Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

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Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Damascus on Fri May 13, 2016 12:28 am

Yui woke to shouts downstairs. She rubbed her bleary eyes and turned over in her bed, fumbling for her clock. Two AM. What could be going on? She slid out of bed, wearing her normal black and purple pajamas, and stepped out into the hall.

One of the voices was her father's. The other one, she didn't recognize. The young girl rubbed her eyes again and made her way to the stairwell.

"--because you have none," her father was saying, "doesn't mean you should come crawling to me."

"I'm giving you and opportunity here, Tokiomi," said the older voice, deep and gravelly. "You should accept what I have to offer."

Yui snuck down the stairs slowly and carefully, until she came within sight of the front door, finally getting a look at the man standing in the door.



A shiver ran up her spine, and she gripped the banister hard. Even if she had never seen this man before, she immediately knew who he was from what her father had told her.

Zouken. Patriarch of the Matou family, one of the three founding families of the Grail Wars. He was obviously ancient, but her father had told her that he was even older than he appeared, extending his life for hundreds of years through unnatural means.

And he was pure evil. That much she could tell just by looking at him.

Zouken stopped speaking and looked up to where Yui was standing.

"Oh," he grumbled. "Who's this now?"

Tokiomi followed his gaze. "Yui, go to bed. This isn't a conversation for you."

"Yui?" Zouken echoed in confusion. "What happened to little Hitoshi?"

Tokiomi was silent, avoiding looking at either of them. Zouken looked between him and his daughter, then understanding dawned on his face. He chuckled, then laughed aloud. A horrible sound, like sandpaper and gravel. The old man limped past her father and looked up the stairs at her.

"I see. A little boy that wants to be a girl, is it?"

"Zouken," Tokiomi warned him, but the old man just laughed again.

"My boy, Shinji, was born without Magic Circuits," Zouken said to the young girl. "The blood of Matou is thinning out. There are no more mages in our family. I came here offering a trade to your father. A young, healthy mage, in exchange for the forbidden magical knowledge of the Makiri."

He grinned wickedly at Yui. "But if this is all he has to offer... This little twerp, so confused, not even knowing what gender he is. How could a child this stupid grow up to be a talented mage?" He laughed again, that horrible, raspy laugh. "I think I can do without."

Yui grasped the banister until her knuckles turned white. Her eyes burned. She wanted nothing more than to leap down the stairs and knock that wicked smile off her face. And he knew it, too. He saw her rage and just laughed again.

"Zouken!" Tokiomi roared, stealing the old man's attention. "My child's choices are none of your concern. A old, rotting husk of a being like yourself has no right to judge." He glared at him dangerously. "Get out. Don't come back."

Zouken grinned at him. "No need to have a temper. I was going to show myself out anyway." He walked to the door, stepping out, and turning back one last time. "Good luck with the war."

Tokiomi slammed the door in his face. He heaved a sigh, then turned to the stairs. "Yui--" But she was already gone.

Yui stood in the upstairs bathroom, breathing heavily, her fists still balled in rage. She stared into the mirror, into her own face. She had only just started growing out her hair; not even down to her shoulders yet.

Who the hell did that old shit think he was, saying those things? She knew who she was. She didn't need anyone else's approval.

With a cry of anger and frustration, she punched the mirror, shattering the glass.

--------------

Berserker woke with a start, still hearing the shattering of the glass echoing in her head. She sat up and looked around the room. Yui wasn't here. She stared down in the sheets in thought.

What an awful man, to say such things to a young girl. Just remembering that wicked grin, that gravelly laugh, made her so angry.

She knew what it was like to hear such cruel words. She'd heard them her whole life. "Freak." "Monster." No one needs to hear those words.

Hammer in one hand, she slid out of the bed and walked to the bedroom door. She stepped out into the hallway and peered down either direction. She didn't see anyone there, but heard a noise coming from a couple doors down. She walked down to the bedroom door and pressed her ear against it. Water running. The shower was on.

She hesitated, then reached for the doorknob.

The bathroom was fancy. A silver-lined mirror, gold-lined bathroom lights. Velvet curtains with gold tassels. She couldn't believe a family could afford this much nice stuff. The shower doors were glass, fogged up, but she could still see Yui's form on the other side.

Her Master was rinsing her hair gazing absent-mindedly at the wall. She turned to rinse one side of her hair, then saw her Servant standing on the other side.

"Berserker!" Yui reflexively turned away, crossing her arms over her chest. Her heart pounded. "Sorry... I didn't hear you."

Berserker didn't move. Yui couldn't see her eyes under her bangs, couldn't tell where she was looking. She knew she shouldn't, but she still felt anxious. She knew Berserker would understand. But, even so.

No one had seen her body before. Not even her father, after she started identifying as a girl. She was comfortable with her body, even if she hadn't fully transitioned. She had nothing to be ashamed of. But, still... No one had seen it before. She wasn't ready.

"I-I'll be out soon," Yui mumbled, without looking at her Servant. "Sorry if I made you worry."

She didn't hear a response, and her heart just beat faster. She gritted her teeth. She knew Berserker would not judge her. She was kind, the kindest person she'd ever met. But... it didn't matter how she felt about Berserker. Their time together was short. It wasn't meant to last.

Yui heard the rustling of clothing. The shower door opened. Yui turned around in shock, not knowing what to expect, but her surprise was only compounded upon seeing Berserker standing naked outside the shower. Her knees were buckled, and her arms were held close, but she was making a conscious effort not to hide herself.

Stitches crossed her body, over her joints, down her limbs, even encircling her neck. Each patch of skin was a slightly different shade, a slightly different texture. She could still see the wounds Lancer had given her; including the two deep gashes in her stomach. Dried blood still stuck to her stomach.

Berserker's knees were shaking. Yui couldn't make her wait any longer. She extended one hand, taking Berserker's, and pulling her into the shower.

They stood face to face for a few silent moments, each shaking nervously. Berserker stood back, letting Yui look down at her body even as she looked down at her Master's, hiding her face under her pink bangs.

Tears welled up in Yui's eyes. "Come here." She put her hands on Berserker's shoulders and pulled her a little closer. Berserker was beautiful, there was no doubt about that. And, she had shown a lot of courage to show her this. But, there was really only one part of Berserker's body she wanted to see.

Yui lifted her hands to Berserker's face. The Servant recoiled at first, then allowed Yui to brush her hair to the side. One blue eye, and one green eye, welling up with tears like Yui's.

"Berserker..." Yui pulled Berserker's head to her chest. "You really are beautiful. I want you to know that."

"Mmnh." Berserker held Yui's hand in hers. "Mmn!"

"What is it?" Yui asked.

"Nnmh..." Berserker leaned back and held up Yui's hand. "Unh!"

Yui gritted her teeth. She wished she could understand her. But thanks to the Mad Enhancement of her Servant class, her ability to speak had been robbed from her.

It wasn't fair. Just because she had been driven to such desperation in first life, she is punished for it in her second. It didn't have to be this way.

"Nnn!" Berserker tapped the back of her hand, which bore the Command Spells.

"What are you trying to say?"

Berserker tapped the back of her hand again, then pointed to her own throat. "Mmn!"

Of course. That was what she meant. The Command Spells weren't all-powerful, but they could be used for an incredible amount of things. Teleporting Servants. Boosting abilities. Even temporarily suppressing negative effects.

But could she really spend one for this? She had doubts, but only for a few seconds. She might never get a chance like this again. And Berserker needed this as much as she did.

Yui held up her hand. "Berserker..." she said. "Your Master asks you, with this Command Spell. Speak."



[[Skill suppressed: Mad Enhancement]]

A Spell faded. Berserker smiled, tears still in her eyes.

"Yui," she said softly.

Hearing Berserker speak made Yui’s heart leap.

You’re beautiful, too,” Berserker said. “And brave. And compassionate.” She pulled Yui in close and wrapped her arms around her. “There’s no one else I’d rather be with.

Yui almost couldn’t take it anymore. Tears rolled down her cheeks; she wrapped her arms around Berserker’s shoulders and they sobbed together. After a few moments, Yui finally pulled back and looked down at Berserker’s wounds. She smiled weakly and grabbed a rag from the hanger next to her.

Let’s get that blood off you, okay?

Berserker smiled back.

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Kittenboxxing on Sat May 14, 2016 1:37 am

Morning finally dawned! Lazarus was awake relatively early. He tried to clean his books and notes up quietly so as not to wake Caster. After getting everything organized he wandered downstairs to begin making breakfast if no one else had yet.

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Damascus on Sat May 14, 2016 1:47 am

[[Yui saving throw for later use.]]
Damascus carried out 1 launched of one (Saving throw.) :

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Kittenboxxing on Sat May 14, 2016 1:48 am

[[Laz saving throw]]

Kittenboxxing carried out 1 launched of one (Saving throw.) :

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Damascus on Sat May 14, 2016 1:58 am

Yui came downstairs fairly early in the morning, having also snuck out of bed to not wake Berserker. She came down to the kitchen, coming into the room, trying and failing to hide an apprehensive look.

"Good morning, Lazarus."

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Kittenboxxing on Sat May 14, 2016 2:00 am

"Good morning miss yui! Would you like an omelette?" Lazarus was happily chopping up ingredients for said omeletts as he had a spell going that whisked the eggs.

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Damascus on Sat May 14, 2016 2:01 am

She smiled warmly, brushing her messy morning hair out of her face. "Yes, please. Been awake for very long?"

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Kittenboxxing on Sat May 14, 2016 2:07 am

"Just long enough to get breakfast going. Did you sleep alright last night?" he let her pick out which ingredients she wanted before answering, and began preparing her food.

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Damascus on Sat May 14, 2016 2:08 am

After picking out the ingredients she sat at the table. "Yeah..." she answered. "Better than usual, actually. It was nice to get a real good night's sleep since all this started." She paused for an uncomfortably long time. "Is Caster still asleep?"

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Kittenboxxing on Sat May 14, 2016 2:10 am

"As far as I know he is. Why do you ask? " he handed her a plate with the omelette, some hashbrowns, and a small cup of fruit, accompanied by tea.

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Damascus on Sat May 14, 2016 2:14 am

She was silent again for a while, staring down at her breakfast with a serious look on her face. She absent-mindedly rubbed the two remaining Command Spells on her hand. "There's... something I need to talk to you about. We really haven't known each other for long, but you've proven to be a valuable ally, and more than that, I sort of consider you a friend at this point." She bit her lip. "There are some things I still haven't told you about the Grail War. I trust you enough at this point to share them."

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Kittenboxxing on Sat May 14, 2016 2:16 am

Noting the seriousness of the situation, Lazarus quickly grabbed himself some hashbrowns, fruit, and tea, and sat at the table with her. "What's troubling you? I'm all ears, " he wiggled his ears at her with the comment, hoping to cheer the young woman up.

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Damascus on Sat May 14, 2016 2:23 am

She chuckled lightly, but soon enough looked grave again. "The Command Spells," she started. "At this point, I assume you generally know what they're for. Three claims of absolute obedience of a Servant over their Master. An order given by a Command Spell cannot be refused, and it is even capable of strengthening Servant's abilities." She paused again. "However, the Three Founding Families designed the Holy Grail War--and thus the Command Spells--with a very specific purpose in mind. No one but the Masters from the three families are supposed to know this, but I suppose it's only fair to tell you now. It's up to you whether you want to tell Caster or not, but I wanted to let you know first so you could make that decision on your own."

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Kittenboxxing on Sat May 14, 2016 2:26 am

"Please, do go on," he leaned forward, as usual, not bothering to hide the blazing curiosity in his eyes. He hadn't joined Miss Tohsaka for the purpose of being privy to information, but ever since learning who she was, he was excited by the prospect of gaining information his own powerful, but not well liked, magical family had been denied.

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Damascus on Sat May 14, 2016 2:35 am

Yui took a deep breath. "You remember me saying that the Holy Grail only materializes as it gathers the souls of the defeated Servants. In order to reach full power, it must collect the souls of seven Servants. Not six. All seven. The real purpose of the Command Spells... is to force your Servant to kill themselves in order to fully complete the ritual."

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Kittenboxxing on Sat May 14, 2016 2:36 am

"Oh dear..." Lazarus thought for a moment. "Well then what would happen if you ended with no spells...? Perhaps that would lead us to some way around this."

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Damascus on Sat May 14, 2016 2:46 am

"Well, that's basically why you're supposed to save one until the very end," she replied. "That's what my father told me anyway. And besides that, if you spend all your Command Spells, nothing is stopping your own Servant from turning on you. Your contract is not be nullified by spending them all, but you no longer have an absolute hold over them."

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Kittenboxxing on Sat May 14, 2016 2:50 am

" Well...that's upsetting..." Lazarus munched on some fruit while he considered possibilites. "Maybe we should all just skip the country and live on the lam," he chuckled at his suggestion, but he wasn't completely joking.

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Damascus on Sat May 14, 2016 2:55 am

Yui chuckled and stared out into the garden, resting her head in her hand. "Not a bad idea, actually," Yui mused. "I wonder what would happen if the Masters just decided to... stop fighting. If everyone was all like 'all right guys, this is stupid.'" She laughed again. "They probably thought of that when they designed it all. Or maybe not, considering the bloodbaths that have been the last three Wars."

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Kittenboxxing on Sat May 14, 2016 2:58 am

"Well...let's do it then. No one seems to have tried. And I'm all about discovery." Lazarus would much rather have a life wandering the world with his three new companions than be immortal. This war was not turning out to be what he'd hoped, honestly, and he was almost glad his family had been left out of all this conniving and underhanded business.

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Damascus on Sat May 14, 2016 3:05 am

Yui blinked. "Wait... you're serious? I don't know if we can... do that." She tapped her fingers on the table. "Honestly... even if we sustain our Servants indefinitely, as long as there are any other Masters, they would just come after us. My family would hunt me down for sure, as well as the other two."

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Kittenboxxing on Sat May 14, 2016 3:07 am

"Well, that's the cool thing about being on the lam! I think we both have enough money to move about. Besides, we can then protest this ridiculousness." Lazarus was already deciding that if Yui wouldn't join him, he'd just have to try it himself.

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Damascus on Sat May 14, 2016 3:12 am

"Protest... to who exactly?" Yui laughed. "I might have to think about this. I'm still not even sure if it's possible to leave after the War's started." She then remembered. "We should at least wait until that Dead Apostle is dealt with. If we leave him alone, he'll end up devouring the whole city, I imagine."

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Kittenboxxing on Sat May 14, 2016 3:14 am

"That's true..." Lazarus consented. " as for to whom, well...basically your family and the others who started it. If it could be created in the first place, the rules can be adjusted. Perhaps if bloody conflict isn't enough to make them cease, or pay more attention, since apparently as you've stated something is wrong with this war, the complete impossibility of being able to finish will get their attention."

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Re: Tohsaka Mansion - More or Less

Post by Damascus on Sat May 14, 2016 3:23 am

"Maybe you're right..." Yui thought. "I still have to think about it. My father spent my whole life preparing for this War. A good part of me still wants to see it completed. Materializing the Grail, making a wish, and..." She chuckled. "I never got around to telling you the other secret. The actual reason for the Holy Grail War. That is, what the three families originally wanted to accomplish. It's not just to summon the Holy Grail and make a wish."

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