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Thread: [FF] Grail Works, Ltd.: Fate/Anarchy (Type-Moon/Scion crossover)

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Chapter 63 – Cracks

    DISCLAIMER: Lunar Legend Tsukihime, Fate/Stay Night, and all related characters and concepts are the creation and property of Kinoko Nasu and TYPE-MOON, along with whomever they’ve happened to license them to, such as Geneon, Funimation, A-1 Pictures and Netflix.
    This is a not-for-profit, just-for-fun project.




    Outside Yggdmillennia Castlevania
    July 4, 2004









    “I’m sorry, Master—you want me to do what?

    She couldn’t possibly have heard him correctly, XX decided.

    “I want you to sneak Miss Tohsaka onto the Hanging Gardens and locate the Greater Grail’s position,” he answered her slowly, exasperation tingeing his voice.

    Which was, sadly, an exact repetition of his previous statement—which he hated to do, she knew—so she had, in fact, heard him correctly. The prevailing question, then, was—

    . . . Why on earth would you want me to do that?

    “Because I am utterly amazed that Kotomine and his Servant actually managed to get the Greater Grail out of Yggdmillennia Castle without triggering some form of booby-trap—or self-destruct,” he answered bluntly. “Having pulled off the feat himself, as well as having the brains to convince the Magus Association he didn’t have the Greater Grail for seventy years, I refuse to believe that he didn’t plan for the possibility of someone trying to steal it out from under him.”

    . . . Put that way, Artoria found herself reluctantly agreeing with the logic. Only a fool didn’t compensate for weaknesses that they themselves had managed to exploit in the past—and as much as might be wished otherwise, “evil” did not always mean “stupid.”

    Ecchan had taught her that much . . .

    Hardening her heart against the sudden pang brought on by the thought of her old friend (and the question of just how her Master had come into contact with Alternium again, to have had that strong a residue of it), XX asked the next important question.

    “But why take her, and not you?

    She asked it with some suspicion—while her Master wasn’t as bad as some she’d encountered, he did have a weakness for pretty girls, particularly those younger than he. Not that he was lecherous, unlike the aforementioned others, but that he liked to please them—their smiles brought him immense satisfaction. And from what she’d seen of Tohsaka-san . . .

    She has Ishtar’s looks and pride, with Ereshkigal’s professionalism—and the same tendency to collapse into a sputtering, flustered mess, judging by how her Archer’s managed to prod her into reacting . . .


    Having observed her, XX could see just how Rin Tohsaka was compatible with the two Babylonian goddesses—and that made her a very dangerous opponent, in more than one sense. A threat to her Master’s well-being, certainly, especially if she played up the Ereshkigal aspects of her personality—the blonde sister, XX judged, was more his “type.”

    Not that he would be wholly immune to Ishtar, either, she thought ruefully. And Tohsaka-san’s certainly smart enough to use that against him, if she figures out that she can . . .

    She’d seen it enough with before, after all. Servants of both genders (and a few she wasn’t sure had one) had attempted to woo Master Fujimaru to one degree or another, regardless of any actual preferences the teen had. XX hadn’t really noticed it all that much at the time, but the distance of years—and recent late-night discussions with Mash-san about their Chaldea days—had made it clear enough.

    If anything, at the time, Artoria had been thinking more about her first Master to notice her second in a romantic sense; which, really, only made her observations about Tohsaka-san all the more accurate. Given the number of romantics and gossips among the Servants of Chaldea, she’d gotten all sorts of advice on the subject of love. Though she thought that certain bits of advice could be discarded as a matter of course—things like sending rivals poisoned garments, burning her Master alive in a bell if he lied to her, or melting him into a goo (or other format) to be absorbed into herself, for example.

    (Suddenly, both Rin and Frid independently felt as though they’d somehow dodged a bullet, for no apparent reason.)

    Not that she was interested in her Master that way (anymore, really), but as his Servant, it was her duty to look out for his best interests; XX had yet to decide if Miss Rin Tohsaka qualified as being in that category . . .


    “My Mystic Eyes probably could detect such a thing,” her Master admitted, drawing XX out of her thoughts, “but understanding it, and how it affected the Greater Grail, would take time—and this has to be done quickly, and with luck, discreetly. On the other hand, Miss Tohsaka is one of the few survivors of the original Holy Grail War ritual’s three founding families; there’s no one here who’s better qualified to assess the Greater Grail’s status and overall condition.

    “And you,” he concluded, “are the only Servant with the speed and mobility to get her in and out of the Hanging Gardens hopefully unnoticed, but with enough firepower to get her out anyway if things go wrong.”

    XX grimaced. Thus far, at least, his logic was unassailable. Still, she prompted, “And the reason you’re not getting backup from Sensei is . . .?”

    “He got the Hanging Gardens here by agreeing to a peace-binding—which, knowing him, almost certainly includes a geas of unknown wording . . . Basically, what he doesn’t know about, he can’t be forced to stop.”

    She would’ve liked to argue the point, but she’d seen how rules could be twisted (indeed, one of the best at it she’d ever encountered was presently giving her orders); and just as important, how they could twist those who followed them, in turn.

    Sighing, XX nodded her head in acquiescence of the point—and stopped, raising her head to lock eyes with him.

    “. . . Last question, Master,” the Anti-Saber Weapon said tightly, lifting a hand to point accusingly at the familiarly-designed weapon belted to his hip.

    Where did you get that?!” she demanded.

    He blinked, stared at her for a beat too long (oh, no—had she accidentally created a temporal paradox again, somehow?) before he sighed in exasperation, grumbling, “Your sensei thinks he’s being funny, apparently.”

    Now that point, she could have argued—but rather than delay things further, XX simply replied, “Very well—that addresses all my concerns.” She turned to the Japanese magus. “Shall we go, Tohsaka-san?

    The dark-haired girl nodded.

    “Good luck, Tori,” Master whispered, at a volume and distance that only her armour’s sensors would pick it up. “I believe the phrase is, ‘May the Artorium be with you . . .?’

    XX appreciated the sentiment, certainly; however, in all her time as a contracted Servant, she’d yet to fail either of her Masters when given a mission—and she didn’t intend to start now.

    If nothing else, she wanted to know where and why her sensei had come across that sword . . .








    Once they’d gone, he collapsed for a little bit, in the shadow of a wall, as the stress and exhaustion caught up with him. Between fighting his way back to here with unfamiliar weapons that were magical enough to compensate, plotting and planning around the War, dealing with so many people who unexpectedly knew him (and those who thought they did)—“nerve-wracking” was a criminally-understated description of his frame of mind.

    And let’s not forget the fact the day before all this kicked off, I was in another world entirely, fighting for my and others’ lives over the course of a week or so, all the while creating a believable history and culture almost completely out of whole cloth . . .

    Not that he really knew much about that—the Seldarine had stripped away the memories along with his druid identity, if not his life (as he’d originally assumed they would). What he had in his head about the matter was more like a bare-bones Wikipedia summary, much like he understood Servants were supposed to get regarding previous summons (at least, the ones not named “Servant Saber, True Name Arturia Pendragon”). In short, on a number of levels he’d been working flat-out for days, and without supernatural stamina, focus or composure to bolster him, the wear was more than beginning to show.

    In a faux-Austrian accent, he fell back on his favourite Terminator 2 quote, muttering to himself, “I need a vacation.

    . . . But, honestly, that had really gone far better than it had any right to. The Fate/Grand Order canon XX might have been oblivious enough to take him at face value (she was the “earnest tokusatsu hero” type, after all), but her familiarity with him implied that she’d learned at least some of his tricks. Heck, he’d apparently convinced her to use Presence Concealment, which meant that she had either great familiarity with his manipulation skills, no small amount of her own, or both—and she’d just gone along with his orders and reasoning.

    Which meant that one of two things was going on: the first possibility was that she read him well enough to assume there was a gambit in play, but was nice enough not to call him on it, as Erik and Tamamo had been. The second, on the other hand, was that as with some other disturbing hints she’d dropped, she knew exactly what was going on, because time travel, and was just letting things play out.

    And if it was that, should he take her non-reaction as a good sign? Because whether it was Arturia, Artoria, Arthur or freaking Mordred, the fact that blonde Pendragons tended to be a stubborn lot when it came to their ideas of right and wrong was pretty much a cornerstone of any TYPE-MOON universe . . .

    He sighed. This really was getting to be too much—if it had been just Fiore and her family, he probably could’ve made his way through; he had the ability to do it. The personal aspects were discomfiting at best and nerve-wracking at worst, but he felt he could have managed. Add in the Grail War, and . . . Well, it was concerning, to put it mildly—when it wasn’t downright terrifying—but he had Rin and the Works’ help on that, and they had a track record with this sort of thing.

    But add in the elements of the Scion universe (and Erik in particular), along with the foreknowledge that he had a trip to the ridiculousness of the Servant Universe on top of it . . . Or now that he thought about it, maybe he’d be going to Chaldea, which was worse than both the Servant Universe and the Great Holy Grail War put together; in both the “terror” and “ridiculousness” aspects.

    . . . And with that little bit of nightmare fuel in the tanks, he thought wearily, I suppose it’s time for me to stop procrastinating, and go and face the music—I mean, Fiore . . .

    Considering the upcoming conversation between them, he frowned, as a thought occurred to him—one that could be equally attributed to his fanboy nature, as much as his assumed identity, and sparked irritation in him regardless of its ultimate source.

    If nothing else, I at the very least want an explanation as to why she didn’t stay on board the Wolfen, where it’s relatively safe . . .








    “What the hell are you doing here, Fiore?”

    Of all possible greetings from her fiancé, that one she had not anticipated; it was enough to snap Fiore out of her forward momentum and stop, blinking.

    “I—” she hesitated, not liking the sound of the words as she said them aloud. “I was worried about you—”

    “And I was coming to you,” Godafrid said sharply. “Damn it, this is the last place you should be. Against the numbers involved, you need high speed and mobility, which neither your chair nor your Manipulators allow; not against swarms that never tire, or feel pain. And that’s not even counting the Servants, which no reasonable magus should even try to keep up with.”

    (EMIYA sneezed, and was immediately puzzled by it. Rin sneezed, likewise, though the feeling that followed her doing so was not one of confusion; rather, it was of being insulted.)

    Much as Fiore hated to admit it, her logical side conceded that he had a point. Before she could do more than open her mouth, however, he continued, “More than that, you’re a Master; if you go down, we lose a significant chunk of firepower”—Fiore’s eyes narrowed, and she was about to point out that the same applied to him—“and your Servant is an Archer; known for both bombarding things from a long ways away, and the Independent Action Class Skill, which allows them a longer tether away from their Masters.”

    The logical part of her had to concede that, as well. It was the magus option: rational, strategically sound, and put her at minimal risk. And she knew him well enough to hear the concern underneath the anger—it was that she was putting herself in jeopardy, as much as anything else, that was infuriating him. And Chiron had raised many of the same points, for the same reason, so Fiore knew that was what it was . . .

    But at that particular moment, somewhere deep inside, she decided that she really didn’t care.

    You’re getting involved in this,” she pointed out sharply.

    “I was out grocery-shopping!” he countered. “Our only immediate enemy was supposed to be headed as far away as they could run with the Greater Grail.”

    Fiore flinched inwardly, but made certain it didn’t show. Still, she wondered—by “immediate enemy,” was he referring to the Titan artefact that Erik had been (and presumably, still was) worried about? Or had he foreseen Darnic’s inevitable betrayal of them long before she had . . .?

    That possibility—and its accompanying self-loathing that she, whom Frid had repeatedly asserted was smarter than him, had missed it—fuelled her irritation with things further.

    “And this still happened to you,” she countered angrily. “If you’re not safe in an open area during a ceasefire, then why should I be considered any safer on a ship that’s an actual target, and has already been infiltrated once?”

    “Because even with its target status,” he answered sharply, “it’s got a hell of a lot more protections to it than you’d otherwise have by heading for the border of an enemy stronghold? There’s such a thing as ‘necessary risk,’ Fiore—and this does not qualify.”

    Fiore opened her mouth to say, “And yet, here you are,” when an entirely different statement occurred to her. Her eyes narrowed, and she said tightly, “And even if it was, better it be yours than mine?

    Part of her felt a sharp satisfaction at the way he flinched; for all her failures, she could still follow his train of thought, apparently. That, however, was a distinctly lesser part—the rest of Fiore was livid.

    “I am not a princess, to be put in a tower,” she said hotly. “I am not a pet to be leashed—or a puppet, to dance according your directions.” He opened his mouth, but with a sharply-raised hand, she snapped “You don’t get to talk” before he could actually speak.

    “I am perfectly capable of making my own decisions. And if you’re all right with risking your life, then I am perfectly entitled to do the same.”

    She had been treated as fragile and perfunctory for almost her entire life as a magus—but never by him, and that he was trying to do so now made her all the angrier. Barring a few instances where her disability did come into play, Fiore didn’t think of herself as being helpless; and she was finished with being useless in all of this.

    “I never said you weren’t,” Frid fired back, a growling undercurrent entering his voice that indicated he was on his last nerve, as well.

    “Not in words,” Fiore shot back. “But what you don’t seem to realise is you can leave—but there is no ‘safe’ for me anymore! If Darnic has turned—or intended to turn—on us, then there is nowhere I can go that I won’t be hunted. The Clock Tower will have its example; Yggdmillennia’s victory was my only chance to avoid that, and now it’s gone.

    “And if I’m to be killed—by one side or the other—then I would prefer to be doing something, rather than sitting in a cage, however gilded, awaiting my fate!”

    She shut her eyes, then. Because the tears were coming, she could feel them burning—and the young magus didn’t want to give herself another failure to be ashamed of.

    A hand was laid atop her own, as rough as the voice that followed it.

    “. . . No, I can’t.

    “You’ll die,” she whispered. “I told you, before this ever started—you can’t get me out of this.”

    Until that moment, Fiore would never have believed that silence could seethe; but the tension hung palpably in the air, just the same. It was fury, she was sure—but not entirely, and that confused her. His pulse was racing—she could feel it where his wrist met her forearm—but his body wasn’t tight, as though he was suppressing anger. It was something else . . .?

    “Damn it all to hell,” he muttered under his breath at last. “One way or another—or every way—I am so going to pay for this . . .”

    “You’re right, Fiore,” he sighed. “Try though I might to think of one, there’s no way that Godafrid Úa Súilleabháin can get you out of this—”

    He was interrupted by a sudden knock, and the voice of Erik.

    “Sorry to interrupt,” the Norseman said in a not-at-all sorry tone. “But I’d like to borrow your boyfriend—he’s more up on Castlevania lore than I am, and it’ll probably be very helpful in my quest to punch Darnic’s new fangs far enough down his throat that he shits them out . . .








    Writer's Notes: Writing an angry Fiore - no, a genuinely infuriated Fiore - is hard . . . And after the last 48 hours, I really had trouble motivating myself to write an argument . . . Hope it turned out passable, at least, anyway.
    Last edited by Kieran; May 3rd, 2020 at 05:39 PM.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




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

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

  2. #542
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Okay, question... when in the timeline is this chapter, Kieran?

    On another note, you're missing a tag for Italics, man.
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    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Okay, question... when in the timeline is this chapter, Kieran?
    A little bit before RB's last kicks off, I think - if I have the timing right myself, of course.


    On another note, you're missing a tag for Italics, man.
    Fixed, thank you - you'd think I'd have learned by now not to edit on the fly . . .
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




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

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

  4. #544
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Ugh... keeping track of the timeline as an author must suck. You know what I mean?
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    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    When I'm only half of the team involved building it, yes . . . I've lost track of the number of times either of us has needed to confirm what day we're on, for example.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




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

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

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    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Ouch... that's... I hope that you guys streamline the process better next time.
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

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    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

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    死徒 Dead Apostle RanmaBushiko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Okay, question... when in the timeline is this chapter, Kieran?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    A little bit before RB's last kicks off, I think - if I have the timing right myself, of course.

    As Kieran said. Right before my chapter kicks off. And considering it's written, just needs to finish getting proof read, because open office doesn't have a grammer or spell check...! Ugh.



    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Ugh... keeping track of the timeline as an author must suck. You know what I mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    When I'm only half of the team involved building it, yes . . . I've lost track of the number of times either of us has needed to confirm what day we're on, for example.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Ouch... that's... I hope that you guys streamline the process better next time.

    Yeah, it's just us having to look back and verify, over and over again. At the same time, we also have to keep in mind the time, etc. too. Trust me, we've gone over chapters, with a fine toothed comb to make sure things would fit.

    Also, sorry for everything taking so long. To be honest, part of this has been delayed by multiple rpg games in the background utterly crashing and burning. Three campaigns ground to a halt in the last... few weeks?
    I'm starting to suspect that talking with Kieran influences my rolls on Fate/Grand Order Heavily. How else can you explain me talking with him, then rolling for 30, only to get 3 Archer of Shinjuku on my second ten roll?

    I write like Douglas Adams. Proof: http://iwl.me/s/696f37bd

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    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    O_O Okay, yeah, I can see the problem there...
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

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    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

  9. #549
    吸血鬼 Vampire
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    Maybe a shared document or something where you can keep track of "current timeline state" or somesuch. Then again, I spend a lot of time managing showing "this is what I'm working on and how it's going" to people, so that may not be the best choice for other work styles. Having a diagram of what times your chapter's each cover until a common next state, so that you can manage overlap or transitions, seems like it would help.
    I could definitely tell that the start of chapter was before RanmaBushiko's chapter, but yeah, the latter part is kind of in a strange place, since it seems to be happening at the same time Erik is calling Semiramis/Shirou, since he specifically points Frid over to Chiron/Fiore then. He's doing double-duty on the annoying interruptions there, I guess. Should that be added to his titles?
    God of Innovation, Pykrete, Cunning and Paranoia, God of Mecha, He Who Made the First Mech, That Bastard who should "Stop Using Mecha for Fights Already!", Fate Breaker, Ragnarok Canceller, Slayer of Jormungandr, Fenris Friend, Lord of Ruining the Moment
    I think it's hilarious how Frid is overthinking what XX is thinking, since we also get to see her perspective. I also think Frid is probably underrating Bronze-Link Manipulators in terms of dealing with undead, they're actually pretty powerful, and definitely better than he would be if he wasn't Exalted. They have mobility down. Of course, that's not his actual reason for criticism, so I can't blame him too much for latching on to whatever he can find to try and disguise his general concern. Nor can I blame Fiore for responding as fits. I got a very Aladdin vibe from that argument.
    I also felt a bit like I missed something during the latter part of the argument, before Frid's attempted reveal. I eventually realized that
    “. . . No, I can’t.
    was in response to
    But what you don’t seem to realise is you can leave
    which was difficult to figure out because there were 4 sentences and some narration in between. It might have been more clear if you had “. . . No, I can’t leave." even though it doesn't sound quite as appropriately dramatic, just to make that clearer. Or restructure that section to put those closer together.

  10. #550
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    O_O Okay, yeah, I can see the problem there...
    Yeah - as I said, the last 48 hours have not been fun . . .



    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    Maybe a shared document or something where you can keep track of "current timeline state" or somesuch. Then again, I spend a lot of time managing showing "this is what I'm working on and how it's going" to people, so that may not be the best choice for other work styles. Having a diagram of what times your chapter's each cover until a common next state, so that you can manage overlap or transitions, seems like it would help.
    Possibly . . .


    I could definitely tell that the start of chapter was before RanmaBushiko's chapter, but yeah, the latter part is kind of in a strange place, since it seems to be happening at the same time Erik is calling Semiramis/Shirou, since he specifically points Frid over to Chiron/Fiore then.
    Not my best patch job, I know; but these scenes needed to be done, and the next few chapters just plough forward, so I did the best I could.


    He's doing double-duty on the annoying interruptions there, I guess. Should that be added to his titles?
    I wish you had heard the laugh that got out of RB - he almost fell out of his chair, I think.


    I think it's hilarious how Frid is overthinking what XX is thinking, since we also get to see her perspective.
    He's tired, and also thinking more like me, which means "something like a squirrel on caffeine pills."


    I also think Frid is probably underrating Bronze-Link Manipulators in terms of dealing with undead, they're actually pretty powerful, and definitely better than he would be if he wasn't Exalted. They have mobility down.
    Maybe - she seemed to have enough trouble with Kairi, much less beings to whom "physics" are just a funny-sounding word. I wouldn't want to put money down, either way.


    Of course, that's not his actual reason for criticism, so I can't blame him too much for latching on to whatever he can find to try and disguise his general concern. Nor can I blame Fiore for responding as fits. I got a very Aladdin vibe from that argument.
    Thank you.


    I also felt a bit like I missed something during the latter part of the argument, before Frid's attempted reveal. I eventually realized that

    was in response to

    which was difficult to figure out because there were 4 sentences and some narration in between. It might have been more clear if you had “. . . No, I can’t leave." even though it doesn't sound quite as appropriately dramatic, just to make that clearer. Or restructure that section to put those closer together.
    I'll think about it, because you're right - but on the other hand, it's really hard to interrupt someone in mid-rant, in my experience.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




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

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    O_O Okay, yeah, I can see the problem there...

    Yup. To say the least. My game ground to a halt because I hadn't remembered to talk with everyone about what their characters wanted, or how everyone knew everyone else, and none of the GM/DMs in the group reminded me, so... I'd say about 60 pages worth of dialogue, and possible dialogue got tossed out because of it.

    It could make a fun quest, though, I think. If done right. Still thinking about it off and on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    Maybe a shared document or something where you can keep track of "current timeline state" or somesuch. Then again, I spend a lot of time managing showing "this is what I'm working on and how it's going" to people, so that may not be the best choice for other work styles. Having a diagram of what times your chapter's each cover until a common next state, so that you can manage overlap or transitions, seems like it would help.
    I could definitely tell that the start of chapter was before RanmaBushiko's chapter, but yeah, the latter part is kind of in a strange place, since it seems to be happening at the same time Erik is calling Semiramis/Shirou, since he specifically points Frid over to Chiron/Fiore then. He's doing double-duty on the annoying interruptions there, I guess. Should that be added to his titles?

    I think it's hilarious how Frid is overthinking what XX is thinking, since we also get to see her perspective. I also think Frid is probably underrating Bronze-Link Manipulators in terms of dealing with undead, they're actually pretty powerful, and definitely better than he would be if he wasn't Exalted. They have mobility down. Of course, that's not his actual reason for criticism, so I can't blame him too much for latching on to whatever he can find to try and disguise his general concern. Nor can I blame Fiore for responding as fits. I got a very Aladdin vibe from that argument.
    I also felt a bit like I missed something during the latter part of the argument, before Frid's attempted reveal. I eventually realized that

    was in response to

    which was difficult to figure out because there were 4 sentences and some narration in between. It might have been more clear if you had “. . . No, I can’t leave." even though it doesn't sound quite as appropriately dramatic, just to make that clearer. Or restructure that section to put those closer together.
    Yeah, we've thought about something like that. But he uses word, I use open office, and google documents is out of the question, so... kind of at a stand still there. As for "Ruining the moment", see my comment after Kieran's, below.

    As for how things are going to go, you're all in for a treat once the proofreading is done for the next chapter. About 15 pages of action and fighting, as Mordred gets to have her very own boss fight.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    Yeah - as I said, the last 48 hours have not been fun . . .
    To say the least...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    I wish you had heard the laugh that got out of RB - he almost fell out of his chair, I think.
    Yes, yes I did. Lord of Ruining the Moment's going on his character sheet after I finish writing this, Arbitrarity. Trust me on that. And thankfully, my chair's rated for 450 pounds of weight on it, so I can't tip over no matter how much I may laugh, unless I try.
    I'm starting to suspect that talking with Kieran influences my rolls on Fate/Grand Order Heavily. How else can you explain me talking with him, then rolling for 30, only to get 3 Archer of Shinjuku on my second ten roll?

    I write like Douglas Adams. Proof: http://iwl.me/s/696f37bd

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    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    ...question. Why is Google Drive out of the question?
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

    For those that don't necessarily care if my fics aren't all Type-Moon related.




    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

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    死徒 Dead Apostle RanmaBushiko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    ...question. Why is Google Drive out of the question?
    Putting it nicely? Technology, and Kieran don't get along.

    Not quite so nicely? Discord hates him with a passion, and refuses to work, as does most other programs we've tried, barring Skype, and half the accounts, etc. he looks into doesn't seem to work out for him.

    To quote him, "Tech is a four letter word for a reason". Because Kieran and tech have a love hate relationship. By that, I mean technology loves to hate him.

    Need I say more?
    I'm starting to suspect that talking with Kieran influences my rolls on Fate/Grand Order Heavily. How else can you explain me talking with him, then rolling for 30, only to get 3 Archer of Shinjuku on my second ten roll?

    I write like Douglas Adams. Proof: http://iwl.me/s/696f37bd

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    No - truer words were never written.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




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

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

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    吸血鬼 Vampire
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    I was going to recommend Dropbox, but if the problem is that technology hates you, that's probably less useful.

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    If it's what I'm thinking of, it tends to have a 50/50 success rate; and chooses which at random. The thought's appreciated, though.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




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

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

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    Vigilant. Relied Upon. Vigilantia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    No - truer words were never written.
    So, is Kurai like Tohsaka? Does he abhor any tech past analog electronics and perform Rin percussive maintenance when attempting to watch Netflix Blueray a DVD
    Last edited by Vigilantia; May 5th, 2020 at 04:00 PM.

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vigilantia View Post
    So, is Kurai like Tohsaka? Does he abhor any tech past analog electronics and perform Rin percussive maintenance when attempting to watch Netflix Blueray a DVD
    You're not entirely wrong - though I can work a Blu-Ray player (which is saving whatever's left my sanity in these self-isolating times), making him at least a step up (Netflix might be beyond me . . .).

    Still, you have no idea how tempted I was (and to some extent, am) to go with a template I found whose power set includes one specifically based around screwing up technology . . . It's even (sort of, mostly) TYPE-MOON compatible!

    . . . And on a more story-related note, RB's chapter should be up within 24 hours, tops, I think - and 6 - 8 is probably a lot more accurate.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




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

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

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    Chapter 64: Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death






    Yggdmillennia Castlevania

    Upper Levels







    Mordred wordlessly snarls, Clarent's glow the only illumination as she carves through yet another member of the Dead. Down below, she can feel the blizzard her Master has made, as much as the sheer wrath through her bond with him.



    "Shit, he’s not hearing me. I need to go faster..." She murmurs, then pauses at the sound of footsteps.



    Then she turns a corner, and stares at a lab before her as well as a homunculus in a maid uniform glancing up to stare at her in terror, followed by relief.



    "Oh thank all that's holy, you're that Servant from the Red faction, right—from last night? You need to help me escape so I can warn Master Gordes that Darnic's gone insane! One of the others went to contact him, but we haven't heard anything back, so I think he failed." She whispers, desperately trying to keep from being heard by anyone but Mordred.



    Mordred nods, her helmet folding back as she studies the maid in front of her, then moves closer. "Yeah, the city's a wreck right now. Anything you've spotted that's important?"



    The maid narrows her eyes, thinking. "Aside from Darnic betraying all of us...? Yeah, there's a couple of plans, in fact—this way."



    The maid quietly moves, rushing to a corner of the labs. "Can you get this to your Master, so he can figure out whatever this is—or perhaps that Erik fellow? I can't make heads or tails of it, except it's alchemical in nature... And considering Master Gordes made us with alchemy, it's concerning, to say the least."



    Mordred nods as she picks up the plans, rolling them up carefully and sliding them under her armor. "Yeah, no problem—Master's a few floors down, but whatever's enraged him has pushed him to the point where he's made a blizzard, and I still can't get him to talk with me."



    "I thought your Master wasn't Erik...?" The maid murmurs, a worried look on her face.



    "My original Master had to give up his Command Spells,” Mordred admits, “and Erik's original Servant died after an assault on the Wolfen by Assassin of Black. He offered to take me as his, and I accepted." She frowns. "Something's off, though..."



    The maid frowns, looking around. "I don't see anythi—"



    Mordred moves, tripping the maid, then swings her sword to counter a wooden spear, coated with blood. "Get down, and run!" Mordred shouts, swinging at more stakes heading towards them both.



    "To intrude in my alchemy labs, much less steal copies of my plans for both stones? My, how presumptuous..."



    Dracula walks in, a frown on his face as he continues, "Still, I'll deal with you both soon enough. First you, little Servant of the Norseman, then you, treacherous maid who had yet to serve properly..."



    Mordred glances at the maid, then at the foe before her. "Not if I have anything to do with it. Get to my Master, or contact your Master and warn him about the situation, I'll hold him off!"



    "Hold me off, you say? You, with just a mere blade, wish to hold me off? Very well, then, have at thee!" Dracula's voice crescendos to a roar, as he launches himself forwards, hands prepared to tear into Mordred.



    The two clash, then again and a third time, before Dracula pulls away, frowning.



    Tch. Perhaps I've underestimated you and your blade. No matter, however—you'll still die soon enough.” With those words and a swirl of his cloak, Dracula disappears in the room—then, as Mordred desperately searches, he appears behind her, nearly driving a wooden stake through her armor.



    Thunk



    Clarent carves easily into the stake, and then through it. “You aren't using a Noble Phantasm anymore, huh?” Mordred grins. “Neat trick, but without that boost,your wood is no match for my sword!



    Isn't it nice of you to be a mouthy little morsel and warn me when I'm messing up, so I can simply rectify my issues?” Dracula sneers, just before a new stake—this time magically coated with fire—slams out to smash against Clarent in an attempt to drive Mordred back, followed by a trio of fireballs shooting out at her.



    Oh, I'm glad to help! It'll make me running Clarent through your heart all the more fun!” Mordred shoots back, right before Clarent puts out a burst of electricity, sending sparks through all sorts of valuable lab equipment.



    You little bitch!” Dracula snarls, attacking harder and more ruthlessly, but noticeably not using the teleportation trick from before. “That was all expensive and useful!



    Don't call me a bitch, damn you! I'm MALE!” Mordred retorts, pouring prana into Clarent as she struggles to force Dracula back, before pushing forwards with a use of Prana Burst that sends Dracula through a door.



    Then, the room falls silent, except for the crackling of fires. “Tch. I'd better get out of here. Still—letting him drink my blood would be a bad idea....” Mordred frowns, then pushes forwards, helmet snapping back to cover her head as she does so.



    Clarent glows brighter as she focuses on the holy aspect of the blade, walking out carefully. Glancing left and right reveals nothing to Mordred, before she frowns. “Now where did he go...?”



    Mordred thinks, her eyes narrowing, before she glances towards the highest areas of the castle, and steadily heads there. “I haven't checked the tallest tower, yet. Likely he's hiding there, waiting in ambush.”



    Then, the next wave of the Dead appear, trying to ambush her as they dart out almost silently, compared to the groans of the Dead from earlier before.



    The result is a massacre, as Clarent's brilliantly glowing blade carves through them like a hot knife through butter, leaving smoking injuries where the Noble Phantasm passes—Injuries that constantly grow larger from continued exposure to the sacred aura the blade puts out.



    Mordred's smile under her helmet shows more and more teeth, as for once, knight and blade are in perfect agreement: all these wretched things before them should die and stay dead!



    More and more come launching at her as she slowly pushes forwards, Clarent's blade disposing of them all, greater and greater amounts of prana pouring into the blade until it's less like a sword, and more akin to a solar flare formed of holy light. Or perhaps a million-candlepower spotlight, colored silver.



    Then an abrupt and unexpected end to the Dead brings the Servant sliding to a sudden halt, and causes her to slowly takes a closer look at her surroundings—a tower full of massive gears rumbling and turning for unknown reasons.



    Mordred frowns, softly, eyes cautiously looking over the massive room. No sign of either life or un-death exists within the room, as she carefully studies things… But her eyes eventually do catch a hallway near the very top, Clarent's silver glow just barely illuminating that far away.



    Tch, you're hiding up there, aren't you, you bastard?” Mordred grumbles, her voice rising as she bellows in challenge, “You think I won't come up there and kill you?!”



    With those words, Mordred starts ascending the massive gears, Clarent still glowing like a small sun as she does so.



    Yet from above, in the depths of the clock tower, Dracula looks down at her with a grin. “'Will you walk into my parlor?' said the spider to the fly...” He murmurs, his grin never slipping. “Perhaps we can see how well you cope with moving floors, while we fight, hmm?”



    Minutes later...



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9Od7R6eAtY (The Knight of Rebellion ~ Fate Apocrypha)



    Mordred snarls, as she dashes from gear to gear, more and more legend flowing through her armor and Clarent as she does so. Across from her, Dracula smirks, using his speed and slower teleportation to constantly harass and irritate her.



    But as more and more Legend floods Clarent, she also starts to understand things a bit better. Her reflexes improve, her mind sharpens, thinking faster than it ever has before, and her abilities continually enhance themselves.



    A flash crosses her mind, as she swings Clarent against a new barrage of stakes, one of Camelot from long ago. Of the people she protected, once. Her eyes snap up, glancing around for Dracula, before she glances down and flings herself to a new gear, before she can fall off the one she's on.



    Slowly, she turns, looking around to search for the vampire who had, yet again ambushed her for another fight. “Fled already?!” She shouts, head constantly searching for him.



    As no reply comes to her, she frowns, before looking down at Clarent, studying it carefully as she murmurs in a near-whisper, “And what was that about?”



    Another flash of Camelot, showing happy citizens that went to her, and thanked her for being a knight, once upon a time. Thanked her and the others of the Round Table for protecting the kingdom like they all had.



    Mordred's eyes narrow, as she looks up, carefully watching for Dracula. Then, seeing no sign of him, she breathes out. “I'd forgotten how thankful they were... But why show me these things, Clarent? What are you trying to tell me?”



    A flicker of movement in the higher roofs leaves her eyes narrowing. Above, Dracula perches on the highest clockwork, smiling down at her.



    He's not in range of her, right now—that, she can plainly see—so she glances down at Clarent once more, briefly. “Clarent... What am I missing?”



    Another vision appears in response—this time of the villagers outside and the Dead villagers within the castle; all of them Dead, or simply dead. And then another, of the hill of Camlann; of all the knights dead.



    A third flash shows to her the Dead that she killed, but with the villagers of Camelot, and Mordred finally gets it. “So... That's it, isn't it? You hated me, not just because of what happened with Father, Clarent... You hated me for failing all of my Father's people—my people. The ones I wanted to protect, so Father could stop and recover... and you see the same thing happening again, don't you; me failing to protect my people—failing to save my new kingdom?”



    Above, Dracula smirks down at Mordred. “Coming up anytime soon? I'll admit, your conversation with your blade is fascinating, but I'm afraid we should be ending this so I can kill that Norseman next...



    Rage floods Mordred's very being, at Dracula's words, before she glances down at Clarent. “If I'm to save these people, if I'm to help the nation that Erik's given me...? I want to be worthy to wield you properly, Clarent—no, not just worthy. I want you to help me. So please, even if you hate me, despise me, loathe me... Help me be a proper King for my people...” Mordred glances up, glaring at Dracula above her. “And let's kill this bastard together, before he can kill anyone else!”



    With those words, her helmet folds back, exposing her face, Legend and prana sparking around her equally as she focuses.



    CLARENT!” She screams like a war cry, her voice booming with power far beyond her normal limits. Above, Dracula's grin widens, as first dozens, then hundreds, and then thousands of stakes start to form a wall above.



    BLOOD!”



    Her power rises to a crescendo, the ornamentation on the blade snapping out in a tine-like formation, as a lightning-like energy flickers along the weapon’s length—not the red, cursed thing of before, but a silvery, holy light instead. Dracula laughs, as twenty thousand stakes form into a massive barrier which divides them, then catch alight with magic; hellfire conjured to counter the purer energies the knight was summoning.



    ARTHUR!”



    With the final command Mordred swings. And with along the arc of her swing, a pure silver bolt (as much akin to stellar plasma as any terrestrial energy) slams upwards, carving through a good chunk of Yggdmillennia Castlevania, crashing through gears and stone alike. Even so, that is merely incidentaldamage; a sheer result of its passage. The lion’s shareof the attack’s force is more properly directed at Mordred’s desired target—and Dracula's eyes widen in stunned shock as the massive lightning bolt, enhanced with the potency of Clarent's sheer purity, rushes at him like a tidal wave.



    The Lord of Darkness slides to the side with a speed born of desperation as much as supernatural power, but it's not quite enough to escape the sheer volume of the attack. One arm is caught in the blast, before the lightning bolt continues upwards, crashing through the massive bell above, and through the roof.



    Then both stare in shock as the bolt continues on further, carving through the shield, and then the cloud cover.



    For one moment, Mordred stares at the sunlight coming in, before a wide grin covers her face at the sight of Dracula starting to scream in agony from the suddenly-revealed sunlight.



    I'll get you later, foolish girl.” Dracula snarls, glaring down at her—before he flees the light for the sanctuary of his throne room, smoking as he runs.



    Mordred, instead of rushing after him, leans against Clarent, breathing heavily. Slowly, she braces herself for the pain that usually comes from using Clarent Blood Arthur, but pauses and blinks at a noticeable lack of pain. Then she glances down at Clarent's barely glowing blade, and gets it.



    Well, shit,” She murmurs, under her breath. “I just blew most of that Legend, didn't I? Here's hoping the rest is enough for me to kill this bastard...”



    With those words, she flings herself up, racing up damaged gears and stonework to follow Dracula. She has a vampire to kill, after all.






    The Wolfen

    Main Bridge







    Oh hell, yes,” Scylla smirks, in his new body, before glancing at the others, still looking at him worried. “Worry about how I changed later—fire everything we have but the nuke, now!”



    The Legion of Coal, working for Scylla, fires as one; every weapon on the Wolfen launching barrage after barrage of weapons at the shield around Yggdmillennia Castlevania. Soon enough, the barrage cracks, then plows through several chunks of the shields, leaving holes open for rounds of explosives, missiles, railguns, and lasers alike to carve into the castle's walls, if briefly. Then, the plasma cannon roars once more, carving a huge chunk out of the walls of the side tower that Dracula favors in the games.



    Then, the clouds roil as the shield starts rapidly repairing itself, before the massive gap in the clouds and shield closes back up. However, massive holes in the castle walls have left a noticeable number of openings, several of them more than wide enough for the occupants of the Wolfen to see within the building proper.






    Yggdmillennia Castlevania

    Lower Floors







    Shit, the ceiling's going to drop on us!” Erik calls out, forcing a dome of ice over their heads, to try and counter it.



    Godafrid's eyes snap up, before his whip carves through yet another of the Dead seeking to ambush them while they fight. Then Godafrid's eyes snap up again in shock. And in that moment, he moves, grabbing Fiore and pulling her with to a side room before the ceiling collapses on where they both were before.



    You two okay?!” Erik calls out, concern lacing his voice.



    We're fine, if bruised—get to the upper floors, and finish that bastard off,” Godafrid shouts back. In a lower tone that Erik can nevertheless hear just as easily, he asks, “Fiore, have your Servant help him, please? I'll keep you safe, since there's no way in here.”



    Ice pulses, as stones force themselves up to form a way upwards for Erik. “Be safe, you two. And Godafrid, I'll be wanting an answer to my questions later, damn it.” With those words, Erik pushes on ahead, Chiron close behind him, but he nevertheless catches at least part of Fiore’s next statement.



    On the subjectof questions—Godafrid, I have several of my own...” Fiore's voice can be heard by Erik as he leaves the area.



    Yeah,I do not want any part of that bullshit,” Erik mutters as he leaves, just loud enough for Chiron to hear.



    For his part, he centaur said nothing, proving once again that the renown of his wisdom was well-earned.



    Then they push through yet another swarm of the Dead, and all ideas of talk are put to a halt for now.






    Outside Trifas

    Rendezvous Point Alpha







    For a long moment, Jackie still fires at the incoming monsters that replaced the townsfolk she knew, the laser rifle still working to her great relief. Then she spots the issue.




    They're still getting closer! Any idea of what took down most of the machinery?” She calls out to the others near her. Then her eyes grow wide at the sight of the mecha, crackling with electricity, slowly pulling themselves back up and opening fire on the horde of monsters coming ever closer.



    Oh, hell yes!” Jackie shouts. “Thank you for reactivating, and please, do kill them all before we wind up like them!”



    Flamethrowers roar, lasers carve, and a massive number of the Dead simply die to the mechanical equipment.



    Ka-Thump



    The sound is their only warning, as a manhole cover near them slams upwards, almost fifty feet into the air. Jackie turns, adrenaline rushing through her as her son clings tighter to her leg. Almost in slow motion, she can see one of the dead monsters that the rest of Trifas's population has been replaced by, launching itself out, and towards the crowd below.



    Desperately, she pulls her rifle, as the world continues in slow motion, trying her best to shoot the damned thing before it can reach someone—anyone.



    A heartbeat later, Jackie's blood runs cold as she realizes that the monster is heading directly for her and her child; then rage and adrenaline fuels her, as she desperately twists, trying to get a bead on the monster before it can hurt her or her son...



    She's not going to make it. She knows that, subconsciously. Adrenaline or no adrenaline, she's not going to quite make it. The best shot she has is to kill the damned thing, and take it down with her...



    A shape slams into it, sending it flying away from the crowd. More launch out, going after several others that tried to join it in slaughtering the group from within the middle, much to Jackie's surprise.



    A man in red, with a black bow, stands nearby, smiling for some reason. A man who's pulled a sword out of nowhere, and is... Turning it into an arrow?



    THANK YOU!” Jackie screams to him, and then moves to shoot more of the zombies that are assaulting them.



    For one moment, she could swear she hears him reply “I'm just glad I can save people this time around.” And then, dozens of arrows—or swords turned into arrows, or whatever the hell he's doing to save her and the others, rain like water upon their foes.



    All that Jackie can do is pick up her son, and hug him tight in relief.








    Yggdmillennia Castlevania

    Dracula's Throne Room







    As Mordred walks in, her eyes scan the room, taking in the surroundings.
    There’s a massive throne, as to be expected of the asshole on it, illuminated both by various dim candles clustered in gilded settings, and brighter but more scattered light from outside, courtesy of the huge gaps blown through the walls. Also the occasional brighter flash from the Wolfen outside, as it shells the shield around the castle on occasion. And on the throne sits Dracula, a new arm half grown where the old one was turned mostly to ash; this one pale, grey skinned, and ugly as hell—less like a human's, and more like a demon's.




    Oi, Bastard.” Mordred's voice echoes in the chamber, leaving Dracula's head shooting up with surprise, followed by a flicker of cool amusement.




    Once more you approach, I see,” he responds. “Here for another bout between us, perhaps?”



    There is not a sliver of doubt in his voice regarding his victory, should such a thing occur; and as if on cue, his new arm finishes growing to replace the old, horribly damaged one, causing the vampire’s fanged mouth to grin in counterpoint.



    Mordred glances at his new arm with a frown. “Seriously, do you have to make yourself even uglier? That's disgusting.”



    Dracula's grin widens further, becoming less a show of his fangs and more a baring of them. “Come now. You'll enjoy the same situation soon enough. Once you serve me, you shall no longer need to be bound to existence by prana, for you shall be immortal, untouchable to almost all other things. All it takes is a bite, and you'll be far better off than ever before.”



    Mordred's eyes widen. “Seriously, you see my armor, right? I'm not that easily dealt with.”



    Perhaps so, or perhaps not,” Dracula shoots back, his expression never wavering. “Your sword’s glow is dim; indeed, ‘tis but a paltry, flickering ember of its prior glory. Your armor is steel; enchanted, perhaps, but it remains mere base metal at best, compared to what it could be.”



    Dracula leaves his throne, smirking. “Compared to the power of my claws, my magic—my stakes? Even if the Domination spell does not work upon you immediately, as you are a Saber, such protections are not extended to your allies, or to your precious new Master. They will fall eventually; your new Master's warship shall be my new throne—and you will bend the knee before me, little knight…



    Of course,” he said slyly, “I am not entirely without mercy. If you so choose, you may serve, but you need not kneel—after all, I have access to forces aplenty, warriors and fodder alike; but only one may stand beside me, in the end… You seek a throne, do you not? What is a knight, if not merely a higher pawn?



    He gestured to one side, drawing her gaze, briefly, to a marble table with a chessboard carved into its top, with obsidian and pearl pieces arrayed upon it. Mordred’s eyes flicked briefly to it, despite her instincts, and found that Dracula’s prior grin had become a razor-edged smirk.



    And it is always possible for a pawn to become a Queen…



    For a brief moment, there is utter, shocked silence; then the sound of grinding stone can be heard, as the air around the knight begins to waver in a haze. For the span of a heartbeat he no longer has, Dracula is puzzled—but then it becomes clear: the lady knight is vibrating in place so hard that the tremors of her clenched muscles are drilling into the floor on which she stands.
    Master, if you can hear me—I'm going to need as much Legend as you can give me for this fight!” Mordred sends, the snarl in her mental voice echoing that of the grinding rock, and then surpassing it as it tears out of her throat in a livid roar.
    Almost in unison, Mordred and Dracula throw themselves at each other, intent on complete and utter massacre.
    Within half a second, two blows from her are matched by five from Dracula; the resulting clashes send Dracula and Mordred reeling back, the thunder of their impacts echoing around the chamber. The end results, however, see his attempts to break through her armor failing, while her attempts to carve through his claws and stakes working only slightly better than for him. In the case of the former, Mordred finds his claws far tougher than expected (as he found her armor, based on his irritated expression); in the latter case, his ability to mass and project stakes in volume makes it difficult to break through with a single blow.



    They both move back before lunging forward at each other again, swinging harder as they test each other. Clarent glows more brightly, as Mordred fuels her blade with more prana, even as Dracula's smirk grows wider and wider.



    Clang
    Thump
    Shink



    Both move back, another set of blows exchanged, as Mordred stares at the stake barely an inch from her left eyeball.



    A pity it didn't shrink quite small enough.” Dracula muses aloud. “You don't need your eyes. They'll grow back when I'm done with feeding upon you, after all.”



    Lightning flares around Clarent, clawing into the surroundings, as a low growl of rage emits from Mordred's throat. Then Mordred focuses, dumping more prana into Clarent, resulting in far more lightning wrapping around both the blade and herself.



    Then she moves, pushing herself to her limits, and bringing Prana Burst into the mix of things.



    For one long moment later, the only sound within the room is the sound of thumps, as Clarent carves through wood like a hot knife through butter; clanging sounds, as Clarent goes against Dracula's claws—and the crackling of lightning, as Mordred pushes her speed to its limits in an attempt to carve the vampire in half.



    Eyes wide with surprise and glee, Dracula matches her, speed for speed, blow for blow, until a glancing bolt of lightning carves into his damaged, mutated arm—and lights it on fire.



    Both combatants pause in surprise, staring at the flaming arm, before Dracula calmly rips the grey-colored parts of it off. “Tch, so replacing flesh with stakes for my transformations is out, hmm?”



    Abruptly, he's in her face, teeth gouging into her armor, trying to break through and drink her blood. The grinding of supernatural fang against metal elicits a hellish shriek from the latter—but then it’s his turn to do so, as lightning flares through her armor directly, the sheer fury of it flinging him away.



    Then he dashes forwards once more, and the cycle repeats itself: dart in, attack, dart back to circle around and try from another angle. This time, however, Dracula's using speed in an attempt to overcome her skill, accelerating the pace of each foray.
    D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-DING
    Soon enough, it's like a constant shrill alarm from within the tower, of Clarent's blade going against his claws. Had either of them had the presence of mind to notice (in Dracula’s case), or knowledge of the device in question (in Mordred’s), the comparison of the sounds of their battle to a wind-up alarm clock might’ve garnered amusement, in other circumstances.



    Suddenly, Mordred flings herself back with a Prana Burst, glaring at the monster before her. Then she desperately pushes herself into a dive roll, as dozens of stakes, far smaller than before, impale the wall at the height where her eyes were moments before.



    Fuck it!” she roars, prana exploding from her—lightning, yes, but such a sheer volume of prana erupting at once that not all of it was converted into that form. “If you want a contest of speed, then let's see how you like this!



    With those words, her helmet folds back up, revealing her face. However, Dracula's growing look of glee is replaced by shock as she rams Clarent into the shoulder of his already damaged arm, leaving him screaming in agony as the blade carves into him.



    Soon enough, however, he regains his composure and flickers away, reappearing across the room from her.



    Perhaps I've misjudged you a bit more than planned. Still, you waver already, and still try to push yourself faster?! FOOL!”



    The only answer Mordred gives is in moving to renew the attack, pushing her Prana Burst to its limits as she starts burning prana like water.



    At first, it seems like to be working; she's getting hits on him, if minor ones. She makes a cut to a leg, to the cheek, carving the rest of the bad arm off—more and more injuries add up over time, carving into his flesh how truly dangerous Mordred is when pushed. But the crunching under her armor—as bones twist, creak, and start to grind worse with every move—is telling. She's pushing far beyond her limits to keep up with Dracula, and it shows with her every action.



    Desperately, she looks through the room, as he delivers another massive crushing blow to her. Flipping with the impact, she takes the edge of it off; turning it from a force that could crush her armor to one that merely dents it. More importantly, though, she uses it to roll further back, trying to get widen the distance between them.



    Then she glances up, and the room is dark and still, with him nowhere in sight.



    Oi! It's not nice to disappear in a fight, you know?!” Mordred yells, before a swarm of shadows coalesce in the middle of the room, forming a massive painting of Dracula's face—



    Then a barrage of flaming stakes spray out of his mouth at her, and the only thing she can do is flee.



    Not fair, damn it!” Mordred shouts, Clarent crackling with lightning that illuminates the room. “What the hell is this, anyways?!”



    A stray spark slams against the stakes, lighting the painting on fire.



    Seriously?! Making your shit out of stakes is stupid, you know!” Mordred shouts, a fractional grin on her face belying the exhaustion she feels down to her bones, as she pulls closer to an opening in the walls.



    A giant desiccated head, engulfed in shadows, lowers, while spraying fireballs around this time. For a moment, it disappears, reappearing often in different sections of the room.



    You know, if you're wanting me to destroy all this shit of yours, all you have to do is ASK, right?!” Mordred shouts, as she carves into the face with Clarent, lightning crackling around the blade as she does so.



    The face again burns with fire as the stakes it's made of slowly fade away.



    I suppose you're going to be irritating about this, hmm?” Dracula's voice resounds in the room, from the shadows. “Let's see if the third time is the charm then, hm?”



    Shadows flare once more, as a massive, three-headed, bat-like thing drops from above, and starts shooting fire her way.



    Is fire and wood all you’ve got?!” Mordred shouts, dodging and weaving between three streams of fire as she launches herself at the monstrosity. Then a clawed hand grabs her by the back of the neck, pulling her to a halt.



    Not at all,” he replied, almost conversationally. “It's fairly easy to make my creations move without my being in them.”



    Dracula's voice is smug, as he slowly forces her face towards the flames in front of her, until she can feel the waves of heat stinging her eyes. “Now—choose, little Saber. Destiny has brought you here, to face off with me. Will you die defiant, or will you live and serve?”



    His voice is to her left, the fire to her right, as she tries to flinch. But between the damage done to her body, and the fighting's overall toll, she's having a hard time moving, much less pushing away.



    So, instead, she pushes the rest of her Prana into Clarent, in the hopes that Clarent's blade can somehow make the difference.



    The guttering light of the blade flares a pure silvery light, that burns to Dracula's eyes, sending him desperately back away from the light glowing as bright as the sun, and burning just as bad.



    Mordred swings up, carving through his creation like butter, before she launches herself at him, desperation giving her power as she forces her damaged body to move.



    ONTO THE ROOF, HURRY!” Erik's voice resounds in her head, leaving her to turn and dash towards the outer walls of the building she's in, instead. “I GOT SEMIRAMIS TO TAKE A SHOT AT THE PLACE YOU'RE IN SOON! GET TO THERE SO YOU CAN SEE THE SHOT COMING, DAMN IT! AND TELL ME IF YOU CAN HEAR ME NOW, PLEASE!
    I hear you Master, I'm on my way! But give me any Legend you can, quick! I'm almost out!” Mordred sends back, as she runs.




    Trying to run? You must be more injured and tired than I presumed.” Dracula's smug voice comes behind her, as she flips to the roof of the small tower they've been fighting on, and propels herself higher.



    She glances around, even as she feels the reserves of prana gutter within her, then goes to one knee as exhaustion sets in. Slowly, her helmet snaps back up over her face, as she looks around for him.



    Dracula doesn't disappoint, as he appears above her in a beam of dark shadow. Slowly, he approaches, visibly enjoying the look of terror in her eyes.



    It's been a marvelous fight, I'll admit—truly a fight for the ages, not coming from a Belmont. But here is where it ends, Saber of Red. Soon, your Master and this world shall join you in subservience to myself. Be proud of the fight you gave me, as you succumb.”



    Legend slowly floods Mordred's battered body, as she forces herself up using the tip of Clarent's blade. As she pushes herself up, a whisper of “Come on, Clarent. Just a bit more help to save those people” leaves her flooded with strength she can tell comes from her sword, not herself.



    In the distance, light flashes, and Mordred leaps up, then pushes almost everything she has left into one single Prana Burst sending her high into the sky.



    Attempting to add gravity to your strength?! How amusingly pathetic! COME THEN!”



    Dracula's words reach her right before a pillar of light slams into the tower and Dracula below, carving through the shield like a hot knife through butter as it does so. Legend continues flooding back into her, restoring exhausted reserves even as for one long, singular moment, she stares at the blast below.



    It ends, revealing Dracula burned. Massive parts of his body are covered with third-degree burns, as he struggles to hold himself upright. His clothes are gone, his eyes wide with madness and pain as he glares up at Mordred.



    I will not die to such things as this!” the magus-turned-vampire lord proclaim defiantly, as he starts regenerating the wounds.



    As if on cue, arrows, as well as a laser both carve into his body from below, as Chiron and Erik attack. Dracula's eyes widen as he turns and glares below to throw a fireball at the interlopers interfering—



    And in that moment, Mordred descents with one final Prana Burst, ramming Clarent's blade straight through his heart.



    Dracula looks at Mordred, his eyes wide with surprise and pain, as the clouds slowly disappear above, his power failing him utterly.



    I suppose I should not have underestimated you or your Master after all...” He concedes in a weakening voice, grimacing in pain but visibly ignoring it pain to continue. “A better battle than I anticipated. If we ever meet again, I'll expect a rematch from you both.”



    With those words, sunlight hits him, and he rapidly turns to dust and ash.






    Author's Notes:
    For the record, I watched every Castlevania Boss fight to make sure I was getting Dracula's fighting style properly for this. Then I realized it would have to be a mix between Dracula and Darnicula, which makes things more irritating.



    So I figured out how the differences would likely work.



    1. Flaming Stakes instead of Fireballs is an option more utilized since Dracula isn't exactly tapping into Chaos properly in this universe, without the Crimson Stone backing him. Normal stakes are, as well, but without the fire magic around it, they're normal wood, rather than magical weapons.
    2. His cloak lets him use the teleport trick when the room is dark.
    3. He likely still has the teleport trick without the cloak helping, but it's slowed down without it. Most likely due to the lack of that “melding into the shadows” trick it gives him.
    4. Magic still works for him as a whole, but it's far easier to use flaming stakes, or stakes, rather than his typical fireballs. He has been changed as a result of possessing Vlad using Legend of Dracula, even if it doesn't show it normally.
    5. Second forms are still possible, but are going to be made out of stakes, rather than flesh, blood, etc. And fire is a bad thing when introduced to this. So's electricity, considering lightning can cause fires.



    I may as well add, this has been an utter bitch to write.



    Between my Mekton Zeta campaign crashing and burning, rolling a new character for someone else's campaign to replace mine, and life in general with the coronavirus, trying to keep from getting it?



    Not exactly “pleasant times” here, even if so far I'm safe.

    Scylla's character sheet, and the legend use will be coming up next. Been busy, as you all might be able to tell.


    I'm starting to suspect that talking with Kieran influences my rolls on Fate/Grand Order Heavily. How else can you explain me talking with him, then rolling for 30, only to get 3 Archer of Shinjuku on my second ten roll?

    I write like Douglas Adams. Proof: http://iwl.me/s/696f37bd

  20. #560
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    O_O Okay, that was an epic fight, RB.
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    For those that don't necessarily care if my fics aren't all Type-Moon related.




    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

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