Kiritsugu Emiya blinked as he stared at the young boy in the middle of his dojo, who was frozen in shock with surprise as the wooden bamboo sword he held in his hands hovered unsteadily over his head.
"Shirou... What are you doing?" He asked with narrowed eyes, bewildered at such a sight. "Where did you get that shinai? I don't recall ever purchasing one for you."
Shirou, his adoptive son, fidgeted nervously with an embarrassed look on his face. "U-um... Taiga came by early today and she brought her kendo equipment with her. She said I could mess around with it while she was in the bathroom so..."
Ah, of course. Tuesday already. Miss Fujimura, a granddaughter of one of his close associates, had built up an odd friendship with him. She often babysat Shirou while he was away doing 'work', though he'd argue that it was more of the other way around. In exchange, he taught her how to speak english as that was one of her main subjects of focus on her way to becoming a teacher.
She often came by early, but this was the first time she brought her kendo equipment with her. Perhaps she had a local tourney to participate in? Well... at least one that wouldn't kick her out for her disrespectful attitude.
Speaking of which...
"Good morning, Kiritsugu!"
He sighed as the young woman bursted into the little dojo, her brown hair tied back into a small ponytail. She flashed him a bubbly smile as she approached, carefree as usual.
"Good morning, Taiga." He replied back with a nod and a smile of his own, though it contained much less energy. "I apologize for waking up so late. I've forgotten that we were supposed to meet today."
"Ah! It's fine! I didn't wait that long anyway!" Taiga waved her hand dismissively before she turned towards Shirou with a lopsided grin. "Ooh! Look at you, Shirou! You really like that shinai, don't'cha?"
Shirou let the tip of the bamboo sword hit the ground experimentally. "It's sort of heavy... but it doesn't feel too bad. The texture feels really nice and it balances neatly in my hand."
"Right? Right? The feel of a bamboo sword is simply superb! Nothing beats that, I tell ya!" A sudden glint appeared in her eyes, making Kiritsugu tense up with slight dread. "Of course, there is one other thing! And that is..."
Much to Kiritsugu's horror, he watched as Taiga bounded over to her gym bag over in the corner and pulled out another shinai while standing triumphantly.
"...To cross strikes with another fighter!" She declared as she pointed the sword at Shirou, who froze in bewilderment at the sudden development. "Two people can convey their feelings through crossing blades! That is why kendo is such a wonderful sport! Allow me to demonstrate!"
"U-um..." Shirou eyed her shinai warily as she waved it around dangerously like a wand.
"Taiga... I don't approve of Shirou partaking in such an activity. He could get hurt, especially if you get too... excited." Kiritsugu said with a small frown as Taiga bounded up to Shirou.
"Oh don't worry about it, Kerry! It's not like we're using real swords! At the very most, he'll just get a few light bruises that'll go away in a couple hours!"
"But it's you who's attacking me..." Shirou muttered.
"Really? You don't trust one of the greatest kendo masters in Japan to hold back during a mock battle? You wound me, Shirou!" Taiga placed a hand over her heart dramatically, making Shirou and Kiritsugu sigh at her antics. "Very well! If that's the case, I'll let you have the first strike! I won't even counter!"
Shirou glanced at Kiritsugu, waiting for his approval. He truly was an obedient kid...
"So long as you don't overexert yourself." He glanced at Taiga with a stern look. "And don't go overboard, please. If either of you get hurt, I get hit with the responsibility."
Although he said that, he doubted Raiga would get mad at him. After all, even he knew that his granddaughter's antics couldn't be controlled by anyone. When she set her mind to something, there was little anyone could do to stop her.
"Alright! Now, come here Shirou! You're going to want to set the sword in front you like this-" She paused for a second. "Actually... you're already doing it! Wow! Have you been watching any kendo matches recently?"
Kiritsugu turned towards Shirou and his eyebrows rose with curiosity as, indeed, Taiga was right. Shirou, who had never once seen an actual kendo match, was frozen in the beginning stance of a kendo master. His eyes were forward, his sword set in front of him, and his legs were spaced apart evenly as if he was ready to react at a moments notice.
He'd be lying if he said that this hadn't had shocked him. He had most certainly not taught Shirou how to do something like this, yet he had settled into the proper stance so naturally without guidance whatsoever. A strange sense of foreboding rose up in the back of his mind, making him wonder if he should perhaps actually stop this.
Even in his declining years, his senses had never failed him. Something was about to happen. Whether good or bad, he did not know.
"This position just seems natural..." Shirou muttered shyly, finding Taiga's gaze on him slightly unnerving as she eyed him up with a critical eye. She checked his grip, his tension, and his posture for several moments before standing back with an incredulous look.
"I'm impressed, Shirou. Getting into a proper stance may seem easy enough, but it's difficult for first-timers. Some are too tight or their feet are too wide, but you have a perfect balance of both! Are you perhaps some secret prodigy?" She shook her head. "Well, getting in the stance is half the battle I suppose. The real part starts now."
She settled down into her own stance across from Shirou, perfectly mirroring him. "Now... Try and strike me."
"Hit you? Are you sure?" Shirou asked with a frown, obviously disliking the idea.
"You're not taking a full swing, Shirou. Kendo isn't about bludgeoning the other opponent to death. At most, you're just giving a hard tap to my midsection." She cocked her head. "Well, I suppose it'll hurt a little more without the proper equipment. Just aim for my midsection and you should be fine."
Kiritsugu sighed. Of course Taiga would be okay with having an untrained child strike at her with a bamboo stick. He was more worried that she'd end up getting serious and start beating Shirou subconsciously.
Luckily, it didn't seem as if that would be the case this time.
Shirou had moved. Or at least, he appeared to move only briefly. With a gesture that was so swift and agile with no wasted movement, Shirou's shinai smacked Taiga's sword out of the way and tapped her on the stomach. It was move that even a master of the sword would applaud as perfect and even Taiga found herself gaping when her mind caught up to what had happened.
"W-what?" Taiga muttered as Shirou lowered his sword, fidgeting with a nervous look on his face. "How did you do that?"
"I just... sorta did it." Shirou muttered as he glanced down at his sword. "I felt like I knew what I had to do to hit you and my body just acted on its own. If you were serious I doubt I would have managed to-"
"Are you kidding me?!" Taiga exclaimed with a wide grin as she stared down at him as if she had just struck oil. "You just executed the most perfect move I had ever seen! Regardless of what you believe, I did have my guard up. I wasn't going to let you show me up even if we were in a mock battle, but it appears that it didn't matter! Honestly, you must certainly be a prodigy! Who would have thunk it?"
"Certainly not me. It appears my son has found his calling in life."
Shirou blushed as the two adults heaped praises on him. He truly didn't see what was so special about what he did. Could Taiga not do the same easily? Despite the results, he could not believe that what he had done was impressive in any way. He just followed his instincts and his body took care of the rest.
Kiritsugu saw how bashful his son was and he was honestly amused. Regardless, his mind was wondering about what he had just witnessed. The fluidity Shirou had achieved in that moment was not normal. Far from it. A child could not have pulled off such a thing against an adult. Taiga had blown it off as Shirou being a prodigy, but he had a hunch that it was something else.
The way he gripped that sword... flowing like water while being as swift as the wind...
Perhaps it was his...
His origin was sword.
It would only be a couple years later when he found out what that truly meant. Ever since that faithful day when he picked up that wooden sword, his father had noticed the increasing change within him.
Taiga would regularly bring practice shinai with her to their house and let him play around with it, testing his newfound gift for the sword. Little by little, day by day, his movements would become more fluid and natural. He practiced the most basic of strikes over and over, but to the eyes of an untrained professional it looked more like the techniques employed by an expert.
Eventually, he had improved so much that even Taiga was starting to see it as unnatural by any standards.
After a few weeks of growth, Kiritsugu had done some sort of magical ritual on him. It had been one of the few times he had willingly used magecraft in front of him and he truly had no idea of the intricacies of it at the time, but Kiritsugu had looked to be shaken at the end of it. He had only muttered something about how his true nature had to have been impossible, but he never went further than that.
"Your origin is a sword. There is nothing you need to know other than that."
Indeed. There was nothing else he needed to know other than that. With only that slight bit of information, the change had already begun.
His body is a sharpened sword...
Those words had hit close to home, though it had not reached the complete truth. He was indeed a sword, the sharpest of swords. A sword that would cut all that was evil within his sight. That was the sole purpose for his existence.
Because at the end of his life, Kiritsugu had imparted upon him his final wish. The final goal that shall allow him to soar to new heights, yet also had a chance of sending him straight to hell. The shining star that he could not reach during his lifetime of hardship.
Aim for it. Cut a path to it. If anyone could do it, surely he could.
This one sword, above all else, was meant to save others.
"I want this to be yours."
Shirou stared with wonder and awe as his father held out a katana with a simple brass and wooden sheathe. It wasn't ornately designed, but it must not have come cheap.
"Because I have a feeling that you'll need it in the future." Kiritsugu declared with a solemn look on his face. "I've never let you hold an actual sword before... but I believe you're ready. You can bear such a responsibility, yes?"
Shirou nodded. "Of course, dad. I'll never use this sword to unjustly take the life of another."
For him, a sword was a weapon meant to cut something without fail. No movement should be wasted, no action too extravagant. Thus, the simple action of drawing a sword from its sheathe merely invokes death. To bear your blade in view of others is to declare your intent to kill. For this reason, he had never touched a real sword until now.
It was a trivial concern for others, but it was a rule he always kept to heart. Would you draw a gun from its holster for no reason? Nay. The same goes for a sword as well, for if one was not careful innocent blood could be spilled.
"I'm glad you understand. You truly are a thousand times better than me when I was your age." Kiritsugu laughed as he turned his gaze upwards to the moon above. "Back then, I spent my time chasing a naive dream. I missed out on my childhood."
Shirou raised an eyebrow at that. "A naive dream? What did you dream about?"
"Ah... Nothing realistic. Perhaps you'd even find it stupid." Kiritsugu snorted, though a small forlorn smile was on his face. "Back then... what I wanted to be when I grew up... was a superhero."
"A... superhero? Like in those famous western comics?"
"The very same. The idea was enthralling. Every life is precious, no matter what. That's why I wanted to save as many people I could from all of the suffering in the world."
He shook his head and sighed, a hint of regret shining through.
"But there was only so much a single man can do. To save one person means to give up on another. The tools I had... the training I had... were all too insufficient for my ideal. I always felt that no matter how hard I tried, I was not even a single step closer towards being a hero."
A humorless chuckle escaped his lips. "Besides, being a hero is a one-time thing. I'm far past the time for such a thing."
A human could not wipe away the stains of evil. To do so would mean to get rid of nearly everything that made one human. It was an impossible task, which was why he sought a miracle nearly a decade ago.
Too bad that miracle had been nothing more than a sham. The price for such a thing had been too high... and nearly destroyed his will to live.
Shirou stared at him with determination in his eyes, causing Kiritsugu's breath to hitch in his throat.
"I'll become a hero for you. I'll fulfill your dream."
He looked away, a strange feeling washing over him. This was it. The die had been cast. That look of determination and hope in his son's eyes was something he knew all too well.
He should have been angry at such a declaration. They were the misguided words of a boy who knew nothing of how truly evil the world could be. No matter how hard you fought, the future will always be dyed with suffering and despair for those who couldn't be saved.
"Then take up your sword and chase that dream."
...Perhaps he won't make the same mistakes he did.
"What an old memory..."
Shirou Emiya sighed as he wiped his brow and stood up, surveying his handiwork. The school gym he had volunteered to clean after hours looked pristine and spotless. It was almost as if it had been built just recently.
He glanced up at the moon hanging overhead, realizing that he had certainly stayed way past normal hours. With a sigh, he began to put away all of the cleaning tools.
"I really hope you're not watching, father."
He doubted the hero work his dad spoke of consisted of cleaning up old gyms and fixing air conditioning systems. Sadly, he was still only in high school. It's not like he could just drop out and go 'save' people as he was right now. He needed an education first.
That and it wasn't as if Taiga would let him go out on his own to 'fight evil' without her consent.
Once he was done stashing away all of the cleaning tools in the nearby closet, he shut the door and began heading home. From the looks of it, it was past dinner time so he wouldn't have a chance to make a proper meal. He'd just have to compensate with a bigger breakfast tomorrow.
As he was just about to step outside school grounds, however, a loud sound rang through the air, making him jump in surprise.
"What the hell?"
Shirou was instantly on guard as he turned towards the direction in which the sounds were coming from. Moving quickly, but quietly, he sought to investigate the disturbance. Were there troublemakers still roaming the school at this hour?
He had half a mind to just go out and reprimand whoever was causing all this noise. It was close to bedtime! People would be most certainly trying to sleep by-
He froze as he stepped in view of the courtyard, a gust of wind pushing past his face.
Two forms sped across the field, crashing into each other and sending shockwaves across the courtyard. They were nothing but blurs, casually surpassing the speed a normal human could even produce. One wore black armor with a red shroud draped over him while the other wore what appeared to be a blue spandex suit. It was beyond abnormal, but the situation was truly real.
The man in blue brought the butt end of a crimson spear around, smacking it against the edge of the red man's black sword and sent it sprawling out of his hand and into the dirt. As he tried to step in his guard, however, the man brought a white sword around and fended him off without fail.
Normally such a conflict would not be easily seen by any normal human due to the inhumane speed the two presented, yet Shirou found himself discerning their movements with a critical eye. Time seemed to slow down enough as he analyzed their fighting pattern, finding himself enthralled with their dance of death...
...Until he realized the gravity of what he had just encountered.
"What the hell should I do?"
Should he stop them? Should he let them be? This entire situation was so bizzare that he honestly had no clue what to do. Whatever the case, he was certain he wasn't supposed to be here to witness this.
He could try to stop them, but that'd most likely end up with him dead. He could tell those two were really trying to kill each other, though the guy in red seemed to be at a slight disadvantage. Trying to intervene would most likely get himself killed without a weapon.
Yeah, even then his sword skills would probably be no match for these guys. Best to just leave and forget-
As his foot moved backwards to back out slowly, the soil beneath made slightly more noise than necessary. In an instant, the two forces stopped moving.
"Who goes there?!"
He began sprinting as fast as his legs could carry him. Every instinct in his body told him to run; to get the hell away from those two weapons of mass destruction before they descended upon him.
Pivoting on his heels, he turned into the school and began climbing the stairs. It may have seem counterproductive to run into the school to get away, but he knew the highest chance of success for him to get out of this alive would be to hide. If he could just climb out the window and drop into the forest, he could possibly hide in the green until it was safe.
Yes, a sound plan. He knew the entire layout of this place by heart. Out of all available options, this was the highest chance for his survival. He could investigate this further another day, and he couldn't do that if he was dea-
"Why can't I feel my everything?"
His body had stopped running, jerking as if it had run into an invisible wall. That was odd...
Then the pain came.
The inside of his chest suddenly felt as if he had just swallowed lava, pressure building up like a dam. Struggling through the pain to look downwards, he noticed a deep cut that had opened over his heart as if something had stabbed into him.
"Sorry about this, boy. You're truly unlucky."
There was a shimmer as the man in blue appeared before him out of thin air, his hand extended as he grasped the shaft of the red spear that now currently pierced his heart. His red eyes stared at him with a small hint of pity, almost as if he regretted having driven his spear through his heart.
"You witnessed me, so I'm afraid I cannot let you live. Sorry kid, just orders."
The man pulled the spear out cleanly and Shirou felt himself go weightless as he face planted onto the ground in a growing pool of his own blood. The man just stared down at him for a couple more seconds before sighing and disappearing from view, reverting back into shimmering particles.
Strangely enough, he wasn't in much pain as he lied there. It was a little cold, but that was it. On the other hand, this was certainly not how he expected to die. If anything, he was more regretful that he'd never become a hero like he promised his father.
"I'm sorry, dad..."
As his consciousness began to drift away, he heard the sound of a girl. She sounded distressed, but he couldn't muster the energy to look at her. He could only see a small shade of red as he finally blacked out into nothingness.
He gasped as he woke up abruptly, sitting up in a cold sweat.
Placing a hand over his chest instinctively, he found that the wound that had once been over his heart was no longer there. He felt completely fine, almost as if the previous events from before had never occurred at all.
"W-was that a dream?" He muttered as he took several deep breaths, trying to test whether or not this was all real.
Judging by how he could feel the air entering his lungs, it was.
He stood up on wobbly feet, shaking his head to clear his mind. For now, he wasn't going to question it. He could sort all of this out later. For now, he should just be glad he was alive.
As he begun to make his way out of the school, he paused as his foot brushed up against something particularly solid. Looking down, he found his gaze drawn to a small red jewel necklace that laid unceremoniously before him. Raising an eyebrow, he bent down and picked it up. It was cold in his hand, but he found himself enamored by it.
Perhaps someone dropped it earlier and he had simply been too busy to notice. Regardless, he couldn't just leave it here. It had to be important to someone.
Picking it up carefully, he began his trek back home in a hurried fashion. He wasn't going to stick around to see that blue man again.
As he opened the door to his estate, he groaned in relief as he threw himself down onto the wooden floor with a thud. He was too damn tired to pull out the futon, so he was probably sleeping here tonight.
If he could even go to sleep, that is.
"Just what the hell were those two?" He muttered as he stared at the ceiling. "They weren't ordinary humans... that's for sure..."
Groaning, he cupped his face with his hands. "I was nearly killed by one of them."
He shook his head. "No, I wasn't nearly killed. I was really killed. Yet despite that, I'm somehow still here..."
It was a miracle. By all medical accounts, he should have been certainly dead. Even with access to a hospital, surviving a stab wound to the heart by a gigantic metal pole was all but inconceivable. Your body simply couldn't repair such damage on its own.
That girl who he had heard mere moments before blacking out... It was most likely her doing that saved him. What she did, or rather, what she had most likely done, was something that he only had a vague understanding about.
It must have been magecraft. His father had given him a very brief understanding of it, but not so much that he'd be able to claim to have a Ph.D. in the subject. Still, what else could have explained his heart being healed right now?
He froze as the chiming of bells echoed throughout the room. Above him, the air became distorted and a humanoid shape began to form. Staring down at him, with a feral look and a familiar red spear, was the man from earlier.
Immediately, Shirou rolled to the side before he could find himself run through once again. As he did so, his hand found the katana his father had gifted him and quickly pulled the blade from its sheath.
"Damn, kid. You're really making me work, aren't you?"
The man glanced up at him casually as he pulled his spear out of the floor and lazily held it up, pointing it at Shirou who eyed it warily.
"I mean, not many people can say that they could make me kill them twice, after all. I really am getting quite sloppy."
Shirou grimaced. "I don't suppose you could at least tell me why you want to kill me?"
The man blinked before laughing. "Sorry, kiddo. No can do. That's a luxury you won't be given, sad to say. I can give you a quick and painless death, however."
His spear flashed forward like a red laser, fully intending to pierce his heart like last time. Now though, Shirou was ready.
Sparks flew as Shirou's sword met the strike at an angle, deflecting it just enough for him to only receive a graze along his arm. The man blinked in surprise, seemingly amazed at what had just transpired.
"Wow, that was a good parry." The man complimented. "You're not half bad at swordsmanship, kid."
The man eyed him up with a newfound look of a wolf sizing up its prey, making his hairs stand up on end.
"It's faint... but I sense mana in you. Well, at least we now know how you survived."
The man raised his spear and thrusted once again, but found himself being parried like before. Shirou just bit back a hiss of pain as the spear cut along his other arm.
"Good form and technique. Do try to keep it interesting."
Shirou just remained silent as he backpedaled out of the room and to the outdoors, careful to try and maintain the distance between them. As it stood, the man had the reach advantage with his weapon and clearly superior physical abilities. His best chance would be to try and escape instead of fight head-on.
The man didn't appear to be going all out against him and was delivering purposely slower attacks than earlier. Was he bored? Maybe. Be that as it may be, he'd take advantage of such things.
He dodged left down the hallway as the spear sailed inches from his face. Coming to the outdoors, he slashed through the glass and made his way to the courtyard-
Only for him to gasp in shock as a heavy kick impacted the side of his ribs, sending him flying against the shack with a sickening crunch.
"You won't be able to outrun me, kid. At least try to die with a little dignity." The man called out to him with a casual smile.
Shirou didn't bother to respond and stumbled into the shack, wheezing for air. He was effectively trapping himself, this much he knew. There were no other exit from this room, but his body fought to preserve even just a single millisecond of his life. Even if it was futile, he wouldn't just lay down and die.
He felt a disturbance in the air behind him and his body reacted instantly, his hand finding a stray sheet lying on a table beside him. Reinforcing it to the best of his ability, he spun around and tried to deflect the incoming spear.
But even with reinforcement which made the sheet as hard as tempered steel, it was useless as the force of the strike caused it to explode into a million pieces and sent him flying backwards.
"Geez, kid. That was a decent move you just pulled."
The man looked down at him with a critical eye, but it held a hint of slight respect. "Still, it's odd. The magecraft you employed was amateurish, but you think fast on your feet. Not to mention that sword technique you use earlier... Perhaps you were supposed to be the final master?"
He shook his head. "Well, not like it matters. Just do me a favor and hold still, will ya? I'd rather not make this any messier than it already is."
Shirou glanced up at him with an amazed look. How could this man be so casual about killing him like that? Did he honestly think that any self-respecting person would just lay down and die at his request?
Shirou forced himself up to his feet and gripped the katana in his hand so hard his knuckles turned white.
"I won't allow myself to be killed... by someone like you!" He declared as his eyes shone with determination, making the man blink in surprise at his continued will to fight.
"Face it, kid. I hold the advantage over you in every way. With your physical limits, your sword won't even be able to touch me." The man declared. It wasn't a boast, but a simple statement of fact. Before even a second passed, he could pierce this kid's heart and be out of here. Yet, something seemed to hold him back. This boy had stirred up his curiosity.
"That may be so, but I'll find a way. To realize my dream... the wish that lies deep in my heart..."
The warehouse began to shine with an ethereal light and the man tensed up, sensing something wrong. Where was all this light coming-
His eyes widened as he spotted a faded, but still operable, magic circle in the corner of the room. How could he be so stupid? He'd been so focused on the boy that he had completely neglected to pay attention to anything else. Was the boy trying to summon his own servant?
Enough. He couldn't allow this. He had to stop this immediately befor-
"...I'll reach you somehow! My blade will find you and cut you down!"
The man balked in surprise as Shirou rushed forward in what any magus would have dubbed as a suicidal effort. He swung his sword, heedless of anything else as the light began to envelop him.
He was, after all, a sword. His blade needed to only cut his target. Everything else came second.
"Yes... this is it."
I finally found it. What I had sought during my life, I now find after my death.
...The perfect sword.
Not one that could simply cut flesh.
Not one that could simply cut bone.
Not even one that could terminate life.
I sought one that would free onesself from karma. A sword that could crush bonds, fate, and destiny.
I came close in life, but all of my products ended in failure. While many would praise my swords as weapons without equal, they all fell a step short from the peak I wished to reach. The tools I had weren't enough, neither were my techniques, nor my materials. I could not smelt a sword into the realm of the gods.
This boy was perfect. My summoner, my contractor, he possessed the perfect body. The perfect mentality. Similar to me in both body and spirit, but more... refined. If he had been with me back in the day, one wouldn't be blamed if we were thought to be related.
Perhaps he is a distant descendent of mine...
An origin of sword with an affinity to the sword... everything about him screamed for cutting down evil. I had originally answered the summon with the intent on using the grail to perfect my craft, but...
No. I had what I needed right here.
I won't operate as a hero, but as an old man who will selfishly use this body for his own gain.
"You seek the power to reach him, boy. With my help... your sword will reach the tallest peaks and the depths of the ocean. Nothing, whether they be god, man, or demon, shall be exempt from your blade. You will cut them all down... to reach the truth."
100% compatibility rating.
"Now accept this boon, summoner. Show me the sharpness of your edge!"
Lancer, the great hero Cu Chulainn, found himself blown backwards from the newfound force the kid's blade released. His arms shook from the unexpected shock, he himself having not braced properly in order to properly receive it.
This boy... he had changed. Where the hell did all of this newfound strength come from?
He glanced at the redhead and his eyes widened when he examined him. His entire attire had changed completely. Instead of the modern school uniform he had once worn, he now had draped over him a white cloak decorated with japanese style designs. His shirt was gone, revealing a toned chest with not an ounce of fat and a red and black igote over his left arm.
He wore black pants tied together by a white belt and a small utility pouch over his left thigh. Armored straps protected his lower legs, but ended at the sandals that revealed his feet.
The presence he had... the strange attire... it all screamed of a legendary hero! Yet, how was that possible? There should have been a summoned familiar to greet him, but the boy had come swinging on his-
"No way..." He muttered as realization dawned on him, the lance dropping slightly. "You fused with your heroic spirit?"
That should have been an impossibility, but the proof was standing right in front of him. For a human to mesh with the soul of a heroic spirit... it was thought that no human would be able to bear the strain of such a thing! Not unless their souls were nearly completely compatible, and even that was a stretch.
But what did he care?
A feral grin lit his features as he readied his lance. This wasn't what he expected when he went to kill the boy, but he was going to milk this moment for all it was worth.
"Fine then. I'll give you a chance, brat! If you've taken in the soul of a heroic spirit, then you better be prepared to take on their burden as well!"
Shirou's eyes narrowed as the man charged, crossing the distance in the time it'd take for lightning to strike the ground. His red spear streaked forward as usual, but this time... he could see it clearly.
Raising his sword with more fluidity than he had ever felt his life, he parried the strike away and aimed for the man's neck with the intent to go for a certain kill.
The man responded immediately, twisiting around and bringing the butt end of his spear around to use his reach to intercept him. His sword immediately changed direction, blocking the counter strike and pushing the man back with renewed vigour.
They clashed. Over and over, a dance of death where even a misstep would result in death. Blades of wind sheared the walls with their attacks, nature's laws falling apart around them.
While Lancer held the reach advantage with the use of his spear, Shirou's katana found his weakest points. He struck at the most optimal position, ensuring that he himself would never be overwhelmed in their dance.
His blade gleamed in the moonlight as he ducked underneath a strike that would have separated his head from his shoulders. He sliced at Lancer's unprotected leg, but the man backed out of the way in time and only suffered a slight nick that drew only a small amount of blood.
Lancer hissed, but his face was one of excitement. How long has it been since he could face someone man to man like this? Berserker had been different seeing as he couldn't exactly kill him, and Caster had been easy pickings who ran away from him. Now though, he was locked in a match that could very easily end up with him dead if he wasn't careful.
And it was glorious.
"This is great, kid! You're truly one of a kind!" He barked as he backed away and took up a stance. "Not once did I think that I'd clash blades with you modern folk, but you're truly exceptional! Heroic Spirit or not, be proud you managed to fight toe to toe with me so far!"
Shirou said nothing, simply holding his sword up in a calm stance. Words weren't needed. A sword must cut until the opponent is defeated.
Lancer raised an eyebrow. "Well, you certainly became a lot more quiet. Kinda boring, if ya ask me. Just becase we're enemies doesn't mean we cannot talk, but I suppose that's your heroic spirit's personality."
He shifted the grip of his spear and pointed the tip towards the ground. A second later, a bloodcurling aura surrounded the man and permeated the air around him with the inevitabl feeling of bloodlust and death.
Shirou's guard was instantly up. The man was definitely preparing for something. Probably an ultimate attack of sorts that would attempt to finish him in a single blow.
"Anyway, I'm a nice guy. As thanks for such an exhillerating experience in quite a while, I'll bestow upon you my ultimate attack." The man gave a feral grin as the spear literally shook in his hands as it cried out for blood. "Be grateful, for very few have the honor of witnessing this technique."
Could he block such a thing? This man was finally getting serious. This strike would defintely not be like the last couple hundred. If he didn't react fast enough, he had a feeling that he'd be run through instantly. He couldn't allow such a thing to happen.
"Stand your ground. You have nothing to fear."
His eyes widened as an unfamiliar voice rang through his head.
"Intercept and cut. You're an unbreakable blade that can cut anything. So long as it exists, you can cut it. All you have to do is perceive it."
Information ran through him in that moment. Techniques that he had been unfamiliar with resounded through his mind alongside memories that were not of his own. A lifetime's worth of data was shared with him in that second as if he were a computer.
Holy Grail War. 7 Servants. One Wish. Karma. Fate. Destiny-
-The perfect blade.
"Now accept this blow! I shall pierce your heart!"
Lancer rushed forward, his spear screaming for blood as it pulled back.
Shirou raised his sword and prepared himself as the man drew closer.
Stand firm. Your sword shall ward off death.
With a roar, the man thrust his spear forward and the weapon screamed as it aimed for his heart. To anyone, death was all but assured. The curse imbued on this weapon guaranteed such a fate.
But fate meant nothing to a sword that could cut anything.
Raising his gleaming blade, Shirou eyed the strike with a critical eye-
-And met the strike head on.
Sword met spear and the rules of the universe shattered around them.
Yeah, I'm back.
Sorry for this super long hiatus I've been on. School and ACT and SAT just kept getting in my way and I never got the time to keep working on stories in a timely manner.
On the plus side, my ACT score went from 26 to 28 so I guess it was kind of worth it. 30 would have been cool though xD.
If you're wondering what's going on with Unshackled Route, I'm going to give that story a break for a while. New ideas popped into my head and I cannot leave them alone no matter how hard I try.
I may return to the story in the future, but for now I want to focus on new projects. Sorry!
I'll try to update more frequently now, but I'm currently in the middle of tennis season so I cannot promise regular updates. Still, I'll try to update at least more frequently!
Again, thank you for all my readers for staying with me!