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Thread: Fate/Antiquity (IC)

  1. #141
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Theresa Octavia
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Forest


    "Yes! A thousand times, yes!" She nods vigorously as she turned her gaze away from Theresa to the faint outline of the city lights not so far away. "I didn't get to see or do much when I was alive... so I'm quite curious on what life is like for humans in their settlements and cities. How they live, what they eat, things like that." She rubs her head sheepishly. "And not just that either... If me walking around the city is gonna draw too much attention, then I'd be interested to walk in this forest or enter a cave, for example! I'll be happy as long as I can walk or run around, no matter where it is."





    Theresa frowned.

    Berserker’s request was not unexpected. If anything, given Theresa’s current understanding of the Servant, it was an extremely natural and normal thing to ask- as Theresa herself knew quite well, since she had once expressed similar sentiments before.

    It was also a request that served absolutely no purpose in helping them win the war.

    If anything, it only served to harm their chances of success. Wandering around the city for recreation was a completely unnecessary risk, and if they happened to be found out by any enemies, the consequences could be severe. Even if they weren’t, it was just wasting time- time that could have been better spent on preparations that would actually lead them to victory.

    And even putting aside the actual war, it was against Theresa’s interests to help Berserker enjoy the modern world.

    This was the world that they were going to destroy, after all.

    It wouldn’t have surprised Theresa if Berserker did not agree with her end goal. That was normal. If one had no interactions with the modern world whatsoever, then it was strange to wish for its destruction. Such a twisted desire could only come out of abnormal experiences. Berserker did not seem like she had any of those experiences, so it would be natural for her to be against it.

    … that was a problem that she was going to have to think about quite a bit over the course of the war, for sure.

    And things would only become more difficult if Berserker happened to develop any personal attachments to this world. If she decided that she liked the modern world, didn’t want to see it destroyed… Command seals existed for a reason, but they were more of a last resort measure, as she understood.

    Therefore, there was no reason to approve Berserker’s request.

    The girl herself seemed ready for that kind of answer anyways, judging by what she said.

    "But if it'd jeopardize our chances in the war, master just need to tell me, and I'd stop." Berserker said softly. "Winning the war is more important than my selfish wants, after all."


    The smart thing to do was to say no, and yet…

    “… I think it’s okay, to be selfish once in a while.”

    Muttered under her breath, Theresa made up her mind.



    “Tonight. Just for tonight, we can go to the city and look around for fun. Is that fine with you, Berserker…?”

  2. #142
    woolooloo Kirby's Avatar
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    mother, mother i’m sorry please save me

    rewarded as arrogance deserves, that blustering fool
    i, of course, will surely be

    i’m sorry for tricking everyone, someone please
    don’t leave me to die
    my dear child, is that you? hold on i’ll be right there

    bloodstarved beast,
    here i will strike you down

    everyone, where did you go
    don’t leave me here, don’t leave me behind
    forgive me, catherine, for what i have done


    the torrent of souls swirls unceasing
    cursing
    us
    me
    in its
    fear
    hatred
    pain
    despair

    they wished for a hero
    someone to save them
    save those lives stolen from them
    together, this stained soul
    shall seek that ever-distant happy ending


    Day 0 - Night (3/3)
    Kita Ward - SRH Bonded Warehouse


    The ritual, as far as Yugou can see, simply ends.

    A flash of red light, a surge of energy, and then nothing. Unceremonious, anti-climatic. Just him and an empty warehouse, silent to the point you’d think that something had gone wrong. He can sense no magical energy released from the ritual, and all he was left with was the awkward silence of the warehouse.

    Had something gone wrong? Had this been an elaborate joke? As far as he could tell, despite the fireworks and light show, nothing had come of the ritual. A ‘Servant’, they called it, the thing that should have come forth. But there was nothing there.

    Seconds pass. He looks around the warehouse, still completely empty. Shipping containers, knocked over crates, random litter like soda cans and plastic bags, but nothing else. And then he sees movement out of the corner of his eye, as his eyes scanned the warehouse.

    Back in the circle. Someone standing there who hadn’t been a second before.


    A girl.

    Mousy brown hair. Innocent eyes. Was this it? No, it couldn’t be right. Servants, as one knows, were heroes of legend. Larger than life, greater than myth. Anyone with even a casual association with the spiritual side of the world would be able to sense one just from their presence alone, the weight of that greater existence. But something was wrong.

    The girl cocks her head, seemingly confused. A slow blink. “Ah. Hello?”

    Because this girl, as far as he can sense, is a completely ordinary human.
    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.

  3. #143
    Chasing Daybreak palad1n's Avatar
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    Berserker
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Forest


    As she waited for an answer, Berserker noticed the frown on her master's lips, the hesitation in her master's eyes. The pink-haired girl must be thinking about the impact of her request to their war effort, and knew that fulfilling it has no tangible benefit to them whatsoever; after all, it was a selfish request, and if even Berserker realized that, her master must have known too.

    Really, if Theresa refused Berserker wouldn't even be mad. Disappointed perhaps, but even just seeing her master considering her request made her happy. It speaks a lot about her as a person.

    And, when Theresa finally gave her answer...

    Quote Originally Posted by Theresa
    “Tonight. Just for tonight, we can go to the city and look around for fun. Is that fine with you, Berserker…?”
    It was an unexpected answer.

    For a few seconds Berserker stood still, her eyes as wide as plates as if she couldn't believe what she's hearing. But the look on Theresa's face, the certainty in her tone...

    Theresa... approved her request, even if it's just for one night.

    Tears welled up in her eyes as a smile bloomed on her face.

    "Thank you... thank you, master! You're so kind... I'm lucky to have you as my master." She sniffed as she looked at Theresa in the eyes with endless gratitude. "I promise in exchange that I wouldn't disappoint you... I will win you this war, no matter who I must face."

    A quiet, solemn promise. Spoken with such a weight that reminded Theresa that Berserker was indeed a figure of legend, no matter how innocent and non-threatening she might seems like at first glance.

    And then she wiped her tears with her sleeve, and the servant was back to being cheerful as she gave Theresa a grin.

    "Then let's go, master! I'll be right behind you!"

    ... It's like a puppy asking to be taken for a walk.
    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


  4. #144
    屍鬼 Ghoul Steak's Avatar
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    Tanabe Shin
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Minami Ward - Minami Cemetery



    Quote Originally Posted by Zurvan View Post
    "Do not rob yourself of your own heart's desire."

    "...You've got me wrong, there. Even with all the letters he left to get me up to speed, I could never find anything he wanted." The one thing Shin couldn't figure out was that man's desire. Ideas on what he would wish for, sure. Maybe one of the lieutenants, or Hisao himself knew, and sent the hit order out of fear.

    Shin scratches the back of his head, looking down and sighing.


    "Besides, what I want now doesn't matter, because I could want something else tomorrow." He glances back at the grave, then over to the Shinonome family stone, and feels the urge to smoke. Shin pulls out another one, and starts chewing on the end as he looks for his lighter.


    "Thanks for putting up with me. I wanted to get all of this done one last time, at least." He says out of the side of his mouth, and pauses to ignite his cigarette.


    "Let's go." He walks past Assassin, back to his car once again. "Gotta figure out our attack plan. There's gonna be some things you'll have to break down for a novice like me."
    The Perma-Lurker

  5. #145
    Greatness, at any cost mAc Chaos's Avatar
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    Hashimoto Arata
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University


    The Servant acknowledges Arata's declaration in a cold and indifferent tone.

    The being before Arata radiates power. With the cementing of their contract, Arata can feel the tug of prana connecting them. Arata is the anchor keeping this spirit on this mortal coil. Now, they are connected both in their shared desire to win that wish granting chalice, and in literal terms.

    And that's what conjures up trepidation and curiosity in Arata's heart. Just what was a being like this like? Before him stands a bonafide hero from legend.

    Nameless Master. That's what the heroic spirit calls him.

    To Arata, too, this Servant is a mystery. After following a few leads, calling in a few favors, and leaning on some connections, Arata picked up the catalyst from a mysterious oriental merchant in a bazaar.

    He could have used his eyes to peer deep into that well, or other methods to try and divine what secrets lay behind it.

    But he didn't.

    This is something Arata wants to experience for himself, to find out on his own. Something that can only be felt and lived through action, not the dry tomes of a dusty book on a shelf.

    Other Masters would call him irresponsible, surely. When the stakes are so high, taking every precaution is only common sense...

    ...but there's other stakes at play here, that Arata won't sacrifice.

    A smile of satisfaction briefly flits across his face, before he notices the Servant's own gaze shifting from him to take in their grisly surroundings.

    "A tribute?"

    A flash of danger suddenly alerts Arata's instincts. A heavy pressure that settles over the room instantly. One that is far heavier and smothering than the killing intent marring the relic room before. No, this one carries an inevitability to it—the certitude that death awaits the wrong step.

    Those crimson eyes bore holes into him, judging the Master who just summoned him here, a room all too unfitting a heroic spirit of legend.

    But—ah...

    It's a misunderstanding.

    Arata didn't do this. It seems his newfound Servant is judging Arata's own character. It only makes sense... they've just met, and neither knows the other.

    Huh... so some humanity yet lingers within that gaze after all.

    It causes Arata to weigh the man's words. "Tribute." From the cavalier way he speaks, he seems unconcerned by the act itself. Though Arata expects heroic spirits to be no stranger to death and destruction, his relaxed attitude prompts questions. A knightlier figure would have reacted with outrage and disdain, but he seems merely curious.

    Did this figure have tributes given to him in life...? Tributes of this nature...?

    Did Arata summon someone with bloodstained hands...?

    If that's the case... Arata feels his heart clench, and harden. Not out of fear, though that is present, but a disdain... to sacrifice others for your own ends...

    The professor shakes his head, interrupting that line of thought.

    Clearing his throat, Arata seeks to resolve this misunderstanding before their partnership suddenly ends in bloodshed.



    "Not at all. It's an unfitting site for a summoning, I'm afraid.
    What you're seeing is the aftermath of a battle."

    Raising one gloved hand, he snaps his fingers.

    An ambient blue light suddenly fills the room, glowing with streams of white.


    The illumination soaks the room as surely as the summoning did, presenting the newly arrived Servant with a show of Arata's own.


    A soft hiss fills the air, prana taking shape... until it bursts and mixes...


    And from that swirl of light an order and meaning settle over everything.


    It all happens in an instant.

    Before the heroic spirit is a phantasmal image of the entire room, layered over the room they're in right now.

    A dreamlike image, seen through a haze that sharpens and clarifies with a wave of Arata's hand.

    And before Saber's very eyes, the very scene that led to the so-called "tribute" before him plays out.

    A stage set for a play that's put on for the benefit of a party of one.

    The groan of the door opening. The utterances of the actors. The instant exchange leading to death.

    Where pictures and sounds suffice, words are not necessary.

    The curtain rises, and the theater puts on its show.

    Before Saber's very eyes, he sees a preview of the War before him, its opening act.
    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.

  6. #146
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Saber
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University

    The crimson eyes of the Servant study the scene that is repeated before him, taking in the sight of the swordsman and the victim - the first shot fired in this war that was brewing all around them, like a boiling cauldron they were all trapped in. As history was showcased once more, as the past was revealed and the truth was laid bare, the intensity in Saber's stare lessened as well. He seemed to understand and accept that the dead man was not so by the hands of his Master - rather just a victim of someone else.

    "A passable technique."

    That was the Servant's comment as he studied the swordsman and their blade.

    "... Potential enemy. Strength begets strength. And a Holy Grail War is where strength gathers, naturally," Saber spoke, his voice quiet and deep. "You should do well to remember his face, Nameless Master. Lest you suffer the same fate."

    Having seen his fill, apparently, the Servant turned around. With a simple step, he rose back into the air, hovering quietly above the floor as if it was the most natural thing to do. And indeed, in some ways it perhaps was. Such unearthly style of movement was fitting for such an unearthly Servant, one who barely passed for a human despite looking and speaking like one.

    "--- Still, not a tribute then. But a victim," Saber continued. "Understood. I shall not hold it against you, Nameless Master."

    Well, that was a bit brazen. Although powerful, this being was still a Servant bound to a Master.

    "... I shall adjust my opinion of you. You have not summoned me amidst blood by choice, but out of necessity," the floating Servant continued, quietly watching his Master. "Neither do your eyes show the light of recognition upon meeting my form. Strange. Curious even."

    He tilted his head to the side, almost like an animal of sorts.

    "I wonder why. This seems... irregular."

  7. #147
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Lysander Scriberis Archemiste
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Minami Ward - The Forest of Remembrance - Natural Cave


    "Hm?"

    Lysander pauses mid-bite, then swallows down the sushi roll he'd been chewing on.

    "Sure. We can grab more tomorrow. He'll appreciate the business."

    The next few minutes are largely silent as Master and Servant are welcomed to Kamigahara by the first proper meals of the evening. Lysander regards Rider once more as she eats, shamelessly chowing down on half-price bento without a single complaint. The impact of her magical abilities and impossible conjurations clashes with with her bold claims and astute assertions. First impressions finally give way to more rounded assessments.

    "You're alright, Rider. You don't sweat the small stuff."

    The results of that assessment go unsaid. It would be too soft. Even a fool knows that much.

    So instead he packs up his now empty box and signals that they should stop here.

    "I'll trust my back to you."

    With those words Lysander Scriberis Archemiste leaves the pavilion and starts the first dowsing ritual of the night, tapping a rhythm against the earth.

    A marching song to herald the start of a war.

  8. #148
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    Cuan Yugou
    Day 0 - Night (3/3)
    Kita Ward - SRH Bonded Warehouse


    Suppose that one day, without preamble or presentiment, you began to hear a sound. Not this sound or that sound, the sound "made" by a particular "something," and not an "artificial" sound either, a mechanical product, a pure tone; rather, simply, a "sound" that was infinitely close to being nothing other than its own "soundness." You heard it, but there was nothing to hear, nothing at all but the fact of your own hearing. Language weakens here. Perhaps "sound" is not the right metaphor. Transpose the above to another sense. You began (suppose it) to taste something in your mouth. You caught a scent on the air. You felt something touching you, featherlight but intensely present, like an insect crawling on your back. Not the sense of sight, however: you did not see it. It was spaceless, invisible, indeterminate, without source or locality. It was everywhere, it emanated from everywhere. And it continued, that sound - that smell. "That thing." It continued to continue. For years it did. Every infinitesimal moment and interval of space and time it permeated, leaving nothing, not even the loneliest of three-in-the-morning insomniac loneliness, to escape it. It possessed, it seemed, no differentiation within itself and no "outside" into which you could pass. Even the recollection of a time before it - which assuredly there was - was ground into incoherence by abrasive, enduring exposure. It became removed from your experience and unimaginable. And you were isolated in your perception of this sound, this taste - no-one else seemed to notice it - and this isolation was compounded by the incommunicability of what exactly you were perceiving. There were not the words to tell it, none that you knew, none that you could make known to others. Why? Because it could not be likened to anything in their experience. Because they - did not experience it. So that was your situation, and all you could do was - at best - sometimes manage to drown out that noise, that smell, that feeling, with other noises, smells, feelings of a vaguely but obviously not completely comparable kind. But it continued. All the same. It was always "there" - not "there" like the everyday objects you found around you were "there" but rather more like a property of the very "thereness" in which those objects were found. Like the water in which you swam. It buried you, a mile deep in the ocean. Or like the heat of desert air, in a place with no shade for miles. It did not kill you, of course. Suspicion to the contrary seemed in fact more likely. So you became, in the nature of things, "accustomed" to it. Man can get "accustomed" to anything. You learned - not to ignore it, for it could not be ignored in the true sense of the word - but to conform your attention in such a way as to "avoid" or "look away" from it, as one avoids the gaze of someone one doesn't like. For example, by counting the powers of two upwards in one's head. Or by "strategising." Something like that. Somesuch "rational" behaviour. A retreat from the exterior sphere of irritating "thereness" to an interior fastness of controlled activity. Outside it continued, of course. All the same.

    Now suppose that that sound - that smell - the feeling of heat, of pressure - suppose that, after many years, many moments, every moment like each and every other - suppose it then that it -



    No, it didn't stop. Not at all. It just - skipped a little. It twitched. It changed in "pitch." Not by very much, but that was enough. You were so familiar with it that even the slightest, most infinitesimal - it changed.

    This, approximately, is the position of Cuan Yugou at present. Something about reality has lurched, neither decisively within nor without. It is a feeling very much like descending stairs in the dark and finding at the bottom that there's one less step than you thought. Or, a more extreme metaphor, like a car accident. He has been in several car accidents, mostly in China, mostly not his fault; he was unharmed in every case, of course, though the other passengers were rarely so lucky. What he recalls from those is not so much any particular detail of their concrete happening but a certain kind of sensation which accompanied the event. That peculiar "dislocation" at the moment of impact. A sense of being caught out of phase, of being a step behind, or ahead of, one's own sensations. He is "abstracted" from himself. He is, albeit only from a very slight distance - face pressed against the glass at the zoo - observing his thoughts as they happen.

    What did he just do, really? In "reality." What did he do?

    (What is "reality" really?)

    Think about it.

    (Reality is "that smell." If there is such a thing. Correct?)

    He spoke. He had spoken. That's all. He had stood in this place - this warehouse (the word itself seems to become denatured in his employment) - and he had stood before this cryptic geometry incised on the floor. And he spoke. Spoke words. One speaks words all the time, naturally. Words saying this and that. That is normal. Normal also that "reality" does not take notice of them. That is the general case, the definitional one. "Reality" is everything which doesn't care what you have to say about it; it just is "there" regardless. But this time he had spoken, those words from the phone - that abstruse "incantation" - and the words had tumbled out of the brassy guttural passage of his throat and into the empty air ahead of him. And the universe - that is to say, "reality" - had "heard" it. And hiccoughed.

    (The sensation of being watched.)

    And now - the girl. The girl-child. In the wake of that lurch she stepped daintily into being and now she is "there."

    (Another thought.)

    Infuriated somehow. He "feels" - he observes himself feeling - that this is some kind of abnormal result of a process. An unintended consequence. This does not seem, he thinks, to be what is "supposed" to happen. The product of the equation is false. The working took a misstep. Something elsewhere, infinitely cruel, is joking with him again. For reasons that, if they are there, he will never be "permitted" to know. And the taste of iron, the headache, the fog at the back of the skull which drums like a snarefall of rain on a tin roof - all of that just deepens like a deepening bite. Ah, this is awful, awful.

    (This so-called "war.")

    He thinks. He watches her. He looks at her. She blinks. Whether this is real or his own distended perception, the blink is slower than duskfall. The girl reminds him.

    “Ah. Hello?”
    Reminds him? Of what, exactly? Nothing too clear. A Young Pioneer, maybe. Redscarves. No establishing shot in China would be complete without them. Kids like this you see all over back on the mainland, in and out of school, wandering about on their anonymous off-camera tasks. But is she - this question only now suggests itself - even Japanese? Chinese? The garb looks vaguely like some traditional European dress people wore a hundred, two hundred years ago. What is she exactly? She "spoke" just now. Japanese, it seemed. Was he really registering language when he heard that? Was it even a "sound"? Spoken in language? Did he "imagine" that? This should in principle be easily resolvable but it is not. She seems thoroughly mundane and unremarkable. Yet somehow "stylised." She fits poorly into coherent history. Coherent history, "reality", does not accomodate. It looks at her and hiccoughs.

    (So-called "war" and you send me a fucking child.)

    So he thinks. Cuan Yugou observes himself thinking. Yes, it's absurd. She stands there in that strange getup like some schoolkid who just wandered in out of nowhere. But this is not right. This is not all. If this were all there would be no space, no breathing room, no distance from which he could make this observation. No, there is something else at work here. Another kind of thought.

    He looks down at the curse mark which has scalded onto the flesh of his arm. He looks up at the girl.

    No, there is something else. A thought, a word. The more he attends to the mark on his arm, the more he is feeling these words slip into consciousness. He is thinking of "blood", for example. He does not say this word. It, so to speak, says itself. Within his head. "Blood." And again: "starved." And he is hearing a sound now as well, a sound like the wind heard through the crack in a door, a washout howl. And again: "beast." Cuan Yugou puts it together. He looks at the girl and does not say to himself: "blood-starved beast."

    Think about that.

    (A child. A child?)

    The windrush sound, he realises, is an exhalation hiss. Escaping the barrier of his own teeth. He is gasping, he realises. That is what he is doing.

    Ridiculous. Laughable. There is some basic incongruity here which suffuses the situation on a level he cannot fully grasp. Something is "not right." Something - this whole situation - the "not right"-ness of it, which was evident from the very fucking start, frankly, from months ago, seems to have recombined itself neatly into this moment. And it is ridiculous. He thinks. He thinks that. "Blood," he thinks. The girl's gaze is mirror-bright and artless and he looks at it and thinks: "Blood-starved beast."

    Thoughts like this, that, and the above, have altogether occupied only a few seconds of Cuan Yugou's mental activity. They have not taken place in the verbalised fashion formed above. Perhaps you could better imagine them as having been written, as it were, on a piece of paper, which is then crumpled up inside his skull and allowed to expand. Laboriously unwrapped.

    And there it is, when he unwraps it. Like a magic trick. Something inside that wasn't there at the outset.

    He thinks about it.

    She reminds him, not of someone, but of -

    "You," he says. Seems an hour has passed. Only a second really.

    There is something to her, when he looks. There is a certain kind of "smell." Or "sound." Or a "taste" or a "feeling" which is invisible. There is a smell like sunlight on her. There is a sound of another place.

    He shakes his head.

    He should ask "who" she is. That is what, "rationally", he thinks he ought to ask. But the words are faster than his reasoning. And he asks a different question altogether.

    "You," he says. "Where did you come from?"
    げっ
    すい
    こう


  9. #149
    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

    “Me? Being wanted by the police? Perish the thought. I’m a lawful citizen! Whenever I’m not breaking the law by participating on a battle royale on the streets.” He added the last bit somewhat dryly.

    Well, he did mean what he said. He wasn’t a wanted man. In this city and prefecture at least. In fact, he wasn’t wanted anywhere in Japan!

    He thought. Uh. At least that he knew.

    Whatever, details.

    “No, what concerns me is that the police seem to be involved with the ritual someway or the other. One of their agents asked a very peculiar favor out of myself, which I interpreted to mean identifying other magi that may be participants of the Holy Grail War.” The monk explained, a hand playing with his beautiful beard, a reflex action that indicated he was thinking hard. “I think we should be… wary of this city’s law enforcement, at least for the moment. Perhaps consider it a task to learn what’s going on over there, but for now it is but a minor concern to consider.”

    He sipped his tea as he listened to his Servant. Master… Servant… that was going to be a hard relationship to get accustomed to. Even without the additional strain of their divergent points of view. He had the feeling that lying to this one was entirely useless, but that also wasn’t unexpected either.

    “I’m afraid that while I know of Avidya, it happens to be a lost art to my bloodline.” He sighed. Now that’d have been a useful set of abilities to have, but he’d have to do without.

    Two options. Both could be quite useful, all things considered. The monk took his time to think about it seriously.

    “… Constructing the base should be our priority for the time being.” He affirmed, after a long moment had passed. “Although I imagine there’d be plenty of impatient guys wanting to get the party started right now, that also means the situation is likely to be too chaotic. We could get valuable information, but we could also end up sieged from too many sides at once if we’re unlucky.”

    “Meanwhile, we get a lot more of having our base ready, for no real risk.” Rakuin’s voice was a lot surer now. “If you can employ something akin to familiars to have a look, all the better, but otherwise we should employ all our energies to set up first. Tomorrow night’s a better time to have a look, anyway.”


    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!

  10. #150
    Dreary, rainy days... Elyrin's Avatar
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    Caster
    Day 0 -
    Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Minami Ward – A Certain Dilapidated House

    Caster slowly rocked from side to side as Rakuin worked through his responses. She took a sip of tea every now and then, but her eyes remained fixed on him even so. It was fortunate he was occupied with something, or he might find himself getting unnerved by the stare.

    Not wanted for anything by the police. Mostly likely. That was... well, good, technically, but kind of an "at least you passed" sort of good.

    The police had an idea of what was going on, though. Was that good? Most likely not. There could be a way to make use of them in the right situation, but it could just as easily backfire in any number of ways.

    The real issue, however...

    "...lost the art of Avidyā, you said?" Caster's brow furrowed as her neutral expression turned to a decidedly less neutral one. "And your bloodline is a mage bloodline, yes? Summoning rituals aren't exactly a part of Buddhist doctrine."

    Weren't mage bloodlines supposed to grow in power over time? It would take a thousand-year miracle for a modern mage to reach the level of the Age of Gods, but losing techniques through the generations was rather close to the complete opposite of the typical mage family's goal. It was a bit of an inauspicious sign if that had been happening to Rakuin's family.

    Well, looking on the positive side of things, he was a proponent of the safe strategy. The tour would have to wait until the next day.

    "Too bad. I would have gone along with it if you had a good argument for heading out tonight, it's been too long since I had feet on the ground in Japan. As for making familiars, I'm sorry to say I am completely hopeless!" Her face broke into a wide grin for just a moment before it vanished into her teacup once more. "I'm not actually a mage, so I have to make bootleg solutions for some things that might seem standard for a Caster. I could put together something like a familiar, but I can't look though their eyes like an Onmji could. Now, maybe I could help with some things a mage couldn't. Like, say, that lost art of yours?"

    Well, maybe. That would depend on how deeply Rakuin's techniques were rooted in Buddhism and how deeply they were rooted in his family's unique arts. It was something to keep in mind, though.

    "Ah, I shouldn't be getting ahead of myself. That's something to worry about some other time. For now, I'll get started on that Bounded Field business." The servant unfolded her legs and stood up, returning her now empty teacup to the table. "Thank you for the drink. Don't hesitate to come bother me if you think of any questions or problems, you won't have to worry about breaking my concentration or anything like that."

    For the time being, Caster would look for a nice, empty, relatively central place in the house to sit down. Shouldn't be too difficult, honestly. Then she could get to work.
    <Satehi> thank you based admin of justice, he/she who doth bring forward the true gospel

  11. #151
    Greatness, at any cost mAc Chaos's Avatar
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    Hashimoto Arata
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University


    The tension leaves the room like air from a deflating balloon. Arata's replaying of events quells Saber's wariness.

    Arata sighs. That was close. It's a good thing their first meeting didn't go awry right out of the gate.

    As relief floods Arata's demeanor, an ignored pain comes to the forefront. "Tch..." He grimaces, clutching his hand. It feels like his hand's been run through with a burning knife. It started aching this way, a raw pain, ever since Saber announced the completion of their contract.

    Taking off his glove, he sees the three sigils burning bright red on the back of his hand, where they'd been but faint marks before.

    So it really is true.

    With this summoning, as Saber said, there's no going back.

    As if to confirm the Servant's words, the Command Seals on the back of his wrist have come to life, pulsing with a power invigorated by the presence of the Servant before him.

    He can feel the pain slowly subsiding bit by bit, so Arata does his best to put it out of his mind, for now.

    Instead, he focuses on the Servant in front of him.

    What's interested is how Saber reacts to the information. His Servant naturally finds himself judging the sword technique presented to him, and finding it passing. Well, that's to be expected: however strong a mere mortal is, they won't compare to a heroic spirit of legend. Still, that's comforting. Arata wonders how Saber would judge his own skills.

    What sticks out is something else. Saber carries a haughty, almost imperious tone. Do Servants normally address their Masters this way? It's not like Arata has other examples to compare this to. But either way, his Servant seems fixated on the concept of tributes. Just what would Saber have said if Arata had summoned him that way?

    Judging by the fact that Saber says he won't "hold it against him," it probably wouldn't have been a good reaction, but it's curious.

    "Neither do your eyes show the light of recognition upon meeting my form. Strange. Curious even. I wonder why. This seems... irregular."

    It seems Arata isn't alone in his evaluating his partner.



    "Nothing today's gone as expected, has it?"

    Arata deflects the thrust of the observation.

    Honestly, he doesn't know what to say to that. Not yet.

    But Arata takes it as a good sign. His Servant is confused, but he shows an interest in his Master.

    There is one thing Arata wants to clear up, though.

    Those words that left Saber's lips.


    There's an overwhelming sense of grandeur in the presence of a heroic spirit. It's tough not to get swallowed up by it, to lose yourself in admiration and awe.

    He swallows those feelings, feeling awkwardly like he's treading on ground he shouldn't, and steps forward until he stands before Saber. But at the same time, a heroic spirit is a Servant, one who's meant to kneel before their Master as their familiar, their slave.

    While he intends to see what Saber can do for him, that's not how he wants this to go.

    Arata raises his hand, still burning with the pain of his Command Seals, and...



    "Apologies, Saber. This Nameless Master hasn't introduced himself yet.
    My name is Arata. Hashimoto Arata."

    ...extends it to Saber to offer a handshake.
    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.

  12. #152
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Saber
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University

    "..........."

    The head of the Servant tilted even further. More confusion? Or perhaps, confusion regarding something else? So far, Saber seemed to have been unsure as to what make of his Master look at him with such a curious expression, but now... this questioning, unblinking gaze was directed straight at his extended hand. Crimson eyes peered deep, deep into that offer for a handshake, as if weighing the option and...

    ".........?"

    The head tilted even further?

    No, this was starting to be degrees and angles that only owls would work at, not humans.

    ... Was he confused by the necessity of such gesture? It was hard to read exact emotions and thoughts from that impassive face of the pale Servant, but at the same time... it certainly felt like the right answer. For Saber, the roles had already been set and the order established. Though he might have spoken surprisingly candidly about his personal opinions, that did not seem to change the way he viewed duty and obligations. Yet, when offered a far more human gesture than anything that was actually required for a Master and Servant to function as a team...

    He had been overcome with confusion. Like he didn't understand why Arata would bother trying to establish rapport with what was more or less his weapon on this war.

    "... 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?"

    While it was fleeting and passing, a slightest hint of amusement passed in the Servant's eyes as he grasped Arata's hand. The touch of the Heroic Spirit was cool, almost cold, and not soft in the least. Were it not for the obvious signs of life, it would have been almost like touching a doll - a doll with an extremely firm shake that stood at odds with his almost graceful frame.

    Finally, the two let go, and the Servant took a step backwards. He folded his arms across his chest and furrowed his brow in momentary thought. His eyes closed, and for a moment Arata could see wheels turning in that strange, almost inhuman mind - logic that must have been only partially similar to his own doing its work. As the Servant, eyes still closed, mulled over his thoughts, words spilled from his lips.

    "Still. Now that you have given me your name, it would not do for me to not identify myself as well," Saber spoke. "But considering the situation, hmm..."

    Considering the situation? What did he mean by that? Was it because of what had happened before? Or the way Arata had behaved? Or was it, perhaps, because of the gaze that the Servant had already commented about?

    ... Whatever the reason, Saber did not think for too long. Eventually, he seemed to come to a conclusion - a satisfying answer - and nodded to himself.

    And when he did, those crimson eyes opened, and something akin to a... smile... spread to Saber's face.

    A cold, cold smile.

    "--- Then, in response to your earlier gaze..."

    The crimson eyes narrowed. Was it because of humour?

    Or was it because...?


    "You may refer to me as
    Vanguard of the Harvest Star
    Anti-Cell,
    Master."
    Last edited by Verg Avesta; June 29th, 2022 at 06:35 AM.

  13. #153
    No glasses, huh? Mooncake's Avatar
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    Lancer
    Day 0 - Evening (3/3)
    Minami Ward - Near the Forest

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhang Canyuan
    "Hoh-hohh. From the phrasing alone, I assume you're not awfully chummy with God's followers, hmm?"

    "'God' is a fairytale; empty words in an empty box."

    The spirit of Lancer could not be seen, but their words echoed directly to the left of Canyuan's ear, as if they were right behind him. Whether or not they'd taken such a position to defend him was anyone's guess.

    No response was given to Canyuang's attempt at appeasement, and the young man's words seemed to flow into the empty night air.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Boy
    "If we're workin' together, it'll be good to know of one another's fighting chops. While I'm clearly no match against the likes of you, I do have confidence if pitted against their magician Masters – clobbered a fair share of spellcasters myself, so will be keeping an eye on their fancy gimmicks and whatnot."
    "Is it not in the name, oh Master? A Lancer holds a lance, nothing more, and nothing less."

    The shift that had come over Lancer still hadn't reverted, their words slithering around Canyuan like a snake. They seemed to be on the move behind him, still following, still watching, but constantly shifting in some strange manner, as if unable to keep still.

    Quote Originally Posted by ???
    "...That said, there's no need for excessive details as of now. Be it your caution or constraints of the situation, it would be prudent of us to not be too careless, of course."

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

    There it was, now; the Lancer that had first met with Canyuan seemed to be back - a cold, emotionless voice, and a sudden stillness in contrast to their agitation from only seconds before. The spirit moved along at a steady pace now, still just a pace or two behind Canyuan, at the ready.
    [12:37] <I3uster> if playing overwatch would save my mother from the deathbed
    [12:37] <I3uster> id probably flip a coin
    [12:38] <I3uster> to see if i play or not

    [18:23] <frantic> spinach is like a caffeine zombie

    [18:23] <frantic> in AX he would like
    [18:23] <frantic> drink 8 shots of espresso
    [18:23] <frantic> then he'd turn to me an hour later
    [18:23] <frantic> 'frantic', he'd say, his eyes wild and his lips smug
    [18:23] <frantic> 'i need coffee'

  14. #154
    Assassin
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Minami Ward - Minami Cemetery


    ---No wish of his own.

    Such is the sentiment that Shin Tanabe voices. What he wants now may be drastically different the next morning, or at least so he says.

    Perhaps the man doesn't trust his ghostly familiar to that extent just yet, desiring to keep his own wish a secret, but much more likely is that what Assassin's Master said is the truth.

    At least, the truth that they believe in.

    Perhaps he would learn of his uncle's wish and inherit it, or perhaps he would awaken to a wish of his own as the war continued.

    Having already urged caution with following a dead man's footsteps, the dark-clad being remains motionless as his Master passes him by before fading into the shadows once more.

    But before all trace of his existence fades away, he speaks.

    "As you wish."

    However even if neither human or spirit would be able to find this entity until it's too late, his presence upon this world is undeniable.

    And as proof of his existence, the specter speaks telepathically with the only person who knows of him.

    If you would continue to have my council, I suggest focusing on your own defenses. Our wiser enemies will likely do the same, whereas the more reckless ones would actively go out to prove their strength.

    Heroic Spirits are prideful after all. Legends given form, many among their ranks would relish the opportunity to meet out their foes, losing themselves in the heat of battle.

    However, Assassin holds no such suicidal desires.

    Seasoned mages would desire to tap one of the leylines of this land to aid in the upkeep of their Servant, however venturing towards such a place is dangerous precisely because of how coveted such a position is. Let the others fight for it, they shall either be weakened by battle or grow arrogant. Either circumstance works in our favour and so there is no need for us to do anything risky.

    Regardless of the results of the first night, leylines could always be tapped later. Scouting enemy territory was considerably easier for those within the Assassin class after all.

    And should his Master steal a leyline later on... it could be used as a trap for whoever held the place first.

  15. #155
    for me, there is (you) Katie's Avatar
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    Lysander Scriberis Archemiste II (& Rider)
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Minami Ward - The Forest of Remembrance



    “A key trick to looking for leylines,” your Lecturer in General Fundamentals said two years ago, “is human structures. An unused leyline can seamlessly blend in with nature, perhaps being a slightly more breathtaking sight in comparison to its surroundings. But on this Earth, there is rarely a place a magus hasn’t scoured for any advantage in their pursuits. Though modern magi may be more liable to hide their tracks, our ancestors were more likely to leave traces, markings, so they could find these locations on their return.”

    It is exactly one of those man made structures that catch your eye. A small, abandoned shrine lies at the base of a tree nearby. It almost seems to be the focal point of the phenomena, as with every step you can feel the land pulsing with power, waiting to be siphoned. The city is brimming with points just like this, but here, in the woods, you feel as if this is the majesty of the world in its rawest form. You are here to take that strength as your own.

    With that out of the way, the two of you find a nearby cave to set up shop, ready to start a ritual that would let you benefit from the earth. The cave isn’t large, but the light of your phone doesn’t seem to quite illuminate everything. The two of you take a step forward, as if in a trance. As if you had to get to the bottom of this strange phenomenon.

    So you go deeper…

    And deeper…

    And deeper…
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    ??? - ???



    The chirping of cicadas. The humid, sweltering heat of the Japanese summer. The feel of dry grass and gentle wind. The richness of the air, drenched with so much mana you feel you are choking. Dying. Though your Servant has never experienced this before, you have. In that fateful time with her.

    You are somewhere else. That’s the best you can put it. Kagamihara is so close, yet so far away.

    The essence of it is different than before. Back then, it was inviting, enticing, but now you are filled with a firm understanding that you do not belong. This has never been your world, and it never will be. Even if you were given passage once, now that you have left, it does not want you back.

    You turn around. No cave. Only more grass, with a forest in the distance.

    The grass rustles. You turn back. Your Servant prepares to strike.

    “Got any booze?” it asks with a hiss. Raspy and archaic, as if a chain smoker existed five hundred years ago.

    Ashiharae
    The final resting ground of the supernatural, Shimane province is said to be “the land of the gods.” And if Man views it that way, so it shall be. There is no room for humanity, who ungratefully stole the world from the divine. All humans in the Reverse Side lurking underneath Kagamihara, whether they be Master or Servant, experience Ashiharae, a slow, painful curse that permeates the very realm, threatening to undo their very being.

    Ashiharae Resistance is calculated as follows:
    • For Masters, the base value is the numerical value of their Mystery stat.
    • For hybrids, or those of similar natures to the Japanese Reverse Side, this value is doubled. Though you do not belong, a part of you does.
    • Those with Tradition Carrier add one point per AP spent on Tradition Carrier. The task of preserving relics from the Age of the Gods often means that their caretakers are spiritually closer to the Reverse Side, where these miracles have fled to.
    • Those with Spirited Away add five points, owing to their prolonged exposure to the Reverse Side.


    • For Servants, the base value is twelve. All Servants possess enough innate Mystery to resist Ashiharae.
    • Servants gain two points for every Rank in a Skill that directly shows their affinity for the supernatural, such as Monstrous Strength or Divinity.
    • Conversely, Servants can lose Resistance by possessing skills that emphasize their humanity, such as Pioneer of the Stars.

    Thresholds:
    • If someone’s Resistance is below 7, they can only remain in the Reverse Side for one Phase without adverse effects. You are a product of Man, and thus thoroughly unwanted. The mana-rich air of the Reverse Side is suffocating and heavy, and instinctually you know you will die if you linger too long. If you remain trapped in the Reverse Side past one Phase, you will experience statistical penalties and injuries as time passes, culminating in your death at the second Phase.
    • If someone’s Resistance is between 7 and 14, they can only remain in the Reverse Side for one Day. Your inherent Mystery is enough of a buffer against Ashiharae that it stops the phenomena from being fatal immediately, but it would be prudent to still find a means of escape. Should you be in the Reverse Side past one Day, you will die the next Phase.
    • If someone’s Resistance is between 15 and 19, they can only remain in the Reverse Side for three Days. At this point, you possess significant amounts of Mystery or inhumanity that reduce the effects of Ashiharae an almost carefree level.
    • If someone’s Resistance is above 20, they can remain in the Reverse Side for a week, with all the dangers that entail. Your constitution is fundamentally so inhuman that its efforts to reject you are painfully slow, and to its denizens, you could pass for one of them spiritually, albeit not physically.


  16. #156
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Lysander Scriberis Archemiste II
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    ??? - ???

    He's back.

    Lysander stands among the dry grass and takes a deep breath. The sunlight presses down upon him, drawing him to pop open the buttons of his coat. The sweltering air is like the warm caress of a cat's tongue, rasping against his skin. It catches in his throat and momentarily provokes panic as he feels like he might suffocate on the richness of it all. Rather than fume he merely exhales, drawing another breath. So it continues, and his heartbeat slows to something approaching normality. This place welcomed him before. It will not kill him. Not yet.

    He opens his eyes and loosens the neckline of his shirt as he takes a look at the rustling figure that emerges from the grass.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsuchinoko?
    “Got any booze?”
    "Just water," he replies, beads of sweat about to race down his neck. He meets the creature's eyes. If there is any mad reaction to the cryptid before them, his stoic expression bravely holds it back.

    Lysander wordlessly glances back at his Servant. She'd conjured up grapes and fruits somehow, so...

  17. #157
    wwwww Spartacus's Avatar
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    Rider
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    ??? - ???


    This amount of magical energy isn’t a place suitable for humans, that much is obvious.

    Though she never experienced it herself, she has heard and studied that such places where rare lifeforms hide from the reach of civilization exist. An especially irritating acquaintance of hers has visited such a place in preparation for war, if she remembers correctly, it is a hidden cave like this too. As a person that is mostly concerned over the materialistic world, she never thought the day where she set foot to a place like this would happen.

    “...”

    But this creature is certainly… odd. It’s a snake, but it’s wide instead of long. Looking at its appearance alone, it seems to be a low-level Phantasmal, but the level of intelligence it displays makes her unsure. For all she knows, this thing could be an Elemental like fairies.

    And it’s pink.

    Quote Originally Posted by pink snake
    “Got any booze?”
    Her eyes meet with the young man’s expectful gaze.

    “I do. But-”

    She spreads her right fingers wide, and an antique jar in red materializes on her grip. She then opens its lid, releasing an irresistible aroma to the wind for the snake to smell it. Doing so while holding it tightly to make sure she will not let it go unwillingly.

    “Demanding a gift right away toward your guest. I take it you have prepared something in return beforehand?”

  18. #158
    屍鬼 Ghoul Steak's Avatar
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    Tanabe Shin
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Minami Ward - Minami Cemetery



    Shin hears the voice in his head, pausing to glance backwards and see that Assassin is gone. This way of conversation is going to take some getting used to...Can the ghost hear his thoughts? Read his mind? The whole thing feels like an invasion on his mind, an alien feeling that he can't sit comfortably with. Not yet, at least.

    Shin still speaks out loud, pulling the cigarette out of his mouth, "Defense, huh... Guess I feel safest when I'm by myself, anymore." Not necessarily true, it's just more comforting when no one's in the way or worrying nearby.

    He puts the cigarette into to his mouth as he walks out the cemetery's gate, and thinks. Ley lines? What is a ley line? This is the first time he's heard about them, but apparently they're a big deal in this war? If the others are going after them, shouldn't he be to? But what does he mean by tapping a ley line?

    He takes one more drag from his cigarette, and realizes he's already at his car. "Ah, screw it." Best to focus on what he knows.

    "I know I'm gonna need a place to sleep. And a one-room apartment isn't gonna cut it, either. Not for a war, at least." There are some things he needs to grab, but the thought of disturbing his neighbor's lives with this annoys him. He tosses the cigarette onto the ground, and leans back in the driver's seat. He closes his eyes as he thinks on something for a couple of minutes. Shin's eyes open again with a sigh, "Yeah, I guess we can try there."

    He looks into the rear-view mirror as he talks, expecting to see the ghost behind him. "I might know a place to lay low in, if it's still deserted...Well, a few places. There should be some old safehouses around town that aren't used anymore."

    He starts up the car, and begins the drive through the city. "Keep the advice coming. Like with these line things."
    The Perma-Lurker

  19. #159
    for me, there is (you) Katie's Avatar
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    Lysander Scriberis Archemiste II & Rider
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    ??? - ???


    The obese serpent blinks in response to your query. It looks like it’s thinking, but it’s difficult to read the expressions of animals. You can, however, see that its eyes are tracking the goblet to the best of its ability. A few seconds pass, the uncomfortable air searing your lungs with every breath. Not too bad, but it’s an ever constant reminder of where you truly belong.

    “Information,” that raspy, oddly masculine voice finally says. “Humans are all about knowing, right? That’s how our kind ended up here.”

    It says this with no ill-will, but to a magus, it brings to mind those stories of being whisked away to another world. A realm where only the phantasmal exists. “The Reverse Side,” the magi of the Clock Tower whisper.

    “Most humans don’t last too long,” it continues. “From what I’ve heard, anyway. You two are the first I’ve met. And you—”

    —the snake points its nose at Rider—

    “—are hell of a lot sturdier than I expected.”

  20. #160
    wwwww Spartacus's Avatar
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    Rider
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    ??? - ???


    Quote Originally Posted by pink snake
    “—are hell of a lot sturdier than I expected.”
    "Hmm?" she tilts her head. "Some people managed to surpass the fantasy. I simply one of them," she answers matter of factly.

    That being the case, it's true the same thing doesn't apply to the young man, so he should be affected by the extremely dense mana more than her. Yet, he doesn't seems to react about it. Not to mention this is the Reverse Side, something many magi dreamed to reach. He did mention he want to protect the city, so she assumed he have been in Kamigahara before, but perhaps he have visited this side of the city too?

    Regardless, she need to move fast.

    "This is my favorite from my homeland in the Far West," once again, she gestures her finger, and three clear cups materializes on her left hand. She begins to pour the golden wine to the cups, one by one, in a fast yet graceful manner, as she have mastered the art of sacred hospitality. The amount she pour is quite enough to have a clear taste of it, but not enough to have a satisfying drinking session. "No one alive able to recreate it, so its value is beyond anything one can bargain."

    "You heard about humans visits here from the others. May you bring us to these friends of yours? Drinks would be better with merrier company."

    She puts a cup on the ground for the snake. As she is about to give the young man his share, her face turns distressed and pulled his cup back to her, realizing she almost make an error.

    "Wait, are you on drinking age?"

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