*Places Aldrich's ashes on their throne*
Only one more left...So as you can probably guess I've been balls deep into Dark Souls 3 and dear lord does it not disappoint. Everything I hated about DS2 is gone and everything I loved about 1 is back with a vengeance...though I'll admit I miss a few things from 2. I loved the way your body literally dissolved into ash when you died, and while I never actually used it myself the loss of 'power stance' will be sorely missed.
I also wish they'd brought back all the old outfits. I mean, as cool as it is to see the DS1 Sets I'd still have preferred more from DS2. I also can't help but feel the sorcerer class got nerfed, though I was glad to see Pyromancer's back as a starting class.
In any case, as many of you have probably guessed, this is the last Chapter in the Fake x Calibur Arc. I'll be moving onto the other arcs soon enough, but updates will probably be slow since I'm trying to find a balance between the novels and anime and my responsibilities at work.
Fake Life Twelve: Vanishing Dragon.
"Scale Mail?" Issei stammered, recognising the similarities to his own Balance Breaker instantly, the Perverted Pawn trembling with apprehension as he felt the eyes of the figure wash over him, only to clench his teeth in sudden anger when he glanced away dismissively, as if the Pawn wasn't worth his attention "Damn It! I don't know why but something about this guy pisses me off!"
"It's only natural." Ddraig opined, his tone guarded, as if he too was agitated by the newcomer's presence "That man is your polar opposite. The one who wields the power of my rival, the White Dragon Emperor, Albion the Vanishing Dragon."
"Vanishing Dragon…Albion…" Issei muttered, glancing up at his fated foe with understandable apprehension. And how could he not when, from the looks of it, not only had the guy unlocked his Scale Mail Balance Breaker, but he clearly had more than enough power to keep it active even while in flight, unlike Issei, whose demonic power was so weak even sacrificing his entire left arm only allowed him to use the Mail for 10 seconds.
To make matters worse, the one time he'd done so had been during an unofficial Rating Game, where there were rules in place to keep either opponent from seriously injuring or killing the other, and his opponent had been a stuck up pretty boy high on his own ego. There were no such rules now, and if what Ddraig said was true about the two Celestial Dragon's wielders, then he was here for a fight.
Best case scenario, only one of them would be walking away. Worst Case scenario, they'd take each other out. In either case, the collateral damage to their surroundings would likely be more akin to the aftereffects of the King of Monsters going for a stroll in downtown Tokyo than the admittedly limited damage Kuoh Academy had suffered.
"Stand down, Rias Gremory." The White Dragon Emperor commanded, his tone brooking no argument as he descended on them from on high "I'm not here to pick a fight…Indeed, my original objective was to bring Kokabiel in for interrogation, but it seems I arrived a little late for that."
"So the rumours are true…" Rias muttered, her expression grim as she continued to kneel with Shirou's head in her lap "I'd heard that the Vanishing Dragon had sided with the Fallen Angels…so Azazel truly didn't authorize this attack?"
"As if." The white dragon scoffed "From what I can tell, he only learned of Kokabiel's activities while investigating the actions of Raynare's rogue cell." Issei flinched at the mention of his first 'girlfriend's true name "While he has professed an interest in the Boosted Gear, he's actually ordered all of our forces to steer clear of him for now, per my request."
"I see…" Rias noted, her eyes narrowing in comprehension "I was wondering why no retaliation followed in the wake of their execution…Azazel isn't the type to abandon his comrades for any reason."
"I think we can both agree that going against his orders and deliberately murdering Sacred Gear Users in Devil Territory are hardly the actions of a 'comrade'." The White Dragon Emperor concurred "But enough of that for now, it doesn't look like your friend there has much time left." He knelt down before them, extending his left hand towards Shirou's prone chest, the gems embedded in the white armour glowing.
Almost immediately, Issei felt the energy coming off the comatose Magus plummet to half its intensity, the perverted Pawn looking on in wonderment as Shirou's breathing actually steadied, the blades that had been spreading non-stop receding slightly, as if something was drawing them back under the skin.
"Albion's Sacred Gear is 'Divine Dividing." Ddraig explained to his dumbstruck partner "It allows him to steal half his opponent's power every 10 seconds to add to his own."
"So that's what you meant when you said he was your polar opposite." Issei realised, looking on torn between relief and frustration as his 'Destined Rival' continued to draw the excess power from Emiya's body, allowing Asia's Twilight Healing time to tend to his wounds.
"Don't just sit there, Red Dragon." The White Dragon Emperor chided, his tone mocking as Issei jumped at his words "At the rate she's going she'll collapse before the job is done unless you use your 'Gift' to amplify her power."
"I was going to do it without you having to tell me, asshole!" Issei shot back, glaring up at the smug-sounding prick, who neither acknowledged the insult not moved at all from his position, the pawn seething silently as he used his Boosted Gear's ability for the third time this night "Boosted Gear: GIFT!"
"TRANSFER!" Ddraig declared, Asia's cheeks lighting up as the Welsh Dragon's power was added to her own, Twilight Healing's light increasing to the point it lit up the night that had rushed in with the destruction of the barrier like a rising sun.
Slowly, almost reluctantly, the blades began to withdraw beneath the skin, which slowly stitched itself back together until only pure, unblemished flesh remained where several bloody sword-tips once punctured.
"His heart rate is stabilizing." Akeno sighed, opening her eyes to smile reassuringly at the others "It would appear that he's in the clear, for now, though just to be on the safe side, I think it would be best if we rebound the Holy Shroud."
"I'll do it." Xenovia offered, earning a look of surprise from the group "I'm used to caring for and handling the bodies of saints returned to the Vatican. Besides, I don't think you devils would be able to touch a Holy Shroud in the first place."
"Well that's certainly true." Rias admitted ruefully, the Gremory Heiress slumping backwards in relief along with Issei and Kiba, Akeno continuing to clasp the Faker's left hand in her own to help Xenovia re-wrap the Shroud while Asia stubbornly continued to use Twilight Healing, tears of relief staining her cheeks "Thank you for your assistance, White Dragon Emperor."
"I couldn't very well allow him to die after showing me something so interesting." The White Dragon countered, his tone amused "Well, that and the fact Azazel would probably be pissed. As it is, he's likely to chew me out for letting Kokabiel bite the dust. Traitor or not he was still a Fallen."
"Why would Azazel care for the life of an unaffiliated Magus?" Rias demanded the Devils and Xenovia tensing, the two swordsmen readying their swords while Issei placed himself between Asia and the white Dragon "Do you mean to tell me he'd seek revenge for Kokabiel's death?"
"Nothing of the sort." The white dragon scoffed "My orders were to bring him, Kokabiel and Freed Sellzen back alive, though in the case of the latter two I could decide whether they arrived unharmed." He shrugged "As for why, if I had to wager it's so he doesn't have to go back to living on takeout." He scoffed at their expressions "Honestly, the way he goes on about the guy's cooking, you'd think he was a doting parent instead of his caretaker."
"Wait, they LIVE together?" Issei yelped, Xenovia's eyes widening as she suddenly realized just what she'd been sensing from the Faker's domicile, her skin paling at how close she'd come to running into the Leader of the Grigori Faction "I thought Emiya didn't even know what the Fallen were!"
"He didn't, not till he bumped into you lot anyways." The White Dragon confirmed "It was actually kind of amusing, watching Azazel play human in order to help the guy adapt. He always did have a soft-spot for strays."
Rias blinked, surprised at the armoured man's almost whimsical tone, only to gasp as, without a moment's warning, he reached down and grabbed the Faker by his shirt, hoisting him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes despite Asia's cry of protest.
"Thanks for the help, we'll take it from here." He offered, taking to the sky, only to pause, turning towards the distant form of Freed Sellzen "Almost forgot about him, oh well, two out of three isn't so bad."
"Hey hold on-!" Issei called out, the perverted Pawn glaring at the white-armoured warrior as he casually ignored them all in favour of swooping down to pick up Freed's unconscious form "Dammit, listen to me-!"
"So are you just going to ignore me, White Dragon?" Ddraig's voice called out, startling the Devils, as this was the first time they'd heard him speak beyond crying out "BOOST!"
"So you were awake after all, Red Dragon." A different voice chimed from the white-armoured figure, the same voice that had called out "DIVIDE!" in order to cut the power coming from the arm in half, the blue gems on the armour lighting up in response.
"Ah, though to be honest, I didn't expect to run into you this soon." Ddraig admitted, sounding resigned yet determined to throw down "Seems you've been active a bit longer than I have."
"You always were a slow-starter." Albion noted offhandedly, as if commenting on the weather "Still, it's to be expected. The two of us are destined to fight no matter what the age. Chances like this shouldn't come as any surprise."
"As you say, White Dragon." Ddraig concurred bluntly, his tone carrying a subtle hint of mockery "However, why is that, despite knowing that, I can't feel any hostility from you at all?"
"Like you're one to talk." Albion scoffed, his host scooping up Freed by his collar like a stray cat "Your blood-lust is so weak I thought you were still asleep when I first saw you."
"As hard as it is to believe, it looks like we both found something that interests us more than combat." Ddraig admitted, his tone self-mocking even as Albion scoffed "In any case, until my partner catches up with yours, I'm fine putting our fight on hold."
"The same for me." Albion agreed, earning a sigh from the onlookers, as a fight between the Two Celestial Dragons was the LAST thing anyone wanted to have a front-row seat to "There are still plenty of things about this world I haven't experienced yet. I'll come for your head later. Fair enough, Ddraig?"
"Sounds like fun." Ddraig agreed with a hint of honest amusement, as if the two had agreed to a friendly match rather than a duel to the death "Just make sure you wash your neck till then, Albion. This kid won't lag behind for long."
"I should hope not." The White Dragon's Host scoffed, glancing at Issei over one armoured shoulder pauldron as he turned his back on the pawn "Grow stronger, my rival, otherwise our destined duel won't be much to look forward to."
And before anyone could do or say anything to stop him, the White Dragon Emperor vanished in a flash of light into the night sky, leaving behind more questions than answers even as the Lucifer's reinforcements arrived, the members of the Student Council leading the way.
Play: Now we are free...
Shirou opened his eyes.
That, in and of itself, was not something he'd ever expected to do again, for even if he somehow managed to retain the physical capability to do so, by all right he should have lost all sense of 'self', so it would be more akin to a blank slate or machine activating than a human being rousing.
Such was the fate that awaited him for abusing the power of the Archer's Arm, the Artificial Phantasm, while a powerful Trump Card, was still too deadly a poison to be taken sparingly, simply opening himself up to it for practice costing him precious seconds off the end of his life.
The first time he'd cast aside the shroud against Dark Berserker, his mind had 'shattered' in places and cracked in others. He'd lost all feeling on one side of his body, and it was only by allowing the arm to rampage out of control that he'd managed to bring the corrupted Servant down, and even then he'd needed Ilya to pull him back from the brink.
He didn't recall what he'd seen during that brief moment before Ilya literally dragged his mind back into his body, but he could hazard a guess it didn't involve a vast field of green.
There was no grass on the Hill of Swords, that impossible, beautiful world was never meant as anything other than a place where fire and wrought iron were forged to reproduce the pinnacle of steel. While fields certainly existed, they were fields of steel and iron-dust, the air so thick with iron ash it almost obscured the great gears that blocked out the sky.
The field before him was rich and verdant, each blade of grass blowing gently in the wind beneath a perfect blue sky, lit by a golden sun. It was paradise given form, a haven of peace and tranquility, far removed from the struggles and toils of the world he knew, it's beauty surpassing definition, and yet…
'I know this place.' he realized, gazing into the distance reverently, not even bothering to question how he could know such a scene, as it clearly wasn't anywhere he'd ever been to before 'this place is…'
He froze, his heart, which he was surprised to find was indeed still beating, catching in his chest at the sound of that voice. The same voice that, on a moonlit night, had vowed to stand beside him, to strike down his enemies and lay her life down for him. The same voice that had tried to discourage him from proceeding past her, her concern for his well-being remaining even after she was tainted by the filth of corrupted grail.
The same voice he had forever silenced, driving a dagger into her heart just as her own people had stabbed her in the back all those years ago.
She stood before him, clad in the same blue dress he remembered from that first night, her tiny figure, so soft and feminine, yet possessed of a greater strength than anyone could imagine, bereft of the armour with which she had adorned herself, her long golden hair, normally tied up in an intricate braid, swaying softly in the breeze.
"Saber…" he croaked, his eyes filling with tears he'd thought he'd long since shed as they gazed into her emerald ones, his heart soaring as she smiled at him, both welcoming and yet strangely sad "Saber-!"
He rushed forward to embrace her, to hold her in his arms, but she held out a hand to stop him, her fingers, so delicate despite the strength he knew they possessed, resting softly yet immovable against his chest.
"I am sorry, Shirou." She offered, her tone soft, caring, her eyes shimmering, almost as if it hurt her to refuse him after so long "You do not belong here…it is not your time yet."
"Saber…?" Shirou stammered, blinking at the Proud King of Knights in confusion, only to blink, his eyes widening as he felt something dragging him away from her despite not moving a muscle "Wait! I don't understand!"
"Honestly," another voice sighed, Shirou's eyes widening as he found himself the victim of a familiar glare, those aquamarine eyes, framed by long black hair done up in pigtails, torn between exasperation and fondness as she too reached out to push him back "For a guy whose Element is 'Sword', you really aren't all that sharp, Emiya-kun."
"He can't help it, Nee-san." A third voice giggled, Shirou's heart stopping as a familiar doting smile once again graced the features of his childhood friend as she too placed a hand over his heart "It's part of his charm after all."
"Rin…Sakura…" he croaked, gazing at the Master of Archer who had taken him under her wing and her estranged younger sister who had silently supported him for years despite her own situation.
The last time he'd seen them, a broken and tainted Sakura had been clutching the remains of Rin's ravaged body to her chest, the elder sister having given her life to try and save her younger sibling from the darkness Zouken Matou had forced upon her soul. In the end, Shirou had been forced to carry out his promise to the Tohsaka heiress and put his childhood friend out of her misery, leaving them clutching one another as he went on to destroy the Greater Grail.
There was no trace of the Grail's taint in Sakura's smile now, only a strange sadness and resolve as she joined her sister and Saber in keeping him from advancing towards them. "It's not your time yet, Sempai." She explained softly, though her eyes showed she wanted to embrace him "Don't worry, we'll wait for you."
"Don't take that as an excuse to go rushing headfirst into danger though." Rin cut in, her tone sharp, brooking no argument as she glared at the redhead "If you die doing something stupid, I'll kill you myself."
"Live, Shirou." Saber urged, her smile loving as she gently pushed him back "Illyasviel would not have wanted you to throw your life away."
The mention of his sister, of Kiritsugu's biological daughter, struck the Faker's brain like a bolt of lightning, his eyes snapping wide as he lunged forwards, only to blink as, rather than the gold-drenched field, he found himself resting in the four-poster bed in his room at Azazel's mansion.
"Ah! You're awake?" a voice gasped, the Faker turning to find himself gazing into the shocked blue eyes of a young girl, a middle-schooler unless he missed his guess, dressed in an unfamiliar school uniform under an elaborate cloak with fur collar, a stereotypical blue witch hat atop her head.
"Who…?' Shirou wondered, gaping at her in shock, not from the hat and cloak, as from what little he knew most magi tended to be old fashioned about such things and at least she managed to pull the look off, even if it did make her look like something out of Harry Potter.
No, what surprised the Faker was the fact that, aside from her age, apparel and the colour of her eyes, the features of the girl bore a startling resemblance to those of Saber.
"He's awake, Vali!" the girl called out over her shoulder, drawing Shirou's attention to the silver-haired figure leaning against the wall, clad in a high-collared black leather jacket over a dark green V-neck and burgundy jeans with black chaps "I'll be going now, okay?"
"Give Arthur my regards." The teen, Vali, offered, pushing away from the wall as the girl turned on her heel, offering Shirou a cheerful smile before summoning a magic circle and vanishing in a flash of light "So you're Emiya Shirou…" he noted, the redhead shivering as those icy blue eyes roamed over his form with an evaluating air "I have to admit, when I first laid eyes on you, I couldn't see why Azazel was so interested in you." He smirked conspiratorially "Though after seeing what you did to Kokabiel…yeah I can see why he'd put you up for as long as he has."
"Your name is Vali, right?" Shirou noted, his expression guarded as he regarded the advancing silver haired teen warily "And from the fact you know Azazel and Kokabiel, you're probably a member of the Grigori."
"Something like that." Vali admitted, hands in his pockets as he leaned against the bedpost with a scoff "Azazel picked me up a few years ago, not unlike how he did with you actually. You could say the old man has a soft-spot for strays, provided they catch his interest."
"It certainly explains how a High-Class Devil would be on good terms with the leader of the Grigori." Shirou noted, Vali quirking a brow at his statement "I can tell from your power, it's not all that different from a classmate of mine…though you're definitely stronger than him."
Now there was an understatement if there ever was one, as comparing Vali to the likes of Issei was like comparing the Sun to a Matchstick. Not even Rias or Akeno came close to matching the Demonic-Power he could feel coming off the teen, though Rias' still felt the more terrifying of the two.
"You mean the Red Dragon Emperor?" Vali deduced, only to scoff at the Faker's look of confusion "I mean Hyoudou Issei." He elaborated "He and I are destined to fight someday, but don't worry, I don't like picking on the weak." He glanced at the Faker, eyes glinting with intrigue "After all, why not let the fruit ripen on the vine while more interesting opponents are available."
Shirou grimaced, preparing to summon a rain of steel to drive the figure off, only for him to scoff at the Magus' expression. "I told you to relax." He chided, waving a hand dismissively "I didn't drag your ass back to life just because you look like you can handle yourself." He shrugged offhandedly "Besides, Azazel will be up any minute from interrogating Freed." He looked up as the door opened, admitting a haggard looking Azazel, clad, as usual in his kimono "Speak of the devil, he spill anything?"
"Nothing cohesive that I'd repeat in polite company." Azazel admitted with a sigh, scratching the back of his head "Kid was ranting about that Knight from Gremory any chance he could get." He smiled wanly at Shirou, who schooled his features to remain still "Good to see you're awake, Shirou."
"Sorry if I worried you." The Faker supplied, Vali stepping back to let them chat things out in relative privacy "I'd offer my condolences for Kokabiel, but I won't apologize for putting him down."
"Your condolences are welcome, but your apology is unneeded." Azazel assured him with a smile that bordered on saddened "I'm guessing you have your fair share of questions..."
"Not really." Shirou dismissed, earning a quirked brow from Vali and a look of surprise from the Governor-General "I knew you weren't human when we first met, but since you didn't pry into my background, I figured it only fair not to dig into yours." He shrugged "Besides, I already got the basic rundown on things from Sitri-san the other day, so it's not like you'd be telling me anything new."
"Spoil my fun, why don't you." Azazel muttered, his rugged features entirely unsuited for the childish pout he sported as twelve black wings emerged from his back, the faker unable to hide his awe at the sight of them, as unlike Kokabiel's, which reminded him of a crow's, each of Azazel's feathers were like an endless abyss. "So what now?" the Governor General asked, snapping the Faker out of his reverie "Now that you know the truth, what do you intend to do?"
"How long was I out for?" Shirou demanded, flinching as Azazel gestured to a calendar on the wall, a gravure one naturally, which showed he'd been out for most of the week "Kaichou is going to kill me…"
"You mean you intend to go to back to school?" Vali demanded, sounding stunned, though also intrigued, as he gaped at the redhead "Back to pretending to be something you're not?"
"I can't very well play hooky after Azazel went to all the trouble of enrolling me." Shirou countered, gazing down at his left hand thoughtfully "Besides…I can't be relying on others forever. Sooner or later I'm going to have to stand on my own two feet, and to do that, I need to at least graduate from High-School."
"You're on your own for University though." Azazel warned him coyly, his eyes twinkling in the dim light of the room "Don't give me that look! It's to help you grow more independent."
"That, and your school fees and registration apparently cut into the budget Shemhazai set up to pay for the junk he orders online." Vali smirked, Azazel pouting ineffectually at the teen's ribbing.
"Oh yes, there's someone else that's been waiting to see you." Azazel suddenly recalled, snapping his fingers before turning to the door with his usual lazy smile "You can come in now."
"Excuse me…" a familiar voice murmured, Shirou's eyes widening in alarm as Xenovia Quarta, Exorcist of the Church and Holy Sword Wielder, stepped into the room carrying a tea tray. However, rather than her presence in Azazel's home, what alarmed Shirou was the girl's attire, namely a French Maid outfit that somehow accentuated her figure more than her battle suit had.
"Oh, you're awake, Emiya-sama." The exorcist noted, snapping the redhead out of his shock to see her smiling at him in relief "Thank goodness, we were beginning to think you'd never wake up."
"X-Xenovia-san…" the understandably flummoxed magus stammered, his features heating up as he tried his level best to keep his eyes locked on her face "What…what are you doing here?"
"The little lady came knocking on our door a few days ago." Azazel revealed, accepting a cup of tea from the proffered tray with a smile "Seems she recently severed all ties with the Catholic Church due to…extenuating circumstances." He waved a hand at Shirou's look of alarm "She only really intended to check up on you before moving on, but I couldn't just turn my back on one of Shirou's cute little friends so since she didn't have anywhere else to go I hired her as a live-in maid to brighten up our little bachelor's paradise."
"You can't be serious…" Shirou choked, glancing over at Vali for confirmation, only for the silver-haired devil to roll his eyes, clearly used to such antics "But…what about your mission?"
"There's no need to worry, Emiya-sama." Xenovia assured him, her tone confident "The cores from the destroyed swords are being returned to the Church branches by Irina." She flinched slightly at the mention of her partner "It may take some time, but I'm certain they'll be able to re-forge them into Holy Swords once more."
"Well, I guess that's a relief…" Shirou conceded, honestly relieved that, at the very least, the swords weren't lost forever. While what the Church had done to create them might be heinous, the swords themselves had been forged with the express intent of protecting humanity, and provided they were allowed to choose their own wielders, Shirou was certain that no harm would come from Caliburn's descendants "But what about you, Xenovia-san? Are you sure leaving the church is what you want?"
"Yes." Xenovia confirmed, no trace of hesitancy in her voice, though Shirou could tell from her eyes that the decision had cost her "Ever since I was a child, no, from the moment I was born I was raised to dedicate my life to God. To me, there was no greater reward than to serve under him, and that no honour could match that of giving my life for his cause. I cast aside all traces of humanity and gender, in order to become a more efficient instrument of his divine will."
She grimaced, hugging her elbows to her sides "Can you imagine, therefore, how it felt to learn that the God I'd so adored, the God I'd sacrificed every other mundane happiness to serve, was not only dead, but had died centuries before, his place filled by the Archangel Michael, who ruthlessly branded those who learned the truth as heretics, regardless of their devotion prior?"
Shirou winced, knowing all too well what it was like to have your worldview shattered.
Never would he have imagined that the kind, gentle Kiritsugu could be a ruthless assassin feared by all. Never could he have imagined the horrors that Sakura had been forced to endure. Never would he be able to forget the sight of Ilya's small form collapsing under a hail of beautiful golden death, his sibling struck down by the King of Heroes despite everything they'd sacrificed.
"But then I heard your words." Xenovia continued, taking the startled Faker's hand in both her own "I watched as you not only faced down the Fallen Star of God, but even denounced the need for Gods or Devils to exist."
Azazel and Vali perked up at this, the former's eyes eyes filled with intrigue and the latter's with approval.
"You proved that humans were capable of existing without relying on Gods, you even went on to show it was possible to surpass them." Xenovia continued, her tone bordering on reverent "At that moment, I realised that all along I'd simply been clinging to my faith like a child with a blanket, when all along I should have been facing the world with my head held high. In the end, when the mandate from Lord Michael came exiling me from the Church, I took it more as a blessing than a punishment. When Governor Azazel offered me a place to stay, I figured I had nothing left to lose."
"The Grigori have always been willing to take in anyone the other factions chased off." Azazel admitted, glancing at Vali briefly as he sipped his sake "Still, I can only imagine how those old men in the Vatican are panicking now that they've lost Durandal."
"Wait, you took Durandal with you?" Shirou stammered, staring at the former Exorcist in disbelief, his eyes widening as the hilt of the Peerless Sword appeared in a flash of Gold beside her outstretched palm "Isn't that, like, stealing?"
"How can it be stealing when Durandal itself chose me to wield it?" Xenovia countered with a scoff, returning the blade with a wave of her hand. "Besides, it would only wind up collecting dust if I returned it to them, much like I expect Destruction will once Irina returns it to the Vatican. But enough about me, Emiya-sama, let's see about getting you cleaned up."
"Eh?" Shirou stammered, wondering if he'd heard her right, only to flush as the former Exorcist leaned in, apparently heedless of what this did to her already low neckline, and promptly began unbuttoning his clothes "O-oi! Wait a minute!"
"Don't struggle so much, Emiya-sama." She chastised, ignoring his futile attempts to break free with her impressive strength "You haven't got anything I haven't seen before. Indeed, I've seen it enough over the past week between changing and bathing you."
"BATHING?!" Shirou yelped, his face flushing as red as his hair as he struggled to keep her hands from his pants, glancing up at the others for help just in time to see them sneaking out of the room, Azazel with a shit-eating grin on his face while Vali merely smirked at him, the Devil hanging a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the door handle before shutting it behind them "NOOOOOO-!"
"Something the matter, Issei-kun?" Kiba asked, the Gremory Knight looking up at the pawn in concern as he was booed off stage by his two human friends for singing the theme song to his favourite anime "You seemed a little distracted at the end there."
"Ah…it's nothing, Kiba." Issei assured him, his expression a mixture of confusion and jealousy "It's just…I don't know why, but for a split second there I felt like punching Emiya in the face…"
Kiba grimaced, understanding just how the Pawn felt, as everyone from the Occult Research Club and Student Council had been affected by the near-death and apparent kidnapping of the Brownie of Kuoh. Some of the more excitable members of Sona's peerage had even considered launching a rescue attempt until the Sitri heiress put her foot down.
They had barely managed to survive against Kokabiel, who even acting on his own had managed to almost kill Rias and her peerage, to say nothing of the damage done to the school grounds. There was no way in hell they were going to mount an assault on the headquarters of the Governor General of the Grigori, who was apparently allied with the White Emperor Dragon, even if they knew where to find it.
Not even Sirzechs-sama, the Lucifer himself, could authorize such a strike for fear of kick-starting a new war between the Three Factions, which would have defeated the purpose of beating Kokabiel altogether. Especially not for an unaffiliated Magus, classmate or not.
"That idiot…" Issei muttered, the perverted pawn sipping on his drink with an irritated scowl "Smiling like that while he's dying… I always knew there was something weird about him."
"I suspect it has something to do with survivor's guilt." Kiba opined knowingly "I only came to terms with it myself the other day, so I think I can understand why he smiled like he did."
For years, Kiba had wondered if he deserved to have survived when so many had died. Once his friends had confirmed it, he'd felt such joy he honestly wouldn't have minded dying right then and there, were it not for the matter at hand.
The smile on Emiya's face had been one of gratitude. Not for being saved, but for allowing him to save them, to atone for his sin of being the only one to survive.
"Issei-kun." Kiba spoke up, his tone serious as he glanced at the Pawn, who paused in his muttering to regard the solemn Knight "I just wanted to say Thank You. For everything I mean."
"Psch, the hell you getting all sentimental for?" Issei scoffed, smirking at the Knight "But if you really wanna thank me, then let's sing the next song together." He smirked at the Knight "I gotta warn you though; I can sing the Dragon Ball intro non-stop for 24 hours!"
Kiba chuckled weakly, the two of them rising once their turn was called, spending the rest of the evening singing away, heedless of the rumours that would soon spread through the halls of Kuoh Academy of the Prince of Kuoh's 'Steamy Forbidden Relationship' with the self-proclaimed Harem King of the Perverted Trio.
Needless to say, one way or another, all three members of said trio found themselves beaten senseless the next day…though for some reason Kiba seemed more popular than ever.
And with that, the Fake x Calibur Arc comes to a close.
Were any of you expecting this? Anyone Expecting worse? Better? Feel free to let me know in a review below.
From here we'll be moving onto the Peace Talks and the 'Training in the underworld' arcs, which Shirou may or may not take part in. For the record, he won't be taking part in any Rating Games because he won't be becoming a devil. That being said he can still get into fights since trouble follows the ORC like Invaders seeking scrubs for dinner.
Don't expect an update for a while now, this was just to satisfy your itch for the time being and close out the arc.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go cut down a Giant, you ready Siegward?
Siegward: MAY THE SUN SHINE!
*Jumps on Siegward's shoulders while Dual-Wielding Stormrulers as we storm into Yhorm's Throne-Room backed by Guren no yumiya*