You are Alberich: maiden-rescuing knight, killer of men and monsters, familiar twice over, possible relation of Gods, and modern hero. You've seen your home destroyed, your friends and allies scattered to the winds, and yourself crippled, but you persevere in the company of those who remain loyal.On the night of November 13, 2019, you found yourself in a dimly lit stone basement, standing in the middle of a magic circle. You had been summoned as a Servant, a figure out of legend contracted after their death to fight alongside a magus for the Holy Grail. In your case, however, you were and conned by Judas Iscariot into taking his place despite not being any such thing.Since then, you've made your way through a chain of events even stranger than those you faced in the Akeldama. You've lost one Master and gained another on the point of death. You've slain three enemy Servants and converted four to your cause. You've met, allied with, and betrayed the survivors of the last War: a family of magi dedicated to destroying the Holy Grail. You've discovered your true nature, as an artificial hero cobbled together from the souls of over 300 sacrifices and imbued with false memories. You've met the two others like you, formerly 'human' compatriots in the Akeldama's War who have since been transformed into Servants. You've fallen in love with Liliesviel von Einzbern, a homunculus at the center of the Holy Grail War whose desperate need and ephemeral beauty captured your heart. You've begun to walk the path of magical knowledge, and through the use of your Noble Phantasm summoned forth two impossible existences from the Reverse Side of the World: a phantasmal beast and a goddess. This morning, you cracked open the soul of a captured enemy, hoping to take power over her by magic. Instead, you've found yourself wandering in the labyrinthine inner world of her spirit. After you escaped, however, things only worsened thanks to an undetected attack on your home carried out (mostly) while you were unconscious.Since awakening after that disaster, you've discovered the unexpected loyalty of your most recently acquired Servant, made contact with two of your scattered allies, and met an old friend once more. You remain crippled, however, and now work at the preparation of a large-scale ritual to facilitate your healing.None of your experiences have changed your goal. Whatever the purpose or origin of your life, and regardless of who stands in your way, there is only one path before you. You will take the Holy Grail with your own hands. Four Servants remain to fall by your sword.Archive of Previous Threads:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Sweets-Loving%20QMStatus Information:https://pastebin.com/qsKX4p5bQM Twitter:https://twitter.com/SweetsQM
For those of you just joining us, you can read the story of Fate/Awakening Mirror so far in the attached PDF. For Fate/City Akeldama, the beginning of Alberich's story, though, you'll have to go back to the archived threads.Continuing readers may also find the PDF worth a read, as various details have been edited and improved from the first drafts originally posted in the threads.
"On the contrary," you reply. "I have decided. I'll keep Arturia in the house as my bodyguard. That woman can be relied upon to attempt to fail in any way possible at any non-specific orders I give her; best to keep her by my side, where I can ensure she's working optimally. She's quite capable when she does apply herself, after all.""You doubt her loyalty, and for that reason have resolved to keep her as your sole bodyguard?" Medusa's question is delivered in a tone and with an expression as perfectly polite and lacking in reproach as if she were only asking for clarification of some detail troublesome in its complexity, but you can feel her bafflement at your reasoning all the same."That's right," you reply. "You may think it odd, but the magic that binds her to me is quite different from that affecting you. She feels no personal loyalty to me whatsoever, but is compelled to obey any direct order I give her. It's only in the fine details of the execution of these orders, or when she is without input from me, that she has freedom to behave disloyally. Consequently, it's most effective either to use her for highly specific tasks or to keep her within my sight, where I can direct her constantly.""I see." Medusa gives you a contemplative expression, but if she has another question to ask she's overridden before she has the chance to give it voice."You'd like me to go out and defend the sigils that come under attack, then?" Adelheid confirms. "I don't suppose you have any ideas about staying in contact, do you? I doubt you have a two-way radio, given that you met me in person instead of answering my broadcast.""Not even a one-way radio," you admit with a grin. "I had to read about your broadcast on a computer. Since we don't have mobile phones either..." You wrack your brains for a few moments, looking for any workable means of staying in touch, but devise nothing save the needlessly destructive and public method of a system of explosion-based signals. Even that would have to be one-way. Hardly desirable. "I'm afraid that unless you have any bright ideas, you'll simply have to return to the house after each outing to report and discuss matters with me," you say with a shrug. "Hopefully we won't be under such heavy attack, that the consequent loss of time will lessen our chances of success significantly.""Hmmm..." Adelheid looks dissatisfied with your answer, but obviously doesn't have any alternative idea to propose, so the two of you lapse into the silence of an unanswered problem.
"Alberich-sama," Euryale says hesitantly, picking up the dropped conversation with reluctance. "Is there any role in this plan of yours for Medusa's ritual that you would like 'myself' and I to fill?" Despite her carefully maintained expression of eagerness to help, you can see the internal war in the girl between her need to play her role and an ironclad reluctance to have anything to do with combat. Stheno, less dedicated to appearing enthusiastic than her sister, gives Euryale a wordlessly disapproving look, but does so too late to recall her words. For a moment you're tempted to invent some task for them, just to watch the two squirm, but you hold yourself back; the danger involved is simply too great for such flights of fancy to take precedence."No," you answer, shaking your head, "although I do appreciate your offer. The two of you aren't suited to combat; you shall remain under Arturia's protection with me." As if to punctuate this relatively trivial decision, the train draws to a halt just as you make it. Glancing up at the signboards informs you that it has, in fact, just come to a stop at the station nearest your new home, in Honmachi. "This is our station," you announce. "Wheel me to the doors, would you girls?"As you draw near to 7-chōme-67-10 after the short walk from the train station, you catch sight of a figure waiting impassively before the door, her frilled dress standing out notably amidst the suburban environs, its white cloth catching the last of the fading evening light while its black disappears into the evening shadows; the platinum-blonde hair, delicate features, and milky complexion are as eyecatchingly unusual, if not moreso. Even at a great distance, even had you still possessed eyes of strictly human perceptive ability, Arturia would be unmistakable. She seems to spy you at the same time, for she turns to watch your approach with an expression of stoic discipline that hides all trace of the confusion she doubtless feels at the sight of your injuries and new companions."Ah, Saber. Thought our time together in the last War was short, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance again, now that we are serving the same Master." The first to speak, once you draw within range of comfortable conversation, is Medusa, stepping forward and addressing herself to Arturia with a subdued note of sarcasm in her polite words that hearkens back to the enmity the two surely feel. Saber, however, looks at her blankly for a few moments, her expression unchanging as she presumably struggles to recall having met this individual. Then the light of understanding dawns, and the mask of the stoic knight is swept away by a wave of shock, her eyes widening and mouth fairly falling open in a gasp."Rider?" The question comes out half choked by surprise. "But you've... shrunk, or split into three!"
"Isn't it wonderful?" The subdued movement involved in Medusa's smile does nothing to hide the feeling of unadulterated joy that motivates it, shining out through her eyes. "After all those years of suffering, towering over everyone with that huge body, Master has given me my old stature back! Once more I can look my sisters in the eye. Even you are taller than I am now!" The sudden outburst of gratitude comes as a surprise to everyone who hears it, you think, with the possible exception of Stheno and Euryale, who always mocked Medusa for her size. Saber and Adelheid look positively baffled, and you have to confess to some confusion yourself. It's true that you find smaller girls more charming yourself, of course, but you were always given to understand that it was common for women to envy height and curves, both of which you've taken from Medusa. You were prepared for her to resent you over that, in fact, but apparently the truth of her feelings is just the opposite."You've certainly found another eccentric, haven't you?" Adelheid murmurs, leaning down to speak into your ear. "A woman happy to lose proportions like hers. It hardly bears thinking of!""Oh, hush," comes your whispered rejoinder. "She's quite right. A young and lively beauty, the sort of budding blossom she is now, is far lovelier than the cloying ripeness of her former looks. Although I am somewhat surprised she feels the same."As she gets over her shock, Arturia's expression gradually turns to one of indignant, affronted composure. "And you betrayed Shirou and Sakura for that?" she demands, pouring all the righteous contempt afforded by her legendary moral high ground into the question. "You've abandoned them in exchange for a new appearance and serve their enemy out of vanity?""Hardly." Medusa's answer whips out with icy contempt to match her interlocutor's fury. "I have been bound to a new Master by magic, as you have. His energy sustains my existence; the same exchange which bound me to Sakura. That he has returned my sisters and youth to me is merely what makes the arrangement pleasant, not its reason. You would do well to develop a clearer perspective regarding your own circumstances.""I see," Arturia replies coldly. She's clearly having none of it. Before she can continue the argument, however, you decide it's high time you interposed yourself into the situation. While hearing Medusa's perspective on her servitude is interesting, there's really nothing to be gained by leaving the two to argue until they reach some sort of conclusion, and plenty of time to be lost."Now now, you two," you say in a soothing, paternal tone as Stheno brings you closer to the arguing pair. "There's really no purpose in arguing this way, unless it's further infuriate one another." The pair turns at your words, and for the moment you have their attention. Now, to resolve the dispute.
>[ ] Simply order Arturia to stop trying to spread disloyalty among your Servants, and say no more. You intend to have Medusa begin laying out her sigils tonight, after all, and the last thing you need is for her to be having second thoughts about her duty to you.>[ ] Tell Medusa that although you appreciate her words of loyalty, they're more than likely falling on deaf ears with Arturia. This argument only seems to be worsening her morale, and although you can certainly order her about as much as you'd like, you'd prefer she not be in the worst possible condition when acting as your bodyguard.>[ ] Suggest that the two of them continue their discussion over dinner. Food will hopefully render the tone somewhat more amicable, and perhaps even foster some feeling of fellowship between the two Servants.>[ ] Say something else. (Write in)
I'll call this vote in 11 hours, by the way, and have the next update done in no more than 24. I know this doesn't carry much weight after the recent inconsistency, but I'm fairly confident I'm back on a daily schedule now.
>>4292805>[ ] Suggest that the two of them continue their discussion over dinner. Food will hopefully render the tone somewhat more amicable, and perhaps even foster some feeling of fellowship between the two Servants.That meeting went about as well as could be expected.
>>4292805>[ ] Suggest that the two of them continue their discussion over dinner. Food will hopefully render the tone somewhat more amicable, and perhaps even foster some feeling of fellowship between the two Servants.Food always makes conversation more pleasant
>>4292805>>[ ] Suggest that the two of them continue their discussion over dinner. Food will hopefully render the tone somewhat more amicable, and perhaps even foster some feeling of fellowship between the two Servants.Lets see how well bribing Saber with food goes.
>>4292805>>[ ] Suggest that the two of them continue their discussion over dinner. Food will hopefully render the tone somewhat more amicable, and perhaps even foster some feeling of fellowship between the two Servants.
>>4292805>[ ] Suggest that the two of them continue their discussion over dinner. Food will hopefully render the tone somewhat more amicable, and perhaps even foster some feeling of fellowship between the two Servants.Will Saber be the one cooking?
>>4292805>[X] Suggest that the two of them continue their discussion over dinner. Food will hopefully render the tone somewhat more amicable, and perhaps even foster some feeling of fellowship between the two Servants.Ok, but who's cooking it?Our cooking is only passable.There's no way Saber or Rider, who've eaten Shirou's cooking would be satisfied with ours, Stheno and Euryale might try it since Rider isn't cooking it, but Adelheid should have a decently high-class palate.
>>4292804>[ ] Suggest that the two of them continue their discussion over dinner. Food will hopefully render the tone somewhat more amicable, and perhaps even foster some feeling of fellowship between the two Servants.
Look at that, unanimity. Incredible!I thought you were going to skip dinner so Medusa could start on Bloodfort Andromeda ASAP, honestly. None of you strictly speaking need to eat, after all.
>>4292805>[ ] Tell Medusa that although you appreciate her words of loyalty, they're more than likely falling on deaf ears with Arturia. This argument only seems to be worsening her morale, and although you can certainly order her about as much as you'd like, you'd prefer she not be in the worst possible condition when acting as your bodyguard.>>4293344>players drawing things out as long as possible Wow yeah so shocking
>>4292805>[ ] Simply order Arturia to stop trying to spread disloyalty among your Servants, and say no more. You intend to have Medusa begin laying out her sigils tonight, after all, and the last thing you need is for her to be having second thoughts about her duty to you.Ice bitch-queen can shut her bitchy mouth.Also let's put the pedal to the metal and worry about practicing the culinary arts at a later date.
>>4292805>>[ ] Simply order Arturia to stop trying to spread disloyalty among your Servants, and say no more. You intend to have Medusa begin laying out her sigils tonight, after all, and the last thing you need is for her to be having second thoughts about her duty to you.
>>4292809You have six minutes for this post to be accurate.
>>4294694That may be, but I am writing. Update will definitely be done before the date changes.
"You'll never reach any sort of common ground arguing out here on the step," you say, sweeping your hand about to encompass the surroundings, "out here in the cold, standing against one another with nothing to think of but your hostilities in the light of the setting sun. Come inside, and you can discuss your differences over some dinner." At the mention of food, Arturia twitches slightly, as if stung and working to keep from showing it. Her face remains stiffly kept in its former expression. "Perhaps you will find it easier to see one another's perspective, eating from the same table," you go on, ignoring her reaction, "but even if the conversation stays as combative as it is now, at least you'll be doing something productive by feeding yourselves." To punctuate this last point you give the argumentative pair your most disarming smile, and gradually they nod."If you wish me to dine with Saber, Master, I have no complaints," Medusa answers first, and for once it doesn't seem she's holding any emotions back in her usual way; you really don't have the impression that she cares one way or another about whether or not she makes peace with Arturia, or what Arturia's feelings toward her are.A moment later Arturia, still frowning her righteous judgment at Medusa, agrees, "I can refuse no order of yours, A- master. If you command me to eat, I will eat." By contrast with Medusa, Arturia is still obviously an emotional mess beneath her stiff words, between her resentment of you, her fury at Medusa, and everything else she must be feeling. In fact, you could almost swear she seems to be holding back excitement about the prospect of a meal; but it would be absurd for that hold the same emotional weight in her heart as the confrontation with one of her enemies from the last War, so you decide you must be misinterpreting things."Then we're decided. Wonderful," you say, still all smiles in the face of your Servants' unfriendly attitude. "Medusa, let us in, please." At your words, the girl silently withdraws a key from some hidden spot about her person, unlocks, and opens the front door of the Koyama family home, through which Stheno wheels you, with Euryale and Adelheid by your side and Arturia following sullenly behind. As you make your way into the front hall, you already begin to put dinner and the two Servants' argument aside as completed, your mind racing ahead to matters of greater importance. First after dinner, you think, you'll send Medusa on her way to begin laying the sigils for Bloodfort Andromeds. There should be no chance of immediate discovery, so from that time on you'll have some time to waste. You'll have to call Kikuko, you think, and discuss the matter of her search for Kōrakuhime. That, you think, would surely be the most effective use of the first hour or so of a night otherwise spent in waiting for Medusa.
"Alberich-sama, what will we have for dinner?" Euryale's curious voice pulls you back out of your thoughts and into the present, reminding you that there's still the issue of the evening meal to get through. "I don't think you could cook very easily with all those wounds, and you know what Medusa's cooking is like," she continues thoughtfully, giving the full weight of her consideration to the question of cuisine. "Is Adelheid or this Saber girl any good at cooking?"The thought hadn't occurred to you. Now that she's raised the topic, however, you realize it's a frustratingly good question. Adelheid, you know, is accustomed to being waited on; your first friendly exchange with her is testament enough of that. You're in no hurry to try another of Medusa's meals, either, or to attempt making dinner yourself. While Arturia may or may not be able to cook, though, you have the feeling she would give the task very little effort if you were to order her to do so. Perhaps you could simply tell her to do her best? That still leaves the question of ability open, though. >[ ] There's nothing for it. You'll just have to struggle through making dinner with one hand and in a wheelchair, and hope some culinary God favors you with a blessing.>[ ] It could be that Medusa's only terrible dish was that bloody stew; without access to fresh game, her cooking might be better. It's worth a try, at least, and you know she'd be giving it her all. As Medusa to cook dinner.>[ ] Adelheid can't have spent her entire human life having meals cooked for her; she must have picked up some culinary abilities. At least she'll understand your reasons for not doing it yourself. Ask Adelheid to cook dinner.>[ ] The more you think about it, the more it seems like simply ordering Arturia to cook a delicious dinner might do the job. If her curse forces her to conform to the wording of your order, it can't fail. Having her cook would somewhat defeat the point of easing tensions with a meal, though.>[ ] When you look at the situation the right way, of course no-one in the house really needs to cook. Just find a restaurant to take the girls out to, and give the task of cooking to professionals.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
Alright, this may be a short update, but it is something, and I told myself I'd work my way out of writer's block by getting something done every day.Hopefully the next update will be more substantial and the wait less so.
Has Alberich forgotten that Adelheid tried and failed to cook while in the Akeldama?
>>4294767>>[ ] When you look at the situation the right way, of course no-one in the house really needs to cook. Just find a restaurant to take the girls out to, and give the task of cooking to professionals.The least amusing but probably the 'best' option unless someone can come up with a write in to work together.Current (terrible) idea stuck in my head:"Before we start preparing to puree a neighborhood, let's have the audacity to swing by the Emiya's and act like we're going to bury the hatchet to beg for a free meal."
>>4294767>[ ] When you look at the situation the right way, of course no-one in the house really needs to cook. Just find a restaurant to take the girls out to, and give the task of cooking to professionals.
Why are we doing this? This really isn't the time for a nice dinner, for reasons I shouldn't have to repeat.
>>4294767>>[ ] When you look at the situation the right way, of course no-one in the house really needs to cook. Just find a restaurant to take the girls out to, and give the task of cooking to professionals.
>>4294767>[ ] When you look at the situation the right way, of course no-one in the house really needs to cook. Just find a restaurant to take the girls out to, and give the task of cooking to professionals.I have the feeling either the chuch or one of our allies will be there
>>4295157We've bumped into someone we know at every store we've been to, so it's a tried and true method of regrouping.
>>4294767>[X] There's nothing for it. You'll just have to struggle through making dinner with one hand and in a wheelchair, and hope some culinary God favors you with a blessing.We just got back, can we not play ping pong?Ot gives more opportunities for the Executors to find us too.
>>4295189Two occurrences don't make a trend, anon.
>>4295189>Go to restaurant>Circe's it's new chef
had a crazy idea but not so sure about it>Mana trasnfer with Seibah draining leylines>Use Hellig to try and summon cooking spirit or something>Eat some good food>Send it back to INS>???>Profit
>>4295714We don't direct the summoning, it's completely random.
>>4295723I know, that's why its crazy, its unpredictable, its pretty stupid, I know
Sorry, folks, I'm sure you've noticed that, what with there not having been an update yet, I'm far from achieving my hope of a faster writing time. The fact is, since lunch today has been a nightmare, and I haven't the time or energy to write.I don't have any plans tomorrow, and plan to spend my whole Saturday working on the quest, though, so there should be either two updates over the day or one very long one, depending on how this dinner scene turns out.Again, sorry. My life is a mess at the moment.
>>4296285I wasn't expecting one tonight anyway, too much Saturn fuckery.
>>4294767>>[ ] When you look at the situation the right way, of course no-one in the house really needs to cook. Just find a restaurant to take the girls out to, and give the task of cooking to professionals.I can't help but feel like we could have skipped having this vote altogether and went straight to a restaurant.Feels like kind of a filler vote considering that 1) We are in no fit shape to cook and are middling at best even in full health.2) Medusa can't cook.3) Adelheid is physically unable to cook4) Arturia when she's unaltered is unable to cook, Alter is the same except has awful taste in food to boot.In hindsight, voting to get food was a tremendous mistake.
>>4296570Valid point. This is why it surprised me, your voting for dinner.
>>4296816Even more surprising is the amount of time its taking to write it.
>>4298481Writing a scene like having the main cast go to a restaurant is just begging for Writer's Block.Give Sweets the time he needs to write, I'm sure that whatever the end result of the restaurant vote is it will be enjoyable even if I do think the decision to go get food was a mistake.
This could be an intense section where we're desperate to heal ourselves to ensure that those we care about are safe. None of the players feel that though, which is why we're lackadaisically getting dinner. The voters don't vote for what makes sense in the moment, they vote to have Sweets write the scenes that feel like reading. It's a huge disconnect between the players and the MC and it's the fault of both the players and Sweets. This quest has so much potential that is killed by this fact and makes it borderline unreadable for me. It's to the point where my vote is pointless against this trend. I hope it changes but I don't think it will. It's sad to see a quest I've followed this long end up like this. Come on people.
>>4298568TL;DRThe players don't care about what Alberich would reasonably care about and it's killing the quest. At least for me.
>>4298568I don't feel like there would be as much of an issue if the updates were simply more frequent.Due to the nature of this story, the grail war itself has honestly gotten a little stale and the chance to break away from it to do something else is refreshing. Granted, breaking away from it for too long is a bad idea like in the Shapeless Isle's case.There is more to the Nasuverse than just Servants, Shirou Emiya, Saber, Einzbern and Grail Wars, yet the story was set up in the *double war* formula so this was really unavoidable. Well, Saber and Shirou playing a role in the story could have and probably should have been avoided, especially when it would've been just as easy to not include them. Players will make the MC act out of character around beloved characters from the original VN if they get the chance.Which is why both Saber and Rider have somehow joined our team.I just wish that things resolved faster.The actual plot has sadly been at a standstill for months now, and will remain that way until we finally heal.Which if current focus is any indication, we can expect sometime in August/September.
>>4298568>Ensure those we care about are safe.If we wanted to do that, then there was no need to vote to heal ourselves, we could've just laid low and had Saber and or Adelheid guard us while Rider uses her speed and riding capabilities to search the city.Then once we found either of the Casters or Hecate we could just have them heal us up instantly.And if the decision makes no sense for Alberich to choose, then Sweets wouldn't list it, as those are all things Alberich would decide to do.Personally, I find the lack of in-depth planning to be the real issue.>>4298609I'll agree with you about Shirou, for some reason at least one person still doesn't want to kill him even though it's exactly what Alberich wants to do; But for Saber and Rider we were just fortunate enough to be in a position where we could obtain them, I have no doubts that if we were in a worse situation in the past that we would've gotten rid of both of them.But we still do need allies to help us take over the world after the war has ended, and both of them are highly capable combatants who can easily erase armies and forts, and with our ability to curse them, it seems like the correct move to make to me.I don't really find it that egregious.The pacing is killer though.
>>4298628I still don't think it really makes any sense for Shirou and Sakura to move out of Fuyuki city to go live in Tokyo. Funnily enough that's what makes the least sense of all of this to me. Just feels like an excuse to have Shirou show up even if it doesn't make any sense. Like honestly. There's no conceivable reason for them ti have just conveniently moved to the place the next war is just conveniently occurring in. Especially when Shirou owned a huge house in Fuyuki (relative to Japan at least.)It's the little things that break suspension of disbelief. I can cope with a blue spandex irish demigod fighting at the speed of sound, but this irks me.
>>4298642Well, he was being hunted by the Einzberns.He probably decided to make like a tree and hide in a forest.
>>4298663It still seems like a massive plot contrivance that the story could probably have done without.Also, the Einzbern were hunting him?Outside of encroaching on another mage's territory (and probably breaking all sorts of fucky Mage Association rules) to get pulverised by Rider and Shirou, what exactly could they have done?They aren't exactly the most active enemy to have, and after losing a few combat homonculi, they would probably have gotten the message. They are not at all competent. This story would've been better with no Shirou.Or at least implementing Shirou in a different way. HF Shirou makes the least sense to have in the story.Fate Shirou and UBW Shirou have fairly open endings. HF Shirou is pretty much a conclusive ending for him.
>>4298628>But we still do need allies to help us take over the world after the war has ended, and both of them are highly capable combatants who can easily erase armies and forts, and with our ability to curse them, it seems like the correct move to make to me.Once we have won the grail war we get a really fucking strong power up. That was the reason why Titania's stats where so ridiculous in one version.And with those power ups we could summon really strong allies. Their use is actually less after the war than during it.
>>4298628>And if the decision makes no sense for Alberich to choose, then Sweets wouldn't list itThat's the problem, he does list options that make no sense. Which is why it's both his fault and the players fault that things have happened this way.
>>4298694Who knows what they sent at him, but if he's here, there must be a good reason.I'm sure Sweets has one, but it only would've been revealed if we'd actually allied with the Emiyas instead of betraying them.That was what Sweets intended for them you know, we weren't expected to ally with Lily immediately, so the Emiya's inclusion might feel awkward to some.>>4298732Being really strong is important, but isn't enough. We've seen repeatedly in the Nasuverse that no matter how strong you are, the power of Nakama tends to win.Also, our summoning is random, and while we would be able to summon as many through as we want while being powered by the Third True Magic, some of those beings could be a really tough fight without having allies helping us fight them.We don't know if our curse will even work on them either, so we'd need to gain their compliance the old fashioned way until we can do that.Saber has many prophecies and things that only work for her, that make her useful to have on our team regardless though.Rider and her sisters can probably be useful as advisors once we start summoning mythical creatures and other beings from the IN realm, but even without that Alberich would be fine just having them be around.Whether we can even obtain the grail in a useful state with the tampering has yet to be seen however, and if that fails then we'll just die when Lily's lifespan runs out.>>4298750Sweets lists decisions for Alberich to make that follow his character as has been established so far.I don't understand why you feel Alberich wanting to eat dinner is out of character for him.
>>4298781Because it's an unnecessary use of valuable time in an uncertain time. Alberich has never been more helpless as a Servant and it's absurd to not prioritize returning to our full strength. It's also completely disregarding Ayaka, whose magical energy has been completely spent while she's comatose to even sustain our current existence and the existence of Medusa, Stheno, Euryale, Hecate, and Futodoki. Why are we pretending that we're in a stable situation when things have never been more dire? It's because nobody cares and Sweets doesn't specifically communicate that fact.
>>4298781>Being really strong is important, but isn't enough. We've seen repeatedly in the Nasuverse that no matter how strong you are, the power of Nakama tends to win.First summoned people can be allies too, and second it is a bit ridiculous to say the Nakama/power of friendship wins the day when they are less friends than brainwashed minions.
>>4298481To no-one more than me, I assure you. I just don't understand what's happened to me in the last year to change my writing output so much from the rate at which I was writing when I started this quest.>>4298568This is one of the things that really gets me. It seems like no matter what happens, you folks don't really feel threatened. Writing this story has been a real object lesson in the difficulty of creating a credible threat to a very powerful protagonist.>>4298609I suppose you have a point. At the time that I introduced the Emiya family into the plot I had a few different reasons. First, I always felt that Shirou and Sakura would have wanted to leave Fuyuki at some point after the end of Heaven's Feel, to get away from the horrible memories of what had happened there; particularly if they raised children. Then, I also felt it would lend the quest an important feeling of continuity, and create that aforementioned credible threat. Shirou is someone with a history of matching up to Servants, after all. Maybe the whole thing would've gone better if I'd kept him out, though. I just can't say.>>4298628>Personally, I find the lack of in-depth planning to be the real issue.More in-depth planning would be nice. It would give me more to work with in terms of writing around your actions, and it would keep the thread more active and enjoyable. I don't know how to encourage it, though.In conclusion: Everyone, I'm sorry the quest isn't better than it is, and especially for my slow writing. I'll keep working to improve things, even though my improvement doesn't always seem to show.
>>4298796>It seems like no matter what happens, you folks don't really feel threatened. Writing this story has been a real object lesson in the difficulty of creating a credible threat to a very powerful protagonist.It's simple. Create consequences that matter. Be unforgiving. That's how Grail wars are, especially with the characters you've written that are involved in it. I've said it before, but take the gloves off. Increase the stakes and make them clear to players. The current situation is ridiculous in how severe it is compared to how little the players feel the severity.
>>4298796Also to me introducing canon characters was always going to be a misstep. You were telling your own stories in Akeldama and now you're continuing the stories of beloved characters that players can never be objective about.
>>4298796>This is one of the things that really gets me. It seems like no matter what happens, you folks don't really feel threatened. Writing this story has been a real object lesson in the difficulty of creating a credible threat to a very powerful protagonist.It is a problem that a lot of questers generally don't feel threats since they are used to the Qm pulling them out of dire situations if necessary.It leads to things like prioritizing waifus over survival because they feel survival is already guaranteed.>Then, I also felt it would lend the quest an important feeling of continuity, and create that aforementioned credible threat. Shirou is someone with a history of matching up to Servants, after all. Maybe the whole thing would've gone better if I'd kept him out, though. I just can't say.It will always create problems to introduce canon characters without a plan in a quest, since players will have emotions attached to them.That's normally good since it makes them care about the characters. Less good when caring about the characters is contraproductive to the quest itself. For example if caring about them would be in opposition how the maincharacter would feel.
>>4298796Honestly, if you had wanted Shirou to be treated as a credible threat and not as... well, Shirou. You should have made the timeline continue on from some version of Mind of Steel instead of Heavens Feel True.Personally, fighting this version Shirou feels something like kicking a dog, too.Now that I think about it, a full Mind of Steel Shirou could have basically replaced Harris' entire role in the story.>>4298803I'm not sure if that's a good idea. A lot of the time anons start grumbling about how we should just kill off all our allies for powerups anyway because they are so useless.The only real consequences that could matter at this point would be character deaths occuring around us, which again, I'm not sure would be a good idea for raising the stakes.Or giving us the bad end straight up.It's too late now, but I feel like players would be taking things a lot more seriously if we didn't lose an arm and a leg and instead only lost an arm. Especially if we lost an arm to an enemy with a Gae-Bolg/Gae-Buidhe style cursed weapon so we couldn't get it back until we'd dealt with them.Because we've been taken out of the action so thoroughly, it's very difficult to actually care about the plot until we can actually do something about what's going on.
>>4298817>I'm not sure if that's a good idea. A lot of the time anons start grumbling about how we should just kill off all our allies for powerups anyway because they are so useless.Our allies are competent but still vulnerable. We need a reminder of that.>The only real consequences that could matter at this point would be character deaths occuring around us, which again, I'm not sure would be a good idea for raising the stakes.All the players care about is their collection of waifus. I can't think of a better thing to be put at risk to raise the stakes.>Because we've been taken out of the action so thoroughly, it's very difficult to actually care about the plot until we can actually do something about what's going on.But we have a direct path to getting back into the action and nobody cares. I really put more fault on the players than Sweets for this situation.
>>4298828>a direct path to getting back into the action and nobody cares.A direct path which will take two days to actually happen. I shall remind you that yesterday lasted about 3 IRL months in total.At this point I'm half hoping we do run into one of our more magically inclined allies at the restaurant so we can get healed instead of having to wait two days.Honestly, the thinking man's solution here is to make use of narrative tropes and have Kikuko run around with toast in her mouth until she bumps into somebody she knows.
>>4298817>I'm not sure if that's a good idea. A lot of the time anons start grumbling about how we should just kill off all our allies for powerups anyway because they are so useless.>The only real consequences that could matter at this point would be character deaths occuring around us, which again, I'm not sure would be a good idea for raising the stakes.Honestly the first thing would be finding out what players actually care about.Generally that is power and waifus. And then making sure consequences hit that can't be ignored and making sure those are tied closely to the issue at hand.For example if an ally is killed it shouldn't be unclear why it happened, there should be a direct link to in our case shitty planning.Permanent crippling is also possible as that would hit power.But those are rather extreme to start with. Better would be to force players to get active. Present a threat that can't simply be ignored until they are prepared and must be dealt with now. Harris was good, the interlude too, but both of those didn't really confront people with a sense of urgency since they were already over and we couldn't do anything. A lot of players also didn't connect it to our own actions, rather blaming it on our allies.Have allies taken hostage would be something we can't simply deal with or having serious mana problems with all the waifus we collected. That would force us to either find a mana supply fast or decide which ally to lose.
>>4298839>decide which ally to lose.>"Bye Saber. See you next grail war, OK?"Not much of a quandry, is it?
>>4298843You would believe that, but people did go to quite some length to get her. Vehemently opposing simply killing her because they wanted her.
>>4298846>You would believe thatBecause it's true!If we win the grail war we could literally just set up another war for the sole purpose of having Saber re-summoned. After all, we know that she will beAlso it gives us a great opportunity to grab some more servants, too.And really, we didn't do that much to get Saber.We just left her in the basement until we just manjewed her one day.
>>4298838>narrative tropesYet another thing that players seem to rely on, which is just lazy. Think from the point of view of the main character! That's the entire point of quests!
>>4298857It was a joke you dweeb.
>>4298858It's not a joke when the players actually count on it. They're doing that in the current vote. Dweeb.
>>4298857>>4298862>Think from the main character's pov>The guy who has always taken an opportunity to eat when presented to him wants to go eat dinner.I don't even want to leave after we just came back, but it is something he'd do.
I think one thing to do to force people to think about the choices and plan would be to not give standard options. Though that can drop player participation. And Sweets would need to provide a strategical/tactical overview of the current situation so planning is possible without hunting down all information in multiple threads needed to seriously plan.>>4298858Sadly I have seen enough people in quests that made their choices heavily informed by narrative tropes like "the good guys always win" (leading to villain characters switching sides for almost no reason in universe), "lies always come out" (lleading to being truthful even when being truthful is the worst decision you could make), etc.
>>4298862I'm sorry that you think that the only correct way to play Alberich is for him to be played as boringly and safely as possible.While I don't see much use in it myself, trying to get his allies to bond and not want to murder each other is actually an important thing to do as well.Recall that if his allies were a cohesive force, then we would not be in this situation at all right now.Also, if we as the players only ever thought from Alberich's point of view, he'd still be Rushorou.Every choice is in character, or did you already forget that each choice slightly changed Alberich's personality? (Not listed anymore and we lost the PRIDE thing, but still.)>>4298865>The good guys always winWe are the bad guy.>lies always come outWe lied through our teeth for literally as long as we possibly could until it nearly completely fucked us.
>>4298864A drawn out dinner in public is the last thing a wounded and hunted servant would prioritize.
>>4298874>a wounded and hunted servant would prioritize.With enough combined firepower surrounding him to completely destroy anyone who dares show up to fight him with the exception of Odin.Somehow I'm not afraid of the Church attacking in this scenario. Or of Matsuda.Also, you underestimate the power of PRIDE.
>>4298873>>The good guys always win>We are the bad guy.>>lies always come out>We lied through our teeth for literally as long as we possibly could until it nearly completely fucked us.I was using the most common tropes in play. Not necessarily ones used in this quest.But if you want one used not even an hour ago then look for the power of friendship/Nakama in this post:>>4298781>>4298865Heck for the last one I had seriously people tell me: "If that wasn't true then can you tell me one lie that never came out?"
>>4298878>the power of friendship/NakamaThat's wrong anyway. It's in truth the power of COMPASSION. Or some bullshit. Blame Nasu, he's a hack and that's how Shirou literally beat himself but stronger.We've also seen in the Nasuverse that sneak attacks can literally kill arguably the most powerful being on the planet thanks to Shiki.Clearly, we need to make the most mix-maxed build and master the compassionate surprise backstab.Insta-kill on anyone.
>>4298873>Not listed anymore and we lost the PRIDE thing, but still.I stopped listing the motivations on every choice after some outspoken complaint from players, but the emotional stats are still listed on Alberich's status page and have been changing over time with the choices you make.
>>4298874Alberich was fine going out in public with just Medusa for protection, now he has 2 more strong Servants with him.If he wants to eat, then instead of ruining the evening with the sub-par cooking that would result from anyone in our group, going outside is fine.I dislike the going back and forth from the house though, I feel like he could've just had Saber meet them at the restaurant instead of going to the house.>>4298878Ignoring the trope for a moment, having more troops tends to lead to victory more often than not.Cohesion + Numbers = Very Strong Faction.So it's not just hoping that having friends means we automatically win, just gives a higher chance for victory.
>>4298895>Ignoring the trope for a moment, having more troops tends to lead to victory more often than not.Only if you compare more troops to the same conditions. When you compare more troops to more powerups then the situation isn't so clear anymore.
>>4298905When you can get the powerups from the populace instead, then the situation becomes clear again.
>>4298907Which I'm pretty sure we can't. Also we are in serious mana supply issues partly because we took every chance to extend our faction. And those are currently a serious problem.
>>4298908I'm pretty sure we can, since all that's needed is a large amount of Magical Energy, and we already have powerup blueprints from our previous kills.
>>4298909And you want to get that huge amount of magical energy from the sucked dry population of Tokyo?We are already using the energy of the population just to keep our allies and us supplied with mana.
>>4298912Do you know how Bloodfort Andromeda works, anon?
>>4298912Kourakuhime already explained this.The human population are like flowers next to a river, they take the water flow, but the flow isn't interrupted if the flowers die.The humans were getting sick because the Leylines were getting sucked dry, not the other way around.We can use the Leyline energy indefinitely, but the population will die.
>>4298914Which does definitely not provide enough power for a powerup. Healing us is not the same as making a permanent improvement.>>4298916Yes, but if you interrupt the river and the flowers starve then I don't think you will get much water by wringing the flowers dry.
>>4298920Alberich became as strong as he was when he initially defeated Roland with just 300 souls.With BFA we'll have way more energy than that, don't forget that soul energy is potent and every human has one.
>>4298920You are only using it on one part of the city. If you were to encompass all of Tokyo, now...
>>4298796>It seems like no matter what happens, you folks don't really feel threatenedPersonally, I think its a bit of a catch 22 with current circumstances because as is:The church has numbers but the hunter's, aside from possibly the leader, aren't much of a threat even in packs against one of our servants and are currently searching for us blind,Harris has a means of finding us but Matsuda likely couldn't stand up to our 3 on his own and he doesn't have an inactive bounded field to bomb,Shirou has the firepower to stand up to us but he doesn't really have the motivation to come after us until we start mass killing people,And who knows what Assassin's master and Odin are up to on the threat level.Even then we haven't really started the ritual so if we're found relocation is still a possibility and if try to make things more urgent if too little it won't take, if too much people might ignore the ritual due to the 2 day warmup period and push to deal with it now with what we've got.>>4298920Best I could think of would be what anon here's talking about, that if we wait too long the drain might diminish population center's too much and force us to choose between targeting one of the larger remaining pockets which would make it more likely for the church to find us, lead to evacuations and higher presence at the others if they discover what we're planning; or simply settle for an inadequate regen.
>>4298947The draining of the Leylines has ended though.
>>4298949It was reduced once we got Circe to cut her shit, It hasn't really stopped because that 'Mariot' still got shutdown rather fast despite it 'ending' that night.As is, we still have 2-3 servants tied in (not counting the effects of whatever assassin was doing at the start of Mirror, if he's still up to it) and who knows whether Circe/Korakuhime/(maybe)Hecate started draining further once they lost they lost the safety in numbers.
>>4298977There's much surplus energy coming from the leylines.That's why Grail Wars can happen without negatively impacting the lifespans of the population, exacting instances where they're killed during the war of course.A few Servants being connected to them wont effect the population that much.The huge drain were the Oddysei. Now that they're gone the majority of the leylines have gone back to normal.The casters or maybe Hecate could be draining them again to do something, but I have no clue what that would be.Hecate should be protecting Ayaka atm though.The hotel probably got shut down because of the fire alarm + the epidemic.Most likely the general authorities still believe they're in danger of falling ill, and as such are making warnings and whatnot to stay inside.Also, did anybody notice that Yumigawa escaped the house while our allies were having their Kerfuffle?
The bottom line here is that Alberich's actions make no sense and Sweets isn't punishing players for it in a meaningful way. All the excuses fall flat and we're left with a quest that is going nowhere when it could potentially have me on the edge of my seat. Maybe I'm the only player that wants excitement but that's just my two cents.
>>4298988I think you're outnumbered, anon.My only problem with this quest is the pacing honestly. It all stems from the update schedule too.My dislike of the use of the canon characters is a minor one, and that's mostly due to any attempted addition to Shirou's story post Heaven's Feel of all routes feeling... Hollow.
>>4298999You know, I just couldn't write any other route as having been the one to happen. It's Heaven's Feel True or nothing.I understand your feelings, though.
>>4299023I will always hate Heaven's Feel for being the route that deprived us of the Illya route that never was.
>>4298984A few (caster) servant's who're on their own and got it in their toolkit to up the drain,Don't know exactly how much the Oddysei were expending compared to the original but judging by their performance it's safe to say it wasn't close to 1 to 1, Hecate protecting Ayaka and draining leylines aren't mutually exclusive without the protection of multiple servants.Considering the number of buildings and streets that've started randomly exploding along with the 'plague' (even if that part doesn't continue) I wouldn't put it past mundane authorities to believe/use the excuse that there's some kind of underground natural gas leak and start evacuate if continues till they can figure out what is 'actually going on'.Either way i'm just trying looking for an alternate threat to our current circumstances to motivate us to work faster aside 'All our enemies banded together/bloodlusted Odin'.
>>4299068Didn't she make hundreds? Several tens at least.That can't have been easy on the Leylines, and just because they were dealt with easily doesn't mean they weren't very strong spirits.And as it stands we're going to be stuck for two days unless we decide to go back on our previous decision and prioritize searching for our allies and heal ourselves that way, so I'm not sure what looking for an alternate threat will do for us right now.
>>4298803>take the gloves offI don't disagree but you know the fan-rage will be tangible if characters in Alberich's circle start dying even if it's the result of players' stupidity.>>4298984>did anybody notice that Yumigawa escaped the house while our allies were having their Kerfuffle?Indeed, and Odin is probably spending some of his free-time buff-stacking him so he can come over here and beat Alberich to death while something else keeps Saber busy.>Hulks out>Adjusts glasses>Ancient Nordic nanomachines, son!
>>4299547Rage is better than the current attitude toward the quest
>>4299554I'm one to agree. I won't pretend like apathy isn't the biggest reason for my lack of effort put into this quest.
>>4299554>>4299560Killing off characters just to piss off your players is a bad idea. I feel like we've lost more than one player to rage before. Just look at the Achilles debacle.That's nothing compared to killing a waifu.I'm also still hoping that Yumigawa doesn't return to plot relevance. I kind of feel that he's done as a character now.And judging from how we acted after capturing him, it's safe to say players have minimal interest in interacting with the character further. We should have killed him on the street.Also we really don't need our allies looking even dumber.
>>4299574>YumigawaIf Odin buffed him into an officially-certified badass I wouldn't mind it one bit. Not being interested in things doesn't negate their existence. And it would be hilarious.
>>4299574I for one welcome wanton waifu slaying at the hands of Punished Yumigawa.
>>4299596No.Even buffed he would die super quick.He doesn't have the wibbly wobbly punches like Kuzuki and if he was capable of putting up a fight it would effectively be shitting on Alberich's entire character.
>>4299603But Anon, that's every fight since we got the lightsaber.
>>4299622You missed my point. The point of Alberich is that he's far surpassed the human Yumigawa. While missing with Heilig is annoying, it's understandable when creating believable credible threats is difficult enough. Killing off said enemies instantlywould be silly.Would've been received far better uf our first opponent after Heilig was a horde of fodder/scrubs like some Oddysei.Ah.Fuck.The grail ritual they were doing.I REALISED WHAT THEY FUCKING DID.THEY CUT US OFF FROM THE GRAIL DIDN'T THEY?Probably Lily too.It explains why she's not found us yet.She's probably not awake due to her connection being messed with.
>>4299657I had a theory that the ritual disconnected Lily as the primary Lesser Grail, and had Sakura take that position.But if that is what they did, then I find it pretty funny that their ritual is going to directly lead to so many deaths to BFA.
"No, I can't say that I know them to be skilled enough cooks that I would ask them to prepare our dinner" you answer, your own voice in a similarly low murmur, only just loud enough to be heard over the wheels of your chair while soft enough to keep your words from the ears of those subordinates to whose abilities you are uncharitably referring, "but there are any number of professional cooks to be found in the restaurants of this city, and I highly doubt all of them been incapacitated." Then, raising your voice to an ordinary conversational volume, you add, "Stheno, wheel me into the living room, would you? Medusa, bring me the computer I was using earlier from the bedroom."Once you've been set up in the comfortable, visibly lived-in central room of the Koyamas' house, with computer on your lap and a landline phone beside you, you can begin browsing the internet for likely places to dine. Before that, however, the idea strikes you of doing something that, now you think of it, it seems absurd for you not to have done before: find out how the mundane authorities are responding to this 'epidemic'. If it is believed that the shuttering of Tokyo is due to some kind of plague, it seems baffling that the government would not have taken greater action; would have left shops open, trains running, and generally left things as much as they were before the outbreak as possible; yet that seems, from all appearances, to be what is going on. In any case, you must know what exactly the state of affairs is if you're to go on dealing with mundane people more actively than you were when living at the Shijou manor.The articles on the mysterious outbreak which has somewhere acquired the rather absurd name of the 'Tokyo Malaise' present the grim portrait of a bewildered country at a loss for how to react to something inexplicable in its nature, severity, and rapidity. Symptoms have swept through the population. Deaths have been numerous, and hospitalizations even moreso. Every medical facility in the city is swamped; and yet for all that, doctors have been unable to discover any pathogen.
In one interview you read, transcribed for a print article, a morose researcher explained to a reporter yesterday that, "What we are facing is a true medical mystery; perhaps an impossibility. We have been able to detect no shared bacterium, virus, parasite, or chemical afflicting those who suffer. The only things they share are the symptoms that brought them to us. Symptoms that under any ordinary circumstances I would ascribe to massive overwork, stress, and insufficient sleep," and you can be sure that a Tokyo doctor has seen plenty who suffer from those afflictions, you think with a smirk. "When these symptoms are communicated to a new victim, moreover, they seem to follow no known law of communicability. Some of my more radical colleagues have said that there is no disease; that it's a case of mass hysteria and the placebo effect taken to deadly extremes," the reporter continued. "I'm not confident enough to make that claim. All I can say is that whatever we are facing, it's unlike anything familiar to the medical profession."That was the gist of what the doctors have to say about the 'Tokyo Malaise'. In other articles you read about how angry delegations blame the government for taking insufficient action, how a complete lack of victims in any city or town outside the Tokyo Metropolis has deepened the mystery, and how the prime minister made a fiery speech this morning urging the people of Japan to bear up under this burden rather than shrink from it, to overcome it as past hardships had been overcome, and not to allow fear to overwhelm them. He assured the people of Japan that there would be no quarantine, and no action taken against the illness that might damage the economy in any way; with no method of containment known to be effective, he said, quarantine and other similar measures could do nothing to help, and would only harm more people by inhibiting the vital flow of goods and services. The speech, apparently, was not well-received; but there's your answer. Life goes on because no-one really knows whether there even is a disease, and because the government insists that to slow Tokyo any further will kill it, like the famous shark unable to breath if brought to a halt. Good. You'll have some places to eat.You must dine at one of the best places, naturally, considering the demanding palates of Adelheid, Stheno, and Euryale. You're not unaware of the fact that such places of business typically have enormously long wait times to get a reservation, of course, but with the steady depopulation of Tokyo you don't doubt they will have plenty of open tables. So it is with a sense of optimism somewhat at odds with your crippled state that you look forward to a truly delicious meal as you put together a list of restaurant phone numbers to call and determine whether or not they remain open for business.
The reality of the situation proves at odds with your optimism. As you dial one-by-one the numbers of the city's finest places to dine, you find that they invariably fall into one of three categories. When calling those of the first, in which you surmise that the proprietors have already been struck down by magical fatigue, the phone simply goes on ringing until it reaches an answering machine that makes no message of the unique situation, simply assuming you've called outside of the restaurant's ordinary business hours. With those of the second category, you find your call briefer, as these go directly to an answering machine informing you that the restaurant is temporarily closed; here, you surmise, the proprietors have taken their savings and fled the death-haunted city. Lastly, there are the restaurants of the third kind, where audibly overworked employees inform you that no, there are no tables to be had, they are quite full, and reservations for later in the evening are likewise impossible. The healthy population of Tokyo, you suppose, is splurging in the face of a disease that obeys no ordinary laws of communication; that part of it which hasn't fled, at least. In the end you're forced to lower your standards, and discover that more affordable restaurants lack the same level of crowding. Ultimately, faced with the necessity of eating cheaply, you opt to prioritize convenience as well and dine at a decidedly affordable family restaurant in the neighborhood; the only place within walking distance of the Koyama home that hasn't been shuttered.You heave a sigh as you look up from the computer. Everyone else is gathered in the living room around you: Medusa and Arturia regarding one another stonily, Adelheid with one of Vaisset's notebooks open on her lap, and Medusa's sisters watching your research and telephone conversations with the interested curiosity of those to whom modern technology is still new and fascinating. "So?" Euryale chirps, her energetic voice the first to break the silence. "Have you found someone to prepare dinner for us?""That isn't quite the way it works," you say, smiling at her misconception, "but I've found a place for us to eat. It may not be the finest, but it will be something to eat. It's a few blocks up the road; let's go, shall we?""You couldn't arrange to have something delivered?" Adelheid asks, giving you an exasperated smirk as she gets to her feet, returning her project to her bookbag. "You haven't even shown me around your new home yet; but really, I can't imagine you want to leave again so quickly in your condition." Her wry expression gives way to one of concern as she adds this last remark, her eyes lingering on your wreck of a body.
"I may be crippled," you growl, "but I am not the sort of invalid to suffer pangs of agony whenever I am jostled, and moan at the prospect of leaving a bed." The words carry greater anger than they might have, for you find her kind consideration stings your pride far more than soothes your pain. It twists your stomach into knots to see a look of pity there, in the eyes of the woman who on your first meeting was so delighted by the potential she saw in you, and with whom you have come to share a kind of mutual admiration. Had, maybe; can Adelheid ever look at you with admiration again, after this failure? You wonder. You must heal, you think; before some vital part of you is lost forever."I see," Adelheid says quietly, and from the deep, sad look in her eyes you have the impression she really does see; sees clearly the wounded pride, the desperate desire not to be taken care of, and the fury at your own weakness, all at once, and understands it. "I'm sorry to have spoken that way, then. Let's go, Alberich." This time it's she who steps behind your chair to push you out, the others following behind, and for a while the two of you are content to let silence spool out while you make your way up the street to the only available restaurant, the last rays of the sun fading with your temper, giving way to a peaceful, near-silent evening.It's a short walk from the Koyama house to the restaurant you picked out, and although you have to point the girls in the right direction a few times you arrive quickly enough, with no real difficulty. The place is as pleasant as it can be, designed to seem friendly, comfortable, and inviting in spite of its mass-produced nature and fluorescent lights, with cozy booths, brightly colored western decor, and smiling waitresses in checked blue and white uniforms with frilled aprons. You have to correct yourself on this last point, actually; a smiling waitress. There's only one girl working the floor, although you can't call the empty place short-staffed given that your party seems to represent their sole source of custom for the night."Welcome. May I take you to a table? Would you like to be seated in the smoking or non-smoking section?" As the young woman rattles off her trained greeting, you notice that she seems to be giving your party, now even more strange than when you visited the clothing store, no particular notice; an odd detail that prompts you to look more closely at her, and take in the glassy, distant quality of her eyes and the dark bags below them. The girl who leads your group to your table and sets out your menus with a well-trained smile is, you surmise, already feeling the effects of the 'epidemic' being made so much of. She may not be so drained yet that she's ready to drop, but she's certainly on her last legs.
"Does the menu appeal to you girls?" you ask, sweeping your eyes around the table once the waitress has taken her leave and everyone's had a few moments to look over the food on offer. "What will you be having, if you've made up your mind?""Hamburg steak," Arturia answers promptly, the reply presumably dragged swiftly out of her by your magic. She says no more, however, choosing to express herself only by favoring the rest of you with an expression of cold, silent disdain."I suppose I'll try this quiche," Adelheid says, though her unenthusiastic expression informs you she's none-too-excited about it. Under her breath, she adds, "I see you really did choose this place for its location.""There are many worse places to eat," Medusa interjects, although if that backhanded compliment is meant as an endorsement of your choice you're inclined to tell her it's a poor one. "I shall have the steak," she adds in answer to your earlier question before Adelheid can sally for a fresh round of negativity. Of course, you can hardly imagine her ordering anything else."This 'soufflé' looks intriguing," Stheno notes. "Everything pictured here is strange, but from its appearance I believe this would be the most palatable.""I'll have what 'myself' is having, of course," Euryale adds, following hastily on the heels of her sister's decision. After a few more minutes of silence and tension between your ill-matched band of followers, you've ordered and received your food. After some consideration you had decided to opt for the steak as well, lured despite your better judgment by the photo on the laminated menu. The dish that arrives is naturally far less tantalizing than its advertisement, but it still looks to you like a fine dinner. Just as you cut yourself a piece and begin to bring it to your mouth, however, Arturia reopens her complaints against Medusa."Now that I am permitted to speak once more," she begins icily, glaring at Medusa over a dinner she's already devoured a third of in the first few seconds since its arrival, "tell me just how you can claim that your situation now is no different from your first summoning.""Have you forgotten already?" Medusa asks with a restrained smirk. "I did explain the matter to you, just before we came here."
"Insufficiently!" Arturia snaps. As she continues speaking, however, you find that your attention is arrested by your meal. The steak, the rich, meaty flavor of which you had rather been looking forward to, has almost no taste at all. If you were pressed to ascribe a flavor to it, in fact, you might say that it tastes of ash, or stale dust. It's an almost bitter, incredibly empty flavor, the likes of which you've never tasted before. Yet when you examine the steak more closely, it appears perfectly ordinary. It's seared brown on the outside, pink at the center, with a narrow layer of moderately cooked meat separating the two regions just as you prefer. From the look of it, it even seems to have been cooked with some marinade or glaze. The second bite, however, is as tasteless as the first. No-one else at the table seems dissatisfied with their food, though. Just what is wrong with your meal?As you're puzzling over this you gradually become aware of other oddities: vanished sense of smell, coupled with the loss of taste; a slight diminution of color in your sight, as if things are becoming washed out; the feeling of wetness gradually seeping into the bandages that wrap your body, coupled with a deepening pain in your wounds. With a sinking heart, you realize that even in your wheelchair you've used up most or all of the magical energy with which Medusa supplied you last night, and your wounds are beginning to reopen.>[ ] This is an emergency; you need to take action before you lose your energy completely. Order Medusa to round up the employees in the restaurant and slaughter them for you to drink from.>[ ] While it is important that you heal yourself, you're confident that, considering it's taken all day for you to reach this point, the matter can wait until after dinner. Once everyone has finished eating, you can break into a new house on the way back to the Koyama residence and help yourself there.>[ ] It's nothing to worry about. The worst that can happen is for you to fall into unconsciousness, and considering what you've been told about Servants conserving energy by sleeping it might be best to sleep as much as possible while Medusa prepares her Noble Phantasm. Make nothing of it.>[ ] React differently. (Write in)
At long last, there we are; finally an update. Sorry it took so long.I just realized that I forgot to archive the last thread. God damn it, this really is all a mess right now. Good thing I've been keeping the PDF up to date.
>>4300112>[ ] React differently. (Write in)>Inform the group of the development and ask for to-go boxes if they're available, then pay and excuse ourselves. Then (per 2nd option) break into a new house on the way back to the Koyama residence and help yourself there.I think jumping the gun here and now would paint a target on us but waiting for everyone to finish eating seemed like it would take a little too long so I met it halfway.Shame we didn't have time to desanguinate the guys who were attacking us earlier.
>>4300112>[X] While it is important that you heal yourself, you're confident that, considering it's taken all day for you to reach this point, the matter can wait until after dinner. Once everyone has finished eating, you can break into a new house on the way back to the Koyama residence and help yourself there.
Now I'm starting to wonder how Circe and Adelheid feel about Alberich being in such a similar situation to Yumigawa's own just a few days ago.He's trying to get back his strength after it got taken away from him.Could Circe have just ditched us for him? She might figure that making up for abandoning him to Alberich's mercy would be easier to withstand than being Lily's Servant and still trying to get back in a decent standing with us.He had to have been cloaked from Harris' Repulsion Chamber somehow...>>4299657So I went back and read the relevant passage from Kourakuhime's dream, and I think it does support my theory about the ritual changing who the Primary Lesser Grail in the Tokyo Holy Grail War is:>Yet there was a crack in the perfect goblet, a flaw... in the prize, and the contents had escaped... by the time you brought it to your lips. When you drank from... that emptiness, Ani-ue, it weakened you, hollowed you out... it drank from you.If the remaining souls of the slain go to Sakura instead of Lily, then the ritual will become difficult for us to complete, since we'd have to take Sakura alive instead of kill her, and if we can't find a way to transfer the souls then they'd be split apart and there wouldn't be enough energy to make it to the root.It would make wanting Lily dead make even more sense, cause if she died, then couldn't Sakura become the Primary Lesser Grail by default? Upon her death the souls she collected till now would go to Sakura, right?It could be the way she persuaded Assassin to kill the Lesser Grail, that she could grant his wish even without Lily.As a matter of fact, if they can, why wouldn't they just make it so the souls don't even get sent to either of the Lesser Grails, and just have them dissipate? That would be a sure way to end the hope of obtaining the Holy Grail here.
>>4300112>[ ] This is an emergency; you need to take action before you lose your energy completely. Order Medusa to round up the employees in the restaurant and slaughter them for you to drink from.
>>4300112>React Differently>Arturia is the only member of your group with the ability to replenish her own supply of magical energy with ease thanks to being able to draw on the leylines. With that in mind, order her to transfer some of her magical energy to you. It's an emergency, after all.Blood or saliva, it's her choice.Bwahahaha.
>>4300112>>[ ] This is an emergency; you need to take action before you lose your energy completely. Order Medusa to round up the employees in the restaurant and slaughter them for you to drink from.Not fully satisfied with but going with this for now, my main problems with:First, it may be an emergency decision but i'd still prefer to try to act like we're maintaining control over the situation and less like a panic decision.Second, had this been one of those 'live where they work' family restaurants then noone would take notice if it ends up shuttered too; if not then people are probably going to come checking when they don't come home and someone finding the mess would probably draw alot more of the church's attention to the area than if it gets "gas leak'd"(theyd still probably show up but hopefully in fewer numbers than when someone finds the mangled drained corpses, hell if we get lucky might even get Tsubaki's attention when we take a page out of her book).
>>4300350But we could just do a simple mana transfer with Saber instead of liquidising everyone in the place.
>>4300112>>4300136don't know how packing steak and sweets to-go will end up, but its the most plausible option so far>>4300333isn't the whole point of us doing this dinner thing trying to make amends with our Allies as of now? wouldn't just forcefully transferring mana ruin the whole point?
>>4300363>make amends with our allies.Well it's up to Saber.She can either cut herself and give us some of her blood. (Or a kiss but haha.) Or we can kill everyone in the restaurant.And nobody will ever be able to eat there again.
>>4300350>>4300136I could get behind this, may not give us a 'attempt to reassert ourselves to our subordinates moment' after that Adelheid bit, but least it doesn't draw attention too close to our safehouse.
>>4300112I'll add a minor detail to >>4300136 since >>4300371 mentioned>She can either cut herself and give us some of her blood. (Or a kiss but haha.)The addition:If things get really bad before we have the chance to desanguinate someone, we'll ask Saber to lend us a little bit of either her saliva or her blood, her choice of which. I think lactation could also work but that would probably be out of the question.
I couldn't write today because of work, so if anyone still wants to change their vote or argue a point feel free. I'll be calling the vote in eight and a half hours to start writing tomorrow morning, when I'll have some time.
>>4300426>>4300363So do you guys like the slightly edited >>4300549 version?
"I'm afraid we'll have to bring this dinner to a premature end," you say, cutting through the conversation with the hard gravity in your voice as you lay down your silverware. "I'll ask the waitress to bring us some boxes for the food and you girls can finish eating at the house; but as for me, it seems the food here isn't nutritious enough for my sustenance.""The food isn't nutritious enough? What do you- oh!" Euryale begins to ask for an explanation, looking questioningly at you, but her words cut off in a sharp intake of breath as her eyes fall on your chest. There, if the feeling of sticky dampness and oozing loss of power is anything to judge by, a fine red blotch is growing on your shirt, ruining the new item of clothing. Certainly Euryale seems to quickly understand, presumably recalling her sister's explanation last night, for she presses her lips together and says far more quietly, "I see.""Yes," you nod, Medusa and Stheno look similarly understanding, though you would guess that neither of them needed to see your blood to catch the meaning of your words, while Arturia and Adelheid give you uncertain looks, but restrain their questions. Good for you that they are, for you don't feel you have the time to explain, the way that darkness is creeping into your vision. "Waitress," you call, prompting the girl to hurry back over, her footfalls curiously muffled to your ears. "Bring us some to-go boxes, please," you continue once she's arrived. "We haven't time to stay and eat after all; and ring us up as well, I'm ready to pay."The next several things to happen seem to pass in a haze, sights and sounds reaching you gradually more and more distantly, as if filtering through to you from far-distant sources, rather than your immediate surroundings. You pay for the dinner, bring away the girls' food, and begin the trip home, but it feels as though it isn't really you doing these things; they pass you by, your own actions seeming as immaterial as fog swirling about you as you move dazedly through the hidden landscape, seeking a point of clarity. When, partway back to the Koyama residence, Medusa suggests that the suburban home beside you presents an ideal place from which to get what you need, you assent with the same distant indifference and watch with eyes almost unseeing as the house is broken into and you conducted within to await the slaughter of your desperately needed meal.
You come back to yourself, and to clarity, only when you find your lips on the rim of a glass filled with a marvelously energizing carmine draft, rich, thick, and wonderfully vital. The blood flowing down your throat now has nothing of the metallic tang of that distasteful stew Medusa served you in her temple, for no physical aspect of it influences the flavor you experience. It is the energy of life itself, the Od of the blood's former owner carried in the vital fluid, which you taste; and that flavor can be replicated by no animal blood. You drain the glass in one long gulp, catching a rivulet that threatens to run down your cheek with your tongue, and then set it aside, blinking and you taking stock of your surroundings as your senses begin to return at last. Once again you find yourself in a blandly well-off suburban living room, with all the typical accoutrements in appropriately minimalistic 21st century style: sofa, coffee table, a television propped up on a media cabinet, gaps in the walls leading to semi-adjoining kitchen and dining room. The only traces of quasi-individualism to be found in the decor are a ceiling fan and deep pile Persian rug spread over most of the floor; and even these are hardly very strange. What does throw a discordant element into the whole ensemble is the dead man, middle-aged by the look of him, suspended from the ceiling by a chain wrapped around his legs. Blood drips, slowly now for he's been mostly drained already, from a careful incision in his neck into a large glass pitcher Medusa is holding below him. On the floor nearby lie two women, one in her teens and the other as old as the man, alive but unconscious. You can tell that by the shallow rise and fall of their chests."Have another glass, Alberich-sama, you must drink it all if your condition is to improve." At the soft voice to your side, delivered in the gentle tones of a caring wife administering to a sick or drunk husband, you turn to see Stheno; though her manner is so unlike her previous attitude that you're half tempted to think this is some hitherto unknown fourth Gorgon sister. Like her sister she holds a glass pitcher filled with blood, and she refills your set-aside glass from it with as much grace and gentility as if it were iced tea offered to guests at a summer party thrown by some well-bred socialite. This nicety from the often condescending Stheno only serves to further underwrite the bizarre juxtaposition that characterizes the whole scene, and for a moment you feel as cast adrift as you did in your first moments in the Akeldama, when your mind was wholly Yumigawa's and you hadn't the slightest conception of your circumstances. You drain the second glass as quickly as the first, hoping that another dose of energy will help to stabilize your mind.
"How do you feel?" Medusa asks, seeing the return of some clarity and purpose to your aspect. "Would it be easier for you to drink directly from these people, or do you prefer to have it in that way?""The glass is fine," you reply, "but pour me another please, Stheno. I fear I'll have to drink all six litres of this man before my body can be trusted to last the night." You grin in self-mockery for a moment, before letting out a sigh. Was this abominable feeling of tenuousness, this sense of barely existing and constantly being about to drift away from the world, what Kōrakuhime was facing all the time before she came to you and tied her existence to the leylines? Hardly surprising she turned to hunting the city's people. If she felt this way, and had no-one to turn to, you suppose it's almost amazing she didn't kill more just to try to get herself some feeling of security, some reserve of energy. Certainly you'd be lost cutting it as close as you have without Medusa to help you, you reflect."So? Are you going to explain now?" Adelheid asks from the couch, where she's been sitting and watching proceedings. Though she wears an expression of some nonchalance, there's an alert, worried tension in her eyes that gives the lie to the impression."There isn't much to explain," you answer with a raised eyebrow. "My situation should be fairly clear. You're already aware of my need for Medusa's Noble Phantasm to be healed, and the deficiency of energy that prompts it. That I am doing this to supplement my magical energy shouldn't seem any great mystery to you.""Not that," Adelheid says, irritation creeping into her tone. "Of course I can see that much. I'm asking you to tell me what you intend to do from now on. Bloodfort Andromeda will need two days to prepare, and it's quite clear you can't stay hidden and isolated all that time. How are you going to keep yourself supported while we're out preparing the ritual?" At this question, you're taken somewhat aback. Of course it seems like an obvious point of inquiry now that it's been brought up, but until this point the thought hadn't crossed your mind. This morning, you were under the impression that Medusa had given you enough blood while you were unconscious to sustain you in your injured state until you were healed. Since the truth became clear, you've been so absorbed in your immediate condition that you haven't considered what to do next. It's a humiliating lapse, and stoked by the fire of your eternal self-directed fury at any humiliation, your mind works all the faster and harder to find a solution.
>[ ] If one person is enough to sustain you for a day, that ought to be enough. You'll take the woman and girl home unconscious, to feed on when you need them.>[ ] You'll simply have to be less active. You know, or at least have been told, that the most efficient way for a Servant to conserve energy is to sleep, so until the ritual of your healing is ready you'll spend as much of the day asleep as possible.>[ ] Arturia may be one of your followers, but she doesn't share your difficulty. As long as she goes on wearing that dress, she'll draw energy from the leylines to sustain herself. Consequently, you can put the matter of humans aside and take as much energy as you need from her.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4302273>[X] Arturia may be one of your followers, but she doesn't share your difficulty. As long as she goes on wearing that dress, she'll draw energy from the leylines to sustain herself. Consequently, you can put the matter of humans aside and take as much energy as you need from her.
>>4302273>>[ ] You'll simply have to be less active. You know, or at least have been told, that the most efficient way for a Servant to conserve energy is to sleep, so until the ritual of your healing is ready you'll spend as much of the day asleep as possible.Honestly, I'd like to combine the first two because I doubt we'd last a full day on one alone without minimum activity as well, and prefer to keep draining Saber as an emergency option if we find we need a last push to survive for the ritual, if only because it won't make us combat viable again and i'd prefer not to deplete our 'guard' on the off chance we get discovered before it's ready.
>>4302273>[ ] Arturia may be one of your followers, but she doesn't share your difficulty. As long as she goes on wearing that dress, she'll draw energy from the leylines to sustain herself. Consequently, you can put the matter of humans aside and take as much energy as you need from her.
>>4302273>[ ] If one person is enough to sustain you for a day, that ought to be enough. You'll take the woman and girl home unconscious, to feed on when you need them. Should it not be enough and not greatly decrease her capabilities, take energy from Arturia.Should we look for a retirement home or an orphanage in case something go wrong to either take that as a hostage or get some extra juice in case we need it?
>>4302272>stoked by the fire of your eternal self-directed furyThis is an abominable piece of writing.How can I reconcile the two facts that I am able to write the most late at night because that's when I'm most free of distractions, but I most often end up hating aspects of things I write late at night because I was writing it when half-asleep?>>4302286Combining options is something you can do. That's what the write-in option is there for.>>4302431If you're going to go the Kirei route, I may as well point out that under the circumstances in Tokyo you'd have better luck with a hospital.
>>4302286>>4302431Switch to this, hate to tie things this late, but close enough to what I had in mind.Thought had, do we really feed Medusa to feed ourselves/may not be same 'quality' but while she's out preparing the ritual and we haven't been discovered yet is anything really stopping us from going out with S&E and Saber as our muscle and nabbing more people?
>>4302861I can't believe you would do this.
>>4302941Honestly, if we're still tied when Sweets calls the vote i'll switch out just so things will keep movingI don't really have a problem with the idea of using Saber as a battery just that i'd prefer to save it as a last resort if necessary, if we're going to have to eliminate the two human's anyway to not leave witnesses for the church to find, better to not let them go to waste.
>>4302970>i'll switch out just so things will keep movingCome on now, folks. Why don't you talk it over and work out which course will work better instead?
>>4302998I want to but I've been a bit too busy lately to go into proper detail as well as i'd like to and just feel like i'm repeating myself, besides the idea isn't really something I have a fundamental problem with.I'm mostly 'against' it because i'd like to save as last resort option if we have no other choice, can't go 'poaching' because the church has started closing in on us and if things have gotten that bad we probably can't depend on it too much because without Saber we'd be defenseless.I'm mainly leaning towards keeping these civvies to feed on (we're just going to kill them anyway to keep witnesses from talking and if eat them now it's not like they'd make us combat viable again, may as well save them to shave a day or so off the timer) If the ritual's close to completion, we really need it and can't risk going out by all means leech Saber i'd just like to stretch out what we still have before then to minimize the amount we'd be draining in case we need her to protect us.
>>4302273>>4302279>>4302431I'll go ahead and support this.It's reasonable enough to use them to sustain us.
How many more weeks until we're healed?
>>4304448Unfortunately I don't know.But I'm happy to take bets.
It only requires brief consideration for the answer to make itself clear, though. If one person is enough to sustain you for a day, a notion you derive by vague instinct from the degree to which each gulp of blood affects you, the two women now unconscious ought to be enough to serve as your energy supply until Bloodfort Andromeda is completed. You can take the pair of them home with you tonight. If their energy should prove insufficient, though... Your eyes sweep across the room as you consider that unpleasant prospect, and alight on Arturia. The stoic woman stands half shadowed in the entrance to a hallway, looking over the predatory scene with eyes radiating utter contempt, though the rest of her face is held in an impassive mask. It isn't her expression that interests you now though, nor her opinions on the consumption of this family, but the lovely, frilly, flattering maid uniform your sister gave as her contribution to the humbling of the woman who nearly killed you. That is to say, it is the mystic code which freely draws energy from Tokyo's leylines to support Arturia which interests you. Naturally, you think, you can't wear the thing yourself. Given the choice between fading into nonexistence and humiliating yourself by putting on the uniform of a maid you would choose death without a second thought. Still, there are other ways of transferring magical energy between two people; if another crisis should strike after you've consumed these two women, you now decide that Arturia will be your emergency supply.With the decision made, you return your attention to Adelheid, looking at you with that expression of impatience and tense worry that you can't decide whether to be touched or stung by, and answer with deliberate coolness, "That question would be a concerning one if this nourishing fellow lived alone. Fortunately," you gesture with your glass at the two unconscious women, "he did not. Those two ought to keep me alive until Bloodfort Andromeda is ready to do its work.""And what if they should prove not enough?" Adelheid demands angrily, a spark of startling passion leaping into her electric blue eyes. "If you should have to use magic, or work your body more than you expect? You aren't giving yourself any additional supply!""Why, Adelheid, I never realized you cared for me so," you joke, and the jab brings a flush of color to her cheeks. Bashfulness over having let herself grow so emotional over a matter of logistics, you have no doubt. "But you needn't worry," you go on. "That's why I have Arturia, Stheno, and Euryale. I don't intend to lift a finger, magical or otherwise, in either utility or my own defense until I've been healed. You have my word, I won't even move my own wheelchair."
"Well." Adelheid leans back against the sofa with arms crossed, looking somewhat mollified in spite of herself. After a few moments, she adds, "As long as you feel it's enough to keep you safe. I was afraid we were losing you in the restaurant, you know.""I know," you answer with a thin smile, then drain another glass of the man's blood before adding, "I had something of the same fear, and you can rest assured I am not anxious to repeat it. To which point," you suddenly turn to Medusa, making your tone and expression businesslike, "I believe you've caught all the blood that's going to drip from that man, and it's well after dark by now. Tell me, can you begin preparing your Noble Phantasm tonight? Immediately?""Of course," Medusa answers, no trace of hesitation or reluctance over the lost dinner in her soft voice and impassive face. "Although," she adds, dropping her voice almost to a murmur, "are you certain you would not like me to escort you back to the other house beforehand?""I think I can find my way back to the Koyama home without too much trouble," you say with a chuckle. "Don't concern yourself overmuch on that account. You play your role well, and we'll all be just fine.""As you wish," Medusa replies, and gives you a shallow, quick bow before retreating from the room, dashing past you and out the front door in a single swift movement that seems to have no intermediate stage between placidity and flight; then you're left with her sisters, Adelheid, and Arturia. You hold out your glass for Stheno to fill once more, and she pours out the last of the first pitcher of blood."Well," you preface, speaking to the room at large "you can feel free to eat your leftovers from the restaurant while I'm having my own meal. Don't feel you need to wait on my account, you four.""I've eaten mine already," Arturia announces, in a tone that suggests the fact represents a moral victory over you. "You must always be able to eat swiftly on the battlefield."If that's a worthwhile lesson about war, it's apparently one Adelheid hasn't taken to heart to the same degree as Arturia, for she takes you up on the offer, getting to her feet and pulling her takeout box out of her bookbag with a smile. Nodding briefly to you, she walks into the kitchen to avail herself of whatever silverware this family possessed. Stheno and Euryale, though, were apparently less than taken with their soufflé, and jump to polite excuses not to eat. "Why, Alberich-sama, I couldn't possibly eat my dinner and leave you having to pour your own blood with only a single hand," Stheno proclaims with a perfectly emulated expression of care and affronted gentility, "and after what you were only just discussing with Adelheid about not straining yourself, too."
"If 'myself' isn't eating," Euryale chips in, energetic as always despite her sister's performance of concern, "I can't either, of course. We'll just wait, Alberich-sama." Thus, in the end it's only Adelheid who eats her dinner while you drink the strung-up man's drained blood and restore your strength glass by glass. The two of you have little more to discuss, though; you're pouring the blood down as quickly as possible, driven by the twin urgings of anxiousness for your existence and a desire to have done with the tiresome business and return to bed, while Adelheid is making short work of her quiche in order to be sure she'll be finished when you are.The walk back to the Koyama residence is made in near silence, save for an occasional exchange between Stheno and Euryale about the strangeness of the modern world. The strain of your sudden near-death and almost losing the anchor of her own existence as a result, you think, has shocked Adelheid into an unusually pensive, silent mood, while Arturia's sullen silence is precisely in keeping with her typical behavior. That woman needs to prompting to silence, you feel; she would be satisfied not to speak to you or any of those who support you for all eternity, if the opportunity presented itself. Unfortunate for her then, that her fate should prove so opposed to such a result. In any case, with those two heavy silences on either side of you, you're left with no energy to attempt supporting a conversation alone, so you likewise remain silent. When you finally do return it's a mercy to slump into bed, comfortable in the knowledge that Medusa is only putting up the first round of sigils tonight, and is in no danger of detection.
You're sitting in an armchair, stuffed with cushioning and ornately embroidered, in what must be in an attic. Dusty, bare floorboards; a peaked ceiling that is one with the roof; piles of antique furniture and other aging oddities; all the hallmark signs of an attic are there, including a lone window set into the sloping wall, looking out on... On what, you cannot see, because there is a man in the window, one foot up on the sill, a hand resting against the frame, his head and shoulders thrust out to examine the outside world. He seems caught in the act of leaving through it, in fact. The man is dressed, as far as you can see him, in a pair of black slacks and a white shirt irregularly stained with deep maroon blotches. The left sleeve of this shirt flutters emptily, held aloft by the wind sucked in through the attic window.Your own state of attire is in far greater disarray. You seem to have lost your new clothing somewhere, leaving your body covered only by the makeshift bandages with which Medusa wrapped you, skintight and conforming to every line and curve of flesh and muscle. Worse, they're no longer masking your wounds as the bandages are uniformly soaked through with the abundant blood that seeps from gashes so numerous that not a square inch of skin is left whole. It seeps through the sodden bandages and runs down your body, reaching the floor by falling from your truncated knee in fat gleaming droplets that land with macabre regularity to pool about the armchair's clawed feet. The man in the window seems to catch the sound of your dripping blood, and at its noise ducks out of the window before turning to regard you, a startled grin spreading over his face; your face, as it was when you killed Judas, replicated in every detail."Well, this is a surprise," Yumigawa says. "You, in worse shape than I am. That isn't something I ever expected to see, Saber. Not after the way our last meeting ended.">[ ] "There are ways to bring low even the strongest. You should remember that from my time in Judas' War.">[ ] "I'm not the only one who's changed in unexpected ways. What are you doing with my face, Yumigawa?">[ ] "Mock away, if you like; I don't doubt you have the worst of it. I have the means of healing. Your death in the Shijou manor was final.">[ ] Say something else. (Write in)
>>4304554>>[ ] "There are ways to bring low even the strongest. You should remember that from my time in Judas' War."
>>4304554>[X] "There are ways to bring low even the strongest. You should remember that from my time in Judas' War.">[X] "I'm not the only one who's changed in unexpected ways. What are you doing with my face, Yumigawa?"
>>4304554>>[X] "There are ways to bring low even the strongest. You should remember that from my time in Judas' War.">>[X] "I'm not the only one who's changed in unexpected ways. What are you doing with my face, Yumigawa?"
Are we really talking to our dreams now?Great.
>>4304554>[ ] "There are ways to bring low even the strongest. You should remember that from my time in Judas' War.">[ ] "I'm not the only one who's changed in unexpected ways. What are you doing with my face, Yumigawa?"Odin is fucking with us right now, isn't him?
>>4304554>[ ] "There are ways to bring low even the strongest. You should remember that from my time in Judas' War."Please Sweets, let this be a timeskip
>>4304554>[ ] Say something else. (Write in)> "I was wondering when you'd turn up again. Let me guess, Odin saved you from the explosion and gave you that makeover so you could come by and taunt me? It is of little consequence, my power will be restored soon enough."
Point out his error and inquire about his face.>>4304682>>4304782>>4304848Chastise him for his surprise.>>4304556>>4305413Hold him in contempt.>>4305521It seems you're settled easily enough, then.>>4304793People often speak in dreams, you know. It's not so strange, especially considering what a resource dreams can be in this quest.>>4305413>Please Sweets, let this be a timeskipWell, you're certainly not in a position to be spending a great deal of time up and about...
>>4305856Thread 21 hasn't been archived yet has it?
>>4305996And never will be, unless there's some way to add it to suptg from archive.moe or one of those sites, I forgot to archive it and it fell off the board some days ago.
>>4306029Just find the link for it, and include it in the description for this thread when you archive it. Thread 21 here - Link. That should work just fine.
>>4306029https://archived.moe/qst/thread/4252332/Doing what anon said >>4306602(and trying to make myself useful for the day)
"There are ways to bring low even the strongest," you say, harshness in your voice at the irritation of being reminded of your state, and Matsuda's humiliation of you. "You should remember that from my time in Judas' War.""Oh yes," Yumigawa answers with a mocking smile, "who'd have imagined that Perseus would be shot down by a nameless gunman? Surprise and circumstance are everything, and it certainly looks like someone got the drop on you; but before we talk any more, I'd like you to answer a question for me." The mirth falls from his face, and he suddenly looks at you with the same serious, penetrating gaze with which you've often unnerved people when searching every detail of their countenance for some sought-after clue to their inner thoughts. "Are you real," he asks, "or only part of a normal dream? Or is this some memory of yours that I'm seeing, and I'm facing a third doppelgänger? No, it can't be that, or I wouldn't be able to ask.""What a perfectly idiotic question," you scoff. "Of course I am real, but you have no more way of being sure of that than I have of assuring myself you aren't a creature of my own invention. If I were only part of an ordinary dream, as you put it, I could do anything at all to prove my veracity. That is the way of dreams.""Now, now," Yumigawa says with a placating gesture, palms toward you. "I guess you do have a point; maybe it wasn't the smartest thing to ask, but there's no need to be so insulting about-""Let's put such foolish speculation aside," you go on, cutting off Yumigawa's response without a second thought. "I am not the only one of us who's changed in unexpected ways. What are you doing with my face, Yumigawa; and missing your left arm?""Good question, that," Yumigawa says, giving you a strained, bitter smile. "I'll start with the face even though I got it more recently, since you asked about it first. Your looks were a gift to me from Caster, given along with my freedom." Your shock must show on your face, for Yumigawa pauses in his story to interject, chuckling, "Surprised, are you? Come on, Saber; you can't have expected to keep her goodwill after making her a present to your new love. Not that I have any place in her heart either, mind, or she'd have gone with me. No, I think that faithless witch has washed her hands of both of us. Me out of contempt, and you out of hate.""You seem to be rather better informed about her feelings than I am," you reply icily, staring hate at the man who brings you the painful news of yet another betrayal by she who was once your most loyal Servant. "Pray tell, how did you come by this knowledge?"
"From her lips, of course," Yumigawa answers, obviously enjoying his position of momentary superiority after the humiliation you've previously handed him. "Caster visited me here in the attic; the real one, that is, not this dream; while you were in your magical coma, or whatever it was, and told me the story of what had happened since we last saw each other. I don't know how much of it was exaggerated, how much a wholesale lie, and how much true, but for the sake of convenience I'll assume it was mostly true and not bore you with her story. To summarize, she felt very badly treated, hated you and Liliesviel, and felt sorry for having handed me over to you. So she gave me a potion that changed my body and put healed skin over the stump, cut my bonds, and let me out through the window." "I see," is all you can choke out, the words coming in a furious growl as bitter hate seems to flood your soul. If what Yumigawa says is true, your treatment of her at the Tokyo Metropole was far too good. Beating and torture is too good for the treacherous whore. You ought to kill her, breaking each bone in turn until she chokes on blood from the internal wounds! But no, to do such a thing would be to lose her, and you can't do that. You can't bear to let her go in death any more than in life. What you must do is find some way of binding her to you so thoroughly that she can never again betray your will in the smallest instance. And yet-You blink, and shake your head. You have to get your thoughts back on track. You focus your eyes on Yumigawa, watching the fury play over your features with a vengeful gleam in his eye, and ask in a tone forced into cool good humor, "And what of 'the stump'? Who took your arm from you?" Indeed, though the wound is hidden by the shirt, his left sleeve is empty past the shoulder."That would be your blushing bride," he answers sarcastically, "your sweet-natured alpine flower, Liliesviel. After you made your confession to her about what we really are, you see, it seems she got into something of a tempter. She wanted to take the hurt she felt out on someone, and fortunately for her, there I was in the attic: someone with enough of your personality and memories that she could feel she was striking back at you for the way you hurt her, yet who would not jeopardize her relationship with you by being hurt. She took my arm from me quite slowly, piece by piece; but by the end of it she was ready to forgive you, so I suppose it was all in a good cause."
"That at least comes as no surprise," you observe, a bland look of disinterest on your face as Yumigawa speaks his torture. If he expects pity from you on that score, you think, he's far more deluded than you had reason to expect. Didn't you as good as tell him he was being captured for such purposes the night you made your sortie against Circe? "I believe you had reason to expect that sort of treatment from her, no?" you add, underscoring the point and taking some of the wind from his own complaints."Oh, I don't expect you to have any sympathy for me, don't worry," Yumigawa replies, taking your point well enough. "It doesn't send any pangs of emotion through my heart, after all, to see you dripping blood over there like a soaked rag. You did ask how I lost it, though. Now you know." Before you can reply to this comment, Yumigawa changes the subject, continuing on an entirely new tack, "But there's something else I should tell you. Assuming you are real and this is some meeting of the minds, you deserve to know that I met Truvietianne Edelfelt and her sister in town shortly after my escape." "What?" At this you're quite taken aback, and even allow your eyes to pop open in shock, though you steady your expression quickly enough. "You mean to tell me they're still in Tokyo? From the way they disappeared from the Holy Grail War, I had imagined the pair of them had left!""No, they've left now, but when Circe helped me to my freedom they were still in the city," Yumigawa says with a shake of his head. "Like I said, I ran into them, and managed to learn a bit from them about your previous meeting without letting them figure out my real ignorance. After that, I explained what I really am to you, convinced them that we got along a lot better than we really do, and let them decide that the best way to repay the debt they owed you without betraying Luviagelita's master's opposition to the Grail War was to get me out of harm's way by going right back to the Mages' Association and taking me with them. Pretty neat trick, wouldn't you say?""Don't make me laugh," you sneer. "You, going to the Mages' Association? What for, to work as a janitor? It's my body that bears the magic circuits you remember using in Judas' War, I hope you realize that."
"Scoff at me and my mundane origins all you like, Saber, I'm going to the Association all the same," Yumigawa shoots back, his smile radiating the smug superiority of a man who's won a footrace and intends to entertain himself by watching his slower competitors struggle to the finish line. "I discussed the matter at some length with Truvietianne and her sister, and it seems I have enough natural talent to make it as a first-generation magus. It'll be a long path from that to our goal, but I still intend to walk it. And," he adds, his malicious grin widening, "since I know you do as well, I'll look forward to seeing you at the Association. Assuming you survive the War, that is." So saying, he apparently decides that the conversation is at an end, for he gives you a little wave, climbs up fully onto the sill, and hops out through the window to scramble down the roof. In the space he once occupied, you can now see deep blue sky. The dream fades soon after, into a jumble of confused images sprung from other sources. An enormous bipedal cat, its eyes as wide as dinner plates, commands bursts of flame and wind in combat against a man in a white robe who dispels each assault by the touch of a piece of paper bearing calligraphic marks. A child's eyes stare up into the kind, caring face of a mother who reminds her daughter to focus on the book they are reading together, then returns to describing the many uses to which the energy of a taken life can be put. Under red skies an enormous serpent, its tail lost in stony shadow, dines on a semipetrified man whose skin forms a restraining layer of stone, but whose wounds reveal torn flesh and welling blood beneath. Snow drifts gently down, settling beautifully on a seemingly endless expanse of trees and meadows beyond the tall, ornate window, while an irritating, hated voice from somewhere behind boasts of the speaker's finally having the chance to go to Fuyuki and punish the traitors. A pack of hunting dogs eat ravenously from a feast fit for a king, set out for them alone in a stately hall with no other occupants. Many more images pass before your eyes before...
Koyama Residence, Tokyo - November 25, 2019, MondayYou wake up. Pain assails you immediately, but that's really no different from when you went to sleep. The sunlight streaming in through the windows is more of one, and a greater one still is that Adelheid and Arturia are standing over your bed. Adelheid is mercilessly shaking you awake, moreover, and probably aggravating your wounds in the process. "Please," you say, "a moment. I'm awake. You've got me.""Good," Adelheid says, nodding and letting you fall back against your pillows. "I'd have let you sleep as long as you meant to, but someone's come to visit who is apparently rather a crucial figure in your affairs.""Shirou is waiting at your front door," Arturia interjects, giving the more concise explanation. "He seems to want to speak to you. What would you have us do?">[ ] Tell them to drive him off. Under no circumstances can you see Emiya in your present condition.>[ ] Go out to meet him. You can probably trust Emiya not to be planning an ambush if he claims he's here to talk, after all.>[ ] Ask Adelheid and Arturia to tell Emiya you won't see him, but not to be violent if he doesn't initiate a struggle.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4305413Ask and ye shall receive.
>>4307408>[X] Tell them to drive him off. Under no circumstances can you see Emiya in your present condition.
Wow.Its absolutely the complete opposite of everything I had hoped for! Fucking hell.I need a break from this quest. A long break.Sorry.
Fantastic. Another lost player. This quest really is going to die before I can finish it, isn't it?
>>4307477I don't intend to stay gone forever, but I need a break for a while.I'm sorry but I just don't enjoy this twist at all.I might come back when we aren't an invalid anymore, but right now this quest is just completely unenjoyable for me.Reusing the Circe betrayal twist is very much the straw that broke the camels back for me, and while I want to believe that it was Odin pranking us with some magical disguise, I can't be bothered to delude myself.
>>4307408>>[ ] Tell them to drive him off. Under no circumstances can you see Emiya in your present condition.
>>4307408>>[ ] Go out to meet him. You can probably trust Emiya not to be planning an ambush if he claims he's here to talk, after all.As usual i'm on the fence with this, I doubt he's here to ambush us although there's no guarantee it won't escalate, would put us at risk but sounds like Adelheid/Saber are able to join us. Plus I get the feeling he's going to start poking around If we don't meet with him.
>>4307408>[ ] Tell them to drive him off. Under no circumstances can you see Emiya in your present condition.>>4307477Did you intend an entire month of this debilitating injury to be enjoyable for the players or attract new ones?
>>4307482>treat Circe like absolute shit at every opportunity>wow I can't believe she betrayed us
>>4307515For that matter it's been a day, how did he manage to find where we 'live' when Medusa chose somewhere across the city to reduce the likelihood of running into him?
>>4307538It's still a pretty uninteresting twist thanks to us already having dealt with the villain once before, in a somewhat similar style of betrayal, too. This story's plot moves slow enough as it is without needing to reuse villains and twists.I don't even care how Alberich acted around her in scenes that were barely ever in sync with how the players actually felt.As for Alberich's reaction, it makes even less sense. Killing her is the only viable solution left now. Really we should have washed our hands of her and killed her the moment she was incapacitated.What a misused character.I just want this story to end and I don't particularly care how anymore.
>>4307555Well I say "this story." I mean this part of the story.The Grail War has just gotten so tiresome.
>>4307555It's not a twist, it's a consequence.
>>4307482>>4307555I don't understand how you see this as a twist. You folks had all already decided that the reason for Circe's not contacting you was that she was working against you again; having a moment of pity for Yumigawa and helping him escape is a far more minor thing compared to that.
>>4307664It was just speculation at that point though.But now it's confirmed.But you're right, it was an incredibly predictable twist too, even worse.
>>4307669It wasn't a twist.
>>4307671I believe you.
>>4307533>Did you intend an entire month of this debilitating injury to be enjoyable for the players or attract new ones?I didn't intend for it to be a month.I was looking over the first thread of Fate/Awakening Mirror yesterday, and man, it's really striking what a good time we were all having. People were excited and interested, talking actively, joking around and posting reaction images... I was still posting at a pretty high speed... It was a completely different atmosphere. I want to try to recapture that, but I have no idea how, when I can't even manage to consistently write daily updates these days. I just want to apologize to all of you folks who've stuck with me over the past year, and thank you.
>>4307408>[ ] Tell them to drive him off. Under no circumstances can you see Emiya in your present condition.>>4307695I don't get the chance to talk or vote that often, but I want you to know that I always enjoy reading the quest, and not everyone is incredibly discontent all the time. I know it's hard to remember that when every update is met with exasperation and complaints.
>>4307695Just take it as a learning experience and move things along. It's harder to get away with this sort of in-quest pacing when your time between updates keeps growing. Basically, get to the point of each story arc more quickly without all the fluff.
>>4307408>[ ] Go out to meet him. You can probably trust Emiya not to be planning an ambush if he claims he's here to talk, after all.How the fugg did he find us so quickly? It's supposed to just be some random house. I don't want to risk him tattling on us and getting stormed by the Church too early.We should also have Stheno and Euryale around to work their magic since he's male.Also if Circe actually is "washing her hands of" us, I suddenly respect her.
>>4307408>[X] Go out to meet him. You can probably trust Emiya not to be planning an ambush if he claims he's here to talk, after all.I'll go ahead and switch this for now.Maybe he won't try and sneak attack our new house, but he has to know about bfa being activated.
>>4307695Maybe stop making this quest feel absolutely miserable at every turn and i would do more than lurk, and wait for a quest i used to enjoy to end.I'm gonna read this to the end, sweets, but i don't really enjoy it anymore.
>>4307408>[ ] Go out to meet him. You can probably trust Emiya not to be planning an ambush if he claims he's here to talk, after all.
>>4308561The constant misery and edginess of this quest is just way too much honestly. It's actually edgier than Zero. There's just nothing breaking up the edginess, something Stay Night did well.Honestly, I could write a thousand word essay airing my grievances about how this quest has progressed, but I wouldn't want to upset Sweets so I'll refrain.I just hope things get better soon, this used to be my favourite quest, and seeing it like it is now just makes me feel bad about what feels like wasted potential.
>>4308561>>4308632Now this I honestly don't understand. I feel like there's often levity in the character interactions, Alberich's thoughts, and things like that. Sure, you've had some bad turns, but I've never thought of the quest as miserable. On the other hand, I am in a pretty depressive state of mind myself, so I guess that's coming through in the writing. My apologies, again.
Maybe I'll go on hiatus for a week or so, reread the quest up until now and see if I can work out what people liked better and get my head straight about how to write at a better pace.
>>4308741In the space of about twelve hours in the quest...>our house blew up. Courtesy of the Magus Killer.>our mana has been messed up.>we lost a fight horribly.>we were crippled.>we were betrayed by Circe after a single day of somewhat poor treatment.>Yumigawa escaped and just coincidentally had things work out for him.>Our allies have been scattered all over the place. Again.It's hilariously miserable. Alberich is a pathetic wretch right now.Shit.Look at that.You've made us Turbo Kayneth.
>>4308775>>we were betrayed by Circe after a single day of somewhat poor treatment.Somewhat poor treatment? You seriously consider the worst betrayal we could have done in Circe's eyes a somewhat poor treatment?
>>4309073Compared to how we should have treated her?Absolutely.
>>4308741I don't want to sound negative but I kinda get where they're coming from, right now there's been alot of negative events coming up for us and not much else between them, I can see that alot of these have been coming due to our prior choices and current circumstances but we could really due with something between to soften the blows, for example I can't fault that the dinner scene had to end early with us nearly dying due to mana depletion, but we really could've used us getting to see some interactions between our companions beforehand.If ask me, going forward we could probably due with a bit more character interactions between our companions in general, although since our current plan keeps it limited to us, S&E and Saber for the next few days but even then would be nice to get a couple more scenes of us attempting(failing) to get Saber's loyalty up, the sister's getting acquainted with the modern world or since Medusa's busy, attempting to bully Saber in her place.
>>4309121Or we could, you know, actually be proactive in the Grail War and prevent future tragedies caused by not taking it seriously.
>>4309147>actually be proactiveWe've been taking down our enemies systematically every day, to the point that we only had Assassin, Harris, and the Emiyas left.Then we went and assaulted the Emiyas.I absolutely do not see any point where Alberich hasn't taken the Grail War seriously, or been proactive.
>>4309156We've been focused on waifu-gathering above all else for about half of this quest.
>>4309158Those were the discussions, not the actions taken in character.Don't mix the two up.
>>4309160Except for the main contributing factor that led us to this shitty situation, our obsession with Stheno and Euryale.
>>4309171You know, there is something really rather poetic about Alberich finally acquiring all of the waifus before everything literally blew up on him.Annoying.But poetic.The main contributing factor that led us to this shitty situation was actually the fact that our allies turned out to be fucking useless and deserve to be put to the sword.
>>4309171>S&E directly led to thisMore like deciding to rely on our allies to detect intruders.
>>4309147>be more proactive>while missing two limbs, unable to use magic and needing to feed on humans just to stay alive.Something i'm missing here? Because as I see it unless we go on a wild goose chase to track down Tsubaki/Lily/Ayaka/Hecate with no leads, try to find Harris/Circe/assassin with no leads, go after Yumigawa whose already fled the country, attempt to check on the grail with no Lily with us to actually tell us if something's wrong (or suicide against Odin instead), attempt to gank Emiya with Adelheid, Saber, and S&E while we're currently a useless target (and even if we succeed we stir the Rin, Sakura, Edelfelt hornet's nest when he doesn't come back, with our luck they probably already know we're here too), or start hunting church agents in a repeat of the karaoke club event while Futodoki's already doing the same or launch an attack on the church itself; we're currently about as proactive as we possibly can be and all we can do from here is just (attempt to) lay low until we get our limbs back.
>>4309177I was saying that in response to you wanting more slice of life style scenes in the future.
>>4309075Inb4 Circe cucked us w/Odin as her revengeance to rub some EXTRA salt into that wound.Oh after we get Shirou to leave we should call Kikuko and see if she found anything on the internet yet.
>>4309221And I'm not saying we need to devote more entire updates to these, just that we get stuff like say a conversation between our companions to bounce their chars off each other during that dinner scene before things got dark again or catch stuff in passing like overhearing Adelheid finding amusement that the greatest english king who fought against the Saxon invasion is now a actual servant or if they're just going to be in the background until we need them again may as well overhear their own plans to keep themselves busy instead of thinking they're useless unless we personally tell them what to do. (Futodoki vs Saber)I'm not talking about having another 'Alberich's big day off' or putting every conversation and change in topic up to a vote, just something to give the rest of the cast a bit of flavor in between our more important events.
Alright, folks, I'm going to have to admit that it's not a maybe. I'm tired, I'm depressed, and I'm dealing with writer's block to an ever-increasing degree. It's harder and harder to write, and if I did write an update tonight I wouldn't be happy with it. In short, I'm tapped out. I'm closing a chapter here and putting this quest on hiatus until Sunday, June 21. In the meantime I'm going to re-read the backlog and try to get some of my inspiration and energy back. If all goes well, I'll be able to inject some more fun into the quest as well as write more consistently.One more time, I'd like to offer you all a heartfelt apology. I hope you'll still be here when I return.
>>4309432Take your time man, I hope you figure something out!
>>4309432Hope you start feeling better and find what you're looking for. I'm curious about the insights you'll gleam.Now as for something related to the current decision, isn't it likely that the reason Emiya is here is to stick Rule Breaker into our chest?I can only think of a few ways he'd have found our location, either by Harris, Assassin, or Circe.Harris got boo'd away by the Emiyas, and when he assaulted us he got away with it pretty well, so I don't think he'd have extended his offer again, and just plan on killing us.I find it unlikely that Assassin stumbled across us on Saturday, so I doubt he learned of us through him.Circe though may have decided to go ally with the winners of the former grail war and bet on them defeating us, since she watched us get beaten by Emiya once before.So she's probably told them all about us and our group, and scried on our location and witnessed our current state.She also probably tried or succeeded in getting rid of Kourakuhime, as she would've wanted to get rid of the person who could make it difficult to move around sneakily, and provide us with immediate assistance in regards to our current state.This would also mean Lily is probably with the Emiyas now too.So I guess Emiya could also be here to tell us that we should give Rider back and they'll give Lily back, or maybe he's just here to try and talk us down from massacring the residential district here and trying to get Rider back.Anyone else got any ideas how Shirou found our house out of all the neighborhood?
>>4309879>Rule Breaker into our chest?That's not how Rule Breaker works.As for Kourakuhime, I'm pretty certain that Circe is unaware that she was a Servant at all.
>>4309884>that's not how Rule Breaker worksPretty sure there's a CG of that exact thing happening to Saber. Through her armor even, iirc.I don't think Circe of all people would miss Kourakuhime being a Servant, but even if she did, I'm pretty sure the argument between Her, Lily, and Ayaka would've revealed something that would warrant a cursory investigation on her part.She should also be aware that we had a divinator on our side, with how fast we tracked her down, so she was probably on the lookout for anyone in our camp that would fit the bill.Thinking about it a bit more, isn't it also possible that our strained state of mana was caused by Circe tampering with Ayaka's od or Magic Circuits?She could be trying to drag out our life in this state and then have us get killed as vengeance.
>>4309892It would sever our connection to Ayaka but we aren't actually getting any mana from Ayaka right now anyway. So practically nothing would change there.It might also sever our connection to Lily, but it wouldn't affect our Servants or Familiars.Regardless, if he tried that, then Medusa could have him frozen in place the instant he pulled it out.Circe is getting her personality stripped away when we next catch her. Not true death, but instead death of the ego. A fitting punishment for one so treacherous. Obviously Lily didn't go far enough with her command spells.
>>4309920Rule breaker severs all contracts, and it severed avengers as well.I'm pretty sure if we got rule breakerd that Rider would be released from us.Rider will be his primary concern here.
>>4309931It doesn't affect the Servants if the Masters are the ones stabbed.This is something we actually see.Read the VN.
>>4309939I have read it, 3 times in fact.What you say is true though, I forget about the scene where medea slices shirou's arm off with it.But if we got hit by it it would be an instant-death, and Rider would be free of our curse.
>>4309951>it would be an instant-deathNot really.
>>4310020We haven't eaten for a day, and our anchor would be gone.If not instant, then pretty damn quick, and Rule Breaker isn't the only weapon Shirou could whip out to end it, it would just be insurance.
>>4309432Hope you get to feeling better, even despite the slowdown I looked forward to your writing every day, just give us a head's up if you need longer or if it would help to put this on the backburner to get out a few of those other story ideas you've been having in the meantime.>>4309951>Rider would be free of our curseTo promptly side with us again once her sisters have no interest in going along with the random human who shanked the first 'mortal' they liked as more than lawn ornaments and unlike Medea Shirou probably doesn't have the ability to force the issue; more likely he'd end up coming here for Medusa, and leaving with Salter (in which case we'd likely still die, just not solely due to the knife)
>>4310465He's gotta be prepared for Rider to refuse him, he should still remember his encounters with Saber Alter in the 5th HGW pretty well.He may not expect that she'd stay even if she got Rule Breakerd however, that may ruin any plot of his to regain her.But honestly the more I think about it, the more I fail to see a viable path to victory for Alberich anymore. I feel like the quest difficulty has been put into Armageddon mode or something.
>>4310720>But honestly the more I think about it, the more I fail to see a viable path to victory for Alberich anymore.The sudden difficulty hike just makes things seem completely unfair, honestly. Not to mention unfun.The plot literally seems to revolve around cutting us off from either our allies or our power or both. Almost immediately after we gathered all of our allies we lost both of those things for an arc where we are missing both our allies and our power.This comes after an arc where we were without our allies and our power.How can we be expected to focus on the grail war where the minute we find ourselves in a position that would allow us to focus on actually winning the grail war, the plot kicks us back to square one?Fuck.Harris magically blowing up the mansion will always feel like a particularly nasty Deus ex Machina. The amount of coincidences that had to align for that to have been a success are astronomical. It just feels vindictive.
>>4310720>I fail to see a viable path to victory for Alberich anymoreI've had a few ideas though they're less "good" and more "extremely dangerous", hinge on us getting back on our feet again first and even then have alot of ways they can go wrong; but if somehow against all odds and things work out we might be able to finish the HGW within a couple days, things will likely turn to shit very quickly after though.
>>4310766Before I start, yes I know this is a terrible idea, but it's the clearest I can describe that my mind keeps coming back to; the "Meltdown Option":Seeing as Odin's waiting at the HG for us to finish things up with Harris and assassin, two enemies who we don't have leads to find them and unless we find one to locate Tsubaki to track them down along with Lily or Ayaka our only option then is to wait for them to attack us or lure them out. Waiting won't be an option once we set off BFA our enemies are going to come down hard on us anyway, may as well try to pick off one of the two who we do know where they live: go after the Emiya's or launch a full assault the church. Harris probably wouldn't give a shit if we attack the Emiya's, at least in the latter case we can at least keep ourselves sustained on the blood the executors and if it somehow manages to progress that far us burning down the church should lure someone out. I don't buy that the guy leading the search is the absolute best they can offer but it's going to take time to redeploy 'those' here, assuming they weren't already enroute before or after we liquefy a section of the city, during which we need to wrap shit up here and gtfo.
>>4309432>How can we be expected to focus on the grail war where the minute we find ourselves in a position that would allow us to focus on actually winning the grail war, the plot kicks us back to square one?>Fuck.>Harris magically blowing up the mansion will always feel like a particularly nasty Deus ex Machina. The amount of coincidences that had to align for that to have been a success are astronomical. It just feels vindictive.Nailed it straight on the head. Every inch of progress has been frustrating to gain, so many moments of useless struggle in dealing with enemies we can't actually do anything about, and Hecate who's either useless or betrayed us, oh by the way, thanks Sweets for making a nat 1000 actually a horrible fucking punishment really appreciate that. And now after all of that work we've done we've effectively had our dick kicked in and poisoned, because we can't get back in the game without ANOTHER long arc of waiting to get back to being able to do things, just like the forest. So fun. At least that had a benefit and is one of the few we've managed to retain after 20+ threads, not to mention this shit with Circe, and not being able to keep her with us under any circumstance because clearly she's too powerful to have on our side this grail war, nevermind the dozen command seals used on her.I didn't realize how bitter this whole experience has made me until I started typing, mm.I think I'll go back to lurking, because I don't think I can talk about this quest without spitting venom at how aggravated it makes me right now. So much runaround, so many enemies we can't deal with, so much setback. It's just tiring.I'm not meaning to just solely beat on Sweets, but that's all I feel for this quest right now. Ugh.Honestly I think I'd feel better about it all if on top of everything we weren't ALSO Cripplerich.
>>4311218Hecate has to be protecting Ayaka at the moment, otherwise we'd definitely be dead.I don't think she's useless.
>>4311218The problem is that the story keeps being written like Alberich is the hero and not the villain he is.It's expected the hero will have some major low points before recovering and that's fine, heroes usually do shit that deserves this happening.Villains don't tend to suffer the same in order to maintain their appearance as a villain (unless it's like a Shinji tier first villain). Imagine if Gilgamesh showed up at Caster's temple and got his legs blown off to spend almost all of the rest of F/SN in a wheelchair. Alberich had a nap and when he wakes up his house blows up and he loses an arm and a leg.We've been playing things really quite safe honestly. So this level of punishment just makes it feel like the story is out to get us.The Harris thing feels completely ridiculous. He just happened to choose that precise moment where we were unconcious? Why not attack before that point?Nobody realised there was a magus like a hundred meters away at most?How?It destroys all sense of consistency in the plot because the villains seem to able to meta-game.Circe's second betrayal does actually feel like it's the result of Sweets suddenly deciding that Scry/Teleport/Kill was too powerful a tactic. Honestly half of the problem is that Sweets gives us nice things and then spends the rest of his time writing reasons for why they don't work."Durandal is unbreakable.""Achilles regenerates AND is immune to damage at the same time. Also the heel isn't a real weakness.""It's too windy to use Kenotis""He's able to completely ignore your sword by making you miss.""He has an anti-magic spear""You don't instinctively know how to control explosions and you run out of magical energy.""The human magus has time control magic that lets him completely shit on in-universe logic and defeat servants. Hope you weren't expecting to win using the fact that you're dozens of times faster than he is. Nevermind that Kiritsugu needed Avalon to use time alter beyond even it's most basic level without his body exploding from the effort. Harris also has anti-magic."Do you understand just how irritating it is to be on the receiving end of this? To punish your players for trying to come up with a creative solution to an opponent you basically made untouchable to everything they did in the last fight however is just... why?
>>4311218>>4311392I have nothing to say.
>>4311470I'm trying to show you just why people are so frustrated with things, Sweets. Especially compared to how things were in Akeldama.People are tired of constantly losing.Akeldama was the story of a man being ruthless as he achieved victory in the grail war.He's treated with a fair amount of respect by the rest of the cast.Awakening is the story of that same man being constantly beaten down into the dirt at every turn no matter what he does.He's betrayed, he loses, he's beaten, he's embarrassed, he's ridiculed.
>>4311470At least we all still care enough about the quest to stick around despite all the frustration. Most of my frustration stems from decisions made by the players but I agree with the post above as well.
>>4311486It's interesting that Alberich felt more powerful, confident, and in control before he became a Servant.
>>4311486I know. I'm not saying you haven't a right to feel the way you do, and I'd rather hear why people are frustrated than not know. That doesn't make it any less painful to read, though.
>wounded since 2 months ago>voted to focus on healing 2 weeks ago>still woundedEven if you were posting two or three times per day this is a barely crawling in-story pace.
>>4311551To clarify, the only time that you don't write a full paragraph for each minute of time in-quest is when Alberich is unconscious, which is absolutely excessive. I'm exaggerating of course but hopefully you get my point.
Honestly, I think one of the biggest problems I have with Harris is that he's just sort of an obstacle that is way too strong for what is established in the setting.We've had multiple interludes of him including stuff that happened in the past.Yet no real motivations or explanation about him other than "Ok basically he's magus Solid Snake. And he's supposed to be cool."He doesn't even feel like he's a character.It feels like we're getting our ass handed to us by a meme.
>>4311856>Virgin Conceptual Being vs Chad Dna of the Soul
You know I just realised that Matsuda is literally just a worse Diarmuid.Diarmuid has TWO spears. One of which is an Anti-Magic spear too.Also A+ Agility compared to Matsuda's A.Higher StrengthHigher AgilityHigher MagicEqual EotMPrettier.Alberich can't even defeat a gimpy Diarmuid.God damn.What the fuck.
>>4312058I feel like we're stuck in one of those dead ends where the game continues with the route, but the flag has already been triggered.
>>4312058>You know I just realised that Matsuda is literally just a worse Diarmuid.I may only be speaking in my own defense here, but I don't feel it's very fair to say that. Character-wise, they're quite different.
>>4312353I was talking mechanically.
I have to say, in going back through the quest as a reader I am finding a lot of things I'd like to change. I'd be tempted to rework the whole thing into a fan-VN, if only I knew anyone who could do the art.
>>4311392>Nobody realised there was a magus like a hundred meters away at most?>How?Yeah that one's pretty silly. I guess everyone being either emotionally-distraught, a deserter, or willfully-negligent is the attempt at an explanation for it? Still doesn't sit quite right.>Sweets suddenly deciding that Scry/Teleport/Kill was too powerful a tacticTo be fair it would have allowed Alberich to casually mop up everyone sans Odin piecemeal in the span of an afternoon, so I don't quite blame Sweets for wanting to discourage that for narrative-reasons.That said, if we'd voted to cut down Medusa in Ayaka's buffed sacrifice-circle we wouldn't have given Sweets the opening he needed to pull the rug out from under us.On that topic I can see four decisions the player-votes done goofed on that greatly contributed to this sordid state of affairs. The first was already mentioned, the second was sitting on our hands after waking up from the mental world instead of trying to immediately ascertain the situation, and the third was Dio's "I should test my new powers on my opponent" against Matsuda. The fourth one is when we could have avoided the wasted trip to the Grail by dropping the act with Lily before leaving. Would have been big time-savers, but oh well.Earlier I used the phrase "give Sweets an opening". From my experience the relationship between players->MC and GM/QM->plot is hard to get right, but one of the things that can really get hairy is when the players and the GM/QM get into a powergaming arms-race. It makes the relationship adversarial to a potentially-deleterious degree. I think Sweets miscalculated and let Alberich get too strong for the midgame-content too early, which led to him needing to give the opponents a way to not get insta-killed in seconds even if it began to stretch credibility. That led to player-choice prioritizing self-strengthening over social-strengthening in an attempt to stop enemy gimmicks from cheesing us, which fed a vicious cycle that I don't think we've escaped from.That's my take anyway.>>4312391>I am finding a lot of things I'd like to changeOut of curiosity, what are some of the changes you'd have wanted to make?
>>4312428There's a lot, so I won't try to list it all, but one of the things that immediately stuck out to me was that I should have written a more in-depth scene of Alberich trying to find closure about Adelheid and Circe's disappearance. I had it set in my mind that after the night he spent on the roof he put his grief behind him to an extent, and chose not to think of them any longer, which was part of what allowed him to fall in love with Liliesviel. That wasn't communicated very well though, I think.I definitely feel like more could've been done with Akagata Kyouka before Circe killed her. It would've been good to make Odysseus feel more present, too.The relationship between Ayaka and her mother feels like it was under-utilized for its importance, but I'm not sure how I could have communicated it better.Shuffling the order of battle so that you either faced Berserker before Rider or Archer before Berserker would've been good. That could've played into the element of making Kyouka more active of a character.I feel like I've mishandled the characters of Assassin and his Master pretty terribly, to be honest, but I also have no idea how I could've worked them into the story better. This was a problem in Fate/City Akeldama as well. Possibly they could've gotten involved in the fight against Lumenza and Berserker?
>>4312449To be honest, though I'm reluctant to say it, it might have been better if you hadn't had the opportunity to ally with Liliesviel. I think it could've made for a far more interesting dynamic if you had repeated clashes with her and Odin in which Odin sometimes defeated you, but was prevented from killing you by her desire to 'take you back into the family' as it were, and a more gradual relationship developed that way. I've talked about that before, though.
>>4312449>>4312453Something you could've done was to have Archer approach Alberich instead of letting us go to Odin. Odysseus tells Alberich that Berserker is Achilles, and offers him a deal: if he helps Archer defeat Saber, he'll help Alberich defeat Berserker. (Achilles loses his NP when his heel takes any damage, contrary to what you did.) If Alberich accepts, he and Ayaka will go out to fight Saber with backup from Archer.Of course, when Alberich and Artoria have left their Masters open, Odysseus tries to snipe at both of them, which results in Harris mysteriously escaping this would be the first hint that Harris is actually Odin in disguise, which is what I would've gone with and Ayaka being left comatose (or just badly injured, depending on player actions).That leads naturally into the arrival of Kourakuhime, who sees the opportunity to offer her services and ingratiate herself with Alberich by healing Ayaka.
>>4312428>sitting on our hands after waking up from the mental world instead of trying to immediately ascertain the situationAs far as I can tell, that wouldn't have done much, Harris would've still finished his hotwiring, and the Manor would've vaporized anyway. Maybe Lily would've been closer by when it happened though, so that could've put thing a bit more in our favor I suppose.Lily gathering everybody shouldn't have even taken as long as it's implied it did, all she had to do was just drag them to the room to meet us.>"I should test my new powers on my opponent" against MatsudaThere were several things slightly off about this though.The winning vote was to try and cripple Matsuda's maneuverability by injuring his legs with one explosion, but Alberich decided to use two tendrils, and try to completely consume Matsuda with them.I also have doubt about the drain it would put on him or his instinctual capability to use it, less the former than the latter.He can create a miniature sun in his hand, the forces that make it up being far more violent than a simple explosion, and end up tired, but otherwise fine, but he can't understand how explosions work, or know that using two would sap him so completely that he outright faints?Your other two points are solid, but there was basically no chance Medusa was getting sacrificed.At this point any opportunity to social strengthen for the remainder of the war essentially evaporated with the manor. We now have to focus on regaining our strength, then either prioritize or keep as a secondary goal, gaining even more magical energy afterward since Ayaka isn't in a state to send us any and any fight we have will drain our limited supply. Then we have to take the fight to all our enemies (which increase every minute this Grail War continues attracting organizations of note to interfere) while trying to recover the people who are missing, if they're even in a state to be recovered.There's no time now to sit and have a leisurely chat with our current party either, since we lose all our magical energy and hibernate through any endearing interactions they have, then get woken up by another adversary we failed to defeat.I also don't really understand the issue with just letting Alberich kill people he should be able to kill with his skill-set. It undermines the point of being strong if the enemies will always have just the right thing to nullify whatever strengths you have.>>4312449The best way for Assassins to win Grail Wars are to wait until there's only one Master-Servant pair, then kill the master.If Assassin is acting cowardly, then he's being competent.I don't really see much you could've done unless you had him going out and trying to get rid of all the Masters as soon as possible, and focusing on ours because we're an irregularity, or something of a similar nature.>>4312453How would you have set it up so we can't ally with her, but she wants to have us on her side?
>>4312449There's only two ways to handle Assassin, really.One is to do a F/SN and tie him to a post and make him not an Assassin.The other is to do a Zero and have some sort of gambit where everyone else thinks Assassin is dead.
>>4312666>do a Zero and have some sort of gambit where everyone else thinks Assassin is deadWouldn't you say Heaven's Feel did that first, with Assassin being killed by Assassin?
>>4312738>Heaven's Feel did that firstWell not really. The whole point of the gambit in Zero was for Assassin to "die" in front of everyone else to free up his/her movements.Kojiro got exploded because he existed.Though really the plan doesn't make any sense considering that it would almost instantly reveal that Archer and Assassin are allied together in the very moment that Assassin was seen again. Not that Zero ever really made any sense considering it was basically written just to shit all over Saber.Special mention to when Iskandar managed to somehow survive Excalibur by just... moving.
>>4312750Ah yes, Excalibur, "The Sword of Promised Victory Unless the Enemy Should Jump Into a Tree"Good thing Gilgamesh didn't think to do that, or the Fate route would've had a very different ending.
>>4312755The real question we should all be asking is how the fuck Saber managed to defeat Lancelot when his parameters were through the fucking roof?After Lancelot unsheathes Arondight she was up against an enemy with A+ STR A+ END and A++ AGI. With all the technical skill at fighting he had in life thanks to Eternal Arms Mastery.HOW DID SHE WIN?Zero makes absolutely no sense.
>>4312758Oh and I forgot to mention that Arondight is also an unbreakable sword that specifically deals additional damage to dragon-attribute heroic spirits.You know. Like Arturia.
Basically Sweets, have the comforting knowledge that you are far better at writing a story set in the Fate universe than Urobuchi is. According to Urobuchi, Saber would've been able to have easily dispatched Achilles in this quest (Especially if Divine Constructs were a weakness like they were supposed to be.)As she defeated a more skilled opponent with a superior weapon and equal parameters.
>>4312482>Achilles loses his NP when his heel takes any damageThat's a definite no. Kyouka could've brewed a magical poison to apply to Odysseus' arrows, though, which would've been an opportunity to show off her abilities as a magus a bit more as well.>Harris is actually Odin in disguiseAgain, definite no. I don't understand why this idea is so popular.>>4312514>If Assassin is acting cowardly, then he's being competent.Fair point.>How would you have set it up so we can't ally with her, but she wants to have us on her side?My thinking is that if it had been set up with her having Odin attack and defeat you and then ordering you to return to the service of the Einzberns, you (the players) would've been pretty reluctant to accept. Given her own feelings she wouldn't have been able to outright kill you though, so there would've been room to build on the dynamic over time.>>4312793That's very kind of you to say, anon.
>>4312758I believe the rationale is something like this.First, Instinct lets her overcome a more skilled foe (see Arturia vs Sasaki).Second, Magical Energy Burst lets her overcome a foe with higher physical parameters.Third, Lancelot's emotional hangups about Arturia were hampering his ability to fight.I'm not saying I agree with the outcome, but I can see how someone could write it that way with that justification. The biggest nonsense of Zero for me will always be Lancelot matching Gilgamesh.
>>4312514>I also don't really understand the issue with just letting Alberich kill people he should be able to kill with his skill-set. It undermines the point of being strong if the enemies will always have just the right thing to nullify whatever strengths you have.That's why I think Alberich got too strong too early. In this setting antagonists tend to skirmish several times and get their characterization revealed bit-by-bit. If we immediately sundered Excalibur in the first exchange when we had Heilig, cut Harris in half right after he BTFO Kourakuhime, carved Achilles up like a roast in the first encounter, etc., it would be an episodic enemy of the week plotline (and we'd either not get the antagonist's characterization or we'd get a cheesy, last-minute flashback interlude) until only guys with strong, spammable ranged attacks and Assassin were left because being the only guy with a lightsaber is a bit OP. Although it would have made Odysseus a bit more of a threat comparatively since he's ranged, kek.A nerf to Heilig might have made the encounters a bit more credible, where instead of its blade being a portal as a passive effect it's still unbreakable and ever-keen but Alberich would need to call its name to activate the lightsaber effect as a kind of power-up mode, and to make the effect ranged it would require extra energy. Telegraphing its activation might also have made some enemies' curious reluctance to parry it (*cough* Saber) more realistic.>there was basically no chance Medusa was getting sacrificedI don't remember that vote being unanimous, as I was one of the dissenters :)>>4312758>HOW DID SHE WIN?I thought it was because Kariya got burned out and died, so Lancelot ran out of gas and gave her an opening.>>4312806>I don't understand why this idea is so popular.His hyper-competence makes him seem like a Villain-Sue at times, so him being Odin would give anons the relief that Alberich was actually getting styled on by Odin and not a human mercenary (it wouldn't be as humiliating).
>>4312819>Kariya got burned outYeah but Saber should have lasted precisely as long as we did against unnerfed Achilles against Lancelot at his full power. Instead she got battered about for a while.And actually, Kariya ran out of mana at the exact moment the fight was about to end in Lancelot's victory.Still nonsensical.
>>4312819>*cough* SaberI-N-S-T-I-N-C-TI'll grant that your first fight with Matsuda, and his ability to deal with your sword, was somewhat janky and questionable. Saber is well-justified by her canonical abilities though.
>>4312819>to make the effect ranged it would require extra energyFor what it's worth, this has always been true in the quest as it is now. Projecting portals as a ranged attack does require additional energy drawn from Ayaka, as does anything else that requires you to call the name of Heiligöffnungschwert.
>>4312826I stand by the position that Heilig giving Alberich a blade with infinite cutting-power as a passive ability after the first enemy Servant was defeated messed up the game's balance.Luckily, now that we're reaching endgame content it shouldn't be much of an issue anymore.
>>4312835I agree with you about that, actually. It was a misstep.
>>4312826Speaking of Instinct, it's back to how terrible Zero is with dealing with Saber, like how Instinct straight up fails to work when Saber fights Diarmuid and it leads to her getting stabbed.Because she didn't know what Gae Buidhe does?Knight Tactics wasn't even a skill until FGO needed Diarmuid to get a third skill for their system.Not like wibbly wobbly punches didn't also completely make Instinct seem pointless, but still.How can Saber instinct her way through an almost completely undodgeable attack but get defeated by a teacher with wobbly punches?Instinct is such an inconsistent skill, I swear.
>>4312850Because martial arts are completely broken in the Nasuverse, the same reason Matsuda could walk all over you even though he's a quantitatively inferior Servant. There's also that ridiculously monstrous martial artist character in Mahoyo, if I recall correctly.
>>4312836Yeah wasn't the end of the world but it made things a bit awkward.>>4312850This reminds me of comfy AAAAIIIIIIIIEEEEEE-posting. Good times.God this setting is silly sometimes.
>>4312857Isn't Kojiro supposed to...You know, basically represent the pinnacle of swordplay? Swordplay is also a martial art. Kojiro is literally such a skilled combatant that he is capable of literally breaking the laws of the universe and accomplishing something close to true magic with just his skill alone.In skill, Kojiro easily outclasses even people like Li Shuwen.The martial arts wank on display for Matsuda is ridiculous though. Snake style at least has the element of surprise when used on Saber as well as being an impossible move to see through when it is first used. But it's only the sort of thing that can work once, especially on an opponent like Saber.You have an absolutely awful habit to overemphasise the usefulness of agility on a servant, too.
>>4312884Do I need to remind you that you fought Matsuda to a draw in your very first encounter with him, once you got used to his style?You'd have had an almost guaranteed victory against him the second time if you hadn't been falling down on your feet.
>>4312896I don't feel like that came across well in the encounter at all.Matsuda just dominated the fight with his martial arts, and we only gained the upper hand when we surprised him by ditching our sword.It would be reasonable to believe that Matsuda would develop a countermeasure for that strategy after our fight, and there goes the only method we had to defeat him.
Dropping in to show love.Happy to see this story is still going and our boy isn't dead yet.Keep up the good work Sweets.
>>4313477Like I said above, there were some janky elements to the scene. I think it could've been written better for sure. The idea I've had of it in my mind though is that he initially overwhelmed you with his technique and unique style, but once you got used to it you were able to cast aside your sword and turn the tables on him, beating him down until he was forced to run away. Consequently, since you're stronger now than you were then, you should have a much better chance of completely beating him if you fight him under conditions where you're not already mostly dead.>>4314060Thanks, anon. I hope you'll be here when the quest returns from hiatus.
>>4312826Now that I think about it, Instinct seemed to just disappear when we tricked her into running into a magical trap.She could've just used a Mana Burst attack to destroy the entire room we were hiding in.Instinct is a skill destined to only ever appear to be far less useful than it is said to be.
>>4314289Because you had separated from her at the time and she was hunting for you, it wasn't actually "combat", which is when the skill activates. It was pursuit. That's why she could be trapped. While you're actually face-to-face and crossing weapons is when Instinct is working best.
>>4314333There's lots of problems here.I'd rather we just moved on.
>>4316363Today was the last day of the hiatus. The quest will resume tomorrow.
>>4316619Did you get held up today?
Sunlight, did you think you'd seen? No, as you sit up and jerk the curtain aside, you discover that to be no more than an illusion. The light you'd mistaken for the pale white sun of dawning is really only the strained light that filters through a high layer of winter clouds, pouring their cold rain down on the city outside. It's a dim morning, so much so that already, just a few moments after awakening, you can hardly imagine how you believed you saw the sun between the curtains. For a moment you think of Medusa, doubtless still out there and crossing the rooftops or running through alleyways for your sake, soddenly hunting for the ideal places to lay her sigils, and feel a pang of sympathy and regret that you had to set her to the task. Still, the ritual must be prepared. You couldn't have spared her this unpleasantness.You turn back to Arturia and Adelheid, who've been tensely waiting for your reply as you allowed your mind to wander in the interval before the full effectiveness of awakening came to it. "I'll see him," you answer simply, without emotion. "There's nothing else to be done." There is. If Emiya has found you already, then further flight is almost certainly useless. Ordering Arturia and Adelheid to fight him off, on the other hand, would be similarly foolish, you have no doubt. The memory of Unlimited Blade Works' uncertain, but indisputably potent, powers is fresh in your mind. If Emiya is forced to retreat, he will have freedom of movement as well as the ability to make whatever sort of attacks he likes on this house from a distance. The thought of one of those explosive arrows of his striking while you sleep is not a pleasant one, to be sure. So, you think as Adelheid helps you into your wheelchair, there's nothing for it but to meet him and attempt to resolve the matter diplomatically.Flanked by Adelheid and Arturia, you move into the front hall, where Stheno and Euryale also wait, eying the closed door tensely. Once you've been brought close enough to greet your guest, Stheno opens the door and there he is. Emiya. Tall and broad, seeming all the taller by virtue of your own wheelchair-bound perspective. Dressed in a black canvas coat and workman's khaki slacks. Despite the umbrella that shades his face and shapes a curtain of rainwater behind him, his shock of red hair is pasted down to his skull as if he's only just opened the thing while waiting outside your door. In that face, as you look up at it, is the weary, deeply lined expression of a man old beyond his years; a man who has thought to set down his burdens forever and live in peace, but who has had them thrust on him once more by a cruel and indifferent world. It is not an expression you find yourself capable of sympathizing with."Hello," he says. Then, giving you a strained, friendly, somehow almost innocent smile, he asks, "What should I call you? Saber? Alberich? Jünter? Or is Tohsaka right, and is Avenger the name that suits you best?"
"Come in out of the rain, Emiya-san," you say, with a forced politeness and relaxation you do not feel, "and call me whatever you like. It makes no difference to me. What interests me," you continue as Arturia turns your chair about and wheels you down the hall toward the living room, Emiya following behind, "is why you've come to visit me today; as well as how you've managed it, of course."Once you've settled yourself on one side of the coffee table, Emiya has sat down in an armchair to your opposite, and Adelheid, Stheno, and Euryale have taken up positions on the sofa to your right, you turn to your maid and order, "Arturia, prepare enough tea for the five of us and bring it in, would you?" With a silent bow, the black-and-white uniformed Servant stalks off, the cold dignity of a king still present in her bearing even as a maid. Emiya's eyes, you note with interest, follow her movements whenever she is in the room, and it's only when she's retreated to the kitchen that his attention truly returns to you. Whatever emotion it was that he felt for her during the last Holy Grail War, you think, it obviously hasn't yet faded. Her own manner of referring to him, too, hints at a relationship other than that of enemies. You'll have to unravel the details of that mystery later."I think you know why I'm here already," Emiya begins once he's returned his attention to you, "but I don't mind telling you how I found you. I don't know if you know this, but the person who attacked your house was William Harris, another Master in the Grail War, and he came to me to ask for assistance first. I didn't help him because I didn't want to hurt Rider, but we did find out where you lived from him. Tohsaka had some of her familiars watch your house, so we found out what happened. After that it was simple to follow you here. I decided I had to talk to you about what you're doing.""Indeed." The word drops from your lips without emotion, while behind your eyes your mind works avidly. So it was Harris who destroyed the manor. Not surprising, given Matsuda's presence, but it does raise some questions about his capabilities. You had previously assumed him to be entirely focused in his magical talents on hand-to-hand combat; how, then, was he able to destroy your home using an explosion clearly magical in nature? Did he have cooperation from the Church's agents in Tokyo? He does seem to be working with them, if the fact that Antaglio turned Matsuda over to him is anything to judge by. Although the Church soldiers themselves seem to be trifling enemies, it comes to you that if you had to face Harris, Matsuda, and a large number of their soldiers at once, the situation might be fairly dire. Then again, you remind yourself, perhaps you have a more dire situation sitting in front of you now. If Emiya decides to use force to prevent you from activating Bloodfort Andromeda, he might just be able to kill you before Adelheid or Arturia can intervene.
Your laconic reply seems to sting the man, and a spark of passion leaps into his eyes. "I look for the best in people," he says angrily, "I try never to write anyone off or judge too quick, and after the way we met, I really did think there was some good in you. Even when everyone else was for saying you were Angra Manyu yourself, or some evil tool of the Einzberns, I didn't want to believe it; but this? Do you understand what Rider's Noble Phantasm is going to do, Alberich?""Why should I not?" you ask, raising an eyebrow in honest surprise at this angle of interrogation."Because I'm trying to give you a chance," Emiya answers, still indignant. "I know you brought Rider over to your side; that you changed her, made her younger, and she seems to be happy with that and loyal to you. Fine, if she really is happier with you than she was with us, I won't begrudge you. I also know how intense her loyalty can be, though. So maybe she hasn't told you. Maybe she just said it was something that could heal your wounds, and you don't know you'd be killing everyone inside the barrier. Well? Now you know, and I'm telling you, if you have any decency at all, stop." >[ ] Tell Emiya that the people of Tokyo will die due to the draining of the leylines no matter what, so this ritual will make no difference.>[ ] Remind Emiya that his own wife told you she knew the feeling of taking the energy of life into herself. Can he demand that you not save your life by the same means she used?>[ ] Lie, and tell him that you didn't know. Claim you'll put a stop to the ritual, then once he's left set Adelheid and Arturia to ensuring he doesn't get near the house again.>[ ] Say something else. (Write in)
>>4318099Yes, sorry about that. Here's an update, anyway. Hopefully I'll be able to write another one tonight (that is, twelve hours from now).
>>4318576>[ ] Tell Emiya that the people of Tokyo will die due to the draining of the leylines no matter what, so this ritual will make no difference.>Add that the sooner we are able to deal with the remaining Servants, the sooner the drain on people will end. By sacrificing a few people, many will end up being saved.I'm going to hope you found your answer from your reread and actively participate.
>>4318593You'd definitely win his father over with that reasoning. Maybe we'll see how it goes over with the younger Emiya.I'm not sure what you mean exactly by my answer, but I do think I found a bit more motivation, so I should hopefully be able to write faster. We'll see.
>>4318576I refuse to just give up and die. The entire world opposes my existence and I will fight the world for my right to exist. I'm no noble hero or terrifying monster that already had a chance at life, this is all I've got. If that makes you my enemy as well then so be it.
>>4318576>[ ] Say something else. (Write in)>I've heard that the leylines are still being heavily taxed by some unknown third party, so whether or not the Bloodfort is used could be irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. I thought I'd identified and neutralized the party responsible for the leyline drain about 24 hours before my master's manor was attacked, but perhaps something else has stepped in to fill the void.>Your appeal to decency hasn't fallen on deaf ears. However, as you can no doubt see my back is against the wall here. If my master or Einzbern consort were present, using Medusa's Bloodfort wouldn't be strictly necessary, but as things stand I have no choice but to either use it or drop dead waiting impotently as my remaining associates go on a wild goose chase with no leads.>But if by some breakthrough I were able to retrieve my lost companions and recover from these injuries, I'd decommission the Bloodfort without hesitation.>Of course, if Harris or Tohsaka were to find my own or the Einzbern master, they'd no doubt execute them immediately to ensure my demise, so I can't say I'm inclined to ask for your assistance unless some assurances could be made. Are you interested in further discussion or is the idea unacceptable?I don't like giving away more information about our weakened status but maybe we could guilt-trip him into helping by LARPing as trying to fix the leyline problem. He still might call us on using civilians as hostages to coerce him but it's the best I could come up with.
>>4318576>>4318722Backing, i'm a bit less hesitant to give out extra information but close enough to what i'm aiming for.
>>4318777Nice trips. Do you think it'd be a good idea to tell him about Circe and how she might be responsible for the renewed leyline succing? If we also agreed to stop her if she's the one responsible again then it might make our case better.If Shirou does actually agree to help and comes through in a substantial way I'd be willing to let our previous conflict be water under the bridge (in terms of malicious intent toward him; if he's still out to get us we'll fight him, but it won't be "personnel").
>>4318722>>4318777Can we not make it known that killing Lily will kill Alberich?
>>4319007Go ahead though personally i'd keep our 'dream/meta knowledge' secret, at most that our rogue caster servant, Circe, had been behind the drain, if brings up the excali-nuke best I can say to give would be mention she we know from Akeldama she could spawn large hordes of monsters with a decent supply of mana, had displayed the ability to mass produce servant replicas and set up a fortress in the middle of the residential district to facilitate the drain.Other than that i'd personally give a bit more information on our 'competition' to justify our course of actions, ie. assassin has shown he has zero compulsions against killing the grail vessel, the church has been openly trying to have us killed since berserker was eliminated and recruited their own servant to do so, the same one Harris ditched saber shortly after and now has in his employ (imply they might be working together, meta we know otherwise but Alberich in character probably doesn't) and Lancer has shown the Einzbern's have decided to allow an extremely powerful servant near full autonomy so who even knows what side he's on.>>4319031I wouldn't say 'kill her and we die' just that we need our master back or Lily as a stand in otherwise we have to feed on people to keep ourselves alive and we'd prefer to have someone we can trust not to 'command seal: suicide' us.Aside from this, glad to see your back Sweets and hope things are going well for you outside the quest.
>>4319031I'll delete the "to ensure my demise" phrase from the last bullet-point to refrain from implying that Lily is a critical element to Alberich's continued existence.>>4318576Witness above for edit to >>4318722Would you all agree to name-dropping Circe as the responsible leyline-user and that it's possible that she's up to her old tricks again after going rogue post-explosion, and if so we'll gladly assist in stopping her once and for all.
>>4319050>agree to name-dropping CirceIf he asks on why we didn't kill her the first time i'd suggest reasoning we previously spared over sentimentality towards our former primary servant and teacher instead of solely for her power; but aside from that you got my agreement.
>>4319044>at most that our rogue caster servant, Circe, had been behind the drainYeah I wasn't planning on going into much more detail than that as stated in >>4319050.>>4318576Witness below for second edit to >>4318722>In the first bullet-point, name the responsible party as the caster Circe of Aeaea, whom we captured, then speculate that she may have gone rogue after the explosion and be up to her old tricks again, or "perhaps something else has stepped in to fill the void". If it is Circe then we have every intention of locating and stopping her once and for all, but in our current state we're in no position to do anything.If he starts asking too many questions I'd ask him to focus on the more immediately relevant topic. If Shirou digs in his heels Alberich rolls his eyes, mutters "not this shit again", then says "Long story short, original caster in this war was Judas Iscariot, he had a really complicated ritual NP that let him swap places with me but as a side-effect a few extra servants got dropped into Tokyo, Circe being the most relevant to the current discussion".
Blame Circe for Tsubaki's actions too?
>>4319092If they ever meet Shirou would know by scent that it's a lie.
>>4319080>he asks on why we didn't kill her the first timeI'd say it's because Alberich hasn't been able to bring himself to slay a woman, which is objectively true.
>>4319106At least not with his own hands, I'd add that bit too
>>4319106I don't think he has any problems killing women, he just hasn't been in a position where he'd want to, and been able to act on it yet.He probably killed some women during his stampede against Archer.
>>4319112In Alberich's mind the falling rubble killed them
>>4319117What? He bulldozed through them and was quite cavalier afterward.He didn't even care if there were children in the houses when he pulled his move off.I really don't think he cares about what his victims are, and currently is about to annihilate an entire neighborhood filled with women.
>>4319119He only hesitates with beautiful women.Therefore he can slay mob characters by the dozen.
>>4319121He even prefers younger women, but he directly consigned that girl from the neighboring house to be his food.
>>4319119What >>4319121 saidAnyway this is getting awfully nit-picky for a random conditional statement that may not even be relevant.
>>4319088Still good enough for me,>>4319092I wouldn't if only to prevent creating holes in our reasoning that could be used against us, prefer to use half truths, speculation, and the unproveable than lies if only to avoid having it used against us when we find out she's currently watching us and starts trying to poke holes in our argument to turn Shirou back against us.
>>4319088>"Long story short, original caster in this war was Judas Iscariot, he had a really complicated ritual NP that let him swap places with me but as a side-effect a few extra servants got dropped into TokyoYou did already tell him most of this story when you first met him, although you didn't know who else had escaped the Akeldama at the time.
>>4319148Oh good that simplifies things further in the off-chance it comes up!
>>4319124She wasn't particularly attractive. Also, when you have to eat...
Yes, I plan to have the update finished this evening.
"If I have any decency at all, stop," you echo, giving Emiya your weightiest stare and dragging the words out as if tasting each one, rolling the hypocritical, self-righteous demand over your tongue one syllable at a time. A burst of white-hot rage flares within you at the absolute nerve of the man, that he considers it meet to walk your home (however temporary it may be) and demand that you die for the benefit of others. You ought, you think, to be able to kill him right now for his presumption. With a great effort of will, however, employing the stern restraining influence of a thorough awareness of your diverse injuries and consequent weakness, you manage to tamp down that flame. When you finally do make a further response, in fact, you succeed in rendering your voice as cold and detached as the winter rain that pours down on the city outside."I believe that the leylines are still being taxed quite heavily," you begin, "there have been no reports of the 'epidemic' afflicting this city slackening. Indeed, it would seem that if matters continue at their present pace every mundane citizen of Tokyo will be struck down in time by this fatigue which springs from the depleted earth. So you see, Emiya, whether or not I make use of the Bloodfort Andromeda to heal myself makes a purely academic difference in the fates of those who live within its perimeter." Emiya starts at this, and begins to speak, but you raise an index finger to restrain him. You haven't finished speaking yet. "I thought I'd identified the responsible party as the second Caster of the Akeldama's Holy Grail War, Circe of Aeaea, and that after I captured her some twenty-four hours before the attack on my Master's manor the overtaxing of Tokyo's leylines would come to an end. In the wake of that explosion, though, I fear that either she's gone back to her old methods or some new party has stepped in to fill her place. Naturally, if Circe is still to blame, I have every intention of putting a permanent stop to her work." With a ghost of a smile and a twitch of your wounded shoulders implying a shrug, you add, "I do feel some sense of responsibility toward the other Servants of the Akeldama, after all. Still, in my present state you can see perfectly well how impossible it would be for me to act on those intentions."
At this moment, just as you finish speaking, Emiya's attempt to make a response is once again interrupted; this time by the return of your maid, Arturia. As she glides silently over to the coffee table with her tray of teacups, serves each of you in turn with careful grace, and then takes up a position standing at attention three steps behind your chair and two to your left, Emiya takes the opportunity to cool his own emotions and mull over your statement. It's the first time, you reflect with interest, that Arturia has acted any sign of the decorum of a properly trained maid since the destruction of the manor. Had you given her some order to be on her best behavior in front of guests? You don't remember making such a statement, but it may be that you did at some point and it's since slipped your mind. Then again, perhaps it's only her own sense of pride and propriety; you can't so much as venture a guess without asking the woman herself. Certainly you can't claim to be any expert in how the inner workings of the mind of a Fourth Century British monarch might relate to etiquette."Listen," Emiya finally says after a long sip of tea, and from the sympathetic note in his voice you immediately surmise you've hooked him, "I can understand your way of looking at this; that these people are a necessary sacrifice in order to heal yourself and stop whoever's endangering the rest of Tokyo. It makes a kind of harsh sense, if you think of yourself as being alone; but you're not alone, Alberich. You aren't the only one trying to save this city. You're still alive now, aren't you? Can't you go on the way you are, and let us handle this business with the leylines? It's not inevitable for the people of Tokyo to die," he concludes, an expression of heroic resolve coming into his face. "We're going to save them, no matter what."You heave an inward sigh. Emiya, it looks like, is as bound and determined as ever to put a stop to anything that might help you, so long as in stopping it he can salve his own conscience. The damnable look in his eye, all righteous inspiration and self-sacrificing resolve, is enough to drive you to rage on its own, even without the benefit of his words! Here he is, pronouncing your death sentence, and the bastard looks like he thinks he's doing you a favor! Either he doesn't realize you're doomed if you acquiesce or he's actually managed to convince himself you're as happy to wantonly throw your life away as he presumably would be in your place. Clearly you'll have to work harder if you aim to bring him around to your way of seeing things.
"Your appeal to decency hasn't fallen on deaf ears," you tell Emiya, now adopting a sympathetic expression of your own to better match his hopes of a partner in righteousness. "If there were any other course open to me but this one," you go on, "any way to survive without killing, I'd take it in a heartbeat; but Emiya, I have to tell you that my back is quite pressed against the wall. If my Master or Liliesviel were present, using Bloodfort Andromeda wouldn't be necessary, but as things stand I have no choice at all." Narrowing your eyes, you sternly pronounce the full gravity of your situation. "I must either use it," you say, "or drop dead waiting impotently as my remaining associates waste their efforts on a wild goose chase with no leads. Of course," you add, "if by some breakthrough I were able to retrieve my lost companions and recover from these injuries, I'd put an end to this ritual without hesitation. As Harris or Tohsaka would doubtless execute my Master or Lancer's immediately were they to find them, however, I can't say that I'm inclined to ask for your assistance in that pursuit unless some assurances could be made. Can you offer any?"Emiya takes a moment to digest this lengthy explanation and proposal, using another sip of tea to provide his excuse for the pause in conversation. From the evident sympathy in his expression as he listened, you're almost certain that he's only using the time to rationalize his acceptance and think of how he'll explain it to his sister-in-law. When he sets his cup down, however, Emiya gives you a slow, regretful shake of the head. "I'm sorry, Alberich," he says, and by all appearances he really is. "If we could find your Master or, ah," he pauses, visibly discomfited, but continues after a moment, "your sister, we would've already, and I'd have told you about it before this. Anyone who survived Harris' attack and isn't in this house is too well hidden for us to track them down, I'm afraid. The only ones Tohsaka's familiars could follow were you and Saber.""That's not quite true," Adelheid interjects, her voice incongruously mirthful against Emiya's tone of regret. "You could've followed me, if I hadn't broken your vile little creature for you."
"That's the kind of thing I was talking about," Emiya replies. He doesn't spare much attention for the girl, though, but turns back to you after that quick reply. If he's curious about her identity, he evidently rates the matter as quite a bit less important than stopping you from putting Bloodfort Andromeda to use. "You haven't died yet," he says, as if this is supposed to be some comfort to you. "I'm sure you can make it for a while longer. Normally a Servant would fade away much faster after losing a Master than you have; I'm sure you can hold out." All at once, he springs to his feet, delivering his last words staring down at you rather than across the table. "You gave me a lot to think about today," he says. "I have to go, but I'll be back before you can activate this barrier. I'm sure we can find some other way to keep you alive. Don't do it, Alberich. You're still human, aren't you?" With this final heartfelt plea left behind him, Emiya quits the Koyama residence and walks back out into the rain, presumably to return to his home and discuss possible means of keeping you alive in your crippled state with his wife and sister-in-law. How easy life is, you think bitterly, when one is perfectly confident of one's own righteousness."That," Adelheid declares with confidence born of experience, "is someone who can't leave well enough alone and keep his attention on his own business. We'll have more trouble from him, you can depend upon it. Would you like me to follow him and see if I can keep him from getting back into the area, Alberich?" She gets to her feet and stretches her arms over her head as she asks the question, already preparing to follow him over the rooftops.I want two votes from you this time. One on whether to send someone to follow Shirou, and another on what you'd like to do afterwards.>[ ] Ask Adelheid to follow Emiya and see what he goes about doing next.>[ ] Tell Arturia to follow Emiya and keep him from returning within the barrier's perimeter.>[ ] Let Emiya go on his own, without being followed.>[ ] Drink from one of the people you captured and brought back, to see whether it will have any healing effect. You shouldn't have used any energy while asleep, after all.>[ ] Call Kikuko, and find out whether she's made any progress in looking for Kōrakuhime.>[ ] Contact Medusa and ask how the barrier is developing. Does she really still need to be out there placing sigils?>[ ] Do something else with your morning. (Write in)
>>4321546>[X] Ask Adelheid to follow Emiya and see what he goes about doing next.>[X] Call Kikuko, and find out whether she's made any progress in looking for Kōrakuhime.
>>4321546>>[ ] Let Emiya go on his own, without being followed.>>[ ] Call Kikuko, and find out whether she's made any progress in looking for Kōrakuhime.Odds are i'll probably end up changing first part if we can get a decent discussion going for reasons to take a guard off us or the surrounding area to monitor him.
>>4321656I'll support this for now too.
>>4321656I'll add to it as well
>still haven't done the ritualsweets why do you continue this torment
>>4323190Were you hoping I'd just handwave the fact that there are multiple parties hunting you and time-skip the entire preparation period? You already slept through a whole day of it.I know I'm not updating super frequently, but it's not as though I can use that as an excuse to ignore things in the quest for the sake of moving the plot along....I am a little disappointed at the utter lack of discussion here, though. I guess a hiatus at an already slow point in the quest more or less killed participation totally.
>>4323196Moving the plot along is your only chance to save this quest Sweets. Surely you realize this.
>>4321546>You're still human, aren't you?"Shirou being retarded as always. He knows full well that we have never been human.
>>4323196Also it's been 3 weeks IRL since we decided to do the ritual. This is absolutely unreasonable.
>>4323203No he doesn't?
>>4323199To be honest, I'm not sure if I could move the plot along faster right now even if I did want to gloss over details and/or write up one very long update that covers a lot of time. Even after my hiatus I still have very little energy or inspiration to write, frankly. A part of me wants to just put the quest on indefinite hiatus until I can really get a firmer structure worked out for how events can develop from here and I can get my life situation in order to write consistently, and another part is worried that doing that will mean I'll never get the thing done. I'm at a bit of an impasse.
>>4323217I think with your current state of mind another hiatus would turn into you dropping the quest entirely. But if you don't want to do this anymore then you shouldn't. Ideally you'd power through this slump and move on to your next project. The players pick up on your lack of passion for this quest and become less passionate as well.
>>4323196>I am a little disappointed at the utter lack of discussion here, thoughSame here, internet goes out for the day on my end and may as well have happened to everyone else.Overall after giving it a day only reasons I can think of to investigate Shirou is to follow up on the old lead of 'assassin being detected at his house', keep an eye on the other members of his household's movements, or if someone believes Circe went to them.Meanwhile if we do and then find a lead on Tsubaki we'd need to either pass on it or leave the area unguarded and take the sister's along, making us a more obvious target to the church.
>>4323217When did you start getting these strong bouts of writer's block?It seems like when Harris blew up our house the entire quest went into a limbo.Did you have a completely different idea for how the plot would turn out upon the escape from Medusa's inner world?
>>4323236I think the plot went to shit when the characters completely disregarded the plot that Sweets had built to collect their favorite waifus, Medusa Stheno and Euryale. Sweets had to watch the whole thing, absolutely cucked as shitty players chose waifu collection over taking the quest seriously. That's when my engagement dropped hard too. There's just nothing I can do at this point in the face of such shitty fellow players. I don't even know why I'm here anymore apart from my hopes for the future of this quest that are unlikely to come to fruition.
>>4323246>charactersmeant to say players in the first line there.
>>4323246Really not with you on that one.The players may not have been into that section of the quest, but Sweets had built quite a nice Island to explore, and built things on it that the players never explored because they wanted to leave.
>>4323222It's not that I "don't want to do this anymore" exactly. I would still very much like to see Alberich's story finished. It's just that lately, I feel like my state of mind hasn't been good for writing, for whatever reason. I don't know, really. I've never really enjoyed the act of writing itself, but earlier in the quest like I was getting enough back out of it that running the quest as a whole was rewarding, and I knew where everything was going enough that it was fairly easy. More recently, though, I feel like I've lost that sense of building a clear narrative, and I've just been writing from choice to choice, because I feel obligated to.>>4323236Farther back than that. I'd say the trouble really started last December or earlier. When I realized how unhappy folks were with how things had developed with Circe, and how taken by surprise you were with the growth of Alberich's love for Liliesviel, I feel like I started floundering about to 'make things right' with you folks and really lost the throughline of the quest somewhere along the way. Since then, things have just been slowly declining. All along I've been trying to get the quest back to some kind of life, to get my own head back into a better space to write. I tried to do interesting things with the confrontation with Circe and the romance with Liliesviel, to build interesting challenges on the Shapeless Isle, to set up interesting character development with the recapture of your old Servants and the summoning of Hecate, but at least right now I don't really feel anything really worked to catalyze me into the kind of active, focused writing I was doing when I started out. Then the whole virus thing hit, and I'd be lying if I said that hadn't shaken my world and headspace up a hell of a lot; I've definitely been worse off writing since. I still have a lot of my old ideas for future developments, character motivations and agendas, and the various ways the quest could develop in the end, but those are tentpole moments, you know? In terms of building the narrative out from right here and now, I just feel lost.Sorry to ramble, folks. I know this is kind of a self-indulgent diatribe, but I wanted those of you who are interested to see where I'm coming from.
>>4323261>earlier in the quest likeThis should say "earlier in the quest it seems like"
>>4323261How much of this is related to angry players? I feel like you have a good head for writing and story, but you're very sensitive to the sort of harsh criticism that only excessively autistic fate fans can provide. Write what you want to write at this point. You could be in the final chapter in this quest and the story you write will be way better than the one that metagaming players detail this quest into. Write reach update with purpose and forward momentum. Stop floundering. Finish strong. Stop worrying so much about the consequences of terrible decisions made by players and write the story to want to write. Normally I'm against this sort of attitude but the players who used to be great have turned to shit in the later half of this quest and I place more of the blame on them than you for it's current state.
Another thing. You've avoided making Alberich too powerful throughout this entire quest. Well guess what? Alberich is powerful. He's already won a Grail war. He's a brand new form of existence. You've limited Alberich for long enough. Allow the players to use his actual power to its fullest for once after he's healed. Odin will still be a challenge. Nobody else should be hard to deal with for an un-nerfed and serious Alberich. And that's okay. We've struggled through this whole quest while gathering upgrades, with nothing to show for it.
>>4323196>lack of discussionCompared to the last vote this situation doesn't seem to need a particularly detailed response to get the intended result. In my case I generally bring my A-game when I deem the situation is complex enough to need a carefully fine-tuned response to play out favorably.That said I've been considering switching to having Adelheid pursue Shirou to make a few queries and dissuade him from interfering with Medusa if need be, but haven't been able to work out the optimal instructions.For now I'll switch >>4322383to have>[ ] Ask Adelheid to follow Emiya and see what he goes about doing nextI'll try make it more detailed sometime later.I do want to find Harris' base and destroy all of his surveillance equipment sooner rather than later; I don't like leaving him to his own devices. Realistically by now unless Odin is guarding them or Hecate is a lot more competent than she looks, Ayaka and Lily should have been killed off by Harris or captured/turned into birbs by Circe.
tough luck, kid
Just to be clear, I believe we have a tie between asking Adelheid to follow Emiya and letting him go on his own at the moment. I'll start writing when it's resolved.>>4323688I want to find an excuse to bring him back into the story, but I know it'd be an ultimate shark-jumping moment.
>>4323750Just have him show up at the Tiger Dojo.
>>4323750>it'd be an ultimate shark-jumping moment.Is it better or worse that at one point very on in mirror I half expected assassin 'James Bond'/the amalgamation of cold war spy mythos to show up for the same reason?
>>4323750Then let me break the tie for you.>>4321546>[X] Ask Adelheid to follow Emiya and see what he goes about doing next.Adelheid should be fast enough to escape in case anything goes wrong and we have a severe lack of intel currently.
>>4324458Alright, there we go. I have time to write now, so I guess I'll get to it.
"Yes," you say. "Thank you for the suggestion, Adelheid. Do follow Emiya; not to keep him away, though. I want you to see where he goes after this, what he's about, et cetera. I know you can't hide your presence, so playing the complete spy would be too much to ask, but gather as much information as you can. I want to know whether Emiya is playing me false; and if he isn't, just what he thinks he can do to render Bloodfort superfluous." On the face of it, the idea is ridiculous. The only way you can think of that Emiya might be able to save you would be to bring you to Ayaka or Liliesviel, but if either of them is fool enough to let Emiya find them you expect them to already have been killed by Harris or otherwise molested by your ever-faithless Caster. Of course, you do recall the monumental font of magical energy you observed in the form of his wife, but it seems Emiya would need to have a character self-sacrificing in the extreme to offer you a drink from that source. In any case, hopefully Adelheid will be able to bring you some clarity regarding his intentions."You are right in saying I'm not the ablest agent for spying," Adelheid nods with a self-deprecating chuckle. "I imagine you wish you still had that cat of yours now. Still, if you'd like me to observe Emiya I'll go to it as best I can. Observation at long distance should stand in at least a little for my inability to hide." Giving you a tender smile, she adds, "Keep yourself safe, Alberich," before fading into spirit form and making her exit."Well, that was quite an encounter," Euryale says cheerfully, stretching her arms over her head as she lolls on the couch. "Your affairs certainly are complicated, Alberich-sama. Just trying to follow them all, I think I've gotten hopelessly lost." She gives you a smile so innocent, wide-eyed, and vacant that you can't help thinking she's already formed a largely complete mental picture of your situation in this War, and is laughing up her sleeve at your discomfiture. "One of these days I'll explain the whole thing to you then, when it's all settled and I have the time," you answer sarcastically, quirking an eyebrow up to show her you aren't taken in by her perpetual act of girlish confusion. "Arturia, wheel me over to the phone. I'd like to make a call." Once your maid has done her silent obedience to the command, you draw the paper on which Kikuko gave you her phone number out of a pocket and dial. It rings several times without being picked up, but just as you think it's about to go to the answering machine you hear Kikuko's voice, breathing hard and seemingly out of breath."Hello?" she asks. It seems like she'd say more, but she interrupts herself panting."Kikuko," you begin. "It's Alberich. I'm calling you to pursue the matter we discussed at your workplace. Is this a quite convenient time?"
"Sure, sure," Again, Kikuko pauses to catch her breath. Finally, though, she gets herself under control and explains, "It's fine. I was just, like, in the shower, and I kinda..." She trails off. You decide she must have run from the bathroom to wherever she'd set her phone in order to pick up, but now that it's come to the it she is for some mysterious reason reluctant to make the explanation. "Well, anyway, I found your girl-Ogawara, I think.""Have you now?" you ask, a bit surprised. "Good work, tracking her down in such time, with so little to go off of! You must be quite the hand with a computer," you congratulate her. A little flattery never hurt anyone, after all, and often serves to motivate."I didn't exactly, like, track her down," Kikuko replies with an embarrassed chuckle. "You make it sound like I'm, like, some kinda hacker or something, y'know? I just got in touch with some of my friends and told them I wanted to find this girl I met from another school, and you know, we've been online a lot more since school stopped and stuff. Anyway, we did end up finding this Kōrakuhime girl you were looking for. She's like, totally friendly online though, not like Ogawara-kun was at all. I don't know where she's living, but I totally got her to be a friend, so I can set up a meeting with her if you want.">[ ] Ask Kikuko to set up a meeting with Kōrakuhime later today. There's no reason to simply wait around at home while Medusa sets up the ritual, after all.>[ ] Making contact with Kōrakuhime can wait until you've recovered. Since she hasn't reached out to you on her own it's unlikely she'll be very enthusiastic about helping you heal, and there should only be another twelve hours to wait for the ritual in any case.>[ ] Before making a decision about meeting her, ask Kikuko some questions about how she got in touch with Kōrakuhime and what she's gathered. You're curious how the girl is presenting herself on the internet, considering it's her first return to human society. (Write in your questions.)>[ ] Say something else. (Write in)
It's everyone's least favorite thing, a short update after a long delay!orz. My apologies. For what it's worth, though, I do feel I've cleared my mind somewhat about where this is all going and should be back on a 24-hour schedule. Depending on what you pick, the next update could end up being a great deal longer, too.
>>4326955>[ ] Ask Kikuko to set up a meeting with Kōrakuhime later today. There's no reason to simply wait around at home while Medusa sets up the ritual, after all.Well we'll see if it's Kikuko or Ogawara doing a gay LARP.
>>4326955>[X] Before making a decision about meeting her, ask Kikuko some questions about how she got in touch with Kōrakuhime and what she's gathered. You're curious how the girl is presenting herself on the internet, considering it's her first return to human society. (Write in your questions.)>What did you talk about
>>4326955>>[ ] Ask Kikuko to set up a meeting with Kōrakuhime later today. There's no reason to simply wait around at home while Medusa sets up the ritual, after all.Would go for the question write-in but all I can really come up with at the moment is standard verification we could do anyway, something like "Does she actually go by that name online/if not or what makes you sure it's her?"
>>4326955>[ ] Ask Kikuko to set up a meeting with Kōrakuhime later today. There's no reason to simply wait around at home while Medusa sets up the ritual, after all.Should we order Kikuko to ask this Korakuhime about describing Nii-sama and her life with him? Would be nice to confirm it really is her and not gay LARP as >>4327039 hypothesized
>>4326955>>[ ] Making contact with Kōrakuhime can wait until you've recovered. Since she hasn't reached out to you on her own it's unlikely she'll be very enthusiastic about helping you heal, and there should only be another twelve hours to wait for the ritual in any case.Can we just get a summary of what happens till Bloodfort is ready and get a move on with the plot? Leaving the house again with just Saber is a dumb risk.
>>4327387I'd support, only other thing I can come up with to ask is: if/when confirm it really is them whether she can come to us/why not for same reason >>4327389 said, plus if we end up leaving the house with Adelheid out we'd probably have to bring the sisters along (in case someone else happens to find the house) and make ourselves a more obvious target.
>>4327387That's a good question.I'll support it.Though, dont you think Kourakuhime or Ogawara would find that type of question suspicious?Actually, this is probably Ogawara, since Kourakuhime would know Kikuko is on our side.
What are the odds that her book got somehow destroyed in the explosion?Would explain the BSOD.
>>4327449I thought the whole point was having her meet us in the house or at least somewhere very near, like perhaps the neighbor's backyard or something, since its probably going to be night and the ninjapriests, Assassin, Matsuda and certain traitors might be on the prowl >>4327541didn't Ogawara get the memories from Akeldama like the other people who survived it though?
Just to clarify with this vote, it's still pretty early in the morning now, maybe ten at the latest. The meeting for later today would be in the afternoon before dark, since Bloodfort Andromeda will be finished at around ten or eleven at night and you'll want to be here for that. My idea for the 'setting up a meeting' thing was you going with Kikuko to meet her new acquaintance where she's living now, but you can make any specifications about that plan you like in your vote of course.
Since I wasn't entirely sure what you folks want to do here, and it seems like there was still some uncertainty but discussion died off, I decided to write an interlude while waiting to see if any more votes or opinions came in.
Paths Crossing at Midnight"What the hell is that thing?" panted the nekomata who had lately been dubbed Futodoki by human tongues incapable of pronouncing his real name. He was staring at a dull bar of iron which extended from a brilliantly ornate hilt of solid gold, held by a big man in the black robes of the church. Despite its seeming lack of sheen, the thing somehow managed to glimmer in the darkness of the night, and where the rain fell on the metal it sizzled and evaporated. The man, his stance no less graceful and poised for all that he stood amidst the piled corpses of his more diminutive fellows, regarded Futodoki with black eyes full of hate and righteous fury. His broad shoulders and prodigious muscle showed through the the soaked fabric he wore, giving the man the impression of having been squeezed into a too-small uniform, while chill water ran down and dripped from a long, hawk-like nose. Only his hair, already slick with oil and combed back tight against his skull, resisted the frigid drizzle. Futodoki, for his part, was wholly dry by virtue of certain hereditary techniques he had mastered early in life, and his fur as well as his robes shone with glossy perfection in spite of the offensive weather. This contrast of appearance between the two would certainly have given him cause for self-satisfaction in better times, but at the moment he could spare none of his mind for such pleasantness. The whole of his consciousness was focused on the potential movement of that inexplicable bar of iron, and how he might interpose his own blades in its course."You," answered the priest, with a coolness of tone belied by his furious countenance, "are the monster invading this world and hunting my men like so much sport, while I am he dispatched to restore the order of He who created this world and ordains its proper state. You have no right to demand an answer of me; only to struggle for your damned existence until I return you to that vile realm from which you emanated. I'll make the inquisition. What is your role in the Holy Grail War, beast? Answer quickly and I may give you a painless death." With a further deepening of his glare he growled, "It would be more mercy than you deserve."Without giving the monster time to reply, though, Father Velasco de Narváez sprang forward with all the superhuman strength given him by the Scripture and other mystic codes he bore, their sacred energy flowing into his reinforced muscles as his massive frame cut a swathe of empty air through the falling rain. He brought the Sword of Apologetics down to strike the creature's torso from its legs, and for an instant all the light of Heaven shone from its length. The pagan monster's shortsword was raised to block and shattered in the same instant, and the shockwave sound of their impact sent all the windows of the surrounding buildings to sympathetic destruction.
The sacrificed blade did its work, though, and Futodoki still had the energy to smirk as the hammer-blow of the contact sent him smashing into the front of a car a few meters behind them instead of cutting him in two. This monster of a man, he reflected, was an enemy a long cut above the puling whelps of demon hunters he'd faced so far. "So it's not enough to be a hunter, you've got to be an inquisitor at the same time?" he asked with feigned humor as he leapt out of the way of a followup blow from the priest that left only mangled fragments of the vehicle which had cushioned his fall. He was gaining range, though, and in the night that was a useful tool. He allowed his magical presence to fade, so the priest could use only the conveniently fallible tools of sight and sound to track him before continuing, "Really, it isn't quite fair to ask a question like that and not even give time to answer. Maybe I was going to tell you everything to wanted to know with no torture necessary."Though Futodoki had thrown his voice a meter to his right, the reply that met him was another flash of midnight sun as the priest came surging out of the dark and thrust that white-hot bar he used like a sword at Futodoki's gut. Fortunately the force generated by the movement was again so huge that Futodoki could ride the air-current it kicked up to evade the blow more easily, circling around to the priest's left as he backed off quickly. As long as he could read the attacks from a distance he could get away, but if that priest got him into close quarters..."Why should I believe the words of a creature such as you?" asked the priest, a sardonic note of his own now creeping into the deep bass voice. That worried Futodoki. If his ability to consistently evade the man's strikes wasn't making an impact on him, it more than likely meant he had something else up his sleeve. "You did ask for them," Futodoki replied with mock indignance, this time casting his voice even farther from his real position. At the same time he wove a minor illusion, such that his visible body was ten centimeters to the left of its real position, just slightly overlapping with the material. It was a technique he'd frequently used to great advantage in combat, and one he hoped would give him an opportunity to strike back at the accursed priest.
"Even your body lies about its own location!" the priest answered with a great mocking laugh, charging in for another strike. It was directed squarely at Futodoki's hidden body, with no attention paid to the illusion whatsoever. This time, though, Futodoki resolved that he would not allow the pattern to continue. Instead of backing off, he spun on one foot, whirling the priest's target away from the flaming rod while bringing his own blade back around a moment later to cut at the priest's neck from behind. It met hard iron. With his head cocked back just enough to afford one eye a peripheral view behind him, the priest had brought his weapon around behind his back and caught Futodoki's blade. Another swing of those grotesquely powerful arms, so at odds with his supposedly human nature, sent Futodoki sliding back down the street and would've shattered his second sword if he'd been a moment slower in withdrawing it. Now the priest and Futodoki eyed one another from blocks away."Well, even if you don't trust me, I'm still willing to give you the benefit of the doubt," Futodoki wheezed out as he steadied his stance. "Why don't you do me the courtesy of explaining just what the hell it is you're kicking me around with, huh?""When you are on your knees, monster," the priest boomed, "when you have been thoroughly beaten, and know your death; when you beg for mercy and confess without prompting, hoping it will ease your suffering; then I'll know you speak the truth. 'Til then, your words are worth less than the grime beneath our feet. If it will convince you of the folly of resistance, I'll tell you this. The blade I wield infallibly strikes down your kith and kin. It bears the legacy of a thousand generations of knights of the Church before me. It was written in the earliest days of the Church, in defense of the word of God, and no pagan beast can stand before it!" Once more Velasco sprung forward, resolved to deal a final blow to the monster that had slaughtered his men. Futodoki braced himself to meet the attack.
Oh no we got too cocky Futodokibros
Set up a meeting with Kōrakuhime today>>4327039>>4327387Ask about Kōrakuhime's description of her life.>>4327449>>4327541Wait until after you've healed to meet Kōrakuhime again.>>4327389I hope you folks can settle on a course of action by this time tomorrow. The more details, the sooner I can write.
>>4328637Why didn't you just count the vote suggesting asking her about her life as a vote for that option?Whatever just switch me to asking about her life.
>>4328747Because that isn't what that anon voted for, it was just a question tacked on. "Should we..."I was also hoping the tie might provoke you folks to develop a little more detail in your course of questioning, but I guess that's not going to happen.
>>4328943If had to say what i'm going for; check Kikuko what makes her think its Tsubaki, did she notice references to Akeldama events. can we check for info they'd only know about from after it ended to see if it's not just Ogawara getting 'inspired' to do a waifu larp from the same feedback as Yumigawa had, (though would be hard for Kikuko to know what to look for on that end) or did she really have the audacity to make a facebook waifu account in the last week under her real name detailing how she's a magical man eating serial arsonist oni who was living with her albino 'onii-chan' and their maids until their mansion exploded recently and has been getting away with it because most people who can use a computer wouldn't seriously believe it's anything other than a larp?If passes the BS smell test by all means set the meeting.
>>4326955>[ ] Making contact with Kōrakuhime can wait until you've recovered. Since she hasn't reached out to you on her own it's unlikely she'll be very enthusiastic about helping you heal, and there should only be another twelve hours to wait for the ritual in any case.Holy shit sweets. Just let us heal and move on.
>>4329038Just a reminder, you didn't tell Kikuko anything more about her than to look for someone going by Yōjinshi-no-Kōrakuhime who was a companion of yours and had "a personality like a female Ogawara."Anyway, I'll write when I'm done with work today, in about six hours. >>4329056I'm trying to move you folks through this period of time as quickly as possible, I swear. Sorry for you more people didn't vote your way.
What a day. Couldn't start writing until an hour ago. Only have half the update done, and I'll drop off at my desk if I keep up the writing now. Will finish tomorrow morning. Apologies.
>>4332155It was. This one has been too. The update will be finished in the next couple of hours, I promise.
"So you can set up a meeting, hmm?" You mull the idea over for a moment, considering whether the best course would be to order Kikuko to do so immediately, before thinking better of it. You're still unsure of most of the details of the situation, after all; better to get more information before taking any kind of action. "Before you go that far," you say, "tell me more about this girl you've met, and how you got to be such fast friends with her in so short a time. Not to slight your investigative abilities, but I'd like to be sure you've found the right person.""Yeah, sure," Kikuko answers, sounding distracted for a moment as she puts her thoughts together to explain the thing. "She really is like a girl version of Ogawara-kun, like you said. Finding her was actually the easiest thing; she has a tmitter account, and the name is Yōjinshi-no-Kōrakuhime, just like you said. You couldn't tell it was a girl's account, almost, 'cause it's all just following and retmeeting otaku stuff, and making jokes about that kinda thing. I didn't really get most of it. But she does cosplay photos too, and she totally looks like Ogawara! It's crazy. Anyway, even though she's so cute, and it looks like she spends a fortune on that cosplay stuff, she doesn't have many followers since her account is only like a week old, so it was really easy to butter her up by acting like I was a big fan. I'm sure she'd meet me offline if I asked.""You say this account has been active for a week?" For all Kikuko's pleasantly conversational manner, your own question is curt and uttered flatly. After the morning you've had, you just can't bring yourself to act any more cordial than you already have in congratulating her on the find. "That's right," Kikuko answers, sounding a little confused at the question."Forget the meeting then. I'll look into this once I've healed, if I do," you decide. "Call me if you find out anything else of note." There's no doubt about it. The 'Yōjinshi-no-Kōrakuhime' that Kikuko has run across must be nothing more than the original Ogawara playing a role on the internet for his own entertainment, presumably after having received his counterpart's memories of the Akeldama in the same way that Yumigawa did. At least, that would explain the identical name. You can't remember there being any computer in the Shijou manor, after all; if this tmitter account has been around for more than the last two days, it just can't belong to the real Kōrakuhime. Disappointing to lose the lead, you think, but at least you no longer have any quandary about whether to risk your safety by leaving the perimeter of Bloodfort Andromeda while the Noble Phantasm is still gathering energy. "Roger!" answers Kikuko in a cheerful mockery of discipline. "Talk to you later, Al-chan!"
"Wait-" The phone cuts off with a digital click. Al-chan? Just what kind of a name is that? You'll have to remember to give Kikuko a proper talking to about that kind of disrespectful nickname the next time you meet her. In the meantime, though, you set the receiver back into its cradle and look up to take a glance at the weather through the living room window. Despite the time that's passed since you awoke, the light filtering through the clouds hasn't changed and gives no sign of the sun's movement. The rain, too, continues unabated. Looking out on the dismal scene you find your own emotions weighed down to matching impassivity, and at length decide that the best use of your time would likely be in conservation of your energy. "Arturia, wheel me back to the bedroom," you order, turning to address the maid lurking in the corner of the room with an expression of predictably surly discontent at her position. "I'm returning to sleep until Bloodfort Andromeda is ready. Bring one of those two we captured as well. In the meantime, you are to protect this house and ensure that no harm comes to me, to Stheno, or to Euryale. Do you understand?""I do," Arturia answers resentfully, "but you do not. Those prisoners are no longer here." What? Does she mean to tell you that with three Servants, they were incapable of keeping two ordinary women locked up? You open your mouth to snap out a demand for further information, but before you can properly react to Arturia's provocation Stheno speaks up."Oh yes," she comments, sounding as if suddenly reminded of an exceedingly trivial detail. "It didn't seem quite appropriate to tell you before now, but Medusa fed those women's blood to you while you were asleep, to make certain you didn't run dry, so if you were hoping to make a breakfast of them you'll be disappointed, I'm afraid. The bodies have been disposed of, of course, you needn't worry on that score."For a moment you stare blankly at Stheno, taken aback by the whiplash sensation of being presented with a fresh and unexpected setback before receiving an almost immediate revelation that there was no such event. After a few seconds, though, a chuckle bursts out of you. Then you're laughing at yourself, a free and easy laugh such as it seems it's been an eternity since you've last had. "Thank you, Stheno," you say once you've gotten yourself under control again. "I do appreciate the clarification." Then, turning a considerably less friendly gaze on Arturia, who is doing an admirable job of suppressing her own mirth at the situation, you reiterate, "Take me back to the bedroom, Arturia. I believe I'll conserve my energy until I can be healed."
"As you wish, master," the maid replies, for once managing to conform to the protocol you magically bound her to after giving her the uniform. Without another word, but still obviously fighting to keep from laughing at your moment of shock, she steps behind you and walks your chair back to the bed from which you were so recently roused by Emiya's arrival. Pulling yourself up by your one functional arm, you climb into bed, nod Arturia out the door, and prepare to drift off again. It's at this point of semi-consciousness, just as you're readying yourself to slip completely out of perception of the world around you, that you're surprised by the appearance of an enormous black cat jumping in through the window to land on your legs. Two of its three eyes are shut tight, perhaps permanently; one of its tails is missing save a short, matted stump, and three of its eight legs don't reach your bed, though whether they're cut off or only held up to keep the weight from injured feet you can't quite tell. In short, it's Futodoki. Back in his nekomata form, and quite the worse for wear. "Hello, Futodoki," you say, propping yourself up on your elbows to regard the nekomata and finding yourself temporarily at a loss for more insightful commentary. "I gather you did not meet with perfect success in your battle against the Church." "Not quite," Futodoki breathes, the words sounding strained and difficult. With a self-deprecating chuckle he adds, "I guess we match now, Alberich. I hope you don't wind up needing my help after all; it looks like I'm in no position to give it. Wouldn't even looked for you and risked that bastard tracking me here, but I needed to warn you; anyway I made it look like I was going north with an illusion to throw him off." Here's more good news, then. The Church has some secret weapon, apparently dangerous enough that Futodoki thought it worth risking your hiding place to tell you about it. Not letting your frustration show on your face, you say stiffly, "Well done. It would've been easy to go to ground, and I can see what the journey's taken out of you. What is it you must warn me of?"
"Those demon hunters," Futodoki breaks off, his throat spasming and flanks heaving with panting breaths. You've never seen a cat cough and strain to get air before, but you think you're seeing it now. There must be some internal wounds, beyond the obvious outward damage. "Most of them are fine," he finally manages. "They're weak and worthless, you can kill them without trouble; but there's one you need to be wary of, Alberich." His one open eye fixes on yours with a look of desperate intensity. "A big man. Not from this country, but not pale either. His hair was combed flat to his head, and he used a sword, not the throwing knives most of them carry. It's some kind of magical item, Alberich." Again Futodoki breaks off in another bout of inability to speak, then with a visible effort, finishes, "I think it gets stronger, the more powerful his enemy is. It was only after he had me pretty badly wounded that I could get away. He was slower then.""Thank you, Futodoki," you say, not without some feeling. It really is valuable information, and you're sure he pushed himself past the limits of exhaustion and pain to bring it to you. That much is obvious. "Once I'm not so short of energy, I promise I'll see you healed," you add, intending to give some comfort to the wounded familiar. He only gives another pained, bitter chuckle in response to your kind words, though."Thanks," he says at length, "but I'd just as soon forgo that. How about sending me back home, Alberich? I'm no use to you like this, and I could heal there without anyone's help. What do you say to cutting this contract short, huh?"For a long time you look at the crippled, beaten creature standing on your bed in silence. The request surprises you, and you know you should feel contempt. Here, after all, is someone who has reached the lowest point of failure in your service; who has been defeated by an enemy he was utterly confident in dispatching with ease, and has consequently been reduced to a point of uselessness, barely able to stand upright or speak; who, after all that, doesn't hope to be healed and redeem himself, but only wishes to flee. You should, you're sure, be happy to send Futodoki from your sight and banish him back to the World of Imaginary Numbers without a second thought.
Mysteriously, however, you realize that these are not your feelings, but only what you know you ought to feel. You find yourself moved by an inexplicable feeling of compassion for Futodoki instead; or perhaps not wholly inexplicable. There is a certain emotional self-interest in a man who has recently suffered a miserable defeat and is presently crippled feeling compassion for one in such a similar situation. Yet all the same, this feeling is out of all proportion from what you might expect, and not one you are accustomed to feel. Thus, you make haste to paper it over with a comfortably sensible rationale. Futodoki, you decide, is too useful to let go after a single defeat. You'll judge him a failure and put him aside, if you must, only once you have more satisfactory proof of his uselessness than a loss against an enemy of unknown strength."No," you finally answer. "I can't grant that request, Futodoki. You should have saved the favor I promised you if you truly wanted to return. As it is, I'll see you healed yet, and give you another chance to defeat the man who's beaten you today. I'm not prepared to give up on you; if that irks you, you'll simply have to bear it."Futodoki sighs and folds his legs under him to lie down, all the strength seeming to go out of him at your words. "You're really too much of an optimist, you know," he says, mustering the last of his energy for a sardonic tone. "You're just setting yourself up for disappointment." Yet, as he sinks down to rest on your lap, it seems to you that there's something like a feline smile on his face. With that parting comment and a look of peace, Futodoki sinks into a doze and you lie back to do the same. Though it takes you some time to find sleep, as your worried mind seems eager to fixate on this fresh news of a dangerous enemy, you eventually drop into an uneasy slumber yourself.
When you awaken, you find it's grown considerably darker and you've been removed from your bed. The black sky of a clouded night, rather than any ceiling, is above you. You look around in surprise to find that you are, in fact, lying on the roof of the Koyama house. Medusa is standing beside you calling your name with a subdued smile on her lips."Ah, Medusa," you say, sitting up with a yawn. "Good evening. Care to explain why you've relocated me to this rooftop?""Night has fallen," Medusa answers, "the rain has stopped, and the barrier is ready. I thought you might rather be in the open air to see it work than be shut up in that dismal little home." You look at Medusa again with some surprise. It's the first time, you think, that you've heard her openly disparage something to that extent, aside from her comments on your own black-hearted character before you made her yours. Has living with her sharp-tongued sisters had this effect on her, you wonder, or is she simply letting her tongue wag more freely because of the happy moment? Then, you think, it doesn't really matter. The ritual is the important thing now, and she's right about your wanting to see it function from a place where you can do so properly. "Well," you say, "I have my reservations about being moved in my sleep, but you did surmise correctly. Give me your arm."With that, you work with your right arm to first prop yourself up into a sitting position on the roof, and then pull yourself up to stand using Medusa's shoulder. Leaning thus, with the girl as a makeshift crutch, is a bit of a humiliation, but as your eyes sweep over the nighttime view of the city from above that has been hidden from you these past days, it feels worth the concession not to be lying down. "Master," Medusa begins, dropping the good cheer from her voice to address you in a tone of formal solemnity, "shall I activate my Noble Phantasm?""Yes." You nod as your look out over all the homes of the people who will soon go to heal you, noting with your eyes the periodic mystic circles of Medusa's ritual inscribed on chimneys, carved lightly into walls, or laid out in broken roof tiles, and in every place reinforced by the inlay of her own blood. She has been well at work, you see. "As soon as you're ready, Rider."
And now, the moment you've all been waiting for...
"Bloodfort Andromeda!" The cry rings out to pierce the night, echoing over the rooftops the moment you give your permission; and at the same moment the barrier becomes visible. A broad region of suburban Shibuya is cut off from the rest of the world by a vermilion dome that springs up from the earth like a fresh horizon and sky. Mystic energy crackles through the air and you feel, though it makes no impact on you, the oppressive power that suffuses the whole space and even now is reducing the sacrifices caught within from doomed men and women to the stuff of life itself. The air itself is stained with blood as a great red mist begins slowly to rise from the earth, first in nigh-imperceptible tendrils, and then more and more as a visible tinge on all the surroundings. Then, the power begins to flow into your magic circuits as if you drink it in through every pore. It begins, at last, to make you whole again.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHIKoGq6n0sFor a while you simply luxuriate, bathing yourself in the sensation of such flawless healing. Muscles, once severed, knit themselves back together as interstitial tissue regenerates out of the vast supply of free and untrammeled mystic energy that flows within you; the thousand cuts that perforate your skin seal themselves up without a scar among the lot; the pierced and useless heart in your chest fills in its vicious tear and returns to perfect function; best of all, the vanished limbs that Matsuda cut away from you return. Crimson mist first coalesces in their place, coming together out of the blood-saturated air into the vague shapes of a hand and foot. Then it becomes fluid, a continuous mass of blood holding their shape as if poured into macabrely formed, perfectly transparent vases. At last the crimson disappears and the blood truly becomes the lost appendages, as perfectly identical to their former state as if they'd never sustained a blow. Now you can take leave of the support of Medusa's shoulder and, your heart soaring with the feeling of pure triumph, stand once more on your own two feet.Carried along by the simple, overwhelming joy of the moment, the two heady drugs of healing and an energy surplus after so long spent barely sustained, you even turn some of that newfound energy to frivolity. You conjure in your hand a crystal goblet formed out of Nothingness and watch as it fills, responding to your will, with the blood that saturates world around you. When you quaff the draft, the flavor is the sweetest you've ever tasted. It is the savor of a restoration to power, and it seems to you there can be none better in the world.
Even with all the power that goes into healing your body spent, you find that you remain filled with a great surplus of it. So much, in fact, that it reminds you almost of those transcendent moments when you've taken the power of another Servant into yourself. Could you, you think, shape some of this excess in the same way, though it is neither drawn from a Servant nor channeled through the hereditary ritual of sacrifice at the core of the Shijou magic? Could you take this sacrifice of the worthless multitude and shape it into one of the relics no longer able to be used by the foes you've struck down? You speculate with heady anticipation on the possibilities of such a thing, and what a success might entail.>[ ] Attempt to replicate one of the Noble Phantasms of a Servant you've defeated with the excess mystic energy. (Which?)>[ ] Rather than attempting to recreate one of the other Noble Phantasms, try channeling the energy into strengthening a piece of your own equipment. (Choose between your sword, cloak, armor, or helmet.)>[ ] Think better of the effort, and save the energy within you to act as fuel over the coming days. You still don't have a continuous supply, after all.>[ ] Do something else? (Write in)
>>4332591>[X] Think better of the effort, and save the energy within you to act as fuel over the coming days. You still don't have a continuous supply, after all.
I hope you folks enjoyed this. I felt it was a pretty cathartic moment. You can probably see where there would've been a choice if I'd gotten the update done yesterday or this morning, but since it took so long in the writing I decided I'd just go on through the scene with Futodoki to bring you to the completion of Bloodfort Andromeda. At this point, you have pretty much total freedom in how you want to prosecute the Holy Grail War.
>>4332591>>[ ] Attempt to replicate one of the Noble Phantasms of a Servant you've defeated with the excess mystic energy. (Andreias Amarantos/armor upgrade)Good update definitely worth the wait, still on the fence with the upgrade and i'll probably change again later, for now my thoughts:A) invincibility armor mulligan; thematically appropriate and on it's face value should help out with everyone but Odin and probably the Scripture.B)ag of wind experimentation; see if we can we yank one of its traits like control projectiles to make us miss less often and spite UBW, go for a black hole kenotis, etc.C) strategist's advice obvious reasonsD)ignity of the rear guard just to spite the priest when tries to jump us with his mobs only to buff us, granted there are more reliable and less situational ways to boost our strength and speed.We shouldn't need the surplus so long as we choose well, don't screw around, antagonize Odin or put off finding Ayaka/Lily/a human battery.
>>4332591>[X] Attempt to replicate one of the Noble Phantasms of a Servant you've defeated with the excess mystic energy. (Volksgemeinschaft)
>>4332591>>[ ] Think better of the effort, and save the energy within you to act as fuel over the coming days. You still don't have a continuous supply, after all.
>>4332591>[ ] Attempt to replicate one of the Noble Phantasms of a Servant you've defeated with the excess mystic energy. (Which?)Andreias Amarantos. Link it to our conceptual biology instead of divinity. What can harm a concept apart from an even higher concept?Thanks for powering through Sweets, I'm hopeful for the future!
>>4332676You are aware of what happens when Alberich obtains that NP right?>>4332657>>4332683I'm not too sold on augmenting something with that NP, because it is imperfect, and that imperfection could be replicated in some way when we replicate it.We can also probably use the excess energy to do this once we find a sustainable source of energy again, no need to do it immediately right?
>>4332692There's no such thing as a "perfect" NP. I'm just trying to greatly decrease the likelihood that we spend this long recovering from an injury while also twisting it to hopefully be useful against Odin since we still have zero chance of winning the inevitable one on one fight with him.
>>4332692>it is imperfectIn which regard? because of the heel/gap weakness or isn't an absolute invulnerability, former is something we already have for our current armor (see first Matsuda fight) and expect to get that hole if link to armor since the vote options listed helmet as separate from armor latter near invulnerability is still better than what we do have.Regardless im not sold on surplus energy either because we might not get a chance to use it again after the vote, it has a time limit in days and once it's spent it's spent when we already shouldn't be wasting time after the mess BFA stirs up sets in, it does let us toy around with magic more but that's about it.Least in short term we can see about how much energy we get back per person and conserve power while looking for (or just go on a blood orgy against the church if think we can handle the giga-preacher)
>>4332657>>4332683Forgot to add, normally I try to hold off on switching so soon. but i'm backing this; this sounds like something that might actually give us EX rank conceptual biology and not just bump us up to A++.
>>4332702Then wouldn't it be better to wait until we have enough energy to upgrade Conceptual Biology to A++?I'm not sure how overlaying the concept of 'imperfect immortality' onto our biology would work, and even if it took hold properly with the competence of our foes they'll immediately zero in on the weakness and immediately figure out how to target it.I'd much rather grow Conceptual Biology naturally, adding things like that into the mix could introduce a fatal flaw into the skill we could've avoided entirely.>>4332719What I mean by imperfect is that the NP itself is incomplete, Achilles didn't turn completely immortal, and it led to his death.The NP we'd use to overlay on our armor or biology would be of the same type of immortality.When we go hunting for our Master and Lily we'll likely come across our enemies we'll need to fight.As we don't have any reserve that will replenish itself we'll quickly run our self ragged if we use the tendrils in a fight, and at this point they're somewhat integral to our fighting style.>>4332730I don't think we can obtain EX rank Conceptual Biology, since it's a unique skill.
>>4332683I suppose this has my support.Ot feels risky though.
I'll confess to a little surprise more people aren't going for the option os making a fresh NP out of your armor or helmet. Not exciting?>>4332683You can certainly hope it gets linked to your Conceptual Biology instead of Divinity, but this is a pretty experimental process already...>>4332730EX rank Conceptual Biology is not a thing, although A+++ might be if you end up broken enough. Getting a new ability that's dependent on the skill wouldn't raise the skill, though.Anyone voting for Achilles' protection, did you want to apply that to your armor or your body? I know that in the past it's pretty much universally been your armor, since you didn't want to look like a statue or silhouette, but here I'm not sure what you're aiming for.
>>4332880I want to apply it to our armour but that cheeky anon going for Volks made me worry and go for the one to try to apply it to CB simply because it has more votes.Ideally I would want it just normally applied to our armour.I might as well vote for just applying it to our armour instead of going for the super experimental option.Consider me switched
>>4332591>>4332603>>4332882I'll switch to that too.The armor is more acceptable to me than CB.
>>4332882>>4332885Just to be clear, you can vote to apply it to your armor and tie it to Conceptual Biology, or just one or the other, or neither. They're independent questions.
>>4332880>You can certainly hope it gets linked to your Conceptual Biology instead of Divinity, but this is a pretty experimental process already...Well if it gets linked to divinity then it's literally useless. We have no divinity and Odin will still one shot us even if we did. Let us use our Instinctive Magic B to speculate if it's possible or not. Otherwise this is a waste of time and energy.
We need to claim that executors weapon for our fight with Odin. I could also be convinced to try to recreate our own version of Mystic Eyes with this energy.
>>4332905Alright, if you want to twist my arm about it I can promise you it'll definitely get linked to some aspect of your being other than Divinity, since your Divinity is nonexistent. Whether that means it ends up as a static defense buff like Gilgamesh's armor, tied to one of your elements, or based on Conceptual Biology, though, is up in the air.You wouldn't be able to do this at all right now if not for Instinctual Magic.
>>4332880Fair enough, been so long since upping was on the table I forgot about those details, may as well switch back.Does still leave the question if that protection will extend to the helmet as well since they're listed as separate options, but I can wait for the next update to find that out if it ends up passing.
Have to say I was not expecting that choice to pup up! Well then, from the understanding of someone who just woke up we can either:a)Get the Achilles Armor we planned tob)Level up Mystery Box Number 1c)Level up Mystery Box Number 2d)Get the Quest to go on a very long hiatus by getting Volks >>4332591>[ ] Rather than attempting to recreate one of the other Noble Phantasms, try channeling the energy into strengthening a piece of your own equipment. (Armor)Have to say I'm pretty curious about the helmet upgrade but Armor does seem to be more useful as of now, considering we might get ganked after setting such huge signal flareAlso can't wait to see the look on Emiya's face when he finds out we massacred an entire neighborhood for upgrade juice
While we're between updates and I'm waiting to see if you change your minds any more about what to do with this energy, here's the latest version of the voice cast.Fate/City Akeldama:Yumigawa Rushorou: Kamiya HiroshiMatsuda Ryuuta: Ono DaisukeOgawara Yatsuhide: Ogata MegumiCaster (Circe): Akaneya HimikaCid Ajisartous (Caster): Nakata JoujiTruvietianne Edelfelt: Horie YuiLancer (Perseus): Miyano MamoruSean O'Mordha: Shiraishi MinoruSaber (Justinian I): Morikawa ToshiyukiArcher (The Man with No Name): Clint EastwoodMunahara Kikuko: Ookubo RumiKeiseki Saburou: Miki ShinichiroRider (Blackbeard): Wakamoto NorioBerserker ("Adelheid"): Yuuki AoiAssassin (Robin Hood): Toriumi KousukeJoe Ambrose: Takagi WataruJack DeLancey: Kamiya AkiraFate/Awakening Mirror:Jean-Pierre Vaisset (Shijou Hirahide): Horikawa RyoSaber (Alberich): Narita KenShijou Ayaka (Anne-Marie Vaisset): Hanazawa KanaEmiya Shirou: Suwabe JunichiEmiya Sakura: Shitaya NorikoEmiya Kaori: Chihara MinoriEmiya Seiji: Kaji YukiRider of Fuyuki: Asakawa YuuLiliesviel von Einzbern: Hidaka RinaOtto Niemand (Odin): Utsumi KenjiWilliam Harris: Outsuka AkioFirst Saber: Kawasumi AyakoRider (Roland): Fujita YoshinoriKajiwara Haruo: Takahashi HirokiAkagata Kyouka: Ohara SayakaArcher (Odysseus): Sugita TomokazuStachel: Asakura MomoStengel: Inoue MarinaJudas Iscariot (Caster): Nakata JoujiTohsaka Rin: Ueda KanaGiuliano di Lumenza: Koyasu TakehitoBerserker (Achilles): Furukawa MakotoYōjinshi-no-Kōrakuhime (Caster): Noto MamikoLuviagelita Edelfelt: Itou ShizukaVoice of an old man: Kiyokawa MotomuFutodoki: Hayami ShowAssassin: Kosugi JuuroutaHecate: Takahashi KarinStheno: Asakawa YuuEuryale: Asakawa YuuFather Velasco Leoncio Miguel de Narváez: Isobe Tsutomu
>>4333179Just to be clear, you're voting for Andreias Amarantos on the armor right?
>>4332591>[X] Think better of the effort, and save the energy within you to act as fuel over the coming days. You still don't have a continuous supply, after all.I think it is kind of useless to make our equipment stronger when we wouldn't have enough mana left over to really fight.Without a good supply our fights will end up like the one with Matsuda where our fighting prowess did not much to help us win against our lack of mana.And we can't just hope that we will have time to solve that problem before the next fight when we just did something very noticeable.
I wonder if we could heal Futodoki with the mana...He's a pretty good spy and has proven himself exceptionally skilled at getting rid of anyone not a servant. In other words the entire support of our enemies.
>>4332591>>4332885Sorry, but I'm going to switch back to my previous vote now, I still feel it's the right call.>>4333817He isn't a spirit, he'd probably need traditional healing methods rather than mana injections.
>>4333823>He isn't a spirit, he'd probably need traditional healing methods rather than mana injections.You are probably right, but one can hope. We can after all manipulate Emptiness and Nothingness and everything from the side of the world we summoned him from is made out of that stuff as far as I understand.And we do have Instinctive Magic B.
>>4333646I'm voting on making a new NP out of the Armor, we never got such option before, I would like to see what happens>>4333823>>4333836A cat is fine too
>>4333908We've always been able to upgrade our armor though?
>>4333914The original ability you were using from Ayaka's ritual was to take aspects of a defeated Servant into yourself along with a portion of their energy. The idea was talked over a lot to merge those elements not just into your your existing Noble Phantasms, but other pieces of your equipment.This is the first time you've had the opportunity to make an entirely new Noble Phantasm out of your equipment or empower one of your Noble Phantasms without using elements of a preexisting one, however. That's what that option is.
>>4333812We lost to Matsuda because we tried screwing around with experimental volatile magic without a strong grasp on how it works when low, way sweets made it sound if we did anything else or just fought physically we would've won.The only ones who can actually track us are Circe and Harris to a limited degree everyone else has to manually search and tail us meanwhile the church hunters aside from the main priest are cannon fodder who we could probably feed off of as well.
>>4333973It wouldn't have been a win, more like a stalemate that he would retreat from when backup got there.
>>4333979Perhaps, still a better outcome than what we got, even then saying we won't be able to feed just because we got the church, Shirou, Harris and Maybe assassin after us when, unless Circe gets involved, the only one of those can track us has to sit out of the fight and can only do so many times a day, while also discounting our three servants who don't become useless just because we need a few minutes to recover energy.
>>4333973The problem is NPs are power hungry. If we actually want to use them then we will use much more power than we normally do.If we do that while low that is very dangerous.The whole we can hide is also an illusion. I mean we can, but we can't do that and defend the grail. Don't forget a lot of people like Emiya and the church want to destroy the grail.
>>4334010Even then, I have faith Sweets isn't going to give us a choice to upgrade, just to have us fall over dead afterwards because it used all our energy and if that interlude is anything to go by if they want to try Odin would have to let them in and sit by and watch for them to do so, he may let them if what they're doing is going give us more problems to deal with to make us more of a challenge for him, I doubt he's going to sit by and let them screw him out of the fight he's been this invested in just because we chose a buff over surplus.
>>4334048No, but we definitely could be crippled and not able to do anything for more time, because we don't have the mana to intervene.We could go from being too injured to fight to being too low on mana to fight.
>>4334048Heck, I think it was this very thread where we talked about how Sweets can show more how the shit we do has consequences.Saying we don't have to think about the consequences of our choices, because Sweets will give us a freebie is the opposite of that.If you make the decision to go with less mana then at least consider and acknowledge the risk that we could be in serious trouble due to low mana if it comes to a fight before we can stock up on it.
>>4334060>the shit we do has consequences.Im not saying I expect to throw around nukes and rip open IN portals again, im saying I have faith sweets isnt going to offer us a chance at an upgrade just to make our arm and leg fall off while we get ganked by Shirou, Matsuda and the church.I also know that Shirou said he should be here before the ritual activates and if he was plotting an alliance she probably would've turned back up by now to warn us, yet neither he nor Adelheid showed, somehow I doubt either of them got offscreened over a choice like that.