Avalon (205)

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Avalon

The fortified city of Avalon was built in the image of Camelot, the city of the Knights of the Round Table and Galahad, founder of the Radiant Order of Surgebinders. Originally Avalon was simply a headquarters for the first Radiant Knights, nothing more than a mere base. But overtime the base grew into a fortress and castle, which then saw to a sprawling city to be founded under its protection. Today the Radiant Order resides in Avalon; its towering white marbles towers can be seen for miles to the east and west, even from the mainland. Avalon has seen countless wars which the Radiant Order has interceded in. Much like Last Bastion, it is a rare place of order and safety in the sprawling chaotic lands that is Tobusekai.


Avalon is considered a Clan Sanctuary; it cannot be directly claimed and members of the Surgebinder clan may spawn their biography into the Ninja World here.
 

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Swapped NW Bios during the interim. Spawning here with my Surgebinder bio; Shirō Emiya.




Shirō experienced an increasingly familiar sensation as he bid the Stargazer who swore a sacred oath to observe farewell, and his body was flooded with Prana, casting him out of the isolated temple, and out into the aether. It wasn't until he had already vanished from sight and mind that he realized he had no idea where he was going, or more precisely, where he would end up. Would he reemerge at the last place he was, before all of the complicated dimension-hopping he had done, from the real world to the Throne via a pocket dimension, then whatever that lonesome structure was, or was it based on thought, envisioning a location, then suddenly appearing at it? It was far too late to think it over now, as he was already in transit. There wasn't anything he could do but hold on tight, and hope that, wherever he appeared, the landing wasn't too bad. To his surprise the "falling sensation he had experienced dissipated as he materialized, unsure of where exactly it was. Temporarily blinded by a radiant sun overhead, all he could make out were endless verdant fields of grass. They stretched out as far as he could see, and no doubt beyond. It was a beautiful sight to behold, but thankfully, the best was yet to come. As his eyes adjusted to the light, he began to make out some structure behind him. It wasn't clear at first exactly what it was, but Shirō soon realized it was a wall of some description, that description being colossal in stature, and pristine in it's facade. White walls that stretched up high into the heavens, and were emblazoned with holy crosses, and finished with majestically carved battlements. As he strode away from the wall, over it's edge, the further he walked, the more he could make out a spire-like structure, with many more coming into view the further from the chalky defensive structure he got. It wasn't clear at first, but now Shirō knew exactly where he was; Avalon. Home of the Knights Radiant, a beacon of justice in the nigh lawless lands to the East, Tobusekai. A reasonable distance from the walls of Avalon, now he could make out both a road, and an entrance. A magnificent pair of gates that towered as high as the walls themselves, while it was faint, he could see people gathered near the entrance of the gates, though from as far as he was, Shirō couldn't make out anything about the group. As such, he endeavored to find out exactly what kind of place Avalon was, so with all haste, he made his way to the Gates.

Upon approaching the grand entrance, Shirō noted that the commotion wasn't one borne from fear, or anger, but of uproarious, jovial laughter. He could soon make out what appeared to be tents, and stalls, the stark majority of which seemed to be selling various wares, all while the vendors of running these makeshift shops hailed the impeccable condition and reliance of their goods. While there was slanderous comments, they always seemed to be in jest, as the merchants all seemed to know one another, or took the words as some of compliment, rather than bursting into a pissing contest as to whose wares were actually better. Shirō was well and truly overwhelmed by the sight, as he was bombarded with offers of sales of the finest fruits, jewels, weapons, and so on. It was getting to be far too much to simply get into the city of Avalon, for each step brought in boundless opportunities for him, with offers that he apparently couldn't refuse. As he grew nearer to the gate, a man stood before him, a wide a smile as a man could ever have, draped in fine fabrics that seemed more practical for the Eastern continent, protecting him from the sun's harsh gaze. As the man gave Shirō a thorough looking over, clearly noting Shirō's condition, as he still donned the outfit that became shredded as a result of his prior engagement with the "Ainsworth's trump card". As the mans eyes narrowed, eventually he wiped the analytical, borderline untrusting expression for his previous, more "jolly" one, and addressed the haggard looking young man;


"Well well, what do we have here? What business would a child like yourself have with the Holy City of Avalon, hm? Do you seek justice from the Knights within for some wrongdoing that befell you perhaps?"

"Not exactly. See, these wounds are from a previous fight, I just haven't had time to change out of them... Hahaha... As for why I'm h-"

"Oh, is that so!? Well then, can I interest you in some new clothes? Only the finest from 'Honest Suruhan', and I promise to give you a good deal too. What do you say?"

"Actually I'm flat broke. Don't have a single Ryō to my name." As he started to feel some sense of embarrassment, Shirō began to scratch the back of his head in the hopes the apparently pushy Merchant would take the hint, and leave him alone. "Haha, sorry, so if you'll excuse m-"

"Hmph, in that case, I'll take everything you have on you. Don't worry, I am a generous man, so I'll give you 10% of the market value. Quite a fair deal, wouldn't you say?"

As the merchant said this, a number of individuals who had previously been perusing wares at nearby stalls quietly turned around and surrounded Shirō. While the situation itself was blatant, Suruhan kept his tone just polite enough, and his voice just low enough as to not draw any unwanted attention.

"So that's how it is, huh? Strike up conversation with visitors, and offer them your goods, and when they refuse, or can't purchase anything, you intimidate them, and take everything they have? Hate to admit it, but that's one lucrative and effective scam you've got going on here... Must work pretty well on traveling merchants, and visitors."

"Glad to see you're aware of the situation. Now, if you'll dispense with the idle chatter, and start with the dispense of whatever valuables you possess, we ca-..."

"Unfortunately for you, there's two major flaws in this little operation 'Suruhan'. First, it isn't particularly effective on people who have no valuables. Secondly, and more importantly, it's especially useless against someone who can defend themselves when presented with this ultimatum of yours."

As Shirō said this, a small bout of chuckling erupted amidst the cries of countless other, "fairer" merchants selling their wares, as the individuals surrounding Shirō quietly drew forth small blades from their garments, unsheathing them just enough that he could see they were armed, but not so much as to cause alarm, or otherwise panic the other customers in the area. At the same time Suruhan sported a far more bombastic grin in response to Shirō's words, seeing as he was completely unarmed, surrounded, and seemed to still be suffering from the wounds he received from this apparent fight. If he was injured as badly as his body seemed to indicate, he couldn't have been that tough, could he?

"That's an impressive poker face you have there, young man, but we both know that you're unarmed, surrounded and outnumbered. Why don't you just play along, and save yourself the hassle?"

As if in response to his demeaning words, the very ground beneath Suruhan, as well as the individuals under his employ, felt a sudden jolting sensation, as though something fell onto it from a great height. The minor distraction that sensation caused was enough to take all eyes off of Emiya for just a moment, yet that was all he needed to immediately appear before the shifty Merchant, a blade still hissing with a sparkling, cold energy from it's projection, held mere inches from his throat. With one move, he could end the Merchant's life, however, not a speck of killing intent came from the young man, whose face was as sincere as it was before the Merchant even approached, casually smiling at Suruhan, with another blade in his off-hand, ready to defend himself from any would-be attackers from the group.

"I said I didn't have any valuables, not that I was unarmed. And while may you have me outnumbered, I'm pretty sure I could take you all on, no sweat. You guys shake down travelers for a living from the look of it, so I bet you've never fought a hard battle a day in your lives. Problem is, there's regular people here who just want to live their lives, so if I start fighting with you it'll ruin their day, people might even get hurt. I won't let that happen."

"But... T-thats...!!" As Suruhan swallowed his words out of fear for his life, he felt the sharpened edge of the blade pointed straight at his neck. One wrong move, and he knew his life would be over, despite the young man's face providing all evidence to the contrary.​

"Your days of shaking down innocents are over. I don't know if it's because you're sneaky, or if the Knights in the city have more important things to take care of, but it ends today, got it?"

"Y-yeah!!"

Shirō then let go of the blades in his hands, which evaporated into nothing before their eyes. As he turned around, the group surrounding him took some steps back, flinching at the thought that they were next. "Then we're done here. Thanks for the discount, but like I said, I'm broke, so I'm going to have to pass this time." Shirō walked passed Suruhan, patting him on the shoulder as he did so, quietly stating under his breath that he would be watching. He then casually continued walking on the great road that led into Avalon, ready to see what kinds of people the Knights Radiant were.
 
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Coming from here.

Having followed the tugging, Tabris--or XVII, now--had now arrived on strange lands. Though he still wasn't familiar with Earth and its different zones yet he knew this was someplace completely novel due to its sparsity in both wildlife and human presence. His guess was, this was some forgotten place that became abandoned in the light of some sort of tragedy. That or everything feared his and Adam's presence and went into hiding. Either way, he was alone for now.

He found an old, twisted tree and sat under it's shade to meditate. The past few days over sea was very taxing on his reserves and he needed time to recoup.


Mother awaits! You've no time to be resting!

He opened an eye, "I can't help Mother if I have no strength. Let me rest."

The voice did not reply.
 
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Walking through the parallel walls that framed the , Shirō felt like he was woefully unprepared for what lay before him, as the sheer scale of the gates had him at a loss for words. What lay beyond those pearly adamant defenses? He was determined to find out. Once he made it to the gates, which were wide open, indicating that the city, as per it's reputation took in all people it could in this harsh land, he saw that it opened up into a colossal, sprawling city in it's own right. Many of the buildings that were visible seemed to be converted barracks, armament stations, and other various forms of militaristic buildings, which made sense as Avalon originated as a simple HQ for the Radiants, which then became a fortified castle, and the city in it's current glory. This meant that the areas located in the outer circle, which were built most recently, were made with accommodations in mind, rather than combat functionality and efficiency. Still, seeing that something as simple as a base of operations could change over the years into something so vibrant, and crowded, it spoke volumes of the Radiants, and especially their leader, Galahad. It was with this knowledge, from the mouth of the bumbling Magus himself, that Shirō knew exactly where to head; the citadel-like Castle at the center of Avalon. It was practically visible from anywhere and everywhere within Avalon, making it both easy to locate, and travel to, as seemingly all roads lead to the center. This wasn't surprising, as the city itself grew from the center. It was simple, nature architecture in full effect. As he walked down the main road from the main gates, Shirō drew looks from a number of individuals, most likely remarking on his condition, or, as Suruhan did, wonder if he was here to seek the help of the Radiants. Shirō simply kept his head low to hide his flushed face, and kept moving towards the citadel. Upon arrival at the entrance to the citadel, two knights clad in heavy armor stepped forth and planted their heavy tower shields, and long bastard swords into the ground. Shirō had noted these "Holy Knights" on his way here, as they seemed to keep the peace in the city, however, these were more akin to sentries, or palace guards than simple roaming law keepers. As he saw them stand their ground upon his approach, Shirō halted in his tracks, and recoiled a bit. After a moment to give them a proper look over, he addressed one of the guards;

"Uh... Hello? I'm here to see Galahad, my name's Sh-"

"To receive an audience with the leader of the Knight's Radiant, one must possess an urgent cause.
State your business, or be on your way."


"Well, I don't really have any urgent business with him. It's actually a long, and funny story, but the short version is I'm a new recruit, I guess? I just arrived, so I figured the smart thing to do was to come here, and find out what comes next."

The pair of guards looked at one another, then gave Shirō a very long, drawn out look over, just like the Merchant from the gates. Their thought process couldn't have been anything other than "This pipsqueak? A Knight Radiant?", however Shirō kept the same expression, indicating his seriousness at the claim. As the guards began to stare in disbelief, one broke the awkward silence with a simple request.

"Forgive me, but if you truly are a Radiant, surely you would be able to prove it? We can't just let civilians walk around the citadel at their leisure. There have been attempts made on his Radiance in the past by people claiming to be new recruits, so I hope you understand. If you could produce one of their weapons, or perhaps transport yourself as they do, we'd have no qualms with granting you entry..."

"I'm still pretty new to this stuff, and my teacher was kind of a a bumbling idiot, the kind of man who'd trip over his tongue at every opportunity he had, so I can't do much with Prana at the moment. This is about as much as I can manage right now."

As he set up for what he considered to be a rather lackluster display of gathering, channeling and shaping Chakra, which at this point was infused with Prana, and thus was instilled with it's properties, the guards stood in awe at the appearance of Shirō's Prana, which was a deep azure, with glittering stars of silver shining within. The pair looked at one another, then back at the Prana, then back again. This continued for several moments before Shirō finally grasped the shapes he was envisioning, pulling forth a pair of blades, which the guards immediately believed were Noble Phantasms. As the twin blades sparkled and hummed with the crackling energy of Prana-infused Chakra, one guard took a heavy breath, while the other swallowed as hard as he could, as though his heart were trying to escape through his throat. They both believed they had just insulted a student of Galahad himself, as only he was known to produce a silver-colored Prana. While their enclosed helmets kept their expressions hidden, from their general body language and actions, it was clear they were fearful, as though they had just made the biggest mistake of their lives. Shirō was completely oblivious to this, and continued;

"Is this enough? Like I said, I'm not that familiar with it yet, cause I'm a new, but I've gotten pretty good at this."

"Y-yes sir, sorry sir!! You can go right ahead, sir!!"

"Sir? That's a bit too formal for me. Just call me Shirō."

"Sorry sir! I mean, wait... Shirō?" As the two guards look at one another, then whisper in hushed tones, one turns back and asked; "Where exactly did you say you were recruited?"

"I didn't, but now that I think about it, I guess it would have been at Mt. Enzō? Actually, wait, I don't think quite right. I was told that I-"

"You need to come with us. Right now."

As he was about to ask what was wrong, the two raised their hefty arms from their positions on the ground, about faced, then started to walk at a brisk pace. Based on the fact he was not being carried off forcibly, Shirō reasoned that he wasn't under arrest, or anything to that effect, so the request was just that, not a command, or demand, and he could, if he wished, most likely walk away if so inclined. Seeing as he was here to find out about the Radiants, and these men seemed to be offering him some direct line to someone in the chain of authority, he followed the request, and the guards. Higher and higher the trio climbed, the castle at the heart of Avalon being quite grandiose, and more importantly, expansive, as they scaled countless staircases, and walked through numerous grand halls, it was all Shirō could do to stave himself from boredom as he looked out over every hall, into every grand foyer, out on to every terrace or balcony, and see a stark uniformity to the castle's layout and aesthetics. The floors were of note, as they were checkered with a simple black and white design, which indicated at the Radiant's philosophy, that justice was monochrome. There was good one on side, and there was bad on the other. It was a philosophy that Shirō shared, yet in some strange way, also rejected, as there were cases when justice was more of a gradient. His recent endeavors against the Ainsworths were proof of this, as he did things he saw as "bad" to achieve what he considered a greater "good". To draw such thoughts from the mere scenery, Shirō was growing more and more uncomfortable with every new section of the castle he scaled, wondering just how far up they were going. Was he indeed being lead to Galahad as he requested? He would soon have his answer, as they walked down a hallway that lead to but a single door, so there was only one place for them to be headed, unless the guards would rather throw themselves from the tower, as their exaggerated movements seemed to gradually worsen the closer they got to the door. Their trepidation gave Shirō the impression that Galahad, the pillar of virtue that Merlin spoke of, ruled with an iron fist... As the three of them stood outside the ornate door, both trembling in fear, one forcefully nudged the other, remarking that they'd best just get this over and done with. A light clattering of armor betrayed their intent to knock, as a gravelly voice spoke from the other side of the threshold;

"*Sigh* Enter..."

The two guards jolted upright, as though a cold chill had crept up their backs, then grabbed Shirō by the shoulders, and dragged him forward, each opening a door with the other hand. As the door crept open, a long, drawn out creak echoed through the empty halls of Avalon, as another sigh, this time more exaggerated and deliberate, escaped from the room. As the doors were suddenly thrown open, a result of the guards overcompensating for the drawn out nature of their attempt up until that point, a loud clatter rang through the room, as Shirō caught the first glimpses of the first Radiant he'd met since he'd arrived.

"Knights Baratheus and Loyce reporting in, sir. We found the one that vanished after the Enzō incident, sir."

"Hm? Oh, that one. Good. The two of you may leave. You on the other hand, stay right there."

"Sir!!" the pair barked in response, before promptly evacuating the room with nary a hint of hesitation, leaving Shirō to face the man alone. He was clad in colors far darker than any Knight Emiya had seen up until this point. He wore a heavy set of blackened armor, while over his left shoulder was draped a navy blue cloak, with white trimmed fur. His expression wasn't exactly what one would call "inspiring" either, so it was rapidly becoming clear that this man wasn't actually Galahad. Truly, this man looked as though he had seen one too many wars, and winters if one were so inclined to comment, but Shirō was far too polite to make such a remark. Instead he watched the man, hunched over a large map of some description. As he looked closer, it was clear that it was a map of Tobusekai, with a carved chess piece that symbolized Avalon on the north west coast. He he looked over the map more thoroughly, there were countless red flags littering the east of the continent, and another piece to the North East of Avalon, a ship that was turned on it's side further up the Northern coast of the continent. It was clear from this that something was afoot in Tobusekai, but nothing else could be gleamed from mere glances, or without context as to what the chess pieces, or flags were marking. As the Knight straightened himself, he began to rub his temples, seemingly out of frustration, before he approached the Radiant-in-training with a far more menacing gait than necessary given the circumstances. Now, towering above Shirō, the man addressed him directly with a tone of sheer authority;

"So, you are the fledgling Radiant who disappeared without a trace from beneath the nose of none other than Galahad himself, as well as at least half a dozen other seasoned Knights? Hmph, you don't strike me as someone who could pull off such a feat. So, tell me, how did you manage it? You didn't use the Throne. The Knights, and Galahad especially, would have known it immediately. You must have had outside help, no?"

"I take it you're not Galahad then?"

"Goodness gracious, no. I could never live up to his 'Radiance'. Bah, that trifling revelry from the common rabble only grant weight to that man's legend, and heap yet more pressure on an already troubled mind... To answer your question however, no, I am not Galahad. I am one of his sword swords, Agravain. Now, I believe I asked you a question. How did you do it?"

Shirō remembered Merlin's sacred oath to never interfere, only to observe, so making anyone aware of his duty, or even his existence, would threaten it more than it had already been. His Temple had already been assaulted once, so whose to say it couldn't happen again? And with Merlin's distrust in anyone within the Knight's Radiant, besides Galahad, Shirō was inclined to lie.

"Whose to say I'm not more skilled than you've been lead to believe?"

The man closed the gap between the two, clearly angered by the dismissal of the question, as though it was an invitation for mockery. Upon his approach, the room grew cold, and dark, as though all the joy in the world had been swallowed up at that very moment, and the world itself was wrapped in cold, iron chains. He would refute the dismissal, and ask again;

"I have no idea what Galahad saw in you that lead to him personally rushing off to save you from certain oblivion, but I assure you, I am far less trusting than he, especially to those who do not respect the authority afforded to one through experience and rank. Now, I shall ask you again, and this time your answer will be swift, and respectful. Answer in a manner I deem unworthy, and you will be tried as a traitor and a spy. How did you disappear, where did you go, and why have you returned now?"

Shirō took a moment to consider his options. He simply couldn't betray Merlin's trust, so he put his improvisational skills, which were far more effective in a battlefield of blades than words, to the test. He took advantage of the fact that the two guards hadn't mentioned anything about Shirō's comments regarding a "teacher", so he did his best to work around the truth, and garnish it with simple lies, so as to not be caught up again, at least, without more effort than would be necessary.

"During my fight with my enemy at Mt. Enzō I sustained heavy damage, as you can very well see, sir. I have pacts with Summoning Animal Contracts, who could tell I was near death by my name disappearing from their records. They performed a Reverse Summoning, instantly transporting me to their location, to get me out of what they believed was a fatal situation, and see if they could heal me, sir. As for why it took me so long to return, they discovered that my wounds could not be healed, which I've recently been made aware is due to a Surgebinder's innate abilities. I simply couldn't travel in my state, and there was no way to Summon me back here, sir."

As he forced every "sir" from his mouth with as much respect as he could muster, Shirō tried his best to keep a straight face, though under the seemingly piercing gaze of Agravain, he thought he would crack, and be caught. But, after several moments, Agravain turned, and walked back to the war map. Each step was deliberate, and spawned it's own menacing echo. As he reached the strategic instrument, he responded in a quiet tone, with an underlying hint of distrust.

"Is that so? Very well. I suppose that will have to suffice... For now. Report to Aequitas at the barracks north of the Castle, but let it be known that your presence here will not go unsupervised. I am still not sure as to how you came to fall in Galahad's good graces, but trust me when I say I will be there to catch you when you fall from such magnanimous heights. And that fall will be a hard one. Now, you are free to leave...
And I suggest you remain as such."

The last words from Agravain's mouth were spoken as though they were a curse, or perhaps a threat, but seeing as he was off the hook for the moment, Shirō took the opportunity to leave, responding with a simple "Sir." as the Knights before him did. As he left through the far more weighty doors, closing them with as little of a racket as possible, he sighed to himself in unbelievable relief. How a man like that ever became associated with someone as apparently virtuous as Galahad was beyond him, but perhaps he was a necessary evil for Galahad's work, so Shirō left, following the labyrinthine series of stairwells and hallways he took to get to Agravain's office. Upon leaving via the same entrance, Shirō naturally ran into the guards who lead him there.

"Gods above, you're ali-I mean, are you okay?!"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Loyce and Baratheon, right?"

"It's Baratheus, but, erm... Sorry we left you in there alone with him. We were all given strict orders from Agravain to bring the one from Enzō to him immediately, if he ever showed up that is, and well, there you were. He's a pretty intimidating presence, as you could no doubt figure out for yourself, so disobeying an order from him...?" The Knight shuddered... "What did he want anyway?"

"He wanted to know how and why I disappeared. I've got Summoning Animals who thought I was dying, so they summoned me out. I guess he wouldn't let it go without knowing how it happened? I don't know... All I know is I never want to see him for as long as I'm here..."

"I know, right? That one's as cold as they come."

"I heard he' was a pretty skilled torturer and interrogator in his youth. Used to be infamous for chaining people up, and not stopping until they told him everything he wanted to know."

"I heard he once got a Hippo to scream for mercy, in human tongue no less!!"

"That's just a fairy tale meant to scare any would be assassins... I hope."

"This has been... An interesting first impression, but could one of you point me towards the barracks?
I'm supposed to head there and report to someone?"


"Oh, it's simple. Just head back the way you came, and about half way to the gate you'll see a building with flying buttresses. You can't miss it."

With a thanks, and an understanding nod at the shared fear of their apparent superior, Shirō then set out for the barracks. On the way back he drew as many inquisitive looks from people as he had on his way in, though again, he simply plodded along the road, keeping an eye out for any kind of architecture that stood out. Eventually he saw it, just where Baratheus has said it was, at the mid-point between the gate and citadel. As he approached the grand structure, and pushed open the door, the atmosphere within was completely different from the impression Agravain had left. While it wasn't chaotic, or disorganized, there was a general tone of joviality and camaraderie to the barracks, as numerous groups of Knights, or perhaps Squires, were gathered together, exchanging stories, and laughing amongst one another. Even as Shirō closed the door, which caused a mighty thud, none but a few broke eye contact from their peers to see what the noise was caused by, as the rest were thoroughly caught up in their stories and discussions. Even those who had averted their gaze from their peers quickly returned to them when they saw Shirō, not out of disrespect to him seemingly, but simply out of politeness to their peers. As he looked through the crowds of seated young men and women for anyone who appeared to be of some authority, he noticed, off to the side of the hall, a group of Knights adjusting their armor, as though they were about to leave. Gingerly weaving through the mass gathering of friends, and towards this group of armored Knights. As he approached, one from the group turned to face him, and seeing this, Shirō waved sheepishly, asking if Aequitas was around. The Knight took a moment to respond, but simply turned to the side, and held up a thumb pointing to a relatively young man with short, spiky blond hair, clad in a slightly more ornate set of armor than the rest of his peers. Shirō approached, and addressed him directly;

"Hey... Um, I'm Shirō. Agravain sent me, I'm supposed to report to you?"

"Ouch, that couldn't have been a pleasant meeting. You have my sincerest apologies for literally anything he said. He's pretty well known for being abrasive, but it's that adamance that helps keep these walls safe. Speaking of, you said you were to report to me, but we're actually about to go out on patrol. You'll have to wait for an introduction until we get back, unless... You want to come with us?"

"Is that allowed?"

"Not really, but we won't tell if you don't. It's just a routine thing, so there's nothing to worry about. That is, unless you're afraid?"

"Sure, but... I'm not exactly dressed for the part."

"You've got me there. Guess we'll just have to get you a set of gear then, won't we?"

Aequitas then snapped his fingers, and pointed to one of his peers who had already finished gearing up, asking him to take their new recruit, and get them set up with a spare set of gear for now. The Knight promptly stomped his foot in a salute, before beckoning Shirō with a lazy wave, taking him off to a side hallway that lead to a plain, but vast armory. As the Knight asked Shirō for his rough dimensions, he soon began to make idle chatter as they sifted through what amounted to a lost and found for anything to cobble together. Shirō wasn't particularly fond of large, bulky sets of armor. The Knight, introducing himself as Fordring, said it was common practice for uninitiated Radiants to wear armor to protect themselves, but Shirō noted that he was already technically a Surgebinder, turned by Galahad of all people, and was more than capable of defending himself. The Knight scoffed in disbelief, considering Shirō's current condition. His appearance aside, if that were true, Agravain's order for Shirō to report to Aequitas, a Knight who only trained fresh recruits, was highly disrespectful. As Shirō held his hand out, with Chakra slowly emanating from it, Fordring saw the azure and silver Prana mixed throughout, unable to believe his eyes. Immediately his tone shifted from a slightly distrusting one, to one of complete awe, stating that Shirō could wear whatever the hell he wanted... He didn't technically have the authority to tell him otherwise. Shirō began rummaging through the bargain bin of scrap armor, and picked out a rather plain looking black vest, with silver lining, and dark pants which had leather straps to which armor was normally attached to, but in his case, were left barren. As they turned to leave, Shirō noticed, hanging out of a nearby box, a bundle of scrapped red cloth of some description. As he asked about it, Fordring noted that it used to belong to a Knight by the name of Martin, and used to be part of a larger mantle and shroud. That scrap of cloth was all that remained of him... But the Knights decided to throw it out, as it only held bad memories of a good man. Shirō asked if it was okay if he could have it, to which Fordring supposed it was okay, so long as he understood that it would bring him ire from some of Martin's close friends. Emiya then grabbed a nearby sword, and fashioned himself both half of a mantle, and a fauld from the remains of cloth, using what little remained to craft a makeshift headband. Happily clothed in something that didn't look as though it hadn't been shredded up by an irate beast, the pair returned to the group, to which one Knight from the group uttered;

"That's...!!"

"That's a good look for you..."

Aequitas cut the man off before he could properly voice his festering anger at the sight of the red cloth, as though he were a bull, provoked into a charge. The veteran knew exactly why his subordinate was upset, but it wouldn't do any good to let them direct that anger towards one of their own. If Shirō had decided to don that cloth, he would have been made aware of the situation surrounding it, and either didn't care, or understood the repercussions. In either case, letting them tear one another down wouldn't help anyone, so Aequitas did all he could, and kept the peace.

"Okay, listen up. I know most of you are familiar with this, but for the sake of our newbie, I'll go over this once more. We are to patrol the outskirts of Avalon, as well as ensure the safety of the Villages under our protection. I know these drills are boring, tedious affairs, but they're necessary to ensure the safety of this great City. Now, under no circumstances is anyone to splinter off from the group alone, regardless of the situation. You hear that newbie? We don't tolerate needless heroics, because they only end in posthumous honors.
Dead men can't hear the thanks they receive for their good deeds... Are we clear?"

"Yes, sir!!" was the unanimous rallying cry to follow, though Shirō was too opposed to the words to have his voice join in with the others. Instead, he was happy to watch the group show their devotion and respect with a firm response befitting a knight. Immediately following the cry, Aequitas started to march towards the door, with everyone, including Shirō, following suit.
 

Hokusai

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Alas, the travels of the individuals of the Ganmi Clan had come to an end. They have finally reached the lands ruled over by Avalon. Mirabelle can spot out in the distance, a rather large tower accompanied by many more in what can be seen as a citadel. The queen and her guard continued to walk at a slow pace, observing the scenery but it wasn’t long until they were stopped by a carriage. Oh no. At first, the guards would draw forth their own pistols in hand, but it was only a mere merchant that stepped out from the carriage. “Woah there kiddos…I've only stopped to see if you’d be interested in my trinkets or weapon selection,” he said, opening the back of his carriage. The guns still drawn, Mirabelle had her two guards minus Dokuga go around the back to make sure no one was ready to ambush them but the merchant seemed legit.

She quietly followed behind after the confirmation was given. Her head turned into the back of the carriage to find a vast collection. It was filled with different apparel, weapons and so forth. The merchant was very patient with the group – but Mirabelle simply picked up clothes she actually liked and stuffed them into her bag. “Hey hey don’t steal!” he said but before anything else can be done, Mirabelle simply took out some money from her ninja pouch. “Watch your mouth, I was simply collecting my merchandise…” she said with a wink. The man remained silent as he collected his money, but Mira’s attention was taken towards a unique looking sword in the back. “Oh…what’s that?” she asked, pointing to the sword. “Ah, that’s nothing more than a ceremonial sword I bought while traveling in the western continent. It’s nothing more than a pretty sword, but I’m feeling nice today. Take it for free” he said. He would jump into the back of the carriage, removing the sword from it’s mount and giving it to Mirabelle.

The queen was delighted, giving a small amount of ryou to show appreciation. “Aw you didn’t have to but ey won’t complain! Names Donald, what brings you here to Avalon?” Donald asked. “Business trip” Mirabelle answered directly. Donald shrugged, wasn’t his business after all. Once the purchases where over, he packed his things and headed back onto the road. Mirabelle continued towards the grand citadel. There were no guards to the gates, something she found a bit odd but didn’t question it. Once they came into the common area of the citadel, they spot many people roaming the streets. Vendors aligned the sidelines, while many where drabbed in combat clothing. “So this is Avalon…” she said, considering she was expecting more.

Alright, everyone split up and try to find someone who can get us in contact with the leader of the city directly. We don’t have much time on our hands, so make use of the time” she said. The others would carry on with their mission while Mirabelle personally ventured more into the city. In her thoughts, however, she didn’t appreciate all the work she and her people has been doing for Tanigakure thus far but none of them seems to have even cared enough to come and support the campaign. “Maybe I made a mistake allowing myself to become allied with them… perhaps…yea I’ll be removing that blemish from my countries’ flag” she said. It was time for her to remove herself from Tanigakure and fight for the Ganmi on her own. “I’ll need to break the news back home later” she said as she continued to wander the streets.


OOC: Officially leaving Tanigakure.
 

Inethas

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Dokuga ventures across the city in hopes to find some way to approach the city leader or perhaps even his entourage. The first method that crossed his mind was to look for the more important buildings, so he climbed up one of the closest roofs nearby. The great city had many eye-pleasing sights to behold. However, one particular building caught Dokuga's attention more than others. It seemed more heavily guarded. He spotted several guards standing idle, so he went to approach one of them.

"Greetings, I come on behalf of my leader Lady Mirabelle Ganmi: leader of Siren's Lair and the Ganmi clan. She would like to seek audience with the leader of Avalon, could you perhaps aid us?" Formalities... Dokuga tried. "Certainly, I can lead the way when your leader is present, if you are among the truthful". Hearing this, Dokuga nods a nod of thanks before walking away. "Very well, I will notify my leader".

Locating Mirabelle with his taste sensing, Dokuga returns. "Lady Mirabelle, one of the guards is willing to lead the way to the city leader". Dokuga would show Mirabelle to the guard he spoke with if she decides to meet him.
 

Hokusai

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In a bright flash and thunderous noise, as she reappeared into the tangible world, Hokusai founded herself on the outskirts of Avalon. Her eyes were still drenched in the tears she shed already that day but little did she know, nothing was the same in her life. She silently started to walk down the path towards the large citadel in the distance, only to find herself whimpering as she approached closer. “Just…why…” she somberly asked no one in particular but alas her cries where meet with some familiar faces as they walked out the gates towards the citadel. “Seems we are being assigned a mission that…” the voice slowed down as the person saw Oui in the distance. “Isn't that Lady Katsushika?!” the person said bringing attention to her now as the other individual ran behind to greet her.

Oui continued to walk aimlessly as until she noticed the others approaching. She swiftly tried to dry her eyes but the others noticed before she had a chance. “Oh…seems you heard the news already…we are sorry for your loss, Miss Katsushika,” the soldier said. “It’s ok…it’s Tanigakure’s fault anyways…I decided I’d come back home for a while just to relax for a while…” she said. The two soldiers were lost, they didn’t have any idea what she was talking about. “Um…I don’t think we are on the same page…Miss Katsushika…did you did not hear the news of your father?” he said. Oui’s ears twitched. Her eyes darted towards the gates as she ran away from them. “Oops…

As the guards of the gates stood tall, they noticed the approaching woman. “Ah Lady Katsushika, it’s been awhi…” he didn’t get to finish greeting her as she ran past him. “Please god…” she said in her mind. She continued to rush past the busy streets until she arrived near the cathedral. Her mother stood there at the entrance, alongside her sister Haru. Koto was already aware of her daughter’s arrival through her sensing ability but the moment Haru saw Oui, she ran towards her and lunged into a giant hug. “One chan!” Haru said with a welcoming voice, but Oui noticed the tears in her eyes. “You missed it…” Koto said without turning to her. “I…got trapped in the Throne for some time…” Oui said as some sort of excuse but her mother turned with a stern look in her eyes. She walked towards her and with a raised hand…what one would expect to be a slap, turned into an embracing hug. “I thought I lost you too….damn it…” Koto broke down into tears. Oui was shocked, it was the first time she’s seen Koto shown any genuine love towards her.

Her eyes glanced over towards the cathedral's main halls, seeing the open casket. “Excuse me…” she said as she managed to free herself from her sister and mother's grip. She approached it…her eyes beginning to well once more as she saw the body of her father in the casket. “Why…why did I have to lose you too…damn it!” she yelled out loud. She heard someone approaching, thinking it was her mother but it was someone else completely different. “He died an honorable death,” her brother said as he approached. “Sai…” she looked up to see him. He wasn’t crying like everyone else was but one can see the pain of loss in his eyes. “Dad was on a mission to try and get himself promoted towards being a Servant…but the mission didn’t end well. The Mother Cult surrounded them, and with the use of some sort of Kinjutsu prevented the use of any spatial based ability. He had no way of retreating…they took his life as a result but not without him taking some of their own too” Sai continued to tell the tale of how brave his father was. While he wasn’t always the favorite of his father, he respected him to the end never the less. “His dying words were to tell you, Oui, ‘Please don’t seek revenge’

Oui’s anger started to boil over, this Mother Cult is the one responsible for his death. “While id heeds his advice, I can't control your actions…think it over while you’re here at home Oui” Sai said as he tapped his sister’s shoulder and left out the cathedral. As she turned to look as he walked away she can see him wiping his eyes. “Such a baby” she smiled slightly at her brother’s cool demeanor. However, it quickly ended when the thought of the cult came back to mind. “I’ll make them suffer…” she said out loud. Koto heard this and wanted to say something but nothing was will deter Oui at this point.

Ill murder them all!” she yelled out loud once again, as she stormed out the cathedral but she only ended up at her old home. She rushed upstairs into her old room, which was noticeably empty due to the fact her belongings got erased from existence as well back at Fuging. She did manage to save the scroll she had contact with Solomon with on her but she didn’t want to see him, at least not yet. “He left this for you…” Haru said coming into the room. “He said that this key was meant for you only, to which it opens some door in his study. We respected his wish, so id go there if I were you and see what papa left behind…” Haru said kissing her sister on the forehead as she left her room.

Oui took the key and headed to her father’s study. Her face becomes flushed when the first thing she was greeted with was very sexual drawings of women. “Sigh good ole dad” she said but mentally took note of them so she can use them for any future ideas. She continued to wander in the room until she meets the supposed locked door. She took the key and opened it. As she did, her eyes were met with nothing more than scrolls upon scrolls. It was her dad’s ink ninjutsu vault…something she heard rumors off but never fully had the chance to actually see until up to now. There was a note on the table, labeled “To Oui”

She opened the note and started to read its’ contents.

Dear Oui, if your reading this then chances are Ive lost my life on the battle fields sadly. It’s a shame really, but its what I signed up for by becoming a Surgebinder haha! Ah well, don’t let it get to ya kiddo. Papa has left you a gift, my legacy. This room is filled with every ninjutsu I invented or collected from around the world on my travels. These are now yours, I want you to take care of them for me or even get rid of them if you don’t wish to pursue to become the greatest artist in the world. Continue to smile ok? Don’t let my death be a hindrance to your growth, let it be a symbol of your awakening. Ill miss you, your mom and your siblings equally ok? Tell Sai to keep up his training and someday I believe he’ll become one of the four Heroic Spirits, tell Haru to keep singing and become a great performer! Tell your mom she will always be the love of my life…and for your lost sister Mana…if you ever see her again, tell her I miss her ok? Take care of yourself. Love, Katsushika Hokusai.
Tears continued to drip onto the paper, as Oui fully broke down. “PAPA!
 

Hokusai

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This post marks the beginning of a mission using the following elements:

  • Survive a near death experience (S)
  • Rescue a hostage from enemies (C)
  • Face of against Mother Cult Members (B)
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It has been several days since the incident had occurred during the Oui’s arrival back home. The death of her father left a heavy scar on her heart, having spent most of her time in his study located away from the rest of her family – only coming out when she needed to get some food or water. The stubborn nature of her father truly dwells within her. The morning of that day, as Koto and Haru had awaken from bed, they both was greeted with the smell of food, the lush cinnamon-scented pancakes that was on the stove top. “Oui?” Koto said as she finds Oui within a rather unusual get up but it wasn’t exactly out of the ordinary for the artist. “Young lady, if you’re going to be living under my roof again, I suggest you wear proper clothing!” Koto yelled.

“Look mom…Im only here for a short amount of time till I leave again. How about you stop yelling at me and just enjoy the breakfast I made…” Oui said gesturing to the table. Koto would turn only too see Haru had already sat down for the morning meal. She sighed in defeat, simply waltzing out of the kitchen and into the dinning room. “Sis these are so good! I always missed your pancake” Haru said in pure bliss. Oui couldn’t help but want to smile but it faded away almost as fast as it came. “Thanks…” she said sitting down across the table from the other two. “I’m sorry I been so distant…I just needed sometime to myself…I still haven’t fully accepted any of this if I’m to be quite honest” she said before munching on some pancakes. However before Koto can speak again, the door opened and closed.

Sai is back. Once the long-haired male trailed into the dinning area, he glanced at his siblings and mother before silently heading into the kitchen. “I know you missed em too Sai!” Haru said outloud. He didn’t respond as he came out of the kitchen with his servings as well. “Oui” he said looking at his sister. “There is a mission being handed out today by the officials…its they are making a raid team to go after the cultists” he said. Oui’s hand on her fork tensed as she glanced at her brother. “They however told me not to tell you, but I figured you should be given such knowledge. This isn’t a revenge mission however, it’s a search and recuse. Several people from Radiant Gardens have been reported missing, with the cultists leaving their calling card behind. The mission is open to Servant ranks only…so you might not even be able to join up with us” he finished.

“It doesn’t matter what rank I am within the clan, I’m more than capable of handling myself just fine. Thank you for letting me know…I’ll get my things ready” she said finishing up her breakfast and heading upstairs to shower. Once she was freshened up, she would put on her leotard outfit with her hoodie jacket on. Shrinking her brush down to it’s normal size she pinned it to her bun to keep it in place. “Alright lets do this…for papa…” she said as she walked downstairs to find her brother armed for battle as well with his signature noble phantasm as well.

They both nodded and with saddened eyes, Haru saw her siblings off as Koto was out in town gathering ingredients for dinner early. “You know you can turn back now…” Sai said without looking at Oui. She smirked. “Since when did you started to care about anyone else other than yourself, brother?” she said in a snarky tone. Sai sighed as they continued to walk closer to the main office at the large towers at the center of the citadel.

“Well good morning Katsushika siblings,” one of the administrators said as both of them walked in. “When’s the extraction mission due to start?” he asked to the point. The young lady would nod and shuffle through some paperwork. “It’s starting in ten minutes actually. You’re registered already however…” she noticed Oui reaching for the papers. “I’m afraid you’re not eligible for this mission…” she said but before she can say anything, Sai nodded and allowed her to take the paper. Oui swiftly filled in the information. “Well…with the guidance of Sai…I suppose you can go as a trainee but this is a highly dangerous mission…are you sure?

“Positive,” Oui said sternly. With that in mind, the two was off towards the eastern most gate of the city. There was roughly five men and two women gathered there already suited for battle. “Eh?” one of them looked over at the siblings arriving. “Now I know you aint brining this brat with us, Sai” he said. Sai shrugged “She insisted”.

The rather large man leaned in as he eyed Oui from head to…chest then to toes. Sai’s eyebrow raised up slightly, but he didn’t let it get to him. “Eyes up guardian” Oui said. Snorting; the man issued out something that most would see as a shock. “Still not buying it, how about this. You spar quickly with me. Right here right now, ifyou win I wont report this and if I win, little miss here will show me a good time later when we get back. How about it miss?! Hahahaha” he said. His offer was meet with bewildered faces but Oui wasn’t going to back down. “Sure” she said as she unleashed a swift kick to his groin.

X marks the spot, as the man leaned over in pain but was met with an uppercut. “Cheating little…” he started to say as he regained himself. He tossed out a swift combo of punches and kicks but Oui would casually weave back and forth before finally headbutting him as she kneaded chakra to her forehead. “****” he yelled out loud. “FINE FINE YOU WIN” he said rubbing his forehead only for the others to laugh.

With that over, the group set out with one by one towards the Mother Landmark “Sanctuary of the Moon”




Travel Path: 205 > 207 > 213 > 215 >225> 224 >226 >227>234> 235>241>245>248

Departing #0205 Avalon at 4:40pm (7/15/19)
#207: 4:40pm - 5:40pm
#213: 5:40pm - 6:40pm
#215: 6:40pm - 7:40pm
#225: 7:40pm - 8:40pm
#224: 8:40pm - 9:40pm
#226: 9:40pm - 10:40pm
#227: 10:40pm - 11:40pm
#234 11:40pm - 12:40am
#235 1:40am - 2:40am
#241 2:40am - 3:40am
#245 4:40pm - 5:40am
Arriving at #248 Sanctuary of the Moon at 6:40am (7/16/19)

Leaving landmark
 
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