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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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’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






’Lancer Prime’

Church Outskirts, Site of the Spear, Shinto


@Yukitamas @floodtalon @Phonic

It connected. The feedback was right there.

So why, he thought as the axes sent him face-first into the mire, why, he thought as he used his freed hands to strike against that inevitability, to deny the miracle he sought to bring forth, why could he feel something wrong?

The blow had certainly been lethal, the renewed vigor of Achilles undeniable, and even an opponent possessing the qualifications for the Battle Continuation Skill at the same rank as his own would not be able to escape death. If the miracle he sought was to strike at his heel, if the miracle he sought was to hit the weak-point of Achilles, he would die for it while Achilles did his all to deny him in turn.

That much should be doable. The momentum imparted by the axes, unable to harm him but able to move him, twisted him slightly downward, and he just needed to follow through without resisting. If the entirety of the mire was concentrated below, then he’d just have to —

Punch.

And punch, and punch, and punch.

Darius’ skeletons, combined, might be able to exert enough power, but they were still far from quick enough to outpace the combat speed of the fastest, and the state of their master would not help matters. Perhaps if he had tried something else, such as holding him down, the ‘miracle’ that was striking Achilles’ heel might have been within reach, but as it was. . .

So strike, and keep at it. That is what mattered, in the end. Even a blow to any other place was fine. Create an opening, a soil you can land on, and then back away from this last-ditch attempt.

And yet, and yet. . .

At that instant, he also understood the source of his bad feeling entirely—!

And then, he laughed, standing in the forest floor, the enemies receding as the monstrosity weaved forth by Darius and his army of undying soldiers sprung forth, realizing his enemy possessed the kind of miracle to overturn that death.

He was a hero, after all. Since when were there any certainties in a battle between such existences?

He guessed that even losers had pride to them.

“Ah, what an interesting situation.”

Achilles was fundamentally a hero who fought other heroes. The loss of his spear had, in a sense, constrained his overall fighting power, but that single truth had not changed, and he would freely admit that this sort of thing laid outside of his realm of expertise. He had killed men of varying sizes over the years, but this was new.

But not unwelcome. To begin with, he had said he needed to forge something more brilliant than his last legend, no? Then this would be a good place to start. Reviewing the options he had in mind —

. . .Yes, there was a way to ‘decisively crush this battle’, but he also had to think on the responsibilities he had as a Servant. Using it right now would be much too reckless considering the circumstances.

Besides, it wouldn’t be much fun.

“Very well, Darius III. May the Olympians bless our future battle with glory and honor.”

Ah, he had addressed him by his name. He had acknowledged this to be a proper battle to the death between two heroes. Just as Achilles had struck with all that he was, just as he had promised himself that each and every strike would carry that weight from now onwards, his enemy had answered in kind.

Being recalled was disappointing, but not unexpected. Considering the circumstances, he would also admit that it was far from an ideal battleground, and testing his Master further might not prove wise. He was one that naturally sought to prevail in flashy manners, but all the same, he had sworn loyalty and accepted the trust of that girl.

So, begrudgingly, he would acquiesce to her request.

“Alright, alright I’ll be—!”

The hair on the back of his neck stood up. His eyes darted toward the church in the distance and the explosions therein.

There he was, that ‘Archer’ from the previous day. This was his intent, then?

. . .But, the Archer that called upon lightning had fallen to a misunderstanding once again.

To begin with, Servants were ‘sprinters’. In terms of close-quarters combat and reactions, they were all monsters in their own right even when compared to creatures such as the Phantasmal Species, even if they could not maintain that speed for long periods or use it in normal movement.

Achilles overtly defied this rule — the Noble Phantasm that granted him divine speed akin to teleportation, the Noble Phantasm that cemented his legs as ‘the swiftest of mankind’ and made his speed unmatched in such regard.

But, at the same time, the speed he wielded in his arms and the sharp reflexes he boasted of were no less monstrous. Whether in combat or in a race, Achilles was the ‘fastest hero’, and even if the former was a closer thing, he still stood at the top of a category populated by monsters.

The speed of a projectile must be much greater that of its target, this is well-known. Furthermore, it must also be strong enough to harm its target. Such things are basic principles.

Because if it were not enough, a difference in speed between two objects can be overcome if one of them needs to move substantially less distance.

Achilles did not dodge. Rather, all he did in response to the bolt of lighting aimed at his head was lift his arm, and carelessly let the gauntlet act as an impenetrable wall for the shots. Archer had done nothing to properly box him in or cut off his options, and now he would be entertained by Darius III, who, it seemed, had completely forgotten about their fight.

Well, he felt better about leaving now. If nothing else, the mood was ruined.

“Ah, well. . .”

He wondered what his Master would say about a new spear.

And thus, he disappeared, using his divine speed not to dodge — but to make it home before curfew.

’Lancer Prime’

Church Outskirts, Site of the Spear, Shinto


The loss of treasures, the loss of a dear comrade, the rage and grief following it.

Yes, as Achilles tore a path toward his foe, there were no doubts that his legend was being re-enacted once again. No matter the difference in visage, no matter the order, this was certainly how the hero Achilles would set in his self-destructive course.

Full of anger, misery and regrets. Once more, sing, o’ muse, of the rage of Achilles.

“You dolt, you’re doing it again.”

A half forgotten dream.

“Do you really think he’d have wanted to see you like this you moron? Do you think he would follow someone as pathetic as you look right now?”

A brawl on the sand, the night following the loss of his best friend.

He had won, of course. Even if they had both been trained by the greatest teacher of all, he had been both a natural prodigy and in possession of an immortal body. But no matter how much he beat the man in front of him down. . .

He just refused to stay that way.

He just refused to leave him to those regrets.

“The hero Achilles was admired because he was the brightest star, he was envied because of the dazzling radiance that surpassed even others. Seeing you like this would only make him spit on your face and regret he ever called you ‘boss’.”

The words. . .they had not reached him then. But much later, in the moment of his death, the memory struck him in the same way it had now.

Ah.

So that was another moment burned in his soul.


He had lost a friend. He had lost a precious gift. But, in that hand of his he clutched—

“I’ll leave the heavy lifting to you.”

“Do your best.”

“You can do it.”


Trust.

He could not disappoint. After all, he had already made so many promises and so many boasts. . .

What kind of hero would he be if he went back on them now?

His duty was to wonderfully grasp victory, leaving no room for doubts. All she had to do was look at his back and display the suitable amount of awe before his full-powered sprint.

The hero Achilles lived the life of a comet. Even if it would be difficult, even if he lost things, even if his regrets caught up to him — all that was required of him was to run forward with a smile and shine brighter than any other.

The loss, the rage, then the grief. And then, death. That is how it goes, that is how the chains holding you are made.

And what are those chains then?

The legend you forged with your own hands.

The legend as the great sprinter. The legend as the hero of the rushed life. The legend of a hero who fell to despair.

If those are the chains holding him, then it means. . .

“It means I just have to snap them, right?”

Heroes are slaves to their own stories. Heroes can only repeat their legends time and again.

And who decided that? To begin with, a legend that ended in grief and falling to something like being shot through the heel was plenty ridiculous, wasn’t it?

So here and now — he’d break that and forge a new one, more brilliant than the last.

If the hero Achilles was so deeply intertwined with his great losses that they would follow him, that only meant he would have to surpass that karma and hold on to what he had all the more.

If the Berserker before him had a figure he so earnestly wished to surpass, if he had an invincible wall stretching out before him he would nonetheless challenge, then. . .

How could Achilles be any less?

No, rather, he had to be even more. Burn more brilliantly than anyone else, and keep going no matter what. Because the wall Achilles wanted to surpass—

To surpass ‘that man’, surpassing your own legend was just the entry point—!

A phantom sensation, his shoulder being squeezed, and a voice so damningly familiar. It had to have been his imagination, but just for a single instant. . .

”Then go. Show me that new legend of yours.”

As thunder roared above. . .

It would not do. Even if his charge was not something that could be fully stopped, if they were able to delay him for long enough, against an enemy like this, in a situation like this, it would all come down to the following moments.

That is why he would have to change strategies. At that single instant, when the skeleton fell, he flew forward, slamming feet-first against the wall that protected Darius without a single care. As expected, it held. But all the same. . .

“Sometimes, the shortest path is a straight line. But, a friend of mine once said that didn’t have to be the case, you know?.”

He hadn’t. Not quite, back then. To him and his divine speed, certainly the shortest path was a straight run. He had lived his life trampling down whatever walls were in his way, walking his own road so far ahead of everyone else.

But maybe some walls you didn’t have to break down.

Maybe some walls you just had to—

“—Circle. Berserker, I learned something from this. In this climb I’m going to make—thank you for being my first stepping stone.”

And so, with the strength in those legs, with newfound determination, Achilles employed his divine speed not to absolutely crush the obstacle in his way, but to surpass it. After all, the greatest mistake that had been made here was that, while that wall and that soil would be able to buy an extra instant, nobody said that dealing with them was mandatory.

With the same legs that were hailed as the absolute fastest, he traveled around the obstacle course placed by Berserker to impede his path, using that divine speed to take advantage of the staggering of the skeletons in order to make his way to the side, and then behind Berserker and his army of the damned.

His face had broken into a gleeful smile.

“Hey, Berserker, right now—”

And then, with that same speed, right in front of Darius—!

“—You’re wide open!”

It was a simple punch, aimed right at his torso. Of course, that was all he could do at this moment.

After all, no matter what realizations he had, his spear’s loss was no less painful, nor had he magically gotten it back. But at the same time—

What he had crammed into that blow was more than just strength. It was more than just power. It was not something he could have been taught.

It was based on how he had lived his life. It was based on the memories he had crammed, and the ‘truth’ he had reached following this path with his head held high.

It was a blow that exemplified the hero Achilles, delivered with the same hand that held the message of a particularly troublesome little miss. And in that moment. . .

It was a radiance that equaled—no, a radiance that surpassed even a Noble Phantasm.

@Yukitamas

’Lancer Prime’

Church Outskirts, Site of the Spear, Shinto


The replacement was swung. Another skeleton fell.

He was a comet, quick and raging and perhaps beautiful in a sense. All who approached were struck down, all who tried to retreat were cut down.

But there was no excitement to be found here. For one, his enemies were not the sort he could have fun with regardless, and the situation was not a fun one either. Anger had given place to grief, rage had given place to mourning.

The spear was a part of it, but at the same time, he mourned for much more. For the memories it held, for what it symbolized, for the incalculable value it possessed, for the friend he had lost, for the friend he had not even been able to speak to, for the irony that the fastest hero was once again too slow.

Always too slow, always a step short, always, at the most critical time. . .

The enemies were different, but this was all too similar, wasn’t it? A slain comrade without him being able to do anything, a lost treasure that only served to remind him of his failure. The faces were not the same, the names were not the same, but even so. . .

Pathetic

—Heroes, it seemed, were destined to repeat their tales no matter what. To Achilles, who hated the idea of fate, the knowledge that came crashing down on him, the fact that his actions — his rage and grief — mirrored those of days long gone. . .

Pathetic.

Was this all there was to it? Doomed to lose, doomed to fail those he cared about, doomed to always have precious things slip through his fingers when he could have stopped it?

Indeed, what a pathetic fate to be bound to. Was there meaning in that struggle, then?

Such were Achilles’ thoughts, though that did not stop his carnage — it had not stopped him in life to begin with. If his tale was to be repeated, at least the perpetrators would die by his hand once again, and then. . .

. . .And then, he would run forward. Even if his regrets caught up to him, even if his grief was the one thing he could not outrun, the hero Achilles would continue to run forward.

”You’re being really pathetic right now, boss.”

A voice whispering at the edge of his consciousness like a half-remembered dream, almost drowned out by the grief that had at last come to swallow him.

”Is this really all the hero Achilles is worth?”

His enemy was running. His spear had broken. But that did not matter.

The obstacles he had placed between them did not matter.

Without delay, he analyzed the sea of bodies between himself and Darius. Without delay, he devised a plan.

To begin with, if it was just a matter of running, no hero could oust him, no matter the skills at their disposal — after all, he was the swiftest.

To begin with, obstacles had been nothing to him in the first place.

To begin with, turning your back on him and trusting an army to stop him was a mistake—!

He jumped, and landed on a skeleton’s head, eyes transfixed not on Darius, but on a point beyond the hulking Berserker, extending his arm outward.

That is right. No hero could beat him in a proper race, and regardless of obstacles, he could close the distance with the same quickness. The army of Darius was not terrifying due to its soldiers alone, but due to their nature as beings who would always get back up, as well as the ways their leader could control it. Individually, a single one would not match a Servant, even like this.

They could not keep up with Achilles if he ran properly, if he found the single instant of an opening between barrages, if he found the moment to strike.

With his arm outstretched, he ran forward, with the speed that might as well have been called teleportation. And with that same speed, avoiding the obstacles in his path he —

Hooked the enemy with that arm in a lariat, and took him on a trip far away from the army.

@Yukitamas

’Lancer Prime’

Church Outskirts, Site of the Spear, Shinto


As he made his way and stepped through the treeline, he could tell something was wrong.

Achilles was not one who possessed instincts that stepped into the realm of precognition, nor someone who could hear the voices of the gods, but nonetheless he could get the general feeling that something very wrong would greet him when he made it to his destination.

He was right, but not in the way he expected. The skeletons plundering the place were not something he had thought to find, but they were summarily ignored.

The giant of a man, too, was ignored, his grumblings — the roar which shook the earth — gone unnoticed. No, what mattered was what was in his hand.

Ah, ah, what are you doing? That is not yours, not yours, return it this instant —!

Achilles could only watch, baffled, as his precious gift was consumed, taken away right before his eyes. He could say nothing, he could not even twitch a muscle, features frozen in an expression of shock.

A heartbeat passed.

There was no rage, no vengeful scream. Darius’ roar of his enemy’s name went unanswered. Achilles shivered.

Then he laughed.

Bringing a hand up to his face, the greatest hero of the Trojan war laughed in the face of the army that gathered before him. He laughed in the face of Darius III, but it was not a kind thing, nor did it carry any amusement.

It was cold. It was cruel, and it perfectly fit Achilles’s expression as his hand lowered, looking straight at his quarry as though the sea of bodies between them meant nothing.

“Oh, you should not have done that.”

A step forward. Not a charge with the divine speed that was the greatest among all heroes, but rather, a single step that nonetheless carried a terrible weight. Achilles’s mutter was nonetheless heard as loudly as though he had shouted the words.

“Madness accompanies the Berserker class, of course, but this is a first. I did not know some idiot would actually summon an outright suicidal fool as a Servant.”

Another step.

“Tell me, do you think this army will protect you, Persian? Do you think that I will be easy pickings just because my weapon is lost to me for now?”

He approached with calm strides, and delivered his words in a matching tone. The Noble Phantasms he had been shown had reduced his identity to but one possibility, and if someone had to define Achilles’s feelings about that fact now. . .

‘Impressed’ would not be one of them.

“So, a loser king of dredges thinks he can get to his enemy though me? You idiot. You could not hold your lands, you could not hold your people, you could not even hold your own family, and you think you will hold on to that spear for long?”

The last step.

“Ah, but I’m willing to give you a shot. If you’re so earnest in your obsession that you will go this far, then I will answer it. Come, king of failures, throw your soldiers at me, swing your weapons with all your might and prove, here and now, the brilliance of your legend.”

And then, he finally acted — a lightning fast punch was his opening move, tearing through one of the soldiers of Darius as he willingly clashed against the enemy lines, an engine of destruction to tear a path through his army like a hot knife through butter, coming for the King himself with no regard for anything else.

And indeed, why should he care?

“And then, I will show you that your blows mean nothing. I will crush and grind every one of your legends to dust, and make you understand that you would need a hundred times this much to have a hope of winning here. Before I take your life, I’m going to make sure you understand the difference between us — and between me and that man you so hate. So come.

Come, I’ll show you the radiance of my own legend.

Come, howl at the moon like the starved wolf you are, unable to ever reach it."

There was no point. To an enemy like this — a Berserker, one who had lost his sanity — the words themselves would not reach him. At least, it was not likely.

But the intent was clear. He should be able to understand that much. And so—

“Come here and die, Loser King.”


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