Fate/Vagabond Ardor

Epsir

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Fate/Vagabond Ardor

Day One: The Shortest Night
December 21st, 2021
The sea of lights below looked to stretch on into infinity, the metropolitan sprawl edging up to the starless sky and blurring into the darkness at its dimly reflective boundary, a fabrication of smoke and night haze. The waves never moved, jagged gray sentinels propped up in undulated rows and decorated with collision lights and glowing office cells. Life, instead, pulsed beneath the surface, in the stop and go transit of traffic columns and the vaguely discernible haze of human bodies marching alongside the roads. São Paulo's radiance glared on the cabin windows even over the red-tone interior lighting. Frantic, faint shadows webbed through the helicopter's oscillating interior, distorting the locked faces of the two bodies sat face to face in its belly. The feverish, flashing lighting exaggerated the difference in silhouette between the two. One was draped in the finery of the holy church, those ubiquitous black clerical garments, in this case matched with enough ornaments around her neck and on her person to indicate either a ranking member or some kind of zealot. A crozier stood between her legs, angled to fit within the cramped metal interior. Her opponent brought no trappings of office, no indications of rank, no appearances of allegiance. Just a gaudy aloha shirt, glowing in the combat lighting. There wasn't a bottle to be seen, but the scent of alcohol seemed to permeate the surrounding air. Gaunt, angular features grimaced in contrast to his dress, his face scrunched at the bad news he'd just been given. The man leaned forward, cradling his chin as he angled for a better view of the city below.

"Well, it is my sincere hope that you change your design within the next... Day or so?"

"It is no more my design than that of the Church. Your assistance is no longer needed, and you may witness from the same distance the Association shall. What is wrong shall soon be made right in the world. Our vessel has chosen its champions. Meek, wretched heretics cursed to the path of the Magi. Who greater to save, who greater to bring salvation?"

The interior had been insulated in a hurry for its new life as a civilian transport, but even with the quality of life of a luxury helicopter it was difficult to hear the woman's voice over the engine. He didn't have an answer. The aloha shirt shifted, reaching his hand across his lap to the silent, unnoticed third in the cabin. Unnoticed, until a bottle of gin was pressed back into his palm.

"I'm starting to see why you do it," He conceded, before turning up the bottle and drinking deeply.

"Fuck yourself Boche."


"Gesundheit." He returned the bottle to his partner.

"It worries me to note that the years have not mellowed your kind's taste for insolence. You may choose not to acknowledge the significance of what comes, but I will pray on your behalf that your contribution will see you to Grace."

The cabin tilted softly before a gentle thud announced their arrival, the thump of the pilot's door followed quickly by the opening of the cabin's sliding side. Noise blasted in, both from the still rushing rotors and the roar of city life thirty stories below. Through the peaks and valleys of three blocks of São Paulo's interior, the graceful towers of the city's Metropolitan Cathedral stood apart from the old quarter buildings beside them in their darkness. Only the ghostly glow of the grounds' lights illuminated the aging structure, a calculated, rustic dimness that made the building more conspicuous than any spotlight could have. Both of them looked towards it, though only one was headed for the building. There was no other place for the Overseer to perch herself at; that building was where the turbulent leylines converged. Even as it secluded itself from the vibrance and energy of the city around it it hummed with a force beyond normal ken. Naturally, it was where the vessel had to reside, it did not take a phenomenal magus to sense the power thrashing in search of release around such a thing.

"Kindly remove yourself from the Archdiocese at once." Her head swung back inward, eyes narrowed in the dark.

"It is a certainty that the Magi of this harsh age will come only with gifts of violence, and as I imagine Earthly security is the only one such that concerns you, it is with heavy heart that I say I cannot assure it before such forces."

"
It would not do for the nature of our partnership if you force the Church to remove you."


"This isn't my stop anyway. Feliz Navidad, Sister."


"Feliz Natal, Senhor."


The Overseer swung herself free of the helicopter, stepping down to the rubberized landing pad and marching towards the roof access. The sight of the black clad cleric disappeared behind glare as the door behind her slid shut. Rotor wash buffeted the roof, scenic plants tossing side to side as the gallant, sleek aircraft climbed its way back into the sky. Its running lights faded together into a single pinprick of brightness as it departed, joining the countless other domestic helicopters which formed São Paulo's own moving constellation. The midsummer night was warm, young, and already almost over, but its short time had been promised to herald the start of a battle like none other in the city's history: A struggle of the long dead and the soon to be, the only prize laid before them limitless, beautiful potential. The birth of a wish.

 

MechanicalHorse

Edgebabby
"Forty three... forty four... five... right."

A heavy sigh of relief left her chest as she relaxed back into her seat for a time, leaning her head back for tired eyes to stare at the ceiling above. Her vision was blurred, weak to even the slightest of light in the room, which was thankfully for the moment dimmed. She needed all of the magical energy she could possibly use for the ritual, and to spare any for her body at this juncture wouldn't do. She didn't understand the ritual entirely, no matter how many times she'd read over tomes in the deepest reaches of Yggdmillenia's libraries to prepare for the task called upon her. It had taken a lot of evasive answering to not let on what her plans were for flying to Sao Paulo - the organization would kill to know one of their own would be taking part in such an event. They were good people - odd people, very odd people in some cases - but she didn't need distractions or hangers-on to what she had to be doing. She had left Europe for South America a scant couple days before, and she could still feel the jet lag in her system as winter had become summer overnight. The woman was shirtless, the wraps she'd learned to prefer to bras early on in life tightly bound around her chest while below she wore plain shorts, the kind of beige cargo shorts any fashion disabled tourist might wear to the South American metropolis. One hand fanned herself while the other, fingers curled into a sort of claw positioning thanks to the palsy, lightly thumbed against the armrest at her side.

"Is this enough?"

No matter where she had went in Sao Paulo there were people. Every park, every alleyway, people were *everywhere*. She had thought metropolitan Tokyo had been a congested mess, but South America showed her its crowning jewel had competition in store for her island home. She felt rushed to get on with this - every moment spent without her weapon in this war was a moment spent defenseless, so eventually she had given up on the idea of performing the ritual out in the open air, and had decided on using the suite she had rented. A two weeks booking was paid for with Yggmillenia backing under an assumed name. If things went *really* awry with the summoning, she had her way out. Hopefully, anyway. Either way, her hotel room's den was the summoning site, and all around the four corners of the room, the couch and coffee table pushed to the sides and out of the way talismans were placed in various angles and shapes all over the floor, the ceiling, and the corners. Fifty talismans in all had been placed, with chalk markings connecting the bundles of talismans, every single paper slip charged with her own mana. She felt drained after the ordeal of placing them all. Bags showed under her dark brown eyes, her short dark hair disheveled. She was a mess. If this summoning did go off without a hitch, and she didn't end up summoning a legendary sheep shepherded by Moses himself, she hoped that whatever turned up didn't judge a book by its cover.

Was it night or day outside? She had told the hotel's staff she could refresh herself and to leave her be for her entire booking, and she had spent the better part of the last day preparing her room and the site as best she could. Drapes had been pulled tight over all windows and whatever clocks in the room went by completely ignored. Considering the grumbling in her belly, she assumed it was night. Late at night, most likely. She had to eat after all this was done, if this entire process didn't kill her anyways.

"Stop it," she told herself as she rose from her seat with some difficulty. Every time the exhaustion hit her, that she told herself something couldn't be done, she grumbled and reminded herself of her grandfather, of the determination he'd shown and shared with her before he died. She almost tripped over her own weak leg in the process of rising from the chair, and she used her wobbly footing as momentum to settle down onto her knees before the circle she had made. She always felt a pang of sorrow when she did this, when she moved without mana fueling her, reminded of her weakness as a woman, as a human being. The palsy felt especially pronounced whenever she went too long without her mana active. Sometimes she felt herself close to tears when she moved without her magical crutch. But in this instance, she told herself it was for a greater cause. This momentary weakness was to enrich herself with greatness.

At the center of the talisman and chalk riddled circle was an old wine cask. Well preserved, but so very old. It had been in her grandfather's collection, something she'd brought to her new home in Europe when she'd joined the Yggdmillenia. When he had not been a yakuza enforcer, a soldier in World War II, and whatever else he had been in his storied life, he was a connoisseur of wines, beers, and sake. So many of his trinkets she had kept after his passing, and this had been one had felt special. It was an import from the Middle East that his uncle had owned, who had received it from his own father years beforehand. The history to it felt palpable among all the various trinkets her grandfather had kept.

With her tired eyes closed, she allowed herself a smile as she thought of her grandfather. Shun. Her father. She remembered her twentieth birthday, and that being when he had sat her down for her first drink. A few sips had left her a goofy mess, laughing the most she had in her short life since her parents had died. He told her of how many times he'd done this very same thing with her father, with his uncle before the second world war. To share this kind of moment with another person was special. To let loose your inhibitions to the drink and to speak frankly and openly. The laughter died down into tears that night as her mind returned to her family, and she fell asleep that night in the arms of her old bull of a grandfather, cradling and keeping her safe.

What stories might a cask like this have, having had people like her grandfather drink, talk, cry, and laugh surrounding it for hundreds of years?

Her hand pressed flat against the first talisman that stood alone at the center of the complex web of chalk lines and paper slips. A line from it led diagonally to more talismans, and with one line leading straight to the cask sitting upright. A moment of silence passed, and then she began to push her energy outward, infusing more of her meager mana into the first talisman, enacting a magical domino effect that pushed the power along to the rest of the surrounding talismans. The heated room grew a few degrees colder, and she could feel the hint of wind in her messy black hair, and she knew she was doing something right.

There was no how to guide in this part. No text in Yggdmillenia's libraries told her what came next. Japanese proverbs and shinto lines wouldn't get her very far, unless she lucked out and summoned Buddha himself. The very thought of it sounded absurd, to the point her sullen expression broke into a grin, then a chuckle. Her mind momentarily at ease, she spoke from the heart and nowhere else.

"O spirit, see to it this voice reaches you well. Whether you passed in peace, or passed in violence, or passed in obscurity, grab hold of this broken woman's voice like an anchor. Take hold and come to me, so that we both may be granted a second chance."

Her fingers against the first talisman tightened around the paper slip, crinkling the fabric as she pushed even more of her mana into it. Her eyes closed tighter as more of her magical assistance left her, the oncoming swirl of lights too much for her weak eyes.

"Be you warrior of the sword, of the spear, of the bow, of the hidden knife, of horseback or chariot, of magecraft itself, or a broken mind, come to me o spirit!"

The light breeze against her hair was turning into a gust of air. She took a breath of air, shakily letting it out. She was reaching a precipice now, and she could feel it. "Ojiisan," she breathed out silently, her heart hammering. She had not spoken Japanese except in passing since leaving home.

"Watashi no kouun wo inotte kudasai."

Grandpa. Wish me luck.
 

ERode

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Broken.

Those words slunk into darkest depths of great Throne Room, passing under the overbearingly tall entrances, inbetween the tables laden with the bounties of the world, over the pedestals of royalty, between the shadows of the silent hallways, and then even further, further, further, guided by the last fumes of an ancient cask to the realm of the truly unknown.

That all-encompassing proclamation pulled at the fractured essence of that nameless phantom, the foreign timbre and intonation rousing him from his endless slumber and pulling him back into the world that had abandoned him. To the world that had forgotten them all.

There was no calamitous lightning, no glorious smoke and light effect that accompanied the Assassin’s arrival. Motes of dust settled back down as the gust of wind expended itself, leaving nothing of the ritualistic implements that called him onto this sin-drenched plane to begin with. Outside, the fervor of the city continued, as if it had never been interrupted to begin with, while the roar of a metal bird sounded above the clouds. There was nothing, but the presence of…another. An intruder upon this abode that appeared as if he belonged here, youthful with features both masculine and feminine. Dark brown eyes examined her exhaustion, her state of undress, before a warm smile creased his features.

From the cabinets, a cheap packet of tea was produced, a mug summoned from the courtesy tray placed beside the sink. The electric kettle was applied next, cold tap water made boiling within minutes, the steaming water pouring into the mug alongside the teabag, clear liquid turning a pale green.

“My apologies, but there is only so much I can do with low quality ingredients,” the youth said, kneeling down before offering her the drink, “This should tide you over for the time being, Master. I suppose you’re not much of a tourist, but as the authenticity of Japanese food in Brazil is questionable at best, allow me to provide you a light sample of the local cuisine.”

He spared another nod, ready to help her up if she so wished to sit onto her chair once more, before his formed became translucent, transparent, and then simply non-existent.

Delivery was swift once again, two boxes of takeout placed before her, the ponytailed youth’s presence noticed only after the fact. Within were mostly an assortment of fried, meaty pastries, finger food plucked from open-air food stalls, but there was also green beans and chickpeas in the mix, sweet and fresh enough to break up the oiliness of the ‘main course’.

“I’d recommend eating up and then taking a nap after this, Master, but I suppose you have questions for me instead?” A pause, as he sat down crossed legged before her, offering her the opportunity to look down upon him. “At your leisure then.”
 

ArmoredScout

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Martin casually slumped back into the wooden workshop chair, re-adjusting his lucky wristband and plucking up a short glass off of the small workbench, sucking down the contents with a small grimace. While the association had been more than willing to put up money towards accommodations and necessities for living, his alcohol budget had been left woefully lacking. This, despite the several fancy decanters of some age-old Scotch sitting in the headmasters office, had frustrated him, but the last thing on his mind was to demand more. It would be unbecoming of him to not find a way to make ends meet, after all, and that was surely what they were expecting him to do here.

The cheap whiskey left a fire in his belly, and stilled his shaking hands, at least for the moment. He thought briefly of the cosmic coincidence that had led to him, of all the individuals attending the college, to be the one branded with these life changing seals, but it was not his way to shy away from a challenge, especially one such as this. He leaned forward, examining the summoning circle he had drawn in crimson chalk upon the concrete floor of this garage, and then to the back of his right hand. The seals remained, undaunted and ignorant of his gaze, seeming almost to glow in the mostly dark room.

A servant, he mused, trying to shake the unreality of the situation from his mind. I'm being trusted with a servant in a Grail War. The last week had been a frenzy of study, re-affirming his understanding of the seriousness of the situation, and refusing to back down from the call of the Grail. It was his burden to bear, and victory or loss, he would bear it with pride. With measured steps, he carefully walked around the circle once, twice, three times, running off a checklist in his head.

Bounded field around the house, done. Glyphs concealed, done. Curtains drawn, circle drawn, whiskey gone. Done, done, done.

Summoning Catalyst.
He cast his gaze back to the workbench, to the parcel that he had been explicitly ordered not to open until his arrival in São Paulo. He tugged on the collar of his shirt, before producing his grandfathers knife from his pocket, and carefully cut open the package, revealing a crimson cloth, and a handwritten note.

'Every Servant is unique. The incantation will come to you, simply listen to your heart. Don't come home empty handed.'

He laid the note low, and held the cloth in both of his hands. The old scrap felt sacred, and radiated an aura that spoke to him as sanctuary, even within a sea of blades. Peace, and war. Love, and betrayal. Life, and death. An ode to man. As he held the ancient piece of cloak, the words came to him, slowly, but full of power.

"Man of war, hear me, and hear me well. You, who was handed a burden no man should ever have had to bear." He stepped toward the circle, head held high, eyes full of noble purpose. "Yet you bore it just the same, and came away from it richer than any lord, king, or emperor. You found faith." He stood at the edge of the circle, feeling almost restrained. There would be no turning back, if this ritual were completed. There would be only the path of the sword, and to do, or die.

"I humbly ask of you to take on one more burden, and to return to earth on my behalf. We will serve together in this war, side by side, and through this bloody path may we both find renewal, and allow the meek to inherit the earth." He stepped through the barrier, and knelt, the cloth heavy in his hands. Gently, he lowered it to the center, and stood, taking several slow and measured steps back, gaze never wavering once.

"Come to me, you noble warrior, as Servant, and as friend. I welcome you."
 
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DrowsyPangolin

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The boy brushed the hair from his eyes, a box of matches clutched tight in his nervous grip. The hotel room was dark, illuminated only by a series of candles arranged in a ring. The tiny flames danced, burning with an unnatural light, and glinting off the boy's wholly uncertain eyes. Seth's teeth dug into his lip, a nervous shudder running down his spine. His face flushed as he looked down at the crimson marks that stained his left wrist.

Certainly, the idea of participating in such insanity had threatened to halt his heartbeat, but to actually be at the precipice of the event, to be preparing to undergo the ritual that would cement his participation in a war... it was terrifying. The boy shivered, his palms clammy, and reached up once again to push his sweat-soaked bangs from his forehead. Yes, he had an inkling of what he was getting into as soon as the Seals had appeared. That feeling had only been exacerbated when his plane had touched down the day before. But now, preparing to summon a Servant, preparing to summon his partner in this war, he realized the gravity of the situation in earnest. This was to be a war. People died in wars. People suffered in wars. Blood was shed and fires burned and children cried in the streets because of wars. That was the road that lay before him.

The sound of claws tapping on wood drew the boy's attention. A black mastiff, a massive creature, trotted across the room to his side, nuzzling his hand. Seth sighed, gently patting the dog's snout and looking down into her eyes, which gleamed with a soft red light.

"Thanks Lleyse."

His gaze fell on the book that rested amidst the candles. It was a rather old book, but not ancient by any means. It had no accumulated mystery, and it certainly wasn't any genuine article. No, the book the lay before him in the ring of candles was a simple reproduction, but it was a reproduction he had studied feverishly over the past few weeks. He had read it time and time again, trying to glean some sort of truth and understanding from its pages. After all, he was to take part in a war; it only made sense that he would study the defining work on the subject. The only chance he had of winning a war... of winning even a singular battle, was to understand the art of war as well as the man who had developed it. There was no better way to gain such understanding than summoning that man himself.

Seth drew a single match from the box, his hands shaking. He glanced to the dog again.

"Are you sure this will work? Did I miss anything?"

The dog gave a singular bark and nuzzled his hand again.

"Well... if you think it's right, then that's the best I can hope for."

Seth approached the ring of candles, taking a deep breath.

"Let the sacrifice be shown."

As he spoke, tiny figures, nearly transparent, appeared above the ring of candles. They took the forms of frogs and serpents, fish and capybaras. Seth struck the match, whispering under his breath.

"Please forgive me, little ones."

The flash of the match illuminated his face. For a moment, a look of determination took hold.

"Hear me noble spirit, famed tactician of old. I have traveled far, across land and sea.
I have left behind my native soil, which the footfalls of fairies once graced.
I have entered into a war in this foreign land... a war in which I must be victorious.
I request thine audience and thy aid. I have supplied thee with the bounty of this land as offering.
I bind my fate to thine own. My victory shall be thine, and thine my own.
If thou wouldst accept this contract, if thou wouldst heed my call, then come forth!"

As the last words left Seth's lips, he tossed the match up above the circle. In an instant, the candles erupted in flame, consuming the nature spirits that floated above the circle. The flame swirled about in a vortex, burning without heat and changing from red, to pale green, to a gleaming gold. Air gushed out from the vortex. Seth stared wide eyed as the dog next to him let out a triumphant howl.

"Did it... did it really work?"

Seth stuttered the words out, the box of matches falling to the floor. He felt a warmth in the Command Seals. Had it really been a success? Had his call been answered? The boy clutched at his wrist and peered into the swirling mass of flame.
 

Sightles

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Nothing.

No response.

The swirl of flames died, along with the gust of wind. The air was empty. However, a strange heaviness was permeating the room. Everything was silent for a moment, leading one to believe the summoning had be a complete failure, but what happened next would go to contradict this.

The still-lit candles snuffed themselves out in a flash, and the heaviness in the air vanished completely. Before the young master, a form began to materialize. Slowly, piece by piece, the light itself seemed to start to fashion together a being, brighter than any light.

There was no magnificent blare of trumpets, nor was there any show of power from this spirit. The forming man seemed content with a quiet arrival, one that would not draw attention, nor ire. Finally, as the light finally completed it's construction, what stood before the young master was a older man. Dressed in a garb that would match any sensei from any cheesy kung-fu movie, the older man sat cross-legged, wielding a saucer filled with a aromatic tea in one hand. While besides the sitting man was a bronzed vessel, traditionally used in ancient China as a decanter of sorts.

With steam still rising from his cup, the old man took a tentative sip, his eyes closed the entire time. One would be impressed at the calm man, whom cut a tight figure for one who appeared as elder as him, sat quietly not speaking a world to his new master.

After a few more seconds, the elder man slowly opened his eyes, to see the room around him. In front of him stood the young master, along with an interesting looking hound. After a moment's consideration, the man closed his eyes again, taking a long sip from his tea, enjoying the fragrant beverage in all of it's relaxing aura.

Opening his eyes once more to meet his master's, the elder man spoke, "Shall you join me for tea, master?" It seemed the elder man would forgo introductions, as his young master obviously knew who he was, and if there was anything he knew about mages, it was that they loved to talk about themselves.

Producing another saucer from his side, the elder servant poured another cup of tea for his master, and held it up for him to take. While the room was definitely dark, behind any kind of comfortable lighting now that the candles had been snuffed, it didn't seem to bother the elder, "We have much to discuss before the war reaches it's start." The man spoke once more. His voice was akin to that of gentle man, one that many would reminiscence as a voice of advice and support. He spoke with no rough edges, nor did his eyes pry and judge the two beings before him. The gaze, and voice, seemed to speak volumes of understanding, while also convey a deeper sense of a need to support his young master.
 
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MechanicalHorse

Edgebabby
When it was all said and done, the lack of the usual fanfare made her wonder if she'd done something wrong in the end. In her mind a summoning would have gone one of many ways, and most of those ways involved most of the summoning area turning into a crater or flaming ruin. That all that had occured had been a slight drop in temperature or the the lightest movement of air seemed to her so typically her fate. In her ready acceptance of failure, a sigh of disappointment, of cynical amusement left her chest. She had time to enjoy a local dish or two after a night's sleep before heading home to Europe, to be back in her bed before anyone on the organization was the wiser. Her mostly working hand, palm still flat against the ground, pushed against the now empty of energy talisman on the ground and began to rise, a grunt of exertion leaving her chest. Her reserves, for the moment, were depleted, so it meant for now still she'd have to rely on what her broken body could provide her for motion. But she stopped moving as she felt it. A presence. Another person - or being, rather, was sharing the room with her. All motion froze, including her breathing, save the muscles in her neck allowing her head to rise, to look to where she sensed the presence, and there it was. There he was.

... what was he?

He was not the regal King or Soldier one might have expected to summon into this plane. He was a plain young man, with nothing to discern about him save his beauty. Her pale cheeks flushed a little then. He looked younger than she was, and she suddenly felt very aware of her own state of being and dress, and wished she'd worn more than her chest wraps before the summoning began. Blast this dreaded heat. It was December! The change of hemisphere didn't make it any less grating to her.

The moment of embarrassment passed face with the weight of the situation, as she looked away from him to look at the palm still flat against the ground, and she could see the three ornate streaks across the back of her palm now, a bright crimson tattoo to oppose the blues painted across her back. It had worked after all. Whatever this beautiful young man was, he was a Servant. She was lost in her thoughts when the man, her partner, whoever and whatever he was, finally spoke to him. With his voice, came the pleasant smell of tea. Had he really produced a cup of tea while she had been so lost in her amazement and thoughts? When she looked away from her marked palm, her eyes met his as he knelt before her, offering her the mug of warm drink, and all she could do was offer a weak smile at last.

"I've had enough people in my Europe lodging think all I want to eat is Japanese food, I don't need you to do it as well. My thanks all the same."

Instead of embarassing herself rising unsteadily to her feet before her partner, nervous and embarassed of her physical weakness all over again as she had been on the playgrounds of her youth, she noticed his body language offer her assistance to her chair and instead of taking his hand, she took the mug mug in hand and slowly, carefully, sat back on the floor while she waited for her energy to return to her. As she tipped the mug back and drank, her stomach rumbled anew as fresh, wonderful scents met her senses. This being had brought her food in short order, a full course even, more than she could eat in one sitting no matter how hungry she was in the moment.

"... arigato... ah, I mean, thank you," she said, slipping into her formal language she was so flustered and taken aback for a moment. This ease of movement and clarity of thought meant she was at least free of the risk of dying to a summoned Berserker. But this quickness to serve and knowing just how to tend to her in this moment... had she summoned some great butler in history? A smile tugged at her tired expression as she took another sip of the warm fluid, a sigh of content leaving her as the heat settled into her belly, reinvigorating her just slightly as she forgot the heat of the summer and focused on the pleasant sensation.

"Questions... yes, quite a few. A nap can wait, because if someone like me has managed a summoning, surely so have the rest," she said, her mind already switching from the satisfaction of succeeding to the worry of failure in the new objective. "Who are you? What are you? As clearly as you can present to me, as I don't know what level of culture shock you... you beings go through upon summoning, so you may as ask what you wish of me as well... but let's get the basics out of the way. Yukari. My name is Yukari," she said, raising the mug to him in a bit of a toast, her tired eyes brightening a little as she offered him a smile. "Thank you for answering my call."
 

DrowsyPangolin

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For a moment, Seth's heart sank. Had it really all been for nothing? He looked toward Lleyse in confusion for a moment before the sudden snuffing of the candles drew his attention. As the Servant began to quietly manifest before him, a wide smile crept across the boy's face.

"It worked. It really worked."

The strong aroma of fine tea filled the room as the old tactician came into view. Seth looked over him, wide-eyed. It wasn't quite the triumphant entrance he had expected from a Heroic Spirit, but there was something reassuring about the Servant's calm demeanor. The young magus looked over the elderly figure before him. He certainly looked the part for the legendary strategist, though he appeared a bit older than might have been expected. Heroic Spirits could be pulled from any time in their life though, so it wasn't a great surprise. Sun Tzu could've been summoned by a young man, or even as a child, had the Grail saw it fit to do so. Seth felt a warmth within his Command Seals, and information about his Servant gradually began to enter his mind. A series of statistics... the boy wasn't certain how to gauge them, but they seemed impressive enough. Next... the image of a bow. Seth looked at the old man before him, blinking a few times. From what he knew about the Grail War, he had expected Sun Tzu to appear as a Rider, or perhaps a Caster. A knight class though... that was certainly a welcome surprise.

"Archer, huh..."

Seth murmured to himself, seemingly pondering out loud. In the same moment, though, his gaze met that of his Servant, who graciously offered him tea. For a moment, Seth found it difficult to speak. He had a fairly extensive knowledge of spirits, one that would probably be seen as impressive even, especially given his age. To be in the same room as something on the level of a Servant though, and to hear him speak... it was a bit much. After a few troublesome moments, the young magus managed to choke out a reply.

"C-certainly. Thank you."

The boy took the saucer of tea, sitting down on the floor across from Archer. He took a deep breath, inhaling the sweet smell of the tea. The aroma set his nerves at ease.

"Right... My name is Seth Finch. I'm your Master, like you said."

The boy pointed at the Command Seal on his wrist. Still, it felt strange to claim authority over the being before him. As he introduced himself, the great black mastiff rose up and approached Sun Tzu, sniffing at him curiously for a moment. Apparently satisfied, the dog lay down on the floor between them.

"And that is Lleyse."

Seth's eyes met those of the Servant once again. The way the man before him spoke, no, his entire demeanor, gave off an aura of knowledge. He drew respect merely by existing. Such a presence might have been intimidating, but the serene nature and attitude of the old man made it reassuring. Seth nodded once again, visibly becoming more relaxed as the conversation continued.

"Yes, there is quite a deal to discuss... Though I imagine the Grail has already told you more than I can."

The boy's lack of confidence was plain, but there was a certain determination in him. He took another sip of tea.

"I believe I should begin by being completely honest with you, Archer. I'm no warrior. If it comes to fighting, I'd wager I'm the weakest contestant in this war. Because of that... I'm afraid I'm going to have to rely on you almost entirely."

Seth frowned, looking down at Lleyse for a moment.

"I don't want to be useless, though. I'll do whatever I can to help us win. I've got experience dealing with spirits. Nothing on the level of a Servant, of course, but I could probably handle most familiars. I've also got Lleyse, and she can do plenty to help! She's strong! Not as strong as a Servant, of course..."

The boy was beginning to ramble, as though he felt the need to come up with more reasons as to why he wouldn't be a complete burden on his Servant. The two of them were an odd pair, the stuttering, nervous child and the tranquil, wise old man.
 

ERode

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“Only humans are subject to the Curse of Babel,” the fair youth spoke as his master corrected herself, “If you’re more comfortable with your mother tongue, feel free to use that instead. Compared to the piracy of English, I do find the Eastern languages’ emphasis on intonation and context quite charming.”

The pleasantries could only last for so long with such a driven Master though, one that refused rest when the drums of war had sounded all around, greater warriors pompously exiting the Throne of Heroes, and the nuance of bitterness entered his expression as he considered her most pressing concerns. Of course it was his identity and his class, hm? But with a meaningless name and such a situational Noble Phantasm, how exactly…

Ah, he could plagiarize those terms, hm?

“And I thank you for calling this unworthy Servant from the depths of the Throne of Heroes. If I were deserving of being associated with that illustrious league, I would be considered the Hassan of Betrayal. As it stands, however, I am merely an assassin of little fame, a speck of dust compared to the incandescent champions that slumber within the Mighty Throne. I would be the Cain to the virtuous Abel, the Delilah to the mighty Samson, the one immortalized due to the slaying of a grand warrior, the one forgotten due to doing so neither with sword or sorcery.”

A wistful smile, a dagger appearing in his hand as easily, as suddenly as the tea and pastries he had procured.

“I’ll do my best to make sure you enjoy your time in this War, but please don’t expect any world-ending superpowers from me. I’m not that type of hero, Master Yukari.”

It disappeared as quickly as it appeared, sleight of hand swifter than any Las Vegas magician, before that easy levity entered his tone once more.

“Onto lighter subjects though, I must say that the greatest shock to me is having a female Master, of all things. My, the world certainly has progressed, has it not? My last one was a tyrannical warmonger with a penchant of carelessly causing grief in the name of the Jihad, so I must confess, it is quite a refreshing experience.”

There was a sparkle then, a tinge of excitement and fervor.

“And the lights of the night too! Who would have thought that lightning itself could be tamed? Whoever this King of Lightning is, he must have been blessed by the Almighty himself, to bring such a miracle upon this world and forever cast away the terrors of the black void! After ample rest, Master, I suggest that we explore all there is of Sau Paulo’s ‘nightlife’ in the name of familiarizing ourselves with the field of battle!”

He caught himself before he could go too far.


“That is, of course, if it pleases you to do so, Master.”
 

MechanicalHorse

Edgebabby
She pondered his suggestion for a time. Since her move to Europe she had not spoken a lick of her native tongue, save to pacify the curiosity of some of her comrades within the organization. The idea felt... pleasant. "<I thank you then or the opportunity. It slipped my mind that your lot's ability to communicate transcends not only time and space, but meager things like differing languages.>" She said, her voice far less stilted now, far more natural as she used her native language. A good first step on whatever road this would lead her down in the end. Despite his status as a higher being, she detected the slightest hint of hesitation in response when she asked of his identity, but she let it go as he begfan to speak, accepting his answer. Playing mental chess with a being born centuries before even her oldest known relative most likely would do her no good and only waste her time and energy... and she had little of both. She felt familiarity the name of the Hassans, and it gave her a glimmer of hope in this war even if he believed himself nowhere near the legendary tribe's league. That he could even utter their name in connection with himself was also enough for her. She was easily pleased in high stress situations. Take whatever positive you can.

She eyed the dagger that appeared as if out of nowhere and tilted her head a bit, eying him up and down. She wished she had her katana in hand as well in this moment. She had no proper training to wield it, but in a showing of weapons even as casually as his, she felt like she felt rude not showing her own in the moment. Her mind was a jumble of wondering what was right and wrong to do in this situation, had she greeted the being properly, had she summoned him without defects. Was he who he said he was, as little as he said, and did not plan to slit her throat the moment he saw the opportunity?

She sighed, pushing all the stray thoughts away along with the breath out of her lungs.

"<Truthfully, had you been something of that level I might have pulled out of this all at the earliest opportunity. Mass destruction is not something I look for in my battles. My grandfather was witness to the greatest weapons mankind could make, and I'm sure certain beings among the Thrones of Heroes' collection could make those weapons look like a child's firecracker. You will do. If anything, you suit me perfectly, so my thanks to you for answering my call, no matter how unworthy you may consider yourself. If anything, I am the unworthy one in all this,>" she raised her arm, still curled into a bit of a claw like position, her mana not having returned in enough capacity to right herself just yet. "<But I will do my best to keep up with you.>"

She couldn't help but wear a wry grin as she spoke of the progress of the ages. Being from Japan, a country even now mired in layers of feminist issues, she waved her hand lightly to his words. "<Hah, well as much as I wish I were not the frail damsel that typified women of your time most likely, I am, try as I might not to be, a frail damsel. But I am what I am now, a Master now it seems, and I will try to carry myself as such,>" she said as she now began the struggle to stand upright, after pecking at her food for a time. He had brought so much - her stomach felt full, and the warmth from the meal energized her, if only a little. She could feel the mana returning to her circuits, and her unsteady rise to her feet evened out after a few moments.

She smiled as she heard the being's wonder with the modern world, moving to her nearby chair to pick up a button up shirt, to begin to dress more appropriately for an outing. "<Welcome ot the New World, or rather South America, man of the Middle East... I think. One of the greatest cities on this side of the planet. Much as I'd like to hang on my laurels and recuperate completely, now that the summoning is complete we have to begin moving. I suppose the first task should be to see the Overseeer... if we're not attacked on the way there."

Grail Wars were a hot topic in Yggdmillenia. Some thought they were an honorable battle royale fought between maids and gentleman, using the greatest heroes of the past. While others viewed it as a grim guerrilla war between scheming wizards and the greatest monsters of ages gone by. Yukari firmly sat in believing the war was fought as per the stereotypes of the latter, and she was as ready as she could be to take a weapon in the back. At least she had the knife wielder of the classes, so it wasn't going to be a knife going in there... maybe.

"<I trust you have no issues with concealment and moving among the shadows, as per your class. I'm still too drained to make use of my usual techniques to better safe guard my movement... so I'll be relying on you, Assassin-san.>
 

Jitt

Edgebabby
An artificial shutter's click cuts through the ambient noise of people. The picture on the screen is a young man, grin wide, flashing a peace sign in front of an obelisk, pure and white. He's positioned himself, unconvincingly, as if he were leaning against it. The time isn't taken to redo the shot; with a tap, it's sent to his sister, waiting and worried, far, far north.

'You better win and be home for Christmas,' the last message reads, 'and bring me a souvenir too, alright?'

The screen becomes black mirror, reflecting grass as its slung to his side. Its owner scans the park from a resting place on the ground, watches warily the people around until caution becomes complacency. Lenses parked over his eyes, he nods, satisfied by something. The device is replaced, its mirror lit up. In one of its games, the man rolls a gacha, and laughs as he's proudly congratulated, bright lights celebrating a common draw.

"Better to get the bad ones out of the way first, I guess."

---

The day is spent pleasantly, sightseeing, museum tours, and local cuisine, all facilitated by a tourist's English-to-Portuguese dictionary. He looks every bit like a well-to-do American enjoying a Christmas vacation. It isn't until night falls that he returns to that park, gazes through glass, treads soil deep into the wooded green to find that point where leylines converge and mana is thick.

At eleven o'clock he starts preparing, confident in solitude on a Tuesday night. He builds a bounded field for alarm, he draws a formal circle for strength. He has no catalyst to offer his spirit, but relies on good will and blood alone. As the day turns over and the 22nd begins, so too does his chant.

"I hereby request,"

"My will shall create thy body,"

"And thy sword shall create my fate."

The tingle of active mana brushes his skin and drives away the muggy air of this former swamp.

"I plead to thy human spirit to fight for the spirit of humans."

"I plead to thy human body for righteous strength and righteous heart."

"Let red be thy tribute, let wind be thy vessel."

Earth bursts with light where his blood has been spilled. His greatest dream and worst fear manifest before him.

"Let beat and thump and throb once more the heart within your chest, and let live and fly and shine once more the dream within your heart!"

"I beseech thee, Guardian of Heaven, rise to meet me."

"I beg thee, Guardian of Heaven, rise to fight!"

Light blinds him, lenses opaque with mana. His hand burns hot; he feels skin peel away though he knows it does not. Sprayed from his circle is a balmy zephyr, a pleasant cool, an omen he'll gladly accept as that of a pure spirit.

The Grail War is not on his mind at this moment, nor is the Root, the Akashic Records. In his mind are centuries building into millennia of stories, each horrific in its own way, of spirits and deities and monsters struggling against humanity. The line between parable and fact blurs; all he knows is the stifled potential of the human race, held hostage by the powerful, threatened by the great beasts of Earth.

If his spirit can fight monsters and believes in the heart of human beings, he knows his ritual will have worked.
 

Vania

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When the final word left the magus's lip, a flash of light was emitted. Normally, the summoned spirit would be greeted by destructive phenomena befitting the servants' immense power and glorious legend, but this time, emerging from the circle was something different.

A light that shone so bright and warm as if to rival the sun, yet wouldn't harm a single optical cell.

A storm that roared wildly, yet became nothing more than a gentle breeze once it left the circle.

And then, a miracle finally took form. Stood there was a short girl in a traditional Japanese outfit. The girl had a long, lustrous black hair with an ornament near her left ear... an ear that looked like a fox's. She also had a matching fluffy tail befitting her true nature... a fox spirit.

Caster slowly opened her eyes and fixed it at the young man in front of her. Information from the grail was clear. What she had to do was simple... so simple for anyone that is not her.

"Uh... I... I am..."

The fox girl opened her mouth as if to speak, but nothing beyond a soft whisper could be heard. After a short while, she seemed to give up, and then...

Without warning, without any incantation, a tremendous amount of mana erupted. The violet eyes briefly glowed before a figure of a young man in black attire could be seen next to her. The newly appeared man soon looked at the magus with a confident and carefree smile before saying.

"Nice to meet you. We–" his right hand reached the chin of the girl who might already spotted all ants on the ground and forcefully lifted it up "–are servant Caster. I'm sure you have so many questions, but let me ask this first. Are you our master?"
 

Sightles

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Sun Tzu listened intently to the boy, occasionally drinking from his tea saucer. His master was young, that much was obvious, but even moreso he seemed entirely green. Although, the presence of Lleyse, which in itself was a matter that made his Master a special case, made everything less straight-forward as it would be for a normal, middle-aged, master.

Sun Tzu allowed the boy to finish his borderline rambling, only offering a calm smile as a reaction. It seemed his master did not have the highest opinion of himself, or his abilities. The boy spoke about his weakness, but didn't see that he was able to summon a Servant without any problems or issues arising, a feat in itself that marked at least a competent mage. Sun Tzu wouldn't point this out, however. Not yet at least. It is always better to allow someone to realize their own strengths, than to have one tell them what they are.

"It is good that combat and fighting aren't the only ways to win a war, especially one as odd as the Holy Grail War." Sun Tzu spoke up, putting aside his now empty saucer of tea. Sun Tzu then gave a cursory glance around the room, taking it the dark environment. 'Simple' was the best word to come to Sun Tzu's mind. It would do as a base of operations for the future war, but it's assets were severely lacking.

Looking back at his master, Sun Tzu stood up from his seating position. Carefully, Sun Tzu started to pick up the series of candles that his master had laid out for his summoning, placing them on a nearby table. "Unfortunately, the Grail has only saw fit to bestow me with the most basic of information for this age, Master. If you have any scrolls, or perhaps records, on which I could learn more, it'd be most helpful." Sun Tzu said, as he continued the chore of putting away the candles out of the way. "The more one knows, the better decisions they can make when the time comes."

Finally finished with putting the candles away, Sun Tzu turned back to his master. A pang of guilt rang throughout the elder for a moment. Such a young man participating in a war that was brutal as any other war. The elder wished he could simply change the mind of his master, to convince him that fighting in this war wasn't the best choice. However, Sun Tzu knew how mages were, and he knew how young people were. Both had their reasons for their actions, often rooted in something deep in them. Sun Tzu knew, that no matter what would happen in this war, he would make sure that his master kept his life. Something, to a youth, that was more precious and powerful than any Grail, with more potential than any wish could match.
 

Jitt

Edgebabby
Light became dark, storm became calm. As the pain in his hand subsides, Christopher stands ready to receive a noble spirit, a warrior ready to fight. As his eyes readjust to the gloom, he sees nothing even close.

Four feet tall. Ears and tail.

...Yokai?!

Tamamo no Mae?!?!

Waitwaitwait, did she not hear me very clearly say the word 'human'?!?!?!

His heart stops for less than a moment, almost fearing that he'd summoned the exact type of spirit he hoped to stop, but a single look at her face persuades him. She is timid, pure, the type of soul he had hoped for. Yokai maybe, but not one allied against people. This is no Tamamo no Mae. She is a champion of good.

For a long moment, Chris fixes his eyes on hers as well, waiting for the words she wished to speak. They are clean, clear eyes, staring straight through him. For all her trepidation, there is unquestionably a strong will inside her. Though the girl herself is cute, he can undoubtedly call her eyes beautiful.

He is struck. All at once he realizes his knees shaking, his legs weak in the presence of a Heroic Spirit. He had braced to set his doubt aside, present himself as equal, thrown his weight against a personality he had assumed to be larger than life only to find that stone wall was in fact made of rice paper. He falls through, off balance, clumsy and on his back. Her own timidity has left him off guard.

Grass crunches underfoot, and just as he's about to call out, the area explodes in violet. A man, a shield for this girl, appears to protect her. He lifts her chin, introduces himself. All at once Chris feels the ground underneath become stable, his weight pressed firmly against that stone wall he had searched for. He clears his throat, composes himself, tries to push to the back of his mind the initial impression she had made on him.

With a simple smile and a wave, he continues approaching. "You could say that, but the word 'Master' never really sat right with me. Call it what you want, though." He wipes away foundation on his hand, reveals those scars of red.

"Ah, and you can tell her to relax, if you want!" He grins and waves his hands back and forth. "Believe me, I'm the only one who should be nervous here."

Caster... Caster poses a few problems as a class, he ponders, mentally reviewing notes.

They're immobile, they need a Workshop to properly function, which means we'll be sitting still and waiting to be discovered. Once we are, moving will be difficult. Those extra places I rented might not actually help...

And they're countered by all of the knight classes if their magic isn't strong enough to pierce resistance. We're a medieval siege away from being beaten. I had plans no matter what Servant I got, but I was really hoping for a knight class...

Still...

He can't tear himself away from those eyes.

I can't help but feel like this was a good roll.

"As for questions," he addresses the male figure, trying to match his confidence with the heroic spirit's own, "the most obvious one in mind is why there are two of you, and then who you both are after that."

It's all business, but there's already an air of friendship about him, a kind of aura that suggests he's done this before and that this is a casual situation, even if he's screaming internally as the reality of the Grail War starts pressuring him. He trusts Caster (Casters?), but with their appearance, they've both accepted a deadly invitation.


"Oh! But I'm being rude, right? Sorry."

He clears his throat through the brief pause, eager to put his mind back to the situation at hand.

"
My name is Christopher Luft-Hampton. Don't bother trying to recognize the family, they're almost definitely not important enough to show up in records." A grin, and he steps forward to shake the young man's hand, a gesture that might either be seen as incredibly affable given the traditional relationship between Master and Servant, or an incredible violation of protocol, depending on Caster's point of view.
 
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Akashi

~Shall we?~
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Not fan of yaoi.
AKISE MOTOYO
They had finally arrived in São Paulo. He had prepared the neccessary arrangements for their stay in South America. An apartment almost at the heart of the city was waiting for them. A wide smile was plastered on his face. Running his fingers through his crimson red hair, he spoke up. "So this is where it'll happen."

"At last.." Stretching his arms to the side, his face titled in the direction of his companion, or rather, his Servant. It was not easy for him to summon a rider-class servant to the caliber of the woman next to him. However, he was very much satisfied with what he had accomplished thus far.

What lay ahead for them would surely be a challenge and if not more. Akise was prepared to win the Holy Grail War at the best of his ability. "We're here, Rider. This is São Paulo. And likely, by now, the rest of the participants are probably here." Smiling in her direction, a car stopped right before them.

"Ah, this must be our ride." Opening up the doors, both of them took a seat inside. For now, what they needed to do, was to get to their apartment. During the drive over to their temporary base, they could, at the very least, take in the sight of the city.

"I'm sure I don't have to tell you our strategy, do I?" His golden eyes fixated on the woman, his Servant next to him. They had already spoken a great deal about how they would proceed in such a war. Anything could happen, but Akise was the type who wanted to be one step ahead of their adversaries. Two steps even.

Akise trusted his Servant, and was oozing with confidence. To attain victory in such a war would also bode well for the Motoyo family back in Japan. There was a lot that hinged on their victory. After their conversation in the car, they eventually arrived right before the building.

An extravagant one at that, their apartment was at the top floor. "The luggage should already be at the top floor."

Getting out from the car, they could clearly see that the streets were packed as ever. Breathing in the air, he again, looked in the direction of his Servant. "Do you sense anyone?" His golden eyes squinted ever so slightly to the thought of it.

CasketCase CasketCase
 

CasketCase

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Compared to her usual attire, her "civilian" disguise was laughably plain. Inspired by something seen on Akise's television, the commonly proud, boisterous Rider her master had grown to know her as was now mimicking one of the many office ladies of his homeland. It was a strange sensation knowing what your surroundings were, even though you had long perished before such sights were dreams in the minds of their creators. It was much akin to the burning sensation one receives when encountering something extremely cold.

Her thoughts were interrupted by her master's words; something about their strategy. Even if the words were uttered in confidence, she couldn't help but find him foolish for saying them in the first place. She might have flogged him for questioning her had he been one of her underlings, but for now, she simply sighed. An amused smirk followed shortly after, "Second-guessing already, boy? We're at the point of no return now and I can't hold your hand...or at least, not without a price." It was a playful quip, one of many they've exchanged since their introduction, but it also wasn't the first time she had brought up her deal. She knew Akise was far too confident in himself to give himself to her contract, but Rider was not one to let her ambitions fade away.

The vehicles carrying them came to a stop and both would step out, a brief visual survey of their surroundings revealing nothing out of the ordinary. Of course, only the most skilled or foolish would attempt to mug or pick-pocket even the most oblivious tourists in the middle of a packed sidewalk. "I sense nothing that would be involved with our competition." She replied, her magical senses picking up nothing nearby. "All the better for us to seek them out when the time comes."
 

ERode

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Aggressive. Sooooo aggressive. If I'm GMing, prepare for instructions. Might be aggressive to the extent of douchebaggery.
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Anything that actually has, you know, a good plot. I prefer RPs with fantastical elements, however, so generally, a bit of fantasy goes a long way.
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Nothing grimdark. Horror RPs are hard for me to take seriously as well. Kidnapping plots are also really annoying.
“Leave it to me,” he nodded, before his eyes slid towards the markings on the back of her palms. “Though I suggest wearing gloves, Master, to conceal the symbols of our contract. One can never be too certain of how keen-eyed Archers are, after all, and there may be some who do specialize in find the needle in the haystack.”

As the raven-haired mage dressed herself, Assassin turn away, affording her a small amount of privacy even if she had already been more or less in her undergarments to begin with. It truly was fortunate, that his Master was so perfect. An attractive female with no delusions of grandeur, birthed in a land he had never even known about, with none of the religious fervor and high expectations that the great atabeg held. And this war! Not a siege or a great battle, but instead merely a covert conflict intended to be fought within the underside of society. Despite the gravity of the situation, Assassin found himself smiling. Ah, if it’s like this, they could go through the entirety of the war avoiding battle, enjoying themselves, and waiting for the less sneaky Heroic Spirits to kill each other off!

As she finished with dressing up, the fair youth opened the door for her, bowing slightly before offering his arm. “Well then, let’s be off to find this Overseer. I don’t suppose that’s a mage’s term for the Ruler?”

There was a hope there, of course, that perhaps the Ruler had manifested after all, an extra detriment to any particularly war-like Spirit’s rampaging. But there was also an opposing hope, that perhaps the other set of shackles won’t be present, locking him into the Holy Grail War by the decree of some impassive, impartial witness.
 

Akashi

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Favorite Genres
Sci-Fi, Anime, Magical, Action, Etc
Genre You DON'T Like
Not fan of yaoi.
AKISE MOTOYO

Her well natured but cocky attitude never ceased to amaze him. Her response in the car was ample enough to know she was more than ready for what was to come sooner rather than later. His gazed fixated on Archer once they were outside the building, or the apartment, their temporary base here in São Paulo.

There was never much time to waste. So far there were no adversaries in the vicinity. Perhaps with the exception of Assassin. His demeanor changed. Slightly curious, he decided to look around the packed street. Giving the driver a nod, the car left the premises. Akise was the type who would rather observe and strike when it was the most convenient for him, and Rider.

Even if his servant could handle herself in a fight against their enemies in the Holy Grail War, he wanted to be one, if not two, if not more steps ahead of another master or servant. There was much more on his agenda, but the red haired master had assumed as much. There was no point in going to the Overseer right off the bat.

Likely, others would do the same. "Let us get accustomed to this city, Rider." A cocky smile plastered on his face. His golden eyes gazing at his servant. "Follow me, would you." He rhetorically added. Walking down the streets, there was much more for him to share with his current companion.

"There's an Overseer I'm quite interested in. However, I know that some of our adversaries would seek him.. Or them out." Facing his servant who was walking by his side, he was not done talking.

"I'd rather avoid unneccessary encounters with our enemies.. Rider. At least for now. We'll get close enough to the Overseer's location." Crossing the road to the other side, in joint with other citizens of the city, they continued their stroll.

"I'm actually craving for some South American tea. There just so happens to be a cafe not so far away from the Overseer." Glancing in Rider's direction, she was smart enough to gather what he was trying to get at. They'd take a seat, have some tea, but keep an eye out for their enemies.

"I'm sure you'll enjoy it as well." There was one more question that was lingering in his mind.

"Although it wouldn't pose much trouble, are you able to conceal your presence entirely? Rider."

CasketCase CasketCase
 

MYTH*

AloofGuy
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Seas of infinity swallowed the four cardinal horizons in eternal twilight while the sole figure of his destination remained kneeling at a broken alter. This warrior of god, this cleric, this saint dawned no armor, no robe, only a ribbon across his chest. Remaining afloat the silver silk circled the man's body similar to a halo. The dawn was far away while the night was further behind him still. Cycles of dawn and dusk came not in a fashion similar to that of a mortal day. The sky reflected the heart and will of its ward, a being on the edge of uncertainty.

No word was uttered as a blazing gust washed the warn back of God's child. It took a moment for Longinus to register the disturbance to his eternal moment of prayer. His lungs took a drag of the warm winds encircling the gilded altar. The Throne of Heroes called out to the hero from days long past. Longinus sighed with a somber breath before taking a slow start.

A face filled with tears turned to the equally sulking sky. Martin's chant called out to Longinus; the words and verse perked his ears slightly as the Servant was summoned from the Throne of Heroes.

Fully armored and armed, Longinus mirrored his Master's position. As his spear laid on the ground the saint grasped it in his hand. The other hand took hold of Martin's hand lightly, cradling it. "Humble Magi, I come to you as friend and Servant. Welcome, am I to once again step upon God's creation. Alongside thee, meek will not fear as the wicked and evil be removed from His Masterwork. Learn of yourself and of I."

Using the ornate spear to stand, Longinus stood up and look down upon his Master. Was it this boy of a man that was to be his Master of this Holy Grail War? Longinus closed his eyes and nodded. He placed a hand upon Martin's head. "As I shall learn of you, and the strength which shall propel us to victory. For I am Lancer in both body and motive. Amen!"
 

DrowsyPangolin

Existence Outside the Domain
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A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week
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Adaptable
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Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Depends entirely on the type of character I'm playing.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Mystery
The boy felt his anxiety mounting the more he babbled on. In front of him, Lleyse listened intently, or as intently as she could. Finally, the boy broke from his rambling long enough to give his Servant time to reply. The old man's reply was simple, but carried a certain sense of assurance. The still, wise demeanor of the old man almost made the boy embarrassed at how worked up he'd let himself get. Seth took a few deep breaths, nodding.

"Of course, of course. Forgive me. I promise, I'm not doubting you. I'm just a bit... nervous is all. This is all very new to me."

He frowned. As if that wasn't obvious enough. He shook his head. It was fine. Even if he himself was completely useless, Archer was an expert. With Sun Tzu's knowledge, they had a fighting chance. He just had to help the great tactician in any way that he could.

Archer set to the task of cleaning up his own summoning ritual, a process that couldn't have seemed more alien to the young Master. It was a bit odd watching arguably the greatest strategist of all time tidying up a hotel room. Archer's request, though, brought a smile to the young mage's face.

"Scrolls... Oh, yes! I wasn't really sure how to prepare for something like this... but I did bring books, lots of them!"

The boy sprang to his feet, grabbing a backpack from the corner of the room. He flicked on the room's light and unzipped the bag.

"Right... there are a few different ones here..."

Seth began placing various books on the table before him. Nearly all of the books described the city in which they found themselves. History books, geographical books, an English-to-Portuguese dictionary, travel guides, encyclopedias... it was apparent that the backpack had been filled to capacity.

"Some of these will probably be more helpful than others, but they should help you get a better picture of Sao Paulo, if nothing else. I've read through most of them already; there's some good information in there..."

As the boy talked, he continued unloading books from the bag. Finally, he pulled the final item from the seemingly boundless pouch, but stopped before placing it on the table. In his hand, Seth held a small, leather-bound pocket edition of The Art of War. He smiled, holding up the book.

"I suppose you know this one well enough already. I brought a second copy in case the first one didn't survive the summoning."

The magus ruffled the hair on the back of his head, turning to look out the hotel window.

"If you need more general information, you're welcome to use my phone as well... if the Grail gave you the information to do that. If not I can show you, it's pretty simple... When morning comes, we could also visit a library. There are several decent ones in this city."

The discussion of books seemed to put the boy at some level of ease, but only for a moment.

"We also probably need to check in with the Overseer at some point... though I'm not really certain if we have to do that... even if we do, I could probably send a familiar. Going out like that might be dangerous, I mean, the others will probably head that way soon too..."

Wars were such stressful affairs. If there was any consolation, it was that the boy hadn't summoned some brash hero that would dive into battle, which was a true act of mercy on the Grail's part. The ensuing anxiety would have likely killed the poor boy before his enemies could.