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You're an idiot! You're an absolute idiot! Except that's unfair to idiots!
— Chris Northfield

Arata Funamori is an average middle-school boy, generally going about his life until meeting Chris Northfield, a transfer student. He and Chris become fast friends, and he is swiftly pulled into the young man's problems. Chris is the prince of a different world, Eldhiland, transported to this one as part of the Princess Waltz, a competition to choose his bride. Chris and Arata are able to fuse themselves into Iris, taking the place of the princess of Soldia. After finding out that Chris is actually a girl - and falling in love- he then finds out that Chris Northfield is actually an impostor, switched out at birth and manipulated to release the demon residing within the royal bloodline.

Chris herself is manipulated by this demon, known as Shichiou, into dying, allowing for his resurrection. Arata then finds out that he himself is the real Chris Northfield, and was switched out for his half-sibling and cousin at birth. Chris is possessed by Shichiou, a demon who is also the first king of Eldhiland. He then teams up with the other Princesses to rescue Chris, defeating Shichiou in the process. He takes his rightful throne, marrying Chris as his empress.

Fate/Shipping Wars (by Leolab)

Prologue

“You sure this is a good idea?” Liliana asks as the fourteen warriors vanish, whisked away by the large stone flowers in the depths of the sewers, “That… Calamity thing is probably trying to get its hooks into whatever you try to do.”

“I don’t have much of a choice,” Leo replies, “If I went myself, I’d be giving everything away. And, since Calamity’s higher than me on the food chain, I’m working at a disadvantage. Quite the novel experience.”

“Monitoring Artorius and his crew would be much easier if you let us use those badges Omni and Astro designed,” she complains as Leo snaps, bringing them back to the surface.

“Neither Saturos nor Carol need them, so why should you?” Leo asks, looking around at the newly rebuilt pyramid of shipping containers that passed for a shelter, “It’s quite limiting, anyway, and with Planetary fiddling with them it’s only a matter of time before Wass or Beast get annoyed and crack down.”

“Planetary, huh…” Liliana mutters, looking down.

“Something bothering you?” Leo asks, focusing on a User glaring at the containers, which start to buckle and rust under the intensity of his gaze. Leo sighs, and the damage undoes itself. Cfp, annoyed, looks around in a frenzy before noticing Leo.

“Well… Zuko hasn’t spoken to me since then. I don’t much like losing friends,” Liliana replies, deliberately avoiding paying attention to the pair until Cfp vanishes.

“I’m feeling nice today, so here,” Leo says, handing her a thumb drive, “Deliver this to Zuko. He, and Planetary, might find this helpful for their surveillance of Cfp.”

“You’re not going to tell them to stop?” Liliana asks, snatching the device.

“No. He’d made tearing down the shelter district a pet cause, so I figured reinstating it would draw out whatever’s been making him erratic. But now I have bigger fish to fry, so I’ll leave it to Planetary. Take Zuko somewhere nice; you can expense this.”

“I… thank you.”

“By the way, the theory behind what you asked earlier is similar to how we rearrange our headquarters.”

“So, like this?” Liliana asks, snapping. She vanishes, having finally figured out how Leo teleports.


Velvet sits in a chair, staring at a map of the city laid out on the table. While it offered a great deal of information, simply marking the possible locations of the grail did not help much. She reaches into the leather bag holding down one of the corners, extracting one of the droplet-shaped pieces of glasslike stone inside.

A pair of those had bought their hotel room, while another went towards the night’s dinner. She looks up as the door to the bathroom opens, and Eleanor walks out while drying her hair. The oven beeps a few seconds later, and Velvet serves them both a quiche.

“So, where are we scouting tonight?” she asks, taking a bite.

“I don’t think we should,” Eleanor says, “Especially if this is anything like the other city, it wouldn’t be logical.”

“Oh?”

“With you dressed like that, we’d spend more time fighting off perverts than getting information.”

“Ugh, now you sound like Magilou. But… you’re right. We’ll sleep here, then go hunting in the morning.”

“Good. I think we should start looking here, at the closest one to where we landed,” Eleanor says, pointing at the second dot in the residential area, “If the grail is there, we can grab it and wait.”

“No, if it’s there we camp nearby and watch it,” Velvet says, “Only grab it in the last half hour; the less time we spend with targets on our backs the better. We can take out anyone coming for it, too.”

“That… makes sense,” Eleanor says, finishing her quiche, “And we’ll just look at the other spots if we don’t find the grail. That work?”

“Yeah. Here, I’ll clean that up,” Velvet says, taking Eleanor’s plates to the sink. The exorcist sits on the couch, flipping through channels on the TV until Velvet joins her.


“Shiki! Shiki!” Arcuied calls, waving energetically to her boyfriend, ignoring the stares of the other customers in the store. Shiki ambles over, and she grabs his hand to drag him to one of the food display cases.

“Yes?”

“Shiki, what are these? I haven’t seen anything like them before,” she says, eyes sparkling as she looks at long, thin skewers of meat.

“Those are kebabs. Just a different style than what we’re used to.”

“They look so good, Shiki! Let’s get some!”

“I’m not sure that’s a good idea,” Shiki says, pointing to the ingredients listed on the case. Arcueid’s eyes follow, and her excitement vanishes in an instant, shifting to an almost comical disappointment.

“Garlic?”

“Garlic.”

A few minutes later, outside the store, Arcueid is back in high spirits, dragging Shiki towards a movie theater.

“Aren’t we supposed to be finding that Grail thing?” Shiki asks as they near the building.

“Well, yes, but I don’t want us to fight much,” Arcueid says, “Especially since I’m not at my best and your eyes can, well…. So let’s just have fun until then! Wait here, I’m going to get our tickets.”


Sypha stares out from the third floor of a half-constructed building, searching for some sign of the grail.

“Sypha!” Trevor yells, distracting her, “I’ve heated dinner. Eat it and rest a bit.”

“Trevor, we don’t have time to rest. This city’s about half the size of DFederal, and…”

“And we got here at midnight, Sypha. Midnight, might I add, after being wrapped in a tiny-ass stone coffin while God-knows-what scraped and clawed at it trying to get in. Now, I need some fucking food, followed by beer, sex, or sleep. And I’m out of beer.”

“And if you’re expecting that charming statement to get me in the mood, you’re crazier than I thought,” Sypha says, grumbling as she nears the fire and soup.

“Great! So we eat, sleep, and search in the fucking morning. If I’m to defend myself for hours, I want to be rested.”

“All right, you made your point,” Sypha says, chuckling as she ladles some food into a small wooden bowl.

“Looked like you were about to take off on your own, like earlier. You’re more passionate about this than usual,” Trevor says. Sypha sighs in response, leaning against Trevor and putting her bowl down.

“Did I tell you why I accepted this?”

“We could refuse?”

“Why I didn’t even try to?” Sypha asks, and continues as Trevor shakes his head no, “Do you remember the girl who delivered it?”

“The fashion disaster with mouse ears?”

“Yes, her. I killed her. Thought I was doing a grand thing, taking the fight to a tyrant. And I killed her, while letting myself be manipulated by an egomaniac with a god complex.”

“That’s not your fault, Sypha. That’s on…”

“Yes, I know. But I thought it would be good to see if the gras really is greener on this side.”

Ch. 1

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Kaoru lounges back in a beach chair, taking a sip of ramune while peering through a small, hand-sized telescope. The spyglass, held firmly in place by Nene’s tail, points towards a dilapidated shack on the edge of some farmland, a shining golden goblet visible from the mountains even this late at night. She and Ellen had claimed this small patch of mountainside for themselves, fairly close to their entry point.

The other girl was doing kata behind her, never content to stay still. Kaoru lets her mind wander, the rhythmic tap of footsteps, the rustling of clothes, and the warmth of Ellen’s blanket making her sleepy. She barely spots a couple dust clouds on the horizon, which seem to grow larger. She leans in, peering through the spyglass before calling out.

“Ellen! Someone’s approaching the Grail!”

The other girl breaks off mid-movement and jogs as Nene leaps on top of Kaoru’s head. The aradama offers her the spyglass, which she grabs. Ellen leans on Kaoru’s head as she uses it to scan the area, spotting one of the other couples.

“That’s probably Wes and Rui, judging from the bike,” she says, “Of course it’s the hardest pair to track down.”

Nene hisses, startling the pair, and Ellen drops the spyglass, turning to see if there was any danger.

“Looks like Adam and Eve are near the grail, too,” Kaoru says, “I think that’s what Nene was sensing.”

“Let’s get ready to move,” Ellen says, “They’ll be easier to keep track of.”


A buzzing startles Eleanor awake, having barely slept for a few hours. She groggily rubs her eyes, realizing she’s sitting, and leans back. Resting against Velvet, she pulls her hand from under the blanket around them and taps her girlfriend’s face. Velvet’s eyes shoot open, glaring around her before noticing Eleanor and calming down.

“What…”

“Another couple has the grail.”

“Who?”

“‘Rider.’ So I think Wes and Rui?”

“That’s good. We should try and keep it that way.”

“They’ll be easier to take out near the end?”

“Yes. Let’s head out. I want to get a start on this.”

The two women slide out from under the blanket and away from the wall, getting dressed and ready to leave. A few minutes later, they stand in front of the hotel, looking around. While most of the people on the street were calm, there were a few running in a panic. A pair of middle-school boys, pushed along with the latter, crash into Velvet and fall.

“Hey, watch it!” she growls.

“I’m sorr… oh!” the blonde says in a surprisingly feminine voice, “Look, Arata! It’s the scary lady and the nice lady.”

“If you recognize us… you’re Arata and Chris?” Eleanor asks, helping them up while Velvet glares at Chris. They dust themselves off, stammering out their thanks.

“So what was that about?” Velvet asks.

“Well… we were woken up in our hotel room by the owners. Everyone was yelling about a disaster and running.”

“Hmm… everyone here seems calm enough,” Eleanor says, looking around, “Maybe it’s something localized? But I can’t see anything that would be a sign of it…”

“Well, let’s get moving and check it out,” Velvet says, “If they travel with us, we can team up to fight. Three-on-two is a big advantage.”

The middle schoolers nod, and the four walk towards the edge of the city.


Adam swings Archistrategos, the holy sword cleaving through one of Hitmontop’s legs. Thrown off balance, the beast that had tried to cuck him topples on its side. He stomps on its abdomen and chops its head off, his rage somewhat cooled. Mantine takes the opportunity to fire an ice beam at him, which is simply vaporized by his flaming sword.

“I am Adam, and I am blessed,” he says, deflecting another beam of ice, “And you would avenge the beast that tried to steal my wife?”

He swats a third ice beam out of the air, planting Archistrategos into the ground and summoning Rhongomiant to his hands. He throws it with immense speed, shredding Mantine. Entei and Espeon bound up, the latter swiftly dispatched by a flying Durandal. Adam simply punches the legendary Pokémon in the nose and holds its jaw up as it reels. He summons Archistrategos to his hand and slices its throat, throwing the convulsing beast aside.

He launches Tizona, the sword spinning through the air and cleaving through Misdreavus before slamming into his foes’ bike. The machine explodes, sending the red-haired girl hiding behind it flying. Adam charges towards the other youth, swinging. Umbreon jumps, knocking Wes to the ground and taking the slash in his place.

Wes desperately fumbles in his coat, holding out the grail as a peace offering. Adam simply impales the trainer in the chest, grabbing the grail as it falls from his vanishing hand.


Across the city, Arcueid relaxes on a bench in the park, stroking Shiki’s messy hair as he naps on her lap. She smiles gently, enjoying the moment until a strident buzzing rings out for a second time. This one seems to have disturbed him, however, and Shiki groggily gets up.

“You can sleep more,” Arcueid pouts, “I like your sleeping face.”

“Well, if the fights are starting, that’s going to be going off a lot,” Shiki says stretching as Arcueid stares at the device, currently displaying the word “Archer”.

“Don’t break it, please,” Shiki continues, “We’re going to need that if we want to win, right?”

“Well, yes, but… Oh! If we grab the Grail, we can just defend it.”

“We wouldn’t be able to rest then.”

“Don’t worry, Shiki. I’ll protect you.”

“I don’t want to be protected, idiot,” he replies, pulling her off the bench, “We can protect each other.”

“Protecting each other, huh…” Arcuied says, thinking as she walks. She brightens, clapping and laughing. “I like that, Shiki! Now come on, let’s get something to eat. I’m hungry again.”

Ch. 2

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Trevor wakes up to the jostling of his shoulder, his eyes fluttering open from an incredibly odd dream of him, Alucard, and John bar crawling with a headless Alistair. In its place was the slightly worried face of Sypha, which he found a far preferable sight.

“Morning, sunshine,” he croaks, “Which god shat in our coffee today?”

“It’s seven, Adam and Eve have the grail, and something weird’s happening on the outskirts of town.”

“Good, bad, and the hell isn’t weird when we’re involved?”

“It’s best if you see it,” Sypha says, leading him to the edge of the building’s floor, and he peers out through the steel beams, surveying the area. Near them everything was normal, if congested by the people running in panic, but as he looked outward to the edge of the town, his face scrunches in confusion. A large chunk of the town was covered in dark yellow crystals, just a few hues off from gold.

“Weird is right. The hell happened? God pissed in a snowstorm?”

“If it is Him, we should get a priest to ask Him to stop. It’s spreading, slowly, inward. I’ve never seen anything like it, though I’m also rapidly learning how little I’ve actually seen.”

“You’re not going to ask to get closer, are you?”

“God no. I was going to ask to get the hell away. Grab on; I’ll fly us over to the other building.”

“Don’t you usually say I’m ‘too fucking heavy?’” Trevor asks, hugging her from behind while she conjures jets of fire to propel them into the air.

“You are. Maybe if you laid off the damn beer I could take you flying more often,” Sypha grumbles as she hops from roof to roof, making her way towards the center of the city.


“I’m not sure if you’ll like such simple fare, but here,” Eve says, hesitantly placing a tray of sandwiches in front of Adam. Her husband looks away from admiring the posh, incredibly expensive hotel suite to look intently at the food. “These ones are lox and cream cheese, and these are egg salad, made with ranch and chili the way Leo did on the cooking show.”

“Thank you,” Adam says, taking a bite out of the egg salad sandwich., “It is good.”

“I’m happy you like it.”

“I’ve told you before, Eve. So long as you make it, I consider it a feast.”

“I… umm… More importantly! We should consider how we’re going to move next.”

“Indeed. Ellen Kohagura and Kaoru Mashiko have already tracked us here.”

“They what?”

“Yes, look,” Adam says, finishing his sandwich while guiding her to the window, which overlooks the similarly upscale hotel poolside. He points, and Eve follows it to see a pink-haired girl in a one-piece swimsuit drinking something from a watermelon rind, eyes hidden behind oversized sunglasses. A small, brown-furred animal is curled on her stomach, while a far bustier blonde swims laps.

“Well, based on Kaoru’s personality I don’t think they’ll be trouble until the end.”

“That… is fair. And what are we going to do about this ‘disaster’ that I keep hearing about?”

“I don’t think we need to do anything, actually.”

“Really?”

“It’s solely on the outskirts of town. Places near the center of the city – like here – don’t even seem to be aware of it.”

“I see. If you think it’s unimportant… then we just wait. It has been a while since we’ve been alone.”


Eleanor and Velvet trail a little behind Arata and Chris, looking fondly at the middle schoolers’ antics as they go against the fleeing crowd. They wanted to take a look at this “disaster,” especially since it seemed to be ongoing.

“So, what do we do if it’s just us and them?” Eleanor whispers.

“Beat them before they fuse and take the grail, naturally.”

“They clearly remind you of Phi. Can you really kill them?”

“I’ll kick them in the face to knock them out.”

“What.”

I’ve kicked Phi in the face before.

“What?!”

“You were there. Hellawes, when Teresa was trying to make him explode.”

“Oh,” Eleanor says, falling silent but not pulling away. The panicked footsteps were a ways behind them, and the surrounding area was unnaturally quiet. The four pairs of footsteps echo in the streets, not even interrupted by a bird or bug. They turn a corner onto a main street, and stop dead in their tracks.

“I guess this is the disaster,” Velvet says, standing back with Eleanor while Chris and Arata dash forwards, eyes shining with curiosity. The entire street in front of them is covered in crystals, colored a dark yellow. Everything, from the buildings to lampposts to even the decorative trees, was covered in them. The crystals reflected the growing sunlight, glimmering beautifully.

Other than a few misshapen lumps, the crystals seemed to be in a single, rigid layer; it was even possible to make out what the encrusted signs had said. Eleanor focuses on one of the lumps, looking as if a vine had wrapped around an axe stuck in a fragmented log.

“I wonder what they feel like,” Arata mumbles, sticking his hand over the crystals as Eleanor gasps in horror.

“No, stop!” she yells, an instant too late. Fragments of crystal erupt from the surface, spearing through Arata’s hand and arm. The youth screams in pain as his arm rapidly crystallizes, stopping at the edge of the current growth. He tries to pull it back, but finds it can’t move.

“Embody!” he yells, summoning a sword to his free hand as Chris runs towards him. He swings, aiming to shear off the filaments rooting his arm to the ground, but the sword itself is quickly covered in crystals. They appear to flex, forcibly pulling Arata to the other side.

Chris vanishes as Arata’s body is entirely consumed, leaving Velvet and Eleanor stunned. The pair wordlessly turn and run, not wanting to be near the crystallized section of the city – and the silently screaming forms of the people who were too late to get out – a moment longer.


Shiki and Arcueid walk towards a shack with a crude fish drawn on it, ignoring the various reports about the brewing disaster. Shiki walks up to the small window cut out of the shack, while Arcueid follows.

“What’s this for, Shiki?” she asks, gesturing towards the rods lined up on display.

“Fishing,” he answers, waving over the proprietor, “the Arimas used to take me fishing sometimes. It was pretty relaxing.”

“You fish… with those?” she asks, tilting her head.

“Yep,” the proprietor, a rather rotund man with a beard, answers in Shiki’s stead, “Might be a little simpler than what a rich girl like you is used to, but…”

“You don’t just use your hands?” Arcueid asks, causing the proprietor to nearly drop the bait tin in shock.

“Your… hands?” Shiki asks, equally stunned as he takes the two rods and bait he rented.

“Well, that’s what I do,” Arcueid whines, “Just dive in and grab a couple. Is that… weird?”

“It’s very… you,” Shiki says, taking her hand, “Here, I’ll show you how we do it.”

The two walk towards one of the rivers dividing the town, eager to ignore their actual task and procrastinate.

Ch. 3

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“I’m still not sure why we’re not trying to find Adam and Eve,” Sypha says as she and Trevor scout out the inner parts of the city, “Even if we can’t fight them now, we can at least be in a position to do so if they get exhausted.”

“It’s going to be near-impossible to find them. They’re two people in the entire city. Unless God hates us more than I think, we’re never going to even see them until the major fighting starts.”

“Come on, Trevor. You know better than to tempt fate like… ah,” Sypha says, breaking off and looking across the street.

“Well shit,” Trevor says as Adam draws Archistrategos, pointing the flaming sword at him while the crowd screams and runs, “God hates us after all.”

He flicks the Morningstar out of his belt, sending the head of the flail towards Adam. The other man ducks, and swings in front of him. Sypha’s icicles melt in the heat, but the assault stops his charge. He kicks off instead, flying into the air and flipping around. He dives, swooping in to strike at Trevor.

The Morningstar retracts in an instant, and Trevor catches the blow in the small length of chain. As Adam continues to press downwards, Sypha concentrates before firing a bolt of lightning. He takes a hand off his sword, holding it to the side as it sparks. Trevor takes the opportunity to duck to the side, while Sypha’s bolt veers sharply off course.

Trevor draws his sword in his off-hand, slashing at Adam’s face. His foe simply parries, and takes a hit from Morningstar to the face for his trouble. Adam staggers back, spitting blood from his mouth. He leans back almost immediately as it crystalizes and launches at him. He bats the Morningstar’s head away, launching Durandal at Sypha as he does.

The sword, fast as an arrow, disperses the fireball heading his way. Sypha rolls right, and the sword crashes into the building behind her. Adam offhandedly launches Rhongomiant at her, and she creates a ramp of ice, nudging it away from her. She continues it, curving the ramp as Adam and Trevor trade blows. Archistrategos gets caught in Morningstar’s chain as she finishes, sending the lance back at its master.

Adam simply dismisses both weapons and spins, summoning Archistrategos. He swings with the momentum, sending a gout of flame towards Trevor. It halts at a gesture from Sypha, flowing back towards its master. He simply dismisses his sword, the fire vanishing with it as he leaps into the air. He then poses dramatically as several weapons materialize behind him, notably excluding Archistrategos.

He then – dramatically – points his palm at Sypha, sending a sword flying towards her. Trevor, reading his body language, intercepts it with the Morningstar, sending it crashing to the side. A startled yell draws the notice of all three, and a blonde woman in a long, maroon skirt and a long-sleeved white blouse lands between Trevor and Sypha, carrying a boy in a Japanese school uniform.

“Watch it!” Arcueid says, glaring as she puts Shiki down, “You could have killed us!”

“I, uh… sorry. Could you maybe…” Trevor says, pointing at Adam.

“Sure!” Arcueid answers, shifting her fingers into claws while the youth takes off his glasses and draws a fruit knife from his pocket. Adam, seemingly finished waiting, sweeps his hand and sends four weapons flying, one at each enemy.

Trevor wraps the Moningstar’s chain around a lamppost, pulling himself away just before they crash into the ground. Arcueid lands nimbly beside him as he swings, and he spots Sypha’s jets hovering over the three craters. His eyes snap to Shiki, standing serene in the middle of the destruction.

“What did you do?” Adam growls, glaring at Shiki.

“I killed it.”

“Impossible. That sword was blessed by the Angels and by God Himself to be unbreakable.”

“I didn’t break it, I killed it.”

“More insanity. How could you kill something that has been so divinely strengthened?”

“Even gods die, you know,” Shiki says, shrugging as he stabs the second sword Adam sends his way. His knife sinks into the blade’s point of death, and the sword vanishes. Trevor and Sypha watch in awe as Shiki simply kills one weapon after another, until Adam yells in rage, launching several weapons at once.

Shiki, deathly calm, leaps into the air and lands on one sword as it passes, the tip of his shoe sinking into its point of death. He kicks off as it vanishes, repeating the maneuver on another weapon. In a manner of seconds, he had nearly reached Adam, who tries to swerve out of the way. He almost makes it, but Shiki manages to slice at a line of death on his arm, severing it with ease. Adam crashes to the ground, while Shiki simply lands on his feet.

Adam gasps in pain as he turns to his foe, before his eyes widen in horror as he looks over Shiki’s shoulder. He quickly summons and launches another weapon, but both man and blade fade as Arcueid tears open Eve’s throat, killing her instantly.

The vampire grimaces, grabbing a handkerchief from Eve’s pocket and cleaning off her hands before spotting a shining gold object at her feet. She grabs it, waving excitedly to Shiki.

Ch. 4

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“I found it!” Arcueid says as Shiki strolls over, “Aren’t you going to praise me?”

“Nice one, Arc,” he says, stowing his knife and putting his glasses on.

“Hehe, thanks!” Arcueid says, gamboling around him.

“Hope you haven’t forgotten about us,” Trevor says, stowing the Morningstar and unraveling his whip, making sure any hit on the vampire would hurt.

“Well,” Arcueid says, looking him in the eyes, “We’re both tired from that fight, right? How about we just rest for now. Separately.”

“That seems, uh, reasonable,” Trevor says, unable to look away from the vampire’s golden eyes, “I think we might—” he cuts off as Sypha blocks his vision with a gout of fire.

“Don’t look her in the eyes, Trevor! She’s hypnotizing you.”

“Goddamn. Thanks, Sypha,” he says, careful to avoid eye contact as the fire subsides while flourishing his whip, “Sorry, but I don’t think I can overlook that trick.”

“What a shame,” Arcueid pouts, before abruptly glaring and shifting her hands into claws. Trevor takes an involuntary half-step back under the intensity of her gaze, almost missing Shiki drawing his fruit knife and removing his glasses again.

“Arcueid, the woman’s the dangerous one. I’ll keep her magic off you while you fight the man,” the boy says.

“Got it.”

The pair charge at their respective foes. Shiki kills an icicle as Arcueid ducks under a lash from Trevor, pivoting and pushing off the ground into a dropkick. She hits Trevor on the chin, sending him to the ground as she overshoots. He recovers as she skids to a landing and charges back in, blocking a whip with the back of her hand.

“A little help here!” he yells, using the whip to block a claw swipe.

“This bloody… fucking… shithead can stab lightning!” Sypha yells as Shiki does just that several times. She grabs a stray stone from the wreckage of the street and tosses it, following up with a blast of fire. Shiki stabs the magical flame and rolls to the right, barely dodging the stream of lava that sizzles past. Shiki and Arcueid retreat a few steps, putting them back-to-back. Shiki sighs, killing an icicle and the bolt of lightning following it up.

“I think that whip is consecrated,” Arcueid says, intercepting another lash, “It feels weird and tingly.”

“You sure you’re not just…”

“Shiki.”

“All right,” the boy says, hooking his arm into Arcueid’s, “her spells were taxing my eyes anyway.”

He spins, facing Trevor while Arcueid faces Sypha. Shiki leaps forward, ducking under the whip while sprinting. He swipes at it, cutting it cleanly along a line of death. Trevor drops the unraveling whip as he dodges a swipe, backpedaling to dodge several more. He jumps to the side, making enough distance to draw the Morningstar.

He flourishes it, keeping the flail constantly moving in an attempt to dazzle and intimidate his foe. Shiki pauses for a second, and Trevor takes the opportunity to ignite the flail’s head and sent it towards Arcueid’s unguarded back. Shiki sprints to intercept it, as Trevor gives a slight tug on the chain. Shiki stumbles a split second later, taking a glancing blow to the temple rather than having his head smashed open.

“Shiki!” Arcueid yells, breaking off to sprint over to the boy, catching him and running towards the other end of the street. She gingerly caresses the unconscious boy’s head, her hand coming away bloody.

“Look, sorry, but that’s what happens in combat,” Trevor says, grimacing, and freezes as Arcueid turns to him. Her eyes, now blood-red and gold, held no spark of sanity. She growls as everything about her, from her hair to her teeth to her nails, grows jagged and sharp. Then, she vanishes.

“Trevor!” Sypha screams, and he ducks just in time to dodge a swipe. He rolls away from a second, which cracks the ground. He leaps away from the third, lashing out with the Morningstar. She hits it away and charges at his throat. Her hand gets trapped in a pillar of ice, and Trevor draws his sword. The vampire simply gouges the steel to shreds, and he creates more distance. Trevor lashes out again with his flail while Sypha strains at keeping the ice intact.

“Rip and tear…” Arcueid growls while casually beating back the flail, “flay your skin and crush your throat then smash your ribs and grind your heart into her to drown her pleas for mercy as I slice and slice until you become a lump of meat and soup and soil to fix him…”

She frees her hand with a crack and crashes next to Trevor. Her swipe is caught in the flail’s chain, which launches Trevor into the air. She rushes Sypha and slashes at the mage’s throat as he flies. A wall of ice shatters and saves her life as she stumbles back. Another pair breaks as she retreats before clapping her hands together. The shards of ice sharpen and launch themselves at the vampire to cover Sypha’s evasions. They shatter against her before a burst of fire also fizzles. A rock trips Sypha under another rip aimed at her throat. The mage’s life flashes before her eyes as the snarling vampire strikes, only for a glowing weight slam into Arcueid’s side.

She turns to glare at Trevor as Sypha scrambles to her feet and away from the vampire. Trevor whips his flail at the vampire, only for her to grab the chain. A sharp tug pulls the handle from Trevor’s hand and into a wide circle around his foe. She crashes it into Sypha with a simple flick. A twist of the wrist sends it into Trevor to match Sypha’s broken arm. Another strike sends him to the ground with broken ribs. A third nearly caves in his skull, but is blasted off course by an icicle. The vampire tightens her grip in fury, crumpling the Morningstar’s head and shattering its chain before bringing a hand to her head.

“Too slow too slow,” she growls while her nails draw blood from her face, “Must kill them faster faster destroy it all grind it to dust grind the dust until it no longer is then use that…”

Seemingly come to a revelation, Arcueid thrusts her hand into the air as red streams pour down her face. Trevor and Sypha, barely conscious, shiver at the enormous magic gathering in the sky. The shadow of a moon appears, then abruptly vanishes as the flow of magic is cut. Arcueid’s eyes slide to Shiki’s body, the boy having finally bled out, before she vanishes.

“Are we… alive?” Sypha asks.

“I’d almost rather we weren’t,” Trevor gasps, “But we are.”

Ch. 5

ArchercDead.jpgLancercard.jpgSaberOOB.jpgBerserkerDead.jpgRiderDead.jpgCastercard.jpgAssassincard.jpg

Trevor and Sypha pull themselves up and stumble towards the grail, with Trevor picking it up as they reach. The pair turns and looks at a set of footfalls, grimacing as they see Velvet and Eleanor come out of one alleyway and Kaoru and Ellen in Storm Armor coming out of another. The two teams look at each other before drawing their weapons and turning to Trevor and Sypha.

“Look, Velvet, if you leave us alone for a bit I’ll buy you a pint next time we’re at the Iceberg,” Trevor says.

“I’m underage.”

“Shit, right, you only go for the food. Uh… then… how about this?” Trevor asks, lobbing the grail between the two pairs. The girls’ eyes follow it as Trevor and Sypha wordlessly turn and run, quickly leaving the four behind.

Eleanor stabs upward with her spear, catching the Grail between its prongs. She pulls it back, grabbing the grail as a streak of white charges her. Velvet jumps in front, parrying Ellen’s attack with her blade. The blonde jumps, activating jin’i to flip over Velvet’s head before the other girl can react. Eleanor catches the attack with the haft of her spear, as much by luck as by skill. Ellen lands and half-turns while keeping the redhead pinned, activating kongoushin. Her left arm glows a faint gold as she catches Velvet’s spinning slash on her elbow, which she then extends to slam her hardened fist into Velvet’s face.

Ellen vanishes, leaving just enough time for Velvet to tackle Eleanor away from Kaoru’s ground-shattering slam. Velvet springs up as Ellen dashes back in, sword raised. Velvet moves to block the obvious strike as Ellen breaks off, aiming an attack at Eleanor instead. The Exorcist manages to parry, and Ellen bounces back to strike Velvet. She continues alternating between them until she takes a claw swipe to the back, the shock dispelling her utsushi. She quickly reactivates it, using a stumbling strike to prevent Eleanor from following up before activating kongoushin on her whole body.

Kaoru’s slash hits all three combatants, sending them flying. Eleanor, having blocked it, lands on her feet, while Velvet struggles on the ground, barely surviving thanks to her Therion arm. Eleanor’s healing arte is interrupted by Ellen, the blonde’s attack breaking her concentration. After parrying another couple slashes, Eleanor twirls her spear before thrusting it out and down, trapping Ellen’s arm between its prongs. She prepares a Malak Arte to finish her off, but the blonde girl severs her trapped arm with enough force to embed her katana in the ground.

Ellen uses her sword to push herself up, kicking the off-guard Exorcist in the throat. She then follows up with a punch to the gut, staggering the redhead and causing the grail to drop out of her skirt. Ellen then deactivates her utsushi, restoring her arm as she grabs it and dislodges her sword. She then activates jin’i, speeding towards Kaoru. The pink-haired girl does the same, and the two vanish from sight.

Eleanor recovers, running over to Velvet and healing her. She sits up after a couple spells, holding her head and waving for Eleanor to stop.

“I need to get you healed,” she grumbles, “We need to get moving and…”

“No, it’s not worth it,” Velvet says, “We have ten minutes. Can’t catch them in that time, let alone fight, win, and grab the grail.”

“Right. Not the most exciting way to get second, but…” Eleanor sighs, rising and extending her hand. Velvet grabs on and is helped up, shifting her grip once standing.

“So let’s just walk,” she says, “And think of what we’re going to talk about at the housing bureau afterwards.”

They do so, and spend an uneventful final few minutes. Once those pass, the six remaining fighters vanish, taking the grail with them. The town, now devoid of its protections, is swiftly consumed by the advancing crystals, leaving it barren in a matter of moments.

Expert’s Opinion

RiderDead.jpg 7th, Wes and Rui, 7 points
Wes and Rui were the first out, thanks mostly to Rui’s inability to contribute to a fight. Wes and his Pokémon by themselves were not able to pick up her slack, leaving them in the dust. Also don’t try to have your Pokémon hit on someone else’s wife; that’s not a chad move, it’s just dumb.
SaberOOB.jpg 6th, Arata Fukamori & Chris Northfield, 9 points
Arata and Chris are out next, thanks to being hormonal middle-schoolers. Their natural impulsiveness killed them; even if they hadn’t tried to see what happens when you go out of bounds, they would have made a dumb decision in combat and died.
ArchercDead.jpg 5th, Adam and Eve, 16 points
Adam is an absolute powerhouse and is likely able to solo the entire rest of the cast. Unfortunately for him, Eve is also there, and is highly vulnerable. While he can protect her most of the time, he could not do so all of the time.
BerserkerDead.jpg 4th, Shiki Tohno & Arcueid Brunestud, 25 points
Another highly powerful duo, Shiki’s Mystic Eyes of Death Perception allows him to no-sell most of the rest of the cast’s abilities, and Arcueid is one of the most powerful beings in the entire Nasuverse, a pretty incredible feat. However, they don’t have particularly good teamwork in combat, and fighting too long will melt Shiki’s brain, giving them a loss.
CasterTie.jpgLancerTie.jpg 2nd, Sypha Belnades (Netflix) & Trevor Belmont (Netflix) and Velvet Crowe & Eleanor Hume, 26 points
Sypha and Trevor tied for second because they decided to just nope out once the fight got too difficult. They were able to get this far on skill and luck, but had the wisdom to stop when they were ahead. Velvet and Eleanor have impressive teamwork and are similarly strong fighters, allowing them to walk away alive even from a losing battle thanks to Eleanor’s healing artes.
Assassinwin.jpg 1st, Ellen Kohagura & Kaoru Mashiko, 28 points
Ellen and Kaoru have the best teamwork of the pairs, allowing them to fight effectively above their weight. Their Storm Armor also allowed them to even the gap, and Ellen’s sense of macro-scale tactics allowed them to utilize their advantages. And they can also outrun basically everyone other than Wes & Rui’s bike thanks to jin’i, allowing them to cheese the final minutes.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

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