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9/13 The sites newly opened, and almost all the servant spots are taken! So hopefully summonings will start happening soon! And the plot can get started.
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"Something's wrong" I said to myself while waiting for Shirou in his residence. He said he would arrive home late, It's already past 10 pm and I couldn't help it but getting worried.
I kept calm while sitting on the floor of the room adjoining his. It was almost nearly 11 pm and I decided to wait outside. On my way to the gates, the breeze was warm and the sky was a bit cloudy. When I arrived I looked to both sides of the road hoping to see Shirou arriving but there was no-one around, It was all empty and really quiet.
After some minutes past 11 o'clock, I saw a figure running into the house's direction,The way it was running seemed clumsy, but the closer it was getting was the clearer for my vision to realize that it was no other but Shirou.
I reacted immediately, I walked over to him to greet him, but the way he was running and the state he was in didn't seem normal at all. It was weird to see him running home in the first place even if it was late like this, and he seemed like he took a bath from all the sweat that he had.
"Shirou w-...!" I couldn't even say more than his name as he collapsed right in front of me. I held him quickly and all my worries reached the surface.
"Shirou!" I exclaimed with a worried face. "What happened?!" I asked as I was ready to take him inside the residence.
This was not normal at all, Shirou never does stuff like this and I was starting to suspect that he might have been victim of a robber or something like that, hopefully, it wouldn't be nothing related to the war, Rin's words were clear and he must not know anything about it.
I might as well be worrying more than necessary, first things first, as i may have to wait until he feels safe at home before he can tell me what happened.
From the alley by Verde. Across Shinto. To the bridge, and across it. Across Miyama, and up, to the crossroads, and on to my house. How long has it been since I started? Forty minutes? An hour? I’ve lost track. My legs are screaming, my arms dead weights. My lungs feel as if they are on fire, the pain stabbing through my kidneys feels as if I’ve been stabbed, and my breaths come in pained gasps. But I keep going. I keep pumping my legs as hard as I can, running home.
I’m not afraid of being pursued. I’m not trying to distance myself from the man who attacked me, and I’m not afraid of him, or any allies he may have, or my mysterious saviour. The simple fact of the matter is that if somebody has come for me, they’re most likely targeting Rin – which means she could be in danger. For that reason, I have to find her, and warn her before it’s too late.
I round the final corner, loosening into a staggering sprint on the final stretch to my gate. I’m bathed in sweat from the run and the warm night; my hair is plastered to my forehead, and my shirt is almost glued to my torso. But I’m almost there. Rin should be at my house tonight.
It takes me a moment to notice the slight figure standing, waiting calmly at the front gate. Saber. Of course, she would wait for me. I’m later than I told her I’d already be, so of course she’s be worried. I can’t make out her expression from here, but I know she must be concerned. She starts towards me, calling something. I can’t hear her over the sound of my breathing and the pounding in my ears. I reach her, and let myself finally slow and stop. My legs fail me at last, giving out and dropping me towards the ground.
Saber catches me almost instantly, her slight form managing to haul me back to my feet. She places one of my arms around her shoulders to support me, concern written on her features as she says, "Shirou!" What happened?!"
I offer a weak smile. A bit of strength returns to my legs, and I put my weight on them, allowing Saber to support me but handling as much as I can myself.
"I’m alright," I assure her after a few moments, my breathing still coming hard and short. Already she is guiding me through the open gate, towards the front door. The lights are still on, but only a few of them – and even from where I am, I can’t see lights on in Rin’s side of the house. Is she out? "Just exhausted. I ran here from Verde." I stop and, using a hand on Saber to steady myself, draw myself up and gently turn her to face me.
"Saber," I say firmly, looking her in the eye. "I know you’re worried, but this is important. Rin may be in danger. Somebody may be coming after her. Is she home right now, and if she isn’t, where is she? "
For someone who is less "Athletic" than "In-shape", I'm surprised he has been able to make it this far without stopping
Of course, I know the reason for this sudden surge in Shirou's resolve. This run across town is not just a matter of physical capability - he is worried about Rin, and probably Saber too. He acts without regard for his own well being, and does not stop even to catch his breath. I follow him with absolute ease, making sure to remain in spirit form. He can not see me, nor can he sense my presence in the air. Simply put, there is no "Presence" to sense from me - at least, not one that Shirou Emiya could ever hope to perceive. He is oblivious to my position and even my existence. Rin desires as much, and wants to keep Shirou out of the war. Although, if he is still oblivious, then I will be reminded just how dense he really is. That knife wielded by Assassin carried a spiritual weight to it akin to only a Heroic Spirit, so Shirou should know for sure his situation.
But I do not think he does.
Shirou is not the type to look before he leaps, nor think before he acts. He runs with all the reckless abandon he possesses, as if daring his physical body to argue with his will. Keeping up with him is no problem thanks to my nature as a Heroic Spirit, but a lesser human than he would have to strain themselves to keep pace. From Verde all the way to his house on the other side of Miyama, he has run. He shows no signs of stopping, and fights his natural enemy the whole way: himself. His breathing is labored, and I know more than anyone the pain in his muscles. Yet, he does not stop. He runs, and runs, and then runs some more. His single focus is on the safety and well-being of others, and his singular goal is to make it home. He knows Rin will be there, and wants to protect her and those important to him. He wants to save everyone, even if it means hurting himself in the process.
I am not surprised, of course, and am even less surprised to sense Saber as we draw closer to the Emiya residence.
She is standing there in the dimly lit darkness, with the visible spectrum around her being created only by the moon, the stars, and the artificial lights of the house to her back. Her green eyes see him, but bot me. She may sense the faint presence that will tell her I am at his side, but she has the same orders as myself: At all costs, keep Shirou Emiya oblivious to the Sixth Holy Grail War for as long as possible. She gives him a worried look and starts towards him, just as his body gives out. I find myself disliking that old facet of my personality. He made it home in one piece, but what if Saber's presence there at the front gate had been a negative sign? What if the attackers in Shirou's imagination had made it here, and were already underway? There is absolutely no point to him letting his body give out now, and I thank the powers that be he has not yet reached the point of no return. His body may be made of swords, but his mind is not steel.
Thank you, Rin.
I think to myself, not even risking such a pointless thought's escape to my nearby Master's mind. Instead, I watch Saber cradle the exhausted boy in her arms. Whereas I condemn him for his weakness and half-baked heroism, Saber frets and coddles him like a child. My mind sends the signal to my face to snarl, but a smile forms instead. A happy smile, that genuinely appreciates the path this boy has chosen - that is, not the one he would need to walk in order to become like me. He is able to live with the borrowed ideals of Emiya Kiritsugu, yet he has not been broken. Forged through fire, sweat, and blood - but not cracked. For this fact alone, I am grateful. Yet...
Yet... If tempered steel were enough to draw upon our potential, you would have been able to defeat me in more than just idealism, Shirou Emiya. Only a sword that is broken can be reforged even stronger, and sharper than before. My wish for your chosen path is anything but mine. Do not enter into the bellows of hell to forge your mind. Be content with your limitations, boy. Find the happiness I once found, but seize it and do not let go.
I almost allow a verbal expression of disgust to mask my sentimentality, but I suppress it in favor of listening to Saber's worried tone.
"Shirou, what happened?!"She asks, and I wonder why she looks so terribly worried. The boy is clearly fine, aside from physical exhaustion. There really is no point to him city-wide run if he is too faint to even relay a simple message. I fold my arms and frown, my steel-grey eyes scrutinizing, judging, and condemning him with rejoice and thankful spirit.
"I’m alright,"Shirou manages, after taking a moment or two to suck down oxygen. She has helped him to his feet, steadying him with strength not his own. His former Servant gladly walks as his crutch, helping him hobble breathlessly towards the front door."Just exhausted. I ran here from Verde."
Finally, Shirou recovers himself enough to forget himself. That's good... It means he will be alright, if he can forget to catch his own breath and waste it worrying about others. If nothing else, we have that going for our little, unique faction. His arm extends outward, almost as if to brace himself further against Saber, but instead he grabs her attention and turns her to face him. I am on the rooftop of the shed by this point, watching them both with a lazy detachment. We were not followed, and as Rin's Servant my worry is reserved for her before it is for Shirou. My eyes flicker across the yard and notice the lights are off on her side of the house. I close my eyes and think, but this time I allow my thoughts to reach my Master - after sensing she has just entered the area.
"Rin, we have Shirou. We were attacked by a Servant - Assassin. He does not know for sure his situation. I advise you to think of a clever story, and be ready for questions that may trip you up. Saber is with him, in the yard."
Still invisible to the naked eye, I sit atop the storage shed and watch Shirou go on about Rin being in danger. He does not have the same connection to her I do, and so can not sense her presence. But I know she has arrived - my status as her Servant allows me this much liberty in detecting my Master.And I sense the muted presence... of a Servant. I quickly rise to my feet, and move to a better vantage point atop Shirou's house. My eyes can make out Rin walking towards the house, but I see another woman with her. One with red hair, and I can only assume the Master of whatever Servant is lurking behind them.
Tag:Rin, Arturia, ShirouWords:1,246Outfit:The UsualNotes:Home Again Home Again
This template was made by MEL THE MAGNIFICENT !? of Caution & SDS
Saber,I know you're worried, but this is important. Rin may be in danger. Somebody may be coming after her. Is she home right now, and if she isn't, where is she?
Rin in danger? I knew that the war would start soon but this was sooner than expected. First things first, Shirou needs assistance and i'm here to protect him now, Rin is under Archer's protection so she should be alright. "She is not at home right now. Let's go inside, I'll answer there."
As i carry him from the gates, inside the house, i help him through and then leaning him carefully on the couch. He seemed a bit relieved, from Verde to his residence is a long way to run but when one's life is in danger, the human body is capable of anything.
I waited patiently as he was catching his breath, then i answered his questions "Rin had something important to do and she left me in care of you, Shirou. I'm sorry for not being there to protect you, But i'll be from now on." Whoever did this to him must be related to the war, But now, after one year and half, i'm going to be ready again for anyone who tries to harm Rin and Shirou.
"Shirou, Tell me everything, What happened?" As i wait for his answer, I contact Rin "Rin, I'm with Shirou now, I'm asking him about what happened but he's safe with me now, so don't worry."
The night air...he'd forgotten just how nice it felt. Even intangible, it was all coming back to him.
Cu Chulainn walked behind the two Masters, his own and the one they were partnered with. She was a cute girl...not as well developed as his own Master, but she had potential. They were both frighteningly powerful Magi, he'd come to know, enough to give some of the less famous and powerful ones of his own time a run for their money, no mean feat with how diluted the Grail told him magic had become. All in all, he was glad to hear that she was on his side, as opposed to an enemy. If her Servant was decent, she'd be a pretty scary person to face.
Bringing him up to speed on the specifics was a fairly simple matter, given what was conveyed. They were staying at a house belonging to a fellow magi, but one who was not a Master. He was to remain unseen, but protect the magi, Shirou Emiya, from danger. Not too hard, though it could get dicey if he had to risk Bazett getting hurt to protect the kid. So long as it wasn't Command Spelled into him, he could ignore the order, but he'd rather not get his Master mad at him for no reason. Better than her being dead, though.
Throughout being informed, it was amusing to see the recognition on this Rin Tohsaka's face. Her reactions confirmed the fact that I'd apparently been here before...and that this wasn't the first time me and my Master had been a team. The fact still perturbed him. He'd failed that easily? He'd let his Master get taken out, and served a new one? That didn't sound like him at all...He resolved to do better this time, at the very least. He didn't want people to remember him as some kind of low-down traitor, did he? And he still had to find out why she seemed so damn familiar. If the Grail didn't specifically tell him it'd be impossible, the easy answer would be was that he remembered her...but that couldn't be what happened. He was confused, and Cu didn't like being confused.
As they neared the house, Cu lets out a whistle. "Damn fine boundary field here...whoever put it up is a pro. I'm taking it it's not the kid, though...what you said, he wouldn't be capable of something like this." His magical aptitude was about as strong as his Master's, though even more focused than hers was. Still, it was more than enough to see a master craftsman's work for what it was. The house itself was pretty nice, though he liked Tohsaka's better. It was more spacious, and it was higher up off the ground, the better for seeing enemies coming. Still, as far as a place to hole up, he'd settled for far worse back when he was alive.
As they got close, though, he felt the presence of two additional Servants. He assumed one was Rin's...but there was another. He couldn't tell which was which, but from this distance, it'd be a real trick to tell them apart. Ducking through the field, he got closer, leaving his Master with Rin. He needed to find out who was stalking them, and deal with it.
As he got closer to the house, he felt a distinction between the two spirits grow. One was towards the house, likely Rin's servant. However...the other was above the house. Now, that seemed suspicious. Quickly moving himself up and over the wall of the house, he steps slowly over the roofing. He doesn't see anything, but he didn't expect to.
Materializing, he begins to speak, clearly, but hopefully not loud enough to be overheard from down in the house. "Oi. I know you're there. Now, are we going to do this easy, or are you going to make me track you down?" He materialized his spear as well, and began scratching out runes on the rooftop. If the opposing Servant proved unresponsive, then he'd magic up a way to find him. And he'd be a lot more...impatient, when he did.
My eyes are glued on the pink-haired woman in the dark-red suit. She stands taller than my master by a good few centimeters, and I estimate her height to be around five-feet, eight inches tall. Her manner of dress is unique, although not something foreign to me. I do not recognize the Master, but I still feel the presence of a dematerialized Servant. As Rin and her newfound companion walk towards us - although hopefully they will hurry up once Rin processes the information I gave her - the presence becomes heavier. The unseen Servant has gone ahead of them, and I am sure he has entered the premises. I can not say if Shirou's Boundary Field will detect this Servant's arrival, but it didn't seem to set off any alarms when Saber and I entered. I remain in my spiritual form, even as the unseen Servant shows himself. From the empty night air he takes shape, luckily out of sight of Shirou and Saber.
I can hardly believe my eyes. He is standing right in front of me, wearing the same form-fitting outfit as last time. In his hands is the demonic lance that will guarantee him a kill, and that cinches it in my mind. Before me is Cú Chulainn, of the Lancer class. He can not see me, and the sight of him makes me realize all the questions in my head were answered before I could even ask them to myself. I had wondered what tactless Servant would - even under the presumption of an alliance with my Master - make his way towards this place. There is no doubt he is able to sense my presence, and I wonder if he can sense the presence of Rin's familiar: Saber. She is no longer a Servant maintained by the Holy Grail, so there is reason to speculate that he should not be able to sense her. But I know right away that is folly; we could, after all, sense Gilgamesh last time. That means Lancer advanced and even showed himself knowing there are at least two Servants at this residence.
"Oi. I know you're there."Like the dog he is, Lancer barks into the night. He doesn't speak loudly enough for Shirou or Saber to hear, whether they are still lingering in the yard or if they have ducked inside. I am thankful for that much, but this hot-blooded hero never was the kind of guy to stop and think things through. He seems to give no quarter to the thought that if he can sense me (and presumably, Saber), then we can sense him just as readily. If Arturia believes that Shirou will be threatened by this new Servant's arrival - and especially if she doesn't sense Rin like I do - then she might act equally as blindly. I listen to Lancer's orders, and do not even consider disobeying. If it will calm his tensions and allow Saber to tend to Shirou, then I will humor him for as long as I need to. Silently, I pray that Rin and Lancer's Master have finally arrived to at least the gate. But apparently, I don't care enough to check myself - my focus is on Lancer as I materialize directly behind him.
I state his name calmly and simply, with no intention to provoke the likely surprised dog with verbal blades. I have Bakuya and Kanshou in my hands, but my arms remain at my side. The position of my body suggests that if he were to attack me, he will at least land a glancing blow. Instinctively, part of me is on alert and will block any surprised strike if he interprets my presence as a sign of hostility. I have followed his orders, however, and I highly doubt he will attack me for doing so. I keep my face straight, and allow my gray eyes to look his form up and down once. I make sure to show no signs of recognition through my facial expression, and instead let my eyes focus on the tip of his spear.
"If you are going to use runes here, then perhaps you can find a better use for them than detecting me. You seem adept enough at that already."Like my posture, my voice is relaxed and calm. By now, he has had time to turn and acknowledge my physical presence. I am ready to disappear in a heartbeat if I hear Shirou leaving the house, but in his condition that is not a realistic outcome. Based on the telepathic message I gave Rin, she will hopefully rush inside and tend to Shirou. For now, this Lancer stands in my way of going to check on Rin and inspect his Master more closely. I do not mind, however. I understand his cautious attitude, but I hope he doesn't remain at tense as he is now.
"I am Archer, the Servant of Rin Tohsaka in the Sixth Holy Grail War."
Tag:Rin, LancerWords:835Outfit:The UsualNotes:The First Familiar Face
This template was made by MEL THE MAGNIFICENT !? of Caution & SDS
"She is not at home right now. Let's go inside, I'll answer there."
I’m not really in any position to object. Even if I start running again, I have no idea where Rin is – and the look on Saber’s face tells me that she won’t let me know just yet, because she knows I’ll head there immediately. I can’t exactly fault her logic; my throat feels like sandpaper, and my limbs are heavy. If nothing else, I need water. I can’t exactly warn Rin if I collapse before reaching her. Saber sticks close by me as we go inside, a firm hand on my arm both to support me if I stagger and to lead me inside. I don’t resist, and we enter the house.
Saber shuts the door, then leads me into the lounge area and directs me to a couch. I oblige her and sit down, becoming acutely aware, now that I’m sitting, of just how drained I am after my run. I wasn’t really thinking about the distance at the time, or how long it was taking, but now that it’s done I realize how far I’ve come. If I had given into the urge to sprint and hadn’t paced myself I’d have collapsed before halfway. Saber departs briefly and returns with the kettle, still half full of water, handing it to me. I take it and drink greedily, slating my thirst and feeling some of the fire running through my body begin to cool. I can rest easily here; with Rin’s boundary field in place, there’s no chance of being crept up on, even by a Magus. Her field doesn’t have the same feel as the one that Caster destroyed, but there’s no denying its make and quality. Rin had explained at the time that it simply wouldn’t do for the house to have no warning system, since she spent so much time here, and the last thing she needed was her disciple being attacked by somebody – or worse, some of her belongings stolen – because he was too inattentive to watch his surroundings.
"Rin had something important to do and she left me in care of you, Shirou, " Saber says at last as I finish. I’m surprised, but not overly; Rin often does things without telling me. You get used to being out of the loop a lot. "I'm sorry for not being there to protect you, But I'll be from now on."
I shake my head.
"Don’t apologise, Saber," I say firmly between breaths. "I asked you to stay here, and I was out later than both of us thought I would be. You had no way of knowing that I would get attacked. It’s more important that Rin’s safe, and since you were here it means there was no risk of either of us getting ambushed when we came home."
I sit up. The strength has begun returning to my limbs now that I’ve replenished some of my lost water, and my breathing is calmer now. Saber accepts what I say with a nod – though I’m not sure if she’s accepting what I’ve said or accepting that I’ve said it – and says, "Shirou, tell me everything. What happened?"
I take a breath, and explain what had happened, how I was out late finding the hairdryer for Rin – I realize at this point I’m still clutching the bag, and hold it up to illustrate my point before setting it down – and was ambushed by a Magus on the way home. I explain how he was taking me somewhere and how I think he was working with somebody, and how I managed to break out and seemingly wound him before he revealed himself to be unharmed and again took me prisoner. I finish by explaining how I was saved by an unknown assistant who threw a dagger nearly identical to the Magus’ at him, and fled before learning anything more so that I could come and warn.
I take another gulp of water from the kettle as I finish, then stand up. The rest has done my body good; I won’t be running across town again tonight, but I can walk easily again. "We need to find Rin as soon as possible," I state to Saber. "Do you know where she went?" I start towards the entrance hall. "Is she at her mansion? I’ll bring the car around and we can get over there straight away."
I slip past the front door of the Emiya Residence and escape the night cold - awaiting me, is the ragged, hurried voice of a certain idiot. I hang up my red london coat, slip off my shoes, and greet the ragged voice with a pleasant surprise and a mocking smile.
"That won't be necessary, Emiya-kun," I protest, but not after sliding open the door held between us and and making my presence known. Shirou's expression is that of sincere worry, and I think that very soon I will be finding out why. "And even if it were, I am more than capable of taking care of myself without you, especially in the state you're currently in."
He's drenched in sweat, and his breathing is loud and unsteady; fortunately, he doesn't appear to have any major wounds - or as a matter of fact, any wounds at all - but he looks like he just got back from a long marathon. His reaction to my sudden arrival was, as it always is, golden. If the current situation didn't deem itself to be as serious as it is, I probably would of started laughing.
Following Lancer's summoning, I thought we'd at least have a nights' break, but of course that wasn't the case. The two warnings I recieved prior had filled me with worry - enough worry to transform my journey here from a casual stroll in to a powerful stride; however, despite all of that, just seeing his dense face evaporates all of my worry and paints it over with plain relief.
"Let's sit down, shall we? I don't think I'll be going on any late-night walks after this one."
After a long sigh, I skim past Shirou and sit myself down, cross-legged, beside the table. Saber remains as tranquil as ever, having not even moved a budge since I made my appearance. "So Emiya-kun, based on the fact you're sweating like a pig, I'm guessing something happened. Please elaborate."