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Reiki Matou

Matou Manor Mk. II, Foreigners' Lowlands

"Here they are. Please take your time and tell me what you can figure out."

Reiki showed to Lancer the three people she had restrained in the small but cozy living room using manacles of worms. Two had fallen into fitful sleeps after their hard days, but the third was unbending in his murderous rage.

"Dead! I'll see you all gutted like animals! You think this little hut won't burn?!"

A few worms crawled over his face, returning to their positions and form as a gag in his mouth.

"I can purge him of it like the others at any time, of course, but I thought you might be able to learn more from-"

Was that a penguin?

There was a tense moment as the thing descended towards the house, but some primal instinct told Reiki that this creature shouldn't be attacked, and Scáthach seemingly got the same impression. Once it reached the ground, she noticed the small message it was holding.

"Whatever it is, it deserves respect, so I'll go get its note in person." She decided, speaking more to the air than to her Servant.

She stepped out onto the lawn and passed outside the bounded field around the property. There, she gave the penguin her best smile and took the message from it.


-Benita Garibaldi

"Oh! I see."

Nervously, Reiki still smiled.

How dangerous was this thing?

"Have a nice day!"

She hurried back inside. She would need to find some beer. It was clear that Benita had made the right decision in calling this meeting. Moreover, it implied that she might finally be able to enter that mysterious construction site and have a proper discussion with the girl who was meant to be her greatest ally in this war.

In fact, a number of people had seemingly gathered there already, for reasons unclear. That being the case...

Ground Platoon Fourteen

Main Lobby of 'DDD' Hot Spring, Foreigner’s Lowlands

Again, they donned the appearance of the controller. Again, they made their way towards the building. They had been shooed away last time, but the controller had advised them not to expect the same response this time around, and the place did indeed seem different.

The group that entered the lobby was, by all appearances, a young woman. It took in the scene and the individuals present. That Master, as other units had reported, now held a very different energy about him compared to his state when they had observed him at the beginning of the war. The reason was unclear, but since a Servant was already present, any power this Master held hardly changed its likelihood of dying if things devolved into combat.

"Good morning, everybody." It made a bow to the room as it entered, and a smile to the Servant, who seemed to be quite a young boy. With that done, it headed straight for the two it was familiar with. Garibaldi and Whitehall.

"Last night was rough, wasn't it? Or rather, this whole thing has been pretty rocky. There are so many things I'd like to discuss, and that's not even getting into the points I'd like to bring up during tonight's meeting. I suppose the first thing to mention is-"

Its train of thought was disrupted as its eyes shifted to focus on Sofia's hand. A mark was missing. When it spoke up again, its voice was more hushed. "What happened there? Can I assume it relates to the Servant I detected leaving this place without ever having entered?"

It could detect the controller's feelings on the subject. Relief, but also sadness. If things were as they seemed, then the Whitehalls would be able to continue participating in the war. On the other hand, it meant that killing Masters was now much more necessary.

Air Squadron Forty-Five

Above the Site of the Spear, The Woods

The battle below was one between Servants, and so it was only common sense that these lesser familiars had no hope of following its events. However, they had been dispatched with specific orders. Moreover, they themselves had a Servant advising their movements. Once she had been allowed by the controller to share their senses through the karmic link, it became possible for directions to be given that would allow for the operation to go off precisely. These bugs had no grasp of what was transpiring on the ground, but they had a vague understanding that having entered the airspace of the battle, some of the Persian Emperor's soldiers would find it more productive to attempt to shoot them down than to focus on the living comet.

Well, even if they were destroyed, their payloads would fall.


The blade-winged insects dropped the stones they had been clutching. In addition to being unable to clearly perceive the fight, they now had no way to affect it. Therefore, they scattered into the wind. Perhaps the armies of Persia could make an effort to strike them from the sky, even spread out as they were, not that it would be helpful to them now.

With that, the runestones fell from above the skeleton warriors. Of course, no matter what great power they contained, if they fell on this rabble it would be of no great consequence to the overwhelming numbers of Persia.

Thus, when the runes sprang to life, a single rune of Clairvoyance, linked back to Scáthach herself guided the rest. Indeed, smashing even a large number of skeletons was like running a plastic bucket through a lake. An inconsequential space that would instantly be filled.

However, for the world's fastest hero, even that tiny opening could be a gateway to victory.

The King raised up giants and turned the ground against Achilles in an effort to slow and restrain him, but in the moment those things came to be, waves of radiant light and fire rained down onto them.

It was not an all-consuming destruction, and it was surely not a great drain on the King's manpower, but in that moment, a narrow, quickly closing pathway had been opened between Achilles and Darius.

"Quickly closing," of course, being a phrase that would be used by one who did not run like a comet.
Ground Platoon Twenty-Five

Mansion Ruins, Western Farms

A large destructive force. One that would surely destroy them if it struck. The other units in the area moved away, but this one advanced, as per the controller's orders.

Their standby disguise, one false bush among many real ones, disappeared as they moved towards their destination, camouflaging with the terrain as much as possible.

Cracked stones and splintered wood everywhere. The dust had not yet cleared. The platoon spread out around the ruins, and a single worm made its way onto the rubble.

What would be found here?

Air Squadrons Six through Ten

Native District

The efforts of their fellow squadrons and platoons were having less and less effect as the riots dragged on. They would have continued to attempt to save civilians and quell rioters' rage far past the point where such actions were meaningless if the controller had not determined a more efficient method.

Perhaps these humans were incited to a level that could not be dealt with by logic, but it would nonetheless be effective to attempt to strike at key points.

This was their job.

The natives had become wild-eyed. Mere shouting and property damage had somehow devolved into a bloodbath. Technically, human nature was to blame. More specifically, though, were these people. Those who draped themselves in the body parts of the slain and rallied maddened troops. Even if the bloodlust of the crowd came from within their own hearts, the ringleaders were...

Violence deserved violence. They grouped together into formless blunt objects and brought down the ringleaders of these dark revelries. Cuts were applied when necessary, although no permanent damage was left. The squadrons steered clear of magi. That was a whole different endeavour.

More than anything else, it was critical that the mobs see their leaders brought low.

They did.
Ground Platoons Eighty-Two through Eighty-Six

Ex-Workshop, Fuyuki Park

Finally, the last remnants of that Caster's barriers were reduced to naught. With nothing blocking their paths, they were free to move in on the objective.

The main target was lost. Had Caster's body still been around they would have found it instantly.

At the very least, there were a good number of corpses to consume. Initial assessment said over two hundred. They were greater than normal humans, these children of lightning, but there was no need for more disposable, weak, numerous units. That was their job. They consumed them for what little power they were worth.

Some were different, however. No, it was better to simply say that these ones were leaps and bounds above the other corpses. The twenty of them had real physical power. Beings worth taking for the controller.

These insects located the correct openings and moved inside. They took control. Once the senses had been confirmed, they began to experiment with muscles and joints. The strength of these bodies was clear now. It didn't take so many to pilot such a simple thing, and yet from within they could crack stone, and even pose a credible threat to a Heroic Spirit.

Under the cover of camouflage cloaks made from their fellow Platoons, the worms drove their new vehicles onward.

Note: Please ignore the now-gone Scáthach part of this post. No one has been saved.

Einzbern Forest Outskirts, near Foreigners' Lowlands

The lord of Spirits watched as the wicked flames sprung from Avenger's body, incinerating her explosive before it could finish its arc.

"So that's how it is."

Her voice carried across the distance between them, one queen speaking unfalteringly to another.

"I was curious what motivated you to step into that blaze."

It was useful to learn her enemy's abilities, but these flames definitely posed a problem, as they made both melee and magecraft unfavourable options.

"Perhaps you can make yourself useful and burn away that forest, Queen of Carthage.

She gestured over her shoulder to what had sprouted up in Miyama town behind her with her right hand, and cast two rune-stones into the air with her left. If her request for a forest fire was genuine, she wasn't letting up on her offensive to give Avenger time to consider it.

Her concussive stone had been touched by the flames before the rune's effect had completed, but these stones only travelled a few dozen feet from Lancer before discharging. Twin bolts of radiant white electricity burst forth and crossed the remaining distance to Dido at the speed of, well, lightning. The bolts flew unerringly for her torso, but halfway there one abruptly changed course, banking left and flying into the forest before reemerging and making a beeline for Avenger's Master.

"Not that I would expect you to have any drive to be helpful, considering your recent behaviour."

Ground Platoons and Air Squadrons

Forest of Einnashe

After some experimentation on the part of the controller, costing less than a dozen worms, they began to move.

Dead animals and vermin slunk through the murderous forest, consuming what they safely could. It was a strange phenomena, but it seemed they were safe from the trees' bloodlust as long as they remained sheltered inside these rancid bodies. A little careful maneuvering and it became possible to absorb healthy amounts of energy from these deadly flora.

Around the outskirts, more animals moved, seemingly in perfect health. Some nibbled on the leaves, while others, having been granted "absorption" by the controller, walked straight through trees, gaining sizeable nourishment for doing so. Apparently merely splitting into groups of two or three bugs and transforming to look like natural wildlife was enough to placate the forest around the edges, although they had to keep moving outward to ensure that the forest's expansion did not leave them stranded too deeply within.

That left the "big fish" at the centre of all this. Regardless of if the incredible bombardment had truly killed it, it still held the mana of this land for the time being. Animal corpses and winged bugs alike made for that place, where they would feed and breed and feed. It would not do to carelessly bunch up and be destroyed so deep into enemy territory, so it was a careful approach towards the protections arranged around the great tree.

A horrible buzz from above, and silent creeping from below.

Railyard Outskirts

It was unreasonably fast, so getting ahold of its movements took some time and focus from the controller.

Once she had a "feel" for it, though, that "feel" could be transferred to the units, at which point tracking this thing became automatic and close to foolproof across the entire network. This being complete, the bugs in the railyard began to move.

All the bugs in the railyard.

Walls were constructed wherever possible. Air superiority was gained. An immediate engagement was joined.

Whether or not the thing carrying the spear survived the lightning from the other group chasing it, it would immediately be beset by an entire caboose, which dissolved into a shifting dark green mass that slumped to one side to engulf it.

Next was the "smoke screen" provided by winged insects against the other interested party. The bladeflies made to block the undead's vision to the spear-holder while also taking every opportunity to cut at their limbs and heads.

Perhaps they would be shaken off quickly or fled from, but the entire area- No, the entire city was full of them.

But this was not the time to waste units and energy chasing one as fast as that, or with firepower such as the draugr wielded, and so the "Binding" began.

Two or three for each undead, five for the one with the spear, insects the the area engaged the spells the controller had implanted into them. It was done without warning, as each one was no more than another bug in the swarm up to that point.

Their movement would be robbed. Their contracts, if weak, would be severed. Those with strong contracts would nonetheless find it difficult to contact their controllers, as if switching from a strategy game to a transistor radio.

They wasted no moment. The spear would be theirs.
Reiki Matou

Matou Manor Mk. II, Foreigners' Lowlands

Here, on the edge of the ruins, stood a small house.

It wasn't something that could be easily noticed from the outside, but if one stepped into the bounded field, they would see clearly a small, singly-storey version of the Matou home that was destroyed along with so many others the night before.

With that said, one who stepped into the bounded field would find themselves beset by a torrent of worms and runic defences.

Many bugs had been killed in the destruction of this district, but the still prodigious mass that remained felt somehow lighter, more flexible and manageable. This was probably nothing but an illusion of wishful thinking. There was no real benefit to losing so many familiars.

The Matou heir sat at the kitchen table in the sparsely decorated house, a few suitcases partially unpacked beside her. She dealt with bug after bug, infusing a select few with dangerous spells of binding and absorption that would make them individual points of great threat among the swarms.

Below her feet, in "Worm Pit Mk. II," worms who had found some vermin or corpse to feed on put that matter to good use, breeding additional units.

Her mind could not truly be in multiple places at once, for she lacked that special talent of Atlas alchemists. Nonetheless, her familiar manipulation could be compared to an "absolute real-time-strategy game master" who set up "paths" for her units to follow while she focused on other things.

And focus she did.

Ground Platoons and Air Squadrons

Fuyuki City

Their numbers had been greatly reduced. The pit which housed so many reserve units was gone, and so all that was left was the enormous network blanketing the city.

Tremendous losses of both human and worm life.

Men, women, and children struck down by the recent chaos would not have died in vain. They would factor in to the controller's goal, and that goal would in turn be key to the success of humanity.

The controller was experienced enough not to feel any distaste for such things. Bodies in the streets and in homes were ravenously devoured for the greater good. Normal scavengers, insects and vermin, who had come to feast were consumed as well with no change to the routine.

It was an exceptional amount of flesh, and while recouping the losses of last night was absolutely impossible, this feast would nonetheless produce an exceptional amount of worms.

Ground Platoon Fourteen

Outside Construction Project: ‘Tarantasio’, Foreigner’s Lowlands

They took on the form of the controller, as was often done in the past. The form with the delicate features of a young lady approached the sizeable project with what would be seen by most as stern confidence. An expression it had required extra focus from the controller to properly form.

Fourteen got as close to the unfinished building as possible, and as soon as one of the workmen came into view, it made to grab his attention. Truthfully, though, it was probably worth nothing but a formality to speak to someone who could be seen. There would likely be some sensor around that would alert Benita, wherever she was, of what Fourteen was saying to the construction worker.

"Call Benita. She can come out here, invite me in, or send some messenger, but it's high time we started communicating properly."


Einzbern Forest Outskirts, near Foreigners' Lowlands

Her eyes were locked onto her target. The Lancer focused on the Avenger from a distance using Clairvoyance. Her body and the spear sticking into the ground just next to her bore many runic markings, some already activated, shimmering with multicoloured light, and some not.

She relied purely on her Master's surveillance to be sure that this woman had added something to yesterday's blaze that had made it noticeably harder to deal with. hile she wasn't the one who had started the fire, nor the one who had added the curses that set it on the path to Miyama's ruin, she would still be worth a handsome reward from Ruler for her part in the crisis.

She was not a member of the Assassin class, and so she could not truly snuff out the massive waves of energy that marked her as a Servant. Nonetheless, she employed a combination of runes and a miscellaneous stealth skill in an effort to minimize the degree her position between two small hills about 300 meters from her target could be detected.

From a satchel, she produced a handful of smooth stones with different runes carved into them, picked out a single one with her right hand. The physical strengthening runes on her right arm sprang to life with an orange glow as she wound up for a throw and hurled the stone at Avenger with functionally rank A power and speed.

In the instant it took the rock to travel through the air, the rune inscribed onto it began to glow a brilliant white. As a keen-eyed magus might have recognized, what was about to come forth from the stone was an explosion of extreme force. Scáthach knew enough about her opponent to not bother with a burst of flame, so this rune would release something closer to thunder or a wave of air.

If Reiki's assessment of her foe's parameters was accurate, then a direct hit would surely spell death for Avenger. On top of that, avoiding a direct hit was a mighty task to begin with due to the speed at which the projectile moved and detonated combined with the A ranked Clairvoyance Lancer way utilizing. The rune was not one that would activate upon impact with something, but rather an attack that would go off at Lancer's own command, the moment it got close enough to its target. No doubt her enemy had some tricks to call on to improve her survival beyond her relatively unimpressive physical abilities, but things got more complex when one considered that her Master also stood in the projected blast radius.

For the opening move of a battle, it was nothing to scoff at.
Reiki Matou

The Study, Matou Manor --> Fuyuki Park

She had been ready. Her familiars mobilized for a new tactic against the blaze, Scáthach and the Tohsaka's Saber both at hand, bags packed in case the retaliation failed, and Shinji safely out of the area. Of course, with some tiny grain of clarity and control found in this wild situation, it was guaranteed something was bound to bungle it up.

That said, she hadn't been expecting it to be an ally that did it.

Saber had fled instantly. At the same time, Lancer came crashing in through the office window, wordlessly grabbed Reiki in one arm and her suitcase in the other, and continued through the hallway towards the back wall. She didn't crash through this wall, however. It parted into a swarm of winged insects at her approach, allowing her to land on the grass and progress over the wall.

Reiki hardly missed a beat. She hadn't been expecting to enact escape maneuvers until some effort had been put into her fire extinguishing plan and it had proven ineffective, but she was nonetheless prepared. Final orders were given to the various groups of familiars. Those on and around the lawn piled into the gazebo, those in the basement packed tightly and sought out the lowest crevasses, and those spread through the edges of the fire zone in position for firefighting simply fled and survived as best they could. The last was a vague order to evade and resist. Many would likely scatter to the winds, while some might collect and morph into more durable collective forms.

Her final commands having been laid out, Reiki cut ties with the lot of them.

She was jolted out of her familiar-control focus as Lancer rubbed a bit of ash on her cheek, clearly making to form a primordial rune. She had no time to ask about its nature before it came into effect, at which point Scáthach began moving at full tilt.

For Reiki, this was an impossible speed. She was used to an immense amount of simultaneous sensory experiences, but not so for incredible single concentration like this. As the flames became more scarce and the foreigners' houses zipped by, she realized the rune on her face was certainly a physical reinforcement rune, for there was no other way she could have survived in such a state.

She heard the explosion from the manor behind them, and then she saw it overhead. Lancer's greatest work. The gazebo.

It was unrecognizable. Walls of stone and ice enveloped it in an airtight egg shielding it from the great explosion, no doubt carefully aimed by Scáthach, that had erupted beneath the structure back on the lawn, sending it flying through the air at an angle that made its destination likely similar to their own. As she understood the masterpiece Lancer had toiled over for no small part of the time before the war, gravitational runes stabilizing the internal cabin would keep her worms intact despite the force of the flight while wind-force runes laid around the outer edges would repel the cure-ridden smoke of the flames that had started this whole problem.

Far behind the pair, she supposed, would be the barriers Lancer had claimed could withstand the release of a Noble Phantasm. They would be growing more and more numerous, appearing directly on top of each other until the border of the lawn became so saturated with energy that it was nothing more than a wall of blinding white light. Despite this, she was acutely aware of the difference in power between the barriers and the thing descending from above, and so there was no need for her to ask Lancer why she was not relying on those shields to keep them safe.

While Reiki had been boosted to withstand the speeds at which Scáthach travelled, her sense of time remained the same, and so it was a matter of a few seconds, hardly time to formulate any thought or response to the situation, before her Servant brought them to a stop just beside a park bench.

There was a quiet moment then. Lancer's focused gaze indicated she was likely using Clairvoyance to assess the damage and watch for nearby opportunists, but Reiki let her familiars run themselves for just a few seconds while she collected her thoughts.

It was an impossible tragedy. Even if she won the grail for Zouken and lived to see everlasting peace, this failure would likely gnaw at her for a long time.

Of course, the blame hardly fell on her shoulders alone. Jack, that Demon with her followers, the lightning wielder who had defended her, the woman who had poisoned the flames, and...

"What was that!? If Benita hasn't gone fully rogue, we'll be having a very serious talk about teammate coordination.
Ground Platoons and Air Squadrons

Foreign and Commerce Districts, Miyama

It was the most intense coordination the controller had ever attempted. No doubt most eyes in the area were on the fire, but another strange event had begun nearby only seconds after it had started consuming the area. Mailboxes, bicycles, chimneys, birds, plants, street signs, and various other neighbourhood items collapsed into swarms of insects, and in the next moment reformed on the streets into people. It would have been too much of a strain to instantly formulate so many appearances, and so a single one was chosen for the entire set, seemingly at random.

There was no delay. Alone or together, they forced their way through each door they came across, delivering the same message. "Your lives are at risk! Head east quickly!" Even in their unimposing bodies, they presented a frantic and demanding personality that quickly drove civilians from their homes, with assistance wherever needed, and towards the river.

It was a strange sight, even if it was unlikely to be the oddest thing spotted on any given day of a Grail War. Groups of dazed foreigners, some barefoot, many dressed for a lazy morning indoors, being ushered through the streets by dozens of seemingly the same girl. Their route had to be adjusted when the bridge became... unusable, but the group was fortunate enough to come across numerous lifeboats at the riverbank. Once the civilians had been herded on board, the facade was largely dropped, and the boats morphed into horrid rubbery sea creatures with numerous flippers, hastily depositing the passengers on the Shinto town riverbank before dispersing into a swarm and reforming into water vessels on the first side.

These evacuation efforts were concentrated in the foreign district, where the fire now raged, but individuals were appearing all throughout Miyama, warning residents of the incoming flames and advising them to collect a few valuables and skip town, meeting with mixed responses from the citizens.

There were a few places, though, where different actions unfolded. The first was as the Tohsaka manor, or rather, just outside of it. A worm-body in the form of the controller called out, hopefully earning the attention of those within. "I have the locations of those who I believe to be responsible for this!" No more needed to be said. Hideyoshi understood the magecraft of the Matous, and so he would know that he needed only to speak aloud while outside any bounded fields to gain the controller's attention and directions.

@Kyoka @Seirei No Hai

Secondly, a certain young girl on the streets of the commerce district received a visit. It was clear to the controller that this was the Master of the Servant responsible for last night's attack, as well as likely the addition to today's flames. Two bodies approached briskly in the marketplace, using the same appearance as anywhere else. There was no real effort at deception. As soon as her eyes fell on the pair, they spoke coldly in unison, "That was a dirty move last night. Is this more of your handiwork?"

They didn't wait for a response. Even as the final syllables left their lips, their bodies began to disassemble into blade-wing insects, spreading out and closing. Any given cut would be unlikely to kill Riyu, but they were quick, numerous, and arranged such that striking each one individually would be consigning oneself to a losing battle.



Matou Manor --> Foreign District Streets

With her orders decided upon, Lancer made for the streets, leaving the house she had helped to repair overnight. Where there had been a hole, there was now a significantly lower area of roof composed of her Master's familiars. It was irritating to think that she might have to sacrifice the whole place if today's efforts went badly.

The drunken mob was barely a thought in her mind. She disabled a few on her way out of the grounds with quick taps that sent them flying unconsciously down the street simple because it was as easy for her as doing nothing, but the bulk of the work was done by the runes surrounding the manor, which had been set to "stun". A pile of charred but living drunken arsonists now lay just outside the manor walls, and they would only be met with more nonlethal electricity and wind if they managed to get up for round two.

Lancer reached the decided upon position, an intersection on the edge of the forest whose area was being given special priority during the worms' evacuation efforts. Looking right, there was a sizeable stretch of road before things would get even a little difficult. She held one spear, and on both that spear and her arms there glowed runes of strengthening. Suffice to say, her first swing was a potent one even by the standards of Servants. The road was less than sand to her spear as it passed through, making some nice headway for the ensuing trench-digging. Of course, it would be horribly expensive to use such a method with every strike, but used sparingly it made for rather efficient work as a wide stretch along the middle of the road was slowly crushed into an extended pit almost a meter deep and bereft of any fuel.

Of course, her forceful destruction was not done carelessly. She would make an obstacle between the flames and the manor, and then work to protect the forest and greater Miyama if there was time to spare. During all this, her clairvoyance would remain vigilant for sneak attacks, as she had already heard from her Master of the difficulties the Saber from last night was experiencing. She longed to head that way and aid him while taking vengeance on the Assassin for his attacks, but she had work to do here and felt she could rely on Saber to at the very least last a long time against any opponent.

She was a good distance from the fire. Her goal here was not to save as much of the area as possible, but to gurantee the safety of the area she had time to properly protect.

Smash, smash, smash, went the wise queen.
@HueMan I think I'll have to drop out. It's a bad week for me so I can't be taking much time to plan with you guys even if I get my characters done.
Putting this WIP here for now. Questions, comments, and criticism welcome in the meantime.
Interesting! If this gets off its feet I'd like to play, though I guess it depends a little on this fantasy system of yours.

I see you're checking in advanced as well, so hopefully I can hold up to your standards.
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