Why Zelretch is a bad influence
It was their yearly meeting at Shiro's house after the Fifth Grail War to celebrate surviving the mess. Even Bazett made a point to show, if only because Lance would bitch otherwise.
Naruto, recently instated Uzukage of the remodeled Uzushiogakure (Konoha's light as one of the Big Five was fading and fast with people going to Uzu for shinobi), was bored out of damn mind.
Yes, he was now the Einzbern's Heir and Acht's successor. Yes, he had recently mastered most of the aspects of Kaleidoscope and was on par with Zelretch. Yes, he had a wife now, even if Haku was mostly to keep his grandfather from saddling him with someone intolerable and she knew it.
But Naruto was almost to the point that he would do something Zelretch normally did to alleviate his boredom!
Illya had noted with some concern that Naruto's boredom had been growing worse, which was why she moved his little mini-head on the chart to warn the others. Everyone had their own little markers on the chart showing how bored they were as a joke/warning.
Right now Naruto's little head was nearly the sixth and most dangerous stage of his boredom.
Here's how the classification system went:
X- standard boredom
XX- experimental level bored
XXX- apostle hunt level bored
XXXX- sparring with Saber/Rider/Lancer bored
XXXXX- extreme boredom
XXXXXX- ZELRETCH LEVEL BOREDOM! RUN AWAY!
At most the others barely reached level four. The life of a Magus usually was very exciting...usually.
But Naruto's marker slowly edged towards the sixth-level, which could only mean trouble for everyone. The markers were enchanted as a joke, though Illya was worried about her brother because his was making it's way towards Zelretch-level bored.
Naruto passed from the bathroom to the living room when he noticed a picture of his adopted father Kiritsugu and a much younger Shiro. And then he saw Saber and an idea so crazy that it was sure to amuse him was sparked.
Illya winced when the slow edging went straight to Zelretch-level.
"Hey guys, I have an idea..." said Naruto.
Rin noticed the level of his boredom and winced. Everyone else did the same.
"Let's hear it then," said Rin.
"What if we were to go to one of the Fourth Grail Wars and confuse the hell out of everyone?"
There was a collective blink as they processed this statement. Then...
"Count me in," said Lancer.
"Me as well," said Rider.
"It might be a bad idea for me to go, but I want in," said Saber.
"I'm always up for some trolling!" said Caster.
Assassin was silent. She could care less either way.
"It would be interesting to meet Dad before he lost his powers," said Shiro.
"Do I get to pound Kirei's face in again?" asked Rin. Naruto nodded amused, "Count me in!"
"What the hell, why not?" said Bazett.
"I'll follow your lead Naruto," said Sakura.
"Only if I can get my Berserker back. I miss him," said Illya.
"You do realize if we do this, then we'll technically have all seven classes covered right?" he said in amusement.
Seeing their confusion, he looked straight at Shiro.
"Don't you remember who Rin's original Servant was?" he said, and the lightbulb went off. They had forgotten Rin's original Servant, Archer, was in fact a much older version of Shiro.
Indeed, the only Servants who did die during their Grail War was Archer and Berserker. The rest Naruto misplaced and won by technicality.
"In that case, shall we prepare to troll the Fourth Grail War? Just to warn you the Caster in that one was a pretty nasty piece of work. He was an insane sociopath with a crappy Master," said Naruto.
And with that, the next month was spent in preparing for another Grail War, albeit in this one they weren't seeking to win, just to sow a lot of confusion amongst the fighters.
Illya couldn't wait to see their father's reaction to having not only one child, but three and all of them were making things worse. At least now Shiro could properly meet Irisviel, Kiritsugu's wife.
Zelretch only needed to be told what they were up to, before his loud guffaws could be heard throughout the Clock Tower. He had wondered when Naruto would snap, and this was far too amusing to pass up!
Which was why he gave Illyasviel Rule Breaker (Medea's weapon) and dropped her off at the Einzbern Castle in Fuyuki fifteen minutes before Gilgamesh was going to kill her alternate. She stole Berserker from her alternate and left a very poor quality double of the Servant to avoid suspicion.
(In case you were wondering, she stole the UBW route Berserker before it was destroyed. His lives were automatically reset to ten as soon as she stole him.)
Illya was very pleased to have her beloved Servant back, not that Herakles noticed a difference...well aside from a strange increase in sanity after Illya used a carefully ordered Command Seal on him. Unlike the UBW Illya, she had all of her seals.
"Everyone ready?" asked Naruto.
Naruto used his Kaleidoscope magic and opened up a path to the first incarnation of the Fourth Grail War. He even had a good cover identity for Saber...she would be posing as Mordred as a joke.
And with that, they vanished and reappeared in Fuyuki several decades ago.
Upon agreement, everyone settled into their familiar base camp of the Emiya house, which had been purchased months ago by a clone of Naruto's and refurbished to familiar standards...and a heavily stocked kitchen.
Once they arrived they started layering multiple subtle wards around the house. Not even Kiritsugu would be able to notice them unless he was actively looking for them.
Rin just wanted to pound the face of Kirei Kotomine in. Sakura was more interested in saving her Uncle Kariya, the only ally she had in the Matou house who had tried to save her from the Worm Pit. Shiro wanted to meet Kiritsugu again, and hopefully meet Irisviel.
Naruto wanted to confuse the hell out of everyone except for their group. He clapped his hands...this was going to be fun!
Saber paused when she exited the plane. Irisviel looked at her in confusion.
"What is it Saber?"
"It's probably nothing...however I have an odd feeling about this place."
In fact she sensed a second Saber, which made no sense at all.
She got out of the car and took Iris for a walk around the city, ending near the ocean. They weren't alone, but Saber more or less ignored the brother and sister playing a mile away.
"Come on, Onii-san! You said we would play in the ocean under moonlight!" begged the girl.
"I did, I did. I also said that you had to do the dishes tonight," said the boy amused.
Saber ignored them both, but for some reason she kept looking at them. The girl seemed oddly familiar for some reason.
Then one of the Servants spiked their presence, and they left to take his challenge.
The Grail War officially kicked off as it should have. Then everything went a little...odd.
Saber was about to deal a nasty blow to Lancer...when all of a sudden someone slammed into her and she hit one of the shipping containers with a vengeance.
She picked herself up from the metal box and looked at who slammed into her.
The figure wore demonic looking armor, but it was the sword that had her attention. It was black and blood red, and it gave off an ominous feeling. The smoke from her crash cleared and she almost gasped in shock...it was Mordred! What was he doing here?"
"It can't be...two Saber classed Servants?" gasped Irisviel in shock. Her spell allowed her to see a Servant's rank, and this one was nearly identical to Saber in every way.
Lancer looked rather annoyed someone had interrupted their fight and went to attack this upstart, when he found himself very busy in a hurry.
There was a bloody red lance that was attached to a man wearing dark blue armor and a cocky grin. Irisviel looked at him with shock as well.
He was clearly a Lancer Servant, but the Lancer Servant of the Grail War was right in front of her. What was going on?
Hearing a clash of blades above, everyone looked to see...Assassin fighting a white-haired girl with blades?
"What in the Root is going on here?" asked Irisviel.
"In a word? Chaos!" said someone from behind her.
She turned...only to find a girl about seventeen who looked far too much like her daughter Illyasviel for her comfort.
Irisviel was very, very confused at this point...never mind how Kiritsugu felt having double the amount of Servants with identical classes running around. What in the hell was going on?
Rider, the Great King Iskander, was just as confused as everyone else. There was a woman with long purple hair and a blindfold on the bridge with him and his Master Waver...beside her was a girl about twenty with long black hair and blue eyes.
What bothered him was that according to Waver, this woman was also a Rider class Servant, which was confusing.
"What is going on? There are two Sabers, Lancers and that looks like Assassin! He's supposed to be dead!" said Waver with absolute confusion.
"Assassin faked his death. Didn't you know?" said the black-haired girl.
"Who are you anyway?"
"Sakura Tohsaka, and this is my Servant Rider."
"That can't be! Rider's right here!" said Waver.
"Whoever said that my Rider was the Servant class summoned for the Fourth Grail War?" cocked Sakura's head in amusement. Seeing Waver utterly confused at this point, they vanished.
"Mou...Master, are you done yet?" whined Caster.
She was bored. She had been promised chaos on a level never seen, and here her Master was in France of all places with a summoning circle!
"Almost. Alright, blood offering is complete...connection to our version of the Grail has been set...now for the summoning," said Naruto with an evil grin.
He really, really didn't like Caster from the Fourth Grail War, and this was definitely going to confuse people even more. Because he had linked the prana-output from the Fourth Grail War to the system in place in Hero's Throne, the site of the New Grail Wars, Naruto could theoretically summon any of the three extra Servants he had put into place.
In this case he was planning to summon the mediator of the New Grail Wars: Ruler.
Technically Ruler could be summoned before the full Seven were out, but only if certain types of Anti-Heroes were brought out first. Otherwise they would come out only after the first seven were. In this case, Ruler would be picked because of Caster being out, which was why Naruto had come to France at the site of Joan of Arc's execution.
According to Zelretch, Caster of the Fourth Grail Wars was someone who knew Joan in life, so who better to put him in his place than the woman he had mistaken Saber for?
Naruto cut his hand. The bounded field was in place to keep tourists out, and it was pretty late besides.
He began to speak the incantation, hoping this worked properly.
"Silver and Iron to the Origin. Gem and the Archduke of Contracts to the Ancestor is my Great Master Shweinorg.
The Alighted Wind becomes a Wall. The Gates in the four directions close,coming from the Crown,the three-forked road that leads to the Kingdom circulate.
Shut (Fill). Shut (Fill). Shut (Fill). Shut (Fill). Shut (Fill).
Repeat every five times.
Simply, shatter once filled.
Your self is under me, my fate (doom) is in your sword.
In accordance with the approach of the Holy Grail, if you abide by this feeling, this reason, then answer.
Here is my Oath.
I embody justice and balance in the World.
I chastise arrogance and ignorance in the World.
You, Seven Heavens clad in three words of Power, arrive from the ring of deterrence,
O Keeper of the Balance!"
The circle began to glow an ominous silver color, as opposed to the red that it normally ended up as. There was a loud explosion, and Naruto felt a new set of Command Seals appear on his left hand, in place of the ones he had stolen from Kotomine and returned to Bazett once the war was technically over.
"I ask of you, are you my Master?" said a distinctly female voice. She had armor on, and a sort of crown on her head.
"I am," said Naruto, showing his command seals.
"Then in accordance to this Divine summoning, I, Servant Ruler, have answered your call. Know that I am the Mediator of this Grail War and will keep the Grail from becoming befouled should a Servant of Corruption be summoned," said Ruler.
Naruto was grinning wildly.
"Yes! I knew the fail-safe would work! Ha! Take that Rin!" said Naruto cheering.
Ruler looked utterly confused, so Tamamo took her human guise to explain it to her.
"Master dismantled the original Grail in his alternate world, and put in some fail-safes to keep certain kinds of Servants from corrupting the Grail again. He used the power output from this particular alternate and hooked his summoning circle to the one that they had rebuilt in a new location in order to by-pass the original system. In short, he tricked this Grail into allowing you to be summoned," said Tamamo.
"And you are?" asked Ruler.
"Servant Caster of the Fifth Grail War alternate, at your service!" said Tamamo with a chirp.
"Who is your Master?"
"I am. It's possible to sustain two Servants though the power output is quite ridiculous."
Naruto picked up his mirror, which had a spell to make it act like a cell phone.
"What is it Rin?"
"What the hell did you just do?"
"I cheated. How's the chaos?"
"Everyone is utterly confused at this point as to why there are two copies of the same Servant class running around. By the way, Saber mistook her alternate for Mordred like you wanted," she replied.
"That is excellent news... By the way, the fail-safe we put into place works."
Rin's expression blanked for a moment before she scowled.
"Oh yes, I did."
"I'm telling Illya!" said Rin angrily.
She had said that the fail-safe to prevent the corruption of the Grail wouldn't work, but they had put it in anyway. She didn't think that the three additional classes would be drawn at all, and hearing Naruto had summoned one was irritating.
"Well girls, shall we head back to base?" said Naruto with an evil grin that wouldn't look out of place on his teacher.
"How did it go?" asked Naruto.
Illya was giggling madly while the others looked rather smug.
"It was pure and utter chaos! They were completely freaking out over the fact that there were two of the same Servant class in the fight!" cackled Bazett.
Rin was still scowling, though an amused smirk did appear a few times on her face. Seeing the look on Assassin's face when Jackie came at him was hilarious, and it was even more amusing when Illya brought out Berserker against Lancelot.
Though that was nothing compared to the pissed look on Gilgamesh's face when Shiro showed up looking like EMIYA, armor and all, and started hurling his swords at the King of Heroes.
From the fact no one commented on his seals, it was clear that they had trick everyone into believing Shiro was an Archer class Servant.
"So what did you tell Rin that had her so mad, Naruto-nii?" asked Illya, containing her giggles.
"Everyone, meet our fail-safe from the New Grail Wars. This is Ruler," said Naruto, opening the door.
"I don't believe it..." said Saber in shock.
Illya glared at her brother.
"Naruto...why did you bring out Ruler when we could deal with that monster without her?" asked Illya sweetly. Everyone collectively shuddered...when Illya sounded sweet, then you better start running like hell.
Especially when she now had Berserker back.
"Uh...for fun?" said Naruto sheepishly.
"Berserker... Punishment!" said Illya angrily.
Tamamo wasn't on his shoulder, so when Berserker back handed Naruto (sending him flying) he was the only one to leave the bounded fields. Ruler looked shocked at the act, but the fact Tamamo held her back was the only reason she didn't react.
"Illyasviel tends to use Berserker to keep her brother in line. Naruto will be back either tomorrow morning or in a couple of hours. Besides, he had that one coming," said Tamamo.
Shiro was the one to break the silence.
"Well at least we know Naruto's idea of a fail safe actually works..." he said sheepishly.