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Student, RPer, videogame and anime fan, movie guy. Also memist, but that's par the course. In other words, your garden-variety nerd. Not much else to say, really.

Yeah, I'm a rather bogstandard individual, sue me.

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Yukiyama Yukiru

0 Degrees Lounge, District 15


“. . .Well, of course.” The man behind the counter answered Claudius’ request, gesturing at another one to start up the coffee machine behind the counter. Despite the look on the client’s face, the dispassionate one in the other man’s made it seem as though it was an absolutely every day occurrence. At the same time, he left his position and approached to take orders.

“Okay,” He nodded to himself — coca-cola, coffee and pizza, normal pizza. His boss was not one to cook those, but that is why he picked up the slack at the kitchen — the brave few that asked for a pizza at this establishment always tried to dodge her more adventurous recipes, and while she derided them as “weak-willed” and “tasteless”, there was certainly a need to appease such clients.

At least in order to make any returns for the amount of money they spent on the ingredients, if nothing else. I.C.’s employer, bless her soul, had little to no idea on how to actually run a business, sequestering herself in the kitchen and thinking things would work themselves out.

So.

They had to take care of “everything else”, actual job descriptions be damned.

He turned to the last one — pencil and notebook still in hand — and started to scrawl some quick notes before what he had heard actually registered. His pencil’s point broke — as did its body when it snapped between his fingers, leaving behind only an ugly scratch on the otherwise perfectly fine notebook.

Its sacrifice was needless, but perhaps fitting.

Rather, it had been as though he had heard an invocation instead of a simple order. The other employees, that had been working almost lethargically, had frozen in place, and they all side-eyed a particular location with something approaching dread.

“. . .Today’s special, you say.”

He could feel something roaring in his ears — his own heartbeat, thundering in strength, as he glanced toward the door leading to the kitchen in abject horror. As if on cue, perhaps anyone positioned close to it would be able to feel two things coming from it — intense heat, followed by freezing cold. The pattern repeated, repeated, repeated — I.C. approached the door, beads of sweat forming and then freezing over, reaching to the handle.

Turns out, he needn’t have bothered.

The door slammed open — quite literally, into his face, sending him sprawling against one of the still empty tables. There, at the entrance, a figure holding a tray, surrounded by smoke that flowed into the parlor from her side, leg high.

One must assume, then, that she was responsible of one of her employees having a concussion. But, trivialities!

“I have heard your tasteful wishes!” She boomed, or so she would like to think. In reality, it was closer to a squeak filled with excitement. “And, through my “Yukiyama Pizza Cooking Method 36: Rapid-Fire Mozzarella”, I will now grant them, honored client!”

She approached the table with quick strides, setting down the tray and revealing its contents.

The crust looked delightfully crunchy, and as she cut and separated the sides, it was easy to see that at the very least, the cheese was also cooked to perfection — stretchy but looking like it would melt the moment someone put it in their mouth. Pepperoni and ham finished the dish —

Ah, if only it had ended at the ham.

There it was — truly, the vilest of heresies, thought the employees as they served the other clients and avoided more than one glance, lest they fall to madness. The balls of coldness rested atop the pizza, slowly spreading their contents as Yukiyama Yukiru started to allow the heat transfer once the dish had been properly cut.

Perfectly served, artfully placed and looking deceptively tantalizing as they began to melt ever-so-slowly. Vanilla, chocolate and hazelnut — wonderful flavors that did not deserve this fate, sacrificed for one girl’s eccentricities.

—Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair.

“I still do not have a name for it,” She was chipper as she spoke. “But I think that the hazelnut is key, you see — it really brings all the flavors together.”
Seems interesting, and I’ve been on a kick since rereading some Strange Fake stuff.

I’d like to make a particular Saber, too.
Haah. . .

The sigh escaped her lips as she moved down the street, ducking into an alleyway as a shortcut. Seemingly unaffected by the blistering heat, she seemed to have far more important things in her mind, brow furrowed in thought as she contemplated recent events.

. . .It’s getting close. It’s getting waaay too close.” She mumbled, exiting to a different street and turning on her heel as though it were second nature, steps filled with a sense of purpose. It shouldn’t be a problem just yet, thankfully, but it seemed to be right on track to become one.

Really, those delinquents. If they were going to kill each other, couldn’t they do it without inconveniencing everyone else? Common courtesy and all that, or so she thought as she opened the door to her establishment.

Yukiyama Yukiru

Zero Degrees Lounge, District 15


She took in the sight that greeted her, the parlor cleaned to a mirror shine and different employees running around, finishing the menial tasks nonetheless required for a proper establishment. Pausing to nod in greeting — as well as grumble about having to crane her neck so much so often — she made her way to the counter.

Another one was there, obviously, but he had apparently finished up with his chores and set out to wait at his post, and in terms of sheer size one of the largest men in the room by a wide margin.

“Hey, boss, how’s it going?” His voice was about as deep as you’d expect from a giant, but she had grown used to it, so she just shrugged and waved her hand a bit.

So-so. Idiots started a big fight nearby and then ran when Anti-Skill showed up — not unusual, but it has me worried,” She puffed her cheeks, resting her head on the counter. “What if people get too afraid to come here because they can run into them? Seriously. . .

The tall man placed a hand on her back — that quite honestly might have been enough to just outright grab her — and gave her a few pats.

“I’m sure it’ll be fine — just gotta stay cool and bear with it.”

The more he spoke, the more clear it was that his accent was that of a foreigner.

That was far from uncommon in her little parlor, though. Furthermore, she had read that having foreigners working for you was the mark of a successful business, so she took pride in having plenty — why, their most recent addition was even a genuine Italian, and he approved of her cooking.

If that was not a sign that she was doing something right, what was?

S’pose you’re right,” She muttered, watching one of the employees flip the sign on the entrance to “OPEN” before walking toward the kitchen. “First day of summer, too, so we’re sure to have plenty of customers today. . .

She nodded, pushing her worries away for later. If it became a problem, she would just deal with it, like she had everything that came her way.

Alright! Time to get to work. Pass me whatever orders come, I.C.!” She called out as she entered the kitchen. “Best pizzeria this side of Kanto is open for business!

The door to the kitchen slammed closed behind her, and there was a lull in conversation.

“. . .I wonder how she manages to delude herself like that sometimes.”

“Must be a high-level thing.”



’Lancer Prime’

Outside of DDD


“Ah, so that is how it is.”

In the midst of the excitement, the glasses had broken for some reason — likely, the man that had provided them had run into issues of his own. Troublesome, but not a deal-breaker.

To begin with, now Achilles had an advantage. Now he had knowledge of what to do.

They were strong, but they still fell short of him. They were quick, but never as quick as him.

And even if his weaponry could not wound them, he mused, his fists broke their bodies well enough. The one that had been murdered just now was proof enough of it.

So, without wasting a second, putting both of his new spears away, he set his gaze on the next one — out of the way from the others that were fighting. Each should be able to deal with their chosen foes on their own now, barring being overwhelmed, and the priority right now was to retake the initiative.

They had come with the intention to overwhelm them, so turnabout was only fair. Cracking his knuckles, he grinned.

“Y’know, it’s a shame you don’t want to die to weapons.” The words left his mouth softly, contrasting with the cold look of his eyes, fixing on his target like a bird of prey. “Being run through with a spear is a much more dignified end than getting beaten to death, or so I think. But if that’s what you prefer, who am I to refuse?”

The next instant, the speed of sound had been surpassed once again, as the hero’s godspeed carried him to the next target. Like a shooting star, he darted across the battlefield with the legs that were the fastest of mankind, fist poised to crush the new target’s skull like overripe fruit and then move on to the next.
’Lancer Prime’

DDD Hotsprings, Exterior



@Paradox Witch

Well. That had been disappointing.

A flash of annoyance followed that thought, alongside the thought “teacher’s would have done better”.

Regardless of it being substantiated or not. It was, however, still understandable — to begin with, a weapon that failed the first time it was used already made a terrible impression. Still, it seemed more to be a condition of the enemy, rather than a flaw in the spear itself.

Annoying to the sprinter, yes. But by no means something that could defeat him by itself.

Without a pause, he let go of the spear — at this moment, against these enemies, it was completely useless to begin with, but that didn’t matter much.

After all, he was still the fastest. After all, he had still been trained in other ways of combat. Without letting the situation get to him as a sun was thrust toward him, he made a snap decision.

If the circumstances were different, he would have indeed just moved out of the way, but what was behind him could not be lost. But he didn’t intend to take it lying down either. If his weapons were useless, he would just have to take a page out of his senior’s book.

“I guess if I can’t just spear you through the heart—”

He moved, but not to retreat. He stepped in toward the attack, slightly to the side, divine speed and strength all in one, his fist flying toward the enemy’s forearm.

He would not dodge, but he would not take it lying down, either. He figured attempting to disrupt and redirect it was fair game. Whether it failed or not was another thing — a split second decision to maximize gains and minimize losses. So long as he protected what he wanted to protect, it was fine even if it killed him.

“—I’ll just beat you to death. Normally, I’d ask for a name, but all considered — I figure skipping formalities and just killing each other works fine.”

Their specs were beyond those of humans and entered the realm of Servants, true. But even by the standards of Servants, Achilles’s physical parameters, while not unthinkable, were top class, and his speed exceeded that of any other. The unfair invincible armor granted to him by the blacksmith of Olympus only widened the gap.

Therefore, if his gamble went through, he was fairly certain that his enemy would be down an arm.
’Lancer Prime’

DDD Hotsprings, Exterior



@Paradox Witch

Eight. Annoying, but not insurmountable, particularly if more Servants other than him started to make a stand — the bronze skinned woman had already begun, from the looks of it. To begin with, the top priority was to stop the one attempting the spatial quarantine, but that was already being handled, so it left him with other potential targets.

Mental interference was shut down and ignored — even without the new equipment he had acquired and the force of personality that guy could exert for those left within such as the Masters, Achilles was a Servant holding the highest Rank in Bravery.

Rather, at this point, one could say that “being the target of mental interference” worked to the sprinter’s advantage, considering the unfair characteristics of his armor. Therefore, he would place his faith on those within the meeting room for just a second longer and ignore the issue.

That left him with six potential targets, though only one could be called a “priority”. The one that stood, forming “something” in his hand is the one that would have to be interrupted and go down first.

He looked down at the spear held in his hand. For all it could be called “crude” compared to the gift from his father and Chiron, there was an unarguable sense of beauty in it — but there was something missing.

“. . .You need a name.” He declared, as though it were a matter of course. “The weapon of a hero deserves a name.”

A weapon that had been crafted by a human of this era, that nonetheless surpassed the craft of this era. Indeed, despite the arrogance in the act, it could be called a “necessity” at this point.

The issue was, then, what would he call it. He had never been particularly good at naming things. But, at the same time, that was not a matter to worry about for now — the flash of inspiration would come, surely, but first. . .

“Let’s see what you can do.”

He couldn’t afford to quip, deliberately hold back or play around anymore. He couldn’t afford to take this anything less than seriously. So observe the enemy, learn and overcome.

The hero named Achilles had always lived like a gale that cared little for the circumstances surrounding him, and many people dear to him had paid the price for it. His underlings, his dearest friend, his own cousin — Achilles would accept that blame and take all those sins on his back.

But now, right at this moment, that “gale” had two things it wished to protect, and both were within reach. That was why, no matter what. . .this time would be different. If the hero named Achilles is meant to always lose what he cares for the most, then he will just correct that tale with his own hands.

Therefore, move even faster, push yourself beyond the limit and overcome your own legend. For the sake of what you have already lost, for the sake of what you still have.

This time—

“—I won’t let anything slip away anymore.”

The swiftest hero in the world did what he did best — he ran forward with his divine speed, reaching the enemy with the intention of at worst interrupt, ideally skewer, bringing about his full-powered sprint with the tip of his spear aimed right at the enemy's heart. It was the thrust that had gouged the hearts of many men — many heroes — in the beaches of Troy.
’Lancer Prime’

DDD Hotsprings, Meeting Room


@phonic [DDD folks]

He eyed the offered spear with equal parts awe, caution and indignation, and looked into the terminal’s eyes for an instant.

To begin with, his first reaction had been to tackle the Oni after her brazen action of presenting herself in front of him, to declare her withdrawal no less — only the presence of the kid stopped him from actually carrying that out that very instant, perhaps a testament to Achilles’s newfound restraint and resolve after prior events, but all the same, his course had already been decided.

It was his duty to avenge his cousin. There was no more and no less to it — and he would freely admit he wanted to smear the contents of her skull on the ground. But then her master had stepped in before he had gotten a word edgewise, and made it clear that it would be futile.

The enemy before him was not one he could fall in a single blow, and her Master — likely already far away if their plans were any indication — would just have to use one of the Command Mantra in order to rescue her if he was so inclined. In turn, he would have ruined this meeting with pure thoughtlessness.

The legend of Achilles was one of emotion before reason, but had he not promised himself mere hours ago that he would surpass that same legend?

Right now, he still clutched that little piece of wood that reminded him that he could always be better.

—Ah, this was just the worst. When had he let that girl become someone whose opinion actually mattered to him anyway?

And of course, then that feeling had come about.

A feeling of wrongness. A wrongness so terrible that even someone like Achilles had been stunned. Something that far outstripped the hatred that dwelled in his heart for the one that had slayed his cousin, something that swept away all other feelings to allow him to wallow on it.

As soon as it came, it was gone, and Achilles felt — that he could breathe again. In his silence, the words of that kid that barged into the meeting room were almost deafening.

“. . .Teacher?”

It was just a whisper.

Achilles had no idea whether to cry bitter tears or laugh himself to insanity.

Chiron was doubtlessly the finest teacher. A figure that, in his mind, had always been a pillar that he could rely on, often thinking back to his words, his teachings, and trying to act with his wisdom, to lesser or greater success. His idiosyncrasies and the form he had taken in this war could not change the fact that Achilles held him as someone dear to his heart.

Therefore, to hear that he was in the middle of battling whatever it was that had caused that feeling—

He hadn’t even had the chance to speak with him properly, or apologize for losing the spear. He had not even been able to tell him of Ajax’s death.

Regret swarmed, but at the same time. . .

At the same time, he found clarity of thought like never before.

The hero Achilles was content to be loved or hated by the masses. Adoration, infamy, in the end they were the same thing. Whether the tale of a gallant hero that saved others or the tale of a butcher that killed them in droves, it did not matter so long as his name was whispered throughout the world.

But, to those that were dear to his heart, he—

“Guess there’s no other choice, then.”

Achilles had never cared for humanity as a whole. His pursuits could only be described as “completely selfish” in nature.

“Sorry Master, I don’t know if I can deliver in my promise of getting you the Grail, but — there’s something I can definitely do.”

Nonetheless, he approached the spears laid out before him and picked them up, one in each hand, beginning to walk toward the exit of the room.

That is right, Achilles had never done anything for humanity. But what was at stake right now. . .

The man that had taught him, laughed with him, cried with him, raised him. Someone he respected and loved as a father.

Right now, he wanted to help him.

And a little girl that acted too mature for her years at times and her age at others, and had given him a piece of wood with scribbles of encouragement. Someone that had a life ahead and had become someone he would entrust his back to, someone whose expectations he would fulfill.

Right now, in front of this threat, whatever it was — he wanted to save her.

It was all so simple, so comically easy to grasp. The decision, his answer to this situation, it went without saying.

Neither of those desires could be wrong.

That is why his course of action had been decided. That is why he had taken up his armaments.

That is why the fastest hero would endeavor to run forward even faster.

That is why he would pour everything he was into every swing and thrust.

That is why he would display his full radiance as a Heroic Spirit.

He had lost his spear, and he was not perfect, but that just meant he would have to triple his efforts and be more than perfect.

Easy.

“I’m no good at dramatic speeches like this guy over here, so I’ll just tell you all to watch carefully — I’ll carve out the real meaning of a warrior in the enemy’s body, so if you’re looking for lessons, here’s one you won’t soon forget.” He said. “I’ll go crush the enemy head-on. You’re free to follow or protect the masters, whatever you think suits you best. If you need me, I’ll be here in an instant.”

It might have been an empty boast coming from someone else, but it came out of him in an upbeat, cheerful tone as he approached the exit, showing only his back to those that had gathered here.

The hero of Greece that was only surpassed by one other, even among Heroic Spirits, his proof of legend was first rate. Even among heroes, his brilliance was that of a shooting star.

“I’ll probably end up hogging all the fun, but if you think you can, prove me wrong.”

The words were perhaps abusive, perhaps an odd attempt at encouragement. He had never been good at that, either, but the challenge in his voice was clear. Even at a time like this, competition burned within him.

Keep up. If you can, that is.

The man that would proudly lay claim to the title of “the strongest of this war” marched forward, selfishly pursuing a selfless goal. As he did, something materialized on his face.

Well, he had talked the talk.



Time to Walk the Walk




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