Land of Shadows Battleground Blitz - A Cat, a Bunny, and a Holy Grail War
Land of Shadows Battleground Blitz - Prologue
Narration: The Holy Grail War.
Narration: An event in which seven Masters command seven Servants in a battle to the death. The victor gains the ultimate prize: their heart's desire.
Narration: The rules and scale may vary in each instance...
Narration: ...but it always remains a battle for supremacy.
Narration: However, there is more to winning a battle than simply sending out a Servant.
Narration: To succeed, decisions must be made. Choices must be considered. Commitment is essential. Agony is crucial.
Narration: In other words...experience is key.
Scáthach: So, there you have it.
Now stand up! Bow!
Scáthach: Very good.
Fujimaru 1: Um, I still have no idea what's going on here...
Fujimaru 2: I have so many questions, but first and foremost:Why are you dressed like that?
Mash: I-I'm just as lost as you, Senpai. One moment, we run into Scáthach in the hall, and the next, we're Rayshifting.
Mash: Can you tell us what's going on, Scáthach? And why are you wearing that costume?
Scáthach: Fujimaru. Mash.
Scáthach: Right now, under these circumstances, I am not your Servant.
Scáthach: I am your teacher, here to guide you on this new journey.
Fujimaru 1: Teacher? Journey?
Scáthach: Indeed. Listen well, both of you.
Scáthach: ... ...
Scáthach: ...If possible, I would like you to address me as “Ms. Scáthach.”
Mash: Yes, Ms. Scáthach!
Fujimaru 1: Yes, Ms. Scáthach!
Scáthach: Much better.
Scáthach: The road to humanity's restoration is long and arduous.
Scáthach: Humanity has been bleached away, and those of us who remain are once again fighting for our right to exist.
Scáthach: And while your Servants may have plenty of experience on the field of battle, you, Master, do not. At least, not when it comes to fighting as a Master.
Fujimaru 1: I guess I can't argue with that...
Scáthach: Indeed, you cannot.
Scáthach: This is no fault of your own, of course. As the last Master of all humanity, you do not exactly have a wealth of contemporaries to look to for direction.
Scáthach: I suppose we could find a few Servants who have also served as Masters if we were to look hard enough, but–
Mash: Wait a moment, Scáthach.
Mash: Isn't this why we have the simulator? So that Senpai–Master, can gain the experience [♂ he /♀️ she] needs for battle?
Scáthach: The simulator does indeed work well for practicing individual battles, but that is as far as it goes.
Scáthach: In a war with all of humanity at stake, we will also need to keep a firm eye on the larger picture.
Scáthach: Let me ask you this, Master. What is the worst thing that could happen in this situation?
Fujimaru 1: Me failing to protect humanity?
Scáthach: Wrong. That would only be the ultimate result of this catastrophe.
Scáthach: The correct answer is your death.
Fujimaru 2: ...Me dying?
Scáthach: Servants cannot exist without a Master, which makes your continued survival of the utmost importance.
Scáthach: And since there are no other Masters left in the entire world right now, our fate is entirely in your hands.
Scáthach: And since all other potential Masters in this world are on the enemy's side, our fate is entirely in your hands.
Scáthach: As such, it is your duty to continue winning at all costs.
Scáthach: However, that does not mean you must always win every battle no matter what.
Scáthach: What good could it do to win the battle but lose the war?
Scáthach: If you must, at times, flee the field of battle, we can make up those losses later, so long as you yet live.
Scáthach: Today, you will learn from both defeat and victory. That is the purpose of this Grail Front!
Fujimaru 1: Grail Front?
Scáthach: That's right.
Scáthach: That is why I have modeled this environment after my own Land of Shadows.
Scáthach: Needless to say, a loss in this war will not prove fatal.
Scáthach: But, should you emerge triumphant...
I will grant you a Holy Grail!
Fujimaru 1: Just like that!?
Da Vinci: H-hold up! A Holy Grail!? Where in the world were you hiding that!?
Da Vinci: Those are the kinds of things you need to disclose right awa–
Da Vinci: Whoa, whoa, whoa, hang on! Did you say a Holy Grail!? You've just HAD one all this time!?
Da Vinci: We can't just have those things floating around willy-nilly. Can you just skip the pageantry and give it to us now!?
Goredolf: I'm just guessing here, but I don't see her just handing it over.
Goredolf: I know that look well. It's the same one Toole always had during her “This is for your own good” lessons.
Da Vinci: Aw man...
Scáthach: Indeed, Chaldea is currently starved for resources, so I can only imagine how desperately you must want this grail.
Scáthach: But, I am the one who found it, so it is mine to do with as I will.
Da Vinci: Ugh. Why is every hero from the Age of Gods always like this?
Da Vinci: (Sigh)...
Da Vinci: I'd heard heroes from the Age of Gods were...a lot, but this is ridiculous.
Scáthach: And of course, there is a Master on the enemy's side as well.
Scáthach: While there may not be Masters to be found in every Singularity...
Scáthach: ...there is most assuredly one orchestrating the battle somewhere.
Scáthach: Remember, there are other Masters calling themselves Crypters on the enemy's side.
Scáthach: So gaining experience in determining what an enemy commander is thinking will only work to your benefit in the future.
Mash: G-good point. There ARE other Masters on the enemy's side, after all!
Scáthach: As for the Master you will be facing here...
Scáthach: Well, while I do get the impression he is somewhat...unbalanced, he should still suffice as a worthy opponent.
Fujimaru 1: I wonder who it could be...
Scáthach: W-well, you will find that out soon enough.
Fujimaru 1: Ah.
???: My name is of little consequence, but if you must address me, you may call me...
???: Mister M.
Mister M: Yes, that will do nicely!
Goredolf: (Well, the “M” clearly doesn't stand for “Mystery”...)
Mash: So Senpai's goal is to defeat Mister M's Servants then?
Scáthach: Indeed. But unlike the battles you have faced thus far, this will be an intense and brutal series of skirmishes.
Scáthach: Of course, while I have no desire to tell you to fight ceaselessly, even if it should result in your death...
Scáthach: N-no, I certainly do not wish to say that...
Mash: (She wants to say it really badly, doesn't she, Senpai?)
Scáthach: No! I am not going to say it (Biting her lip) Grr, when did I get so stodgy?
Scáthach: At any rate, since this is meant to provide a special combat experience, I have prepared both real battles and training battles.
Scáthach: The live battles will constitute the Holy Grail War, and for the training battles...take a look!
Mash: All the fighters who came here for the training battles... A ton of materials... A gift shop... Wait! Does this mean...!?
Fujimaru 1: Wooo! Roulette time!
Fujimaru 2: Woohoo! Now we're talking!
Scáthach: (Obviously proud)
Scáthach: That's right. No longer will anyone be able to mock me by saying my disciples only “graduate” when they die.
Scáthach: In addition to my stick, I have also arranged for, um... What is it that goes with sticks again?
???: Cannons, woof!
Scáthach: Yes, that's it. For this event, I have arranged for festivities to accompany my harsh training–the cannon and the stick, so to speak.
Mash: All right, Scáthach, I understand what's going on here now. However–
Mash: You still haven't answered the question we asked you earlier. Namely–
Fujimaru 1: Why are you dressed like that?
Scáthach: ... ...
Mash: Oh! Does it have something to do with this Grail Front!?
Scáthach: No, it does not.
Mash: Did you modify your Spirit Origin using Primordial Runes?
Scáthach: No, I did not.
Fou: Fou fou?
Scáthach: When I awoke this morning, well... I found myself dressed like this...
Fujimaru 1: That's it!? They're not even trying tojustify this kind of thing anymore!
Scáthach: W-well, never mind how I got this outfit. It does look good on me, does it not?
Fujimaru 1: Well... Yeah, I can't deny that...
Mash: While I agree that it does look very good on you...
Mash: ...I can't help but think Mas–er, everyone might find it more than a little distracting!
That's the point!!!
Tamamo Cat: Sure, it may not be the best thing for Master's moral upbringing, but sometimes, you've just gotta give the people what they want!
Tamamo Cat: A cat can't survive on bargain bin canned food alone. Every now and then, you've gotta crack open the top-shelf stuff.
Tamamo Cat: All of which is to say that Scáthach's brand-new bunny britches are a gift from yours truly!
Tamamo Cat: I was going for something both sexy and deadly, and the bunny has long been known as the strongest of the solitary animals, though admittedly at the cost of dying alone.
Tamamo Cat: Would you like me to whip you one up too, Mash? Who knows? It might help bring back some...dangerous memories.
Tamamo Cat: Oh, wait. Cat scratch that. I only had enough material on me for Scáthach's.
Mash: I-I see...
Mash: Well, it's not as though I wanted to wear one, but...
Scáthach: I still don't understand. Why did you make me a bunny outfit?
Tamamo Cat: You have to ask!? Don't try to hide it from me, Scáthach!
Tamamo Cat: I know how you've been keeping your nose to the grindstone lately. I've got a nose for that kind of thing myself.
Tamamo Cat: I also know that yarn about the elves and the shoemaker, and this cat's never been big on leather.
Tamamo Cat: Which is why I worked my toe beans off to make you that outfit! I always had a feeling it'd look good on you, and besides, you can't take the lead on a big production like this in your usual outfit!
Tamamo Cat: So go on, enjoy it! Consider it your reward for all your hard work, woof!
Scáthach: I-I see. So this is what they mean nowadays when they talk about practicing self-care!
Fujimaru 1: Hang on. Something doesn't add up here.
Tamamo Cat: If you got a problem with my fashion sense, any and all complaints must go through our Servantverse office.
Tamamo Cat: All right then, farewell, my fellow CAGs (short for “Chaldea Animal Girls”)! See you in the finals!
Tamamo Cat: Oh, and if you ever want to make that new outfit permanent, just give me a holler!
Scáthach: ... ...
Scáthach: At any rate, you will have a great deal you must consider over the course of this war.
Scáthach: For example, there is no guarantee that the Servants you are able to summon will be suited to every environment in which you will do battle.
Scáthach: You will need to consider their affinities, their skills, their Noble Phantasms, their personalities, and more.
Scáthach: Will your victories be flawless, or will you only succeed by the skin of your teeth?
Scáthach: Will your losses be painful injuries, or opportunities for further growth?
Scáthach: You must be prepared for everything to change in the blink of an eye. That is what it means to wage war.
Scáthach: From here on out, you and your Servants must think together, fight together, and win together!
Scáthach: Make sure you have a full grasp of your party's capabilities before you head into battle.
Scáthach: Now, are you ready to get started?
Fujimaru 1: Go for it!
Scáthach: Good. That is just what I like to hear.
Scáthach: Then with that, let this Grail Front...
Land of Shadows Battleground Blitz - Epilogue
Fujimaru 1: O-oh man, I'm exhausted!
Mash: Congratulations on your victorious campaign, Senpai!
Scáthach: Yes, you fought well indeed.
Scáthach: Now then, let us gather the other Servants together for a victory party!
Charlotte Corday: Stew's all ready for anyone who wants some!
Jason: Phew, glad that's finally over with. Huh? Oh, you wanna talk performance too? Sure, knock yourselves out. Just leave me out of it.
Cú Chulainn: See? I knew we shouldn't have sent in the Archer here.
Siegfried: In retrospect, the potential rewards of doing so were great, but so were the risks.
Siegfried: Perhaps we should have opened with a different move.
Iskandar: Hey now, don't rule that sort of thing out too quick.
Iskandar: Even if trying to overpower your opponent with brute strength doesn't succeed on its own, it has a knock-on effect of throwing them off-balance.
Iskandar: And you can't underestimate knock-on effects.
Altera: There is rarely a time when Chaldea is not at a severe disadvantage in this campaign we are fighting, after all. More so when fights are drawn out.
Altera: In some ways, it feels as though we are constantly laying siege to an impenetrable castle. Keeping fights as short as possible is not bad civilization at all.
Hektor: You sure you don't mean “strategy” instead of “civilization”?
Altera: I know what I said.
Hektor: Oh, hey, Mordred.
Hektor: Say, you're a Knight of the Round Table. What do you make of all this?
Mordred: ...Well, I like brief showdowns as much as the next knight...
Mordred: But aren't you guys forgetting that Chaldea's got almost zilch in the way of supply lines?
Mordred: So we've basically got no choice but to go full guerilla warfare.
Mordred: Forget short-term or long-term warfare. If I had to sum up our strategy... Hmm...
Mordred: I guess I'd call it general mid-term warfare?
Mordred: So we're prolly better off assessing the situation early on, then findin' an opening in the mid-game and hammering it as hard as we can.
All: ... ...
Mordred: What? What is it?
Cú Chulainn: I didn't know you could be so, you know, thoughtful.
Mordred: You want a piece of me, Celt!?
Hektor: Now, now, no need for that.
Hektor: Really, we shouldn't be surprised. Of course the Knight of Treachery would know about that sort of thing.
Hektor: Honestly, I wouldn't have guessed that about you in a million years, but it does make sense when you think about it.
Mordred: You guys want me to Clarent all your asses? Is that it?
Mordred: ...Ah, never mind. You all seem like you could take a Clarent to the face and be standing when the dust settled.
Mordred: Hm? Hang on. I just had a revelation.
Mordred: If you can all take a hit from my Clarent, why SHOULDN'T I go ahead and cut loose?
Iskandar: Uh-oh. I don't like where this is going!
Mordred: Know what? I'mma go for it! Come to me, red lightning!
Cú Chulainn: Would you just chill for a minute!? Damn!
Fujimaru 1: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Let's just take it easy, okay!?
Siegfried: Easy there, comrade. Deep breaths. Deeep breaths.
Mordred: Tch. ...Well? Anyone disagree with me?
Iskandar: Hahaha, of course! For example, what if–
Scáthach: Well, as you can see, even some of the greatest heroes in history can have different opinions when it comes to a long and unpredictable war.
Da Vinci: Hmm, hmm... You know, this HAS been fascinating.
Scáthach: Oho, if it isn't Leonardo da Vinci.
Scáthach: I am glad to see that even an artist–no, a scientist like yourself can see the appeal of this sort of thing!
Da Vinci: Well sure I can!
Scáthach: There have been times when I thought our tastes were incompatible, but I am pleased to be wrong.
Da Vinci: Hey, I wasn't known as THE Renaissance man for nothing♪
Da Vinci: Now hurry up and get back here, Fujimaru! I want to hear what you and Mash thought of this, too!
Da Vinci: Now I get it. This really is fascinating!
Scáthach: Oh, the little Da Vinci. Hehe, was the excitement a bit too much for you?
Da Vinci: Hahaha, maybe♪
Goredolf: Wait. You're not serious, are you?
Da Vinci: But never mind that now.
Da Vinci: This was certainly all very interesting.
Da Vinci: I'd love to hear what you and Mash thought about all this too, Fujimaru.
Da Vinci: What do you say we have a little confab after you get back?
Fujimaru 1: You got it!
Mash: A lot's happened since we came here, but at least the Grail Front is now over.
Mash: Congratulations once again, Master. Now, what do you say we head back home!
Narration: Some time later...
Scáthach: I have an idea for a new Grail Front, but it would involve fierce competition for magical energy resources.
Scáthach: As such, there is no way to know when I may be able to– Hm?
Scáthach: What is it? Is there something going on?
Marie: Oh, hello, Scáthach. Did you see this yet!?
Scáthach: See what? ...A-another Grail Front!?
Da Vinci: There we go.
Da Vinci: The Holy Grail War simulator is now complete!
Fujimaru 1: Amazing work!
Da Vinci: I gotta say, it took a while to put together, but I think it'll all work nicely.
Da Vinci: I'll spare you the details, but suffice to say, it runs on recycled magical energy, so it'll still be a little while before we can try it out.
Da Vinci: But hey, once it's all ready, we'll be able to hold events like this on a regular basis!
Da Vinci: There. All done!
Da Vinci: Voilà! The Holy Grail War simulator is now complete!
Mash: Way to go, Da Vinci!
Goredolf: Hmm. I don't see how this is going to be of much use.
Goredolf: I feel like I just wasted our finite and all-too-precious resources on some trivial entertainment...
Da Vinci: That's where you're wrong, Gordy. This entertainment's anything but trivial.
Da Vinci: Remember, this is a full-blown Holy Grail War simulator.
Da Vinci: Granted, we won't be able to use it until the recycling system gives us some more resources to run it...
Da Vinci: But once it does, it ought to provide some really valuable experiences!
Scáthach: Oho... Oho, oho. I see, I see...
Scáthach: It was a lot of work, coming up with this Grail Front system.
Scáthach: I had to gather a great deal of magical energy resources as I went around making intricate modifications to a minute Singularity, and now...
Scáthach: ... ...
Fujimaru 1: It's okay, Ms. Scáthach! We still need you to be an advisor!
Cú Chulainn: Yeah, Mentor. I know the system's already been put together...
Cú Chulainn: ...but the enemy Masters and Servants aren't gonna position themselves, right?
Cú Chulainn: So we're still gonna need someone who knows the ins and outs of battle to set things up. Someone like you.
Cú Chulainn: (...That oughta do it, right?)
Scáthach: I see... An advisor, huh?
Scáthach: Right, of course. Well, in that case...
Scáthach: I suppose my effort wasn't for nothing after all. And if it will help Chaldea bolster its fighting forces further, I certainly have no objections.
Scáthach: Besides, I have already received a fine reward in this outfit. My self-care regimen, if you will.
Scáthach: It seems I am truly in Tamamo Cat's debt. I'll have to be nice to any other cats I meet from now on.
Mash: I agree. Thanks to you and Cat, this first round of the Grail Front as turned out wonderfully.
Mash: On that note, Senpai, it looks like we've got a special new regular event to look forward to.
Mash: Let's make sure they're all as successful as this one!
Fujimaru 1: You said it!