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Saber of Red

Red team headquarters

@Red team

The enemy forces had been thoroughly decimated with a single blow from his Noble Phantasm. Archer’s Master had been forced to use one of the precious Command Mantra alloted to Masters in order to be able to flee for his life as his men died due to his incompetence. Furthermore, the vile creature had been critically injured and had also needed one of its Command Mantra to bring her Servant and another ally in to take her out of the battle.

What was more, the Servant had used his own Noble Phantasm to no effect thanks to one of his current allies fending it off, giving away his identity to them for nothing in return.

Christopher Columbus. Sailor. Explorer. Conqueror. The information flowed into his mind easily, and was combined with what his Master ascertained.

Sheer strength: victory. Toughness of body: match. Speed: overwhelming victory. Magical energy capacity and control: overwhelming victory. Luck: certain loss.

—Clash of Noble Phantasms: certain victory.

...Yeah. Running the potential scenarios in his head, there was not much else to say.

In the circumstance of “a battle of one against one”, Rider of Purple was simply outmatched against Saber of Red in almost every possible situation. The only threat he realistically posed would be as fire support while other Servants that were better suited fought him.

With that knowledge, his mind got to work, and it was added to what was already present for his plans besides.

The beast had been terribly wounded by his Noble Phantasm, putting her on the backfoot in a way that he did not expect to see again in the entirety of her tenure in this war.

The only comrade that could provide them with a measure of ranged support had fled, likely long gone by now.

On this end, his Master was still present, but the “alliance” of Red yet held, and Shielder, if nothing else, had proven that he would be able to protect him from Rider’s Noble Phantasm, to say nothing of the remaining multitude of defenders.

And, they still possessed a ranged component to their offense.

Only the young girl remained an unknown, but Saber could also surmise a few things from what his Master chose to share.

Furthermore, especially for Saber with his specific set of abilities, chasing down this enemy and escaping if things didn't go according to plan was both an obvious and effective course of action.

Taking all this into account—

Saber began to walk forward, lightning still crackling around his sword. Did he intend to use his Noble Phantasm yet again?

Well...in a manner of speaking.

However, first...

“Archer. Continue as you have and provide supporting fire for as long as your Master will allow. Harrying them in such a manner should prove fruitful.”

Without pausing, he unilaterally devised a plan of action based on what he knew and had seen, and forcefully pushed it on them. One went off ahead, but that was fine, Saber didn’t know what he could do, so including him in the plans was worthless to begin with.

“King of Conquerors, I presume your own mount would not lose out to something like this, either? If you would, making this a battle between mounts and giving them more to worry about besides would be helpful.”

As he spoke, voice still casual and a smile on his face, lightning began to arc across the length of the blade, heading upward.

“Shielder, continue protecting the Masters from his Noble Phantasm. Anyone else, I am not certain of your abilities, so if you believe yourselves capable of contributing, I have no objections.”

A simple plan, but a worthwhile one should all the pieces fall into place. It was not a brilliant stratagem, but it did not need to be — for this moment, the Red team held a clear, overwhelming advantage, and Saber merely thought that they should push it for all it was worth.

“As for myself, I think it’s time I got properly acquainted with the enemy, too.”

The lightning reached his hand.

—and it flowed in.

Certainly, even if another hero had possessed Saber’s Noble Phantasm, this way of using it would not have crossed their minds — even with the most optimistic predictions, the damage received would have been critical.

However — Saber was in possession of a unique burden.

It was neither something honed through battle and experience, nor a talent of the body he had been born with.

It was something deemed inherent to the existence of “the Heroic Spirit, Belisarius”, engraved into his Saint Graph itself and, fundamentally, in his very identity as a hero.

This lightning was the strength of the legions he had commanded and the “power” that had seen his Empire’s borders recover so much within a single lifetime, due to the efforts of one man.

This lightning was his dream. It was Justinian’s dream. Their dreams of conquest and restoration and rebirth. Such was Saber’s sword, colored in such a way to resemble the “light” carried by the Great Ancestor as its proper successor.

This was “Rome”.

And what was Saber, if not a vessel for Rome’s blessings?

The lightning flowed, and Saber’s body could do nothing but accommodate it properly. It wound up tightly within him, suffusing his body of ether in its power.

...If one took the chance to examine Saber, even without knowing his name, they would likely discern that his quality was beyond doubt. After all, Masters would be able to discern that, even if he was not completely overwhelming in a singular area, he still possessed good ability across all of them.

Right now, however, with the power all but flooding his system...well, a singular strike would certainly fall short of the cascade of lightning he had showcased earlier, obviously. But nevertheless, the strength he displayed would have to be considered of a “different magnitude” altogether.

“—Hey, Rider of Purple, I don’t know if you can hear me, but even in these circumstances, I have to admit your Noble Phantasm is an asset, you know?”

It might have seemed like a digression, or some would have used the chance to sneak in a barb, but Saber praised his enemy’s ability without mockery. Even if it would still lose to his own, that Noble Phantasm certainly was nothing to scoff at.

“But, at the same time? It has a very clear weakness, Rider, and we’re in a good position to exploit it. Do you wish to know what that weakness is? I’ll tell you—”

Generally speaking, the mounts of Servants outstrip modern vehicles as a matter of course. However, in most cases, the sheer speed of a Servant would overtake that of the mount — but the difference was fundamentally one of “sustain” versus “burst”. Just because you can run “faster” than something else, it might not be as great if you can’t keep it up for longer, right? Moreso in the circumstances of the Holy Grail War, spending magical energy in such a manner was wasteful for the most part.

At this distance and with Saber’s newly-acquired strength, however…

Forward and upward, in a burst of speed and strength, he jumped towards Rider of Purple’s battleship without even the slightest hesitation, as though he himself were lightning.

“—The disadvantage is effective range, Rider. After all, if I’m on your ship, can you target me with those anchors?”

The Dead Apostle Ancestor was critically injured. Rider of Purple simply could not contest Saber of Red physically, and being robbed of the chance to use his Noble Phantasm only made his utility in the match even worse. That just left him with…

“For what it's worth, young miss, I’m sorry. If you stand aside and let me deliver a proper end to that filth behind you, I do not mind letting you go tonight. But if you do not, then know I will at least make your deaths quick, and that they shall pave the way for the glory of Rome.”

Lunge toward the weakened monster with overwhelming might—!

Saber of Red

Red team headquarters

[@Red Team] @Phonic

Saber had anticipated many strategies from Purple in the coming battles, given what he knew of them and their current position.

Expeditionary forces to probe their defenses and gather information? Certainly, that was well within expectations. Perhaps even a more open assault once they each took to their own paths, provided sufficient trust in the strength of their own — not the safest move, but certainly a worthwhile gamble.

This was...none of those. Instead, they had decided to send a rather sizable lot of their forces en masse, and revealed one of their Servant while doing so.

The details of her identity were revealed by the use of the Noble Phantasm promptly. The Fool of Owari, then? Though he didn’t hold an Eastern barbarian of such ilk in much regard and they had been informed of Purple’s circumstances, the idea that someone claiming to have even the slightest amount of pride as a “Heroic Spirit” would aid such creatures was revolting on an instinctive level.

But his personal feelings — and the monologue of the one apparently leading the forces — were hardly of any consequence at the moment. In fact, the most important thing was simply the being that was at the head of the forces, standing silently by the monologuing idiot.

Well. He had wanted something like this, no doubt.

In an instant, he took stock of the situation and ran a thousand scenarios in his mind, before nodding imperceptibly but resolutely.

Truth be told, chief among his concerns, Saber had merely wanted to avoid giving out his name because “having a few tricks up his sleeve” was good, and that went hand in hand with his identity remaining unknown.

He was not the kind of hero whose name would reveal a crippling weakness. Perhaps knowing his abilities, and if they had been lucky, they would have summoned an opponent that would be “troublesome” for his skillset, or more wary of his tactics and more certain on how to evaluate him as a “threat”, but that was really it.

Ultimately, the element of surprise was never not “beneficial”. That was the core motivation.

However, when faced with these odds…

A Dead Apostle Ancestor

An enemy Servant that was focused on someone else on his team

A multitude of Mixed Bloods.

All of them grouped up together rather nicely.

He made up his mind in less than a second, drawing his sword without complaint.

Generally, Saber preferred to use the more “efficient” of his Noble Phantasm’s abilities alone out of pragmatism, but in these circumstances...well, it just wouldn’t do, to not try to take advantage of an enemy’s blunder.

It was a gamble, and he would be going back on words he said not a minute ago. But it was the kind of gamble that was worth taking, considering what they stood to gain. For that, he was willing to eat his words, as well.

He placed both hands resolutely on the hilt. There was a thrum of magical energy.

The sword shone. His eyes gleamed. The strength of Rome answered the call of one of its heroes.

Per Audacia Ad Astra.

Lightning flashed. Thunder roared. The “imitation divine lightning” that Saber proudly bore, his symbol as a Heroic Spirit, violently surged from the blade like the hammer of the skyfathers of old, a torrent of energy unleashed with the singular purpose of obliterating the enemies in front of him and cleansing the world of filth unworthy of it.

It spilled forth, painting the surroundings a pale blue in the eternity between heartbeats.

—Among the tools of heroes, Saber’s Noble Phantasm comfortably sat in the upper levels even among the vaunted Holy and Demonic Swords of legend. At a guess, only the ones touted as “the strongest” would be considered of higher quality.

Moreso, like those two, it had even attained the rare classification of “Anti-Fortress”.

Therefore, his confidence in it — his trust in its strength, was anything but unfounded.

Saber of Red

Red team headquarters

[@Red team]

Saber held back the urge to let out a sigh.

He would not pretend he did not hold respect for other heroes, much less one of such standing as Alexander the Great, but his disposition already told him one thing.

Regardless of how much he respected the man and his capabilities as a commander, he was someone who wore his heart on his sleeve, and he could confirm at a glance that he was the sort he’d never be able to get along with even if their objectives were similar.

...well, not that there had ever been a chance for that in the first place. Saber accepted and bent the knee to only one absolute Emperor.

Most importantly, however, was the nature of the magi that surrounded them.

They knew how to kill. Regardless of compunctions with the act and morality, things surely hadn't changed that much from his own time. Comparing them to normal people was comparing wolves to sheep in that regard.

But did they know how to wage war? More importantly, did they know how to wage war in a sufficiently efficient manner?

Treating them like pieces without asking for proper input had been the first mistake. Saber was willing to forgive a mistake, especially one so easily corrected.

Insisting on the same after correction, especially with such a ridiculous condition and considering their circumstances, had been the second.

Saber would not extend a third chance.

“What a grand, intoxicating innocence,” He smiled, instead, sounding for all the world like he was genuine. “But my Master is correct in this regard I’m afraid.”

His smile thinned out. Still present, but ultimately dim and bearing an edge of sadness.

“We must obliterate Purple. This, we agree on. We must also slaughter Black afterward — this, we also agree on. However, even if our alliance with Black to accomplish the first is one of convenience, then what prompts you to think that our own is any different? If there is one difference, it is likely just the fact that we will turn on each other last.”

Without a shred of hesitation, Saber of Red spoke his mind and laid out the situation plainly.

“To give up our names right this instant is not only a security breach waiting to occur, it is also foolishly shortsighted. Today’s comrades are but tomorrow’s enemies, that is all there is to it.”

No, allies of convenience to aid and be aided by if the situation arose was good enough, perhaps the generalities of the skillset to know who would be better suited for what, even though a few assumptions could be made just from the base of the Class. That was the best arrangement and it suited Saber just fine.

He turned on his heel without missing a beat and trailed after his Master, cloak fluttering and falling back into the role of soldier with practiced ease.

“Yes, yes, I know, we have enemies to assess and plans to draft. I’ll handle both of those immediately.”

He said nothing else, because there was truthfully nothing else that needed to be said.

Saber of Red was under no delusions about what it would come to, and despite whatever respect he felt for the other heroes that belonged to this faction, it all came down to a simple truth — everyone had wishes they desired to see become a reality.

And, if it was for the sake of his own wish — his own duty — he would trample and crush all of them without hesitation.

At the very least, he would not attempt to trick them by pretending it would develop in any other way.

Saber of Red

Red team headquarters

Should he feel slighted?

His Master had talked over him, and had made it perfectly clear that his thoughts on the matter were of little importance compared to what he felt was the proper course of action in these circumstances.

To some heroes, that would have certainly been grounds for rebellion. Yet…

Saber smiled kindly at the declarations without batting an eye. It helped that he had been lucky in finding a Master that at least spoke sense.

“It is perfectly fine by me,” He said simply. “The pests over at Purple are simply unsightly. Slaughtering them promptly so that they do not pollute anything else with their presence seems like a wise course of action.”

Not to mention, what would he do if his wish was granted and these creatures were still around, staining the majesty of his friend and emperor with their presence? His ultimate reception deserved to be heralded by nothing less than complete, absolute victory.

So long as their presence stained this world, it would be far too removed from such an ideal. This was not acceptable.

"I can offer expertise in mobilizing and leading troops, but I'm afraid that this "me" you see before you is more uniquely suited to fights between individuals. Perhaps in a different class...ah, well, no use crying over it. However, I would like to apologize for one thing: I'm more of an offensive fighter than a defensive one, so I believe I shall serve better by searching for our enemies and confronting them."

Despite his words, he did not look all that regretful. But it was just polite to phrase it that way.

“With regards to a truce with those of Black, it should prove fruitful, I suspect. Ultimately, we face enemies of humanity — few heroes would refuse that sort of calling as a matter of principle alone, and it shall also grant us an opportunity to observe them.”

He would usually advise to keep cards close to their chest, but ultimately that was a rather self-evident observation and the possibility of doing so depended entirely on the strength of their opposition. However—

“The most important thing to remember is that our alliance will not last past Purple’s demise, so we should be ready to defend ourselves and kill them once that happens and they've outlived their use.”

His expression had not shifted the slightest bit from his confident gaze and smile. Even as he spoke about killing the people they would join forces with, his voice carried not even the slightest bit of hesitation.

[@red team lads]

Edits: Staging Ground bonuses. AGI to A, Disengage to B, gains Knight Tactics B
Hi~! Is this still open? I've been looking for this sorta RP for a while~
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