The Story of Illya Emiya
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the Fate Stay franchise or the characters associated with them.
"No!" as Illya cried on her bed, "it's not true! Papa didn't abandon me! He's not a traitor!" as she curled into a ball as she continued to weep on her knees.
"Stop this nonsense immediately" said Jubstacheit von Einzbern, the current leader of his house. "You were abandoned by him in the favor of another child. What's more, he betrayed us all for what he had done".
"No! No! No!" as Illya shook her head. "I don't believe you! I won't believe you!"
The elder man gave a slight look of annoyance at her resistance. However he had been attempting to re-educate this child to serve the purposes of his house. The first thing he needed to do was sever whatever ties Illya still had to Kiritsugu. Aside from trying to focus her on winning the fifth holy grail war, he wanted to punish that man for his insolence. For right on the eve of his victory, he destroyed the grail along with the Einzbern's ambition of retrieving their third magic heaven's feel. Thus furious could not possibly describe his temperament upon such a momentous failure. So grooming Kiritsugu's child with every possible advantage for the next war, she would also be instilled with nothing but pure hate and detest for her father. Of course he could easily arrange his assassination. But what better way to punish the man then by having his own daughter be his own undoing.
Deciding it was enough for today, Jubstacheit left as he had to wait. All he needed was time and that will be enough to sway Illya to his influence.
Now alone sitting in the dark, the young homunculus felt her heart ache as the tears just kept on coming. She couldn't deny what was said to her as her father promised to come back to her once the war was over. But days quickly turned to weeks as weeks quickly turned to months with no sign of him whatsoever. As more time passed, she feared that she was truly abandoned.
"But I won't believe it" Illya said to herself. "He must have a reason to why he hasn't returned yet . . . ."
As such being the case, she would find out the truth for herself. Using her mage craft, she created several scouting birds in secret to fly to Japan where her father last was to search for him. Searching city after city, she finally found him. Although she was confused to why he hadn't returned, she would go to him to learn the truth.
"Illyasviel-sama" said Sella, her maid and teacher, as she discreetly entered the room. "It's time to go. We've managed to open a small window of opportunity. We must leave as soon as possible".
"I have everything packed for the trip" said Leysritt, her other maid and bodyguard, as she too entered the room. "Our distractions will not last for long".
". . . . OK" Illya nodded as she dried up her tears. Dressing for travel and gathering what she needed, she was soon ready to depart. Looking to her two maids, they were rather reluctant in agreeing to her venture as that would put them in direct opposition to the master of the house. Though she was afraid when they discovered her scouting birds, they chose not to do anything about them to which instead she gained their support.
Although they were servants of the Einzbern household, their direct purpose was to mentor, serve, and protect Illya. Of course they could have tried to force her to give up on her search, but it would not be possible without causing some degree of mental or physical harm which directly contradicted their purpose. More so, if Illya tried to leave on her own there was no telling what calamity may come from it. So choosing the most efficient method, they decided to aide her till a time they deem her actions self-destructive.
As quietly and quickly as possible, they left the castle and it's protective barrier unnoticed. Arranging their transportation, they would soon arrive in Japan.
~ Fuyuki city (Emiya residence) ~
"Concentrate" said Kiritsugu. "Focus on not what is in front of you but rather what is in your mind. The key to forging is holding a clear image in your head. Allow your imagination to mold it".
Shirou closed his eyes as beads of sweat rolled down the sides of his cheeks. Wanting to fulfill his adoptive father's dreams, he wanted to become a hero of justice. In order to do so, he needed power. But of all the magic Kiritsugu tried to teach him, forging was the only thing he seemed to have any talent in.
Sighing somewhat, Kiritsugu had to agree as well. Though Shirou didn't have much affinity for magic, he was insistent on learning. At first he didn't want to teach him, but with some convincing by Taiga he ended up caving in. But as things stood he may not be able to teach him for much longer. Looking to his hand, his skin looked pale and desiccated. True to Angra Mainyu's word, he was dying. Cursed by the corrupted grail, he could feel his body growing weaker day by day as slowly his magic circuits began to fail. Now resting his back against the wall, he gave a tired sigh.
"Is there something wrong?" Shirou asked.
". . . . Hmm . . . . Nothing for you to be concerned about. Just get back to your practice".
"Well . . . . OK . . . ." as he continued forging.
Giving a soft breath as he looked to his adoptive son, it reminded him all the more of the daughter he had left behind. "I'm sorry Illya . . . . I'm sorry I couldn't come back for you . . . ." Reflecting on his life as a whole, he had many regrets which could easily fill up several lifetimes. But of all of them, he regretted in not being able to be with his daughter again. While he still had the strength, he had tried many times to enter the Einzbern castle. However with the bounded fields up in conjunction with his failing magic circuits, he was not able to enter. Even if by some miracle he did, there would be no way he could fight the entire castle's guards in his condition. "Iri . . . ." as his thoughts then dwell to that of his wife. He could only wonder if she would forgive him for failing their daughter.
"I did it!" Shirou shouted excitedly as he picked a nail he created.
Smiling solemnly, Kiritsugu gave a soft chuckle. "Good job. Now make fifty more of them as I need to fix a door".
~ Fuyuki city ~ (early evening)
Traveling non-stop, Illya and her two maids arrived in Japan easily within fifteen hours.
For Sella and Leysritt had planned the best they could every step of the way in escorting Illya safely to her destination without any complications. Choosing sleeping hours, they calculated they would at least have an eight hour head start. However if they were discovered sooner they had weeks to plan. With such preparation, they had set up literally hundreds of decoys from illusion body doubles to several travel reports to all over world. But Jubstacheit was no fool as there was only one destination Illya had wanted to go. So planning for such a thing, they made certain to feed him incorrect information showing just enough evidence for him to assume Kiritsugu had been traveling as he was no longer in Japan.
Choosing their route with absolute precision, they were now in a car driving down a street where the Emiya residence should be.
Looking out the window, Illya felt a tightness in her chest as a swirl of emotions collided with one another. She was happy in being given this chance of seeing her father again, but then a sense of dread for what truth laid behind to his reason of not coming back. Staring out the window, she wasn't sure how she should react once she saw him. I mean so much time had passed. Should she act surprised? Be happy to see him? Look angry for him not keeping his promise? Frankly she didn't really know as her mind was overwhelmed with uncertainty.
Sensing her troubled mind, "do not worry" said Sella, "for whatever may happen or whatever you may choose you have our support".
". . . . But" as Illya looked down somewhat saddened, "what if it's true? What if papa really abandoned me . . . ." But then shaking her head, her face tensed as she patted her cheeks. "No, there has to be a reason. I'll just have to ask him myself".
The homunculus maid couldn't really say much as she didn't understand the circumstance behind Kiritsugu not returning. But of what she knew of him, he did seem to genuinely love both his wife and daughter. However she did not want to raise Illya's hopes up needlessly.
"We're almost there" said Leysritt, "are you sure you don't want to return tomorrow? It is rather late in the day".
". . . . No. I want to see him as soon as possible. But can you stop here? I'd rather walk the rest of the way and see things from myself".
"Understood". Pulling over the three occupants got out of the car as they were but a block away from their destination. "We'll be right behind you".
Nodding, Illya took point as she begun to walk down the sidewalk. But for every step she took as she neared the Emiya residence her anxiety grew. Now a house away, her speed was reduced to a fraction as she then stopped where she stood.
"Is everything alright?" Sella asked.
". . . . I'm fine" as Illya gave a calming breath. She was scared of what she might see. However she needed to know for certain if she were to get any kind of closure. So peeking around the corner, she saw the house as it seemed pretty normal from what she could tell. Though spending her entire life in a castle living a magical and privileged life, she was hardly qualified to know what was normal in human world. But from what she could tell, everything seemed peaceful. Then hearing some rummaging, she looked back to see a sliding door open as her father came out sitting on the edge. Almost ecstatic to see him, she then saw a young boy come out taking a seat next to him. ". . . . Who is that?" Feeling her heart clench, she could only stand there and watch as the scene unfolded.
Kiritsugu sighed as he felt as if his entire body had just gotten through being pummeled by a servant. Even his senses were becoming duller. "Hmm . . . . I wonder how much time I have left . . . ."
"Can I sit with you?" Shirou asked.
Taking his seat, the youth kicked his feet as he stared off absentmindedly. For being with his adoptive father for as long as he did, he really didn't know anything about him. Of course he was grateful to him for saving his life and taking care of him till now. He knew he was a good man. But when it concerned his past, he couldn't quite grasp anything about it. Every time he asked he would either side step the question or tell him that it wasn't important. Curiosity getting the better of him, he just needed to pick a question that didn't seem to hit any touchy subjects. "So I was wondering, where did you learn magic?"
" . . . . Here and there".
"I actually had a questionnaire I had to do today which asked what my parent did for a job. So I . . . ."
"A former mechanic and just leave it at that".
Not seeming to get anywhere, Shirou thought hard about what his next question should be. Picking one that seemed kind of simple, "do you have any other family members?" But upon saying that he saw him react in a subtle way displaying what he could only tell was discomfort. "I'm sorry" he blurted out, "if you don't want to say anything then I . . . ."
But then he was stopped as Kiritsugu patted him on the head. "It's alright" giving a weary smile. Laying back as he closed his eyes, he reopened them while giving a soft breath. "I'm an only child. My parents died when I was young. Though the circumstances behind it is something you're better off not knowing. You know . . . . I was actually married once".
"You were married?"
"Yeah" as Kiritsugu reminisced. "I met her on the job many years ago. I didn't think much of her when we first met. But over time . . . . Over time, she really grew on me and eventually we fell in love".
"What happened to her?" Shirou then asked cautiously.
The elder man scoffed a bit giving a sad smile. ". . . . Our circumstance was star-crossed. It was meant to end in tragedy as she would be taken from me before her time. But knowing this herself . . . . She wanted to give me a reason to continue. So a daughter was born between our love".
"I have a sister" as Shirou gave a look of surprise.
"Yeah" Kiritsugu nodded. "She would actually be about your age. Maybe a bit older. She really does take after her mother" as he gave a small chuckle.
The youth nodded as he was following along without trouble. But seeing a bush at the edge of their property, it captured his attention as he noticed something was hiding in there. Judging by disposition, it was too big to be an animal. But with the moonlight above, it's lunar rays seemed to have been shining off something silvery. At such a thought, "silver hair?" Standing up, he then waved his hand. "Hello? Is someone there?"
Upon being spotted, a loud shriek was heard as a small girl stumbled out of the bush.
Standing upright becoming completely wide eye, Kiritsugu couldn't believe his eyes at who was there before him now. "Illya" he uttered out.
The young homunculus was dumbstruck at being discovered as she didn't know what to do. Now being faced with her father and adoptive son, instinct took over. A prevalent instinct that had been inherent to all forms of sentient life since the formation of thought. The instinct of fight or flight. But being overwhelmed with so much at once, her body reacted as she then started to run away.
"Illyasviel-sama!" Sella and Leysritt called as their mistress ran by them. Reacting, they chased after her as their priority now was to ensure her safety. But then just moments in, they realized they were not alone as someone was chasing behind them now. Following a line of logic, if there mistress was running away from them then she didn't want them to be near her. Hence they were now deemed the enemy.
"Do not allow them to advance any further" said Sella.
Nodding, Leysritt halted turning about face ready to fight and kill if need be.
"I don't understand" said Shirou, "what's going on?" as he saw his father had abruptly got up and started to chase after the girl.
"Illya" as Kiritsugu gave panted breaths feeling his body hurting all over, "my daughter . . . ." Wanting to shout out to her, his lungs felt deflated as he couldn't catch his breath to yell out to her. Worse off, an Einzbern homunculus now stood in his path as she seemed determined not to allow him to pass. Seeing her summon a halberd, she was dead serious as the maid took a battle stance. Running his odds, the only way he was getting by her was by using his reality marble to temporarily accelerate his body. But considering his condition, "it'll most likely tear my heart apart". Though for the sake of being reunited with his daughter once more, he was more then willing to sacrifice what little time he had left.
As Leysritt was ready to swing, the former mage killer was going to react at the last possible second to reduce as much strain as he could on his heart. As the bladed edge was upon him, micro-seconds passed as it drew closer and closer. Just as he was about to react, "ahh no you don't!" shouted Taiga with her trademark shinai in hand. Sensing the commotion she too followed and had arrived just in time to intercept the attack. As her weapon met her apparent adversary, she instantly gauged her opponent's strength as well beyond her own. So carefully with absolute precision, she went into a defensive stance angling her weapon putting her body mass behind it as the halberd slid off in an angle as it slammed into the ground. "No idea what's going on, but I'm certain you need to get by her".
"Thank you" said Kiritsugu, "and be careful" as he and Shirou continued the chase.
"You will not pass!" as Leysritt attempted to re-engage them.
However Taiga had gotten in front of her once more, "where do you think you're going?"
~ Fuyuki city ~
Kiritsugu was desperately trying to breath as he willed his legs to keep going. Just fifty meters away, he'd be able to catch up to her. However his body would give out long before he made up the distance.
It didn't take much for him to surmise what his daughter was thinking as she probably did believe he abandoned her. Thus he needed to make things right. Not just for his own sake, but also for the sake of his late wife and that of Illya's future.
Unable to run any further, the roguish man spasm a bit holding his hand over his heart as he could not push his body any harder as his mind had then begun to fade in and out from strain and fatigue.
"Are you alright?" Shirou asked in concern upon seeing his dad drop to one knee as he was breathing heavily while sweating intensely.
". . . . Go . . . . Stop her . . . . I need . . . . To tell her . . . ."
"I got it" as the youth stood up. Grasping the situation more or less, a hero was needed. So he will not fail.
~ Fuyuki city ~
"Why am I running?" Illya thought as she gave panted breaths. "Why am I running away from papa?" as her face scrunched in confusion. Though she questioned herself, she already knew the answer. She was afraid, afraid of what she saw and what it meant. Afraid that her fears were coming true as there was nothing she could do to change it. As her mind raced with doubt, her legs finally gave in as she stopped needing to rest.
"Illyasviel-sama" said Sella as she was tired too from all that running. But as she was about to express her concern, the boy from before had then arrived coming to a halt as he too was exhausted from chasing after them. "You will not approach any further" as the homunculus maid began to prepare a spell.
Getting straight to the matter, "he's dying" Shirou exclaimed which instantly caught Ilya's attention. "He's always telling me not to worry. But I know he's dying. I can see it . . . . He's getting weaker day after day".
The young homunculus had then regained her posture as she stood before him to continue.
Getting her attention, Shirou had to choose carefully what he said next as his words would dictate what could happen. So steadying himself, he just needed to be honest as that was the only way he knew. " . . . . I . . . . I won't pretend to understand or know everything that is going on. And I know that there are probably some things I'm better off not knowing. But . . . ." as he looked down to gather his thoughts before continuing, "Kiritsugu . . . . My . . . . Our dad. I know he's a good man who is always wanting to do the right thing. So if anything else, just let him say what he has to say and you can be the judge of what happens next".
Illya just stared blankly as she absorbed what she heard. Contemplating, she closed her eyes as she gave a small nod.
~ Fuyuki city (Emiya residence) ~ (late night)
After calming down as they took a seat with a cup of tea, Kiritsugu told his side of the story after everything that had happened after the holy grail war. Angra Mainyu's curse, saving Shirou, his repeated attempts in trying to get back to Illya, and what other facts he felt were relevant.
"You betrayed us" said Sella as her tone reflected disgust.
"I had to stop it" the elder man defended, "the cost was too high as it was an evil I could not allow to exist in this world".
Wanting to rebuttal, Illya interjected giving a soft yet authoritative look. If that's what her father believed then it was good enough for her. But above all else, she was happy to know she had nothing to fear. Simply Jubstacheit was just feeding her lies. However the question was what now? Her father was dying and there was no medicine or magic in the world that could change that. With just that thought she looked down saddened. "Is there nothing more that can be done for you?"
"No" as Kiritsugu shook his head as he gave a solemn expression. "But it's fine. At this point I can take some consolation that I at least failed at doing the right thing over succeeding and doing the wrong thing".
"Then . . . . Can I live here with you?" Illya then asked.
Wanting to react, both Sella and Leysritt would have disagreed with this decision due to how many complications were involved from running away from the Einzbern castle to living with the person they saw as a traitor. However there opinion did not entirely matter. Their duty was to protect and serve their mistress. More so on a personal level, they cared for her well being. So if this was her decision, they would support it without protest.
Looking to his daughter, Kiritsugu gave one of his a rare smile. "Of course as long as you like".
"Papa!" Illya cried out as she hugged Kiritsugu.
Returning the gesture, the former mage killer felt at peace that he was at least able to do this right. For whatever time he had left was going to be the most important moments of his life. Iri would probably wanted it to be this way as well to allow Illya a life outside of these senseless conflicts. So he had a lot of work to do to make sure that happened.
To be continued . . . .
Author's notes: More or less a pilot chapter to see what people think.
The story will follow Illya as the main protagonist during her course of the fifth holy grail war. But this time around, she'll start her life much differently under the care of Kiritsugu. Well let's see how this turns out.
As for the lore I've looked through Fate/Zero, Fate/Stay Night, carnival, and prisma as a point of reference when writing this fic. However some parts of it are my own interpretation based on logical sequence of events. Though psychological analysis of characters are always such a subjective thing. But if I do get an analysis wrong based on facts, I don't mind being called out on it as I do sometimes either misinterpret information or forget something entirely. Though I do request to keep it constructively friendly as straight up flaming is never a nice thing.
So thanks for taking the time in reading this fic and I hope you can review it as well.