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/qst/ - Quests

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You are Anon, a 6’2” albino man of exceptional strength and magical energy who can remember only faint vestiges of his past, is unaware of his real name, and is a Master in the Akeldama Great Holy Grail War, which is taking place in a city in an artificial world called Akeldama. Your Servant is Avenger of Red, a winged girl wielding considerably powerful magic who has declined to tell you her true name so far. Most recently you and Avenger fought against an Archer-class Amazon and the diminutive Kuro no Berserker before they unexpectedly broke off their attack, and you have reason to believe Sun Wukong could level your base soon if he lays waste to the area with his Noble Phantasm, Ruyi Jingu Bang.

First thread: https://archived.moe/qst/thread/5331278/
Subsequent threads: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Low+Speed+Anti+Divine+QM
Reference for Servant (and other related) stat-blocks: https://pastebin.com/5mPbUP4G
Things have gotten pretty wild, and every second’s going to count. Even so, rushing into battle without thinking things through would probably end badly against an opponent as tough as Sun Wukong. Turning to Matsuda, you ask him, “Ryuuta, you know his legend pretty well: do you remember how Wukong lost when he fought the gods? Maybe it could give us some ideas on how to fight him.”

Rubbing his chin, the young man answered, “Well, the guy who gave him the most trouble was Erlang Shen. He was strong enough to match Wukong blow for blow and could keep up with his transformations, though he didn’t actually win until after Laozi chucked a ring at the back of Wukong’s head to stun him and his dog bit Wukong’s leg to help pin him down.”

Perhaps Avenger’s hounds could give Wukong a bad time if you could find an opening for them to get in close, though you’re not sure what to do with that tidbit about throwing a ring at his head. Then again, maybe you were overthinking this. You don’t have to reenact his exact defeat from the mythology, because he’s a Servant right now; Servants have limitations that the heroes themselves wouldn’t have had in life, such as a reliance on a Master to sustain their manifestation. Though what’s this about Wukong having transformations? He didn’t seem to use anything like that last time, maybe he didn’t feel the need?

Reaching into your pocket to find the telepathy-crystal, you reply to Ryuuta, “Thanks, that gave me an idea or two. I’ll check with Truvietianne to see how things are up there.”

“A wise decision, provided the situation isn’t too dire.” Caster of Black commented, throwing you a little for a loop. Are you supposed to already know one way or the other for sure? You have half a mind to tell him to explain these things to you rather than make passive observations.

Intuitively sending a request for response through the crystal, you promptly hear the girl reply, “Good afternoon Einzbern, I suppose the spectacle has caught your attention?”

Her voice was calm, leading you to believe the destruction hadn’t levelled your base yet. You respond, “It has. I considered coming up right away, but decided it’d be better to hear your assessment first.”

“I’m relieved you didn’t jump the gun, that may have thrown off my plan for dealing with Wukong.” She explained, “He’s been preoccupied fighting the berserk Archer that your acquaintance ‘Abraxas’ warned you about, and that Archer’s been making a pretty good account of himself; his speed and reflexes in particular outclass every other Servant I’ve seen. I plan to have my Lancer assassinate Wukong when an opportunity presents itself, but if more Servants entered the battle out of the blue he’d be harder to catch off guard.”

“Sending your Servant alone is a pretty big risk, are you sure you don’t want to call him back so we can work out a coordinated attack?” You suggest.
“As he is now, trying to overwhelm Wukong with sheer numbers isn’t going to work.” She answered, “But my Lancer’s spear weakened his immorality before, so another decisive hit from it should seal the deal and make him really vulnerable.”

“Remember though, that’s not the only way to beat him. Since he’s a Servant, he’ll be in no position to continue fighting us if we capture his Master. Do you have any idea where he is? Maybe we could ask Jen to track him down.” You put forward as an option.

“Einzbern, it’s the middle of the day. It’s really not safe for Jen to move under the light of the sun.” She replied in a chiding tone, irking you a little, though you suppose she just cares about Jen’s wellbeing. It’s not that you don’t care, but it seems to you that the sun in this artificial world shouldn’t be as damaging to vampires as the sun from the real world. Piquing your interest, Anne continues, “Fortunately that’s a bit of a moot point, as Wukong’s Master has actually been relatively close to him this entire time.”

“He has? What does he look like?” You ask, rightly assuming the Master is a man by chance.

“He appears to be a priest from the Eastern Orthodox Church, though I suspect he’s something like their equivalent of an Executor as well.” The noble lady replies, though you don’t know much about what the Eastern Orthodox Church or ‘Executors’ are. You suppose that of the two, the latter is more obscure.

“I still think we should come back up there, but we’ll teleport directly inside the base to avoid detection.” You propose as a middle-ground for the time being, “We ought to at least evacuate Koko and Suzaku to down here in case things take a turn for the worse.”

“Hmm… fair enough.” She assents, “That massive pillar’s being swung around a little too close for comfort. See you soon.”

Setting the crystal back into your pocket and addressing your Servant, you say, “Avenger, I want us to discreetly return to our base in the north. If you teleport us directly inside the building, would we be able to avoid detection from the nearby Servants?”

“Shouldn’t be a problem.” She replies simply.

“Great!” You respond, relieved and impressed at the consistent effectiveness and versatility of your Servant’s abilities, “The first thing we’ll do when we get back is evacuate at least Koko and Suzaku to this area, then we’ll wipe out as many hostile Servants near our old base as we can, though we’ll probably prioritize ensuring Sun Wukong is neutralized.”
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“In that case, my skills would be better suited here.” Caster of Black says as he takes out his pipe and sits on a nearby bench, “Open battle isn’t my forte, and if the teacher and project manager are to be immediately relocated it’d be for the best to have someone guard them here while you’re fighting. You and your Servant could go up there and send them right back to us, while we settle on a spot to set up camp and finalize the spells of concealment.”

Spells of concealment, eh? That must be what suppressed your ability to sense nearby Servants per the standard situation; it seems the defenses he’s setting up here are geared toward going unnoticed. However, you’re getting the impression Caster could be underselling his power to avoid revealing it to the rest of you in these early stages. Or maybe he actually is kind of weak in a direct fight.

“I doubt he could scheme anything here that I couldn’t swiftly unravel, but if you want to drag him along you’ll have my support, Master.” Avenger quips to you over telepathy.

Before you teleport back, will you:
> Go along with the Caster’s suggestion and leave him and his Master there, then teleport Koko and Suzaku back to them right after you and Avenger find them.
> Insist everyone goes back together (give reason(s) why).

> Go along with the Caster’s suggestion and leave him and his Master there, then teleport Koko and Suzaku back to them right after you and Avenger find them.

Welcome back LSAD, damn, seems Wukong's Master is gonna be a tougher nut to crack than I expected but perhaps still doable. We'll need to take advantage of the Servants being at battle and still likely need to come along with Jen since I don't think a 2(?) Day old not!True Ancestor/Dead Apostle is gonna last against a trained monster hunter.

Oh and I dunno if I can go for it but

>Write-in: "I'll go along with this plan for the time being, but I shouldn't have to remind you that a Servant that's got to utilize more than the simpler tricks in their arsenal. Once you have Koko and Suzaku cleared, should do well to run some sort of distraction for dealing with the Lancer's Master. But I'll say!: Avenger has taught me that a Servant willing and able to use whatever it takes to win this war is worth it's weight in gold. You're a crafty geezer, but who knows? Perhaps you'll prove me wrong."

I wanna see if we can plant some bait that we can see Odin take this battle here seriously. He's been plenty helpful but We know that He knows He's pulling punches. Not expecting him to go for Divine Authority hacks here, but I wanna nudge him towards a proper show of force.

I'm still holding to my plan of disabling Wukong's Master and jacking his command seals to control him or forcing him to kill himself. I dunno if it's the eight path, but I know shit is about to get messy
>Go along with the Caster’s suggestion and leave him and his Master there, then teleport Koko and Suzaku back to them right after you and Avenger find them.
And I support asking our good friend who is definitely not Odin to provide a distraction, as >>5625331 says.
As for Wukong himself, I think the best plan here is to nullify his immortalities with Harpe and let the berserk Archer deal with his clones.
Avenger is versatile enough to contain most of his transformations and we can (maybe) help kill the Master.
Alright, I can do something with that
>seems Wukong's Master is gonna be a tougher nut to crack than I expected
Heт пpoблeм, мoй бpaт.
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Forgot pic

Alright under a new id utilizing my skill as Hassan of a Thousand IP Addresses. So while waiting for LSAD let's get down what we know of Anon's identity and perhaps what it is that happened with him alongside where he stands

>Woke up without any memories of not only his own life but not even knowing his name
>Big, Strong and Albino enough that Truvi has taken to calling us Einzbern due to how we look like a Homunculus having physical prowess beyond a regular human
>An insane level of Mana output able to keep Avenger supplied with energy for pulling off attacks
>Upon meeting Hitlerita there's mention of Deja Vu affecting the both when coming across one another
>Abraxas' "Ur of the Chaldeans" comment
>The moment just now where we note how Caster knows more than he let's on and how things've happened before

So from the evidence so far my guess is that Anon is likely what "Adajio" plans to utilize for the Grail's vessel but something about it has gone awry enough that He or something else has trapped us in some sort of timeloop so we don't reach to summoning the Grail ourselves. What interests me most however is of course

>Dual Elemental affinity for Ether and True Ether

THIS is what interests me most. We've barely scratched the surface on what is a potential busted amd unique usage of Magrcraft that only we'd be pulling off more or less. Depending on how we grow and should we get out of here having gotten the wizard training under Circe and possibly Odin we'll have sealing designations slapped right on us. Making Jen alone is likely something that'll spook a Magus who properly understands this a bit. I can't wait until we deal with that and Origin bullshit, Anon is shaping to be a peculiar figure given the time he is in. I'm betting we have something very off about our existence as a whole


I must do the Balkanoids I know well and slay this man brutally and without regret

GODDAMNIT IT DIDN'T ACTIVATE. Oh well guess I don't have to do the gag for the time being
Good recap!
If you started namefagging I would not hold it against you

Thanks LSAD, yeah I figure I'll do some namefagging so by the time I roll around to mine own quest people'll note the name. Got the Servant Pool and a number of the Masters made so it's a matter of equipping them and giving flesh to bone

Having had some sleep and time to think I have concocted Three possible explainations as to what Anon could be

>Option 1: He is an actual Einzbern Homunculus that had managed to break from his captivity

>Option 2: He's a being created by the World/Alaya ala Enkidu in order to shut things down for the Akeldama War

>Option 3(aka my personal theory): A First Magic related Causa Sui that's managed to form a personality and being thanks to a mix of the Grail and some sacrificed schmuck

I dunno where LSAD will take it but I'm open to hearing other theories on what our deal is exactly.
Option 1, I somewhat doubt. The Einzbern are obsessed with recovering the Third Magic and that stands at odds with returning to the past (for the same reason Medea can't use any of the five True Magics). Not to mention, do they have the alchemical know-how to hybridize Ether and True Ether without one destroying the other?
Option 2 is possible, but usually the Human Order just summons a Servant or empowers regular humans. It would be very unusual if Anon were purpose-built just for this one crisis.
Option 3 seems most likely to me, but maybe not the First specifically. Could Anon have something to do with the original Third Magician?

An Option 4, the obvious guess, is that Anon was created by Triscus for some purpose. He has the magical know-how and prowess to construct an entire artificial world, as well as the fine control over the Grail (and mana supply) needed to organize a deviant Grail War with a different victory condition: retrieve the Masters' coins and place them in the Lesser Grail (thread 3).

I went with the guess Anon has relation to the Firat instead of the Third Magic/Magician due to a particular but out of the wiki

>Though the exact domain of the First Magic is uncertain, it is related to the generation of Ether clumps, which have been called "materialized nothing."

I like to think Anon wasn't so much "Created" by another being so much as that he likely chased for the Root, reaching but being utterly annihilated so the person who Anon was Dr. Manhattan'd himself back together from said Ether Clumps but with the side effects of

A. No memories
B. While high in potential, not a proper Magus
C. Ended up in the middle of a Grail War modified by someone else
D. The Ether Affinities

Unless we do something like refilling a mana battery completely full within a few seconds, or if you wanna try dying for an Immortality Test I doubt that we're related to the Third Magician and Third Magic. I'm stickimg to my theory of The First since it's an underexplored one compared to the Third or the Second Magics
Finding time to write in the next couple days may prove a bit difficult, letting you know in advance. Some progress has been made at least.
Just need to make a couple final adjustments before posting the update tomorrow (on Easter, ironically. The overseer's probably up to something interesting).
Caster of Black’s thought process is sound, but you really can’t shake the feeling that he’s been holding back a lot of his power. With the intention of prodding him into helping, you answer the old man, “I'll go along with your plan for now, but I shouldn't have to remind you that a Servant’s got to utilize more than the simpler tricks in their arsenal. Once you have Koko and Suzaku in the clear, you’d do well to run some sort of distraction for dealing with Wukong's Master. I'll say this: Avenger’s taught me that a Servant willing and able to use whatever it takes to win this war is worth his or her weight in gold. You're a crafty geezer, but who knows? Perhaps you'll prove me wrong."

“Well well, you’ve gotten a bit of a mouth to you after all.” The old man remarked in a tone that you weren’t sure how to interpret. It sounded as though it could have either been annoyance or grudging respect. He calmly continues, “I’ll take it under advisement.”

That’ll have to be good enough for now. “Let’s go, Avenger.” You say.

“Of course, Master.” She answered, preparing the teleportation, “We’ll appear in the building’s lobby and find them from there.”

Fortunately for you, everyone other than Perseus was already there when you arrived, though it worried you slightly that Koko, Suzaku, Rushorou, and Truvietianne were hunkered down with Lancer of Red standing in a guarded stance. You immediately ask, “Is everyone alright?”

“We are, we’re just being cautious on account of the gunfire.” Rushorou replied, “A few stray bullets have passed through the building, it seems Wukong’s Master is being pursued by zombies armed with automatic rifles.”

That’s peculiar; you’d gotten the impression that Wukong was somehow allied with the enigmatic Dead Apostle leader “Master Karture” since the former conveniently arrived on the scene right after Jen killed off that Anton Kagan guy. Maybe they had a falling out since then?

“I left that teleportation circle open both ways for anyone who’s got no place on a battlefield.” Avenger declared as she pointed at the circle you and she appeared in. Addressing Koko and Suzaku, she continued, “And by that I mean at least the two of you. It’ll take you to the delinquent boy and his Caster in a quieter part of town.”

“Thanks… Avenger-san, right?” Suzaku said as he led Koko toward the red, glowing magic circle on the floor, “Be careful everyone!”

“Yep, we’ll see all of you again! No dying allowed!” Koko added, having put up a cheerful front in spite of the dire circumstances. Before stepping into the circle, she turned around and asked, “Aren’t you coming, Jen?”
Someone wearing a coat, long pants, a sunhat, a scarf, aviator sunglasses, and a facemask that makes the word ‘pandemic’ pop into your mind when you see it replied, “I’m not: I want to see what’s been going on with my own eyes.” You can’t help but start cracking up when you realize Jen’s countermeasure for sunlight is to wear a bunch of layers of clothing to minimize the exposure.

“Then the same rule about not dying applies to you too!” Koko chirped as she and Suzaku were teleported back to where Ryuuta and his Caster were waiting.

“Oi, quick snickering.” Jen grumpily said to you after they left, “It’s not my fault I have an inconvenient allergy.”

“Sorry, I just hadn’t really expected you to come up with a workaround like that.” You say as you tamp down on your laughter.

Truvi replied, “You missed the part where she applied heavy-duty sunscreen-, damn it, we have to get out there now!” She promptly ran out of the building as swiftly as she could.

“Perseus probably made his move, we’d better go too.” You quickly tell your Servant before you exit the building and run after the Edelfelt Master. Avenger, Rushorou, his Lancer, and Jen quickly follow, with Truvi leading the five of you about a block before you find Perseus leaning on his spear with a round crater crushed into his chest above his heart. It also appears he’d been blasted through a building, given the hole in a nearby structure that he would have been able to fit through.

“You don’t look so good Lancer, you gonna make it?” Jen asked him as she helped him steady himself, having rushed to his side more quickly than even his Master had.

Avenger clarified as she began to make a potion, “His Spirit Core’s taken damage. We’ll need to act quickly-”

“HOLD THE FUCK UP!” You heard the voice of Sun Wukong shout. Standing atop the building with the cavity blown through it, he appeared fairly disheveled with a new wound on his right shoulder as he looked down at you and announced, “Looks like we’ve drawn quite a crowd, but I’m making sure he’s going back to the Throne of Heroes now! I’ll let you all off easy if you don’t interfere.”

“Do you think we’re idiots? ‘Letting us off easy’ just means you’ll attack again after you’ve recovered your strength.” Avenger replied, “I’d rather just wipe you out now, monkey-king Wukong.”

“Guessed my name, have you? Right I go by Qitian Dasheng, actually!” Wukong spat back as he readied his staff.

“The Great Sage Equaling the Heavens? And he doesn’t have the ring around his head that Sanzang used to keep him in line.” You heard Rushorou mutter, “He must have been summoned in the state where he was fighting against the Heavenly Realm.”
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Taking a close look at the monkey-king, you can intuit from the scrying ability that the Master-Servant contract gave you that he has a ludicrously powerful immortality ability that’s been largely sealed by Perseus’ spear. Yeesh, he’s bad enough now, you definitely wouldn’t want to have to deal with him when he automatically resists more than half of all incoming damage, quickly heals whatever damage he takes, and won’t drop dead from normally fatal wounds. And of course you can’t forget that he can clone himself too! What kind of cheating powerset is this!? You really need to find his Master.

Saving you at least that much headache, a man in dark robes covered in red markings revealed himself at Wukong’s side, followed by an unarmed clone of Wukong (who had the same wounds on his forearm and shoulder that Perseus inflicted on the main Wukong), Caster of Red, who appeared to be a girl in a shrine-maiden outfit with a giant suit of armor at her side, and a little girl cradled in the arms of the walking armor, possibly the Caster’s Master. The man in the robes advised Wukong, “Not too fast, пoжaлyйcтa*. We need to stay together!”

*[pronounced ‘pozhaluista’, for those who can’t read Cyrillic]

“Heehee, thanks for the ride, Zan-kun!” The little girl giggled as the suit of armor gently set her down.

“You guys better make the best of the opening I made for you.” Perseus grunted through his labored breathing.

As much as you’d love to, there were quite a few obstacles now. Most obvious was that the enemy Master was on the roof of a building, but if you wanted to scale it a simple spell from Avenger could resolve that issue. Or maybe blow the building up? More pressing was the fact that in terms of ready first-class combatants, you may be outnumbered. Wukong and his clone made two, and Caster of Red and her suit of armor would make four against your Avenger and Rushorou’s Lancer of Red. Although, Caster of Red herself doesn’t actually look any stronger than you or Jen if Avenger amplified your strength, but her suit of armor is probably a different story. Perseus probably wasn’t in good enough shape to fight right now; perhaps the potion Avenger prepared would alleviate that. Though the issue there is that Wukong would probably press the attack the instant she tried to toss it over. What happened to the other Servants that were fighting them, anyway? Did Wukong beat them? Hopefully at least the berserk Archer will come charging back soon. Dark clouds slowly started gathering above you, as though to signal impending doom.

Rushorou whispered to you, “If your Servant could do some wide-area attacks to either scatter them or force the Servants to tank the hits, my Lancer could push the real Wukong back long enough to buy us an opportunity. We may need to go after the Masters; I’ll have your back.”
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Reassured by the boy’s willingness to step forward, you decide to:

> Following Rushorou’s suggestion, Avenger will shoot some wide-area attacks to scatter their backline or force the Servants to block it while Lancer of Red holds back Wukong. Then you’ll have Avenger enhance you, Jen, and Rushorou, and the four of you will to try to push through to the Masters. Before you go Avenger can lay the potion down for Truvietianne to administer to Perseus.
> Your opening move will be for Avenger to blow out the building’s supports, then proceed “you’ll have Avenger enhance you, Jen…” as above.
> Wukong’s defenses are lowered pretty drastically, and he can’t heal the two wounds Perseus dealt him at all. Avenger should try to suppress the enemy Masters with a few spells and summoned beasts, but focus on taking down the real Wukong with Lancer of Red’s help.
> Something else (write-in)
I should have offered a diplomacy option too, in hindsight. If you want to try don't assume I'll reject the request.

Also kicking myself because "Right I go by..." in >>5632438 should read "Right now I go by..."

> Following Rushorou’s suggestion, Avenger will shoot some wide-area attacks to scatter their backline or force the Servants to block it while Lancer of Red holds back Wukong. Then you’ll have Avenger enhance you, Jen, and Rushorou, and the four of you will to try to push through to the Masters. Before you go Avenger can lay the potion down for Truvietianne to administer to Perseus.
>Write in: Have Avenger utilize ice as a means to immobilize and slow down the Masters and Servants to make the job of killing them much easier

>The Little Girl


I thought I knew what to expect of the War, the Masters shouldn't be too bad. But now we have fucking Kiara here

Oh another idea

>Write in: Send Jen first in to get in range of the Priest for a first strike and we'll follow along, before launching our attack Truvi and Rush should go for distracting the Master and Servant with talk so we can pry what all they know and dealt with in the War so we can prepare accordingly later. Get an idea for the man and the now present girl

We'll need a proper mix to stall for time and actually reach the Masters. Given that we are likely outnumbered and outgunned the name of the game currently is movement and position. There's no way we're gonna be able to take them all head on so we'll have to be quick in targeting the Priest himself since as Wukong's Master he holds the strongest guy in immediate position to kill us.

But should we find that the priest IS flexible enough and IS unorthodox(ironically given the faith) in how he goes about things and pragmatic, we could try and rope him and the new kid into an alliance of convenience to deal with some of the other threatening elements we've been getting hints of.

Either way. Wukong is currently about as weak as he may be so we've got to be sure whichever way we go, we pull a win out of this in some way
>I thought I knew what to expect of the War
I've been looking forward to introducing these characters for quite a while now.
I'm not sure how exactly you want to implement that write-in. Are Jen and you supposed to try to sneak up on them when they can see the two of you right now? Any reasonable person would cease dialogue if some of the opposing combatants starting moving around without explanation. I should also note that currently Perseus isn't feeling too great and his condition is gradually worsening, but if Avenger were to hand the potion over or Anne were to use a Command Spell to repair his Reiki, that would probably be considered an act of hostility. He does have Battle Continuation B so a little damage to his Spirit Core isn't going to kill him right away, but he can't just shrug it off like it's nothing either.

Well shit if they can see us forget what I said. We should go for dialogue and hold them until perhaps the other Servants are closer by, if Ashwatthama is within sufficent range we then unleash an attack and bait Ash into attacking Wukong as a distraction to further weather away and keep Wukong busy when we do go for the Masters. The dialogue will help us determine wether they're able to be worked with or not, if they can we point out the other near by Servants that we'll try and deal with or if there's no way there'll be compromise we'll have to try and be quick about killing or capturing unless we wanna just hightail it with however many other potential enemies are behind us.

I knew shit'd be a mess but man, I may have underestimated our situation
I would have said something earlier, but I was fucking exhausted all of yesterday. Any particular talking-points you want to voice when stalling?

Also if anyone's lurking don't feel shy about giving input or voting for something else if you think it's a good idea.

I was thinking something along the lines of

>1. Find out who the two are and how they themselves ended up in this situation in the first place

>2. Get an idea for what it is that they've dealt with so far between enemy Masters and Servants

>3. Figure out the ratio between the Workability and the potential that the Priest and Child try and kill or betray us down the line

>4. Try and see if they can be convinced to throw their lot in with us so we can combine forces and win the War faster

Basically for stalling it'll be to figure out just who our guy is as another Servant is getting closer to either pressure him into alliance with us or to relieve pressure off of us by baiting Ashva into attacking Wukong and we either make our escape or gank the Priest.
>Something else:
Stall for time by negotiating with the enemy Masters, then have Avenger raise a barrier when Ash reaches us. Proceed with "Avenger should try to suppress...", but also have Lancer of Red fight Wukong.
Sorry for the late response. Please feel free to take Hassan's vote if you can't combine ours.
They're similar enough that there shouldn't be a problem.
I'm finding that this is the second time that Anon resorted to negotiating in bad faith when facing questionable odds... hmm...

Hey so long as it works, sometimes when you're in a bind the best option is to cheat and play dirtier than the other guy.

Besides! The Grail War is a War like any other. And winning a War above all requires a good blend of deception and force, and Avenger is built around such a strategy. Besides! There's an out for them in working with us, not so unreasonable that we obliterate the two on the spot when they can be much more effective together. The civvies have been a welcome pair of hands in trying out some things the other mages involved wouldn't think to, plus Jen who's gonna have an interesting arc I feel
“Wait. Berserk Archer.” You whisper just loud enough for the young man to hear your response. He seemed sharp enough that he could take your meaning from it.

“Just a moment, if you would!” You say as you raise your hands gently and address Kuro no Lancer’s Master, “Let’s not be hasty, Father.”

“Hasty?” The man in robes echoed in curiosity.

“You wanna sue for peace right after your chum tried to assassinate me?” Wukong (or Qitian Dasheng as he called himself) asked rhetorically, “Quit dreamin’, retard!”

That’s the first time someone was blunt enough to straight up call you a retard. It stung a little, even though you knew Wukong had an abrasive personality. Maybe the dark clouds gathering overhead were dampening your mood, but you continue in an even tone, “We could miss the bigger picture if we let things get out of hand, please hear us out.”

“Do you seriously think I don’t know stalling when-, what?” Wukong responded, before looking at the bearded man at his side for confirmation and asking, “You’re cool with it, Master?”

“Da.” The hooded priest confirms with a nod, before addressing you in a slow and methodical tone, probably to make his intention clear through his accent, “But I require small concessions from you.”

“Go on.” You say.

Pointing at Avenger, he instructed, “First, shatter that glass on the ground.”

“Fine.” She said as she tossed the potion vial onto the asphalt, shattering it, before telling you telepathically “I can easily make another one.”

“Now to get the ‘big picture’ as you say, tell us your names, a few details about yourselves, and how you came here.” The priest instructed, “Then we shall do the same.”

“And you lose points if you’re boring!” The little girl next to Caster of Red piped in. At this point you noticed that she seemed to have a few markings reminiscent of tattoos on her forehead and neck, though you had no idea of their significance.

“Points?” You repeat, hoping the girl is just joking around.

“I’ll start then.” Rushorou asserted. Hopefully he and Truvi can buy you enough time to think up an excuse for not having very much remembered life experience to draw attention-grabbing anecdotes from. “My name is Yumigawa Rushorou, student-council president at Hibiya High. I-”

“What does a student-council president do?” The little girl interjected with eager inquisitiveness.

Recovering the minor slip in his composure after being interrupted, the boy continued, “I manage my school’s student council, which is a group of students who organize and carry out school activities and service projects, allocate funds for clubs, and act as the voice of the student body, sharing student ideas, interests, and-”
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“Wow mister, you talk like a dictionary! Impressive!” The girl interrupted again. You weren’t sure if she was trying to give a genuine compliment or if she was making a joke at Rushorou’s expense.

You heard Jen stifle her laughter and mutter, “I like this kid.”

Somewhat put off by being interrupted a second time, Yumigawa continued, “… Anyway, I was going about my normal routine, aside from taking a couple of pills for a headache before bed, and then when I woke up I found myself in that monster-filled city. After finding the church and taking one of the coins I summoned my Servant and arrived here. Is that sufficient for your curiosity?”

“Yes, that is enough.” The priest replied, then waited for someone else’s introduction.

“My name is Truvietianne Edelfelt, I live in my family’s manor in Finland. I was practicing my magecraft when I was abducted into this ritual. My favorite snack when I’m out of the house is Lihapiirakka.” Truvi tersely recited. Clearly she didn’t care to buy time when her Servant’s condition was so dire. Now that you think about it, you wouldn’t be too enthusiastic if it was Avenger bleeding with a critical injury and everyone else was just standing there talking as though nothing was the matter.

“What’s a Lihapiirakka?” The little girl asked.

The priest, noticing the Edelfelt Master’s crossness, quickly answered, “It’s a meat-pie that Finns make. Many different types.”

“Ooooh.” She responded, interested in the snack. Turning to Caster of Red, she asked, “Can we get some later?”

“Of course, Master!” The Caster with two starkly different hair colors answered cheerfully, “Even though Finland’s pretty far from where you were when this all started, we’ll be able figure something out!”

“Yay!” The girl celebrated. She seemed to be less interested in trying to gauge your abilities, and was more concerned with, frankly, trivial details. How did that little girl even become a Master, anyway?

After a short pause, Jen raised her hand and said, “I’m not technically involved in the Holy Grail War, so he’s up next.” before she pointed at you.

“Thanks Jen, I really needed you to put me on the spot.” You flatly reply. Was she amusing herself by messing with you like this? All of you were in a situation that could become fatal at any given moment, but some people just weren’t taking it seriously.

“You’re welcome, Anonymous.” She replied. You couldn’t see her facial expression through her scarf, mask, and sunglasses, but you just knew that she was grinning mischievously. “Oh I know! You should get one of those masks and tell everyone you’re Guy Fawkes!”

“Who the hell is Guy Fawkes? Would he be a Servant?” You ask, getting a vague impression that the person Jen was referring to was a historical figure.
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“I don’t know, an Assassin maybe? His claim to fame was trying to blow up the King of England and getting referenced in the movie ‘V for Vendetta’.” She answered, prolonging the tangent a little further. Was she trying to help you buy time after all?

“Cut the comedy skit and identify yourselves.” Wukong firmly ordered as he banged his staff onto the building he was standing on for additional emphasis.

“I’m afraid I can’t give you my name.” You reply, “It’s because-”

“Hypocrite!” The little girl jeered gleefully as she pointed an accusatory finger at you, as though she’d recently learned the word and had been waiting for the right moment to spring it on someone. And in that one word she did well to convey that your offer to share the bigger picture with them was tainted, in a sense, because you wouldn’t be able to reciprocate.

“It’s because I don’t know it, alright?! I’m not happy about it either!” You snap back, then realize you were letting your frustration at the lack of information color your response. Calming yourself down, you continue, “The first memories I have involve gaining consciousness in the city with the undead monsters.”

“Conveniently for you.” The priest responded incredulously. He must think that you’re trying to play your cards close to your chest right after asking everyone else to show their hands.

“Now you have to make up for it by telling us a bunch of interesting things about yourself! They better be juicy!” The little girl offered eagerly as rain started to gently fall and the clouds crackled with thunder.

What should you tell them?

Pick at least two of the following:
> “I seem to have an affinity for the Ether element, if you know what that is.”
> “I can visualize mana in the air if I put my mind to it.”
> “I tried out rock-climbing earlier today, it was pretty fun.”
> “I made a solemn vow to my Servant in a church yesterday.”
> Some other fun facts (list them)

> “Ah, screw it. Let’s just skip to the fighting.” (Attack as earlier planned)
> Something else (write in)

> “I can visualize mana in the air if I put my mind to it.”
>Something Else: "I'm the one who managed to get the first kill of the War."

I don't like telling them about the Ether affinity, so I think telling how we bombarded the first Master/Servant duo out of the war would suffice for something juicy to intrigue the two

Thank fuck ol Dimitri has taken the bait
> "I seem to have an affinity for the Ether element, if you know what that is."
> "I tried out rock-climbing earlier today, it was pretty fun."
> Some other fun facts ("I'm the one who managed to get the first kill of the War.")
Lead with a significant fact, follow up with something less interesting, then end with a bang.
On the contrary, I think being able to visualize mana would be more significant to them. Knowing our affinity doesn't necessarily imply that we know any spells or have mystic eyes.

Hmmmm, I suppose that is true. Since we can play it off as a discover by Avenger and we have nothing up our sleeve as a Mage(That is until we get wacky with our usage of the Affinities we have), hell it's something that can lend us further credit to our amnesia given that we had a medical check up in order to get an idea of things.

I'm sure our Patriach and future Bodhisattva here will find the Ether bit interesting so yeah I'll change my support to telling what you had in mind
Very good very good
> “I seem to have an affinity for the Ether element, if you know what that is.”
> “I tried out rock-climbing earlier today, it was pretty fun.”
> “I made a solemn vow to my Servant in a church yesterday.”
"I <3 flat chested girls."


Flatness hammers on character development anon don't you know? :^)

But nah don't wanna embarass Circe like that
Fair enough.
Altough the solemn vow is rather significtant about us, after all its rare for a master and servant's relationship to go beyond just friends or allies is it not?
Were we not serious back then?
Playing a cruel joke on poor Circe like that.
Gonna be hard to find a girl who has no qualms about commiting warcrimes anywhere else. While also being a genius and not a complete loony.

Hell even friendship between Master and Servant isn't a given, the compatability between them and the personality clashes help see where it is. Even the wholesome Rider/Waver duo took a bit of a while before true friendship actually formed.

But I guess the duo who fits going beyond that would be Kuzuki and Medea. Not sure if we're there yet but I believe it's plenty possible
There are a few things you could tell them, though you don’t want to bring up anything that would really get them prying into your capabilities. You consider mentioning that you can visualize the mana in the air, but recall that it’s a fairly sophisticated use of magic. You’ll start with the basics.

“I seem to have an affinity for the Ether element, if you know what that is.” You say. It should stick out to them as important while not actually giving away what you’ve learned.

“Hmm, you seem to be a rather unusual fellow.” The priest said, noticeably intrigued by your admission.

“More like boring!” The little girl teased, “You might as well tell us your birthday or blood type. No wait, you probably can’t. Anyway, that one doesn’t count, now tell us another!” This cheeky brat. There’s no way she forgot that you couldn’t possibly remember your birthday and tell it to them. That aside, you recall that she was more interested in asking about the kind of snacks Truvietianne ate than the type of magecraft she practiced. Something more mundane ought to catch her interest, ironic as that might be.

“Well if you insist, I tried out rock-climbing earlier today. It was pretty fun.” You disclose.

“That does sound like fun! Where did you do it?” She asks eagerly and innocently, completely dropping her mocking tone from before. You really can’t seem to get a read on this girl.

“It was in an indoor gym down-” You start replying and raising your hand to point in its direction, before you realize you were about to absentmindedly give away the area that you planned on relocating your base to. Did she plan on that? You skew your aim about 45 degrees more toward the east and continue, “that way, a few miles. Maybe you can give it a look later.”

“Maybe, if it’s not too hard to find.” She replied shrewdly. Could she have seen through your misdirection at a casual glance? “Now tell us something else! More points if it’s something that’s important to you.”

“You two drive a hard bargain before you even so much as tell us your names.” You give as a non-answer to buy time to think of something else to say.

“I’m Kiara. Sessyoin Kiara.” She responded freely, before giving the priest a look that you couldn’t really make out at the angle you were looking at them from.

Almost reluctantly, the priest said, “And my name is Фёдop Бoглюбoв. We will tell you more later.”

“I couldn’t quite catch his name, did you?” Rushorou quietly asked Truvietianne.

“Fyodor Boglyubov.” She answered slowly.

“Well then, Kiara and Fyodor, I may as well tell you that I’m the one who managed to get the first kill of the Holy Grail War.” You declare confidently. In your peripheral vision you spot Avenger beaming a smug grin. A flash of unease colors the priest expression momentarily, but Kiara didn’t seem fazed in the slightest.
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“Oho, it was you?” Wukong said, reacting positively to the news. Eyeing Avenger, he added, “I figured it was either her or the absent old man that made the light-show.”

“Now that that’s settled, I think it’s about time you tell us a little more about your experience here so far.” You say to Fyodor and Kiara.

“I can tell them.” Kiara said to Fyodor, before explaining, “We appeared close to each other in the other city. I had a rare condition that stopped me from leaving my bed, but Daddy found me, fought through the monsters, and carried me to the church where we summoned our Servants.”

“Дeвoчкa*, I am not that kind of Father.” The bearded priest quickly said, uncomfortable about being referred to as ‘Daddy’.

*[Pronounced “Dyevochka” if using roman letters]

“What do you mean you ’had’ a rare condition? Aren’t you able to walk now?” Rushorou asked, emphasizing her choice in tense.

Walking over to Wukong, Kiara hugged the Lancer’s waist before clarifying, “I said ‘had’ because he healed me right after he got summoned. I’m all better now!”

“Ayy, you don’t need to get all touchy-feely about it. It was easy as cake for me, and my Master’s idea to begin with.” The monkey-king said, displaying a bit of unexpected modesty. You’d have thought he’d take the opportunity to brag about being able to cure long-term diseases at the drop of a hat.

After prompting the walking suit of armor to cover Kiara’s diminutive form, Caster of Red advised, “Master, we still need to be careful. There could be a few snipers remaining.”

As if on cue, the unarmed copy of Wukong stretched his hand out and caught a bullet that had been aimed at his Master. “Speak of the devil.” He grumbled, before winding up and hurling it back while shouting, “You keep it, asshole!”

Readying his staff and shifting his stance to charge in, the main Wukong announced, “Alright Master, hope you’re satisfied because it’s time I finish things here!”

“I actually agree with you for once.” Perseus said as his Master and Jen helped him steady himself as he reached for the bag at his side. That’s right, he still had that trump-card this whole time. “You can all be immortal, as statues.”

“Oh shit!” Wukong shouted in shock, realizing what his opponent was about to do. In desperation, he lined up his copy and his Master so that there were ‘two Wukongs’ blocking Perseus’ line of sight to Fyodor.

“Zanzaburo!” Caster of Red yelled as she grabbed onto her Master and the suit of armor covered them with its body, having its back turned to you.

“Cybele of the Gorgon!” Perseus yelled as he revealed the severed head of the petrifying monster. Caster of Red’s walking armor began to make a sluggish retreat from the dead Gorgon’s gaze, and Wukong himself began swiftly turning to stone starting at his extremities, though his copy and Master were able to flee.
Incapable of either closing the distance to his opponent or throwing his staff as a last-ditch effort, Sun Wukong shouted, “No way! Not like-!” before his voice was stilled. His center of mass now leaning slightly over the edge of the building, his stone body fell three stories before he crashed onto the ground hands first. His staff shattered as it made first contact with the sidewalk, and his petrified form lay lifelessly there, as though on its hands and knees. Thunder crackled overhead as the rain began to fall with more intensity.

“Did… that actually work?” Rushorou asked in disbelief as the Gorgon-slayer stowed away his deadliest weapon.

“It’s what you get for making me do everything. The job still gets done.” Perseus grumbled as he was gently set down between the two women who were helping him stand. He appeared to be completely spent at this point.

“Wukong DID seek immortality before his battle against the heavens.” Rushorou puzzled, “I suppose a monkey’s paw version of immortality could incapacitate him….”

“However, his Master and a copy escaped.” Avenger rebutted as she jumped into the air and cast fortification spells on you, Jen, and Rushorou, “We need to at least apprehend the Master to ensure his Servant is stone-dead, otherwise he might be able to reconstitute himself from a clone with the help of a Command Spell. Come on!”

“Don’t need to tell me twice. Let’s go, Lancer!” Rushorou replied as he immediately scaled the building with his Servant’s assistance and began giving chase.

Drawing a pistol from her coat, Jen quietly told you, “I’m gonna hang back and make sure nothing happens to Anne. She’ll be too busy tending to her Servant to be watching for marksmen.”

“Wait just a second, Avenger!” Truvietianne said to your Servant, “This is the second time my Servant and I put our cards on the table to turn a bad situation around. Give me something to stabilize my Servant’s Spirit Core!”

“We can’t risk further delay, Master.” Avenger told you telepathically before hastily creating another potion and tossing it to the Edelfelt Master while saying, “This will keep him alive for the time being, I’ll give you something more comprehensive when we return.”
You hadn’t anticipated that Perseus’ trump card could turn things around so decisively. As long as you can get past the clone of Wukong, Caster of Red, and her autonomous armor-suit, you could definitely eliminate Wukong from the Grail War here and now. Looks like you won’t need to wait for Kuro no Archer to show up and maneuver him into helping you after all.

> Ready your mace and charge in alongside Avenger. You’ll aim to detain or strike down Wukong’s Master while Avenger and Rushrou’s Lancer keep the remaining Servant-class enemies at bay.
> Join your Servant in the attack, but make a point to observe the enemy’s behavior before deciding how to participate yourself.
> Send Avenger out, but stay back here to keep an extra set of eyes on the lookout for attacks from third-parties.

> Join your Servant in the attack, but make a point to observe the enemy’s behavior before deciding how to participate yourself.
>Write in: You'll head out ahead in order to scout where Fyodor and Kiara had scrambled off to while Avenger deals with stabilizing Lancer. Wukong has been incapacitated for now so need to make it count and it can't count if there's those not at full strength

Holy shit Perseus you just got my respect for turning Wukong into stone, I knew we can count on yous, should reward him for being our go to delay guy. Stablizing his Spirit Core'll show that we do appreciate the efforts done, so we should go ahead and hide out until the moment is right and Avenger has finished up dealing with Perseus
>Join your Servant in the attack, but make a point to observe the enemy’s behavior before deciding how to participate yourself.
>Write in: You'll head out ahead in order to scout where Fyodor and Kiara had scrambled off to while Avenger deals with stabilizing Lancer. Wukong has been incapacitated for now so need to make it count and it can't count if there's those not at full strength
Remember how Wukong was born? From a stone, nourished by the qi of heaven and earth. This is the one thing he might have a chance to recover from, since his clone is still alive.
So it shall be
I've finally stopped getting range banned, so I think I should be able to actually participate.
Huh, sorry you were stuck just lurking for a while
“Avenger, I don’t want you to join the pursuit until Perseus is stabilized.” You declare.

“What?” Your Servant asked, shocked at your decision.

“He’s done us all a great service by shutting Wukong down the way he did.” You explain as you turn to follow Rushorou and Lancer of Red, “He deserves at least this much. I’ll push ahead and help make sure Fyodor doesn’t get away.”

“Well I’ll be.” Perseus remarked from where he was lying, pleasantly surprised at your generosity.

“Thank you. I won’t forget this.” Truvietianne added gratefully.

“Alright, go.” Avenger said somewhat tersely to send you off, “You’d better hold it together.”

“I will.” You say simply as you spring off and scale the building that Wukong’s group had stood on, aided by the powerful reinforcement spell that she granted you. You find your heart begin to race, and not just from the exertion of catching up with your fleeing opponents. The quarry you were chasing down included several combatants whose strength and skill eclipsed modern human ability in nearly every aspect, and you were doing so without Avenger to guard you. Even so, it wasn’t really trepidation that you were feeling. Some uncertainty, yes, since you hadn’t directly engaged a Servant before, but part of you wanted to test your own strength against one after all this time.

With that said, you don’t plan on rushing into an unwinnable fight against an overwhelming powerful enemy. To win, you just need to ensure Fyodor doesn’t escape; once Avenger catches up you can fight your way to him and force him to kill off his Servant, or something to that effect. Before long you catch up to Rushorou and his Servant, who is fighting several more unarmed clones of Wukong. Despite a numerical disadvantage, the fight is strongly in her favor as it seems like the quality of the copies drops off significantly when the one who created them was also a copy; furthermore, they are spawned with two wounds, each corresponding to a location where Perseus hit Wukong with Harpe. Between her superior physical abilities, her flaming aura, and the occasional spell that you can observe, while of clearly differing in execution, isn’t too far off in quality from one of Avenger’s, Lancer of Red appears to have whittled down the numbers of her opponents down to three, and each of them is fairly battered.

However, even if the copies of Wukong are of shoddier quality, you estimate that despite their current state, a single one wouldn’t be an easy fight for you even though you’re still enhanced by Avenger’s spell and armed with a mace. More to the point, they seem to be well aware that they don’t need to defeat Lancer of Red so much as buy time for their allies to get further away.

“Where’s Avenger?” Rushorou asked as he brandished the wakizashi that Caster had made for him yesterday.
“She’ll catch up after Perseus is stabilized, shouldn’t be long.” You reply, unshouldering the mace you picked out. Hopefully whatever enchantment Caster put on it won’t expire until you no longer have need of it.

“Time isn’t a commodity we have to spare.” He replied, before telling you grimly, “We’re not going to win if we’re afraid to get our hands dirty. Are you ready to fight?”

He has a point, but you don’t really have time to ask him to explain what his plan is. Do you trust him enough to follow along with whatever he’s planning?

> “Yes, I’m ready. This mace isn’t just for show.” Avenger will catch up soon, you can hold out by yourself until then.
> “You’re planning something reckless, aren’t you? Don’t risk throwing the fight after everything that’s led to this point.” If one of you gets killed or captured, that would essentially turn the tables back to Fyodor and Kiara’s favor.
> Something different (write-in but it has to be relatively brief in terms of spoken dialogue)

> “You’re planning something reckless, aren’t you? Don’t risk throwing the fight after everything that’s led to this point.” If one of you gets killed or captured, that would essentially turn the tables back to Fyodor and Kiara’s favor.
>"Just remember: If you're going to do something that'll get us to win, do it goddamn right and live."

Don't get too cocky there Rush, we should focus on the Father so he isn't able to revive Wukong. Bryn'll be holding off Caster so we should be quick and should be hard hitting.
>“Yes, I’m ready. This mace isn’t just for show.” Avenger will catch up soon, you can hold out by yourself until then.
I don't like to take risks, but I think we have a chance to cut this off at the source. Help Bryn thin out the crowd a little, then we can break through and get to the clone.
If the tie remains much longer I may just go with whichever option I find juicier.

Range-ban anon, can you break the tie?
>“Yes, I’m ready. This mace isn’t just for show.” Avenger will catch up soon, you can hold out by yourself until then.
Mace to meet you haha
Somebody will flail at that meeting
Lil Kiara has a real BASHful expression

Don't jinx us with bad puns, I know the danger they can pose
>“Yes, I’m ready. This mace isn’t just for show.” Avenger will catch up soon, you can hold out by yourself until then.
Rolled 97, 43, 1 = 141 (3d100)

Very good. Now let's introduce some anarchy and roll Bo3 d100 to see whether the Fates are particularly favoring of or out to get you.
Wow, Rushorou really hit the peaks and valleys
Highest of highs, lowest of lows.
Rolled 39 (1d100)


Well here goes nothing
Rolled 30 (1d100)

Rolled 80 (1d100)

glad we could meet mace to face

Our Saver, well at least we haven't gotten a 1 so we're doing better enough.

Tightening your grip on your mace, you decide that right now every second counts. You can’t quail here and risk Fyodor buying enough time to de-petrify or reconstitute Wukong in some other way, “Yes, I’m ready. This mace isn’t just for show.”

Not wasting any time, Rushorou tells his Servant, “Do it!” In response, she runs through the throat of one of the three remaining copies of Wukong with her spear before leaping past the other two to pursue Fyodor, the main surviving clone of Wukong, Kiara, and Caster of Red. Looks like Rushorou’s plan was to have Lancer of Red forge ahead and stop Wukong’s allies from getting any breathing room; now there’s one opponent for each of you to cover her advance.

Neither you nor Rushorou waste time monologuing, and instead you both rush forward to attack a copy of Wukong. Though they’re unarmed, wounded on their forearm and shoulder, and were kicked around a little by the white-haired Lancer earlier, neither appears daunted as you advance with your mace and Rushorou charges in with his wakizashi drawn.

“You want some of the action yourselves? You’re on!” Both Wukong clones say in unison, impressed by your brazenness. As you swing your mace two-handed, the flanges of your weapon skim against your opponent’s fur as he hops away to maintain a distance just out of your reach; you consider pushing forward more quickly, but decide against it for the moment, as he’s most definitely waiting for you to overcommit to a swing and then burst forward to grab at your mace. That’s what you’d do in his position, anyway.

In that case, you’ll give yourself a wider effective reach. It’s evident to you that a mace’s ideal range is relatively narrow, in the sense that its head is shorter than, say, the blade of a longsword. Fortunately for you, you’re strong enough to wield the mace pretty effectively one-handed, so you’ll do just that while drawing a gladius to use in case he tries to catch your mace mid-swing.

“Aren’t you trying to attack me? You have to mean it, White.” Your opponent taunts. Even while wielding two weapons, it’s hard for you to land a solid blow. You know he’s trying to prod at your time-constraints to get you to make a mistake. Despite that, you really do need to come up with something that a hardened fighter like him wouldn’t expect, but is also a sound tactic. You were hoping that the weakened state of the copies would make them surmountable foes, but even with their physical abilities no longer above your own, they still had the experience and instincts of a legendary hero.
Meanwhile, Rushorou is having a similar experience, though his shorter weapon lets his opponent hover in a closer range. To his credit, his technique in wielding his sword isn’t shabby for someone who was a civilian before this, you suppose the instruction his Servant gave him all day was helping. That does remind you, your muscle-memory seems to know how to use these weapons pretty effectively, yet you don’t recall training with them much beyond intuitively measuring their weights, contact areas, and centers of gravity when you picked them up. As you try to find an opening in your opponent’s defenses, your ally then surprises you when he shouts “Kaze no mikadzuki ken!” drawing you to glance over momentarily with your peripheral vision, as a gust of wind radiated from him when he sounded that shout.

As Rushorou’s opponent raises an arm to block a downward-diagonal slash, the wakizashi shines white as a blade of wind appears and shoots out from the sword, cleaving through the part of the clone’s forearm that Perseus cut with his spear in his first fight with Wukong and severing the limb. Reeling in shock from his sudden dismemberment, the humanoid monkey is unable to weave away from the strike of the wakizashi itself, which follows the wind-blade and leaves a deep slash through his throat and chest.

“You little…!” The copy grunts as he swings his remaining fist in a hook that hits Rushorou’s ribs, causing him to stumble back. That doesn’t really buy the clone himself any respite: after he touches the wound and realizes its severity, he smiles and mutters, “Not bad, kid.” before his body begins to disintegrate down to a single strand of hair, which then burns up in a small flash.

“That was almost like a Noble Phantasm.” Your opponent remarks, puzzled at the nature of the attack the defeated his comrade. Taking note of how Rushorou took advantage of the wounds that his enemy already suffered, you redouble your attacks and focus on breaking down either the wounded forearm or shoulder.

“I’ll leave him to you!” Your ally declares as he runs to catch up with his Servant, though the blow to his ribs seems to be slowing him down a little. Are you bothered by his leaving you? Maybe, but when you think about it you want to finish this fight yourself.

Aggressively moving toward the side with the wounded shoulder as you attack, you plan to force him to defend against the mace with his weaker arm. He continuously turns to keep squared up with you, but you have plenty of energy while his movements are starting to slow down. Taking a chance, you thrust your gladius toward his chest, which he predictably backpedals away from as he’s been doing. However, you then let the sword leave your hand and swiftly press it forward with your palm, launching it into his gut.
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“Eh?” He grunts as he starts to reach for the hilt of the blade to pull it out, but you summon every ounce of strength you have to burst forward and smash your mace against the side of his head, caving in his skull and knocking him into the air before his crumples to the ground.

“Nice to meet you… mace to face.” You say. If his beleaguered groan was any indication, that pun hurt just as badly as the actual mace-strike did, and his body begins to disintegrate as the other clone’s did. The rain that’s been falling doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, but something trivial like that won’t slow you down. As thunder rumbles in the clouds overhead, you retrieve your gladius before dashing toward the sound of battle ahead, though on the way you telepathically ask your Servant to teleport directly to you once she’s done stabilizing Perseus.

“I’ll join you momentarily, Master” was her reply, though when you catch sight of your quarry you hope momentarily means really soon. Lancer of Red is doing fine against Caster of Red’s suit of armor, the main clone of Wukong, and a few more third-rate copies; it’s Rushorou’s situation that has you worried. A snake is slithering up behind him!

“Rushorou! Behind!” You shout, but before he’s able to react the snake lunges in and bites his ankle.

“Aaaugh!” Your ally screams in agony as he swipes his sword back to try to kill the snake, but he hits only the asphalt and falls to a knee when the snake slithers off and transforms into another copy of Wukong.

“Master!” Lancer of Red shouts as she draws a glowing rune in the air that blasts ice at her opponents to cover her retreat.

The clone that was the snake makes a point to stay out of her way as she flies to her Master’s side, then says as she begins some kind of treatment, “You may have forgotten in the thick of things, but I’m as much a trickster as I am a warrior. Let that pain be a reminder.”

Damn it. If Rushorou, and by extension his Servant, are out of the fight for long, it could buy enough time for Fyodor and the main clone to escape! As things are now you can see the robed priest is carrying Kiara on his back with the main clone near his side, with Caster of Red and her autonomous armor suit as a line of defense in front of them, and a dozen weaker copies of Wukong as an expendable front-line.

“We don’t need to give them reminders.” Caster of Red laughed, then jumped onto the shoulders of her armor-suit. Is it a robot, you wonder… you get the impression ‘samurai-robot’ is an accurate descriptor. In the robot’s abdomen, a white light began shining in what you were sure was an attack charging up. Caster of Red confirms this when she shouts, “Izumo Blaster!”
Appearing at your side just then, Avenger reacts quickly to an array of refracted energy beams that are emitted from the robot’s abdomen, creating a barrier than bends the beams just enough for them to miss you. For her part, Lancer of Red blocks the beams aimed at her Master with the head of her spear and rune-generated lightning bolts that intercept them.

“That energy seems oddly familiar.” Avenger noted in her analysis of the attack, “But more on that later. How shall we proceed, Master?”

> “Focus your energy on hosing them with direct attacks. We need to stop Wukong’s Master from retreating any further.”
> “Send some beasts to put pressure on them, then make sure Rushorou is ok. His Servant can help us break their line. I can help fight the clones.”
> “Some flashy frontal attacks, but teleport one hound behind their line and make it bite the main clone’s ankle to pin him down. Then we’ll really go full throttle.”
> Something different (write-in)

> “Focus your energy on hosing them with direct attacks. We need to stop Wukong’s Master from retreating any further.”
>Something Else: "Rushorou's Servant should utilize the blasting cutting off their escape routes and holding the clones and Caster off to take both Masters before they get an opening."

Not good but it could be worse. We'll have to cut down the clones and keep Caster busy and getting softened up, Bryn is likely quite mad so best put that rage to use
Doesn't sound like anyone's objecting, so I'll tentatively go with this.

Happy to be able to get the strategy for things down.

On a different note, LSAD there anywhere someone can reach you on? Wanna share some stuff
Hmm, I haven't really made anything like a twitter page or discord channel since I feel like they would get updated even less often than the quest itself. Would a burner email work?

Suppose that'll work fine enough, it's not as though it's that many hoops to jump through. But I've got ideas to hash so whatever it takes
Sorry it's been taking so long for me to push out an update. I've actually been looking forward to writing this part of the story for a while now, but it's been really hard to find the time to sit down and finish it. Getting close though!
“Focus your energy on hosing them with direct attacks. We need to stop Wukong’s Master from retreating any further.” You say. Needing no further encouragement, Avenger immediately starts blasting a stream of light-beams, fireballs, lightning bolts, and ice-shards toward the third-rate copies of Wukong and the samurai-robot that accompanies Caster of Red. So sudden was your Servant’s onslaught that half of the cloned warriors suffered critical injuries without a chance for reprisal, simply melting away as they fell. The other six transformed into either hares or birds and scattered toward your flanks, taking cover either inside or around the buildings on either side of the road you were on faster than you could track them, though you think Avenger may have hit a few of them as they tried to make that maneuver. Caster of Red’s robot fended off your Servant’s attacks with a spear and sword that it’s able to effectively wield simultaneously, though from its hasty retreat along with the rest of Wukong’s faction you suspect Caster of Red isn’t confident that it can hold off Avenger’s attacks if she focused all of them on it.

Turning to Rushorou’s Lancer as she’s continuing whatever treatment on the snake-bite her Master suffered, you ask her, “You should use my Servant’s attacks as cover to cut off their escape route. As long as we stop the Masters from fleeing further, we have the power to break through the clones and Caster to finish this.”

“You do not command me.” She replied, impassively rather than condescendingly or as though slighted, and continued tending to her Master’s wound.

Providing an explanation, Rushorou visibly strained as he clarified, “She can track the robot… and I’ll be able to move soon… we’ll cut them off then.”

“Fine by me.” Avenger commented as she blasted through a couple more third-rate clones that the main one spawned just before. Turning to you, she said, “Their stalling reeks of desperation, and my power alone is enough to deal with the whole lot of them. Let’s grind them into the dust!”

It seems Avenger is better suited for dealing with large numbers of opponents than Rushorou’s Lancer, especially since the clones don’t have any Magic Resistance dampening the effectiveness of Avenger’s spells. You didn’t like the fact that you seemed to be getting split up yet again, but so long as you kept your wits about you a sneak attack from one of the clones that transformed into animal form and scurried away shouldn’t catch you off-guard.
“Alright, let’s mop them up.” You answer as you begin to give chase alongside Avenger. Your opponents maintain their fighting retreat for a couple blocks, but Avenger’s attacks chip away at them. Attacks from the expendable clones don’t amount to much, either from their standard humanoid/monkey forms or those of various beasts. The one possible exception being one that took the form of an eagle and fell talons-first nearly into Avenger’s face before you batted it away with your mace. Your Servant was rattled by the close call, thanking you and muttering something about birds of prey making her uncomfortable. Otherwise, Caster of Red’s robot had sustained some damage from Avenger’s spells, the Caster herself was scuffed up, and the main copy of Wukong began creating clones more and more seldom as you and Avenger gained more and more ground.

As you catch sight of the entrance to a subway station marked ‘Akasaka’, the main copy of Wukong stops and turns around to face you, with the rest of his faction watching from behind him. You could tell that Fyodor specifically was exhausted, leaning over and panting as he let Kiara hop off of his back. Plucking two hairs from his own head, the clone recreates the golden armor the real Wukong wore, along with a copy of his staff. It surprises you that he can create items from his hairs as well as clones, but you’re certain there’s no way the quality of the copies holds up to that of the originals. If they did, you can’t imagine a reason why he hadn’t used them before now.

“Has your pride finally won out over your cowardice, monkey-king?” Avenger asked with scorn.

“If that’s how you wanna see it.” Wukong replied nonchalantly as he squared up, “I figure I need a different approach in getting rid of you.”

“Fool.” Your Servant laughed as she readied her magic circles, “I made short work of a copy of your caliber yesterday. You will fare no better.”

Surveying your surroundings, you look for anything that seems out of place. Surely he’s playing up this bravado to cover for a sneak attack from a clone in animal form that you missed and had been tailing you. But there doesn’t seem to be any attack coming, either from your flanks, behind, or even above. You also can’t understand why Caster of Red and her robot are just standing by and watching either, it can’t be that they’re respecting dueling etiquette. Were their injuries more severe than they appeared to be?
“I’ll end this quickly.” Avenger tells you telepathically, before hosing the clone of Wukong with the full might of her magic. Though his staff holds up well enough to parry a lot of the attacks, it’s simply not sufficient for him to fully protect himself against an assault that comes from so many directions; within moments he begins to be overwhelmed. Though his armor is able to withstand a few direct hits, it soon begins getting blasted apart. His attempts to advance or flank are met with a continuous, unrelenting stream of offensive spells, and like a swimmer in the ocean being pushed back by rough waves, he is pushed back each time he tries to so much as move. Eventually you can’t even see him through the cloud of dust that was kicked up, though when Avenger finally ceases fire, you find him lying bleeding on the road, chuckling. Confusing you, his Master and allies didn’t even take the distraction as a chance to try to flee, instead they were waiting only a short distance away, watching the one-sided beatdown without interfering.

“Not bad. But… you lose.” The clone wheezed. “Unless you want those women-”

Interrupting him with another barrage of light-beams, fireballs, and lightning bolts, Avenger remarked after there was nothing left of him, “Sorry Master, it seems I missed a spot.”

You wonder if he was insinuating that he sent some of his clones to ambush some of your other allies while all this went down. Well, you’re not buying it. It was nothing more than a last-ditch bluff to get you to let him off the hook, surely.

“Oi! You should know that-” Fyodor began to say, before he was cut off by your Servant, who cast a spell that seemed to have glued his tongue to the roof of his mouth if his sudden muteness and clutching at his mouth was any indication.

“Shut the hell up, I’ve had enough of you impudent peons.” She spat, before conjuring magic circles at the feet of your opponents and drawing stringy bands up from them to restrain Fyodor, Kiara, Caster of Red, and the samurai-robot. While the Caster appeared strong enough to resist the bonds and the robot strong enough to snap out of them, the Masters were decisively incapacitated. Continuing, Avenger asserted, “You two Masters will expend all of your Command Seals by audibly ordering your Servants to destroy to their own Spirit Cores. Any attempt by either of you to resist will result in me killing you both. Comply immediately.”

That’s pretty harsh; you consider asking Avenger to dial it back, but recognize that this isn’t the time for half-measures. Those two should value their lives enough to give up on chasing after the Holy Grail now that things have gotten to this point for them.
Sending a chill up your spine, you hear the voice of Sun Wukong say from inside Fyodor’s robes, “Quite ruthless I see.” As another figure with Wukong’s form grows to his normal size and emerges from the robes, he snaps the bonds around his Master with a wave of his hand before continuing, “I don’t blame you; you’re fighting me after all.”

Avenger immediately opens fire on him with everything she’s got, but this Wukong instantly summons golden armor and a staff and leaps forward to meet it all head-on. And the difference between how he handles her barrage and how the earlier copy did is like night and day: you can tell that far fewer attacks get through his guard, and the ones that do hit cause far less damage to him. It’s almost as if…

Stopping her attacks, Avenger loses her composure a little and yells, “When did you reconstitute yourself?!”

A self-satisfied grin appearing on his face, Wukong replied, “Never had to: I’ve been hiding in his robes as an ant ever since I knocked Lancer of Black through that building. We decided to exercise caution when you all came as reinforcements; seems to have paid off. If I’d been the one who was petrified, it could have been pretty bad for us.”

“Did you have to wait until the very last second to step in and help?” Caster of Red grumbled quietly.

“That doesn’t make sense; I could intuit your status information from the guy that was petrified.” You retort, having trouble keeping track of all the layers of trickery that had piled up. Did he seriously fake being defeated this whole time? How? And why is he only revealing himself now?

“Don’t forget, Mr. Wukong’s an expert in magic himself.” Kiara responded as her Servant dispelled the binding spell on her, “We tested ways to throw off a Master’s scrying ability yesterday in case it might come in handy. Looks like it did, teehee!”

“More importantly, from how you ever so brutally annihilated my copy just now,” Wukong explained as he shifted his stance, “I can see through your attack-pattern, Avenger.”
You break into a cold sweat from the sheer menace in his tone, and you don’t doubt that there’s real substance behind what he said. As you ran to your Servant’s side, she tried in vain to halt the monkey-king’s charge with her spells. Mace in hand, you feel your perception of time slow down as you try to get there in time to do something to help. Sun Wukong weaves through the barrage of magic, closing the distance. Thrusting his staff forward, it stretches itself to double its normal length and slams into Avenger’s gut. Your Servant dry-heaves as she stumbles back. You reach her side just as Wukong readies a crushing overhead strike. You desperately swing your mace upward to try to meet it and slow the impact. It won’t be enough. You’re doing it anyway. Your mace makes contact. Your arms quake from the reverberation. Wukong’s swing overpowers you. You brace yourself for the inevitable.

A spear swings above your head, deflecting the staff away from you and Avenger. You recognize it as the one that belongs to Rushorou’s Servant. Though part of you is peeved that it took them so long, your better nature remembers beggars can’t be choosers.

“Sorry to keep you waiting, a few of his copies harassed us on the way.” Rushorou explained as he stood next to you, “That priest looks like he’s on his last legs, we should hit the weakest link.”

“If we can get past the strongest one first.” You say as you exhale deeply. The most recent reminder of how strong Servants can be has shaken your confidence somewhat. Your arms are still shuddering from meeting a single attack.

No, that’s exactly why you need to steel yourself. Avenger isn’t invincible; against an enemy this powerful you have to be strong enough that she can rely on you to do your part, not just the other way around.

“Guess this is the first time I’m fighting you too, Lancer of Red.” Sun Wukong told his newest challenger, before looking distracted for a moment. Then he suddenly burst out laughing and said, “You people keep fucking weird company! What the hell is that? Did she seriously just try to EAT a Servant’s Spirit Core?”

“What do you mean, Lancer?” Fyodor asked, not in the loop of what his Servant was commenting on.

“Oh, forgot to mention. You remember how I can use the 72 Transformations technique to take just about any form I want?” Wukong replied. After his Master nodded, he continued with a sidelong glance at your party, “Well, let’s just say I could turn myself into a stone statue if I really wanted to. And turn myself back.”

“Oh come on...” Rushorou sighed in exasperation, beating you to it. Is there no end to the number of cheat-skills this guy has!?!

To be continued…

WUKONG YOU SNEAKY CHEATING BASTARD. Oh when we finally kill you it's going to be worth it. But a cliffhanger is to be contended with

Went slow enough but damn if it didn't keep me comung back to see things through. 'Til next thread LSAD
The thread's archived now. The quest will probably be off the board for at least a few days, but as I said before we're getting to a part that I've been looking forward to writing especially regarding the mysterious person who's trying to eat Spirit Cores, so I'll be back!

Glad you're enjoying
fucking jen, she's so dumb

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