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Thread: Four Swords

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    call me... senpai deviatesfish's Avatar
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    Four Swords

    I think I cut it very close to what the VN was like, but let's see how you guys like this, alright? It's just an idea anyway. Let's see, um... notes... right, right! I've lost interest in the IRC at the moment, so that'll cut down on the time I work on the RP and the Third Magic due to lack of motivation, I suppose, so this is the product of that. Anyway. I was thinking about that game, you know, the one about the Legend of Zelda, where there were 4 Links? And then I thought of this. Nothing was actually borrowed from the game other than the title. Posting this now despite not rereading it due to Tech-tan.


    Four Swords



    Chapter One
    Part One
    Part Two

    Chapter Two
    Part One



    A blur of cobalt, embodied and encased in a vessel of speed, skill and power, followed you, chasing you through the shadows. It leaped from canopy to canopy, cutting from corners to corners, leaving you no room for anything other than running. Your lungs burned with anxiety as you panted short, quick breaths. Your muscles screamed to your mind through your nerves, even as you strained them further, pushing yourself to your upmost limit in your attempt at escape. Yet…

    …The soft chuckles that followed you told another tale; there was no escape for the simple, mortal man. The insanity of the night trailed after you in your shadows. In every corner of darkness, you saw the illusion of a man—no, a being beyond humanity—shooting forth and piercing you. Only then, as you heart pounded and seemed to leap out of your chest, do you realize you dreamed of these shadows. Your exhausted cries cannot even reach the shadows…

    …You stumbled into the shed, your father’s workshop. Without lights on, with only the moonlight to illuminate the quarters you have stumbled into, long shadows were cast all around you. In mere seconds, even you knew the blue-clad, insane man would enter through your doors, and impale you with his hard, powerful spear. Your mind flashed as you perceive these moments to be your last, so many regrets of unfulfilled dreams lay wasted all around you. Your final lament was…

    …Your thoughts, ramblings and reveries, were disrupted completely by the glow of ethereal light all around you. A glowing circle of power, cast by some force unknown to you, spreads and lights up the room with such blinding and pure power, that you were forced to cover your eyes—just barely. Formed through powers beyond your comprehension, a figure stands before you, a beauty.

    It happened so fast—a flash of light, a rush of power—and now, before your eyes, a beautiful blond woman, her golden locks swaying gently in an invisible wind that entered through mysterious means. Her cold, gentle eyes glimmered in the soft moonlit night like her silver armor as she turned to you silently. Those green eyes inquired of you, just as her lips parted in sync. She stood before you regally and proudly, as her voice cuts through your admiration of her beauty, “I ask of you, are you my Master?”

    Your heart pumped rapidly as your mind raced, the aura of mystery surrounding this woman along with her unique appearance fascinating and dazzling you. The moonlight shone upon the edges of her figure, creating an almost tangible aura as the edges of her hair became alit into a natural halo of gold. Her golden strands framed her alabaster face prettily, as if she were a work of art. Yet it is not just her beauty that captivated you; her mystery, her legend-like appearance, mystified you.

    You gaped as you tried to piece together syllables to form words. You attempted once, before licking your lips slowly and focusing again, yet unable to remove your eyes from her glorious visage. Your lips part once more, about to respond to her, the question her question…

    …When the circle of light flashed once more, a surge of power washing over you again. From beside the first blond woman walked forth yet another, one that instead of donned in royal blues and silver armor, was dressed in a bright red dress, embroidered with gold. Its soft glimmer in the night told you that it was not just thread, but pure gold that made up of part of her… gown. Your face heated up as blood rushed to your cheeks; her dress was made to accentuate her chest, which was the one most notable difference between the second blond woman and the first. Her bountiful chest bounced slowly as she stood up straight and scanned the room, delight growing in her eyes. But were it not for her chest (you doubt you could fit those in your hands), the girls could have been twins.

    From the corner of your eyes, you see the first girl, the blue-clad, armored foreign rose, staring in a state of mild shock that lasted a few seconds. Were they not sisters? They could be—

    The blond girl dressed in red walked—no, strutted—up to you with a confident gait that you would most associate with the elite of society. Yet she was not haughty, on her face was an amused grin, which grew as she took your image into her mind. The closer she approached you, the happier she seemed. Just a step away from you, she was skipping heartily. Her tantalizing, pink lips drew into one of the most beautiful smiles you have ever seen as she asks you, “Hallo! I bet you’re my Master, aren’t you? Well, I’m you—“

    She was cut off, as yet another light shone through the circle. Your hands twitched as you raised them to cover your eyes again; the light and power flowed through the circle once more.

    …Your heart jumps once more, but not of attraction or arousal. From the dim lights stepped forth a dark knight of dimly glowing red, so much like freshly flowing blood, and the darkest blacks. She stood like the others, looking so much like the other two. Yet her armor is of the blackest night, jagged and sharp, like some dark lord’s armor, filling you with fear and dread. You could not see her face clearly; her eyes are shielded and protected by a visor of black and red. Even her hair and her skin were paler than the others, not glowing at all in the moonlight. From your perspective on the ground, it seemed as if she absorbed the light into her being, making everything darker as time stood still.

    She—of this triplet—nodded once towards you, grunting softly and startling all of you, even the stoic, blue-clad girl who appeared first. Then she took heavy steps towards the first blond girl, the one dressed in blue. With a single, heavily gauntleted hand, this girl armored in black pinched the edge of the blue clad girl’s dress and hung onto it, while seemingly hiding herself from you using the blue-clad girl as a shield.

    You blinked, no longer feeling the initial surprise or awe as the circle glowed yet again. No one said anything, other than the red-clad girl, who let out a squeak of glee as another girl—another twin? Quadruplet?—stood out of the aura of lights and power.

    She was wearing a low-cut dress and partly covered in silver armor, resembling the first girl in almost every way other than the way she carried herself. Her demeanor was not serious or determined, but a rather lax and mischievous attitude washed off of her very being. She glowed brightly in the night lights, her silver armor, covered in black runes, glowing brighter than even the gold of the red-clad girl.

    She stepped out of the circle as it grew dim and giggled as her eyes landed upon you. Clasping her hands together as if she was praying, she curtseyed to you and murmured, “I know this, but I shall ask of you, aren’t you my Master?” She grinned at you as she straightened herself.

    Your mouth hung slightly open, as you stared up at her, which only caused her to giggle louder. At this, everyone else stared at each other, both unsure of what just occurred and seemingly surprised that each other was here at all. You certainly are more surprised than the rest. Your eyes were wide, as you tried to figure out how to react… no, how to even explain this phenomenon to your own mind. What exactly had occurred here? How… why you? How did this happen?

    “Um…” You tried to process what was occurring.

    Your muscles relaxed as the magical circle became less visible, perhaps this was the last of the girls—the last of this quadruplet of… knights? They all seemed to stand regally like royalty, even the dark one who only grunted and growled. Each stared at the other, apprehensive and cautious, yet surprise filled each girl-knight’s eyes. Everyone in the shed stared at everyone else, while you were too shocked to even stand up.

    Then the blue-clad man wielding the bulging lance stepped into the entrance, whatever he was about to say, perhaps just announcing his presence, died in his mouth as his jaws hung open at the sight of the four knights who surrounded you in a protective semi-circle immediately. Each girl’s expressions, and whatever thoughts were in their minds, were wiped of their mild curiosity and different attitudes. All of their faces became similar, like one, they settled with determined battle stances, each only slightly different from the other. Weapons materialized in their hands, of fires and winds, of golden light and of the darkest blackness, each an instrument of destiny and legend.

    The blue-clad girl charged first, followed almost immediately by the one in black, pushing the once confident lancer back and out of the shed with their combined might. The pressure of the invisible blade of wind and the black blade of red light and blackness clashed against the lancer’s weapon, pushing him almost out of the compound with a single, combined attack alone.

    Their combined attack sparked with bright flashes as both girls’ attacks glowed with terrifying magical energy. It could hardly be called attacks anymore, as they were blinding explosions of power… such power, that you could not tell how much force it might take to block such blows like the blue-clad man did so simply…

    …You… could hardly believe what was happening.

    …You were shocked. You… You cannot react. Two small girls that size… shorter than you, and with such slender arms! The pair of them was overpowering the man ruthlessly and relentlessly. You stared in shock as more flashes of magical power washed over you, simple aftereffects of their clashes.

    …Such tremendous magical power…

    The black-clad girl roared loudly, piercing the stillness of the night with her battle cry as she pushed forward recklessly. Beside her, her—sister? Ally?—charged as well, steadily on an even defensive and offensive, protecting both with her invisible weapon. Their combined efforts allowed the man no chance to gloat, or even talk, like he did before. At that moment he looked like he knew he was defeated.

    He barely had any time to defend himself; even the white-clad girl was circling him slowly, just her presence putting further pressure on him. It kept him from going on the offensive, in fact it kept him from even bantering like he so seemed to want to.

    Rather than backing down, his hands reared back, a gathering of power that even you can sense, ready to throw his mighty lance. Electricity sparkles and runs down the man’s potent weapon, charging with such visible magical energy. He lowered his lance, and it felt as if a different kind of aura surrounded the combatants. An aura of bloodlust…

    This caused the blue-clad girl to pause, staring intently as she frowned. “A Noble Phantasm…!” She whispered through her gritted teeth, barely audible for you. She held herself back, back to a stance of defense. Seeing this, the black-clad girl mirrored her…

    …But in that instant, even before the lancer was about the charge his shot, the white-clad girl flew forward and under his guard, tackling his torso with her shoulder before cutting her blade of golden light upwards. She even so much as gave a friendly taunt, “Not this time, Cu Chulainn!”

    You stand up and follow the girls out of your shed, the red-clad girl staying dangerously close to your side. Her other assets were a constant distraction to your concentration; you must remind yourself constantly that you are still in a life-or-death situation to keep your eyes forward and focused on the matter at hand. The dangerous and obviously deranged, blue-clad man was still here!

    The white-clad girl’s blade knocked the man into the air, causing him to shift from an offensive stance back to defensive just in time to save his life. The blow flipped him into the air a dozen meters before he back flipped and landed on the walls of your house. After twirling his spear once, he stared at you, only barely panting from exertion.

    Then he growled to you, “Kid, you… you don’t play fairly at all! I would love to stay and fight the real fight, but my… tsk… Master,” he said this word with such venom before continuing, “ordered me otherwise. But you ladies remember that my spear is always up for a bout!”

    As the man leaped away, faster than these girls could catch him, and many times faster than you thought possible, you heard something in the distance, just beyond your walls.

    You ran up to the girls, more concerned if they were injured than anything else. But the first thing that came to your mind, the first thing that you uttered out was how strange they were. They were strange beings, with fantastical powers beyond anything you could comprehend. Even your father did not show you such powers. You would not let yourself to be dazzled by such powers and forget yourself. You shake your head quickly and remind yourself that each of these girls was a powerful, mysterious being. You must stay on guard, at least until you know what they are. So you said the first thing that came to you and asked, “Who… are you?”

    You fell back half a step as you asked this, causing all of the four girls to turn to you.

    The first to answer was the girl clad in blue, the first to appear. She stared at you coldly, “…What do you mean? I am Servant Saber.” She answered in a quiet voice, before pausing and taking a better look at you. A small frown marred her porcelain face, “…You summoned me, so I did not expect you would need to confirm it.”

    You stared at her in wonder, having only gotten more questions spawned from the answer you just received. In an awed tone, you repeated after her, “Servant Saber?”

    She nodded and replied without any doubt in her voice, “Yes, please call me Saber,” she says without hesitation. Her tone was polite and gentle, enough to cause you to become dazed by her personal beauty, like when you first met her. You felt your mind go blank…

    “Wait!” The red-clad girl interrupted, “But-but I’m Saber!” She added. Her voice was the opposite of the blue-clad Saber’s, loud and proud. “We can’t both be Saber!”

    The first Saber’s frown deepened as she turned to the red-clad Saber at her exclamation. Then she turns to you, as if she was expecting some kind of explanation or as if she blamed this solely upon you. So they don’t know each other then, you wonder. The fire Saber finally decides to respond, “…I have never experienced this type of situation; you must be a very powerful magus, Master.”

    You blinked, confused, before the red-clad Saber chortled and added, “Fine, fine! Call me Red Saber, for now! And you can be Blue Saber!”

    “B-Blue Saber?! That’s…”

    “Y-you girls have s-strange names,” you chime in, causing Blue Saber to pause and frown at you again. You couldn’t take her staring for more than a few seconds before you hid your red face in your hands. You knew you had just said something stupid, but… You didn’t know what else to say, but what was polite to say? Why did you criticize their names anyway? You try to ignore it and added, “…I’m Shirou. My name is Emiya Shirou, and I live in this house.”

    Isn’t this how people acted in movies, whenever a young boy met a girl, because he would get flustered…? Flustered! That’s exactly how you feel right now, right? Why were you being so stupid, you should just correct yourself, or apologize, or… or…

    The first Saber stared at you stared at you without her expression changing at all. The other Saber tilted her head at you rather cutely, but otherwise remained the same as well, though a small frown creased her brows. She placed her arms on her hips, as if expecting more from you. The black-clad girl said nothing, while the white clad girl giggled in the background, not even volunteering to say anything either.

    “No, I mean, I… wait, I take that back, I…” You scratch you head, trying to string together the right words to form the sentence you meant to say, “That’s not what I meant to ask you, I…”

    “I know,” the first Saber nodded gently, “you are not a formal Master, correct? Whatever the case, you are still my Master, and as long as our contract remains, I shall not betray you. There is no need for you—“

    Before she could finish her sentence, the red-clad Saber jumped on your back and clung on to you by hooking her arms around your neck. She is surprisingly light; enough that it felt like you were not carrying anything at all. She laughed giddily, “You are my Master too! Shirou, is it? Shirou! Shirou! Shirou!” She yelled, as if she were acting like she was testing your name out, but really just enjoyed expressing herself.

    “Then I shall call you Shirou too,” the first Saber added, though she did not smile. Still, she was no longer frowning, which led you to relax as well. “Yes, I like the sound of that better, I shall call you Shirou.” She nodded.

    “Yes, I think I shall too! Shirou-kun!” The white-clad girl added for the first time in this conversation. Really, why was she standing so far from you anyway?

    Their voices blended together, like a chorus of angels, which was more than enough to cause your face to grow steadily redder. Well, it was enough to cause you to blush enough to… “Ow!” Pain ran through your hands, as you looked down you see a pair of tattoos on the back of each of your hands as if they were burned into your skin. Then the pain doubled, as another set of tattoos appeared on each of your palms as well. “Wha… what the…?”

    “That is called a Command Spell, Shirou,” the first Saber explains patiently, but the white-clad girl—perhaps another Saber?—interrupted and added, “You can make us to anything, but only three times, Shirou! If you run out, that’s the end of the line for you as a Master, you know? So you shouldn’t use them thoughtlessly!”

    Before you could say another word, the first Saber turns away, muttering softly, “Prepare yourself, Shirou. There are two more enemies outside.”

    “Two more…? Enemies outside?” You wondered aloud, but the white-clad girl closed the distance between you and her in an instant and placed a hand on your shoulder. That alone caused your face to go aflame once more.

    “Don’t worry, Shirou! All is as it should be, this won’t take long,” She giggled softly as the first Saber and the black-clad girl both jumped lightly. Like the Lancer, they disappeared over the walls and into the shadows of the night.

    You were left with only the second Saber and the white-clad girl. The white-clad girl has not stopped giggling, and the only action she has taken was tracing your form with her eyes lewdly. You decided to run after the other girls; perhaps they would meet enemies more powerful than the Lancer?

    With that, you ran out of the gates as fast as you could.

    It was dark, everywhere. The moon took a good time to disappear into a veil of stormy clouds. There was nothing left to illuminate your path, but your other senses compensate for this, and you know enough which direction to run. There was no one else on the road, or anywhere near.

    —It happened in an instant.

    Saber destroyed her target’s defense. She was fighting that guy who was fighting the lancer, confronting him and winning. That familiar guy in red… Saber defeated his attempts at blocking without hesitation. The girl in black looped under Saber’s arms and cut upwards brutally, causing a grunt and a splatter of liquids from the man in red.

    …It was a soft sound, like that of the rubber soles scrapping softly against the ground, but you heard it immediately…

    Saber followed up the black-clad girl’s upward slash with a downward strike like a hammer. But just before he is cut in half, the man disappears as a powerful magic is cast.

    Neither Saber nor the black-clad girl stopped.

    Saber was faster than her black-clad ally, dashing forward at the person behind the man and easily cuts off the powerful spell the person was trying to launch. Somewhere in the back of your mind, you stared at the scene in shock. You knew what kind of spell this person was trying to cast… a spell of magnitude that your father may have been able to use, but not even first class magi could do it so easily. To nullify it so readily…

    But you don’t have the time to think about that. All of that, that complete surprise at her prowess, is all in the back of your mind. All you could think of is how this person will die…

    The blue-clad girl and the black-clad girl both leaped at the enemy magus immediately…

    You called out hoarsely, “S-Stop! Wait—“

    It was not enough to stop the girls alone.

    However, you were not alone. Before the wind weapon and the blade of darkness could crash down and utterly annihilate the enemy magus, a jagged, rigged blade shot forth from the red-clad girl’s hands, stopping the blue-clad girl’s wind weapon. A moment later, the white-clad girl blocked the black-clad girl just as well with her own weapon of light.

    “Why…?” The blue-clad girl mutters as she backs up, landing beside you. She looks confused, but she is reining herself in, so you took a moment to sigh and hope that Tohsaka didn’t hold these girls’ actions against you. It’s not like you were responsible for them or something!

    The red-clad girl tosses her golden locks, before ignoring the girl she blocked completely and jumping in front of you. With great eagerness, she clings to your side, pressing her body against your arm and asks, “Did I do well, Master? Did I? Are you going to praise me now, Master?”

    “Uh…” You blinked slowly. On some wild instinct of yours that you later had come to question, your hands rose shakily up to the red-clad girl’s forehead and rubbed her slowly, causing her to giggle and purr. Her hair was surprisingly soft; it felt like you were running your fingers through feathers. Her head bounced quickly under your ministrations, as she more than readily accepted your gesture of affection. Strangely enough, the white-clad girl was staring at the girl pressed against you enviously. Or was she staring at you enviously? You are not quite sure.

    “…Don’t,” You muttered, “Please don’t do it, Saber. Don’t… kill…” You try your best to glare at her, for her disrespect of life. You prepared yourself to do your best to stop her. All the while, the white-clad twin of Saber held her golden sword against the black-armored girl, though both of them seem to have relaxed enough to no longer be clashing against each other anymore.

    “Why are you stopping me, Shirou?” Saber asked, with no intention of stopping at all. Perhaps she didn’t hear you, but even so, she is willing to kill, without any remorse. “She is Archer’s Master. We have to kill her here,” Saber reasoned.

    “I-I’m telling you to wait!” You didn’t quite understand even then, what you were trying to tell her. But the distaste of having to have been responsible, if even indirectly, of killing someone so easily like that… you didn’t want it and it certainly was not something you would agree with. Certainly she could see that? “I-I don’t understand any of t-this at all! Master this, Master that or something… I-I still don’t understand who you are! Just… just don’t do this, alright? We can talk; I will listen…”

    All of the girls stared at you, though perhaps for different reasons. The white-clad girl looked at you as if you were some kind of amusing show on television for her to enjoy. The blue-clad Saber stared at you in silent, with her expression unreadable. Now that you looked, all of the girl’s expressions were unreadable, and all of them stared at you in silence.

    “…Are you asking of me, to not even kill the enemy?” She asked.

    No, no… you are not such a man who would just let go of any enemy who attacked you. But are these people even your enemy? They were not attacking you this entire time Lancer has been on your back! But rather than saying anything that you just thought, all that parted from your lips was a dumbfounded, “…huh?”

    “So you are saying… do not take a life even if it is that of an enemy’s, correct?” She repeats once more. She seems to be trying to be patient, despite having a so-called enemy so close. Why are all the other girls just standing around, watching? What are they expecting from Saber? Or what are they expecting from you?

    “…I’m talking about you,” You rambled out. You realized that you are ranting, but you could not stop it. Being so put on the spot, you just said whatever came to mind first, “A girl shouldn’t be swinging a sword like you! Girls… Well! I don’t even know if it is a sword, but I can see all your twins, or triplets, or quadruplets or whatever, are all using swords! You… you’re all girls, so you shouldn’t do that!”

    Saber looked dumbfounded as you were just a moment ago. Perhaps you were just rambling stupidly, but you seemed to have a streak of that tonight, why stop? But Saber was taken back, hesitating for the first time.

    The girl in black was as unreadable as ever, but the Red Saber seemed almost ready to agree with you even without listening to what you have said. Though she snapped back at the last second and considered what the Blue Saber said and had a rather conflicted expression on her face…

    …As for the white-clad quadruplet? You looked around, but she seems to have hidden herself somewhere…

    …Why are you all just standing there anyway?

    Suddenly, the magus speaks, “So, well Saber-san lower her sword now?”

    “I have no sword to lower in front of an enemy, Magus,” Saber turned back to the girl speaking and added, “Give up.”

    “Even if your Master says to lower it?” The voice was teasing. At least, you think it was teasing. Wasn’t it teasing?

    Saber grits her teeth, but did not move forward for the kill.

    “I see. Then I can stand up, right?” The girl on the ground brushed her rear shamelessly.

    You frown… hey…

    …hey!

    …HEY!

    …Wait a second! Wait a second. That sulky expression, those twin-tails, you know her… That’s definitely your schoolmate, “Y-you, you’re Tohsaka…!?”

    “Yes, well,” She replied contritely, yet with a big smile, as she brushed her hair back, “Good evening, Emiya-kun.”

    She greeted you so easily, as if it was something she did everyday.

    “Whoa-wait!” You stutter, suddenly flustered all over again. “You… you just did magic! Um, well, um… so…?”

    “I’m a magus, We’re the same, right?” Tohsaka’s steps clicked softly up to you. She raised an elegant eyebrow at you in question before saying in a slow drawl, “Are you so blatantly showing off in front of me, Emiya-kun? Perhaps you should control your Servants better before you try that attempt again.”

    “Wha…?”

    “Let’s go inside, why don’t we?” Tohsaka added clearly implying that you are being stupid. “You don’t know anything, right Emiya-kun?”

    With that, she invited herself into your house, without a word from you.

    While Saber looked rather conflicted, her white-clad twin (?) was smiling brightly now, suddenly between us. She slung an arm around each of our shoulders and giggled loudly, “Don’t worry, don’t worry! This is nothing! Come on, come on…”

    As she pulled you into the house, with a dumbfounded Red Saber and black-clad twin in tow, she added, “Do you think you could cook a late night snack for us, Shirou?”A blur of cobalt, embodied and encased in a vessel of speed, skill and power, followed you, chasing you through the shadows. It leaped from canopy to canopy, cutting from corners to corners, leaving you no room for anything other than running. Your lungs burned with anxiety as you panted short, quick breaths. Your muscles screamed to your mind through your nerves, even as you strained them further, pushing yourself to your upmost limit in your attempt at escape. Yet…

    …The soft chuckles that followed you told another tale; there was no escape for the simple, mortal man. The insanity of the night trailed after you in your shadows. In every corner of darkness, you saw the illusion of a man—no, a being beyond humanity—shooting forth and piercing you. Only then, as you heart pounded and seemed to leap out of your chest, do you realize you dreamed of these shadows. Your exhausted cries cannot even reach the shadows…

    …You stumbled into the shed, your father’s workshop. Without lights on, with only the moonlight to illuminate the quarters you have stumbled into, long shadows were cast all around you. In mere seconds, even you knew the blue-clad, insane man would enter through your doors, and impale you with his hard, powerful spear. Your mind flashed as you perceive these moments to be your last, so many regrets of unfulfilled dreams lay wasted all around you. Your final lament was…

    …Your thoughts, ramblings and reveries, were disrupted completely by the glow of ethereal light all around you. A glowing circle of power, cast by some force unknown to you, spreads and lights up the room with such blinding and pure power, that you were forced to cover your eyes—just barely. Formed through powers beyond your comprehension, a figure stands before you, a beauty.

    It happened so fast—a flash of light, a rush of power—and now, before your eyes, a beautiful blond woman, her golden locks swaying gently in an invisible wind that entered through mysterious means. Her cold, gentle eyes glimmered in the soft moonlit night like her silver armor as she turned to you silently. Those green eyes inquired of you, just as her lips parted in sync. She stood before you regally and proudly, as her voice cuts through your admiration of her beauty, “I ask of you, are you my Master?”

    Your heart pumped rapidly as your mind raced, the aura of mystery surrounding this woman along with her unique appearance fascinating and dazzling you. The moonlight shone upon the edges of her figure, creating an almost tangible aura as the edges of her hair became alit into a natural halo of gold. Her golden strands framed her alabaster face prettily, as if she were a work of art. Yet it is not just her beauty that captivated you; her mystery, her legend-like appearance, mystified you.

    You gaped as you tried to piece together syllables to form words. You attempted once, before licking your lips slowly and focusing again, yet unable to remove your eyes from her glorious visage. Your lips part once more, about to respond to her, the question her question…

    …When the circle of light flashed once more, a surge of power washing over you again. From beside the first blond woman walked forth yet another, one that instead of donned in royal blues and silver armor, was dressed in a bright red dress, embroidered with gold. Its soft glimmer in the night told you that it was not just thread, but pure gold that made up of part of her… gown. Your face heated up as blood rushed to your cheeks; her dress was made to accentuate her chest, which was the one most notable difference between the second blond woman and the first. Her bountiful chest bounced slowly as she stood up straight and scanned the room, delight growing in her eyes. But were it not for her chest (you doubt you could fit those in your hands), the girls could have been twins.

    From the corner of your eyes, you see the first girl, the blue-clad, armored foreign rose, staring in a state of mild shock that lasted a few seconds. Were they not sisters? They could be—

    The blond girl dressed in red walked—no, strutted—up to you with a confident gait that you would most associate with the elite of society. Yet she was not haughty, on her face was an amused grin, which grew as she took your image into her mind. The closer she approached you, the happier she seemed. Just a step away from you, she was skipping heartily. Her tantalizing, pink lips drew into one of the most beautiful smiles you have ever seen as she asks you, “Hallo! I bet you’re my Master, aren’t you? Well, I’m you—“

    She was cut off, as yet another light shone through the circle. Your hands twitched as you raised them to cover your eyes again; the light and power flowed through the circle once more.

    …Your heart jumps once more, but not of attraction or arousal. From the dim lights stepped forth a dark knight of dimly glowing red, so much like freshly flowing blood, and the darkest blacks. She stood like the others, looking so much like the other two. Yet her armor is of the blackest night, jagged and sharp, like some dark lord’s armor, filling you with fear and dread. You could not see her face clearly; her eyes are shielded and protected by a visor of black and red. Even her hair and her skin were paler than the others, not glowing at all in the moonlight. From your perspective on the ground, it seemed as if she absorbed the light into her being, making everything darker as time stood still.

    She—of this triplet—nodded once towards you, grunting softly and startling all of you, even the stoic, blue-clad girl who appeared first. Then she took heavy steps towards the first blond girl, the one dressed in blue. With a single, heavily gauntleted hand, this girl armored in black pinched the edge of the blue clad girl’s dress and hung onto it, while seemingly hiding herself from you using the blue-clad girl as a shield.

    You blinked, no longer feeling the initial surprise or awe as the circle glowed yet again. No one said anything, other than the red-clad girl, who let out a squeak of glee as another girl—another twin? Quadruplet?—stood out of the aura of lights and power.

    She was wearing a low-cut dress and partly covered in silver armor, resembling the first girl in almost every way other than the way she carried herself. Her demeanor was not serious or determined, but a rather lax and mischievous attitude washed off of her very being. She glowed brightly in the night lights, her silver armor, covered in black runes, glowing brighter than even the gold of the red-clad girl.

    She stepped out of the circle as it grew dim and giggled as her eyes landed upon you. Clasping her hands together as if she was praying, she curtseyed to you and murmured, “I know this, but I shall ask of you, aren’t you my Master?” She grinned at you as she straightened herself.

    Your mouth hung slightly open, as you stared up at her, which only caused her to giggle louder. At this, everyone else stared at each other, both unsure of what just occurred and seemingly surprised that each other was here at all. You certainly are more surprised than the rest. Your eyes were wide, as you tried to figure out how to react… no, how to even explain this phenomenon to your own mind. What exactly had occurred here? How… why you? How did this happen?

    “Um…” You tried to process what was occurring.

    Your muscles relaxed as the magical circle became less visible, perhaps this was the last of the girls—the last of this quadruplet of… knights? They all seemed to stand regally like royalty, even the dark one who only grunted and growled. Each stared at the other, apprehensive and cautious, yet surprise filled each girl-knight’s eyes. Everyone in the shed stared at everyone else, while you were too shocked to even stand up.

    Then the blue-clad man wielding the bulging lance stepped into the entrance, whatever he was about to say, perhaps just announcing his presence, died in his mouth as his jaws hung open at the sight of the four knights who surrounded you in a protective semi-circle immediately. Each girl’s expressions, and whatever thoughts were in their minds, were wiped of their mild curiosity and different attitudes. All of their faces became similar, like one, they settled with determined battle stances, each only slightly different from the other. Weapons materialized in their hands, of fires and winds, of golden light and of the darkest blackness, each an instrument of destiny and legend.

    The blue-clad girl charged first, followed almost immediately by the one in black, pushing the once confident lancer back and out of the shed with their combined might. The pressure of the invisible blade of wind and the black blade of red light and blackness clashed against the lancer’s weapon, pushing him almost out of the compound with a single, combined attack alone.

    Their combined attack sparked with bright flashes as both girls’ attacks glowed with terrifying magical energy. It could hardly be called attacks anymore, as they were blinding explosions of power… such power, that you could not tell how much force it might take to block such blows like the blue-clad man did so simply…

    …You… could hardly believe what was happening.

    …You were shocked. You… You cannot react. Two small girls that size… shorter than you, and with such slender arms! The pair of them was overpowering the man ruthlessly and relentlessly. You stared in shock as more flashes of magical power washed over you, simple aftereffects of their clashes.

    …Such tremendous magical power…

    The black-clad girl roared loudly, piercing the stillness of the night with her battle cry as she pushed forward recklessly. Beside her, her—sister? Ally?—charged as well, steadily on an even defensive and offensive, protecting both with her invisible weapon. Their combined efforts allowed the man no chance to gloat, or even talk, like he did before. At that moment he looked like he knew he was defeated.

    He barely had any time to defend himself; even the white-clad girl was circling him slowly, just her presence putting further pressure on him. It kept him from going on the offensive, in fact it kept him from even bantering like he so seemed to want to.

    Rather than backing down, his hands reared back, a gathering of power that even you can sense, ready to throw his mighty lance. Electricity sparkles and runs down the man’s potent weapon, charging with such visible magical energy. He lowered his lance, and it felt as if a different kind of aura surrounded the combatants. An aura of bloodlust…

    This caused the blue-clad girl to pause, staring intently as she frowned. “A Noble Phantasm…!” She whispered through her gritted teeth, barely audible for you. She held herself back, back to a stance of defense. Seeing this, the black-clad girl mirrored her…

    …But in that instant, even before the lancer was about the charge his shot, the white-clad girl flew forward and under his guard, tackling his torso with her shoulder before cutting her blade of golden light upwards. She even so much as gave a friendly taunt, “Not this time, Cu Chulainn!”

    You stand up and follow the girls out of your shed, the red-clad girl staying dangerously close to your side. Her other assets were a constant distraction to your concentration; you must remind yourself constantly that you are still in a life-or-death situation to keep your eyes forward and focused on the matter at hand. The dangerous and obviously deranged, blue-clad man was still here!

    The white-clad girl’s blade knocked the man into the air, causing him to shift from an offensive stance back to defensive just in time to save his life. The blow flipped him into the air a dozen meters before he back flipped and landed on the walls of your house. After twirling his spear once, he stared at you, only barely panting from exertion.

    Then he growled to you, “Kid, you… you don’t play fairly at all! I would love to stay and fight the real fight, but my… tsk… Master,” he said this word with such venom before continuing, “ordered me otherwise. But you ladies remember that my spear is always up for a bout!”

    As the man leaped away, faster than these girls could catch him, and many times faster than you thought possible, you heard something in the distance, just beyond your walls.

    You ran up to the girls, more concerned if they were injured than anything else. But the first thing that came to your mind, the first thing that you uttered out was how strange they were. They were strange beings, with fantastical powers beyond anything you could comprehend. Even your father did not show you such powers. You would not let yourself to be dazzled by such powers and forget yourself. You shake your head quickly and remind yourself that each of these girls was a powerful, mysterious being. You must stay on guard, at least until you know what they are. So you said the first thing that came to you and asked, “Who… are you?”

    You fell back half a step as you asked this, causing all of the four girls to turn to you.

    The first to answer was the girl clad in blue, the first to appear. She stared at you coldly, “…What do you mean? I am Servant Saber.” She answered in a quiet voice, before pausing and taking a better look at you. A small frown marred her porcelain face, “…You summoned me, so I did not expect you would need to confirm it.”

    You stared at her in wonder, having only gotten more questions spawned from the answer you just received. In an awed tone, you repeated after her, “Servant Saber?”

    She nodded and replied without any doubt in her voice, “Yes, please call me Saber,” she says without hesitation. Her tone was polite and gentle, enough to cause you to become dazed by her personal beauty, like when you first met her. You felt your mind go blank…

    “Wait!” The red-clad girl interrupted, “But-but I’m Saber!” She added. Her voice was the opposite of the blue-clad Saber’s, loud and proud. “We can’t both be Saber!”

    The first Saber’s frown deepened as she turned to the red-clad Saber at her exclamation. Then she turns to you, as if she was expecting some kind of explanation or as if she blamed this solely upon you. So they don’t know each other then, you wonder. The fire Saber finally decides to respond, “…I have never experienced this type of situation; you must be a very powerful magus, Master.”

    You blinked, confused, before the red-clad Saber chortled and added, “Fine, fine! Call me Red Saber, for now! And you can be Blue Saber!”

    “B-Blue Saber?! That’s…”

    “Y-you girls have s-strange names,” you chime in, causing Blue Saber to pause and frown at you again. You couldn’t take her staring for more than a few seconds before you hid your red face in your hands. You knew you had just said something stupid, but… You didn’t know what else to say, but what was polite to say? Why did you criticize their names anyway? You try to ignore it and added, “…I’m Shirou. My name is Emiya Shirou, and I live in this house.”

    Isn’t this how people acted in movies, whenever a young boy met a girl, because he would get flustered…? Flustered! That’s exactly how you feel right now, right? Why were you being so stupid, you should just correct yourself, or apologize, or… or…

    The first Saber stared at you stared at you without her expression changing at all. The other Saber tilted her head at you rather cutely, but otherwise remained the same as well, though a small frown creased her brows. She placed her arms on her hips, as if expecting more from you. The black-clad girl said nothing, while the white clad girl giggled in the background, not even volunteering to say anything either.

    “No, I mean, I… wait, I take that back, I…” You scratch you head, trying to string together the right words to form the sentence you meant to say, “That’s not what I meant to ask you, I…”

    “I know,” the first Saber nodded gently, “you are not a formal Master, correct? Whatever the case, you are still my Master, and as long as our contract remains, I shall not betray you. There is no need for you—“

    Before she could finish her sentence, the red-clad Saber jumped on your back and clung on to you by hooking her arms around your neck. She is surprisingly light; enough that it felt like you were not carrying anything at all. She laughed giddily, “You are my Master too! Shirou, is it? Shirou! Shirou! Shirou!” She yelled, as if she were acting like she was testing your name out, but really just enjoyed expressing herself.

    “Then I shall call you Shirou too,” the first Saber added, though she did not smile. Still, she was no longer frowning, which led you to relax as well. “Yes, I like the sound of that better, I shall call you Shirou.” She nodded.

    “Yes, I think I shall too! Shirou-kun!” The white-clad girl added for the first time in this conversation. Really, why was she standing so far from you anyway?

    Their voices blended together, like a chorus of angels, which was more than enough to cause your face to grow steadily redder. Well, it was enough to cause you to blush enough to… “Ow!” Pain ran through your hands, as you looked down you see a pair of tattoos on the back of each of your hands as if they were burned into your skin. Then the pain doubled, as another set of tattoos appeared on each of your palms as well. “Wha… what the…?”

    “That is called a Command Spell, Shirou,” the first Saber explains patiently, but the white-clad girl—perhaps another Saber?—interrupted and added, “You can make us to anything, but only three times, Shirou! If you run out, that’s the end of the line for you as a Master, you know? So you shouldn’t use them thoughtlessly!”

    Before you could say another word, the first Saber turns away, muttering softly, “Prepare yourself, Shirou. There are two more enemies outside.”

    “Two more…? Enemies outside?” You wondered aloud, but the white-clad girl closed the distance between you and her in an instant and placed a hand on your shoulder. That alone caused your face to go aflame once more.

    “Don’t worry, Shirou! All is as it should be, this won’t take long,” She giggled softly as the first Saber and the black-clad girl both jumped lightly. Like the Lancer, they disappeared over the walls and into the shadows of the night.

    You were left with only the second Saber and the white-clad girl. The white-clad girl has not stopped giggling, and the only action she has taken was tracing your form with her eyes lewdly. You decided to run after the other girls; perhaps they would meet enemies more powerful than the Lancer?

    With that, you ran out of the gates as fast as you could.

    It was dark, everywhere. The moon took a good time to disappear into a veil of stormy clouds. There was nothing left to illuminate your path, but your other senses compensate for this, and you know enough which direction to run. There was no one else on the road, or anywhere near.

    —It happened in an instant.

    Saber destroyed her target’s defense. She was fighting that guy who was fighting the lancer, confronting him and winning. That familiar guy in red… Saber defeated his attempts at blocking without hesitation. The girl in black looped under Saber’s arms and cut upwards brutally, causing a grunt and a splatter of liquids from the man in red.

    …It was a soft sound, like that of the rubber soles scrapping softly against the ground, but you heard it immediately…

    Saber followed up the black-clad girl’s upward slash with a downward strike like a hammer. But just before he is cut in half, the man disappears as a powerful magic is cast.

    Neither Saber nor the black-clad girl stopped.

    Saber was faster than her black-clad ally, dashing forward at the person behind the man and easily cuts off the powerful spell the person was trying to launch. Somewhere in the back of your mind, you stared at the scene in shock. You knew what kind of spell this person was trying to cast… a spell of magnitude that your father may have been able to use, but not even first class magi could do it so easily. To nullify it so readily…

    But you don’t have the time to think about that. All of that, that complete surprise at her prowess, is all in the back of your mind. All you could think of is how this person will die…

    The blue-clad girl and the black-clad girl both leaped at the enemy magus immediately…

    You called out hoarsely, “S-Stop! Wait—“

    It was not enough to stop the girls alone.

    However, you were not alone. Before the wind weapon and the blade of darkness could crash down and utterly annihilate the enemy magus, a jagged, rigged blade shot forth from the red-clad girl’s hands, stopping the blue-clad girl’s wind weapon. A moment later, the white-clad girl blocked the black-clad girl just as well with her own weapon of light.

    “Why…?” The blue-clad girl mutters as she backs up, landing beside you. She looks confused, but she is reining herself in, so you took a moment to sigh and hope that Tohsaka didn’t hold these girls’ actions against you. It’s not like you were responsible for them or something!

    The red-clad girl tosses her golden locks, before ignoring the girl she blocked completely and jumping in front of you. With great eagerness, she clings to your side, pressing her body against your arm and asks, “Did I do well, Master? Did I? Are you going to praise me now, Master?”

    “Uh…” You blinked slowly. On some wild instinct of yours that you later had come to question, your hands rose shakily up to the red-clad girl’s forehead and rubbed her slowly, causing her to giggle and purr. Her hair was surprisingly soft; it felt like you were running your fingers through feathers. Her head bounced quickly under your ministrations, as she more than readily accepted your gesture of affection. Strangely enough, the white-clad girl was staring at the girl pressed against you enviously. Or was she staring at you enviously? You are not quite sure.

    “…Don’t,” You muttered, “Please don’t do it, Saber. Don’t… kill…” You try your best to glare at her, for her disrespect of life. You prepared yourself to do your best to stop her. All the while, the white-clad twin of Saber held her golden sword against the black-armored girl, though both of them seem to have relaxed enough to no longer be clashing against each other anymore.

    “Why are you stopping me, Shirou?” Saber asked, with no intention of stopping at all. Perhaps she didn’t hear you, but even so, she is willing to kill, without any remorse. “She is Archer’s Master. We have to kill her here,” Saber reasoned.

    “I-I’m telling you to wait!” You didn’t quite understand even then, what you were trying to tell her. But the distaste of having to have been responsible, if even indirectly, of killing someone so easily like that… you didn’t want it and it certainly was not something you would agree with. Certainly she could see that? “I-I don’t understand any of t-this at all! Master this, Master that or something… I-I still don’t understand who you are! Just… just don’t do this, alright? We can talk; I will listen…”

    All of the girls stared at you, though perhaps for different reasons. The white-clad girl looked at you as if you were some kind of amusing show on television for her to enjoy. The blue-clad Saber stared at you in silent, with her expression unreadable. Now that you looked, all of the girl’s expressions were unreadable, and all of them stared at you in silence.

    “…Are you asking of me, to not even kill the enemy?” She asked.

    No, no… you are not such a man who would just let go of any enemy who attacked you. But are these people even your enemy? They were not attacking you this entire time Lancer has been on your back! But rather than saying anything that you just thought, all that parted from your lips was a dumbfounded, “…huh?”

    “So you are saying… do not take a life even if it is that of an enemy’s, correct?” She repeats once more. She seems to be trying to be patient, despite having a so-called enemy so close. Why are all the other girls just standing around, watching? What are they expecting from Saber? Or what are they expecting from you?

    “…I’m talking about you,” You rambled out. You realized that you are ranting, but you could not stop it. Being so put on the spot, you just said whatever came to mind first, “A girl shouldn’t be swinging a sword like you! Girls… Well! I don’t even know if it is a sword, but I can see all your twins, or triplets, or quadruplets or whatever, are all using swords! You… you’re all girls, so you shouldn’t do that!”

    Saber looked dumbfounded as you were just a moment ago. Perhaps you were just rambling stupidly, but you seemed to have a streak of that tonight, why stop? But Saber was taken back, hesitating for the first time.

    The girl in black was as unreadable as ever, but the Red Saber seemed almost ready to agree with you even without listening to what you have said. Though she snapped back at the last second and considered what the Blue Saber said and had a rather conflicted expression on her face…

    …As for the white-clad quadruplet? You looked around, but she seems to have hidden herself somewhere…

    …Why are you all just standing there anyway?

    Suddenly, the magus speaks, “So, well Saber-san lower her sword now?”

    “I have no sword to lower in front of an enemy, Magus,” Saber turned back to the girl speaking and added, “Give up.”

    “Even if your Master says to lower it?” The voice was teasing. At least, you think it was teasing. Wasn’t it teasing?

    Saber grits her teeth, but did not move forward for the kill.

    “I see. Then I can stand up, right?” The girl on the ground brushed her rear shamelessly.

    You frown… hey…

    …hey!

    …HEY!

    …Wait a second! Wait a second. That sulky expression, those twin-tails, you know her… That’s definitely your schoolmate, “Y-you, you’re Tohsaka…!?”

    “Yes, well,” She replied contritely, yet with a big smile, as she brushed her hair back, “Good evening, Emiya-kun.”

    She greeted you so easily, as if it was something she did everyday.

    “Whoa-wait!” You stutter, suddenly flustered all over again. “You… you just did magic! Um, well, um… so…?”

    “I’m a magus, We’re the same, right?” Tohsaka’s steps clicked softly up to you. She raised an elegant eyebrow at you in question before saying in a slow drawl, “Are you so blatantly showing off in front of me, Emiya-kun? Perhaps you should control your Servants better before you try that attempt again.”

    “Wha…?”

    “Let’s go inside, why don’t we?” Tohsaka added clearly implying that you are being stupid. “You don’t know anything, right Emiya-kun?”

    With that, she invited herself into your house, without a word from you.

    While Saber looked rather conflicted, her white-clad twin (?) was smiling brightly now, suddenly between us. She slung an arm around each of our shoulders and giggled loudly, “Don’t worry, don’t worry! This is nothing! Come on, come on…”

    As she pulled you into the house, with a dumbfounded Red Saber and black-clad twin in tow, she added, “Do you think you could cook a late night snack for us, Shirou?”
    Last edited by deviatesfish; September 23rd, 2011 at 02:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Bitchin' Arashi_Leonhart's Avatar
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    DAMMIT YOU USE SECOND PERSON LIKE A BOSS DAMMIT WHY MUST I LIMIT MYSELF TO FIRST DAMMIT FOUR SABERS HNNNNNNNNNNNNG

  3. #3
    call me... senpai deviatesfish's Avatar
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    ;_;

  4. #4
    Pwetty Pwease? qsurf's Avatar
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    She—of this triplet—nodded once towards you, grunting softly and startling all of you, even the stoic, blue-clad girl who appeared first. Then she took heavy steps towards the first blond girl, the one dressed in blue. With a single, heavily gauntleted hand, this girl armored in black pinched the edge of the blue clad girl’s dress and hung onto it, while seemingly hiding herself from you using the blue-clad girl as a shield.
    Moe Alter?HNNNNNNG!

    The red-clad girl tosses her golden locks, before ignoring the girl she blocked completely and jumping in front of you. With great eagerness, she clings to your side, pressing her body against your arm and asks, “Did I do well, Master? Did I? Are you going to praise me now, Master?”
    Eager to please Extra? HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG!


    *here lies qsurf, his body was not ready*

  5. #5
    TheSpy
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    Loving it so far, although I'm not to fond of the Second person perspective.

    And I still want someone to give Rin a sharp whack to the head.
    Last edited by TheSpy; August 28th, 2011 at 07:13 AM.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    TheSpy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    Actually, that's second person. First person is "I" and second is "you."
    Ah, My bad. Fix'd now.

  8. #8
    call me... senpai deviatesfish's Avatar
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    I was going to use first person, but then I thought I'd be dumbing myself down if I wanted to write Shirou first person! XD

  9. #9
    TheSpy
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    Quote Originally Posted by deviatesfish View Post
    I was going to use first person, but then I thought I'd be dumbing myself down if I wanted to write Shirou first person! XD
    Why not use third person?

  10. #10
    Bitchin' Arashi_Leonhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deviatesfish View Post
    but then I thought I'd be dumbing myself down if I wanted to write Shirou first person!
    ...*squints*...you wouldn't be saying anything about we who use first person Shirou, now would we?

  11. #11
    The Royal Chancellor of Avalon Keyne's Avatar
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    This is brilliant!

    Saber's just like in the Prologue.
    Alter's silent and strong as ever.
    Nero is cheerful and bright.
    Lily knows too much~~

    That was a great read. :3


  12. #12
    call me... senpai deviatesfish's Avatar
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    No, no, I'm not saying anything about that at all! I'm just saying I can't write first person very well without tainting it with my own personality. I might accidentally make Shirou into a different character, or even, heavens forbid, cause Shirou to swear using strange terms like "by the root!" or something equally stupid. I didn't write third person because I've already got a third person story going on, so it'd be boring if I only limit myself to third person. I feel somewhat disconnected from the story at times when I'm not using first or second person, something I dunno what to do about... because I really have no issues against third person either.

  13. #13
    TheSpy
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    Quote Originally Posted by deviatesfish View Post
    No, no, I'm not saying anything about that at all! I'm just saying I can't write first person very well without tainting it with my own personality. I might accidentally make Shirou into a different character, or even, heavens forbid, cause Shirou to swear using strange terms like "by the root!" or something equally stupid.
    Alright...

  14. #14
    The Royal Chancellor of Avalon Keyne's Avatar
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    Oh.. and that moment when Alter pinched Saber's skirt and hid behind her was so sweet. Haha.


  15. #15
    TheSpy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keyne View Post
    Oh.. and that moment when Alter pinched Saber's skirt and hid behind her was so sweet. Haha.
    You know, that makes me think she knows who Shirou is.

  16. #16
    The Royal Chancellor of Avalon Keyne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSpy View Post
    You know, that makes me think she knows who Shirou is.
    What do you mean?

    She certainly knows who Shirou is because she's a being from another timeline where she was his Servant. For 5 days.


  17. #17
    Bitchin' Arashi_Leonhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deviatesfish View Post
    I might accidentally make Shirou into a different character, or even, heavens forbid, cause Shirou to swear using strange terms like "by the root!" or something equally stupid.
    Ahh, thank you, GB, for your eternal contributions...

  18. #18
    call me... senpai deviatesfish's Avatar
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    I guess second person is a bit annoying to read, isn't it?

  19. #19
    TheSpy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keyne View Post
    What do you mean?

    She certainly knows who Shirou is because she's a being from another timeline where she was his Servant. For 5 days.
    True... It is That non-existent routes Alter, and not UC Alter right?

  20. #20
    Bitchin' Arashi_Leonhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deviatesfish View Post
    I guess second person is a bit annoying to read, isn't it?
    I like second person, but you have to constantly be creative to figure out ways to use it and not annoy your audience, yeah. I just happen to try and emulate an author that uses second person for interludes and whatnot, so I'm biased.

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