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OverMaster's Little Crummy Corner of Sub-Par Writing

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by OverMaster, Aug 27, 2018.

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  1. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    There were good and bad things about being in the Drama Club, as there are in everything, and Murakami Natsumi always tried her best to not be, well, a drama queen about it. She would give her clubmates the benefit of the doubt whenever they would draw straws to see who’d end up cleaning the stage after practices, and if Natsumi was the one the most often tasked with such duties, well, Natsumi would stomach it out and not jump into pointless accusations she never could win, even if dammit, by now she really wanted to argue for a normal system of taking turns per day of the month.

    The fact her clubmates were all actresses and actors at least as qualified as she was made it difficult to tell whether they ever cheated or not, in any instance.

    Regardless, another day of practice and then cleaning was done already, and Natsumi had finished setting the broom, mop and bucket in the storage room. She was locking the theater up from the outside when she realized she was being watched from a certain distance. Since it was late, her first intinct was to grow panicky, but seeing the person watching her from not so afar was a woman calmed her down, somewhat. Not so much, since she studied with Haruna and lived with Chizuru after all. But a little at least.

    The woman was tall and rather reminiscing of Chizuru in figure, but with a more casual, indolent attitude to her standing position. Too mature looking to be a contemporary of Natsumi, so she guessed she had to be a senior, perhaps even a college student. She had long and wavy hot pink hair, with an even longer red coat that generously showed off her large cleavage, plus tight white pants, and tall black boots. She had beautiful blue eyes, and around her neck, there was a brown choker collar almost attached to her vest. A long, but thin enough as to not disturb her overall beauty, scar crossed her smiling face diagonally.

    “Oi!” the woman greeted Natsumi with a wide, jaunty smile and wave of hand, walking slowly towards the petite junior with a playful, mayhaps drunken sway to her steps. “Good afternoon, is this the Theater Club of Mahora?”

    “Um, y-yes, how do you do,” Natsumi said warily, looking up and down at the bustier female’s quite accomplished choice of getup. “You… You are here for an audition, aren’t you, Sempai? I… I must congratulate you on your costuming, but we aren’t having any pirate plays for the Festival, we’re aiming for a younger audience this year…”

    “Don’t you say,” the attractive lady grinned, stopping shortly before her, hands on her hips. “What a pity! Your name’s Murakami Natsumi, right?”

    Natsumi blinked, surprised at the exact wording of the question. Having strangers in costumes asking for the Club was an everyday Mahora occurrence, having someone come specifically asking for her name was unheard of. Could this be… her first ever fan? She nodded slow and rigidly. “Uh, uh-huh, and you would happen to be, Miss…”

    “Call me Rider, just Rider,” the woman placed a fist on her own chest. “Are you a student of Professor Negi Springfield?”

    “Y-Yes, I am…”

    “He of the local English Research Society?”

    “Last time I heard, yes, but why…”

    “Just to be sure, there are a lot of eccentric kids in that club, too, all of them spending a lot of time away from you guys doing secretive, hush-hush stuff that has everyone gossiping really juicy stuff, right?”

    Natsumi already was squinting in mild disgust at this slimy onee-san who saw fit to keep up with the junior high rumor mill when a set of particularly nasty memories resurfaced. “Oh, I, I think I see now… You’re here to settle something or another with Negi-sensei, aren’t you? Y-You aren’t related to what with went on in Kyoto, right? L-Look, if you’re looking for Konoka-san…”

    “I don’t know anything about any Kyoto,” the woman shrugged that off, interrupting the terrified Natsumi, “but yes, I guess you could say I’m here because of this Negi lad. My Master, you’ll see, has a suspicion about him and sent me along to, shall we say, fish around for a response from him, do you get my point here, Hon?”

    “N-Not exactly, I’m sorry, b-but I can give you, I mean him, a message from him, I mean you, as soon as you, I mean I, see him, I mean him, tomorrow in classes, since you’ll let me go, won’t you…”

    Rider sighed deep and sadly. “I’m afraid I won’t, no. Nothing personal, it’s just, well, Master is kind of too much of a coward to go out and directly face this lad, see? So, since the word is he cares so much about all of his students, we figured out safest bet to lure him to us would be going after of you, but not one who could fight back, no offense meant, kid.”

    “Ah. But I’m going to start screaming for help now.”

    “We’ll be gone long before you’re even finished,” Rider told her, almost sympathetically, and lunged on her.
     
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  2. alethiophile

    alethiophile Shadowed Philosopher Administrator

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    Something about this line makes me laugh a lot.
     
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  3. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    Chisame didn’t like being visited by her classmates in general, but there were categories on how much she disliked it. A visit from Kagurazaka was something to dread, since Kagurazaka wouldn’t come unless there was a real emergence behind it. A visit from Iinchou was just a weekly annoyance, since she wanted to spend time with Sensei so often. A visit from Sasaki was just a semi-frequent bothersome halt to Chiu’s activities, since it meant Makie needed help with her studies again.

    Visits from Naba and Murakami were rare, but whenever they happened they were among the most uncomfortable, not so much because of Murakami, whom Chisame didn’t mind much, but because of Naba, who was one of those persons who never do anything bad or wrong and yet manage to be completely overbearing and suffocating by their mere presence. At least for people like Chisame; the cheerleaders and Ayaka just found her a total delight to be around.

    Having Naba come along without Murakami, though, was something that had never happened before, and Chisame had found it to be completely alien and unnerving from the second she had opened the door for her and seen her standing there, all alone and not smiling for once. Even before Naba said the laconic words that immediately made Negi jump up from his nearby chair.

    “I’m afraid Natsumi-chan might have been kidnapped.”

    Moments later, Negi, Chizuru, Chisame, Satomi, Matoi, and a Chamo who clung to Negi’s shoulder while discreetly looking at Chizuru’s cleavage sat around the kitchen table, while the neighboring young woman slid a note across the table towards the boy.

    “This was slipped under our front door minutes ago, just as I was wondering what was taking Natsumi-chan so long,” Chizuru tensely said. “She isn’t taking my calls, and I was about to call the Dorm Mother on it, but this made me come to you instead, Sensei.”

    Gulping, Negi picked the note up and read it aloud. It was typed on rather than handwritten, offering no obvious clues on the sender yet. “Negi Springfield: Come to the old Astronomy Observatory this midnight with your two roommates, if you want to see the girl again. Don’t alert anyone else no matter what.”

    Negi paled visibly, putting the letter down. “Oh, goodness. What kind of people…”

    Chisame frowned at Naba. “I don’t get it. The message was for us, so why to slip it under your door? Doesn’t that beat the purpose of not wanting others involved?”

    Chizuru shrugged. “Perhaps this individual, whoever they are, is afraid of a direct confrontation with Sensei, and left the note with me knowing I’d bring it to him. This is some enemy you’ve made with those martial arts you’ve been learning with Ku-san, isn’t it, Sensei?”

    “I… I have no way of knowing, really,” Negi nervously said. “But of course, I won’t allow anything else to happen to Murakami-san, I—“

    “Or is this,” Naba’s voice sounded sharper and more critical now, yet ever so gentle, “related to those hoodlums who attacked our class trip in Kyoto instead? If I recall correctly the explanations we were given, they were after Konoka-san so they could ransom her for her family’s fortune?”

    Negi winced. “N-No, I doubt that, those people have been… dealt with already. Even if this was done by them, they would have gone directly after Konoka-san…”

    “I supposed that much,” Chizuru nodded. “Well, since it’s obviously a mundane, even if still obviously grievous and unacceptable, matter that should clearly fall under the staff’s jurisdiction, I’ll take these news to the Headmaster now that you’ve confirmed my—“

    “No, wait, not so fast!” Chisame gasped, even as Satomi took the letter from Negi and began studying it with a special set of goggles she had fished out from under the table. “You heard it yourself, what if they hurt Theater Girl over this?! Do you care so little about your roommate?!”

    “Natsumi-chan means the whole world to me, Chisame-san,” Naba told her, extremely serious. “If I look calmed now, it’s because I already spent minutes panicking over this back at our apartment, and because I know I won’t help her any if I don’t try and keep a cool head about it. But, since you are just two average classmates, an obsessive stalker, a completely normal ermine and a young man who has studied some kenpo, I’m afraid we must trust this whole ugly affair to the proper authorities, not you. I just wanted you to know…”

    “I’m a deep lover, not a… that thing you called me,” Matoi quietly said, gloomily offended.

    “There are traces of the same residual magical energy left behind when Sakurako, Konoka and Sora-san made their summons on this paper,” Hakase coldly reported, folding the note and handing it back to Chizuru. “I only can conclude that whoever wrote this is another Master who successfully completed the invocation of their Servant, and is luring one of the best known local mages and his two closest known affiliates into a bid to determine whether they are Masters as well or not. Oh, and for the sake of avoiding further miscommunications, Naba-san, Negi-sensei is an adept of the dark crafts of what you would call magic, and we are his two tightest companions in that dangerous lifestyle. Chisame and I, that is, not the stalker.”

    “Oh, I see, that would explain quite a few things, actually,” Chizuru unflappably said, while Matoi fumed angrily, Chisame slammed both hands on her own face, and Negi shrunk back on his seat, hideously pale and shriveled, Chamo tensing up with interest.

    “Of course, that is supposed to be an extremely well kept secret, so we’d appreciate you to help us keep it from… um, the Narutaki sisters,” Satomi further confided to Chizuru. “Well, it’s not a secret THAT well kept in our classroom, but otherwise, well, it is… sort of…”

    “I can’t decide whether being offended you kept this from us while telling everyone else but the twins, or flattered you put our safety above that of all those others,” Chizuru said. “I believe I will choose believing the latter.”

    Satomi nodded while Negi continued slumping down his chair. “That would probably be for the best, yes…”
     
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  4. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    Negi sighed, standing from the chair and rolling his sleeves up. “Okay,” he said. “Going there without a Servant is obviously a suicide, so I’ll have to jump the gun and summon mine before planned. Chizuru-san, please go to the kitchen and bring me a knife.”

    “Knife, coming up,” Chizuru nodded, obeying quickly as she diligently made her way out the room.

    “A-At least have the decency to freak out!” Chisame called out after her. “Kakizaki, Kagurazaka, Suzushiro, they all freaked out!” Then she glared at Negi. “Okay, fine, if you really are going to do this stupid thing, then we go right after you!”

    “You heard the Headmaster,” Negi reminded her, “performing more than one summon in the same place one right after another is an extremely dangerous proposition. I don’t think you should even be going at all…”

    Before Chisame and Satomi could protest, Chizuru came back holding a huge butcher’s knife. “Will this be enough?”

    Chisame gasped. “You had to pick the largest one we have, didn’t you?! Dammit, it was right at the bottom of the last drawer, too! Did you specifically look for the biggest we could supply?!”

    “Since it is much bigger than what any of us would ever need in our daily routines, and I don’t remember ever buying it, I’m more worried about what you were saving that knife for, Chisame,” a vaguely concerned Hakase stated.

    Matoi shrugged. “Eh. I have way bigger ones on me at all times.”

    Negi accepted said domestic blade with a small nod. “Yes, this should suffice nicely enough, thank you very much, Chizuru-san. Now, you might wish to leave the room, so you wouldn’t have to watch what transpires next…”

    “Oh, are you going to sacrifice Chisame-san, Hakase-san, Sempai or the ermine for some sort of eldritch power up?” Chizuru asked while the other girls and Chamo all choked in their saliva. “I’m honored you’d hold Natsumi-chan in such high esteem, but unless it’s the ermine, I’m afraid I must object…”

    Negi shook his head, kneeling down, grabbing Chamo, and pulling a piece of chalk out of his fur. “No, I’m not… that kind of mage. I’m going to summon a Servant, a Heroic Spirit who will help me rescue Natsumi-san. However, I’m not fully sure what manner of spirit will heed my call regardless of my intent, and Sora-san already summoned Jack the Ripper, so you might be safer elsewhere…”

    “I’ll take my chances, thanks,” Chizuru noted as Negi began drawing a copy of the circle he’d seen Evangeline draw for Sora in the resort. Then she asked Chisame, “Why would your sister summon Jack the Ripper for, anyway?”

    “Chisame was right, you really should be panicking right now. This is not normal,” Satomi said, before asking Negi, “Sensei, won’t you be using one of your many relics for this invocation? Surely, if there ever was a time for a collection of antiquities such as yours, this is it.”

    Negi stood back and backed away from the just completed circle. “I thought about that myself, back in the resort, but I’ve decided that, since the Throne of Heroes is beyond time and one can summon heroes from any point of human history, be present, past or even future, I’ll use some of my blood as the catalyst for the greatest hero I ever could think of. I speak, of course, of my father, the legendary Thousand Master.”

    “Oh, what a huge surprise,” Chisame dryly snorted. “My heart almost stopped from the sheer shock. What a tweeeest…”

    “Wait, wait, if you summon your father now, and later you find your father for real…” Matoi doubted, “… how will that even work? Would you have two fathers, or what?”

    Negi blinked at her. “And the downside to that would be…?”

    Matoi sighed. “Never mind, for a moment I forgot who I was talking to. Please carry on.”

    Negi nodded and began chanting under his breath, closing his eyes. "For the elements, Silver and Iron. For the foundation, stone and the Archduke of Contracts. For the ancestor, the great master Schweinorg…"

    As the girls waited standing aside, with Chisame biting on her finger nails without realizing it, Satomi asked Chamo, who had perched himself on his shoulder, “Just so we are clear here, *I* could use some of Sensei’s relics for *my* summon should I wish to, couldn’t I?”

    The small animal shrugged. “I don’t think he’d oppose, since you’ll have to do it sooner or later anyway, and he’ll want you to be well provided.”

    "Close the gates of the cardinal directions," Negi continued, oblivious to everything else as a weak light began erupting from the floor. "Come forth from the Crown, and follow the forked road leading to the Kingdom..."

    “Oh,” Chizuru said faintly. “Ermine-san can talk, too…?”

    “I insist you’re talking all of this too lightly!” Chisame all but shouted, rubbing her own temples up. “Also, your priorities are all skewed! Someone’s just about to call on some dead magical warrior, or one who hasn’t even died yet, and you worry about the freaking white weasel?!”

    "Fill, fill, fill, fill, fill. Repeat now, repeat five times. But when each is filled, destroy it. Set!"

    Chizuru not-so-gently poked two fingers into Chamo’s eyes. “This is for all these times you’ve watched over us in the bath, then,” she said, her tone still as calm and polite as ever.

    “Animal abuse…!” the ermine whined.

    Negi made a slight cut on his arm with the edge of the knife, letting drops of his blood fall onto the circle. He didn’t even wince, and his voice remained firm, which was the first thing that actually seemed to impress Chizuru since entering the apartment. "Heed my words. My word creates your body, and your sword creates my destiny. You, heeding the call of the Holy Grail and obeying my will and reason, answer me!

    Negi breathed out wheezily, as if straining under the effort, even as the circle began glowing in a bright blood red under the feet, gaining the girls’ full attention. By now even Chizuru looked tense and more than a bit fearful.

    "I hereby swear that I shall be all the good in the world! That I shall defeat all evil in the world! You, seven Heavens, clad in the three great words of power, come forth from the circle of binding!" he shouted, opening his large brown eyes again. "Guardian of the Scales!"

    “Ara, ara…” Chizuru said, awestruck, placing a hand on her cheek.

    “Father-in-law…” Hakase quietly whispered to herself.

    Chisame blinked twice. “What was that?!”

    “N-Nothing!” Satomi said, looking aside awkwardly.

    And then, amidst a sudden and overwhelming red haze coming from the floor and swarming all over the room, not with an explosion of light but with a spreading of oozing uneasiness, it happened. A figure stood up, appearing right before Negi, at the middle of the circle.

    This was a person in white and red armor, their head fully covered by a helmet armed with two tall long horns. The fully concealing suit of protection made it completely impossible to guess their age, race, or even gender from a first sight. They held a sword, one as impressive looking and large as that of Asuna, but also in crimson red and white, and ragged and twisted in shape, all sharp angles, wicked and bizarre in appearance. Not the blade of a noble warrior but that of a savage killer. This person looked icily at all the gathered, with aggressive intent and the manner of a barely restrained brute, taking several eternal seconds before speaking at them with clear contempt.

    “I am Servant Saber,” the newcomer addressed them all. “Which one of you would dare calling themselves my Master?”
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
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  5. alethiophile

    alethiophile Shadowed Philosopher Administrator

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    Lol.
     
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  6. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    A preview.

    ---

    A Hairy Question.

    “There’s something I don’t understand about how your powers work!” Misa told Karin as they sparred in the resort, or more accurately as Karin kicked Misa’s ass all over the arena, both girls already mostly naked by now. “If no part of you can ever be hurt at all, how do you cut your hair and nails?!”

    “What a stupid question!” Karin growled, lunging at her again with her long mallet. “Obviously, I can because… because… because…!”

    And then she stopped complete and suddenly, much to Misa’s relief, and her eyes grew wider.

    ---

    Martha stared in sheer disbelief at the awkwardly sheepish Karin. “You want me to ask the Lord WHAT?!”
     
  7. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    Well, for a What If story this probably has gone as far as it should have, but just in case there’s any interest for it, here’s how I would assign further Servants to the Unequally cast. Shirou keeps Artoria, Illya keeps Heracles, Bazett keeps Cu, and Akashi-sensei keeps Medea, by the way:

    Chisame: Assassin (Osakabehime)

    Satomi: Caster (Edison)

    Ayaka: Archer (Paris)

    Haruka: Berserker (Kintoki)

    Yuuna: Archer (Moriarty)

    Haruna: Foreigner (Hokusai)

    Misa: Lancer (Bradamante)

    Madoka: Saber (Charlemagne)

    Setsuna: Rider (Marie)

    Misora: Rider (Martha)

    Cocone: Saber (Altera)

    Matoi: Berserker (Kiyohime)

    Chamo: Rider (Blackbeard)

    Evangeline: Assassin (Carmilla)

    Chachazero: Berserker (Frankenstein)

    Lala: Caster (Blavatsky)

    Rito: Saber (Fergus)

    Skuld: Lancer (Brynhild)

    Keiichi: Caster (Tamamo-no-Mae)

    Makie: Assassin (Kojiro)

    Kotaro: Berserker (Raikou)

    Nodoka: Caster (Murasaki)

    Yue: Caster (Andersen)

    Natsumi: Caster (Shakespeare)

    Ako: Berserker (Nightingale)

    Fuuka and Fumika: Rider (Mary and Anne)

    Rin and Sakura: Archer (EMIYA and EMIYA Alter respectively)

    Shizuru: Assassin (Shuten Douji) In the end the temptation to play her Servant off Haruka’s would have won over the obvious Kiyohime joke.

    Natsuki: Berserker (Ibaraki Douji)

    Tsukuyomi: Archer (Nobunaga) I kinda like the idea of Konoka, not Setsuna, being Tsukuyomi’s true nemesis.
     
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  8. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    Unequally Rational and Emotional What If...?

    Starring Kikukawa Yukino.

    ---

    Suzushiro Haruka took another deep breath, letting her hand rest against the frame of the door. “Grace under fissure,” she sagely told herself, keeping her eyes closed. “Grace under fissure, just like Mother used to say…”

    She needed it, too; the last few days had proved to be quite a burden on her, and she still wasn’t sure on how she would balance what had transpired during them with the duties ahead of her. She had left Mahora nothing but the Vice President of the Student Council and returned an engaged (according to her family’s logic anyway) woman to a ten-years old boy teacher who had turned out being a wizard, one who had taken her as many of his… apprentices of sorts, Haruka still wasn’t sure at all on the related terminology, much less how to phrase it.

    The thing that worried her the most, however, was how she would tell Yukino, or if she even had to. Surely she could lose her best and only friend in the whole world if she did it? Not to mention endanger her? Poor, meek, frail Yukino, completely unaware of the threats from a world where madmen and madwomen summoned demon gods to lay waste upon planets, and people like Saotome Haruna could find reprobable outlets for their depravity, shaping reality as they best saw fit…

    Then she just sighed, opened her eyes, and finally pushed the door open, shouted as she stormed into the room. “Alright, everyone! The rest and relaxingnation are over, it’s time to get to work again! Yukino, bring me my… my… Whu-Where’s Yukino?!” she babbled, stopping abruptly and whipping her head around in all directions, looking all across the well lit, white-painted Mahora Student Council’s meeting room.

    “Oh, welcome back, Suzushiro-han,” Fujino Shizuru politely said from where she sat sipping tea, with Kotegawa Yui and Shirai Kuroko, the academy’s top discipline and security enforcers respectively, flanking her at the table. A few chairs apart from them Tate Yuuichi, secretary, just sat in his usual long suffering silent annoyance, taking notes on something on his laptop. “Spent a pleasant time in Kyoto, I would hope? Perhaps this contact with my hometown means now we can establish a better bond and thus working—“

    “S-Stop misusaging words and answer what I asked!” an exasperated Haruka said. “Where’s Yukino?! She’s never late for anything, not that I am, but don’t tell me that something happened to her…!”

    Shizuru exhaled wearily. “Or perhaps not, after all…”

    “I am right here, Haruka-chan,” a soft, mild voice said from right behind the busty blonde right then.

    Haruka almost jumped out of her skin, spinning around to face a blinking Kikukawa Yukino. “Ah! Y-You were here!”

    Yukino nodded, blinking at this behavior that was odd even coming from Haruka. “Well, yes, I mean, I had to go out to the restroom for a break right now, but… Was there any problem with your trip, Haruka-chan? You look so… agitated…”

    “N-No, of course there wasn’t any!”Haruka denied, shaking her head vigorously. “I mean, why would there be any?! It all went flawedlessly, just like things go whenever I’m in charge, ha-ha-ha…!” she laughed this last part very stiffly.

    Yui frowned, squinting. “This better has nothing to do with anything improper happening during this trip of yours.”

    “It does nooooot!” Haruka snapped at her. “What makes you even begin to suspicionate that?!”

    “Well,” Kuroko reasoned, “you were in the same inn as that child teacher and Class 3-A, and we heard you were attacked by the Joker and a whole bunch of other American supervillains.”

    “Oh, that,” Haruka huffed. “Th-That was nothing that we couldn’t handle, that is, n-not that we had to, b-because the proper local authorities took care of it all and we didn’t have to fight anyone or shoot them, but if it’d been up to me, I’d have lifted up to the task anyway!”

    “Risen to the task, Haruka-chan,” Yukino gently corrected.

    “Same difference,” Haruka sighed. “Recareless, how about you, Yukino? How did your class trip go?”

    Yukino flinched slightly, which everyone around the table but Haruka noticed. “Oh, oh well, th-there’s not much to say, I only met a nice student from CLAMP and a nice student from Ohtori or two, and… we spent some t-time together around town, not around another magical world or anything, or fighting either, that was all…”

    Kuroko blinked several times, Yui took a hand to her own mouth, and even the normally apathetic Tate looked alarmed. “Students from Ohotori?!” Shirai gasped.

    “Ohtori, where all lilies are predatory plants and all men are rapacious hawks!” Yui all but screamed.

    “Conbefriending with the enemies!” Haruka gasped, backing away in horror as Shizuru just rolled her eyes silently.

    “Yukino, how could you?! I taught I thought you better!”

    Yukino grimaced, blushing a little. Only Shizuru and Kuroko realized she hadn’t blushed nearly as much as she normally would have, and were suitably intrigued. “It wasn’t like that, Kiryuu-san isa nice enough person, I guess, if… somewhat haughty. And Tsuwabuki-kun is—“

    “Oh my God, you’ve even made good friends with them,” Kuroko said. “Well, at least it wasn’t anyone from Honnouji.”

    “Wait a second…” Shizuru raised an eyebrow. “Did you just say… Kiryuu? Like the Ohtori Student Council President, Kiryuu Touga-san?”

    Yukino nodded. “Yes, it was his younger sister, Nanami-san.”

    “Ah, Cow Girl,” Shizuru nodded, elegantly taking another sip of tea while everyone around her but Yukino broke into choking panics.

    Yukino blinked, confused. “Cow Girl? She is fairly slim, was she ever—?“

    “Let’s just say that you wouldn’t believe me at all if I ever told you,” Shizuru sighed, shaking her head.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
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  9. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    Tales of Mundus Magicus: Beware of What Explodes in the Night!

    ---

    “I heard you are Nagi Springfield, son of Nagi Springfield,” said a girl, boldly approaching Negi’s table at the restaurant.

    “Hm!” Louise huffed, frowning sternly towards the newcomer, while Yue and Asuna tensed up in alert, Rito and Lena sighed wearily, Skuld muttered under her breath hiding behind her menu, Tsukuyomi licked her own lips in a highly predatory fashion, and Collet and Webby just blinked with piqued curiosity, as did the Pikachu sitting on Collet’s head. Negi himself, aged up as usual of late, only stared on, intrigued, at this petite girl with dark brown hair before smiling at her.

    “I’m sorry,” he gently told her, “but I’m not that Nagi Springfield. I’m Nagi Springfield, cousin of that Nagi Springfield, who is rumored to have a son named Nagi Springfield, but doesn’t.”

    “Believe it. We are experts on the topic of Nagi Springfield,” Webby added, picking back on her shish-kebab and cleaning it up with a slurping mouthful.

    “Right,” the stranger nodded, using a hand to better adjust her tall, pointy witch’s hat, as red as her blouse and her short skirt, which obscured most of her cute face. She also wore short red boots and a tall black stocking on one leg, the other wrapped in bandages. “Because that son is actually named Negi Springfield, wanted felon, terrorist commander, heel and no-goodnik, perfidious crook and creep, enemy of all women, friend to Perverted Beasts, Mundus Magicus’ worst and most repulsive villain, with history’s second greatest bounty on his head!”

    “Uhhhhh… we guess so, we aren’t just as well read on the topic of Negi Springfield,” Webby said, now sounding slightly nervous.

    “Hey, hey, speak for yourself!” Tsukuyomi told her with obvious glee, before nodding at the girl with the staff and hat, smiling pleasantly while Yue, Rito and Asuna, squirming visibly, pushed their disguise glasses up so they were ever tighter against their faces. “I know, right? Boy, this Negi Springfield’s a real fink, isn’t he? He’s such a dishonor to this poor boyfriend of mine’s family! That’s why, when I get my hands on Negi Springfield, I’m going to skewer him alive and cut him to ribbons and gut him out and pull out his still warm and wet—“

    “Waitress, check, please!” a suddenly trembling and green faced customer begged the highly fetishistic buxom catgirl passing him by from the table next to theirs.

    Negi spat out the latest sip of juice he’d taken. “B-Boyfriend?!”

    “Fink?” Skuld snorted, still refusing to let the safety of her shielding menu. “Whoever uses that kind of word anymore?”

    “Oh hoh hoh hoh!” the weird girl (she already seemed to be weirder than even Tsukuyomi and Webby, much to the disgust of Louise, Yue, Asuna and Rito, but mostly Louise’s) let out a high pitched, kind of squeaky and very forced version of the classic noblewoman’s laugh. “From such a fine vocabulary I can discern you are a fellow woman of great culture and a love for justice! I’ll introduce myself although no doubt you already have guessed my illustrious name! I’m the Archwizard, Megumin! Greatest daughter of the Crimson Demon Clan! Peerless expert of the most glorious magic known in the world of magic, the magical explosion! Of magic!”
     
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  10. Akuma-Heika

    Akuma-Heika The Devil Exists Within

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    I thought the story was he claimed to be the cousin of Negi while in his Nagi persona.
     
  11. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    “The Crimson Demon Clan?!” exclaimed Lena and Louise at once, each cringing visibly and making just as marked faces of contempt.

    “The Crimson Demon Clan!” Webby gushed excitedly, her eyes growing even brighter, bigger and rounder than her norm.

    “The Crimson Demon Clan?” Asuna asked, clearly unimpressed.

    "The Crimson Demon Clan," Yue flatly repeated.

    “Ufufufu!” Impervious to the reactions of bafflement and the glares of the patrons from the surrounding tables, basking only on the admiration of the suddenly nearly adoring smaller duck girl, this ‘Megumin’ smirked proudly, tapping her staff on the floor, twirling her hat around, and closing the eye of hers not covered by a crimson patch of cloth. “Indeed! You two must be the Vanderquack heiress and the La Valliere girl who were kidnapped by that awful, rotten, rat-bastard of a fink Negi Springfield. Good thing you were rescued by these fine heroes even before I could find you! Impressive, yes, yes… As usual, these people instincts of mine were correct to direct me to this party, uhuhuhu…” she chuckled dumbly while stroking her chin.

    Webby grew even more impressed. “Wow… People instincts! I always wanted to have those… Anyway, I’m the Vanderquack heiress, not her, but close enough, how do you do!” she quickly snatched her free hand and shook it happily. “Crimson Demon Clan, huh? I’ve read a lot about you guys, you’re really cool! Why don’t you sit down with us and—“

    Megumin pulled her hand back just as soon, blushing a little. “D-Don’t be so forward touching one of us! Even if you’re nobility, we’re something else… But thanks for the offer, don’t mind if I do!” She pulled a chair for herself, plucked a chicken leg from Rito’s plate, and started to wolf it down as he only could watch on helplessly. “I need to recharge on calories, Explosion is as highly draining as it fits its regal status, you know. So, where are we going next, then?”

    “We?!” Louise demanded, clenching her teeth on standing on edge, on the edge of leaping onto this stranger, that was; the whipping crop already was in her hand.

    The girl gave her a disdainous look while already cleaning the last few meaty bits from the suddenly polished—shiny, even—chicken leg in her small hand. “FOOL! No wonder you’re the least popular daughter of your house, unlike me. If the great archwizard Megumin, queen of magic, joins your party, you shall be INVINCIBLE! And you shan’t reject her, of course. Not that you can anymore, either way, since I’m already in. As you understand, you can’t deny me membership after I’ve joined, you only can kick me out, but you can’t do that either because you can’t refuse me, no one refuses the great Megumin after all. You understand! I guess. I mean, you’d have to, even if you are Louise the Zero…”

    “Don’t EVER call me that!” Louise growled, Negi sighing and holding her all-too-ready-to-whip arm while Tsukuyomi looked on eagerly. Asuna and Yue simply sweated cold and looked really antsy and ready to leave, casting constant glances in all directions, leaving an opening for Megumin to swipe an apple slice from Asuna’s fruit salad next.

    Negi, still restraining Louise’s wrist in his fist, pondered this strange encounter with a baffled expression for a few moments before smiling again. “Well, maybe you could help us. We are looking for the home of the legendary Jack Rakan…”

    “Nagi,” Rito said between grinding teeth, “I’m not too sure we should be telling that to this person…”

    “Silence, you cretin!” Megumin scoffed, grabbing a spoon and trying to dig into Skuld’s large cup of chocolate ice cream with nuts, only to have her hand slapped aside by Skuld, who only glared menacingly from behind the slightly lowered menu, disguise eyes shining with danger. This made Megumin scowl in anger, but since she only could chide one cretin at a time she let it slide for now. “Did you seriously think I wouldn’t know the location of the Hero of a Thousand Faces?!”

    “Oh!” Tsukuyomi said, playing along with great delight. “Do you know him personally?”

    “No, his legend is far lesser than mine,” Megumin said nonchalantly, making Asuna, Collet and Rito facefault on the table, and Webby and Tsukuyomi giggle for fully opposite reasons. “But I know he lives in the desert beyond these hills! I can take you there!”
     
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  12. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    “Of course you can, of course,” Negi said patiently. “Well, I mean, of course you can tag along with us as soon as you pay Miss Tsukuyomi here four pieces of silver.”

    Megumin blinked. “Four pieces! B-B-But that’s all of my--!”

    “Oh? What are you about you say? Surely,” Tsukuyomi giddily said, extending a hand ahead, “that’s nothing but a minuscule trifle for someone from the storied, fabled Crimson Demon Clan, is it not…?”

    Gulping, a red faced Megumin fidgeted before pulling out a very small and very worn down purse. She then reluctantly pulled four small pieces of silver out of it, handing them over to a greedily accepting Tsukuyomi. “Clang, clang,” Megumin discreetly mimicked the sound of more pieces of silver as she pocketed back the now obviously empty purse.

    “That was the most money you’ve ever had on you at once, wasn’t it?” Lena asked, managing to sound callously blunt and oddly sympathetic at once.

    “That’s no business of yours, interloper!” Tsukuyomi squawked, blush now in full force.

    “And you really have nowhere else to go, do you?” a fully sympathetic Collet added.

    “Pika pika,” her familiar opined.

    “I do now!” Megumin pouted, then asked, “That’s meant to cover all of my traveling expenses, right?”

    “No, this is part of Nagi’s payment to me so I don’t kill the whole party,” Tsukuyomi informed her with a beautiful, angelic smile.

    Megumin blinked again. “Isn’t he your boyfriend?!”

    “So? A word of advice to you, my dear, never let romance interfere with business…”

    “What about Setsuna-san?” Asuna asked sotto voice.

    “That’s family and romance, completely different thing…” Tsukuyomi made clear, with a small offended pout.
     
  13. Threadmarks: History Lessons, Chapter One, Part One
    OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    After a brief attempt to do a fully different AU that was posted somewhere else here in Questionable Questing, something another poster wrote made me realize I was going to flop and instead I just chose to do this: a series of interrelated oneshots, each starring a Servant and how each works their way through a Grail War, whether an Apocrypha, Stay Night, EXTRA, Prototype, Strange/Fake one, or even a GO singularity.

    All stories make use of crossover elements while still keeping the main focus on Fate. A few might even use Servants from other sources of fiction, but fighting for Nasuverse Masters or slotted into Singularities or Lostbelts. In the end, all these stories come together in a single large tale of sorts.

    ---

    Fate Grand Order, Fate Prototype, Fate Zero, Fate Stay Night, Fate EXTRA, Fate Extella, Fate Apocrypha, Fate Strange Fake, Fate Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya, Fate Requiem and Fate School Life are the creations and intellectual properties of Nasu Kinoko and Type-Moon.

    All other characters and franchises mentioned are the intellectual properties of their respective copyright holders.

    ---

    History Lessons.

    Path One: Saber.

    ---

    Emiya Shirou gasped from his awkward prone position on the old shed's floor, staring up at the figure that had just appeared standing over him. It was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen, with a delicate and fair face that was nonetheless cold and devoid of feelings. Her eyes were large, round and light green, and her hair a pale shade of golden blonde, pulled back into a small bun. She wore a long dress of regal blue cloth, along with a metal chestplate and armored gauntlets and boots. In a hand she held the sturdy handle of a sword, apparently unattached to any blade.

    "I am Servant Saber," she told him, bathed from behind by the silver moonlight filtered through the large hole in the wall, with a calm and aloof voice. "I ask of you, are you my Master?"

    "Geh…!" Shirou stuttered, too shocked to say anything else. "Geh…!"

    She nodded. "I'll assume that's a yes, then. Negatives are usually conveyed as 'Gah!'…"

    But then, zooming across the air, the maniac in blue tights who had been chasing Shirou around from school broke into the shed, waving that long spear of his, and this 'Saber' immediately spun around, swinging her hilt with both hands, and just as soon, there was a thundering boom and the man was swatted by some invisible force, directly back out of the shed and onto the Emiya house's backyard.

    ---

    Saber and the spearman faced each other on the lawn of Shirou's backyard now, under the gibbous fullness of a silver-white moon. She frowned at the intruder while he flashed a shark's grin at her, almost crouched down with the weapon at the ready.

    "Please, whatever you do, don't ruin the roses over there," Shirou asked them, standing aside.

    "Heh…" the man in tights chuckled. "That was a nice blow you dealt there, little sister. The Saber, I suppose?"

    "What is it to you?" she huffed. "Am I as obvious as you… Lancer?"

    Shirou blinked. "No, seriously, are you guys roleplaying, or what? Don't you think this has gone far enough already?"

    Lancer clucked his tongue, ignoring Shirou and focusing on the blonde. "Tsk! I'd really love to have a good fight with you, but sadly my Master told me to go all out if I was found out by another Servant. A pity…"

    "You aren't going all out, you're just standing there and talking," the woman pointed out.

    "What's this nonsense about servants?" Shirou asked them. "Does she look like she's my maid to you?! Hey, stop ignoring me now! This is my house! Should I call the police?"

    "I see," Lancer said grimly, taking a quick step back from Saber, and readying his spear, power from long gone ages flowing into it for the final blow. He had always hated and avoided hurting women in the battlefield, going as far as to spare the woman who had brought nothing but ruin to himself and his country.

    However, just like Saber herself, he understood it was folly to think of the blonde before him as anything but another warrior, a living weapon... and then, living only according some definitions of the word by human standards.

    Just like himself.

    It makes no sense to fear for an identity reveal when you are not going to leave any witnesses behind afterwards. Better to go for all already. The next battle waited as eagerly as he waited for it.

    "Gae..."

    Saber frowned and stood still at the middle of the backyard, looking directly at the Lancer's face. As if daring him in silence.

    Shirou jerked forward, lifting a hand and yelling a warning that was muted by Lancer's deep intonation, his voice booming across the whole block...

    "BOLG!"

    And the power was unleashed, and the air seemed to hum to deafening degrees, as the spear darted forward, with unerring accuracy, towards its intended goal.

    Lancer smirked almost psychotically as his favored weapon, unerring and accurate as ever, flew directly through the woman's chest, piercing her all the way through, and coming out his hard, wide back amidst an explosion of gore that splattered all across the yard. Shirou gasped in horror, shaking wildly as the young lady's petite frame hit the grass, causing no sound, not even that of her final choke.

    And that shock in her face rattled him even more than Berserker's death itself.

    "It is done, thusly," Lancer said, stepping back as Saber's body grew still.

    "Oh my God! You just killed Saber-san!" Shirou screamed, horrified at the gratuitous display of violence against a girl. "You aren't human!"

    "Well, she did ask for it," Lancer argued in his defense, shrugging his wide shoulders.

    "No, she didn't! And even if she did, you shouldn't take mentally ill people's words on those things! The hell's wrong with you?!"

    Lancer sighed wearily. "I swear, the more I get to know people from this era… Say, wasn't I about to kill you?" he casually asked, training his spear back on the gulping Shirou. "Stay quiet already so we both can call it an early night…"

    "On second thought," Shirou told him, "you can go back to ignoring me now."

    There was a rustle of cloth and a clang of metal, and Saber groggily pulled herself up from the red-caked grass, supported on the invisible force projected from her hilt, and bleeding all over.

    "Excuse me," she told Lancer. "I don't mean to tell you how to do your job, but… you should finish killing an enemy before moving onto another."

    "Saber-san!" Shirou gasped.

    Lancer's eyes widened dramatically. "That's…impossible!"

    "From your legend you should know that there's nothing truly impossible… Cu Chulainn of Connacht," Saber told him, quietly fixing another icy stare on him.

    Lancer absorbed this with a mild start, then chuckled again, threw his sharp polearm around his shoulders, and said, "Well, this is a night of surprises! Master told me to disengage if any Servant managed to survive this unbound spear of mine, so… Farewell for now, I guess."

    And he suddenly disappeared into the night like a ghost, further startling Shirou.

    Saber kept on staring at the spot where Lancer had stood moments ago. "I liked the other Irish Lancer hellbent on killing me better," she finally decided, talking to herself.

    "Saber-san!" Shirou gasped, running to her side. "Stay down! I'll call an ambulance! You shouldn't even be talking…!"

    "'Tis only a flesh wound," she rebuffed his help, keeping him at arm's length. Placing a hand on her breastplate, she gestured for Shirou to see she wasn't bleeding anymore, and even the cracks on her armor had repaired themselves. "I survived that blow thanks to a convenient combination of my Magic Resistance, my high Luck stat, and Sabers having the Class advantage against Lancers."

    "The hell you say!" the red-haired young man protested. "I just saw him kill you! Why aren't you dead?! People should die when they are killed! Um, not that I'm not glad you're alive, of course, but…!"

    She blandly looked at him. "What is your name?"

    "My… My name?" he repeated. "Ah, it's Shirou… Emiya Shirou, how do you do. Nice to meet you."

    "E… Emiya?" she showed her first true sign of emotion, almost recoiling.

    He nodded. "That's what I said, yes."

    "And… And you have a father? Named Emiya?"

    "Well, that would be obvious, now, wouldn't it?"

    "Emiya Kiritsugu?!" she outright cried out, as lights finally started being turned on in the neighboring houses, faces peeking out their windows to catch on what was happening.

    Shirou pulled back, surprised, before breaking into a very wide smile. "Ah! You knew Dad…?!"

    Saber winced, bit sharply on her pale lower lip, and then took a hand to her face, starting to mutter quite foul words in a foreign language to himself.

    Shirou lost his smile. "Ah, yeah, well, don't feel too bad. That's not that an uncommon reaction when I tell people about him, actually…"

    ---

    "The reason behind my presence here," Saber explained, sitting across Shirou's dinner table after dispatching three large bowls of meat buns in a row, claiming a need to 'recharge mana', whatever that was, "is the Holy Grail War, an ancient conflict between seven magi and their Servants, Heroic Spirits from yore bound to them, such as myself. Your people, I've been told, call it the Heaven's Feel ritual."

    Shirou frowned. "'My People', huh?"

    "I… I mean Magi!" Saber quickly clarified. "I have nothing whatsoever against the Japanese!"

    "Right."

    "Right!" she nodded. "There are seven Classes of Servants. The first three are known as the Knight Classes. I am one of the Sabers, that most balanced of all Classes. Paladins, crusaders and swordsmen, we cannot be defeated in close quarters. For ages, we have been charged with slaying warlocks, dragons, Witches, suspicious shady men in black trenchcoats, the faithless, religious zealots and fanatics, tentacle monsters, the vile Frenchmen, tyrants and despots, trolls, black knights, goblins, Gremlins, football hooligans, evil giants, evil midgets, those possessed by the Seven Enemies of Mankind, the disenfranchised, demons, vampires, lycanthropes, and other similar threats to all the good people and the status quo."

    "I see."

    "Then we have Archers. They are the masters of long range warfare. Bowmen, snipers, projectile users in general. I've even fought one who did nothing but throwing his old junk at others, so the standards of access for the Class cannot be terribly high."

    "Nice," Shirou flatly approved.

    She reached over for a large bottle of Soder Cola and eagerly drank it down. Shirou was reminded of Taiga's table manners. Then she already put the bottle down and continued, "You already know one of the Lancers. They fight with polearms and spears, and mostly rely on their velocity and agility. This one, Cu Chulainn, is a fierce enemy to fear, if his myth is to be believed. I don't think I could survive another strike of his Gae Bolg."

    "Why must we fight each other anyway, what's the point of-?"

    "Riders," she interrupted him, "are Legendary Spirits specialized on vehicles or animal mounts. On foot, they theoretically lose a lot of their advantage, although that is not an ironclad rule. We do battle to obtain the Holy Grail the War is named after, of course. Shouldn't you know at least this already?"

    "Why should I?!" Shirou protested. "I had no idea being a magus involved any of this, I thought you only had to learn-!"

    "A magus cannot consider themselves as such if they don't fully devote their lives to their craft," Saber frowned at him. "The Caster Class embodies that principle to its ultimate consequences. They are astute plotters and schemers, using the tools of sorcery to bend reality to their favor. When confronted directly, past their tricks and traps, they rarely are dangerous for a Knight Servant, but they still easily outclass any living magic user of this era."

    "That sounds awful, what kind of person would ever use magic to play dirty and cheat?"

    Saber gritted her teeth subtly. "You are in dire need of history lessons, Shirou. Family history, most especially."

    "What's that even supposed to mean?!"

    "Berserkers," she moved on with a strained tone, taking a loud big chomp out of a Snickers bar Shirou'd been keeping by the kitchen, "are rampaging savages. Their insanity renders them fearless and greatly increases their strength in battle. That gift is called 'Mad Enhancement', yet is also a curse, as Berserkers tend to be so irrational, they easily turn on their Masters. Not to mention their consumption of prana is disproportionate."

    Shirou tried to remember a few of Kiritsugu's reluctant lessons on magic. "Prana, that is some kind of magical energy that empowers all living beings, isn't it? The World Tree is supposed to be a huge source of prana, I think, is that why you're here?"

    "I don't know anything about World Trees," she admitted. "Will you let me finish already? Finally, we have the Assassin Class. Most of them are physically weak for the standards of other Heroic Spirits, so they rely on subterfuge and stealth. They are backstabbers, murderers who hide in the shadows. Their favored tactic is killing the rival Masters, as we depend on you for prana to anchor us to the World. Without a Master, a Servant will soon disappear, that you are both our main asset and our most blaring weak point."

    "Wow," Shirou said. "Thank you, that was very enlightening!"

    "You're welcome."

    "Okay, so tell me… From where do you know my father anyway?"

    "Hnnnn... Is that man all you really care about?!"

    ---

    "So, what do we do now?" Shirou asked.

    "It's easy enough," Saber said. "We find the other Masters and kill their Servants."

    "Saber! We can't do that! It's inhuman!"

    "I'm not even arguing for killing the Masters, just the Servants! It's okay, Shirou, we don't have human rights!"

    "In that case," he replied, extending a hand over, "give my bag of chips back, since you have no rights to be fed."

    She fiercely hugged the open, half-eaten bag of potato chips against her chest. "Make me!"

    The young man sighed. "Okay, what was the first thing my dad made you do during the last War?"

    "We filed the proper procedure of registering ourselves for the Heaven's Feel before the Catholic church," Saber reminisced. "Of course, we pretended I was the Servant of Kiritsugu's wife, so I was registered under her name. In hindsight, it wasn't a 'proper' procedure either, then... Huh! Damn that man."

    "You're eating chips paid by that man's heritage," Shirou told her, then asked, "Wait, so the Catholic church does that?! You mean you can just walk up to a nun and ask her to register you as a Master or Servant?!"

    Saber pondered that question briefly before shrugging. "Back in my day, the Church blessed us warriors to kill in the name of the Lord, so... times haven't changed that much, I would suppose? I'm not sure, the Grail gives us some information on the current times, but..."

    Shirou steeled himself with grim resolve. "Okay! Heroically filing a register form with a nun. That, I can do..."

    ---

    "Excuse me, please," Shirou said the next afternoon, approaching the gates of the local Mary Magdalene church, with a disguised Saber coming shortly behind him. She was wearing a sports ensemble of baseball cap, blue zipped up jacket, tight black shorts, and golden ponytail that only made her all the more conspicuous, especially under the broad daylight. "Is it here where you file in for, you know... that thing?"

    One of the two apprentices who had been sweeping the front steps of the church with their brooms, a thin, short fourteen years old girl with short and spiky light brown hair, paused in her chores and looked curiously at him. "Are you here to get married?"

    "To get- N-NO!" Shirou gasped, pulling back and blushing madly. "It's, it's nothing like that! It's about that other thing you do here!"

    "Do you come to negotiate funeral arrangements?" very quietly asked the other apprentice, a little girl of dark skin and long black hair. "The House of the Lord will gladly handle your final rest..." she flatly delivered obviously memorized lines.

    "It's something like that, actually," Saber admitted while Shirou facepalmed. Eventually, he lowered the hand off his face and lowered his voice as well, leaning towards the younger girls.

    "You'll see, recently this young lady came to me, telling me she's here for one of those business that happen every sixty years, except because the last one was only ten years ago," he explained, "and we were wondering if you could point us to someone who could help us, discreetly, with that..."

    The older apprentice looked completely baffled out of her mind. "...?"

    Shirou exhaled. "Forget it, this obviously is a totally normal church for a totally normal school, and you must be thinking we're complete weirdos if not outright perverts. Sorry, we'll be going away right now..."

    "Ah, it's a Grail War," deadpanned the little girl, going back to sweeping indifferently. "For that, you want Father Kotomine."

    Shirou's jaw fell off its hinges and hung loose.

    "Ah, that's right," Saber mused aloud with airs of enlightment. "Now I remember, the priest who spoke with Irisviel and me was named Kotomine Risei..."

    The little girl nodded, now turning her back to them as she swept. "That was Father Kirei's father."

    "Since when Catholic priests can have children who become priests themselves?!" Shirou protested. "He was adopted, right?"

    "Ad what's wrong with that? You seem to have a lot of misconceptions about our church, Sempai. I hope to marry my homeroom teacher someday," shared the older apprentice. "Of course, I'm no priest, but the principle is the same..."

    Shirou winced, recalling some rumors he'd heard around the school. "Wait a sec, are you one of those students of that child teacher, Negi-sensei...?"

    "A-yep!" she grinned, flipping a salute. "How do you do, I'm Kasuga Misora and this is Cocone-chan! What's a Grail War, by the way? Some practical exercise of faith I haven't been told about yet? I'm still a novice after all, even if extremely promising and bright and humble and everything..."
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  14. Threadmarks: History Lessons, Chapter One, Part Two
    OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    "Well, like Sugiura-sensei would say, that could have gone better," a rattled Shirou said, walking back home with Saber as the night fell around them.

    "I don't know what else you were expecting for," Saber was calmly telling him. "It's got the word 'War' right in its name, would you expect for it to be settled peacefully?"

    "Well, it's also got 'Holy' in the name!" Shirou argued. "Plus, all wars eventually end up with a treaty or armistice, not when everyone but two guys are dead!"

    "Leaving aside the fact your concept of warfare in these modern times obviously is quite different from the norm in my era," Saber said, "you still didn't have to take the name so literally."

    "You were the one taking it literally in the first place!"

    Then, while doubling around a solitary street corner near an abandoned lot, she tensed up. "Master, beware! I can feel another Servant near us!"

    "What!" he said. "Is it Lancer again, or--!?"

    In a flash, she'd jumped away, her clothes dissolving in a blaze of golden light, and reforming themselves into her blue gown and armor. The invisible sword came back to her hand, and she swung it down forcefully, slashing down into a man just as soon as she reached the rooftop of an old, seemingly empty house across the street. Shirou shouted in horror, as blood flew everywhere out of the gash Saber had just cut through the other man's torso, faster than he could react.

    He was, Shirou saw, very tall and well muscled, even moreso than the lean and vibrant Lancer, but still not bulky as such. He was clothed in black and red, with tall dark boots, and a long, open scarlet coat all over the ensemble, contrasting with his tan skin and short, cropped white hair. He thrusted two short blades up, blocking Saber's next strike with difficulty, and then she only growled, punted him upwards across the stomach, and sent him flying away from her, so he fell aside and rolled across to the edge.

    Shirou squinted, and could see Saber rushing next towards a girl who'd been standing behind this man, raising her weapon at her. He thought he recognized her, and this only shocked him even more.

    "Saber, no!" he begged.

    Saber paid him no mind, even as the girl of dark hair made into twintails moved a hand up, several shining objects flashing between her fingers. She threw these at Saber, projecting some manner of glowing shield between them, but Saber just destroyed it easily with another blow of the unseen sword, causing the other female to recoil in surprise, now clearly afraid for her life.

    The blonde paused for the slightest of moments. "Congratulations," she told her. "That would have stalled any Servant but a Saber. However, you didn't choose the correct target for your ambush."

    "S-Saber...!" Shirou could hear the girl say, a tingling, nearly fangirlish affection now tinting her voice.

    "Die," Saber mercilessly said, swinging at her again.

    "NO! SABER, STOP!" Shirou screamed.

    He felt an extremely painful burning sensation all over the back of his right hand, as one of the red marks on it glowed as they had not since Saber was summoned. And then it puffed out of his flesh, leaving a searing but quickly healing scar on its place. And Saber grinded to a sudden halt, her eyes growing as wide as those of the other girl, while her sword stopped itself scarce milimeters from her head.

    Saber's head spun back violently. "Master! What was that for?! She's an enemy Master and must be disposed of!"

    "You said we didn't have to kill the Masters!" he yelled back at her from the sidewalk.

    "That's something one can allow oneself to say in a strategic meeting, but not always in the heat of battle!"

    "No fighting, no fighting!" Shirou kept on scolding her from below. "Saber, they hadn't even attacked us yet! You can't go around killing others as soon as you see them, are you one of those Berserkers?! What if she's a pacifist Master!?"

    Saber blinked. "A pacifist-- Wha-What kind of absurd notion is that!?" she yelled at him. "A pacifist Master, who's ever heard of anything like that!?"

    "I am one!" Shirou reminded her, even as the no longer bleeding man in red and black struggled back to his feet. He made the first signs of getting ready to attack Saber, but the blonde briefly stared figurative swords in his direction.

    "Don't even try it," she warned, then told Shirou, "Lightning surely cannot strike twice in the same War! You're such an outrageous, strange exception, there's no way this woman could be like you at all!"

    "I'll take that as praise, so thank you," the girl flatly said, gesturing at her Servant to lower his blades, which he reluctantly did.

    "No, no, you aren't getting it!" Shirou kept telling Saber. "I know that girl from school, there's no way she could be a killer, and even if she were, do you want to get me jailed!?"

    Saber pouted. "I'd break you out! Besides, there are ways of disposing of bodies..."

    "And you said I was the sneaky one," the tanned man dryly told his Master, who just smiled and walked past him and Saber, stopping by the edge of the rooftop.

    "So!" she called down haughtily. "Emiya Shirou, son of Magus Killer Kiritsugu! Seeing what transpired ten years ago, it's just fitting you'd face now in--!"

    "Tohsaka," the boy interrupted her, somewhat awkwardly.

    "Yes, Emiya-kun? Do you want start negotiating for mercy already?"

    "You really should step back. Your panties can be seen from here," he sheepishly told her, pointing up her very short black skirt.

    Tohsaka Rin, Mahora Academy's top idol student, yelped, and quickly backed away, pulling her skirt back against her legs while blushing.

    The white haired man sighed deeply. "How do you do, I'm Archer," he presented himself to Saber. "Is this Idiotic Master Season, or what...?"
     
  15. wellis

    wellis Experienced.

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    Looks like this Shirou is less accepting of combat than canon Shirou? :D
     
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  16. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    Yes, it is part of having grown up in Mahora with more paternal figures to stabilize him a bit around. That should be expanded upon in the Emiya chapter.
     
  17. Threadmarks: History Lessons, Chapter One, Part Three
    OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    “You know, last night, I was having the weirdest dream of all,” Shirou thoughtfully said while cleaning the breakfast table, after Taiga had left off in a hurry to get to classes before her students did. “I dreamed of you.”

    Saber gave him a bland but very pointed glare.

    “H-Hey, don’t start giving me weird looks!” the boy blushed. “It was a dream about you on a battlefield, and everybody was dead…”

    “Ah, that,” she said. “It’s no big deal. Servants and Masters often share dreams of each other’s past, through the binds that link us. Nothing to worry about.”

    “Oh, I see,” Shirou said, taking the plates to the dishwasher and turning it on. “Sorry anyway, I didn’t mean to, and I don’t remember much of it, so I didn’t learn anything too private or that tipped me of your real name. You’ll tell me when you’re ready, I suppose.”

    “Thank you, Shirou,” she sincerely said. “Don’t believe I distrust you, please, it’s just… I’d rather keep a distance on these matters unless absolutely necessary, just in case. For both of our sakes.”

    Shirou had no idea exactly what did she mean with this, but chose not pressing her further on the subject. “That’s fine…”

    After a moment of doubt, she softly told him, “If you’d like, you could call me for the nickname they gave me during my childhood. My enemies wouldn’t know about that.”

    “Sure thing, that’d be nice! What is it?”

    “Wart.”

    “…” Shirou said.

    “I could even kill my enemies while they’re either stunned or laughing idiotically over you calling me that,” Saber thought out loud. “Yes, that is it, what a great strategic genius you are, Wart…”

    Shirou cringed. “Let’s… just save it for a grand last resource card like it deserves, okay?”

    ---

    “How many times do I have to tell you? I’m not leading you into a trap!” Rin insisted, clenching fists and teeth alike as she stomped up the green mountain past twilight, along Archer, Shirou and Saber.

    “That,” Saber said, “is right what someone leading us into a trap would say, which only makes you even more suspicious.”

    “Saber…” her Master groaned. “You don’t know Tohsaka like I do. She wouldn’t have asked for our help, or anyone else’s, if she didn’t need it!”

    “Exactly!” Rin nodded firmly, never looking back. “If I really wanted you dead, I’d just have Archer shoot Emiya-kun from afar long ago! I even know where you live, for Pete’s sake!”

    “There’s still time, you know. Just say the word,” Archer said, mimicking a finger gun on the annoyed Shirou’s temple, while Saber glared at him. “Seriously, Rin, I can take care of this on my own…”

    Rin looked up, at the massive World Tree on the top of the hill, overlooking the whole Mahora area. “No. After what happened to Fuyuki, I won’t take any chances concerning the safety of a hometown under the Tohsaka jurisdiction,” she decided. “All clues on the recent life energy thefts and ‘gas leaks’ lead here, and it’s about time you make yourself useful as the hero you fancy yourself to be, Emiya.”

    Shirou frowned, nodding and gripping the reinforced Boken in his right hand. “Of course! I’m not going to back away on this!”

    “Even if it’s a trap…” Saber agreed before tensing up, stopping and blocking Shirou’s way with an outstretched arm. One moment later, Archer also stopped and forced Rin back and behind him, pulling her by a shoulder. “Another Servant,” the blonde said. “And no, it’s not Lancer.”

    “Wonder what became of that jolly fellow,” Archer bitterly snarked, flashing his dual short blades out. “Never mind, we always can pin after him later…”

    Like a ghost, a man, not as tall as Archer but slightly taller than Lancer, appeared up the hillside, standing on their way. He wore the elegant traditional robes of a classic samurai and held a katana. His face was delicately handsome, and his hair a deep shade of purple, tied back into a long ponytail. He smiled faintly, only causing the others to scowl.

    “Looks like the woman was correct after all, and someone figured it out,” the stranger said with great aplomb. “All the same, I am thankful to you. The chore of looking after this tree was growing quite boring indeed.”

    “Who are you?” Saber asked, advancing despite Shirou’s attempts to hold her back, her Invisible Air at the ready.

    “Nothing but a humble groundskeeper. Call me Assassin,” this man said, assuming a battle stance Taiga would have envied. “I’ve been asked to stop Masters and Servants from approaching this holy tree, so I ask you: will you fight me one on one, or will you give my blade a real challenge?”

    “I fight my duels by myself,” Saber promised, running up and waving her weapon in a graceful and wide swatting arc. “And you should have stuck to your shadows, Assassin!”

    “Saberrrrrr!” Shirou called out after her.

    Smirking to himself, the samurai ran down to meet her in mid-way, and her swords collided in an explosion of power.
     
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  18. Threadmarks: History Lessons, Chapter One, Part Four
    OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    Saber sat before the TV (at the proper distance advised by the standard Japanese warnings, since she was Lawful Good) late at night, watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail in a movie channel. “It is amazing,” she stoically mused at one point, “only these chaps have remembered poor Sir Robin ever existed…”

    Moments later, someone rang the door. “I’ll go,” Shirou said, reaching the door even before Saber could finish bolting upwards to do it herself, just in case. How does he keep doing it?! she wondered. Much to her relief, it only was the boy teacher, along with the pockmarked girl with glasses, the ermine and the smaller bespectacled girl. “Oh, good evening, Sensei, Hasegawa-san, Hakase-san! Um, you do realize you’re out way past the junior high curfew, don’t you…?”

    “Emiya-san,” Negi said very seriously, handing him a handwritten note. “We’ve got a grave problem we’ll need Saber-san’s help with. It seems someone got the impression, perhaps based on my father’s fame, I might be a Master for this Grail War of yours, and, w-well...”

    “They’ve gone and kidnapped one of our classmates as bait for Sensei,” Chisame finished for him as Negi was obviously choking up like the child he was after all. “But you said only a Servant can beat another Servant, so…”

    Saber now stood valiantly by Shirou’s side, startling him, fully clad in battle regalia already. “I’ll answer the call, naturally,” she told the visitors. “Rescuing fair maidens in distress is a duty any half-worth knight will gladly oblige to.”

    “Actually, she isn’t a fair maiden, she’s’ Saotome Haruna from the manga club,” Chisame started, “but… never mind, there’s no reason why you should know. Actually, there’s a fifty-fifty chance you’ll have to rescue the kidnappers from her instead.”

    “Not your favorite person in the world, huh?” Shirou guessed.

    “Let’s just say there are some reasons why neither Chisame nor I are exactly panicking at the moment, Sempai,” Hakase detachedly answered while Negi facepalmed.

    ---

    Negi held Haruna in his arms as they, Chisame, Satomi, Chamo, Shirou and Saber watched helplessly how, from the half flooded ruins of the old observatory, a gigantic battleship began rising. Floating up from the stank waters that had swallowed the collapsed structure, like a ghost from swashbuckling epics, the massive pirate galleon ascended, hovering above them and training two whole rows of large cannons down at the youngsters, the ermine, and the knight.

    “Heavy Firepower Animal Abuse…!” Chamo wailed hysterically.

    Haruna’s eyes shone and grew downright huge, as she balled her fists under her chin. “This is soooooo freaking cooooool!-!-!”

    Somewhere in the Throne of Heroes, Gilles de Rais sneezed.

    Standing proudly on the ship for all to see, with a coughing and soaked Matou Shinji clinging to her legs, Rider laughed thunderously, her breasts bouncing up and down in a way that mesmerized Chamo and Haruna, and made Chisame and Satomi wince in primal envy. Negi and Shirou only could stand in awe of the man-of-war itself.

    “Oh ho ho ho!” Rider boasted. “Behold, the ultimate scourge of all seven seas! You are fortunate, for you’ll be wiped by none but the Golden Hind, the pride and joy of my peerless campaigns! It’s been a damn good time, lads and lasses! I’ll thank you forever…!”

    “… so, she is…?” Chisame gulped, really wishing she hadn’t come along. “F-For some reason I’m drawing blanks, must be the terror of impending death…!”

    “Sir Francis Drake,” Negi said between grinding teeth.

    Saber smiled faintly and stepped ahead of them. “Saber, don’t you dare…” Shirou gulped as the cannons were prepared to fire, mostly zeroed in on her. There was no way they’d miss her—no, them—and as soon as they fired, they’d be blown up to dust and bits, no doubts about that. Even the best of swordsmen surely had to be powerless against something like that.

    Chisame was projecting an electric barrier around them with her heart-topped scepter, and Negi was chanting to add a magical shield of his own, but Shirou knew in his gut that wouldn’t be enough. “Saber, just run away!” he yelled at her. “Contract someone else, you still can escape…!”

    “This isn’t even the worst menace from the sea I have obliterated in a Grail War. Calm down, Shirou, Professor, girls. Have faith,” she said, lifting her invisible sword and aiming it squarely at Rider herself.

    “Tch,” Rider huffed, pointing her hand down while Shinji looked on eagerly, with manic excitement. “FIRE!”

    The cannons shook and rumbled, and then roared, drowning Saber’s words as she shouted them. Negi, wide eyed, could see the cannonballs being shot downwards, flying towards them, and he drew Chisame violently into the protective embrace he’d been sharing with Haruna, pressing them against himself, whispering an apology, just as he heard Saber’s final exclamation, somehow managing to rise over the cannons. Her blade finally grew visible in all its golden glory, with a blinding burst of light that flew upwards, vaporizing the cannonballs in its blazing wake, and zooming past them and directly into Drake and her ship.

    “EXCALIBUR!”

    Rider managed to blink yet, truly astonished of a sudden. ”Oh,” she quietly said. “What have I been doing? This is being a bad subject for the Cr—“

    And then everything around her blew up.
     
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  19. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    A preview of the next chapter.

    ---

    "Whaddya mean I'm not welcome here?!-?!" Assassin bellowed in fury, waving his hook and chain around. From the upper tower of the Fuyuki Einzbern Castle, Irisviel von Einzbern looked down in concern at her lawn, where Saber, Archer and Rider sat sharing large jars of liquor (even the pegasus unicorn, who somehow just kept hers levitating before her) and facing the raging bull of a man in black leathers. "You've gotta lotsa guts, tellin' the Main Man to frag off!"

    Gilgamesh frowned at him. "This is a Banquet of Royals, fool! What good are you here? You don't even begin making for a decent enough waiter, like the mongrel over there. Begone already! You sour the King's mood with your mere presence and stench!"

    "For once I must agree with the Archer, you are not wanted in Milady's domains," the blonde Saber said, pride and disgust tainting her noble voice with a slight sneer. "It's not just that you are crude; your vileness goes beyond your manners and extends over your whole soul."

    "WHICH soul?!" Assassin demanded. He turned to Rider, who seemed more amused than anything else, other than the comment had made on Waver, which she had scowled at. "How 'bout ya, Gladys? Yer another snob, or what?"

    Rider chuckled heartily, handing Lobo a full cup with her telekinesis, which the bounty hunter accepted with a grunt of thanks. "I've never been against partaking and partying with my subjects, and even the humblest guard can make for a pleasant partner, Assassin. However, the three of us did make an agreement this was to be, as Archer called it, a Banquet of Royals. On my honor, I also must stand by that decision, taken before your arrival here. Surely a self-proclaimed man of his word like you will understand."

    Assassin finished chugging his drink down, then threw the jar away, hitting a yipping Waver Velvet in the head. This earned him another glare from Rider. "Izzat so? You only had ta say it 'fore, Gladys! No problemo then, fer I am, also, a King!"

    Saber, Archer and Rider just stared, sour-faced at him as he said this, slamming a fist on his chest.

    "Being the King of Idiots doesn't count, mongrel," Gilgamesh told him.

    "I'm serious, Mr. Broken Record!" Assassin huffed. "Mongrel this mongrel that, get some new material already, willya? Anyways, since I'm the last an' only one of my whole species, I can give mesself any title I fraggin' want ta! So I proclaim myself Lobo the First, King of All Czarnians, that is, me! Long live the King, baby!"

    And proudly, he belched and sat down on the grass, reaching over for another jar to fill.

    Gilgamesh rolled his serpentine eyes around. "If your species is all but extinct already, perhaps there's still some justice to this universe."

    "You said it, Goldie!" Assassin guffawed, eyeing the wary Saber lasciviously. "Mind, I've thought of restarting th' race every now an' then, an' I'm in a good mind ta breed right now, but truth be told, we're all much much better without those geeks!"

    "Hm?" Rider raised a thin and elegant eyebrow. "You don't seem the least sorrowful about the loss of your people."

    "Frag no! An' I wouldn't call 'em 'people' or 'mine'! Buncha no-goodnik peacenik clowns, they're all much better off dead if y'ask me!"

    "So, who disposed of them?" Saber asked, feeling like she knew the answer already, and greatly dreading that she wouldn't like the confirmation in the slightest.

    "Me, of course!" Assassin grinned, and Saber's face sank in contempt at this completely expected answer. "Rubbed 'em all off so I could be King of the World, babe! After all, wit' me around, what need is there for any more Czarnians?"

    Archer shrugged, taking his next drink. "I'll agree that, if they spawned you and allowed you to wipe them out, then they deserved it."

    Before Lobo could nod enthusiastically, however, and shocking everyone present, Rider stood up violently, dropping her latest jar in outrage. "Confound you, you… fiend!" she roared at Lobo. "I thought of you as a just an uncouth eccentric with an enthusiasm for combat and conquest, but… but this! Only an aimless lunatic would annihilate his whole own species!"

    "Well, duh," Assassin calmly said. "Thanks fer the nice words, Gladys, but what gives? Don't tell ya made it into office by bein' a choir girl yerself! Ya musta killed an' pillaged all across yer fairytale mudball with a happy smile on dat ugly horse mouth!"

    "Goodness, I'd never-! But even the warlords of my world would only attack foreigners, other nations! That's what warmongering, wrong as it is, is all about! Not about massacring those who would be your own followers, your… friends! For, what good is a sovereign without subjects? I will teach you the true meaning of kingship, you… pretender!"

    She lifted a long white leg and its hoof, shouting, "Come forth, my magical domains of wonder! In the name of the friendship we all have shared! Listen to my voice! Equestria: Magical Land of Harmony!-!-!"

    Lobo grinned as the whole castle and its grounds were swallowed by a sudden, racing hurricane wind, magically planting the most beautiful flowers and trees one could imagine in all directions, as far as eyes could reach. And he slobbered madly while pulling two obscenely huge butcher knives out, facing the hundreds of racing horses and unicorns, several of them wearing battle armor, and incredibly fast moving flying pegasi zooming for him, appearing everywhere around them.

    Rider had just been flanked by six smaller colorful mares, staring down at him in stern judgment.

    "Ohhh, yeahhh!" Assassin smacked his lips together. "Massive cruelty against animals, comin' up! Now THIS is a damn party!"
     
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  20. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    Matou Zouken leered demonically, lurching over one of the quivering, bound children Caster had trapped in her workshop. "Now be quiet," he told the little boy, holding a large, writhing millipede between his bony fingers and mere inches away from the child's tear stricken face. "I think I've found a way to make Caster's transformation procedure even more efficient, but I need a few test subjects first. Oh, she'll be so impressed, and rather jealous too, when she—"

    The wall behind him exploded then, sending the ancient wretch slamming against the floor, where he rolled back onto his behind, reaching over for his cane. "What the devil?!-?!"

    The hulking white man he'd seen attacking Tohsaka's Archer, the Assassin, stomped into the workshop under Matou Manor, holding Caster by the throat. His clothes were singed and part off his hair still in the same green fire coming from the dark fairy's hands, but he seemed not to care as he tossed the heavily battered female Servant aside.

    Assassin pulled a Cuban cigar out of his pants and lit it on his own smoking black mane. "An' what do we have here, hmmm? Man, no wonder they wanted me ta find ya guys! Ya filthy pedos musta taken half the brats in dis stinkin' town inta dis kindergarten o' yers!"

    "Ah, the other brute," Zouken seethed, pulling himself up. "Actually, I'd been waiting for a chance to meet you. I've seen what you are able of, and also that you hardly have any moral scruples, so why not to join us?"

    "Sorry, Baldy, but no way Jose. I wuz told ta find an' rub ya off, an' the Main Man never goes back on an assignem—assiggymen—a job!"

    "But just think!" Zouken insisted, while Caster dusted herself off indignantly and waited to see how the negotiations turned out. "My intellect, Caster's craft, and your raw power… we would be unstoppable!"

    "I don't need ya ta be unstoppable, Buggy! Find yerself a better angle!"

    Zouken snarled venomously, slamming his cane down. "Be honest, now! Do you really like obeying the Master pulling your chain as if you were a mad dog?!"

    "Hell, of course not! But a job's a job, no matter how much of a pansy the Boss is! Basic working ethics, Wrinkles! I wuz told ta frag ya, an' that's what I'm gonna do, period!"

    "Fool!" the old man wagged the cane at him. "Who's your Master, and what do they care about these stupid children? Don't tell me you do, either! So what if we're growing slightly more noticeable than usual? That won't matter at all once we've reached Akasha!"

    Assassin shoved him back. "Don't get mouthy wit' me, Adult Diapers! First, whoever my Master is, dat's no fraggin' biz of yers! Second, I don't care one iota if ya Harry Potters wanna play in secret or not, but th' almighty dollar sez, if I wuz paid ta rub troublemakers like you off, then damn if that's not right what I do! An' third! 'Course I'm no bleedin' kid-mindin' heart! Feetal's Gizz, I took out all brats in my planet along wit' everyone else! But, this!"

    He pulled a gun out and shot one of the gagged, chained children in the middle of being torturously transformed into more of Caster's imp soldiers. "Only a spineless coward turns twerps inta goons ta fight fer 'em instead of fightin' their battles themselves! Now dat, Clyde, does sicken me! Cowardice! Ya can't even face th' music without tryin' ta sweet talk me like I'm your stupid dancin' monkey!"

    Zouken bristled furiously. "Do you want me to fight you personally, Assassin?! Fine with me! I killed Jack the Ripper with my own two hands, an ox like you will be nothing in comparison!"

    A gigantic swarm of twisted, bulbous insects appeared buzzing all around him, and with a wave of his hand, he sicced them on Assassin, the monstrous bugs chomping and gnawing madly at his flesh, all over his body.

    "Flies an' bumblebees, f'r real?!" Assassin laughed, shaking and swatting the carnivorous fliers off himself. He reached over to flicker Zouken's forehead with a middle finger and knocked him out. "Ya big baby! Yer lucky ladies go first, so sit back 'n wait 'til I've danced wit' the babe…"

    Grinning cruelly, he turned around to face Caster. "Yo, Sweetums! Th' Man's gonna give ya a big goodbye kiss! With tongue, even!" he laughed, taking the rusty hook in his hand.

    Caster glared in extreme anger at him and chanted ominously, shrouding herself with flames.

    "Now shall you deal with me, O Assassin, and all the powers of Hell!"

    "See, now dat's what I'm talkin' 'bout!" Lobo approved, seeing Caster transform herself into a gigantic black dragon, with horns and wings, all but bursting out of the workshop, crushing its unfortunate captives under dropping debris. "You're even on all fours fer me already! Gonna tell ya right now, I've slept wit' uglier chicks before, dis ain't gonna discourage me…"

    She roared a titanic pillar of fire on him.
     
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  21. wellis

    wellis Experienced.

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    Is Assassin Grim from Billy & Mandy? His voice/accent makes me think that.
     
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  22. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    Not even close.

    ---

    Assassin stood before the burning Matou Manor, still mostly on fire himself, and with his hands stuck in what remained of his pockets. "Stupid broad couldn't recognize a good man when she saw one..." he was grumbling to himself. "I thought it coulda worked too..."

    Matou Kariya staggered towards him, gasping agonically. He could feel the painful tugs of Berserker's prana on him as his Servant took on Saber half a city away, but as soon as he'd gotten news of the fire, he'd left all of that behind and rushed here desperately. He pulled on the Servant's jacket as best as he could, pleading at him.

    "Oh my God! Sakura-chan! Sakura-chan's still in there! You've got to save her...!"

    After a few tugs, Assassin finally noticed him and swatted his hands off. "Hey, don't get so touchy, Clyde! Who knows what kinda sickness do ya have, what if it's contagious?! Some folks just don't have any civic whatchacallit!"

    "My Sakura!" Kariya begged. "Go in there and save her, please! She's only an innocent victim in all of this!"

    "So are all th' other brats trapped there, what do ya want me ta do, ta be some sorta elitist, an' give 'er a special treatment?" Assassin grouched. "Just wait fer the firemen an' their adorable dalmatian mutts! Seriously, Ugly, way ta bother a dude who's been having a bad day awready..."

    "I'll pay you!" Kariya cried.

    Lobo's red eyes went very round, there was a tiny 'Ka-chink!' sound coming out of his head, and his face spun around so he could smile very wide and hypocritically at Kariya.

    "Why, of course, I'll be glad ta help ya, Sir! After all, a good workin' citizen like me would do anythin' fer a worried dad or whatever's child...!"
    "Oh, thank you, thank you...!"

    "How much do you have in there?" Lobo curtly asked, smile lost just as soon.

    Kariya blinked, madly looked into his pockets, and pulled out some scarce spare change and a few mint candies.

    Assassin took them off his hands, gruffly counted the coins, and shrugged, pocketing the change and downing a mint. "Eh. Fer a quick grab 'n bring job, this' a fair cop!"

    "T-Thanks..." Kariya gulped, seeing him walk back into the inferno and soon walk out with a small bundle wrapped into a blanket. "Sakura! Sakura!" Kariya sobbed, running to them... and then doing a double take as he saw his nephew Shinji peeking out the bundle and blinking back at him. "Weren't you studying away?!"

    "I'm as surprised as you," Shinji confessed.

    "This... This isn't Sakura-chan, you huge moron!" Kariya screamed at Assassin. "This isn't what I paid you for! In the worm pit! She's the one in the worm pit of the basement!"

    "Sheesh!" Lobo said. "Okay, man! Sorry! Who can blame me, all your stupid lil' human girls look the same ta me!" He carelessly threw the shrieking Shinji aside on the sidewalk and stomped back in.

    Another moment later, he walked back out, now holding a very quiet and staring-into-the-distance Sakura, with a small twirl of her hair on fire, in his arms. "This better be her, and not one of th' others I had ta step on in my way there an' back!"

    "Sakura-chan! Sakura-chan...!" Kariya wailed, taking her in his embrace and hugging her tightly.

    Sakura just kept on staring into the horizon. "I wish for the destruction of the whole of mankind," she softly said to no one in particular.

    "Aw, ain't she cute!" Assassin smiled. "Now I see what do ya like in her...!"




    Kariya quickly left the city with Sakura (and Shinji, if anyone cares) leaving the carnage of the Grail War behind right in time. With Zouken dead and Berserker being soon killed off, he still managed to survive a shocking ten years more after that, somehow, even if they were spent in the terrible physical pain of insects constantly swarming under your flesh and eating you alive.

    Sakura became a world renowned fashion model and bagged some redhaired guy as her boytoy husband. She didn't get to destroy the worlf but became good friends with the Kardashians, which is almost just as bad.

    Shinji achieved nothing remarkable whatsoever during the rest of his life.
     
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  23. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    Preview of Drake's chapter.

    ---




    The woman was beautiful, at the very least. No, she was downright gorgeous, and Shinji had to admit it. Despite the large scar crossing her face, her curvaceous figure was perfectly flattered by her tight pants, tall boots, and the chest hugging shirt she wore under her half buttoned jacket, generously showing her abundant cleavage off. Her striking hot pink hair and full lips only made her even more attractive.

    "Servant Rider, at your service," she introduced herself, flashing a confident smile and flippantly gesturing at the stunned young man, who felt briefly flutter and his pants tighten. "I hope we can get along for a productive partnership."

    The twisted, small creature on the floor by Shinji's side rasped loudly, and the wavy-haired boy forced himself to straighten up, addressing the woman with his best pompous gesture. "Ahem! Servant! I'm your Master, Matou Shinji, heir to the greatest of all three Founding Families!" He flexed his right fist, showing off the red marks on its back. "These are the symbols of my authority over you! I-!"

    "Yes, yes, I already got the induction course, boy," the Servant said, already losing her initial apparent respect for him. She eyed the small, bulbous worm half-erect by Shinji's foot. "And what of this pet of yours? I take it you mages call it your familiars, right? I can feel something about it already…"

    "You… You will address my grandfather with the due respect!" Shinji said, desperately trying to save face. "And me too, of course!"

    Rider chuckled. "Grandfather, huh? Yes, yes, I can see the family resemblance…"

    The worm crawled ahead towards Rider, across the floor of the dark and moist basement where they stood. A cracked, evil sounding voice rose from it. "I am Matou Zouken, and I will not be insulted, Servant. Feeble I may look, but even in this body, I am known and feared as Mister Mind, lord and master of the Seven Enemies of Mankind! Cross me at your own peril…"

    "I live for the peril, dear sir," Rider grinned wickedly, not in the least disturbed or shocked about being commanded by a sinister phallic worm. "I take it from your words, then, you've seen much better times before, huh?"

    The worm produced a sneering noise. "I once was human indeed, if that's what you mean. I lost my body because of the damnable Konoe family, the landlords of this area, and you are to help us gain revenge on them."

    "For a price," Rider huffed, folding her arms under her sizable bust.

    "What… What do you mean with 'a price'?!" Shinji cried out in outrage. "You're a Servant and I've got the Command Seals, you've got to obey me, I mean us, no matter what! Are you dumb or what, can't you see that-!"

    The woman shot him a terrifying glare that made Shinji pull back with a start. "Let's not take that tone with each other!" she warned. "We're Servants, not Slaves! At least, not me, never! Everything we do, we do it for a fair reward, just like everyone else, Seaweed! You'd better remember that…"

    "Forgive my foolish last of kin," the worm grumbled, moving the pincers of its mouth back and forth almost mechanically. "You will be, of course, repaid for your services with a wish from the Holy Grail. All I need or want is access to Akasha, the Root to all knowledge. The child and you can freely share the fringe benefits."

    "I'm no child…!" Shinji pouted.

    "You and your stupid father let the Matou legacy decay to near nothing in my absence!" the worm scolded him. "While I battled Shazam himself and his champion, the World's Mightiest Mortal, for control over the Fawcett leylines, you forgot everything about magic until I came back to you! Thanks to you, we lost all our relics but the catalyst for this Rider!"

    Rider scowled. "Good thing for you, then, you kept the most valuable relic of all. Make no mistake, lowlives; my legend may be recent, but I'm as powerful as any old-timer… no offense intended," she smiled acidly at the slimy creature. The one with no hair, that is.

    She pulled an old revolver out and held it up, making a dastardly shark grin. "I'm the greatest sea wolf who ever lived! There's no treasure that I can't obtain… and grails are no exception, my scurvy dogs!"

    "What a pirate cliche thing to say," Shinji complained.

    "Hey, if I'm not going to stick to the role, what's the point of it at all?!"
     
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  24. wellis

    wellis Experienced.

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    This is just cracking me up. :D
    Especially the "bagged some redhaired guy as her boytoy husband" and the "she didn't get to destroy the world but became good friends with the Kardashians, which is almost just as bad." :D
    Well hopefully Shirou or whoever is living happily with Sakura there? Even if having to deal with the Kardashians?

    Also I'm laughing at the current update and how Zouken is literally a worm now. :D

    Is Sakura around as well?
     
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  25. Threadmarks: Overflowing, Part One
    OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    Ten Years Ago:

    "Saber," Emiya Kiritsugu said at last, unclenching his teeth but still holding his unconscious wife in his arms just as dearly as before. "Destroy the Grail!"

    The small, battered blonde woman in the long blue dress still hesitated, even as she watched the writhing mass of oozing black tendrils urging upwards from the ruins of the temple. In the middle of it all, another petite female figure spasmed in the throes of a monstrous transformation, arms growing longer, hands turning into sharp twisted claws.

    The sky stretching over the burning city was redder than ever, and it was Hell on Earth as far as the human eye went.

    "But…" the Saber faintly said, her green eyes fixed on the column of darkness surging from the ruptured, overflowing mockery of a cup, now more like a torn large cocoon vomiting its curses upon the world. "My wish…"

    Kiritsugu, cursing inwardly, tightened his wife against his chest with an arm, as he balled his other bleeding hand into a fist. The last crimson mark on the hand's back glowed. "Destroy the Grail, Saber!" he shouted, and the blonde's form instantly jerked upwards, her hands squeezing around the ornate handle of her golden sword.

    "No..." she hissed, trying to resist, sweat pouring down her forehead. But she could not help herself. Stiffly, she aimed the weapon up, at the shrieking storm of flying evils, and realizing what had to be done, she exhaled sadly, surrendering herself to her duty.

    "Excalibur," she said, with the last shreds of vigor remaining in her.

    "No. No!" the even smaller blonde caught in the black mud said, reaching over with a hand towards her, but it was far too late for that. For the energy blew from the blade, in a single, massive projectile of holy light, rippling across the air and then piercing her through, across the chest, exploding a large hole into her delicate torso. Sajyou Manaka screamed horribly, shaking as that hole began collapsing onto itself, swallowing the blackness that surrounded her. Hungrily devouring it all the way from the bottom. "No! NO! NOOOO! Y-You can't do this to me!-!-!"

    Saber closed her eyes and breathed out, letting herself go as her world burned around her, a second time around.

    "I'm sorry," she whispered while vanishing in the heat, like so much faint vapor, or a dream when you wake up.




    That was the last time Emiya Kiritsugu ever saw his Servant, and he only hoped she had returned to the Throne of Heroes with a clear mind and conscience. For all the differences between the two, he'd tried to give his family the kind of life Saber would have wanted for them since that fateful day.

    He'd snatched Illyasviel from Castle Einzbern with Konoe Eishun's help, in a bizarre assault involving Acht riding some sort of Berser-Car and putting them through insane minigames. Even after having lived there for years, Kiritsugu had no honest idea the Castle ever had that kind of defenses. Afterwards, regardless, the three of them- Kiritsugu, Iri and Illya- had relocated to Academy City along with the boy Kiritsugu had rescued from the Fuyuki fires, soon after the city's destruction. Nowadays he was repaying his debts to the Konoe clan by running errands for them, of a lower profile than those he used to carry through back in the day, but still filling the niche of Black Ops Takamichi was morally unwilling to tackle.

    In exchange, the Kanto Association kept him and his loved ones safe from Clock Tower and the Einzberns. It was a good life, all in all. Even if he barely could spend much time with them anymore.

    "Kiri..." his wife sighed through the phone line as soon as he picked her current long distance call up. Yet another long distance.

    He smiled for her, even though he knew she couldn't see it. Lighting a cigarette up, he took a first puff from it while standing over the mangled, bullet ridden bodies of the half human monstrosities littering the floors of the miserable cabin in the arid mountains. "Sorry for taking so long, just finished right now," he told her. "How are the kids doing?"

    "Are you smoking, Kiri?" she gently asked him instead of answering his question outright.

    "Of course not," he affably lied, putting the cigarette aside. "I hope to be home before month's end, probably even before the Festival. Tell Illya and Shirou I miss them."

    "Will do!" her silky voice promised, even as he began pouring the can of gasoline all over the corpses. "I think Shirou-kun's falling in love too, with one of the Tohsaka girls, can you believe it? You wouldn't have a problem with that, would you?"

    He shook his head, now standing by the front door and throwing the lit cigarette on the drenched bodies. "You know I have no interest on continuing yesterday's grudges, Iri-chan. I'd just rather let them burn out."

    Heh, he thought as he quietly watched the cabin burn, standing on the rocky hillside. He'd just made a funny.

    Then he felt the back of his left hand burn, and he winced, believing he had been careless and hurt himself. When he looked at it, however, he only paused and paled, looking at the familiar red marks flaring back to life onto his flesh.

    "Huh," he muttered to himself. "Looks like the joke's on me after all..."




    "Aaaahhh, now this is more like it!" sighed Illyasviel von Einzbern-Emiya, sinking to her milky white collarbone into the warm water of her bath tub, two whole continents and a sea away. The little naked albino closed her eyes and relaxed, going over the day's events in her mind. "I wonder what was with that weird girl today…?"

    "Oh?" came her brother's voice from the kitchen, where he was cooking dinner. "What was that, Illya-chan?"

    "Ah, that's right, I hadn't told you yet, Onii-chan," the silver-haired girl recalled. "You'll see, as I was coming home earlier…"
     
  26. wellis

    wellis Experienced.

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    "Weird girl?" Who is our Illya equivalent with Illya now being in FSN Shirou's position in a way~?
     
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  27. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    "Okay, this is the last time I play poker with Suzuka and the girls," Illya decided, talking to herself as she walked back home much later than usual, awkwardly wearing another girl's school uniform instead of her own. "I'll never hear the end of this from Sayoko..."

    Then someone appeared standing on her way, at the middle of one of several boulevards leading to Mahora Academy's residential area. It was, Illya could see under the pale light of a full moon, a girl around her own age and build, wearing a thick, long purple coat, boots, gloves, and fur hat. Mahora was no stranger to weirdos and cosplayers of all sorts, so the odd get-up on its own didn't surprise Illya, but there was something else to this stranger as she marched on to face her.

    "Good evening, Illyasviel von Einzbern," said the girl who was identical to her, other than the attire choices, the pinkish pale long hair, and the chocolate-tanned skin. "I've long waited to meet you in the flesh."
    Illya blinked. "... okay?"

    The stranger smiled haughtily, briefly closing her golden eyes. "My name is Chloe von-"

    "Sorry, did you just say 'Kuro'?!" Illya interrupted her incredulously. "Did they really name you 'Black' just because you were born, well...? Wasn't that a bit racist from them?!"

    "Racist, do you mean-" the girl paused, before her temper flared up of a sudden. "NO! It's Chloe, not Kuro! Argh! You've spent so long here you even talk like an Oriental, unable to pronounce properly...!"

    "Excuse me, should I recognize you from anywhere?" Illya frowned. "Are you some kind of fangirl, or Suzuka-chan won a bet and asked you to prank me, or what?"

    Kuro just pointed a finger at her. "Prepare yourself for my vengeance!"

    "Eh? Vengeance over what?!"

    The girl chuckled evilly, turning around and beginning to walk into ther night. "Fu fu fu. Soon you and your family will fall before us! Spend your last days in despair, Illyasviel! Mwa ha ha ha ha ha...!"

    And she just disappeared into the darkness.

    After a moment, Illya called out after her. "Seriously?! Couldn't Suzuka-chan think of anything better, Kuro-san?!"
     
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  28. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    Unequally.

    ----

    My Friend.

    I used to think Rito-san didn't like me. That he tolerated me, at best. While he's very docile around girls, he can be sort of pushy against fellow males, and I always thought he kept me at longer arm's reach than anyone else.

    Then there was that day, in Mundus Magicus, while we travelled to Rakan-sensei's home.

    The Heartless flocked all around the party, then rushed directly towards them. As usual, even Negi's spells proved being of little use blasting at them, merely stalling them a short while before they kept on advancing. Yue and Collet's spells proved being even less efficient. Lena's shadow magecraft, they just happily consumed it on their way. Megumin was completely useless, as they were zeroing in far too fast for her to cast Explosion on them. Louise was Louise, and at that point that was just being The Zero.

    Asuna's sword, ever the hax, could and did push them back and even blow them apart, but there was only one of it, and only one of her. And she was busy protecting Yue and Louise right now. And so this one creature reached Negi, and clawed directly at him, and even with his augmented trained reflexes, he couldn't move out of its way fast enough...

    ... until the one other thing that could vanquish one of these little fiends obliterated it, and then another, and the next.

    And when he and Asuna were done with the little buggers, he huffed and puffed, breathed out, and asked Negi, "Hey. Are you okay?"

    Negi only could nod. "Thank you, Yuuki-san. I--"

    He snorted out a side of his mouth, looking away. "... eh. Don't mention it. Haruna-chan would be sad if something happened to you."

    Of course. That was to be expected. But--

    "And I guess..." the Keyblade wielder mumbled after a moment of doubt, "so would I."

    It was then that I realized that, after all, I was his friend.
     
  29. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    Leonidas and Mephistopheles.

    “When you think about it,” the Caster asked the Lancer, “aren’t we all ghosts anyway?”

    Breaking a fellow Servant down had never been this easy before.
     
  30. OverMaster

    OverMaster Versed in the lewd.

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    Foreigners.

    “So,” Anya asked coldly, “what are they like in the day to day, past first impressions, then?”

    Negi shrugged. “Well, if I’ve learned anything about the Japanese, it’s that they are an uncomfortable mixture of social and emotional repression and weird unnatural kinks. Kind of like us if we’d never outgrown Victorian times. So it is kind of testing, at times, but I carry on. They’re basically good people all the same.”

    “I knew it,” Anya’s tone turned downright icy.

    “Please take it easy,” Negi requested. “I’m an English gentleman, after all, I’d never dream of taking advantage of it. I’ve had to be careful to pretend being much more biologically ignorant than I am, and sometimes it’s difficult to balance that with the intellectual status my role demands me to show, but…”

    Anya pinched her nose and shook her head. “You’re so bloody casual about all of this. You really like these deviants, don’t you? I’ll bet you take pleasure on playing dumb around them just so you can keep getting good eyefuls whenever they get naked…”

    “Please don’t say that!” a flustered Negi begged. “Look, I’ll honor my promise no matter what! You’ll be my first as soon as I’m old enough as to do it!”

    Chisame, sitting across the table, stared angrily at them while they spoke to each other. “Okay, don’t you think you’re being just rude by now, talking in English right before me like that? I bet you’ll drop it again as soon as Hakase gets home, too!”

    Matoi quietly appeared behind her, flipping through an English Learning guidebook. "Please be patient, I’ll be able to translate soon enough, Chisame-sama. Damn verbs keep slipping away from me…”
     
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