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Thread: Fate/Closure [IC Thread]

  1. #141
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Servant Assassin (& Alicia Rosenkopf)
    Miyama- Homurahara Academy
    Night Phase



    Throughout the day, Alicia and you ventured through the streets of Miyama in search for survivors. As per your Master's orders, the two of you put emphasis on patrolling the School District, the reason why still not clear to you. It might have been the first thing that came to Alicia's mind when she was pressured to answer, or it might have had a deeper meaning, like the desire to meet others like herself. There is no sane parent out there who would send their children to the school under these circumstances, though. This 'Holy Grail War' you have been summoned into is breaking every rule you are aware of, starting with the obligation to keep the supernatural under wraps. That is to say, whereas the death of several bystanders is to be expected in a death-match like this one, there would always be an unspoken rule of keeping things as discrete as possible. Even when that is to fail, there would always be some sort of Special Organization out there to cover the truth and put the blame on something mundane, something that people without knowledge of the Moonlit world would easily accept.

    ... Nothing can be further from that ideal tournament than the reality in front of your eyes.

    Survivors? Not one to be found. Not in the School District, at the very last. The reason behind it should be obvious from a glance. The School District has been clearly the most affected by the singularity that manifested itself last night. There are traces of human presence alright, but not one of them has managed to keep their life. The exact time or cause of death is hard to figure out, mostly because most corpses have been reduced to chunks of meat splattered against the wall and other surfaces. Being the adult in charge, you had to take extra cautionary measures to avoid your Master from witnessing such scenes. What you know for sure is that this amount of damage cannot be brought about by a single force. And whatever it was, whatever they were, they certainly were not human. To call them beasts would be an underestimation, as well.

    Yes, the ones responsible cannot be anything less than Monsters.

    Claw marks on nearly every wall, entire houses reduced to nothing but piles of rubble and an abundance of the color red all serve to enforce your theory. Yeah, there is no one left to be rescued here. It's a depressing prospect, as your trip has not yielded any sort of benefit from a moral or strategic standpoint, but at least you managed to give your Master a tip or two on how to defend herself against the invisible threat that awaits. And it seems like the grim atmosphere has helped the little Master to take your advice to heart...

    Now, the evening is leaving its place to the night and you should head back to the Inn, as promised. The mist might be coming back soon and those back there have no reliable bodyguard to protect them were a shade to attack like the night before.

    At the same time... There is one place left to explore.

    Ironically, that is the Academy itself, Homurahara Gakuen, as the sign by the rusty gate read. You weren't here to see the original in its full splendor, but anyone can tell that this version pales in comparison to it. In addition to the damage present that is similar to the other buildings in the nearby area, there are clear signs of natural deterioration that make the school feel a lot more ominous, like a haunted house, and that's only from the outside. You have yet to step past the gate into its desolate yard...

    This is just your guts, your instincts talking...

    But the School District being the most affected might not be just a simple coincidence. You may as well be standing in the epicenter of the storm, looking at the origin of this whole tragedy.

    You know Alicia and you need to go back to the Inn...

    But, given how volatile things are since yesterday, this might be the only chance there is to explore this area with freedom. No, to explore this area at all.

    In order words, a decision needs to be made...

    -------

    Preparation Phase Results
    Alicia Rosenkopf's CQC Rank improved by 1!
    Last edited by hero; May 2nd, 2020 at 09:31 AM.
    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

  2. #142
    Hey! Are you ready to go? RoydGolden's Avatar
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    Alicia Rosenkopf (& Servant Assassin)
    Miyama- Homurahara Academy
    Night Phase


    "How cruel..." Alicia murmured softly. The morbid spectacle of corpses splattered about and eviscerated surpassed anything she could've imagined seeing here. Blood and loose chunks of meat painted the walls and ground like some demented art piece, all that remained of the students who'd called this district their home. Assassin had tried to her shield her eyes, likely seeing herself as the responsible adult in this situation, but even that had proved futile given the sheer volume of corpses littered in all directions.

    Surely, a normal girl would've fallen to her knees and vomited at such sight. And certainly, Alicia was disgusted by what she saw, both viscerally and morally. But... that disgust was colored by something else. A savage instinct welling up from deep within her, one that had begun awakening ever since she found herself unwittingly immersed in this 'Holy Grail War'. Alicia knew deep in the core of her soul. Whoever did this... whatever monster slaughtered innocent children, she wanted to make them pay. And brutally.

    "Kill..." she muttered, almost too faintly to be heard. "Kill... eat... rip apart... whoever did this.... killkillkill...!" As Alicia recited those words almost like a mantra she unconsciously brought her thumb to her lips and began to chew on it violently. A drop of blood broke free from her finger and trickled down her hand, shocking Alicia out of her reverie.

    "Master, are you okay? You've been a little quiet lately..." Assassin asked suddenly in a worried tone.

    "Ah, right!" Alicia blurted out, her weird thoughts from before vanishing. "It's nothing. I just... don't have any words after seeing something so horrible," she fumbled for an explanation. Alicia frowned. What had she been doing just now? It was like she'd blacked out for a second, and Assassin's words had dragged her back to wakefulness. No, not blacked out. More like, Alicia had felt an alien presence wash over her. Like 'she' was suddenly 'someone else'...

    Alicia shrugged off that line of thinking. There was no point worrying about weird stuff like that, not when there was such a real scene of horror right in front of her.

    "I'm sorry Master," Assassin said quietly. Her usual broad grin had broken the moment they'd arrived the massacre, replaced by a more cold and tense expression. Alicia felt unnerved at seeing her normally cheerful Servant so somber. "A young girl like you... shouldn't have to see something like this. It was a bad idea to come here."

    "...These wounds," Alicia said slowly, struggling to find the words. "They're clearly bestial, not human. Did animals do this?"

    Assassin shook her head. "No. Animals can certainly be cruel, but they only kill and eat to survive. Most of the flesh here hasn't even been touched after the kill. These things... Whatever did this, they acted for the simple purpose of killing. Not to gain anything from it, not to survive, just to end lives from this world. That's my feeling anyway. What we're looking for here... isn't some animal, but a monster."

    "A monster?" Alicia tilted her head quizically. A few years ago she would've proudly said such things didn't exist, but after seeing what she had in the last nights she knew the creatures that prowled the halls of people's nightmares were most certainly real.

    "Yeah. A monster like out of fairy tales. Something that only exists to bare its fangs against the weak and innocent. A convenient 'evil' that's meant to illustrate the moral of the fairy tale. Don't go out into the woods, listen to your parents, don't lie, that sort of thing. Monsters are always created by humans to affirm such concepts."

    Alicia fixed her Servant with a questioning look. She didn't really get what Assassin was saying. "Then... what would the moral of this 'fairy tale' be?"

    Assassin laughed. It wasn't a cheerful laugh, but more dark and sarcastic. "Unfortunately, I don't know. Things would be a lot easier if we did. But I'm guessing..." she thought back to the purpose of Holy Grail Wars. How they were created by Magi to reach the Root, the primal wellspring of all creation. A noble, beautiful goal, that they were willing to pour no end of blood and sacrifice into fulfilling. Then Assassin said "Something about the perils of forbidden knowledge, maybe."

    Alicia let those words roll around in her head for a while. She still didn't really get it. Then she asked curiously "How do you know this stuff anyway, Assassin?"

    Assassin paused briefly before breaking into a mock-offended grin. "Oi, asking an amnesiac how they know something. You really a bully, Master," she said teasingly.

    "O-oh, sorry!" Alicia stammered out an apology. She'd totally forgotten how her Servant claimed not to know anything about her past because of her summoning conditions.

    "It's fine Master..." Assassin said tersely. She quickly changed the subject. "Now, we should get going. No sense just staring at this scene forever. Besides, it's already dark and it might not be safe to wander around for much longer."

    "Right..." Alicia murmured in agreement. Even if they hadn't conducted a full search yet, Alicia held no doubt in her mind as to the grim answer. There were no survivors here. That conclusion drove like a nail into Alicia's mind, piercing the fantasies of saving grateful civilians that had danced through her eyes when she first came here. "We should go." There was no salvation to be found here, not in this land that had suddenly become as the depths of Hell.

    -Clang!

    A rusty sound.

    "Kyaaaaa-!" Alicia squeaked, nearly jumping out of her skin in surprise. Once she'd regained her bearings Alicia looked over and saw that the academy's gate in front of them had just mysteriously creaked open. It was probably just the wind, she told herself, but couldn't help but feel like there was some intention behind it. Something dark and terrifying, that wanted to lure them in to this building to devour them. Like the nectar of a carnivorous plant.

    ---On the other hand, if something that ominous was in the school, that opened up the possibility of finding answers there as well. Steadying her racing nerves Alicia took a timid step forward. "Hey, what are you doing Master?" Assassin called out. "I said it's time to head back now."

    "Homurahara Academy..." Alicia read the words on the rusty sign pinned to the gate. She knew this school. She hadn't gone to school there herself since she'd lived in another part of the city, but she knew students who had. She got an unexplainable instinct in the back of her mind that this school might've played an important role somehow in the tragedy that had just taken place. "Assassin," she said. "I don't think we should leave yet. There's something here, I can sense it. Something important."

    "What?" Assassin frowned doubtfully. "You mean, like survivors or somethin'?"

    "No..." Alicia shook her head. "At least, I don't think so. I just have a feeling, that somehow we might find answers if he go in there."

    "Alicia..." Assassin said seriously. "As I said, it's not safe here anymore, if it ever was. We should head back before it gets entirely dark. Some sixth sense isn't reason to go off and get yourself killed. Besides, we can always explore here some other day."

    "What if we can't though?" Alicia countered. She understood Assassin's reasoning, certainly she was scared of being here when the monsters that did this returned. But for some reason she couldn't back down on her hunch either. "The city... going by what miss Takagi said it seems to be changing quickly and unpredictably. What if we come back next morning and find the school's gone or collapsed or something? Then our only chance will have been lost."

    Assassin paused for a moment, as if mulling over Alicia's words, then gave a small, exasperated sigh. "I told you before that you're an unmanageable girl, right Master? Insisting on barging into this creepy place that looks like it's out of a horror movie. But I know you well enough by now that there's no 'suading you to back down. To be honest, I didn't wanna' say anything but I'm getting a weird smell from this place too. Like there is something otherworldly beyond those gates. I want answers too, and more than anything I'm pissed off at the bastards who did this. I may not be a good person but massacring innocent schoolkids is just... unforgivable," she said clenching her fists in rage.

    Alicia smiled. "So, we're going then?"

    Assassin returned the smile, flashing her usual brash grin. "Right-o. Lead the way, Master." Alicia felt reassured that her Servant had reverted to her usual dauntless demeanour.

    With those words Assassin and Alicia stepped forth into the barren schoolyard. The moment they passed the gate a grotesque aura assaulted Alicia's senses, nearly bringing her to her knees. "This feeling...!" she gasped, a deep dread suffusing her bones. Alicia knew. If the ruined school district was Hell, then this building was the Ninth Circle itself.

    "You alright Master?" Assassin asked. She was affected by the aura too, but didn't show it as outwardly as Alicia.

    "I'm fine," Alicia muttered, hastily straightening her stance. She felt like she'd already crossed a red line passing the gate, so there was no sense backing down now. "Let's keep going." The two girls strode up cautiously to the school's front door. It was rusty, like the gates, and crumbling slightly.

    Alicia traced a finger over the door, gathering dust. It felt normal at least, not throbbing with some gruesome organic texture. "But this is weird." She frowned, suddenly realized something. "The school... it's not just damaged like from the monsters, it looks old. Derelict. But that doesn't make sense. All this Holy Grail War stuff only started happening last night, so it shouldn't have had time to deteriorate this much. What's going on here?"

    "No clue." Assassin yawned, stretching out her arms restlessly above her head. "This crap's way out of my paygrade. But I've got a bad feeling about all of it..."

    "Well, our best shot at finding out is in there," Alicia said, pointing at the door.

    "Shall I do the honors?" Assassin smirked playfully. "If you're too scared, that is."

    "S-shut up!" Alicia stammered, blushing at her Servant's teasing. "I'm not scared of a simple door. Even if it does open up to a creepy, ruined probably hell-house..." Her words weren't helping reassure her any better so Alicia just reached out to open the door. Trembling fingers curled around the knob and twisted it open. The door creaked open ominously, sending chills down Alicia's spine. The inside of the school was dark enough that Alicia couldn't see it clearly.

    "Looks like it's time to go inside," Alicia said, turning to glance nervously at Assassin.

    "Don't worry, I've got your back Master," Assassin reassured. And with that, the two stepped inside.

  3. #143
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Aya Alayana
    Shinto - Church on the Hill


    This is a memory from over a decade ago, back in 2011, when you were just a little kid.

    The Alayana Family was still new to the land in Fuyuki and your father was doing everything in his power to make a name for yourselves. Naturally, you believed yourself more than capable of helping him with his duties, but the last time you had asked, he had given you the cold shoulder, telling you to focus on your Magecraft studies instead. In your honest opinion, you were already at the peak of what you could achieve at your current age given your current resources, so more practice was unnecessary. Perhaps because you had a natural affinity with the philosophy enforced by your blood line, even advanced spells could be carried out with ease. To add your intelligence and overall maturity were already on par with that of a young adult, so it wouldn't be mistaken to call you a prodigy.

    To improve any further, you would need a bigger sacrifice.

    Putting it in terms easy for anyone to understand, your father's blunt rejection was nothing but an excuse to protect you until he could finally convince himself that you were ready. That would happen several years later, but that's a story for another time. For now, it was expected for him to behave like this, considering that it was only the two of you.

    So that day, you decided to leave the loneliness of the hotel room in order to follow him. A tiny, controlled, fire -that nearly goes out of control, but fortunately didn't- on one of the other guests' rooms created the perfect diversion for your little body to avoid detection and leave the building unnoticed. Sadly, while your plan was ultimately a success, it took way too long for it to be set into motion and the prominent back of your father was nowhere to be seen in the crowded streets of Shinto.

    Still, while you recognized this was rather problematic, your methodical mind quickly pushed aside any notion of fear. Right, maybe you wouldn't be able to follow your father this time, but if you went smart about it, you could be able to take a trip around the city and be back on your room before he even realized you had been gone. This would allow you to grow more familiar with the city environment and thus favor your odds of success in future expeditions.

    Yes! It was decided!

    And so, after a walk across the shopping district and a spooky visit to the town's cemetery, you ended up staring at the big white church that stood atop of the hill. Needless to say, you already knew what it was that you were staring at, and you also were quite confident in what your stance as a believer was. That is to say, as an Alayana, no, as a Magus, you rejected the idea of a higher power the way it was defined by the Roman Catholic Church. Even if such a God existed, it would only serve as a temporary nourishment for humans, who would abuse its kindness until nothing of it remained.

    Nevertheless, this was the last stop you were allowed before having to go back the way you came, and you were a tad intrigued as if to whether you would find someone other than the priest in charge. It was pretty well known that Catholicism wasn't exactly powerful in the eastern land, and Fuyuki was also small in comparison to other places you'd been in the past, so it was somewhat surprising to see the Church standing there in all its glory.

    That's how, following your curiosity, you pushed open the big gate-like doors that led inside.

    The slow yet loud noise that accompanied the action was indicative of how necessary it was to apply oil to them. And, once there, once inside, you immediately found the scene taking place before your eyes to be absurd. No, to be precise, the sunlight coming from the windows of the ceiling was whiting out your vision, leaving you momentarily unable to see a thing.

    Even so, you could already tell that you had walked into a ridiculous place.

    The melody that was being played resonated throughout the chapel, a strong yet ominous theme that felt somewhat unfitting for the so-called House of God. There, you saw a nun dutifully playing an enormous organ, and surprisingly enough, also an old man, a civilian, patiently waiting for her to finish her task. Neither of them seemingly took notice of your presence, as if it wasn't worthy of acknowledgement in the face of such an enthralling song.

    And yet, it was nothing but an ordinary hymn.

    You had some knowledge in the field of arts, as well, so you could tell that there was nothing complicated about the piece she was playing. There was no passion in the way her fingers moved, just an astounding precision acquired through the repetition of the same routine day after day.

    So that was how a Church was really like...? Somewhat annoyed and unable to properly act until the performance finished, you decided to find yourself a seat all the way at the very back.

    "..."

    The woman was beautiful. Long silver hair and mysterious golden eyes. In contrast, the man was anything but handsome. He might have been at a younger age, but the passage of time had seemingly left him with very little to brag about. Where there had once been hair, there was now a bald head. His wrinkled skin made it hard to look at him for too long, and the moment you discovered one of his eyes was nothing but a mere glass imitation, even you felt compelled to remain distant.

    Once the performance ended, the man simply stood up to leave, not willing to mingle in a pointless conversation. He walked right past you, using a cane to assist his already crippled movement and...

    ... And right as he was about to leave, the nun called out to him:

    "Is it your first time here...?"

    The man must have understood that the girl was addressing you, because after the briefest of pauses, he left.

    "Hmm...?" The girl's attention finally turned towards you. "Welcome. Are you thirsty...? Would you like some refreshments?"

    What a strange way to greet a little kid wandering into this holy place.

    The nun sure was weird.
    Last edited by hero; May 2nd, 2020 at 08:38 PM.
    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

  4. #144
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Hiyako Tsurara
    Miyama- Streets
    Morning Phase


    “What the hell..?” Tsurara mumbled under her breath as she watched the behavior of this lunatic.

    What name had he said just now? Either her hearing was going or…

    No, whatever. It doesn’t matter to her, and as far as she can see it has nothing to do with the situation at hand. If there’s anything she should be doing is putting him out of his misery. It’d probably be better than getting eaten by some rampaging zombie.

    … Whatever.” She held the thought for a moment, then discarded it, sheathing her blade with a tired sigh. She had kept being blindsided since yesterday’s night and the day kept on becoming more bizarre. She had no reason to pay attention to this old man, but she also was no one to decide his life or death.

    She should leave. There was a pressing need to learn about… this extremely fucked up situation, and see what measures could be taken. If she was going to be doing something about this hell (and she had the feeling escaping wouldn’t be an option), she had to seize all possible advantages.

    But…

    “Back in the villa my family has near Kyoto, there is a small copse in our territory. When I was a kid, I used to play there with my older brother before he grew up to become the king of douchebags. I still go there sometimes when I want to be alone with my thoughts.”

    She replies more out of impulse than anything else. Tsurara simply can’t help but to have a bit of curiosity about this strange man. Someone with this level of training, that could only be classified as a ‘peak human’… the story behind him can’t be normal.

    As she spoke, she came a few steps closer to him, and once she finished replying, she tried to sneak a look on what the man was holding on his hand.

    This is a waste of time. She’s keenly aware of that, but maybe… even though the possibility seems remote, she can glean something out of this strange encounter.


    quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1984 View Post
    Besides, I don't see what's so terrible about looting anyway. It's only property, they're not actually harming anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by lantzblades View Post
    when I say hero I don't mean hero in the spirit sense. I mean a morally grounded, good natured person who doesn't slaughter innocent people. No such person exists in the Nasuverse.
    [00:12] <~Katie> i can't defy my origin
    [00:12] <~Katie> of gay memes

    [16:15] <~Katie> lesbians has always been my gimmick and i will exploit it to the fullest

    [22:56] <@Sei> airen is pegging hero this time
    [22:56] <@Sei> for once airen isn't the uke
    [22:56] <@Kuroyuki> I thought Air was the Woman in the Relationship?
    [22:56] <@Airen> Yeah I kinda thought I was the girl too!

  5. #145
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Hiyako Tsurara
    Miyama- Streets
    Morning Phase


    "But of course..." The man whispers as his lips draw a faint smile. "It doesn't always have to be the place of a tragedy. Strong memories, whether good or bad, can achieve the same result. A feeling of nostalgia is what one is looking for."

    The man responds to your words or, at least you believe that he needs to be somewhat aware that this conversation is taking place in order to answer in such a polished way. At the same time, the way he speaks leaves it clear that the reason why he has chosen this place in particular to meditate has its roots in a terrible event. Maybe the man lost a loved one around here or perhaps this is the place where he ended up after something went wrong. Regardless, it appears that this episode happened a long time ago, hence the use of the word 'Nostalgia'. He must be at least sixty-years of age from the looks of it, so there is no way he is talking about something that happened just a few weeks back.

    Although it wouldn't be a mistake to point out that, if he is sitting here today of all days, something special must have happened. Considering Fuyuki looks like hell on Earth right now, it wouldn't be surprising to find out he also lost someone today.

    "..."

    The stranger doesn't seem to mind you getting a few step closer, nevertheless, you remain wary so as to not startle him. If his metal health is as damaged as it appears to be, a slight miscalculation may cause him to snap at you. And while he does neither pose a threat to you, nor is he supposed to be carrying anything outstanding, you are really curious as to seeing what exactly he is concealing within his hand.

    "I have come a long way to get back here... After so much time, so many trials, so many failures... I am sitting at the edge of a cycle and the start of the next. This is where it has all begun, and where it will all conclude."

    All of a sudden, the man utters some ominous words... Could it be that this man knows something, after all? Or is this just another one of his delusions? It's hard to tell whether one should take him seriously or not, given how much weight his words lack in your ears.

    After letting quite an audible grunt, the mysterious elder finally finds enough force in him to stand up. Though, physically, he remains as weak as ever, numerous strange scars and wounds spread all over his body, it looks like a new resolve now burns in his heart. It's different from the will-power seen in young individuals. No, what pushes him must be the duty to see things to the end.

    "Thanks." He finally voices. "I was being hesitant for some reason. Guess I was just scared... Hah... Haha! I... I was once able to criticize and instruct others... But now? Now I am just a walking wreck of a man, isn't that right...?"

    Your response should have been a confused shrug. You didn't really provide much a conversation, but if it helped, you did society a favor, like a proper Yakuza should.

    Instead, you find yourself instinctively jumping backwards a few meters.

    In just about a split of a second, something changed in the man you have been interacting with. No, it would be incorrect to claim that your retreat was triggered by a sudden change in the man himself. Even now, you are convinced he is no more than just another human being, albeit a strange one.

    But the thing in his hand...

    Something so simple can inspire such a variety of reactions.

    A mere thumb-switch can mean anything, from a means to start up an engine, to a trigger to set one's surroundings ablaze, however...

    In front of your eyes is something much more surreal...






    "Shall we go, Miss Tsurara...?"



    This time, it's your name being said clearly, even though you never really shared it out loud.

    But you are too focused on the strange tear in reality that has opened behind the man to pay heed to such small detail.

    Wind currents are picking up as well... This thing... Is slowly sucking you in-!



    "I am afraid I'll be needing your help in order to save the future."




    Hiyako Tsurara
    Day 1 -Morning Phase- End

    -------

    Choice!
    1. Reject the Old Man's invitation.
    2. Follow the Old Man into the strange spatial disruption.
    3. Hesitate.
    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

  6. #146
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Aya Alayana
    Shinto - Church on the Hill

    ---What an overly excessive structure, truly the money of the Lord was going to sincerely charitable causes...

    Even as a child, it is those sorts of cynical thoughts that drift across the surface of the thoughts of the red-haired girl sitting in the back of the room... If one were to somehow serve as an observer of this event from the future, then it would still be simple -almost brain-dead- to recognize the form of Aya Alayana even when she was younger... Her hair maintained that mysterious, almost ethereal glow -like dancing flames swaying in nonexistent wind- and the eyes that peer out at everything around her are those of a child that is far more... adult... Than her small body would suggest, indeed, even at this point she is aware of -and has accepted- her own 'philosophies' about the world, and thus everything presents itself to her in a certain cynically logical way...

    And yet...

    There is something strange about the girl of the past, indeed...

    Was she more confident now? Or less?

    It was hard to say, especially with the ghost of a smirk that was hidden behind intelligent eyes...

    Quote Originally Posted by ???
    "Hmm...?" The girl's attention finally turned towards you. "Welcome. Are you thirsty...? Would you like some refreshments?"
    ---A smirk that falters as an eyebrow raises instead, raises in question of the woman that was regarding her from the front of the church.

    ---Certainly she was a beautiful woman, her aesthetic sense was well-developed by this point as well, and yet...

    "..."

    She takes a moment to answer.

    As if to ensure she had just heard the other woman correctly, before standing up, taking a few steps closer to her, and...

    "...That's not what an adult is supposed to say. Aren't you going to ask where my parents are?"

    ...makes a bizarre comment.

    Indeed, it is much like she had felt the sudden urge to 'correct' the woman, even so...

    "...Although if you have some form of juice -boxed so I can trust it- I will take it."

    ...something childish does emerge from her words.

    Indeed...

    It seems even she had had that sort of phase...
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

    Could you kill someone you love for the sake of everyone else?


    What a cynical worldview, Messiah.
    Real heroes would find a different answer.


    Right, right.
    The power to break through a sad reality—
    I wonder—

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  7. #147
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Yamashita Hiro
    Shinto - ​Fuyuki's Central Park
    Night phase


    Second evening in Fuyuki, and the weather hasn't gotten any better. The dark clouds in the sky still announce a thunderstorm yet to come and, if your guesswork is correct, then the mysterious mist you saw yesterday should be making a second appearance tonight as well. A part of you is excited for the possibilities that await in the near future... The other part of you must be your self-preservation instincts yelling that you are in no shape to be carrying such a dangerous ordeal without rest. As good practice as your encounter with Berserker and his master turned out to be, you ended up spending quite a bit of your reserves in the process, a not so optimal outcome when one considers you might be going against yet another opponent who can easily perform beyond human boundaries. When you add the fact that Theressa Rossi leaving the group has also been part of the aftermath, the hopes of survival quickly begin to dwindle.

    That leaves you with an amnesiac traveler from another time, and the one man whose name defines that of the weakest Servant Class Container.

    "..."

    In spite of how grim the future ahead appears to be, you remain a gentleman, keeping your promise to help Luna find more about herself. Interaction has been a little bit awkward for lack of a better word ever since the reveal of your true gender, but you can tell the blue haired girl is not one to judge others for trivial things like that. Yamashita Hiro being a girl instead of a boy changes nothing in the grand scheme of things. You've been together throughout a strange string of events that has yet to reach its conclusion... What happens tomorrow is anyone's guess, but the bond that ties you together is already there and won't disappear.

    "It's no good, that name still doesn't ring a bell..."

    After another brief and simplified review on what a Rayshift entails, that's the answer you get from your companion, the same you got when you first confronted her about it. It's a little odd, you going on about secrets that not even the far side of the world knows about to her so casually. While it may not be classified information known only to the Yamashita, you are confident that those who are aware of its existence wouldn't hear it from the mouth of one of the members of your family. Still, you make sure to take a couple of cautionary measures to avoid an unwanted audience, and confirm that Assassin is at least one block away before touching such delicate topics.

    Eventually, the conversation takes a slight shift, as Luna brings about a curious fact.

    "If I am a Rayshifter or whatever... Does that mean I also possess some sort of power? Like Theressa's or Hiro's?"

    That's definitely not a question that you can answer. For one, your specialty lies elsewhere. The Yamashita put all their eggs on a single basket and, through trial and error -and most likely an insurmountable amount of luck- managed to reproduce the miracle that is a Demi-Servant. Extra information on the events related to the supposed 'Incineration of Humanity' came mostly as a bonus, and Rayshifting is just another incomplete part lying somewhere in that package. If someone like you possessed the funds, the blueprints and the resources necessary to build a Rayshifting Machine, alongside a second machine to act as a temporal compass, as well as... You get the point. If you had access to all those necessary parts, your life path would have been at least somewhat different. For now, all you know is the basic premise upon which the act of Rayshifting is based and...

    Considering how much of the process is carried out by the artifact itself, rather than the one being put into the coffin, it's hard to say if it's even needed for them to hold any sort of supernatural ability. Still, it is a fact that some individuals have more affinity than others when it comes to 'accepting' that sort of process and given by some of the unique injuries still present in your friend's body, you can say that her compatibility is average at best.

    Long story short, it's hard to connect the act of Rayshifting with the possession of supernatural powers. But maybe not all is lost... Maybe there is something else you can do to prove Luna whether she is capable of Magecraft or not.

    Although...

    It more as if she is looking for a way she can be of help in the upcoming ordeal, rather than eager to become some sort of superhero.
    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

  8. #148
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Alicia Rosenkopf (& Servant Assassin)
    Miyama- Homurahara Academy
    Night Phase


    Once Alicia Rosenkopf sets foot inside the main school building, the first silhouette she manages to make out amidst the darkness is that of death itself. Indeed, for a moment, nothing seems amiss, but then, all of a sudden, one of the school shoe lockers mysteriously slams itself open and something comes out of it at unbelievable speeds, stretching out to reach the exposed neck of the little girl in but a split of a second...

    Only for Assassin to proficiently shove it out of the way with a single motion of her arm. No, to say Assassin merely deflected the attack would not be correct. After all, the moment Assassin and 'that thing' came in contact with one another, the resulting noise was enough to leave it quite clear that whatever had intended to harm her Master would not be allowed to live any further than that.

    "..."

    It takes a moment for your eyes to adjust to the supernatural lack of light that has invaded the school building. But, once they do, you are able to spare a glance at what remains of the mysterious attacker. Though there used to be a pulse where there is now none, whatever you are staring at is, at the very least, no longer human. The right word to describe it would be 'tentacle'. A strange eldritch appendage made of flesh directed its full attention to you the moment you entered its field of perception and, as a consequence of your Servant's actions, has lost every ounce of life that willed it to move.

    ---Heartbeat.

    ------Heartbeat.

    You can hear the sound of your own heart beating. Except that, as Assassin eventually points out, it's not the beating of your heart what you are hearing... Though it's hard to see in the dark, this place is filled with similar creatures, chunks of rotten flesh not too different from the ones you've seen on your way here, save for the fact that they appear to possess a consciousness of its own. Almost as if... Almost as if... The School itself had become a living creature. Even so, this revelation doesn't pose much of a threat to you, not with an Heroic Spirit on the scene. The level of intelligence that these monsters sport is neglible, to the point that it would not be mistaken to claim that the ugly appendage that attacked you early did so mostly in response to being threatened. So long as you don't go out of the way to disturb them, Assassin should be able to take care of the bold ones trying to go after your head.

    The biggest problem here seems to be the Mana-heavy air that is even stronger inside than it was outside when you crossed through the gate. It might be hard to discern for a simple home-tutored Magus, but for a Spiritual entity, it's ultimately simple to tell that the level of contamination present in your surroundings can actually prove to be harmful. Negativity and dark thoughts can be felt with all five senses of a human body, putting this place ahead of any haunted house Japanese people might have visited in the last decade. It's a lethal drug that is applied in a small dosage unbeknownst to its user, eventually drawing them closer to both madness and death.

    It's not the kind of thing that one has to worry about if one is to stay for an hour or so, but any more than that and it might just distort a human's psyche.

    "..."

    Coming down the stairs is a gaseous like substance. There is little of it, but there is no mistaking it. This is the same as the 'mist' that you've encountered yesterday. So it does come from here after all...! If you follow it, you should be able to find the true point of origin and put an end to this tragedy before it gets the chance to spread and cause more damage. Cautious, but following this line of thought, you advance and make it all the way to the second floor hallways.

    Much like the front gate, this floor also present signs of clear deterioration due to aging, on top of a stronger presence of creatures. At first it didn't make sense for the school to display evidence of having being abandoned for a long time, but now you see that such was never the case...

    Whatever this mist is...

    It's using the reality you know like a canvas, overwriting it with its own terror-like fantasy. The negativity it exudes is manifesting into the material plane and changing the surroundings to match its will. If its left to it's own devices for too long...

    It wouldn't be unthinkable to believe that it might end up swallowing the entire country in its delusions.

    The room where it all started. And the room where it all reaches an end.

    It's name is...


    'Homurahara Occult Club'


    Inside, it's just another classroom. Or, at least, it should have been.

    Instead, there is something clearly out of place with this one.

    And it has nothing to do with the desks being arranged in such way that they leave a big, circular space in the middle of the room.









    No, it has more to do with the strange rupture in space that is suspended right there, in front of your eyes.

    That... And the girl in a torn, black school uniform kneeling there, sword at the ready.







    "Not another step, or you will regret it."
    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

  9. #149
    Hey! Are you ready to go? RoydGolden's Avatar
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    Alicia Rosenkopf (& Servant Assassin)
    Miyama- Homurahara Academy

    Night Phase


    Alicia took a hesitant first step into the ruined school-building. The interior was so dark she could barely make out her hand in front of her face. Instead of a mere absence of light the darkness seemed more like a tangible presence, a shroud oppressing on Alicia's senses and everything inside. Alicia had never been afraid of the dark as a kid, but right now she understood the feeling. The concept that something might be lurking in the shadows waiting to leap out at any second, that premonition of dread was certainly driven into Alicia Rosenkopf's heart the moment she'd set foot in this place. Even so, she resolved to go on.

    She blinked several times to accustom her eyes to the dismal light. Suddenly Alicia heard a rusty dull clang behind her. "What's that?" she cried out and twisted her head around. In just a split-second her imagination conjured the visage of a hideous fiend about to claim her life.

    "...Phew, it was just the door." Alicia's shoulders relaxed when she saw the sound had come from the front door slamming mysteriously shut. A small relieved sigh escaped her lips. "Still," she muttered. "What's with the weird atmosphere here? This whole place is seriously creepy..." Irrational as it may Alicia couldn't shake the impression that the door was the mechanism to a trap that had sprung shut behind them, sealing the two unlucky guests inside.

    "Hangin' in there Master?" Assassin offered a reassuring hand to the young girl. "We can still draw back if you want. It's not too late."

    "No." Alicia shook her head firmly. "We keep going. I want to get to the bottom of... whatever this is."

    "Alright, but be careful and follow closely behind me got it?" Assassin said warily. "We still don't know what might be lurking here." She had the voice of a mature older sister guiding their little sibling to make sure they stayed safe, Alicia noticed. For how tough and brash the woman normally acted, Assassin was surprisingly gentle when it came to children like herself. Alicia wondered if her Servant had any connection in her past that inspired such protective feelings...

    Still, Alicia brushed those musings aside for now. There wasn't any point speculating about her Servant's past here, especially when she already admitted to being an amnesiac. "Right." Alicia nodded, responding to Assassin's words. "I'll stay at your back and look out for anything strange."

    Assassin's wary expression softened slightly, relaxing into a small grin. "That's my girl. Now like you said, let's keep moving before it gets too late. We've still got to make it back to the inn before midnight after all." Just like that Assassin began to stride deeper into the gloom. Her steps were firm yet cautious, like a wolf stalking its territory for dangers. True to her words Alicia followed behind her, glancing nervously back and forth.

    Even though it was so dark the girl's eyes slowly began to adjust enough that she could make out her new surroundings. They looked to be in a school hallway of some sort, though it looked derelict as if nobody had been here in years. All the lockers had either rusted shut or were hanging open showing empty contents. Occasionally the open ones would flap back and forth in an unseen wind, making eerie banging sounds. Randomly, Alicia couldn't help but liken it to prisoners banging on the bars of their cells when visitors walked by. But in that case the 'prisoners' bound to this place would be...? She hastily pushed the thought out of her mind.

    "What happened to this place?" Alicia mused. "Just yesterday it was an ordinary schoolday, but now it looks like a wasteland." She shuddered, hugging her chest with her hands. Even more so than the blatant bloodbath outside, the quiet absence of any signs of life in this place really creeped her out.

    -Bang!

    A loud sound jarred Alicia from her thoughts. She whirled around just in time to see one of the shoe lockers several feet behind her had suddenly slammed open. That itself was nothing too strange, but it was followed by something far more horrifying. This time it wasn't her imagination. A long, slithering tendril of flesh shot out from inside the seemingly empty locker and snaked towards Alicia at lightning speeds.

    "What the...?" she gasped, too shocked to even feel fear.

    Before Alicia could react the tendril turned rigid, almost forming the shape of a spear before darting towards Alicia's neck with deadly intentions. Time seemed to slow to a crawl for the young girl as the fleshy spear came inches away from piercing her delicate throat.

    She tried to act, to use her Magecraft to defend herself, but her body seemed to be moving in slow-motion as if she were falling underwater. 'Am I... really going to die here?' Alicia mused to herself almost calmly. Maybe it was just terror dulling her senses, but she seemed far more resigned to such fate than an ordinary young girl.

    A scene from a distant memory flashed through her mind's eye. An older woman with kind eyes and a warm, gentle smile. She was reaching out and handing a pair of headphones to Alicia.

    "Alicia," she said affectionately. "These headphones are important. Because they allow you to feel the rhythm in things. Everything in this world has a rhythm, a melody even, and by listening you can come to understand it. Eventually, I hope you can come to hear the rhythm within yourself too. Because that... is 'happiness'."

    Alicia's hands clenched at her sides. That's right, she couldn't die here. Because the memory of 'that person', who'd shown her kindness even when she'd lost everything... Alicia wouldn't let it be forgotten so easily...!

    "Assassin!" she called out, snapping back to her senses as the tendril was just moments from skewering her. "Do something!" At those words she poured Mana into Assassin. Even without expending a Command Seal she could still empower her Servant through their contract.

    "---On it, Master!" Assassin roared back. She darted instantly to Alicia's side, shoving the young girl out of the way and taking her place as the tendril's intended target. "Don't screw with me, you squirmy bastard-!" Assassin yelled, swinging her claws through the air.



    A metallic 'schwing' sang out, and an instant later the tendril was sliced apart into sashimi-like strips that fell to the floor. Even severed, they still continued to squirm and flop along the ground, much to Assassin's disgust.

    "You okay Master?" she asked, turning to Alicia who was panting heavily and clutching her chest from shock after what had just happened. "That thing didn't hurt you or anything did it?" Assassin knelt down in front of Alicia, putting a hand on her forehead with a concerned expression.

    "No." Alicia shook her head quickly before managing to calm down and steady her breathing. "You got there just in time. Thanks Assassin." She gazed up at her Servant with a grateful look on her face.

    But Assassin didn't seem to be listening anymore. "Tch..." she stood up and grit her teeth, visibly angry. "I was so careless, I never even considered an attack might come from an area we'd already passed. And because of that stupidity... you almost got hurt!" Her voice was rising now, almost cracking from furious grief. "Bringing you along was a mistake... you can't trust a shitty Servant like me to protect you."

    "That's not true!" Alicia exclaimed. Now it was her turn to reassure Assassin, as she reached out and patted her Servant's shoulder comfortingly. Since Assassin was much taller than her, she had to stand almost on her tiptoes to do it. "I don't know what's going through your head, but you protected me! That's what counts, right?" She looked Assassin squarely in the eyes and went on. "So don't say dumb stuff about that you're weak or what could've happened, just focus on the here and now. That's where I am, right?"

    "But..." Assassin stammered sheepishly. "I couldn't even sense the threat until it was almost too late."

    "No buts!" Alicia insisted. "I won't just stand here while you berate yourself over the past like some big dumb stupid-head."

    A few seconds passed, then Assassin sighed and cracked a small grin. "Your words are childish and you're still just a kid, but you can speak surprisingly well Master. I guess I can't argue logic like that. Sorry for letting you see such an unsightly side of me," she apologized in a soft voice.

    "It's fine," Alicia said sweetly. "You were just worried that I almost got hurt, right?"

    Assassin nodded. Her gaze still seemed slightly far-away, but she was mostly back to her old self now. "I guess that's it. I don't know why, but I just really can't stand the idea of kids getting hurt."

    "Then it's a good thing I won't get hurt," Alicia said. "Because you're here to keep me safe, right?"

    Assassin blushed. She was awed by the purehearted trust her Master placed in her. "Well..." she muttered flustered. "I swear that I'll do my best to protect you. Because that's my duty as your Servant, after all. Anyways, we should keep moving. Staying here only increases the odds something more will attack us."

    "Right," Alicia said, but something made her hesitate to join Assassin.

    ---Thump.

    ------Thump.

    A rhythmic sound like a heartbeat thrummed in Alicia's ears. "That's weird," she murmured frowning. "I've already calmed down, but my heart is still beating so loudly..."

    Assassin's face paled. "Alicia..." she said slowly. "That's not your heartbeat."

    It was at this point that Alicia's eyes had adjusted enough she could make out more details of the dark hallway they were in. The walls, and even the ceiling... were covered in clumps of pulsating, organic flesh. Thin sinewy tendrils spiderwebbed along the surfaces, linking the clumps together almost like veins.

    Then... the realization hit Alicia along with a wave of nausea that suddenly washed over her whole body. The thumping sound she'd heard wasn't her own fearful heart... but the entire building throbbing around them. "What... is this place?" Alicia asked, gagging in horror. Even after all she'd seen outside, this was another level of grotesquery. It was as if the whole school was a living creature, and they'd just traipsed right into its stomach.

    Sllllsssshhh...!

    A slithering sound cut through the air as another tentacle darted at Alicia. This time Assassin reacted faster, slicing it apart with her claws before it could reach her. Still, the sounds didn't stop, as more tendrils began to swirl around the two girls. They darted cautiously around the pair while keeping their distance, like a den of serpents getting the feel for a prey before striking. "Damn it!" Assassin cursed. "Looks like we've woken up these bastards..."

    "We've really stepped into the belly of the beast now, huh?" Alicia remarked once she'd regained her cool slightly.

    "Yeah..." Assassin muttered. Then her lips curved into a brash grin as the beginnings of a plan began to form in Assassin's eyes. "In that case, we have no choice but to keep pushing forward. I'm not just stepping into the belly of the beast, I'll dive down its throat and rip its guts out with my teeth!"

    "Assassin..." Alicia gasped, taken aback by her Servant's composure. "What are you going to do?"

    "Get on, Master!" Assassin called out, gesturing to her shoulders. "I can get you out of here, but we've gotta' move fast!"

    Mustering her courage Alicia let Assassin hoist her up on her shoulders. She felt like a little kid being given a piggyback ride. Then Assassin's legs shifted, becoming covered in black fur and rippling with bestial muscle. "Alright, hang on tight Master!" Assassin yelled and kicked off the floor.

    "Eeeeeep!" Alicia squeaked as they flew through the air. Assassin's leap had taken them a good ten feet in the air and more than that across. Air buffeted her face, making her shoulderlength blonde locks whip wildly. Thankfully the hallway's ceiling was so high or Alicia suspected they would've smashed right through.

    Assassin landed with enough force to crack the floor and kick up a gale across the hallway. "Do you think we've lost them?" Alicia asked, glancing behind her.

    Suddenly more tentacles shot out in front of them. For a moment they placidly hovered in front of the two girls, before stiffening and lunging at them like spears. "Guess not," Assassin quipped before leaping again. "You're in my way!" she roared, claws flashing wildly while flying forward to meet the attackers head-on. She landed several feet ahead of the tendrils and they fell to ribbons behind her.

    This repeated several times, with Assassin bounding down the hallway and carving apart any tentacles in her way. Finally they reached the end of the hall. "Looks they're not bothering us anymore," Assassin said, letting Alicia climb down from her back. Her legs turned back to normal at this point.

    Alicia sighed with relief. She was trembling with exhileration from the breakneck ride Assassin had taken her on. "That was so scary. On the other hand, it was kinda' fun..." The young girl blushed slightly as she recalled how warm and soft Assassin's bare skin had been against hers when she was carried on top of her.

    Looking up, Alicia saw that they'd come up to a stairway. "That must lead to the second floor..." she said. A strange pale mist was seeping down the stairs. "That fog..." Alicia trailed off thoughtfully. "It's the same as we saw in the city last night."

    "And that means..." Assassin picked up her train of thought. "That if we follow it we should be able to find the root of this disaster and stop it."

    "Right," Alicia said, steeling her conviction for what lay ahead. "Now let's go." With that the two ascended up the stairs. The second floor was much like the first, deteriorated and overgrown with those same clumps of flesh. The monster presence was somewhat stronger here, but Assassin easily made short work of the ones that stood in their way.

    As they went on, the mist grew thicker until Alicia fell to her knees coughing. "Master!" Assassin cried out, rushing over to her side. "What's going on?"

    "I'm fine." Alicia nodded weakly, rising to her feet. "It's not just the mist... the presence here, there's something wrong with it, and it keeps getting thicker the further we go. Still, I can handle it," she said, not wanting to worry her Servant.

    Assassin frowned. "This isn't good. You may not be able to tell but there's a high quantity of magical energy in the air Master. For normal humans breathing so much Mana can be dangerous. Not to mention, the Mana here is suffused with something creepy..." Saying that the wolf-eared girl felt her skin crawl. The flavor tainting the Mana here was one she knew far too well. Rage, hunger, cruelty... feelings Assassin herself carried in her previous life. Even if she no longer remembered them, the karma was surely engraved upon her heart.

    Assassin licked her dry lips. The longer she stayed here, the more she worried a side of herself she'd rather keep hidden would awaken. And, a part of her wondered if her young companion was feeling the same way...

    "So how much time do we have?" Alicia spoke up, jolting Assassin from her thoughts.

    "I'd say around an hour or so," Assassin said. "Any longer, and you might start suffering irreversible consequences on your body and psyche."

    "What kind of consequences?" Alicia asked nervously.

    Assassin tried to look reassuring. "Doesn't matter, we'll be in and out before it can affect us."

    "I guess so..." Alicia said assuaged. At that Assassin took Alicia's hand and lead her deeper into the second floor, looking for the source of the mysterious fog. After several minutes searching they found it, in the form of a large door with a sign over it. "Homurahara Occult Club," Alicia recited aloud. All the streams of mist seemed to be flowing out from that one room. As if they were the fingers of one gigantic hand...

    "Well nothing for it. We might as well see what's inside." Assassin said casually, flinging open the paper room-divider.

    And what she saw inside... made both of the girls' eyes widen with shock...

    It wasn't how the desks were all neatly arranged in a circle around the edges of the room. No, it had far more to do with the swirling portal in space ensconced aloft at the classroom's center. It looked just like one of those 'wormholes' from an old sci-fi movie Alicia saw once.

    "Just what on earth... is that thing?" Alicia gasped. Body possessed by an instinctive curiosity she began to step closer towards the rift.

    Before Assassin could stop her a shadowy figure pointed a sword at Alicia. "Not another step, or you'll regret it," a severe feminine voice growled. Alicia looked and saw that the one threatening her was a teenage girl, only a few years older than herself, wearing a tattered black school uniform. She had long blonde hair and blue eyes.

    Immediately Assassin rushed forward, gripping the sword with her bare claw and shoving it away from Alicia. "Oi, cut that out lady! This here is my Master, and if you mess with her you'll be the one regretting your life choices. Got that?" She glared at the newcomer menacingly.

    "Wait!" Alicia cried out, stopping Assassin in her tracks. "This girl... I don't get the feeling she necessarily means us harm. She might be an explorer just like us who mistook us for monsters or something. Let's at least try to talk things out, please?" She gave Assassin a puppydog-like look.

    Assassin paused for a moment, then sighed defeatedly. "Fine," she muttered, retracting her claws. "Tch, you really are a soft one Master. Anyways, let's see what you have to say, samurai-girl. But if you do try to attack us then I definitely won't go easy on you." She looked a bit disappointed she didn't get to fight right away.

    Alicia gulped. Despite her words she really wasn't sure if the sword-wielding girl was a threat or not. Her mind swirled with thoughts of what would happen next as Assassin and the newcomer stared in a tense standoff with each other. Was a fight really going to break out...?

  10. #150
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Aya Alayana
    Shinto - Church on the Hill


    "I apologize." The nun replied, looking somewhat troubled by your request, despite her expression not once feeling truly apologetic. "Hot tea is all I can offer. Wait here."

    Before you could even agree or turn down her hospitality, the silver haired woman turned around and disappeared around the corner, likely heading somewhere deeper inside the building, somewhere where she could prepare tea for the both of you. It was hard not to feel a little uncomfortable by this strange turn of events, but it did make a little bit of sense in hindsight. While you were pretty sure that the chapel was definitely not the place for sharing a drink, you would never follow a stranger to the backside of a place you don't know to share a drink that you can't even trust. You were still a kid, so a little bit of innocence was to be expected, but your father had educated you well. You'd never fall for such a simple trap.

    More importantly... Tea? That certainly was both a traditional and graceful choice to greet a visitor but... You are not quite sure that a cup of tea would be enough to sate anyone's thirst. That's just not the offer you make after asking someone if they are thirsty... Even a glass of pure water would have made more sense...

    It was your first time meeting a 'Woman of God', so it was kind of expected for you to ask yourself: 'Are all of them as weird as this one is?'

    A couple of minutes later, the girl was sitting on the same bench you were, albeit at a prudent distance not to disturb you. While she took a sip of the hot liquid through slow and weak movements, you sat there, cup held between your hands, unsure of how to proceed. You weren't really thirsty and it was not tea that you wanted, but juice. It was the unpredictable whim of a child that couldn't be helped at your age, no matter how mature was the vision of the world that had instilled into you by your ancestors. If there was one saving grace about the drink, it was its warmth. Perhaps because you had natural affinity towards heat, it felt rather pleasant... Safe.

    "From where I stand, it doesn't look as if you are lost..." The woman commented, resuming your earlier conversation. "So, you coming here today has a meaning. Even if it was mere curiosity, the fact that you came, on your own free will, is important. I would dare not ruin your visit to this Holy Place through one or two phone calls. Although I might change my mind if you misbehave..."

    A faint smile manifested in those lips, before she raised the cup once more.

    Almost as if she had just recalled a prank she had pulled in the past.

    In regards to yourself, while you were at least grateful that the Nun would be your partner in crime at least once, the rest was just senseless propaganda. You had seen and heard it all before, albeit in a similar yet not identical fashion. Big Deity had a plan and we were all part of it, so if you did something, even if you did it because you wanted to do it, the omniscient God had already seen it would happen, meaning your actions were always conductors of His will.

    Long story short, it was a contradiction that went directly against the premise that God, during their creation, gave humans Free Will, also proposed by the same religion. Honestly, how could you ever claim to be free, when all your life has already been set in stone? It was a ridiculous thought that was never properly addressed by their prophets.

    "Hopefully, though, your parents are feeding you well." She added, as an afterthought. "I've recently had to rebuilt the whole place from the ground up, so I regretfully don't have the funds to feed another mouth. I know a guy who makes the best meals, though."
    Seriously, are all Church people like this...

    It's like your image of what a priest or a nun is supposed to act is dropping with each second that passes by...

    "My name is Caren. Caren Ortensia. What's yours...?"
    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

  11. #151
    Taiga's knight Tobias's Avatar
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    Yamashita Hiro
    Shinto - ​Fuyuki's Central Park
    Night phase

    ...It still hurt to move. A lot, actually.

    Once again Luna had demonstrated a knack for field care at least. She had ably wrapped up several cuts from the crimson spear wielded by the blue knight. A process, which, by definition had required enough undressing on Hiro's part that even if his original gender not been made manifest during the battle, it would have become apparent. Perhaps for someone who had appointed herself his temporary doctor, such a secret couldn't be held in the first place.

    Assassin's reappearance had come as a surprise, and frankly not an especially welcome one. As long as the masked man had information Hiro didn't he was worth listening to, but his utter failure to do anything of note against the berserker or his master had severely reduced Hiro's mental estimation of his worth as an ally. Put bluntly, if given an open choice between hassan and Theresa, he would have chosen Theresa. Her burst of magic at the end of the battle suggested she has at least attempted to carry her own weight...metaphorically at least, considering he had to carry her out...Hassan must have simply used the opportunity to study a pair of magisters and a Servant.

    Assassins aren't trustworthy. I may need to deal with him soon. Later though. The fire demon inside him grumbled. She did not like this plan. Didn't matter. The fight with Berserker had been enough to convince the young lad that his current power was not enough.

    ...He was not the only one who had learned this truth.

    The dark haired boy's eyes softened as he listened to Luna's query. To be honest, there was a part of the boy that fervently wished to simply take her in his arms and assure her that nobody need worry, least of all her, that Hiro's power and resolve were sufficient to deal with the trials ahead. Written Hiro, but pronounced Hero! after all.

    But something else stopped him. Something he could see behind the scientist eyes. Something that could not be denied by anyone who called themselves a mage.

    ...Everyone had the right to stand on their own feet. To follow magecraft was to take death in hand, soft and ever present like the most tender and solicitous of lovers. He didn't have the right to trample on her resolve.

    Instead...?

    "If I had to guess...? Probably." Hiro replied, when the older woman asked if she also had the strength to stand. "I won't say its completely impossible for you there to be exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, rayshifters are mages. At the very least, you almost certainly have the ability to channel thatamurgy. I don't have time to go over a decades worth of teachings at the clock tower, however I have an idea which I hope keeps the promise I made to you in which I said I would help you find out who you are. Attend me. Before this nights endeavors can begin, I intend to square away my debts, so that no matter what the dawn brings, I wont have left things unfinished. If our efforts here bring about a favorable result, I would welcome your aid."

    Hiro then reached into a bag Luna and he had filled. Some of the contents were leftovers from a previous magical work he intended to repurpose, and there were a few nick nacks he had bought on the way over for learning purposes.

    ...He had also purchased a few gas station bentos. the burble of his stomach at the counter caused by the smell of hot rice had drawn an amused chuckle from the friendly clerk.

    On the ground, he placed a simple hammer, a screw driver, a heavy rubber mallet, and a small hand saw. Next to these, he placed a small 2x4 with a screw driven into it.

    "Now then. A quick overview on what we are about to do. When wielding magecraft, there are certain tools at the disposal of the caster. some are malleable, but some are not. Each mage has a certain 'ability' at their disposal which will color almost every mystical work they will attempt. To put that another way, every mage has a toolkit, but does not have every tool they might need, and thus require themselves to be clever to excel."

    Hiro reached out and picked up the screwdriver. "Let us say this was the only tool in your possession. And the task at hand is to remove the screw. Nothing simpler! What you have in front of you is the most suitable piece of equipment." Hiro placed the screwdriver to the screw. "No special thought is required." He put down the screwdriver and picked up the hammer. "This tool here, is not ideal for this task, but is is quite serviceable nonetheless. It would require a bit more force, it wouldn't be as easy, you might damage the screw, or the board, but most likely the task can be managed." Hiro demonstrated such by fitting the reverse part of the head into place at the screw, inserting it into the two iron prongs which, with enough force, could forcefully rip the small piece of iron from its moorings.

    "Now things become more troublesome." Hiro sat down the hammer and picked up the mallet. "This tool is not very helpful, but it's not impossible. You could, for example, pound the screw at the other end of the screw. That might work. You would need to take additional steps of course, you would need to brace the board, have access to the parts of the screw that had worked through the wood, and success can't be guaranteed." as he spoke, Hiro mimed placing the 2x4 across a nearby stump and then slowly tapping on the reverse side as if to dislodge the metal.

    "Finally, the worst quandary for a magus. a situation where one's internal toolkit is not at all suitable for what needs to be done. If your tool is something like this," Hiro said, picking up the saw, putting down the mallet where the saw had been laying. "Well, its easy to be discouraged. But Just remember, for a mage..?"

    "...Nothing is impossible."

    The dark haired boy said, placing the board against the stump once more, however there was no imitation to be seen as he used the saw to cut the 2x4 lengthwise, then again at a pair of cross sections, so that what was left was a small block containing the screw, with cuts into the wood around it. Finally, he slammed the handle of his small crafting tool down on the piece of wood, shattering it, leaving nothing but a small iron screw to sit in view.

    "Nothing...is impossible. That's what it means to be a mage. There is always a way."

    Hiro took a bracing breath for a moment before returning his gaze to his momentary student. "We call the tools 'Elements.' This is a system within the mystic circuit which will color magecraft. They will impact almost everything you use. A hypothetical spell which lobs a magical attack at a target, cast by one with the fire element will be a fireball. That exact same mystic formation repeated by one with the ice element? A rock of ice. And so one and so on. Thus the point of this. As a member of the Remnant, my trait is suitable for conversion of magic. I used to have the wind and water elements, incidentally, but such were forcibly converted when I was joined with the fire spirit."

    The young boy pulled out a few candles and laid them in a square pattern, seeing him and the older women inside them. Once lit, the old waxen candles gave off an intoxicating aroma. The blood in which he made a circle around the square on the grass came from his bandages.

    "Fortunately this area has a natural ward against the unmagical, one which has been fortified by the mist we can expect before to terribly long. With your permission, I will set up a circle and temporarily harmonize our energies, channeling a bit of your magecraft. This link will only last for a moment, but it should allow me to briefly open your circuit, should indeed you possess one, and channel a bit of prana, so that we may see your element manifest. The reason for this is simple. It is my hope that once you remember the feeling of channeling magecraft, your magus training will take over."

    Hiro was banking on a simple, yet highly likely premise. To be a mage was to practice magecraft. Over and over and over, channeling spellwork and mystery until such was quite literally carved into your body and mind. The repetition of tens of thousands of the same motion, the same magic, the same foundation. Even if she was completely amnesiac, all of that practice hadn't gone away. If she began the process of thatamurgy, then a certain level of "muscle memory" would take over.

    "Incidentally, again I must note that this effect is temporary. A sort of contract that will exist for a moment. There are other, similar effects which would allow for a much more steady binding, for example allowing you to channel my own magic energy, or me yours, and more or less indefinitely as well, however the method for such a ritual would be...uh...."

    At then, the calm boy who had been speaking with poise and solemn care did something strange. He stopped.

    He looked at Luna, angling his gaze up as she was a fair bit taller sitting down.

    ...

    For a moment there was silence, and the cold of the chilling, encroaching night.

    A cold that was suddenly repelled by the heat that rose up from the young man's neck, to his cheeks, to the very height of his hair hanging over his eyes, until his entire face was entirely red.

    "Not...useful...or...needed right now!" He squeaked out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bird of Hermes View Post
    The moment the opportunity arises for a pun, the one known as 'Taiga's Knight' will be there to deliver whether you like it or not.

  12. #152
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Hiyako Tsurara
    Shinto- Streets
    Unknown Phase



    "..."

    When you come to, you find yourself in a particular spot you recognize. Just a day ago, you remember coming here, to this particular bus shelter, looking for a ride that would take closer to The Sleeping Bishop, the traditional inn that already had a room booked under your name. For someone such as yourself, a bus ride would always look bad on paper, seeing as you could easily arrange a much better and fitting vehicle to take wherever you need to go. But, precisely because you didn't want to draw much attention to yourself, you had decided to part ways with your men and behave like the average civilian would. Seeing as you weren't yet familiar with the city landscape, you sat on this very same bench and waited for the bus to arrive. The biggest difference has to be the weather. While yesterday wasn't looking too good, the image that greets you is that of heavy rain in the evening.

    Had you been presented with the scene yesterday, you would have disregarded it as entirely normal. Indeed, if it wasn't for the fact that this scene completely contradicts everything you've experienced in Fuyuki since last night, you would have been completely unable to find the big, glaring contradiction in it.

    Yes.

    The lack of something being wrong is exactly what is wrong.

    Memories of your fight against that 'shadow', your conversation with Akane and later with one of the Masaki Twins, the struggle of your men against that monstrosity without a face and finally the encounter with a man who was able to open a rupture in space... It all comes flowing into you like a river untamed.

    This place should be in ruins. But it's completely fine.

    Just what did you miss? What happened between the time that 'portal' was opened and now...?

    You hesitated and, as a result, you find yourself here, doubting whether the reality presented in front of your eyes is a fake or not.

    "..."

    The wind blows heavily.

    The storm gives the city of Fuyuki no mercy.

    Even a being accustomed to the cold like you feels like the protection this shelter provides is vastly insufficient.

    A fluttering newspaper, barely attached to the shelter's interior, continues to interrupt your moment introspection. More than half of it has been blown away by the winds and the likelihood of one page finding its way to your face is luckily, if one takes into consideration your overall luck this week. Moreover, the annoying noise it makes makes it even harder to concentrate on what you really need to be focused on.

    So, having been taught what to do when something gets in your way, you move to quickly dispose of the problem.

    2004...?

    That's some old newspaper. What's something from twenty years ago doing over here...?

    "To wake under the protection of this shelter."
    The figure of a man hurriedly moves under the partial roof to escape the vengeful rain. "You are indeed quite fortunate, Ms. Tsurara."

    Though he still remains a stranger, this is not the first time you see this man.

    Indeed, he is the one who brought you here, wherever 'here' is.

    He's also someone who knows your name.

    Finally, he is someone who remains as weak as ever...

    "I am afraid I don't have a smoke to offer and neither did I bring an umbrella, so we may have stay here for a bit."


    Then, noticing the newspaper in your hand, the older man adds, with a glint of surprise on his face.

    "We can use that to tell what year it is. Good going, Ms Tsurara."


    -------

    Preparation Phase
    For some reason, you feel slightly stronger. You have found a new application of your power!
    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

  13. #153
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Alicia Rosenkopf (& Servant Assassin)
    Miyama- Homurahara Academy

    Night Phase


    "..."

    The mysterious girl lets out a nearly silent grunt of annoyance as Assassin and her stare at one another, both ready to unleash an attack the moment the other gives them an excuse to do so. Eventually, the swordswoman in the black uniform lowers her guard, but only after you order your Servant to do so as well.

    "Perhaps my warning came out more as a threat than I intended. Allow me to correct myself: What I meant was that you should not come any closer to the thing you see here."

    She is talking about the fissure in space present in the room. Just staring at its alien image is enough to summon an ominous feeling on your chest, as if being on the same room with it were a bad omen. It looks almost like a miniature black hole, except its not dragging anything physical towards its center. Rather, it's the exact opposite. The strange mist, the cause of all misfortune since last night, is coming straight from it, as if that rupture acted as a bridge between this world and somewhere no one should wander into...

    As if to confirm your fears, the girl speaks once more. Little do you know at that point, that the truth would be much more grim than you could ever expect.

    "This is a cursed gateway that acts as a shortcut between this school and the 'Root of all Things', which my people call 'Mugen'. It's an evil forgery that drains the life force of anyone that comes close enough, and uses it to fuel the space that must be traversed if one wants to reach 'that place'. When there is no source of nourishment within range, it just expands until there is, slowly killing or corrupting all living organisms it encounters in its way. It does so at an alarming pace, actually."


    It can truly be called 'all this world's evil', for it embraces human's self-destructing nature entirely.

    Yes, the culprit of bad things to come is right there in front of you, standing in absolute defiance, as if its presence alone was a sign that nothing can be done to change the future's tragic fate.

    "Sadly, all I did was stopping you from ending your lives in about three seconds. You'll most likely collapse and die within a couple of days anyways, as its area of influence has already swallowed the entire city and possible more. In that sense, it's not that it's attempting to overwrite our reality with its own, but rather it already has done so, and whatever hasn't... Has somehow managed to resist that fate for the time being."

    The swordswoman closes her eyes for a moment, as if to present her condolences for your hometown. Then, as an afterthought, she sighs once and makes an unexpected confession.

    "This is an scout unit devoid of life. That is to say, what you see here is no more than a robot, a machine. That's why I can operate despite being in close proximity to this 'portable hell'. You may address me as 'M'. It's unfortunate that we meet under these circumstances."
    Last edited by hero; May 21st, 2020 at 06:39 AM.
    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

  14. #154
    Hey! Are you ready to go? RoydGolden's Avatar
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    Alicia Rosenkopf (& Servant Assassin)
    Miyama- Homurahara Academy
    Night Phase


    "No way..." Alicia gasped incredulous. The mysterious girl's words raced through her mind, each more terrifying than the last. "Don't tell me... Fuyuki is already beyond saving?" She clenched her hands into fists. No, that couldn't be true. She'd already come too far just to accept a hopeless outcome.

    "This is an scout unit devoid of life. That is to say, what you see here is no more than a robot, a machine. That's why I can operate despite being in close proximity to this 'portable hell'. You may address me as 'M'. It's unfortunate that we meet under these circumstances."
    "...Eh?" Alicia blurted out, taken aback. The newly christened robot girl's words had blown away any worries over Fuyuki's fate for the time being. Instead, Alicia had... other matters that captured her young mind. "You're a robot? That's cool, super cool! No, you're a robot-girl wearing a school uniform and carrying a katana... that's totally the most awesome thing ever!" she gushed, getting a starry look in her eyes as she ran up to M waving her arms up and down excitedly. This was just like the shounen mangas she'd read...

    "Hmm, hmm..." Alicia looked the robot-girl up and down, nodding approvingly each time before she put a hand on her chin in thought. "Wait... don't tell me, that'd ruin the surprise... no, I have to ask anyways! Lady, can you do a 'rocket-punch'?"

    Assassin palmed her face and let out a lighthearted sigh of exasperation. "Master..." she asked in a dry voice. "You sure you don't have more important questions to ask?"

    "Oh, right!" Alicia exclaimed, snapping herself back to her senses. She could admire cool robots later, they had to focus now now on more pressing matters. Like stopping that wormhole and saving the city. "Sorry about that Assassin," she said sheepishly. "Anyways," Alicia turned to the taciturn girl with a more serious look on her face, "'M' you called yourself, if you're a 'scout unit' or whatever... then where did you come from? Who sent you? More importantly, do you know any way of stopping this thing?"

    A stream of questions spilled forth from Alicia's lips, but she couldn't help herself. She was so amazed at encountering this mysterious girl that she wanted to ask her everything she knew. And, if there was even the slightest chance her knowledge could budge the cruel fate in store for this city, Alicia had to try...

    "Oh and one more thing..." Alicia went on, blushing slightly and twirling one of her blonde locks. "If instead of rocket-punch you can shoot heat-rays from your boobs or something like Mazinger, you don't have to tell me. You can keep that as a maiden's secret."

    It seems that... although she could act surprisingly mature and driven for her tender years, Alicia Rosenkopf was... secretly a total mecha otaku?!

  15. #155
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Yamashita Hiro
    Shinto - ​Fuyuki's Central Park
    Night phase



    "That's alright..." The blue haired girl replies, unable to catch up with the implication hidden within your words. "This is a start, right? So we should go one step at a time. Your explanation was really good and I was able to grasp most of its premise. What's left is to see whether I remember how to cast a spell or two after we perform this temporary binding ritual you speak of."

    Luna takes a moment to meditate and recap on everything that's been said. She can also tell that there might be some risk involved in the plan, much like with nearly every medical procedure, so she needs a little bit of time to think things through. Ultimately, that proves to be no more than a couple of seconds. What she needs to do and what she wants to do... This method will move her closer to both of her goals. And guts... Well, that is the one thing her bloodline never appears to run out of.

    She nods, having made her decision.

    "Ok. Let's do it."

    --------

    Minutes later, the two of you kneel down on the grass, vegetation that has lost its color, its life. For you to be able to start the ritual, you need to ensure that the two of you are and remain in complete focus, so that your energies can harmonize with one another. Normally, it would be advisable to undress at least a little, as being in direct contact would immediately strengthen the connection, but for a temporary binding such as this one, being like this will do. Having asked for her permission beforehand, you reach out and place your hand over Luna's chest in such a way that you are able to feel her heartbeat. Finally, the both of you close your eyes, and, through your chanting, the magic circle enclosing you comes to life with pure light.

    "..."

    Senses mix and intertwine, reality is thrown out of the window, and your sense of self is destroyed. From an outside perspective, this may be described as a tender, intimate moment between two individuals. However, you are interacting with a foreign force and manipulating it to be on par with your own. No matter how simple it sounds, it's a dangerous procedure that grasps your body and souls, alongside with the emotions and thoughts they possess and mixes them all in a powerful cocktail. The entire thing may not last more than a few moments, but for someone taking direct part in it, it might take minutes if not hours.

    "..."

    A surge of pain rushes through your arm.

    You endure it, ready to make up for Luna's inexperience.

    Your name, your ambitions, the war and the fire demon.

    There is no room for them here. You push everything away.

    "..."


    Time, space and even physical pain disappears.

    You are no longer the Yamashita Hiro kneeling down on the grass anymore.

    You are a body with no limbs and no eyes, trapped within an ocean of memories that isn't your own.

    Your reason to have come this far is the only thing that you haven't discarded along the way.

    Without a moment to spare, you open Pandora's Box.

    And then...

    -------

    This is a memory that belongs to someone else, seen through eyes that never belonged to you.

    No words were shared between the two members of this underground laboratory. Surrounded by expensive pieces of machinery that required more than four hands to ensure constant maintenance, whenever the two of them needed to exchange places, they would do so in a way that would never allow them to run into one another. The distance between them was more than physical, it spoke of a bond that had once been broken and could never be repaired. Yet, at the same time, there was no doubt that the two of them were working together on this project. In spite of their differences, there was something capable of bringing two people together, two individuals who would never see each other eye to eye anymore, something more precious than even their two lives combined.

    What they were about to do couldn't be called anything but to be playing with fire.

    They did not possess the authorization to undergo this journey, nor did they possess the right gear to do so. But because both of them were genius scientists, together they had managed to create something that could potentially achieve the same result. It had not been done for the sake of discovery, nor to fulfill their own selfish ambitions, but instead done to save something precious to the two of them. Just for that possibility, they were willing to set their own lives ablaze on what might as well be a one-way trip.

    As adults, it was their job not to leave things to chance.





    Something goes wrong.



    An absent sense of pain quickly transforms into sheer agony. Harmony itself becomes an alien force, as the combined self that Luna and [_______________] have become, moves to take care of the problem, rejecting you. What you've found lying dormant within that sea of sealed memories was not a Magic Circuit. It was something compatible, yet several times more frightening. If one may compare it to something, using the term 'core' would be a close approximation. And yet, that word too, somehow, falls short to describe it.

    You found something else inside.

    Something... Alive.

    A creature much like the Fire Demon, yet different on its own right.

    A parasite, no, a symbiote willing to defend its host from an outside invasion.

    And...

    Surprisingly enough, it's much more powerful than your resolve is...

    -------

    "..."

    The first thing that comes to your attention is your own, heavy breathing, the ritual having turned out to be more taxing than what you initially anticipated. The second thing you notice as you slowly come back to your senses is warmth and the unmistakable chirping sound of an electric discharge. Then, your vision reveals a vaguely defined and volatile 'lightning web' surrounding a half-conscious Luna from all angles. Finally, you realize that the distance between the two of you isn't what it used to be, as you find yourself quite a few meters away from your original position.

    "...!"

    Your vision is painted red from the sheer sensation of danger that washes over your body when the blue haired girl makes her hand adopt a gun shape and points it at you without hesitation. This isn't her being half-awake, this is her being under some kind of trance...!

    "Ugh...!"


    Her aim wavers, as a strong headache causes her to bring her other hand to her eye.
    Last edited by hero; May 23rd, 2020 at 02:45 PM.
    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

  16. #156
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Alicia Rosenkopf (& Servant Assassin)
    Miyama- Homurahara Academy
    Night Phase



    "Why, yes."
    M replies, as she stares at you with an inquisitive look on her face, one brow slightly raised above the other. "Although it's more of a grappling gun, I suppose there are times when it could be used as an offensive tool. A 'rocket punch', as you just called it."

    Normally, she would never go as far as to demonstrate some of her 'hidden' features, but under these circumstances, she doesn't have much of a choice. Lost in your own excitement, you are getting too close to the real problem, and so you have to be stopped before you accidentally surrender your own soul to the devil. Thus, M raises her arm and points it Straight at you with a serious expression. What follows is a loud detonation and the 'Rocket Punch' you were so eager to see. Following its owner's commands, it quickly shifts its path in mid air and crashes against the floor in front of your feet, halting your advance. Everything happened so quickly, so it was hard to notice during the fact, but now you can clearly see a wide, steel wire connecting the lost limb to the rest of her body. As expected, M uses this wire to 'reel back' her upper arm back into place.

    She's really a robot...

    No comments regarding the use or possession of heat ray cannons, though.

    "... Back to the important topic, please remember to keep your distance. As I've already told you, it's not safe in here."
    M warns you once more, slightly unsure whether such word of caution would ever be heeded by a girl so young. "While any further information I possess regarding my origin is classified, I can tell you that my reason for being here is precisely this rupture in space right here. That is to say, I came here to see if anything could be done to save your Hometown, but it appears I am too late."

    Your heart sinks as the swordswoman confirms your worst fears, the grip on her own weapon tightening as well.

    "The place this gateway leads to cannot be destroyed. It's linked to everything that exists, it's like a supercomputer that defines how each and every element works. I am also fairly sure it's conceptually invincible. However, just like any other computer, it can be corrupted, tainted, just like it happened here. In such scenario, the best thing to do would be to seal or to somehow destroy the gateway. That would certainly extend the lives of hundreds or thousands a little further. But, ultimately, it would be pointless. No, not pointless. It would be just to delay the inevitable. From what I can gather, this is not the first time this gate has actually been opened. In total, the damage caused to the 'time stream', to the 'flow of time' of this world, is irreversible."


    A lot of complicated terms and information are being thrown your way as if you were a scholar, so M's explanation can feel a little overwhelming. Even so, the core of the message is clear: Fuyuki is already beyond saving, and something bad will happen whether you fold your arms and do nothing or put your life on the line in hopes of changing anything.

    From now on, your days are counted...

    "It's dangerous at night. And even more so if it happens to rain. I'll go find myself some shelter; I suggest you do the same. Once the mist overtakes the city, only chaos will reign."

    Saying that, M approaches the window opposite to the classroom entrance and slides it open. Was she planning to jump...? Ah, since that strange portal is still over there and you can't afford to get close to it, there is nothing to do to prevent the robot girl's escape. But, before her departure, she turns slightly to offer you one final piece of advice.

    "I should mention this isn't the Fuyuki you know. It has been split into pieces, into different layers, similar to one another. You and I could be standing in the same room at the same time, but if we were to be on different layers, we wouldn't be able to notice one another, let alone interact in any way. If you find a way to put the pieces back together... Then maybe you can work out a solution to seal this gateway once more... The same way the heir of the Tohsaka did, so many years ago."

    Layers, seal, Tohsaka.

    Before you can ask any further questions, the mysterious woman who called herself 'M' is gone.

    And it's up to you to decide what to do from here on out.
    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

  17. #157
    Taiga's knight Tobias's Avatar
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    Yamashita Hiro
    Shinto - ​Fuyuki's Central Park
    Night phase



    A moment passed, in the emptiness between dreams and reality. There was much to consider. The strange laboratory like room that he had glimpsed. The surge of power that put most mages to shame. Even the strange spirit that existed in the depths of Luna’s psyche was fascinating! How much could be learned if Hiro could examine it?

    The similarities between it and the jungle spirit were obvious, but that just made the differences between the two even more notable. Comparing the two would certainly lead to fruitful results.

    However...Hiro couldn’t focus on any of these things. Nor was he even able to pay much attention to the obvious threat implied in the aiming motion the older woman, or what had previously been Luna, utilized.

    Instead...? What captured his emotions and attentions was best summed up in the way the pale rising light of the moon was reflected back to the black sky by his suddenly shining eyes.

    Eyes which let a single tear cap down his left cheek, and then another, it’s twin to slide along the right side of his face.

    Mages were creatures who were steeped in sin. They lived the life of liars, and thieves. Sometimes murderers, when the time and price was right. But there were certain unspoken rules that were still followed. Laws of respect. Laws of succession, the transfer of power.

    And...laws of family. Fathers and mothers still lived their children. Even though such was often denied. Mages still loved their family. When the time came, magus lords would bow their heads and accept the end of their time, and move their crests to a worthy heir so that the family goals and dreams could be passed down. There were bonds that even magic couldn’t break.

    Hiro was intelligent. Well trained. Powerful. Brave.

    ...But he wasn’t experienced. There were things that didn't exist in a world that contained strict but fair parents and early successes in life. Certainly he had experienced failure. He knew how defeat could bring about painful growth.

    But he hadn't experienced true heart ache. Not yet. He logically understood that bonds more precious then life itself could actually break, but he had never truly experienced that for himself.

    Until now. In a timeless eternal instant, he felt the rawest, more pure form of loss one human can face. A parting more final then death. Even death's door opened. On that final farewell there was always the sad, but powerful hope that one might themselves step through that door. We will meet again, was undoubtedly the saddest, happiest thought one could ever have. To be human was to truly believe in bonds that even death couldn't break, only delay.

    But the parting that comes from having to separate yourself? that was different. Somethings once lost could never come back.

    "That's...not fair..." he mumbled quietly.

    Yeah OK, screw this, i'm driving.

    How did it happen? Hiro had always been able to keep the fire demon if not in control, then at least at bay. But in that second, it entirely pushed his consciousness aside with absolutely no difficulty, shunting everything that was the animas of Yamashita Hiro into a closet and locking the door.

    Maybe it was because of the wrap? Its power worked to restrain the God who Judged Death by turning her nearly limitless power against her, bars and chains made from her own strength. By unleashing that power against Berserker, he had weakened the fire demon. But he had also incidentally weakened the power that kept her held in check.

    Or maybe it was simpler. He had always held her restrained through his will power. Which had been shattered by by emotions he didn't even know existed. Whatever the reason, it seemed a warrior spirit wished to talk with a guardian one.

    "Nyaaaaa....I don't know who you are, sleepy head, but you are late! So late! What would you have done if I hadn’t been there!? If you were in there, why did I just have to save that girl's life?”

    It was notable the area wasn't quivering with the awesome power of a Servant. She knew herself to be in quite a weakened state. But who cared about that anyway. This wasn't about fighting, this was about grasping the most important thing in life, and what that was...!?

    "Don't worry, to much though. If you value either her life or your own, you can pay the debt you accrued earlier today in installments of sushi! Grilled Fish, and foie gras! and Beer, lots and lots of beer. And have some with me. Its boring to drink alone."

    ...If, in the grips of magic, Hiro's eyes began to glow golden brown, then now as as well they appeared differently. ...But instead of leaking power and malicious insight they uh....appeared to have been overtaken by large stars, as the young girl pressed both hands together in an bizarre prayer fashion next to her ear, endless demanding luxuries and delicacies she probably had no idea it was improper and strange to expect. Suddenly a face that had dripped a pair of remorseless tears now released a slowly increasing, and seemingly endless amount of drool.

    Though...for some reason...it seemed she was oddly someone well used to receiving endless sacrifices, so maybe it wasn't strange at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bird of Hermes View Post
    The moment the opportunity arises for a pun, the one known as 'Taiga's Knight' will be there to deliver whether you like it or not.

  18. #158
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Aya Alayana
    Shinto - Church on the Hill

    ---At the sight of the tea in her hands, the young girl frowns slightly to herself.

    It is the natural look of a child that has been denied one of their whims, and perhaps an expression that the young girl herself does not realize she is making... Nevertheless, there is something about the warmth of the cup that calls out to her in a way...

    Yes.

    Warmth is a good feeling, pleasant, full of energy, full of life.

    That is why Aya Alayana is not very appreciative of the cold... In the future, she will be the type that becomes naturally more grumpy as temperatures outside drop, of course, in that same future she will be a beacon of 'flame' herself, but that is neither here nor there, for now...

    "..."

    Her frown becomes a light smile, as she further envelops the cup with both hands.

    ---In some regard that is a strange response, but the heat is pleasant, pleasant in a way that not many others could likely understand, and in that regard...

    Simply holding it is enough to shift her mood slightly towards the positive.

    Of course, this church woman is still strange. Tea? Tea is not a casual beverage, it is the sort of thing you brew for someone that will be staying around awhile, and in terms of quantity it is... Lacking...

    Still.

    She will be the Second Owner of this city one day, so it would be somewhat beneath her to respond to the woman's bizarre behavior too coldly; while those who rebel directly against the owner must be brought in line lest they repeat the behavior, this person is simply strange, she is not unkind -seemingly- and so there is no reason to respond to her negatively...

    "Nice to meet you Caren."

    ---At least not at this age.

    "My name is Aya. Aya Alayana."

    That is why she answers the woman's question with what she thought was a strong, solid voice, so as to ensure the taller girl heard it correctly and will not forget it in the future-!

    As for the food offer, or well, lack of a food offer...

    "My Father is feeding me fine, so I don't need food," she tilts her head to the side, cup still held in both hands, "But why did you have to rebuild the building? Was it damaged recently?"

    If so, she hadn't noticed...

    Then again, she also spent most of her time studying... And Father wouldn't let her wander around alone...
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

    Could you kill someone you love for the sake of everyone else?


    What a cynical worldview, Messiah.
    Real heroes would find a different answer.


    Right, right.
    The power to break through a sad reality—
    I wonder—

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  19. #159
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Aya Alayana
    Shinto - Arcadia Refuge
    Night Phase


    "Hmmm...? Are you sure you are alright? I don't recall you ever being this clingy."

    The bright scenery of the church left behind, what remains once you open your eyes is nothing but the vast darkness of the night. Tired after everything your body has gone through in the past twenty four hours and after an extensive search through most of the city, you crashed here, at the last spot, the refuge that the Mayor and the military have set up for survivors. Crashed, quite literally, because you lost consciousness shortly after your arrival. After having a somewhat realistic dream where you relived a memory of the past, you find yourself with your head rested against Caren's lap, in a position that you would never adopt on your own free will. The nun, naturally, finds your reaction quite entertaining. A nun, but also a devil on her own right.

    The Central Plaza has been almost completely filled to the brim with large camping tents, and the movement in and out of them appears to be never-ending. For once, the military seems to be quite involved in their work, something which is somewhat rare, considering they hardly participated in any other catastrophes that've taken place in the fact. In hindsight, this one affects the entire population as a whole and is not hidden to everyone except a few. The apocalyptic feel of the city even at this hour induces despair, but also hope, as people are seen working together in order to overcome a common enemy.

    And that enemy... Is the night itself.

    Those shadows, those monsters which attacked the children and you last night... Were nowhere to be seen during the day. The night has always been a symbol in that regard. It is at those hours in which the supernatural is most powerful. And certainly, in the hearts of every living creature, they know. They know that whatever haunted them yesterday would be coming back today. A second round in which humanity now has had the time to prepare, the only question lingering in the minds of many would have to be... 'Will it be enough...?'

    "..."

    In your case, you are more concerned about finding Natsu and the others than having to deal with those annoying ghosts again. But so far, almost your entire search has proved to be useless. You even agreed to come here as a last resort, hoping that you would find their names on the list of accepted refugees of Arcadia, but that too proved to be a waste of time. And let it be known that to enter this area, you had to undergo a number of tests to ensure that you wouldn't be a threat to the rest of the community. The military even had to make sure that you did not possess any sort of bite marks on your body, almost as if this was all a Zombie Apocalypse movie. You'll never forget the look on their faces when they saw the number of bandages Caren Ortensia has wrapped up her body, all due to her peculiar illness. Fortunately, they never forced you to take any test that would be extremely out of the ordinary, and as such, never learned that you could easily bend fire to your liking and set the entire place ablaze.

    Sometimes the true enemies of humanity hide under the most innocent facades.

    Like that of a babysitter, just to put an example.

    In any case, a part of you is still set on that little dream you recently experienced. On that vague memory of how Caren and you first met and on that question you asked at the end. It was honestly quite an innocent yet well justified question. There was no way having to rebuild a church was normal, most of them can stand tall for decades, unless something does something about it.

    Her answer was weird, wasn't it?

    Something about two different gas leaks, one during 2004 and another one earlier that year. What was it 2011...?

    Fishy. But then again, you were a kid, so it was not like she could answer openly.

    So... What now?

    The Arcadia refuge is brimming with activity, and there is sure a place for Caren and you to be of help. There are quite a few disturbances that even the military is having trouble with, perhaps because they are not allowed to use force. You could also attempt to share a talk with the Mayor. As much of a trap this whole thing is to your eyes, it cannot be denied that it has done a lot of good to the people of Fuyuki in the past few hours.

    Maybe having a talk with the man himself would help you clear your doubts.
    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

  20. #160
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Aya Alayana
    Shinto - Arcadia Refuge
    Night Phase


    Quote Originally Posted by Caren
    "Hmmm...? Are you sure you are alright? I don't recall you ever being this clingy."
    ---No.

    In spite of the seriousness of the situation, it is a remarkably petty thought that greets the once-more adult form of Aya Alayana, as she awakens to find herself in a position that is both comforting and compromising...

    ---No.

    ---Not this person's lap.

    It's an impossibility. No, that's not quite true, people will move to where they are more comfortable even whilst unconscious, but surely her body understood that to move too close to that person is simply asking for trouble... It is just like laying one's head in the lap of the devil themselves, an action that her subconscious should know better than to perform, even if -and she'll never admit it- that cursed lap was far more inviting than the ground, or the metals of a bench...

    Even so, even though her eyes open with a certain speed once she realizes what is going on, she knows that a more explosive response would feed into the older girl's ego, and so she rises from that position without saying anything at first, just rising, sitting back up, resisting the urge to rub at her own eyes, and-

    "I'm quite alright. I'm sure you dragged me into your lap for some nefarious purpose of course, but I will generously pretend you were being pure in your intentions, and that you actually remained silent as I awakened so as to not ruin the moment we might have been able to have, White Devil."

    -as an adult, she is able to fight back in more subtle ways.

    Of course, on closer inspection, and perhaps examination of the woman's memories, a certain behavioral pattern might be able to be glimpsed, but...

    The existence called Aya Alayana would never admit to it anyway, and so it is all for naught, all for naught.

    Caren talks too much, that's not how you capitalize on a moment of weakness at all, foolish nun...

    But...

    "Besides, if you didn't have me right now you'd be in quite some trouble... So who is actually clinging to whom now?"

    Too late, the flame-haired girl had been given too much time to recover, to rebuild her usual personality, and thus she is able to retreat under the use of words like a machine gun, although once she rises, taking in the world around her, and having her thoughts shift back from "nostalgia" to the "right here and now," she...

    "This place..."

    ...frowns, as she regards everything, as if she thinks it's too convenient that things had worked out so quickly, so easily...

    "Gives me a bad vibe..."

    She just can't trust it.

    It's just... Off...

    The citizens themselves are fine, these actions are in line with those humans take to protect themselves in times of strife, but the ones at the top...

    Had seemed awfully well-prepared for all of this, and that's why...

    "...Well, dragging you around outside of this place would be a pain," engaging in a certain behavior others might classify as dishonest in a sense, the red-haired woman's reasoning behind those words and this decision is likely more complex than it would initially appear, and is perhaps, an effect of seeing a certain nostalgic dream, "So let's go see the Mayor. I shouldn't have to worry about something deciding to eat you while I'm not paying attention if we do that, lessen the weight of my chains a bit."

    Bluntly.

    Brazenly even, leaving no real room for resistance, still said in a bit of a cold tone, but also strangely...

    More considerate than normal?

    ...Yes.

    It's a bit bizarre, but...

    "On the way... Explain to me what the 2004 and 2011 gas leaks were..."

    Now that she was older... She knew the code...

    Gas Leak was rarely ever a Gas Leak...

    More often than not, it meant "the supernatural got out of hand."
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

    Could you kill someone you love for the sake of everyone else?


    What a cynical worldview, Messiah.
    Real heroes would find a different answer.


    Right, right.
    The power to break through a sad reality—
    I wonder—

    Will they be able to show it to me?



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