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Thread: Fate/blood sport

  1. #51
    Trigger Warning Zelos Wilder's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    Omigod, th-they're here! Well, Viktoria didn't really know who it was, but did that matter? She knew this was a fight to the death!

    "Täuschen! Werde ein Baum." With a short chant, the small magus almost perfectly disappeared from sight. Or at least, her real body did... she left behind a simple illusion of herself, standing right behind Berserker where she once was. The real Viktoria, who was almost entirely transparent, threw herself out of the way and right right next to a tree. Her spell had masked her prana signature, emulating the natural mana of the foliage around here, becoming pretty indistinguishable from the tree that towered next to her. From here, hopefully she was out of danger... time to leave it to Berserker.

    The large Servant drew his giant, gleaming sword, swooping it forward, defensively to stop any opening attack from the Servant before him. It was... a Lancer. Unless Riders enjoy polearms, but Berserker was fairly certain of the Servant class that had charged forward.

    Berserker grunted, taking note of the Lancer's antlered helmet. What heroic spirit could it be? Ah, but it was probably best not to worry about such details at the moment, or else he could be skewered in a moment of contemplation. "Lancer, I presume?"

  2. #52
    It's a shotgun opera and the fat lady is singing tonight Forum Veteran Eruedraith's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    [Okay now seriously why doesn't Firefox recognize Berserker as a word? This is ridiculous.]

    Lancer skidded to a halt before Berserker, spinning his spear about his shoulders into a salute. "At your service," he said. "And you? You're either Saber or Berserker, yes? Or a very lazy Rider."

    While Lancer and the other Servant were exchanging pleasantries, however, Cleo was drawing her pistol from its holster beneath her arm. She'd thought that she'd seen a flicker of movement around the enemy Master a few moments ago - pure luck, really, if she had blinked she would have missed it - and it was the only thing keeping her from planting a 9mm bullet in the girl's head. It could have been anything. A shield, an illusion, some sort of defensive measure... the possibilities were endless. Her eyes roved the area, but she couldn't see a thing that might have tipped her off to a trap. It looked like they'd just come across them while they were on their own patrol. Hm.

  3. #53
    Trigger Warning Zelos Wilder's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    Berserker pulled his sword in, holding it low and relaxed, but still primed for action. "Aye," he blinked, breathing softly while remembering his Master's words from earlier, "I am Saber." He then held his sword forward, not completely pointing at Lancer, but rather more towards his feet. The flat of the blade was vertical, letting the metal reflect the warm morning light with dazzling effect.

    "I take it you're ready... now dance if ye can!"

    With that, "Saber" lunged forward at surprising speed, his blade scooping upwards at Lancer.


    Elsewhere, Viktoria sat with her back to a tree, short of breath due to the excitement. She wasn't exactly sure what she should do... The young magus had failed to catch a good look at the opposing Master before she fled, so there wasn't much she could do to prepare for confrontation. At least she was out of sight for the time being... Peering around the tree, Viktoria spotted the illusion that she had left behind. With a flick of the wrist, the Master remotely commanded the illusion to move a bit, while she forced more Prana into the operation for another technique. Whispering softly, she threw her voice as it seemingly boomed forth from the lungs of the illusion.

    "Get him, Saber! Keep pressuring him!" The real Viktoria didn't know how long this would keep anyone fooled, or if it even was. And her current invisibility would only last for another minute or so... what to do? Perhaps she could turn to her knowledge of runes to aid her Servant in this fight.

  4. #54
    It's a shotgun opera and the fat lady is singing tonight Forum Veteran Eruedraith's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    Lancer snorted, and skipped a little to the right, in front of Cleo and away from the blade. He'd barely needed to move to avoid the blow, but the attack had a massive amount of force behind it. If Saber got even a single lucky shot in, he was in trouble, to be sure. Then again, lucky shots avoided him like the plague.

    His eyes narrowed, gears whirring away in his mind, filing away information and finding the right strategy. Reach advantage: next to nil. Speed advantage: somewhat. Enemy is able to move quickly in close quarters, though his bulk might hinder him over time. If I stay on defense, then he shouldn't be able to do much, but the Master is still a wild card. And if I want to hit him, I'll have to take a few risks. Saber is the best class in a close fight like this, after all - there's no way I can take him in a straight fight. I'll have to try an alternate strategy.

    As he thought this, his body was moving of its own accord, bringing his spear up in feint, then rolling further to the left.

    "Ah, but a dance with two is so much more interesting." With that, Lancer slashed out towards Saber's feet in a wide arc of sparkling steel.

    ---

    Cleo broke to the right, trusting Lancer to draw Saber's attention away. Now that the battle was joined, she felt a little more comfortable shooting at the girl: she was a mage, after all. She couldn't have been totally defenseless, and she'd jumped into this War of her own accord.

    So, her conscience - as it was - managed, Cleo pulled the trigger twice, sending a duo of bullets towards the girl's head. Back home, in the gangs, she'd been mocked for her 'cop style' of shooting. She preferred the mockery to the chance of an enemy surviving a shot due to some freak accident saving her target from her weapon. After all, freak accidents don't happen twice.

  5. #55
    Trigger Warning Zelos Wilder's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    After his first strike, "Saber" didn't move much. He stood fairly still, his eyes following Lancer as he bounced left and right. The Servant's sword moved back however, the blade now pointing towards the ground again. While he considered pressing forward, keeping the enemy Lancer on edge with relentless swings, "Saber" figured that the fight would be much more fun once blood started to flow. Yes, here we go...

    As Lancer swiped low, "Saber" hopped and pivoted back, right leg behind the left. The left didn't escape fast enough, though, and "Saber's" calf muscle was inflicted with a small wound. Or was this planned? If anyone was closely watching the tip of Lancer's spear, they might have been able to spot a brief flash of white light escape the rip in "Saber's" flesh, just before blood began dripping.

    The large Servant then pulled his left leg back, pivoting once more so his body was facing Lancer. A deep chuckle escaped "Saber's" mouth, which half-grinned in approval. Without another word, he bolted forward once more. Wait, with his new wound, shouldn't the large man have been moving slower? This time, he was slightly faster than his last strike... that didn't make a whole lot of sense. As he came upon Lancer, the sword-wielding Servant slashed forward in a horizontal swing, an attack that's generally tricky to block with a polearm. The Lancer would probably have to dodge the swing, unless he had something else up his sleeve.


    Something else entirely was happening with the Masters, though. Viktoria couldn't really react as she heard gunshots, and soon enough her illusion was dotted with holes. The projected Prana began shifting in the air after receiving it's "wounds", before swirling away in the breeze.

    "Oh, scheiße!" This meant the opponent had deadly weapons, beyond that Lancer's spear. But wait, didn't Viktoria also have-? That's right! While she really didn't want to acknowledge it's existence, Viktoria knew it was necessary to make use of her father's M1911 to survive this tournament. Pulling the gun from her bag, the Master glanced at the grip. This would be a good spot for... yes. Taking hold of a new idea, the young magus took a stick of chalk in hand, scribbling a rune on the gun's grip.

    Okay, here goes... Peering around the side of the tree, Viktoria tried to locate the opposing Master. Ah, that had to be her, over there... a woman older than herself, holding a pistol. She was likely still transfixed on the disappearing illusion of Viktoria, so maybe this was a good chance.

    "Sowilo-" Chanting the rune, Viktoria winced and fired off three bullets at the opposing master. She wasn't a good shot, but hopefully one of the three would come close... Plus, the rune she activated caused the bullets to explode in flame as they traveled through the air, flying like small fireballs.

  6. #56
    It's a shotgun opera and the fat lady is singing tonight Forum Veteran Eruedraith's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    [Sorry about not getting this up earlier. Stuff kept popping up in writing land.]

    Lancer's mind whirred away as the fight progressed. Is able to achieve high movement speeds, but reflexes are a little slower than I'd expected. Use to advantage. But he seems to have gotten... quicker? Since I cut him. That's more of a Berserker trait, which could prove to be problematic. So wearing him down with minor wounds is definitely out.

    As the horizontal blow came closer, he danced back, moving a surprising distance with just two steps. The tip of the sword passed but a few inches away from his face, but Lancer didn't even blink. He hadn't expected the blow to hit in the first place, after all. Avoiding injury was one of the things that contributed to his legend, and he lived up to it.

    More importantly, he was drawing Saber away from his Master. He was certain that his Master would be able to take on a little girl, at least.

    Right?

    Or was his Master even weaker than he had thought?

    Well. It didn't matter. She was his Master, and he her Servant.

    Lancer jumped back into the air, and pushed off from a nearby tree into a dive towards Saber, this time stabbing forward with his spear. His voice was silent - nothing would be gained from shouting now.

    ---

    Cleo gasped and jumped back as the flaming bullets whizzed by her. One missed her entirely, soaring away to land somewhere in the grass. Another slammed into the ground at her feet, and the last grazed her arm. She tried to ignore the sudden, searing pain that literally flared up in her upper arm, instead focusing on trying to figure out where the bullet had come from.

    "She's proficient in illusory and elemental magic," she muttered as she started to run towards the cover of a large stone, to ensure that the shooter wouldn't have another clear shot at her. "if she's smart, then she'd have moved by now, but maybe..." In her mind's eye, Cleo thought back to how and where she had been standing, and tried to line it up according to the shape of the painfully cauterized bullet graze on her arm. Another lightning bolt of pain ran up into her shoulder, causing her to wince. "Damn. If even one of those bullets had hit their mark..."

    Cleo jumped out from her cover in a roll, coming up in a kneeling position, pistol held out. Let's see. Bullets came from over there, must be close by, where's the cover, where's the cover...

    There it was. A tree.

    Cleo sighted briefly, and squeezed off two rounds into the tree trunk. If the bullets didn't go all the way through, then they'd certainly scare the hell out of the enemy Master.

  7. #57
    Trigger Warning Zelos Wilder's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    ((I don't know what kind of gun Cleo's using so for the sake of my convenience I'm gonna say it won't shoot through the tree at this time :T ))

    Opening her eyes after firing, Viktoria realized that she may have not hit the opposing Master at all... She showed little reaction, instead running over to duck behind cover. Viktoria moved back behind her own cover, the tree, while trying to collect her nerves. Now sh- BLAM!!
    Oh f-! That woman's firing again! Viktoria nearly jumped, her hair almost standing on end... oh, what to do? Creating a basic illusion of herself, Viktoria placed a false body peeking around the tree. Hopefully that would occupy the other Master for a moment, as the real Viktoria muttered under her breath to cast another veil of invisibility. She virtually disappeared to the naked eye, and used this crafty technique to flee the scene- she ran straight into the thick of the forest, among many more trees and shrubbery, while still in sight of the battle. Staying low, she hoped the other Master wouldn't find her in the shady brush, and Berserker better not need support...


    Back to the Servants. Berserker, or rather, "Saber", was acting a bit strange. Should he have been fighting more... aggressively? Berserkers were known for furious assaults. But this Servant... he seemed content in trading turns with the Lancer. Was he taking time to study his opponent? Or maybe he was just a bad fighter.

    After Lancer deftly avoided the sword slash, "Saber" took a step back with his right foot, bringing his sword out for defense. But Lancer's next attack was... weird. Rocketing off a tree for an aerial attack? It seemed easy enough to avoid, but "Saber" had no idea if this Lancer was agile in the air... a simple evasion could lead to a major wound. Not that it'd be a bad thing, but "Saber" would rather take less-than-crippling blows, so- wait a second, here's an idea!

    "Saber" pulled his body back, head stooping low, but he extended his left palm forward. A little too forward, too close to- wait, what?! He thrust forward, forcing Lancer's spear to skewer right through his large palm! A brief white flash escaped once more as blood started to flow down the spear's shaft.
    Once the hand was pierced, "Saber" knew it'd be a good opportunity to counter. He pulled his left arm back, while stepping forward with his right leg, bringing his other arm around... with a swift and mighty swing, "Saber" aimed to cleave Lancer apart! Assuming he can't move fast enough to escape "Saber's" trap.

  8. #58
    It's a shotgun opera and the fat lady is singing tonight Forum Veteran Eruedraith's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    [She's using a 9mm pistol at the moment, Zelos.

    Also I'm sorta guessing at this wound-more-speed ability of Berserker's, so forgive me if I'm inaccurate.]

    Instinctively, Cleo sent another two rounds into the image of the girl's head, only for the illusion to explode into errant prana like the last one had. She growled in frustration. She'd have to find a way to counteract that ability of hers, if she was going to take this girl down, and she didn't have time to think it through and prepare now. But it wasn't time to retreat yet, either. She still had time to feel this girl out.

    She rose, slowly, eyes roving the area around her for movement. No. That won't work, she reminded herself. She's got that part down. But it's hard to hide everything, isn't it?

    Moving over to where the illusion had finally dispersed next to the tree, while dropping the three-fourths-empty magazine from her weapon and into her pocket, and slamming a full magazine into it. She crouched next to the tree, looking down and trying to find some marks that would tell her where the girl had gone.

    The sound of steel piercing flesh suddenly rent the air, and Cleo glanced over to see that Lancer had just stabbed through Saber's hand. Good. Maybe she had a chance after all-

    She looked again, and her eyes widened in horror as she saw the blade flying home towards Lancer's body.

    ---

    Lancer felt a little feeling of satisfaction as he felt the blade hit its target, but it quickly disappeared as he saw the sun glint off of the worryingly sharp edge of Saber's blade. Contorting his body into a superhuman display of athleticism, he twisted up and away from the blow, pivoting on the handle of his spear to dodge.

    But Lancer had forgotten something: Saber gained in speed with each wound. He'd started moving his leg just a hair too late, and the sensation of cold metal bit into his flesh for the first time in hundreds of years. Lancer screamed in confusion, pain, and outright shock, paralyzing his movement for a moment.

    He span away from Saber in a chaotic motion, ripping his spear from the other Servant's hand with a sound that reminded him far too much of the sound of the sword cutting into his leg. He stumbled away from Saber for a few moments, until he fell to the ground, cradling his leg in one arm.

    Lancer stayed that way for a few moments, then stood, gingerly, eyes lingering on his own blood that was plastered across his arm. Then, his eyes flicked over at Saber, his mouth set in a grim line. "You're the first one, you know that?"

  9. #59
    Trigger Warning Zelos Wilder's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    ((Oh so yeah I was right, a 9mm handgun really isn't gonna shoot through a ~3 foot wide trunk anytime soon.

    And you're right on that wounds=speed assumption, it's part of Berserker's NP))

    "Saber" felt a sudden, violent pull in his left hand, as Lancer's spear forcefully exited. It actually made the wound a bit worse, by dragging along the sides of the opened flesh... while the pain intensified, it actually proved beneficial. With the cut on his calf and the hole in his palm combined, "Saber's" agility received a fairly significant boost- it wouldn't be impossible for him to go head-to-head with a Lancer, or Assassin, in a foot race.

    He stared at his wounded, bloody hand for a moment, fighting through the pain by flexing his fingers. In fact, his face wasn't even showing signs of pain or any sort of discomfort. He sort of... enjoyed it? Perhaps this Servant was a bit of a masochist. His attention was diverted once Lancer spoke up, however; his opponent's honest words were actually quite encouraging for "Saber", to think that an earthly man such as himself was able to wound a man who has apparently claimed to have never been hit! It only proved to make "Saber's" flames of passion burn brighter.

    "Hm! Well take a moment to enjoy the rush." The large Servant raised his sword forward, pointing to Lancer. "I now aim to be the first- and only- man to draw your blood." With that, his sword flipped, flat side facing up to reflect the sky. "Now rise."


    Viktoria, meanwhile, was much less calm than her Servant. While she was situated among the dark underbrush of the tree-riddled land, she still watched her opponent walk to and fro. Over yonder, the other Master scanned the area where Viktoria just was. And was she- oh, no, was she looking for tracks?! Oh man oh man oh man, Viktoria prayed that she didn't stomp around in the dirt. Of course, she at least thought she had moved lightly, stealthily, but the young magus had no idea of the other woman's tracking ability. But at least that woman turned her head, and Viktoria used the chance to ruffle and kick around some leaves. Given the distance, and the commotion caused by the Servants, Viktoria hoped the other Master wouldn't be able to hear the rustling... her life was at stake.

    "Werden sie gras," Viktoria whispered to herself, donning another veil of magic to hide her prana. With this, she was hoping to "smell" no different than the grass beneath her feet. Assuming the other Master wasn't the most talented magus... With her gun at the ready, the girl tensed her body and prayed. Prayed that the Master would run to aid her Servant... After all, Viktoria's own Berserker seemed to be handling himself well.

  10. #60
    It's a shotgun opera and the fat lady is singing tonight Forum Veteran Eruedraith's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    Cleo swallowed as she saw the battle continue. That was a fairly major wound that Saber had dealt Lancer. That... shouldn't have been possible. Lancer had assured her that he was one of the fastest Servants in the War in a close fight like this, but Saber was getting very close to equaling that speed... Every time he was hit. She gritted her teeth. Damn! Lancer's main strategy was hit-and-run, wearing the opponent down until they couldn't handle his speed, and opened themselves up to a final blow. However, this Servant was proving to be their natural enemy here.

    Cleo's eyes roved the surrounding area, but there was no sign of the other Master, her lips tightening into a snarl. And the girl was too good at hiding. She could have to tried to flush her out if she was able to narrow the amount of possible hiding laces down, but as it was now, she couldn't, not without risking the girl getting a lucky shot in. She'd have to lure her out, instead.

    "Lancer," she called out in a calm voice. "Get over it, you baby-man. It's a little cut."

    ---

    Lancer started to laugh as he heard his Master's voice. "Oh, I see that we're being mature today, Master." His eyes went back to Saber, and he growled, "You're about to regret asking me to rise, friend. Because I might just take you seriously on that."

    With that, he jumped up into the air once more, cresting into the light of the sun as he did. And then, he began to fall towards Saber, spear striking out.

    He knew that he'd already tried this, but he had a plan this time, and all he needed was a little luck. And he was a rather lucky man.

  11. #61
    Trigger Warning Zelos Wilder's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    (((whareshrtasdjfhkajst I had a longer post written but this website is dumb with it's auto logoff &&&& >:U ))

    Bers- er, "Saber" took a step back, craning his neck up while squinting into the sun. What was Lancer trying to accomplish with another aerial attack? Didn't he realize that "Saber" was pretty fast at this point, more than capable of dodging an such an attack? Hmph, no matter. This should be easy enough to beat... "Saber" slid to his right, moving a good four feet, if not more from his last position. Now Lancer wasn't in a good position to crash down with any mighty stab. In fact, "Saber" was thinking that he could use Lancer's descent to land another hit. It's not like Lancer could dramatically move in the air, right? Unless he was some kind of birdman hero... did that kind of thing even exist?

    No matter. "Saber" went on to try another attack. He timed Lancer's descent with a careful, yet still mighty, swing of his large blade. It wasn't perfect, but he did put in good effort; by utilizing the distance and great length of "Saber's" large sword, he was thinking that he should hit some point of Lancer's body. But what if Lancer pulled off some kind of counter or attack during "Saber's" swing? He might be able to just swipe outwards with that Lance... Hm. It's possible that wounds could be traded. But while "Saber" observed that Lancer seems to greet wounds with shock and confusion, he was a lot more willing to take a hit. It gave him new strength, after all.


    Viktoria grew a bit more hopeful while watching the other Master. The woman wasn't moving around a looking for the young magus, instead choosing to pay attention to the fight between Servants. This was good, this was good... the longer Viktoria was out of harm's way, the more time Berserker had to finish off his opponent. And, wait, why wasn't the fight over already? She had a Berserker, for crying out loud! They're supposed to decimate foes with mighty and ferocious swings. Viktoria's own Berserker was much too dexterous. Perhaps he enjoyed performing as Saber a lot more than she'd thought...

  12. #62
    It's a shotgun opera and the fat lady is singing tonight Forum Veteran Eruedraith's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    From where she stood, Cleo could see as Lancer smirked - smirked! In the middle of battle! - as he fell towards Saber. Was he insane? Was he planning to use his Noble Phantasm this early in the War? She'd given him strict orders not to. His Phantasm relied on surprise to be used to any level of effectiveness!

    But no. From where Cleo stood, she could see the slight yellow-orange aura enveloping his body momentarily, and then disappearing. He'd used the sun to mask the glow of the activation.

    He was trying to end this battle now.

    ---

    As Lancer sped downwards, prana flooded out into his blade. His blade could already slice through almost any armor on earth, so the tough skins and leathers of the enemy meant nothing to it. However, now, there was a second advantage.

    He barely around the blow that Saber had thrown at him, having now accounted for the other Servant's growing speed. He needed to end this fast, before Saber could equal his own speed. He had to pull out all of the stops. He cried out, in a voice like iron:

    "Tonbogiri! All-Cutting Edge!"

    With one arm, he thrust his hand out to meet the blade, hoping that the combination of his armor and his flesh would slow the blade down long enough.

    With his other arm, he stabbed towards Saber's throat.

    Two feet of perfectly invisible, all-cutting blade now extended from the head of his lance.

    [I know that dodge might feel a little god-moddy, but I swear to God that he has the stats to allow him to do that. Plus the whole I'm-shoving-my-arm-into-it thing.

    Also holy crap Lancer did not react well to being wounded.

    And now everyone google Tonbogiri if you haven't yet, pretty much the easiest Servant to figure out now.]]
    Last edited by Eruedraith; April 15th, 2012 at 05:56 PM.

  13. #63
    Trigger Warning Zelos Wilder's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    ((I had actually discovered Lancer's identity by complete accident the other day :u
    I was patrolling wikipedia, came across Tonbogiri, clicked on whatshisname and was like "Oh this'd make a good Lancer"
    then I read the part where he's never been hit, then noticed the antlers, and it hit me :T ))


    Berserker's eyes widened, feeling the warmth of something piercing his trachea.
    Viktoria's heart skipped a beat, watching a horrifying spray of white light and sanguine blood escape her Servant's throat.

    The large Servant stumbled directly backwards soon after some, some kind of blade pierced his throat? But there was nothing in front of him. Lancer was actually quite a bit away from Berserker. And yet he was still hit... pretty badly, too. By some stroke of luck, it managed to avoid the important blood vessels that would provide even greater danger if ruptured. Things would be over much quickly if it were so. Thankfully, Berserker had a chance- while his trachea and esophagus were compromised, Berserker wasn't about to keel over and bleed to death. Especially once white lights shone brighter and brighter, emanating from a bloody fountain as Berserker gurgled and grunted...

    "JKjkhsd... hjdg..." Rather than showing any true signs of pain, the titanic man shot his eyes forward, meeting Lancer with a horiffic gaze.

    "Bagd... Agggmd... Bbbvvgghd!!"

    He roared, or rather, spat his words quite loudly. The true name of his Noble Phantasm... too bad it was incomprehensible. And, well, he didn't need to announce it; it was always present with him, but the words served as great inspiration to Berserker.

    After receiving the horrible wound, true power of Berserker's Noble Phantasm activated. He'd need some type of heavy-duty healing, and fast, but for the time being his inner power invigorated him with mighty martial prowess- it might have been easier to understand with parameters. His Strength, boosted to a terrifying B++, it's numeric equivalent 120 (whatever that means). Endurance: A+, or 100, should be self explanatory. And then there's Agility... previous wounds have already added up to a normal stat boost. But with the last blow, it pushes him into an immeasurable territory, or rather EX...

    In the face of death, Berserker will achieve victory. His sword swung back, as Berserker darted forward-right at impossible speeds. Just right of Lancer's spear ((to Lancer's left)), Berserker would come upon his foe before a man could calculate what happened, launching a mighty swing of his sword down on Lancer. All while blood poured from his neck... good thing Servants aren't strictly bound to mortal limits.

  14. #64
    It's a shotgun opera and the fat lady is singing tonight Forum Veteran Eruedraith's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    [[Sorry for the slight bunny of Berserker here, Zelos, but I'm fairly sure that Berserker was gonna keep hitting him anyways.

    Also the F/UBW soundtrack makes everything better. I was gonna go with Emiya, but it just felt out of place without Shirou suddenly having a massive philosophical breakthrough.

    Or, you know, swords.
    ]]

    Lancer didn't even have time to scream as the massive blade sliced deep into his shoulder. That cold fear that had been growing in his stomach suddenly intensified as he realized something in the hyperawareness of shock: he hadn't even seen the other Servant coming. Saber was moving far faster than even he could.

    A horrifically accurate thought came to him: he was going to die here.

    All of this had screamed through his head before he'd fallen to his knees, blood spurting from his wound as Saber drew his blade from it. His spear fell from limp, suddenly-numb fingers, making an echoing triple clink as it hit and rattled against the ground below. Blood spattered to the ground from his various wounds.

    ...His wounds. An odd sound in his head. His wounds. Not the enemy's, not his allies'. His.

    Yes. He'd been wounded. Several times. His right hand had been sliced into, across the palm. His leg was quickly bleeding out. And now, a gash the size of his upper arm had just barely missed his heart.

    He'd never been hurt before. Never. Not even the smallest scratch of an arrow, the barest glancing hit of a katana.

    And this man - this single Servant - had wounded him thrice.

    Maybe.... it was fitting.

    Maybe it wasn't.

    But the fact remained that he would die, the first casualty of the War.

    So, with hopeless, resigned, almost accepting eyes, he looked up at Saber, the giant sword held back to strike down upon Lancer's head.

    ---

    Cleo lifted her hand up, command spell burning on its back, and said two simple words.

    So simple, yet they burned with power.

    "Be healed."

    ---

    A thread of energy suddenly knit Lancer's wounds together, sealing the muscle and flesh together and giving him strength.

    The light of war returned to Lancer's eyes.

    "Saber," he said, clearly. "let us end this."

    With the speed of a cornered beast, he grabbed his spear from the ground, his hand almost slipping with the blood that now coated the shaft of the weapon, and stabbed upwards towards Berserker's heart, the invisible blade singing as it did so.

    [[Also that Command Spell thing is a very short-term fix, just so you guys know.]]
    Last edited by Eruedraith; April 15th, 2012 at 05:52 PM.

  15. #65
    Trigger Warning Zelos Wilder's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    "NO!!!"

    Soon after Viktoria caught a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel, the enemy fought back with some newfound energy. She didn't catch what the Master had said, but the warmth of Prana in the air confirmed one thing: a command seal had been activated.
    And the Servant who had been nearly defeated, one decisive swing away from annihilation... retaliated with a heart-piercing blow.

    Berserker froze for a moment. This new pain brought unfamiliar warmth. Lancer's spear had once again pierced him, even while the spearhead was far from the large Servant's chest. How?

    Ah, but maybe it didn't matter. Berserker stepped back calmly, his flesh sliding past whatever invisible blade struck through his heart. Blood and light flowed freely, much like his other wounds, essentially draining his mortality onto the dirt beneath him. So was this it? Had Berserker been bested? He wondered why exactly a some kind of miracle would come to aid Lancer... what did he fight for? Berserker felt he was always in the right. To be honest, his actions caused great strife, and he took many a life, but... he never did it for himself. He was a defender, a liberator, fighting for his kinsmen and their right to live the way they wanted. But that time was over.

    Berserker thought back to the first day of this "war", if that's what you can call it, reliving a conversation he had with his new Master. They trampled through the forest, the meek girl leading, the large Servant following. She didn't talk much, but he was able to break through with a few questions. Like what she fought for. What was at stake. His Master, a kind-hearted girl of only seventeen, essentially forced to risk her life in this competition. However, Berserker was a bit shocked to learn that she was willing to face such peril, prepared do her best to guarantee victory. A quiet empathetic bond was forged at that moment, and while the duo weren't the most familiar of partners, Berserker entrusted himself to act as his young Master's undying signal of victory; his claymore swung for little more than her own future. He contemplated his situation, what he could accomplish with victory, and what his Master sought from this experience. Sure, he could change the past, fix his mistakes- but his time has long passed. Viktoria lived now. If he changed history, would this girl even be alive? Would she be part of a loving family, even while they presently struggled to get by? He then came to the final conclusion: Berserker, the passionate knight, would destroy the island if it meant his Master can have her wish. She fought for her life, the lives of others, and her natural right to be free.

    'Death... and victory.'
    The lights never ceased. By power of his Noble Phantasm, the driving, inspiring force created by his first mortal death energized his being with the spark of life, ensuring he had the means to accomplish his goals before final departure. Nothing short of decapitation, reflecting his original death, or utter obliteration would stop him now. This was it, his last chance, to end things with Lancer before his pierced heart stopped. It bled gruesomely, continuing it's job to pump blood even as the entire operation was ruined by the thin slit caused by an impossibly sharp blade. Logically Berserker should retreat, let his Master tend to his wounds before he gave out. But with all the sustained damage, two deadly wounds inflicted, he could perform at levels beyond any Lancer, and likely all the other Servants of this war. So, he did this not only to secure Viktoria's safety from the recovered Lancer, but to preserve his pride.

    Arms falling to his side, Berserker locked eyes with Lancer once more, moving with almost zombie-like stiffness. But he could still move fast... and after the last wound, his strength exceeded understandable limits. All he needed was one hit, one clean blow, something that'd cleave right through Lancer. His final assault started- Berserker shot to the left, looping around with his unbelievable speed. If he can still move faster than what Lancer could perceive, he'd be able to home in with a running, horizontal slice. This was it, cut Lancer in half an-

    "BERSERKER, STOP!!"

    That voice. Distressed, desperate, but gentle voice blasted through the air, reaching Berserker's ears. His Master... Viktoria called out to him. She wanted him to cease his actions... without much resistance, the large Servant came to a halt just a foot away from Lancer, leaving his foe intact. The half-dead Berserker looked up, seeking his Master. There, in the bushes- she stood in the shade, her face stretched in some sort of agony, tears streaming from her young eyes. To think that he sought one last attack in her name, to secure her safety from this Servant... and she wanted him to stop? Thinking back to his mental oath of fealty. He had no choice but to stop, it was what she wanted more than anything at the moment, and his actions serve her wills.

    Viktoria sobbed in the bushes, unable to watch her Servant push every last muscle in spite of two deadly wounds. He was going to die, if he wasn't already dead, and she wanted nothing more than for him to return. If he was gone, if Berserker was taken from her, she was doomed... at this point, she'd prefer to be killed.

  16. #66
    It's a shotgun opera and the fat lady is singing tonight Forum Veteran Eruedraith's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    Cleo whirled, gun raised towards Victoria. If she could just take out the Master, then this would end right here-

    "No." Lancer's voice carried far, despite its calm. "Do not shoot, Master. Please."

    Cleo's eyes flashed. She didn't have time for this moronic, outdated honor system. "Lancer, you nearly just died. He could still kill you at any moment-"

    "And the girl stopped him." Lancer raised a hand, pointing towards Victoria. "I cannot kill him when his Master has ordered him to stand down."

    He turned back towards Berserker, planted the butt of his spear on the ground, and bowed from the waist, taking his antelered helm from his hands as he did so. The gentle hum of energy going into his spear disappeared, and he ignored the sudden, hungry emptiness that came with it. "And nor, I think, could I kill him anyways. We would end up destroying each other, Master. And that is not victory. Not like this."

    Lancer rose. "Let them have their peace, Master. I have wounds that need to be treated as well. The command spell will wear off soon." He locked eyes with Berserker after a moment, and added, "It has been an honor, Servant Berserker, to fight a warrior so devoted to their Master. And one so skilled."

    With that, he turned on his heel, striding towards the forest. "Let us give them peace, Master," he said, and disappeared into the foliage.

    Cleo sputtered, then regained her composure. "Fine," she spat, and followed her Servant into the brush, leaving the battlefield behind her.
    Last edited by Eruedraith; April 16th, 2012 at 05:47 AM.

  17. #67
    Trigger Warning Zelos Wilder's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    ((&&&& I lost my goddamn post again this &&&&ing forum software asjdhfiasjdilsdagkjbsdkflbsdfbsdfsfda))
    ((half-assed mode engaged))

    Berserker stood silent, nearly frozen as the opposing team left. He didn't, or rather couldn't reply to Lancer's departing words, as blood filled his throat and lungs... he opted to deal with the situation by thrusting his sword into the ground. Viktoria shot forth from the bushes, running straight to her Servant as her heart raced. With a thud, she collided with her large Servant, beating on him with frustrated fists while crying out tears fueled by angst and fear. She screamed at Berserker, shrill commands and insults... he couldn't understand a word that came from the small magus's mouth, though. Instead of deciphering the girl's emotional torrent, Berserker sighed (as well as he could with bloody lungs), and placed a hand on Viktoria's head. It seemed to calm her down...

    Minutes passed, as Viktoria settled for sobbing into her hands as she leaned on Berserker, while the Servant stood still. Soon enough the young girl looked up, face red and damp, trying to spit out a coherent sentence. "Y-you-you gotta lay... d-down..." Berserker nodded, taking pity on the girl as she stuttered through her tears. He slowly- stiffly- bent downwards, stretching his legs out, leaning back on his arms. Finally, he managed to lay flat on his back, while Viktoria hovered above...

    He needed to heal. Viktoria's mind ran a mile a minute- to be perfectly honest, she didn't think there was much she could really do. Her knowledge of healing magecraft was extremely limited, but this had to work. It had to, it was her duty... Berserker put his heart and soul behind Viktoria, ready to fight for her without hesitation. And because of this, he suffered two deadly wounds! He can't die now, he can't die here, Viktoria needed him! His existence was the one thing that guaranteed the safety of her future. But she wasn't even thinking about the threat of other Servants, her mind was fixated on one single outcome...

    A pair of hands frantically covered Berserker's chest and throat, calling forth some soothing blue light. Viktoria's eyes shut tight, unable to look at what lay before her... it shouldn't have came to this. She was the goddamn Master of this Servant, why didn't she help him fight?! USELESS! Viktoria felt like a complete waste of a magus... this Servant deserved better. But fate decided to place this man under her care, so this was her responsibility.

    Tears almost returned to young Viktoria's eyes, until a sharp movement broke through her depression. Berserker suddenly jerked upwards, coughing up blood- it splattered all over his chest, and Viktoria's hands. But she didn't mind, it might as well have been her own blood. Berserker bled for her. A- wait, if he just coughed up that blood... were the wounds starting to heal?! A shimmer of hope returned to the magus's eyes, a half-smile flashed across her face- this can still work out! While Viktoria's only attempt at healing magecraft was very amateurish, it must've had some kind of reaction with the accelerated cell recovery that Servants have...

    "Oohh, come on, B-Berserker... don't..." Her worried frown returned, as her body and Prana did their best to stay strong and support the dieing Servant. This can't be the end of the war for her, for Berserker... Viktoria absolutely needed victory.

    "Guh-"

    Eyes wide open, Viktoria sharply turned her head, watching her Servant's face. He made a noise... was that a good sign? And, oh! He was moving! "B-Berserker! St-stay, stay, j-just... stay with me..." His head rolled over, eyes opening slightly to take in the sight of his Master.

    "Mas..." His hand reached up, patting Viktoria's head once more. She nearly screamed in excitement, or perhaps anguish. The girl tried hushing her Servant while she did her best to heal, but he wouldn't have any of that.

    "N-, Master... Do you remember-?"

    Either he was being very cryptic, or Berserker was struggling to form a full sentence. Likely the latter. Regardless, his slow words didn't make a whole lot of sense to Viktoria. "Huh, r-remember what?"

    The Servant coughed, and grunted, but managed to continue. "Our conversation... yesterd-. What you're... fightin-"

    "No, Berserker, please don't... y-you're straining yourself." She connected his words with a conversation they had the day before, while running around the woods. Just thinking about it brought great emotional pain back to Viktoria's mind...


    ((part one of two. Originally there was more but I'll wait a bit to post it. or perhaps extend time :u

    And I triple doggy dare someone to come across Berserker. As in, I'm challenging any willing Servant here >:V ))

  18. #68
    It's a shotgun opera and the fat lady is singing tonight Forum Veteran Eruedraith's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    [[Just click the ‘remember me’ box below the login bar. That’ll keep the auto-logoff thing from happening. Or maybe just copying your full piece before posting. Or try writing it in a separate program like Word.

    Also a few characters from Cleo‘s backstory will be popping up, watching the War. I really just put them in there to smooth over the scene break and to add some justification for her being in the war.

    Also, HELLA LONG post incoming, so brace yourselves. Still, please read it, as I think that I did a good job with this, and I'm rather proud of it.]]

    “Lancer!” Cleo said furiously, storming after her Servant, who industriously ignored her. “Lancer!

    Despite his Master’s anger, Lancer continued moving at a rapid pace, half-running through the foliage. He had to get to a safe place, and soon. His wounds would quickly reopen, and the issue of his imminent death would quickly return to the table. He preferred it if he was in a familiar place, at least, when that happened.

    As he vaulted over a fallen tree, Cleo grabbed his shoulder. As he felt it, Lancer gave a wry smile. His Master might have been as useful as a broken helmet for prana and magical support, but damned if she couldn’t keep up with him.

    Then, the oppressive reality of his situation returned to his mind, and his smile flowed into a scowl. “What is it, Master? We don’t have much time. The Command Spell is but a short-term solution.”

    “What the hell was that, Lancer?” Cleo scowled. “You knew that all I needed was some information. You should have disengaged once you figured out Berserker’s abilities, so we could better prepare for a battle. Instead, you deliberately disobeyed my orders and used your Noble Phantasm!”

    Lancer’s mouth twisted into a grimace, and he shook the hand off. “Talk later. I don’t have much time. You are skilled in medical magic, yes?”

    Cleo gave a little snort. “Hell, yeah, I am. Skilled at using it backwards. I touch someone, give them a heart attack, kill nerves. Stuff like that. Brute force, technically speaking. You’re asking me to perform open-heart surgery with an axe here.”

    “Servants already have an above-average healing rate. Combined with even your mediocre healing abilities, I should be able to pull through.” Lancer felt a sudden wave of nausea come over him as he felt the effects of the Command Spell start to wear off. A quick glance down at his leg told him that the stream of blood trailing down from inside his armor had resumed its flow, and his shoulder and right hand were starting to ache. “Damn it,” he growled. “We’re not even close to the campsite.”

    “Return to your spirit form, immediately,” Cleo snapped at him. “You should have done that a long time ago.”

    “If we are attacked-”

    “Oh, wonderful. Now you’re in the mood to be all polite and protective. Don’t give me that bull&&&& and revert, right now.

    Lancer took a deep breath, and let it out, disappearing from sight as he did so. Cleo gave a curt nod to the Servant that only she could see, and took off into the foliage as the sun reached its peak, shining down from above.

    ---

    Konstantin de Phantis cocked his head at the large, flat-screen TV set, a small smile playing across his face as he popped another mint into his mouth. His older sister had gotten a good servant, hadn’t she…

    “But, alas, the legendary bad luck of the Lancer class seems to have held,” he said aloud to no one in particular in the room. Only four other people were in the room with him, sitting on the elegantly-designed and expensively-bought pair of identical couches on either side of the comfortable chair that Konstantin occupied. In the minds of each and every one of them, he was speaking directly to them, and the others were just minor pieces of background, things to be dealt with later.

    “For a criminal, she’s been quite proactive,” one of them said, hoping to add something to the conversation. He was a large, heavily-built man, his Italian suit helping his muscle masquerade as fat. He was completely bald - rather than try to stroke his self-image with combovers and toupees, this man had shaved it all off, and had dared the world to laugh at him. The world, wisely, chose not to.

    “Cleo never was one to do something halfway. It’s just a shame that she chose to put her resources into a dead-end life.” said Konstantin. He wasn’t talking about being a criminal - hardly! The criminal life was a productive one, especially for a magus, if you knew how to play your cards. After all, he thought, look at me. No, what he was speaking of was of how small-minded she'd been. A small gang? Drug trafficking? Please. Grunt work.

    "Still," said one of his other guests, a tall, blond woman in a silky blood-red dress, "her prana reserves must be falling near empty by now. How can she expect to help heal her Servant?"

    "She can't," another cut in, this one a small, elderly African man. Little glasses were perched upon his nose, and wore an immaculately-tailored suit over his thin frame. "Lancer may be able to heal some of it, but the weakness incurred by these wounds will come into play soon."

    "Shush," Konstantin said in an easy tone. Despite the mild inflection of his words, the entire room abruptly fell silent, the meager conversation cut off like a suddenly-dammed creek. "She's arrived at her camp. Perhaps a little new information about her Servant shall be revealed. In the meantime, I will fetch something to drink. Wine, anyone?"

    Konstantin left the room to a chorus of nods. However, he was followed out by the final person in the room, a tall woman with white hair identical to his own. As he began to pour a glass of red wine, he said, "What is it, Mother?"

    "She isn't dead yet," the woman said, as if this was his fault.

    Konstantin gave a little snort. "Of course not. She's a de Phantis, after all." Try to play to her inane pride in the family... "And it's only the third day or so. You can't expect many deaths by now."

    "You told me that the little &&&&& would be among the first to die," his mother growled.

    Konstantin laughed. "I said that she might be, Mother. Little things like gun malfunctions, equipment failures, that little tracking rune that I sewed into her body when she was thirteen? Minor details. Cleo sees a chance at getting away from the de Phantis. She'll be putting everything into it."

    "She has a chance at escaping justice, and more importantly, our family pride," his mother snarled.

    "No, she doesn't," Konstantin laughed. "Give me a little while, Mother. I'm going to activate the tracking rune soon. Anyone familiar with the Russian magus signals will hear it - and I'm aware of at least one other Master that does."

    "This had better work," his mother said, dubious.

    "Oh, shut up, you old &&&&&," Konstantin said as he brushed past her. "The show's back on."

    ---

    Cleo pelted into her camp, having barely felt the run. Occasionally, my alterations can be a bit useful, she thought to herself before saying, "All right, materialize. Let's go, Lancer."

    As Lancer returned to the physical world, Cleo reached her pack, pulling out an extremely bulky First Aid kit that could probably also double as a Second and Third aid kits. Cleo glanced over at her Servant, and her mouth twisted into a grimace. The progress of the Command Spell's decay had been slowed by the dematerialization, but the shoulder wound was starting to reopen, and his other wounds were back in full force.

    "On the ground," she said in a brisk, I-expect-to-be-obeyed tone. Lancer complied, and Cleo laid both hands on the shoulder wound, one on where it opened, and the other where she knew that it would end. She closed her eyes, trying to reach out into his body, as she had done with so many others.

    As her magical probe explored the wound, she was put uncomfortably in the mind of a miner slipping into a methane pocket with a lit torch. Servants were made of prana. For a Master like her, this was a double-edged sword: it made it easier on her, for one. Rather than manipulating prana to manipulate physical objects, she was just manipulating prana. On the other hand, if she wasn't careful, it could blow up in her face.

    Perhaps literally.

    Cleo swallowed, briefly. She would be focusing almost exclusively on this wound, she knew - to do more was just asking for trouble. "All right," she said, quietly. "I'm going to start." Lancer nodded, and she began.

    Cleo started at the wound's opening, following the path that the thread of the Command Spell had left behind as a guide for her healing. At an agonizingly slow pace, she began to replicate what the Command Spell had done, knitting muscle and bone together. She didn't even try to replenish his blood - that took prana, and lots of it. Prana, in other words, that she didn't have.

    Lancer gave out a low hiss of pain, breaking into her thoughts. Cleo glanced up at his face, which was contorted into an agonized expression. "Oh, come on," she growled. "Famous hero, and you can't even handle a little surgery pain. I've met druggies tougher than you."

    "I've... never needed to withstand it before," he replied.

    Cleo snorted. "Whatever," she said, and returned to her work. As she did, however, something occurred to her, and she knew that if she didn't pursue it, it would bother her until she knew. "That's why you flipped out, wasn't it?" she asked in a low tone. "You panicked. You've never been wounded before."

    Lancer tried to shrug, but the motion turned out to be more painful than it was worth. "I suppose that might have been it. I... panicked, Master. For that, you have my deepest apologies."

    "...Eh," Cleo said, made slightly uncomfortable by Lancer's words. They were quiet for a while, with the only sound in the camp being the slight hum of prana as Cleo very carefully fixed his wound. But then, she asked, "Why come back, then? Why give yourself a chance to be wounded like this?"

    "It's not like I chose this," Lancer growled, raising his head to glare at his Master, but his face softened, and his head slowly sank back to the ground. "I suppose... if we won the Grail... I want to see her again."

    "Her?" Cleo prompted.

    "My... mistress, I suppose. The bearer of my son. We were to be wed, but... illness took her." Lancer's face had become a hard mask of practiced indifference, but the pains from his wounds were already starting to chip away at it.

    "What, that's all?" Cleo asked. "No glory, no coming back from life, no mistakes that you want to correct?"

    Lancer laughed, which ended in a whimper. "My life... it was full. Nobunaga himself sang my praises. My lands were safe and large. My son and grandson carried my legacy on. But hers... hers was empty. She had so much potential, but she just became a bargaining chip, a reward for a battle well-fought. And the life that she could have had... was stolen away. Maybe, if I'd been there, she would have pulled through, but the life of a daimyo is a busy one."

    "So, what, you just wanna see her again, and bam, it's back to the Throne of Heroes for you, and back to wherever she came for her?"

    "No!" the force of Lancer's response surprised Cleo, and she nearly sliced an artery.

    "Don't do that!" Cleo snarled. "I could have hurt you!"

    Lancer, however, had learned his lesson. Pain had shot across his body, and he slumped back to the ground. "Yes, yes..." he groaned. Huffing, Cleo returned to healing him.

    After a while, Lancer said, "I want to bring her back, to give her a life. I would return to the Throne of Heroes, and be done. I would not help her. I couldn't then, so I can't now. Simple as that."

    "Well, that's defeatist of you," said Cleo, but didn't comment further when Lancer didn't rise to the challenge.

    The sun had long since fallen from its zenith when Lancer asked, "And you, Master? What are you fighting for?"

    "My life," Cleo said, shortly. Lancer raised an eyebrow, so she elaborated. "This was my sentence. I am a criminal, Lancer. I was entered into the War so I could die while giving them a show."

    "...What did you do?" her Servant asked.

    "I hurt people. Trafficked guns, drugs. I didn't have a home, and I thought that I found one among the gangs. I was wrong. That's it."

    "They sent a common criminal to the War?" Lancer mused. "Oh, my apologies, Master, I meant no offense-"

    "Whatever," Cleo waved him off. "I know what I am. If I had to guess, someone had a personal beef with me and wanted to see me go out in some spectacular way."

    "And give you a shot at the Grail in the process?"

    Cleo laughed. "Please. I have some of the worst odds in the War. I'm among professional magus here, and I... well, my abilities were screwed up a long time ago."

    "Huh?"

    "Shut up and let me focus," Cleo snapped. "Now isn't the time."

    "I want to understand what's going on here, Master."

    "I said shut up."

    "...Fine."

    The sun had set before Cleo finished healing the wound, and rose from the ground. "You'll have to heal the rest on your own," she said tiredly before collapsing into her bedroll, legs weak.

    Lancer nodded, and dematerialized.

    ---

    Konstantin idly fingered the opal, flipping it through his hands as he watched his older sister fall asleep. Night had fallen, and the guests had left once their business was concluded - his mother excluded, of course. Sooner or later he'd have to arrange for a car accident, but not now. One family member at a time.

    With a smile, he activated the tracking rune.

    [[Go go gadget historical embellishment!

    Okay, Lenore, your cue. I added the rune thing in so that it would be a little less contrived.

    Also can't wait to see the rest of Berserker's scene, Zelos :o]]
    Last edited by Eruedraith; April 17th, 2012 at 01:34 PM.

  19. #69
    year of the salmon Lady of the Arena Lenore's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    The flare of prana came without any warning, startling Lana. She spun around quickly and peered through the trees, hoping to see something through the darkness. Russian magecraft… very Russian magecraft. Interesting; in her opinion, something like that deserved investigation. She began heading in the direction she had sensed it, frowning faintly. By now it had dulled to a faint pulsing, but it was still very easy to follow. Perhaps too much so, murmured a part of her, which she promptly ignored. This was better than sitting around waiting to be attacked.

    “What on earth are you doing, girl?” hissed Assassin, speeding up to walk beside her. He had assumed his wolflike form again.

    “Tracking something,” she said shortly. “Surely you can understand that much?”

    He tipped his head sideways and sniffed at the air. “Interesting. Tracking… what?”

    “I felt some sort of spell activate. The kind of spell which, to the best of my knowledge, is known only to Russian magi.”

    “Ah. Hoping for an alliance, maybe?” She could feel him smirking. “Or did you learn nothing at all from yesterday?”

    “People react to things differently,” she pointed out curtly, cutting a vine out of her way with surprising viciousness. “You never know until you try.”

    The Servant sighed. “You do realise that any alliance you make is going to end badly, right?”

    “If there’s one thing I know, Assassin, it’s that loyalty is fluid. Which is why I would completely intend to backstab my ally first.”

    “And if they refuse your offer?”

    “We fight, of course.”

    A silence fell as the pair continued their march forward. Unusually, the wolfman was the first to break it. “You know, Lebedeva, I can’t figure you out. You’re young, attractive, intelligent enough, all that. You have your whole life ahead of you. Basically, you don’t belong here on San Graal. So what could possibly motivate you to join this War?”

    Lana raised an eyebrow, puzzled by this change of subject. “Why so interested?” she asked lightly. “I didn’t think you actually cared about anyone other than yourself.”

    “I did care about someone… once. But I’ve learned better,” he growled, dark eyes flashing dangerously. “Caring about others causes nothing but hurt.”

    “Oh.” A serious, emotional answer was the last thing she had been expecting. “Well, uh, do you want to talk about it?”

    “With you, girlie? Not likely.” His tone suddenly became mocking and almost acerbic. “So, what is it you want that only the Grail can grant? Is it a booooooooooy?”

    “If it was a boy, I could’ve had him twenty times over by now,” she replied flatly. Her statement wasn’t arrogant, just matter-of-fact. She knew what she was capable of.

    “Well, what else would a young woman want? Popularity, maybe? A better body?”

    “You insult me,” she snapped, stopping in her tracks and glaring at her Servant. “Do you know who I am? Do you know where I come from? I grew up on the wrong side of the law, Assassin. I’ve been smuggling anything and everything you could possibly care to name since I was ten years old.” Her voice rose. “&&&&, I’ve killed people. And I’m damn sick of it, but my job isn’t one that you can just up and quit. Is wishing for a way out really such a bad thing?”

    The jungle was deathly silent after her little outburst. Lana didn’t lift her gaze from Assassin’s face, breathing heavily.

    “You’ve surprised me again,” he noted calmly.

    “Is that really all you have to say?”

    “Yes, Lana, it is.”

    Even though it was the only time he’d used her first name, it didn’t really register to the frustrated woman. “I mean, I just bared my soul to you, and-“

    He cut over her. “So you’ve broken the law? Funny story about me and the law: at my trial, I was sentenced to death. The slow and painful kind. And you’ve killed people? Murdered them, even? Welcome to the club.” His pointed teeth glinted dully as he flashed her a humourless smile. “You know how many people I’ve killed? Dozens.”

    Coming from the brusque Assassin, that was practically a speech. “Well, dozens isn’t so bad,” said Lana, trying to be flippant despite the knot in her stomach. “I mean, I’m sure that I-“

    His deep-set eyes were cold as they met hers. “They were all children.”

    Her breath caught in her throat, and she scrambled to put some distance between herself and the Servant. Wildly, she pointed her gun at him. “Get away from me!” she shouted.

    “Now, now, girl,” he murmured, raising his hands in the universal gesture of being unarmed. “Let’s not do anything rash-“

    “You’re a monster.” Her voice rose in pitch as she veered dangerously close to hysterics. ”My only ally in this goddamn War is a monster.”

    “Let me ask you something,” snarled Assassin, all pretence of gentleness gone. “What’s the difference between me and you? What is it that gives you the right to label me an abomination but you, Svetlana Lebedeva, can never be anything less than a victim of circumstances?”

    “Children, Assassin!” Lana wailed. “You killed children, for &&&&’s sake.”

    “A life is a life. One isn’t worth any more than another. Or at least, it shouldn’t be.”

    “That’s twisted logic,” she argued.

    “Let me ask you another question, then. How many people have you killed?”

    Uh oh. Best to try and dodge the question. “I, I don’t see how that’s relevant-“

    He strode over to her and grabbed her by the shoulders, eyes boring into her own. “I said, how many?”

    She dropped her gaze. “I don’t know. It’s not like I keep a count or anything.”

    “Liar.” He shook her roughly, claws digging into her skin. “Tell me.”

    “Thirty-four,” she said softly, voice just above a whisper. “But it was in self-defence, if I hadn’t shot them they would’ve-“

    “And did you feel remorse? Do you still?”

    Did she? Her mouth worked at empty air, trying to string together a defence. But she said nothing, and Assassin seemed to take this as an answer. He moved his head closer to hers, lowering his voice to speak in her ear. “Then you and I are just the same.”

    Her stomach dropped, and the world seemed to reel around her. She swayed a little on the spot. Of course she had done some questionable things, but she’d never thought of herself as a bad person. Bad People enjoyed killing others – but hadn’t she found satisfaction in a masterful shot, placed just right? Hadn’t she felt the thrill of going head to head with those who sought to kill you and outliving them? She suddenly found herself to be very, very alone indeed.

    “I’m... going to need some time to try and understand this,” she said quietly.

    “Fine, but we have more pressing matters to attend to.” He let go of her abruptly and paced back. “Which way is the spell?”

    Lana raised a weak hand and gestured.

    “Good. Are you coming?”

    “Mm,” she murmured faintly, willing her legs to budge.

    He moved forward, but then paused. Assassin half-turned his head to look at her, meeting her gaze, offering her some parting words before striding ahead. “Men, Lebedeva, are beasts. I suggest you try and get used to it.”


    ((Erue, feel free to just jump to Lancer sensing their approach.))

  20. #70
    It's a shotgun opera and the fat lady is singing tonight Forum Veteran Eruedraith's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    For a woman who had just done one of the hardest magical feats in her life, Cleo was finding it a little hard to rest. Lancer's words - and curiosity - had reminded her of some things that she, as a rule, tried to forget. She glanced over at Lancer, who was sitting still, his eyes closed, apparently trusting in his sensory abilities to see an enemy coming. The possibility that he might be slacking off didn't even occur to her. Lancer was one of the Knight classes, and as a rule, they usually had some sort of honor system that kept them from slacking off.

    Quietly, she drew from her pack a thin, worn book, and undid the three leather thongs that kept it closed.

    Then, she began to read.

    ---

    Konstantin smiled. Svetlana Lebedeva, as expected, was approaching Cleo's location. And her Assassin. This would be an interesting match indeed.

    Now, he wondered, would Caster pick it up?

    ---

    Lancer's eyes suddenly flew open. A Master was approaching - but without a Servant? That was odd.

    "Master," he called out to her gently, even though he knew that she was the only one that could hear him, anyways. "We have company, Master. Another Master, but without a Servant."

    His Master rose - a little too quickly for someone who had just been sleeping - and drew her weapon, racking it back. Out of the corner of his eye, Lancer thought he could see her pocketing something. "That's odd," she said in the same low tone. "What kind of Master would go running around without their Servant? I mean, sure, they could just summon their Servant with a Command Spell, but that seems like a real waste."

    "There are several possibilities," Lancer said, rising. "First, perhaps the Servant is doing something else, perhaps attacking or guarding another pair. The former is unlikely - with no Master to support them, it could get ugly. I doubt that we have progressed far enough into the War for secondary objectives to be popping up, so the latter is also unlikely. So, this Master may be an illusion, a distraction. Or perhaps..."

    "The Servant is hidden," Cleo's eyes narrowed. "Assassin."

    "My thoughts precisely," Lancer nodded. "What's the plan?"

    Cleo felt a cold hand grip her stomach. There was no way that she could support Lancer's physical body in combat for very long. "It's coming straight towards us?" she asked.

    "Yes."

    "&&&&."

    "Yes. Orders?"

    "We can't run. We're both too weak for that. Plus, they could follow us easy enough, if they could find us. We stand and we fight."

    "Understood." Lancer grinned despite himself, and put his antlered helm on, standing. As he did so, he materialized, and Cleo felt the sensation of prana trickling out from her intensify.

    A thought occurred to her. And, surprisingly, she was okay with it.

    They stood back to back, watching and waiting.

    [[Get your mind out of the gutter, I'm not talking about prana restoration.]]

  21. #71
    year of the salmon Lady of the Arena Lenore's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    Lana waited in the forest, just out of sight of the other pair - a female magus and a Servant with a polearm, likely Lancer. Beside her, Assassin sniffed at the air once or twice, grinning wolfishly, but saying nothing.

    She cast an anxious glance at her left hand. Her pinky was now completely gone; the rest of it had been chewed off by her Servant before they left camp. She had been able to use the miniscule amount of healing magic she had to stop the bleeding, but the stump still felt raw. Wincing, she concentrated on something else: winning. That much, she could do.

    "Stay here," she murmured to Assassin, who nodded minutely, "and don't move until I tell you to, or Lancer attacks. We need the element of surprise." Stepping out into the clearing, she levelled her gun at the magus girl and addressed her in her native Russian. "Who are you? Speak."
    Last edited by Lenore; April 18th, 2012 at 06:41 AM.

  22. #72
    It's a shotgun opera and the fat lady is singing tonight Forum Veteran Eruedraith's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    Cleo responded by raising her gun as well. "Cleo de Phantis," she said, evenly. "Master of the Servant Lancer. And you?"

    Lancer's eyes roved the area, trying to sense something. This woman being Assassin's Master was all but confirmed, now. She obviously had backup, given that she had just stepped out into clear sight of a Master and her Servant and challenged them. He grit his teeth, the sound loud in his ears. This Servant would be hard to track with mundane sense as well. He was caught flatfooted. That was all.

  23. #73
    year of the salmon Lady of the Arena Lenore's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    "Svetlana Lebedeva, Master of Assassin." An uneven smirk twisted Lana's mouth as she quickly scanned the scene before her, keeping her gun trained on Cleo. Both Master and Servant were clearly weakened; Assassin had told her about the weakness of their prana while they had been hidden in the trees. And she had the advantage. "Might I ask if-"

    Something hit her, though, and she cut herself off, frowning a little. "Hold on, now. I know you. I've definitely seen you somewhere before. That hair of yours is pretty damn unique, de Phantis." Chewing at her lip, she tried to think. "But where...?"

  24. #74
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    Oh, wonderful. Someone who knows me. That probably means that she wants to kill me. Cleo thought. She swallowed, briefly. Well, no point in helping her recall. It couldn't be anything good. Quietly, she dropped her left hand to her pocket, and drew from it the small, leather-bound book that she had been reading in earlier. Like a shadow, she slipped it into a fold in Lancer's armor. "You said you wanted to understand," she whispered to her Servant. "That should help."

    "What are you trying to do?" Lancer harshly whispered back.

    "Just do what I tell you."

  25. #75
    year of the salmon Lady of the Arena Lenore's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/blood sport

    Lana snapped her fingers, a sudden sound. "That was it! De Phantis... I've heard your name on the streets. Big-shot family in the criminal underworld, aren't you? Only it looks like you didn't quite get to that level, huh. You know where it was that I saw you? I saw you leaving my house one night. The night I found my uncle with half a dozen bullets through his brain." Her smile had returned, although it was by no means a joyful one. Quite the opposite. "He was the only family I had left, and you murdered him. &&&&&." She almost spat the final word, and was clearly only barely managing to restrain herself from jumping at the other woman.

    Then she paused, and seemed almost to reconsider. "Assassin?" she murmured, maintaining her gaze. Her eyes had hardened; if looks could have killed, Cleo would have been in a very deep grave indeed by now. "Kill her."

    Like a blur, Assassin burst from the trees, hungry mouth open and heading right for Cleo's throat.


    ((Alright, let me dig up a couple things: a Phantasm and a skill.

    Carpe Jugulum (?): Gives Assassin a slightly better chance of delivering a killing blow aimed at the throat.

    and Murderer of the Misty Night (?): A skill associated with the Servant's nature as a serial killer rather than as an Assassin, which permits a 90% chance of a pre-emptive strike against all opponents. However, near-certain success of the skill is possible only at night. Requires a successful Luck Check for use during daytime.

    And Assassin is damn fast to boot. Have fun.))

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