Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
"Esdeath." Najenda blandly replies, pretending not to hear the ex-general's greetings, "I heard that you've been named a traitor. And I see that you're back in the castle like the dog you are."
"Nah." my girlfriend responds, "I've come here to… demand recompensation from the Prime Minister."
"Hmm, then I'm assuming that you'll….agree to a temporary alliance," Najenda responds as she strokes her chin, which is ironically similar to Esdeath's own action.
"Yes." came the simple reply.
"Susanoo." She shouts as we continue onward. A man with horns and a great staff leaps in behind her. After analyzing his staff, I realize that he's a teigu. Interesting function though. A shield that can reflect anything and a staff that can turn into an an...invisible sword.
"Who's on this mission?" Esdeath asks, breaking me from my thoughts.
"Including me? 7." Najenda says, "But the Empire founded another group of Teigu users almost immediately after your…expulsion."
"So a force of 10 against an unknown number, eh?" Esdeath says, "I like it. Let's go."
At that, Leone raises her paw. "We actually have one less. Mine will be too ineffective in such close quarters."
"Right." Najenda says, "We have a force of 9 and 3 are currently in the throne room where one is a noncombatant."
"I'm liking those numbers less and less," I remark, "But we have to fight. After all, this will be the easiest way to end corruption."
At that, Leone looks at me. "You… You remind me of Tatsumi," she remarks before leaving towards the heavy set door where sounds of battle can be heard.
"Wait," I say before tracing a sword. Fragarach, the Mystic Code that rewrites time itself so that it can hit whatever. It appears to be a floating iron ball with a spearhead coming out of it and a ring orbiting it. The Noble Phantasm just floats in my hand. With this, we should be able to retaliate to whatever comes in.
"What is that?" Najenda asks, "Did you just create a teigu?"
"No. It's a noble phantasm." I reply. We have to hurry. "I'll take lead and the weapon should be able to counterattack."
I open the door to chaos. Well damn. A black-haired girl, who I recognize as Akame from the wanted posters, is fighting off two swordsmen. The three of them, with their blades, already feeding me the very blades. And they are strong. Whether in technique or the teigu's actual ability.
A teen in silver armor is fighting a clown, some girl with a mic, and someone that vaguely reminds me of Illya who has a titanic monster behind her. The mic girl notices me.
"Oh, new people. Well, time to die." I had already read her teigu, Heavy Pressure, the teigu capable of exerting intense gravity through soundwaves.
"DIE!" she shouts at us, the shockwave of her voice reverbing to us. Leone and Najenda are already trying to move, but the wave is faster than any of us. Well, other than a select few.
"Gouging Sword of the War God: Fragarach!" I shout as the metal ball starts sparking, already flashing bright as Cosmina, the mic girl, suddenly losing her voice as her voice box is punctured by a beam of light. At the same time, I trace Yata no Kagami, Susanoo's shield, to bounce the shockwave back at her, causing her body to slam against the wall. I can hear her bones cracking and pulverizing as she screams wordlessly and slumps.
"What!" the blonde-haired girl, Dorothea, says before being forced to dodge the armored teen's spear. "Champ! Deal with them!"
"Oh I will!" the obese clown says, "I want the loli!" No. Just no.
"I'm 19!" Illya shouts as he seems to shout in glee.
"Oh, a permanent angel! I need to preserve you even further!" That sounds ominous. His teigu, Big Leaguer is already activating, chaotically launching the elements everywhere. Leone, Najenda, and Susanno had already left, going to help the armored teen and Akame.
"You are so not doing that! I'm only for my onii-chan!" Illya shouts before her eyes flashed. Wait, what. Is that her Mystic Eyes of Binding?
"What did you do?!" he says as his body locks up frozen. "But, I still have my balls to throw at you." His teigu starts to fly towards us, but are batted aside by ice and fire projectiles. Whirlwind, consumed by a blaze. Explosion, solidified in ice. Flame, currently duking itself out with my own flames. Ice orb, frozen solid by Esdeath's ice. Lightning, stuck in ice. Rot, a hand of fire had grasped it, the rot orb trying to continuously destroy the flames, only for the flames to replenish.
"Who the hell are you-Esdeath!" he shouts in fear. "Esdeath is here!" he shouts at Dorothea, who ignores him. Esdeath executes Champ with little prejudice as a blade of wind whizzes right by me. Enshin, the man wielding Shamshir, doesn't look like he's feeling so good.
"I'll just kill you quickly and return back to killing Akame," he replies as he flicks yet two more blades.
"Trace on!" I shout as I trace the same blade as him, repelling the two slices with two slices of my own.
"Wait, but that's mine!" he whines before going to viciously attack me. His sword outstretched at me. It appears that he can only slash twice, so I summoned Assassin's blade, Monohoshizao. It's not the blade, but the technique, Tsubame Gaeshi-the technique that allows me to attack thrice simultaneously.
"Hiken - Tsubame Gaeshi!" the three impossible slices fly through the air, its superior power from my Reinforcement slicing through his own air slices and slicing through him. The decapitated head of Enshin falls to the ground as Shamshir clatters to the ground.
Where is the Emperor or the Prime Minister? I do a quick headcount of the people present. Esdeath, Najenda, Susanoo, the armored teen, Akame, Illya, the three remaining Wild Hunt members, Cosmina, Dorothea, and Izou, and….where is Leone? She must be after them.
"Hrunting, lead me to Prime Minister Honest" I chant as I summon the Noble Phantasm, immediately I follow the tugging sensation that the blade is giving me. Using my fires as a makeshift plasma torch. I cut through the stone walls to reveal a torchlit passageway where the fat man is leering over a panicked Leone. I throw the blade, stabbing him through the stomach.
"Arggh!" He yells as he gingerly touches the blade, "Well, you're too late. The emperor has activated the great Teigu, Shikoutazer! He will purge you, peons!"
And with that, his voice finally gurgled as he can no longer talk due to the blood bubbling up his throat.
"Thanks for saving me, even if I didn't really need it," Leone says as she looks mournfully the belt that used to be Lionelle, "Even if my teigu was broken and he had a gun ready, I could've taken him. But, I do feel for my teigu. "
"Do you know what Shikoutazer is?" I ask, "I don't recognize it on the Teigu records?"
"Nope, nor did I," Leone responds as we hear a loud noise as the castle walls start to shake violently. "I have a good idea of what it may be."
"Yeah," I say as we run outside of the passageway, leading to a ruined throne room with a huge purple robot standing up. Oh, what fresh hell is this? Why does the Empire have a nuke?! It's already unfair for my swords to have the function, but the Emperor has one that only he and his blood can access? What the hell? The teigu starts to whine as an ominously burning bright red light appears from its crown. Fuck!
Reinforcing my legs, I grab Najenda, Esdeath, Illya, Akame, the armored teen, and Susanoo.
"Rho Aias!" I shout out, summoning the pink flower shield projection as Shikoutazer launches its charge into the distance. The shockwave buckled against Ajax's shield, removing 3 fucking layers and disintegrating what remained of the castle walls. In the distance, I see an explosion bigger than even the Tsar Bomba. The hell? I think that was the Revolutionary Army that just disappeared. Fuck.
"What the fuck is THAT!" Najenda shouts as she gestures wildly at the giant.
"Shikoutazer." I say, "The Empire's great defense against invaders. It can fire out a beam capable of leveling cities, fire mortars from its pauldrons, can take almost anything, and was recently reimbursed with the ability to turn into a beyond-Super class Danger Beast."
"And how do you know that?" Esdeath asks, "Only the Prime Minister, Budo, Dorothea, and the Emperor knows about it?"
"I can copy any weapon that I can see, granted- highly technical ones are extremely hard for me to grasp, but I at least understand the workings of this monstrosity."
"We have it on file that your teigu is fire-based, so how is it related to copying weapons of all things?" she asks incredulously. I look at her. Normally, I'll just say it, but Esdeath is most likely going to be executed the moment that the Revolutionary Army takes the Capital, regardless of how much I believe otherwise.
"Can we have a pardon and just leave to go somewhere after this?" I ask, teasing Night Raid's leader with the question of my magecraft.
"...Fine. As long as you don't interfere with our operations after the revolution." she begrudgingly replies, much to the shock of her group.
"But Boss!" the armored teen said, "Didn't you say that Esdeath is the worst example of humanity."
"Yes. And ironically, I see one of the best examples of humanity with her." Najenda responds, "Which is shocking, but hey, opposites attract."
"Why thank you, Najenda. " Esdeath responds.
"So what is it?" Najenda asks as she leans toward me, looking me squarely in the eye. "Magic?"
"Close enough," I respond sheepishly, much to the stunned expression of the group.
"What," Leone says with a confused expression.
"Yes," Illya says with a sigh. "Silly onii-chan, did you forget that we can't tell non-magi about magecraft."
"I mean.." I look at her, "They do own what amounts to Mystic Codes."
"What are Mystic Codes?" Leone asks with a hint of confusion,
"Illya," I sighed, "Can you take care of this? I have to help-what the!" I see the armored teen and Susanoo already race towards the hulking giant.
"You scum! How dare you damage this country's only defense!?" Came the roaring reply from the giant. "You assassins come to my castle and kill my people for your misguided attempts at helping people?"
"You… helping people?" the armored teen roars out, "You just nuked your people."
"All I saw was traitors to the throne. As people, they should die for the service of the throne." the child emperor calmly says. Something in that reminds me of Saber's own conviction, just-you know-in the complete opposite. Saber had always believed in representing the people, being the….perfect king.
"That's just wrong." I scoff, I can't believe that any emperor is this naive. Maybe Saber is coloring my view on kingship, but he is truly incompetent. "A king shouldn't just oppress his people because they are in his way. You're supposed to be their role model, their protector. And I don't see you protecting people with a walking explosion."
He chooses to ignore me. Instead, his crown starts to glow red once again. The only thing that can block that is Avalon, but…. Even with this world's lessened resistance against magecraft, it'll do jack with powering the EX-rank Noble Phantasm.
"My teigu." I inwardly pray, "If you can listen to whatever, just listen to this, I need more power to save these people. Just for once, I can deal with the robot, but I need to protect the people."
I got no response from my teigu, but power starts to flood in, as my hands start to glow with fire. Thank you. Using Structural Analysis on myself, I bring out Avalon. The scabbard of the Once and Future King of Briton. Channeling whatever power is powering the Teigu, I inwardly hope that the scabbard accepts it.
"The Everdistant Utopia: Avalon!" I shout as I force the scabbard's heavenly defenses to completely cover the diameter of the beam. My magic circuits are screaming. My flames are sputtering. But I have to not let the beam strike again. "Susanoo, strike it in the center with the hardest thing you got!"
The beam finally whines as it fires. The bloody red beam carving a path through the air before it is stopped by a golden barrier. All I can see is red as the beam of destruction is nullified by the ultimate defense of the fairies. The beam just disappeared, not even splashed aside, lost in the between of dimensions.
It hurts. Even worse than when I created Nerve Circuits.
"GO!" I pant as Susanoo's Ame no Murakumo appears as the sword is lodged into the chest of the hulking behemoth, but it barely stuck in.
"Rarggh!" the armored teen punches the blade, causing to go in more before he is grabbed by the giant's hand and thrown across the city into a clock tower.
"Shit." I pant as my vision fades, "The titan is going to fire soon…..." I collapse. I can barely see anything, only light hair blue flashing by my vision.
Waking up, I see a fireplace crackling merrily a few feet from me. What happened. I blearily look around to see my head on Esdeath's lap.
"What happened?' I ask with confusion, "Did the Capital survive?"
"For the most part," Esdeath responds, "It's not like I care."
Sigh. She's still on that. Is there any way for me to ever change her mind? No.
"Well, yeah." she answers, "2 districts got obliterated. Tatsumi, the armored teen, became a dragon-which cool-but dies to wounds. I just left with you and Illya after that happened. Najenda had kept her side of the deal, which I didn't actually expect. But, I just took you and leave. After all, I doubt that the Revolutionary Army will be happy to see me." She shrugs.
She is correct. But 2 districts? I'm sure that that 100s of people have perished to that attack, maybe even with the aftermath, as flames will arise from the ruins….. If only I was there, but I doubt that I could've even concentrated after my body forcibly shut me down from pretty much tearing open my Magic Circuits to fuel Avalon, something that I shouldn't even be close to power. In fact… my Magic Circuits feel half-broken or something like that right now.
"Stupid onii-chan!" Illya pouts as she pounds at my chest. "You almost died. Did you realize that you obliterated 13 of your circuits?"
Wait, thirteen? That's half of my already pitiful reserves. But that means that.
"Yeah, you probably can't trace any noble phantasms at this point." Illya responds, "I'm not good enough of a Spiritual Surgeon to splice some of my own, so there is no way for you to recuperate that ability."
"But my teigu." I ask, "That should be fine, right?"
"Well, yes." Esdeath responds, "It's internalized, I doubt that your Fire teigu will just vanish."
I summon a fireball in my hands. I guess that it still works just fine.
"So Shirou, can you stop the Alteration for yourself?" Illya asks, "I was easily able to overpower myself, but for some reason, it still hasn't changed for you."
"y Done." I say as I remove whatever mana is covering my body. The reinforcement is also gone, so I can feel even more aches, remnants of the pains that Avalon is slowly repairing.
"Onii-chan." Illya says, "Your hair still has some white hairs. In fact, it is at the half point between Archer's and yours."
"What?" I ask as I grab my hair. I get up from Esdeath's lap and wildly look around the cabin. "Is there a mirror?" My body shouldn't be already being altered from Tracing, especially since I only activated…. Avalon. Right, intense usage of the Magic Circuits which are Swords, through and through.
I sheepishly smile, "It doesn't look bad, right?"
"Nope." Both replies as I finally go look outside the window. It was snowing.
"So, do you want to go hunting?" Esdeath asks as she goes to walk out.
"I'll go with you," I say as I brush off my clothes. I might as well check if I can really not trace Noble Phantasms. It'll be much better than laying here like broken equipment, thrown aside for cracking in half.
After all, reforging a weapon is long process. There is a chance to repair a cracked weapon, it just takes fire. A lot of which I have.
Ok there. Done. Open-ended conclusion. I'm never touching this again. So if someone wants to rewrite this, go at it and inform me. This was a show and a half that I forced myself to conclude and nopity nope nope and I am never rebooting it myself.
But, this has been a fun ride, so I hope that you did enjoy the fic.