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Thread: Chaldea's Case Files

  1. #61
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Comun's Avatar
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    Medb was an event boss today and Twitter seems to be doing a #MedbDay thing for whatever reason, so it's a nice day to get started on the Medb case.

    Caged Girls part 1


    On the rugged, rocky ground, there were corpses. One… Two people. Their hair and outfits indicated they’re women, but they barely had any flesh left to confirm this, probably thanks to the maggots. Signs of bleeding could be found under their bodies, but the blood was completely dried and darkened.


    A girl with shoulder-length curly dark hair was crouched next to the two dead girls, seemingly examining the corpses. Next to her was Chaldea’s Master. Fujimaru Ritsuka.


    After that, they disappeared, like paint diluted in water.


    ♢♢♢♢


    Queen Medb woke up in a room that smelled like dirt and wood.


    As she sat up from the hard bed, frowning with discomfort, a woman carrying water entered the room, presumably to check up on her. “Oh, she’s awake!” the woman gasped.


    “Go call the chief, the second girl woke up. Did anyone inform the priest already?”


    She yelled out of the door and then approached Medb’s bed. Many more people entered the room upon hearing what the woman had said, but there were no familiar faces among them. Medb couldn’t feel any traces of magical energy from them. They were ordinary villagers.


    “You were passed out in the mountain. You don’t seem hurt, but…”


    The woman wanted to say something but stopped herself.


    No part of Medb's body was hurt, but her head was fuzzy. She couldn’t remember what happened to her. She didn’t even remember going up a mountain. The strange image of Ritsuka standing next to an unknown girl and some corpses popped in her head, but she couldn’t figure out if that was something that happened or the dream she just had.


    She remembered that the Near-Future Observation Lens Sheba detected a small Singularity and that she rayshifted to it with her Master, Fujimaru Ritsuka. As far as she heard, a Singularity is defined as the result of magical energy of any kind distorting space and time, affecting only one specific region. Their mission should be to remove the cause of this phenomenon, "they" being herself, Ritsuka, and…


    “Oh, right, Ritsuka! Hey, did you not find another girl? One about my age.”


    Medb scanned the room, looking for people who knew what was happening, leading her to find Ritsuka herself sitting on the bed next to hers. She didn’t look injured. She was annoyingly carefree, blinking fast with her mouth half-open, like the idiot had just seen something unusual.


    “What the hell, Ritsuka? If you’re here, say you are! You got me worried for a moment.”


    “Reets-ka?”


    Ritsuka replied with a mispronunciation of her own name, as if she never heard the word before. Medb stood up from the bed and tried to approach Ritsuka, but instinctively stopped. Ritsuka tilted her head.


    “Oh, me? My name is Ritsuka?”


    Before Medb could say “What kind of joke was that? Not funny.” (although her expression might've conveyed that well enough), Ritsuka closed her eyes apologetically.


    “Uh… sorry. I think I got amnesia somehow?”


    She timidly asked Medb for her name. Medb was speechless.


    Ritsuka scratched her cheek and smiled in an attempt to hide her nervousness.


    ♢♢♢♢


    Like Medb, Ritsuka was also found in the mountains. She had completely forgotten her name, her goals, and even what Chaldea was. Medb herself also couldn't remember how and why they went to the mountain, and what they did the previous night, but Ritsuka’s case was clearly a lot worse.


    Ritsuka guessed they'd both hit their heads, and while that could explain her own case, it couldn’t explain Medb’s, a Servant’s. It’s hard to believe a hit to the head could disturb a Saint Graph enough to make her lose her memories. She didn't doubt the hypothesis that she and Ritsuka were hit together, but she had no doubts there was some kind of magical interference involved.


    (That’s probably related to the cause of the Singularity. The difference between my memory loss and Ritsuka’s is due to our different levels of resistance to magecraft.)


    “You forgot your name, miss? Did you drink God’s water?”


    A curious little girl had been peeking at the entrance for a while now, and she'd gotten closer while the two weren’t looking.


    Since Ritsuka wasn’t injured, she had already gotten out of the sheets and was sitting on the bed at this point. She leaned forward to get on eye level with the girl and answered her question with a question of her own.


    “God’s water?”


    “Hey, kid, don’t disturb them.”


    The woman from before hurriedly pulled the child out of the room.


    (I see the villagers know something about the reason we lost our memories. Thank goodness we won’t have to start with zero clues, I have many, many ways to make them talk. First priority is confirming our situation.)


    The woman who took the little girl away came back bringing the village chief, a man past middle age. Medb wasted no time before asking her question.


    “Hey, did you find anyone aside from me and her? One more person, maybe two. Someone wearing clothes different from yours?”


    When her Master visits a Singularity she’s always followed by two or three Servants. The amount of Servants she can bring is often limited by their magical energy consumption, but Medb was convinced she couldn't be Ritsuka's only bodyguard here.


    (I remember one more person came with us, but not who. Ugh, I hate this.)


    The chief was slightly taken aback by how Medb, a helpless woman they found passed out, was acting like she was the queen of this place (note: that’s because she is a queen, even if not of this place), but answered without showing any hints of contempt.


    “You two were the only people wearing strange… I mean, traveler’s clothes. And the only one collapsed next to you was Aisha from the village west from here.”


    “A girl from another village?”


    (Was she with us before we lost our memories?)


    “I want to talk to her.”


    “She woke up before you did, but she doesn’t seem to remember anything. Not even her own name… The same goes for the girl with you, no? Still, we know for sure she’s from that western village. You see, there’s a village on the other side of this mountain, about as big as ours. We don’t interact much due to the distance, but I’ve seen her at festivals. I already sent a messenger, so they should take her home tomorrow.”


    (If a villager was with us, we probably decided to explore the mountains based on information we got on this western village. That area might have something we confidently judged to be the cause of the Singularity. This Aisha girl might have been our guide there, but there’s no way to confirm that now.)


    That girl losing her memories along with them confirmed Medb's suspicion that the amnesia was caused by something in the Singularity, not by a failed Rayshift. Something happened to erase their memories after they properly rayshifted, probably somewhere in the mountain.


    She knew that going to the western village and asking around there could give them valuable information, but she hadn’t decided on what to do. While thinking things through, she turned her eyes to Ritsuka sitting next to her.


    Ritsuka looked uneasy and hadn't said anything the entire time, as if she was forbidding herself from interrupting the conversation.


    (I can’t blame her, considering what happened. I have to appreciate she isn’t crying or freaking out, even. Still… when was the last time I’ve seen her with a face like this?)


    Medb knew the utmost priority here was getting in touch with Chaldea, but her Master’s current state made her unsure of this decision. With her not knowing anything, Medb would have to explain what a Singularity is, what Chaldea is, and so on. That wasn’t worth the effort.


    She wanted instructions, or at least advice from da Vinci, and Mash Kyrielight would be the best person to keep the amnesiac Ritsuka up to speed about everything that demanded an explanation. She seriously considered returning to Chaldea and then going back, but assuming this Singularity is the cause of the problem, she felt like leaving it without solving the problem was too big of a risk. They’d surely miss their chance to retrieve their memories.


    “I need to go outside, breathe some fresh air. Come with me, Ritsuka.”


    “Huh, oh, me? Me. Yes, ma’am!”


    Ritsuka took forever to stand up, so Medb grabbed her by her wrist, forced her onto her feet, and was about to head out when the chief hastily stopped them.


    “Wait! It’ll soon get dark. Beasts lurk in the night hours, so it’s dangerous for the two of you to leave alone. Don't stray too far away from the village.”


    “We’ll be fine.”


    Medb didn’t bother to turn around or explain, she just tilted her head back and made quick eye contact, her eyes filled with magical energy.


    The chief’s mouth froze before he could argue back, and then he said “Have a nice trip.” with a bewitched look in his eyes.


    Her confused memories seemed to be the only thing wrong with her. Her Saint Graph and magical energy levels were the same as always, and as she just tested, her Charm Skill was activating properly too.


    ♢♢♢♢


    They passed through the simple fence surrounding the village, and after confirming they walked far enough to escape the sights of all villagers, Medb raised her voice to the empty air.


    “Da Vinci! Can you hear me?”


    Ritsuka looked confused. After a few seconds of silence, the air distorted, forming a floating blue screen. Ritsuka barely kept herself from screaming. Medb waited for it to connect, but things weren’t happening the way they usually do.


    --Oh, you’re alive. Good. Ritsuk… Hello… The connection is not too go…--


    The image had so much static she couldn’t tell who was talking to them and the audio cut off too much to be intelligible. She could barely make out that it was indeed da Vinci who had answered on the other side, despite the audio and video seeming ready to crash at any moment.


    “Listen. Ritsuka and I lost some memories, and the third person is missing.”


    --The connection is uns…ble. From what I can tell, a… cal energy… influencing… if… get rid of what’s causing it, the connection problem should be fi…--


    The communications shut down, both audio and video, but right before it cut off she could hear a worried voice calling for her senpai. Ritsuka couldn’t tell that was about her, she was just astounded by what disappeared in front of her as suddenly as it appeared. Medb resisted the urge to click her tongue.


    (The only information we got is that the mana jamming here blocks our connection. I wish I could’ve at least asked for the name of the other Servant I know rayshifted with us. In the best-case scenario, we could've searched for their magical energy signal, but the jamming on this land’s mana is stronger than I expected. Maybe the problem is just that we’re too close to the village, but I have no idea how much we’ll have to walk before we get a steady connection. Better not expect support from Chaldea, I guess. The other Servant probably also lost their memories. Let’s hope we can find them.)


    “W-what was that? Don’t tell me, magic?”


    “Uh, sure, close enough.”


    (She forgot even that? There’s so much to explain. Do I have to do it? Sigh, I’m the only one who can.)


    Medb resisted the urge to click her tongue for a second time.


    “Ok, so your name is Fujimaru Ritsuka, and you’re my Master. We went up that mountain for some reason I can’t remember. Someone or something erased my memory, maybe. Now we gotta kick something’s ass to get out memories back. You’re my Master, memories or no memories, so work with me.”


    “… … … … What?”


    (She didn’t understand a thing, did she?)


    “One more thing, my name is Medb. Queen Medb.”


    She'd almost forgotten to tell the most important thing. Medb raised her chin with pride at the delivery of her own name.


    After a 3 second pause, Ritsuka started applauding.


    “… Why are you clapping? Though I'm not saying you shouldn’t.”


    “I don’t know, you just looked awesome…”


    (It's great that she doesn’t need her memories to know I demand constant praise, but that doesn’t help right now. Her Command Spells are still there, and I can feel her magical energy, but I can’t expect any combat support from her. If the other Servant doesn’t rejoin us before any battle, I’ll be effectively fighting alone.)


    “But Medb, if you’re a queen, why am I the Master?” Ritsuka asked curiously. Before Medb could answer she heard a faint growl. She turned around to guard Ritsuka against what she assumed would be wild dogs, but she'd guessed wrong. Three wolves inquisitively watched them at a few meters distance.


    (The chief did say there'd be beasts, but I wasn’t expecting this size… much less this miasma. These animals are magical, it might be an effect of the Singularity on the land. Are they being attracted by my magical energy? They can definitely feel my energy, because they’re watching carefully instead of immediately attacking their prey.)


    “R-run.”


    “Stay put.”


    Medb manifested her signature whip out of thin air to quiet down Ritsuka, who was terrified even without being able to tell that these magic beasts weren't ordinary wild dogs.


    ♢♢♢♢


    “They were no big deal.”


    Despite their vicious appearance they turned out to be low-tier fodder she could beat with just one strike each, without any need to show off her Riding Skill or her Noble Phantasms.


    (This Singularity will be pretty low-effort combat-wise if all magical beasts around here are on this level.)


    “A-awesome! Amazing! Medb, you’re so strong!”


    Ritsuka applauded her, starry-eyed. While Medb didn’t have any problems with genuine compliments, she immediately demanded she stopped. Ritsuka made a very basic mistake, and while her missing memories justified it, they didn’t exempt her from being corrected.


    “You don’t compliment me by saying I’m good, you have to say I’m the best. Everyone in the entire world knows that.”


    “M-Medb, you’re the best…?”


    “Louder!”


    (Wait, this is a waste of my time. Finding the cause of this and retrieving her memories will be faster than re-educating her from scratch.)


    Medb put away her whip and headed back towards the village.


    “They said we were passed out on this mountain, so there must be something out there. We’ll have to climb it to see what it is. If all monsters lurking on it are as pathetic as these beasts, it’ll be an easy job. But let’s get to the village first to gather some info.”


    Ritsuka got nervous.


    “Gathering information? From the villagers?”


    “The chief seemed to know something. And the village girl mentioned something about God’s water, remember?”


    “You think they’ll tell us?”


    “Of course.”, Medb answered proudly. “I’m the one asking.”
    Last edited by Comun; April 27th, 2021 at 09:20 PM.

  2. #62
    The Long-Forgotten Sight Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    Slay queen Medb, we have no choice but to stan. I'm curious if Gudako will be of use at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  3. #63
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six
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    Medb in a story as an ally without any of the other Celts for her to simp over huh, her turning Ritsuka into her cheerleader near the end was hilarious lol. I do wonder what 'God's water' is

  4. #64
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Comun's Avatar
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    Caged Girls part 2
    “Any idea why we lost our memories?”

    Medb questioned the village chief with her Charm. He answered immediately.


    “It must have been the oblivion water. Deep into the mountain dividing the two villages… there’s a divine spring. We visit it to receive our share whenever we need the water to save us. For example, when we need to relieve a deathly ill villager from their misery.”


    Medb and Ritsuka were sitting in the chief’s living room while he'd been standing the whole time. Medb sat stretching on the chair with her legs crossed, as opposed to Ritsuka, who nervously watched the other two with her hands on her knees.


    “That girl said something to that effect, she was calling it God’s water. Is that something anyone can drink?”


    The chief shook his head.


    “The map of the mountain belongs to the priest. No one entering the mountain without permission would be able to reach the spring… It’s located in divine territory that can only be entered by the weak and those free from tarnish and desire. That’s why teenage girls are tasked with scooping up the water.”


    (The idea that all young girls are free from tarnish and desire is laughable, but let's not get into that argument. The point here is that this god likes pure virgins. Eh, not an unusual story.)


    “Then we were very lucky to be found. It doesn't sound like people normally enter the mountain…”,


    Ritsuka voiced her very valid opinion. The two of them were found collapsed and unmoving right in the middle of the mountain. The people who found them assumed they ran out of stamina while climbing down. They could have woken up by themselves if no one found them, but the less time spent helplessly in a mountain the better.


    “The villagers also climb it to get wood, but they all know they shouldn’t go more than halfway up the mountain. The path is blocked by ropes tied to the trees, and everything past there is forbidden territory. You two collapsed past the rope. Adult men cannot enter, so the men who found you returned to the village and called a lass to drag your bodies to this side of the rope. After that, the villagers all worked together to carry you here."


    “That's a lot more cumbersome than it needed to be. Is there any reason to be this strict with the rule that only girls can enter?”


    “One time, a man entered the mountain without permission and returned crippled and amnesiac… Since then, everyone follows this law. The priest living on the edge of the mountain can go past the rope, but he’s too elderly to have been of help.”


    “Anyone other than girls and the priest who can enter?”


    “The priest can go further than the villagers, but he can’t enter the spring. Only girls can take the water.”


    (The villagers must have told us about the water before we lost our memories, leading us to assume it was the cause of the Singularity and climb the mountain. And then we all lost our memories. This all sounds so stupid.)


    “Did anyone climb the mountain recently? I mean entering the forbidden zone, not just climbing for wood.”


    “I don’t know about the western village, but from our village, three girls took water two months ago. Almost a month later… only one of them returned.”


    “What about the other two?”


    “Haven’t returned to this day.”


    (Well this conversation took an unsettling turn. Two months, so it’s unlikely they’re alive. I can vaguely recall the image of two girls collapsed on a rock. Judging by their clothes, they should be from the village. Assuming they're the two missing girls, that means Ritsuka and I found their corpses before losing our memories. But I can’t remember anything before or after that. All that’s left is this contextless image, a vague piece of a memory.)


    “Uh, what did the girl who came back say about the other two?”


    “She returned from the mountain without her memories. Who knows what could have happened to the other two… It's customary for those who take water from the mountain to take a sip of the water they collected before climbing down, to make them forget what the divine territory looked like. I’m confident those girls followed the tradition.”


    Medb took a peek at Ritsuka. Her face was stiff. She seemed to be doubtful whether the chief’s story was really possible. She wouldn’t be this scared if she still had her memories. Medb returned her gaze to the chief.


    “Is girls not returning from the spring a common occurrence?”


    “No, this was the first time. All other lasses returned unharmed, save for their missing memories. There were a few cases where they drank too much and forgot multiple days, instead of forgetting only their climbing day like they're supposed to.”


    (Ok, so losing your memories of climbing the mountain in exchange for water is a normal and accepted rule in this village. If it were me I’d have some big problems with this system, but the chief here doesn’t even seem to question it.)


    “Some villagers are suspecting God is angry with us. In response to our piety, He has graced us with our share of water for years, but He could also do the opposite… However, the lass who returned brought us the water, and no calamity fell upon our village afterward. Two people never returned, that’s all. I can’t understand why.”


    The chief furrowed his brow, adding that he didn’t believe the villagers were losing their faith.


    “The water was shared in response to your piety… You’re saying the spring wasn’t here since forever?”


    “It’s been there since I was a child… It should have appeared at least 50 years ago.”


    (This must have been when the Singularity formed in this land. The villagers assumed this was a happy blessing from a god and further deepened their faith. But now, for the first time, two girls had to disappear in exchange for this oblivion water. Are the villagers accepting this as their god’s will?)


    “Excuse me, didn’t anyone try to look for those two disappeared girls? Their families or…”


    The chief shook his head to Ritsuka’s question.


    “No, because adults can’t climb the mountain. Those girls could have had an accident or could have been called to serve the mountain’s God. Anything that happens in the forbidden zone is beyond our reach. Everyone in the village is saying that they received the great honor of becoming servants to our God. The families of the disappeared girls accept that their daughters might be with God now and that they could come home at any moment.”


    Medb knew that the two girls weren’t with the mountain god, but decided she didn’t need to tell him that.


    (I still don’t know if those girls’ deaths have anything to do with the cause of the Singularity, but it doesn’t matter either way. Whatever this oblivion water of them might be, it should stop springing if we remove its mana source from there, and once that happens there won’t be any girls climbing the mountain anymore. Just focus on quickly retrieving the oblivion spring’s energy source – it should be Grail or a shard of one – to remove the mana jamming and hopefully get back in touch with Chaldea. I don’t know if we’ll need to, but we can easily solve those girls’ deaths by asking the detective in Chaldea. The villagers can’t climb to the forbidden part of the mountain so we won’t need to worry about anyone getting in our way.)


    “Assemble the village men. All of them. I have something I want to ask.”


    The chief left the room to do as he was told. The two of them could hear him yelling orders from the other side of the door. The village wasn’t big, so he didn’t need to gather more than 30 men.


    “What are you going to ask?”


    Ritsuka whispered, worried about what was happening outside.


    “Those two girls who climbed the mountain are dead. I saw their bodies before I lost my memories. The culprit is probably human.”


    The disturbing news clearly shocked Ritsuka, but she didn’t panic.


    “You mean someone exploited the rule adults can’t go up the mountain to kill girls without getting caught by the village?”


    “Yeah, pretty much. I was planning to ignore that since it’s not directly related to our goal, but I figured it’s better to listen to what they have to say, just in case.”


    Ritsuka turned her eyes to the chief’s door, then back to Medb, and whispered “Why are we calling just the men?”


    “Two girls died. Were murdered, rather. When the victim is a girl, the culprit is always a man, no?”


    “I w-wonder… I don’t think that’s always the case.”


    (It’s not always the case, but human history shows that male culprits are an overwhelming majority. And, much more importantly, my Charm Skill usually only works on men.)


    Once all the village men were assembled Medb cast her Charm on them. The villagers with their complete lack of magecraft resistance instantly turned into a cult.


    After enjoying a quick “Medb’s the best!” call-and-response session, Medb asked her question.


    “Answer honestly. Do any of you know what happened to us?”


    The men exchanged glances, then collectively shook their heads.


    One man reasoned that they’re amnesiac because they drank oblivion water, but like the chief’s identical claim, this was just conjecture. No one claimed to know anything about when or how they drank it.


    “Anyone know what happened to the girls who climbed the mountain?”


    Same reaction. They shook their heads confused. This meant none of them was the culprit.


    (Why? This should be every man in the village.)


    “Tell me what happened that day. Did you see the three of them go up the mountain?”


    (I need at least confirmation that those girls entered the mountain they never came back from. The corpses in my faint memory were lying on solid rock, not left on the grass below. I don’t know if that place is up the mountain or not.)


    “I saw them”, a few men were quick to reply.


    “Getting water is something of a ritual… The chief and girls’ families gather early at the base of the mountain and watch the priest lead them up to it. Normally, they’re all back half a day later. Except that day… the priest came back alone. He said the three entered the divine territory and didn’t return… Not even the priest can go in there… He sent the lasses in and waited for them to take the water, but they were taking forever. He called their names and they didn’t respond. He was so worried. He wanted to wait some more, so he took food and a lamp from his house… Meanwhile, the three girls’ worried parents climbed up to the forbidden area’s border. But the three didn’t return that day.”


    After the village’s spokesperson finished talking, all other men nodded.


    “On the next few days, the trio’s parents took turns climbing and waiting in front of the rope. The priest hiked that mountain every day despite his advanced age… We all had to intervene before he ruined his health, but he just felt too responsible. Still, we couldn’t find them… After we'd all given up, one of them came down.”


    “Was anyone in the mountain beside the priest and the parents?”


    “I think we had a lot of people grabbing wood and fruits, but no one climbs all the way up to the forbidden territory. Besides, even if anyone did go there, it’s hard to find the way to the spring without the priest’s map.”


    (This counts as a weird kind of locked room murder, doesn’t it? Not that I know much about them aside from that enthusiastic conversation I overheard between Mash and Holmes.)


    “The priest and parents were waiting on the halfway point, right? Wouldn't it be possible for the kids to sneak down the mountain from somewhere the adults weren’t looking? The opposite side of the mountain, maybe?”


    “That’s not impossible… but it’s not an easy path to take, and it should be dangerous without a map. We have a track from the ropes to the base of the mountain. No one could get lost following that.”


    (If the two girls were killed in the forbidden part of the mountain, it must have been on the day they went there. You wouldn’t need a map if you were secretly following them. Only girls can go in there, but that’s nothing more than a psychological restraint. There’s nothing physically stopping them. In that case, anyone who doesn’t fear divine punishment could have done it.)


    “Was any villager missing while the priest and the three kids were climbing?”


    As Medb expected, the villagers exchanged glances, made an effort to remember, and ultimately answered “I wasn’t paying attention”.


    “The chief and the families were waiting in front of the priest’s hut until he came down… but as far as we can tell all the other villagers were doing their usual work.”


    “The hut at the base? The chief and the families stayed there the entire time?”


    (The base of the mountain was under watch. Ok, now I’m even more confident this counts as a locked room murder.)


    “Do you know if anyone followed the priest and the girls up the mountain?”


    “I don’t think anyone did.”


    One of the fathers answered, and the chief verified his claim.


    (The girls became untraceable the day they climbed the mountain, so their killer climbed the mountain that same day. That’s the only option that makes sense. The culprit is at risk of getting lost and never finding the divine spring if he lost sight of the children, so he must have been constantly following them from the closest distance they wouldn’t notice… But that would take all of the men off the suspect list. All villagers, even. That’d make the priest the only plausible suspect. The priest killed two of the girls, and the other one either ran away and stayed hidden for a month, or was locked up by the priest. Simple!)


    Having reached her conclusion, Medb determined that this case was irrelevant to the Singularity and dismissed it as not worth pursuing.


    “Did any of you kill them?”


    She asked just in case. No one answered. This question would have hurt their feelings if they weren’t under the effect of her charm, but since they were, they just looked confused.


    “Do any of you know who killed them?”


    Unsurprisingly, no one answered.


    ♢♢♢♢


    The village men didn’t have any information.


    (The fact they knew nothing is a piece of information, but it's not much of a hint. I learned that the priest must've killed the girls, but that’s not directly connected to our lost memories. Assuming we lost them because of the oblivion water, where, when, and why did we drink it? If we don’t find out, we’re bound to keep falling into the same pitfalls. The fact we climbed the mountain with a village girl should mean we knew about the water, and we wouldn’t be stupid enough to drink water we knew was magical. Also, where did the other Servant that should be with us go?)


    “If there’s a magical power making us forget, I guess thinking about it is a waste of time. It’s late. Get some rest, cause we’re climbing the mountain tomorrow.”


    Medb didn’t need to rest, but Ritsuka did. After Medb freed the men from her spell the chief’s son offered the two his bedroom to spend the night. The chief’s 6- or 7-years old granddaughter brought them a change of clothes. She was the girl peeking when the two woke up. She stayed in the room after dropping the pajamas on the bed, so Medb asked her if she wanted anything. She locked her sparkling eyes with Medb's.


    “Miss, you’re so pretty.”


    “Yeah, I know.”


    (Children are so honest. Let me lift some hair with the back of my hand to give her a better view of my good looks, she'll love it.)


    “Can I be pretty like you when I grow up?”


    “That’s dreaming too big, but you do have quite a lot of charm. You have a promising future ahead of you as long as you don’t be negligent.”


    The girl left happy. The pajamas she delivered were too plain for Medb’s tastes, but she resigned to the only option she had.


    (A different attire won't make me shine any less. A beauty is a beauty no matter what she wears!)


    As a Servant, Medb didn’t need to change her clothes, but it would feel wrong not to. She didn’t need to sleep either, but since there’s nothing to do while Ritsuka is asleep, she decided to rest until the morning.


    Medb turned around after changing, making eye contact with Ritsuka, who was putting on the same set of borrowed clothes. She'd just gotten her arm through one sleeve but stopped to look at Medb. Ritsuka had taken the bigger pajama, but the hem still didn’t fully cover her belly, leaving her scar visible. This startled Medb for a second, until she noticed Ritsuka was staring at her, panting. From her face, it was clear those were sighs of admiration.


    “What’s wrong, can’t stop admiring me? Well, who could? They don’t call me easy on the eyes for nothing.”


    “Yup. I was just thinking about how your hair, your shoulders, your fingers… every part of your body is so amazingly pretty.”


    (With or without memory, she’s still her honest self. That’s her best feature. I’m more than used to people extolling my beauty, but it’s always good to hear it anyway.)


    Ritsuka’s pajama hood was hanging down her neck, causing her fine, soft hair to curl into unkempt rings around it. Medb felt the urge to reach out and fix it but limited herself to pointing out Ritsuka’s hair looked like a bird’s nest. Ritsuka gave an embarrassed smile and started combing her hair with her hands, accompanied by some comments on how smooth Medb’s hair was.


    “While I was changing my clothes, I noticed my body is full of scars. There’s this big one on my belly and many smaller ones everywhere else. I can’t remember what I was like, but it’s plain to see I wasn’t too ladylike. Don’t tell me that despite my looks I was some kind of seasoned war hero!”


    “Good question… Looking at your experience and achievements in a vacuum… I’d say you technically qualify.”


    Ritsuka pulled back her sleeves to look at the scars on her arms, somewhat convinced. The parts of her body usually hidden under her clothes don’t have suntans, making her scars stand out even more.


    (She was always on the front lines despite being a Master and just an ordinary human. Her getting scars feels really obvious in hindsight. I don’t think I’ve ever stopped to think about it, and Ritsuka never brought the subject up before either. That means she was hiding them until she lost her memories. Learning about this while she’s amnesiac doesn’t feel fair, but I can’t unsee what I saw.)


    “How stupid” Medb whispered. Ritsuka massaged the exposed scar on her shin.


    “Ritsuka, why did you never tell any Caster in Chaldea about this? It wouldn’t be hard for them to fix it. You should talk to da Vinci, or… oh, Medea would be a good choice. She’ll get rid of your scars easy-peasy.”


    “Kaldea?”


    (She doesn't remember how or why she got each of those scars. And yet, when I talk to her, she feels like the same Ritsuka I always knew.)


    “You saw them before. Your Servan… your magician friends. Many of them are really good that this kind of thing, so you gotta talk to them when we’re done here.”


    “Really? They’ll all disappear?”


    “They will. That’s why we gotta get this case over with and get you back to Chaldea.”


    Medb lied down on her bed and covered herself with a thin blanket. She found the quality of the sheets as mediocre as the ones from yesterday. Noticing Ritsuka was a bit restless, she turned off the lamp next to her pillow. The room didn't go completely dark thanks to the light of the stars outside the window.


    “Hey, are you really without any memories? No contextless fragmentary memories, nothing you remembered from talking to me…? Didn’t that voice you heard when the transmission cut sound any familiar to you?”


    (Even if she didn’t remember anything else, I was expecting her to at least react to Mash’s voice. No signs of change though, I guess hearing only a glimpse of it wasn’t enough. Maybe she has some random pieces of memory, like how I can remember having found the girls’ bodies, hopefully.)


    “Hmmm, I might have felt something deep inside me, but you know, not anything within my reach…”


    After catching a glimpse of Ritsuka shaking her head, Medb yawned and turned face-down.


    “Chaldea, Master, Human Order, Rayshift, Servant, Mash Kyrielight. Well? Anything clicked? Any other words crossed your mind? An association game could make you remember things.”


    “I got nothing…”


    Medb couldn’t see her face, but the tone in her voice was enough to tell she was hopelessly confused. No signs of her remembering anything. Medb closed her eyes, but right as she did she heard:


    “Oh… uh… hm, Roman…?”


    “…”


    Ritsuka's voice had no confidence.


    (I’m glad I'm not seeing Ritsuka's face right now. I’m glad I’m the only one who had to hear the name of that dead man. I know that when she’s with her memories, she- no, not only her, no one in Chaldea can casually say his name. They understand their loss on a rational level, and reality forces them to accept it, but they still decide to avoid mentioning him. Her scar… no, I shouldn’t be calling this loss a scar, it’s more like a still open hole. The wound is too fresh and too deep.)


    “Whatever, I don’t care anymore… Focusing on our goal is a lot more practical than trying to force you to remember anything. I’m sure that eliminating the cause of this Singularity will bring back your memories. We’re lucky that your amnesia doesn’t affect your magical energy. You’re safe and sound with me, got it? The beasts we fought before were pathetic, and we didn’t get injured on the mountain, so we might solve this without getting into any big fight.”


    Medb was being talkative to hide her agitation. Feeling an emotion she refused to acknowledge as frustration, Medb said “good night” and went silent.


    Ritsuka quietly said “good night” back. Medb closed her eyes, not in the best of moods.


    (I’m not telling anyone this… it’s for the best)

  5. #65
    The Long-Forgotten Sight Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    (Children are so honest. Let me lift some hair with the back of my hand to give her a better view of my good looks, she'll love it.)
    LMAO based.

    Guess wiping away/hiding trauma's a theme here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  6. #66
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six
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    I'm getting increasingly interested in this mystery, though I doubt the priest killed those girls if only because Medb seems so assured. Still, Ritsuka only being able to remember Romani's name and even then only barely with none of the emotions tied to it got me...

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