If she wanted me dead, truly wanted me dead, I had to imagine there would be more. My control over Unlimited Blade Works was still not perfect, and this whole idea of a shield of tornado-spinning blades was new and untested.
And, having run up against beings significantly more powerful than I am and feeling their desire to have my head…maybe I was just too experienced. This didn't fill me with the same sort of dread Berserker or Assassin or Gilgamesh brought to the table.
With each blade that ignited, I started counting and timing the strikes. There was an intuitive rhythm to it that reminded me a lot of breathing exercises magi tended to favor early on when practicing with their circuit. It came in waves, barely perceptible, though with each strike there seemed to be a temporary withdraw before pressing in again, like the surf coming in at high tide.
I only hoped I wasn't about to get caught in the undertow.
I picked up two swords, held them ready, and with the next withdraw of energy opened a gap in my protection. I threw one blade end-over-end, quickly slamming the "door" shut again when Origami ought to be coming my way—
The blade flew for her face, but she neither flinched nor struck it, as if accepting her fate. But just before it would slice into her body, it veered off sharply like a boomerang and started a long arc back toward me, the Bakuya in my hands drawing the Kanshou back to its twin.
>>118432948 After the next set of blades had been plundered, I swept one arm through the air, picked up Excalibur with the other. The razor wall flew aside, embedded the blades all back into the earth. Akiha stared at me, her eyes narrowing, unsure of what I had planned.
My toes curling in my shoes, I took a deep breath, then charged down the centerline toward her.
I felt the heat swirl around me, ready to strike, but with each footstep it hesitated for a moment, lashing out a fraction of a second too late, flying past my ears or into the space I had just been. I felt it singe the tips of my hair and the fringes of my shirt, felt it try to warp Excalibur but only get singed in turn—
Her eyes closed the moment I got into striking range.
I took two more steps, and dropped the blade in hand before crashing headlong into her.
Unlike before, she gave a knee-jerk reaction, her eyes flying back open and her arms flailing about in a panic. Once more, I felt that stinging heat move around me, but once more it absolutely refused to go for a killing blow—
But her eyes fell to where warmth was between us, hanging from my neck.
And she plundered the only other heat source she could find.
It was like she was naked in the middle of the Antarctic and plunged her hands into the heat of a molten furnace. It tore right into her, so fast and blindingly intense that there was no ability to scream, no sensation to the damage. The fire simply destroyed every nerve in her body, every muscle, every sense of sense in an instant—
>>118433005 She wasn't even sure if it was real. But she felt suddenly dreamlike, distant, not quite attached to her own body.
It was not like going to a different place, being transported to another world. It was not like how Shirou had dismissed the real world for his own, replaced the landscape with something else entirely. The dusty earth still remained, the blades still lay about, the sky was still a reddish hue.
Akiha knew little about magic, other than it worked on a principle of manipulating reality. She knew that this spell, whatever it was, was in absolute defiance of what should be, that the moment he passed out it should no longer continue to thrive. Without a magician's gaze it would die, like a film without a director's instincts or a cinematographer's awareness—a viewer would see through the falsehoods and their disbelief would no longer be suspended.
But the world did not fade; neither the terrible ground nor the beautiful horizon disappeared. As the fires within her quelled and quieted, the air continued to tingle with heat, though Akiha felt as if this were in reverse: like she was no longer plundering the air about her, but sufficing it with her presence.
She no longer felt so cold, nor the sudden heat when he had grabbed her. Instead, she felt the warmth like standing before an open stove, pleasant and comforting.
Cradling Shirou's head in her lap, she desperately wanted him to wake, but knew somehow that he would not until she fully understood this. Like a lucid dream, knowing she was asleep but unable to wake until the dream was completed.
She wasn't sure whether this was the dream, or the nightmare, though.
She knew, intuitively, what had just happened, or at least she thought she did. She just had no idea what was supposed to happen now, though—
He regarded me not with amusement like some arrogant gold-plated men might, but with cool deliberation and a sense that screamed it's always the quiet ones. "Pain is ephemeral. You threaten no one unless it is with death."
I guess that's all there was to it. I pulled the bow I had made previously in preparation for any attacks that would be made on the mansion and brought to mind the first weapon I wanted to start this show off with. The black sword twisted and convulsed into a jagged form like lightning. "Crimson Red Vermillion, meet the Scarlet Hound. Hrunting!"
The shot hit him before he could move out of the way—this guy moved like a Servant, but I doubted many Servants could avoid it at this range. Unfortunately, at this range, I also couldn't break it, else risk enough of a force backlash that would just wipe out the entire grounds here.
That might have been a mistake.
When the dust the arrow had kicked up cleared, Kouma was still standing. He had an arm raised—the weapon had pierced clean through it between elbow and wrist, but had stopped shy of hitting him at the shoulder where I had been aiming. He then reached up with his free hand and tore the arrow right out of his body like one might peel a bandage off a small cut.
I shoot a bullet that surpasses Mach speeds, and he still manages to block it. Shit.
The demon's eyes came up to glare at me. If what I saw before was anything, it said that he was a pragmatic fighter and would eliminate a threat like me as a priority. Said action would put him on the defensive—but if he took me out, that would leave him unmolested.
He made for the mansion and I knew I was in trouble. When he bounded up to grab the crown of the front doorway, I knew I was screwed.
>>118434152 >>118434255 Maybe I'm just taking the wiki too seriously, it's been a while since I've read tsukihime. But I do remember them saying Roa has evolved into a concept.
>The Caging Hair (檻髪, Origami?) is the ability of Akiha; it is a cursed field of plundering that is effective in the range of her field of vision. Being a half-demon, she can "plunder" the heat (lifeforce) from a living creature she can see, but the maximum output relies on time (on how long she keeps plundering heat). At the same time is it a double-edged sword as she can plunder someones entire concept with it as well.
>>118434368 Unlimited Blade Works was not an option. It took time to deploy, time I couldn't afford when fists were flying at me. The golden Servant was one thing—he stood back, never pressing the attack more than a burst of weapons at a time. Kouma was not like that at all: a whiff of blood and he was on his game. He knew not to play with his food. And then, even if the demon was in a sporting mood, I was already in the red with energy. If I could manage it, it'd pull all the energy I had left out, and the boundary field would only last a few moments.
I was going to have to rely on Projection-only—
Kouma took one swing from his arms, flipping up into the air and coming down with his feet onto the windowsill that I had fired from. In that time, I managed to back up, discard the bow, and had another weapon in hand, one that was untested and would probably fail at an inopportune moment—
But I needed the chance it might give me.
The demon was before me as fast as before, his fist ready to pound me at sternum height. The sword I had created knew to block, had instincts far superior to my own, and instead the fist met the flat of the blade just above the blade-guard where the sword was widest. A shock went up my arms from the blow and even with just that, I thought I might have heard something break in one of my wrists.
The demon reared back and struck once more. The blade of the perfect knight flew faster than I could react myself and slashed at him in turn, parrying aside his blow.
Kouma's unharmed arm came up, grabbed me by the face, picked me up in place, and brought me crashing back into the floor like a rag doll.
I heard and felt a crack from within my body, and the world went dark.
>>118434455 Even in the darkness that surrounded me, I grabbed hold and pulled.
The blow was like nothing I'd ever felt, and I'd been burned to a cinder and skewered by bladed bugs. It decimated the old structure of the mansion, plowing me right through the floor, the framework, and all the insulation. But in that, somehow, I still managed to keep a grip on his arm, so when I went careening down into the floor of the first story, he came with me. And though he still had some control, though he still had the strength to take it fine, somehow, in all of that, I'd managed to twist us in such a way that we both took the hit, so he couldn't tumble out or slam his body into mine to finish me.
Wood and dust and all manner of old building materials fell around us. The ground caved slightly where we hit, snapping part of the wooden floor but stopping short of the support beneath. Kouma, though on the back foot by the impromptu ride, still reacted with superhuman reflexes and spun along the floor to catch me in the gut with a kick, sending us both sliding in opposite directions, me like a shot projectile, him like a fueled open flame. I hit a wall and, maybe because of some kind of fight-or-flight response in me, leaned into it to stagger up as fast as possible.
Only to get hit back down. Kouma rebounded off the side of the main foyer staircase, rolled forward and with the force of his motion drove another kick into my solar plexus. I couldn't tell if the crack noise that sounded was from bones in my body breaking or the wood framing of the wall giving way behind me. I do know that I dry-heaved and fell face-first into the floor, completely unable to catch myself.
Spots of black bubbled through my vision. I managed to half-crawl, half-roll away from another strike. Kouma's fist smashed into the floor where my head had smacked the ground hardly a breath later.
>Caging Hair. It's the name of the tenth day of the Kohaku route, but here it's referring to the name of Akiha's ability. Akiha is a demon hybrid that "plunders" the heat of any living being that she is able to visually confirm, and Origami is the name for the maximum output state of this ability. Though the plundering is based on sight, if somebody with spiritual vision were to observe it, they would see it as something similar to red threads twining around and consuming the target in a fiery aura. And, at their maximum output, these threads are capable of covering not just the target, but the entire environment the target is in, making escape impossible – thus the name Origami, or "Caging Hair". During the last day of the Kohaku route, the reason Shiki couldn't escape from the school building was because the school building itself had been totally covered by Akiha's Origami. Against normal people with no spiritual defenses, this is an absolute method of attack, but against somebody like Arcueid whose spiritual rank is on a whole other level, it would merely be a hindrance similar to the world being filled with spider webs. Though, with backup from a sympath it might be able to actually tie her down. In Melty Blood, it became both Akiha and Vermilion Akiha's Arc Drive, under the name "Red Lord Origami". Also, this is just a digression, but the martial arts practiced by the Tohno family are divided into "Blazing Rendition" techniques usable by everybody, and "Red Lord" techniques permitted only to the family head. These are in turn surpassed by the "Crimson Lord" techniques, which are a taboo even among the taboo.
>>118434548 Pushing past the pain and shock and confusion, I conjured up the image of the first weapon I could think of. Probably because of Kouma, the first thing I thought of was the giant stone sword of the Berserker Servant, something I associated with both pain and relentless assault. It formed in hands much too small to grasp it fully, though I created it ready to strike, over my head, gravity giving me that extra boost. It came down on the demon before me faster than I could have ever done myself, the speed of the swing straining my muscles even to keep up.
Kouma took the swing full-blow to his right shoulder. The wooden floor beneath his feet cracked and cratered, he flinched for the first time from the sheer mass—
The weapon broke apart like crumbling earth.
The red haze that had turned the man's hair crimson flared up until it was like I had just sparked a fire with stone flint against his steel body. He flew to me in the backdraft of the swing—
>>118434605 There was a hole in the wall. Fire was beyond it.
I didn't remember hitting the floor, but I dragged myself upright anyway, using the sofa as a handhold.
My body creaked and kept reverberating like struck iron bars. I didn't think I was actually hearing anything, though, so much as feeling it and my ear drums picking up on the vibration. Whatever was outside of my body wasn't making sound any longer unless that sound was the white noise of a waterfall.
The Great Fury of Ireland, Moralltach, weighted my hand as I readied for the next onslaught. It killed many beasts of legend in the hands of its owners—
This beast plowed through the opening in the wall until it was a wall no longer, whipped right up to my left and slammed into me with a rising uppercut. The swing I responded with missed him completely, and in the haze of pain I remembered somewhere that one owner of the sword had actually been gutted by a great boar despite the weapon having killed many other creatures.
Burning heat followed me, or maybe was with me the entire time. His fist had felt like it was literally on fire, so maybe my body had been seared.
He looked confused, his one eye staring at me in incomprehension.
I could hardly even see him. Blood was flowing over my eyes. Even without that, my vision was wavering, and not from the heat haze he seemed to be giving off.
Kanshou and Bakuya flew through the air even before I realized what my muscle memory was doing. The demon moved up and crouched beneath their arc as another pair spun toward him from the front, forcing him to leap up and over. I charged forward on heavy legs and tried stabbing a third pair into him, but the weapons merely broke against his chest. He kicked, but my own forward momentum brought me beneath his strike—
He landed behind me and must have twisted at the waist, slamming an elbow into my back.
>>118434687 The unused bed to a room I had been in only once caught me as I flew from Kouma's last attack. I repaid it by bleeding all over it. I spat a lot more liquid than air as I tried to regain control of lungs that felt pierced. Blood kept cycling up my throat with each breath I tried to take until all I could taste was that weird metallic bitterness only the dead could enjoy.
Everything in my vision was shuddering. I couldn't tell if my eyes were finally refusing to keep steady or if the house was in fact wavering from an earthquake. Even the pictures I kept trying to concentrate on in my mind's eye wavered. Tunnel vision was also creeping up, so it was something like looking through a set of binoculars and constantly fiddling with the focus.
Kouma kept after me, jumping through the hole that had once more appeared in the wall. I rolled from the bed to the floor and tried to throw the mattress up and obscure his vision, but the entire thing caught onto me or something near me. It buffered me as the meaty fist crashed into my body once more, plowing through the cushion and blowing it apart. The padding slowed the strike just enough that I merely staggered backwards instead of taking flight, through the doorway and into the hall.
He was after me in an instant, his foot coming around, confined by the tight quarters of the hall. It grazed me, tearing skin right away from my body, and I dove aside and crashed myself into the little entertainment center next door.
He loomed over me before I could pick myself out of the detritus of furniture and decoration. His fist came up to smash my head flat. I could only raise my arms in a token defense.
>>118434559 But that doesn't explain how she absorbs Roa either. And Ciel or Arc, probably Ciel, say what's left of his soul is just a simple conceptualization of his desire for immortality that has no free will without a host. They just don't explain it in Kohaku's route.
shirou isn't particularly anymore durable then a regular human so as soon as hes in her line of sight he is fucked, it also takes too long for him to trace shit and run at someone so it is unlikely he would be able to move faster then akiha could see him
>>118434780 Kouma's hand came away with blood that was not mine. Multiple abrasions lined his knuckles.
My world was attempting to keep my body in one piece. Paradoxically, it was also tearing my body apart. Blade-like scales had replaced damaged skin. If disruption of my natural state had started to occur, the doll structure of my body would probably be entirely replaced by this reality attempting to correct itself like the real world always did to abnormalities.
The demon made an animal noise and raised his other fist.
I hit him. I pulled up and slammed my shoulder into him. He couldn't punch across and behind his body, so he couldn't strike my head. I hit him and moved, pushing, until I had thrown him through the wall, breaking through support struts and insulation and all sorts of things that would have maimed or killed a normal man.
Even with blades protruding from my body, he brought a knee up and bunted me clear. I hit the floor and tore it up, scraping everything into garbage and dust. I probably resembled a meat tenderizer more than human.
Kouma came at me, forgoing all pretense at martial skill. He raised his uninjured fist behind his head to strike me with all the power he could manage—blades be damned.
I raised an injured fist to meet his, blades protruding from it like a disturbing metal knuckle. Our fists met and I felt things shudder inside—not bones breaking but swords snapping.
His greater force sent me skidding back further down the hall and into another living space. Metal clattered between him and me as part of me broke down and came off, and looking down at my hand I could tell that his iron skin had pulled weapons right from my very existence right out of my body. It made me appear like some sort of metal reptile that was shedding scales—
Like living creatures, more blades crawled out of the gaps in my body, once again covering my hand and fist.
>>118434877 Kouma once again tried to leap in and drive his fist—now cut up like he had, in fact, put it through a meat grinder—into my head.
I rolled aside once until the blades caught the floor like the world's strangest climbing pick. Using the jerking motion from that, I drove up to my feet and grabbed him around the shoulders, clawing into him with protrusions from every part of my body. My feet carried us up and across the room until I could do what he must have been doing to me—
We crashed through one wall, into another room, and then hit something more solid that stopped our momentum. Kouma buried a fist into my left shoulder and I felt things tear, but my body spun with that force until I had come around with my own fists and punched with my whole body.
The stone and brick wall that had stopped us before did not do so again, and we crashed through.
I tore up the back patio of the house as I stumbled away, my feet still carrying me like I was still pushing the monster-man further from the house. When my knees made noise like the cargo door to a semi truck, my legs locked and I swayed in place, forcing myself to turn around.
Kouma staggered back against the part of the wall that I had not plowed us through. He moved warily, off-balance, almost like an injured man. I was sure, though, that it could not have been simply due to the cuts I had made to his body nor the trauma of being tossed around. He still did not breathe heavily, did not look like he was being worn down—
I couldn't even lift both arms to grasp the golden sword. I couldn't even pull myself completely upright. I could only raise the weapon above my head with one hand and, at the figure with a halo of red, swung with every nerve in my body screaming at me to stop.
The slash was nothing like it had once been. Rather than a tsunami of golden light. It generated less of a blinding flash and more of a bright flare, striking Kouma across the chest and throwing him back into the house—
>>118434971 Which lit up briefly, a haunted mansion suddenly backlit by a streak of lightning.
Footfalls came up behind me and hands, multiple hands, touched me at my shoulders and back, clearly afraid I would keel over right there. Those hands then gripped tighter as the house rumbled—something I could feel but couldn't actually hear—and although everything in my vision shook as my blood kept pumping, the house did look like it was now moving on its own, not because I was just going crazy, and suddenly one side was caving in on itself—
Like my body could independently sympathize and respond to that, I felt my legs finally give way and the organs inside of me start to fail. Blades retracted from flesh and bone, giving way to wounds like I had just been thrust onto a bed of needles. The Reality Marble withdrew from my internal structure and gave way to the destroyed body beneath.
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective parties. Images uploaded are the responsibility of the Poster. Comments are owned by the Poster.
This is a 4chan archive - all of the content originated from them. If you need IP information for a Poster - you need to contact them. This website shows only archived content.
If a post contains personal/copyrighted/illegal content you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with that post and thread number and it will be removed as soon as possible.