destroy the forest floor – a prelude to what will happen to Erik. With his ribs in that state, there’s nothing from keeping this charge from severely damaging his lungs or heart. That is, unless the bolt from the top of a tree doesn’t take his life first.

    Without even a tell-tale glint, the bolt is fired. The only way we even knew it was coming was from the cutting wind as it flies towards Erik. It’s the Servant’s strongest attack yet. It will pierce Erik’s temple, but rather than running through the brain and out the other end, it is packed with enough magical energy to obliterate Erik’s entire head.

    Less than second until impact…

    Erik opens one red, rage-filled eye.

    Once again, a greater flash takes out both incoming threats. Still sitting, Erik manages an incredibly mighty swing. He even takes out both arrows and manages to shatter one of the goat’s horns before getting back up.

    “Does he have some kind of poison resistance?” I’m stunned.

    Confused and feeling cornered, the goat charges one last time. Erik casually grabs one of its stubby legs as it runs past, throws the goat into the ground, and plunges his axe into its neck – the beginning of a banquet. Then, “Did you really believe that you could poison my husband?!”

    If she had her own voice, I’m almost certain it would be a shriek.

    “Do you know who I am, Assassin?”

    Regal and arrogant, Gunnhild’s voice spills through the entire forest. In a way, it’s more frightening than Erik’s screams.

    “Shouldn’t you stop hi - I mean her,” I ask Noma.

    I feel like if this were any other time, Noma would nervously smile and shrug, but she’s deathly quiet.

    “I am Gunnhild, Mother of Kings. If you are truly a Heroic Spirit then no doubt you have heard my name and are aware of my deeds,” she booms. “I am no stranger to traps. I am no stranger to assassinations. These are also the tools of my trade. Yet, you have the nerve to use poison against my husband?! Do you not know that I have dealt with poisons that you could not even imagine, Assassin!”

    Silence. No answer, no reply. I mean, I wouldn’t either. Gunnhild is scary – I bet she’s even scarier now that she’s in such a bulky body.

    “Fie upon you for even considering the poison from a pathetic ybogi would work on my husband!” With her final words, Erik’s body relaxes and I can no longer see any vestiges of Gunnhild.

    I can see why El-Melloi II and Noma weren’t worried. Gunnhild, Mother of Kings was said to have been a witch who poisoned Erik’s half-brother so Erik could ascend to the throne. Trained by Finnish wizards, there’s no way that she wouldn’t know a spell or two to deal with the poison that afflicted her beloved husband.

    But something – she said something that I should keep in my mind. Right now, I don’t know what part of her speech it was, but I’m sure there’s something there which hints at the identity of this invisible Servant.

    Erik charges out of the clearing. While deflecting increasing amounts of arrows, he jumps back into the depths of the jungle.

    Al follows him on the map, “He’s following the route.”

    For a kin-slaying, traitorous, raiding, oath-breaking Viking Erik doesn’t actually seem that bad. I guess it helps that he’s lost his sanity. I shudder to think what kind of vile things would happen to us if he was actually aware of everything
    going on.

    “What about Atalanta?” Noma quickly asks.

    “Halfway to our turret,” El-Melloi II shortly answers.

    Looking at the corresponding mirror, Atalanta has a few scratches that are healing but she looks just as determined as ever. Eventually she’ll fall, that’s not a guess, but a prediction. There’s no way she can keep this up indefinitely. That’s why, when that moment comes, we have to be ready to catch her.

    Erik quickly makes his way to the second jungle mob. A little while ago, Noma told me that there were three jungle mobs in each jungle. From Atalanta’s scouting this jungle had the giant goats, a giant deer, and what Erik was running into right now.

    In the clearing there are a bit over thirty of them. If I had to describe them, I would have to say, rotting corpses. On the other hand, if I had to explain them, I’d say zombie. Just that they aren’t zombies, that would offensive to Haitians. Imagine a caveman falling into a marsh and being preserved there for a couple thousand years and then taking said body and putting it in a vat of water and letting it sit there for another year, then you get these guys.

    “Revenants,” El-Melloi II declares.

    “Draugr.”

    He looks at me, surprised.

    With hollow eyes aflame with blue, they wear scraps of clothing to hide a nakedness which would probably make me puke. Their half ripped suits and dresses are the best money could buy. I think I can see a few military uniforms there. However, their clothes aren’t in tatters because of age, it’s just the size of these corpses that are frightening. Imagine for a second a dehydrated carrot from one of those little packets that come with cup ramen and then letting it sit in water for a day. Obviously it will swell, but it won’t swell into what it was; it swells in all the wrong places.

    So while all these corpses are swollen, some have one gigantic arm while others have a gigantic leg or head.

    “That’s… not right,” El-Melloi II seems disturbed.

    “Necromancers exist, right? So stealing bodies from graveyards and morgues should be normal?”

    Al doesn’t say anything. Noma, on the other hands, places a hand on my shoulder.

    “Necromancers generally use the bodies of magi. If they’re using bodies of normal people, it’ll usually be from a battlefield or a warzone. It’s not that rare, but it’s still uncommon for necromancers to take bodies of people, especially people who have been laid to rest like this. After all, these people usually don’t have any magical properties.”

    So even for those who stray from the norms have their own rules.

    Erik rushes in and starts cleaving a Draugr. No matter the size or density of a Draugr, it should be an easy feat as well as more blood for his axe. Yet, the moment he tries to finish the Draugr off, a bolt comes from the trees finishing the job for him.

    “Why is that Assassin helping out? Shouldn’t he be attacking Erik instead?”

    “In MOBAs the hero who gets the last hit gets the bonuses, unless it’s a team bonus. Before, the Green Servant was using the jungle mobs as cover to try to kill Eric. However, with Gunnhild showing herself like this, he’s switching tactics. Now he’s just going to deny him of any kills.”

    The Green Servant is desperate. From what El-Melloi II said, it looks the Green Servant is winning, but right now he’s just limiting the damage that Erik is causing. Killing a jungle mob increases one’s abilities just like killing an effigy. Erik is different though, because his axe also takes in the blood of his opponents raising his abilities, Erik double dips.

    It was because they were aware of this that the Green Servant tailed him; hoping to kill Erik before he reached this point. Yet, the opposing team didn’t count of Gunnhild rearing her head. Maybe they didn’t even know she was in there; either way, now the Green Servant can’t let Erik take anymore kills.

    And he’s doing a great job of it. With three-quarters of the Draugr force down, he’s no longer even letting Erik touch an enemy. Clearing out the opponent’s jungle and shutting the opponent’s Jungler at the same time; whoever this Green Servant is, he’s talented.

    The last Draugr falls.

    “Erik, the final place.”


    Erik roars at the command and five bolts fly at him in response. They’re shot half-heartedly though. I think they might have been out of annoyance since Erik easily blocks them all with his shield before making his way to the final clearing.

    According to Noma, Berserkers with Erik’s level of Mad Enhancement can’t communicate with their Masters. In fact, the Master usually just points the Berserker in a direction and they rampage. That was my first impression of Erik, but it seems he’s following this plan, somewhat. I think that must be due to Gunnhild. Somehow, the couple are holding back his Mad Enhancement so he can save Atalanta. At the same time, that means Erik isn’t as strong as could be… The trade-off is obviously fair but worries me, just not as much as the final mob.

    Continuing what El-Melloi said, in each quadrant of the jungle there is always one buff mob. This “buff mob,” when defeated, increases a certain stat for a period of time. This buff’s effect also changes depending on which jungle you were in. While we knew what creature this buff mob is, we don’t actually know what the buff in this quadrant does.

    Yet, Erik charges into the final clearing.

    The king of the jungle, a great stag stands in our way. Its bronze coat glistens in the afternoon sun emitting an overwhelming pressure, perhaps even a small feeling of divinity. Like the goats, this is not a natural stag. On the other hand, just like the goats, one couldn’t really call this a phantasmal species either. Instead, it seems like someone’s creation and then something was added to the creation to bring it to this level.

    The great stag raises his horns and charges like the goat did. Although I say it was like the goat’s charge, the amount of magical energy in this stag completely overwhelms the amount of the goat had. As for the speed, well, one could say it was as fast a Servant.

    A routine bolt comes to intercept the stag. Not only cutting the wind, it will cut into the stag’s skull to pierce the brain. No matter how mysterious this deer is, a deer is still a deer; it will die if it’s brain is damaged. But Erik won’t allow that. Swinging his shield with as much force as he can muster, he bashes the arrow aside and uses the centripetal force to swing his mighty axe.

    The axe sails along its path, connecting with nothing. The stag must have seen Erik move and reared the moment the axe was swung. Erik’s swing went under the stag’s hooves which are now ready to come down and trample Erik. With its magical energy filled hooves, while it may not kill Erik, it will at least break his back and worse.

    “Dvalinn, its name is Dvalinn,” El-Melloi II mumbles. There must have been some markings on the underside of the stag. But that isn’t important right now because a sonic boom roars through the clearing.

    Positioned that way, the stag may have dodged Erik’s swing; however, now its heart is an easy target to even an amateur archer. Just because it’s an easy target doesn’t mean the arrow will penetrate though. Considering how much magical energy the stag is emitting, it probably has a fair amount of mystery as well. A normal attack from that Assassin might only graze the underbelly of the stag.

    However, there is one function of a bow that other weapons do not have. The farther back one pulls the string of the bow, the stronger the attack shall be. I don’t know what sort of bow and who is using it; however, using that principle, the Green Servant momentarily surpassed his limits to steal Erik’s kill. The difference in mystery will be overcome with an overwhelming show of force.

    “Now.”


    Not only the wind, not only sound, the arrow rips apart the underbelly of the stag and stops its heart. In one attack the Green Servant destroyed Erik’s final target. At the same time, it took all his concentration to make that shot. Now that he has the buff, when he goes back to his team, he will tell them what a great job he did.

    I laugh and pat myself on the back.

    Because that clearing is now part of our fog of war again. While we can’t use the green dot to track the Servant, the mastermind can use Erik’s yellow dot to track him. So we distracted them. Making them believe our objective was the buff mob, we lured them into a climactic battle and then used this as a distraction to run away with our tails tucked behind. But even if we’re out of their fog of war, I’m sure their Servant has incredible perception abilities. Whether this be through experience or a supernatural ability it’s possible that the Servant would find out where Erik ran off to. That’s why we had Gunnhild create multiple illusions of Erik as he was running away. Even if he can track Erik… he won’t know which one is which.

    All for the sake of saving Atalanta such an elaborate plan was created, and we’re not even half-way to saving Atalanta yet. But even if I’m still patting myself on the back, my head starts to hurt. This Holy Grail War business is really complicated stuff. But I think, for now, I can just be a bit glad that things are going just as planned.

    “I guess we can rest a little easy then.” I smile at everyone.

    Noma opens her mouth, about to respond when a pinging sound catches everyone’s attention.

    “Great, way to raise that flag,” Al says without any emotion.

    I stop patting myself on the back. At least-

    “Master, I have fully recovered and am ready to return to battle…. Is this a bad time? Sorry, I’m not very good at reading the mood. Truly, I’m so sorry.”

    Goddammit Siegfried.

    Berserker of Yellow

    Class: Berserker
    Master: Noma Goodfellow
    True name: Eric Bloodaxe
    Gender: Male
    Height/Weight: 195cm/115kg
    Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
    Attribute: Man

    Strength: B+
    Endurance: B+
    Agility: C
    Magic: D
    Luck: C
    Noble Phantasm: C

    Class Skills
    ■ Mad Enhancement: B
    Rank-Up all parameters, but takes away most sanity.

    Personal Skills
    ■ Support Cursing: C
    All of the opponent’s stats receive a Rank-Down.
    ■ Battle Continuation: B
    Doesn’t know when to give up. Can keep fighting until a fatal wound is received.


    Noble Phantasm
    Bloodaxe
    Blood Sipping Bestial Axe

    Rank: C
    Type: Anti-Unit Noble Phantasm
    Range: 2~3
    Maximum Amount of Targets: 1 person
    A Magical Beast Erik once defeated, was processed, and was made into an axe.
    It seems the Magical Beast that was processed into the axe is still alive, surviving by sipping blood.


    Assassin? of Green

    ???
    Though abandoned, forgotten, and scorned as out-of-date dolls, they continue to carry out their mission, unchanged from the time they were designed.
    Machines do not lose their worth when a newer model appears.
    Their worth (life) ends when humans can no longer bear that purity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ticeexcenny
    In my opinion you are not right. I am assured. Let's discuss it. Write to me in PM, we will talk.

  17. #17
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Malgos's Avatar
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    Didn't expect to take so long to get to this, but at least I'm up to date now.
    Quote Originally Posted by You View Post
    eh you give me too much credit, that's just from wikipedia.
    Maybe so, but then again some people don't even know that and go around claiming outrageous things which is pretty amusing at times. In light of that information being up on Wikipedia it's pretty sad, too though.

    Quote Originally Posted by You View Post
    “The general composition of a traditional MOBA is Bruiser in Top, AP Carry in Mid, Assassin in Jungle, AD Carry and Support Bot,” El-Melloi II explains when I voice that opinion.
    Memes, also minor ruby text experiment.
    Multi Ogre Battle Arena!
    No wonder this is called Fate/MOBA as DotA doesn't like to count itself among that genre, so it makes sense that it deals more with the League of Legends side and it's offspring.
    The darkest timeline in which every other game copies League of Legends, wait that's more or less already happening. Anyways I guess I'll better look up the map layout of League of Legends that would probably be helpful.
    Jokes aside it does make sense to draw from the more... Mainstream game that other games are somewhat copying and
    you are
    You is
    doing a good job of trying to make it accessible to even people that only know DotA by also mentioning barracks, although the differences do pile up with all the details. Still I appreciate the effort as it's easy enough to guess what what is. League of Legends sure does have a rather rigid lane composition, though. Unless it came full circle I remember a friend telling me that the lane setup was like that years ago. Anyways going to stop talking about this now.


    Also poor Siegfried still getting the "sorry" meme... At least here he can get a chance to show off more. Looking forward to some Siegfried action because I was very interested in seeing him when that concept was posted, but the spoilers I heard for Apocrypha never really compelled me to read the MMO's spiritual successor.
    Last edited by Malgos; August 2nd, 2016 at 06:44 PM.

  18. #18
    鬼 Ogre-like You's Avatar
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    9 Laning (Bot)

    Fionn Mac Cumhaill was elated.

    He was elated to have been summoned in a Holy Grail War where he could do battle with other worthy heroes. He was also elated that his exceedingly cute Master was taking up the worthy cause of helping a lost child return home. But most of all he was elated to have been summoned alongside such a frisky Archer and heavenly Rider.

    With a refreshing smile, he flourishes his spear, forcing another team of enemy effigies to retreat.

    “Ah, Saint Rider, madam, what a lovely day this is!”

    Martha smiles, but if you look carefully, it seems like more of smile that’s trying to hide something.

    “Indeed it is Sir Lancer. My, you are in quite the form today.”

    “Indeed, indeed, I’m glad that you noticed.”

    Ah, truly, beautiful women are Fionn’s bane. They just couldn’t help but be attracted to him! Even the famous virgin Saint Martha was fidgeting when he was around. But then again, what woman wouldn’t adore him the moment they saw him effortlessly beat back an entire army of effigies on his own? His rippling muscles that complimented his attractive face formed a dashing figure. One could expect nothing less of a hero of heroes who even slayed a god to protect his beloved Erin!

    Fionn is just happy that Martha hasn’t swooned, yet. While he is sure he could catch her, catching her meant retreat, and retreating meant less time in the lane. As much as he would have liked to carry her in his arms to demonstrate how much of a hero he was, he did like women who could take care of themselves as well…. Well, maybe he just likes women.

    “Pity an enemy Servant has not graced us yet. I am quite hopeful the guardian of our lane is a valiant warrior.” Or perhaps a graceful warrior-ess, he adds with an afterthought.

    Just a few moments ago they both heard Noma send out a telepathic message telling them a Servant appeared in the top lane. A few minutes later, she revealed his identity as Fergus Mac Róich.

    “Ahhh, the son of the Great Horse, what I wouldn’t give to meet him,” Fionn had said the moment he heard the name. Fergus and Fionn are both Irish Heroic Spirits; however, they never met while they were alive.

    There are four Irish mythological cycles, Lebor Gabála Érenn or the Book of Invasions, the Ulster Cycle, the Fenian Cycle, and the fourth cycle is said to be the Cycle of Kings. Fionn is the protagonist of the Fenian Cycle while Fergus is a major character in the Ulster Cycle. To put it more simply, Fergus was already a legend in Ireland when Fionn was born. If there’s one perk with being summoned into a Holy Grail War, it would be the chance to meet your heroes.

    “What is your opinion, madam?”

    Martha purses her lips. “I think it would be wonderful if we didn’t have to fight.”

    “Ah, true, true. When they hear of our cause, I am sure they will rush to our side. After all, they are Heroic Spirits just as we are.”

    Gracefully seated on a tree stump Martha watches Fionn and the effigies needlessly exert themselves. So much for Fionn being the support. He’s… very full of himself and that slightly bother- Actually that didn’t bother Martha at all. She has dealt with many people like Fionn before. On that note, she decides to ask Fionn about his opinion of their Master.

    Stabbing his spear into the ground, Fionn uses it like a pole, kicking away all surrounding effigies. It seems like a stunning display of agility but actually takes a lot of core body strength.

    “Ah, Mistress Goodfellow. Literally an angel. I could think of no better Master to serve. She is honorable and respects our opinions. As they say in this era, cute is justice!”

    Martha starts to feel sorry that she asked, but that was her segue.

    Her own thoughts on her Master are much more mixed. It does feel like Noma Goodfellow is the ideal Master; however, something is limiting her. Something happened to her that warped her growth. There are times when, due to certain expectations, a person grows up in a certain way. Even in those cases, no matter how bent out of shape the person is, there’s still an aspect of oneself that shines through. Undoubtedly there is a quite a few of these peoples in institutions such as medical school, business school, or the Clock Tower. These are people who have been twisted.

    However, Noma’s path itself seems artificial, like everything was twisted in a certain way so she could arrive at where she is today. Noma isn’t hiding behind a façade; Noma Goodfellow is definitely Noma Goodfellow. However, this place does not seem to be where Noma Goodfellow should have ended up. It is only natural she ended up here, but there’s no natural explanation on why she ended up here. Noma is not chasing after someone else’s ideal, she hasn’t sacrificed herself to a higher calling, yet in the brief time the Patron of Villajoyosa has come to know Noma Goodfellow, Martha feels like she needs to help her. Noma Goodfellow is not a distorted person, but everything that went into creating her is distorted.

    “What about the child, Mooney? You were the one who nursed him,” she tries to ask as innocently as possible.

    Fionn abruptly pauses for a second, allowing enemy effigies to surround him. Casually, he thrusts his spear into the ground again and vaults back behind his line of allied effigies.

    “He’s a child, but I’m sure no one would mistake him for a child after talking with him for a while. At the same time, he’s still a child,” Fionn says so pensively. “I think rather than who he was, what’s more important is what this experience makes of him.”

    Martha just nods at his answer and watches Fionn rush back into the fray. So Fionn isn’t a complete airhead.

    Mooney is easier to understand than Noma. Martha agrees with Fionn but doesn’t think he is completely right. Rather than a child, she feels there’s a great distance between him and the Grail War – even more so than El-Melloi II or Noma. That, she feels, is justifiable. Waking up in the middle of a warzone without memories, there is nothing for him to cling onto. She knows the saying too well; for those who march into war, the only ones who make it home alive have something they need to desperately live for. Mooney has none of that, so he is desperately trying to find something. And the thing that he found was returning home. Yet, is there nothing more dangerous than a newborn blindly throwing a tantrum for a half-formed wish? It doesn’t matter if you call it an instinct or an impulse, there is no person who doesn’t want to go home. Yet, because it’s something so ingrained and universal, something so undeniable, it’s undeniably dangerous. The answer Mooney came to was too easy, too simple. There was no thought given at all. There was no thought that was necessary. From the very beginning, this wish of his is “correct.” No other thought needs to be added into the equation. Yet, spending all his resources on such a vague wish without knowing the form that it will take – that’s a recipe for disaster.

    They’re not bad people though, Martha wanted to add. That was what made it all the worse. Both Noma and Mooney are doing the right thing. Putting their lives on the line to stop a ritual claiming to bestow upon the victor a cup with “his,” blood.

    Get a grip on yourself Martha, you’re not just a village girl anymore, you’re a Saint. You have to make sure those two don’t fall into despair. To guide people who are about to fall on the right path; a Saint can at least do that much, right?

    ***

    The fighting is fierce. The battlefield is littered with the shattered remains of effigies. But no matter how brutal the wreckage is, one would never get a sense of the gravitas from the whirlpool at the very middle of it all. No matter what the enemy effigies throw at him, his confident smile and his unwavering spear will always pierce through the danger. For anyone watching the scene, they would know for certain this is how Fionn Mac Cumhaill has always lived his life: without regret, without a blemish to his honor, always looking forward.

    And in that fashion, the battlefield is finally to the Green team’s first turret. Although called a turret, perhaps it would be better to call it a monument? But monuments are made in reverence to something; there is nothing to be revered in this Swedish forest.

    Martha looks around at the remaining allied effigies and then the trail of wood and metal this expedition has been built upon.

    One minute.

    That is the amount of time it will take for the turret to wipe out Fionn’s forces. At the same time, Fionn will have a whole minute to lay waste on the turret. Is that enough though?

    Martha is no magus, but looking at the layers of magecraft protecting the turret, she would say no. Legends from the past, Servants are able to break through enemy magecraft with ease. That is why the protections around all the turrets are so extraordinary. Needless to say, if she summoned her mount, he would break the turret and all its defenses with one strike, but that isn’t feasible right now. Watching an idiot rush in is though.

    Swifter than any river current, Fionn makes a bee-line through the plain to the giant, giant statue. With his spear held high, there is nothing that can stop such a charge. In reply, the giant, giant statue starts filling itself with magical energy. Glowing, the liquid crystal magnification lens magnifies the inscribed runes, firing scores, if not hundreds of deadly curses.

    “Well… That isn’t something you see every day.”

    There is no shock nor horror at the slaughter about to occur. After all, the Light of Fianna is someone who has even faced gods, something on this caliber…

    Weaving through the carpet bombing, Fionn sprints into the statue’s territory as the effigies all around him wordlessly crumble. Swinging his spear at the curses that threaten him at the same time using his entire body to avoid all those he cannot deflect, it is a physically impossible acrobatic display.

    Martha keeps time between the barrages, making sure Fionn has enough time to retreat from the turret the moment there aren’t any effigies to cover him.

    The giant, giant statue’s rune stone starts to glow again. The second barrage will be coming soon. But, Fionn has already reached the foot of the statue. With a great leap he is now parallel to the statue’s pelvis as he readies his spear. With one thrust, he will take out the first magecraft shield before the second barrage can be fired.

    The spear thrust exceeds god speed. If there were no shields, there is no way the liquid crystal wouldn’t be destroyed in one blow. In fact, if he attacked with all his power he might be able to blow a hole clean-through the statue.

    The predictable flash and then… What?

    The spear, it definitely touched something, but it wasn’t the magecraft shield it should have torn through. There was a hit confirm, Fionn felt feedback, so then the solution is simple yet impossible. Fionn’s spear struck something that it could not pierce.

    “Man, that was close. Bounded field took all of ‘em as well.”

    Fionn is blown into the ground as the second barrage of curses fires.

    “Get out of there!” Martha unnecessarily shouts.

    The moment Fionn touches the ground he scrambles out of the turret’s attack range as curses come crashing down. When he’s safely back with Martha, he takes a deep breath – the first he’s taken this Grail War. After making it all this way to the opponent’s turret and having the perfect chance to deal some damage to the turret, not only was he interrupted, but his strongest attack was also blocked. It’s natural to feel humiliated, but Fionn mac Cumhaill isn’t that sort of man. Instead, he smiles gracefully. After all, what is natural for Fionn mac Cumhaill is to feel excited that there is someone out there who can match his spear. He only has eyes for the hooded man jumping down from the giant, giant statue, before stopping at the very border of the turret’s range.

    He raises his wooden staff and carves an “F” in the air. It’s not a commonly written “F.” In one word, it looks outdated.

    Naturally, Fionn steps up to meet this challenge.

    “Ansuz-!”

    The spell is cast. The F materializes into a ball of blazing fire headed straight for Fionn, yet he does not move an inch.

    Runes, a magecraft system of a lost culture. Each letter of their alphabet has a meaning. By writing these letters and then applying magical energy, an effect can be achieved. Of course, there are a limited number of letters yet an infinite array of effects. This is because the effect depends on factors such as: the skill of the user, what the rune is written on, how the rune is written, and even the weather. That being said, runes are not an all-purpose magecraft, but a mandatorily adaptive one. As for the script that the man just used, it is commonly known as Elder Futhark.

    “This is why I hate being a Caster.” The man rolls his eyes as the fireball dissipates the moment it touches Fionn’s Magic Resistance.

    Fionn doesn’t look perturbed though or even annoyed. That is only to be expected though. Because of his high Magic Resistance, the fireball didn’t even singe a single thread of golden hair. What is strange is that Fionn looks delighted, like a person who attends a cartoon convention even if he is slightly too old for it but does it anyway to listen to that one person he really, really admired when he was slightly too young for the exposition. Not that Fionn’s ever been to one of those conventions though.

    “A druid who uses runes… You must be-! That’s impossible-!”

    Lighting hanging a waist-skirt on top of robes with two belts securing them to his waist, it feels as though the man they are looking at is a great sage. But the gauzy shirt spoke of something much more unpleasant. The way he carried himself was the greatest tell. Not the posture of a magus, but that of warrior.

    “Ahhhhh, I can’t believe the lineup we have in this Grail War! Not just Fergus, but Cu Chulainn himself on the Green team! Truly, how envious. What I wouldn’t give to be on the same team as you two!”

    Caster roughly grabs the scruff of his hood and pulls it down. He’s the wild type of handsome. His angular features and long hair speak to that, but more importantly his eyebrows accent those sharp red eyes. He’s definitely not the scholar-type.

    “You’ve heard of my uncle and me?” The Child of Light strokes his chin while Fionn looks at him like a lovesick puppy. “Fionn mac Cumhaill, right? The Master did tell us you would be one of our opponents,” he says casually. “Thanks for taking care of Ulster, Ireland, that place.”

    If one could describe the giant smile on Fionn’s face at that moment as he put a hand behind his head, “No problem, it was no problem at all. After all, we are just doing our just job as Fianna. Our policy is to do praiseworthy deeds while not seeking praise at all. But those words do me the greatest honor, truly the greatest.”

    Cu Chulainn raises an eyebrow. So the god-slayer is this type of man. It almost made him want to add the part about how Fionn started a civil war.

    “And you must be Saint Martha, then,” he says, eyeing Martha’s staff.

    She curtsies, “Pleasure to meet you, may the Lord be with you.”

    Cu Chulainn nods. He must be wary of that one. No matter how polite she might be… actually, it’s usually the politest people who are the scariest. Still, to be able to fight a god-slayer from his own country as well as a saint who tamed a dragon, Cu Chulainn would normally be ecstatic. Instead he puts a hand to his forehead as he shakes his head.

    “Seriously, I wish I had my spear. Then I could fight the two of you to my heart’s content.”

    Now it’s Martha’s turn to raise an eyebrow with her mouth in an “oh.” Fionn on the other hand is too busy being excited to notice the slight.

    “Your spear, you must be talking about the legendary Gae Bolg right!? Please tell me, does it really pierce the heart of any p-”

    But Martha cuts him off, “If you find it too taxing to fight the both of us, I am content with sitting this one out. After all, it seems to be what Sir Lancer desires.”

    Fionn runs over to Martha and clasps her hands, “Would you do that for me, madam?! Ah, you are truly an angel.”

    But secretly, he knew why Martha had made such a choice. It was obvious. She had fallen for him and wanted to make him happy! Fionn was also sure that somewhere deep down, Martha wanted to see her champion triumph over the man said to be the greatest hero in the history of Erin. Oh Martha, you lovesick village-girl, even if you know that you and Fionn can never be together, you just can’t help yourself. You’re too cute. Simply too cute.

    Delusions aside, Cu Chulainn lightly scoffs, “So that’s how it is. I’ve got no problem with that.”

    Curtsying again, Martha moves further into her side of the lane while Caster of Green moves out from underneath the statue. Two hundred meters separate Fionn and Cu Chulainn. It’s definitely an unfair amount of space. Even at one-fifth of his normal self, a Servant should be able close that gap in five seconds. If we’re talking about Fionn, one of the greatest heroes of Ireland summoned into the class known for its agility, Cu Chulainn has two or three seconds at the most.
    If there’s one thing to Cu Chulainn’s advantage, it’s that runes are single action spells. This means just running magical energy through the formula will be sufficient to actualize the mystery. Because of this, single action spells are regarded as the fastest spells – not even needing a second to cast. If that is the case, Cu Chulainn can cast three spells or rather, use three runes before Fionn runs him through.

    Fionn cracks his neck, once to the right then to the left, before lowering his stance. His body ripples with magical energy which electrifies the air itself. Actually, rather than electrifying, it’s like the air pressure one feels before a storm. Fionn is putting all his magical energy in this charge. In one strike he will pierce through and surpass one of his heroes. That is what it means to be the leader of Fianna.

    Cu Chulainn is no different. Even summoned as a Caster, Cu Chulainn is still Cu Chulainn. The man lives and breathes for battle itself – you can see it in his eyes. This is the man who took on an entire army when his country was cursed asleep. This is the man who was mortally wounded from a cursed spear yet tied himself to a rock to keep fighting. His only regret is not being able to receive Fionn’s spear with his own.

    Yet will Cu Chulainn’s magecraft alone be enough? No one would think so after seeing Fionn nullifying that fireball. So then, why is Cu Chulainn so confident? And why is Fionn is confident when he knows that Cu Chulainn is so confident?
    They might have been given another chance at life, but in a normal Holy Grail War that only means two weeks. The only real pleasures they can take in during that time is finally being able to fight against those who are also on their level. It doesn’t matter who lives or who dies; after all, they are already on borrowed time. Even fulfilling a promise to their Master might be secondary to this very moment.

    The moment when legends collide.

    Fionn explodes into movement, the amount of magical energy used singes the air itself making him look like some sort of comet headed straight for Cu Chulainn. No barrier Cu Chulainn can erect in this scarce amount of time can save him from having his own heart pierced. Fionn smiles, knowing that in one second…

    But his spear doesn’t manage to hit its target. Or perhaps it’s better to say that his spear hasn’t managed to hit its target, yet. The moment Fionn jumped forward, Cu Chulainn jumped back.

    A poor move, Cu Chulainn. There’s no way you can retreat all the way back to the turret’s range before Fionn’s spear strikes you down. At most you’ve giving yourself another second. Honestly, one would not expect this type of behavior from a hero, let alone a hero of your stature. It seems as though Fionn must have been thinking something along those lines as well, at least until-

    “Ansuz-!”

    But why even use something that failed the first time? It’s not like anything’s going to change, right?

    Oh.

    The moment Cu Chulainn casts the spell, Fionn feels his death creeping up his spine and throws himself into the ground to dodge the first fireball.

    Yes, the first.

    Falling from the sky like a meteor, like an acorn, it shatters the earth and flames gush out all directions. Its power is cannot be compared to the first Ansuz rune that Cu Chulainn cast. This is beyond, “on a different level,” it’s almost on the level of one of the runes fired from the giant, giant statue’s rune stone.

    “I still haven’t reached that woman’s level yet, so it’s a little lacking. Ya see, I’ve always preferred that spear to these runes, so I’m a little out of practice. Though she’d stone me for saying that, Gae Bolg style.”

    The woman he is talking about must be his teacher, the queen of the Land of Shadows, Scathach. The undying queen gave her favorite pupil the cursed spear Gae Bolg and the knowledge of the Primal Runes. The very first runes said to have be used by the Nordic All-Father himself. It is no exaggeration to say the Primal Runes are most mysterious and most powerful runes in the history of mankind, yet no one in the modern era is able to use them or has found them. Even the runes carved on those rune stones are mere replicas giants carved long ago. With that being said, Cu Chulainn was only given knowledge of these runes, he has not mastered the Primal Runes and therefore cannot use them to their full potential. But even at Cu Chulainn’s current level, a single fireball will do measurable damage to Fionn even if he has such a high Magic Resistance. That was why he canceled his charge and threw himself on the ground.

    While on the ground, Fionn sees the greater terror coming. Truly, the first fireball was just an acorn, and unlike that fairy tale, now the entire sky is falling or rather burning down – the very cause is even carved in the sky for all to see.

    “That’s…!”

    A downward stroke with a gash at a forty-five-degree angle – Nauthiz.

    A less than and a greater than sign combined – Jera.

    Two parallel strokes, the left one taller than the right one, and a sloped line connecting the two – Uruz.

    However, the Jera and Uruz are reversed, or “merkstave.”

    While these runes were not Primal Runes, the meaning when they are written together is “creation.” That is, runes for creating runes. Pairing this combination with any other rune means those four runes are automatically carved over and over again as long as magical energy is being supplied. One Primal Ansuz rune would become two, two would become four, and so forth creating the dome of Ansuz around Fionn.

    Yes, it seems even a charge that only takes three seconds is too long against someone like Cu Chulainn.

    The rune filled sky erupts, raining down fire on Fionn. Each Ansuz rune is comparable to a missile strike, and there are close to a hundred runes. There is no way that he can survive this purification by flame. Not just him, but the very ground he is standing on will become razed clean and a crater will be carved out.

    This gigantic show of force… even without his spear, one shouldn’t underestimate
    Cu Chulainn
    Caster of Green
    .

    Fionn does not want to die again. There is still so much that he has to do for the team. And more than anything, he doesn’t want to see a cute girl crying as he dies. But dying in this dome of runes the greatest hero in Irish mythology created doesn’t seem that bad. And that kid should be able to find what Fionn left him. As a knight and a Servant Fionn knows that his death can come at any time, he’s prepared for that. But seriously, dying like this is not cool at all.

    “My, you are certainly in a bind aren’t you, Sir Lancer.” That almost teasing voice is close to him.

    Fionn quickly turns around but never makes it. Instead he feels himself crudely grabbed and thrown out of the death dome. Unable to process what just happened, he just sits there with his hand out as if about to ask Martha what she’s doing.

    The world disappears into white. There is no sight, no sound here, just the pure whiteness of destruction. It will only last a second before bringing Fionn back to the hellfire that is this war, but before that, he can drown in his newest regret.

    “Another one,” It’s a bitter, mocking smile, “Honestly, I don’t have any luck with women do I?” And most of all he blames himself. Another name is added to the list that he must carry with him. While, he won’t remember the details of this summoning… No, it’s because he won’t remember the details of this summoning that he has to do his best to make up for Martha’s sacrifice.

    That’s right, not martyring but sacrifice. Not for the sake of a greater good, but simply because Fionn was too weak. Just like he was too weak to control himself around those twin witches, like he was too weak to stop the fairies who kidnapped his first wife, like he was too weak to forgive his first knight.

    The white curtain doesn’t dissipate into the afternoon, rather it only serves to reveal the carnage left behind. All the grass and shrubbery in the area is nothing more than char. Giant trees have their trunk broken and are alight. It looks as if a firestorm just burned through the area they were fighting in, and then a wildfire blew right through. Anyone caught in the middle must be nothing more than ashes now.

    But Martha is a Servant, not a person, so she must have already sublimated.

    Fionn clenches the spear in his right hand. He has to report what just happened to Mistress Goodfellow, but his honor says that he has to defeat Cu Chulainn first. Seeing what just happened, there’s no way he can do that without invoking his Noble Phantasm. So then once the dust settles he will unleash Ma-

    “No way…”

    Having expended all his runes and possibly most of his magical energy Cu Chulainn is lying on the ground and right in front of him is the Servant who should have perished.

    “You should do the homework your teacher gives you.” Without a single hair out of place, without a single burn tainting her virginal robe, Martha lectures Cu Chulainn, “If you had trained enough to master those Primal Runes, they would have exceeded an A-rank magecraft. But at your level, well you see the result.”

    Cu Chulainn snorts somewhat good naturedly. “And you said you wouldn’t get involved in this fight.”

    Martha smiles. It’s a pure smile full of benevolence and something else that isn’t benevolence, “Well, it was clear you already defeated him. So then I don’t see why anyone should be getting hurt over a little skirmish like that.”

    “Talk about yourself, you violent woman.”

    Martha’s smile only becomes wider and purer.

    “Well, I was about to let you go, but if you’re that rude, I have to punish you in the Lord’s place, correct?” She raises the butt of her staff and plunges it into Cu Chulainn.

    But the attack never connects because someone no one noticed grabs her arm. Martha looks up to find a mop of dirty blonde hair sitting on top of a scar-riddled face and body. The hand that’s holding her is well-muscled but is also bound by a chain connected to his smaller sword.

    Martha struggles with all her might, but the other Servant’s grip is too strong. Giving up on that, Martha slightly turns and tries to sweep him off his feet.

    He just looks down at her, “Oi- That hurt.” And throws her away like she’s some ragdoll.

    Martha sails past Fionn before she slams into a tree, stopping her momentum. She groans in pain so she must be alive. Fionn, on the other hand, “You-!”

    He instantly changes his grip until he’s holding the spear like a javelin before hurtling it at the newcomer. Breaking the sound barrier, the air pressure tears apart the entire lane. These gusts of winds extinguish all the remaining embers as the missile shoots forth, ready to pierce the newcomer.

    Fionn’s eyes are special. While they might not be mystic eyes, Fionn is able to track targets moving high speeds as long they are within a certain distance. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if the new Servant of Green tries to dodge, the attack will certainly not miss. However, it is because of this same skill that Fionn knows his attack won’t work. This clairvoyance allows Fionn to catch a glimpse of a person’s true nature, and when he looks at that man Fionn is overwhelmed. It’s nothing more than simple strength, but perhaps it’s because that man is simply strength that he is so overwhelming.

    So then, it’s obvious that he would pluck Fionn’s spear out of the air. His hand is bloody and he is pushed back a few meters but that arrogant smile never leaves his face. That is until he throws the spear back.

    Fionn prepares to catch his own Noble Phantasm, but abruptly looks down at his own stomach instead. There was no pain and it was so quick that he didn’t even notice it, but right now, there’s a shaft sticking out of his abdomen.

    Martha yells something, but Fionn can no longer hear her.

    A purple shaft, decorated with the flower that is its namesake. That’s… definitely his spear. This is bad; this amount of damage is bad. Even if Servants don’t need blood to survive, the wound is not going to be easy to heal, even with his Noble Phantasm.

    He can’t let his mind be clouded with who that Servant is or why he is so strong. He needs water, he needs water right now. But he’s too damaged to produce it. What’s so good about being the descendent of Nuada when it’s not going to help him when he needs it the most.

    So this is what Diarmuid felt, then. What cruel irony.

    Fionn wants to laugh but crumples onto the ground instead, watching the other man approach. He must be about to finish Fionn off. Luckily, or perhaps unluckily, the tails of a white skirt block his vision. In any other situation he would be ecstatic.

    Seriously how uncool is it to have the woman who likes you to protect you?

    “You’re the gal who beat up that fella over there, ‘ight? Told ‘im to retreat. Sure did a number on him too, impressed.”

    “Thank you for your kind words sir, but my partner is injured. If you would not mind, I would like to take him back to our base.”

    He looks at Fionn, “Looks pretty messed up from here. You should take ‘im back as soon as possible.”

    Martha briefly smiles and turns to pick Fionn up but the Servant of Green stops her, “Hey, you’re Saint Martha ‘ight? That holy woman who tamed a dragon?”

    Even with him on the border of unconsciousness, Fionn’s clairvoyance tells him that Martha must not fight that man. Out of all the Servants on the Yellow team, other than Siegfried, Martha must not fight that man. Fionn pulls out the familiar that Noma made sure would always be with him, and tells it to send a distress signal. That’s as far as he can go though. It seems sending that signal used up the last of his energy. Even with a sufficient supply of magical energy he can’t stay materialized much longer and starts to revert back to spirit form.

    But not before hearing, “I want to know, are aquatic dragons tasty?”

    Lancer of Yellow

    Class: Lancer
    Master: Noma Goodfellow
    True name: Fionn Mac Cumhaill
    Gender: Male
    Height/Weight: 161cm/49kg
    Alignment: True Neutral
    Attribute: Sky

    Strength: B+
    Endurance: B
    Agility: B+
    Magic: C
    Luck: C
    Noble Phantasm: B+

    Class Skills
    ■ Magic Resistance: B
    Magecraft invoked with an aria of three verses or lower are nullified.
    It is even difficult to harm him with High Thaumaturgy and Ritual Spells.

    Personal Skills
    ■ Divinity: D
    Descended from the Celtic war god Nuada.
    ■ Clairvoyance: B
    Visual Acuity.
    Increases the ability to lock onto far-off targets as well as increases one’s dynamic vision. At higher ranks, higher levels of perception are possible.
    ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■

    ■ Beauty with Women Troubles: A
    Terrible luck with women, even if he can’t help but be drawn towards them and vice-versa.
    「Magic Resistance」 is Rank-down against Charm or Enchantment type magecraft from women. When charmed, LUC is also Rank-Down. However, he also exhibits a Charm type magecraft against women. It is possible to evade this with 「Magic Resistance」. Even without 「Magic Resistance」, one can resist it as long as she is willing.

    Noble Phantasm




    Rider of Yellow

    Class: Rider
    Master: Noma Goodfellow
    True name: St. Martha of Bethany
    Gender: Female
    Height/Weight: 161cm/49kg
    Alignment: Lawful Good
    Attribute: Man

    Strength: D
    Endurance: D
    Agility: B
    Magic: A
    Luck: A+
    Noble Phantasm: A+

    Class Skills
    ■ Riding: A++
    Riding Ability.
    Anything can be used as a mount. ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■
    ■ Magic Resistance: A
    All magecraft A rank and lower is completely cancelled.
    Modern day magi practically cannot harm Rider.

    Personal Skills
    ■ Divinity: C
    As a saint revered throughout the world, her divinity surpasses gods from small cults and ancient gods mankind has forgotten.


    Noble Phantasm


    Caster of Green

    Class: Caster
    Master: ???
    True name: Cu Chulainn
    Gender: Male
    Height/Weight: 175cm/65kg
    Alignment: Lawful Neutral
    Attribute: Sky

    Strength: E
    Endurance: D
    Agility: C
    Magic: B
    Luck: D
    Noble Phantasm: B

    Class Skills
    ■ Territory Creation: B
    Can construct a territory that is advantageous to oneself as a magus.
    The formation of a “Workshop” is possible.
    ■ Item Creation: -
    As compensation for his Noble Phantasm, the 「Item Creation skill」 is lost.

    Personal Skills
    ■ Rune Magecraft: A
    In possession of runes, the Norse magic crests that Scathach gave him. With proper use, a variety of strong effects can be managed.
    However, however simultaneous multiple effects (joint-use) is impossible.
    ■ Disengage: C
    Ability to break away from combat.
    It can also return an unfavorable battle to the beginning (turn 1), and restore the conditions of techniques to their initial states.

    ■ Divinity: B
    The son of the Celtic God of Light, Lugh and the sister of the King of Ulster, Deichtine.

    Noble Phantasm


    Green Servant

    ????
    Last edited by You; August 9th, 2016 at 12:22 PM.
    Though abandoned, forgotten, and scorned as out-of-date dolls, they continue to carry out their mission, unchanged from the time they were designed.
    Machines do not lose their worth when a newer model appears.
    Their worth (life) ends when humans can no longer bear that purity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ticeexcenny
    In my opinion you are not right. I am assured. Let's discuss it. Write to me in PM, we will talk.

  19. #19
    The Long-Forgotten Sight Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    Fionn's a funny guy.

    And Unlimited Rune Works is a cool thing. I always like reading about runes and their different applications.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  20. #20
    鬼 Ogre-like You's Avatar
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    GO mats fallout
    need to regroup
    Though abandoned, forgotten, and scorned as out-of-date dolls, they continue to carry out their mission, unchanged from the time they were designed.
    Machines do not lose their worth when a newer model appears.
    Their worth (life) ends when humans can no longer bear that purity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ticeexcenny
    In my opinion you are not right. I am assured. Let's discuss it. Write to me in PM, we will talk.

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