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Thread: Fate/Antiquity (IC)

  1. #21
    approaching euthymia Katie's Avatar
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    Sanda Rakuin
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Higashi Ward - Setagaya Park


    You can feel it, in the crowd, before he ever arrives. Their hesitancy and curiosity ebb away into unease and uncertainty. You can spot their expressions in the back change first, as the rest slowly morph like a wave. The moods of crowds are fickle, and you, the entertainer, must always be there to dictate the pace. If it has changed, it can only mean…

    “Sir,” you hear from across the crowd, watching as they part. There, you see a man holding a badge slowly walk towards you, menacingly. His pace is measured and deliberate, slow enough to let you see him coming but fast enough that if he started sprinting, he could close the distance. Your mortal enemy, law enforcement, has just arrived—right before you were about to make your speedy exit, too. You know full well that this is karma in action, but that won’t stop you.

    “Stay right there. I got a call about a monk soliciting donations and being a public nuisance, so do you mind coming with me to the station to have a nice chit-chat?” Unlike the other straightlaced officers, you can feel the lack of decorum in this man. He sounds fed up with the current situation already, a level of volatility that’s difficult to read. Nothing like a pissed off cop on your ass to ruin a fine day.

    Tanabe Shin
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Higashi Ward - YaYa


    Shinoda looks like he thinks you’re bullshitting him. That this vague, nondescript specter over your shoulder is much worse than it actually is. He doesn’t bother to put it into words. The sympathy in his eyes and his wearied huff say it all.

    “If you need some smokes to feel comfortable, you’re in some shit,” he says, almost reaching to grab an actual cigarette, before he stops himself. You knew his girl never liked the acrid smell that accompanied your “family,” but you didn’t think he’d become this whipped. “Just know you might be able to wring out a bit more help than you think.”

    "You look like you're holding up good. How's the family been treating you?"
    “Which one?” he says with a laugh, though you can tell he’s resigned by the change in topic. “My kid’s ‘bout to go to school now, but ‘proud father shit’ will probably bore you to tears. Wife’s still a pain, though.”

    He glances over to see if anyone intrudes—doesn’t seem like it, judging by how he manages to look decently relaxed—so he continues running his mouth.

    “As for our brothers… We’re expected to lay low. Boss says shit’s gonna happen soon and he doesn’t want us caught in the upcoming mess. He’s sparse on the details, but we’re pullin’ back on all fronts.” He gives you a pensive look, probably mulling over the vague orders he’s been given. “Only reason I had the spare time to help ya out.”

  2. #22
    Greatness, at any cost mAc Chaos's Avatar
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    Hashimoto Arata
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University


    Yes, just like old times, they slip back into their old routine. It's what makes relationships with old flames, and long lasting friendships so timeless, that even after being separated by years and the twists and turns of life, it's so easy to pick up right where they left off. In every family, the baby of the family will always be the baby, even if they're 50 years old now.

    In the case of Tsukiko, it's teacher and student.

    Arata was never the outgoing type; he would immerse himself in his studies and research. He took his duties seriously, however. That included his duty as a professor, one that extended to the art of teaching and to his students.

    Socrates valued a life of noble virtue: one where proper education would engage, empower, and lead to enlightenment. It is why he placed philosophers at the apex of society, those who ruled with their minds and what was just, not with their passions or base interests.

    In that sense, Arata felt he had a responsibility to his students, almost like a parent. Every teacher takes joy in seeing the birds they nurture finally leave the nest and take flight; takes pride in their development and satisfaction in their future. Planting the seeds, and watering the plant so it can grow.

    Well, that's not true. Taking it seriously meant he had quite a few disagreements with the methods employed by some other Clock Tower lecturers. In the end, it amounted to nothing because he kept it to himself and focused on his own research. His family had a different purpose, after all.

    “Yes, I’m a student here now. Unfortunately, I can’t get paid to be Indiana Jones, like you.” Somehow, Tsukiko settles into the old routine as if it were nothing. You were used to getting a little sass from her now and then, but somehow she manages to continue the same old song and dance as if it were second nature. “I’m an anthropology major, but I got roped into helping around a bit. You take a few archeology classes to pad your grades, and they think you’re talented…”
    He raises a brow at her jibe, a light smile forming as she gives him her usual lip. Indiana Jones does have a nice ring to it. It certainly makes for a different life than the typical lecturer. At least, that's how it must appear. Still, it was nice to see his hunch isn't off. If she can talk like that, then she's still the same old Tsukiko. "Is that so? It couldn't be a soft spot for your old classes," he says wryly. Then, after a pause. "There's a reason they asked for you to help, you know."

    “In any case, I haven’t been up to anything interesting since I left your class. But I’m certainly eager to hear about your exploits since, or why you’re in Kagamihara.” You get the feeling it isn’t quite the truth. Tsukiko was the adventurous sort back then, so unless time had tempered her nature, something did happen. But perhaps it’s not your place to pry.
    Students often cycled in and out of the Clock Tower, and while the overall trend had become a norm, each particular case had its own unique circumstances to necessitate such a departure. Arata had been around the Clock Tower for most of his life, and seen dozens of stories like this. He could see right through her denial, but perhaps she's interested in keeping it under the rug, especially with their reunion after so long. Certainly, he has his own secrets he's not going to divulge so simply.

    But it can't be helped, that he wants to know anyway. It might not be his place to pry, but he can't deny the interest he feels for what situation she might be dealing with now. The old teacher's instincts kick in.

    Arata grins. "No fun stories to tell? You aren't going to tell me you settled for doldrums."

    “...Did you finally get burnt out and took a break? Other than the city’s leyline composition, I can’t see any reason why you’d visit here for work, but that’s not really in your area of expertise.” Tsukiko airs her guesses without much restraint. It’s an unspoken challenge, to take the bait and answer her in the guise of proving her wrong. She probably doesn’t expect it to work, and is more or less throwing things out to fill dead air.
    ...it appears the feeling is mutual, for she wastes no time in prying herself. Still, there's no reason to dump all of his baggage here on his former student.

    "You could say I'm taking... a sabbatical of sorts," deflecting her insinuation, though he can't deny it. "I've been overdue for one."

    After all, he never took any breaks. That in itself might seem odd to her, but it was plausible enough.

    “Though, if you need a Kagamihara tour guide, I’m here to help. You did quite a bit for me when I was still studying at the Eleventh, so consider it a late repayment.” She cheerfully offers her services to you with a smile. Then she turns to look back at the exhibits, and scowls. “Still, looking at relics? Do you ever get your fill?”
    Seeing a chance to change the subject and get to know more of his erstwhile student's life, he nods. "That'd be appreciated. I was just looking for some final sight seeing. There's got to be a 'greatest hits' of hot spots you've found living here, right?"

    Turning to the relics, he chuckles. "Perhaps not. They're a window to another world, to another time, to other peoples' pasts. You can see all that and more if you look closely. But they won't be going anywhere, so why don't we take our leave now?"

    He folds his arms, looking down the hall at the security guards. Not exactly a welcoming place. "Is there a cafeteria here? What's your pick?"
    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.

  3. #23
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    Zhang Canyuan
    Day 0 - Afternoon (2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Sekigahara Headquarters

    The answers given were… Alright. The first didn’t precisely stave off Canyuan’s worries, but it’ll have to do; the Shinonome Head, from what he has heard, tends to be the straightforward type. So involvement will be kept at a down low, at the very least.

    With added context from the second, reluctance from both parties was more than understandable. Assuming the Christian church were the sort to purge monsters and witches like those witch hunts he read about, then it would be best for the Sekigahara to not incur their holy ire. At least he got someplace to look into; suppose there’s a priest or nun there he can grill for more info, just to be safe.

    Which brings the participation of a Sekigahara representative in a more concerning light: what dire circumstance would push the Boss to participate in such a war against greater forces? Just what would require the power of a single, all-granting wish?

    Though this Canyuan would not say aloud. The Old Boss likely has his reasons, and admittedly not his business to inquire about private matters.

    …Not to mention being poor form speaking about superiors in such a manner, regardless of an employee’s worries. Better to keep such thoughts under lock and key.

    And the third…

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsurugi Ayame
    “That? You’re just my favorite. But I thought it would pique your interest. Wanderers like you have a reason to wander, don’t they?”

    Canyuan snorted, shaking his head.
    His handler’s whimsied assurances aside, she wasn’t wrong on either front. Though an unpleasant business through and through, one aspect of this Grail War had caught his fancy.

    The grand prize of this secret war. This “Ephemeral Grail,” a wish granter that makes all dreams true. While Canyuan is skeptical of its veracity and strength, there’s an inherent appeal about having an impossible desire fulfilled with a prayer. Who wouldn’t want an instant fix-all to their greatest trouble?

    And if these magicians are willing to kill for it…

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsurugi Ayame
    “It simply occurred to me that maybe people like you are in the most need of a wish.”

    — - A rattle.

    The Expression stiffened, its intended levity on pause.

    A briefest of silences passed. Canyuan scrutinized his handler’s statement – looking for anything, anything, to suggest it being another jest of hers. Useless. For all her attitude, Mitsurugi was frustratingly difficult to read.

    The operative half-chuckled and scratched the back of his neck as if brushing the shock off his person. The laugh was noticeably haggard.

    Lady's more correct than she has any right to be…

    “Just what was that,” He leaned towards the office table, an arm supporting his head. “From what I’m hearing, it’s almost like you’re saying I can get into that bloody brawl, Mitsurugi-san.”

    Without foundation, lacking direction, bereft of dreams...

    “Pretty sure it’s clear, but I’m no magician. Can’t perform weird mystic crap, much less summon a ‘Servant’ without the know-how.” Best to play it off for now. Not like he has a chance of getting in, right?

    Vagrants like us have little recourse…

    “So try as I might, poor ol’ me can’t possibly participate, no?”

    But to keep on stumbling ahead.
    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. #24
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Theresa Octavia
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Shopping District



    “That’s better.”

    Taking the couple of bills from Lumine’s hand, it was hard for Theresa to not at least make a small smile at the sight of the slightly more cheerful girl.

    It was silly, really.

    Theresa would be lying if she said that she didn’t pity Lumine. That much was normal for any human being who had even a slight inkling about the girl’s deteriorating condition. Managing to cheer up such an unfortunate individual naturally made Theresa feel not bad- like she was actually a good person.

    An absurd notion, all things considered.

    Fate had made sure that virtue was never an option for her.

    Even her nice little gesture towards Lumine was not free from that fact. It might have been true, that she did actually want to make the pitiful girl feel a little better- but at the end of the day, Theresa had some very real and tangible benefits from helping her.

    For one, she expected the same gesture in return, if anything similar happened to her. Reciprocity and all that.

    The other reason was much less benign.

    Even though Theresa’s Noble Phantasm guaranteed to her that Lumine’s feelings were genuine- that she felt no lost love towards the rest of humanity- it did not tell her what the future of those feelings entailed. They were comrades now, for sure, but who could say how long that would last? That the girl wouldn’t have some doubts towards the end, and jeopardize everything that they were currently working towards?

    The girl just seemed a little too cheerful and friendly to match her image of her ideal co-conspirator.

    But that wasn’t unworkable. If she showed Lumine a bit of kindness, then maybe it would play in her favor down the line.

    Viewed like that, there was nothing really good about what she was doing.

    And she was perfectly fine with that. Her goal for participating in this Grail War was also nothing good- it was far too late to let thoughts about morality and virtue dampen her spirits.

    “In that case, I’ll be off. Try not to melt before I get back. I’m expecting you to return this favor someday, after all.”

  5. #25
    死者 Corpse Steak's Avatar
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    Tanabe Shin
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Higashi Ward - YaYa


    Wring out more help, huh? He thinks to himself. It already feels like he's wringed out enough help with this drop. It felt like crossing a boundary even asking for the drop, and picking it up feels like taking three steps backwards.

    At least this talk has been some consolation for relying on his old brother-in-arms.


    “My kid’s ‘bout to go to school now, but ‘proud father shit’ will probably bore you to tears. Wife’s still a pain, though.”

    That gets his smile to grow a bit. It's a bit funny to hear that, coming from him. Shin wouldn't mind listening to him go on about his life outside of this business... If only they were hanging out at the bar.


    “As for our brothers… We’re expected to lay low. Boss says shit’s gonna happen soon and he doesn’t want us caught in the upcoming mess. He’s sparse on the details, but we’re pullin’ back on all fronts. Only reason I had the spare time to help ya out.”

    It was a given that someone higher up knows about this whole ordeal. Still, it's good to hear they aren't planning to put his brothers on the front lines for it. Who all knows about the war, though? Hisao, sure, but what about the lieutenants?

    It's safer to assume they're being left out in the dark, but Shin's had an itch that one of them has been keeping tabs on him.


    "That's good to hear. Now you'll have some free time to help out with homework." He chuckles a bit on that last word, mostly at the mental image it gave him. "If you all got time to spare, how's Kasuga occupying himself? I imagine he's bored enough to pick a fight with anyone he sees."

    He pauses, giving a chance for Shinoda to talk before sighing and starting up again.

    "Listen, try to get me if anything comes up, alright? With the families." He keeps talking in the same lighthearted tone as he did when he was laughing, though its easy to tell he's trying to be stern when you look him in the eyes. "Anything you don't think you can handle on your own."

    "Just keep your ear to the ground until they start giving you normal work again. Hell, try giving me call when they start giving you normal work again." He pushes off from the counter to stand straight, glancing backwards towards the door again, in case someone's coming in.
    The Perma-Lurker

  6. #26
    approaching euthymia Katie's Avatar
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    Zhang Canyuan
    Day 0 - Afternoon (2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Sekigahara Headquarters


    A cat-like grin appears on Ayame’s face. She takes her feet off the table, and for the first time since she’s invited you to this room, sits properly. She steeples her hands on the table, blatantly mocking the shady middle-men who managed much of the Sekigahara clan’s assets.

    “Yeah, it’d be a pipe dream, wouldn’t it?” She feigns looking off wistfully into the distance, but she knows you are latched onto the idea, digging her claws into you.

    “But let’s say, hypothetically, that the siblings don’t want Grandfather to get his wish. After all, what he’d wish for would only prolong the stalemate we’re all in. For someone to break the balance of power, they’d have to turn to someone else.” From the outside looking in, you’d sensed the friction between the various members of the Sekigahara family proper, but never as directly as Ayame states now, in her mockery of a hypothetical.

    “So in turn, they look for someone to play spoiler. They don’t need that person to win for them, just to make sure Grandfather’s representative loses. If the representative wins, there’s no chance of the siblings getting everything for themselves, but if they lose, everything will be ripe for the picking when Grandfather dies.”

    “Then, they select the Mitsurugi branch, the neutral party, to look for said spoiler. But their representative doesn’t care about forcing that person to do the rest of the family’s bidding. If that completely improbable scenario would happen, what kind of spoiler would they pick? Would that person even bother signing themselves up for a death warrant?” Ayame gives you a cheeky wink.

    “Well, it hardly matters. It’s just a joke, haha.” Though her tone is airy and light, you know she’s just making fun out of you now. Her eyes finally betray her words, analyzing you for even the slightest of movements. Unabated curiosity lights up her eyes. The spotlight is on you now, after all.

    Asakami Ito
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University


    In the end, Se-hun guides you away, with your newfound relic in tow. The cleaner will ideally deal with the mess soon enough, though even if it’s discovered, it’d be covered up anyway. Police couldn’t explain a person being carved into seven pieces very easily, not without looking horrendously incompetent. The pair of you weave through university streets and parking lots, taking narrow corridors where the cameras can’t catch good angles of your face.

    Eventually, in the midst of some concrete student parking lot, the two of you end up next to a silver Honda Accord. A perfectly mundane car in average condition. A student like Se-hun probably only has it for courier related things, rather than the unlikely possibility he bought it with his own savings.

    “I’ll take you to wherever you want to be dropped off,” he says, unlocking the vehicle with a beep. The two of you get in, the methodical clicking of seatbelts the only sound in the relatively quiet parking lot.

    He doesn’t start the car.

    “Is it always like that?” he asks, turning to you. Though most of the shock has left his face, it’s undeniable he’s been shaken by the massacre he just witnessed. His eyes desperately plead for answers, even if they may not be the ones he wants. “I just didn’t…”

    “Didn’t expect to see that today,” he finishes, divulging a semblance of the truth.

    Lysander Scriberis Archemiste II
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - The Midnight Blue


    “Sounds like her,” Kasumi says with a sigh. Her worry is the painfully authentic kind—the suffocating antics of an overbearing older sister. It’s not exactly something you’ve experienced first-hand, but rather, something you’ve seen in some of the family members of your fellow students. The Clock Tower rewards excellency, and it is the natural tendency of magi to be more invested in their children than most, bearers of future legacy and all. “Well, thanks for the update. She’s always sugarcoating things when it comes to work, so I’d wish she’d just be honest…”

    "My presence here is just truancy. I'm curious to see how much Kamigahara has changed."
    “How much the town has changed, huh…” Sarah trails off, tapping the countertop with her fingers. “Kasumi and I moved here about five years ago—her for the orchestra, me trying to get a new start, so I can’t tell you much about anything farther back than that.”

    Kasumi nods in response, stuffing her saxophone back into its case.

    “I’m afraid all I can give you is bad news though. Mysterious, inexplicable disappearances, the death of our Second Owner two years ago, the upcoming shitshow that’s supposed to be a Holy Grail War…” Sarah lists off, sounding displeased about the entire affair. “Do any of those pique your curiosity?”

    “Kagamihara’s only nice on the surface,” Kasumi adds, having moved on to getting herself a glass of water from behind the counter. “For those of us in the know, it’s one conspiracy to the next. Half of it’s probably because this place has a fair bit of Clock Tower alumni though, running away from their past by hiding out here. The other half is the old Sekigahara-Shinonome battle, which I think’s stalled? But I don’t enjoy talking to extended family with hands that dirty, believe me.”

  7. #27
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Asakami Ito
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University


    For a moment Ito sits silently, Se-hun’s question hanging in the air between them. His sword resting between his legs, pressed into the floorboard and supporting his weight as he leans forward. Eyes staring forward, through the windshield and scanning the parking lot, Ito considers how best to answer the question.

    “This is what I do.” Breaking his silence, Ito explains it as bluntly as can be done. He was never one to mince words. “If the chairman sends me, it means one thing. I only take one kind of job, but I do it better than anyone else. It’s bad luck that I had to be the one to give your first glimpse to this side, but it was bound to happen. You’ve noticed it, it’s impossible not to. There is always something bloody going on in the Shinonome’s shadow.”

    Se-hun’s car is no more than a little box paralleling his own life, one which he does his menial odd jobs for the family from the safety of. The windshield Ito glares through is the window that the Korean boy, a child in his eyes, gets to safely and comfortably peer into the dirty part of Kagamihara while keeping his hands clean. But today, he smashed that windshield into pieces, shattered glass all over the boy and made a mess in his convenient safe world.

    “You don’t have to get used to it, but you don’t get to ignore it either. Keeping your lunch down was a good start.” Ito leans back into the headrest, taking his weight off his sword. But even as he seemingly relaxes, one hand stays firmly on the weapon, never letting go of it. What is well begun is half done. The job is finished when he’s home. “The only luck you had today was that, when the chairman decided it was time to break you in, he chose me to do it.”

    Ito turned, glancing out the passenger window.

    “Minami. Tokisaka Shrine.”


  8. #28
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Lysander Scriberis Archemiste II
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - The Midnight Blue


    Quote Originally Posted by Kasumi
    “Sounds like her. Well, thanks for the update. She’s always sugarcoating things when it comes to work, so I’d wish she’d just be honest…”
    Lysander shrugs. Then he decides he isn't satisfied with just a shrug. He's never had any siblings, but can still guess how one feels. What's he to say about the dog-eat-dog world Kasumi's sister has thrown herself into? One that clearly has chased Kasumi away to here and prevented her from visiting? His own words would be nothing but derision.

    How would gramps have said it, then?

    "Your sister's a magus. That's what she decided on, right?"

    We must imagine Erika happy.

    "Besides," Lysander concludes. "Getting to lecturer is pretty good for someone that young. Maybe she'll be department head in a decade. Could use someone fresh to drain that old swamp."

    With that fairy-tale ending in mind, he turns back to Sarah, who is touching upon the very same topics that had brought Lysander Scriberis Archemiste the Second to the Midnight Blue in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah Tenevere
    “I’m afraid all I can give you is bad news though. Mysterious, inexplicable disappearances, the death of our Second Owner two years ago, the upcoming shitshow that’s supposed to be a Holy Grail War… Do any of those pique your curiosity?”
    "All of them. Bad news piques the most curiosity." In response to Sarah's tapping his fingers drum along the counter in a measured rhythm. He plucks off metal token proudly hanging from his chest pocket and passes it from finger to finger, clacking it against the wood, using it as a makeshift instrument to produce a background track to their conversation. "Spreads the furthest too. Even across the ocean."

    So they arrived five years ago... meaning it can't be either of them.

    "It's been a decade for me. So things were that rotten, huh..."

    Had it gotten worse since then? Or had the city been like that the whole time? Has age brought new clarity? He can't be sure. At the very least, he hadn't known there were dueling Yakuza families here.

    The silver keychain clacks to a stop against the counter. Lysander's meandering gaze refocuses. He contemplates taking a sip of water and decides against it. Better to keep himself thirsty.

    "I've heard the rumours," he says. "Not of the Second Owner, though. Nor your extended family. Those disappearances-" Anyone could be taken. Usually the young. If anyone could be taken, then it could be a particular someone as well. A sacrifice to some sadistic magus, or perhaps something much worse. "-any pattern to them? Location?"

    Tap, tap. The silver symbol glitters in the dim light, as do Lysander's inquisitive eyes.

    If anyone knows, it'll be Sarah Tenevere. This place is known as a hub for magi, after all. If there is a hushed meeting or conversation going on in Kamigahara, if there is a rumour being created and distributed, it will be here, under her watchful eye.

    "And - is Tatsu's place still open?"
    Last edited by Bloble; January 20th, 2022 at 07:11 PM.

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