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Tale of Two Kings (FSN Medieval SI)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by JBukharin, Feb 23, 2020.

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  1. Erandor

    Erandor Getting some practice in, huh?

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    Jumping all the way to a grant is a bit much. For each of them you could easily produce dozens of flintlocks or cap locks (I blame the magus for the fact that you have both spring steel and percussion caps) add in paper cartridges with the miné ball and you have civil war era weapons. Also if you still want specialised rifles for marksman you could produce a small number of breach loaders like the sharps rifle.

    Personally I would have spammed out matchlock arquebuses, attached bayonets and made a half decent impression of napoleonic tactics.

    Apologies for this rant I’ve just spent far to much time thinking on proper use of historic guns in medieval fantasy scenarios. I’m enjoying the story anyway so continue as you are.
     
  2. Threadmarks: Chapter 6: Restoring the Kingdom (2)
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 6: Restoring the Kingdom (2)


    Two more days passed, and the situation at the castle proved to be somewhat stable despite several bumps I had to deal with.


    Despite my initial intent of making sure that the army under my command would have been able to muster up ten rifles to have some advantage with what I had planned with the military, I ended up realizing that five was the best that could be produced with what was available to the city’s blacksmiths.


    With the lack of modern tools to properly optimize the mining operations of the region, the quantity available had already been depleted in the creation of standard weaponry like swords, daggers and even shields.


    It was an annoying development that crushed the little expectation I had hoped to accomplish in a limited amount of time.


    Every advantage was a must for the sake of properly conquer the rest of the isles, but perhaps I was aiming a little too high with my current disposition.


    Despite my royal title, my kingship was still limited to the regional area of Modern London, and the full control of this very section of England was just stable enough to allow proper trading and diplomatic actions.


    With the first activities of the newly-formed ‘Londinium Police Regiment’ ending up sweeping numerous nests of bandits in these last few days, the means for people to finally travel around without having to worry for any attack increased the amount of trips between Londinium proper and the other villages around.


    Some diplomatic envoys from some of the nobles ruling part of the settlements finally arrived, requesting audience for the sake of formalizing the legal submission to my code of rules.


    It was nothing legitimate or binding to any of those morons, but it would at least reduce the inward warring between them. At least until I was capable of properly reigning them him without risking some ugly rebellion.


    The farmers that were finally free to return to work back to their farms decided to gradually implement my advices as I had mentioned moderation for the sake of avoiding any issues with the current state of the land.


    I wasn’t going to get hasty because of the recent successes, but I was also annoyed at the fact that the results would take much more than a couple of days to see some improvements… or not.


    On a more positive note, I was more than happy to hear that Mya safely recovered from her fever without any complications.


    I decided to not inquire too deeply about the medical assistance provided, knowing pretty well that while Altuos had provided some presence in keeping watch over the young woman, the majority of the work was all done by the healers that were sent to help her out once I was done with that interaction.


    I had visited a couple more of times, entertaining the harmless lady with some more tales, straying a little to include some that had yet to be conceived, but always sticking by the more easygoing ones.


    The talks were pleasant, and I was glad that none of the gloomy subjects that had seen me actually pale at the situations she had to have gone through with her life were actually brought up in those conversations.


    She was happier, I could see the white-haired girl actually sounding like she was genuinely enjoying the company and the discussions… but still reluctant to give out more information about her own past.


    I decided that there was no fret, after all the paperwork was doing its best to put me in a state of constant irritation over the little issues arising within the castle.


    With the lack of a constant danger threatening their livelihood, I had to deal with flimsy problems that were starting to emerge just now and I was once more reminded that I was dealing with pre-feudal society.


    The king was considered a messenger of God, someone that had been entrusted by the Christian Deity (or the Celtic ones) to lead them towards a shiny future.


    My actions had confirmed this mentality, especially with the Church praising restlessly my successes as the undeniable evidence of the Lord commanding His will against the infidels.


    It was good PR to gain more people to joining the military or the growing productive classes within the city, but I was slowly realizing that this situation could easily become a double-edged weapon without proper attention from my part.


    Felicianus might sound to mean well with his speeches towards me, but it would take just an unflattering mistake that I might end up committing that I could see this praise become a dangerous insult to face right now.


    Excommunication was still not a thing that the Church had ‘developed’ and I was pretty sure that the Pope would care little about what is going on here with the British Isles now that he was dealing with Odoacer taking over Italy.


    But I wasn’t certainly going to ignore the magnitude religion still had in this period, even though Christianity was hardly believed into by a large majority of Britain’s population.


    Taking under considerations any possible variables of internal instability, I moved quickly to continue the preparations for the expeditionary forces I was ready to lead right into the undefended coastal region under barbarians’ control.


    The general plan was simple as it was based more on a primitive version of Sherman’s March to the Sea, with it developing from the destruction of Barbarian settlements along the way, and the destruction of the large fleet that had led the horde within the Isles.


    I had thought about going as far as burning the fertile fields along the way, but I was rebuked by two substantial detail I was keen to not make mistakes about.


    First thing first, was the impact it would have had in public opinion as many citizens were well-aware that there was a distinct conduct of warfare that just couldn’t see the utility of destroying resources that would need to be conquered.


    While soldiers could see the importance of shattering any food the massive armies of barbarians could get their hands on, the rest was blissfully unwilling to even consider doing anything about it.


    And that is until I ignored the fact that the fields themselves weren’t what truly sustained the bulk of their raiders, but something that offered opportunity to settle properly in the territory.


    Most of the supplies came through the fleet that continuously moved in the North Sea to take these from the tribes that had stayed behind in Northern Germany.


    With the standing army that was formed by those men that had decided to remain after the first skirmish had gone through five days of intense drilling under Marcus’ strict watch, I was ready to take a large part of it to march directly into the ports that were currently being used by the barbarians to set those on fire.


    I had completely healed from my own injuries, and I felt certain that my current fighting capacity was good enough to keep up with the duress of the campaign before me…


    And yet I was forced to take a couple of step backs at Marcus’ and Altuos’ insistence.


    The leader of the Magus Guild mentioned how there was no one that could have kept things stable if I had departed so suddenly, while the commander pointed out a strange anecdote that he had once heard from some Latin scholar.


    When Rome is under threat, the Emperor is meant to stay there and defend it personally, no matter how pressing other issues might be.


    In layman’s terms, I was going to be sticking around Londinium for the time being until the city itself was safe from any inner or outward threat to it… thus leaving the task of marching to break the back of our enemies right to the second-best choice as military leader.


    Marcus was… annoyed by this development much to my legitimate surprise.


    Strangely enough, he had been sounding quite skeptical about attacking the still-dangerous group of invaders right by their lair, mentioning how there could have been some traps lurking on the path and that there was more than a good reason to be concerned over garrisons set by the settlements that were meant to be targeted.


    His uneasiness lessened when I mentioned that it wouldn’t have been a swift strike, but rather an orderly and careful advance that was going to be supplanted by a couple of Magi that were meant to work both as supports to the fight and a mean to keep in contact with Londinium.


    Two enchanted book that were capable of showing the messages written on the pages of each other. It was something innovative for warfare, but also quite limiting as it didn’t offer proper visuals and the books could be stolen by some thieves or even by the enemy themselves.


    And both predicaments were not something I wished to entertain about even by just thinking of those and… I was quick to provide some extra details over the contingencies to the commander, sure that some obstacles along the way were meant to be there to delay their efforts.


    With a quick greeting by the main gates of the city, I made sure to follow the punitive group by the entrance of the city, waiting there and looking as the marching soldiers walked with moderation towards the thick forest in front of them.


    Marcus had sounded convinced just a couple of hours before leaving the city, and yet I couldn’t help but feel uneasy at the fact I would have just a limited insight over what the army was going to be doing without my personal presence there.


    I was by no mean trying to undermine his leadership… but I wasn’t going to deny the fact that the mission was going to be a risky one where lives would have to be sacrificed for its success.


    Sure, the advance was as cautious as it best worked with the situation, but there was nothing that protected the group from an unexpected army having ditched the need of fortifying the northern border against the Lothians.


    With a blank expression on my face and my next step from there being to return to Altuos, I was quick to make my way to where the elder had his personal office.


    The walk was quiet and uneventful, ending with me reaching to knock at the closed room that led to where the old man was possibly dealing with his own share of paperwork.


    Once I was granted permission to enter, I resumed my studies under the proper guidance of the experienced Magus.


    The lesson diverged from the standard theory, and moved right to a piece of history I was particularly ‘unaware’ about.


    Altuos had already mentioned that there was some truth within the words about deities from antiquity, but the Gods weren’t just some humanoid with divine powers… they were beings that transcended humanity in terms of magical prowess.


    Actively interested in manipulating human lives, their existence was something of a unique treat compared to more mortal existences.


    The real surprise? Their divinity wasn’t as elevated as those were mentioned in old texts, nor they were as infinite as they appeared to be.


    Divine Spirit, that was the correct the denomination for the various beings that was denominated as ‘God’ in both Hellenic and Latin Mythologies.


    Creatures that were powerful but also weakened by the passing of time, the decline of the time period where magic was a common thing in people’s lives.


    The Age of Gods.


    There were surprising events that accelerated the passing of this era, the best-known ones being the death of King Solomon and the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.


    The beginning of a revival of magic, now turned so unique and rare that just a couple of individuals are prepared to make use of what is left of it.


    The Magicians, those capable of using the kinds of Magic that are still usable in this new world order.


    Gaia, the will of the planet, represents the ultimate watcher of any dangerous threat against Earth itself, sometimes finding humans responsible for these atrocities, and Alaya, the will of mankind.


    This last detail drew me to a confused frown and I inquired over what true purpose Alaya actually had towards humanity as a whole.


    The answer was… odd. There wasn’t truly one to give at that question of mine, yet Altuos admitted that the Will of Mankind was something that worked to make sure that no threat ‘outside humanity itself’ could inflict any damages to the mankind as a whole.


    There were exceptions were certain men and women were killed early on for the impact they would cause with their mere presence to the rest of mankind, but those were rare cases that couldn’t optimally shape the true nature of Alaya’s intervention within the world.


    The lesson then moved to something I had completely ignored about… and that was dreadfully important about magecraft as a whole.


    The dangers of revealing the mystery of Magecraft.


    While the Age of Gods has concluded, this new one still was in steady decline towards the final moments of magic as a whole concept.


    Magic existed through the declining passage that connected the world to the Swirl of the Root.


    A place beyond material existence, beyond the metaphysical and deep within what I’ve decided to define as the ‘Eternally Absolute Plane’.


    An abstract domain that was correlated to everything in the world, while somehow also keeping detached by some true attachment to the planet.


    Time, memories, existential opportunities, ideals, dreams, Heavens, and Magic.


    The more I listened to the elder’s words, the more I was being reminded of a term I had studied back in High School.


    Hyperuranion. The Perfect Realm of Forms, the Platonic Realm, the place where every ideas was connected to the objects they represented.


    The Heavenly plane where true divinity is kept from the world, where the individuality is conceptualized to all sentient beings.


    Writing down some notes that would require some extra pondering over the matter, I was eventually told what truly made the current position of the Magus Guild a complicated one especially now that I was starting to make use so publicly of magecraft-created objects.


    The magical degradation was connected to the awareness of the world as a whole of the true origins of Magic itself, the Root.


    Up until now, the only reason why the decline of the supernatural power had been so slow and not-so worrying was connected to the fact nobody had ever inquire about the true reasons creating the process itself.


    Only Magi were aware of the beginning of the process, from where the magical spell was materialized and conceptualized, thus keeping the ‘Mystery of the Root’ going even now that I putting so much pressure on them.


    It was something that left me in a mix of embarrassment and mortification, even pushing me to apologize to the old man despite the lack of annoyance over the matter, but I was quick to take under consideration this matter once I was done with the lesson.


    Some proper regulations were hopefully going to to be the best solution possible to this awkward flaw that I had to cover about without having to explain much to people.


    To think that there is actually an even greater limitation about magecraft, I was left with an annoyed mood despite the pleasant tune of the discussion born from that topic.


    And with that lesson concluded with the elder, I eventually decided to return to my office, ready to headbutt against the paperwork once more as to deal with this new development that required my utmost attention now more than ever.


    Yet, with my full attention diverted to make some preventive ordinances to answer to this dangerous predicament, I found myself dealing with far more than I had expected to as I would soon realize by the time I was well engrossed by the writing that someone had come to visit from afar to seek a private meeting with me.


    Someone that I hadn’t expected would have come to my court of all places...


    -----------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d----------


    My silent duty of signing and writing the reports required to limit the means for the people in the castle to discover the Mystery of the Root was one that went smoothly for about a full hour.


    I was delving deep with the big law I was formulating to make sure that there was no opening left about the troublesome discovery when I heard someone knocking at the door.


    At first I was confused, fairly sure that Altuos had mentioned that he would have been busy with some duties as guild-master and with Marcus being away from Londinium I was sure it wasn’t him.


    Yet, despite my surprise at this unexpected event, I decided to allow whoever was on the other side of the door to enter.


    At the end of my verbal response, the door opened as a tall man with dark-purple armor entered inside.


    He looked fairly young, his plum-colored hair kept short and his face shaven of any beard. His violet eyes were lost to the spacious room for a couple of moments before he finally fixed his stare right onto my figure, his body tensing up in a state of brief embarrassment.


    Soon he moved, kneeling down before me much to my following surprise and discomfort at the thought of how much cumbersome that action had to have been to accomplish with the armor he was wearing.


    “King Joseph, it’s an honor making of your acquaintance,” The stranger muttered with a strong and formal voice.


    I blinked at the presentation, still confused about the suddenness of the situation and the lack of knowledge about whom I was talking to.


    Plus, how the heck does someone get purple hair in this place and time?


    My musing was interrupted when I noticed that the man looked quite strained by the current posture and I hummed. “You can stand up, good sir,” I mentioned with quick words, then gesturing at the chairs. “And take a seat. I see that you are tired and in need of some rest.”


    He complied, but the surprise visible on his face about the second request delayed him actually taking a seat by one of the available chairs.


    The wood groaned a little under that weight, but it held well the presence of the man.


    “Thank you, your Highness,” The armored stranger replied with a relieved tone. “It’s been a long journey that has seen me arrive here in Londinium and… I’ve barely rested along the way.”


    I blinked again, this time my confusion intensifying with the ‘eagerness’ displayed by the man to come here in this city.


    “I assume it was a draining experience,” I commented quietly about it. “Still, if it isn’t too much to inquire… may I know what is your name, good sir?”


    There was some silence that succeeded my query, the man’s eyes widening again as he tensed up at my question.


    “I… I thought that my visit was known and expected,” He explained with a surprised tone. “In fact, I was told by Commander Marcus Ambrosius that your Highness had been alerted of my visit beforehand-”


    “Well, I wasn’t aware of anyone important visiting by Marcus, nor I know whom I’m talking to,” I replied with a frown. “Do you have anything that could help with this claim? Letters about this situation perhaps?”


    The man blinked, reaching from the leather pouch hanging by his side as he pulled out a rolled parchment out of it.


    He settled it by the table and I slowly reached for it as I started to slowly read the content of the letter.


    I was surprised that despite the fact that in this period there were just so little means for the military leader to have actually sent this letter across the pond, and even more that he hadn’t addressed the letter properly to the receiver, that it actually reached the young man sitting in front of me.


    Maybe it was the result of some contacts he had in France? The prick had mentioned that he had some old companions still stationed there, so I could see him actually make use of his contacts in the territory to send the letter right up to the individual I was now dealing with.


    Quietly reading the paper, I spared a couple of glances at the armored figure, noticing his eyes scanning distractedly at the rest of the room, seemingly still trying to get hold of the various things held within it.


    I closed the paper and nodded.


    “This is Marcus’s calligraphy, and I can say the signature is authentic,” I finally judged, drawing the man’s attention back to me. “Yet, he never mentioned you by your name. Calling you ‘kid’ and ‘brat’ most of the time.”


    He sported some color on his face at the mentioning of those ‘affectionate’ terms that the Commander was keen to make use around people he trusted and ‘cared’ to a certain degree.


    “It’s always like that.”


    “Oh, I know that myself,” I admitted with a hum, gaining a surprised look from the guy. “Let’s just say that being king doesn’t grant immunity to sassy comments from him.”


    He blinked, a small smile settling on his face.


    “I understand,” He said with a nod, then he showed a serious look. “But I’ve yet to introduce myself, and I should do this properly.”


    It took him a blink of an eye to move out of his seat and once again, he was kneeling in front of the desk.


    “King Joseph, I’m Lancelot du Lac, Knight of the Lake.” He bowed his head. “It’s an honor to have been invited at your court, and I will understand if you find it proper to refuse me entrance at this unexpected visit.”





    What the hell!


    Like really, I was trying my best to appear genuinely kind with those that showed so much respect to me, but I was stomped for a couple of seconds by that unexpected introduction for numerous reasons that were currently hindering my capacity to react properly.


    Lancelot, one of the best-known characters in the Arthurian Legend. A man that was once considered the most loyal knight of the Round Table, and one of the most memorable ones, before he ended up falling in love with Queen Guinevere, wife of King Arthur himself.


    I pondered over this notion, knowing full well that there were multiple versions of the infamous betrayal, but none actually came close to explain why Lancelot did what he ended up doing after so many years serving his King.


    He had to have met Guinevere previously, yet the infatuation had sparked much later in the legendary King’s rule… and that just sounded like some deep manipulation.


    Perhaps Morgan had some hands in it? Maybe she was responsible for forcing the collapse of the Round Table, weakening her mortal adversary so that she could send Mordred in to finish the job.


    Still, now that he was here at my court, what was I going to do about this?


    Marcus had mentioned for him to actually join the court on a permanent basis, pointing out that both his sword and mine… matched.


    It was an odd use of the term, but I suppose it has to do with the fact that Lancelot’s sword was always mentioned as something of a mystery.


    Many considered it to be ‘Secace’ or ‘Seure’, while others thought its name was ‘Joyeux’.


    There was only a couple of sparse cases where it was also named Arondight, but the latter instance was rarely mentioned about this very denomination.


    So it wouldn’t be that much of a surprising discovery if the sword itself revealed to be as magically-enchanted as Crocea Mors.


    “Stand up, Sir Lancelot,” I muttered while biting down a groan at the perfectly-visible pained look on his visage. “And please, don’t kneel down like this ever again if you’re wearing that armor. Bowing suits you better to avoid any unneeded strains.”


    He blinked, looking sheepish at the calm reply, and he stood up with a small smile once more occupying his lips.


    “I understand, your Highness,” The knight answered politely. “But still, I’ve yet to hear your answer about my stay here.”


    Quite the impatience fellow, I deduced from that rebuttal but I was still thinking what I should do about him.


    As good as a knight he might be, I was also terribly aware of what might led to a war against King Arthur himself.


    Magical trick or not, I wasn’t going to try my luck by having the knight ever come close to the Queen of Camelot if I decided to let him stay at my court.


    There were risks like there were some possible rewards at taking that gamble, but considering that every help now was a need, I decided to see how far my dumb fortune will have me go.


    At least I can say I did the rodeo of my life.


    “Considering the recommendation advanced by Commander Marcus, and since I’m aware of some of your reputation back from your time spent in Gallia,” I started to mention with a careful tone of voice, trying to keep anything that could tell him about my ultimate decision. “I suppose you are allowed to stay at my court, and to serve me as a Knight as long as you wish, Child of Nimue.”


    He tensed up a little, his posture displaying full shock at my comment as I supposed he wasn’t aware of my knowledge about his past.


    “I’ve heard about your upbringing, Knight of the Lake,” I continued with a nod. “I’m aware of your chivalrous nature, of your goodness. I wish for you to be by my side from now on, I wish for you to help me bring good peace to the Isles.”


    His tension eased, his stare showed some understanding light at my words and… he sighed.


    “Your words weighs me a lot, for they sound as genuine as proper of a good king,” Lancelot finally replied with a happy voice. “I’ve met greedy man, I’ve met liars, and I’ve seen the tragedy of those that strayed from their outstanding dreams.”





    “This is why I will join you, King Joseph,” The man confessed with a determined tone. “For I believe that, like Marcus has told me in his letters, your potential to bring true stability to not only Britain, but to the World as a whole is there to be fully unraveled.”


    I was slightly stunned by this sudden comment, but I gave him a slow nod.


    “Thank you for giving me this trust,” I muttered with genuine thankfulness. “And… wait, letters?”


    I’ve read just a single letter, one that was particularly short and there were more of those? And what kind of stuff did Marcus write him about?!


    At the mentioning of this detail, Lancelot looked quite hesitant as he reached once more deep in his pouch and pulled out… even more papers that were there for me to read.


    Five letters, all of them sent on a daily basis ever since I’ve met with the Commander.


    Each of those mentioning the first meeting, the following spars, some sassy comments about my spars and… some legitimate praises directed all at me.


    I was stuck silent at reading and re-reading the parchments for some time, lost in that brief instance of being revealed that there was some pride in the fact he was teaching me.


    Despite the fact that I’ve been at odds with the old soldier for some time now, I was always curious to know about the guy’s thoughts about my own progress.


    There wasn’t much of a compliment among the drills, never much of a positive comment when sparring and… it was always felt like getting dragged around so suddenly and so mercilessly.


    It felt annoying, it felt irritating, and yet merely reading that he did found some of my improvements worth of pridefully highlight in his usual sassy style was… kind of flattering.


    It felt worthwhile, it made all the sweat and blood given for pushing my body right up to a proper path to stand up to the adversities more than important. It was a need, it was a must… and it was something that I had to work on diligently from now on.


    Then I finally blinked out from that daze, noticing that Lancelot had been staring at me with a certain degree of curiosity.


    I coughed nervously, making him look away at the fact I had noticed his glance on me.


    “I suppose you will need some proper rest now,” I hummed with some calm. “If you ask one of the guards at my door, they will escort you to the proper room that Marcus has set for you.”


    He gave a swift nod, probably unwilling to face any awkward development from this point onward and followed my words by starting to reach for the door, lips twitching in preparation for some quick words before leaving.


    “Your Majesty… you can keep the letters if you need,” Lancelot mentioned with a careful voice, gaining my full attention again. “I’m sure that… it will do you well if you keep those for now.”


    I blinked at that comment, almost ready to narrow my eyes at that and inquire more about this situation but… I had yet to conclude my paperwork and I could forgive some indirect annoyance.


    “I will keep those until dinner,” I answered with a sigh. “Once I will have you introduced properly to the court, I will see for those to be returned.”


    He nodded, giving me little else comments as he left me alone in my office… among papers and papers.


    I took a deep breath, returning back to my seat with a drained posture as I took the letter I had discarded just a couple of moments ago, and resumed my reading.


    ...


    Wait, what does Marcus mean that he actually had a sword behind him when he gave me that ‘sword-finding’ test?


    ------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d--------


    AN


    To think that last chapter would spark quite the outrage from some!





    I don’t know if I should feel flattered by some of the comments or outright irritated at the incredible lack of culture from some people.


    But no insulting from me, I’m well-beyond matching foul words with even more foul words and I think it’s best to make some clarifications to avoid any future issues.


    1) Age of Fae/Fairies: It’s a period between the Age of Gods (which culminates with the birth of Jesus, possibly because he is the first First Magic Magician), and the Age of Man. It’s called as such because the period saw many grand heroes and figures being influenced by good and bad Faes (Morgan is somewhat regarded as an evil Fae rather than just a Witch). This ‘term’ is not fake, but mentioned in both Lord El-Melloi II Cases and Garden of Avalon. The End of the Age of God wasn’t started by Solomon’s death, but by Gilgamesh disavowing Gods and forcing them to become Divine Spirits;


    2) Guns in Pre-Feudal times: It’s a big shot to instantly pull out a Colt Magnum out from Plot-powered BS, but it isn’t certainly a strange thing to see the combination of Magecraft to refine the metal-working techniques and develop rifles. Five, considering that mine-working is not something that our MC considered well about.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020
    Anthony1967, ATP, chrome23 and 18 others like this.
  3. AllyDoodle

    AllyDoodle Lewd Cthulhu

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    I get the feeling that the SI's rule will end up completely replacing Camelot and he won't realize until it is too late.
     
  4. Dark0w1

    Dark0w1 LuRK3r-07

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    Nice, NTR Knight is here.
     
  5. Lady Godiva

    Lady Godiva Making the rounds.

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    I don't know Faith and I don't really wanna play multiple visual novels and watch a series of animes so, isn't king Arthur in Fate a genderbend? I think her name is Artoria or something.
     
  6. Lucidum

    Lucidum Verifiably Bored

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    This would be hilarious, I'm now slightly hoping everything goes off the rails and eventually SI's needs to marry a "Foreign Queen" and it turns out to be Artoria, mostly for the inevitable fandom outrage and partially because of the butterflies it'd cause.
     
  7. AllyDoodle

    AllyDoodle Lewd Cthulhu

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    Assuming it did happen it would probably be a lot better for Artoria since unlike in the OT, she wouldn't have the burden of being king on her shoulders.
     
    HumerusBoneAus likes this.
  8. bluepencil

    bluepencil Getting sticky.

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    No one goes to Camelot.

    Londinium is a much more sober place.
     
  9. Gawain

    Gawain Semiramis is best waifu

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    It’s sir lances-a-lot-of-married-women
     
  10. Jacob Tibbs

    Jacob Tibbs Getting some practice in, huh?

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    Isn't the whole decline of magecraft literally BECAUSE early mages kept it secret and thus the will of humanity suppressed it?

    Basically it boils down to this: The more Humanity as a Collective "KNOWS" about how the world works, the more it reinforces that knowledge, suppressing what it deems "impossible".

    Magecraft is getting suppressed out of existence because Humanity increasingly "KNOWS" that magic is fake and the world has concrete laws. Laws of motion, cause and effect, metallurgy, conservation of energy, gravity, time, etc...

    Keeping magic secret from humanity when civilization really started kicking off basically makes it so that its getting deleted as an aberration by humanity/the world.

    If Mages had not hoarded secrets and power to themselves out of selfishness and instead spread knowledge of magic around, Humanity would "KNOW" that magic was real, and Magecraft would instead be accepted as part of the world and would have instead flourished instead of declined.

    Pre-Renaissance Earth is probably the last point in time they can reverse the decline of magic without killing off 99% of human and starting society over with magic being accepted from the start.

    Our SI protagonist should basically start a PUBLIC royal mages program and magic school and reverse the decline of magecraft by literally forcing it in peoples faces that it is real.


    The Church's Holy Sacraments in TYPE-MOON doesnt suffer from the degradation other magecraft does, simply because so much of Humanity believes in the "Truth" of the Holy Sacrament. Essentially "Well yes, the world is structured and magic is fake, but God definitely exists and the Scripture is Holy, so the 'spells'(sacraments) of the church are therefore 'real' as well"

    If magic is a fable, it slowly becomes a fable. If magic is what you get when you go to the Crown funded mage hospital in the village to set your broken leg and heal it in a day, then its part of the 'natural laws' of the world and wont go away.

    "A Thaumaturgical Foundation (魔術基盤, Majutsu Kiban?) is a Thaumaturgical Theory (魔術理論, Majutsu Riron?) "engraved" upon the World in the form of scholarship or religion ─ a body of pre-established rules, fomented per the faith of the populace. "

    Convince the people that magic is real and good for them, and magic gets more powerful. Convince them magic is fake, and the magic weakens until it eventually dies, eroded by the faith of the populace.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
  11. Threadmarks: Chapter 7: Restoring the Kingdom (3)
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 7: Restoring the Kingdom (3)


    It was about 4 in the morning, my attention span was drastically impaired, and I was trying my best to match up the intensity displayed by my spar partner.


    Most of the city was still sleeping, with just a handful of guards still wandering around for the late night shift.


    The barracks were empty, with just Lancelot and I giving noise to what should’ve been a silent place.


    As per my advice, the man had dropped the use of his armor for this occasion, revealing a lean but tall figure that certainly proved that some important characters within the Arthurian Legends were going to be quite interesting to deal with if those matched up with the frame of the Knight of the Lake.


    It’s been just two days since the man had reached the city, and the knight had slowly but surely started to get accustomed to the life within the Londinium.


    An observant individual, I was half-worried that I would’ve found myself dealing with someone that would’ve questioned some of my current decisions regarding my military organization.


    There wasn’t much honor or ‘fairness’ within the tactics allowed to the few captains serving under me, and so I was concerned about any critics over the rule of conduct displayed by some of soldiers.


    Much to my surprise and delight, Lancelot seemed to mind little over the changes of what I knew was the ‘ideal Knight’, yet I was also taken unaware when I was asked for some sparring just as I wandered around the castle.


    Sleeping had been eluding me for a while now, and I was well-aware that it was all caused by the hints of nervousness over this subject but also by the fact that there was going to be some retaliation from what had just happened the day before.


    My thoughts were directed away from the castle as I continued to contemplate over the recent news reaching back home from the small attack force sent against the eastern shores.


    The attack was a success, numerous ships were destroyed in the raid and numerous people between prisoners and civilians had decided to submit to Commander Marcus’ command.


    The man was making a slow return back to Londinium with this glorious victory, there was no doubt in my mind that with the abysmal number of casualties reported during the assault this was probably the best outcome possible.


    With Marcus scoring such a troublesome victory for the invaders, there was no reason to just ignore the fact that it was now their turn to act at this aggression.


    And knowing that they now had a terribly limited amount of food and other important resources, I prepared for quite the desperate attack against Londinium.


    I had already started to prepare some contingencies.


    None were as desperate as sometime ago as planting some explosives now with the other traps would’ve spelled huge problems for the group returning back to the city.


    The new recruits that had joined in the standing army in Londinium had started to follow proficiently the instructions that were being forwarded by the ‘Drill Captain’ that had been left in charge by Marcus before leaving for the expedition.


    The reports depicting the current state of the military force were satisfactory considering the chances of having to deal with any unexpected attacks.


    While we had the sea and a civil war hindering any assaults from the south and west respectively, the east being currently taken care of by some attentive strikes, there was just a silly problem caused by the nations in the north.


    The Petty Kingdoms.


    While King Lothian was the absolute ruler in the land of the Picts, his current administration was as fragmented as the rest of the other proto-nations existing as of now.


    His fiefs answered to his banners, but the local rule was decentralized among the Petty Kings.


    In the original timeline, those wouldn’t have mattered early on because of the Anglo-Saxon invasion sweeping them all off from their pretty chairs to accommodate new ‘little’ monarchs.


    But now that they had been granted time and space to breath away from facing the invaders, there was no hesitation within my mind that I could’ve seen some probing raids happening anytime soon from the north.


    This is why, despite all the successes and good events granting me some decent position where to stay perched and explore all eventualities within this time period, I wasn’t keen to just drop my guard now of all time.


    This is why, despite all the drowsiness trying to push me to seek some rest, I still decided to try out my hand at sparring with Lancelot.


    With the two of us having decided to leave our blades to the side to use the practice sword available to avoid any unpleasant development, I soon found out that there was a huge different of skills between him and me.


    And I wasn’t mad about losing, quite the contrary.


    It was quite an achievement to be training with one of the most famous knights in medieval literature, and even getting my ass handled so quickly and frequently by the stern deliveries from the Knight of the Lake, I still managed to keep a sportive attitude around the bashful man.


    Everytime I was sent falling on the floor, I would find myself subjected with some concerned questions from my opponent over my state.


    It was odd because it wasn’t the strict behavior from Marcus that tended to divest little praise during the spars, but I was quite surprised by how genuine the queries were.


    In the end the spars persisted for three full hours as I finally found my body ready to collapse on the ground at the struggle it had to go through, while Lancelot had surprisingly looked a little winded by the lengthy session.


    Once we were done with training, we decided to make our way by the dining hall.


    During the walk, a little conversation among us started and I felt intrigued by the overall politeness coming from the man.


    I yawned a little as I nodded at his latest question.


    “Arthur has the best chances of coming out on top compared to the other claimants,” I replied with a tired tone, trying my best to offer the best I could over something that the man had already heard about. “His father was the former King, he got Merlin, and he also got Caliburn to legitimize his claim over the throne.”


    “Still, how do you know that he will end up winning?” The plum-haired fellow inquired with some interest. “There are some undeniably dreadful odds stacked against him.”


    I blinked. “There are two real elements that make his ascension a reality. Merlin and… Morgan.”


    The knight paused for a moment, his surprise turning into a perplexed frown.


    “You’re referring to Morgan Le Fay?”


    The question felt drenched in some dreadful hesitation, which I replied with a sigh and a nod.


    “Morgan is Arthur’s older sister. While her prime objective is to see him killed for having ‘stolen’ her right to rule, she would never allow someone else to just steal her kill. It has to be her responsibility, either directly or indirectly,” I explained slowly and pondering over the case as I hadn’t confirmed a certain dilemma behind Morgan’s own upbringing.


    Arthur was the result of the adultery of King Uther with Ingraine, the wife of King Gorlois of Cornwall, but his older sister’s own status was doubtful at best.


    Some debates that she was the youngest legitimate daughter to Gorlois, yet there were plenty of sources that said otherwise and that both siblings were result of adultery.


    And while the argument itself was interesting because it served to gauge properly the ‘favoritism’ displayed by Uther in picking Arthur as his heir, there was no change in how I perceived the dangerous sorceress.


    Especially with how our first and last encounter had happened and gone.


    I was still wary of any sudden appearances from the woman, questioning more than once to Altuos about the precautions adopted to make sure this circumstance never happened ever again.


    The elder was certain of his hard-work, thus I just accepted his sureness as proof of it.


    “So she wants to kill her brother… but doesn’t want anyone else doing this without her blessing?” Lancelot pressed a little more, clearly confused by this comment. “Forgive me for questioning this topic, milord, but I’ve to say that I found this interest from her quite absurd.”


    “It’s more of an obsession,” I corrected quietly, nodding at him as we turned another corners of the few ones remaining to reach the dining hall. “Morgan sees Arthur as not only her natural enemy, but also the very symbol that saw her forced to marriage and denied of her chances to have her own kingdom.”


    The knight nodded at this, his confusion lessening at this answer. “Truly a complicated woman.”


    “More like insane and to avoid at all costs,” I corrected again, taking a moment to glance around and wave at the nearby two guards patrolling the corridor we were in. “And I want to warn you from even staying in the same room as she is without any strong magical protection.”


    “My time spent with Nimue helped me develop some resilience to most foul magicks,” Lancelot pointed out with a small smile. “But I will be on guard if she manages to get close to us.”


    I blinked at that very part, almost flattered by that determination to keep close by the time any bad thing happened.


    “You truly are a loyal man to your ruler,” I praised with a quick nod. “And I’m glad that you accepted to stay here.”


    He seemed to tense up a little, looking quite flustered by my words.


    “You’re being too kind, milord,” Lancelot replied with a hint of nervousness. “And I can’t help but consider you a good candidate to rule this isles. I can see it from the way your people look at you.”


    I sighed. “The way they… look at me?”


    “As I’ve said already, I’ve met my own share of good people having their morals tainted by the burden entrusted to them,” The knight started to answer, his voice rising to a curious hum. “Yet you don’t seem endeared by this position, you look… wary. Careful, yet ready to go forward towards the unknown.”


    “That’s because nothing is done if fear judges my steps,” I pointed out with a nod. “The fear of failing? To see someone die? Or perhaps the thought of denying my people a hope to live a better life? Those are worries that will never go away, I can feel that. And yet I can’t just accept the concerns as precepts to not improve and expand, to dare and succeed.”


    “But you sound so human and… caring,” The man continued to say. “I understand that you’re young, but you still give off a degree of… confidence one would find only in an older person.”





    “Are you calling me an old man, Lancelot?” I asked with a hint of mischievousness, drawing a surprised look from the knight before he started to apologize profusely.


    Finally I chuckled at the amusing reaction and nodded at his words.


    “I understand about what you’re referring with these words,” I confessed with a sigh. “But I can already say that it’s not truly something coming from within me, or at least not to the degree it might sound like.”


    “What are you trying to say, milord?”


    “As a knight, you’ve to show a degree of personality that doesn’t usually match to your usual attitude,” I answered quietly. “When there is a threat, you’ve to show coldness and bravery in amounts that aren’t usually present or visible in your daily life.”





    “As a King, I’ve to bring out maturity and wisdom, both of which can be sometimes prove to be fault but… it’s my confidence and trust in my own capacities, to not concede defeat at the first failure that makes me capable of lunge forward,” I explained with some more detail. “I know that these elements are part of my essence, that those are there and they are mine to use- but up until now there wasn’t a reason, a purpose, to see me bring up those before anyone. I’ve a duty, I’ve a responsibility-”


    “And you can’t fail by not giving your fullest,” The knight calmly interrupted, nodding at my logic. “It’s admirable, but somewhat saddening that someone like you is forced to be ‘older’ for the sake of giving joy to everyone else.”


    I shrugged. “Sometimes we can’t just get what we truly want from a glorious job, the burden will still be there.”


    “And yet you will hopefully keep trying to find your own gratification from their happiness,” Lancelot pointed out. “As this is your final objective.”


    I blinked again, this time humming quietly as we finally ventured inside the dining hall.


    There were plenty of people already waiting inside and I spotted Altuos and Felicianus once again ‘bickering’ about something from the deepest section of the central table.


    I took a moment to sigh, pondering just for a moment over the words from the honest knight.


    While I was still having some trouble fitting well with my newest burden, with all the requirements I’ve to fit with because of my role, I couldn’t help but feel happier to know that I was going the right way.


    Slow and steady wins the race, there was no reason to deny that, but I was glad to know that I wasn’t just seeing things with the recent successes.


    I’ve prevented the destruction of Londinium’s former administration, the expansion of the Anglo-Saxon invaders and… perhaps made the first efforts required to outright rule over the British Isles.


    I knew the road was a long one, with various dangerous contenders like Arthur, Morgan, Vortigern, and Lot… but I needed to push even harder if I wanted to even have a chance of bring harmony in these lands.


    If Arthur failed to bring perpetuity in his kingdom despite a prophecy proclaiming this to the truth, there was no way for me to just stand aside and let the chaos persist.


    And so, before Lancelot was well away from my sight, I sighed and nodded.


    “And hopefully, I will manage to accomplish it.”


    ----------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-


    The garden within the courtyard was truly a beauty to look at and enjoy in this very part of the day.


    Lancelot had decided to spend some time around helping with Felicianus. The Bishop making quite the surprising decision to give some queries to the knight, intrigued by the presences of Faes that ‘were making God’s work’.


    The idea on itself was odd, but not completely shocking as since I’ve offered chance of talking about their differences in ‘simple conversations’ for both the leader of the Church in Londinium and the chief of the Magus guild, some common ground had started to emerge.


    Tentative steps between the two group resulted for several bible-related events being expanded by the volumes provided by Altuos.


    The religious man was skeptical, then baffled at the numerous of additions to the current scripts of the current Bible.


    It was surprising, and almost mouthwatering for the bishop to just ignore, and a begrudged truce had ensued at this discovery.


    I found this development to be quite an interesting way to bring the two ‘opposite’ groups together to work well and under my leadership.


    It also meant less chances of having to deal with some opposition from the Church itself, as I was already contemplating a permanent solution to any issues that the Pope might create once my rule was properly consolidate.


    While I had initially planned to resume my paperwork once I had concluded my usual lessons with Altuos, my mind decided to accommodate a sudden request from a certain young woman that I had visited just brief moments ago.


    Mya’s red eyes were staring at the scenery in a moment of utter wonder and genuine fascination, her steps slow but certain as she carefully started to walk over the grass while avoiding the pretty flowers around.


    It was odd to see a young woman just enjoy the nature around herself like a little child, and my mind was keen to remind me that there were good reasons that were bringing this kind of attitude out of her.


    From the quiet and tame aspect of her naivety, to something a little more active from her childish part.


    It was endearing, and maybe amusing too in the long-term.


    I decided to merely stare at her actions from a little afar, quite curious to see what the lovely lady was going to do with this new freedom.


    She was smiling, her lips twitching mirthfully as she enjoyed the sunrays and the pleasant wind caressing her skin.


    Moments passed uneventfully for me as I looked at her twirling around and giggling at the freedom I had decided to concede to her.


    Some guards had been assigned to the two entrances of the area, thus ‘avoiding any odd situations’ with the young woman, but I was pretty sure by now that the very eventuality was just stupid.


    It took her sometime but Mya finally took a seat near to where pristine white fountain with clean water at the center of the courtyard was.


    Her attention was over the various flowers there as she carefully picked them up and… started to tinker around those as if trying to create some bouquet or something similar.


    Curiosity got the best of me as I walked closer to see what Mya was exactly trying to do with the flowers around her.


    My eyes glinted at the realization just momentarily as I saw the young woman huffing while trying to connect all the stems together, but failing to find a way to accomplish this.


    Some time passed, and the more frustrated the girl would get in her attempts, the more I felt compelled to try my hand in this endeavor.


    I remember doing flower-crowns back in my childhood during summertime and spring, mostly thanks to the nearby gardens in the local park allowed for me to try as much as I wanted.


    I remember the interest being spurned when I saw mom doing some of those and I could never forget when she had asked me if I had wanted to learn how to do those on my own.


    I made several girls happy by doing multiple crowns… and I could also remember some frowns from some of the fathers at my eagerness to make some gifts to their daughters.


    I was rusty at the difficult art, and it wasn’t a big discovery considering how much time had passed since I had last tried to do something out of this.


    But I still found the challenge fairly interesting considering how curious the result was going to be with my crown.


    Humming quietly while carefully placing the flowers I had fished out around me to create a proper structure.


    The activity was lengthy, but my patience was slowly being rewarded by with some satisfaction at the progress I had gained from doing this feeble stuff.


    It wasn’t anything too complex, but the waste of time was considerable and… I guess worthwhile for what I had in mind to do with my little crown.


    The process was ultimately completed and I spent sometime staring at the results of my ‘labor’.


    The small crown of flowers looked fairly simple, but I had used numerous flowers to make it capable of survive just a couple of seconds of existing.


    I blinked at the crown and then back at Mya, the girl huffing as she failed once more to get some base done.


    Feeling quite surprised by her tenacity over this stupid activity, I also noticed that she was barely paying attention to her surroundings.


    It offered me the chance I needed to make quite a surprise and I decided to slowly approach her from behind, the crown carefully by my hands.


    She was glaring adorably at the poor flowers that had perished in the making of something out of them, but while her eyes were blazing furiously at the poor things.


    Soon, I was in position to strike, my eyes glinting some curiosity at what kind of reaction I was going to get from her.


    Maybe she would have jump in sudden fright, or maybe just ignore the thing altogehter.


    Still, I finally leaned down and carefully placed little crown on top of her head, quickly backing away to gauge her next actions.


    The moment it landed gracefully over her white hair, I noticed her entire body tensing up in surprise at the development.


    But instead of jumping at the sudden sensation over her head, the young woman merely stood up and, barely giving me a glance, she moved to the fountain to stare at her reflection.


    Her red eyes widened in major shock, her irritation vanishing instantly as she realized what was no on top of her head.


    Her right hand carefully rushed up to poke at the construct, her surprise slowly getting replaced by giddiness as she turned to look at me with the happiest expression I have ever seen her muster so suddenly.


    “How did you do that?” She asked happily and I sighed.


    “Trying again and again,” I replied calmly, drawing a huff from her but her smile didn’t falter.


    Instead it twitched as her giggles were already trying to interrupt her little faux annoyance.


    “Thank you for this.”


    “A pretty crown for a pretty lady,” I commented with a small smile, but instead of her reaction continuing to be as tame as it was right now, I soon found myself pounced by the giggling woman right back to the grassy floor.


    I groaned a little, but I barely felt any hurt from falling in that soft ground. I blinked up, staring at the little clouds up above and then my attention was all directed at the close face of a certain bubbly girl pressing her chin on my chest.


    “I’m pretty.”


    Her tone was quiet, and lacking of any confirmation over this statement.


    I blinked, trying to understand if it was an affirmation or a question, and failing to get some proper understanding of the predicament.


    “Yes,” I still replied, feeling unsure about this sudden development.


    Another giggle, she snuggled her left cheek by my shirt as she continued to stare up at me with a curious look.


    “But why?”


    I blinked again, trying to make sense of the context.


    “What?”


    She sighed. “Why am I pretty?”


    Now, that was quite simple. But also not.


    Seriously, how did someone so cute had to be also incredibly complicated?


    “Because you are,” I replied bluntly, gaining a frown from Mya as she hummed on my shirt.


    “But why?” She inquired once more, looking even more interested despite the lack of ‘acceptable answers’.


    I felt a little nervous now, starting to lose grasp over the situation. “Well, I think you are pretty.”


    “But am I pretty?” The girl asked, driving even more uncertainty with her queries.


    “Yes.”


    “But why?” She repeated.


    “Because I said so,” I commented quietly.


    “But… why?” She asked… again.


    I was starting to lose my patience over this dumb game. I could be endeared by her lovely naive self, but one thing was being naive, the other was being outright a little prick about it.


    “Mya.”


    “Yes?”


    I sighed at the question, yet my face bore no warning over what I was going to do next.


    “Boop,” I muttered while pressing my right index on her nose, ending up drawing a confused and surprised look from her.


    “What?”


    “Boop,” I said again, once more pressing my finger on her nose. “You’re being silly.”


    She frowned. “How am I being silly?”


    “You are questioning the fact you’re pretty,” I replied with a calm tone. “And that’s silly.”


    “Really?”


    “Yes,” I rebuked and the young woman hummed with a giddy note.


    “So I’m pretty.”


    I nodded. “And cute.”


    “Really?”


    I nodded again and she sighed, staring right at my expression with a fascinated look.


    “Joseph.”


    I blinked. “Yes?”


    Her right hand shuffled over my face and her index pressed on my nose.


    “Boop,” She quietly muttered, close to giggle again. “Now you’re silly too.”


    I frowned at that cheeky move. “That’s not how it works-”


    “Boop,” The girl repeated, her tone gaining some mischievousness. “Now it does, silly Joseph.”


    I gawked a little at this development, feeling my own weapons turned against me.


    Oh, the cruelty of fate itself! The fury of the destiny defied!


    ...Heh.


    “Does that make us both silly then?” I asked back with some interest and she seemed to ponder about this curious question.


    Then she nodded.


    “I think so, yes,” The young woman stated with utmost certainty.


    I smiled. “I’m glad. It means that you aren’t alone in the silly.”


    She blinked, almost huffing. “Being silly isn’t bad.”


    “But being alone is,” I retorted mirthfully, my left hand reaching for her cheek. “And you aren’t alone anymore.”


    “I’m not,” She admitted, this time not continuing the whole questioning game. “I got Silly Joseph, I got Altuos, I got the nice doctors… and I wonder if I can make new friends too.”


    “Once you’re a bit more accustomed with the castle, I guess I can have share a walk with you around Londinium.”


    It was a simple and general promise, but I could see it happening in a couple of days from now if nothing bad happened in the meantime.


    Just as I focused on these thoughts, I felt the girl straddling on my chest as she carefully sit up on my chest and… she hummed.


    “Joseph,” Mya quietly called while staring down at my face. “Am I annoying you?”


    I blinked. “No-”


    “Then why are you so close to yawn?”


    Just as she said that, the yawn itself escaped through my lips.


    I sighed. “It’s… it’s just because I sleep just a little last night,” I confessed quietly as I enjoyed the pleasantness of the grass. It wasn’t wet, and it was just warm enough to send me in a state of bliss.


    Perhaps I should’ve really gone to bed instead of sparring with Lancelot.


    I was reaching the point where my own eyes were having trouble keeping focus and my brain was outright trying to sabotage my efforts to keep awake.


    “Really? Isn’t that a bad thing?” She inquired curiously. “I heard Altuos saying that it was bad and… are you going to be sick.”


    “No.”


    “But you look unwell,” The young woman pressed on, her face showing a little concern over myself. “You know, you can sleep now if-”


    “I’ve some work to do quite soon,” I interjected with a quiet tone. “And it’s some important stuff.”


    “Can’t you… delegate?” She asked, her red eyes sporting outright worry by now. “You look like you’re going to fall asleep now.”


    Maybe it wouldn’t be wrong for me to pick a couple of hours of rest.


    The paperwork itself wasn’t going to be done with me just being a frigging zombie, and I needed to have some lucidity to go through it all… which a sleepless night had deprived me of.


    I took a moment to ponder over the situation, genuinely thinking that sleeping now would be the best decision… and then I saw Mya slowly snuggle back to her previous position.


    Differently from before, I could feel her weight pressing me down even more, making me frown with some surprise.


    “Mya?”


    “You need to sleep,” She chided softly, her eyes narrowing onto my face and a pout appearing on her lips. “So you will sleep.”


    ...Is this a hostage situation? It does to seem like one. A very adorable one that I was stuck with.


    ...Crap, the cute one got me so suddenly and I was her hostage-


    Wait, but I wasn’t even trying to oppose that. Just up until now I was thinking of just sleeping.


    “Mya-”


    “You’re going to sleep.”


    “But-”


    “Sleeeee-”


    “Fine,” I ‘conceded’, knowing that this was truly going to be quite the difficult situation to explain to such a stubborn dummy.


    “-eeep, wait really?”


    … “Yes?”


    She smiled and then… booped me again. “Silly Joseph.”


    I really wanted to groan, I needed to let out a reaction at that unrestrained amount of cuteness being unleashed upon the world so suddenly and without much consideration.


    I felt like close to a nuclear reactor melting down, but instead of radiation I was getting an unhealthy amount of cuteness splashing onto my poor skin.


    I sighed, eyes closing as I felt her pressure lessen up as her cheek pressed on my chest and… she started to breath quietly, a tiny and mostly unnoticeable snoring.


    With my mind slowly collapsing in my own state of unconsciousness, I couldn’t help but wonder if I would manage to wake up in time for the paperwork-


    Only for me to wake up a couple of hours later with a terribly-amused Altuos, a confused Lancelot, and a shell-shocked Felicianus staring at our sleeping forms.


    -----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----


    AN


    So I was thinking that if Galahad is born, he wouldn’t have to deal with a moron of an absent father.


    I mean, the main reason that Proto-Mashu disliked Lancelot was about him ditching his mother for the sake of pursuing Guinevere and… it’s a mess. Perhaps he will find solution when Uncle Galehaut comes around.


    Next two chapters will have some of the action-filled elements in a while.


    Did you love the fluff? Now it’s time to- GET IN DA CHOPPAH!


    Unrelated note: Yes, I’m the same author that just started Fate: True Bizarre, a Fate Zero AU where Jotaro Kujo is sent to investigate Fuyuki City during the Holy Grail War. First two chapters in and… things are already insane for JoJo.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020
    Anthony1967, ATP, chrome23 and 16 others like this.
  12. AllyDoodle

    AllyDoodle Lewd Cthulhu

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    If your plan was to get people to ship those two...

    It worked.
     
  13. MasterOfDragonsGod

    MasterOfDragonsGod Well worn.

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    Fluff is always great :D
     
    JBukharin likes this.
  14. Gawain

    Gawain Semiramis is best waifu

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  15. JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    That was a funny video. A pity that most of the lore clash a lot with the Nasuverse's interpretation of certain events.
    In particular the betrayal of lancelot and the timeline of the battle of Camlann.
    It also has some inconsistencies (which aren't genuinely meant to truly oppose some of the points), like the story of Joyous Gard, where the origins of the event is different following the location of the castle (early on it was located in Britanny, recognized as Chateau Joyeuse Garde, while Thomas Malory identifies it with Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland). Still, a good video, thank you.
     
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  16. Gawain

    Gawain Semiramis is best waifu

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    they also did a video on Arthur that I really recommend

     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
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  17. GodSpeed

    GodSpeed NiceGuys dont always finish last---unless it's NTR

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    Wait. I don't get it. Is he saying he is likely to lose to Arthur?

    And does Mya looks like Justeaze Lizrich von Einzbern?

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Definition of 'Coming out on top' from the Collins Dictionary: "If a person, organization, or country comes out on top, they are more successful than the others that they have been competing with."

    Similar in her appearance, but her existence is more complex and capable of accommodating more of the common human traits.
     
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  19. Threadmarks: Chapter 8: Restoring the Kingdom (4)
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 8: Restoring the Kingdom (4)


    Marcus had made his triumphal return back home, an army of smiling soldiers marching through the streets of Londinium and stopping right as they arrived at the castle.


    The prisoners from the raid were quickly taken under the regular guards’ care, to be sent in prison for some proper trials. The refugees were quickly guided by some members of the Church that had been assigned to take care of the various families within the large group that had joined the army back to the city.


    Two days had gone by since the last major reports from the Commander, and now the man stood before me with a giddy complex. There was a little bit of arrogance in his strutting, but it was merely a mocking display than else.


    And the reason that got him to behave as such would be explained by the following greeting.


    The first hint that this interaction was going to be the opposite of informal was the fact that the man knelt a couple of meters away from where I was.


    “King Joseph, ruler of Britons, I request your validation upon the success obtained through the duress of war,” The militaryman began with a solemn tone, suppressing his usual smirk. “I, Commander Marcus Ambrosius, bring you the grand victory against the invaders, and present you with the men that valiantly fought against the aggressors.”


    The infantry behind him straightened up their stance, appearing for a moment just like how I expected my army to appear in the distant future. Undying loyalty, self-pride, and utmost discipline.


    I nodded. “I, King Joseph, ruler of Britons, accept your request, Commander Marcus Ambrosius, and I bestow you with the honor of having secured a glorious mark in Britain’s history. Your deed shall always be remembered as part of your dutiful work under my kingship, and I shall personally award you with this commemorative medal.”


    Surprise painted his face as I walked towards him, stopping upon his form and presenting him with the reward that I had decided to introduce for the occasion.


    In modern times, there were plenty of important medals bestowed to exceptional members of society, mostly those that have fought or are fighting in wars. But in this specific case, I had spared some discussions with Altuos about the creation of a list of Honors that could be granted to citizens in case of exceptional deeds.


    I leaned forward, carefully placing the medal around Marcus’ neck. Retreating away from him, the man stared curiously at the curious piece.


    “This is the Distinguished Service Order. Your actions have been considered eligible for one of the highest honors available to the brave men fighting to defend the borders and the people of this kingdom,” I explained with a small smile. “Your service shall forever be remembered by the nation as one of the most commendable possible.”


    His eyes slowly widened, and he offered a quiet nod as I gestured him to stand up.


    “Do you have the list that I’ve requested from the last letter?” I asked quietly, trying to keep this part of the discussion between the two of us.


    Marcus nodded again, reaching for his back pouch before offering me the piece of rolled paper that contained what I needed to continue this important ‘greeting’.


    I took it and glanced at the names written in there, humming quietly as I turned my attention to the rest of the soldiers.


    “I wish for Bran Finnini, Angaidh Keegan, Gaius Velius, Cesan Maccances, and Caelus Caesonius to take a step forward and in a line,” I stated with a serious voice. “Your actions have been discovered as stellar compared to the common soldier. And you too shall receive an encomium for your bravery.”


    The men quickly moved through the ranks, standing a couple of feet away and in front of their group. They were sporting a prideful attitude as I approached them with some more medals.


    I started with the first man on the left, going individually to put the medal around their necks while thanking them for their services.


    Once I was done with this activity, I retreated back to my previous position.


    “Your unwavering bravery and your undeniable valor shall always be remembered within the annals of history, you’re among the heroes during the battle for Essex” I said with a small smile, then nodded at them. “You may all return to your previous standing with a legitimate note of pride. You’ve all gained the gratitude of the people you’re sworn to protect.”


    And they did so, smiling even more at those words as they walked back within their former place in the lines.


    With the little ceremony coming to a closure and with the officers taking the soldiers back to the barracks, I decided to spend some time talking to Marcus while we made our way back to the throne room.


    “You know, Kingly, this is actually a smart idea,” The Commander muttered while looking at the medal with a proper look. “Romans used to give lands to their veterans, but we can’t certainly do that to entice men to join the army. But this thing about honor? It could actually work.”


    “Which is why I decided to go through with it,” I replied with a sigh, staring forward while pondering at the topics I had to treat with the chief of the army. There was a lot that still required to be brought up during this walk. “Still, I suppose that you’ve avoided getting trailed during your return.”


    “Scouts confirmed no force giving us pursuit,” Marcus returned quickly. “But I don’t think we will face any retribution anytime soon. Some of the documents we’ve found by their ships mentioned that they were focusing more on their immediate threat.”


    The Lothians. I guess that would also explain why there had been no other Homunculi within the people recovered from the raid, their entirety surely dispatched to aid the defense in the north.


    Which meant that we weren’t going to deal with the invaders at all and our attention was now directed at any sneak attacks from the petty kingdoms. That was some good news for sure.


    “What about any possible reinforcement?” I inquired after nodding at this this development. “Do you reckon that we will be expecting any new visitors?”


    “Most of the ships were destroyed during the attack. I’m unsure if they had any other ships back to their crappy home or not,” The man responded while shrugging. “Although, I can see that the news of the decimation might dissuade anyone from joining up in this campaign. Too risky, too deadly.”


    I nodded again, this time huffing as we turned a corner.


    “By the way, you could’ve told me about-”


    “The Lake kid is here, right?” He interrupted with a snort. “I bet he kept you in shape while I was away. How’s your swordplay? Any improvement over that?”


    “I thought that I was already doing fine from the letters you’ve sent him,” I retorted dryly, gaining a frown from Marcus. “You know you can actually spare some genuinely positive comments once in a while.”


    “And let you get egocentric and more of a moron? We don’t need a King to go through that path,” He shot back. “But I suppose I can say without hesitation that you got some swift step. I reckon you can make for a message runner if things as a king doesn’t work well for ya.”


    I closed my eyes, sighing heavily at the sass I was being subjected to.


    “I still can’t find an answer as to why I just don’t throw you in the dungeon for your behavior,” I commented quietly, causing the man to snort.


    “Because you’re smart enough to realize that I’m helping you train with how chaotic the situation is,” The Commander answered almost eagerly. “While you got the brain to think like a king, you will also need to know how to use a sword like one. A single precise swing can get you killed, and that’s not something anyone wants to see happen.”


    I blinked. “I suppose you’re a good teacher but-”


    “And how is Lancelot? Did he spare you some of his ‘kindness’ already? Maybe he went easy on you because you were a novice?” He pressed on, ignoring my words.


    “We’ve been sparring frequently but… there wasn’t much of a difference between him and you,” I admitted with a hum. “Are you referring to-”


    “The kind but horribly condescending tone he would get during some instances,” The commander interjected again. “He isn’t trying to sound like some polite idiot, but I suppose that spending so much time with an overly-polite Fae can leave your mind stuck with that complex.”


    I was still unsure how exactly that was really a flaw. Lancelot hardly seemed the kind of individual that spoke out of order, or at least beyond the limits of humble politeness. Yet, I didn’t push for more about the consideration as we wandered right inside the throne room.


    The place was filled with some of the few nobles that had been living within the castle for some time now, there was Felicianus with his own group of representatives and… Altuos was staring hardly at a figure that was patiently waiting for our arrival.


    I stared intensely at the young man, his white hair, which matched well with his mostly white robes, were accompanied with a pair of violet eyes. He was wielding what looked to be a strange wood staff with a strange root-like structure encroaching around it in a spiral that reached up to the top.


    I noticed almost immediately that Marcus’ posture had grown tense, while I turned to my other side to see Lancelot now walking beside me.


    “My liege, please keep close.”


    A simple request, or perhaps a life-saving advice considering the sudden tension in which I was subjected to. The curious fellow seemed rather ‘unique’ and, considering how this world had taken a more anime-sque tone, I wouldn’t ignore the chances of him being a big shot.


    But whom?


    We stopped just in front of the throne, and the man bowed slightly towards me.


    “It’s an honor to be in your presence, oh King Joseph, ruler of Londinium,” He greeted carefully, and I frowned at his diminishing my title. “I’m called by many the Magus of Flowers, but I merely go by the name of… Merlin.”





    Fuck- no, Double Fuck.


    Now I could see the reason why everyone was so rightfully wary of this man. The legendary mage, the man that literally drove Arthur to become king…


    He seemed quite young considering how many years he had to have been around for. First as an advisor to a young Uther, and now for his son.


    “It’s… a pleasure to make your acquaintance?”


    He smiled at the meek attempt, and I guess he noticed that his mere presence was drawing no little issue from the rest of the court.


    “I suppose that will do. I can see that my little unexpected visit ruffled many’s feathers,” He responded with a calm and ‘light’ tone. “But my time here is limited, and so I will spare any unneeded pleasantries and skip to the point of my humble interaction.”


    His smile was kind, but I could sense some deception. It wasn’t magic, it was just basic BS-smelling ability any sane individual would’ve done.


    Whatever was the reason that got him to abruptly arrive at my court wasn’t something pleasant for sure.


    “King Joseph, my request is simple, but also quite a hard choice for you to make, I think,” The Magician mumbled quietly as he prepared to deliver the hit. “Surrender your claim of Kingship right now, and I can promise you already that my liege will not see you killed for keeping up this farce.”


    ...WHAT?!


    The entire room looked quite shell-shocked by the preposterous demand that the famous Magus had just proclaimed so calmly and so lightly.


    I could see Altuos glaring daggers now that the gig was up, with Marcus seeming ready to jump at the cheeky bastard already.


    I was appalled by these words, almost driven to silence by the gallant tone used to request this senseless thing. But I didn’t keep quiet for long.


    “You- You’re insane,” I rebuked in surprise. “You decided to come here to… to ask my surrender? To ask for Londinium’s surrender?”


    “It’s more… like you stepping down for a chair bigger than you can fit,” He replied, surprisingly ignoring my tone. “It’s… mercy. Yes, I want to offer you mercy instead of seeing someone of your talent to go there and perish without reason.”


    Without reason- He was truly mad. There was no other way to depict the logical development happening before my eyes.


    “In fact, I can also vouch for the rest of the court here… and for the lovely young woman that you currently care for within this-” Scwing! “Castle- now, that is quite rude, you know?”


    His cheek didn’t falter despite the fact that Crocea Mors’ edged part was now pressing by his throat.


    “You- YOU!” I was boiling. This very conversation? A fucking joke. But I wasn’t in the mood of playing with the veiled threats of the bastard. “You dare to come at my court, demand my submission to your petty king, and then you threaten me and those I care for? Do you seek death, wizard?!”





    “Haha-” A brief stifle, then he erupted in a laugh at my outburst. My eyes widened again, my face reddening in utter fury at this reaction. “N-Now I can see- your eyes have quite a glow. Almost familiar… a pity that you would never accept surrender… but a curious opportunity to test Arthur might against-”


    “What if I don’t allow you to leave, Emrys?” I interrupted with poison dripping from my words. Using his other name seemed to gain a surprised look from his face, a change from the previous easygoing personality that I had seen up until now.


    “Truly? Would you rather face possible death just for some joke?” He inquired with a slightly unamused tone. “Let me ask you this, what if there was a dragon right now?


    I blinked at the strange question, yet that mere blink saw a complete change of the room. Instead of the Throne Room, we were both alone in what looked to be a humongous cave. Surprise swelled at the sight, but it soon morphed in silent fright at the large reptile-like creature now standing behind Merlin.


    It was massive, it looked angry and… it seemed ready to shot some flames from its mouth. A dragon- a black-scaled one at that.


    I restrained myself from gulping nervously at the sight, trying my best to keep my attention at the sorcerer.


    “You could let go of me, and focus on the monster,” He suggested almost teasingly. “Perhaps you should face the worst threat first.”





    I frowned at him. “Are you referring to yourself?” I asked jokingly, drawing a perplexed look from him as I pressed the tip of the sword even closer to his exposed neck.


    “You would risk your life all for a petty tease? Are you so naive and clueless-”


    “This is all fake,” I shot back instantly.


    “Even the heat? The smoke? The incoming sense of death?” He pressed on with a hint of surprise.


    “Right now, Lancelot is squeezing my shoulder- a tad too much I reckon, so if you can-” I muttered, getting the painful grasp onto my back to lessen up a little bit. “That’s better- now, Lancelot as a resilience to Magic and… I can feel part of my body sensing the cool sensation of the throne room.”





    “Well, there was an effort,” The man shrugged, only to disappear from my sight and reach. “But perhaps you should check on your pockets.


    The illusion dropped just before the dragon had the chance to unleash some hot fury on me, and enough for me to not trip on myself at that scene.


    Everyone looked confused, mostly because of the sudden disappearance of the wizard. Marcus looked around, while Lancelot let go of his hold onto me.


    “He’s gone,” Altuos confirmed with a grim tone. “But his presence here- his claims… we’ve some trouble brewing before our eyes, your highness.”


    A damning kind of trouble, I wanted to add considering the horrible circumstances that led to this situation. It was so unexpected, so immediate compared to any previous issues and… it was worrying.


    Yet my attention was fully directed at slowly complying at the final words pronounced by the cheeky magus before he had left.


    A folded piece of paper was within my left pocket- No, it was a lengthier letter with… some message on it. I stared to it while everyone tried to make sense of what had just happened while I felt myself paling while reading the words that were written there.


    These words hadn’t been written by Merlin, but someone that was fairly close to him. Someone that I really didn’t need to be dealing with as of now.


    I blinked, I inhaled and…


    “Fuck.”


    ----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d--


    My office was filled with quite the group of people.


    Felicianus was reading the letter with a shocked expression impressed on his weary face.


    Marcus and Altuos were debating about which kind of tone was best suited to answer the absurd claims advanced by Arthur, the content of the letter sowing even more chaos to the already messy situation we were all forced to deal with.


    The Commander wanted to offer a clear and blunt ‘Fuck off’, while the chief of the Magus Guild wanted to offer some polite declination… and then a ‘Fuck off’ too.


    Lancelot was standing by the doorstep, merely listening at the scene. The purple-haired man trying his best to not intervene himself at the shocking development that had happened before his eyes.


    Meanwhile I was trying my best to not just start bashing my head on the desk, failing in properly think how I was supposed to dodge that kind of massive, deadly bullet aimed at me.


    Arthur Pendragon, the legendary King, was aiming at kicking me off my mighty pedestal.


    That very statement sounded so dreadful as cheesy, but my real issue wasn’t actually what was going on… but how?


    There hadn’t been any major news about the current conflict in Dumnonia, and the battle royal there should’ve been more than enough to keep someone like the dangerous claimant away from making this kind of demands so suddenly and so boldly.


    I was perplexed before the fact that the civil war there might have concluded just recently, and without anything about this closure reaching out and away from that region. Maybe it was Merlin’s ordeal?


    His impressive capacity with illusions and Sorcery in general was unquestionable, but the mere idea that the man had decided to create such a devastating element of surprise was worth of some gawking.


    Could it be that he could see the future? Maybe following the same way used to discern the prophecy of the ‘Eternal King of Albion’?


    I didn’t know, nor I wanted to really investigate too much about it considering how pressing the main problem was.


    The demands were clear, and the words used there were as cold as formal. A ‘meeting’ had been indicted in three days from now right by the border between our dominions.


    Dumnonia was his to control, yet Arthur had refused to addressing his kingdom by that name. It was Camelot.


    He was already paving the road for his proper domain… one that was threatening the existence of mine because of its expansionist policies. And I wasn’t going to let the slight go fading so easily.


    A letter wouldn’t have been enough to grasp the essence of my irritation, of my anger- It had to be close and personal.


    Sadly, there’s no such thing as Celtic-Latin Wrestling.


    Instead of whining over that lost opportunity, I decided that it was going to be best to actually going at the meeting… to outright refuse that blasted and mad claim.


    I straightened myself on my chair, sighing as I now had to make it clear with the rest of the group that this was my ultimate decision.


    How was I supposed to break these news without getting yelled at about this idea being utterly stupid?


    Just as I pondered over a possibly daring attempt at inquiring over this possibility, I paused at the noise of someone knocking at the door, with Lancelot leaning a little to open just enough to offer some sight over whom was there behind it.


    Mya waved briefly at me, a small smile on her face as she questioned with her stare about entering inside.


    I nodded. The girl hummed happily as she stepped inside and… paused to look around at the kerfuffle still evolving between the three advisors. Curious red eyes returned to stare at me for some answers and I gestured her to come closer.


    She complied, taking a seat by one of the unoccupied chairs. “We were discussing about… a diplomatic issue.”


    “Oh?” The young woman seemed to realize just a little bit about what I was referring to. “But why you’re angry?”


    ...What?


    “I’m not angry, Mya,” I tried to reassure with a small smile. “Just annoyed that someone dared to claim… this,”


    I passed on the letter to the girl. The Einzbern was slightly confused at first as the terms used within the letter were… quite complex considering her current understanding of the language.


    While she was going fast with the lessons with Altuos, she was pretty far from actually being actually able of understanding any document as difficult as the one in her hands.


    Yet the sense of it seemed to strike her as her curious look was replaced with a minor… scowl.


    “That’s silly. You’re the king,” Mya muttered with some determination. “And… Arthur is dumb?”


    ...My god, that was utter gold. The sheer loyalty displayed in that amusing sight was enough to bring me to smile at her pout.


    “Seems like that, Mya,” I replied with a sigh. “But now I’ve yet to think of a proper way to reply to this silly issue.”


    She blinked, tilting her head to the side as she seemed to ponder well about this instance and… she nodded.


    “Tell him he’s dumb?”


    There is something cute in that savage response, enough to warrant a chuckle. The noise managed to finally attract the attention from the bickering trio, with the Commander snorting in amusement at the suggestion.


    “I would do that and much more,” Marcus answered gleefully. “Especially with that all-white wizard on their fold. Perhaps you’ve some ways to chide people trying to emulate your style, Bishop?”


    “As if I would recognize the attempt of such a scoundrel as part of our religious order,” Felicianus rebuked with a huff. “White is the symbol of purity. Like the hair of fair maiden Myasviel.”


    The girl giggled at the compliment, and my smile twitched at remembering the aftermath of getting caught sleeping by the garden with her by Bishop.


    The man’s shock had melted at the various guarantees advanced by both me and Altuos, enough to see any bad escalations turned into something far odder and kind of worrying on the long-term.


    ‘Marriage is the solution.’


    The religious elder had been clear about it, and quite ‘subtle’ in coaxing the innocent young woman in taking some steps over the holy union.


    Subtle wasn’t exactly Felicianus’ forte, and the resulting instances merely saw an increase of personal contact with a giddy Mya, from hugs to trying to fall asleep with me nearby.


    To her this was all a reason to just deepen and broaden our friendship, but I was perfectly aware that the situation was a little more than that and thus had to keep an eye for any strange behaviors from both.


    “I assume that your highness has already thought over this matter,” Altuos piped in with some curiosity. “I reckon that you’ve been quiet for some time before Mya’s arrival. Maybe you can offer us any suggestions to solve this quandary?”


    I blinked at being brought in that conversation already, but understanding why I needed to offer an input now that I had been called in.


    I sighed, I gave a simple glance at all of them and… I spoke.


    “We go there and I tell him no,” I muttered with a serious voice, slowly turning my attention at the girl. “And then I tell Arthur he’s dumb.”


    Her victorious smile lightened up the world once more as I turned back to the three advisors.


    “It wouldn’t be prudent to… go there, your highness.”


    “I think it would actually work well if I did, Altuos,” I rebuked calmly. “In fact, I think I can avoid a war if I go there to directly refuse the claim. If I play my cards carefully-”


    “You will still need some backing, my liege,” Felicianus jumped in with a nod. “I humbly offer my service to aid you in this diplomatic endeavor.”


    I hummed while thinking over this possibility. Having the Church by my side would be a huge boost to my legitimacy, especially since Arthur wasn’t a believer of Christianity despite some authors proclaiming so.


    The fellow mentioned gods, more than just a deity, and that confirmed the fact that he was well away from converting to the religion.


    While the Roman Empire was no more, Christianity still had a big role in most of Western Europe, with the biggest exception being some of the territories in Proper Germany.


    I gave him a nod. “I will accept your offer.”


    Just as I saw his smile at my confirmation, I noticed Altuos bowing his head. “I will hopefully be allowed to join this event too.”


    Another nod, I felt a tug by the other side as Mya gave me a questioning look.


    “You want to come too?”


    “I want to… be there,” The young woman confessed slowly, but with undeterred determination.


    I frowned at that, still unsure about having the girl leave the castle on such an important mission. Especially with the threat advanced by Merlin.


    But then again, it would’ve been best to have her around to keep a closer eye on her. Thus I gave her an uneasy nod, which she took with a big smile.


    “Of course I will be there too, Kingly-”


    “You’re… actually staying at the castle, Commander,” I interjected with a mix of seriousness and amusement, as soon I was happily basking in the shocked expression displayed by the man. “Since one of the main leaders of the military has to stay behind, I think you will enjoy some days here to keep track of the situation here in Londinium while I’m not there to maintain my regular role.”


    He frowned. “That’s- I thought- but-”


    “I will have Lancelot to be my guard during our time away,” I continued with a tiny smirk. “So you will have nothing to worry about.”


    “But what about the wizard? I want a piece of that ba-” He stopped as he realized that Mya was staring at him with some attention. “That stupid moron.”


    “Well sadly, you can’t be there to do that,” I responded with a sigh. “But I can assure you that I’ve some plans to return the favor to the Flower-guy.”


    “Can you at least tell me how you plan to take revenge on him?” He asked dryly, to which I nodded and gestured him to come closer.


    As he was close enough, I started to whisper him what I planned to try if Merlin ever ended up getting too close to either me or Mya.


    Something something sword. Something something rear.


    The swift whispering seemed to garner some amusement from the Commander, the man nodded eagerly at the mental sight created by the careful words used to depict the ‘fair’ torture I had in mind to exact on the white-dressed prick.


    With everyone agreeing with my mission, I found myself entertained by a single thought for the rest of the day.


    A thought that had come up by utter imagination and a sense of vengefulness.


    I wonder how it would feel to bitch-slap King Arthur.


    ---------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d------------


    AN


    Action is now! Memelin is in, and so is Artoria. But how will it go? Will Artoria get slapped, will she do something serious but then absurdly insane? Or maybe Mya is going to roast the blonde with her cute sass? Also… a fight?
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
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  20. MasterOfDragonsGod

    MasterOfDragonsGod Well worn.

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    Great as always.
     
  21. Lucidum

    Lucidum Verifiably Bored

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    Loved the Chapter, Now all I have on my mind is Joseph bitch slapping Artoria so hard that it's revealed she's a woman. My other thought is Artoria is actually still Lily and super nervous about being king which is why Merlin was trying to boost her confidence by having her first kingdom be a soft sell.
     
  22. Torchbearer96

    Torchbearer96 Making the rounds.

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    Great work as always, I can't wait to see what shenanigans ensue!
     
  23. EntropyEnginear

    EntropyEnginear Versed in the lewd.

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    Obviously the solution to all this is a vigorous deep dicking.
     
  24. Gawain

    Gawain Semiramis is best waifu

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    he could marry Morgan.
     
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  25. anirocks

    anirocks good man inside dirty pervert outside

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    if everything goes according to keikaku then it will revealed that Arturia is a women and she will be married to joseph
     
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  26. WiseMack

    WiseMack Know what you're doing yet?

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    Spoiler alert, at this point in time the MC still doesn't know Arthur is a girl.
     
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  27. davelll

    davelll I am ribs

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    trip and accidental grope/shirt rip for the win
     
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  28. Silverwing15

    Silverwing15 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Too cliche.
     
  29. Threadmarks: Chapter 9: Friend... or not? (1)
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 9: Friend… or not? (1)


    The major trade-port of Venta Belgarum was one of the few cities in the British Isles that hadn’t perceived the damaging effects that the retreat of Roman influence had caused across the countries.


    Its economy still running strong thanks to the various ties to the French Mainland mixed between the small Roman strongholds in Normandy and the Franks ruling the region of Holland thanks to the fact that the trade routes in the English channel had been spared by the raids committed by the Saxon invaders.


    The place was flourishing with life and urban development, something that would’ve surely been halted if the invaders had managed to conquer Londinium and reached the southern port.


    But now that this threat was vanquished for good, especially with the last few news coming from the border war between the Picts and the German tribes?


    I was sure as heck not going to waste the opportunity of endearing the governor of the city to sworn loyalty to my legitimate claim to the Isles.


    The city had been the one that had been picked for the ‘Convention of Kings’. Or so it was nicknamed by those workers that had been assigned in the streets to promote the important event. It was monumental, the possibility of drawing peace out of the war-torn lands of England.


    While the general unpleasantness of the conflicts crippling the mainland hadn’t reached the ‘quiet south’, the people in Venta Belgarum were endeared by the chance of finally being brought back into something powerful like it had been the Roman Empire.


    There was a degree of stability that nothing else but being part of a large conglomerate of territories could bring to people’s mind. The idea of a mighty leader ruling diligently, efficiently and, most of all, for the greater good of the nation. Which is why absolutism was the best way to go for the time being until things were somewhat ‘happier’ in this sad lands of death and unfairness.


    Still, I wasn’t fretting myself by pushing the current governor to actually get interested in such an offer. The man that ruled the trade-port was one of the rare few Romans that had actually refused to abandon the Isles, but he was also one of the oldest member of the Latin bureaucratic system.


    Quintus Peltrasius Natalinus was born in Rome a few years earlier than the Sack of 410.


    His family had been affiliated to some of the waning Aristocracy born from those that were part of the Senate. A governor that was meant to keep control of Britannia Prima, the first Roman colony in England, but failed to do so when the Legions garrisoning the region were forced to leave to assist the other troops by the Rhine and down in Italy.


    He was within the entourage welcoming my group within the city when we arrived at the city just a day before the established day of the convention. He appeared to be an old man that looked pretty close to kick the bucket, but one that still sported dignity and pride in his upbringing.


    I had expected him to be irked by my own presence, as Londinium was recognized as part of his own territory. Yet he was rather polite, and incredibly ‘kind’ over the party welcoming us within the streets of the city. Big crowds stared at my small cast of individuals that had been selected for the task and the guards that were following us.


    It’s kind of difficult to truly understand the psyche of the public in this specific time period but I knew that there was just a strange awe in seeing important characters guarded by knights in shining armors. So I just didn’t waste too much thought about it and merely focused on the situation at hand.


    We were provided with rooms by the living quarters, away from those occupied by by the group led by King Arthur as to avoid any unpleasant conflicts before the negotiations planned to happen for the next morning. Once our stuff had been properly put by our respective rooms, we were offered a larger room to use to share some discussions over what was going to be a troublesome round of negotiations.


    “It’s… concerning that Quintus decided to keep quiet about the claimant’s identity,” Altuos commented quietly. “While the man and I don’t share much confidentiality after what had happened with the last governor in Londinium, he would’ve jumped at the opportunity to squash any attempt from the locals to form a heretic kingdom.”


    “Maybe something got him to change idea?” I suggested, only to be met with a headshake from Felicianus.


    “Governor Quintus is a devout Catholic, his faith coming second only to his loyalty to Rome,” The Bishop pointed out, dismissing my little guess with that affirmation. “But I share the commander’s concerns over the lack of support from the Governor. I would’ve expected… even a small gesture to confirm his trustworthiness.”


    But he hadn’t.


    While the man had been a fine guide and a polite host, the Roman Governor hadn’t showed anything that could be considered as an inclination towards our side. Which was indeed worth of some worry at the chances of Merlin having meddled around to make this a problematic place where to be as of now.


    Maybe this was a massive trap. Maybe this was meant to see me killed if I failed to comply to the orders. I’ve seen how some characters within the Arthurian Legends were different by appearances, but their behaviors were somewhat resembling to the way they were commonly depicted by the old texts.


    And while Arthur was a noble knight with a good ambition, his ways to achieve his goals were far from stellar. Knightship can take you so far before you shift your mentality away from honor and back into a forceful perception that altered one’s mindset about the world.


    Especially after years of wars having influenced the young claimant to the throne of Britain.


    Despite my own issues about the matter, I was still relieved when the conversation soon shifted on something that would help immensely in giving our side some good publicity. While Felicianus had been living in Londinium with his cast of the Ecchlesia, the rest of Christian Britain was technically his own responsibility.


    And this is why from that very topic there were conversations over the implementation of the same projects I had suggested to the Bishop here in Venta Belgarum. The idea was appealing, especially since the project was funded by the Church itself since the group wasn’t forced to commit tributes to the rulers of the land.


    While the trade-city seemed to have less issues with poor people, the presence of this issue and the resolution proposed by the Church ‘under Felicianus but by my own Blessing’ would’ve endeared the interest and the trust of some citizens trying to get a clear glimpse of who I truly was.


    With this little situation solved, the discussion shifted on another particular situation. Roman Magi had established a Guild in this city too. They weren’t following the standards preached by Altuos, but the guidelines that made it possible for their group to exist were there.


    Considering my plans of seeing if it was possible to ‘upgrade’ Crocea Mors’ runes to offer me better performances during the battlefield, I knew it was a must to give it a chance and visit the local Magi Guild once I was done with these negotiations.


    From there, we delved back to the negotiations themselves. We had little to no clue about the kind of entourage Arthur had brought to the convention, but I was fairly sure that the main initiative was going to be a swift and blunt attempt to get their treaty done and signed.


    With how quickly the young Pendragon had to have moved from Civil War to a proper kingdom, I was skeptical to believe he would be able to sustain a stable dominion over the region without facing some peasant rebellions back at home.


    Either that, or I was hoping for Galehaut to make some interesting moves with his own control over the ‘kingdom’, perhaps make his own bid of power. This last possibility being a tangible one with the fact that the mighty lord kept neutral if not antagonistic over Arthur’s ambitions up until he faced the ‘Black Knight’.


    And with the Black Knight currently sitting beside me with a confused and worried look over the overall situation we were supposed to face together, I knew that the chances of Arthur winning over Galehaut were close to none.


    With that thought in mind, I continued to sport a confident look thorough the discussion, quipping some comments once in a while whenever possible. If I wasn’t paying attention to the other topics highlighted in that lengthy conversation, it was because I was chatting quietly with Mya.


    While the young woman was trying her best to keep track on what was being said in that reunion, her lacking grasp over the complicated matters brought up made her capacity to understand and digest the various topics quite complicated.


    I noticed this from the very beginning of the discussion, but I had restrained myself from actively talking to her up until I was finally ‘let go’ of facing the issue that was the reason why we were all here.


    “How are you doing?”


    She offered a small but uneasy smile. “It’s difficult. But… I’m fine.”


    “Once we’re done with this, I think we could take two hours to wander around the city,” I commented kindly. “It would do us all a little breath of air out of these sturdy walls.”


    “Is it always this difficult?” The white-haired woman inquired quietly. “I don’t want to pry if it’s… private. But it seems like this is what you usually do-”


    “It can be difficult at times, but the rewards are worth it all,” I replied with a small smile. “Still, I manage. It’s not always a complicated mess as this one.”


    A small smile returned to her lips. “And you still find time to visit me.”


    “Of course. Why would I miss chatting with you?” I said with a frown. “I promised you that I will never leave me alone.”


    Her smile widened. “I don’t want to leave you alone too.”





    I blinked, feeling jolted by the bright expression that I was bestowed with when she said those words. It felt odd that those felt so meaningful.


    The conversation trailed for another full hour before I decided to adjourn the reunion to a latter hour. I took precautions to keep up with the little walk I had planned to have with Mya around Venta Belgarum.


    Two guards from the local garrison were given to support Lancelot with the task of escorting us around the streets of the city. We were both endeared by the pleasant beauty of the roads and by the almost naive curiosity displayed by the people passing by and stopping to look at us walking around.


    In the end this turned into a nice way to spend some of our free time in relative peace and harmony before we had to return back to the castle for more heavy conversations about tomorrow’s situation.


    Once we were gone through the same similar spiel from Altuos and Felicianus, stealing some brief chats with Myasviel in the mean time and… the daytime flickered away from my grasp quite quickly and unexpectedly.


    I had so much weighting my entire consciousness over what was going to be my best shot to avoid a problematic and bloody conflict with someone way more advantaged than I was right now.


    The night was long… and my nervous mind didn’t have any plans for me to find rest.


    ---------------d-d-d-d----------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d-----------


    It was around midnight that I decided to make something risky. Something that could easily end with my own demise if this place was truly filled with non-friendly intentions towards my group.


    Taking a stroll around the castle without an armed escort was indeed a stupid decision from my part, but I wasn’t unarmed since I had decided to take with me Crocea Mors.


    My early plan was to merely lurk around to ponder in silence about the nerve-inducing fact that I was supposed to spearhead a powerful opposition to Arthur’s expansionism.


    The mere idea that I was going to butt heads with King Arthur was enough to put me in an unpleasant state of mind. Worry filling my thoughts, I ended up going beyond the corridor of the living quarters, feeling the need of finding a place I was sure that at this time of the night was currently deserted.


    While the castle was slightly smaller than the one in Londinium, the inner barracks were still there as per architectural style that saw both fortress built. Moving around the halls without getting spotted by the passing patrols proved to be simpler than I had initially thought and… I ended up finding myself entering the place I assumed to be the barracks.


    The large area was filled divided between the armory with the sparring tools and other blades needed for training, while the rest of the room was assigned for the training sessions. Small circles that were delimited by rope tightly circling through four pikes set by the ground around the fighting area.


    But while I had indeed managed to find where the barracks where, my hopes of quiet and peace crumbled as I saw a lone figure slashing the air with a sparring sword. I was unable to get their appearance because of the dim lighting.


    The torches were spread thinly across the entire room, and the other illuminating light that better aided in getting some sight over the battle areas was created by the moonlight descending from holes by the roof.


    Finally, she moved around and bathed under the pale light. I blinked in surprise at the short-haired blonde attacking the air in what looked to be some training to refine her precision with her strikes. This very exercise had been one of the few ones that even now that I got through the basics of swordsmanship was still within my own regiment.


    She was wearing a simple night-robe, with her sleeves rolled to the elbows as to have better mobility with her blade. Her golden hair was let down and free from any style beyond the natural small shoulder-length mane those formed.


    Her greenish-blue eyes glinted interest over the current state of things, and she looked to have attained inner peace through that simple exercise. The silence was barely disturbed by her actions, with her voice being restrained by discipline and restraint over the importance of focusing onto the present.


    But she was so attentive of her silent training that she failed to notice that I had been there. I took a few steps closer, taking a seat by one of the wooden benches lined by the entrance, my eyes mesmerized by the accuracy and devotion of her attacks. Almost reminding me of the way Lancelot seemed to twirl and strike around with his sword during our spars.


    To be fair, I was starting to itch at the fact that this formidable woman was alone there and exercising, making her a possible training buddy for the time being… if I managed to introduce myself without sounding like a creep. It was late in the night, the place was desolate, and we were living in the medieval ages- I can see so many unpleasant misunderstandings coming from this very situation.


    So, instead of continuing to stare like some stalker at the young woman, I decided to stand up from my seat and approach a little more her little training area. I paused by the edge of the ropes, waiting for a moment for the girl to finish what looked to be a rather complicated combo of swirls, slashes and strikes before actually greeting her.


    “It’s a quiet night today, isn’t it?” I asked calmly, still failing to avoid getting a quick alarmed look from her as she turned around with her wooden sword trained at me. I frowned at the distrusting look on her face and sighed. “Just wandering about. Wanted to practice with my sword to clear some of my thoughts.”


    The quick explanation served to ease up the situation, but not enough to avoid swift inquiries from the blonde.


    “Who are you?”


    I felt tempted to state my full title and name, but then again I wasn’t one to flex and brag about my achievements everywhere I go. So I just shrugged. “A guest to this castle. What about you, young lady?”


    She looked surprised by the lack of formality within my tone and at the counter-question I had proposed to her. The girl shuffled nervously, keeping quiet as she thought about this.


    “I’m- I’m a guest too.”


    Oh? I guess that would make sense that she’s the daughter of some noble. She looked fairly young, I would say in her late teen years.


    Just before I had the chance of pressing on, the swordswoman decided to continue to speak.


    “A-And why would you need to… be there to clear your thoughts?”


    There was a pause, her hold over the sword was now aimed elsewhere than me, but her tension was still there to make it clear she wasn’t trusting my current reasoning just yet. What an interesting situation. And what an adorable blonde I had to deal with.


    “Same thing you’re doing here? Like I’ve said I just want to be alone and train a little bit,” I answered swiftly, once more surprising the young woman on the spot. “But since you’re here… I guess it would be asking too much to spar. I don’t wish to sound too much disrespectful and straightforward, which is why I will leave you to your own businesses and I will train away from-”


    “W-Wait,” She muttered in a mix of confusion and surprise. “I mean, I wouldn’t mind to spar with someone right now- you’re also correct to say that it would be odd if you offered now and like this...”


    I blinked. “But?”


    The woman sighed. “But I really need to vent on a live target,” She admitted without hesitation, drawing a skeptical frown from me. “A-And don’t give me that look. I can tell that you wanted something like that too.”


    To be fair, she wasn’t wrong in thinking like that. I really needed something a little more ‘difficult’ to face as to distract me from my own worries. A ‘live target’ would do that and much more. I managed a nod, before leaving my sword by the closest pike and walking up to fetch myself a training blade to challenge the blonde.


    She had took her stance, holding her sword with both hands and preparing to rush me… but I wasn’t done yet with the talking. In fact, I really felt interested now about this curious sparring buddy.


    “How about we make a bet?” I suggested calmly, making her stare at me with a mix of confusion and minor irritation at getting distracted by my words. “I win, you tell me your name. You win, I tell you mine.”


    “Sounds rather unfair...” The blonde commented with a nod. “For yourself.”


    I narrowed my eyes at that, feeling aggravated that this girl was trying to throw sass at me. And I wasn’t going to take that without some retaliation. “Then you will find no issue in accepting this, correct?”


    A small smirk appeared on her face. “Only if you promise to not whine once I’m done with you.”


    That’s it. Now I need to take steps to make some over-confident girl cry a river over this situation. I would’ve been nicer than this but… I really was irritated by the arrogance displayed by the sassy girl.


    Grasping tightly at the hilt of my sword, I bolted the very moment that the blonde advanced. I was surprised at the burst of speed which the young woman had used to reach up for me, but I was accustomed to this kind of absurd pacing after dealing with this crap for a while now.


    Her first hit, a sudden attempt to plunge her wooden blade towards me, was thwarted when I slammed the sword away from my proximity, offering me just a tiny window of opportunity to land ‘first blood’ myself.


    Much to my dismay, my sword touched only air as the girl moved away from its trajectory. A smirk still playing by her face as I pressed on with the assault, clashing fiercely with her defense and her attempts to counter my own attacks.


    I backed away as she took a wild swing at my left flank, letting the blade pass in front of me before shifting forward and back in my previous position.


    “You’re good,” I confessed with a mix of surprise and giddiness over the intense situation. “But you don’t seem much.”


    Her posture twitched at the half-compliment half-insult.


    “And you move fairly slow for a ‘slender’ young man.”


    ...Did she call me fat right now?! ’m not even chubby! What the heck!?


    If the reason behind that insult was to get me pissed and more focused on the match, then she got her wish granted as I started to apply even more pressure to her guard. Yet, while I had some edge in the early moments of that furious burst, I was once again facing a stubborn stalemate by our equal pacing.


    We both started to get riskier with our efforts to get openings on each others, but nothing truly noteworthy developed from that maddening equal clashing. I could feel her getting angrier the more I persisted against her, with the small lock of hair twirling atop her head dignifying the annoyance slowly replacing her patient self.


    More power was pumped into my arms, my legs straining further as I tried to outmaneuver the girl, only to be matched shortly after by her own crescendo. It was infuriating how we were holding well against one another.


    But just as I mustered up another strong push to throw back the umpteenth attempt from the girl, I felt the wood clashing starting to… creak louder than before. I didn’t pay much attention to the odd noise, but then as the clash persisted through that single situation, the entire structure of our swords cracked under the pressure.


    The ‘bladed’ part literally came off in a small release of tiny splinters flying everywhere around. I felt my eyes widening in utter surprise at it, with my sparring partner stopping at the same time as I did to look at her former training blade.


    “Y-You- How is this possible?”


    I stared at my own broken sword with a confused look. Shock swelled at the sight, but it was confusion that took the lead as I realized something much more important than the odd aftermath of this spar.


    “Who won?”


    The girl blinked in surprise at my sudden query, staring silently at me as her now wide-open eyes tried to make sense either about my question or how my priorities were truly sorted inside my head. Still, she blinked again and… nodded.


    “I think that was a draw,” The blonde admitted, her tone still filled with quiet surprise at the development. “Which means…”


    “We need to tell each others about our names,” I concluded for her, drawing a nod from the young woman.


    She gave me a long stare, but didn’t say anything. “Isn’t there a rule about ‘girls going first’?”


    “I’m shy,” The young woman commented with a blank tone, making me narrow my eyes at her as a smug look appeared shortly after on her face.


    “And also a sassy, shy, but adorable girl. Yes,” I rebuked with an impassive tone, making her blush at the little ‘compliment’ I had left for her to hear. “But sure. My name is… Joe.”


    Oh God, I just realized that I could technically meme her but… that wouldn’t be received well considering time and space. Curse you, lack of the internet!


    “Your name is Joe?”


    “Yep.”


    “That’s… quite short.”


    Maybe I’m trying to balance something far bigger than that. Who knows.


    “What about your name? It’s your turn now, shy-girl.”


    Huffing at the new nickname, she crossed her arms close to her chest. “I’m… You may call me Ria.”


    I stared at Ria quietly and in a contemplative state. I was fairly sure that name wasn’t a thing just yet, especially here in Medieval England. Could it be that she had perceived the fact I had used a fake name? Probably, or maybe she was just as careful as I was about giving out her real name.


    “Well… nice to meet you, Ria.”


    “Likewise,” She rebuked softly. “And you were a good sparring partner. You seem to have quite the experience with the blade.”


    I nodded slowly. “To be honest, I’ve started to train with a sword a little less than a month ago.”


    I saw her skip a couple of steps to approach me. “What? You’ve to be lying.”


    “I’m not,” I commented sheepishly. “But there is also the fact that I got trained to the bone to get to this level.”


    “Still, that was a formidable match. It’s been a while since… I’ve been testing my own against someone else,” She admitted. “And… Can I ask you a quick question? Something that I’ve been thinking about since we first started fighting?”


    I shrugged, gesturing her to go ahead with it and the blonde sighed.


    “Were you… trying to hold back?”


    … “No, why?”


    “You weren’t holding back?”


    “As I’ve said, no. It was a spar and...” I paused, slowly realizing what she was trying to get to ask about and… I sighed. “No I didn’t hold back. Especially not because you’re a girl.”


    “But-”


    “There’s no butts. I really put myself into that spar, like you did yourself,” I interjected tiredly. “And with this resolved… I think I will go back to sleep.”


    Ria looked slightly irked by this final comment, but just as she prepared to rebuke that, she proceeded to let out a quick yawn, making me yawn too. Her face reddened up again, and instead of commenting about the situation, she merely settled with a nod and a quick ‘goodnight’.


    I was incredibly tired, ready to get myself some sleep and… the warm sheets and pillows welcomed me just fine back in that nice bed. I slowly drifted away into unconsciousness, incredibly unaware that things tomorrow were indeed going to become… rather awkward.


    If only I had known that my newest friend was actually going to become (also) my newest rival!!


    ------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d--------


    AN


    ...I bet I shocked some people and-


    NO, ARTRYA IS SUPPOSED TO BE TUGH AND STRONK!’





    Yeah, about that I… decided to follow up Garden of Avalon considering that Artie wasn’t cold and Kingly since day one. Her commitment to the role started around the time Gawain came around and joined the Round Table. Because yes, Gawain isn’t here yet… but someone else is. Someone that will be fairly dangerous to face early on.


    On another note, the reason why the update took me so long to write is because I write a lot. This is not an attempt to whine or brat, just a remainder that I write a lot, and I tend to burden myself a lot over this kind of stuff. My saving grace being that I don’t have much pressure from RL right now.


    P.S. For next chapter: Expects lots of misunderstandings, shenanigans, silent conversations made with looks and glaring, and… and Memelin. He’s back… with a vengeance!!

    P.P.S. The art used from Artoria isn't meant to depict her current state of dressing. Just the frame and the 'kind' of Artoria that is currently there (Similar to Lily, but close to become Full Seiba)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
    Anthony1967, ATP, chrome23 and 22 others like this.
  30. Threadmarks: Chapter 10: Friend… or not? (2)
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 10: Friend… or not? (2)


    A new morning came and with that the entire avalanche that was the issue at hand crashed onto my poor sleepy brain.


    Surprisingly enough, I didn’t find other problems in catching some rest after that unexpected sparring session. That encounter with Ria had been… quite entertaining. And I was sure that I wasn’t the only one thinking that.


    The girl had looked genuinely relieved when we started the match, and despite the strange outcome, that pretty smile just helped to put me at ease in my bed. I had helped someone… during a boredom-driven midnight stroll.


    How many can say that? Except Alucard, of course.


    With the first sun light coming through the two windows of the room, my state of sleep was slowly but steadily interrupted. I blinked just once before I realized that I wasn’t already done with this frustrating situation.


    Sounds cocky, but I really wanted to be done with this crappy predicament and be back home for some more paperwork. Never before I had felt the interest in drowning in that paper-hell, and I can see quite clearly that it wasn’t a normal instance that was driving me to that point.


    Putting on my proper clothes and armor, I proceeded to leave my bedroom to check on the others. Altuos was already out and wandering the castle as his room was barren of his presence. He was probably gone to check the city’s Magus Guild.


    Felicianus was… resting. Loudly so. I didn’t expect him to be a loud snoring kind of sleeper.


    I didn’t bother looking inside, feeling rather uncomfortable at the thought of disturbing an old man like him in his rest. I decided to move onto the next room.


    Lancelot was finishing putting on his armor. Despite my early suggestions of trying to get a forger to get him lighter curaisse, the knight was adamant in keeping this battle iron for the rest of his tenure under my kingdom.


    A gift. That’s how he had justified the steely reluctance to ‘upgrade’ his defensive garb.


    Finally I went to check on Myasviel and… she was awake. The girl’s red eyes were fixed at the ceiling, a confused look brightly displayed on her beautiful face.


    What an odd sight.


    I made a step in the room, stopping to knock at the now-open door. She blinked before turning her sight on me. A smile appeared, and I felt a little better about today.


    “Good morning, Mya.”


    “Joseph,” The white-haired young woman greeted back mirthfully. “I’m… sorry that I’m not up from bed… yet.”


    I frowned at the apology. “I’m not offended. But is there something bothering you?”


    “Bothering me?” She repeated softly, almost surprised and I nodded.


    “You seem distressed. Did something happen yesterday or-”


    “No. It’s… It’s complicated. It think,” She admitted with a sigh. “I had a strange dream...”


    “A dream? Did you dream something bad?”


    Mya shook her head, denying that possibility. “It was just… unpleasant. Like I couldn’t help but be distressed while staring at the colors.”


    Colors? What was she talking about?


    “Blue, black, red and… anger,” She described without stopping in her words. “So much anger. And…it’s directed at us.”


    Blinking at that comment, I thought about this curious dream. It wasn’t some silly one from the way the young woman was mentioning it. So unnerved, so uneasy before what she had seen in that vision.


    Altuos had mentioned that something like this was possible, but to think that it would happen now that the situation was so fragile.


    I felt dread at this development, but I hid these thoughts from manifesting their dark undertone on my expressions. I merely sported a weak smile, nodding at Mya.


    “Then I guess we will have to keep an eye for any strange occurrences,” I concluded with a sigh. “You should probably start getting up and… change back to your dress.”


    She nodded, a small smile rising to her face to try and match mine. I could still see the troubled inner state of her mind over this topic, but I was glad that she was making an effort to keep herself positive through that negative chance.


    I left her room, this time my mind shifting in the effort to try where Altuos had gone by. Surely the old man knew a little bit more about visions that I did.


    Colors. How the fuck I’m supposed to make out a possible ordeal out of mere colors.


    Black, blue and… red. An odd combination that just limited any possible suspects that could walk in and screw things up. Maybe the party-poopers were already there, withing King Arthur’s entourage.


    With Lancelot on my side, there were just a handful of knights that were supposedly in the guy’s camp as of now. Some sounded rather unpleasant in facing in a ‘fair fight’, while others felt more reasonable to fight against considering my current abilities.


    Still, my current priority was to find the elusive Magus elder, get some more insight over this strange dream Mya had experienced, and perhaps inquire about upgrading Crocea Mors’ current runes.


    Sounds like a simple plan.


    Sadly, fate had other plans as I ended up running into two men talking. One was Quintus, the holder of this city and castle, while the other was… someone I was unfamiliar with.


    Looking at the unknown man, I was forced to hold back a shiver as the dreadful sight just felt so wrong.


    The pure black armor just exuded a degree of uneasiness. Dark hair combed back in a formal hold and his pale skin just made his piercing blue eyes the more difficult to stare at.


    “King Joseph,” The older individual greeted coolly but politely. “I didn’t expect you to be awake at this hour.”


    “I’ve some plans for today before the meeting with Arthur,” I replied calmly. “And I hope this is a good morning for you, Consul Quintus.”


    The use of the former Roman title seemed to gain a small grin from the elder, just like I had expected from someone so attached to Rome. Despite my hopes of getting going after this brief interaction, the attention soon shifted at his former interlocutor.


    “Before I forget, your highness, I present you… Agravain.”


    Fuck.


    The dark-haired man bowed, his stare fixed on me while I prepared to address him properly.


    “It’s... a pleasure to make your acquaintance,” I muttered, getting a nod from him.


    “I’ve heard interesting things about your deeds… your highness.”


    He sounded so smooth. Almost like a perfect manipulator.


    I’ve to be careful around this person, or I might end up with more than just this trouble to face.


    “I’ve did pretty little. I’ve yet to do half of what I’ve planned for this year.”


    Bragging? Hopefully, I was going to bluff him.


    “Still, your first actions as the ruler of Londinium are difficult to just ignore,” The man pressed with a fascinated tone. “Not only you drove away the rank of invaders that were well beyond the soldiers you could’ve mustered, but you did so while consolidating your rule… and preparing a punitive expedition.”


    I feel like Merlin had caught news of this while visiting. Rather frustrating to learn that Arthur was well-aware of my activities through this unplanned discussion, but I held back from scowling at the discovering.


    Before I had the chance to answer to that, I felt soft footstep approaching. I glanced behind, taking notice of Lancelot as he stopped by my right side.


    “My liege,” He greeted again. “I hope I’m not interrupting anything.”


    “Not truly,” Agravain interrupted for me. “And I’ve heard about you too, Sir Lancelot du Lac.”


    “Hopefully nothing dreadful,” I muttered.


    “No, quite the opposite I dare to say.” The dark-haired man quickly admitted. “In fact, I’m surprised that you didn’t arrive in the isles much earlier.”


    “I was unsure how to approach the chaotic situation that is unfolding in Britain. While my homeland isn’t by any mean peaceful, I was uneasy to step in a land that I knew so little about,” He explained without hesitation. “But I’m glad that I found certainty under King Joseph.”


    I almost smiled at that, but the implicit compliment was then used for something else.


    “Then you can surely agree with me that your monarch did an incredible work. Beyond the limits of mere humans.”


    “I wasn’t doing much more than what a proper administrator should’ve done,” I calmly rebuked.


    My answer made the dark-armored knight frown. “Why would you need to diminish the value of your impressive victories? As a king, surely you understand that those highlight the truth. Your superiority to the common man.”


    …What?


    “My… superiority?” I repeated with immense confusion dripping from my voice. “Can you please… elaborate?”


    He frowned, but still offered a slow nod before actually explaining.


    “As a king, you’re chosen to be someone way beyond the simple human. Your power, your wisdom, your capacity of winning against impossible odds-”


    “That’s not what truly makes a king… a king,” I interjected, starting to understand what he was implying with this concept of kinghood. It felt so detached from the material title… and more reaching for the divine undertone that the title has in this period. “That sounds more like what a hero should be. Which would make sense since some heroes do become kings.”


    “What?” Agravain asked blankly.


    “A king is a sovereign, a ruler. The main purpose of a king is to do whatever it takes to help his people. You will never see a king donning some flashy armor and go alone against a couple hundreds of enemies while leaving his kingdom to rot in corruption and disorganization,” I continued to explain. “He rules first, by example and by truth. He doesn’t bow to nobody but to the moral good, the one thing nobody with proper intentions can abstain to.”


    I turned to look at Quintus. “Julius Caesar didn’t pass the Rubicon just for the sake of power. Rome had long been forsaken to stagnation. The lack of central leadership and the decay of the Senate had been the main catalyst for a need within the Romans. A leader, a brave general that could understand the daily plights and act accordingly to it. That didn’t espouse bribery, that didn’t accept compromises.”


    “An Imperator,” The Latin muttered softly, almost coaxed by the remembrance of the old glory that was the first decades of the Roman Empire. “You’ve his sword.”


    I tensed up a little at that sudden statement, and I unconsciously patted at the scabbard holding Crocea Mors. Still, I nodded. “I do.”


    “You… truly walk like a Roman,” He commented, and my eyes widened in surprise at that genuine compliment. “So confident, but so calculative. It’s… it’s absurd.”


    The old man looked impressed, and his tone just wasn’t holding anything back about it.


    “It’s all about honesty in one’s actions,” I confided with a sigh. “After all, the safety of the people should be the highest law.”


    The last bit… it was a quote. One that the elder easily understood as the one that owned this phrase was… unforgettable to a roman.


    “Cicero...”


    I nodded. “You study, you learn, but, most of it all, you improve by past’s mistakes,” I added. “The Imperium Romanorum. It was great. But it ended because of long-term flaws. Stagnation struck again-”


    “And the greatness was soiled by barbarians,” Quintus muttered, shivering in light anger.


    “Maybe,” I interceded with a sad smile. “Or maybe it was misunderstanding, not only among the Romans, but also with those around us that led to the end of the Empire.”


    “Constantinople still exists-”


    A legitimate address, but one that was silly considering the circumstances.


    “But they speak more Greek than Roman,” I reminded with a frown. “They dress more in purple, than in red. They call it imperial purpure.”


    “You seem rather… accustomed with Roman affairs, your highness,” Agravain commented with a hint of surprise.


    “I just… know about the world around us. The isles are but just a small part of what we know… and what we don’t know.”


    Cryptic and kind of trolly. Perhaps they would end up wondering what I mean with the allusion to ‘unknown’ lands, but I was quite sure the two would never realize I was talking about the ‘New World’ on the other side of the Atlantic.


    “I’ve only heard few tales about Rome,” Lancelot stated with a curious tone. “Is it true that… it burned once?”


    I frowned at that very question, and I could see Quintus share a dark look at that reminder that not everything was sunshine back in the ‘old days’ of the empire.


    “Yes and… I will answer a little more about it in private.”


    The plum-haired knight frowned at the forced end to that query, but he seemed to relent as he noticed my uneasy expression over the topic.


    I knew that Nero was the one responsible for the fire because he wanted to have enough space to build his Domus Aurea. But this truth was still ignored by the large majority as there was no ‘legitimate proof’ pinning the flamboyant emperor to the heinous deed.


    To be fair, that wasn’t the worst thing done by Nero. Just thinking of what he did to Sporus was enough to make me wish bleach was a thing in this age and time.


    Before the conversation could’ve resumed away from that subject, our attention was driven away as a young knight rushed around the corner and… stopped right in front of Agravain.


    “S-Sir Agravain. The king request your presence.”


    The dark-armored knight nodded, glancing behind. “May I be excused? My liege has requested my presence and-”


    “I don’t think we really have a reason to restrain you from complying to that order, Sir Agravain,” I interrupted with a nod, staring at Quintus. “At least, I don’t have any issues with that.”


    “You may return to your liege, Sir Agravain,” The Governor confirmed with a nod before turning his attention at me. “And I suppose you should regroup your entourage, King Joseph. The convention should happen in an hour time from now.”


    We lost so much time already?


    I was surprised at that comment, but I swiftly sobered out from my surprise and frowned at the elder.


    “Actually, I was trying to find where Court Magician Altuos was and-”


    “Your highness- I wish to apologize for running so suddenly but-”


    I stopped, my stare moving a couple of meters behind the governor. The elusive old man was there and… he looked slightly embarrassed as he dragged two big sacks filled with… ingredients of various kinds.


    He went shopping… for magical stuff.


    Now he looked incredibly tired, and… I was confused by the apologetic tone. Was I missing something about it?


    The truth was… no. He just felt ashamed of the fact he had used most of the money… I had given to him with the purpose of doing whatever he wanted with it.


    Truly an inconsolable moron when he wanted despite years of wisdom and experience making him appear like a proper life-teacher.


    Still, he was back and, after saluting Quintus and making our way back to the living quarters assigned to us.


    Once we were all regrouped we reconvened for a final discussion about the meeting and… we prepared for what was going to be quite the diplomatic mess to fix with precision and mercilessness.


    One thing was certain in my mind. I wasn’t going to let anything get a reaction out of me during that blasted convention.


    ------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-------


    It’s been a while since I’ve last felt this much regret.


    Perhaps it was the fact that I had yet to make a colossal overstatement, even one within my thoughts, just like the one I had set myself to respect as we entered the large meeting room.


    The very moment I had the chance to glance at King Arthur… I knew that something was immensely off about the one that was meant to be my greatest enemy as of now.


    The first thing that I could say about the ‘man’ was that he was incredibly young and short compared to me. Quite surprising, but not the worst detail yet to digest in that overall appearance.


    Starting from ‘his’ shoulder-length blond hair and ‘his’ green-blue eyes, I couldn’t help but almost trip while getting on my seat.


    Ria almost did the same when she realized that I was the other King in this occasion. And while the rest of our respective groups took their own seats in that long table, we both ended up avoiding making eye-contact with one another.


    The situation was incredibly awkward, and rightfully so considering that the young sassy blonde that I had sparred with the night before was the legendary King of the Britons.


    If up until now I held some hopes that this wasn’t some animesque scenario of medieval times, the fact I was literally staring at the Gender-bent version of a renowned figure as Arthur was more than enough to crush anything that was left of my prayers.


    It didn’t help that Mya felt the need to mention that ‘King Arthur is a cute dummy’. I really had to put my entire mind in not exploding in chuckles at that very comment, knowing that the blonde was so feminine that she got instantly labeled ‘cute’ by the white-haired woman.


    To distract myself from blurting out anything even so remotely embarrassing or telling of the fact that I knew that Arthur was… Artoria, I decided to do the only thing that had some reasoning to it and wouldn’t gain too much attention.


    I glared at Merlin, and the cheeky bastard grinned back at me.


    I was ready to throw my most hateful look possible from within my core, but I soon was distracted by something unexpected and… fluffy.


    It was a small critter, its fur as white as the hair of the man he was sitting by his shoulder on. He looked to be wearing a small piece of cloth, enchanting the adorable element and… matching so well with those cute blue eyes staring right at me.


    My glare softened in a surprise look and… I saw the small squirrel-cat tilt its head to the side in a curious manner. Yet, the critter’s attention slowly turned to the young lady sitting beside me.


    There was some silence at first as everyone was checking on the papers we had on ourselves and… the small animal gracefully walked down to the table, stopping only in front of Mya. The young woman stared at the situation with mirthful interest and she giggled as the little thing dropped down and rolled to show its fluffy belly.


    “Fou~”


    Belly-rubs ensued at that. I blinked calmly at the scene, slowly returning to look in front of me at Artoria and… noticing quite the worried look on her face as she stared tensely at the small critter.


    “It would seem like Cath Palug took a liking for the fair maiden.”


    Yeah, and he seems quite happy about-





    No.


    Nononono.


    Oh Hell NO!


    Yet the description matched way too painfully for Merlin to be just trolling. A small rodent-like critter with white fur and… its name just made me pale in realization.


    A strong monster, one which strength was best represented by Monty Python’s King Arthur trying to kill it with his knights… and failing miserably in the process.


    The only solution had yet to be invented and… I was unsure if that comedic answer made with cheap special effects could be replicated.


    Still, I think it’s time to invest in making some Holy Hand Grenades if I really wish to survive future encounters… if I survive this one alright.


    With that subtle threat thrown in by the jerk of a magician, I tried my best to ignore the fact that Mya was playing with a creature that just couldn’t be considered cute without the adverb ‘murderously’ attached to it.


    I noticed Altuos paling too at the sight, while the others seemed blissfully unaware of the monstrosity restrained in that adorable form. Truly that thing’s going to be dynamite if enabled in any way.


    “I… I think we should begin with this convention,” ‘Arthur’ coughed nervously while muttering this, looking down at some papers she was holding. “King Joseph of Britannia, I’m glad that you’ve accepted to come here in Venta Belgarum, home of Governor Quintus Peltrasius Natalinus, to discuss about the content of the letter I’ve sent you with utmost interest and reverence.”


    ...Interest and reverence? She might be alluring enough to draw a slight crave from within my mind to reach out and pat her for being so serious and formal in such a difficult situation, but I wasn’t certainly going to accept this little bout of impudence without some retaliation!


    I gave a slow nod. “King Arthur of the Britons, I hope that the trip was a pleasant one… considering that I’ve to state some skepticism over your ‘reverence’ over the content of the letter given by your Court Wizard. In fact, I’m slightly appalled and confused by you using such a term to depict the emotion behind such demands.”


    First step in winning a diplomatic struggle. Exert T-posing dominance upon your opponent to secure a good head start.


    Surprise was glinted by her green-blue eyes, and Artoria looked fairly stomped by my rebuttal. So much that only a word left her lips.


    “What?”


    “Your demands were direct, and blatantly formal. No friendliness, and no truthful effort in securing any good-willed intention,” I replied curtly and fiercely. “In fact, I want to know if you’re jesting now or not.”


    The blonde tensed up even more at my fiery tone, but soon her eyes narrowed at me with incredible annoyance and confusion.


    “My letter was clear in its intent. I didn’t ask for anything grave or heinous as you’re depicting, King Joseph, and I’m fairly sure that there was no other reason to think about any other meaning to my words.”


    “And I’m quite sure that your demands were way beyond ‘grave and heinous’. In fact, the text almost lacked these words to be properly unveiled as such.”


    “And I’m quite sure that an alliance shouldn’t have warranted this much dissent, especially with the looming threat over our kingdoms!”


    “But I know that- wait, alliance?” I stopped to inquire, irritation replaced by sudden confusion. “What alliance?”


    “The one I’ve mentioned in the letter. I’m quite sure that the wording was quite direct and undeniably towards that kind of intent when-”


    “Now, wait a moment,” I interrupted with a growing suspicion over Merlin’s amusement towards our heated debate. “You sent me a letter demanding from me to surrender the crown and proclaim you the only King of Britain.”


    She leaned back, frowning at my response. “I surely sent you a message of friendship, not one of imposition,” ‘Arthur’ said with a huff. “I hope you understand that the weight of your words don’t offer me much ground of trust when-”


    “We still have the letter,” Altuos commented quickly, bringing up the folded paper.


    Merlin moved in as the paper was being passed to his liege. “It could’ve been altered. I wouldn’t put much trust in it, my king.”


    Oh, you’re not going to pull that sneaky one on me, you white-haired bastard!


    “Consul Quintus, I recall that Venta Belgarum has its own Magus Guild. I don’t think we’re asking for too much to see if the letter had been tampered in any possible way.”


    The snap-request gained a curious look from the governor and an uneasy one from Merlin.


    “It could be done,” Quintus replied with a nod. “But it will take some time to see it checked properly. So if you can offer it to my guard to your… side.”


    I nodded at the slow indication, giving the folded paper at the armored man before he left the room for this new task. Once the doors were closed once more, the situation seemed to gain a somewhat awkward denotation.


    Arthur was glancing quietly at the nervous-looking wizard, and I found myself distracted by a certain dangerous critter settling down in front of me. Cath Palug followed the same pattern used with Mya, exposed his fluffy belly.


    “Fou!”


    I sighed. “Aren’t ya the demanding, little buddy?”


    While common sense would’ve had me avoid making physical contact with the monstrous being, I still removed my right gauntlet and… I started to rub his belly.


    “Fou~”


    Some purring-like noises reached out from the pleased white ‘rodent’.


    I cracked a smile at the reaction, but just as I found some relief in that simple activity, my attention was taken away by the neutral mediator’s voice breaking the silence once again.


    “While I’m glad that any heated discussion is being delayed upon the inspection of that message,” Quintus started with a strange tone. “I wish to bring up to both King Joseph’s and King Arthur’s attention that there has been a curious case that might interest you both.”


    I frowned, still rubbing the cute thing’s fluff as I looked up at the governor with a confused look.


    “Could you elaborate some more, Governor Quintus?” Artoria asked with a calm tone and… the elder sighed.


    “Two strange occurrences have happened since your groups have arrived in Venta Belgarum, both of which strongly implies that you two are somehow responsible for.”


    I felt tensing up at these words, as my brain couldn’t help but bring up only a single situation that could’ve gained this much attention from the old Roman.


    “The first one was when two patrolling guards reported seeing ‘two young individuals, a blond and a brunet, sparring silently under the pale moonlight’ by the training grounds in the barracks,” He finally said. “And the second thing was that two of our training swords were found destroyed.”





    “I hope you understand that I request some compensation for the broken swords.”


    I nodded… and so did Artoria as we both knew that he was well aware of our little sparring session.


    Fucking hell, I hadn’t thought that guards had seen us fighting. Paying compensation wasn’t the worst considering the confused glances I was receiving from my group.


    “Your highness, surely… there’s an explanation for this.”


    I didn’t look at Altuos, and the Magus slowly adopted a chiding look at the realization that my implication was legitimate.


    “My king,” Agravain muttered quietly, keeping himself from questioning his liege about her presence in that very setting.


    We were both quiet as we were caught red-handed in the act. And it was slightly embarrassing to bear the staring we were receiving.


    A distraction would be nice right now…


    Just as I thought about this prayer, a familiar chuckle emerged from behind the chair of the governor.


    Quintus tensed up in a panicked expression, trying to reach for the sword set by the chair’s side but… freezing in the action. It was so sudden and I couldn’t help but stare in shock as a familiar figure stepped away from the cover offered by the chair.


    “Truly an interesting scene. Filled with amusing details, silly comedy and… two of my enemies,” The tall woman muttered with a sigh. “Is this truly the day where a trick of yours backfired this badly, Emrys?”


    “Morgan,” Artoria regarded her sister with a stern tone and a fierce glare. “How dare you-”


    “How indeed,” The older blonde mused with regal amusement. “How could I, the legitimate ruler of this land, miss the opportunity to squash this little attempt of rebellion.”


    What?


    “Dear brother of mine, did you seriously think that I would’ve been clueless of your efforts to band together with… him?” The woman asked while aiming an accusing finger at me. “A simple fool that ended up wearing a crown way bigger than he can wield?”


    “Speaking from experience, Morgan?” I shot back with some sass. “By the way, how is your husband? Still unaware you’re just using him for your own obsession.”


    “I reckon that my mercy hasn’t resounded the idea that you’re not in a position to talk back to me, Joseph,” The blonde hummed. “But I guess that the concussion might have done some more than just allowing you to ogle at my frame.”


    She emphasized her final bit by bringing her crossed up down her bosom and… pushing up. I fought back the blush, knowing that it just wasn’t the moment to be embarrassed by this.


    Still, I now had a glimpse of why Arthur wanted an alliance. Her crazy sister was being a little more aggressive than usual. And also bolder at that too.


    “I will be terribly honest and say that you’re gorgeous,” I confessed slowly much to her surprise. “But for what you’ve done, for what you plan to do- I can’t help but see a terrible woman in front of me, in which hideousness can be found only in your deviated personality.”


    She giggled. “Flatterer.”


    Just as she said this, several dark figures formed right behind her. Soldiers donning dark uniforms and armors, holding various blades and weapons.


    Yep, she brought in an army with her this time around.


    I stood up from my chair, slowly taking Crocea Mors out of its sheath and taking a stance. Lancelot followed suit, and so did Artoria and Agravain.


    Sighing, I took a moment to glance to the side and to the blonde. “Arthur.”


    She glanced back at me, giving me utmost attention as we prepared for the fight.


    “We might have had our bumps, but I wish to know if you will lend me your strength, just like I shall offer mine to you for this battle.”


    Her eyes glimmered with determination at my words.


    “Aye, my fellow king… and brother-in-arms.”


    The final word got a dark scowl out of Morgan, the various soldiers finally rushing at the table and…


    We all bolted towards the approaching enemy.


    The room was drowned in pure and utter chaos as the battle against Morgan’s invasion began.


    -----------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------


    AN


    Huzzah! Morgan is here and… oh my, oh my, Joe and Ria, brother in arms!


    Last time I forgot to add in the AN about some amusing thoughts I’ve at the idea of an omake series labeled like ‘Joe and Ria, a tale of childish and comedy’ or something like that. The gig? They both disguise themselves while going in adventures… without leaving town.


    Odd, stupid, but, most of all, horribly fluffy. Gah, my teeth are already rotting at the thought! HOW COULD IT BE!

    Lastly, I wonder how Nasu and TM plans to 'explain' the whole Sporus depravation. If Nero burning Rome was bad, then that certainty is definitively worse. Much Worse.

    ...Maybe the personification of the Almighty UMU actually had a Gender-bent Sporus as a bride?
     
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