Disclaimer: I own neither Fate/Stay Night nor High School DxD

A somewhat awkward atmosphere surrounded the table as Shirou, Sona and Mittelt shared a meal together.

Now, Shirou wasn't unfamiliar with having a meal alongside either of the two, having lived with Mittelt for a while now at least, and he had actually had lunch with Sona a couple of times before.

So that certainly wasn't why things felt awkward.

No, rather than having any connection to him, it was more likely the result of Mittelt and Sona being a Fallen Angel and Devil respectively that caused this awkward atmosphere.

Although Shirou wasn't entirely sure that was the whole explanation. Mittelt certainly gave off a feeling like that wasn't all there was to it.

"So, what exactly happened after I fell unconscious? Mittelt gave me a very abridged version, but…" He asked.

"Well, according to Rias, after the clash of your attacks, both you and Kokabiel were out, but before anyone could move to apprehend the Fallen, the White Dragon Emperor suddenly appeared to apprehend him himself." Sona said.

Right, that lined up with what Mittelt said. But it was reassuring that Sona said Kokabiel was out as well. Excalibur never quite fully reached the Fallen, and a part of Shirou had been worried he'd still have been able to harm someone else.

"As for the one who challenged you, she simply disappeared without a trace while everyone was distracted…" The bespectacled Devil continued. "Do you… have any idea who she was?"

It was a fair question. That Knight certainly seemed to have known him… or at least about him, but…

"None." He replied.

There were details about her that bothered him, but he really didn't have any idea who she might be.

Sona sighed. "Figures."

"I take that means you don't have any idea either?" He asked, even if he knew the answer.

"No one seems to know." Mittelt suddenly replied. "The only thing we've been able to gather is that she's been seen picking fights all over the place without any reasonably discernible pattern."

"Quite so." Sona seemed a little bit miffed, but didn't let it become overt.

So that person was an enigma even to them… She called herself a Knight, but she wasn't a Devil…

She was Human. He had a vague recollection of briefly considering if she had been a Servant but…

Thinking about it now, he remembered that he would have been able to tell if she had been, regardless of any other considerations.

"Moving on, the Grigori took it upon themselves to fix all the damage caused." Sona remarked. "Apparently the Governor General himself also wanted to give you a new residence after hearing your old one was wrecked."

The way she looked at him told him that it raised questions and suspicions in her mind, but she didn't say anything else.

"I… see." He said.

Right. That was a thing, wasn't it?

"Any idea what that actually entails?" He queried, unable to keep a small hint of worry from entering his voice.

The two of them looked at him with a difficult to judge expression.

They didn't seem to understand why he was worried.

Which made sense he supposed. Why would you be worried about something like this?

It was occasion to be glad, surely.

Well… Emiya Shirou didn't want it to get out of proportion. He wasn't all that interested in wealth and splendour, and while he most certainly had lived in a rather sizable estate before, he didn't particularly want a large estate.

Of course… thinking about it, the size of the Emiya residence had allowed for quite a few guests, and he'd absolutely found some joy in housing more people…

He sighed softly. In the end it wasn't all that straightforward then. And to add to the complication, living in a large place with only a few people was pretty sad in its own way.

He would know.

"Not really. I wouldn't dare claim to be able to predict what the Governor General is thinking." Mittelt remarked.

"I don't have any idea either. While I've inquired into the matter I haven't gotten a clear answer." Sona added.

"Right. I guess I'll just have to steel myself and wait." Shirou said.

The Devil in the room tilted her head slightly. "Is something bothering you about it?" She asked with a dash of concern.

Shirou sighed. "Kind of. I suppose I'm worried it'll be too much, too excessive… or something. I can't really explain it. And… well, if I just think about it, it just feels kind of silly to be worried."

Sona looked at him with a blank expression, but there was a glimmer of curiosity in her eyes.

Mittelt meanwhile looked kind of incredulous, but there was certainly a tiny smile on her lips as well.

For a short while they just sat there, before Shirou suddenly remembered something.

"What about the exorcists and the Excalibur shards?" He asked.

"Oh yeah, that." Mittelt remarked. "The blue-haired one… Xenovia Quarta, right? She handed all the shards to the other and stayed behind."

Shirou tilted his head in confusion. "What, why?"

The other two looked slightly surprised.

"She was… devastated, when Kokabiel revealed…" Mittelt awkwardly started saying before noticing that Shirou seemed to have no idea what she was talking about. "Did you… miss that part?"

Shirou smiled weakly. "I was so caught up fighting with that Knight that I… I have no idea what happened between the beginning of the confrontation and its end. What did Kokabiel reveal?"

Of course, even as he asked his mind worked the options over, contemplating what the high-ranking Fallen might have revealed that might have devastated the exorcist so.

And as he watched the other two awkwardly shuffle about, clearly unsure what to say, it clicked.

"Oh." He uttered as realization dawned upon him, drawing their attention to him.

Problem was, of course, that he couldn't exactly just ask if it was that if he wasn't sure Sona already knew.

The chances Mittelt didn't know about this were non-existent considering the Angels', Fallen or not, relationship with God.

Thankfully, Mittelt seemed to lose her composure faster and harder than the other two, and roared in annoyance before simply just exclaiming. "It's about Father being dead!"

Sona stared at the Fallen, shocked, while Shirou was only somewhat surprised.

Then he gave a small smile. "Yeah. That. I'd heard about it before this."

The Fallen sank down in what seemed to be relief. "Oh thank goodness."

The Devil, meanwhile, seemed kind of incredulous, although she was looking at Shirou and not Mittelt. "Of all the things you do suddenly know."

Shirou gave her an awkward smile.

"Okay, so now I know why she didn't return to the Church, but you said she stayed behind, meaning she's still in Kuoh. Why?" He then continued.

"Well, you can find out for yourself. She's been waiting for you to wake up." Sona said.

"She'll probably be in the ruined church. I'll show you the way later." Mittelt added, although there was something odd and mischievous in her expression.

"Before you ask, she isn't quite ready to accept the kindness of Devils. And she doesn't want to enter my home." Sona interjected before Shirou could even start wondering about just that.

Of course, other questions did still come to his mind, but in the end he simply chose to believe Xenovia knew what she was doing.

He sighed softly again. "Anything else?"

The other two seemed to think for a few moments, before shaking their heads.

"Then I guess I should go talk to Xenovia." Shirou noted and rose from his seat. "Oh and, thanks for the meal." He added with a smile towards Sona.

"You're welcome." She replied with a smile of her own.


"There it is." Mittelt informed as she pointed towards the abandoned church.

There was something in her voice, a hint of sorrow that caused him to pause slightly.

"You're going to stop here?" He asked.


"Is it… painful?"

"Not really. I've been here once before since the day we met, and I don't care to see the places of their ends again."

There was a contradiction in her words, countenance, and voice.

She was definitely putting up a front.

That was fine.

"Alright. I'll see you later." He said with a gentle smile and headed towards the church.

He paused before the doors, which while slightly ajar and misaligned were even so closed.

He didn't have the fondest memories of churches lately, and the image of Fuyuki's church flashed before him.

He shook it aside and pushed the doors open. What met him inside was a scene of carnage, rubble, broken pews, scorch marks, gouges in the floor and a sizable hole in the wall leading outside.

And inside this broken church sat a girl of broken faith.

She looked up at him from her position on the steps to the altar. She didn't look too bad. He was pretty sure she'd been eating and sleeping, judging from her face, although she was certainly far from fine.

"Emiya. So, you're awake." She said with a weak smile.

"Yeah." He replied as he made his way through the devastation. "Is this really a good place for you to be right now?"

"Probably not."

He wasn't sure what to do. But he felt like he needed to do something. So he sat down right next to her. She didn't complain. Instead, she actually leaned her head against his shoulder.

For a while they just sat there in silence.

As such his mind wandered a bit, back to Fuyuki's church, to that night when he and a different girl had been sitting in close proximity to each other.

"How are you doing?" He quickly asked Xenovia, so as to dispel that memory.

A derisive snort came out of the girl's mouth. "I've just been excommunicated. The missive arrived not long ago."

"Is it because…?"

"Because I found out God was dead. And I suppose because I didn't return. It's funny though. I'm not sure I really care about being excommunicated."

"How come?"

"They lied to us. Didn't tell us the truth even as we fought and endured in His name…" She fell silent for a few moments. "Do you believe in something, Emiya?"

Shirou thought about her question. For quite a while as a matter of fact. And she just sat there, waiting for his reply.

"I'm not sure exactly how to answer that question. I don't really believe in God, even if I suppose I've seen indisputable evidence he's existed in this world. If I had to say something I believe in, I guess it would be that the desire to save people is beautiful."

A small laugh escaped Xenovia's lips. "That's an interesting answer." She fell silent, seemingly contemplating. "Is that how you were able to throw yourself before Kokabiel and risk your life without hesitation?"

"I guess."

He heard a contemplative hum come from her. "Emiya, are you a Pendragon?"

The question caught him slightly off guard. It was far from something he'd expected her to ask.

Even so his answer was immediate and clear. "No."

"I guess that would have been too simple…"

"Why would you ask that?"

"It was the least outlandish possibility I could think of, after what you've shown."

Ah. He knew what she was talking about. Of course she'd think something like that.

It was still a little weird to hear her call thinking he was a descendant of King Arthur the least outlandish possibility she could think of.

"And, will you ask me about any of the other possibilities?"

She hummed. "No. I don't think I will for now."

"What are you going to do from now on?"

"That's a good question…"

"Have you been invited into their Peerages?"

She smiled wryly. "Of course I have. I'm a natural Holy Sword wielder and a talented exorcist. It was only to be expected."

"They could at least have waited a bit." He said with some disapproval in his voice. "You refused." He then stated.

"You can tell?"

"Yeah. By smell."

"Oh, that's kind of weird." Some semblance of cheer seemed to return to her voice.

Suddenly Xenovia got up from where she'd been sitting, only to instead kneel on the floor before him.

"Shirou Emiya, I would like to swear fealty to you." She said, without an ounce of jest in her voice or expression.

He scratched his cheek awkwardly. "Quarta, I'm not someone you can swear fealty to."

"Really now? You may say so, but even so I desire to serve you."

"How would you even serve me?"

She paused slightly. "I'm sure we can work that out."

"You haven't actually thought this through, have you?"

She averted her gaze. "I… have not."

"Why me?" He couldn't help but ask.

"Because its thanks to you that I didn't fall into even deeper despair. Your heroism before Kokabiel inspired me then, and your words now… reminded me that I can still pursue a noble ideal."

He sighed. She was serious. "Are you sure? I'm someone who fraternizes with Fallen Angels and Devils."

She smiled. "I guess recent experiences have softened my view on them, but I find that I'm okay with that now."

His shoulders slumped in defeat. He just couldn't bring himself to turn her away.

"Okay. I'll accept your oath, I guess. Not that I know what to do with it."

"Well… we can figure that out as we go along."

"That said, what have you been doing about food and shelter?"

Now it was her turn to scratch her cheek. "I've been… taking advantage of the Hyoudou family's generosity."

"I thought you didn't want anything to do with the Devils?"

"That's not really… I didn't want to accept anything from the Devils, sure… But that is mostly beside the point. His parents are human, and they used to be close to Irina's family…"

There was just a hint of melancholy in her eyes as she mentioned the exorcist she'd been partnered with.

"That said, I heard you'll be getting a new place from the Grigori! I should be able to move in with you once that happens." She quickly moved on before he could ask her about Irina.

"Are you sure? I don't even know if there'll be enough room for you?" He queried.

"We'll be able to figure things out once that time comes."

Shirou didn't quite share her full optimism, but he supposed she wasn't entirely wrong.


Shirou and Xenovia found Mittelt looking bored out of her mind on a bench not far from where he'd left her.

The Fallen did smile as she spotted them, actually seeming kind of happy to see Xenovia, although the former exorcist didn't seem particularly thrilled to see Mittelt.

"So you're done? Took you long enough." The Fallen said.

"You didn't need to wait for me." Shirou pointed out.

"And what should I have done instead? Hung out with Sitri? I'd honestly rather be bored here."

Shirou frowned slightly. He didn't fully believe her, but chose not to comment.

Mittelt turned towards Xenovia. "So, how'd it go? Although judging by the fact you are accompanying him, I would wager it went well."

Xenovia frowned. "I'm not sure what exactly you are trying to imply, but I did manage to convince him to accept my oath of fealty."

Mittelt's face lit up. "Oath of fealty?" Then she swiftly turned deadpan. "Really? Well, I guess that works too. Welcome to the team."

"You were expecting something like this?" Shirou questioned Mittelt.

The Fallen raised an eyebrow at him.

"Well, yeah. She stays behind in Kuoh, refuses to join either of the two notable Devils' Peerages that she was invited into, and then asks to talk to you once you wake up. I'd have been shocked if she just had a chat with you and left. This? This was within expectations."

Alright, when she put it like that.

"I do feel like you had some odd expectations though." Xenovia dryly pointed out.

Mittelt shrugged and hummed. "I suppose I let my imagination run a bit, but I wouldn't really call my expectations odd."

The Fallen shot a look full of meaning at the blue-haired girl.

Xenovia for her part did have the sense to become slightly embarrassed.

"Still, you don't see anything wrong with this Mittelt?" Shirou asked.

"No? Look, if you want to maintain a level of independence from the major factions, you'll need extra help from people not affiliated with one of those factions. Recruiting a natural Holy Sword wielder that's left the church is a decent start."

He groaned internally. She did have a point.

Xenovia for her part looked kind of pleased.

"It's also worth pointing out that your name is starting to spread. While it doesn't seem anyone's talking about a certain sword you apparently brought out, you did still take down Kokabiel, as well as duel a person that has started to build some infamy." Mittelt then added.

Right. There were at least two loose threads involved in the fight with Kokabiel.

The unknown Knight that had apparently disappeared after Kokabiel went down, and Vali. And that was completely ignoring the risk that others had been able to observe it.

A soft curse escaped him, although it was too low for either of his two companions to hear.

And of course…

"How many do you reckon know about that sword?" He asked them both.

"I didn't tell anyone." Xenovia immediately responded.

Appreciated, but not very helpful.

"Gremory did tell Sitri and me, but they seemed to be in agreement to keep it quiet for now. I don't think they quite know just how to handle it. I have no idea if Vali even heard it. Even if he was watching he might have been too far away."

"That only leaves that Knight…" Shirou mused.

"Did you get any feel for her character?" Mittelt queried.

"A bit. But I'm not sure what to think…"

"I can't help but notice you actually calling her a 'Knight'." Xenovia suddenly remarked.

"I understand why you might be hesitant but… well, despite everything I do call her a Knight. That fighting style might not seem fitting of one that would call themselves a Knight, but I still feel that there was something Knightly about her."

"I… see…" The blue-haired girl seemed to start reflecting on something.

Suddenly Shirou's phone's message signal rang out.

A message from Azazel to meet him at Kuoh Academy.

Well, he supposed he did need to see him. For far too many reasons.

He sighed and put it away.

"I need to go meet with my guardian. Sorry." He informed his companions.

The two of them looked at him, and he could see a hint of disappointment in both of them.

Mittelt sighed. "Got it. I'll keep Quarta company in the meanwhile, I suppose."

Xenovia raised an eyebrow.

"I'll be back as soon as I can. Sorry Quarta, try to get along with her, okay?" Shirou said as he headed away.

Xenovia and Mittelt looked on as he disappeared out of sight.

"Is there something about his guardian that makes it necessary for him to go alone?" Xenovia asked after a while.

"Kind of. I could have gone along just fine, but since I wasn't called…" Mittelt sighed and shook her head. "That moron will probably explain soon enough, if you don't end up meeting his guardian first."


As Shirou approached Kuoh Academy he noted the signs that it was still in the process of being rebuilt.

No one questioned his presence or business there as he was directed towards where Azazel was, and he entered a part of the Academy that had been mostly untouched and headed towards a counsellor's office.

Even as he approached the door he couldn't sense Azazel's presence, but even without touching the door itself he could sense the powerful wards on the room.

He couldn't quite tell what they all were, but he suspected they were for privacy, and he was quite certain none of them were hostile.

And sure enough, once he opened the door he was immediately met with Azazel's presence.

The Fallen Angel lounged in a comfy chair, and was the room's only occupant.

"Shirou! It's good to see you up and about!" He exclaimed and indicated for Shirou to take a seat.

"I hear you've been busy." The Magus said.

"You could say that." Azazel's smile turned into a frown. "I'm sorry Shirou. I messed up."

That was probably the single most genuinely regretful Shirou had ever heard him get.

"It wasn't your fault." The auburn-haired boy said.

The Watcher sighed deeply. "I would argue that point… but I do appreciate you saying that."

Azazel took a deep breath and smiled again albeit weakly.

"Let's talk about other things. Let's talk about your future living arrangements." He then continued.

"I've heard about you preparing a new place, but that's about it." Shirou responded.

"I'd be surprised if you'd heard more, considering I haven't given anyone any details. That said, I do need to tell you one thing right off the bat. I won't be living there with you."

"How come?" The boy expressed confusion.

"Well, for one, you need some breathing space. And I feel like you'll start having more visitors come over, or at least, you should have."

It made sense. If Shirou were going to be independent, it would probably become awkward if he was living with the leader of the Grigori. And Shirou supposed it would be nice if he could let people come over without having to worry about them suddenly coming face to face with Azazel.

Even if it might have been funny seeing Sona absolutely flabbergasted by such an encounter. At least for a few seconds, before it would turn into a deeply awkward situation.

"I see."

"Don't worry. It's not like I'll just abandon you completely."

"I didn't think you would."

"Anyways, there'll be more than enough space for guests and additions." A strange glint appeared in Azazel's eyes. "Speaking of which, how did things go with Xenovia Quarta?"

Shirou raised an eyebrow at his guardian, who simply laughed in response. "We had a chat about things, and then she decided to swear fealty to me."

"Well now. Fealty. What kind of impression did you leave on her?"

"I have no idea. She claims I inspired her with my heroism."

"Well, it does sound like you were quite heroic. Putting your honourable duel on hold to leap before an overwhelming foe with no regard for your own life… I feel like I've heard that one before."

"Well, when you put it like that it sure does sound like it comes straight from the myths… Although my duel was over at that point."

"Details, details. The myths never cared for stuff like that. Of course, no one seems to want to tell me what you did after that. Not even Vali, even though it seemed like he just couldn't wait to tell someone."

For some reason Shirou had a sinking feeling hearing that.

"Do you have any idea where Vali is right now?"

"No. I don't exactly keep tabs on him all the time."

"Of course not…"

"Do you mind telling me what you used against Kokabiel? I can only assume it was something of great power."

Shirou hesitated, before sighing. "I used Excalibur."

"Excalibur? Which one?" Azazel asked, slightly confused, before realization set in. "You used your version of it, didn't you?"

"Yes. And that one was never shattered. I actually can't even imagine it being broken."

"Do you happen to have any other outrageous weapons up your sleeve?"

Shirou thought about the question. He had a number of weapons, some of them probably quite outrageous as well.

He simply smiled. "You'll just have to look forward to finding out."

Azazel laughed. "Fine then! Keep some secrets."

Author's notes: Wow, it has been some time. I've been... taking a break, I guess. I think I was burnt out or something. Of course, this hasn't exactly been a particularly good year, which probably didn't help. I'm hoping to return to some level of normalcy regarding writing, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

I hope you enjoyed, and that you have a nice day.