Page 9 of 12 FirstFirst ... 47891011 ... LastLast
Results 161 to 180 of 231

Thread: [Quest] Lostbelt Raising Project

  1. #161
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Bird of Hermes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    England
    Age
    23
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    3,222
    US Friend Code
    139729726
    Blog Entries
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus View Post
    3. Regardless her failure in her own LB, Alisha is supposedly a strong Master with a strong Servant. I hope she can survive a turn or two without help, unless she got a PTSD and shaken by Ben's words or something. It would be great if the Emperor lent us his army, not to mention our Servants besides Saber is on the lower end of the spectrum.
    +1 to thism Sparta's got some good reasoning here.

  2. #162
    リビングデッド Living Dead
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    66
    2. Maybe a mistake.

  3. #163
    死徒 Dead Apostle zikari8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    714
    Blog Entries
    1

    Year: 2018

    Location: Training Grounds, Pinyang City

    “Yingying, I need your help.”

    With no time to waste, I immediately jump into action. I’ll need to use everything at my fingertips to handle this.

    “Can you go to the library and find Saber for me? Tell her everything and have her meet me at the palace.” I carefully instruct her as I mentally lay out what needs to be done.

    “Right. Leave it to me.” She confirms with a nod. Nodding back, I quickly turn to Baldy.

    “I’m sorry, but could you go prepare a horse for me?” I ask him urgently. “I don’t care how you get it, just have one prepared near the palace entrance.”

    “Hah… yeah, I got it.” He agreed despite his physical fatigue. I feel a bit bad working him after he’s already run himself ragged looking for me, but we don’t have the luxury to take things slow.

    “What will you do, dear?” Yingying asks with concern.

    In response, I merely start running, as the clock ticks. There’s only one thing I can do, one person who will know what to do in this situation.

    “I need to talk with the Emperor.”







    Year: 2018
    Location: Emperor’s Castle, Pinyang City

    The Emperor’s Castle was in a frenzy. Everywhere I looked, people were running about with urgency in their eyes and steps. The atmosphere alone inspired panic. And in the midst of that chaos was a man standing tall as always, calmly giving orders to people around him.

    “Your Majesty!” I call out to him as I approach. Alerted to my presence, he turned and gave me a simple nod.

    “Perfect timing. Just the person I wanted to see.” He commented as I stopped in front of him. “I’ll cut to the chase. Do you know what’s going on?”

    “Y-yes, I’ve been filled in…” I respond while trying to keep a steady breath. “How bad is it? I came to see if you needed my help.”

    “Yes, this is a rather dire situation.” The Emperor answers without any sense of panic in his voice. His composure was simply admirable. “Frankly speaking, it would be difficult for us to handle this on our own. Our troops are too stretched between the battle on Level 5 and here; we don’t have enough men to secure all of our key locations. But the Generator is too important to allow to be destroyed.”

    “Alright., I understand.” I nod along, my body raring to go. “What can I do to help? Just tell me what to do.”

    “You- Hm…” The Emperor begins to speak but stops quickly.

    For a moment, he pauses while looking at me. It feels as if he’s assessing something about me and I get the idea he’s running some sort of calculation in his head. Not knowing what exactly he’s measuring though, it makes me feel slightly uneasy. After what seems like a lengthy pause, he speaks once more in his commanding tone.

    “Very well, this is a risk we must take. I’ll have you and your Servants confront the enemy at the Generator.” He declares at last. “You are to stop the enemy from destroying the Generator however possible. Whether you kill him, incapacitate him, or even just chase him away is up to you; I’ll leave all on-field decisions in your hands. Just keep in mind what we’ve discussed before.”

    “Understood. Leave it to me.” I eagerly respond.

    For some reason, I feel more energetic and excited than usual. I’m not sure why, but it’s like something’s especially riled me up.

    “I’ve already dispatched troops to slow down the enemy. If you show them this badge, they’ll follow your orders. Use them as you see fit.” He states and hands me a small plaque with a unique emblem on it.

    “O-oh, okay…” I mumble a little as I receive the badge. If I use this, the soldiers will obey my command… I’m not sure how I feel about that.

    “This is a battle we cannot afford to lose. I’m entrusting you with a lot of responsibility.” He makes a final remark. “Do not fail. Now go!”

    “Right!”

    With that, I run off towards battle, leaving the Emperor behind. As I exit the palace, I immediately spot a familiar figure running towards me.

    “Master. I’ve come as commanded.” Saber calls out while dashing towards me at superhuman speeds.

    At the same time, I quickly find Baldy nearby with a horse by his side. It seems he pulled through. Now that I think about it, I could’ve asked the Emperor for a horse too, but I suppose this was faster.

    I’ll have to both him and Yingying later. For now, there a battle to fight.







    Year: 2018
    Location: Front of Core Generator, Level 1

    “Master, we’re almost there.”

    In the same mechanical voice as always, Saber states our proximity to the battlefield. One might assume it stupid to state something so seemingly obvious, but she was doing so for my benefit. With the roaring winds in my eyes, I could hardly tell myself where we were.

    At the moment, we were travelling on horse back at breakneck speeds, Saber commanding the reins. Baldy had mentioned it was a thirty-minute trip to the generator, but we were there in less than 20 as Saber spurred the horse to go at speeds that I didn’t think were plausible. I guess her high Riding skill isn’t for show after all.

    “Alright, slow down a bit, Saber. Let’s survey the situation first.” I command through gritted teeth, most of my focus being used on holding tightly for my dear life.

    “Understood.” She replies simply.

    As a side note, my arms were wrapped around Saber’s waist and I could all too closely feel the tender warmth of her body, but I think this isn’t the time to complain about such things.

    As we neared our destination and slowed down, I finally regained my ability to see, and quickly took note of my surroundings. In the near distance, I could see what appeared to be our goal: a large building that, despite its traditional architecture, still reminded me of a giant factory. Around it, the signs of battle were evident. The sounds of clashing metal echoed through the area. The distinct smell of blood and flames. Those were the things I expected to find in a large-scale conflict.

    Which is exactly why they surprised me now.

    “What in the… what’s going on here?” I voiced my concern.

    This was too strange. Before my very eyes, an all-out war seemed to be taking place. All across the field, men in armor fought each other. Blade met plate, metal met flesh, men met death, like a giant banquet of bloodshed. Such an all-too stereotypical scene made me freeze from shock. I knew that the Emperor had sent his army here, that’s no surprise, but…

    Who the hell were they fighting?

    The enemy troops, dressed in distinctly different armor, seemed to be a match for the Imperial Army in numbers. But who were they? Where did they come from? They couldn’t be citizens of this world; there was no way this many people would suddenly rebel against the Emperor, not to mention how improbable it would be for them to find armor and weaponry and receive enough training to go up against the Imperial Army. I’d understand if the enemy were Servants or Demons, but they weren’t. The only explanation is…

    “It must be some sort of summoning or familiar ability…” Saber notes while also observing the battlefield. “Whoever the enemy is, they seem to have the ability to manifest soldiers to fight on their behalf. That’s not too unique of a power among Servants, especially commander-types.”

    “I see…” I nod along. It seems she was one-step ahead of me in terms of deduction; while I was still scratching my head, she had already determined the most probably cause. As expected, her famed intelligence was showing its fruits here.

    “This is most likely some Noble Phantasm or special ability at play. Either way, the soldiers will most likely disappear if we defeat the one responsible.” Saber continues to explain.

    With that in mind, I look over the ensuing chaos. I can’t immediately pick out anyone who overtly seems like the Servant responsible. At the same time, I don’t see Alisha anywhere either. She should’ve gotten here first, but she’s nowhere in sight. Surely, she wasn’t defeated already, so, where was she?

    Dammit, there’s no time to hesitate. Every second I think, more and more people get hurt. I need to make a decision now.

    “In that case, we should…”

    Choice!
    You have arrived at the battlefield just in front of the so-called Core Generator facility. Before you, two armies clash, one the Imperial Troops, and another most likely created and controlled by an enemy Servant. What should you do now?

    1. Look for the enemy Servant to defeat them as soon as possible.
    2. Head straight for the Core Generator so you can protect it.
    3. Look for Alisha to regroup
    4. Use the Emperor’s badge to take full control over the Imperial Troops [You may also write in an order to give them]
    5. Write-In


  4. #164
    リビングデッド Living Dead Wyvern's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Brazil
    Age
    24
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    82
    2. Regardless of the armies fighting or where the enemy servant is, the goal is to protect the Core Generator. Taking it back is bound to make the enemy Servant appear or at least give his group an advantage.

  5. #165

  6. #166
    リビングデッド Living Dead
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    66
    3.

  7. #167
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    ...I forgot.
    Age
    20
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    1,144
    Blog Entries
    1
    ​2
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

    [Collection of my Servant Sheets]
    Now Revamped!

  8. #168
    死徒 Dead Apostle zikari8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    714
    Blog Entries
    1


    Year: 2018
    Location: Front of Core Generator, Level 1

    In an instant, I make up my mind.

    “Saber, the Generator!”

    “Understood. Leave it to me, Master.”

    Without needing me to instruct her, Saber immediately knows what to do as she spurs the horse forward. There’s only one destination: the giant building known as the Core Generator. Everything else has to be put aside for now.

    Even though it’s a harsh decision to make, the main mission right now is to protect it, so we should make it our top priority. Plus, if it’s also the enemy’s target, approaching it should force an action out of them. Either way, it’s something that cannot be ignored.

    With expert skill, Saber rides us through the battlefield at breakneck speeds. It’s like watching someone run through a lego-filled room without stepping on any, a sheer marvel of technique. We were navigating through the area littered with people as if they weren’t even there.

    “Hang on tight, Master. Enemies incoming.” Saber suddenly calls out.

    From the back, I barely make out the sight of a few soldiers in our path. It seems that we weren’t able to get through the whole thing unnoticed and unhindered.

    But it seems like there wasn’t anything to worry about either. Without another word, Saber brings out her twin swords, and the moment the soldiers jump at us, the battle is already over. With speed and precision, she takes out every one of them with a single strike, all while controlling the horse with her legs. Like an arrow through paper, we pass through the enemies without even slowing down at all; it was simply all-too impressive.

    “Oi, is it just me or are you stronger than you were back in the forest?” I ask as I gawk at her insane prowess.

    “Yes, I’m actually more effective on horseback.” She answers plainly. “Ability-wise, I would be more suited for the Rider Class, but I was lucky enough to retain my Riding skill as a Saber.”

    “Huh, I didn’t know…” I remark. It’s a surprise to me since I don’t know her actual legend ver well, but I suppose it’s good to find out now. I’ll definitely have to keep that in mind for later.

    Just like that, we continue to press through the battlefield, ripping through any obstacle, until we near the giant building. As an aside, the enemies Saber cut down quickly vanish into thin air upon defeat; as we suspected, they seemed to be hollow spiritual entities with no substance or ego of their own. Alone, each one isn’t too much of a threat. Their danger lies in number, but as long as we only fight a few on our way there, rather than the whole army, there shouldn’t be a problem. At this rate, we should be able to get to the building without a problem… or so I thought.

    “Huh? Saber, wait. Something’s happening.” I say upon sensing something’s off. Was it instinct or my magical senses? Either way, an ominous feeling hit me as we neared the building.

    Suddenly, I feel a sharp pain in both my hands. I quickly realize that it was my command spells. They seem to be reacting to something, which is never a good sign.

    “… I sense a sudden large burst of magical energy up ahead. It’s coming from the building.” Saber reports coolly.

    “What the…?” I can only gasp as I try to grasp what’s happening. Every ounce of focus I have is immediately stolen by the strange, abrupt event.

    The first thing I notice is smoke. Black, thick smoke began pouring out of the building as if it were ablaze, but there are no signs of any conflagration. As Saber said, there was also a sudden uptick in magical energy radiating from the generator building, so much so that even I could feel it. But, while the strange smoke coming from the building did feel magical, it didn’t seem like the main source for the sudden burst of mana. No, it was something else, something stronger, something larger.

    “Master, your orders?” Saber asks hastily as we got ever nearer to the now smoky facility.

    “Huh? Uh, well…” I mumble something in response but am unable to form any thoughts. Completely confused, I have no idea what to do.

    Meanwhile, the magical energy in the area only continues to rise. Perhaps because of that, it suddenly becomes difficult to see what’s happening. The very image of the building and its immediate surroundings seem to blur and waver, as if in a heat haze. No, it’s not just my vision; the very area is fluctuating, turning into something else. Something big is definitely about to happen.

    Realizing that, panic hits me like a truck.

    What should I do? What order should I give? Something crazy is definitely about to happen with the building as the epicenter. We should get away while we have the chance lest we get caught up in some sort of explosion. But we have to protect the Core Generator, so we can’t run. We should get there as fast as we can to prevent whatever’s happening. But at the rate the energy’s spiking, we won’t make it in time. But but but—

    And at that very moment, when I’m stuck with indecision and Saber’s focused on observing the strange situation, both our attentions stolen, it happens.

    “Huh?”

    Before I even realize it, I’ve already been thrown off the horse.

    “What the hell?” I yell out with shock as I’m wildly launched from the saddle.

    “Master!” Saber shouts as she also tumbles towards the ground, showing no worry for her own safety. But I’ve already been jettisoned far out of her immediate reach.

    Soaring through the air, I quickly realize what happened. The horse we had been riding was also collapsing on the ground, but I notice a large hole in its side and obscene amounts of blood gushing out of it. That alone more or less confirms it. Something must’ve hit the running horse while we were distracted, and the impact caused us to be thrown off. Since I was father back on the horse, I got launched the most while Saber only lands near the equine corpse. I can’t see what hit us, but it must’ve been something powerful enough to take out the beast in a single strike…

    No, wait, now’s not the time to think about this! How am I gonna safely land!?

    “Oh, shit shit shit shit shit shit!”

    The ground approaches at insane speed. I can’t rely on Saber or anyone else to save me; all I can do is brace myself for heavy impact.

    The last thing I hear is a strange, ominous voice…

    Noble Phantasm Activate
    Now then, let the game begin.


    …and a sudden white light envelops me.






    Year: 2018
    Location: ???

    “… uhh, what happened?”

    I come to my senses a few moments later. As I get up, a sense of disorientation immediately hits me. I feel nauseous like I just got off a rollercoaster and my vision is hazy.

    “Ow, ow, ow, my head.” I grimace as a sharp pain rings in my mind.

    Did I hit it hard on something? What just happened?

    Let’s see… that’s right, I got flung from the horse and landed harshly. I must’ve hit my head pretty badly; that’d explain the pain and dizziness.

    I should start by getting a bearing of my situation. Saber’s probably running towards me right now, so I don’t have too much to worry about, but we are on a battlefield, so some caution is necessary.

    With that in mind, I begin feeling around to confirm my surroundings, since my vision hasn’t returned yet. I put my hands below me to confirm the ground I landed on and—

    Huh? How strong. I was certain I landed on hard dirt and ground, but the surface I’m on is rather soft and warm and squishy and…

    Wait, why do I feel like something like this happened before?

    “Ouch. What the hell was that?”

    I hear a familiar voice nearby, or rather directly under me…

    Oh, holy shit, I am so dead.

    It is, of course, only at that moment that my vision returns and I am able to confirm that I am in fact on top of a girl and rubbing my hand over her chest area. And of course, that girl happens to be Alisha, who just now begins to get up and regain her senses in time to notice what’s happening.

    Honestly, sometimes I think there’s a God of Mischief who especially likes watching my squirm. The incoming punch is just gratuitous at this point.



    “W-w-w-what are you doing!? You pervert!” Alisha yells out as she socks me right in the face and follows it up with a kick to the stomach. I notice that her face is completely flushed, redder than a tomato.

    “Ow, ow. Sorry, sorry, it was an accident. I didn’t mean to.” I give out the usual excuses as I recoil from her strikes.

    As an aside, if I were to compare them, Alisha’s punch was a lot weaker than Yingying’s was back when. In fact, it actually doesn’t hurt that much; I’m just recoiling in fear of her general anger. I guess Alisha’s not that physically strong without her magic.

    “How the hell do you fondle someone on accident?” She questions angrily while keeping her distance.

    “I-it’s complicated. Honestly, I also want to know how this keeps happening…” I answer shadily, mumbling the last part as I reflect on these dumb accidents.

    “Hmph, whatever. Just get off me!” She shouts as she aggressively shoves me back. She’s as weak as before, so it barely moves me, but I’m not comfortable being close to her either, so I quickly jump back on my own.

    When I leap back though, something suddenly tugs on my arm, unbalancing me, as I land slightly backward on my back. At the same moment, Alisha is seemingly yanked off her butt before falling right back on top of me.

    “Ow. Hey, why’d you pull me all of a sudden?” She complains as she winces from landing on my chest.

    “Huh? I didn’t…” I begin to respond to her accusation while thinking about the weird thing that just happened, but the incessant tugging on my arm breaks my thoughts. I quickly look to see what’s wrong with it and—

    Huh? That’s weird. For some reason, there’s some sort of rope tying our arms together – my left and Alisha’s right. It looks like a thick, red rope wrapped loosely around our wrists, enough that we could move them around, but not separate them. Perhaps handcuffs would be a good comparison for the effects of the knot that had been tied.

    But that’s weird, where did this rope suddenly come from? No, wait, when I think about it, why is Alisha here? Just a moment ago, she was nowhere to be seen, so why did I land on top of her?

    At that moment, another bad feeling hits me as I piece together all these strange mysteries. I immediately look around for the first time and confirm my fears.

    The area around Alisha and I is not the location I recalled or thought we were in. Only moments ago, I had been in the middle of a fierce but plain battlefield without much but dirt around it, but the sight that my eyes were now capturing was a verdant forest. The ground beneath me was a soft, grassy terrain instead of the hard, barren wasteland I thought I landed on. Worst of all, I couldn’t see anyone around us. Neither the soldiers nor Saber could be found in the vicinity; it’s clear that the only people here were Alisha and me.

    With all that info, it’s obvious that I’ve somehow been transported to a completely different location from before, but then the question remains.

    Where the hell are we?





    The forest was a strange place that seemed to defy common sense. The trees making it up were the type that couldn’t be found in this world – that is to say that they actually resemble the ones from my original history. However, for some reason I couldn’t decipher, roasted meat seemed to be hanging from the branches instead of fruits. Despite seemingly growing right off the plants, the meat was hot and juicy as if it had just been taken off the grill. Looking around further, one could find a river running through the forest. It was, however, filled with wine instead of water as if it were only natural. The more I thought about it, the less the forest seemed to make sense.

    “No good, I can’t contact Starkad.” Alisha states after a lengthy attempt. “Either something’s jamming the transmission or he’s too far away.”

    “Hmmm, that’s not good…” I contemplate the situation quietly, gathering as much info as I could through observation. No matter how much I thought, though, no good ideas came to mind.

    Several minutes have passed since Alisha and I woke up in this strange area. Once we got our bearings, we looked around a bit and traded info. Apparently, Alisha had entered the Core Generator building to confront the enemy Servant she sensed was already inside it. Once she entered, though, heavy black smoke suddenly began filling up the entire building and they were attacked by a bunch of enemies they couldn’t see in the smoke. In the chaos, she got separated from her Servant and then, before they could regroup, there was a sudden surge of magical energy and a bright light. After that, she woke up here with me.

    In other words, neither of us know where we are and neither of our Servants are here with us.

    To make matters worse, there was this rope tying our hands together for some unknown reason. Out of some desperate hope, I try untying it like I did a little while ago, but it’s still hopeless. My other hand simply goes through the rope. Even though I can see it, I’m unable to touch it. But, despite its illusory presence, it still restricts my own movements. Something that cannot be touched but can touch me, such a thing is only possible with magecraft. When we witnessed the phenomenon earlier, Alisha acutely explained the theory.

    “It’s a spiritual knot. We’ve been tied together conceptually.” She stated. “There’s nothing we can do. Even if you cut off your hand, we’d still be connected.”

    “Can you dispel it or something?” I asked.

    “Unfortunately, not. This is out of my expertise and level. You’d need a specialist to undo something like this.” She denied, crushing any hopes I had. From the looks of it, we’ll just have to suck it up and deal with having our arms tied together.

    Dammit, this is bad. This whole situation is a nightmare. We’re alone in an unknown place without any Servants or supplies. We don’t know how to get back, how to contact the others or if there are any enemies here. But worst of all, the person with me is Alisha, the girl who hates my guts as much as I hate hers. If we worked together, then perhaps there was a chance we could get out of this alive. But considering how things have been going, the chance of that happening seems slim. Yet, for some reason, we’ve had our arms permanently tied together so I can’t even gain some safe distance from her.

    No matter how I look at it, this is definitely the worst possible situation. Survival chance 0%.

    “… what are you making that face for? Did you think of something?” Alisha suddenly asks, breaking my train of despairing thoughts.

    “Huh? Ah, no, nothing. Still just thinking.” I timidly respond.

    “How disappointing... Well, whatever. I expected as much.” She stated with a sigh, before going retreating into her own thoughts.

    What was that supposed to mean? I keep myself from asking that and focus on the problem at hand.

    “So… do you have any idea where we are?” I question.

    “I have some idea, yeah.” Alisha answers seriously. “From the looks of it, I don’t think we were actually teleported to another location. This kind of terrain is simply too strange to exist within this Lostbelt or even in our own world. Instead, I think we’re actually in some sort of special Boundary Field. Perhaps, even a Reality Marble. That would explain a lot of things.”

    “A Reality Marble, the innermost thaumaturgy…” I immediately respond seriously to those exotic words.

    It was something that had been very briefly touched upon during combat training. I didn’t really get the theory behind it, but the lecturer made it seem like some sort of super special awesome forbidden magecraft that’s rare and difficult to use. Then, if we truly are in such a powerful spell, then it must be the work of an enemy Servant. In other words, we were right in the middle of the enemy territory.

    “Hold on. If this is a Boundary Field, shouldn’t our Servants have come with us?” I ponder. If it wasn’t a direct transportation but a change of the area, shouldn’t the other people in the vicinity have been transported too.

    “Not necessarily. We were both separated from our Servants when we came here, right? Perhaps only the two of us were inside the radius of deployment for the field, while our Servants were not.” Alisha explains in a tone reminiscent of our private tutoring sessions back in Chaldea. “Otherwise, if this is a separate plane-type field, there’s also the possibility of selective or conditional transportation. Only those the user chooses or those that fulfill a certain condition are brought into the boundary field; such a thing is also technically possible.”

    Huh, I had no idea. I guess that goes to show just how little my knowledge of magecraft is.

    “Ah, what about the command spells? If we use one, we can teleport our Servants here too, right?” I suddenly come to an epiphany.

    “Well, in theory, yes, that should work. But… I would highly advise against doing it right now.” Alisha replies.

    “Huh? Why not? Wouldn’t it be a good thing to have our Servants with us?” I wonder, completely befuddled.

    “I’m not saying it’s bad. Just that we should wait and see a bit. Your command spells are a limited resource after all, so we should do what we can to conserve them and only use them when absolutely necessary. For now, we should access the situation a bit first, before deciding whether to do so. Otherwise…” She explains before ceremoniously raising her free hand. On it, I can clearly see the red marks on her hand, her command spells. Except…

    “Wha- You only have one left?” I exclaim now that I’ve gotten a good look at the pattern on her hand. Two of the red marks have already faded into mere shadowy imprints.

    “That’s right. I burnt two of them back in my old Lostbelt during some life or death situations. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here.” She confirms with a hint of grave reminiscence in her voice. “These things are true lifesavers, so I greatly urge you to not waste them.”

    It was a little surprising to see her speaking so solemnly considering the usual attitude I’ve come to expect from her. None of her usual lax joviality can be found in her words. Well, I guess it’s true that she wouldn’t be a two-time Holy Grail War winner if she didn’t know how to get serious when it matters.

    “O-okay…” I nod along, sensing how seriously she took this topic. “But then how do we leave this boundary field?”

    “Hmm… I don’t know.” She admits loosely. “Technically, once you leave the boundary of a barrier, you’re no longer under its effects, but that only applies to the most basic type. There are many in which it is impossible to escape through regular means once you’ve entered as well as those that seemingly stretch out infinitely. Considering I can’t contact Starkad at all, it’s fair to say we’re already pretty far removed from regular space, so I suspect escape won’t be easy. There are also boundary fields that stay active even after the caster is killed, so that alone isn’t a surefire escape either. For now, we just don’t have enough information.”

    “I see…” I grimace at her words. This situation really was horrible.

    We don’t know how to get out of this place nor what dangers await us. I can summon Saber and Assassin here, but only at the cost of a precious command spell. Meanwhile, with only one command spell left, Alisha can’t afford to summon Starkad except in the utmost dire situation, so I shouldn’t count on his help whatsoever. Essentially, for now, it’s really just the two of us.

    This situation is really…

    “This is perfect.”

    “Huh?” I’m stunned by the sudden string of words I hear escape.

    Looking up, I find Alisha for some reason grinning from ear to ear. At the same time, I feel rapid vibrations coursing through my arm, only to quickly realize that it came from Alisha’s entire body shaking. Was she trembling with excitement?

    “Don’t you get it, Bengshan? This place is a boundary field completely removed from reality. Once you’re in, you can’t escape and anything that happens in here doesn’t affect the real world. It’s everything we wanted.” She exclaims with glee.

    “… Ah.” I finally gasp when I realize what she’s on about.

    The boundary field we had been talking about earlier, one in which we could finally fight the Demon Army without fear of destroying the foundations of the Empire. Certainly, this strange forest was the perfect terrain for such thing, the very power we were looking for.

    “It looks like luck is on our side. If we can get this ability on our side, all our problems will be solved.” She beamed with absolute cheer. “What do you think? Shall we go have a little chat with the caster of this spell?”

    Barely keeping up, I take a moment to process and ponder.

    Certainly, getting this boundary field under our belt would be a huge boon. But can we really do that? Wouldn’t it be too dangerous? If we were to run into the enemy Servant, without our own, would we be able to survive? What can we do to make it out of this as safely as possible?

    But most of all, even if I were to voice my opinion… would Alisha actually listen to me?


    Character Status
    Player:
    Health: Optimal
    Od: Poor
    Command Spells: 6 (3 for Assassin, 3 for Saber)

    Alisha:
    Health: Optimal
    Od: Optimal
    Command Spells: 1
    Choice!
    You have been transported to a strange forest. The only person with you is Alisha Helstrom and the two of you are tied together. Your fates are now one. What do you think the two of you should do?

    1. Agree with Alisha. We should try to find the enemy Servant responsible for this.
    2. It’s too early to decide. We should walk around a bit and gather more information.
    3. It’s too dangerous. We should stay where we are and wait for help. The others will surely come to help soon enough.
    4. Ignore Alisha’s Advice. Summon Saber immediately. [Uses one command spell]
    5. Write-In

    Note: This choice is only for what the player believes is the right option. There is no control over Alisha’s opinion. Your actions are now one in the same.

    References
    Player's Command Spell
    Alisha's Command Spell


  9. #169
    リビングデッド Living Dead Wyvern's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Brazil
    Age
    24
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    82
    2. The one who brough them there is likely aware of their movements. Staying put is likely to invite their attention, searching for them is likely to end up badly without their servants. They need information if they wanna learn who is responsible and if there are any ways to counter act them

  10. #170

  11. #171
    The Great and Powerful Wizard's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Age
    21
    Posts
    96
    Blog Entries
    1
    2.
    Best to walk around a bit and get some information. Might find something worth burning a CS for.

  12. #172
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    ...I forgot.
    Age
    20
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    1,144
    Blog Entries
    1
    2
    A part of me is hesitant to instantly meet Caster (who's almost certainly Da Ji), but at the same time, wandering about the Forest of Meat and Wine is rather iffy...
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

    [Collection of my Servant Sheets]
    Now Revamped!

  13. #173
    死徒 Dead Apostle zikari8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    714
    Blog Entries
    1


    Year: 2018

    Location: Forest of Meat (?)

    “H-hold on, let’s not be hasty. Why don’t we explore a bit and gather more information first?”

    I suggest after some thought. Frankly I’m not in any hurry to encounter the Servant that brought us here without our own. For now, I think our priority should be learning more about the situation. If we look around, we might get some clue as to the identity of our enemy or even how to escape.

    “Hm? Well… I guess that’s not a bad idea. Okay, then, let’s look around a bit more first.” Alisha agrees with ease. I’m a little surprised, but I won’t complain if she’s being compliant for once.

    With that, we both get up, ready to set off on our new mission. Since we don’t really know where we are, we start by following the river of wine downstream in hopes of perhaps finding something at the end of the water.

    I was a bit terrified of the situation at first, but things have quieted down a little. In particular, I’m quite glad that Alisha’s being reasonable for once. If she keeps this up, this might end up not being so bad.

    “Ah, wait, wait, don’t stand in front of me. Listen, you have to follow behind me, okay? No matter what.” Alisha suddenly commands, while purposely shoving me behind her.

    “… o-oh, okay.”

    Never mind, this might be a handful after all…




    With that, the two of us begin trekking through the strange forest of meat, looking for anything that might give us a clue as to what we’re dealing with. For the most part, there isn’t much; the rest of the forest looks just like the clearing we were in. Occasionally, we stumbled upon some curious man-made structures, resembling Chinese gazebos. According to Alisha, they were aesthetic pavilions, meant to be a place where one could take in the scenery or as part of the scenery themselves. Apparently, such structures were quite common in the gardens of wealthy estates back in the day.

    All throughout the walk, silence fills the forest. Not just from the lack of other people or creatures, but very few words are being exchanged between Alisha and I as we cautiously walk through the strange forest, we’ve found ourselves in. All there is between us now is an awkward tension as we observe our surroundings in artificial tranquility.

    “…”

    “…”

    Without saying anything, I take a look at the girl confidently striding in front of me. As she wanted, she’s walking a step ahead of me, while I just follow her wherever she goes. My legs are a little longer, but I’ve more or less figured out her pace, so we’re walking in relative harmony. Our minds and hearts, however, aren’t as synchronized.

    Thinking back, the last time we talked before this whole deal was during the strategy meeting yesterday. Remembering how she actively went against my opinion doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence in trusting her. She agreed with me this time, but what about later? In this situation, a lack of cooperation might be fatal, so I want to avoid that. It’d be great if we were finally on the same page… but what can I do? What can I say to make her listen to me?

    Such worries fill my head as we hike through the peaceful garden.

    “… uh, hey.” Alisha suddenly speaks up out of nowhere, breaking the peaceful atmosphere. In her voice, I can sense a hint of awkward hesitation.

    “What’s up? Did you see something?” I quickly ask, in case there’s danger up ahead.

    “… n-no, nevermind. It’s nothing…” She mumbles and quickly turns her face back to the front. Weird, what’s her deal?

    After that, silence once again breaks out between us. This time, though, I’m the one unable to take it and decide to pick up the conversation myself.

    “Um, hey. Do you think we could eat these?” I ask while pointing at the meat and wine so blatantly in front of us. I’d be lying if I said they didn’t seem appetizing.

    Growing from the branches were meats of every variety and taste. Fatty beef, succulent pork, and juicy duck were all within the gasp of one’s hands. Meanwhile, the river beside us was emanating a sweet, dizzying scent that wet the palate. I’ve never drank alcohol before due to personal reasons, but the red liquid in the river was certainly tempting.

    “… well, probably. But I would suggest against it.” Alisha responds after a brief pause.

    “Huh? Why’s that?” I wonder.

    “This is the enemy’s territory after all. Anything here could be a potential threat, even say a pebble at our feet. For all we know, the food might be poisoned or have some magical effect that turns you into a pig.” She explains with her usual tone of authority.

    “Huh, I guess that makes sense.” I nod along like a good student.

    I was wondering what we’d do without any provisions on us, but I guess it’d be too easy if we could just eat food off the trees. In that case, we’ll have to figure a way out soon. I’ve heard that humans can survive for 3 days without food and water, but it’s best if we never even come close to that limit.

    “Ah, speaking of which, have you ever tried duck before? It’s a little strange at first, but it’s pretty good.” Alisha suddenly asks in an amicable tone.

    “Huh? Uh well, yes, I actually have. It’s a classic dish where I come from.” I reply as smoothly as I can, scratching the back of my head a little awkwardly.

    “Really? I usually think of it as an Asian thing. Where’s that again?” She questions.

    “… France. Well, Paris to be precise.” I answer with a little reluctance.

    “Hm? I thought you were Polish.” She tilts her head at the discrepancy.

    “W-well, I’m half. My father was Polish, but my ma’s from France. I was born in Poland, but moved after…” I begin to explain, but quickly stop. A slight heaviness hangs on my heart as the words come out. I’m still not very comfortable talking about my past.

    “Oh, right, right, you were disowned. I remember reading that in your profile. I see, now, that makes sense why you’re so weak. Huh.” Alisha carelessly says.

    “Uh… yeah.” I can only mutter in response.

    I feel a weird sensation squirming in me from having those things blurted out loud, even if it’s just the two of us here. Normally, it’s typical for magi not to talk or ask about each other’s past, and yet Alisha just blatantly tramples all over mine. Does she have no sense of etiquette?

    “… say, Bengshan. Do you have any thoughts or theories about this situation?” She asks, suddenly switching topics.

    “Huh? Why do you ask?”

    “I-I dunno. Just tell me. I just want to hear your opinion.” She shrugs as if it didn’t really matter.

    I don’t know how to respond. What’s she up to now? Man, I just really don’t get her at all.

    No, wait… this happened earlier, right? Yesterday, she asked what I thought she should do, and then purposefully went against it. I bet she’s planning to do the same. In that case—

    “No, I don’t really have anything.” I reply.

    At the same time, I look away as if a little ashamed of my dishonesty.

    In reality, I was piecing together a few ideas in the back of mind while we were walking about. I don’t know shit about magic or complicated history, but I have few choice thoughts about the events leading up to this.

    The greatest question would have to be what the enemy Servant is planning. First they attacked the Core Generator building, but instead of destroying it outright, they manifest this Boundary Field around it. Why would they do that? I can think of two possibilities:

    First, the Core Generator wasn’t their goal to begin with. They attacked it knowing it was a vital point in order to draw us to defend it. Then, they activated the Boundary Field once we were close enough. In other words, their true goal was trapping us in this place. But for what purpose?

    The other possibility is that the Core Generator is necessary to their plans. For some reason, they need to establish this Boundary Field on top of the Core Generator building and so attacked it for that purpose. We, who went to defend it, just happened to get wrapped up in it. But what could they possibly need the Core Generator for?

    Both possibilities only create more questions and what we should do in each case differs. If it’s the first, we need to get out of here as soon as possible. If it’s the second, then we need to stop them from accomplishing their goal somehow. To determine which one’s correct will be the key to solving this situation, which is why we need more information now.

    But for now, I decide to not tell this to Alisha. If I did, I’m sure she’d dismiss or mock it. I’d rather keep it to myself then, before she does something stupid with it.

    “Oh, so you don’t have any ideas?” Alisha replies to my answer as if surprised.

    For a moment, I sense a tinge of disappointment in her voice. But then, in an instant, she suddenly breaks out into a giant grin.

    “Good. Then that means I’m ahead of you.” She proudly proclaims.

    “Haah?” I’m a loss regarding her strange reaction.

    “Hehehe. What if I said that I already figured out who the Servant responsible for this is?” She boasts while puffing out her chest. But I’m too surprised to be annoyed. I immediately stop in my tracks and turn to her.

    “Really!? You’ve already figured it out?” I eagerly question. “Who is it? What’s their true name?”

    Seeing my reaction, Alisha’s grin turns into a sly smirk.

    “Oho? You haven’t figured it out? You want me to tell you?” She smugly taunted. “Well, too bad. I’m not saying.”

    “W-what… Why?” I can barely respond.

    “Hmph, I wonder. Maybe you can try figuring that out.” She replies, while turning away and folding her free arm in front of her.

    Once again, I feel my head heat up. Standing still in place, I curl up my fists and wallow in my frustration.

    What is she doing? What is wrong with her? How could she be withholding any information in this situation for any reason? This is life or death, dammit. Is she insane?

    “W-well, if you ask nicely a little, I might be willing to give you a hint or two…” Alisha mumbles quietly, still refusing to look at me.

    But I’m already way too mad to even process what she’s saying.

    I knew it. It’s impossible for the two of us to get along. We’re simply too different. But we have to work together now or else we’ll definitely die. I can’t allow this relationship to continue any further.

    I gather my courage and make my decision. Right now, right here, I need to set things straight. I’ll properly tell her how I feel and how much we need to work together.

    “Listen, Alisha. I-”

    But before I can start, she immediately stops me, shoving a finger on my lip. Her head doesn’t move, continuing to stare into the forest.

    “Wait, shut up for a sec.” She commands in a suddenly cool voice. “… something’s here.”

    Sensing how serious she was being, I follow her gaze and, after a few moments, see what’s got her riled up.

    There, only 20 or so meters away, was a familiar-looking creature. Orange fur that resembled a cloak of flames, claws that evoked countless images of horrors, cool yet fierce eyes that penetrated one’s very core, it was none other than the animal known as the tiger.

    Right now, that very beast was slowly approaching us.

    “W-what should we do?” I ask while staring nervously at the all too intimidating animal.

    Shit, it’s only been a few seconds since I saw it, but I already feel sweat building up on my brow.

    “Calm down. Don’t worry, we can handle this.” Alisha states without any hint of fear in her voice.

    With practiced ease, she lowers her stance and readies her wand. Her eyes focus in on the stalking beast, and she goes completely silent except for slightest breath. I can immediately tell just from looking that there are no imperfections in her body and mind; this is the battle preparation of one who has survived countless magical battles in the past.

    And like that, the battle begins before I can even get my bearings.

    The moment it gets in range, the tiger pounces at us. Baring fang and claw, it closes the distance between us and bites down at our position.

    “Back!” Alisha yells and instantly leaps backwards.

    “Huh, wha-?” I barely react before the rope between us pulls me back with her.

    Somehow, Alisha’s little leap puts us back a few good meters, avoiding the tiger’s attack. I soar through the air for a brief moment and land harshly on my back. But there’s no time to feel pain as the tiger follows up with another strike.

    “Over!” Alisha shouts once more and makes a standing long jump over the beast. Mid-air, she does a double front flip to extend her airtime, allowing her to safely get past the tiger’s reach.

    Of course, this maneuver causes me to be pulled in all sorts of directions I’m not ready for.

    “W-wait a- Gah!”

    “Huh, what are youuuaaaaghhh!?”

    Without any preparation, I’m dragged and rag dolled by my arm, and end up crashing into Alisha mid-air. Our bodies collide hard into each other and we immediately fall to the ground on our butts.

    “Ow… what are you doing? Follow my movements!” She barks once she recovers from the fall.

    “Ugh… how am I supposed to follow those movements? I’m not a gymnast.” I complain, rubbing my bruised bottom. “To begin with- woah, incoming!”

    I shout out as I notice in the corner of my eye the tiger doubling back. Once more, it pounced at the prey that managed to evade it twice.

    “Tch, fine. Get back!” She commands and throws herself in front of me.

    In an instant, magical energy courses through her body and gathers at the tip of her wand. Then, like a firearm, she releases it all in a single burst.

    Windflower Barrier
    Flans Paries Aerialis!


    Suddenly, just before it reaches us, the tiger stops in mid-air a few feet away as if it just ran into a wall. I see, it’s a spell that creates a shield of wind to block attacks and stop enemies.

    “Now fly!” She exclaims and flicks her wand wildly.

    On her command, the wind making the shield bursts all at once, creating a mini explosion of air pressure that sends the tiger flying into the sky.

    But it seems that’s not the end. Without a second of pause, Alisha immediately starts preparing her next spell.

    Scathach, ye who rules the land of shadows, give into my hand barbed demonic spears.
    Locos umbrae regnans Scathach, in manum meam det iaculum daemonum cum spinis.


    Incanting with speed comparable to a rapper, Alisha begins gathering magical light into her hand the quickly forms a spear made out of lightning. Only using a second to take aim, she launches it at the mid-air tiger without any mercy.

    Thunderbolt Throw
    Iaculatio Fulgoris!!


    Like true lightning, the spear flies through the air and strikes the target in an instant. There is no need to check if it was a kill; no animal in the world could survive a direct hit from that attack.

    “Amazing…” I find myself unconsciously muttering with wonder.

    So, this is the power of a true magus? Her level was way higher than mine- No, even comparing us was unfitting. If the things I could do were magecraft, then she might as well have been using true magic.

    Once again, I’m reminded how pathetic I truly am.

    “Phew, that’s dealt with.” Alisha sighs and laughs a little at her victory. “See, I told you there was nothing to worry about. Hehe. Are you impressed yet?”

    “… if you could do that, why didn’t you just do so from the start? Would’ve saved a lot of trouble…” I ask thinking about how much of a pain her little jumps and flips were. Was she trying to show off earlier?

    “Eh?” She gasps, seemingly taken aback by my question. Then, she immediately folds her arm and huffs again. “Hmph, it’s not like I wanted to do it that way. I wouldn’t have needed to if you weren’t so slow.”

    She seems upset and angry for some reason, despite her earlier cheer.

    “Huh? What are you talking about? There’s no way I could’ve followed those movements. Think about it a little.” I argue with a frown at her unreasonable attitude. I’m the one that should be upset here.

    “Well, I can’t fight efficiently while carrying around. If you don’t move alongside me, you’ll only be dragging me down.” She barks, waving her free arm wildly as if that made her point more convincing.

    “That’s not my fault. I can’t help it if you want to do a gymnastics routine during a fight. Did you forget that we’re tied together right now? Stop showing off and stand still, dammit.” I complain, firmly standing my ground. She’s the one who’s wrong for not taking my abilities into consideration.

    “I’m not… fine!” She begins to retort, but then suddenly yells while stomping her feet. “Then, I’ll do everything myself. You can just stand and hide behind me while I fight, okay?”

    I almost pop a vessel hearing that.

    “Haaah!? You’re still on about that? Why are you so insistent about doing all the fighting yourself? Do you really think you can do everything by yourself? Don’t be stupid! We need to work together.” I yell back, feeling the familiar anger course through me once again. My fist is already tightening with anticipation.

    “Then, what do you want me to do? You can’t keep up with me, but you want to be part of the fight. You’re being way too unreasonable.” She claims.

    “You’re the unreasonable one. Why are you so unable to accept me fighting? Am I really that useless in your eyes? Huh?” I question through gritted teeth, practically seething with frustration.

    “I never said that.”

    “Well, you sure are acting like it!”

    Like that, we continue to argue with heated tempers. I lose track of how long we’re at it, but even after countless minutes and arguments, neither side is willing to back down. It continues endlessly until Alisha finally gets fed up and turns away.

    “Forget it. I don’t need to listen to you. I’ll just do whatever I want, and you can do whatever the hell you want” She gets up and pouts. “I’ll show you that I can handle this.”

    “… fine.” Frustrated and weary, I accept her stupid proposal.

    If she’s so intent on getting herself killed, I’ll do what I want and use everything I have to keep her alive.

    And so, with the ever-widening scar between us, Alisha and I continue to explore the Forest of Meat…

    Character Status
    Player:
    Health: Optimal
    Od: Poor
    Command Spells: 6

    Alisha:
    Health: Optimal
    Od: Optimal
    Command Spells: 1



  14. #174
    死徒 Dead Apostle zikari8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    714
    Blog Entries
    1
    I remember the first time I met Alisha.

    It was in Chaldea, not too long after I got there. Aloof and alienated, I more or less stuck to myself, glaring daggers at anyone who dared get near me. Every single Master I met had been a monster. An elite magus who made me look and feel like a tiny rat. And among them all was her.

    It was in a crowded corridor when I first saw her. Coming back from a practice mission, she strolled down the hallway with her giant Servant following behind her. The crowd of people immediately stood to the side and let her pass; even those stuck-ups elites knew to keep out of her way. It was like she owned the place.

    The moment I saw that, I knew she was a big deal. She was powerful and cute and respected. Everyone showered her with praise and admiration. Everything she did was done perfectly without flaw. No one dared argue with her.

    She was simply breath-taking.

    I’m sure now that it was from that very moment, I made up my mind.

    On that very day, I decided to hate her…






    Year: 2018
    Location: Forest of Meat (?)

    “Haaah!”

    A burst of lightning exploded in the forest. The next moment, I was looking at the fried corpse of a tiger.

    “Phew… that one was a little tougher than the rest.” Alisha comments while rubbing the sweat off her brow.

    Quite the while has passed since our first tiger encounter. Since then, we’ve continued to explore the forest without any real results. At the moment, we’ve reached the end of the river that lead into a lake of wine and were on the empty beach. On the other hand, the further we go, the more frequent the tiger encounters have become. With that last one, we’re already over a dozen beasts slain. With this level of frequency, it was almost like someone was purposely sending them after us.

    But that’s not the problem I’m most concerned with, right now.

    “Oi, Alisha, are you okay? You look tired.” I ask, observing her state.

    “Of course. I’m fine.” She rebukes immediately. “Leave me alone.”

    But I know she’s acting tough. With all the powerful spells she’s been unleashing, I know she must’ve exhausted a large amount of her magical energy already. Meanwhile, since I haven't done anything, my reserves have replenished a bit.

    Status Change
    Player
    Od: Poor -> Good

    Alisha
    Od: Optimal -> Good

    From the past several fights, I’ve already gotten a decent understanding of Alisha’s fighting style, which is why I know there’s a problem.

    From what I can tell, Alisha’s an artillery-type magus. She specializes in casting really powerful offensive spells from afar. The level of her attacks is so great she can even harm or kill Servants. But the drawback is that each spell requires a decently long incantation to cast. In that time, when her focus is spent, she’s completely defenseless.

    That’s where Starkad comes in, I assume. That hunk of meat and muscle acts as a stalwart shield to keep enemies from reaching or attacking Alisha. While she’s casting, he focuses his immense power solely on keeping her safe. Together, they become a combo of perfect defense and overwhelming offense. Truly, such a thing would be an invincible duo.

    But Starkad’s not here, so that strategy can’t work. Her next tactic, then, is to out-maneuver the enemy until she finds an opening. Using low-cost reinforcement to boost her mobility, she dodges the enemy’s attacks while preparing to blast them away when she sees the chance. It’s a risky, but efficient way to get around her weakness.

    But she can’t do that either, since I forbid her from moving freely. As long as I’m here, she can’t dodge the enemy attacks; she needs to stand her ground and take them head on.

    Then, with all these handicaps, the only thing Alisha can do is compensate for her lack of defense and mobility with her magical energy. When the enemy attacks, she first casts one or two defensive spells to stop or stun the opponent, buying her enough time to set-up her actual attack. It’s a good use of what she has… but it’s not efficient. For each opponent, she’s expending at least double the usual amount of magical energy needed. At the rate she’s going, she won’t last very long.

    What she needs right now is something that can offset her lack of defense. She needs a shield.

    “Um, hey, Alisha. I don’t think this is working. Let’s try something else for fighting these beasts.” I suggest, looking down at her panting body.

    “Haah… haah… huh? What are you proposing?” She questions after taking a few more heavy breaths.

    “Let me be your shield. I’ll protect you while you cast your spell.” I proclaim with determination. This is the only path I can see to effectively fighting together.

    “… there’s no need. Just stay behind me and don’t move. I’ll handle all the fighting myself.” She states, completely shutting down my idea.

    “Huh? No, that’s what I’m saying is wrong. You can’t handle this by yourself.” I quickly retort.

    “Yes, I can. No, even if I can’t, I need to. I… can’t let you get involved in this.” She coldly disagrees, having regained her breath. “You said you’d let me do what I want, so leave me alone.”

    “I never said that; you just decided to do so on your own. I’m not just gonna do nothing when I see you careening towards your death. There has to be something else we can do.”

    “Well, there isn’t. I’ve already calculated that this is the best possible strategy.” She cockily declares. “Just do what I say and stay still, okay? That’s all you can do, right?”

    As always, the two of us are unable to see eye-to-eye. Honestly, at this point, I’m getting tired of arguing with her. I feel like I can’t even get angry at her anymore.

    “What are you talking about? Stop treating me like I’m useless.” I reply in a chilly voice.

    “Well, you are. I’m sorry, but there is literally nothing you can do. You’re just in my way, right now.” Alisha states. In comparison to me, she just looks and sounds exasperated.

    “T-that can’t be true. There has to be something I can do.” I try to argue.

    “Well, what? Tell me, then, what exactly you can do. Could you have fought off those tigers? Can you keep them from getting near us? Can you survive one mauling you apart? Is there some sort of super-secret special ability you have I don’t know about? I’d sure like to know if there is.” She demands, heatedly. Her very being seems to be vibrating with frustration.

    “W-well, I…”

    I begin racking my brain for an answer, something I can do to help Alisha, some ability I have that is useful. It’s true that, if it came down to it, I’m not even sure if I could hold off a tiger for more than half a second, before I became a pile of digested meat. So then…

    “Exactly. Nothing.” Alisha bellows. “So, stop trying to get yourself killed and leave everything to me.”

    I don’t like her tone of voice, but there’s nothing I can say in response. I know, I already knew, that she was right.

    “God…” Alisha finally sighs, drooping her tense shoulders. “I just don’t get you, Bengshan. Why are you so stubborn? Do you want to get yourself killed?”

    “… of course not. It’s not like I want to die… not anymore.” I reply under my breath. “But, unlike you, I actually care about others. I can’t just sit back and let you get yourself killed either.”

    “Huh?” Alisha gasps, her eyes widening. I guess she wasn’t expecting to be called out like this.

    But at this point, I don’t care what she has to say or how she feels. I just feel like venting a little.

    “I know this might be foreign to you, but I’m actually looking at the bigger picture here. I’ll do whatever it takes to get through this. Even if it means working with you.” I voice my complaints without restraint, not even looking at Alisha anymore.

    “W-wha… you think I’m not taking this seriously? If you get involved, you’re just gonna get hurt. A single attack from a tiger can kill you, you know. I’m just choosing the safest option for you.” She yells, her anger reigniting after that brief calm.

    “How is that any good? You’re gonna run out of energy and then we’re both dead!”

    “If you get hurt, I have to spend prana healing you. This is the most efficient tactic!”

    Defending our views, attacking each other, we begin talking over each other as if our volume and speed determined our righteousness. At this point, I don’t think either of us even care what the other has to say.

    “If you keep this up, you’re gonna run dry and be defenseless. Then, we’re toast. You think I want that to happen? Of course, not. I want to live. I refuse to be dead weight. I need to do something to help!”

    “Being a meat shield when you can’t even defend yourself is stupid. What if I can’t heal you? What if you die instantly? I don’t want that. I can’t handle that. I want to be with you!”

    “Stop being a stuck-up brat and accept help for once. Stop treating me like I’m useless and let me do something! Why can’t you—”

    “Stop being a stubborn, suicidal idiot and stop getting in my way. Think about your own safety for once, you absolute dunce. Why can’t you—”

    ““Let me protect you!!!””

    Our shouts shake the forest. With red visions, we glare daggers at each other and trade sharp words. It’s like an endless cycle, another repeat of something that’s happened many times. It’s as if the two of us can’t go without ripping at each other’s throats.

    I feel my fist clench uncontrollably. A desire to release the pent-up heat, to let it go through, bounds through me. Fine, then. If she won’t listen, then I’ll beat some sense into her.

    “Listen, here, you—”

    I raise my free fist in anger, feeling the heat roaring through each and every finger.

    And at that moment—

    “BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRIIINNNNGGG”

    ““Huh?””

    Suddenly, a loud booming voice interrupts us. Completely taken aback by the third presence, we momentarily forget our feud and look around.

    But there’s no one there. Or rather, there wasn’t even a voice to begin with. Instead, it felt like the words were being spoken directly into our heads.

    “W-who’s there!?” Alisha shouts out, looking frantically around for a potential threat.

    “Honestly, you two. Can you do anything except bicker? You’re like a married couple about to divorce.” The voice seems to complain with an exasperated tone. “It was fun maybe the first time, but you guys keep doing it and it’s getting stale. Think about your audience, will you?”

    I listen carefully to the words being told. Audience? Could it be that this person has been watching us this whole time? Then, that means…

    "Honestly, anyone watching you two would be super annoyed by now. They'd all be like 'stop arguing and kiss or something. I'm falling asleep' and what not." The voice continues to rant.

    “... Are you the Servant that brought us here?” I ask cautiously. If my suspicion is right, we have to be very wary here.

    “Yes, that’s right. I was hoping to enjoy your confusion a bit more, but I might as well reveal myself now.” It responds with a triumphant flamboyance.

    I instinctively take a step back. There’s something ominous and unsettling about the voice. Delivered directly to our minds, I can’t quite make out the identity of the speaker, whether they’re male or female, young or old. Yet, I still sense an unmistakably rotten nature within.

    “Welcome to my wonderland, little mice! I invite you to partake in our festivities to your heart’s content!” It announces proudly and cheerfully.

    “… what kind of festivities are those?” I question, despite not wanting to know the answer.

    “A game, of course. One with your lives at stake.” The voice replies playfully. “The rules are simple: survive. Struggle and squirm as you’re hunted by innumerable beasts. And oh, of course, do your best to entertain me.”

    “T-that’s it? You brought us here into this world… for your twisted entertainment?” I gape at the revelation.

    I was wondering what the enemy’s motives were, but I never imagined it was something like this. There isn’t any larger goal, any master plan. This person just wants to see us participate in a death game? What kind of twisted person would go so far for something like this?

    “… how do we win?” Alisha, surprisingly, speak up now. Her eyes, only moments ago quivering with all sorts of emotions, were now cold and focused.

    “Let’s see… all you have to is make it to my tower. If you look in this distance, you’ll see a large beautiful pavilion. That’s where I am.” The voice states with a whimsical tone. “Of course, that means getting through the Forest of Meat and all the fun surprises I have in store. Oh, I can’t wait!”

    How flimsy of a ruleset. This person’s definitely just making shit up on the fly.

    “What happens if we win?” Alisha continues to interrogate the voice.

    “Well, first of all, you get this beautiful embroidered tapestry as a prize, valued at 700 million modern Renminbi.” It answers playfully. “But of course, if you reach me, I’ll allow you to leave this place and go home in one piece.”

    “How can we trust that? How do we know this isn’t a trap?” I chime in with my doubts. There isn’t a thing about this that isn’t fishy.

    “Oh, little boy, do you think you can question me? Don’t you see you have no choice in this matter? This is MY world, and what I say goes.”

    This time the tone of the voice becomes vastly different. With those last few words, I sense immense gravitas and malice. That alone makes me feel like a helpless pig in the fox’s den.

    “Why don’t I give you an example of my almighty authority?”

    At that moment, I hear a loud snap in my head.

    Then, silence. Nothing seems to happen. No giant explosion or insta-death spell like I expected. Instead, all I feel is a little chilly… Wait.

    I look down and find that all my clothes are gone, including my underwear. Then, when I look over, I find that Alisha is just as naked as I am.

    “Huh…”

    “Ah…”

    For a moment, we’re too stunned to react. My gaze unintentionally travels up and down Alisha’s body.

    Though I could tell even with her clothes on, she really was rather slender. Her limbs were especially long and thin for her size, giving her a delicate yet sport look. There weren’t any curves in her figure, but that itself served accentuate the smooth lines of her body. All in all, I realize once more she’d probably quite popular with guys if she learned to keep her mouth shut for once.

    Well, now that I’ve gotten a good look, a punch should be coming soon. Oh, there it is—

    “D-d-d-don’t look, pervert!” She screamed as she threw a mean hook right into my temple. Her face was a bright red in contrast to the rest of her bare white skin.

    Yeah, I’m definitely killing the Servant responsible for this afterwards.

    “Look away right now. Close your eyes and forget everything you saw. Don’t you dare look. I’ll kill you if you look or say anything, okay?” She repeatedly shouts while flailing her arm wildly.

    “Okay, okay, I’m not looking anymore. You can stop hitting me.” I yell back under heavy barrage.

    “Hahahahaha, see, now that was funny. You guys need to suffer more, or I’ll get bored.” The voice laughs wildly at our regular antics. “Well, do you see now, what I’m capable of? If you don’t comply with the rules, I’ll have to penalize you, just like that.”

    “… you think taking our clothes away is enough to scare us? Is that the best you can do?” Alisha barks back at the sky.

    Oi, what is she doing? Why would you challenge the enemy after they just demonstrated their power? Is she trying to get us killed?

    “Oh, not convinced? Well, then how about you guys have a taste of this?” The voice replies ominously.

    Another snap happens. And then, on cue, I hear the sound of wind blowing strongly above us. In seconds, I see the cause.

    “What are those?” I wonder, while gazing towards the sky. Something was coming towards us, and fast. Through the air, black creatures were flying in our direction with the speed of rockets.

    “… magic beasts. Creatures with thaumaturgical power.” Alisha exposits as she stares carefully at the incoming enemies.

    Magic Beasts? I’ve heard of them in lecture. Animals that cannot be classified by regular biological terms, monsters belonging to myth and legend. Their power easily surpasses that of any modern beast, even one as strong as a tiger. But worst of all, I’ve heard that many such creatures possess innately high magic resistance. That alone makes them not to be trifled with.

    “Well, boy and girl? How do you like my Heavenly Eagles?” The voice asks in triumph. “Do scream loudly when they tear flesh apart, if you would.”

    As they got closer, I receive a better look at the enemies. They were a horde of large black eagles with beaks of iron and claws of gold, more than two dozen in total. Truly, they resembled something that you’d only find in fiction.

    “Um… before we fight, can we get our clothes back?” I ask sheepishly.

    “No.”

    “Figures.”

    Well, it was worth a try.

    I take a look at Alisha who surprisingly hasn’t responded yet to the threat. Her head is done, and she isn’t moving, no- she’s… shaking? Is she trembling with excitement again?

    “Heh… hehehe…. Fine, then. You’re not half-bad, you third-rate Heroic Spirit. This is actually a challenge for once.” She finally yells out with proud fury and grips her wand tight. It seems that alone wasn’t stripped from her.

    This time, we definitely work together. The enemies are far greater than the tigers from before; she can’t do this alone. I need to think of a way to help her. But before I can say that, she challenges the sky.

    “But you made one mistake! One fatal error no one should ever make if they want to live.” She declares. “You challenged me to a game…”

    And then, immense, unbelievable amounts of magical energy began channeling through her body. Power that I could never even dream of accumulated at the tip of her wand.

    Now, she was ready to take on the entire world.

    “And I never lose. Bring it!”

    Choice!
    You are attacked by a horde of Heavenly Eagles, magical beasts sent by the enemy Servant. You are worried that Alisha can’t handle this by herself. What do you do?

    1. Fight them in her place
    2. Be a meat shield for her
    3. Try to distract them to buy her some time
    4. Give her permission to move freely
    5. Stay behind her and do nothing
    6. Write-In
    Character Status
    Player:
    Health: Optimal
    Od: Good
    Command Spells: 6

    Alisha:
    Health: Optimal
    Od: Good
    Command Spells: 1

    Bonus Question
    What is the Enemy Servant’s True Name?

    Note: Another True Name guessing mini-game. This time, you don't have to answer immediately if you're not confident, but the earlier you answer correctly, the more benefits you get. Also, this time, you'll need majority consensus on an answer to have it be considered the correct one.


  15. #175
    リビングデッド Living Dead Wyvern's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Brazil
    Age
    24
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    82
    I would say...4. Give her permission to move freely.

    We are about to get swarmed, and while her fighting style can account for that, she needs to be able to move. Us doing nothing won't help, us trying to protect her won't help, us trying to fight on her place won't help. Trying to distract them will only put us in the line of fire. What we need is survive until she's done killing them all. Maybe that will prove to her that Ben can look after himself.

  16. #176
    wwwww Spartacus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    5,556
    JP Friend Code
    616288630 tell/pm/whatev
    Blog Entries
    4
    4.
    True Name: Daji

  17. #177
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    ...I forgot.
    Age
    20
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    1,144
    Blog Entries
    1
    4

    Also, putting the True Name Vote as Su Daji
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

    [Collection of my Servant Sheets]
    Now Revamped!

  18. #178
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Bird of Hermes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    England
    Age
    23
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    3,222
    US Friend Code
    139729726
    Blog Entries
    7
    4, we don’t have the bulk to Meat Shield and loud zappy magus is far more attention seeking than a dude in a tracksuit. Mobility will keep everyone alive.

    Also a ‘Forest of Meat’ people run around naked in with beasts, monsters and traps in absolutely REAKS of Daji and her cronies.

  19. #179
    死徒 Dead Apostle zikari8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    714
    Blog Entries
    1


    Year: 2018

    Location: Forest of Meat (?)

    “Here they come!”

    There was no time to think. The ‘Heavenly Eagles’ were closing in at breakneck speed. All I have time to do is brace myself for whatever comes next.

    Alisha, on the other hand, is quick to violence as always. While I stood thinking of what to do, she began chanting and channeling the prana within her as small orbs of light began to appear around her.

    “Take this!
    Magical Archery, Series of Lightning
    Sagitta Magica, Series Fulguralis!


    With her roar, numerous magical arrows burst forth from the orbs, shooting towards the sky like rising rockets. It was straight up a show of overwhelming might you would expect in a military artillery showcase.

    Yet, the eagles showed no sign of avoiding the attacks as they solely continue closing in on us. The moment the arrows came into contact with them, they suddenly seemed to evaporate like mist.

    “Tch, magic resistance…” Alisha curses as she observes the futility of her attack. Even I’m surprised that such a powerful seeming attack was useless.

    “D-do you have any attack that bypass that?” I worriedly question as I gawk at the magical beasts. We definitely need to up our firepower or else we won’t even be able to hurt these things.

    “I do, I do! So, just shut up and get behind me!” Alisha barks in response, taking a bold step forward.

    At that very moment, the birds begin their attack. Once they’re practically overhead, they do a sudden nosedive and shoot down towards us like falling arrows.

    Windflower Barrier
    Flans Paries Aerialis
    !”

    Like before, Alisha brings out her wind shield, just in time. The eagles crash into the intangible wall like pigeons to a window. The consecutive impacts shake the very air in front of me.

    What power and speed. Forget animals, aren’t these things more like straight-up weapons? Wait… could it be that the projectile that hit my horse earlier was actually one of these eagles?

    “Tch, not enough. As expected of magical beasts…” Alisha grimaces as the birds quickly recover from their failure and rise back into the sky.

    It seems that the damage of hitting a thick wall wasn’t enough to knock them out. They regroup in the air without any major sign of injury, preparing their next attack and—

    “Oi! They’re splitting up.” I point as I notice the eagles swiftly moving apart, one group circling to our rear.

    Are they trying to attack from multiple sides to get through Alisha’s defenses? That’s far cleverer than I would’ve ever expected from some birds. Are they just that smart or… is someone controlling them?

    Now, once more, the condors launch their diving attack and Alisha bravely responds to the challenge. Twirling around and whirling her wand, she casts a different spell.

    Boundary of Air
    Limes Aerialis
    !”

    Once again, the incoming eagles are stopped in the air as if they hit a wall. But this time, it’s not just the ones right in front of her, but those from every angle.

    I see, a complete barrier of wind covering all 360 degrees. This way, she can protect us from every direction. Once again, I can only be impressed by Alisha’s magical prowess. But to use such a powerful spell…

    “Oh? How impressive. You’re actually defending against the legendary Iron Beak Condors. I should applaud you.” The booming voice praises without restraint. I can even hear the sound of clapping echo in my mind.

    Iron Beak Condors? Is that the name of these eagles? Even though Servants usually hide their identity, it seems this one has no such desire. Well, I’ve personally never heard that name before, so it means nothing to me.

    “Haah… haah… of course. This is nothing. It’ll take more than a few birds to defeat us.” Alisha boasts in response, after taking some heavy breaths.

    “Hahaha. Nice, nice. I love a young girl’s bravado!” The voice snickers humorously. Then, with a sudden sinister turn, it quietly murmurs. “It makes it all the more delightful to see her fall into painful despair.”

    With that, the eagles make their third wave of fierce attacks.

    But it immediately becomes obvious that their attacks are different, this time around.

    Instead of all of them attacking at once, they’re suddenly staggering the timing of their dives and circling all around. The moment one finishes attacking, another immediately flies in. In other words, it’s a constant barrage of attacks from every single direction.

    The only thing Alisha can do to keep up is maintain her 360° barrier at all times. The moment she lets up, our defenses will be penetrated, and we’ll be defeated instantly.

    “Dammit…” Alisha curses under her breath. Sweat was already beginning to gather on her brow.

    This is bad. Even I can tell how bad this is.

    It’s taking all of Alisha’s concentration to keep up the barrier, so she doesn’t have any time to set up a counterattack. But she can’t keep this up forever, either. From the looks of it, this full barrier takes up even more magical energy than the shield; maintaining it against this constant barrage must be draining her reserves rapidly.

    At this rate, she’s going to lose. I need to something to help her. But… what can I do?

    “There’s nothing you can do. You’re useless.”

    A haunting voice from within reminds me of reality.

    I don’t even need to think; I already know there’s nothing I can do.

    Like Alisha said, all I’m good for is standing back and letting her handle everything. I’m too weak to fight the enemies or be a shield for her, and there isn’t anything I can do to buy her time. In fact, just being here tied to her is limiting her options. Rather than helping, I’m only dragging her down.

    If only I could keep up with her movements, she might be able to freely run about, but I can’t. At my level, it’d be impossible for me to follow along with her insane acrobatics. I’d just mess up and make everything worse. So, I shouldn’t even try.

    That’s right. I’m just dead weight. All I can do is sit back and let her protect me. I should just hurry up, stop being stubborn, and accept my uselessness…

    … no, what am I thinking?

    I’m useless? There’s nothing I can do? I’m only holding her back?

    Idiot. I already knew that from the start!

    I’m here right now because I know that I’m powerless, because I know there isn’t anything worthwhile about me. But I became a Master to prove myself wrong.

    So, when did I get a big head about my own limits? Instead of thinking about what I can do, I should be thinking about what I need to do and do that even if it’s impossible.

    That’s the only way to become a hero!

    “Alisha.” I call out, having found renewed determination.

    “What? I’m busy.” She barks back, clearly frustrated at the situation.

    “Please, move however you want. I won’t hold you back anymore.” I tell her.

    “… huh?” She looks back at me, clearly surprised. It seems that she wasn’t expecting me to suddenly turn face, but this isn’t the time for arguing.

    “Just do whatever you need to do to win. This time, I’ll do my best to follow your movements.” I say. Full of spirit, I end up unconsciously clenching my fist – or rather, gripping her hand tightly.

    “… are you sure?” She questions with clear doubt in her voice. Yet, even so, I could sense a slight tinge of excitement beneath the surface.

    “Yea. I’ll do my best. No, I’ll definitely do it.” I assure her.

    This is all I can do, the only thing that will save us now. If I can’t do anything, then all I can do is stop being a burden and allow Alisha to fight at her full potential.

    At first, Alisha responds to my assertion with an expression of worry. Then, it shifts into one of contemplation, then acceptance, and finally she breaks out in a huge grin.

    “Heh. Why didn’t you say so sooner, idiot!?” She exclaims with absolute excitement.

    Then, with a flick of her wrist, she makes her move. The barrier of wind that she had been maintaining suddenly bursts, causing a large explosion of air pressure in the area. All of the eagles are caught in it, getting sent flying back in all directions.

    But such a trick only lasts a few moments. Capable of flight, the eagles quickly stop themselves mid-air and prepare to attack again. Which means, in that slight window of opportunity—

    “Now, let’s go! Run!” Alisha commands and starts sprinting away.

    “A-alright.” I reply with vigor and follow her high-speed escape. I don’t know what she’s planning, but this isn’t the time to question her. All I can do is trust and follow her, even if she’s driving us straight to hell.

    Moving as one, we dash out of the lake clearing and into the Forest of Meat. Dodging and waving through trees, we start making our way through the forest at dangerous speeds.

    It’s taking everything I have to keep up with Alisha’s sprinting, but I’m barely managing. Meanwhile, those damn eagles have already recovered and are chasing after us. It seems that they’ve split up once again: some of them are flying overhead to keep an eye on us, while the rest are following our trail from behind.

    Just like before, the birds are incredibly fast and I’m barely keeping distance by sprinting with all my might… hold on, that’s strange. The Heavenly Eagles were moving as fast as bullets earlier, so how haven’t they already caught up with us?

    Could it be that they can’t fly full speed through the forest without crashing into the trees? Is that Alisha’s plan?

    “Hey, Bengshan. Tell me if you see any jutted branches in our path that seem breakable.” Alisha suddenly orders, just as I’m questioning her strategy. At the same time, she makes a little running hop and snaps a somewhat long branch right off one of the trees we run past. Taking the broken off branch, she immediately starts running again with it in her hand.

    “Huh? Uh, sure. Should I also collect them?” I ask, having no idea what she’s doing.

    “Nah, leave it to me. Just focus on spotting them and running.” She replies coolly.

    All I can do is nod in response and do as she says. A part of me wants to ask her why, but I quickly realize I shouldn’t. We’re being watched right now by the enemy, so anything Alisha tells me might also give away her plan.

    Right now, all I can do is trust Alisha blindly and do whatever she says.

    Our mad chase through the forest continues for a few more intense minutes. I’m already feeling incredibly winded – my body screaming at me to give up – but it seems like Alisha got what she wanted as she’s now holding onto a decently large collection of sticks as she runs.

    “Good job, Bengshan. Preparations are complete.” She beams, looking giddily at her new collection of wood.

    “Preparations for what?” I can’t help but ask, having gotten no clues at all to her plan in the last few minutes.

    “Hehe, watch this.
    My Staff
    Mea Verga
    !” She chants smugly and begins pouring magical energy into the sticks.

    Then, in an instant, the sticks begin moving, entangling, and merging together. Within a few moments, the wood has joint together to form a single, long and sturdy stick with a little foliage at the end of it. The moment I see the shape, I immediately recognize what it’s supposed to be.

    “Wait, you mean you’re…” I gasp at the realization.

    “That’s right. It’s time for our counterattack.” She proudly boasts and brandishes her newly made stick.

    No, it’s not a stick anymore – it has already become a full-fledged makeshift broom. Which means, I’m in for one hell of a ride now.

    “Come on, let’s go.” She urges as she hops onto the broom, which was now levitating a meter above the ground.

    “Ah, dammit. I don’t have a choice, do I?” I make one last complaint before jumping on as well.

    With both of us on board, the broom immediately sets off. It rockets up above the trees and into the sky within a few seconds.

    That’s right. Like a scene straight out of a fairytale, Alisha and I were now riding a magic broom to fly. Honestly, is there no limit to the insanity this woman is capable of?

    “Alright, now I can go all out!” Alisha states with brimming excitement as she flies the broom straight up. Her target was clear: the few eagles that had been flying above instead of chasing us.

    There are five eagles above us in total. Without missing a beat, two of them immediately attack us the moment we enter range. Like before, they dive down with the speed of incoming ballistics, but Alisha adeptly maneuvers the broom to dodge past them. They fly past us harmlessly and we continue to soar towards the remaining three. All the while, Alisha’s begun her incantation.

    Cut down my enemy, thunder from the void
    "Κενότητος ἀστραψάτω δὲ τεμέτω"
    .

    Seeing the other two fail to hit their mark, the other three eagles begin their attack, but it’s already too late. Alisha’s already flown within range and completed her incantation.

    Axe of God
    Διὸς τύκος!


    A large burst of electricity is shot out of her wand and flung at the eagles. Like a merciless guillotine, it slices through all three with a single swing.

    Just like that, the match is decided in an instant. We continue our ascent unscratched as burnt bird corpses fall to the ground in pieces.

    “Woah…” I find myself gawking a little at how easy that seemed, after all the trouble we were going through minutes ago.

    I understand now; this was Alisha’s plan. While she’s flying on her broom, Alisha can dodge enemy attacks and chant her spells at the same time, thereby eliminating her primary weakness. It’s another ingenious tactic, likely born from her years of combat experience.

    “No time to relax. They’re coming back for more.” Alisha calls out, snapping me back the reality. Like she said, the eagles that had been in the forest were flying up now. Without the trees in their way, they can fly at full speed now. “Hold on tight!”

    “Eh? Wait, where am I supposed to hold on- Wahh!” I begin to ask her before the broom suddenly accelerates wildly. The sudden speed nearly throws me off the broom entirely and I’m forced to desperately wrap my free arm around Alisha’s waist to keep myself from plummeting to death.

    As an aside, did you know that sitting on a broom while naked is extremely uncomfortable? I’m not sure who has it worse, Alisha or me, but I guess she’s too focused on the battle to care about stuff like that.

    With our increased speed, we soar through the skies, managing to stay away from the bullet-like Heavenly Eagles on our tail. Even so, it was clear that they were ever so slightly catching up to us with each passing moment.

    I wonder what Alisha’s next strategy is. Could she be planning to engage in an all-out aerial dogfight? I don’t think I’ll be able to hold on if she starts doing supersonic loops and flips in mid-air.

    It turns out, however, that the machinations of Alisha’s mind are even crazier than I had feared.

    “Alright, that should be enough. You take over!” She suddenly shouts, the wind slightly obscuring her voice.

    “Huh? Wait, what do you mean I–” I quickly question, wondering if I heard wrong, but it’s left unneeded as Alisha shows me immediately what she means.

    Without another word, Alisha takes her hands off the broom and jumps up. Her feet land on it as she stands looking backwards at the incoming enemies. Immediately afterwards, the broom begins to shake dangerously.

    “I need to concentrate on aiming, so I leave the rest to you.” She states without any doubt in her voice.

    “Ehhh? Hold on, hold on, I don’t know how to fly this thing.” I tell her, increasingly worried about the broom beginning to shake. It’s not gonna just stop flying and plummet us to the ground will it?

    In response to my concern, Alisha replies in a not-at-all reassuring voice.

    “Don’t worry, it’s kind of like a bicycle.”

    “In what way!?”

    I’m starting to feel panicked about the whole thing. There’s no handle or wheel to steer; it’s just a goddamn stick. This is impossible for me.

    “I know you’ll figure it out. I’m counting on you.” She states lackadaisically. And yet… I sense no doubt in her voice, whatsoever.

    Fine, then. I just have to do it right? Then, I’ll do it no matter what.

    I grab the stick with my free hand and try to keep it from shaking. Doing so, however, suddenly causes the broom to start flying wildly in weird directions.

    “W-w-what are you doing?” Alisha shrieks as she desperately tries to maintain her balance. “Keep it steady, will you?”

    “I’m trying! I told you I don’t know what I’m doing.” I shout back while trying all sorts of things to make the broom listen to my commands.

    After a few more seconds of panic, I manage to get the hang of it and get the damn things flying in a semi-stable state. Not only is the thing an unknown instrument, I have a hard time seeing up ahead, since Alisha’s standing right in front of me. The best I can do is get a little glimpse by looking through her legs. Considering that, I can only be thankful that we’re high up in the air, rather than near the ground, else we would’ve crashed and died already.

    “Move to the left a bit more. A little bit more… no too far, go back. Alright, that’s good, now angle up a little…” Alisha barks orders at me, occasionally stomping her bare feet in annoyance at my ineptitude. But eventually, I get it to fly exactly the way she wants.

    “Alright, here I go!” She shouts with dynamic energy once everything’s in place. “I’ll finish this in one attack.”

    I can tell she’s not even boasting. An immense amount of magical energy is flowing through her, greater than anything she’s exhibited before. In terms of pure energy output, this might even be on the level of Noble Phantasms.

    Which means that it’s truly her final attack. She must already be running on low after using this much flight magic, so she has to end this as fast as possible. She isn’t just planning to end this in one attack; she only has enough energy left for this final attack.

    There’s a lot about that that worries me, but if she’s decided that this is necessary, then I’m not gonna question her now. I said that I’d follow her movements, so I won’t complain anymore. I just have to support her with everything I have. For now, all I need to do is keep this damn broom as steady as possible, so she won’t miss this final gambit.

    Come, spirits of air and thunder! Let the Southern Storm blow with lightning...
    Veniant spiritus aerialis fulgurientes! Cum fulguriationis flet tempestas austrina…


    Perhaps the enemy Servant has realized what’s happening as the eagles suddenly stop chasing us and begin scattering, but it’s already too late. They aren’t fast enough to evade what’s about to hit them.

    It is a miracle beyond anything I’ve ever seen. Roaring winds that could topple buildings, lightning that could obliterate nature – right before my eyes, a magical phenomenon on the level of natural disasters is being performed.

    Honestly… it’s infuriating. Power beyond my reach, magecraft beyond my comprehension, talent beyond me acceptance… even if I trained my entire life, I know I will never reach this level. Just watching it makes me sick.

    Still… I can’t look away. She’s simply too enchanting.

    Jupiter's Tempest
    Iovis Tempestas Fulguriens!


    At last, Alisha’s ultimate attack is unleashed.

    Wind and lightning join together in a dance of unbridled destruction. An actual thunderstorm shoots out from her hand and rips through the sky towards her unfortunate targets. Everything in the way, even the very air itself, is enveloped by the thundering winds.

    It is, simply put, a manifestation of destruction. It is a calamity capable of destroying entire armies. The very sky and heavens themselves are shaken by the attack.

    It takes everything I have to keep us from being blown away as well.

    After many long seconds of annihilation, the storm finally calms, and peace returns to the sky. Nothing is left in the area of attack, neither cloud nor bird…

    “Haah… haah… I did it…” Alisha pants. The exhaustion in her voice is so apparent that I could imagine her collapsing at any moment. Yet, once she confirmed her victory, she joyfully jumps and cheers. “I did it! We did it, Bengshan! We won!”

    Like a little child, she hops up and down in some sort of strange, celebratory dance. Honestly, looking at her now, you wouldn’t ever expect she was the same person who just turned the entire sky into a death zone.

    Did she forget she was standing on an unstable broom, completely naked? With the battle over, I hastily look away, lest I see anymore bouncing things in my view.

    “Y-yeah, I get it. You did great, so calm down already.” I timidly respond, trying to maintain whatever pure modesty I have left.

    “Aw, c’mon, don’t be like that. You did great too, so you should be happy. I couldn’t have done this without you, after all.” She giggles, perhaps misunderstanding my meekness. “See? I told you that you could do it.”

    “… yeah, sure.” I apathetically reply.

    What’s she talking about? I didn’t do anything; she did all the work.

    Besides, what’s with her attitude? One moment she’s calling me useless and the next she has complete faith in me. I still just don’t get her.

    “Alright, now that that’s done, let’s finish this.” Alisha declares boldly. “Full-speed ahead to the enemy castle!”

    “Eh? We’re going there right now?” I ask, taken aback by the sudden judgement.

    “Of course. Now that we know the destination, there’s no need to hesitate. We’ll just fly over there and finish this in one fell swoop.” She explains energetically, pointing at the large pavilion in the distance. Speaking of which, now that I notice it, we’d been flying towards it the whole time during the chase. Was this her plan from the start?

    I take a moment to consider the idea. Certainly, it’d be convenient to fly directly to the destination, rather than suffer more trekking in the dangerous forest below. Also, the earlier we finish this, the better it’ll be for many reasons. Considering that, perhaps it’s actually a rather good idea.

    This time around, I suppose I’ve witnessed firsthand how clever Alisha can be when it comes to combat. In a sense, I have a slightly better impression of her. So, I guess I’ll go along with what she says this time.

    “Okay, if you have no complaints, let’s sally forth and… uh oh.” Alisha begins to cheer, but suddenly stops short. Wait, that doesn’t sound good.

    “W-what’s wrong?” I ask frightened.

    “Um… I might maybe perhaps definitely don’t have enough prana to fly anymore.” She admits with a gloomy expression.

    “Eh?” I make a final exasperated gasp.

    And in the next moment, we begin falling to the ground.

    “AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!”

    “GODAMMIT, ALISHA!”

    We both scream at the top of our lungs as we drop from the sky. As the ground gets closer and closer, we cling to each other in fear of our inevitable death.

    I take everything back. I still hate this woman.


  20. #180
    死徒 Dead Apostle zikari8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    714
    Blog Entries
    1


    Character Status
    Player:
    Health: Good
    Od: Good
    Command Spells: 6

    Alisha:
    Health: Good
    Od: Critical
    Command Spells: 1

    Year: 2018
    Location: Forest of Meat (?)

    “Uggh…”

    With a tense groan, I rest my head on the wall and try to calm my body as much as I can.

    In the end, we managed to survive our certain-death free fall thanks to Alisha using the last of her energy to make a cushion of air that softened our fall. We still hit the ground rather harsh though, so my head was left ringing like a bell.

    Afterwards, we realized it was getting dark and, with our main fighter out of commission, we decided to call it for the day and get some rest. We found a large pavilion nearby and made it our base for the night, setting up a simple barrier over it to, at the very least, alert us if an enemy attacks us.

    So now, all that was left was for us to get some rest and hopefully be rejuvenated enough to take up the challenge tomorrow. However…

    “H-hey, Alisha. Are you okay?” I ask with concern to the naked woman sitting next to me.

    With her back against the wall, she is sprawled lifelessly on the floor, seemingly showing no concern for her exposed body. Her eyes are already closed, but her heavy breathing was rather conspicuous in the silent pavilion.

    “… y-yeah, I’m fine.” She replies after a short pause. She doesn’t even bother to open her eyes to look at me as she speaks.

    That reaction deepens my concern. She’s clearly not doing well if she can’t even muster the strength to cover herself or open her eyes. The reason is obvious: she’s completely out of magical energy.

    It’s no surprise. She’s been using all sorts of high-power spells all day on top of using draining barrier and flight magic as well as that super move. Frankly, I’m more surprised she even managed to push herself that far.

    “Are you sure? You… don’t look well.” I continue to press her with worry.

    Don’t misunderstand, though. It’s not like I’m that worried or anything; I just want her to be in top shape for battle tomorrow.

    “Like I said, I’m fine. I just… need some sleep and I’ll get back some energy.” She assures me, but I’m not entirely convinced. She’s definitely putting on a brave front.

    “Um, well, if there’s anything I can do to help, just say it.” I mention as softly as I can. Even if I’m worried, there’s only so much I can do.

    It’s been hammered into me a lot since I came to this world, but today I really recognized just how useless I am. Alisha was absolutely correct about me. Forget a Servant, I can’t even do anything against an animal. I wasn’t able to help her out at all; I only held her back.

    Still, I wanna be able to do something to help her. Even if it’s as simple as giving her a massage or something.

    For a moment, Alisha doesn’t respond, just continuing to breathe heavily, and I wonder if she didn’t hear me. But then, for the first time, she slightly nudges her face towards me and pries her eyes open a bit.

    “… well, then, let’s talk a bit.” She suggests quietly. “I’m a bit too tired to pass out at the moment, but if I listen to your stupid voice enough, I’ll probably be bored to sleep.”

    “Oh, uh, sure.” I immediately agree, since I was the one who offered to do anything. “But um… what do you want to talk about?”

    “Let’s see… I sure would like to know why you’re such a big idiot.” She says plainly.

    “Ugh… um, no comment.” Tch, why’d I think she’d be serious. She’s being just as annoying as always.

    “Haha, just kidding. That was a joke.” She giggles lightly. “Let’s see… well then, I guess I’m a little interested in why someone like you decided to become a Master of Chaldea. You don’t seem like the type.”

    “… you sure ask rather personal questions, don’t you?” I snidely remark.

    “Penetrating questions are the most interesting and fun, don’t you think?” She replies in a giddy tone. Honestly, this woman is a real piece of work.

    “Well… I was recruited. So, it wasn’t really my decision or anything.” I reply after a little thought.

    “You still could’ve said no, you know. Why didn’t you?” She asks, not letting me dodge the question.

    “I dunno. I guess I just wanted to help save the world.” I shrug.

    There’s no way I can tell her my actual reason for joining Chaldea, so I give a vague, generic response.

    “I see. Then, what do you think about our world being bleached? Do you miss your family or anything?” She asks another difficult question.

    “… not really. There wasn’t anyone I truly cared about back in the old world.” I answer coldly.

    There really wasn’t anyone, when I think about it. I was already estranged from my Father, I killed my Mother a long time ago and I didn’t have any friends or acquaintances, so I was already alone to begin with. It really makes no difference to me in the long run if I ever see those people again.

    “What about you, though? Surely, you had some friends or family.” I bounce the topic back at Alisha. She, however, seems just as unfazed as I am.

    “Nah, I don’t care about them. As long as I’m with Starkad, I’m happy.” She replies plainly. I’m almost amazed at how instant her answer is.

    To be able to say such things so nonchalantly… she really is a proper magus, huh. So cold she doesn’t even bat an eye at the thought of genocide. I’m simultaneously disgusted and impressed.

    Thinking that, a morbid curiosity springs up within me.

    “H-hey, Alisha… how many people have you killed in your life?” I wonder despite knowing what kind of question I’m asking.

    This was way too personal for a regular conversation. No, it’s the type of question you really should never ask. I don’t even really want to ask it myself. Yet, I can’t help myself from wondering.

    I want to know just how many corpses lie behind this violent woman. No… I just want to compare the amount of blood on our hands.

    Alisha, herself, though doesn’t seem bothered by the question. After some thinking, she responds casually.

    “Hm, I’m not sure. I stopped counting a long time ago.”

    “O-oh. I see…”

    My fingers quiver a little from the response. I don’t know if I’m even surprised or not. It wasn’t a direct answer, but it gave me a good idea of just how many there were.

    So, she too is a mass murderer.

    … dammit, what am I thinking? I should be absolutely appalled, so why do I feel a little relieved to know that?

    My stomach feels sick. Just thinking about this makes my insides unravel. Yet, at the same time, my heart’s beating wildly and my body’s shaking like it was hit by a rush of adrenaline. Perhaps, I’m being driven by that illogical sense of relief as I continue to want to ask her more.

    “Um… do you really not care about it?” I interrogate further.

    “Huh? What do mean?” She asks, looking confused.

    “I mean… you’re acting so carefree. Does it not bother you at all? Killing people that is.” I try to explain the unceasing questions filling my heart. “Do you not think murder… is bad?”

    “Ah, that huh. Well… not really.” She just shrugs. “I guess I cared a little bit when I was a kid killing for the first time, but I got over it soon enough. If I allowed such doubts to cloud my mind, I’m sure I would’ve died a long time ago.”

    “You got over it, huh? … you sure say that easily.” I remark, somewhat bitterly.

    “Well, that’s just how it is. It’s not like I enjoy it or anything, but you can’t be a chef without breaking a few dishes once in a while. It was kill or be killed, and I don’t like dying, so I took their life first. That’s just how the world works; no need to pull a fuss over it.” She explains calmly with the same tone she uses to teach one of her lectures.

    What a sickening mindset. And yet, I can’t really say anything against it. I can tell from how she speaks that she isn’t treating the subject lightly either; it’s simply become normal for her after her many years of life. It is merely the practical stance for a magus; something I should probably learn to adapt as well.

    “But… even so, I don’t like it…” I mumble, almost inaudibly.

    That’s right. Even if that’s how the world actually works, I don’t want it to be true; I don’t want to accept such a cruel and justice less reality. A future where I can shrug off the blood on my hands… is not something I even want to think about.

    It seems Alisha picked up my words as she makes a difficult expression. Then, almost just as quietly, she mutters with closed eyes.

    “As I thought, I guess I should be doing all the fighting after all…”

    “Huh?”

    I’m absolutely dumbfounded by her reaction. What’s with the sudden change in topic? How did she come to that conclusion after what we were talking about? Moreover, is she still on about the whole ‘doing everything by herself’ shtick?

    Alisha, on the other hand, opened her eyes once more to look at me solemnly.

    “D-don’t misunderstand. I appreciate your help today; I don’t think I could’ve quite done it without you.” She clarifies in a surprisingly gentle tone. “But still, it’s clear to me now that you have no place on the battlefield. Someone like you shouldn’t be fighting others.”

    “… what are you talking about?” I question, completely confused.

    “I’m saying you’re just not a fighter. It’s one thing to be super weak, but you don’t even like fighting, right? Then there’s no need to force yourself to try. Just give up.” She states in a calm tone, as if trying to let me down gently.

    “Wha- that’s not- wait, hold on. I can’t just give up.” I try to argue against her cold judgement. “I know I’m still weak now, but there has to still be something I can do. I’ll try to get stronger so then…”

    “No, you don’t get it. Like I said, it’s not about how strong you are. What you lack is the heart of a killer. You don’t want to kill anyone. Rather, you can’t bring yourself to kill someone, and even if you do, you’ll live with that pain forever until you one day break.” She viciously points out. “Simply put, you’re too much of a nice guy. And the battlefield is no place for nice people.”

    I don’t know how to respond. Faced with her cruel but rational assessment, I’m unable to argue. All I’m left with is the question of whether or not she’s right.

    Is that it? Do I just not have any talent for combat on a fundamental level? Do I just have to accept and live with that?

    “But then… what am I supposed to do?”

    To not fight others… am I just supposed to sit on the sidelines, letting everyone else fight for me?

    Am I destined to be a pathetic weakling forever, after all?

    “Oh, don’t make that face. You look pathetic, Bengshan.” Alisha remarks after taking a look at my expression of despair, practically on the verge of tears. “Why are you so stubborn about trying to fight anyways? You kept arguing with me and everything. I never understood it.”

    “S-shut up. I’m not… I just…” I try to respond, but the words won’t come out.

    I can’t say it. I can’t tell her that I just want to prove myself. That I want to become a hero that other people will acknowledge, someone that people will accept, the opposite of a murderous monster.

    Without any response, I merely sulk in the shame of my own goals. And—

    “To begin with, if you have time to try and get stronger, why don’t you go and polish one of your many other talents?”

    “Huh?”

    Out of nowhere, Alisha’s strange statement breaks me out of my sulking mood. Seemingly not noticing, she continues to speak casually.

    “I mean, you’re not like me who only knows how to fight. There are so many other things you’re good at, so I don’t get what you’re so obsessed about. I think the only logical thing would be to leave all the fighting to me and handle the all the other stuff, since you’re so good at those things.” She muses in a slightly miffed tone, like that of a person forced to explain the obvious.

    Once more, I’m hit with surprise after surprise. I can’t even believe my ears. Was she saying what I thought she was saying?

    Did she… just genuinely praise me?

    As if a red mist clouding my eyes was evaporated by lightning shock, I feel as if my view of Alisha has suddenly gotten a little clearer.

    Now that I think about it, I feel like I’ve heard the words she just said somewhere else before.

    “Well, you don’t have to worry anymore. I’m here now so everything will be fine. You can leave all the fighting to me and just stay at home doing whatever you do.”

    That’s right. Those were the words she said when we first met in this world, our very first conversation.

    Back then I took it as her looking down on my abilities but… could it be that this is what she meant? That I’m not suited for fighting and should instead focus on what I’m good at?

    “Alisha, you… you think that I’m talented?” Confused, I try to confirm her meaning.

    “Huh? Of course. Aren’t you?” She answers, looking just as confused as I am. “You’re really smart and you work hard and you’re good at talking to people. It’s no wonder you were chosen to be a Crypter.”

    “…” I’m completely stunned silent.

    I simply can’t believe my own ears. I must be dreaming; there’s no way Alisha would say that about me. She thinks I’m just a useless pile of trash, right? She thinks I’m pitiful dead-wieght that needs to be protected, right? She thinks that I’ll never amount to anything, right?

    Right?

    “… are you serious? You really think that?” I find myself asking in absolute disbelief.

    “Huh? Of course. Would I joke about something like that?” She shoots back, mildly annoyed. It doesn’t look like she was lying. But that means—

    No, that can’t be true. After all, with everything she said…

    Unable to accept the revelation, I begin searching through my own memories for proof against it.

    “But you said that I was weak…”

    “Well, duh. You are.”

    But being weak is okay. You have other good qualities.

    For the first time, I feel like I’m actually picking up on the hidden meanings behind her words, the things this dense idiot doesn’t know how to say clearly.

    “B-but you said I should just stay at home.”

    “Yeah. That’s where you belong.”

    Your talents manifest best in a peaceful environment rather than on the battlefield.

    “You keep trying to protect me, though…”

    “Duh, you’d super die if I didn’t and I can’t have that.”

    I care about your well-being. You’re too valuable to lose.

    “You said that this Lostbelt would be a cakewalk now that you’re here.”

    “Mhm. You were already managing on your own and I can do everything you can’t. So, everything should be easy now that I’m here.”

    Our strengths and weaknesses complement each other perfectly, so we make the ideal team.

    “Y-you said that you’re better than me…”

    “Of course. I’m the best.”

    But you’re not bad yourself.

    “You… said that I was useless…”

    “Huh? I told you already. I never said that!”

    I’m completely bewildered. Everything I had taken as a personal insult… wasn’t actually mean-spirited at all? In her own way, she was trying to compliment my good points…

    The more I think back and try to remember the reasons I hate her, the less ground I find myself standing on. Instead, I begin to recall more and more certain incidents. Memories of her words flow through me rapidly.

    “Wow, now that I say it, don’t we make a great team?”

    “It’s like we’re on the same wavelength, y’know.”

    “I’ll handle all the fighting myself… I… can’t let you get involved in this.”

    “What if you die instantly? I don’t want that. I can’t handle that. I want to be with you!”

    “See? I told you that you could do it.”

    “Well then, let’s do this, partner.”

    Countless instances begin shining in the newfound light.

    All this time, was I actually mistaken about her intentions? Could it be that I was wrong about her?

    Did Alisha really just want to work together in a way that utilized both our strengths? Did she just want to keep me out of harm’s way because she genuinely cares about my well-being? Did she try to do all the fighting in order to let me focus on the other tasks of a Crypter?

    Had I been so fixated with trying to prove my own strength that I neglected everything else? Was I the one obsessed with power levels? Was I just projecting my insecurities onto her?

    Could it be that… Alisha actually thinks more highly of me than I do?

    … I don’t know what to think anymore. I feel as if my entire world has been flipped on its side. I just can’t accept this optimistic interpretation easily, without time to properly digest it.

    At the very least, though, I think I understand this weird woman in front of me just a little bit better now…

    D-don’t misunderstand though. It’s not like I don’t dislike her anymore.

    She’s still a total bitch. She’s arrogant and conceited and does look down on everyone. She doesn’t think about other people’s feelings and does whatever she wants. Most of all, she has zero social tact, managing to somehow insult people even when she’s trying compliment them. She’s an absolute garbage fire of a human being.

    But… I guess I might not have as much reason to personally hate her anymore…

    Wise-up! Alisha's Status
    Affection Up!
    You no longer hate Alisha with a fiery passion.
    You somewhat understand Alisha a little better now.

    “Grrrrrrrrrrrrrgrgrgrgggrrrrrrrrr…”

    Suddenly, in the middle of our conversation, a loud rumbling sound breaks the atmosphere.

    For a moment, I’m confused and worried. I wonder if we’re being attacked and that’s the sound of the barrier’s alarm.

    It’s only after I see Alisha’s flustered face turn away that I realize it was actually the sound of her stomach.

    “Oh, um… are you hungry, Alisha?” I ask hesitantly, seeing how embarrassed she looks.

    “S-shut up. I’m… just a little bit, okay?” She admits as violently as always.

    Honestly, she’s such a pain. What am I gonna do with her?

    Still, this reminds me how bad our situation is. Neither have us have eaten anything since we got here. That itself wouldn’t be too much of a problem, but Alisha’s completely out of magical energy. Without sustenance and nutrients, how much energy can she really recover from just sleeping?

    Even if she gets some back, will it be enough? We still have quite a bit of forest to walk through tomorrow, so who knows how much she’ll need. Either way, it’s obvious that the more she has, the better we are.

    I said that I’d do anything I could to help and support her.

    But what can I even do?

    Choice!
    Alisha is out of magical energy and many potential dangers await. What will you do in this situation?

    1) Mana Transfer
    2) Consume the meat and wine in the forest to replenish her energy
    3) Have her sleep more and hope that’ll recover enough magical energy to last
    4) She’s done enough. Summon Saber now
    5) Write-in


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •