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In the battleground, there is no place for hope. What lies there is just cold despair and a sin called victory, built on the pain of the defeated. The world as is, the human nature as always, it is impossible to eliminate the battles.
— Kiritsugu Emiya

Kiritsugu Emiya was a magus, assassin, and the Master of Saber in the Fourth Holy Grail War. Because of his expertise in assassinating other magic users, he gained notoriety as the Magus Killer.

Kiritsugu's early childhood was spent on the run, with his father fleeing a Sealing Designation. They eventually settled on Alimango Island in the Philippines, where they lived for a few years. While there, Kiritsugu learned some of the basics of the Emiya magic and developed a friendship with and crush on his father's assistant, Shirley. This life came to an abrupt end when Shirley consumed some of his father's research materials and turned into a Dead Apostle. The sealing Enforcers caught up with them on the same night, and the mercenary Natalia Kaminski took Kiritsugu under her wing after the latter killed his own father, to prevent him from continuing his experiments.

Afterward, Kiristugu was trained by and worked alongside Natalia. During this time, he took on a personal philosophy that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. This would eventually lead him to shoot down a jumbo jet filled with Dead Apostles Natalia was piloting to avoid any of them escaping. He eventually left the mercenary life to live with his wife, Irisviel von Einzbern.

The Holy Grail then called upon him for the Fourth Grail War, where he would be forced to sacrifice his wife. Knowing this, he entered a physical relationship with his protegee and assistant, Maiya Hisau, to "practice" betraying Irisviel. Over the course of the war, Kiritsugu fought and defeated several powerful magi, eventually "winning" the war by reaching the wish-granting Grail first. The Grail, represented by the deceased Isriviel, revealed that it could not grant his wish to bring about a peaceful utopia without killing those that would make it impossible. Realizing the Grail to be corrupt, he rejected and attempted to destroy it, but failed and indirectly caused a giant explosion which destroyed a large part of the city of Shinto.

Emotionally broken because of the trauma he experienced in life and unable to see his daughter Illyasviel, Kirigutsu adopted Shirou, a boy whom he saved from the rubble, and died five years later.

Battle vs. Corvo Attano (by Leolab)

Corvo Attano perched on a rooftop in Dunwall, scanning the streets for his next target. He quickly spotted him – a man in a long coat, messy hair, and smoking a cigarette. The foreigner stood out amongst the masses, for more than simply looking healthy. The City Watch made way for him as he moved towards Dunwall Tower, the Lord Regent’s manor, another clear indication that the target didn’t belong in Dunwall. Corvo moved, using Blink to travel from rooftop to rooftop as he tailed his target to the outskirts of Dunwall Tower. A series of Blinks brought him to a ledge on the outside of the building, and he shimmied towards the window of their meeting room.

Kiritsugu Emiya walked into the oppressively opulent meeting room, looking around at the rich carpeting and towering portraits of the man he was here to meet. The display, meant to inspire awe or intimidation, aroused only disgust. The creak of the doors opposite him drew his attention to the lanky, hook-nosed man entering.

“Kiritsugu Emiya, the Magus Killer,” the man says, his tone indicating superficial respect where his expression displayed only scorn, “I have a… request for you.”

“Hiram Burrows, Lord Regent. Who is it?” Kiritsugu responds.

“Corvo Attano. The man assassinated the empress, broke out of prison, and has been massacring guards and officials since. He may also be connected to the Rat Plague that’s been sweeping the city.”

Kiritsugu grunts in lieu of a reply and turns to walk out of the manor, trailed by the City Watch. Once outside, he fumbles in his coat for a cigarette and lights it, starting to smoke. So he is on the lighter side of the scales… he thinks, that manor had me doubting.

Kiritsugu turns down an alley to return to his lodgings, eventually emerging in a courtyard. As he enters, he sees a shadow growing above him. Reacting on instinct, he springs into a roll and draws his Contender as he lands, aiming and firing at the assassin who tried to kill him. The assassin uses Blink in the instant Kiritsugu fires, causing the bullet to miss. The Magus Killer catches a glimpse of the mask his foe wears, and realizes that his target has found him.

Corvo Blinks towards Kiritsugu, not giving his foe time to reload as he swipes his sword at his neck. Kiritsugu takes an instinctive step back and dodges decapitation by a hairsbreadth as he holsters his Thompson Contender and draws his knife for a counterattack. He parries another blow and takes a couple swipes at Corvo, attempting to break the rhythm of his foe’s attacks. Corvo parries these, and the two trade blows several times before Kiritsugu sees his chance. He parries a thrust and sidesteps, flipping his knife to a reverse grip as he does so. He then stabs towards the back of his foe’s neck.

Corvo, realizing the danger as soon as Kiritsugu slipped to the side, quickly Blinks a few hundred meters ahead of him and turns, leveling his pistol. Kiristugu has just enough warning to step out of the line of fire, and the shot sprays wide. He’s fast. Teleportation? No, something’s off, he thinks as he takes the opportunity to reload his Contender and re-holster it as Corvo stows his own pistol and grabs his sword, But... He takes a fighting stance as Corvo blinks towards him, sword extended in a stab. Kiristugu parries it and strikes out with his fist, slamming into Corvo with both his own momentum and the speed the masked assassin had gained from Blinking. The blow spins Corvo around, but before he could take advantage of it the man Blinks to the top of a lamppost. Corvo immediately turns and Blinks back towards Kiritsugu, sword poised for a kill.

“Time Alter, Double Accel!”

Shouting the incantation, Kiritsugu speeds up his inner time, allowing him to move and react twice as fast as normal. He dives into a roll out of the way, drawing, levelling, and shooting his Contender while in the air. The snap shot grazes Corvo in the right arm, and Kiritsugu reloads his Contender before he lets the spell fade. Grimacing at the sudden pain as the World tried to correct his tampering, he brings up his gun again, only to see Corvo firing a crossbow. He ducks, dodging the incendiary bolt. Corvo uses the distraction to unleash a series of Blinks, getting him on the rooftops and away from his foe.

Kiritsugu, realizing his quarry is lost, turns to help the City Watch fight the fire. Corvo, meanwhile, stops on the roof of a distillery to bind his wounds. Finishing the tourniquet, he drops off a balcony and onto a guard, plunging his sword deep into the guard’s neck. He loots a small pouch of bullets and bolts, replenishing his own stock, and moves towards the still-blazing fire he started, making his way cautiously so as not to alert the Watch or his foreign foe.

When he approaches, the fire is dying down to a few embers. He sees Kiritsugu standing nearby, smoking. He moves towards the edge of the roof and leaps, preparing a Blink as he does so. Kiritsugu notices the movement, and turns towards it and says, softly this time, “Time Alter, Square Accel.”

Moving at quadruple speed, he opens his Contender, loads in an Origin Bullet, leads his target, and fires. The bullet hits the instant Corvo activates Blink, and a scream pierces the air as everything that lets Corvo do magic is severed and then tied back wrong. Corvo thrashes, bleeding profusely, while Kiritsugu drops to his knees. He feels his bones break as he coughs up blood; the World tries to correct the irregularity within him. Pushing past the pain, he loads another bullet into his Contender as he walks over to Corvo, now lying still. He levels the Contender at Corvo’s head point-blank, and pulls the trigger. Sure that his target is dead, he collapses as the Watch calls for a stretcher to bear him to a physician.

Expert's Opinion

Due to the warriors' minimalist loadout, the battle came down to sheer skill and inventiveness. Kiritsugu displayed more of this than Corvo did, and his trump cards also proved to be more effective than Corvo's.

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

Battle vs. Bigby Wolf (by Appelmonkey and Elgb333)

TBW

Expert's Opinions

TBW

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

Battle vs. Kong Taoluo (by SPARTAN 119)

Kong Taoluo Burst through a door in the Shanghai Cybernetics building, only to be greeted by a burst of automatic weapons fire, coming from around the corner of a long row of cubicles. Kong Taolou rolled out of the way just in time to avoid the burst of fire, the bullets perforating the door where his head would have been second before. Taolup cautiously peeked around the corn er of the cubicle he had jumped into, and spotted his foe, a man wearing not a Shanghai Cybernetics security uniform, but long black coat. Taoluo fired his weapon, an FN P90 at the target, but the recoil carried the weapon all over the place- not one of his shots hit the target, but rather shattered the window at the rear of the building.

Kiritsugu returned fire at his target, with Taoluo ducking just in time, a bullet only barely grazing his back. Taoluo returned fire again, only to once again miss his target. Kong was not a very good shot, and any attempt to use Daitian techniques to focus and improve his aim were interfered with by the recoil. As his Daitian kung-fu and his wodao had gotten him out of any situation he had faced thus far, Kong had never bothered with anything beyond the bare minimum of firearms training.

Because of this this, Kong fired off the last burst of fire and the threw the P90 into the corridor created by the rows of cubicles. The noise prompted Kiritsugu to look into the corridor, only to see nothing- only an abandoned weapon. Out of the corner of his eye, Kiritsugu spotted something move, turning just in time to Kong Taoluo jump over the wall of a cubicle at inhuman speed. Kiritsugu took aim at the blur that was Taoluo with his Calico, only to realize he was out of ammo.

"Time Alter, Double Accel!", Kiritsugu yelled.

At once even the inhumanly fast Taoluo seemed to slow as Kiritsugu's speed increased drastically. Emiya sprinted through a door and up a stairwell, before the excruciating pain caused by using the magic forced him to stop. Kiritsugu reloaded his weapon and took aim at the door to the stairwell from the floor below when suddenly, all the lights in the stairwell, as well as every other light from this floor on upwards suddenly went out.

The door on the lower floor burst open, the muzzle flash of Kiritsugu's weapon lighting up the darkness, but in the end, in spite of his target being right in front of him, not one round hit. Realizing he had to be going up against a rival mage, Kiritsugu retreated into the hallway on the next floor and drew his Thompson Contender.

Taoluo burst through the door, ignoring in the pain in his body caused by using his Daitian kung-fu- only a bit more and Taoluo would be victorious. As Taoluo lunged forward, mere meters from him, Kiritsugu pulled the trigger. The Thompson Contender discharge a .30-06 round with a macabre payload- a powder made from one of Kiritsugu's own ribs, embued with his origin. A hit with such a bullet would be instantly fatal to any mage.

As the bullet neared him, Taoluo ducked, evading the shot, which flew over his head. Kiritsugu attempted to block the attack with the barrel of his sidearm, however, the blade, embued with Taoluo's qi effortlessly sliced through the gun barrel, before entering Kiritsugu's shoulder just to the right of his neck. The blade went all the way through Kiritsugu's chest before Taoluo withdrew it. Kiritsugu Emiya coughed up a mouthful of blood as he fell to his knees, before dropping face-down on the floor. The magus killer had himself been killed.

WINNER: Kong Taoluo

Expert's Opinion

Kong Taoluo won this clash of the Urobuchi assassins thanks in most part due to his superior ability, his Daitian swordsmanship, which granted him both superhuman speed and strength, whereas Emiya's powers granted only superhuman speed. This, the experts argued, would allow him to defeat Emiya in spite of Emiya's greater marksmanship and experience.

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

Like an Assassin in a China Shop (by Wassboss)

Day 1

Ding.

The receptionist rushes out of the backroom, papers clutched tightly in his hands. “Sorry for the wait I was just doing some paperwork,” he says flustered and sits down at the computer. “Anyway, welcome to the Roarhaven Grand Hotel, I take it you’re looking for a room?”

“Yes,” replies the patron.

“Okay let me just check the availability… yes, we have several vacancies. How long will you be staying with us?”

“I’m not sure, shouldn’t be more than a week though.”

“Okay, well I’ll book you in for a week.” the receptionist says. “And what is your name sir?”

“Jack.”

“Jack?”

“Just Jack.” The receptionist looks up at his patron for the first time, blinking in shock as he sees a grey haired man covered from head to toe in what appears to be a metallic body suit.

“Okay then,” he says diverting his eyes back to the computer screen. “I’ve put you in room 65, which is on the sixth floor.” He reaches over to the key card holder and takes out the corresponding key card, handing it to the man. “I hope you enjoy your stay at the Roarhaven Grand Hotel and should you need anything feel free to-” he stops as he sees the man has already left. “Oh, you’ve already gone,” he says to himself. With nobody else at the desk he gets up from the computer and goes back to his filing. “What a strange looking man,” he says.

“Although not the strangest looking person we’ve had come in today…”


Meanwhile in room 66, Risotto Nero is making a phone call. “I’ve arrived in Roarhaven, how is everything over there?”

“Pretty quiet,” Prosciutto replies. “Still nothing from the Boss yet about any more jobs.”

“Good. Remember if anyone gets in contact asking for me, don’t tell them that I’m out of the country. The Boss is already paranoid about us betraying him.”

“I won’t don’t worry. So, this job you’re on, does it pay well?”

“Very well. Much better than what we usually get paid for an assassination. And we’re going to need all the money we can get if we want to overthrow the Boss.”

“That we will,” Prosciutto says. “Anyway, I’ll have to go, Ghiaccio is still complaining about his cut of the last job not being enough so I need to sort that out.”

“Okay. Stay vigilante. Ciao.” Hanging up, Nero leaves his room, ready to start his reconnaissance.


Across town, in a completely different hotel, Eve is unpacking her stuff. Her bedside table has several mannequins with her various wigs on, jars with foul looking things inside adorn the table under the mirror and a medium sized black cauldron sits in the middle of them all. Taking a large dusty book out of her bag, Eve plonks it down next to her ingredients. “Eye of newt, henbane, owl feather,” she says under her breath as she makes sure she’s brought everything she needs. Satisfied she moves to the window and looks out over the city, her eyes drawn to the huge palace located dead in the centre.

“Now all I need to do is figure out how…”


“…To get into that,” Kiritsugu thinks as he looks up at the Sanctuary. Having arrived in Roarhaven that morning, he has spent his time since scouting out the area. “So much for blowing the place up, I’d need a nuke to take that place down,” he ponders. He looks at his watch and takes one last drag of his cigarette before flicking it on the ground.

“I’ll have to check out the inside of that place tomorrow” he thinks as he heads back to the hotel. Once in his room he takes out his laptop and checks out the feed for the cameras he’d set up, making careful note of the positions of guards and whenever there is a change over. Checking the time, he decides to head to bed so he can get a good night’s sleep before he begins his proper reconnaissance tomorrow.


Stifling a yawn, Tipstaff gently pushes open the door to the throne room, walking briskly through the mirrored pillars. The Supreme Mage of Ireland, China Sorrows, sits slumped over on her throne, but the rapid movement of her eyes indicates she is currently accessing the Whispering. Tipstaff waits patiently until she disengages before speaking. “Supreme Mage,” he says courteously. “I hope the Whispering is working as expected.”

“It is. I’ve been getting so much information in from my contacts. In fact, I’ve got a list of names of new arrivals I’d like you to get down to the security team, just to run some background checks.”

“Of course, Supreme Mage.”

“And what did you want to speak to me about Tipstaff?” China asks.

“You’ve received an invitation for this Thursday to attend a gala, in celebration of the brand new financial sector of Roarhaven being opened. Are you going to be attending?”

“Of course, my dear Tipstaff. You know me I love a good party.”

“They’ve also asked if you’d be able to read a speech as well.”

China sighs. “Is should’ve expected this wouldn’t be purely pleasure. Yes, I’ll do a silly little speech for them as well.”

“Excellent. I’ll let them know right away. And the names of those people you wanted investigating?”

“I’ve had one of my contacts send you over the list. Is there anything else Tipstaff?”

“No Supreme Mage.”

“Then you’re dismissed.” Tipstaff bows slightly and leaves, his mind already whirring with all the things he still has to do.

Day 2

Eve sits in reception area of the High Sanctuary, her Hexenbiest potions book laid across her lap. It’s not long before she is approached by a man with a clipboard. “Eve I take it?” Tipstaff asks.

“Yes.”

“Good. Could you follow me please?” he says and leads Eve to one of the many conference rooms. “If you could just wait in here, someone will be with you shortly.” Eve sits down at the table, placing the book in front of her as Tipstaff goes off on his other duties. After a few minutes, a young woman comes in from another door.

“Hi! My name is NJ, I’m a student of Miss Sorrows. You’re Eve correct?”

“That’s right. I heard that Miss Sorrows is a collector of rare books and I think I have something she’d be interested in buying,” Eve says getting straight to the point.

“Oh gosh, well I’ll take a quick look at it for you, just as a preliminary. Is this it here?” NJ says reaching for the book. Eve nods curtly and NJ takes it, carefully flicking through the pages and checking the condition. “I’m afraid I don’t speak German,” she says nervously “Can you tell me what exactly this book is about?”

“It’s a potions book. It’s been passed down for generations and generations. I’ve used many of them myself.”

“Hmm, interesting,” NJ says. “I’m afraid I can’t really help you much here as I can’t translate any of it. But if you’d be willing to let me take it to some of my colleagues, I could get it checked out and authenticated.”

“Actually, I was hoping I could speak to Miss Sorrows directly,” Eve says.

“Well that might be difficult, she’s got a very busy schedule. I’m not sure if she speaks German either if I’m honest. Like I said I can take it in and get someone else to examine it for you.”

“I’d rather keep hold of it, if it’s all the same to you.”

“Oh. Oh, okay if that’s what you want. Do you want me to try and set up an appointment with China? I will warn you though it could be weeks or months before I can get an opening.”

“No, I can’t wait that long, I’ll have to try and find another buyer,” Eve says frowning.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t help you with this. Anyway, I hate to dash off and leave you but I’ve got a lesson with Miss Sorrows I need to go to. Sorry again about the inconvenience.” NJ stands up abruptly and walks out, leaving Eve sat with the book. Disappointed, Eve stands to leave when she notices a strand of NJ’s hair lying on the table. And idea pops into her head.

“Maybe this wasn’t such a waste of a visit after all…”


Walking up the stairwell to China’s apartment, NJ gets the feeling that somebody is watching her. Looking around however nobody is there. Feeling embarrassed she scurries off, missing completely a slight glimmer of movement. Nero watches NJ until she disappears before continuing his surveillance. He passes two cleavers standing guard as he has done dozens of times before but this time he pauses. He heard that these cleavers had magic resistant armour and it strikes him that maybe they could negate the effects of Metallica as well. As a test he uses his Stand to try and manipulate the iron in one of the Cleaver’s blood and manages to create a small slither of iron wire. Satisfied that his Stand still works as intended he disperses the wire back into harmless iron and continues on his way.


Meanwhile on the Information Archives Floor, Kiritsugu flicks through the folders in one of the cabinets, slamming it shut in frustration. After several hours of searching through the archives for something, anything that could be useful for his planning he’s yet to turn up anything. “Why couldn’t they put everything on computers instead of having everything in hard copies” he thinks annoyed. “At least it’s alphabetical.” The next cabinet he opens is labelled as “R” and he braces himself for yet another fruitless search. As he flicks through more and more folders his hunch threatens to be accurate until he comes across a folder called “Roarhaven City: Sanctuary Blueprints” which looks promising. Reading through it reveals the layout of the entire building including secret entrances, exact room dimensions and even notes of possible structural flaws.

He carefully takes out anything possibly relevant to his mission while being mindful that he can’t take too much so it isn’t immediately obvious anything has been taken. Tucking them into his inside jacket pocket the next file he comes across says “Roarhaven City: Sanctuary Extensions.” Reading through this gives him a blueprint of China’s Apartment as well as notes about magic shields and when and how they are activated. Hearing the sound of footsteps approaching, he quickly stuffs some of the papers into his pocket and replaces the file. Nodding to a man as he walks past, he decides to go back to the hotel and analyse the information he has.


Later that night NJ pull up into the driveway of her house, exhausted from the day’s work. Walking up to her front door, she unlocks it and walks in. Closing the door behind her, she looks up for a brief second to see someone striding towards her. Before she can react, she is thrown off her feet and pinned to the wall. The door slams shut and her assailant steps into the light, revealing a grotesque rotting face. NJ tries to shout for help but she feels a tightening on her throat as her air supply is cut off. It’s not before she blacks out and her attacker lifts her carefully into another room… A few minutes later NJ slowly regains consciousness. Looking around groggily she sees that she is in her kitchen. She tries to move but cannot as she has been tied to a chair and she struggles violently to get free. “Don’t do that or you’ll give yourself rope burn,” says a woman from the other room. NJ recognises the voice but can’t remember from where.

“Who are you? What do you want?” she says fearfully. The woman walks into the kitchen and NJ finally recognises it as Eve, although her hair is now white instead of red. “You’re the seller from earlier!”

“Yes. I’m afraid that was just a ruse. I needed to get close to China Sorrows. Unfortunately, you weren’t able to help me with that. But you will be able to help me now.”

“Help you! I’m not going to help you with anything,” NJ says trying to sound defiant but her shaky voice gives away her fear.

“I thought you might say that” Eve says walking over to her. She reaches towards NJ, who tries in vain to move away from her touch, laying her hand over her eyes. When she removes her hand NJ’s eyes are gone.

“What have you done!?” NJ says unbridled panic in her voice now.

“I need you to tell me how to get to China Sorrows,” Eve says.

“I’ll never tell you anything.”

“Don’t worry, you will,” Eve says, reaching for her face once more…

Day 3

As the cauldron bubbles and boils, Eve adds the ingredients needed for a Verfluchte Zwillingsschwester. First in is the snake’s tail and head, followed by newt’s eye, a toe of toad, tongue of dog and brain of a cow. Next is the juice of a henbane plant, a lizard’s leg and penultimately a feather from an owl. The final and most important ingredient, the hair of the intended victim is then added and Eve covers up the concoction with a witch’s hat. NJ watches on with a combination of intrigue and fear as Eve takes three deep breaths of the steam coming off from the tip of the hat. At first nothing appears to have happened but after a few moments Eve hunches over, gasping in pain as the spell begins to take effect.

NJ watches in horror as Eve’s body contorts and her features begin to change and it’s not long before she finds herself standing face to face with an exact reflection of herself. “I do have to say, you impressed me,” Eve says with NJ’s voice. “Most people would’ve confessed everything within a couple of hours but you managed to hold out for the entire night and most of the morning.”

“Are you going to kill me now?” NJ says her voice trembling.

“No. I don’t like to kill people unless necessary. However, I do need to make sure you can’t escape and warn anybody.” Leaning in close she breathes purple vapor into NJ’s mouth and nose, instantly putting her into a comatose state. She then goes upstairs and changes out of her clothes and puts on some of NJ’s before grabbing her bag and leaving for the High Sanctuary.


China opens the door to her apartment, throwing the stack of papers she had been carrying on the table. “I can’t believe even with the Whispering fully operational I still have this much correspondence to sift through,” she thinks irritated. She presses a symbol carved into the table and within a few moments her a woman arrives. “Could you run me a bath please,” China says.

“Of course, Miss Sorrows,” her assistant replies and goes to fulfil her request while China gets started on the paperwork. The thing she looks at is the list of new arrivals she wanted investigating, seven in total. “Who on earth would name themselves after a rice dish,” she mutters under her breath looking at the first name. “Although considering some of the stupid taken names, I’ve heard over the years…” She is about to start reading the reports from her spies when her assistant comes back in to let her know the bath has been run. Leaving the correspondence for the time being she disrobes and gets into the bath, managing to relax for only a few minutes before her assistant walks into the bathroom.

“Miss Sorrows, NJ is here to see you for her lesson.”

China sighs. “Okay send her in then.” The assistant nods and beckons to NJ to come in, “You’re early,” China says.

“I thought our lesson was at noon,” Eve replies, worried she

“Yes, and what time is it now?”

“Quarter to twelve.”

“Right so that’s not noon is it. When I say we have an appointment at noon I mean noon exactly. Do you understand that NJ?”

“Yes, Miss Sorrows.”

“Well while you’re here you might as well do something useful. I’ve left the book we’ve been working out of in my bedside draw. Go and get that and start looking at the symbol we left off on last time and see if you can draw it for me.”

“Okay Miss Sorrows,” Eve says and leaves. Walking past the assistant who is picking out China’s outfit from the wardrobe and goes to open the draw next to her bed. As she touches the handle however, she feels a sharp shock course through her body and she slumps over.

“NJ! Are you okay?” the assistant says worriedly and is rushes over to help her.

“Don’t go near her!” China says, emerging from the bathroom, dressed in a bathrobe.

“But why, she’s in pain.”

“That’s not NJ,” China says. Eve is thankful she is facing away from her so she can’t see the surprise on her face. “I knew something was up when she was early. NJ is never early, she’s nearly always late. Secondly, she was too calm when she was talking to me, NJ is much more flustered. However, I needed to do something to test her, make sure I wasn’t just being paranoid. So, I told her to go and get something from my room, knowing that every draw in my room has symbols carved into them preventing anyone apart from me from opening them.” Eve raises her head to see a small circular symbol carved into the drawer handle. “NJ knows this, in fact she helped me carve them as part of her lessons and therefore would never have gone to look in the drawers for anything.”

“I knew I should’ve killed her right away in the bath,” Eve thinks to herself. Trying to move sends jolts of electricity through her body and she can barely move.

“My question is, who are you?” China continues. “And how did you disguise yourself so convincingly as NJ? And finally, and most importantly, why?” Eve ignores her and attempts to woge and as she does so, she feels her strength return to her, her Hexenbiest form appearing to dispel the effects of the symbol. She turns suddenly, flinging her arms out and throwing China back. She lands heavily but is quickly back to her feet and with a quick tap of one of the symbols tattooed on her body she produces a pair of red coloured energy daggers, flinging them at Eve who swerves out of the way to avoid them. “Go and get the cleavers,” China snaps and her assistant rushes out of the room. Eve uses her telekinesis to grab a chest of drawers and drags it across the doorway, blocking China’s own escape route. Breaking a nearby mirror, she flings the glass shards at China, who creates a yellow shield which the glass shatters harmlessly against.

Switching tactics, Eve targets China directly, grabbing her by the throat via telekinesis and pinning her to the wall. Struggling for breath China can feel a great pressure building around her head and thrashes violently to free herself but to no avail. Suddenly a pair of cleavers rush into the room and immediately rush at Eve. Waving her free hand towards them to throw them away she is shocked to see them completely bypass the telekinesis and she is forced to release her grip on China to avoid a scythe taking her head.

She wrenches one of the cleaver’s scythes away and buries it into his chest, killing him instantly but the other one manages to strike her with the pommel of his scythe, knocking her to the floor. The blade of the scythe wedges into the floor as she rolls out of the way of an attempted stab and she drives a punch into the side of his helmet, knocking him off balance. She lifts the bed up with her telekinesis and slams it down on top of the Cleaver, leaving him in a crumple heap. Turning back to her target Eve finds that she is no longer there and runs out of the bedroom, spotting China hurrying to the front door. With a wave of her hand the door slams shut and China yanks hard on the handle but it will not budge.

“Whoever is paying you to do this I can offer more,” China says turning to face Eve.

“It doesn’t work that way,” Eve replies coldly. China shrugs.

“Okay then if you insist.” Instead of attempting to attack her again however China instead stamps three times on the floor. Eve looks at her bemused before raising her hand again, this time to finish China off for good however nothing happens. She tries to woge but this too doesn’t work, she can feel her hexenbiest form trying to come out but something is blocking it. “Just a little something I put in for emergencies,” China says stepping aside to reveal a symbol on the floor. “With three stamps on this symbol it activates a magic dampening property which affects everyone in the apartment. So, what do you think, can you beat me in a straight fight? No magic, no tricks, just good old fashion fisticuffs?”

“We’ll have to find out, won’t we?”

“You’ve got spirit at least. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to cheat a little bit.” As China says this the front door bursts open and half a dozen cleavers burst in. “Cleavers, arrest that woman,” China says and they advance on Eve, scythes ready to slice her to ribbons should she resist. Eve considers this option but outnumbered and without her powers she has no choice but to comply as they handcuff her and lead her away to a holding cell. As she is lead away Tipstaff walks into the room.

“I’m glad to see you’re still alive Miss Sorrows,” he says formally as ever.

“Yes, well I’ve had more dangerous people try to kill me before and I’m still standing aren’t I,” China says. “Get one of our interrogators to poke through her mind immediately, we need to know if she’s working alone and who hired her to do this.”

“Do you have any ideas as to who could be behind this?”

“Tipstaff my dear if I stood here and told you everyone, I know who wants me dead we’ll be here all day. If I told you everyone, I think wants me dead we’ll be here all week. Just make sure we have her talking by this evening. You understand?” He nods curtly and as he walks off China surveys her apartment and frowns as she sees as the damage. “And I’d just gotten this place looking just right.”

Day 4 

Kiritsugu lights his cigarette and takes a long drag, leaning back against the front of the hotel. Next to him two men are also smoking and chatting and Kiri recognises them as members of the cleaning staff. “Did you hear that the financial district is going to be officially opening today?” one of them says.

“Yeah I heard. They’re throwing a massive party for it, all of Roarhaven’s most prominent bastards, Oh sorry I mean socialites, will be there” the other one replies laughing. “I even hear our lord and saviour China Sorrows is attending.” This grabs Kiritsugu’s attention although outwardly his demeanour doesn’t change.

“Really?” the other man says. “I didn’t think she left the Sanctuary much. Not with all the people who want her dead.”

“You have no idea,” Kiritsugu thinks

“Well she is for this. I was talking to my mate Siúinéir the other day, he’s been reassigned from the east district to erect a stage for her majesty to speak to her lowly subjects from.” Kiritsugu tunes out as the conversation turns to complaining about China and her regime and finishes his cigarette, putting the butt into a nearby bin. He then goes back to his room and checks the map of Roarhaven he got from the files, seeing the financial district is only half a mile from his hotel. He packs up a duffle bag with his equipment and goes to scope out the area and see what he can make of this opportunity.


Meanwhile within the Sanctuary itself Raiden is pondering how to get past the Cleavers stationed on the stairwell. The past two days have been frustrating as everywhere he goes people are watching him, intrigued by cybernetic enhancements, which makes being sneaky difficult. To add to his problems security has been tightened since yesterday when apparently there was an attempted assassination of China and now nobody without special clearance is allowed past the 36th floor.

“She must be a popular lady,” Raiden thinks to himself. The ceilings are high enough for him to try and climb past them but the amount of people around means someone would surely see him. Frustrated he continues patrolling the sanctuary as he has been doing since he first arrived, trying as best he can to avoid drawing attention to himself. He nods to the administrator, a small fussy man named Tipstaff as he passes him. Glancing briefly at his clip board he sees a sheet of paper that says, “Gala Security Provisions.” Thinking this could be something useful he tails Tipstaff as he goes about his daily business. As he stops to talk to someone dressed in City Guard uniform, Raiden sneaks closer hoping to hear what they are saying.

“-And you’re sure Miss Sorrows doesn’t want us to take an extra precautions for her speech today.” “The Supreme Mage trusts that all the usual precautions will be more than enough. Have you managed to get any information out the assassin?” Tipstaff asks the guard.

“Not yet no, her physic defences are too strong, they’re nothing like we’ve ever seen before.”

“Well keep trying. Any progress make sure to let Miss Sorrows know.”

“Yes Sir.” The guard walks off and Tipstaff goes into one of the conference rooms, which has Cleavers posted on the outside. “A speech eh? Maybe that could give me the chance I need,” Raiden ponders.


“This is a much bigger crowd than I was expecting,” China says as she looks out from backstage.

“There are a lot of people interested about our new financial district,” says Aloysius Vespers, the Grand Mage of the English Sanctuary. “So, I’m not surprised so many showed up for the grand opening.”

“Yes, well if they don’t like my speech, I’ll have the city guard round them up and shoot them.” Vespers laughs nervously, not sure if she’s joking or not.

“Good one Supreme Mage. Anyway, I’ll go and warm them up and then you wow them with the speech.”

“Good look with that you cowardly little toad,” China says under his breath as a he walks out onto the stage. Reading through her speech one more time she looks up from her notes as Commander Hoc approaches.

“Supreme Mage. We’ve done our investigating on that list of names you gave us and we’ve come up with some people we think are suspicious. What do you want to do about them?”

“I want them brought in for questioning. Say they’re under suspicion of treason. Get out psychics to go through their memories. If there is nothing wipe their winds and send them on their way.”

“And if there is?”

“You know what to do.”

“Okay Supreme Mage. I’ll get the guard to start rounding them up now.” China goes back to reading through her notes as Hoc radios through to the command centre to execute her orders.


Meanwhile far away from the crowded square and perched on top of a building, Kiritsugu watches the stage through the scope of his Walther. He checks his watch and sees the time is 16:45, fifteen minutes till the bomb’s timer reaches zero. Besides him is a detonator, to manually detonate the explosives he rigged up to the podium earlier just in case. He watches as a man, Aloysius Vespers if his research is correct, walks up to the podium and begins speaking. Kiritsugu takes a moment to shift his body slightly to stop the cramp setting in looking back through the scope as Vespers wraps up his speech.

“And without further ado, to officially open the financial district, please welcome Supreme Mage China Sorrows!” The crowd cheers, whether genuine or forced as China walks out onto the stage and as Kiritsugu peers at her through his scope he feels a sudden wave of emotion surge through his body. He’d seen pictures of his target sure but this was different here she was in the flesh and god how beautiful she is standing before him. Seeing her brings up feelings of love he thought he’d buried long ago, feelings he hadn’t felt since Alimago Island. Shirley’s image pops into his head and he feels a pang of sorrow and has to force himself to look away.

“It’s just a spell, you have to push through this,” he mutters to himself and slowly his emotions simmer down. Taking a deep breath, he takes another look at China through the scope and this time the feelings are not as strong. When he checks the time again it read 16:50.


Meanwhile in the crowd Raiden too is struggling to compose himself and is mesmerised as he looks up at China as she speaks. It’s as if the crowd around him doesn’t even exist, all he can see in this moment is her. No longer does he want to kill her; all he wants to do is protect her and be by her side forever. He feels a hand on his shoulder and the next thing he knows his arms are wrenched behind him, the cold hard steel of handcuffs clamping around his wrists. “You’re under arrest for suspected treason,” comes a voice from behind him snapping him out of his delusion. He turns his head to see one of the city guard stood behind him. He takes the HF Blade from its holster and hands it to another pair of guards. “I would read you your Miranda rights but those don’t exist in Roarhaven,” he says chuckling.

“Yeah well let me read you your last rites,” Raiden says and flings his wrists apart, snapping the handcuffs with ease. He roundhouse kicks the guard straight in the face, sending him crashing into another crowd goer. He then lunges for the guard holding his HF Blade and knocks him to the ground, catching the blade neatly in his hands before it falls. The final guard draws his gun and opens fire but the Raiden casually blocks all the bullets before slicing him in half. All the commotion causes the crowd to panic and disperse but Raiden ignores them and looks back at the stage where China is trying to make her escape. With a single leap he launches himself onto the platform, landing right in front of China to block her escape route. Another pang of love swells up inside him but this time he is able to fight it and swings his sword at her. A resplendent yellow shield envelops China’s body and the energy from the blade crackles off it. Four cleavers rush at him and he is forced to turn his attention to them. He parries away the first cleavers blade, stabbing his sword right through his armour and into his heart.

The next two cleavers come at him together, one going for his head the trying to sweep his feet but Raiden is able to nimbly flip between the two scythes. Landing in a crouch he swings at the nearest cleaver’s knee and slices his leg clean off, sending him tumbling to the floor. He throws his blade at the next cleaver, impaling him through the chest. Running at him he yanks the sword out and uses the falling opponent to launch himself into the air. Bringing his blade down in an arc he hurtles down towards the last cleaver who raises his scythe in an attempt to block the attack but the HF Blade easily slices through the hand and bisects him from head to toe. He then slams the blade down once quickly into the downed cleaver’s head to finish him off for good. Turning his attention back to China he sees she is now surrounded by almost a dozen cleavers and he can hear people closing in behind him. “You wanna dance?” he says as his eyes turn red. “Then let’s dance.”


From his perch, Kiritsugu watches as all hell breaks loose. Through the scope of his Walther he watches as cleavers and members of the City Guard are slaughtered by Raiden, each with a clean stab or slice. A guard tries to grab Raiden from behind but he gets a kick to the jaw for his troubles, breaking his face as if it were made of glass. This does manage to distract him long enough for a Cleaver to swing his scythe down and knock the blade out of his hand however, leaving him weaponless. This doesn’t seem to phase Raiden however and he throws himself at the Cleaver, tearing the scythe from his hand and slicing him to ribbons with it. Blocking several more strikes from other attacking Cleavers, he carefully moves backwards until he is stood over the blade. Suddenly he brings his foot up, sword grasped tightly in it and shaves the helmet and half the head of the nearest cleaver clean off. Now with a weapon in each hand he is even more dangerous and limbs and blood starts flying everywhere.

“Damn he’s going to end up killing everyone isn’t he?” Kiritsugu says and once again checks his watch seeing the time is 16:58. He realises he’s lost sight of China and sweeps the area for her, only to spot her being escorted off the stage by a group of Cleavers. “Shit,” he curses as he realises, she is moving out of the blast radius of the bomb. He tries to line up a shot but the cleavers are blocking off all possible angles. Realising his one chance of assassinating China while she’s out in the open is slipping away he reaches for the detonator and presses it.


Face down on the ground and with his ears ringing incessantly, Raiden groans as he lifts himself up into a crawl. Looking around he can see the destruction caused by the explosion, the stage shattered into a million pieces and bodies of cleavers and guards strewn everywhere. Getting gingerly to his feet he looks around and sees that some others have also survived the blast and are also slowly starting to rise. He looks around for China and spots her, being helped to her feet by a city guard. His first steps are uneasy and make his vision blur but he powers through it, ambling and then running towards her. Glancing over at him, China barks an order and the guard puts himself between her and Raiden. Cleavers also come rushing over to protect and but Raiden is quicker than all of them and he leaps over the guard’s head. He then lunges for China, sword raised high and ready to deal the finishing blow.

Suddenly he is slammed down onto the ground, his sword bouncing out of his hands and clattering away. Confused he tries to move but his body is locked into place as if somebody is holding him down. No, he realises, it’s not his body that can’t move, it’s his cybernetic enhancements, which are pulling down on him. All of a sudden Cleavers are upon him and without hesitation start hacking at him with their scythes. As he feels the life slowly ebbing away, he swears he can see little metal creatures crawling over him, clearly a delusion of his dying mind…

Nero stands invisible amongst the carnage, his plans in tatters. It was only by sheer luck he was in the right place to stop the other assassin from getting China first. Recalling Metallica from Raiden’s body he looks around for his target and sees her being led away by a mix of cleavers and city guards, already well out of the ten-metre range of his stand. Knowing that his best chance has been squandered and that security will now be even tighter than it already is, he has little choice but to return to his room and plan out his next move Kiritsugu too has decided to cut his losses, packing up his rifle and beginning the unenviable task of walking down the fifteen stories he had to climb to get to this spot.

Day 5 

“Two assassins, two assassination attempts, two days. Care to explain to me how the hell this was allowed to happen!” China whirls around angrily as Commander Hoc looks down at the floor in embarrassment.

“I can only apologize Supreme Mage. We were working as quickly as we could to try and sort through all the names you gave us. We identified yesterday’s assassin as a threat and made moves to arrest him. Unfortunately, he turned out to be more powerful than we bargained for.”

“And what about the other one? Eve? The one we’ve had locked up for almost two days now. And who we still haven’t managed to find anything about yet?”

“There wasn’t anything we could really find in her background. And at any rate she’d made her attempt before we’d manage to compile a report on her.”

“Well then maybe just maybe you should speed up your response time!” China says her voice rising. “Have you managed to at least figure out if these two were working together.”

“Again, we don’t know but it seems unlikely. Backgrounds checks on both of them show no previous history and their methods appear to be completely different. In fact, we’re working on the angle that there were actually two assassins operating yesterday. It seems very strange that an assassin would rig up a bomb only to then attempt a direct assassination before the blast had even gone off.”

“But surely that was because the guards tried to bring him in for arrest, right?”

“That’s what we thought but our autopsy of the assassins body found no signs of a detonator nor any other means of setting off a bomb. However out explosives expert’s reckon the bomb was detonated manually and it’s possible that it was rigged up on a timer as well. So our assassin couldn’t have detonated the bomb himself and had it been on a timer, given how easily he broke his restraints, it seems more logical that he would’ve allowed himself to be taken away and then made his escape once it had detonated and killed you.”

“That’s the most impressive thing you’ve told me so far today,” China says her anger simmering down. “Maybe you’re not so incompetent after all. What about the others on your arrest list?"

“We’ve managed to round up most of them apart from two,” Hoc says. “Their names are Risotto Nero and Kiritsugu Emiya, both have long histories of assassinations and who both arrived in the city recently. We have our agents combing the city for them, it shouldn’t be long before we can find them. Chances are if there is a third assassin it’ll be one of them.”

“Excellent. Well make sure to inform me as soon as you arrest them. You are dismissed.”


Across the city, Nero ducks into an alleyway to avoid a patrol of City Guard. He had been awoken that morning by the sounds of the key turning in the lock of his hotel room and had only just managed to activate Metallica’s invisibility before they came bursting in. Sneaking away as they began searching the room, he’s been roaming the streets ever since, keeping out of sight as much as possible. He knows however he can’t keep this up forever and he’ll need to find somewhere to stay at least until he can figure out his next course of action. Once the patrol has passed, he steps back out into the street and hurries along his way. He spots someone coming out of their house and as they take their keys out to lock the door behind them, he gets an idea.

As they pass within 10 metres of him, he summons Metallica and the key slowly raises out of their pocket and into his waiting hand. Walking up to the house, he checks around quickly to make sure nobody is about before entering. He scopes out the house, taking special note of any possible exit points before sitting down on a chair in the kitchen. “My best chance of getting to the target is going to be at night. So, I need to stay low until then,” he says. Feeling his stomach rumble, he goes over to the fridge, looking in distaste at the microwave meals that make up the majority of the contents. “I can see why the Irish aren’t known for their cuisine,” he ponders.


Meanwhile Kiritsugu sits down in front of his laptop, having just finished putting touches on the security measures around his new location. “Lucky for me I’d already packed my stuff up,” he murmurs. After the failed attempt yesterday, he’d decided to leave the hotel and find somewhere different to stay, only finding out later on that a warrant for his arrest had been sent out. “It’s a good thing there are so many uninhabited buildings in the eastern section,” he thinks. He does a quick sweep of the cameras he’d set up but seeing nothing of interest his thoughts turn to just how he’s going to get to China now that security has been stepped up.

He looks over the Sanctuary Blueprints once more specifically at those concerning the secret escape routes from the Sanctuary. His eyes are drawn to a specific tunnel, which leads directly from China’s personal quarters to a manhole on the High Sanctuary’s northern side. Unlike most of the routes this one is specified to be two way although little other detail is given. Realising that this is his only option he checks the time on his watch which reads 16:00. “I should probably wait till it gets dark,” he thinks. Setting an alarm for 22:00 he lays out a sleeping bag, hoping to get some sleep before what promises to be a long night.

Day 6 

In the early hours of the morning Kiritsugu approaches the northern side of the High Sanctuary, finding the manhole from the blueprints lying right next to the wall. He stoops down, feeling the grooves of the cover with his hands in the dark, until he comes across the handle. Giving it a sharp tug, he is surprised to feel it shift. “Looks like I won’t need that C4 after all” he thinks as he lifts the cover up, peering down into the darkness. He sticks his leg into the hole, feeling a fixed metal bar ladder leading down with his foot. Taking a quick look around to make sure nobody is looking he slides down into the hole, gently pulling the manhole cover back over top.

Once it is safely secured in place, he takes out a torch from his jacket, to light the way for his descent. It is only about a hundred metre climb down and Kiritsugu shines his torch down the tunnel. He follows it for another hundred or so metres until he reaches the end, where he finds another fixed ladder. Shining his torch upwards he sees it extending further than he can see. “I was hoping it was secret elevator, not a ladder” he mutters. Sighing he starts the long and arduous climb.


Several hours later Kiritsugu comes to the top of the ladder. Above his head is a metal panel and he pushes it up slowly, peeking out. The area is dark but shine from around a door frame gives some light and Kiritsugu feels it is safe to come out. Carefully placing the panel back down, he takes a moment to rest, his arms burning from the climb and checks his gear while he does so. He is travelling light and aside from the C4, he also has his Thompson Contender, already loaded up with an origin bullet, a spare just in case the first one doesn’t do the job and his Calcio. Once the aching has subsided, he tip toes over to the door, pressing his ear to it to see if he can hear anyone on the other side. Not hearing anything he crouches down and peers through the keyhole.

Seeing nobody outside, he opens the door and steps out into the corridor. If his memory serves him correctly, China’s apartment should be overlooking the south side of the Sanctuary, so having entered through the north side it should be opposite to where he is now. He strolls down the corridor and as he turns a corner he is met with a surprising site. The door to China’s apartment is ajar but more concerningly, two cleavers lie slumped down in front of it. From where he is stood Kiritsugu cannot tell the cause of death but as he walks closer, he notices that their throats appear to have been slashed. Drawing his Calcio, he nudges the door open wider and enters the apartment with caution. He immediately spots China, lying face down on the floor, not moving. He stoops down over her to check her pulse but before he can a voice calls out from behind him.

“She’s already dead.” Kiritsugu whirls around, gun raised and ready to fire but there is nobody standing there. “You were too late assassin better luck next time,” comes the voice again, this time from the side but again there is nobody there when Kiritsugu turns to face it.

“And who are you exactly?” Kiritsugu says.

“It doesn’t matter. But you’d better leave as soon as possible. Somehow I doubt the guards will be very forgiving when they find you stood over her body.” A glimmer of movement catches Kiritsugu’s eye and he opens fire but the bullets don’t hit anything. Cursing, he decides to cut his losses and leave but as he hurries towards the door a Cleaver strides through the doorway. He backs away, raising his Calcio and firing but the bullets ricochet harmlessly off the Cleaver’s armour not even slowing him down as he swings his scythe. Kiritsugu only just narrowly avoids having his head taken off and activates his time alter. Blurring past the Cleaver with a burst of speed he draws his Thompson, levelling it at his chest. He’d heard their armour was magically resistant, so he has no idea what an origin bullet will do to it but with little other choice he fires. The bullet pierces through the armour with surprising ease dropping the Cleaver to the floor. Kiritsugu doesn’t bother waiting to see if his circuits are fried and flees, running back towards the room with the secret entrance. He hears the sound of footsteps, and lots of them at that, coming from that direction and he changes course, heading for the elevator. The elevator doors open as he approaches and he raises his Calcio, ready to gun down whoever it is.

There is only one person inside the elevator and Kiritsugu recognises him as the administrator, Tipstaff. Changing his plan, he jams the barrel of the Calcio into his ribs. “Take us down,” he growls and Tipstaff pales slightly. “If you don’t, I’ll kill you right here and now and do it myself,” Kiritsugu continues.

“But where? Which floor?” Tipstaff says stammering.

Kiritsugu thinks for a moment and remembers an escape pod located on one of the floors. “The detention wing floor,” he says. Tipstaff’s hand hovers over the panel before pressing one of the floors and the doors slide shut and it slowly begins to descend. When it stops and the door opens, Kiritsugu grabs Tipstaff by the collar and moves his gun around so it is now pressed into his back. “Now, there should be an escape pod around here somewhere. Take me to it.” Tipstaff nods nervously and slowly begins walking forward leading Kiritsugu to a statue of a cleaver. He feels around it, finding the switch and pressing it, causing the wall to open up to reveal a pod.

Kiritsugu pushes him into the pod with him. “Now show me how this works,” he says.

“You just press this button here. It’ll take you right outside the city gates,” Tipstaff answers.

“Good. Now turn around and walk out of here.” Tipstaff walks stiffly out of the pod, with Kiritsugu keeping his gun trained on him the whole time. As he exits, he pauses, turning back to look at the Magi Killer.

“She’s dead isn’t she. The Supreme Mage. You killed her, didn’t you?”

“She’s dead yes. Although I have to admit, it wasn’t me who killed her,” Kiritsugu says.

“Ah so it must’ve been the other assassin then.” Kiritsugu frowns.

“What do you mean the other assassin?”

“I’ll make sure to tell them that it wasn’t you who killed Miss Sorrows. Wouldn’t want you collecting the money without doing the job after all,” Tipstaff says ignoring the question. Kiritsugu notices the change in his demeanour, no longer is he shaking and stammering, his poise is confident and his voice is steady. Before he can ask any follow up questions, Tipstaff presses the button from the outside, sending the pod, and Kiritsugu, out of the city.

Day 7 (Epilogue)

Risotto Nero waits patiently at the rendezvous point to collect his payment. After a few moments, a black car pulls up next to his own and the passenger side opens. Nero watches with interest as a man, in what appears to be a giant diving suit, steps out. “Ah Mr Nero, it’s such a pleasure to finally meet you in person. We’ve heard news from our contact in the Sanctuary that China Sorrows is dead. I must congratulate you on doing such a wonderful job.

“I’ve done my part, now where is my fee,” Nero says getting straight to the point.

“Ah, of course.” Nero feels a presence behind him and turns to see a young man with platinum bleached hair, holding a briefcase. He hands it to Nero and disappears, reappearing by the man in the diving suit. “Don’t worry it’s all there. I won’t be offended if you want to check.”

“Then I’ll do just that,” Nero says. He opens up the briefcase but rather than being greeted by stacks of money there is instead a note which reads “Battle Royale Placement: 1st”. He looks up at the two men confused but they are frozen in place and slowly the world around him beings to flicker out of existence…

Nero wakes up with a start, looking around frantically. He is lying on a bed in a house and it takes him a few moments for his memory to come back. Swinging his legs over the side of the bed, he rubs his eyes. “Those battles take a lot out of you,” he murmurs to himself. The doorbell ringing snaps him out of his musings and walks over to the front door and opens it, to find the rest of La Squadra stood outside.

“Congratulations Boss,” Formaggio says, pushing past Nero into the house. The others congratulate him as well as they walk through.

“Look at the size of this place,” Melone says. “It even looks like it might be a bit bigger than mine.”

“It does,” Nero says. “Now obviously we don’t want to attract too much attention so we can’t all stay here but it’s a lot better than what we’ve been used to.” “I call first dibs,” Illusio says.

“No way. I had to bunk with Pesci for the past year, I’m staying here first,” says Ghiaccio angrily.

“I’d quite like to stay here,” Pesci says quietly but is ignored as they start bickering amongst themselves. A rare small smile appears on Nero’s face, glad to back with his squad once more.


Meanwhile in the white-collar district, Kiritsugu unlocks the door to his new apartment, shopping bags in hand. He puts them down on the kitchen table as Maiya follows him in. “What a coincidence that you’d be put in the apartment right next to mine,” she says as he starts putting the food away.

“Did I miss anything interesting while I was away?” Kiritsugu asks.

“Not really. Although you did get this letter.” Maiya takes out an envelope from her pocket and hands it to Kiritsugu who tears it open and reads the contents.

"When did this come exactly?"

"This morning," she replies. "Why what is it,"

"It's a summons from DSFB," he says showing it to her.

"And am I allowed to accompany you on this one?"

"Yes. In fact they've specified that I have to bring a partner." He sighs in annoyance. "You'd think they'd give me a break once in a while..."

Expert's Opinion

5th Place, 9 Points, Eve:  Voters unanimously agreed that Eve would finish in dead last place. This was because of her lack of stealth abilities with her only means of stealth requiring a lot of set up time and small window before it wears off. 

4th Place, 22 Points, Raiden: Voters were more split on Raiden's placement but ultimately he finished in this spot because of his lack of options. He was entirely reliant on his HF Blade and physicality to assassinate China and while he was more than capable of fighting whatever guards that were thrown at him it would attract too much attention onto himself to be able to get to her.

3rd Place, 24 points, China Sorrows: China finished middle of the pack, managing to outlast two of her assassins. However even all her guards, securtiy measures and considerable personal combat ability couldn't save her from the top two, who are simply too experienced and too skilled in assassination.

2nd Place, 36 points, Kiritsugu Emiya: Kritsugu finished in second place but through any fault of his own. An experienced mage hunter with anti-mage weaponry, keen intelligence and a pragmatic and caculated approach to his work, Kiritsugu only didn't succeed in his mission because the winner just had him outclassed.

1st Place, 45 points, Risotto Nero: Metallica made this battle a doddle for Nero as he could easily sneak in and out of the Sanctuary with ease and his metal manipulation gave him a silent and easy way to kill China without ever having to reveal himself. 

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

Battle vs. Asuha Chigusa and Kasumi Chigusa alongside Maiya Hisau (by Leolab)

Prologue: Through an Infinite Nothing

Kiritsugu takes a drag from his cigarette, exhaling the acrid smoke as he leans against one of the many oddly-designed buildings that littered DFederal feeling extremely out of place on the border of the red light district. His partner, Maiya, stood next to him, alert and watching for any signs of danger. The city had seen a sharp increase in crime since the Wolves tried their insurrection, the normally quiet grumblings emboldened by the government’s seeming neglect. Maiya taps the back of his hand, motioning with her head towards the figure cutting through the crowds. He stubs out his cigarette on the public-use ashtray, leaving it there.

“Good. You’re here,” Leo says, stopping before them.

“I was supposed to be helping Shirou at the soup kitchen. What happened?”

“Trouble. Big trouble, could endanger the Kadingir Project. Maybe the city, if it goes unopposed.”

“And the rest of the DFSB?”

“On other work. Probably shouldn’t mention it here, though. Hmm…” Leo says, scanning the alleyway behind Maiya. He waves for the pair to follow him, and they do so in silence. As they get halfway through the alley, however, a large man with spikes through his eyes, and the rest of his torso, leaps screaming from the top of the left building. In the time Maiya can draw her pistol, he’s already swung his axe through Leo’s raised arm, lodging its obsidian head directly in his heart. Kiritsugu halts Maiya with a gesture, noticing that none of the wounds are bleeding, and the severed arm is still hanging in the air.

“Let this be a message,” the figure gloats, “The Wolves are back in town, and we will…”

“Ingrate,” Leo says evenly, as the floating part of his hand extends, stretching like putty behind his attacker. It wraps around a metal protrusion between its shoulder blades and tugs, ripping the spike free without effort. The figure falls, dead, as Leo’s arm reconnects to his body. The tendril constricts, snapping the metal in two, before slithering back to turn into his hand. A simple tug frees the axe from his chest, which also melts back together.

The axe vanishes with a pop as he continues walking, unconcerned. The two assassins exchange a look before hurrying to catch up as Leo turns to a red door in the alley. He opens it and walks in before the two follow him to his office. The door squelches shut behind them as the panels on the bottom turn clear, displaying the entirety of DFederal below them.

“Two warriors have entered the city with no record.”

“How? That shouldn’t be possible, not without high authority or immense power.” Kiritsugu asks.

“Or both. But that’s what Menardi and Maia – not you, the other one – are assigned to. What concerns me more is that traces of their intention were left in the waiting room. Whoever let them in wants to kill Raziel, and her knowledge is vital for the Kadingir Project. It might be connected to last week’s incident, but that’s on Joker and Parcel.”

“They want to stop development of the new tracking system, then. Is there any information on the targets?”

“Ah, right, yes there is, despite the intruder’s attempt to get someone as obscure as possible. Fortunately, they’re a pair I’m familiar with,” Leo says, and snaps. Kiritsugu and Maiya both stagger, temporarily overwhelmed by having their brain structure forcibly modified. Kiritsugu, by now used to having knowledge implanted directly into his head, recovers first, steadying his partner as she panics.

“So we set up a defensive perimeter? Ensure these two don’t harm Raziel?” Maiya asks, still reeling from the intrusion.

“Or anyone else harms her, yes. Maiya, you will receive the usual bonus pay for collaborating. Kiritsugu, be sure not to fail. I would hate to need to look for a new member so soon. Dismissed.”


In the slums of DFederal, a girl – all of fifteen – with orange skin and white horns instead of hair sprints through the alleyways, chased by the shouts and occasional blaster fire of her pursuers in full-body white armor. Unable to reach one of Skully’s soup kitchens before they closed, Ashoka Tano was forced to steal food for today’s meal. Blaster fire whizzes past her, barely missing and singeing the few rags she had left for clothing. Just her bad luck that the Conduit, one of the cleaner bars in the slums, had the 501st Legion drinking in the front. Just her worse luck that Kessler caught her stealing from his kitchens and offered free drinks to whoever caught her.

She turns the corner, barely avoiding stepping on the piles of rags and flesh writhing through the streets, and falls as she collides with an elderly Chinese man wearing manacles. A blaster bolt finally hits its mark, and she screams as the plasma ruptures her stomach and superheats her insides, disemboweling her in a blast of evaporating bodily fluids and sublimating organs. These waft over the horrified Sun Tzu, before an arrow takes him through the back of the head and explodes. The 501st catch up to their quarry while a man in a bright purple outfit and a bow walks up behind the dead prisoner.

“She’s ours,” the Stormtroopers say, making aggressive motions with their carbines.

“He’s mine,” Hawkeye replies, pointing to the torso topped with gore.

“Then we’re good, Evictor’s Sparrow.”

As the two groups grow more confrontational, a nondescript boy with black hair and a flashier girl with red shrink back around the corner, trying to make their way to the Blue Collar District unnoticed.

“Onii, this city’s crazy,” Asuha says, sticking a little closer to her brother.

“Very crazy. And I think we mean the same kind, this time,” Kasumi agrees as they make their way through a quieter area. The pair makes their way slowly through the streets, Asuha showing her amazement and horror on her face while Kasumi’s is blank, as usual. He pulls her into a side rode as yelling footsteps come thundering towards them, the pair peeking cautiously out as a group of men and women in blue – and one who is blue himself – run past, not sparing them a glance

A few minutes later, they re-enter the main street and find their destination soon enough: a dilapidated apartment building in ill repair. They enter, unnoticed, and walk up to the fourth floor, continuing until they reach the fourth room.

As the bolt opens, a yell resounds from the room across. As the pair turn to look, the door for apartment 405, a good ten feet high, rises to be flush with the wall before dissolving into a mass of spiders.

They hurriedly open the door to their room and slam it shut behind them, revealing a shabby, wooden studio apartment with a kitchen, a bathroom and closet, and a bed on the three walls not containing a door. Asuha draws her pistols, doing a quick sweep of the apartment to be sure they’re alone, before entering the bathroom.

“Onii! There’s a laundry machine here. I’m going to shower first.”

“Sure, sure. I’ll make us some food,” Kasumi replies, opening the closet.

Inside is a pale, obese man with yellow eyes.

Kasumi slams the door shut, breathing heavily, before reopening it. The unneeded – and unwanted – reminder of their mission was gone, replaced by several sets of identical uniforms for both him and his sister, as well as some casual clothing. Whoever stocked this even included underwear.

“Asuha! There’s clothes in the closet!” he yells, and receives a muffled affirmation. He moves to the kitchen with a cynical smile, checking the pantry to see what’s available.

The Breath of Empty Space

The next day, Kasumi’s eyes snap open after a moderately restless night. The man with yellow eyes – who had turned into a slender, tanned, and considerably better-dressed man during his dream – had given them some more information on their target. As he rolls out of bed, he sees Asuha sitting at the table, phone out.

“Onii, make breakfast.”

“Sure thing, princess.”

“Gross.”

A few minutes later, he places a plate of scrambled eggs in front of her, taking his own seat on the opposite side of the table. They eat in a comfortable silence, not feeling the need to speak. With their food finished, Kasumi rolls a map out on the table while Asuha washes the dishes.

“I assume we’ll check the place out first?” she asks, noisily putting the last plate on the drying rack.

“Huh. You can be cautious. You’ve grown. In some places.”

“Wow. Could you possibly make that sound any creepier?”

“Hmm… I could be more specific about the parts that haven’t…”

“Onii.”

“Fine, fine,” Kasumi says, drawing a circle in red on the map, followed by a larger black one. “We’ll scout positions in this area in the morning,” he says, indicating the black circle, “and in the red in the evening.”

“Red for me, black for you?”

“Yes. I’ll take my scope, you take your pistols. The rifle would stand out too much, and they’re apparently looking for us.”

“And if we get spotted?”

“Then this weak brother will hide behind his little sister.”

“Hilarious,” Asuha says, grinning as she gets her gear ready. She holsters her pistols and waits by the door, tapping her foot impatiently. Kasumi joins her, and they open the door, trying not to stare at the blank wall where there was previously an apartment. They jog down the stairs, out the building, and around the corner, heading towards where their target lived.

Until they came across a massive figure with four arms and only two forearms, the large, vertical cavity that is its mouth noisily grinding a blonde corpse. The sixteen-foot tall giant has its four claws occupied by a blue dragon, two trying to tear her flailing wings off while the others pull at her neck and tail, trying to rip her in half. The siblings ignore Saphira’s telepathic pleas for help, electing to take another road to avoid the Gug.


Kiritsugu sits in a café across from a 7-storey building, taking a visual scan of the apartments within. The third window of six on the top floor holds his unaware ward, the blonde relaxing in a blue tracksuit after a long day of unpacking. The forced move doesn’t seem to have caused her much concern, if her relaxed manner was anything to go by.

He shakes his head, pushing the thought to the back of his mind, and looks across the street once more. The building was in one of the nicer parts of the Blue Collar district, a clear sign of the Users’ favor. Or, more accurately, one powerful User’s favor and the general apathy of the others. Kiritsugu’s former apartment was also in this area, though he tended to be away on work more often than not.

The apartments around them, one inhabited by Alistair Theirin and the other by Cole MacGrath, appeared secure, but with such large windows anything was a possible point of failure. He sighs and looks at his laptop, examining the blueprints once again, ignoring the periodic city-wide exhortations to stay alert. The rest of the DFSB was assigned to yesterday’s jailbreak, leaving him free to focus on this one task. He takes a sip of his coffee and puts down the cup, careful to avoid the table’s eye.

“You,” an annoyingly familiar voice comes from behind him, extracting another, larger sigh.

“Saber.”

“You told Shirou you were working, and you are relaxing in a café? Have you no…”

“That building is my work. And you’re one to talk about shame, freeloader.”

“I know you do not like me dating your son, but to go so far as to destroy my apartment building…”

Your apartment building?”

“Yes That room there is mine, on the sixth floor. You truly did not know?”

“No,” Kiritsugu says, frowning. There were simply too many possible methods to kill Raziel, thanks to the absurd modernist love of glass. And now he couldn’t discount someone tricking the gullibly honorable Saber into letting them in.

“You seem to be having a hard time of it,” Saber says, the slight smugness in her voice irritating him.

“Then tell me, Saber. If you were to be compelled to kill someone on the highest floor, how would you go about it?”

“I would knock on their door and challenge them to a duel.”

“Of course you would. I was a fool for asking,” he says, letting out his third sigh, “Maybe I should ask Leo to bring the Tohsaka girl into the city,” he mutters. By Saber’s glare, he wasn’t quite quiet enough.

“You think that will change Shirou’s mind? We’ve been together for years.”

“The Users’ preferences make subtle, subconscious changes. If enough think Rin’s a better match than you, well… maybe he’ll decide he prefers a girl who can make food as well as eat it.”

Saber growls at him before turning to walk off in a rage, glaring at everything between her and her apartment.

The Light of the Stars Requires Time

Asuha leans against a corner, one of the many between alleyways and the main streets, fidgeting with her phone and trying not to look too far out of place. A quick glance had told her all she needed to know: she can fight here if needed. Despite what she’d said in the morning, this sort of scouting and planning wasn’t really her strong suit. At the sound of marching and yelling, she pokes her head around the corner before swiftly retreating back into the alley.

The noise was from a large group of people, all holding signs and yelling about freeing prisoners. As a “Free Mothman” sign passed, Asuha noticed a slender, pale girl in an eye-catching red hood on a roof opposite, looking at the protestors through the scope of her rifle. When the “Greasers did nothing wrong” sign passed, she noticed a bat hovering next to her, a camera taped to its leg.

Getting a bad feeling about it, she surreptitiously draws one of her pistols and points it at the flying mammal, channeling her “World” to flash-freeze it as it turned to look at the motion. It falls, the chink of shattering ice lost in the demonstration. She scoops up the camera, taking a further step back into the alley as she opens it and takes out the SD card that held the footage, crushing it in her fist.

She uses her “World” again, burning the device, and walks towards the other street, texting her brother to keep watch for bats. She stops near the mouth of the alleyway; behind its fangs – mercifully fake this time – lay a desiccated corpse, the remaining grey hair and stereotypical wizard robes marking it as, well, an old wizard. She notices a wallet off to the side, only slightly less tattered than the corpse itself. She lifts it, ignoring the monogrammed “A.P.W.B.D” and grabbing a few bills before throwing it back down.

“Thank you. Sorry,” Asuha mutters to the corpse, stuffing the money into her pocket. Kasumi would probably scold her if he found out, but they needed money. She steps out into the street, this one mercifully clear of protestors. She jogs across, weaving around the stalled, redirected traffic and into a convenience store. She snatches up a berry and cream sweet bun, ponying over a bit of her recent windfall to the bespectacled schoolgirl cashier, and taking a seat on the tables outside.

A quick glance again told her she could fight on that street, and its roofs, so she leans back in her chair, munching on the soft, chewy treat she had procured. A screen set up on the end shows a group of four people in masks - two wearing orange, one purple, and one green – in a semicircle in front of a composed Caucasian male, with stiff brown hair and a skinny tie.

The green-hoodied man slams his hand on the table, visibly startling two of the other guests and the host, while the one in a full-face mask just tilts his head, every bone of his body radiating bored annoyance. Asuha was slightly impressed; the full-masked man was even more natural at appearing irritated than her brother.

“And with the rising homelessness, the pair of you think it best to do what? Evict more?” Beast yells, clearly agitated, “And as if the homeless problem wasn’t bad enough, there’s now reports of mass deportations! The city is failing its citizens, and what is the government doing? La nul… nothing! Worse than that, current policies are exacerbating the issues we face.”

“That’s time, Beast,” Connor says hesitantly. The man takes a deep breath, composing himself, before sitting in his seat.

“Okay… moving on to Leo,” the android says, “Do you have any comments on how to fix the homeless crisis Beast has so passionately brought up? Or anything to say regarding the accusations that Appel is leveraging the Red Light districts to detain and deport warriors?”

“Laq already has the DFederal Homeless Relief Initiative, which I believe all four of us have contributed to. Sadly, it’s much easier to evict than it is to create a home. As for the second… Appel’s deportations are in line with the laws as written, so there’s no need for me to comment. Finally, with regards to Beast’s tirade, I’d like to remind you that the man himself is currently Bureau. One of the top two members of the government he so criticizes. Which begs the question of why he himself is not using his power to fix that which he hates. If we’re done with this farce, I have work to do.”

Asuha snorts as the channel hurriedly cuts to commercial, polishing off her food. She gets up, giving the girl behind the counter a friendly wave before walking off to continue figuring out where she could support Kasumi if her brother slipped up.


Maiya jogged through the still-bustling streets, a cloth-covered cage banging against her back. She spared the orb overhead a glance, even knowing its phase could change within the next ten seconds. As suspected, the full moon turned crescent in a blink, as if a giant mouth had taken a bite out of it. She brings the scope of her AUG to her eye, using it as a makeshift telescope in idle curiosity. Noting that the moon actually did have bite marks, she lowers the gun, deftly stepping around a fleshy, black sac of Darkspawn Taint.

She jumps into an alleyway, using her momentum to swing up a roof access ladder. One thing she had learned was to never stay in the alleyways at night longer than you had to; there were too many stories of people dying with nary a scratch, only to not know why after their resurrection. A low growling under her proves her right to hurry. A look below her showed a pack of large, black-furred dogs crunching and devouring the corpse of a Chinese man with numerous cybernetic implants. Leaving Kai to yet another humiliation, she gets on with her work.

She kneels on the thrumming rooftop, focusing her mind to force the building to remain stable. That taken care of, she sets down the cage and reaches in, pulling out a small bat before closing it again. She grabs a small camera from her pack, and secures it on the animal’s leg. She pokes its nose, giving a small smile as the animal yawns, pawing at her finger, and slowly opens its eyes. She closes hers, completing the simple magic to turn the animal into her familiar.

The bat flies into the sky, sharing its senses with Maiya. As it does so, its eyes notice a rainstorm localized over an intersection. Curious, she directs the bat towards the disturbance, noting that all the lights were red. A short blond girl, dressed all in blue, points a dolphin-shaped squirt gun at the storm from outside it. Flying closer, the bat was able to make out a winged humanoid flying in the storm. The girl, now recognizable as Liliana Guenther, focuses, and the falling raindrops melt together, creating countless massive chains of water.

The girl gives a command, and the chains wrap around Mothman and bind themselves to the streetlights, forcing the creature to the ground. It slams into the asphalt, the water now changing to a gel-like adhesive. The bat flew further towards it, driven by a sudden need to know what would happen to an escaped prisoner.

The familiar was a little too close, as it was unable to react as the asphalt itself rose, the corners meeting in a pseudo-sphere. Before the bat could fly through the gaps, the entire square twisted, rising into a column visible even from Maiya’s location. She cut her connection to the bat as its bones start to beak under the pressure, and uses her AUG’s scope to watch as the large, twisted column collapses again, returning to the flat square it was earlier.

There’s no trace of the obviously pulped Mothman – or her familiar – in sight. Traffic continues through the intersection, as if no being was casually murdered on the spot. No surprise, as it was what passed for normal in this city. Maiya sighs, lamenting the wasted familiar, and puts her rifle down.

She takes out another bat, affixing another camera onto its leg before turning it into a familiar and releasing it. She cuts the sensory connection early this time, and repeats the process. She had to set up a net tonight, to ensure that she would catch the siblings tomorrow. They were nearby; one of her familiars saw a flash of red hair before being frozen solid earlier in the evening.

The bat would be avenged.

Light Lanterns in the Morning

Kiritsugu sits on a bench in front of one of the many open squares in the more urban sections of the Blue Collar district, smoking with his eyes closed. The district had been his home for years, and he still felt more comfortable here rather than in his new house. The familiar, slightly chilly morning air blew the smoke away, drifting along with his thoughts. A rustle of cloth beside him announced Maiya, his partner waiting patiently for him to open his eyes.

“Oh, hi,” a slightly less patient – but no less welcome – voice called, and Kiritsugu pried his eyes open. Between him and the blood-red fountain stood a youth with orange hair, his adopted son.

“Shirou. Sorry I couldn’t help out.”

“No, you have work. That’s understandable, it’s just…”

“We haven’t had much time together recently. Tell you what, I’ll make some time after this job’s finished, and we can have dinner or something.”

“Oh, that’s right,” Shirou says, hitting his palm with his fist, “I’m having dinner with Saber tonight.”

“I think I’ll pa…”

“We’re having a welcoming party for her new upstairs neighbors,” Shirou says, plowing through the pair of dissatisfied scowls as his girlfriend’s name comes up, “I think they were… Sorami, Lilith, Setsuna, and Raziel?”

At the list of names, Kiritsugu and Maiya exchange a glance, before Kiritsugu nods.

“If you’re inviting me so earnestly, how can I refuse? I’ll keep tonight clear.”

“Thank you! Maiya, do you want to…”

“No. Someone needs to do his share, too.”

“I… alright, then. See you tonight, old man.”

Shirou walks away, a bit of a spring in his step as he heads to school after the two-day holiday while investigations into North University’s staff – from pre to high school – took place. Kiritsugu grimaces when remembering the incident; investigations were DFPD’s department, but the disturbing scene had been plastered all over the news. Noticing his rapidly souring mood, Maiya feels it time to speak.

“Does Shirou’s invitation change anything?”

“Not in the morning, plan stays the same. Shadow her on her way to and at work, I’ll see where she can be attacked. As she returns, we switch. I eat with Shirou, you watch for vulnerabilities. I’ll see if I can snag you some food.”

“Sounds nice,” Maiya says as she gets up, “I’ll make my way to her building now. See you at night.”

“All right. I’ll be watching from above.”

A few minutes later, Maiya silently watches as Raziel and her friends walk out of their apartment, oblivious to the danger and to the ones keeping them safe. Maiya sits at the bus stop while they stand and chat, waiting in good humor. And in good humor they should be, as their lives should finally be settling down.

The cost-free bus that would end at DFederal East University pulls up, the quartet entering the front half, reserved for students at this hour. Maiya herself hops into the back half, leaning into one of the seats and closing her eyes, letting her other senses sharpen to fill in the void. Her eyes flutter open for a second as she studiously ignored Kayneth’s dissatisfied click of the tongue, before opening wide again as she sees a few black specs floating past the bus, an unusual black marking on Kayneth’s neck, and a massive sword in the sky rapidly being covered by fog.

She pulls the emergency stop notification as the surrounding fog grows denser, springing to punch the rival magus in the face as the bus screeches to a halt. He collapses under the blow, and she wastes no time before tossing him out one of the opening doors before slamming it shut.

“Close the doors and windows, quickly,” she shouts, “It’s Black Dandelion!”

A flurry of activity goes through the bus, everyone making sure the vehicle was nearly airtight. That done, the activity in the bus dies down as everyone retakes their seat.

“Ah, I hope Professor Iwafune accepts this as late,” one of the students near her mutters, a slightly dirty yet still well-dressed man with a black notebook in his pocket.

“He’s out there fighting it, dipshit,” another voice says, this one from a less certain direction, causing the student to glare around him.

The kids chuckle, not even flinching when a man wearing red-stained white slams into the side of the bus, the black tendrils wrapped around his hand and bow. A flash of green holds him in the air, and the plant matter retreats, rapidly shrinking to a small seed which is quickly enveloped in an orange light and vanishes.

A scream and gasps come from the front, drawing knowing smiles from the other commuters. The newbies would get used to this soon enough. After several minutes of gunfire and corpses slamming into the bus, the fog lifts. Corpses, blood, and wrecked cars strew the ground, even blocking the road. A door to a convenience store directly across from Maiya opens, showing Leo stepping out before sealing off the scenery of his office.

The man looks around, nodding to himself, and snaps. The corpses, injured, and wreckage vanish, leaving a clear road. He taps on the glass at the front, gesturing for the bus driver to continue before giving a small wave and walking into the convenience store, not connecting the door to his office this time.

The bus moves as bidden, taking the students to yet another Friday at school.


Kasumi and Asuha walk down the street, both armed today. The man in sunglasses had showed up in their dreams again, exhorting them to see a specific information dealer in the slums. As they entered that part of the city, the air suddenly turns rank and hazy, as if an invisible boundary kept the atmosphere of the districts separate.

Though with all they’d seen, that wasn’t as far-fetched as they would have liked. The siblings continued in silence, ignoring the suspicious looks thrown their way. They walked confidently, Kasumi remembering some of the words of dubious wisdom his mother had drilled into him:

“If you act like it’s natural, no one will care if you pick their pocket.”

“Seriously, was she trying to make me a supervillain or something?” he mutters.

“Hmm?” Asuha says, as he feels her eyes on his back.

“Just remembering something Mom once told me.”

“Oh. Say, Onii, what was she like?” Asuha asks, genuinely curious.

“Right, you were too young when we entered cold sleep. Hmm… She would fit right in at Kannagawa, I guess?”

“Geh.”

“Tell me about it.”

Necessary information exchanged, the pair falls quiet again. After a few minutes, Kasumi feels a tug on his sleeve. He turns, and follows the subtle incline of Asuha’s head to see the sign they were looking for. A minute nod later, the two step up to the door, gathering themselves before opening it.

They enter The Conduit, and are almost immediately glared at by the elderly man behind the counter, wrapped in cloth with a few glowing blue pieces of metal slapped over it.

“I don’t serve kids,” Kessler snarls, glaring at them.

“We were told to come here by a… Mr. B,” Kasumi says

“Ah, you’re them. Well, I do owe Mr. B quite a bit,” Kessler says, friendlier this time as he traces a finger around his neck. He waves them over, and after a quick glance between them Asuha sits next to the door while Kasumi slides up to the bar.

“So, a quick dossier on your target. Name is Raziel, attends East University as a high school student, despite being an angel about as old as time itself. Works at a bookstore in the White Collar District on the weekends. Lives with Sorami Kagutsu, Setsuna Tendou, and Lilith, who attend the same school. Sorami works as a waitress in a restaurant near their new apartment, Setsuna is an assistant instructor at a martial arts club in the Wealthy District, and is dating Lilith, who… works somewhere. The woman is impenetrable, even with my network.”

“Sounds like sniping her at night is the right way to go.”

“Yes, it does. Now as for who’s chasing you… I have an idea, but nothing concrete. This man was monitoring the area around Raziel’s apartment yesterday,” Kessler continues, pushing forward an image.

“That’s… me? But no, he’s older…”

“Kiritsugu Emiya. A skilled and ruthless hunting dog. He’s probably partnered with someone, but I don’t know who. You’ll need to take extreme care; he’s with the secret police.”

“Sounds bad,” Kasumi says, staring at the photo.

“It is. The regular cops catch you, you get capped and tossed in the Illegal District for a while based on what you did. That’s just endless bright red light, so strong that you can’t even tell when your eyes are closed. Or even see anything other than that light at all, but that’s the easy crap. Those guys have something special. Instead of the light, you relive the worst, most painful moments of your life. Over and over, until you scream for it to stop. Then they change to the second-worst.” Kessler growls, clearly speaking from experience.

“Hey, Onii, those black things look creepy,” Asuha says, staring outside.

Kessler looks up, seeing the drifting black specs as Kasumi also turns around. The old man immediately slams a button under the table, dropping thick steel shutters on both sides of the door and windows. He looks back at his patrons and holds his hands in the air, seeing three gun barrels on him at point-blank range.

“Trust me. You don’t want to be outside when that happens,” he says, turning the TV on and changing the channel to the news as muffled screams and the sounds of tearing flesh make it through the corrugated metal.

“… and we are advising citizens to stay inside for the time being, as there has been a confirmed Black Dandelion outbreak. The affected districts are Blue Collar and the Slums,” a woman in a skintight black suit and really long hair says, the light reflecting off her glasses, “These outbreaks are growing more frequent. Lancelot, as our chief political commentator do you have any insight on why the government seems incapable of intervening?”

“GRaaGH, raar, GARR!” the man in black armor growls.

“I see. Very insightful,” the woman says, clearly holding back her irritation.

“Grrrr. RAWR GRAWR RAUHR!”

“Yes, thank you, Lancelot. We at DFNN will give updates as the story develops…”

A clink in front of them startles the siblings back to the bar, as Kessler places a pair of plates in front of them, one with an oversized hamburger and the other with fish and chips, and an accompanying pot of tea.

“On the house. I’ll leave the files on the counter. Run like mad once it’s safe,” Kessler says, retreating back into the kitchen.

Backward, Sideward, Forward

Kiritsugu smokes while looking up at an apartment building, waiting for his son to show up. While he could have simply asked Saber to let him in, that would require interacting with his former Servant without a mediator. He finally spots Shirou, the short orange hair giving it away, and takes a few steps to toss the remains of his cigarette in the public ashtray.

“You could have gone in,” Shirou says, trying to hold several bags of groceries.

“And gotten into another argument with Saber before you got here?” Kiritsugu asks, taking some of the bags off of Shirou’s arm.

“Come on, you two aren’t that bad.”

“We are,” Kiritsugu replies as he holds the door. Shirou enters Saber’s security pin, and the pair enter the lobby. A short elevator ride later, Shirou knocks on Saber’s door.

“Saber! The old man and I are here!”

The door cracks open, showing blonde hair and her usual white blouse. Saber, looking surprisingly agreeable, peeks out to confirm their identities. Satisfied, she fully opens the door, letting them in. Kiritsugu puts down the food next to the kitchen, after which Shirou shoos him into the living room.

Noticing a glint on the other side of the ceiling-to-floor window, he surreptitiously fishes a laser pointer from his sleeve and points it at the shine. It drops, presumably after Maiya flinched from a laser pointer to the eye, and he continues checking the rooftops.

“What are you doing?” Saber asks, her normally combative tone softened for once as she joins him at the window.

“Work. This building in particular is the most likely target for an attack, as there’s plenty here who have the favor of the Users. Now that public sentiment against the government is growing, we can’t discount that the malcontents might attack this place, seeking to hurt the Users by proxy,” Kiritsugu replies, weaving some fact into his fiction to make it believable.

“I see. I suppose my ‘challenge them to a duel’ idea was less then helpful, then.”

“It was.”

“I apologize, then,” Saber says. Kiritsugu turns to look at her, guarded suspicion in his eyes. This was far too abrupt a change from how she usually acted in his presence. She tilts her head as well, troubled by his searching glare.

“You’re unusually polite today,” he says, voicing his discomfort.

“I do not always wish to argue,” Saber replies. The suspicion in his eyes only grows, however, and she looks at the floor, disheartened.

“Oi, Kiritsugu, relax a bit. I asked her to keep the fighting to a minimum tonight,” Shirou calls from the kitchen.

“I see,” he says, pointing the laser pointer at another flash of a scope lens, “I’m sorry as well, Saber.”

“No, your suspicion was warranted. I have previously shamed myself by arguing overmuch,” Saber says, clearly taken aback. She obviously did not expect him to agree to the forced truce, and Kiritsugu’s mouth twitches. No doubt they’d be at each other’s throats tomorrow.

“Ah, speaking of Saber shaming herself. Shirou, have you told them about, well...?” Kiritsugu asks, bunching his hair up in an attempt to mimic the girl’s ahoge. Shirou gives a wry smile when he looks, while Saber turns red enough to be mistaken for an apple.

“No, I haven’t. Don’t think I should, seeing how Lilith acts.”

“Smart, but you do need to tell Raziel. She’s liable to pluck it while spaced out.”

“Ah. I’ll leave that to you?”

“Sure. Don’t want Saber going Alter and ruining the meal.”


“Hey, Onii,” Asuha says, lazing on the bed in their apartment, “you think we can actually go home?”

“If leaving were an option the city would be nicer,” Kasumi says, sitting on the chair next to her while once again leafing through the files they got from Kessler.

“Yeah… never thought I’d miss Chiba.”

“I’d even take Tokyo.”

“Tokyo? Really? Even with what’s-his-face?”

“Really.”

The two fall quiet for a second, the pair of bad communicators trying to figure out what the other was thinking. After a moment, Kasumi leans in towards her.

“You know what I don’t miss?” he asks.

“What?” Asuha asks, before he taps her at the base of the neck. She jumps, letting out a startled squeal, before retreating to the wall and glaring at him.

“Codes,” he says, tapping the base of his own neck in turn. “I think it’s best if we rest tomorrow until the night.”

She nods lazily and flops back onto the bed, eyes closing.


The next night, a refreshed Asuha walks up the stairs of a building, a couple blocks from the apartment of the girl they were to kill. Her job this time was simple: perch on the water tower and tell Kasumi when movement slowed. She kicks the door open, and stops in surprise when she sees the two figures setting up their own surveillance net.

“Ah. Shit.”

“Kiritsugu. It’s her.”

Across from her were Kiritsugu Emiya and Maiya Hisau, just as surprised as she was.

Lightning and Thunder Require Time

Asuha throws herself into a roll as she draws her pistols, dodging the hail of gunfire aimed at her. She fires at both as she leaps, using her “World” immediately to send a gout of flame out of one muzzle. Kiritsugu ducks under the fire, leveling his Contender at Asuha, while Maiya flanks her at point blank range, taking aim with her pistol.

Riding the momentum, Asuha sweeps her leg out, not quite tripping Maiya, and lands on one leg. She leaps over Kiritsugu’s head, aiming for the water tower and leveling one of her pistols at him in turn. Kiritsugu had read the move, however, and fired his Contender above him. Thinking quickly, Asuha uses her “World” to halt the bullet in its tracks. It falls, hitting the ground as she lands on the water tower and immediately kicks off, heading to the streets below.

She holsters one pistol as she sprints down the street, replacing it with her cell phone. Ignoring the startled yells around her, she hits the speed dial, and after a few tense rings her brother picks up.

“Lonely? Wanted to hear your onii-chan’s voice?” Kasumi asks wryly.

“Gross. Got company.”

“Who? And where?”

“That guy we were warned about and some chick. Ran into them at the water tower.”

“Keep your phone on speaker and head to me. I’ll keep you covered.”

“Roger,” Asuha says, sticking the phone in her skirt pocket and points one pistol behind her while re-drawing the other. She channels her “World” as strongly as she can, halting all motion on the sidewalk behind her, preventing even cries of alarm from reaching her ears. As the resulting chill reaches her, she speeds it up, making the building next to her nearly hot enough to melt asphalt. The rapid shift causes cracks in the brick and shatters the windows, the shards of which she then halts entirely in midair.

Kiritsugu, chasing the young girl, lets the Calico drop to his side. He then leans back, sliding on the still-frozen ground while activating Time Alter. Using the sped-up time to reload his Contender, he fires at his quarry as he comes out from under the glass, too close to dodge.

A spark in midair announces Kasumi, giving his sister cover. His bullet causes the Contender’s to ricochet, instead sending it through a silvery membrane and into the shoulder of a passing university professor on his way home.

Ignoring Kayneth’s gurgling and screaming, Asuha ducks around him and into a small gap between two buildings. Kiritsugu elbows his flailing form into the street as he turns to see the girl flipping up on top of a building and kicking off the roof, sailing clear across the street. He runs to the next corner and turns it, trying to keep the redhead in sight. Maiya zooms past him in their car, window down with her rifle resting on the mirror.

She makes a few shots, trying to pin the girl down. These don’t work, and the back window of the car rolls down. A bat flies out, speeding towards the girl as she runs across the roof. The familiar, sharing senses with Maiya, makes her aim more accurate. She fires, barely missing as the car speeds past. That was enough, however, killing Asuha’s momentum and sending her tumbling down to the ground. As she drifts the car, trying to make a U-turn in the mercifully empty intersection, several impacts on the passenger side unbalance the vehicle.

It flips, skidding about a block on its roof. It comes to a stop, Maiya straining to breathe through a broken rib. A wet thud stops even that, the bullet ripping her throat open as it passed before ricocheting off of a sewer manhole and intercepting another Contender bullet heading for Asuha.

Kiritsugu quickly raises his Calico, firing to keep Asuha off balance. The girl simply slows the bullets and jumps, using the overturned car as a stepping stone to leap clear over the building diagonal to him. He sees a muzzle flash from a building four blocks ahead of him, forcing him to crouch behind the car for cover. His eyes harden as he sees Maiya’s corpse, and then widen when realizes he hasn’t heard the shot hit anywhere nearby. That meant one of two things, both bad.

“I told you he was a sniper, you dolt,” Leo’s annoyed voice echoes in his head, confirming the worst, “Raziel’s dead. At least kill them so we can interrogate them.”

Tombs and Sepulchers

Kiritsugu closes his eyes for a second, and then rolls out from behind the car, sprinting down the street. First priority was the sniper, second was the mage girl. If Leo’s intel was correct, the pair is likely to make meeting up a priority. He glares ahead of him as he reloads his Contender, discarding the Calico entirely. If the sniper couldn’t turn off his magic, it was the boy’s bad luck.

Then, he saw his chance. The door of the building a few blocks ahead opened, and the sniper walked out. Kiritsugu snaps off a shot at the boy, before activating Time Alter and throwing his knife at inhuman speed. He reloads as he sprints, the boy dodging the knife but moving into the path of the bullet. It grazes his shoulder, but his eyes grow wide with shock and pain as the Origin Bullet does its work.

A flash of red hair crosses Kiritsugu’s vision, Asuha sprinting to save her brother. Kiritsugu lets them go and turns the corner, still in Double Accel. Even if he died here, he’d just be revived and spit back into the world, only half-sure of his sanity. He shakes the intruding thoughts from his head as he sprints across the street and around another corner, halting when he reaches the street. He quickly checks in both directions, and notices a small trickle of blood coming from the side of the building to his right, leading to an entryway.

Exerting his will to stave off the world’s attempts to correct the flow of time, he runs towards it and extends his Contender as he passes the stone shielding the entryway from view. He and the sniper had their guns pointed at each other.

“Why did you kill Raziel?” he asks, taking advantage of the situation to try and get intel. The boy, however, simply points to one of his ears, the blood trail from them running down his face. Kiritsugu tightens his finger on the trigger, hesitance to shoot someone who looked like his younger self in the face interfering with his duty.

A phone buzzed in the teen’s pocket, giving him an excuse to give in to sentimentality. At Kasumi’s questioning look, Kiritsugu nods. The teen slips his hand into his pocket, slowly, and retrieves his smartphone. He reads the message, then flips it around to face Kiritsugu. It appeared to be a message log between him and Asuha, with the most recent message being “Show the man the phone.” As Kiritsugu stares, more messages come in.

“We didn’t want to do this,” the first sentence read, and more came in a flurry. “Killing humans is not something we like. Normally we’d turn ourselves in. But not to you. You hurt Onii.”

Getting a bad feeling about this, Kiritsugu uses his speed to roll to the right, dodging Kasumi’s shot that came a split second later, turning his Contender to aim at the light that appeared above him. Time Alter chose that moment to collapse, throwing his aim off before Asuha unleashes a blast of fire hot enough to make the sidewalk glow.

Epilogue: It Has Not Yet Reached the Ears of Men

“So you’re saying a yellow-eyed demon showed up in your dreams, changed into an well-dressed tanned man, and instructed you to kill Raziel in exchange for getting to go home?” Menardi asks, the pink-skinned Proxian looking at the Chigusas incredulously.

“Well, yes,” Kasumi says, sighing inwardly.

“I see. It’s as we thought, Saturos,” she says, and the blue-skinned man leaning against the wall nods.

“Yes. Especially since…”

“Not in front of them,” Menardi warns, and the door opens. Past the bald man holding a futuristic gun walks a man in a grey jacket, blue shirt, a mask, and cargo pants. There was a worrying splash of blood on his right hand, which simply vanished once Saturos pointed to it.

“Well, he was lying about you being able to go home, at least,” he says, “Even if you were to be kicked out of the city, you would simply cease to exist.”

“So we’re trapped here?” Asuha asks, narrowing her eyes in anger.

“Pretty much, but I’ve pulled a couple strings. Your little altercation with Kiritsugu and Maiya will be counted as a battle, securing you each a home in the White Collar District. It’s a far nicer area than that Blue Collar District apartment you were holed up in. 404… a bad joke, that.”

“Separately?” Kasumi asks, causing Asuha to punch him in the back, “This for your security?”

“No, it’s how things work here,” Saturos says, “If you like we can set you up in the two halves of a duplex.”

“It’s not unusual. Saturos and I are set up like that,” Menardi says, much friendlier than during the interrogation.

“Please,” Asuha says immediately.

“Wait, you’ve still got attached houses? Aren’t you in the Wealthy District now?” Leo asks.

“… Yes,” Saturos answers, clearly embarrassed.

“We will need to give them some form of tracker before the Kadingir Project is finished… All right, I’ll leave those two to you. I’ll be debriefing our other pair of idiots in my office. Oh, and our department’s security level will be wartime tomorrow on, but the city will stay in lax.” At a nod from the two Proxians, Leo turns and opens the door, connecting it to his office. He steps in and closes it, sighing before walking to the other side of his desk.

He sits down, exerting his will to rematerialize Kiritsugu and Maiya in front of him, breaking just about all the city regulations about revivals in the process. The pair appears, tense and looking around wildly. Little surprise, as their last memories and sensations were being killed in the midst of combat. He waits until they calm down and return to a resting position before speaking.

“We’ve failed. Maiya, you will get half pay, a memory wipe, and a teleport to your new Blue Collar District apartment.” Leo snaps as soon as he finishes, not giving the woman time to react before she vanishes from the room. That done, he stares at Kiritsugu for a few seconds.

“I’m sorry. I suppose I’m fired, then?”

“No. Lucky you, we’re about to enter the wartime security level, and I can’t afford to lose anyone. Redeem yourself then.”

“Wartime? Has Raziel not been revived?”

“Her body has.”

“That’s go… only her body?” Kiritsugu asks, gritting his teeth as Leo nods, “Farouk, then?”

“Yes. Kiritsugu, you went underequipped this time.”

“Sir?”

“I’ve told you how we operate here. Crush. With. Full. Force. Yet you didn’t even retrieve Avalon, or ask me to duplicate it, once you knew Saber would be nearby.”

Kiritsugu falls silent, unable to refute Leo’s words. The simplicity of their earlier jobs had made him complacent. Then, without warning, a pair of objects fly at him. He catches them, noting that one is indeed Avalon, while the other is a dark red cloth bag.

“Avalon won’t work without Saber nearby to provide mana,” he says, slightly confused.

“Which is why one of her fingers is in that sack. Keep both on you. Dismissed.”

Before Kiritsugu can react, he also vanishes, leaving Leo alone in his office. Wherever that actually was, it was a decidedly physical space. Nowhere where he can grasp a soul. He leans back in his chair, realizing he’s forgetting something important. Something that appears to have been walled off in his head, or perhaps the entire city’s.

It had been some time since he had a challenge. This was going to be interesting.


Raziel materializes into a small room, the walls yellow and the floor a checkerboard pattern. Rather than pieces, however, a young man in a tattered, green hoodie and long hair gapes at her, while a woman in a blue dress and pink hair stared vapidly into space. Raziel idly wonders if she looks like that to her friends, when the green-hoodied man recovers his voice.

“But wait, Akechi prevented… how are you dead?”

“A gun from far away,” Raziel says, looking around, “Where’s this?”

“Astral plane. You control it with your mind, creating what you imagine.”

Raziel thinks for a second, and her tablet falls into her hands. Nodding, she looks at the wall, materializing a door. She opens it, revealing a library on a cosmic scale, the shelves stretching out of sight.

“Thank you. I’ll be reading,” she says, and steps through the door.

“Wait, at least…” Beast says, getting up to try and keep the only human company he’s had in eons from leaving. Raziel closes the door behind her as she enters, leaving him with his hand stretched. After a second, he sits down and holds his head in his hands, cursing that Leo’s paranoia prevents him from making contact. As her creator despairs, Ramona 2.0 stares at the spot the door used to be.

He is alone, once again, with just his thoughts.


Expert's Opinion

In this match, both pairs of partners needed to work together and support each other. Having both members on the field was key to victory, and Maiya was the weakest link of the four. With her out first, Kiritsugu was quickly double-teamed and taken down.

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

Edit Section.png

Battles here were deemed to be unfair or otherwise not in accordance with wiki standards, and have been removed from the statuses of the warriors and displayed below.

Battle vs. Mattias Nilsson and Jennifer Mui alongside Maiya Hisau (by SPARTAN 119)

Mattias Nilsson and Jennifer Mui walk through the port of Fuyuki City. Unknown to them, above them, in one of the many gantry cranes, Kiritsugu Emiya lies in wait with his WA-2000 sniper rifle, with Maiya standing on the bridge of an oil tanker with her Steyr AUG.

Emiya takes aim at Nilsson and fires, missing by inches, as Maiya fires a three-round burst at Jen. Nilsson and Jen split up, moving from the cover of one shipping container to another, avoiding incoming fire.

Jen got out her Barret M99 and fired a shot at Maiya, narrowly missing her. Maiya took cover behind the bridge of the oil tanker as Jen fired a second shot, this one an armor-piering incendiary round right into one of the fuel storage tanks.

The tanker exploded in a huge ball of flames, but Maiya was not killed. She managed to jump from the bridge of the blazing ruins of the vessel on to a stack of shipping containers. Maiya fired another burst a Jen, who still though she was dead. The Barret M99 was blown out of Jen's hands by the 5.56mm rounds.

Jen got out her Chang Feng submachine gun and fired a burst of rounds at Maiya, who ran across the stack of shipping containers, climbing down as she went. Jen fired off the rest of the mag at Maiya, all of her shots missing, save for one that blew the AUG out of Maiya's hand.

Jen reloaded her SMG, only for a 9mm round to hit her hand, blowing the magazine out of her hand. Jen turned and drew her SIG Sauer, to see Maiya facing her with her Glock.

"You got blood on my new coat, you bitch!", Jen said, firing several times at the exact same time as Maiya opened fire. Both women were struck in the chest several times, falling to the floor.

With her dying breath, Maiya said "Kiritsugu... I..."

At the same time, Jen said, "At least my body will be... well... dressed..."

Meanwhile, Mattias fired his XM8 at Kiritsugu, only to have it shot out of his hand second later. Nilsson fired his RPO-A Shmel at the gantry crane that was Kiritsugu's sniping position.

As the rocket flew in, Kiritsugu activated his time manipulation magic. Time seemed to slow down, while to Mattias' eyes, Kiritsugu seemed to slide down the ladder with superhuman speed.

The crane exploded above him as Kiritsugu got out his Calico SMG and turned around the corner of the maze of shipping crates as Mattias drew his Smith and Wesson. Kiritsugu fired a burst, some of the rounds hitting, but none doing lethal damage.

Mattias fought against the pain and raised his revolver and fired. The .50 round hit the Calico SMG's drum mag, shattering it. At the same time, Kiritsugu drew his Thompson Contender, firing, but missing and hitting the revolver in Nilsson's hand, disarming him.

Nilsson ran into an open shipping crate as Kiritsugu reloaded his contender. Nilsson grabbed a second RPO-A Shmel rocket launcher and leaned out from cover as he said "Now begins Ragnarok!". Nilsson fired a rocket at Kiritsugu. Kiritsugu fired his Contender, hitting Nilsson in the chest, just as the RPO rocket hit him.

The thermobaric rocket impacted, its fuel-air warhead vaporizing Kiritsugu instantly in a powerful shock wave and a blast of intense heat. At the same time, Mattias felt a pain in his chest. The flesh in his chest looked rotted, dead, the result of the magic bullet in Kiritsugu's Contender. As his heart literally died within him, Nilsson said

"I guess... Valhalla awaits me..."

DRAW

Expert's Opinion

Mattias' Superior sidearm and explosive weapons and durability, as well as Jen's superior sniper rifle were sufficient Kiritsugu's superior SMG and limited time manipulation abilities. This, along with the X-Factors, canceled out the two teams advantages, resulting in a tie.

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

Reason

Mattias and Jennifer were buffed via using game mechanics for durability feats.

Battle vs. Corvo Attano (by SPARTAN 119)

Kiritsugu Emiya stood on top of a building above the streets of Dunwall. He knelt down, Walther WA-2000 sniper rifle in hand and looked through the night vision scope. Several hundred meters away, Corvo Attano crept through the shadows, not realizing that another assassin with supernatural abilities had been sent to kill him.

Kiritsugu pulled the trigger, firing a 7.62mm round towards Corvo. At that moment, however, a gust of wind caused the round to go to the right, missing Corvo and impacting a the ground, chipping small pieces of stone of the cobblestone streets. Corvo immediately took cover behind a short wall, before he activated his Dark Vision, revealing a sniper standing on the roof of a building a few hundred meters away.

Kiritsugu took aim and prepared to the fire a second shot when he heard a whooshing sound, and saw a blurry image fly into a second story window about 50 meters from where Corvo was.

Corvo appeared in the second story window, and then teleported again, making his way up to the rooftops. Corvo took cover behind a chimney, before making a break for it, jumping and running along the rooftops.

Kiritsugu heard Corvo running and got out his Calico SMG and fired a burst of round 9mm rounds at Corvo, one of them barely grazing his side. Corvo ducked behind a second chimney as more bullets bounced off the brickwork.

After Kiritsugu fired off his second burst of rounds, Corvo activated his Windblast power, knocking Kiritsugu off his feet. As Kiritsugu landed face down on the rooftop, Corvo used Blink again, teleporting on the the next rooftop.

Kiritsugu got up from the rooftop and noticed where Corvo was. Kiritsugu gave a dark smile as he got out his Claymore mine detonator and pulled the trigger. At that instance, two claymore mine to either side of Corvo exploded.

Corvo realized as soon as he saw the look on Kiritsugu's face that he was holding the control to some kind of explosive device. Corvo activated his Bend Time power, freezing the ball bearings fired from the mines in mid air, some of them just inches from Corvo's body.

Corvo ran out of the blast radius and jumped onto the same rooftop as Kiritsugu. At that point, Corvo's Bend Time power expired.

To Kiritsugu's eyes, it looked like Corvo had teleported yet again. Kiritsugu drew his Contender and fired, only barely missing his shot. Corvo responded with his Crossbow. This time, it was Corvo's turn to be surprised. Kiritsugu seemed to teleport out of the path of the bolt.

"I thought so.", Kiritsugu said, "You can use time manipulation magic too."

Corvo did not understand the phrase Kiritsugu spoke- his adversary was speaking Japanese. Corvo ignored the statement and ran at Kiritsugu with his sword. Kiritsugu only barely blocked the attack with his Walther, and then struck Corvo in the face with the stock, cracking one of the lenses on his mask and knocking him to the floor.

Kiritsugu turned the large rifle on Corvo, preparing the fire at point blank range. But Corvo was not finished yet: he drew his City Watch Pistol and fired a single shot right into Kiritsugu's face, causing the assassin to fall to the ground, dead.

Corvo walked over to Kiritsugu's body and examined his weapons, including the sniper rifle, which, it turned out, has a scope with an effect similar to his Dark Vision. Corvo also rapid fire gun that his enemy had used earlier, which seemed to have large drum magazine. The man also had an impressive collection of what appeared to be grenades and explosives.

Corvo collected these weapons, which were more advanced than anything he had seen before. Surely they would be useful additions to his arsenal. And Piero would no doubt find them interesting as well...

WINNER: Corvo Attano

Expert's Opinion

While Kiritsugu Emiya was armed with far more advanced weapons and had greater combat experience, the powers Corvo gained from his encounter with the Outsider, particularly Blink and Bend Time, allowed him to nullify much of Kiritsugu's advantage.

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

Reason

The author gave Kiritsugu a "Night Vision Magic" he never used and artificially limited Time Alter, both buffing and nerfing him.

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