Fate/Distorted Memoria



 
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 Outside the Garden, A Fateful Encounter [Hawwah, Yukiteru]
Yukiteru Springfield
 Posted: Nov 16 2013, 01:54 AM
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Tempest Tossed; In Darkness Lost


----A Man Thrust into a Whirlwind; The Last Master has been Chosen----

It was a dark and stormy night.

No, it really was!

Well, I suppose all told, the day could have gone worse. Perhaps prematurely, that was the thought that had been going through Detective Yukiteru Springfield's mind as the misty drizzle of Fuyuki's coldest night in a month pattered softly against the town. Rather than a violent storm like one might expect, it was a gentle and almost serene rain. At least, it would have been, had it not been starting to get cold already. No, that was wrong - it was the wrong month for winter, but it just happened to be a cold night. The detective's black, polished dress shoes tapped rhythmically against the street as the chilly wind lashed lazily at his jacket and hair. His snow white bangs were mostly kept in order by a billed hat, something he had picked up to help dissuade the dismal rain from completely soaking him.

Yukiteru Springfield had taken it upon himself to go on a walk through Fuyuki's residential area near Miyama - or rather, his legs had naturally carried him all this way from the bridge, and he had spent his time thinking to himself. No one really got to see him for very long, and those who did paid him little mind. It was hard to glimpse the unique color of his tonal hair thanks to his hat, and most disregarded him as just another passerby. He had wanted some air after a day of consulting with the Fuyuki Police Department - they were tense, having heard of his reputation as a world famous investigator who maintained anonymity in spite of occasional calls for transparency from the same agencies he helped on a regular basis. Ultimately, he supposed he couldn't blame them, but he would need to have a talk with Au later. He did not understand why they still had concerns - or rather, he did, but after proving himself by solving the decade-old child abduction murder cases, he had hoped the police force would be a little more cooperative.

The streets were slick with rainfall, although they could hardly be called hazardous. If this particular night weren't proving to be so chilly, then he might have taken an interest in running in this weather. As it was now, though, he was thankful for his jacket and hat. They shielded him from most of the rain, even as he walked a treeline past the school. It had been several blocks since he had sauntered past the currently empty Homurahara Gakuen, and he was coming on where he recalled the Ryuudouji Temple to be located. In his mind's eye, a flawless copy of the town map flashed in his head. His own crimson gaze flickered left and right, practically committing every pebble to memory. He liked to see the world as a jigsaw puzzle, even when just looking at maps. And then, when he went to a place in person, he would allow his mind to connect the pieces they had already gleaned. It was a hobby of his, and not one that made much sense - but when your mind was a Perpetual Motion engine in its own right, you found things to think about or your brain exploded.

Probably.

Maybe.

"...!?" Without him giving the command, his vermilion gaze seemed to go into autopilot. He knew what this meant by now - he was going to have his eyes drawn to something unusual. Something that could be called "Fate" or a "Chance". Evidence that he would otherwise miss, or a glimpse of an important individual or event. He wasn't always sure, but more often than not he could figure it out pretty quickly. That is, about ninety percent of the time it was an almost effortless whim to deduce just what he was supposed to be seeing. His eyes were automatically drawn to various things, and normally he immediately recognized what they were trying to tell him. In this case, however, he did not see anything. He came to a stop because of that, his eyes finally giving control back to him. Yet, even as he stared up into the shadowy canopy of the mountain forest, he did not know what he was supposed to be looking at.

To his human mind, vast though it was, he was only staring at empty space. The shrubbery of some overhanging, unshaven treetops that needed to be trimmed back. His pupils narrowed, and he poured more of his brain power into "Perceiving" and "Recognition". They flickered left and right, performing tight circles and parallel scanning the slightly exposed canopy of interwoven, leafy branches every which way. Still, he could see nothing...

At least, that was the case until the trees parted, and faster than lightning itself...


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Hawwah
 Posted: Nov 16 2013, 11:23 AM
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Hawwah was wet. Of course, considering that it was raining such a thing was natural, but she still could not help but mused that she was going to spend her last moments on this earth wet, and possibly smelling of wet furs.

It was better to focus on that then the fact that these were likely her last moments. She had killed her own Master, and now had neither a supply of mana or an anchor to keep her in this world. That she was still able to maintain a physical form was testament to the large amount of mana that her body could naturally store. But it was at an end now. Nearly two days she'd managed to survive, but to no avail. No magus that would serve as a suitable Master could be found, and so as she finally accepted defeat, she had come here, perching on a low lying branch in this small forest in the middle of the city, to die in peace.

She had failed. It had been her one chance to change things, to set right the mistake she had made, and she had failed before ever truly having a chance to begin. In such a circumstance it was perhaps understandable that she was desperately seeking something, anything else to occupy her mind with. Such as the fact that she'd been sitting in the rain long enough to be soaked to the bone. Or lazily counting the number of passersby in a minute.

Hawwah froze. There, on the ground below, was a man, staring up directly at her. Here amongst the trees she should have been practically invisible to the eyes of just about anything, and yet this man's eyes were fixed directly on her. After a moment, they began to move slightly, never straying too far from her position, studying, analyzing.

How had he seen her? Was he some sort of powerful magus? A Master? Were her senses deteriorated enough that he could be a Servant and she could detect his presence? Frustration and anger filled her up; as it stood, she had died without accomplishing anything in this war.

That was about to change. With all the speed her failing form could muster, she flew out of the tree and towards the man, feet first. Her intent was to have him on the ground before he could react. Even in her state, she had exceptional speed, so it was doubtful that he would be able to avoid her first attack. Once her feet made contact, she would kick off to ensure that he went down. Then, once on solid ground she would make use of the opening she created and finish him with her knife.

At least, that was the plan. As soon as her feet made contact with the ground, however, she fell. The rain had been soaking the ground just as much as it had been soaking her, and when suddenly put under her weight, it gave way. She tumbled down the hill, unable to summon the strength to right herself, unable even to keep her hold on the knife she had drawn, with flew from her grasp. She would have kept going, perhaps down to the base of this incline, had she not met a tree about a second later, hitting it hard with her body perpendicular to the trunk, and slumping down into the muddy ground a moment later.

Once again, she had failed. Once again, she had lost her opportunity. And now, on top of being wet, she was covered in mud.

'A fitting end,' she bitterly supposed.

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Yukiteru Springfield
 Posted: Nov 16 2013, 01:55 PM
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Tempest Tossed; In Darkness Lost


----A Man Thrust into a Whirlwind; The Last Master has been Chosen----

Considering the unique nature of his abilities, Yukiteru was even able to perceive a bullet fired from a high caliber rifle under the right circumstances, as easily as if it were nothing more than a lazily tossed softball. But that "ability" was all but useless now, as the reason for his magnetized gaze made itself apparent. He had found himself staring up into the canopy for almost a solid minute, despite the loose droplets of rain that happily made the plunge from leaf's edge to the ground. Several of those brave soldiers were instead dashed upon his pale skin since his face was turned upward, and his eyes had scanned the area with almost half of his mind's focus. Yet, even that had not been enough to see the cause for this moment of "Opportunity". His brain was wracking itself to find the anomaly, and he almost never had to actually allocate any percentage of brain power towards observation or perception. Then, only because the source wanted to be found, he glimpsed a flash of motion.

"...Wha---!?"

The only thing he had caught sight of was a girl. No, a woman - from the half-second he had to recognize her presence, a very tomboyish but cute looking woman. She had short hair, markings on her face, and... And her feet were aimed directly for his face. Yuki's eyes widened as his brain finally caught up to what was happening, and as soon as it did his world exploded in pain. Not lethal pain, mind you, nor even the worst pain he had ever endured. But still, the weight of another human being not just rested - but deliberately and violently administered with two, spring-loaded pistons - upon one's face would never suffice for a "Comfortable" feeling. He had only time to gasp before impact was made, and the sickening - somewhat familiar - sound of cartilage cracking was heard. His vision exploded with storm and stress, stars shooting and spinning about him. He was naturally forced down on his back upon the muddy Earth, and his mind worked like a whirlwind to turn over every possibility even as he lay there, stunned.

Is this a mugging attempt? Am I being robbed? He had time to think, still blinded from the bruising impact her well-placed bounce. However, his mind seemed to shift gears all on its own and he quickly processed the sound of her falling as well. He was able to push himself up and he opened his eyes with no small amount of effort. It took even more focus to settle his vision and gaze through the pain - his temples hurt, not because of his extra visionary focus but because he was pushing aside pain to force his eyes to work. He could see clearly, even while so blinded by the pounding in his head. Had he lacked this ability to allocate his brain's processing power, he would have been left stunned for several moments. Yet, his limbs and body twisted not of their own accord. In full control of his mind, he forced his body to act through the pain and he twisted until he was on his hands and knees. Through the shining darkness - the same one might experience from a baseball ricocheting against one's face - he could see her. Her back was against a tree, and she had clearly fallen.

About halfway down the incline towards the treeline, between his assailant and himself, was the razor sharp knife he had not noticed before. He swallowed hard, and all at once the pain began to naturally subside. He crawled forward, not risking the attempt at regaining his balance. Within seconds he was upon the knife, but he did not spare it a second glance after tossing it further away from him. It was in his way, and that was the only reason he had bothered with it at all. Finally, he pushed himself to his feet and stumbled in her general direction, no longer hindered very much by her initial ambush. The fact his attacker had concealed herself, then moved with such speed both spoke to the intention she had to attack him from the start. He was still wondering if she had been trying to mug him - although if that were the case, she would have been sorely disappointed at the result.

Finally, he stood over the Assassin, the gentle rain still coming down at a light but steady pace. He ignored the cool sensation, and even the mud caked on the knees of his pants-legs and his hands and his back. He did not know how injured or tired she was, and initially he had suspected her dropping the knife had merely been the result of divine intervention. That is, he expected he was just lucky, and had intended to deal with her like any other attacker - he intended to ensure she was incapacitated, but she clearly was. He watched her sit there in the mud with her back against the tree. Her expression was strained, and she looked seriously hurt. He had to remind himself this woman had tried to kill him, and he leaned down - making sure to keep his center of gravity low and well-adjusted in case he needed to move quickly.

"Hey... What was that for...? Are you alright?" He asked, unsure even himself just why he included that last part. His left hand was around the concealed handgun he kept in his back holster, and his right was at his side. He watched her with uncertainty, clearly apprehensive about the whole "Murdering" thing.


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Hawwah
 Posted: Nov 19 2013, 01:09 AM
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Hawwah's head was swimming, the pain of her fall disorienting her already prana deprived mind even further. Somehow, through, with a few false starts and slipping down in the mud, she was able to bring herself into a sitting position. The side which had taken the brunt of the impact was screaming at her in agony; what small amount of rational thought was left in her supposed she should be thankful she hadn't broken anything, though it was quick to remind her that even if she had it wouldn't matter in a short while.

Through the fog that was enveloping her senses, she could hear someone approaching, their footsteps making wet squishing noises as they pressed down on the muddy ground. The man that she'd attacked, he likely hadn't taken kindly to her sudden assault even if he had been expecting it, and now he was coming to pay her back in kind. Hawwah knew what a man in her time would have done in response, and steeled herself. No longer was she thinking as the Servant Assassin, but instead as the woman who had survived in the pre-Deluge world with naught but her wits and strength of will.

She tried to steady her labored breathing as she listened to his approach. She would have liked to say that she was waiting for him to be in the optimal position to launch another attack, but in truth it simply took until he was nearly upon her before she had mustered the strength for it. He spoke, and she did not bother to listen to the words, simply used his voice as another guide to determine his location. There was something odd about how he ended his statement (question?), something that begged her to take notice, but she pushed it aside. For a moment she allowed silence to fall, broken only by the soft patter of the rain and her own ragged gasping as she clung to life. Then shortly afterwards even the sound of her breathing disappeared as she took one last sharp breath, to be quickly replaced by a growl.

"Grrr... RAAAAAAAH!!!"

The growl became a furious scream as she made use of what strength she had left, pushing herself up from the tree and falling upon him. She had no weapon anymore, having lost her knife in the fall, but that didn't matter. She fought tooth and nail, using only the weapons that she had been given by her very creation to defend herself against this man that sought her end, or worse. There was no strategy, no attempt to focus her attack on any particular area other than what she could reach. Her fingers raked at him, hoping to find purchase and tear at his flesh. Mud gave way under her feet once again, but she did not allow this to cool her assault, pushing herself with everything that remained in her. Somehow she found the fabric of something her wore in front of her face, and on instinct she bit down, hoping to feel skin break underneath.

It wasn't working. The quickly dwindling rational part of her mind told her this. As a Servant, she should have been able to snap his bones with one hand, but it had been too long, and now she was too weak. She wondered if she was even hurting him at all, or if he was just laughing at her feeble attempts. She couldn't even tell anymore. Finally, her tired muscles gave in. She grew still, her hands still grasping and her teeth still clenching around whatever they had found purchase on, but there was no ability to harm in them anymore. Slowly, she went slack, and as soon as she was no longer able to keep hold, she fell. She knew that this time, there would be no rising.

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Yukiteru Springfield
 Posted: Nov 20 2013, 12:40 PM
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Tempest Tossed; In Darkness Lost


----A Man Thrust into a Whirlwind; The Last Master has been Chosen----

This girl is a mess, obviously suffering from malnutrition - her flimsy movements, her inability to balance properly, the frantic nature of each scrabbling attempt at finding purchase.

Now that Yukiteru was actually able to see Assassin, she was just another piece of information for his brain to process, albeit at well over ten-times the normal human speed of mental function. He took in the sight of her desperately trying to gain some form of balance, and seemed to know right away it had little and less to do with the mud-soaked Earth under her. He supposed that might be a factor in how hard it proved for her to regain herself, but the strain on her body each motion took was apparent even to him. That was why he had even bothered to ask if she was alright, when he was the one who had been attacked. He was fine, albeit a little muddy and with what he assumed was a broken nose from her well-placed kick to his face. However, even as an incognito officer of the law, he was a human being. Yuki wasn't sure whether or not it would be correct to first call a hospital, or the police. That question was in the back of mind even as he stood before his assailant, believing her to be neutralized.

And had she been an actual human being, she well might have been.

"... ... ..." She did not answer his question at first, but simply lay there with her back against the tree. She sucked in breaths, and each one seemed to take a toll on her quivering body. His crimson eyes blinked once in confusion, and he thought about asking her again - after all, she might have been disoriented from the nasty tumble she had taken through no fault of his own. As he opened his mouth to speak the words, however, her rasping breath turned into a bestial growl, and then a feminine but primal roar of fury. In a sudden shift of movement, she was on top of him once more. He removed his hand from behind himself, and it was... empty. He had opted to not use his firearm, believing himself to be capable of using his own impressive repertoire against her. Her movements were quick now, but due to her weakened state not beyond "Reading". It was not just the speed of her movements, but the desperate ferocity of her attack that drove him to the ground under her.

The flailing fingers of her left hand found the right side of his face, and her nails raked the flesh there. Her attacks her instinctual and feral, but experienced. That first scratch left the four mostly symmetrical, tell-tale markings of a scratch with four straight, bloody lines each at least an inch long on his cheek. He winced, but grabbed with his right hand the girl's left wrist. He was able to physically overpower her now, albeit just barely. She slipped against him even as she flailed and struggled, and that right arm of his surged with pain as the girl sunk her teeth into the sleeve of his jacket. At first, they only sunk into fabric, but he felt the skin nearly break there after some seconds of her trying. At worst, she had managed to crack the bone. At best, he would only have a bruise in the shape of a bite-mark. He hissed in pain, sucking in a breath and refusing to scream or let go. Instead, his left arm went into motion, snaking around the woman's shoulders and grasping her right shoulder in an attempt to turn her around. Then, as if the powers that be had answered a blessing, the last bit of fight went out of her.

Her body went limp in his arms, her teeth still closed around his forearm. She seemed to be alive - that is, she was still breathing. However, her sporadic motions of resistance had ended as quickly as they had begun. Instead of wrenching her into a turning motion to begin his counterattack, his left arm shot under her stomach and waist to catch her falling body. His right arm - still in her mouth - pulled itself free and moved under her torso. A simple gesture was enough to flip the nearly unconscious woman over so that she was on her back in his carry... And then, he began to move forward. The Ryuudouji Temple was nearly, and he had worked with monks and priests long enough to know they would not ask questions before administering help. He moved up the steps, struggling with the girl's weight; she was light on her own, surprisingly so - as if lacking substance - but the slippery stone steps nearly made him sprain his ankle once or twice.

After about fifteen minutes, he had made it from the ambush site to the top of the steps, where a lone monk was on duty. The look on his face seemed to flash recognition, or disbelief, before a worried smile crossed his face. The man was shaven in the Buddhist fashion, but wore a pvc raincoat. He helped guide the man into a private shrine that was under maintenance, and only said thing word to the detective.

"If you decide you need further help, we have a phone. Just yell, and we will come. Your aura is white, boy, and I trust you to see with eyes unclouded by hate when you make your decision."

And then, the monk - the one person whom had seen the suspiciously bruised and muddy couple enter the temple gate - vanished back into the rainy evening.

Without even knowing it, Yukiteru and the monk had saved this spirits life - she would not vanish from the world, within this candle-lit room. The British investigator set her down gently upon the ground near a futon the monk had gestured to. Yuki's movements were calm and restrained, but deliberate in each motion. He seized a folded towel and let it unfurl, before beginning to scrub the girl's side clean. He did not want to dirty the temple's futon more than necessary, and he was hoping the girl would not simply stay asleep. He wanted answers, before he made his decision. As he tended to her side, he was left kneeling over her, and disregarded even his own injuries - the one on his face, and the one on his arm - in favor of tending to her. In favor of cleaning her so she could be laid on the futon and rest. And once she was more or less clean, he covered her with the futon's comforter-like top and wedged her gently into position.

As for him, he simply watched her intently, unaware that thanks to this holy ground she would not suffer the fate of merely disappearing from this world.

The only reason he had not already made a decision was simple; he would not call the police because he cared about her motive. He would not call the hospital, because she was still alive - albeit weak.

This girl's attack was definitely feral, but not without motive. I want to find out why you attacked me, so rest yourself. I will call the police, or the hospital, depending on your answer... And I hope, for both our sakes, the hospital is the right place for you.


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Hawwah
 Posted: Nov 25 2013, 12:09 PM
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For the briefest of moments, Hawwah clung to a small vestige of consciousness. Enough to struggle somewhat when she was taken up in this stranger's arms. She didn't know what he planned, but knew that she would not care for the plans of a man in her time that would take a helpless woman alive. He struggling however, if such weak and feeble motions could be called that, did nothing, were not even acknowledged by him. As she felt him carrying her upwards, she became still, and darkness overcame her.

In the darkness her mind flew, flitting through the catacombs of her history. Memory could be quite a difficult thing for some; things grew dim with time, and some things were never properly stored in the first place. This was never the case with her; this was her curse, her perfectly preserved library of memory that she had carried with her, even here in this place beyond death. Filled to the brim with stolen knowledge, an unlabeled archive that seemed to hold everything from the dawn of time.

And so her mind flew, out of her control, and came upon a scene, perfectly preserved. And she Remembered.

Tears. She would never always remember what it was like to cry for the first time in her existence, to feel the moisture trickling down her face as she was forced to bid farewell to the home she had been created in, the home she had known all her life. She watched as the thing, a radiant existence that she could not describe, that could not even be called mortal let alone human, took up its watch at the entrance. She had struggled then, too. The Man had held her, and she struggled against him, trying so hard to wrench free, to run back to that place, even if it lay beyond that monster of light and flame. He had know that attempting to pass would have meant death, and on some level she probably knew as well.

Sometimes she wished he had let her go.

But still he held, pulled, and eventually simply carried her away. It was a long time before she stopped fighting, but even when the last of her struggles died down she never looked away. Until it was swallowed up and blocked from her vision, she continued to stare at the thing that now barred her from return, allowing its white, indefinite image to burn into her eyes, into her very soul.


When she opened her eyes next, the world was a blur. Reality began rushing back: she was Assassin, a Servant without a Master who did not belong in the world. Almost as soon as that realization resurfaced, she felt reality attempt to reject her, to push her away, yet she did not vanish. Something was holding her in this world, like a line tying her down. No, now that she thought on it, the sensation was more like being pushed against a wall; rather than specifically tying her down, something was simply preventing her exit from the world.

"A bounded field," she said to herself as understanding dawned. She had discovered it on her own, the barrier around the nearby temple that prevented the movement of spirits, even those as powerful as Servants, across it. She had been taken into the temple, and now that bounded field was serving to preserve her for just a few moments longer, as it had (unknown to either party here) for another woman less than two years ago.

Her vision had yet to clear, but that did not stop her from trying to figure out what was going on. She was on her back, and did not even feel strong enough to raise her head, so instead she allowed her head to fall to the side to get a better view of most of the room. A blur of white was there beside her, and for a moment Hawwah was confused. Had the unearthly watchdog followed her from her memories? No, she realized as her vision cleared, it was him. The man she had attacked, and at least laid some injury upon, judging by the scratches on his face.

More of her situation came into focus. She had been cleaned, that much became apparent from the fact that none of the mud from outside was present now. She was warm as well; she had been set down upon some sort of sleeping mat, with something atop of her. This man had tended to her, she realized. More than that, he had attended to her needs without concern for his own, as he still wore the look of someone who had been attacked out in the rain and mud. She was confused, and so asked the simple question that begged to be asked.

"Why?"

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Yukiteru Springfield
 Posted: Nov 26 2013, 04:18 PM
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Tempest Tossed; In Darkness Lost


----A Man Thrust into a Whirlwind; The Last Master has been Chosen----

Yuki had watched the girl closely for nearly forty-five minutes, and that was after cleaning almost all the mud from her body, making sure her cloths were dry enough to leave on her person, and tucking her into the futon. After doing all of that, he had folded his legs under him and assumed the seiza sitting position - something he had practiced only because his mother supposedly meditated in that stance to help herself think. Even if it was but a placebo effect, it relaxed him to meditate similarly and so even while idly watching his exhausted assailant he sat seiza style. His crimson-eyed gaze did not leave the girl's face during that entire time, even as he internally contemplated the possible outcomes of this situation. More than simply looking for an answer, it was his way of passing the time; he liked to analyze both people and situations, and more often than not he was spot-on with his assessments. He was pulled from his measured analysis of possible outcomes by a sudden movement of the woman's face.

"..." He did not say anything at first, but his eyes - which had been looking past her, into her rather than at her, unfocused in a flash and seemed to reorient themselves so that he could actually notice more of what was on the surface. Her eyes were an unexpectedly beautiful shade of blue, which caught him off-guard. She seemed to stare at the ceiling, as if she were lost in thought - and for a moment, it was hard for Yuki to see her as the savage assailant from over an hour ago. Yet, because of how fresh the incident was in his mind, it soon came back to him how dangerous this woman could be when she set her mind to it. And then, still not having acknowledged him, she spoke. Her words were not directed towards him, but they had been "said" and not just "thought".

"A bounded field."

Her words were foreign to the detective, though he understood the meaning of each one individually. Together, though, their meaning was lost on him - and it was easy enough to tell the words meant something to her. He scanned the database of his mind, and found that the words were easy enough to take on their own. But there was a special meaning behind them, even if it eluded his mental grasp just now. His eyes narrowed in a moment of brief focus, but he did not call out to her or demand an explanation just yet. He wondered if she meant the temple, or perhaps her words referred to the room they were in. It was even possible - though not probable - that she was referencing the futon she was laying on. His brow furrowed in concentration, but that soon ceased to be apparent when she looked to him. Rather,her head rolled slightly and her eyes seemed to focus on him after several moments of unfocused staring on her part.

"Why?" The dazed woman asked of him, and Yuki blinked in response. It was an unexpected question to say the least, though it was one of the scenarios that had played out in his head. Well, it seemed that way up to that point - for a woman who had a stroke of insanity to wonder why her victim had taken care of her. The scratch marks under his right eye were dried now, and would definitely heal in time. The temple priest serving as the night watch had left Yuki a bowl of warm, soapy water to wash himself with. He had cleaned his face and removed some of the mud from his hands and arms, but that was it. Honestly, Yuki was surprised the priest had not assumed the defensive marks made Yuki the attacker and called for help. Truthfully, the young man wasn't sure whether to chalk the priest's laid back attitude up to enlightenment or laziness. Either way, though, it had so far worked in his favor.

"...That is what I would like to ask of you." He said, at first with a simple reply. There was no sarcasm or malice in either his voice or expression, but a quiet confusion of his own.

"If you mean to ask why I have taken you here and not the police station," Yuki elaborated, his lips turning downward in a slight frown as he redirected the focus of their conversation to herself. "It is because I like to have answers myself, I suppose. If, on the other hand, you are asking why I have taken you to this temple and tended to you - it is because I am a human being, and would do the same for anyone in need, I'd like to think. You were clearly injured, and needed help, so I saw to your injuries and brought you to the Ryuudouji Temple. I do wish to point out, however, that you lack the element of surprise you had before, and will gain nothing from attacking me here. If I yell, the priests of this temple will come to my aide."

There was no fear in even those last words of rationality - only spoken in-case she was still intent on attacking him for whatever reason - but he was clearly uncertain as to her motives in attacking him to begin with.


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Hawwah
 Posted: Nov 29 2013, 07:22 PM
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Hawwah blinked at the pale young man in confusion. If her question had been unexpected to him, than his response had been equally unexpected to her. She had thought that he had taken her to exact revenge for the injuries she had inflicted, or perhaps to learn what it was that she had learned in during her short presence during the War. Why did he speak of police and the protection of priests when he had a Servant to-

Realization hit her. This was no Master. An ordinary, if somewhat bizarre in appearance, man, likely not even a magus sat before her. She had attacked an ordinary man who had just happened to be looking in her direction, and from the look of the scratches on his cheek being the most obvious injury, she hadn't even done much damage. If the Assassin had been one given to shows of emotion, she may have laughed at how pathetic the whole situation was. She was not, however, so her face remained as stoic as it had been up until this point.

"I apologize," she said, though the emotionless tone of her voice might have led some to question her sincerity, "you are not who I thought you to be."

With no small amount of effort, Hawwah turned her head so that she was once again facing upwards towards the ceiling. For the next few minutes she remained silent, staring at nothing as she contemplated her situation. If the man beside her spoke, she would listen, but would not offer up any answer. She found it odd that he was still here. He had nothing to do with the Holy Grail War, and it seemed that he had no ill intent for her, so what exactly did he want? Perhaps he thought she would be in his debt if he tended to her.

"Your kindness is wasted," she finally said.

"I will soon be gone from this world, so you need no longer concern yourself with me."

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Yukiteru Springfield
 Posted: Dec 1 2013, 04:16 PM
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Tempest Tossed; In Darkness Lost


----A Man Thrust into a Whirlwind; The Last Master has been Chosen----

"I apologize, you are not who I thought you to be." The female assailant replied, not even bothering to answer the young detectives original question as to "why" she had attacked him.

The apology was one of the more unexpected outcomes, although he had correctly guessed that if she did apologize, it would lack any semblance of meaning. The apparent take away from the hollow tone of her voice was that she did not mean the apology to be sincere. Even so, Yukiteru found it hard to doubt the truth behind her words. He was not so sure that she was sorry, but he did believe her when she admitted the attack was a case of mistaken identity. He wasn't sure why he believed her, but something about her tone and the vacant look in her sea-blue eyes reflected a whole truth.

Well, that explains the savagery with which she attacked me. But does that mean she was trying to settle a grudge against someone, or was that ambush defensive in nature? Perhaps someone was chasing her, or she was in fear for her own safety.

The young detective mulled over the situation, and the scarce words of this woman who had attacked him outside the temple. Who did she think he was, to attack him with such feral ferocity? What would she have done to him if she had successfully overpowered him back then? Was there an even more dangerous individual than this one, to cause her to act so savagely. Every solution he mentally uncovered brought up two more questions that needed answering, and he stared at her idly as he wracked his brain for answers. The woman had turned her gaze back to the ceiling of the room they were in, and eventually she spoke again. Her words were kept brief, and were morbid in nature.

"I will soon be gone from this world, so you need no longer concern yourself with me."

He still questioned the mental state of this woman - even if she had been acting out of fear, and was calm now, her words implied to him that she expected to die soon. He had no intentions of letting that happen.

Least of all after all of this trouble.

As much as the young investigator liked justice, his real fondness for it was to help people. He would choose successfully rehabilitating a criminal over merely incarcerating them any day of the week. Clearly, this woman had been waiting for someone, and while he did not know who - he was intent of finding out. Still, her words troubled him. It was as if she had given up all hope of living, which made him frown and contemplate the possible things this woman had been through.

"What do you mean, exactly?" Yuki asked, always one to confirm his suspicions and fully understand the situation before acting. "Do you plan to take your own life? Or are you worried someone else will kill you? Either way, we are safe here, and I have several connections within the Japanese National Police Agency as well as Interpol and other world organizations. Whatever trouble you're in, I can help you, but you have to tell me what is going on. Is the reason you expect to die related to you ambushing me?"

There was no accusation in even that mention of what had happened an hour or so ago. There was no hostility, no condemnation, or anything like that. There was only objective curiosity, as if he were piecing the situation together like a jigsaw puzzle in his head.


Tag: Contract? Words: 601 outfit The Usual Notes: An Attempt at Understanding
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Hawwah
 Posted: Dec 3 2013, 07:54 PM
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Raised eyebrows. That was the only reaction that the tired Assassin gave, but in comparison to her previous stoicism she may as well have loudly gasped in surprise. Despite the fact that she had just recently assaulted this man, his first reaction to learning that she was soon going to die was to reassure her that he would do his best to help her. The irony of it was surprising to say the least.

Going from his tone and the nature of his questioning, she reasoned that his concern was born, at least in part, from a desire to understand what must seem like her bizarre situation. She supposed, as a normal human being who had no connection to the world of magecraft or spirits, that he could not be expected to instinctively know about such things as the Holy Grail War, or Heroic Spirits, or anything really. Hawwah's natural inclination would have been to remain silent; she cared nothing for the desire for magecraft to remain hidden to the human race at large, but this man knowing such things would have served her no benefit.

And yet...

"My enemies are far to powerful, you would never be able to protect me," she said. She was afraid, even if the evenness of her voice did nothing to betray that fact. Death approached her rapidly now, and just as before she feared it. So even though it made no sense, this man had offered her aid, and the fear within her prompted her to speak in response.

"But that is not what I meant," she explained. He had requested knowledge in return for aid, and so that would be what she gave. Slowly she brought her right hand out from the cover that he had placed over her. She had not noticed the warmth that such protection had offered her, but immediately recognized the biting cold of the night air on the bare skin of her arm. She ignored it however and raised her arm upward, an effort in and of itself. Yet still she did this, knowing that words alone would not bring the understanding this man sought.

Her arm was pale, paler even than usual, with only the the orange tinted light of the candles giving it any color. It was smooth, unmarred with any form of scarring, even though she had seen her share of injury. She turned her wrist so that her palm faced away from her, studying it, as though as soon as she looked away it would vanish. Which was exactly her worry, and exactly the reason for what she was doing. Her brow furrowed, and with great care Hawwah eased the vice grip that she had been keeping on her physical form.

The effect was immediate. What little light was present in the room started to pass through her flesh, which was no longer solid enough to block its passage. As the flames of the candles flickered, so to did her limb seem to dance, as though it were mist being blown about by a light breeze. Fear making itself known once again, Hawwah inhaled sharply and focused, clenching her fist as she will reality back into her form. Her arm once again became solid, and the whole demonstration had lasted only a few seconds at most, but it had been unmistakable that something which simply could not occur for an ordinary human had happened.

"I am the Servant Assassin," she said, her clenched fist still raise and now shaking, as though she was desperately clinging tightly to something above her, "a spirit summoned from another time to fight for the Holy Grail, an artifact said to be able to grant any wish."

What strength she had been using failed her, and her arm once again descended. She knew it would be a waste of time to try and slip it back under the cover, she allowed it to fall where it may. Uninterrupted, her forearm would find itself draped across her face, blocking out the sight of the room.

"A foolish desire, now," she continued, and for the first time emotion began to creep its way into her voice. Regret painted her words, regret over loosing the one chance she had to mend the mistake she had made, to escape the shame she had doomed herself to.

"A Servant cannot exist without a Master. No matter how deeply I desire the Grail, I will vanish soon."

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Yukiteru Springfield
 Posted: Dec 4 2013, 09:09 PM
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Tempest Tossed; In Darkness Lost


----A Man Thrust into a Whirlwind; The Last Master has been Chosen----

"My enemies are far too powerful, you would never be able to protect me."

The woman's pessimistic attitude was a reply he had learned to expect by now, when offering criminals and victims protection and relocation. Many people had been taught to fear the gangs they had come to work with, and it was only natural for some of these people to feel trapped and helpless. On numerous occasions, suspects-turned-informant or wary victims and witnesses would turn down offers of such programs, and in doing so seal their own fate. Yuki's lips were drawn downward in a slight frown when she gave him that answer, and he fully intended to argue with her. His faith in the Criminal Justice was strong, but not unfounded. Contrary to the cynical belief of many in his field (and many more outside of it), the system did work, for the most part. Again, it was human nature that interfered with that perception: People tended to notice negative factors before they noticed positive ones. This was especially true for criminals and victims of crimes, who had already been wronged once. He was sure that was the case with this down-on-her-luck woman as well.

At least, he was sure of it until she denied it, in just as calm a tone of voice.

"But that is not what I meant." The woman said, before beginning to stir on her futon. She moved her arm from beneath the sheet, and with some degree of visible strain lifted it so that it was in plain view. His crimson-eyed gaze was naturally drawn to it, and he noticed the unique coloring of her skin. He would classify her as "White", but not "Caucasian." Her skin pigmentation seemed to him to be a blend of Asiatic and African features, but not exactly Arabian or Middle Eastern in any noticeable way. If he had to guess, he would have called her heritage as "Eurasian" or "Asian-African", but it was a skin tone he had never exactly seen before. The arm was feminine and looked both smooth and soft, but was sinewy enough to show the tree-climbing muscles of this woman. He had no doubt that single arm could exert more strength than one of his own, albeit not in her weakened state.

"Then what exactly..." Yuki started to ask for some kind of clarification of what she meant about being gone from this world, but he was given the answer before he could even finish. The arm began to shimmer slightly, as if its physical and molecular structure were shifting at her will. The artificial candlelight began to pass through her skin as it took on a translucent appearance. It was eerie, as if her flesh were nothing more than a projection of an image - a shadow burned into the world and given solid form. But his eyes showed no fear, and he reached out and passed a hand right through the arm as it began to fade. Four of his fingers slipped right through the ghostly appendage, and he believed at once the undeniable reality before him. He brought his hand back to rest upon his thigh, and looked down into the face of his would-be killer.

"I am the Servant Assassin, a spirit summoned from another time to fight for the Holy Grail, an artifact said to be able to grant any wish" She said. Her arm began to shake, and he wondered if it strained her terribly to leave it held up like that. He considered reaching for her re-solidified arm and easing it to her side again, but he hesitated. She was giving him the information he wanted, and her little performance had been enough to open his eyes to the truth of his words. He could no longer see her as merely the woman who attacked him, and certainly not as one who was mentally unstable. It was clear to see that he was the oblivious one here, and his mind was able to comprehend that immediately. Her arm began to fall, but he intervened. He would not let even that happen... Not when she had indulged him, and shared with him the knowledge he sought. He skillfully but gently seized her arm before it could fall, and let her finish talking as he eased the arm downward to her side.

"A foolish desire, now. A Servant cannot exist without a Master. No matter how deeply I desire the Grail, I will vanish soon." His facial expression did not change, and he did not pull his eyes from hers as he let her arm down.

He began to let go of her arm then, sliding his hand along her forearm to do so. She was done talking, so it was only natural he would let her go. She would disappear, he would go on about his human existence, and this all would be forgotten as a breath of the life her divine Father had set in motion. This was the natural outcome for the Assassin class Servant known as Hawwah, Eve, the First Woman, Mother of All. Any man could not be blamed for giving to Hawwah only the mild comfort of their company in her dying breaths. One of the other Servants would win the Holy Grail, and have their wish granted. Her wish would crumble into the sand from which man was made.

Yet, he did not let her go. As his hand had slid beneath hers, he paused to adjust his hand and then gripped hers gently but firmly. Behind those icy hues of frozen blood, the warmth of a fire smoldered. A desire - to help people, and to change their lives. The fire that had fueled his career and life, and allowed him to use his natural-yet-unnatural gifts to serve the world so well. The flame that was anything but natural, and made him a veritable Sherlock Holmes of the modern day... That same desire to help others in need would burn the wicked and vile hand of fate that prepared to cut Hawwah's string for the second time in her life. He spoke to her, before she could object to his sudden holding of her hand.

"I do not know what this Holy Grail you seek is, or why it is so important to you. But I forbid you to disappear, Servant... Assassin." He said the last word not hesitantly, but with a small sliver of a smile on his face.

"I cannot condone pointless fighting, but... It sounds like you really want this thing, and I want to hear more. I want to help you, so... As your Master, I command you to stay in this world. To reach for what it is you seek, and to grasp it in your hands before you go!" He said, perhaps proving that the most normal Master was not so normal after all.


Tag: Contract? :3 Words: 1,150 outfit The Usual Notes: Form a contract with me, and become a Magical Gi- Servant!
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Hawwah
 Posted: Dec 9 2013, 03:32 PM
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The first and only thing she noted when this man grasped her arm was that, despite his pale, almost snow white appearance, his hand felt surprisingly warm. Then again, she herself felt as though ice was running through her veins, so such things were relative. She hardly thought about the contact itself; he had already shown concern over her by tending to her when he had no reason to, so a gesture such as bringing her arm to rest beside her was minor in comparison. She might have taken issue with how long his touch lingered on her, but in the situation this wasn't a great concern. In fact, she found the contact... comforting. She would never allow herself the weakness of tears, never again, but surely she could, in her last moments, allow this.

Such were the thoughts of the Servant Assassin, thoughts that were banished by the words of the man who now held her hand in his own. With a strange mix of forcefulness and concern, he spoke to encourage her not to give up, and offered to serve in a role that he had no understanding of. Even if he didn't comprehend the danger... no, the fact that he was jumping headlong into this without fully understanding only made him an even bigger fool. In comparison to the other Masters already in the war, he was woefully unskilled and incompetent. As the weakest Servant, she couldn't afford a liability like that. Accepting him as a Master would only delay her inevitable disappearance, that is what her rational thoughts told her.

And yet even as these thoughts surfaced they found themselves smothered. Because of that look. As he spoke, for the first time she looked into his eyes, truly looked, and saw something there. Fire, framed in ice, a strength that could not be pinned down by description but was undeniably there. A strength that she had not seen in her previous Master, one which she had never expected to encounter in this era, especially not in a normal human. It was a conviction that awakened her own, that desire that still burned within her to obtain the Grail and fulfill her wish. She had sworn to do anything it took, did she not?

"As you say, Master," she responded. It held none of the proper trappings of forging a mystical contract, but she felt the affects of the bond that was forged all the same. The pressure of the world attempting to reject her receded, and now that not all of her energy was being diverted into not disappearing, she could strengthen the grip in her hand somewhat. Certainly not much, but enough to confirm to the man who had saved her that yes, she was going to stay.

But this presented a new problem. While he could act as her anchor to this world, she could feel no prana flowing from him into her, confirming her suspicions: this man had no magic circuits. With only her natural rate of prana restoration, she would never be able to regain her previous level of power.

"I will need to find a way to regain strength," she spoke aloud, knowing that if they were to have any chance, she would need to confer with him on what their best course of action would be. She mentally went over her options before voicing anything however, knowing some options would not be helpful if spoken. The most abundance source of power would be human souls, but she doubted that the man who had helped a stranger so instinctively would support such course of action, so if she would pursue that path it would have to be without his knowledge. And in any case, she was currently in no condition for hunting anything.

"Food could help, but..." she did not finish her statement, as that was just as problematic. The amount she would gain from physically consuming food would be minuscule; she would have to feast day in and day out to make it work. But what other option did she have left?

One. One option that came to mind unbidden, one that made her wish she never thought of it, one that made her very conscious of the fact that she still hadn't taken her hand from his. She rectified that, but nevertheless the thought remained as color returned to her face in under the worst conditions possible.

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Yukiteru Springfield
 Posted: Dec 10 2013, 09:19 PM
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Tempest Tossed; In Darkness Lost


----A Man Thrust into a Whirlwind; The Last Master has been Chosen----

"As you say, Master," The bedridden woman finally replied, after thinking about Yukiteru's offer for a time. In truth, her opinion on the matter was closer to fact than personal feeling. He was uninformed (He would endeavor to fix that), incompetent (Relatively speaking, as a normal human of the modern day), and her chances of winning with him were slim to none. But even a slim chance was still a chance, and 1% is closer to 1 than 0%. Even in her exhausted state, Assassin should be able to rationalize this situation. Or maybe she would do so only after she could think more clearly. But emotion too is a powerful force, and Yuki seemed to smile when her fingers tightened around his own. He was pleased by her choice, and willing to help this girl obtain what she sought. Granted, a more enthusiastic reply was probably merited, but the World wasn't built in a day.

The flash of tentative thought was not missed by Yuki, even if he could not pin down the reason for it right away... Luckily for him, Assassin cleared away the fog of uncertainty.

"I will need to find a way to regain strength," She informed him. Immediately, his mind went to the most logical (available) conclusion. While she contemplated the power a human soul could provide her, he merely thought of where they might find some food at this ungodly hour. Never once did the phantasmal nature of his newly acquired familiar give him pause, or make him consider that something like the soul of human beings might be a source off energy for her. Still, his brows knitted in slight concentration even as Hawwah thought about the possibilities. As to simultaneously confirm and deny his unspoken suggestion, she mentally synchronized with her Master - a good start. His eyes focused on hers as she brought up the practicality of food itself.

"Food could help, but..."

But what, exactly? He wondered, perplexed. As a human being, he had only ever used food and oxygen as a source of energy. He was not familiar with his familiar's plight. The world did not try to overwrite or rather /erase/ his existence. He could not empathize with her, and even sympathy wasn't enough to magically grant him full understanding of how she functioned as a Servant of the Holy Grail. He tilted his head slightly, and waited for her to finish her thought. A single eyebrow rose in mild curiosity when she hastily removed her hand from his own. At the same time, as if to accompany that wrenching of her hand from his, her face tinted with a slight blush.

The exaggerated motion - a desire to avoid physical contact with me, which she was all too eager to do before this moment. The coloring of her face - embarrassment regarding some thought that has crossed her mind. She mentioned food, but the tone and pitch of her last spoken word: "But"Suggests that "Food" would not be an adequate source of energy. What, then? She is a spirit, not a plant. Surely "Sun" would not cause embarrassment. Food and air and exercise all produce bursts of ATP, which we can use for...

He blinked.

No, stop. You're thinking like a human being. This woman's very existence is foreign to you - in concept and in practice. She obviously has an idea, but is reluctant to simply say it. It is an embarrassing thought, then. But as she says, she does need her strength.

"Tell me, please." Yuki requested, his vermilion eyes still glued to her own. "How do spirits like you normally obtain energy, and gain your strength to begin with?"

The question was wrong, but it illuminated the proverbial path - if nothing else.


Tag: Contract? :3 Words: 630 outfit The Usual Notes: Are you a sword?
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