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RolePlayerRoxas The Thirteenth Something Or Other

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Kishinami Hakuno


That fake Kiara truly was awful. Even as they fled, she just had to torment Jason further with that voice. As terrifying as that monster was, Hakuno could feel anger welling within her as she dragged the poor guy away with her. What was she getting out of this?! It was all sick, demented, twisted. She couldn't be allowed to do as she pleased any longer.

The other Kiara had launched an attack at the retreating group, forcing Benienma to break off her bout in order to protect them. Her skill was flawless and - in any other circumstance - beautiful to behold. Unfortunately, it only reinforced their predicament. If Saber had to protect them from the fake Kiara, she was going to get hurt by that strange Hijikata shadow sooner or later. Once they were out of the way, the small Servant could go all-out... but that still left her in a 2 Vs 1 situation.
Hakuno bit her lip in frustration as she ushered the others out with her. If she were even a halfway competent magus, she could at least distract that monster and let Benienma focus on her battle. As-is though, this was all she could do. Quickly raising her hand, Hakuno focused her magic into her palm, sharing as much of it as she could with the diminutive sparrow before she finally fled the room.

"Let's get to the lobby!" Hakuno said, grabbing the radio at her hip. The further they were from that room, the better. With the radio crackling to life, the young master called for help, "HQ, this is Kishinami! Situation at Fusang Hospital, Saber is engaging with an unknown enenmy and a strange Servant! Backup please, over!"

@VitaVitaAR@PKMNB0Y
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The Arena
@ghastlyInc@PKMNB0Y



The match had been proceeding as expected - utterly boring. She realized that in a city like this, such restrictions on a servants fire power was to be expected. After all, they couldn't very well just fire off powerful Noble Phantasms that could destroy half the landscape without cause, but where was the excitement? The scenes of carnage? Servants fighting servants, a valiant battle between powerful beings that she could put to canvas? Nay, none of that was here! Just fights with sticks and rocks. No tension!

Ah, she wasn't one to really revel in chaos, but a certain amount was needed to make a decent composition.

"...hm?" She cast a glance over to her servant, before her eyes followed his gaze towards the stadium. Oho, what was this? This was certainly an interesting turn of events. The place was covered in chaos within seconds as shadowy assailants covered the arena. Weaker masters and those without servants were quick to succumb to the shadowy assailants. Now this was a scene she could commit to memory! A scene of carnage and valiant struggles! Yes, yes, this was what she wanted to see!

She watched silently as Lucius dispatched one of the shadows, drinking in the sight of the shadow dying. Hm, yes, now that was a good composition, wasn't it? It would indeed, do wonderfully. She already had a scene in mind.

"A-ahem." Taking a second to collect her composure, the painter looked out over the Arena. "I suppose it is. Shame, that." She twirled the paintbrush in her hands, smiling softly as the scene came together in her head. "Thirty a head, and you model for me later. No complaints or questions." Marietta, tilted her head slightly to the side. Hm, yes, perhaps she should do that. "And don't worry about my safety, darling." Marietta quickly applied her paintbrush to the canvas again. "I have a few tricks up my sleeve, so feel free to enjoy yourself as you please, and try not to disappoint me."
Hidden 2 mos ago 1 mo ago Post by PKMNB0Y
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Jason Liu

At Benienma's reaction towards her own bout of entertainment, Kiara brought her hand towards her mouth and licked her lips. The anger that the Saber in front of her was feeling was quite palpable, even from her position behind her puppet, but given that she seemed just as intent on protecting her Master and those with her as she was in trying to take her head...

There was really nothing to call this other than 'exhilarating'; it was an experience that she hadn't felt in ages.

"Your energetic chirping really is music to my ears," she said, gesturing towards the doorway as she spoke. "But do you really think that you are in a position to be able to talk as you are now?"

With another gesture, a giant hand seemed to rise out from Benienma's shadow, acting as a momentary blockade to prevent her from retreating or moving into the hallway. In that same instant, the shadow Hijikata rushed forth, blade ready as it moved to strike at the Saber in turn.


No matter how much he wanted to ignore the 'fake' Kiara's words, the similarities to Mary's voice had taken their toll on Jason's mind as he was dragged away by the two other people accompanying him. As pathetic as he felt, the ever-sinking feeling in his heart as his own doubts seemed to reverberate in his mind only caused him to move forward mindlessly in turn.

As he continued to move along, though, the sound of Hakuno's radio crackling back as it was activated served to only give momentary relief, if only before the next statement dashed it in an instant.

"HQ to Kishinami. Code Red at the Fusang Arena; multiple hostiles, confirmed dead in the dozens. Situation continuing to escalate; all reserve forces are to move to the Arena to aid in relief and suppression efforts. Request denied. Over."

At the same time that the transmission ended, though, a few of the patients and visitors seemed to move and block the group's path. More than a few simply stared at the three, their eyes glassy as they seemed to move forward. More than a few seemed to be wielding makeshift weapons—IV poles, needles, and their ilk—as they seemed ready to strike out at the group.

@RolePlayerRoxas@VitaVitaAR
Alter Ego — Meltryllis

Grateful that her Master had finally decided to turn her brain on and moved to hide, Meltryllis swiftly pushed herself off the ground and brushed herself off. The Servant that had fired the arrow at her seemed to be retreating—or, at the very least, attempting to do so.

She would make sure that he wouldn't have the chance.

In an instant, the Alter Ego sprang forward, leaving the restaurant behind as she struck out at the shadow with her knee. The spike, this time, seemed to catch the weapon that the shadow was wielding, and Meltryllis moved in an instant to counteract that. Without missing a beat, she flung her leading leg upwards, dragging the weapon with it as she used her other leg to catch the shadow's head in turn and bring it toward the pavement.

"Annoyingly durable, aren't you?" she complained, stepping forward and glaring at the shadow as it lay prone on the ground. "But at the very least, I can make use of you with no problems."
The Arena

The immediate combined efforts of those present served to greatly reduce the number of casualties in the areas that they were present near, but the sheer number of shadow Servants made protecting the entire arena, even with the combined support of all of those present, a far more trying task than one would expect. There were small pockets of people that seemed to be barely fending off the oncoming threats on part of a Servant or two here or there, but the slowly increasing count of enemies encroaching upon them made it difficult for them to even attempt to move, much less evacuate.

Among them, though, one red-headed Servant, his wiry frame and feather quill making him well-known to even those who those who paid little attention to the matters of Fusang knew now, seemed to be furiously scribbling away in his book.

"Hm... Hmhm! Yes, this is the sort of tragedy that I have been waiting for! Yes, the bloody affair that Macbeth bore witness to seems to pale in comparison to this! The darkest of—"

"Whatever ideas you might have now, Shakespeare, please save them for AFTER we get to safety!"

It was fairly apparent that his Master wasn't exactly pleased about how much fun he was having in the middle of such rampant carnage and chaos.

@Raineh Daze@Rune_Alchemist@ghastlyInc@1Charak2
Tower of Babylonia

The trip through the building itself gave Da Vinci a chance to fully take in her surroundings. The method by which the building itself had been optimized in terms of using the leylines that it sat on made itself fairly obvious, and despite the sci-fi atmosphere that it seemed to give off, the Caster could appreciate the work that had been put into this in the first place.

That gave her time to consider the testimony of the Einzbern, though. As straightforward as it was, there were few places where she could interject. There were a few questions that she had even so, though, and the trip towards their destination meant that she had enough time to ask them.

"Hm... I see, I see... It's quite possible that someone had tampered with the Master you had seen beforehand, rather than the Servant... But if they are in custody, maybe we could obtain the clearance to question them? Assuming, of course, that their memories weren't tampered with as well..."

Upon seeing the smaller physical form of the A.I. after entering the next room, though, Da Vinci simply laughed. Patting her Master on the back as she took a step forward, the Caster seemed to retain a warm (if not slightly cocky) smile as she simply bowed in turn.

"HECATE, was it? Hm, hm... Don't worry, your secret is safe with Da Vinci-chan~!" she teased, winking at the woman that had taken the child's place before taking a step back. "In any case..."

Clearing her throat, the Caster placed one hand to her chin and quietly contemplated the situation a bit further before looking straight at the woman in front of her.

"Is there any possible method by which a Command Seal could be intercepted? Despite all that I have learned about the ritual, what stands out to me is that it is still a relatively recent creation in context of magecraft as a whole. If the first question cannot be answered directly, would it be possible to search for origins of the ritual that could be twisted in turn to achieve a similar effect?"

@DocRock
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Saber - Benienma


"Ah..?!"

No! She'd been cut off from her Master, and the others! That made it far more difficult to effectively defend them... Benienma clenched her teeth. With any luck, perhaps they wouldn't face any threats now that they had left the room... it was all she could hope for, when there was no room to retreat. Indeed, before she could even complete a single thought the puppet Hijikata had lurched forward, swinging his sword down and forcing her to counter just as swiftly.

What he had lost in skill, he made up for in mindless fervor. No sooner then she had deflected his first attack, Benienma was forced to deflect another. And then another...!

Undeniably, she was capable of defeating this opponent, but the fact that the second Kiara was also present, also a potential threat... she had to end this fight as swiftly as she could. She had to cut down this mockery of a proud Servant and then cleave the monsterous woman's head from her shoulders, then return to her Master's side!

And so...!

"I am Benienma, and I swear that I shall deliver judgement upon you, whatever manner of beast you may be!"

Allowing the next attack to send her skidding backwards, the diminutive Servant sheathed her blade once more. She had to take the puppet down in one more blow, to eliminate one of her opponents as swiftly as possible...!

@RolePlayerRoxas@PKMNB0Y




Mihama Nanako


From her vantage point, Nanako could see the fight progressing. The fact that Meltryllis was the more powerful and skilled fighter was only natural, her opponent was nothing more then a shadow. It was just like the last time. Where were these shadows coming from...? She could only hope that this one hadn't hurt anyone else on its way here.

The shadow did't make a sound, even as it was tossed by its weapon to the ground. Even at the sound of an ugly crack, one of its limbs clearly breaking as the Alter Ego dragged its head in the opposite direction. It was disturbing... these things... how had they come to be? They were nothing like true Servants, even if they were some sort of phantom version of them...

Indeed, one of its arms twisted at an angle that seemed altogether unnatural, the shadow lay prone on the ground for a moment.

But only a moment.

The crossbow snapped up and fired the instant Meltryllis stopped speaking!

But that wasn't all. Charging down the street towards her was another shadow! This one was tall, wielding a massive axe, features entirely impossible to recognize beyond these facts, even as it roared.

@PKMNB0Y




Saber - Arturia Pendragon


There were still far too many people at risk...! The sheer number of these shadows made it difficult to account for the density of their forces. Where had they come from? How could something like this have happened?

The King of Knights buried her blade in the chest of a shadow that had been attempting to fall upon a young mother and her daughter, ripping Excalibur free of its chest as it crumpled to spin and slice the head of a shadow raising a large axe over its head from its shoulders! Yet another advancing shadow was met with a swing that severed one of its arms, and the tip of Arturia's sword piercing its skull. The Saber had already killed so many, and yet their numbers were unrelenting...

Across the arena, she caught sight of her other Knights. Lancelot, calling a blue light along his weapon... Gawain, radiant as the sun, cutting shadows down left and right... Bedivere, his one-armed spear technique piercing multiple shadows with a single thrust. And this did not even account for those out of her line of sight. She knew not a single knight that was present would fail to act!

They had to save as many of these people as possible...!

As Arturia cleaved a shadow in half from shoulder to hip once more, she began to channel magical energy across her sword. Killing them one by one wasn't enough! And so...!

"Get down!" she demanded, the order ringing in the ears of the civilians nearby. The moment all of them heeded her order, she allowed her magical energy to flow upwards and from the tip of Excalibur!

With a grand, ringing sound a burst of light exploded from the tip of the sword! It pierced a dozen shadows in an instant, vaporizing their bodies! Twisting her body, the blonde knight dragged her weapon sideways, the beam of light following and burning its way through several dozen shadows all at once as it did. In a matter of seconds, Arturia had cleared a vast patch of the stands of darkness, all that left of her opponents a cloud of black vapor disappearing into the wind!




"Haaaaah!"

Holding her shield in front of her and her lance pointed forward, Gareth charged her way up the stands! As she ran, she slammed into the shadows with bone-crushing force, driving the tip of her weapon through at least a dozen of the dark figures, their dissipating corpses clearing the way for her as she went. There were so many people in danger, and even if the majority of them were still alive, far too many had died already...

She had to protect everyone she could! And that included that Servant with a quill! Shakespeare, that was it!

Just as a wiry shadow with a long dagger lunged for him, she reached his side, driving the tip of her lance through the shadow's head and obliterating it in a single blow, smacking another a shadow away with a swing of her shield.

"Help the others escape as best you can! My fellow Knights are going to clear out as many shadows as we can! All of them!"

@PKMNB0Y@ghastlyInc@1Charak2@Raineh Daze@RolePlayerRoxas




HECATE's Chamber


Carefully ignoring anything pertaining to the initial appearance she had displayed, HECATE considered what she had been asked

"Hmm... My databases indicate that the alteration or interference with the function of command seals is extremely difficult," she said, finally, nodding to herself as she adjusted her glasses lightly. It was nearly impossible to change how command seals functioned, no matter how capable the mage attempting to do so was. If they weren't involved in the actual construction of the ritual...

"Based on the information in my logs, I can safely assert that the only possible perpetrator is a magus originating from the age of gods. Records indicate there are multiple Servants who fit this description currently active in Fusang. However, their whereabouts are all currently accounted for."

She cleared her throat, an unnecessary but very human-like behavior, before holding up what looked like a clipboard projected in her hands.

"My information on likelihood of interference is sadly lacking. If particular traits could be established for magecraft capable of this level of sabotage, then perhaps it would be possible to identify likely culprits?"

@PKMNB0Y@Raineh Daze@DocRock
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Kishinami Hakuno


The news delivered over the radio was the exact opposite of what Hakuno had expected to hear. She came to a stunned stop as she stared at the device in her shaking hand, eyes wide. Slowly, she raised it closer to her mouth and spoke in a shaking voice, "...Sorry, I-I think I misheard. Dozens dead?"

How could that even be possible? What was happening over there for that death toll to still be rising? Weren't there a lot of Servants that should have been more than capable of taking on any threat? Was it the fake Kiara's doing? What was happening in Fusang?
That shadow Servant she had summoned in the hospital room... the scene that she had been watching as they arrived... was it more of those fake Servants? Just how many had that monster summoned, under everyone's noses? Had she failed to protect everyone that badly?

Anger and frustration broiled within Hakuno, tightly gripping the radio as she tried to make sense of everything. She had to keep cool. Losing her mind now would only upset Jason and the real Kiara. She had to keep her head and at least get those two to safety. And find some way to help Saber.

"...Let's go," Hakuno muttered, resuming the retreat to the lobby. However, several patients barred their way, acting worryingly strange, "Um, excuse me, but there's an emergenc...y..."
The way they looked at Hakuno's group... they weren't all there. And seemed ready to attack. This was incredibly problematic for several reasons. Hakuno could hardly count herself as a combatant; she was much better at blending into the background and slipping away before someone noticed, but against an actual opponent, her options were limited.

And her few options were well and truly neutered when it was unwilling, sick puppets opposing her.

"...Let's take the wrong way round," Hakuno suggested, eyes on the group as she willed the other two to back off.
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Assassin-Lucius


"As the Lady wishes...But it had best not be another nude." He warned in a teasing tone, knowing he could probably squeeze a few more coins out of the girl if it was. Lucius leapt from the private booth, savoring the feel of free fall for a moment before gravity took him, dropping him into the chaos of the stands. He landed hard on the back of a shadow Servant, feeling whatever ephemeral equivalent to a spine snap under his weight long before his spear buried itself into the creatures skull. Light exploded from the otherside of the arena as The King of Knights cut a bloodied swath through the attacks with her noble phantasm.

Frankly, that weapon felt like cheating. And were this a grail war he'd have taken that as a solid indication that killing her master, and leaving Arturia alone would have been the sole option for dealing with her (however much the idea galled him). But thankfully, no such war was in place, and he'd be a fool not to have some gratitude for the massive overkill being on THEIR side. He pushed forward down into the stands, casually flicking his spear into the neck of a shadow as he passed.

"speaking of our side..." He mumbled, sprinting past a hurdled ball of lesser masters guarded by a trio of servants and throwing himself into a group of five shadows. He ducked past an axe aimed his face, bring his spear up to deflect a sword as it attempted to catch him off guard. Throughout the arena, every friendly servant felt a sudden boost in their speed as he activated his skill; And Salvius Was There. Those at the highest echelon of agility likely felt little change, there was only so much speed one could have after all. But it would sure up the defenses of the lesser servants and make their heavy hitters all the more a threat to the shadows.

"Mores the pity it doesn't affect me though..." He thought, parrying a hammer before driving his spear into the throat of the would be assassin. His hand firing out as he did so and grasping the axe wielder by the collar before driving his knee into the brutes face, dazing him the milisecond he needed to wrench the spear from his now evaporating victim and draw it across the shadows spine. The remaining three shadows backed away quickly, now not so eager to swarm him with their current number. The two sword wielders (and a curiously small shield fighter it seemed), took a defensive posture. Evidentially deciding to stall until their numbers recovered.

That was all fine by Lucius. He only really needed one of them to stay alive to keep the skill going. And with the shield fighter there, a match up he'd admit would be annoying to deal with even if these were relatively trivial foes, it was an easy choice. "DO TRY AND MAKE IT QUICK!" He yelled toward the center of the arena. "THIS TRICK ONLY WORKS FOR A LITTLE WHILE."

@Rune_Alchemist@VitaVitaAR@RolePlayerRoxas@PKMNB0Y@1Charak2
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The Arena



Mary watched Lucius leave with a small smile. She was glad she wasn't down there in the thick of it. That'd be a death sentence at worst, and her getting in the way at best. A brawl like that was no place for proper masters. Any who thought otherwise didn't understand the subtleties involved in any sort of servant conflict. Instead, she needed to focus on protecting herself and delivering support to her servant should he have need of it.

Taking her palette and brush, she began drawing runes on the area around her. A bounded field was a simple thing any mage of any proper skill could make, but with a little creative application she could make it a bit more...complete. A simple field made up of a simple array of runes meaning 'secret', 'pain', and 'stagnation.' . Perhaps she should have given Lucius a small bit of helping with a movement rune? Hm, no, if he couldn't handle these shadows with backup from some fairly strong looking servants, then he was a poor servant.

"Now then," Once she had made sure to set up five runes on the walls and floor of the room, she focused her attention on the spectacle before her again. Anything that didn't have some form of magical defense that entered here should be temporarily immobilized, at least long enough for her to make a swift escape. "Who would be bold enough to do something like this?" What were these shadows? Where were they coming from? Who was controlling them? And really, who would be audacious enough to do something like this in Fusang? Even if it was rather ingenious. Those shadows seemed to be able to corrupt other servants. A surprise attack like this would easily swell their ranks. She could admire their audacity, if nothing else.

"...Hm, I slightly regret letting him fight." Mary sighed lightly, applying a fresh streak of paint to her canvas.
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Sir Lancelot


The knight dispatched another shadow almost absent-mindedly as he reached his destination, ducking around a spear thrust and separating head from body. Some of these shadows still managed to represent a challenge to most Servants; the decayed abilities compared to their originals showing just how elite they must once have been. But some... without their Noble Phantasms or skills to call upon, a strong magus would have been able to cut them down.

Not that this addressed the fundamental problem of numbers. Not all Servants were as gifted in direct combat as the knight classes, and the stronger shadows could pose a serious challenge to someone without any advantages of their own. So, the greatest help he could provide before moving in to rescue was to stem the tide of reinforcements; cut through the most damaged part of the stands.

"Reach the end of the world and go beyond its limits," the knight said, the words helping him focus, controlling the turbulent magical energy in his sword as he took one last check at the angle, "Arondight - Overload!"

The light was far less bright than when contained to a single target; the damage much less... but against these shadows, the wave of blue light was more than enough, burning through incorporeal flesh like a sword-stroke itself. It wasn't the outright annihilation of Excalibur or Galatine, but more than deadly on a massed force of this calibre.

This section cleared, the knight descended back into the chaos, noting the sight of a coat-wearing man fleeing with a child. Too fast to catch up with easily, clearly a Servant, but not a fighter. But if he angled to cut across the stands, jumping down and using gravity to his advantage...

"Is anyone else with you?" ... hopefully they would hear the message before speeding right past. At least Lancelot would be able to cleave the shadows in pursuit.

@1Charak2

Laetitia Arconiand


Well, this was not what she was looking forward to today. Watching her Servant show off and remind everyone of just how famous and powerful the legendary King Arthur was, yes. Have to deal with a teeming horde of replicating shadow Servants... well, that had definitely not been on the agenda. Fortunately, with her Servant actually in the fight, she had a front row seat and wasn't immediately turned into yet more summoning material.

Providing backup to her Servant was really the limit of her ability in a situation like this, but it wasn't like that was much more draining than the arena fight would have been... her Saber was no less greedy with mana than she was with food and it was a good thing that she had so much to spare.

The blonde made the brave decision to jump out of the stands and down into the arena whilst keeping an eye out on her surroundings. One, it would make her easy to get to if any of the shadows did get close--she didn't need Saber trying to find her in that situation! Two, it meant that she was somewhat in an expanding ring of safety as the Servants here cleared up the mess.

And three, it made it much easier to work out where to run when the coast was clear.
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Jason Liu

Despite the apparent joy she was taking in watching her opponent mentally flitting back and forth between the puppet that she was commanding and the blockade preventing flight into the hallway, Kiara felt no more committed to having to deal with the Saber than she did about letting the shadow give its 'life' for her. There were more important things to handle, after all, and as fun as toying with Benienma was, it was, in the end, stalling for time.

"Beast... Beast... Hm... That wouldn't be entirely false..." she responded, licking her lips as she began to sink into the floor, her body slowly disappearing into the shadows. "But if you'll excuse me, I have my own matters to attend to. It certainly was fun, watching that foolish boy suffer. Thank you for the treat."

As she completely disappeared, the shadow Hijikata immediately moved in turn, striking out once more at the Saber as if to stall her for but a second longer.



Just as the group seemed to back off (or, in the case of Jason, led off by Kiara), one of the patients struck out at Hakuno with an IV pole. Before the attack could connect properly, though, their arms seemed to be restrained by a pair of snakes. The attention of those controlled still seemed to be trained upon Hakuno in particular, but the Servant that walked up from behind the three seemed to be mildly irate with the situation.

"Honestly, this has become something of a bother..." he sighed behind his mask, glancing at the three before motioning to them to leave. "Half of the other members of the staff are dealing with their own headaches right now, and I'd rather not deal with additional patients if I can help it. As the head of the hospital, I'll deal with these unruly patients; the other exits should be clearer, though I'll make no guarantees about the safety of this place regardless."

@RolePlayerRoxas@VitaVitaAR

Alter Ego — Meltryllis

Despite her apparently dominant position in combat, the shadow under her had enough strength to aim its weapon for her body once again. The roar from its ally did not go unheeded by Meltryllis as she moved to swipe the crossbow away, and in the brief moments that she had as it drew nearer, the Alter Ego swiftly spun in place and struck and the weapon before springing into the air, the bolt firing and leaving a long cut along her right arm as she did so. After a brief moment as she seemed to float in the air, Meltryllis aimed at the new enemy's face. Without a second to waste, she propelled herself downwards onto its head. The initial impact seemed to cause it to pause, but the flurry of strikes as she began to rapidly stomp where she had landed before gracefully backflipping away seemed to do enough to her opponent for the moment.

"Honestly... If I need to use my Noble Phantasm to deal with that..." she complained, shaking her head as she brushed herself off, blood slowly trickling from the wound. "Two on one is always such a hassle, and fighting in a non-virtual environment is..."

The Arena

The mounting counterattack on part of the Servants present had kept deaths following the initial surprise strike of the shadow Servants to a minimum, and though there were still a scant few unlucky enough to fall victim to the continued assault of the enemies to feed their ranks, it did seem as if the number of enemies present had begun to thin in comparison. Their number, though still nothing to scoff at, had actually begun to thin by this point.

Thinking that such a thing would be the end of it all by this point would be a naive thought, though, as one heavily-damaged section of the stands began to shake in turn. As the scant few surviving groups were slowly being ushered into a safer area (save the various Masters and their Servants that had slowly begun to congregate in the center of the battlefield itself), a shadowy claw seemed to burst out of the ruined seats.

Then another.

The mana from the deceased, it seemed, had been congregating elsewhere—and this happened to be it. Soon, the creature that rose from the stands, a facsimile of a Phantasmal dragon that towered well above the Servants present, let out an earthshaking roar as it breathed out a stream of black flame at the exits before turning its attention towards those who remained.

By now, the shadow Servants that DID remain had begun to refocus their efforts towards those who could actually fight, as it was amply clear by now that killing them would supply their own side with more than the average powerless spectator could.

@ghastlyInc@Rune_Alchemist@Raineh Daze@1Charak2
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Saber - Benienma


She was escaping?! No, Benienma couldn't allow that...!

"I apologize, Hijikata Toshizo-san. Had I finished you in our first battle, you would not have had to suffer this denigration. Meet peace with the Battoujutsu of Benienma!"

As the puppet Hijikata's blade boar down towards her, the tiny redheaded girl tilted her body and hurled herself to the side, the sheer pace of her movement leaving a mighty burst of air that rocked the entire room, blowing sheets and papers about as she moved! When she hit the wall, it almost seemed like she appeared for a second, the sheer pace of her movement having rendered her impossible for the human eye to track just for that instant. Her platform geta clicked against the wall, and then in the blink of an eye she pushed herself upwards towards the ceiling! By this point, the shell of a Berserker's blade had hit the ground and bit into the floor. She had no time to waste...!

Somersaulting in the air, Benienma's feet hit the ceiling, and she pushed off as she unsheathed her blade...!

She landed.

Her katana had gone through the puppet Hijikata's neck as she passed. The shell's severed head spiraled through the air, spurting blood, even as the body began to crumble into loose motes of light.

Moments later, the body had vanished entirely, as if it had never been there in the first place.

Sheathing her sword, Benienma immediately darted towards the monster Kiara-

But it was too late. She had sunken into the darkness and disappeared entirely.

But Benienma could still sense it! That foulness on the air! She couldn't have managed to go too far, there was no time to lose...!

But first...

The diminutive redhead turned, dashing out of the now-no-longer sealed room. She had to make sure her Master and the others were safe before anything else!

@RolePlayerRoxas@PKMNB0Y




Mihama Nanako


Having seen Meltryllis fight once before already, Nanako was somewhat better at following what was happening this time. The Alter Ego was capable of moving as if it was a dance, as if this was simply ballet... if not for the danger of the situation, it would be something incredibly beautiful to behold.

But something was wrong. When had Meltryllis gotten hit? There was no way that the first shadow, the one with the crossbow, should have been able to shoot her. Not with how either of them had moved. The crossbow should have missed entirely, especially given the Archer shadow was now looking quite a bit worse for wear.

And yet even from her hiding spot, Nanako could see the crimson streak flowing from Meltryllis's upper arm. Even as she drove her heels into the huge figure's face over and over, and it staggered backwards with a roar...

She could dance throw the bigger shadow's attacks like it was nothing. And yet, as the Archer recovered, every time it unleashed a volley from its crossbow...

It didn't matter how the Alter Ego dodged. No matter how graceful her dance was, another gash appeared on her body. And what was worse... they were getting closer and closer to her center mass. The last one had sliced into her torso, cutting a bloody gash along her waist even though she should never have gotten hit.

"... M... Meltryllis..."

It didn't make any sense...

The Archer shadow was aiming at Meltryllis again, the purple-haired girl turned away as she was forced to engage the bigger enemy. For the moment, the huge shadow was stunned, but...

Nanako could feel it.

Somehow she had come to an understanding.

If the Archer fired again, the crossbow bolt would pierce Meltryllis's heart. It would kill her. The aim with every short had come closer and closer, violating all logic.

"I..."

Nanako trembled. Meltryllis... Meltryllis had hurt her that night. And yet that look in her eyes, her words... Meltryllis had used her own body to shield Nanako from danger. Meltryllis had already been searching for threats. Meltryllis hadn't simply crippled her to make her into a battery.

At the cost of her own safety, taking damage to her body, Meltryllis was fighting alone.

... Maybe... if that crossbow bolt hit someone else...

Nanako understood what had to be done.

Meltryllis wasn't a monster, and so she didn't deserve to fight alone.

Her fists clenching, the brunette girl rose to her feet. There wasn't a single moment to waste. Channeling magical energy through her body, Nanako reinforced the muscles in her legs, glowing green lines spreading across her flesh as she did. She thought she saw the Shadow Archer's finger twitch...

She broke into a sprint. She had the smallest window. She had only a single split second. She had to time it perfectly. Anything less and she knew that her Servant would be killed no matter how swiftly she evaded.

With a shout, Nanako ran faster then she ever had before. Slamming her legs down, she leaped further then she ever had before.

She spread her arms wide, and threw them around the Alter Ego's petite frame, wrapping herself around the other girl just as she heard the crossbow bolt be loosed.

Absolute agony shot through the back of her right shoulder. She could feel it. The bolt was tearing through her flesh, ripping through her body, the tip biting into her and causing her nervous system to scream out in pain.

But she'd already felt so much worse, hadn't she?

Nanako's body spun, even as she held onto Melt and both of them hurtled through the air. She hit the ground first, her grip loosening on the Alter Ego and sending her rolling over the ground. For a moment, she thought she saw the tip of the bolt protruding through the front of her body... it... had gone all the way through...?

But it hadn't hit Meltryllis.

And she was disengaged from the giant Shadow, too... that meant she could take out the Archer.

This... this was the right thing to do.

@PKMNB0Y




Saber - Arturia Pendragon


Perfect...!

The Shadows' numbers had thinned! No-more innocent civilians had been claimed by the darkness, and thus their numbers were incapable of spreading further! Now it was a simple task to clear what remained of their number, and ensure that the injured were quickly moved to the nearest medical facility...

As Arturia cut through another shadow's body, letting the bloody remains vanish into nothingness, she could feel the building mana at the center of the stands on the other side of the arena. She could hear something rising... Something beyond the shadows they had already faced...

Turning on her heel, the King of Knights watched with shock as an enormous shadowy dragon exploded from the ruined seats, rising with a roar and a gout of black flame.

But...

Their mission didn't change in the slightest!

The shadows seemed as if their focus was now on the Servants present, as well... if that made it easier for the civilians to escape, then that was all that mattered right now!

"Fell as many shadows as you can, but the dragon must be destroyed as swiftly as possible!" Arturia called as she sprang from the stands and began to sprint across the field, to all the remaining Servants in the arena. She was certain her knights were already aware of what must be done. But slaying a Dragon... she had done it in life. Not only once, but many times. So had her knights.

That didn't make this any less dangerous!




"Ah?! A dragon?!"

Gareth's eyes widened. Where... where had the dragon come from? It was all dark and misty, just like the shadows she'd been killing were, too... But that didn't change what she had to do!

She was a Knight of the Round Table, so... so a dragon didn't mean anything, either! She had to protect these people all the same!

Spinning in place, she caved in a shadow's skull with a strong bash from her shield, as blue magical energy began to build along her lance. Merlin had made it for her... It wasn't any ordinary weapon! The shadows that were coming swarming up the stand weren't going to stop her!

Gareth slammed into the first shadow, and the magical energy tore its body apart! Then the next! And the next! And the next! Each of the monstrous spirits that she slammed into was torn apart by a torrent of mana, swirling around her lance! Even those out of the direct path of her weapon were being shredded apart and falling to the side as she made her way back down! Protecting the civilians and taking out the dragon was what mattered most!

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Kishinami Hakuno


"Ah?!"

Hakuno raised an arm, eyes wide with alarm when the patient attacked. She had to knock them back with something, but her mind couldn't seem to conjure up the appropriate spell to use. This was a sick person being controlled, after all, what was even the appropriate level of force?! Thankfully, the patient was sudden;y restrained by... snakes? She stared in confusion for a moment, before their saviour arrived. Hakuno wasn't familiar with this person in particular, but his demeanour, strange mask, and vague memories of Servant lists gave her a strong guess of who it was.

"...We'll go that way, then," Hakuno suggested to Jason and Kiara, nodding towards the alternate route. She turned her gaze to the doctor and gave a quick bow, "thank you for your assistance. Please be careful, Saber is currently fending off the perpetrator."

With that, the young Master hurried to lead the other two to safety. As she hurried to take point, a worrying thought was gnawing away at her. It was one thing for that fake Kiara to act as if they were acquainted in any way... maybe she was just imagining it, but those patients all seemed focused on her too. It creeped out her out; it was like that fake Kiara herself was using them just to observe her or something!

Whether they had met in any capacity or not, though, she was growing increasingly concerned that Kiara wanted her. Or was only looking to kill her off, which would still suck a lot, but either way it filled her with dread.

----------------------

Berserker - "Guan Yu"


"Berserker..."

"I... I am fine, Master...!"

The icy ghoul growled as she stood protectively before her Master. During the chaotic battle, she had managed to shield her Master from every blow thrown their way. Oftentimes with her body, rather than the guandao, but that was a small price to pay. Her armour had deflected everything with no issue at all, and she had slain plenty of those shadowy Servants, to the point her frozen blade almost seemed to thrum with life as the crimson liquid coated it.

Yet Guan's master could tell she was having difficulty. Her movement had gotten faster - perhaps thanks to another Master or even a Servant skill - but Guan herself was not the accomplished fighter her father was. She had plenty of power, and a decent sense of battle, but her relative lack of experience in warfare, as well as her nature as a Berserker, made it more difficult for Guan to fight calmly. Maybe that was why she was ignoring the scratches blemishing her armour, the bruising her body had taken from blunt strikes, the blood running down one eye, thanks to a strike her helmet didn't fully protect from...

Guan downed another enemy, piercing the shadow's chest with her blade, and messily extracting it before leaping back. Now that they were gathered in the centre of the Arena, she could better defend her Master! With the other Servants here too, this battle would be easily won-

Even Guan had frozen in place when the dragon emerged, almost awed by its' presence. It, like the strange Servants, was a mere shadow, but it wasn't often you got to see such a terrifying creature before you. A mere imitation Servant like herself was surely nothing to it.
Her Master yelled out a warning, and Guan quickly ducked her head to the side, avoiding a fatal thrust of the shadow's Servant. Beore it could recover and escape, she grabbed the outstretched arm, threw her opponent to the ground, and stomped her foot onto it's chest. Even as it slowly started to freeze over, Guan quickly brought the guandao down on the shadow's head.

She may not be as amazing as her father, but the weapon in her hands... as despicable as its' current state was, it was still far more of a dragon than that fake! Even if her help was limited, Guan could at least use her Noble Phantasm to keep the rest of the Shadows at bay, and let the real dragonslayers focus on the bigger threat!
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Assassin-Lucius


"Aw what the hell..." Lucius grumbled as he watched the hulking form of a honest to goodness dragon burst into the stands, black flames engulfing a few poor souls in a pyroclastic flow. While it definitely wasn't the worst way to die he could think of, it was way up on that list. He stared a moment, racking his brain for anything he might be able to to help kill that thing before it got out of control. He came up with very little, damning his class for its weakness in dealing with heavy hitters like that. He wasn't even sure if his Noble Phantasm would WORK on something like the dragon. It didn't feel like a traditional servant and, sadly, those were his only valid targets with the thing.

And even if it did, he doubted it would help much. His spears could hurt a heroic spirit, even if they were still mundane by comparison. There was just only so many times a person sized target could be stabbed until their body just gave out either due to exhaustion or bloodloss. But with something that large? He could literally stab it all day and get no closer to killing it.

Then something occurred to him. While his Phantasm couldn't damage the behemoth, it MIGHT still cause it to lower its guard for a surprise attack. Provide he kept its attention. With a quick nod to the servants behind him he disengaged from the trio of shadow servants, dropping to a dead sprint for Arturia.

"Saber!" He bellowed as he ran up along side the King of Knights. "If you can get that big bastard to lock eyes with me, I might be able to get you a clean one hit kill. Can you do another one of those giant blasts?" He asks hurried, casually slashing a shadow as they passed it. Neither having the time nor the patience to finish it off.
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Alkyrieaze von Einzbern


"I would not rule out prior tampering... certainly, an incompetent magus might be completely unable to resist some mental strictures. Mentally bind them such that as soon as they try to take a specific action to defuse the situation, they instead unconsciously exacerbate it," the white-haired child interjected, falling back for a second. Hm, those who could interfere with command seals... "The command seals were designed by Makiri Zolgen after the First Grail War proved uncontrollable. I can't say for how the old man designed those used to ensure Heracles' compliance, but I believe that Makiri's design may have redirected some of the energy inherent in the summoning in a form of pseudo magical crest. Three inviolate commands on a Servant, or a potential energy close to Magic."

She supposed that Acht simply went for the "my homunculi have more mana available than any human, copy the idea all over the body" approach.

"Of those founding families, Zolgen--later Matou--are defunct, and the current Tohsaka consists of one individual that I believe can be found in the Clock Tower. Obviously, the Einzbern are uninvolved, otherwise I would never have come here. Those otherwise involved... Kaleidoscope isn't the type but could have the ability, but would be unlikely to have interfered in broad daylight even if he wished to. The former Overseer of the Holy Grail War would have been another possible candidate, as they could acquire leftover seals and redistribute them, but he is also quite dead."

A powerful Caster was far more likely.




Sir Lancelot


The Assassin's response was in the negative--and all the better, as a significantly greater threat had shown up. How their mysterious enemy had manifested a dragon, even out of shadow... obviously, there were enough Servants here to defeat almost any of the creatures had they shown up--even one as famous as Fafnir. Perhaps something on Nidhogg's level would have normally been a threat... but there were numerous dragonslayers present. This was only a pale reflection.

That didn't mean that should it attempt to escape, it couldn't create untold devastation. If its victims themselves became shadow servants or worse, then it need merely flee to reset the attack again. It would have to be grounded immediately, lest it somehow survive Failnaught in its flight.

The entire plan of which was going through Lancelot's head as he rushed towards the arena proper, coming around from out of the beast's sight and making a great leap--right onto its back. Like any creature, made of shadow or not, its response was to try and rid itself of the sudden weight and needling sensation... of the crosses supporting the knight's cloak digging into its back, granting a brief measure of stability.

A measure long enough for Arondight to swing, the noble phantasm slicing through the dragon's flesh with uncanny ease, the anti-dragon blade vastly reducing the resistance that would otherwise be offered. Not starting at the weak membrane of the wing, but the bone, muscle and sinew, allowing for the limb's own weight to steadily rip it free as the shadow creature tried to beat it in an attempt to dislodge the pest--

The pest, now jumping free to stand apart from the King, forcing the creature to try and focus on two enemies at once, with its own useless, crippled wing dragging on the ground.
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Serene Drakos


"If I may?" In the midst of the others talking, something had occurred to Serene. "If you're right about the energy redirection to make command seals, what if what's going on is if someone used Age of Gods magic to thus undo what a command seal is? So if someone used the seal, instead the servant gets back power?" In other words, she had taken into consideration the other master's reflection, and the information from previously, to make her best guess on the matter. Even if probably born out of not knowing as much as more experienced masters would, the ol'razor always worked. Hopefully Da Vinci would have an idea of her own?
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Jason Liu

Following after Hakuno and Kiara (though it was less 'following' than it was 'being dragged along') Jason came to a pause as the others had. With Benienma now sprinting down the hallway, the conclusion that the other Kiara had not yet been defeated—and given the expression of the Kiara at their side, that was more than likely the case.

"...The other way is blocked by patients who have been manipulated by that... Thing," Kiara said, glancing back at the hallway from which they had come before turning towards the Saber. "I can feel that unrestrained evil getting further from us as we speak... But at the same time, I feel that blindly pursuing her on your own may be unwise. The interest that she has shown in Ms. Kishinami coupled with how the roadblock that we had encountered back there only furthers my own suspicions; could I ask if you could escort us towards her location? Despite the danger, leaving us to be picked off might only end in disaster."

@VitaVitaAR@RolePlayerRoxas

Alter Ego — Meltryllis

Despite her best efforts to dodge around the incoming attacks, Meltryllis found each shot moving closer and closer to her center of mass. Ordinarily, this wouldn't have been much of a problem, if at all; her body, as it was, could easily allow attacks to phase through without much of an issue. But be it because of her contract or some other factor, each of the shots had wounded her. Dealing with both of the shadows present made taking out the Archer far more of a hassle than would be ideal, as each time she had warded off the larger one, the shadow had retreated to take another shot.

"You two are really a pair of nuisances, you know?" she grumbled to herself. After having been forced away from dealing with the Archer yet again, the Alter Ego prepared to simply put all of her attention towards the Archer, all else be damned.

Or, well, she would have, had she not been tackled to the ground by her Master. Pushing her out of the way gave Meltryllis a moment to turn, half in surprise, towards Nanako, who now had a crossbow bolt lodged firmly in her shoulder.

Though Meltryllis had fallen, the bigger worry on her mind now was that her Master had decided, for some reason or another, to take the arrow in her stead. She had put so much work into keeping her on the side so that she could act as she needed—even if that meant injuring her in her own way.

But to think that she would do something like this...

"...You idiot. I can handle the rest of this myself," she said, slowly pushing Nanako off of her and turning towards the Archer. There was a cold glint in her eyes as a sadistic smirk crept onto her face. "That little rat will wish it had died by the time I'm done with it."

In an instant, Meltryllis had left the injured Nanako behind. Before the shadow Archer could leave again, Meltryllis had moved behind it, spearing it through the chest with her left leg. Before it could react in turn, the purple-haired Alter Ego leaped into the sky and, without missing a beat, flung her opponent onto the ground next to her injured Master. The second after, she came flying down after it, a manic grin on her face as she repeatedly stabbed into it with her legs. This time, however, she had made sure to separate it from its arms and weapon before leaving it without any limbs to speak of.

Once that matter was handled, though, Meltryllis turned towards the other shadow before springing off after it in turn. Handling it in the same way she had the Archer would be impossible, but with her own sadistic urges now on full display, her earlier restraint held no bearing upon her as she was now.

Caster — Da Vinci-chan

With Alkyrieaze's own addition to HECATE's information, Da Vinci crossed her arms and nodded her head in agreement. Though she had been the one to posit the possibility of the Master being the target of manipulation, ruling out the founders made matters fairly straightforward.

Her own Master's own suggestion, though, caused the Caster to pause for a moment before looking back towards HECATE. As things were now, there were too many questions to be answered without further investigation; in her mind, the only thing left to do now was to trace their only lead.

"Mmm... Well, I don't think that we have records of the incident on hand, per se, so it might do us just as well to simply visit all of the Servants that fit what we have so far. I don't think it should be too hard to investigate if we've got some official clearance, after all," she said, glancing at the others she had come here with. "Does that sound all right?"

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Saber - Benienma


"Of course dechi!"

It had already been Benienma's intention. The other Kiara, that thing that had the form of the kindly nun... she was undeniably an existence of almost pure evil. This was something far beyond those judged as sinful. It was almost like a scent permeating the air, and aura of pure and unrelenting malignancy. It was as if she was some sort of hole in the world, something that ran directly counter towards the very nature of humanity and yet was inexorably connected to it. It was as if the other Kiara was an opponent of humanity, yet born from humanity.

Pure Evil and yet something like a human.

An Evil of Humanity.

"As a judge of hell, I cannot allow someone whose nature is made of nothing but sin to escape," she continued, one hand on the hilt of her katana as she matched her pace with her Master, "Masta, I too am able to detect the path of her escape dechi!"

There were patients, doctors... they had been somehow turned into pawns. Did the other Kiara's evil know no limits? Claiming innocent people and twisting them into soldiers to attempt to stop them, to use as a wall of flesh to prevent their pursuit...

It was completely despicable.

The other Kiara's sins ran through her very existence.

An Evil of Humanity.

A nurse sprang from a doorway, clawing for the good Kiara. In a smooth motion, Benienma leaped from the ground, twisting her body before the nurse could even react and unsheathing her sword. With a dull thud, she brought the bottom of the katana's hilt to the back of the woman's skull, knocking her senseless in an instant!

She toppled to the ground, and the tiny Servant waited for only a moment to ensure that the others passed safely before moving to follow them, effortlessly keeping pace.

@RolePlayerRoxas@PKMNB0Y




Saber - Arturia Pendragon


One of the Servants from the stands had joined her, one she had noticed joining the fray before. Even as the Saber-class Servant ran and listened to her plan, however, she shook her head.

"The amount of power required to slay that dragon, even if it is merely a shadow, in a single blow would require invoking my blade's name. That would cause far too much collateral damage and risk killing untold numbers of innocent people!" she insisted. Indeed, there was no doubt in Arturia's mind that a single blast from Excalibur at its full invocation would utterly vaporize the shadow dragon and leave not a single trace. It could do the same to many a true phantasmal beast. But in doing so, she would destroy much of what was standing behind the blackened monstrosity, potentially killing hundreds.

That was not a risk that she could take!

The dragon's great head reared, but as it did... Lancelot! Her faithful knight had sprang onto its back, using Arondight to hack through the monster's wing in a single blow! It had not been completely severed, but the weight of the enormous limb was serving to rip it free from its body!

Arturia put on another burst of speed, light erupting from Excalibur's blade as she sent herself hurtling onward, fragmenting the earth beneath her feet as she came up parallel to the great shadowy beast! Driving her blade into its flank, Arturia sprinted along the beast's side, opening a lengthy, deep wound along its body as Excalibur's edge cleaved through scales and flesh, spilling a tremendous amount of dark blood onto the floor. The enormous creature roared, a gout of flame emerging from its massive jaws. Twisting her body, the blonde knight wrenched her weapon free from the shadow dragon's flank, another spurt of blood splattering on the ground. It most certainly was not dead, but it had lost a wing and suffered severe injury along its side. Even as some sort of shadow, there was no denying the harm this would cause the monster! If she could, her next move would be to hamstring the beast to limit its movement, severing the ankle of one of its back legs...! Cleaving cleanly through flesh and bone, there was a sizzling sound as the magical energy flowing across her blade severed not just one, but both of the dragon's ankles!

The shadow beast's thrashing tail slammed into the empty stands, crushing and battering them as it snarled, unleashing another gout of angry flames down onto the arena ahead of it!

But even as the injured dragon thrashed, the number of shadow Servants was being depleted. Gareth was capable of understanding this with each thrust. They had seemed endless before, but now it was as if they were fading away at a faster rate...

Slamming one of the creatures to the floor, she drove her lance down to obliterate its chest. Something didn't feel right... Gareth was hardly an expert, but a strange emptiness was beginning to fall across the arena. As if something was being drained away... The energy that had filled the air with the death of countless shadows was disappearing faster and faster.

@RolePlayerRoxas@PKMNB0Y@Raineh Daze@ghastlyInc@Rune_Alchemist




Mihama Nanako


Meltryllis had called her an idiot.

That was fine... it really was. As long as she was okay. As long as she wasn't dead. The Alter Ego who had been trying to subtly protect Nanako as much as she could was Nanako's chief concern now.

Ah... it was hard to even watch what happened next. Her body felt both hot and cold, somehow... was this shock? Her shoulder... it was so painful. But... but Meltryllis's virus prepared her for this. She could endure it. She could withstand it. Even as her blood leaked onto the concrete and she gulped air in deeply... gasping, shivering... Nanako was doing her best not to even make a sound.

She could feel the body of one of the shadows land beside her. She turned in time to see Meltryllis brutally finish it with a rapid-fire series of violent stomps. Ah... that was the Archer, wasn't it? That was good... now it couldn't hurt Meltryllis anymore.

Some part of her acknowledged the sheer brutality of the finisher, but it was hard. Nanako never been injured like this before, her face was pale and she was sweating...

The other shadow let out a tremendous roar, its great axe raised high over its head. It swung it down, unleashing a wave of dark magical energy towards the Alter Ego!

@PKMNB0Y




HECATE's Chamber


"A Caster from the Age of Gods?" questioned the administrator, hands on her slender hips as she gave a thoughtful look, "Curious, there are certainly no shortage of them across the island. We've benefited greatly from their presence, in fact!"

She gave a brief smile, displaying her strangely-sharp, almost predatory teeth. But a more serious expression soon returned.

"For one to interfere with the system of command seals itself, however... wouldn't that be a relatively narrow area of expertise?" she mused, "Relating to the specific mechanics of summoning... As a magus myself, my curiosity on this matter is boundless, but we must locate the one responsible and put a stop to it as soon as possible."

"Yes, Administrator," agreed HECATE, "Additionally, the information provided by Alkyrieaze von Einzbern has greatly assisted in my data analysis. Initiating scan of spirit origin database. Cross-referencing Servant signatures."

The AI paused for a moment, brushing her hair back as she did.

"Scan complete. Beginning location protocol. Accessing observatory satelli-wh-what?"

HECATE's eyes widened.

"Administrator, something is wrong! There's... sector forty-three, the arena is... I can't detect any mana or spirit origins there!"

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Laetitia


Having been doing her best to stay out of the way of the fighting--and not flee the comparative safety of her Servant being right there for the unknown dangers of outside--it was only a matter of time before the tall blonde realised that something was going very wrong. She could do pretty impressive amounts of reinforcement with just her own body, or modify other spells. Most magi couldn't. So, when it was like something was draining all the mana in the area through a straw... what sort of ritual were they doing?

Taking a deep breath, Laetitia started to see if she could trace where it was all headed...




Lancelot


Between his first strike and the king's onslaught, the shadow dragon was effectively--and far too easily, compared to a real one he would have thought--crippled. It still had its claws and flaming breath, but he could see its movements slowing, getting more desperate... and there was the opportunity. He ducked forwards, barely escaping the blast of flame. And then, like that, the Knight of the Lake was in the perfect position, unseen by the weakened monster.

A second later, and its head bounced on the arena floor.
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Jason Liu

Once the group had regrouped with Benienma, breaking through the (somewhat haphazard) blockades set up by those that the other Kiara was controlling was not any particularly large hurdle to overcome. It was as the Caster that had moved to handle the earlier blockade had said; this region of the hospital was notably less populated. Whether that was because of the efforts of other Servants and their Masters here or otherwise remained to be seen, but leaving proved to be no more a challenge than handling the stray few patients that had occasionally lurched at them out of rooms like zombies from a horror game.

Once the group had finally made their way out of the building proper, though, the trail that the other Kiara was distinct enough for both the Saber and the nun to be able to trace its path. Given the lack of other options to take, though, prompt action was all but a given, and the group (Jason included) quickly moved to give chase.


The destination that the other Kiara had led them to, it seemed, were the Fusang Gardens. A large public park dedicated for public use, the otherwise lush greenery that lined the area was now devoid of the usual guests. Be it because of the earlier message that Hakuno had received or... Other reasons, there was no reason to fear anyone else getting caught up in what was to come.

Up on a hill near the center of the area, though, sat the 'other' Kiara, an inviting grin on her face as she watched the group approach. Before the Saber could make any attempts to push through and attack, though, a magic sigil seemed to appear at her feet, and a barrier seemed to form around her, isolating her from the others. Soon after, a larger barrier seemed to be erected around the entirety of the park, enclosing those present with their target.

"Ah... I thought it would take you a little longer to arrive," the other Kiara said, licking her lips as she slowly approached the three humans who had given chase after her. "I had a multitude of traps set for that little sparrow, but... Well, it seems that this shall do for now."

After spending a long time—uncomfortably so, in fact—staring at Hakuno, that Kiara turned towards her other self and smiled.

"Ah, but dear Kishinami can wait for now. For now, I need you to complete myself; so, please, won't you become one with me?"

With that, Kiara extended her left hand in front of herself, which itself was soon followed with a bunch of hands clawing out from underneath the grass and dirt as they aimed to drag Kiara to herself.

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Alter Ego — Meltryllis

Without missing a single beat, Meltryllis somersaulted into the air before launching a wave of energy back at the shadow that stood between her and her peace. The two clashed, and in the instant that they had, the Alter Ego had launched herself straight at her opponent's head.

This time, there would be no interruptions.
No second chances.
No delays.

Her own desire to crush this thing underfoot—all of its existence, worth no more than the life of a single ant upon the sidewalk—was placed into this one strike, and in an instant, her leg had pierced through its head. As it began to topple to the ground, Meltryllis began to stomp—repeatedly—into its head, making sure to inject it with her poison with each strike.

"Un! Deux! Trois!"

With that, Meltryllis, a fiendish grin on her face, licked her lips as she flipped backwards off of the shadow and landed gracefully upon the ruined pavement nearby. The desire to continue trampling upon the corpse of the deceased remained, of course, but after taking a deep breath, the Alter Ego regained some of her composure and walked back over towards Nanako.

"Now... What did I tell you about getting involved?!" she asked, eyebrows furrowed in annoyance at her Master (who, at this point, was still bleeding out on the floor). "You're here to make sure that I'm able to do my job, not throw your life away! Honestly, this is why I can't stand humans... Come on, now; get up. You're bleeding all over the floor, and I can't do anything to fix you up. We need to get you somewhere so you won't die and take me with you, okay?"
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Saber - Arturia Pendragon


There was an ugly gurgling sound, as blood spurted from the severed stump of the shadowy dragon's neck. Its visible throat contracted for a few moments, before it fell over sideways. Before its corpse could hit the ground, its body seemed to dissipate, fading into black mist and hovering into the air. But rather then simply vanishing...

Something else happened.

The remainder of the Shadow Servants, too, had perished. Their darkness joined the cloud of black magical energy hovering over the arena, and suddenly it was drawn away, as if sucked through a straw. That wasn't all. The arena felt oddly empty, too, as if the air was distinctly missing something...

"..."

Arturia flicked her sword, the dragon's blood scattering before dissipating into the air. This was wrong. While certainly, the slaughter of the attacking shadows was necessary, and the survival of the majority of the civilians here was ideal, but at the same time...

Something was wrong.

"Has... has all the mana been drained from the air? And the shadows..."

She hesitated for a moment. This did not bode well.

"The Knights of the Round Table triumph again!" declared Gareth, brightly from the stands. With that, she immediately set about checking on anyone who might have lingered in the arena, seemingly missing the fact that the mana had drained from the air... It was streaming to the southwest of the arena, flowing in the direction of a certain park...

At that moment, sirens echoed from outside the arena. It seemed that the reinforcements had arrived.

@RolePlayerRoxas@PKMNB0Y@Raineh Daze@ghastlyInc@Rune_Alchemist




Mihama Nanako


Ah... both the shadows were dead.

By now, the pain in her shoulder was less intense. Not that it didn't hurt, not that the pain wasn't extreme... but it was somewhat less severe. Somewhat. Her left hand clutching at her bleeding shoulder, Nanako took deep, gasping breaths as she lay on her back and Meltryllis approached her. In spite of the horrible sensation still searing the hole through her right side, she managed to give the Alter Ego a shaky, wavering smile.

"Th-this..." she stammered, before sharply inhaling, "I endured your virus all n-night, didn't I...? This is nothing..."

Really... even if it hurt, the comparison was impossible. So she could endure this. She had done the right thing.

Nanako didn't have any regrets. Trembling, she managed to sit up, trying to get her legs beneath her.

"... A-are... are you okay, Meltryllis...? Even though you were dodging..." she trailed off, stumbling a little and hitting her knees with a wince. "... I think it was its Noble Phantasm... So I had to do something!"

@PKMNB0Y




Saber - Benienma


The remainder of the resistance in the hospital was incapacitated just as easily as the first among them had been. Many of them were normal humans, or magi, but they were acting with little coordination. This allowed Benienma to disable them without causing serious injuries, sharp blows with her sheathed blade were sufficient to knock them flat and often into unconsciousness. It did not take much longer to reach the hospital's exit.

From there...

Both human Kiara and Benienma herself could almost pick up the scent of the trail that the monster that shared the former's face. Her evil nature was boundless. Inhuman and yet human.

The redheaded enma had yet to share the conclusion she made of the nature of this threat. But it was undeniable in her mind at this point.

The other Kiara's ultimate goal was to become something far, far worse then even the most malignant Servant.

At the very least, determining the monster's location was easy. Almost too easy...

It was ironic that the park, a place on the island that was close to nature and represented purity as a result, was the site she had chosen to flee to. But then, that meant it allowed for the best access to the island's knotted mass of leylines, didn't it...?!

And there we was, at the dead center of the park. Grinning. Not even the tiniest shred of regret for the pain and suffering she had caused...

The only judgement that could be given to one such as this was that of the utmost among sinners.

"Masta, Sessyoin-san, stay at range dechi," Benienma stated, quickly, as she took the lead once more, "The amount of room here means you can keep away fro-ah?!"

A barrier?! A bounded field erected in an instant, raising its hazy purple walls around the diminutive Saber! But not only that. In the very same instant, that same bounded field had emerged to surround the entire park...!

Was this something she had planned the entire time?!

"Masta!"

Benienma unsheathed her katana, eyes narrowing as she slammed it against the bounded field surrounding her! Immediately a sharp, stinging sensation traveled up her arms...

"... It's a bounded field that denies spiritual entities..."

In other words, a barrier that denied the entry or escape of Servants, derived from techniques implemented in Buddhism to defend against evil spirits. The mere fact that this beastly entity was using something like this...

It also meant that attempting to break the barrier with her blade was impossible. She had to try another method! She had to get out, to protect her Master and the human Kiara! To stop the monstrous sinner!

"..."

Kiara watched as the grasping hands rose. So she was her doppelganger's goal...? Then that was why she had devoured Mary and used her skin as a disguise. That was why she had come here in the first place. To make herself complete...

"... We share the same face... and even our techniques are similar," the buddhist nun began, "I can't deny it any longer. Somehow, you and I are one and the same. However..."

In a flash, her hands formed a rapid series of elaborate symbols. The mudras of a practioner of buddhism, ones that warded evil!

"We couldn't be more different! These mudras ward evil, and that is the very essence of your being!"

In a fashion undeniably similar to that of the monstrous Kiara's own techniques, a hazy barrier rose. It, too, denied spiritual beings, in this case denying the very existence of evil spirits to force them away!

@PKMNB0Y@RolePlayerRoxas
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RolePlayerRoxas The Thirteenth Something Or Other

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Kishinami Hakuno


Hakuno's mind was reeling, her thoughts whizzing around in a jumbled mess. With everything apparently going to hell around her, it was difficult to keep her thoughts orderly, but miraculously she hadn't fallen into a whimpering heap at any point, as the group followed that evil Kiara to the Gardens. Even Hakuno could tell this wasn't an ideal place to confront this creature, but honestly, she'd be hard-pressed to find a better location if given the choice.

Still, perhaps the disarray in her head helped keep the young officer functional. As terrifying as the face-off against the monstrous Kiara was, she didn't back away when that gaze was held on her for far too long. She was adamant that they had no connection whatsoever, but Hakuno couldn't deny she was curious about the seeming fixation on herself.

The good Kiara protected them from her evil double's assault with a barrier, much like the ones containing them within the Garden. Somehow, they'd have to take this thing down without help - not that it was available, anyway. Hakuno had a hand on her radio, but decided against updating HQ. If something huge enough to divert all resources from everywhere else was ongoing, there was no way that backup would be forthcoming after so short a time, and even if it were, the barrier put a stop to that idea.

At the moment, all Hakuno could do was protect Jason, leave the offence to her Servant, and rely on Kiara to defend. It was frustrating, to feel this powerless and irrelevant, but what else was there to do?

...Bank on the evil Kiara's loose lips and try to ditract her with a few questions? Well, there was nothing to lose with that meagre plan.

"Just surrender, already!" Hakunon yelled to the vile monster, hoping her voice didn't betray the dread and fear wracking her body, "you can't win alone, and before long the entirely of Fusang's forces will be here! What are you even doing all this for?!"

It was a very blatant bluff, but at least it was delivered with passion and contempt for the evil Kiara.

---------------------

Berserker - "Guan Yu"


The Berserker panted slightly, the bloodied guandao finally lowered. Her frozen armour was caked in the reddish-brown substance too, and the floor in her immediate vicinity was steeped in blood - blood weaponised through her Noble Phantasm, and slowly freezing over from where she stood within the morbid scene. Her Master, understandably, was keeping a short distance, but she was staring with relief at her Servant, glad to see she hadn't been seriously injured.

Still, Guan felt like something was amiss, but she couldn't quite place it herself until it was pointed out by the King of Knights. The mana had been drained...? She was absolutely terrible at controlling mana in any meaningful way, but even she understood it couldn't be a good omen. Once her Master was safely secured, Guan would have to seek out the source of this attack. A coward that dared to attack unsuspecting civilians deserved to die like the spineless little dogs they were!

"Grrr..." Guan shook her head, trying to ward off the encroaching effects of her Mad Enhancement. She couldn't let rage take over now. No, she had to keep her cool, listen to the King of Knights, and follow her direction for now.
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