[Siegfried x Karna] It’s Not Impossible If the Grail Is Involved (3)

Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandom: Fate/Grand Order

Rating: T

Pairing(s): Siegfried x Karna

Genres: fanfiction, fluff, humor, genderbent

Characters: Siegfried, Karna, Arjuna, Jing Ke, original characters


“Key words: ‘you think’, Archer. Nausea isn’t equivalence of morning sickness.”

Sequel to Sharing Warmth, A Drunken Mishap and All the Valentine’s Chocolate Combined. Sort of.

Part 3

The small contact device, whose form resembled a popular Japanese toy from the previous century, bleated like a sheep choking on hair balls. Rhys frowned deeply and shook it a few times while muttering some soft-core profanity; he still had a face to keep in front of his Servants.

“Is it broken, Master?” Siegfried asked with genuine concern. They’d be in some serious trouble if it was.

“I hope not, Siegfried. The darn thing is probably just showing its humor is all. Since I was careless and broke my device on last mission, I had to do with this junk. Ah, there it goes.”

The device beeped and flashed before a monotonous hologram was conjured. The image was grainy and shaky like something produced by a senile camera, and the person who answered their contact was…

“Huh? Where’s Davinci?” the Master blurted, surprised and kind of disappointed not to see the familiar and reassuring visage of Chaldea’s head of problem-solving center.

The image flickered as though reflecting the Servant’s annoyance on the other end. “You dare question my capability to deal with your problems, mongrel?” Gilgamesh barked, crossing his arms in a haughty pose. His sharp red eyes peered into what assumed to be the screen in Davinci’s communication office.

“No, no, no, I dare not, Your Majesty. It’s just… I didn’t expect to witness your presence here,” the Master placated. “May I ask for your forgiveness?”

“Fine, you have my forgiveness since I’m in a fair mood, mongrel. Davinci’s on a coffee break so I’m temporarily taking over to while away the time. What’s taking so long to clear this Singularity? Time is treasure, did you not know?”

“Er… we encountered an unexpected problem while working to fix this Singularity.”

Gilgamesh’s hologram arched a fine eyebrow. “An unexpected problem? How serious?”

“Mildly serious, Your Majesty.” Before the Caster reprimanded him for being vague, he quickly elaborated, “It’s not a life-threatening matter per se, but it’s bizarre and perplexing and downright inexplicable. I don’t think something like that has ever occurred before in Chaldea records.”

“You’re wasting my time, mongrel. Get to the point.”

Who just said he wanted to while away the time? “I apologize, Your Majestic. It’s probably best if you see it with your own eyes.”

Rhys held up the device for Gilgamesh to have a view of Karna, whose modesty was intact thanks to Siegfried’s cloak. Unfortunately said cloak also served as a cover to the problem – that Karna had been transformed into a female. The poor visual quality of the device certainly didn’t help much other than obscuring Karna’s newly gained feminine features.

Mistaken his frown for deep, troubled thoughts concerning the complexity and severity of the issue, Rhys gingerly asked, “May I be allowed to inquire about the problem, my king?”

He certainly didn’t expect a question back.

“What’s the problem?”


“Are you not seeing it, my King?”

Gilgamesh’s slit eyes narrowed in a dangerous glare. “You dare jest me, mongrel?”

A huge bead of sweats raced down Rhys’s forehead to his chin. “I—I dare not, my king,” he stammered, glancing at Karna and Siegfried. “Karna, would you mind taking it off so His Majesty can see?”

Siegfried was having a troubled expression on his face but he kept his lips tightly sealed as he watched Karna taking off the cloak with all the stoicism a Heroic Spirit could muster when having to reveal his body. Still, from the look of it, Siegfried seemed to be much more bothered by this act than Karna himself.

Gilgamesh squinted his eyes – probably due to the image quality – before his eyes widened to their utmost capability for the first time in centuries. “What on earth—?”

As expected, Rhys thought to himself. “Please allow me to explain, Your Majesty,” he said. “Things can be a little… complicated.”

After a while

“And that’s basically what happened,” Rhys finished the sentence. He expected the King of Heroes to show some shock (maybe just a little) or disbelief. He even expected the king to chastise him for telling a distasteful joke (it did sound like one). Instead, what he got was a pensive look of a wise king and magic user possessing knowledge from the age of gods. Maybe this issue was much, much more serious than he had estimated, and it demanded ancient wisdom to properly deal with it.

Rhys was thinking powerful, elaborate rituals which might or might not involve pentagrams drawn in blood or human sacrifice when Gilgamesh’s voice breached the silence. “Karna fell into one of the pools there, didn’t he?”

Unsure if the King of Heroes was asking a genuine question or a rhetorical one, Rhys replied gingerly, “Yes, Your Majesty.”

“Have you checked other pools?”

Rhys glanced at Siegfried and Karna to check if his Servants understood Gilgamesh. Both shook their heads in perfect unison. Either it was something most couples could do without trying or they must have been practicing.

“I beg your pardon, my king, but I didn’t quite understand. We haven’t dared to touch the waters, any of them, should they prove to be perilous.”

Rhys heaved a mental sigh. It was always mentally challenging to speak to all three versions of the King of Uruk, which proved they were indeed the same soul at the core. The littlest Gilgamesh, although humble and sweet, was ever ready to pull a prank at his Master, which was fine unless it happened when Rhys just returned from a mission, bone-tired and neither physically nor mentally prepared for one. The middle Gilgamesh – the Masters liked to refer to him such amongst themselves – was so Gate-of-Babylon-happy that every Master, even his own, had to tiptoe around him lest them invoke his wrath and get pulverized. He had made it very clear when summoned that he wouldn’t mind having a change of Master if his current one turned out to be “unworthy” or “a disappointment”. Gulp. As strong as the King of Heroes was, Rhys considered himself lucky enough to not have gotten him. Why couldn’t every top-tier Heroic Spirit be as kind and easygoing as Siegfried and Karna? The elder Gilgamesh was the easiest one to deal with so far; so long as you showed him utmost respect and gave him treatment befitted a monarch, he would regard you a loyal subject and occasionally grant you some favors. Nevertheless, the amount of speech formality required was nerve-wrenching to someone who had never come in contact with the blue bloods before. Rhys should totally recommended it be added to the next Master 101 courses.

“A wise decision. Well thinking, mongrel,” Gilgamesh commented. “Coming in contact with the unknown may very well produce unpleasant results.”

Rhys felt a bud of pride blooming in his heart; to be complimented by the great King of Heroes was a quaint occasion, perhaps once in a lifetime, so the young Magus made sure he would—

“However, squash that caution away…”

How brutal. Rhys imagined he could hear the sound of his heart shattering.

Standing beside him, both Siegfried and Karna cast a sympathetic glance at their Master.

Either he didn’t realize or he wouldn’t be bothered with such trivial, Gilgamesh continued, “… because you need to examine those pools to determine what exactly each one could do, whether they all had the same effect. Understood?”

Frankly he didn’t. “But Your Majesty, how could we do that without endangering ourselves?”

It would be disastrous if either Siegfried or himself had suffered the same condition as Karna. Sorry buddy, it’s best you be alone in this.

The image flickered as though affected by Gilgamesh’s waving his hand in a dismissal gesture. “That you have to figure out yourself. Even though a mongrel, you are still a Master of Chaldea, who is holding a contract with several Heroic Spirits. Fail and you should know the punishment for disappointing the king.”

Such motivational words. Rhys swallowed up his coming sighs. “Yes, Your Majesty. Please allow me one more question before this contact device runs out battery.”


“What should we do if our examination of the pools yields no result? If we retrieve the Grail, this Singularity will be erased and so will these pools, then what about Karna’s condition? Will he have to remain in this… form for—”

The device beeped and Gilgamesh’s projection vanished like a puff of smoke from Genie’s lamp. The three of them stared wide-eyed at the blank space where the device lied without a care in the world.


To be continued

[Siegfried x Karna] Tale of a Dragon (2)

Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandom: Fate/Grand Order

Rating: T

Pairing(s): Siegfried x Karna

Genres: fanfiction, fluff, humor, AU

Characters: Siegfried, Karna


He was a dragon that wasn’t a dragon. A freak in the form of another species mixed with dragon traits. An abomination. A subject of shame and loathing. A total outcast. Naturally, there would come a day when his own mother would banish him from her den for eternity.

Entirely on his own, the young dragon hybrid met one of the humans who had been hunting his kind for gold and treasure since forever. However, this human seemed too small, too fragile that it probably posed no threat to him. It was a child.

An odd child.

Part 1

Two days had passed like a short dream since his mother left him on his own. At this moment, Siegfried was crouching in front of a cave he had found by chance. To call it a cave was being over-generous, for it was just a little bigger than a hole in the rock, too cramped and too damp for a dragon to occupy so Siegfried knew he would soon have to find another cave, wider, drier and having enough space for a growing dragon hybrid to stretch his limbs, provided that he could survive this environment. He hadn’t figured out the climate in this land but two things were pretty clear: one, the climate was vastly different from where he had lived, judging by the botanical life; and two, it was in winter, judging by the snow blanketing the landscape.

For dragons, snow was bad news; even the strongest of them wouldn’t fare so well in the dipping temperatures. Every seasoned dragon hunter should know they would never find a single dragon in regions where snow, together with the biting cold, accompanied winter. And that was exactly where his mother had dropped him – an area where winter was reigning and the sterile white of snow and ice was dominating the color palette. It pricked his heart to be reminded of his mother’s animosity toward his existence even when they had parted and would likely never see each other again.

Nonetheless, a metaphorical prick in the heart wouldn’t kill him right away, but hunger would. For two days he had only had a meal, and it had been meager at best – a skinny hare that had lost its way and died in the snow. The animals here were far too skilled in hiding from him than him at hunting them. At this time, with his stomach groaning audibly, Siegfried couldn’t help chiding himself for being such a failure of his kind, hailed as the emperors of all predators. His mother and kin had had every right to detest him and cast him aside.

As if self-deprecation could fill his belly than he would gladly do it on a daily basis. The thing was, it couldn’t, so Siegfried just mentally heaved a little sigh. Clenching his stomach so that it almost touched his spine, he took in as much air as his lungs allowed. Then he let out a breath of fire on the ice surface beneath his bare feet. Yesterday he had made a discovery that there was a pond in front of his little dwelling, only that it had been frozen. It had sparked some hope in him that there might be some fish he could catch, and the young dragon had been trying to melt the layer of ice.

Several cracks appearing on the mirror-smooth surface brought a wide grin to Siegfried’s face, so wide it actually hurt. Yet his joy was relatively short-lived. That he himself was standing on thin ice hadn’t crossed his mind until it was too late: the ice under him gave in to the heat of the flame and Siegfried’s weight, and with a loud yelp, the young dragon was dumped into the freezing water.

While the threat of drowning was non-existent as the water level only reached his waist, he could die of the chill before he counted to twenty. His luck truly was out of this world, thought Siegfried as he fished himself out of water, his small body shivering violently like a hushed leaf in the autumnal wind. He coughed dryly, the feeble flame immediately extinguished once it left his mouth. There was frost in his nostrils, making his breathing a laborious and hurtful task. His heart thumped arrhythmically against his rib cages.

He wanted to cry, tears hotly brimming the rims of his eyes. They didn’t roll down his cheeks however, as he bit his lips so hard to restrain them he tasted copper on his tongue. He no longer had a mother to cry to, not that he had ever had, and crying now only served to exhaust him quicker and push him one step closer to imminent death.

So deeply wallowing in his troubles that Siegfried hadn’t picked up the light footsteps approaching him.

“Hey, are you okay?”

A voice had severed his wrecked train of thought and caused all the scales on his body to rise. His first instinct was to scramble back but the muscles in his legs had become rigid, and so the sudden momentum resulted in him falling on his bottom. Great, now even his butt was numb.

“Are you okay?” the voice repeated with more concern.

The first thing came into Siegfried’s sight was a pair of feet clad in brown leather boots with some sort of fur lining their necks. The young dragon looked up in curiosity and examined the speaker. His guard dropped a little.

It was a human standing in front of him. Although Siegfried hadn’t truly encountered a human in his short life, he had seen enough to make a speculation on the age: this one wasn’t a mature specimen and by its height and look, Siegfried could speculate that it was around the same age as him in dragon years. The gender was harder to guess though, the round, soft face with huge eyes and pink lips constituting a sense of androgyny. Siegfried had heard that a human’s appearance didn’t always denote the gender, especially the young ones – children in their language. What terribly strange creatures they were.

A human child was unlikely to pose any threat to him and even if he did, Siegfried could at least manage an escape. Nonetheless, he wasn’t too naive to not consider the possibility that this child was not alone. The adults might be lurking around, waiting to launch a surprise attack. He eyed the human child warily, his wings flapping in slow motion to shake the frost off the skin and help the blood circulation. He prepared himself to take off any moment.

“You’re shivering,” the child asked. “You’re cold, aren’t you?”

To Siegfried’s bafflement, the child squatted down, his red, extra-fluffy cloak pooling around his feet and making a stark contrast with the snow-covered ground. The color was striking, and Siegfried was reminded of his mother’s mighty red flame.

Cautiously the young dragon dragged his foot a few inches back when it was almost touched by the glaring red cloak as if he was afraid it would singe his bare skin. It was absurd, even he was aware, but it seemed his subconsciousness was one step ahead of his rational thinking. “Isn’t it obvious?” Siegfried scowled, trying to sound intimating despite his teeth clattering. His effort apparently failed because the human child’s big pale eyes blinked at him, unfazed.

“Aren’t you afraid of me?” Siegfried’s voice had lost a great deal of the strength he pretended to have, leaving it a denouncement of his current miserable state: starving, freezing and absolutely vulnerable. Even the flimsy hope that the child would be scared away by his appearance had vaporized as fast as the breaths leaving his chapped lips.

The child blinked again – it seemed to be a habit more than anything, and extended his hand to touch Siegfried by his cheek. His first instinct was to squat the hand, but the warmth from the skin uncovered by any fabric – odd, he thought – was so tempting that instead of backing off, Siegfried leaned in, even nuzzling his cheek against the palm, giving no thought about the small patch of scales near his eyes scratching the child’s silky skin. It was funny how the child’s hand was so warm despite it had probably been out in the cold for a while, but again he couldn’t say he possess much knowledge about humankind. It could be attributed to humans being hot-blooded though.

Later Siegfried would be mortified to learn that his reaction was typical of an animal receiving a common affectionate gesture from its owner known as “petting”. Karna, the child – a male one, or boy in human language, was quick to assure him that it wasn’t petting but Siegfried was stubbornly unconvinced.

Karna tilted his head slightly as his hand moved from Siegfried’s cheek up until it touched the silver mane, small, nimble fingers tangled with unkempt locks. His face sported an inquisitive look as he stated matter-of-factly, “You have ears just like me, and your skin, for the most part, feels soft. But you also have horns and scales and wings, and your eyes are slit and glowing…”

Growing impatient with the child’s description of him, Siegfried growled and caught both his hands which were attempting to reach Siegfried’s horns. Horns were a dragon’s pride and he, despite being only a disappointment of a dragon, would be damned before he allowed a puny human to play with them.

Surprise dominated Karna’s features but for a few seconds before that was soon transformed into a precocious look unbefitting his age. “You don’t like your horns being touched, I get it. I won’t.”

“Shouldn’t you be afraid of me?”

It was as clear as daylight the human wasn’t.

“Why should I be?” Karna replied, blinking again. “You don’t look a threat to me.”

“I’m a dragon,” Siegfried snarled, trying to show his tiny fangs, which he never knew could be considered ‘cute’ by some humans. This child’s fearlessness was irking him. “I can crisp you or devour you or tear you apart. Or do all three at the same time.”

“You can breathe fire?” Karna asked with a gleeful tone, Siegfried’s threat likely censored to his hearing. “Show me, show me.”

What’s wrong with this one? This was nothing like what his kin had told him about the humans. Humans, in spite of being small and weak, were extremely cautious and cunning, and they would unlikely approach a dragon with such bizarre audacity this child had been displaying.

He wouldn’t admit he was motivated by the absurd need to prove himself to a puny human. As a dragon, he had a pride to keep, even if that meant he had to grant a childish request. He sucked in a cold breath and slowly breathed out, his mind summoning the flame from within his core as he felt the heat spreading through his chest, getting more intense by the second. That’s it. He opened his mouth wide to release a dragon’s fury. Nonetheless, instead of a flame, what he had was an embarrassingly feeble puff of smoke.

“That’s smoke, not fire.”

This child might have a habit of stating the obvious.

“I’m hungry, alright?” Siegfried petulantly rebuked, the smooth patches of skin on his cheeks reddening.

And freezing and exhausted and frustrated and alone. The list went on and on.

Karna wordlessly untied the bow under his chin and took off his fiery red cloak. He then draped the cloak around Siegfried’s shivering shoulders and meticulously tied the knot. Siegfried instantly felt the familiar warmth that had once nurtured him, protected him, lulled him into sleep before his egg hatched and he was flung to the cruel, cruel world. Moreover, the warmth didn’t come from the thick fabric alone but there were traces of magecraft intricately woven into each thread making up the garment. They were very faint but he could detect them nonetheless, being a species sensitive to all sorts of magic. This discovery made him see this human child in a total new light. Could it be that he came from a family of sorcerers? That seemed a possibility since he didn’t shy away from making contact with a dragon hybrid as a normal human kid should. Could it be that his family was nearby, hunting rare beasts?

The thought of fleeing rose again, but his legs were still numb and clumsy and the warmth was irresistible. He doubted he would make it very far in a chase.

“My name is Karna. What is yours?” the child asked.

Such a strange name. But again, Siegfried had landed on a strange land.

“Why should I tell a human my name?”

A dragon’s name was a key to ride them, a condition for submission, and he would not give it up so easily.

The child blinked, his lower lip slightly sticking out in a pout. “But I tell you my name.”

“I didn’t ask for it.”

Siegfried was very pleased with himself for such a smart rebuttal, even more so by Karna’s tears swelling up in his winter-blue eyes.

He didn’t let them fall, however; instead, he put the punnet he’d been carrying since he met Siegfried on the snow-covered ground. He unwrapped the cloth on the top and steam rose, together with an enticing aroma that had Siegfried’s stomach growling like a beast on its own right and his mouth watering. The dragon hybrid had no idea what was inside the punnet; he just knew that it had to be food and right now food was what he needed the most.

“I’ll give you one if you tell me your name, maybe two,” Karna said, holding a soft-looking oval-shaped piece of dough that Siegfried wasn’t sure what it was exactly but it smelled good enough to make him drool. Then, Karna’s condition sank in and his insides got a jab. Humans were wicked and cunning creatures; they wouldn’t give you something without expecting something else in return. Even a child was no exception. See how quick he was to take advantage of Siegfried’s state and strike a bargain? But no, Siegfried wouldn’t fall for this trick, tempting as that might appear. Besides, what good was that steaming brown piece of dough anyway aside from the smell? If only Siegfried could catch some fish then he would be fine.

The young dragon firmly shook his head.

“A pity,” Karna sighed. “Then you won’t complain if I call you ‘Hornie’, right? Because of the horns.”

Siegfried huffed, earning himself a chuckle from the human. He certainly didn’t expect Karna to thrust that piece of dough into his hand. “I’ll give it to you even if you refuse to tell me your name. I can’t eat that much anyway.”

“What is this?”

Karna’s eyes widened. “Oh, you don’t know what it is? It’s a bun, freshly baked. Our baker Mikael puts in some hazelnuts for extra-crunchiness. It’s delicious. You should try it.”

“What is a baker?”

“You don’t know what a baker is? He’s the one to bake bread and other delicious cakes and pastries.”

Siegfried eyed the thing in his palm with suspicion. Should he consume it? It could be poisoned or laced with some tranquilizing potion to subdue and capture him – such tales were not unheard of. But he was so famished he would perish without having food anyway, probably even faster than being poisoned. In the end, his hunger triumphed over his paranoid thoughts and he took a large bite. The outer crust was slightly crunchy and filled his mouth with a nutty flavor, which Siegfried was surprised to find not all that bad. The flesh inside was warm and fluffy and left a lingering sweetness at the back of his tongue even when he had swallowed the bite. He couldn’t remember the last time he had eaten something warm and soft; his daily meals had always been cold and chewy since most of the fleshy parts had been consumed by his siblings, leaving only the bones with bits of sinews and charred meat clinging to them. On a lucky day, he could break the bones and suck the marrow but those days had been few and far between. With such a diet it was no wonder he had been undergrown. With tears blurring his vision, he swallowed the rest of the bun.

“I have more if you’re still hungry,” Karna said, offering yet another steaming bun. He must have noticed the wetness in Siegfried’s eyes.

Siegfried wordlessly wolfed down the bun and the next, and the next. By the time his stomach was relatively full and his hunger had been pushed back to a safe distance, he had consumed nearly everything in Karna’s punnet, leaving only two smaller buns, one small apple and a couple red berries.

“Wow, you’re such a big eater,” Karna exclaimed with genuine admiration. “You’re going to grow up very big and strong. That’s what my nanny often says.”

Siegfried huffed. He didn’t believe a word from this human child. He had always been the runt of the litter and his siblings, well fed and cared, had been growing much bigger than him. Moreover, given his hybrid nature, he would never surpass them in size and strength.

But, even so, he would grow up to be bigger than an average human being, that was no doubt. Take this Karna child for example. Judging by his look, he appeared to be given enough food to eat, and yet his height was inferior to Siegfried, malnourished and undergrown. As if to prove the theory going inside his head, the dragon stood up straight, towering over the squatting human child. The loose knot came undone and the cloak slipped from his shoulders to bundle at his bare feet. With the warm food nestling in his belly, Siegfried found a new energy flowing through his limbs, washing off two days’ fatigue; rapid recovery was a perk of being a dragon. His legs no longer felt so numb and his wings, creating small winds with their flapping, were ready to take flight.

He was ready to do just that when he suddenly felt his tail grabbed by a hand, causing him to shudder.

“Hey, don’t fly away yet.”

Siegfried turned around to a plump face whose notable features were eyes sparkling with moisture and lips forming a pout. Siegfried knew he shouldn’t feel that way, didn’t have to feel that way – after all he had begged for neither the cloak nor the food – but somehow despite his reasoning, he couldn’t help a feeling of guilt tugging his heart like that tiny soft hand tugging his tail.

Not letting go of Siegfried’s tail, Karna stood up and indeed, he was shorter than the dragon by a head.

“Don’t go away yet. It’s just… you’re the first kid who isn’t afraid of me and talk to me.”

Siegfried looked the child up and down. Again and again. He squinted his eyes and raked his dragon brain to find something remotely scary or freaky. He found none. What could possibly induce fear in this skinny little human? His androgynous face framed with white hair like a snow fox’s fur? His huge, trusting eyes showing no fear of a predator? His pale, unblemished skin? His small hands emitting only faint traces of magecraft? He looked entirely human, no mixed traits of another species. Siegfried didn’t get it.

“I’m not a kid,” Siegfried rebuked, choosing not to voice his other thoughts. “I’m not human so you don’t scare me.”

Karna’s eyes lit up as he beamed, squeezing Siegfried’s tail, eliciting a frustrated growl from the young dragon.

“Can we be friends?”


Siegfried didn’t know what ‘friends’ meant but his instincts told him it was a human thing and if it was a human thing, the answer would be a crisp ‘no’.



Once the second ‘no’ rolled off his tongue, Siegfried made another mistake (he seemed to have made one too many today): instead of just flying away like he had intended, he paused and waited for a response from the child. Why? He couldn’t fathom. What he got was a pair of watery eyes fixing on him as though he was the biggest, meanest bully in the world. There was no other times that he cursed his human part more than at the moment. Dragons were never seized by the grip of guilt; nor should any true dragons feel bad for bringing tears to a human child. Siegfried wished the same could be applied to him. Unfortunately, it was the opposite.

How those eyes reminded Siegfried of a dragon hybrid, weak and mistreated by his siblings and unable to seek protection from his mother. How many times had he himself looked at them with helpless tears in his eyes and earned not sympathetic but scornful glares?

“Don’t cry…” he said weakly, feeling the tears brimming at his eyes. The earlier determination had faded from his voice.

“I’m not crying.”

“There’s snot running from your nose.”

Karna sniffed. “I’m not,” he denied, stubbornly childish even when he was wiping his nose with a finger. “I’m going to have to travel deep into the woods to train with a mage there. But I’ll be back in a day. You will be here when I return, right?”

Siegfried really didn’t wish to argue with a human child, no more than he wished to see him weep. On the other hand, a dragon didn’t give their promises on a whim, for promises were a géis to their species. He told himself to keep his mouth shut with a thin hope that the child would be put off by his silence and give up. Humans were easily discouraged, or so he had heard.

Unfortunately, this peculiar child took his silence for agreement and squeezed his tail, making Siegfried jump with a surge of pain. Growling, Siegfried snatched his tail back with more force than necessary.

“I’m sorry,” Karna said sheepishly. “I’m going now. See you later.”

As he went up the trail ahead, Karna kept waving at Siegfried until he became a small dot and disappeared.

He didn’t make promise to not leave here and wait for Karna, Siegfried told himself, but it wasn’t like he had somewhere else to go, being a stranger to this vast land. The cave would shelter him and maybe the fish in the stream would fill his belly for a while. The thought of food made him unconsciously lick his lips, reminiscent of the warm, fluffy texture of the buns. Maybe if he stayed here, he could have another chance to eat them, and he would take his time to savor the taste.


It seemed Karna had forgotten his cloak. Hadn’t he felt cold? Strange. Siegfried picked up the cloak and draped it over his shoulders, feeling the hum of energy dancing across his skin, fighting off the chill.

To be continued

[Siegfried x Karna] Tale of a Dragon (1)

Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandom: Fate/Grand Order

Rating: T

Pairing(s): Siegfried x Karna

Genres: fanfiction, fluff, humor, AU

Characters: Siegfried, Karna


He was a dragon that wasn’t a dragon. A freak in the form of another species mixed with dragon traits. An abomination. A subject of shame and loathing. A total outcast. Naturally, there would come a day when his own mother would banish him from her den for eternity.

Entirely on his own, the young dragon hybrid met one of the humans who had been hunting his kind for gold and treasure since forever. However, this human seemed too small, too fragile that it probably posed no threat to him. It was a child.

An odd child.

Part 1

Siegfried was, by his kin’s description, a total failure of a dragon.

From the moment he broke his eggshell to arrive in this world, Siegfried had been an oddball, pun somewhat intended, considering how he had looked a bit like a scaly ball. His mother had laid nine eggs at that time, and while the other eggs had turned out perfectly fine – beautiful baby dragons with colors varying from grey and dark green to crimson, Siegfried’s egg had been an exception. Not only had his egg hatched several days later than schedule, the infant dragon had come out in a form that wasn’t exactly draconic: while he’d had the standard traits of his kind – curved horns, wings and a long tail covered in scales – the rest had belonged to another species. How such a bizarre thing could have happened had been beyond everyone; still, to all of them it could have been nothing more than a bad omen. Siegfried’s skin had been pink and smooth, with only a couple scaly patches littering his shoulders, back and thighs. And while the majority of dragons were hairless, Siegfried had been born with a head of long silver mane. The moment the eggshell cracked and he emerged from within, his wide turquoise eyes eagerly drinking the scene around and his infant brain absorbing the overwhelming information like a sponge, his dragon kin gathering in anticipation to welcome their newest member had panicked and shrieked. His eyes had distinguished his own mother from the rest easily enough as it was every baby dragon’s instinct, and when his gaze landed on her, keen to imprint on her image, he had only found disappointment and wrath vivid on her features. It had scared him so badly all he had wanted was crawl back into his broken egg and never face the world – mostly his mother – again. Hell hath no fury like a dragon’s scorn, his young brain had understood that much. The fear that his own mother would devour him had been palpable.

In the end, his mother hadn’t chewed him up, much to Siegfried’s relief. Yet she had not paid him a morsel of her attention either. While she had always made sure his older siblings would go to sleep with a full belly, Siegfried had been left to pick up the scraps, hunger constantly gnawing the inside of his stomach. She had turned a blind eye to his siblings bullying him on a daily basis while Siegfried, thin and malnourished and only part-dragon, had had no way to defend himself. Growing up, he had gradually learned that the reason for his abnormal appearance had been the curse of some human sorcerer. Humans were a weak and nasty species and amongst them, sorcerers were the nastiest. The fool had traveled far and wide to his mother’s lair to slay her because apparently slaying a fearsome dragon was the quickest and surest way to gain fame and fortune. Before being barbecued and never spoken of again, the sorcerer had laid a curse on her, which his mother had not paid any mind to until the birth of a half-dragon, half-human hybrid from one of her eggs. Such a weak, obscure curse yet one so sinister; she had made a fatal mistake by underestimating the wicked nature of the human species.

However, Siegfried’s appearance had not been the only reason for his kin to look at him and snarl. Not only had he looked very human, he had been acting very much like one, his draconic characters suppressed to maximum. In the beginning, a couple of his relatives had pitied the youngling neglected by his own mother, and they had taken it upon themselves to teach him some basic skills, like how to magnify his flame and roast the enemies – and food – the quickest or how to build his own lair, how to sniff out the gold in the earth, accumulate his treasure and guard it against the prying humans. To their dismay, he had failed almost every aspect, with the only exception being his green flame, which barely passed the average standard – another shame as compared to his mother’s, surpassing even hell fire. Even worse, he had even failed to see how essential these skills were to his long life ahead, his line of thinking crooked and foreign to a dragon. For instance, he had failed to see the purpose to hoard up gold in his lair; unlike humans, dragons had no need for precious metals, and guarding a great treasure only guaranteed the attention of those greedy crawlers. Hadn’t his great-grandfather been decimated by a so-called hero, who had then bathed in his blood to steal his powers? Hadn’t his mother been close to death a dozen times trying to protect both the treasure and her children against humans? Why did they have to make life so hard for themselves, Siegfried had wondered, and made a grave mistake of voicing his thought. Unable to straighten his thinking after a while, his few sympathizers had given up on him, going back to giving him icy glares.

Dragons in general were cold-blooded creatures, which was a fascinating paradox considering they could breathe fire from their throats and slumber on a bed of lava. Familial love and such seemed transient and pale in comparison to strength and territory. Tales of dragons devouring their younglings or young dragons feeding on the flesh of their parents were not unheard of. During his first years, Siegfried had been living under constant fear that one day his mother would be fed up with an anomaly like him and get rid of the eyesore in one swift bite. He could only thank God when it finally happened, his mother had only cast him out of her lair instead of making a quick meal out of her son.

Siegfried had woken up one humid morning to a steel-grey sky, which was already bad omen to dragons in general. Looking up to shapeless patches of clouds, he felt a sense of dread filling his heart. Dragons were considered magical beasts, and one of their innate abilities was being very in tune with the flow of nature, one a hybrid like Siegfried was lucky to not have lost. It had been later confirmed when his mother just wordlessly grabbed him with her claws. In fear of invoking her wrath he had not dare to ask. He gritted his teeth, feeling his little heart jumping to his throat. To north she had flown, over vast forests and winding rivers and rocky mountain ranges, until she had reached a faraway alien land. She had dropped him in a woods with a few crisp words that he would be on his own from then on. It wasn’t until her gigantic figure had become a small dot in the sky had the bitter realization sunk in his brain: his mother had severed their slim blood tie and banished him from her lair, and should he ever step into her territory, he would undoubtedly face her flame.

A normal flame would never harm a dragon. A dragon’s flame, however, was another story.

Looking at the strange nubiferous sky and then at the unfamiliar surroundings, Siegfried had had suppressed both tears and a sigh of relief.

To be continued

[Siegfried x Karna] If We Close Our Eyes


Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandom: Fate/Grand Order

Rating: K

Pairing(s): Siegfried x Karna

Genres: fanfiction, AU

Characters: Karna, Siegfried


“I was in some sort of pool, afloat though I don’t know how. But instead of water, it was some dark and viscous liquid much like mud. And it was boiling, although I wasn’t burnt. It was hard to describe; the heat was there and I felt it – terrifyingly real for a dream, as I recalled later. I wasn’t burnt in the sense that my skin wasn’t blistered and come off or anything; rather, I was melting, no, the right word should be dissolving.”

Sequel to Till I Break You

Karna stirred and opened his bleary eyes to the burning sunlight flowing through the open window. He squinted his eyes out of reflex and grimaced, until a figure blocked the sun and provided the much-needed shade.

“You were kinda drooling on the textbook, you know,” a familiar voice said, and a hand handed him some tissues.

Karna lifted his head and caught sight of Siegfried’s face. His lips were slightly curling at both ends and he was having a Slurpee in his other hand. His long hair was tied back in a high ponytail, his tie was loosened and the top button of his white shirt was undone.

Spring was receding rapidly to make place for summer and the weather was getting hotter by the day. Along with the heat came the conclusion of their semester and the long-awaited summer vacation.

Karna consciously touched the corner of his lips and found no traces of drool. He shot Siegfried a glare but snatched the tissues nonetheless. Just in case.

“Stayed up late last night?” Siegfried asked, sitting down on Karna’s table, which earned a reprimanding look from Karna. It wasn’t that Karna disapproved his act; Siegfried had done it countless times before, and Karna was fine with it. Mr. Steinfield, however, wasn’t, and he was more than happy to give Siegfried a detention should he catch him.

Siegfried shrugged and didn’t budge.

Karna nodded. “Got into a fight with Arjuna last night over moronic things.”

“How moronic?”

“Video games. Someone was being a sore loser.”

“So you had a hard time falling asleep? You often do when you two fight.”

“Not this time though,” Karna bleated, pillowing his head on his arm. What he would trade for a real pillow right here, right now. “I… was having a nightmare. When I woke up, it felt like I hadn’t slept a wink.”

He motioned his hand for Siegfried to share the Slurpee with him, which the other student did. Siegfried was even thoughtful enough to bring the straw to his lips. “What was it about?” he asked.

Karna lazily took a long drag of the refreshing cold drink. Wild cherry huh? Siegfried’s favorite while his was watermelon but wild cherry wasn’t too bad. The sweet coolness on his tongue dispersed somewhat the cloying mist in his head and soothed his rampaging headache. “It was weird,” Karna began. “I was in some sort of pool, afloat though I don’t know how. But instead of water, it was some dark and viscous liquid much like mud. And it was boiling, although I wasn’t burnt. It was hard to describe; the heat was there and I felt it – terrifyingly real for a dream, as I recalled later. I wasn’t burnt in the sense that my skin wasn’t blistered and come off or anything; rather, I was melting, no, the right word should be dissolving.”

“Dissolving?” Siegfried echoed, wincing. “As in acid sulphuric?”


“Sounds horrible. It had to be excruciating.”

“The thought was, yes, but I wasn’t in pain. In fact, I felt almost nothing. Weird, huh? Could feel the heat but not the pain. I thought that too, until I realized I had no lower body and no limbs. Only my head, neck and shoulders connected to a torso. And I knew, without having learned how, that soon what was left of me would dissolve—”

“Okay, okay, okay, stop right there before that image burns into my head.”

“That’s not the worst of it,” Karna said, half irritated because Siegfried cut him and half amused by his reaction. He was too sleepy and lethargic to decide which was dominant. “The same dream came back just a few minutes ago.”

“A recurring dream huh?” Siegfried wondered, stroking his smooth chin pensively. “Maybe your subconscious was trying to tell your something.”

“Looks who has just become Sigmund Freud,” Karna deadpanned.

“That’s Fox’s major, not mine, along with horoscopes. Wanna meet her after school and consult her?”

“I want to go straight home and sleep until tomorrow,” Karna replied, yawning dramatically audible. “Maybe the day after tomorrow.”

Furrowing his eyebrows, Siegfried looked down on Karna’s I’m-a-lazy-cat form. “Then I suppose our date is canceled?”

Karna’s half-lidded eyes shot open. “What? What day is today?”

“Friday.” A beat. “And my parents are out of town until next week and yours by the end of the month.” Another beat. “I got pizza and Netflix and PS4. Just enough to last us through the weekend.”

Karna’s eyes shone the brightest this entire morning and afternoon. “It’s not canceled,” he protested. “Just let me snatch some shut-eye and I’ll be good.”

Siegfried beamed triumphantly. “But didn’t you just say you wanted to go home?”

Seeing through his taunt, Karna pouted. “Between Arjuna’s spicy tantrums and his bland curry – same thing this whole week – and Netflix and pizza, I’ll go with Netflix and pizza.”

Siegfried arched an eyebrow. “You don’t mean Netflix and chill?”

Karna gave him a hard pinch, almost sending the other student off the table. Despite that, Siegfried was laughing so hard his eyes were brimming with mirthful tears. His laugh was contagious and Karna found himself laughing along.

“Anyway, just forget that weird dream and take a nap,” Siegfried said. “I’ll wake you up when break’s over.”

“Don’t get too bored doing so,” Karna replied, resting his head on his folding arms.

Mouthing “I won’t”, Siegfried looked around the class. Once he had made sure they were definitely alone, he bent down to place a light kiss atop Karna’s spiky head. His heartbeat quickened, excited by the prospect of spending the whole private weekend with Karna.

With his eyes shut tight, the corners of Karna’s lips curved into a smile as he tried to do as he’d been told, pushing that horrible nightmare to the far corner of his mind.

… along with a tidbit of truth he had withhold from Siegfried so as not to worry him: he wasn’t alone in that dream, because Siegfried was right next to him…

… dissolving.

Karna stirred and opened his bleary eyes to the purple sky that stretched far beyond his eyesight. The sun was present in the sky yet he felt none of the familiar assuring warmth from the sunlight, for the sun was not the blazing wheel of his father’s chariot but a gigantic black hole outlined with ominous light, from which dark mud continuously poured down the vast sea under. Hot and cold engaged in a continuous battle, each with its own ferocity.

Soaked in lethargy, Karna let out a feather-soft sigh and attempted to move his limbs, only to be sharply reminded that they were no longer attached to his body. Already dissolved in this sinister mud, their presences a lingering phantom in his fading memory. It would be a matter of time before the rest of his body and his consciousness succumbed to the same fate.

“You awake?”

The familiar voice was a gentle breeze that dispersed some of the soupy mist in his mind.

Coming into his sight was a face of doleful horror: where the skin had been smooth and adorned with the light pattern indicating the powerful dragon blood was now charred and falling off, partly revealing the teeth. The other half of the face, unmarred and still retaining its handsomeness, was masked by unspoken sorrow and agony.

Karna wished he still had a hand – just one hand was enough – so that he could press his palm against Siegfried’s cheek and hope to ease away the sadness and pain he had endured.

“I was dreaming,” Karna whispered, forcefully taking his eyes away from the horrific wound on Siegfried’s face while they were being magnetized towards it. It wasn’t its grotesqueness that shook him; rather it was the jarring truth of whose hand had inflicted such cruelty: his own. “It was a bizarre drea—”

His speech stopped short when his gaze landed on Siegfried’s shoulders. His usual armor had been stripped off, and in Karna’s sight was a blood-crusted stump. “Your arm…” His breath got stuck in his lungs, pressed down with incredible pressure.

“Ah,” Siegfried let out a sigh of resignation. It made a weird soft wheezing sound through his wound. “It’s only inevitable. My only regret is that now I’m unable to hold you with both arms.”

Jabbed by the sharp pain clouding Karna’s irises, he quickly added, “It didn’t hurt at all, only a minor discomfort, the nagging feeling of phantom limbs.”

He cut himself short, realizing Karna probably knew it all too well; after all he had been submerged in this dark mud long before Siegfried.

“Tell me about your dream. I want to hear it.”

“It was a… strange dream,” Karna began. “It wasn’t a nightmare, no, maybe it was but let’s say it wasn’t a nightmare in the conventional sense.”

“How strange?”

“It was… peaceful and normal and these two alone were the telltale signs of bizarreness.”

“Because peaceful and normal do not apply to us Servants?”

It was a question that came out of his mouth but his tone indicated a statement.

“We were humans in that dream. Not just you and I but Tamamo, Kiyohime and every other Servant we’ve acquainted. Humans living human lives, going to school, fooling around, having fun.”

“That sounds…… tempting,” Siegfried sighed.

It took him a while to find the word, and the courage to voice it.

“It was… beautiful. Sunlight pouring through the wide-open window, enveloping me in its pleasant warmth, like Father’s large hand softly patting my head, my shoulders. So beautiful that it was terrifying.”

“Can we Servants even dream?”

“If it wasn’t a dream then what was it?”

Silence, only the bubbling of the mud to fill the space.

“Another world, perhaps?” Siegfried said, at last.

“You mean a parallel world?”

“Yes. I prefer to think there is another world out there where we are humans. Maybe there are myriads versions of us.”

Karna temporarily shut his eyes, contemplating Siegfried’s theory. It fascinated him, excited him even, to imagine himself and Siegfried as humans as in his dream. Humans who weren’t heroes having to shoulder the weight of saving an incinerated world. Humans who led their lives as carefreely and ignorantly as humans could.

“Perhaps there is,” he replied, his tone hinting a sliver of joy. “It was blissful to be able to catch a glimpse of such a dazzlingly peaceful world.” A pause. Long enough for Siegfried to start pondering if he should interrupt his train of thought or wait. “Is it selfish to wish to be in that world even for just a few moments?”

“It’s a little odd hearing the selfless Hero of Charity claim to have a wish,” Siegfried teased. “Might take a while for me to get used to it.”

Karna managed a smile and even a gesture as small as that seemed like great exertion. His time was probably not long. The next time he closed his eyes, perhaps…

“I didn’t have a wish when I was summoned,” he said, “and then I met you. I wished to fight side-by-side with you for as long as our time in this world allowed. And now…”

“And now?”

“I only wish to be with you, even though it seems impossible now.”

“It’s not impossible. I’ll be with you till the very end.”

As if to assure Karna as well as himself, he kissed him on the lips, which had become even paler than normal and long lost its warmth, together with the rest of his body. What he was holding in his arms resembled a cadaver, with almost no life left in it.

“And I with you,” Karna said. He felt warmth and moisture on his cheek, and was unsure whose tears they were.

“If we were ever summoned again…”

“If we ever were summoned again…”

They said in unison and their sentences were cut short almost at the same time because Karna had closed his eyes. With that his body disintegrated into thousands light particles.

Karna stirred and opened his bleary eyes to the sounds of plastic bags being rustled. One glance at the window told him that dust had already settled in. The sky was dyed a purplish color and the sun was a half ball of dimming light disappearing behind the countless houses and buildings. The temperature had become a bit milder with the soft breezes scented with the faint smell of roses from the garden one story below. The honking of vehicles echoed from the distance. He straightened his back and sat up from his half-sitting, half-lying position on the couch. He had always loved this couch in Siegfried’s living room – so fluffy and comfy that once you sat down, you never wanted to stand up. In front of him Siegfried was busy laying the boxes of pizza, fries and drinks on the coffee table. It seemed a bit too much for the two of them; luckily they were both big eaters.

“Caught a nap?” Siegfried asked, opening the boxes of pizza to reveal a Seafood Deluxe and a Pepperoni Superb. Steam was raising and an enticing aroma fought off the scent of roses to fill the living room. Despite the uneasy feeling in his stomach, Karna felt his mouth water at the sight and scent. His appetite was catching up to him.

“Yeah,” Karna replied, ruffling his spiky hair. His hair was probably sticking in all directions but he couldn’t care less.

“I just went out to grab some drinks, just in time for the pizza delivery guy to arrive. Here.”

Siegfried opened a coke can and handed it over. Their fingers brushed and Karna received it with silent appreciation; his throat was often very parched after waking up. The cool liquid quickly washed away his thirst. “I was having a dream,” he said.

“Don’t tell me it was that dream again. If you keep having the same dream like that it’s really worrying.”

“I’m pretty certain this is the last time it visits me.”


“Well, the ‘me’ in that dream died. No, more like vanished or erased. I’m not so sure what that was supposed to be. His body became countless spots of lights and disappeared. Anyway, I knew that ‘me’ no longer existed.”

“That’s disturbing,” Siegfried commented.

“It was a just a dream, nothing more. And I want a slice with that juicy prawn.”

“Right,” Siegfried said, handing Karna what was seemingly the biggest slice. As for himself, he took a piece of pepperoni pizza. “After dinner, what’s the plan? Netflix or game?”

With his mouth half-full with pizza, Karna said. “We still have to decide who’s gonna clean up and take out the trash. That means game.”

“Oh? Is that a challenge? Alright. Game on.”

Karna shrugged and finished his slice, savory and chewy. Just the right kind of junk food to soothe his hunger. As he stretched his arm to get another, he tried to temporary push the last vestige of his dream to the back of his mind: the look on Siegfried’s scarred face while watching Karna turn into particles of light. He had a hunch that look was likely going to haunt him for some time before the memory worn off.


Episode 110218 – Chuyện chơi game Pt. 3


  • Hãy để bạn bắt đầu bài rant về chuyện chơi game của mình bằng một câu chuyện bị ám. Chuyện là có một Master nọ mỗi ngày trói tay kiên quyết để dành gem đặng quay ra Servant mình ao ước. Ngày định mệnh đến, Master háo hức đổ game vào gacha hằng mong chàng trai bạch tạng người Ấn lần nữa nở nụ cười như mặt trời với mình. 80 gem ra đi, chàng trai Ấn đâu chẳng thấy, chỉ thấy một linh hồn áo đỏ hiện ra với dáng đứng tay cầm xuổng tay cầm chảo kinh cmn điển cùng giọng nói đầy châm biếm để ngụy trang cho một tâm hồn mềm mại đúng chất ‘gà mẹ’. Dù đau lòng lắm nhưng không như nhiều người giận cá chém thớt, Master vẫn giữ lại linh hồn áo đỏ và nuôi nấng, chăm sóc bởi dù sao thì hắn vẫn hơn một Black Key và đậu hũ Ma Bà.
  • Một thời gian ngắn sau, quay lại server Jap, Master đã nguôi ngoai nỗi đau bị chàng trai Ấn lơ đẹp và hăm hở mang gem đi quay hiệp sỹ Rồng Nhọ. Hiệp sỹ Rồng Nhọ chẳng thấy tăm hơi, thay vào đó là bóng áo đỏ thân quen.
  • Ngộ fine! Ngộ very fine!
  • Ít lâu sau, Master số nhọ đã trắng tay, gem đã hết mà vé cũng không còn. Đúng lúc này, Master được hội từ thiện cấp cho ba tấm vé, vậy là lại ôm hy vọng hừng hực canh giờ thiêng phút đẹp đi quay. Bụi vàng chói loá, hai tấm vé ra đi, đổi lại là hai tên áo đỏ nào đó nhìn Master như thể đang nói: “You were expecting Suwabe Sumanai but it was ME, Suwabe Shirou.”
  • Master không fine chút nào.
  • Hữu duyên thiên lý năng tương ngộ. Không, đây tuyệt không phải tương ngộ, đây là tương ám, tương ám, tương ám (chuyện quan trọng phải nói ba lần).
  • Nhắc đến vụ bị ám, à, là ‘hữu duyên’, bạn có nhiều kỷ niệm bi hài với các Servant lắm. Lúc mới chơi lại thì là Culi, trong một ngày mà bạn có 5 Culi – 4 bên Jap và 1 bên US. Tiếp theo là Yến Thanh, dù chẳng rate up hay canh me gì cả nhưng vẫn về và kết quả là bạn có Yến Thanh NP3. Tiếp theo là Too-moe (Tomoe) và Mỏ (Mordred), cả ba acc của bạn đều có cả hai, riêng trường hợp của Mỏ là chẳng rate up gì sất mà em ấy cứ về, không lẽ crush ngộ rồi mà tsun nên không dám thổ lộ à??


  • Ngoài được Mỏ-kun và Yến Thanh crush, bạn còn hay được Tĩnh Mịch và Euryale crush nữa, hễ đi quay là thế nào cũng rớt vài em. Nói nghe hơi đau lòng chứ cả Tĩnh Mịch lẫn Euryale đều max NP rồi, về nữa thì cũng đánh ngậm ngùi đưa đến lò burn của Davinci thôi.
  • Được Servant crush như vậy cũng vui vui nhưng tại sao Rồng Nhọ không crush bạn để bạn yêu thương, nâng niu, cứ toàn đi lạc sang nhà mấy thím kia để mấy thím giận gacha chém Servant, suốt ngày đòi burn, làm con t(r)ym ngộ đau quá man.


  • Giờ hễ thấy ai có Rồng Nhọ là ngộ tự động thấy mặn chát.
  • Bạn thấy rate up Shiki, bạn nhào vô quay vì bạn nghe nhiều người than bị Nhọ spook. Nhọ (vẫn) không thấy, chỉ thấy Thánh Nữ Jannu hiện về. Chắc thấy acc US của bạn E luck quá nên lâu lâu nhà phát hành cho 1 SSR an ủi.
  • Lần thứ n bị Nhọ bơ đẹp.
  • Chẳng lẽ Nhọ còn giận bạn vì lần free trước bạn đã pick Pikachu thay vì nghe theo tiếng gọi con t(r)ym và rước Nhọ về?
  • Bạn nghĩ sao nếu thấy đường đường là Dracula, cool ngầu lòi các kiểu mà bị một thằng bé 10 tuổi thả thính và dính thính? Nghe sai quá quá đúng không? Và chuyện đó đã xảy ra ngay trong team bạn Joel. Mà không chỉ Dracula đâu nhé, bao nhiêu anh hùng hào kiệt cũng không chống lại được thính của nhóc Gil nhà bạn. Sức mạnh của shota thật đáng sợ.


  • Nhân nói về chuyện thả thính, bạn Joel nhận ra mình đang nuôi một đám loli và shota chuyên thả thính người khác. Một điểm hài hước là trong khi ba em loli chỉ có thể thả thính trai thì hai em shota thả thính bất kể giới tính và… giống loài. Vì thế mà dẫn đến hàng loạt tình huống dở khóc dở cười như vụ Dracula bên trên. All hail shota.

  • Bạn từng được xem một vid đánh boss là Hijikata 2 triệu máu bằng 3 em gái loli có skill thả thính + hút mana + tăng dame lên trai. Kết quả? Phó cục trưởng Shinsengumi đứng yên làm bia tập bắn cho 3 em loli ‘giã’, không đánh nổi một đòn nào.
  • Thế nhưng nếu nói về độ nguy hiểm thì team thả thính vẫn kém team quăng độc một tẹo vì thả thính còn có xác suất hụt chứ quăng độc thì gần như 99% dính, chưa kể đã dính độc rồi thì cứ mất máu đều đều 5-6 turn. Bình thường bạn ỷ có Mẻ buff nên toàn chơi team atk cao + buster nên ít dùng team quăng độc. Dịp event vừa rồi có màn cool down nên buộc Master phải cân nhắc số Servant được xách ra trận. Nhờ vậy Mẻ và đám team buster bình thường hay bị bóc lột được dịp thảnh thơi còn Master có cơ hội dùng những team trước giờ ít dùng, trong đó có team quăng độc mà cá nhân tỏa sáng nhất là Tĩnh Mịch/Serenity-chan – có skill quăng độc + NP quăng độc. Nhìn em xinh xắn mảnh mai thế thôi chứ còn nguy hiểm hơn đệ tử Ngũ Độc Giáo hay Tinh Túc Phái ấy chứ.
  • Ầy, bạn vừa đá sang cả Kim Dung.
  • NP của Tĩnh Mịch còn là nguồn cảm hứng vô tận cho các thánh mê yuri. Đây là lý do:


  • Euryale-chan là Servant bạc (3 sao) bạn dùng nhiều nhất và em ấy cũng không ít lần gánh team sau khi các thể loại 4,5 sao đã bị boss thổi bay. Cân nhắc cho em lấy Chén vì công lao to lớn.
  • Bên server US thì dễ tính, Rồng Nhọ auto lấy hết Chén còn bên Jap mới khó: Chén thì có hạn nhưng Servant cần Chén thì quá đông. Bộ ba Karna-Ozy-Uncle đã chiếm hết phần lớn rồi, phần còn lại chia kiểu gì cũng không đủ.
  • Lại điệp khúc “Nhà nghèo Servant đông”!!
  • À, nhắc đến Uncle, thật cảm ơn Uncle đã không bơ đẹp em và về với 30 gem. Không những thương yêu em mà Uncle còn nhiều lớn vắt kiệt sức giúp em farm exp để nuôi đám nheo nhóc ở nhà và gánh team trong một số trận, điển hình là trận với Solomon, Uncle làm last man standing luôn. Đáng thương kẻ chơi chẳng có áo xoá buff lẫn CE ignore invincible.
  • Quà Valentine của Uncle cũng là món quà bạn thích nhất. Chắc vì bạn tuổi dê nên cảm thấy món quà của Uncle như dành riêng cho bạn vậy.


  • Quà của Dia đẹp nhất, btw.
  • Ngoài ra quà của Mẻ cũng rất đáng yêu, mỗi tội bạn không phải fan của con Fou.


  • Quà của Ozy là mấy con nhân sư không mặt, nhìn creepy vãi chưởng. Sr Ozy.
  • Quà của Tiểu Yến Tử đậm chất võ hiệp.
  • Bên nữ thì quà ba chị em Gorgon trông đúng buồn cười.
  • Tiếp theo là quà của Mỏ-kun. Quả là Servant có tâm nhất quả đất, cắn hết nửa mới đem tặng Master.


  • Còn quà của Salter là cái hamburger (nghi là) ăn dở. Đúng là cha nào con nấy.
  • Quà của Serenity trông ngon nhất. Nghe đồn ai đó trên Twitter đã làm thành bánh ăn được.


  • Cận cảnh ba thanh niên đỏ mặt vì được Master tặng choco. Nghe đồn Master là nam.
  • Shounen-ai incoming!!


  • Đây là Paracel-kun, một homunculus làm choco trong dịp event vừa rồi.


[Siegfried x Karna] A Silver Lining in an Otherwise Bleak Day (Alternatively I Ran Out of Ideas for Titles)

Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandom: Fate/Grand Order

Rating: K

Pairing(s): Siegfried x Karna

Genres: fanfiction, AU, humor

Characters: Karna, Siegfried, Tamamo no Mae


Featuring Karna as a part-timer as a café slash tea shop and Siegfried as a regular patron

Karna was having an abysmal day.

No, he didn’t have a penchant for being dramatic; on the contrary, ‘abysmal’ was still putting it mildly.

He hadn’t been born under a lucky star, that Karna had learned and accepted for a long, long time, but as far as he could recall, he had not ever experienced a day so choke-full of unfortunate incidents – except that day when he had been brought to live with his mother’s family after his father’s death – that he briefly considered flinging everything over his shoulder and left the city, perhaps the country, consequences be damned. He couldn’t, however, not before he graduated from college, got a degree and accumulated a decent sum of savings; free rent was the only provision he’d allowed himself to receive; everything else he would work to gain on his own. Until then he would grind his teeth and bear through whatever ‘trial’ – to think positively like his wise yoga instructor had said – life decided to throw his way.

Still, it seemed The Man Upstairs had wanted to test him because his usual moderately low luck had reached a new low today. Everything started when his senile but trusted alarm clock, the last gift from his late father, had perished quietly during the night, causing him to get up half an hour later than usual. Half an hour might not be long to other people, but to Karna, who had a pretty tight schedule consisting of studying and working part-time and who treasured time as much as money, this was catastrophic. In half an hour, he could dress, finish his breakfast of toast and last night’s leftovers, run to the bus stop and get himself a seat on his long way to his college. But since he had lost those precious thirty minutes, he had to cut a few things off his normal routine, his breakfast included, and rushed to the bus stop, yet still he was late for his usual bus and had to wait for another ten minutes for the next one. He would have made it in time to catch his bus if only Arjuna hadn’t nonsensically tried to pick a fight with him over some trivial matters he was unable to remember due to working a six-hour shift and going home completely drained. His relationship with his half-brother hadn’t been exactly the exemplary relationship between siblings, and since the very first day Karna stepped into their small family of three, claiming a portion of their mother’s affection and attention, Arjuna and he hadn’t been able to get along. Despite their mother’s endless efforts to bring her sons closer, renting an apartment for them to live together during college years being one of them, they remained at odds; on a good day, they left each other to their own device like two perfect strangers sharing a common living space, and on a bad day, they argued and fought over the smallest thing. Today happened to be one of those worse days. Having decided quarreling with his brother wasn’t worth his time, Karna played his best card: ignoring Arjuna’s tantrum and leaving him fuming in the living room to run to the bus stop. Arjuna would likely brought it up again tomorrow but he could deal with it later; at the moment, getting to his class on time was Karna’s top priority.

He arrived at his college’s gate fifteen minutes, frustrated, worn out, and probably forming a few bruises under his clothes due to having been bumped against several muscular bodies during his ride. The bus had been packed like a tin of sardines with jocks from a nearby high school and it had been impossible to get a seat, and thus he had had no other choice but to spend the next forty-five minutes standing and trying not to get his feet stepped on. His day was bad enough without a stubbed toe, thank you.

If there was something more catastrophic than getting late to his history class, which was taught by the professor well-known for being the strictest in the whole department, it was forgetting his essay on the history of ancient India in the rush. In a rare display of mercy after hearing his truthful reason, Mr. Ronalds let him turn in the essay tomorrow morning, but not without a penalty of ten percent grade deduction. He could not make an exception simply because a student had gotten up late; rules were rules and should be strictly observed, he reminded the class. Even so, Karna was still relieved that he had gotten off easy – failing the class was a far more disastrous outcome to both his degree and budget.

“Rough day, huh?” Tamamo commented, looking at her best friend with both sympathy and pity.

Sitting opposite from Karna on a table in the cafeteria, Tamamo was idly slurping a humongous-sized vegan milkshake after having finished her light meal of salads. In contrast to her mostly empty tray, Karna’s had reached its capacity. To compensate for his sorely missed breakfast, he had grabbed two hamburgers, mashed potatoes and a portion of fries that had Tamamo cringe when she saw it. Unlike her who was always on a diet, Karna needed the extra energy for his two-to-six shift at a café slash tea shop near the campus. Tamamo had always envied his metabolism for burning all the calories he digested, leaving him almost no more fat than necessary to survive.

Karna nodded between his bites. He had about an hour and a half to have lunch before going to his part-time job. It was hard work but it paid better than any jobs he had worked so far. As an added bonus, it was near the campus so traveling cost saved.

Tamamo stirred the straw in her Styrofoam cup and cast her big, long-lashed eyes down. “You know, hearing that you’ve been having such an awful day makes me feel real terrible to ask you a favor,” she said, voice small and embarrassed.

Karna inwardly sighed; he knew that she was going to ask him something before she even opened her mouth from her telltale gestures. Tamamo was pretty predictable that way and having been friends with her since junior high school, he was able to read all her signs like he did his palm.

“What is it?”

“Eh?” Tamamo sounded surprised, the ribbons on the top of her head somehow perking up like a pair of fox ears; for them, she had gained the nickname “Foxy” during her high school years. “You sure it’s not too much for you, Karna? I mean, you have a bad day and once your shift’s over, you probably want to take a hot shower and curl up in your bed, watching the new episode of The Originals, don’t you?”

That was exactly Karna’s plan for tonight; Tamamo indeed knew him as well as he did her. And she could already guess that he wouldn’t refuse if his best friend asked him a favor. Yes, Karna was also predictable that way.

“I haven’t said yes. Still, as long as it doesn’t involved climbing to the top of the City Tower at midnight to watch a meteor shower than I may consider it.”

There was that one time when he agreed to climb to the top of the City Tower, carrying a heavy telescope on his back, because Tamamo had wanted to make a wish as “the stars fell down” (her words). Had the wish ever come true? That remained a mystery.

“It doesn’t,” Tamamo assured him with a beam and began rummaging the content of her satchel, on which a ton of colorful keychains hanged. Must be really heavy, Karna mused, every time. Once she pulled out some sort of ticket, she exclaimed gleefully, “There it is.”

“What? A ticket to a concert?” Karna asked, eyes wide as he examined the ticket Tamamo had just smoothed out and handed him. “SKDuo? What a funny name for a band. Sounds like a costly cosmetic brand.”

Karna had seen that brand on his mother’s vanity. Everything she used was expensive, that was a fact.

“You’ve never heard about them?” Tamamo exclaimed, shocked. “They were originally two amateur singers who performed and uploaded their videos on Utube. Made quite a splash and they got lots of followers, so a company recruited them. This is their debut concert and it’s gonna be HUGE. SK is the initials of their names. They have incredible voice, music-writing talent – they write all their songs – and most importantly, they’re super hot. You don’t know how many girls are ~crazy~ about them!”

“I get it, I get it, you’re one of those girls, alright? Does that have anything to do with you handing me the ticket? You want me to go with you to their concert?”

“The truth is,” Tamamo sighed, fiddling with her manicured fingers, “I’d kill to go to their concert, I mean it. See, I’ve booked a ticket two months prior. Getting a ticket wasn’t easy at all, especially one that offers such a marvelous spot as this. I’ve fought tooth and nail for it, even having to pull a few strings here and there.”

Karna waited patiently for her to get to the point.

“But my project is due tomorrow and tonight I’m gonna have to stay late at the campus to finish it with my team. I wish I could just scribble something on the paper and be done with it like many times before but it’s a group project and it consists of thirty percent of my grade for this subject. Moreover, it affects the whole team and they’d seriously kill me and dump my body into a cement block if I blew it.”

“Meaning you can’t go to the concert tonight no matter how you want to? In that case, shouldn’t you sell it or give it to a fellow fan?”

Tamamo’s eyes glowed with menacing light as she spoke, “No way I’d give something I fought to get to someone else, not when it offers a backstage tour and a chance to speak with the boys since it’s a VIP ticket, not to mention a handful of super exclusive items.”

Karna started to get a hang of what his friend wanted to ask him.

“So, what I’m asking you is getting those items for me. That’s the least I can get to compensate for my money.”

“They sing pop music, right?”

“Yeah. That’s why they have many young fans.”

“You do remember pop is my least favorite type, don’t you?”

“I know, I know. ‘Cuz I’m asking you a big favor, I’ll buy you lunch for a month.”

“I’ll consider it.”

“Please, please, please.”

Tamamo was clutching his hands and was on the verge of climbing onto the table to squeeze his frame if he refused her, which he wouldn’t do because Tamamo was his weakness; Karna hadn’t been able to turn down his best friend’s request since the first time they spoke, when she defended him against a bully. “Alright, I’ll go after my shift is over. That’s not too late, isn’t it?”

“Not at all, you’re an angel,” Tamamo squeed in high-pitched tone. “You can catch the number nine bus and be at the stadium in no time.”


“I love you, Karna. You’re the best.”

Despite the many eyes around them, Tamamo pecked a loud kiss on his cheek, leaving a smudge of cherry lip gloss on his pale skin, which he scrubbed off with a piece of tissue and a resigned smile.

If this SKDuo band turned out to be as good as Tamamo said, perhaps he could bear through the evening, no problem.

Karna had no time to worry about the concert being a total bore and a waste of his time; in fact, once his shift started, he didn’t have a spare second to think about anything else other than the customers’ orders, coming in wave after wave.

His atrocious luck carried on to the afternoon, manifesting in the catastrophic news that his coworker had caught the flu and was now taking a day off, leaving him all by himself to fend off the horde of unreasonably demanding teenagers. Diarmuid, his coworker, was an extremely pleasant guy to work with: he was hardworking, helpful, friendly and would never mind covering Karna’s shift for him if he had to study for a crucial exam. He was everything Karna could ever hope for in someone who would work with him for a long time, except one small flaw: girls seemed to swoon over him – granted, he was good-looking enough to make straight men gay – and often flocked to the shop just to see him or have a chat with him, and more girls meant more customers and a lot more hectic work. But Diarmuid was an efficient guy, who was able to entertain the customers (albeit reluctantly, Karna soon realized) with small talk and finish their orders at the same time, mistake-free. Without him, Karna would have a helluva lot of work to do.

By the time the grandfather clock in the corner struck three, Karna had already been bone-tired and was very eager to flatten himself on the counter like a pathetic stale naan bread. As a small silver lining in his dark day, the rush hour had passed and the shop was restored to its serene state, no bickering couples or noise-making adolescents. The tables were mostly empty saved a few sporadic intellectual patrons who possessed a mature sense to appreciate the quietness. The warm sunlight filtering through the blinds were lulling Karna’s worm-out mind into a tempting nap as he sat on the high chair behind the counter, with one hand supporting his chin and his eyelids heavy like stone. Perhaps he would have dropped off right there but for the bells on the door chiming, signaling an entrance of a customer. Karna hurriedly rubbed his eyes, tired and red-rimmed, and slid down from the chair; the last thing he wanted was to be caught dozing off at work and having a scold and a minus in his pay.

“Welcome…” Karna said, his gaze landing on the customer’s face. Recognition settled in and the muscles on his face relaxed to form a soft smile. “It’s you.”

“Hello,” the customer greeted with a small gesture of his hand. He was a man in late twenty with long unkempt platinum hair tied in a casual pony tail reaching past his shoulder blades. Traces of moisture on his chest and the gleam in his aquamarine eyes spelt a good work out.

A couple weeks ago, this guy had walked into the shop around this time, dressed in the same black tracksuit, with the same duffle bag slung over his shoulder, and struck a conversation with Karna. From then on he had become a regular patron whose tidbits of his life and personality Karna had picked up from their brief chats, like he was a dog person, he liked motorbikes, he preferred beer to spirits, he worked out at the gym around the corner, and so on. Conversing with customers was more Diarmuid’s specialty while Karna tended to shrink away from small talks; still, something in this guy’s demeanor made it pretty easy for someone with poor communication skills (self-proclaimed) like Karna to talk to him.

“Quite a tough day, huh?”

Karna signed. “Is that showing on my face?”

The guy smiled and sat down on one of the tall chairs at the counter, opposite from Karna. “A little. But it’s most deduced from Diarmuid’s absence and the near-full tip jar.”

Ah, the tip jar. Another silver lining to brighten up his day.

“He’s caught the flu and is hospitalized today.”

“That bad?”

“He said it wasn’t that bad but his roommate insisted that he come to the hospital. He was kept in just for careful measure; there’s an outbreak out there.”

“Be careful not to catch it, okay, since you have to come into contact with many people.”

The genuine concern in his tone sent a warm tickle to Karna’s inside. Did he mention that the guy had a very pleasant cadence?

“I will, thanks,” Karna replied with the first happy smile in the day. “Now, what can I get you? The usual?”

“I’m in the mood to try something new. If you were me, what’d you think you should have?”

A strangely phrased question but Karna wasn’t too surprised. His command of English was perfect, yet sometimes his culture and mother tongue subconsciously got into his speech and the result was this.

“If I were you, I’d give the new coffee a try.”

“Oh? Something new? What is it?”

“It’s a blend of macchiato and matcha, with a dollop of cooled whip cream on top.”

“Now that’s an unusual combination. What goes with it?”

“Matcha lava cake is a match made in heaven.”

It was. Karna had been asked by the manager to try it once. He had thought that he’d recommend it to any customers.

“OK,” the man said, tapping his fingers lightly on the counter to a rhythm only he knew. “I think I’ll give this set a try.”

“Alright, one matcha macchiato and one matcha lava cake. Anything else you would like?”

“Make that two.”


“Two coffees and two cakes,” he replied, a hint of mischief in his eyes that Karna doubted he’d imagined it. “You don’t mind if I buy you a coffee, right?”

There was a small flutter in Karna’s chest like a baby butterfly’s wings. He willed himself not to color but knew that his cheeks had already tinged with the faintest pink. And there was that tickle in his stomach which seemed to get a little stronger.

“No, not really,” Karna said, trying not to stutter (this he could manage). “It’s just I’m not very used to a customer buying me coffee. No one has ever done it.”

The man smiled. “I’m glad to be the first. Besides, you look like you could use some coffee and a sweet treat.”

“Let me buy you coffee next time, deal?”

“Oh? You’ve planned a ‘next time’ already? Alright, it’s a deal.”

This time, Karna had no doubt the mischief in the man’s eyes – had become an unmistakable gleam – was very real as he held out his right hand for Karna to shake.

Karna left the shop precisely at six, thankfully without any last-minute order. The man had left around four, leaving a compliment for the coffee and the cake. After that, Karna had served some small groups until his shifted ended. Dressed in his casual attire consisted of a T-shirt and ripped skinny jeans plus a pair of sneakers, he headed to the bus stop.

To be fair, the concert wasn’t too bad. Despite the endless throng of excited teenagers – a healthy turnover – clad in all sorts of funny attire at the entrance and their occasional ecstatic screams whenever the duo on the stage pulled a stunt, it was surprisingly a decent concert. The music was pretty good too, different from what Karna usually imagined of a pop concert and frankly, much better; instead of cheesy love songs, they delivered messages of bravery, courage, friendship and the struggle to discover one’s value under the various metaphors of heroes embarking on journeys to conquer dragons and other mystical beasts (Karna had been listening), which was an odd but refreshing choice. He guessed that was what set them aside from other bands and granted them an edge in this merciless competition. Just for once, he had no ground to tease Tamamo’s taste in music and beauty standard – the two singers were actually quite pleasant to the eyes even when both were sporting unusually long hairstyles.

All these combined, Karna should be enjoying the concert; after all, he hadn’t the chance to let his hair down for some time – work was hectic and the study insane. He wasn’t though; as a matter of fact he had been pretty wound up since the moment he got off the bus and saw the giant poster of the concert. What was on the poster? The two stars of this night, of course. One of them had long, silky-looking hair tied up in a ponytail that was a reminiscence of the samurais’ in those period dramas Karna sometimes caught during late hours. That should look ridiculously outdated on someone else but not him; on him it was perfect, so much so that he’d look odd sporting a modern short haircut. The color scheme of his costume brought out his eyes and gave him an air of mystique to captivate the hearts of those who looked into his well-proportioned face a bit too long. Kudos to the Photoshop guys on their marvelous job.

The other guy exuded an entirely different air, even contrasting. His platinum hair was let loose in a wild, unkempt mane that looked like it could use a comb but actually was fine the way it was. Messy in a refining way. His skin sported a healthy tan which well complimented the muscles on his chest and completed the textbook definition of a hunk. Karna knew those muscles well, had stolen a glance at them from time to time while preparing the drink for the customer sitting on the tall chair, dressed in black tracksuit with the same duffel bag slung over his broad his shoulders every time Karna saw him. And that was the reason why Karna had been standing in front of the poster with a stupefied look plastered on his face, the ticket clutched in his hand completely forgotten as well as his purpose. He only snapped out of it by the influx of teenagers waving colorful light sticks and occasionally screaming. Still, the feeling lingered in his mind like the aftertaste of stale jerky on his tongue with no decent drink to wash it off.

It turned out Tamamo hadn’t boasted when she claimed she had spent a fortune for this ticket. That ‘fortune’ had given Karna one of the VIP seats providing a perfect vantage point to the stage. From where he sat, he was able to get a superb view of the singers’ faces and that only further confirmed what he had already learned: one of the singers – Siegfried was his name, Karna believed – was actually the regular patron who frequented his coffee shop and usually ordered hot tea instead of coffee; who loved motorbikes, German beer and big dogs; who had brought him a drink this afternoon with an informal promise of a date and thus brightened up his day; and who recently had been the cause of those naughty little butterflies in Karna’s stomach whenever their eyes met.

Later, if he ever reflected on that concert, he would discover several lapses in his memory, where he hadn’t paid the slightest attention to what was going on the stage, pondering instead what to say to Siegfried the next time he visited the shop for an afternoon tea, or alternatively what caused those butterflies in his stomach. That was why he missed both the grand finale and the reason the girls (and a couple guys) around were going wild with shouts, standing from their seats and waving their light sticks with all the zeal of the victorious liberators waving their banner. Then all of sudden a red jacket, still warm with body heat and exertion and emitting a concentrated scent of masculinity, landed squarely on his laps.

What in the world–

There was an uproar around him as Karna’s mind rapidly processed what just happened. To conclude the night, both singers had taken off their jackets – Siegfried’s red and the other guy’s blue – and thrown them to the audience.

Didn’t that just prove Lady Luck possessed an amusing sense of humor, Karna thought as he went from obscure to the center of attention in mere seconds. Some of the girls (and dudes!) were sending him glares of envy and the others eyed him, or the object in his arms, hungrily. They weren’t going to maul him for a mere article of clothing, weren’t they? Because he was going to save himself the tedious queue at the overcrowded merchandise booth and gave this jacket to Tamamo. Definitely beat the posters and T-shirts and badges and whatnots sold at prices higher than their worth, something this personal. She would be over the moon, no doubt.

Maybe it was just his imagination, but for a second Karna thought his eyes and Siegfried’s had met.

The rest of the night was relatively uneventful, aside from a small trouble finding his way out of the stadium. He had skipped both the backstage tour and the chance to speak to the singers – those were Tamamo’s things, not his. When he got home, back aching, feet sore and kind of peckish, he was thankful that Arjuna had already retired to his room instead of staying in the living room to watch TV. Probably had to pull an all-nighter for tomorrow’s test, or so he’d heard. Anyway, the last thing Karna wanted now was for his half-brother to pick up the morning fight and ruined the remaining hours of this day.

Karna made a sandwich with the leftover bacon and lettuce in the refrigerator and went straight to his room. The warm yellow light greeted him when he flicked the switch. Ah, his tiny, personal world where there was no nonsensical half-brother to quarrel with him. He took a moment to bask in the peaceful tranquility his room offered before going to the bathroom for a hot shower. Gotta wash off the grime and frustration this awful day had given him. After half an hour, Karna emerged from the bathroom only in his black boxers and a towel on his shoulders to absorb the water dripping from his hair. He enjoyed an episode of his favorite vampire show while munching on the sandwich before he decided it was time to bed.

That night, Karna dreamed of the concert. However, instead of two singers, there was only Siegfried, standing tall under the limelight with his hair let loose and his unzipped jacket, showing the refined muscles of his chest. And instead of a sea of screaming teenagers, there was only Karna, sitting in the center seat of the first row with his gaze gluing on Siegfried’s every move. In turn, Siegfried’s eyes never left Karna, burning into his face as he performed song after song, each one more sensual than the last. At the end, instead of throwing his jacket off, he extended his hand and leapt Karna onto the stage as though the younger man weighed nothing. Their bodies pressed close, their faces closer, their lips almost touched… and then the alarm on his phone dragged Karna back to the real world.

The dream stayed with him the whole tomorrow and the next, affecting his moods in a strangest way. He wouldn’t say it was an unpleasant thing, though, just very, very perplexing.

It was a relaxing afternoon where the customers were scarce and thus, they had few tasks to attend to. Diarmuid was cleaning the coffee machine and Karna was drying the glasses when the bells at the entrance happily chimed. He looked up to see a familiar figure, dressed in the black tracksuit with a duffel bag on his shoulder. However, today he was donning a black cap and a pair of sunglasses, which he only took off after spending several moments scanning the shop (Karna guessed, going on his pose), and deciding it was alright because there were only a couple patrons who were too absorbed in their business to care about whoever just entered. Karna couldn’t help a quiet chuckle. Did he honestly believe that such tried-and-not-true measure could enable him to blend in the environment without a throng of fangirls (and fan dudes) ready to decimate any chance of him enjoying a quiet moment at his regular shop? As if his stature and long, silver hair weren’t already a dead give-away to those who knew him – Karna had recognized him at first glance.

Somehow his thought made its way out of his mouth almost instantly. “Your height and hair is a dead give-away, you know.”

His fingers in the middle of turning the pages of the menu, Siegfried looked like he was frozen in his chair for a few seconds, his eyes wide and staring at Karna like a deer caught in headlights. Karna mentally cursed himself for his filter’s malfunction; he was so careful with his words that half the people he met, except Tamamo and Diarmuid, thought him arrogant and distant, and the other half thought he had speech deficiency. He blamed it on his frantic heartbeats and the tightening in his chest once seeing Siegfried. From that concert he had thought it over and over what to say to the older man, and yet out of all the options, there was none meant to make the situation awkward like this.

But what had been said couldn’t be un-said, so he took a breath and sought to start a conversation. “You know how fans are. They eagerly study every detail of their idols like it’s science.”

That was lame, he thought, but still better than the prolonged silence.

“I don’t think I’m that famous,” Siegfried replied with a small smile, finally snapping out of his trance. “I’m wearing the sunglasses because my eyes have been irritating since yesterday and sunlight makes it worse. As for a cap, I just bought it on the way here and thought it looked good.”

The whites of his eyes were indeed pink and the rims were where the color was the darkest, almost blood-red.

Karna wanted to curse himself. Out loud.

“You… knew it all along?” Siegfried hesitated.

“No, not at all,” Karna replied, deciding to go along, “I just learned of it the other night.”


Siegfried let out a surprised sound. Somehow he sound… relieved.

“I have a friend who couldn’t come to a concert because she had to finish her project, and so I came in her place to get her the merchandise she wanted.”

“So, you were there after all…” His voice went softer, nearly a mumble. “I thought I was imagining when I spied a familiar face in the crowd.”

So… when their eyes met for a moment, that wasn’t his imagination.

“How did you find the concert? I’m willing to take criticism.”

“It was… okay, I guess, better than a handful of concerts I’ve been to, but you know well pop isn’t my thing so can’t say I’m in the position to give constructive comments.” A beat. “Throwing the jackets to the audience was a bit over the top, though.”

Siegfried laughed, a bit louder than Karna was used to. “It was all the manager’s idea. Kojirou protested against it all day long and still lost at last.”

“Thanks to that I didn’t have to line up to buy the merchandise,” Karna said, trying to keep a straight face. “My friend certainly liked it more than any key chains or posters.”

“I’m glad she did.”

Then the two of them fell into silence, each searching for what topic to continue the conversation.

Thankfully Karna’s quick thinking had found one, a natural one.

“What do you have for today? The usual or something else?”

“Anything special today?”

“We have imported some Earl Grey to go with scones and clotted cream.”

“Right about tea time,” Siegfried commented. “I think I’ll have that. Didn’t know your shop served British tea as well.”

“Our boss has just come back from London and the British charm hasn’t faded on him,” Karna replied, placing the kettle on the cooker. “Expect a couple British treats on our menu for a while.”

“Right. I remember last time he went to India and your shop had chai for almost a month.”

Several moments of comfortable silence passed with only the indistinct chatters in the background while Karna prepared the scones, stealing glances at Siegfried every now and then. The man was typing something on his old Nokia, likely texting. He wasn’t using an iPhone or any other branch of smartphone, a fact that had never surprised Karna until now. Too distracting and time-consuming, he had once explained his choice, and Karna had thought he belonged to a rare subspecies who weren’t very technology-savvy. Looking at him and learning what he really did for a living, Karna found it astounding that this casual, everyday neighborhood guy and the glamorous star burning brightly on the stage were one and the same. Such vivid contrast caused his heart to hammer in his chest. It wasn’t that Siegfried hadn’t interested him before; it was just the desire to get to know him better had been fanned by that dream after the concert and was now a wild flame.

“You said you played in a band,” Karna hesitated, trying not to sound accusing. He placed a steaming cup of Earl Grey on the counter, together with a china plate containing some scones. “I always thought it was an amateur band, not this… big.”

“It was an amateur band,” Siegfried stressed. “Kojirou and I were just fooling around by recording and uploading our videos online. Never thought they would go viral. Then out of sudden, a company came with an offer.”

“I was wondering: is he the K in ‘SKDuo’, since your name starts with an S.”

“Actually SK is also the initials of his full name – Sasaki Kojirou. It was he who took up on the offer and convinced me to do it since I was unsure. Had never thought about making it big, you see. But he won me eventually. By the way, the original name I thought of was D-Busters.”

“And D stands for?”

“Dragon,” Siegfried chuckled. “Dragon Busters. It was promptly squashed by the manager.”

“So… is that the deal with heroes fighting dragons? Not that it’s a terrible idea but isn’t romance pop songs’ main inspiration?”

Karna didn’t expect Siegfried to laugh out loud, causing a few heads to turn and look at him quizzically. Embarrassed, he quickly bowed his head slightly, wearing an apologetic smile.

“You have to promise not to laugh first,” he cleared his throat and said in comically serious tone.

“I won’t.” Karna was intrigued.

Siegfried took a sip of his tea. “When we were kids, we often went to each other’s house to play video games. 90s’ kids’ most favorite pastime. There was this game ‘Dragon Slayers’ that got us both crazy about and well, naturally it became our inspiration.”

“You’re kidding,” Karna suddenly exclaimed.


“I was so obsessed with Dragon Slayers I begged my father to buy me Trevor’s costume one Halloween.”

“Now you’re kidding me. Trevor’s my most favorite Slayer too.”

At this point, their conversation veered entirely into the 90s video game dimension, with no sign of returning to the original topic.

Siegfried left the shop around four and a half, when it started to get more customers, promising a busy evening for Karna and Diarmuid.

At the end of their shift, when they were dividing the tips, Diarmuid found something in the tip jar: a bill wrapped around a piece of napkin.

“I believe this is for you,” Diarmuid said, throwing him a knowing wink as he handed it to Karna.

With a dumbfounded look, Karna unwrapped the napkin. On it was crisp masculine handwriting which said:

“I think we still have a promise of a date. This is my number so feel free to call or text me: 012-xxx-yyy.

PS: Actually, just text. Call-shy, sorry.”

Neatly folding the piece of napkin and putting it in his pants pocket, Karna shook his head with a smile playing on his lips.


Remember that White Day CE featuring Siegfried and Kojirou as two singers? It is the main inspiration for this AU fic.


Plus, Junichi Suwabe (Siegfried’s VA) sings really, really well, FYI.

[Siegfried x Karna] It’s Not Impossible If the Grail Is Involved (2)

Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandom: Fate/Grand Order

Rating: T

Pairing(s): Siegfried x Karna

Genres: fanfiction, fluff, humor, genderbent

Characters: Siegfried, Karna, Arjuna, Jing Ke, original characters


“Key words: ‘you think’, Archer. Nausea isn’t equivalence of morning sickness.”

Sequel to Sharing Warmth, A Drunken Mishap and All the Valentine’s Chocolate Combined. Sort of.

Part 2

A couple weeks ago

It happened all too fast.

“Balmung!” Siegfried bellowed, unleashing the fury of his Noble Phantasm straight at his target. Light from the sword of twilight engulfed the giant fleshy blob with more bulging eyes and slimy tentacles than he could count. To fuel the nightmare, on its bluish flesh were numerous breathing pores, which caused a trypophobic person – their Master – to go pale at the sight; even the stoic Karna appeared to be gritting his teeth to not grimace in disgust. Such an absolutely repulsing life form, Siegfried thought, yet its recovery prowess was rather formidable: no matter how deep his slashes were, it only took the creature a couple seconds to close the wounds. At this rate, the battle would drag out unnecessarily, and they definitely didn’t have a whole day. So Siegfried decided it was worth using Balmung to wipe it out in a single, powerful strike. The creature made wheezing noises from its pores as it writhed violently in agony, but perhaps even its bean-sized brain could comprehend that its fate of being cleansed from the earth was sealed, and there was nothing it could do but struggle in vain for a short while.

Blinding light swallowed everything in sight for a while, and when it dimmed, the scene was clear, with the sky cerulean and the clouds puffy and white. The air was cloyed with the pungent odor of charred flesh but even that was soon dispersed by the freshly smelled breezes. The perfect complement to a well-earned victory against the wicked and evil, Siegfried mused as he allowed himself a brief moment to bathe in it. Time seemed to stand still as if time itself had fallen in love with the sweet serenity and wished to preserve its fragile beauty as long as possible.

“Karna, look out!”

… Or until their Master’s shout shattered the short-lived peaceful atmosphere. Hyper-alarmed, Siegfried swept his entire body around just in time to see the slug-like parasites were plunging themselves towards Karna with incredible speed; the orifices that acted as their mouths were wide open, revealing countless tiny hooks for teeth. With their host eradicated, their survival instincts had prompted them to seek the nearest new source of energy to leech and what were Servants if not undiluted mana put into human shape, making them the perfect host.

The Lancer glared coldly at those parasites, his features set and calm. Gracefully he leapt into the air to dodge the few fastest parasites and simultaneously set them ablaze with a snap of his hand, reducing them to ash to scatter in the air. Perhaps having decided these scums weren’t worth consuming their Master’s mana for his mana burst, he spun his spear, utilizing the speed and strength of his predominant arm to pressurize the air into razor-sharp blades that pulled the unburnt creatures in and rendered them into minced meat. It was a nasty but efficient move – the thought flashed through Siegfried’s mind as he was transfixed by the momentum of Karna’s golden spear – which possessed a ruthless elegance unique to a master of arms. This was Karna, beautiful and gorgeous and godly in his mercilessness towards those he deemed unworthy of his mighty father’s light.

Still, all the elegance and beauty of Karna’s exquisite technique seemed ephemeral and insignificant once his D-rank luck played its evil hand; in this world, sometimes luck was the only thing that mattered. As he was taking his landing after cleansing each and every filthy parasite off the earth, a stroke of absent-mindlessness plagued him just for a second, yet that fleeting moment was all what needed for his bad luck to slip into the picture: temporarily forgetting that the ground was scattered with the slimy remains of the creature slain by Siegfried and thus extremely slippery, he stepped on a squishy, writhing bit which might have been the creature’s tentacle, and as a tragic result, he stumbled and fell down… into a pool conveniently situated just behind him, shattering the glass-still surface with a big splash.

Between a top-notch Servant cursed with deviantly bad luck and an insidious pool, which would win? Clearly it was the pool.


Because being Lancer was suffering, even when falling a small body of water was hardly a threat.

Was it?

“Karna!” shouted Siegfried and their Master in unison, both watching the accident happen and being helpless in doing anything to stop it.

Siegfried’s mind processed the turn of events with the speed of light and arrived at a valiant resolution. Still, when he was half a second away from launching himself into the water to fish Karna out, a loud gasp cut through the tension in the air like a hot knife and a figure emerged from the water.


The word died on Siegfried’s tongue as his eyes behold the sight before him. His mind experiencing a short circuit, he stared, wide-eyes, at the water-dripping figure that was supposed to be Karna. There was that key word: supposed. Surely this Servant looked exactly like the Lancer Siegfried had come to love and adore (it’d be serious trouble if they didn’t); and yet, there were some particular features that just screamed…off, to put it mildly. A more accurate description should be inexplicable, impossible, bizarre and most of all, terrifying. No, Karna hadn’t grown an extra head or arm, or sprout a few tentacles like the monster they’d just defeated; nonetheless, his, let’s say, additional attributes weren’t any less worrying. Most notable was his chest, which had acquired considerable swellness, and, considering his usual skin-fitting attire, his supple, snow-pale flesh had been exposed in a manner bordering on the kind of obscenity that made men vulnerable to sin. And before being a Dragon Slayer, a Heroic Spirit and a Servant, Siegfried was a man in every sense, so he could be justifyingly excused for having his eyes magnetized to the cleavage (plus the cherry blossom nubs peeking out from his outfit, dear Gott) and momentarily forgetting how wrong it was on Karna’s male body.

A high-pitched scream equipped with the power of a minor Noble Phantasm (except that it wasn’t) pierced through the cerulean sky and quaked the earth. The intuition of a seasoned warrior had alerted Siegfried and Karna just in time to cover their ears but even when they were doing so, their eardrums were still vibrating with the force of the scream thanks to their close distance with the source – their young Master.

If only such power could be transformed into monster-killing energy, the two Servants ubiquitously thought.

“Wh-What the hell is happening?” the young Master stammered, his voice still not recovering from the scream. “Why a-are you-you like this, Karna?”

The Master was pointing a finger at Karna’s chest, and then realizing that his gesture was extremely rude, he put his hand down, awkwardly jamming it into his pants pocket. He was shaking pretty hard but the cause – be it shock or appall – was unclear. Probably both. Clearly they hadn’t covered the steps of action when your Servant was magically turned into the opposite sex in Master 101.

Karna’s eyes widened as though he had registered neither what the ruckus was about nor what had happened to him. His gaze traveled down his body and for a second, he thought his eyes might have bulged out of his head. Throughout his life, there had been few things which could startle him, and one could safely said Heroic Spirit Karna had ascended to the highest state of Zen. But for better or worse, life was always full of surprises and all the knowledge he had acquired in his two lives wasn’t enough to allow him a feeblest grasp of comprehension. And thus he was standing here, in the pool, with the water reaching his elbows, speechless and examining the drastic physical alterations to his body with a sense of confusion mixed with helpless awe.

Had he unknowingly offended a god and thus punished? What kind of god would pass such a peculiar divine punishment?

Being a gentleman first and foremost, Siegfried managed to overcome his state of shock to unclasp his cloak of invisibility and drape it over Karna’s shoulders and preserve his partner’s modesty. The contact snapped Karna out of his trance and he quickly got out of the pool.

Once he was out, Siegfried and the Master had the chance to examine the changes more thoroughly, and boy didn’t they hit them hard. There were the big changes such as his chest, once flat and manly but now had acquired the size of an average female; or the slimness of his waist accentuated by the curves of his hips, visible to the naked eyes thanks to his garment. And then there were the nuances that could only be spotted out with more attention. His feline eyes had gotten a tad bigger, his lips fuller and his jaw line softer. His spiky hair had gotten wet and was sticking to his rounder face, giving him an even more feminine look. Kiyohime had once jokingly remarked that Karna would make a woman as fine as a man and seeing him like this, she wasn’t wrong.

Uhm, if his features all screamed feminine, what about his body, under his garment to be specific?

“Siegfried, your nose is bleeding,” said Karna in worrying tone – his voice, too, had gotten higher despite his conscious attempt to keep it low. “You too, Master.”

That was very Karna – to express concern over others’ wellbeing even when the one in the direst situation was himself.

Siegfried and the Master exchanged a brief look and both turned to the side and discreetly wiped the blood off.

“What happened to Karna?”

“What happened to me?”

Siegfried and Karna both said in unison.

“You two stay calm,” their Master replied, wiping the sweats off his forehead with the same handkerchief he had used for his nose. “Stay very calm. There’s gotta be some way to-to fix it. I just have to contact Davinci and-and report the situation first and in the meantime, be calm and-and don’t freak out. I’m sure this condition is only temporary and you’ll turn back to normal in no time.”

Did their Master sound calm? Siegfried and Karna seriously doubted so.

To be continued

As you may have already noticed, this is inspired by ½ Ranma.

[Siegfried x Karna] It’s Not Impossible If the Grail Is Involved (1)

Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandom: Fate/Grand Order

Rating: T

Pairing(s): Siegfried x Karna

Genres: fanfiction, fluff, humor, genderbent

Characters: Siegfried, Karna, Arjuna, Jing Ke, original characters


“Key words: ‘you think’, Archer. Nausea isn’t equivalence of morning sickness.”

Sequel to Sharing Warmth, A Drunken Mishap and All the Valentine’s Chocolate Combined. Sort of.

Part 1

“Please, Arjuna,” Miria pled, her tone giving a teary hint as she had both of her arms around the Archer’s torso and was practically clinging to him like a koala to her dearest tree. “I know how you feel but please, please control your thunderous temper.”

“Let go off me, Miria,” Arjuna seethed but he didn’t make any move to shake her off, clearly having forgotten how to dematerialize. Were this clingy redhead someone else, they would have been already pulverized by his arrows. But this was Miria, his own Master, and he couldn’t be harsh to her no matter how wrathful he was; as a matter of fact, he had never raised his voice at her, who bore an uncanny resemblance to his late mother, until now. “You don’t know how I feel and neither can you read my mind so stop staying such nonsense.”

“Of course I do,” Miria retorted stubbornly. “You’re furious and you want to destroy something, or someone. I felt the same when I found out Dorian knocked up my Freya.”

“Who is Freya?”

“My beautiful Persian cat, and Dorian wasn’t even a pedigree cat.”


A miniature eruption.

“Let go off me or I swear—”

“You will what?”

At her accusing tone, Arjuna went speechless. He made a mistake of looking into her eyes and was dealt a blow so fatal for a second he thought he might be delivered straight to the Throne of Heroes. Watery puppy eyes were a deadly combo, especially when they were on the face that reminded him so much of Kunti. The moment he materialized in the Chaldean summoning circle and saw how his Master looked like, he immediately knew that Fate had pulled a prank on him. It was pretty obvious that Miria was aware of the effect she had on the Archer, and had grown accustomed to using it to have him wrapped around her little finger. For the most part, Arjuna had no problem with it; he was even indulging her. After all, Miria, despite her vices, was a decent human being and never once had she crossed the line.

Now that she sensed her usual trick had worked on her Servant, Miria shifted to a placating tone. “You’re angry and you want to destroy Rhys’s Saber just like last time because you care about your brother—“

“I do not!!!”

“Despite how many times you swear you do not, “ Miria continued without missing a beat. “That’s so typical of a tsundere.”

“I have no idea what the hell that means but I repeat: I. do. not. care.”

“Whatever you said. But please remind yourself the number one rule here is under no circumstance is a Servant allowed to kill another Servant. Now before you say you couldn’t care less about rules and such, I have to tell you that there’s small printing under that rule saying Masters are obliged to use a Command Spell, or a whole batch, to stop their Servants. And even if that proves to be useless, the upper folks will go to the extreme and send the Servants back to the Throne of Heroes.”

She took a short pause to regain her breath before continuing, “And we had a deal, didn’t we? That I would never use a Command Spell on you except to boost your fighting prowess in combat.”

“This time and that time are different,” Arjuna protested, although he sounded a little cooled down. “Much as I hate to admit it, that time was a misunderstanding.”

Miria’s eyebrows arched. “But this time could be an understanding, too, right Jing Ke?”

At the mention of her name, the Assassin reluctantly made her presence known from the corner she had been standing since she fetched Miria, observing (or judging, depends on your perspective) her Master and her ‘colleague’ Servant with the silence unique to her class. “Why asking me, Master?” she asked, her expressionless countenance showing a rare helplessness. Perhaps what she truly wanted to ask was “Why pulling me into this? My duty was to fetch you when Archer started babbling murder and it was done.”

“Why?” Miria echoed. “Because you’re included in the elite circle known as Chaldea Info Center, along with Foxy, Kiyohime and a couple others. And if they aren’t the Servants who know everything about Siegfried and Karna, nobody else is.”

Feeling the gravity of Arjuna’s gaze on her, Jing Ke heaved a mental sigh. “Like I said a dozen times before in this morning, those are merely rumors. Not even Berserker or Caster can be one hundred percent certain, and she’s a Caster. Surely she knows more about this matter than you and me combined.”

“I saw it with my own eyes,” said Arjuna, grinding his teeth. “Those rumors turn out to be true as far as I’m concerned.”

As he was speaking, the Archer subconsciously averted his gaze from Jing Ke. This gesture wasn’t lost on Miria’s keen eyes.

“Wait a minute, I don’t follow. What sort of rumors did I miss?”

It was Jing Ke’s turn to avoid making eye contact with her Master. “What you saw were symptoms, not the definite diagnosis. Davinci still has to do some tests.”

“I think I’ve lived long enough to be able to tell what those symptoms are, Assassin.”

“Key words: ‘you think’, Archer. Nausea isn’t equivalence of morning sickness.”

Miria almost bit her tongue.


With the data input, her mind ran a lightning-quick deduction and came to a conclusion. “It’s impossible. Karna’s male, not to mention a male Servant.”

Arjuna ground his teeth.

“That’s precisely the point, Master,” Jing Ke said, crossing her arms. “We’re Servants and we’re able to physically stand here thanks to the Grail. It’s not an exaggeration to say the Grail has absolute control over our existence. It’s not impossible if the Grail is involved.”

Miria sent the renowned Chinese Assassin a reprimanding look that said “Not helping”.

“Thanks for a brief review of Master 101, Jing Ke, but what does it have anything to do with Karna and these rumors?”

“Have you forgotten the incident a couple weeks ago?” Arjuna suddenly asked.

“What incident are you—Oh, you mean that incident?”

Jing Ke and Arjuna nodded in unison.

Miria signed, her eyebrows knitted. “Now that you mention it…”

To be continued


[Rant] The Gravedancers, Bắt cóc quái vật, Dead Girl, Crush, Brain Dead, Temple

Lại là bạn Joel và những bình luận nhảm của bạn dành cho những bộ phim bạn xem trong lúc làm việc nhà. Làm việc nhà và phim kinh dị có mối quan hệ chặt chẽ với nhau, ít nhất với bạn là vậy.

Warning: spoilers rất nhiều, bình luận không nghiêm túc, chen hai thứ tiếng trở lên, ý kiến 100% chủ quan, 0% khách quan

*Một số hình ảnh là của bạn, một số phần lớn thì không



Đạo diễn: Mike Mendez

Diễn viên: Dominic Purcell, Josie Maran, Clare Kramer

Mới nghe tựa phim, bạn nghĩ rằng đây có lẽ là một bộ phim về sinh vật huyền bí được gọi là gravedancer và những tình huống kinh dị xoay quanh chúng. Wrong. Được như thế thì phim đã khá hơn rồi, tiếc là The Gravedancers kể về ba người bạn đến dự đám tang của một người bạn chung, nhân tiện mở tiệc tái ngộ sau nhiều năm xa cách. Và, như logic khó đỡ của khá nhiều phim kinh dị khác, thay vì mở tiệc ở nơi nào đó bình thường như quán bar, họ chọn kéo đến… nghĩa địa chôn cất người bạn quá cố (chẳng hiểu vì sao lại qua đời – phim không nói, có lẽ để tạo tình huống) để… tìm cảm giác mạnh. Tại đây, họ nhặt được một phong bì trên bia mộ bạn mình, bên trong ghi một bài thơ không tên, không tác giả, đại khái nói rằng người chết thì đã chết, người sống hãy tận hưởng cuộc sống đi, nhảy múa ca hát đi(?). Bạn đoán tiếp theo nhóm bạn sẽ làm gì? Dĩ nhiên là… làm theo bài thơ rồi, uống rượu, nhảy múa, make out trên mộ người chết. Vài ngày sau, từng người trong nhóm bị ma ám (bất kính với mộ người ta, không ám mới lạ) và họ tìm đến một vị giáo sư giảng dạy môn quỷ học kiêm tư vấn cách giải lời nguyền nhờ giúp đỡ. Nếu đã xem kha khá phim kinh dị, hẳn bạn sẽ nhận ra motif bị ma ám rồi tìm người giúp thật sự không có gì mới, nếu không muốn nói là xưa như trái đất. Nói như vậy không có nghĩa tất cả phim có motif này đều dở mà còn tuỳ kịch bản và sự khéo léo của đạo diễn để ‘bình cũ nhưng rượu mới’. Tiếc là The Gravedancers chẳng có chút ‘rượu mới’ nào mà chỉ toàn ‘rượu cũ’: motif phim không mới, những màn scare jump nhiều phim khác đã xài nát cả ra, những ‘twist’ mà đạo diễn và biên kịch nghĩ là ‘twist’ nhưng thật ra khán giả đã đoán được từ lúc nó… chưa xảy ra, những pha hành động ồn ào về cuối phim – bạn Joel để ý phim kinh dị Mỹ về cuối có xu hướng biến thành phim hành động, và cuối cùng là một cái kết mở chẳng nói lên được điều gì. Bên cạnh đó, do hành vi ‘bất kính với người chết’ của ba nhân vật chính, khán giả khó mà thương cảm cho họ khi họ bắt đầu bị các linh hồn ám. Không tạo được các nhân vật để khán giả ‘root for’ chính là một thất bại lớn của phim.

Điểm đáng nhớ: Trong một bộ phim không đáng nhớ thì điểm đáng nhớ là hiệu ứng cái đầu ma khổng lồ ở cuối phim. Tại sao á? Tại vì cái đầu đó… xấu một cách kinh dị, nhìn nó thật sự không ai dám nhận đây là phim được làm vào thế kỷ 21 mà cứ tưởng nó là phim từ hồi điện ảnh mới biết đến CGI là gì.



Đạo diễn: Cửu Bả Đao

Diễn viên: Thái Phàm Hy, Đặng Dục Khải, Lưu Tư Đình

Trong số những phim bạn Joel ‘tán nhảm’, đây là phim kinh dị Hoa ngữ đầu tiên (không biết có phải cuối cùng hay không). Bạn Joel vốn bị bias với các phim kinh dị Hoa ngữ sau khi xem phải một số phim… không khen nổi; thế nhưng lần này bạn lại bấm vào một phim do Đài Loan sản xuất. Đây là kết quả của sự tình cờ cộng với chút tò mò không biết phim này có gì mà được IMDB đánh giá những 7 điểm – một số điểm khá cao đối với phim điện ảnh nói chung và phim kinh dị nói riêng. Và bạn Joel khá mừng vì sự ngẫu nhiên pha tò mò này đã cho bạn cơ hội thưởng thức một bộ phim rất khá. Bắt cóc quái vật là câu chuyện về một nhóm học sinh hư và một học sinh bị nhóm đó bắt nạt cộng lôi kéo vào những trò phá phách của mình. Cả nhóm tình cờ bắt được một sinh vật mang hình người nhưng lại thèm khát máu và thịt người. Vượt qua sợ hãi bạn đầu, cả nhóm bắt đầu tìm thấy niềm vui trong những trò hành hạ, tra tấn quái vật – bị xích chặt trong khu nhà bỏ hoang cả nhóm xem là ‘căn cứ’. Trong lúc đó, quái vật chị điên cuồng đi tìm em và cứ thế, số xác người mỗi lúc một tăng lên. Bắt cóc quái vật là một phim kinh dị, điều này không nghi ngờ gì, thế nhưng nếu sự kinh dị của nó có ba phần đến từ những cảnh máu me thì bảy phần còn lại đến từ tình tiết, diễn biến và những nhân vật: từ chính – nhóm học sinh bắt được quái vật em, đến phụ – các học sinh khác trong trường và thầy cô giáo. “All monsters are humans” (Tất cả quái vật đều là con người) là câu nói của sơ Jude trong season 2 của series American Horror Story, và câu nói này đúng với Bắt cóc quái vật cả về nghĩa đen lẫn nghĩa bóng. Về nghĩa đen, phim imply rằng hai chị em quái vật từng là hai con người, một thiếu nữ và một bé gái bị dùng để nuôi trùng độc và biến thành quái vật là kết quả của loại trùng độc đó. Về nghĩa bóng, phim dựng nên các tình tiết để khán giả thấy được sự đối lập thú vị giữa một bên là con người nhưng đối xử với nhau như những con quái vật và một bên là hai chị em quái vật tuy ăn thịt và uống máu người để sống nhưng yêu thương, bảo bọc nhau như hai con người. Phim dark từ bối cảnh đến tình tiết, thông điệp đến cái kết tràn ngập bế tắc, chẳng thấy nổi một tia sáng hy vọng, thế nhưng đó lại là một cái kết phù hợp với thế giới mà bộ phim dựng nên, và theo một cách nào đó, khá thỏa mãn với người xem, cụ thể là bạn Joel. Bên cạnh đó, dàn diễn viên chính tuy trẻ nhưng diễn xuất rất khá, nhất là bạn trẻ đóng vai thủ lĩnh nhóm bắt nạt và bạn trẻ đóng vai cậu học sinh bị bắt nạt.

Điểm đáng nhớ: Khi xem, có thể bạn sẽ thắc mắc vì sao bối cảnh chủ yếu ở trường học, nhân vật đa phần là học sinh nhưng lại chẳng thấy bóng dáng các bậc cha mẹ đâu còn vai trò của thầy cô thì nhạt nhoà, quay đi quay lại cũng chỉ là bà giáo luôn miệng niệm Phật nhưng bàng quang trước cảnh bắt nạt và bạo lực học đường. Điều này không phải một điểm vô lý mà là một cách nhấn mạnh sự thờ ơ, thiếu quan tâm của các bậc cha mẹ và thầy cô đối với những đứa trẻ đang trong giai đoạn ‘khó ở’ nhất của đời người. Cũng phải thôi, nếu cha mẹ, thầy cô quan tâm kềm cặp thì tụi nhỏ đã chẳng biến thành những con ‘quái vật’ trong lốt học sinh như vậy.

DEAD GIRL (2008)


Đạo diễn: Marcel Sarmiento, Gadi Harel

Diễn viên: Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Segan, Jenny Spain

Đang trên đà những bộ phim kinh dị tăm tối có nhân vật là học sinh, bạn Joel tiếp tục xem Dead Girl. Mặc dù một phim do Đài Loan thực hiện, lấy bối cảnh Đài Loan còn một phim của Mỹ, lấy bối cảnh Mỹ và nội dung cũng chẳng có nét nào tương đồng nhưng đến khi viết bài rant này, bạn chợt nhận ra Dead GirlBắt cóc quái vật giống nhau ở một điểm mấu chốt: cả hai đều khai thác và thể hiện lên màn ảnh mặt xấu xa, đen tối nhất của con người khi không bị kiềm chế theo một cách khiến cho người xem sợ hãi vì máu me, bạo lực thì ít nhưng rùng mình về những việc gọi là ‘mất nhân tính’ mà các nhân vật thực hiện thì nhiều. Phim có plot khá đơn giản: hai cậu học sinh trốn tiết đến một bệnh viện bỏ hoang chơi đùa và tình cờ phát hiện dưới tầng hầm bệnh viện, sau cánh cửa rỉ ngoét chứng tỏ nhiều năm rồi chưa được mở ra là một cái xác sống trần trụi và hoàn hảo của một cô gái trẻ đẹp. Gọi là xác sống bởi vì cô nằm bất động trên bàn như một cái xác cho đến khi bị hai chàng trai ‘đánh thức’ (không phải bằng nụ hôn đâu). Thế nhưng, đây là phim kinh dị chứ không phải phim cổ tích lãng mạn nên sẽ không có màn “and they live happily ever after”; họ nhanh chóng phát hiện rằng dù bị đạn bắn hay bị siết cổ – những phương thức lẽ ra đã giết chết một người bình thường – cô gái vẫn không chết. Vậy là một trong hai cậu trai quyết định biến cô gái vô danh tính lạ thường này thành một nô lệ của riêng mình, một sex toy để phát tiết bất cứ lúc nào muốn, còn cậu trai kia thì bị giằng xé giữa ham muốn bản năng, lương tri và lòng trắc ẩn muốn giải thoát cô gái tội nghiệp khỏi tay bạn mình. Phần nào trong cậu sẽ chiến thắng, đó là câu hỏi mà phải đến cảnh cuối cùng, trước khi màn hình tối lại và credits hiện lên, người xem mới có được câu trả lời.

Điểm đáng nhớ: Dead Girl khiến bạn liên tưởng phần nào đến một thí nghiệm khá nổi tiếng mà một người phụ nữ đứng yên, không phản kháng, mặc cho người qua đường muốn làm gì mình thì làm trong vòng bao nhiều giờ đồng hồ, không phải chịu bất cứ hậu quả gì. Cả thí nghiệm lẫn phim đều nêu ra một bộ mặt vô cùng đen tối của con người và những chuyện nó có thể gây ra nếu như không bị bất cứ yếu tố gì ngăn cản.

CRUSH (2013)


Đạo diễn: Malik Bader

Diễn viên: Lucas Till, Crystal Reed, Caitriona Balfe

Vẫn là một phim kinh dị có nhân vật là những học sinh tuổi teen và khai thác mặt tối trong tâm hồn con người nhưng Crush có gam màu tươi sáng hơn hẳn Bắt cóc quái vậtDead Girl. Crush kể câu chuyện về cậu học sinh hot boy của trường, Scott; không chỉ đẹp trai, chơi thể thao giỏi, thông minh, có năng khiếu nghệ thuật, cậu còn rất tốt tính; vì thế, không lạ gì khi cậu có rất nhiều người hâm mộ, cả ra mặt lẫn giấu mặt. Chuyện sẽ không có gì nếu như trong số những người hâm mộ bí mật của Scott không có một kẻ mang máu yandere, quyết tâm chiếm lấy Scott bằng được và nhẫn tâm ‘xử đẹp’ bất cứ ai đụng đến Scott. Crush không hẳn là một phim kinh dị (dù bạn tìm thấy nó trong list phim kinh dị) vì phim khai thác yếu tố tâm lý và tình cảm giữa các nhân vật nhiều hơn hẳn yếu tố hù dọa, chỉ thỉnh thoảng xen vào một, hai chi tiết scare jump để khán giả đừng quên cái mác kinh dị mà thôi. Bỏ vụ ‘killing, stalking’ sang một bên, Crush là một bộ phim dành cho lứa tuổi mới lớn, lứa tuổi đang vất vả ‘đi tìm chính mình’. Hẳn người xem, dù đang độ tuổi thiếu niên giống như các nhân vật trong phim hay đã trưởng thành, đều thấy thấp thoáng một phần nào đó của mình trong các cô cậu trong phim (trừ bạn trẻ yandere): đó là cô gái dành 80 phút phim để nhận ra rằng để có được tình cảm ai đó thì trước tiên đừng bắt chước ai mà hãy làm chính mình, hay cậu trai đến cuối phim đã hiểu và chấp nhận rằng cuộc sống không phải lúc nào cũng như ý và một cánh cửa đóng lại thì sẽ có cánh cửa khác mở ra. Và, khác với hai phim trên, Crush có một cái kết viên mãn và đầy hy vọng, giống như một lời động viên dành cho lứa tuổi mà phim nhắm đến.

Điểm đáng nhớ: Dàn diễn viên từ chính đến phụ đều đẹp đến loá mắt, và điều này lần nữa khẳng định đây đích thực là phim tuổi teen.



Brain Dead có plot không thể đơn giản hơn: Các nhà động vật học mang từ Sumatra về một sinh vật mang trong mình mầm bệnh zombie, và, như nhiều phim zombie khác, sẽ có người bị nhiễm và lây cho người khác thông qua đường… răng miệng, kết quả là đại dịch xảy ra. Bù lại cho plot đơn giản, không có bao nhiêu twist hay bất ngờ gì là rất nhiều chi tiết hài hước và thật nhiều, thật nhiều máu cùng đầu, mình, tay, chân, để kết quả cuối cùng là một gorefest cho những ai thích black humor cũng như sở hữu một bao tử tương đối ‘khỏe mạnh’. Nếu có hai điều kiện trên, hãy đến với Brain Dead để có những phút giây giải trí sau một tuần làm việc căng thẳng, còn không thì, well, bạn Joel xin cảnh báo trước rằng độ gore của nó khá là hardcore đấy.

Điểm đáng nhớ: Nàng Paquita, tức nữ chính, không những rất đẹp mà còn vô cùng badass khi nàng tận dụng mọi thứ vũ khí có được để ‘xả’ zombie, một “damsel who ain’t in distress” (trích Galavant).

TEMPLE (2017)


Đạo diễn: Michael Barrett

Diễn viên: Logan Huffman, Natalie Warner, Brandon Tyler Sklenar

Đã bao giờ bạn xem một phim mà khi màn hình tối lại, credits và nhạc nền bắt đầu chạy thì bạn đực mặt ra, tự hỏi: “Ủa, hết rồi đó hả?” Vớt vát chút hy vọng cuối, bạn ngồi chờ hết credits để xem có đoạn after credits hay không và thật không may, chẳng có gì cả ngoại trừ sự tiếc nuối của bạn khi dành ra hơn 80 phút quý giá của cuộc đời để xem một phim như thế. Nếu chưa rừng trải qua cảm giác ấy, bạn hãy xem Temple để thử coi sau khi hết phim, bạn có muốn hét vào màn hình: “Trả lại 80 phút đời tau đêi!!!!” Nhiều bình luân trên mạng cho rằng Temple cố gắng (nhấn mạnh hai chữ này) trở thành một phim J-horror để tạo sự khác biệt với hằng hà sa số phim slasher hay torture porn trên thị trường, tiếc là kết quả thì J-horror đâu chẳng thấy mà chỉ thấy một màn fail toàn tập. Cũng cần nói thêm rằng bạn Joel không đồng tình với ý kiến của các bình luận trên mạng bởi vì trước giờ bạn chưa thấy phim J-horror nào có màn ba du khách, mặc kệ hàng tỷ red flag báo hiệu nguy hiểm lẫn sự can ngăn của dân địa phương, vẫn ôm bầu nhiệt huyết kiên quyết đến một nơi mà 101% sẽ xảy ra những màn kinh dị, đơn giản vì ‘mình thích thì mình đến thôi’ (và kịch bản bảo vậy) – như một người thông thái nào đó từng nói: “Ngu thì chết chứ bệnh tật gì.” Đó là chi tiết thường thấy ở một số phim kinh dị Mỹ chứ nhỉ. Bên cạnh vụ cố gắng đi theo đường J-horor, Temple còn ráng lấn sân sang thể loại found footage khi để cho một nhân vật luôn cầm theo cái camera để quay mọi lúc mọi nơi, chắc chỉ chừa lúc tắm rửa và đi vệ sinh (nhưng cảnh chịch thì vẫn quay, đáng yêu hết sức), nhưng những đoạn quay được cũng chẳng đóng góp được bao nhiêu cho phim ngoài một cái twist-không-thể-gọi-là-twist vì nó được dùng đến cũ mèm rồi.

Bỏ qua những điều trên, Temple có thể trở thành một phim decent (hay hay dở thì tính sau) nếu như kịch bản và đoàn làm phim bỏ nhiều cố gắng hơn vào tác phẩm của mình. Truyền thuyết về Kitsune, một yêu quái có khả năng biến thành nhiều hình dạng, là một tài nguyên phong phú nếu như biên kịch ‘chịu’ khai thác và tập trung vào nó để tạo thành một plot hoàn chỉnh. Đằng này, kịch bản chỉ nói đến Kitsune vô cùng hời hợt và sau đó đi bốc ghép những mảnh vụn – với mỗi mảnh có thể được phát triển thành một plot riêng – và xào xáo chúng với nhau rồi gọi đó là một bộ phim. Kết quả là khi màn hình tối lại, những gì đọng lại trong chúng ta là rất nhiều thắc mắc ‘clgt’ (cần lời giải thích) nhưng chúng ta sẽ chẳng bao giờ có lời giải thích, thậm chí ngay đến hint để người xem tự đưa ra lý giải của mình, bộ phim cũng không thèm đưa ra, thật đúng là làm phim mà chẳng có tâm gì cả.

Điểm đáng nhớ: Thật sự là đến năm 2017 rồi mà hiệu ứng với cái đầu bức tượng Kitsune trong rừng sao mà… lởm quá vậy.

 [Siegfried x Karna] All the Valentine’s Chocolate Combined


Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandom: Fate/Grand Order

Rating: T

Pairing(s): Siegfried x Karna, (implied) Cú Chulainn x Diarmuid, Vlad III x Nero, Yan Qing x Sasaki Kojirou, Achilles x Atalanta

Genres: fanfiction, fluff, humor

Characters: Siegfried, Karna, Kiyohime, Yan Qing, Sasaki Kojirou, Gilgamesh (kid), original character


Valentine’s Day. Chocolate. Love confessions. Kabedon. And Servants.

Sequel to Sharing Warmth and A Drunken Mishap

“It’s called kabedon, KA-BE-DON.”

“Kabedon?” Siegfried mechanically echoed. The sound felt odd on his tongue even if he tried his best to imitate Kiyohime’s pronunciation. Despite having a couple Japanese friends, Kojirou and Kiyohime being his closest chums, not to mention his Master, he was still unconfident articulating Japanese names or words.

“What is it?”

“It’s super popular in Japanese pop culture, just so you know. When a guy uses that on his intended partner, his love confession will have one hundred percent chance of success. Works like A-rank magecraft.”

“Does it?” Siegfried asked, somewhat incredulously. He might not be an expert in the field of magecraft, but he had never heard about such a powerful… spell, or ritual, or whatever that ‘kabedon’ was – he still hadn’t learned of its form. Was it some Oriental secret?

“You baka dragon,” Kiyohime chided, not unkindly. Siegfried was sure her combination of words would be quite a painful prick in many linguists’ eardrums but he wasn’t going to point it out to her. “You know nothing.” This seemed to be her catchphrase these days – someone had spent most of her free nights binge-watching that fantasy show on TV, her most recent obsession beside their Master.


“That’s alright. Now, remember, no, learn it by heart, the key to kabedon is the force you put into your hands when you have him against the wall, or any flat surface. It shouldn’t be too strong or else he’ll mistakenly think you want to assault him and probably respond in kind, not to mention the risk of punching a hole through the wall, which I seriously doubt our Master’d appreciate. But it shouldn’t be too weak either, or else you’ll end up looking like a wimp. It should be gentle, yet intimidating, to highlight your masculinity…”

“Aren’t he and I both male? Why should I need to emphasize my masculinity?”

Kiyohime sighed deeply – she had a penchant for being dramatic, that dragon girl. “Needn’t I tell you everything? Hah, I’ll be blunt so you can grasp it. Do you want to be seme or not?”

“Uhm… I’m not sure what ‘seme’ means.”

“Geez, it means being on top, and you put your d*** into his b***! For goodness’s sake, do some research!”

Siegfried looked absolutely horrified like a little lamb in front of a furious lion. “Kiyohime, yo-your language!” Siegfried stammered. “That’s not lady-like at all.”

“Don’t tell me you’ve never thought of that before. I won’t buy it.”

Siegfried’s face went from ghastly pale like he’d seen a ghost to red as though a can of tomato sauce had just spilled beneath his skin. He admitted he had fantasized that a couple times, when he was sleepless and buzzing with energy – their young Master had a rather impressive pool of mana for a Magus of his age – and the quiet hours called for some dynamic activities. Nevertheless, he was deeply aware that although they might be sharing a bedroom and some body contact, the road to Siegfried’s daring fantasy to become a reality was still much long.

“I… I still haven’t told him my feelings.”

“Do you think they’re reciprocated?”

“I think so…yes…” Siegfried replied, his voice lower, bearing a hint of doubt. “He certainly doesn’t abhor the room sharing or the body contact. That proves we aren’t just friends, right? Then that one time he kissed me… it was a drunk kiss but once he knew what he had done, he didn’t seem disgusted or anything. And he also defended me against his brother…”

Kiyohime sported a serious look foreign to her countenance. Her eyebrows furrowed, her lips were set in a neat straight line and she stroked her chin. For some reason, looking at her, Siegfried felt a sense of unease. “You want to know what I think?” Kiyohime asked.

Siegfried nodded.

“I thought he liked you before, and that’s why I went to talk to you about this whole ‘kabedon’ thing, but I was wrong. He didn’t like you, buddy…”

Siegfried’s heart literally dropped. So… Karna didn’t really like him, and everything up until this moment had been his misinterpretation of Karna’s friendly acts due to their cultural differences. Or worse, his own shameful distortion of their friendship. Gott, from now on he couldn’t bear looking straight at Karna anymore, let alone staying in his room or fighting alongside him…

“Hey, Sumanai-kun, you listening to me?”

Kiyohime asked in a worried tone, waving her hand in front of Siegfried’s red-rimmed eyes before his self-flagellation trainwreck went further south. “I haven’t finished my sentence. I said he didn’t just like you, buddy, he likes you. So rest assured, the feelings are mutual.”


Siegfried had heard about the light at the end of the tunnel. This had to be it.

“Ho-How do you tell?”

“Maybe he’s always close to you so you haven’t realized but Karna is pretty distant to every other Servant and staff here. Polite, well-mannered but distant nonetheless. Even to our Master. I can tell he has a miniscule comfort zone and he doesn’t let anyone in easily. And you, you got right into the heart of it, invited and welcomed by him, no less. That’s saying something.”

Siegfried got elevated into the sky but his pessimism had to pull it down to earth; that way it’d hurt less when his bad luck kicked in. “What is that something?” he murmured.

“That something means he regards you highly, probably higher than he does the rest of us. He cherishes you, Dragon-kun, is that clear enough for you?”

“Is that so?”

“That’s right,” Kiyohime replied, patting his shoulder. “I’d say it’s the most opportune time to confess your feelings – though I suspect he’s already known. What else is Valentine’s Day for?”

So it was that time of the year in Chaldea. Technically Valentine’s Day lasted one day but in here, people kind of stretched it to a whole week. Although missions were still carried out – because the world was helpless in saving itself, there was no overnight ones as the evenings were saved for partying, boozing, playing games and, ahem, some adult activities of course; they were mostly grown-ups here save a few kid Servants. Since this was his first year in Chaldea, Siegfried was somewhat surprised by how lively this place became at this time. Then his surprise quickly turned into bafflement when he witnessed Cú Chulainn pulled a flustered Diarmuid into a shady corner and…

Well, he averted his eyes and went the other way, afraid that his presence was interfering with their intimate moment. That the two of them were courting each other, or to use the modern vernacular – hooking up, was no secret in Chaldea, and everyone here was perfectly cool with it. It was just they were usually a little less open with their affection.

By the time he witnessed Achilles offering a brightly decorated box of chocolate to Atalanta, who turned him down for like the twentieth time, Siegfried had gotten used to it. It was certainly fun to see the Servants engage in human activities, and it reminded him that before they were Servants, summoned here by the earnest wish to protect this world, they were human beings with emotions.

“So,” Siegfried turned back to the subject, “once I have him against the wall with that kabedon thing, what should I do next? Just say how I feel?”

“Of course that’s what you’ll do, but before that, you’ll look into his eyes and make sure your gaze is filled to the brim with your passion, as if he were the only person in the whole world you have your eyes for, the center of your universe.”

“That sounds… abstract and I doubt that I can pull that off.”

“You can, trust me. I’ve seen you gazing at him several times,” Kiyohime said with a wide, confident beam which made Siegfried redden. “That will have him speechless and his heart go fonder. As you entrance him with you fiery stare, you bring your face closer and closer to his, until they are only inches apart and you can feel each other’s breath. And then, in your sultry voice, you tell the three magic words.”

“I’m not sure that I have a sultry voice,” Siegfried meekly confessed. He was quite convinced that his voice was rather bland.

“Don’t worry. Just use that voice you used when you and Sasaki-kun performed that duet on Master’s birthday. Honestly I was surprised by how sexy your voice could be.”

The tips of Siegfried’s ears peeking out from his silver mane turned bright red.

“What if he rejected? I mean, it could be too sudden and—”

“Oh boy, you’ve gotta believe in the magic of kabedon. If a man did it to me, I’d surely melt in his arms and be his faithful wife for ever and ever.”

Only if you didn’t bake him first, Siegfried mused but kept his lips tight because Kiyohime was hugging herself with that absolute look of euphoria on her face, and everyone in Chaldea knew better than to intervene with her fantasies lest them got flambéed by her Berserker temper.

Siegfried waited for Kiyohime to come down to earth again with patience. She did, after a while, and clapped his biceps with a grin on her face. “Go for it, Dragon-kun. We shall wait for your good news.”

“We?” Siegfried echoed incredulously.

“Oops,” Kiyohime mumbled, covering her mouth using the sleeve of her black kimono. “Well, that you’re into Karna is no breaking news to us lot. You’re quite transparent when it comes to feelings, you know.”

“Right,” Siegfried heaved a sign, having already heard from Kojirou about the long list of Servants who had seen through his discreet growing affection for the Lancer. It still felt a little embarrassed, though.

“By the way, Emiya sent me a message to tell you to drop by the kitchen to get some chocolate. Before you ask what it’s for, it’s for you to give Karna and it’s complimentary, so don’t worry about paying him back later. And be hurry before Altria hogs them all. Emiya always has a soft spot for her never-ending appetite.”

Probably as adept in dessert-making as in weapon-tracing, Emiya had sort of opened a small startup of handing out chocolate on demand. That meant any Servants and even Masters who wanted to follow Valentine tradition or just simply yearned for some sweet delicacy could ask him in exchange for a little IOU at a later time – mostly just getting him some exotic cooking ingredients on their missions. All the heart-shaped chocolate candies Achilles had been using in hope of winning Atalanta’s heart had come from Emiya. For those who were a bit closer to him, mostly sharing the team with him, the red Archer, however, would offer them his culinary artworks without charge.

“I will, thank you,” Siegfried replied.

He just hoped Karna did have a sweet tooth for Western confectionary.

Siegfried was strolling along the corridor, an oval red box secured in his palm. This was what he had gotten from Emiya, and although it was rather small as compared to the Archer’s usual boxes, he had assured Siegfried that the quality was on par, if not a tad superior. This was his experimental récipe and so far he had only received positive feedback – had pleased even royal tastebuds like Nero’s or Vlad’s. How did he know? Well, after both of them had come to him separately to give compliment on the other’s chocolate. Anyway, since he and Siegfried was on friendly terms – those with shit luck tended to band together, to quote Cú Chulainn, the red Archer had thought Siegfried should try it.

The next step in executing his plan (despite its absurdity but that was what he got asking love advice from a Berserker) would be to find Karna and a suitable place, or alternatively, to find Karna at a suitable place. It was a bit difficult to meet the Lancer outside their shared room recently because one, he and Siegfried had been assigned to different tasks related to their class and as such, they hadn’t had a chance to fight alongside each other for a couple days; and two, when both of them actually had some spare time fighting-free, Karna was swept away by the newly arrived Arjuna, who had insisted on challenging his older brother to a duel whenever he could, or felt like to, which not only occupied all Karna’s time but also left him all wound up and frustrated when he retired to the bedroom. And that was really something because Karna rarely displayed his emotions. The brotherly feud was even worse than Siegfried had read about them, and as far as he was concerned, Arjuna’s obsession with Karna seemed to be treading on the thin line between natural – as they had been arch enemies in life – and unhealthy. In Kiyohime’s eyes, however, all of that was meant to minimize the time Siegfried could spend with the Lancer as a certain someone was red-flagging ‘brother complex’ everywhere and it had her feeling somewhat uncomfortable. Although Siegfried had no idea what a ‘brother complex’ was, if it was something that could cause even Kiyohime to be uncomfortable then he was sure he did not want to know.

Siegfried stopped short when he reached a turn and gazed at a spot on the wall with nostalgic expression. Right here, just a few months ago, that incident had happened. Embarrassing and crazy as it had been, it was also a fond memorial trinket. Despite the sore fact that it had been purely alcohol-induced, it was their first-ever lip-to-lip encounter and it never failed to heat up the tips of his ears every time the memory surfaced. Come to think of it, Karna could have drunk-kissed just about any of the Greek heroes at that table, even Hektor or Achilles, who was on good terms with him; nonetheless, somehow he had managed to perfectly time the exact moment of Siegfried’s approaching him. Coincidental or not, it proved that finally Lady Luck had graced him with her smile; perhaps, for once, he could allow himself some hope that Kiyohime was right about his feelings being reciprocated.

So engrossed in his thought that Siegfried didn’t sense the presence – or rather presences – coming towards him. Everyone in Chaldea exuded unique presence, although the nuance could be not easy to point out. Servants, however, could effortlessly distinguish between a staff member, their own Master, or a Servant. Still, that was only plausible when they weren’t spacing out like Siegfried was at the moment.

On hindsight, Siegfried couldn’t have detected the presences coming towards him given the nature of the Servants. That didn’t not make the experience any less mortifying on his side.

All of Siegfried’s scales on his tail stood on their ends when a hand tapped him on the shoulder, startling his nostalgia into shattering. He was one step from materializing Balmung when he heard a voice.

“Oi, Brother Dragon, why are you staring at the empty wall?”

The voice registered in Siegfried’s mind as overly familiar so he turned around and was faced with Yan Qing and Kojirou. Yan Qing had one arm casually slung on Kojirou’s shoulder, and Kojirou didn’t seem to mind the gesture. These two were getting rather close these days, Siegfried noted, and it made sense as they had a lot in common culture-wise. He had also heard that Yan Qing was Kojirou’s brand-new roommate.

“I was spacing out, honestly,” admitted Siegfried.

“Is that a chocolate box from Emiya?” Kojirou pointed.

Only now did Siegfried remember he was having something in his hand. Well, there was no use hiding something once it was spied, so he nodded, abashed.

Kojirou and Yan Qing exchanged a mirroring smirk.

“We just saw Karna talking to our Master,” Yan Qing, jerking his thumb towards the direction they had come from. “They’re likely still there.”

“And that troublesome brother of his has been accompanying his Master on a mission and probably won’t return until the evening,” Kojirou helpfully added.

Siegfried couldn’t contain an internal defeated sigh, fully aware that his affection for Karna was now officially the most badly hidden secret in all Chaldea.

“Well, best of luck, Brother Dragon,” Yan Qing said, “and if you want to surprise Karna, trying hiding that box somewhere other than your hands.”

And off he went on with Kojirou to do whatever Assassins liked to do in their free time.

It was either his luck had been upgraded overnight or his Master, like many Servants in Chaldea, could clearly read his motif, because by the time Siegfried approached the pair, their Master and Karna’s discussion had just finished. Leaving the Servants to themselves, their Master bid them goodbye to leave for the Master Hall, but not before he (un)intentionally winked at Siegfried.

The corridor suddenly became so engulfing with only the two of them.

The course of actions for his plan were spinning in Siegfried’s head like a roulette. Pin him against the wall, gaze into his eyes, confess your feelings, finish with a breath-taking kiss, his mental voice was undoubted Kiyohime’s. It sounded simple enough, the plan, and it was indeed simple, which required no-brainer, yet Siegfried found it to be the most energy-draining, nerve-wrecking thing he’d ever done in his entire existence. His heart was certainly not helping at all, banging its fleshy self against the rib cages with an iron will to be liberated.

But to chicken out at this crucial moment was not what Siegfried – not as a dragon-slaying hero but as a man – would ever do, so he balled his fists and made up his mind. “Karna…” he took one step up, swallowing the molasses in his throat and getting himself prepared for battle, urgh, for action; there wasn’t that much difference after all. But alas, fate was not so kind-hearted as to allow him this chance because Karna suddenly raised his voice, effectively halting Siegfried. “I have something to tell you,” he said in his ever-cool tone, not indicating any hint as to what he was about to speak.


Not expecting this turn of event, Siegfried postponed his intended words and looked into Karna’s pale face, which turned out to be a fatal mistake as he was instantly captivated by the Lancer’s intense gaze. He always thought Karna’s eyes, a clear, icy blue like a frozen lake during winter, to possess a mystic spell to pin someone’s down and demand their undiluted intention so that they couldn’t not focus on anything else but him. Sabers were known for their high magic resistance and still, more than once Siegfried had found himself at the mercy of that enchanted gaze. Or perhaps it was something other than magic, something more complex that subtly penetrated his consciousness to beckon his suppressed desires. Whatever it was, it was sure to get him every time. He wondered if Karna was aware of his effect on Siegfried as he slowly but steadily advanced, causing the Dragon Slayer’s feet to take unconscious steps backward.

By Karna’s commanding gaze, Siegfried was soon backed against the wall. His eyes not straying from the Saber’s face for even a split second, not even to blink, he raised his hands as if about to deal a blow. Siegfried knew he wouldn’t, though; it was completely uncharacteristic of him to attack a stranger out of the blue, least of all his ally and friend. Unlike his hot-tempered, irrational brother.

With a soft – but still edible – sound to let Siegfried be aware that he’d used a modicum of his god-blessed strength, Karna planted his palms against the walls, caging the Saber, and brought his face close enough to Siegfried’s that they could feel each other’s breath. His sharp, feline eyes were scrutinizing the Saber’s expressions. Despite his shorter stature and much leaner frame, Karna looked intimidating, predatory even, with Siegfried regrettably being his chosen prey. Worse, the prey had already given in the moment he got mesmerized by those frosty blue eyes, pitifully without resistance.

“Uhm… you have something to tell me?” Siegfried opened his mouth, struggling to find his voice, which came out a little hoarse. He needed to somewhat dispel the intensity in the charging atmosphere and his own anxiety of waiting for Karna’s response.

Being almost chest-to-chest, Siegfried could inspect the crimson jewel embedded on Karna’s flesh. It was a secret of Karna’s, which he’d discovered after spending months in close proximity with the Lancer, that his jewel seemed to convey his feelings far better than his impassive expressions. The stronger his emotions got, be that joy, grief, excitement or anger, the clearer and shinier the gem became. Siegfried was startled to see its gleam, which, coupled with his rising body heat, denounced that the Saber wasn’t the only one affected by their situation. Siegfried hoped against hope that nobody would pass by this corridor and ruined this moment for them.

“From the day we first accompanied our Master into battles,” Karna began rather solemnly, after a moderate pause, his eyes boring into Siegfried’s, “I’ve always considered you a reliable comrade, to whom I could trust to cover my back, an opponent worthy of my spear, and a friend whom I can talk and laugh with. But that isn’t all…”

The heat radiating from him was getting stronger, to the point that Siegfried thought it might sear his skin. Alright, technically it couldn’t, but he wouldn’t mind if it did.

“As a matter of fact, I really like you,” Karna hesitated, “and it’s much different from comradeship or friendship. It’s similar to the special bond shared between Diarmuid and Cú Chulainn, or Emiya and Altria, or Nero and Vlad…”

Siegfried just stared at Karna, his need to blink forgotten as he was stunned by the raw honesty in his voice and the earnest fire burning in his eyes. Even in his wildest dreams had he never dared to imagine Karna confessing his feelings to him, and in such straightforward manners. Sure he had heeded Kiyohime’s advice and gathered up his courage to tell Karna the exact same words, yet always a part of him, a not-so-tiny part, was prepared to take rejection, and possibly awkwardness following afterward. If Karna wasn’t having him against the wall, he might want to do the silly thing of giving himself a good punch just so he knew he wasn’t in a twisted dream.

Wait a minute! The caging, the intense gaze, the confession… all of these struck him as familiar.

“So, what do you say?” asked Karna.

“The three magic words!” yelled the chibified Kiyohime dressed in pink kimono with a pair of fluffy wings behind her back. Siegfried mentally winced at her shrill voice inside his head.

“Is this… kabedon?”

So much for the three magic words. The chibi angel Kiyohime banged her head on his shoulder pad.

In a rare astounded expression which Siegfried had thought as nonexistent in his repertoire, Karna widened his eyes. His jaws were slightly slack but no words came out. After a few good seconds, it was a curt admittance: “Yes.”

“Did you, by any chance, get it from Foxy Lady?”

Foxy was Tamamo no Mae’s nickname in Chaldea because her full name was a bit cumbersome. Technically she wasn’t a fox spirit but as she had once said, she didn’t mind being referred as one, having been mistaken by thousands before. That foxes were extremely adorable was an added bonus. Besides, what irked her much more than being mistaken for another species was being addressed by a generic name, which, once called, would turn at least a dozen heads around.

To put it short, the relationship between Karna and Tamamo no Mae was similar to that between Siegfried and Kiyohime: odd, yes, but genuine in spite of their vast cultural differences, beliefs and moral codes.

Another “Yes” came from Karna. Was Siegfried imagining or his pitch just got a bit higher?

No wonder, Siegfried thought. Those two Servants were very close friends and essentially partners-in-crime. He wouldn’t be too shocked if they had had this all set up.

“Funny enough,” Siegfried said, “Kiyohime gave me the same advice and I was going to tell you the same thing.”

“So…… that was why you came looking for me?”


An awkward silence stretched between the two grownup Heroic Spirits, who were staring at each other – no intensity this time – like two clueless adolescents who’d just learned that their feelings were mutual but had no idea what the next step should be because, well, they were utterly clueless. It appeared although both of them had carefully thought it through and carried it out, neither was prepared for the possibility that it might actually succeed.

Siegfried did know what to do. Back in his era and country, when a man proposed he’d just get on one knee, offer his intended partner a flower, preferably a red rose, and promise to fight and triumph all her other suitors… or try to win her family’s favor so that he could ask for her hand. However, that was only applicable when his intended partner’s gender wasn’t the same as his and he wouldn’t risk looking like a crazy fool or worse, provoking Karna to anger. Karna had never shown his temper but who knew how calamitous it could be. Best not to try it.

“So…” both said in unison and fell into silence again.

The faintest shade of cherry dusted Karna’s white cheeks, and the ice in his eyes had thawed enough to put a glaze over his irises. Looking at him, Siegfried was reminded of that New Year’s Eve, and of the drunken but turned out to be the most marvelous kiss he’d had in centuries. It ignited in him so fervent a desire to relive that scene right here, right now, that all the confusion and hesitation were swept clean. This time, their minds would be the clearest state and there was no one around to spoil this intimate moment.

So he stopped thinking and just sprang into action. His hand went to touch the side of Karna’s neck, feeling the cool warmth of the earring dangling near his shoulder, and as the Lancer’s eyes enlarged, Siegfried bent his head and gently capture his parted lips.

It felt natural when Karna, after a moment of stillness due to being taken off guard, responded with the same gentleness the Saber offered. His mouth closed, and his lips glided leisurely against Siegfried’s. It felt natural when Karna’s arms rested limply on Siegfried’s shoulders, caging him in a loose embrace. It felt natural when Siegfried pressed his body against Karna’s, immersing himself in the precious, one-of-a-kind warmth that emitted from the son of the sun god, and his hands palmed the sides of Karna’s slender hips. It felt also natural when Karna tried to press harder into Siegfried’s form even though it was impossible, and his fingers threaded into Siegfried’s silver mane, drawing idle circles at the sensitive skin on the back of his neck, sending shiver down his spine.

Everything in this moment felt just natural while nothing of it should, and truth was, both of them paid it no mind, focusing instead on the sweetly unique flavor that spelt of the other. Out of a taciturn agreement, they kept the kiss chaste as to commemorate the cement of their relationship, knowing this was their first true kiss, and with a swelling confidence, not their last.

A sheen of moisture coated Karna’s lips once they parted and he unconsciously licked them. Siegfried’s Adam’s apple bobbed.

“I, uhm, got this from the red Archer,” Karna said, rummaging through his fiery cloak for a while and pulled out a red square-shaped box. Siegfried was baffled to see that it had such use. Wasn’t it weaved of fire? Shouldn’t it burn? But the box wasn’t, though. Maybe Karna put a spell or a charm on it or it was just how the cloak’s magic worked – burnt not what its owner wished no harm.

The box looked perfect and Siegfried didn’t need to see the inside to know its content. Hadn’t him gotten a similar one from Emiya?

“Tamamo said it was a modern tradition to share this treat with your loved one…”

As he spoke, his fingers carefully unwrapped the ribbons and opened it to reveal… shapeless brown goo that might appear disgusting if not for its strong, pleasant aroma. Karna immediately paled.

Siegfried tried so hard not to laugh that it actually hurt. “I guess that’s why Emiya traced that gargantuan fridge first thing when he entered the kitchen. These chocolates can’t stand the heat, not even room temperature,” said Siegfried, clearing his throat. Being that close to Karna’s body, it was sure to catch some of his body temperature, which was tad higher than a normal person’s.

“Point taken,” Karna deeply sighed.

“I got some from him too,” Siegfried said, taking out the chocolate box he had hidden in his cloak of invisibility, hoping that his chocolate would fare better. His tone dropped once he saw the box in his hand. Inside, the once-beautiful oval box of chocolate, though not melted, had been misshapen and became the very symbol of a trampled heart. Must have been the result of his being backed against the wall.

“Yours is melted and mine is crushed,” Siegfried sighed, “we’ll make quite a pair.”

They both burst into hearty laughter.

This might be the first time he’d heard Karna laugh, loud and true, and the sound was music to his ears; he would much love to hear it every day from now on.

“But we can still have what they call,” Siegfried said, dipping a piece of his chocolate into Karna’s melted chocolate, “a mockery of chocolate fondue.” As he finished, he brought the piece to Karna’s lips, which the Lancer took into his mouth. His gorgeous eyes shone as he exclaimed, “It’s so delicious!”

“It is,” Siegfried agreed, licking his fingers. He bent down and claimed the second kiss only minutes after the first. Sure the chocolate was sweet, but the lingering aftertaste on Karna’s tongue was sweeter than all the Valentine’s chocolate combined.

Epilogue 1

I immediately noticed something weird as soon as I entered the main cafeteria looking for dinner after relaxing in a long, hot bath. I had taken my time in the bath, partly to soak my fatigue off and partly to avoid the rush hour at the cafeteria, when Masters and Servants came back from their missions, all clamoring for steaming-hot food and beverages. After that, they spread out to enjoy their leisure time, and the cafeteria would be mostly vacant save a few staff members.

But today was different. Rush hour had been over for at least half an hour, and still there was hardly an empty table in the space. On closer inspection, the cafeteria was occupied mostly by Servants, not Masters, and the majority of them being Heroic Spirits of the bow. Why they gathered here was a bafflement to me because the cafeteria wasn’t the Archers’ favorite hangout; they much preferred the training ground, where they could compete with one another to see who was the best marksman or markswoman.

I quickly grabbed my portion of foods – mashed potatoes, salads and honeyed chicken, and an extra-large cup of goat milk yoghurt – and strode to a table at a corner, who had been claimed by a Servant. A small one in both size and age, who was in contract with me, he had his eyes glued on the iPad screen, watching some sort of anime, and a spoon was dangling from his mouth while a half-full bowl of fruit salads topped with whipped cream sat on the table. Were he a normal kid, I would like to remind him it wasn’t a good habit to watch TV while eating, but to do that with the ancient king of Uruk, I’d risk exposing myself to a month of pranks. The king, no matter a child or an adult, never fancied being told what to do.

“Oh hi, Master,” Gilgamesh put out the spoon and greeted, peering at me through his golden lashes.

“This place is so packed today,” I commented. “Any idea why the Archers are gathering here like it’s an Archer convention?”

“Well, a certain Archer is taking the whole training ground as his personal punching bag and no one wants to get accidentally skewed by his divine arrows, so, here we all are.”

“And by ‘a certain Archer’ you mean…”

“Look around Master and see if you can spy the one who isn’t present.”

“Is that a challenge for me?” I asked, winking.

Gilgamesh winked back but gave no answer.

I did a quick scan of the cafeteria and quickly gave up. “Beats me. I don’t have hawk eyes like you Archers.”

“Lazy as ever, Master,” Gilgamesh giggled. “It’s Arjuna. He seemed to be in particularly foul mood when he entered the training ground, and before the Servants there knew what or who had pissed His Highness off, he was ready to shoot anything and anyone.”

“Any idea who or what?” My gossipy bone was tickled just by hearing this.

“I can’t be sure, Master, but I have a good guess.”

“And what may that be?”

“To your far left, Master.”

I did as I was told and found a table where Emiya, David and Robin were bickering about something. Again.

“Not sure how they are related to Arjuna.”

A puzzled look crossed Gilgamesh’s face. He stood up from his seat for the added height and said, “Not them, Master, behind them.”


I craned my neck to see what Gilgamesh was trying to show me. Once I see who were sitting there, a sense of understanding swept over me.

It was Siegfried and Karna at that table, sitting side by side. In front of them was a chocolate fondue, and they were taking turn dipping pieces of diced fruits or biscuits in the chocolate while having shining eyes and a wide smile on their faces as they did. It seemed they were tightly wrapped in their own pink bubble that neither was able to sense my stare. My Servants looked happy though, happier than I’d ever seen them, in each other’s company. My best shot was that one of them, or both, had finally worked up the nerves and worked out the tension between them.

Turning to the petite king, I nodded and said, “I think I have to agree with you.”

“Too bad Arjuna probably doesn’t,” replied the king in a childish voice and adult wisdom.

Epilogue 2

Much later, when all the suppressed feelings had been told and the chocolate converted to a minuscule amount of mana, as they were about to go to sleep, wrapped in each other’s warmth as they usually did, a question struck Siegfried.

“I was wondering about something,” Siegfried said.


“When Foxy Lady told you about this kabedon thing, did she mention anything about ‘seme’?”

“‘Seme’? What does it mean?”

Unbeknownst to Karna, Siegfried breathed a sigh of relief. “Never mind that, probably just some Japanese slangs she and Kiyohime picked up surfing the net.”

Compared to heavy warriors like Siegfried and Karna, Kiyohime and Tamamo no Mae were summoned to battles less often because their Master had a problem with the former’s mana consumption and the latter’s skills were better suited to specific missions.

Karna didn’t ask anything else, seemingly brushing the matter off as Siegfried had told him. But the Dragon Knight knew tomorrow he’d likely consult with his close Japanese friend. That was alright though. Better he hear from Tamamo no Mae than Siegfried himself.