The Story of Illya Emiya
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the Fate Stay franchise or the characters associated with them.
Caster & Assassin IV
". . . . !" as Rin felt it.
". . . . Archer" she thought out.
Her connection to the red servant had been severed. He had died in battle against Caster defending Illya and the others to his very last breath. As condescending and arrogant as he was, in his last moments he stood tall and proud. An act of nobility fitting of a hero.
Something she believed Archer couldn't be with what she knew of him.
As things were now without her servant she has been more or less defeated.
But stomaching her own loss she had to focus on what was happening in front of her. Shirou's mana was almost completely depleted as his shield was close to failing. As Caster covered the entire room with her attack they needed to find opening to make a difference.
"Tohsaka! I can't hold out any longer!"
~ Camelot ~
"Install! Archer!" Illya screamed as her heart was gripped in raw emotion. Tears streamed from her eyes as she couldn't handle what she had learned. The torment her brother would face and his reason for coming back to this time. But more then that was watching him die in front of her as the only thing she could think of now was slicing Caster's head off as the magus of flowers just stood there indifferent to what he had done.
As the flames of his soul wrapped around her, Illya now adorned Archer's appearance with modifications to adjust to her female form. As orbs of light formed in her hands, she was thinking about what kind of blade she wanted to use to kill him with.
"Stop! Illya!" as Miyu had just barely made it hugging her friend from behind."He's on our side!"
"I don't care!" as every fiber of her being was dripping with malice. "He killed him! He killed him!" she screamed hysterically.
"Please calm down!" said Miyu trying to soothe her friend.
"There is no need for further conflict" then said Caster.
However Illya was far to angry to care anymore. She didn't even want to stomach any excuse that was going to be made. Breaking out of Miyu's grip she charged at her brother's murderer with full killing intent.
Raising his sword, Caster defended as he blocked and parried Illya's strikes.
Swinging with all her strength, she left nothing held back. Sparks flew as the metal of their blades collided. Projecting more blades, she fired them in rapid volley like missiles as they exploded upon contact.
Caster only defended raising a barrier against the barrage.
But coming up from behind Illya had projected an ancient sword whose legend allowed it to cut through shields as it cleaved right through Caster's protection forcing him to retreat. Following up with a volley of broken phantasms she kept up the pressure as she didn't even want to give him a moment to rest.
"Stop! Illya!" Miyu shouted. With the intensity of the battle between them it would be too dangerous for her to approach.
The magus of flowers continued to defend blocking each of Illya's attacks.
Cutting off his ability to retreat, the young homunculus projected a wall of swords right behind him as his back soon enough bumped into it. Walling them in, Illya switched back to Kansho and Bakuya taking advantage of the enclosed distance.
With his movements restricted unable to use the full reach of his sword he detonated a blast right underneath them in an attempt to destroy the barricade and stun his opponent for just a moment.
In cases like this there were only two things a warrior would have done. Retreat to avoid damage or power on through it risking whatever damage would come of it. With Illya blinded by her feeling she chose the later. But Archer also had the ability eye of the mind. This allowed him to theorize the flow of combat to counter whatever move his opponents made. As such Illya saw her actions as an acceptable risk. With the detonation occurring beneath her feet she continued to run right through it. Her boots and parts of her red plain were burnt and shredded damaging her skin. With the explosion the sword barricade created shrapnel igniting a metal storm. As the broken sword chips flew in the air some of them cut right into Illya as some were even embedded into her.
The only protective measure she took was shielding her eyes as she continued to charge at Caster. Closing the distance between them she kicked him in the gut forcing him through the swords behind him. She then followed by a solid punch to the face. Finally getting him on the ground she continued to beat him with her bare fists. All the while tears had not stopped flowing out of her eyes as they were still glazed over with unending anger for the magus of flowers.
"Stop! Please stop!" as Miyu tried to intervene.
"Don't" as Kuro grabbed her arm.
"What are you doing? We have to stop this!"
"You have to let things run it's course" said Kuro solemnly.
"She's going to kill him at this rate!"
The dark homunuculus could only shake her head much to Miyu's dismay as they could only stand aside and watch. It would be too dangerous for either of them to stop two servants from fighting.
Illya was far too gone to listen at this point.
But she did have to wonder about what was said earlier where her sister cried for Shirou when Archer disappeared. Like Illya, she did have a feeling of knowing who Archer was. If what was said was true then she was equally as conflicted about how to feel. She could only imagine what Illya was going through receiving his spirit and personally knowing how his story was going to end.
Regardless, their intervention was unnecessary. Kuro saw the last move Archer made. In the last exchange between him and Caster, he had projected Rule Breaker. The dagger belonging to Medea, the witch of betrayal. Stabbing the blade into Caster he had successfully severed his contract as he was now free.
If Illya was of a calm mind she would have noticed that the magus of flowers had only acted on defense against her. Being knocked to the ground he let himself get beaten allowing the girl with the broken heart to express everything she felt.
After enduring a few minutes of repeatedly being punched, Caster's face was bruised and bleeding. Yet he took no action to defend himself any further. With his abilities, he had already seen far enough to how it was all connected. But specifically what Archer meant to Illya and allowing her this moment to grieve. However he already knew that today would not be his end.
Illya had exhausted her strength using up her energy recklessly as she allowed her emotions to get the better of her. With her numerous projections she had drained most of her mana as her servant form soon disappeared. Yet she didn't care as she would not relent as she continued to attack. Though her fist were worn and her arm had grown numb she wouldn't stop hitting Caster till he died. But coming this far she had no more strength left to hurt him as she was just tapping him at best. "You bastard . . . . You bastard . . . . You killed him . . . ." Illya hiccuped as her grief had taken over again.
"Illya . . . ." as Miyu and Kuro had finally pulled her away holding her as that was all they could do for her now as she continued to cry. They could still feel her resistance in wanting to continue her fight with the magus of flowers. But pulling her back and holding her tight was what she needed more right now.
Standing up as he brushed off his robes, Caster placed a healing spell on himself as his face was instantly recovered. Looking to the young homunculus he could only close his eyes while giving a slight apologetic bow. "It may not mean much to you now but know that I am sorry as I was not in control of my actions. But it was thanks to his sacrifice that he has ushered hope onto the future" which made the girls give him a confused look. "Do not worry about it now" shaking his head. "You will eventually understand with time". Turning his head, "Archimedes".
"Hoot hoot!" the owl happily chirped to see his master return again.
"I'm sorry for worrying you old friend" Caster smiled. Perching on his shoulder, Archimedes touched his head against his as a bright light shined. "Thank you for returning it. Now let's go clean up this mess shall we?"
~ Camelot ~
"What has happened?!" as the witch queen saw the command crest on her hand disappearing. This enraged her at losing her handle on that man. She took great pleasure in enslaving him for all the misery he caused in her life.
Yet siding on caution she kept Merlin on a very short leash. But for all that he was, his power not only equaled her own but he was a rather cunning man always having some trick up his sleeve. It was unlikely he was defeated. So how did he manage to escape from her when she had him tightly in her grasp?
Shirou could not hold out any longer as he had nothing left to give. Rho Aias had mostly faded as only one petal was barely hanging on. "Tohsaka!" as the shield was about to disappear.
Finishing her spell Rin was ready. She had noticed the witch queen to be distracted which was her window of opportunity. With Shirou's shield about to break, it was time for her to act. Preparing several gems, "Emiya-kun! Close your eyes!" as she threw them towards Caster as the entire area was covered in blinding light stunning the servant. Shutting her eyes, she remembered the exact layout of the area as she pulled Shirou to a spot they could hide for a moment.
Getting behind cover as the light began to fade, "so what's the plan . . . ." as Shirou started only to be stopped as Rin's hands cupped his face pulling him down as their lips then met. Completely stunned at that action his thoughts had completely ceased as he wasn't sure what was happening, why it was happening, or what to do now. But in that brief tender moment the mage smith saw something. "Tohsaka's memory?" as it was a bit of a blur. But before he could think about what he saw the brunette magus had pulled back with a blush as she looked away in slight embarrassment. "Tohsaka . . . ."
"Dont . . . . Don't think anything of it" Rin stuttered trying to maintain her prideful self. "For the time being I just formed a contract with you".
"A contract?" as Shirou then looked to his arm to find a glowing insignia on it.
Before he could say another word, "we'll talk about it later".
Nodding his head as he understood what this meant, "here I go then!" as the mage smith went back to face Caster. Looking to her now, she was plenty pissed over many things as her sights were set on him as the target of her frustration. However things were going to be different. With Rin's backing, mana was no longer a limiting factor to him as he had more room to project noble phantasms that better suited the situation. Especially when it concerned armors and shields that consumed far more power in comparison to weapons. Granted he still had to be mindful about what he created. But it now granted him more flexibility in battle.
Thus began the counter attack.
Thanks to Archer, he had added quite a few more noble phantasms to his list to help him in future battles. The history, composition, and the skills that were used with them were now apart of him.
As Caster prepared another volley of energy bolts, Shirou easily responded. "Trace on!" creating a few types of shields that could endure the onslaught.
"You dare think your pitiful magic can challenge me?!" Caster shouted angrily as her attack became more aggressive.
Shirou cringed as he could feel the drain of his shields trying to hold back the storm. He also had to bitterly laugh at how angry Rin was getting at him for wasting her mana like this. But remembering how Archer fought combined with everything he has learned till now he was going to make this moment count. Projecting a bow, he created a blade as he reconfigured it to the shape of an arrow as he then started firing back. As he learned depending on the sword grade would dictate it's mana cost. Hence he was able to fire Kansho and Bakuya arrows repeatedly. Though they were low class noble phantasms they were still noble phantasms nonetheless.
In response Caster had raised her own barrier to defend against the counter attack while keeping up her own.
Of all of Shirou's attacks, two out of five would hit. If he wanted to land a decisive shot he would need to project something a lot stronger that could punch right through the witch queen's defenses like Gae Bolg or Nine Lives. For now the two combatants were at a stalemate as it would take something to tip the balance into one of their favors.
But then barging into the throne room were the last remnants of Camelots army. Of course Shirou and Rin were baffled at their appearance at needing to fight them off as well. In that brief moment of panic was then changed to shock and relief as the knights not only ignored them but were now attacking Caster.
"You dare! You dare defy me?!" Caster screamed as she had to fight in multiple fronts now. Expanding her area of attack she would not allow any of these knights to get close to her.
"I don't know how they did it but it's good to see the wind finally blow in our direction" Rin grinned.
"Let's finish this!" as Shirou pushed forward. However easier said then done. With Caster lashing out in all directions he would not be able to land a clean shot. So in order to beat her he needed to do it up close.
The knights of Camelot were not able to approach her before getting blasted away.
But to close the distance the mage smith had one shield in mind. One he saw upon entering this reality marble.
Visualizing it. Remembering every little detail about it. Breaking it down in his mind, he made his way to the front lines. With his eyes fierce in determination he called it forth. "Trace on!" as a cross like shield with a round backing was summoned. For what Shirou projected was Galahad's Lord Camelot: fortress of the future utopia. A shield only as powerful as the will of it's user. It was said that so long the heart doesn't break, those castle walls too shall never crumble.
Activating it's power light had begun to shine as majestic white walls appeared. Yet as grand as they were it still had imperfections due to Shirou's limitations.
"Oh that jerk . . . ." Rin panted as she felt her mana take a massive dip.
However upon it's activation Caster's attack was rendered useless as these walls would not yield to her. With the effects of the shield most of Caster's blasts were reflected back at her as she took some damage from them.
But in that brief time Camelot's army regrouped behind the protection of these walls as they began their final push against the witch queen.
With an all out attack they made every move forward matter. As one knight fell the others around them would pick up the slack not allowing their sacrifice to be in vain.
Even Shirou ran beside them making the last push towards Caster. He only had enough power for one more powerful projection. So saving it for the most critical moment he raced forward with the shield in front of him.
With deafening explosions like mortar blasts ripping up the stone flooring as shards and dust blew up they kept pushing forward.
As distance became shorter between them so was Caster's life as she desperately tried to keep them back. But no matter how many knights she took out they just kept on coming. Nearing the last fifty meters that kept them apart she fired at the ceiling as large chunks of stone fell trying to create a blockade.
But with Shirou being the closest he dived rolled past the falling debris before stumbling back to his feet as he continued to sprint with all his might.
Forty meter left as Caster focused all her power against her now lone opponent.
Thirty meters left as Shirou could feel the strain acting against his whole body.
Twenty meters left with Caster becoming increasingly more ferocious.
Ten meters left as the mage smith repelled a blast while dropping Lord Camelot in the process. But not losing momentum this was the end of the line that was between life and death. Losing the extra weight these precious few seconds was going to decide who was going to die.
With only five meters left between them everything depended on this last move.
"Die!" Caster screamed firing her magical bolt.
"Trace on!" as Shirou made his final stand betting his life on this projection.
As the two attacks met it ignited in one grand explosion deciding the battle. Flying back grinding against the ground Shirou was badly hurt as his right arm, shoulder, and some of his upper body had been severely burnt. Cringing in pain a part of his projection that was destroyed had also sliced a part of his face. Just struggling not to fall unconscious he looked up to see Caster as she was sitting on the throne. Worried at his failure he then breathed out a relaxed sigh at seeing a blade sticking out of her chest as she was pinned to the very object of her desire.
"Emiya-kun!" Rin shouted as she climbed over the debris. Upon seeing him her lift face lit up happy that he was alive. She carefully sat him up before laying him down on her lap. "Geez" giving a warm smile, "reckless as always. What would you do without me".
Responding with a strained chuckle of his own, "thanks Toksaka . . . ." But noticing Caster to be alive from her groaning and mild movements Rin immediately pointed her finger at she prepared to fire a gandr. "You don't need to worry. She's already finished . . . ."
Then soon after the debris behind them was being removed as the knights of Camelot cleared the way. Caster with Illya's group had arrived as the girls tended to their injured. Not long after them was Saber and the knights of the round. With the witch queen's life close to it's end there was time for a few last words.
Looking to her older sister, what Saber felt was complicated. Her own pride and spite against her was what led Camelot to it's end. For that she hated her for sacrificing all those lives for the sake of her own vengeance. However she was still her family. She also understood long ago what her existence meant to someone like her. In truth Morgan was a fine lady in the beginning. If not for things like status or inheritance things would have been much different between them.
Even as whimsical and aloof as Caster was he too felt responsible for the events that transpired. Granted he could have done more back then but humans still had free will as they had to choose what kind of world they wanted. Thus he took a step back allowing them to choose. Of all things considered Morgan had no interest in listening to anything he had to say as that just left Saber.
Breathing heavily as her body started to fade away she sat on the very object of her desire. Looking back was the very subject of her hatred. With pained labored breaths she chose this life all on her own and thus will continue to walk it defiant to the end. "I will . . . . Never forgive you Artoria" said the witch queen as she would not show the knightly servant even a moment of regret or remorse. "You stole my birthright. What was rightfully mine! I will never allow you a moment of peace! I will continue to curse you even after death as you will have nothing but tragedy from now till eternity!" She didn't care how self-destructive or vile her actions were. So long as they hurt Saber then that was satisfaction enough.
But like all those times before Saber remained unmoving. Stoically hardened as she was raised to be a king who forsook her humanity. For the most part you couldn't tell how she felt unless she spoke her mind. Closing her eyes in thought she took a calming breath as this would be the final words she would give her sister. Yet before she could truly speak what was in her heart, " . . . . I would like some privacy please".
In respect to the king of knights they obliged leaving the area completely out of ear shot of what was said.
With those final words said Caster disappeared. No one will ever know what happened between them. But as Illya looked to Saber, she knew she had made her peace. That was good enough for her.
To be continued . . . .
Author's notes: Just another chapter and onto some commentary.
For all technicalities, how can anyone beat Merlin who has seen far enough into the future to know how everything in going to end? Unless they had a specialized ability to counter Merlin then good luck. Also as noted Merlin is simplistic in a pragmatic way. Though he does have terrific talent in magic he prefers to do things more directly with his preference in using a sword. But as far as his personality goes he truly treasures people yet he will never choose to really be with them if that makes any sense.
As for what Archimedes returned to Merlin that will be revealed later.
I don't know the rank of Lord Camelot. But I'm certain it isn't an ex grade noble phantasm so Shirou with the backing of Rin should be able to project it. Seeing it in action by both Galahad and Shielder in F/GO it seems to have a difference in ability depending on it's user. Galahad was able to summon the entire structure while Shielder was only able to summon a single wall. But both were able to withstand and repel a blast from Excaliber by Saber alter. Just goes to show how powerful it's ability is which makes me wonder how it would fare against Ea. I know Ea rips apart time and space to beat it's opponent. Yet Rho Aias was able to deflect it (loosely interpreting) thus allowing Archer to survive a hit from it. Assuming the legend of Lord Camelot to be true I really do wonder just how much it can tank.
In the beginning Morgan was a good person (relatively speaking). But Saber's existence warped her due to her jealousy. Due to that it led to the string of events which resulted in Camelot's destruction. Of course Saber partook in the HGW for the sake of making a wish to save her kingdom. But with how Saber was raised I'm not really sure how she would react to Morgan for everything she did to tear her down. I mean she still did have that grudge against Kiritsugu for making her destroy the holy grail in the last war. Yet before her time with Shirou she would just bottle her personal feelings away and do what a king would do (whatever that means). So I just decided to leave it up to the readers to decide what Saber and Morgan last moments were.
If there are any questions or concerns feel free to ask as I'll try to answer them.
So thank you for reading as I further extend my gratitude if you can review as well.