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Thread: Finis Chaldea

  1. #141
    How intriguing. This woman possessed a power capable of splitting the Star of Destruction, and it seemed she possessed some capacity to use that technique numerous times. He couldn't have imagined such a power existing, but if anyone would have the ability, it should be the woman he remembered. Oh well. Maybe he should have given more consideration to her ability beforehand. If it was truly his intention to overwhelm her, there was one item held in his treasury that was sure to do the trick. All he had to do was... oh. Gilgamesh's hand closed as if he expected something to be within, yet there was nothing. What happened? Right, he didn't take his key with him to properly access the treasury. Why would he have? His journey had been one of discovery; he wasn't supposed to end up here, locked in combat. Ah, but how was he to deal with that sort of might without any of his tools? He'd not sully Enkidu by using them as a meat shield, and he wouldn't have the ability to loose another arrow from his bow for some time yet. There was time for only one decision by the time he realized there was no weapon coming to his hand. The blade remaining in his left hand had to be swung against the arc of hopes and dreams coming his way, but surely that alone wouldn't be enough. Something was... rather exciting about that thought, though. Carrying that sense of thrill, his blade exuded mana directly from Gilgamesh's own body. The moment his sword connected with the blast, space collapsed at the point of impact. The scale was small in a sense relative to Excalibur's strike, yet large enough for the wave's initial segment to be avoided. Alas, he was engulfed in the end regardless, and even after realizing the slash alone would not suffice, an expulsion of his mana could not leave him unscathed.

    Once again, it took ages to clear. What of Gilgamesh when it all subsided? There was an audible grunt in those final moments, followed by a slow series of footsteps. The ground around him was marred in a long path, and his condition was hardly better to look at. Gilgamesh approached Artoria casually, while appearing as if he'd been dragged through hell itself with all the scorching and the greater bleeding from his open wound. Upon reaching her, his empty right hand rose with intentions of gently resting upon her cheek. He'd never known defeat before, but it seemed today would mark the first of such events. For some reason, there was an upturn to his lips as he aimed to caress the Saber's face, his hand just about capable of cupping her entire head from one side. "What an abominable woman you are. Defying me... until the very end, huh? But... I shall forgive you. There are things that are beautiful because you cannot obtain them," he declared. Though his gaze did not falter, his eyes were dim. Frankly, the king was hardly on his feet... but the briefest glimmer came to his gaze, and with it came an understanding. "Farewell then, Queen of Knights. Well... it was quite fun." Was it finally time, at long last? Was he to join Enkidu, rather than finding the way to bring them back to this plane? Something... wasn't so bad about that thought. If anything, perhaps that could finally be a victory after all these decades. That was a lovely thought to have as he buckled to his knees, falling forward and out of consciousness thereafter.

    Merlin had officially done something very, very unacceptable. He could already feel it happening. Impregnation via Incubus was not of the conventional sort; it was more... mystical. Seed integrated itself into the would-be mother's very Magic Circuits, then coalesced in the form of an unborn child to match the mother's natural birthing process. Medea claimed it wouldn't be the first time she dealt with a difficult child that had yet to even be born, but Merlin doubted that severely. What would come of this, was something known as a Cambion, a mere myth to those who inhabited the world. Normally, such a thing was properly impossible. Merlin could tell that would not be the case with this one, though. She was far too capable, far too gifted in the magical sense. Perhaps she would suffer a reduction of ability while with child, but he doubted even his own spawn could end her. Well... existence was about to become very interesting, wasn't it? "Ho─ you seem no worse off than ever. I take it you're satisfied," he said, wondering at this point if he had indeed simply written over the curse of Jason in her mind.

  2. #142
    A second use of Excalibur, which he tried to defend against. She wasn't sure if she'd actually managed to hit him, but when the dust settled, it became obvious he'd been engulfed. That little smirk returned to her face right up until he started walking towards her. Curiosity burned behind those blue-green eyes. Why was he walking this way? What did it take to kill a man like him? There was a weird feeling in her, like the desire to end this man was some kind of instinct. But not one of her current being... one of her former self. She was so stunned that he was moving towards her, she was practically frozen. Oh... he was reaching out, she should cut him, right? A simple caress. His hand could cup her entire head, if he had the strength he could crush her, but he didn't. How strange. He had something to say... she was abominable. She was defying him... she was forgiven for her actions? Why would she want to be? She almost questioned aloud. Those eyes were dim, he might actually die? Did she want that? Kind of. Jeanne watched closely as her sister didn't make the moves necessary to completely murder this man. Perhaps there was some hope for him yet... even if he didn't realize it. He said farewell and that it was fun. For just a moment, just a second... that little upturn of Saber's lips returned. "Yes, it was fun..." she admitted. They'd been having quite a bit of fun, but then he collapsed.

    Artoria stood her sword still in her hand looking at the body of her opponent. There was a battle taking place once more. This time inside the mind of Saber. The assassin that was her original self, wanted to take her sword and stab the man through ending his existence. Her current self said, mercy given in honor of a commendable battle. Which would win? Could she properly crush that part of herself which wanted the true victory? Bloodlust was unbecoming of a Queen. And he'd just used her title to finish speaking to her. A deep breath and she exhaled. She opened her left hand and her sheathe came back to her, she slid Excalibur home within it. Another deep breath, and her eyes shifted towards the remaining people. Siduri and Rider. "If you will heal him... do so. Just keep him out of my way... if you can," she said before turning her eyes to Rider. "I assume you do not wish to engage?" she asked of the long haired woman. "Um, no. You protected me and you didn't have to... I have no qualms," she said. Her own hands thrown up in surrender and a bow of her head incoming. Nice. No more random slayings necessary. "Farewell," she said as she walked off. "Come on Emi... you have a grail to collect~" she said as if she hadn't simply overpowered the competition for no reason whatsoever. They'd take off at a walk, with Siduri giving a gentle bow as she did. Jeanne D'Arc jumped at her name and scurried off with her sister... she'd seen the lass hesitate, and she'd never seen that happen before. Perhaps the Golden King was in a better position than he thought. Whatever the case, they headed off. Siduri on the other hand, had a green light engulf her hand. She knelt at the king's side and uttered a single statement. "Gula's Mercy," she murmured as she healed him. No death would take him today... he wasn't allowed to die at the moment. Beyond all of that... he was quite literally responsible for an entire kingdom, dying over a cup and not being able to stand down wasn't really allowed. He couldn't learn if he died.

    At the same time, Medea was impregnated without much of an issue. She seemed no worse off than ever, she finally set up properly. "Yes, I am plenty satisfied," she mentioned while sitting up. "Ah, and I feel strangely light. Did you actually help me?" she seemed a bit surprised by that fact. No more pull towards crazed. No desire to hunt down and do things for Jason. Just a memory. A bad memory, a terrible set of circumstances but no longer did she feel inclined to do anything for his sake. No longer did she feel anything for him. Not love, not hate, not care... just nothing. She looked to Merlin. Oh... she could go again, but she didn't feel like it was more than that either. For the first time in her life she felt... "I'm free."

  3. #143
    Fun. Why didn't he realize that during all of that conflict, he was managing to have fun? He'd never have resorted to the things he did without being sufficiently entertained. At no point was it necessary for Gilgamesh to sully his own hands, if not for the sake of enjoying the thrill of combat. The rush of blood through his veins, the thought of accessing his treasury only out of necessity... it was all something he'd known only once before. Now, it was over. Where was Enkidu? Surely if he was to die here, his friend would be the first face, the first voice to greet him in Irkalla. Yes... of this there was no doubt. Even Kur herself could not stop their meeting from being the first occurrence within her domain; he was certain. Whose voice was that, then? It was not Enkidu. It was not Kur. It was... something far more recent, and more... alive. Yes, alive─ just as he was. Why? Obviously, those mongrels below glorious Uruk had capable enough representatives, so why did he have to persist? Why could he not be allowed to find Enkidu? A curse upon that wine-maker, he thought as consciousness slipped from his grasp again.

    Meanwhile, Merlin was slowly retreating from the clutches of Medea in more ways than one. Bit by bit, he slid his way out, while Medea herself wondered if she'd been helped. A decision was soon made. There was some latent desire within the woman, but no sense of necessity for it. As such, Merlin's proportions returned to normal over time, and both of their clothes would do the same. She proclaimed her freedom, which meant there was but one thing to do. One step forward put Merlin in range again. As the bounded field he produced faded away, he took Medea by the neck and whispered into her ear. "Then my job here is done. Oh, but one more thing... Myrddin Emrys," he said prior to vanishing. He'd leave her with another curse, though not one of a malicious nature. The true name of Merlin had been shared, but with a few conditional clauses. It was to be forgotten, buried in the deepest reaches of Medea's dreams and passed along only to the child. Of course... Merlin being the sort of deviant he was, gave an additional allowance for temporary memory, just in case the woman's desires became overwhelming at any point in the future. Such was his way, after all. . .

  4. #144
    Well it was obvious that Gilgamesh should persist, after all... he was king above and had his own people to look after. Beyond all of that, Siduri saw his interest in Artoria and after seeing that young woman in action... she strangely approved of her. How interesting it was but she felt as if thinking such was the right thing to do. With Gilgamesh still unconscious. "It will be a while yet before he wakes. Would you like a drink?" she asked of Rider. Yes, Rider would be traveling along with Gilgamesh when he woke, why not? She'd already agreed to it, and she was sure he'd have questions. A place where she didn't have to hide her nature was all she sought and though the king seemed to be terrible at communicating his interest to the Queen of Knights... it was pretty clear to everyone else present his intent. "I'd love one," she said. And that would be how this trio ended the Holy Grail War.

    Ah but Artoria and Jeanne were on the move. After the fall of Gilgamesh a great light had descended and Jeanne hadn't even needed magic to find it. "Eri-nee, did you really have fun?" she asked of the other blonde lass. And for her part in this Artoria actually smiled again. More than that little upturn of her lips this time. Around any of the other Hoshimi, Artoria was likely to be more herself than any other time. "Yes, I did. Weird as he was... that was a great fight," she said of Gilgamesh. "It is no bother though... getting to see you would have been enough for me. So, how does this, grail work?" she asked of her sister. "It fills, I drink... it interfaces and gives me what I wish for, I think..." she said with a casual shrug. "The Angels said it would work that way... and I trust them." she said standing before the light. Her sister took up guard watching as a cup formed in this beam of light. She saw as Jeanne stepped into the light and the cup finally reached her outstretched hands. Alright, Artoria could draw some conclusions based on this. It needed filling and inside from the looks of it, was a golden glowing liquid. Jeanne took a moment to look at it, before downing the Grail's contents. It tasted sweet like wine or mead but there was power in it as well. How interesting. In the same moment the strength of that golden beam would brighten and Jeanne would find herself in the white space, known as the Nexus.

    At the same time, Medea and Merlin were separating their bodies, their clothes were returning and all seemed well. But after such a space was put between them, it was closed again. She felt a hand upon her neck and words spoken directly into her ear. But just as soon as they were said, they disappeared from her consciousness. The bounded field was broken, she was free of her life-long curse and now... needed to begin thinking about her child. How strange, she also needed to help Heracles whenever he respawned. She'd keep an eye out for him. Tracking down a single demigod wasn't really a hard thing to do. And with one look upward she saw the light that could only be the holy grail. It seemed as if everything had worked out in its own time.

  5. #145
    One king slept, while another "king" behaved as mere escort to she who would possess the Holy Grail. That escort had an escort of her own, though, and he was soon to appear as if he'd never gone anywhere at all. He walked alongside Artoria with pep in his step, a casual grin on his face, and general high spirits overall. "It definitely seemed like something resembling fun to me. Congratulations," he said, joining the conversation without a hitch. Leaving little time for hullabaloo, Merlin trained his eyes on the grail during the approach. "Spawned already then, eh? I thought I would get to see more than one or two battles today. You didn't even get Rider's pass~" he added. Well, it seemed that sort of thing wasn't necessary at all. The Grail manifested, and Jeanne D'Arc herself laid claim to it. What an interesting turn of events. Merlin had seen a glimpse of Camelot's queen laying claim to a Holy Grail, but perhaps it was never meant to be this one. No, Jeanne was the one to take it, as she was the one to drink from it and be transported to dimension even Merlin could not see through.

    Jeanne's transportation led her to a seemingly empty space, nothing but a white void surrounding her. All around though, there was the sensation of other presences similar in quality to her own... which would happen to undergo a change that made such a statement true. By the time she left this space, gone would be Jeanne D'Arc in her previous state. She would join the likes of... three others. Yes, there were only three at present, but the space felt of nigh infinite quantities. In addition to this sensation and the alteration of Jeanne, there was a male voice almost fabricated in quality. It was not quite audible, instead being delivered directly into the woman's mind. "Another reaches this plane. Only one this time? Very well. What is your desire?"

  6. #146
    Artoria acted as an escort for her younger sister, who claimed the Holy Grail, at the same time, Merlin popped back up, after disappearing for a few moments. That wasn't at all outside of his normal, the fact that he was always in such a good mood, usually caused extreme agitation in Artoria but in a moment like this she was pleased enough to ignore his state for the most part. "Merci~," Jeanne said before she was carted off. Artoria on the other hand, didn't need the congratulatory statement, nor the commentary on her fun. "It was an easy job," she said with a casual eye roll. "As for not needing Rider's pass, I am pretty sure Archer is worth more than the rest of us... at least that would make sense considering his level is higher," she said. Oh once again that small smile came to her face, why? Because she'd overcome odds and was able to help her sister, as such she couldn't have been more pleased than she was currently. It was only a little annoying, if she'd fought him first, she definitely could have done with with way less violence than there ended up being.

    At the same time, the Nexus was currently chatting with Jeanne. Well, that wasn't right, within this infinite space she was being confronted by a voice she couldn't see, and the words it spoke made her pout. "What?! We could have both taken it?!" she said seemingly shocked. "Good thing Eri-nee likes a fight..." she murmured. She was going to have to tell her when she returned that she would be able to take one and maybe for someone else. Though admittedly she had no idea who else her sister would enjoy putting up in such a way. "I want, to facilitate raising an order of knights to protect the world. I want them all connected and united under a single organization. Holy Knights. I wish to help lead upright individuals to the power to help them protect and fight the things they need to, that's my wish." she said to the Nexus. The girl was holding her hands together, as if in prayer. Of course, her wish wasn't at all selfish, it was simple, she wanted to do the right thing for the world.

  7. #147
    Merlin looked as aloof as always. He appeared to be listening to about half of Artoria's words, though he was actually rather attentive at the time. An easy job, was it? Artoria was so adorable when she showed signs of the merciless murderer for hire resting just below the surface of a knight. "Easy, was it? Maybe you should have a rematch~" the sorcerer stated, a strange sense of knowledge just behind his eye. A proper battle between that pair would destroy a continent at minimum. He'd seen the King of Uruk at peak potential in the past, and he'd seen the signs of Artoria's peak as well. That would be one hell of a show, he thought. Ah, but there was a certain understanding Artoria still did not possess. What was all this talk of levels? "Still thinking in levels, my king? One day," he mused without intending to give a single additional detail.

    Meanwhile, Jeanne D'Arc interfaced with what many would happily consider the god above gods. She did not know it was possible for two victors to exist at once? "Previously, there were two. To share a drink from the Grail is to share its blessing, and all that accompanies," the voice stated. Now then, onto Jeanne's wish. Strangely, her wish was a selfless sort. She wanted nothing resembling power, nor fame, nor fortune─ all things that could be granted to those with a Holy Grail. Her contribution to this world would be a great one indeed. "Jeanne D'Arc, Saint. Become the Queen of Saints with this wish, and lead the Holy Knights of this world to the salvation they deserve. The Holy Grail is yours. Carry in it the sense of justice you, and claim your place amongst the stars." These words were delivered, and the Nexus' blessing was cast upon the Lancer. Upon receiving it, the identity she possessed would be Lancer no more. No, she would henceforth classify as Ruler, should she not reject that portion of the blessing.

  8. #148
    Right. Artoria remembered why she hated speaking to Merlin. There was a certain quality to his tone which gave Artoria murderous thoughts. "Maybe one day... not today. Let me enjoy my honorable victory, and my little sister's happiness..." she said with a softness in her voice that didn't normally exist. Well, most would say that Artoria didn't enjoy things, but that wasn't true, today... she'd smiled. But according to Merlin she was still thinking wrong for her understanding of the world. "If there is some other way to measure, I am open to the knowledge. If you do not plan to give it... do not be coy about it," Artoria's words were polite but there was always the underlying threatening nature of a woman who killed people for a living. Yes, she was a knight and honor-bound by her own doing, but that didn't mean she was a safe target for teasing.

    Jeanne was briefed by this voice on the nature of the previous victors. According to the voice two could share, if they wished to, but it required sharing all that the blessing entailed. "Oh? Well, I suppose that would be fine for a couple, but I prefer a bit more separatism between my sister and me," she said with a curt nod, not that she expected an answer of that sort. Jeanne was pronounced the Queen of Saints. And was given the ability to lead the Holy Knights to salvation. Free to claim her place among the stars. "Merci~" she thanked the Nexus for its favor. "Oh? One last question I guess, what do I do if I don't run a country? How to I take my place?"

  9. #149
    "Go ahead, enjoy! That was an achievement worth celebrating. You're the first to ever claim victory over King Gilgamesh, and I do believe... the first to tell him no as well," Merlin stated. Artoria had every reason to take satisfaction in her victory, and in her sister's claim to fame. As for the minor issue of her believing levels truly mattered to something like the Holy Grail, well... that was something he'd purposely gone without explaining for quite some time. Would he do so now? Perhaps he would, if only slightly. "There is always a way to measure. Of course, levels do matter to some extent... but the world doesn't care about that. The quality of a soul is the most important thing in this world, to my understanding. I planned on explaining that to you whenever you're done cooking~♥" was all he offered.

    Jeanne did not share an interest in dividing the grail's rewards, though it was also not for any selfish purpose. Separatism was noble in some cases; this was such a case. Regardless, there was another question from the new Queen of Saints. In the first Holy Grail War, the winners were already in possession of a country to raise with them. Word had spread, and it seemed to have become understood that such a thing was required. In fact, it was no requirement at all. "As Ruler, your place is earned. Your predecessors were allowed to raise their country because it was registered to them, but you who have nothing, may now find a place of your own in Sanctuary. My Hero, it is your King that you must speak with. He will be the first key."

  10. #150
    Merlin seemed genuinely congratulatory. According to him, her victory was worthwhile, she was apparently the only person to fell King Gilgamesh in combat, but also apparently the first to tell him no. Really?! "Truly? No one has told him no before? It is a wonder what people get up to in this world... no wonder he seemed so shocked," she said seeming to give it a bit of thought. Though she'd been an assassin, she had been trained to understand human condition and personality, if only to make it easier to kill people. In the case of the king she fully understood he was a pompous person (though he'd earned it), the idea that no one else ever spoke against him didn't bode well for him as a person. Admittedly it only made her wonder if he'd come back for the sake of avenging his bruised ego. Well, that would be fine, but she should assume that wouldn't necessarily come easily, as such she'd make sure she continued her own training for that eventuality. Merlin apparently didn't plan to share the information he had until she was 'done cooking' whatever that meant. He always said that in reference to her, as if she wasn't a whole enough person yet. Regardless, the quality of the soul was according to him was more important than level, though levels weren't completely useless. "I suppose that is more useful than what you normally have to say..." she said seeming to be pensive. How much more would she need to train to guarantee her first victory against Gilgamesh wouldn't be the only one she managed?

    Meanwhile Jeanne was having a misconception of her life cleared up. Apparently, they didn't need to have a country to ascend. Apparently you could be granted a country upon your ascent. That was interesting and good news. She knew her sister would have a country of her own to raise, but not having to piggy back completely would be good for Jeanne. "Well, it's nice I can get a place once I get there... but, my king? Do I owe allegiance to someone?" she asked. Well, it was better to get such questions out of the way ahead of time. She had to prepare, gather knights, and be ready to make her country with what she had.

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