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Canal District - City of Science and Industry Building


Feeling her bounded field simply vanish without warning was terrifying, but the sudden and undignified loss of her limbs was so infuriating that it entirely overrode her rational and measured fear of what may be to come. As she slumped over onto her side the only thing Mirai could think, besides that she would kill whoever did this, was a vague thankfulness that the spreading puddle of tea from her dropped cup was running away from the hem of her yukata instead of towards it.

Then the order came and she strained to look up, towards her servant, to beg him for some kind of deliverance from this situation… Only to realize that he was no better off than her. She choked back tears of indignant and impotent fury and spoke “I cannot come out, you’ve taken my legs from me. Now! Come take whatever else you intend, I’ve no time to placate the fury of small minded zealots.




Canal District - City of Science and Industry Building


Mirai’s smile only broadened as she raised her tea to her well-painted lips, abating her joy to take a tiny dainty sip as not to ruin them. “Fortunate for you that it was me who came across you and not someone else. Where you may be dead otherwise I have already decided to ease your difficulties and make better use of your clearly good fortune. Speaking honestly, you have a strong servant, very likely the strongest in the entire war in fact, a blessing that could pass you by without doing you any good if you kept going as you were.

She took another sip before setting the tea down, and reaching beneath the little table to produce a scroll. “Wandering around in the open with a servant whose only means of defending you is to place its body between harm and yours is however a folly...” She unfurled the scroll across the table and held it open as she spoke, revealing something that looked not-quite like a map of paris,. a geomantic chart perhaps? That would certainly be in keeping with what was known about the Kurojishi family. “...and you’ve clearly not embraced the idea of war from the shadows given the way you so brazenly attacked your prey last night while everyone watched. The Holy Grail War is a battle of information first and foremost, and this is something that me and Caster are more than proficient in.” She gave the fox in her lap a little extra attention behind the ears, praising his work a little extra beyond her words.

An as of yet unseen pair of arms un-hid itself to pick her tea cup up again while the last of the six to be accounted for pointed to a spot on the map. “...But I had enough faith in your making the right choice that I spent the day planning around our assisting you and we’ve already discerned a good use of your strengths. You’ll send Berserker here, and from the safety of our workshop taste your first victory of many.

She paused for a moment, as if she heard something displeasing, and looked down into her lap. “...And in the meantime, we’ll secure our defenses here more thoroughly against interlopers. Caster there is a guest to be taken care of, please go and greet them while I ready myself to entertain.” She gestured to shoo him away, like the beloved lap pet he was.




Canal District - City of Science and Industry Building


Mirai observed the master of Berserker through his eyes, and then through his eyes through the eyes of his familiar. The command spell on the back of her hand had faded to a single stroke and Berserker was nowhere to be seen or felt. A cold smile stretched across her lips.

Caster, call off the Bakudan Brigade and have our stately little friend lead the way. Do not allow them to be followed.



Once the guests arrived at the core building, the giant sphere at the center of the museum complex, Mirai and her servant were of course ready to receive them. The presentation was rather modest all things considered, a simple low table and tea ready to be served, with two cushions- one for her and one for her guest. Caster needed no such accommodation, as his head had resumed its rightful place in her lap.

Of course the meeting was not unguarded, even if Caster could easily take care of any human magus in the blink of an eye he was to be expected to interrupt his relaxation for petty busywork that could be done through other means. Flanking the table were two stout karakuri that despite their stillness seemed entirely ready to spring into action, possessed of bow and spear in a classic japanese fashion that was old-timey and yet entirely timeless. Near the door itself were two more, these two brandishing a great axe nearly as big as the automaton holding it and a katana. A matched set, to pull at the nostalgia of someone in the room, though obviously not their guest.

With an all too genuine smile the master of the workshop broke the silence. “I apologize for the circumstances that have caused this meeting to occur. Seeing you so beyond your depth last night had me concerned that you might not be wise enough to cooperate, so I deemed it necessary to force your hand. Still I am overjoyed that you made the correct choice, please, have a seat, we have much to discuss about how we can best help each other.” One hand gestured to the seat across from Mirai while another began to pour the tea.





Core District, near the Eiffel Tower


Everything was going according to plan as the distance closed and her sword drew near the enemy… Until that happened. The careful planning, if one could call something nigh instinctual planning, was all wasted in a tiny fraction of second as the enemy servant took that wide step to the side and brought his weapon around, and instantly changed every rule of their engagement with this new revelation.

Her eyes flew wide as she gasped a single word. "Lancer!"

d’Artagnan’s intention, to make use of superior swordplay to overwhelm and disarm the enemy, became instantly null as Lancer showed his true colors and more than doubled his reach. Of course fighting around something like that was well with her capabilities as saber, if she had known about it before commiting to a charge. Sadly horses don’t quite turn on a dime, and the introduction of that reach coupled with the lack of precise maneuverability made what happened an entirely foregone conclusion.

Saber flew from the saddle with a start as one of the legs was cut from beneath her mount, tumbling through the air with a look of shock and embarrassment plastered across her face. By the time she hit the ground it had turned into anger outright, and a new plan of action.

Her sprawling roll ended in a composed kneel, with her musket drawn and trained on…. Nothing.He was gone by the time she had righted herself. With a look of anger she cast the musket aside, vanishing into thin air along with her now maimed mount as it was dismissed.

....UGH! You cowardly old man! I take back everything nice I sad about you! You would deny me satisfaction in my own land? I won’t tolerate you spitting on the honor of house Castelmore! Not anywhere and certainly not here!” She shouted into the night until her voice cracked, before turning on heel and storming off, back towards, or rather past, her master and his entourage and towards their atelier.

This did not stop her from placing an arm around Ceres shoulder however, nor Venus waist. She was not nearly so wroth as to forget herself that totally. “Please excuse my outburst ladies, something of a… principle matter. I am prone to being over-passionate about things.






Core District, near the Eiffel Tower


The other servant stood resolute in the face of the attack, something that impressed d’Artagnan given the nature of it… But as luck would have it bravery enough would not win the day from her ferocious assault.

As the first pistol sailed through the air it slammed end over end into the passive guard of the raised sword, hard- harder than anyone would reasonably expect from her lanky frame. Just hard enough to nudge the sword out of the way that tiny bit for the lead shot to…. Almost make its mark. The bullet hit the very edge of the sword and shattered, little pieces spinning off through the air almost harmlessly despite their great momentum. The only token of the exchange was a sudden bright red gash forming across the other servant’s forehead, trickling blood down his face.

As the blood trickled down his face d’Artagnan’s smile spread, and she mused about whether this was a spot of bad luck, or good. “You’re brave Saber, most men would be cowed by a gun aimed right at their face, much less a Rider’s charge, but not you. I almost don’t wish to kill a man of your calibre. Were that it was another time, perhaps we could have used a fifth man.

She jerked the reigns and put her heels to the sides of her mount. “Alas, it’s not another time- or rather, or if it is then it’s the wrong one!” The thundering of hooves closed the distance between them as she raised her sword, pulled back far and held high in an obviously over-committed telegraph of a sweeping slice to reap his head from his shoulders as she leaned into the attack.

The obvious telegraph of course would make it all the more shocking, or perhaps less if one were in the proper mindset, when as the sword came down and crossed his guard she twirled it off the wrist, and despite all the insistence prior there was no slash at all. Rather, the point was buried in the torso, right where it joined with the shoulder of his sword arm, to disable it before it could launch a proper counter attack. Of course, the blood in his eyes right about now probably wouldn't help matters any either... Tricky tricky!

Heckling Hector @ssw@sunglass@ManyThings





Canal District - On the Skyline


While she had expected to force the retreat of Berserker and her master, Mirai was altogether quite shocked at the outcome that had unfolded before her. That raw power and speed which exemplified every action Berserker had taken managed to intersect with her reckless ferocity and win the fight even as she hastily withdrew with her master. It was almost impressive, if only the magus’ ire wasn’t already stoked it in fact would have impressed her.

With a tone that struck a firm middle line between disdain and boredom she addressed her servant... if tones carried properly across their inherent link-I know it’s more busywork Caster, but I need you to make this incident vanish entirely. I have great disdain for the clamoring and grasping of the mundane at the threads of the hidden world, and no wish for them to unravel our plans in their clumsiness. I am returning to our workshop, to prepare for our meeting with Berserker’s master tomorrow afternoon. You will be rewarded accordingly, so do take your time and be thorough. It seems she was already planning several steps ahead, and had made up her mind about fixing the Berserker situation sooner than later. Paris was her city as far as she was concerned and it wouldn't do to have a reckless master with an even more reckless servant smashing the place to pieces.

With her orders dispatched she dropped back to street level, drew her arms back inside her kimono, and faded into the evening foot traffic and gradually meandering her way back to the museum. It was best to return in a manner that raised as little attention as possible, afterall there were no doubt other masters watching the area now that Berserker had made such a fine mess of things.
Returning to the Workshop for the evening@KoL@Player 2@Floodtalon





Core District, Approaching the Eiffel Tower

But now on a horse!


D'Art's smile immediately broadened at the sight of their opponent standing firm and getting into a proper stance... She really didn't like to chase them down if she could help it!

The skyward pistol in her grip lowered, barrel lining up with the enemy servant as the ground between them rapidly vanished. Even at speed the jostling of the horse did nothing to disrupt the rock steady aim as she pointed the weapon at center mass "I'm sorry our friendship couldn't last long, but I'll give you a proper introduction if I see you again on the other side- Au Revoir!" Click!

Just click. These were one-shot, and she had already discharged it. "...Oh, right." Whoosh! She chucked the useless trinket masquerading as a weapon right at his face, the whoosh-whoosh-whoosh of the irregularly shaped projectile splitting the air like the beating of great wings with its speed.

It was wholly a distraction, before it even reached the enemy the other pistol from the pair flashed into being and she pulled the trigger. Boom! Eat your heart out Lancer, maybe literally- though lead shot doesn't have teeth!

She wouldn't sit idle to see the result either way though, as she pulled the reigns on her mount hard to steer her aside, barring her right side (where her sword was) towards the enemy as she aborted her headlong charge. It was better to keep a little distance until she got the measure of his sword arm against her pistol.

[For the sake of Clarity, I am using Knight Tactics with the double pistol nonsense]

Heckling Hector, with Heart~! @ssw@sunglass@ManyThings



Canal District - Drifting on the Winds Above


Like silk on the wind Mirai floated daintily through the skies far above, swaying and swinging this way and that with the sudden gusts with little and less care to their machinations upon her. Down. Down. Slowly but certainly buildings rose up to meet her as she fell with all the gravity of a feather, until she alighted upon the top of an apartment complex and closed her umbrella- as though entirely planned, despite the seeming chaos of the skies.

Still, she was far and away from the battle, too far, and it seemed that it would be over long before she arrived at this rate. Dearest Caster, I applaud your restraint, but mercy is wasted here it seems... Still, I understand full the tax upon your patience enacted by such busywork. These matters are beneath you so allow me to pamper you a a bit more. She spoke wordlessly through the shared connection between them as master and servant- as master and familiar.

It was that same connection that she used now, as her eyes closed and his came into focus. The target of ire was identified readily, and already close to falling despite all of the great sage's mercy. Her course of action was laid out, a path to victory through him, from her, to send this dreadful excuse for a magus to hell.

Her arms freed themselves of the kimono, all six, and like a blur they wove together with speed altogether obscene. A thousand precision crafted parts that approximated six human hands moved with an absolutely inhuman dexterity as signs arcane were expressed through their motion.

"The Eighth Trigram,
The Color Yellow.
An Endless Field,
Between Heaven and Hell,
Where Man Walks Arrogant.
Let their Footsteps Falter,
Let their Legs Fail,
Let their Bones feed the Worms.
Open, Wider!
Become Insatiable.
Chew them to Dust.
Swallow.
"


The incantation itself was superfluous, as if saying what was already said. A focal aid to guide her hands as the magic they worked pried the very earth beneath Berserker's master open like a great pair of slavering jaws, to swallow her whole before she could even finish her feeble spell. The fact she could barely stand would certainly do her no favors.


@KoL@Player 2@Floodtalon



Core District, Approaching the Eiffel Tower


With girls in tow and master on her heels d’Artagnan strolled through the streets, taking a moment now and then to trade out from one gal to the next as the primary target of her attentions to a mixture of delight and dismay- far too busy with flattery to answer any questions about her abilities.

She did not acknowledge the bias behind her footsteps, though perhaps her master may have noticed, she was carrying them closer and closer to danger- to adventure. As they neared the excitement built deep within her but her absurd and flirtatious demeanor did not shift. The duel, she could feel the nearby duel between heroic spirits in the air, in her blood, and the very thought of it stirred her, but a duel was not to be interrupted.

However, a lone servant looking on was fair game.

With a voice that betrayed entirely her excitement she broke character. “My dear ladies, it is for your safety that I ask you remain where you stand, for your entertainment that I ask you watch closely, and for your comfort that I must ask you cover your ears.” Her smile was something altogether different from the warm and inviting face she had shown the girls previously.

Nary a second later and a pistol was in her hand, pointed skyward, and with the sudden and deafening bang it discharged towards the stars. Before the sound could fade it was joined with the beating of hooves, as d’Artagnan charged directly towards the lone servant upon the back of a horse that seemed to come from nowhere at all.

RAISE THY WEAPON GOOD SIR, I DEMAND SATISFACTION OF THEE!” She bellowed out as her own rapier came free of its scabbard with the raspy cry of the blade against the steel throat of the scabbard, adding a third and fourth layer to the cacophony.

Heckling Hector @ssw@sunglass@ManyThings



Core District, Hanging off the Eiffel Tower


Get into position. Finished.

Observe and Report. Ongoing.

Wait for an Opening. Achieved.

Strike. Commencing.

An entire existence that consisted of just those four steps, a being brought into the world only some hours ago to carry out a short laundry list of tasks and then be disposed of. There was no sorrow in this indeed there was no feeling at all, something with such a singular purpose and overwhelming predestination had no room for such burdens.

Such a short and quiet existence it had been, until now altogether unnoticed as it silently relayed the events of the duel between heroes back to it’s master, a little clockwork spider no wider than a human hand and dark like the cold iron of the tower it clung to and the night sky above it.

So it was that as Rei sent her servant away, even going so far as to tell him not to bother protecting her, that the little wooden spider leapt into action, to carry out the fourth and final step of its existence. it silently approached before leaping with fangs barred, ready to deliver the widow’s killing kiss to the poor magus.

@Indra@BlueHelix@GreenGoat@The World



Latin District, Hotel Workshop


Idiot!? Worthless!?!? LESS than worthless!?!?!?!?!?! Such a rapid fire attack without warning simply could not be defended against. D’Art fell to the floor in an agonizing wince, clutching at her chest all the way down.

With a shaky raspy voice alike a man on death’s door she replied. “Milady please…-” She cut herself off to spring up and provided the previously offered handkerchief, before throwing herself back to the ground to resume as if she had not been cut off at all. “...-your words wound me deeper than you can know, were I not blinded by your beauty-..”Another sudden stopping off, as she nodded to each of the others in turn, smiling ear to ear and with a twinkle in her eye, “- And your beauty, and your beauty, and of course last but not least your beauty-...” Annnd back to the wince. “...then I would have flawlessly assessed the situation without pause. Indeed it is not my shortcomings my sweet, but your own unearthly loveliness!... And yours, and you-

It would take a moment to get her back on her feet and properly attentive of the actual situation proper, once the rapid fire flattery had run its course. In the end, D’Artagnan left the apartment and hit the streets with Diana on her arm and the others in tow, all the while swearing up and down that her choice had been at random and based in no sort of favoritism whatsoever as they would all get a turn before the night was up.

Things would get a little easier once she worked out the proper schedule to give all the girls an even amount of attention, afterall she was a ladies man, but for tonight they’d have to wing it.


Heading out into the Latin District Proper, with her hunnies~♡ @ssw




Canal District, City of Science and Industry Museum


Mirai was taking this far worse than she appeared, as it was something quite entirely dreadful to have your life’s work, no rather generations of work, be seen as something of a pet project that was nothing more than a good base to work off of. Of course she knew that such an appraisal coming from this person of all possible people was nothing short of honest, his craft was the absolute pinnacle which no one would reach again in this age of dying mystery, but this did little to assuage her anger.

His charms on the other hand did, and in abundance. Not his handsome face and apparent devil may care attitude that had planted his head in her lap before she could even think to refuse him, but the literal charms that he wrote into being as she watched. For the skilled craftsman there was nothing quite so mesmerizing as watching a job well done, which was several orders of magnitude removed from the effortless and fascinating perfection with which Caster worked.

Indeed Her ire at being confronted with her own inferiority was in fact subdued almost entirely by her satisfaction in the superb status of her summoning, a blessing far greater than she could have ever begun to anticipate. Even just existing in the same workshop as him as he worked was enough to improve her technique by the end of the seven days they would spend together, nevermind if she actually made an effort to learn from him.

In fact so swiftly and precisely did he work that there was little she could do to even assist despite his flattering of her role in it. So with things as they were she busied her hands with what would otherwise be totally menial work that was usually quite entirely beneath her, except the one that stroked at his hair and played with his ears. Four others moved in perfect concert, providing fresh paper, moving that which carried the wet ink of fresh charms, fanning the ink dry, and folding the finished charms into a neat stack when dried.Indeed despite the relaxed nature of their leisurely postures they had become something of a living assembly line.

The fifth hand seized the future, as if to answer Caster’s question. Not in the literal sense, but rather it seized one of the threads hanging as it began to glow and hum. Her eyes closed for a second, lashes fluttering and settling heavily before flying wide.

I had planned on stroking your ears all night, but it seems we have some rather unsightly neighbors.” She spoke with a definite tone of disdain, and after giving his head a few more pats she rose rather unceremoniously despite his place in her lap. “Come Caster, we must teach them that the inelegance of such creatures will not be tolerated in my territory without swift retribution.

She grabbed her parasol, tucked four of her six arms deep into her kimono, and opened the door. “Let us make haste now. The sooner it is done and over with the sooner we can begin proper preparations- and return to giving you the attention you’ve no doubt sorely missed in this last millennia.

@Player 2




Latin District, Hotel Workshop



The form that emerged from the circle was not quite exactly what it appeared to be- namely, it was not the form of a man. The royal musketeers uniform hid what little chest she had and her hips were, as described by her mother, unfortunately narrow. Her face was one that was pretty in a way that was timeless but not distinctly male or female, but the fiery glint of determination in her eye spoke to the sensibilities that were far more often the former than the latter.

Of course given these facts no one could possibly be blamed for thinking the figure of Saber was male, least of all Saber herself- who would not correct anyone who made that mistake. If anything, this was always the intention of the fourth musketeer, as no sooner than the flash had faded than she had moved to cement this misconception.

She cut a deep bow and doffed her hat before speaking, in a voice no more conclusive than her body, "So, which one of you lovely ladies is my master?"... It was like she didn't even notice Theta.

She stepped forward before waiting for a reply, reaching out for the girls, "Is it you? Or you? You maybe? You?" Rapid fire, one after another, pressing her lips to the back of their hands, offered or not, with face becoming less noble and more transparently lecherous by the syllable. "Oh God you've been too good to me, I can't even choose, you're all so lovely!" ... D'Art, it isn't your choice to begin with.

As the excitement mounted she collapsed to her knees, head tilted back towards the sky as an even greater possibility dawned on her and she extolled her joys. "Don't tell me it's all of you!? Did I die and go to heaven!?" Her expression sobered suddenly, and her finger went to her chin. " ...Well I did die, but..."

She snapped back to mania not a second later, upon noticing Venus' predicament. " Oh dear, you're bleeding! My darling please, don't use your own kerchief, take mine instead- Oh but it would be rude to give one of you a gift and not the rest or you'll think I'm playing favorites... Oh this is a fine predicament you've gotten yourself into d'Artagnan!"

Just like that, without a second's hesitation, she blurted her true name out. Things were off to a wonderful start.

@SSW
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