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Thread: Fate/Antiquity (IC)

  1. #161
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Lysander Scriberis Archemiste II & Rider
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    ??? - ???


    The magus' eyes wander as Rider speaks. He focuses on breathing regularly, trying to come to terms with being unwelcome. While his Servant is made of sterner stuff, he is not.

    She's asking for information. Good. This place is unknown to both of them. If the snake speaks truth, then they are not the first visitors, or perhaps the correct term is victims-.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rider
    "Wait, are you on drinking age?"
    His eyes snap back to her. Lysander shrugs and slips off his too-heavy and too-hot jacket. He spreads it across the ground and takes a seat beside the snake without a second thought, holding out his hand for the cup.

    "In most countries. Doubt the Reverse Side has laws for it." His voice is a little rough. He clears his throat. It doesn't help much. "This place doesn't agree with me."

    He considers the dangers of interacting with a Phantasmal snake, of possible grudges and venom, and then offers it his other hand as a show of good faith.

    "Call me Archie."

  2. #162
    wwwww Spartacus's Avatar
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    Lysander Scriberis Archemiste II & Rider
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    ??? - ???


    Quote Originally Posted by Lysander
    "In most countries."
    "..." Rider has her doubt, he looks on the younger side in her eyes, but it isn't really a surprise for a nobility and a magus to age gracefully. "Alright."

    In the end, she let him have his share and join them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lysander
    "This place doesn't agree with me."
    "I know." His time limit is far smaller than hers, they need to find a way to get out quickly.

    But they are also in a Holy Grail War, the outside is far more dangerous with Servants running around. This place may be harmful, but it is also something extraordinary, they might be able to capitalize it to win. But the question is how? What they could possibly gain in such a place?

    She continues to think, putting her fist in front of her mouth, unsure what to do.

    "Despite your claim, you are very calm about this. You know something?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Lysander
    "Call me Archie."
    That's a surprisingly cute nickname. Maybe a girl called him that?

    She thought to herself.

    Regardless, she look at the pink snake, "I am Rider. What about you?" They don't know who is this snake yet.
    Last edited by Spartacus; July 10th, 2022 at 12:15 AM.

  3. #163
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    Zhang Canyuan
    Day 0 - Evening (3/3)
    Minami Ward - Near the Forest


    Quote Originally Posted by Lancer?
    "Is it not in the name, oh Master? A Lancer holds a lance, nothing more, and nothing less."

    "Heh! Point taken. Guess I'll just have to see your martial display in person, then."

    …Talk about cheeky, you sneaky snake. Guess the strategy talk's an utter bust.

    Was it reluctance to withhold his skills? Pride? Canyuan knew not, but he hoped for them both was the former. Parsing Lancer's strengths mid- "work" would be a nuisance and a half, but would undoubtedly trump faulty description.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lancer
    "There is one secret, Master, that must be shared with thee. Not now, not yet, but soon enough."

    Canyuan blinked, an eyebrow arched in surprise. My, talk about a grain amidst sand; with this tone again, it must be weighty enough to warrant confidence. The urge to press for more was quickly brushed aside, for Lancer's reticence could easily deflect his inquiries. A curious quirk, anyhow.

    In place of a voiced reply, the handyman nodded with a hum. If Lancer were to reveal it in due time, he would simply have to exercise patience in the meantime.

    —-The leaves continue to crunch beneath Canyuan's footsteps, the trees shifting around him down the marked trail. It remained silent, the shuttering absent.

    "...With still some peace and paces left, suppose you're not opposed to some smalltalk?" Canyuan smirked, continuing before his compatriot could react or deny. "Though I guess it’s more of this Grail War business, but I digress, heheh."

    With a brief pause, the Master sighed. The migraines, though formerly absent, crept back from the periphery. Such a shame, to taint such a pleasant night with unpleasantries.

    "...Not gonna sugarcoat it, Lancer; killing peeps disagrees with me greatly. Just the thought of it sends my stomach rolling like crazy. It's not the spilled blood or cadaver, either -- just offing someone with years ahead of 'em, to cut those unwritten days short is nothing short of…” Canyuan shivered before shaking his head. Sickening."

    And to be the one who cleft said lives in twain, he really is repulsive. The absolute worst, a defiler stained in wicked cause.

    The marked trail continued shifting from the agent's steps. The companion remained, faintly shuttering.

    "'Course, doesn't change the War before us -- with what's at stake, blood will no doubt spill for another's wishes. And no doubt some of the said blood will be on our hands." Canyuan smirked again, though remarkably bitter under the moonlight shine. "For what it's worth, I too have a dream to fulfill."

    "I won't stay your lance from where it pierces, Lancer. I won't forgive you, but I won't begrudge you; be it for our victory or preserving secrecy, unsightly deeds should be done with reason and with grace."

    Not once had Canyuan paused his stroll, the sound of grass proof of his continued trek. It has been a while since he talked so much, outside of bar or stall. Perhaps the afternoon was more bothersome than he thought.

    "You need not answer my spiel, Lancer. When it comes down to it, I suppose that if others were to die by our wretched hands…."



    "—-They deserve to die beautifully, at the very least."
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

    [Collection of my Servant Sheets]
    Now Revamped!

  4. #164
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Asakami Ito
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Minami Ward - Tokisaka Shrine

    Breathing reached his ears.

    The cleanly groomed grass of the garden shuddered in the still air.

    The eyes which had forfeited their purpose returned to their duty, Ito stared upon the storm which commanded such weight. The weapon he had called for wore the veil of a human, took a second breath in the way a human would. It faced away from Ito, the Servant’s eyes transfixed upon its surroundings.

    It stood in silence. So too did Ito.

    Not even the rhythm of his own lungs reached Ito’s ears. His breath had frozen along with the Servant’s. The stillness of the air pulled his mind taut, a silken thread stretched to its limit. The unnatural presence looming before him, the storm raging silently on a silent, cloudless night gripped his every thought, demanding acknowledgement of something splendid, far above what was housed between heaven and hell.

    The Servant’s head turned.

    It took another breath.

    With a flash of steel, lightning struck. A virtuous blade struck seven instruments of malice with the crack of thunder, sundering the tranquility of the night.

    A weapon inferior in any way would have shattered beneath the Servant’s blow. A wielder any lesser than Ito would have bent beneath the strike.

    Instinct played no part guiding the hand which drew Ito’s own blade to meet the Servant’s. The attack bore no hostility, no will to kill for his honed mind to detect. Had he relied on reflex to answer the swing, he would have come short. Were Ito to deduce the Servant’s intentions from the half-turn to meet his own eyes, he would have been slain.

    The reason his body stayed whole was simple.

    His blade had already been drawn from the instant his eyesight returned to him.

    Sparks scattered along the blade’s edge, casting light over the steel dimension between the two swordsmen like a flash of lightning.

    In the light provided by those sparks, Ito weaved a thread around his blade, reinforcing it to bear the weight of the greeting strike.

    Another thread pulled the remaining six blades out of the greeting, turning them to descend upon the Servant, falling upon him like rain.

    A greeting returned sixfold.


  5. #165
    woolooloo Kirby's Avatar
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    Archer
    Day 0 - Night (3/3)
    Kita Ward - SRH Bonded Warehouse


    "You. Where did you come from?"
    She frowns, as if considering the question. Tilts her head, closes her eyes. Where did you come from? It’s not a hard question, like what your name is or what your favorite food is. And yet she hesitates as if unsure of an answer.

    Where am I?

    Silence returns to the warehouse. Ambient noise. Distant rumblings of cars, honking horns. The sound of the sea. She looks towards it, in the direction of the port. Crashing waves. Seagulls’ cry. Familiar, or unfamiliar? Unfamiliar, she decides.

    Where did I come from?

    Looking around the warehouse, the script on the various crates and so on is unfamiliar to her, though she finds that she can understand it anyway. How? It begins to speak to her, its knowledge flowing into her head. The speech of the man in front of her, intelligible. The words scattered here and there across the room, readable. Her purpose and goal in this land, certain. She begins to understand where she is; a land far, far away.

    Slowly, she points. Towards the sea. To another land far, far away.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    there aren't enough gun emojis in the thousandfold trichiliocosm for this shit


    Linger: Complete. August, 1995. I met him. A branch off Part 3. Mikiya keeps his promise to meet Azaka, and meets again with that mysterious girl he once found in the rain.
    Shinkai: Set in the Edo period. DHO-centric. As mysterious figures gather in the city, a young woman unearths the dark secrets of the Asakami family.
    The Dollkeeper: A Fate side-story. The memoirs of the last tuner of the Einzberns. A record of the end of a family.
    Overcount 2030: Extra x Notes. A girl with no memories is found by a nameless soldier, and wakes up to a world of war.

  6. #166
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    Cuan Yugou
    Day 0 - Night (3/3)
    Kita Ward - SRH Bonded Warehouse


    Paralysis.

    (Abstraction of a breath.)

    He does not move. He stands there, right there, and he watches the girl - point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby View Post
    Slowly, she points. Towards the sea. To another land far, far away.
    Point where? To the "impossible." No doubt. No, none.

    There is a silence, and there is a silence inside of this silence.

    She is pointing there. He thinks this. "There." Or somewhere like it.

    Think about that. The whole violent apparatus of his thought is clanking labouring over it. He is aware of it. He is looking at himself from afar. He is detached. A hollow space between the ear and the brain. His own skull roars in his hearing. He thinks about it. "Impossible." He either thinks or says this aloud. It makes no difference. For there is in that moment a vicious sense of fatality. Precisely a sense of "fate." As if the whole of his visual field, presented as it is with everything outlined sharply, finely, unearthly crystalline detail, as if all this was solidified somehow, like dried paint on a masterwork, as if it "could not" be otherwise, as if this, here, this scene, was architectured infinitely many years ago and is only now being constructed precisely according to spec. There is a taste of acid in his mouth. Taste of iron. The headache twines its way from lobe to lobe. Oh this is not good. This is not "right." There is something altogether suspect about this. This. This here, this, think about it. The "impossible." The crack in the world. That thing. She is "pointing" to it. Somewhere. Somewhere else. Does he know that? Can he tell? No, it can't be told. It can't be. It cannot be. It is discovenant. It cannot be. It cannot be. It cannot be. Tou-

    (An angry thought. An angry mind. Sunlit turn, stead of breath.)

    Don't think about that.

    (A child-)

    Crush it down.

    (-screams-)

    And it stops. (A sound like a wet cloth hitting a kitchen sideboard.) To Cuan Yugou arises the dim sweet awareness that he has hit himself in the face. He withdraws the hand. It is his hand, after all. A hard hit though only the faintest trace of pain. He looks at it. In a moment the gale passes, the windhowl cuts to nil. The storm is over. He is looking at his hand, its rough tracery. He looks up at the girl, who is still there. He looks at his hand again. A breath is escaping him. He is as if plunged into ice. Cold and cool water. He is gasping for air. He is breathing, slowly, one-two, one-two. He lowers the hand.

    One must, he thinks, remain "rational." The position at present must be "verified."

    (Yes.)

    There are still too many "unknown" factors. Merely felt, not known. These must be ascertained. A "strategic" mode of thought entails itself. He must figure this out. The situation - what is the situation? The situation was "explained" to him but only up to a point. No doubt. The - he resists calling her "girl" - what to call her? - she must know something. Something. What does she know? Will she tell the "truth"? How much do the - summoned - parties "know" about what will go on here? The process. What is the process? What is the fucking process, Cuan Yugou? Work it out.

    "Ah, hm." He says. This is not really a "saying." This is clearing the throat. He steps closer to the - whoever. He steps a step closer. He gets a better look at her. It tells him nothing new. He looks at her as he did, as he has been, as he will continue to do, he keeps looking at her. She looks like - "she." She looks like - "nothing in particular." Unobtrusive. A sketchy illustration to which he contributes many details. He steps a step again. She is much shorter than him. That is a frequent thing. He thinks about kneeling down to talk to her but decides not to. He should have brought a chair.

    She looks at him.

    (His jaw twitches.)

    Blood, he thinks. Starved, he thinks. Beast, he thinks.

    "Is that so." He scratches his head. "From...is that so."

    She, the thought occurs to him, is not what she seems. (Think about that.) Time passes, a mild eternity. She is - still - looking at him.

    "Okay." Cuan Yugou is scratching the stubble on his chin. "Properly, then. Mm." Easier said than done. He is scrabbling around for words. He is trying to "describe" the situation. It was "described" to him of course earlier today but this in terms that he found mildly absurd, mildly ridiculous. He was perhaps wrong to do that. But all the same the words remain inadequate. He is frustrated by the search for adequate words. Fuck it. At least one must be polite.

    "I," he says, plucking a name from the empty air, "am called - Ameinu. In this language. Call me that if you want. Call me whatever." Exhalation. "I called you here. You know that. No doubt. You answered. If I understand the process correctly. That is what happened. You answered and therefore you wanted to be here. You have a "reason" for being here. Correct? That you are here at all indicates that. Or "suggests" that at least. And this reason you may or may not choose to share with me. Noted. I too have a reason for being here. This too, I may - likewise. Anyway, I believe you should have already some understanding of the process. Namely the purpose of this. Namely what we are to do going forward. If so, good. If not, that is a solvable problem. Still you may have questions in any case. I do too. I may ask you who you are but I am not sure that this question returns a useful result, or will return any result. Or ought to. I ask at least something lesser. They tell me you - you are a thing called a Servant. I do not much care for this nomenclature. I need to call you something. What do I call you?"

    A faint twist to his face. A smile? Hard to tell. Some expression he doesn't know how to describe from the bare sensation of it crawling on his jaw. He scrutinises carefully this red-hooded creature and awaits her reply.
    えき
    しゃ
    さん
    ゆう


  7. #167
    for me, there is (you) Katie's Avatar
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    Theresa Octavia & Berserker
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Nishi Ward - Shopping District


    A true city never sleeps.

    Kagamihara glows with neon lights, blotting out the night stars. Though far fewer people bustle out and about at this time of night, it would be difficult to fight in the open here. Too many witnesses for any magi to cover up. You don’t have much experience, but you can see a person every few blocks—more if you follow them to the streets where the nightclubs make their presence known.

    Wandering eyes drift over to you and Berserker, but nobody dares approach. Any teen out this late at night is an unsalvageable delinquent. Though, it seems you’re not the only ones. A pair bicker with each other in hushed breaths from across the road, illuminated by the pale street lights. A girl with dyed hair and a boy with an ungodly amount of gel in his. Next to them is an arcade, and beside that, a stereotypical karaoke place.

    The rest are either closed or bars and restaurants aimed at attracting the late night crowd. The goal was to show Berserker what modern life was like, but you can’t help but get the feeling this is the city at its most subdued…

    Tanabe Shin & Assassin
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Kita Ward - Abandoned Safehouse


    Safe houses often end up changing hands, but in this case, it remains unused. This one in particular used to be favored by Uncle Tanabe—looted once his time was up. Going back here isn’t exactly a pleasant memory, but you know your fellow brothers would never leave a place dry. Shinonome Construction still owns this block of real estate, and as long as it’s theirs, it might have something useful. Nobody will miss whatever junk they put into a dead man’s building.

    As you approach, though, you can see the doorknob on the door, broken clean off, like something clawed at it, exposing the innards of the lock. The windows are still boarded up just like every other abandoned building in this plot of land, an intentionally failed housing development. Enough for utilities to have been installed, but not enough to sell them. The perfect place to hide something.

    Or at least, you thought so. Anyone who’d break into an abandoned house knew something was up.

  8. #168
    Assassin
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Kita Ward - Abandoned Safehouse


    The Master did not speak of any company. No visitors or old friends should know of his current whereabouts, and based on the irritated expression Shin displayed the door hadn't been in such a state previously.

    Was it a stroke of bad luck then, some unfortunate encounter with a lost soul seeking refuge? Or did the ex-yakuza have enemies with enough foresight to determine a likely shelter for an ambush?

    Or perhaps, a different beast altogether lies beyond that door?

    Uninvited guests at the safehouse... Seems the first night won't be a quiet affair. I shall scout ahead.

    Death creeps past the barrier. Servants are existences between the realm of the living and the dead. A door holds no meaning to a spirit, and so Assassin moves in first.

    Shadow takes shape. Within the utter blackness, Assassin creeps undetected, his presence erased from the world.

    Darkness is his domain.

  9. #169
    屍鬼 Ghoul Steak's Avatar
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    Tanabe Shin
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Kita Ward - Abandoned Safehouse

    Shin groans as he spots the doorhandle, "Damn squatters must be eating eating good to break it..." His mumbling pauses as he gets a better look at it, "...Like that."

    "Really good...Hm." Some part of him still hopes he'll just find a homeless meathead. Someone that he can just throw out.

    He hears Assassin in his head again, still not understanding the telepathy. He responds in a hushed tone, making the assumption Assassin will just hear him, "Right." He nods, and hesitates as he eyes the gutted lock, waiting. Outside, by himself, while his partner moves on ahead... Should they even stay here? Someone will know he's squatting here now...

    ...

    Shin knows he should be able to trust Assassin. If someone's here, if they aren't part of this war, Assassin shouldn't touch them. They shook on that. And if they aren't a part of this war, it's best to just toss them out for now.

    ...

    Not even a minute later, Shin mumbles impatiently to the ghost, "Don't expect me to just wait out here." He pushes lightly on the door at first, but upon feeling the slightest bit of resistance, he kicks open the door before strolling inside, staring into the darkness from the doorway.
    The Perma-Lurker

  10. #170
    Chasing Daybreak palad1n's Avatar
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    Berserker
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Nishi Ward - Shopping District

    Berserker stares at her surroundings with wide eyes, looking back and forth from one sight to the next while trying to contain her enthusiasm; the yellow raincoat her master had given her was large enough to keep her tail hidden, and she doesn't really pay attention to the fact that the yellow clashed horribly with her own red cloak as engrossed as she is in taking in her surroundings. The grail might have given her some rundowns and basic information, but seeing is believing, as they say.

    The buildings! The lights! The people! They're all amazing!

    Berserker wonders how humans could have built all of these. Those tall buildings, for example. How could they build those without being a giant, or at the very least having some form of super-strength? Are their tools really capable of accomplishing such wonders when it's not even magical in nature? And the lights! They're everywhere, and bright enough to dim the light of stars...

    Berserker stops suddenly as her nose picked up on a scent. Many of the places they've passed by seems closed, which is understandable given the time of day, but this is tantalizing aroma is definitely coming from a freshly-made food. She looked around for a bit, found a place that has its light still on, and tugs on Theresa's blue jacket.

    "Master, master!" She points at the building where she smells the aroma coming from excitedly. "I smelled something good coming from over there, can we go in? Can we eat? It's been a while since I last eat!"

    That was a lie. the last time she ate was just before her death, and--

    Her grip on Theresa's jacket tightens a little bit.

    No. It's been a long time since she last ate, and she missed eating good food, and her master seems like she could use some good food as well. Fighting on an empty stomach would be unwise, and a good meal is one of the key to happiness, so she gives the pink-haired girl her best puppy-eyes stare and wags her tail. Which, of course, is obstructed by the large yellow raincoat. "Please?"

    She hopes Theresa will agree.
    Random Regalia Hijinks

    <Mellon> But yeah. Don't play the waiting game too much guys. Just do what you want to do and let God (me) sort it out.

    <Erlkonig|Phone> Why get a gf, when Airen is your waifu?

    <Airen|Phone> I'll save everyone, it's fine

    <Snaxies> Airen is totally Jesus again

    <frantic> I actually hate reading your post because you're so fucking anime

    <Reiu> Regalia is a scary place desu...

    <Mellon> He who lives by the oneshot, dies by the oneshot

    <Airen> No character in ga rei is 100% serious


    Personal Compliments

    <@RacingeR> Pally would be a perfect shoujo lead

    <Erlkonig> I would fall for Pally if he was a qt shoujo manga lead girl

    Quote Originally Posted by Airen View Post
    Only pala is pure, the rest of ya are twisted


  11. #171
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Theresa Octavia
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Nishi Ward - Shopping District


    Even before she had said anything, it was easy to tell how excited Berserker was to be in the city. Her facial expressions had given it away. Theresa imagined that if not for the overly large yellow raincoat she was wearing- a patchwork solution to the problem of keeping Berserker disguised- she would be seeing Berserker’s tail swish back and forth like crazy.

    It was understandable. She’d probably never seen anything like it before.

    How would she react then, when she learned Theresa’s goal involved tearing this all down?

    … best not to think about it.

    Tonight, was for Berserker to enjoy herself. Such thoughts would only ruin that.

    "Master, master! I smelled something good coming from over there, can we go in? Can we eat? It's been a while since I last eat! …Please?"
    “Of course.”

    Pulled out of her thoughts by the light tug on her jacket, Theresa gave a soft smile at her overly energetic Servant.

    “I said that tonight we’d just look around for fun, and I’ll keep my word. You don’t need to ask- as long as it interests you, we can try it. …Although having a bite to eat does indeed sound good.”

    … expenses weren’t going to be an issue, anyways. Money wasn’t going to be very valuable in the world to come.

  12. #172
    woolooloo Kirby's Avatar
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    Archer
    Day 0 - Night (3/3)
    Kita Ward - SRH Bonded Warehouse


    "What do I call you?"
    She frowns for a second, holding her gaze, head tilted as if contemplating an answer. A name. A name? Which was it again? She jogs her memory for an answer, and comes to the first thing that comes to her mind.

    “Archer.”

    Is that right? It shouldn’t be, but it was the only thing she could think of at the moment.

    And him…

    Ame
    . Rain.

    Inu
    . Dog.

    ‘Rain dog’.

    Dog?

    "Call me that if you want. Call me whatever."
    She points at him, questioningly. “Doggy?”
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    there aren't enough gun emojis in the thousandfold trichiliocosm for this shit


    Linger: Complete. August, 1995. I met him. A branch off Part 3. Mikiya keeps his promise to meet Azaka, and meets again with that mysterious girl he once found in the rain.
    Shinkai: Set in the Edo period. DHO-centric. As mysterious figures gather in the city, a young woman unearths the dark secrets of the Asakami family.
    The Dollkeeper: A Fate side-story. The memoirs of the last tuner of the Einzberns. A record of the end of a family.
    Overcount 2030: Extra x Notes. A girl with no memories is found by a nameless soldier, and wakes up to a world of war.

  13. #173
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    Cuan Yugou
    Day 0 - Night (3/3)
    Kita Ward - SRH Bonded Warehouse


    Listen closely to her voice. "Hers." What does it sound like?

    "Archer."
    It does not sound, decisively, like a voice. It is a voice but it doesn't sound like one. She is unmistakeably "speaking." He is unmistakeably "hearing." But is this - is this correct? It is possible, quite aside from her "intention" or "meaning" being misunderstood, that she is not "saying" the same thing that he "hears." There is a gap, or something.

    Creature, he thinks. Interesting creature. He thinks. The curse mark palpitates on his arm. Blood, he thinks. Starved. Beast.

    Archer, the girl says. Voice murmurates. Like a ringing bell. Something odd about that.

    She points at him, questioningly. “Doggy?”
    He frowns. That's all he does.

    Like a stalactite cracking free from the roof of a cave - a certain memory dislodges, slips free, and breaks open on the hard floor of his skull. Why? Why that, exactly?

    ('cus at that time
    you looked
    like a dog
    left out in the rain.)

    Cuan Yugou clears his throat. "Hm-hm." He perhaps enunciates that a bit too clearly. He looks at her. The girl, that is. "Archer." He looks. He looks and looks and he tries to "see" something but there is nothing there to see. Just to feel. To "suspect." No, nothing.

    "What-" Hm. "Mm. Whatever." A look away. Some kind of flourish of the hand. "Whatever. But only in Mandarin, it sounds better. Xiao Gou. Can you say that?"
    えき
    しゃ
    さん
    ゆう


  14. #174
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Sanda Rakuin
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 2/3)

    Minami Ward – A Certain Dilapidated House

    Rakuin blinked, startled as he considered the words that Caster had just uttered. Was that true? Could this Servant of his be the answer to the prayers of his family? The solution to the problem of his bloodline?

    It was rather evident that the implications had caused a disturbance in the false monk’s emotions. The signs of agitation were probably very clear to Caster’s perception. However, Rakuin took a deep breath, reciting a short mantra in his mind, and forced himself to calm down.

    “The Sanda bloodline is a decaying one. Our… ‘art’ has roots in both Buddhism and magecraft. I’m not sure of how much your help may be able to solve our issues but…” The monk nodded. “It is worth trying, but, as you said, that is for another time, perhaps when we’re not so busy.”

    “If it helps your wanderlust, I also wished to explore the city tomorrow. I think familiarizing ourselves with the terrain and potential battlegrounds has its advantages…” Rakuin emptied his cup, and left it on the table. “And I think you must be wanting to look what modern life is like, yes?”

    “Either way, I will meditate and sleep to replenish my energies. I don’t specialize in summoning magic, and the knowledge of my ancestors hasn’t been very useful in that regard.” He sighed theatrically, recovering a bit of his usual act. “Feel free to use any room you like, the one besides my bedroom should be empty and usable for your purposes. If you want for any furniture or accessory, please tell me tomorrow and we’ll go shopping.”

    He stood up from his chair, his movement akin to a mountain suddenly displacing, and he took his staff. His fingers ran across the mandalas carved on the iron surface for a brief moment.

    “Good night, Caster.”


    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!

  15. #175
    Dreary, rainy days... Elyrin's Avatar
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    Caster
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Minami Ward - ???

    "Tomorrow is a new day. With our most important business dealt with, we'll have all the time in the world to spend on other things, and not a thing to worry about! Well, nothing major." Caster gave a halfhearted shrug before turning to leave, vanishing from the room with a wave. "Sleep well, Rakuin! Don't forget to empty your mind and all that."

    Caster didn't go straight to the room her Master mentioned, instead pacing around the building a bit. Checking the various rooms, looking for anything noteworthy - there was nothing, of course - and getting a feel for the size and dimensions of the house. Though unlikely, it was possible there was some peculiar trait about the place, something that might have some effect on the bounded field...

    Nope. Nothing. Perfectly normal. No leylines, no evil spirits, no good spirits either. Too bad. Could have been useful, or at least interesting, but she would have to settle for the basic package.

    Caster settled herself in as close to the central point of the building as she could get without knocking any walls down. Lotus position, eyes closed, naturally. She wouldn't need to vanish into deep meditation for this, but still, it was hard to beat the classics.

    She inhaled once, slowly, and took in everything. Every room. every nook and cranny. The stains on the walls. The dents in the floor where chairs had been pushed around too forcefully. The taste of leftover tea still in the pot. The smell of the grass outside. The sound of Rakuin breathing elsewhere in the house. The feel of the mana in the air and earth.

    She exhaled once, quickly, and cast off everything. remained, for only was necessary.

    "Hm!" She inhaled again, her breathing returning to its usual tempo. Not that a Servant needed to breathe... and after she'd thought of that, she was going to be breathing manually for an hour. Why didn't she keep her mind empty all the time? "Well, step one is finished. Hopefully Rakuin heads to sleep before the rest is done."

    Maybe it was unbecoming of a monk, but she really wanted to see his reaction when he walked outside the next morning.
    <Satehi> thank you based admin of justice, he/she who doth bring forward the true gospel

  16. #176
    Greatness, at any cost mAc Chaos's Avatar
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    Hashimoto Arata
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University


    Arata's Servant, Saber, gazes at him quizically, an expression of confusion prompted by the Master's outstretched hand. Truth be told, it didn't surprise Arata in the least, given their unusual introduction to each other. Based on Saber's reaction to the various events surrounding them, he seemed distant and reserved, one Arata surmised lended itself to a certain type of warrior's nature. While some lose themselves in the passion of battle, riding their emotions like a high and wielding them like weapons to empower them, others retreat from that very same immersion in the moment and maintain a cool head. For Arata, certainly, that's something he shares in some ways. When faced down with the like of guns, and other implements of the modern age, a clear head is what keeps one alive and seeing the next sunrise. As they say, there's young soldiers and bold soldiers, but very few old, bold soldiers.

    Still, something about it feels amiss. Well, it's only to be expected, given the difference in time periods between the two men.

    It's a thought that suddenly blooms in Arata's mind as Saber takes his hand in a cold and stiff handshake that could have been a porcelain grip. Whatever the Master of Saber was expecting from the handshake he extended, one that often reveals much of a person's nature and personality, it was not that. It was almost as if Saber had a prosthetic. Did Saber lose his arm in an accident or a war injury at some point in the past? Supposing that the rest of the Servant's gear comes with them upon summoning, it would make sense. But wasn't the Servant summoned whole, free of their past imperfections? To be honest, Arata had no clue.

    Regardless, he involuntarily stiffens as Saber takes his hand in such an icy grip. Only for a moment, trying not to let it show; the unease passes and he relaxes after, replaced by gratitude that Saber returned his greeting. United across time for a common purpose, such differences would be immaterial before them for the goal both stand together for.

    "... Understood. If that is your wish, Master, I shall adjust your designation accordingly," Saber finally said, extending his hand as well. "Henceforth, I shall refer to you as Hashimoto Arata. A good name, given before requested. In fact, it bears shades of someone I once knew. Perhaps this, too, is fate?"
    Designation... Arata knew already that Saber seemed very formal and business-like, but this reminded him how the Clock Tower would refer to its assets. Perhaps Saber hailed from somewhere similar... maybe this person Saber once knew that bears a resemblance to Arata's name was linked in some way? It would indeed be fate if Saber left one era only to find himself in a new era with a similar comrade.



    "You may refer to me as Anti-Cell, Master."

    Anti-Cell. What a strange name! A strange name offered with an even stranger smile.

    It's not even really a name, is it? As Saber's previous words, referring to Arata's name as a "designation," suddenly clicks in his mind, Arata realizes that this must be another title, just like Saber. Another designation, some sort of code name, like a secret agent would have.

    It was a bit of a dodge, really. When asked to give his identity in place of a title, the Servant merely supplies another title. But rather than be miffed, Arata finds himself a bit amused by it. After all, Arata himself similarly elided the nature of his purpose here when questioned by his Servant.

    So Saber must have realized, huh? An observant Servant. It's like he was responding with a practical joke of his own, to call out Arata's mischief. To Arata's surprise, Saber-- no, Anti-Cell -- has a sense of humor buried deep beneath that stony facade. Questions arise about what exactly this title, this "designation" that was just given to Arata means, but that's something he'll have to ponder later. When they aren't in the midst of a bloodsoaked murder scene.



    "Heh... Anti-Cell, is it? That sounds like another title, doesn't it?
    Still, I'm glad to have your help, Anti-Cell."

    It feels a bit strange, the name rolling off his lips, to call Saber such a thing. But hopefully, with time, Arata will learn the true nature of that designation.

    Stepping around the room, he gestures to the bloody surroundings.



    "Now that we've gotten the formalities out of the way, we should get going.
    It won't be long before more yakuza come snooping around here."

    But go where? It's a big city out there... and night is soon approaching. The first night of the War. Who knows what else is going to be lurking out there? What other Masters, what Servants, what battles could rage?

    The idea of walking into all of that blindly doesn't sit well with Arata, but at the same time, an excitement beats in his breast at the prospect of facing the unknown.

    The bad news is that anything could happen. The good news is that anything could happen!

    There is no way Arata is going to settle for just hiding inside while the hours tick by. Even so, he turns to Anti-Cell, asking his Servant for his own input.



    "The first night of the Grail War's going to be upon us soon, Anti-Cell.
    I'd like to start by receiving your counsel.
    But first, let's get out of here."

    He moves to leave the murder scene, but stops.



    "...we're going to need a way to get you out, though.
    You'll raise a lot of eyebrows just walking around."

    Arata pauses, his gaze drifting down to his trenchcoat... then back to Anti-Cell.
    He never sleeps. He never dies.

    Battle doesn't need a purpose; the battle is its own purpose. You don't ask why a plague spreads or a field burns. Don't ask why I fight.

  17. #177
    woolooloo Kirby's Avatar
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    Archer
    Day 0 - Night (3/3)
    Kita Ward - SRH Bonded Warehouse


    "Whatever. But only in Mandarin, it sounds better. Xiao Gou. Can you say that?"
    “Xiao Gou.”

    She pronounces the words slowly, hesitantly, as if tasting them. Unfamiliar sounds, familiar meaning. She frowns for a second, as that cup’s flow of knowledge clicks in her head, and the words that make the name become clear.

    Little Doggy. For the first time since her summoning, she starts laughing.

    “Well, I suppose everything starts as little at some point. But in the end, I think, we Servants are to call you Master. You have the marks?”

    She lowers her hood. Moonlight shines through the unpatched gaps of the warehouse roof, illuminating her features, though nothing about them seems to have changed. Mousey brown hair. Innocent eyes. Something changes in the environment, something nearly imperceptible, like ripples through water, a heat haze, a trick of the light. Abruptly, she turns, and starts walking out of the warehouse, into the night. She tastes the air, briny and wet and unfamiliar. The taste of the sea, so that cup’s knowledge tells her. Not unpleasant, but aggravating somehow. Like smelling a fruit without getting to taste it.

    Her stomach growls, as if declaring her intention, and she looks back. “It’s been a while. I’m hungry.”
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    there aren't enough gun emojis in the thousandfold trichiliocosm for this shit


    Linger: Complete. August, 1995. I met him. A branch off Part 3. Mikiya keeps his promise to meet Azaka, and meets again with that mysterious girl he once found in the rain.
    Shinkai: Set in the Edo period. DHO-centric. As mysterious figures gather in the city, a young woman unearths the dark secrets of the Asakami family.
    The Dollkeeper: A Fate side-story. The memoirs of the last tuner of the Einzberns. A record of the end of a family.
    Overcount 2030: Extra x Notes. A girl with no memories is found by a nameless soldier, and wakes up to a world of war.

  18. #178
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    Cuan Yugou
    Day 0 - Night (3/3)
    Kita Ward - SRH Bonded Warehouse


    “Xiao Gou.”
    Sibilant hiss. But it does, after all, sound better.

    It'll do. It'll have to do. Cuan Yugou looks down at his wrist. A long time, indeed, it has been, since anyone called him that. He cracks the joint in it. And likewise to the other. One name is as good as another name. They are all, equally-

    For the first time since her summoning, she starts laughing.
    Laughter echoes like a bell. He grimaces. But the distraction is welcome. Things are starting to congeal now. The colours of everything in the visible world no longer overspill their outlines. Some understanding is attained. It is on the way to being attained. Things are no longer "quickened" so to speak. He is beginning to feel the taste of metal shade into something else, a familiar bitterness. That familiar medicine. He is forcing himself to be trying to be finding some foothold to be "rational" about this. To "strategise" - ugly a thing as that is. But it is. It must be.

    "You have the marks?"
    He does. He shows her. That seems to be enough.

    Abruptly, she turns, and starts walking out of the warehouse, into the night.
    He watches her up to a point. Then he follows her. He hits the warehouse lights on the way out. Leave no trace. He steps out behind her. Entertain the night air. She - whatever - is under brine and distant shipping. Diesel fuel. Upward, sheer black. Very few stars. The night sky is crisscrossed by invisible wires, hemmed in. Unlikeable sky.

    All the same.

    There are certain issues to be dealt with. There are problems to solve. There are facets, numerous facets in fact, of this situation, which remain to be seen. He must establish certain things. Certain facts. This is an improvement, isn't it? Thinking in terms of "facts." He thinks it is. He bites down on that thought and pins it in place. This needs to be in focus. This, here. Everything else - by which he may indicate everything about "there" and "that" and the "scent" of "where" she - she - this - "came from" may be bracketed. Parenthesised.

    Her stomach growls, as if declaring her intention, and she looks back. “It’s been a while. I’m hungry.”
    Hungry?

    A long moment. An indescribable facial expression.

    It had not occurred to him that the - Archer - this sort of thing - hadn't occurred that it would eat. "Eat." Need to? Or just want to? (Think about that.)

    Blood, starved, beast, he thinks. There is too much left unknown. He does not like it. He needs time. Also space. Somehow to figure out what Archer is capable of. If that is to be how it is.

    "We are," says Cuan Yugou, slowly and precisely, "going to have to kill a lot of people in the next few days. Or sooner even. I think you understand this."

    He says this. He observes Archer's reaction. Such as it is.

    Right, he thinks. Right then. Another moment lengthens into a small infinity.

    "Well, come on." He begins to walk. The other way now. Heading out of here, out, back, beyond, into the city. "Let's find something to eat then."
    えき
    しゃ
    さん
    ゆう


  19. #179
    woolooloo Kirby's Avatar
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    Archer
    Day 0 - Night (3/3)
    Kita Ward - SRH Bonded Warehouse


    "Well, come on. Let's find something to eat then."
    She follows.

    The landscape here is strange, like nothing she’d ever seen. Strange, skeletal structures, bared metal rusting and chipping. Stony, cracked earth. Not a single plant in sight, with little sign of life but seagulls, perched on the skeletal beams, their staring eyes glowing strangely in the dark. Here and there she sees those things, what were they? Cars— Horseless carriages that pull themselves. Ubiquitous in this current time period— parked here and there by the roadway. Eventually they reach a crossroads, with these cars rushing past at frightening speed. Around here the landscape begins to change.

    Spires and glowing lights, neatly laid out in grids. Shadows move in the windows, even at this time of night people are awake. They reach a part of the town where the darkness of light had completely vanished, driven out by lights of innumerable colors, dizzying noise, strange symbols and shapes whose meaning should have been lost on her. And yet…

    Lawson. Countless things wrapped in a strange glass. WcDonalds. An izakaya, open all night. A drunkard stumbles out. Five new flavors of milk tea. All-you-can-eat yakiniku. Endless meat. Crepes with ten different toppings. Some kids her age loiter outside the entrance. Mister Donut, a strangely spherical lion. Was this the Mister Donut?

    What do any of those words even mean, and since when did you learn how to read?

    She scratches her head. She didn’t have a headache yet, but she probably would have one soon. Words flowed into her mind, whose meaning she couldn’t have known but did now. But knowing was not understanding, and she didn’t understand a thing about this place. Pull her eyes from one sign or shape or shining light and ten more took their place.

    It's still nighttime, right?

    She turns to Doggy.

    “Where is this place?”
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    there aren't enough gun emojis in the thousandfold trichiliocosm for this shit


    Linger: Complete. August, 1995. I met him. A branch off Part 3. Mikiya keeps his promise to meet Azaka, and meets again with that mysterious girl he once found in the rain.
    Shinkai: Set in the Edo period. DHO-centric. As mysterious figures gather in the city, a young woman unearths the dark secrets of the Asakami family.
    The Dollkeeper: A Fate side-story. The memoirs of the last tuner of the Einzberns. A record of the end of a family.
    Overcount 2030: Extra x Notes. A girl with no memories is found by a nameless soldier, and wakes up to a world of war.

  20. #180
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    Cuan Yugou
    Day 0 - Night (3/3)
    Nishi Ward - Crossroads


    Several things, Cuan Yugou is thinking about. He is leading this - Archer. He is leading Archer, she follows behind a few paces. He has led her out of the SRH warehouse complex. The guards at the gatehouse remained studiously unaware as they waved him out. They did not give signs of finding anything amiss, that the new "contractor" walked in and walked out shortly after with an unaccountable plus one. No doubt they themselves have some way to "account" for it. Or if not, they know - enough. Enough to know that they shouldn't know more. They ignore Archer. The red hood she has pulled over her head. They look away. What is the "significance" of that?

    Anyway she follows him, generally speaking, because he knows where he's going. Which is not fully true. He knows the range of possibilities of going. He knows where and how one can "go" in this place. Or rather he knows the possibilities of what is possible. The limits of the possible. He knows this world. He knows how it limits. He is walking along - they cross roadwise, they come to the riverside walk, the Amagase, they follow it - and she, Archer, is staring at him from behind the whole time, or at least he feels that she is, and he disdains to look back and check.

    (Because he's not sure what he'd find.)

    Blood, he thinks.

    He walks. He wonders about that.

    The landscape here is strange, like nothing she’d ever seen. Strange, skeletal structures, bared metal rusting and chipping. Stony, cracked earth. Not a single plant in sight, with little sign of life but seagulls, perched on the skeletal beams, their staring eyes glowing strangely in the dark.
    What does she "see", Archer? If indeed - if, as is indicated - there may be - some relation. (Sunlight on her. Sunlit place.) Does she "see" this the same way? Or otherwise perceive? Does she catch "that smell" - the "thereness" that there is, here?

    (It's too early to tell.)

    Something is grinding his teeth. Cuan Yugou's. It is him.

    (Need to determine. Need to fix. Set limits. Need to be "rational" about it.)

    Acid bile in his mind. There are certain things, all the same, that must be established. The procedures. He needs - what does he need? Fuck. He needs to figure out what Archer can do. Why did he agree to take her away from the warehouse? She was "hungry." Is that possible? Another question. He should have sorted this out back there. In the neutral arena. Need to determine what Archer is capable of. A basis of capabilities. Need to work this out. To plan it out. Figure it out.

    (Fine. It's fine.)

    Around here the landscape begins to change.
    They are following the Amagase. They are entering into Nishi Ward. Time has passed, an irregular interval of minutes. They have been walking. The time is going weirdly. The minutes drain honey-thick. He is thinking now about the proximity of the bridge of the Amagase, which is around here, somewhere, called something ridiculous. Hoshinoiri. He is thinking about the annoying woman he met in the ramen place earlier. She will be there. Maybe. If he remembers correctly. She may be there. That is a possibility. It is possible. He is thinking about killing her. That might be a good idea. To measure Archer's abilities. That is a thought. He thinks.

    Blood, starved, he thinks.

    Her footsteps seem to make no sound. Or else they keep time with his own perfectly. She is still behind him, though. Somehow he can tell. The curse mark on his arm, for instance. Has some kind of "feeling" for it. A vague intimation.

    She's hungry. He has that "feeling" at least. (So it seems to indicate.)

    They enter - they arrive, at last, at a major crossroads in Nishi Ward. One of the big commercial blocks. A neon-fucked chaos. People all around. This would be - the thought comes slowly, reluctantly - not a good place for a fight. In principle, "rationally" speaking, the other parties, such as they are, must know this. They must be observing. Someone must. There is a possibility. He is being, at this moment - he is, and also Archer, if indeed the other parties are capable of identifying the girl trailing a few paces behind him, who seems thoroughly "material", as something "immaterial" - observed, probably. Even if not he must assume this. But it's unlikely for a fight to materialise here, now. But this still has consequences. She's hungry, after all. He needs to figure out how to sequence this. A restaurant - might not be the best choice. Where to go?

    “Where is this place?”
    At this point his train of thought is halted abruptly. She poses this question. He stops. Stops thinking and stops walking. He inclines his head by three point five degrees. He turns on a heel, very slowly. He looks at her. She, Archer, looks at Cuan Yugou. The space around them, the space of the city, the space of Nishi Ward's interior castle, labyrinthine mess of a place, begins, if only in his imagination, to faintly iridesce. He grasps between two fingers the bridge of his nose, then stops doing that. He answers.

    "Where." He says. A pause. "Where indeed. Well. Specifically?" An expansive gesture, which almost knocks out a pedestrian who happens to be passing by at this time (a brief affronted look, soon replaced by typical timidity and fear on meeting the gaze of Cuan Yugou.) "This here, this is, Kagamihara. My first time here as well. So I know about as much as you..." He trails off here, unable to complete the obvious lie. "I may." He grimaces. "I have been to other places, many others, much like it. The difference is not much between them. All cities are alike. These days. Fundamentally." And now he is looking closer at Archer, he is trying, as it were squinting, to discern something in her frustrating gumdrop eyes. "But you know this. I am sure. You know something of this kind. I suspect. Therefore you are asking, I think, "where" in a different - sense. Yes?" He does not wait for an answer to this implied question. "This, here, this is Japan, of course, which is in Asia, which is in the World, which is in the Universe, which is in the Reality, which is whatever the fuck it is. You will notice this by its distinct...distinctness." He sniffs. "Or perhaps you mean this place across the street. In which case it is Mister Donut as you see." Gesture to the gleaming night-time display of colourful pastries. She follows that gesture with a look, and then springs back. "Okay. Now you say you are hungry. I believe this. But I do not know, I think, what it is you eat." Blood, starved, beast, he thinks. "Or wish to eat. Or can eat. So you will tell me, okay? Look around - or, no, whatever, just tell me what kind of thing you want to eat. And we'll find it, we'll get it. But one thing. Okay? After we get it, we need to discuss - basically - we need to -"

    What he wants to say is something like "-need to discuss what you, Archer, can do." But he does not say this. He stops. He is receiving some "impression" from the girl. He is thinking that it - this issue - this may find a way of resolving itself. He has something like an idea.

    "- never mind. Tell me what you want. But before you do that I want you to tell me another thing. Important thing. You are Archer, so you say. Archer is a fighter, a killer. We do need to kill people. Perhaps some, perhaps a lot. I said that to you before. You know this. That is what we are here for. That is what you are here for. At minimum you "arrived" with this understanding. So I believe. So you are okay with this I assume. I surmise. Now I want to know the important, the only important thing about this." The city hollers in the background; rainfall of footsteps, car engines, the deep cthonic echo of these concrete canyons. The world thickens. The earth is terribly heavy beneath their feet. "You can as I see it fight in two ways. Through strength and endurance. Or through speed and secrecy. Which of these is you? I ask that. I ask only one thing. The rest - we will figure the rest out on the way. Just tell me that."

    Having said that he feels somehow more confident. An ugly feeling, "rational" in the worst way. But that is what it is. Swallow back all the bile there is, as long as you win. That is it. That is all he needs to think about at this time. The rest is-

    (A smell of sunlight.)
    えき
    しゃ
    さん
    ゆう


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