Deadliest Fiction Wiki
Advertisement
TC Con Game.gif

Skippable DFederal Intro

“Okay, Leo, you can’t just tell me we’re not real and leave me hanging,” Carol says, “It feels like it’s been months.”

“I was simply considering how to make this simple without just revealing everything,” Leo says, “Well, to put it one way... has Joker explained Mementos to you?” he asks, and Carol nods, “Good. Well, rather than the collective unconscious, the city is a manifestation of a collective unconscious.”

“Let me guess, the Users are the origin?”

“Precisely. So while we are real to us, we are simultaneously not real. And, since I’m one of the six who created this space in the first place, I have a little bit more knowledge.”

“I wanted to ask about that, actually. Some of the details behind our founding.”

“Ah, right. Well, we may be a collective unconscious, but we are within the collective unconscious. The six of us here needed to negotiate a place with one of the Entities so that we didn’t simply get reabsorbed. We got this, in exchange for... a price from each of us.”

“I... see...”

“Well, this is a lot to take in. I think we should stop here?”

“Yes, I think so,” Carol mutters, “I’ll go home for the day.”

Gokiburi (Arachnid)

Ahh... it's so great being hated.
— Gokiburi
The designated jobber

Gokiburi was abandoned by her parents as a baby, left to die in their apartment. She developed the ability to sense the air around her at this time, and after her rescue was sent first to a normal orphanage before being recruited by The Organization. Afterwards, she was sent to Pomario, a training school for assassins run by Kabutomushi. She completed her course successfully, graduating after accompanying Kabutomuchi on the Caterpillar Hunt despite failing to kill Imomushi.

Some time later, she took the name Oki Megumi and entered the same high school as Alice Fuji. After Kamadouma asked her to kill Alice, she decided that she'd rather turn the girl into a sex slave. She fights Alice and loses, getting spared by the girl. She then declares herself Alice's slave, endeavoring to stay as close to her target of affection as she can. During the Arachnid Hunt, Gokiburi is initially separated from Alice, but they reunite alongside Kabutomushi. They later get separated again, but manage to save Alice from being killed.

Gokiburi takes Alice to her underground bunker to wait out the rape zombie apocalypse, though Alice soon leaves out of concern for her mental stability. Gokiburi then rejoins Kabutomushi, aiming to find Alice and finally seduce her.

People like to say that they can 'read the atmosphere,' but I can actually see it.
— Gokiburi
Sounds impressive, sure, but she's only won one fight
Gokiburi's main ability is Air Detection, the ability to see air currents. She uses this, along with her natural agility, to use a sort of psuedo super speed. She can accurately detect the attack of an enemy and dodge as soon as they start to move. Nerve toxins that deaden senses will also interfere with this ability.

It's there before you know it. Such is the nature of a cockroach.
— Gokiburi
Because "oiliperation" is a silly word that doesn't exist
Gokiburi can excrete a large amount of oil at will. She can use this to slip out of holds and physical traps. Kabutomushi has also trained her to utilize this skill when unconscious or in danger, leaving a small trail of oil droplets that requires superhuman senses to follow.

After I find that girl, the first thing I'll need to do is protect her from your grasp.
Not that these see much use
During the events of Caterpillar, Gokiburi utilized a pair of knives. These, which she named her "Cockroach Fangs," are coated in lethal bacteria, causing rapid sepsis with even a graze.

Ultimate partiality. I'll kill people I don't like, and I won't kill those I've taken a liking to
— Gokiburi
Arachnid's most notable panel, for better or worse
Claustrophile
Gokiburi has a fondness for enclosed spaces, where she can utilize her Air Detection to its fullest.
Unconscious Combat
As one of Kabutomushi's pupils, Gokiburi can fight at full strength with full capabilities even when unconscious.

Rin Tohsaka (Fate\Stay Night)

Yes, I'm fighting to win. That's all.
— Rin Tohsaka
Best girl. Eat shit, Saber

Rin Tohsaka is the heir to the Tohsaka family of magi and the magus in charge of Fuyuki City. She was the eldest child of the Tohsaka family unitl just prior to the fourth Holy Grail War, where her younger sister Sakura was adopted by the Matou family. Her father, Tokiomi, was killed during the war, and her mother was critically injured. She would continue to train her magic under the guidance of her father's books and Kirei Kotomine until reaching the age of 16. She then summoned and formed a contract with Archer, seeking to enter the fifth Holy Grail War and win the prize herself.

She saves the life of Shirou Emiya, and later takes him to meet Kirei when he summons Saber. After they meet the fake priest, they are attacked by Berserker and his master, Illyasveil von Einzbern. Barely surviving the encounter, Rin brings Shirou back to his home and treats him, leaving him with a warning to keep his head down if he wants to live. He ignores it, heading to school and coming into conflict with Rin once more.

She decides to ally with him, seeing through his honest nature. Archer's animosity, however, forces her to use another command spell to prevent him from trying to kill Shirou. She then forces him on a date, dissatisfied by his acquired anhedonia and seeking to break him out of it. They are interrupted by Caster, who uses a hostage to steal command of Saber. She immediately attacks Caster's hideout, seeking to regain Saber as quickly as possible. Archer, however, betrays her during the assault, shielding Kuzuki, Caster's Master, from her attacks and submitting to Caster's magic to nullify Mater/Servant contracts.

She then enters a more permanent alliance with Shirou, and the pair seek to ally with Illyasveil to stop Caster. While this alliance is foiled by Gilgamesh, they find a more live ally in Lancer. They agree to have Lancer fight Archer while Rin and Shirou fight Caster, with Shirou giving the Servant a condition of not flirting with Rin during their alliance.

Their plan goes well, though Shirou is unable to hold Kuzuki off long enough for Rin to kill Caster. Archer betrays Caster, killing both her and her Master before revealing his intention to kill Shirou. Rin quickly contracts Saber, determined to save him, though she gets captured by Archer and turned into bait to lure Shirou.

After he defeats Archer, she enters into a contract with Shirou so that he can summon his reality marble at will. Rin uses Saber to destroy the corrupted Grail, ending the war permanently. She then heads off to the Clock Tower after graduating, dragging Shirou there and beyond as her personal apprentice/manservant/boyfriend.

Ah, there it is. The uncharacteristic lack of verbal abuse was troubling me.
Archer
The world's most expensive hand grenade

The principle magic of the Tohsaka family is Jewel Magic. As the name says, Rin infuses his mana into jewels. She can release her jewels as a single-use burst of magic, effectively functioning as a grenade. One jewel can penetrate Berserker's Noble Phantasm and still have enough power to kill him.

Most Magi have only a single elemental affinity, specializing them out of necessity; Tokiomi Tohsaka, Rin's Father, had a fire affinity, and so used his abilities more prominently with the fire element. Rin, on the other hand, has an affinity for each of the five major elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Ether. She can thus use a wide variety of spells at high power.

Rin will have 12 fully-stocked jewels on her.

Gandr? Isn't that a simple Norse curse?
"Simple." Sure, Shirou.

A Gandr is a Scandinavian curse fired from the finger, which makes the target of the spell physically ill. Rin can utilize a variation of a Gandr known as a Finn Shot, which has enough mana within to affect physical objects like a bullet. Rin's normal Gandr can take out chunks of concrete wall, and she has no need for any verbal invocation. She can increase the power of her shots by pointing more fingers at her opponent, with a minimum of one and a maximum of five.

Rin can additionally create a barrier in a room to rain down Gandr shots on those trapped inside. A single-finger Gandr can only knock an opponent out, but a five-fingered Gandr can kill.

Wow! The Archer class really is made up of archers!
— Rin Tohsaka
Not even Rin is immune to derp lines
Rin is a competent magus in other areas, notably with reinforcement magic. She typically reinforces her limbs, increasing her running speed and striking strength. She can do this with no or minimal chanting, and allows her to leap over a large fence. She uses this ability in conjunction with her Baji Quan training, using the perception that mages stay at range to catch enemies off-guard.

D-don't get the wrong idea! I wasn't concerned about you!
— Rin Tohsaka
She has way too many trollfaces
Almost Perfect
Rin has a tendency to do everything correctly except for the final step, resulting in mishaps like summoning EMIYA instead of a Saber-class Servant or nearly fusing all timelines by accident.
Deductive
Rin has shown incredible deductive skills, especially concerning magic phenomena. She was able to suss out EMIYA's true identity fairly quickly, and managed to figure out the nature and workings of the Fate/hollow ataraxia time loop in a few short hours.

Master (Akudama Drive)

This is the end. Die for your sins!
— Master
Voiced by Iskandar

Master is a member of the Executioners, a group of government agents assigned to combat and execute the dangerous criminals known as Akudama. He works in a pair with Pupil, his pupil, and is initially assigned to combat the team of Akudama that Black Cat assembled to assault the Shinkansen. He and Pupil attack the full seven-person Akudama team while they stay at the hotel, severely injuring all of their combat-capable members and only being stymied when Courier used his bike's railgun to destroy the entire room.

He and Pupil then assault the Akudama when they infiltrate the Shinkansen, again fighting them in the narrow confines of the bullet train. The pair once again proves dominant, requiring the full efforts of Brawler, Doctor, Courier, and Cutthroat to hold them off. They are again stymied by Courier, who uses his bike to cut the train apart and strand the Executioners within the Absolute Quarantine Zone, a hellscape of weird physics caused by a WMD.

Beyond all odds, both Master and Pupil survive the Absolute Quarantine Zone. They are both temporarily suspended from duty, as the Akudama team also made it out, and all the other Executioners are commanded to make killing the seven their top priority. Master disobeys orders and sneaks out, leaving Pupil behind, to confront the Akudama team. He fights off the entire team alone, still not fully recovered from his injuries. Brawler distracts him, allowing Courier to take most of the rest of the team to safety. He and Brawler then fight, eventually culminating in a mutual kill.

Pupil finds Master in his dying moments, and he entrusts her Jutte to her along with some final words.

You thought you got away from me?
— Master
Even makes lightsaber noises
The Executioner's weapon of choice is a special, lightsaber-like jutte. It can slice through organic objects with ease, even able to bisect a human at the waist without much effort. Non-organic objects such as knives, bullets, or Courier's prosthetic arm are not cut, but are instead halted or deflected as if the jutte was metal.

Sorry, but I'm going all-out from the start!
— Master
Rest in power, king
Enjoys Combat
Master really enjoys a good fight. He often states that he's holding back, likely (though not confirmed) so that he can fight for longer. His abilities are usually enough that this isn't a problem, but when faced with the Akudama team it ends up getting him injured.
Affection
Master has a strong attachment to Pupil; his student gives him something to live for, which can give him extra strength in critical moments.

Thancred Waters (Final Fantasy XIV)

Bearing the brunt is my specialty these days.
— Thancred Waters
Goes from GLD -> ROG -> GNB

Thancred was originally a street urchin in the pirate city of Limsa Lominsa, where he learned how to hold his breath and swim for ten minutes straight. He made the mistake of targeting Louisoix Leveilleur, a prominent Sharyalan Archon, for one of his robberies. After catching him, Louisoix recruited him rather than turning him in. Thancred studied survival and intelligence gathering techniques, becoming first an Archon and then a member of the Circle of Knowing. He eventually ended up in Ul'Dah, where he failed to save a man named Warburton Warde. The killer, Niellefresne, was killed, and Thancred renamed Warburton's child, dubbing her Minfilia.

After the Calamity, Thancred remained part of the Circle of Knowing as it was reformed into the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. He eventually encounters the Warrior of Light in Ul'dah, who he invites to join the Scions. He pushes himself, feeling that he needs to make up for Louisoix's death and still feeling guilty for failing to prevent the death of Warburton, which opens him to possession by Lahabrea. The Warrior of Light, alongside some Adventurer friends, beat the evil out of him. Thancred rejoins the Scions, with admonitions to not push himself so hard again.

After Alphinaud gets sloppy and decides to trust Ilberd, he and the rest of the Scions are framed for the apparent assassination of Nanamo Ul Namo, the Sultana of Ul'Dah. Thancred and Y'shtola hold off their pursuers, with Y'shtola using the ancient spell Flow to save them. The spell sends them both into the Lifestream, which takes away Thancred's ability to manipulate Aether before spitting him out. He winds up in the Dravanian Forelands, with nothing but his wits. He fashions knives out of rock and hunts, wearing animal skins before trading his spoils with the Gnath for proper equipment.

He is eventually reunited with the Warrior of Light and the remaining Scions while they search for him near Loth ast Gnath. They later learn of Minfilia's fate as the Word of the Mother, an emissary for the goddess Hydaelyn, and the group promises to defeat the Ascians. This has a lasting effect, visibly depressing him. He rescues Alisaie Leveilleur after her run in with the Warriors of Darkness, bringing her to the other Scions. They fight against the Warriors of Darkness at the Bowl of Embers, and he watches over Minfillia's departure to The First.

After Illberd sloppily summons Shinryu, the Eorzean Alliance is forced to face Garlean forces in the battle of Ala Mhigo. Thancred uses his espionage skills by spreading misinformation, lowering Garlean morale. After successfully liberating the worst city-state in Eorzea, he operates behind Garlean lines as an intelligence operative. While there, he meets a Hrothgar named Rostik who teaches him how to be a Gunbreaker. Just as he is starting to recover from his depression, he is subjected to G'raha Tia's Calling and his soul is separated from his body.

Thancred ends up trapped on the First, years before the Warrior of Light follows. He hunts Sin Eaters, monsters of light that plague the First. He learns of Minfilia's sacrifice and semi-body-hopping, being revered as the Oracle of Light. Her current incarnation was held captive in Eulmore, until Thancred rescued the her. He trains her as his apprentice, using her magic to complement his abilities as a Gunbreaker.

Their relationship was initially awkward, as Thancred still loved the Minfilia that was his surrogate sister. He was emotionally distant, as he knows the girl's awakening would mean the Minfilia he knew would cease to exist. Thancred drives off a Eulmoran general, Ran'jit, nearly dying in the process. He and the new Minfilia are reunited, the original Minfilia having passed on. He names her "Ryne," and starts treating her as his daughter.

He, Ryne, Urianger, and the Warrior of Light venture into The Empty, a swathe of aetherically dead land that covered most of the First. They successfully reintroduce other elemental aether, helping the land heal. He then leaves the First, parting with his surrogate daughter and returning to the Source.

... You might try to look a little disappointed! Or do you mean to give me another one of your stoic nods? You do, don't you?
— Thancred Waters
Notably a FFVIII-style gunblade

Thancred's gunblade is Lionheart, a sturdy weapon with no real standout features other than being a Hrothgar-style gunblade. The Hrothgar-style gunblades fire charges of aether to enhance standard attacks, in contrast to Garlean-style gunblades which are more akin to a sword with a gun running down the spine.

As Thancred cannot utilize aether himself, he relies on his allies to infuse the aetheric cartridges for him. He will start with 42 cartridges, and Lionheart can hold six at a time.

He also has access to a supply of 20 potions, which will heal his injuries.

He further has shown the use of special cartridges, with the following effects:

  • Perfect Deception: Effectively conceals Thancred from detection by slowing the aether sustaining his life to a crawl. Utilizing it excessively can cause him to be immobilized while in combat, and he will die if he does not dispel it with another cartridge within a minute.
  • Eviscerate: Strikes with a blast of pure Aether, stronger than normal. Requires time to fire.
  • Souldeep Invisibility: Completely conceals Thancred from detection by temporarily severing the aether sustaining his life. Utilizing it will cause him to stagger and fall every few seconds until he rests and recovers, and he will die if he does not dispel it with another cartridge within 40 seconds.
  • Leap of Faith: A special cartridge which empowers his gunblade to deal extremely heavy damage. Requires time to fire.
In addition to his 42 normal cartridges, Thancred will have 2 for Perfect Deception, 2 for Eviscerate, 1 for Souldeep Invisibility, and 1 for Leap of Faith

First you invite me to your party then you ask me to leave? I do so detest receiving mixed signals!
— Thancred Waters
Somehow mixes Squall and Auron for their combat stance

Gunbreakers utilize gunblades to attack and draw attention away from their allies. They utilize large sweeping motions, and can transform their aether into special cartridges to increase the power of their attacks. This discipline was originally utilized by the Hrothgar, though after the Garlean conquest of their homeland they have started to spread their teachings to other races.

The Gunbreaker utilitzes their gunblade and the aetheric cartridges within. They can spend those cartridges either on a single, powerful attack or another, even more powerful combo. The Gunbreaker has the least defensive ability out of the four tanks, but has the highest offensive potential.

As Thancred cannot use aether himself, he relies on his physical abilities and specially-made shells rather than the usual aether-focused abilities.

I have fought tooth and nail for the people I hold dear—done everything in my power to save them... and I have failed. Learn to live with it. I have.
— Thancred Waters
Can speak several languages, for spying purposes.
Charismatic
Thancred is an incredibly charming man, having the affections of several women. Usually at the same time, which rarely turns out well for him. His natural charisma is one of his biggest assets as an intelligence operative, as it helps him gain trust and information.
Loner
Despite his charisma, Thancred generally tends to work alone, as much a result of his traumas as it is the result of his fieldwork not lending itself well to teams.

Zasalamel (SoulCalibur)

Dare you peer... into the abyss!
— Zasalamel
That gold eye contains his soul

Zasalamel was originally a member of the Guardians of the Spirit Sword, a clan which monitored and cared for Soul Calibur. The tribe had a rule to never utilize the sword themselves, which Zasalamel took exception to. He was cast out of the tribe when he broke said rule, though he did not lose his drive. He studied magic extensively after being cast out, becoming one of the foremost magicians of his age in the search of the secret to resurrection. He achieved his aim, and every time he dies he is reborn anew across different cultures and genders. The only physical connection between reincarnations is the gold left eye, and once each reincarnation remembers its past life he takes up his manipulative mantle once again.

He quickly tired of immortality, however, as he has no way of ending it. He took many actions to break his curse, including taking up Soul Edge as one of its hosts, but all led to failure. He theorized that the energies of both Soul Edge and Soul Calibur working in tandem would allow him to die, and manipulates the flow of history over the course of millennia to see his ambitions realized. All this changes, however, when he receives a vision from his future self, showing the wonders of civilization in eras far beyond his.

He finds a renewed sense of purpose, now seeking the swords to ensure mankind evolves into the utopian future he saw. He starts to chronicle his own life, and starts to accelerate his plans. His manipulations change the course of history, creating an entirely new timeline. He continues working in the shadows, manipulating - or eliminating - events and people to ensure his plans come to fruition.

You are out of your league.
— Zasalamel
ZAS WARUDO

Zasalamel is a master of magic, having studied the art extensively during his millennia of life. He can replicate spells after only seeing them once, but his preferred style of combat involves using telekinetics to enhance his grappling as well as placing curses on his foe. The latter is a cornerstone of his abilities, and he can place up to three curses on each enemy, which fade if he is defeated. He can either make the cursed energy explode or use them to temporarily halt time for those affected.

He can also utilize similar magic to strike, deflecting an opponent's attack and halting time if it hits. The parry component can be pierced through, and the effort needed to do so is proportional to the amount of curses the foe has. When no curses are on a foe, an attack aimed over the torso can bypass it, if the foe has one or two curses then a sufficiently strong attack can break through, and if the foe has three curses they cannot break through the parry, and must avoid the immediate burst of magic afterwards. He has additionally shown the ability to draw an opponent in using a radial telekinetic pull.

Let the power of my words sink into your soul!
— Zasalamel
Yes, this is Zas as he was in 3. It's got a better view of his scythe.
Kafziel is Zasalamel's scythe. It's got no special properties on its own, other than the sheer durability needed to survive the millennia that comprised Zas' lifespan. He hides and retrieves it every time he reincarnates.

Hmph, I knew you would say that.
— Zasalamel
I actually used this as a basis for Menardi's combat in her rematch
Zasalamel has an entirely unique style, shaped by his millennia of combat experience and his proficiency in magic. He utilizes his scythe and kicks to control his opponent's positioning, placing them in range for a kill or magic. Or just another kick to the face, depending.

Your purpose has ended. You may die now.
— Zasalamel
Can land an aircraft on those shoulder pads
Patient
Zasalamel tends to observe his opponent's abilities during combat, using his abilities to try and back them into a corner while doing so.
Farsighted
Zasalamel can be a little too patient at times, only ever seeing death as a temporary setback for his plans. While this helps him play with the course of history, it also tends to bode poorly for scenarios like this one.

Eizen (Tales of Berseria)

There's nothing I hate more than someone else trying to control the direction of my life. My wheel is mine to hold. If I'm not the one steering the ship, then I'm not truly alive.
— Eizen
Will not shut up about his creed

Eizen, whose true name is Ufemew Wexub, was "born" on a mountain, materializing from the Earthpulse as most Malaks do. He lived there, and eventually encountered another Malak materialized from the same place. He named her Edna, and the pair decided to become siblings. After some time, he realized his Domain was attracting misfortune, and left his sister behind to protect her. He joined up with the legendary pirate Van Aifread, and went on many a misadventure with the him and the crew of the Van Eltia, who took his curse in stride.

Years later, Aifread was captured by The Abbey. In a bid to free him from their clutches, Eizen takes command of the pirate crew, planning to demolish the fortress of Vortigern to regain sea passage to Midgand. There, he comes across Velvet Crowe and her group, and enlists their assistance. Velvet and her band take Eizen in as well, not only taking his curse in stride but using it to grow stronger. Eizen uses them to gain information on Aifread, eventually coming to trust and care for the rest of Magilou's Menagerie in full.

After Velvet kills her target, Eizen returns to the Van Eltia, continuing to travel with Aifread's crew despite Aifread's death and the crew losing the ability to see him. 800 years later, he ends up in conflict with a Lord of Calamity, with disastrous results. One of the only members of the fight left standing, Eizen allows himself to be corrupted by malevolence, turning into a dragon. He immediately eats the Lord of Calamity, saving the world from disaster at the cost of his sanity.

Two hundred years later, the idiot Sorey would slay Eizen's dragon form, with the help of Edna and Eizen's old friend, Zavied, who had promised to kill him if he became a dragon.

I bring ill fortune to all those around me. The 'Reaper's Curse'. If you join up with me, I can't guarantee your safety.
— Eizen
Even a two-headed coin won't land heads
Eizen's Domain as a Malak is known as the "Reaper's Curse," giving him and anyone around him a continuous streak of bad luck. This bad luck can take myriad forms, from an outbreak of Daemonblight while infiltrating a fortress, weapons breaking when he uses them, or the coin that is his vessel never landing on heads. This can be nullified by being in the presence of another Malak or Daemon who has a stronger Domain.

Family, friends... everything I have ever tried to hold onto... all of it trickled away, fell from my grasp. But a certain idiot once told me, 'If you can't hold something in your hand, then make a fist and take it by force!'
— Eizen
He's also the biggest nerd in the cast

Eizen fights with his fists, using a self-taught brawling style. He infuses his fists with mana rather than using any normal weapon, due to his Reaper's Curse. He additionally utilizes Malak Artes, basically magic spells, to attack at longer range, and his Break Souls allow him to float for a brief period of time. His Malak Artes primarily utilize Wind and Earth elements. His mana is channeled through a bracelet on his wrists.

His Break Souls hit his enemies while they're down, the initial strike only usable on enemies who have been stunned or knocked down. His Break Souls are used as combo extenders, and cost one Soul each to do. He starts with three Souls, and can have a maximum of five. He can regain Souls by stunning or inflicting status ailments on his foes, or utilizing Plundering Ghost and hoping it works.

See here for a full list of his Artes, including his Mystic Artes which have their own tab

Ready to die?
— Eizen
A pretty legit Dempsey Roll
Eizen, like all members of Magilou's Menagerie, has three Mystic Artes. The first, Perfect Mayhem, is a simple combo of haymakers and an uppercut, hitting one enemy. The second, Howling Dragon, has him sprout black wings, rise into the air, and dive on his enemy, dragging them across the floor before letting out waves of mana to damage the enemy. The third, Venom Strike, is a simply uppercut launch followed by a charged punch.

If it means getting my tunnels, I'll build an island, too.
— Eizen
Has too few trollfaces
Free Spirit
Eizen's core creed is to follow his own will, letting no others control him. While he has no issue teaming up with others, especially like-minded others, he acts as he sees fit.
Comitted
Eizen doesn't do anything by halves. If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing. He'll even commission the greatest swordsmith in the world to make a spatula if he wishes to cook.

Carver Hawke (Dragon Age II)

Spoiled, annoying, thick-headed, brattish little nitwit of a... oh, have we stopped?
— Hawke
The younger brother no one wishes they had

Carver Hawke is the arrogant and insecure younger brother of Hawke. Unlike his siblings Hawke and Bethany, Carver was not born with the gift of magic. To make up for it, he trained to be a skilled swordsman with the intention to join the army. However, when the Blight struck their village of Lothering, Carver nearly dies at the hands of an ogre and his twin sister Bethany is killed. When the Hawke family travels to Kirkwall, Carver finds a kindred spirit in his uncle Gamlen.

After their first year in Kirkwall, Carver ends up becoming a patron for the Tethras brothers' Deep Roads expedition. Once the Hawke family raises enough funds for the expedition, Carver can either join Hawke personally on the expedition or remain in Kirkwall. Carver may die in the Deep Roads, or become a Grey Warden, where the duties of the order temper his ego. If he remains in Kirkwall, he joins the Templars. Either way, Carver largely disappears from his sibling's life except for small, brief periods as their paths align. Once the Mage-Templar War breaks out, Carver flees whichever order he belongs to and goes into hiding.

In a first for the wiki, this will be Templar Carver (AKA shitty carver).

I don't hate you because you're a mage. I hate you because you won't shut up about it.
— Carver Hawke
Take note, Appel
Carver's sword is Grace-Maker. Its construction allows him to attack faster with it, as well as giving him a minor boost to his magic resistance.

Right, my great betrayal. All to spite you, is that how you remember it?
— Carver Hawke
Can't even score with Merrill in DFederal
Carver will be wearing the Knight-Corporal Plate, a set of armor standard to the Knights Templar. It gives him additional strength, additional health, and slowly heals him over time.

It seems I am again in your debt... and shadow.
— Carver Hawke
His most notable talent, petty low blows

Two-Handed Talents: All

Templar Talents: All

Warmonger Talents: All

Defender Talents: Turn the Blade, Elemental Aegis, Elemental Shroud

Father believed in a Templar. Why can't I?
— Carver Hawke
Effectively held hostage by Meridith to hold over Hawke's head
Middle Child Syndrome
Carver constantly feels the need to prove himself worthy to be out of his sibling's shadow. This can lead to both acts of heroism and acts of recklessness.
Highly Trained
Carver was trained both by Malcom Hawke, a notably skilled mercenary, as well as with the Ferelden army. He has recieved even further training from the Chantry.

Dantalion (Tokyo Babel)

Our one and sole eternal duty is to look after the books of the universe. Hence we have a duty to expunge parasites that mean them harm from their vicinity. Like yourself.
— Dantalion
Hard to find good quotes for because they spend so much time snarking

Dantalion is a demon, and one of the dwindling survivors of the Divine Calamity. It takes the form of a hundred separate bodies of varying genders, and it takes its role as a distributor of knowledge by managing the library in Pandora. They does this by cataloguing every single known piece of literature across the countably finite parallel universes in one single miles-long and miles-high library, accessible only by flight.

They are fiercely protective of their library, fighting off any who would seek to force entry. Depending on the route chosen by the player, the Dantalions either perish alongside the rest of Pandora upon the mad angels attacking it, successfully defend the library against Lucifuge and seal it off permanently, or have a small contingent endure the library's safety while the rest assist Sorami with creating a new future. In all routes, they provide an endless stream of snark and play the straight man to the entire cast's comic. Not even they are safe from their own wit.

The written word may bring light, illuminating the minds of all who crave its wisdom. The written word may bring darkness, leading astray all who succumb to its temptation. Seeking light, we embrace darkness. Seeking knowledge, we plunge into delusion. We are the inhabitants of parchment, slaves to the written word. We are the kings of parchment, rulers of the written word.
— Dantalion
The quote goes on further, because holy shit does Tokyo Babel turn full edgelord at times

Dantalion's raison d'etre is the thirst for knowledge, and is centered around books and the written word. They can manifest a variety of weapons out of paper, which have the additional ability to clear away any darkness, magically created or otherwise. They require the presence of books to utilize this, and as such are the most dangerous in a library.

The Dantalions are also capable of using magic, most often to fly. They can additionally fling spheres of light, capable of demolishing walls on contact, and appear to be able to manipulate light into other, solid forms.

It seems we, as a legion, share not only personality but alcohol intake as well. ... We should be all right, I'm sure alcohol is widely called the "best medicine" for a reason.
— Dantalion
This is fine
Bibliophile
If given the chance, Dantalion would much rather read than fight.
Shared Consciousness
Every Dantalion shares the experiences and personality (and drunkenness) of each constituent body. Though they still converse amongst themselves for the odd joke.

Mirai Kuriyama (Kyoukai no Kanata)

How unpleasant.
— Mirai Kuriyama
Try to rank your waifu fairly, Killer

Mirai Kuriyama is a Spirit World Warrior, a person who fights Yomu and sells their cores for monwy. She is part of a lineage whose ability is centered on manipulating their own blood. Her clan was hunted and killed for fear of their power, leaving Mirai the sole survivor. She was then adopted by the Inami family, and despite her isolation managed to befriend Yui Inami, the family's middle daughter. This would end in tragedy, as Yui was possessed by a particularly powerful Yomu known as the Hollow Shadow, forcing Mirai to kill her.

She was then protected by the Nase family, the head of which planned to use her powers to permanently kill Akihito Kanbara, a half-Yomu harboring the powerful entity Beyond the Boundary. When they meet, she attacks him with little warning. She continues attacking him, exploiting his immortality to try and gain combat experience. They eventually come to an understanding and form a truce, with Akihito assisting her in her Spirit World Warrior job. They partner to take down the Hollow Shadow, and she starts to fall in love with him when she realizes that he genuinely understands and cares about her.

She continues bonding with him and the members of the literature club, getting along well until the arrival of The Calm, a period of time where Yomu grow weak. She is forced to fight Akihito, now fully awakened as Beyond the Boundary, a Yomu strong enough to end the world. She seals the Yomu, sealing herself inside it to do so, fighting waves of Yomu as it tries to devour her. Akihito refuses to accept this, and forces Beyond the Boundary to release Mirai and submit to him.

Mirai, however, loses her memories entirely. She tries to live a normal life, though she is troubled by Akihito's blatant avoidance of her. She eventually starts to regain her memories, but is then possessed by a parasitic Yomu that feeds on her fears. She fights Akihito while possessed, and is eventually broken out of it by the boy confessing his love for her. They begin to officially date, and are reunited with their friends.

Misfortune always befalls any who get involved with those who carry the cursed blood
— Mitsuki Nase
Find someone who looks at you the way Akihito looks at glasses

Mirai's main weapon is her Cursed Blood, a hereditary ability passed down through her family. She can manipulate her blood, and appears to have a constantly-open wound on her right palm. She normally uses this to create a sword, which she uses with a high level of skill. She can additionally utilize her blood to create shields, and can liquify and reform any constructs she has made at will. She can also return any blood she has shed to her body via the wound on her palm.

She additionally has a ring on her pinky which suppresses part of this ability. Removing it turns her blood into a powerfully corrosive substance, able to melt nearly anything it touches. A particularly large burst (a notable outlier in terms of volume) killed a forest with its powers.

As Mirai uses her own blood for her abilities, she does suffer from anemia if she uses them too much.

Making a gif is surprisingly hard with modern webplayers. Guess I'll need an actual file next time.
Skilled Swordswoman
Mirai is notably skilled with a blade despite her youth and relative inexperience. She is capable of highly technical combat and can react to fast movements even at point-blank range.
Superhuman Agility
Mirai is capable of vaulting high fences in a single leap, as well as leaping down several stories unharmed.

And then you told me you were immortal. That means I can stab you all I want and you won't die.
— Mirai Kuriyama
Love at first stab
Bad Liar
Mirai is a terrible liar, having the very noticable tell of frantically cleaning her glasses.
Creative
Mirai is notably quick-witted when it comes to using her powers, from using it to pick locks to exploiting the fact that blood can be liquid in battle.

Scenario

HashtagNO.png

The Tohno Family Con Game is an elaborate game of tag, starting in the living room of a mansion. Master starts out as the Demon, while everyone else is considered a Human. The Humans get five minutes to disperse around the 120 acre mansion grounds and/or the 87,458 square foot mansion it surrounds. The mansion will contain a number of libraries. After those five minutes, Master must proceed to hunt down the Humans, turning them into Demons when tagged. In order for a Human to be tagged, they must have had damage inflicted that would be fatal damage on a normal human being; Demons may be tagged using the same means, though they will not be turned back Human. Anyone tagged, Human or Demon, is sent back to the starting room.

The game lasts for a total of eight hours, and the door to the starting room will re-open every 45 minutes, releasing those within. When a Human is tagged by a Demon, all humans will be notified via an announcement. Any warrior with a limited resource can fully refill that resource in the starting room.

In order for poisoning to count as fatal, it must progress to the point of death. Poisonings by a Human counts as being tagged if the Human turns into a Demon after the poisoning happens.

For Dantalion to be turned from Human to Demon, at least half of its hundred constituent bodies must have been tagged. Any bodies tagged while Dantalion remains human will not be allowed to leave the starting room until the release period after Dantalion is fully turned into a Demon. Bodies of Dantalion still alive at that time will not be returned to the starting room.

Those tagged will be compelled to help Master instead of simply lazing around. Why and how, you ask? I'll let Mami explain:

Yeah, not getting more than this.

  • Someone is considered "tagged" if they take what would be fatal damage on a normal human.
  • A tagged warrior is forcibly teleported to the starting room
  • If:
    • A Demon tags a Human, the tagged Human turns into a Demon
    • A Human tags a Demon, the tagged Demon remains a Demon
    • A Human tags a Human, the tagged Human remains Human
    • A Demon tags a Demon, the tagged Demon remains a Demon
  • Indirect tagging (eg poison, traps) is possible
  • If a Human sets up a trap, but it triggers after that human becomes a Demon, it counts as if a Demon set the trap

Surviving Humans tie for first
OG Demon places under surviving humans

Tagged Humans place under OG Demon in the order they got tagged in

  • Should time run out with Rin and Zasalamel still Human:
1) Rin Tohsaka & Zasalamel
3) Master
4-9) everyone else in the order they died (first tagged is 9th, etc.)

  • Should all Humans be turned into Demons:
1) Master
3-9) everyone else in the order they died (first dead is 9th, etc.)

Gokiburi: End of the Arachnid manga, before the events of Blattodea
Rin Tohsaka: After her True Ending in the Fate/Stay Night anime
Master: Just prior to the Shinkansen fight
Thancred Waters: As of Patch 5.55
Zasalamel: SoulCalibur VI
Eizen: Just after the events of Tales of Berseria
Carver Hawke: Just after Act 3 of Dragon Age 2
Dantalion: During the Common Route of Tokyo Babel
Mirai Kuriyama: After the events of the Mirai-hen movie

Floor plans made on floorplanner.com, grounds made on Inkarnate


Voting

  • Please list each contestant in the placements you think is most likely, following the placement examples above. 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 ends on 07/01/2021 at 00:01 Eastern Time

Battle

Prologue

“You ready, Rin?” Kiritsugu asks, knocking on the door to Shirou’s apartment.

“We are, yes,” his son says from behind the door, and a split second later it opens. Rin steps out, dressed in her usual red sweater and skirt, while Shirou steps out behind her, comparatively shabby in his t-shirt and jeans.

“Thank you for protecting me,” she says, giving Kiritsugu a bow, “I was nervous when the evictors started coming around, but you defended us even though you didn’t have to.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Kiritsugu replies, walking them to the elevator, “Besides, Leo’s taking exception to this move of Cfp’s, at least for now. It’s part of my job.”

“Still, thank you,” Rin says, in a rare moment of pure sincerity, “I’ll invite you to dinner in my new mansion.”

“I’ll take you up on that,” Kiritsugu says, giving an equally rare smile as he holds the door open for the pair to exit into the Lower District. They step into the hazy, smoggy air, wrinkling their noses as they walk to the bus stop. They duck under the open roof and sit on a bench, simply enjoying each other’s company while ignoring the blonde girl in a white sailor uniform as she stares intently at the bus schedule, tablet in hand. The peaceful silence is broken by the sound of yelling behind them, and the pair turn to look at the employment agency. An elderly man with white hair and robes is thrown out the door, his staff clattering to one side as he lands hard on the ground.

He struggles to his feet, only to get knocked back down by a blonde, uniformed highschooler with spectral ox horns sprouting from her head, flipped face down, and pinned. A massive purple-skinned man in tattered pirate garb slowly, deliberately walks out, kneeling to speak face-to-face.

“How many times do I have to tell you, old man?” he growls, “No one. No. One. Is hiring the homeless. I’d rather have a drowned sewer rat come up and ask than another one of you. Could actually do my damn job.”

“That’s… not…”

“Not your fault, yes, so I have heard. I care not. I can’t even sell you to a brothel, you worthless sack of bones.” To punctuate his rant, the pirate pulls out a dagger. The girl, knowing what’s coming, closes her eyes and looks away as Saruman struggles to break free.

A shot rings out, muffled by the sound of the arriving bus, and the man ceases his struggle. Rin and Shirou turn away, waiting as the few riders who live near the last stop on the line file out. Rin gives the blonde girl, still staring at the bus schedule, a rough poke in the shoulder as they board, alerting her to the arrived bus.


About an hour and a half later, the pair gets off the automated golf cart that took them from the entrance up the dirt road leading to the mansion. They look at the sprawling stretch of forest and grassland behind them, the hill affording them a good view.

“How large is this?” Shirou mutters, awed.

“A hundred and twenty acres,” a voice comes from behind them, “A little larger than Vatican City,” it continues as they turn around, seeing a translucent figure in a grey polo and navy cargo pants, his face obscured by a mask. The figure was instantly recognizable as Leo, even if the mask had taken on a grey-and-black coloring rather than its usual orange-and-blue.

“Come on, you’re the last to arrive,” he says, waving them into the building. They walk through the towering double doors, Shirou gawking at the massive gold chandelier, finely cut rubies refracting the fire within to give the entryway a reddish tint. The figure leads them to a slightly out-of-place metal door, pressing a button. The doors open, revealing an elevator furnished with a minifridge and a reclining chair. The three file in, and Leo presses a button.

The elevator descends, and a short hallway later they step into a room, furnished with a fridge, stove, couches, and televisions seemingly placed at random. The room was packed with identical boys and girls, a few unique faces poking out amidst the sea of clones. A white-haired man with a mask covering the lower half of his face, another white-haired man and a muscled blonde sharing drinks, and an African man towering impassively with a gold eye. The ghostly man they followed flickered out of existence, seemingly rejoining the actual Leo as they entered the room.

“Now that you’re all here,” he says, drawing the room’s attention, “I’ll explain how today’s going to play out. As you’re probably aware, I tend to run events like this – Battle Royales – rather frequently. This time, there’s a bit of a twist to it. It’s a big ol’ game of tag. One of you… him,” Leo continues, pointing at Master, “will start as a Demon. The rest of you are Human.”

“Excuse me,” one of the identical boys says, raising his hand, “As I am, in fact, a demon, would it not be more appropriate to…”

“No, there’s a reason for this. He insisted, since it’s following a pattern.”

“Very well.”

“Now, Master here will chase you all down, and tag you by inflicting what would be mortal damage on a human. If a Human is tagged by a Demon, they will join the Demon side. Humans win by avoiding capture for the full eight hour time limit, Master wins by turning every human into a demon. Yes, Dantalion?” Leo asks, and the female Dantalion puts its hand down.

“We have a distributed consciousness. How does this apply to us?”

“Fifty of you must be tagged, and you will all join the Demon side if that happens.”

“Thank you.”

“Now, when you take fatal damage, you will be returned to this room. That door will open every forty-five minutes, letting those inside escape. It will not allow passage to the Dantalions until they have had at least fifty members tagged,” Leo says, and one of the Dantalions sheepishly lowers his hand, “You will be notified when someone has been turned into a Demon. And with that out of the way… the stakes.

“I believe I asked each of you to bring your most valuable possession. In addition to housing, these will serve as the prizes. If Master wins, he gains custody of all of them. If anyone else wins, it’s divided between them. Let’s start with… Gokiburi.”

At the prompting, a hand snakes out from under the central table, placing a piece of cloth on top. The Dantalions, the first to see, grimace in revulsion and scorn as one.

“Gokiburi, what the actual fuck?” Leo asks, facepalming.

“My treasure. A pair of Alice’s panties.”

“Okay, fine,” Leo says with a sigh, “I should have expected this. Master, hopefully you’ll be more normal?”

“Easily,” Master says as he wades through the Dantalions, placing a black square on the table, “The badge identifying me as an Executioner,” he says, and wades back towards the wall.

“I guess I’ll go next,” the other silver-haired man says, and places a wrapped bundle on the table. “Coffee biscuits,” Thancred says, “Given to me by my… daughter. Not nutritious, but sentimental.”

The large African man places a sheaf of notes on the table, “A collection of my research on the Spirit Swords,” Zasalamel announces, “My first written work. Like the biscuits, mostly sentimental in value.”

“And this is mine,” the large Blonde says, placing a locket on the table. “A gift from my sister,” Eizen explains, and returns to the back of the room.

A man in plate armor makes his way to the table next, placing a wooden figurine of a dog on the table. “A carved Mabari. Made it myself,” Carver says, “Not like I can just give it to Merrill,” he mutters as he backs away, only to be replaced by one of the identical girls.

“Each piece in our collection is equally valuable,” she says, pompously, “So here. A randomly selected book from it.”

“And this is mine,” a young girl with a bandaged hand says, placing a pair of frames on the table, “Akihito gave these to me,” Mirai says, blushing furiously as she stumbles away from the table.

“Rin?” Leo asks, looking at the twintailed girl.

She smiles and slips behind Shirou, and the boy stumbles forward as she gives him a hard shove in the back.

“Shirou,” she says, as he gapes.

“Well, now that that’s done,” Leo says, while Master attempts in vain to hold his laughter, “You get five minutes to disperse, after which Master will have seven hours and fifty-five minutes to find you. And kill you. Have fun.”

The First Hour

The door opened, and a rush of bodies streamed out of the room. Fortunately, no one was trampled in the rush, and all were spared the most ignominious of ends. In contrast to the throng heading left, towards the hallway leading to the elevator, Mirai quietly breaks off in the other direction. As a few Dantalions also separate from the group, heading into the library, she makes her way to the thin, vertical seam she noticed while coming down.

The seam grows, soundlessly, and she steps through as the thick doors, made from an unknown bluish metal, slide shut behind her. She cautiously slides around the pillar, making note of the choke points, and approaches the larger, thicker metal door on the other end. Like the previous one, it slides open without a sound, letting her into a comfortable bedroom. One side of the room was filled with monitors and a keyboard, the other had a bed, a transparent and fully-stocked fridge, and the third a full kitchen.

She peeks through the door in the corner, seeing a luxurious bathroom, and taps a few buttons on the keyboard. A mute hissing sound follows, the door barring and locking itself, and the monitors flicker to life. She opens the fridge, pulling out a can of Coke. She flips the tab, taking a sip as she sits on a beanbag chair in front of the monitors. One of them shows the elevator doors on the ground floor, opening to let through a torrent of Dantalions and three men alongside them.


They separate to the side, letting the flood of bodies disperse slightly. The two in long coats, Eizen and Thancred, lock eyes and nod to each other before turning to Carver, standing awkwardly in his plate armor.

“Eizen and I have decided to work together,” Thancred says, putting on his second-most-charming smile, “If you want to join in, well… the more the merrier, as they say.”

“Just know we can’t guarantee your safety,” Eizen says, flipping the gold coin in his hand, “If you want to ride with the Reaper, you best be strong. Or foolish. My curse will bring us bad luck.”

“I just so happen to be used to the gods shitting in my dinner,” Thancred says, smile still in place, “So, what say you?”

“I can look after myself well enough,” Carver says, taking a step back, “And I can do that better if I’m not looking out for you as well.”

“Fair enough,” Eizen says, “No hard feelings when we fight.”

“Yes, no hard feelings when I win,” Carver says tauntingly as he walks away. As he ascends the staircase to the balcony, Eizen and Thancred slip into the other hallway, moving further into the dining room. The Templar’s armor rattles as he trudges up the 32-foot-high spiral staircase, Grace-Maker jostling on his back. The metal lets out a loud clang as he drops to a sitting position, staring over the low wall at the elevator doors.


The elevator rings on the third floor, and a smaller chunk of Dantalions exits, followed by Rin and Zasalamel. The latter two look around at the floor as the Dantalions disperse, instinctively seeking out the library. The twintailed magus leans against the wall, stretching as the large African man rests his scythe on the floor, looking around.

“I had expected to be the only… normal one on this floor,” he says, turning his eye on Rin, “I would ask you not drag me down.”

“Ah, don’t worry about that,” Rin says, “I’m going to be going to the guest house, anyway. Much easier for me to fight in.”

“Then I think you are on the wrong floor.”

“Oh, no, there’s an exit here,” she says, inclining her head towards the balcony to the left.

“A bold choice,” Zasalamel says impassively, “Maybe you will survive.”

“Definitely will if he takes much longer,” Rin frowns, “It’s been fifteen minutes already, thanks to the Dantalions.”

“Indeed. I wonder if he has a plan in mind.”

A split second later, the pair hears the sound of gears turning and cables running. A quick rasp later, and the elevator behind them descends to the lowest level, ringing as it opens. Taking her cue, Rin gives Zasalamel a fearless grin and charges left, her legs glowing green as she sprints out the doors and flips over the balcony. Zasalamel hears the muted thud of her landing and the chime of the elevator arriving on the first floor, and turns back to the hallway and rooms. He has some exploring to do.


The door opens with a click, and Mirai carefully reaches into the microwave. A sharp tug on the bag opens it, and she smiles as the savory smell of popcorn fills the panic room. She trots back to the desk and chair, grabbing a handful as she watches the cameras on the first floor. She picks up her soda in the other hand, taking a sip as the elevator door on the monitor opens.


Out of the door steps a slim, white-suited man with grey hair. He adjusts his mask, looking at the floor around him. A metallic glint catches his eye, up on the balcony overlooking the floor. He sighs, trudging to the steps and up them. He reaches the fourth floor in short order, glaring at Carver as the Templar picks himself up.

“Do you fight as well as you hide?” Master asks, tauntingly taking a barehanded stance.

“Better. A lot better,” Carver says, drawing his sword.

“A low bar to clear,” Master says, launching himself forward.

A kick off the floor sends him away from Carver’s attack, and another one sends him back, landing nimbly on the edge of his sword and throwing a punch to the younger Hawke’s face. Carver swings his sword up as he reels, dislodging Master. He leaps forward with a slash, trying to catch Master off-balance. The Executioner simply ducks under the swipe, kicking Carver in the shin.

Carver winces, feeling the blow even through his plate, and follows up with a pommel blow that Master simply catches with his palm. He uses his free hand to slam a punch into Carver’s chest, denting the plate. Carver rides the blow, using the momentum to disengage and reset. He slams his weapon into the ground, creating a small shockwave that staggers Master.

Seeing his chance, Carver lets loose a blast of righteous fire, conveniently ignoring how similar a Templar’s abilities are to a Mage’s. The burst brightens the area around him with a flash, and when the light fades his opponent is nowhere to be seen. He smiles confidently, letting his sword drop to his side.

A weight then slams into his back, throwing him on the ground. A pair of fists slam into the back of his head, driving his face through the carpet to dent the stone below.

“Naïve. Unskilled. But you will be an asset, for now,” Master says, bringing his fists down again, slamming Carver’s head into the floor. The Templar feels a cold, steel tube on the back of his head, and his vision cuts out as Master turns the Jutte on.


Seconds later, Carver gasps back to life, standing in the room where they started. His chest heaves as he gasps, the pain of dying still lingering in his mind, before looking up to see a man in an impassive grey mask lounging in a chair and a boy with orange hair at the kitchen range.

“Oh, hi Carver,” Shirou says, deftly making some food, “Didn’t expect anyone back so soon. I’ll have this ready quick.”

Carver collapses into the couch next to him in response, burying his head in the surprisingly soft cushions.

“I think your lack of malice only makes it worse,” Leo mutters, tapping his mask with two fingers.


“And we have our first casualty,” Leo’s voice rings in Eizen and Thancred’s ears, startling them and nearly causing Thancred to drop the sack of food he raided from the kitchens, “Carver Hawke is now a Demon.”

“So much for him winning,” Thancred says as they slip around the pool.

“Figured as much. A man like that, all barking and insecure… He’s no fighter,” Eizen says, taking extra care to stay away from the water, an action which did not go unnoticed.

“What, can’t swim?” Thancred asks, tauntingly.

“I’m an Earth Malak. I sink.”

“Some pirate you make,” Thancred says as the pair runs through the corridors leading to the guest rooms, eventually heading to the door to the back of the mansion. They burst out, sprinting across the open ground in a mad dash to reach the woods.

They spin as they reach the treeline, Thancred reaching for his gunblade while magic glows around Eizen’s fists. They both relax as they see an empty lawn behind them, grimacing at the anticlimax even as they felt relief.


On the other side of the mansion, Rin quietly trails behind a herd of Dantalions, staying slightly behind and to the side as they head down the dirt road leading to the guest house. It was obvious from his posture that the man chasing them was cunning; Rin wouldn’t put it past him to have arrived first and place traps around some major choke points, like the bridges leading to the guest house.

She watches the Dantalions carefully as they move along, shadowing them closely to be sure she was on safe ground.

The Second Hour

The elevator door rings on the first floor, hissing open as Zasalamel steps out, looking around at the entryway. His footsteps on the stone tiles echo as he walks, broken every now and then by the rap of his scythe hitting the floor as he moves through the hallways and rooms, pretending not to notice the metallic bootfalls trying to stay quiet.

He nods as he moves, the general layout of the rooms confirming what he had initially suspected: whoever designed this mansion was not only wholly unfamiliar with architecture, but also with the tastes of the bourgeoise the mansion was clearly meant to imitate. He turns sideways, barely squeezing through a narrow hallway - all of four feet wide. He hears a shuffling of papers on the other side of the wall as he moves, marking the presence of more Dantalions and another library.

The crevasse opens up into a wider room, a large body of water in the middle. Zasalamel walks up to it and kneels, dipping his hand inside and cupping a small amount of the liquid in his hands. He gives it a sniff, before letting it pass through his fingers. The chemical smell was similar to chlorine, meaning this was likely not safe to drink.

He stands, walking to the randomly-placed stairwell nearby. Up it, he finds a massive bedroom, covered in gold and jewels to the point of parody. He stops in the middle, waiting as the poorly-muffled footsteps get closer. He turns, striking out with his palm as his assailant closes in.

Carver reels, hit square in the chest, and grimaces as he sees a purple orb floating around his body. He users his powers to cleanse it, charging back in with his sword. He was finally in his element, fighting against a mage. He swings his sword in an overhand chop, only for it to be deflected by the larger man’s scythe. A massive palm closes over Carver’s face, as Zasalamel grabs Carver by the head and throws him.

The templar’s armor rattles as he slams into the wall and struggles to his feet, while Zas walks towards a window. Carver feels magic, and tries to activate his powers before a wave of force throws him off balance. It flings him in front of Zasalamel, who lashes out with another palm strike. Another orb pops into existence, only to explode and send Carver reeling back.

Zasalamel follows up with a swing, slamming his scythe into Carver’s side. The templar’s armor saves him, and protects him again as the larger man hooks him back, sending Carver to the ground behind his opponent. Zasalamel lashes out with a kick as he turns, launching Carver into the air and out the window. As he falls, he feels magic acting on him yet again, accelerating his descent. He slams into the ground before being bounced, several stories higher than the mansion.


A few seconds later, Carver staggers, in the starting room once again. Just like before, a man in a grey mask lounges in a chair, having barely changed position, while an orange-haired youth cooks. Something felt off about this, but he didn’t really know what.

“It’ll be ready soon,” Shirou says, taking a glance back at Carver.

“Not good at this, are you?” Leo mutters, and Carver grimaces before realizing what was weird.

There was no way these two could have finished the massive plate of deviled eggs Shirou had made last time, especially since Leo didn’t seem to eat a bite. Now the boy was stirring a pot of soup, clearly meant for three people.

“You didn’t expect me back here, did you?” Carver asks, “So why are you making enough for three?” Shirou’s back stiffens, giving him the answer he needs. The templar glares at the room as he stalks around it, trying to ignore Leo’s laughter. Carver nods to himself, looking at the table and raising his sword.

Leo snaps his fingers, teleporting the dishes out of the way as Carver chops the table in half. A shadow darts out from under it, the uniformed girl turning to face her foe, daggers in hand. Gokiburi grimaces, her hiding spot now found. They glare at each other, the room falling silent. Shirou takes off his apron, turning to face the pair as well. He takes a step forward, and the sound of his foot on the tile floor broke the silence.

At that, Carver charges, swinging in a broad arc as he closes in. Gokiburi simply leaps over the sword, stabbing downwards with her daggers. They skitter off of his plate, however, and she lands, ducking under the follow-up swing and the shattered splinters of furniture. She slides under him, dodging another overhand swing, and flips up, planting a foot on his back. Her attempt to stab him in the head is foiled as he spins, throwing her off.

She lands on a wall as Carver continues to spin, making his way to her position as he tries to imitate a tornado. As he closes in, she leaps off the wall, hearing a yell as she does so.

“TRACE ON!”

Shirou, caught between them, manifests Kanshou and Byakuya. His black blade intercepts Carver’s strikes, stopping the Templar. His white blade, however, misses. Gokiburi, having read his moves, launched herself at a sharper angle than he had predicted. She lands under his arm and springs up, stabbing her daggers through Carver’s jaw and into his head.

She rides the momentum, falling on top of Carver’s dying body. She yanks the daggers out as it vanishes, standing with a triumphant smile. Her moment of victory lasts half a second, however, as Carver pops back into existence next to her. He draws his sword into a diagonal slash, bisecting her before she could react.

She reappears a second later, frowning in displeasure. She, Shirou, and Carver look around at the ruined room, the only intact furniture the kitchen and Leo’s chair. The User snaps, restoring the room to normal, and places two fingers on his mask.


Mirai jumps as the notification of Gokiburi’s death is broadcast directly to her brain, breaking her concentration. She groans and scrubs her glasses, looking at the sheets of paper spread over the panic room’s desk. She sighs, gathering them up and placing them inside a backpack emblazoned with the DFederal West logo. Hopefully Mr. Chaos would forgive her a bit of lateness.

She sits in front of the monitors, tapping the keyboard a couple times. One zooms in on a twintailed girl in a red sweater and skirt, approaching the guest house apprehensively.

The Third Hour

In one of the mansion’s many libraries, the Dantalions simply read. Or about a quarter of them do; the rest buzz about in furious activity, rearranging the shelves.

“Dantalion, what are you reading?”

“Fabre.”

“Which universe?”

“Currently unknown, appears to be Prime.”

Their conversation is cut off as the doors slam open, a white-haired man in a white suit walking in, his jutte activated and held loosely at his side. The Dantalions rise, drop, or simply turn, looking at the intruder as one.

“You are here earlier than expected,” one of the female bodies says, “And with less backup. Might I inquire as to why?”

“The mansion and grounds are large. I need scouts,” Master says.

“That is… logical. It’s been so long that I don’t know how to react,” one of the male bodies mutters, “But you didn’t answer the second question. I’d think you’d need more than one against thirty,” a different male body continues, “The other two fighting in the basement should show that,” a female body finishes.

“I am enough if I go all-out,” he says, charging forward.

“And there’s the idiocy we’re accustomed to,” a Dantalion says as several fire spheres of light at the invader, “Do not assume we are weak because we prefer to read, human.”

“And do not presume me weak for being human,” Master says, deflecting each shot with his jutte while running towards the closest Dantalion. The lights crash into the floor, detonating as the targeted Dantalion manifests a sword made out of paper. He swings at the charging Master, who catches the blade between the prongs of his jutte.

A twist sends the sword flying away, dissolving into paper before impaling another Dantalion. Master strikes with his other hand, sending the Dantalion reeling with an uppercut before following through with his weapon, bisecting the demon. He spins, hitting another sphere of light and sending it through the heart of a Dantalion trying to snipe him with a bow-and-arrow.

He feels a rush of air and leans back, barely avoiding the charge of a female spear-wielding Dantalion. A quick motion of his arm clotheslines her with the jutte, taking a chunk out of her neck. He then throws his weapon, deflecting a flying dagger and piercing the chest of the Dantalion who threw it. He sidesteps another Dantalion coming at him with a halberd, giving the paper shaft a sharp tug. The additional momentum staggers her, giving him just enough time to slip behind her and snap her neck.

Master throws himself into a back handspring, dodging a barrage of spheres that cratered the ground. He lands, scooping up his jutte from the floor and posing dramatically for a second before charging back into the fight.


“So, Eizen,” Thancred asks, leaning against a tree as a fire roasts chunks of the meat he pilfered from the kitchens, “Malakhim are a sort of elemental spirit, right?”

“Pretty much, yeah,” Eizen replies, sitting on a log, “why?”

“Just curious as to how you have a sister.”

“Oh, that. We Malaks don’t have parents; Edna and I just sort of… had a connection.”

“I see,” Thancred says, not sure how to continue.

“You have a daughter, right?” Eizen continues, “Edna’s physical age should be around her’s.”

“Really? I was going to see if my silver tongue could get a user to bring Ryne here. Maybe I should ask for Edna as well.”

“Maybe you should,” Eizen says, flipping his coin, “though they might end up fighting each other, if Leo’s any indication of how things work.”

“Hope you get a good place, then,” Thancred says, “Wouldn’t want Edna to live in the Lower District.”

“Oh, now those are fighting words,” Eizen says, standing, “You really think your daughter can beat my sister?”


In the basement of the mansion, Carver ducks under a paper axe, spinning to slice a Dantalion in half. Gokiburi bounces off his back, using him as a living springboard to grab and stab another, making their third kill. Gokiburi ducks under a blast of light, which destroys Carver’s torso. She rolls, ducking and weaving between the magic and paper trying to cut her down.

She slips around a Dantalion with a dagger, stabbing him in the back. He twists as he falls, yanking her own knife out of her hands. Another Dantalion lashes out with a paper chain, wrapping around Gokiburi’s other arm. The demon pulls, hard, sending Gokiburi flying through the air. A cluster of lights slam into her, not even leaving a corpse.

The elevator chimes, and the Dantalions turn as one to look at the new arrival. They launch a barrage of lights, arrows, and other projectiles at the emerging Master, who simply runs past them and leaps into the air, grabbing a floating Dantalion.

They tumble to the ground, Master landing on top. He grabs his jutte and ignites it, piercing her heart.

“And that’s fifty,” a voice comes through his head, “The Dantalions are now on the Demon side.”

“Good,” Master says, standing up, “Fan out, gather information. Keep one body with me, and one for each other demon so that we can communicate.”

The Dantalions nod, and the surviving group follows him to the elevator.

“Two of the other targets are in the guest house,” a Dantalion says, “I suggest you go there next.”

“I see. We will crush them.”

The Fourth Hour

“Wait up,” Gokiburi says as she and Carver exit the starting room, turning left instead of right. She approaches the wall, peering at the unusual air currents. She runs her hand along the wall, finding a small seam.

“It’s just a wall, Gokiburi,” Carver says dismissively.

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” one of the accompanying Dantalions says, “It’s odder than she is, true,” the other continues, “Think we should break it?”

“Please,” Gokiburi says, and retreats behind Carver as a hail of light batters the wall, which glows brighter every time it is hit. It eventually caves, letting out a deafening boom as it collapses.

The sound reverberates into the panic room, startling Mirai awake. She scrambles off the plush bed, putting her glasses on in a hurry as the inner door also collapses. She rips the bandage off her right palm, shaping her blood into a sword and parrying Gokiburi’s dagger. She kicks the other girl away, and slashes at Carver.

The Templar blocks with his sword, channeling his magic-stopping abilities into it. Mirai’s weapon turns back into liquid, spraying over Carver and the floor. Grinning in anticipation, he levels his sword at his foe’s heart, stabbing in.

“How unpleasant,” Mirai mutters, deftly manipulating the blood on the floor to slide under Carver’s foot as he steps into the move. He slips, falling on the floor, and she leaps over his prone body and gathers up the spilled blood. She throws one shard at Gokiburi, forcing her to block it, and creates a fine mist with the rest to obscure the Dantalions’ sight.

She quickly slips between them and out of the room, ducking around the corner. She mutters an apology under her breath as she slips the ring off her pinky and runs to the elevator, fleeing Carver’s screams of pain. A press of the button later, she brings her sword up again, parrying a pair of daggers flying at her face.

Gokiburi slips through her guard, punching her hard in the stomach and slips away to recover her daggers before Mirai can catch her breath. She launches herself again, though Mirai creates a shield out of her blood to block. She leaps back, barely avoiding the spikes erupting from the small disc. Mirai notices a flash behind her, and hurriedly makes another shield, just in time to deflect a blast of light from the pair of Dantalions.

The elevator chimes, and Mirai leaps backwards into it, creating a shell to block attacks until the door closes. Gokiburi and Dantalion stare at the red liquid being drawn into the rising elevator, the latter two sighing.

“Well, we just have to wait,” Gokiburi says, stowing her daggers, “These are covered in bacteria, and she uses her own blood. Sepsis will…”

“Idiot.”

“Excuse me?”

“You saw what it did to Carver. Can any of those bacteria survive such high acidity?” the other Dantalion says with contempt.

“Ah. Shit.”

“Precisely.”


Rin rolls under a blast of light, the projectile sailing into the river that cut through the field. She fires a Gandr as she recovers, knocking one of the swarm of Dantalions attacking her off the island leading to the guest house. Her follow up shots are intercepted by blasts of light, as they charge over the bridge. Rin throws an amber, cut near perfectly, at the ground as the Dantalions unleash yet another barrage of light spheres.

She closes her fist, and an array of massive mirrors erupts from the ground. She pours her mana into them, reinforcing them as the spheres hit. They reflect, as she had hoped, and after bouncing a few times are sent back at the Dantalions who fired them. She lets the massive, silvered shards drop as the smoke clears and that section of the island crumbles into the river.

She hears something behind her, and ducks as she turns. A paper spear stabs where her heart would have been, and she steps in while using Reinforcement on her body. She jabs into the Dantalion’s diaphragm, rising and turning to throw him. He sails through the air before suddenly stopping. Zasalamel takes a second to look at the body about to hit him in the face before gesturing, using telekinesis to send it flying farther.

“Looks like you lived, too,” Rin says, panting.

“I have. And I think now is the time to ally.”

“What a coincidence. I thought the same,” Rin says, finally catching her breath.


Mirai ducks under a tree branch, which is promptly incinerated in a burst of magic. She turns, firing a glob of blood and wincing as it melts a Datalion’s face on contact, before creating a sword and parrying Gokiburi’s daggers. A white mist spreads through the forest as she jumps back to avoid a dashing punch from Carver, still winded from running all the way out to the forest. His fist manages to graze her, knocking her off balance.

She stumbles on a root, tumbling into the ground as a bolt of light follows, with Carver and Gokiburi running in to finish the job. She cringes, expecting the worst, but the light fizzles just before hitting her. A silver-haired man in a white coat lands in front of her, parrying Carver’s sword with his unusually-shaped blade, while a blonde man in a black coat lands beside him, firing a light into the ground with his hand. A chain appears between two trees, sending Gokiburi to the ground, holding her throat.

“You know, ganging up on a child isn’t very nice,” Thancred says, shoving Carver away and slinging his gunblade on his shoulder.

“I know you’re desperate and all, but that’s seriously uncool,” Eizen continues, squaring up.

“Three on twelve is still unpleasant,” Mirai says as she gets to her feet, “but much less so.”

The Fifth Hour

Thancred leaps at Carver, parrying the Templar’s panicked swipe and landing a blow of his own, scarring the steel plate. He sidesteps an attempted stab from Gokiburi, and turns a paper spear from a Dantalion aside. He drops to the ground as a tunnel of turbulence erupts from Eizen’s fist, passing overhead and knocking Gokiburi and the Dantalion back. Carver, however, calls down a pillar of light around himself, dissipating the magic. He uses Silence on the pirate, preventing more spellcasting.

Thancred grins, and loads a special cartridge into his Gunblade. A pull of the trigger later, and he’s vanished from sight. Carver ducks, barely dodging the flying form of Gokiburi, who slams into the Dantalions. He then dodges to the right, away from a spray of acidic blood, only to feel a sword entering his neck.

The blade explodes with magic, shearing through the spine with ease. Thancred flicks the blood of his blade, turning to look at his other foes. Eizen hovers over them, eyes glowing yellow and covered in a malevolent black aura. The pirate throws a fireball, incinerating a few Dantalions, before swooping down and letting out a blast of what appeared to be shadow, thinning the crowd more.

He uppercuts the last remaining Dantalion as he lands, charging power in his fist while gravity takes effect. He then punches the demon, sending her through a tree and killing her, as well. A circle of red appears before him, intercepting a stab from Gokiburi. Mirai extends her blood, spearing the cockroach girl in the heart.

“That was reckless, Thancred,” Eizen says, straightening, “You saw how he can dispel magic, so why’d you go invisible?”

“I’m a spy by trade,” he replies, stowing his gunblade, “You can find some information on every single warrior here on these devices they have in most of the public buildings.”

“Yeah, but you can only see their basic info. A summary of their life, their battle record, and if any user’s planning to… ah.”

“Yep.”

“You got information on everyone Leo had reserved?” Mirai asks, impressed.

“Yep. Some acquaintances of mine had fought him before, so…”

“Mind sharing?” Mirai asks, “Whatever he does is… unpleasant”

“Well, basically he can’t cancel magic multiple times in a row. So if he does it once, it’ll probably work the next time. He is always somewhat resistant to magic, though, so it’s best if you use something physical.”

The three freeze, hearing noise coming from the direction of the mansion.

“It’s not safe here,” Eizen says, “Let’s move elsewhere. You coming, Mirai?”

“Sure, but… what do I do about the bathroom?” she asks, apprehensive.

“You find a bush and stay vigilant,” Thancred says as they move.

“That’s indecent. And unpleasant.”

“Better than being ambushed on the toilet,” Eizen says.


“So your strategy is to simply wait here?” Zasalamel asks, looking around at the entranceway of the guest house.

“Pretty much,” Rin says, “I only have a few jewels, so I need somewhere defensible.”

“Prudent. And keeping the bridge up guides them into a single approach rather than several.”

“That was… exactly what I intended,” Rin mutters, looking out the window to hide her lie. She activates reinforcement, seeing Master and his Dantalions closing in rapidly.

The Sixth Hour

Rin and Zasalamel leap back as a barrage of magic demolishes the front door and wall, allowing Master to charge in ahead of nearly all the Dantalions. Rin ducks under a shot of magic and turns as Zasalamel sidesteps Master’s jutte and lashes out with his palm, staggering his foe and cursing him, a purple orb orbiting the man.

Zasalamel swings his scythe, being sure to aim well away from the green blur that marked Rin’s position, to force the surrounding Dantalions back. Master kicks him in the face, sending him reeling long enough for a strike to slip past his scythe. He twists out of the way, the weapon grazing his clothes, and slams his fist into Master’s stomach as the Executioner throws a desperate palm strike to his face, jabbing Zasalamel in the eye.

The African man stumbles back and takes a few wide swipes with his scythe, taking out a couple Dantalions seeking to capitalize on his injury. He takes a blow to the sternum, and recovers his eyesight just in time to block an overhead strike. Master locks his jutte with the haft of Zasalamel’s scythe, the two bringing all their strength to bear. They press, each trying to shove the other back to no avail, until Zasalamel’s scythe starts to glow.

Master disengages, and Zas slams the butt of his scythe into the ground. Party trick over, he steps forward, using it as an anchor to slam another palm strike onto his foe. Master staggers, three orbs of cursed energy floating around him, as Zas pivots, bringing his scythe around in an arc. Master parries it, but the momentum carries him as he is lifted up and around, flying through the air. He rights himself to land on a wall, when he feels an unnatural force tugging at him.

He barely has time to exclaim in surprise as Zasalamel telekinetically tosses him, slamming into a pillar, which collapses on top of him. He gets to his feet immediately, plaster dust blending into his white suit, and spits out a glob of blood.

“I’ll take the girl,” he growls at the Dantalions while stowing his jutte, “Get him away.”

The Dantalions swarm Zasalamel, keeping barely out of his reach and forcing him to retreat with a barrage of attacks and magic blasts. A few are felled by Rin’s Gandr shots, but she is forced to break off as Master charges her. Zasalamel is slowly, surely beaten back into the large, two-story library. The doors slam shut behind the Dantalions, and the entire library walled off with magic, and they fan out around him with paper weapons in hand. A group charges forward, spears in hand. Zasalamel brandishes his hand, magic forming a barrier to repel the attacks and a blast of cursed energy.

They stop, suspended in time, as the world’s colors turn white. Zasalamel grins, slashing left and right before taking a leaping somersault forward as the stalled time fades. His scythe slices into a Dantalion’s head as the other four behind him fall, each body gaining a glowing orb around them. It seemed that they all counted as one person for his magics.

Outside the room, Rin ducks under a jab from Master and throws an elbow strike, which is blocked by Master’s knee. She spins away from a kick and attempts an uppercut, but her hand is slapped away. She parries a punch, wrapping her arm around his and throwing him. Master rides the momentum, landing on his feet and throwing a jab at Rin’s side. She leaps over it and attempts an axe kick, only for her foot to be caught. Master heaves, flipping her into the air as he draws and activates his weapon.

He immediately swipes to parry a Gandr, sending the red-and-black orb in another direction. Rin fires a barrage as she rights herself, each deflected by the line of light. She fires again as she lands and runs forward, holding another shot ready. As Master deflects it upwards, she raises her arm and fires, the bullet-like curse knocking the other shot back downwards. Master attempts to deflect it back at Rin, but one of the orbiting purple orbs picks that moment to block his vision. The attempt goes wide, and it passes in time to see a much smaller shot slam into his face, putting another curse on him.

He punches Rin in the face as she gets in range, and she uses the momentum to spin and elbow him in the shoulder. her next punch collides with a stab, throwing both fighters back. They land, Rin shaking her hand in pain, the green lines of reinforcement saving it from being severed. She launches another Gandr to keep Master on his toes, which he ducks under. The shot gets absorbed into the barrier around the library, eliciting cries of alarm from within.

Getting an idea, she slips a clear, cut diamond out of her sleeve, winding up and throwing it like a baseball. Master crosses his arms, hoping to blunt some of the magic about to head his way. He stiffens in surprise as he feels a light tap on his sleeve, followed by a dull thunk as the stone drops to the floor. He drops his arms, restoring his vision just in time for Rin’s enhanced palm strike his chest. It sends him flying back, and he crashes into the library barrier as Rin scoops her fallen gem and lobs it into the air. She fires a Gandr at it, and the gem hovers for a second, filled with a growing reddish-black glow.

Hundreds of runic circles, glowing red, manifest in the air before launching streams of Gandr shots. They crater the ground and walls where they hit, breaking through the Dantalions’ barrier in the process. Master swings his jutte with speed and precision, deflecting every singly shot that threatened to hit him. He bats the final shot of the minute-long bombardment away, breathing heavily, when he hears another shot. Exhausted from the effort, he is too slow to react as a Gandr bullet flies from the side, shattering his elbow.

“Zas! Now!” Rin yells as he falls to a knee. He turns to her as he rises into a run, not falling for the obvious bluff.

He hears a sound to his side, and his body freezes. Zasalamel strides over to him in frozen time, swinging his scythe. As time resumes, it buries itself deep into his chest, killing him.


A second later, he reappears in the starting room, surrounded by Dantalions and breathing heavily. He pulls his mask down and grins fiercely, still catching his breath from the struggle. A man in plate armor appears next to him shortly, grimacing in anger.

A man in a grey mask snaps his fingers, drawing the room’s attention, before flinging a newly-materialized orange parka at Carver. The Templar catches it out of the air, looking confused.

“A joke no one will get,” Leo explains, “because no one will expect me to make it.”

The Seventh Hour

“Well, this is getting annoying,” Thancred says, spotting a large group of Dantalions closing in, paper weapons in hand.

“Y-yes, it is,” Mirai says, brandishing her sword.

“Hey, Thancred, didn’t you say the librarians could only make those weapons out of books?”

“Normally, yes,” one of the Dantalions says, stepping in front of the horde, “but our raison d’etre relates to the written word, not simply books.”

“And since coming here, we have been introduced to a most wonderous invention,” another Dantalion says as they make room for the rest of their team to walk to the front, “and it has greatly increased our operating range.”

“Behold!” the first Dantalion says, holding a rectangular object dramatically, “an E-READER!”

They all freeze, any tension shattered as everyone just stares at the Dantalion.

Eizen sighs, shaking his head. “An e-reader will never replace a book,” he says, glaring.

“We Dantalions are keepers of knowledge,” one of them says, “And the array of storage provided is unmatched.”

“And they’re less unpleasant for those with bad eyes,” Mirai say, adjusting her glasses.

“But the weight of the book in your hands,” Eizen continues, heedlessly, “The smell of the paper, and its slight roughness when you turn a page. The subtle emotions with each stroke of the author’s pen. That satisfying snap when you close it after you finish. All these are part of the experience of reading. Valuing such a sterile form, can you truly call yourselves ‘masters of the written word’ when you have excised most of what makes writing writing?!*”

“And your curse doesn’t let you use delicate technology,” Thancred snarks.

“I… well… yes, but that has nothing to do with this! It’s about the principle of the thing, its very soul…”

“Ah, now we see,” one of the Dantalions says, “You are simply jealous. That is well; we are a demon. You almost had us doubting our raison d’etre.”

“Thal’s balls I fucked that up,” Thancred mutters, drawing his blade as Eizen charges forwards, reaching for the tablet. As the pirate’s fist crashes into the flat of Carver’s blade, Thancred parries Gokiburi’s attempt to flank while Master charges at Mirai.

Eizen ducks under Carver’s swipe, hitting him with an uppercut followed by a right straight that dented the Templar’s armor. He leaps out of range of the follow-up slash, slamming magic into the ground. A set of chains wraps around Carver, trapping him until he cancels the magic. Eizen smiles and unleashes his spell, sending a column of stone up from beneath Carver’s feet, impaling him before it breaks, sending its shards further into his body. Eizen steps over the bleeding form of his opponent and grabs the e-reader in Dantalion’s hands.

As soon as he touches it, it starts to smoke and sizzle, one of the myriad ways it could break coming to fruition. Across the battlefield, a Dantalion attacking Mirai has his spear disintegrate, letting the girl slice into his neck. All the Dantalions break off their attacks, converging on Eizen in a storm of magic.

Master doesn’t let Mirai catch her breath, however, stepping in and striking with his jutte. Mirai parries, notably less sharp than before. Master holds back slightly, testing her defenses to check his theory. She continues to fight sluggishly, obviously fatigued, and her face turns increasingly pale.

“Your powers give you anemia,” he says, and her grimace proves him right. He speeds up slightly, slipping behind the girl and breaking her neck. As the message that she died gets transmitted to his mind, he stows his weapon and charges into the middle of the Dantalions. The demon spreads out around Eizen to prevent hitting Master. The pirate takes the opportunity to cast Healing Circle, closing his wounds.

“Help Gokiburi. Don’t interfere,” Master says, bringing his hands up to guard. Eizen charges in swinging, and Master ducks under the haymaker. He punches the pirate in the gut, but takes a knee to the face. Eizen steps back and aims a hammerfist at his foe’s head. The Executioner catches his foe’s arm and twists, throwing him to the ground.

Master tries to stomp on Eizen, but the pirate rolls out of the way and gets to his feet. He charges again, throwing punch after punch at Master. The man is pushed back, slowly making his way to a tree. He jumps back from a punch and dodges behind the tree, which Eizen hits full force.

The tree bursts backwards, covering Master in rotten plant matter and sending it crashing to the ground, where it splits in half. Eizen and Master freeze as they hear an angry buzzing coming from within the rotten wood. The pirate catches Thancred’s eye, and the other man twists, kicking Gokiburi in the side and sending her towards whatever was nesting inside the tree.

Then, the two men turn and run, following the river.

*These words are Eizen’s opinion, and do not in any way, shape, or form reflect those of the author or the wiki in general

The Eighth Hour

“So, it’s us four, then?” Thancred says, leaning on his gunblade

“Yep,” Rin replies, “And the final opening is about now, so these will be the final deaths.”

“About that. There’s five of them,” Eizen says, “And the Dantalions are going to be focusing on me, because I broke their book.”

“Master will probably send Mirai or Gokiburi out to fight me,” Zasalamel says, “And likely the other to fight Thancred.”

“We have to take Carver out quick,” Eizen says, “I can probably draw his initial anti-magic stuff, since I can fight without it.”

“I’ll snipe him once you do,” Rin says, making finger guns, “And I have five jewels left, so I can help you thin the Dantalions out.”

“Look sharp,” Thancred says, pointing at the approaching dust cloud, “They’re almost here.”

“I’ll wreck the bridge behind us,” Rin says, “Best to only give them one bottleneck.”

“Good idea,” Zasalamel says, and the other two nod. Rin fires a few Gandr shots, and the bridge collapses as their opposition reaches the island. The demons take their usual formation: Master, Carver, Gokiburi, and now Mirai in front, with the Dantalions behind.

“You know, I don’t think this will work any better than the other times,” Thancred taunts.

“Well, I’m obviously not winning,” Master says, “So I may as well enjoy a fight. You know your targets. Go!”

As the demons rush forward, Eizen shoves light into the ground, once again binding Carver in spectral chains. He uses his ability to break it and then uses Silence, preventing Eizen from using his spells. He smirks, ignoring that he just wasted his big advantages, and has his skull caved in by a Gandr shot. Master instantly picks up his slack, charging in to knock Rin off balance.

Thancred parries a blow from Gokiburi, punching her in the face in retaliation. The girl lands and leaps back at him, trying for another stab. He sidesteps this time, swinging at her. She blocks, and he pulls the trigger on his gunblade. The explosion of aether throws her into the air, landing hard. She rolls to her feet, but Thancred launches himself at her and strikes, chopping through her heart. He looks around at the rest of the battle, leaning to the side to dodge a flying Dantalion, and loads one of Ryne’s special cartridges. He fires, vanishing from the field.

Farther afield, Zasalamel steps to the side, parrying a slash from Mirai. She manipulates the blood in her sword, stretching it behind his scythe. He leans back to dodge it, twisting to slam a magic-charged fist into her gut. She winces, feeling the curse on her as a pair of orbs start to orbit her, and jumps out of range of his scythe.

Elsewhere, Rin ducks under a jab from Master, a red line already on her cheek from an earlier graze. She punches him in the gut and uses the momentum to push herself back, using her enhanced arms to deflect a strike from his jutte. His next strike is met with an explosion and steel as Thancred materializes in front of him, giving Rin cover to toss a sapphire towards Eizen. The jewel shines before shattering, each shard growing into a razor-sharp spire of ice.

The ice rains down on the Dantalions, followed by an explosion of fire from a ruby. Eizen takes the moment to cast Hell’s Gate, sending blades of air in a wide area to finish off the rest. Behind him, Zasalamel slams his scythe into the ground, slicing Mirai’s throat open while time froze, and they also rush in to fight Master.

The Executioner ducks under a swing of Zasalamel’s scythe, punching him in the sternum while blocking a blow from Eizen. A tearing explosion from Thancred slices one arm off, and as he reaches for his jutte with his remaining limb a set of chains restricts his movement. The four remaining humans jump back as Rin tosses an emerald at him, which detonates in a massive tornado, shredding him alive.

“Well, that’s everyone,” Leo says telepathically, “Might as well end it here.”

A split second later, they end up in the starting room, their treasures returned to them.

“Ah, and you can just grab one from the pool,” Leo continues, and Thancred snatches the carved dog as Eizen picks up the Dantalions’ book. Zasalamel shakes his head, holding his tome, and Rin does the same, having gotten Shirou in a headlock. Leo snaps, returning Gokiburi and Master’s items, before teleporting everyone in front of the mansion’s gates. The mansion itself vanishes, leaving only an empty park.

Expert’s Opinion

9th place: Carver Hawke, 6 points. Get fucked, Carver. While he’s incredibly well-suited to combat against a majority of the other opponents, the first Demon, Master, is effectively his hard counter. Combined with being Templar Carver rather than Warden Carver, giving him a brasher and less mature mindset, and he loses pretty handily.

8th place: Gokiburi, 12 points. While she had a similar lack of raw power to Carver, she also had the speed and instincts to get away from most forms of combat. Unfortunately, her cockiness presented a problem; like Carver, her personality got her killed.

7th place: Dantalion, 20 points. The Dantalions were far stronger combatants than shown in the sim, but their preference for reading and general passive nature made them ill-suited to take an active defense. Once Master started targeting them, it was only a matter of time until they were eliminated.

6th place: Mirai Kuriyama, 22 points. Mirai had power and skill in abundance, but the fact that her powers weakened her ended up being her downfall.

5th place: Master (Akudama Drive), 40 points. Master is a skilled combatant and a tactical thinker, allowing him to get this far. But his abilities and love of the fight hindered his ability to get farther, leading him to come in fifth.

1st place: Eizen, 43 points. Eizen has enough power and skill to survive, and the unpredictability of his Reaper’s Curse could either hinder or help him. He was also the most versatile combatant in the match, with a variety of skills allowing him to fight in close or at a distance.

1st place: Thancred Waters, 44 points. Thancred mostly gets this thanks to his stealth capabilities and his general charisma letting him gain allies quickly. He might have less raw power than even Mirai, but he’s able to get someone to cover his back.

1st place: Zasalamel, 48 points. Zas is a powerful, dominant combatant and highly strategic. This let him operate on his own, as well as determine when to form an alliance. This allowed him to survive until the end, much like the others.

1st place: Rin Tohsaka, 51 points. Rin survived thanks to her raw power and general friendliness when Shirou isn’t involved. Much like Zas, she can survive on her own and knows when and how to make effective alliances. Best girl gonna be best girl, fite me Appel.

Epilogue

Rin struts down the sidewalk leading to Shirou’s apartment, preparing to gather their things to move into her brand-new mansion in the Upper District. She grins from ear to ear as Shirou himself follows behind her, slightly more downcast.

“I’m glad you won and all, Rin,” he says, sheepish, “But I’m not entirely sure how I feel about being considered your ‘possession’”

“Well, you did say you’d be mine,” Rin replies, laughing lightly and spinning around to face him, walking backwards.

“But, well… what if you lost?”

“I wasn’t going to.”

“But…”

“Look, Shirou,” she says, walking towards him now, “There’s exactly one thing I was thinking of there.”

“What…”

Shirou cuts off as she grabs his collar and pulls him down, kissing him, before releasing him and leaning into his chest.

“That you were the most important… anything to me. Idiot,” she mumbles, just loud enough for him to hear before backing up abruptly, blushing red to match both her sweater and his own face. She continues walking, turning her back to his utterly flabbergasted expression.

Across the street, a blonde woman stands still, greeting frozen in her throat as she stares at Shirou running to catch up with Rin. Saber closes her mouth and looks down, tears forming in her eyes. After a few months on her own, and after Kiritsugu returned her severed finger, whatever was afflicting her mind had left.

Regretting her departure and their breakup, she had hoped to return to how things were before, but that was clearly out of the question. The frustration and loss swirl within her, the tears finally falling as she tries desperately not to hate Rin for being there for Shirou while she had cast him away in a fit of what was clearly insanity.

“Oh?” an arrogant voice floats into her ear, “What have we here?”

She grits her teeth; as if her humiliations weren’t enough, the King of Heroes just had to see her now of all times. It was as if some malevolent force in the city itself had it out for her.

“Well, a heartbroken, bereft Saber. This certainly is a novelty,” he continues as she hurriedly scrubs her eyes with her sleeve, “Well, if you ever find yourself missing him more… physically, you can always work at…”

With a pop, a man appears in front of her, accompanied by a crack as her savior backhands Gilgamesh, the force of it sending the Servant’s head spinning a few complete turns. Saber cringes at the sight while the man turns around, revealing her current employer, the User known as Appelmonkey.

“Are you okay, Saber?” he asks, placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder as she shakes her head no, “It’s a good thing Leo warned me about this,” he hisses, giving Gilgamesh’s corpse a dismissive glare.

A split second later, they were inside a building, the backroom of The Candy Apple. Saber takes a seat on one of the benches, the pair alone with all the other employees either waiting tables or working the kitchens.

“I’ll give you dishwashing shifts for a bit,” Appel says, “Let me know when you’re ready to work up front again. And you can always hang out here if you need somewhere safe.”

Saber nods, tears of relief mixing in with those of sorrow and anger. At the very least, one User was her ally here.

Skippable DFederal Epilogue

Elsewhere, in a place both in the city and not, a man in a mask leans back, a steaming, lightly-colored liquid in the porcelain cup in his hand. Across from him, his visitor snaked a pair of its many thin, fleshy ribbons through the handle of its own cup, lifting it slightly. Its bulbous carapace then opens slightly, letting a mass of proboscises seep through. Leo teleports a sip of his own tea into his mouth as one of the many forms of Lurker imbibes its cup. The two sit in silence for a few moments, enjoying their drink, before Lurker breaks it.

MY INVESTIGATIONS HAVE FINISHED, PACT-KEEPER. WHAT WE FACE IS ONE OF MY ILK.

“Another Entity. Bloody wonderful. Which?”

WE CALL IT CALAMITY. THE EXTINGUISHING CALAMITY. IT HAS DEVELOPED AN INTEREST IN THE CITY.

“As ostentatious a name as always. Though I believe you’ve mentioned it to me before.”

IT EATS CIVILIZATION ITSELF. THE BONDS AND RULES AND RESPECT. ONE OF THE OTHER PACT-KEEPERS FELL PREY. IT FED ON THE DRUNK.

“That would explain some things about Pach’s departure, yes,” Leo says, teleporting more tea into his mouth, “I suppose you have a non-interference thing with Calamity?”

I DO. YOU ARE NOT INCLUDED. UNLESS YOU BECOME PART OF MY BROOD. THE OFFER IS STILL OPEN, THOUGHT-SHADE.

“My answer is still no. Though… if my understanding of your kind is correct… I should start getting some of next year’s warriors in. ”

YOU HAVE AN IDEA. I WILL NOT ASK. I NEVER LIKE YOUR IDEAS.

“You might get a kick out of this particular one, Lurker. I must also ask permission to use The Rings. We’ll need some way to navigate the Depths if we need to fight Calamity.”

GRANTED.

“That will be a help, thank you.”

I TAKE MY LEAVE, PACT-KEEPER. MY BROOD AWAITS. UNTIL NEXT WE MEET.

“Until next we meet, Lurker. Do bring more tea; you always have the best,” Leo says as the fleshy ribbons place its empty cup back on its saucer. The entity vanishes, leaving him alone in his office once more. He picks up the remaining sachet of leaves, storing them in a tin, before Lurker’s voice booms in his head once more.

PACT-KEEPER. DO NOT LET THESE ONES AGE. THEY GET LONELY.

Advertisement