He dreamed.

It wasn't a rare phenomenon. Dreaming often held meaning to many. People said it was a side-effect of the mind attempting to process and sort out information while you slept. Other, more mythical folk, thought it to be visions from gods or echoes from a past life.

Whatever the case was, they felt too real.

He dreamt of the sea. Of forests. Places of a time long since passed.

Sometimes he'd see a great ship filled with proud men and women, shining brighter than any star in the night sky.

Sometimes he'd see creatures of such bizarre makeup that they looked to be something out of a fairy tale.

Sometimes he'd meet a man who had the lower half of a horse. His kind eyes and smile greeting him warmly.

...The last one weirded him out the most, but he also felt something akin to a hole being opened in his gut whenever he thought about it.

These strange visions had plagued him for as long as he could remember, keeping his mind occupied whenever he was awake. The nature surrounding their constant repetition wasn't an unpleasant one, but the sensation of missing something important was... saddening.

His name was... Shirou. He lived in a house on the outskirts of Fuyuki with a roommate. Her name was-

"I see you're awake."

He glanced towards the doorway from his seat at his kotatsu. Standing there in a simple white t-shirt and plain jeans was a young woman who looked to be in her late teens to early twenties. Her physique was slim, yet toned. It wouldn't be out of place for one to think of her as a model or an athlete. Her blonde hair was reminiscent of gold, seemingly brightening up the room. Resting atop her head was a delicate blue headband that matched with her stormy eyes.

She looked like... a goddess.

He frowned. Where did that thought come from?

"Hey," She spoke again, this time with a slight frown as she stared at him. "Are you alright? You've got this weird expression on your face."

"Ah," He swallowed. How embarrassing. "I'm alright. Just thinking."

"Thinking, huh?" Her lips cracked into a small smile as he felt the blood rush to his cheeks. "About what?"

He looked away. "About... my dreams."

She nodded. "Are they bothering you again?"

His answer came in a small hesitant nod. Seeing this, her looks softened into a gentle expression. With both elegance and grace, her dainty legs carried her across the floor to the other side of the kotatsu. She took a seat and shifted her legs slightly under the table, gently brushing up against him.

He flinched, and she seemed to be amused by his discomfort at her proximity. Placing her elbows on the table, her head came forward and rested gently over her hands.

"So..." She began. "Do you want to talk about it?"

"You want to listen to my ramblings?'

"They're always interesting. I never get bored of hearing you speak."

"Don't tell me you're just here to laugh."

She placed her hand over her mouth as if to stifle the one thing he suspected her of doing. "Never. I promise. Now tell me... what did you dream about last night?"

Last night...

Right. While many people couldn't remember their dreams after they had awoken, the images were still vivid within his memory as clear as day.

"I remember training," He began, causing her to lean closer in attention. "I was talking... with that weird horse-man."

Chiron considered himself a seasoned veteran in all things weird. His birth, if anyone knew of it, would surely be quite a tale to anyone that listened.

The gods were giant mechs from outer space, his father among them. After what could essentially be amounted to an usurpation arriving from a difference in leadership, his father was subjugated under the will of his youngest offshoot Zeus. Under new leadership, the ships continued to search for a planet that closely resembled their creator's homeworld.

Eventually, after several thousand lifetimes of sailing amongst the stars, they came upon Earth. From there, they descended from on high and were worshipped as gods by the species living on its surface.

The gods gifted humanity with their wisdom and advanced technology. As a result, prosperity would ensue for many generations.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.

With the appearance of a white titan from the darkest reaches of space, the world fell into chaos. The gods and titans, who had displayed unparalleled combat abilities and strengths, were swept low by this adversary. Everything they did was absorbed and rendered harmless, even the concepts which they embodied.

The only one amongst them who had shown any signs of standing equal to this threat was, embarrassing enough, Ares. The one who prided himself on his unruly, brute strength and was seen as uncivilized was perhaps the very reason why they had all not been completely wiped out.

Eventually, the white titan would move on to other lands and the gods were left a shadow of their former selves. Their metallic bodies were left barely operational and it would have been unwise of them to continue to remain in such a state. As such, they decided to take on forms resembling that of humans and join the mortals below.

His father had been among them. After Zeus had usurped him and his kin, he allowed them all to do as they pleased in the new world so long as they didn't cause too much trouble.

Descending from the heavens, he mated with a nature spirit descended from one of his brothers and produced him. His mother had been quite ashamed of his unique biology and left him in the care of the Olympians while his father ran off to gods know where.

Taught many things by the gods, he'd soon seclude himself in his forest and live as a hermit. Sometimes, the gods would send him many young individuals looking for training and knowledge. He'd take them in, impart as much wisdom as he could, and send them on their way. Most of the time, he never heard from them again.

It was a sad thought, but he was always swamped with new students. As such, the holes in his heart were always re-filled every year.

But this new student of his... was quite odd.

"Young man," He began as he stared down at the boy in front of him. "How did you get here again?"

The boy's golden-brown eyes, partially visible under his rough red hair peered up at him at that question. As their gazes met, Chiron's breath caught in his throat.


That's what it felt like. There was a sense of age present within those eyes that betrayed his youthful body. Chiron couldn't exactly believe what he was seeing, however. If there had been a divine aura around the boy he'd have believed it if he was some sort of offspring from Zeus that he hadn't heard about, but there wasn't anything like that.

For all intents and purposes, the boy was fully mortal and looked to be no older than eight. Perhaps he was just a very odd mortal?

Eventually, the boy spoke.

"I walked through the forest."

His tone was soft and youthful, but it was sharply contrasted with his mature expression.

Perhaps he was just a midget?

"I see," He folded his hooves underneath him in order to appear more presentable to the boy, sinking down to the ground. "And why exactly are you here? These forests are quite dangerous to traverse through. You were lucky to not have been eaten."

The boy's head tilted. "I suppose so."

"You suppose so?" He shook his head with a small smile, amusement clear on his face. "My boy, where are your parents? Surely they seek your presence even now?"

"I don't have any," The boy shrugged. "As far as I know, they died a long time ago."

That wiped the smile off his face. His expression became apologetic. "I'm sorry," He offered.

"It's alright. I didn't really know them anyway."

Such a casual response. Chiron had to wonder if this boy's humanity was somehow compromised in a way. What sort of person could just shrug off the death of their parents even if they didn't know them? Granted, he himself didn't really meet his parents but he still felt something for them even if they hadn't been a true part of his life and perhaps never will be.

Still, weird as the boy was, that still didn't take away from the current situation.

He had an adolescent human, alone and supposedly parentless, in the midst of his home. A home surrounded by his rowdy brethren and numerous monstrous beasts who would no doubt kill him without a second thought.

So really there was only one rational option open to him.

"If you don't have anywhere to go," He began, watching the boy for any sort of reaction. "Would you like to stay here with me?"

The boy stared at him for a moment. "With you?"

He nodded. "Correct. I'll take you under my metaphorical wing, seeing as you have nowhere else to go. It's not like I can, in good conscience, let you wander around by your lonesome. You might just end up being an unfortunate snack."

The child seemed to contemplate the offer for only a brief moment before nodding.

The centaur smiled. "Alright. Then from this point onwards, I will watch over you."

He unfurled his legs and rose up to his full height. As he did so, he posed one last question for the boy to answer.

"If you don't mind me asking though, what is your name? Surely you must have one?"

A nod.

"...My name is Shirou."