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Assassin of Red - Okita Souji

"Very well, Master."

A surprise attack on an opponent... it only made sense. The advantage of mounting a sneak attack on the enemy couldn't be understated. And indeed, the activity up ahead meant that it was likely she was soon to be upon another enemy. While it was true that fighting an opponent upfront was a better show of one's skills and one's conduct, that did now mean that the Assassin was blind to the value of a sneak attack. It was not as if she had never participated in a night raid.

This was no different.

She couldn't help but appreciate that her Master was aware of this fact. Regardless, her advance slowed somewhat. While her Presence Concealment would prevent her from being noticed immediately, that did not mean it was the best idea to act in any particularly noticeable way until she was certain she had her eyes on her potential opponent.

And there they were.

A small, slender girl, with dark skin and a horned skull perched atop her head. She looked like some kind of yokai, moving through the bamboo forest like this. But her presence was unmistakable, she was a Servant.

For a moment, Assassin hesitated. The girl before her was, while not entirely childish, somewhat child-like. The idea of attacking her felt uncomfortable, in that instant. Okita Souji was undeniably a manslayer, but at the same time...

However, this was a Servant. Such considerations were to be addressed, and indeed the girl was not a child.

Assassin drew one foot back, raising her katana parallel to her eyes...

Presence Concealment fell away in an instant as she darted forward with a thrust of her blade!



It seemed that Rider's prayers for an interruption would be answered.

The figures that emerged from the bamboo were not Servants, however.

They were the shapes of the long dead. Warriors, clad in aged armor. Most of them appeared to be the deceased of this land, grey flesh worn away, bodies covered in lacquered armor and carrying a variety of implements, from katana to spears. Others, however, appeared distinctly foreign, wearing broken and rusted steel armor and carrying axes and western swords. Their eyes were sunken pits, filled with a ghastly green light emanating from within the empty sockets.

An exact count of their numbers was difficult, as they emerged from the bamboo. There were at least a couple dozen, however, and in the bank some were nocking arrows as they raised their bows...

It was immediately obvious that these were the unidentified figures that had been reported alongside what were possibly Servants. But this vast number of the Dead, especially ones that looked so old...

It was distinctly unlikely to be the work of a modern magus. Which left one likely possibility...

Saber - Arturia Pendragon

Unfortunately, the true perpetrators had managed to escape that day. The CCF officials who had arrived had immediately questioned Arturia's Master and herself about any details they had retained. It wasn't as if she was completely unfamiliar with the concept of law enforcement, as a King it was another matter she oversaw. However, to be on this side of things... it had been a strange experience. Not only for the King of Knights herself, but evidently also for those who had been speaking to her.

But among them...

... Sir Gareth. It was undeniably Sir Gareth. She had said as much herself. She'd been so excited, as well.. she spoke of wanting to tell the other knights, of being honored to be in her presence once more...

The encounter now weighed heavily on Arturia's mind. While she no longer sought to erase her influence on history, to be faced with her knights once more...

Even if Sir Gareth had been overjoyed, and Arturia's heart had felt warm at the sight of her face once more, at the same time the memory of the fate that the knight had faced in life did not simply vanish.

It was these kinds of thoughts that had inhabited the blonde knight's mind as she walked alongside her Master, dressed in the lion shirt and skirt that Ritsuko had purchased for her just before the robbery. They weren't doing anything in particular, today, Ritsuko had simply wanted to go out and Arturia had no intention of leaving her side.

It was not long after they left home that something happened that gave the Saber-class Servant pause. A prickling up her spine, as she passed a hooded figure of around her size, accompanying a man with long black hair and a suit.


@FlappyTheSpybot: It charges up as you use it, the runes cause it to magically gather concussive force, then you release it in a an explosive burst on impact.
@FlappyTheSpybot: Yep. It's concussive force rather then a fiery explosion, to clarify.
The ringing in her ears very slowly fading, Nobunaga didn't spare any further attention to the bird she had already crippled and left to bleed out. Taking notice of the other fowl's stunned state, the petite girl didn't waste a single moment in sprinting towards the creature and swinging her katana down in a flash of steel. It parted flesh and bone cleanly, and left the bird's head sailing through the air away from its twitching body.

She straightened, and flicked the blood from her sword before sheathing it cleanly. Her hearing was beginning to return in full.

"... A shame there isn't a cooking fire, at least these wretched fowl could have served a purpose in death," she commented, glancing towards the others...

... Ah... Misaki... it was no small wonder she had taken that piercing shriek more poorly then anyone else. She had the ears of a fox, after all. Given the kitsune's nature as her chief source of information, and someone who originated from her homeland...

The petite girl approached. The thuds from beyond their room already indicated that they should not linger any longer then they had already.

She placed a hand on the other girl's shoulder, and then offered one to her. She could not be sure if Misaki's hearing had returned, but her wordless actions had to be enough to understand.

She had no intention of leaving behind her clearest source of information, but they had to move quickly.

@Rune_Alchemist@PKMNB0Y@Crimson Paladin
The Holy Grail War.

A night like tonight was perhaps not when one would expect such a conflict to begin. It was quite peaceful, a pleasant spring's night with a rather bright moon and not a cloud in the sky. The city of Mifune was in a rather sleepy state at the moment, most of its resident had gone home for the night and those who were still out on the streets were likely to be engaging in business that they would not want interrupted. Perhaps the same could be said for those who were soon about to clash.

The figure in the church swept her crimson hair back as she sat down.

She was present for no other reason then to oversee the Holy Grail War. That was the entire reason she had been summoned. Her existence was as a Ruler-class Servant.

She brought her hand to her mouth and yawned.

It had hardly been the most exciting experience, thus far. The Holy Grail War had yet to truly begin, until tonight. Indeed... she had not monitored the situation particularly closely, beyond ensuring that no unsuitable conduct had occurred, but to her awareness... things would truly begin tonight.

While she had not been particularly excited either way, this change would be a welcome one.

Ruler would do what she must.

The Holy Grail War.

It wasn't the sort of business she was used to conducting, that was for certain. To be engaged in what would undeniably be a real battle... that was something entirely outside of her experience. And yet, it had been the duty she had been assigned to.

Shinonome Akira was prepared for anything. At least, as far as she was concerned. Had she considered that statement further, it perhaps would have occurred to her that it was difficult to prepare for anything when it came to an event such as the Holy Grail War. This was more than that, even: A clash between seven Servants would already be overwhelming, but a clash between two teams of seven was beyond even that. And yet, all the same, her mind was focused.

There was no point in panicking like some kind of fool. Not only was this a duty assigned to her by the association, but it was a duty that had been assigned to her based on the history of her family. And mage from a self-respecting lineage would wish to do well to uphold their family name. Akira, in this respect, was no different. No simply for her family's name, but for herself.

Besides, what was the point of doing something without putting the effort, the thought, and the confidence into it?

Their opponents were the Ainsworths, and the freelancers and other agents that the family had recruited for their cause, alongside whatever Servants they had summoned.

This first night was already promising to be... eventful, to say the least. Their familiars had reported large-scale movement by the opposing faction, indicating that they were likely going to mount some sort of attack. It was only natural to attempt to cut this off before anything could come of it.

Personally, Akira was wary. However she understood the opportunity was rather difficult to pass up...

The old bamboo forest through which their opponents had been seen moving was quite nearby. But Akira, given the nature of her Servant, would not be part of the initial attack.

Speaking of which...

Rather then a arabic madman who wrote of horrors from beyond the bounds of reality, she had summoned what appeared to be a female child. Who was also a book. To say she had expected this was far from accurate. As for her attitude...

"... Caster," she began, glancing towards her Servant's small, frail-looking form(not that she was particularly large herself), "Tonight will be a test of your abilities. I feel like you've been waiting to show off, haven't you?"

This was the reason she had been summoned.

Ultimately, above all else, she was a manslayer. Someone whose skills, whose being, had been honed into killing humans. Regardless of anything else, that was her purpose. A Servants... even those most far removed from humanity were still of human origin. This was why she had been summoned. This was the purpose of the second life she had been given.

... But why did it have to be as Assassin, of all things?!

Saber... Saber was her correct class! She should have been Saber! To think, she was summoned back into her homeland, and yet she was saddled with the wrong class?!

Okita Souji didn't allow these thoughts to distract her from her duty, but it was something that had been bothering her ever since she had been summoned. Saber was much more reflective of her actual skills, after all...

But those skills were still possessed by her regardless of her class.

It was hardly the first time she would fight in a bamboo forest. As part of the Shinsengumi, she had drawn her blade time and time again in such situations. Even if all the players were different, a battlefield was a battlefield.

And on the battlefield, there was no good or evil. Only killing.

Slowly, the pale girl moved through the bamboo. Her Presence Concealment wasn't particularly strong, but she could dull her existence like this. It would be far harder to spot her, no matter how perceptive her opponents were. At least, if they were without particular skills. She would not be able to conceal herself if she made any aggressive movements, let alone attack, but for now... she could rely on not being immediately spotted.

"Master?", the Assassin-class Servant's voice spoke directly into her Master's mind, "Do you have any more information on the enemy's movements?"

It was important to keep focused, to keep updated on the enemy. The movements of her allies were crucial, too, when it came to-

The girl samurai paused.

Ahead of her, there was movement...!

@Raineh Daze@Rin@RolePlayerRoxas@PKMNB0Y@KoL@Cu Chulainn@Heavy Snark@Anza@1Charak2@Crusader Lord
Mihama Nanako

Things had, roughly, been normal for a while now. Nanako's budgeting skills had to adapt quickly, but regardless of that she'd gotten used to how things would go. She did try and buy the sort of foods Meltryllis would like when she was able, provided she had the money to do so, but thankfully her next payment from Fusang was not long off. Part of her wondered just how Meltryllis was recorded in the system, given she wasn't a heroic spirit with any origin in history. Or, for that matter, why they had never come to speak to her at all...

But maybe it wasn't worth thinking about that too hard. She was getting money, and that money was helping her sustain herself and treat Meltryllis every once in a while.

Even if the wallet trauma had cut pretty deep after that one day...

For that matter, BB hadn't contacted them in a while either. Just what was that strange purple-haired girl up to?

Meltryllis was home when she returned from classes, her slender, slight frame sinking into the couch before Nanako's eyes as she asked about her classes, and her arm. But just as Nanako prepared to give a cheerful "good as new!' in response...

A familiar jingle originated from the television, which swiftly turned itself on.

It was BB, again. After all this time. Giving the both of them a rather poor explanation of what she wanted them to actually do before sending her a location on her phone.

But this time it was a little different.

Last time BB had sent them to investigate something, innocent people had been killed. Those shadow Servants... they'd killed the workers and the construction site.

Maybe this time...

"... Alright, BB-san, we'll go," she said, finally, looking the location over on her phone as she did, "Meltryllis-san and I will have it handled in no time. I can count on her for that."

She glanced towards the Alter Ego. It was obvious she wasn't thrilled with the situation at all, but by this point Nanako had plenty of reason to be confident in her Servant's abilities.

"Let's go and get it over with."

If no-one was in danger, maybe they could just get it done fast. Thankfully this week was relatively light on the homework...


Saber - Benienma

To be part of the Fusang Counter Crime Force didn't merely mean to protect people who were in danger. It also meant uncovering the truth behind crimes that had already occurred.

Today was one of those times.

The first attack, which had lead to a killing, had happened some time ago. The victim had been a middle-aged man, a black market mystic code on his person. Identifying the body had taken some time, given the state it had been in. Certainly, he had been dead for less than an hour, but...

Benienma had been glad her Master hadn't seen it, judging by what she had heard. There was no need for a student to see something like that!

Still, they had a duty to attend to. And that duty meant trying to figure out just what had happened.

After the initial murder, similar attacks had occurred. The through line was the fact that a very sharp implement had been used, and that the victims were all criminal elements. None of them had been able to summon a Servant, but some of them had possessed some meager magical potential. Not all of them were dead when they were found, but they had all been severely mutilated.

The victim had already been taken away, now they were left with the crime scene.

"... Masta, if this part is too much for you, we have been given permission not to participate in this case dechi," began the redheaded Saber. As much as she was concerned with justice, Benienma was also concerned with the mental well-being of the one who had summoned her.

@KabenSaal: That's just using a Touhou character as a basis for appearance, the Kurama Tengu/Sojobo is an actual mythological figure.
It's much quicker to talk things over on discord.
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