Lanling Wang

Some Say There Was a Lack of Something Vital

Narration: 7:00 a.m.

Narration: The time when most Chaldean Servants begin going about their day.

Narration: While there are notable exceptions, such as the night owls and Servants who stay in their spirit forms...

Narration: ...our subject is apparently one of the many who start their day at 7:00 a.m.

Narration: Although Servants do not need to eat to survive, many of them choose to do so for the social and psychological benefits.

Prince of Lan Ling: Good morning, everyone.


The subject takes a seat at the dining table.


Of course, in his case, his “meal” consists of no more than a slice of bread and a glass of orange juice.


After quickly finishing his “meal,” the subject strikes up a conversation with a nearby Servant.

Bartholomew: Well, what do you know? I'm a hidden eyes kind of guy too.

Prince of Lan Ling: I see.

Bartholomew: Guess this means the day's finally come for you to lower your bangs as well, huh?

Prince of Lan Ling: Hahaha. By the way, on a completely different subject...

Bartholomew: (Damn, he's a slippery one.)


8:00 a.m.


By this point, the more diligent Servants are already hard at work, whether that entails research, training, investigating, or any number of other fields.


Our subject has chosen a simulator training regimen as though it were the most natural thing in the world.

Narration: His opponent...

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: I shall be your opponent today.

Prince of Lan Ling: You have my thanks, Lord Yagyu. Now then...have at you!


Prince of Lan Ling: Okay, I think that's enough for today. Forgive me for cutting the proceedings short.

Prince of Lan Ling: I simply fear that if we go any further, I too may end up treating this like a genuine duel.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: ...I see.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: If I may, Prince of Lan Ling, your swordplay strikes me as similar to sword dancing.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: It retains all the grace and suppleness of dance...

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: ...without sacrificing the sword's weight or cutting edge.

Prince of Lan Ling: Haha, that's very kind of you, but my style is nothing to boast about. It's something I had to devise on my own.

Prince of Lan Ling: As a general, I was so busy studying politics and warfare that I only had time to learn the bare minimum of martial arts.

Prince of Lan Ling: All the techniques I use now were moves I developed on the battlefield. I turned out to be much more adept at dodging than defense, so that's what I tended to focus on.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: I see. So your sword dancing was forged in the heat of battle.

Prince of Lan Ling: Your swordplay, on the other hand, was breathtakingly refined, Lord Yagyu. I learned a great deal from this sparring session.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: My Otomeryu is not ordinarily meant to be seen by outside eyes...

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: But that was a concern for my living self. Now that I am a Servant–a shadow sworn to serve a new Master–it is no longer relevant.

Prince of Lan Ling: I see. Now that humanity itself is in crisis, we can't be choosy about how we fight back.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: Be that as it may, I am afraid I cannot allow myself to copy your style.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: My son, Mitsuyoshi, would have no compunctions about claiming any technique he liked as his own, but no matter.

Prince of Lan Ling: Does that mean your son has a different style than you, Lord Yagyu?

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: Oh yes, very different. His talent with the blade came to him naturally, and his technique can only be described as flawless.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: Nonetheless, the world is a big place. There is surely someone somewhere strong enough to rend steel with their bare hands.

Prince of Lan Ling: Ah yes, like the ones descended from living, breathing gods.

Prince of Lan Ling: Good point. Then I suppose we will just have to train hard enough to keep up with them.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: Indeed.

Prince of Lan Ling: Oh, it looks like the next group is here. I'd best be on my way then.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: Very well. Until the next time.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: Hmm. It seems he noticed my warrior's instincts getting the best of me. What a pity.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: Now then, you there.



Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: What have you been doing this whole time?


After being called out by the nonsubject male, I decided to make a swift and quiet getaway.


Narration: 12:00 p.m. Lunchtime.

Narration: However, the subject heads to the underground library rather than the cafeteria.

Narration: Oh, just for the record...

Narration: I'd like you all to know that the library's name was recently changed to:

Narration: ...“The Great and Terrible Yet Beautiful Murasaki Shikibu Library” I've heard so much about!

Murasaki Shikibu: Oh, hello, Prince of Lan Ling. What sort of book are you looking for today?

Prince of Lan Ling: Good question...

Murasaki Shikibu: Well, we did just get in a few grimoires and valuable antique books thanks to a certain, um, anonymous donor...

Prince of Lan Ling: I see.

Prince of Lan Ling: (Despite getting new books, she seems rather preoccupied...)

Murasaki Shikibu: I'm afraid we have yet to receive the new shipment of military strategy books I've been expecting...

Prince of Lan Ling: Oh, I know. What about a book that Master would like?

Prince of Lan Ling: I could bring it with me the next time I visit [♂ him /♀️ her].

Murasaki Shikibu: Oh, what a lovely idea.

Murasaki Shikibu: Okay then, wait here, please.

Murasaki Shikibu: Um, let's see... I think it was above this shelf...

Prince of Lan Ling: Uh-oh.

Murasaki Shikibu: Aah!

Prince of Lan Ling: Forgive me. This was the only way I could think to help in the short time I had to act.

Murasaki Shikibu: O-o-oh gosh, I'm so terribly sorry!

Prince of Lan Ling: Not at all. The important thing is that you're okay.

Murasaki Shikibu: O-oh, yes, I'm fine. Besides, it's all my fault for not being more careful...

Prince of Lan Ling: Accidents happen to the best of us. Please, pay it no mind.

Prince of Lan Ling: So, is this the book you were looking for?

Murasaki Shikibu: Y-yes, that's it.

Prince of Lan Ling: Then I'll go ahead and check it out straight away. Thank you for your help.

Murasaki Shikibu: My pleasure.

Narration: ...And so our subject makes a graceful exit, apologizing for his intrusion in touching Murasaki Shikibu's body even as his gentle smile makes it clear he meant no harm.

Murasaki Shikibu: (Sigh)...

Murasaki Shikibu: That may well be the most beautiful man I've ever met, in multiple senses of the word.

Murasaki Shikibu: Even with the mask on, he had my heart pounding. I shudder to think of what may have happened had he not been wearing it.

Murasaki Shikibu: ...H-hang on. I think I might be able to use this feeling in a story! I'll go write it down in my idea notebook right now.

Narration: 4:00 p.m.

Narration: The subject strikes up a conversation with two passersby.

Paris: I see... So that's why you wear that mask.

Jason: Man, it's a good thing you weren't born in Greece.

Jason: Back there, good looks like that would either get you cursed or blessed, and there'd be hell to pay either way.

Prince of Lan Ling: I can understand the downside of being cursed... but wouldn't a blessing be a good thing?

Jason: Hardly. Sure, a blessing might mean you'd be living the good life for a while, but one wrong word and bam, the gods go divine retribution on your ass.

Jason: Hell, maybe they just decide to go retribution on you 'cause they think you're getting too full of yourself.

Jason: Either way, the only ending you'd get is a bad one!

Paris: Oh yeah, that sort of thing happened all the time!

Prince of Lan Ling: I see. It sounds like Greece had its fair share of troubles as well...

Jason: Then again, you wouldn't be the first to hide your face under a mask. Pency used to do the same thing.

Prince of Lan Ling: Pency?

Jason: You know, the Berserker who's always flying off the handle?

Jason: Real short? Abs that could grate cheese?

Paris: (Apollo's getting a bad feeling about this! Abort! Abort!)

Jason: What was her real name again? Oh, right!

Jason: Pencil-Lilia!

Penthesilea: You mangled my name on purpose! DIE!!!

Jason: Huh–WAAAH!

Penthesilea: (Huff, huff...)

Penthesilea: (Glare)

Prince of Lan Ling: For the record, I swear on my honor that I never said anything untoward about you.

Prince of Lan Ling: That said, I should have stopped Lord Jason before he shouted your mangled name. For that, I sincerely apologize.

Penthesilea: ...Very well. But I should mention that I have no desire for there to be any bad blood between us.

Penthesilea: Come with me to the simulator.

Prince of Lan Ling: Does that mean you wish to fight?

Penthesilea: I would have let you go if you were a Caster, but as you are a Saber, you should be capable of defending your honor yourself.

Penthesilea: Unless, of course, that sword of yours is just for show?

Prince of Lan Ling: ...I suppose you're right.

Prince of Lan Ling: Besides, I could learn a great deal by facing one of Greece's fiercest warriors in mortal combat.

Prince of Lan Ling: Very well then, let us do battle.


Penthesilea: I have seen the truth of your words in the strength of your sword arm. Very well then, our battle is concluded!

Penthesilea: I accept you as a fellow warrior and now trust your word that you meant no disrespect!

Prince of Lan Ling: Thank you, Lady Penthesilea.

Penthesilea: By the way, that mask of yours...

Prince of Lan Ling: Yes?

Penthesilea: I assume you do not get moisture buildup on your face when you are fighting while wearing it? That must be nice.

Prince of Lan Ling: That's right, I don't. This mask only covers my eyes, so there's plenty of room for air to circulate.

Prince of Lan Ling: Of course, it also extends up past my face, so I have to be careful when going through doors and such.

Penthesilea: Hmm... I see.

Penthesilea: The climate may have been largely responsible for this, but I always found quite a lot of moisture built up in my mask when I wore it in battle.

Prince of Lan Ling: Was it the kind that covers your entire face?

Penthesilea: It was. I cannot tell you how terribly I felt the urge simply to scratch my nose on countless occasions.

Narration: And so Penthesilea and our subject continued their pleasant conversation about masks.


When it was over, they both went merrily on their way, much to my relief.

Jason: I-I only mangled it on purpose a little bit...


Jason, of course, remains clueless.


Narration: 6:00 p.m.

Prince of Lan Ling: ... ...


The subject suddenly goes silent.

Prince of Lan Ling: I've been looking the other way since you didn't seem to mean any harm, but now that you've been following me around all day, I feel compelled to ask.

Prince of Lan Ling: What is it you want with me, Lord Blackbeard!?

Blackbeard: ... ...

Fujimaru 1: You wanna run that by me again?

Blackbeard: I just told you! What's the freaking deal with that pretty boy!?

Blackbeard: Prince of Lan Ling? More like Prince of OP Super Hotties!

Blackbeard: I mean, I know Chaldea's always had more than its fair share of hunks, but he just takes it too far!

Fou: Fou. Fooou...

Blackbeard: Take Bartholomew. He might act all dandy, but it doesn't take long to see he's a gross creepfest on the inside!

Blackbeard: So you just know that Lan Ling guy's got to be hiding something too!

Fujimaru 1: So you're jealous of him? Is that what this is about?

Blackbeard: Me? Jealous? Of him? Pfft. No way. Not in a million years.

Fou: Fou.

Blackbeard: I just figure nobody could actually be that perfect, so there must be something we're not seeing.

Fujimaru 1: I don't know. He seems pretty perfect to me.

Blackbeard: Well, I don't buy it. Guys like that always end up having some kind of weird fetish or something they don't wanna tell anyone else about, guaranteed.

Fujimaru 2: So what if there is?

Blackbeard: Well, if there's something we're not seeing, I wanna see it, dammit!

Blackbeard: Besides, it's just human nature to want to find fault with anyone who seems too good to be true!

Blackbeard: Which is why I'm not going to rest until I've uncovered the truth about him!

Blackbeard: Wooo, let's do this thing! Gimme a C! H! A! L! D! E! A! Gooo Chaldea!

Fujimaru 1: What was that all about...?

Blackbeard: And so, I have returned with my findings!

Blackbeard: Long story short:

Blackbeard: He's handsome on the inside too!!!

Blackbeard: (Sigh) What a letdown.

Prince of Lan Ling: Th-that's why you were following me around all day?

Fujimaru 1: I have to admit, you really were a perfect gentleman...

Prince of Lan Ling: Now don't you start too, Master!

Blackbeard: Right!? Just look at how carefully he placed his hands when he caught Murasaki!

Blackbeard: See how he did his best to avoid touching her skin even as he made sure to support her head?

Blackbeard: If I didn't know better, I'd have sworn I was watching a scene straight out of a visual romance novel (the kind that induces serious blushing).

Blackbeard: Incidentally, scenes like that are called “CGs” in some games, depending on the genre.

Blackbeard: The more you know, amirite!?

Fujimaru 1: I-it really is like poetry in motion...

Prince of Lan Ling: When did you even record that?

Blackbeard: Oh yes, I'm not too proud to admit that my inner badump circuit was running like crazy while this was going down.

Fujimaru 1: I didn't even know you had a...whatever that is.

Blackbeard: Oh sure. It's right between my heart and my stomach.

Blackbeard: Once it spins up, you get palpitations, flop sweat, fever, flushed skin, dizzy spells, weak knees, and hyperventilation, though not necessarily in that order.

Blackbeard: You know, now that I think about it, I really should look into getting that circuit removed!

Prince of Lan Ling: Um... Master? Could we please make stop?

Fujimaru 1: Yeah, I guess we should. (That circuit sounds like seriously bad news)

Fujimaru 2: True, this has definitely gone on long enough.

Blackbeard: Oh yeah? Then let's take this outside! I know I might not look it, but I'm still an ultra badass pirate!

Prince of Lan Ling: (The fact that it's true only makes him that much more difficult to deal with...)

Blackbeard: Hehehe... What a lucky break for me, getting to fight on a ship.

Prince of Lan Ling: Are you sure you didn't touch the simulation's settings!?

Blackbeard: Heh heh heh.

Blackbeard: If you think that's all I've got in store for you, you're gravely mistaken.

Prince of Lan Ling: What?

Blackbeard: Let's just say that Blackbeard is never alone!

Fujimaru 1: You mean there's another one of you? Oh gods, please no.

Blackbeard: Thank you for your honesty, Master. It's much appreciated.

Blackbeard: We hope you'll continue to enjoy Blackbeard brand products for many years to come.

Fujimaru 2: You mean you've still got crew members!?

Blackbeard: Hehehe. You won't find the sad sack Blackbeard who used to lie on the ground weeping tears of loneliness here anymore.

Blackbeard: Er, not that he ever existed to begin with, of course.

Blackbeard: All right, tactician, come forth!

Chen Gong: Good day, everyone. I am Chen Gong, the tactician Lord Blackbeard just spoke of.

Chen Gong: I'm a busy man, of course, but as I was told this is a time-sensitive matter, I decided to leave my errant tasks for later and drop by.

Chen Gong: And by time-sensitive matter, well... I trust you know of what I speak?

Prince of Lan Ling: (Um, Master?)

Fujimaru 1: (I think I can already see where this is going...)

Fujimaru 2: (Just be ready to run for it at a moment's notice!)

Blackbeard: All right, let's do this thing! By the way, tactician, can I ask why you're standing directly behind me?


Chen Gong: I know what you're thinking, so before you even ask: it was a necessary sacrifice.

Prince of Lan Ling: If you say so...

Blackbeard: Gaaah! I really thought I was done for!

Blackbeard: Who knew just activating Guts took so much energy...

Prince of Lan Ling: Easy there. Are you all right, Lord Blackbeard?

Blackbeard: ... ...

Fujimaru 1: THIS is the music they're playing now!?

Blackbeard: Oh man, I finally got that event CG I wanted after all...

Blackbeard: I can feel my badump circuit whirring around... Pretty soon, I'll be my own little Blackbeard Restoration Labyrinth...

Prince of Lan Ling: (No earthly idea what he's talking about)

Prince of Lan Ling: This has been a very tiring day...

Fujimaru 1: I bet!

Prince of Lan Ling: Lord Blackbeard seemed very dejected when he left...

Prince of Lan Ling: I do hope he'll be okay.

Fujimaru 2: It was kind of refreshing seeing you perturbed for once, though.

Prince of Lan Ling: You know, you can be kind of mean-spirited sometimes, Master.

Prince of Lan Ling: Still, I haven't had a day like this in a long time. For that, I owe Lord Blackbeard my thanks.

Prince of Lan Ling: Having your day turned upside down by someone you least expected may seem exhausting from the outside...

Prince of Lan Ling: ...but if nothing else, there's certainly never a dull moment.

Fujimaru 1: Welcome to my life.

Prince of Lan Ling: Oh, right! I guess you do experience that all the time, don't you?

Prince of Lan Ling: ... ...

Prince of Lan Ling: In that case, Master, would you like to swap war stories with me tonight?

Prince of Lan Ling: I suspect that both of us have plenty of tales of hardship we could tell.