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Thread: Fate/Antiquity (IC)

  1. #101
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Lysander Scriberis Archemiste II
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Minami Ward - The Forest of Remembrance - Natural Cave

    "Wait, you shouldn't-."

    There is something incongruous about a larger-than-life figure talking about war, love, and self-respect, while hiking up her priceless dress and picking grains of rice off the floor with her bare hands. She shouldn't be doing that. A lady should not be worrying about something so inconsequential. It is this incongruity that has Lysander's stomach twist itself into knots, wiping away his planned protest with a pointed proclamation that she can see right through him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Troublesome Servant
    "I can tell. You are here for someone else, isn’t it?"
    While Lysander can control his expression, he cannot control the blush that creeps up his neck and cheeks in response to the accusation.

    "Um. Sort of."

    Grandfather's stern growl resounds in his ears, telling him to stop being so half-baked, and in response he straightens his shoulders and folds his arms.

    "My desires are as self-serving as anyone else's," Lysander clarifies, voice a bit firmer now. "As are my responsibilities. That 'someone else' as well."

    He glances about the cave. A sacred place, huh? Even though he picked it out on a whim only for its privacy? This lady's ideas are out of this century.

    "There's time to sweat the small stuff later. If you're a Servant, isn't there something more important to focus on right now?"

    His eyes narrow as he steps forward, fully prepared for more than just a slap this time.

    "The War has already started and we haven't even introduced ourselves."

  2. #102
    No glasses, huh? Mooncake's Avatar
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    LANCER
    Day 0 - Evening (3/3)
    Minami Ward - Near the Forest


    Click.

    Cli-click.


    Something changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhang Canyuan
    "...An eager one, I see! But glad you're alright with it, heheh. Worry not; with at least 12 others out and about, you'll have that chance aplenty!"
    "Not at all, my fearless Master. With such a tool and such a disposition, I rest assured of your inevitable victory."

    Ferocity, coldness, malice - these gave way to a different manner and different speech, Lancer's tongue letting words spill out like an unwinding snake. Even the spear in their hand seemed to take a different hue, mottled patches of rust appearing on it like scabs over an open wound, the dripping blood slowing to a trickle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhang Canyuan
    "...Though, it's best to avoid a bloodbath tonight if we can help it. There's still a bit I wanted cleared up about this whole business, and 'seems the Church has the answer to them."
    "The Church, my Master? I thought you wanted answers."

    Lancer did not blur. The ground beneath their feet did not crater. The air simply shifted, and they were beside Zhang, moving around to his side, bending down to meet him.

    "But, of course, you are the Master. Lead on, little boy, lead on. What comes, what may, in any shape or form, I will bravely follow, and shield you from all harm."

    With these words, Lancer's form began to vanish, until they were nothing but a smudge of shadow on the ground and a whisper in Zhang's ear.

    "To our victory."

    [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'

  3. #103
    wwwww Spartacus's Avatar
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    Rider
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Minami Ward - The Forest of Remembrance - Natural Cave


    The young man blushes, and a smile escapes from her lips.

    He can withstand a physical assault, but he doesn't know how to deal with the matter of the heart? It seems he is more delicate than she initially thought.

    “There is no shame in it. I’m also the same.”

    She once again inspects the cave, but this time, she wants to estimate its rough size.

    “Spacious, this will do,” she gives a nod of affirmation to herself.

    Quote Originally Posted by young man in love
    "My desires are as self-serving as anyone else's. As are my responsibilities. That 'someone else' as well."
    “Good. Love is a powerful motivation. It can make humans do the unthinkable.”

    Of course, make no mistake, she has never been a romantic. Her definition of love is an order of priority. It is a tool to determine which is more important than the others. Once someone has chosen something they want to protect or achieve the most, they will chase it no matter how hard and will be so easy to cast away the rest.

    Quote Originally Posted by a young man trying to change the topic
    "There's time to sweat the small stuff later. If you're a Servant, isn't there something more important to focus on right now?"
    "Indeed, I can feel the presence of other Servants nearby. This forest is about to be the first to open the gate of war. We better make a move soon. That being the case–"

    Wordlessly, she clapped her hands, and in response to her order, a surge of magical energy can be felt within the cave.


    Appears before them is a red carriage made from the sturdiest of woods. Its design is a simple wagon constructed solely with efficiency and comfort in mind. The exterior somehow gives an impression of arrogance and modesty, as it is painted with gold to cement her status, but nothing is wasted on lavish decorations.

    However, its most striking feature is its size. It’s big, unusually so, it is so tall and wide it almost reaches the ceiling of the cave. If there are no massive wheels on each of its sides, people might mistake it for a small house.

    “From now on, this will be your home.”

    If there is a vehicle equivalent of a villa, this will be it.

    “As you can see, I’m a Servant of the Rider-class. I excel at getting everything the way I wanted them to be. What about you, boy?”

    Last edited by Spartacus; May 25th, 2022 at 07:37 AM. Reason: typo "the" ---> "a"

  4. #104
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Theresa Octavia
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Forest


    "Isn't that enough? I... I want to believe in you, master."

    Ah.

    At last, things began to click together for Theresa.

    Berserker was not an individual that Theresa needed to be worried about.

    No. If anything, under normal circumstances Berserker was probably an individual Theresa should be worried over.

    Berserker certainly did not seem to have much human contact before. This seemed to have resulted in an innocent, almost childlike naivety towards others- an only natural result, when someone was so starved for companionship.

    Earlier, Berserker’s question had made Theresa think back to when she herself was much younger. Now, she was beginning to think that train of thought was more accurate than she expected- Berserker reminded her, just a little, of how she used to feel when she was younger.

    It was a strange feeling.

    Naturally, Theresa did not like her younger self. She thought her worldview was naïve, foolish, and embarrassing. But as for whether that same dislike transferred onto Berserker….

    … the answer was no.

    “That’s fine.”

    Noticing that Berserker seemed to have picked up on her earlier caution, Theresa tried her best to relax. Her concerns, she knew now, were (somewhat groundless), and there was no need to look at Berserker with such suspicion.

    “I’m sorry for the… odd question.” Uncomfortable with the words that were coming out of her mouth, Theresa looked to the side for a bit. “It’s just a bit hard for me to take these sorts of things at face value… honestly, even now, I still feel a little doubtful.”

    Brushing aside her own awkwardness, she looked directly at Berserker once more.

    “But I want to believe in you, too. I hope we can get along.”

  5. #105
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Lysander Scriberis Archemiste II
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Minami Ward - The Forest of Remembrance - Natural Cave

    Wait, love?

    "No," starts Lysander. "It's not really-."

    The words die on his lips as the woman claps her hands and the interior of the cave goes from spacious to full in an instant. More magical energy than he's ever worked with at once is used up in an instant as the Servant calls up a carriage - no, a mobile home that materializes out of thin air. Its construction broadcasts both lavish excess and restrained efficiency, as if built for a great commander in some ancient war. No, it now exists for this war. The thought makes him feel small in more ways than one.

    “As you can see, I’m a Servant of the Rider-class. I excel at getting everything the way I wanted them to be. What about you, boy?”
    The way the Servant - his Servant, the spells upon his hand remind - speaks, tilting her head, calling him 'boy' in such a familiar yet mocking tone, rekindles a spark of rebellious spirit within him.

    No, it is not a spark; it is a fire. And it is not mere rebellion that drives him; it is certainty.

    "Lysander Scriberis Archemiste the Second. I am the Master who called upon you, Rider-."



    "-and the fool who will win this war and this city both."

  6. #106
    for me, there is (you) Katie's Avatar
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    Cuan Yugou
    Day 0 - Afternoon (2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kikanbou Ramen-ya


    <“I’d like to speak,”> she says, sounding amused, yet she raises an eyebrow in confusion. She straightens her chair and her hands grab the chopsticks left haphazardly on the table.

    <“I apologize that my sheer presence has ruined your ordinary afternoon.”> Her apology is rather half-hearted, but at least it is an apology, like a friend caught annoying you. <“I suppose you are correct in that you’re not uninteresting… but I expected someone with a Servant, not someone without one. Someone like myself, throwing out an open challenge.”>

    <“My goal is to fight Servants. Acting like this, with Command Seals for all to see… I figured it would attract the trouble I am looking for. You are close, but missing that vital component,”> she explains with a sigh, taking a sip of her glass of water. Her eyes finally look over you with a more serious glint.

    <“But if you want to negotiate, I have a simple request. Summon. I will wait at Starset Bridge every other night, should you wish to do trivial things like prepare. I don’t think it would affect the outcome.”>

    Ah, the urge to wipe that irritating smile off her face spikes once more.

  7. #107
    Chasing Daybreak palad1n's Avatar
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    Berserker
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Forest

    Quote Originally Posted by Theresa
    “That's fine. I’m sorry for the… odd question. It’s just a bit hard for me to take these sorts of things at face value… honestly, even now, I still feel a little doubtful. But I want to believe in you, too. I hope we can get along.
    A true smile blossomed on Berserker's face the moment Theresa finished her speech.

    "Thank you for wanting to believe in me, master!" She stood up in an instant, tail wagging back and forth like an overexcited puppy; there's a part of her that wanted to nuzzle or lick the girl to show her affection, but her more rational side managed to rein her instincts in. "I'll do my best to fulfill your expectations and get along with you!"

    It's only natural for Berserker to be happy; after all, Theresa had just apologized, confided in her a little bit, and even expressed her desire to get along and believe in her. Her master seems to be somewhat shy and quiet, so hearing all of that while seeing how sincere she is made Berserker very happy.

    She's very grateful that she has Theresa as her master.

    "So... what should we do now?" Berserker asked as she pocketed the catalyst used to summon her; it might be rather useless now, but if nothing else she can play with it if she gets bored, and she does have a rather long history with it, so there's some sentimental value to it as well...

    Even if the memory associated with it is rather negative.

    "Oh, and um, does master know a way to hide my tail?" She timidly asked. "I know that my ears and tail would make me stand out... For the ears, my hood can hide them." She donned the red hood to demonstrate her point, showing that the hood is shaped so that her ears can fit comfortably; any onlookers would probably assume that it's just the design of the hood and not that she has actual animal ears beneath it. "But I don't know how to hide my tail..." Her ears drooped, as did her tail.

    "But it's okay if you can't!" She quickly reassured the pink-haired girl, waving and shaking her hands to emphasize her point. "I'd just follow master around in spirit form if that's the case. This is just my silly little wish."

    Berserker wasn't lying. She wants to be able to explore and feel everything with her body if she could and not being able to do so would disappoint her, but at the same time she knew that she might stand out too much, which is a big no-no in a grail war. She'd endure and bury her small wish deep in her heart if going about in her physical form would jeopardize their chances of winning.

    Especially if it would paint a target on Theresa's back.
    Last edited by palad1n; May 28th, 2022 at 08:51 AM.
    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


  8. #108
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    Cuan Yugou
    Day 0 - Afternoon (2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kikanbou Ramen-ya


    A wave crests and breaks upon a stony shore. Now a languid outwash.

    She backed down, that much is clear. She gave the appearance of backing down. Appearance counts for something. On one level this is good. "Rationally" speaking. He reminds himself. It would be untoward - it would not be conducive - it would present "further difficulties" (a phrase to chew on) if he got into a knockdown fight within hours of sealing the deal with the dàlǎo. It could produce damage. It would. At this early stage. The word "unwise" arrives from somewhere in the room, bounces around a little, and buries itself in the floorboards.

    On the other hand - well. It would have been something to do.

    (Need to kill her sooner or later. Really? Not necessarily. Someone else might.)

    The headache endures. A dull ache. He drums his fingers on the table as he watches her return her chair to the upright position. A tense rhythm. They are very heavy fingers, so it seems, and they hit the tabletop like a series of small hammers.

    <“I apologize that my sheer presence has ruined your ordinary afternoon.”>
    Ruined yours. Really. Starting to revise the estimate of her age downward. What is this passive-aggressive teenage girl line? Call your parents. Go home.

    Question, now. Is she confident or stupid? No. Polarise the options to either extreme. Overconfident or very, very stupid. Might have been a mercy kill here. Ah, well. Next time maybe.

    (His gaze is wandering. He finds himself examining this room, this restaurant, this space he's in. The distribution of tables. The order of the ceiling slats. How the light falls in from the kitchen. She's still talking.)

    <“My goal is to fight Servants. Acting like this, with Command Seals for all to see… I figured it would attract the trouble I am looking for.">
    His fingers stop. The table stops. He closes his eyes, once, and opens them again. The room retains itself. A manifesto of impressions, patches of redness, woodness, saltness, scent of vinegar and spice and starch, muted discourse from afar. People are still watching, warily, as if watching a clock tick down to its zero, and indeed some have even begun to file out of the shop, clearing the blast radius. Danger close.

    <"Is that all?">

    One must imagine these words delivered like a knife-thrust between the ribs. And the moment he says them, Cuan Yugou regrets that he did. He has the distinct sensation, sharp and intangibly metallic, like a bee-sting - not that he knows what one of those is like - of having said something he "shouldn't" have. He clicks his tongue. Irritating. How irritating. A wave of the hand as if to ward off her reaction - what he anticipates of her reaction. Now grunting: <"No. Never mind. I don't care."> He looks around. Where is that beef bowl?

    <"Summon. I will wait at Starset Bridge every other night, should you wish to do trivial things like prepare. I don’t think it would affect the outcome.”>
    Something very close is grinding its teeth. It's him. Not altogether impossible that walking into an obvious trap might sound like a good idea after a night or two of this business. We'll see.

    <"Duly noted."> He leans forward in his chair. He is that much taller than her; even leaning forward he has to incline his head downward to meet her eye level. This chair, this room, this whole place, in a moment seems far too small to contain such a figure. The proportions are wrong. Ungainly. Awkward. <"Now fuck off. I'm having lunch.">
    げっ
    すい
    こう


  9. #109
    Greatness, at any cost mAc Chaos's Avatar
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    Hashimoto Arata
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University


    ...it takes a moment, but suddenly, the meaning of his nagging concern suddenly manifests itself in Arata's mind.

    The summoning of a Servant requires certain conditions: the incantation, the magic circle, a relic if you're lucky... and a prime summoning place and time.

    Arata's tour of the school wasn't just a flight of fancy, though it was that as well.

    There was a reason he'd selected this place for his visit today.

    For certain reasons, it fulfilled a condition for his summoning that he was interested in.

    A place steeped in history, one bearing the grand sweep of the passing of eras, it provided an ideal foundation for the summoning.

    Judging by the "security" he noticed on display earlier, it seems the same line of thought occurred to others as well.

    There was much to protect in this place, and much that could be used to further the war effort itself.

    Whoever had placed these guards on watch tried to obscure their presence, but it was obvious to a seasoned eye like Arata's. This wasn't the first historical site he'd infiltrated...

    Earlier, the magus had pinpointed one location as the ideal place to summon. One that was awash in a cornucopia of materials that could provide whatever he was looking for, as well as a secluded place that would let him take advantage of the nature and history of this place.

    That place was the very storage area that Tsukiko was now heading towards.

    Ordinarily that would be fine, but with the guards he'd spotted earlier before lunch...

    They were definitely not the normal security here; they were placed for a reason.

    It was possible she'd get tied up in trouble, given her own magical nature, and the security on the lookout for potential meddlers.

    For all he knew, they were placed here to stop him. He had taken care to cover his tracks, but there was no telling who was watching.

    Tsukiko walking into trouble meant for him didn't sit right with him. It was unlikely, but on the off chance...

    The presence of his former student changed things. It was time to prioritize. His other plans, though they were important to the war effort, would have to wait.

    If she tripped up their defenses, or alerted them, it was possible the guards would strengthen up their patrolling of the area. That wouldn't do well for him.

    But in his mind, he already knew that was just an excuse. No, before being a Master, he was still a professor, one that had just had a reunion with a student who'd felt a weight leave their shoulders after having words together after so long.

    Adjusting his glasses, the glint of light over the spectacles obscuring his gaze, he walks off towards the storage area as well.
    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.

  10. #110
    for me, there is (you) Katie's Avatar
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    Hashimoto Arata
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University


    You catch up with your former student soon enough. Tsukiko looks surprised, but a few seconds of pondering the matter seems to make it all click in the girl’s head, for one reason or another. Her frown is the kind people give when they can’t keep up with someone’s enthusiasm.

    “I guess it’s fine if you come along,” she says with some hesitation, before giving up with an exhausted sigh. “Whatever you’re planning on doing though, just, try not to get caught. Don’t touch anything and don’t break anything, and you’re free to wander about. I didn’t see you.”

    The two of you make your way to a positively archaic section of the school, unused classrooms temporarily being repurposed as storage. Jingling a ring of keys in her hand, she moves to open a door, before stopping.

    “If you wanna go on your own investigation, feel free. Just remember what I said,” Tsukiko says, deciding it is not worth the effort to keep you reigned in. “Doubt a few locked doors would stop a magus, but hey, maybe you need the keys?”

  11. #111
    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 gazes down the antiquated halls, worn down by time. It has the charm of a liminal space to it, somewhat unnerving in a pleasant way, the kind of sensation a kid gets when sneaking somewhere they aren't supposed to be.

    But he doesn't need to go gallivanting around here. At least, not yet. The likelihood that it could simply end up stirring up trouble isn't lost on him. If he was going to do that, he'd save it for after things were clear here.

    "Come now, you don't really expect me to cause a mess, do you? I just felt like lending a hand," he says wryly, crossing his arms.

    "...but sure, I'll take you up on your offer. Let's get you squared away first."

    He extends his hand to receive the keys from her, ready to open the door to head on inside once she gives them over.

    Better that he take the lead in this case.

    "What is it you need to retrieve, anyway?" He says, making idle talk as he keeps an eye on the hall.

    Once she's on her way, he can get down to the real business...
    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. #112
    for me, there is (you) Katie's Avatar
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    Hashimoto Arata
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Nishi Ward - Kagamihara University


    “Just checking inventory personally,” Tsukiko says, pulling out her phone to check something. “There’s been an uptick in the theft of historical artifacts recently? S’pretty unusual, since they’re… hardly of significant value. Not sure if a museum would care too much about what we’ve got.”

    As you take the keys from her, you open the door.

    You can smell it before you can even see it.


    The rusted scent fills your nose. Regardless of department, every magus knew what fresh blood was like, because of its nature as a fundamental, vital component of many rituals. It is not the smell that overwhelms your former student, but the grisly sight.

    The decapitated head that lay messily on the floor. A body at rest, the gun at its side barely touching by the pool of blood that lay beneath the corpse. An opened crate, mockingly empty.

    You already know what kind of battle this was. A prelude to what was to come.

    “I…” Tsukiko is speechless, unable to say anything. “What the fuck.”

    She looks to you for guidance, even as her hands fumble with the phone in her hands, trying not to drop it.

    “I need… There are calls I have to make.” The voice of a magus crops up in her voice, the kind rather callous of lost lives. The business-like exchange of transporting and hiding materials. “Can you, er…”

    “Do something?”

  13. #113
    wwwww Spartacus's Avatar
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    Rider
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Minami Ward - The Forest of Remembrance - Natural Cave


    Quote Originally Posted by Lysander
    "-and the fool who will win this war and this city both."
    Not only did he want the Grail, but he also wanted the city itself for his ownership?

    Greedy, that’s wonderful.

    “Hoooh, you have resolve, I will give you that,” she grins.

    This young man, no, that fire reflected on his eyes, this man has desires that a single wish will not be enough to fulfill. If he wanted to achieve something massive, surely he would not compromise his own victory?

    “Let’s put it to the test right away, then. You have something in mind, right?”

    To repeat, Rider had already inspected both him and the cave the moment she arrived. No one in their right mind will choose a cave as their home, not if they don’t have a good reason. Especially to a mage like him, if the mage in this time has a slight resemblance with hers, they are often among the ruling class or religious leaders, not the kind of person that bothers with a filthy places such as this.

    This place must be convenient for him, despite the inconvenience.

    “Come in.”

    Rather than go to the front to steer the carriage, she instead led him to its backside. She then flicks her left hand, and the massive door on the backside opens wide to welcome their entrance.

    Spoiler:

    Inside, one is hailed by surreal yet realistic drawings of a classical garden on the wall. Greeneries, flowers, birds, and sunlight appear to be as they are intended by nature, giving an illusion that they are on an outdoor ground. The only thing unnatural about it are the two classical doors in the middle she approaches, and she opens the door on the right.

    “This room is a bit cramped. I hope you don’t mind.”

    Spoiler:

    In contrast to the natural wonder from before, this room is filled with her personal touch. The furniture inside is something common for a woman’s room of her era, but it is clear that all of them are made from the top material and crafted by the most skilled.

    She then sits on her sofa and gestures to the young man to sit in front of her.

    “So? Where do you want to go, Master?”
    Last edited by Spartacus; June 4th, 2022 at 12:02 PM.

  14. #114
    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


    Lysander follows Rider into her summoned carriage. If the lavish and frankly miraculous sight impresses him he does not show it, except to nod in affirmation. He shows more appreciation for the second room than the first, carefully taking off his coat and hanging it on a nearby rack, sitting on the couch only after making sure he isn't tracking dirt into Rider's abode. His eyes sweep the room, catching on the small personal touches Rider has put in, which make it stand out from what might otherwise be a cold, unwelcoming place meant only to show off wealth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rider
    “So? Where do you want to go, Master?”
    "Right here," is the even reply.

    Lysander reaches into his set-aside backpack and withdraws a folded brochure, which is swiftly unfolded into a full map of the city and its surroundings spread out across the table between him and Rider. Small markings are present, added by Lysander himself, on key points such as the Midnight Blue or the forest.

    He is being tested. The familiar pressure weighs down on Lysander's neck.

    "Kamigahara City rests on rich spiritual land. This forest, for instance, is said to be haunted by spirits. No hindrance for a being of your caliber. In a protracted war it is magical energy that will be in short supply. By laying claim to one of they ley lines tonight and situating ourselves near it, that problem is solved. I am a geologist by study; locating and reaching a ley line will only be a matter of covering enough ground tonight. It will also be an opportunity to investigate any abnormalities in the structure of the land."

    Unlike before, the words flow smoothly. He had thought out this part, after all.

    "The Second Owners will take issue with us claiming their territory," Lysander continues, covering the obvious consequence of his plan. "Frankly, I don't give a damn. Any king or queen that willingly volunteers their streets as a battlefield deserves neither respect nor the right to rule."

    He taps a shrine on the map. This is where those people were based out of, yes? If not, Sarah will confirm it for him tomorrow.

    "Speaking of which. There are odd circumstances behind this Grail War. Disappearances since months ago, artificially spread rumours, and that is just the obvious. I intend to investigate these circumstances during the day while fighting the War at night. As for the War, our base will be in a cave like this one, near a ley line."

    This is where Lysander averts his eyes, almost embarassed.

    "A cousin of mine fought in a Grail War years ago, in another town. He was a prodigy, and head of the family. He bought out the top floors of a hotel in the centre of town and fortified it with spells far beyond my reckoning. An opponent brought down the whole building with some well-placed explosives. My cousin did not survive the War. So a base like this, which is neither accessible nor easy to locate for those who cannot mold earth as I do, should be much more secure. Albeit lacking some necessities."

    With the lengthy report delivered, Lysander steeples his fingers together and rests them in his lap as he meets his Servant's eyes.

    "What do you think, Rider?"
    Last edited by Bloble; June 7th, 2022 at 01:33 PM.

  15. #115
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Sanda Rakuin
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)

    Minami Ward - ???

    “Well, glad this location works for you.” The time invested in getting these specific conditions fulfilled wasn’t in vain, then. Although he’d cared more about ensuring his anonymity rather than setting up a base.

    “Hm, two things to consider, actually.” Rakuin said, motioning Caster to another room in the house. This one was as empty as the one before, but it featured a solid wooden table and decently comfortable chairs.

    He seated himself on the one that was big enough and durable enough to support his frame, and turned his attention to the table for a brief moment. There was a tea set (cheap and functional) ready there, and he had prepared the tea beforehand, obviously in expectation to have succeeded in the summoning ritual.

    He served the tea to the both of them, and took a sip. Rakuin wasn’t exactly the kind of person who exceeded at the culinary arts, but he had been living alone for most of his life. He was a good cook, but more importantly, he made one mean tea.

    “First, to my understanding of the workings of the ritual, you do get information about the modern world upon being summoned, right? Did that include the concept of the modern world’s law enforcement? Police, that is.” He said, continuing the conversation after that brief pause.

    “Second, we ought to decide what we’re doing tonight. To be honest, I’m not a fan of just going out patrolling randomly until we run into some danger. There wouldn’t be much point to it if we just enter enemy territory without noticing and get ourselves ambushed by an Assassin or something like that.” The monk put the cup of tea on the table. “I think that in that regard, a method to gather information without exposing ourselves too much would be the ideal.”

    First things first, he needed to figure out his Servant’s capacities, and she probably needed to figure out his. Rakuin wasn’t the kind of guy who liked to rush into a situation that could very well get himself killed without preparation. Slow and steady usually didn’t win the race, but this was not a race: it was a survival match, and slow and steady had less chances of getting a knife or two in the back.


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    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

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  16. #116
    Dreary, rainy days... Elyrin's Avatar
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    Caster
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Minami Ward - ???



    The shorter monk followed the taller into another room. She had a quick look around as they walked, but really, there wasn't anything sitting around to look at. So she picked out a chair for herself and sat down, crossing her legs in the seat. She accepted the tea handed to her, of course, and held the cup in both hands, not drinking any right away.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuin
    “First, to my understanding of the workings of the ritual, you do get information about the modern world upon being summoned, right? Did that include the concept of the modern world’s law enforcement? Police, that is.”
    "I can't say how complete the information is, but I'm familiar with police, yes. Samurai did the job of law enforcement in my time." Caster took a sip out of her cup and frowned at her master. "I have to say, though, that's not the sort of question I expected. You're not a wanted man, are you, Rakuin?"

    If she sounded genuinely concerned by the possibility, it was because she was genuinely concerned. Something about the servant's narrowed eyes and suspicious expression would make even the most seasoned liar think twice. Like their words were meaningless because she already knew. Like she just wanted to see the reaction, rather than hear the response.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuin
    “Second, we ought to decide what we’re doing tonight. To be honest, I’m not a fan of just going out patrolling randomly until we run into some danger. There wouldn’t be much point to it if we just enter enemy territory without noticing and get ourselves ambushed by an Assassin or something like that.”
    "Fair. You probably won't lose if you don't put yourself into any danger to start with, right? I have preparations of my own to make, too. The sooner I get started on those, the better."

    Her wary expression softened a bit, but Caster's eyes continued to bore into Rakuin's.

    "Of course, that doesn't mean we can't head out tonight. I'm no Assassin, but I am a wanderer. I do have ways to walk the streets unnoticed. A Buddhist monk should be familiar with the concept of Avidyā, hmm? As long as someone seems like they belong, people will brush aside any number of problems and suspicions, minor or major. Anything to avoid upsetting the status quo." Caster took another sip of tea, but still, her eyes never left Rakuin. "Either way. I need some time to prepare the base, and I'd like some time to look around town. Whichever I don't do tonight, I can always do tomorrow."

    Caster was non-committal. If she had a preference for either option, she wasn't giving anything away. She just sipped her tea while awaiting Rakuin's decision.
    Last edited by Elyrin; June 7th, 2022 at 04:05 PM.
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  17. #117
    Ye ancient blossoms,
    scatter here and bloom no more.
    O weary phantom,
    pass on to the other shore.
    For there is horror
    in beauty everlasting
    and the fleeting which endures.




    The autumn winds bewail a forlorn spring.

    Yes, it is true.
    This land was once a paradise, the garden of the gods.
    A cradle of creation, exalted in the songs of all within it.
    The murmur of wind through leaves. The purl of water over stone. The warble among the reeds.
    Thus nature sang, calling life into being.
    Creatures of many forms took to the skies, to the waters, and the soil.
    Things that moved, and things that stood still.
    All planted their roots in the garden, joining its cycle.
    All of them, in their ways, were beautiful.
    And in truth, one more than others.

    In a glade at the heart of the garden stood a cherry blossom.
    From when it was but a sapling in the shadow it had striven for the sunlight.
    It did not mind the myriad things gnawing at its roots and leaves.
    Its only care was to grow tall and find its place in the sun.
    In time, its canopy grew to loom over all.
    The splendor of its flowering spanned the corners of the world.
    Yet that beauty waxed and waned.
    Brief was the glory of its bloom, its blossoms shed thereafter, falling like tears upon the land.
    When all of nature revelled, it alone lamented.
    The impermanence of a full bloom, the withering fated to the flower of life.
    Most brilliant of all, but brief, all too brief.
    The seasons of grief turned and sorrow festered.
    Until, at last, the tree called out to the gardener.

    His was the task to tend to the archtree.
    His predecessors had toiled in the name of the gods.
    Then, after their passage, for that which most recalled them.
    Under their care the great tree had been pruned to lofty growth.
    Yet it had grown jealous of the world's enduring splendour.
    And in such jealousy did it command.
    Cut down that whose revelry mocks me.
    Cut down that which may wish me harm.
    That which impedes my growth, which suffocates my beauty.
    The warbling reeds, the whispering grass.
    The trilling thrush, the susurrant cicadas.
    The pearl-dewed spider web, the glint of fox-lights.
    And most of all, the flowers of all seasons.
    Of the wisteria, the plum blossom, the low-lying chrysanthemum, none were as lovely.
    The gardener wondered, what was there to envy?
    All the same, obeisance bade him turn his shears on them.
    And so, root and stem, he cut, cut, cut.

    Soon, the garden fell still.
    Gone were the warbling reeds, the whispering grass.
    No glint of light pierced through the shadow.
    The streams were gaping rends, the copses funeral pyres.
    All voices silenced, all colours drained, save one.
    Flourishing all the while the world diminished.
    And yet untended since its servant was set to task.
    It sprouted wildly as an outgrowth on the very sky.
    An everbloom of flowers red as blood.
    A ruinous beauty watered with the tears of the very land it stood on.
    Without guidance, its boughs became a shroud.
    So the tree recalled the gardener to tend to it once more.
    And loyally did he return.

    He picked up his shears, and he hacked at the tree.
    Crimson blossoms scattered. Great branches fell. Sap flowed in dry riverbeds.
    The tree cried out its betrayal, but this was no fault of the gardener.
    Long had he cared for root and soil, to excise the growths, to prune and mend.
    To grow, and to let grow.
    By its own will, the tree had bent his nature.
    And the gardener now knew only to cut.

    .

    .

    .

    .


    True Archer
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 2/3)
    Minami Ward - Tokisaka Shrine


    The first breath tasted of longing. The second of regret. He forestalled the third, pondering his bearings.

    A garden. Dreams were truly horrid things. He might have smiled.

    It seemed this land would never cease to haunt him. A purgatory of his own choosing. For he had chosen this, had he not. To be, once more, was remuneration, but the price did not elucidate the matter. Even enticed by spurious invocation, one emerged from the ring of restraint as a vessel of commands and not desires.

    A swarm of false voices crowed their ordinance from some non-place high above. Making to listen in, the flash of divine mandate struck his being with force enough to imply the ease with which it could force him to his knees.

    Obey this mind and this reason. His? No, never. His.

    Ah, but that simplified matters wonderfully. Already his mind was clearing.

    A call had been issued and answered. Onerous oaths had been sworn to sway one into service. Service which had been exacted as prerogative.

    That much was fairly struck. Choice was not in the nature of servitude. The recompense, though beyond his recall, was something he would have to trust.

    Then there was nothing to it but to make acquaintance. A half-turn aligned their view. Intangibles were exchanged. Tension coursed through tightening arms.

    Master. It was a good word, loaded with meaning. Steeped in duties. It was, more than any other, one he could accept.

    The third breath wakened the hunger, his first and constant companion.

    He grasped his sword and drew out a hiss of steel from its spine. Then, he drew an arc of steel through the young man's own.

    A first impression, to merit or not a second. What use were words, when steel was words enough?

  18. #118
    屍鬼 Ghoul Steak's Avatar
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    Tanabe Shin
    Day 0 - Afternoon (Phase 3/3)
    Higashi Ward - Terada Cemetery



    Shin nods while gazing at the grave, "Yeah, his legacy... He worked hard, and I wasn't going to watch his efforts get wasted."

    "Uncle Tanabe was more of a man than I'll be. He took in a lonely punk like me, raised me, taught me everything I needed to know to survive. He gave me a gun, and showed me how to shoot it. He introduced me into a new family. One that I was proud of, you know? To be a part of."

    He pauses again, thinking about how he should continue on, how much detail he wants to give. Shin feels a weighed down whenever he talks about Uncle Tanabe like this, like a sin crawling on his back.


    "Guess he was pretty deep in this occult stuff for a long time, but I never knew about it. He kept quiet about it, at least. Not like I'd ever believe in it. I only ever put the pieces together in my head afterwards, but he must've stuck his nose in the wrong place. Wandered into the gaze of the family's boss, and scared 'em. The rest?" He shrugs towards the stone.


    "The old man must've seen it comin', though. I..." He stares off for a moment, another pause to think... "I found a letter to me on him, in his hand. After that, I left the family." He raises his hand, and wiggles the stump of a pinky on it, the symbol of his departure. "Found some normal work and followed the trail he left for me. Learned a lot of what he was doing behind the scenes. While I was keeping the family happy, he was working towards his own goal. Towards this war."

    Shin glances over to assassin, before looking back at the stone. "I learned a lot about myself followin' his paper trail, too. About a certain talent I have, and a bit about my relatives."


    He gives Assassin a stony look, an intimidating frown to most normal people. But the sorrow and grief in his eyes before seem replaced with a spark. "Now, I'm in his spot for him. Working with a ghost."
    The Perma-Lurker

  19. #119
    wwwww Spartacus's Avatar
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    Rider
    Day 0 - Night (Phase 3/3)
    Minami Ward - The Forest of Remembrance - Natural Cave


    “Let’s see…”

    Rider takes a closer look at the map, and her eyes quickly focus on the mark he makes. She isn’t arrogant enough to claim to understand a city she has yet to set foot in, and she wants to know how much this young man really desires the city. Surely he has extensive knowledge of the place he wishes to rule?

    Kamigahara City. Haunted forest, spirits that are not a problem, untrue if they aren’t gone completely. Midnight Blue? Sounds like a place men in dire need will visit and spills info to impress women. Second Owners, inviting their attention, a non-issue. Odd circumstances, disappeared citizens, rumors, most likely a magecraft ritual. Another cave? If she saw another crumb she would spank him.

    “...”

    We know almost nothing.

    “We have no sufficient information to make an immediate move,” she raises an eyebrow.

    She would like to complain more, yelling things like ‘how can you be willing to bet your own life while knowing so little?!’ but the die is cast. So at the very least, she would want to know the limit of his abilities. He seems to have faith in his ‘earth control’ magecraft, that’s the kind of confidence that she likes and would like to see in action.

    But the story of the fall of this prodigious cousin, most likely someone important in this era, someone like her, brings her attention.

    “Rats can infest even the most impenetrable fort. Never look down on our enemy regardless of how insignificant they are, and I’m not willing to be a person of hubris,” she sports a smile, a proud and sinister one. “Fortunately, I happen to be that rat.”

    She then whispers: “Virgins, lend me the honor.”

    A huge amount of magical energy surges and shakes the carriage. Suddenly, dozens of bleats can be heard from the front side of the carriage. One might feel pity at the sight of these lean mules pulling a house with wheels, but their strength and stamina exceed the likes of warhorses.

    The carriage begins to move.

    “Let’s go to the ley lines. I will be counting on you to navigate the area, boy.”

  20. #120
    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


    The carriage has begun to move, shifting beneath them, pulled by phantasmal steeds, another testament to the authority Rider commands.

    It is not a fail, then, but nor is it a pass. Rider's expression says "we shall see".

    "I've made a deal with an information broker," Lysander adds, almost as an afterthought as he taps the Midnight Blue with a two-pronged fork that slips in and out of his sleeve. "She should have something for us by morning. For tonight, with other Masters in a similar situation, haste will be a better ally than knowledge."

    He then marks one more spot on the map: the location the summoning ritual was performed. All around it are question marks arranged in an outwardly spiraling pattern.

    "We'll have to pass by these locations for the geological survey. We'll have to make stops so I can evaluate the ground. And Rider..."

    A slight hint of embarassment.

    "I don't care if you call me 'boy' behind closed doors, but 'Master' is preferable, should we encounter another Servant."

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