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  1. #21
    dream sourced, dust ridden. WhiteFrenzy's Avatar
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    ICE CREAM MAN ICE CREAM MAN ICE CREAM MAN
    I love him so much, I hope you know that, El. The unexpected duo of him & Mary was amazing I cannot get enough out of them. I need more of their shenanigans. Please, PLEASE you can't leave me hanging like this I need just another shot man. AHEM. But really, as much as they stole the show for me, I also loved King John and Qin Er Shi's interactions too... It was quite endearing in its own right. You have such a great way with words, I loved every single line, I swear I could read a million of your character interludes.

    WHITEFRENZY'S
    servants | masters

  2. #22
    Local Extra Class Aficionado DelRey's Avatar
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    Christmas Project Tease

    The Master, Holmes and Da Vinci talk in Chaldea about the upcoming Christmas Season

    "Seems like there is finally a bit of normalcy in Chaldea again. Finally some peace during the Winter."
    "Holmes! Do not jinx it! The rush of dangerous Servants has calmed down, our resources are stable, we are making progress on many fronts. We do not need some ominous lines that are sure to be a trigger for something bothersome."
    "Da Vinci, please. That is just superstition. Christmas approaches. It is the most wholesome time of the year."
    "I hope it stays calm. Christmas is my favorite time of the year after all!"
    "Oh Master, look behind you! Haven't seen you in a while, Macak! Want some treats?"
    "He acts weird, he wants me to follow him."
    "Perhaps his bowl is empty."

    The Master, Da Vinci and Holmes follow the cat Macak into a dark corner of Chaldea.
    They turn around the corner and see a familiar face sitting on the floor like in trance.

    "I have seen this. Holmes you jinxed it."
    "You totally jinxed it, Holmes."
    "Excuse me?"
    "Okay Gilles. Wake up and tell us what event Chaldea is dragged in next."

    "THE NIGHTS OF WINTER RISE!
    A star splits in two!
    To the hymn of the bells the four-handed god will rise!
    Slivers shining like the sun flood the halls of Chaldea!
    The Silence will punish the Wanderers in the North!
    Killed with innocence, he will shine again after the last fire was lit!"

    "Wholesome season, my ass, Holmes."
    "Great job, Holmes."
    "What did I do?!"





    Time to bring back the bickering of the three to tease my Christmas Project. I have five Servants for you. Four of them are variants of my own creations, one of them new, all of them centered around Christmas.
    One for each of the four coming Advents and one around Xmas.
    Imaginary Cookie Points if you guessed them right.
    "Let's see the color of your coin, my friend."



    Behold the vault of Heroes.


    The King made the community prosper. Enjoy for free. Paid by your taxes.
    University of Formatting | Museum of Legends | Memorandum of Kings

  3. #23
    祖 Ancestor
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    Guess you really did decide to start doing fanfiction after all.

  4. #24
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    Last edited by Cursed by Fortuna; July 3rd, 2022 at 08:11 PM.
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  5. #25
    祖 Ancestor
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    I love the reference to nurgle from warhammer in there. Great horror story all around.

  6. #26
    不死 Undead Areop-Enap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DelRey View Post
    The Master, Holmes and Da Vinci talk in Chaldea about the upcoming Christmas Season

    "Seems like there is finally a bit of normalcy in Chaldea again. Finally some peace during the Winter."
    "Holmes! Do not jinx it! The rush of dangerous Servants has calmed down, our resources are stable, we are making progress on many fronts. We do not need some ominous lines that are sure to be a trigger for something bothersome."
    "Da Vinci, please. That is just superstition. Christmas approaches. It is the most wholesome time of the year."
    "I hope it stays calm. Christmas is my favorite time of the year after all!"
    "Oh Master, look behind you! Haven't seen you in a while, Macak! Want some treats?"
    "He acts weird, he wants me to follow him."
    "Perhaps his bowl is empty."

    The Master, Da Vinci and Holmes follow the cat Macak into a dark corner of Chaldea.
    They turn around the corner and see a familiar face sitting on the floor like in trance.

    "I have seen this. Holmes you jinxed it."
    "You totally jinxed it, Holmes."
    "Excuse me?"
    "Okay Gilles. Wake up and tell us what event Chaldea is dragged in next."

    "THE NIGHTS OF WINTER RISE!
    A star splits in two!
    To the hymn of the bells the four-handed god will rise!
    Slivers shining like the sun flood the halls of Chaldea!
    The Silence will punish the Wanderers in the North!
    Killed with innocence, he will shine again after the last fire was lit!"

    "Wholesome season, my ass, Holmes."
    "Great job, Holmes."
    "What did I do?!"





    Time to bring back the bickering of the three to tease my Christmas Project. I have five Servants for you. Four of them are variants of my own creations, one of them new, all of them centered around Christmas.
    One for each of the four coming Advents and one around Xmas.
    Imaginary Cookie Points if you guessed them right.
    the little match stick girl is one of them

  7. #27
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    Mother, Zubair didn’t really seem to think much about her and his childhood. He wonders how it crop up here at Chaldea of all places but their nothing he could do to avoid the topic. But he thinks back at his day to figure out why this conversation went down.

    Zubair is in the middle of training, he looks towards his sparring partner. Mordred, she been quite the fierce opponent. But it’s getting tiring for him it’s been about 4 hours.

    Zubair said “I think that is it for our match it’s been on for a quite a while”

    Mordred replied “Eh, come on your quitting now. We just got to the good part”

    Zubair shrugged “well as I much love to continue this battle, it’s about dinner and we wouldn’t tired ourselves. Let’s take a break, if for not me or you do it for master”

    Mordred is a bit flustered and replies “good point, so what do you want to eat I hear they serving up hamburgers at the kitchen. I knew father always tries to gobble those up as soon as he sees them.”

    Father that what Mordred said but Zubair is having a hard time wrapping his head around the fact that Artoria is a woman and still Mordred calls her, her father.

    Zubair: Ahem, you do know I can’t eat those right cause religious reasons.

    Mordred: Come on, you’re a servant now, like why are still bound by that kind of stuff. Just look at the Hassan’s. It didn’t seem like they care at all.
    Zubair though for himself the moment the Hassan’s, he looks back at the memories that the Thorne of Heroes gave about them. He kind of winch at the thought of them. But they are still fellow believers even though at times they don’t act like it.

    Zubair still grimacing, “Well, look it’s none of your business of what I eat or not it’s not like I am forcing you to comply with my beliefs.”

    Mordred just gave a hearty laugh,” Okay, if you’re that serious about it, sheesh didn’t figure you for the uptight kind of guy.”

    “Ahem, should be on our way then.” Zubair suddenly exclaim.

    Mordred just rushes out to the cafeteria, Zubair just sighs and follows her. As he was getting his meal his usual eats of dates and bread with a bit of water. There he sees a bunch of servants already there but the one that he catches his eyes is;

    Raiko yells,” Come on, Kintoki that enough snacks for one day. You got to cut it down or it will ruin your dinner.”

    Kintoki just runs out the cafeteria, in a rush with the snacks in hand. Though in the rush Kintoki drops some along with Zubair’s. On the floor, Zubair pick up some up in the aftermath.

    Raiko came up towards Zubair and asked where he seen Kintoki. Zubair points towards the exit but as suddenly Raiko drags him on towards the nearby table.

    Zubair tries to speak up but he was quickly showered with food at his table, but eventual he manages to speak up a bit.
    Zubair exclaims.” Ahem, Miss Raiko isn’t this seems a bit much weren’t you looking for Kintoki just a moment ago. Like what’s up with this whole thing.” He just waves his hands at the food. “It’s seemingly excessive.”

    Raiko stammers, “You seem so fragile with all these scars and you didn’t seem to eat enough so I feel bad for you.”
    Zubair just sighs he wanted to point out about the other servants who had the same or even worse of fate in battle than him but he can’t cause they all manifested without their scars except for Drake. She still has hers in her face. So, Zubair just sighs and eats quietly until;

    Mordred Laughs, “looks like you just got babied by Raiko, aww so this we you wanted to be done early you mama’s boy.”

    Zubair’s just snaps he split the table in half plates smashing into the ground, he feels a sudden headache. Out of all the scars that he manifested this one feels the most painful but it’s a simple bruise on his forehead.

    Zubair’s apologizes, “Sorry, Miss Raiko but I just have a bad memory I will clean this up.”

    Later on

    Zubair repeats in his head, “Astaghfirullah, Astaghfirullah, Astaghfirullah.” He remembers his own mother and the beatings she done. She uses to called them training, He remember the townsfolk asking her about worried about me. But over time they got used to it like it’s fine. He grimaces at the thought and just went on cleaning. In the middle of cleaning, Mordred came back a bit flustered.

    Mordred shuffled her feet a bit, “I heard from your friends a bit about your mother and your childhood.” She drew a deep breath and sighs the air that was let out melted the tension somewhat. As she continues, “I already have some bad blood with my own mother, you probably heard the story a couple times here in Chaldea.”

    Zubair got a bit tongue tied,” Yeah, right I heard a bit about you and Morgan, but I failed to see what it has anything to do with me.”
    Mordred exclaims, “All I am saying is that I know what you felt, because I went to the same thing as you.” She took another deep breath.” I am So…rrry” She bit her tongue.

    Zubair exasperate, “You didn’t have to apologize and compare my situation with yours, mine is relatively tame, I was just out of line there.”

    “Like hell you are stop trying cover up your feelings and accept the darn apology,” Mordred stammers. ​

    Zubair chuckles a bit, “Didn’t figure you to be the uptight one about this” he walks towards Mordred stretch out his hand,” But thanks, for your concern.” “Like I said It’s nothing much in the end she still cares about to worry about my life.”

    “That is the worst, after the hell she been giving she didn’t even acknowledge your strength that what pisses me of the most.” “If I were you, I would, I would,” She is trembling a bit.

    “Challenged her into a duel or something, but you’re not me and besides their other people that acknowledge me strengths back then and now.” Zubair smile a bit slyly. “Since you’re here how about you help me clean up the place.”

    Mordred just nods and then they went to clean the place in silent.

    Creator's notes :
    Just a short little story that I came up with a short while ago, I hope kept the official servants in character in this short story but what do guys think
    Last edited by Ismail2002; January 8th, 2022 at 01:10 AM.

  8. #28
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Spammin Spiff's Avatar
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    I feel sorry I missed this. I enjoy reading all the snippets people post. Nice job.

  9. #29
    A False Shadow Morg van Destro's Avatar
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    Why is it you hate Humanity so much?

    I don’t hate Humanity. I just see no reason to preserve it. The time of the primordials passed, as did the gods, as did the faeries. Humanity is just another cycle Chaldea is struggling to prolong.

    …That’s a strange thing to hear from a member of your family.

    And are you saying you agree with your family in all things? Do your circuits still hurt from when your father fried them?



    That was a step too far. I apologize.

    Putting that aside, that does leave me with one question.



    Why did you join Chaldea?




    To Become Pishad of Eternity
    Land of Aṣ̌a Shadowed by Druj: Airyanem Vaejah




    Ritsuka's eyes slowly opened upon a dark void. A long and sturdy bridge of vibrant wood stretched out before him in either direction. He stood there, looking around in confusion, until his gaze settled on a woman that even surpassed many Servants in beauty.

    He took a step toward her, and he was suddenly in front of her as if he already crossed the distance. The woman smiled at him, and everything else faded away as she did. She reached out her hand, and Ritsuka saw a glorious house form far behind her in the darkness. His own hand moved forward, as if on instinct, to take hers.

    "Senpai!"

    His hand froze, his head burning ferociously enough to send him to his knees. It was as though a hot iron rod had been plunged directly into his brain. His vision became blurry as the woman slowly shook her head and turned to walk toward the house. Ritsuka, through the pain, felt as though he should follow her, but he couldn't move. Soon, the void was all there was.

    Ritsuka inhaled explosively, his body tensing so intensely it hurt, doing him no favors as his constricted lungs strained to take in air. He barely noticed the water that he lay in had already soaked completely through his clothes. As his breaths began to meter out, a small face appeared over his head, tilted to the side with curiosity.

    "Are you okay?"

    Ritsuka still couldn't respond, but the boy kneeled down before pulling on his shirt, struggling to bring the larger Ritsuka out of the water. Eventually, the boy managed it, and sat down exhausted beside the slowly reviving Master.

    “You *puff* need to be more *puff* careful, mister. It’s not good *puff* to fall asleep in a lake.”

    Ritsuka didn’t think he’d been asleep. Why would he have
    As in the Chinese Lostbelt, we cannot find any sign of
    Reading massive amounts of
    Damn. Guess I don’t have a choice in this, huh?
    this world looks almost barren.
    Senpai, isn’t that
    A human?!
    Quickly! Before they
    Heh. They called you human as if
    Get back!
    Koyanskaya was too indirect.
    Senpai!!

    “Hey, Mister.”

    Ritsuka's heart was beating loudly in his ears. He couldn't remember his time up till this point. He knew they were preparing to enter the next Lostbelt, which this had to be, but everything between those points was fuzzy. Broken.

    Ritsuka was pulled from his thoughts by the sound of sniffling. The boy was beginning to cry but seemed to be trying to hold it in.

    "Did I do something wrong," the boy asked him, his hands trembling as if wanting to wipe the tears threatening to pour down his cheeks. "Did you want to be in the lake?"

    "No no, it's fine," Ritsuka said hurriedly, surprising himself with how quickly he sat up. "It's not you. I'm just... very confused right now."

    "...Really?"

    The boy was wiping his eyes now, obviously not convinced that Ritsuka wasn't actually mad at him.

    "I promise."

    Ritsuka watched the boy slowly accept his words, drying his eyes as Ritsuka took in his surroundings. Except for the foliage surrounding the lake he'd been in, most of what he could see was nothing but sand and hills. The only landmark he could make out was what appeared to be a massive structure in the distance.

    "Where am I?"

    "This is Lake Kansava."

    Ritsuka was surprised at the response from the child. He'd only been muttering to himself.

    "We're south-east of the Gaokerena Border. See it over there?"

    He pointed at the structure Ritsuka had noticed.

    "Gaokerena?"

    The boy, already past his earlier fear, now gave him a look of confusion.

    "You don't know the Gaokerena? Everyone knows the Gaokerena."

    "I'm... not from around here."

    As he said those words, a sudden thought catapulted itself to the front of his mind.

    "Before you found me, did you see a girl in armor nearby?"

    The boy tilted his head to the side uncomprehendingly.

    "You're the only one I found here, mister."

    Where was Mash? He wouldn't have come here without her. It's the English Lostbelt all over again.

    "Are you looking for her? Did you think she was in the lake?"

    The boy glanced over at the body of water as if he expected her to rise from its depths.

    “No, but now I’m worried about her. I don’t have any idea where she could be.”

    Ritsuka leaned back on his arms, staring into the sky in thought. He could try contacting the Shadow Border, but they would’ve already been talking to him by this point if they could. It couldn’t be his equipment. He still had it, and he was beyond certain it was all waterproof. It had to be an effect of the Lostbelt. He could even feel his connection to his contracts being strained. What happened?

    “She could have gone to Mt. Damāvand,” the boy said helpfully before his face immediately fell. “I… wasn’t suppose to talk about there.”

    “A mountain?”

    The boy hesitated for several seconds, eyes never leaving Ritsuka until the fear seemed to flow out of him.

    “There used to be a lot of cities, but they’re gone. They keep fighting and fighting, and they’re all gone. Yamah Xšaitah took them away to Pārsa to save them. Zahhāk took… anyone who was left.”

    The boy started tearing up again but kept going.

    “Kāve saved everyone he could. He took them to Mt. Damāvand. They can’t go there for some reason. If your friend isn’t there, then she might be with the king or…”

    Ritsuka put his hand on the boy’s shoulder.

    “Don’t worry. We’re going to stop them.”

    “We?”

    Ritsuka realized he had already forgotten that Mash wasn’t with him, but the boy’s face became awed as what were certainly visions of heroics crossed through his mind.

    “Well, me and my partner.”

    Ritsuka immediately corrected himself as the boy’s face fell.

    “But I do really need your help. I don’t know anything about this world. Do you think you can guide me?”

    “Of course! I know everything about Airyanem Vaejah! I can help you, and you can stop Zahhāk from eating everyone!”

    Ritsuka, putting aside how quickly the boy recovered, tried to think of what to do next, but he was still in the dark about so many things. He still didn’t know who the Lostbelt King was but had to be one of the three the boy mentioned, but that mattered less than the fact that he didn’t even know who the
    The Crypter of this Lostbelt
    That’s odd. I thought that family
    believed you had arrived.
    Great! He's insane! That makes this easy.
    will take the girl with us.
    All she needed was a nail.

    “You have that look again, mister.”

    “Sorry. Also, you can stop calling me ‘mister’. My name is Ritsuka Fujimaru.”

    “Fujiru… Ritka… Rizwin!”

    “That’s… not even close. Why don’t you try saying Ritsu.”

    “Ritsu!”

    “Good. Now...”

    "My name is...

    Sao

    Tell me, Ritsu, where are we going? I can take us anywhere!"

    …He’s just moving past saying it all, huh. Well, it’s not really that important. What was important was his first move.

    "We should...

    1. Go investigate Kuuirinta
    2. Go investigate Pārsa
    3. Go investigate Mt. DamāvandDo the blatantly correct choice considering you are a child and I am a Servantless Master and go to Mt. Damāvand
    4. Go to Gaokerena
    You, the readers, will decide.
    Last edited by Morg van Destro; February 17th, 2022 at 07:00 AM.
    Do you like jazz short stories? Do you want something to distract from making Servants? Do you wish the idea of Shirou Kotomine didn't immediately bring edgelords to mind? Well, I can't promise it's good, but some would disagree with me.
    Fate/Without Justice

  10. #30
    プレインズウォーカー Planeswalker Serra's Avatar
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    Very interesting snippet. Something is definitely off with the kid. I assume this is the Lostbelt you teased with your Zahhāk-e Mārdoush / Ahriman / Aži Dahāka sheet and that some memory and/or time manipulation other than simple rayshifting could be going on here, since Ritsuka's seemingly having 'flashbacks' about events of the same Lostbelt.
    Considering all that and the alt-text in the snippet, of course, 3 seems like a great option

  11. #31
    Local Extra Class Aficionado DelRey's Avatar
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    I would go with the last option.
    Folks, the last
    "Let's see the color of your coin, my friend."



    Behold the vault of Heroes.


    The King made the community prosper. Enjoy for free. Paid by your taxes.
    University of Formatting | Museum of Legends | Memorandum of Kings

  12. #32
    هههههههههههههههههههه Kamera's Avatar
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    ooh, is this like a Quest thing?
    I also vote for 3
    Check out the officialTM Create-a-Servant discord server









    Blindfold your eyes, so that the approaching night may strike no fear in you.
    Let it not burden your soul, nor numb your strides.

  13. #33
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Spammin Spiff's Avatar
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    I'll give in to peer pressure and say 3 as well

  14. #34
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle Baron Magnus's Avatar
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    I'll pick 1 and refuse to elaborate further.
    Rookie Lorekeeper, Amateur Extraordinaire, and all around nasunoob.




  15. #35
    A False Shadow Morg van Destro's Avatar
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    Well, 4 people voted, and I likely won't get anymore. At least, not until I start releasing the conjoining Servants. Anyway...

    In the Realm of Daemons.
    Good or Misfortune?
    Camp of Apathy.
    A Subtle Urge.


    *laughter*
    You gotta be fucking kidding me! This must be a dream come true for you then.

    I have to agree with him for once. Oh, darling, don’t glare at me like that. I just think it’s a strange coincidence.

    We were all frozen anyway. It’s not like he could’ve done anything about it while on ice.

    …I cannot believe even the thought that I somehow called an alien god to our world is happening.

    You’re the one with the crazy wish.

    Yes, but unlike you, Beryl, I’m smart enough not to implicate myself.

    Who wouldn’t want to brag about that?

    Someone who wants to live.

    I think this meeting has gotten off track.





    ”We’re almost there, Ritsu!”

    “I can see that.”

    He wasn’t being sarcastic. It’s just hard to miss the mountain they’d been walking to for the last hour, especially since the land around them was mostly sand and hills. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been somewhere so empty. Maybe one of the singularities.

    That was until he saw the lush greenery that spread out around the mountain’s base. It was as though the land was suddenly cut along a circular line that further emphasized the monolith towering above the plains.

    “Why is this place so green?” Ritsuka asked his new guide.

    “I’m not sure,” Sao replied, peering closely at a particularly interesting patch of flora. “Airyanem Vaejah used to be a lot like this, but now only Pārsa, Gaokerena, Kansava, and Damāvand have any plants.”

    Sao seemed to grow more disheartened with every word, sad about the sorry state his home had fallen to.

    “Kansava was that lake I was in, right?”

    “Yep.”

    Sao had returned to his feet, giving Rituska his attention.

    “That river that flows into it comes all~ the way from Gaokerena. I think that’s why it has plants.”

    Ritsuka thought about this as they continued on towards the mountain.

    “What about Kuuirinta? That’s the city with this Zahhak, right.”

    “I haven’t seen it, but I don’t think so. Somewhere with so much druj couldn’t have life like that. …At least, I don’t think so.”

    “Druj?”

    Sao began walking backwards, which worried Ritsuka because they were approaching a path that lead up the mountain’s face.

    “Druj is… druj. It’s the opposite of aṣ̌a. It’s… All the World’s Good and All the World’s Evil… in a sense? Ah… It’s hard to say~. But nothing this pretty can come from druj.”

    Ritsuka accepted this answer for what it was. He should know by now that there are a lot of concepts in this world that are harder to say than experience. Not to mention he’s asking a child to describe it, and they’re not known for their vivid descriptions.

    They ascended the rocky face along the seemingly natural path, Sao almost dancing as he stayed ahead of Ritsuka. Despite the current situation, he couldn't help but smile at the boy's enthusiasm. There was something infectious about it, like Sao's happiness reflected onto everything else. In this barren world, he, and hopefully the people they were steadily approaching, was full of life.

    And yet...



    looking out at the world growing farther beneath him, he couldn't say there wasn't something beautiful about it. Just empty.

    They continued upward, the air growing slightly thinner with every step, but not enough to cause great struggle in breathing, which definitely would've put a cap on Sao's enthusiasm. Still, plant life faded away as they began to reach a point that the pathway leveled out, bringing them within sight of two men relaxing off to the side. The men held spears lazily in their hands, tightening their grips as the noticed the travelers. They loosened, however, when they realized that a teenager and a smaller child were a pretty poor invading force.

    "It's been a while since anyone made their way here," one of them said as they drew close. "I was beginning to think no one else managed to get away."

    "But we did!" Sao exclaimed proudly, something almost visually taking the worry from the guards.

    "Well, I'll take you to the boss. He'll get you settled in."

    Ritsuka thought about objecting, but his reason for being here didn't change that he should talk to Kāve. In fact, that was the reason, so he and Sao followed the guard while the other went about the business of watching the path. Sao wasn't dancing around anymore, instead sticking close to Ritsuka for the first time since they arrived at the mountain. Was he worried about something?

    Their eyes finally settled upon the village set high in the mountains. Several tents and simple buildings were spread out before them, people quietly moving about and hardly giving the new arrivals a glance. A soft tension was in the air, the people holding their breath for things to suddenly go wrong. After being driven from their homes into the mountains, Ritsuka understood that their worries were far from over.

    The guard brought them to one of the makeshift buildings, though Ritsuka noticed this one looked better constructed than the others. He also noticed the rhythmic clanging of metal coming from within.

    "This is where I leave," the guard said with a apologetic smile. "The boss prefers to speak to new arrivals alone. Don't bother knocking. He won't hear you. Just walk in."

    "Thank you for your help."

    The guard gave him a nod before going back the way they came, leaving Sao and Ritsuka standing before the door.

    “I can’t believe I’m going to meet Kāve,” Sao said, awe and apprehension mixing in his words.

    “What do you know about him?”

    “He’s the one who rose up against Zahhak,” Sao said excitedly. “When Yamah Xšaitah sealed the gates of Pārsa, Kāve gathered up everyone he could and brought them here, fighting off Zahhak’s army the whole way.”

    “He must be pretty strong then.”

    “He’s amazing! A master blacksmith and a warrior. If we get him to help, there’s no way we can lose.”

    Ritsuka had a funny feeling one Servant alone wasn’t going to be enough, mostly because it’s never enough, but they always had to start somewhere. With that thought in his mind, he opened the door to the building.

    The clanging grew louder without the barrier, the two seeing a large man bringing a hammer down on an anvil, each strike sending sparks into the air as his work took shape. The man didn’t stop as they approached, absorbed in his art to the point that everything else faded away. Ritsuka couldn’t even bring himself to speak out and neither could Sao. They watched, mesmerized by the passion in each swing.

    Finally, the man ceased, lifting the orange blade with tongs and transferring it to a bucket of water nearby, steam gushing out and filling the air around the man. No sooner had the white cloud risen that the man pulled the blade from the water. He placed the cooling metal to the side and set the tongs down before turning to face his guests.

    The man’s gaze was intense as he surveyed the duo, eyes barely glazing Sao before boring into Ritsuka. The Master was used to similar evaluations from other Servants, so it didn’t bother him so much as it might’ve when he first started working at Chaldea. That was a long time ago, wasn’t it?

    It was then that Kāve finally spoke.

    Kāve

    “You should leave. We don’t need the trouble a Master brings with them.”

    Kāve turned to the burning furnace nearby with the tongs in hand, reaching in to pull out a scorching rectangle of metal.

    “You’re not going to help us?!” Sao exclaimed before Ritsuak could speak. “But why? You’re Kāve! You’re…”

    “A simple blacksmith,” Kāve replied as he began hammering the block on the anvil. “Right now, these people don’t need a revolution or a battle. They don’t need someone coming in and trying to rally them against beings they can’t hope to match.”

    The block flattened under his mighty blows, emphasizing his words.

    “What they need is security. What they need is to recover after losing their homes, their families. What they need is a protector, not a leader.”

    Kāve glanced over at Ritsuka.

    “Or someone who’s likely to bring down the wrath of the people they’re afraid of.”

    “But… but…”

    The air flowed out of Sao's sails. He just couldn’t understand how such an amazing hero could refuse to stop the person hurting everyone else. Even Kāve’s stoic face cracked slightly at the boy’s hurt expression. He paused his work and let out a small sigh.

    “I’m not saying I don’t want to help. I’m saying I can’t help. Not right now. Unless you can tell me you have the power to end this ridiculous war at this very moment, I think it’s best if you leave.”

    While Sao was cajoled by every word Kāve said, Ritsuka was more surprised than anything. The man before him was without a doubt a Servant, not someone who was raised in this world, yet he seemed to have no drive to fulfill the duty Alaya had called him to do. At least, not at the moment.

    Kāve looked out the still open door at what Ritsuka realized a moment later was how light it was outside.

    “Then again, it’s getting dark out, and that means The Xrafstar will be prowling the desert. Even if I want you to leave, I will not send you out there with That. We’ve prepared several homes in case of new arrivals, though there have been few. Tomorrow, I want you”

    He made sure to look at Ritsuka as he spoke.

    “to leave. The boy can stay. I assume that’s one of the reasons you came here.”

    “Actually, I…”

    “Thank you, sir. We appreciate you doing at least this much.”

    The blacksmith shook his head before turning back to his work.

    “You can show it by doing what I said. And my name is Kāve. I get enough honorifics from the people here to last a lifetime.”

    With that, the hammering began again, and it was clear that they were being dismissed.

    Sao was distraught for the rest of the day, barely even saying a word as the people of the makeshift town fed them and showed them where they’d be staying. Ritsuka wasn’t sure what to do about it. Watching a child pout was always hard, but from Sao, it was like the world pouted with him.

    Ritsuka kept in mind though that he was still a child. By tomorrow, it was possible he’d be mostly past it. Otherwise, Ritsuka would probably have to keep him distracted from his pitiful state. He would have to think on this, along with the more relevant question of “Why am I not even considering leaving him here?”

    One of many questions that could be answered tomorrow.




    The man walked around the lake, leaping over the rushing current of the river running into the body of water with graceful ease. He had cycled all the way back around to the scraped sand on the edge of the lake. He kneeled next to it, tracing his hand in the dirt before casting his eyes toward the lowering sun.

    “It’ll be out soon.”

    He rose to his feet, turning his gaze toward the distant mountain.

    ???

    “But my fortune awaits. It would be foolish to let it slip by.”

    He smirked as he took the first step on his latest voyage.

    A mad howl echoed through the world.




    Ritsuka’s opened on the dark interior of his room. He wasn’t certain as to what woke him up, but felt compelled to leave his room.

    It didn’t feel malicious or favorable. It was just a slight pull that called him. Something that he felt he could ignore if he desired. That, more than anything, made him feel he should see the reason.

    It tugged him gently from his room over to the room Sao was in, finding a stranger in fine clothing standing over Sao. The man gently brushed a strand from the sleeping Sao’s face, the moonlight from the window catching the white locks and making them shine brightly under his hand.

    His back was to Ritsuka, but the Master was certain the stranger was aware of his presence. In fact, he was the one calling him. He could feel it in his heart, and there was something oddly familiar about him.

    The man turned to face Ritsuka, and he was almost otherworldly. Ritsuka remembered the woman he’d seen on that strange bridge while gazing at him. They were different, and yet, Ritsuka felt as though they were connected.

    The man’s eyes oscillated slowly between green and gold, gleaming with soft affection that Ritsuka knew on some level wasn’t only for him, but Sao as well. The man smiled, his expression piercing Ritsuka’s soul as he spoke.

    ???

    "You both have so far to go, but I will be waiting for you."

    The man moved forward, looking into Ritsuka's eyes as he stroked his cheek.

    "Take care of one another. You're the only ones who can."

    Ritsuak's eyes opened, the sun streaming through the window as he sat up.

    "What is this Lostbelt?"

    1. Investigate Kuuirinta
    2. Investigate Pārsa
    3. Investigate Gaokerena
    Where do we go from here?
    Last edited by Morg van Destro; February 25th, 2022 at 03:52 PM.
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  16. #36
    プレインズウォーカー Planeswalker Serra's Avatar
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    All three newly introduced figures seem rather interesting - I appreciate the Joshua faceclaim immediately talking about fortune lol

    Gaokerena's possibly the Lostbelt's Tree, getting closer to Zahhak in Kuuirinta this early could definitely be unwise, and though they may be sympathetic to Ritsuka's ultimate goals, Pārsa's gates are sealed, so, while the possibility that they'd have the opposite reaction to Kāve to the presence of a master does exist, given their seemingly more militaristic bent, it seems just as likely that they'd deny any outsiders entry outright at this point.

    I'd go with 3 - Gaokarena. Even if we won't end up finding much useful stuff after all, at least there'll be more vegetation to look forward to than in the other two paths, given what Sao said about the river, lol. In fact, Joshua-FC seemed to imply that something important may be about to emerge from a lake, and the other two locations haven't been mentioned to be near water so far, with Kuuirinta apparently being particularly arid - though mostly because of druj rather than due to other reasons. So, Gaokarena seems like the most interesting option to me.

    Also, something really bad *might* have happened to Sao in the current location in a past and/or averted timeline after he and Ritsuka went to meet Kāve - hence Ritsuka not even considering letting Sao stay here longer now.
    Last edited by Serra; February 25th, 2022 at 10:44 AM.

  17. #37
    Local Extra Class Aficionado DelRey's Avatar
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    I go with the last option as well.
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  18. #38
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Spammin Spiff's Avatar
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    I'm gonna be a rebel this time and say option one.

  19. #39
    Your average angst/edge supplier BnEl15's Avatar
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    2. Gotta see what else this place has to offer before heading to the seemingly obvious "boss area".

  20. #40
    هههههههههههههههههههه Kamera's Avatar
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    huh i didn't know there was a hidden option. neat.

    gonna go with BnEl with this one
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