Arturia Pendragon opened her eyes as she stood in the middle of the clearing in Avalon. Clad in her shining armor, she stood there motionlessly as she gazed up to look at the blue sky. As this place was outside of time and space, the World was incapable of influencing this realm, an ideal resting place for the destined deliverer of salvation, the Once and Future King.
The king let out a soft sigh. Even though she had chosen to appear in the world after answering Asia Argento's prayer, she was still connected to Avalon. After all, Avalon played a large part in supporting her existence as a Servant-like entity in the world. So, whenever she was sleeping in the real world, her consciousness would return to Avalon until she woke up. The downside of this was that she would be incapable of having dreams, but for the king, it wasn't truly a problem.
Now that her consciousness had returned to Avalon while she was sleeping on a bed in the Hyoudou residence, Arturia figured that she might as well do something. So, she closed her eyes as she concentrated her willpower, utilizing one of her newfound powers as the Once and Future King granted by Avalon itself.
A sword descended from the sky, landing a few inches away from Arturia. Then, a few more weapons zoomed down from the sky, stabbing the ground around her. When she opened her eyes, she saw more than a dozen weapons around her, stabbing the ground like tombstones in a graveyard. Ornate swords, spears, lances and many other weapons that she had used during her lifetime were around her, recreated by this realm to be utilized by the king.
Arturia reached out for one of the swords and pulled it out from the ground. Holding it by its black hilt, she examined the blade that was bluish gray in color. It was one of the swords that she wielded during her life, the magical sword Chastiefol. It was a sword enchanted by the court magus of the Round Table himself, Merlin. It wasn't as powerful as the sword of promised victory itself, Excalibur, but it was still a legendary sword wielded by the King of Knights. At the very least, it could withstand the force of Strike Air and make a decent substitute for Excalibur. It was the very same sword that she used to cut the arm of the Fallen Angel, Raynare, after Arturia's materialization into the world.
Next, after placing Chastiefol back at its original spawning point, she pulled out a spear from the ground. It was a holy lance that she used while battling the Knight of Treachery, Mordred, during the Battle of Camlann. The king slew the traitorous knight by piercing through the knight's armored chest with this holy lance, Rhongomyniad. Speaking of Mordred, Arturia was unsure what to think of that bastard 'son' of hers. Despite being on opposite sides during the conflicts, the king bore no hatred towards the rebellious knight. Still, being a king, it was her responsibility to deal with Mordred's rebellion. Arturia could only wonder if things might have gone differently if she took a different course of action.
Arturia sighed again as she stabbed the spear into the ground. Besides being a weapon that she used to slay her rebellious bastard of a son, she also used it to kill her uncle, Vortigern, an ambitious man who wished to seize power and rule Britain for himself. It was said that Vortigern was a man who bore the essence of a white dragon, and she still remembered fighting his draconic form before she used Rhongomyniad to slay him. When she thought about it, the weapon seemed to be well-known to be the one she used to commit avunculicide and filicide. It would be the case for the latter if she considered Mordred as her 'son'.
After stabbing the holy lance back into the ground, she examined the rest of her weapons. All the weapons that she once used and the ones that were attributed to her were recreated by Avalon. Her daggers, Carnwennan and Flixith, were also there. Even Clarent, the sword stolen by Mordred, appeared thanks to Avalon. Still, there were three of them that were missing.
The first, of course, was Excalibur, the sword of promised victory. Because it was not a creation of man, as well as being already returned to the Lady of the Lake, the holy sword was not created by Avalon. Her other sword, Caliburn, also wasn't there. The same went for her sheath, Avalon. While she might be able to reside in Avalon as the Once and Future King, the sheath that shared its name with the realm was not in her possession, as she had already lost it before the Battle of Camlann, the final battle that she fought as the king of Camelot.
Still, even without all those weapons in her possession, she would make do with what she had at the moment. After all, she wasn't the type to complain about this sort of thing. All things considered, she believed that with all the weapons that she had at the moment, she would perform her task that she had assigned for herself: protect Asia Argento. While the task itself wasn't as grand as becoming the king of a nation or participating in a battle royale with a nigh-omnipotent wish-granting artifact for a prize, as a knight, she would dedicate herself to fulfill the task.
The king smiled as she took Chastiefol again in her hand. There was no regret left in her, even though she knew that her kingship had brought her beloved kingdom to its downfall. While there might be some lingering sadness, after everything that she went through by making a deal with Alaya and participating in the Holy Grail Wars, she knew that her following her ideals wasn't a mistake. Just like a certain boy, and by extension an embittered man who sacrificed his afterlife for the sake of the justice he believed in, she would say those words with perfect clarity.
"I… I was not wrong…"
When Asia opened her eyes, the first thing she saw was the unfamiliar ceiling above her. That was when she recalled what happened last night, when Raynare suddenly showed up and assaulted her friend, Issei. After receiving a brutal beatdown from the Fallen Angel, an armored woman who called herself Arturia Pendragon then appeared out of nowhere to chase Raynare away, saving Issei from being killed.
At first, she thought everything that happened last night was just a dream, but she was proven wrong when she saw Arturia sitting on her bed. She was already clad in her white blouse and blue skirt, with a pair of black leggings underneath her skirt. When Arturia realized that Asia had woken up, she gave her a gentle smile.
"Good morning, Asia," Arturia said.
"G-good morning, Miss A-Arturia!" Asia replied hastily. "Umm…"
"Please do not worry. Everything is fine now," Arturia said to the younger blond female. While she would never guarantee that the Fallen Angels wouldn't make their move to go and find Asia in order to take her back, one thing she was certain about was that she would not let those wretched creatures come near her. She would protect her master with everything she had, and she would cut down anyone who wanted to endanger Asia. When the ex-nun gave her a confused look, Arturia added, "As long as I am here, I will make sure that nothing shall harm you."
"Umm… w-well…" Asia seemed a little embarrassed upon hearing what Arturia had told her. But before she could say anything to reply to her, her stomach growled. "E-eh?!" The ex-nun realized that she had yet to eat anything since last night.
"Ah, I take it that you must be hungry…" Arturia gave Asia an amused look before she got up from the bed. "Breakfast is almost ready downstairs. Your friend's mother informed me earlier while you were still asleep that we should join them once you have woken up."
At first, Asia was reluctant, but due to how hungry she felt, she just weakly nodded.
"Good." Arturia smiled. "Let us go now. After all, hunger is an enemy. And I believe your friend and his parents are waiting for us to show up. Let us not keep them waiting any longer," she said before she went to open the door. "I'll be waiting outside, Master. Please change your clothes first."
"R-right!" Asia squeaked.
After Asia was done changing her clothes, both of them went downstairs to join the Hyoudou family for breakfast. Asia's friend, Issei Hyoudou, seemed to be in a rather good mood when both Asia and Arturia joined them.
As both Arturia and Asia enjoyed their breakfast together with the Hyoudous, there was something that Arturia had noticed about the boy she saved yesterday. She didn't notice it when she appeared to save him from being killed by Raynare, but now that she managed to get a good look at him, she finally realized something she had missed.
Issei Hyoudou was not a human. Or at least, he used to be one before being turned into something non-human.
Just learning about such a thing was enough to make her wary of the boy. Or at least be cautious of him.
Even so, Arturia wasn't so quick to judge based on one's race. Even if the boy wasn't a human, she wouldn't deem him dangerous, especially since he was Asia's friend. If she had to guess, Issei might be some sort of demonic being who was recently turned. And both his parents were still humans, from what she could tell. As long as he didn't pose any threats towards Asia, Arturia didn't see any reason to harm him.
And it's not like she's not used to having the company of someone with a non-human heritage in the first place. After all, her court mage, Merlin, was a half-incubus. While she might consider that old, perverted mage a thorn in her side due to his mischievous nature, she was still grateful for his assistance during her reign as the king of Camelot.
Back to the topic about Issei being a non-human, she did not wish to harm him due to the fact that he was Asia's friend, and she considered him to be relatively harmless. After all, she appeared before the ex-nun after answering her prayer to save Issei from being killed by Raynare.
Still, seeing Issei's attitude somehow reminded her of Merlin, whose perverseness brought a multitude of troubles to her and the kingdom more often than not. Still, while Issei's perverseness might rival Merlin's, he seemed to be a well-meaning and good-natured young man who befriended Asia. She might not approve of his perverted behavior, but at least she was glad that such a lad was a good friend to Asia.
After breakfast, Issei went to school, and both Asia and Arturia remained at the Hyoudou residence. Although she was grateful of having a temporary shelter, it's not like she wanted to remain like this forever. She had no money with her, so she had no means of supporting Asia financially. So, the first thing that she needed to worry about was to find a source of income.
In short, she needed to find a job.
But, she couldn't simply apply for any jobs out there due to her having no identification documents with her. It's not like she somehow magically got them upon her materialization into the world. Even so, she needed to find a job where she could put her skills to good use. As long as the job wasn't demeaning or worse, besmirching her honor as a knight, she was willing to do it. It was all for the sake of Asia.
Still, it was too early for that. To jump headlong into battle without prior planning was a suicidal action to be taken, and as a king who used to lead her army in battles, she was aware of the importance of planning and strategizing. In order to find the most suitable job for her to take, she needed to meticulously take the right course of actions. So, she believed that she needed to consult someone regarding this matter. And she decided that Mrs. Hyoudou was the perfect choice, considering that she seemed to have a good head on her shoulders, her eccentricity notwithstanding.
"I'll see what I can find for you. I think some of my neighbors keep the flyers for job applications. I'm sure there will be a job that is suitable for you."
Mrs. Hyoudou told her that she would gather flyers for job applications for her, and Arturia was grateful for her help. While she might fail a bit as a mother, considering that her son had grown into quite a deviant, there's no denying that she was a good-hearted person. Somehow, the motherly way she used while talking to her reminded her of her own 'queen', Guinevere.
As Arturia reminisced about people from her past and the chain of events that led to the ruination of her kingdom, she flinched a bit, showing a troubled expression. While she had moved beyond her own regret, she still couldn't help but feel sad. Mrs. Hyoudou seemed to notice this and offered Arturia a kind smile.
"I see that you have a lot of baggage on you right now, Arturia-san. I suppose that's the reason why you're here with Asia-chan, right?"
That wasn't really it, Arturia thought, but due to how complicated the situation that both Arturia and Asia had, she believed that Mrs. Hyoudou might be somewhat right in her assessment. "I suppose you can say that, Mrs. Hyoudou..."
"Well, I won't force you to tell me everything, but in case you want someone to hear you out, I'm all ears," Mrs. Hyoudou said, smiling.
Seeing the kind smile on the matron of the Hyoudou family made the king smile as well. She was truly a woman with a big heart, the king thought to herself. "I'll keep that in mind, then. And you have my gratitude, Mrs. Hyoudou, for providing a shelter for me and my sister," Arturia said. She wasn't used to lying due to her being an honor-bound knight, but in this case, telling the woman that she was King Arthur reborn to be the deliverer of salvation wasn't a wise move. So, that was their cover story to keep everything simple.
"It's fine, really," Mrs. Hyoudou said. "So, you want to find a job so that you can support both yourself and Asia-chan financially, right?"
Arturia nodded. "Yes, that is what I have in my mind."
"What sort of job do you want to take, then?" Mrs. Hyoudou asked.
"As long as the job is not demeaning, I am willing to take it," Arturia answered.
"Hmm..." Mrs. Hyoudou brought her hand to her chin as if she was stroking a beard that wasn't there. "Is there anything you're good at?"
Fighting fellow Servants in a battle royale to win a nigh-omnipotent wish-granting artifact, the king thought, but she kept that to herself. "I believe I have my confidence in my skills with sword. I also have some experience in being a bodyguard for others." She paused for a moment to consider what else she was proficient in. "Ah, I believe I am rather skilled at riding motorbikes." Her experience in riding one during the Fourth Holy Grail War came to mind.
"Ah, I see..." Mrs. Hyoudou mused. "I'll take what you said into consideration while finding the right flyers for job applications for you, Arturia-san."
"Thank you once again, Mrs. Hyoudou..." Arturia bowed slightly, showing her gratefulness to the matron of Hyoudou family.
After consulting Mrs. Hyoudou, Arturia went to the living room, where Asia was seen sitting in front of a television, seemingly engrossed by an anime that was being shown on the screen. She was scrunching her brow, as if trying to comprehend the dialogues. That was already expected, because she was unable to speak proper Japanese.
The sight of the ex-nun trying to understand the dialogues was quite an adorable sight to behold, and the king had to admit that seeing her that way was refreshing. After all, it was much better than seeing her crying or being sad. Thinking that she had nothing else to do, Arturia went to Asia and sat next to her on the sofa. She decided to watch the anime together with her, assisting her to understand the Japanese language more.
Issei Hyoudou was on his way home from school. A silly grin was seen plastered on that mug of his, probably thanks to the members of the Occult Research Club that he joined not too long ago. Thanks to him being killed by his ex-girlfriend before, he was turned into a Devil by Rias Gremory, the president of the Occult Research Club, who was also a Devil. She had informed him that being turned into a Devil was a major boon, because he could make a harem if he worked hard towards it.
He also looked forward to returning home to talk to Asia some more. A lot of things had happened, and now she was living with him, thanks to the assistance of that person who called herself Arturia Pendragon. He didn't know who she was, but one thing he was sure about was that she saved his life when he was almost killed by Raynare. He was truly grateful for her help. And it also helped that she was very pretty.
The perverted boy was so engrossed in his thoughts about Arturia that he didn't realize there was something lying on the middle of the street. When he finally realized it, it was already too late as he tripped on it, causing him to fall unceremoniously onto the pavement, headfirst. "Ow!" Feeling that his nose was bleeding, he immediately picked himself up and looked at the thing that caused him to trip, only to realize that it was actually a person who was unconscious.
Seeing an unconscious person lying in the middle of a street, Issei immediately rushed to the person's side. He grabbed the person's body and pulled down the hood that covered the person's head, only to find out that the person was a cute girl with silver hair. Her right eye was covered by her bang. The girl was still breathing, which indicated that the girl was still alive, much to his relief.
Still, the girl was cute, and Issei couldn't help but be mesmerized by such cuteness. As he beheld the girl's cute look, the girl let out a groan before she slowly opened her eyes, revealing a pair of violet pupils. Well, only one pupil, considering that one of her eyes was covered by her bang. Groggily, she looked at Issei's face, and their gazes met each other.
"Who are you?" The girl asked. Her voice was soft. She seemed rather bemused when she found herself being held by Issei.
"Oh, umm..." While he might be a pervert, Issei couldn't help but be flustered by the fact that such a cute girl talked to him. As he tried to come up with something, they heard a growling sound, which somehow came from the girl's stomach. "Eh?"
"Ah..." The girl seemed to realize what the sound actually indicated. "...I'm hungry."
TO BE CONTINUED
Author's Note: Hello, this is me, Prince Arjuna. So, this is the rewritten version of Chapter 3. I'm sorry for the inconvenience caused by the deletion of both Chapter 2 and Chapter 3. So, I hope you'll like this version better. Also, in case if you want to review this but had already reviewed the previous Chapter 3, feel free to use anonymous reviews. Please leave some reviews so that the author can be a happy panda.
Special thanks for Sorata Shioya for beta-reading this chapter. It's so nice to work with you, like always. Please stay tuned for the next update, people. Until then, farewell.
Prince Arjuna (2015)