Within Chaldea's intensive care unit in the facility's medical ward, a woman gradually opened her eyes to stare at a white ceiling. Bed sheets tucked her onto the bed, but parts of a high-collared white and black blouse peaked through the covers. A small black ribbon acting as a bowtie was slightly undone to let her breath easier, and yet her breaths still came out shallow from a rather slim and frail looking figure. Thigh length black stockings appeared over her legs as she gradually swung them over the bedside, or at least tried to. She gasped from a sharp pain which made her reconsider her hastiness, and try again at a more sedate pace.
She was sprawled on the bed, her shoulder-length brown hair scattered messily over the pillow.
Sighing, she placed a hand over her face, particularly, the right side where a prominent eye-patch was slung over her eye, but this was all with due reason.
Her name was Ophelia of the Phamrsolone family of the Clock Tower, a rather prominent family of magi with high hopes for Ophelia as the heiress to inherit the family's life's work and dream: Jewel-Ranked Mystic eyes that could reach the Sixth Imaginary Factor capable of birthing demons and revealing all 'Truth,' of the world.
Mystic Eyes are powerful ocular-based mysteries with Divine roots stretching to even the 'Mystic Eyes of Petrification' in the Ancient Era of the Greeks. They were powerful and the best of which were those born with innate eyes. However, this didn't mean that Mystic Eyes couldn't be created or awakened.
Ophelia's right eye was the culmination of the Phamrsolone family's blood, sweat, tears, and her own unbearable pains. It alone was what saved her life.
What Ophelia inherited from her family was a Mystic Eye of Prolongation. In layman's terms, a Jewel-Ranked variant of the Mystic Eye of Precognition, that allows her to perceive the 'possibilities' associated with a targeted existence. In this case, herself.
The numerous paths and outcomes are laid bare before her, and her Mystic Eye of Prolongation could forcibly cull them, restricting the advancement of possibilities pertaining to the target to a single desirable outcome.
In the Command Room during Team A's first Rayshift into the Fuyuki singularity and prior to the explosion, Shirou's appearance had indirectly put him and Olga in front of Ophelia's coffin. For a few split seconds, this mitigated part of the impact. When the blast came, there had been enough of an opportunity for Ophelia to lift her eye-patch and activate her Mystic Eye. Shirou's back which shielded Olga ended up providing an event where she 'survives' the blast. Her Mystic Eye merely made that event a certainty in the instant she'd activated it. Hence, the reason she could wake up in Chaldea's medical ward…Though, not without injury.
Her bones felt like they were grating as she opted to push herself up from the medical bed with some manner of difficulty rather than swing her legs out to stand on her own.
Bandages were wrapped beneath her attire, flecks of dried blood splattered across them. However, complex magic circles created in the Atlas Department of the Association were already working to complete the rest of her healing procedure. What was afflicting her now were just phantom pains, and subconscious reactions. All the bruises, cuts, and fractured bones were already properly mended.
Chaldea's Command Room may have been totalled, but the facility founded by the Animusphere was not ill equipped.
Ophelia was just stunned with the knowledge of what had happened, and the end of humanity predicted by Chaldeas.
Like she'd thought, aside from expressing her gratitude for her unintentional saviour, this wasn't the time to sit still. The phantom pains assailing her body could be endured just as she'd endured the procedures in the creation of her family's Mystic Eye.
Grunting, she put on an indifferent expression and gently managed to swing her feet of the bed and planted onto the ground. From there, it was only a matter of leaning her body forward and forcing her thigh and calf muscles to lock and push her into a upright position, lest she fall on her face.
It was at this moment that the sound of the medical ward's door creaking open had Ophelia glancing at the entrance.
Romani walked in, eyes blinking in pleasant surprise and joy?
Ophelia resisted to urge to rub at her arms.
She'd always been a taciturn and reserved woman, no doubt due to the harshness and forthright strictness of her upbringing. However, this made it increasingly awkward for her when faced with Romani's earnestness.
He'd evidently come in for another health check, an all too friendly smile working its way across his face when he noted her improving condition.
"You really shouldn't be moving too much Ms. Phamrsolone," Romani advised, putting down a small tray of medical supplies before then assessing Ophelia for irregularities. "Bruises, burns, skin abrasions, fractures, and even bone shatters are at the top of the list of the trauma your body went through."
Ophelia had been going in and out of consciousness since the Command Room incident, and this seemed to be the first time she was stable enough to hopefully hold a conversation?
Romani looked optimistic, granted the fact that she was awake and moving was certainly a sign of rapid improvement, but his upbeat sentiments when looking at her caused Ophelia to purse her lips.
Honestly, she wasn't good with this sort. No. She wasn't good with interacting with others at all, let alone Romani whom she'd had no real impression of prior to landing herself in the medical ward. Her family and upbringing utterly lacked any sort of emotional significance, and focused entirely on practicality and objectivity, and Romani was clearly the opposite.
"I'll manage, doctor," she spoke out softly before going quiet.
Romani didn't mind the silence, and offered some advice, taking note not to be too forward with Ophelia as to control her actions, but also disarming enough for him to appear mindful. "You've just recovered, so it's still best if you take it easy."
"I am fit for duty."
"Your knees are wobbling."
"They are not."
"They are, Ms. Phamrsolone. You are my patient, and as the doctor of the facility, I have my role to fulfill," Romani responded rather maturely. His face was set in a firm line, and his hands came to rest on the office table of the medical ward.
He appeared every bit the studious doctor, but Ophelia couldn't help but stifle a snort.
She was confused by the contrast in her visuals. "Your knees are shaking too, Doctor."
The penetrative strength of her stoic gaze coupled with her status as the heiress of a genuine Magus family, meant it looked like she was glaring. This coupled with the sour reputation of most magi meant they were mostly short-tempered and prideful. To dare even insinuate that they couldn't stand on their own and should rest out of concern, could easily be perceived as a slight.
Be that as it may, Romani had an entirely different reason to be weak-kneed at the moment.
"I-It's not you. It's me, alright?" Romani coughed, trying to regain his composure despite still reeling from imagining a hazy future. "No, actually enough about me. I was just thinking of my funeral is all...Forget it. How are you feeling?"
"Fit for duty," Ophelia's reply was the same despite her befuddlement. No matter how she looked at him, Romani appeared perfectly healthy.
"Fine. I'll take your word on it, but I recommend putting on a Chaldea Combat Suit Mystic Code. They're reinforced with mage craft and should help you move around at your leisure."
That was fairly sound advice. Ophelia found herself nodding. "Can I trouble you, Doctor?"
"Oh, of course. I'll run to the workshop and see if I can't find it." Romani sheepishly scratched the back of his head and left the ward. He returned less than ten minutes later with an orange and white themed Mystic Code.
Romani laid the Mystic Code within Ophelia's reach and tacitly turned around before pulling the curtains near her bed to give her privacy.
Once changed into the Mystic Code, Ophelia let out a breath she didn't know she'd been holding. She could finally move and act how she wished with minimal discomfort.
"Thank you, Doctor," she replied reticently, never the talker.
Awkward as the atmosphere was, Ophelia really was thankful. She was just too shy to know how to express herself properly.
Romani seemed to understand this and chuckled lightly, only to freeze at the sound of the medical ward's door being slammed open.
Curious, Ophelia craned her chin to see over Romani's shoulder and saw Olga and DaVinci walking in. Needless to say, but it was the miffed Director that had opened the door.
"DaVinci and ugh…D-Director," Romani stammered out, taking a step back when it seemed like Olga would spew flames at him. Unexpectedly, she didn't and managed to rein herself in with several deep breath.
DaVinci took the opportunity to walk by Romani's side and whisper discreetly.
"Sorry Romani, but she had to know."
"Of course, I was just ugh-"
"Romani," Olga called out as calmly as she could.
Romani knew full well what Olga was demanding, but it seemed as if DaVinci didn't tell Olga everything and was giving him a chance to weasel out of too severe a punishment.
Ophelia remained silent, becoming stiffer than a statue when Mash, Ritsuka, and a curious Martha walked in, having heard Olga kicking the door open through the hall.
"That, ugh, it wasn't supposed to happen in the simulation," Romani began sweating bullets. "B-But judging from the readings, the Singularity Saber and Jeanne Alter were sent to isn't anything too big or dangerous. It might even go away on its own. Chaldea's coordinating system may have just sent them there as an ideal training location?"
"Is that going to be your explanation to Saber?" DaVinci chided smilingly.
Romani paled, but ultimately ignored DaVinci as a shudder traveled down his back. His attention was on Olga.
"This discussion isn't what's important."
"But it's my life were talking abou-" Romani was cut off heartlessly.
Olga turned towards Ritsuka, Mash.
"You two, wake up Emiya and get ready for Rayshift," Olga ordered sternly. "A minor Singularity this may be, but we can't let it grow to become worse than it already is."
"Ah, yes! I'm on it, Director!" Mash saluted and left; Ritsuka unable to keep up with her just gave up and waited next to Olga and the others.
"Director," Ophelia greeted.
Olga had been pleasantly surprised to see Ophelia awake and suited up when she entered the medical ward. "Ms. Phamrsolone, your condition?"
"Fit for duty."
Romani raised a finger, and slowly put it down when Ophelia glanced at him. "Fit for duty," he mimed.
"Good to have you Ms. Phamrsolone. As you're already suited up, please come with us. This relatively harmless singularity could serve as experience."
Ophelia had no complaints. "Understood," she said, back straight, and gaze reserved.
A beep from the medical ward comms had Mash's voice echoing in the room, a small hologram with Mash's face appearing from a sigil over Olga's wrist.
"Director, Archer doesn't seem to be in his room?"
"Not in his room?" Olga felt confused. She'd personally shown Archer to his accommodation.
"He really isn't here, Director. I knocked, and since the door was open a creak, I took a peek and saw the room empty."
"Did you try the kitchen?" Martha quipped innocently, trying to be helpful.
"What sort of Hero would be in the kitch- oh forget get it! Hurry up and get ready for Rayshift."
-In the kitchen:
Archer smiled while tying an apron around his waist and humming a tune. The stovetop was turned on in front of him and an assortment of ingredients wafting with the fragrant aroma of spices and herbs permeated the air.
He was genuinely surprised at Chaldea's utility space.
He cracked an egg to begin, the sizzling noise pleasant to his ears and soothing to his psyche.
He'd been blown up, stabbed, and battered since his summoning in Fuyuki.
Finally…some leisure time.
He pinched a few spices with his fingers, bent his arm at the elbow, and seasoned.
He whistled a jaunty tune.
Saber Alter had experienced many things in her life, but this variant of herself claiming to be from the 'Servant Verse' was taking the cake.
Heroine X as she'd introduced herself was an exact copy of Saber Alter's features, but with a lighter complexion and rosier character. She wore sporty garments that were un-seemingly for any Servant. A blue ball cap was over her head, but an ahoge over her bangs still managed to comically spill out. In her hands was an Excalibur that was blatantly obvious. There wasn't even a single notion of 'Invisible Air' to conceal the Holy Sword's aura.
Saber Alter could barely repress the twitch forming over her brow and this was before Heroine X started speaking.
"Surprised, are you? As you are now, you aren't even worth defeating. Weak. Weak. Too weak."
"…" Wordlessly, Saber Alter was already brandishing her sword, only to hesitate a second later.
"Your doubts are what dull your blade." Heroine X pointed at Saber Alter accusingly.
The action was so brazen that it was enough to get Saber Alter's mind to blank.
'Doubt? Was she being lectured right now?'
"I see it in your eyes!
Saber Alter wasn't being subtle in her mounting displeasure. She wanted nothing more than for this joke of a character to get back on her cartoonish ship and she'd gladly blast her back into orbit.
Meanwhile, Jeanne Alter's raucous laughter in the background aggravated Saber Alter to no end, a tick mark forming over her brow. Regardless, it was clear that Jeanne Alter wasn't the source of the issue, right now.
Leveling her icy features on Heroine X, Saber Alter felt frustration begin to stifle her at Heroine X's smug look and wagging index finger.
"Get out of my sight," she warned lowly. "You're a disgrace to the title of a King, the disgrace of all Knights and-"
"Shush," Heroine X suddenly placed her finger over Saber Alter's lips too fast for her to react to, earning a frigid glower and a swipe of Saber Alter's sword agilely dodged. A crater was carved into the ground, splintering into fissures sizzling with black magic energy.
"I'm a Five-star, you're a Four-Star." Heroic X shrugged pointedly. "You know not what you speak of."
"I'm going to kill you," Saber Alter growled, lunging and trying to strangle the figure before her with her bare hand, but was once again too slow. It was obscene, considering Saber Alter had Heroine X within arm's length.
What kind of Saber moved so fast?
Saber Alter lashed out again only to fail and continue carving out the idyllic landscape into a baren wasteland of uprooted grass and debris.
"Are you a Saber or an Assassin!?" She seethed after the fifth miss.
Heroine X sucked in a breath at the words, a vein popping over her forehead. "Calm. Keep calm. Let it go. She's not yet worthy to be defeated…" she mumbled lowly.
Swinging her sword righteously, Heroine X parried a strike and zipped past Saber Alter, a few strands of Saber Alter's hair falling to the ground.
"That's not possible. Someone like you got through my guard?" Saber Alter was appalled. She knew better than anyone what it meant for Heroine X to be able to cut her hair. It meant that she could have aimed for anywhere else more vital yet chose not to.
"Weak. I told you before. Defeating you now doesn't prove anything for me!" Heroine X flourished her sword and stabbed it imposingly into the ground in front of her. Her hands came to rest on the pommel, one over-top the other. "Your sword is wavering, why?!"
"She's smitten over a man!" Jeanne Alter was all to eager to smear oil over the fire. "My man."
"Shut up you home wrecker!" Saber Alter seethed at the interjection, feeling mortified, but Heroine X seemed to come to an epiphany, nodding her head over and over.
"I see, I get it! No wonder!" Heroine X said to Jeanne Alter before turning her attention back to Saber Alter with discerning eyes. "Her image must be what's making things difficult. Too prickly, too self-centered."
Image? M-Maybe she's right? But how would I improve image?
The picture of a figure carrying a sack of presents and raiding people's houses carrying buckets of fried chicken came to mind…Santa?
She shook her head vigorously, seriously considering it, but focusing more on the matter at hand.
"Then there's her resolve-"
"My resolve is not lacking," Saber Alter interjected. "And my image has nothing to do with it."
"You're right, it's your heart," Heroine X amended in the pregnant silence.
["-Oh, God no more stop, pft haheheha- I-I can't. Did you hear that what she said? Pft."]
The overbearing background noise drowned Saber Alter's ears.
However, Saber Alter steeled herself and ignored it, Jeanne Alter near rolling on the ground and clutching her stomach.
Infuriating as Heroine X was being, there was no way Saber Alter couldn't notice that she hadn't been performing at her best. There…might be some semblance of truth in Heroine X's words.
"My heart?" Saber Alter echoed.
["~Her tiny heart."]
Saber Alter gnashed her teeth and stared piercingly at Heroine X. "Then what should I do?" She grudgingly ventured.
"You must steady your conviction, and attain peace of mind, or at least that's what Merlin, Captain of the Flowers would say."
Saber Alter frowned, ignoring the nonsensible gibberish and focusing on what mattered. "Steady myself, how?"
"Get your man."
["Bitch! Not happening!"]
"Go on." Saber Alter was intrigued. "How?"
"If you attain ultimate power and sway, then wouldn't you naturally have confidence in securing him?"
["He's not an item. What we have is special! We shared a moment! W-We rubbed cheek!"]
Suddenly, Heroine X didn't appear as displeasing in Saber Alter's eyes, as she waited for Heroine X to continue, not knowing that Heroine X had her own motives. She'd turn this Saber into a worthy opponent to crush for her cause.
"I'll help you resharpen your edge. You see my spaceship, Prydwen X Mach 4? It has the power to host all manner of Phantasmal Species should it be fed enough Altrium. It just so happens that the inhabitants of this place are able to generate it."
Saber Alter mulled the offer. On one hand, she could feel that lording over Shirou with absolute strength may not be the best solution, but it certainly seemed the easiest. God knows she was putting off facing her insecurities, but the more she tried, the more they'd eventually rear their ugly heads when she least expected them.
A matter for the future.
"Alright," Saber Alter agreed to the arrangement in the present.
"Perfect, then let me see if my ship's still in operational ord-"
A sudden spatial distortion in the air revealed a group of spiritron particles amassing into distinct figures that appeared one by one in Chaldea Combat Attire.
Heroine X stopped midsentence the moment she caught sight of Chaldea Rayshifting in with a burst of light. She was stunned, her eyes zoning in on one particular red-haired figure she'd never fail to recognize. Subconsciously, she straightened her posture and a hand-licked palm desperately tried to matt down her unruly ahoge to no avail.
However, it was in the midst of her actions that Heroine X perceived her biggest taboo...
Upon seeing the familiar red-haired figure, Saber Alter's features had softened just enough to be noticed.
"Y-You vile Black Saber!" Heroine was suddenly on edge, sword drawn and pointed at Saber Alter.
["-Oh what now?!]
"Y-You didn't tell me you were trying to seduce Prydwen X Mach 4's First officer," She was visibly trembling, a sharp unforgiving glint forming in her eyes. "M-My cook, my secret crush…Y-You dare! D-Die!"
Having just appeared and noticing the situation with Shirou's Servants and the unknown Heroine X, Shirou didn't miss the looks directed at him by everyone aside from Ophelia.
They were looking at him as if this was all his fault.
Thanks for reading! And if it wasn't already obvious, some events in FGO aren't exactly the most serious. This is going to be a small light hearted event arc with 3 or 4 chapters at most focused for character building (primarily Saber Alter, it's practically her event) and development with the main cast. Think of this arc as Saber Alter's strengthening Quest event in the mobile game.
Sorry if this chapter is a bit smaller. I've been pulling in more and more extra hours from work to save up some money to buy gifts for my friends and family for Christmas. This give me less time to work on this update, and traffic is also horrible this time of the year.
Next update: Huntsman V2
P a treon. com (slash) Parcasious
The Lonely Peak
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