Theodoro (202)

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Despite the gravity of the topics at hand, from news of the siege on Last Bastion by the forces of the Necromancers to recounting Emiya and Enkidu's deadly encounter with one of the dreaded Voidlords, Merlin could not help but have his mood soured when hand-waved by the King of Magic. His cheeks puffing slightly and brows furrowing in a pout, Merlin turned away from the group and walked a few meters away, grumbling quietly. Kicking a lone stick lying in the sand, he would wait until the others' business was concluded.
 
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It took Emiya several moments to process the news, that Last Bastion, after clawing it's way out of the clutches of a highly infectious, debilitating disease, was under siege by undead. From Lucifer's tone, things did not sound good either, saying that intervention was likely necessary to "preserve" their lives, implying they were already expiring rapidly enough to warrant comment. Where once upon a time Emiya would have immediately left, sprinting at full speed towards a threat he did not understand or comprehend, now, after what little he'd been through in the last few days, there was more than a slight hesitation. At this point he owed more to Enkidu than the world, and yet, despite how he rationalized it, there was still a part of him that wanted to help. To see a world where everyone was happy, and no one had to suffer. But that wasn't possible. The "Voidlords" wouldn't be happy until humanity as a whole was eradicated, so no matter how hard he tried, he'd never be able to reconcile their wants with his beliefs. No matter how hard he tried to convince them, they would not listen. Demetrias made that very apparent when he declared that words were not necessary. They were dead set on their plans, and nothing could change that. If that's truly how things had to be, then the only thing that mattered from now on was that Emiya was strong enough to protect himself, and those close to him, and maybe, just maybe, he'd help save everyone else in the process. It was clear though, this wasn't something he could do himself, or alone, not even if he had a million lifetimes to get it right.

As Solomon made a request of Lucifer, to safely scout out the Hokubu, cryptically mentioning that the Sea of Life had fallen silent, enough so to warrant further investigation, it reminded Emiya of the monstrosities he himself encountered, albeit briefly. Despite never actually seeing them, due to how he traversed the ocean, for them to fall silent enough to worry Solomon, who was rather laid back bout Enkidu's kidnapping, warranted a mental note to stay the hell away from the Hokubu.

But now came the moment he was admittedly dreading, though Solomon didn't seem nearly as cross as he was expecting. Again, just like with Merlin, praise, which he thought he was undeserving of. Seeing as Solomon was leaving it to Emiya to retell the events, he did just that, like he had done with Merlin. How the pair were pulled through Space-Time by Demetrias, how, after things had barely started Enkidu was injured by their enemy's blade, and Emiya had to resort to fleeing to another dimension to avoid the insane attack Demetrias retaliated with out of rage at Enkidu's own attack. That, when he returned things had worsened to the point that he was convinced he had lost, but with his intervention it allowed Enkidu to smash Demetrias' blade, shortly after which the man retreated. There was also the fact that Emiya's own attack landed, but found no purchase with Demetrias, instead being struck by searing pain throughout his arm as it sunk into odd flames that constituted the Voidlord's form. He was pretty lucky that Demetrias decided to retreat when he did, for Emiya wasn't entirely sure, but he felt like, for just a moment, he passed out, perhaps even died, and the only thing that saved him was a trinket he received from Horus back on Kinai Island. Aside from the actual fight itself, the only other thing of note was that, despite feeling better since the encounter, neither Emiya's nor Enkidu's wounds could be healed. Finally as Emiya looped back around to Enkidu's injury, he brought up the weapon Demetrias used to inflict it. With a small burst of Chakra, Emiya drew the shards of the broken blade back from the Throne, unwrapping them from within his cloak which he used to gather them. With everything laid out before Solomon, quite literally, Emiya did his best to not let the guilt show, but he made no lie of his actions, and how they almost cost the God his freedom, if not his life.

(Kanki: Ouchou no Kindachi) – Surge of Evocation: Dynasty of Kings
Type: Offensive/Defensive/Supplementary
Rank: D - S
Range: Short - Long
Chakra: 10 - 40
Damage: N/A
Description: This technique encompasses the advanced applications of the Surge of Evocation. Unlike the Era of Gods, which manipulates raw Prana, this technique is used to bring techniques previously transported back onto the field. The two applications of this technique, Conquest and Domination, deal with returning entities within the Throne to the field; thus these two applications require previous absorptions to have already occurred.

Conquest of Alexander – Bastion of Achaemenid
Through this ability, the user will be able to return absorbed objects, techniques, and parts of the terrain to the field. They will be manifested on the field in the form of Prana before becoming corporeal and usable as tangible entities. Upon becoming corporeal, the transported entities will still possess all of the effects and properties they possessed prior to absorption; this is because the Throne places objects within it in a stasis-like state. Objects returned will continue to move with the same speed and momentum that they had. This creates the effect that appears almost as if time had stopped and then later resumed for them, a trait of the Throne. It can be summoned facing a different side and/or in a new location altogether, although it must be outside of five meters of the opponent unless the user is within short-range. Techniques returned through Conquest possess the same damage they did prior to absorption. The technique’s rank applied is directly proportional to the technique rank, size of matter, and complexity; this means returning an A-Rank boulder would require an A-Rank application of Conquest. The S-Rank version of this ability can be used once every four turns and no Prana in the user’s next turn. The Bastion of Achaemenid can only be used four times per battle.

Domination of Vlad – Tower of Yggdmillenia
Unlike Conquest, Domination involves concentrating on returning the chakra contained within objects or techniques to the user’s body. The user systematically isolates all of the chakra contained within a number of techniques they’ve sent to the Throne, even if only chakra is present (in the case of raw chakra techniques and similar abilities). It will then be teturned to the user’s body as Prana energy in order to seamlessly integrate into their chakra network, making it available for later use. The user can utilize this ability four times per battle and the maximum amount of chakra that can be returned with each use is capped at a maximum of 100 chakra points. This does not mean this ability will always return that amount, the value is always dictated by how many techniques the user has absorbed and how much chakra they contained. For example, absorbing 10 A-Rank techniques and integrating them with the user’s system will increase the user’s pool by a full 100 chakra per turn. Objects that Domination is applied to will no longer carry their damage value once used on; this is because the objects, while stored in the Throne, will become chakra-void and instead become classified as simple terrain usages when used with Conquest of Alexander. Naturally, this is only possible with matter-based techniques and not those composed of energy. Domination of Vlad is considered an S-Rank technique.

"That's about everything. After Demetrias left, Mira and Merlin showed up, made sure we were okay, then we came here."
Perhaps it was a symptom of his own inability to truly connect with other humans, or if he had already seen what had happened on the island - but he offered little to no pity for Emiya. The young Surgebinder had done all he could, and emerged alive and successful. That was in itself a victory and one that he should have been proud of. But the Mage King didn't show any of that, or offer any kind words in exchange. Instead his eyes remained fixated on the shards of the shattered blade. "These..." He paused again for a moment, turning one of the shards in his hand very carefully. They were harmless now, all power having been lost when Enkidu shattered them. "These, Emiya Shirou, are shards of what once was a God-Slaying Tool. The origins of these weapons are shrouded in mystery, legend, and myth. Most are lies, but without a doubt this craftsmanship is that of a God-Slaying Tool - one of the weapons that was locked away within the Armory of Marzan. It is no surprise that only Enkidu here, a Divinity himself, could shatter the blade. Let me explain..."

Solomon began explaining the tale of the God-Slaying Tools; it was a story that began over 8,000 years ago during the Great Civil War between the Gods. According to this legend when the war began humans were left in the middle of the great disaster, with little care from the Divinities that waged it. It was then a man named Marzan decided to take up arms himself against the gods - it was unprecedented at the time. A lone human waging war against Divinities. Many around him were left speechless by his bravery, which often times came across as hubris or pure foolishness. Up until Marzan and his tools, Divinities always remained in a plane of existence that exceeded mortal humans and their weapons. So in a sense, humans could never really touch gods. But Marzan managed to change this dynamic; his weapons, somehow, were forged with an edge that could even cut and hurt Divine beings. It was an 'equalizer' in a sense. A moment when humans could touch Divinity, and Divinity would touch humans.

But how...well that is only a mystery. It isn't a coincidence that these fragments came to be in your possession, however."
 

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Solomon's tale of God Slaying tools, and the blacksmith who forged them helped Emiya understand exactly why he was still alive right now. If Solomon's words were true, and only the weapons from this Armory could injure Gods, providing humans equal footing, for Demetrias to lose his blade meant he couldn't injure Enkidu more than he already had, forcing a retreat on a technicality, rather than any measure of either Emiya or Enkidu's capabilities, of which the latter had only just begun to tap into. It was a victory only in the loosest definition, and showed just how powerful Enkidu could inevitably become, if it was impossible to wound him without a fabled mythical weapon, forged by a one-of-a-kind talent. But with all this information in mind, Emiya had questions of his own.

"Well, Demetrias was pretty quick to retreat once Enkidu broke the sword, but if he got his hands on this one, couldn't he get another? If they all come from this Armory, and he had this one, doesn't that mean he knows where the rest are?"

And despite his best efforts to sound cryptic, and perhaps a bit foreboding with his last words, Solomon's statement that it wasn't a coincidence that Emiya had these shards seemed rather obvious, to which the Surgebinder responded in kind.

"And of course it wasn't a coincidence. Enkidu broke it, and I picked the shards up since I didn't know if Enkidu's injury was caused by the blade or the wielder. Now that I know it was his blade it's cleared up a few things, but I've spent enough time around blades to know when they're beyond use. Frankly, I'm happy that it can't be used against Enkidu any more. Even if there are more like it out there, I know this one can't."

Despite Solomon seemingly wishing to imply there was more at play then the whims of individuals, and that fate itself conspired these dominoes to land where they had, Emiya didn't register it, and instead replied with his usual "at face value" honesty.
 
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Solomon's tale of God Slaying tools, and the blacksmith who forged them helped Emiya understand exactly why he was still alive right now. If Solomon's words were true, and only the weapons from this Armory could injure Gods, providing humans equal footing, for Demetrias to lose his blade meant he couldn't injure Enkidu more than he already had, forcing a retreat on a technicality, rather than any measure of either Emiya or Enkidu's capabilities, of which the latter had only just begun to tap into. It was a victory only in the loosest definition, and showed just how powerful Enkidu could inevitably become, if it was impossible to wound him without a fabled mythical weapon, forged by a one-of-a-kind talent. But with all this information in mind, Emiya had questions of his own.

"Well, Demetrias was pretty quick to retreat once Enkidu broke the sword, but if he got his hands on this one, couldn't he get another? If they all come from this Armory, and he had this one, doesn't that mean he knows where the rest are?"

And despite his best efforts to sound cryptic, and perhaps a bit foreboding with his last words, Solomon's statement that it wasn't a coincidence that Emiya had these shards seemed rather obvious, to which the Surgebinder responded in kind.

"And of course it wasn't a coincidence. Enkidu broke it, and I picked the shards up since I didn't know if Enkidu's injury was caused by the blade or the wielder. Now that I know it was his blade it's cleared up a few things, but I've spent enough time around blades to know when they're beyond use. Frankly, I'm happy that it can't be used against Enkidu any more. Even if there are more like it out there, I know this one can't."

Despite Solomon seemingly wishing to imply there was more at play then the whims of individuals, and that fate itself conspired these dominoes to land where they had, Emiya didn't register it, and instead replied with his usual "at face value" honesty.
"An interesting question. But I think the answer should be pretty clear - have you seen an average cultist armed with such a weapon? Marzan, at his height, forged many God-Slaying Tools. Enough that an average farmer could become a god slayer. Yet we have only seen one; I would venture a guess to say that it is because this blade was retrieved before Marzan locked away his arsenal in an Armory lost to time. So for the time being, I would take some solace in knowing that the God-Slaying Tools can't be retrieved by the Voice." Though in truth, it wasn't an educated guess that the Mage King was offering; his eyes had seen how events played out to land the Blessings from the End of the World in Demetrias's hands. But he was only here to guide Emiya on his journey, not lay the path for him.

"All that said, this sword isn't the only one of its kind. And it isn't entirely useless either. Marzan's weapons were, at the time, notorious for being reforged. They were equalizers. Just as a God-Slaying Tool could wound a god, so too could a god destroy a God-Slaying Tool. This blade could be reforged in the Armory itself. No human tools today could perform such a task. But what is locked away in the Armory could easily pull it off." Solomon handed the shard back to Emiya for safekeeping, offering a slight smile for what was to come. It would be no easy task. "It isn't a coincidence that the Armory is being sought after by Phetra and her armies. I imagine it is less to use them and more to prevent humanity from reacquiring what rightfully belongs to them."
 

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From the way he spoke, both stating that the blade could easily be reforged at, and that the Armory practically belonged to humanity, it sounded like Solomon wanted Emiya to seek the Armory, and reforge the blade. Was there something he wasn't telling him, or that he should know but didn't? The only reason he could think of, what with the Cult being so active lately, and actively seeking the Armory, most likely to prevent humanity from getting their hands on the God Slaying Tools like Solomon said, was that they were actively trying to release Tiamat once again. If that was the case, Emiya was inclined to agree, though if that was correct, why couldn't Solomon simply say as much? Once again with his "minimal interference" policy, though Emiya was beginning to both see why he acted as such, and the futility questioning it. All that really mattered was that he trusted Solomon to have his, and more importantly, humanity's best interests at heart.

Wrapping the shards back up in the cloak, and sending them back to the Throne, Emiya steeled himself for the glorified fetch quest he was no doubt being sent on, complete with the cliche of an undead horde between himself and his objective. All he needed was a damsel in distress, and the scene was set... With a slightly tired sigh, momentarily hanging his head, Emiya soon leapt to attention and began stretching as he responded.

"Well when you put it like that, I guess I don't have any time to lose. I'm not going to just ask you where the damn Armory is, cause that'd be too easy, and you'd probably just laugh at the thought anyway. Mind telling me where I should start though? You said Phetra's army was looking for it, but where exactly?"

Emiya's first thought was the fact that Phetra's army apparently had a head start on him, though if they were all undead, chances were he couldn't just walk up and ask them for directions like he could Solomon. Thinking back to Phetra however reminded Emiya of the events he just survived, and how the Voidlords were evidently intent on taking Enkidu. This brought to mind another question that had been weighing on his mind since Kythira.

"I know they can't hurt him without a God Slaying Tool, but is it safe for Enkidu to walk into a warzone with Phetra's goons? After what just happened with Demetrias I wouldn't dare let anyone lay a hand on him, but with him being a target of theirs... If Demetrias could pull us half way across the world after spending hardly a minute in the same room as us, it's not exactly impossible to think another Voidlord could do the same, or worse, right?"

He didn't want to flat out say that Enkidu should be left behind, because he didn't want that. But if Enkidu's life could be put in danger, even if it was only the slimmest chance, what with his recent failure still fresh, it was only natural he not want to give the Voidlords another chance. On the other hand, if his presence wasn't in danger, it could give the fledgling God a chance to get a grip on combat, since he was almost purely reactionary against Demetrias, and seemed to only manifest his Divinity as a result of stress and fear. He would have to learn sooner or later, as Demetrias seemed very eager to get his hands on the Divine Child. He asked Solomon, in no uncertain terms, with a tone that did not care for his view on "interference", his opinion on his capacity as a guardian.

"Tell me, truthfully, no games, no double talk. Will he be safe with me? Or would he be better off with someone like you or Merlin? I need to know... Please."
 

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From the way he spoke, both stating that the blade could easily be reforged at, and that the Armory practically belonged to humanity, it sounded like Solomon wanted Emiya to seek the Armory, and reforge the blade. Was there something he wasn't telling him, or that he should know but didn't? The only reason he could think of, what with the Cult being so active lately, and actively seeking the Armory, most likely to prevent humanity from getting their hands on the God Slaying Tools like Solomon said, was that they were actively trying to release Tiamat once again. If that was the case, Emiya was inclined to agree, though if that was correct, why couldn't Solomon simply say as much? Once again with his "minimal interference" policy, though Emiya was beginning to both see why he acted as such, and the futility questioning it. All that really mattered was that he trusted Solomon to have his, and more importantly, humanity's best interests at heart.

Wrapping the shards back up in the cloak, and sending them back to the Throne, Emiya steeled himself for the glorified fetch quest he was no doubt being sent on, complete with the cliche of an undead horde between himself and his objective. All he needed was a damsel in distress, and the scene was set... With a slightly tired sigh, momentarily hanging his head, Emiya soon leapt to attention and began stretching as he responded.

"Well when you put it like that, I guess I don't have any time to lose. I'm not going to just ask you where the damn Armory is, cause that'd be too easy, and you'd probably just laugh at the thought anyway. Mind telling me where I should start though? You said Phetra's army was looking for it, but where exactly?"

Emiya's first thought was the fact that Phetra's army apparently had a head start on him, though if they were all undead, chances were he couldn't just walk up and ask them for directions like he could Solomon. Thinking back to Phetra however reminded Emiya of the events he just survived, and how the Voidlords were evidently intent on taking Enkidu. This brought to mind another question that had been weighing on his mind since Kythira.

"I know they can't hurt him without a God Slaying Tool, but is it safe for Enkidu to walk into a warzone with Phetra's goons? After what just happened with Demetrias I wouldn't dare let anyone lay a hand on him, but with him being a target of theirs... If Demetrias could pull us half way across the world after spending hardly a minute in the same room as us, it's not exactly impossible to think another Voidlord could do the same, or worse, right?"

He didn't want to flat out say that Enkidu should be left behind, because he didn't want that. But if Enkidu's life could be put in danger, even if it was only the slimmest chance, what with his recent failure still fresh, it was only natural he not want to give the Voidlords another chance. On the other hand, if his presence wasn't in danger, it could give the fledgling God a chance to get a grip on combat, since he was almost purely reactionary against Demetrias, and seemed to only manifest his Divinity as a result of stress and fear. He would have to learn sooner or later, as Demetrias seemed very eager to get his hands on the Divine Child. He asked Solomon, in no uncertain terms, with a tone that did not care for his view on "interference", his opinion on his capacity as a guardian.

"Tell me, truthfully, no games, no double talk. Will he be safe with me? Or would he be better off with someone like you or Merlin? I need to know... Please."
"Enkidu will stay with me, for now." The Mage King turned from Emiya toward the green haired Divinity, smiling down toward him. Solomon wasn't a stranger with children, having spent many years in Jerusalem around his own subjects and their children. But Enkidu was different, obviously. Though for him treating a Divine being like himself just as any other child felt somewhat natural. Looking back up toward Emiya he continued, "As for where to start....the Spider in Veskal's Exchange. He might be a shady fellow, but he knows quite a bit." Solomon's voice took a darker tone. Suggesting for Emiya to go to the Spider for information was never going to be a pleasant idea. But it was the most logical and necessary step for the Surgebinder on his quest for the God-Slaying Tools.
 

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The statement that Enkidu would remain with Solomon, while reassuring as it meant Emiya knew that Enkidu wouldn't be in harms way, also hurt. Solomon just gave a non-answer, and only stated that Enkidu would stay with him, neither confirming nor denying whether or not he'd be safe if he came with Emiya, or if Emiya was strong enough to protect him. Emiya gave what amounted to a drawn out sigh mentally, thinking he should have known better to ask for definitive answers to such things. Instead, he gave Solomon a knowing look of recognition, one that clearly said "I trust you.", but also had the makings of a warning. Less malicious, and more protective, but a warning look all the same. Looking down at Enkidu, Emiya motioned to speak, but caught himself at the last moment. Putting on a smile, he simply said;

"I'll be back before you know it. Until then, you make sure and protect Solomon, and more importantly keep Merlin out of trouble for me, yeah?"

Looking back to Solomon, Emiya took on a similarly serious tone.

"It's been a few years, but I remember the Exchange. Not the nicest place, but my dad had a safe house set up if we ever needed to lay low for a while. He said that was the best part about it, no matter how wanted you were, no one cared enough to look for you there. Never heard of any Spider though, but if he's as 'shady' as you say, I take it this isn't like Iskandrous, and neither of your names will help get my foot in the door, Romani?"

There was a hint of sarcasm at that last part, and the question was mostly rhetorical, even if he was genuinely curious whether or not Solomon had dealings with someone shady enough to have that as their primary descriptor. With Veskal's Exchange firmly in mind, Emiya headed to the coast and glanced at Merlin's "vessel", before chuckling to himself. He wasn't about to strand the Magus here, no matter how funny it would be to him. Time was also of the essence, so Emiya resorted to the fastest method at his disposal. A swift bite, and swifter still swipe across a tattoo on his arm before he was surrounded with countless feathers, and the knowing chirp of his Chimerical steed. With a final nod, Emiya took off, not out to the sea before him, but directly East, over Theodoro towards the Kaijuu Ocean.

(Kuchiyose no Jutsu) - Summoning Technique
Rank: B
Type: Defense/Attack/Suplementary
Range: N/A
Chakra Cost: 20
Damage points: N/A
Description:
To summon the creature the ninja will wipe blood on his hand, perform the Boar → Dog → Bird → Monkey → Ram handseals and then touch the ground or another object, where a sealing formula will appear. Though it appears that as long as significant pressure is placed against the blood in some form, the summon will be complete, most summoning uses use a solid surface, though in some cases it can even be done mid air. There can be variations to the summoning steps, some ninja like Temari will wipe blood on her fan, then by swinging the fan the animal is summoned. Other ninja like Orochimaru wipe the blood across a snake tattoo on their arm first, then touch the ground. Others will clap their hands directly like Nagato through the use of his Animal Path. The user must have signed the contract with the creature he wants to summon but the technique can be used to summon a generic creature of that contract (B-Rank) which will have no special traits or abilities beyond those normal to the rest of the animals in the contract. The animal is always summoned on the mark that appears upon slamming the users hand or, if not the case, always in short range of the user.




Leaving Landmark. Heading to #143, Midnight Island.
 
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With all of Solomon's business with the others concluded, Merlin turned around and walked back to his fellow Caster, still pouting slightly "You sure know how to keep a guy waiting, Solomon." Noticing that Enkidu remained whilst Emiya had gone off on his own, in search of the Armoury of Marzan, his expression turned sweet from sour, patting the young divinity on the head gently with a smile.
 

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With all of Solomon's business with the others concluded, Merlin turned around and walked back to his fellow Caster, still pouting slightly "You sure know how to keep a guy waiting, Solomon." Noticing that Enkidu remained whilst Emiya had gone off on his own, in search of the Armoury of Marzan, his expression turned sweet from sour, patting the young divinity on the head gently with a smile.
The Mage King scoffed, "Guy is it? That's what you're going by now Incubus? Feast on any good dreams lately?" The two had a history that began when Merlin once invaded Solomon's own tranquil dreams. And since then the former King of Israel would stop at nothing to take small jabs at the white haired demon. "What's on your mind?"
 

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The Mage King scoffed, "Guy is it? That's what you're going by now Incubus? Feast on any good dreams lately?" The two had a history that began when Merlin once invaded Solomon's own tranquil dreams. And since then the former King of Israel would stop at nothing to take small jabs at the white haired demon. "What's on your mind?"

Continuing to pat Enkidu's head as Solomon disparaged him, as if the child gave him such joy that the Grand Caster's provocations weren't worth addressing, he paused once asked about the matters he'd pushed to the back of his mind in favour of more pressing concerns at the time. "Whilst I was in the Badlands of Earth, I did some exploring, and came across a tunnel network, leading to a hidden chamber of sorts deep within the mountains. I don't know what purpose it serves exactly, but I'd wager that it's related in some way to the matters in the North-East. Do you know of it?"
 
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Continuing to pat Enkidu's head as Solomon disparaged him, as if the child gave him such joy that the Grand Caster's provocations weren't worth addressing, he paused once asked about the matters he'd pushed to the back of his mind in favour of more pressing concerns at the time. "Whilst I was in the Badlands of Earth, I did some exploring, and came across a tunnel network, leading to a hidden chamber of sorts deep within the mountains. I don't know what purpose it serves exactly, but I'd wager that it's related in some way to the matters in the North-East. Do you know of it?"
Solomon's expression darkened. He knew what Merlin was referring to; to few it was a myth, but to the many it was shrouded in darkness entirely. A relic from the Age of Gods, built by Enlil during the Great Civil War. "I had wished to never hear of it again. But put simply, it is the gate to the Underworld - Irkalla. The God of Storms constructed it thousands of years ago during their Great Civil War to allow humans to invade Nergal and Ereshkigal's domain. I fear that at some point it became instrumental for our enemy." As legend went, Enlil aligned himself with Marduk in the Great Civil War. And while the God of Storms reigned supreme on the land and seas, he had little to no power within the Underworld itself. To remedy this strategic weakness he recruited many humans into his ranks, something that was considered abhorrent at the time by many of the Great Divinities that existed before their fall. He built a physical gateway for humans to march into the Underworld to attempt to dethrone Nergal. "The gateway wasn't well hidden, but accessing it is a different matter."
 
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Solomon's expression darkened. He knew what Merlin was referring to; to few it was a myth, but to the many it was shrouded in darkness entirely. A relic from the Age of Gods, built by Enlil during the Great Civil War. "I had wished to never hear of it again. But put simply, it is the gate to the Underworld - Irkalla. The God of Storms constructed it thousands of years ago during their Great Civil War to allow humans to invade Nergal and Ereshkigal's domain. I fear that at some point it became instrumental for our enemy." As legend went, Enlil aligned himself with Marduk in the Great Civil War. And while the God of Storms reigned supreme on the land and seas, he had little to no power within the Underworld itself. To remedy this strategic weakness he recruited many humans into his ranks, something that was considered abhorrent at the time by many of the Great Divinities that existed before their fall. He built a physical gateway for humans to march into the Underworld to attempt to dethrone Nergal. "The gateway wasn't well hidden, but accessing it is a different matter."
Merlin was unsurprised at the contents of the chasm's history, nor at the fact that its purpose was now bent to suit the enemies of humanity, rather than humanity itself. It didn't take a genius to figure out what that purpose entailed either. "I'll return there at some stage to continue monitoring it, I'm sure it will become a point of significance in the near future. Besides that, have there been any more signs of activities from the other Voidlords? Two have shown themselves, while the others remain silent."
 

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Merlin was unsurprised at the contents of the chasm's history, nor at the fact that its purpose was now bent to suit the enemies of humanity, rather than humanity itself. It didn't take a genius to figure out what that purpose entailed either. "I'll return there at some stage to continue monitoring it, I'm sure it will become a point of significance in the near future. Besides that, have there been any more signs of activities from the other Voidlords? Two have shown themselves, while the others remain silent."
"They've been silent, unlike the two junior members of their group. Though I'm more wary of them than I am of Demetrias and Phetra." Nefarian and Basel, two Voidlords that were shrouded in even more mystery by now than their master Imeroth, the Voice. Though there was no question they were just as dangerous as their master. Perhaps they would appear later, when the group's nefarious design warranted it. But for the time being Phetra remained the most imminent threat to the safety of humanity. "Soon you will need to help Lucifer. He will make his way back here in short order, once his time in the Hokubu has come to an end. And once he does, he will ask you for information. Information about the underworld. Irkalla."
 
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"They've been silent, unlike the two junior members of their group. Though I'm more wary of them than I am of Demetrias and Phetra." Nefarian and Basel, two Voidlords that were shrouded in even more mystery by now than their master Imeroth, the Voice. Though there was no question they were just as dangerous as their master. Perhaps they would appear later, when the group's nefarious design warranted it. But for the time being Phetra remained the most imminent threat to the safety of humanity. "Soon you will need to help Lucifer. He will make his way back here in short order, once his time in the Hokubu has come to an end. And once he does, he will ask you for information. Information about the underworld. Irkalla."
"I see." Merlin said, agreeing implicitly to lend his mind to Lucifer when the time came. Though it hadn't been long since the Hero of Justice left their company, the incubus focused on the tracking seed he'd placed in Shirou, its location being the Veskal's Exchange. Exactly as had been arranged. "Perhaps he can accompany me on a little expedition back to the gate. Assuming there are no incidents elsewhere." the Magus of Flowers mused, his mind still drawn back to his discovery in the Badlands. And for good reason. Were the enemy to emerge from that point, the entire western continent would be overrun, without anybody there to stop it. A handful of village leaders would not be enough.
 

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With nothing better to do with his time, Merlin decided that he would look into the matter discussed between Solomon and Emiya. He knew nothing of what he might find at the Veskal's Exchange, or what to expect in a meeting with this 'Spider' fellow, but it surely couldn't be dangerous. With that in mind, Merlin set off.

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Coming from: https://animebase.me/threads/south-east-kinai-island-147.756160/post-22058785

His journey completed Lucifer felt the familiar life force of both Solomon and Merlin on the island as he approached, touching down on the shores his wings furled behind him, he sought counsel from the former king, hoping that in his long lifetime Solomon would have knowledge of the places Lucifer was tasked with finding and more importantly, why he was tasked with such a thing.

The child of Tiamat approached them, bowing his head in greeting to both men as he did so.

"Solomon, I come once more with questions that few in this world may answer."
 

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Coming from: https://animebase.me/threads/south-east-kinai-island-147.756160/post-22058785

His journey completed Lucifer felt the familiar life force of both Solomon and Merlin on the island as he approached, touching down on the shores his wings furled behind him, he sought counsel from the former king, hoping that in his long lifetime Solomon would have knowledge of the places Lucifer was tasked with finding and more importantly, why he was tasked with such a thing.

The child of Tiamat approached them, bowing his head in greeting to both men as he did so.

"Solomon, I come once more with questions that few in this world may answer."
Without his sensory skill activated, Merlin was only aware of Lucifer's arrival by the sound of his voice, the waters reaching up the shoreline drowning out his footsteps. Still acclimating himself to his eyes, recently operated on, he turned to return Lucifer's greeting, though the direction he was facing was slightly off. The cheerful wave and smile meant for the Child of Tiamat was instead sent past him and towards the ocean beyond "Oh! Lucifer-kun. Well met."
 

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Coming from: https://animebase.me/threads/south-east-kinai-island-147.756160/post-22058785

His journey completed Lucifer felt the familiar life force of both Solomon and Merlin on the island as he approached, touching down on the shores his wings furled behind him, he sought counsel from the former king, hoping that in his long lifetime Solomon would have knowledge of the places Lucifer was tasked with finding and more importantly, why he was tasked with such a thing.

The child of Tiamat approached them, bowing his head in greeting to both men as he did so.

"Solomon, I come once more with questions that few in this world may answer."
Without his sensory skill activated, Merlin was only aware of Lucifer's arrival by the sound of his voice, the waters reaching up the shoreline drowning out his footsteps. Still acclimating himself to his eyes, recently operated on, he turned to return Lucifer's greeting, though the direction he was facing was slightly off. The cheerful wave and smile meant for the Child of Tiamat was instead sent past him and towards the ocean beyond "Oh! Lucifer-kun. Well met."
"After what you saw under the Hokubu Ocean, I'm not surprised you have many questions. Though I expect what I say will only serve to create more." He spoke calmly, standing up from his seat in the tranquil grass flowing in the sea breeze. "Ask me Lucifer. What questions do you have before your journey continues to take you to the very depths of the Underworld itself."
 
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"After what you saw under the Hokubu Ocean, I'm not surprised you have many questions. Though I expect what I say will only serve to create more." He spoke calmly, standing up from his seat in the tranquil grass flowing in the sea breeze. "Ask me Lucifer. What questions do you have before your journey continues to take you to the very depths of the Underworld itself."
"I fear you may be correct, but I must ask nevertheless. How is it possible that those born of the mother remained hidden beneath the sea for so long is a burning question but I fear that is simply for my own selfish sense of belonging. The true pressing questions relate to my task and my visions, I saw a serpent shrouded in a darkness that was almost tangible with eyes that glowed in a spectrum of color, what is this beast? Why am I being led on this journey to collect and power this relic, I often doubt the intentions of the voices leading me, yet I follow the instruction because I sense grave consequences not only for myself but for the world if I fail, am I wrong in my belief?" Lucifer blurted out, he was unable to hold his tongue or even correctly form his thoughts in to coherent questions, the events that had been occuring lately were deeply troubling to the child of Tiamat, both troubling and confusing.

There was one more question he had, but he buried it deep, it was a feeling he had and he wasn't sure if he wanted to confront the truth. The presence he felt in his vision, the being the snake had ensnared, Lucifer believed it was Tiamat herself and the thought was terrifying to him.
 
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