Okay, just to clarify a few things before I get my head bitten off again about this. I have been told repeatedly that Darnic was quite likely Jewish, and that he was only collaborating with the Nazis for their resources. And that if Daniela was fighting against the Nazis, it was against the Fascist regime of the time.

Here's a few things I would like to point out.

Darnic might be Jewish, but he was a MAGUS first and foremost. Do you really think he'd care about wearing the swastika symbol or participating in the atrocities they were committing against the Jews when it meant he was able to access free 'volunteers' without having to lift a finger? It's like expecting Magneto to let his religion to keep him from going forward with his Pro-Mutant views. I also sincerely doubt that the Nazis would have let just ANYONE walk off with enough manpower to steal the Grail, hypnotism or not. Ergo he could be considered a Nazi by default.

Second part I'd like to point I would like to make out: Daniela was a mafioso. She was already working AGAINST the government from the get-go, and the Varia is made up of more than just Catholics. I really doubt she would take what the Nazi's were doing laying down, even if it meant having to help on the sly. I also doubt she would care if Darnic was or wasn't a Nazi so long as he wore the symbol and worked with them.

When Xanxus was younger, his mother gave him a tremendous gift. Something that would become the only legacy of a woman he could barely remember.

That legacy...was magic.

Not the cheap wand waving crap from Harry Potter or the ridiculous notion of magical girls, but honest to god sorcery that had strict rules and even more prejudice against newcomers than you could shake a stick at.

She even gave him what was left of their family crest, though it was barely twenty circuits of decent quality. Considering it was a miracle she had been able to hold on to her mind long enough to do that, he had no idea what his circuits could do beyond the fact that they belonged to his mother and were therefor precious.

It hurt like a bitch, but it was something that belonged to his Ma that no one could take from him without ripping apart his cold dead body.

It was a cold comfort when his 'father' took him in to the Vongola, leaving his Ma all alone with no one to care for her. He still had no idea how or when she died. He just knew she wouldn't last long without him to watch out for her.

His new grandmother took one look at his Crest...and promptly enlisted the aid of a few 'younger' Magus-born to teach him how to use it.

And by younger, he would mean their families were less than five generations old. They were still old enough to be his father.

By the time Xanxus was sixteen, he could reasonably call himself a second-rate Magus. It was something his asshole adopted father couldn't take from him, not that he knew about it.

Though he could care less about reaching the Root, he could emphathize with the Enforcers he ran into. It didn't hurt they were the ones who taught him the bare basics of magecraft and found out what exactly some of the circuits he inherited from his mother did.

(On an unrelated note, Xanxus' favorite spell was the Gandr curse. One hit from that and the Ninth's guardians suddenly had other concerns more pressing than his behavior or language.)

On the day he learned he wasn't the Ninth's son and therefor unable to inherit because of the blood lock on the Vongola rings, Xanxus did the 'smart' thing.

He joined an Executor group on a mission to deal with a new Apostle that had just turned an entire town into ghouls. Normally they wouldn't accept the presence of a Magus, but Xanxus was a devout Catholic and didn't give two shits about Akasha or the Root. He just wanted to kill something and aim a little misplaced aggression against something that deserved killing.

(Squalo was a very happy shark when Xanxus came back with a set of Black Keys, just for him. Those were much easier to get past civilian security.)

It was because of the Executors that Xanxus learned of a very...interesting...ritual. One that might solve the issue of not having the proper bloodline to lead the Vongola.

The only problem? The ritual in question was unable to successfully be completed because one of the requirements for it to be used had gone missing.

Xanxus was about ready to start a coup on the Ninth when he heard a rumor that the Great Grail War was about to begin in Romania.

Considering what he had heard about the original, he wasn't foolish enough to pass up an opportunity of a life time.

Which was why he made his way to London to the institution known by all Magi as "Clock Tower".

Inside Clock Tower...

Xanxus stalked the halls like he owned the place. While he held the aura of a king (according to his new Storm officer Belphegor, who claimed to be an actual prince), his demeanor was far closer to that of a dragon. And not some paltry lizard, but that of a phantasmal beast.

Thanks in part to his tutors, he had a list of books he wanted to get his hands on to make some progress as a Magus. Mostly to honor his mother.

The only catch was that they were all very difficult to find and almost certainly in the hands of the older families, who would be reluctant to part with them. Not to mention expensive to the point Mammon would definitely bitch about them and draw the attention of the old bastard in the Iron Fort.

Xanxus wasn't about to elaborate on what he was actually studying to that old fool. If Nonna hadn't bothered to enlighten him on what the special tutors were for, then he didn't feel any inclination to tell him either.

It took him a moment to get directions, but he soon stood in front of a door that read "Rocco Belfane".

"Come in."

The man was old and looked like a scholar.

"You're early, Vongola."

Xanxus said nothing.

"I've heard from Daniela of your interest in the Grail. And that you would be willing to act as a Master of Red for us."

"Let's cut to the chase old man. I don't really give two shits about what you do with the Greater Grail if we retrieve it. I just want a chance to access it at least once," said Xanxus bluntly. "Besides, the second Nonna found out that the one who took it was part of the Nazi's, she all but jumped at the chance to send me here. If not for her health she would have joined herself just to kill the thief."

To say Daniela Vongola despised Nazis was an understatement. She had fought in World War Two and had taken inordinate pleasure in murdering those bastards, so the fact that one had managed to survive and had used the bodies of infants to maintain his youth pissed her off immensely.

The fact that a Nazi was starting a ritual that might be able to help with the 'slight' issue of Xanxus being unable to inherit...well, she had been all for Xanxus and a select number of his men to join in.

Only his bonded and trusted Elements were going to be allowed to go. Like Squalo and Mammon for instance. Belphegor was too young and Lussuria was needed to keep the rest in line while they were gone. Though depending on how things went, Daniela might just join in regardless to watch the fireworks.

Seeing the gleam in the man's eyes, Xanxus pulled out a list.

"What's this?"

"You want me to fight for the Mage's Association? I'm going to need these and a catalyst to fight with," said Xanxus.

Rocco took the list and blinked.

"I was informed you were a magus. Why would you need such basic books?"

"My mother might have passed on her crest to me, but by the time I was old enough to handle it her mind was too far gone. It was a miracle she was able to perform that minor ritual before it went completely. And I don't feel like tracking down and negotiating with the families who might have a spare copy in exchange for payment or favors," said Xanxus bluntly.

More like Daniela did not want her son learning about magecraft or the older families. Timoteo was far too impetous to trust with such information, and if he found out about the hidden society then so would Iemitsu, who was an idiot of the highest caliber. There was a reason she had all the 'special tutors' come to her mansion and not the Iron Fort to train Xanxus.

She had little doubt if her son knew about magecraft that he would try to 'absorb' some of the younger, more foolish families so that they could use magecraft to make the Vongola 'stronger', which would only draw the Association and the Executioners down on their ass sooner rather than later. Never mind the damage Iemitsu could cause if he had access to magecraft.

Rocco wanted to snort derisively, but was smart enough not to do so while Xanxus was in the room.

"If you want training, then you should have applied under Lord El-Melloi II. He takes in strays and trains them up to be competent Magi, regardless of what their family history is so long as they're willing to learn," said Rocco bluntly.

Xanxus blinked.

"A compromise then. Access to Clock Tower's library and a catalyst if I manage to make it out of this ritual alive. I don't have time to study here full time," said Xanxus.

"That can be arranged," said Rocco easily.

Giving the assassin the same access any other visiting magus willing to pay for their own supplies was no hardship.

"As for the catalyst, I've already arranged for one."

He pulled out a small box. Inside was a piece of wood with some intricate carvings on it, likely from something that had been much bigger. It was old too. Too old to be from anything within the past hundred years, if not more.

"What is this?"

"A fragment of the Round Table from Arthurian myth. A rare treasure even among the artifacts in Clock Tower," said Rocco. "This should allow you to summon a famous hero as a Servant. King Arthur, Gawain, or even Tristain. There is no guarantee."

Xanxus was already privately suspending his disbelief that King Arthur's legend was apparently real, and that such artifacts could still be obtained in this day and age.

"This is the location of the supervisor for this war, as well as the circle and aria needed to summon a Servant," said Rocco, handing over a file. "How you enter Trifas is up to you, but by accepting this you agree to act as a Master of Red on our behalf."

"When does this 'ritual' start?"

"Officially it already has. Darnic has already summoned a Servant, it's just a matter of time before the rest follow suit," replied Rocco. "Fight with the rest of the Red faction or solo, it makes no difference. All we want is the Greater Grail."

Xanxus took the box, and left the room. Any doubts he had were cast aside.

He had committed himself to this...Great Grail War, and he intended to see it through, no matter what end was waiting for him.

Perhaps he would have a chance to find out whether he was meant to be a Vongola, or if he should settle for being Xanxus di Varia instead.

At least Varia Boss wasn't one the trash that ran the main family or that fucker Iemitsu could take from him.

Since Daniela had never seen a ritual performed, much less one to summon a 'heroic spirit', Xanxus decided to humor his grandmother and doing the summoning in her home. More specifically the back yard, so she could watch it properly.

Squalo had no idea about the 'mission' they would be on once Xanxus had a Servant and their travel plans were made.

Xanxus would not be surprised if Daniela spun the entire trip as the Varia 'escorting' the retired Eighth boss for a rather odd vacation.

The Varia boss walked outside, well aware his grandmother was taping this and was watching with eagerness.

Xanxus stood before the ritual circle which he had drawn out with the blood of some random mook too stupid to live.

"Silver and steel, the essence.

Stone and the archduke of contracts, the foundation.

Red, the color I pay tribute to.

A wall, to harbor against the raging wind.

Let the four cardinal gates be sealed,

and tread the three-forked road from the Crown

reaching unto the Kingdom.

I hereby propose.

Swear your fealty to me, and my life shall be your sword.

If you abide by the Grail's summons and follow the laws,

then heed my call!

I hereby swear.

I shall be all that is good in the world.

I shall ward off all that is evil in the world.

From the Seventh Heaven,

wielding the Three Words of Power,

come forth from the ring of control,

Guardian of the Heavenly Scales!"

The amount of power that came from the circle was not something to be taken lightly.

Xanxus could feel something connecting to his circuits, as a figure appeared from the light.

There in the center of the circle was a figure clad in silver and red armor. There was no mistaking it was a Knight, but Xanxus had absolutely no idea which one. Just that it would almost certainly be from Arthurian legend... and he had suspicions it wasn't the legendary king himself.

The figure's helm was horned, and their figure was rather petite for a man. However he knew Quality armor when he saw it, and the figure had on a set that was leagues above anything any modern blacksmith could make.

A sharp grin appeared on his face. He was one step closer to his goal already.

"Who are you?" demanded Xanxus, with all the authority of a king.

Seeing the helm come apart and slide behind the figure's back was interesting, but not as much as the rather sharp, feminine features of the knight. He was really starting to wonder what sort of catalyst that idiot had given him because last he checked none of the knights of the Round Table were female.

Unless the Round Table followed the same "guy's only" rule that the Varia did and politely ignored anyone who suffered from the condition known as "female" once a month.

The knight pushed their sword into the ground and stood proudly before him.

"I am Mordred, the one and true heir of Arthur Pendragon," they announced with no little amount of pride and confidence. "So I ask you... are you my Master?"

Xanxus took one look at that cocky grin...and found an answering one on his face.

He could work with this.

Daniela, on the other hand, couldn't help her reaction to who her grandson had summoned. She started howling.

"Only you, my adorable little Xanxan, would summon the bastard son of the king rather than some honorable knight!" she cracked up.

Mordred almost took offense to that comment.

"Master," growled Mordred. "Who is she and can I kill her?"

"Only if you want me to come after you myself," said Xanxus with a slight growl. "And what the hell is so funny about me summoning Mordred rather than one of the others?"

Daniela at least had managed to regain her composure by that point.

"Let's face it grandson... out of all the Knights from the Arthurian legend, Mordred is the only one that comes close to resembling you!" she cackled.

Mordred blinked, running that comment through their head before they realized the old woman was actually complimenting them, rather than insulting their Master.

They dismissed their armor, as the old woman was clearly not a threat but an ally.

Xanxus eyed Mordred up before calmly asking "Do you want to be addressed as a male or by your actual gender?"

Mordred openly glared at him.

"Call me a woman and I will gut you myself," they snarled, holding their sword to his throat in warning.

Xanxus rolled his eyes and didn't even flinch. Mordred found herself respecting her master already.

"Your shark is going to love meeting Mordred," said Daniela with a grin.

"Shark?" repeated Mordred confused.

Xanxus smirked, already anticipating the reaction Squalo was going to have to Mordred and eager to see how the fallen Knight would handle fighting his Rain. God knew Squalo was going to be thrilled, once he realized who he was fighting.

Besides, one look at the clothing Mordred was wearing underneath that armor and he already knew Lussuria was going to have fun altering the poor knight's wardrobe. What she had on now was barely acceptable.