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    1. Sakaki Chizuru 10 yrs ago


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Town Hall, Shinto Civic Center, Shinto City

@Red Alice

“Rider, I do not wish for the blood of others to spill quite yet. While I am in the mood to gorge on it, we can’t let any of the pieces on this board fall so soon. They’re important pieces in overthrowing the rulers of this game. Our efforts will be in putting everything we need into motion.”

“...Though, a small treat may be in order if any get too close. It isn’t our fault they moved too close to the spider’s den, right?”

Was it the instincts of an Oni or a Killer that moved her in that direction? Did it even matter? Regardless, she would stick to her plan. For now, every piece on the board was too important to throw away just yet. The more chaotic things were, the better. Still, that didn’t mean fighting and maiming was off the table. A little taste of blood was allowed if the situation occurred. It was in her nature to revel in the most sacred of liquids.

With the familiars out and about, Kioymi made sure to check up on them for any updates on the areas observed. The conditions of these places need to be monitored in order to ensure her plan was moving smoothly. Thankfully, the blessings of her Servant would stop any sort of interference.

“Hmm? You want to go on a date or something? We’ll probably be a bit too busy tonight. Some fancy places in town are open past Noon, so we could go in the afternoon tomorrow? They’re in Shinto, so we can remain close. I’m hesitant to spend too much time in Miyama. That side of the Mion is a deathtrap.”

It was a deathtrap she was going to visit soon enough, but the less time spent there the better. She mentioned everything there in a rather casual tone, spending no extra time or thought in regards to the specific words used. In other words, the word “date” was used in the most neutral terms possible.

Her servant’s language was completely archaic. Nyoin? She had nearly forgotten what that meant. Still, Kiyomi wasn’t really in a position to judge. When dealing with her immediate family, she spoke in a similar way. Her rough tongue as a yakuza was probably an outlet for her childhood of proper speech. At least, that was how she justified it.

The civic center was one of the last places she wanted to set up. It was far too Western, even for what she was willing to put up with. However, it was ideal for her purposes. Namely, it had a leyline and wasn’t on the other side of the river. Besides, whoever claimed the mountain was asking to be killed. The civic center wasn’t an ideal place to hold in regards to combat. No, it was ideal because of the amount of shields present within it. Who would be rotten enough to kill so many civilians to get close? And a person that monstrous should be praised and rewarded with an alliance. It was a win-win situation for Kiyomi.

As the magus entered the civic center, the corner of her eye caught the change in her Servant’s appearance. It caught her off guard, though it had nothing to do with the appearance itself. Why didn’t her Servant just….go ethereal? There was no reason to be seen in the first place. In fact, why did her Servant even want to go out to eat? They didn’t need nutrition. What a peculiar card she had drawn…

The new appearance was pleasant, though a bit too plain for her taste. There was one part she liked though.

“Nice glasses, Rider. Did you pick those from the magazine Taiga had? I think they look really nice.”

She smiled with the compliment, not that she thought much of it. It was probably for the best she did as well, considering gaining access to the mayor would distort her personality. Well, it would have, if she wasn’t able to send all distortions like that to her sister.

Kiyomi moved through the town hall like she had exclusive access, considering she simply enchanted whoever tried to stop her from entering the mayor’s office. Of course, she made sure all sorts of security footage was destroyed after this. She had made that mistake once, and her lawyers really didn’t want to get involved in a case like that again. Personally, she didn’t see why they were so annoyed about it, but it was best to keep them at least somewhat pleased.

The mayor himself was….well, he was definitely given a much rougher treatment before the enchantment. It was a bit personal to Kiyo, something about how he deserved it after giving her a fine a few years back? Regardless, he would be in her pocket for the time being. She ensured to not harm anyone though, hurting civilians was wrong. Not that she cared much about right and wrong, but she saw no reason to harm the unrelated for the time being.

Well, with the civic center and town hall under her control, Kiyomi and her Servant began to set up their base.

Nighttime came swiftly upon Camp Oni. They were busy redecorating the area as well as setting up their bounded fields. A place modeled after her cities back home in Chūbu would do lovely. Those who visited the civic center would feel otherwise, but that was more of a “them” problem.

The information provided by her familiars was enough to dictate their plans. The information in the Foreign District was truly most interesting. What a cursed place it was becoming. The information at the Mountain provided the obvious, that someone had taken the best location in the war. The South Moor introduced her to a hidden rat of sorts, one that Kiyo had considered dead, but they’d be someone worth communicating with. The Miyama familiar was...disappointing.

Work harder, Miyama familiar!

In Shinto, there seemed to have been a flare for combat. What a meaningless affair. What were these pawns? Why fight others now, of all times? Were they too dense to understand the war’s true nature? Pawns fighting Pawns was what the controllers of this war truly desired. What sort of idiot would willingly play into that? Truly, Kiyo was the smartest participant in this war.

For now, considering everything seemed a bit too...hot at the moment, Kiyomi would spend her time relaxing with her Servant. Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi was on the TV they were watching, the Korean food they ordered was on their table, the lights were dimmed, and both shared the couch they were sitting on. While making progress is how Kiyomi would have wanted to spend the night, this was a fine substitute.

"Modern day Japanese animation is the greatest, can't you tell? We could never be defeated by those barbarians!"

Shinto District, Shinto Town, Verde Shopping Center


Her Master really was cute. She got to do all sorts of “dress ups” in life, but never on a girl. It was a fun way to spend the day and she hoped her Master enjoyed herself, even if it was something so far out of her comfort zone. Getting out of one’s comfort zone was important in development.

And also towards removing one’s mask, but that wasn’t why Assassin did this. There was no point in forcing something that would naturally come in time.

Now, of course, her Master did have to come and kill the nice vibe that was going on. The Executor just had to mention she had no intention of summoning Theodora. Tears would begin to fall from Assassin’s eyes, her hand being slightly too slow to catch the first few which dropped onto the table below. With a voice on the verge of bursting into tears, Assassin spoke to her Master.

“I see...you don’t want me. I thought we were getting along fine, yet you never wanted me. You probably hate me...I know it! I’m sorry I can’t be Justin- Kihihihihihihih!!!!!”

A shrill laughter broke the previous facade, with her previous whimsical face returning. She was the Greatest Actress in Rome, was she not? Putting on crocodile tears was one of the easiest tricks for her. She just hoped that didn’t upset her Master too much, it was all just in good fun!

“Of course you wanted to summon Justinian, he’s the greatest! I can’t fault you for that. And who would want to summon someone like me? I’m a problematic person who only follows their hedonistic desire. Why, I’d probably reject the person that actively tried to summon me. You can never know with those types, right?”

She was seemingly speaking earnestly. Of course, with the display she put up earlier, how genuine it was was up to interpretation.

“However...you weren’t going to get Justinian. What sort of wife would I be if I let another get their hands on him?"

Her lips began to curl into a dark smile, though the words coming out of her mouth didn’t make much sense. A Servant couldn’t stop another from being summoned or anything.

And yet. . . .

“Let us not worry what may or may not have been. We’re bound by the hip for now, right? Let us embrace one another during this partnership, regardless of what the past held. Glory can only be achieved with the hand dealt by fate! Let us, with the blessings of the divine, achieve victory in this bloodstained ritual! If not for glory, then for the Lord.”

The Servant raised her glass of wine, the generic sign of a toast to her Master.

Fancy Tea Shop, Shinto City

@Red Alice

The Prime Grail War had begun.

It started earlier, much earlier in fact. One could argue that the Prime Grail War had begun once the Third Grail War ended the way it did. Someone actually gifted in seeing the future might have easily seen such a result. Unfortunately, none of the families present in that war were proficient in such a thing. In fact, it seems none of them still learned that lesson. If they did, they would have been smart enough to not even bother retrying such an idiotic war.

Well, in a way, Kiyomi did thank them. She needed this war after all. Once more, the stupidity of others fueled her interests.

This local tea shop Taiga had recommended for her was nice. She had spent the day prior with her friend, though it was mostly filled with shopping and kendo. Taiga was a simple person at her core, but it made her happy, so Kiyomi had no issues with it. While Kiyomi didn’t buy any of the clothing, she did model her current attire on it. It was a simple yellow T-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, and a white sweater wrapped around her waist. According to the advertisement, this was supposedly all the rage in Gifu? Something about the attire seemed a little out of date though...

The aroma of her Hōjicha brought comfort. This little moment in this tea shop would be the last moment of true calm before Kiyomi properly entered the war. She may have already arrived in Fuyuki and summoned her Servant, but she was not mentally present in the war. She was still here to visit her good friend Taiga. The actual reality of the war had not truly entered her mind, as she simply sought to enjoy the last moments of peace she may ever have.

With the last sips of tea entering her lips and washing out her throat, so too did this facade of peace wash away.

Kiyomi Mayama was a demon. It was time to act as such.

With a new look of conviction in her eyes, Kiyomi pulled out a folder she had. It was filled with her notes about the war.

To begin with, the Holy Grail War was always a scam. If you were not one of the Einzbern, Matou, or Tohsaka, then victory was never going to happen.

This is the unspoken rule of the Original Holy Grail War.

The Einzbern, Matou, and Tohsaka are the only ones who can truly seize victory. The rest simply exist as fodder. This is by design, of course. Who wouldn’t make a ritual where all the cards were in your hands? As an outsider, Kiyomi obviously hated it, but it isn’t like she could blame the founders. She would have done the exact same thing. Well, maybe she would have been a little less snake-y about it.

The Mayama stay honest to their alliances, at the very least.

Even among the founding families, there was clearly a pecking order. While any of the three were allowed to win, one family was clearly a Bishop to the other’s Queen.

The Matou were the creators of the entire system and ritual. If information is the most important thing in war, then the Matou were clearly more dangerous than any other. The old worm was a super genius for creating such a ritual, but to think the other families simply let this happen was hard for Kiyomi to process at first. Of course, she quickly understood that despite the Matou’s absurd advantage, even it was nothing to the Einzbern's.

The Einzbern were the ones who held the key. It was as simple as that. One family was in control of actually starting the grail. What a completely absurd advantage. Who would actually agree to this? Such an unfair advantage should have been stomped out in the first ritual, but it wasn’t. Maybe there truly was no other way, but as it stood, the Einzbern were the family with the greatest control over the war.

The Tohsaka.


They uh…


They were the Bishops among the Queens. They could win the ritual, but they were clearly lesser than the other two. In fact, they were probably just advanced fodder for the Einzbern and Matou. They could never hope to have leverage or power while alongside them. Holding the land was a nice boost, but it was not even close to what the other two held up their sleeves. As it stood, the Tohsaka were like the little brother invited because mom told the bigger brothers to bring them along.

What a rigged game.

Of course, this meant that everyone else, including Kiyomi, were Pawns. There was no genuine path to victory for them. They were fodder meant to fill up the cup until the real game masters could claim victory. At base, this was unavoidable.

A Pawn can not win The Holy Grail

This too, is an unwritten rule.

That means that the goal of any Pawn is to become a Queen and turn the board inside out.

And so, this would be Kiyomi’s initial plan. She needed to elevate her status from Pawn if she ever wanted to win the Prime Grail War. It would not be easy, especially considering the information she had on hand.

The founding families were working together prior to this war. While they have formally declared war on each other, could such a thing really be the case? What if it was all smoke and mirrors? What if they sought to work together once more so they could abuse their advantages as the controllers of this game? Such an outcome was completely possible, and it was clearly the worst outcome for all of the players. In that scenario, the path to leaving the status of Pawn was nearly completely closed off.

The Matou representative was a monster. This was not a term Kiyomi used lightly, but there was no other way to describe him. In fact, Kiyomi had no problem declaring him the most dangerous thing in this war. Sure, she had no idea about the other Pawns, but they were not going to compare to him. If the situation between them was slightly different, Kiyomi surely would have skipped this war.

The Einzbern were relying on a mercenary. As much as she wanted to mock the family for falling to such a state, she could not blame them. The amount of effort spent to build the essentials for the war was absurd, so instead of relying on them in combat where it could backfire, a mercenary was the right call. Now, that also means they have no real way to ensure loyalty, but it was better off to not speculate with things like that. The Einzbern likely had a way to ensure some level of loyalty. The mercenary they were using was a powerful one though. He was famous in the West for his work or something? Kiyomi made a mental note to be especially on guard with him.

The Tohsaka completely bound themselves to those apes in the West, so they’ve become much more brutish. Barbarians were barbarians in the end though, so she actually gave little thought to the situation of their current head. Still, having them involved with the Einzbern and Matou would surely be an unprecedented disaster for this war. They controlled the land and had a barrier over Miyama, two things Kiyomi could not take for granted.

Fortunately, the situation was still likely within a manageable position. The path to victory was clear to Kiyomi, so all she needed to do was work to enact it.

“Rider, I believe I’m done here. How was the tea? Taiga suggested the place, so I hope it was to your liking."

Kiyomi was more than pleased with the Servant she had summoned. Considering her catalyst was a well preserved autumn leaf, there was a big chance of failure in the summoning. Thankfully, the compatibility portion of the summoning mechanism was working perfectly well. Truly, there was no better fitting for Kiyomi. What was better than one Oni Queen? Two Oni Queens. It was simple Oni math.

Of course, they had a myriad of other similarities, but that was left best concealed for now.

Regardless, she liked her Servant. They were a bit off, but it was not like Kiyomi was in a position to judge. A clingy Servant was better than one who you would never get along with. In regards to goals and war outlook, they were completely aligned. Her power also solidly placed her amongst the greatest Servants this war could provide. In other words, Kiyomi had drawn the winning card.

While her Servant was responding about the tea, Kiyomi began to weave five familiars from the tattoos present on her body. It was a simple task, one that would only take a moment. Everything needed to forge them was already done, all that was required was molding them into the right shape. Once that was done, Kiyomi’s five little shadow yokai familiars would be complete.

“Mind giving them a little blessing, Rider? The world can be harsh to little things like these.”

The five little shadows glided across the table over to the Servant, awaiting the Servant’s blessing. Once they received their blessings, they would mold into the shadow of nearby birds as cover, and depart. This would allow them to hide their presence even further, which was the main goal with a familiar scouting network. Their targets were the Outskirts of the Einzbern abode, the Foreign District, Southern Moor, Mount Enzo, and Miyama.

“Our next stop is to visit the Mayor. It has been a while, but unfortunately for him, I’m sure he remembers my face.”

With her familiars ready and her Servant behind her, Kiyomi began the walk to visit an old….friend. Sure, we can go with that.

Moving into Fuyuki Civic Center, Shinto Town
Shinto District, Fuyuki Church


She was salivating.

She actually was.

She could feel the saliva drip down her chin, with her only barely catching it before her Master had exited the building.

Theodora had no idea who this Father Kotomine was, but the darkness lurking within him was something truly delectable. It was a walking calamity waiting to occur. The amount of darkness within was astounding, even by Theodora’s standards. It was well guarded, supported with a decent enough facade and mask. This Father Kotomine was not someone who would give into that calamity naturally, they were well too guarded.

It was odd, actually. He should have given into his darkness at least a decade prior. What made him so resilient? He was empty, she could tell. The darkness within should have filled that empty spot. For a man who seemed decently long-lived, maybe he simply never had the right encounter? Never before had he been properly encountered and shown the true way to live? As it stood, he was a man with a strong defense against his demon which lurked inside.

This was fine, Theodora was especially good at breaking them down. In fact, the only way to get any sort of darkness out of him was to be an existence similar to Theodora herself. It was a perfect compatibility.

A match made in heaven, if you will.

To break down the pillars of such a man was going to be quite the show…

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to occur in the immediate future.

While she was actually quite pleased with her Master, they were someone who was an “ally” of this man. It wasn’t something her Master would allow, at least for now. Theodora wasn’t the type to take much stock in this Master and Servant relationship, but she would try to accommodate them to some degree.

The sins hiding within her Master weren’t worth tearing out. They were the sort to develop naturally as this sort of event blossomed. Her Master entered this war as a child, but they would surely exit it as an adult. This was the sort of prophecy that Theodora was able to give, even if such things like divination were beyond her. As this was the case, Theodora felt she could simply get along with her Master. They were a good Christian girl, much like herself.

What else would make the two compatible?

Was it ⬛?Or ⬛? Maybe ⬛?

Who was to say?

Despite walking side-by-side with their Master for a bit, the Servant was caught in her own little world. It wasn’t until her Master called by her Class that she began to pay any attention to the situation at hand.

She laughed a small laugh at her partner’s frustration with the language. It was cute seeing her get all flustered. That wasn’t the sort of thing you would normally see from a member of the Church.

“The grail only provides so much, but I can make a guess. I was a polyglot in life, you know? Japanese has a limited amount of sounds, causing similar words, which requires an obtuse way to differentiate them.”

In that regard, it wasn’t too different from spoken Latin.

Now, the written version of Japanese was much more cursed than Latin.

“You speak it fine, at least, according to my ears. The Japanese are an overly polite people, wearing their societal masks much more readily than those from your homeland. They would never insult your grasp of the language. As long as the Japanese don’t say something like “Nihongo Jouzu,” you can consider your Japanese solid. It may sound like a compliment, but it isn’t. Masks can be even more painful than the reality which lies underneath them.”

This wasn’t an insult or anything. To Theodora, all of society was simply hiding in their own little masks, scared of ever revealing themselves to the world. It was a sad existence, never being able to reveal one’s true nature. This was fine, she would reveal it for them in time. It was a mercy she was willing to offer everyone.

“I guess I can help you out with the reading, though practice makes perfect with these sorts of things.”

She materializes next to her master to read the note, patting the Executor's head as she does so.

“Oh, we can worry about that little thing later. When one has a deep hunger, they must do anything they can to satisfy it~!”

A small wink was given at the end of the sentence.

“The note says that it is in Miyama. Let me lead you there~!”

She takes her partner’s hand into her own, then begins her charge down the hill into Shinto.

Moving into Shinto Center into Miyama

Darnic’s words seemed to be falling on deaf ears. This was, of course, because Io had her airp*ds in. She was currently listening to the music of the “modern” era, which of course meant music from the 90’s. Since she spent her past decade focusing on the 80’s, Io figured it was time to focus on a new era of music to celebrate the dawn of her second decade in the United States.

More importantly, she just hated the sound of Darnic’s voice. The airp*ds could only do so much, so Io began to hum to herself. She was mildly confused how a song about losing one’s spirituality was a hit in 1991, but by this point she had learned that questioning the popularity of things was a pointless exercise.

Once the “leader” of their faction had finished his monologue, Io removed her airp*ds.

“Okay so, I’ll go establish relations with the Red Faction. It is statistically unlikely for anyone present to decline such an offer. Those who are not present do not matt-”

Damn, she wasn’t quick enough to finish that statement before he called. Considering it was an excuse to further avoid the man at the helm of her faction, she would pick up the phone. Io was kind enough to raise a finger at Darnic, signifying a pause of sorts as she answered the phone.

“Yo. You know that song birds don’t spend much time in Vegas, right? Their songs ring hollow against the noise of urban society. There is just too much competition, and a little bird’s song has no innate appeal. Now, would you get on to the status report and stop wasting time.”

She was supposed to hate the nickname, she got that. In fact, when she remembered, she would give a retort to tell him to stop calling her that. Unfortunately, Io really did not care about such a thing. A name serves as one’s identity to others, but identity was already something needless to her.

A primate needed to save the primates, but an individual was not needed to save individuals.

“Smallpox? What a...strange idea. Say, did you know that the smallpox vaccine was the first ever invented. In the year 1793. Who would even use such a trick in an era largely removed from that disease? It would have to be a Servant, right? Why would a Master do something like that?”

And so, the supercomputer known as Io Shesemu Mathoris got to work.

...Actually, it was a really simple procedure. Such a thing was simple for anyone who had lived in the United States for an extended period of time.

“...You don’t know much about the New World, right? There was a myth circulated that many of the explorers who came brought over Smallpox blankets in order to kill off the Native population. The actual event that may have spawned this was a British outpost in the late 18th Century. Regardless of the facts, the belief of the modern age has an effect on those summoned for the Holy Grail. Following me so far?”

She continued to keep her finger up at Darnic, keeping him informed that she was still not going to talk to him.

“As this is the case, the myth can only be applied to certain figures. Namely, explorers from the Age of Exploration and the leader of the Siege of Fort Pitt. We can slim it down even further, as the Servant must be worthy to reach the Heroic Spirit. This would leave us with names like Columbus, Cortez, Pizzaro, de Soto, and de León.”

Them being all hired by Spain was in line with the era, even if the British were the likely origin point of the smallpox blanket myth.

“Within those five, I’m sure you can narrow the rest down. I doubt Purple would summon the latter three. While the last two were brutal, their achievements are not impressive enough to be summoned by a team trying this hard. Pizzaro defeated the largest empire in the Americas, Cortez has his connections to Quetzacoatl, and Columbus was the man who made the Americas a known continent. I’m sure you can figure out who the Servant is between these three. Only someone absolutely heinous would work with Team Purple, but I guess they are all pretty sinful. I believe in you. Well, sorta.”

Not really, but she learned that pretending to believe in people was good for building team morale.

“I’ll have Aldintabruthe head down to your location. I’ll pass him a cure for smallpox and he’ll do...something involving cheese to help the village. If you have any updates, just send me a text. I need to go establish relations with the Red Faction, we’re going to be in a truce with them or something. There should be someone from Atlas amongst their ranks, but it is unlikely they sent anyone super important. Anyway, if we’re done here, lates.”

Seriously... a smallpox outbreak? It was not completely out of her calculations, but the potential chances of that were no miniscule that it might as well have been. At the very least, this Purple Faction was going to be entertaining. After giving the man silence for a few seconds, she hung up her phone.

“Anyway, I’ll be heading out. See ya Darny~!”

Darny seemed to have been the name chosen to upset Darnic. He had a much greater sense of self than she did, so she assumed it would hit much harder.

”Caster, I’ll need you to bring me to where the Red Faction is. According to my calculations I made from scouting data, some should be at the Hexamilion Wall. No individual existences are known, but we will make do.”

On the way to her Servant, Io would pass a vial filled with a liquid over to Aldintabruthe and inform him of the current situation.. The liquid was clearly a magical vaccine to smallpox she engineered out of her own blood. As a world class doctor and an alchemist, creating arguably the most simple vaccine was fairly easy. Where she got the vial, however, was a mystery lost to time.

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