You are Alberich: maiden-rescuing knight, slayer of monsters, killer of men, familiar, possible relation to the Gods, and modern hero. You've seen your home destroyed, your friends and allies scattered to the winds, and yourself crippled, but you persevered through it all in the company of those who remain loyal. Today you intend to track down your sister, not so much out of a desire to see her as because she's the only person likely to be able to find your other compatriots.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. Unfortunately you are not a figure out of legend. You'd been the victim of a con, by none other than Judas Iscariot.Since then, you've made your way through a chain of events even stranger than those you faced before becoming a Servant. 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 you were never really human, and have only been alive for less than a month. 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. You've traversed the labyrinthine inner world of a former Goddess' spirit, and had your house blown up for your trouble. 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, met an old friend once more, healed yourself through a large-scale ritual utilizing the sacrifice of numerous bystanders, and finally tracked down Liliesviel just in time to save her from being killed by Assassin, who subsequently escaped.None of the experiences on this strange, winding road 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 seeing this quest for the first time, you'll find it faster to catch up on Fate/Awakening Mirror by reading the full text in this PDF than by going through the old threads. Fate/City Akeldama, the first part of the story, is still only available in the archive though.
Letting yourself fall back against the pillow, you turn the matter over in your mind. Bringing everyone presently at the Koyama residence with you seems out of the question, certainly; a large group of foreigners consisting of two maids, five little girls, and a tall albino man? You'd draw the attention of everyone with the slightest chance to catch sight of you, to be sure! Of course there is the part of your mind tempted to say to Hell with what the mundanes think, you'll travel however you please, but there's little purpose in that kind of thinking. You may not have a societal reputation to worry about, but drawing that much attention is tangibly inconvenient even when dealing only with passersby; and it could bring the whole of the Church presence in the city down on you if word spreads fast enough. That certainly isn't something you want to deal with when trying to meet someone. So, you can't travel with everyone. Should you go alone, then? It would be the least conspicuous way of going, but no, that's not practical either. With the way Liliesviel and Adelheid were butting heads last night, you don't know what might happen if you leave them together at this house while you go out to meet Kikuko and the person claiming to be Kōrakuhime. By the same token, you can't take just one of the pair and leave the other behind. That would probably only raise tensions further, with Liliesviel frustrated over you spending time with another girl and Adelheid angry over being left out of a potentially important meeting. At times like this, you reflect, it's a mercy to have one subordinate as easily managed as Medusa. In any case, to preserve the peace of your faction you'll have to take Adelheid and Liliesviel with you. There's no doubt that the three of you will still stick out, but at least it won't be as bad as if you'd traveled with Stachel, Arturia, and the Gorgon sisters as well.With that decision made you slide out of bed, rolling onto your feet and walking over to draw open the curtains just wide enough to examine the weather without letting in sufficient light to wake Liliesviel. You may be fine on only an hour or two of sleep, but she needs more. Last night's clear skies haven't yet given way to more clouds, it seems. The sky is deep blue, still almost that of night, shot through with the strained light of a winter sun that's just risen and has yet to really make its mark. All the more reason, you think, to let Liliesviel sleep. You twitch the curtains closed once more and make your way over to the closet, surveying the rather disappointing collection of clothing formerly belonging to the Koyama family and settling on a thick navy blue bathrobe quite a bit too small for you, though it's the closest thing there to fitting. You miss the senior Vaisset's wardrobe intensely, and rather dread the moment when you'll have to put on one of Koyama's execrable suits. At least you'll have an overcoat that fits.
For the moment, though, you stroll out of the bedroom in your too-short bathrobe and head to the kitchen to get some breakfast together. It only took a moment's thought, really, to decide you'd rather rely on your own admittedly limited cooking skills than pin your breakfast hopes on the dubious talents of those currently living with you. The only one you really think has a chance of being able to prepare a decent meal is Stachel, and she's a complete unknown. On which subject, you find yourself faced with her as soon as you turn the corner to head down the hall. The homunculus is standing at attention, back to the wall just to the left of the bedroom door, and bobs a curtsy to you as you make your exit."Well, good morning to you, Stachel," you say, a trifle taken aback. "Have you been standing guard there all night? Not satisfied with the safety offered by Arturia?""I would not insult you by complaining of the guard you have assigned, Lord Alberich," Stachel answers humbly, her code of decorum as a maid evidently taking precedence over her views or reasons for acting. "It is always best to be thorough, however, and without Stengel's direction I can perform no other duty." This is said in the same flat, emotionless tone as nearly all of Stachel's words, but you get the impression somehow that there's a sadness behind that impartial mask. Certainly the words themselves paint enough of a picture of a lamentable character that most would be convinced. Here Stachel is, wanting nothing out of life but to serve Liliesviel, and completely at a loss as to how to go about it without her partner.Perhaps it's a flash of sympathy for that lostness that motivates you, or perhaps it's only the desire to make breakfast preparations easier for yourself. Certainly both emotions are present when you set a comforting hand on Stachel's shoulder and say with a paternal smile and buoying tone, "Well then, you can take instruction from me instead! I'm going to make us all some breakfast. Why don't you help me?""Lord Alberich," she begins, "that would be improper. As the master of the house, you should not do such-""No, no, no," you cut her off, brushing away the maid's argument with a dismissive wave of the hand. "Consider who else is in this house at the moment. You've just told me by your own admission that you're lost without Stengel. Medusa's cooking is abysmal, and her sisters have never so much as touched a frying pan. Liliesviel's never made a meal in her life, I'm sure of that. Adelheid is a disaster in the kitchen, and Arturia," you pause, thinking of the woman. She won't sabotage your food intentionally now, but even so you're reluctant to sample what she might make, so you conclude, "well, she's English. They aren't known for their cuisine. Now you can see it's down to my cooking or no-one's, and you're going to help me." With a joking air you add, "I'll make that an order, if it makes you feel better."
Evidently it does make Stachel feel better, because she nods her assent and follows you into the kitchen with no further protest. In fact, you even think you see the shadow of a smile on her inexpressive face, though it disappears so quickly that it may well have only been your imagination. In any case, after a bit of initial fumbling the two of you manage to overcome your mutual inexperience and make a passable breakfast for eight of grilled mackerel, rice, and miso soup, with Stachel performing menial tasks while you direct affairs from a recipe pilfered out of Yumigawa's memories of his mother's cooking. To accompany the breakfast, though it generates some culture clash, you prepare the finest pot of coffee that can be managed with the Koyamas' mediocre beans and machine. By the time breakfast is ready, the appetizing smell has obviously begin to drift through the building as Stheno and Euryale, cleaned up and dressed for the new day, come strolling into the kitchen to investigate. Predictably, they have Medusa in tow. At their arrival you send Stachel off to help her mistress to rise and dress and to collect Adelheid for breakfast. Then you turn to greet the newly awoken trio."Good morning, you three," you say cordially. "Did you sleep well on that couch? I imagine I'd feel rather stiff after such a night.""Oh, well enough," Stheno answers, taking the jab with good grace, "but tell me, Alberich-sama, just what are you wearing? It looks as though you tried to find a compromise between a tunic and toga, and that blue isn't exactly...""Now what about this should take you aback that way?" you answer, sounding more incensed than you feel. The bathrobe really does leave a great deal to be desired where fashion is concerned, and the effect is only compounded by the fact that its ill fit leaves a decent portion of your legs, arms, and chest out in the air. Still, if she's going to poke fun at your choice of clothing to cook in, you're bound to defend it. "I may be a bit underdressed by my own standards, but to you girls from ancient Greece this should be nothing out of the ordinary.""Perhaps so," she sighs. "Yet our homeland was never filled with humans who could distinguish or create beautiful clothing. After that market you brought us to, I rather developed the impression that you were a gentleman of better taste.""Oh, you'll have your chance to be impressed again once I can get a proper outfit together," you counter. "Don't forget, now, my wardrobe was put to the torch a short time after we met. I'm living in what I can find here, and if I don't look quite my best for breakfast I hardly think that's the worst sin against appearance ever committed."Before the argument can continue Euryale, who's crept around you during the exchange to examine the various breakfast items, asks curiously, "What is this stuff, Alberich-sama?" She's staring into the open rice cooker.
"Why, it's rice," you say. "Have you never seen rice before? It's a grain, boiled and eaten; a staple food, here.""No," Medusa interjects softly, "rice did not exist in our homeland. It gave me a surprise as well when I first encountered it.""Boiled?" Euryale asks, drawing your attention back in her direction though her own gaze is still squarely focused on the contents of the cooker. "It's a grain that you don't grind into flour?""No indeed," you answer. "Only boil it in water 'til it's steamed off, and you can eat it. You'll get your chance to satisfy your curiosity and try it when breakfast is set out. Here, come and sit down." So saying, you usher the three girls out of the kitchen and over to the Koyamas' breakfast table, where they sit down alongside Liliesviel, Stachel, and Adelheid. Finally you call Arturia in telepathically, then bring in the food, serve it up, and sit down to eat yourself; though not before exchanging your bathrobe for the shirt and slacks Medusa dressed you in prior to your healing by Bloodfort Andromeda. Breakfast soon gets underway, and though the food is foreign to most of those here, you get no complaints. That, you suppose, is as much as one can reasonably hope for when it comes to amateur cooking. Personally you find the meal passable. The fish could have used more salt, while the flavor of the miso is slightly too strong, and the coffee is of course limited by the quality of what was available to you. Still, it's acceptable. Looking around, you consider striking up a conversation with one of the diners.>[ ] Ask Stachel if she feels she's gained any understanding of food preparation.>[ ] Introduce Liliesviel to the Gorgon sisters.>[ ] Attempt to strike up a conversation with Adelheid. (What would you like to say?)>[ ] Attempt to strike up a conversation with Arturia. (What would you like to say?)>[ ] Attempt to strike up a conversation with Medusa and her sisters. (What would you like to say?)>[ ] Simply finish your breakfast and call Kikuko to see if she's made any progress.>[ ] Say something else. (Write in)
>>4383106>>[ ] Introduce Liliesviel to the Gorgon sisters.For now may as well get the obvious out of the way, would like to add more but i'm drawing blanks right now.
>>4383106>[ ] Introduce Liliesviel to the Gorgon sisters.
>>4383106>>[ ] Introduce Liliesviel to the Gorgon sisters.
>>4383106>Tell everyone about the dream
>>4383106Been a while since i participated. I've read up on FATE lore now and i can't make heads or tails of what is canon or not. Are the machine gods canon despite the moon cell not being so, when they apparently lost their physical structure and became the olympians due to the white titan, who also attacked the moon cell but got fucked and imprisoned. Are the Lostbelts fucking canon or is it just in FATE GO? Why the fuck is the continuity so tangled?
>>4383643>Why the fuck is the continuity so tangled?In universe: multiverse theory, in reality they just want to do whatever they want while milking the setting for all it's worth, using the multiverse to dismiss any plotholes it might cause.Thanks to that 'canon' depends entirely on what you're looking at, at least when it comes to this quest best stick to the original VN material for lore with HF timeline being canon while the stuff from Extra/FGO isn't.
>>4383643Like Crackpot said, it's complicated by the fact that the setting is based around every entry in the franchise taking place in its own branching timeline. What you can be certain is canon in this quest is:Fate/Stay Night Heaven's Feel route...and that's pretty much it. Some things from Fate/Zero are canon, but that's an alternate timeline; lore details from Hollow Ataraxia are generally canon, like Stheno and Euryale existing.Nothing from Fate/EXTRA is canon. Nothing from Fate/Grand Order is canon unless it's the occasional lifted detail, like Circe's design. The Lostbelts are not canon. The gods being machines is not canon. So on and so forth.
>>4383675>>4383690Okay, that makes sense. Does that mean that the Absolute Ones aren't canon either? And what about tsukihime and the dead apostles/true ancestors?
>>4383894pretty sure they aren't. Nasu once said that tsukihime/dead apostle stuff doesn't occur in Fate universe
>>4383894Types are canon to the setting, they're referenced in the Fate world material. Dead Apostles exist in Fate as well, and I think I mentioned a DA hunt in Narvaéz's interlude. True Ancestors can't exist in a world with the Throne of Heroes, though, so the core Tsukihime stuff is out of canon.
>>4383894Think we had a similar conversation dealing with the church hunters in the mall, apostles exist but they're the bottom of the barrel, the ancestors either died long before, never existed or stay out of things so well they may as well only exist in superstition otherwise their existence would start causing problems the fate timeline, like creating a significantly stronger branch of the church to deal with them than the more 'anti-magic' focused executors
>>4383690>canonI don't know. I can see some pretty huge discrepancies in lore, mechanics, magic, characters, abilities and generally how things work.But that's OK because I expect this sort of stuff from a self-insert wish fulfilment fanfic like a quest.When it comes to canon, who gives a shit anyway? Certainly not anyone here. So I don't even know why you pretend to care, Sweets.
Oh I know what we should doWe can use the same method we used to extract Stheno and Euryale from Medusa to eject Judas from our soul.
I've been reading some other quests recently and I've noticed something. Whenever a QM does something stupid, unfair, or drags things out unnecessarily long there's absolute silence from the playersincluding a certain quest whose QM is very vocally critical of this quest. Whenever Sweets does that sort of thing he gets a shitstorm. Maybe it's good to get some feedback and grow as a QM but the difference is pretty amusing to see.
Anons we really should tell everyone about the dream. If there's a chance to get a shortcut to Ayaka we should try it.
Just letting you folks know, I plan to get the next update out tonight so I'll call the vote and write in about an hour or hour and a half.>>4384152I have to figure it's either because I used to have so many more readers than I do now, so a certain percentage of people are going to be disgruntled instead of just dropping the thing, or it has to do with my manner. I spent a lot of time responding to every complaint, and it doesn't seem to have done me any good.>>4384198If you go into some more detail on how you feel the others can help you with this or put together a more concrete plan, you might get some more interest.
>>4384198We could but I wouldn't expect too much to come of it considering how quick other characters were to dismiss the last time someone in our party started having dream premonitions when unlike with ours Tsubaki's was based on a personal skill and a bit less vague in direction.Right now only person I can really expect to take it seriously might be Lily who'd probably try to frame it as whoever it was is clearly telling us we were 'abandoned' and not to waste time looking for her.
Just had a work call, looks like I won't be able to get this done tonight after all. Sorry; I'd hoped I'd be able to get back on a daily update schedule today, but I guess it wasn't in the cards. I'll pick this up at 5:00 tomorrow, and hopefully get an update done before noon PST.
>>4384638Do you have XXIII archived or no? I want to read it too
Most of your companions, none particularly comfortable with the others, eat in an uncomfortable silence. The tension between Adelheid and Liliesviel is particularly palpable, and each girl pointedly avoids the other's gaze. Stachel simply seems to have nothing to say, eating mechanically, while Arturia wolfs down her food but otherwise remains silent; presumably kept so by your order not to displease you. Even Medusa seems still plagued by the emotional malaise that came over her after the defeat of the Emiya couple, so that only Stheno and Euryale seem above it all, discussing the unusual dishes with interest. Still, two alone don't make a pleasant table, and it obviously falls to you to shift the conversation."Now," you begin, setting your chopsticks down as you finish eating and sweeping your eyes around the table to catch everyone's attention, giving a cordial smile to each in turn. "I believe an introduction is in order. Most of you know one another already, of course, but Liliesviel has yet to properly make the acquaintance of our newest comrades.""Oh yes," the girl answers, perking up at the idea of meeting new mythical figures and learning more about the girls drawn from Medusa's mind. With an air of formal courtesy that seems almost rehearsed, she turns to say to the three, "It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am Liliesviel von Einzbern. Thank you for undertaking to serve Alberich. I am sure you will be a wonderful help to he and I, and hope we can have a cordial relationship. What are your names?" You wonder, hearing the self-introduction, if she greeted Odin when he was first summoned with largely the same words, and high-handed demeanor. You wonder how the God reacted to being spoken to in such a way. Stheno and Euryale, at any rate, don't take kindly to it. Their lips curl in almost identical haughty smiles, and they seem almost to draw back from Liliesviel at her words."You must have quite a high opinion of yourself indeed to speak so, human girl," Stheno replies, her gentle voice stained with soft and cutting contempt. "I am the Goddess Stheno, eldest of the Gorgons. You may call 'myself' Euryale," she adds, gesturing to her sister. "I am Medusa," the third Gorgon cuts in, her own voice conveying only slight hostility. "We have met before, under less harmonious circumstances.""Indeed," Liliesviel agrees, pointedly ignoring Stheno and Euryale. "It is quite the transformation you've had, since joining Alberich, isn't it? The change of heart is wonderful of course, but your body... I wonder why it is that all three of you so perfectly match-""Our beauty is perfect, ageless, and unsurpassed. All men would see us as the perfect idols," Stheno interjects, anticipating Liliesviel's comment about your preferences and cutting her off to boast. "You, girl, ought to watch your tongue. You have not proved yourself worthy of our company on the Shapeless Isle, as Alberich-sama has."
"If you think this kind of body is every man's idea of a perfect beauty, ancient Greece must have been a very different place," Adelheid quips, inserting herself into the conversation when she spies the chance to take Stheno down a peg. "You and your sisters have a lot to learn about the modern world and what men think these days. Really, you were astonishingly lucky that the person who rescued you was someone with Alberich's proclivities."As Adelheid begins to have a chuckle over the Gorgons' good luck and your "proclivities," you decide the conversation has gone far enough. With a set expression of muted anger you clear your throat, cutting through the building noise of the conversation and drawing all eyes back to you. "I hardly think my opinions on beauty are appropriate breakfast conversation, especially without my input," you declare. "Now, I see everyone's finished; we have no reason to linger. Stheno, Euryale, if Liliesviel's manner gave you any offense I apologize. Liliesviel, I likewise apologize for the tone of my Servants. As the one who brought you together, I suppose that any incompatibilities of personality are, to some extent, my responsibility," you add with acid sarcasm, making your irritation fully known after the apologies, "so do me a courtesy, you three, and if you find you cannot be friends at least do not antagonize one another. Now, if you'll excuse me I have a phone call to wait for. Stachel, please clear away the dishes."With this declaration of affronted dignity made, and hopefully having its intended impact on the minds of your listeners, you rise from the table and make your way into the living room, where you drop into the armchair beside the landline and eye the phone pensively. It was perhaps not your best peacemaking speech, you suppose, but really you feel you did well not to blow up at them. Must these girls pick fights with one another at all times? It's reminding you already of the way arguments would rotate between Circe, Adelheid, Truvietianne, and Kikuko during your last days in Judas' Akeldama. You must find some way of making the girls around you, who presumably all share the common interest of your victory in the War, focus on that point of commonality instead of their petty differences. To do that, though, you suppose you'd have to understand why they're so quick to put such differences above the major fact of their alliance and jump at any chance to squabble, and the reason for that seems quite beyond you.
As you're brooding on the problem of domestic discord, waiting irritably for Kikuko to return last night's phone call, Adelheid quietly follows your path into the living room and sits down in the chair opposite, pulling out her notebook and one of Vaisset's books of lab notes. Evidently she plans to spend the morning working away at deciphering the dead man's discovery. The two of you sit in silence for some time that way, her scratching in her notebook and you waiting for the phone, before a third party enters the room: Medusa. "Master," she begins, speaking softly as she walks up to stand beside your chair, "I would like to discuss a certain matter in private. I have a concern about your future, and your plans for the War.">[ ] Wave Medusa away. After the last thing she said to you last night, you suspect her concerns have more to do with a perceived moral decline on your part than anything meaningful. You can discuss such things later; for now you've waited too long already for Kikuko. Call her instead of waiting further.>[ ] Accept Medusa's request and follow her into another room to discuss her concern.>[ ] Wave Medusa away, as her concern is likely irrelevant, but strike up a conversation with Adelheid instead. Perhaps you can help her in some way with Vaisset's notes. (Write in any particular ideas)>[ ] Find someone else in the house to discuss matters with until Kikuko calls, the place isn't big enough for you not to hear the phone. (Write in who and what you'd like to discuss with them.)
>>4385022Part XXIII is still on the board, hanging around page 10. I'll archive it once it falls off. You can also read the updates from it in the PDF.
>>4385624>[ ] Accept Medusa's request and follow her into another room to discuss her concern.
>>4385624>[X] Accept Medusa's request and follow her into another room to discuss her concern.
>>4385626I thought you're supposed to archive threads BEFORE they do that.
>>4385624>>[ ] Accept Medusa's request and follow her into another room to discuss her concern.Despite our previous 'issues' it's rather nice of her to come to us about her concerns than waiting until they become an even bigger problem.
>>4385733The board keeps threads in its own archive for two weeks or so after they fall out of the catalog. I've just archived Part XXIII, anyway.
Shit, I forgot.>>4385624>[ ] Accept Medusa's request and follow her into another room to discuss her concern.
"Very well," you reply, getting to your feet. The fact that Medusa is proactively addressing whatever this concern of hers is strikes you as heartening, a good sign that her loyalty hasn't been diminished by the conversation you had after Emiya's defeat. If she's so quick to recover from her feelings and act in your interest, it demonstrates that Medusa at least is a subordinate you can rely on consistently. Such reliability of course ought to be rewarded, so you can hardly put off her request of a private conversation. "Lead on. I'll hear you out wherever you'd like to speak.""Thank you, Master." Medusa dips her head in a motion somewhere between a nod and an extremely shallow bow at your words, and the two of you walk in silence from the living room back to one of the house's presently empty bedrooms. There she carefully shuts the door behind you, leaving her ear against it for a moment as if to check for any other inhabitants of the building stealthily following down the hall. It's only a moment, though, before Medusa is properly satisfied that the two of you are alone and turns to address you."Master," she begins respectfully, repeating the title yet again as if to drive the point of her loyalty home before making her real point, "my concern is with the relationship between you and the Lesser Grail, Liliesviel von Einzbern.""Excuse me?" You raise an eyebrow in a restrained and semi-sardonic gesture of shock, though in truth you're quite taken aback. First Medusa complains of you killing a devoted enemy, now she finds fault in your relationship with Liliesviel? This can't be jealousy, can it? You are aware of the beauty of your own appearance, of course, and obviously you have some ability to attract women; otherwise Liliesviel surely wouldn't be as taken with you as she is; but for such emotion to come from Medusa, of all people, is just unbelievable.Seeing your confusion, and perhaps guessing at your suspicion, Medusa is quick to make her explanations. "Do not misunderstand, please," she begins, her calm face betraying just a hint of a flustered expression. "I speak only out of a concern for your safety. When we were enemies, I did not consider it worth my time to speculate as to the exact nature of your relationship with the Einzbern family, but now that I serve you I must take an interest. From your conduct in the war, and her arrogant behavior, it seems as though you are in her power and act according to her wishes; that you are acting as a pawn of the Einzbern. I must warn you, Master, the Einzbern are not known for kindness to their pawns."
"Ridiculous!" you scoff. "A pawn? I appreciate your concern, Medusa, but you've quite misread the situation. Liliesviel has no command over me, nor I over her. Why, we're working together to realize both of our goals, and it is not a partnership either of us can give up. She and I are bound together by the soul, Medusa; when one dies, so does the other, and when one becomes the Third Sorcerer, so does the other." With an inexplicable slight hesitation, you add, "We are also in love, if such a thing exists.""I see." Medusa looks at you levelly, taking in your words with consideration, then continues, "That does not resolve my concern, Master. Liliesviel may be a pawn herself, and as much betrayed by her family as you are likely to be. You seek the Third Sorcery? Let me tell you what I know of its use.""Its use?" you echo, surprised. "I thought the Heaven's Feel had never been completed."As if not hearing your query, Medusa continues in the same serious, warning tone, "Emiya Shirou died once before, at the end of the Fifth Holy Grail War. I saw his sacrifice; saw him put himself last and give up hope of escape for the sake of Sakura and Rin. That he is alive now is only due to the Lesser Grail of that time, and the Third Sorcery. Apparently she was able to make use of an incomplete version of the Heaven's Feel to materialize his soul and give him new life, even as he died. It is a form of existence with flaws. He relies on puppet bodies, and like a Servant requires magical energy from another source to go on. All the same, he is alive now. She is not.""You don't mean to tell me that the Third killed her," you reply, stunned."As far as I understand, it did." Medusa's answer gives no mercy, only continuing in that same solemn tone. "The one who benefits from the Third Sorcery is not the Lesser Grail. The ritual destroys her, and if you are bound as you say, it seems you shall be doomed together.">[ ] Tell Medusa she raises a very significant point, and you'll take the issue up with Liliesviel.>[ ] Dismiss Medusa's concern. Tell her that if the last Lesser Grail could choose to make the target of the Heaven's Feel Emiya, Liliesviel can surely direct it to herself and materialize her soul in the moment her body dies.>[ ] Thank Medusa for bringing such a possible danger to your attention, but don't mention bringing it to Liliesviel. If the girl hasn't thought to speak to you about it until now, you'll probably have little to gain that way. Resolve to find some other expert in magic to discuss the matter with.>[ ] Say something else. (What?)
>>4387709>[X] Tell Medusa she raises a very significant point, and you'll take the issue up with Liliesviel.
>>4387709>[ ] Dismiss Medusa's concern. Tell her that if the last Lesser Grail could choose to make the target of the Heaven's Feel Emiya, Liliesviel can surely direct it to herself and materialize her soul in the moment her body dies.Don't need to bother with this.We've got enough plot threads on the table already and Sweets is a total Einzbernfag so...
>>4387923This problem is integral to Alberich accomplishing anything post-war.This would make quite a bit of sense in reference to Kourakuhime's prophecy of the prize being fake.
>>4387926>this problemDoesn't exist. The Einzbern in this quest are faultless super magi.Sweets has already done stuff like having the Dress of Heaven revert to being a human, when the procedure of turning into it for Leysritt is permanent and fatal.He's had the Einzbern just create a whole new grail with no real logic behind it. The first grail required the sacrifice of Justeaze, the Third Magician and the assistance of Zelretch, the Second Magician. It's kind of silly that we're supposed to buy that the Einzbern just made a new grail "because something might be wrong." Without anyone noticing at all.From this evidence we can mostly conclude that in this timeline the Einzbern are superbeings that have absolutely no faults somehow. We'll know for sure when we kill our fourth servant.The lesser grail can't function as a human with four or more souls within her body.Personally if it means getting out of this damn unlimited social votes, I can't wait.Like seriously, the idea that things would go poorly for the Einzbern in the Einzbernwank quest is silly.
>>4387709>[ ] Tell Medusa she raises a very significant point, and you'll take the issue up with Liliesviel.
>>4387932Nobody's twisting your arm to read a quest you don't enjoy, anon.
>>4388018Nobody's twisting your arm to write a quest nobody enjoys, QM.
>>4387709>>[ ] Tell Medusa she raises a very significant point, and you'll take the issue up with Liliesviel.
>>4388021That comparison doesn't work and you know it.
>>4388021Oh, you shove it too. If nobody enjoyed it it wouldn't have gone on so long, and if it ever gets to the point nobody's enjoying it I'll stop the damn thing and finally set to writing something original.
>>4387709>[ ] Tell Medusa she raises a very significant point, and you'll take the issue up with Liliesviel.>Incidentally, there was another recent event worth mentioning. Was communication through dreams a technique employed by gods of your pantheon? I believe Hecate may have contacted me in a dream last night and if so that method could be a shortcut in finding my master.Anons that dream sequence was there for a reason. Alberich should be capable of back-tracing Hecate's message or calling her back. Or calling Ayaka with the same method.
Honestly I don't want to sound like i'm against investigating the dream but at the same time I don't fully trust it; on one hand the gods could send messages through dreams but why would she go through the trouble of obfuscating her appearance to us if she wanted us to trust her? Sure there is some talk of other specific gods being needed to send them or control their content but every source I can find also refers to the messengers, the Oneiros, as gods and not familiars or servants how she would be able to send one without them is beyond me but we've seen how accurate the Greek understanding of things was with the 'mirror' shield and it's up to Sweets on how true that is here. Even then the sender is under no obligation to tell the truth, they're fully capable of sending dreams full of lies to manipulate someone and, assuming it even was an Oneiros and not some third party involved, with another former Greek goddess in the picture we can't be fully certain it even was from Hecate.>>4388190>>4388023I'll still give my support since without a scryer it is currently our only lead and could be worth a follow up, but only a fool trusts the words of message when they don't have complete trust in the sender.
>>4387709>>4387713>>4388190I'll change to this too.>>4388410Don't forget that Hecate had black hair when she was one of the gods of Olympus.She made her dream appearance mirror her state of mind rather than her real appearance.
>>4388410>why would she go through the trouble of obfuscating her appearance to us if she wanted us to trust her?I was thinking that's generally what she looked like before the other gods gave her bunny-ears and severe psychological trauma. Maybe in the past few days she's been recovering some of her strength? Couldn't hurt to at least ask Medusa if it's plausible. Way back when Circe said Hecate had canine features so it's not a 1-to-1 match but it might be something.Sending messages psychically through dreams is also a groundbreaking method of communication that ought to be investigated now that we know *someone* has been doing it.
>>4388475Maybe all i'm saying is I still have my doubts about it, hair color alone isn't a strong case when dealing with someone in a format where they can appear in whatever form they wish, not when there's another AoG sorcerer and former goddess running around who could just as easily be sending it. There are others I could guess at if it's not from either of them but those're much more of a stretch.I'll still support because Medusa and her sisters are the most unbiased help we could get on this, assuming it is from one of the former goddesses and always good to have another tool in our arsenal if we can figure out how to copy it.
It's been another two days already, good lord.My apologies, folks. This latest mini-hiatus should end tomorrow, I'll be able to write again then.
So that turned out to be wrong. I'm just posting now to tell any of your folks who've stuck around that I'm still here, still trying. All apologies for the delay. This isn't a problem with writer's block or anything like that, the story should be able to move pretty well if I can just get some time to write.
>>4391950You sound overworked Sweets
>>4393540I do have a lot on my plate at the moment, yeah.
>>4393747Do you see a reprieve for yourself anytime in the future?
>>4393747Don't want to sound like i'm speaking for everyone but If you need to call a break again just keep us posted, I feel those of us who've stuck through this long we'll still be here when you get back.
>>4393747That's sad to hear, just got done reading the archives and wanted to partake on voting. Hopefully things start to look better for you
>>4393922I don't know about a general change in my situation, but I can at least write on the weekend. I should have the next update posted relatively soon.>>4394394Thanks for the sentiment. I don't know enough about how things are going to shape up with future work to say when or if they'll change again, so trying to schedule a break doesn't really work. All I can do at the moment is try to find time on a day-to-day basis.>>4394974I'm glad to have you onboard! Any thoughts on the quest now that you've just read through it all at once? You'll have something to vote on today and tomorrow at least, and with luck maybe next week won't be as busy as this one has been.
>>4395150Not really but i did enjoy it
"If you haven't made some misunderstanding of the Heaven's Feel and what you say is true," you begin, your voice and expression oppressed by grave concern, "then this is a point of very significant concern indeed, and well worth considering. Thank you for bringing it to my attention, Medusa; I'll discuss the matter with Liliesviel, and hopefully we can come to some resolution of the matter.""You will discuss it with her?" Medusa's eyes widen a hair in surprise, but her voice carries deep trepidation. "If that girl is truly the Lesser Grail, she must know the details of this ritual in full. If she has not brought the matter to your attention before, she will surely dismiss it now out of devotion to her house. Perhaps she considers it worth the sacrifice of both of you to achieve the wish of the Einzbern.""I've thanked you once already for your concern," you reply harshly, feeling yourself grow angry at this excessive, almost paranoiac assumption of Liliesviel's character and hardening your voice. "The same sentiment taken to such an extreme will not motivate me to warmer emotion. I've made my decision, Medusa."The Servant gives you a strangely resigned, knowing look, and a moment of silence passes between you before she nods and tonelessly replies, "Understood." Then she turns to go, leaving you alone in the bedroom to contemplate your next course of action."Wait." You deliver the order quietly, before she's gone more than a step, and set your hand on her shoulder to restrain her. Softening your tone to give the impression of one promptly regretting unintended harshness toward a devoted follower, though in reality her attitude has only provoked your irritation further, you explain, "You don't know Liliesviel, Medusa. I understand the two of you have gotten off on the wrong foot, why she seems to bear you and your sisters such ill will is a mystery to me; and I don't know just how your experiences with other Einzberns have gone, perhaps they merit such suspicion. She does not. Listen to me when I say that I can trust that girl completely. She has no secrets from me, I promise you; when I discuss your concern with her, I am certain she'll be nothing but earnest."
Medusa turns to face you again at this outpouring of emotion, but your words haven't changed the knowing, resigned look in those beautiful, inhuman amethyst eyes with their bizarrely shaped pupils. As she levels that gaze at you her eyes seem to be saying, "I stood by and watched the foolishness of love as all the finest youths of the world came to lay their adoration at my sisters' feet, and were driven to agonized death by the belief that they could 'trust completely' in the love they imagined they shared. Right now you look just the same. I may have sworn to call you my Master and help you, Alberich, but I can't become a mother to you and correct your naivety." If such are her thoughts, though, and not only the sentiments imputed to her expression by your own too-easily stung pride, she doesn't give voice to them. Instead, with respectful tones Medusa replies, "Very well. You do know her better than I. For your sake I hope your estimation of her character is right. Will there be anything else, Master?""As a matter of fact, yes," you reply, letting go of her shoulder and forcing an air of cordiality, eager to square away the previous issue in spite of your unsettled and irritable feeling at the look Medusa has been giving you. "There was another recent event I thought worth mentioning to you; or rather, asking you about. Was communication through dreams a technique commonly employed by the Gods of your pantheon? I believe Hecate may have contacted me in a dream last night, if it's within her powers to do so." You put more confidence in your identification of the dream woman into your voice than you feel, since the information would surely be useful in any case. Hecate does seem like the most likely origin of that dream, of course, being the only curvaceous female mage you know who might have reason to appear black-haired in a dream, but that's hardly conclusive. The details of the dream woman's appearance have already faded somewhat from your memory, as dreams often do, but though you can no longer call her face or voice clearly to mind you feel certain you didn't recognize her in the dream. In that light it might well be that some stranger has managed to penetrate your mind; but then you come around again to wonder what of her words about Ayaka? Hecate is the only one in a position to think of Ayaka and speak to you, isn't she? The thing is a mess, but at least by putting this question to Medusa you may be able to narrow down one possibility.
At this Medusa looks thoughtful, not focusing on your eyes but turning her attention inward, to memory. After a moment's reflection she answers, "I cannot call it a common technique, exactly. If one word were used to describe the Olympians, it should be idiosyncratic. They each have their own ways, but they could certainly have done so if they wished to. Whether a God could perform old divine feats in this world of man is more doubtful." Here she briefly pauses again to think, before concluding, "With Hecate's expertise I should not think it beyond her even now.""I see. That's quite helpful, thank you," you reply heavily, feeling no trace of the gratitude your words suggest. If communication through dreams is neither a common habit of Greek Gods nor an impossibility for Hecate, Medusa hasn't narrowed your situation down at all; your speculation is now just where it began, and you about to make your disappointed exit when another idea strikes you. "Do you imagine that it would be possible to retrace that dream connection by magic? I realize you're only theorizing, but as the only person I have with me who has some knowledge of the magic of the Age of Gods, I must rely on you.""I suppose it could," Medusa answers uncertainly. "You have accomplished quite remarkable things with magic of the mind before, and this would be of the same kind." Despite the generally positive trend of her words, though, Medusa sounds quite reluctant to suggest that it would succeed. Understandable, you suppose, in light of the fact that she most likely knows relatively little about magic herself, but all the same she ought to have something more than this to say. Before you can press for further advice, though, your attention is caught by a loud, abrasive noise coming from the living room. The phone is ringing."Excuse me," you say, making your way out as you do so. "I believe that is the call I've been waiting for. Again, thank you for your advice today, Medusa." With that you make for the living room, and in a few moments have picked up the phone. "Hello?""Hi there, Al-chan," comes Kikuko's bright voice. "You were in such a total hurry last night I didn't think you'd keep me waiting like that. It was ringing forever, you know?""Is that so?" You put a bit of a smile into your voice, matching Kikuko's cheer with mirth of your own. "How odd, my receiver only rang once or twice. Maybe there's something wrong with the line. At any rate, you have me now. How have things gone with your latest online friend?""All set up," Kikuko chirps. "If I thought she was normal I'd say she's, like, pretty desperate for some company with this whole thing going on, you know? She totally jumped on the chance to have me over. Since you said ASAP, I told her we'd be over in half an hour. That okay with you?"
>[ ] Get the girl's address and leave right away in order to meet Kikuko at the arranged time.>[ ] Tell Kikuko to put the meeting off. (Write in how long.) For now you want to focus on trying to replicate whatever magic the person you saw in last night's dream used to reach you.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4395623>[X] Get the girl's address and leave right away in order to meet Kikuko at the arranged time.
>>4395623>[ ] Get the girl's address and leave right away in order to meet Kikuko at the arranged time.
>>4395623>>[ ] Get the girl's address and leave right away in order to meet Kikuko at the arranged time.
>>4395619>[ ] Get the girl's address and leave right away in order to meet Kikuko at the arranged time.
>>4395619>[X] Get the girl's address and leave right away in order to meet Kikuko at the arranged time.
Dead fucking quest.Is writing really that unenjoyable for you now, Sweets?
>>4399686The volume of negativity this quest has attracted does have a way of taking the enjoyment out of writing it, but not quite to that extent. Like I said before, my main problem right now is finding the time to get an update written.
"A half hour?" you echo indignantly. "You do realize I can't get around simply by teleportation as in the other War, don't you? How far away is this girl's home, anyway? What's the address?" "Oh, you can't? Then I'm like, totally sorry about that. Since you called me in the middle of the night to set it up as soon as possible and all, I kinda thought it was urgent, you know?" From her exaggerated, blatantly sarcastic apology and the acid tone of her excuse, it's perfectly clear that Kikuko decided to get back at you by manufacturing an inconvenient meeting time. You can hardly muster up more than a halfhearted sort of anger at the prank, though; it's so much in her character that you almost feel you should've expected this. "But since the trains are all fine, you can still get there no problem," she adds, a note of impish good humor now in her voice. "Do you have something to write the address down, Al-chan?""Just give me a moment," you say, heaving an exasperated sigh as you grab a notepad and pen from beside the phone. The thought that it's convenient for you the Koyamas were so old-fashioned about communication briefly flits across your mind. "Go ahead." As you take down the address, one other aspect of the conversation prods you into further irritable speech. "And stop calling me 'Al-chan'," you add once she's finished reciting. "What did you invent that ridiculous nickname for anyway?""Well I had to call you something," Kikuko answers, sounding not at all put out by your anger. "I couldn't keep calling you Yumigawa-kun, and 'Alberich' is kinda hard to say, plus since you've just been calling me 'Kikuko' I thought it should be something intimate! So, Al-chan!""You are unbelievable," you answer deadpan, though you find yourself smiling at her absurd reasoning."Well if you don't like it I can come up with something else," she says, the tone of mirthful anticipation in her voice forewarning you that no other nickname she suggests is likely to be an improvement. "What about Becchan? Or would you rather I not use your name? You wouldn't want me to call you Saber, right? How about senpai? The old you was a year or two older than me, right? Let's see, you were pretending to be those girls' uncle, right? What about Oji-tan? Or, ooh, what about something to do with your hair, like-""Do be silent," you snap, almost laughing in spite of yourself. "I can see I'll get nothing serious from you. Call me what you like. I have a train to catch, if I'm to make your ridiculous appointment!" With that, you hang up the phone and get to your feet, looking around for Liliesviel. She isn't in the room, of course. Where would she have most likely gone after breakfast?
"My goodness. That girl must be quite a card, eh Alberich?" Adelheid speaks up with a smile on her face, drawing your attention back to her and in fact reminding you that she's in the room. She'd been so silent and motionless, being absorbed in her work, that you'd quite forgotten about her."Oh, you remember," you say. "Kikuko likes to play the fool if can't find a better way to skewer someone for her amusement. That love of needling people is a sense of humor I believe the two of you share; but get up, would you? We should be on your way. I'm going to meet someone I believe may be Kōrakuhime, and I'd like you to come with me.""If you like," Adelheid agrees, rising, "but why not go alone? It seems you prefer your reunions one-on-one, when you can have them that way." She gives you a smirk under reproachful eyes; needling you, as you pointed out, but also reiterating her displeasure at being kept out while you met Liliesviel. "Not in all cases," you reply shortly. You'd rather Adelheid not be so put out by your keeping her on the balcony last night, but you're hardly obligated to apologize and don't want to give the jab more attention than it's worth. "I'll be bringing Liliesviel as well. If we have succeeded in finding my sister, she ought to be able to provide us with information key to our future strategy, and I want you both there.""Do you now?" Though roundabout, the compliment to her judgment seems to mollify Adelheid, and the smile on her face warms a few degrees as she replies. "You ought to collect the girl, then," she adds. "I'll inform the rest of your staff we're on our way and wait outside for you." With that, Adelheid steps out of the living room, the pleats of her uniform skirt fluttering enticingly as you watch her step lightly out. You stuff the possible Kōrakuhime's address into your pocket, then turn to look for Liliesviel again, and unbidden the thought of Medusa's warning returns to your mind; with it comes the mental image of Liliesviel, again in the white ritual dress she wore on your first night together, standing at the center of that great jewel-encrusted magic circle beneath Tokyo and dissolving into a mass of light to be consumed by it. Though it's only an imagined fear, you seem to be able to see with the dreadful clarity of a vision as the very essence of Liliesviel, transformed into formless shining energy, splits and runs into those shimmering channels of mineral treasure that make up the arrangement of the Greater Grail, one final sacrifice for the sake of your immortality and her family's wish.
No. You shut your eyes and drive the fantasy from your mind, plunging yourself into darkness. It's only a worry, nothing more. Medusa must have been speaking from a position misinformed about the true details of the Heaven's Feel, and if you bring the matter to Liliesviel she'll clarify; or if not, the two of you can find some solution to this problem, surely. You've already decided the two of you will gain the Third together and live on after the War. You won't be stopped by some phantom of the concerns of fifteen years ago. Nothing and no-one will prevent you from reaching your goals; haven't you made that clear enough already?With the presentiment of danger driven off, you open your eyes and relax your unconsciously clenched fists, hardly noticing as mystic energy heals the marks your nails dug into their palms. You walk in silence back to your bedroom, where you expect Liliesviel to be waiting, all the pleasant cheer of your humorous conversations with Kikuko and Adelheid driven out of your mind by that thought of danger to her. Sure enough, you find the girl sitting on the side of your bed, staring out the window with an uncommonly pensive expression on her face. For a moment you almost inform her of Medusa's concerns right then, but you hold back. There are things to do, after all, and the discussion can be had when you've resolved the question of Kōrakuhime's status. If you do find your sister today, she may even be able to help with any problems related to the ritual.Instead of speaking out regarding your own concerns, you find yourself remarking in your best cavalier style, "It looks like you have something on your mind. Care to share your thoughts?"Liliesviel jumps at your voice, evidently startled out of her contemplation, but when she turns to you the expression of moody speculation is chased from her features by a bright, innocent smile. "There you are, Alberich," she chirps. "I was wondering how long you planned to leave me. There really is nothing to do in this tiny little place, is there?""No, I suppose not," you reply, looking around the room and finding yourself forced to agree with the girl. As far as ways to pass the time go, the Koyama house does seem quite lacking. One could probably find entertainment on the computer if they were so inclined, of course, but that remains shut on the desk. You'd probably have to spend an afternoon walking Liliesviel through how to use one if you ever wanted to help her get more in touch with modern technology. "Still," you add, "you and I won't be here much longer. I've had a call from the friend I was on the phone with last night, and she's arranged for us to meet the girl who may be Kōrakuhime. With any luck, we can soon have all of our allies together again, and bring this War to a close."Liliesviel gives you a complicated expression, obviously trying to look happy but struggling to contain a childish pout, "That girl," she says. "That's good, of course, but-"
"I understand," you interject. "You'd rather not spend any time with someone who cast aspersions on our feelings if you can avoid it. In this case, though, I'm afraid you can't. She's too useful to the War for me to cut her out over that remark, however rude it was."I know," she replies, whining in spite of herself. Then she seems to make a decision, her face taking on a determined aspect as she hops off the bed and crosses her arms. "Don't worry, Alberich," she says, her voice gaining new energy. "I won't bother you about it anymore. After we've brought her back I'll teach her to respect me in my own way!""...Indeed." You're a little put off by the zeal that's suddenly come into her eyes, but nevertheless you make a vaguely affirmative reply and begin going through the closet for your overcoat. "Just don't go too far," you caution the girl. "She is my sister, after all.""I know, I know," Liliesviel answers dismissively. "Everything will be just fine.""I hope you're right about that." Finally you find the overcoat again, draping it on the bed while you try on a blazer and tie of Koyama's. It's no good. The man's suits and shirts are as much too small for you as his bathrobe was, and your calves and forearms are left protruding awkwardly. You'll have to abandon the blazer, leave the shirt open at the collar, and move the waist of the slacks as low as you can. After some careful reworking, and hiding your too-short sleeves and low waist with the overcoat, you manage not to look too bad in a black coat and slacks with open-collared white shirt and grey pinstripes. "Now," you say, turning back to Liliesviel, "Let's be off."By some stroke of luck, the address given to you by Kikuko turns out to be near enough that the train trip takes very little time at all, and you're still left with almost ten minutes of extra time before the meeting when the train pulls into the nearest station, one underground. Unfortunately, not everything can go so conveniently as your transit accommodations. As you arrive, you discover something deeply irksome: the magical energy of a Servant, here in the train station. When you glance out the window, though, you see no-one. Presumably they're keeping to the shadows.>[ ] Step out of the train and confront the enemy Servant. Whoever this might be, they can presumably feel your presence as well, so there's little point in anything else.>[ ] Move to another car and head onto the platform to exit by a path leading away from the energy. You're not inclined to face anyone before recovering Ayaka, and you doubt an enemy Servant will go after you in daylight unless it's Assassin.>[ ] You don't have time for this, but you can't trust an unknown Servant to just let you by. Send Adelheid out to head them off and regroup with you while you and Liliesviel make your way through the station.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4401632>[ ] Step out of the train and confront the enemy Servant. Whoever this might be, they can presumably feel your presence as well, so there's little point in anything else.
>>4401632>>[ ] Step out of the train and confront the enemy Servant. Whoever this might be, they can presumably feel your presence as well, so there's little point in anything else.Way I figure it, if we cant identify them almost as likely to be one of ours as anyone else, unless presence concealment very low we'd sooner know if its assassin when they attack and with scrying/Teleport almost certain isn't Circe, would almost dismiss Tsubaki too if wasn't for the proximity to the alleged meeting otherwise its likely Matsuda who we should be more than capable of 'taking alive'. With the time limit we could probably send Adelheid to buy us time if we need it.
>>4401632>>[ ] Step out of the train and confront the enemy Servant. Whoever this might be, they can presumably feel your presence as well, so there's little point in anything else.
>>4401632>Move to another car and head onto the platform to exit by a path leading away from the energy. You're not inclined to face anyone before recovering Ayaka, and you doubt an enemy Servant will go after you in daylight unless it's Assassin.
>>4401632>[ ] Step out of the train and confront the enemy Servant. Whoever this might be, they can presumably feel your presence as well, so there's little point in anything else.Please be an ally, please be an ally>>4402057> its likely MatsudaDidn't we notice who Seibah was by her magical energy when we went after Archer that one time? Shouldn't it be the same?
>>4403112The narrative forced Alberich to forget he could do that.I'm expecting a flimsy excuse from Sweets on the double.
>>4403112When you went after Archer and ran into Saber on the way, then proceeded to fight her and have your second encounter with Harris? You didn't know who the Servant in the building was until by her energy, just that there was a Servant in the building. Players all concluded it was Saber pretty quickly based on the circumstance of being near Archer, but you couldn't recognize her just from her energy.
>>4403116I don't remember ever writing Alberich being able to detect a specific Servant based on the quality of their energy. Some characters have overwhelming volume, like Odin and Sakura, but that's a different thing. Do you have a page number in the PDF or more details on when you feel like he forgot this ability?
>>4403119>the PDFWhy do you even bother with that thing anyway?Nobody reads it and nobody is going to read it.If I want to look through the quest, I'll go through the archived threads, and if anyone new is going through the quest I strongly recommend that they do the same, otherwise they miss out on all the player discussion. It just seems like a massive waste of time.As for the energy sensing thing, it's just silly that an apparently talented magus like Alberich can sense energy but not prescribe any sort of quality to the energy he's sensing other than "BIG ENERGY" or "SMALL ENERGY."Especially if it's magical energy that he's already felt before.
>>4403125It is useful if you want to read the story without scrolling all the time.Some people simply don't find player interaction as much fun as you apparently do.The only flaw here is that new readers who start at the beginning would need to find the pdf. It is not listed anywhere in the opening post, so that is pretty hard.
>>4403125You're the same anon who wondered why I bothered talking about what is and isn't canon when I answered a reader's question about that, aren't you? From the tone of your posts I guess you'd rather I didn't bother with the quest at all. Sorry, but I do intend to keep going with it as long as I have any time to write and votes come in.As for why I bother with the PDF, I first started because it was more convenient for my own reference to have one searchable document with the full text of the quest than to comb through the past threads when checking some past detail. After a while I started posting it because I realized that if I were a new player I'd want a better way to catch up than reading through the archived threads.
>>4403125Just fuck off anon.Why do you even bother posting just to complain without participating?
>>4403138I feel like as long as I put it in the second post of each thread, like it is here, it's pretty clear. You think it'd be more convenient if I had it on some kind of file-sharing site with a link in the OP?
>>4403143I overlooked the second post. I generally only look into the first for meta information like this.But yeah, I read the second post and still don't know how to get the pdf. On that matter how would I get it right now?A link would be way more convenient.
>>4403144Just click on it. The file that looks like a picture attached to the second post is the PDF. It's one of the convenient things about this board, that you can attach PDFs to posts just like you can with images.
>>4403148Ah, I confused the pdf with a picture, because of the title page.Just be aware that the archive site does not save pdf attachments to save disk space.
There's really only one decision you can make, faced with a Servant taking no steps to hide themselves and obviously aware of your presence, and that's to meet them. It might be more convenient to slip by them, but with you aware of their presence and them aware of yours that would be a pointless endeavor serving only to make you seem strangely cowardly. Instead you get to your feet and walk to the door with a casual air, announcing to Liliesviel and Adelheid in the same breath and as though neither fact carried any more significance than the other, "This is our station, and it seems there's a Servant waiting to welcome us."By the time you've stepped through the train doors and out onto the platform, your 'welcome' has done the same, slipping out of a blackly shadowed corridor to reveal himself under the fluorescents. Matsuda, in the full dress of a Servant and with his blade leaning against his shoulder. He wears a habitual insolent grin, the kind that wouldn't look out of place on him in his old days as a street punk, as he looks you up and down."Yo, Kaichou," he calls, raising his free hand in a lazy greeting. "Glad ta see you're all better from those wounds I gave ya last time. I'd hate to haveta finish things with you when y'weren't in good shape." The second half of this greeting is raised into a shout as the train, eager for its next destination, pulls away and nearly swallows up Matsuda's voice in its mechanical roar.You're not sure quite how to feel about Matsuda now, you realize, and the mixed emotions wash over you strangely as you take in his words of bravado. He's a fool, that much is obvious, and the strength that made a path for his human self to follow won't be enough for him to defeat you. Not only a fool, you think, but an opportunistic traitor. The wounds, the insolent words, and the way he took advantage of your weakness after the fire in the Shijou manor all set alight the old black flame of hate and the need for revenge in your gut. You want to make the overconfident fool pay for every cut, every gash, every tear he put into your flesh with far worse suffering. You want him to atone for daring to stand up to you again after the way he fled from your first battle; but at the same time, there are fragments of contempt and even pity in that feeling. He's been in your shadow for your entire lives, but in spite of that he's never seemed either to envy you, as one might expect, or to go in fear of you, as Ogawara did. He's always sought after his own path, and now in this War has been left utterly without one. At this point it's plain he'll never even get another chance at the showdown on an even footing he wanted with you, considering the way you've improved as a Servant.
You deaden the emotion, kill the anger and the pity both. They don't serve you. You look only at Matsuda, his easy, relaxed stance, and the position of his weapon, and ask in a quiet, restrained voice, "Is that why you're here? To try to kill me again?""That's right," he says, still grinning. "One last go at a man-to-man showdown, just you and me. Least, if you'll ask yer little Berserker ta hold off." Adelheid and Liliesviel, you note, followed you out of the traincar and are now lingering by your sides on the platform, apparently content to let you finish the conversation with your brother without their interference.Suddenly a new, very different anger fills you, and you snap, "What do you think you're doing, Matsuda? Are the eyes in your skull for decoration only? Didn't you happen to look at the sky before you came down into this station, or the people on the street? It's broad daylight. Servants don't fight the War before dark. Working on the overseer's behalf, I would've expected you to have processed that detail by now.""Maybe yer the one whose eyes aren't quite workin', Kaichou," Matsuda answers, his voice low and threatening, as well as a bit humorous. "Look around you; you see any witnesses? This's a subway station in tha middle'a Tokyo and it's fuckin' empty, Kaichou. This city's fuckin' dead!" He traces a broad circle with the point of his spear, as if to encompass all of Tokyo in the sphere of his attention. "The ones who aren't stuck at home as corpses or laid up in bed are too scared of gettin' sick ta go out! We could blow up a whole damn neighborhood and not break the mages' precious rules about secrecy! Hell, you've done it before.""All of my fighting has been done at night or in isolated locations, according to the rules of the War," you reply coldly, clinging to your rationale though you must admit he a bit of a point. The station is more or less totally deserted, but all the same, "This is a public place. It's a different matter."
"You think that makes a fuckin' difference? What the fuck are you on?" Matsuda shouts, giving free reign as always to his overpowering emotions. "If this damn city weren't bein' wiped out by magic they can call a disease, this whole thing'd be blown sky high a long time ago. Instead, we got an army o' priests walkin' the streets lookin' for people to kill, cause that's th'only kinda coverup they're interested in by now." Matsuda shakes his head and sighs, apparently growing tired either of the outburst or the whole discussion. "Mainly," he adds, shaking his weapon and gesturing at your throat with his blade to underscore the point, "they're lookin' for you. I'm not gonna let 'em get to you, Kaichou. I'm not interested in followin' Harris' fuckin' plan before I've had one more go at it. One way or tha other, this ends here.">[ ] Fine. If Matsuda wants to die so much you'll oblige him. Materialize your armor and take him on with your blade against his.>[ ] This is too pathetic to be worth killing him. Matsuda doesn't understand the situation he's in, so show him by letting him attack your armor until he gets it through his head he can't kill you.>[ ] Try one last time to talk Matsuda over to your side. No matter what he's done so far, the fact remains that he's your brother, and you want him as an asset to your War rather than an enemy. (What do you want to say to him?)>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4404080>[ ] Fine. If Matsuda wants to die so much you'll oblige him. Materialize your armor and take him on with your blade against his.
>>4404080>[ ] Fine. If Matsuda wants to die so much you'll oblige him. Materialize your armor and take him on with your blade against his.Yeah, no stupidly letting him hit us so we can find out if he did find a way to wound us.
>>4404080>[ ] Fine. If Matsuda wants to die so much you'll oblige him. Materialize your armor and take him on with your blade against his.As much as I find him a funny character for his blatant misinformation and incompetence, no point in keeping the fucker with the anti-magic spear hitting the magical armor
>>4404080>>[ ] Fine. If Matsuda wants to die so much you'll oblige him. Materialize your armor and take him on with your blade against his.Only thing I can think to add would be if we get the chance see if we can modify absorption into a drain, might not be the same as Ayaka's or BFA if we can pull it off but worth a shot if we're going to be ending things here.
>>4404260>reset router>complain about Sweets>reset router>complain about Sweets>go to unrelated thread>complain about Sweets>repeatWhat a meaningful life you must lead anon.
>>4404262Hopefully Sweets kills himself so there's one less pedophile in the world.Then I wouldn't feel the need to remind him the world would be a better place if he leapt off a tall building.
>>4404080>>[ ] Fine. If Matsuda wants to die so much you'll oblige him. Materialize your armor and take him on with your blade against his..
>>4404080>[X] Try one last time to talk Matsuda over to your side. No matter what he's done so far, the fact remains that he's your brother, and you want him as an asset to your War rather than an enemy. (What do you want to say to him?)>"You seem to feel this is the only way you can rebel against Harris, Matsuda. As a Servant there are ways for you to escape his grasp, chiefly by procuring a source of magical energy for yourself; But there's something else you really should know, and that is that you're not really Matsuda, you just have his memory, you're not even a month old yet. You were created as a spirit just before you woke within the world we knew as the Akeldama, and the same goes for me. As we were both born from the same circumstances I consider you a sibling and would prefer we settled our disagreements somewhat peacefully, though if we must I won't shy away from finishing our fight here and now."I want to at least try to talk him down before we go at it again, this will most likely be our last encounter otherwise after all.
>>4404122>>4404393Support, it does seem like he's losing it a bit so I don't expect it to work out but doesn't really know our strength and unlikely for him to be baiting us, might as well give it a shot.
>>4404393Just a reminder, you do know he's at least partially aware of this already. Back on Wednesday the 20th you observed Harris by scrying as he and Matsuda had a discussion during which Matsuda complained of being "not even real" and not having a family, future, or past. Maybe you'd already factored that into your thinking, but I wanted to be sure you recalled.
>>4404080>[ ] Fine. If Matsuda wants to die so much you'll oblige him. Materialize your armor and take him on with your blade against his.>I suppose I should thank you for coming forward to face me and conclude our conflict rather than skulking in the shadows like so many others. It would be a bit of a shame if the only compensation I have is for you to die on your own terms. So after I kill you here, is there perhaps some last request you'd like carried out after you're gone? I could see to it, provided it's reasonable.If we have a situation where mortally wound him but he still has some time left I'd like to interrogate regarding Harris' plan.Also since his datasheet reads "Lancer of Imaginary numbers" relying on the armor to ignore the damage of his attacks any more than last time is a no-go.>>4404122>if we get the chance see if we can modify absorption into a drain, might not be the same as Ayaka's or BFA if we can pull it off but worth a shot if we're going to be ending things here.I also like this idea, but mainly so Judas will have some company in our mental-space
>>4404393+1But if he still wishes to die after hearing this grant it to him
>>4404675By the way the extra stuff was just suggestions for flavorful dialogue, not vote-splitting over minutiae.
>>4405131I won't count it as a separate vote, don't worry.
Just letting you folks know, although I couldn't do any writing today I should be able to start on this update pretty early tomorrow morning. I'm tentatively hopeful that this weekend will be a pretty productive time overall.
>>4404080>>4404393I suppose that I'll support this.
We are now tied 5-5 between giving Matsuda the duel he wants and trying to talk him into your camp.
Friendly reminder this faggot is half the reason we had such a long recovery arc. Let him die on his own terms facing Alberich openly to make amends. I can't state enough how convenient it was that he, one of the loose-ends we need to clean up before facing Odin, just stepped forward to fight as soon as Alberich became strong enough to kill him.Also the cast needs to be slimmed down and this is prime time to start. He can keep Judas company in Alberich's mind if we want to chat with him again.
>>4406207What is it with you murderhobos and the mindset that "casts need to be slimmed down"?Besides, we stand to gain nothing by killing Matsuda here other than the satisfaction of killing a weak foe. If we spare him now we can wait until we get a Caster or Ayaka back before figuratively and literally stabbing him in the back.Also I'd much father deny him any satisfaction in death and have Adelheid turn him to paste with an explosion. He has the right to be told of his wrongdoings before we kill him at least.
>>4406216He's not going to back down without a fight just because Alberich asks him to. He never has and never will. I don't want to go over the ludicrous logistics of restraining an enemy servant for an extended period of time when we don't even have Kourakuhime around yet, much less Ayaka.And while I don't like him enough to want to jump through a thousand hoops to spare him/wait for us to find Ayaka, I do think his stepping forward (probably behind his master's back) to resolve the conflict is enough of a courtesy that dying on his own terms is reasonable.Plus Alberich's begun growing out of his "must capture and domesticate everyone" phase in the interest of expediency which is a trend I generally approve of.
>>4406207Personally, I get the feeling that either way were going to end up fighting and fully support trying to eat him if we do, I just like the Idea of rubbing it in his face that at any point he could've come to us and we would've welcomed him like a brother and sought a means of securing our continued existence together, but instead he continually chose to antagonize us for pointless fights in the name of masters who only want to use him as a pawn while seething impotently against it.
>>4406224Matsuda is our brother though.Not somebody to be domesticated. Just a misguided fool on the wrong path.What sort of a message does it send to our sister if we reveal ourselves to be so happy with his death for making a mistake? If she's hiding from us out of fear or shame, killing this Wuxia looking fuck isn't going to be much help.We can also probably get Medusa to set up a highly localized Bloodfort for if we capture him and he continues being a jerk.
>>4406227>I just like the Idea of rubbing it in his face that at any point he could've come to us and we would've welcomed him like a brother and sought a means of securing our continued existence togetherEh, that's not a bad justification but I still prefer the more somber approach.Also completely unrelated but rereading K-hime's Golden Rule description got me thinking of how much cash she'd be milking from simps if she made an Onlyfans account. Frightening, really.
So what if Kourakuhime killed and disguised herself as Ogawara to assume a perfect disguise?
>>4406234>What sort of a message does it send to our sister if we reveal ourselves to be so happy with his death for making a mistake?He literally went to the trouble of finding Alberich in the middle of the day to ask for a 1v1 fight to the death. Obliging him and offering to carry out his will should he have one is hardly cruel.
>>4406241That would be kind of a bitch move, but not much worse than Alberich treated Rushorou
>>4406244Obliging's good and all, honestly if it weren't so late in the vote i'd be pushing to combine the two, it does have the benefit of making it clear if Tsubaki does happen to be watching in that his death was something he actively tried to seek out and ultimately brought on himself and that we (probably) aren't going to kill her over a single major screw up when she had been assisting us while he was actively trying to get one of us to kill the other.
>>4406237Members' only N*co-N*co streams, anon. The otaku yen just rolls in.
>>4406131Kinda hate to say it, but of all the times anon's can't make up their minds... If we're still tied when you get the next opportunity to write go ahead and flip mine, I still prefer my current vote for reasons previously stated, but i'd rather not keep things on gridlock forever just to get what I want.
>>4407700That's unfortunate.We only need one more person and we can try to make him realize what he's been doing this whole time.I don't really understand the resistance to it either, since he'll probably aggro us afterwards anyway, it just makes Alberich genuinely care for his siblings.
>>4404080>[ ] Fine. If Matsuda wants to die so much you'll oblige him. Materialize your armor and take him on with your blade against his.To me it's pretty clear that all he cares about is fighting us to the death. I don't know how he could have made that any more clear. Talking to a rabid dog like him is a waste of time.
>>4408179A rabid dog would've just attacked rather than waiting for a good opportunity. He has a sense of honor as well, as limited as it may be.Talking to him could very well end up being a waste of time in the sense of how the encounter ends up, but not for how Alberich develops as a person.
>>4408195Honestly main reason I don't have an issue conceding is depending on how the fight goes in the next update(s) we could still squeeze some character development in. Perhaps other anon's might find it more palatable if instead of leaving ourselves open again and doing it before the fight like we're hoping to recruit someone whose attacked us twice before and clearly starting to lose it, we instead beat him and take a moment to give it as a 'eulogy' to our brother and former friend.
>>4408264>take a moment to give it as a 'eulogy' to our brother and former friendThat would be fine with me. I just know Matsuda would be fed up with Alberich's broken record "join me" speech. He's too much of a meathead to take it seriously.
>>4408281Although for future posterity's sake, if we go this route I support giving it -after- we secure the kill; last thing we need is to give it while he's bleeding out, just for him to take the opportunity to weasel his way out with that restart skill.
>>4408311>weasel his way out with that restart skillI think it's more likely that Harris will try to yank him away if he's about to go down.What is Harris up to anyhow? Although it's not like it's new for him to lose track of his servant.
So, after we were tied I ended up getting called away for work today. Things seem to have been resolved now though, so barring a switch of the votes in the next 8 hours I should get an update done sometime tomorrow morning.
I want to teach Matsuda what he's doing wrong.But I also want to punish him.Hmm
>>4408671I was sort of expecting this to drum up some discussion. Guess this players for this quest just aren't what they used to be.
>>4409029How long have you been away, anon? We don't have the numbers we used to, that's certainly true.
>>4409037A while now I suppose.It's like all the player enthusiasm is just gone.What happened? It's like activity just dropped off a cliff.>>4404393Unless somebody can convince me otherwise I'll vote for giving the guy one last chance.
>>4409050A lot of things happened. One plot development after another made players angry and they dropped the quest. Pacing slowed during the Shapeless Isle arc and the recovery arc, and that made some people drop the quest. I haven't been able to post every day for a while, and that probably made some people drop the quest as well. I can't point to any one cause, but player enthusiasm and count both seem to be the lowest they've ever been. I'm just hoping that my work system evens out soon and if I can get back to doing regular updates things will pick up a bit.
>>4409050Giving him another chance is a waste of time. All he cares about is fighting us. It's not because he's loyal to his master or the church. He just wants to test himself against us. He doesn't care if he dies or Alberich dies. He just wants to fight and telling him what he already knows about his origin is an absolute waste of time.
>>4409075But does he know he's trying to kill his brother though?He's a delinquent type, so family ties should be fairly important to him.
>>4409075We don't know what exactly Matsuda knows, he should be given a final chance to make his decision after we know he's been informed.
>>4409081Yes.>>4409102He's aware of the entire situation though.
>>4409119He's not though is he?Odds are he's not had the talk from Judas or alternatively refused to listen to him.We've strangely always avoided the brother card when dealing with him.What's your problem with giving him the choice?
>>4409119How could he be aware of Alberich believing that they're siblings?Even if he talked with Judas after seeing himself sleeping in his own bed theres no reason to think he'd see Kourakuhime as his sister or Alberich as his brother, especially if he didn't talk to Judas multiple times.
>>4409124>>4409125I highly doubt it would change anything anyway. His mind is made up about fighting us. He's aware that we were all created through Akeldama and he doesn't see us as a brother. Or maybe he does and he still wants to kill us. Pulling the onii-chan card on him won't change how he feels.
>>4409140As it stands though we can fucking trash him.He's only after a death match because he has no purpose or hopes otherwise. As far as he knows he can die on Harris' terms or die on his own terms.
>>4409140If you think he's going to attack either way, what's the problem with trying to talk him down then?
>>4409154I think alot are going for because trying just for him to 'lol nah' and get off a first strike without our armor on would just end up being a repeat the manticore incident; assuming his status as 'lancer of imaginary numbers' isn't just for show and his spear can bypass our armor's invincibility despite 'merely' making it equivalent to steel plate, steel is still better than flesh and bone and we've seen how well that holds up the last time we fought.
>>4409201Matsuda isn't strong enough to completely blindside us if he decides to attack us from his current position.I could understand wanting to get the first strike if he was hiding though.
>>4409214He may be weaker than us but he's still kitted out towards skill based combat than raw stats, we're in a confined space, he's (slightly) faster and his noble phantasm's effect is still unknown to us. In addition a huge amount of our advantages depend on our equipment we currently don't have on and summoning them is likely to provoke him to attack regardless of if we're done talking.I still like the idea but we need a stronger argument if we're going to get him to hear us out much less consider abandoning the goal he's had since leaving Akeldama, but the only thing I can come up with that might not end in us fighting him here is attempting to somehow redirect him into suiciding against Odin.
>>4409221We can tell him that with the help of our sister he can live independently of Harris.I didn't put it in my vote since I thought getting Matsuda in a mood to talk was more immediate.
>>4409223Trouble is that assumes he isn't just planning on going out in a blaze of glory, original Matsuda's thing was that his life lost purpose because he ran out of people worth fighting, even if he does join us for something like eternal life plus sparring considering our method of growth, how long will that satisfy him before he slides right back into when our raw power eventually eclipses any amount of skill he could ever hope to aquire? I feel if we're really going to convince him we need to find someone or something to redirect him towards instead of us and we're kinda running short on those we know of (in character) at the moment
>>4409240The only thing I can think of that would benefit us is if we convinced him to team up with us until we can fight with Ayaka around. He always did like making us stronger back in Akeldama, if he so set on dying then it might as well matter.
>>4409240Matsuda has yet to reach the pinnacle of his potential in martial arts, and when he does he'll be a tough fight for Alberich even while he grows stronger.We could tell him that if he joins us we can give him opponents to fight and if they're too weak then he can fight us instead.It seems like a nice deal since we'd get even stronger from fighting him, and he'd get a challenging fight.We still have Circe, Assassin, The Church, and Harris to deal with after Matsuda, and his anti-magic spear could come in handy during any of those encounters, but whether he'd consider them good fights or not isn't something I'm sure of at the moment.
>>4409256>>4409267How are you going to get around Harris' command seals? K-hime isn't around and our contact might just be Ogawara larping as her.
>>4409347He used 1 to pull Matsuda away from Medusa, so at the most he has 2 left.Matsuda should be able to resist one if he's at full strength, so unless the situation is dire for Harris he should be able to get away with some insubordination.We could have Matsuda attack Harris and go look for Kourakuhime and have her link him to the leylines afterward. Matsuda can last a few hours even without a source of energy can't he? So even if we don't find Kourakuhime with this decision we'd still be able to give him a fight before he vanishes if we can't convince him to eat people.We could also attempt to sever his connection forcefully with our magic and connect him ro either us or Lily.And there's always the option of having Matsuda just wait until we meet Kourakuhime again and go deal with Harris immediately afterward.Harris doesn't watch his Servants that closely either, so he likely won't use the command seals unless they're to accomplish otherwise impossible feats.
>>4409398>Matsuda should be able to resist one if he's at full strengthHis stat-sheet says his Magic Resistance is E so I don't think he's resisting something that powerful. OG Saber and Astolfo had way higher MR and barely eked out a saving throw. I wouldn't expect Harris to be conservative in his use of command seals or careless of his Servant to the point where he'd let his second get yoinked by the same guy who yoinked his first. And when it came to stealing Servants Alberich always had K-hime helping; I don't think he's good enough to sever a command seal contract on his own.And since Harris has his own plans brewing leaving Matsuda alone for a while should give the former enough time to prepare some new trick that's cheap enough for the latter to want nothing to do with it.This leaves too much to chance and is asking for trouble.
>>4409500Alberich definitely has the ability to sever Matsuda's contract, whether he'll be able to with his skill level is unknown, but with all his experience with master-servant contracts I'm willing to bet he'd be able to do it right now, if Matsuda lets him.Harris sees his Servants as eyesores since he can fight alone, he left Matsuda up to his own devices and probably wouldn't care if he dies either, he'd see it as an advantage since he wouldn't have an unpredictable spirit leeching his Magical Energy all the time.And like I said, Matsuda could just attack Harris or feign obedience until we meet Kourakuhime again, he won't vanish immediately once disconnected from Harris' magical energy.Even if Harris used the last command seals to have Matsuda attack Alberich, we win the fight anyway, and Matsuda would eventually run out of energy and disappear.So long as we're vigilant around him there's not much danger.
It looks like this is pretty much settled, then. Sorry to drop out of the thread again; I should be able to get this update posted this evening.
Alright, time to face reality. This just isn't working with the way my work is right now.Instead of stringing you folks along any more, looking for time between projects to try and write every day and never finding it, the way I have been, what I'm going to do is put the quest on hiatus until September 1. Starting on September 1 I will be posting daily updates again, I absolutely promise. I'll note this on my twitter as well, so it's visible once the thread goes down.
>>4412787Works for me
>>4412787You gotta do what you gotta do, good luck, those of us here are in for the long haul at this point and we'll still be here when you get back just keep us posted.
Aren't we tied?