Took out the Medb scene, she's getting her chance to shine in another story.
Could someone give A Most Unlikely Alter Ego a review? Its only one away from one hundred, and it'd mean the world to me.
Also, people apparently don't like Game of Thrones anymore. Son of the Stag's update got next to nothing.
As ever, this story will be gone in two days if folks don't like it.
...I do hope everyone likes it. T_T
Only a few more classes to go, then I can begin weaving the stories together even further. The remaining classes to my knowledge are thus. Lets see here: Alter Ego, Foreigner, Saver(being written) Beast, Watcher, Moon Cancer and Gunner. I already have MULTIPLE updates ready for several Fate stories but I'm holding them back until the end of the month. Why you ask? Because its all part of the plan.
Of course, I'll do my best to sprinkle them in as quick as I can~!
All of the classes are going to meet sooner or later. In one story. A Most Unlikely War. But who's pulling the strings?
And oi! Who the hell said I can't do a Gunner!Naruto? Alternate universes asides, does anyone remember that robot Mecha!Naruto we saw awhile back? I dare say he'd fit the bill quite nicely. Now then, Consider this a sort of pseudo-Fate-Prototype story SINCE I CAN'T GET AHOLD OF THAT DAMN DRAMA CD. WHY IS IT SO HARD TO FIND MATERIAL FOR FATE PROTOTYPE?! I need more detailed information on the FIRST war with Male!Arthur, lord knows I have more than enough for the second!
People were crying about a fan favorite not being summoned, so I elected to remedy that.
That's right, some Servants-but not all-from Fate Prototype will appear here.
The music that inspired this this chapter came from the Youtube videos. Final Spark - Fate Zero AMV - Collab with Xophilarus, as well as,【MAD】The Beginning【Fate series】I just happened to find them while surfing the web. The music is catchy enough by itself, but the story it tells really captures the dark nature of Fate as a whole. I suppose I should go three-for-three then. Also.
HOLY. HELL. It really got me revved up.
Now I know what you're thinking; Neon, you've done this already! Where's the hook? Why should we be interested in this one? Ah, but there's a difference this time, this Naruto is a MASTER in Fate Zero. Ought to be obvious who he's replacing but I'll leave it as a surprise.
Last time it was a dark Naruto, but still somewhat morally salvageable.
The question you have to ask yourself here, dear reader...
...should this one even be saved?
"Don't you want salvation, boy? A chance to correct your mistake?"
"You don't get it, do you?! I'm not that person anymore!
That person failed! He couldn't save anyone!
Don't make me say it!
I'M A FAKE!"
A Most Unlikely Faker
I couldn't save anyone.
Why couldn't I save them? I know I was strong enough. I know I was fast enough. I gave everything I had and more. Yet I fell. Why? I don't understand. We were so close. Just a little more and we would've had her. That filthy goddess. So why? Why couldn't I save them? I was supposed to save them. I promised. I gave my word. I never go back on my word. Then...why?
Why did I have to watch them die?
Why did she make me watch?
Why did she spare me?
She trapped me and took her time with them, forcing me to watch every moment. I tried to fight back. I tried every trick I had. Every struggle made their suffering worse. She spent days with them. Weeks. Some she just killed outright...like Sasuke and Kakashi. They were a threat to her reign. Others weren't. Others, she pulled from their illusions and made cognizant again just to suffer while I watched, helpless. First came Kiba. She was quick with him, at least. She wasn't with the others.
Iruka came next.
I think she was looking for something, someone special to me, a way to break my mind.
Hinata was third. Kaguya took her time with her. I still hear her screams in my dreams. I remember her. She...toyed with her. Allowed her to fight. I remember those pale eyes. I remember her voice, calling to me just before she died. She told me not to look. Said it wasn't my fault. She didn't beg, didn't cry. Didn't even ask me to save her as Kaguya tore her apart. I think she might have lo-no, no, no. Don't. Don't think about that, Naruto. You'll make it worse. Like before. Don't think. Don't feel. Empty your mind. Control yourself, remember why you're doing this, why you're here...
I was a prisoner for so long; But she did not kill me.
I think...I think she wanted to break me; make me a pet. Sent an example.
She should've killed me. Would've been easier that way. Sometimes I wish she had.
One day...something happened. I don't remember much of what. She'd killed Tsunade that day. I must've gone half-mad with grief. Something snapped. I lashed out. I think I actually hurt her. I remember one of her horns flying off her head, the air splitting like a ripe melon, the very fabric of reality tearing itself apart, space and time coming undone at the seams. A rift opened and I fell through, to where I knew not. I didn't care. It led me away from her. Tore me out of my world, and into a new one. She never followed.
I landed in a lake and thrashed my way out. The rest is history, a long, endless walk that ultimately led nowhere in the end.
Whatever I did that day changed me, or that just might be my genes; because I've haven't aged a year since. Maybe I've been cursed. No. I know I have. Kaguya shouted something at me when I escaped, but for the life of me I can't remember what. I still don't understand why I survived-was spared!-to see another day.
But now I have a way back. A chance to fix it all. To start again, and all from a whisper.
It took me decades to find my way to this point...the blood I've shed, the lives I've ended,...I feel like I should regret them. Shouldn't I? No. I can't stop now. This is my last chance. If I can't find a way to save them-bring them all back!-then maybe I can at least make an end of it. I can't do this anymore. Its been so long. Too long. This isn't my world, it will never be my world. I can't rest. I see the ghosts of the fallen whenever I close my eyes; I hear their voices when I sleep. And still the curse persists.
For too long I've been parched of thirst and unable to quench it. Too long I've been starving to death and haven't died. I still see, I still hear, I still think; experience emotion and the world as a whole, but its empty for me now, hollow like a rotten hull. I feel nothing save pain. Not the wind on my face nor the cold bite of winter. Nor the warmth of a woman's flesh.
Please, if there's really a god out there, just let there be an end to all this.
I'll do whatever it takes. You can have my body. My arms. My legs. My eyes. Would you like my soul? You can have that, too. Just grant my wish. Please. I'm begging you. Its all I have left. What do I have to do? Who do I have to kill? What more must I sacrifice? What more do you want from me? Why won't you answer me?! I don't understand! I don't understand! I DON'T UNDERSTAND! I'm not a hero! Heroes keep their promises! I failed! I failed, I failed, I failed! Why won't you let me die?! What does that make me, then?!
...nothing. Just a lowly Faker.
Let there be an end.
Fine, then. Have it your way. If you won't give me answer, I'll find my own; if you won't give me the peace I seek...then I'll climb up there and take it for myself with brute force. With fire and blood, I will take it. I'll use any heretical power I can get my hands on! I'll have my wish. I'll reset everything. I'll save them all. I have to save them all. I must save them all. I don't have anything else. You can't take it from me. I won't let you! I don't care how many Servants I have to face! I don't care how many Masters I have to break! I'll dye my hands red with blood if it means erasing this timeline from existence!
I will have an end!
The night was rife with blood.
It-the scent of it-swelled in the air.
It stained the trees, spattering the branches red.
It soaked into the very soil itself, staining it like a curse.
Each droplet pounded through Naruto's head like the drums of a great hunt out for his life; a steady thud-thud-thud as the whiskered warrior watched that blood drip from his hand. It pooled beneath him at a snail's pace to stain the circle an eerie crimson as he looked on, tainting the once holy blue a ghastly shade of red. With each passing moment that cerulean put up a valiant fight but yet faded, swallowed up by scarlet. Still he looked on, watching intently as his lifeblood poured from his arm to join that of the corpse.
"Just a little more, now." he hummed, watching the cut in his palm slither shut. Tch. It always healed so damn fast. He'd had to cut it twice now. Losing this much blood always set him on edge, even if he couldn't truly die in the conventional sense of the word. It made him dizzy. Faint. Skittish.
The faint sounds of the forest did nothing to help in that regard; he knew something-or someone?-was watching him, some shadowy presence that refused to manifest whenever he tried to look at it. A blue that always danced away in his peripherals. Some might call it paranoia on his part, a fell sickness of the soul, a madness inflicted on him through years of isolation and lack of sleep over the last week. He knew better. Anyone with half a brain would've called him mad, would've told him to sleep. But sleep offered no respite these days; only nightmares.
Clad in little more than a tattered pair of dark jeans and a faded orange shirt over which he'd thrown an equally battered blue jacket, he looked like some grungy punk. He didn't mind. When you dressed like a commoner, no one thought to question you. No one suspected you. One could hide in plain sight if they wished. And his face...well. Even after all these years he still he could still disguise himself better than most. Pursuit did not last long when one could assume nearly any guise they wished.
Some might say he was the very epitome of a Fake; a ghost gliding through the night, wearing the faces-illusions-of others. He was no Servant. That much was certain. But if he were to die and somehow be summoned in a Holy Grail War, this would be the class he would claim. A ghost. A shadow. A pale shade of what had once been.
He didn't care.
These years had not shown in his flesh, but each wore on his soul until it was little more than a rotted husk. Powers that could shake a world hadn't been used in decades, strength that could've cracked a building in half had withered to a mere shadow of itself. They were only now beginning to come back to him once he'd begun moving properly-fighting!-again, but their return proved maddeningly slow; it would take days yet before he could claim satisfaction with his strength-now little more than a shade of his previous power-and longer still to claw his way back to the peak he'd been flung fromback in his prime. But that was neither here nor there.
Now he gazed down at the circle he'd fashioned for himself; crude and likely inefficient, even now pulsing with light, awaiting an answer.
"C'mon, already." a low growl rattled the ground beneath him as he tapped his foot. "I haven't got all night."
He'd tortured a magus to make it for him; forced his victim to construct something he knew next-to-nothing about. Poor sod hadn't lived long afterward to make good on his threats. And there had been many. What was his name again? Kane? Kahn? Kayneth? Aha! Yes, that was it. At least, he thought it was. Most likely. Probably. He couldn't rightly remember and frankly, he didn't much care. The man had been an insufferable prick even before he'd cut into him, but his mystic code had been fascinating enough to keep. Perhaps it would be of some use in this war. Perhaps not. Again, he couldn't rouse himself enough to care.
He just wanted the damn Servant to arrive already.
As he waited, his mind flitted away, glancing back at the corpse, gazing at those dead eyes staring into the leafy canopy. He missed Kurama. The old fox had lingered on for the first century or so despite being wounded by Kaguya, but he'd fallen silent decades ago, the last of his life-but none of his might-sapped away by the curse. He wondered if the old fox was even aware of his own sorry state. Just like-no. He ruthlessly reigned himself back in before he could dwell on the loss of his last friend. Semantics. Don't dwell on the past. Focus on the here and now. Distract yourself. Think about the mage.
It had been blind bloody luck finding that one in the first place; moreso realizing he was a Master in this war.
He didn't need his Command Spells-not when he already had the bloody imprint of an ax staring up from the back of his hand-but he had proven useful in the end, at least in part. If only his wife hadn't escaped. If only she hadn't stolen both their catalysts before she'd fled. In his recovering state he'd been too preoccupied with the maddening magus to devote any attention toward her; no, it had required every bit of his considerable concentration merely to make it through his flowing defense, but made it he had. Still, that woman...what had Kayneth called her?
Something told him he would be seeing that one again.
As if sensing that very thought, the summoning circle pulsed and spat sparks.
...should it be doing that?'
Naruto felt a thread of concern weave itself into his thoughts, and his back straightened from a habitual slouch developed over centuries. He abandoned all thought of maintaining the ruse in that moment. No, his attention was decidedly elsewhere as he watched the circle writhe and twist like clay putty beneath him. Something seized hold of his recovering chakra and pulled hard, sucking a sharp hiss through his teeth. Still, he rode it out in stoic silence. Waiting. Hoping for an answer to his summon.
Light ignited, and faded just as quickly.
He gave a quick swipe into the smoke, expecting to find a warrior, or at least someone
"...everything is by your will, my Master." a soft, almost gentle voice arose from the arcane haze as her silhouette was made manifest. "I offer my everything. Even this body, even this heart, everything." her head inclined in quiet fealty as he looked on. "Servant, Assassin. Hassan of Serenity. All I can do is kill. I pray you find me useful."
Instead he found himself gaping at a girl.
White bone concealed most of her face in a ghastly skull mask, framing pale violet hair that shone in the moonlight. Hers was a slim, nubile finger clad in a skintight black leotard that exposed her shoulders and her fair figure alongside a healthy portion her back. Her body was the color of ash, grey and dead, yet there could be no denying that she was alive; no concealing her beauty in spite of her unusually pallid skin. Something told him he absolutely must not touch yer and yet the sight of her stunned him.
Until her words hit him like a slap in the face.
Naruto blinked once.
"Assassin?" he croaked.
Laughter burst from him in a sharp bitter bark of disbelief as he doubled over, clutching at his sides. His was not a pleasant laugh; it was ugly and cold and so very, very angry. Assassin flinched away from it but he couldn't be bothered to spare a thought for her in this moment. He understood it in theory; there were Seven main classes, and other outliers. He hadn't been paying attention to the rest. With his catalyst stolen he hadn't thought the matter of any concern, nor that the Grail would instinctively summon close to his own mindset. How little he'd known. He hadn't thought it a problem...until now.
Assassin was the weakest in terms of strength.
Saber was the strongest.
Thoughts tugged at him a vicious tug of war, and yet he couldn't help but laugh.
In his mind he'd pulled the absolute worst card in this war, or so he'd thought. But there was nothing he do about it now. The Grail only ever granted you one Servant at a time. Such was the ironclad rule of Heavens Feel and its ilk. He couldn't simply send this one back and try for another. No, for better or worse he was stuck with her and ohgodshewaslookingathim...
Straightening, the bereft blond wiped a bitter tear from his eyes and stood.
"No, its nothing." He waved her concerns away even as he felt a glimmer of concern from his freshly summoned Servant. "I just realized something." he hummed, an unhinged look in his eye. "I've been going about this the wrong way. The Masters, the Servants...there's no point in playing fair in a war, is there?" when she didn't answer he barreled on, cold blue eyes gazing back at her. "You're going to help me slaughter them in the most unsightly way possible.
"Your will be done."
"Good. now Remove your mask." he commanded.
Wordlessly Assassin did exactly as she had been bade.
Not a beat of hesitation, though she trembled in the doing.
With a dull clatter the skull-bone facade tumbled away on the floor, exposing her face to the world.
"Will this do?" she asked.
A young visage gazed back at him and something in his rusty heart lurched. She looked about as miserable as he felt. No. Worse. He at least had a purpose to guide him forward; a bright-if-distant goal that he could reach toward. Not Assassin. Not this one. Not this girl. No.
Dull lifeless amethyst orbs gazed back at him from within a cherubic face...at least it would've been if she were to smile. She looked up at him like a terrified kitten, perhaps anticipating some ghastly order on his part. Pale palms clenched into fists at her sides, but that dead expression never once wavered in the face of his curiosity. She was an admirable actress if nothing else. Another might've missed the subtle cues, but he'd had a lifetime-several!-to learn them. He didn't like it. Didn't enjoy seeing someone else like this. It was like staring at a reflection of his, further warped and cracked by poison.
"Does this satisfy you, Master?" Serenity tilted her head, hands rising to the straps of her outfit. "Would you like me to remove this as well-
In hindsight, Naruto wasn't sure what compelled him to act.
Perhaps it was the last scattered scrap of his soul.
Perhaps it might've been empathy on his part.
Perhaps it could've been neither.
Regardless, he jerked forward and grabbed her with a resounding:
Strong arms crushed around Assassin's petite form in a fierce embrace as his chin slammed down on her shoulder. Serenity squeaked. Like a mouse caught in a trap. Her back arched, her shoulders stiffened, and though he couldn't see them from his awkward angle, her eyes went terribly wide. Even so, the sheer shock of what he'd done-what he was still doing!-rendered her frozen for an entire second. To her credit, Serenity recovered quickly after that; for all the good it did her.
"What are you...no!" with a start she thrashed against him, an eel writhing madly in his grasp. "Stop! You can't touch me! You mustn't! You'll die! I'm poison!"
In another era that might've concerned him; indeed, in his first life would've released her with a squawk and stammered like a flustered fool. Now? He felt nothing. Not the burn of her poison nor the pain that it should've brought him. His curse swallowed it whole, repelling the toxin's assault on his nervous system with single-minded dispatch. He felt nothing. Not the warmth of her body pressed into him, nor the fine contours of her hips against his, or her breasts mashing into his chest.
But Serenity did.
Her sensitive skin-untouched for so long-experienced every sordid sensation as she struggled to free herself. She couldn't; for his strength exceeded her. Instead she miserably waited for her Master to drop, to jerk back with a scream and die. That was her curse. Her fate. She could not touch. Nor could she be touched. Her body was Death. Poison incarnate. Even the merest brush of her fingertips would spell the end of him. But he did not die. He still held her. He still persevered in the face of her poison.
"I don't understand." tears gathered in her eyes, fine fractures etching into her facade. "You can...touch me? Why? Why can you...
"Poison...doesn't work on me these days." a halfhearted chuckle muffled itself against her shoulder. "Its a bit of a long story."
Fractures became cracks.
How long had she wished for someone like this? Someone who wouldn't die? Even if he was her Master, even if his heart was wounded, even if he wasn't wholly right in the head...he could hold her. He did not push her away; nor did he seek to degrade her. He simply held her, arms wrapped around her back in a loose-yet-firm embrace. He was...warm. So very warm. She inhaled and the faint scent of blood mingled with sweat struck her senses, but she didn't care, even if the smell was slightly sour. He was holding her. Touching her.
Crack widened into fissures.
When she focused down she could feel her poison stabbing out at her Master-at Naruto!-trying to slay him a dozen times for every moment that he held onto her. Something repelled it-no, repelled wasn't the right word to be used her. Something swallowed it, devoured the toxins emanating from her body and beat them back. Serenity didn't understand. She didn't understand. Why didn't she understand? Everyone who touched her died in a terrible, horrid way. She knew this. Loathed, hated it, but she'd come to accept it. Yet to be given this gift so soon after her summoning...!
Those fissures shattered and she burst into tears.
"Thank you." the words stumbled out of her on a sob. It was almost all she could say. "Thank you, thank you, thank you...!"
"I really didn't do anything special-OOMPH?!" When he tried to speak further Serenity hauled him closer into her-now-fierce embrace.
Naruto made no move to speak further from her after that, nor did he try to extricate himself from her grasp. He muttered something-foreign perhaps?-beneath his breath, but consented to her wishes. For that, Assassin found herself immensely grateful. She couldn't trust herself to speak; everything only came tumbling out in an incoherent mess whenever she tried to speak. Even then she felt something should be said, something more than mere thanks, though she knew not what. In the end, Serenity's tongue betrayed her as her emotions overwhelmed her last bastion of defense.
She buried her head in his shoulder and held on.
Then her tears finally won the night at last.
"Don't let me go...Master. Please...
She wept for quite some time.
Quite some time indeed.
A/N: I wonder if this touched your heart?
I hope it did, because it hurt me to write Naruto like this. One down on his luck, struggling to pick up the pieces, and perhaps, even, to die. Yet there's still a scrap of the real Naruto left; the fact that he embraced Serenity without a second thought proved that he's still in there...somewhere. Our boy's weakened, but not for long. HE IS NOT NERFED. He's just recovering.
So lets clarify.
Naruto has summoned Assassin (HASSAN OF SERENITY)
Waver shall summon Rider. (OZYMANDIAS)
Kiritsugu shall summon Saber. (ARTHUR)
Tokiomi shall summon Archer or Caster.
Kariya shall summon Berserker.
Sola-Ui shall summon Lancer.
Ryunosuke shall summon...?
Kirei shall summon...?
VOTE FOR THE EMPTY SPOTS, FEW THOUGH THEY ARE! Aye, there are deliberately eight. Wonder why that is...? Surely I'm not plotting anything.
Naruto killed Kayneth and hijacked his ritual. Meaning we're probably gonna need another Master. Ryonusuke may not be one either.
Wonder who would fit the last free spot?
Imma do it.
I wouldn't call *this* Naruto deranged, but I would deem him dangerous. He wants to use the grail to bring everyone he's lost back, to reset his world...or die trying. He's lived too long, seen too much and he's grasping at the grail for salvation, not realising what it is and what it'll do. This Naruto would kill people to win. Not children though, he's not that far gone. I have not, and will not support the killing of children in any medium.
I aiiiiiiiiiiint havin' that shit~!
Don't worry, you'll have a happier Naruto story soon enough in the form of Saver.
Furthermore, I don't intend to use the Master!Naruto setup often. There's one such Master in Fate Stay Night, (A Most Unlikely Master) one in Fate Zero, (A Most Unlikely Faker) and perhaps one in Apocrypha. (A Most Unlikely Watcher) That last one hasn't been written yet, and I'm trying hard to hold back...unless you want to see it. Naruto essentially replaces one of the useless Masters of Red-not Sisigiou!-and summons a singular Servant for himself. That one may well be a single pairing. We've got enough harems for now.
That's the long and short of it. I do hope you'll stay on this journey with me.
So in the Immortal and Eternal Words of Atlas...
...review, would you kindly, dear reader?
And of course, enjoy the previews!
The Grail is well and truly broken...
...and the word might burn.
They're gonna hurt.
VOTE ON 'EM!
"You don't have to do this. You saved that child. I saw it. You're a good man, Naruto."
"No. I'm not a good person. I haven't been good in...quite some time, Saber."
He ripped the bullet from his stomach.
"You'd best start believing in ghost stories, missy. You're in one!"
Angra Mainyu laughed in its festering womb. How easily this pawn was manipulated; dangle the promise of salvation before him and he'd dance merrily to his tune.
Naruto's laugh sounded hollow, like broken glass. "You really...really, shouldn't have come."
Serenity realized the danger too late. Her mouth opened in a warning. Then her Master blitzed Archer like a storm.
Ozymandias tittered softly as he inspected the thin slice on his arm. Once, he would've been furious with Assassin's Master. But this! This roused his curiosity.
"Well done! For such a lowly human, I'm impressed you can still rouse yourself to stand with that wound, let alone fight! You've done well to protect your Servant, weak as she is. However," golden eyes narrowed to bright hooded slits regarding the trembling limbs, "How long has it been since you've done battle? Decades? Centuries? Millennium? That blow was weak. What more can you hope to accomplish with that faded strength? What can you possibly protect with arms that tremble so? Are you afraid? Or are you truly that weak after living so long?"
A lone red eye gleamed up at him. "...shut up."
"Ho? Do my words strike close to home?"
Clenched knuckles slammed into the Servant's torso, folding him in half. Breath burst from his lungs in a startled gasp, his smile shattering like brittle glass. But not in anger. No, never again. He felt a spark of delight ignite in his breast. Yes! Here it was at last! A challenge! He had half a second to glimpse Serenity as she vaulted over her Master's back, and he swayed away from her touch instinctively. As such, he never saw the rousing roundhouse in time. And then the pharaoh took flight.
"Master...its so good to see you again." Lancer gazed adoringly at him, the beginnings of a smile flitting across her mournful features while he choked for breath, gaped at the bloodied lance protruding through his chest in vicious vermilion relief. Ah. Betrayal. Somehow it still stung even after all these years. "At least, I think its you. You look just like him." She knelt before him, pale hands grasping at his face. "Yes. It is you. It must be you. Caster. My Caster." delicately, she turned his visage back to hers. "I'm sorry...but I have to kill you...because I love you. Please don't fight it...I don't want you to suffer anymore...
A low croak answered her. "You...idiot...
Brynhildr blinked. "What? Are you trying...to talk?"
His hand closed around her cheek and she nuzzled into it.
He promptly smashed her into the floor. "You should have aimed for the head!"