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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:13 pm

-William, Lancer-

Lancer regarded her Master with impassive silence. He seemed to have taken an unnecessary interest in this woman. Considering the situation, that could only end in misfortune. Hopefully, he was smart enough to draw the same conclusion without her having to point it out to him though. She'd seen intelligence from him so far, after all...

William frowned at Lily's response. It wasn't a completely unexpected answer, but it still seemed strange. "And you didn't consider readying a spell, just in case?" He continued on his line of questioning, earning him an annoyed look from Lancer. Clearly, she didn't think it was a good idea to converse with the enemy, and she was probably right, but something wasn't adding up here. The young woman before him didn't talk or act like any magus he had ever met. Even the lowest of the families still considered themselves a step above the everyday person. It wasn't that they tried either. Power was just impossible to hide, or at least William would have said as much before tonight.

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

-Saber-

"That was..." Saber paused, as if unsure of what word to use.

"Strange." She finally finished, looking her Master up and down.

"You are completely unaffected." Saber stated, although it sounded like more of a question. "After being hit with a Servant's Noble Phantasm, you seem to have taken no damage at all. I've never heard of such a thing happening."

"Perhaps you are in some way related to Assassin's legend?" She asked, finally releasing Elizabeth from her hold, but keeping a hand on her to steady the young woman on her feet.

Saber frowned at that, her brows drawing together. "I'm sorry. This makes twice I've failed you tonight. Not only was I unable to stop the attack, but I also can't seem to recall what Assassin called it. This is highly uncharacteristic of me..."
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:41 pm

Team Archer, Team Lancer

Lily blinked, taken aback by the young man's line of questioning.

"Ready a spell?" she repeated. "Oh, I don't- I mean, I wouldn't know how to do that. I'm not a magus."

She looked down, feeling embarrassed. Why on earth had she been picked? Delphine would have been able to handle this, to perform with the poise and grace the position of Master deserved. She didn't belong among these people.

Lily glanced at Archer. Well, she had been picked. There was no point second guessing that now. She just had to make the most of the situation.

"I don't think I know your name. I'm Lily," she said, giving a small curtsey. "Lily Edrington."

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

Team Assassin

Assassin returned to the room where Henry was waiting, like a ghost manifesting before the living. His demeanor was quite different from when he had left. He seemed calmer, more calculating.

"We shouldn't linger here," he said to his Master. "Saber may decide to keep searching the area for us. He'd never find me, but you..."

He gave Henry a pointed look. Not that it mattered. Now that the truth had been unlocked, he knew that his Master was entirely superfluous. Still, it wouldn't hurt to uphold appearances... for the time being.

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:03 pm

Rider’s senses must be failing him if he only sensed a ‘slight’ hint of disappointment. Despite her best attempts to maintain her composure, her anger was growing with every second. How… how dare she? That Lancer woman had dared to give her look? Like she was better than her? She was just a mere spirit, no-one important! She wasn’t even good enough to be summoned by a good master, she was just… just there! Not like her Rider. Now he, he was a man. This Lancer… oh, she was going to pay dearly for her arrogance…
Her teeth very much clenched, Elaina attempted to smile. She didn’t care it looked about as real as a badly drawn forgery of a painting.

“…We’ll talk about this later… Rider…” She growled out, her eyes flicking around for danger. Twenty seconds. That was as long as their fight had lasted. Well, that clearly showed how weak Lancer was. If it only took her that quick to take the first opportunity to leave, she could hardly be a threat. That meant, they could take their time dealing with her.

“I guess that makes sense… honestly, it was hardly worth leaving! It took longer to do my hair then it did to get her and fight. Least we found something useful… did you at least notice anything about the other Servants? They were too far away for myself to see… I don’t want to strain by eyes, obviously.”

Her smile of course had completely dropped. Elaina was in no mood to make light conversation.

“…Are you sure that servant over there isn’t worth looking at?” She pointed her parasol, noting the Servant by the forest they had discovered a few moments ago. “If I was that servant, I’d definitely be about to follow the retreating pair.”
-----

Henry jumped at the sudden appearance, his hand hastily going to the knife in his pocket. Who was...? Oh, never mind. It was just Assassin… well, with him that implied that it was a relief to meet him. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Still, that meant he had finished his task. That was worthy of praise, he supposed; ridding them of arguably their most dangerous enemy this early on was… wait, what?

“Wait… you didn’t succeed? He’s still around? I thought…” he began, but his voice soon trailed off. Yelling at Assassin wasn’t going to help now… and honestly, he didn’t like the look Assassin was giving him. His voice had changed as well. Before their had least been the jovial sounds of a deranged lunatic in his tones, now…. now there was just coldness.

“Alright, alright…” he sighed, shaking his head. Talking could wait, it seemed. “Let’s just get out of here then. We can go through all of this when we’re safe.”

So saying, he began making his way to the door, his mind focused on trying to keep quiet as he moved.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:50 pm

-Elizabeth-

Elizabeth's breath calms down as she rest her hand in her chest. Where Assassin's attack hit. There was no damage, neither physically or spiritually. Surprisingly Saber seemed more perplexed than Elizabeth. Mind you that Elizabeth was shocked, but she had no idea how dangerous that attack was unlike Saber who seemed full aware of the absurdity of the situation.

"Me? Related to a legend? Don't be silly Saber, I'm just a nobody."

She laughed, it was a dismissive laugh, Elizabeth didn't want to think about such absurd things such as ancestry. Looking at her surroundings it seemed things were getting back to normal, at least as normal as the slums can be.

"What are you talking about Saber, you didn't fail in anything. If you weren't here I don't to imagine what Assassin would have done to me."

Elizabeth was perplexed by Saber's apology, while true that Assassin did manage to get an attack through, it was Elizabeth's fault for dragging them in to the slums. At the time she had not realized that it was a perfect battlefield for servants like Assassin and Caster.

"Anyway, it's best if we keep moving, we'll leave the slums and head to the park and then home, ok?"

___________________________________

-Rider-

Rider turns his attention to where Elaina pointed. Where the other Servant was and where Lancer was too. That wasn't a good sign, if both aren't fighting, then there's a chance that they are allies. Which thinking back made sense considering Lancer protected the other Master.

"True, but unlikely, he just fought against another servant and should be tired. Also Lancer seems to be allied with him, so unless you want to start a two on one, it's best we leave."
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:46 pm

-William, Lancer-

"You're not a magus?" William couldn't keep the incredulity from his voice.

Behind him, Lancer cleared her throat, obviously communicating to her Master that he should tone down his reactions.

"But you know about them..." He continued, clearly beginning to draw some conclusions. "Do you know any that could shelter you, at least until the Grail War is over? Archer may be able to stay alert all the time, but you'll need sleep. Without any kind of spell protection, you'd be a sitting duck for other Masters."

This entire war was beginning to seem strange. There had been no communication from the Association that it was even being prepared, much less that it had started, and now, a non-magus was involved as a Master? Things just weren't adding up.

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

-Saber-

Saber laughed at Elizabeth's comment, although it wasn't immediately apparent why, particularly given the severity of the situation they had just escaped. "Among us Heroic Spirits," She began, still chuckling to herself. "There is one who called himself 'nobody', and he killed a cyclops, among many other things. So, don't sell yourself short, my Master."

Her features hardened slightly after that. "It's true that Assassin could have done worse if you were alone, but that doesn't change the fact that he got through my defense so easily. If the other Servants can do the same..." She let the words trail off, allowing Elizabeth to draw the obvious conclusion to them.

"Lead on." Saber waved in the direction Elizabeth had pointed. "I'm curious to see more of your city, and perhaps I can find a location that is fit for my type of combat."
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:53 pm

Team Archer, Team Lancer

Lily flushed at the man's reaction. Obviously, the Cormiers weren't the only ones who thought her ill-suited to this contest.

"No, I'm not," she murmured, looking away. "I worked for a family. I didn't realize they were magi till today. When Archer came to me though..."

She trailed off. Despite what they'd done, she still didn't want to implicate the family in this.

"Anyway, I don't know any other magi. And with my old family's connections, it probably wouldn't be safe to show myself anyway."

What had the Cormiers' reaction be when they found she was gone? What had happened to Delphine?

Lily looked at Archer, wondering how they should proceed from here.

[OOC: As soon as the park is vacated, I'll have Jekyll crawl out for Elizabeth and Saber to find.]

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

Team Assassin

"Don't worry, Master," Assassin said calmly. "I can feel their presence retreating."

It seemed Saber had made the decision to retreat. It was a wise move. His Noble Phantasm failed to harm her Master, but she would not be so fortunate.

Still, it would be best to leave them alone for now. In the meantime...

"Master," Assassin said, smiling as they returned to Henry's small flat above the butcher shop. "I believe I have a task for you at last."

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:01 pm

It was a curiously quiet trip back to Henry's house. The butcher couldn't believe that they'd managed to escape so handily; Saber hadn't even sensed them once. How precisely they'd done it he wasn't sure, but he wasn't going to push his look by finding out.

He sighed with relief as they walked through his flat door; at last! They'd finally be able to rest for tonight; the nightmare of today would be over. His flat was pretty innocuous. Sure, it was a little messy, but for the rent he had to pay it more than suited a party of one. Briefly, he wondered where Assassin would sleep... did Servants even sleep? He had the feeling Assassin would laugh and refuse to answer his question if he bothered asking.

"Oh? That's good, beats hiding in the background I guess. hang on, let me get the fire going. No point of us talking if we'll freeze to death before we finish."

Placing his overcoat on the door's coathook, he went about lighting the fire. Alas, fire magic was not one of his areas of expertise, but that didn't matter. Within a few moments the fire was roaring. He grinned as the warmth began to fill the room. This was more like it...

"There we go. What's up?" He smiled, turning to face Assassin.

------

"Oh you have to be.... fine!" Elaina suddenly growled, throwing her arms in the air. "We've got two servants ready to team up and go already! What next, the entire other six teams go together? Let's just go, shall we? Honestly, at this rate we may just have stayed home. Maybe that way the other two Servants might have done their job and offed each other!"

With that, she turned on her heels and stormed off to the exit. A perfect stratergy, ruined because that stupid knight woman didn't know her place! Oh, her demise would be fun, Elaina was going make sure they annihilated her for the travesty of an attack that had happened tonight. She wouldn't just have her killed, she find out the woman's master, bankrupt him, kill him, find his family, bankrupt and kill them, and then do that thricemore! That family would pay dearly for being so low as cowards in front of her. If Lancer had just fought or surreneded, none of this would have happened. But no, that wretch had sealed her own fate.

"And whatever happened to that mad one we spotted anyway? That worm didn't stick around five minutes! What the hell is going on Rider? I thought you Servants were all warriors that all stood your ground whatever happened, but all of them bar you seem fine with running the minute they get a scratch! It's like trying to fight a child when you're the only adult! Some heroes they're turning out to be!"


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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:15 am

-William, Lancer-

William frowned at Lily's words. He was starting to see the full picture now, and he didn't like it at all.

"You haven't given the lady your name." Lancer said, cutting into his thoughts.

"My apologies." William said, giving Lily a sheepish smile. "I'm William Marshall, and I don't know where my manners are tonight."

"You had manners before tonight?" Lancer cut in again, raising a questioning eyebrow at him.

William cleared his throat uncomfortably in response, turning his attention back to the young lady before him. "In the interest of your safety, could I offer you a place to spend the night?" He asked, his eyes drifting to Lancer so that he could gauge her reaction to the offer.

To his surprise, she seemed outwardly uninterested in what he was saying. A storm was brewing in her eyes though, something he would need to remain aware of. He could practically hear her voice in his mind, telling him to tread lightly.

"We could examine our circumstances again in the morning," William continued, motioning with his hand to indicated the presence of Archer and Lancer. "And try to reach a reasonable solution for the both of us."
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Sun Mar 06, 2016 4:23 pm

Team Archer, Team Lancer

"Oh."

It wasn't a very dignified response, but the words flew out before Lily could stop them. An offer for a night's stay was more than she could have ever expected. It wasn't at all proper for a lady, and could be dangerous for more than one reason. But... she really did need a place to stay, and she had no other prospects.

She looked at Archer, wondering if he would have any objections to the matter. He knew more about these Grail War dealings than she did.

"If Archer has no objections," she said quietly. "Then... I gratefully accept."

She gave another quick bow, out of habit more than anything.

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

Team Assassin

Assassin was watching his Master intently, a crafty glint in his venomous eyes.

"Tomorrow, I want you go to a bookshop or library and find anything you can on the Hemory family."

He had to be sure... Because if it was true, Elizabeth Hemory could spell disaster for them. If that were the case, they would need to make sure she was taken care of.

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:24 pm

-Archer-

Archer was merely an observer of the conversation between the Masters. Paying attention to both Lancer and her Master, he was trying to see through their actions.

"Whatever your decision you have my full support Lily."

Archer said, confident that neither Lancer or her Master would attempt to harm them. Once more he smiled but said nothing else. He didn't feel like there was any need to say anything else, Lily seemed to have her head in place right now.

______________________________

-Rider-

Rider chuckled at Elaina's comment, the idea that Servants would all be proud heroes that would fight to the death is certainly a nice idea, but one far from reality.

"Unfortunately we Servants were humans at one point, as such many retain their human inhibitions. I myself am no exception, I could have fought Lancer to the end, but choose to retreat for another time when I'm at a better advantage."

It is true that he could beat her, but the risk of another Servant attacking him afterwards was too high to keep the fight going. Put it simple, the cons outweighed the pros.

"There is a reason this is called a war it seems. We'll have to go through your methods then, we'll drive them out of their fortresses and when their guard is down, we'll swiftly cut through their necks."

Rider at first was expected this to be child's play, after all, this is a war with only 7 soldiers, how could this possibly be a war? However, Lancer proved him wrong, each one of them were the best that humanity had produced.

(I'll wait to post for Elizabeth until Lily and William leave)
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:19 am

“The Hemory family? Can’t say I’ve heard of them.” Henry tilted his head, trying to best to see if the name jogged any memories. …No, it completely meant nothing to him. Not that meant much; in his line of work, the magical families either never visited his ‘common’ butchers, or sent the servants instead. “Was that Saber’s Master then? Hey, that’s pretty good. Even if they’re not dead, the more we know about him the better. Actually…”

He shrugged, moving to the end of the room. He paused in front of one of the doors (which surprisingly, looked in much better condition than the rest of them), fishing out a key to unlock it. As the key turned in the lock, he looked back at Assassin.

“It’s not like it’s even got to wait ‘til tomorrow. I’m pretty sure I mentioned this earlier; my old man was a massive hoarder for magical books, always had an eye out for them. And of course, I’ve bought a few over the years… heh, half of them I didn’t even look at the covers. You’ll be amazed at what bulk deals you can get if you convince the guy selling that all he’s selling is fiction. After all, magic isn’t real, right? Anyway, I’ll go have a quick look upstairs, shall I? There’s bound to be at least one book on them… see you in a bit, Assassin. Just leave a note if you’re going to go out again.”

Henry hoped he did. That way if anyone died, he could pretend he knew nothing about it. Plus of course if they weren’t in the same room, neither of them had to put up with the other…

-----

“Well then their Masters are bigger fools than they are!” Elaina replied without missing a beat. “Honestly, who hides and cowers in their diapers so much they can’t even keep an eye out on their Servant? I mean, I’m going to keep you on a leash Rider, but I would at least want to watch the fight just in case! Not that I think you’re a coward or anything, but you never know what low blow the other side might try! For God’s sake, the only other Master was that little brat of Lancer’s! She was just stood there gawking like an idiot at the battle half a mile over! Do you think Lancer was either deaf or dumb? Because leaving your Master completely vulnerable seems a perfect way to lose! It was almost like Lancer didn’t know she was… wait a minute… hmm…”

Her rage finally seemed to subside, as her voice trailed off into nothing. Yes… that had been pretty odd, hadn’t it? In fact, the brat had looked as scared of the woman knight as she had of them… that… oh dear. If that implied what she thought it did, that wasn’t good at all. Elaina sighed heavily, pressing a hand to her temple. She could feel a headache coming on...

“Urgh… I guess you’re right Lancer. We really have to do this the old fashioned way then… still, I think we have an advantage there… But damn it all, I was hoping we could get rid of at least one pair tonight! …Come, let’s just go already. Just make sure no idiot is following us. We’ll take an indirect route back…”

With that, she began making her way out of the park. Tonight hadn’t gone at all as planned, but maybe it hadn’t been fully useless.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:34 pm

-William, Lancer-

"Great." William smiled and turned down the street, motioning for the others to follow his lead. "My family owns a property not far from here. At least there, you'll have some manner of protection from the other Masters."

Lancer fell into step beside Lily, but she didn't speak. For a moment, her gaze drifted to Archer, and her eyes tracked up and down his frame, almost like she was mentally putting a coat of paint on him.

"It's just around the corner up there." William waved to the end of the street, where the buildings fell away, revealing a rather quaint garden. He seemed completely oblivious to any level of tension that might exist between the group of people behind him, and Lancer seemed content to leave it that way, for now.

As they passed through the iron gate outside the garden, William pulled on a cord that ran through the trees, and a bell rang somewhere inside the building ahead. "Servants might want to make yourselves scarce." He commented, just an elderly woman opened the door.

Lancer shot Archer a warning look and vanished from sight, but William could still feel her nearby.

"Master William?" The woman asked, looking him over. "It's unlike you to show up so late."

"I'm sorry, Margaret." He responded, turning to motion Lily forward. "I seem to always be bringing home strays."

Her eyes moved to Lily, and she let out a sigh, but quickly put a smile on her face. "Well, I'd rather you offer someone shelter for a few days than deal with your brother showing up with one of his late night indiscretions."

William frowned at that. He hadn't been aware that his brother was using this property for such things.

"Come on inside." Margaret continued, motioning for Lily to follow her. William waited for the young woman to enter before he did the same, and the elderly lady gave him a questioning look.

"I wanted to talk with her for a moment after she's settled." William said, making it obvious to Margaret that Lily wasn't going to be one of his own 'late night indiscretions'.

"Of course..." Her face softened, and she continued down the hall. A moment later, she opened the door to a very large bedroom, waving for them to enter. "Make yourself at home, miss. If you need anything, just ring the bell or come down to the kitchen. I'll be by the stove, warming my old bones."
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:31 am

Team Archer, Team Lancer

Lily stared around at William's estate, marveling at its size and condition. It was at least as extravagant as the Cormier's, if not more so. She hardly noticed the bell being rung until an elderly maid appeared in the doorway.

Lily instantly liked her - Margaret, William called her. She was the sort of woman that felt like everyone's grandmother. Lily smiled shyly at her, which transformed into a rather embarrassed grimace upon being addressed as a stray. The follow-up to his older brother's apparent indiscretions did nothing to hamper the reddening of her cheeks.

Lily followed after Margaret, who led her into a rather large guest bedroom. It was nearly the size of Delphine's own and just as lavishly furnished. Her sudden reversals of fortune today were becoming quite disconcerting.

After thanking the old woman, Lily closed the door softly and sighed. There was a spare set of lovely silken pajamas in royal blue, which she slipped into before sitting down on the bed. A sudden wave of exhaustion hit her, but she couldn't fall asleep just yet. It seemed Will still wanted to speak with her tonight. Probably to discuss her and Archer leaving the next day.

Archer!

Lily blushed deeply, only just realizing Archer must be nearby in spirit form. Had he witnessed her undressing?

"Uh, Archer, are you there?" she murmured into the seemingly empty air.

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

Berserker, Team Saber

The night had once more become dense and silent. Jekyll clawed is way from beneath the shelter of the fallen tree, shivering violently. Was it the cold or blood loss? He couldn't be sure. All he knew was that he had to get back to his lab if he had any hope of surviving.

No... perhaps that was a forlorn hope. His body was too weak to manage more that a few yards of pitiful crawling. Was he really fated to die here, after all his struggles? It seemed too cruel a fate.

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:36 am

-Archer-

Archer had followed Lily in spirit form, never voicing or giving hint of his mood. Truth be told he was observing William's behavior. From what he could tell, William seemed like a fine man, one that would not betray a small woman while defenseless.

When they arrived at their room, Archer was about to ask her a question regarding William, however Lily seemed to forget that he existed and decided it would be a good idea to change clothes. Archer merely turned around, not really making to much of it.

Eventually though Lily called for him, turning back to confirm that she was now in clothes, Archer turned to physical form.

"Is something the matter Lily? You sound worried?"

___________________________________

-Elizabeth-

Walking through the city they met no more problems. It seemed it had been a fairly quiet night, outside of meeting Assassin. Only when arriving at the park did Elizabeth realize that it hadn't been that quiet of a night.

"Was there a war here?!"

Multiple trees had fallen, either through sheer brute force or actually broken in pieces. It was as if a tornado had struck the area. Walking closer to the wreckage she also found strange series of holes in the trees, as if something large had puncture them.

"I'm guessing that there was a battle here..."

But they were gone, Elizabeth couldn't even tell if there was a casualty or not.

"Hmmm?"

Elizabeth could hear something though, as if something was crawling. Walking closer she was horrified by what she saw. A man bloody and in a tantrums. Elizabeth instinctively ran to the man. He was bleeding badly, his whole body was filled with wounds, it was a wonder how he was still alive to begin with.

"....."

At that moment Elizabeth remembers something, this man was in the middle of this battlefield. There was a high chance that he was an enemy. Looking at Saber, she could tell that Saber wasn't so trustful of the man, but she didn't seem to be reacting to anything nearby. If this man was an enemy, where was his Servant?

Looking around her again, looking at the destruction. Elizabeth concluded that the man was a Master, but that his Servant had lost. The man's cough of pain woke her up from her trail of thought.

Turning him around, so that he wound be facing upwards, she got hold of his head as she inspected his health.

"Hey, don't sleep on me. If you sleep, you wont wake up again."

The wounds were terrible, but not impossible for her to heal. Elizabeth concentrated on her mind and muttered a few words, the bleeding in Jekyll's body stopped. It was a temporary solution, Elizabeth could take care of the wounds better at home.

"Saber, can you help me carry him home?"
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:55 pm

-William, Lancer-

"Are you sure this is wise?" Lancer asked as she appeared beside William. Margaret had given him a questioning look before heading off down the hallway, and he was glad that Lancer had given her time to be out of earshot before asking.

"No, but I couldn't just leave her out there to fend for herself." He responded, running a hand through his hair. After a moment of silence, he let out a sigh and leaned against the wall. "She may be our opponent, but I won't throw her to the wolves."

Lancer raised an eyebrow at him. "I wasn't implying that you should do anything unhonorable. It was simply important that you recognize the potential ramifications of offering aid to someone you don't know."

"It's altogether possible that she's playing you for a fool, and planning to plant a knife in your back later."

William winced at that, but he turned resolved eyes in her direction. "Not everyone is without honor, Lancer. I didn't sense any false intentions from her, only fear."

She studied the look in his eyes for a moment before nodding. "I felt the same, but my judgement has failed me before."

"Understood." William pushed off from the wall, rising to his full height and taking a deep breath. "This could be a mutually beneficial arrangement though. At least, I hope that's a possibility."

"You're planning to align yourself with her?" Lancer looked more concerned now. "If she's truly that inexperienced, she might be a detriment to your plans."

"True, but two Servants are bound to be better than one, right?" William shot back.

"Not necessarily." Lancer frowned, turning her eyes to the door. "If the Servants are incompatible, it could create gaps in their fighting styles that normally wouldn't exist."

"There's nothing wrong with trying it though, right?" William asked.

"I wouldn't be opposed to an agreement with Archer, given what I've seen so far." She responded, giving nothing away.

"Thank you." William turned to the door and knocked loudly. He waited a moment, then opened it and stepped inside, followed by Lancer.

He looked from Archer to Lily and back again. "I hope these accommodations are acceptable." William said, making it sound more like a question than a statement, which was clearly directed at Lily.

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

-Saber-

"Yes, it would appear that combat took place here." Saber responded as she carefully examined a broken tree.

"Elizabeth!" As she neared the man on the ground, Saber closed the gap between them, stopping at her Master's shoulder. The corner of her mouth ticked slightly at the sight of the bleeding man, but she didn't stop Elizabeth from leaning over to offer him help.

Her eyebrows went up at the mention of carrying him back to the mansion though. Saber took another moment to check her surroundings before giving the man her full attention. His wounds were strange. There was no sign of anything piercing his skin, yet he bled from several gashes. There also seemed to be blood seeping from between his teeth. Internal injuries, perhaps? No Servant would have left the job unfinished. So, it was doubtful that he had been targeted directly. Although, given his current state, he might have been finished after all, and simply hadn't succumbed to it yet.

Without verbally responding, Saber scooped the man from the ground and laid him across her shoulder. He made another wheezing sound, and she shifted him a little, until his breathing sounded more normalized again.

"I don't know that you'll be able to make any difference." She said, turning her nose away from the smell of him bleeding on her shoulder. "But if you wish to try and save him. I'll carry him home. Best not to tarry though. He probably doesn't have long."
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:09 am

Team Archer, Team Lancer

Archer reappeared before Lily, confirming her worst fears. He didn't seem to be regarding her strangely. Maybe she was worrying for nothing.

Archer seemed to recognize her discomfort, however, and asked her about it. Lily felt her cheeks go pink, and quickly maneuvered the topic to safer areas.

"I guess I am worried," she admitted. "Everything's just been going so badly today that it seems hard to believe I'm actually having some luck. But... I hope he can be trusted. William, I mean."

At that moment, there was a knock on the door. It must be the master of the house himself. Lily turned as the door opened and William entered with Lancer.

"Yes, they're beautiful," she said. What would the Cormiers think if they saw her now? And Delphine...

"You wanted to speak with me?" Lily asked after a pause. She felt certain that all this courtesy came with some caveats.

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

Team Saber, Jekyll

Jekyll felt as if he were in a dream, his body drifting gently along waves. The pain was almost gone now, giving way to a comforting chill.

"Hey, don't sleep on me. If you sleep, you won't wake up again."

But a voice spoke out to him. It seemed to drag him out of that dream into another dream - this one warm and golden. Yes... hair shimmering like gold under the light of the moon. Jekyll stared at the young woman, barely comprehending what he was seeing.

The drain of warmth and life from his body seemed to cease. His ministering angel spoke to someone, and he felt himself lifted into the air. His head swam, and the sudden contact with a hard angle brought a groan to his lips.

It was impossibly hard to keep his consciousness, but he forced himself to remain, even if it meant pain.

Because the voice had told him so. And he needed to see her again. At least one more time.

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:50 pm

-William, Lancer-

"I'm glad." William responded with a smile, but after a moment, a more serious look settled over his features. Shoving his hands into his pockets, he leaned one way, then righted himself, almost as if he'd been preparing to pace but caught himself.

"Yes, I suppose the majority of the discussion can wait until later. It's late, and considering the circumstances, it's best if you and I both get some rest. For now, know that you're welcome to stay here for as long as you need." He gave her another tentative smile. "Do be respectful of the staff though. This is one of my father's properties, and should you cause a fuss, I doubt he would be as understanding as I am."

"I also ask that you keep Archer hidden, if possible. Something about this entire Grail War seems wrong, and I don't want unnecessary attention drawn to either you or myself until I can find out more about our situation."

He reached for the door and pulled it open. "Lancer and I will be back in the morning. If you plan to stay for more than one night, we'll need to talk a bit more. Should you be gone when we arrive, I'll assume that you've gratefully declined my offer."

William exited the room, but Lancer stayed for a moment longer. Her smile betrayed nothing, but there was plenty of fire in her eyes when she delivered her parting message. "Do not bite the hand that feeds you."

The door closed behind her, and footsteps traveled down the hall, fading into silence.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:19 pm

Team Archer

Lily was still reeling from William's words to be much worried about Lancer's warning. Was he really offering his home to her indefinitely? It was hard to believe any such offer could be so benevolent, but she couldn't sense any ulterior motives.

Perhaps, it was too much to try to figure out when sleep was already trying to cloud her thoughts. Lily smiled at Archer and made her way over to the bed. She sighed as the bed sank comfortably beneath his weight, all the exhaustion of the day finally catching up to her.

"Goodnight, Archer..." she murmured, drifting off to sleep. Her last thoughts were filled with Delphine, Archer, and her mysterious benefactor, William.

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:28 am

Chapter 1: Day 2

-William, Lancer-

"What do you mean you can't stay and eat?" Cynthia asked from her seat at the breakfast table, where William usually shared the meal with her.

"I've got some business I need to attend to this morning." William responded with a sigh. "It came up on short notice. So, I didn't have a chance to tell you before now."

"Fine." She grumbled, pouting now. "But you owe me a lunch date now."

William ruffled her hair as he walked past, then snagged a pastry from the table. "I'll let you know what day I can make that date. Stay out of trouble, sis." He waved as he stepped out of the dining room and into the hallway.

A moment later, William exited the mansion and headed down the street. Hopefully, his guests from the previous night would still be at the other manor when he arrived.

"She's cute." Lancer said, appearing beside him.

"What?" William's mind drifted to the young lady from the night before. Was she cute?

"Your sister." Lancer clarified.

Oh. William shook his head in an attempt to clear his mind. "She has her moments." He responded after about a second too long.

Lancer raised a questioning eyebrow at him. "Whe else were you thinking about?"

"No one." He said, keeping his tone even.

Lancer studied him for a moment before giving him an approving nod. "Oh, you're good. Anyone else would have believed that."

"That would be because it's the truth." He lied again.

"Mmhm. You were more convincing the first time." She teased.

"Practice makes perfect, right?" William flashed her a winning smile.

"So they say." She turned her attention back to the street. "What's your plan for Archer and the girl?"

He took a moment to compose his thoughts before responding this time. "I think the girl, Lily, is unfamiliar with magecraft in general, much less the concept of a Grail War. If that's the case, she'll need a teacher, and in return for being that teacher..."

"You'll seek an alliance." Lancer finished for him.

"Yes."

She nodded, mulling it over. "It's a sound starting point, but what if she refuses? Or tries to renegotiate?"

"If she's as naive as I think she is, I don't think either of those will be an issue."

Lancer frowned at that. "So, you're planning to take advantage of her?"

"No. The offer I have in mind is fair." William responded as they turned the corner into the garden. "If anything, I'm saving her from her inexperience."

"You know, a lady could take a phrase like that the wrong way..." Lancer quipped.

Despite his best efforts at cutting off that train of thought, William's cheeks flushed. "Sorry, poor phrasing on my part."

"Indeed..." She faded from view as he approached the front door, but her voice still drifted over his shoulder. "Archer is still here."

William nodded a silent confirmation as he reached up to pull the bell cord.

A moment later, a pencil thin man opened the door, giving William a grin. "Welcome back, Master William."

"It's good to see you Earl." He shook the man's hand. "Is my guest awake yet?"

"No, but Margaret told me what time you brought her in last night. So, I suspect she needed the sleep."

That was probably true. He hadn't taken the time to consider the strain a Servant might put on a non-magus. "We'll let her sleep in then." William responded. "How about a cup of coffee?"

"Of course. I'll have it ready in a moment." Earl turned down the hall towards the kitchen, and William followed behind him.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:38 am

Team Archer, Team Lancer

Lily felt the warm rays of morning sunshine on her face, but she didn't stir. She felt comfortable and safe, but a nagging warning in the back of her mind told her that all was not well. She didn't want to face it though, to make it real. She wanted to hide in this cocoon of warmth and peace.

But eventually, she was forced to open her eyes and survey the unfamiliar room. Then it all came back to her.

Delphine... Where was she now? Did her family know she'd helped Lily escape? Would they punish her?

She couldn't dwell on that now though. She had other problems to deal with.

She got out of bed and found her clothes from the previous day laundered and pressed. She took them gratefully and entered the bathroom attached to her room. It was quite as lovely as the bedroom, and she could have spent all day soaking in the warm tub. But that would be hiding again, and she was resolved not to hide.

"Archer?" she called to the empty air, wondering if he was still around. She felt hungry and decided to venture out in search of breakfast. She wandered down the hallway, unfamiliar with the layout, but her nose was picking up on the smell of food that could only lead to the kitchen.

When she entered, she found her host and another servant in there. William was sipping on coffee and looking quite at ease. Lily offered him a small curtsey.

"Good morning," she said. "Thank you for your hospitality. I wonder... If..."

She hoped to phrase her request for food as delicately as possible, but her stomach had other ideas and interrupted her words with a rather audible growl that sent a flush of red through her cheeks.

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

Team Caster

O'Neal wasn't in the best of spirits that morning, but Caster had already grown used to his mood. Tactful politics was his specialty.

"I was expecting to have made some progress already," he said sullenly, glaring spitefully at his breakfast as though it had done him great dishonor. Caster frowned and stroked his mustache.

"Rome wasn't built in a day," he said. "It will take time. The queen, as any wise monarch, will understand this."

O'Neal glowered at him, but Caster took it in stride.

"In any case, we have an issue," he said. O'Neal straightened up, looking more a military commander instead of a pouting child.

"It would seem alliances are already beginning," Caster continued. "Two Servants have been under the same roof since last night. I can't conceive of any other reason for this but an alliance."

"And your plan?" O'Neal prompted.

Caster sighed. He would need more resources before he could put it into action. He needed to know as much as possible about the other Servants. Choosing the wrong one could cause his plan to backfire. And he needed a much greater source of mana than anything O'Neal could provide if he wanted to pull it off.

"It's coming together," Caster answered. He'd already set the bait. If that didn't work, however, he might have to take more extreme measures...

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:57 pm

-Elizabeth-

The Elizabeth's mansion was surprisingly quiet this morning. In normal days there would be maids and butlers walking around cleaning, arranging and preparing. But not today, having anticipated future encounters Elizabeth sent all her staff await. After the war was done, she would call them back, but until them, the mansion would only house herself and her Servant.

Still there was one sound that creep through the mansion. In a guest room a steady breathing could be heard. The room was a complete mess, several medical tools were scattered throughout the floor, bloody bandages here and there. Elizabeth was sitting in an armchair, her head tilted as she breathed calmly in slumber.

Her chair was turned towards the bed, in it was a man in clean bandages. Elizabeth had found this man during the night, she had found him wounded and almost dead and decided to help him on impulse. The night had been chaotic, Elizabeth's magecraft is conveniently well versed in healing and as such she was able to bring him back from the doors of death. That said, her magecraft is not clean and leaves a big mess, specially when used on a different body than her own.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:22 pm

Jekyll awoke in a sudden haze of panic and confusion. Where was he? What had happened?

The first thing he registered was the sight of blood. Had he lost control again? No... No, it must have been his. He had been wounded. Had he managed to get back to his lab?

He saw medical instruments. It seemed to fit. But the room was not familiar to him.

He tried to move from the bed and inspect his body. It was then that he caught sight of the woman in the chair near his bed.

She was fast asleep, her long golden hair falling softly across her pale face. Her clothes were rich in quality, easy to see at a glance. He should be terrified, but he couldn't manage it.

No, that wasn't quite right. He felt a fear bubbling within, but not the fear of losing himself to the beast within. No, this was a very different sort of fear.

"Who... Are you?" he murmured, unaware that he'd spoken the words aloud.

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:15 pm

The front door closed silently as Elliot made his way out of the library complex. He had made sure to wake up early. Or rather, he had been so preoccupied with last night’s events that he had not really slept at all. Picking up his briefcase, he exited the wrought-iron gates as the sun’s first rays of light crept over the roof of the buildings.

As he made his way through the winding streets, the city slowly came to life. Store owners were preparing their wares for sale, and the Thames was bustling with activity. A commotion caught Elliot’s attention as he strode past Hyde Park. He was stunned by the scene that met him. Trees had been upturned and broken, park benches splintered and ruined. Evidently, something had happened here during the night. What, though, Elliot couldn’t fathom. Any normal urban disturbance could not have caused such carnage. After a while observing the park, he continued on his way, and quickly arrived at the palace.

An impressive feat of architecture, the palace stood at the heart of London, near Hyde Park. Ringed by an iron fence, this was the seat of British rule. The Royal seal was affixed to the large, dominating gates in front of the palace, a pair of uniformed guards standing to attention on either side of it. Beyond the fence, Elliot could see more guards patrolling the grounds.

Sitting opposite the fence, Elliot observed the guards for a time. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, and no-one paid him any attention. As the guards manning the gates were rotated, he began having second thoughts about the admittedly flimsy connection that he had made from the note. In any case, he would not be hanging round for much longer- he would to return to the library before long and prepare for his guest’s arrival.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:13 am

-William-

As Lily entered the room, William got up from his seat. Earl, who had his back to the door, did the same, turning to see their visitor.

William couldn't help but grin at her stomach's protests, but Earl pretended as if nothing was out of the ordinary. "Good morning, miss. Please," He waved to the chair he had just vacated. "Have a seat. Let me get you some breakfast."

"Lily, this is Earl." William motioned to the man as she walked to the table. "He and his wife, Margaret, who you met last night, are in charge of the manor's upkeep."

"A pleasure to meet you, miss." Earl tipped his hat in her direction as he pulled a tray of scones from the oven and sat them on the table. "Do you prefer coffee or tea?"

William settled back into his own chair as Lily sat down, taking another sip of his coffee.

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

-Lancer-

"You're rather trusting." Lancer said, appearing on the balcony beside Archer.

"Although my Master won't take advantage of that, I'm not sure I can approve of it."

She leaned out over the railing, taking in the morning sunshine and the garden below.

"She's more vulnerable than the rest..."

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

-Saber-

"Who she is doesn't concern you." Saber responded from where she stood on the other side of Jekyll's bed.

"Just know that she saved your life last night, and you could be respectful enough to let her sleep in return. She's only been out for about an hour."

She gave the man a sharp look, clearly meant to intimidate him, while she brushed lint from the shoulder of her suit coat. Her eyes softened for just a moment when they drifted to her sleeping Master, but the steel returned to them almost instantly. "In fact, it's probably best that you just go back to sleep as well. You got caught up in something dangerous last night, or so I assume. Best not to borrow any extra trouble in your current state."
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:36 am

Team Archer, Team Lancer

Lily smiled at Earl. It was nice to meet someone on her level. She may be a guest here, but they were both servants in this society. It was also a pleasant surprise to know that William treated his hired hands like family, the way Delphine and the Cormiers did... had done.

"Tea, thank you," she said to Earl, picking carefully at one of the scones. They smelled heavenly, and she bit tenderly into the warm, moist bread.

"Mm, oh, they're delicious," she said, smiling. "I wish I had this recipe. Where did you learn to bake?"

Without meaning to, she ignored William and quickly forgot he was there. She seemed quite at ease nibbling at the scones and talking with the butler.

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

Team Saber, Jekyll

Jekyll gave a start at Saber's voice and whipped his head around to face her.

She looked normal and was dressed in normal clothes... if a girl wearing a butler's uniform could be considered normal.

But he could sense immediately that she wasn't normal. She gave him that same feeling of alarm that the man in the park had yesterday. Already he could feel something bubbling deep within him, wanting to break free. It was marking her as a threat, as an enemy, as a kill.

No. If he were to reveal himself, he would be the one to die here. He was just as sure of that. She didn't seem to realize the truth about him, and he intended to keep it that way.

"I didn't intend to be any trouble," Jekyll murmured, resting back on the pillows. He might as well rest, as escape would prove impossible with the Servant standing nearby. In any case, he was content for now to simply watch his savior's peaceful, sleeping face.

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

Team Caster, Elliot

"You seem lost."

From behind Elliot, a soft and cultured voice spoke. As he turned, he caught sight of a pleasant looking man in black with a silver mustache. The man smiled, the mustache twitching in amusement.

"Perhaps I may be of assistance to you," Caster said.

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