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Thread: Finis Chaldea

  1. #251
    "Hmph," was the only utterance Gilgamesh offered to Jeanne's proclamation. Vigilance was necessity in the current state of Chaldea, by none more than himself in one way, and by none more than one of Jeanne's ilk in an entirely different sense. As years passed in the realm above, darkness swept the land in various ways. Gilgamesh looked beyond the visage of the Queen of Saints, and determined that her type was necessary, yet undeserved for the masses of Finis Chaldea. The world at large would grasp and claw at her very core. It would aim to tear her limb from limb, and its first targets would be mind and soul. Perhaps the title Queen of Saints would serve her well... but it would just as easily destroy her, as the King of Heroes saw it.

    It seemed Artoria had graced this world with her presence for approximately one century. She spoke of the sword Caliburn restricting her age in the physical sense, but otherwise, she was the older of the siblings standing before him. Well... such a restriction had to be rather easy to overcome, he believed. If she was meant to be older, and a being of this world, surely it was she who'd been meant to bear the form he foresaw. Why could he have seen her that way, if it was no longer a possibility? He seemed to see many potential futures, not simply that which would undoubtedly occur. In recent times, he'd discovered the ability to guide himself in the direction of an ideal outcome─ but where was the eventuality of that buxom bride who could wear no eyes but those? He had to look deeper, to find everything hidden within Artoria's core. Once that piercing gaze bypassed her perpetually young body, what he found was... nothing with such a name. "You possess the Holy Sword, Excalibur, and the Armor of the Uncrowned King. Where is this Caliburn you speak of if it has such ability?"

  2. #252
    Ah, he had nothing else to say. Everyone had about that reaction as well. It was like they worried for her well-being beyond the norm. Of course, she was quite used to that amount of worry, she was the youngest child. Given this she simply smiled as she always would. They really didn't need to worry so much, even so Artoria looked over at her younger sister and sighed. Truly the world at large didn't deserve her, and Jeanne herself would never truly get why other people said such a thing. Perhaps this was why she could be called Queen of Saints. Valuing others above yourself was a special brand of martyrdom that most would never know, and one Eri didn't initially intend for her younger sister.

    But what was this? Apparently the Golden King had more to ask about Artoria. Well, she was amused by the lions she was still petting so she would answer his inquiries about her nature. Of course, she had no idea why this was being asked of her, but explaining to someone who'd have to deal with her the nature of her as a creature wasn't really a problem. "That is a cheat amount of information to be able to see about a person," she commented before answering his question. "The Sword of Proving, Caliburn was the first sword I picked up. It is the reason I could be recognized as Queen eventually," she explained of herself. "But I was young when I picked it up, and I broke it with my actions..." she explained of the situation. Still petting those lions there was just a hint of nostalgia behind her eyes. "I miss that sword. But because I broke it I no longer carry it," she said. "I used my spear to slay the dragon Vortigern, and was handed Excalibur at a later time when I needed a sword," that was all the explanation Artoria was willing to offer. But the armor she wore made her sister frown deeply. "Why are you wearing the Armor of the Uncrowned King? You were crowned, upgrade or at least wear the headpiece," she said to her sister. "I am not interested in having a crown be in my way," Artoria's words made her sister scoff. But it made a great deal of sense. "Well, that explains the hair at least."

  3. #253
    Cheating, was he? Nonsense. It was only sensible that one of his magnitude possessed the ability to see all that she was, and all that she could be. His response would be a... simple one. "It is natural that I, Gilgamesh, see into the depths of your soul. Just as all things of value in this world originate from my treasury, all gifts bestowed upon mankind are mere replicas of my own abilities," he stated. Though pompous even as a casual mention, there was nothing but truth to his words. He'd once told this very same woman that all treasures in this world belonged to him, and when she spoke of Caliburn as the Sword of Proving, he raised a hand to indirectly grant a sample of proof. "H'oh?" Three Divine Gates appeared around the king, each one producing a magnificent blade in sequence. First was the original and strongest model of the "Sword of Proving" which, to Gilgamesh's knowledge, did not exist outside his treasury. "This one?" he asked, though a similar yet slightly less ornate weapon of more demonic origins soon emerged from the second gate. "This one?" he asked again. The second sword had been copied just once, at which point it was re-forged with demonic influence. Such a weapon would be seen as a rival to Excalibur and Merodach in some cases, but alas... the third sword to show itself had been forged in the second's mold, made golden and more ornate than either of its predecessors. "Or perhaps this?" Three swords were displayed, yet Gilgamesh knew only one of them by name: Merodach. Still, it was worth putting on display. Perhaps there was another of that one out in the world somewhere, renamed on its path as Caliburn.

  4. #254
    Artoria's eyes flickered over Gilgamesh in the moment. The words he spoke gave her a certain degree of animosity, but perhaps that was its own form of appreciation. One could say that there was once a time in Artoria's life when she could have spoken a similar sentence about her own skills in one aspect or another. Rather, she would have killed someone questioning her prowess and moved on with her day as if nothing was amiss. Jeanne on the other hand had never heard such a sentence she laughed aloud knowing he was absolutely serious. "Haha..." she covered her own mouth immediately though there was quite a bit of glee present in those sapphire eyes of hers. "I'd like to wake a single day with that sort of confidence..." she mentioned. She was quite sure that was absolutely inhuman.

    Whatever the case, Artoria's endorphin rush was on the way down. Still petting big cats was among her favorite things to do, so she'd continue for a while yet. And what was this, glowing portals appeared around Gilgamesh each of them producing a sword each one similar yet ever so slightly different. Was he aiming to figure out which one was the one she spoke of? He'd once said all treasures in the world belonged to him, she supposed in the moment he actually meant it, but that didn't make it any less annoying for her. "You really have everything... that is absolutely cheating," she said in a manner most resolute. She'd decided in this moment the reason he thought so highly of himself was a combination of his own random wealth in this time, and his lack of competition. It is really easy to lose track of humanity when you are surrounded by worship. As for the swords she studied each her right hand opened gently and then closed as she withdrew it. She pointed towards the one he'd shown which was most ornate in nature. "That one, seems to be the most like Caliburn... sword drawn from the stone, which grants agelessness to the one who picks it up. Proving who should become King or something like that... I really loved that sword," she said that last part softly, that extra nostalgia was quite real in the moment. She'd actually legitimately been heartbroken when she'd damaged it beyond repair. "Your attachment to your weapons is still a bit ridiculous... though I understand, it's alright, Eri-nee~" said Jeanne. She knew her sister was a bit fanatical about weapons and their usage, but that was a habit created before.

  5. #255
    Jeanne spoke of confidence, while Gilgamesh spoke only truth. It was blatantly obvious to him that his abilities and possessions were all the mark of human capacity. Just the same, it was officially his place in the world to observe how humans developed those things once they got their hands on them. Artoria herself had proved such a development when they battled. Now, she proved only that her broken sword was a mere replica of something that belonged in his collection. When she gazed upon the blade, she did so with longing. Gilgamesh reached out to take that third sword into his hand, at which point he viewed it while keeping the brunt of his focus on the Queen of Knights. There really was no mistaking those eyes. If anywhere in this world there was such thing as an emerald flame, there it was, connected directly to her optic nerves. To think his vision had been anyone else would be a sin. So then, why would he even consider stopping his pursuit of her? There she was, petting a lion well beyond the point of it being entertaining, while the two of them had a strangely civil discussion. How could things go south from there?

    "Of course it broke. Look at it! As well as being the third generation of my Merodach, this is clearly an ornamental sword barely fit for true combat. It is but a king's trophy, the proof of a warrior ruler that can not be seen in some paltry crown. Any beneath the sovereign have no right to touch such a marvel as this." Gilgamesh offered this speech while holding out this Caliburn, not in offering but as a method of viewing both it and Artoria simultaneously. The way she saw this sword was quite similar to the way he saw her, strangely enough. Ah, but that would only last so long on both counts. "Hmph. Perhaps this blade will act as our altar one day, and the ceremony's conclusion shall come as you draw it as your replacement for that broken thing. When all that is done, I will exemplify for you what is truly unfair about the King of Heroes~"

  6. #256
    Artoria had been petting the lion well past her initial infatuation. That being said, she didn't dislike it at all, it gave her something to do with her hands. Much like cleaning weapons used to, it gave her an outlet for energy she normally would have spent being, cross. Well, that wasn't entirely true, Gilgamesh took hold of the weapon she'd pointed out as being the one she thought of. And seeing it in his hand, she had a level of certainty, which made a small smirk appear on her face. Still, what was this? A claim was made that such a weapon was barely fit for combat, and that anyone not titled king shouldn't be allowed to touch it, a laugh escaped her then, they were obviously very different. "There is no way to prove being a warrior other than being one. There is no use in a weapon with a dull edge to prove sovereignty," she said. Jeanne chuckled, her sister hadn't changed much at all. "Besides, they may not have the right to hold it, but any can earn the right to die by it, in my hands..." she said at last. "Well, that used to be the truth..." Artoria said those words and meant them. She'd already broken that sword once, it would be unlikely for her to wield it again. At her current strength, she'd definitely shatter it.

    Artoria stood then, looking at Gilgamesh there was a smile on her face, but was it friendly? Yes or no? Somewhat. She didn't like what Gilgamesh had to say about their apparent future wedding. Artoria hadn't scared him into submission with a near death experience? Maybe, if she had any understanding of her own feelings, she might have found that attractive. But, right now she didn't really. No, she found it annoying. "You annoy me, King Gilgamesh..." she said immediately. Respectful but spikey. Yes, that was the right word. The King of Heroes was an annoyance, though apparently a more than reasonable king so she could leave him be, respectfully. Still she had been turned away from Jeanne for a few seconds too long and she wasn't sure how her sister took his final statement. "Oi, Eri-nee..." she said which made Artoria turn around, holding up her hands in surrender as her armor returned to her person. "I really wouldn't you know... Saint of Restraint they should call you~" she mentioned in a joking manner. Of course her sister did know her well enough to know that there were circumstances which would make her draw a weapon immediately, but apparently pet therapy did a world of good for her. Beyond that, she was a woman of her word, but still, Hoshimi Emi had once been responsible for wrangling the lives of all of her siblings, such was a minor showing of this. "I won't be back for a while yet... perhaps between now and then you can re-evaluate your thoughts on me, I have a whole kingdom of my own to look after. I would not add you to it," she said peacefully. "Still, I would like to know what would make my upward transition easier on you... you are already drowning in paperwork," ah there it was. A smirk came to Jeanne's face, respectful distance, ignoring things she found annoying to get a job done with as little fuss as possible. That was Hoshimi Eri.

  7. #257
    Such innocence it took for one to find a ceremonial sword fit for combat in any way. No, that wasn't it at all; it wasn't innocence. What Artoria possessed just beneath the surface, right under the shell of chivalry she wore like a fine garb, there was... murder. The woman behind the Avatar was one who killed without remorse, without hesitation, and without a care that a tool which could kill, was not necessarily made to not kill. She would disrespect a treasure worth the entire world by thrusting it into someone's gullet. Upon having this realization, Gilgamesh grinned. They were more similar than Artoria could yet know, based on his lack of treasury key during their fight.

    Apparently, he managed nothing but to annoy the Queen of Camelot. As if he needed to be told that; it was written all over her face and demeanor. With a snicker, he tossed the original version of Caliburn aside, leaving it to vanish into his treasury along with the other two blades. "In time, Queen of Knights, your eyes will open," he proclaimed as if certain. In fact, he was. In seeing one future possibility and determining that he'd seen the bride Artoria Pendragon, it was almost by royal decree that he determined that future would come to pass. "Seek your grail and temper your knights. Your absence will be but a blink, though just as much an eternity." It seemed that was all there would be to their little back-and-forth. Artoria presented her request for information, but it mattered not. There was nothing he required of anyone to ease his own workload. This one bested him, and whether he was given handicap or not, such a feat certainly placed her leagues above anyone else in this world. As such, she could already be considered a citizen of Chaldea. Matters would eventually be brought to him regardless. What would he have to offer that would make her ascension easier, though? Well... "You are dismissed."

  8. #258
    Jeanne D'Arc watched as King Gilgamesh processed the words spoken by Artoria. Her sister, was being about as honest as she could be, in a moment like that. Hoshimi Eri was a killer without question. One who murdered for hire, and beyond that who did it without remorse because she was trained to do so. The fact that she managed to look normal to anyone at a glance was some sort of miracle. But there would be another miracle, Gilgamesh smiled upon figuring out that bit of information. Jeanne was sure he understood, sure he could see it... as clearly as any of the other Hoshimi could identify each other, he was aware that her sister was a murderer even before coming here and he smiled. Her brows drew up for a moment and then her face relaxed. King Gilgamesh was seeming a bit more interesting by the moment, and Jeanne though she'd said nothing was content to help him along on his journey to properly capturing the attention of her sister. If for no other reason than the fact that she eventually wanted to see her happy.

    Gilgamesh continued to refer to Artoria as the Queen of Knights, but she was managing to let that go for now. What else did he have to say? That she would eventually see? There was certainty, he was quite sure of himself. And... nothing of importance, she should do all the things she intended. He needed no help or no ease of transition. Fine, who was she to stop a man from working himself to death? He even commented on the time and then, dismissed her. That gentle upturn of her lips, an incline of her head, and an arm over her chest and she turned and walked away. A heartbreaking smile crossed Jeanne's face, as her sister had already walked off she gave King Gilgamesh the thumbs up and then joined her sister nudging her with an elbow. "I'm pretty sure one of those sentences could be translated to I'll miss you~" she teased. "I need a drink. And a dessert. I deserve both for not injuring anyone today," mentioned Artoria. And away they would go, but it was never that easy was it?

    A certain goddess watched all of the interactions happening here. And when it was obvious those two people were getting along, her crystal ball went flying, shattering into gentle dust as she began walking around. She hated walking around but she was technically pissed. How dare he have a little interest? At first he thought it was the not so boy looking one with the long ponytail, but there was obviously no interest there. And those two were obviously related so... that one she thought was a boy originally could grow up to be something annoying. Gilgamesh showed like and even amusement in all that garbage she spewed about weapons?! He liked girls with kick to them... well she'd have to make sure that one didn't have too much. Ah, but she couldn't kill her either, that would never turn out right. Ah, but that thing she'd set up in Greece had worked out fine, that guy had even killed his own wife afterwards, surely someone like Gilgamesh who'd killed her for nothing, wouldn't have any problem killing some worthless boy. Especially not after she was defiled by a bunch of other men. She just had to make sure that happened... her followers would do anything for her. And them getting to actually have sex would be well worth the extra effort. A wicked grin spread across the goddess' face. Nothing would get between her and what she wanted, not even a girl who didn't want what she was looking for. Sure, it didn't seem necessary right now, but letting her play coy for a while only to show care later would be terrible.

  9. #259
    In these parting moments, Gilgamesh observed the final gesture of Jeanne D'Arc. What sort of approval was that? Whatever the case, he needed none of it. King Gilgamesh did not make decisions to have them fall through. Sure, he did make decisions and see them through, only to have victory torn from his clutches at the very end... but that had only happened a few times, right? The worst that could happen in this case, was that he'd finally succeed before... oh. Right, there was always going to be a blade lodged deep within his back. The oh-so glorious goddess, Ishtar, would find a way to intervene at some point. She was probably seeing the very discussion so recently ended, the trifling, meddlesome bitch of a deity she was. All gods would soon enough suffer for allowing her persistence. The Age of Man would start with him. The Age of Gods would end with him. Ishtar would end, period.

    The wheels of fate were turning with increased rapidity as Gilgamesh returned to his work. The second Holy Grail War had only been over for a few short weeks, and the third was already a preordained matter as far as the world itself was concerned. Alas, it would be far less than the time it took for the next war before Artoria was affected by Gilgamesh in some way. Ishtar's scheming was a product of her strange obsession with the king. Ah, but the way she tended to go about things would not work. At some point, the goddess would find herself face-to-face with Artoria Pendragon of Camelot. Perhaps his meeting with the woman would come first, but Ishtar's typical methods would only gain her the ire of another individual she should not want opposing her.

  10. #260
    The goddess Ishtar had a plan to have the Queen of Knights violated, while the Queen of Knights was unaware. Irrespective of divine plots, after reaching the lower realm, Artoria was preparing her own knights. She stood in the training grounds making her decisions. She'd already tested the people Jeanne wanted tested and now, she was standing before her own knights to tell them of her trip, and their newest potential job duties. Regardless she had to prepare the whole of Camelot and to that end she needed to speak with the mage known as Merlin. His help would be necessary either now or later, she supposed it would be fair to let him decide which. She was still in a relatively good mood with him, since his meddlesome behavior had led to her meeting up with her younger sister once more. There was a Holy Grail to win, but there was also a kingdom to prepare and knights to get to work. All manner of experience would make them better men, so as she stood in her dress and armor she'd wait for the gathering as normal to begin her speech about their coming efforts. This time of year, Camelot was a bit chilly, she had over her shoulders a large cape as well, though she'd shed it instantly if she found the need. The air was crisp, the sun was barely peeking over the horizon and she seemed almost serene.

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