Prologue: Boy and Girl
Saber Alter "…" Cold, detached, and wearing an elegant black dress.
Arturia Pendragon "…" Cool, regal, wearing the mantle and armour of her Kingship.
Saber Lily "Uhm, hi?" Naïve, pure, clothed in the white lily-like battle dress created by Merlin.
Lancer Alter. "…" Darker, older, wreathed in battle-worn black armour exposed at the navel and lower breasts.
Arturia Lancer "…" Wiser, composed, carrying the red mantle over a blue dress.
Several parallels of the same person inexplicably found themselves placed in the same environment at once due to a strange shift in Chaldea's observation records managed by SHEBA. Each were variants of the of the Servant known as King Arthur from the Legend of the Knights of the Round Table.
Despite tragically never being summoned by Chaldea due to incompatible resonance with spiritron particles generated by three Saint Quartz, the Arturia's were directly meeting each other for the first time.
Only Saber Lily was acquainted with Chaldea and that was because she had made her way there due to a Free Event in which her Spirit Origins answered the call after enough Altria was gathered.
Saber Lily though was just as confused as the rest.
The original Arturia Pendragon and Saber Alter were already glaring at each other while their Lancer variants stared from eye to eye in equal levels of judging.
No one was talking while Saber Lily felt herself stifled in the middle. She was nervously fiddling with her thumbs because she could already tell that she was the weakest and least experienced individual around.
"I've had enough." Arturia forcibly turned her gaze away from Saber Alter.
Arturia, all of them, had always been prudent with their priorities.
The moment that Arturia spoke was the moment that all of the other Arturia's grunted and pretended that the other alter versions didn't exist and vice versa.
"This place looks familiar," Arturia quickly pointed out with observant eyes. She spoke with no intended recipient as Saber Alter was the one nearest to her. She might as well have had been talking to the air.
The scenery was a large wheat field surrounded by rolling hills and lush fertile plains on a warm Summer's day. The sound of peddlers hawking their wares and farers tending to their land echoed out even from where they were standing.
Every Arturia fell silent at the observation. The location indeed felt distinctly familiar.
"We can't touch anything," Lancer Arturia's hands phased through the stalks of grass and wheat as if she was still in spiritual form. She too sounded more like she was talking to herself than anybody else.
Saber Lily's face scrunched up in awkwardness. She couldn't bring herself to mediate and ask everyone to get along when it was basically the same as saying 'get along with yourself.' It was too weird.
"This is ridiculous." Saber Alter grimaced as she crossed her arms and frowned. "Were we sent her to just watch and do nothing or is there some other purpose?"
No one present could answer that question. The 'air' was the group's middle man as the Arturia's worked together in order to get away from each other as fast as possible. The alter forms could not stand staring at their counterparts and this went two ways.
At the very least, the Lancer variants were less confrontational, causing Lily to wander over to their side.
"Uhm, is there a reason that you've been so quiet?" Saber Lily worked up her courage to speak not to the air, but to Lancer Alter herself.
Lancer Alter did not respond. From the very beginning, rather than bicker with her counterpart, she'd been too busy surveying the area around her. In which case, she had been the first to notice something shocking. Her gaze was transfixed; her body stiff to the point that she was entirely unmoving.
Curious, Saber Lily followed the direction of Lancer Alter's eyes and similarly froze in place.
The two's reaction garnered the 'air's' attention.
One by one, each Arturia turned to look and had an identical reaction. Even the neutrality of Saber Alter's expression broke down into disbelief. No matter how each Arturia had ruled their Britan in their alternative timelines, one thing had always been the same for all of them, their childhood.
However, this was a story of where paths diverge, and new beginnings bore down their roots.
An infantile Record of Humanity attempting to verify its own existence on an untrodden road.
"State thy name,"
It was a high-pitched voice, one that had yet to lose the innocence of adolescence and impossible for the Arturia's to ignore for it had once been their own.
A child-aged Arturia stood across from Saber Alter and the rest while pointing a shaking wooden sword towards a boy with stunningly bright auburn coloured hair.
It was the first meeting of a Sword and Sheath.
Worse, the Arturia's could hear and resonate with the younger Arturia's thoughts.
Whose path of Kingship was truly the correct path to follow?