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  1. #61
    It reminds you of innocence and smells like me. Prix with a Silent X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shrapnel View Post
    I chuckled.
    Oh, I am glad. It felt slightly more profound after I read Rin's little blurb about science and magic and something her grandfather said in the VN. But yeah, it's not very deep.
    Imagine that the world is made out of love. Now imagine that it isn’t.

    Imagine a story where everything goes wrong, where everyone has their back against the wall, where everyone is in pain and acting selfishly because if they don’t, they’ll die.
    Imagine a story, not of good against evil, but of need against need against need, where everyone is at cross-purposes and everyone is to blame.



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    Spoiler:
    Quote Originally Posted by Snow View Post
    Let Sakura say fuck and eat junkfood you weirdos.


  2. #62
    Dead Apostle Eater Historia's Avatar
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    Alright.

    I feel as though this one was more fast paced than the others, probably do to its length, and as such expected the narrative to reflect that but instead there was still detail upon detail that just felt unnecessary in the larger scheme of things. I would have to go back and re-read the earlier chapters, but, as it seems to me I would think Artoria to be the type to sit in, say, Tokiomi's study and contemplate what kind of life the man led until his end, or even wonder about other things like Rin as she now has occupied the girl's room. I think that's the key--she would wait, she would wonder, all while loathing Gilgamesh and Kotomine and perhaps not shying away from that scene of murder but condemning it and her current situation and how she got there. Maybe she starts to wonder about her own life, what she had done as King, of those she led and of those who followed her, while staring at the blood stains that are no longer there on the floor. Brief flashes of swords clashing, or warm reminiscing of quieter times, or something.

    Then, she goes out the door and on her little journey. Maybe you could even expand upon whatever she contemplated this chapter, as she's walking through what's left of the Fuyuki Fire in the next.

    Overall, I think it's really just the length/pacing. It's... off.
    Last edited by Historia; October 3rd, 2016 at 09:49 PM.

  3. #63
    It reminds you of innocence and smells like me. Prix with a Silent X's Avatar
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    I read over previous chapters, especially the last chapter from Artoria's POV, though I'm not sure if you meant you would have reread them under other circumstances. I guess my defense of my decision here is that I think a lot of what you are imagining and describing here fit within the sort of blur of the first few paragraphs that kind of gloss over a bit of passage of time. I did this because this narrative deals with an Artoria who has just been through a sort of identity-shaking trauma (or two) and I think that your observations are apt about the kinds of things that likely went on in her head. I might address them, though I don't tend to rewrite things once I have published them, in future chapters. However, I also wanted to increase the pacing a little because I feel that Artoria has kind of been a bit in her very low-level, functional, almost mechanical mindset that I believe she may experience during times of (well, for lack of a better word) depression which she refuses to acknowledge.

    If this is a difference in interpretation of character I'd be interested to know your perspective. It did bother me that this chapter was substantially shorter than the previous ones, but I thought that maybe the hiccup might allow me to aim somewhere between this length and previous lengths as I continue. Most of this chapter was written back in May, shortly after the last one, but then it just was not shaping up into something that I wanted to publish. I hope that this chapter doesn't just suck as compared to the others, but if it's a bit of a bridge and a bandaid to some readers, that kind of sucks but I guess I have to deal with that.

    Thank you for reading and offering honest feedback.
    Imagine that the world is made out of love. Now imagine that it isn’t.

    Imagine a story where everything goes wrong, where everyone has their back against the wall, where everyone is in pain and acting selfishly because if they don’t, they’ll die.
    Imagine a story, not of good against evil, but of need against need against need, where everyone is at cross-purposes and everyone is to blame.



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    Spoiler:
    Quote Originally Posted by Snow View Post
    Let Sakura say fuck and eat junkfood you weirdos.


  4. #64
    Dead Apostle Eater Historia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prix of Heroes View Post
    Thank you for reading and offering honest feedback.
    Anytime.

    And, yeah, I think the problem was the majority of the chapter being written back then. And, if I may (no joke), it is weaker than the previous chapters. Maybe because of that lengthy period between then and now. Though, whatever serves to move the plot forward a bit faster, etc. it's cool.

  5. #65
    It reminds you of innocence and smells like me. Prix with a Silent X's Avatar
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    It's honestly nigh unto miraculous that I have stuck with it enough to produce this chapter after the lengthy gap in my ability to work on it. I guess another concern is how I am planning to move from stuff that flowed very naturally from initial change to plot and into other things I want to do with it. We'll see if it's worth continuing, I guess.
    Imagine that the world is made out of love. Now imagine that it isn’t.

    Imagine a story where everything goes wrong, where everyone has their back against the wall, where everyone is in pain and acting selfishly because if they don’t, they’ll die.
    Imagine a story, not of good against evil, but of need against need against need, where everyone is at cross-purposes and everyone is to blame.



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    Spoiler:
    Quote Originally Posted by Snow View Post
    Let Sakura say fuck and eat junkfood you weirdos.


  6. #66
    Dead Apostle Eater Historia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prix of Heroes View Post
    It's honestly nigh unto miraculous that I have stuck with it enough to produce this chapter after the lengthy gap in my ability to work on it. I guess another concern is how I am planning to move from stuff that flowed very naturally from initial change to plot and into other things I want to do with it. We'll see if it's worth continuing, I guess.
    You're doing the secret panda prompts, yeah? Just focus on those and maybe, bam, that spark'll come back.

  7. #67
    It reminds you of innocence and smells like me. Prix with a Silent X's Avatar
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    VI. The Shore



    Following after Saber is something to which Gilgamesh cannot quite grow accustomed. He has relied upon guides before, in the far distant past, but they have served their purpose and been dispatched in one way or another. In this case, rather than being led to a final point at which he will find something and they will part ways, he is an observer to another's journey for something he does not yet understand.

    She is purposeful and graceful in her stride, perhaps accentuated by the small span of each of her limbs and her body's form from head to base of spine. When he glances down to see her at his side, he is mostly met with a look at the top of her head where golden hair falls simply wherever it wills, straight with the occasional bent of will. Her jaw stays firmly set, her bearing never higher nor lower than her frame as if there has never been any person with one greater. He smirks to himself at the deliberateness of it which might pass for the confidence he had once seen and had then seen start to crack.

    When they emerge from the lonely curve where Saber had seen fit to break her silence, he follows her whim and each hard, narrowed focus of her eyes. The sudden presence of people walking along the carved out paths that seem designated for those who travel on foot is something he notes without real alarm. He had mingled paths with these people for the first several nights of his service to Tokiomi for lack of anything better to do.

    He steps close enough that the sleeve of his jacket brushes against Saber's arm. She glances up at him, a practical look of being affronted etching her face.

    “I can tell you what these people consider amusement,” he offers when he meets her eyes. “Show you those which are the least wearisome.”

    He can understand how she might wish to engage with some form of life, however plain, after her ordeal.

    No sooner than he has finished with his suit, however, she snatches her eyes away again, fixing them on the narrow path ahead. He does not understand why, as they continue onward, it seems that the wider and wider path is reserved for loud, four-wheeled machines that seem often indistinguishable, one from the next. He understands these carriages which require no horse or other beast to guide them, but they simply smell and, at times, hardly seem to move faster than the other pedestrians' feet carry them. Boring excess in insistence. He sighs, at this and at Saber's stubbornness.

    “I told you why I undertook this journey,” she says, forcefully enough that her voice carries up to him without real effort.

    Gilgamesh lifts one hand and gestures to a building that reaches up to the sky, then to a plaza with people milling about, trading and eating.

    “The city remains. There are even children. I don't see many of them crying. What more do you want?” he asks, trying to hurry her along through this process. It would be difficult for him to explain to a spirit so insistent as hers that her pursuit is pointless, whatever the outcome.

    “This city is larger than what we see here,” Saber reminds him.

    “Then is it truly a city? If its bounds are so great that one part cannot feel the woe of another, it seems impractical that one might rule or protect it,” Gilgamesh comments, if only to carry on a conversation. He does not know which of these ordinary people or which of these vulgar buildings he should look to in order to find which person presumes to be king, now that his opponents have become even more boring and greater in number. He had not considered dealing with all of them directly. Who would bother? It would be like trying to stamp out every ant radiating from its hill, and he could hardly see a greater judgment forthcoming than the one he had seen rain down days before. These people had, for some reason, survived.

    “This era is different,” is Saber's only response.

    “That is true,” Gilgamesh allows, seeking out anything. “No king is a king when his subjects are too many to manage and care for.”

    “And how would you care for them?” Saber asks, glancing at him only long enough to show the way her nose crinkles a bit with distaste as if his answer, unspoken, is already odious to her.

    The fact that she makes him feel a certain weariness without it giving way to anger and wrath is itself worth patience. It is something few people have ever managed, and the fact that she is not one who proposes to advise him and can still incite such a response is stranger still. He cannot tell what her purpose is when she questions him, but if it is to disprove his worth through empty questioning, he will find some satisfaction from disappointing her.

    “The purpose of a city is to provide protection for those who live in it,” he explains, as if he is instructing a child – as he had once instructed a child, in fact. “Those who live in the city choose to obey its ruler in order to continue to be allowed the use of that city's services and protections. Is there anything about that with which you would disagree?”

    “I was not only responsible for those within the walls of Camelot. There were those in the outlying areas to which I... owed protection too,” she replies, and he wonders a bit at her hesitation. He wonders if this is yet another thing she feels guilty for.

    “You cannot protect from lawlessness outside the reasonable governance of law.”

    “And where is that?”

    “For me, it is this world. For you, the walls of Camelot,” Gilgamesh provided happily. He does not quite know why this, of all statements, staggers Saber's step. She stops, turns to her side to face him, just beside a public bench. “Yes?” he asks when they pause along their route. “Have I spoken something which you believe to be untrue?”

    “Who... Who do you think you are?” Saber asks, but then she glances all the way down to his feet and back up again to his eyes, new fervor in hers. “I know who – what – you think you are, and I have met many like you. And most of them fell to their own pride and to someone close enough to cut their bared throats when they peeled away their gaudy covering.”

    Gilgamesh takes in the look in her eyes. It is fire and has some glint of the sun in it, piercing through the color of sky. He only barely sees it, and he wishes to examine it better. Undeterred from previous failure, he reaches for her jaw again, ready to hold it so her chin will not lower her eyes from his sight. She knocks at his wrist, hitting hard enough that it might bruise a lesser man. He catches a laugh in his breath, conceding again if only to watch her puff up like a territorial bird. Rather than lowering his hand, he gestures to the row of buildings that stretch beyond and tower above them.

    “If you are thinking of usurping me,” he says, “I am afraid you will have to wait for your audience. I am captive to your amusement, Saber, but... the world has already flaunted defiance to any worthy kind of order and rule while I have been away. That is the trouble with being dead,” he says. Then he drops his wrist at his side and gestures with a directional nod of his head. “Let us continue to seek out your morbid fascination,” he says, because that is all it can be.



    ┈ ┈ ┈ ┈ ┈ ┈ ┈



    The fact that it would have been tiresome, if not nearly untenable, to count the faces they pass along the way to the river bothers Gilgamesh. He recalls that night, the smoke and wicked fire and the rain. He knows that boring drone the magic with which the mud had been imbued had, its spirit of vengeance and dreary responsibility it prided itself on being unable to bear. It had been such a silly existence, brought about by a very silly class of person or god he was sure, but he could not help recalling its repeated words. He cannot help but think that it would be disappointed with the number of thieves, liars, adulterers, abusers, and killers it might have found over just a simple boundary of water. Some army it had raised for itself, indeed.

    Life, for these people, is too easy. Therefore, it is without value. Easy to gain, easy to keep, and easy to throw away. He might have commented on this, but by the time he has bored with his own thoughts on the matter, they are coming near to the gradual incline up to a bridge. He smells the scent of water, impurity and something clean tied together in an intimate union that pricks his nose.

    Coming closer still, he sees that they are coming upon a barrier and a blockade. Individuals in uniforms that match – little round hats and shades of blue – stroll backward and forward with those wheeled carriages called cars stilled at hazardous angles, presumably to prevent passage. Then there are hard, shaped, stone barriers as well. Added to this, there is a garish, unnaturally yellow tape tethered across the bridge. All in all, it makes it very clear that these people do not wish for anyone to pass.

    “It would seem—” he says, ready to mark on the futility of this journey and their options. Only, he finds that the spot beside him the little King of Knights had recently occupied is vacant. A quick refocusing of his eyes shows that she as begun a trek ahead of him, small frame seeming to suck the air in at some unnatural rate to make resistance to her little balled fists and quick feet impossible. She is speaking to one of the uniformed men before Gilgamesh has managed to catch up, not having changed his pace at all. His hands tuck into his pockets as he approaches them, curious but not unduly.

    “I must pass,” she is insisting with a strong gesture out toward the bridge.

    “It is not safe, and civilians must not pass,” the officer says, and it is clear that he has practiced this line before. Gilgamesh approaches Saber's shoulder and reaches out for it from behind her. When he reaches it, the officer gives her a glance from head to foot. “Especially not tourists,” he says with some distaste.

    Gilgamesh cannot tell whether it is the man's words or his own touch that turns Saber's tendons into stone. She seems to barely be capable of turning to glance up at him without turning her entire body around. She barely meets his eyes before choosing not to jerk away from him, instead focusing the tense energy on the officer.

    “You must allow me to pass. It is important that I see the damage... for myself,” she says, solemn and patient – much too patient for a king, but it is as if she has forgotten that this man does not and probably cannot recognize her for what she is.

    “I already told you, and if you keep asking I will need to have someone escort you away.” There seems to be a greater underlying threat, but it is a boring impossibility that anyone could actually threaten her.

    “Shall I—?” Gilgamesh begins to ask her.

    Then she rolls her shoulders back hard enough to push his hand back a little, making him feel the jut of a bone.

    “No,” she says, and then she marches back the way she came with no visible loss of dignity. He does not know where she is going, but he follows closer behind.

    “You know that he could easily be cast into the river with a determined blow from anything you found lying around,” Gilgamesh comments.

    “I know,” Saber says, as if she is hearing him but not really hearing him. He hates that tone, both for his own dignity's sake and because she is capable of using it at all.

    “If you are so determined that you must see—

    “It is against their rule of law here, and I will not try them.”

    “Is that how you became a king?”

    “I became a king much my accident,” Saber says, shrugging again, less tensely, before she makes an abrupt turn in their route to lead them down beneath the shelter of the bridge, still on the same side of the river. She seems to be seeking some allowed access to the waterfront, and Gilgamesh follows her, once touching her arm to steer her from a distracted collision with a passerby carrying an infant.

    “I'm sorry,” Saber says to the young mother, and she seems much too sorrowful for a chance meeting that would be impossible not to make with this many people. At least those particular people hadn't seemed especially odious or disrespectful.

    “You should keep your head up,” Gilgamesh says. “You are quite small in frame to be so powerful.”

    “I know,” Saber says, refusing to take offense or still so distracted that she cannot.

    Gilgamesh makes a soft grumble in his throat, not quite sure how to rectify what is so wrong with her demeanor. She ought to have been more willing to fight him or more willing to comply – one or the other. The middle ground between the two is difficult to navigate, miry, and unpleasant.

    “Do you intend to swim?” he asks, indignantly.

    “No,” she answers simply.

    “Powerlessness from you is a lie, Saber,” Gilgamesh says suddenly, loudly enough to call attention to his voice, not only from her but by other people who don't matter at all to him. She looks at him, the look in her eyes cool and calculating. He knows that she still thinks him ready to reduce the street around them to rubble at a whim. For a moment, he is glad she believes it. “Stop for a moment and consider your demeanor, consider these people, and stop pretending you belong among them, held by laws that govern cattle,” he says, just a little more controlled because he has her attention.

    “Hold your tongue,” she orders him, light brows tightening down over her eyes. “I do not care if I could conquer them. I do not want to. I do not understand their laws, nor do I need to. I need to see what these people see. Then I may know what it is I need to do. Not until. You invited yourself to follow me, and I warn you... if you try to bring harm to these people, I will stop you, but if you do not wish to commit any crime against them... follow me quietly.”

    The last small phrase is spoken in a tone that might have been request and might have been order. It is spoken with some confidence that he likes, at least, but Gilgamesh still cannot quite understand why her insubordinate and stubborn speech only serves to make her more beautiful to him. The worry etched across her brows, above the color of her eyes, suddenly echoes something a bit more beautiful than the sun over this river could ever be. He can afford to indulge her a little longer, at least. He gestures for her to go ahead.

    “These people are not worth harming,” he says, as if to fill a role as much as anything else.



    ┈ ┈ ┈ ┈ ┈ ┈ ┈



    By the time she seems to have found a place to end her restless wandering, the sun has taken on a different disposition in the sky. The rays seem to be a richer color that seems to angrily seek the attention of Gilgamesh's eyes. He is able to withstand it easily, but his gaze narrows even against the shape of his pupil which he imagines may allow some small advantage.

    First, Saber had led the way to an overlook where families congregated around machines which took some form of coin to allow easy onlooking. He saw that there were different levels of rungs to allow even children access to these machines. It was quite displeasing to see the way these machines, which seemed to have been built for some other purpose, were being used to circumvent the will of the guards on the bridge. Further that these people brought their children to a place where they may look over a ruined battlefield.

    Thankfully, Saber had not seemed to like this place either, and they had moved on from it. After a while, the white, hardened path they had followed most of the way finally met the edge of some grass and other softened, natural ground. The moment she could do so without much obstacle below, Saber touched the cooler ground and Gilgamesh had followed.

    She seems much more at ease, padding through grass and down the slope that leads toward the water. First, she redirects their passage toward a treeline which has been undisturbed by the development of all the gaudy, cheap commerce around them. Finally, Gilgamesh feels as if the air he breathes stinks a little less. Saber walks between two trees, her hand briefly bracing on one as if it is familiar. She looks up at it, into its branches and the few, dried leaves that hang on in spite of everything that has transpired here – heat and cold, war and nothing.

    Then, she looks ahead and he knows that she sees the water and the little place where no one seems to have touched the shore today. He hears her footfalls, so deliberate that each of them is a distinct sound. She does not fear announcing her presence here, and there is nothing with which she wishes to contend. For a moment, he starts to believe that this is the first time he has seen her not angry, not self-righteous, and not withdrawn into a false, self-created prison. Then, she speaks.

    “I wonder if the water is poisoned too,” she says. It sounds as if it is in a tone that is, at the very least, cleansed of any shield she might place between him and the truth. It is as if her thoughts are simply more audible to him than her actions, her breath, her presence often make them.

    “It was a crude magic, and I do not believe that these people would notice or care,” Gilgamesh replies, his arms folding into a bar across his chest without predetermined intent. His own shoes scuff against little pieces of rock that glint in the low, red light that shoots out from below the natural, fading glow of the day.

    “You have no right to speak of them that way,” Saber scolds him, softly, as if he is a squire of hers.

    “I thought I was the victor in our silly battle. I can speak of my subjects as I like,” he jokes without much warmth in his humor.

    “You contradict yourself,” she says.

    “As do you, always, my love,” Gilgamesh says, warmth enough for laughter creeping into his tone.

    Her eyes are the only thing that rebuke him, and even that rebuke seems tired. He is pleased with any sign that her resistance is less impassioned, but he does not quite feel any thrill of pleasure at the concession. Whatever it is, he does not want her resistance to become bored with him. His nose wrinkles a bit, this time not from the quality of the air. His arms stay folded.

    Saber exhales through her mouth, audibly, and pushes her hair back from the corner of her lip. She obviously is ill-at-ease with its not being tied at the back of her head. He wonders why she had not tied it, but she seems ready to speak again. He does not interrupt her for fear that he might deprive himself of something more interesting to concern himself with.

    “When that night ended, it was not a war over the nation of these people that you won,” she says. She seems strangely reverent, devoid of the wrath and anger that had accompanied her first declarations of his victory. Her gaze drops to the ground beneath her feet and she edges closer, closer to the water until she stops just before wetting her shoes. Then, she levels her chin with the horizon and peers with the longest focus her eyes can muster. For a moment, nothing on this side of the river ought to have existed.

    This is something Gilgamesh cannot bear.

    “... If you must see it, we could swim. Even in these bodies, we are both greater than they are,” he says. “You would survive.” He reaches her upper arm with his last assertion. He knows that his god's blood makes him something other than what she is, but it is not an insult. There is some quality of hers that makes him resent his own making just a little less, if only because he knows he is a little less unlike her than the people who walk about like vermin somewhere higher along the riverbank.

    Once more, she smoothly slides away from him, this time to crouch down where she stands, facing forward still. She could make even kneeling before him seem to hold with it a confident indifference that speaks only of a creature who can and will try its best to rule, however ill-made it is for the weight it takes upon its shoulders. Such a creature cannot be subjected to some measures of rule, simply because it does not understand the limits of its own capacity for striving against – anything. She is beautiful when she lowers herself to the ground, and this is one of the reasons why.

    She looks up at him, nothing in her gaze speaking of her position. She nods toward the water.

    “I mean to stay for a while. We can see the opposite shore from here, and that will allow me to see enough, I think,” she says. There is an incomplete thought there, but he realizes that he is being invited to sit with her. With an easy, light shrug of his shoulders he lowers his hand to brace himself to the ground. He leans back against his wrists, trying to settle his eyes on the opposite side of the river and its rise up to a melted down landscape.

    The ground his fingers lightly knot themselves in is green.

    The ground that rises up from the opposite side of the river is gray like the tired, weaker edges of ash.

    There is a treeline behind them. Behind that, buildings.

    As the riverbank opposite them manages a feeble incline, it looks like the back of an old man, worn down by years and mortality that had once been strong, higher and straight. There is no sign beyond that a man such as that or any man at all has touched the landscape. Only, there is some sign of it now.

    His eyes scan across and pick out several different rectangular and triangular shapes made of a yellow similar to the yellow of the obtrusive, presumptuous tape that the guards had tried to shore up their defenses with upon the bridge.

    “They mean to rebuild with that?” he asks. He points to guide Saber's gaze, in case she has not picked out the pinprick marks of these people's refusal to understand their place in the face of what has been rained down upon them. He draws a breath and before he knows it, he laughs, a little freely but not as freely as he could have. Something seems to press against his chest, making it a little harder, a little more tiresome, to laugh at such futility. He glances at her to see if it is something she has done, but her eyes seem fixed on the place he had pointed out.

    “They must,” she says simply.

    “Must they? I doubt that anyone less than you or I – well, apart from Kirei – survived that night. It is not as if there will be any children without homes,” he says. He glances down at the river water lapping lightly against the shore just beyond the reach of their bodies. The destruction that had occurred that night had been wanton. It had been without mercy and without concern for what would follow. In the dreams held dear to Kirei's heart, there were no survivors. There were few slaves, and those there were did not last very long. Their ultimate service was to provide an entertaining death after a short term of living their lives more and more miserably because of the role Kirei found his way to play. It is a senseless kind of destruction, and it is only the fact that it engenders such love and joy in Kirei's heart that makes it mean anything at all.

    “There was... something out there that night,” Saber says, her gaze flitting away from the distant yellow machines. A glance tells him that she had kept looking somewhere out across the water she refuses to try and cross with him as a solitary guide. “... Whatever it is that granted you and me... life,” she says, thoughtfully. She looks away from the ground across the water only to examine her own forearm, left hand coming to grip the right, brushing up and down against the downy hairs that have been burnt across it. “It must be deadly.”

    Gilgamesh swallows – real saliva, taking a necessary breath – and sighs.

    “And so they try to take with them yellow beasts to fight something older than they have ever known,” he remarks. “Do you know now?” he asks. “What you must do?”

    He tries, genuinely, not to make a joke out of the question.

    For a time, he thinks that she has lapsed back into defiant silence. He knows she must have heard him, and there is nothing about her that indicates it at all. Then, she nods and bows her head, but not to him.

    “I believe I know that the war we fought was not for or against these people. It was for a different kind of person, and the man I foolishly gave my allegiance and service to is not here anymore,” she says.

    Saber braces both her hands against the ground, ready to get up, when she looks around at him. She is dusting off the green of her skirt of some stray strands of the green grass. She blocks the bloody light, creating a frame for her body with it. She nods down to the ground at him as she stands over him.

    “You're gripping the earth,” she tells him. He does not know why she points this out except that she is right. When he readies himself to follow her again, there is green grass and rich, fertile dirt beneath a few of the white crescents of his fingernails.
    Imagine that the world is made out of love. Now imagine that it isn’t.

    Imagine a story where everything goes wrong, where everyone has their back against the wall, where everyone is in pain and acting selfishly because if they don’t, they’ll die.
    Imagine a story, not of good against evil, but of need against need against need, where everyone is at cross-purposes and everyone is to blame.



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    Spoiler:
    Quote Originally Posted by Snow View Post
    Let Sakura say fuck and eat junkfood you weirdos.


  8. #68
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Bird of Hermes's Avatar
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  9. #69
    It reminds you of innocence and smells like me. Prix with a Silent X's Avatar
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    It is trying to be!
    Imagine that the world is made out of love. Now imagine that it isn’t.

    Imagine a story where everything goes wrong, where everyone has their back against the wall, where everyone is in pain and acting selfishly because if they don’t, they’ll die.
    Imagine a story, not of good against evil, but of need against need against need, where everyone is at cross-purposes and everyone is to blame.



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    Spoiler:
    Quote Originally Posted by Snow View Post
    Let Sakura say fuck and eat junkfood you weirdos.


  10. #70
    Yahoooo an update!

    A good read imo, I like the pacing a lot for the mood this part has, it's kinda slowish, but I feel it gives a stronger impression of the destruction the war made, and the feelings of Saber on the subject.
    It feels like you're describing less then I remember you usually doing, but that might just be me misremembering anyway.
    It's nice seeing how you execute these two kings with how they see the current population and try to understand them. I'd say you've really nailed Gilgamesh's demeanor, his view of humanity in this age and his remarks about rulership.

    As for Saber, this is a side of her quite unlike how she usually is, she seems more vulnerable, or perhaps tolerant. She's also seems to warming up to Gil, tolerating him more and more.
    Lines like,
    "You invited yourself to follow me, and I warn you... if you try to bring harm to these people, I will stop you, but if you do not wish to commit any crime against them... follow me quietly.”
    “I mean to stay for a while. We can see the opposite shore from here, and that will allow me to see enough, I think,”
    give that impression. Its something I hope to see more of regardless.

    And as I said before, Gilgamesh is very true to his character, but I just wanted to say that seeing him interact with Saber like this:
    “I mean to stay for a while. We can see the opposite shore from here, and that will allow me to see enough, I think,” she says. There is an incomplete thought there, but he realizes that he is being invited to sit with her.
    He tries, genuinely, not to make a joke out of the question.
    is quite marvelous.

    Thanks for writing this Prix.

  11. #71
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors
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    my god, it's alive



  12. #72
    Discord: Beamu#1574 just Beamu's Avatar
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    Aleady told you on Twitter but good job

  13. #73
    It reminds you of innocence and smells like me. Prix with a Silent X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaldeluxe View Post
    Yahoooo an update!

    A good read imo, I like the pacing a lot for the mood this part has, it's kinda slowish, but I feel it gives a stronger impression of the destruction the war made, and the feelings of Saber on the subject.
    It feels like you're describing less then I remember you usually doing, but that might just be me misremembering anyway.
    It's nice seeing how you execute these two kings with how they see the current population and try to understand them. I'd say you've really nailed Gilgamesh's demeanor, his view of humanity in this age and his remarks about rulership.
    Thanks! This chapter is a little bit shorter than the previous average but longer than the one immediately before. I've been trying to find a happier balance because I think the previous length was a little bit arduous to write and read. It was necessary for the content, but I'm trying to vary it some now. Thank you for the remarks about my characterization.

    As for Saber, this is a side of her quite unlike how she usually is, she seems more vulnerable, or perhaps tolerant. She's also seems to warming up to Gil, tolerating him more and more.
    Lines like,


    give that impression. Its something I hope to see more of regardless.

    And as I said before, Gilgamesh is very true to his character, but I just wanted to say that seeing him interact with Saber like this:


    is quite marvelous.

    Thanks for writing this Prix.
    Saber is in a spot where she is having to respond to the circumstance she is in in a different way than she would have previously. She was also in this position in FSN after her experience in the previous HGW, but this is a new, different circumstance alternative to that one.

    Thank you for the detailed comment! I appreciate it.

    And thank you, also, to Glow and Beamu for noting its continuation.
    Imagine that the world is made out of love. Now imagine that it isn’t.

    Imagine a story where everything goes wrong, where everyone has their back against the wall, where everyone is in pain and acting selfishly because if they don’t, they’ll die.
    Imagine a story, not of good against evil, but of need against need against need, where everyone is at cross-purposes and everyone is to blame.



    Blog of Fiction for You to Consume
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    Spoiler:
    Quote Originally Posted by Snow View Post
    Let Sakura say fuck and eat junkfood you weirdos.


  14. #74
    It reminds you of innocence and smells like me. Prix with a Silent X's Avatar
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    VII. Mortal Limitations




    Artoria climbs the riverbank, heading back toward the path. She takes little care to make sure that Gilgamesh follows her. She has little doubt that he will, and as much as she wishes she could shake him, if he is plaguing her at least he is not plaguing someone else.

    He had mentioned becoming familiar with modern amusements, and she dreads to think how.

    Allying herself with cruel men is something she had sought most of her life to avoid, but sometimes it had been necessary. And even in this existence, it seems to have proven unavoidable. She had considered her former Master’s ambition and ideal worthy, but when she had seen the means necessary to achieve it, Kiritsugu’s indifference, and the ultimate waste of everything he had sacrificed for, she had once again been proven right about him.

    For all his gaudiness, Gilgamesh seems less complicated.

    Artoria’s shoes scuff the pavement, and a glance proves that he is not far behind her.

    He is an imposing, strong figure, even not taking into consideration his status as a hero or a creature not meant for this nearly-human form they seem to share. He looks different from everyone around them, and different from her. She knows that this is one reason that not many people seem to approach them, but she is glad for it. While she means them no harm, she knows that they are both dangers to these people. And it is for that reason, if none other, that she makes no effort to flee from him.

    If his crude fascination with her is enough to keep his gaze from wandering to something much more cruel, she will endure it. She doubts that he has appetites such as Caster had held, but in his alliance with Kotomine Kirei, she knows that she cannot trust even that.

    Her eyes narrow slightly when he comes close enough that she must lift her chin to behold his. It could be that she is squinting at the sun, but she wrestles with the unsettling thought that her influence may be the only thing that stands in the way of whatever he and Kotomine Kirei plot together. She isn’t sure which of them is the leader and which is the follower in their shared descent into bloody betrayal, but she knows which of them she holds some power over, even if she does not trust it or fully understand why.

    “Where to now?” he asks her.

    She searches for the sly look she expects in his eyes, but she isn’t quite sure what she sees. She wonders, again, if she has ever really been able to see the truth in people at all.

    “I have seen what I came to see. At least, as well as I can,” she replies, deliberately vague. Her brow furrows as she lowers her gaze from his eyes and looks past him, back the way they had come.

    “Will we return home, then?” he presses.

    “The Tohsaka house is not my home, nor is it yours.”

    Gilgamesh looks displeased, and Artoria isn’t sure whether it satisfies her at all to discomfit him. After all, she may have no honorable choice but to try and offer some measure of peace between them, however fragile it may be.

    “Where else will you go?” he challenges her, scoffing at the impossibility of it.

    Another thought seems to physically pull at the nape of her neck, pressing at the same, instinct-tickling part of her skull. He is as without options as she is in that regard.

    “Neither of us have wealth that holds any value here,” she points out.

    Then her face falls as Gilgamesh reaches into his pocket and withdraws a golden clip which contains folded bills which she instantly recognizes as the currency of this land.

    “You were saying?” he asks, showing his teeth in a way that makes her a little more comfortable. It is better when he shows his true nature.

    “Stolen, too, I’m sure,” she says with a flare of her nostrils.

    “And there you would be mistaken, dear Saber. Haven’t I told you? All that holds value in this world is mine,” he says.

    Artoria decides that she is weary of his riddles. She walks past him, deliberately allowing her arm to bump his in a show of restrained aggression. In her dress, with her hair down, it seems to hold far less weight than she would in her armor, or even in the ruined suit Irisviel had once taken such pride in. But Artoria keeps her chin held high as she begins to retreat up the paved path.

    Gilgamesh turns on his feet and falls into step beside her. She hears a snort, perhaps of laughter, perhaps of derision. Or maybe they are one and the same in his personal dialect.

    “Mystery is hardly entertaining when you create it so crudely,” he replies.

    “Your understanding is of little concern of mine. Or aren’t you a wise king, Archer?” she asks, bristling in spite of the necessity of his closeness if she is to find any way to dissuade him from his worst nature. She wonders if it is a vain hope to believe he has any other.

    “Has your tongue always been this sharp?” Gilgamesh counters. He seems pleased enough with this line of conversation, his hands pressed harmlessly back into his coat pockets. “It is hardly any wonder that you are a virgin, King of Knights. A delicate flower with so many thorns…”

    Artoria’s face sets into an expression of anger and mild disgust, but she keeps her eyes level with the path ahead of her. Her hands twitch at her sides, considering fists as their form but thinking better of it. She breathes in and out, the cool air centering her a little.

    “I lived as a man half my mortal life,” she says when she has trained her tone into even submission to her will. “And yet it strikes me as particularly like a man to think in such narrow definitions, whatever you believe you know about me.”

    “My eyes allow me to glimpse into everything,” Gilgamesh answers proudly.

    “And to see only that which you want to see,” Artoria surmises easily.

    “You really must stop calling me ‘Archer,’” he says, deftly changing the subject.

    “I don’t see why I should do anything you command me, King of Heroes. You aren’t my king, and you insist that I should comport myself as I once was,” she says, taking refuge in her station even if it is undeserved.

    “I could compel your compliance if I wished it,” Gilgamesh insists.

    Artoria glances up at him, her gaze once again narrowed with determination.

    “You will not,” she says simply.

    Gilgamesh catches her eyes on him, and she sees nothing but a flash of bitterness in his. He looks more like a disappointed child to her than a king not only of subjects but of the very concept of human heroism. Even looking at his eyes, the irony is clear. He is not human.

    He breaks the gaze first, nodding ahead of them as he notes a crossroads where they must stop to allow the cars to pass.

    “Will you remain here, then? Homeless out of stubbornness. Or will you conquer for yourself a new castle? Or become a simple laborer, taking to modern life and allowing this world to tarnish you completely?”

    “If I did, wouldn’t that be simpler for you?” Artoria asks after a moment. It is an earnest question, and she watches him surreptitiously to see if his face betrays an answer more than his words. She almost squints with concentration, trying her best to see it if it happens. Only, it is harder to read faces than it is to see projected movements in battle.

    It is surprising when his face takes on a gawking expression, his mouth wide and round as his eyes become.

    “Why would you think that?” he asks. His feet remain still for a moment, even as hers start moving as the sign across the road indicates that they should. He isn’t long to follow once more.

    “Whatever you and Kotomine Kirei have planned, I will put a stop to it,” Artoria answers, simple and conversational as if there is no enmity in the suggestion at all.

    She hears him snort again.

    “What ‘plan’?” he asks. “What plan do you think we have?”

    “I don’t know,” she admits freely. “Not yet. But the moment I understand his purpose, I will stop him. I know he is a murderer and the kind who will not stop now that he has whet his appetite for blood.”

    “So you were paying attention,” Gilgamesh replies with a dry wit. Artoria isn’t at all amused. She doesn’t dignify it with an answer, so he speaks again after some silence: “If your new purpose, after surveying the ruins, is to foil Kirei in his misadventures, would it not be in your best interest to remain under the same roof?”

    Artoria feels her breath come a little more lightly. It is not quite a thrill but something like it when she realizes that her half-thought-out plan may not be for nought after all. She keeps her expression very placid. She hopes her face unreadable.

    “There may be some truth to that,” she says after considering her answer carefully, strategically. She even lowers her gaze and her chin deliberately, as if she is humbled more than intrigued by this turn of events.

    “Whatever your devious plot may be, I highly doubt that your respect for law and order in this dreadful place will allow you to take up residence under the stars,” Gilgamesh remarks.

    Artoria’s brow creases for a moment, but she sees no reason not to concede the point.

    “Likely true,” she says.

    “Well if you are not to take up the life of a vagabond, and you wish to kill Kotomine Kirei as he sleeps, then we have little choice but to go home , eventually,” he says, persisting in this false labelling. Under the circumstances, it is hard to come up with a better way to phrase it that would matter.

    “I have no intention of going back yet,” Artoria insists. Her hands clench a little. She has to think, and she dreads the thought of that place and its oppressive air. She glances up at her companion. Furthermore, she would like to be more certain she has at least captured his fickle fancy enough to believe that he is at least torn in his allegiance.

    “Then offer me some amusement, Saber,” Gilgamesh complains.

    Artoria does not make it her particular aim to satisfy his request, but after more useless wandering in sight of the great bridge that is blocked off, she makes her way to a hanging sign that is printed in text that reminds her more of the text she had once read in her homeland. She already has her hand on the door handle when she looks up at Gilgamesh with slightly raised eyebrows.

    “You can pay the owners of this establishment,” she informs him. It is more warning than request or concession.

    Nevertheless, he grins as if he has won some great struggle. She doesn’t like it, but she presses her body into the door and makes her way through, not letting go of it quickly enough to allow the heavy wooden thing to fall in against his face.

    The smell of food fills Artoria’s senses and she feels her stomach imploring her to partake. She does her best to maintain her dignity as she goes to an empty table and pulls out a chair to take her seat.

    There is something slightly downturned about the way Gilgamesh carries himself before he pulls out a chair and sits beside her. She cannot tell what it is. Perhaps his energy had been flagging as well, but she allows herself to study him to look for any clue as to the specific cause. At first, his eyes are even closed, allowing her to do this without fear of his unnatural gaze.

    “What are you looking at, Saber?” he asks, without opening them. “I thought we were here for food. And here you said I was the one who could not tell the difference between my appetites.”

    Artoria is annoyed, but she just reaches for one of the plastic-sealed menus held in a stand at the center of the table.

    She notices in the periphery of her vision that he finally blinks open his serpentine eyes. She hopes that no one in the restaurant notices enough to fear him. People in this era seem far less familiar with magic and unnatural beings than those of her time, and she does not want him to cause a scene. But while his gaze seems settled on her, she peruses the menu. Everything sounds both delicious and almost wholly unattainable. She has a fairly thin concept of this land’s currency, and yet all of it seems almost impossibly cheap. She does not know why Gilgamesh seems to resent such easy abundance.

    Gilgamesh sighs impatiently and waves down a waiter with a spotty moustache.

    “We’ll have one of everything your establishment has to offer, unless there is something which you believe unbefitting a king,” he says.

    Artoria looks up and feels her heart lunge toward her gurgling stomach. Without thinking, she reaches out and places her hand firmly atop Gilgamesh’s forearm, trying to stay his actions and his words.

    “No,” she says, both to him and to the waiter who stands there with his notepad, looking confused. “I apologize,” she continues with a little bow of her head. “Please give us one moment to reconsider.”

    The waiter nods and leaves, glancing back with a look that seems caught between grateful and horrified.

    “Even with our greater need for energy than the average human, there is no need to draw such undue attention. And it would be wasteful,” Artoria scolds Gilgamesh the moment the young man has busied himself with checking on attending to some customers who were already eating.

    Gilgamesh glares a little at her. His nostrils flare.

    “There is no reason that we should not have a feast befitting kings ,” he says.

    “If you would like one, then at least be more discerning,” Artoria says. She lets go of his arm and plucks another menu from the stand in the center of the table. She holds it out to him and waves it a little until he snatches it away from her like an irritated cat. “And I will not tolerate needless theft from these people, even if it is in the form of your being unable to pay them.”

    “Once again you misunderstand—”

    “No matter,” she insists.

    Gilgamesh shifts his glare to the menu where it remains, scanning back and forth for several minutes.

    Once Artoria has nearly settled her wandering eyes and appetite on the idea of a pie made from meat and a salad made from vegetables, Gilgamesh sighs and sets the menu down.

    “Have I indulged your desire for patience enough yet, my love?” he asks. She is almost certain that this time he has chosen the epithet quite specifically to irritate her.

    She frowns at him but grants him her gaze.

    “What are you going to eat?” she asks.

    “I don’t wish to choose as if there is some arbitrary limit to my capacity for enjoyment. My appetites are both boundless and immaterial,” he says. It doesn’t make much sense to Artoria, but she listens as he rambles. “I can tell the young man to bring me the best of what they have to offer instead of all if it will please you more.”

    “Why can’t you simply choose something for yourself?” she asks, curious about why he seems so annoyed by this simple task. She notices as he glances back down at the menu with a renewed glare at it. She blinks several times as recognition falls into place. She has an eerie sense of dread, not because of what she has realized but because of what else might follow if her intuition is correct. “You can’t read it…” she says softly. It is gentle, because she neither wishes to humiliate him nor to stir him to anger. It is simply an observation.

    “Of course I can,” he says. “I choose not to.”

    Artoria shakes her head.

    “No,” she says. “Earlier, I entered Kirei–no, Tohsaka’s office and found myself struggling to read the script. I managed it, but it was as if there were a fog before my eyes that had not existed in days before this.”

    Gilgamesh looks at her, and even if she has had trouble reading faces and people in the past, she knows full well that what she sees is intrigue. His brows are furrowed, though. Cautious intrigue.

    “What are you suggesting?” he asks, and for the first time she believes that his asking her a question is without the intent to manipulate her answer. She notices his finger running along an imperfection in the plastic that covers the menu.

    Artoria frowns in turn as she considers how to answer him. Her tongue softly clicks, she takes a breath, and she begins to explain:

    “I wonder if the knowledge given to us of this era when we were summoned has begun to fade. I know we are speaking in the common tongue of this land now, but when I tried to read it, I had to concentrate more than I would have before. If what I fear is true, I hope that it will not fade in its entirety. That could prove very difficult.”

    Gilgamesh’s mouth forms a sharp smile as she makes her last statement.

    “‘Difficult,’” he repeats. “Well, if your fears prove true, then I will simply resist something that has been made mine being taken from me. I suggest that you do the same.”

    “Of course I intend to try,” Artoria says. “But you have irresponsibly taken hold of something that neither of us were meant to have.” Her frown etches deeper as she is reminded of that night – the mud and her dread of what he was doing to her. Yet she does not look away from him.

    Gilgamesh looks toward the ceiling and leans back in his chair. He stares at it for a moment before suddenly righting his posture before resting one elbow against the table. He uses the other hand to pick up the menu and regard it with new vigor. His eyes seem clearer.

    “Well, now that I understand my opponent, I will not be bested,” he boasts.

    Artoria folds her arms across her chest as she looks at him, a thoughtful look on her face.

    “Did you struggle with reading during your life?” she asks after a moment.

    This time she knows his snort is derisive. He doesn’t dignify her with a glance.

    “Of course I knew how to read. But I was not a scribe. I was a warrior and a king. I ordered walls built and bested monsters. I loved and I killed. What business had my eyes poring over tablets?”

    “I see,” Artoria says as her frown shifts to one of taking in novel information.

    Finally he looks at her with some venom again.

    “Do not dare pity me, King of Knights,” he says.

    Artoria hisses softly and glances around to try and discourage him from calling her that here. At least ‘Saber,’ may sound like a foreign name to those who may overhear them. Even if they have no intention of bringing harm to these people, it could cause problems.

    “I can recite poetry and tales from the dawn of time without getting one word, one detail wrong,” he continues, undeterred.

    Artoria lifts her hand in a gesture of peace. Then, she reaches over and plucks the menu away from him, replacing it in the stand.

    “Very well, Gilgamesh,” she says, trying to appease him. She doesn’t like the uneasy feeling in her chest, but it isn’t fear. It’s something sadder than that. Pity, but for the sake of peace she will not call it that. “What do you like?” she asks, glancing back at the menu still resting before her.

    “What?” he asks her flatly. He looks at her with open suspicion now.

    “I meant ‘what do you like to eat’?” she asked. “Surely with your many opinions, you have preferences.”

    She believes that she detects a lecherous glint in his eyes as he leans back and laces his hands together behind his head. She feels the toe of his shoe bump the side of her foot.

    “Bread,” he says after a moment, a smile on his face.

    “‘Bread,’” Artoria repeats.

    “Not on its own,” he replies, seeming more relaxed than before. “Bread and beer.”

    Suddenly, a different man appears from behind the bar, having heard Gilgamesh’s unrestrained tone.

    “Then you have come to the right place!” the man announces.

    Artoria sighs as she averts her gaze for a moment, embarrassed by the lack of discretion but allowing it to pass. She takes the opportunity and tells this man, who seems to be the leader among the serving staff, what her stomach and heart had settled on. She also orders Gilgamesh a sandwich and beer.

    When the waiter walks away, instead of looking insecure about her offer of assistance, Gilgamesh looks absolutely smug.

    She gives him a cold expression that tries to wither any sense of creeping authority he has over her.

    “You will be a darling wife,” he says in spite of her look.

    She pulls her ankle closer and hooks it around the other to deprive his toe of contact with her foot. Then she decides to press on to the reason she has not yet tried to rid herself of his company. The moment someone has brought Gilgamesh his tall cup full of beer and her a glass of water, she clears her throat and rests both her hands on top of the table, palms facing down. She straightens her posture, briefly closes her eyes, and begins to speak.

    “Gilgamesh,” she addresses him plainly, then she opens her eyes to look at him.

    “Oh my. It seems you have something interesting to say,” he says. It makes her skin prickle with distaste, but she pretends he had addressed her more suitably for her greater purpose.

    “Gilgamesh,” she repeats. “You seemed to imply before that your allegiance was not to Kotomine Kirei and whatever he is plotting in that stolen office.”

    “Are you asking for something, Saber?” he taunts.

    “Of course I am,” she says, committing to it. It will be better to know if he resists her. Even if he agrees, she will not have any real assurance that he is not lying, but hearing what he has to say for himself is the only measure of insight she can afford herself while she has his attention. “If you were ever a man, a king, of honor, then you cannot allow him to wreak further destruction. You must not.”

    “Why mustn’t I?”

    “You said yourself that he takes pleasure in the pain of others. His only goal is to bring about the suffering of others. He has power in this world, even if I do not know the extent of it. And if over none other, he has power over the child who ought to be in that house.”

    “Should she now?” Gilgamesh asks. It gives her pause. There is something about it that gives her a sour twist of hope that he is listening to her.

    “Why shouldn’t she?” Artoria presses him.

    “Well, I suppose to allow her to avoid her guardian’s penchant for undue suffering,” Gilgamesh sighs. “Please tell me now if I am going to become bored with this repetition.”

    “I am trying to understand you,” she says. She pauses for a moment, believing that this will please his strange fixation with her.

    He closes his eyes and leans back into his hands. He seems to bask in something she has given him, leading her to believe she had been correct.

    “Oh my, what a scene I might cause if I told him what you are up to,” he says.

    Artoria doesn’t feel fear when he threatens such a thing. Only disappointment.

    Then his eyes snap open.

    “But it would be entertaining, I suppose, to watch your mind do battle with his. I was so wondering when you would wake up, Artoria.”

    Artoria lifts the glass of water to her lips and takes a pointed, small sip. She sets it down firmly.

    “You have no right to use that name.”

    “You use mine,” he points out.

    “Because you requested it.”

    “Then I will make it my mission in the midst of yours to cause you to ask that I call you by your true name,” he says, righting his posture when the young, moustachioed waiter returns, balancing a tray and looking at them suspiciously as he sets their food before them.

    “You do not intend to betray the confidence I have granted you?” Artoria asks Gilgamesh when the young man again retreats. The scent of the food before her nearly distracts her, but she stares at Gilgamesh until he gives her an answer.

    He takes a deep drink from his cup. She notices that his throat bobs more than once before he sets it down.

    “I came to you first, my dear,” he says.

    Suddenly, Artoria decides to take up a knife and fork from the available cutlery, cutting into her meat pie to give her hands what feels like suitable occupation. She takes a bite, pretending to ignore his continued presumption.

    “Of course your life means more to me than that of a rightfully dead priest,” he croons to her, even as she begins eating.

    After she first swallows, she pauses to bow her head in gratitude that she is sure that he does not know how to express. To anyone but him. Then she continues eating, speaking between swallows as is only polite to the ordinary people sitting around them.

    “I don’t care if you value my life over his. I care if you are willing to show whatever behavior made you ever fit to call a king or a hero in the first place.”

    Gilgamesh tends to his food for a moment.

    “You have not chosen poorly,” he remarks, distracting from her point. She can feel his irreverence.

    A sudden flash comes to her of the irony – that many would consider a sandwich, even one so fine as this, a paltry selection from such a menu. She smirks a little in spite of her uneasiness, not only at the irony but because it gives her some reassurance that the knowledge of this era will not leave her entirely, even with the march of time away from the end of the war.

    “Do you trust me, Saber?” Gilgamesh asks languidly, seeming to take his time. Perhaps he has seized upon the curve of her lips that expresses something slightly warmer than contempt, even if it is at his expense.

    “No,” she says to him, shaking her head even as the wry smile clings to her lips.

    “Then this should be very fun indeed,” he says before taking another bite of his sandwich.
    Last edited by Prix with a Silent X; May 16th, 2020 at 02:54 PM.
    Imagine that the world is made out of love. Now imagine that it isn’t.

    Imagine a story where everything goes wrong, where everyone has their back against the wall, where everyone is in pain and acting selfishly because if they don’t, they’ll die.
    Imagine a story, not of good against evil, but of need against need against need, where everyone is at cross-purposes and everyone is to blame.



    Blog of Fiction for You to Consume
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    Spoiler:
    Quote Originally Posted by Snow View Post
    Let Sakura say fuck and eat junkfood you weirdos.


  15. #75
    死者 The Dead
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    I first read this when there were two chapters out, and I'm extremely glad to see it updated, with chapters I missed in the meantime besides.

    I can't offer deep critical analysis of literary elements like themes and motifs. I don't tend to examine literature deeply enough for that. The closest I can come to that is noting that I like the bits of wordplay you make occasionally; e.g., "draws from the drawer" or... there are a couple others that I don't remember. (I think one of them had to do with green X and green Y?) Also, my grammar Nazi brain rebels at your use of past participle for past events when current events are in the present tense, but I'm guessing you wanted to write in present-tense and wanted to avoid confusion—given the far more popular use of the past/"fictional present" tense—by not using the past tense at all. Is that right, or am I missing something?

    Having just read it through from start to current terminus, I think the pacing is fine; I think people were right that it was the wait for later chapters that made them feel as though the pacing were trudging along. I like this slow pace, because assuming a (questionably) romantic relationship is being built up to, the first steps will take the longest to happen. On that note, one of the things I like most about this most recent chapter is that you've managed to present a realistic, organically developing foundation for that; e.g., your justification for Saber letting Gilgamesh follow her, engaging him in conversation at the café, and staying with them at the house, and Gilgamesh's little moment of humanizing vulnerability.

    My favorite chapters are the ones from Gilgamesh's point of view. I enjoy reading through the lens of his mindset. I think you do a great job capturing his character as far as I know him, though I admit I've only seen the animes.

    During the walk along the riverbank, I thought Saber was looking for somewhere she could walk across the river without drawing attention. Shouldn't she still be able to do that? Her body in particular is no more physical now than it was before, I think, and even if I'm mistaken, they still have their servant abilities aside from dematerializing. Gilgamesh mentions them swimming several times; he would have to, but he saw her standing on the water against Caster.
    Last edited by Pastykake; May 26th, 2020 at 08:10 PM.

  16. #76
    It reminds you of innocence and smells like me. Prix with a Silent X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pastykake View Post
    I first read this when there were two chapters out, and I'm extremely glad to see it updated, with chapters I missed in the meantime besides.
    Thank you for coming back to it!

    I can't offer deep critical analysis of literary elements like themes and motifs. I don't tend to examine literature deeply enough for that. The closest I can come to that is noting that I like the bits of wordplay you make occasionally; e.g., "draws from the drawer" or... there are a couple others that I don't remember. (I think one of them had to do with green X and green Y?) Also, my grammar Nazi brain rebels at your use of past participle for past events when current events are in the present tense, but I'm guessing you wanted to write in present-tense and wanted to avoid confusion—given the far more popular use of the past/"fictional present" tense—by not using the past tense at all. Is that right, or am I missing something?
    Thanks for the compliment about the word play! Honestly, one thing that is difficult about writing from Gilgamesh and Artoria's points of view in an alternating fashion is that I try to make my prose fit in that character's "headspace" even though it is not them directly narrating it. I find that, when I manage it, it helps to make it "feel" right as opposed to using much a much more modern, casual lexicon for the purposes of narration except where it is deliberate. But both of them are ancient (though the degree obviously varies by a tremendous amount) and quite formal in slightly differing ways. Gilgamesh is formal in the sense that everything he does is important and everything is beneath him. Artoria is formal in the sense that she is chivalrous and tries to be dignified but does not assume that kind of dignity to be inherent to her character the way Gilgamesh assumes he invented personal dignity.

    Trying to write from both their perspectives has made this story very wordy. I think that my own skill with not being unnecessarily wordy has improved since I started writing this, but there is a certain level of it is that remains intentional because of an effort to immerse the reader in the point of view of the character.

    The past participle usage may have something to do with this? Again, I had honestly never even noticed that I was doing it, but I think that it may have to do with how one narrates in the present what one observed someone in the past doing.

    What was he doing? / He was walking.

    As opposed to "He walked."

    I guess it would sort of seem to me that using the simple past would be more jarring because it would seem like I had just switched tenses.

    But maybe I am wrong? Again, it was not an especially conscious decision. Just a natural-feeling thing to me.

    Having just read it through from start to current terminus, I think the pacing is fine; I think people were right that it was the wait for later chapters that made them feel as though the pacing were trudging along. I like this slow pace, because assuming a (questionably) romantic relationship is being built up to, the first steps will take the longest to happen. On that note, one of the things I like most about this most recent chapter is that you've managed to present a realistic, organically developing foundation for that; e.g., your justification for Saber letting Gilgamesh follow her, engaging him in conversation at the café, and staying with them at the house, and Gilgamesh's little moment of humanizing vulnerability.
    This is really encouraging to hear! The problem with this kind of thing is getting bogged down in how long it's going to take to get anywhere. What was funny was how I felt like the last chapter I wrote back in 2017 had finally gotten over the hump, but then life just took the thread of it away from me. Being stuck at home so much does help with this on occasion, at least.

    My favorite chapters are the ones from Gilgamesh's point of view. I enjoy reading through the lens of his mindset. I think you do a great job capturing his character as far as I know him, though I admit I've only seen the animes.
    Funny but not that funny story: My first exposure to Fate was the UBW anime. The friend I first watched it with kept trying to get me to guess who Gilgamesh was without giving me any hints. I hated him until I figured it out (accidentally). Then I suddenly liked him because I loved the Epic of Gilgamesh in college even though I was studying it out of necessity. Prejudice about a fictional character can forgive a multitude of sins.

    During the walk along the riverbank, I thought Saber was looking for somewhere she could walk across the river without drawing attention. Shouldn't she still be able to do that? Her body in particular is no more physical now than it was before, I think, and even if I'm mistaken, they still have their servant abilities aside from dematerializing. Gilgamesh mentions them swimming several times; he would have to, but he saw her standing on the water against Caster.
    Haha a person on AO3 asked me basically the same question. She can presumably, but there are a lot of people around, and she did not want to draw attention to herself and by extension Gilgamesh. Furthermore, I think she has some concerns about sort of following the rules of this land she's now stuck in, because the HGW rules and responsibilities no longer apply to her. I assume that Gilgamesh doesn't really care if she were to swim or walk across.

    Thank you so much for leaving a comment and engaging with my story!
    Imagine that the world is made out of love. Now imagine that it isn’t.

    Imagine a story where everything goes wrong, where everyone has their back against the wall, where everyone is in pain and acting selfishly because if they don’t, they’ll die.
    Imagine a story, not of good against evil, but of need against need against need, where everyone is at cross-purposes and everyone is to blame.



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  17. #77
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    I can tell the difference in their "voices", so you've navigated that successfully thus far. Also, I much enjoy the diction of your prose, if I didn't make that clear before.

    "He was walking" vs. "He walked": I was referring to the use of "had done"-type verbs. At any rate, it seems you had the problem I supposed you were worried about others having, so... I was half-right? Haha.
    Last edited by Pastykake; May 27th, 2020 at 09:18 AM.

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