Okay... I know it is kind of annoying for my followers that I'm going to be posting this instead of updating my current fics... but I want to point out that this is less a serious fic and more something for me to do if I want some down time from anything with a... you know... actual plot.
This story is for all intents and purposes, nothing more than a framing device for some Slice Of Life Hijinks with many Characters from Type-Moon Works.
I will also point out here that I decided to include Tsukihime characters but since this occurs before such things as Kagetsu Tohya and Melty Blood, I am actually going to use one of the routes from the original VN... the route I've chosen to use is the Ciel Good Ending... so if you don't like that ending, feel free to leave.
Anyway... unlike Projected Denial, this isn't a Parody but humor will be a strong focus.
Also... I decided I would post this as a celebration for reaching 2,000 favs as an author.
Anyway... since that is over... let's get on with the start of this fic.
He took a deep breath as he stepped out of the airport terminal and into the open air once again.
It was nice to smell relatively fresh air once again but he would work on that once he had set everything up properly.
To think, not long ago he had been confident that humanity was hopeless and worthy of nothing more than total destruction… but the past several years had opened his eyes.
Humanity may have been corrupted over the past several thousand years, it may have lost the strength it once needed… but the world itself had lost most of its power and humanity was slowly but surely cutting itself free from the shackles that had been placed on it four thousand years ago.
Beyond that, he had spent much time travelling and despite the issues the world was facing, he could see the spark of creation in the eyes of the humans, their artistic talents overtaking their need to build just to survive.
His previous judgement had been too hasty… he would give them a chance to prove themselves.
First however, was getting rid of the garbage that had invaded his world.
Dead Apostles, Demons, Aristotles and more plagued this world and he wasn't going to tolerate them any longer.
The Church and the Mages Association clearly had sections dedicated to eradicating those pests but he could honestly say that it was time a more thorough measure was taken against them.
First however, he needed to make sure his people wouldn't be wiped out in the next few months.
That was why he had once again returned to the place where it had all started.
Where the Fourth Grail War had taken place… the war he had been summoned to compete in.
For all intents and purposes, victory had been his but the Grail had been damaged by the man that was dead inside.
Well, he supposed it turned out to be a good outcome anyway, the corruption of the Grail would've wiped out most of humanity and while there was a certain value to that idea… there were good points to modern humans that wouldn't survive that ordeal.
He didn't bother rushing as he made his way to the Ryuudou Temple, sure he wouldn't be returning to the man that had served as his master in the latter part of the last war, but he had more important things to take care of.
Plus, that man wouldn't be particularly receptive of his new decision even if it wouldn't result in his death.
It didn't matter in the end, but at least the empty shell of a priest could die unknowing that the suffering that filled the hole in his heart would be undone by the very partner he once worked for.
For now, he only had one goal.
To return to his duty and give humanity the king it needed once again.
XXX FATE/GOLDEN ORDER XXX
The Greater Grail.
It was something he had previously dismissed as useless but now he knew the truth.
It was corrupt.
It was broken.
It could wipe out all of humanity if unleashed.
And he wouldn't tolerate the broken vessel that existed before him any longer.
This would certainly be easier for him if he had been summoned into the Caster Class but he wasn't going to complain… he had more than enough resources and knowledge to deal with this issue appropriately despite that disadvantage.
The first course of action would be the simplest… wiping out the corrupted influence that infected the Grail.
It was a simple effect to search for, 'A Weapon That Can Purify Evil' and he could easily pick out hundreds of objects in his vault that fulfilled that condition.
He only needed one and so he pulled the first Holy Sword he could find from his vault.
He didn't know the name of the sword but that didn't matter, all it needed to do was function and it would do that without issue.
Taking the sword by the hilt, he plunged it into the ritual circle that was carved into the ground of the cavern he was in and activated the sword.
The Ritual Circle practically glowed as he used the Divine power to burn away at the existence that had infected the wish granting device, unwavering as he kept the flow of power going until finally, there was nothing left to burn away.
There was also the annoying side effect that Kotomine would be effected by what he was doing, what with how his false heart was connected to the Grail, but his death was just a necessary sacrifice for what he was doing.
Step One, Complete.
Step Two could be trickier… it would require an object capable of producing enough raw power to manifest the Grail without the Souls of Servants but the condition was yet again simple 'An Object That Can Produce Enough Power To Force A Miracle'.
The list of viable objects was significantly shorter this time, however there were some available and he pulled on the first one that fit the desired attributes.
Pulling it free of his Vault, he looked at the object with a raised eyebrow.
It was a massive chunk of Gemstone shaped like a sword.
Dismissing the appearance he aimed it at the Ritual Circle and activated it.
The power output was impressive, impressive enough that he could honestly place it's destructive potential as being close to Ea itself, but while his most powerful sword achieved it's destructive power though it's nature, this achieved it through the sheer quantity of mana it could gather and release.
The power was enough to force the Greater Grail to manifest even if it couldn't function as it was truly intended to.
However the purpose for manifesting it was simple.
This treasure could gather immense amounts of mana without drawing from the surrounding area… and so he did something he doubted the creator of the Grail had intended.
He cut it off from the Fuyuki Leylines and connected it to the treasure from his vault.
Step Two, Complete.
Step Three would be the hardest to manage with his current class but it would still be doable.
Reprogramming the Grail.
The wish granting aspect of it was unnecessary for his purposes, beyond that, if a human has a wish that they want achieved then they should work towards achieving it under their own power… not relying on an object that would simply throw power around to achieve it.
Then there was the aspect of summoning the Servants themselves.
The restrictions that were naturally in place for what the Grail could summon were stifling, so he would lift them to allow for more interesting specimens to be summoned and in greater quantities.
As for the Servant Containers themselves… those class containers would be a good base to build off of but they were inefficient and would require a massive upkeep that would be taxing on the Magi partnered with them if they ever left the influence of the Grail.
There was a simple solution to that however.
With the power output of the new battery, it would be more than possible to manifest the servants with bodies made of Ether Clumps… bodies that wouldn't be rejected by Gaia and would drastically cut down on their upkeep cost.
It would also remove their ability to Astralize but it was a worthwhile trade off for a more stable form.
The final aspect that would need changing would be the most important.
The selection of Masters.
Currently set to those with wishes, he would have to alter that to achieve the goals he was aiming for.
The requirement of "Magi That Are Prepared To Work Towards The Betterment Of The World For Everyone" would be more appropriate for what he was after.
And so, he focused as he started to work on making the necessary adjustments.
It wouldn't be long before his new champions were gathered and then, then the real work would begin.
XXX FATE/GOLDEN ORDER XXX
Illyasviel Von Einzbern could only release a sigh of relief as the pain finally stopped.
She was currently close to being completely alone in the forest surrounding her family's estate with her only company being the massive bronze monster of a man that had been summoned by her not that long ago.
Herakles, the greatest of the Greek Heroes… currently manifested in the Berserker Class.
Maintaining him had been an exercise in managing excruciating pain, the strain he put on her magic circuits simply to keep around was immense and she felt like she was going to burn to ash throughout the entire ordeal.
But now the strain was mitigated.
That meant that the Grail had activated and she was now receiving assistance in maintaining Berserker.
Now, now she could travel to Fuyuki and meet the boy that stole her father from her.
She let out a small smirk at that thought, maybe she should have Berserker crush his servant, then crush his body, one limb at a time… before crushing his body and leaving the head alone for her to keep alive and mount as a trophy to prove she was the better sibling.
Yes, the sooner she could get to Fuyuki the better.
Even her grandfather wanted to wait, well, she had Berserker now so he couldn't really argue with her anymore.
By this time tomorrow, she would make sure she was in Fuyuki, ready for the war to come.
XXX FATE/GOLDEN ORDER XXX
Lord El-Melloi II could do little more than stare in shock at the back of his hand.
Why was there a set of command seals there?
He was certain that he hadn't been selected as the representative of the Clock Tower for this upcoming Grail War… that honour lay with that Galliasta magus and the Fraga that did some jobs for the association.
Did that mean he had been selected independently of the Clock Tower? Just like had been the last time he had travelled to Japan to participate in the Grail War?
He grimaced as he felt a powerful compulsion come over him, commanding him to go back to Fuyuki City.
That hadn't happened the last time he had gotten his command seals and it made it perfectly clear to him that something was dramatically different this time around.
He probably should inform Reines about this.
Then again, if he informed her about this then she might decide to follow him and that could cause problems in and of itself.
Plus, the compulsion clearly meant that something was going to happen and given how the Moonlit world worked, that something could very well kill him.
Making his decision, he refrained from informing the girl that had forced him into being her 'big brother' and prepared to book a flight for two to Japan.
It may not have been what he wanted to do, but he wasn't going to ignore an issue like this.
He quickly sent a message before packing for the trip, he may not let Reines come with him… but there was someone else that would be useful for the war regardless of how badly it went.
XXX FATE/GOLDEN ORDER XXX
Luviagelita Edelfelt could do little more than laugh as she looked at the marking on the back of her hand.
Sure she wasn't all that read up on the Grail War but the general basis of it was well known… including the concept of the command seals that gave them control of a Servant.
Admittedly, she didn't know why she had been selected but she had and she was going to make her way to Fuyuki City to compete in this competition.
Well, not compete in… win.
As one of the heirs of the Edelfelt family, it was only natural that she should aim for victory in any form of battle, even if she was simply commanding those that would fight for her.
And getting to the battleground was the first priority in her mind as she packed her luggage for the journey… she would find somewhere to stay when she got there, for now she had the more important issue of getting to Fuyuki so she could summon her servant and then arrange her plans around who she summoned.
She was obviously not going to use a catalyst, while many magi considered it perfectly normal and reasonable to do so, it was also known that summoning without a catalyst would call forth the Servant most suited to the magus.
And compatibility is more important than anything when teamwork in required.
It was obvious to her however, that whoever she summoned would be the best servant in the war and she would undoubtedly emerge victorious.
What other outcome could there be?
XXX FATE/GOLDEN ORDER XXX
Her heart started to race as she noticed the markings on the back of her hand.
Command Seals for the Fuyuki Holy Grail War.
This was it.
This could be her chance to find a method of dealing with her current issue.
A single wish and everything could be undone.
Certainly, she had not expected such a convenient solution to her problem to appear for her, having long since been both desperate for a way to undo the damage done to her while simultaneously accepting the possibility that it would be impossible to neutralize.
There were several wishes she could potentially make with the Grail but the one that struck her as the most useful was simply to prevent TATARI from being created in the first place, undoing all the damage it had done… and saving both herself and her… friend? She still wasn't entirely sure if that was the appropriate word for their relationship but it was the closest she could think of to describe it.
She shook her head clear of those thoughts.
She had to make her way to Japan and Fuyuki City in particular before she could take any action on the situation at hand.
At least her victory was probable, there weren't many that could calculate as many variables as she could after all and predicting her foes was a specialty of hers.
She just hoped the Church didn't have a hit out on her in those distant lands.
Being bitten by a Vampire had certainly not helped her at all.
XXX FATE/GOLDEN ORDER XXX
Bazett Fraga McRemitz found herself seated on an aeroplane bound for Japan while trying her hardest to not smile at the situation.
She had been chosen as a master for the Fifth Holy Grail War.
Upon receiving the Command Seals, she had immediately booked a flight for Fuyuki and packed as quickly as possible.
It was certainly an exciting situation for her, the fact was that she would finally get the opportunity to meet Cu Chulainn, the greatest of the Irish Heroes.
It may have been an idea to inform the Mage's Association before participating but if she did that then there was no guarantee she wouldn't be pressured into summoning someone else and that wasn't something she was prepared to risk in this situation.
"Hello Fraga," she was pulled from her thoughts as a voice called out from the isle, a voice she was certain she had heard before but couldn't quite place, "what takes you to Japan?"
Looking at the owner of the voice she found herself immediately recognising the man that stood mere feet from her seat.
Lord El-Melloi II with his hooded apprentice standing not far from him.
Not someone she was all that familiar with personally but she had heard that he was a survivor of the Fourth Grail War…
If he had been in the previous Grail War then there was a good chance he was going to be participating again.
"Oh, something of interest just came up," she decided to try and keep it as undescriptive as possible despite having a strong suspicion that he would see right through her.
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure I encountered what you're going for ten years ago," the man stated and she found herself growing tense at his decision to not try and hide what he was talking about to her, "and I'm also certain something has happened with it since then."
She narrowed her eyes at that.
What was he trying to insinuate? Or was he trying to mess with her head before they fought on the battle field?
"And what makes you say that?" she decided to humour him before treating him as a threat, they were on a public aeroplane after all and starting a fight here would only make it harder to get to the ritual.
"Last time, I wasn't nearly as compelled to make the journey," his statement made her frown slightly… why wouldn't he be as compelled to make the journey? Surely he still had his wish from the last war?
"And what has changed since then?" she pried further, hoping he would let something slip.
"Tell me miss Fraga… how much thought did you put into this?" it was a question aimed at her and she found herself opening her mouth to answer before stalling.
Why had she booked the first plane to Fuyuki?
Why hadn't she done more research into the local area? Or the likely masters of the war?
Why had she rushed over like a complete amateur?
That was when what he said hit her.
She had been so excited to be participating that she hadn't even noticed the compulsion that had made her act recklessly in her preparations.
What a rookie mistake to have made.
"Will all passengers please make their way to their seats," a call could be heard from the front of the cabin and Lord El-Melloi simply gave her one last look before speaking once again.
"When we get to Fuyuki, be careful of everyone," and with that the long haired man left for his seat.
Bazett for her part, simply released a sigh that he didn't seem to have any malicious intent towards her but she would take his advice… she would be careful of everyone… and especially of him.
XXX FATE/GOLDEN ORDER XXX
Well… that's new.
That was about the limit of her thoughts as she looked at the back of her hand with one raised eyebrow.
She had definitely heard of command seals but she had never thought she would ever so much as see a set… let alone get a set of her own.
Then there was the annoying compulsion that kept trying to command her to go to Fuyuki City.
Well, she guessed it wasn't that big of a problem.
Sure she had felt like returning to her hometown but that could wait.
And if the reason for interrupting her return wasn't good enough, whoever decided to put this compulsion on her would learn the hard way why Dead Apostle Ancestors tended to run instead of fight her.
She did cast one last glance at the sign she had stopped at before leaving in the direction of Fuyuki.
'Welcome To Misaki City'.
XXX FATE/GOLDEN ORDER XXX
She could do little more than grit her teeth as she received her orders.
To think that she had been selected as a master in the Heaven's Feel Ritual.
It didn't make any sense.
She had already managed to get what she wanted more than anything else and here she was being selected for a competition with the prize being a wish for anything she wanted?
Beyond that, she had already heard that the Grail granted command seals to the Tohsaka, Makiri and Einzbern families first and then magi with a wish after that.
So why was she being selected for this?
She briefly considered the possibility that the Grail sensed her desire to kill the blonde bimbo of a vampire but that was more of an urge than anything she was going to seriously consider given how vital that idiot had been in providing her with the life she currently lived.
Beyond that however there was another, even more important issue with going to Fuyuki City.
It meant leaving the blonde idiot with her boyfriend.
It was bad enough having to deal with her trying to steal Shiki when she was around, how bad would it get now that she was going to have to leave them alone for a few weeks at least?
She grit her teeth once again.
She would have to finish the conflict as soon as she could so she could get back before Arcueid corrupted Shiki any more than she already had.
Honestly, it was probably one of the most annoying situations she could think of.
But she would have to go, the Church had already commanded such from her and while she didn't have any love for that organisation, she wasn't immortal anymore and openly defying them likely wouldn't work out in her favour right now.
The worst part was feeling something that brought back horrible memories of her childhood… a compulsion.
It was only small, a light but insidious command to go to Fuyuki City, certainly nothing as sickening as the compulsion that made her bite her parents necks and drain them of all the blood in their bodies but it still reminded her of those urges.
She released a sigh of dissatisfaction as she made her decision… she would tell Shiki about where she was going and make her way to Fuyuki City with the utmost haste.
She should be capable of seeking shelter in the Church there until whatever the main branch decided to send her as a catalyst arrived and she could initiate the summoning ritual.
She would just have to deal with the blonde vampire's obvious cries of victory before she left.
And once again, her teeth gritted in annoyance as she steeled herself for the upcoming desire to brutally murder the most annoying person she had ever had the displeasure of getting to know.
XXX FATE/GOLDEN ORDER XXX
Tohsaka Rin felt her heartbeat rise as she looked at the command seals that marked the back of her hand.
The Fifth Grail War was finally upon her.
She had lost her father in the previous war but she wouldn't make the same mistakes he had… or at least, she hoped she wouldn't.
No, she mustn't think like that.
She was going to be victorious, she would bring glory to the Tohsaka family and access Akasha.
Of course, she would have to wait to make sure everything was just right for the summoning, she wanted to make certain she had the best servant possible after all.
However, for now, she had school to attend, she still had a few weeks before everything was just right for the summoning so she could release that from her mind.
But when the time came, she was going to get Saber and win the war.
XXX FATE/GOLDEN ORDER XXX
Matou Sakura could do little more than feel a sense of dread well up in her as she looked at the Command Seals that had burned themselves onto the back of hand.
She was going to have to summon a servant and participate in the Fifth Grail War.
Silently she hoped that her senpai wouldn't get dragged into the mess, he was such a kind person but he had a determination that would get him killed if he tried to participate in the war.
She didn't want him to get hurt… or die.
She tried to clear her thoughts as her 'Grandfather' finished looking over the seals on the back of her hand.
"We shall commence with the summoning at midnight," it wasn't a question, it wasn't even a command, it was a simple statement and she didn't have the courage to defy his decision.
She was going to summon a servant tonight and she was going to have to fight.
At least she would get to see Senpai today.
If she saw him then she might be capable of steeling herself for what was to come.
XXX FATE/GOLDEN ORDER XXX
Emiya Shirou could do little more than release a groan as he woke up on the floor of his shed.
He briefly released a sigh at the fact he had once again managed to fall asleep while trying to practice his magecraft.
Hopefully Fuji-nee and Sakura hadn't arrived yet but there was no guarantee that hadn't happened.
Rising from his position on the ground, he stretched his muscles in preparation for the start of the day and in an attempt to relieve himself of the cramps that had developed overnight.
Walking back into the main house, he immediately made his way to the kitchen where he was relieved to see that Sakura hadn't yet arrived for the day and he would get a chance to cook breakfast.
It was when he was reaching out for the refrigerator that he noticed it.
A strange marking on the back of his left hand.
He didn't know what it was, he didn't know how he had gotten it… and that was worrying.
Mystic marks didn't just appear out of nowhere for no reason and the mystery of where this one had come from was something he would have to try and figure out.
The issue with that was that he didn't know how to figure out where it came from in the first place.
He shook his head clear of those thoughts as he decided that he would have to deal with it later.
For now he had to prepare breakfast for Sakura and Fuji-nee.
His hands moved with a certainty that wasn't common for those that weren't professional chefs as he made his breakfast preparations.
"Good morning Senpai," he found himself drawn towards the door and caught sight of Sakura.
"Good morning Sakura," he responded to her greeting quickly as he turned his attention back towards the ingredients he was currently preparing… after all, if he had looked any longer then he wasn't sure he could've stopped himself from staring.
After all, the way the light had shone off her just then had emphasised her beauty and made it unmissable.
The problem with that of course, was that he didn't want to look at the sister of his friend like that.
She quickly entered the kitchen and started to move herself into his breakfast preparations without a single word or hint of hesitation.
He made no attempts at stopping her, her presence was welcome in his kitchen and as his protégé, she had managed to catch up with him in the art of meal preparation… though he was more than happy to admit that she surpassed him when it came to making traditional Japanese meals… after all, it gave him something to aim for when making it himself.
They worked together smoothly, neither of them getting in the way of the other as the meal came together with an almost expert proficiency as the two finished off the last touches and started to set the table in preparation for the other being that would assault the meal.
Honestly, mornings like this were a good way to start the day as far as he was concerned.
And with that, he continued to get everything ready for the day.
XXX FATE/GOLDEN ORDER XXX
Shirou could do little more than stretch out his muscles as eleven o'clock came around.
Fuji-nee and Sakura had both left some time ago and he would finally get the chance to practice his magecraft for the day.
Moving towards his shed, he felt himself resisting his attempts at going to his impromptu Workshop before turning around despite himself.
He found his eyes widening in shock and disbelief as his body started to move on its own and head out of his home and down the street.
It was definitely not a good situation that much was for certain as he tried to fight whatever force was making his body move against his will… unfortunately it seemed that whatever it was that was forcing him to walk was too strong for him to overcome and he soon found himself walking towards the local Church.
That was confusing at the very least.
Why was he being led towards the Church of all places?
It didn't make sense but he soon found himself pushing open the doors and walking inside despite himself.
The sight that greeted him was not what he was expecting.
The pews were all missing and it looked like someone had built a throne into the crucifix at the end of the hall.
However what caught his attention more than anything else, was the group of people currently standing in the cleared space.
"E-Emiya-kun?" his attention was drawn towards Tohsaka Rin before noting the way several faces all directed themselves at him in a way that seemed… almost wary?
"Emiya? As in Emiya Kiritsugu?" a short haired woman wearing a plain business suit asked with a mix of confusion and uncertainty.
"Huh? You knew my old man?" he found himself asking in surprise, causing a few others to frown in clear confusion.
Taking that moment to look at everyone, he was greeted by an interesting assortment of individuals.
First was obviously Tohsaka Rin, wearing a red sweater and a short black skirt with stockings.
There was also the strong looking woman wearing a business suit and a pair of orb like earrings.
There was a man with long black hair that was currently wearing a red coat and had a small figure wearing a grey cloak standing not far behind him.
A girl of a similar age to himself with very short blue hair and wearing a black robe that looked almost like a nun's.
There was a tiny girl with white hair and red eyes, wearing a purple coat and a white skirt… though he found the almost predatory smile she gave him when she noticed him looking at her unnerving to say the least.
There was a blonde girl with her hair styled into coils wearing a blue dress.
He noted that there was a woman with vermillion hair wearing a white shirt and a simple pair of blue jeans also present.
In another part of the room was a woman that looked distinctly uncomfortable even in comparison to everyone else who looked tense… this one possessing bright purple hair tied into a braided ponytail while she wore a strange purple uniform with a beret that he didn't recognise.
The last person he saw though made his eyes widen in surprise.
Why was Sakura here as well?
"Hello Onii-chan," the white haired girl spoke up while waving towards him and he found himself waving in response, "it's so good to finally meet you."
"A-ah… yeah," he wasn't certain how he should respond to the enthusiastic girl's call but didn't get enough time to respond as an unfamiliar voice cut in.
"Welcome Magi of the modern world," his attention was drawn towards one of the doors leading into the back of the Church as a blond man wearing solid gold armour came in from the side and made his way to sit in the makeshift throne at the end of the hall… before his mind latched onto an important part of that statement.
Did that mean everyone in this room was a Magus?
Because if so, then that meant that both Sakura and Tohsaka were magi.
Looking at Tohsaka, he noticed that her attention seemed to have slipped towards him with surprise clear on her face as she probably came to the same realisation he just had.
Glancing over at Sakura however, caused him to see something different.
The way she was looking down apologetically made it clear that unlike him, she knew he wasn't normal.
"G-Gilgamesh," the man with long hair sounded shocked as he said a name that was somewhat familiar to him even if it couldn't possibly be the same person that immediately came to mind at that name.
"Oh? So you were chosen, Waver Velvet," the man in gold spoke up with an amused tone before dismissing the man with no effort.
"You know who this person is Lord El-Melloi," the woman in the suit asked the man questioningly.
"Servant Archer, of the previous Grail War," the man stated firmly as he refused to take his eyes of the stranger.
That seemed to earn a collective shifting from most of the group, honestly the only people who didn't seem somewhat put out by that announcement were the white haired girl and the bright red haired woman.
Unfortunately he had no idea what the man was talking about so he didn't know how he should react to this blond man's presence.
"Sorry… but I have no idea what's going on right now," he decided to ask, "what do you mean by 'Servant Archer' and what's a Grail War?"
That seemed to draw at least some of the attention in the room, though the only people that looked away from the Golden man were the same two that didn't seem too concerned about the previous statement about who he was.
"What, didn't your dad tell you anything?" the woman with the red hair asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Uh… all he really told me was that he was a magus," he decided to admit uncertainly, "it took months for me just to convince him to teach me the basics of magecraft."
The red head seemed to accept that quickly, though the white haired girl looked almost confused at his statement.
"Can we get back to the point," the purple haired woman asked with no inflection, "some of us are here for a reason."
Shirou honestly didn't know what the point was but the man in gold spoke up once again.
"Your questions can be answered later," the man sounded somewhat irritated at the interruption but continued quickly, "for now, I shall explain the current situation."
Silence had been a strong theme of this gathering so far, with most of the individuals keeping to themselves from what Shirou could tell but now everyone's attention was drawn towards the man.
"As Waver Velvet stated to you all, I am Gilgamesh the first Hero of mankind," the charisma the man possessed was clear to Shirou and he found himself believing the golden man despite his previous thoughts that such a thing was impossible, "when I was summoned to this era, I found myself dissatisfied with how humanity had progressed… it only seemed natural to let them be wiped out."
Shirou felt his blood run cold at that casual statement of genocide… this person, this person clearly didn't care for people if he was so unconcerned about potential extinction.
"Over the past ten years, I have travelled this world and witnessed more of humanity than I had been aware of from my short time in this era before," the man continued with his blood red eyes displaying a certain sense of… mirth, at his statement, "seeing humanity struggling to improve, to transcend the limits that now plague it… I have decided to grant humanity a small mercy."
"Humanity has clearly become a shadow of itself without a true king to lead them," the man stated easily, "as such, I feel it is my obligation to provide them with another chance… a chance to prove themselves worthy of existing under my rule."
That sounded ominous to say the least.
"What does this have to do with the Heaven's Feel and us?" the woman in red easily interrupted the stranger and was quickly prompted to stop by the long haired man that Gilgamesh called Waver Velvet.
"This Holy Grail was infected," the legendary figure stated easily, "I have destroyed the infection and modified the Grail to operate under new resources and rules."
Shirou honestly couldn't say anything about that, he had no idea what the man meant when it came to resources and rules since he didn't even know what this so called, Holy Grail was meant to do in the first place.
"I take it you changed the selection of masters as part of those modifications," the red headed woman asked with ease, clearly not intimidated by the man before her.
"Indeed," the red eyed man did sound irritated but carried on regardless, "the Grail was originally created to grant wishes, that much you should all be aware of already."
Shirou found himself blinking in surprise at that claim but kept his silence.
"Such a pathetic prize to fight for," the man sounded scornful of the idea as he looked at the group before him, "so upon cleansing the Grail of the Corruption that hid within it, I removed that capacity, altered its power source and have made it appropriate for my goal."
He noted the way the woman in purple seemed to grit her teeth at that declaration but once again his attention was drawn back towards the man that stood before them all.
"You have all been selected to act as the enforcers of the Kingdom I shall create," he spoke as if it was a great honour for them to be chosen for this purpose, "for you are all Magi who are willing to work for the betterment of humanity… with two exceptions."
Shirou noticed the way the man gave a cold glare at the little girl who seemed almost furious at the situation she was currently involved in.
"However, I shall grant you a mercy and allow you to keep your status as a master until such a time as I feel you have betrayed my trust, little doll," the stranger that commanded the gathered crowd stated with a clear air of disdain in his tone before turning his attention towards the figure in the cloak.
"She's my apprentice," the man wearing the red coat stated quickly, "she's here because of me."
"Hn," the man in gold seemed to dismiss the situation with that small explanation.
"I have a question," the blue haired woman who had been waiting quietly up until now asked seriously, "where is the priest that runs this church?"
"Kotomine's heart was destroyed during the Fourth Grail War," the golden man responded easily before continuing, "he was granted a new heart by the corruption within the Grail… now that I have cleansed the corruption, he has expired."
That… didn't seem to make sense as far as Shirou could tell.
"Now, that is enough talking," Gilgamesh stated firmly, "it is time for you to summon your servants and take your place as masters in my Golden Order."
Summon a servant?
Shirou found himself frowning in confusion at that claim by the golden king.
His confusion however was interrupted by the blond man snapping his fingers and the floor igniting in an intense display of light.
"I'm sorry… but I have no idea what's going on right now," Shirou admitted with his frown still clear on his face, "what do you mean when you say we are to summon our servants?"
"Oh? You certainly seem rather slow on the uptake," the girl in blue finally spoke up and his attention was drawn towards the way she seemed to find his question amusing, "it seems we're being expected to summon our Servants for the Grail War here."
"There is no Grail War," Gilgamesh stated firmly causing the girl to blink, "you are here to summon your Servants so you may enforce my will and destroy the filth that has infested this world during my absence."
Shirou found himself frowning as he asked something he was certain was important.
"What do you mean by filth?" it was the obvious question but it could completely change the situation he had found himself in depending on the answer.
"The creatures you call Dead Apostles, demons and other creatures that should not exist in this world," the man in gold stated firmly.
And Shirou found himself knowing what he had to do.
Kiritsugu may not have told him much but he had managed to weasel the knowledge of some things out of the man and the little he said on the subject of Dead Apostles had been chilling when he had first learned about them.
Sure, he didn't really know much except that they were cruel, malicious and very much anti-human but that was enough to let him know that they were the enemy.
"Okay, what do I have to do?" he asked without hesitation.
"E-Emiya!" Tohsaka seemed surprised by his statement but he just walked towards the ritual circle without faltering.
"Hn, it would appear as if you finally understand the opportunity I have given you," the red eyed man seemed almost amused by his conviction.
"Not really," he admitted, "but if we're going to be stopping those things then that means we'll be saving people… that's all I need to know."
Looking at the ritual circle he thought about what little his father had taught him about them, that they generally did most of the work and all he really needed to do was supply the Mana.
And so he closed his eyes and got to work converting one of his nerves into a magic circuit.
"Enough," his attention was broken when the gold man made that command, "explain."
He could nothing more than frown in confusion.
"Explain what?" he had no idea what the man was annoyed about but it was obvious he wasn't happy.
"Explain why you are turning your nerves into magic circuits," immediately everyone in the room gave off indications of surprise and he frowned in confusion.
"Isn't that how you use magecraft?" he asked in clear confusion.
"Only if you want to kill yourself," the voice of the red haired woman called out with annoyance in her own tone and he turned to face her, "seriously, didn't your father teach you anything?"
"Well… he didn't really want to teach me anything," he admitted, "I had to fight tooth and nail just to get him to teach me reinforcement and projection."
"S-senpai…" his hearing caught Sakura looking at him with a downcast expression adorning her face and a trace of guilt also evident.
Looking at everyone else in the room, he noted the way they all seemed shocked by the revelation that he wasn't a good magus.
It made him wonder if Kiritsugu had been well known among magi.
Then his eyes caught sight of the little girl with white hair and he found himself becoming even more confused as she stared at him in a state that looked almost catatonic.
"Tch," the man in gold seemed irritated by the situation, "come here."
It was obviously a command and Shirou found himself obeying it without really thinking, wondering just how bad he really was if everyone seemed unable to comprehend him using his nerves as Circuits.
Upon reaching the man he found a hand placed on his chest before a burning pain rushed through him.
"Grgh!" he took an involuntary step back but the result had already been achieved.
"Senpai!" Sakura's voice called out in clear concern as she moved towards him.
"It's fine Sakura," he called out to her as he frowned in confusion.
The pain had been just a quick jolt but he could now tell that he had what appeared to be about… twenty-seven active magic circuits in his body.
What was most surprising was the fact that he could tell none of them were formed from his nerves and they weren't causing him searing pain just by being active.
"Now, perform your summoning," the red eyed man stated firmly and Shirou found himself nodding in compliance.
"Y-yeah," it was confusing but he returned to the ritual circle as he asked the question on his mind, "what did you do to me just then?"
"I forced your magic circuits open," the man stated with any inflection.
Shirou found himself nodding in acceptance.
He had thought the man had somehow given him circuits but the idea that these ones were already there but he hadn't realised it actually made some sense, especially given how everyone else reacted to the knowledge that he made his circuits out of his nerves.
"Trace On," he spoke softly as he activated his magic circuits and pushed his power out of his body and into the ritual circle.
He didn't know what the circle did but if there was anything he could say, it was that that lack of knowledge was a benefit here… he didn't know what the end result was and so simply focusing on activating the ritual array was simple enough.
The array glowed brightly before reaching a crescendo and erupting in a flash that could be described as being almost like lightning.
"Servant Saber," a calm voice spoke out from the array and Shirou found himself looking for the owner of the voice, "I ask of you, are you my master."
The person that had appeared in the ritual circle looked young, no older than he himself did. However that didn't change the fact that she was beautiful, smooth skin, blonde hair that had a lustre almost like gold and she wore a blue dress with steel armour overlaying it.
His attention was drawn by a small gasp that sounded almost shocked but was stopped from looking to see who had done so before the golden king spoke up.
"Heh, hello again Saber," the man in gold called out with a satisfied grin adorning his face.
The blonde woman froze temporarily before looking at the man in gold and speaking something very simple.
"Who are you?" her voice was firm and Shirou found himself instantly noticing that despite her question, there was a clear sense of distaste in her tone as she addressed the golden king.
"Do not think you can fool me Saber," the man stated with a smile that almost looked malicious, "the passion in those eyes of yours tell me that you remember the last time we met."
Shirou may not have understood the situation but even he could tell that the one that called herself Saber was tensing up in preparation for a battle.
"Hold on just a minute!" the girl with curls for her hair spoke up in clear indignation, "Servants are not supposed to remember any previous time they were summoned."
"Normally that would be true," Gilgamesh responded before her protests could continue, "however, you're not a normal Servant are you Saber?"
The way he spoke that made it clear that the man with red eyes already had at least an idea of what was going on… which was more than Shirou could even hope to understand right now.
It also seemed to put the armoured woman even more on edge than she already was.
"Now Saber… have you reconsidered my offer?" the man asked and Shirou looked between the two as Saber became so tense he was certain she was going to spring into action at any second.
"I would rather die than accept your offer," the girl stated with a complete conviction in her tone that made Shirou tense in nervousness himself.
"I see…" the armoured man responded casually, "well, I suppose our last meeting would have happened almost immediately before now from your perspective… so I shall be lenient and grant you time to reassess your decision."
That seemed to confuse the woman in steel armour.
"Now, go to your master and watch the rest of the summonings quietly," it was a simple command and despite everything, Shirou did at least understand that he was the most likely person to fit the bill of being her master.
"Uh, Saber-san… let's get out of the way," he decided to simply try and get the girl to cease glaring at the man in gold by getting her out of his line of sight.
She relented quickly but with a clear reluctance to step down against the first hero as she followed Shirou towards one of the walls.
"Well… I guess I'll go next," the man in red spoke up as he moved towards the ritual circle while the cloaked figure stared in Shirou's direction, it's face obscured by the shadows cast by the hood it was wearing.
Honestly it made Shirou uncomfortable.
The man in red pulled out a case that he quickly opened before pulling out a red cloth that looked to be ancient.
"Oh? So you are planning on summoning your king once again?" the amusement in Gilgamesh's voice was clear.
"There is no other Servant I could think of summoning," the man responded easily as he set the cloth down in the centre of the ritual circle.
Soon, the man started to chant, his aria clearly designed as a ten count and tailored for this ritual… honestly, the complexity of the chant made Shirou feel embarrassed that he could only manage two words for the ritual.
Eventually the ritual burst into light once again and he found himself wondering just what the man had summoned.
"AHAHAHA!" the boisterous laughter that echoed instantly drew his attention towards an absolutely massive man with short red hair and a matching beard, clad in bronze armour and a red cape, "it's good to see you again Waver Velvet."
The man at the ritual circle seemed surprised by that, though he wasn't the only one.
"My king," the man in red spoke with confusion, "you remember me?"
It was as if he couldn't believe it himself.
"You swore your loyalty to me," the man in bronze stated with a grin, "and I remember everyone that ever gave me their loyalty."
Several people seemed confused before the summoner seemed to come to a realisation.
"Your Noble Phantasm," it was quiet but the massive man simply laughed even more.
"Hn, so you too remember the previous war," the man in gold spoke up with some amusement in his tone.
"Oh?" the newly summoned man turned to face the blond man before speaking up again, "if it isn't Gilgamesh… I guess that proves this isn't a normal summoning after all."
"Indeed," the golden king seemed to be less amused with the newly summoned person but there was a clear lack of hostility in his tone as well, "you have been summoned to aid humanity in this era."
"Is that why this body feels closer to a real one than a class container?" the largest man in the room asked easily.
Shirou himself had no idea what the man was saying but noted the way everyone else seemed surprised by that question… while the girl that was called Saber seemed to stiffen at that.
"Of course, what good is an organisation of Masters and Servants if they're restricted by their forms and upkeep?" the red eyed king responded easily.
"I see," the red headed man responded with a tone of understanding, "am I right in thinking that you have changed your mind about conquering the world?"
"The world is already mine," the blond man stated without any hint of uncertainty in his voice, "I merely need people to evict those that aren't welcome here."
"Is that so," the large man said with a subtle grin adorning his face, "very well, I shall lend you my aid Gilgamesh."
Shirou immediately noted the small gasp of surprise that escaped the lips of the blonde woman he had summoned and he was obviously not the only one.
"Oh? Well if it isn't Saber!" the man seemed joyous to see her as well, "you look to be doing well!"
"And you appear to be just as foolish as you were the last time we met," the girl in blue and steel responded with a tone that sounded somewhat deadpanned and scathing at the same time.
"Ha! So you remember the last war as well," the bronze clad man said with clear amusement at her declaration.
"Indeed Saber does," Gilgamesh spoke up easily, "however, you are holding up the summoning… move."
The large man seemed to find more humour in that command but he did listen as he moved away from the summoning ritual to make way for the next magus.
"… I suppose I should go next," Tohsaka's voice called out and Shirou watched as she strode firmly up to the summoning ritual, "I was waiting for the best time but I guess I'll just have to make do."
"If you wish to perform a summoning at another time then feel free to return," the golden man stated with an uncaring shrug, "I expect you all to summon multiple servants over time regardless."
"W-what?!" Tohsaka sounded genuinely shocked by that statement and it appeared she wasn't the only one.
"I guess that makes sense," the man named Waver spoke up easily, drawing attention to him, "the drain I feel on my reserves is practically non-existent compared to the last time I supported a servant."
"Well, that's what a proper body does for us," the red headed 'servant' stated with amusement.
Tohsaka seemed somewhat uncertain despite it but quickly started her own version of the summoning.
The ritual glowed just as normal before dying down to reveal someone that didn't feel like the previous two.
It wasn't the bone white hair, it wasn't the tanned skin or the cynical eyes… it was the red coat, black vest, black trousers and boots.
That wasn't including the fact that Shirou found himself immediately disliking the man even though he was certain he'd never met him before.
The newly summoned individual scanned the room, his eyes resting on Shirou for an instant longer than everyone else but the redhead could tell the man had the same dislike for him that he had for the man just from those eyes.
"Well… this is different," the man in red stated with a blasé tone.
"I suppose it is, Faker," upon hearing Gilgamesh say that, the white haired man turned to face the golden king who simply stared at the new Servant with a frown.
"I'm an Archer," the newly summoned being stated bluntly.
"Your class if irrelevant to you being a Faker," the blond man stated firmly, "now leave the ritual circle, there are more that have to summon."
The tanned man seemed unsure of what to do but a little prompting by Tohsaka caused him to follow while frowning while looking at his hands.
It was almost immediate when the woman wearing the business suit stepped up with a clear hesitation as she removed her earrings and placed them in the ritual circle and started to chant before anyone could say anything in response.
Just as before, the ritual circle glowed before the light dyed down to reveal a tall man with blue hair and a boyish grin, wearing a black body suit, a tattered blue mantle with a fur rimmed hood that was held closed by a thick rope, lower robes that matched the mantle outside of the gold lines that zagged across each other and a white cloth that was held over the lower robe by a segmented leather belt.
In his hand was also a large wooden staff.
"Yo, I'm servant Caster," the man stated with a grin as he looked upon the others, "it would seem I've been summoned in a pretty interesting situation."
The woman seemed shocked by that statement but quickly shook her head.
"I'm sorry, I wasn't expecting you in the Caster Class," she admitted nervously.
"Ah, expecting me as a Lancer right?" the newly summoned person guessed easily, earning a nod of acknowledgement from the woman, "well, I think you got lucky with this but that's just me."
Shirou couldn't stop himself from frowning… he would definitely need to get someone to get him up to speed on what was going on right now.
"I see… now, we should move over to let the other potential masters perform their own summonings," the woman stated, earning an amused chuckle off the man though he quickly complied.
"Well, given that Tohsaka has already summoned her Servant, I think it is only natural I summon my own," the blonde girl wearing blue stated as she moved towards the ritual circle.
It seemed as though the nervousness that had permeated the room before had lightened somewhat and the latest magus to step up to the ritual started to chant before the room was once again engulfed in a bright light before Shirou opened his eyes to see the result.
This time the figure that was called forth was a young woman with long black hair and vibrant red eyes, who wore what appeared to be a military uniform from only a couple of hundred years ago at the earliest, with a pair of grieves covering her legs and a large red cloak wrapped around her neck. Then there was the hat that fit with her uniform except for the large golden crest that came from the front.
"Greetings Magus! I am Servant Demon Archer!" the girl announced with a clear authority in her tone.
"D-demon Archer?" the blonde girl that had just performed the summoning sounded genuinely shocked at that announcement, "t-that isn't a proper class! The traditional classes are-!"
"Screw tradition!" the newly summoned girl declared firmly, "revolution and progress are the name of the game!"
"BWAHAHAHA!" immediately the man called Rider let out a massive laugh at that declaration, "sounds like a good time!"
"And who are you?!" the red eyed girl finally seemed to notice the other people in the room and glared at the large man.
"I am the King Of Conquerors! The Great Iskandar!" the man announced clearly, earning several shocked gasps from the group while Saber and Waver proceeded to simply facepalm at him, "now the question is, who are you?"
"Oh? So you are the Great King of Macedonia," the girl seemed almost amused by that declaration, "very well, hear my name and tremble in fear! For I am-!"
"STOP IT YOU MORON!"
The girl with blonde curls shouted in clear anger before continuing with an obvious heat in her tone, "you are not supposed to give your name to your opponent!"
"There shall be no fighting here," the cold tone of the Golden King came firmly, causing everyone to look at him in anticipation, "you have all been selected to fulfil the same role and I expect you to cooperate with each other."
"And who are you?" the black haired girl seemed unimpressed by the golden king that sat in his makeshift throne.
"That's Gilgamesh," the man that called himself Iskandar stated before anyone else could respond.
"Is that so?" the supposed Demon Archer said with a hint of distaste before speaking to the blonde king, "so give me one good reason why I shouldn't kill you here."
"Oh? You would dare try to threaten me?" the red eyed man asked with a dangerous edge to his tone and Shirou found himself gulping nervously.
"Why wouldn't I threaten a slave of those relics called gods?" was the immediate response from the recently summoned girl.
He was going to die.
That was the only feeling that passed through Shirou's body as the golden king suddenly unleashed a presence that he could only describe as the intent to kill.
And Shirou could do little more than sweat in terror of the intent that was washing over him.
"I am not a slave to those things," the red eyed man seemed downright furious right now and Shirou found himself silently wondering how the newly summoned woman could weather the storm so easily, "and if you wish to survive, then you would do well to remember that."
The glare that the man sent the woman didn't seem to deter her at all.
"Oh? Are you saying you don't care about those deities?" she sounded almost amused by his statement.
"Saying I don't care for them is inaccurate…" the blond man stated with a pause before continuing, "I hate those gods and will kill any that dare show themselves before me."
Silence reigned for several more seconds before the girl suddenly brightened happily.
"Great! Then we'll get along just fine!" she definitely sounded much happier now and Shirou found himself thrown for a loop though he did notice the intent to kill lessen somewhat.
"Oh? And what makes you think that little girl?" the man in gold asked with his displeasure still noticeable.
"Because I hate gods too!" she sounded perfectly natural when saying that, "I even dedicated my life to trying to wipe out what was left of them."
"Dammit!" the girl that had summoned Demon Archer cried out before grabbing her arm, "stop giving them information you idiot!"
"Huh?" it seemed the god-hater had been suitably confused by that statement and was soon dragged away from the ritual circle without much protest.
"Next magus, step forward and summon," it was obvious from the irritation in his tone that Gilgamesh was not happy with the previous summoning.
Shirou quickly found his attention drawn towards the red haired woman in a shirt and jeans as she stepped forward without hesitation.
"Might as well get this over with," and without any hesitation, the woman held up her arm… and Shirou found himself gasping in amazement.
He had heard of magic crests, of how they tended to glow when in use… but this… this was something beyond his imagination.
It was like the crest was projecting itself around her arm and rotating at a rate of probably several revs a second… before she seemed to channel that power into the ritual and cause an eruption of light.
When the light finally died down, Shirou found himself blinking in surprise at the person who had appeared.
He appeared to be a young boy, probably no older than ten years old all things considered, with spiky blue hair and wearing a classical gentleman's outfit of a shirt, knee length trousers, a waist coat, bow and socks that went past the point where his trousers finished.
What stood out about the boy more than anything though, was his eyes… those cold, calculating eyes that currently seemed to scan the gathered crowd before turning to face the golden king.
"I see," the boy spoke with a voice that sounded more fitting for a middle aged man, "hello, master, I am the Servant of the Caster Class, Hans Christian Anderson."
Shirou found himself blinking as several others in the room also seemed to take some confusion from that introduction.
"That's pretty open of you," the red-headed woman stated with a raised eyebrow.
"If this was a Grail War, then it would not be a communal summoning," the boy stated bluntly, "there is also the issue that I am a Servant that lacks any form of combat ability, therefore, knowledge of my identity provides no additional advantage that would increase their chances of defeating me beyond the one hundred percent chance they already have."
Shirou couldn't stop himself from frowning at that claim, why was this kid so certain he was guaranteed to lose?
"Quite the pessimist aren't you," the red haired woman stated bluntly.
"Quite," the boy responded easily, "now, I believe proper introductions can be performed at a later time… for now we should cease holding up the remaining summons any more than they already have been."
"Sure, we'll have plenty of time later," and with that, the red-head proceeded to move out of the way while the little boy followed her without any hesitation.
"Hey! Why does he get to give his name and I don't?!" the one that called herself Demon Archer asked with clear indignation in her tone.
"Because he's the Servant of The Blue," the blonde girl with the curls stated before yelping as something looking like a bullet fired near her head and melted the wall behind her.
"Don't call me that," the red head stated with an annoyed expression, earning a nod of agreement along with a gulp of nervousness from the girl.
"Y-yes ma'am," the blonde spoke up with her nerves clearly in disarray, "b-but the point is, that his master could probably hold her own against a servant without help."
Shirou found himself wondering just what that meant, he assumed it probably meant the woman was strong but he had no idea just how strong that was.
"Enough," the golden king stated firmly, "continue with the summonings."
The next to step forward made Shirou blink.
The little white haired girl moved towards the golden king before speaking.
"So… what am I to do?" the girl asked bluntly, "I was already forced to summon my servant by my grandfather."
"Then use it as the base and summon it again," the golden haired king stated firmly.
"What?" the girl seemed shocked by that order.
"Summon it again," the order was firm and clear, "I will not have my enforcers wasting their power supporting something unnecessarily."
The girl still seemed shocked by that command before releasing a sigh.
"Berserker," and with that one word, Shirou found himself freezing.
A giant of a man, easily taller than anyone else in the room including the one that called himself Iskander, appeared out of nowhere and possessed a presence that made simply standing in the same vicinity as him difficult.
The girl directed the bronze man to stand in the circle and then started to perform what appeared to be an altered version of the summoning that started to wrap around the man before her and eventually dispersing without apparently doing anything.
"T-there," the girl said quickly.
"Good, now make room for the other masters that have yet to summon," the red eyed man commanded firmly.
"Berserker, come!" and with that command, the giant of a man moved with the girl to the side of the room even if Shirou still found the man's presence intimidating.
"Next," it was a simple command and Shirou expected to see someone step forward.
No one did.
"A-ah… I'm sorry but I don't want to fight," Sakura spoke up uneasily.
"I have to decline the offer as well, I have something I need to do soon," the woman wearing the purple uniform stated bluntly.
"And I'm not leaving my boyfriend with that bloody vampire trying to steal him from me," the girl in the nun habit stated firmly.
Shirou could do little more than stare in shock as the air was filled with golden ripples, each with a weapon poised halfway within them and ready to fire at a moment's notice.
The worst part was that he knew each of those weapons was deadly to the point where the chances of surviving being struck by any of them would be non-existent.
"You would reject the position granted to you?" the man sounded cold but furious.
The trio that wanted to reject the situation looked like they were about to collapse from their current stress of facing down the angry king and Shirou suddenly felt his body tense in preparation.
"If I may speak," the voice of the legendary author spoke up, drawing the attention of the king.
"What is it boy," the king sounded irritated but it didn't seem to deter the child.
"The three that have just spoken have situations that make tying them down unfavourable for them," Hans stated clearly, "one is a victim of circumstance, forced to bear a burden she did not deserve, another is cursed, slowly succumbing to their condition while they try to find relief… the last is a person, kept alive against her will for a single purpose… until she found a new purpose that gave her life meaning beyond the vengeance she sought."
Shirou couldn't stop himself from frowning in confusion at those statements, they were all too vague but at the same time, the reactions they got from the three that remained made it clear he had somehow hit the nail on the head.
"Each has a reason to reject your offer, just as each would have a reason to accept it should they be granted what they need," and with that the boy gave an acknowledging bow to the golden king who seemed to assess the boy before releasing a small chuckle.
"You speak as if you know each of them," the man in gold said with curiosity.
"I possess an A rank in human observation," the boy stated without hesitation, confusing Shirou in the process, "understanding a person is the one skill I am exceptional at."
Shirou still had no idea just how the boy was supposedly so capable but it seemed that the others in the room at least had some idea of what was going on with that so he would simply ask later.
"I see," Gilgamesh stated with a calmer air about him, "I shall forgive your insolence this once… now step forward and summon your servants… I shall not forgive another slight."
Shirou watched as the purple haired woman stepped forward with a clearly unhappy expression adorning her face before she started her own summoning aria.
Yet again, a bright light filled the room and Shirou opened his eyes to see who had appeared this time.
It was a regal looking man with long white hair, a neatly trimmed white beard and ice cold eyes that made him involuntarily freeze in the same way that Berserker did.
The man was dressed in clothes that looked fit for royalty, with a jet black tailcoat jacket with golden trim and fur cuffs, with what looked to be a white dress shirt underneath, while the bottom of a robe could be seen extending down past his waist and onto skin tight black trousers that seemed to meld into a set of boots.
"I am Servant Lancer," the man spoke with a tone of authority, "I believe you are my master."
The girl before him seemed somewhat shaken by his presence but soldiered through it.
"I am," she spoke firmly, earning a nod of acceptance from the man.
"Good, you may make an interesting master," the white haired man stated firmly before letting his eyes scan the room, "tell me master… is this a Great Grail War?"
"No, this is not a Grail War at all," Gilgamesh stated firmly, drawing the attention of the man that had just been summoned, "there is no fighting among yourselves in this organisation."
Silence reigned after that before the newest introduction to the area seemed to accept that and move out of the way of the summoning ritual.
"Y-you're just going to accept that?" the purple haired woman sounded somewhat surprised but the man simply looked at her out of the corner of his eyes.
"For now," and without another word, he moved to the side of the room and waited as the girl followed him.
"Next," the red eyed king declared firmly and the two remaining magi looked at each other before Sakura inclined her head in defeat and moved towards the ritual circle.
Shirou couldn't help but notice the apologetic look she gave him before taking a deep breath and activating the ritual.
He couldn't take his eyes away as he watched a girl that he had gotten to know over nearly a year perform a magecraft ritual more advanced than anything he had ever learned.
When the light erupted, he had been prepared… when it died down he found himself staring in amazement.
Sakura had managed to summon a beautiful woman with hair that went down to her ankles, of a shade on the border between purple and pink.
But there was also her clothes… a black, strapless mini-dress with a purple edge at the top, with a set of gloves that went halfway up her bicep and had several rings of purple… while her boots went halfway up her thigh and also possessed a purple ring at the edge with a larger purple patch facing forward on her ankles.
The most noticeable part of her however was the large, decorative blindfold that seemed to seal away her eyes from the world.
"Servant Rider… are you my master?" the newly summoned woman ask and Sakura seemed to deflate in defeat.
"Yes," it was a single, simple word but it was filled with a reluctant acceptance of the situation.
The woman brought forth simply nodded.
"Let's get out of the way Rider-san," and without any further introductions, the new Rider moved with Sakura out of the way.
Shirou found himself looking at the last person to make their way to the summoning ritual.
It was obvious that she didn't want to do this and from what he could tell of what she had previously said, she apparently had a boyfriend that she was leaving behind to be here… something she didn't want to do.
It seemed like she didn't expect to be able to get out of this situation and instead simply made her way to the summoning ritual and started to chant with a conciseness that he hadn't really heard from any of the other magi.
The resulting light died down to reveal someone that made Shirou genuinely uncomfortable in a way that the other summoned people didn't.
He was a young man with white hair and red eyes, wearing a three-piece business suit, a fedora and a red tie.
However it was the dark, hate filled miasma that seemed to waft off him that truly made Shirou uncomfortable.
"Hello magus," the stranger started to say, "I am servant Avenger… but this doesn't look like a Grail War… so why have I been summoned?"
Shirou couldn't stop his attention from turning towards the little girl with the white hair when she gasped in shock at the introduction… clearly the name Avenger meant something to her.
"You have been summoned because I commanded it," the red eyed king stated firmly, drawing the attention of the stranger.
"Is that so?" the man spoke up with a hint of amusement in his tone, "tell me, what makes you think summoning me was a good idea?"
"That you were summoned is irrelevant," the blond king stated firmly, "simply that your master summoned a servant."
That almost seemed to amuse the newly summoned individual but Gilgamesh proceeded to continue talking, this time clearly directing his words to every person in the room.
"You have all now summoned your first servant… now, you have one week to get your affairs in order and familiarize yourselves with your servants… after that you shall summon your second Servants," the golden king stated firmly, "now leave."
That final statement was made with a clear sense of finality to it and Shirou found himself turning his attention towards Saber and nodding in confirmation.
The group took a while to trickle out of the church and Shirou found himself genuinely curious about some things.
"So… uh, we sort of didn't really introduce ourselves before," he spoke up, drawing the attention from the rest of the group, "my name is Emiya Shirou… it's nice to meet you all."
It seemed almost like he had done something that was completely unexpected.
"*sigh* I'm Lord El-Melloi II… though as you probably heard in there my actual name is Waver Velvet," the man with the red coat stated with a sense of acceptance before indicating towards the hooded figure, "and this is my apprentice, Gray."
The figure didn't give any response to the introduction but Shirou decided to respond anyway.
"Hello Gray-san," it was a simple acknowledgement but he didn't receive anything from the figure.
"Well, if Lord El-Melloi II is prepared to give his name then it would be shameful for me to avoid doing so myself," the blonde girl in blue spoke up herself, "greetings Emiya-san, my name is Luviagelita Edelfelt."
"It's nice to meet you Edelfelt-san," Shirou found himself responding easily.
"Hello Onii-chan," he once again found his attention drawn towards the little girl, "aren't you going to say hello to me?"
He found himself blinking in confusion.
"Sorry, I would but I don't know who you are," he admitted with a frown… surely he'd remember a girl like this wouldn't' he?
That seemed to make the little girl deflate but she spoke up before he could say anything.
"My name is Illyasviel Von Einzbern," she stated before pausing for several seconds before releasing a defeated sigh, "so he didn't tell you."
Shirou could do little more than frown in confusion at that claim.
"What do you mean?" he found himself asking.
"Kiritsugu never told you I was his daughter," the girl stated with a hint of sadness clear in her tone.
It took Shirou a couple of seconds to process that information.
"S-so that means… you're my sister?" he asked in confusion, hoping he wasn't misinterpreting the situation.
"Well… adopted sister anyway," the girl admitted with the sadness still in her eyes.
"S-sorry," he couldn't stop himself from apologizing, the idea that he had managed to upset the girl by not knowing who she was wasn't something he was happy about.
"Well, if dad never told you then it isn't exactly your fault is it," the girl seemed to accept the situation with a sigh before brightening up once more, "but now, we can finally see each other… I hope you have lots of stories for me Onii-chan."
Shirou found himself growing nervous at that statement by the girl… he honestly didn't have many stories to tell.
"Since we're in the process of introductions…" a familiar voice spoke up and Shirou found his attention drawn towards Tohsaka once again, "I am Tohsaka Rin… the overseer of this city."
Shirou found himself swallowing nervously at that claim… he didn't even know what she meant when she said she was the overseer of the area, his only guess was that she kept track of any supernatural goings on but that was all he could really guess.
"Aozaki Aoko," the red head piped up quickly, "but I'd be happier if you didn't call me that."
"So, uh… what should I call you?" he found himself quickly asking in confusion.
"Don't know… just don't call me by my name," that wasn't a very helpful statement by the woman.
Shirou quickly tried to think of anything that really stood out about her but could only really come up with her hair… he'd just have to deal with it.
"I know it's not very imaginative," Shirou spoke up uncertainly, "but is Red-san okay?"
"Sure, don't worry about the san though," she dismissed his lack of creativity with little effort but at least he now knew what to call her without annoying her in the process.
"… that's… a little weird," Luviagelita spoke up with a frown.
"Well some of us don't like our names," Aoko spoke up with a frown, "… or the colour people keep associating us with."
Shirou was pretty sure he was missing something, not that it was hard to realise that given the interaction during the summoning ritual.
"Well, I guess that since we're at the very least not enemies right now it wouldn't hurt to tell you my name," the woman in the business suit stated with a sigh, "my name is Bazett Fraga McRemitz… let's hope things stay this peaceful for a little while at least."
"Oh? You don't want to fight?" the blue Caster asked with a raised eyebrow.
"I came here because I wanted to meet you," she responded without hesitation, "it's been a dream of mine since I was young."
"Heh, so I was summoned by a fan," the blue haired man seemed almost amused by that revelation.
"Is that a problem?" Bazett asked uncertainly.
"Nah, it's fine," the response was swift and seemed to earn a sigh of relief from the woman.
"I guess I should tell you my name then," the girl with short blue hair said with a sigh, "Ciel."
Shirou had to blink at that one before Aoko spoke in response.
"Really? I'm surprised," she seemed almost amused by that name and earned a frown off the girl who had just introduced herself.
"Why?" she seemed confused as to why her name would be a surprise.
"Because I never expected a member of the Burial Agency to have a boyfriend," Shirou couldn't stop himself from frowning in confusion at that but Ciel seemed to just become a frightening shade of red before exploding.
"W-what's wrong with having a boyfriend?!" she seemed rather defensive of that fact.
"I always thought the Burial Agency was filled with people who cared only about killing vampires," the red-head stated with a shrug, "it does also make me ask… who's the vampire that's trying to steal him from you?"
That statement seemed to make the girl in the nun habit grit her teeth in clear frustration.
"Arcueid Brunestud," she said two words that confused Shirou… more because of the reactions they got from everyone else in the area.
"Pfft… so the White Princess has a thing for him huh?" Aoko certainly sounded amused.
"S-shut up!" Ciel responded with her annoyance clear in her voice, "a-and why are you focusing so much on me when there are still others who've yet to introduce themselves?!"
Shirou found his attention drawn towards the girl wearing purple, he knew who Sakura was after all, and the first thing he noticed about her was the way she was currently looking at the newly introduced Ciel with a clear hint of uncertainty, her posture dictating a clear level of distrust towards the blue haired girl.
"Uh, are you alright?" he asked the girl who refused to remove her eyes from the girl who apparently had a vampire trying to steal her boyfriend..
"Heheheh…" the man that called himself Lancer seemed amused by his question, "of course she would feel uncomfortable around that girl… after all, for one whom is fighting off Vampirism to come across one whom kills vampires, it is only natural mistrust would arise."
"L-Lancer?!" the girl in purple sounded shocked by his claim but it was also obvious that she was more shocked by the fact he knew than anything else.
"Ah, that makes sense," the blue haired girl said with a nod of confirmation.
Everyone seemed to have their attention drawn to the girl who just blinked before asking a simple question.
"What?" it was as if she couldn't understand why everyone thought she was acting weird.
"I thought Red-san said members of your organisation only cared about killing Vampires?" he asked, honestly he had no idea what her organisation was but it didn't sound particularly… nice.
"… Kind of?" Ciel sounded uncertain herself, "I mean, we actually have a Dead Apostle Ancestor as a member… and I was only inducted because the Vatican got tired of trying to figure out a way to kill me after ten years of experimenting… so I only really want to kill two vampires… and one of them is dead and the other is beyond my ability to kill."
"Let me guess, Arcueid?" Aoko sounded amused when she made that claim, causing the blue haired girl's expression to darken as she grit her teeth in response.
"Now that we've established Ciel-san doesn't plan on murdering anyone here," Luvia spoke up firmly, "may you be so kind as to tell us your name miss soon to become a vampire?"
"Sion Eltnam Atlasia," the purple dressed woman stated with a cold tone, "and my reason for being here was to try and cure myself of my affliction."
Shirou could do little more than nod in acceptance of that statement… he would probably try to find a cure in that situation as well.
"Now for the last of us," Aoko seemed to direct everyone's attention back onto the last member of the group to have not given their name.
"A-ah… I am Matou Sakura… I'm sorry but I never wanted to be here," she explained and Shirou found himself nodding in acceptance… from what he knew of Sakura, she wasn't the type of person who would want to be involved in this type of situation.
"Okay, so that's everyone," Lord El-Melloi II stated clearly, "so I guess it's time for us all to part ways."
Shirou found himself nodding along with Sakura, Tohsaka and Illyasviel before noticing that the rest of the group all seemed to grimace at that.
"I-is everything alright?" he asked the group in concern.
"The compulsion is a bit… annoying," Waver Velvet responded with a sigh that made Shirou frown, "it made us all come to this city unprepared… so I think most of us don't have any lodgings sorted out."
That statement earned grimaces from most of the group and Shirou found himself with only one course of action.
"If you need somewhere to stay, then you can stay at my house until you've got somewhere set up," he said without hesitation.
"Master!" his attention was drawn towards the girl that called herself Saber, "I must object to your decision, just because your house has enough room for these people doesn't stop them from being potential enemies."
"Wait, how do you even know his house is big enough?" Ciel sounded confused as she made that question.
"Because she was Emiya Kiritsugu's servant in the last war," Waver stated bluntly.
"Yeah, and he got the house with Einzbern funds," Illya stated with an amused smile, "I've been told it has room for about ten bedrooms."
"That does sound about right," Sakura responded with a nod of confirmation.
"That doesn't matter," Saber spoke up firmly, "despite what may have been stated, you are all still potential enemies and inviting them into your home is not something I can accept."
Shriou immediately felt himself frown at that statement.
"Saber, they're not enemies and they need somewhere to stay the night," he stated just as firmly as the girl he had summoned, "besides, I'm only letting them stay until they get something more permanent sorted out."
"Thank you Emiya-san," Luviagelita spoke up with a dignified tone, "it would certainly help most of us if we could spend a night or two at your residence."
"And why do you need to stay with Emiya-kun Edelfelt?" Tohsaka's voice called out with distaste clear in her tone, "doesn't your family own two mansions in this city?"
Shirou found himself blinking in shock at that claim.
"While my family may have once owned property in this city, they were left to the mages association upon the end of the Third Grail War," she didn't seem too concerned by that statement.
Rin's grimace of annoyance was clear to Shirou at the very least.
"W-well," he decided to try and gain everyone's attention, "my house is this way."
"Thank you Emiya-san," Ciel spoke up easily, "I was originally planning on sleeping at the church but…"
"But Gilgamesh took it over," Waver stated with a grimace of his own.
"I still disagree with this course of action," Saber stated with a clear sense of dissatisfaction.
"It's fine," he quickly said once again before turning to Sakura, "Sakura, I know it's a bit sudden, but would you be able to come by a little early tomorrow?"
He doubted he could get enough food made for everyone here alone.
"O-of course Sempai," her response was quick and seemed almost… happy?
"Emiya-kun," his attention was drawn towards Tohsaka who was now looking at him with a sickly sweet expression on her face, "I have to agree with Saber that what you're doing is foolish."
"Noted," he responded bluntly, "but I'm not leaving them homeless."
"Thank you Emiya-san," the man with the long black hair said with a defeated sigh of his own, "I do have to ask if I would be able to use your phone for an international call tonight."
"Ah, yeah… just try to keep it short," he accepted without issue.
"Thank you again," the man once again thanked him.
"So, is everyone ready?" Aozaki asked, earning several nods of agreement and a couple of sighs of defeat.
"Come one, it's still a little way to go right now," and with that, Shirou found himself leading a large and unique group to his home for the night.
He just hoped he could figure out a reasonable explanation to give Taiga in the morning.
Okay, that's the first chapter.
I have had someone on my forum express displeasure at Gil having a version of The Jewel Sword Of Zelretch in his treasury... but since The Gate Of Babylon is described as the accumulation of all human ingenuity, I feel there is a case for it being in there (courtesy of Rin and Shirou at the very least).
Of course, whether or not he knew he had it is another matter all together.
Anyway... like I said, don't expect too much in the way of plot or action... there will be some progression over time but that's not the main focus so it'll be slow.
So if you don't like a slow plot, then I will simply advise that you give up here if you weren't put off by the Foreword.
Anyway... that's all for now...