You are Alberich: apparent knight, demonstrable killer, familiar twice over, possible relation of Gods, and modern hero. Tonight is drawing to a close in the wake of numerous upheavals and triumphs. With luck, tomorrow will be easier.On the night of Wednesday, November 13, 2019, you found yourself in a dimly lit stone basement, standing in the middle of a magic circle. You had been summoned as a Servant, a legendary warrior contracted after their death to fight alongside a magus for the Holy Grail, their existence sustained by the mystic energy of their summoner. In your case, however, you were conned by Judas Iscariot into taking his place despite not being a legendary warrior. At least his magic empowered you enough to fill the role.After spending a few days learning about the Holy Grail War and your surroundings, you and your Master went into battle and met with utter defeat. Though you expected to die with the expiry of the magical energy he supplied you, however, he had prepared for his death. You were contracted in the aftermath to his younger sister.The two of you have fared better, in large part due to her ability to transfer a portion of the power held by the foes you've slain to you. In the days since that transfer of contract, you have fought many battles. Rider, Berserker, and Archer have died by your hand while Saber, the Servant who slew your first Master, has been captured and converted to your service by the power of your magic. For a short time you found yourself in a tentative alliance with the last War's survivors, the Emiya family, but were compelled by circumstance to betray them after discovering that they mean to dismantle the Holy Grail which is your only chance to survive beyond the end of the War. Since, you've made a more serious alliance with, and conceived a deep affection for, Liliesviel von Einzbern: a girl who calls you her brother, having led a love-starved life and desiring it in any form; and whose lamentable circumstances, of artificial creation and ascribed purpose, are painfully similar to your own.Amidst these events, you've discovered two truths about your identity: first, that you are an artificial soul. Originally made as a duplicate of Yumigawa Rushorou, you have surpassed humanity through Judas' careful planning of your existence. Second, that your basis, Yumigawa Rushorou, believed your power to be his by right, and had to be defeated if you were to retain it.None of your experiences have changed your goal, however. Whether or not your life has been by the design of another, and regardless of who stands in your way, there is only one path before you. You will take the Holy Grail, and with it your survival, with your own hands. Four Servants remain to fall by your sword.Previous thread: >>3966628Suptg Archive:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Sweets-Loving%20QMStatus Information:https://pastebin.com/qsKX4p5b
With your head cleared by the sweat and exertion of combat, it seems now that the best thing to do is discuss matters with your Master. You've largely kept her out of tonight's affairs, but that can hardly continue forever. The girl deserves to hear about what transpired during your discussions with Adelheid, Circe, and Liliesviel, and to have some idea of the outlook of the War. Where to find her, though? You consider for a few moments where Ayaka might have gone upon her return to the manor. From her recent behavior your first guess would be that she might return to the library, but she obviously hasn't done that; you know she wasn't in the living room watching over your human prisoner with Kōrakuhime as well. The next place to look, then, would be her room.Decision made, you cross Vaisset's former laboratory, climb the stairs to the manor's central ground-floor corridor, and turn left to make for the second floor. Halfway through your ascent from ground floor to bedrooms, though, you're interrupted by Stachel and Stengel, coming out of their shared room and on their way downstairs. You step aside to pass by them, but Stengel gives you an arresting look and stops before you."Lord Alberich," she says pleasantly, putting on an expression of professional courtesy. "What a perfect moment to encounter you. I'll begin preparing dinner shortly, and I wanted to ask: shall I expect our hostess to impose herself on me again while I cook?""A fortunate question," you remark warmly. "Truth be told, it would gratify me enormously if you would prepare for us a dinner from your mistress' homeland. I want her to enjoy the meal as much as possible, and German cooking would also be a fine show of recognition for the more... reasonable of the two Servants we captured this evening: a German herself. If Tsubaki feels the need to interject, I will rely on you to defend the kitchen from her; hopefully my word in this matter will be effective.""Well!" Stengel looks at you with pleased surprise on her face. "You may be sure that I am glad to receive your support, Lord Alberich, but I'm certain that it would be more effective for you to speak to the girl yourself.""My apologies," you say, shaking your head, "but I must speak to the other Shijou about something at the moment." You pass the two maids to continue down the hall, adding as you go, "Please, avail yourself of the kitchen and do the best that you can to weather Tsubaki's attempts to impose Japanese fare on us."The maid, seemingly mollified by her partial victory in spite of your refusal to offer more tangible assistance, allows you to go without further comment, so you soon continue to Ayaka's bedroom. Sure enough, you can hear within the faint sound of her breathing and the occasional rustling of a page being turned. Not wanting to surprise her, though, you rapidly knock three times at the door.
"Hmm?" An inquisitive noise, and the sound of fabric shifting on itself; clothing on sheets, perhaps? After a few moments, Ayaka asks, "Is that you, Saber-san? Come in."As you enter, you bow obsequiously, replying, "It is I, Ojou-sama. Your lowly Servant, Saber; here, and at your command.""Hey!" For your trouble, you receive a thrown pillow along with the exclamation. You dodge the projectile with a tilt of your head, but the malicious thought is there all the same. Ayaka sits, legs folded, on the middle of her bed, blushing at your overacting with a complex expression of mixed embarrassment, mirth, and exaggerated anger. "Didn't I say not to call me that?" she demands. "What did you do that for?""I thought it might bring a smile to your face," you say, shrugging innocently. "You've been in a bit of a funk lately, but you seemed to enjoy my playing the role of butler well enough before.""Hmph!" She turns away from you, pouting. "Enjoy it! As if! It's so embarrassing when you do that, Saber-san, you just don't understand." The pretended anger fades quickly, though, and although her blush remains it's in a more casual tone that she asks, "What did you want to see me about?" as you take a seat on her desk chair. You notice as you do so a slightly odd collection of items on her desk: a solid silver fountain pen, a small fruit knife, and several vials and other arcane implements which you're almost certain you last saw on her brother's worktable. That does make them her property now, though, so you suppose it's to be expected. You turn your eyes back to Ayaka as you reply, "I believe you ought to know what's happened this evening. Tell me, were you watching with Kōrakuhime as I confronted Circe and Adelheid for the first time?""No," she says uncertainly, "I thought that was a bit weird, how she said she'd been watching you. All she was doing that I could see was reading from that book she carries around, and she was very careful to keep the two of us from seeing inside it. I wonder if she makes it into a screen, like that smoke she used before.""Intriguing," you say, noting the fact for future reference. You suppose the book Ayaka mentions is the same that is one of Kōrakuhime's Noble Phantasms, but you've never seen her actually open it yourself. You'll have to ask her about it at some point. For the moment, though, you turn your thoughts back to the girl in front of you. "I suppose I'll start from the beginning, then. Circe and Adelheid are the two Servants who were mine at the end of the War fought in Judas' Akeldama, and were working to forward Yumigawa's cause because they were convinced that I was no more than disembodied power, and that I could be 'returned' to him. That much, I believe you already understand."
"You hadn't mentioned that they didn't think you were a person before, actually," Ayaka replies, looking a bit confused, "or that Adelheid was your Servant as well. Is it possible for one Master to have two Servants?""Under ordinary circumstances it should not be," you answer with a smile, "but then, it shouldn't be possible for a man to be a living Servant, either; as we have observed, I seem to be something of a peculiarity. This unique nature is what confused my Servants as well. You see, when I came out of the Akeldama and into this world, it seems that some strange aspect of my existence, something Judas called 'resonance', resulted in the original Yumigawa Rushorou gaining my memories. When my Servants sought out the man they served, they found him first, and only later learned of me. There couldn't be two Yumigawa Rushorous, and unfortunately neither of them leapt to the conclusion that was the bizarre truth. Instead, they supposed that the appearance and power he had gained had been stripped from him; that I was some sort of disembodied mass of power, meant to return to Yumigawa Rushorou. Fortunately I was able to convince Adelheid of my true nature and bring her back to my service. With Circe, it wasn't so simple.""I knew it!" Ayaka exclaims, brightening. "There's no way you could discuss things reasonably with someone who would try to kill the overseer of the War. Did you find her at the hotel your 'sister' said she was hiding in?""Yes, she was there," you say with a pensive nod. "You were right about being unable to bring a woman who chose to abandon her Master back to my service by words alone. I suppose my optimism hid that fact from me, so I must give you credit for seeing it plain when I could not. I had to hunt her down, capture her by force, and compel her to obey. Now she's in the basement, under guard by Lancer, and I'm not yet certain what I'll do with her. Perhaps I'll give her to Liliesviel, as the girl wants. Certainly she has the magical energy necessary to sustain her, and it would reduce the strain on the Mana in the region.""Oh?" Ayaka gives you a smirk. "Didn't you just say it wasn't normally possible for one Master to have more than one Servant? Is she another one of your peculiarities?""She is," you answer, "but more to the point in this instance, Lancer is a peculiarity among peculiarities. That fellow has the body of a homunculus and generates his own magical energy with no drain on his Master at all! Consequently, Liliesviel can easily support a second Servant.""How strange," Ayaka says, wide-eyed. "I'd never have thought something like that was possible... a self-sustaining familiar... the Einzberns sure are something else. Still," she adds, calming again, "it's our good fortune, so long as she stays dedicated to being your ally. Seems like tonight's expedition was a complete success, Saber-san! We don't have many enemies left in the War, do we?"
"Yes, well, there is one other event that occurred tonight I ought to inform you of," you say hesitantly. "It may be that Liliesviel will not remain a dedicated ally, after tonight. This is the reason I haven't already turned Circe over to her.""Why is that?" Ayaka asks, looking suddenly nervous. Not surprising, considering that she saw Odin destroy Achilles almost as clearly as you did. She's well acquainted with the danger of making an enemy out of the Einzbern Master."When I first told you about my meeting with her, you'll recall that I told you of a notion that Liliesviel had developed that I was a fellow Einzbern," you begin. "Up until tonight I have persisted in encouraging this notion. At this point, however, I could no longer bear to continue deceiving the girl. I disabused her of the notion, and explained my true origin to her, upon our return to the manor.""Oh my goodness," Ayaka sighs, going white. "I can't believe you'd do something like that, Saber-san! Doesn't everything for you depend on keeping her on your side, so she can keep you alive after the War? And... and... I mean..." she breaks off the statement, changing course to ask, "How did she react?""Liliesviel was saddened by the revelation," you say, minimizing the impact and keeping your voice unemotional in an attempt to shield yourself from the memory of those tears, and the pain they send through you with each droplet falling to darken her skirt in your mind's eye. "But not angry, I don't think. I believe she will remain our ally.""I see," Ayaka says, calming a bit. Color starts to come back into her face as she continue, "I suppose there's nothing to do but wait, then, and stay on guard." With a strained smile she adds, "I hope you don't have any other surprises for me, Saber-san.">[ ] As a matter of fact, you aren't quite finished speaking with Ayaka. (Write in topic, question, or statement.)>[ ] You don't have any more surprises for her. Look in on Liliesviel before dinner, to see how she's feeling now. >[ ] You're finished speaking with Ayaka, but there is someone else you'd like to see alone before dinner. (Who, and what about?)>[ ] For the moment, you have nothing else to say. Go down to the kitchen and dining room, to check on Stengel and wait for dinner.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4003413>[ ] You don't have any more surprises for her. Look in on Liliesviel before dinner, to see how she's feeling now.
>>4003413>[ ] As a matter of fact, you aren't quite finished speaking with Ayaka. (Write in topic, question, or statement.)"As you know, Jean-Pierre Vaisset was working on a method to transmute elements -- I believe he referred to it as 'synthetic elemental conversion'. Since you seem to be delving into his possessions, I would like to take a look at his work on it, if you aren't investigating it yourself."
I had a bad feeling when nobody replied to the post confirming that I was still online, but this is a bit sad.Truly, hiatus kills...
>>4003413>>[ ] For the moment, you have nothing else to say. Go down to the kitchen and dining room, to check on Stengel and wait for dinner.
>>4003413>[X] For the moment, you have nothing else to say. Go down to the kitchen and dining room, to check on Stengel and wait for dinner.Let's prevent Tsubaki from perpetuating Japanese imperialism on the kitchen and give Lily some space.
>>4003413>[X] As a matter of fact, you aren't quite finished speaking with Ayaka. (Write in topic, question, or statement.)>"Ayaka, at the moment our goal is surviving through the War, but it's occurred to me- what then? Do you have any goals after this is over?"Or something like that. I want to love them dammit.
>>4003892I'm pretty sure the last time she said she didn't know before resolving to continue her family's tradition.
>>4003898Oops. . .Then let's ask her something else!>This war has been taxing on all of us- would you like to do something relaxing tomorrow?Not really a question, but it opens up an opportunity to get to know her better later.
>>4003413>>[ ] As a matter of fact, you aren't quite finished speaking with Ayaka. (Write in topic, question, or statement.)If haven't 'recently' should check in on her own research along with this >>4003438 either way i'd like their conversation to continue a bit longer outside of what we came here for.
>>4003413Let's roll with this >>4003438Also>German cooking would also be a fine show of recognition for the more... reasonable of the two Servants we captured this evening: a German herself.Little did Alberich know that Hitler was both a weeb and a vegetarian, and probably would have been totally fine with Japanese food.
So, anyone got any ideas for dates/days out?Shopping could be fun.The arcade could be fun to bring everyone to.
>>4004502Does it really make sense to take a day off and just casually stroll around when assassin can fuck with us so easily and we need to prepare to bring this war to a close?
>>4004526Yes.If we have Circe and Tsubaki with us, we'll be fine.Fuck off Loki.
Looks like >>4003438 wins out. It's been a while, but it seems you're finally turning your mind back to your first Master, and his abortive efforts to revolutionize magic. Writing now.
>>4004774Wouldn't Tsubaki be an expert in that field?
>>4004955Well, she is more knowledgeable about magic than Ayaka in terms of application, although given the nature of her Witchcraft skill it's not quite in the form of modern magecraft; similar to Circe's problem. Then again, nobody's really an expert in elemental transmutation except for the alchemists; I think Vaisset told you about it, that he was trying to find a magical means of the alchemical procedure to break Atlas' stranglehold on it and bring the magi up to their level. Of course there is another family of magi who are experienced in finding magical means of achieving alchemical ends whom you know.So, you have a few different options in investigating Vaisset's research.
>>4004994what's the deal with all these different kinds of magecraft.Is there difference between AotG magecraft and modern magecraft besides powerlevels?
>>4005037>what's the deal with all these different kinds of magecraft.It's because of the principle of mystery and the decline of magic, which weren't factors during the Age of Gods due to divine authority. I'm not actually certain whether anyone has properly explained how mystery works to Alberich, or if it's just been touched on. Any of you folks want to go through the archives and check?
>>4005092I'm not sure about mystery specifically but Circe did outline the differences between her magic and modern magecraft. As well as have a bit of a sperg about how everyone ruined her system./spoiler]
>>4005092>>4005135Tsubaki also mentioned that she couldn't help Ayaka because learning her family's magic would reduce their mystery.
>>4004774>5 hours laterthe absolute madman is writing a comprehensive treatise on the clusterfuck that is fate's magic system
>>4005512Or he's playing Diablo.
>>4005512Or it's just my usual problem of life interfering and my utter inability to write when distracted by anything IRL. Almost done, sorry!>>4005754I would never!
"No," you reply, returning the girl's smile and patting her reassuringly on the shoulder, "but I do have a point of inquiry. As you know, Jean-Pierre Vaisset was dedicating himself to a method of transmuting the magical elements before he passed away; I believe he referred to is as 'synthetic elemental conversion'. Since you seem to be delving into his possessions, I would like to take a look at his work on it; assuming you aren't investigating it yourself, of course.""Heh?" Ayaka starts at your suggestion of her pilfering her brother's effects, then gives you a confused look. "Nii-san's - I don't know what you mean. I don't mind you looking over his notes, but where did you get the idea I've been going through his things?""Oh, come now," you reply, smile widening at the ridiculous lie. "Just look at your desk! I've seen most of these tools in your brother's laboratory." You furrow your brows, and in a sterner tone continue, "There's no reason to keep secrets from me. Why lie about the fact that you've brought tools up from the basement?"As Ayaka's eyes settle on the strange magical tools that mix with ordinary school supplies to occupy the surface of her desk, her face brightens in understanding. "Oh, those!" she exclaims, audibly relieved. "I'm sorry for the misunderstanding, Saber-san. Those weren't Nii-san's in the first place; they were some of my mother's old things, and he had them down in the basement for some reason. I've been using them a bit to help me understand the things written in these old books, but they don't have anything to do with his research, so I was confused.""I see," you say, eying her for a moment before bowing your head and saying in a carefully chosen tone of regret, "In that case, please accept my apology, Miss Ayaka. I should not have been so quick to accuse you over a simple contradiction.""No, no, no!" she exclaims, shaking her head and bringing her hands up in flustered protests. "I definitely see how what I was saying seemed weird, you don't have to apologize, Saber-san! Raise your head, please!"Good, it seems she isn't hurt by your accusation. You really can't stand the idea of emotionally wounding another of your companions tonight. Ayaka may not shine as brightly in your eyes as Liliesviel, but all the same, to have a falling out with her over such a triviality would leave a lasting sting. "In that case," you reply, sitting up straight once more to look at your Master directly, "I'll return to my former question. Are you familiar with the project your brother was engaged in before his untimely death, and would you be able to help me investigate?"
"We~ll," Ayaka says, dragging out the word for a few seconds as she considers, "I don't know all that much about Nii-san's big project, really. He said that it was very important to the Moonlit World, and that it could change everything, and things like that, but he didn't like to give me any specific information about anything related to the Vaisset family magic; and I mostly stayed out of magic in general, after my mother passed. This is the first time I've heard that name you called it. 'Synthetic elemental conversion,' huh?" Her eyes take on a faraway expression as she slowly repeats the term to herself, rolling each syllable across her tongue as if tasting it. "I wonder, would that mean anyone could use any of the Five Great Elements, like an Average One? That really would be revolutionary." Then she frowns, continuing, "No, that couldn't work; if you popularized the technique, it would become useless because its mystery would be lost, right? What was he trying to do, then?""Miss Ayaka," you interject. "You seem to be floating away into contemplation. If I may...""Oh! Sorry about that," Ayaka says, blushing furiously as her focus snaps back to you. "What else did you want to know?""The location of M. Vaisset's notes would answer the second part of my earlier question," you answer, smiling at her embarrassment, "but now that you've raised the subject, there is one other thing I would like to ask of you." You sweep a hand vertically before yourself, guiding Ayaka's eyes to your body from top to bottom as you continue, "As you can see, I am primarily a warrior, and unfamiliar with the subtle terms of magi despite my facility with certain forms of magic. I've heard the term 'mystery' used in several circumstances before, but I remain unclear regarding its precise meaning in a magical context. Would you mind explaining for me why it is that your brother's technique would lose its potency if it were to become widely known?""Oh, sure," Ayaka says, having had the chance to compose herself during your question. "Terminology was one of the things that I had a lot of difficulty with when I was learning as well; and then now, reading the old family chronicles and having to get used to the older terms in archaic dialect, and that kind of thing, is just a nightmare; so I understand why you'd be confused." The girl pauses for a moment, taking a breath and composing herself once more, then pushes her glasses up on her nose and raises an index finger as she begins to explain in the manner of an educator.
"A mystery, in magic, is the combination of an effect and the process of achieving it. So, when a magus does what an old story might call 'casting a spell,' the proper term is 'actualizing a mystery', that is, taking the hypothetical, recorded mystery within the mind and magic crest, and making it an actual part of the world. However, it also refers to a property of magic, which is where the secrecy of magi comes from." She smiles bashfully as she adds, "I don't really understand the underlying principles of how it functions myself, so I can only explain what it does in general; I hope you don't mind.""Go ahead," you say. "As much as you can tell me is perfectly fine; I'll do my own research later.""Alright then," Ayaka replies, and takes a moment to regain her professorial poise before continuing, "We talk about the mystery in certain magic, and the mystery in the world, as general measures of effectiveness. The reason why the term is mystery is that it's tied to understanding. The more people understand the inner workings of a certain magical technique, the less effective it becomes. That's why magus lineages only have one heir, and carefully safeguard their knowledge, passing it from one generation to the next without letting their techniques be learned by outsiders. To give an example, at the moment I'm the only person capable of performing the sacrificial ritual passed down in the Shijou family, and it's capable of capturing a very large amount of magical energy. If I were to teach it to you or someone else, however, when either of us performed the ritual it would be far less effective; it might perhaps capture as little as half the energy it's capable of storing at the moment. As knowledge spread further, it would become weaker and weaker, until eventually you could sacrifice any number of beings and gather no energy at all. That's why I'm sure that Nii-san's method would also have to be kept within the family. Something like a new technique that changes magic as a whole just isn't possible.""That does explain a great deal," you say. "Thank you for answering my question, Miss Ayaka. What of the books in the Shijou library, though? Some deal only with generalities, true enough, but there are others there that seem to have complete rituals and methods of actualizing mysteries recorded within. Wouldn't this sort of printed documentation of magic be against the proper conduct of magi, if it weakens the content?"
"Oh, that's a good question," Ayaka says with a smile. "I'm glad you noticed that! There are four kinds of books in our library, generally. First, the personal records, like what I've been reading. These are only to be read by members of the family, so there's little risk of weakening mysteries unless the family is unable to protect them. Second, there are books of general principles; these are the texts dealing with aspects of magic that can be taught, things so general that they're unaffected by widespread knowledge among magi. Third, there are certain 'last will' grimoires, written by magi with no heirs, and of which only one copy exists. These are a way for a magus to pass on his knowledge after his death despite lacking a proper lineage, and the Vaisset family went to great lengths to collect them. Finally, there are books dealing with ritual magic, the formal craft. I don't know why, but for some reason it seems that some rituals which rely on Mana aren't significantly affected by proliferation, so there are certain grimoires which contain information on them. Proliferating it is still frowned on by the Mages' Association, though, so they still tend to be rare books.""Fascinating," you muse, thinking again of the small room containing all of the Shijou and Vaisset families' written knowledge. "I see now why a magus' private library might be limited," you continue, before getting to your feet. With that you conclude, "I believe you've answered all of my questions about mystery; thank you again. Now, would you mind showing me your brother's notes? Even if his project is unable to be proliferated, I find myself intrigued by it all the same."Ayaka makes no move to follow your example in standing. Instead, she looks up at you with a bashful expression and says, "I... can't, actually. Sorry, but like I said, he didn't want me seeing information about his side of the family's magic, so definitely didn't show me his notes or where he kept them. I imagine they're in his workshop, but beyond that I don't think I can help you, Saber-san. You'll have to look for them on your own.">[ ] Investigate Vaisset's research alone.>[ ] Insist that Ayaka come with you anyway. Despite her claims, she must be of some use in the investigation of her brother's notes.>[ ] Enlist Kōrakuhime's assistance in looking for traces of the mysterious project. As the person who's spent the most time in Vaisset's workshop since his death, she ought to be well equipped to help you.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4005868>[ ] Investigate Vaisset's research alone.Ayaka probably can't help, and Kōrakuhime wants to keep us reliant on her for magic so she won't be very helpful. It's best if we work alone.
>>4005868>[ ] Investigate Vaisset's research alone.
>>4005868>[ ] Insist that Ayaka come with you anyway. Despite her claims, she must be of some use in the investigation of her brother's notes.
I've really missed talk to Ayaka.She's such a good girl.
>>4005868>>[ ] Insist that Ayaka come with you anyway. Despite her claims, she must be of some use in the investigation of her brother's notes.
>>4005935She sure is, huh? If Circe and Kōrakuhime are the two most 'dangerous girl' type heroines, Liliesviel and Ayaka are the two 'nice girls'.
>>4005868>[ ] Investigate Vaisset's research alone.It's time for Alberich to steal shit.
I wonder what Emiya is up to right now.Scrying him would be a riot.
>>4005868>[ ] Enlist Kōrakuhime's assistance in looking for traces of the mysterious project. As the person who's spent the most time in Vaisset's workshop since his death, she ought to be well equipped to help you.Since Ayaka probably can't learn all of Vaisset's notes and K-hime has already probably been helping herself to some of it already, we'll probably save time by telling her that we can split the spoils once we have an idea of what's to be found.Can also use this opportunity to tell her to leave the maids alone and choke down the kraut food tonight.
>>4005868>[ ] Investigate Vaisset's research alone.The girl is clearly not interested in pokeing around in the guy's stuff and Tsubaki would just be a shit about the whole thing.
So if we go out, individual dates or go out as a group?A quick reminder that individual dates will be spied on by both Casters.A group date is more private, strangely.
>>4005868>[ ] Investigate Vaisset's research alone.thanks for explaining mystery to dumb anons like me again sweets, I hope you have a wonderful day
Why are we doing this?Nothingness can become anything already. Isn't this conversion magecraft a waste of time?
>>4006579Maybe, but we'll never be the complete master of magic without mastering all aspects of it.
>>4006583The mystery thing makes that impossible though? Seems like every mage basically has his own version of magic. We can't master all of them.
>>4006605Yeah, that's why you kill them and steal the magic you want.
>>4006613Remember, we have the potential to stand above all others when it comes to magic, that was our wish. We have a Master who can perform a ritual that allows us to steal conceptual shit from things, which seems to be what we excel at.I do wonder if the ritual only works that way for us due to our unique biology, otherwise it would be the worlds most broken ritual.I wonder if we can steal Crests and make them our own with it...Korakuhime meanwhile is kinda dreadful at magic for a Caster with no other real gimmicks to fall back on.
>>4006613Maybe we do that with useful magic sure. Why this though? It's fucking useless! It's a prototype of our own basic element's power! Spending time with any of the girls would be more useful than reading this guy's notes.>>4006635>Korakuhime meanwhile is kinda dreadful at magic for a Caster with no other real gimmicks to fall back on.Citation fucking needed.
>>4006652>Citation fucking needed.Got beaten by a human magus in a battle of magic.What else do you need?As far as Casters go, she's pretty awful.Paracelcus, a somewhat modern magus and fellow Average One, would shit all over her.As for the notes? Never underestimate the power or more knowledge.
>>4006659>Got beaten by a human magus in a battle of magic.So did Medea. Also that same human beat us and King Arthur in single combat. Bad measure.
>>4006660>so did MedeaThat wasn't a battle of magic though.Rin managed to attack Medea when her guard was down, that's all.And that was what we call an asspull.AND Medea was toying with Rin the entire fight.AND Nasu forgot how HSDWs worked.>beat us and King Arthur in single combatHe attacked us once and fucked off immediately.As for Arturia, do you really think she was attacking her Master with the intent to kill?It's a one trick pony ability that he used to retreat.
>>4006664>That wasn't a battle of magic though.>Rin managed to attack Medea when her guard was down, that's all.>And that was what we call an asspull.>AND Medea was toying with Rin the entire fight.>AND Nasu forgot how HSDWs worked.And we didn't see the battle between Kourakuhime and Harris, so we know fuck-all about what kind of asspull he might have had or what kind of toying she was doing. Still a shit argument coming from spite.
>>4006670I'm just saying as far as Casters go, she's not really very good at all.She's middling at best.As for how the battle went.A total fucking stomp where Harris punched all her magic away.You stop toying around when your enemy starts countering you.Rin never did properly counter Medea at magic, and was barely holding on by using her limited uses of jewel magecraft while Medea laughs at everything Rin does.
>>4006579>Nothingness can become anything alreadyWhat makes you say that?
>>4006987From Circe's explanation back in city akeldama.In the real world there are 5 elements, but in the imaginary realm there are only 2. Nothingness fills the role of the 4 material elements, and emptiness is a 1:1 equivalent of void. So since we can manifest nothingness in the real world as if it were a real element we essentially have all the real elements already.
>>4007002>Nothingness fills the role of the 4 material elementsYes, but that's not the same as saying it can take on the properties of all four elements. It only says that the four material elements define tangible reality and so does Nothingness.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to finish the update tonight.Once again, apologies for my schedule. Tomorrow will hopefully go better.
>>4005868If "study alone" is winning by the time Sweets starts writing I'm switching from >>4006254to>[ ] Insist that Ayaka come with you anyway. Despite her claims, she must be of some use in the investigation of her brother's notes.Anons this is an intervention. We cannot regress to spending our free time studying/training alone like before.
AaaaarghWhat's wrong with suptg? Why won't it archive the last thread?I've tried 3 times now and it just hangs...
>>4006675I don't really want to get into this argument, but I'll just remind you that you have only the word of someone who was mostly asleep for how the majority of the fight went. All you personally saw was one successful throw.
>>4007826Whether we're alone or not isn't important. Chasing the conversion research at all is pointless! We should check on Lily or talk to Circe or do anything with the girls because anything's more useful than this!
>>4007927See pic.>>4007838We also saw that she was both unconscious and had obviously taken at least one punch to the faceThe point I was making is that it's not exactly like she aspires to stand at the pinnacle of magic like her brother.She's a Caster, but only just, really.In actual skill most (actual) Casters we've seen in canon or GO would beat her.She might have a headstart by virtue of her class container but Alberich is rapidly gaining knowledge in magic from sources of less than optimal use.Honestly, Caster Alberich would've been broken.
>The two people arguing most about what to do have both not voted on this choice...huh?Anyway, I'm working now but just for quick reference we're currently at five votes for studying Vaisset's transmutation notes alone and three for bringing Ayaka along.
>>4007940You still haven't given me a good reason it's useful.
"Ah. I suppose that does make sense," you reply with a rueful smile. "That being the case, I'll leave you to your own devices for the time being and have a look at what your brother left behind in his workshop." As you turn to go, though, you add, "I should inform you: Stengel, one of Liliesviel's maids, has begun preparing dinner. I don't know just how long she'll be at it, but I suggest you go down to the dining room at some point in the near future; particularly as you didn't have any breakfast."At your mention of an Einzbern using her kitchen, Ayaka gives you a slightly strained look, but responds, "Thank you, Saber-san. It's not like I didn't eat today, though; I had some lunch from the kitchen earlier, while you were out. I'll be down for dinner, though.""Excellent," you say; and with that you step back out of her bedroom, smoothly drawing the door shut behind you.As you cross the house yet again to make your descent back into the basement, you ponder on the subject of Vaisset's project, and his notes. He claimed that it would "revolutionize magic" if successful, but in light of what Ayaka's told you about the properties of mystery, that really doesn't make sense. It isn't only a matter of this particular project, either; how can any one technique revolutionize the practice of magic, when mystery demands that they cannot be spread, as new technologies are, but must remain limited to the family that discovered them? It must be, then, that his own use of the technique was to be such as would achieve the revolution he spoke of. How, though? You turn the matter over and over in your mind, but seem to arrive no closer to the truth. From whichever angle you examine it, the notion seems only to be what Ayaka said of it: an aid to versatility, enabling a magus to make use of elements the affinity for which he was not born with. This mystery of mystery, the seeming secret of Vaisset's project, stokes your curiosity ever higher, and as that passion rises you quicken your steps, hastening to the man's workshop and the hoped-for revelation.
Once you do arrive again in the room where you were summoned, though, the troublesome nature of the task you've set yourself becomes all the more plain. Lately you've more often passed through this room than stopped in it, so haven't looked too carefully at its contents, but now that you cast an analytical eye on it once more the place seems a mess. There, at the back of the room, is the magic circle in which you were summoned; never removed, for some reason, but still there, glistening like a crimson veneer on the stone blocks of the floor. Parts of it have flaked away, however, and about it are scattered sundry mundane and arcane tools which you aren't certain were there before: wide candles stood upon the floor and partially melted into waxen mounds; a magnifying glass with two handles, like the lid of a cooking pot; a pointed steel tool of uncertain use, resembling one of a dentist's hooks and probes; a little pile of oddly sparkling powder, mixed red and dark grey. Moving on from the odd remnants of your summoning ritual, you look over the rest of the room. As you noted on your first arrival, there are several tall mahogany bookshelves covering much of the walls, separated by the doorway you've just entered through, the entrance of the corridor exiting from the left wall to the basement's other rooms, and numerous small spaces for the candelabra that illuminate the workshop. The contents of the shelves, however, don't stand out as significantly different from those contained in the upstairs library, and you consider them most likely runoff: additional books of the same general sort, but too numerous to be contained in their primary storeroom, likely with a few books most pertinent to Vaisset's work brought down among them for ease of access. His personal notes are unlikely to be on the shelves, then.
The final item of furniture in the room is that which most likely contains the object of your search: Vaisset's worktable, recently appropriated by your sister; the sole item of modern design you've yet observed in the house. It's a tall thing, and very wide, its surface above your waist despite your not inconsiderable height, made usable by a mobile chair (though a chair without armrests is, in your view, only dubiously deserving of the name) of adjustable elevation and rotation: also mostly steel, with cushions of some polymer added to the seat and backrest for minimal support. On the surface of the worktable, where during his life you saw Vaisset keep various vials, and gems, and tools currently in use, you now see only the scattered papers prepared by Kōrakuhime in her examination of Arturia, endless pages of parchment unconnected from one another and each covered in the indecipherable geometric forms and archaic script that seem to be the key to her magic. You'll have better luck finding Vaisset's notes below, where the height of the chair and table are justified by the numerous layers of drawers and wireframe racks below the work-surface, containing all manner of tools Vaisset must have used in his daily experiments. Some laid flat and others hanging, some mixed and some sorted, a bizarre array of implements greet your eyes from the uncovered racks: a wide array of knives, the largest just smaller than a butcher's knife and the smallest with a blade barely visible at all, and useful for no purpose that springs to your mind; a slate and accompanying chalk hanging beside a wooden cutting board, plastic cutting surface, and thick steel plate, all of the same height and width; a basket of assorted pens and mechanical pencils of all manner of brands, seemingly dropped there over the years at random; heavy fabric shears and tiny culinary scissors; several varieties of saw; a hammer and chisel, of a size more appropriate for a jeweler's work than a sculptor's; a mechanical scale, with accompanying weights and measures in both imperial and metric systems; three glass syringes differing in the metal of their needles: one gold, one silver, and one steel; and many other tools, of types too diverse and purposes too uncertain to be worth mentioning. In any case, none of the racks carries a notebook. Moving on, then, you turn your attention to the drawers.
Most of these, particularly the smaller, square-faced drawers, are locked, resisting your attempts at investigation. You could simply break them, of course, but it's easier at least to look through the unlocked drawers before moving on to destructive methods. The first unlocked drawer, a wide, shallow bin stretching the length of the table, contains yet more tools: some are larger equivalents of those on the racks below, such as an incongruously mundane claw-hammer, others are harder to identify, such as what you can best describe as a sort of ornate golden sickle, save for the fact that its blade continues beyond the shape of a crescent to form almost a complete circle. This, again, seems to be a repository of things casually left behind rather than any real categorization, as among the tools are such things as a box of nails, at least five matchbooks, numerous loose tacks, several tubes of oil paint, and a roll of beaten copper the approximate size and shape of an ordinary roll of household tape. The second unlocked drawer is similarly disappointing, being entirely filled with small glass vials of various liquids, some colorful and others transparent, some dull and others shining, but all unlabeled and mounted in a rack built into the drawer to prevent breakage. In the third unlocked drawer, the smallest of the three not sealed, you at last discover the items you've been looking for: a stack of four small notebooks, bound in unmarked black leather. You hastily open the uppermost, and discover written on the inside cover in a fine copperplate hand, Recherche, and below that, Jean-Pierre Vaisset. With a sinking feeling at your lack of understanding of the first word, you flip through the subsequent pages. Sure enough, although the format does seem to suggest a mixture of diary and experimental log, the text is entirely written in French: a language of which you are wholly ignorant. Furthermore, in some places the letters themselves seem strangely altered, so that they are indecipherable; although this may be no more than the usage of an alphabet unfamiliar to you.>[ ] Abandon the project for the night and go up to dinner. >[ ] Enlist someone's help in deciphering the notebook. (Who?)>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4009308>[ ] Abandon the project for the night and go up to dinner.Yup, that's definitely a cipher. On top of writing everything in French?Maybe Ayaka picked up a little bit of the language on the side? We should ask her tomorrow, maybe. That, or go to Odin and ask him to meddle with our head some more. Or maybe ask Adelheid?
>>4009308>>[ ] Enlist someone's help in deciphering the notebook. (Who?)Adelheid should both have knowledge of ciphers and French.
>>4009308I'm switching from >>4009322 to >>4009408Adelheid is the most qualified to help us because of Enigma.
>>4009308>[X] Enlist someone's help in deciphering the notebook. (Adelheid)Though this means conversing with the old man.
>>4009308>[ ] Enlist someone's help in deciphering the notebook. (Who?)Adelheid.
>>4009308>[ ] Abandon the project for the night and go up to dinner.Seriously, let's give up on this waste of time.
>>4009308>[ ] Enlist someone's help in deciphering the notebook. (Adelheid and Odin)If she doesn't know French, Old man Odin can probably make us know it
>>4009308>[ ] Enlist someone's help in deciphering the notebook. (Who?)Check in with AdelheidAlso a good opportunity to see how they've been getting along with Odin. I imagine reasonably well.
>>4009780Seriously why? Do you have a reason other than "we need ALL the knowledge"? This is such a pointless diversion! We should be developing our relationships with the girls, not JPV's fucking junk drawer!
>>4009905Seriously why? Do you have a reason other than "we need ALL the girls"? That is such a pointless diversion! We should be developing our magical capabilities, not Ayaka's bishounen fetish!
>>4009979Developing our capability to do something we already can.Come the fuck on. How are you all on board with this?Haven't we already talked for fucking ages about how our autistic need to train and study constantly is killing character growth?
>>4010031But we're having Adelheid help us Volks should give her cipher cracking abilities.
>>4010031Is it something we can do already? We've seen that Alberich can make objects out of Nothingness but nothing you would really associate with the others, no fireballs or electric touch, or ice pillars or anything. What I'm mainly interested in is the application that Vasset is saying would revolutionize magic. Considering how Mystery works, it couldn't be the elemental conversion technique itself, so I'm thinking that he had some kind of mystic code infrastructure planned that would utilize it. I can't prove that it will be something amazing, but by that same token you can't prove that it will end up worthless.
>>4009308>>[X] Enlist someone's help in deciphering the notebook. (Adelheid or Odin)Its a plot hook we've been sitting on since Mirror began and would've been a dead end until we recruited someone who could crack it.Of the people we have Adeleid might if Volks gives Enigma and understanding of French, plan B Odin has shown can implant lingual knowledge and so long as we can stomach putting up with smug condescension he could be some use with magic code breaking, unless his status as god of wisdom is now for show.
>>4010066Servants are summoned with knowledge of all modern languages.We could just as easily ask Circe but I doubt she'd be of much use discerning the cipher.
>>4010077Pardon it slipped the mind with how often it comes up.Either way I still feel those two would be the best candidates, preferably Adelheid because I would like to avoid running into the 'mystery problem', and as a plan B out of Circe, Korakuhime, and Odin I feel the one with access primordial divine magic would be the least interested in finishing some mortal's research. Although, as he's a god of magic, I could be completely wrong.
>>4010146You have the right idea. The ideal candidate is someone who can read the cipher but can't comprehend the magic.
>>4010158And on the off chance this works out with Adelheid and this happens to be the one field of magic where mystery won't be a factor; screw Odin and self-study, try to get our sister in on this for the sibling bonding.Either way i'm in favor of whatever gets us the most bonding events while not passing up opportunities to get stronger.
Sweets. I love this quest but you've typed 5000 words in this thread and nothing significant to the plot has happened. This pacing is killing me.
>>4010364Alright, but didn't you enjoy reading about the all strange things in Vaisset's worktable?That's partially a joke, but in all seriousness you folks voted to investigate the man's research and then, when offered an out, most of you voted to continue. I appreciate that it's a somewhat controversial choice, and that the slow pacing can be frustrating, but I don't want to compromise the general style of the story or be untrue to Alberich's way of looking at the world by rushing through anything.I can say that I'll get another update done tonight, though, rather than delaying again.
>>4010367I for one am enjoying this current turn of events. It's a side of the Fate universe you don't really get to see much, and it's nice to have some speculation on something that isn't about being cucked by a clone or getting screwed over by some unforeseeable keikaku.
>>4010367I'm interested in figuring out his research, but that's offset by my frustration when I picture it taking a week IRL with your update schedule. I don't mean to be rude or anything, I just felt like I had to say it because my motivation to vote is dwindling quickly.
>>4010388I don't feel like you're being rude. Just wanted to explain my reasoning for writing it the way I am.That said, I do find it a bit odd that being unsatisfied with the way things are going is sapping your motivation to have an effect on the way things are going.>>4010383Hey, that whole clone thing didn't turn out so bad, did it?
>>4010383Not that we've done much speculating. 4 days and 94 replies, fuck. I think this is the most dead the quest's ever been!So much for bouncing back after December.
>>4010742what do you want to talk about
>>4010772I still say the vaisset magic thing is a waste of time. So forget that, here are some topics worth thinking about.Odds of Lily forgiving us vs deciding to kill us? Not blowing up right away doesn't mean she's not going to. I think we're probably OK but I don't know.Assuming we are OK with Lily ideas for dealing with the other girls? Harem seems tough to manage. Someone brought up group vs single dates earlier. I'm for single. How do we want to get into a situation where we're taking other girls on dates? Isn't it safer to stick with just Lily? Maybe I'm biased by the fact that she's best girl.What do we want to do long term? We win the war and get 3rd magic incarnation. What then? Bringing back the age of gods seems super fucking dumb. Taking over the world is stock villain BS. Go to the clock tower and learn magic?There are a lot of things we need to figure out.
>>4010787>Odds of Lily forgiving us vs deciding to kill us?Um... better keep an eye on Odin.>Harem seems tough to manage.Well, I for one am optimistic about it. We've already kept two girls in line, we can take three.>Bringing back the age of gods seems super fucking dumb.Why so?>Taking over the world is stock villain BS.Hey, Alexander wanted to do it too.
This first volume, at least, is utterly illegible, useless to you without the aid of its author. Still, there is one other course to pursue while you remain here. Hope's spring is ever-renewing, and the outwardly identical nature of the notebooks suggests to you the cheering idea that Vaisset might have kept multiple copies of the same notebook, written in different languages. Pursuing that desired outcome, you draw each from the drawer and flip through it, scanning the text. Unfortunately you're disappointed yet again. These confirm to your original expectations: two appear to be continuations of the first notebook, while the final volume is mostly blank. All are written in the same mix of French and unknown characters as the first. With a hand weighed down by perfected disappointment, you return the four notebooks to their drawer and lean back in Vaisset's chair to think. How can you make use of these illegible books? Doubtless the full tale of Vaisset's research into his strange project is detailed within, containing in its course the secret means by which he intended to "revolutionize" the world of magic, yet all approaches to understanding that secret seem cut off. The author, dead; his father and predecessor in his family's secrets, long dead; his sister and last remaining relative, kept ignorant of his studies; even the Servant once summoned to aid him, tenuous a connection as that may be, is dead by your own hand. Wait, though, for the thought of Vaisset's original Servant does bring another memory to mind: Circe, irritably reminding Adelheid of their shared fluency in all modern languages, courtesy of the Holy Grail. Circe's linguistic facility might be as much a detriment as a boon in this case, however, for if she comprehends Vaisset's technique and teaches it to you the mystery will be weakened according to the principle explained to you by Ayaka. Rather, Adelheid seems an ideal candidate: able hopefully to understand the text of the notebooks without understanding the magical knowledge contained within. There's nothing to do, then, but to enlist her help! Mind made up, you get to your feet and start down the corridor, heading for the chamber where Odin guards Circe and Adelheid as prisoners. As you walk, you have a few moments to consider how best to separate Adelheid from the other two. Once, of course, you could simply have called to her over your mental bond; but that connection has been lost now, together with the time you spent absent from those you still think of as your Servants despite the magical severance. Ah, well. You'll just have to speak with the three of them and find some opportune moment to draw Adelheid away.
Entering the former cell, you find the three Servants spread through the room and speaking amiably. Odin, surprisingly, appears to be relaxing despite having chosen as his seat the uncomfortable, high-backed stone chair in which you kept Arturia bound, while Circe and Adelheid sit on opposite ends of the sofa. Their gazes seem focused on an unnaturally large raven which perches on one of Odin's shoulders and preens itself while the two women watch. What exactly the subject of their conversation was, however, remains unknown to you as the discussion ceases abruptly upon your entrance. Just as you round the corner and take in the tableau, Odin sees you, looks up, greets you with enthusiasm."My boy," he rumbles, in a warm, hospitable tone, "you've finally found your way down here to meet us! We've been wondering just when you or the little miss would decide to free us from this chamber, you know.""Have you indeed?" you ask, returning his smile. "You hardly seem to be suffering from your confinement, passing the time as cheerfully as I see you have been. Why, you've even managed to bring a pet down here!""Yes, a beautiful creature, isn't he?" Odin asks rhetorically. "Seeing that your Caster was a fellow lover of animals, I knew she would enjoy meeting one of my familiars; but really, my boy," he continues, expression and tone darkening, "I think we've cooled our heels long enough down here. When my host and the magus I've sworn to serve both ask me to remain here to watch prisoners I won't simply disobey, but at this point you really ought to retract the request. You and I both know, Alberich, just what sort of threat these girls pose to you, and there's no purpose in continuing the theater of keeping them imprisoned. Have you settled matters with the little miss as to how you're dividing them?"Irritated at Odin's demanding tone, you find your own mood souring to match his tone, and brusquely reply, "Nothing has yet been settled with Liliesviel, I'm afraid; and until she sees fit to change her order to you, I see no reason to contravene it simply because affairs in this house tend to follow my will. I am not your Master, Lancer, but only a fellow Servant.""Ah! See how he scorns me!" Odin exclaims, standing and throwing a hand out upraised to heaven in a sudden shift from sincere irritation to comically theatrical overreaction. "This fellow Servant, this youthful knight who ought to respect his elders; see, you ladies, how he disdains and mocks me, for no better reason than that his Master affords him greater freedom than I receive from mine! Woe, to think that there is no sympathy left in the world, and in the hearts of men!" With that, he collapses back into the chair and, dispelling the mask of emotion that contorted his face, casually appends the question, "In that case, my boy, what have you come to see us for? Only to warn that we are to remain prisoners and guard here for the foreseeable future?"
>[ ] "No, I'm not such a poor host as that. Dinner will be served soon enough, and you three ought to come up and eat with us. You can't wait down here in perpetuity, after all. Before that, however, I need Adelheid's help with a certain matter; if you'll excuse us.">[ ] "No, I came only to request that Adelheid assist me with a certain investigation I'm conducting. If you'll excuse us; good evening, Caster; Lancer.">[ ] Say something else. (Write in)
Sorry, folks. I know this is a shorter update and won't make >>4010364 happy in terms of pacing, but this is a choice I need you to make, it's late, and I've been a bit pressed for time this week as I'm sure you've noticed. Tomorrow there'll be some real forward motion, I promise.
>>4010824>unnaturally large raven which perches on one of Odin's shoulders and preens itselfEven his bird is a smug prick.If only we could all be so cool.>[ ] "No, I'm not such a poor host as that. Dinner will be served soon enough, and you three ought to come up and eat with us. You can't wait down here in perpetuity, after all. Before that, however, I need Adelheid's help with a certain matter; if you'll excuse us."
>>4010825>[ ] "No, I'm not such a poor host as that. Dinner will be served soon enough, and you three ought to come up and eat with us. You can't wait down here in perpetuity, after all. Before that, however, I need Adelheid's help with a certain matter; if you'll excuse us."
>>4010828Our Cat is a smug prick though, so we're halfway there.I can't wait to tell Circe that we're technically a better summoner than her.
>>4010909>I can't wait to tell Circe that we're technically a better summoner than her.>"Behold, Circe: I have surpassed you in the art of summoning!">summon scylla
>>4010944Monster Scylla or Nymph Scylla?Regardless, neither will be happy to see Circe.
>>4010825>[ ] "No, I'm not such a poor host as that. Dinner will be served soon enough, and you three ought to come up and eat with us. You can't wait down here in perpetuity, after all. Before that, however, I need Adelheid's help with a certain matter; if you'll excuse us."Did we just forget about Yumigawa? Where is he?
>>4011029>Did we just forget about Yumigawa?Shit, I think we did.>Where is he?inb4 bad luck bill
>>4011029>Where is he?Please remember just who we sent him back with.And now please think of the one person we have yet to greet or be greeted by upon returning home.
>>4011037Korakuhime was watching over him, apparently
>>4011046Yeah.The person most likely to torture Yumigawa of her own accord is watching over him.
>>4011037>>4011046>>4011050Artoria's with her too, so we can check in on them.
>>4011029>As you pass down the hall and make your descent, first to the ground floor and then to the basement, you note the presence of Kōrakuhime in the living room. She sits, looking bored, at the coffee table, facing away from you as she watches over the unconscious form of Yumigawa, stretched out on the sofa.From the update in which you did some sparring with Arturia.
>>4011118>looking boredwhatever, just eat his arms or something you little bitch
>>4011123A lot of animosity you've got there. You don't think you'd be pretty bored if you ended up having to watch an unconscious prisoner for a couple of hours?
>>4011143Why does she have to watch him, exactly?Does she expect him to pull off some sort of daring escape or master plan if she doesn't?
>>4011143I too would get bored if I was stuck in a room with arms I'm not allowed to eat.
>>4010825>>[ ] "No, I'm not such a poor host as that. Dinner will be served soon enough, and you three ought to come up and eat with us. You can't wait down here in perpetuity, after all. Before that, however, I need Adelheid's help with a certain matter; if you'll excuse us."
>>4010825>[ ] "No, I'm not such a poor host as that. Dinner will be served soon enough, and you three ought to come up and eat with us. You can't wait down here in perpetuity, after all. Before that, however, I need Adelheid's help with a certain matter; if you'll excuse us."Argh this is an awkward situation.
>>4010827I wasn't thinking about my Thursday work schedule when I posted this. I'm sorry again, folks, but I just can't get the update finished tonight. I really will get it done tomorrow, though, and it'll be a major one, wrapping up (at least for the time being) the Vaisset investigation.I know the update pace since New Year's has sucked; please bear with me just a bit longer!
>Fate/City Awakening OST 27 - en Attendant Gosweetshttps://youtube.com/watch?v=ilGrm3jhgrM
"No," you say, "I'm not such a poor host as that. Dinner will be served soon enough, and you three ought to come up and eat with us. You can't wait down here in perpetuity, after all. Before that, however, I need Adelheid's help with a certain matter." Relying on Adelheid's curiosity to move her, you turn to go without giving Odin the time to request details. As you step back out the door, you add, "If you'll excuse us." As expected, Adelheid trots into the hall after you. You've gone only a few paces from the door, in fact, when she begins to speak."Well then?" the girl asks, tone intrigued. "What is this 'certain matter' of yours, eh, Alberich? And just what has compelled you to keep us waiting down here all evening? To be quite frank, the place calls to mind some rather unpleasant memories for me.""My apologies for that," you reply, "but matters are a bit confused at the moment. Liliesviel and I have had something of a falling out, and until it's been resolved I'm uncertain as to what degree of my past with you two can be revealed. Aside from that, there's Circe's pride and treachery to consider. Without a certain method of controlling her, I'm disinclined to leave her unsupervised. Given that Liliesviel had instructed Lancer to keep watch over you already, I thought it best to leave the three of you for the time being.""I see," responds Adelheid coolly. "No matter, I suppose, if you don't intend to pursue this course from now on. Now, what is it you need my help with?""Translation." You find your cheeks coloring slightly at the admission, but continue, "Unlike Servants summoned by the Holy Grail, I haven't been given the gift of languages. Despite this, I've encountered the journal of a magus which I must read, and which is written in French. I hope you won't mind assisting me.""Huh?" Adelheid stares wide-eyed at you for a moment. "You called me away to help with that? You really have no sense of scale, do you?" she asks incredulously. "Ah, well. Let's see the book, then.""We don't all have national resources at our disposal," you shoot back. "I have a rather limited pool to draw from, and no reason to elevate you above matters I need you for simply because you consider them trivial." By now you've returned to the workshop, and as you finish your rebuke you sit down at Vaisset's worktable, pull open the drawer with his journals, and hand the first volume to Adelheid. "Here you are," you say as you do so.Adelheid spends several minutes looking through the book, reading the first few pages in-depth and then leafing through the rest, before looking up and saying, "It's a journal, you were right about that. It begins this way:
"4 September, 2015 A.D.Today I begin a fresh project, being research of my own devising for the purpose of advancing the heritage of the illustrious house of Vaisset and altering our direction from the violent course that led my father to his death. I do this partly to settle my mind, for though I have not yet absorbed the whole of my father's learning and the heritage of our family that was passed down to him, I can no longer concentrate on those arts without finding myself overcome by despair. I must have my own course if I am to maintain my own mind, and can thus return at some later date, with firmer will, to learning that which was left to me. Beyond this settling of my own thoughts, however, I hope also to alter the course of our family's pursuits to come. If I am able to turn our expertise in dominating the magic circuits of others to enhancement of our own versatility rather than pure destruction, I hope that our tradition of violence can be brought to a close. If fortune favors me, no descendant of mine will have to mourn in such an untimely way as I have. Father, if you watch over me still, I beg your forgiveness for this breach of obedience, and hope that the love for you which motivates it mitigates the betrayal of filial piety which it constitutes."At this point, Adelheid breaks off her reading and translation for a moment, before flipping over several pages and explaining, "He goes on for quite some time after this lamenting his father's untimely death, praising his noble features, and vilifying the Clock Tower for 'giving such false blame to a man so upright and purely righteous'. I would imagine, though, that it's the research that draws your interest rather than his melodrama. No?""Yes, feel free to pass over all that," you say, nodding. "What I've sought out these books for is a detailed explanation of his new project.""In that case, you may be disappointed," Adelheid replies. "All of the actual research notes seem to be encoded in some sort of a cypher. The alphabet is replaced with a mixture of Greek, Cyrillic, and Zodiacal letters, and I think reordered as well. What's worse, he's adapted all of these alphabets into his own cursive script, and destroyed many of their letters' distinguishing features in the process.""It's impossible for you to translate, then?" you ask, your spirits plunging,"I wouldn't say that." Adelheid gives you a reassuring grin. "Do recall, Alberich, that I have the resources of the greatest military in the history of the world contained within my Noble Phantasm. There's no code on Earth that I cannot break!" she exclaims with a flourish. Cooling, the girl adds, "That said, it will take some time to work my way through this bizarre cipher. For the time being, shall I read you some of the journal after this first section of research, so that you can have a better idea of the situation, or just set about deciphering the research notes immediately?"
>[ ] You'd rather not delay any longer, particularly considering the somewhat inane nature of Vaisset's ramblings. Ask Adelheid to begin deciphering immediately.>[ ] Your curiosity outweighs time constraints at the moment. Have Adelheid continue reading Vaisset's story.>[ ] Give her a different answer. (Write in)
>>4012908Alright, I was wrong.Despite the delay, I wasn't able to start writing this update until a bit after 1:00AM tonight, so I'm afraid this is all I have for you at the moment. However! Tomorrow, Saturday, I won't have to work and intend to start writing in the morning.
>>4015106>[ ] You'd rather not delay any longer, particularly considering the somewhat inane nature of Vaisset's ramblings. Ask Adelheid to begin deciphering immediately.Nice.The cipher thing was spot on.This is why you are best girl, Adelheid.
>>4015106>[ ] You'd rather not delay any longer, particularly considering the somewhat inane nature of Vaisset's ramblings. Ask Adelheid to begin deciphering immediately.I knew she was the girl for the job.
>>4015106>[ ] Your curiosity outweighs time constraints at the moment. Have Adelheid continue reading Vaisset's story.
>>4015106>[ ] You'd rather not delay any longer, particularly considering the somewhat inane nature of Vaisset's ramblings. Ask Adelheid to begin deciphering immediately.
So how are things going for our artist and the person working on editing a portrait of Liliesviel? Any progress since December?
>>4015737I walked into hell.It's still something I want to get done, but life so often gets in the way.My free time no longer exists.
>>4015787>My free time no longer exists.That's certainly something I can sympathize with. Sorry to hear it, anon.
"There's little point in rushing ahead," you answer. "I'm sure I'll get more out of reading and understanding the whole of Vaisset's research from the beginning than trying to pass over four years of work and attempting to go directly to the conclusion of his project." With that, you stand and pull the chair out, stepping aside and adding, "Here, take a seat. I'm sure you'll be able to work more comfortably at deciphering this while sitting at the desk than standing there behind me.""Thank you," Adelheid says, and steps forward to hop up into your vacated chair, her sapphire eyes already returning to the notebook at your reply. "It really is a strange system he's using here," she murmurs. "I can't say how long it will take to decipher, particularly as I don't know the Zodiacal alphabet by heart..."As Adelheid's musing on this subject, your attention is distracted by the appearance of Circe and Odin's presences in the room. You turn to greet them, expecting the pair to be at the door, only to be doubly surprised as you discover that Circe is immediately behind you; so close that you almost bump into her as you turn. Only Odin is where you expected him to be, leaning against the doorframe, while Circe peers past you to inspect the book Adelheid is industriously working to decode. "So," she says with a smile, "what do we have here? You wanted Berserker's help to read someone's diary?""The journal of a dead magus," you explain, interposing yourself between Circe and the journal. "The original Master of Caster in this War, in fact. His research provoked my curiosity, and I resolved to learn how to continue his final project from his notes. Unfortunately, they're written both in French and in code, so that I needed Adelheid's help to understand them.""Learning from a human mage, after you had my help?" Circe asks, pouting and twitching her wings in annoyance. "Just how can the sloppy constructions of modern human magic possibly outdo what you can learn from me, hmmm?""You might be surprised," you retort with a smile. "I think you overrate yourself as a teacher somewhat, Circe. In the time I've been absent from you, I've had to develop my own magical abilities from the grimoires of modern magi in this household, and I've found them quite satisfactory; potent enough to break through the binding enchantment you placed on the air around me in the hotel, you'll recall. Perhaps someone who began her magical career with the unlimited power of divine authority isn't so well-suited to educate those who must make use of a mortal's limited resources as you like to think. The Age of Gods is, after all, long over."
"Wha- how dare you- I mean-" Circe lets out several furious beginnings to sentences, each aborted by her incoherent anger, before she finally snaps, "The foundation of that technique you used was what I taught you, you ingrate! Controlling magic by your will! I can't believe you! Even if you have learned other things from modern teachers, how can you just act like I didn't do anything?""That's fair enough," you concede. "Whatever the degree to which I've developed my magic since our parting, the fundamental method of controlling my magical energy is from you. Still, you shouldn't completely ignore the value of modern magic. There's much to be gained from these magi.""Nonsense!" Circe snaps, her voice taking on a tone of self-satisfied arrogance as it sheds indignation. "No mortal magus could ever equal me! If you think you can learn things from them I couldn't teach you, it's only because you didn't have enough time to learn.""Now, now," Odin says, surprising you by interjecting himself into the conversation rather than simply watching things unfold. "The boy makes a good point. The greatest enchanter is not necessarily the greatest teacher; I say that from experience. Though I have a charm for every circumstance, and can do more with magic than anyone else ever could, there's never been a soul I could teach the whole of my learning to. The only one who ever equaled it was Mimir, and I certainly didn't get my knowledge from him by being lectured! It could be that developing his own power with the writing of those less capable is a method better suited to young Alberich than listening to an old witch talk.""Old witch?" Circe squeaks, her face going crimson as she whirls to confront Odin. "Just what do you mean by that?""Well, not to look at, perhaps," responds Odin with a humorous quirk of his brows, "and you certainly are younger than I, but consider the age difference between the pair of you. On the one hand, a bit over a week, and on the other... how many millennia?""Lancer, you're incorrigible," you say. "It hardly bears imagining, that the stern god you're supposed to be could have such a blackhearted sense of humor.""Shocking, isn't it?" Adelheid replies, glancing up from the notebook for a moment. "One would expect Odin to look over the world with a stern and somber eye, and yet here he is as cheerful as his blood-brother. It's enough to make me doubt the providence in which I placed my faith while alive."
At this comment, Odin does assume something of the stern countenance you'd expect from one called the gallows-god, and as he turns an unsmiling face on the three of you it seems that the air in the basement grows a trifle more chill, and the candleflames that light the room must gutter, for there's no other explanation for the way the light dims. It's in a voice bereft of humor he replies, "Midgard has changed more than I, in my absence; the Age of Man has twisted your world until it has become quite unrecognizable. If I take my pleasure wherever I can find it, it is only to pass the time as I wait for a battle worthy of my summoning." Then the God smiles again, and the oppressive moment is brought to an end as he continues, "Fortunately it seems that young Alberich will provide me with such a battle! So, if you find my jokes a bit grating, I hope you'll humor them as the entertainment of an old man with no better way of spending his time."In the moment as you collect your thoughts and consider how best to reply to this unveiling of Odin's degree of contempt for the modern world, you find that yet another fresh matter demands your attention: Ayaka's voice in your mind, reaching across the mental bond between Master and Servant to announce, 'Saber-san, dinner is ready. I'm sure Nii-san's papers must be very interesting, but I think you should come up and join us.'Ah, dinner. You'd almost forgotten, what with the discovery of Vaisset's notes, the beginning of Adelheid's translation, and the strange discussion with the Servants, but it has been quite some time since you spoke to Stengel in the hall about cooking.>[ ] Ayaka is right. Vaisset's notebooks can wait; for the moment, you'll all go up to dinner.>[ ] Dinner can wait a while longer. Before that, see whether Adelheid can tell you about Vaisset's first block of research notes yet.>[ ] Rather than changing the subject to dinner, address Odin's statement about the modern world. (Write in at least your main point.)>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4017114>[ ] Ayaka is right. Vaisset's notebooks can wait; for the moment, you'll all go up to dinner.Odin...
>>4017133What about him?
>>4017114>[ ] Ayaka is right. Vaisset's notebooks can wait; for the moment, you'll all go up to dinner.Not much to disagree with Odin on here.
>>4017147He keeps saying mean things about the shitty modern world.
>>4017189None of them incorrect.
>>4017114>[ ] Ayaka is right. Vaisset's notebooks can wait; for the moment, you'll all go up to dinner.
Any more updates tonight sweets?
>>4017114>>[ ] Ayaka is right. Vaisset's notebooks can wait; for the moment, you'll all go up to dinner.
>>4017643I was out drinking tonight, so given how the last update I wrote drunk turned out I'll have to refrain. Rest assured I'll start writing tomorrow morning, though.
>>4017114>[ ] Rather than changing the subject to dinner, address Odin's statement about the modern world. (Write in at least your main point.)He does bring up an interesting point. Can't help but notice that something seems deeply flawed with the modern era, and everyone in the room would probably agree. The Gods are effectively dead, magic appears to be ebbing from the world, and the concept of heroism seems to be obsolete as well. Does anyone have an idea on a possible course-correction for the planet's future well-being?Should go well with Alberich's stated goal from way back when of wanting to lead the leaderless masses or something to that effect.
Some food for thought since the thread's gone dark>If I am able to turn our expertise in dominating the magic circuits of others to enhancement of our own versatility rather than pure destructionThat sounds like it could come in handy, especially in its original form.>but consider the age difference between the pair of you. On the one hand, a bit over a week, and on the other... how many millennia?>a bit over a weekOdin knows what's up
>>4020797>Odin knows what's upThat's sorta his thing isn't it?
>>4020797>That sounds like it could come in handy, especially in its original form.It does sound like an Absorption thing to do....But maybe we should also take what Circe's offering.>>If you think you can learn things from them I couldn't teach you, it's only because you didn't have enough time to learn.Looks like an offer, doesn't it?
>>4020804I’m not surprised that he knows so much as I’m surprised he told us that he knows, even if it’s in an off-hand way. We should chat for a minute or two regarding this soon I think
>The cellar reminds Adelheid of the bunkerTop kek.It's a shame I've been absent for the last few updates. Now that the drama of Lily has passed it's become more enjoyable to read.I realize that I love Adelheid- she's so fun to read about.Odin isn't wrong, but he deserves to die.
Hey there, folks.Sorry about the delay. I've had a bit of writer's block with the main story, to tell the truth, so although I'm working on the next update I don't have it finished yet.In the hopes of assuaging the problem, I've written an interlude starring everyone's favorite close-combat expert. Hope you enjoy it!
Interlude - Dreams in the Silver ChamberGuided along hair-thin antennae of silver, William Harris projects his truest self, the Od magnified and dissipated a thousand times over until it has become no more than an invisible, undetectable energetic mist, across the city. He seeks by repulsion the locations of all his foes, even that creeping thing of faceless enmity which masks its presence so well. He sees the gathering of presences in the house of Shijou, at first glance a mountain of energy; but with more thorough consideration it resembles a house of cards, all relying on the leylines and on the unique individual who ties them together. Press a finger in the right place, and the whole band will lose their cohesion and drift apart to die singly. He sees too the rogue magi guided by his employer's rival, set on bringing an end to this Holy Grail War as they did the previous, too frightened of their own trauma to grasp the misguided nature of their goal. He sees how Assassin lurks in their shadow, and ponders on the nature of this strange, possibly parasitic relationship. Last, he sees the almost powerless, grave-cold form of the priest, and wonders how it can be that such a pitiful, weak-willed person can have been chosen as the War's overseer; or indeed, how he can have reached his age and rank within his organization in the first place. Is there something in that craven old man that Harris is missing. For long hours he feels the priest's movements carefully, observing him as closely as is possible through the man's thorough attempts at hiding himself, but no second face appears to his form even when he believes himself truly alone and unobserved. The enigma persists. With the exception of the reason for the priest's occupation, however, Harris now holds a complete view of matters in all areas. How best, then, to bring about the end of this job? Harris turns all the actors in his mind, searching for the perfect point from which to strike first. Archer had been a mistake, the product of rash haste. He doesn't intend to repeat the error. All this observation, this stretching of himself, is a heavy burden even on a man as close to superhuman as William Harris, however. In time he succumbs to exhaustion, and allows sleep to claim him there in the center of his metallic web.
Hammering on the door. The first blow and Harris was awake, by the second he was on his feet, threadbare blankets tossed to the floor, and with fists ready to kill the intruder once they'd broken through. It wouldn't be long, from the way the flimsy thing was shaking. In the moment between the third and fourth blows, he steadied himself. This was his London flat, between missions, not a real danger zone. Whoever was on the other side of that door might be rude, but the chances that they were here to kill him were slim. He let them keep hammering for another second or two as he looked around. The clock informed him that it was two in the morning, and the cold air reminded him that he'd been sleeping in the nude. Not a comfortable choice at this time of year, particularly in a room as poorly insulated as his. Irritation continuing to mount at his rude houseguest, Harris threw on a shirt and slacks before wrenching open the door and snarling, "What the hell do you want?"At the sight of the six black-suited men, their foremost frozen in the act of another pounding knock, Harris heaved an inward sigh. Despite their halfhearted attempt at anonymity, it wasn't hard to recognize the trash that called themselves "soldiers" from the energy of the mystic codes buried in their clothing. These were the lowest kind of magus, too poor and dumb to make it as research magi and too weak to become enforcers on their own, they pooled together as thugs for the Faculty of Law and the Wizard Marshalls. Some of them even had the gall to claim it was an honor to be "chosen" for the Marshalls' regiments, but if that had ever been the case it must've been in days long over. With three competing Marshalls, these days they were taking anyone they could get and Harris couldn't see these soldiers as anything but the dregs of the Clock Tower.Unaware of the contempt filling the mind of his opposite, the foremost soldier lowered his fist, assumed a ramrod-stiff posture and officious countenance, and arrogantly announced, "William Harris, we have been ordered to bring you to our commander. If you don't comply we will transport you by force.""Force," Harris echoed, narrowing his eyes and reaching into his pocket for a cigarette, only to be disappointed. The pack was still on his nightstand, of course. "You're dreaming if you think the pack of you can take me out of here that way. Just lucky for you we work for the same people, so I don't mind coming with you lot." At this one of the soldiers in the back, a kid who didn't look a day over sixteen, smirked at his neighbor, evidently reading Harris as bluffing and frightened. The kid got an elbow in the ribs for his humor from the older thug. Good to see some of them got the picture, Harris thought. "I'll have you wait for me to get dressed, though," he added, then shut the door in the officious leader's face.
So one of the Marshalls wanted him in the middle of the night, Harris considered as he splashed some water over his face, then pulled a tie and jacket to match his slacks out of the closet and collected his phone, wallet, keys and smokes. He thought about shaving, but a thumb run over his chin told him the stubble wasn't too bad yet. It couldn't be the Faculty of Law proper, they'd just put a job out to the enforcers as a body and trust him to take it if it was too tough or dirty for anyone else. This was a personal thing, then, and probably tied in with the damned factional politics plaguing the Clock Tower. Harris sighed and lit a cigarette. This was going to be a dirty, delicate, tough job. He already knew it. In fact, maybe a cigarette wasn't just the thing right now; he pulled open the top drawer of his nightstand and got out the bottle of scotch he kept for emergencies. Empty. A cigarette would have to do.Once Harris stepped out of his flat, his escort squad moved to surround him, all but frog-marching Harris down the dingy hall as their leader instructed him again to follow. It was a ridiculous show of intimidation, when Harris as well as anyone in that group with sense knew he wouldn't have to work hard to kill the half dozen of them, surrounded or otherwise. Then again, you take what precautions you can. He couldn't fault the soldiers for being as prudent as possible even when outmatched. Luckily none of them, even the arrogant kid, felt like making conversation. Harris could use the walk out to finish shaking off the remnants of sleep and finish his cigarette. Technically it was a no-smoking building, but Harris had an understanding with his landlord. He doubted the soldiers' car would be so accommodating.Then they were on the street, cold air hitting Harris like a slap in the face. Even a building as full of leaks as his still kept a bit warmer than outside, and he'd only been back from Haiti two days. London in fall at two was no pleasant place to be. Evidently Harris wasn't the only one feeling that way; he heard the soldiers' squad leader let out a stifled curse as they stepped out into the night air. The car they brought him to turned out to be more of an SUV, shaped a bit like a civilian version of a military troop transport and probably built with as much of the same protection as they could hide under the casual exterior. Inside he was again surrounded, and noted with amusement that the windows were tinted from within, to keep passengers from observing the route. "You're really giving me the red carpet treatment, huh?" he asked his head guard. "Guess it's Lorelei you're taking me to then?""We don't take orders from that woman," the soldier snapped. "If you want to know more, you'll find out when we arrive. Right now you can sit there and wait."
Harris gave the man a shrug and a look that said, "If you don't want to make conversation, at least I tried." Then, wait he did. The drive wasn't long at any rate; for all their secrecy, the destination was painfully obvious from the first: the Clock Tower, and considering that he wasn't being brought before Lorelei it would be a basement office. Indeed, once Harris was let out of the SUV both suspicions were confirmed, and after descending an irritatingly long set of stairs he found himself alone with the man who'd called him there, who sat between a conference table and a massive sheet of parchment that covered one of the walls. Harris recognized it as a mystic code for the display of information, something like a mundane projector in function."It's been a long time, William," the third Wizard Marshall said. "Take a seat, and let's talk business.""Marshall," Harris growled. "First time I've called you that. I should have known you were behind this. Flexing your new muscle for a plan you can't have done through an official sealing designation?" He stayed on his feet.The Marshall chuckled, shaking his head ruefully. "That's no way to greet an old combat buddy, Harris. I would've done this more pleasantly if I could've, but it had to look like you were being brought in by someone hostile.""As far as I'm concerned, I was," Harris shot back. "You giving me orders from the field instead of your chair a time or two doesn't make us buddies. What do you want?""There's no need to be so hostile," said the Marshall. "I think we line up on this. I know you aren't an Enforcer for the money, Harris; it's about the good of the Association for you, isn't it? Well, if you complete this mission properly, we could open up a permanent path to the Root for the Clock Tower. On the other hand, if nothing's done someone will end up with a weapon that could throw the Moonlit World into chaos: the Holy Grail." The Marshall paused for a breath, then added. "We need you to travel to Japan, Harris." To illustrate his point, the parchment behind him sprang into motion, scribbling out a detailed map of the city of Tokyo."The Holy Grail?" Harris raised an eyebrow. This was a tough idea to swallow, considering who it meant had made a mistake. "I thought that all got cleared up years ago.""So did we," the Marshall said with a regretful nod, "but the Einzberns never were exactly forthcoming. It seems they'd created a backup, in case of something like what happened fifteen years ago.""The Einzberns, huh? Never run up against them before." Harris blew a stream of smoke out in a sigh. When a family that powerful went so long without making an enemy of the Clock Tower, then had an enforcer thrown at them for the first time, it was certain to be the most deadly kind of job. "So what's the target, exactly? What am I doing there?"
"You're to eliminate the other six Masters and retrieve the Grail." The Marshall tossed a thick manila envelope to the table, laden with a novella's worth of papers. "Your top priority, Harris, is to bring the secret of that ritual here to the Clock Tower at any cost," the Marshall continued gravely. "If, and only if, you find that it's completely impossible to achieve that objective, there's an alternative plan in that dossier.""Bringing a ritual the old man wants destroyed back here is a high ask," Harris commented, "and six magi to kill. Not the worst odds I've fought on a designation, but not easy either. You sending anyone with me?""As usual, this is a one-man covert elimination mission," the Marshall said, shaking his head. "In that way, it's no different from your usual jobs. You'll be our only agent in Tokyo.""Huh. What about weapons and equipment?" Harris asked, already sure of the answer. This job was shaping up to exceed even his premonition of dread from earlier."Only what you can procure on-site, I'm afraid." Another shake of the head from the ever-regretful Marshall who wouldn't be risking a hair under the conditions he was consigning Harris to. "You'll have to go in as a civilian, and blend in with the crowd.""I see." Harris said flatly. "Any other information you've got for me?""We've prepared dossiers on the other magi we know will be participating, but several slots are still uncertain," the Marshall replied, tapping the envelope on the table with an index finger. "There's background information on the War in there, too. Good reading material for the plane ride.""I'll bet. When does the mission begin?" Harris asked. He'd planned to take at least a week off after the last job, but with how things had begun this time he somehow didn't get the impression that plan would reach a happy conclusion."You'd better pack your bags," the Marshall said with a grin. "You're leaving tomorrow; and remember, Harris. This is a stealth mission in a major city, not some isolated rural spot. Even if the other Masters don't keep things as secret as they could, given the nature of the War, I want you to keep magic out of the mundanes' sight. Eliminating witnesses may be protocol, but try to keep it to a minimum."Harris gave a flat bark of laughter. Whatever he might say about being a combat buddy, the man across the table obviously thought of him as a rabid dog who'd take any opportunity to kill, like most of Harris' colleagues. There was no helping it, when you did the things the rest were afraid to. "I'll keep it in mind," he said, then turned on his heel. "If we're done here, it sounds like I've got packing to do.""Of course," the Marshall said. "My men will drive you home. The flight information is in that envelope along with your intel. Good luck, Harris."
>>4021167You thought this was going to be a regular Holy Grail War- But it was I, Judas! Here to fuck it all up!
>>4021250This definitely isn't the first time Harris has had to work with unreliable intel.
>Lorelei sends Lumenza>Zelretch sends Rin and Luvia>third guy sends HarrisThat's a power struggle, alright. Lorelei probably wants to lock it in a vault, Zelretch most likely wants to dismantle it and it looks like Third Guy wants to use it as a permanent path to the Root.
Yeah I could care less about Harris or his circumstances. Boring Villain Sue.
>>4021605I'm sorry you feel that way, anon. It's a real shame.
Oh, his chair was a surveillance device. That's a relief. Was worried it'd be some kind of powerup handout.He seems to think there's a second entity that conceals its presence aside from Assassin. Not implausible I guess.And he's getting spooked by Antaglio, hmm. Oh, I wonder if Antaglio had a Servant this whole time?
>>4022251What if he's the super secret second Assassin?
>>4022297so two assassins can melt steel beams huh...
>>4022251>He seems to think there's a second entity that conceals its presence aside from AssassinI don't see anything like that, unless you're talking about Antaglio. He could very well be Assassin's third body
Good Lord, look at this. Page 6 and 170 posts. I wonder if I'm not looking the death of my quest, or at least of you folks' engagement with it, in the face. It's enough to make a person cry. At any rate, I'm properly writing the next real update now. My apologies for the wait yesterday. I do hope you didn't all find the Harris interlude as tiresome as CRb did. On that subject, I've been entertaining the notion of at some point doing a side-story/prequel quest following Harris during his missions as an enforcer before the Holy Grail War. Any interest in reading it if it does become a thing?
>>4023313I don't even know what we'd discuss at this point.And as I said, I've been very busy myself so I haven't had much time to post.It's just a quiet time for the momentI thought the Harris interlude was alright, he's not my favourite character or close to it and I doubt any amount of exposure to him will make me like him.As a villain, for me, he just fails on so many levels, he's not at all the dreaded villain that Archer of Akeldama was. Nor does he have the foreboding unease of interacting with Odin or even the mystery of Assassin.He's just sort of... there, being kind of annoying.I might check out a side story with him as the main character, but honestly, I don't know.I don't hate the character, I just don't really think he adds anything to the story.These are just my thoughts on the matter though.
Also, we haven't had a twist for a very long time.
>>4023313Nobody is discussing right now due to your slow updates in a slower paced story segment.Nobody gives a rat's ass about Harris, because he's not interesting at all. Even if everybody didn't outright shit on that little interlude, the lack of discussion about it should key you in on the lack of interest.Something I can say is a personal pet peeve with this quest is whenever you don't get X engagement/attention, OR when you do get a lot of heated discussion, you do this shitty "woe is me I'm fucking crying" shit or claim that you're going to end the quest. I'm not saying that you should devote your life to writing this quest, but you shouldn't be surprised or saddened because you had a slower thread.I really do like this quest and have an interest in the story, but you can't expect us to carry the post count without anything to go off of.
>>4023331>I don't even know what we'd discuss at this point.Yeah, I take full responsibility for that. I've not been writing quickly and I haven't given you folks much to talk about in between. Hopefully I can do better in the futur; Lord knows right now I feel pretty bad about it.
>>4023348Thanks for reminding me where I'm writing. I'll see about being less melodramatic and more insulting in future.I've never once claimed I was going to end the quest, though.
>>4023366To be fair, you'd solve lots of problems if you told people to stop acting like faggots when they start to whine.Joking!Mostly.Honestly though, with the resolution of the Yumigawa arc in addition to revealing the truth to Lily, there's really not much to speculate or discuss.Harris just isn't very popular as a villain, so he's out.Matsuda is basically a non-character in his importance to the plot at large.The Emiyas are certainly doing something, but again, speculation is pointless because they could be doing anything for all we know.The Edelfelts sort of just exited stage left from the story since their last appearance and speculating on them is even more pointless than for the Emiyas.Antaglio certainly exists.And we've done about as much Assassin speculation as we can given what we know.Reading books just doesn't tend to incite excited discussion. Especially if there's no actual tangible reward to the action and we're sort of just doing it because the plot has been trying to get us to for way too long.Really sequence broke that quest.
>>4023386>Harris just isn't very popular as a villain, so he's out.Sure seems that way. I could've sworn somebody was asking for a Harris interlude a while back, which is why I ended up writing it. Was I remembering incorrectly? Did I imagine it? Who knows.
>>4023350Honestly the lack of updates and therefore progress is my only current complaint about the quest, and I'm sure it adequately explains the dropoff in discussion. You can't control the post count of the thread, you can only control yours. Keep on writing!
>>4023386That makes me think about how you would speedrun the Grail War if we knew everything from the start. Stuff like immediately ganking Yumigawa and ambushing Roland and such. Kind of like Code Geass Metagaming Quest.
>>4023400I think people were joking about how he has Snake's voice actor.I think they wanted a longer POV about somebody not in our faction's reaction to current events.Not how Harris got here.We really didn't need the extended Metal Gear Solid 3 reference though.Especially as you already basically made the reference earlier in the Quest.
>>4023412My thought process: That Metal Gear reference was fun, I should flesh it out into an actual scene and tie in some hooks for how the MA's changed in fifteen years.Anon's thought process: You already made that Metal Gear reference, we don't need it again!Oh well. I'll make a mental note of the fact that Harris isn't as much of a fan-favorite character as I was (for whatever reason) thinking he was.>>4023406Yeah, I'll do that.
>>4023445I'm not sure why you thought he was a fan favourite, honestly.He's not really done anything of any merit to deserve popularity.Edgy powerful guys are a dime a dozen, I need a reason to like a character.So far, his personality has basically just been represented as him being cool and edgy.
>>4023409You'd have to empower Alberich, because nobody else can get past Odin.>ArtoriaThe only one who has a nonzero chance against him. If she uses Excalibur to start the fight she has a good shot at killing him, but she dies otherwise.>OdysseusDies to runes. We've already seen that A rank MR isn't good enough to stop his magic.>AchillesParalyze (with runes) -> "Gungnir". NEXT>RolandThe only way to live is to get on his horse and run away.>JudasAlready dead because of Akeldama.>Assassin???So, if you want an Alberich speedrun:>Kill Roland first, slap Durandal onto Lückeshwert>Meet Kourakuhime, acquire little sister>Scry out Odysseus and kill him, steal Military Tactics>Use le poison on Achilles, put Andreias Amarantos on armour>Kill Artoria with new power, use her energy to buff Conceptual Biology>Bump off the Emiyas next, use their power for a big boost>Communicate with Matsuda using fists, acquire best buddy>Slap the shit out of the real Yumigawa (can be done before Matsuda)>Train autistically for 2-3 weeks>Break in new power by shitting all over Assassin>Kill Odin, take runes
>>4023457You could also have Kōrakuhime kill Achilles (albeit very slowly) since she has Divinity at a low rank.
>>4023445Yeah, I was a bit confused about all the Harris attention considering most people seem to see him as just a guy who beat us once and is probably going to be annoying in the future. Not bad, and by no means not functional, but he's no "that motherfucker" Archer. He's still up there for my favorite characters in the quest. He really excelled in the independent nature of Archers while standing out from the crowd of smug assholes with his professionalism. Not to mention how he pretty much maintained composure throughout the entire quest, and even managed to look cool while dying in a giant explosion.
Alright folks, been a while but it's finally time for another dinner scene....actually, have we even had one of these since Akeldama? Not sure at this point. Hope you enjoy.
'Of course,' you reply. 'We'll be upstairs in a moment. Odin, Circe, and Adelheid will be joining us for dinner, by the way.''Is that so?' comes the surprised reply. Then, with surprising bitterness, Ayaka adds, 'well it isn't like any uninvited guest could top the Einzberns anyway. Bring whoever you like, Saber-san.''Miss Ayaka, I apologize if our guests are causing you trouble,' you tell her, 'but I did try to inform you of them when they arrived. You didn't seem to want to pay attention, so I've been doing what seems best.''Oh, no trouble at all,' she responds shortly. 'Just come up to dinner, Saber-san. We can discuss this some other time.' You suppose there's nothing for it but to let her have her way. After all, you've already done everything in your power to make the Einzbern party's stay here a harmonious one. If Ayaka still feels resentful over the dressing down she received from Liliesviel on their first meeting, there's nothing to be done at this point. With that, you return your attention to your immediate surroundings and announce with a smile, "I've been informed that dinner is served. I'm sure that after all the night's exercise you three are as famished as I am. Follow me, and we can all enjoy some of Stengel's cuisine.""Excellent," Adelheid says as she gets to her feet. "I've been looking forward to the chance to eat again. This woman had me on a diet of mystic energy alone, with nothing to supplement it.""Really now?" Circe gives Adelheid a provocative smirk. "After the relish you showed for Rushorou's energy when you two first met, I imagined you'd be overjoyed to subsist on the leylines. You should've made your preferences more clear, I'd never have guessed you wanted ordinary food." Then turning to you she adds, "Having the Einzbern girl's maid cook for you? Well, we'll see. I don't think she'll be any peer of mine when it comes to cooking, though. Be honest, wasn't the food I made at the University just the best you've ever had, Alberich?""It was quite good," you answer noncommittally and trail off, canting your head slightly as if uncertain. If truth be told, Circe's cooking really is the best you've ever had, including Yumigawa's memories, but after her recent treachery you're inclined to be miserly in doling out praise to the woman. Besides, you haven't had any of Stengel's cooking aside from that prepared while you and Kōrakuhime interfered, and even so that breakfast was delicious enough to place less confidence in Circe's superiority than she does. "Only 'quite good'?" Circe's wings droop, and she takes on a surprisingly disheartened expression at your halfhearted praise. She doesn't say anything more, however, so with no more being spoken you turn and lead your future enemy and two captives up the stairs to dinner.
Passing through the living room, you note with some interest that not only is Kōrakuhime gone, but Yumigawa as well. Someone must have moved him to another room for safekeeping, you suppose, but it is a bit irritating that no-one thought to consult you before doing so. Not that you need to micromanage everything, you say to yourself, but not knowing the location of your basis is a fairly significant point. Ah, well; you'll find out what became of Yumigawa later, and your attention is soon distracted in any case by the sight of what waits for you in the dining room. Places have been set for each of you, and waiting already seated are Ayaka, Kōrakuhime (in the guise of Shijou Tsubaki), and Liliesviel, while Stengel waits a few paces from the table with a serving cart, Stachel stands deferentially behind her mistress' chair, and Arturia waits with similar posture behind an empty seat between Ayaka and Liliesviel. This, you assume, is the place reserved for you. As you make your way over to it, Arturia courteously draws the chair out from the table for you to sit down, all grace and humility in her movements and posture. The effect is somewhat spoiled by her perpetual expression of resentful insolence, but even so it's clear that someone, presumably Stengel, has taken it upon herself to drill a maid's proper behavior into Arturia. You'll have to ask her about the matter later, you decide.Following you, Odin, Adelheid, and Circe sit down as well, Stengel serves dinner, the three maids take their seats toward the foot of the table, and at last dining can get underway. True to your request, Stengel has prepared a meal from the Einzberns' homeland, and a thoroughly delicious one at that. Dinner is wiener schnitzel: tenderized veal cutlets, battered and fried, sprinkled lightly with lemon juice and served with parsley potatoes. The succulence of the meat is more than a match for the best of Circe's cooking, and although the flavor isn't quite as strong owing to the lesser use of herbs, the rich warmth of the complementary taste of butter, batter, and veal is enough. All things considered, it's hard to say whether Circe or Stengel is the better cook in your estimation, despite the assuredly massive difference in experience.Glancing across the table, you observe that Circe has evidently reached a similar conclusion. The nymph heaves a sigh, gazing morosely at her plate, and murmurs to herself, "Human cooking certainly has advanced, hasn't it?"
"Don't worry, girl," Odin says, patting her hand in a fatherly gesture. "These things can be disheartening, I know, but you'll catch up with time. They're only mortal, after all." The reassurance she gains from his words is probably diminished a bit, though, by the gusto with which he eats Stengel's dinner. Odin seems to be enjoying it as well as you are. One person the schnitzel isn't a hit with, though, is Adelheid; unfortunate and surprising, considering she was part of your motivation in having Stengel cook. Despite your expectations, though, the girl picks listlessly at her dinner with a perturbed expression."What's the matter, Adelheid?" you ask. "Is dinner not to your liking?""I'm afraid it isn't exactly my sort of meal, no," Adelheid answers, setting her fork down in evident surrender. "The fact of the matter is, I'm not much of a one for meat eating. It disagrees with my digestion, you see. The potatoes are delicious, but as for this veal... I'll just have to leave it here, I think.""I'm sorry to hear that," you reply, giving her a look of sympathy. "We'll have to see about preparing meals without meat for you in the future." Continuing your eyes' circuit of the table, you observe that Kōrakuhime's earlier doldrums have been banished, as she savors each bite with visible enjoyment despite her customary slowness; Stengel seems more concerned with observing your and her mistress' reactions than eating her own dinner; Stachel eats rapidly and expressionlessly, keeping herself fed with mechanical precision; and Arturia, in a particularly noteworthy turn, has already devoured her dinner by the time your eyes reach her! As you watch, she quietly demands a second helping from Stengel, but the other maid ignores her. Considering why she should show such enthusiasm, you suppose that Arturia's long imprisonment has contributed to her gluttony now. Being deprived of food for so long can hardly fail to make one rush to devour it, especially when one is a Servant with a living body as you and she are, rather than a pure spirit. Finally you turn your attention to your immediate neighbors. To your left, Ayaka eats with subdued disinterest, obviously more concerned with her discomfort around Liliesviel than the food itself. For all her positivity regarding your alliance with Liliesviel earlier, it's plain that the girl's mere presence still weighs heavily on Ayaka. On your right hand, the source of Ayaka's woes is herself in an only slightly better state. She eats with careful etiquette and graceful motions, and it's plain from her expression that she's enjoying her maid's cooking, but Liliesviel hasn't said a word. She's a far cry from her usual energetic self, even if she has decided she's had enough 'time to think' and come down to eat.
>[ ] Subdued she may still be, but if she's come out of the library she must have reached a decision. Ask Liliesviel how she's feeling. (Write in any details of your approach)>[ ] Liliesviel has a good reason, but if even your Master is in such a low emotional state that's something to be more worried about. Try to bring Ayaka out of her shell. (How?)>[ ] Say something to someone else. (Write in)
>>4023643>[ ] Subdued she may still be, but if she's come out of the library she must have reached a decision. Ask Liliesviel how she's feeling. (Write in any details of your approach)Procure some wine and propose a toast, celebrating how nice it is to enjoy a meal with our allies and loved ones as a break from the war that's occupied our entire existence
>>4023643Gonna have to support:>>4023654Especially since anything can pretty much go in this Grail War.
>>4023654>the war that's occupied our entire existenceIN THE GRIM DARKNESS OF NOVEMBER 2019...
>>4023654This works. Not really directed towards Lily though.
>>4023643I like the idea of making a toast as >>4023654suggested.We should think of a way to perk Circe up a bit she's been pretty down in the dumps.Should also interrogate Alter about Shirou and the gang later so we know more about them.
>>4024421Long ago in a distant land, I, ZELRETCH, the trolling master of magic, unleashed an unspeakable jimmy-rustling! But a foolish knight wielding a magic sword stepped forth to opposed me. Before the final blow was struck, I tore open a portal in time and flung him into the future where my trolling is law...
>>4025781And that ladies and gentlemen is the story of just how Alberich ended up in the Prisma universe.
>>4025788At least he'd be happy there.
>>4025802If Zelretch was feeling especially cruel, he could just lob him into the Miyuverse.
>>4025802>>4025781If that's the case, I wouldn't be surprised if a random portal opened up and shot out Abigail Williams and Randolph Carter warning us of a horrible alternate reality where things don't make sense anymore.
>>4025872You're better off not knowing about FGO, honestly.
I'm sure you've all guessed this already, but it's a working night again and I've been unable to update.For tomorrow's use, though, I'd like to clarify what you're voting for between the two suggestions.>[ ] Make a toast, leading into asking Liliesviel about how she's feeling.>[ ] Make a toast, leading into a more general conversation with the table at large in hopes of raising everyone's spirits.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4026220>[ ] Make a toast, leading into a more general conversation with the table at large in hopes of raising everyone's spirits.Asking Lily about her feelings is something to be done in private.
>>4026220>[ ] Make a toast, leading into a more general conversation with the table at large in hopes of raising everyone's spirits.
>>4026220>[ ] Make a toast, leading into a more general conversation with the table at large in hopes of raising everyone's spirits
>>4026220>>[ ] Make a toast, leading into a more general conversation with the table at large in hopes of raising everyone's spirits.
Does anyone have any idea on how exactly we're going to kill Odin?He seems to be looking forward to our fight at least.
>>4027546Our absorption magic was effective at dealing with magic above our weight class. Maybe if we can improve it it could be used against Odin like we did against Circe.
Could we use Odin's host body to sustain ourselves if reaching the Grail and obtaining the third magic doesn't work out for us?
>>4027559In a worst case scenario, Lily has enough magical energy to keep us around without the grail.And with Circe and Tsubaki as well, our continued existence isn't really endangered.
>>4027554Being able to set up an anti-magic zone by spreading our energy around us would be pretty useful at slapping the shit out of enemy magi.Might be an idea to try doing something like that for when Harris tries his dumb slow time shit on us again.
>>4027588Yeah that'd make a huge impact. We should probably train our magic with Circe.
>>4027607>We should probably train our magic with Circe.We probably should. We can't continue to bully her when we stand to gain more from listening to her advice on magic.And unlike a certain Caster, she's more than willing to share.
>>4027612Yeah I think it's time to swallow our pride if we want to survive. Really all Circe did was make several wrong assumptions and then try to oppose our absolute supremacy over her. Understandable, honestly.
>>4027618We did blow up her house and mock her.
>>4027630Right. It seems like she really lost her standing with the players when she didn't immediately worship the ground we stood on after she learned of her mistake. For me, we're pretty much even now after all we've done to each other, and it's time to work together again as full allies.
>>4027607>>4027612>>4027618Train with Circe, huh? Here's what I think about that.1. Giving Circe to Lily as a servant is an essential point of our plan to get the Good End.2. Learning magic from Lily would help show we want to become part of the family. That seems pretty important to her doesn't it?3. If Circe ends up Lily's servant they'll be together most or all of the time. Considering these I say we should have joint learning sessions with Lily and Circe. Circe can teach both einzberns and we can learn from Lily at the same time. Might even get some extra grail connection out of it.What do you think?
>>4027635The more magic expertise we can draw upon when training the better. We'll have to see where we stand with Lily first though.
>>4027632Yeah, I don't mind that she didn't immediately submit to us.In fact, with what happened with Saber Alter, one can assume Alberich himself enjoys a small amount of defiance.>>4027635I don't see why not.Learning with Lily and Circe at the same time should be... interesting, at least.>>4027641Well, yeah. Obviously she doesn't intend to run away and fight us.But her true thoughts on the matter will need discussing.
>>4027632Can't agree with this at all though. What that bitch did is way worse than you make it sound. Her life backs up her bad personality too. All the hate she got at the time was justified and I definitely don't think were even.
>looking over Akeldama threads>multiple short updates per night, lots of hype and activityFuck I miss those days. Sweets, what prompted your shift to writing a novel each update?
>>4027652She let her pride get to her head.She was once a goddess, after all.Complete submission doesn't really suit her.
>>4027652What's the point of holding onto a grudge now when she could be such a great resource?
>>4027652Also if you don't mind could you actually list what that bitch did to us specifically?
>>4027657Honestly?The fact that I can't spend as much time sitting at the computer as I could back then. A 'session' of updates from early Akeldama was a much bigger time commitment than a longer update is now, and I was taking advantage of the fact that I had more free time then.Also, for some reason I was staying up 'til like 3 or 4 in the morning every night. Frankly I haven't a clue how I managed that; when I try the same kind of thing now, I pass out on my desk at a quarter after one.
>>4027660I think the problem Circe faced is that Alberich has matured far too much to have had any interest in playing her game of Cat and Mouse.And his pride has swelled into quite the terrible thing since she last saw the real version of him.Working under the assumption that Alberich still had Akeldama Rushorou's level of pride got her punished.Though one could say that us immediately opening the fight by having Arturia Excalibur Rushorou's house and her temple was indicative of our current mood.Like, working under the assumption that we would be personality-wise the same as the boy she was bullying around was a huge huge error.
>>4027673How does it feel knowing no matter how much you try to improve you'll never live up to anons esteem for Akeldama despite you personally disliking it for it's flaws?
>>4027683I wouldn't go that far. The long updates have their own good and bad sides.
>>4027683Bad, anon. It feels bad.Considering you're the guy who was complaining about me posting melodramatically, I don't think you'd like to hear much more about that, so I'll leave it there.
>>4027688Agreed. It was far easier to get hyped up for Akeldama thanks to the pace of the updates, but I do appreciate the higher detail of the longer posts.The biggest problem for me is that Dead Ends just don't feel like they would be fun anymore.Not that we get them at all anymore because now that the update schedule is slow, nobody ever wants to take risks.I suppose the same could be said with the loss of the dice taking away anon's predisposition to want to take a risk.>>4027690Don't feel too bad about it, both have their own merits.
>>4027697I agree that the pacing takes away from the excitement in the Dead Ends, but for me the bigger problem is that Alberich is just so much tougher now. It's easy for Emiya Shirou or Yumigawa Rushorou to face death around every corner, they're frail humans. Alberich just isn't threatened by nearly as much, and that makes it a fair amount more difficult to write varied and entertaining Dead Ends.
>>4027712Yeah, some dead ends would feel ridiculous even despite your best efforts.Like the grail water for example.You just know anons would be fucking furious and hate Lily for not warning us that the Water instantly kills Servants.And yeah, that's the big problem with Alberich being as strong as he is now.Threats have to either be insane or they aren't a threat.
>>4027712Honestly dead ends were always something that didn't translate well from VN to quest format. If there's no consequence for death then why put any thought into risky choices? That was a major complaint for me in Akeldama, people would vote and excitedly talk about how they expected to die due to their vote. It's the least in-character way to play a quest.
>>4027742Well, hopefully that's one thing you find more appealing about Fate/Awakening Mirror then; risks at this point are more likely to be non-deadly, and as such things that can't be recovered.Saying that, I realize there aren't a lot of great examples so far, so sorry about that. Hopefully it's something I can bring across better in the future.
>>4027773Also this is just a suggestion, and I might be wrong, but it seems like you've mentioned getting distracted during writing updates. Wouldn't writing shorter updates and allowing yourself to get distracted during voting periods allow you get to more updates out in less time?
What a curse the discord between your companions is! Though you've at last found an evening's peace, too many of those around you don't share your feelings of cheer. Ayaka, lost in her self-doubt and resentment of Liliesviel; Circe, depressed by her consecutive defeats in matters both martial and domestic; Liliesviel, her heart pierced by your cruel deception; Adelheid, dissatisfied with the meal despite its origins lying in her beloved homeland. Though some of these depressions are weighty and others trivial, though one matches your desire and another stings you with empathy, at the moment all you want is to sweep the lot of them away and enjoy a pleasant meal with all those you've brought together under this roof.After giving the matter some thought, an idea strikes you for how best to raise everyone's spirits: you'll make a toast! Though wine wasn't served with dinner you're sure a kitchen as well-stocked as this one ought to have some, and you can have it brought out with dessert. By now everyone's more or less finished with their dinner, you see, so there's no reason to delay your plan. You let your eyes fall on Arturia, still looking petulantly dissatisfied with her empty plate, and catch her attention with your gaze. Once she's noticed and returns your glance (though with added animosity), you silently command, 'Arturia, I see you and the other maids have finished your dinner. Find out whether Stengel has prepared dessert for us, and if so bring it out with an after-dinner drink for everyone.' For the first time since you laid eyes on her last Friday, a genuine smile graces Arturia's lips at your words. A moment later it vanishes to be replaced by her usual expression of disdainful rebelliousness, but you note her excitement at the thought of more food all the same. Evidently this 'king' truly did spend much of her time devoted to playing the part of a man, for the path to her heart certainly seems to be through her stomach. 'Understood' comes the clipped reply, and in another moment you watch as Arturia turns to Stengel and murmurs into her ear, softly enough not to be heard from the upper end of the table where you sit. Here, you note with proprietary satisfaction, is another sign of the maiden-knight's growing acclimation to the role and etiquette of a domestic servant. Stengel listens to Arturia's words, then nods first to her and then to you, and the two maids silently take their leave of the table to make their way back to the kitchen.
As they prepare to bring dessert in, you sweep your eyes across the table again. Odin and Circe are quietly discussing the changes to the world since their own times, and their respective reactions to the strangeness of a modern city. Across from you Adelheid, having abandoned her schnitzel, now seems to be trying to hold in a laugh for some reason. Another moment and the reason becomes clear, as Futodoki passes from the region of her feet to that of yours, twining about your ankles so much like an ordinary cat that it's hard to believe he's only putting on a disguise. The soft fur of must have been tickling Adelheid's bare thighs, you suppose, for she quickly calms once he's moved on. Kōrakuhime, having finished her meal, has retreated into her own introverted thoughts and makes no effort to engage anyone in conversation. Ayaka's eyes periodically dart between Kōrakuhime, Liliesviel, and you; she seems restless now, as if anticipating some unpleasant development at any moment. Finally, Liliesviel continues the silence so unlike her.Slightly less than a minute after their departure the maids return, Stengel again pushing a serving cart with contents hidden by a silver domed lid. Once she reaches the center of the table, Stengel removes the lid and with the air of a showman places dessert, on an elevated serving tray, before you: a sachertorte, still whole and unmarred by a knife, its chocolate glaze shining even under the soft lights of the dining room. After you've all had a chance to admire the cake, Stengel cuts off a slice for each of you, presenting it to you with a dollop of hand-whipped cream. As all this is happening, Arturia goes around the table pouring each of you a glass of port before returning the bottle to the kitchen and retaking her seat.Once the maids are finished, you take your glass in hand and get to your feet to address the table. "Before we begin eating this marvelous dessert Stengel has prepared for us," you begin, "I would like to say something to you all. To simply eat with no celebration of this momentous occasion is insufficient, for this is that most cherished of treasures among all the moments of my life: a moment of peace. For this short while we can sit here and eat together as comrades, unencumbered by thoughts of the Holy Grail War, for this meal was not motivated by strategic considerations, nor is it a conference to discuss future plans for the War, but simply a meal eaten in friendly companionship. So I would like to propose a toast. To...">[ ] "...our camaraderie, for it is through our harmonious cooperation that we've obtained this moment of peace in the midst of War!">[ ] "...victory, and the peace that comes to the triumphant victor!">[ ] "...my dearest love, Liliesviel, whose smile would be the finest fruit of peace.">[ ] "...Yumigawa Rushorou, and the foolish endeavors that paved the way for our success!">[ ] Make a different toast. (Write in)
>>4027855Alright anon, you've inspired me. Here's a shorter update. At midnight PST, if you folks are online and have gotten your votes in, I'll start working on the next update. Let's see if I can get back to two updates a night for a while.
>>4028138>[ ] "...our camaraderie, for it is through our harmonious cooperation that we've obtained this moment of peace in the midst of War!""If you guys don't cooperate I'll fucking kill you"
>>4028138>[ ] "...our camaraderie, for it is through our harmonious cooperation that we've obtained this moment of peace in the midst of War!">update after I go to bedWhy this.
>>4028138>[ ] "...our camaraderie, for it is through our harmonious cooperation that we've obtained this moment of peace in the midst of War!"
>>4028352Because I have no timing, apparently. Ah, well. Hopefully things will go better today.
>>4028138>>[ ] "...victory, and the peace that comes to the triumphant victor!"
I like that we're making a toast to camaraderie when everyone hates each other.and Arturia thought the Round Table was a pain.
>>4028600Yeah, there are definitely downsides to each option. I encourage you to try writing your own perfect toast/speech, if you have a bit of time.
>>4028600Think of it as a prediction, anon.
>>4028138>[ ] "...my dearest love, Liliesviel, whose smile would be the finest fruit of peace."Only one real option here.
>>4028138>[X] "...our camaraderie, for it is through our harmonious cooperation that we've obtained this moment of peace in the midst of War!"
>>4028614I don't even know where I would start.
>>4028614Hmm, give me 48 minutes.I might have something.
>>4029042Oh fuck I totally forgot I was supposed to do this.Eh fuck it.>[ ] "...our camaraderie, for it is through our harmonious cooperation that we've obtained this moment of peace in the midst of War!"
>>4029042>>4029296Hah. I was looking forward to seeing what you'd come up with, too. Oh, well.Everyone, in keeping with what I said last night I intend to try and have a more rapid session tonight, starting with when I post the next update. It'll be a little while before then, but I wanted to give you a heads-up in case of something like >>4028352.
>[ ] Make a different toast. (Write in)To the Gift of LifeWe start by taking everyone off-guard by thanking Judas Iscariot for our creation, then proceed to go around that table and list off the memorable experiences and affection we have for everyone.A couple examplesAyaka: A uniquely reliable figure in our lives who we've been able to trust with everything from the start.Odin: A very interesting gentleman whose strength and wit have played a large part in leading to this reunionCirce: Our first really firm support (sorry Matsuda but you're not here right now) and invaluable teacher whose nurturing made us far stronger than we could have been otherwise.I think we should point out that even though we've only existed for a few weeks we've had the pleasure of meeting far more interesting people than most of the clueless masses could even dream of.I don't have time to write things for literally every character but I think going over how people have affected us and how we feel about them should go over better than trying to LARP a camaraderie that really isn't there.
>>4029374Thank Adelheid for helping us cope with loss of identityThank Lily for giving us hope for the futureThank Tsubaki for being our reliable supportThank the maids for the wonderful meal and their serviceAm I missing anyone?
>>4029387Thank Franz Sacher.
>>4029374Ok I should probably lay out a few more details thoughPeople to "shout-out" - Circe - Adelheid - Ayaka - Lily - "Tsubaki Shijou" for her helpful magical skills (won't reveal her identity without her consent) - Odin - Futodoki for the great conversation he makes. oh and he's a master of stealth too (do we really NEED to keep his identity a secret? He'd probably be happy to be given the chance to go back to his normal form) - Alter (for making a decent sparring partner, it can be humorous how her praise is shorter than our cat's) - Lily's maids for consistently excellent service and being good examples for the newbie
>>4029387Are you generally supportive of the "Gift of Life" and talking about our frens? We kind of need an 11th-hour comeback to outvote the "camaraderie" option.
>>4029418I'll switch to your write-in, it should be interesting, trying to toast LITERALLY EVERYONE in one go.
>>4029421Yeah and if we touch on a couple interesting related events it'd be good conversation starters for some of the people who don't know each other too well
>>4029418Yep, just wanted to make some additions as well
>sweets wants to write shorter updates>gets a write in like thissasuga anons
Shit. It's Thursday. Is an update actually coming or am I staying up for no reason?
>>4029992Sorry, I'm terrible at this scheduling thing.I'm working on the update now, though. Hopefully it'll be done no later than last night's.
>>4028138>>4029296Changing to>>4029374>>4029387Credit where credit is due first of all. Gotta thank everyone. Then we hit em with the,"Everyone at this table is important to me. Some may regard such sentimental words as foolish or even disingenuous, but from the bottom of my heart I mean that. And I'm happy we could all be here for this meal.The long hard work is almost done and we wouldn't be in this moment in time without everyone at the table doing their best.Our every collective breath is a victory, and our every moment together an opportunity to grow into even greater strength.One can not grow without rivals.One can not thrive without growth.One can not enjoy small moments like this without the ability to thrive.It is for this reason that I wish for us to be merry in the knowledge that good times are forever fleeting and moments taken to appreciate the ability to thrive are rare indeed.I would like to take this one night to truly appreciate how far we've all come and how far we can go in the future and dedicate this toast to that future. That hopeful light at the end of the tunnel that would sees us have more moments like this to come.To our fellowship of masters and servants.To our family."It would be a very hit or miss speech, but hopefully if Alberich lays all his cards on the table, it will at least let everyone know where he's coming from.
Camaraderie >>4028231>>4028352>>4028468>>4028649Life itself>>4029374>>4029387>>4029744>>4030059Looks like we're tied up. So much for doing a fast session tonight, I guess. You can go to bed, >>4029992.Here's hoping I can switch things up and do some writing tomorrow morning instead of pushing it 'til evening once more.
>>4030109I'll switch from >>4028231 to Life Itself
You know what's always fun?Speculating about potential servants we could summon after we win this war to help us.Oh, and Chaldea is also going to need dealing with. Marisbury might not have ever gotten the funding to properly get it off the ground, but I just kind of want to kill him.
>>4031502Isn't Chaldea in an alternate universe?
>>4031745The fully functioning lorebreaking one is, yeah.Marisbury however is around in the FSN timelines, he's just a fucking loser than never sees any real success.His daughter is also around, being worthless as she is.
>>4031745Yeah Sweets doesn’t want to open that can of worms so we should be fine. The worst I can imagine might be Kirschtaria Wodime using the Animisphere resources to run Servant-spawning experiments but I don’t see it getting off the ground for quite a while
Just to let you folks know, I'm writing this dinner speech scene, and it's turning out fairly long. With that and then the after-dinner scene and so-on, I'm thinking the best way to go is a fairly long update, so unless you folks feel like you really want granular control over the next things you do after giving this speech I probably won't be switching to a faster, shorter style tonight. If you do want that, let me know now and I'll plan on it; but in that case I'll be trusting you folks to still be online in two or three hours, and I know that's pretty late for some of us.
>>4031928>unless you folks feel like you really want granular control over the next things you do after giving this speechWe're going back to decrypting the diary after this speech, right? If that's the case there's no reason for me to object.
>>4031934>We're going back to decrypting the diary after this speech, right?...what?
>>4031936We stopped in the middle to eat dinner, didn't we? First we talked to Odin, then Ayaka called us for dinner. Adelheid was still translating the encrypted notes when Ayaka called.
>>4031953Right, but you handed them off to Adelheid for decryption. You won't really have anything to do 'til she's done with that, and you don't know how long that'll take.Besides, it will be pretty late after dinner. If you want to go back to the basement afterwards you can, of course, but I suggest you work out a pretty clear idea of what you want to do there.
>>4031994In that case, let's talk to Circe and find out what happened to Haruo and the hag. She wouldn't have wasted them, and former Masters can be used as bait for Assassin.
Okay! Finally done writing out your big speech scene. This is finally the last update of this long, long day of November 21.
"To the gift of life!" you exclaim, raising your glass high. "It is truly the gift from which all else springs, and must be appreciated first and foremost; and I, more than many, have someone's intent to thank for mine. So a toast also to Judas Iscariot, that famous scoundrel responsible for my creation! Without him, I would not be here now and neither, at least with respect to this precise spot, would any of you." You grin at the assembled diners, taking a moment to enjoy your own minor witticism, then continue in a calmer tone, "Of course, it isn't life alone that I want to speak of now, but the happiness that comes of it. Though I've lived for a short time, ten days in the Akeldama and just over a week out here in reality, I've had the pleasure of meeting in you far more fascinating and pleasant company than could have been hoped for in the full course of an ordinary life." So saying, you sweep your eyes around the table once more, to turn to each diner as you speak of them."Circe," you begin, turning a gentle smile on the winged nymph. "You were my first true support, the first to help me toward the achievement of my goals. Though your treachery and pride have brought you low today, I'll never forget that you were an invaluable teacher and Servant, and that without you I would not have the power I have now. Thank you for that; it is my hope that you serve me as well in the future as you did then, for I'm sure that no Servant could set a higher example of devotion than you did during the War in the Akeldama." At these words Circe flushes in embarrassment and nods, although the way her eyes remain downcast leaves you uncertain whether she's agreeing or simply averting her eyes.From Circe you turn to Adelheid, your second Servant. "Adelheid, the first to see me for who I truly was," you say, introducing her in a warm tone. "Your words on our first meeting helped steel my resolve to push forward on my own path towards the future; in your voice I first heard music, and was drawn out of considerations of War to enjoy its beauty; later, you helped me to stand apart from the past of Yumigawa Rushorou and take on my own personality, though I didn't know then that I had truly been born separate from him; finally, it was by your power that the War in the Akeldama was brought to a close. For all this, Adelheid, thank you." Adelheid colors slightly as well, but unlike Circe takes a defiant attitude to her embarrassment, putting on a self-satisfied expression and crossing her arms.
Next you turn your gratitude to Ayaka, who looks more insecure than ever after listening to the praise heaped on your two Servants from the War in the Akeldama. Hopefully you can diminish that insecurity, though, as you say, "Miss Ayaka, you've been more reliable than I could have hoped for. Despite all that's happened you've never ceased to be steadfast in supporting me, putting your life in my hands and using your magical capabilities to the fullest to empower me. You've been everything a Master should be, and for that I thank you." Ayaka looks up to return your smile for a brief moment before you continue on to the next subject of your impromptu speech.Turning from your neighbor to the girl across from her, you say to Kōrakuhime, "Miss Tsubaki, though not my Master you too have been reliable and devoted in the support you give your sister and I, and your own magical abilities have been essential to our success on more than one occasion. In the fullness of your commitment to this Holy Grail War despite the freedom you have to leave, you have been a paragon of sibling devotion. Thank you." As you dip your head in thanks for the fourth time Kōrakuhime doesn't flush as the others have, but only returns your nod and quirks her lips in that small smile of hers that signals the inexpressive girl's delight.Finally you turn to the girl at your left hand, and smile tenderly down at her. Liliesviel, so vulnerable as she waits, wide-eyed and nervous for the words you'll direct at her. The girl you wounded with your deception; but perhaps the words you've said tonight and will say now can go someway towards healing that wound. "Liliesviel," you say, not hiding the affection in your tone, "in you I found the first person I'd met who had a hope of understanding my situation; the experience of being a tool, not born but made for a purpose, and then set free in the world with an independent will seemingly at odds with that programmed identity. In you I found hope for the future, a path to life beyond the end of the Holy Grail War. Most importantly, in your sweetness; in the readiness with which you opened your heart to me and took me in as your brother; in the need I felt in you for a family that would feel true affection for you, and not only for the Einzbern Master; in all these things, I discovered my own need for someone to stand with, and to truly care for. Thank you, Liliesviel." As you speak, you lay your hand on her shoulder. The height difference between you is too great to clasp her hand at the moment, but hopefully this small act of physical closeness helps to illustrate your point even so. As you gaze into her eyes and she into yours a moment of silence and uncertainty passes before she finally gives you a smile. It's a wan thing, not so bright as her usual expressions and with a deal of reservation about it; she clearly hasn't yet returned yet to the state she was in before your revelation. All the same, it's something positive.
Next, you turn to Odin, jovially saying, "Lancer, I thank you for all that you have brought to our alliance, and done to bring us to this moment of victorious peace; you've generously lent us the strength of your arm, the potency of your wit, and most of all the pleasure of your company. It is a marvelous thing to have an ally as amiably disposed and cooperative as you are. For this, more than anything else, you have my gratitude." Odin doesn't take offense at your backhanded comment, provocative though the sarcasm may be. In fact, from the look of it he seems to be stifling a laugh. Best to move on, then.With your gratitude for the leading members of your group thus expressed, you turn to the serving staff. "Arturia," you begin, with a smile as disingenuous as that you turned on Odin, "for the excellent spar we had earlier this evening, and for the diligence you've shown to learning your new duties as a maid, I thank you. Lastly, if only because the two of you have chosen seats so distant from my own," you add, giving an honest smile to Stachel and Stengel, "Stengel and Stachel, devoted maids of my Liliesviel, thank you for your continued service; for adapting as well as you have to my appearance in your mistress' life; for showing my own maid a fine example of proper behavior; and most enthusiastically of all, for a wonderful meal!"With that, you sweep your eyes around the table once more, pausing to compose your thoughts and prepare the end of your toast. Already, you can see, spirits are raised; although there is some impatience visible in Adelheid and Arturia over the wait you're forcing them to endure before beginning their desserts. "You see then, how important everyone at this table is to me; how much you are all part and parcel of the gift of life," you say, lowering your voice a bit and letting the festivity fall from it for a more sober proclamation than that in praise of Stengel's cooking. "There are those who might regard such sentimental words as foolish; even disingenuous; but I say them from the bottom of my heart, in all truth. I am happy that we could all be here together for this meal." You raise your voice again as you continue, "The long hard work of this War is almost done! We wouldn't be have this moment of peace without everyone here doing their utmost to play their part in bringing that work to its conclusion. Our every collective breath is a step towards ultimate victory; our every moment together an opportunity to grow to ever greater strength, and approach ever greater certainty of more moments like this one."
You take a deep breath, pausing for effect, then look pointedly at Odin and say, "One can not grow without rivals. One can not thrive without growth. One can not enjoy small moments like this without the ability to thrive. It is for this reason, as well as the happiness of the moment itself, that I wish for us to enjoy this meal and take the opportunity for be merriment in the knowledge that such moments are forever fleeting and their appreciation rare indeed. I would like to take this one night to truly appreciate how far we've all come and how far we can go in the future. I dedicate this toast to that future! That time, beyond the end of the War, when moments like these are not so few and far between. To our fellowship of Masters and Servants!" For a moment you consider adding, 'to our family,' but consideration of the unique and certain ways the comment would offend Liliesviel, Ayaka, and Kōrakuhime stays your tongue. So with that, you finally bring your lengthy toast to an end, raise your glass, and sit down as everyone enjoys their port and dessert.Although not everyone reacted as ecstatically as you might have hoped, the toast seems to have gone over well and dinner is brought to a close in a rather cheerier mood than it began. As everyone finishes their food, and people begin to get up from the table, you glance down at your watch and realize how late it's gotten: it's after midnight. Hardly surprising that some of those here are rather listless; you're beginning to fade yourself. As you get up from your seat, you decide to...>[ ] Go right to bed. After the whirlwind that tonight's been, all further matters can be resolved in the morning.>[ ] Take Liliesviel aside and ask how she's feeling after the thought she gave your confession.>[ ] Take Circe and Adelheid aside to ask about something that happened while they were away from you. (Write in specific points you'd like to know about).>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4032162>[ ] Take Liliesviel aside and ask how she's feeling after the thought she gave your confession.That went well.Kind of.Poor Circe...Once again, she's managed to mess things up on a scale only she is able to.
>>4032162>[ ] Take Liliesviel aside and ask how she's feeling after the thought she gave your confession.
>>4032162>[ ] Take Liliesviel aside and ask how she's feeling after the thought she gave your confession.I've got nothing to add to that.
Sweets, didn't you mention a Urien edit last thread?
>>4032328I believe I did. Nice work! Guess this is what Berserker Alberich would look like, then.
>>4032162>>[ ] Take Liliesviel aside and ask how she's feeling after the thought she gave your confession.
>>4032656God, Alberich would not live long as a Berserker.
>>4032162>[ ] Take Liliesviel aside and ask how she's feeling after the thought she gave your confessionProbably the top-priority right now. Should bring up if she wants to work as master for one of the new frens if she seems receptive>>4033198It would also be borderline impossible to play because Madness Enhancement would preclude most player decisions from having finer details applied
>>4033336>It would also be borderline impossible to play because Madness Enhancement would preclude most player decisions from having finer details appliedForget borderline, it would've been impossible. That, along with the fact that it wouldn't have made sense for Alberich's 'concept of power' to take that form, is why it wasn't an option at the end of Akeldama. Still, I do enjoy somewhat thinking about the various versions of Alberich that might hypothetically take the various classes.
>>4033362It feels like the only reason we weren't allowed to take Caster is because it would've been even more overpowered than the potential Assassin and would've made things feel like a cakewalk.I guess it would be comparing Dark Sakura to just the Shadow in levels of threat.Well, that and you'd have to have figured out a way to do magic exposition on a character that should technically know most things about magic.Sounds like a tremendous hassle."AS YOU KNOW" is one of the worst narrative tools and having Alberich just think of all the mechanics behind what he's doing would've felt unnatural.So while I think Caster Alberich probably could've been an option, it would've also been a tremendous burden to write around.
>>4032162>[ ] Take Liliesviel aside and ask how she's feeling after the thought she gave your confession.>>4033362>>4033377I'm curious how would Assassinberich play?
>>4033384>AssassinberichYou read Heaven's Feel?Remember the Shadow?Yeah, basically just the Shadow.Shirou would have a stroke.
>>4033377These are all great points, and solid reasons why I wouldn't want to write a Caster protagonist. I did give it some thought in terms of events within the story, though, and as I recall one of my reasons went like this:Rushorou, wishing to surpass all and stand at the peak, would not conceive of the form that newfound power might take within himself as being in the least similar to that held by either his Servants, a Caster and a Berserker, or he who was killed by Rushorou's own hands before empowerment, a Caster. Rather, he must pour the power into another form if he is to satisfy his unconscious mind of its worthiness.Hopefully that seems as reasonable to you folks as it did to me, and you don't feel it's just for the sake of my own ease that things were structured the way they were.
Oh hey, Page 9.
>>4033384His body and countenance would be the same as Rushorou's at the close of Akeldama, not taller and stronger as Saber's is. His clothing and weapon as a Servant would be simple, after the manner of Assassins: dark tunic and trousers beneath a hooded mantle that reaches his feet and hides his face. The mantle would have the same properties as Kenótis, though it would be able to be manipulated more freely. In this way, with Presence Concealment and physical aptitude, Assassin Alberich would be rather similar to the shadow from Heaven's Feel in his appearance as well as his abilities.Challenge in that version of Fate/Awakening Mirror would mostly lie in protecting your Master.
>>4033394Honestly, I don't know about that line of logic. Lancer and Assassin died rather pathetic deaths.And Saber himself also met a fairly unrespectable end.In fact, the only enemy Servants that had consistently good showings and somewhat respectable deaths were Rider and Archer.Basically, we should've just become Archer.Man we really should have just been Archer.Just to be clear though, would Caster be Alberich's best class if he could have taken it?>>4033405Well, we'll hopefully have more things to discuss soon.As this arc of the story seems to be wrapping up, we are just running out of things to discuss.Nobody even wants to talk about what to do to Yumigawa.Nobody can really bring themselves to even really want to torture him, considering his circumstances were far far worse than anyone imagined.Still wish we had a few more posts though.This is gonna look really strange on Sweet's graph.
>>4033418Assassin had a nearly even fight with Rider, and was the only Servant who succeeded in totally discouraging you from picking a fight with him, so I wouldn't say he had a terrible showing.But yes, I was hoping you folks would pick Archer. Ah, well.
>>4033455>But yes, I was hoping you folks would pick Archer. Ah, well.You know, I might've picked Archer if I could tell the difference between the Lancer and Archer options. In my mind, they could've been either,Damn pointy sticks. Being too similar.Ah well, at least Saber Alberich has ended up quite strong himself.His one weakness is his absolutely dreadful enemy detection skills.Circe could have just tried to cover her Odysseus clones with a weak level of presence concealment and we would have fucking died.
>>4033481Hey, every hero needs at least one weakness. At least you haven't suffer too badly from it thus far. Now knowing it, you can plan around it.
>>4033523>Now knowing it, you can plan around it.I mean, we could just get Clairvoyance: B and completely circumvent it.Would also allow for super long range rift slashes too.Considering what a god damn pain Assassin is turning out to be, we might have to improve our detection abilities.It's unfortunate that we seem to have run out of options to get more of those upgrades though.Anons don't really want to kill Matsuda, some people want to make Medusa into Medusa Lily, Assassin is being too much of a pain and Odin is still a long way away. We should really ask Circe, Tsubaki and Lily if they have any ideas to get enough energy for us to channel into getting an upgrade.Thank god for Alberich's horribly broken Conceptual Biology allowing this.I mean, I'm assuming it's CB letting us grow stronger like this combined with the Shijou Ritual because otherwise you'd expect everyone would try to empower servants with mass sacrifices.Or just tell them to run around eating souls until they get more powerful.
>>4033553>We should really ask Circe, Tsubaki and Lily if they have any ideas to get enough energy for us to channel into getting an upgrade.Well, there is that one ritual Tsubaki has for an NP that empowers people. That might work.Might.>I mean, I'm assuming it's CB letting us grow stronger like this combined with the Shijou Ritual because otherwise you'd expect everyone would try to empower servants with mass sacrifices.Remember, Heroic Spirits are static beings. Alberich can grow and improve himself because he's a living being, not because his biology's conceptual.
>>4033648Well, most Heroic Spirits are static, you might want to correct yourself thereArturia for example isn't even dead.But she isn't really a heroic spiritEMIYA is a special case, because he can technically get somewhat stronger if he sees a new Noble Phantasm.But he's also not really a Heroic Spirit either.Wow, both of these examples were awful. How about Heracles? God Hand is a Noble Phantasm that allows him to grow more powerful simply by making him impossible to kill with the same method more than once assuming he doesn't get insta-killed.I doubt that the ritual would work as well on our siblings as it does on us though, I imagine that his conceptual nature makes the application of new concepts to himself far easier.Our siblings may be limited to simply ranking up their existing abilities, should such an opportunity have been presented to them.>Tsubaki's ritualHoly shit can we fucking find out what that does already?Jesus.I swear to god if she still refuses to tell us at this point I will have half a mind to support snapping her neck right there because god damn it.
>>4033648As for magical methods of improving Servants, most people don't have the kind of magic the Shijou family has, and those who did have it would probably rather use it on themselves than on their Servant.
>>4033675>God Hand is a Noble Phantasmpic>I swear to god if she still refuses to tell us at this point"Well, then, I guess Circe was a more useful Caster after all."
>>4033391You guys actually made me pick up the VN and start reading it, still on Fate route though>>4033553>any ideas to get enough energy for us to channel into getting an upgrade.Trains, Anon, trains.>>4033648>Well, there is that one ritual Tsubaki has for an NP that empowers people. That might work.We need to somehow make her come clean to us about all of her NPs, any ideas on how to do it?>>4033675>I swear to god if she still refuses to tell us at this point I will have half a mind to support snapping her neck right there because god damn it.support
>>4033716>Trains, Anon, trains.Just remember to suplex them for the full effect.>>4033675>Holy shit can we fucking find out what that does already?Can you? ...honestly this is one of those things where the longer it gets drawn out, the more worried I am about how you folks will react when you finally find out. I didn't really think it would take this long at all.
>>4033675>How about Heracles? God Hand is a Noble Phantasm that allows him to grow more powerful simply by making him impossible to kill with the same method more than once assuming he doesn't get insta-killed.Think about it like this. Static isn't the best word, it's more that dead Heroic Spirits are in a way cut off from the world. Heracles can change based on what happens to him as a Servant, but it's ultimately an internal change being triggered by something within him; an aspect of the Servant himself, his Noble Phantasm. EMIYA and Alberich are both taking in external information and changing based on a true connection to the outside world, which they have due to their respective peculiarities as not-quite-Servants.I truly hate the fact that the term pseudo-Servant is taken already for a specific thing.
>>4033648All we know is that it's inspired by Akeldama right? It's not necessarily about empowerment.Tsubaki is pretty irrelevant and I'm okay with that desu senpai
>>4033997>I didn't really think it would take this long at all.You've kept us pretty busy with other things.
>>4034047>All we know is that it's inspired by Akeldama right?What would a ritual "derived from the form of the Akeldama" do if not sacrifice others to empower someone?It might be the case that Tsubaki can only use it to empower herself, though.
>>4034056That's true. There were several situations relating to those other things where I had initially planned for her to reveal the NP in a dramatic way, though, in which you folks ended up taking action in such a way that it prevented her from doing so. Thus, things remain mysterious in spite of even my expectations.Maybe she doesn't even really have a second Noble Phantasm, and it's all an act to hyper herself up in Alberich's eyes,
>>4033997>the more worried I am about how you folks will react when you finally find out...wat
>>4034062>reveal the NP in a dramatic way, though, in which you folks ended up taking action in such a way that it prevented her from doing so.Hilarious and cute.
>>4034065Odds are that it's going to be something that would really have helped us out and anons are going to be livid that she didn't just tell us.
>>4033695>"Well, then, I guess Circe was a more useful Caster after all."You know, for all that you folks bash the other magic users in favor of Circe, I feel that Liliesviel, Circe, Ayaka, and Kōrakuhime each has her own individual niche of magical expertise, none of which the others fill. I realize that Liliesviel hasn't had the opportunity to show off her abilities much, but don't you feel that there's quite little overlap between what you've seen of the other three?...aside from the fact that Circe and Kōrakuhime both practice forms of remote viewing, anyway; but really, that's mandatory for any magus worth their salt. Most use familiars, but even Harris, fist-focused as he is, has his own method.
I feel bad that I can't vote promptly when you update unless I randomly wake up at 4 am like last night. I would if I could!
>>4034093>her own individual niche of magical expertise, none of which the others fillYes, but only one of them fills the "Laser deathstorm" niche, and that's really the best niche of all.
>>4034112I feel bad that I can't update more promptly. Every day I tell myself I'm going to write more and sooner, and it never gets done 'til the middle of the night.Sorry!>>4034117>that's really the best niche of allThe niche that can be fulfilled better by a maid with a magic sword?
>>4034118>can be fulfilled better by a maid with a magic sword?Rain of Light is unfairly nerfed due to everyone having magic resistance. It's not Caster's fault that their class is inherently the best.Can't all have EX rank Anti-World Fortresses that shoot EX magical attacks at people. A VERY Assassin like Noble Phantasm, well done, Apocrypha.Also, Excalibur is a big laser beam, it's not laserspam.
>>4034123>Semiramis' Caster Laputa...the less said about Apocrypha, the better.
>>4034117She also fills the "not useless familiars" niche. Seriously, every time Kourakuhime summoned familiars they died like chumps, while Circe's familiars gave Blackbeard and The Man With No Name a tough time if only by virtue of sheer numbers.
>>4034135>"How about we just completely ignore the entire point of the Servant Class system and class containers by giving a servant the ability to just straight up be two Classes at once?"What the fuck were they even thinking with Semiramis?
>>4034146They also put blatant spikes on the palms of someone who's supposed to be an Assassin. Really keeping a low profile there, isn't she?I don't think they were thinking clearly about much with Apocrypha. Honestly the only good thing I can say for Semiramis is that her Stage 2 design in FGO has an excellent hairstyle.
Ugh.Now that I'm thinking about it, I really can't get over how terrible the Servant designs are in Apocrypha. It's the only Fate property in which FGO actually improved the design of Servants who began there with ascensions, alternates, etc.
With the meal at an end, you stand to depart from the table much as the others do, the diners naturally drifting apart and milling about in the after-dinner haze of tired minds' late-night weariness accentuated by the relaxation that comes of hunger well satisfied with good food and wine. As you stand, though, you tap Liliesviel subtly on the shoulder, in a gesture not to be seen by the others but only felt by the girl, and murmur, "May we speak in private?"The girl nods, a gesture as minute as your own signal and easily to be missed if you were not looking for it, and the two of you thus depart, passing by as you go the maids cleaning up the table, Circe and Odin once more in avid discussion of the modern world's peculiarities, Adelheid thoughtfully sketching out cryptographic notes on a pad drawn from her uniform pocket, and Kōrakuhime sitting contemplatively with Futodoki on her lap. From the dining room, the two of you pass through the kitchen and then into the living room, which having been vacated by your prisoner and his guard, is private enough for the moment; at least Liliesviel seems to believe so, since it's she who chooses to stop there and address you in her mother tongue, the childishness in her manner gone as much as when she commands her subordinates. "I hoped to speak with you as well, Alberich," she says, giving you the same bittersweet smile that played over her lips at the table. "It was a beautiful speech that you gave at dinner. So touching, so sweet. I would like to believe everything that you said; that you meant it then, and that you meant what you told me when you kissed me." A small fist clutches at her skirts, and her lip quivers as she falls into a moment of silence. Before you can speak, though, the moment of hesitation passes and she continues, eyes beginning again to moisten, "I want to believe you; I do! But when I let my emotions control me before, I believed in a fantasy, and you used that belief to lie to me! Even Stengel could see that what I decided couldn't be so, but I believed it all the same!""Why should I lie to you now," you protest, "when it was by my own confession that I revealed my earlier deception? It was my depth of feeling for you that drove me tell you the truth tonight!" Rushing forward, you place your hands on her shoulders, taking hold of the girl without embracing her for fear that such a gesture now might worsen things. "Liliesviel, you must believe me," you repeat. "If I hadn't cared for you, and what I've said about my motivations tonight was a lie, I could have just continued as we were, leading you on without a care."
"That makes sense," she sniffs. "Alberich, my own feelings for you make me want that. I- But you already know how I feel about you, or you couldn't have deceived me so." Liliesviel draws in a sharp breath, not quite a sob, and bites her lip in anguish. "How can I trust you now, if you've lied to me that way once?" she entreats, staring up at you for answers which you no longer have to offer, having already poured out your feelings so completely.Then, all of a sudden, your hands are empty. Liliesviel slips out of your grip, taking a graceful step back to regard you from beyond the reach of your arms. She shuts her eyes and takes a single deep breath, and as she does so the pain seems to flow out of her with the air. When she opens her eyes again, the expression on that alabaster face is a strange one, with such mixed and subtle elements of happiness and remorse in the set of brow, eye, and lip, that it produces an almost serene effect. With a tone incongruously cheerful, and reflective of that strange volatility that always seems to affect Liliesviel's emotions, she announces, "I've made up my mind, Alberich. I think I can believe you, and forgive the way you lied to me. Thank you for being so patient with me. You must have thought I'd already decided when I came down to eat, I'm sure.""No, no," you say, shaking your head "I ought to be the one thanking you, for trusting in my feelings and looking past my deception.""You've done enough thanking for one night, Alberich," Liliesviel ripostes with an impish smile. "Any more, and your gratitude might run out! Ehehehe~" After a few moments of shared laughter, which truthfully owes more to the delight of having the central issue hanging between the two of you resolved at last than to her joke, Liliesviel more calmly asks, "What did you want to speak with me about? We've only discussed the topic that I brought up so far; I won't put you off any longer.""I was going to ask about how you were feeling, since I left you in such a state," you answer, with a caring tone and expression. "Is there anything still troubling you?""Nothing serious," Liliesviel answers, amused at your gratuitous display of concern in resuming the question so obviously answered by your discussion thus far, "but there is something I'd like to know, Alberich." As you've been speaking, the two of you have drawn gradually closer once again, so that as she airs this new topic Liliesviel looks up into your face rather than across the room at you."What's that?" you ask, already guessing the answer. There are, after all, two primary matters of your expedition tonight left unfinished, and one significantly more likely to prompt Liliesviel's hurry than the other.
Sure enough, with an expression not unlike that of a little girl asking a child for some particularly desired and expensive birthday present, Liliesviel asks, "What are you doing with those Servants we captured? I know they were your acquaintances from the other War that you told me about, but you still promised to give me one of them. It's unsafe to let them go around without a Master, and we can't have them sustained by the regional Mana forever. I'd like to make a contract with the Caster who dueled Odin tonight. You don't mind, do you?">[ ] No, let Liliesviel take Circe as her Servant. You have, after all, made a promise to turn one of the two over to Liliesviel. Since she's so attached to the idea of holding power over the Caster who attempted to kill her, there's no reason not to let her have her way.>[ ] Yes, you do mind. Though you did promise Liliesviel a Servant, you never promised that it would be Circe. Suggest that she take Adelheid instead, as one more easily managed. >[ ] Reply differently. (Write in)
Alright! Finally, after a day of ceaseless delays even though I was supposed to have the whole day off, I managed to write something! Better yet, it's my favorite kind of update: romantic drama!Seriously, though, as the conclusion to the mini-arc of your confession to Liliesviel I'm really happy with the way this scene turned out. Hopefully you folks enjoy it too.
>>4034293>[ ] No, let Liliesviel take Circe as her Servant. You have, after all, made a promise to turn one of the two over to Liliesviel. Since she's so attached to the idea of holding power over the Caster who attempted to kill her, there's no reason not to let her have her way.As long as Lily doesn't abuse her, I see no reason not to do it.
>>4034293>[ ] No, let Liliesviel take Circe as her Servant. You have, after all, made a promise to turn one of the two over to Liliesviel. Since she's so attached to the idea of holding power over the Caster who attempted to kill her, there's no reason not to let her have her way.
>>4034293>[ ] No, let Liliesviel take Circe as her Servant. You have, after all, made a promise to turn one of the two over to Liliesviel. Since she's so attached to the idea of holding power over the Caster who attempted to kill her, there's no reason not to let her have her way....You caused this, Circe.I'm sure you will learn to get along with her, in time.
>>4034293>Sure enough, with an expression not unlike that of a little girl asking a child for some particularly desired and expensive birthday present,Did you mean asking an adult?Or asking a parent?
>>4034528"yo buy me a birthday present and i'll give you my mom's cookies"
>>4034528Aaaaaaaaargh. How did that even happen?I meant to write "asking her father".
>>4034528I think what happened was that I wrote "a child" as in "a child asking for some..." and then went back to write "a little girl" instead, but forgot to delete "a child". That's so frustrating.
>>4034597>>4034604It happens to the best of usIt just happened to the best of us
>>4034622Oh, that's very nice of you to say. Thanks, anon.
>>4034293>[ ] Reply differently. (Write in)Mention/reiterate a few things about the two since we know them fairly well in comparison but up-front let her know the choice is ultimately up to her. I'd like to make sure she's making an informed decision.Definitely go over which of the two requires more mana to function at full-power (we should be able to give vivid detail since we had both of them at once in Akeldama) and tell her a little about each's personality and past behavior. If she hasn't had a rundown of our encounters when we recovered them we can give one to help her know what she's getting into.
So for our day-off tomorrow, I'm thinking we should go buy some casual clothes for anyone who doesn't have any yet, radio-communications equipment for K-hime to setup for easier comms, and some board-games for a team-building night of fun (and mayhem). Just a matter of time until we show Axis and Allies to Adelheid.Maybe get burgers for lunch halfway through.Any other ideas?
>>4033418>>Just to be clear though, would Caster be Alberich's best class if he could have taken it?I realise now that I didn't answer this yesterday afternoon. As for the power levels of Alberich's respective classes, it's not quite that cut and dry. I would say that Caster and Assassin are tied for the most potent incarnations of Alberich, with Saber firmly in the second-place spot and Archer in the third.Although, as I have said, Archer would certainly have been my preference to write about; so don't think he wouldn't have been powerful in his own way.>>4034820>radio-communications equipment for K-hime to setup for easier commsFlashback to Ogawara being confronted with Rushorou's expectation that he was the IT guy.
>>4034820>radio-communications equipment for K-himeOk but why don't we all just buy everyone a mobile phone. We've already seen that the majority of magi will completely underestimate the effectiveness of mundane communication.Circe.>casual clothes for anyone who doesn't have any yetSo... Adelheid?Circe can magic herself some upTsubaki can magic herself some up tooArturia having casual clothes sort of removes the whole point to her outfit. Maybe if she's lucky she can have something.>Maybe get burgers for lunch halfway through.[Saber Alter liked that.]>Any other ideas?What about visiting a coffee shop?>>4034843>Caster and Assassin are tied for the most potent incarnations of AlberichHuh, interesting that Assassin is so strong.Or that Archer is in third.What about Lancer, by the way?With Heilig, Saber Alberich has become far more powerful than he was in the beginning at least so when you think about it, rating Alberich's strength is kind of impossible for everything except his starting strength. Hmm.>Ogawara being confronted with Rushorou's expectation that he was the IT guy.He was totally the IT guy on account of knowing how a computer works.That alone makes him and by extension Kourakuhime better with technology than 95 percent of the named characters in the Nasuverse.
>>4034872To clarify, Saber's place on the ranking is including the power of Heiligöffnungschwert, since none of the other classes would've been able to create it.As for Assassin's power, while it may be less versatile than magic, Presence Concealment in combination with an empowered Kenótis is extremely potent in combat.Besides, it's important to remember that you're talented enough to learn magic in any class (aside from Berserker) so while Caster is playing to your strengths, it's also a bit redundant.Lancer ranks below Archer. I'm not sure whether he'd be stronger than or even with Rider, but they're definitely both above Berserker Alberich.
>>4034896Huh, well that is unexpected.God damn, Assassin and Caster really would've been horribly broken huh?
>>4034872>Ok but why don't we all just buy everyone a mobile phoneDirect radio communication seems a bit more effective to me, tactically speaking. You can just pull it out and speak into it rather than making a call and hope they answer in time. Direct broadcasting at lightspeed.I guess the range-issue might be a problem. We should definitely get something though, it sucks to not have an effective team-wide real-time communication capability.
>>4034924>Huh, well that is unexpected.How so?
>>4035028>How so?Well, with how broken Heilig is, I was under the impression that it would've made Saber stronger than Assassin, at least.
>>4035050Imagine an assassin that can steal the power of other classes though.
>>4034293This.>>4034782Also tell her not to treat whichever she picks poorly.Of course Alberich would have faith in Lili to be able to handle either of them, but it's reasonable for anyone to think she might carry some lingering animosity.I really don't want Circe or Adelheid to be tortured, bros. This fucking loli better take care of our girl!
>>4035255Many thanks anonJust one more to tie it, two to win!
So Medulily is pretty high up on Alsthetics list yeah?
>>4035286>Just one more to tie it, two to win!Just to let you know, I intend to start writing tonight's update at six; that is to say, in an hour and twenty minutes.
>>4034782You know what, anon.I'll switch to supporting this.May as well let Lily know what she's getting into before taking control of Circe.
>>4034293>>4034782Supporting this, last thing we need is another Scylla situation.
>>4035669Yeah, if we needed that, we could just summon Scylla.
>>4034293>>[ ] Yes, you do mind. Though you did promise Liliesviel a Servant, you never promised that it would be Circe. Suggest that she take Adelheid instead, as one more easily managed.Frankly putting the yandere under Lily is just asking for trouble.
>>4034293>>4034782support>>4034896>Presence Concealment in combination with an empowered Kenótis is extremely potent in combat.>ib4 Assassin gameplay would just be Alberich jumping around sneakily while screaming austistically Kenótis like ricocheting bullet of death
>>4035751I think that as an Assassin you'd be more inclined to follow Odin's example and softly intone your Noble Phantasm's name than do some Arturia-style attack-name yelling.
"Of course," you reply, smiling down at her, "I don't mind. Take whichever of the two Servants you prefer; but I ought to tell you a bit about them before you decide. I wouldn't want you to regret your decision after having made it with a lack of information, after all.""That would be troublesome," Liliesviel agrees, then nods with interest. "Go ahead," she continues. "Tell me all about them.""Perhaps not all," you reply, "but enough to help you choose. Here, then, are the two Servants: Adelheid and Circe, a Berserker and a Caster, of vastly differing temperaments, abilities, and origins. Circe," you begin, raising a finger to illustrate the first of the duo, "was the Servant I summoned for the War in the Akeldama, the enchantress Circe of Aeaea, who appears in the Odyssey and other legends. Her temperament is rather strange, and seems to me difficult to fully understand. As my Servant she seemed quite devoted and pleasant to me, but bore all of my other comrades some mysterious animosity. Then, after we separated, she sought out Yumigawa Rushorou, treated him quite disrespectfully, and finally continued her rebellion even in the face of her discovering my identity; and this for no other reason than her pride. I would call her quite unpredictable, and so one to be wary of. Her magical abilities, however, are prodigious and broad, some requiring enormous supplies of mystic energy and others very little. She seems to have great facility in drawing Mana out of the earth and otherwise managing mystic energy."At this point you stop in your explanation and draw your attention out from the inward gaze of memory back to Liliesviel, looking to see if she has any question or point of confusion. She shows no sign of such, however, but only listens with interest to your narration. "That's Circe, then," you conclude. "Powerful, versatile, but unpredictable." Now you raise a second finger, shifting the subject to your other Servant. "Adelheid, now, is as I've said quite different. Her Madness and Noble Phantasm have completely transformed her beyond recognition of her original heroic spirit, but that person was an Austrian, like yourself, and lived long after the Age of Gods during which most legends were formed. Her personality is straightforward: powerfully attached to her principles, and with a real love of battle. Adelheid is a direct fighter. In spite of that appearance of hers, her most powerful abilities are like those of most Berserkers; they all deal with close-range combat. As for her energy requirements, I'm frankly surprised that Circe could keep her alive with only the use of Mana. In the Akeldama, when Adelheid was without a Master to sustain her for only a few minutes she nearly vanished."
"Hmmmmmmm..." Liliesviel draws out a long hum of contemplation as you complete your explanation of the two Servants' major points of significance. As is her constant habit when in thought, she touches her index finger to her cheek, and her ruby eyes dim, staring into the middle distance as the advantages and disadvantages of the respective Servants are weighed behind them. At length, she seems to come to a conclusion, for animation returns to her face and she claps her hands together in a display of cheer. "That's it! she exclaims."What is?" you ask, uncertain what revelation could have so excited her in contemplation of these two choices."I can solve everything," the girl says cheerfully, "because they work together so well already! Listen, Alberich. Here is what we should do: I'll make a contract with Circe, and as my Servant she'll be able to use as much energy as she wants to. Then she'll continue supplying her energy to Adelheid without a command spell however she has been so far, and neither one of them will have to drain the regional Mana!""That certainly sounds like an excellent idea," you agree, nodding thoughtfully, "assuming Circe's method of sharing energy with Adelheid really is a direct transfer between the two of them, and doesn't work in some other way."Liliesviel waves a dismissive hand. "I'm sure it is," she says. "After all, it is not as if Adelheid is well-acquainted with magic herself, is it? She isn't carrying around a mystic code that I could see; so Circe must be using her magic to supply Adelheid. Anyway, I've decided. It's definitely Circe I want for my Servant.""If you're so certain," you reply, "I'll call her in." So saying, you reach your mind out to Arturia, ordering the maid to find Circe and convey her to the living room. After the typical curt reply of 'Understood', you have a few minutes to wait before the pair makes their appearance, but nevertheless they do so. Wordlessly, Arturia pushes Circe through the door into the room with you and Liliesviel, then fades back into the outer corridor."Alberich?" Circe says, looking around her in confusion once she's regained the balance lost by Arturia's shove. "That Servant of yours didn't say anything, just dragged me in here. What do you need?""To test your word," you answer. "If you intend to keep it, you'll become Liliesviel's Servant now, and obey her faithfully.""What?" Circe's eyes go wide at the unexpected proclamation, a gesture of surprise mirrored by her wings, which twitch and extend as if preparing, without their owner's active knowledge, to flee. "You want me to become someone else's Servant, Alberich? I know it's true that you can't be a Master anymore, but I thought you'd want to wait..."
"You were mistaken, then," you tell her in a voice without emotion. "I promised to Liliesviel that she would have one of the two Servants we 'captured' tonight, and she's chosen you. So, if you truly intend to reenter my service, you can prove it by entering hers now. Our goals are, after all, the same, and she lives here at the moment." Then smirking, you add in jest, "It's hardly as though I'm sending you off to Harris.""I see," Circe replies, looking decidedly downcast. After a moment, though, she draws herself up and with a tolerable impression of willing, says, "Alright, Alberich. If that's really what you want me to do." Then she turns to Liliesviel, and after looking the girl up and down declares disparagingly, "You haven't prepared the ritual.""We don't need one," Liliesviel replies with an impetuous smile. "Not people like you and I." Then, in a sudden burst of light and mystic energy, vermilion traceries appear on every visible area of her skin, and the radiance they cast off makes them even somewhat visible beneath her dress and socks. This, then, is the Einzbern command spell. Unmoved by the activation of her own possession, Liliesviel continues, "It is enough for you to kneel and kiss my hand."At this pronouncement of humiliation, Circe sends you one more look of mixed pleading and frustration. Perceiving your determination in your expression, though, she kneels, takes in hers Liliesviel's outstretched hand, and with bowed head brushes her lips against it. At the contact, there's another surge of magic, and then Liliesviel's command spell fades into invisibility once more. With an expression of completely triumphant satisfaction, the girl declares, "That's it! Now you're my Servant, Circe. Follow me; we have a lot to talk about to get to know each other."
With this statement of amicable intent, the two girls make their exit and leave you alone in the deserted living room. Standing alone and silent, it finally seems to make an impact. You've passed through the storm of your confession unscathed, with Liliesviel still a devoted and affectionate ally, and what to do about your growing feelings for the girl still to be sorted out. You sink into a chair, the accumulated fatigue of the night's numerous battles emotional and physical overtaking you, and nearly drift off then and there. You stop yourself, though, and sit up straight to remain wakeful, checking your watch. Well after midnight now, and growing nearer to one. The noise from the dining room and kitchen has died down, and it seems from the sound of things that most of the manor's other inhabitants have retired. Time for you to do the same.Walking alone through the house, you ascend to the bedroom you've claimed for yourself, the former abode of the Vaisset patriarch, and allow yourself to collapse into the great bed without restraint, for a few hours at least to shut out the world with its curtains and rest until dawn; or until some malevolent presence should activate the bounded fields around the house and awaken you, at least. Hardly a moment passes, it seems, from the impact of your head against the silk pillow until your descent into welcome oblivion.
You awaken in the dark from confused and uncertain dreams, too hazy to remember or understand clearly. No morning light penetrates the room from outside the windows; indeed, when you spare a glance for your the clock on your nightstand you find it only half past three. You can see and hear nothing out of the ordinary in the bounded fields. What, then, awoke you? You lie still in the darkness for several seconds, looking, listening, and straining your memory to determine what it was that startled you out of rest. Then it comes again: a hesitant knocking at your bedroom door. At the realization, you let out a breath you didn't know you'd been holding. You aren't under attack by Assassin or some other nigh-undetectable foe after all, but only being awoken by one of your housemates. You sit up in bed, turn on the lamp at your bedside table, and call softly, "Enter."What passes through your door is a vision almost indescribable; an apparition of unearthly beauty, all in white: Liliesviel, clothed in a bizarre costume which you instinctively know must be the heavenly garment of which Liliesviel spoke during your trip to the Greater Grail. The garment can best be described in terms of its pieces, for as a whole it fits no clear term for an article of clothing of which you are aware. Liliesviel's shoulders and chest are covered by a sort of topcoat or mantle of gilt-edged white silk with a neru collar, though this hangs no further than her midriff. Below this uppermost garment is a tightly fitted white dress or skirt which seems to connect to a pair of voluminous, lengthy sleeves that hide Liliesviel's hands and arms completely. While the garment goes to great length to hide the arms, however, other areas are less protected. A vertical row of gilt-edged circular openings runs down the front of the garment's upper part, leaving visible a small area of Liliesviel's chest and midriff, where four large, perfectly spherical rubies can be seen, although whether these are part of the garment or an aspect of a homunculus' anatomy is impossible for you to determine. Her thighs, likewise, are left partially exposed between the hem of her skirt and the thigh-high socks (also of white silk) which cover her legs. Both of these edges are decorated with a strange pattern of golden shapes which have something in common with both the crucifix and the fleur de lis, but are neither. Over all this, a brilliant red silk stole hangs from Liliesviel's shoulders almost to the ground, somewhat resembling that of a priest.
The most striking aspect of all those in this bizarre ensemble, however, is Liliesviel's crown. Tall, cylindrical, and with a ring of points, it seems to have been carved all out of a single enormous pearl, or some hitherto unknown white jade, in intricate bas relief floral patterns which coat its surface, before having had its edges covered with gold. In the center of this singular headpiece, just over Liliesviel's forehead, it too has a gilt circular opening, like those below, but through this no flesh can be seen. Instead there is only a strange white glow there, as if the opening looked out upon some other world composed wholly of illuminated mist.You're still staring, speechless at the ethereal beauty of the garment, and Liliesviel wearing it, when the girl, having now finished walking up to your bed and seated herself beside your legs, speaks to you in a tone rather at odds with her ceremonial garb. Its only departure from normalcy is that she seems a bit embarrassed. "You remember," Liliesviel begins, "that I said I partly knew you were deceiving me because of the ritual with the Greater Grail, don't you, Alberich?"You swallow dryly, attempting to gather your thoughts and focus your gaze only on Liliesviel's eyes. After a moment, though, you're able to master your shock and answer, "Yes. I confess I didn't give it much thought earlier, but I remember you saying so.""Well," she replies, "I was worried about that because the ritual wasn't fully completed. At the last moment the Greater Grail rejected you, because you aren't truly an Einzbern. I couldn't be sure about it right then because of Assassin, and then I was too distracted afterwards, but after you went to bed I was able to confirm it.""Then- you mean-" You break off, panic suddenly giving disorder again to your thoughts. "My connection to the Greater Grail was not made? The Third Sorcery can't be applied to me?""We~ll," she says, drawing out the syllable uncertainly, "we could try to complete the ritual again, and hope that since it was already partly finished you could be fully linked to the Grail even though it wouldn't be the perfect day. But..." She pauses, growing more flushed, and as the pause stretches on interminably you're finally about to conclude that she'll say nothing more and open your own mouth to reply, when she at last says, "there is still the other ritual, which isn't tied to a schedule. That's... um..." Another pause, and Liliesviel takes a deep breath, laying her hand on her heart to steady herself. "The ritual to... to become one with the Lesser Grail." Blushing furiously, she's unable to look you in the eye. "Alberich," she says, in a tone barely above a whisper, "would you like to try that ritual? I know the Lesser Grail... wouldn't reject you.">[ ] Conduct the second ritual.>[ ] Refuse, and send Liliesviel out.>[ ] Answer differently. (Write in)
I am EXTREMELY apprehensive about this, mainly because it seems that we've all but obliterated Circe's Affection Score ever since we got her back.
>>4036464>[ ] Refuse, and send Liliesviel out.NO
Now, for those of you who don't know, and aren't getting a clear mental image from the description, here's a picture of Liliesviel's predecessor wearing the heavenly garment 15 years before.
>>4036464>[ ] Conduct the second ritual.Well.That's sudden.Hold on, are you saying that ALL THAT TIME WE SPENT GETTING FUCKED OVER BY ASSASSIN WAS FOR NOTHING?What the fuck.
>>4036466Circe would absolutely teleport in and kill both of us in the middle.
>>4036472Now that's just funny.
>>4036464>[ ] Answer differently."You lost me."
>>4036472Don't worry, H-scenes function identically to Avalon and take place on an entirely separate plane of reality.The perfect defense.
>>4036475can you spell "faceless shadow liliesviel">>4036469also did stachel get cheesed like leysritt did to manifest heaven's dress
Wouldn't it be funny if the Lily route exploded at the final hurdle?
>>4036529Oh, I forgot.Illya can't take more than four Servants while continuing to function as a human, so what's Lily's maximum capacity? Big hurdle, that.
>>4036531Illya could take all of them though?Iri could only take 4.Actually read Fate.
>>4036533I'm just quoting CMIII here.>Q: What is Illya’s capacity as a Grail? Hypothetically, if the Einzbern won the War, Illya absorbed the other 6 Servants besides Berserker, and had some shred of human will left, could she still don the Dress of Heaven and initiate the Grail ritual?>A: That’s what Liz and Sella are for. Illya can only take up to 4 - I would think that absorbing a fifth Servant wouldn’t allow her to function as a human any longer.I guess Nasu changed his mind after the fact.
>>4036540What on Earth?That directly contradicts the Fate route!Where all of the Servants except Saber end up killed!And she remains human!Gah!
>>4036544Maybe it means that Sella and Leysritt were shouldering the burden somehow. That's the only explanation which could reconcile these disparate facts.Well, the two of them were said to be failures in the creation of the Grail, so it's not completely implausible.Fun fact: in early drafts Illya was supposed to have a tuxedo-wearing man as her caretaker. "Someone akin to the wonderful man who nagged at Shirou and Rin incessantly".
>>4036553It also mentions that Iri can only take 4 servants and that Illya is a far superior grail.Sella is just a homunculus and the part Leysritt plays is becoming the dress.I guess Nasu really has gone senile over the years.Though looking at the state of modern Fate I'm really not surprised. Looks like it's time for Takeuchi to take the old boy out back behind the barn.
>>4036464>[ ] Conduct the second ritual.If you all wanted to avoid Lily route then you shouldn't have surrendered Circe. We're bought in fully now. And Lily is a pretty good girl. The hate at this point makes no sense.
>>4036567>If you all wanted to avoid Lily route then you shouldn't have surrendered Circethis is the harem route
>>4036570>harem somehow doesn't include the person with the most affection points who also has the ability to continue our existence after the warWho else would even go for a harem at this point?
>>4036464>[ ] Conduct the second ritual.
>>4036464>[ ] Refuse, and send Liliesviel out.Tell her that Assassin could still be lurking by and could get through our defenses in the meanwhileAgree once we certainly know the cockroach is dead
>>4036694If we're safe enough to sleep without worrying about assassin then I don't see why he'd suddenly become an issue now
>>4036731he interrupted the last ritual we tried and said his master wants to clearly fuck us over
>>4036736And we've got multiple powerful servants to watch our back right now if he tries anything
>>4036464>[ ] Refuse, and send Liliesviel out.If there's no time-limit then there's no urgency to do it right away. This is just inviting bad drama.
>>4036770Bold of you to assume we'll have another opportunity like this one. Assassin and the shirou squad are still out there. And Lancer and Harris. This is a temporary reprieve and things could escalate quickly with the end of the war so close.
>>4036694Better excuse: this isn't something to do at 3.30 in the morning. As a matter of fact, why is Lily here at 3.30 in the morning?
>>4036773>Bold of you to assume we'll have another opportunity like this one.>when lily can just fucking walk in any time
>>4036783Can you all just admit that you don't want Lily route? It's a way more convincing argument then these straws you're grasping at to justify the refusal vote otherwise.
>>4036770>inviting bad drama.You think refusing her now somehow isn't going to invite some bad drama?>>4036775>this isn't something to do at 3.30 in the morning. As a matter of fact, why is Lily here at 3.30 in the morning?She said it was something she only wanted to do at night before. Probably had to work up her courage.
>>4036786>Can you all just admit that you don't want Lily route?A: there are no routesB: If I'm grasping at straws, then you should be able to refute my arguments easily.
>>4036790>You think refusing her now somehow isn't going to invite some bad drama?most bad drama can be avoided by sitting down and talking about shit
>>4036792>he says while only quoting and addressing the first line of my argument that we're not guaranteed other opportunities to do thisSure anon.
Sweets, I'm completely certain now that whipping up shitstorms excites you sexually. I was 94% certain before this update but this was the 6% that broke the camel's back>>4036796ok anon>Shirou and conot suicidal enough to fight five servants at once>Harris and Matsudaditto>Assassincan't even kill just us and Lily>Lancercan wait till we're strong enough to face him
>>4036792Okay here's a refutation for you.>MASSIVE fucking drama tonight over how we really feel>Lily comes in with a proposition she's super nervous/embarrassed about>no way fagHow do YOU think she's going to feel after that? Bet we're gonna get another chance?
If we don't do the ritual, what's your plan to continue existing after the Grail war? This had been the plan for the endgame all along. I'm desperate for just a shred of consistency in the players plans here. It's infuriating.
>>4036799I think most bad drama can be avoided by sitting down and talking about shit
>>4036470>That's sudden.There is an emotional reason why she's specifically doing this now, which you may be able to read between the lines and see. I don't want to give you more insight and spoil her mind for you, but at least know that I thought about it a good deal before writing.>>4036798He~h? Now how could that be? I'm not whipping up any shitstorm, this is merely a touching moment in Alberich and Liliesviel's relationship inspired by the similar situations in F/SN.
>>4036805It's not about not doing the ritual, it's about not doing the ritual RIGHT FUCKING NOW TIME IS MONEY GOGOGO ABANDON SHIP MAN THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN and first avoiding all the negative consequences that could come up. This is what you have to do when you herd together a bunch of people who all hate one another.
>>4036811What makes any other time better than now for the ritual? What negative consequences are you talking about specifically?
>>4036812>What negative consequences are you talking about specifically?Circe getting assmad because she's definitely watching us at all timesCirce deciding that she needs to do something drasticAdelheid getting assmad because she somehow found outAyaka of all people finding out and ???But mostly Circe.
>>4036822So what about that would change by postponing it?Why would Circe be obsessively watching us sleep at all times?
>>4036827>Why would Circe be obsessively watching us sleep at all times?Because she was doing that while we were ger Master and only refrained when tasked with something else?
>>4036822Circe had no plans on how to survive after the war apart from being a leyline parasite, and that wouldn't last long. If you're so worried about it then we'll explain that we're securing our existence and admit that we have feelings for Lily. Can't have a harem if we don't exist anymore anon.
>>4036822>Circe getting assmad because she's definitely watching us at all timesSo we gave Circe to the girl with the Einzbern super command spells and you're still worried about her? For real?
>>4036836He's fixated on his harem end above all else. He doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings.
Oh no, it's happening again.
>>4036480I think we can have Arturia come in and explain how things work.
>>4036836>>4036885So, are you two going to vote or...?
>>4036899I was kind of expecting that the discussion would've continued, but it seems to have dried up. So sure.>>4036464>[ ] Conduct the second ritual.I can't believe that Lily won the Alberichbowl.Well I actually totally can, because I'm pretty certain she's your favourite girl, Sweets.I'll just pick the option that leads to the most fun, and that actually aligns with our goals. Spamming the NO FUCK GO BACK button at this stage is kind of pointless.We made our bed.Now we will lie in it.With the loli.
>>4036901>I was kind of expecting that the discussion would've continued, but it seems to have dried upThat is quite strange. It seemed very heated, then suddenly: silence. I guess given what one of the people was saying about me, he might've felt that continuing to argue would be playing into my hands or something.On that subject,>One anon claims I get off on causing shitstorms>Another believes Liliesviel is my favorite girl and has an unfair advantageMy reputation is in desperate need of some salvaging, it seems.
>>4036920>Another believes Liliesviel is my favorite girl and has an unfair advantageI mean, of course you like Liliesviel the best.She's best girl after all.FIGHT ME CIRCEHEIDFAGSIT'S THE LILYFRIENDS VICTORY!
>>4036464>>[ ] Refuse, and send Liliesviel out.After giving her Circe this would just cement the Lilies route and that's not something I'm interested in.
>>4037010Interesting. What course are you hoping to follow?
>>4037022The one where Alberich chooses ceasing to exist over romance with his established waifu
>>4037050This shouldn't even be a choice.It will be an unmitigated trainwreck of narrative if we don't *ahem* 'conduct the second ritual'.It makes no sense for Alberich to turn down Lily here.I mean, all the confession and trying to make Lily happy with things and now...?What the hell?
>>4037107Fair point, but can you imagine the emotional storm if I didn't give you a choice here? I'm not completely blind to the feelings of my readers.
>>4037107Never underestimate the pettiness of salty players. What I don't get is if not Lily, then who? Circe's popularity dropped hard. Ayaka and Adelheid are liked, but get a lukewarm response. Korakuhime hardly even entered the waifu conversation. Who would be part of this supposed harem?
>>4037119Honestly I'm for the harem. What dickheads don't get is that we need Lily first to make it work.
>>4037124Yeah, the harem can work still.But as you say, and as I'm fairly sure Sweets once said, Lily is needed to make it work.She's also needed for us to not die.
>>4036770>>4036694Look at how nervous Lily is about this. Do you really think she'd offer a second time after we turn her down when she's made herself this vulnerable?
>>4036464>[ ] Conduct the second ritual.Well, I know when I'm beaten.At least with Circe on a leash we won't have to worry about repercussions.
>>4036470>Hold on, are you saying that ALL THAT TIME WE SPENT GETTING FUCKED OVER BY ASSASSIN WAS FOR NOTHINGIt wasn't for nothing. That trip was an important character development moment, allowed you to get acquainted with the location and circumstances of the Greater Grail, gave you some more information on what kind of an enemy Assassin is, and so-on. There were all kinds of benefits aside from the goal of linking you to the Greater Grail.>>4036483>did stachel get cheesed like leysritt did to manifest heaven's dressYou do know that Liliesviel said she needs Stachel to "prepare" it, but no more than that.>>4036531>>4036533I wonder... Irisviel could only deal with four, and Illyasviel was a massive improvement on her functionality as a Holy Grail. Liliesviel is the next generation after Illyasviel, so I'll let you speculate on what that entails.
I'm just saying I would totally accept us getting locked into a Bad End if we refuse her here.>Assassin might appearIs possibly my favourite excuse as to not doing it.It's just the most bizarre excuse we could give.
>>4037163Beaten? What were you looking for, Circe solo end?>>4037401We need an edit of the "jesus doesn't consent" image with assassin.
>>4037458We don't know what Assassin looks like yet.Honestly, I don't think Circefags realise that a Circe solo end would've just been Circe slowly getting all of the other girls out of the picture.Lily is a good girl, but imagine how Circe could take advantage of Alberich if he loved her the most.
>>4036464>>[ ] Conduct the second ritual.Yay for best girl!
Conduct the ritual>>4037163>>4036901>>4036652>>4036567>>4036470>>4037535Refuse>>4037010>>4036770>>4036694>>4036467"...you lost me.">>4036480At 6-4-1, it seems we have a fairly solid majority. Now I'll just have to work out how to properly write a fade-to-black scene.Regarding the last update, although I'm mostly happy with how it came out I still find myself unsure about the description of the heavenly garment. What do you folks think of that section? Was the appearance clear in your mind from the description? Did I go into too much detail, or not enough? With such a unique outfit, of such an uncertain form, I really just didn't feel sure of how to describe it clearly.
>>4037560It was a little excessive on the detail for me personally.
Hmmmn. I know we're on page 10 and all, but I really don't feel like writing up a new OP for the next thread yet. You folks think we've got another day before we fall off the board?
>>4038001There are 5 quests between us and oblivion. Your call.
>>4036470This keeps recurring in my mind, so since we're at the end of this thread anyway and the next update will be with a new thread, I'll throw this out here.Personally, I consider the scene of (and conversation during) your descent down the stairs to the Greater Grail to be the single best piece of writing I've done. For the sake of that, at least, I personally am quite glad you folks took that trip.
Alright! I've got a new thread up, and an update for you folks!>>4038156