Spark of Madcraft
Disclaimer: I do not own FSN or Girl Genius.
"There is a fine between genius and insanity. I have erased this line"- Oscar Levant
Ch.1: Shirou's Angels...
The year was 2000 and all was quiet on the streets of Fuyuki City, which wasn't surprising considering it was three in the morning at the moment. All the lights in the houses were out and everyone was asleep…well, almost everyone. In a small shed in a rather large Japanese-style estate, a young fit man of seventeen with red hair and golden-brown eyes wearing a white long-sleeved shirt with blue sleeves and jeans as he sat on the floor and tried to fix an engine while ignoring a mounting pain in his skull. To help ease the pain, the boy pulled out a locket that hung around his neck beneath his clothes and opened it.
For as long as Shirou Emiya could remember, he'd had three things migraines, the golden locket which currently hung around his neck, and an odd piece of art that consisted of a piece of clay that had the shard of a mirror attached to it that was found in his pocket at the hospital, which he'd kept as a memento of sorts. Inside the locket was the picture of a white haired man and a blonde haired bespectacled woman and in between them a younger version of himself probably four or five smiling happily. This picture filled him with a foreign sense of nostalgia but also, a sense of dread and self-loathing. Dread, because no matter how hard old man Kiritsugu looked he couldn't find hide nor hair of his parents bodies, and self-loathing because Shirou knew just as he'd walked over the corpses of the dying and the damned to survived that terrible fire years ago he'd probably abandoned his parents to die…just so he could save himself.
Closing the locket, he shook away those thoughts, which didn't really help his aching head. He sure wished the doctor the old man took him to see all those years ago could've found out what the problem was, but it wasn't all bad, he'd made some great friends that day…
It took them nearly a week to get there as they traveled by car, and when asked why they couldn't just purchase plane tickets, Shirou was told that it was too risky for his father to travel like that. So they drove and by the time they got to Misaki City Shirou was just about bored out of his mind. For roughly the twentieth time the eight year old groaned out "Old man, are we there yet?"
"Almost son in fact if you look out your window, you should be able to see it about now." Kiritsugu replied as he drove a nondescript black car down a winding mountain road.
Looking out his window he saw nothing but trees for a moment, then they turned around the bend and he got his first glimpse of Misaki City. It was a sprawling city filled with tightly compact streets and back alleys there were two large looking mansions each situated on a hill and each one was on the opposite side of town. One looked traditional while the other looked like it was somehow transported here from the west. Shirou counted no less than three schools, from his current vantage point, one of which was right below them at the moment and he couldn't help but wonder why this place had so many.
Turning back around in his seat I said "This place looks overly crowded I kinda wish we were back home already."
Kiritsugu chuckled and replied "You never know son you might just find something to like about this place if you give it a chance."
"Maybe." I replied in an unenthusiastic tone.
I was happy to find Misaki wasn't as crowded as it looked from above on the mountain trail. It still wasn't as nice as home which had the Mion River separating the residential and the working areas of the city, making it seem smaller than it really was. Still, it was new, and I was curious and wanted to explore my new surroundings.
As they parked in front of what looked to be an old fashioned medical clinic I asked "This the place?"
"Yes, an old acquaintance from my old job Jinan Sougen works here and, for a fee, he should be able to give us the answers we seek."
I looked at the seemingly simple looking oriental medical office and then back at the old man before saying "If you say so Old Man, after we're done here can we explore the town a bit?" I asked hopefully.
Getting out of the car and making his way to the front door the former magus killer said "Maybe." Before opening it and heading inside, I quickly followed, eager to get this over with.
The pair found themselves in a simple waiting room lined with chairs and a shut wooden door on the other side of the room. Kiritsugu motioned for me to go take a seat while he himself made his way towards the front desk and let Jinan know they were here. I watched him step up to the front desk, heard wring the small bell, a voice respond "I'll be with you in a sec!"
Moments later a man of Chinese descent wearing a simple blue kimono and obi and sporting an English-style mustache that had turned grey along with the top half of his head which was slicked back leaving only the hair on the sides of his head and his sideburns untouched by time.
I saw what I who I assumed was Jinan's, eyes widened in shock as he took in the Old Man's worn, grizzled, and tired appearance. I didn't blame him, the old man was unnaturally pale, his eyes were ringed black and sunken into his skull, and his face was gaunt. He looked more like a walking corpse than a person. I saw him quickly looking over my way probably to make sure I was out of earshot, before he chewed him out. Sure enough, Jinan-sans face became hard and concerned. I couldn't hear what the two were saying of course but it was clear something was wrong with the Old Man then again anyone with eyes could see he wasn't healthy.
Jinan narrowed his light green eyes and stared at dad for a moment longer before he said something while motioning towards me with an arm. Kiritsugu gave a shrill whistle 'getting my attention' before motioning for me to follow as he headed towards the back where Jinan had already left to prepare the room for the tests I would have to take. As we walked down the hall I asked "So are you going to come in there with me?"
The withered old man shook his head.
He must have sensed I was nervous, because he smiled down at me reassuringly and replied "Nothing dangerous Shirou Jinan is just going to ask you some questions and then do a physical I can't be in there because-"the old man hesitated he doesn't do that-" Because of Doctor Patient confidentiality. Yes, anything you say has to be in-between just you and him."
The red head nodded seeming put at ease as they stopped outside a room with a brass number twelve on it and Kiritsugu knocked making sure Jinan had all preparations in place before I entered.
"Send him in!" Jinan's slightly muffled voice called.
Kiritsugu then looked at Shirou and motioned for him to enter the room, seeing the boy's hesitance at entering the room with a complete stranger he said "You have to go in there alone son…"
Still seeing I was nervous he added "Don't worry, I'll be waiting right out here."
Shirou swallowed, showing the first physical sign of fear in all the time the elder Emiya had known him before he put on a brave face and nodded before putting his hand on the simple brass knob and turned it before entering the room.
The room smelt strongly of sage which was being burned in incense holders, and the room was cast in shadow as the only source of light came from five bunches of seven candles four of which were placed at the four corners of the room as the last sat in the middle of the table where a grey haired old man whom Shirou assumed was Jinan Sougen-san sat eying him curiously.
The two stared at one another silently for a moment and then finally Jinan motioned the boy to come forward and sit. Upon making himself comfortable on the pillow across from the doctor the man spoke in a kind if mysterious tone of voice "Are you ready to begin Shirou-chan?"
I scowled and replied "I'm a boy, not a girl."
Jinan raised a finger and replied "Ah, but you are young quite young still. However I meant no offense Shirou-kun."
I didn't mean to make the old man feel bad, so I shook my head and replied "Don't worry about it old man, let's just get these tests over with."
"Alright. I'm sure you're eager to learn what's causing these headaches aren't you?" He then reached down beneath the table and pulled out a small bag before emptying its contents on the table top. Resting on the tabletop now were several items: A piece of obsidian, a small piece of dry ice, a shoot of bamboo, a piece of iron, some coal, and a glass sphere that seemed to have some kind of swirling smoky substance confined within.
Dr. Sougen then cleared his throat to get the boy's attention and said "Now Shirou, this is what I want you to do. I want you to close your eyes and clear your mind before reaching out and picking up however many of these items you feel belong to you."
'Belong to me, but how will I know if any of these items belong to me?' he thought before asking the doctor as much.
"Don't think, just act." The Doctor advised.
Shirou slowly nodded before closing his eyes and breathing in and out for several minutes. After a time he felt a sort of mental tugging in two separate directions and so, reached out without opening his eyes and placed a hand over them both before opening his eyes to find he had placed a hand over both the glass sphere and the knot of iron respectively. Yet when he looked closer at the vapors contained within the ball, he found little streaks of light flashed when he laid his hand to rest.
He looked at the doctor curiously to see the man rubbing his chin and muttering "I see well, that's…different."
"What is it?" Shirou asked.
"Well, in Chinese medicine certain bodily functions and organs are connected to certain elements. You have a duel element which is uncommon in and of itself but the combination is especially odd as the two elements directly oppose each other. You my young friend possess both the sub elements of lightning and metal."
Shirou frowned and asked "What does this have to do with my headaches?"
Sougen hummed in thought before he replied "Having to opposing elements specifically those elements could lead to all kinds of problems…have you had any breathing problems? Like Asthma, shortness of breath, tiredness?"
I shook my head no, only for the doctor to twiddle his mustache in thought for a bit before he nodded only to say "Ok how about pain have you felt pain like a hot iron being struck into your back?"
Again I shook my head no.
Reaching under the table again, he produced a deck of cards which he proceeded to spread out all around the table. There were seventy-two in all with all of them face down. Before he addressed me. "Now Shirou-kun, I'll be asking you some questions and for every answer, I'll be removing some of these cards until only one remains. This card will represent you. Are you ready?"
"How will this help determine what causing my headaches?" I asked again.
"I'm trying to determine your personality to determine your stress level." The Doctor replied "Now are you ready?"
Seeing the boy nod Sougen asked the first in a long line of questions "You see a book left unattended what do you do?"
It took roughly an hour, and several questions that made me question many a thing about myself, but finally they were down to one remaining card. I looked at it, hesitant to know what this card could say about me. I was startled by the sound of Sougen's voice saying "Are you afraid?"
"Of course I am, knowing this could change everything about me who wouldn't be afraid?" the boy replied honestly.
The Chinese man merely nodded and replied "An honest answer, but if you do not continue you might never find out the reason for your headaches."
Taking a deep breath, Shirou reached over and flipped over the card. Upon its face was a young goofy looking man with a staff in hand seeming walking obliviously off a cliff, with a pack on his back and he had the sun at his back. Underneath the picture written on a scrawling ribbon was the title: 0/XXII the Fool.
"So I'm some kind of reckless idiot or something?! What's next, I'll start spouting nonsense like people die when they are killed or something like it wasn't obvious?" Shirou said frustrated, causing pain to lance through his head.
Sougen picked up the card and examined it before chuckling slightly and saying "You shouldn't take the card's name at face value Shirou. No picking the Fool does not make you an idiot, quite the opposite in fact."
"Ok I'll bite how?"
Chuckling again Sougen explained "The Fool represents one who is on a journey for knowledge, one who sees things differently and has mad wisdom."
Seeing the boy's confused look Sougen explained "Ever hear the term crazy like a fox? Well the Fool can become anything he wishes as he is in a sense both the beginning and the end. Not like God but he has…freedom of choice and wherever the fool treads chaos is sure to follow in his wake."
Shirou nodded "I get it, so the Fool represents my thirst for knowledge, my creativity, and the unintentional chaotic organization of my things. But what does this have to do with my headaches?" I remember starting to feel like a broken record at this point.
Sougen looked away from me and muttered to himself "Hmm, what could this mean? A boy with an affinity for both metal and lighting with the primordial waters as his beginning- he then seemed to remember that I was there and started before saying- "Oh, well I'm not quite sure Shirou-kun. Let me go talk to your father for a moment and once he gives me permission to do the physical we'll continue. Alright?"
As he muttered to himself I thought 'Something is going on here, why would sensei need permission to do a physical when that's why the old man brought me here in the first place, right? So what has he been doing all this time?'
The Old Man made Sougen-sensei sign something promising not to release any of this information on pain of death in order for him to finally feel safe enough to agree to a full examination on me. All I found out other than the fact that I had an abnormally high pain tolerance, was that I was a perfectly healthy eight year old boy. But then Sougen-sensei put his hand on my wrist for a moment double checking my pulse he said when a look of surprise came over the old man's face and he stopped blinked and then checked again before he said "Kiritsugu, do you think instead of payment your boy can make a delivery or two around town for me?"
The Magus Killer said nothing staring at the doctor for a moment before he nodded, causing Sougen to smile and say "Great, these old bones of mine aren't what they used to be and to make two separate trips on either side of town really does a number on me anymore. Wait right here and I'll get the items that need to be delivered as well as the addresses."
I may have only been eight, but I got the distinct impression something was going on and they didn't want me to know what it was…
Shirou was pulled out of his musings by the feeling of his cellphone vibrating in his pocket. He took it out and looked at the caller id only to raise an eyebrow and think 'What could nee-chan be calling for?' before he answered with a curious cautious "Hello?"
"…" The line was silent for a moment until a cool nearly monotone voice replied "Hello Shirou-kun. I did not expect you to be up this late."
There was a hint of scolding in that last sentence and Shirou knew it, and laughing awkwardly he replied "Migraine Nee-chan."
"Ah, I'm sorry to hear that, and I hope you get better soon but I have news that concerns you." She replied.
"You and Nii-san are finally going out?" Shirou speculated, knowing that the fact that those two liked each other was the worst kept secret in Misaki.
Shirou could practically feel the seething anger in the silence on the other end of the line. Swallowing he said meekly "Sorry Nee-chan, that crossed a line."
A sigh in the form of static came across the phone "Its fine Shirou-kun, and no, we're not dating. But that's not why I called…A certain mutual friend of ours is coming to visit you in a couple days…"
That was the last thing the red-headed teenager was expecting to hear. Taking a deep calming breath he asked "Is she now?"
He could hear the smirk in the older woman's voice as she replied "Oh yes, and she's looking forward to seeing you too. She's just dying for your cooking again, and to be honest, if I was capable of travel, I'd come myself."
Shirou frowned and said "You know you could come down here for a bit Nee-chan or I could go up there-"
He was cut off by Nee-chan saying "No, no I'm too accustomed to life at home, besides I'd hate to intrude on your alone time together."
Shirou could hear the mocking in her monotone and so he deadpanned "Thanks Nee-chan, anything else I need to know?"
"Yes, get some sleep so I don't have to stay up all night worrying about you." She gently chastised.
Suppressing a yawn Shirou replied "Yes Nee-chan, good night."
"Good night Shirou-kun, and good luck." She replied before she hung up.
'I have a feeling I'm going to need it, with her of all people coming by in a couple of days.' Shirou thought to himself semi-bitterly before decided to close his eyes and try to get at least a few hours' sleep before he had to make his daily sacrifice to the bottomless pit that was Fuji-nee's stomach.
The sound of gentle if incessant knocking awoke Shirou from his too few hours of slumber. He took a moment to stretch and yawn before he called in a tired voice "Yes Sakura?"
"Good morning Sempai, I've already got breakfast started so after you've freshened up a bit feel free to take a seat at the table ok?"
Before Shirou could object to one of his guests making him breakfast he heard her walking away and merely sighed to himself and went to a drawer where he kept spare outfits. Changing into his school uniform, Shirou made his way into the house. Upon arriving in the living room which also housed the dining table he was greeted by a loud shout of "SHIROU~! WHY ARE YOU TAKING ADVANTAGE OF SAKURA'S KINDNESS?!"
"Good morning to you too Fuji-nee." Shirou replied dryly as he sat down to breakfast.
Taiga Fugimura may not have been the best guardian to one Shirou Emiya seeing as he was the one who did all the cooking and the cleaning around his own home and how some might think that an English teacher leeching off her student might be unseemly. But she knew Shirou well enough to know he enjoyed doing those things, and she also knew him well enough to know when he'd had a rough night. This is why her gaze immediately softened and she asked concernedly "Shirou, are you feeling ok today?"
Blankly staring at the food Sakura had just placed in front of him he merely nodded, muttering "Yeah I'm fine Fuji-nee. I just had one of my headaches last night. Sorry you had to trouble yourself by making breakfast Sakura. Itadakimatsu!"
Shirou then began to eat only to stop when he noticed the Tiger of Fuyuki of all people was staring at him worriedly instead of stuffing her face like she usually did. Sighing Shirou put down his chopsticks and asked "What's wrong Fuji-nee?"
"How bad was you headache-"and Sakura added "And how late were you up last night Sempai?"
Taiga nodded "That too."
The third rate magus tried to keep his face stoic but seeing the concerned looks on both their faces quickly made him cave. Rubbing the bridge of his nose in frustration he replied "I was up till a little past three in the morning, and the headache was bad enough to keep me awake."
"You're staying home today." Taiga said imperiously and with all the authority of the yazuka princess she was.
"I can't afford to Fuji-nee, I'm barely holding a C average as it is, you know that." Shirou then gave her a comforting smile and said "Don't worry, I'll be fine."
'I really should've stayed home today!' Shirou thought as he raced down the hallways of Homurahara Academy, his body reinforced to the point he was at Olympic athlete level doing his damndest to avoid an agile panther-like man with a crimson red spear that just seemed to give off a feeling of death.
He had deigned to stay behind after school and fix up various appliances for Issei and lost track of time, by the time he finished it was late and he felt he should get home to feed a likely hungry Taiga. He was about to leave when he heard the sound of metal striking metal coming from in front of the Academy as he made his way home. Curious, he made his way to the front of the school only to gasp wide-eyed, at what he found.
They looked human but there was no way they could be, as they moved so fast their forms were merely two blurs: one red and black and the other blue and crimson. It was only when their weapons clashed briefly that could catch a glimpse of them. The blue and red blur solidified into a six foot tall man with pale skin, spiky blue hair, sporting a feral wolf-like grin on his face, and wearing a blue body suit covered in silver lines and metal shoulder armor and steel covered boots and wielding a thin but six foot long crimson red spear that while beautiful as it was covered in vine-like embossments alone its shaft, gave Shirou a feeling of dread.
The other man by contrast was an inch taller, with bronze colored skin, silver eyes, and slicked back white hair wearing black and grey lined armor, and black combat pants and boots, as well as a red mantle or coat of some sort. But the blades he used captivated Shirou.
They were a pair of what appeared to be piandao. one was a cloudy white while the other was a midnight black covered in hexagonal patterns, each blade possessed a yin yang symbol near its hilt as well as a small streak of color from the opposing blade, the bottom half of both blades along with their pommels were made out of red metal while their grips were wrapped in black leather.
Shirou wanted to step closer to get a better look at the paired blades…and ended up stepping on a twig snapping it in two and drawing the attention of the man in blue. He could've sworn he heard a familiar voice curse and say no one else was supposed to be here this late, but he wasn't really sure as he was running for his life at that point…
'Why did I run to the roof of the school?' Shirou asked himself as he stared down the man in blue wielding a crimson spear, his back against the fence while the spearman stood smirking in front of the door, the only exit from the rooftop.
"Nothing personal kid, you just stumbled onto something you shouldn't have."
Before Shirou could reply, the spearman blurred in front of him only for him to re-solidify, accompanied by a sharp pain coming from his chest, looking down, he saw the point of the warriors spear embedded in his chest. His vision rapidly darkened as the dark stain of blood stained his shirt…
Shirou suddenly opened his eyes and found himself standing in in an unfamiliar yet familiar place. He knew he had never been to such a place yet it seemed so familiar like he had seen it on a daily bias. The ground was bare and a dark reddish color. He could know make out some shapes which he recognized as various appliances he had repaired over the years and a blood red Spear that looked suspiciously. He could see in the sky giant cogs that turned and lighting dash through the sky yet what captivated his attention was the hill. The hill was the only notable landmark and on the top were too things that shined with radiance. A blue and golden she ate that gave him a sense of protection and invincibly. The other what appeared to be a miniature golden sun. The thing was tiny not much bigger than his hand. Only a spark yet he could feel it could become more much more.
As these two objects glimmered he found himself walking to them when he reached the top of the hill. He stared at the objects. They were on his left and right sides and he could swear he saw to women on the side. One a beautiful blonde teenager with green eyes and a stern face was by the gold and blue sheathe while the other was a more mature looking bespectacled blonde that had a kinder look was by the spark. As Shirou gazed at the women he felt familiarity to them especially the bespectacled blonde as she was the woman he saw in his locket. The woman that was his...
The elder of the two blondes smiled and offered her hand.
The younger blonde did the same.
Shirou looked at the hands.
It seemed to be a cliché. Being offered one of two paths and seemed ridiculous yet he felt this was important. He felt the decision he made here would decide his destiny. No matter what decision he took, he would never be able to change it. Once he grasped on of these hands it was a done deal.
Shirou starred at those hands at what felt for an eternity. The blondes' hand promised to continue him on his current path. That of a magus. He looked at her and in her regal eyes he saw a long hard road that would do his best to break him yet would grant him a happy ending if he preserved. It also meant completely rejecting what little he had left of his old life and while he couldn't remember what that life was it made him uneasy.
At what was his...mother (it was so weird saying that) hand and eyes he saw another path. One of creativity and innovation. A path that meant chaos yet fun at the same time. It would also reconnect to his past to his birthright. How he didn't know but he had a gut feeling about it. Yet he could also tell it meant abandoning all he had learned of magic I'm exchange for science (how had he known that?)
On his left was the path of magic, his father, and Shirou Emiya.
On the right was the oath of science, his mother and the boy he used to be.
His current life or his past.
Shirou continued to contemplate. He had a feeling that no matter what happened he would still be on the path of a hero. After he couldn't break the promise he made to his old man.
He couldn't throw away the path of the magus. He had worked so hard on it and it was part of his father's legacy to him. This lessons he gave him so he could start on the path of a hero.
Yet he also couldn't deny the need to see the other path. The one he originally would've walked. The one that. Just to give him a chance to connect to his past. While he normally wasn't bothered by it, there were times where he wanted to learn more about his origins. Especially after seeing his family picture on his locket. Those smiling faces of his true parents. He...he wanted to see that in person again and he felt that the Spark could help.
So he was stuck at a crossroads. He closed his eyes and then opened them after a minute his mind made up.
He grabbed both hands.
"Sorry. I'm just so stubborn that even if something is impossible I'll keep striving for it."
He had decided to take both his old and current self.
The boy of science and died ten years ago but the magus had died today. So maybe the mixture of both would succeed. Shirou had a feeling that doing thus was the most arduous path of all yet...
I have no regrets.
This is the path I forged with my own hands.
As he said these words in a trance, a golden light and warmth enveloped him from the two glowing objects and the world was then covered in a golden light.
The first thing Shirou heard was voices as he began to awaken.
"You should've…-ust left –im be –in." a male voice that sounded cold and uncaring replied.
"No-"a familiar feminine voice replied. 'Tohsaka?' he thought bewildered.
"My territory…it's my fault- responsibility." He heard.
'She blames herself for what happened to me.' Shirou realized.
He reached out and blindly grasped her hand before groaning out "You shouldn't blame yourself for my stupidity Tohsaka. Thanks for the save though." He said as he opened his eyes confirming it was indeed the school idol with her aquamarine eyes, black hair tied up in two twintails, the only difference was she wasn;t wearing the school uniform and instead had swapped it out for a red long-sleeved shirt with a sliver cross in the middle and a scandalously short black skirt. Thankfully though Shirou hadn't noticed the wardrobe change and was staring into her surprised face instead.
"Emiya, you were awake?" she asked semi nervously.
Nodding a bit Shirou sat up with a grunt of pain before asking "You didn't happen to get the plates of the bus that ran me over did you?"
The look on Tohsaka's face was a mix between incredulity at the fact he had made a joke after coming back from the brink of death, and amusement at the same thing. Finally, she merely deciced to sigh, shake her head and say "No, sorry Emiya-kun."
Shirou then shakily stood up before saying "Damn that sucks." He then touched his chest, feeling a massive scar along with something else…
"Son of a-"Shirou began only to pull his locket up to eye-level and see that it had been cut almost clean in half.
In a quiet remorseful tone the school idol said "It was like that when I found you, if it's any consolation, it probably blunted the blow just enough for me to get to you in time." She paused a moment before asking "Was it important?"
Shirou swallowed a lump in his throat before he nodded "It was the last link I had to my biological parents, they died in the Fuyuki Fire ten years ago."
Her eyes sharpened in shock and she whispered "You survived that?!"
Shirou nodded "Yeah I was the one survivor out of five hundred dead."
Rin put a sympathetic hand on his shoulder "Well you at least have your memories of your parent's right?"
Much to her surprise, Homurahara Gakuren's fake janitor shook his head and said "No, the doctors say the fire was so traumatic, that it wiped my memory of everything that happened prior to the fire."
"Oh, umm I'm ah, sorry to hear that." Rin replied awkwardly.
Again Shirou shook his head and said "Don't worry about it, well anyway I'd better, be going. Thanks again Tohsaka-san."
"Yeah, sure no, no problem…"
"Rin." Her Servant, currently in astral form said as the red head walked away.
"Rin." He repeated more urgently only to finally yell "RIN!"
Finally snapping out of her daze she bit out "What is it you incessantly annoying Servant?"
Taking form once again revealing the white haired, dark-skinned, and red and black clothed man Emiya had seen earlier, the now named Servant Archer replied "Aren't you forgetting the part where you wipe his mind so he doesn't remember anything of the Grail War?"
Rin Tohsaka, Master of Servant Archer and heir of one of the Three Families that designed the Heaven's Feel Ritual was silent for a moment before she said "Crap!"
She then rushed to the fence that surrounded the school roof only to see Emiya already making his way off of the school grounds and internally she swore knowing she had to track him down to keep the Grail War a secret…but first she needed to find out where he exactly he lived.
As Shirou walked home he felt better than he had in his entire life. His vision felt sharper his mind clearer, and his body less fatigued. It was like some form of distracting white fog had suddenly been lifted from his very being and he was seeing the world as it truly was for the first time. He didn't take too much time to enjoy the sights however as he knew somehow that the blue spear wielder from earlier would be coming back for him, and if he did then he had to be ready to defend himself this time.
'Because I am not looking forward to be killed by someone who wears a blue armored gimp suit twice.' Shirou thought sourly before he rushed home and locked himself in his shed.
Once inside he began looking over various pieces of junk in his shed. Seeing a half hidden air-compressor in the corner from when he last check the tires on old man Fujimura's bike along with a crate full of D batteries Raiga's men just so happen to 'find' when Shirou complained about the prices in the nearby store one day as well as a wooden tripod from an old fashioned camera he was trying to fix again for Raiga-san's sake he also had several tubes of pvc pipe and a spool or two of copper wiring on hand for when something needed fixed around the house...
Oh so slowly an idea started to form in his mind like pieces of a jigsaw fitting themselves together. Gathering various tools, he got to work, while also praying this would stop the blue gimp suit wearing spear wielder…
It took him a bit, but Lancer finally tracked down the kid from earlier. He still couldn't figure out how the guy survived, but that didn't really matter. What mattered was that he saw something he shouldn't have and needed to be put down. He did a sweep through the house and quickly concluded the kid wasn't there, so he headed towards the only other place the kid could be on the property…a moderately sized shed.
It was only his B-rank in Protection from Arrows that saved him from the barrage of lightning bolts that came blasting through the door blasting it to splinters showing the redhead standing behind some kind of multi barreled machine that was spitting out bolts of light at a rapid pace, with a maniac grin on his face, causing the Servant of the Lance to take a step back in surprise and think as he deflected the barrage 'Lightning bolts? Shit this kid is a magus! Is he a Master?!'
"If that's so eliminate him now. If he is this troublesome on his own, there is no telling how annoying he could become if he gets his hands on a Servant." A voice in his head ordered coolly.
"Tch, fine whatever." Lancer muttered before he began to slowly advance forwards towards the redhead whose grin slipped off his face as the Servant advanced with little issue.
He advanced on Shirou quickly and within moments he was able to slice the makeshift Gatling gun in half, giving him a shallow cut from his leg to his shoulder in the process. Shirou crawled back blood dripping from his wound, his little keepsake sliding from the tear the spear in his pants pocket, now bloodied as he crawled backwards, away from his attacker.
All Shirou could do was think 'I don't want to die, I want to live…I WANT TO LIVE!'
Suddenly, the floor around him glowed as a formulacraft circle inscribed on the ground lit up, Shirou felt a strong pull on his magic circuits, and in an explosion of raw magical power that temporarily both of them as well as pushing the spearman back. As the light cleared, Shirou felt spent and was in pain all over as if he had just gone through the Fuyuki Fire a second time. Yet, even as he laid there on the floor of his shed he saw them.
They were four women. The first of which was five foot even and had blonde hair done in a loose ponytail held up by black ribbon with green eyes enhanced by a regal knightly appearance which was further enforced by the fact she was wearing a white battle dress and matching armor at her side was a sheathed longsword as well as a large hunting dagger.
The second woman by contrast was half a foot taller than the first, had long light green hair, brown eyes and wore nothing more than a loose shirt and pair of pants not even simple sandals on her feet. Her outfit however would've almost masked her gender entirely if it wasn't for her moderately sized bust.
The third of the quartet was the strangest of them; as although she was only 5'3 she had pink hair and amber eyes and was dressed the most provocatively. She wore a short blue and white trimmed kimono that had long wide sleeves and an obi which was colored black and gold. The kimono was cut along the sides similar to a Chinese dress, which showed off her legs that were concealed by blue stockings and complimented by the three inch platform heels she wore but the biggest thing was the golden brown fox ears and accompanying tail she sported.
The last woman of the group was Asian like himself standing at 5'1, with pale skin, long straight black hair piercing predatory green eyes dressed like a biker; with the top half of her ensemble merely consisting of an open white fur trimmed jacket and a black leather sports bra that showed off her toned stomach. She also was skin tight black leather pants that rode her hips, along with a chain linked belt with an X shaped buckle, and finished the look off with laced up combat boots. In other words she was a fem fatal.
But this wasn't the weirdest part; no, the strangest part was, they were all seemingly smiling at him warmly as if they knew him. The female knight spoke first "We have come at your summons. I am Servant Saber and these are Servants Lancer, Caster, and Assassin. We ask of you, are you our master?"
Shirou worked his jaw for a moment trying to figure out what exactly is going on so he knew how exactly to respond. Finally he muttered out "Yes?"
The biker woman spoke in a voice that was calm and yet seemingly had a dangerous undertone, she said "Good, because it would be awkward otherwise."
She then cracked her neck from side to side and walked forward easily stepping past the still stunned redhead before stopping at the door and saying "The rest of you stay here with him, I'm going to show the mutt out there why a dog should never tangle with a feral wolf."
"La-I mean Assassin!" the woman in the white battle dress began only to stop when she saw the other woman look over her shoulder and scowl at her.
After a tense moment the Asian feme fatle asked "Yes?
"Be careful." The knight said, in response the woman only nodded before calmly walking out of the shed.
Lancer couldn't believe it not only had he been blown backwards after coming close to offing the witness but the so-called witness turns out to be the final Master who not only summons Saber but from what little information he was given by the Grail itself had just activated the backup summoning system by summoning three extra Servants!
'Just who the hell is this guy!' Lancer thought.
"That's what you're here to find out seeing as it's your job to scout out the competition. This boy especially requires watching seeing as he was able to subvert the normal one Servant per master summoning process." The disembodied voice of his master reminded him.
'For once, I agree with you, you despicable bastard.' Lancer thought back as he readied his legendary spear as a shape made its way from the entrance.
As it turned out, it was a woman from this country clad in leather clothing of the modern era, she didn't exclude the aura of a Servant but…
'She's far too confident to just be walking up to me like she is.' Lancer thought. Once she was within range of his spear he called for her to halt.
The girl ignored him and kept moving forward, run at which point she flipped over the blue clad Servant only to whisper "Bye-bye." Into his ear.
Lancer's Disengage ability served him well now as he used it to quickly retreat from the girl moments before a *snicket* was heard. Having been on many a battlefield in life, Lancer knew that sound, it was the unmistakable sound of a blade being unsheathed. Ducking into a roll he managed to avoid a maneuver that would've taken his head had it connected. Standing up from his crouched position, Lancer marveled at what could only be an Assassin's Noble Phantasm. He was far from impressed.
She had two metal coated claws jutting out from between her far left and far right knuckles on each hand, each was a silvery color and a foot long in length. He then had to guard as the girl charged him, slashing away aiming at his major arteries. Lancer managed to deflect all of these assaults and push the girl back using a blurring barrage of stabs from his crimson spear.
It was only after she had backed out the range of his spear that he noticed them. All along Gea Bolgs length were cuts and scratches from where he had turned away the girls' attacks. Lancer stared at Assassin's Noble Phantasm with newfound respect, as a savage grin spread across his face.
'This could be fun. She's as fast as me and she has a Phantasm capable of damaging mine.' He thought.
"No, it's not that she's fast, quite the opposite really it's that you've slowed down." Lancers 'Master mused in a curious fashion.
While Lancer was staring at Assassin's Noble Phantasm and secretly conversing with his master, she herself was going over what she learned from their brief skirmish in her head, full folding her arms across her moderately sized chest as she did so and gave him a once over.
'So he has A-rank Agility then, has to have it being able to keep up with me after all that. Strength must be around C-rank as he had no trouble deflecting my attacks with pure strength, endurance probably isn't nearly as good as mine. Hell, I'd be surprised if it was. Not sure about his mana or luck though-'
"Oi girl!" Lancer suddenly called out getting her attention.
Annoyed at being addressed so she narrowed her eyes at him and said "Yeah mutt, what is it?"
Rather than get annoyed like she thought he would, Lancer just smirked and said "Feisty huh? I like that."
Raising an eyebrow she replied "Sorry, I'm spoken for."
This caused the blue clad servant to sigh and slump slightly in defeat and mutter "All the real women are. More's the pity." He then shook himself and said "What the hell did you do to me girly? I know damn well I'm supposed to have A-rank Agility yet according to my Master the minute we started fighting, all my parameters took a nosedive. What gives?"
"I'm an Assassin I don't fight fair." She replied simply.
Grinning again he replied "True enough, but sadly my Master wants you gone because your Noble Phantasm is troublesome, nothing personal this is one of the best fights I've had in a while." He said as he took a stance similar to someone about to use a pool cue, his free hand covering the flat of the spear head, the arm holding the shaft bent back with his legs bent as the spear itself became encased in a flaming crimson energy that, to Assassin gave off a feeling of finality.
"Gáe-"he called as Assassin rushed him, attempting to cut him down before he could unleash his Phantasm.
"-Bolg!" he finished before thrusting the spear forward, causing its tip to become a bolt of light that flew straight towards Assassins heart, piercing it and stopping her cold.
Even as blood seeped from her wound, Assassin snarled like a wounded beast and attempted to drag herself forwards on the spear, but it was all for naught and soon her legs gave out and she fell to her knees and then fell over on the ground laying on her side. The cursed spear of Ireland's most legendary hero withdrew then, returning to its former shape.
'Now what? 'Cause I don't think I can take on three more Servants with Gáe Bolg in this condition, given time I can repair it though.'
Before Lancer's master could respond, the Servant's attention was drawn by the sound of something impacting with the ground behind him in a steady rhythm. Turning on his heel Lancer found an old geezer with a sinister wrinkled face sporting a slate grey flattop crew cut wearing geta sandals, black hakama pants over a grey kimono, and a haori overcoat made out of a tiger's pelt. He was tightly gripping a wooden cane in his left hand.
Lancer knew he shouldn't yet he felt suddenly wary of this new arrival. He sensed a deep well of hidden strength within the man, what was more? He knew the old man knew that he knew what he was capable of.
The two stared at each other for a moment and then, the old man spoke in a gruff gravelly voice "Well, well, what do we have here? A rabid dog attacking my surrogate grandson and ward of the Fujimura Group, not only that, but this same rabid dog saw fit to kill a woman likely a guest of my grandson on his property."
A look of disgusted annoyance crossed the man's face and his brow knit before he spat "Explain yourself mutt!"
Lancer's eye twitched in annoyance. There were two things he hated the first was betrayal which already happened, and the second was being referred to as a dog. The girl earlier was different, Lancer liked strong-willed women…the geezer however, was a different story…
Loosening a low growl from his throat, Lancer leveled his chipped and dinged crimson spear at the old timer and said "Who's asking?"
"I'm glad you asked." He said before he snapped his fingers, causing several younger men in black suits to appear next to him toting what the Grail told him were automatic weapons that fired little bits of lead at high speeds, speeds faster than any thrown spear or shot arrow. While he positive he could deflect all the 'bullets' due to his Protection from Arrows, he now had more than a dozen witnesses to the Holy Grail War.
"Lancer!" a furious voice behind him yelled causing him to glace behind him and noted that the redheaded Master who if the look of fury on the kid's face was any indication, he was pissed and his other Servants, one of which he could tell was a Saber due to her knightly mode of dress as well as the fact that she carried a sheathed blade and dagger on her hip, had come out of the shed. The class of other two were a mystery however.
"As much as it would amuse me to watch you die futilely Lancer, you should retreat for now. You may be able to silence the witnesses later; but not now with three Servants here especially with one of them being a Saber." His master commented.
Upon hearing this, the Servant of the Lance turned to the newly minted Master and said "We'll settle up another time kid." Before he assumed his astral form and disappeared.
"Lance stop!" Saber called only to be stopped when Shirou placed a hand on her shoulder and shook his head before nodding over to the downed Assassin and Caster were with Assassins head on Caster's lap as she laid glowing hand on her chest wound which was rapidly healing with Lancer standing nearby watching Raiga and his men for even the slightest hint of trouble and saying "Watch over Assassin and Caster with Lancer I need to talk with Raiga-san."
Saber looked at him hesitantly a moment only for him to smile and nod at her assuring her he would be ok and making his way forward, after his back was turned the blonde sent the yazuka oyabun a sharp look that clearly said she could be by Shirou's side in seconds should he or his men attempt to do anything before she turned and headed towards the other Servants.
Shirou silently approached Raiga Fujimura and once he was a few feet away he stopped and said "What brings you by Raiga-san? If it's your bike, I'm afraid it'll have to wait for obvious reasons."
Raiga smirked and opened his mouth in an attempt to retort only to be cut off by a sudden worry filled cry of "SHIROU~!"
Shirou suddenly found his head crushed into the bust of one Taiga Fujimura as she howled and cried saying how worried she was about him…and about starving to death.
"Are you ok, are you hurt? Did that crazy guy cut off your hands, can you still cook, you can still cook right?!" she asked frantically.
Shirou suddenly felt himself forcefully pulled away from Taiga and glanced behind himself as he coughed for air and found the green haired Servant Lancer if he remembered correctly, pulling him away from Taiga and saying defensively "Please do not smother Shirou in your chest."
"Who are you?!" Taiga asked before looking behind the simply dressed girl and noticing two others and adding "Who are they? Shirou, Ojii-san, what's going on?!"
Ignoring his granddaughter's confused ranting for a moment, Raiga said to Shirou "Maybe we should take this inside Emiya? I'm sure we all have questions and out here is perhaps not the best place to discuss such sensitive topics. Besides it would do your Servant well to get out of the open when so wounded." Raiga said as he looked around warily specifically towards the far roofs, his eyes stopping on one sporting a water storage tank for a moment before moving on.
Noticing how skittish the normally gung-ho man was being, Shirou nodded and said "Come inside Raiga-san, I'll make some tea and something to eat if you're feeling hungry."
Shirou started to make his way to the house only to be stopped by Lancer who said "Shirou, are you sure you can trust them?"
Shirou merely locked his golden-brown eyes with lancer's earthy brown ones and nodded saying "Taiga was just overly concerned please help the other get-"
"Assassin." Lancer offered. Causing her master to nod and say "Yes Assassin thank you, help the others get her into a room in the house and get her comfortable while I make a quick dinner for everyone. Oh, are you hungry?"
The Servant of the Lance cocked her head to the side in confusion which Shirou secretly found endearing and said in her down to earth tone "Master, we are Servant's' ghost of legendary heroes given physical form we do not require food."
Shirou's eyes widened a bit at this piece of information before he took a deep calming breath and said "Regardless that isn't what I asked. I asked if you were hungry, not if you required food."
Lancer looked over at both Saber and Caster who she felt knew what Shirou had said thanks in no small part to the fox ears perched on Caster's head. Simultaneously, the two Servants nodded and proceeded to help Assassin into the house. And so, turning back to her master with a slight smile on her face Lacer said "I do believe a bite to eat would be agreeable Master."
Lancer briefly looked towards the water tower that Raiga's eyes had lingered on earlier before seemingly shaking away a stray thought and saying "Let's get going shall we master?"
Meanwhile across the street on top of a watertower a man red clad and black lowered a massive black bow and said to the young dark haired woman next to him. "What will we do now Rin? Emiya has not only summoned multiple Servants proving he is the wild card in this war, but he is also likely going to inform the old man about Thaumaturgy if he doesn't already know. Plus, I'm certain that his green haired Servant knew we were here somehow, I'm just not sure how."
"Probably a personal skill of some kind Archer. Tell me, what did you think of that Servant of Emiya's that fought Lancer?"
The 6'1 Servant glanced down at his Master and said "Well if you're asking what Class I thought she was, I'd put her at Assassin due to the Noble Phantasm she displayed."
Hearing the doubt in his tone caused Rin to ask "But..?"
Sighing the Servant of the Bow continued "She had some kind of advanced healing ability one that was keeping her from dying despite being stabbed by Lancers Noble Phantasm. I'm fairly certain that the fox girl is a Caster as she was able to negate the ability of the curse long enough for Assassin's healing factor to kick in and take care of the wound itself. The last one is clearly a Saber as she blatantly wears the symbol of her class on her hip I've no clue who she could be though." He finished honestly.
'She looks similar, yet dresses different from the Saber I remember also, she has an extra weapon she didn't have previously.' He mused.
Coughing into her hand to get her Servant's attention Rin said "So in conclusion Emiya is the seventh master in the Grail War, he has summoned more than the one allotted Servant per master summoning three additional Servants, and could possibly be revealing Thaumaturgy to outsiders at this very moment…could you describe the people he invited inside?"
"An old man grey flattop hair wearing traditional Japanese clothing and a tiger skin overcoat, a very energetic brown haired young woman wearing a yellow and black striped shirt and green dress, and some very well dress lackeys."
Rin nodded "The Fujimura's then. That's fine, there in on the supernatural side of things in Fuyuki or at least Raiga Fujimura is according to the Fake Priest."
This piqued the Servant of the Bow's interest. "Oh, I thought the Matou and the Tohsaka were the only Magus families in Fuyuki?"
Rin nodded only halfhearted paying attention to what her Servant was saying if she was giving him her full attention she might wonder how he knew that both her family and the Matou were the only magus families in Fuyuki as the Grail shouldn't have provided that information.
"We are the only magus families in Fuyuki but one doesn't necessarily need to be a magus to be connected to the twilight world. The Fujimura's for example are…"
"You're Oni?" Shirou asked incredulously.
Raiga smirked and nodded before he popped some expertly prepared shrimp stir-fry courtesy of Emiya into his mouth chewing it slowly and savoring the taste before swallowing he said "I'm sure your picturing fanged monsters with wild hair and red skin wearing tiger-skin loincloths and swinging around iron kanabo clubs yes?"
Not waiting for the boy to continue Raiga said "A few generations ago, you would be correct that is exactly what my clan, which hailed from the Wisteria Village from which we get our surname were savage beasts. But then one day, my Several times great grandfather fell in love with a woman who was herself a witch giving birth to our clans founder as it is today, he who became one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Yorimitsu; one Sakata Kintoki."
Shirou as well as Saber, Lancer, and Caster were stunned into silence. After a moment Taiga chuckled and said "I think you broke him Ojii-san, Shirou~!" she yelled getting his attention before holding her rice bowl in front of him and saying "Seconds please!"
"H-Hai." Shirou said giving Taiga what was in truth her third bowl before asking "So are there any advantages or drawbacks due to your…heritage?"
Raiga answered with a nod saying "Yes as it so happens." He then sighed saying "Shirou let's lay our cards on the table here. You are a magus, are you not? Like Kiritsugu before you?"
This caused Taiga to choke on her rice and sputter for a moment before she managed to get out "Shirou and Kiritsugu are Magi? Gramps don't be ridiculous Shirou isn't-"
"Yes that's right." Shirou replied before adding "Though compared to a normal magus I'm third-rate at best. According to my teachers anyway, seeing as I can barely grasp the basics."
Swallowing a knot in her throat Taiga said quietly "You're really a magus Shirou? Does that mean you go around kidnapping people and-"Shirou raised, prematurely a hand silencing his 'guardian' and saying "Taiga, you've known me for years, do you really think I'm capable of those types of things?"
The twenty-four year old lowered her head in shame before saying in an even quieter tone than earlier "Sorry Shirou, your right."
Waving away her apology by refilling her rice bowl again, Shirou turned back to Raiga and motioned for him to continue. Clearing his throat, Raiga said "Yes well, as I was saying my clan has one very specific advantage and you've seen Taiga display it numerous times already. We have unnatural proficiency with any weapon we happen to pick up. You've heard the term 'an oni with an iron club is invincible?' Well that was coined by the fact that the ancestors of the Fujimura Group were nigh invincible when fighting with weapons only they could lift."
"So you are stronger and more durable as well?" Lancer asked this being the first time the Servants had spoken since the food was served.
"Yes, not on the level of a Servant, but we are at least five times more durable than the average man these days, and can lift about seven and a half times the weight. There is also the risk of the Inversion Impulse if we push ourselves too much..." Raiga then shook his head and waved the subject away with his hand saying "Enough about me though Emiya, let's talk about you. Or more specifically the Holy Grail War that you have gone and gotten yourself involved in. A Holy Grail War that is happening fifty years too early I might add."
Even though Shirou felt a headache coming on he began a conversation with Raiga Fujimura that led long into the early hours of the morning.
Chapter length: 10,210 - Date Completed: 10/19/14
AN: Hello I am Bubbajack and despite what some of my fans on here may think I'm not dead! I have been planning to move to a new house for the past three months though, hence my long absence. Anyway, this is something I came up with during the move and decided to put to (paper?) to anyone who has read the Webcomic Girl Genius, you are in for a wild ride, if you haven't that's fine as I've got bits and pieces planned from various fics I've read/shows I've seen and it shall all make sense…eventually. Not right away mind you, because if everything makes sense from the beginning the plot becomes transparent and thus pointless. I've seen that happen far too many times in some fics.
Anyway as you (Hopefully) can tell just from this chap, this will not be your average FSN fic or even an average Grail War and it shall get crazier as it goes on and there may be more Marvel comics characters' showing up (I'm sure some of you know what I mean by this). Till the next chap, Bubbajack out!