Chrome walked home from school, by herself as usual. She never had any friends at her old school, and after the accident, her mother and step father had sent her away, not wanting to be around her and her freaky eye. While most parents would be thanking whatever god they believed in for the miracle that saved their daughter's life, Chrome's parents viewed it as a working of a demon.
Archer said that people were just like that. If someone lost while gambling, it was because it was a scam, while if someone else then won at the same game, it was because they were lucky ducks. People had a double standard for everything so that they could choose an interpretation of the world that suits them. Everyone was a hypocrite.
Archer often said things like that. He had a bit of a grim and depressing view of existence, something that must have come from his eternal damnation.
Chrome had learned a little about Archer over the last year since they had become connected. She had learned that he was a Counter Guardian, though she still wasn't entirely sure what that meant, and that he went from battlefield to battlefield throughout history in order to make sure that humanity continued to exist. Whenever he was not on the battlefield he was by himself in some kind of library, waiting to be called on to commit more murder.
She got the impression from the way that he constantly added rude commentary about the people around her that Archer was talking to her out of a sort of desperate loneliness. Like he needed something in his existence to help him feel grounded and that pestering her was the only thing that he had. She couldn't find it in her to be annoyed with him.
The fact that Chrome herself would often talk out loud while talking to him made people think that she had lost her marbles, giving them another reason to avoid her. She didn't understand why they found Archer's presence in her mind so hard to believe or so disturbing. The school often sent her to the counselor's office whenever the teachers got concerned enough about the bullying.
She wished they wouldn't. She really didn't mind the name calling and bullying. It wasn't like any of them actually hurt her, or like she couldn't defend herself, but Chrome was always suspicious of the school counselor. Archer had told her that child psychologists were sometimes pedophiles, and that she needed to keep her guard up around him.
Though she supposed the man wouldn't have been able to overpower her. Not since she had started practicing Magecraft.
At first, Archer had refused to teacher her anything about his mystical arts. He said it was too dangerous and that to walk to path of a Magus was to walk hand and hand with death. But after a little while, he had given in. It was strange, since Chrome had only ever asked him once and hadn't been very pressing on the matter. She supposed it was just another case of him being lonely and bored.
Learning had been a painful process, but that didn't stop her from doing it. It represented a hope to her. Archer had used this power to give her life. Perhaps she could use it to find a meaning for that life.
"I need to go shopping again for food. Any suggestions?" Chrome asked Archer. She knew he was fawned of the subject of cooking. It was one of the subjects he seemed to have a nearly endless wealth of information about that he was more than willing to share, if not down right pushy about. It was odd that a man who seemed to struggle to remember his own name could recall over a hundred recipes involving roast duck. The first time Chrome tried to buy junk food he screamed at her so loudly that she had a migraine for days afterwards.
'Wait and see what is on sale. Let reality inform your decision.' Archer replied, perhaps trying to sound deep.
"You do realize I am not in any way hurting for money." The middle school girl responded. While her parents didn't want anything to do with her, they were still rich to the point that they would throw money at her just so that they didn't need to be reminded of her existence.
'There is nothing wrong with being frugal. You never know when misfortune will strike and you will need to have a reserve.' Archer said. 'Those guardians of your could die or have a stroke of ill luck. War could break out. There could be a fire or a depression. History doesn't speak kindly of people who took things for granted. You should probably try to find a side job. Maybe free-lancer work.'
"I'm only thirteen."
'Your point? Many legendary figures started their dirty work younger.'
Chrome didn't respond, just looked up towards the sky. She was pretty sure Archer was just teasing her, but it did make her wonder. Could she become a hired sword like he had been? How did someone even go about getting that kind of job? Not that it seem to have made Archer very happy. She tried to imagine herself as a vampire hunter or a hitman, but it seemed so strange.
'Pay more attention to your surroundings.' Archer said, in a off handed tone.
"Huh?" Chrome responded just as she put her foot down and found that she was stepping on something large and fleshy. She heard a weak grown come from a strange looking blond boy dress in extremely dirty clothes and who's skin looked like it hadn't been washed in a while. She looked down at him, blinking twice before slowly removing her foot from his stomach.
He didn't get up or yell at her, he just lay there on the ground with a face contorted with pain. Chrome bent down and poked him a few times with the tip of her finger. "Why are you lying on the ground?" She asked him, but the boy didn't respond. He seemed to be unconscious.
She looked him up and down. He didn't have any injuries as far as she could see. Carefully reaching forward a hand, she preformed a bit of Archer's magic on the boy. Structural Analysis. It was something that Archer called a 'single action' spell, something that could be done with minimal training and without the need for incantations or complex formulas. You just needed to flick on your magic circuits and guide your prana with your will. Archer said that even a hopeless fool could manage it, even with little instruction. As such, it was the first thing he taught her.
It was a useful little skill that let her know the properties of anything she could move her prana through. By putting some into the air around her, she could even smell the innate properties that existed within things. She over the boys body and was confused.
'Looks like you have a mutt on your hands. Best if you call the pound.' Archer said taking note of the 'modifications' that the boy's body had undergone. Several different sets of 'mystic forms', the blueprints of existence, were layered on top of one and other, as if several creatures were trying to occupy the same space.
"Why is he unconscious though?" Chrome asked, trying to find some form of wound that would explain the boy's condition.
'He has fallen to one of the world's greatest of foes. One that even the heroes of old all knew to fear and respect.' Archer said just as the sound of a low growl filled the air. 'Hunger.'
"Hm..." Chrome mumbled, tilting her head as she tried to decide what to do. Finally, she reinforced her arms and simply lifted the boy up, carrying him bridal style. If he had been awake, he would have probably died from embarrassment.
'What do you think you are doing?' Archer asked, more curious than criticizing.
"I'm taking him home. If he is hungry, then I should feed him." She replied.
'Feed a stray animal, and it will never leave. Trust me, I know.' Archer said. For a moment, Chrome could have sworn she heard the roar of a tiger. But since that was just ridiculous, she decided to ignore it.
Chrome ignored Archer's jibs about landfills in the shape of human mouths and just kept moving homewards, though she did wonder if he was right. She always wanted a pet.
Too bad it wasn't a kitty.
Chrome is going to be a bit more diverse than Archer, being able to project more than just swords, since creating constructs is part of her nature, though swords are still going to be the most stable of her traces.
However, while she has her own Unlimited Blade Works in the making, she doesn't have access to Archers. So she has ever weapon she has ever seen, but none of Archer's Noble Phantasms. Not yet anyways.