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Travelling towards ’DDD’ Hot Springs, Miyama Town


Leaving was difficult. Going from the safety of those walls to an outside where death lurked was terrifying. In Troilus’ short life, he had never really known fear, the kind of creeping terror that death could appear at any time. The absolute terror of warfare had been something he hadn’t understood up to this point, sheltered as he had been by the absolute defence of Troy’s walls.

To think that that terror had been experienced by his family as they went to fight the invaders each day was saddening. How much fear had they been hiding as they talked and played with him? Why hadn’t he seen it at the time?

That terror was suffocating now.

And yet, he felt safe. There was something about Gin - his words, his demeanor, his very aura - that made it seem that he could accomplish anything. And if Gin could accomplish anything, Troilus could too.

It was an inspiring feeling, one that reminded him of how his brothers had been.

Even though Hector was the best big brother, the strongest fighter, the greatest hero of Troy. Even though he was a shining man who stood out as an exceptional person, whether on the battlefield or rallying the citizens of Troy-

Well, he wasn’t all that ‘cool’. A hero who rarely acted like a hero, one who never cared about how much his weapons shone or how poorly he was perceived by others. Well, even if it was out of necessity…

Nobody could hope to take Hector’s place as the ‘best’ - but if it came down to who was ‘coolest’, then perhaps Gin could be that person.

Certainly, Troilus wasn’t worried that Gin could calm the riots going on. He didn’t exactly understand, but Gin had told him he didn’t need to get involved, and that was enough for him. These were Gin’s people, and it was his responsibility to defend them. Even though Troilus wanted to help, he probably didn’t need to. Of course, fighting to defend your own city was the most heroic thing there was. Yes, this was something Gin had to do, to become a hero.

Well, Troilus needed that too, but shouldn’t he go through training before that?

Without paying much attention, Troilus wandered into the room, running slightly to catch up with Gin. He looked around with the absent minded curiosity of a child, his attention plucking on various aspects of the room, and the people within it. There was no hostility or wariness in his eyes towards any of Gin’s friends - after all, if they were friends with Gin, they couldn’t be bad people, could they?

He stayed close to Gin, hovering close behind him. Since he was here to observe, he held back his questions. After all, it seemed like there was a serious discussion going on, so his curiosity about this strange building could wait. Instead, he simply smiled and waved at the only person in the room who seemed to be a similar age to him, offering no explanation for his presence, clearly that of a Servant.

@Cu Chulainn@Phonic@addamas

Gatekeeper, Troilus, Clockwork Fortress of Troy


Troilus sat huddled in the middle of the central keep, trying to distract himself with the scattered toys surrounding him. It was difficult to remain calm, knowing what was stalking Fuyuki, the darkness outside of those walls. But this place was somewhere the war didn’t exist, a place that repelled such things. The walls of Troy, that had repelled over a decade of assault from those forces, would surely hold against the dangers this war had to offer.

But still, he couldn’t shake the fear that gnawed at him. Even after Troilus’ own death, how many of his brothers had that man killed? How many of his friends, people he saw every day in the city streets, had met their ends at the point of his spear? There were names he knew, names he could put to faces and names he couldn’t. Too many to process. The masses of people that he’d killed, corpses enough to stain a river with blood-

“▂▂▃▃▅▅▅▅ — — ! !”


He was here.

Pleading with him was impossible. Death cannot be reasoned with.

Running from him was impossible. Death cannot be outrun.

Fighting him was impossible. Death cannot be outfought.

The only thing he could do was hide behind those walls that had repelled him before, and hope. Troilus curled into a ball, and whimpered.

Gatekeeper, Troilus, Shinto Town


Troilus trudged forwards, sniffling. It was impossible to derive any happiness from the tragic events of the day. For a child who’d lived his life sheltered by those who loved him, he had never seen such devastation, death and destruction on such a terrifying scale.

For him, warfare had been something that happened outside the city, out of view. Even when besieged by the enemy, they’d been out of view, hidden from him by Troy’s walls. He’d seen the results, now and then - brothers, cousins, uncles, dragged back into safety, wounded and dying. But even that had been uncommon, in Troilus’ world.

Something passed him. He felt the wind whip past him as something sped through the nearby city streets with dizzying rapidity.

Troilus froze.

That level of speed could only belong to a single person. That man. The fastest among Heroic Spirits, a man with unmatchable swiftness. One who was ‘the fastest’. One who couldn’t be outrun, under any circumstances.

No, that was impossible. It couldn’t be that man. If it was him, Troilus would already be dead. In Troilus’ world, that man meant nothing less than death itself. He remembered-

Hiding in the temple of Apollo, praying for a help that never arrived. A shadow, falling over him as he sobbed in pain and terror, and-

Troilus turned around. He saw that man’s world, descending on the fire. No matter how great the fire was, it didn’t matter.

A hero who could do nothing but destroy. A hero who had never truly saved anyone, who had only fought and slain others. A typhoon of slaughter, a comet prophesying absolute devastation. Of course, his method of ‘saving people’ would mean their annihilation. A man who had perverted a shield with the purpose of defending into a weapon causing utter ruin.

Yes, that man was truly death incarnate.

Running wouldn’t do any good, but Troilus ran anyway.

Returning to the Clockwork Fortress of Troy


Gatekeeper, Troilus, Miyama Town


The fire worsened. As the horn blasted, the flames leapt higher, and only continued to grow in strength, in pure power and terror.

Had they failed?

It wasn’t long until the fire grew once more, into something truly horrifying. A lake of black fire, one that reached out towards Troilus, one that’s fumes licked at the mind. The horrifying faces that stared into his eyes, radiating hatred.

Was this what the others had felt, as Troy burned?
He couldn’t stay here. He couldn’t die here, not under any circumstances. Even if they’d failed, that remained true.

Certainly, Troilus had failed. These weren’t the actions of a hero, but of a scared child. He turned around, and began to flee the fire, moving faster than before.

Back towards Troy, back towards ‘home’.

Leaving Miyama Town, entering Shinto town

Gatekeeper, Troilus, Miyama Town


He’d seen the fire. The smoke, and the burning, the people crying out in despair.

He had to help. After all, that’s what a hero would do. He knew what would happen if he didn’t.

And, after all, he had his horse now!

A mechanical horse, one made of wood and metal, gears gleaming as they reflected the fire. Rather than moving on its own, he pedalled, moving the intricate machinery to drive along the tire treads. Though he couldn’t get it to full speed with it now, not while avoiding the flames. That was important, he knew.

Even though he had a place to be, he couldn’t go there immediately. There were people to save, and to do that, he had to stop every so often. To lift people out of perilous situations. To guide people to safety.

He could call himself a hero now, a knight on horseback riding in to help others. Except-

There were people he hadn’t saved. There were people he couldn’t save. He wasn’t strong enough, wasn’t fast enough to save everyone. Troilus moved forwards, tears clouding his eyes.

Baba was watching, so he couldn’t falter now. She would be there soon enough, to help the people he couldn’t.

@Froppy

Gatekeeper, Troilus, Border of Shinto and Miyama


Troilus considered Lancer’s words for a moment. The bag was weird, but he dismissed it with the same casual innocence as Lancer. Though the two had come to an agreement, a friendship made possible by their childish personalities, the matter of what game to play remained.

It didn’t take long to come up with something.

Without warning, his hand darted forwards, striking out at his companion with an open palm.

A level of speed and power that had the capability to destroy a normal human. Strength and agility worthy of the nature of a heroic spirit; any onlooker would see nothing but a blur, and perhaps feel the wind, stirred by the strike, whip past them. Even though it lacked technique beyond the flailing of a child, even though there was no thought or strategy behind it, it was a blow that could shake the earth, break through steel. Something no ordinary human could stand against, something no ordinary human could reach.

...Not an attack.

Tag, you’re it!

A simple playground game, one that had existed for countless years. Even among the children of Troy, there had been people who played such a game. Well, the young prince had been more than a little sheltered, so he hadn’t been able to join in too often. But now he had someone he could play with, on an even playing level.

To use such a level of speed and power for the purposes of a harmless game… Servants truly were ridiculous.

As soon as his declaration of ‘it’ was finished, Troilus began to run back the way he had come from, in the vague direction of his home. He wasn’t moving at his full speed, since this was just a game, after all. If he was caught, the consequences were simply becoming ‘it’.

@Sageage

Gatekeeper, Troilus, Border of Shinto and Miyama


There was really no doubt in Troilus’ eyes as he took the other boy’s hand. After all, if he wanted to hurt him, he would have just attacked, wouldn’t he? The innocent assumption of a child who had never known any hardship, any enemies, all the way until his death.

Well, in this case it was fine, at least. It was lucky that one of the nastier Servants hadn’t found him, but Troilus was nothing if not lucky.

I’m Tr- uh, Gatekeeper,” He said, grinning in return. “What’s in the bag?” He asked, looking down at it with curiosity. Though it was a little strange, it wasn’t enough to make Troilus suspicious, or scared.

All thoughts of investigating the lights in the sky had already left his head, now that he seemed to have a new friend to play with. And a Servant, too - even if that meant he was meant to be an enemy, it didn’t have to be like that. Since they were both heroes, that meant they could be better friends, didn’t it?

Hey, Baba!” He said, communicating to his Master. “I found a friend, so I’ll be playing with him for a while.” A thought occurred to him, and he continued. “Oh, I wasn’t supposed to leave, was I? Uh, Sorry!” He spoke, lamely. It was an apology without much sincerity, the instinctual reaction of a child who simply didn’t want to get in trouble, without any real regret. He could only hope that Baba didn’t get too mad, but what was done was done.

With that, all that remained was to pick a game.

@Sageage@Froppy

Gatekeeper, Troilus, Edge of Shinto Town

Clockwork Fortress of Troy, Central Keep


Troilus nodded at Baba’s request, waving at the pair of masters as they left. He hoped the bar business went well, though he didn’t really understand it. But if it helped him and Baba, it could only be a good thing.

…Without them around, it was a little boring. He tried playing with some of the toys, fidgeting with bits of scrap metal, gazing out into the night sky to look for traces of more fireworks. None of it worked, and the darkness of the night seemed to press in, reminding him of his loneliness.

He missed his horses.

His mind began to wander, and turned inevitably to the thought of leaving. Troilus wasn’t the type that let the distant prospect of danger influence his decisions. If it was out of view, it was something he could ignore. Even if the city was surrounded by a besieging force, that wouldn’t stop him from leaving, not when his horses needed water and exercise. It was the simplistic thinking of an innocent, one who knew almost nothing but love. Though the danger was something he could think about, something he could fear, it wasn’t something he fully comprehended.

Besides which, he had to leave eventually, didn’t he? If he stayed in the fortress the whole time, then there was no chance of winning this contest of heroes at all. Unless every other hero came to him - and how would they know where to find him if he didn’t leave?

The fireworks had looked interesting, so he should go and look at them. It wasn’t that he thought it could be a source of valuable information, but rather that they were a fascinating distraction.

Since the fortress, Troy, was his, leaving in spirit form was a simple matter. Outside, he manifested once again, and took a deep breath of air, smiling as he began to wander forwards, meandering vaguely in the direction of the lights, though he had already begun to forget where exactly they had appeared.

He’d barely seen any of the city, so the various sights and sounds it had to offer were fascinating. Even with the knowledge he’d received from the grail, everything was still so novel and fascinating. The smile didn’t leave his face as he wandered through the city with only a vague idea of his destination, his attention wandering more by the second.

Moving through Shinto Town, towards Miyama Town


Gatekeeper, Troilus, Edge of Shinto Town

Clockwork Fortress of Troy, Central Keep


Troilus tried his best to listen to Archer’s words. After all, he was a teacher, so they were certainly valuable. But even so, he was a difficult man to understand. Well, all he had to do was patiently listen, and he would figure it out eventually, surely.

Come to think of it, wasn’t he the one who taught that man?

For a second, Troilus froze. For a second, he was pulled into that black pit as he remembered-

-The burning pain in his scalp as he was pulled by his hair, dragged from his horse onto the ground, roughly enough to stun him. The hero that had outpaced his own horse, the hero that raised his spear against the screaming child-

It wasn’t good to think about such things.

Well, now that the Baba was done talking with Archer, he could ask his own questions. With a small grin on his face, he began to speak to Gin, tugging at his clothes.

Hey, mister. How did you get your hair like that? Does it take a lot of time? It looks funny.” The innocent questions and comments of a child, held back during the serious negotiations, came flooding out. “And why is your sword wooden? Wouldn’t it be better to have one that’s metal? I could give you mine! Oh, but it was a present from my brother, so I can’t. Sorry!

It was a babbling that didn’t really warrant response, a stream of meandering questions and interjections as they moved through the fortress, Troilus taking very little care, even as the fortress shifted around them. His movements were fluid and playful, uncaring as to the surrounding dangers.

Even just with two more people around, this place was beginning to feel more like home.

@Froppy @Cu Chulainn

Gatekeeper, Troilus, Edge of Shinto Town

Clockwork Fortress of Troy, Central Keep


As Baba got to work, Troilus clapped his hands together in enthusiasm, rushing over to watch his Master’s expert construction. He looked in fascination as the pieces started to come together into an intricate shape.

But then, there was something about constructed horses, wasn’t there? A wooden horse, that opened up to reveal a horde of soldiers, that spilled out into the city like a bloodstain. The image seemed far away, like a half-forgotten dream, but it was there. Suddenly, Troilus didn’t feel quite so enthusiastic, but he kept his smile up anyway.

He knew Troy had fallen; it was impossible not to know that. After all, his wish was to make sure that never happened. And because of that, there was no need to think about why it had fallen in the first place.

The whole war had been so unfair! What was so great about Helen, anyway? She was pretty, but that wasn’t a reason to kill people! Musing about this, Troilus puffed up his cheeks in anger.

At that point, there was a loud disruption, shocking the child out of his thoughts.

A… Bouncer?” Troilus muttered, placing a finger to his mouth in confusion.

@Froppy
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