- 1 DFederal Intro
- 2 Saber: Arata Funamori & Chris Northfield (Princess Waltz)
- 3 Lancer: Velvet Crowe and Eleanor Hume (Tales of Berseria)
- 4 Archer: Eve & Adam (Tokyo Babel)
- 5 Rider: Rui & Wes (Pokemon Colosseum)
- 6 Caster: Trevor Belmont & Sypha Belnades (Castlevania)
- 7 Berserker: Shiki Tohno & Arcueid Brunestud (Tsukihime)
- 8 Assassin: Kaoru Mashiko & Ellen Kohagura (Toji no Miko)
- 9 Scenario
- 10 Voting
- 11 Battle
“I’ve finished the interrogations, Lord Artorius,” a blond-haired youth says, stowing a wand in his robes as he stands in a bare stone room, “I’ve detected no spells or compulsions on your followers.”
“Thank you, Draco,” Artorius says, “Your… reward will be in the room across the hall.”
“Thank you, sir,” he replies, bowing and turning to exit the room. The stone door grinds shut, leaving himself and Shigure alone in the dim candlelight.
“You sure that’s enough?” Shigure asks, “You know Leo takes a more active approach to his plots. What if he’s done something?”
“Then we’ll just have to risk it. This is simply a precaution; I doubt he even knows about our little organization.”
h E h a S l u r k e R. h E k n o w S.
The two men jump at the sudden intrusion into their minds, and kneel. Calamity rarely chimed in, but when the Entity made itself known it was usually important.
“Then this is utterly illogical,” Artorius continues, “There is no reason to provide me with allies if he knows my aim.”
t h e r E i S o n E. b u T h E w o u l D h a v E t O b E i n s a n E t O c o n s i d e R i T.
“Then… the plan remains the same?”
i T d o e S. y o u R p l a n T i S r e l i a b l E?
“Yes, don’t worry about that. She sympathizes with us quite strongly. She will signal you once they reach wherever Leo is sending them.”
Saber: Arata Funamori & Chris Northfield (Princess Waltz)
Arata Funamori is an average middle-school boy, generally going about his life until meeting Chris Northfield, a transfer student. He and Chris become fast friends, and he is swiftly pulled into the young man's problems. Chris is the prince of a different world, Eldhiland, transported to this one as part of the Princess Waltz, a competition to choose his bride. Chris and Arata are able to fuse themselves into Iris, taking the place of the princess of Soldia. After finding out that Chris is actually a girl - and falling in love- he then finds out that Chris Northfield is actually an impostor, switched out at birth and manipulated to release the demon residing within the royal bloodline.Chris herself is manipulated by this demon, known as Shichiou, into dying, allowing for his resurrection. Arata then finds out that he himself is the real Chris Northfield, and was switched out for his half-sibling and cousin at birth. Chris is possessed by Shichiou, a demon who is also the first king of Eldhiland. He then teams up with the other Princesses to rescue Chris, defeating Shichiou in the process. He takes his rightful throne, marrying Chris as his empress.
Chris is the daughter of the King of Eldhiland, and the only girl to be born to the royal line in a thousand years. This weakens the seal on her distant ancestor, the king Eldhin who later turned into the demon Shichiou. Raised as a male to try and replace the Prince, she comes to Earth as part of the Princess Waltz as both the Prince - the object of the competition - and as Iris, a combatant. There, she meets Arata Fukamori, the real Prince Chris, and accidentally gets him involved in his fight.Then they fell in love, and she was taken over by Shichiou, choosing to lose control of her body rather than kill Arata. After being rescued, they utilize their powers to slice Shichou's random giant mecha in two. Arata ends up marrying all the princesses, but Chris always takes precedence. The two middle-schoolers go on to rule the nation, which can't possibly go wrong.
Arata and Chris have excellent teamwork, and Iris actually gets more powerful the better they work together. They have absolute trust in each other, and will not hesitate to come to their partner's aid. Their bond is strong enough that there's really not much else to put here.
Conversely, they're pretty bad at working separately. They have very low combat skills on their own, and rely pretty heavily on fusing into Iris. Should one be caught without the other, they tend to rely either on other allies or on the Prince's Blessing to keep themselves alive until help can come.
They're fuckin' 14 and hormonal. They have no patience or sense of danger at all, and tend to rush into things without thinking.
The pair don't show much aptitude for this, instead leaving that to their allies who are actually good at it.
Lancer: Velvet Crowe and Eleanor Hume (Tales of Berseria)
Velvet Crowe is the main progaonist of Tales of Berseria. She starts the game as a 16-year-old living in rustic Aball with her younger brother, Laphicet, and her widower brother-in-law, Arthur. During the Scarlet Night, Arthur - retaking the name Artorius Collbrande - sacrifices Laphicet to reawaken Innominat, his god, and end the demon epidemic by suppressing humanity's free will. He turns Velvet into a Therion - a demon that eats other demons - and then throws her into a secure, isolated cell in a high-security prison for three years, where she is forced to consume demons for her survival. Her dead sister, now a Malak - basically an angel - busts her out of prison, and sustains a mortal wound defending her. At her request, Velvet consumes her, and obtains her signature powerup for her Therion Arm.
After escaping, she cuts a swath through the Abbey - Artorius' forces and the leading religion in the world - while gaining allies. She burns a port, aids fugitives, falls in with pirates, destroys a fortress, imitates doves, assassinates a priest, constantly commits public indecency, and more. After finding out that her Innominat has fused with the body and soul of her dead brother, she has a breakdown. After moving past this, she then systematically kills and eats the souls of Artorius' four most powerful underlings and shoves them into a volcano. Doing so awakens the four Elemental Empyreans, beings who oppose Innominat's power and bring massive change to the world with them.Velvet and her companions then fight through Innomniat's body, reaching and defeating Artorius himself. Velvet kills Artorius herself, and then uses her Therion powers to trap Innominat in an eternal cycle of
- Arm Blade
- Velvet's main weapon is her arm blade. It's a collapsible blade that fits into an armguard; the total length of the blade is about the length of her forearm. She uses this primarily for her Hidden Artes, where she channels elemental energies into her blade.
- Boot Knife
- Velvet also keeps a short knife in her right boot, as her Martial Artes use a variety of kicks. This knife can extend from the toe of her boot, as shown in her picture above.
- Therion Arm
- Velvet's left arm is the manifestation of her abilities as a Therion blended with a protoype Armatus. Using it, she can devour part of a combative foe or the entirety of a downed one and take on some of its abilities. It can transform between a bandaged human-like hand and a twisted, spikey claw as Velvet wills. In its claw form, Velvet can use it to block and catch sword strikes without injury.
Velvet was trained in combat by Artorius himself, one of the top combatants in the world even without the use of his dominant hand. She adapted his teachings into an extremely unorthodox style, mixing bladework, her Therion arm, and martial arts into one whirling pile of death. She uses highly mobile combination of sweeping slashes and kicks, and is best against larger numbers of foes.
Velvet's combat style is about raw offense, using her superhuman strength, speed, and durability to strike her foes hard and fast. Her Break Soul is integral to her abilities, and as such she relies heavily on regaining Souls by stunning or applying status effects to her foes. She has a variety of ways to inflict these, as most of her artes can stun or inflict status effects like burn. Velvet starts with three Souls, and can have a maximum of five.See here for a complete list of her Artes, including her Mystic Artes which has its own tab.
Velvet has several "mystic artes" that she can use to capstone her combos, which cost Blast Gauge to use. Lethal Pain costs three Blast and is a series of attacks that hit one enemy, Annihilating Crash costs four Blast and sees her impale one foe on her blade before punching it off with her Therion arm, hitting all enemies in a line in front of her, and Impulse Desire costs five Blast and has her attacking a foe before unleashing a blast that hits all enemies in an area.This uses Blast Gauge, which is refilled by landing Break Souls or resting. Velvet starts with a full 8 Blast.
Eleanor Hume is one of the protagonists of Tales of Berseria. She starts out aligned with the Exorcists, and is an antagonistic force towards Velvet's party. She first encounters them at Beardsly, where she shows notably more compassion for the plight of its villagers than her compatriots. She combats the group during their raid on Hellawes, and further hounds them during their raid on the Archbishop's residence, fighting to bring the Archbishop to justice rather than killing him outright. Her final confrontation with the party is when she challenges Velvet to a duel, with the loser obeying the winner for life. She loses, and becomes Laphicet's vessel, using her resistance to Malevolence to shield his life.
She then joins the group in cutting a swathe through the Abbey. At first shes reluctant, and more than a little suspicious of the group, but as she comes to learn about the Abbey's own atrocities - and her growing attraction to Velvet - she starts helping willingly. She ends up being the main face of the party when they need to talk to others; her Exorcist uniform inspires a trust in the common citizenry that the rest of crew could never command.She grows closer to Velvet over the course of her journey, eventually becoming the Lord of Calamity's most trusted confidante. She assists in the group's takedown of Innominat and Artorius, ultimately casting down the God she once worshiped unquestioningly. After Innominat's death, she reformed the Abbey from within to make it more in line with the organization she joined, eventually becoming revered as a Shepard.
- Eleanor's main weapon is her spear. It's long, it's pointy, and she can kill people with it. Not much else to it.
- Malak Artes
- Eleanor, as an Exorcist, is able to utilize Malak Artes, a fancy term for spells. While cutscenes state that she mostly uses fire, in actual gameplay she has Malak Artes of every element.
- Peak Human Physicality
- Eleanor herself is at peak human (normal, non-Shigure human) levels of skill, speed, strength, and endurance. Having Laphicet bound to her gives her a slight boost, but not by much.
Eleanor is a master with her spear, using fluid, sweeping motions to strike multiple enemies with precision. Her spearwork is fluid, incorporating wide sweeping blows that are good for fending off individuals or groups. She is also able to seamlessly incorporate Malak Artes - basically spells - into her strikes. Certain combos also let her float in the air.
Like Velvet, she can also utilize Break Souls at the cost of Soul Gauge. Unlike Velvet, her Break Soul heals her and extends her combo, rather than being an integral part of her fighting style. Eleanor starts with three souls, and has a maximum of five.See here for a complete list of her Artes, including her Mystic Artes which has its own tab.
Eleanor, like the rest of the group, has several "mystic artes" that she can use to capstone her combos. Spiral Hail and Lostfon Drive utilize a tornado and a magic laser, respectively, to hit all enemies in a line in front of her, and Gungnir Twister utilizes both, but only hits one enemy. Unless there's multiple people above her.This uses Blast Gauge, which is refilled by landing Break Souls or resting. Eleanor starts with a full 6 Blast.
While their personalities and moral sensibilities tend to clash, Velvet and Eleanor make a pretty good team. While their teamwork is usually done in a group of six rather than two, they have an excellent grasp of each others' strengths and weaknesses, both in combat and socially. This, combined with the trust they built, allows them to cover for each other effortlessly.
That being said, they are also highly effective when working separately. Eleanor was formerly a wandering inspector, going around the world alone to exterminate daemons. Velvet tended to hunt alone before turning into a Therion, and is fully capable of working alone.
Velvet and Eleanor, much like the rest of Magilou's Menagerie, tend to be fairly opportunistic. Rather than holding back, they typically take opportunities presented to them, relying on their abilities to make it out alive should it turn out to be a trap. Eleanor is typically the more patient one, applying the breaks if Velvet gets too far ahead of herself. Despite this, the pair has a well-developed sense of danger, does tend to plan before rushing in. They act with haste, yes, but they still do think before they leap.
Velvet, as a former hunter, makes for a very skilled scout. She can analyse the capabilities of her enemies quickly and from afar, as well as figuring out alternate paths when needed. Eleanor is also capable in this regard, though she's also notably better in getting information socially.
Archer: Eve & Adam (Tokyo Babel)
Adam and Eve's abilities will be taken from Sorami's route.
Eve is the original woman. Holding a grudge against God, she is one of the conspirators behind the Divine Calamity. Orchestrating events so that first God and then the angels were driven mad, she resides in Pandora, part of the remnants of Purgatory, awaiting the world's end. A wrench is thrown into her plans, however, when the angels unite to create a new Adam. She becomes his wife again, as that is her role as commanded by God. She assists him in retaking the reshaped Purgatory, now known as Tokyo Babel, and reach Heaven, seeking to pit him against God to finally put the multiverse out of her misery.As this is the Sorami route, she and Adam reach their goal with the help of Setsuna Tendou and Raziel, and unite their abilities to wound God, who is then finished off by Metatron, one of Eve's co-conspirators. After Metatron dies, Remiel reveals Eve's schemes, fully expecting Adam to spurn her for it. The man instead accepts it, and strives to fulfill her wish of multiversal destruction. The pair fail, with Setsuna killing Adam, and Even commits suicide shortly thereafter.
Adam is a copy of the original man, made by the surviving angels from God's blueprints. With a few aesthetic modifications so that Lilith didn't try to kill him on sight. He was made with the intention of reclaiming the remnants of Purgatory and reaching Heaven, where he would throw himself upon God's mercy and beg His forgiveness for the sins of the angels, demons, and humanity. He bears a personal resentment towards Setsuna Tendou, born of their similarities.In Sorami's route, he reaches Heaven alongside Setsuna, Eve, and Raziel. There, the four fight and drive God to the brink of death, with Metatron kill-stealing and ending the mad being's rule over the multiverse. After Metatron dies, Remiel then reveals that the entire situation is due to Eve's machinations and despair, prompting Adam to declare that he would fight for her sake. He clashes with Setsuna, and loses the ensuing struggle.
Adam has been given the command of all the blessed weapons forged by the angels. Each and every one is blessed by God, giving them incredible power against evil. He favors Archistrategos, the flaming sword of Michael. The weapons known to be in his possession are the following:
- Rhongomiant/Lance of Longinus
Adam and Eve, as a recreation of the original man and his wife, are divinely endowed to work together perfectly. Adam acts, and Eve supports him. The structure of the multiverse itself will not allow for anything else.
When separated, Adam is still incredibly formidible in combat due to his raison d'etre and his arsenal of holy weapons. Eve, however, is reduced to scheming and manipulation. As such, they always work as a pair.
Adam and Eve are fairly confident in their ability to defeat anything that may cross their path. They are far more liekly to enter combat, throwing cation to the wind. This tends to work because they are right about their abilities more often than not.
Adam and Eve show no ability in regard to gathering intelligence. They either leave that to others or simply forgo it due to their immense combat power allowing them to win without much strategy.
Rider: Rui & Wes (Pokemon Colosseum)
Rui is a young girl from Agate Village, who was kidnapped by Team Cipher for being able to detect Shadow Pokemon, a special type of Pokemon created by abusing it so hard that it turns into a killing machine. After being rescued by Wes, she accompanies him on his journey to rescue and heal Shadow Pokemon.They follow the trail of Team Cipher through the few towns in Orre, defeating their members and stealing their Pokemon. They invade their hideout, Realgam Tower, and invade it, beating defeating all the members standing in their way. They then fight Nascour, the seeming head of Cipher, followed by Es Cade, the actual head of Cipher who was posing as the mayor of Phenac City.
Wes is a young man in Orre, who was initially part of Team Snagem. He turned on his former team and blew their hideout up, stealing their only portable snag machine as he left. He then rescued a kidnapped Rui, and at her prompting started his journey to rescue and heal Shadow Pokemon.They follow the trail of Team Cipher through the few towns in Orre, defeating their members and stealing their Pokemon. They invade their hideout, Realgam Tower, and invade it, beating defeating all the members standing in their way. They then fight Nascour, the seeming head of Cipher, followed by Es Cade, the actual head of Cipher who was posing as the mayor of Phenac City.
An evolved form of Eevee, which is dark type and specializes in dark attacks. Wes' Umbreon is tanky, taking little damage, with low attack power. His general strategy is to use status effects and poison to take out a foe indirectly before it can wear him down.
- Feint Attack
- A dark type attack that ignores evasion checks
- Normal type. Heals Umbreon at varying amounts based on weather and time of day. Is strongest at night.
- Poison type. If it hits, badly poisons the target
- Confuse Ray
- Ghost type. If it hits, confuses the target
- Held Item: Leftovers
- A Held Item that heals Umbreon periodically
- Ability: Synchronization
- Status ailments (eg poison, burn, paralysis) are also given to the foe inflicting them
An evolved form of Eevee, which is psychic type and specializes in psychic attacks. Wes' Espeon is a glass cannon, with enormous attack and low defenses. His general strategy is to hit as hard as he can as fast as he can, killing his foes before they can strike.
- A strong psychic type attack that may cause confusion if it hits
- Iron Tail
- A steel type attack that may lower physical defense on hit
- A normal type attack that gets stronger the more a Pokemon likes its trainer. As Espeon requires max friendship to evolve, it can use this move at full power.
- Morning Sun
- Normal type. Heals Espeon at varying amounts based on weather and time of say. Is strongest in the day.
- Held Item: Twisted Spoon
- Boosts the power of Psychic-type attacks
- Ability: Synchronization
- Status ailments (eg poison, burn, paralysis) are also given to the foe inflicting them
A ghost pokemon Wes snagged in Pyrite Town. Misdreavus has highish attack, though less than Espeon, and decent survivability due to its ghost typing.
- Shadow Ball
- A ghost type move that does damage and may lower special defense (magic res) on hit
- An electric type move that does damage and may paralyze on hit
- Pain Split
- Balances user's health and target's health to be equal to the average between them
- A psychic type attack that may cause confusion if it hits
- Held Item: Spell Tag
- Boosts the power of Ghost-type attacks
- Ability: Levitation
- Immune to Ground type moves as well as moves that hit things which are grounded
The legendary doggo of fire, Entei was snagged in Mt. Battle. Entei is a speedy attacker, using its stats to hit hard and fast.
- Fire Blast
- A strong fire type attack that may burn on hit
- A normal type attack
- A dark type attack that may cause the target to flinch, canceling its next action
- Solar Beam
- A very strong grass type attack that requires a turn to charge
- Held Item: Leftovers
- A Held Item that heals Umbreon periodically
- Ability: Pressure
- Causes foe to use more stamina when attacking
A fighting type pokemon snagged in the Relic Forest, Hitmontop hits hard, supports Entei, and does little else.
- Sunny Day
- Forces the sun to shine, removing the charge time for Solar Beam and boosting fire moves
- Triple Kick
- A fighting type attack that hits three times, getting more powerful with each hit
- Rapid Spin
- A normal type attack that removes any movement-restricting field effects
- Makes it harder for a foe of the opposite gender to attack. Hitmontop is male.
- Held Item: Black Belt
- Increases the power of fighting type moves
- Ability: Intimidate
- Lowers the attack of a foe
A water and flying type pokemon snagged in Pyrite Town. Mantine rarely enters combat due to its massive weakness to electricity hampering its ability to fight, though when it does its mainly used for its water attacks.
- Wing Attack
- Flying type. Attacks with Mantine's nonexistent wing
- A water type attack that may reduce speed on hit
- Confuse Ray
- Ghost type. If it hits, confuses the target
- Ice Beam
- An ice type attack that may freeze on hit
- Held Item: Leftovers
- A Held Item that heals Umbreon periodically
- Ability: Water Absorb
- Water attacks heal Mantine instead
Rui and Wes are never seen apart, and they to tend to work well as a pair. Rui essentially functions as Wes' moral compass and motivation, while Wes acts as Rui's bodyguard and general muscle.
While Wes is a capable trainer on his own, Rui has no actual abilities other than sensing the results of a very particular kind of abuse. She never acts separately from him, and for good reason.
Rui's naivete leads her to being kidnapped early in the game, from which Wes rescues her. Wes doesn't really seem much less reckless, charging in to support her when needed.
The pair does have some pretty good investigative abilities. They use these to find information on and cripple Team Cipher, easily one of the most competent Pokemon villain teams. This does get done mostly through beating the shit out of people with their trained attack animals, but torture and intimidation are valid avenues of gaining information.
Caster: Trevor Belmont & Sypha Belnades (Castlevania)
Trevor Belmont is the last remaining Belmont, the rest of his family having been driven to exile by the Church. He, a shambling drunk, eventually stumbles into the city of Gresit as it is under siege by Dracula's forces. There, he has a chance encounter with a wandering tribe known as the Speakers, who sought to provide aid and succor to those trapped within the city. He takes a request from their elder to rescue Sypha Belnades (Netflix), in exchange for them leaving the town for their safety. He succeeds, and he and Sypha reluctantly work together to defend the city.
The town safe, the pair then found a coffin deep under the city, the source of the "Sleeping Soldier" myth. The coffin contained Alucard, Dracula's son, who joined them on their new quest to kill his father. The trio then journeyed to the ruined Belmont estate, seeking a way to anchor Dracula's moving castle. They succeed, and Trevor holds off an attack by Dracula's forces while Alucard and Sypha finish the spell to do so. Once it is finished, the trio then enters the castle to fight Dracula and his commanders. They emerge wounded but victorious, and Trevor sets out with Sypha to hunt down the remnants of Dracula's forces.While traveling with Sypha, the couple fight several groups of demons and eventually come upon the town of Lindenfield, where they stay for a few days. During this time, they get roped in by Judge and Count Saint-Germaine to investigate a priory of insane monks. The leader of the monks, Sala, was communicating with a Night Creature in preparation to sacrifice the entire town to open the Infinite Corridor. While the monks succeed in doing so, with the sacrifice of the entire town of Lindenfield, Saint-Germaine manages to redirect and close the portal, while the invading Night Creatures are killed by Trevor and Sypha.
- A "flail" that has more in common with a whip, having a thin, variable-length chain with a small, blunt weight on the tip. The weight is consecrated, allowing it greater damage against the undead or otherwise unholy, and causes them to be explode on contact. Trevor is a master with his whip, able to use it creatively and unpredictably.
- Trevor also carries his original, leather whip. Much like Morningstar, it's consecrated, letting it deal greater damage against the undead. Unlike Morningstar, it appears to be able to explode undead or demons on contact rather than needing the tip to activate.
- Trevor carries a shortsword with no special abilities or powers. The one he wields in Season 3 appears to have a single edge, concave at the base and flaring out to be convex near the tip.
- Superhuman Physicality
- Trevor's notably stronger and faster than most other humans in the series, able to keep up Alucard and fight him to a draw. He is capable of both dealing and taking massive amounts of trauma, and is able to throw spears long ranges and with high accuracy.
- Tactical Mind
- Trevor is rather knowledgeable in military tactics, immediately advising a group of farmers into an impromptu pike square and instructing Sypha to funnel their enemies with magic. He devises plans quickly, though he defers to others when they involve more arcane matters.
Sypha Belnades is the granddaughter of the Elder of the Speakers, a group of wandering scholars, and a powerful mage. During the siege of Gresit by Dracula's army, Sypha wandered into the sewers in search of "The Sleeping Soldier", the warrior fated to defeat Dracula, but ran afoul of a Cyclops and had to be rescued by the monster hunter Trevor Belmont. Despite their clashing personalities, the two would work together to repel the assault, rescuing the city and killing Dracula's general, Blue Fangs, before awakening the Sleeping Soldier: Dracula's son, Alucard. Now a trio, the group set out to stop Dracula's reign of terror.
Leaving the Speakers for her quest, Sypha found herself bonding with Alucard and Trevor, forming a romantic attraction to the latter, as they traveled to the Belmont estate in search of a way to stop Dracula's moving castle. Finding it to be a spell, Sypha casts it, trapping the castle above the estate, then joins Trevor and Alucard in an all-out assault, killing most of Dracula's commanders before confronting him alone. Dracula manages to incapacitate Trevor and Sypha, but is overcome with grief and guilt at the thought of killing Alucard, giving Alucard an opening to finish him off. With Dracula defeated, Sypha sets out with Trevor to wipe out the remnants of Dracula's forces, bidding goodbye to Alucard as he stays behind to tend the castle.While traveling with Trevor, the couple fight several groups of demons and eventually come upon the town of Lindenfield, where they stay for a few days. During this time, they get roped in by Judge and Count Saint-Germaine to investigate a priory of insane monks. The leader of the monks, Sala, was communicating with a Night Creature in preparation to sacrifice the entire town to open the Infinite Corridor. While the monks succeed in doing so, with the sacrifice of the entire town of Lindenfield, Saint-Germaine manages to redirect and close the portal, while the invading Night Creatures are killed by Trevor and Sypha.
- Sypha has displayed the ability to create and manipulate fire in various forms. She has displayed the ability to redirect and contain already-existing fire, burning a night creature's head off with a touch, and using small, controlled jets of flame for flight.
- Sypha has displayed the ability to create and control ice. She can freeze water, spontaneously create ice, and can freely change the constructs of ice she creates at will. The ice she makes is strong enough to block a steel sword and is sharp enough to use as a weapon.
- She is capable of manipulating air, creating whirlwinds and controlling air pressure. She can also control the temperature of the wind she creates, to the point of flash-freezing the gaseous form of one of Dracula's generals.
- She can create electricity, though this appears to take more concentration than the previous three. Her actual proficiency with this is unknown, as she uses it exactly once.
- Highly Intelligent
- Sypha has a notably vast store of knowledge in many areas. Not only is she a polyglot, she has a considerable grasp of magic and is able to complete highly complex spells in little time. She can analyze and understand a wide variety of types of magic, though she is not able to determine how spells function at a glance.
- Superhuman Physicality
- Sypha, though not at Trevor or Alucard's level, is capable of impressive feats of acrobatics, and is no slouch in close combat despite being a mage. She is able to keep up with Dracula in combat, and even survived a hit from him, though she needed time to reover afterwards.
The pair is quite skilled at working together in combat, and is able to quickly and efficiently cover for each other with minimal, if any, communication. Sypha has Trevor's back, and he hers. Not much else to say, really.
The pair can work independently just as well as together. Sypha is an incredibly accomplished and incredibly creative mage, while Trevor is a Belmont, with all the training, demon-killing, and general combat ability that implies.
Trevor is cautious. Sypha is not, frequently getting carried away out of excitement. Since Trevor is the bottom, Sypha's lack of caution tends to take precedence.
The pair are fairly capable intelligence gatherers. Though they cannot help but stand out, their expeirences and intuition are generally capable of finding what they need to know, though things outsie their knowledge base can slip through the cracks.
Berserker: Shiki Tohno & Arcueid Brunestud (Tsukihime)
Shiki is the biological heir of the Nanaya family, and the only living member of the clan of demon hunters. After his family was killed by Makihisa Tohno, the part-demon spared him as a child and took him in on a whim because his own heir's name was also pronounced Shiki. Shiki, SHIKI, and Akiha grew up as close friends, until SHIKI went insane from the combination of his demonic blood and being possessed by Roa and killed him.
Akiha utilized part of her powers to save his life, inadvertently giving him the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception. Makihisa then send him to live with the Arimas, a branch family of the Tohno clan. After Makihisa's death eight years later, Akiha then told him to return to the Tohno mansion. He complied, and his fate from that point on is up to the player. If he does not meet Arcueid, he investigates the past of his family.
As this match is using Shiki from the Arcueid route, he does meet the vampire on his way home from school. His Nanaya blood takes over, and he stalks her home and kills her by using his Mystic Eyes to slice her into 17 pieces. The next day, she waits for him near his school, and chases him down to guilt him into helping her hunt Roa. He does, though their initial meeting is interrupted by the arrival of Nrvnqsr Chaos.
The pair confront and kill Nrvnqsr, though not without heavy damage. Ciel, an Executor from the Church, uses the opportunity to try and drive a wedge between Shiki and Arcueid, but fails. The two continue their search for Roa, eliminating his Dead and entering a romantic relationship along the way.
They find Roa, and Arcuied decides to confront him alone out of concern for Shiki's safety. Shiki chases after her, finding her half-dead from using up too much power. She uses her last remaining strength to shred Roa's body, dying in Shiki's arms.Shiki gets understandably pissed, and fights Roa. He kills him thanks to his Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, and Arcueid revives herself somehow a few days later. Her True Ending has her return to her castle to essentially die, leaving Shiki behind, while her Good Ending has her stay with him.
Shiki's true ancestry is the Nanaya clan, a family of assassins who exclusively hunt nonhuman creatures. Should Shiki be in danger of one of these, or trying to fight off mind control, he will enter a state where his genetic monster-hunting instincts activate. In this mode, he has enhanced reflexes, speed, and strength, and is able to kill an entire alleyway full of The Dead in seconds.In Nanaya Mode, he is capable of killing an Inverted Akiha Tohno, using the full breadth of her abilities with the additional power boost Inverting comes with, without effort, and he was in Nanaya Mode when he initially killed Arcueid.
Shiki Tohno's version of the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception allows him to see the lines and points of death on any object, animate or inanimate. Tracing along those "lines" makes a clean cut, further requiring no extra force on his part. Stabbing a point will kill the being that it's attached to. Shiki cannot see the points of inanimate objects, but can see the points of objects inside other objects. He can, for example, kill a poison he has ingested to prevent it from harming him.
Utilizing these for a long period of time gives him headaches and risks melting his brain. To avoid these, he has a pir of glasses, termed Mystic Eye Killers, which suppress this ability. He cannot turn this on and off.His eyes originally had another power, but were forcibly changed to the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception. As a result of this, he is able to see things that would normally remain unseen, such as Akiha's Caging Hair.
Arcueid was created by Earth itself as its Ultimate One, is the strongest of the True Ancestors, and a possible vessel for the reincarnation of the Crimson Moon Brunestud, the Ultimate One of the Moon. As the strongest True Ancestor, she also acted as their executioner should they fall prey to their own bloodlust. At this point, she was much like a living god and the strongest non-Servant being in the Nasuverse. She was kept ignorant of her own vampirism, however, and was thus vulnerable to being tricked by Michael Roa Valdamjong into drinking his blood, splitting a large part of her power to him and awakening her own bloodlust.
To control this, she entered periods of extended hibernation, only waking when Roa's soul manifested to try and reclaim her lost power. He has reincarnated 17 times, and his 18th reincarnation brought him to the body of SHIKI Tohno, the adoptive brother of Shiki Tohno. In the Far Side routes, Shiki encounters Arcueid on his way home from school. He stalks her, entering her home and slicing her into 17 pieces. She, unable to heal, uses a majority of her power to create a new body for herself.
She waits for him on his way to school, initially intending to kill him, but ends up wondering what he'd be like instead. She chases him down when he runs, guilting him into helping her track down Roa. They are interrupted by Nrvnqsr Chaos, who hunts them down and forces the weakened Arcueid into a fight. Shiki kills him, and Arcueid decides to reward him by sending a succubus, Len, to give him a dream.
The pair continue hunting down Roa, entering a romantic relationship along the way, and discover his hideout at Shiki's school. Worried for her boyfriend's safety, Arcueid charges in alone, using the last of her power to shred Roa from head to ankle. She dies in Shiki's arms, having used up almost all her life force. After he kills Roa, she uses the portion of her power returned to her to revive, either leaving for her castle to hibernate in her True End or staying with Shiki in her Good End.Since encountering her completely changes the course of Shiki's life, she doesn't appear in the Near Side Routes at all.
Arcueid is a True Ancestor, a type of vampire that is born a vampire rather than becoming one. This gives her a strong connection to the Earth and nature, which allows her a few notable abilities.
- One of these is that Arcueid gets backup from Earth, which gives her extra power so that she is stronger than a single foe. It will not power her up against multiple enemies, nor will it power her up based on abilities like Gil's Gate of Babylon. Should she be cut off from Earth, she will lose access to this backup.
- Magic Resistance
- True Ancestors are also resistant to many types of magic. As a candidate for both the Crimson Moon and Type Earth, she has near-immunity to any forms of magic she has previously encountered. She counts Shinto and the magics of South America as her known weaknesses.
- They further have an abnormally strong craving for blood. Arcueid requires most of her power (~70%) to suppress this urge, leaving her at 30% of her normal abilities at most times. As this is during her route, she has 20% of her normal power, and needs to balance her abilities between suppressing her power and fighting.
- Mystic Eyes of Enchantment
- When using her Mystic Eyes, Arc's irises turn gold. They have the power to mesmerize those who look into them, either freezing them on the spot or beguiling them into obeying her.
Shiki and Arcueid rarely, if ever, fight alongside each other. They instead either fight in turns or are on entirely different parts of the field. That being said, they do tend to work together smoothly off the battlefield, Shiki's tsundere tendencies notwithstanding.
They work exceedingly well independently, especially due to their incredible power and monster-fighting abilities. With the exception of their patrols, their battle plans usually involve them splitting up to take on different threats.
They are both fairly cautious, constantly trying to put each other out of harms way. They are also especially wary of excessive combat, thanks to Shiki's Mystic Eyes taking a toll on him as well as Arcueid's current weakness.
While most of the Far Side routes is them gathering intelligence, they usually only end up gettin the necessary knowledge by luck. Arc has a wide range of magical knowledge, but she has functioned purely as a weapon until meeting Shiki, who was an ordinary high school student before meeting Arcueid.
Assassin: Kaoru Mashiko & Ellen Kohagura (Toji no Miko)
Kaoru Mashiko is a Toji, a "shrine maiden" who learns swordsmanship to purify and slay monsters known as Aradama. She attends Osafune Girls' Academy, and is a first year highschool student. There, she met and became close with Ellen Kohagura, and the pair quickly became known for their excellent teamwork. At some point they joined Mokusa, a rebel faction within the Toji. Their aim is to stop the rampant human experimentation and expose the fact that Yukari Origami, the leader of the Toji, was in fact possessed by a powerful Aradama, Tagitsuhime.
Kaoru and Ellen, now practically inseparable, were chosen as the representatives for the national swordsmanship tournament, as well as part of Mokusa's plans to topple the Aradama. Kaoru, finding the competition a chore, threw her first match. Their plans were thrown off by another Toji, Hyori Juujou, attempting to assassinate Yukari. As a result, the pair was given leave to go to the beach. This was interrupted when given instructions to track down Hyori and Kanami Etou, an accomplice, and recruit them into Mokusa.
They are successful, and manage to evade pursuit by taking Ellen's grandfather's submarine. They rejoin the rest of Mokusa briefly, before heading back to Tokyo to launch an assault on the Origami compound. Kaoru and Ellen hold off Yume, the most skilled Toji currently alive, while the other four members of their group continue in. They hold her off for a good twenty minutes before being defeated, enough time that Yume's body also gives out on her. They then rejoin the rest of the group in combating Tagitsuhime, who was forced to split her consciousness into four parts to escape.
While Mokusa reorganized the Toji, Kaoru's skill at slaying Aradama caused her to be overworked in the field, away on missions more often than she was home. Despite her constant grumbling and requests to unionize, she continued to perform well even in her exhausted state. After one of the parts of Tagitsuhime resurfaced and began attacking Toji, she and Ellen joined their four companions once again. They fought off the murderous third of Tagitsuhime, eventually entering the Netherworld to fight her. As Kaoru and Ellen both specialized in physical powers rather than abilities that utilized the Netherworld's deeper layers, they were unable to pursue.After Tagitsuhime's death, Kaoru gained rank as an Elite Guard, one of the four strongest acknowledged Toji.
Kaoru's okatana is Nenekirimaru, an enormous nodachi with a two-meter-long blade and what appears to be a half-meter(ish) long handle. For reference, Kaoru herself is 1.35m, or about 4'4". Its "sheath" is a binding of wooden slats, which is usually simply smashed onto the ground as part of the first blow. Kaoru has the necessary superhuman strength to utilize Nenkirimaru, and she fights using the Yakumaru Jigen-Ryu style. Her main mode of attack is repeated vertical slashes, each one able to cleave a cliff face in two.
Yakumaru Jigen-Ryu is a style that focuses heavily on the initial strike. Its philosophy is to end every battle in the first single blow, a philosophy the lazy Kaoru shares. It is considered to have descended from Taisha-Ryu as well, due to its founder's training in the style, taking the Taisha-Ryu's focus on simple and effective movements to its logical extreme. Go bug Kaz if you want to know more.Koru is too apathetic to do the style's signature "monkey's scream," instead simply stating the onomatopoeia for screaming. While her stamina is above average for a Toji, her physically taxing style makes her unsuited to longer battles. Her strikes are additionally fairly slow due to the weight and size of her weapon, and she requires a protector to make full use of her techniques.
Kaoru has displayed the following Toji abilities:
- Utsushi is a technique wherein the Toji converts their body to energy temporarily. In exchange for a slight feeling of pain and mental fatigue, all damage the user takes is instead transferred to the Utsushi. Using this technique, Toji can survive being bisected. Kaoru is notably proficient with Utsushi, able to activate it several times in a single fight and maintain it for long periods of time.
- It should be noted that bodily damage is not repaired until the Utsushi is released. This allows a mentally strong Toji to sever their own arm to get out of a trap.
- Hachimanriki is a technique which amplifies a Toji's striking strength. It has no effect on their speed or agility, instead increasing the physical force imparted by their strikes. Kaoru is notably proficient in its use.
- Jin'i is a Toji abilitiy that increases speed and reflexes by tapping into a layer of the Netherworld where time moves at a different rate. While Kaoru should know this ability, as certain story beats would be impossible if she didn't, she never demonstrates it in the anime.
Nene is a guardian of the Mashiko family, and is an aradama that has been pacified nonviolently. Aradama are made up of noro, the impurities cast off when forging okatana. When large amounts of Noro are gathered, it gains sentience as an Aradama. Most Aradama are mindless monsters, but Nene has been the guardian of the Mashiko family for generations, and was thus semi-purified by the good faith shown to him. He is useful in battle as well, as he can be used for surprise attacks or catching & returning a thrown Nenekirimaru He has displayed the following abilities:
- Nene can "cloak his presence," which allows him to turn invisible at will.
- Limited Flight
- Nene can fly up to a height of a few feet from the ground.
- Immense Strength
- Nene has demonstrated the ability to catch Nenekirimaru in mid-air, and can also carry the combined weight of Kaoru and her okatana with his mouth.
- Bust Size Prediction
- Nene has the ability to predict if a woman's breasts would grow in the future. He has a prominent preference for those with large busts.
- Aradama Detection
- Nene has shown to have ability to detect presence of other Aradama.
- Large Form
- Nene, should he feel Kaoru is in sufficient danger, can turn into his original form as an Aradama. This is a massive, several-story large beast, shown below, with enough raw power to raze towns on its own.
Ellen Kohagura is a Toji, a "shrine maiden" who learns swordsmanship to purify and slay monsters known as Aradama. She attends Osafune Girls' Academy, and is a first year highschool student. There, she met and became close with Kaoru Mashiko, and the pair quickly became known for their excellent teamwork. At some point they joined Mokusa, a rebel faction within the Toji. Their aim is to stop the rampant human experimentation and expose the fact that Yukari Origami, the leader of the Toji, was in fact possessed by a powerful Aradama, Tagitsuhime.
Kaoru and Ellen, now practically inseparable, were chosen as the representatives for the national swordsmanship tournament, as well as part of Mokusa's plans to topple the Aradama. Ellen, restricted only to swordsmanship by the tournament rules, is defeated by Hyori Juujou in the second round. Hyori then attempts to assassinate Yukari, forcing a change of plans. Ellen and Kaoru were sent to recruit Hyori and her accomplice, Kanami Etou, into Mokusa.
Ellen gets separated from Kaoru and the other three during this, and decides to infiltrate a squad sent to capture Hyori and Kanami. After fooling the Elite Guard into leaving her unattended, and treating her to lunch, she knocks a majority of the normal soldiers unconscious before absconding with a vial of Noro, the substance Aradama are made of. She joins up with the other three, and manages to evade pursuit by taking her grandfather's submarine.
They rejoin the rest of Mokusa briefly, before heading back to Tokyo to launch an assault on the Origami compound. Kaoru and Ellen hold off Yume, the most skilled Toji currently alive, while the other four members of their group continue in. They hold her off for a good twenty minutes before being defeated, enough time that Yume's body also gives out on her. They then rejoin the rest of the group in combating Tagitsuhime, who was forced to split her consciousness into four parts to escape.
While Mokusa reorganized the Toji, Ellen assisted her family in researching Noro, Okatana, and Aradama, attempting to find other uses for them. After one of the pieces of Tagitsuhime attacked her and her family, she reunited with Kaoru and the other four members of their group. They fought off the murderous third of Tagitsuhime, eventually entering the Netherworld to fight her. As Kaoru and Ellen both specialized in physical powers rather than abilities that utilized the Netherworld's deeper layers, they were unable to pursue.Afterwards, Ellen continued to assist her family in their research while attending school.
Echizen Yasutsugu doesn't have any particularly unusual characteristics, save for the bright yellow sheathe. It's a pretty standard anime katana.
Ellen fights using the Taisha-Ryu style, a style notable for still training its students for actual battle. It was created in a time of constant war by a spy, and incorporated techniques from ninjutsu, gatka, and kenpo. The style is fairly athletic, and focuses on techniques to win and survive. The style in general does not have flashy techniques, but instead tries for simple, effective strikes.While Ellen is a capable fighter, her natural talents lead her to spying and other supportive roles, making her a better intelligence operative than a combatant. Ellen's style makes use of similar unorthodox movements and strategies, such as utilizing the tsuka and kashira (the equivalent of a handle and pommel on a European sword) to block strikes, as well as utilizing her Toji abilities in unusual ways. She has notably high stamina for a Toji, able to fight for nearly thirty minutes against a far superior opponent before tiring.
Ellen displayed the following Toji abilities:
- Utsushi is a technique wherein the Toji converts their body to energy temporarily. In exchange for a slight feeling of pain and mental fatigue, all damage the user takes is instead transferred to the Utsushi. Using this technique, Toji can survive being bisected. Ellen is notably proficient with Utsushi, able to activate it several times in a single fight and maintain it for long periods of time.
- It should be noted that bodily damage is not repaired until the Utsushi is released. This allows a mentally strong Toji to sever their own arm to get out of a trap.
- Hachimanriki is a technique which amplifies a Toji's striking strength. It has no effect on their speed or agility, instead increasing the physical force imparted by their strikes. Ellen is proficient with this ability, but not to Kaoru's level.
- Kongoushin covers the Toji in a gold-colored aura, which dampens the effects of impacts on the body. While it does not prevent being knocked around, it does prevent being damaged. Ellen has a noted proficiency with Kongoushin, and is able to take a strike from Kaoru with no damage. Ellen also uses Kongoushin to add power to her kenpo strikes.
- Jin'i is a Toji abilitiy that increases speed and reflexes by tapping into a layer of the Netherworld where time moves at a different rate. Ellen has displayed the ability to use this, but at what level is never made clear.
S-Equipment, also referred to as Storm Armor, is a technology developed by the Origami family collaborating with DARPA, initially developed by Richard Friedman, Ellen's grandfather. His daughter, Jaqueline Ann Kohagura, and her husband, Kimitake Kohagura, put the finishing touches on the armor. It lasts thirty minutes even with a spare battery, but compensates for this by boosting the wearer's physical abilities to the point where they can fight battles that would normally require a large group alone. The metal plates on the arms and around the bust provide extra protection, and the helmet can be used as a HUDEllen and Kaoru each have one set, with four batteries each.
As with (most) of the other combatants, Ellen and Kaoru work extremely well together. They barely need to speak to communicate complex strategies to each other, and are often noted to have the best teamwork of all Toji pairs. Ellen is also notably better in combat when fighting alongside Kaoru, especially because it allows her to focus on defensive and asymmetrical combat.
They are also capable of working independently, though at different things. Ellen is a highly skilled infiltrator and spy when working on her own, and is arguably better at it than when she is with Kaoru. Kaoru, on the other hand, is one of the most skilled combatants among the cast even when fighting alone.
In terms of their overall strategy, Kaoru tends to defer to Ellen, who is a fairly cautious individual. In terms of simple battles, Ellen is slightly less cautious, frequently overextending unless she is working with Kaoru, in which case she tends to fight with far more skill.
While Kaoru is lazy and apathetic, Ellen makes good use of her abilities as well as exaggerating the stereotypes associated with her appearance and heritage to gain access to places she shouldn't and gain knowledge of her enemies and their plans.
- Takes place in a neutral city, divided into three by rivers, as below:
- The white squares are the starting points of the contestants and the Grail
- Who starts where is random
- Population is average human beings
- Law enforcement will have firearms
- Starts at 01:00
- Stops at 23:00
- Area will be reduced by three-quarters of its original size
- The Grail will take five minutes to redistribute the combat zone to include its location should it land out of bounds.
- Give up on the Grail
- Either Master or Servant dies
- Exiting the available area will count as a death
- Don't lose
- Be in possession of the grail at the end of the 24th hour
- Someone else wins without meeting either lose conditions
- Time limit ends with no one in possession of the Grail
If Assassin has the Grail while Archer and Lancer are alive:
2) Archer & Lancer
4-7) Everyone else in the order they died
If Assassin and Archer are alive but no one has the Grail:
2) Assassin & Archer
3-7) Everyone else in the order they died
If Assassin is the only one alive, but doesn't have the Grail, or if Assassin has the Grail while all others are dead
- Saber: Just after the end of the VN
- Lancer: Just before challenging Artorius Collbrande
- Archer: Sorami's Route, just prior to entering Heaven
- Rider: Just after the events of Colosseum
- Caster: Between Castlevania S3 and S4
- Berserker: Arcueid's Route, shortly after they start to date
- Assassin: Just before the second fight with Tagitsu-Hime
- Please list each contestant in the placements you think is most likely. Ties are allowed.
- I will be counting votes by giving each warrior a score based on their placement. Their total score will determine their final rankings.
- Please give at least two sentences on why you think the warrior will rank where they do.
- Constructing scenarios to favor one warrior will invalidate a vote
- Changing or making placements specifically to harm a specific warrior is constructing scenarios
- Evaluating the warriors used based on a different canon or different point in their timeline as given is constructing scenarios
- Rebuttals can reduce a vote by half.
- Counter-arguments can restore the half point
- I have the final say on whether or not a vote counts
- Contact me via Discord if you think I made a mistake with vote counts
- Only votes on this blog will count.
- Voting has ended
“You sure this is a good idea?” Liliana asks as the fourteen warriors vanish, whisked away by the large stone flowers in the depths of the sewers, “That… Calamity thing is probably trying to get its hooks into whatever you try to do.”
“I don’t have much of a choice,” Leo replies, “If I went myself I’d be giving everything away. And, since Calamity’s higher than me on the food chain, I’m working at a disadvantage. Quite the novel experience.”
“Monitoring Artorius and his crew would be much easier if you let us use those badges Omni and Astro designed,” she complains as Leo snaps, bringing them back to the surface.
“Neither Saturos nor Carol need them, so why should you?” Leo asks, looking around at the newly rebuilt pyramid of shipping containers that passed for a shelter, “It’s quite limiting, anyway, and with Planetary fiddling with them it’s only a matter of time before Wass or Beast get annoyed and crack down.”
“Planetary, huh…” Liliana mutters, looking down.
“Something bothering you?” Leo asks, focusing on a User glaring at the containers, which start to buckle and rust under the intensity of his gaze. Leo sighs, and the damage undoes itself. Cfp, annoyed, looks around in a frenzy before noticing Leo.
“Well… Zuko hasn’t spoken to me since then. I don’t much like losing friends,” Liliana replies, deliberately avoiding paying attention to the pair until Cfp vanishes.
“I’m feeling nice today, so here,” Leo says, handing her a thumb drive, “Deliver this to Zuko. He, and Planetary, might find this helpful for their surveillance of Cfp.”
“You’re not going to tell them to stop?” Liliana asks, snatching the device.
“No. He’d made tearing down the shelter district a pet cause, so I figured reinstating it would draw out whatever’s been making him erratic. But now I have bigger fish to fry, so I’ll leave it to Planetary. Take Zuko somewhere nice; you can expense this.”
“I… thank you.”
“By the way, the theory behind what you asked earlier is similar to how we rearrange our headquarters.”
“So, like this?” Liliana asks, snapping. She vanishes, having finally figured out how Leo teleports.
Velvet sits in a chair, staring at a map of the city laid out on the table. While it offered a great deal of information, simply marking the possible locations of the grail did not help much. She reaches into the leather bag holding down one of the corners, extracting one of the droplet-shaped pieces of glasslike stone inside.
A pair of those had bought their hotel room, while another went towards the night’s dinner. She looks up as the door to the bathroom opens, and Eleanor walks out whiel drying her hair. The oven beeps a few seconds later, and Velvet serves them both a quiche.
“So, where are we scouting tonight?” she asks, taking a bite.
“I don’t think we should,” Eleanor says, “Especially if this is anything like the other city, it wouldn’t be logical.”
“With you dressed like that, we’d spend more time fighting off perverts than getting information.”
“Ugh, now you sound like Magilou. But… you’re right. We’ll sleep here, then go hunting in the morning.”
“Good. I think we should start looking here, at the closest one to where we landed,” Eleanor says, pointing at the second dot in the residential area, “If the grail is there, we can grab it and wait.”
“No, if it’s there we camp nearby and watch it,” Velvet says, “Only grab it in the last half hour; the less time we spend with targets on our backs the better. We can take out anyone coming for it, too.”
“That… makes sense,” Eleanor says, finishing her quiche, “And we’ll just look at the other spots if we don’t find the grail. That work?”
“Yeah. Here, I’ll clean that up,” Velvet says, taking Eleanor’s plates to the sink. The exorcist sits on the couch, flipping through channels on the TV until Velvet joins her.
“Shiki! Shiki!” Arcuied calls, waving energetically to her boyfriend, ignoring the stares of the other customers in the store. Shiki ambles over, and she grabs his hand to drag him to one of the food display cases.
“Shiki, what are these? I haven’t seen anything like them before,” she says, eyes sparkling as she looks at long, thin skewers of meat.
“Those are kebabs. Just a different style than what we’re used to.”
“They look so good, Shiki! Let’s get some!”
“I’m not sure that’s a good idea,” Shiki says, pointing to the ingredients listed on the case. Arcueid’s eyes follow, and her excitement vanishes in an instant, shifting to an almost comical disappointment.
A few minutes later, outside the store, Arcueid is back in high spirits, dragging Shiki towards a movie theater.
“Aren’t we supposed to be finding that Grail thing?” Shiki asks as they near the building.
“Well, yes, but I don’t want us to fight much,” Arcueid says, “Especially since I’m not at my best and your eyes can, well…. So let’s just have fun until then! Wait here, I’m going to get our tickets.”
Sypha stares out from the third floor of a half-constructed building, searching for some sign of the grail.
“Sypha!” Trevor yells, distracting her, “I’ve heated dinner. Eat it and rest a bit.”
“Trevor, we don’t have time to rest. This city’s about half the size of DFederal, and…”
“And we got here at midnight, Sypha. Midnight, might I add, after being wrapped in a tiny-ass stone coffin while God-knows-what scraped and clawed at it trying to get in. Now, I need some fucking food, followed by beer, sex, or sleep. And I’m out of beer.”
“And if you’re expecting that charming statement to get me in the mood, you’re crazier than I thought,” Sypha says, grumbling as she nears the fire and soup.
“Great! So we eat, sleep, and search in the fucking morning. If I’m to defend myself for hours, I want to be rested.”
“All right, you made your point,” Sypha says, chuckling as she ladles some food into a small wooden bowl.
“Looked like you were about to take off on your own, like earlier. You’re more passionate about this than usual,” Trevor says. Sypha sighs in response, leaning against Trevor and putting her bowl down.
“Did I tell you why I accepted this?”
“We could refuse?”
“Why I didn’t even try to?” Sypha asks, and continues as Trevor shakes his head no, “Do you remember the girl who delivered it?”
“The fashion disaster with mouse ears?”
“Yes, her. I killed her. Thought I was doing a grand thing, taking the fight to a tyrant. And I killed her, while letting myself be manipulated by an egomaniac with a god complex.”
“That’s not your fault, Sypha. That’s on…”
“Yes, I know. But I thought it would be good to see if the gras really is greener on this side.”
Kaoru lounges back in a beach chair, taking a sip of ramune while peering through a small, hand-sized telescope. The spyglass, held firmly in place by Nene’s tail, points towards a dilapidated shack on the edge of some farmland, a shining golden goblet visible from the mountains even this late at night. She and Ellen had claimed this small patch of mountainside for themselves, fairly close to their entry point.
The other girl was doing kata behind her, never content to stay still. Kaoru lets her mind wander, the rhythmic tap of footsteps, the rustling of clothes, and the warmth of Ellen’s blanket making her sleepy. She barely spots a couple dust clouds on the horizon, which seem to grow larger. She leans in, peering through the spyglass before calling out.
“Ellen! Someone’s approaching the Grail!”
The other girl breaks off mid, movement and jogs as Nene leaps on top of Kaoru’s head. The aradama offers her the spyglass, which she grabs. Ellen leans on Kaoru’s head as she uses it to scan the area, spotting one of the other couples.
“That’s probably Wes and Rui, judging from the bike,” she says, “Of course it’s the hardest pair to track down.”
Nene hisses, startling the pair, and Ellen drops the spyglass, turning to see if there was any danger.
“Looks like Adam and Eve are near the grail, too,” Kaoru says, “I think that’s what Nene was sensing.”
“Let’s get ready to move,” Ellen says, “They’ll be easier to keep track of.”
A buzzing startles Eleanor awake, having barely slept for a few hours. She groggily rubs her eyes, realizing she’s sitting, and leans back. Resting against Velvet, she pulls her hand from under the blanket around them and taps her girlfriend’s face. Velvet’s eyes shoot open, glaring around her before noticing Eleanor and calming down.
“Another couple has the grail.”
“‘Rider.’ So I think Wes and Rui?”
“That’s good. We should try and keep it that way.”
“They’ll be easier to take out near the end?”
“Yes. Let’s head out. I want to get a start on this.”
The two women slide out from under the blanket and away from the wall, getting dressed and ready to leave. A few minutes later, they stand in front of the hotel, looking around. While most of the people on the street were calm, there were a few running in a panic. A pair of middle-school boys, pushed along with the latter, crash into Velvet and fall.
“Hey, watch it!” she growls.
“I’m sorr… oh!” the blonde says in a surprisingly feminine voice, “Look, Arata! It’s the scary lady and the nice lady.”
“If you recognize us… you’re Arata and Chris?” Eleanor asks, helping them up while Velvet glares at Chris. They dust themselves off, stammering out their thanks.
“So what was that about?” Velvet asks.
“Well… we were woken up in our hotel room by the owners. Everyone was yelling about a disaster and running.”
“Hmm… everyone here seems calm enough,” Eleanor says, looking around, “Maybe it’s something localized? But I can’t see anything that would be a sign of it…”
“Well, let’s get moving,” Velvet says, “If they travel with us, we can team up to fight. Three-on-two is a big advantage.”
The middle schoolers nod, and the four walk towards the center of the city.
Adam swings Archistrategos, the holy sword cleaving through one of Hitmontop’s legs. Thrown off balance, the beast that had tried to cuck him topples on its side. He stomps on its abdomen and chops its head off, his rage somewhat cooled. Mantine takes the opportunity to fire an ice beam at him, which is simply vaporized by his flaming sword.
“I am Adam, and I am blessed,” he says, deflecting another beam of ice, “And you would avenge the beast that tried to steal my wife?”
He swats a third ice beam out of the air, planting Archistrategos into the ground and summoning Rhongomiant to his hands. He throws it with immense speed, shredding Mantine. Entei and Espeon bound up, the latter swiftly dispatched by a flying Durandal. Adam simply punches the legendary Pokémon in the nose and holds its jaw up as it reels. He summons Archistrategos to his hand and slices its throat, throwing the convulsing beast aside.
He launches Tizona, the sword spinning through the air and cleaving through Misdreavus before slamming into his foes’ bike. The machine explodes, sending the red-haired girl hiding behind it flying. Adam charges towards the other youth, swinging. Umbreon jumps, knocking Wes to the ground and taking the slash in his place.
Wes desperately fumbles in his coat, holding out the grail as a peace offering. Adam simply impales the trainer in the chest, grabbing the grail as it falls from his vanishing hand.
Across the city, Arcueid relaxes on a bench in the park, stroking Shiki’s messy hair as he naps on her lap. She smiles gently, enjoying the moment until a strident buzzing rings out for a second time. This one seems to have disturbed him, however, and Shiki groggily gets up.
“You can sleep more,” Arcueid pouts, “I like your sleeping face.”
“Well, if the fights are starting, that’s going to be going off a lot,” Shiki says stretching as Arcueid stares at the device, currently displaying the word “Archer”.
“Don’t break it, please,” Shiki continues, “We’re going to need that if we want to win, right?”
“Well, yes, but… Oh! If we grab the Grail, we can just defend it.”
“We wouldn’t be able to rest then.”
“Don’t worry, Shiki. I’ll protect you.”
“I don’t want to be protected, idiot,” he replies, pulling her off the bench, “We can protect each other.”
“Protecting each other, huh…” Arcuied says, thinking as she walks. She brightens, clapping and laughing. “I like that, Shiki! Now come on, let’s get something to eat. I’m hungry again.”
Trevor wakes up to the jostling of his shoulder, his eyes fluttering open from an incredibly odd dream of him, Alucard, and John bar crawling with a headless Alistair. In its place was the slightly worried face of Sypha, which he found a far preferable sight.
“Morning, sunshine,” he croaks, “Which god shat in our coffee today?”
“It’s seven, Adam and Eve have the grail, and something weird’s happening on the outskirts of town.”
“Good, bad, and the hell isn’t weird when we’re involved?”
“It’s best if you see it,” Sypha says, leading him to the edge of the building’s floor, and he peers out through the steel beams, surveying the area. Near them everything was normal, if congested by the people running in panic, but as he looked outward to the edge of the town, his face scrunches in confusion. A large chunk of the town was covered in dark yellow crystals, just a few hues off from gold.
“Weird is right. The hell happened? God pissed in a snowstorm?”
“If it is Him, we should get a priest to ask Him to stop. It’s spreading, slowly, inward. I’ve never seen anything like it, though I’m also rapidly learning how little I’ve actually seen.”
“You’re not going to ask to get closer, are you?”
“God no. I was going to ask to get the hell away. Grab on; I’ll fly us over to the other building.”
“Don’t you usually say I’m ‘too fucking heavy?’” Trevor asks, hugging her from behind while she conjures jets of fire to propel them into the air.
“You are. Maybe if you laid off the damn beer I could take you flying more often,” Sypha grumbles as she hops from roof to roof, making her way towards the center of the city.
“I’m not sure if you’ll like such simple fare, but here,” Eve says, hesitantly placing a tray of sandwiches in front of Adam. Her husband looks away from admiring the posh, incredibly expensive hotel suite to look intently at the food. “These ones are lox and cream cheese, and these are egg salad, made with ranch and chili the way Leo did on the cooking show.”
“Thank you,” Adam says, taking a bite out of the egg salad sandwich., “It is good.”
“I’m happy you like it.”
“I’ve told you before, Eve. So long as you make it, I consider it a feast.”
“I… umm… More importantly! We should consider how we’re going to move next.”
“Indeed. Ellen Kohagura and Kaoru Mashiko have already tracked us here.”
“Yes, look,” Adam says, finishing his sandwich while guiding her to the window, which overlooks the similarly upscale hotel poolside. He points, and Eve follows it to see a pink-haired girl in a one-piece swimsuit drinking something from a watermelon rind, eyes hidden behind oversized sunglasses. A small, brown-furred animal is curled on her stomach, while a far bustier blonde swims laps.
“Well, based on Kaoru’s personality I don’t think they’ll be trouble until the end.”
“That… is fair. And what are we going to do about this “disaster” that I keep hearing about?”
“I don’t think we need to do anything, actually.”
“It’s solely on the outskirts of town. Places near the center of the city – like here – don’t even seem to be aware of it.”
“I see. If you think it’s unimportant… then we just wait. It has been a while since we’ve been alone.”
Eleanor and Velvet trail a little behind Arata and Chris, looking fondly at the middle schoolers’ antics as they go against the fleeing crowd. They wanted to take a look at this “disaster,” especially since it seemed to be ongoing.
“So, what do we do if it’s just us and them?” Eleanor whispers.
“Beat them before they fuse and take the grail, naturally.”
“They clearly remind you of Phi. Can you really kill them?”
“I’ll kick them in the face to knock them out.”
“You were there. Hellawes, when Teresa was trying to make him explode.”
“Oh,” Eleanor says, falling silent but not pulling away. The panicked footsteps were a ways behind them, and the surrounding area was unnaturally quiet. The four pairs of footsteps echo in the streets, not even interrupted by a bird or bug. They turn a corner onto a main street, and stop dead in their tracks.
“I guess this is the disaster,” Velvet says, standing back with Eleanor while Chris and Arata dash forwards. The entire street in front of them is covered in crystals, colored a dark yellow. Everything, from the buildings to lampposts to even the decorative trees, was covered in them. The crystals reflected the growing sunlight, glimmering beautifully.
Other than a few misshapen lumps, the crystals seemed to be in a single, rigid layer; it was even possible to make out what the encrusted signs had said. Eleanor focuses on one of the lumps, looking as if a vine had wrapped around an axe stuck in a fragmented log.
“I wonder what they feel like,” Arata mumbles, sticking his hand over the crystals as Eleanor gasps in horror.
“No, stop!” she yells, an instant too late. Fragments of crystal erupt from the surface, spearing through Arata’s hand and arm. The youth screams in pain as his arm rapidly crystallizes, stopping at the edge of the current growth. He tries to pull it back, but finds it can’t move.
“Embody!” he yells, summoning a sword to his free hand as Chris runs towards him. He swings, aiming to shear off the filaments rooting his arm to the ground, but the sword itself is quickly covered in crystals. They appear to flex, forcibly pulling Arata to the other side.
Chris vanishes as Arata’s body is entirely consumed, leaving Velvet and Eleanor stunned. The pair wordlessly turn and run, not wanting to be near the crystallized section of the city – and the silently screaming forms of the people who were too late to get out – a moment longer.
Shiki and Arcueid walk towards a shack with a crude fish drawn on it, ignoring the various reports about the brewing disaster. Shiki walks up to the small window cut out of the shack, while Arcueid follows.
“What’s this for, Shiki?” she asks, gesturing towards the rods lined up on display.
“Fishing,” he answers, waving over the proprietor, “the Arimas used to take me fishing sometimes. It was pretty relaxing.”
“You fish… with those?” she asks, tilting her head.
“Yep,” the proprietor, a rather rotund man with a beard, answers in Shiki’s stead, “Might be a little simpler than what a rich girl like you is used to, but…”
“You don’t just use your hands?” Arcueid asks, causing the proprietor to nearly drop the bait tin in shock.
“Your… hands?” Shiki asks, equally stunned as he takes the two rods and bait he rented.
“Well, that’s what I do,” Arcueid whines, “Just dive in and grab a couple. Is that… weird?”
“It’s very… you,” Shiki says, taking her hand, “Here, I’ll show you how we do it.”
The two walk towards one of the rivers dividing the town, eager to ignore their actual task and procrastinate.
“I’m still not sure why we’re not trying to find Adam and Eve,” Sypha says as she and Trevor scout out the inner parts of the city, “Even if we can’t fight them now, we can at least be in a position to do so if they get exhausted.”
“It’s going to be near-impossible to find them. They’re two people in the entire city. Unless God hates us more than I think, we’re never going to even see them until the major fighting starts.”
“Come on, Trevor. You know better than to tempt fate like… ah,” Sypha says, breaking off and looking across the street.
“Well shit,” Trevor says as Adam draws Archistrategos, pointing the flaming sword at him while the crowd screams and runs, “God hates us after all.”
He flicks the Morningstar out of his belt, sending the head of the flail towards Adam. The other man ducks, and swings in front of him. Sypha’s icicles melt in the heat, but the assault stops his charge. He kicks off instead, flying into the air and flipping around. He dives, swooping in to strike at Trevor.
The Morningstar retracts in an instant, and Trevor catches the blow in the small length of chain. As Adam continues to press downwards, Sypha concentrates before firing a bolt of lightning. He takes a hand off his sword, holding it to the side as it sparks. Trevor takes the opportunity to duck to the side, while Sypha’s bolt veers sharply off course.
Trevor draws his sword in his off-hand, slashing at Adam’s face. His foe simply parries, and takes a hit from Morningstar to the face for his trouble. Adam staggers back, spitting blood from his mouth. He leans back almost immediately as it crystalizes and launches at him. He bats the Morningstar’s head away, launching Durandal at Sypha as he does.
The sword, fast as an arrow, disperses the fireball heading his way. Sypha rolls right, and the sword crashes into the building behind her. Adam offhandedly launches Rhongomiant at her, and she creates a ramp of ice, nudging it away from her. She continues it, curving the ramp as Adam and Trevor trade blows. Archistrategos gets caught in Morningstar’s chain as she finishes, sending the lance back at its master.
Adam simply dismisses both weapons and spins, summoning and swinging Archistrategos. He swings with the momentum, sending a gout of flame towards Trevor. It halts at a gesture from Sypha, flowing back towards its master. He simply dismisses his sword, the fire vanishing with it as he leaps into the air. He then poses dramatically as several weapons materialize behind him, notably excluding Archistrategos.
He then – dramatically – points his palm at Sypha, sending a sword flying towards her. Trevor, reading his body language, intercepts it with the Morningstar, sending it crashing to the side. A startled yell draws the notice of all three, and a blonde woman in a long, maroon skirt and a long-sleeved white blouse lands between Trevor and Sypha, carrying a boy in a Japanese school uniform.
“Watch it!” Arcueid says, glaring as she puts Shiki down, “You could have killed us!”
“I, uh… sorry. Could you maybe…” Trevor says, pointing at Adam.
“Sure!” Arcueid answers, shifting her fingers into claws while the youth takes off his glasses and draws a fruit knife from his pocket. Adam, seemingly finished waiting, sweeps his hand and sends four weapons flying, one at each enemy.
Trevor wraps the Moningstar’s chain around a lamppost, pulling himself away just before they crash into the ground. Arcueid lands nimbly beside him as he swings, and he spots Sypha’s jets hovering over the three craters. His eyes snap to Shiki, standing serene in the middle of the destruction.
“What did you do?” Adam growls, glaring at Shiki.
“I killed it.”
“Impossible. That sword was blessed by the Angels and by God Himself to be unbreakable.”
“I didn’t break it, I killed it.”
“More insanity. How could you kill something that has been so divinely strengthened?”
“Even gods die, you know,” Shiki says, shrugging as he stabs the second sword Adam sends his way. His knife sinks into the blade’s point of death, and the sword vanishes. Trevor and Sypha watch in awe as Shiki simply kills one weapon after another, until Adam yells in rage, launching several weapons at once.
Shiki, deathly calm, leaps into the air and lands on one sword as it passes, the tip of his shoe sinking into its point of death. He kicks off as it vanishes, repeating the maneuver on another weapon. In a manner of seconds, he had nearly reached Adam, who tries to swerve out of the way. He almost makes it, but Shiki manages to slice at a line of death on his arm, severing it with ease. Adam crashes to the ground, while Shiki simply lands on his feet.
Adam gasps in pain as he turns to his foe, before his eyes widen in horror as he looks over Shiki’s shoulder. He quickly summons and launches another weapon, but both fade as Arcueid tears open Eve’s throat, killing her instantly.
The vampire grimaces, grabbing a handkerchief from Eve’s pocket and leaning off her hands before spotting a shining gold object at her feet. She grabs it, waving excitedly to Shiki.