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Fate/Beyond the Hollow Lens

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Chapter 22

Prep Work




Rin

 

She awoke at their place. Beside them was Kuzunoha who was looking up as she said “Yes… she should be fine. I’ve finally gotten around to making my workshop”. Someone out of her vision sighed in relief, but the voice that replied she knew was Arata who said “Good… we can’t lose someone else… especially her”. “Why… do you care? If I may ask? She’s a stranger and master… fate inevitably will put us in an adversarial position” she heard her servant ask. She was about to interrupt when Arata’s response surprised her as he said “I dunno why we would be. You’ve been kind to use so we’re kind back… after all, if we just view each other as enemies all the time, nothing gets done no?”. She heard Kuzunoha’s breath cease for a full minute before she said “Normally, I wouldn’t give advice to what will be an enemy… but you, Tsukamoto-san, require it. I appreciate the gesture… and I know we have an alliance… but you’re naive. Too naive”. She felt the tail fall on her face as Kuzunoha stated “If you keep that attitude, you’ll die Tsukamoto-san. I-” and yelped, moving away as she loudly sneezed. “M-master! I’m so sorry! I was-” Kuzunoha began, face becoming red as she replied “Don’t worry about it... “ and sat up, stretching as she asked “Did… we get Hachi-san?”. Arata shook his head, replying “No… we… we failed. We had him pinned and could’ve overwhelmed… then he… summoned a servant calling itself Ravana”. Her heart sank hearing that, as Kuzunoha said “Yes master… our… failure hindered Tatsuya from intervening. He was… defeated by the servant that fought us”. Gritting her teeth, she said “I see… I’m sorry Sanagi-san. I… even though I went ahead i was unable to help…”. While the minute silence made it worse, it was his response that made her feel better as he simply asked “Then… can I rely on you for when we find him? I… I realize now I’m not ready for this. None of it… I’m running blind and luck isn’t working anymore. I-” but she stopped, saying “Stop there before you say something you regret… but I can guess. I cannot give it… but I can teach” and looked him in the eyes, saying “As for your request, yes. I will help… but as you said, you need more than luck”. She then stood, saying “For now… where’s Shirou?”. Arata, following her with his eyes, was about to speak when Nemissa said “Trying to track them. They took off on a flying golden throne that turned invisible… that was pulled by eight monsters”. 

 

Eyebrow raised, she asked “Monsters…?” as suddenly that leafy phantasmal formed nearby, saying “Members of the Piscae tribe. They are steeds for only one kind of individual… Demon Kings”. Frowning, she asked “Demon… Kings…?”. Nodding, Otokaba stated “Yes…. they are the pinnacle of their clan and represent the values of it… If they are pulling someone, then they are equivalent to one of the 13 Demon Kings”. Her frown deepened. “How… powerful are these ‘Demon Kings’? Compared to… Kuzunoha?” she asked, to which Otokaba looked Kuzunoha up and down before saying “She is a powerful spirit… I would place her at the head of a tribe easily… However, she is no demon king. A demon king would only have to use a fraction of their power to smite her”. “Tsk… so it’s worse than we thought…” Bai Suzhen stated, sighing deeply. “Indeed…” Rin muttered “Did he say anything as he summoned it? Something foreign perhaps or not quite japanese?”. Shaking her head, Bai Suzhen stated “He only stated ‘Appear, my throne’. It was not the true name activation you’re wondering”. “Meaning… it’s not even his Noble Phantasm’s full power… but if he summoned a vehicle, he’s likely a Rider class” she reasoned, as Kuzunoha said “Which may be a blessing… Us of the Calvary classes tend to be weaker than Knight classes. If we were to work with the one we know of, we may stand a chance”. Sighing, she responded “I’ll contact Ginko-san about arranging for a partnership with Reiho-san. Then we can maybe mount a rescue… but we need to find them first”. Then Sanagi’s phone rang. 




Arata

 

“That’s the situation… I know they headed east towards the bay. However I could not confirm if they actually went there…” Shirou said to him over the phone as he replied “No it’s fine… Thank you, Emiya-san. I’ll have Lunch scan the radio waves. Maybe something will pop up”. Then the line went dead. “He’s fine… that’s good…” Rin stated, sighing. Nodding, he stated “If he got injured too I’d feel terrible… especially since it came right after a tough victory”. Lunch stated “Yeah… as for that location, I’ll just run a net search for any chatter about flying gold thrones… or anything unordinary”. Frowning, he asked “Is that… really all we can do…?”. Sighing, he responded “Yeah… sadly, we got no leads beyond that. Shirou lost ‘em after all”. “Then… let me help out. My crew” Tatsuya said, sitting up. Looking over, before he could respond Tatsuya stated “I called before I fought… I can utilize them… especially if we truce”. Spooky, speaking up now, said “Another underground group, right? No problem. We’re the spookies, by the by. We’re currently in another alliance but I don’t see any conflicts with them. They have the same enemy as us. Though… we gotta keep everything on the down low, okay?”. Staring, Tatsuya asked “Any reason why?”. “The Mage’s Associate… more specifically the Clock Tower” he heard Rin say, who continued as he looked between them both, “They are hellbent on keeping magecraft and magic in general a secret… to the point of being willing to eliminate entire towns”. 

 

Frowning deeply, Tatsuya responded “Why should I bother to adhere to that?”. “If you value your friends, you will. I bet they aren’t Magicians like you” Tohsaka retorted “Nor their family… the Association bare minimum would do anything to kidnap them for research. Sure, they’d be cautious but… they’re dangerous. Regardless”. Staring, almost angrily, Tatsuya asked “Have they threatened you? Do you need help?”. Shaking her head, she stated “No. I work in concrete with them because I have reason to keep magic a secret as well… they do too. Dislike the methods but there is a legitimate reason… one that’d negatively impact even you”. Frowning further, Tohsaka prodded further, saying “Frankly… the fact you are a Magician and so unknowledgable about magecraft, nevermind general magical knowledge, is practically impossible. Until now it was impossible”. Arata, looking at Tatsuya, stated “They don’t know about any of this… but according to Tohsaka-san and Emiya-san, if they do it’s very bad news”. Nodding, Rin stated as if presenting a common truth “The Clock Tower especially would find certain elements we’ve found, like the existence of Comps, to be heretical and would seek to dismantle those behind it…”. Sighing, Tatsuya responded “Based on what I’ve seen… prolly means the governments in on it… which means total war”. Nodding, he simply replied “Please Tatsuya… try?”. Sighing deeply, Tatsuya responded “Fine… but I gotta go pick her up…”. Nemissa walked over, placing a hand on him and with eyes closed channeled her healing magic into him, then said “There. Best you went without pain making things more difficult… let’s meet back at base. We’ll text the location”. Nodding, Tatsuya responded “Understood. Thanks for that. See ya soon”. Tatsuya stood, looked at Rin, and said “I wanna hear more about this Mage’s Association…. But that can wait” before leaving. He simply looked at Nemissa and then Lunch, saying “See ya… and I’ll behave. For now” before leaving. 

 

“Tsk… dodged a bullet there” Lunch commented, looking at him and saying “We gotta be careful with who we be friends with… all kindsa intentions out there. Thankfully his are… altruistic”. Nodding, Rin stated “Yeah… he seems genuine in only want to stop this ‘Nyarlathotep’... still. We should be more careful with-” but was stopped as Spooky said “Can’t. Too deep… and that thing they summoned was strong. We need his and his groups help if it’s not going to be a threat”. Nodding, he replied “I agree… our one bonus is that they can’t enter virtual space like us, so that’s a quick escape”. After a few seconds of silence, Rin smiled, saying “Heh. Clever. Reckless, but clever… still. Don’t rely on it. If you’re going to delve deeper into this, you need more power”. Staring, before he could ask, Rin said “I can’t take on another apprentice… but I could teach the basics. It’ll give you an edge against other magus”. As he was about to respond, Bai stated “You should take it, master. If you do, you’ll be able to provide me with more prana which will empower me more”. “Enough to fight Ravana?” he asked, to which Rin frowned, saying “No. You’ll never be able to take him in a straight fight… his fame, legend, and master are too great. A straight fight, no matter the servant, is impossible against that servant”. Sighing, Rin stated “Frankly… leave it to the professionals. I’m going to arrange an alliance to go after that servant. Hopefully, with numbers, we can beat him”. Sighing, he just nodded before asking “Then… how do we start?”. Looking at him, Rin said “At my place… Nemissa, want some pointers? You seem to have a grasp but a little extra knowledge couldn’t hurt”. Frowning, Nemissa said “Nah… I’ll tag along though jus’ cause”. With a nod, Rin turned to him and said “Then… shall we?”. 

 

Rin

 

She walked in and saw Shirou waiting. “Welcome back” Shirou greeted them, looking at Arata and Nemissa, asking “So… you’re ready to learn? It’s not an easy path”. Nodding, Arata stated “I’m sure. I need to get stronger for the team… cause if it’s this bad now… I don’t wanna imagine later”. Nodding, Shirou stated “Well… alright. Both of you come down. We’ll teach you some basics and I know a few nifty tricks”. Nodding, he and Nemissa followed the two of them down into their basement. As they entered, she stated “The most basic of basics are the manipulation of mana. All magus operate their magecraft through use of their magic circuits, as they don’t have enough Od to perform it on their own… Od being internal prana. Magic circuits are the magical nerves magus have in order to draw in mana”. To showcase this, she drew in some so her magical circuits would begin glowing. “It’s best to think of a switch, flipping it on and off as you need to… then flexing your muscles” she explained “Normally, I’d offer help in activating your latent circuits but… that seems to have been done prematurely. So… let’s instead focus on the switch. Have any ideas?”. After a few seconds, Nemissa said “I have that step covered. I just think ‘I wanna do magic’ and it happens”. Frowning, before she could respond Arata said “Would just a light switch work…?”. Nodding, Rin said “Whatever works best… as long as it is your norm. It’s actually sort of common among most modern magus. Only older ones have a different ‘switch’ than that”. Arata closed his eyes and after a minute blue lines appeared around his body. His hands from what she could see but she knew better and guessed there was some underneath the clothing. “Well… I’ll need a clearer picture to know what I’m working with but what I’ll teach is basic so I don’t need a full, clear picture. Just that is good… now for the next part. Your link to your servant. Not basic but something you should learn about” she explained as Nemissa asked “Wait… that’s not basic?”. 

 

“No. Even I’m not fully aware of how to feel that link” Emiya said “However it’s an important skill for masters. Without it, your servants can’t act at their optimal capacity”. Looking at them both, Arata asked “Okay… so how do I feel that?”. “For that, try to fill your body with mana. Feel for something in the direction of your servant. Like a tether or cord… something tying you two together”.she explained. As she waited, she noticed him trying hard and then said “I… think I feel something… but it’s… vague”. Nodding, she responded “That’s fine. That tie? Try to think of sending water to it… but the water is prana, the term used for magical energy in general”. After a few seconds, Bai appeared and said “Hmmm… a success. I sense your prana, master”. Smiling, Arata said “Great! Then-” but she responded “Good but practice that. The more you do, the better at it you’ll get… still. At the very least, she’s not as suppressed as before”. Nodding, Bai said “I do feel more of my original strength… but do not despair, master. Due to how this system works, I will never feel my full power”. Blinking, she sighed, saying “Did you have to say that….?”. Looking to her now, Arata asked “What is she talking about?”. Hesitating, she replied “Due to various factors… most servants aren’t as strong as they were in life. Only more modern servants would be empowered by the system… but servants like Bai and my Kuzunoha are weaker than when they were alive”. Frowning, Bai stated “Even so, we are not weak… no, that man and his servant are simply… unusual. Exceptions perhaps”. “Now… the next lesson. Actual spells. Shirou, take over. You’re the expert on them” She stated, moving aside. Shirou stated “These spells are common among magus so it’s fine to share them… I happen to be an expert in them, why she’s handing it off to me… let’s start with one you’ll need more; Reinforcement”. 

 

Tatsuya

 

He leaned against the railing at the train station. He was waiting, glasses on to hide his eyes. Symbols that he had been infected by his other self. The only trace of that incident in Sumaru City all those years ago. Then he felt it. The presence of a persona. Looking he saw the persona of one of his former allies. As the red and white haired woman approached, she wore a completely different outfit. A simple pink jacket with a pink skirt and shoes. She wore some makeup but not too much, only enough to draw attention to particular features. As she approached, very suddenly her persona appeared. Tall and blue colored, with only its torso balck colored and all metallic-looking, it held a hand out and stars began to appear. He responded by summoning Apollo which quickly held a hand out. Instantly, both attacks flew, her stars becoming flying shurikens and his nuclear fire beam collided. They cancelled each other out creating a gust of wind from the spot spooking several people. He barely flinched as did she. After approaching, her persona vanished and she said “Hey. Been a while. What’s up?”. Chuckling, he stated “Right to the point… good. Alright… c'mon then. I’ll be gett’in a text soon from my contacts… but basically, big conspiracy here. Reeks of his work… the guys behind it call themselves the ‘Phantom Society’. Yeah, I’m bett’in he’s behind it”. Sighing, the woman stated “I guessed so… well I dyed my hair and put on very little makeup to obscure my identity… and she’s run’in interference so we don’t gotta worry ‘bout me bring’in attention”. Smiling, he said “Still… it’s good to see you, Ulala”. Smirking, Ulala said “Likewise, Tatsuya-san. Now, shall we?”. Nodding he led her away just as a text came in. Looking, he said aloud “Got it… now, let’s take a little trip”. As they took the subway there, he filled her in. “I’m work’in with a local hacker group. Spookies. They’re in turn working with a pair of magus from a foreign group investigat’in this area… cause of the stuff that society is do’in which… is pretty bad”. Frowning deeply, Ulala responded “How bad?”. 

 

“Well, ‘ccordin’ ta the magus in charge, if the right people found out it’d be all out war with this city as the stage… an’ we both know what that’ll invite” he said. They were the only ones in the subway car as he explained this. Ulala, frowning, stated “This is bad… that’s not just a ploy of his, it sounds like-” nodding he finished with “Another setup for another Sumaru City… which I suspect is the case”. Gritting her teeth, Ulala stated “What’s the plan then? We busting into their headquarters?”. Shaking his head, he stated “Nah… that’d be the government office and even then they’re just in on it… no, we’re looking for their real plan. All I’ve got are vague movements”. Looking at her, he stated “For now, let’s focus on gett’in you up to speed. They’re dealing with a crisis so it’ll be a bit before they’re back into looking into their movements”. Nodding, Ulala asked “Then anything in particular I should look out for? I’ll save my questions about ‘magus’ for later”. “Yeah… stay away from anything called Paradigm X. It stole the soul of a family member of one of the members” he warned “Called off a meeting prematurely. Oh… also, it seems like he’s stepped up his game. Whatever he’s plotting involves multiple avatars… we’ve taken two down but who knows how many more he’ll throw”. Silent now, Ulala simply said “I hope these friends are ready… we both know that when he plays, it’s dirty”. Tatsuya simply nodded. He had been hoping the same. He hoped his opinion of them was right. 

 

Arata

 

It had come suddenly. The call. He was in the middle of learning reinforcement. While Emiya wasn’t happy to end it, he understood when he said it was Spooky. As he answered Spooky said “We got an update… you’re both gonna wanna see this”. Nodding, he responded “On my way” and hung up, turning and saying “We got a lead, let’s go!”. Frowning, Rin began to say “We shouldn’t interrupt your training…. But this is important. Fine. We’ll go. However… we’re not done”. Nodding, he turned and ran as Nemissa did too. They wanted to hurry so they could save Hoichi. As he got in, Rin stated “We’ll be not far behind but be careful alright?”. He nodded and got in with Nemissa and entered the coordinates to be a block away. The smart car began to drive off and soon after Shirou’s and Tohsaka’s did too. “I’m glad there’s an update… means we can pay them back for humiliating us” Nemissa commented as he said “I agree but… remember. Hoichi is the priority. We get a chance, we’re running. I’d rather not risk fighting that servant he summoned”. “... Yeah” Nemissa agreed “It’s… I could see it. That aura it had…. It’s practically a continents worth of prana on its own”. Frowning, he asked “Nemissa… what… do you think of all this?” to which she responded “I… it’s a bit suffocating. Something keeps happening and I can’t do the things I wanna do… but I don’t… hate it. I like you guys. I don’t want anything bad to happen… and I get how deep it is. Frankly? If it weren’t for that I’d have skipped out last night… but… I do. You all are fun and I wanna help”. Smiling, before he could say anything Nemissa said “Don’t look too into it. I’m not a good person. I’m a selfish, greedy demon driven by her desires. Never forget that, alright?”. Looking at her, expecting to see Nemissa wearing a look of smugness he saw she was serious. He slowly nodded, saying “I… won’t”. “Good… now. What’s our plan?” She asked as he thought about that very thing. 

 

“To the rogue kid with a servant and a comp. Listen carefully, got it? I know your buddies are watch’in” Finnegan, via a video message posted on the summoner net, announced and then pulled Yu-Ichi who looked beat up before continuing “Let’s settle this. You and me, one on one as summoners. Come to the Amami Float in the bay. I’ll take you down”. Staring at the message he felt fear. Real, genuine fear. Finnegan challenged him formally. He was new to this world but something in him understood something clear. Finnegan had laid down ground rules. If he disobeyed, Yu-Ichi would die. “This… what is he doing…?” Rin murmured to which Shirou yelled “We have to go save him! We’ll-” but Spooky interrupted, saying “No. We can’t”. “Why not!? We know where he is! Let’s just-” but was stopped as Spooky looked at him directly and said “He called you out specifically… I don’t think he’ll be forgiving if we get involved”. Then he thought. “.... Would he if they escorted me?” he asked to which everyone stared. “I…. I don’t… know” Spooky said slowly as Nemissa said “It’s the smart play. Finnegan isn’t stupid and even if we do they’ll be busy holding Ravana off. Either way… he’ll get a one on one and I doubt he doesn’t realize that”. Shirou huffed but asked “Would you really-” but he replied “Yes. Hachi… I can’t risk his death”. “Idiot… you could die!” Rin retorted but Shirou stated oppositely “Then we’ll make sure you get there”. Glaring at each other, Suddenly Spooky’s phone rang. Answering, he listened and then nodded, saying “Will do. Good day”. Looking at them, Spooky said “Before you go, swing by the Gourmaden… Ginko wants to see you before you go to the Float”. He blinked nodded, saying “Sure… Rin. Are you coming?”. Glaring at him, Rin sighed and said “Fine… fine. We’ll go”.

 

As he got out of the car she saw Ginko and another, pale man waiting for them. He wore makeup to hide the unhealthiness apparent. Looking away from the man, he could see something was wrong. “Welcome… is this the young summoner?” Ginko asked. Nodding, Rin asked “What’s going on?”. Shaking their head, Ginko responded “I come bearing a gift for the young summoner… and a request. It can’t be completed at this time so you can go about your day for now… but tonight? I need you to pick up someone important. They are carrying an important item. It’s imperative that you get it and bring it back to the Gourmaden for safe keeping”. “Why…?” he began before Rin stated “Don’t ask that. It must be related to their magecraft… and you don’t ask that… that said I’m unsure if we can. We’re going into a dangerous situation…” to which Ginko responded “I already have Reiho-san meeting them but I’d rather you or Shirou be there when the pick up happens… surely, that’s not unreasonable, considering you’ve recruited the Magician?”. Eyes widen, he saw Rin ask “You… know about him?”. With a nod, Ginko stated “Of course. I’m privy to his details even if he’s unaware of me… though I’d rather him not know. HIs power certainly is frightening. Now… for my gift” and then Ginko nodded to the pale man. He stepped forward, producing a long suitcase from seemingly nowhere and opened it to reveal a simple pocket knife. “Take it” the man stated “You have been entrusted with a particular gift. The duty of dealing with this situation…”. Nodding, he took the pocket knife and suddenly as it was lifted he was holding a katana. Almost as if he blinked and it was there. “Wh-what…?” Rin reacted, stepping back in shock as Ginko explained “That is another ancient weapon we have… though it’s heavily degraded. So much it’s name has been lost. Yet we know of a man who can impart names into it. He needs merely something to work from… a Phantasmal”. Shirou, staring at the sword, said “I see…. But that’s not the truth is it? That’s always been this sword's intent… to be inherited and transformed through fusion of a phantasmal and itself”. Ginko, shocked, smirked and said “Ohhhh… fascinating… but yes. That is it’s ultimate fate. If it had any details before it came into our possession, I am not privy to them… thus its current name, ‘Nameless Sword’. Now… the man lives on the Gourmaden. Simply ask Victor for access”. Nodding, he stated “Alright… I’ll accept this. I need all the power I can get”. Smiling, Ginko then asked “Answer me one thing before we go… young summoner. Do you have the courage to carry out your will?”. Blinking, he simply said “My will…? I suppose? I can’t do anything but move forward… so I might as well try to ignore the fear I feel, right?”. With a smile, Ginko simply walked away. “What about our deal?” Rin asked as Ginko replied “Reiho has been instructed to act on my behalf. Refer to her. Our deal is unchanged” before a vintage-looking car arrived. Getting into the back seat, the pale man sat in the driver seat. Then he saw a look of… pity? Before they then drove off. 

 

“Come on. Let’s see Victor about this” Rin said, turning to the Gourmaden and sighing “You’ll need all the strength you can get… Shirou, you handle the incoming guest okay?”. With a nod, Shirou said “No problem… but what about you?”. “I have a servant so I’ll be fine. Between us, I’m the stronger one and so I should escort them”. After that, Shirou left. As they stepped into the Gourmaden, Mary saw them and once she laid eyes on Rin stated “Your contact is gone. Why are you still here?”. “I’m escorting them… a situation has happened” Rin replied, as he said “I was told to see Victor about seeing someone who can impart names into my new sword”. He didn’t show it as he wasn’t sure what revealed its nature as a sword or what turned it back into a pocket knife. Since they were in the lobby, it turning into a katana would cause some amount of distress and break the rule of keeping magic a secret. Nodding, Mary stated “Yes. This way, please”. As they walked, Rin stated “Why did Ginko leave the Gourmaden? I thought she was staying here for protection?”. “She felt it was… inadequate. Not entirely false” Mary stated. “Why?” he asked as Mary replied “An associate of theirs died. If it were anyone else we wouldn’t be worried… but the one who died was the Summoner”. Rin, shocked, asked “Wait… how? I thought he was-” as Mary responded “Indeed. He was an accomplished summoner for the Kuzunoha. His death has severely complicated matters… thus her leaving. Thankfully, an associate that joined him managed to escape with his magic crest… so the Kuzunoha do not yet need to involve the Clock Tower into the matter”. 

 

“Ah. Tsukamoto. How are you?” Victor greeted, looking at them. “Good… I received this” he responded, pulling out the pocket knife which then turned into the Nameless Katana and said “she said to bring it to you”. Nodding, Victor stated “Indeed… I used to be adept at the arte of imparting names… but no longer. Go to ‘him’... he will impart a name to your katana”. With a press of a button, a staircase revealed itself going elsewhere. Then Victor asked “Tell me before you go… what do you want out of that sword?”. He reacted instantly, saying “The power to protect my friends”. Nodding, Victor stated “Then there is no better phantasmal to proffer that then your Shiisaa, the beast of protection”. He hesitated but then his Comp rumbled. He looked at it and saw the message ‘Jessup: Don’t worry pal. It’s fine’. He nodded, saying “Understood… thank you, Victor”. “Of course… the man below does not mind either. He lives for his craft. Both swordmaking and cooking” Victor stated “Then again so do all his descendants… anyway. Continue and godspeed”. He then began to descend as Nemissa and Rin followed. As they did, Rin stated “I’ll never get used to this… the mana is so thick here… how are you two fine…?”. “I’m protected by my blessings as a demon. Arata is protected as his Comp absorbs the mana and converts it into Magnetite… sadly, you have no such protections” Nemissa responded to which Rin glared and said “It’s unheard of that humans visit the Reverse Side of the World… of course I don’t have protections… I don’t know if even the Grand Wizard Marshal has done this…”. Shrugging, Nemissa said as they entered an assembly line-looking area “I dunno all that magic stuff. It just comes natural, ya know?”. Rin retorted “Which is still weird… sure Phantasmals had abilities that could be called magecraft but the ones that could think and feel like us needed knowledge”. Shrugging, a voice interrupted them as a japanese looking man emerged from the shadows saying “Excuse me. If you are here to bicker, please leave. This is where I take my breaks and focus on my craft, thank you”. “Ah, sorry sir… we are here on business” Arata stated as the man, turning to him, stared and asked “You… you have something interesting on you… what is it?”. Revealing the sword, the man approached, gasping and saying “A nameless katana!? What a wonderful thing you have! Please, might I work on it?” to which he responded “Of course… Why did we come here? I was told to seek someone to give it a name”. Nodding, the man stated “I absolutely can. I am Muramasa the thirteenth, at your service. Now… do you have a phantasmal for this?”. Nodding, he pulled out his Comp and hesitated. Then with a pull of the trigger Jessup appeared. Nodding, the man stated “A fine phantasmal. Contradictory to the job of sword but contradiction often makes for fine material… Phantasmal. Do you consent?”. 

 

Looking between them, Jessup looked to him and said, “Master. It’s been a blast. I dunno if I’ll be meself in there… but still. Even if I lose my sense of self, know that I appreciate ya fulfilling my desires and know I am glad to continue doing so”. Gritting his teeth, he nodded and said “Then… Jessup. Do as you will”. Turning, Jessup stated “I do. Make me inta a fine sword”. From there, the man took over completely. He ordered Jessup onto the assembly line. Then he went elsewhere. As Jessup was brought along the first machine electrocuted the phantasmal. Yet Jessup did not scream as the lightning transformed him into pure prana and condensed it into a ball of pure prana. Then it was moved along the assembly line and before the next machine activated Muramasa came out of the shadows and slipped something onto the ends of two different machines. When the machine activated, the two different machines pressed together and when they parted he could see the prana had been molded into a solid form. From there, the new shape was moved down the line and this time Muramasa directed the shaped energy into an empty mold while the Nameless Katana sat in its own mold. Then, as the two slowly came together, he chanted something in a language he didn’t understand. Once pressed, he covered his eyes as a bright flash of light emitted from the machine. Uncovering them after a few seconds, Muramasa held a bulky-looking sword. It had a broad edge and was wide and had a guard on the hilt. Swinging it effortlessly a few times, Muramasa stated “What was your desire, boy?”. “A sword that’d let me protect my friends” he answered to which Muramasa smiled and said “Congratulations. This sword will accomplish that… if you don’t mind risking it” and tossed it to him. As he reached out, the sword seemingly changed the angle of its spin so that the hilt landed in his hand as he gripped it. “Loyal to its owner indeed… it did not respond to me but look at it hum in yours… it has no sentience, but the energy within knows its master. You raised a fine phantasmal… Now go. That sword will serve your purpose”. Smiling big, he responded “Thank you”. “Ah!” The man said as he turned back, having begun to leave and said “Before I forget… I changed the enchantment. It will remain a pocket knife unless you say the word ‘Jessup’. Likewise, that word returns it to a pocket knife”. Nodding, he said “Jessup” and now held a pocket knife as if he blinked. He put it away, Nemissa saying “Fascinating… truly. A spell that numbs the phantasmal and then breaks them down… vicious but kind”. Rin frowned and asked “Can such a thing even exist?”. Nemissa merely shrugged.