Lancer was outmatched. That much could be said. The opponent standing before her was Rider; her first opponent, and in some twist of fate, her final opponent.
They didn’t see eye to eye. Figuratively, this was because they were competing to be the sole victor of the Holy Grail War. Literally, this was because Rider sat entombed with his Master within an enormous red suit of armour that towered over Lancer. Under normal circumstances, any Servant should have trembled with fear, but Lancer didn’t. She had experience with beings like this one.
Palindromically-stylised author NISIOISIN’s Bakemonogatari (Monster Tale) is the collective title of five story arcs published over three volumes (two in the original Japanese print) that is the origin of the now-expansive Monogatari series. Like the title suggests, they are stories of monsters, ghosts, and other supernatural beings that its protagonist happens to encounter and subsequently deal with. The aberrations in question draw from various mythologies and folklores, ranging from obscure Japanese tales to more well-known Western publications. This is no horror story, however; Bakemonogatari is best described as equal parts occult mystery, comedy, and in-depth analysis of the human psyche.
Lancer waited at the peak of Mount Enzou for Saber to arrive. In addition to her Master’s written invitation, she had stated her intent to Saber by choosing to eliminate Caster instead of him—or, more drastically, as well as him. Really, he should ascend the mountain and prostrate himself before her in gratitude.
Sparing the preamble, Kizumonogatari (or Wound Tale, to which it has been officially localised) opens with an elaborate, multi-page description of a gust of wind lifting the skirt of a high school girl and revealing her panties. Such are we thrust into the mindset of Koyomi Araragi, the girl’s classmate, and the narrator of the eponymous tale of wounds that we are about to explore.