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Thread: Fate/Closure [IC Thread]

  1. #221
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Interlude – The Monster, unleashed


    When the half-blood was hit by the magus’ all-out attack, half of her icy mask had been blasted off, revealing the face beneath and the expression she was wearing.

    And that was how the two men were able to know.

    Yes.

    Without a doubt, Hiyako Tsurara had gone quite mad.

    Perhaps such a result was within the one-eyed man’s, who was using the false name of Kawamoto Yukata, calculations. One could say that given the deterministic nature of the result, this was fated. It was her destiny to go insane right here and now. Yeah, perhaps it was just as planned.

    What had been it? Had it been the strain of a tense battle in which she had to employ every single instant to the maximum possible extent, even against an opponent much weaker than her, followed by the immediate use of her full power? Had it been the realization that she had been deceived all along, and that she hadn’t had any other option but to follow these lies, even while finding them dubious?

    Or had it been the final realization that it had been her all along who had doomed humanity to a bad future, the ultimate responsible for all the death and destruction she had seen before being yanked from her time and thrown into this impossible situation?

    Nobody, not even Tsurara herself, could tell what had finally driven her over the edge.

    However.

    Yes. There was a however.

    Her single visible shined with a cunning light as she looked at the prone form of Yukata. Her distorted, ogre-like visage deformed further as a crazed smile surged across her face.

    “It sure must have been fun for you. Successfully deceiving me like that. I’m sure you must be feeling quite satisfied of yourself right now, aren’t you~?” The tone of these words, although filled with danger and murderous intent, is almost even and rational. Too rational. A hybrid on the throes of madness shouldn’t be speaking like this.

    There was probably a small misunderstanding. Something that hadn’t quite entered in the concept others had of Inversion Impulse and the madness that haunted those who had anything to do with demonkind. An error in the calculations, something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place, a factor that only one whose bloodline had somehow, for this moment alone, surpassed the limits of a human being.

    Sheer, petty pride in oneself. An arrogance that went beyond all reason. A belief in one’s own way of doing things, a desire to be the image she wished to maintain.

    Yes. Even at the precipice of madness.

    ----------------- Even now, the monster, Hiyako Tsurara, fought with her wits rather than with power alone.

    “Idiot.” The words are spoken with almost happy spite. “You fucked up.”

    Yukata’s mistake… is his intentions were to completely preserve the timeline, was bringing someone like Tsurara to this battle in the first place.

    It has nothing to do with power, by itself, although a certain degree of power would be the minimum requirement.

    It has everything to do with personality. Beings like Hiyako Tsurara, or Aya Alayana, are not beings that can be contained. Their sheer pride and the pettiness that came from a deep belief on oneself will push them way beyond the bounds of common sense. They’re not instruments that can be used and manipulated, because they will turn against those who do so in a heartbeat.

    Taking people like these to this kind of situation is a big mistake. Manipulating them and predicting that their actions will go a certain way, that can work once. But afterwards, they will endeavor to turn the moment of triumph into the worst kind of nightmare imaginable. Out of offended pride, they would break their wielder into pieces.

    It is worse than a zero-sum game. It was the equivalent of scoring a goal once in exchange for scoring ten own goals.

    That was what Tsurara’s insane smile and what her words expressed.

    The monster’s eyes fell upon the defeated figure of the old Tetsuro, frozen in space as he clutched the door, and then followed the man’s horrified sight to beyond it. The door disintegrated into dust, leaving the former teacher grasping empty space in the air. A gout of cryogenic flame strikes the shade beyond the very moment it was about to strike down a boy, leaving not even ash behind.

    Tsurara calmly strolls onwards, the maddened eyes piercing the two men. Her mask falls apart in pieces, revealing the veiny face behind, the monstrous figure of an ogre from ancient Japanese myth. There is much information she can obtain of these men, she has the duty to interrogate them, but she doesn’t have enough time to do so and accomplish her objective at the same time.

    She contents herself from walking up to Yukata, ignoring anything the man says. Right now, she’s deaf to words and reason. With a quick movement of her left hand, she dislocates both of the old man’s knees, painfully, before lifting him with utter ease and slinging him over her shoulder. He’d be interrogated. His hell was only starting. If he thought he could bring down the world without suffering none of the consequences, he was mistaken. He’d go through the exact same experience as his victims were about to.

    With the same calm steps, she strolls past the frozen figure of the old Tetsuro, stopping briefly in front of him.

    “My name is Hiyako Tsurara.” She whispers to him, a stone thrown into the pond of time, whose ripples are bound to expand across the timeline. Insurance for if ‘this her’ fails and perishes, although she believed herself to be already doomed in the first place.

    She then proceeds into the room, sword in hand, prisoner over her shoulder, ice clinging to her figure, clad in cold flame, walking into view of the many students and the teacher frozen there, watching as a hole was poked into their world.

    They all notice the foreign presence, the deity-like behind who walks calmly, but whose presence is as violent as that of a bloodthirsty creature of myth, a deity of the Hindu, a Rakshasa from times immemorial. She stops in front of a certain redhead, and can almost feel her surprise as she recognizes what is happening in front of her very eyes, what the appearance of this intruder signifies, and the distant connection by blood they share.

    Ah, yes. Tsurara remembered now. Her clan had made a habit of keeping track of all of the Aki family agents that were in the outside world, for one reason or the other. That is how she had been aware, long ago, of the disappearance of Aki Fumi, and all of her classmates. A report from long ago that clarified nothing because the Clock Tower had covered up the incident. She remembered the long list of names, who had vanished never to be seen again, and that now she knew had perished within the Dark World.

    She looked at her distant relative briefly, then her eyes ran over the rest, stopping only at the younger Tetsuro, and the younger Haruka. So many supernatural beings in a single room. How utterly funny.

    “You are a gaggle of fucking idiots.” Tsurara spoke, the calmness of her voice adding a brutal edge to her words.

    “What you have done today, you’ll regret it. I can assure you. You’ll regret it again and again and again and again and wish you had never done something this incredibly stupid. Gods know I will.”

    As the hole in the world expands, as people are being taken slowly into it, she lets her power go and fade, returning to her normal form. And now she’s just Hiyako Tsurara, and she’s dead tired, insane and wounded, carrying a prisoner and standing by force of will alone.

    What she’s doing is suicidal. Perhaps that was the point. Perhaps after failing so spectacularly, now she wished for death, like the Aki Fumi of another timeline once did in the Dark World, seeking some sort of redemption in a sacrificial death. Who knows the answer of this question? Perhaps only Tsurara herself would.

    All she knew is that it couldn’t be this simple. The words of this man had contained too much false information and deceit, but the opening of this world should have brought on a more gradual apocalypse, not something sudden that happened out of nowhere in a single night. So to understand what is going on, she must go into the Dark World and see for herself what she has to oppose.

    The hole in the world expanded, and started absorbing her. Tsurara smiled as her body slowly disintegrated, to be taken to the other side.

    Knowing fully well that she had signed her own death sentence. Knowing fully well that her efforts would end up in vain. Her actions couldn’t be called rational anymore. But once time travel had become a factor into this… her range of options had expanded, and she could afford desperate moves.

    And so, the cycle of time spun, things repeating themselves once again, the Occult Club thrown into a world of death were the great majority of them would meet their fates at the hands of cruel monsters and psychotic, overly proud humans turned feral beasts.

    Except for one change, one different factor that wasn’t there before…

    “I wonder, how many of them will I be able to bring alive with me?” She asks idly, before disappearing.”

    That now the monster, unleashed, was along the ride with them.

    Interlude Out


    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!

  2. #222
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Assassin of the Distant Kingdom
    Shinto - ​Fuyuki's Central Park
    Night Phase

    Weak.

    Her estimation of the intruder is that he is intolerably weak. An existence barely worthy of the title of Servant. A King should rightfully overlook such a man, but there is another factor to Assassin that acknowledge him precisely because he is weak.

    That is, she loves to play around with weaklings. Especially those who arrive bearing gifts.

    The tree explodes in a shower of leaves. There is no resistance, no cry of pain or yowl of anger. Leaves drift down from above as the trunk groans and cracks and slowly breaks apart. It will fall in less than five seconds, and it will crush the unconscious human beneath it. Before then, Hassan will reach Hiro and rescue her, using the opening to retreat.

    That opening never materializes. With a loud crunch the trunk is blown away, flying in the complete opposite direction.

    Between the leaves, a familiar figure rises. It is the outline of a shadow that stoked the fear in Hassan's heart only minutes ago. Except this figure is different. It has a face, and eyes, and a mouth that curls up into a catlike grin.

    "You want this thing, vulture?"

    She lifts up the figure of Yamashita Hiro easily with one hand, clutching the boy by the neck.

    "I don't dislike that greed of yours. After all, it brought me that delicious-smelling soul."

    There is a difference, yes, between the angry shadow of before and the lucid Servant standing before him now. That difference is...

    "We play by human rules. I believe it was called..."

    The shadow from before had never looked down on him so.



    "Catch."

    In one motion, possible only through inhuman strength, Yamashita Hiro is thrown upwards at an angle, flying high into the night sky.

    The rules of this game, of course, need no explanation.

    How long will it take? Surely no more than five or six seconds. He will rise, and then he will fall, and at the end of that time, he will hit the ground and die instantly. The only ones capable of arresting that fall are the two Servants in the clearing. But of course, that requires using their own bodies to dissipate the force of gravity. Doing so will provide an opening the other can mercilessly exploit.

    Five seconds. In that time, Hassan can try to drive away the bestial Servant with his own strength and secure Hiro. He can challenge the other Assassin in an aerial battle. He can retreat and give up on the game and Yamashita Hiro following his cowardly instincts. He can trade his the unconscious woman on his back for the boy. Or he can bet that this game is a bluff and the boy was never in danger. He can do many things, and he will be judged for each one of them by the laughing King.

    Which answer will he choose?

  3. #223
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Assassin of the Stray Path
    Miyama - The Sleeping Bishop
    Night Phase



    It has been a long day filled with a number of reveals and intense experiences. It was only to be expected that your little Master would long for a good night's sleep. However, the same cannot be said about you. Though a fair share of your reserves has already been spent and a time of respite is advisable, you require no hours of sleep to operate at full efficiency the next morning. Your first thought was to stay next to your Master and look after her all night long, as there are no guarantees that something like what happened tonight would not repeat itself. The group initially marked the mist as the enemy, but as you pointed out, there are other dangers lurking out there. It might still remain unclear whether this is a war of some sort, but there are certainly foes out there who wish to erase this inn and its inhabitants from the map. Then, it is only natural to be concerned for your Master, who is both the strongest and the weakest link in the pair. But...

    "..."


    You are just wasting your time, merely standing here, aren't you? Though she's no more than a little girl, Alicia is putting all the effort she can muster in leading the group towards a more hopeful future. You might not be able to shine as much as she can, but there has to be a way to make yourself more useful without putting everyone at risk. Even if it turns out to be something casual and mundane, it would be better and definitely more entertaining than staying silent in one place.

    "..."

    Though you may be far from being known as the most social hero in the Throne, it's time to make and effort and get to know your environment better. That is, it's time to leave your Master side and take a little peek at the life of the other guests. Naturally, most of them must be asleep right now, but your class container gives you somewhat of an advantage at gathering information in this case. You may not even need to interact with others to learn a thing or two about them. And, if those are the ones who will also stand at Alicia's side from now on, it would be good to learn a little bit more about them.

    Now then...

    Who shall you look into tonight...?



    Player's Choice
    1. The owner of the inn, Takagi Akane.
    2. The recovering Masaki siblings, Tomomi and Taichi.
    3. The stern looking maid, Sakaki Yuuna.

    Make a brief post and choose, then a scene will play 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

  4. #224
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Aya Alayana
    Shinto - Verde
    Night Phase



    "Thank you."


    With the return of your flames, the intoxicating feeling in your chest is alleviated somewhat. As a gesture for your good will, it appears that the girl has done something to ease the pain and the bring back air to your lungs. No, most likely, she would have done so regardless of your response.

    "I've forcefully cut the source, but that doesn't take away the fact that you've been afflicted with a powerful curse. Try not to move too much, it'll be easier on you if you can calm your mind. Rest, and leave the rest to us."

    The amount of confidence she exudes is almost overwhelming and not hard to confuse with an actual lie. Without a doubt, it's a lot easier said than done... With all that is at stake and the giant burden that has been placed upon your shoulders, to simply let go of that weight and entrust it to two strangers, the act is almost unbefitting of someone like you. And yet, there is something in her attitude that simply inspires one to believe in her.

    If you had to compare it to something else, you'd likely use the term 'Motherly Resolution' as a close synonym.

    There is, after all, a small sea of sadness hidden in those blind eyes as well, sorrow born from witnessing the suffering of someone else and not being able to do more at the moment. But that is understandable, as there is no time to treat your spiritual wounds any further.

    "Shizuka."


    She calls out, and at the same time, something violently crashes against one of the of the shop's showcases. Though in your current state it's absurdly hard to understand what just happened, you can instinctively tell, based on your prior combat experience, that something is actually someone and that the crash was not the result of a poorly planned fall, but rather the consequence of being pushed or thrown without mercy.

    "My fairies will keep the creatures at bay, but we will need to buy us more time for the summoning."


    It's only then that you notice.

    The purple haired girl is holding something outstanding in one of her hands, something that clearly contrasts with the traditional image her haori and the rest of her attire works hard to create.

    It's a modern, silver suitcase, with a strange symbol carved on it.

    "Five minutes. In five minutes, the preparations will be complete and HQ will send the energy required for us to summon our Servants."


    Those words echo inside your head.

    No matter what angle one decides to take, five minutes is simply too much.

    Though a lot of things happened ever since you dared to venture into this hell, in reality, less than five minutes have passed since your reckless entrance. It's a goal simply outside reach-! Monsters will swarm the group lured by the hunger for revenge and violence and now that your fire isn't here to at the very least slow their advance...

    And this summon... Can it really turn the tide of the battle in your favor?

    "I'd hate to ask for your help when I, moments ago, told you to get some rest, but given the situation, there is a possibility our success may not be possible without your assistance. If that scenario is to arrive, I'll need you to do exactly as I say so please, do not waste your energies before then."

    A small pause to acknowledge weakness.

    "And I know this isn't the most suitable moment for an introduction, but I would at least like to know your name. Mine is Fujou Rei, a pleasure to meet you."
    [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

  5. #225
    Lost in Paradise RoydGolden's Avatar
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    Assassin of the Stray Path
    Miyama- The Sleeping Bishop
    Night Phase


    Assassin paused for a moment, gaze drawn to her young Master's slumbering face. Alicia's normally wide reddish brown eyes were peacefully closed, and soft snoring sounds emanated from the girl's mouth as her small chest rose and fell in time with her slight breaths. Asleep like this she looked small, cute and eminently protectable, showing no sign of the valiant heroine who'd charged into battle alongside Assassin while risking her own life and limb. While commending her accomplishments, Assassin couldn't help but curse fate's cruelty for dragging such a purehearted girl into a conflict as bloody as the Holy Grail War.

    Shaking those thoughts out of her mind Assassin rose to her feet from where she'd been sitting beside Alicia on the bed. "No sense just sitting around. Besides, I'll look like some perv watching a young girl sleep..." she murmured jokingly to herself, pondering where she'd go next. There were plenty of unusual characters at the inn Assassin could visit to try and extract information from them, so it was just a matter of who to pick.

    Takagi Akane, the mysterious young woman who'd shrewdly taken command of the situation as if she knew more than she'd freely admit, came to her mind. As did Sakaki Yuuna, the stoical woman perpetually clad in a maid's uniform who seemed to hold exceptional scouting abilities. But more than that Assassin recalled Tomomi, the bluehaired girl her Master had struck up a fast friendship with. She and her brother Taichi were still resting in their own rooms after the brutal battle they'd endured, with the latter recovering from severe injuries.

    Assassin decided to pay a visit to the siblings first. She could spin it as a favor to Alicia by checking in on how her friend was doing, though personally Assassin was more curious on the strange power the girl wielded which differed from the Magecraft the Grail had loosely filled her in on. In any case, Assassin had a goal in mind now. Leaving the room she walked out into the halls, careful to stifle her footsteps to not wake anyone who might be sleeping. Assassin reached the Masaki siblings' room and cautiously slid open the paper-divider, wondering just what encounter she'd face on the other side.
    Last edited by RoydGolden; October 18th, 2020 at 05:40 PM. Reason: Corrected name

  6. #226
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Interlude - Hope, Led Astray (I)



    "Ow... Ow... That hurt...!"


    The voice comes from within one of the numerous shops in Verde's Grand Hallways. Much like the rest of the mall by this point, very little remains of its former beauty, which was swallowed by the fire that reigned as its king until mere moments ago. The voice belongs to a one-armed woman, her features concealed under the protection of a black cloak. It has been less than a minute that her body crashed through the window, thrown in that direction by an invisible force that she could not sense nor understand. Because she never expected the enemy to find her position with so much ease, the attack caught her off guard and shoved her away from the target. But that's all it managed to do. While a normal human would have been lucky not to see some injuries after becoming a victim to such attack, the woman walked out without little more than a scratch on her attire. The sheer force behind that 'almighty push' should have been enough to break several ribs, yet either that did not happen, or she knew how to conceal it well. In spite of her words, a glance would be all it takes to tell that her words are empty, that she isn't truly hurting all over.

    "..."


    One warrior steps up to the challenge and stands between the mysterious woman and the other group. Her name is Fujou Shizuka, a demon-hunter who specializes solely on the art of hunt, someone whose power is built atop of hundreds of past hardships. Her prowess is such that, in terms of pure swordplay, it would take at least twenty experienced hunters to match her. Her strength and speed speak of an inhuman power coursing through her veins, and she is not ill-equipped either. In her hands is the Japanese sword that managed to easily cleave through armored skin capable of withstanding a tank shell just some time ago. The grip on her weapon is firm, and she will not hesitate to use it, even if the enemy is not of demonic lineage. Indeed, there is not a trace of hesitation as Shizuka cautiously moves closer to the shadow that's been stalking them.

    Five minutes. That's all she needed to buy her companion in order to ensure the Summoning System becomes online. But five minutes is too much for someone who can swiftly end things in a flash.

    Divine speed marks the end of mercy.

    The first exchange between the two is over in the blink of an eye, Shizuka having moved past her enemy, her sword already back on its sheathe. They now stand with their backs facing one another, the silence they share being the one thing that keeps time from moving forward. That is, until one of them dares to speak the firsts words towards the other.

    "... It's been a while since I've last seen someone move that fast. And for my sword to break after taking a single hit... Geez, Is there anything about you that isn't unfair...? Give me a break."

    Unbelievable.

    Blood sprays out of from an injury on her right shoulder. The upper half of her weapon spins numerous times in the air until it eventually falls, digging itself on the ground. She's one of the greatest soldiers out there, yet Shizuka easily surpassed her during this brief duel. It should be clear that the next exchange, if it is even necessary, will put an end to it all.

    Then why...?

    Why is Fujou Shizuka so surprised by this turn of events...?

    "Normally, I'd pay heed to my allies' advice and retreat while I have the chance but, you know... That sword was pretty precious to me, you know? I can't let your crime go unpunished."

    "...!"

    The answer is simple: She missed.

    That attack that was meant to decapitate her enemy failed. And as a result of that...




    Shizuka's own blood now stains her kimono, as well.



    "Oh? You dodged it, too. So it's not just speed. You've got pretty good reflexes built in you, as well, don't cha...?"


    Finding it uncomfortable at this point, the mysterious woman removes the piece of clothing that used to conceal her identity. Torn as it is now, it has lost its utility.

    Still facing away from one another, there is something strange in her otherwise ordinary-looking smile. Beneath that carefree expression that Shizuka cannot see...

    ... lies the unmistakable feeling of death.

    Spoiler:



    "Well, I think that should make for a pretty good handicap. Enough to make my heart pump faster. Enough to justify taking your stuff with me once we're through. Now then, let's move to the main course."



    Interlude 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

  7. #227
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Aya Alayana
    Shinto - Verde
    Night Phase


    "...Alayana Aya. Second Owner."

    ---In the end, the voice the crimson-haired woman uses in response to the request for her name isn't a very thrilled one; while the flames have mostly disappeared now, returned to their eternal cage within the depths of her soul, the sounds they make, the words they give voice to, all of it remains chattering away at the back of her thoughts as both she and it come to a sort of agreement at the same time, namely...

    These people are out of their minds.

    Five minutes against this many monsters? Monsters of this caliber? All for the sake of some Summoning System coming online? Considering the use of the term Servant, it could very well be the summoning of some sort of Heroic Spirit of course, but...

    "...Your Servants, huh?"

    ---Those type, huh?

    Doing things without your own power? Reliant that heavily on the past?

    She can't say she's really a fan of those types at a glance, certainly, a heroic spirit might make a powerful familiar, but it would come attached to a powerful ego that would probably try to supersede one's own, a record of beings that thought themselves superior to modern humans in a sense, ones that were superior in a sense even, but that she still felt should be kept on far tighter of a leash than whatever all of this seemed to be implying about it...

    ...No, putting that bias aside...

    Do exactly as this Rei girl says if the time comes?

    That's the really insane part.

    She barely knows anything about the situation, already expecting her to accept orders from someone she doesn't know? Really, she was the type of person that was more like a natural disaster than anything else, something that went blazing a trail through everything else on her own whims, once she decided it was necessary...

    Telling a fire to stop, to hold back, well...

    That only works for so long, really, only the sight of a certain bit of cloth hanging off of her own wrist causes her to pause in this instant, rather than immediately start plotting to retake over the situation herself...

    The curse is still eating away at her, but when the one-armed swordswoman appears, her hand automatically goes for her gun; it's a movement made without excessive worry or panic, it's just a firm logic, the second way to 'invoke' the flames that wouldn't stress her circuits too much if necessary, of course...

    If things got too bad she wouldn't mind slamming her foot down on the metaphorical accelerator again anyway, Caren at least knew what the hell the flames were, so if they won, she'd at least have a chance of putting them out, better than this gaping void of magical energy and death, still...

    "...Hey."

    This new, red-haired girl...

    The one-armed swordswoman, while she hadn't planned on saying anything to the most obvious of her enemies, there was something about that face, that far-too-normal but full of death face, that...

    Reminds her of a brat.

    Really, the urge to punish is quite strong...

    "What's your name, girl? Objective too."

    Perhaps that's why her voice automatically goes into demanding babysitter mode?

    ...Yeah, probably.

    Brats all around...
    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?



  8. #228
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Assassin of the Distant Kingdom
    Shinto - ​Fuyuki's Central Park
    Night Phase



    It is impossible for him to tell how many times prior he was summoned to time beyond his own era, in order fulfill his role as Hassan of the Mountain. It might have been several or it might have been none. Heroic Spirits simply lose their memories once their souls return to the Throne. Thus, Assassin isn't allowed to know what happened to him during those other times, if there were any. And yet, beneath that white skull mask there is nothing but absolute certainty. After all, there is absolutely no way...

    ---There is absolutely no way he has ever seen such a ridiculous scenario play out in front of his eyes.

    A Servant surrendering her own Master to another who belongs to the one class that specializes in hunting them down. No, that is not what makes the situation so bizarre. If there is anything that stands out at that moment, it has to be the cat's demeanor. No ill-intent can be found in its words nor its actions. Its promise feels truthful, it is willing to play by the rules of its own game. But at the same time, its eyes are boastful and confident, giving the impression that there is some fine print hidden somewhere in the spoken contract.

    It was like a King letting its Subject borrow its Crown for a day just to see what they would do with it, knowing all too well that the Regalia would eventually find its way back to its rightful place. An exercise that would serve to teach a lesson to those that need it. A tale so reckless and unthinkable that it only belongs in fairy-tales, where the wise rule and ignorant bow in respect. A world with its own set of rules which differ greatly from those seen in reality. Yet, within this gesture, one could feel its traces manifest in present time.

    "Catch, huh? Am I supposed to capture the boy as if it were a ball, and then throw it back at you? You've got some strange tastes, cat-ears."

    Normally, he would have no need to follow to cat's proposal. Hassan-I-Sabbah is not bound to Yamashita Hiro, his disappearance won't be of major consequence as far as he knows, and even the sight of a seemingly painful death won't affect his sleep, assuming he needs any. Granted, he has been ordered to look after the woman and the little boy and there is no doubt in his mind that his Master will be pissed off if he were to fail, but with so many odds stacked against him, a mistake is acceptable, right? Besides, right now he is not being watched... Shared perception is no longer in use. Having overheard Luna and Hiro's conversation earlier, Assassin can say for sure that nothing would bring him more satisfaction than witnessing how quick their bond falls apart.

    He is pressed for time.

    If he does not hurry and get out of here, he'll become prey of something much more dangerous than the Servant in front of him.

    He is a coward.

    And a coward never gambles using his own life as an ante.

    "If you want to play something tonight, then I am afraid it will have to be something else."


    Those words act as the only warning.

    It happens right at the end of the fall, with the boy's cute face being less than a meter away from the ground, yet before you make a move in order to save him.

    The ground... Simply disappears.

    No, what you thought was a small portion of a burnt, infertile land has proven to be nothing but a fake. Triggered by the masked man himself, a human-sized hole appears right below Hiro, ready to be used as his funeral grave-!

    "..."


    From your position, it is hard to see the current condition of your Master, however, one can safely assume that something was definitely used to cushion his fall. Otherwise, you would have heard a noise as the Yamashita heir's bones shattered. Instead, the crash was mute, almost as if he had been tossed into a bottomless pit with perfect accuracy.

    "How about tag...?"

    Are his last words, before taking the girl and jumping down himself.
    [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. #229
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Assassin of the Distant Kingdom
    Shinto - ​Fuyuki's Central Park
    Night Phase

    Tag, eh?

    The catlike grin adorning Assassin's face does not abate, even as the other Servant manifests an answer she had not laid out for him.

    This is why humanity is boring. This is why humans are so interesting. Even an old spirit like that one can pull out new tricks.

    There is no hesitation. Assassin leaps forward in one smooth motion, matching the other Servant's trajectory. She has no wasted movements, traveling across the ground like an inky shadow.

    "Not a bad choice," she replies as she leaps down the hole after the Hassan, following after her Master. The other Servant gets half points; he retrieved the boy without risking his own life in the process. Courage would've been nice, but craftiness will do. She doesn't dislike cowards, after all.

    In the old tales, fae and humans always exploited each other. To play fair against one is to accept their unfairness, accept having your child taken away, accept being cursed for the rest of your life, accept poverty and suffering. Such things, of course, should not be accepted. One needs a certain amount of guile to 'win' any such exchange... and that is precisely what has happened here. After all, even if he had chosen the perfect answer and risked his life to save Hiro, Assassin would have attacked him anyway, just because the sight of a vulnerable back was too much to resist.

    Her game has ended. Now his game begins, and it is one she has always been fond of.

    "But remember this for next time: I prefer doing the chasing."

    A shame, then, that there is a third party present, and that they are 'it' tonight.

    Oh well. Can always come back another time, once the boy's safety has been seen to.

    Although...

    As she dives into darkness, Assassin wrinkles her nose. Her whiskers twitch.

    "Couldn't have picked a less smelly path, Mask?"

  10. #230
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Assassin of the Stray Path
    Miyama- The Sleeping Bishop
    Night Phase



    Steps before making it to your destination, you pick up signs of activity inside the room. For starters, the lights have been left turned on, and it appears that a conversation is taking place between those present. The topic is not hard to guess, Masaki Taichi's health is not looking so good. While his body still remains in one piece, the number of injuries that spread across his body and the sheer amount of blood that he lost during combat is a serious matter. Who knows just how much time he fought to fend off the enemy while not hurting her little sister until Alicia and you arrived? You can tell that the twins are more than powerless human beings from instincts alone, but that doesn't mean that they are invincible. Your Master is a Magus, someone who has isolated herself from normality by claiming a magical system as her own... And yet, there is no doubt that one powerful blow could instantly end her life. Going by that logic, it remains a miracle that Taichi has held this long. Unfortunately, by the sound of it, it doesn't look like he'll make it to tomorrow's morning.

    "..."


    Thus, an abysmal silence has fallen over the room by the time you carefully slide open the door. Sakaki Yuuna, the maid, has just finished changing the bandages wrapped around the boy's body. Just a glance at the used balance is enough to portray just how serious his wounds are. The formerly white bandages have been completely dyed red. But that's not all Yuuna has done for Taichi, as evidenced by the sheer number of medical supplies lying nearby. While it would be a stretch to call her a full-fledged medic, it is safe to say that she possesses enough experience to hold her own in a situation like this one. Even so, her expression says it all... There is no hope for the boy in her eyes. Not unless Tomomi agrees to the proposal Takagi Akane, the owner of the Inn, has made to Tomomi, the youngest sibling that, while clearly exhausted, has escaped the tragedy relatively unscratched.

    "Taichi's soul is strong, I have seen that for myself. I know."
    The red haired girl continues where he left off. "But even so, I can't guarantee that the procedure will work. And even if it does, it may take him years of rest before he can finally acclimate to this new change. However, I still wish to at least attempt to save his life. His safety is my responsibility and yet I couldn't provide aid when he needed it the most. If you'd just give me permission..."

    A pause.

    A rather heavy and painful pause.

    And a weak, apologetic smile, drawn by Tomomi, someone who looked just like a little kid, yet felt like she possessed just enough spiritual strength to hold the world on her shoulders.

    "You know... This is not the first time I've seen him come out badly injured like this. Sometimes, it is me who is at fault, others, it's just his own stubborness that gets him into trouble." A nostalgic expression that speaks of numerous experiences. "Each time, I look at him like this, fearing that he will not recover, that he will not come back to me... And every time, he proves to me that my doubts were misplaced, that he always finds the strength to return..."

    Having arrived a tad bit late, it's a little difficult to grasp the meaning behind all that is being said.

    From what you can gather, Taichi's life is at great risk, and Akane holds the key to her survival. But it appears the surgery holds its own share of dangers as well. The question then becomes: Should one trust the boy to make a miraculous recovery all on his own, or place all hopes on Akane's solution?

    Due to presence concealment and your nature as a Servant, you have managed to remain undetected up to this point, even after sliding part of the door open. But that won't last forever. It's your turn to decide whether you can contribute to this dilemma or whether its better for them to resolve their dilemma among themselves, without your help.

    ... Your choice will shape the future.
    [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. #231
    Lost in Paradise RoydGolden's Avatar
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    Assassin of the Stray Path
    Miyama- The Sleeping Bishop
    Night Phase


    "...Well, looks like I've barged in on a rather private moment," Assassin said, stepping through the door to reveal herself. She'd overheard everything about Taichi's condition and the mysterious treatment Akane promised that could save his life. The normally aloof Servant would rather not get involved in such private family business, but having already eavesdropped on their conversation Assassin felt obliged to at least say her piece.

    "Listen, I'm not gonna' lecture you on what to do next. People die in this shitty world of ours all the time. Whether disease, by human hands or torn apart by a wild beast, another life lost isn't anything to fuss about. So if you wanna' wager everything on the kid's stamina, or put all your faith in some shady miracle cure, either way is fine by me. Just..." The woman's golden eyes narrowed, meeting Tomomi's gaze intently as she went on in a more serious voice. "Make sure you can accept the outcome. No matter what happens, choose a path you can walk without regrets. If Taichi dies, or suffers irreversible consequences due to the surgery, those have to be things you're willing to make peace with before you come to a decision. If you can't do that much, stand back and leave it to the grownups to decide."

    Assassin paused, the usual nonchalant expression returning to her face. The Servant stretched out her arms above her head, then frowned, as if realizing something missing in her little speech. "...That being said," she conceded somewhat sheepishly, "I really have no clue what this treatment you're talking about is. But the way you reacted, safe to say it's not entirely pleasant. Mind telling me just what's going on here Miss Innkeeper?"

    With those words, Assassin turned her intent gaze upon the other woman in the room. Cracking a confident grin in an attempt to puncture the dire mood. "You can trust me, since that kid is my Master's friend. It'd be a pain in my ass if either of you died on me tonight..."

  12. #232
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Aya Alayana
    Shinto - Verde
    Night Phase



    The fire has been put away, but the cursed air that reaches your lungs might as well be as hot as burnt charcoal.

    Feeling uneasy about the whole situation, a part of you is unable to simply remain on the sidelines and rest as long as you can muster enough energy to do a little more than that. There is something about placing your entire trust in others that doesn't sit well with you, perhaps because you are used to being the most competent professional around. This time, there might be people who know a lot more than you do, but human nature spins the same way no matter where you look at it from. Circumstances might be different, but brats will be brats here and in the next town over. And as a babysitter, when you spot one of those individuals, you can just hear the calling to step up and intervene.

    And your interruption couldn't have come at a better time. One more second, no, one more blink of an eye, and the two fighters would have resumed their deadly brawl, resulting in an outcome that, no matter the winner, would stand far from what you've come here for. At the same time, the only one supposed to keep a 'tight leash' on you is busy fending off the incoming monsters. Her body moves, constantly switching from one stance to the next and, in response, summoned waves of an invisible sea wash over your enemies, forcing them to retreat. Unlike the swordswoman, Shizuka, it appears that Rei lacks the offensive power needed to take the monsters down. Then again, that shouldn't be much of a surprise, when their skin can easily resist cannon fire.

    "Oh~? Didn't notice you there, thought you were just another corpse in this lively graveyard."


    Her relaxed expression transitions into a smirk, leaving it clear that, even outnumbered and unarmed in more ways than one, she still feels in a position of power, a bargaining chip hidden underneath her sleeve. But, her interior is several times more frightening. For one, the aura of hatred her body exudes is almost palpable, a perfect match for the forsaken shopping mall which has been transformed under the Origin's influence. Then, there's something about her low guard, about her broken stance which is full of openings, which gives you goosebumps, as if it were an invitation to play with a much more threatening predator than the creatures you've seen so far. If you had to describe her giving one word based of what you can perceive through your eyes and experience alone...

    Merciless.

    That's the one word that comes to mind.

    "Don't you want to, you know, lie down for a bit longer while your friend and I settle the score? I am afraid you aren't looking so hot, miss. You sure you don't need a moment to catch your breath? Fine."


    It's sudden. Unexpected.

    But above all, it's impossible to perceive.

    "...-!"


    What on Earth...?

    The orange haired woman is standing dangerously close to you, behind your back, her body only a couple of feet away from Rei as well. How she got there is an instant all while avoiding an equally powerful combatant like Shizuka is a secret only she knows. And while your normal reaction would be to simply ignite any fool to come this close, you get the feeling that you would be long dead before you pull such a move. This person is on a completely different level... She's invincible like the shadow you fought over the bridge, yet in a completely different way...

    "Yoshida Amaya. Pleased to meet you all ~★~!"

    But more importantly, there is one more reason why everyone has seemingly paused her actions to direct their full attention at her...

    In the hand where the hilt of her sword once was is now one of the last hopes of humanity, a suitcase capable of summoning Servants...






    "I'm just passing by ~★~! But since I'm here, I guess I'll sever the ropes that connect your world and mine, so that you can rot in peace with a clear conscience."

    [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. #233
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Aya Alayana
    Shinto - Verde
    Night Phase


    ---Nothing.

    In the face of a power that could have clearly ended her life more than a few times over now, Aya Alayana does not move, she does not flinch; it's another abnormal reaction, another sign that this person has perhaps drifted too close to 'death,' herself, but...

    In reality, it's simple pragmatism.

    It's not like she's emotionless either, there is something clearly radiating off of her as she slowly turns to face the girl that could easily cut her down, especially in her current state.

    That emotion?

    ...Annoyance.

    "...Is that right?"

    Annoyance that grows greater as she eyes the suitcase that's been so cleanly swiped away.

    ---It's like that, huh?

    You lose your hope that easily huh?

    "...Control your aura girl, keep that curse inside of yourself."

    It's not strong, to show off that kind of hatred; there's nothing strong about it. If you're gonna fight you must control yourself, and not in this flighty way, if you can't even choke down your own hatred and keep it inside, then you can't properly act like an assassin, it's antithetical, a waste of potential in a sense.

    Of course, that won't stop the girl from cutting her down.

    Nothing likely will if she chooses to do so, at this point, things have fallen so far apart that she effectively cannot guarantee anyone's safety anymore; it's a bit of a cruel reality, the price of trusting strangers, this is why she doesn't like leaning on other people, yes...

    In the end, you can only really rely on your own power.

    The flames were right in that regard, sad as it was; you could count on your friends to a degree perhaps, but not one hundred percent, and strangers...

    Strangers let you down...

    Heroes are gone nowadays.

    Ah, well...

    "Rot in peace? Please."

    She turns all the way.

    "I'm the last person that would rest peacefully, gonna burn forever even if I don't wind up in hell; I'm the sort of corpse that bursts into flames."

    She shrugs.

    "...I'm also not the most trusting person in the world, always have a backup plan, you know?"

    ---Could anyone hear it?

    The sound of those flames that had been left to burn outside of the mall?

    Or the ones in another time entirely?

    The ones that would spread even without her?

    Too far away to help her, too far away to return to their cage, lingering sparks of her will...

    "My curse will linger, even if you cut me down; my will is in it. It might be the will of a corpse, but..."

    The smile remains.

    "Chasing down a brat even if she hops worlds... Might think it's insane, but if it's motivated enough, I'm sure it'd find a way. So go ahead I guess, do your worst, I'll be seeing you eventually in hell, mark my words. I'll burn in peace, you can do so in agony once it catches you... And it will catch you, so it'll be a fair exchange."

    ...The benefit of not being a hero...

    She can go full scorched earth.

    Is it a bluff?

    Who the hell knew with those flames?

    "If someone wants to destroy my world senselessly, I'll take theirs and then some; balance the books."

    ---An eerie smile.

    A smile and voice full of flames.

    "It's only fair, right?"
    Last edited by Airen; October 28th, 2020 at 08:40 PM.
    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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