Touhou X Fate/Zero Crossover - Gensou No Miko
Chapter 1: The Descend Of The Maiden
Disclaimer: I do not own Touhou or Fate/Zero
Tokiyomi was a magi with great power and wisdom. Since his birth, he had immersed himself in the study of thaumaturgy, as it's the duty of the chosen heir of a magus family to continue the study and advancement of the family's thaumaturgy. One of the greatest duty that was inherent to him was to participate in the Fuuyuki Holy Grail War that was held every sixty year in the lands of Fuyuki under his family's supervision. The Fourth Holy Grail War was about to begin, and he was chosen as a Master to participate in it.
In the beginning, when his Command Seals appeared on his right hand, he was happy, as it was time to fulfill his family's duty and bring honor and victory to his family by winning the war and obtaining the Holy Grail. To do so, he had taken many steps and preparations to ensure his victory. Right now, however, he was feeling a mixture of anger, frustration and displeasure. The reason for that was the being keeling in the center of the summoning circle that he has used to summon his Servant.
Said being was a young girl that seemed to be in her late teen. She has black hair that was long and loose with a large red ribbon that tied at the back of her head. Red cloths were also tied around her side-locks. She wore what seemed to a customized version of a traditional miko uniform that is seen on shrine maidens of the past. It consist of a red skirt rather than the standard hakama, and a sleeveless red top with a white collar. The biggest difference would be the detached sleeves which exposed her armpits and sarashi. However, after staring at her for a while, Tokiyomi can't help but feel like he was staring at a living phantasm that should not exists in this modern era.
"I ask of you, are you my Master?" inquired the Servant after a moment of silence, when she noticed that Tokiyomi was been in a daze.
Snapping back to reality at his Servant's words, Tokiyomi quickly collected his composure before answering, "Yes, I am your Master. I hope it would not rude of me to ask this, but may I know what your class as a Servant is?"
The Servant only gave a gentle smile that made Tokiyomi feel like he was disconnected from the rest of the real world. It was not a feeling he was used to. "I have been granted the class of Archer in this war, Master. I hereby swear that I will become your blade that will strike down your foes, and the shield that will protect you from harm in order to lead you to victory in this war."
Tokiyomi can't help but smile at Archer's polite display. However, he quickly shook his head before collecting his composure again. "I see. Well then Archer, I have plans planned out for the war, but before we go over them, I would like you to meet with my colleagues who are collaborating with me in this Holy Grail War: Risei Kotomine and his son, Kirei Kotomine." Tokiyomi then gestured to those behind him, who in response, walked forward.
"Greetings, Archer. I am Risei Kotomine and this is my son, Kirei Kotomine," an old priest said while gesturing to the young man standing next to him, who in turn merely gave a simple bow.
"Greeting to you too, Risei-san and Kirei-san." Archer sent her greeting back with a gentle bow.
"Now, if you don't mind, Archer, I want you to stand guard over this mansion while I discuss some things with Risei and Kirei. When we are done, I will summon you and then we would talk about the plans we have for the war."
After Tokiyomi's declaration, Archer gave another gentle bow before fading away in a shimmer of multi-colored light.
"Well, she is definitely not what I have expected from the artifact that we used to summon her," Tokiyomi said after Archer had left the room.
"Yes, I agree with you, Tokiyomi. Despite how she looks however, she gave out an aura that made her feel like a being that transcends above us, through considering what was written on that letter, it should be expected. However, I sincerely wish I can say that things are going our way," Risei muttered with a sigh.
"After losing the snake skin, someone gave you a replacement artifact, one that we know nothing of, and one that you had recklessly touched without any protections, which I have to say was stupid of you, Tokiyomi. You nearly ruined all our plans for the War."
Tokiyomi can only frown as he remembered the setback that had nearly destroyed all his plans for the war. The original catalyst that he had intended to use was the very first snake skin that was shed in this world. It would allow him to summon the very first, and quite possible the strongest, Heroic Spirit to have ever existed, Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk and the first king of the world. However, before the catalyst reached his hands, it was destroy by someone which, until now, was still unknown to him.
Tokiyomi's only conclusion about the saboteur was that he or she was also a participant in the war, and that can only mean that the attacker was a Master, or at the very least, someone who has hired by one to destroy the artifact. Another possibility was that it was someone who held a grudge against him, but that was unlikely. Most of them were already disposed of long ago. While still troubling over his remaining and very limited options, someone had sent him a mysterious box containing a pair of black-white orbs. The orbs bear the appearance of a yin-yang symbol, an important spiritual sign for both the Chinese and Japanease school of Thaumaturgy. The box also contained a letter that gave a crude history of the spirit associated with the orbs. From what the letter said, the spirit is a very powerful being that has fought with Divine Spirits and Phantasmal Beasts of the Millennium-Rank and even triumphed over them. The spirit was also said to have performed things that many considered as miracles.
Just when he did not believe in the contents of the letter, the artifact radiated a sense of power that he can sense, tempting him to reach out and touch it. In a moment of carelessness, he did so, and pain wracked his entire body. The artifact had inflected him with a powerful curse, forcing him to summon the spirit that was associated with it or risk losing his both his Magic Circuit and his Crest forever. The conditions and effects of the curse later appeared on the same letter that gave the crude history of the Servant, and the end result was that he could only curse himself at his own stupidity for not taking any safety precautions before examining the artifact.
Without any other choice, he had then proceeded to summon the spirit that was now his Servant.
"So, what do you think of Archer's stats, Tokiyomi?" Risei asked, Tokiyomi out of his thoughts.
Tokiyomi frowned a bit as he recalled the stats that he was able to glean off of Archer when she was summoned. "Not very good, I'm afraid. Her Strength, Endurance and Luck are really low, while her Agility is only moderate. The only redeeming qualities she has are her mana and Noble Phantasms, both which are at the highest rank possible."
"Then she is not suitable to fight on the front lines, except maybe against Caster, Assassin and maybe Rider," Kirei pointed out, face slightly darkening.
"That I'm afraid is very true, my friend."
"However, knowing you, you have several other plans in mind already, am I right Tokiyomi?" Risei asked. It was less of a question and more of a comment.
"You do know me well, my friend," Tokiyomi said with a cunning smile. "Let's go over them before we decide on a plan of action."
"Before we begin however, Tokiyomi, I suggest that we post Assassin to observe and watch Archer while hidden. It may be true that Archer had sworn loyalty to you, but I still have some doubts. There are just too many unknown factors about her. I will not be surprised that she might be just faking her loyalty, and will end up betraying us later."
"You are not doing a very good job at hiding your true thoughts and nature, Risei," Tokiyomi replied with a hint of amusement in his voice.
"Was it that obvious?"
"I presume Archer's aura also possesses a quality that makes us more true to ourselves."
Risei and Kirei gave Tokiyomi a questioning look.
"I am sure you two must have sensed it as well. Archer's aura doesn't just make us to be more honest with who we are, that aura also brings a feeling of peace and tranquility, like nothing will go wrong if she's next to us, and that we can place our trust in her. However, that same aura also serves to remind us that she does not feel like a simple Servant, but also a being that seen to detach itself from the rules of the world. Which is also the reason why I will agree with your suggestion." Tokiyomi then nodded at Kirei.
The younger priest simply returned the nod. "Assassin," Kirei called out.
Suddenly, a swirl of black smoke appeared in the center of the men, and out of it came a man draped in cloak of darkest night. He wore skull mask that covered most of his facial features, leaving most to the imagination.
"I sure you have listened in on our conservation. Please perform the task that my father had suggested," Kirei commanded.
With a simple nod, the Servant in black then faded back into the shadows.
Archer sat on the roof of the Tohsaka Mansion, silently gazing out at the city that lay just beyond the grounds of the mansion while enjoying herself with the tea she had prepared for herself back at the mansion's kitchen. She was impressed at how much the modern world human had achieve. Even without magic or miracles, they have created many things which had left her, who had lived in a rural and far less advanced world, speechless. While the Holy Grail had filled her with all the basic knowledge of the modern world, she found that looking at them personally always gave her a different feel.
Archer continued to silently gaze at the city while drinking her tea for a while before she seemingly spoke out to no one "You should know that watching someone for this long without greeting her in person is considered very rude from where I come from." She then looked to her side, at a seemingly empty spot. "It you want, you can stand beside me. I wouldn't mind."
At first, nothing happened. Then, a shift of darkness, and next to Archer was the black-clad figure of Assassin.
"I am curious. Since when did you notice my presence, Archer?" Assassin inquired.
Archer smiled gently. "From the very beginning, in fact. The very moment when I was summoned into this world, I was able to sense an extra presence in the room. That was you, I presume?"
The man however gave no response.
"Judging from your abilities, I reckon you are Assassin then?" Archer asked in a carefree manner.
Assassin only gave a slight nod to her question.
"If you and your other selves want, you are free to sit down and enjoy tea with me. I prepared enough tea and cups for everyone."
"So you also have sensed my other selves then? Very perceptive," Assassin replied with a soft chuckle while multiple shadowy figures appeared and surrounded her before abruptly fading away less than a moment later. "Despite your kind invitation, we would have to reject you. We currently have no interest in having tea, unfortunately."
Despite the rejection, Archer was not annoyed. "Oh, very well then," she said, turning back to watch the city once more.
"You are not going to inquire by whose orders did we follow to observe you, Archer?"
"I am sure it was either my Master or Risei-san. I won't say that I am angry over the distrust shown by my Master. In fact I would say it was very wise of him. Never trust anything that you know nothing off, lest it comes back to bite you in the end," Archer said.
Silence once again fell as Assassin continued watching Archer, this time visible. For Assassin, Archer was a mysterious entity, a being that radiated out an aura that makes it so that you can't help but feel peace and tranquility. To Assassin, however, that was a weapon that made him lower his guard. To him/them, she was something that should not exist in the world. However, as alien as it was, that aura made Archer beautiful, and not in a physical sense. Watching Archer felt like witnessing how deities descend from the heavens above.
"It you don't mind, can I ask you something?" Archer said after a while, breaking the silence.
"Speak," was Assassin's quiet reply.
"Why did you divide yourself into multiple selves?"
Not surprised by the question, Assassin walked next to Archer before answering. "The reason why I divide myself was for a mission. It was an important mission, one that I must complete by all costs. By doing so, the splitting had granted me greater flexibility in performing my mission. It was necessary for me in order to overcome my limitations."
Archer however, only looked sadly at Assassin "Then why do I sense regret behind your words, Assassin?"
Assassin tensed up, obviously surprised at the question, and could only stare at Archer as she continued. "Though you try to hide it, the way you spoke gave it away. Even though you have divided yourself, you wished to be whole again, if I were to guess."
Assassin however gave no response.
"This is just my opinion so can ignore it if you want," Archer muttered, "but I really think you should not regret the choices that you have made. Instead, you should be proud of yourself, as every one of those aspects are part of you and are the very symbol of what you have achieved in life.
"Many time in our life, we are always given choices to make and sometimes these choices are painful to make. But ultimately those choices are the things that will eventually shape and mold us into who we are today. You can regret the choices you made and try to reclaim what you have lost, or you can look forwards and accept what had been done in order to create a brighter future, whether it is for the one standing next to me or any of your other selves. Because ultimately, those separate selves of yours are still you and only you, and that is something that no one, not even god, can change."
A calm breeze blew through the roof when Archer finished, and Archer closed her eyes, enjoying the feeling as it caressed her skin and hair. She did not bother looking at Assassin, for she can tell that the Servant had left, returning to the shadow and darkness that has crafted his legend and tale.
Archer appear before her Master in a light of myriad colors, looking up at the man and his colleague and Assassin, who was standing behind Kirei. "I have heeded your summon, Master. May I know what it is that you would have me do?"
Tokiyomi faced Archer his face a storm of questions and emotions. "Archer, may I ask how did you detect Assassin's presence and why you did not attack him? We did not inform you of his existence, nor told you that he is our ally."
Archer only gave a gentle smile in respond. "When I was alive, I have fought with many beings that people would call as monsters or heroes of legends. Many of them had very unique tricks of hiding themselves. One in fact even had the ability to conceal herself in a separate dimension and could spy on anything she liked without ever being caught. Over the times that I have fought and hunted these beings, my instinct was honed to such a degree that I can sense things long before it happen. Call it perception, if you will."
"For how long?"
"It depend on the level of the threat but it is normally around for a few days."
"You also mentions the being as a 'she'?"
"The being in question took the form of a woman. It was how she appeared to others. So in time, I referred to it as a 'she'."
"I see," Tokiyomi muttered as there was sudden clarity. "That would explain how you can detect Assassin's presence. If you can sense a being that can hide itself in a separate dimension, Assassin's Presence Concealment would be useless against you. But that doesn't explain why you did not attack him. Unless, of course, it is because you have already have sensed that he was not an enemy, but rather was an ally."
"The presence of another Master in the same room as you and within such close proximity only serves to solidify the fact that Assassin was an ally rather than an enemy." Archer added, "That Master I detected is Kirei-san, yes?"
"Yes, that is correct," Tokiyomi replied while Kirei gave a small nod.
Tokiyomi then gazed at Archer evenly while forming the next question in his mind. "Archer, if you don't mind me asking, do you have any problems with using dishonest method and tactics?" Tokiyomi asked, his face expressionless. This was where the real test began. The answer Archer would give will let him know if the Servant he summoned was suitable for him or not.
Archer smiled sadly. "No, I do not, Master."
Tokiyomi bit his lip and frowned. Then did that mean that he had to use a Command Seal so early in the stages of the War…?
However, Archer then looked at Tokiyomi with conviction "If that is your preferred method of doing things, I will not object to it. I have learned early in my life that not everything in this world is fair, including people. Many of them often resort to tricks and lies, cunning and deception. I too, also use them myself when I have no choice. The only things that I would request from you is that you do not involve innocents in your plan. As long as you agree to that, I would follow your commands willingly."
"I see," Tokiyomi noted before looking out at the moon from the large window behind his study desk, deep in thought. He then turned back to face Archer. "Archer, what are you capable off?"
"I am capable of many things, Master. One of the things that I am most practiced with is the creation and manipulation of a bounded field. I can also create top class familiars that are capable of fighting on par with a Servant, through only defensively."
"You can create familiars that can fight on par with a Servant?" Kirei interjected, repeating what the Servant had said. He was obviously surprised.
"Yes, I can, Kirei-san. Through if I were to create a familiar of that level, the maximum number I can create is only one, since the prana cost to create and maintain it is immense."
"How immense we are talking about?" Tokiyomi asked with interest.
"I dare say it would be around the same cost of maintaining a Servant in existence."
"So it would like be having two Servant kept in contract, is that what you are saying?"
"Can you create one right now, Archer?" Tokiyomi requested.
Nodding, Archer took out a piece of paper from her right sleeve which Tokiyomi, Risei and Kirei recognize as an ofuda, and held it close to her face and concentrated. Suddenly, Tokiyomi interrupted. "Wait, Archer."
Confused, Archer turned to face her Master who gestured her to come closer to him before whispering something into her ear while Risei, Kirei and Assassin looked on with interest.
"It can be done, Master," was Archer's hesitant reply after Tokiyomi finished.
"However in order to achieve what you want, Master, I would have to first look at the summoning circle that was used to summon me."
"Go ahead, then."
Archer nodded and walked over to the summoning circle located at the center of the room and knelt down beside it. After studying it intensely for a few minutes, Archer then erased part of the summoning circle away, and in its place drew a new circle that appeared to be a modified version of the original summoning circle. On closer inspection however, there was mix of Omyoudou principles in the new circle, Kirei recognized.
When she was done, she took out another ofuda and placed it at the center of the summoning circle. She then made a few complicated hand signs and uttered three simple words: "Come forth,Misukume."
The ofuda flashed and seemingly exploded, dazzling the entire room in a brilliant and intense white light. Everyone shielded their eyes from the light until it was gone. In the center of the circle, where the ofuda once was, a fair and beautiful girl with long smooth golden hair and similarly golden pair of cat ears was kneeling in the circle. She had a single, long golden tail behind her. Unlike Archer however, she wore the traditional shrine maiden uniform. Her characteristics remind Tokiyomi, Risei and Kirei of a Kitsune from the Japanese legends of old. However what was surprising to Risei and Kirei however was not because she was a Kitsune, but rather because she appeared to be a servant.
"Master and everyone, may I present to you all, Misukume," Archer saiddramatically.
"Impossible!" Kirei muttered, eyes wide.
"Archer, did you just summon a Servant?" Risei voiced out his surprise while Tokiyomi watched on with barely hidden excitement.
Archer only shook her head, however. "No, Risei-san. I have not summoned a Servant."
"Her presence however, suggested otherwise," Assassin interjected.
"Risei-san and Assassin, it would not be obvious to you since you both not a Master, but Kirei-san, please observe carefully. You should be able to tell the difference between her and a genuine Servant."
On Archer suggestion, Kirei then began to observe Kuzuhana more carefully. After a few minutes had paseds, Kirei finally notice what the difference was. "I see. So that was the difference. It was her stats."
"Care to explain, Kirei?" Risei asked.
"Certainly, Father," Kirei agreed with a nod. "Since you are not a master, you won't be able to see but what is odd about Kuzuhana is that her stats can't be seen."
"Her stats can't be seen?"
"Yes." Kirei nodded. "At first, I through that it was because that she has a Noble Phantasm that could conceal her stats. However, that line of thinking was wrong. Kuzuhana can never possess stats to begin with. As for why, the reason is simple. Kuzuhana is a familiar created with a characteristics of a Servant. In short, she is just an imitation Servant."
Kirei then look at Tokiyomi. "Is that correct, master? You requested Archer to create a familiar with characteristics that is as close as possible to a Servant. One that would make others without knowing the truth be fooled into thinking that it is a real Servant."
"That is correct, Kirei." Tokiyomi nodded in approval. "However, I admit it is just a sudden inspiration of mine. One that I though impossible as well. However, I have a feeling that it would work and to be sure, I asked Archer whether it is possible and the rest is history."
"Then the reason why you studied the summoning circle is to…" Risei injected
"Is to achieve that what Master requested," Archer finished.
"Tell me Archer, what else you are capable of?" Tokiyomi asked attentively.
"I'm afraid that has to wait, Master." Archer then gestured towards Risei. "It seems that Risei-san wishes for me to leave the room for a bit; he has something to discuss with you."
"That is true, Tokiyomi. There is something that I need to tell you in light of this that has happened. Please order Archer and Kuzuhana to leave the room."
"Very well then, my friend." Tokiyomi then faced Archer. "Would you please, Archer?"
"Yes, Master," Archer said, bowing. She then turned towards her familiar "Come. Kuzuhana," Archer ordered. With that, both master and familiar gave a bow before turning to leave the room.
Before Archer reached for the handle of the door, Tokiyomi called out to Archer again.
Archer raised an eyebrow and whirled around. "Yes, Master?"
"May I know what your true name is?" Tokiyomi asked while the other occupants of the room looked at her with sudden interest. They too, wished to learn of her true identity.
Archer stared at Tokiyomi blankly, leaving him wondering if he had struck a nerve. The Servant, however, quickly recovered, and smiled gently. "My name is Hakurei Reimu, Master." Archer then gave another bow before leaving the room, her familiar tailing behind.
After Archer has left the study, Risei smiled at Tokiyomi. "I will have to admit, Tokiyomi, that was definitely an interesting idea. What your familiar had demonstrated just increased the number of options and tactics we can use for this war."
"Indeed, my friend." Tokiyomi looked out the window of his study again. A cloud had partially blocked out the moon, plunging half of his face into darkness. "I already have a basic idea in mind."
"Let's hear it then."
Tokiyomi nodded. "We will send Kuzuhana to the frontlines to serve as a division by engaging any enemy Servants that comes forth to engage us, while letting both Archer and Assassin operate in the shadows. This at least will allow Archer or Assassin to strike down any enemy Master while their Servant is occupied."
"Strategically thought out, as expected. But first we need to ask Archer how her familiar fights. While we know that her familiar can hold her own against a Servant, without knowing her combat capabilities will not allow us to plan out the best method of exploiting her abilities."
"All in good time I guess, my friend."
Tokiyomi closed his eyes and went deep in thought for a while.
"Hakurei Reimu. Reimu means dreams, isn't it, Risei?"
"That is correct. A name fitting of her, considering what we felt while in her presence. A dream that one cannot touch. So close yet so far away," Risei said with a smile.
"Indeed," Assassin said, his voice barely a whisper, and nodded in agreement
Tokiyomi sat on the chair behind his study table and began working up so plans for the war. In situations like this, having a backup plan was essential. There were too many random factors, too many unknown chances of things going wrong.
Risei and Kirei sat at the chairs in the corner of the room and were in deep discussion about what kind of plan they can form as well. Assassin, seeing as he was not needed in the room, faded away into the shadows after Kirei sent him away on guard duty.
Tokiyomi can't help but look out the window one more time while thinking about his Servant. Despite the aura she radiated and the personality she displayed, he can't help but feel a bit of sorrow. There was something about Archer that makes one feel sad for her, like there was some kind of burden or regret that she was carrying and hiding within herself, but would not tell anyone about it. Like a sin she must bear alone.
Tokiyomi banished those thoughts immediately. He had a war to win. After losing the catalyst he originally planned to use, then getting himself affected with a powerful curse that threatened to destroy his magic circuit and Crest while forcing him to summon an unknown spirit to act as his Servant, things are finally going his way. While the Servant he summoned had weak stats, she seemed to possess a myriad of abilities to compensate for that. She also seemed loyal enough to him, and as long as his plan did not involve the harming of innocents, Archer was willing to employ underhanded tactics as well, a trait he often sought in a Servant. He can't help but smile as he felt his victory for the Holy Grail War is all but guaranteed with Archer at his side.