AN: I own nothing! Anything else is to be stated at the end of the chapter. I'm also not good at fight scenes, so I apologize in advance for that. I leave such things to your imaginations.
Also, please review :D
Standing within a cavern was a young man wearing a white suit of armor. He had blonde hair and green eyes. In his right hand was a broadsword of ornate design. That, along with his appearance, suggested that the young man was a Knight.
Clenching his hand tightly upon the grip of his sword, he spoke.
"What is this...!?"
Despite his wish, this was not something he wished to condone. Every moral fiber in his body telling him that the sight before him was just wrong.
Inside the cave, numerous corpses, skeletons to be exact, were laid out on the ground. They covered nearly everything in his sight. In its center laid the object which he had been seeking throughout the madness that was the War he had been summoned in.
The Holy Grail...
Despite its name, it was anything but holy. It had a vile sinister aura surrounding it. Just being near was enough to cause him step back in revile. How the magi who created that could ever call it holy... he just couldn't find the right words to express his thoughts.
And during all this, he also saw numerous children lined up and slowly making their way towards the Grail. One by one, they fell into the abyss where the Grail itself was situated, and the artifact itself would glow once every time a child fell.
However, one of those children wasn't standing in line. She blonde hair and blue eyes, and she wore a light blue dress while going barefoot.
"Ah, Saber! Just wait alright~? I'll be with you in a minute."
In fact, she had a happy smile on her face as she watched them fall, telling them just before they did that they were being good children for following her commands.
That child was none other than his Master, whose life he had sworn to always protect.
Yet, after seeing this... and having been told of what the grail's true purpose was.
He knew what he needed to do... and with that-
Drops of blood began to flow where the blade stabbed her. She looked behind her and saw the blonde knight, the Servant who in her eyes was her ideal prince.
"I too have committed a grave error. Both you and the grail... truly you both are twisted existences that need to be erased!"
He retracted his sword from her and then kicked her into the abyss. As she fell, Saber saw that she had a somewhat serene smile on her face.
The white knight had no words to say about such a sight. Thus, he remained silent as his master fell to her death.
Afterwards, he knocked unconscious every child that were all still making their way towards the grail under his former Master's spell. He would have to bring them back up to the surface soon before he disappeared from this world. He sighed to himself that perhaps fighting for the Holy Grail was complete foolishness from the beginning.
He then raised his sword, the blade glowing with golden light.
"So the Grail was corrupt from the beginning...? Perhaps it should be made anew then...?"
Saber quickly turned his around and raised his guard, widening his eyes in shock as he recognized the person in front of him.
"You're still alive...!?" How had he not sensed him coming!? Saber believed it was due to his being distracted with what had happened just now.
"My apologies Saber..." The figure in front of him spoke. It was a man, but thanks to where he was standing and due to the darkness of the cave, one couldn't tell what he looked like. Saber however immediately recognized him regardless of the fact.
"However, I cannot allow you to destroy the Grail. Not when there's a chance of it being purified of its corruption." He stated. "As such, I kindly ask that you step aside. Judging from the way you're holding your that holy sword of yours, I doubt you have any plans of using it for your own purposes."
"As if a vile construct such as this could ever be purified!" Saber retorted. "If you wish to continue on with your plans, then prepare yourself!"
"Very well then...!"
With that, the two clashed. A brilliant flash of light emanating from the White Knight's sword.
Summoning of the King
"It seems it has begun once more, hasn't it?"
Inside a Victorian-era styled room were two people. One was a young woman sitting at a desk with her hands in a finger tent. She had a dark brown hair and eyes. She wore a light colored coat with dark red pants and brown boots. Underneath her coat was a white buttoned shirt with a large red bow tied around her neck. She could be considered quite attractive, but the cold look in her eyes dismissed such thoughts.
The other was a man who looked to be in his late twenty's to early thirty's. He had long hair that reached past his shoulders, and wore a red coat over the black suit he was wearing. Over the coat, he wore a yellow scarf. He had a stern look in his eyes.
The man was none other than Waver Velvet, otherwise known as Lord El-Melloi II. The woman sitting at the desk with the Vice-Director of the Mage's Association. Her name was Lorelei Barthomeloi, though she preferred to be called by her last name. She was known as the "Queen of the Clock Tower."
"Indeed, but to think that the Greater Grail would reappear once more..." The long-haired man responded to the woman's words. "Wasn't it destroyed during the last original grail war sixty years ago?"
"It was, by the very same Servant who won the war to be exact. The Einzberns themselves confirmed it." Lorelei replied. "However, information from sixty years ago and from a family that is already dead isn't exactly reliable. There could be a chance that while it was destroyed, pieces of it remained."
"And then someone picked up those pieces. Because of that, we have over a dozen grail wars happening across the world every few years right?"
Over the next half-century, someone created a replica of the Greater Grail's design and framework, and then spread the information of the process towards various magi throughout the world.
However, there was two majors flaws in their design that was shared by all the Fake Grails.
The first would be the number of Servants being summoned. Normally, seven would appear to do battle. However, the Fake Grail Wars would sometimes only feature only five Servants at best despite the leylines of some locations being suitable to hold the ritual. The second problem would have been that the Fake Grails were unstable. Most would suddenly break down upon themselves during the war, causing an end to the fighting and leaving the Masters who fought with nothing.
Thus, not one grail war has ever spawned a true winner. Though this hadn't stopped Magi from trying over and over again.
And now it was starting up once more...
"Still... for it to appear in Trifas of all places..." Waver began thinking aloud. "Perhaps the Yggdmillennia clan were the ones responsible for the replica grail wars? It would also explain why, despite there being already seven servants, more can still be summoned. The Leylines in Trifas would be sufficient enough for it to be a possible feat."
Yggdmillennia, a clan known for placing priority on quantity over quality. Over sixty years ago, the clan head, Darnic Prestone, participated during the last grail war. After that and a few decades later, the clan withdrew from the Mage's Association due to differing ideals in the pursuit of Akasha. There was a high probability that Darnic was the one who was responsible for creating the replica grail blueprints and spreading them throughout the world.
Though the question would be why? Why would he go through the trouble of letting others know of the process behind the ritual and create their own variations of the Holy Grail War?
"Waver Velvet." The young woman began. "Or should I be referring to you as Lord El-Melloi II? Either way, you have experienced participating in one of the attempts to replicate the Heaven's Feel Ritual and actually survived it despite your inexperience at the time. What do you make of the situation?"
"May I speak freely Lady Barthomeloi?" He began.
Waver momentarily took a deep breath before speaking.
"To be quite honest? I say we're in a situation that demands immediate attention. Especially so since its the Yggdmillennia clan we're dealing with. As you know, they wish no restrictions on their research and have been against the authority of the association for many years. If we do not deal with this now and allow the problem to flourish, then we will come to regret it. Especially with Servants on their side."
"You sound quite frightened. Are these Servants so terrifying that one of your station would be afraid of them?"
"I've already seen what they're capable of first hand, and my general opinion of them is that they are not to be underestimated. My own Servant had the ability to summon his entire army as his Noble Phantasm. It would take a miracle for a magus to keep up with them."
The young woman known by the name Barthomeloi merely narrowed her eyes at that. Surely it was an exaggeration?
"I ask this of you. Allow me to take a group of Magi in order to take care of this problem."
She raised an eye at the sudden request.
"Oh? Are you wishing to reclaim a chance at getting the Grail then?" She said, eyeing the man's left hand which showed the Command Spell on it.
"No, I do not. I would just rather have this problem taken care of sooner rather than later. And leaving the Grail in the territory of the Yggdmillennia Clan would most certainly spell trouble for us." Waver spoke. "I also know people in this building who've had the Command Spells appear on their bodies but have yet to summon their servants. With their help, I can-"
"You're suggesting I send out a team of Masters then? What happened to the task force that we sent to investigate this event? Could they not handle this themselves?"
"Can't. They're all dead." Waver replied as Barthomeloi widened her eyes. "Though one of them manage to keep it together long enough to come back here before dying just last night."
"I see. Did he say something of importance?"
"A Servant had massacred them. Whatever's going on, if a Servant intentionally massacred a group from the Association, then it isn't anything good." He replied with a grim look on his face.
"A single servant massacred fifty of our elite magi?"
"Like I said, Servants are not to be underestimated." The long-haired man once more stated. "And given that the territory belongs to the Yggdmillennia clan, they're the most obvious suspects."
"I see." Lady Barthomeloi closed her eyes as she went deep into thought. A few moments passed before she looked up again and back towards Waver.
"You will have your request granted. The Grail is indeed noteworthy enough of our attention, and I will not take a massacre of fifty of our own people lightly. The ones who are responsible for the crime must pay in blood." She stated. "However, as you will be the head of this operation, you will be held responsible for anything that happens during it. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes Lady Barthomeloi." Waver nodded his head in acknowledgement of her words.
"Good. Then go gather your task-force and leave as soon as you are able."
Wave once again nodded and left the room. He had quite a lot of work that needed to be done.
"What's the matter Caules?"
Sitting inside a room together were two young teens. One of them was a boy. He had brown hair and blue eyes, and wore square framed glasses too. He also wore a white jacket with black pants and shoes. The other was a girl who had long wavy hair the same shade of color as the boy's as well as his eyes. She also wore similar clothing to the boy. She had a cute appearance overall.
Unlike him however, she was sitting in a wheelchair, indicating something was wrong with her.
"H-Huh?" The boy spoke up when he heard the girl call out to him. "Ah, sorry sis. I guess my mind likes to wander a bit these days."
The two were none other than Caules and Fiore, children of the Forvedge family of the Yggdmillennia clan. Fiore was the elder child among the two, and thus, Caules was merely treated as something of a spare to his elder sister and being taught mostly the basics of magecraft.
Despite this, he came to enjoy magecraft itself although he never showed interest in it in the beginning. And in spite of the preferential treatment his sister got over him, and the constant comparisons between him and her that caused him some levels of irritation, he didn't really hate her for it. He thought it was only natural considering she showed far more talent than him as a Magus.
That and his sister was overall a gentle person, making it hard to hate her at all.
"Are you thinking about the Holy Grail War?" Fiore asked.
"Kinda. It just feels a little like a dream that out of all the people in our clan, I'm chosen to participate too." Caules replied as he stared at his left hand where his Command Spells were located. "I've never really been the ambitious type, you know that. And I don't really have any wish I want granted either... so I was just wondering why?"
"Isn't it already too late for that sort of thinking?" His sister smiled at him. "After all, we have already summoned our Servants, so there's no backing out now."
"Hah... I guess you're right." Caules stated as he looked at his sister. "And I can probably guess what your wish is going to be."
He turned his gaze towards her legs. Despite her talent, she was born with the inability to use her legs due to a deficiency in her Magic Circuits. It could easily be healed with the right methods, but doing so would mean sacrificing her life as Magus, a choice Fiore didn't wish to make despite desiring to be able to walk on her own two legs. Thus, the girl chose to remain a cripple.
"When compared to Archer's wish... mine is so selfish don't you think?" Fiore muttered with a sad smile.
"People are selfish all the time aren't they? And Magi are supposed to be the most selfish of the lot." Caules casually stated. "Well, even if I don't have a wish. I might as well help you achieve yours."
"Oh? You'd really do that?"
"Of course. Siblings have to look out for each other don't they?"
"You know Caules?" Fiore smiled warmly at her younger brother. "Despite being somewhat rough, you're quite gentle."
Caules merely blushed a little in embarrassment at his sister's words and turned his head away from her, causing the other brunette to giggle.
Both sat up straight as they heard the voice of their grandfather.
He stood at the entrance of the room. Despite his age, he looked quite the opposite. He looked to be in his late twenty's to thirty's. He had long blue hair and eyes, and he wore an outfit just like Caules, though his had a more grander appearance to it thanks to the white cape he wore. He also had a cane in hand.
His name was Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia, the Head of the Clan.
"What is it Grandfather?"
"Come with me. There are things we must discuss."
With that, Fiore did as she was told as she controlled her wheelchair with magic and followed her grandfather out of the room, leaving Caules by himself.
'So what should I be doing now...?' He thought. 'I might as well go and check on Berserker. I think she was in the garden the last time I saw her...?'
Both Darnic and Fiore made their way down the hallways of the Yggdmillennia Castle, going deeper and deeper down the building as they went.
"How is your brother?" The elder man began, surprising Fiore with the suddenness of the subject. Though she quickly replied all the same.
"He is well. Though he does wonder why he was chosen as a master. He said it himself that he doesn't really have any wish he wants granted. And I believe him."
"You are both fortunate." Darnic stated. "Had it been a Grail War of the usual setup, the two of you would have been forced to fight each other to the death."
The two came to a stop at a door. Darnic opened it and went in, with his granddaughter following soon after.
It was a room filled with numerous pillars with water filled parts of the floor as well. There, in the middle of the room, was a large circular object floating just above the ground. On it was something akin to a star shaped scar, and within said scar were the figures of what looked liked many human women.
At first glance, Fiore could guess what it was.
"Indeed, that is the Greater Grail." Darnic replied. "Or to be exact, it's a replica of the original. But unlike other replicas, this one is the closest to the original in every aspect and even greater."
"So the reason why the grail war is taking place in Trifas is because of this...?" Fiore stated as she gazed in wonder at the Greater Grail. "I half-suspected as much, but how were you able to make such a close replica?"
"Having fought during the first actual grail war, I caught a glimpse of it during the final stages. Unfortunately, the original was lost during the conflict but pieces of it remained enough for me to be able to understand it."
"Then the other grail wars..."
"Experiments of mine. One does not simply replicate an artifact of the Holy Grail's scale with ease." Darnic replied. "Though most of them were failures, I was able to gather enough data that I was able to create this. However, there are still a few flaws in it. And I think you can already guess what one of them is."
"The summoning of so many servants? I heard from Gordes that the Association is planning on summoning seven of their own servants, and that by teaming them up, they plan on taking this grail for themselves."
"Correct, though I'm not too bothered by it." Darnic began smiling. "In fact, I welcome it. The more Servants the Grail absorbs, the more powerful it will become. There is one more problem that would have to be addressed... one I did not account for due to my desire to perfectly replicate the Original Grail."
"And what is that?"
"The Ruler-Class Servant."
Walking about on school grounds heading towards the front gate entrance carrying a large bag was a young woman with long blonde hair and amethyst eyes. Her clothes consisted of a white sleeveless buttoned shirt and a purple tie underneath a dark purple jacket issued by the school. She wore short shorts of a matching color as well as thigh-high socks and black leather shoes.
She turned around as soon as she heard someone calling her name, to which she saw another pair of students approaching her. Laeticia regarded them both with a smile.
"Silvia, Sirius, good morning to you both." She nodded as they came close. The two both had matching blonde hair and blue eyes, as well as looking somewhat similar to the other, a clear indication that they were both siblings.
"Don't you good morning us!" Silvia exclaimed. "What's this we're hearing about you suddenly going to England all of a sudden!?"
"Indeed. It's not like you to plan something like this so suddenly." Sirius added. "Did something come up?"
"Something of the sort. There are a few things I need to take care of there. And afterwards, I'll be heading to Romania next." Laeticia replied.
"Wait..! First England and then Romania...?" The other blonde girl cried out in surprise. "How long are you supposed to be gone?"
"Within two weeks if everything goes well, but I'm not really sure."
"And the Professors are letting you go just like that?" The blonde male inquired.
"Yes." Laeticia nodded in reply. "They were very kind as to allow me to. So long as I do the assigned homework they gave me, then I'm allowed to be as gone as I like."
"Seriously? That feels a little like an extended vacation. I'm feeling a little jealous~" Silvia pouted as she crossed her arms.
"Ahaha, trust me. My trip is no vacation." Laeticia laughed slightly. "If you the two of you don't mind, then I must be leaving. The sooner I make my journey, the sooner I can be back after all."
With that, the blonde with amethyst eyes left, leaving the two siblings by themselves.
"Hmm? What is it Brother?"
The blonde girl looked towards her elder sibling, who currently looked like he was thinking of something rather deeply.
"Just now... didn't Laeticia seem a little off to you?"
"Hmm? What do you mean by that?" His sister asked, a curious look on her face. "Laeticia is the same as always isn't she?"
"Perhaps you're right." The elder male shrugged. "Come, we should get to classes soon."
"Ah, wait up!"
It was strange.
One day, for some reason, she found herself standing in the middle of a bedroom staring at herself in the mirror. Outside the bedroom window was a city. But unlike the cities that she knew, the buildings she saw were of a different shape, and some of them even reached far into the sky. The people down below she saw from her room were so many that they nearly filled the streets in its entirety.
"I am... a Ruler-Class Servant."
She spoke those words to herself as she realized her situation.
The Holy Grail War.
A conflict created by Magi in order to attain the legendary artifact known as the Holy Grail which had the ability to grant wishes. However, in order for it to appear in the first place, the Magi created a system that allowed them to summon the spirits of legendary heroes long dead back into the realm of the living in temporary containers. The heroic spirits that were contained in this temporary containers were called Servants, and the ones who held authority over them were known simply as Masters.
There were seven classes that a Servant can be categorized into. They were the following...
Saber, Servant of the Sword...
Archer, Servant of the Bow...
Lancer, Servant of the Spear...
Rider, Servant of the Mount...
Caster, Servant of Magic...
Assassin, Servant of the Shadows...
Berserker, Servant of Madness...
The Holy Grail itself can only be utilized by a Master, but at the same time it could only be held by a Servant. And thus, along with the knowledge that the grail itself can only grant the wish of single pair and would only appear when six servants have been vanquished, the Holy Grail War became a reality with seven servants and masters battling each other until only one of each remained.
However, there was also a unique class among the seven that were summoned. This class was known as the Ruler class, whose role was to ensure that the Holy Grail War was fought justly. Unlike the earlier seven, the requirements in order to be summoned as a Ruler would be that the Heroic Spirit in question doesn't have a wish they want granted in the first place, and must act as a neutral party during the conflict.
They were also granted special Command Spells that had authority over servants and can make them obey her will if the need arise, one of the reasons why the class was called Ruler to begin with. And they can only be summoned during special circumstances in which there was a chance of the Grail War growing out of control.
This much, she knew from the knowledge that the grail itself provided for her. Thus, she knew that there was something going on that caused her to be summoned in the first place. However, there was only one thing that concerning her at the moment.
"Why is it... that I have possessed a body?"
She asked herself that question time and again. As a Servant, she should have had the ability to go into spirit form, but for some reason, she couldn't. Not only that, but because she possessed a human body, she had the needs of one as well. Eating and sleeping... these were factors she would need to attend to unless her body functions start to fail on her. Despite this, she still retained all her capabilities as a servant.
The name of the girl whose body she was currently possessing was Laeticia, a student studying in France. She bore a resemblance to her, in both physical and spiritual aspects, as well as having a strong belief in God and his teachings. This was the reason why Ruler was able to possess the girl as easily as she did, though it was more akin to her asking and the girl agreeing, with Laeticia's body changing slightly in order to properly accommodate her soul.
However, when she did, she became the dominant host with Laeticia taking a back seat deep within reaches of her mind. Her essence becoming something akin to a conscience that people would speak about that's telling them what's right and wrong most of the time.
Information from the Grail informed her that despite possessing the body, any harm done to it would heal just as easily if she had a spiritual body. And should Ruler perish during the Grail War, Laeticia's body would be revived upon her death and if need be, transported back to her home in France for safety issues.
That alone caused Ruler to sigh somewhat in relief since it basically told her not to worry about the girl.
The grail also informed her in a way that she was to summon a servant of her own, telling her it was necessary, even providing her with knowledge on how to do so. She would only need to draw a summoning circle and the grail would do the rest for her. After that, she would only need to say a few words of her choice in order to beckon forth the Servant coming from the Throne of Heroes.
Ruler couldn't but wonder why she needed to do so. When she used her abilities, she sensed that there was indeed something wrong. Normally, only seven servants would be summoned. But for some reason, she could sense more than the expected number.
At the very least, she could sense at least fourteen Servants.
It was a great abnormality. Just one Servant alone could perhaps take on an army by themselves. But fourteen of them?
Perhaps this was why she had been summoned. However, this was not the only abnormality she detected. Though she could feel the presence of the fourteen Servants through their connection to the grail, there was also something lack in that connection.
Taking a moment to look herself in the mirror once more, she turned around while undoing the blouse that her host had been wearing up until that point, in order to gaze at her back. Revealing a set of red tattoos formed in the shape of four wings.
These were none other than the Command Spells that gave her authority over the Fourteen Servants in the war. The problem was however that despite their presence, she could not feel their connection to the fourteen heroes that were summoned already. Knowing this, perhaps this was why the grail wanted her to summon a Servant of her own. Right now, she was incredibly vulnerable.
"Fourteen Servants... and my authority lost."
After she had summoned her Servant, her first order of business would be to discover why her authority was lost. To that end, she needed to find the grail. She knew that it wouldn't be an easy task, there were too many things that remained unknown to her.
However, on her name as Jeanne d'Arc, she would not fail.
"So... this is the land of the Englishmen?"
Those were the words she first spoke when she arrived in Somerset, England.
Unlike France, England had a different feel to it. Perhaps it was merely due to the fact that it was another country altogether. On the other hand, perhaps it was also due to the fact that she was now in the land of the people whose ancestors burned her at the stake. It was a very strange feeling.
It wasn't as though she held a grudge against those who executed her. Far from it in fact. She merely thought of their actions as the result of them following their own beliefs. And at the very least, she could respect those beliefs even if it resulted in her own end.
She was also quite glad that she was now once again on the ground though her legs felt heavy since she had been sitting the whole time during her flight. She spent the time thinking about the Grail War while at the same time she prayed for a safe journey. Although she understood the concept of airplanes through the information provided for her by the Grail, it was a different from actually riding one. She disliked the feeling somewhat.
Jeanne sulked slightly at the fact that, since her journey would still take her to another country, it meant riding on another plane after her business in England was finished.
Not long after arriving, she made her way towards the town of Glastonbury, the location of which she was instructed by the Grail to go to in order to summon a Servant. Despite having no catalyst, she would just have to have faith in God that her summoning would result in someone she can rely on in the future. It didn't really matter to her if the person was weak or strong even if she preferred the latter due to it being more advantageous.
So long as it was someone she could work with, it would ease her troubles.
She sat by herself, quietly enjoying the scenery that passed by, on the bed of a pickup truck she was hitchhiking on. If she were to compare the vehicle to a horse, then she would assume that the truck was nearing the end of it's usefulness to the owner. Deciding to pass the time by doing Laeticia's homework like she promised, she reached into her bag and pulled out a book.
"For a simple farmhand such as myself to have a chance to be educated... the world has become a wonderful place indeed."
Having been a peasant girl before taking up arms, Jeanne was never really educated aside from the basic things her parents taught her. The Grail provided her with information that would allow her to survive in the modern world, such as reading for one, which was a skill that she lacked in life. It was a skill which she had given up on learning due to her own illiteracy. The best she could manage was writing her name down.
Moving on, it did not grant her the knowledge of what the book in her hands was about. She only knew as much as Laeticia herself. With that, Jeanne aspired to do her best for the sake of the girl whose life was being inconvenienced due to her presence.
"The Once and Future King by T.H. White..."
It was a book about King Arthur... probably the most well known hero to be associated with the title of King. One of Laeticia's assignments was to do an essay about the characters in the story and what her idea of them was, and apparently she was quite invested in it given that Jeanne had memories of the girl and her like for Knightly figures in general.
Thinking about if more clearly... with the location of which where she would be summoning a servant was Glastonbury, the place of which where King Arthur's "grave" was located... there was a very high chance that the grail wanted her to summon the legendary King of Knights as a Servant. And with the location where he would be summoned being the very country where his legend originated, he would receive a significant boost in power.
Then again, she could end up summoning any member of the Round Table. And some of them were legends in their own right. Either way, being summoned in their homeland would guarantee any British Hero receiving a boost in power. And that would work well in her favor.
She decided to ignore the subject for now as she began reading. Just like how knowledge from Laeticia was shared to Jeanne, any knowledge she learned herself would do the same for Laeticia. And while both had differing views, Jeanne still had a general idea of what she would think due to sharing the same body at the moment. All she would need to do would be to write those thoughts down.
From afar, two individuals watched as Ruler rode towards her destination.
"Geez... so that's Ruler eh? She looks like a delicate young thing doesn't she? Kinda hard to believe it that she's the mediator for this War, right pal?" One of them stated. He wore a dirty green cloak with a hood over his head. Underneath, he wore green armor.
His partner on the other hand wore black armor instead, and remained in silence after his companion spoke.
"Man... why did I have to get paired up with you of all people? Assassin or Lancer would have been better partners to have" He complained. "But then again I guess the Lady Queen is too busy with making sure that Castle of hers is perfect, and the boss probably wants to save Lancer for later."
"Gah, now I feel like I'm just talking to myself." The former stated as he gave up making conversation with his partner. "I just hope night comes quick before I start going crazy on myself."
Unknown to him, if there was one thing his partner was thinking about other than performing his task at hand, it was the fact that the man in green was very noisy.
When she finally arrived at the small town, she took in the sight of the rural location.
She preferred places like this compared to the big city. It reminded her somewhat of the place where she lived as a peasant girl. She then ate a small meal at a local restaurant before anything else as she was starting to feel hungry. Afterwards though...
"Now then... where should I be going?"
Although the Grail told her to come here, it didn't say where she would be summoning a servant. That was completely up to her. And she also needed to do it quick. Night time was nearing, and often bad things would happen during the night if one wasn't careful.
She felt something nudging itself upon her legs. When she looked down to see what it was, she saw a small four legged creature that somewhat resembled a cross between a dog, a rabbit, and a squirrel. It had white blue fur with purple tinted ears, and said fur was quite fluffy in appearance too. It even had a ribbon and small blue capelet tied around its neck. Jeanne couldn't help but admit that she found the creature before her to be quite adorable.
"Ah, hello there little one."
She crouched down in order to pet it. There wasn't any harm in petting it right? She couldn't feel any hostile intent coming from it at all.
Before she could however, it quickly moved away from her. When she saw it looking at her, it moved further once more. Jeanne realized that the small creature was motioning for her to follow it.
Although she had no real reason to, she did so anyway. She kept moving and moving, unaware of her surroundings or rather choosing to ignore all of it. She didn't know why she was following it, but something inside her told her to.
When she finally came to a stop, she noticed that in front of her was an old church. On the steps to its entrance was the small creature, ever licking itself every now and then.
She looked inside saw that it looked rather decrepit, telling her that it was abandoned.
This was the perfect place for her to do her summoning! She looked back at the small creature, who tilted its head to the side once it noticed her gaze upon it.
"You led me here?" She asked as she crouched down to its level once more. "Thank you."
However, when her hand made contact on its head...
"AH!" Jeanne yelped in pain as she retracted her hand and looked at it. There were no injuries, but she could feel a burning sensation go through her entire being the moment she made contact.
When she tried looking at the small creature once more, it had already disappeared from sight.
Whatever it was, it was most definitely not normal. Although, she was still convinced that it meant her no harm despite the strange action that had just occurred.
"Such a strange feeling this is..."
Jeanne sat inside the church watching the magic circle glow with power in the center of the room. Since she wasn't a magus, she couldn't really tell if it was working. She perfectly followed every single instruction the grail gave her when she was first summoned, but she still wasn't quite sure. All she did know was that mana began accumulating, so it had to working one way or another right?
Currently, she was also wearing her battle dress. It was dark purple outfit with a long skirt that was slit high enough to reveal her right leg, the ensemble was covered in several pieces of armor. On her head dangle a metal headpiece of intricate design. Wearing it made her feel somewhat more secure.
"I know why, but to be in this world yet again... could it be God's hand guiding events to make such a feat possible?" She mumbled to herself as she widened her eyes in realization. "Ah, that reminds me...!"
She hadn't been able to do so since she left France and arrived here, her thoughts about the Grail War distracting her to such a point. It was better late than never after all, the one she did on the plane ride was more for herself and the other passengers safety rather than anything else.
With that, Jeanne knelt on the altar and began praying.
She didn't really mind the conditions of where she prayed. So long as she did, that was what mattered. To her, praying was as important as breathing. Not a single day passed where she didn't pray.
When asked why she always did so by her comrades of old, she would respond that there was no particular reason. It was merely her offering a prayer to the lord. She also believed that so long as she kept praying, perhaps the sorrow and lament of God for the sake of his children would lessen if only a little.
Jeanne quickly stood up, every fiber of her being on alert as she sensed a hostile presence.
And it wasn't just any hostile presence... it was that of a Servant's!
'There are two of them... and they're coming here!' She thought as she ran outside the church. The fact that there were two hostile servants in the area and heading directly for the area could not be a coincidence.
"Why...? There should only be fourteen... so why am I sensing two more?"
As Ruler, she should be able to feel the presence of all Servants summoned during the Grail War. While the Command Spells on her body lacked a connection towards the Servants in question, she could still feel them existing. Though she couldn't pinpoint their exact location if they were not in a 10-km radius.
She quickly drew her sword and struck down several arrows directed at her skull. Eyeing the way they came, she spotted someone, a man from what she could make out, a good distance away wielding what looked liked to be a cross bow.
He was an Archer-Class Servant without a doubt to be able to shoot someone from afar.
"Who are you...!? Why do you choose to attack me!?" She demanded as she knew for a fact he could hear her.
On the other hand... Archer had different thoughts.
"Damn, so she noticed me."
He clicked his tongue as he began reloading his crossbow. Right now, he should've been invisible to Ruler as he had his cloak on. Perhaps it was one of her class abilities that allowed her to see him. Knowing that, Archer should've expected it.
Not like it would help her or anything...
"Well, I guess it's your time to shine partner."
Jeanne quickly jumped as she avoided being slammed with what looked like a tree trunk. When she saw who was holding it, there stood a rather tall person wearing what looked liked black armor from head-to-toe. However, the view was obscured by a black aura.
The growling he made as he looked in her direction confirmed that he was a Berserker-Class Servant. And thanks to one of her special skills as a Ruler-Class Servant, she was able to identify the servant in front of her.
"You are... Sir Lancelot of the Round Table!"
Lancelot du Lac... otherwise known as the Knight of the Lake and perhaps the greatest Knight among King Arthur's court. He was also more infamously known for having an affair with King Arthur's wife, Queen Guinevere, and later ended up rescuing her during her execution which resulted in the deaths of several of his former comrades.
It was agreed upon by many that it was because of his and the Queen's actions which fractured the unity shared between the Knights of the Round, and also gave Sir Mordred the opportunity to rebel against his father, resulting in both of their deaths during the Battle of Camlann. However, that was another matter entirely.
And while she could identify his name, she could not get a good read on his stats due to something interfering with her senses. Most likely it was due to one of his personal abilities that was the cause.
Still, to be facing one of the greatest knights known to exist as a Berserker... she could not afford to take him as a light threat!
Summoning her banner in her remaining hand, she readied herself as the Black Knight let out a mighty roar and charged.
Berserker quickly swung the tree trunk as Jeanne parried the incoming blow. A quick exchange of blows soon followed, and sparks flew during the process.
Despite being a Berserker, Sir Lancelot was able to use a level of technique and skill that Jeanne could not just believe it. For every swing of her blade she threw, he would counter each quite easily with his makeshift weapon. It was like he wasn't even a Berserker.
"Hah...!" She jumped and swung her flag down hard, hoping to disorient him with force.
Berserker quickly blocked the attack.
The Black Knight's makeshift weapon began to break apart, apparently having reached its end as a weapon for use. Seeing this, he looked around and quickly made his way towards the Church entrance, grabbing a pillar that stood outside it and yanking it into the air.
It was then quickly covered in the same aura as Berserker, and Jeanne quickly realized that perhaps it was his ability to make use of anything as a weapon.
Smashing apart several more arrows heading straight for her with her flag, Jeanne glared as she saw Archer standing not too far from her and Berserker, having apparently closed the distance as she and the Black Knight fought.
The ground erupted as Berserker swung down the stone pillar just as she jumped to the side, but not before getting hit with debris. He then quickly closed the distance between the two of them, swinging the pillar around like it was mere longsword. Jeanne could only respond by parrying any strike she could.
"Don't forget that I'm here too little missy...!"
Archer shot another round of arrows, and very soon, together with Berserker's assault, she found herself overwhelmed.
Dodging arrows and all the while trying to avoid being hit by the Black Knight. Although she had back-up from the grail itself, that did not meant that she was a great warrior. Her role in life being a Standard-Bearer who lead and inspired armies to victory.
Had it been a one-on-one situation, perhaps she would have an even chance. But right now though...
Before she knew it, Jeanne found herself being slammed into the church by Berserker, the wall behind her collapsing as she was sent flying through. She stood up, her body somewhat wobbly due to the experience, and glared at both Archer and Berserker as they came into view.
"Why do you both attack me...!? Do you not know who I am!?"
"Sorry, but even if you are Ruler, we have our orders. We're just here to follow them." The green Archer spoke. When she got a good look at him, Jeanne was quickly able to identify the man before her.
Robin Hood. Or rather, one of many who assumed the identity of the heroic outlaw of legend. This particular person before her was the child of a Druid, but that wan't important right now. She quickly refocused her attention towards the current situation at hand.
"So you do know who I am... and you say you were ordered?" The blonde spoke. "Just who are you two...!? There should only be fourteen servants that have been summoned!"
"Yeah, about that." Archer replied as he pointed his crossbow at her once more. "I can't say too much unless I accidentally give away anything else after all."
It was at that point however that the man in green noticed the summoning circle behind Jeanne glowing rather brightly.
At the same time, Jeanne felt a slight burning sensation fall upon the center of her chest.
She could feel it, three additional Command Spells had just been granted to her!
Taking note of this, she jumped back and stood within the middle of the circle, with her hand stretched out as she spoke.
"By my name of Ruler, no, Jeanne d'Arc. I ask of thee, heed my summons and come forth! Lend me thy aid in restoring order to the chaos that has been wrought upon the Holy Grail War! Be my blade that vanquishes all evil, that protects all that is just!"
A brilliant flash of light filled the church, nearly blinding those within it.
"Shit, this is what you were doing here...!?"
Gritting his teeth, Archer loaded his crossbow and fired while Berserker charged. However, just as both did so...
A strong gust of wind appeared from the light, the force of which pushed back Berserker and quickly dispatched Archer's arrows. It also left a sizable distance between them and Ruler, and at that point a figure stepped out of the magic circle.
Standing there looking proud and dignified was a young man dressed in full white armor and blue clothing underneath. He had blonde hair and emerald green eyes. With his appearance alone, one could easily identify him as a Knight.
"A two-on-one engagement... have neither of you have any semblance of pride; Archer? Berserker?"
He spoke for the first time, his voice calm and stern. The latter two were both taken aback by him. Clearly, they did not expect to see another Servant here, and especially one that would be summoned by another to be precise.
Jeanne on the other hand was momentarily taken back as she realized her success. Just by glancing at him, she could feel an incredible amount of power.
She then somewhat froze up when the Knight before her turned his head around and looked at her while smiling.
"Before we introduce ourselves to each other, shall we take care of these two first?"
Jeanne nodded in reply, and both quickly turned their attention towards their opponents. Archer cautiously took a step back, while both noticed that Berserker on the other hand froze the moment he laid his eyes on the White Knight. Seeing this, Jeanne spoke.
"Be careful, he's-!"
Whatever Jeanne had to say, it had to wait as Berserker charged.
"Damn it, that guy didn't tell us about anything like this...!"
Archer cursed as he avoided being stabbed by both of Jeanne's weapons. She was incredibly fast, and for someone like Archer who was more suited to long-range combat, fighting her in close range was quite the task.
Berserker was preoccupied with the new Servant that appeared, dashing towards him like a raging bull. The White Knight was able to keep up with the former, and was putting on a good show. What was strange though was that he was fighting with what looked like an invisible weapon seeing as he couldn't see anything at all.
Though from the way he fought, Archer could guess that the one who was summoned was a Saber-Class Servant.
He drew a dagger from behind him and quickly blocked an incoming blow from Jeanne's sword. However, not long after that did the latter try to attack him with her flag, causing the man in green to quickly move to the side.
"I ask you again Archer, just who are the two of you?" She demanded once more as she pointed her sword at him. "
"Tch! Try again little missy!"
Archer shot a volley of arrows towards Jeanne only for the latter to quickly strike them all down. She glared at him as she saw him smirking at her.
"You really don't expect me to tell you anything do you? I don't think you're that stupid."
It was at that moment that Archer could feel something resonating in him.
That was the only word the White Knight came up with to describe the Black Knight that was Berserker.
For every opening he saw and tried to attack, Berserker would quickly put up a defense. The power of his strikes were also befitting his class name.
There wasn't even any wasted movement either. They were precise and to the point. It was clear that despite his madness, Berserker was still a top-class warrior.
Swinging his weapon down, the White Knight parried another blow from Berserker's makeshift weapon. Both then jumped back as they stared each other down.
"You are no ordinary Servant, Berserker. Whoever you were in life, you must have been someone of renown. It's only a shame that you are reduced to this... a mere madman."
He looked up when he heard Berserker mutter something rather lowly. When Saber tried to listen in more closely however...
*SLASH* *SLASH* *CLANG*
Letting out a mighty roar, Berserker suddenly closed the distance between him and his opponent and began a furious assault. The blonde-haired young man responded quickly by parrying any blows he could and dodged the rest.
Whatever set off the Black Knight, it was something that definitely increased his ferocity.
"Hey! Big guy!"
Suddenly, Archer appeared out of nowhere and landed beside Berserker.
"Things have changed, the boss wants us back quick!"
Berserker ignored him in favor of chasing after his opponent, trading blows with the other Knight.
"Hey! Are you even listening-!?"
"There you are!" Jeanne appeared and stood in front of Archer, blocking his path.
However, that everything suddenly came to a halt when Berserker stopped moving, dropping his makeshift weapon onto the ground in the process causing all to look at him in surprise.
Taking advantage of his opponent's distraction, Archer used a flash bang grenade, an item provided for him by his benefactor, and went up towards the Black Knight after using the item to temporarily blind both Jeanne and her Servant. He merely sighed as he looked over his partner.
"Looks like the boss had his Master use a Command Spell..." He muttered to himself. "C'mon big guy, you know what to do."
Growling ever so slightly, Berserker could only follow Archer as they headed into the woods.
"Wait a moment...!" Jeanne gave chase, and the other blonde motioned to do the same.
A strong gust of wind came from the two Servants' direction, causing both Jeanne and the White Knight to shield themselves. When they looked up however, both widened their eyes in shock as they saw something rising from behind the forest trees.
"Is that... a fighter jet!?"
Jeanne knew of such things from the knowledge provided for her by the Grail, but to actually see one, and one that had another Servant standing upon it no less, was something else entirely. Even the Servant she summoned was momentarily taken back by it as well.
Whatever ability Berserker used on his previous two weapons, it was obvious he was using the same thing on the aerial vehicle he was riding atop on as it was covered in the same black aura he was.
The cockpit opened, and inside they could see Archer seating in it all the while smirking at them.
"Sorry to cut this short, but we're needed elsewhere!" He said. "Let's continue this match some other time shall we?"
With that, he closed the hatch and the fighter jet flew off. Leaving the other two by themselves.
A moment of silence reigned over them before the White Knight suddenly spoke.
"Well... that was unexpected."
"Indeed..." Jeanne replied as she sheathed her blade and allowed her flag to disappear.
"...!" Jeanne held her side as a slightly painful sensation erupted from her side. She didn't notice it before, but apparently Archer was able to get a good shot at her without her even noticing it.
"Are you alright?" The White Knight spoke, giving her a concerned look.
"I am alright, it's only a light wound." Jeanne replied, the wound itself already began healing, rather quickly she noted even for someone of her capabilities.
"Ah, that is good to hear." He said in a friendly manner, as he also then let whatever he was holding in his right hand to disappear. "Now then, I believe we made an oath to introduce ourselves now?"
Jeanne nodded, having only just remembered their earlier deal.
"I am Servant Saber. I have come to aid you in response to your request." The blonde-haired young man said as he smiled at her. "Although I feel like I already know the answer, are you my Master?"
"Indeed, I am your Master, Saber." Jeanne replied as she placed a hand over her chest. "I am Servant Ruler. And I thank you for the assist earlier."
"No need for thanks." Saber stated. "As a Servant, it is my duty to protect my Master from whatever danger he or she faces. And I could not allow such an unfair engagement to take place... not when my sense of honor prevents me from doing so."
"I see. In any event, thank you." She smiled at him. Jeanne felt that she could work well with the person before her.
The man who was known as the King of Knights. Within a few moments of concentrating, Jeanne identified him on the spot. She could also guess that the invisible weapon he used earlier was perhaps either one of his holy swords. With such fame, having the ability to turn them invisible would prove most valuable to anyone trying to hide Saber's identity.
To be able to summon a legend such as himself... perhaps it was a blessing from God?
Still... she somewhat expected him to look somewhat older. She didn't expect King Arthur to look like someone around her age.
"Now then... perhaps you could explain to me just what exactly is going on?" Saber spoke up, snapping Jeanne away from her thoughts. "I find it somewhat peculiar that I would have another Servant as my Master."
"Ah, this may take a while..."
"Hmph... so those two failed? Did I not say that it would have been more appropriate to send Lancer along?"
Sitting inside a room filled with fine decor and the like was a woman with long black hair that reached the floor and matching black eyes. An unusual feature to note was that she had long elf-like ears. She also wore a matching black dress that did nothing to hid her impressive cleavage. All in all, one could say that she was a beautiful woman, but at the same time with a sense of danger.
Her companion inside the room however was a young man. He had white hair and golden eyes, his skin was tan in appearance. He wore what looked to be priest garments along with a red cape over his shoulders.
"Although I wanted to, I also wished to test how powerful both Archer and Berserker were went up against Ruler." He replied to the woman seated in front of him.
"Hmm... did they live up to your expectations?" She asked.
"Somewhat. Though I find Archer to be somewhat lacking, Berserker on the other hand is quite useful for a so called madman." He said, though his companion was not entirely convinced. "Fear not Queen of Assyria, there will still be plenty of opportunity's to get rid of Ruler. For now, we wait."
The woman in black merely smiled in response to the man's words.
"I suppose so."
"I see. So there's something going on with the Holy Grail War that caused you to be summoned? And your task is to find what it exactly is and to bring order?"
"Yes, that is indeed most of it."
Saber and Jeanne sat inside the remains of the old church, the latter having told the former everything she knew.
"I think I can understand it now." He spoke while eyeing Jeanne's body. "Still, to possess a human body instead of having a spiritual one like most Servants do..."
"I know... because of it, I am far more limited than what I'd usually be able to do." Jeanne replied. "Though I can still fight as easily as any regular Servant."
With that, a moment of silence reigned over the two as Jeanne suddenly began fidgeting.
"What is it...?"
"Are you alright with this?" She suddenly asked. "As my Servant, you may not be able to get the chance to fight for the Holy Grail like other Servants do. A Ruler must not participate during the Grail War other than to assure that it would be conducted properly."
Saber merely smiled in response to her words.
"That is not something you need to ask, Master." He spoke. "If your words are indeed true, and that there's a chance that the Grail War could rise into a great conflict that could involve many innocents... I would put aside any desire I have in order to prevent from becoming so."
He then looked up to her, a gentle look on his face as he did so.
"And I have already made an oath. As your Servant, I shall aid you in any endeavor you choose to follow through with. I swear this on my name as a Knight."
Jeanne felt a heavy load remove itself from her shoulders as she directed a grateful smile towards Saber.
"Thank you, Saber." She extended her right hand towards him. "As token of my appreciation, allow me to tell you my true name."
"Really? Even though revealing it may cause problems in the future?" Saber asked, surprised by her statement.
"As Ruler, I already know who you are due to my abilities. It's only fair that I tell you of my real identity as well." The White Knight was once more taken aback. He didn't think that Ruler would have such an ability, but perhaps it was something to be expected of her class.
"My name is Jeanne d'Arc. I look forward to working with you, Saber."
Saber gave a surprised look for a moment, before smiling in response and taking her hand in his.
"And the same to you. I am Arthur Pendragon. It's a privilege to meet you, Saint of Orleans."
That night, a new Master & Servant team had been formed.
Inside a dark cavern filled to the brim with skeletal remains of humans, a young girl happily twirled about as she laughed in pure happiness. She had short blonde hair and wore a light blue dress. She was also dancing about barefoot.
"Ah, Saber~" She spoke, her voice tinted with ecstasy. "Saber! Saber! Saber~!"
With a closer look, the girl had blood on her clothes and what looked like a large gash upon her chest and on her back. It looked like something had stabbed her.
On her chest however was what looked like a Command Spell in the shape of seraphim wings.
"I had faith that you would come back one day!" She said. "Although it took you a really long time, you've come back at last~!"
She stopped twirling about as a smile appeared on her face, directing her gaze above.
"I love you~" The girl began slowly. "My prince... the one who belongs only to me~!"
Author's Note: (Updated: 2/5/2016)
My second story~!
Now then, this fic was an idea that was swimming inside my head the moment I watched the Fate/Prototype OVA and read the Fate/Apocrypha novels when both were first released. It took reading iDEAL bLACK by AvengerEmiya, Clarent Blood Arthur by King of Beasts, and Golden Prayers by Teerexil, to finally convince myself to start writing it down. There might be some elements from taken from them as well, sometimes without myself noticing it, so don't be surprised by it too much.
However, when I think about it more clearly now, my writing this is more due to me being really annoyed by the fact that there's a lack of good Jeanne and Arthur fanfics on this site. So, in order to compensate, I decided to make one of my own that features both at the same time. Also, all information I know in regards to Nasuverse comes from reading the visual novels, light novels, side material, videogames, manga, and other related stuff. So I consider myself well read on the franchise aside from the few mistakes I'm bound to make every once in a while.
As stated above, both the King of Knights and the Maiden of Orleans are going to be the MCs of this fic. While this is going to be my first time writing said characters and nasuverse in general, I'll try to keep them all as close to home as possible while taking my own liberties with their respective characters. If I'm unable to do that, oh well. I tried at least XP I'm also the type to rewrite/add some parts to the story if I feel unsatisfied with them. Changes are mostly confined to better grammar, scene description, and dialogue in certain chapters.
That's it for now. Please leave a review that's in English because that's my preferred language. I ain't going to the trouble of finding the translation of something I can't understand unless I have a good reason to do it.