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Thread: [Quest] Epic of Remnant – Armageddon

  1. #41
    祖 Ancestor
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    3. Knock the girl out with the mop and tie here to nearby pole or tree and demand an explanation from her

  2. #42
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six SpoonyViking's Avatar
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    2.
    I suspect she'll follow us anyway once we do that.

  3. #43
    wwwww Spartacus's Avatar
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  4. #44
    死者 Corpse AUnderSave's Avatar
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    2. We're a superhero and we're gonna fucking act like one! Time to save some civilians!

  5. #45
    2. I want to follow the vampire (?)/demon (?) girl so bad but I can't justify it to myself. ;-;

  6. #46
    後継者 Successor zikari8's Avatar
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    Trifas, Romania
    Old Town
    July 29th, 2015
    Morning

    Status Update!
    Corruption: 15 → 15

    “I’m going.”

    “Huh?”

    Having made up my mind, I turn away from the pink-haired woman and start heading towards the direction of the screams. Almost immediately, the woman voices her confusion and concern.

    “Hey. Where are you going?”

    “I’m going to go save those people first. We can talk later.”

    “HUH?”

    The woman makes an even more confused gasp. For a moment she just blankly stares at me in disbelief. Her expression make it look like she’s just ran into someone speaking an entirely different language and she’s trying to translate it on the spot. After shaking her head a little, she pinches the bridge of her nose and seems to calm down.

    “Okay, okay, I think maybe there’s been a misunderstanding here. Maybe we’re not on the same page. How about we calm down first and then we can discuss this and—”

    “No, there’s no time for that. They’re being attacked as we speak. I need to save them now!”

    Feeling the urgency behind those desperate screams, I don’t wait for the woman and just start springing towards the voices.

    As I run up the street at full speed, I hear the woman’s fading voice from behind.

    “Hey, wait! Let’s talk this out!”

    “Later! Just stay right there. I’ll be back as soon as I can!”

    Of course, I have a lot I want to talk to her about too. What she knows about this situation, the vampires and how she can control them… I get the feeling she holds the key to all of those mysteries.

    But for now, that’ll have to wait. Right now, the most important thing is saving the lives in front of me!




    “…”

    After I run away at full speed, the pink-haired woman is left in the middle of the foggy street all by herself. With no one around to see her, she makes an unpleasant expression unbefitting her cute features and sighs heavily.

    “Man, what was that about?”

    To an errant observer, her demeanor was the picture of mild displeasure. She looked no different from a schoolgirl who had just been given too much homework or got stood up on a date. Slightly pouting and slightly glowering, she pulls out a cellphone from her bag and opens it up.

    “Hello? Yeah, I’m fine.”

    She speaks into the phone casually in spite of the ominous state of the world around her. In reply, a voice comes from the phone at a volume only she can hear.

    Despite how it may look, though, the woman is not actually using the cellular device to contact someone else. She, like everyone else inside Trifas at that moment, did not have any phone service. Instead, what she is talking to is a keychain-like accessory attached to her phone; it is a miniature talisman that allows for long-range communication inside a certain range, basically a magical walkie-talkie.

    “Yeah, I found him. He’s safe and sound and he made it here in one piece.” She tells the person on the other end of the talisman call. “Thing is… he’s acting strangely. I think he might still be a little confused by what’s going on.”

    “▂▂▃▃▂▂, ▅▅”

    “No, he’s not with me right now. He kind of ran off to go save some civilians, I think. Yeah, I dunno why either. Maybe he’s watched too many superhero movies.”

    “▂▃▅----▃▃▅▅▃▃”

    “I know, I know. We can’t leave him alone. I wasn’t planning to, anyways. I think the best thing to do is bring him in and help him sort out the situation. He should come back to his senses once we remind him what our mission is.”

    “▂▂▃▃▅▅■■■■”

    “Yeah, I get the feeling he might resist. I could use a little help catching him. Could you send someone over?”

    “▅▅ ▂▂▃▃▃▃▂▂...”

    “No, not Assassin. She’s too unpredictable. She might end up accidently killing him. Is Caster available?”

    “▂▂▂▂▃▃▃▃▅▅”

    “Busy with the ritual, huh. Fine, I’ll settle for Archer. Tell them they can use any method they want as long as they don’t kill him. Even if they have to get a little rough.”

    “▂▂▃▃▅▅ーーー”

    “Kay, kay, thankies~! Bye now!”

    With that, the woman hangs up the phone and once more surveys the area devoid of other people. The nearby screams from earlier have disappeared but she can still make out the sound of conflict on the neighboring street.

    The question on her mind at the moment is whether or not she should make a move. She had been told to stay here and wait, but there was no reason for her to listen to those orders. If she really wanted to, she could even hop over and save those civilians herself.

    Decisions, decisions, decisions…

    “Now then, I wonder if I should be a good girl and wait… or if I should be a naughty girl and have some fun~?”

    Even as she said it, she had a feeling she knew which option she would end up picking.


  7. #47
    死者 Corpse AUnderSave's Avatar
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    [Corruption: 15 → 15]
    Well... that's worrying... So we gotta avoid being corrupted too huh? Welp... Good job everyone we avoided the snake's forbidden fruit!

    "But for now, that’ll have to wait. Right now, the most important thing is saving the lives in front of me!"
    As long as you don't start throwing yourself in front of servant's I'm sure you'll be fine... Since the Shirou option of regen was passed up for flight.

  8. #48
    後継者 Successor zikari8's Avatar
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    Trifas, Romania
    Old Town
    July 29th, 2015
    Morning

    “There they are!”

    Sometime after separating from that pink-haired woman and running towards the place where I heard screams, I manage to find the source: a couple of people cowering in fear as a vampire slowly closes in on them.

    From the looks of it, they seem to be a family. A dad, a mom, and two children. The father is valiantly standing in front of his family to protect them, but even his legs are trembling. In his shaky hands is a gun, a pistol of some kind. Whether it belongs to him or it’s something he picked up somewhere else in the city, he’s holding it tightly as if it were his most precious possession.

    The vampire takes another step forward and the man quickly unloads two shots into it. The children cover their ears, and the mother covers their eyes so they don’t have to see the ensuing carnage. Spurts of blood come out of the vampire’s body, indicating direct hits. The vampire’s body is pushed backwards, repelled by the force of the bullets. But that’s only for a second. No sooner does it take another step forward, seemingly unbothered by the two holes in its chest.

    The father screams in terror and the rest of his family follow suit. With their only weapon having failed, their demise is now certain. That is, if I wasn’t already on my way.

    “Hey!”

    I yell out to get their attention and let them know I’m coming. With my targets in sight, I start sprinting over towards them as fast as I can, in hopes that I can reach them before the vampire does.

    The moment I call out to them, though, the family practically jump out of their shoes and snap their heads towards me.

    “Eeeeek!”

    Bang!

    A gunshot rings out.

    I almost feel like I feel something hot graze my cheek. An instant later, the sound of shattering glass as one of the streetlamps behind me explodes.

    Holy shit, did he just shoot at me? Did I almost die!?

    Without even thinking, the father had fired his gun at me the moment I yelled out. I had heard that Romania had mandatory weapons training for its men, but it seems this guy was slacking off during bootcamp. I guess all the spooky shit that’s going on has caused the man to lose his trigger discipline. Lesson learned, I guess. Don’t surprise a guy who’s shitting bricks and has a gun in his hand. I guess I can’t blame him if he thought the figure in the misty distance was another vampire…

    “Wait, watch out!”

    I scream out as I notice the vampire lunge forward while the family is distracted. The family turns towards the monster again just in time to see it near them with its jaw wide open.

    There is no time to approach cautiously anymore. It’s time for me to go all out.

    I fly.

    Bringing out all my power, I rocket down the street in an instant and make it just in time.

    “Hi-yah!”

    Moments before the vampire’s fangs sink into the father’s neck, I swing my mop at the vampire with all the force and momentum I have. The undead monster is immediately knocked back by the full-power swing and topples harshly to the ground.

    Phew, made it just in time. But that was too close to comfort. I should get these guys out of here first, so they can get to safety while I fight off the vampire.

    Now then, how do you say go in Romanian again?

    “Vamanos! Vamanos!”

    No, wait, that’s Spanish. Shit, I don’t know a lick of Romanian. Ahh, screw it, whatever works.

    “Just go. Get out of here. I’ll handle this guy.”

    I make a shooing motion with my arms as I shout at them urgently. Maybe it’s because I just saved their lives or because I’m freaking levitating, but the family seems to listen to me. The mother quickly grabs her children and starts running away. The father is a little more hesitant, perhaps still cautious of turning his back to the vampire, but he eventually follows the rest of his family too with his head still turned towards me.

    “Ah, wait, take this with you.”

    I swiftly pull out a bulb of garlic from my bag and toss it towards the dad. He seems to quickly understand what it’s for and mumbles something that I think is thanks. Soon enough the entire family disappears into the mist, leaving just me and the vampire left.

    “Now then… how do I take care of you?”

    While I was evacuating the family, the vampire manages to get back to its feet. Not taking any chances, I’ve already taken out some garlic for myself and it seems to have done its job. Even with me in front of it, the vampire doesn’t seem eager to attack.

    “If you’re not coming, then I will.”

    I make my move and quickly close the gap between us. Once I get close enough, I mercilessly swing down my mop of doom.

    But the attack hits nothing but air. The vampire leaps out of the way of the attack.

    “Shit. This time—”

    I try again but to no avail. Once more, the vampire nimbly dodges.

    “Dammit. Dammit. Hey, stay still!”

    I keep trying to hit the damn monster, but it just keeps getting out of the way. Despite its size, it’s surprisingly swift. Every time I go in for an attack, it immediately jumps away like some sort of undead grasshopper. I don’t know if its afraid of my attack or if it’s just trying to stay away from the garlic, but the vampire’s definitely not letting me get close to it.

    Now that I think about it, the only reason I managed to land a finishing blow on the previous vampire is because it ran away in a straight line. But now that we’re in a more open space, this vampire has several more degrees of freedom to run away with. All of its superhuman speed and agility is making it more annoying to swat than a mosquito.

    Dammit, what now? It won’t get near me, and I can’t land a hit on it. Does that mean we’re in a stalemate? I guess I could just ignore it now that no one’s in explicit danger, but it’s hard for me to just let a monster go when it’s right in front of me. If possible, I really want to kill it here…

    “Uuhnn—"

    Perhaps it’s because I’m frustrated from failing to hit the mosquito-like vampire, but I feel a sharp pang in my head. My headache gets worse and for a moment my vision turns blurry. I let out a breath of air and then draw in a breath of something else, some powerful energy lingering in the air.

    My head hurts.

    It hurts to think.

    So, maybe I should just stop thinking.

    Stop thinking. Just focus. Narrow your concentration into a single sharp point. And thrust that point straight through the enemy’s core—!

    “…”

    I move.

    Not with any plan in mind. I simply move forward with the goal of defeating my enemy.

    Like before, the vampire dodges out of the way and stays outside the range of my attack. But this time, I follow. The instant the vampire moves away, I abruptly change directions and chase after it. As if bouncing off the air, my entire body cancels out its own momentum and rockets towards the retreating vampire.

    Again, it immediately leaps away, but I follow it once more. And another time. And again. And again. And again. Left, right, up, down, back, I follow the monster no matter where it goes. There are no thoughts of cleverly forcing it into a corner or anything; I simply follow like a homing missile. Even if it were to escape to the ends of the earth, I would still hunt it down.

    Such movements are not difficult. In fact, it’s incredibly easy. It doesn’t need any thought or exertion. It’s like riding a bicycle for the thousandth time. I simply know where to go. Like water flowing down a creek, my body naturally moves in the direction that feels correct and it leads me towards my prey.

    And bit by bit, the distance between us closes. In order to dodge, the vampire needs to jump off the ground or bounce off a wall. That is a requirement imposed upon it by the laws of physics. No matter how fast or strong it is, it must eventually touch the earth. But such restrictions do not apply to me. I can move in any direction with absolute freedom. I can always take the shortest path in three-dimensional space at the highest speed. So, it is inevitable that I catch up to the monster.

    And once I get there, it is all too clear to me that I must do. I know where I must attack. I can practically see it like it’s a black spot on the vampire’s body. Something within me tells me that I only need to hit that black spot and the vampire will die.

    So, I do it without hesitation.

    “—!!”

    A single thrust.

    Putting all my momentum and weight into it, I push the back of the mop into the vampire’s chest and piece through its heart. All it takes is that single attack to “kill” the monster.

    Just like before, the vampire writhes around for a short while, as if trying to free itself from the stake through its chest, but it quickly loses strength in time and turns into a limp corpse soon enough.

    “Phew…”

    Once it’s all over, I take a single breath and pull the mop out of the corpse.

    I try to relax my shoulders after the fierce battle but… I’m surprised to find that they’re already relaxed. There’s no tension whatsoever in my body. I wasn’t holding a breath or clenching my jaw or gritting my teeth. Even though I was just in a life-or-death battle with an inhuman monster, my body’s as relaxed as it would be if it just came out of a spa.

    I feel weird. Something inside of me feels weird. Or rather, I feel weird how I don’t feel weird at all. Right now, everything just feels right. I almost feel fulfilled in a way. And that thought makes my blood curdle.

    I don’t know what to make of what just happened. I don’t even want to think about it too much. All I know is that I managed to defeat another vampire and save some lives. At the very least, that makes me happy.

    Oh, and there’s one more thing I do know.

    “… my head hurts.”

    Status Update!
    Corruption: 15 → 17




    Trifas, Romania
    Old Town
    July 29th, 2015
    Morning

    After taking down the vampire, I hurry back to the street I was on earlier to reconvene with the mysterious pink-haired lady. I did briefly contemplate catching up with that family first and help them get to safety but leaving the girl alone didn’t sit right with me. I did promise I would come back for her after all.

    Not to mention, it seems that she knows a lot about what’s going on. There are a lot of questions I need to ask her, about this whole situation and about her as well.

    But when I return to the spot where I had left her, she is not there waiting for me. The street where we had been talking about less than half an hour ago is completely empty again.

    “Huh? Where did she go?”

    I’m sure I told her to stay here and wait for me. She seemed eager to chat, so I thought she’d be willing to wait for me. Did I mess up and end up on the wrong street? No, I think I retraced my steps pretty well, even if the mist makes it hard to make left from right.

    “Dammit. I guess she left, after all.”

    I sigh and hang my head.

    Looks like I missed my chance to learn the truth of what’s going on. It’s a shame, but I guess it can’t be helped. I needed to save those people, so there was no other choice. I don’t regret my decisions at all.

    But well, now that the girl is gone, I guess I should figure out what my next action is. Should I try to chase after the girl? She couldn’t have gotten too far in the little time that I was gone. No, that’ll be impossible in this mist. I’ll just end up getting lost…

    Just then, at that moment—

    “Huh. Wait, who’s that?”

    I spot a silhouette in the mist. Just a little further down the street, there’s a figure appearing from the curtain of mist. As it gets closer, I’m able to make out the general shape and recognize it as a woman.

    Silhoutte in the Mist

    “Oh, there you are! I thought you left. I was looking for you!”

    I immediately start running towards the figure, excited to be able to see the girl again.

    But my sprint doesn’t last long.

    As I run towards the woman in the distance, I barely manage to see her raise her hands before I suddenly feel a sharp pain in my leg. The next thing I know, I’m tumbling to the ground and screaming as I clutch my knee in unbearable pain.

    “AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!”

    A terrible scream rips through the silent street. Only after the initial wave of shock and pain slightly dulls do I realize it’s coming from me.

    What the hell just happened? Why am I on the ground? Why does it hurt so much?

    Pain? Pain. There’s pain. Does that mean I’m injured? Yeah, that’s it. I must be injured. Something injured me. What was it? What’s making me hurt so much?

    I force my eyes open and take a look at my leg to find what looks like a stick jutting out of my knee. No, wait, it’s not a stick. It’s an arrow. There’s an arrow lodged into my leg. That’s it. I was shot by an arrow.

    Ah, fuck, it hurts so much. It hurts like crazy. It feels like my entire leg is on fire. No, focus, focus.

    Who shot me? Well, it has to be the only person here. It must’ve been that woman in the mist.

    Does that mean the pink-haired girl attacked me? No, wait… I didn’t notice earlier because of my excitement, but now that I think about it, the silhouette I saw in the mist was different from the pink-haired girl. The pink girl was slimmer and a little shorter. Their body shapes were completely different.

    So then, it wasn’t the pink-haired who shot me? So, who was it?

    Gritting my teeth, I use all my strength to raise my head from the stone road and take a peek at my assailant. However,

    “Huh?”

    She’s gone.

    The silhouette in the mist is gone. The woman has disappeared.

    What the fuck is going on!? Where did she go? There was a woman there just a second ago.

    Did I just imagine it? Was there no one there to begin with? No, that can’t be it. Someone shot me. So, there must’ve been someone here just now. But why isn’t she here now? Did she run away? But why would she retreat right after shooting me? That doesn’t make sense.

    “Woah!”

    Just as I’m using what little consciousness I have to try and make sense of what’s happening, something abruptly falls near me. The object comes out of nowhere and suddenly pierces the ground next to me at high speeds. It takes me a shocked second to realize it’s another arrow.

    Another arrow… another attack!

    That thought fills me with panicked urgency and I quickly pull back from the arrow in spite of my injuries.

    Are you kidding me? Is she still firing at me even when I can’t see her anymore!? Wait, don’t tell me… was her plan to snipe me from a distance where I can’t even see her all along? Dammit, that’s not fair, you cheater!

    Based on that, though, I think it’s safe to assume that whoever’s attacking me isn’t one of those vampires. This kind of clever attack is too intelligent for one of those brainless seeming coffin-dwellers… that is unless there’s a new type of intelligent sniper vampire out there. I-is that a thing? Please tell me that’s not a thing.

    Well, if whoever’s attacking me does have intelligence, hopefully that means she has reason to. If I put my hands up and surrender, will she let me go? I can only hope so, because I don’t see any other way out of this situation. It looks like the enemy missed their last shot, but I don’t think I can count on that continuing to happen. Especially since I can’t move with my injured leg. As long as I’m just a sitting duck, the enemy can miss as many shots as they want until they finally hit me.

    But before I can raise the white flag and beg for my life, an unexpected sound breaks the silent tension.

    “What…? Is that… a motorcycle!?”

    The unmistakable sound of an engine revving up destroys the monotonous bgm of distant screams that I’ve gotten used to. In the distance, I see a headlight fast approaching from down the street. There’s no mistaking it; someone on a motorbike is coming here.

    But at the very same time, as if trying to take back my attention, another arrow is fired.

    “Ah!”

    I gasp, but there’s nothing I can do. In my condition, I can’t move out of the way. Even if I could, I wouldn’t be able to dodge in time.

    It is an attack like lightning.

    An arrowhead fired to pierce my heart.

    Trying to dodge it would be useless.

    Being lightning, it is invisible to the human eye.

    But… the lightning that tries to pierce me… is repelled by the moonlight that tries to save me.

    In an instant, the person on the motorcycle throws a long, red object forward and it precisely intercepts the arrow in mid-air, saving my life before sinking into the ground next to me.

    Clang, a beautiful sound.

    No, the sound before me isn’t beautiful at all. In reality, it’s just the sound of the thrown weapon piercing the stone road. It’s the sound of heavy metal.

    It’s just that the scene is so mesmerizing that it becomes a charming sound like a bell.

    Like a scene out of an action movie, the motorcycle skids past me and comes to a sliding stop. Then, in one smooth motion, the rider retrieves the red polearm from the ground and points it at my neck.

    At that very moment, the dense fog opens up ever so slightly. The dim sunlight peers through from above, illuminating the both of us.

    The entire world goes silent. Time has stopped.

    The brilliant silver bike. The outfit of black leather. The bloody, crimson spear.

    An instant becomes an eternity. The scene lasts less than a second.

    But…

    I'm sure I'll remember this scene vividly even when I've gone to hell.

    “Hey, you— Are you alive?”

    Her quiet voice snaps me out of my enchanted daze and brings sound back to the world.

    “Huh? Oh, uh, y-yeah.” I mumble a reply.

    “Do you need my help?”

    “Uhhh… I guess?”

    “Okay. Then come with me if you want to live.”

    In an instant, the rider uses her spear to pick me up off the ground by pulling me by the collar of my shirt and then adeptly pulls me onto the back of her bike with a flick of her wrist, as if I were some sort of fish being reeled in.

    No sooner does my ass hit the seat does the motorcycle take off again, throttling down the stone roads of Trifas at crazy high-speeds.


    “Uwaawaaawaaaahhh!” I scream as the bike accelerates at crazy speeds.

    “Hold on tight, if you have to. I’m not slowing down.” The motorcyclist commands coolly.

    “O-okay…!”

    No need to tell me twice. If I don’t hold on for dear life, I’m definitely getting thrown off. This is even worse than that time I tried riding that iron bull at that bar.

    I desperately throw my arms around the rider and grab onto her waist for safety. The crazy wind resistance and pure adrenaline of the scenario is so great that I barely even take notice of how soft her body feels.

    Once I calm down a little, I start to recognize the sounds of other things besides the revving of the engine. It’s the sounds of rocks breaking, glass windows shattering, and other things breaking all around us. Don’t tell me—

    Dammit! Are you kidding me? She’s still firing arrows at us!? How persistent!

    “Hey. Any idea who’s shooting at us?” The bike rider asks.

    “Huh? Oh, uh, no, not really. I barely even saw her silhouette before she started attacking me.”

    “Is that so. I’d like to turn around and bring the fight to them, but we’re at a disadvantage in this mist. As long as we can’t pinpoint their location, we’ll just be target practice like this.”

    “Th-then what do we do?”

    “No choice. We’ll have to retreat for now. Hold on tighter. I’m upping our speed.”

    “Eh!?”

    She barely even gives me time to gasp. In an instant, the bike accelerates even further, and I’m nearly completely thrown off.

    As we rip through the streets of Trifas, I’m not even sitting on the motorcycle anymore, just desperately hanging onto the rider’s waist with all my strength while the rest of my body flaps limply behind like a flag in the wind.

    Somehow, even though I was saved, I don’t feel any safer at all…




    Trifas, Romania
    An Empty Parking Lot
    July 29th, 2015
    Morning

    “Whew… I’m alive…”

    Thanking the lord for the gift of life, I sink onto the cold pavement and relax after that brush with death.

    In the end, we managed to lose the enemy archer and escape in one piece. After making sure that we were safe, the two of us decided to take a break in this empty parking lot building and recover our strength. Well, I say we but I think the decision was mostly for my sake as I was barely managing to hold on there near the end. Being able to touch solid ground again makes me feel blessed.

    “Ah!”

    Just as I try to stomp my feet on the pavement to soak in the feeling of the earth, the pain in my leg flares up again. That’s right, I somehow forgot; I got badly injured during that encounter.

    “Dammit. I took an arrow to the knee. Now I can’t be an adventurer anymore.”

    Jokes aside, it’s pretty bad. I don’t think I can even stand on this leg now. I might need surgery after this is over and even then, I’m not confident I’ll be able to walk again.

    The arrow itself is still lodged in my knee. I want to take it out, but I think you’re not supposed to do that. It’s because I might bleed to death, right? Well, in that case, I guess I have to keep it in until I can treat it with some first aid. Until then, I’ll just have to deal with it.

    Lucky for me, moving around won’t be a problem since I can still fly.

    “How are you doing? I finished putting up wards around the building. They should at least warn us if an enemy enters the area.”

    My savior, the motorcycle warrior, appears, having apparently put up some sort of defense around the park we’re in.

    “Oh, I’m fine. Thanks…”

    I don’t really know how to respond. She’s talking about wards and some stuff like that like it’s a totally normal thing. Not to mention the calm ease with which she saved me, the woman in front of me feels like someone straight out of a comic book.

    Just as I’m wondering who she is, she takes off her bike helmet and lets her long purple hair cascade out.

    “Ah.”

    Motorcyle Warrior

    A beautiful woman. Her features are sharp and yet smooth. In her deep red eyes, I see a world of hardened wisdom, an explosion of icy confidence, and a well of dark melancholy. Coupled with her tall and slender figure, she strongly gives off the impression of someone who can handle any challenge that life throws at her with composure and dignity.

    This may be a weird comparison, but she kind of reminds me of Wonder Woman.

    “What is it?” She asks, perhaps noticing my momentary wonder.

    “Oh, uh, nothing. I was… well, I was a little surprised that you managed to fit such long hair in that helmet.”

    “Fufu, it’s roomier than it looks. I was surprised myself.”

    Giggling lightly, she takes a seat on the hood of a parked car. Right now, we’re on the second floor of this parking lot building devoid of anyone besides us. There are a handful of abandoned cars here and there though, and I don’t want to think about where their owners currently are.

    “I suppose now’s a good time for introductions. My name is Scathach. I come from the Land of Shadows.”

    “Eh, the Land of Shadows? What’s that DnD sounding thing?”

    The woman named Scathach seems mildly surprised at my confusion.

    “You’ve never heard of it? Not even as a legend or a bedtime story?”

    “Uhh, no, not really.”

    “I see… that’s a little upsetting, but I suppose it can’t be helped. It seems that the world has changed a lot in the past 2000 years.”

    Scathach nods to herself with a contemplative look. I seriously have no idea what she’s mumbling about.

    “Umm, so what is this Land of Shadows thing?”

    “Well, put simply, it’s the land that I rule over. A long time ago, it was a part of this World too, but it eventually separated and drifted to the Outside of the World.”

    “… what?”

    I feel my head start to swim. Nothing that this woman is saying is sticking.

    “Hmm, this is troubling. How do I put this more simply? Let’s see… perhaps you would understand it better if I said that it was a land of the dead separate from this world of the living.”

    “So, like the Afterlife…?”

    “Yes, something like that. Though it may be accurate to say that it’s a realm on the border between this world and the Afterlife.”

    “Okay… I think I kind of get it. So, you’re from this Land of Shadows place, Scathach?”

    “That’s right. I am the Queen of the Land of Shadows, in fact. It is my duty to protect the gate there that separates the living from the dead.”

    “Woah. So, you’re like the Gatekeeper of the Afterlife?”

    “In essence, yes.”

    Damn, that’s a pretty hardcore backstory. And somehow, I don’t even question it, having already seen her power and proficiency in person. She really does feel like someone straight out of a superhero comic.

    “Well, that’s enough about me. Tell me about yourself. What should I call you?”

    Scathach asks, turning the spotlight to me.

    “Oh, well, I’m—”

    I open my mouth to answer, but nothing comes out.

    “…”

    Silence. Nothing but silence.

    I try to force the words out of my throat, but there’s nothing there. It’s not that something’s stuck in my throat or that something’s caught my tongue. The words simply do not form in my head.

    No matter what I try, I can’t call forth my name from the depths of my brain.

    “Huh?”

    What the hell? What’s happening? What the fuck is going on?

    Why can’t I remember my name!?

    My name. My name. It’s my fucking name. I’ve had this name for 29 years of my life. I’ve spent everyday of my living existence saying and using it. So how come I’m completely drawing a blank? Why don’t I know my own name!?

    Calm down, calm down. There must be a completely reasonable explanation for this.

    No, fuck you! There’s nothing reasonable about this at all! It’s my fucking name! There’s no way I can forget my own name!

    Dammit, what is it? Hurry up and remember it, you bastard. What the fuck is it? What’s my name? What’s my name? Who the hell am I!?

    AND WHY THE FUCK DOES MY HEAD HURT SO MUCH!?!?

    “Oi, snap out of it—!”

    “Bleh!”

    Out of nowhere, a fiery pain on my cheek breaks me out of my mental breakdown. My neck gets snapped back and I tumble to the ground.

    “Ow ow ow!” I grimace as I grasp my sore cheek.

    “So, you’re back to your senses. You looked like you were having a panic attack and nothing I said was getting through to you. Are you okay?” Scathach asks sternly, looking down on me with folded arms.

    “Huh? Oh, uhh… yeah, I’m okay. Sorry, I just got freaked out there for a second.” I answer, slowly picking myself off the cold pavement.

    “Did something happen?”

    “I… I don’t know what to say… I’m sorry. Can you give me a second to collect my thoughts?”

    I plop back down on the ground and try to get a hold of myself.

    Okay, so I don’t remember my name. That’s weird. That’s really weird. But okay, before I have another mental breakdown, let’s move past that for now.

    Oh, I know. I can just look at my ID and stuff. That should have my name on it.

    No, wait, dammit. I left all my wallet and other identification in my bag back at the hostel. I was in such a rush that I didn’t even bring my phone with me.

    Ahhh, shit, I really can’t remember my name at all.

    What the hell is up with that?

    Status Update!
    Corruption: 17 → 19

    “… sorry, Scathach. I don’t know why but… I can’t remember my own name.”

    “Is that so…”

    Scathach makes a contemplative look, but I can’t tell if she’s surprised or not. She just nods along and accepts it for now.

    Man, I wonder why I can’t remember it. Did I hit my head on something during one of the battles earlier? Or maybe the shock of the situation has scrambled my mind or something like that. I don’t seem to be forgetting anything else though. Is such a selective form of memory loss even possible?

    “Well, then, if you don’t have a name right now, what should I call you?” Scathach questions.

    “Huh? Oh, well… anything’s thing. You can use whatever you want.” I decide, not wanting to fret over the subject any further.

    “I see. In that case… I think I’ll just call you Human, for now. Is that all right, Human?”

    “Eh? Isn’t that a bit… general?”

    That’s not even a nickname. There isn’t a single person in the world who calls someone else by that word.

    In spite of that, Scathach seems adamant about it for some reason.

    “From my perspective, it’s rather fitting. You are, after all, the first living human I’ve spoken to in 2000 years. I think it’s a good differentiator for you.”

    “Um, well, I did say you could use whatever you want, so go ahead… I guess.”

    Human, huh? Wow, I never ever imagined I’d be referred to by that except maybe by an alien in my daydreams.

    “Ah, wait. Aren’t you a human too, Scathach?”

    “Hmm, that’s a good question. It’s hard to answer, though. You could say I am a human, but it wouldn’t be entirely accurate. I was born a human, but I’ve become something beyond human. That’s the sort of existence I currently am.”

    “I’m sorry, I don’t get it.”

    “It’s fine. It’s not important. If you wish to treat me like a human, you may do so. If you view me as something else, that would be valid too.”

    “Well, if either option is okay… then I think I’d like to think of you as a human. Rather, I can’t see you as anything else. You’re a human to me, Scathach.”

    For a moment, I feel like I see Scathach’s body twitch slightly at my decision. I don’t know what it means, but it’s followed by her nodding pleasantly.

    “… very well. Let’s go with that.”

    It’s hard to read her cool expression, but she seems satisfied about something.

    “Anyways, moving on, I think we have a lot to talk about. We should start sharing whatever information we have with each other. I don’t mind starting, so let me know what you want to know first.”

    Scathach offers.

    At last, it seems like I finally have an opportunity to uncover some of the mysteries that have been plaguing me since I woke up.

    This is important, so I should choose my question wisely.

    Choice!
    1. Ask her what she knows about the vampires
    2. Ask her what she knows about the mist
    3. Ask her why she came here from the Land of Shadows
    4. Ask her about why she saved you
    5. Write-In


  9. #49
    3. Honestly I could go for any of the options because we're critically lacking information to stop The Super-Villains' plot. 1 & 2 seem good to know more about the immediate problems while 4 is good for relationship building (or at least I think !) but 3 may give some contextual information (are we in a HGW or a Singularity? did someone summon Scathach or are Servants just manifesting?).

  10. #50
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six SpoonyViking's Avatar
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    Pruss's reasoning is good. 3.

  11. #51
    Flying Fairy Sunny's Avatar
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    Mm, agreed. I think it’s the best balance for right now, so ​3.

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  12. #52
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

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    Now Revamped!

  13. #53
    後継者 Successor zikari8's Avatar
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    Trifas, Romania
    An Empty Parking Lot
    July 29th, 2015
    Morning

    I have a lot of questions I want to ask. This crazy situation has given me no shortage of things to think about. But before all of that, I’m most curious about Scathach herself.

    Perhaps it’s because I’ve watched so many movies, but I can still kind of wrap my head around stuff like zombies and vampires. Compared to that, this strange woman warrior named Scathach from some place called the Land of Shadows is way beyond my comprehension. Right now, her existence is the biggest mystery in my mind.

    “So, Scathach… you said you’re from this Land of Shadows place, right?” I ask her, trying to be as comprehensible and polite as possible.

    “That’s correct.”

    “In that case, why are you here in Romania now? I’m guessing you’re not here for sightseeing.”

    “Mn. That’s a good question.” Scathach nods, perhaps impressed by my insight. “Unfortunately, it’s difficult for me to answer it.”

    “Is it a secret?”

    If it’s something she can’t talk about or something confidential, I don’t mind backing off. I wouldn’t want my curiosity to bother her, especially after she saved my life. However, Scathach shakes her head.

    “No that’s not it. It’s just that my circumstances may be difficult to comprehend without context regarding the Land of Shadows.” She says with a troubled look.

    I see. Scathach must have recognized how little I know about such fantastical things and is wary of overloading me with insane concepts. I’m thankful for her consideration, but I still really wanna know what her deal is.

    “If it won’t take too long, I don’t mind listening to the full explanation. Learning the details might also help me understand other stuff too. Either way, I’m already super confused, so a little more info won’t hurt.” I tell her eagerly.

    “Very well. You make a valid point. For your benefit, I’ll try to make it as concise and comprehensible as possible.”

    Although she says it with a cool expression, I notice a small twinkle in Scathach’s eye as she gathers her words to explain everything to me.

    “Listen carefully. The first thing you should know is that it is normally nearly impossible to travel between this world and the Land of Shadows.” Scathach begins to explain. “As I mentioned before, the Land of Shadows stands at the boundary between Life and Death. So, if it was easy to travel back and forth between it and the living world, it would also be possible for the spirits of the dead to return to the living world and rise once more.”

    I see… I guess that makes sense. The world would be a lot different if you could just walk out of Heaven or Hell or whatever the Afterlife is like.

    “But wait. How can you be here then?” I realize.

    “That’s the issue. The fact that something that should be impossible happened means something is wrong. I don’t know how or why but the boundary line between this world and the Land of Shadows has suddenly been compromised.”

    Scathach makes a serious expression that speaks volumes of how worrisome the situation is.

    “I started noticing the signs a few weeks ago. In the beginning, though, it was just minor anomalies. Changes in the spirits’ behaviors. Fluctuations in the weather. A general sense of nausea in the air. Peculiar, but not worthy of alarm. Over my 2000 years watching over the Land of Shadows, such things were not unheard of, so I could overlook them somewhat. At the time, however, I never expected the situation to escalate to such an agree. Then, all of sudden, a large crack opened up in the boundary.”

    “A crack?” I tilt my head at the image.

    “Not a physical one, not entirely. Think of it like a tear in space-time, a hole in the fabric of dimensions. If there were a wall separating this world and the next, it would be similar to a crack in that wall.” She says while using hand gestures to try and drive the point home.

    “So like a dimensional portal?”

    “Yes, something like that. It might be easiest for you to think of it in such terms for now.” Scathach decides. “Naturally, as the Queen of the Land of Shadows, I cannot overlook such a dangerous phenomenon. Its very existence blurs the line between Life and Death, much like how a crack in a wall will compromise its integrity. Right now, the crack hasn’t made it all the way to the Afterlife, only reaching the Land of Shadows which is in between, but if it continues to grow, it will connect the two worlds.”

    “Th-that sounds bad…” I gasp.

    “It’s catastrophic. Not only will the Cycle of Life and Death be overturned, but it could also very well cause irreparable damage to the World itself.” Scathach affirms, her deep voice carrying the full weight of the situation.

    Almost immediately, my head starts swimming as the gravity of Scathach’s words sink in. The Cycle of Life and Death? Damage to the World? What the hell is going on?

    Yeah, zombies and vampires are crazy, but they were still comprehensible. Despite their utter unreality, they existed on an individual level. They were still things I could see and touch. But the things Scathach is talking about exist on such a large scale that I simply can’t wrap my head around them. This level of despair is otherworldly.

    Is that really what’s going on? Is the world really in danger? Is there really an apocalyptic event going on? How am I supposed to process this info?

    “Ah. It seems that I’ve caused you unnecessary worry.” Scathach suddenly realizes, noticing my flabbergasted expression. “I was trying to explain the situation as thoroughly as I could, but I did not consider how you might feel. That is my mistake.”

    “O-oh, no it’s okay. I’m fine. I was the one who asked you to fill me in anyways, so I have no complaints.” I mumble in response. “Though I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit freaked out right now…”

    Scathach flashes a confident smirk and boldly points her finger at me.

    “There is no need to fear. Although the situation is dire, everything will turn out okay. Because I am here.”

    Her booming voice fills the empty parking lot, lighting up the misty darkness.

    “I am Scathach, the Queen of the Land of Shadows. It is my responsibility to guard the boundary of life and death. As long as I breath, the Gate of Skye will not be breached. I will resolve this predicament and protect the World. You can be certain of that.”

    There is no doubt or hesitation in her words or actions. There is only determination and confidence. Her proclamation is not a promise or a bluff; she is truly, 100% certain that she can fix everything. Even when the fate of the World is at stake, she knows that she has the power and ability to save it.

    Amazing. This woman is truly a warrior of legendary status. She is a living superhero.

    I can tell. I can put my faith in this woman. I can believe in her words and strength. That… immediately makes me feel a lot better.

    “I see. Then I’ll be counting on you.” I sigh in relief.

    “Fufu. Indeed.”

    With that settled, I take another few moments to collect myself and regain my wits.

    “Okay. So, back on topic… you said that you’ll protect the World from this crack thingy right? So, is that why you’re here?” I ask.

    “Yes. Unfortunately, while I could somewhat mitigate the damage from the Land of Shadows, I needed to stop the problem at its source in order to prevent the worst from happening. Luckily, the crack made it possible for me to once more travel between this world and the Land of Shadows, so I jumped through the crack and ended up here.” She explains.

    “Here? As in Trifas, here?” I repeat.

    “Indeed. And I’m sure it’s not a random coincidence that this is where the crack led me. I don’t know what exactly is causing this fissure in dimensions – whether it’s the result of some peculiar phenomenon or something is deliberately causing the boundary to break – but the root of everything seems to be in this city here.” She affirms.

    Damn. It’s crazy to think that whatever is causing cosmic-level damage is in the same city I’m in. The problem feels so far yet the source is so close. I don’t know how to feel about that…

    “Ah, wait. Do you think that those vampires have something to do with your situation?” I wonder as my mind begins to connect the dots.

    “If you’re referring to the undead creatures roaming the city, it’s possible.” Scathach nods, likely on the same wavelength. “Those monsters are a form of living dead, standing on the line between life and death. I don’t think the crack in the boundary is what turned the people in this city into that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a connection there.”

    “I see…”

    Somehow or another, things are kind of making more sense now. Living dead… vampires… the boundary between life and death… there’s definitely something there. I just don’t know what the connection is. It seems that Scathach doesn’t either. But if we figure it out, perhaps we can do something about it. Hmmm…

    “… you’re taking this surprisingly well.” Scathach suddenly remarks.

    “Huh?”

    “I speak of your attitude. To be frank, I expected you to be a lot more distraught and fearful. Not many members of the masses can keep a level head with an arrow in their knee. I thought I might need to coddle you more in order to get you to cooperate, but you’re staying more composed than I had even hoped.” She observes keenly.

    “Is that so? Actually, I’m freaking out quite a bit here. Maybe it’s just not showing on my face.” I suggest.

    “No, it’s not a matter of expression. Someone truly wrapped in panic and pain would not be able to keep up with my explanation as well as you do.” Scathach denies. “Do you have some sort of martial or mental training? Are you a warrior or whatever the equivalent in this era is?”

    “No, no way. It’s nothing like that.” I shake my head fervently. “If there’s any reason I’m calm… it’s probably cause of you. I don’t know why, but I just feel a lot more relaxed with you around.”

    It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but it’s true. When I was panicking earlier because of my name, she slapped me out of it. Even just now as I was dealing with the weight of the situation, she gave me the confidence to keep my head up. No even before that… the true root of it all is when she saved my life from that archer.

    Looking back, I was being desperate. The whole city was enshrouded in mist and darkness. There were vampires roaming the streets. The only person I met was super suspicious. And at every turn, I was facing deadly danger, to the point that I already have a bunch of serious wounds. I didn’t even realize myself how thin of a rope I was hanging on.

    But when Scathach appeared and saved my life… for the first time since I woke up today, I felt safe. My fears were put at ease. Maybe that’s why, even though I know so little about her, I feel like I can trust Scathach with my life.

    “I see. That’s good.” Scathach responds blankly.

    But while her voice is as cool as always and her reply curt, I get the feeling she’s not too displeased with my answer.

    “Oh, by the way, since we’re talking about the Land of Shadows, I’ve been wondering… what’s with those clothes? If you’re not from this era, why do you have modern clothing? And how are you speaking English too?” I question.

    Based on her description, I kind of imagined the Land of Shadows to be a completely foreign dimension, but could it actually be not that different if they have leather jackets and can speak English?

    “Oh, no, it’s not like that.” Scathach denies though. “I regret to say I am not familiar with any modern languages. I’m actually using a special communication rune to translate for me. It automatically converts what I hear and say into a language either of us can understand. The downside is that it can’t explain foreign concepts I don’t understand.”

    “Woah, that’s convenient.” I gasp.

    A communication rune? That really does sound like magic. Though perhaps at this point, I can’t be too surprised by magic spells and the like when I’ve had vampires and the Afterlife thrown in my face.

    “As for the clothing, I took them from a corpse I found on the way here. They looked nice and they were my size, so I figured why not.” She states coldly.

    Eh? She seriously took them off of a corpse? Even if it was probably a fresh body – no, perhaps even more so if it was – is it really okay to steal clothes from a dead person?

    “Well, what about the clothes you were wearing before? Did you put them somewhere?” I wonder.

    “Oh, I wasn’t wearing any.”

    “… huh?”

    “Hm?”

    It takes a while for me to even comprehend what she was saying. For a moment that felt awkwardly long, Scathach and I stare at each other in confusion, she being confused about my confusion.

    “… wait, what. Wait, wait, wait. You were naked? Why? Why were you naked!?” I finally exclaim.

    “Hmph. When you live by yourself in your own private dimension for 2000 years, laundry starts feeling like more and more of a triviality.” Schathach declares with folded arms. “I don’t remember exactly when I decided to stop wearing clothes, but it must’ve been at least 1000 years ago. I only remembered they were a thing when I came to this world and saw everyone wearing them, which is why I decided to take some for myself.”

    This woman has really been naked for 1000 years… that’s amazing in its own way.

    “Along with the clothing, I also found that metal steed. Its shape interested me, so I tried it out. I was able to figure out how to make it move and ride it after some testing, but I still do not understand the underlying principles behind its design.” Scathach states.

    “Ummm, you mean, the motorcycle?” I ask, pointing at the bike we rode here on.

    “Is that what it’s called? Yes, could you tell me more about it? It has piqued my curiosity.” Scathach requests. “Its shape is reminiscent of a horse, but it seems to be a mechanical contraption of some sort. What I can’t figure out, though, is how it propels itself. I can’t sense any magical energy from it at all, but something is causing it to move. But what?”

    “Well, uh, it has an engine.” I inform her.

    “An en-geen? En-geen… interesting. Tell me more.” Scathach demands as she gets up and walks over to the motorcycle to inspect it closely.

    “Well, I’m not exactly a mechanic so I can’t go into the nitty gritty, but basically the engine converts heat into force to push the vehicle forward.” I explain.

    “I see. So it’s like a magic core, but it produces mechanical energy instead of magical energy. I never would have imagined something like that. How very interesting this engeen thing is.” Scathach nods. “Technology sure has progressed a lot since my time. I’m impressed, Human.”

    “Well, it has been 2000 years… I’ve barely lived even 1% of that so I can’t say for sure, but I think a lot of things were bound to change.” I reason.

    “Indeed. It has been a very long time…”

    Scathach looks at her reflection in the shiny silver motorcycle and pauses for a brief moment. For some reason, the figure of her looking at her own youthful image seems a little… melancholic.

    Seeing that, I feel like saying something to her.

    “Um, Scathach, I— Ow!”

    I try to get up to walk to her but am immediately assailed by sharp pain and collapse back onto the pavement.

    “Hm? Are you okay?” Scathach asks concerned, turning back to look at me.

    “Y-yeah, I’m fine. I just kind of forgot about my injuries and tried to stand up.” I grimace in pain as I clutch my leg.

    “You have suffered quite a few wounds. While we have the chance, shall I take a look at them?” Scathach suggests.

    “Huh, can you do that? Are you a doctor too?”

    “Well, I wouldn’t say that, but combat and injury go hand-in-hand. Learning how to identify and treat wounds comes with military experience.”

    “Ah, that makes sense. In that case, if you don’t mind…”

    Scathach makes her way over to me and starts inspecting my battered body. She starts by taking a look at my most obvious wound, the arrow in my knee, and slowly makes her way up, using her hands to feel for any wounds invisible to the eye.

    As she does so, I resist the urge to squirm, not only because of the pain but also due to the weird feeling of having Scathach touch me in weird places. She’s being delicate to not hurt me too much but that somehow makes it feel even weirder.

    “Hmmm… you need to train more. Your musculature is insufficient.” She suddenly comments.

    “Eh? Is that what you’re looking at?”

    “No, but I thought it worthy to mention. I just can’t help myself from gauging the strength of someone when I examine their body. I guess even after 2000 years, some habits just don’t die. My mind is already thinking about what kind of training would bring out your body’s full potential.” She chuckles lightly.

    I guess that means my body isn’t even close to its full potential, huh. I suppose she has a point. When I awakened my superpower, I did nothing but try and practice flying. Looking back, perhaps I should’ve put some more effort into building my body too. Most superheroes are jacked after all. I need that Hollywood bod to fight supervillains.

    “So… you think my body’s weak?” I ask her.

    “Well, I can’t speak in regard to this era’s standards, but in my eyes, you still have a long way to go. That said, your build’s not bad and you do seem to be getting enough nutrition. In particular, at the very least, your body seems tough. You’ve suffered quite a few wounds already, but you’re still going. I don’t know whether it’s a result of your constitution or your will, but I can commend you for that at the very least.” She says.

    Somehow, having her compliment mean feels quite pleasant.

    “O-oh, no, it’s nothing much. All I could do was endure as I got pummeled by the enemy. Just a single vampire nearly wiped me out, so I wouldn’t say I’m that impressive.” I mumble, blushing slightly.

    “There’s no need to be humble. I can tell from your wounds that you’ve fought well.” She declares, before patting me gently on the back. “Anyways, it doesn’t seem you have any life-threatening injuries. You’ll probably have some scars on your back and you’ll have difficulty moving your arms for a while, but it’s not too bad. The main problem is your leg…”

    “W-will I be able to walk again?” I ask her outright.

    “Hmmm… I can’t say for sure. But you got very lucky in terms of the angle of penetration. If you get proper treatment and it heals properly, it’s not impossible for you to get back on your feet.”

    “I-I see!”

    I know it’s not an absolute diagnosis, but even having a chance fills me with hope. I was really wondering for a second there if I would end up being one of those wheelchair superheroes like Professor X.

    Then again, I guess a vampire-killing superhero in a wheelchair does sound kind of cool…

    Oh, speaking of killing vampires—

    “By the way, Scathach, do you want some garlic?” I offer once she finishes inspecting my leg.

    “Garlic? What’s that?” She says as she stands back up with a confused look.

    “Eh? You don’t know what garlic is?” I gasp.

    Wait, seriously? How does she not know what garlic is? Wait, did garlic exist 2000 years ago? Well, obviously it existed, but I guess it might not have been a thing people ate back then. Damn, I thought it was just technology stuff like engines, but this woman really is clueless about the last 2000 years of human history.

    “U-ummm, well, it’s this thing.” I inform her, pulling out a bulb of garlic from my stash and handing it to her. “It’s a vegetable. It tastes really good too.”

    “I see…”

    Scathach takes the bulb of garlic from me and starts inspecting it closely. It seems to have caught her interest. She observes it not unlike a cat playing with a new toy. Slowly and carefully, she gets a feel for its shape and weight in her hand, turning it around so she can look at it from every angle. And then, all of a sudden, she brings the bulb to her mouth and takes a bite out of it—

    “Eh!?”

    “Mm, hmm, mmm… an interesting taste.” She comments as she munches down on the raw garlic.

    After she gets her first taste, she quickly eats the rest of the bulb in two quick bites and eventually swallows it all down skin and stem included. In but seconds, the entire bulb ceases to exist, banished to the depths of Scathach’s stomach.

    “Mm, thank you for the treat. The spicy and pungent flavor was quite unique. I have never tasted anything like it before. I can see why the humans of the current era find it delectable.” She remarks.

    “…”

    I am, of course, speechless, unable to comment on her savage display. I know it’s because she didn’t know any better, but I don’t know what to think of a woman who can eat a whole bulb of garlic raw.

    “May I have another?” Scathach asks, with expectant eyes.

    “Eh? Oh, uh, sure. Of course, I’ve got plenty.” I respond, unable to say no to those eyes.

    I reach back down to grab another bulb of garlic out of my pouch. And at that very moment—

    “They’re here.”

    “Huh?”

    “Get back!”

    “HUH?”

    In an instant, the world seems to fly by. Scathach grabs me by my shoulder and pulls me back with such speed and force that I get sent tumbling to the ground behind her.

    “Wh-what’s happening?” I call out in panic as I hit the ground.

    But there’s no need for an answer. The second I raise my head and look back at Scathach, I spot an arrow lodged into the ground where I was sitting just a moment ago.

    “Get up quickly and stand behind me.” Scathach commands in a completely serious voice. “The enemy’s found us.”

    “Y-yes, ma’am!” I cry out and scramble to my feet.

    Not even a second after, a barrage of arrows start raining down on us. The spear Scathach left next to her motorcycle comes flying to her on its own and makes it to her hand just in time for her to start deflecting the arrows.

    With absolute grace and finesse, Scathach intercepts each and every arrow coming at us. Her red spear cuts through the air with such speed that I can barely even see it, much less follow its motion. All I can see is a blurry barrier of crimson shielding us both from projectile death.

    In that interval of safety, my mind starts racing. This style of attack is unmistakably the work of the archer from earlier, the one that shot me and the one Scathach saved me from. How did she find us so quickly? No, that’s not all. The fact that she’s attacking us again means she specifically tracked us down and came to kill us. It’s not like she’s just attacking us randomly. She is deliberately targeting us.

    Why? And who is she after? I want to say Scathach since she’s way more important than me, but I’m the one she attacked first, so it’s probably me. Why? What did I do that would make someone go out of their way to want me filled with arrows?

    I glare at the direction the arrows are coming from, but I can’t see the face of our attacker. In this thick mist, I can’t even see the building across the street much less the figure of the archer blasting us. To my eyes, it almost looks as if the arrows are spawning from mid-air.

    And then, all of a sudden, the barrage of arrows stops. It is only for a second. Perhaps the enemy needed to replenish their arrows or catch her breath. Either way, she stops firing for a second. A brief moment so short that I can’t even catch my breath in that time. But it’s enough for Scathach.

    “We’re going!” She calls out and immediately grabs me by the waist.

    “Uwaah!” I scream as I get lifted up and carried by Scathach.

    The flurry of arrows recommences, but the two of us have already moved. We dash further into the car park, away from the outer openings.

    Oh, I get it. If we get further into the building, the arrows can’t reach us. That’s so smart!

    … or so I thought.

    “What, they can pierce through concrete!?”

    Arrows start shooting through the ceiling, cutting straight through the building and even punching through the floor beneath us. How powerful are these arrows!?

    “Look carefully. The rate of fire has decreased.” Scathach tells me. “In order to increase the power, the enemy can’t fire as quickly.”

    Ah. Now that she mentions it, she’s right. It’s no longer the nonstop barrage of arrows from before. With the current rate of attack, it’s easy for Scathach to dodge them as she runs.

    “But what are we gonna do, Scathach? We can’t hide in here.” I ask her, flustered.

    “Who said we were staying here?” She retorts fiercely. “We’re temporarily retreating. Now that the enemy has seized the initiative, we’re at a further disadvantage. The location and range are to their benefit. Our best move is to lose them first and then set up an ambush.”

    I see. So, the situation’s not too different from when the archer attacked us earlier. No, it might even be worse, since the enemy has gotten the drop on us. In this location, it’ll be difficult for Scathach to launch a counterattack. So, the best option would be to disengage for now and relocate to an area that forces the enemy’s hand.

    With that in mind, Scathach sprints towards the other end of the car park where we can jump out and flee into the city.

    But just when we’re about to reach it—

    “Tch.”

    “Huh?”

    Scathach suddenly stops in her tracks and leaps to the side. An instant later, an arrow flies through the space where we once were. And it doesn’t stop there. Immediately afterwards, a flurry of arrows rains down on us again.

    But that’s not what shocked me. The strange part of is that the barrage of arrows are now coming from the direction we’re facing, that is the complete opposite direction from where they were coming from before!

    “Wh-what’s going?” I cry out in shock and confusion.

    “A pincer attack.” Scathach states coldly.

    She starts intercepting the arrows with her spear like before, but the rain of arrows doesn’t let up. At the same time, though, the original bombardment continues, shooting arrows through the car park at us with insane power.

    Scathach deflects and weaves her way through the sea of arrows coming at her from both sides. Her spear and feet do not stop for an instant as she has to navigate through the deadly bullet hell. The second they do, the two of us will become pincushions.

    I’m impressed by her continued prowess, but my attention is stolen by the danger at hand. What on earth is going on? How come arrows are coming from two different directions? Is it some sort of trick shot like with ricochet or something? Is the enemy some sort of super sniper like Hawkeye? Or are there multiple archers attacking us? If that’s the case, are there just two of them or could there be even more? What if all four sides of this car park are already surrounded by enemies? Why the hell do they want to kill us that badly?

    “Human. Hold on tight and don’t move a muscle.” Scathach orders me with absolute authority. “If you so much as twitch, you’ll get hit by an arrow.”

    “O-okay!” I obey and quickly stiffen my body.

    Once I’m strapped in tight, Scathach begins running back into the carpark. With her superhuman speed, she weaves through the hail of arrows with perfect precision. Where a normal person would see nothing but an impenetrable wall of attacks, she finds the most minute gaps in the shower of projectiles. And where there is no opening, she forces one open with a swipe of her lance. In doing so, the arrows miss us by the smallest margin. No small number of them whiz past my head or miss my limbs by a hair. As Scathach warned me, even the smallest movement would cause me to be hit.

    Once Scathach retreats enough back into the parking lot, the flurry of arrows lessens up. Because she’s nearer to the center, both sides are forced to use the more powerful, piercing attacks to reach us. Thanks to that, the rate of fire has lowered again and has given us more breathing room. Scathach swiftly takes hold of that opportunity and leaps down the car park ramp to the lower floor, perhaps to throw off the enemy’s aim.

    Once we reach the floor below, Scathach runs towards one of the walls not being covered by an archer. It seems that her plan is still the same: get out of the car park and make a tactical retreat.

    Even after going down a floor, arrows continue to fly after us. But thanks to Scathach’s high speed movement throwing off the enemy’s aim, they seem to be missing more often than not. The arrows hit the ground, the pillars and random cars in the way. Bit by bit, the parts of the parking lot we pass through get torn apart by the bombardment of arrows.

    One such arrow hits a car parked in front of us. I’m sure the enemy didn’t specifically aim for it. It just happened to hit the car after it missed us. And it just happens to hit the car’s gas tank…

    “Scathach, watch out!”

    “!!”

    Boom!

    The car explodes.

    The vehicle bursts into a ball of flame, engulfing Scathach and I as we run past it. Light and sound burst forth. The car park is shaken by the explosion and the dark, misty building is quickly lit up by flames.

    The bombardment of arrows stops. Even the enemy archer seems shocked by the sudden explosion.

    And in that brief reprieve, I exhale exhaustedly, catching my breath.

    “Holy shit… are we alive?” I cough as I raise my head from the pavement.

    “Are you okay?” Scathach asks me, kneeling on the ground next to me, her voice not the least bit strained.

    “Y-yeah, I think I’m okay. Thanks to you.” I moan in response.

    At the very last moment there, Scathach leapt out of the way of the exploding car and pull us behind a pillar that shielded us from the shockwave.

    If she hadn’t acted with split-second reaction and sonic speed, we would’ve definitely gotten caught up in that explosion. Even now, my ears are slightly ringing from the blast, so I don’t even want to imagine what would’ve happened if I got hit by it.

    “… I should thank you, Human. If you hadn’t warned me, I would not have reacted in time.” Scathach confesses. It’s subtle, but I briefly notice what seems like a regretful expression on her face as if she were admonishing herself for mistake.

    As I thought, Scathach didn’t notice the arrow hitting the car. No, she did notice it. She simply paid it no heed. She saw it and ignored it. Because she didn’t know that the car would explode.

    That’s only to be expected though. She didn’t even know what a motorcycle or engine was. There was no way she could’ve known about the gas tanks in automobiles.

    “Hey, there’s no need to thank me. You’ve already saved my life numerous times, so it’s the least I can do. That wasn’t something you could’ve foreseen without knowledge of the modern day, anyways” I respond in between my ragged breaths.

    “Indeed… it seems that my lack of knowledge of the current era is more of a disadvantage than I originally thought.” She frowns, clearly displeased at her own weakness.

    She then looks at me with a cold expression as if thinking about something serious. For some reason, her glare doesn’t feel very pleasant. After a moment of awkward silence, she speaks up in a somewhat reserved voice.

    “I suppose having you by my side does prove me some advantages. You can provide me with the knowledge I am lacking. That could also prove useful in future battles.” She states in a matter-of-fact way.

    “Um… what? Are you… asking for my help?” I wonder.

    “What? No, of course not. I do not need any help in battle.” She answers, a little too quickly. “I was simply assessing your strengths in an objective manner. That’s all.”

    “I see…”

    Could it be? Is she too embarrassed to ask for help? I guess she does seem like the prideful type considering how much confidence she was exuding. Perhaps she feels it’s a shame as a warrior to rely on someone else for help. Or maybe it’s the fact that she was saved by the person she was supposed to be protecting.

    How surprisingly cute. I didn’t realize Scathach could have such a cute side to her.

    “Uh, well… let’s both do our best together!” I say, trying to phrase things in a way that won’t hurt Scathach’s pride. “The only thing I can do is provide info, but I still want to do whatever I can.”

    “Mm. It seems you’re spirited.” Scathach observes, a little surprised, before breaking out in a smirk. “Very well. If you have the will to fight, I’ll lend you the stage. Show me what you’ve got. I’ll watch your efforts closely.”

    “Alright!” I cheer energetically. “So, what do we do now? The arrows have stopped. Does that mean the enemy has given up on us?”

    “I doubt it. The most likely possibility is that they aren’t sure if that explosion killed us, so they’re on standby to see if we make a move.” Scathach reasons. “The moment we make a run for it, the attacks will likely recommence.”

    “Damn, so we’re still trapped.” I grimace.

    The carpark we’re in is being watched from both sides and potentially completely surrounded. It won’t be easy for us to escape without being shot, but we’ll just be sitting ducks if we stay in here. What a terrible situation. The two of us are nothing more than fish in a barrel at this point.

    Isn’t there anything we can do?

    “Hmmm… there is one thing the current situation tells us, though.” Scathach states.

    “Huh? What’s that?”

    “It seems that the enemy does not have a complete visual on us. Otherwise, they could see that we’re still alive and talking. The fact that they haven’t confirmed our survival suggests they don’t possess perfect information on our status.” She deduces.

    “Ah, that’s true.”

    “But that raises another question. How are they tracking us?” Scathach ponders. “Even though we escaped them before, they were able to find us again way too quickly. Not only that, but they are also able to fire at us in this thick fog. I couldn’t see them earlier despite enhancing my eyesight with runes and yet the enemy is able to target us. Even when we took cover deeper in this building, they were able to aim at us relatively well It’s as if they were able to know our precise location in spite of all the visual impediments. But how?”

    “Could they be using some sort of magic? I don’t know how magic works, but maybe there’s a spell that lets them know where we are?” I suggest.

    “No, it’s not any type of magecraft. Such a spell would require a decent amount of magical energy, enough for me to sense. But the only magical energy I can sense is from the arrows themselves, likely since they seem to be constructed from magical energy.” Scathach answers. “It’s not 100% percent, but I’m almost certain they’re not using any magecraft whatsoever.”

    “Is that so… then what could it be?” I wonder, scratching my head.

    “Is there any modern technology I’m not aware of that could explain this situation?” Scathach asks.

    “Huh? Uhh… I don’t think so… maybe an infrared sensor could see through the mist. Oh, but I heard those actually can’t see through thicks walls so it shouldn’t be able to track us inside this building.” I rack my brain to no avail. “Sorry, but I can’t think of anything.”

    “I see. That’s too bad.” Scathach frowns, perhaps disappointed.

    “Dammit, this sure is a tricky opponent. She’s really tough. Just what kind of person is she?” I curse, lamenting my own lack of answers.

    “Indeed. She is a warrior who knows her own strengths and weaknesses well… wait, hold on.” Scathach suddenly gasps and turns to me. “What do you mean she? How do you know the enemy is a woman?”

    “Huh? W-well, cause I saw her…” I answer.

    “When? At what point did you get the opportunity to see her in all this chaos?”

    “I-it was before we met. When I was first getting attacked by her. I briefly saw her silhouette in the mist before she shot me. That was the only time I saw her. After that she’s been hiding in the mist and sniping me from afar.” I respond, recalling the circumstances that started this.

    “Tch. So there was a moment when she got close enough to see. How unfortunate. If I was given such an opportunity, I could’ve pierced her heart in an instant.” Scathach grimaces.

    It seems like Scathach is confident in being able to finish the battle the second the enemy gets in the range of her spear. The only problem is getting her there without her being filled with arrows. The enemy has been very careful not to reveal themselves, staying far, far behind the curtain of mist. Even now, when Scathach and I might already be defeated, the enemy is not closing in lest they enter Scathach’s range. She is smart enough to know that the moment she is seen, she will be defeated, and clever enough to use the mist and darkness to her advantage. That kind of opponent will not show their face for no reason. Dragging her out to the light will be hard.

    Right now, the best way to make that happen is to figure out what the opponent’s trick is so we can work around it.

    Think. I need to think.

    I have gotten closer to the enemy and spent more time with them than Scathach has. I also have knowledge of the modern day that Scathach lacks. So, I have the best chance of figuring out what the enemy is doing to track us.

    Consider everything we know.

    The enemy is able to pinpoint our location by some unknown method. This method does not allow them to know whether or not we’re alive, though.

    Scathach is certain that the enemy is not using magic, so it must be something material, something even I can comprehend.

    If I think back to my interactions with the enemy, there must be some sort of clue. I just have to find it, and everything will turn out okay.

    I can do this. I’m a superhero.

    I can solve this mystery!

    Choice!
    How is the enemy tracking you?

    1. The sounds you make
    2. The smell of the garlic
    3. The arrow in your knee
    4. The vampire blood on your mop
    5. An invisible spy watching you
    6. A woman’s intuition


  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by zikari8 View Post
    I reach back down to grab another bulb of garlic out of my pouch. And at that very moment—[/SPOILER]

    I am not saying that the garlic has sold us out and is working for the enemy.

    But we got attacked soon after MC-kun introduced Scathach to garlic and exactly when he got another bulb out.

    2.

  15. #55
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six SpoonyViking's Avatar
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    Tempted to pick 6 just to see the epic dope slap I assume Human would get, but I'm voting 3 - though more by process of elimination than anything specific I've noticed, I'm afraid.

  16. #56
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

    [Collection of my Servant Sheets]
    Now Revamped!

  17. #57
    後継者 Successor zikari8's Avatar
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    Interlude:
    She Who Kills Gods

    Somewhere in the dark, misty city…

    A woman sits on a rooftop with a sullen air. In the thick fog, it is impossible to make out her features, yet her bad mood seems as clear as day.

    As she glares at the city she can’t see, a voice suddenly buzzes in.

    “Archer. What’s your status?”

    The woman, the Servant Archer, glowers before responding sardonically.

    “Didn’t we agree that you would be quiet until the hunt was over as to not give away my location, Master?”

    That last word in particular was spoken with enough venom to kill.

    “I sensed that you were no longer in combat. Haven’t you taken out the enemy?”

    “Hmm… I’m wondering that too.”

    “What? Have you or have you not subdued the enemy?”

    “It’s unclear at the moment. There was an explosion of some sort and then the target stopped moving. I’m still assessing the situation. At the moment, I can’t tell if he’s dead or not.”

    “Oi. You’re not supposed to kill him! We’re supposed to capture him alive.”

    “Do not yell. Anger ruins the complexion. And you don’t have much to work with to begin with.”

    “What was that!?”

    “Anyways, I can’t confirm the target’s status. So, I’m waiting him out to see if he’ll move again.”

    It was the standard strategy for an Archer. Their class skill, Independent Action, was originally based on their ability to act on their own and patiently wait for their chance to snipe after all. In a battle of endurance, she had a major advantage. Not that she considered herself much of an archer…

    “Tch. Fine. Just report back once you’ve captured the target.”

    “Sure. And while you’re waiting, why don’t you put on one of those facial masks you modern humans love? The gods know your skin could use it.”

    “Why you little—!”

    Archer quickly closes off the line of communication before going back to her patient watch.

    It wasn’t too long after, though, that her wait came to an end.

    “… He’s moving.

    All of a sudden, the target begins to move again, just before she was considering firing off a few test shots to see if she could bait out a reaction. As she personally suspected, the enemy was in fact still alive, now running with the same energy as before. Based on the speed and direction of his movement… he’s running towards the end of the carpark again.

    Before the hunt, her Master had given her a detailed map of the city, which was what let her know that the target was in a carpark without even being able to see the building through the thick mist. And thanks to that, she knew exactly how big the building was and precisely when the enemy would exit it at the speed they were running.

    “Very well. Let’s finish this quickly, before that girl gets any crankier.”

    Archer cocks a single arrow and aims while carefully watching her target’s motion. Instead of preparing another barrage of arrows, she concentrates all her power into this single shot. The end result is an arrow several times more powerful than the ones that pierced through the concrete building.

    The very moment the target jumps out of the carpark, while they’re suspended mid-air, unable to dodge, she’ll get him with this fatal arrow.

    One hit, one kill.

    Well, she’s not actually supposed to kill him, but whatever.

    “There!”

    She unleashes the arrow with all her might and fury. Like a bolt of lightning, it shoots through the air with insane speed and snipes its target out of the air. In a fatal instant, the enemy immediately plummets to the ground and stops moving.

    Archer pauses for a moment to gauge the aftermath. She carefully watches the target in case he gets back up, but there is no sign of any further movement. It seems that her arrow did the job.

    “Well, just in case.”

    She casually fires a flurry of arrows at the target’s location in the off chance that the enemy was still kicking. Once again, there is no response from the enemy, so she becomes certain that he’s down for the count.

    “Mission complete, I suppose. Not that I’m pleased to be doing errands for a human.”

    With her hunt completed, she jumps down the rooftop she was on to the street below and starts making her way towards the enemy’s body. Hopefully, though there’s no way to be sure, she didn’t instantly kill him, and she can get to him before he bleeds out.

    Despite that, she takes her time and leisurely strolls down the empty, misty street. In truth, it didn’t matter much to her whether or not the target was dead. Her target was not someone who had angered her, nor did she have any personal reason to attack him. She didn’t even know what kind of person he was or what he looked like. She had absolutely zero investment in the life of the person she was attacking. It was merely the orders of the human who dared call herself her Master to capture the enemy alive. And that fact did not please her very much.

    Mulling over how much she disliked the human who summoned her, she begins to slowly approach the location where her target had fallen. As she nears it, she begins to see the silhouette of the body lying on the ground.

    But the moment she gets close enough to make out the features of the body—

    “Hah!”

    “What!?”

    A slash like a whirlwind.

    Something long and red suddenly emerges from the mist and swipes at Archer’s neck. It is only by a hair that she manages to react in time and evade the lethal guillotine.

    In the very same instant, the silhouette lying on the street before her pushes itself off the ground and brandishes the weapon that nearly took Archer’s neck.

    Immediately, Archer recognizes what is happening and makes a hasty retreat. With all the power she can muster, she makes a tremendous leap backwards to gain some immediate distance as she re-readies her bow.

    But her quick escape does not even grant her 10 meters before her back suddenly slams against what feels like an iron wall.

    “Guh! A barrier?”

    She gasps as she feet return to the ground.

    And in the very next instant, a spear is pressed against her throat.

    “It’s a curse that forbids retreat. Now that you’ve stepped into my range, you can no longer escape. I’ve caught you.”

    Her opponent informs her with a cool and confident air. In her hands is the crimson spear that wordlessly tells Archer not to move unless she fancies losing her head. With her back against an invisible wall, she has finally been completely cornered.

    And now finally close enough to see through the curtain of fog, the two enemies gaze at one another and see the face of the one they had been fighting.

    Standing there with her spear to Archer’s neck is Scathach, the Queen of the Land of Shadows.

    And opposite to her is the enemy bowman whose appearance was far beyond Scathach’s expectation.

    Archer

    She is a woman of peerless beauty whose very presence seems to exert power. Her bright red and yellow hair cascades down her voluptuous body while perfectly complementing her elegant features. Perhaps most striking of all, though, were her large, vermillion wings that gave her the image of an angel.

    Her presence possessed an almost jarring contrast to Scathach. If Scathach’s beauty was sharp and dark like a shadow, then Archer was as bright and soft as the sunlight.

    And even as she was forced into checkmate, Archer’s face does not show any panic or concern. She merely takes a single long breath before shooting a humored smile at Scathach.

    “Indeed. It seems you have caught me with your little trick. Playing dead to lure me in… quite clever.” Archer praises in a dry voice.

    “…” Scathach does not respond. She merely watches Archer with cold eyes as the latter gives her an inquisitive glare.

    “But you… you are a woman. I was certain that my target was a male… what is the meaning of this?”

    The clear confusion in Archer’s voice quickly lightens Scathach’s mood and brings a grin to her face. In the end, after fog of war had been taken down, it turns out that Archer had been almost as blind as they were. She never even realized that, partway through, she ended up with more than one opponent.

    “Is this what you’re looking for?”

    With a self-assured smirk, Scathach pulls out a single bloody arrow and shows it to Archer. It was none other than the arrow that had been shot into her human ally’s leg. And if one looked very closely, one could see a small electronic chip attached to the arrowhead.

    The moment Archer sees it, she makes the slightest frown.

    At the same time, Scathach only grows even more confident.

    “It seems our hypothesis was correct. According to the Human, this thing attached to the arrow is probably something called a tracking device. This whole time, you’ve been tracking his movements and location using the signal that this thing was transmitting. That’s how you’ve been able to follow us and aim at us even when you couldn’t see us, isn’t that right?”

    “Heh. So, you were able to figure it out, huh?” Archer scoffs after a moment of surprise.

    “It wasn’t easy, I’ll admit. But it was the only explanation for your actions throughout this battle.”

    The very first time the human was attacked by Archer, she got close enough to him that he could see her silhouette before she shot him. But after that, she had remained consistently hidden outside of his line of sight. There was a clear discrepancy between the first attack and all the other attacks. If she was able to snipe him from afar, why did she ever risk getting close in the first place?

    “The only explanation is that something about your first attack changed your battle conditions. In the beginning, you weren’t able to pinpoint your target’s location. But after the first arrow, you could. So, the only explanation was that your first arrow was what allowed you to track us!”

    After that, the rest of Scathach’s plan naturally fell in place. Once she confirmed that the enemy couldn’t tell whether they were still alive or not from afar, she knew that Archer would have to personally get close in order to confirm the status of her prey. No matter how cautious the enemy was, as long as the mist impeded their vision, they needed to eventually close the distance in order to confirm their success, so it was a simple matter to lure them in.

    After pulling out the arrow from the human’s knee, Scathach took it with her as she ran out of the carpark, thereby tricking Archer into thinking she was the human. Meanwhile, the actual human stayed in the carpark, safely hidden by the dark fog and undetectable to Archer. With the tracking device in hand, it was easy for Scathach to pretend to get shot out of the air and fall to the ground, making the enemy think that they landed a finishing blow. Just like that, she was able to turn the tables and use the enemy’s trick against them.

    It was all thanks to figuring out what method the enemy was using to track them.

    It pains me a little to admit it, but I wouldn’t have been able to pull this off so smoothly without Human’s help. If he hadn’t solved the mystery, I wouldn’t have been able to reverse the situation and trap the enemy like this. I should praise him a bit more after this…” Scathach briefly thinks.

    “Fuhuhu, so you used our trick against us.” Archer chuckled. “I told the girl that her cheap toys wouldn’t work forever, but she was so insistent. Oh well~”

    Her tone remains almost whimsical in its attitude as she gently shrugs her shoulders.

    That reaction makes Scathach wary. How was she so calm despite being literally pinned against a wall? Did she have another trick up her sleeve? Or was it just a bluff? Was it bravery or stupidity? Something told Scathach that it was neither.

    In her many years, she had seen many warriors with a sword to their neck, but the woman in front of her was unlike any of them. She possessed a calm confidence unlike the courage of a warrior who was willing to fight tooth and nail to survive. It was an air of invincibility, a self-assured immortality. As if to say that nothing beneath the heavens could ever shake her.

    With that poised look, Archer slowly raises her chin and shoots a contemptuous look at Scathach.

    “Lower your weapon.”

    She says in a booming voice that filled the otherwise empty road with a sense of majesty.

    Again, Scathach is unsure how to take it. It didn’t seem like she was begging for her life, but what was she up to otherwise?

    “Shall I take that as a surrender?” Scathach asks warily.

    “No. It’s an order.”

    “Under what authority?”

    “Divine Providence.”

    Archer runs a hand through her hair as she smirks, proudly flaunting her radiant features as she answers. In return, Scathach narrows her eyes with hostility.

    “I see… so it is as I suspected. The moment I saw you I could tell you weren’t human. Although it seems your rank has been lowered, you’re a Divine Spirit.” She states.

    “Oh? So, you can tell. Well, I suppose my beauty does speak for itself.” Archer hums pleasantly. “But if you know now that you stand before a Goddess, why do you still stand before me with such hostility? Lower your weapon and lower your head.”

    “Sorry, but I bow to no one, man or god.” Scathach declares.

    It takes Archer a second to comprehend her bold words before quickly glowering.

    “Hubris. You dare look down on the Gods?” Archer suddenly growls, offended.

    “No, I do not mean to disrespect your position.” Scathach denies. “I simply have yet to meet a god who can bring me to my knees.”

    “Then shall I be your first?”

    A fierce expression like that of a wrathful deity suddenly emerges on Archer’s face. Instantly, Scathach reaffirms her grip on her spear and readies to deal the finishing blow the second Archer makes a move.

    But at that very moment—

    “Tch.”

    Out of nowhere, a flurry of arrows abruptly rains down on Scathach from behind. It is a powerful bombardment no less than that which assaulted her back in the carpark.

    And yet, without even looking back, Scathach swings her spear behind her and casually deflects each and every arrow. Not taking her eyes of the enemy in front of her for even a second, she accurately intercepts the dozens of projectiles raining down on her.

    As far as she could tell, Archer did not make a single move, even once Scathach’s spear was removed from her neck. There was no indication of her taking any action before or after the rain of arrows. Which probably means she isn’t responsible for it.

    So, as I thought, there were two archers after all…

    “Hmph. Honestly, what horrible timing.” Archer sighs, lightly shrugging her shoulders.

    Then, while Scathach was busy deflecting the arrows, she takes the chance to pull out a device from somewhere in her revealing dress and bring it to her ear.

    “You can stop now. Don’t interfere. I don’t need your help.” She says into the gadget.

    Shortly after, the barrage of arrows stops.

    Scathach lowers her spear in response and refocuses back on Archer. Now, however, her attention is drawn to the device in her hand.

    “Heh, what do you think? Apparently, these toys are what the humans are calling technology these days. Aren’t they cute?” Archer hums as she pulls out yet another gizmo and shows it to Scathach.

    In one hand is the device she just used to communicate. Though Scathach would not know about it, it was a handheld radio device – a walkie-talkie. In the other hand was a transceiver that specifically picked up the signal from the tracking device put on the arrow that was in the human’s knee. It was thanks to these two items that Archer had been able to fight so effectively in the dark mist.

    However, her attitude towards them was less than appreciative.

    “Look. 2000 years since the Gods left and this is what they came up with. All that effort to mimic a fraction of our power. Isn’t it adorable?” Archer suggests in a doting, motherly voice.

    “No. I think it’s quite commendable.” Scathach retorts sharply. “Humans have made quite the progress since the Age of Gods. 2000 years ago, I could never have imagined something like a en-geen.”

    “Oh, really? I guess your standards must not be very high. My husband would scoff at such amateurish displays. Though, I guess I didn’t expect much from them to begin with either.” Archer shrugs. “Well, anyways, now that the interruption is gone, shall we continue where we left off? I do recall that I promised to bring you to your knees.”

    “If you think you can compete with me at this range, you are free to try.” Scathach rebuts. “I wanted to get more intel out of you first, but that doesn’t mean I’ll hold back if you wish to settle this.”

    “Heh. Keep talking.”

    Archer quickly tucks the two devices away and then manifests her bow and arrow in her hands.

    Likewise, Scathach readies her spear once more. She retracts it before to deal with the arrows from behind, but this time she won’t pull back again until the battle is over. At this range, she knows she can finish it in one strike. All that matters is if she can do so before the enemy strikes first.

    In the end, it’ll come down to just speed. Scathach’s spear or Archer’s arrow. Which will land first?

    The two of them, Queen and Goddess, share a final glare before the battle begins.

    And at that very moment—

    “That’s enough.”

    A voice breaks the silent tension.

    It comes from neither of them. Nor does it come from anyone else nearby on the street. The voice, slightly muffled by static, comes from within Archer’s dress – from the walkie-talkie she had tucked away.

    It is the voice of her Master.

    “I order you with the Command Spell. Both of you, return to me!”

    ““!!””

    Looks of shock and surprise flash across both Scatach and Archer’s face. But there is no time to react any further.

    An instant afterwards, magical energy swells around Archer. Glimmers of light gather around her, and her body quickly begins to flicker as if she were phasing out of this plane.

    At the same time, Scathach senses a similar surge of magical energy a distance away.

    “Ghhh, that girl… she always has to get in the way…” Archer grits her teeth as her body begins to vanish. It seems that she’s using all her strength to resist the command, but it’s a losing battle.

    Just before she vanishes for good, she shoots a piercing glare at Scathach.

    “Next time. We’ll settle this next time, got it?”

    And then, just like that, she’s gone.

    Silence and serenity return to the empty Romanian road. In but an instant, the battlefield becomes an ordinary city street, besides the mist.

    In that empty space, Scathcah is left alone to ruminate on what had just happened. She had learned much about the enemy in that small interaction and yet was left with even more unanswered questions. Most of all, she felt unsatisfied with the result of the battle.

    Though she was always eager to challenge a tough opponent, something about the situation deprived her of that joy. After all, even now, she isn’t exactly sure who her enemy in this city is…

    “… it seems I won’t be getting any answers any time soon.”

    She sighs.
    Last edited by zikari8; October 19th, 2022 at 10:05 PM.


  18. #58
    後継者 Successor zikari8's Avatar
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    Trifas, Romania
    An Empty Parking Lot
    July 29th, 2015
    Morning

    “Looks like it’s over…”

    A small distance away, I make a passing remark as the battle between Scathach and the enemy comes to a close.

    Knowing that the immediate threat to our lives is gone, I inevitably let out a relieved sigh, the anxious feeling in my guts starting to fade.

    Naturally, I wasn’t actually able to observe the battle in this thick mist. After Scathach and I split up, I stayed in the carpark while she went to lure in the enemy with our plan. Even without the mist, she would’ve been outside my field of vision by the time the battle started. So from my perspective, alone in the dark and empty parking lot, the battle of legends happening just outside the building might as well have been in a different dimension. What happened during the battle? Who won? Who lost? Such things were completely outside my knowledge as someone not even on the sidelines.

    The only thing I have to inform me about the battle is a small rock with a strange symbol carved into it – a rune, I think – that Scathach left me with when we split up. She told me that she would use it to let me know once the battle was over and to not move until she sent me the signal.

    After some time spent anxiously waiting on the pavement, the symbol on the rock suddenly started glowing, which I can assume to be the signal that Scathach mentioned.

    “I hope that means Scathach won…” I think out loud, reflecting on how bad it would be if the enemy beat her. “Well, guess I should get going.”

    I try to get up so I can go and meet up with Scathach again, but—

    “Ghh! Ah shit, I keep forgetting…!”

    Incredible pain shoots through my leg. Just trying to stand up causes waves of agony to assail me and I nearly fall back down.

    That’s right, now I remember. In order to turn the tables on the enemy archer, I needed to pull the arrow out of my knee so I could give it to Scathach. The process itself was excruciatingly painful – to the point that I would’ve screamed so loud that the enemy would’ve immediately found us if Scathach hadn’t given me something to bite on – but it also made the residual pain from my wound even worse than before.

    I know it was a necessary step to victory and I thought I was prepared for it, but actually having to live with this hellish pain is another story. I really, really need to get this wound checked out first chance I get.

    Well, for now, I managed to rip off some of my clothes and wrap them around my knee to prevent blood loss, so I should be fine. At least I won’t die. I think. Probably.

    “Okay. Here we go—!”

    I pump myself up mentally and use all my willpower to get myself to my feet. The endeavor nearly makes me puke, but I manage to power through, likely thanks to an ungodly amount of adrenaline from all the life-or-death battles today.

    “Walking… is definitely a no-go. Guess I have to fly.” I decide after reexamining my capabilities.

    I almost want to chuckle at how helpless I would be if I wasn’t able to fly around. Man, superpowers really are convenient. Without them, I’d definitely be more screwed trying to survive this weird situation than a red shirt in a zombie movie. I really have been blessed with a great power, so I should do what I can to make the most of it.

    With that in mind, I float off the ground and slowly make my way out of the carpark, being extra careful not to fly into anything in the dark fog. I saw the direction Scathach ran and she shouldn’t be too far away, so it should be pretty easy to find her again as long as I’m careful.

    And as I expected, not even a few minutes after getting off the ground, I spot the violet warrior on the street just outside the carpark.

    “There she is. Hey! Scathach!” I call out loudly as I quickly drop down to the ground, making a slightly too rough landing for my injured knee.

    “Hm? Oh, Human. You’re here.” She responds in a blasé manner, not nearly as excited to see me as I am her.

    “Yeah. Looks like you managed to make it out okay too. That’s good.” I tell her as I slowly limp towards her. “Haha, even though it hasn’t been that long, I’m happy to see you in good shape.”

    “Hm. So you came all the way here to check on me? How surprising. You know you could’ve just waited for me in the building. I was going to go back for you.” She points out.

    “Ah. That’s… true, I guess.”

    Now that she mentions it, I really didn’t need to go through all the trouble of flying over to her, since she knew where I was. I guess I was just too anxious waiting for the battle to end by myself that I wanted to meet up with her as soon as possible.

    “Anyways. So, what happened? Did you beat the enemy?” I ask her.

    “Mm. I regret to admit that it wasn’t a complete victory…” Scathach sighs.

    With a tone of serious reflection, she quickly recounts what went on between her and the enemy archer. In her recollection, she spares no details, properly telling me almost every word and action exchanged between her and the enemy.

    “I see… so both of them managed to escape by teleporting away.” I note after Scathach’s explanation. “So, they’re still out there somewhere. And they’ll probably attack us again soon enough…”

    “Yes. The person who was speaking on the communication device mentioned something called a Command Spell. From what I can tell, it seems to be a very powerful curse cast by them. While the nature is similar in some ways to a Geas, the usage is quite different. I can only suspect that the enemy includes a very competent magic user…” Scathach muses.

    “Huh? I-I’m sorry, what does that mean? Geas…?”

    “Oh, right. I suppose that went over your head a bit.” Scathach chuckles a little. “I can explain the details in depth later. For now, the important thing is that the enemy is still out there somewhere.”

    “Right… Ahhh, that’s scary to think about. Do we really have to fight them again when they come back?” I groan, scratching my head in frustration.

    “Don’t complain. Aren’t you a man?” Scathach swiftly shouts in a scolding tone.

    “Ah. S-sorry.” I apologize, immediately straightening my back.

    “Besides, even though they’re still alive, they no longer pose as much of a threat. Now that we know about the tracking device, they can no longer attack us from long-range. And if they dare to get close, I can deal with them. They’ve lost their greatest advantage.” Scathach declares.

    “Mm, that is true…”

    It seems Scathach is pretty confident about being able to deal with the enemy if they return. Thinking about it too, our goal was never to kill the enemy anyways. They were the ones attacking us, but we had no reason to fight them. So the mere fact that we’re alive is good enough. Figuring out their gimmick and neutering their ability to defeat us is just the cherry on top.

    That means we can finally relax and be happy for once, right?

    “Alright. I guess that means it’s our win!” I cheer with a pleasant smile. “I’m just glad that we both made it out in one piece.”

    “Well, like I said, I wouldn’t consider it a complete victory. But yes, I suppose this is a proper triumph.” Scathach smirks, playing along with my energy.

    “Yeah! We did it!”

    I exclaim in excitement and hold up my hand in celebration.

    “Hm?” Scathach, though, seems confused at my gesture. “What are you doing?”

    “Huh? Come on, don’t you know what a high five is?” I urge her.

    “A high… five?” Scathach tilts her head in confusion. “What is that? Is it some sort of modern courting gesture?”

    “What, no, no. It’s, um, it’s a thing people do to celebrate.” I explain. “Here, just hold up your hand like me.”

    “Like this…?”

    “Yeah, just like that. Now, here we go…!”

    I slap my hand against Scathach’s with all my strength.

    The resulting collision makes a loud, clapping noise that seems to fill the empty street with a jubilant atmosphere.

    “Yahoo! We did it!” I cheer after the high five.

    “Y-yahoo.” Scathach repeats, likely just copying me.

    As I lower my hand after the celebratory ritual, Scathach does the same and then briefly pauses to stare at the hand I just slapped. For that brief moment, she seems at once surprised and a little entranced by the sensation in her palm.

    “So, uh, yeah. That’s a high five. We do it to celebrate and to congratulate each other.” I tell her, wondering if she still doesn’t get it.

    “Hmmm… I see. So this is how modern people celebrate a victory. I’ll keep it in mind.” Scathach nods understandingly. “Huhu. Now that I think about it, earlier I was planning on praising you after this battle. But I suppose it won’t be necessary now.”

    “Eh? You were going to praise me? Seriously!?” I squeak, surprised.

    Praise from Scathach… I don’t know why but I really want to hear it. My heart is beating at the thought of her praising me.

    “I-if you have something you want to say to me, that’s fine. You can just say it. What were you going to say?” I question her in a flustered manner.

    “No, it’s okay. I believe the high five shall suffice. That should be enough reward for now.” Scathach states.

    “Seriously!?’

    Ahhhh, dammit, I missed my chance to get praised by Scathach. And wait, what if she only congratulates me with high fives from now on? Will I never get her to commend me? Tch, if only I hadn’t taught her about high fives…

    “Pfft. Uhuhu~”

    “Hm? What, is something funny?” I ask Scathach as she suddenly chuckles.

    “No, I was just thinking how amusing it is to perform such rituals after a deadly battle. Sharing a joint victory with one’s comrades… it’s not something I’m quite used to.” She states pleasantly.

    “Because you’ve been in another dimension by yourself for 2000 years?” I ask.

    “Yes, that too. But even 2000 years ago, I was not very well-versed in such customs. I can’t say I remember ever celebrating a victory with someone.” She says.

    “Eh? Why not? Did you not get along with your comrades or anything?” I wonder.

    “Rather than getting along or not, it’s more that I didn’t really have any.” She declares. “I am the Queen of the Land of Shadows. Master of Dún Scáith. I have no equal. From birth, my superior abilities have placed me above the masses. It is my duty to protect and rule over them. In that role, I have trained many heroes and lead them to victory. But I myself have never fought alongside anyone. I have never even considered allying with another before…”

    “I see…”

    That… that’s a little sad to hear.

    Maybe it’s just because I’m not as exceptional as her, but that kind of life sounds rather lonely. A part of me feels a little bad for her…

    I briefly wonder if I should say so to her, but I figure it might come off as an insult so I refrain.

    While I worry about such little things though, Scathach suddenly perks up and flashes me a bold smile. With a crimson flash, her spear is suddenly shoved into my face as if she were pointing at me.

    “So. Don’t think I’ll let you off as easily as one of my pupils. Now that we’ve fought together and we have performed the high five, I expect you to assist me until the very end.” She declares firmly.

    “Eh? Huh? Wh-what does that mean?” I question, more than a little intimidated by her spear.

    “It means I’ll be sticking with you from now on. At least until this incident is dealt with. I’ll lend you my strength, so I expect you to do the same for me. Help me resolve this crisis.” She demands. “That’s… what comrades do, right?”

    Scathach shoots me an inquisitive look, perhaps anticipating my response.

    I see. I think I more or less get it. But even if she says that, what can I even do to help her? I’m just a normal person, so I don’t know how my puny strength would be of any value to her…

    No, wait, what am I saying? That’s not true at all. I’m not a normal person. Not anymore. I have superpowers. I’m a superhero! Which means I have to act like one too!

    I didn’t give it much thought earlier since I was just trying to get a grasp on the situation and stay alive, but something needs to be done about this mysterious incident occurring in this city. I might not know what’s really going on, but I know it can’t keep going on like this. The root of the problem needs to be dealt with.

    This city needs a hero… a superhero!

    If that’s the case, then there’s only one decision.

    “Okay. Let’s do this!” I affirm, giving Scathach my complete devotion.

    Based on what she told me, it seems that there’s a very high chance that what’s happening in this city is somehow connected to the crack between this world and the afterlife. If so, then our goals are more or less the same. There’s no reason not to work together.

    “Hmph. Good answer.” Scathach nods approvingly. “You have a good fire in your eyes.”

    “I won’t let you down. I promise I’ll do everything I can to resolve this incident. Believe it!”

    And so, just like that, Scathach and I formalized our partnership.
    「Scathach has become an ally」

    “So… what should we do now?” I ask after the high from our newfound bond wears off.

    “We should get going. There’s no need for us to stay here anymore.” Scathach declares without any hesitation.

    “Okay. But, uh, where are we going?” I ask.

    “That’s something to consider. But for now, let’s head back to the previous building and return to the motorcycle. Hopefully, it wasn’t destroyed in the battle and we can still use it. It was a very convenient mode of transportation.”

    Makes sense. It’ll be a pain to travel through the city on foot.

    Though the question still remains: where should our destination be?

    Even now, we have basically no clues as to the truth about this strange incident. Without a compass to lead us, we can’t go anywhere without getting lost. So where exactly should we head to next?

    Choice!
    A. Go around looking for more survivors
    B. Look for some shelter to set up a base camp
    C. Return to the hostel
    D. Try to leave the city
    E. Just go around and kill as many vampires as you can find
    F. Write-In

    Well, I can think about it as we walk. For now, we should head back to the carpark first—

    “Gah! Shit, I forgot again!” I curse as I try to walk once more and feel the pain shoot through my leg.

    “Still hurt huh. Well, it’s only natural considering the state of your wound.” Scathach comments. “I’m actually surprised you managed to make it down here.”

    Well, I flew down instead of walking after all. Ah, now that I think about it, I guess I never did tell her about my superpower. And Scathach probably didn’t see me fly to her since I landed before calling to her.

    I want to tell her, but I’m a bit tongue-tied at the moment from gritting my teeth at the pain. Oh god, I’ve never wanted to cut off my own limb so badly before. Fuck, fuck, fuck—!

    And now that I’ve calmed down a bit, I’m also remembering all the other injuries I have to as numerous other sources of pain pop up around my body, some of which I don’t even recall having. With that frenzied thought in mind, I start patting down parts of my body with my hands to search for any potential wounds I may have missed, partially doing so just to distract myself from the pain.

    “Hm?”

    My impromptu body search pauses as I notice my hand brush against something sticking to my clothes. I bring it up to my face so I can see it properly in the darkness and eventually realize it’s a random lock of hair.

    It’s not the same hair color as me nor is it the same as Scathach so it must be from someone else. I guess it’s probably from one of the vampires I killed. Huh, so that person had this hair color—

    “Ah.”

    A sudden realization washes over me. I am suddenly seized by a terribly feeling in my gut as the meaning of those words hit me.

    “A… person…”

    Oh yeah. Those vampires I fought were originally people. They were ordinary human beings with lives and families before I put an end to them.

    Did I… kill someone?

    Status Update!
    Corruption: 19 → 20

    “What’s wrong, Human?” Scathach asks, noticing my sudden pause.

    “Huh? O-oh, nothing. Just in a lot of pain.” I blurt out.

    “That bad? Very well, I guess there’s no helping it. Come here.” Scathach says blankly.

    And then, before I can even respond, Scathach walks over and grabs me with one arm. In a single swift motion, she throws me over her shoulder and balances me across it.

    “Wh-whoa! What are you doing?” I cry out as I’m lifted up into the air.

    “Carrying you. Obviously. You’re in no condition to walk, right? You’ll be fine once we get you on the motorcycle.” She states coldly and starts walking to the carpark before I can even respond.

    “H-hey. Wait. That’s not necessary. I’m fine, you can let me down. You don’t need to carry me.” I frantically resist.

    My complaints, however, only seem to serve to make Scathach confused.

    “Why are you acting like that? Didn’t I just carry you earlier during the battle?” She asks.

    “That’s different! That couldn’t be helped.”

    “I think you’re the one who can’t be helped if you keep kicking a fuss like this…”

    “What’s that supposed to mean? I— Huh?”

    My complaint is abruptly cut short as I suddenly notice something.

    “Hey, Scathach. What’s that?” I ask, pointing towards a spot on the street that I only noticed because I was slung over Scathach’s shoulder and facing the ground.

    “Hm? That’s…”

    Noticing it as well after I point it out, she walks over to it for a better look. Once we’re eventually close enough, we’re able to make it exactly what the object randomly lying on the road is.

    “A stuffed animal?” I note upon getting a good luck at it.

    The object in question is something that looks like a plush toy of a cute, deformed lion. Besides that, there isn’t anything that really stands out about it; I only noticed it because its yellow color contrasted so much with the pure gray pavement. And maybe it’s because of the mist, but I sort of thought I saw it moving earlier.

    “Stuffed animal? What is that? Is it some new species of fauna?” Scathach asks in the same manner as always.

    “No, no, it’s not an animal or any sort of creature. It’s just a toy that looks like an animal.” I explain.

    “I see.”

    Curious about the unknown object, Scathach briefly lets me down so she can pick up the stuffed animal. With a delicate grip, she holds it up so she can clearly examine it in the darkness. For some reason, it seems to have really caught her attention.

    “Hello there.” She says to the stuffed animal in an innocent-sounding voice.

    The scene almost reminds me of a little girl in a toy shop. I guess she still doesn’t really understand that a stuffed toy isn’t a living being. It’s actually kind of cute. But still, I guess I should correct her before she gets too attached.

    “Hey, there, you don’t have to talk to it. It’s not like it can talk back—”

    “Hello.”

    “Eh?”

    My warning is abruptly cut off by a third unknown voice. It has a gentle but energetic ring to it similar to that of a young man. And if I’m not crazy, did it just come from…

    “Uwaah! Waah!! Th-th-the stuffed animal! It talked! And now it’s moving too!”

    Just as I nearly lose my balance in shock, the stuffed animal starts wriggling about in Scathach’s hands, even blinking as if it were alive.

    “I see. So, toys nowadays are even able to move and talk on their own. How fascinating.” Scathach observes.

    “No, no, this isn’t normal! I mean, there are toys that can talk and move, but that’s a different thing!”

    This thing can’t just be an elaborate animatronic right? It looks way too life-like to just be a toy now.

    “What the hell are you!?” I ask the stuffed toy.

    “Hey, there. I’m… well, you can call me Donny. Nice to meet you.” The stuffed animal says, making a welcoming gesture as it greets us.

    Donny

    “Donny? You have a name, too? Are you really a living being?” I question in a state of confused panic.

    “Of course, I am. I’m a normal person just like you.” Donny replies.

    “Normal people don’t look like something from Toys R Us. If you’re a normal person, why do you look like a stuffed animal?” I interrogate.

    “Hmm… perhaps, are you a familiar?” Scathach wonders after a brief silence just observing the thing.

    “Huh? A familiar?” I ask.

    “A creature or entity that assists magic users. I don’t know about the modern era, but many magic users in my time liked making contracts with all sorts of spirits. There were even those who liked to bind a person’s ghost to an animal’s corpse in order to create a creature under their control.” Scathach explains.

    I see. So, mages do have familiars after all. Obviously, I’ve heard of the term in fiction before, but I still don’t know how magical things work in the real world. My only real conception of the term is a witch’s black cat. But since Scathach is a witch and she doesn’t have a black cat, I guess there’s more to it than that.

    “Yeah, that’s right. I’m a familiar.” Donny confirms, nodding his oversized head.

    “Oh, so you are one. I guess that makes more sense than some of the things I was thinking of.” I sigh in relief.

    My brain had already jumped to the possible alien theory, so it’s good to have that train of thought cut in the bud. I still don’t really understand familiars, but if Scathach does, than that’s enough for me for now.

    I wonder if he’s like what Scathach mentioned: a ghost bound to a stuffed animal body using magic. There are stories of dolls being possessed by ghosts, so I guess it makes sense.

    “Do you have a master, little one?” Scathach asks, staying cool unlike me.

    “You don’t have to call me little. But yeah, I do. She’s a pretty lady who looks smart.” Donny states.

    “Why aren’t you with her?” She asks.

    “We kind of got separated.” Donny sighs. “Before I knew it, I was here by myself. I’m not even entirely sure where I am in the city, to be honest.”

    “I see. Well, it has been a pretty chaotic day…” I nod.

    If Donny’s master was in the city when everything went to hell, it’s not hard to see how the two of them could’ve gotten separated. Perhaps they were on the run from a vampire, and she accidently dropped him or something. I can’t even imagine how many other families in the city might be separated too. It’s really quite sad to think about.

    “Do you know where your master is right now?” Scathach asks.

    “No, unfortunately. And now that I’m by myself, I’m not exactly sure what I should do. This city is so big and the mist is so thick.” Donny complains.

    Certainly, for something his size, trying to navigate the city by himself to find his master would be basically impossible. Thinking about that, I feel pretty bad for the poor thing. I…

    “… hey, Scathach.”

    “Let me guess. You want to bring him with us?” She keenly interjects.

    “Geh! How did you know?”

    “You had that sort of look on your face.” She grins understandingly. “Well, I’m not opposed to it, and I do think it’s a noble sentiment. But there’s still too little we know about the situation.”

    That’s true. We still really don’t know anything about Donny or his circumstances.

    Perhaps we should question him a bit more to see what we can learn.

    But what should I ask him?

    Choice!
    1. Ask what kind of person Donny is
    2. Ask what type of familiar Donny is
    3. Ask about Donny’s master
    4. Ask why he’s in Trifas
    5. Write-In


  19. #59
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