Before you get started, first, I shall WARN you that this contains SPOILERS to those reading and anticipating the translated novel of Fate/Apocrypha. And so the following warnings are for your safety and joy of reading that very series:
0. Beware, this starts AFTER APOCRYPHA ENDED. The translated novel is still stuck at vol. 3 while the series ended at vol.5. I do NOT GIVE A DAMN CARE if you complained you have been spoiled. This wall of text is also here to warn you to the extreme in case you didn't realize. Else... well, like I said, I don't care. You heeded the warning or you be a bad kid out of YOUR volition. Proceed at your own risk.
1. I am NOT going to invite many characters from Nasuverse or even FSN universe. My basis revolves in mostly Apocrypha but cameos will be mentioned... or seen by Sieg's view but in a different light. After all, we basically leaped over dimension, A PARALLEL UNIVERSE where coincidences can happen, and that the annoying Will of Gaia or Alaya do NOT exist nor WILL they be allowed to exist at some point. Heck, Apocrypha universe is already an AU by all-rights since it deviated from.. Uh? Is it 3rd or 4th Grail War?
2. This story isn't going to be as dark as usual FSN franchise, especially if you wanted F/Zero-level dark stains of humanity. I will only brush several FSN-universe facts and only scratched the surface at most. Real reason? I hate info-dumping since it's a blaring weakness for me if written, also, most seemed to dislike tweaking or diving deeper into DxD's laws when it came to crossover with any FSN. Rest assured, as a character of Fate universe, Sieg will relate with the usual tag of 'Humanity', 'Fate and Origin', also 'Phantasmal Species of Dragonkind'.
3. Plot follows DxD mostly (since Apocrypha already ended here, duh), with occasions that may change the conclusion of several events. You should at least expect this since we have one more variable in the DxD universe and he's taken the role of Protagonist so yeah... that's kind of inevitable.
4. Is there going to be an OC? Well, there MIGHT be some but they're not main points. In other words, not really important with the plot (if they can) or relationship with Sieg. Also, to any of you who haven't read Apocrypha, 'Sieg' is NOT an OC! He's actually the protagonist even though he's only mentioned in the middle and given a role at the end of Vol.1! See for yourself if you don't believe me!
5. Lastly, I do not own Fate/Stay Night, Fate/Apocrypha, or Highschool DxD. Hell, I'm not so creative to ramp up so many inner workings of universe that could be related from a series to another. If I could, I wouldn't have written a fan-fiction to begin with.
Now that all the stiff stuff (pun intended) is done...
The Sage Cries Out "Open. Gate of Heaven! Bless us and Bestow Miracles Upon Us!"
At the end of it all, to stop the worst calamity, I activated and burned my last chance away.
With my will, the Command Spell glowed, the cursed blood red radiance filling the entirety of the chapel within this floating island. It was so bright, so dazzling, and yet so fearsome that nothing could stop it from unleashing impending doom.
"No!" I heard his dying roar, full of wrath as he reached out his hand.
My enemy glared at me who was a step away from the grail. With all of his efforts, his eyes showed the rawest desire of a human even though he remained passive, also saintly for many times more than necessary. In fact, I preferred to see how his inhuman mask broke down and revealed his true character, a humanly aspect.
Alas, it was of no use. My body that had grown weary and torn with wounds gave off visible cracks. The physical vessel I had once thought as weak, reinforced, broken and yet tempered for many times in an extremely short period finally giving in to destruction.
To its demise. But not mine.
As the Command Spell vanished, the light too vanished. In turn, something echoed. The sounds of heartbeat, then the sound of ruination.
It was from within me. I looked at my chest, at the scar that proved the sacrifice of one warrior with one's survival exchanged. A greater good done by a selfless Hero who I believed as my savior.
The scar that I had was shining, glimmering as cracks spread further and further, encasing my limbs, consuming my organs, reaching my face as my vision began to grow hazy.
In that moment... In that very instance, all I saw was a white world.
Beyond it was the back of someone. With wide shoulders. Long grey hair remaining unruly even as the wind beats past it. A firm back and a great sword slung over his armored back.
That was when I know it was the back of the Hero. The Savior who granted me a second chance. The one who realized my dream to live.
"...you know what you must do. You are... now prepared for it."
Even so - the words he said hit me harder than the Noble Phantasm of the Traitorous Knight gave to me. It was a fact, also a reminder to what I shall face.
And so this time, I nodded in confirmation.
"I will still believe. Believe that even if the Fated Day were to come... there will be someone that can help guide the correct way for everyone." I said, as I clenched my hand so as to align it with my scar.
An oath. A sworn promise that I have decided to uphold, both for myself, and for others. A decision I reached to even if it meant to spend eternity in solitude.
"...Then go, Sieg. Take it away, plunder it. Steal the treasure - and guard it with your life in line. As someone who chose to accept your fate."
The imaginary world vanished. Albeit it was a fleeting moment, nothing but an illusion, but...
The resolve I have - is here. In my heart, beating soundly as it reverberates, spilling out prana like a broken faucet.
My body ached. Needles to say, I staggered as someone's voice called out, yelling out my name in the most saddest way I could ever imagine.
I didn't look back. I know they're here. My companions. My precious friends. The ones that helped giving me the meaning of life.
As long as I know that they were there, alive and well... I'm sure they will be able to find their own happiness. Even if they lost me, they will live, and they will find their answer.
Because - isn't that the same for me? I might be conceited for using myself as a reference but I have faith. I trust them, and they trust me. And so, my belief will not fail me.
"...I will not... let it be a failure." I muttered as I pushed myself to the limits, raising my arm that is crumbling.
Even so, as the skin sheds, as the muscles and bones are torn down from the inside out... something was born in their place.
Something foreign. Something that was not human. Something that was incapable to be given with by the hands of man.
Because... what was shed - was a scale. A scale, harder than iron, more resistant than the strongest diamond, irrefutably a part of a living being that was supposed to have died in legends and myths.
A scale of a creature known to have always struck fear in both the Gods and humans alike.
"Gh...!" I winced as the pain became so unbearable I nearly passed out.
Although to tell the truth, not even a moment had passed. It was just that my mind seemed to have been restructured to slow down... no, it was being rebuilt so as to suit my physical change.
It was rapid. Quick in succession. As fast as the lightning as my body broke down into pieces while being reformed in one single instance through the assistance of the Grail's abundant prana. Yet my mind perceived it slower than a minute, causing discrepancies to occur as I extended my hand... and grasped the Grail.
A screech echoed. As if it was denying me to touch it, refusing to be with me who have never wanted to use it for anything. And in fact, I do not want it at all.
I have no need of a wish fulfilling device that will lead humanity's demise.
I have no need of a mechanism man created to save everyone by turning all into colorless forms of constant.
I have no desire to be granted at all - because I will make it happen with my own hands.
"And so... What I demand... is nothing." I uttered, as I 'held' the Greater Grail in my 'hands'.
My form was no more of a Homunculus. Of a Human yet I was holding the object that many Magus craved for even if they have to destroy countries just to acquire it. For the sake of my desires, I chose to use the vast prana it held and accelerated the process which would change my fate as well as my origin.
As the prana the Greater Grail provided me heightened, I roared, my voice no different than the roar of a beast. My crumbling body gave way to a new flesh, reborn from destruction.
Then - everything went white.
I woke up with a feeling as if I have crushed the shell that limited myself from being... alive. Freedom as I felt extra appendages have grown from my back and the small of my back.
Then I breathed out, white smokes clouded my vision as they went past my vision that captured the horizon of the world. The taste of freedom was never as strong than this exact moment.
Before I knew it, something crumbled and I looked down, seeing a floating landmass that was destroyed from the inside-out. A sea of clouds obscured it but the Garden of Babylon went into eternal ruins as it slowly became fragments to fall from grace.
Thus, the palace of the Queen of Assyria returned to the great mother Earth.
...It's time... I thought, as I spread my 'wings' only to revel in the majestic sensation for having to encompass the great sky of this horrible yet majestic world.
Below me, lands stretched towards the sea. Extending after it was the horizon where the light blue canopy of the world joined with the deep blue of the ocean. And further, as if greeting me, the dawn arrived with golden glimmering lights.
I knew that I shouldn't think of anything else, yet, marveling the expanse of mother nature, being bathed by the light of dawn, comforted by the cold winds, showered by the lights of stars as well as moon could be so...
So... elating it was. Truly... a novel experience.
And as I felt what I possessed now, my mind instantaneously shifted, pushing aside my idle thoughts for the sake of one final duty. A treasure of no greater comparison was in my hold.
Clearly, many desired it. People desired for it albeit unconsciously. Even without it, it was already a matter of time for man to see their ending.
Even so... I will still persist, despite only being capable delaying the inevitable.
Thus, I shall take my flight.
I faintly heard it. As I flapped my wings, I saw something hovering, away from the powerful winds I blew with a simple gesture.
A beast was there. Majestic in nature, with a head of an eagle, the body of a lion, and a pair of wings that wast their pride as a species.
The King of the Sky, a Hipogriff, was there. Together with its summoner - no, my best friend who was my Servant. He was riding the Beast with difficulties in the raging winds with the boy that desired to see through everything...
Alongside my beloved companion.
I heard him shouting, and I felt amused by how he showed such expression. It was both in wonder and shock, disbelief and worry despite being one that tried to save me with mischievous glee. He was even crying this time.
Really, you are one amazing Hero, Astolfo, the Twelfth Paladin of Charlemagne.
Even so, I'm afraid I cannot speak with a grail held with my jaws. I don't know how it ended there but it's still removable.
Of course, I will not let it go. Ignoring my instinctual desire to protect a treasure, it was my responsibility to see through everything.
As a dragon... As a Transcendent Kind... As a Phantasmal Beast renowned to guard treasures inviting greeds...
I will make sure that nobody could ever reach it.
...Nhh... that voice...
...her voice... Ruler... I could clearly tell how hurting it was for her to plead.
Because the Ruler that I know always knew what it meant to resolve oneself. A decision that could alter their own life is something she doesn't have the right to veto.
As a Ruler, and as a warrior, there should have been nothing that could cause her to plead for me to stop. If so...
It was her feelings. Ah, perhaps that is the sole reason why. It wasn't because there was another alternative. It wasn't because she had the right to stop me.
It was because she wanted to stop me out of her own, selfish desire. A small selfishness that desired to not lose someone she holds dear, one that should have disqualified her as a Saint, as a Counter-force Guardian, yet also qualified her best as a feeling, flesh and blooded human.
"..." In the rushing winds, I gazed at her longingly.
I remembered our first meeting. I remembered when she taught me the world. I remembered when she accompanied me into the battlefield. The short days spent with her. The time I spent together with her and my friends.
The precious bond I created with her. Surely, it is by NO means... a mistake.
Even though I cannot speak now, I know that there is no need for it to convey my feelings. There was nothing that limited myself from showing her my answer.
And so, I nodded. Turning toward the dawn, my wings beat down and allowed me to fly. To soar towards the distant horizon.
With one move and I crossed a country. Trifas looked so small from here, and my memories brought me the will to hasten myself.
Away. Further... further. So that nobody can reach me. So that man can never be able to grasp the accursed treasure. So that there can be no longer any reason for my siblings to fight. So that I can finally fulfill my purpose of life.
Thus, I disappeared into the light, leaving the Surface World behind.
Times passed. The sun drawn and sank, exchanging place with the moon in numerous cycles. Spring came with blooming flowers, summer arrived with radiant warmth, autumn passed with withering leaves, and winter quietly sleeps with the falling snows.
So much time has passed I lost track of it. In this land where nobody but beasts and legends could live in, I once again, patiently waiting.
With the Treasure in cradle, I slumbered, awakened, and slumbered once again. Perpetually guarding the wish-fulfilling machine from anything and anyone that wanted to activate dangerous spells such as the Third Magic.
I have seen my shares of this fantastical realm. A place detached from Gaia, where there can be nothing but only the beasts of legends to exist. It is impossible even for the greatest of a hero to reach this place now that it is no longer a habitable place for man.
Filled with prana, the intoxicating air was more than enough to poison a Magus to death in several seconds. The atmosphere drawn with the scents of monsters, demons and mythical creatures enforced the realm to protect itself from external influence.
Thus, only beings such as I are allowed to live in this place. To leave, to enter, and to die. Here, in this land devoid of humankind's touch, it was an asylum for the forgotten myths to keep on living. Its name among many others was the 'Reverse Side of the World', right in-between the 'Surface World' and 'Earth'.
Following my permanent residence in this realm, I had waited. And in waiting, I thought of what would happen.
As the Fake Priest said, humanity will meet its demise. There was no questioning it when knowing the Will of Gaia would one day consider humanity as a threat should it ravage the great mother nature beyond the limits of tolerance.
Still, man desired to survive. They wished to escape that fate, strongly, again and again and again. As a result, Alaya was born as a collective desire that detached itself from Gaia, her job dedicated solely to preserve humankind's survival.
But once omnipotent magical ritual like ths Greater Grail descended unto the earth, man split, advancing in two paths.
The early demise, where their wish would become their own undoing through the use of the Grail that relied on the planet's prana.
And the other was the slow demise, where advancement made them to suffer bits by bits, crippling their numbers until Gaia is forced to intervene and end humanity in one single sweep.
The priest once told me that he intended to use the Greater Grail for the sake of saving everyone. By fulfilling their hunger, joy, sadness and every aspect in life... man would reach enlightenment, and grasped salvation.
Not only seen or heard, but felt.
Not touched or forced, but by embracing it with acceptance.
Yet by doing so... humanity will truly become 'empty', turning into a single static race where no change could ever happen. A form of constant.
Can that still be called as happiness? Or is that another shape of despair?
To be fulfilled. To be saved. To feel content and thus stopping in desiring anything at all... I do not truly understand the Priest's way of thinking, neither will I ever want to understand the meaning of his words.
It pains me but the day where everything would end is going to come. There is no denying it, since this is just how evolution of mortals worked. Since this is what it meant to have a feeling.
To change, to become perfect, to match their creators, to be happy... Those desires that gave birth to changes will also end them.
Inevitably, my duty as well will end once humanity ceased to exist.
"..." I lowered my eyelids, heaving as drowsiness began to cloud my mind.
Days did not matter here. Time is a concept foreign to beasts detached from human logic, and it is by no means anything important in this realm.
Hunger too, do not exist for Phantasmal Species such as I breathed in prana from the atmosphere to survive. In a land where the dead became nutrition to the earth and returning back to the sky as pure energy, this realm is forever sustaining itself.
Rich with resources, inexhaustible by nature, indestructible in the truest meaning. A paradise meant for mythical beasts and those that are not humans.
However, I am different. I am... Once a Homunculus. An artificial being crafted only to supply the prana preserving the Greater Grail as well as the Servants' continuity. Yet I was given a chance to live, to have free will; a future to choose.
For I who was once a Homunculus, then became a human... even if it was only for a very short moment... I felt truly alone in this hoarde of non-humans.
Even if I longed for another company, I will only bring demise to them. Those who fear the might of a Dragon knows that we draw in conflicts.
With power came great responsibility. And power attracts another power. Hence why so many of my brethren lived in solitude. To not invite demise to their selves, or to others.
Personally, I too wanted neither of them. I have stopped caring for those that demanded my treasure but my vanity wished so that no harm could befall upon others who have home to return to.
As I exhaled once again, my eyes slowly closed. Bits by bits, my consciousness slipped away-
I heard a roar.
"...!" I raised my head.
Normally, that was the case. But to most, even such gesture was impossible to be done.
Power... a word filled with power descended into the realm. A power like no other, unmatched by any entity.
A one of a kind. A power... that is exclusive only for my race.
"...who...?" I wondered aloud, searching my memories that have vastly improved and disallowed me to forget even a single moment.
With a wisdom tempered by eons of battle, I have known the horror of this realm I called as 'home', and experienced many painful wounds enough to make me believe that death was a far better option than living.
Thus I wondered. I do not know this voice. I do not recall of having heard of it. Even among the dragons I have encountered, none sounded so... so...
I cast my gaze up toward the ethereal sky glimmering with stars. Stars of different worlds. Of different realms. Of different dimensions.
This realm disconnected from everything, was inversely, connected to everything. All kind of creatures that took residence here by no means came from different times, but also places. Oddly similar like how the Throne of Heroes heeded calling from different times or places, but working in reserve for this realm.
Where everything existed and not, here was a nexus similar to melting pot filled to the brim by beasts struggling for survival. Yet in this realm...
I sensed it. A King had descended, indomitable and powerful without peers. That greatest presence caused the realm to tremble...
And the sky shattered.
What I saw was something like a stained glass of different colors. Various shards of the sky fell as something unexplainable twisted the space within the hole that suddenly appeared in the heaven.
Then, as another roar echoed... I could finally see it.
A body that seemed like it could crush the world. Crimson wings that seemed like to carry the entire sky. A long tail, strong back legs with elongated arms, all equipped by a set of cruel claws. And a head that possessed the unique characteristics of a single species.
"A... dragon." I voiced out, my breath was taken by the sheer size and power the soaring creature gave.
He radiated with power from every inch of his body. With insurmountable amount of prana, he carried himself as if he was swimming in the atmosphere where the thickest layer of prana could have dropped him down like a deadweight.
His eyes, glazing over the landscape as if sneering at all that were below him shone. Only fools in want of death could ever meet his gaze, yet I stood in silence.
Captivated, by the existence that made me feeble. A figure that was similar to those I have met. A figure... that radiated the will to abide what they wanted by upholding their own ideal.
But then, I noticed a chill. Something warned me... no, told me. And in the next instant, I recognized one fact.
The dragon was staring at me.
In his eyes, my figure was reflected. I thought he was staring at the treasure I possessed but his eyes showed no sign of moving. No sign of greed. No sign of desire.
Only staring as if measuring my worth.
Then - the dragon snorted, before letting loose an earth-shattering roar.
The entire realm trembled. I trembled. My entire body and my senses shivered uncontrollably as if my existence was being distorted from the inside-out.
Then I heard the sounds of glass breaking apart. I looked behind me, witnessing a spectacle similar to the one that appeared in the sky.
A dimensional boundary was destroyed.
Just like that? With a simple roar? An incoherent word carrying no meaning except to flaunt one's own might and Majesty...
Is capable of shattering the barrier of dimension this realm had? What kind of absurd power is that? Isn't this already at the same level of Second Magic?
I whipped my head up, hearing a deep voice holding authority. I looked up as the red dragon opened up another dimensional tunnel before him, his body slowly entering the distorted space.
"Come. My brethren." I heard his voice again.
It prompted me to look behind me. At the destroyed dimensional wall enough for me to enter. I know nothing of what lied beyond it but I glanced at it, then at the treasure I had.
I don't know what I should do. I am bound by a duty to protect this grail so that man cannot ruin itself. If I left it alone, what would happen to it?
Then I heard his voice again, and another change occurred.
The Treasure shone as if it had found a wish. I blinked in surprise as suddenky, the ground beneath it caved in and the Greater Grail was swallowed by the earth.
What...?! I was shocked by the spectacle, but then I felt a trace of prana drifting in the air. And it carried the scent of...
Is this a spell...? To contain the Grail? How could this be possible?
But... but... if what I am seeing is the truth, then... the Greater Grail can no longer be reached by anyone, even by me.
I stared at the ground where the Treasure was swallowed up. The wish-granting machine no longer able to influence man, sealed for eternity by a dragon that surpassed any other dragon.
And it means... my duty too has ended, right at this moment.
"Come." I heard the voice as the dimensional boundary began to restore itself.
Staring at the unknown, I was washed over by anxiety. With my duty, my sworn oath be fulfilled ahead of time, I did not know what to-do. I hesitated, even as the gap between dimensions repaired itself.
I remembered how I longed for companion. I remembered the times that have long passed. The war I participated in out of my selfish desire. The bonds I built... the promise I made with those that trusted me.
...I... remember clearly.
'Live. For all of us.'
Thus my siblings told me. My family said with all the loving grace and warmth blessing me. The Homunculus born from alchemical experiments reminded me.
'Live freely. Away from this place. Away from greed that consumed man.'
I recalled what they wanted. Their desires so that I could live freely. So that I am allowed to possess freedom. To have a free will.
'We will meet again...'
And I remembered vividly an oath I have carved on my soul. With a certain saint. With a certain Maiden of Orlean.
"Come." The dragon commanded.
"...ah." I nodded in response.
I walked toward it. I approached the distorted dimension before me, feeling something blowing against me.
Wind... a wind that was similar to the one when I broke out from my human shell. A fresh wind that drew me in to soar into the distant horizon.
I accepted it, embraced it-I dove into the unknown for the second time.
I will live... and I will, this time, choose my own fate.
And so, the prologue ends. Uh... I'm not sure of the execution since I only gllimpsed a little of Vol. 5, and took my own interpretation about the rest of it. Even though I can't read Japanese, I can still give my effort to understand reoccurring phrases. Also, Katakana and Hiragana aren't going to be a trouble soon for me.
What about kanjis? Don't ask. Just... don't. Other than that, I'm not too much into technical details, or magecraft except those in general so it'll be great if I can have a crash course without having to melt my brain out in the first few hours. Even though our MC here is a Beast, he's also formerly a Hybrid, and closely resemble our auburn-haired Ally of Justice in some sides (like the 'Faker' moniker).