Chapter 31: The Golden King

"Hey, I've got a signal!" Ruby called out from Illya's hand "Looks like we're needed in a moment!"

Archer flexed his hands, grasping them around the hilts which formed in his palms. Neon blue lightning crackled around his fingers as the familiar black and white blades manifested in his grip. Steel eyes narrowed before he looked around at the others assembled.

Their features were set into grim lines, there was acceptance of danger in their features, Archer couldn't help but grimace at their faces. There was a very real danger they were all about to die. Hardly a choice he was willing for his Master to undertake but she had made her choice now. All he could do was make sure she survived this.

They had the element of surprise.

"Alignment commencing." Ruby's tone shifted to a more clinical one as she recounted the spell to bring them back into the normal world. "Establishment of path from the mirror world, expanding the boundary to account for passengers." The air around the group shimmered as the magical circle beneath Illya expanded outwards. Soon spreading far enough that everyone was caught up in its glyphs.

Illya took a shaky gulp before she steadied her breathing as best she could, her eyes closing shut before they opened wide. Crimson orbs gleamed with determination, chancing a glance at the others around her as they prepared themselves Bazett's features hardened into a mask, her lips drawn into a thin line as she planted the crimson spear into the ground with the blade pointed upwards. Luiva cracked her knuckles and rolled her shoulders, somehow managing to be able to see despite the blindfold across her face.

It was a rather ragtag group of individuals but the truth was it was the best they had. That and she hadn't ever seen Sella or Leysritt with such absurdly sized weapons before. Or in maid outfits. A small part of her mind was telling her that was a silver lining to all of this.

"I realise we are in a tense situation." Archer's voice chided through her mind with an amused tone to it. Illya froze solid and snapped her gaze towards her Servant, the man's face betrayed nothing as he stared at her out of the corner of his eye. Then she watched his lip twitch upwards into a faint smirk. "But I would advise against broadcasting your intentions quite so loudly. Then again…I had no idea that someone as young as my Master could hide such a deviant nature-"

"I-It's not like that!" Illya blurted out, jolting those around her in surprise and blushing furiously as she suddenly found herself the attention of the entire group.

"What is not like what, Illyasviel?" Luvia asked with a puzzled tone, tilting her head and seemingly furrowing her brows behind the blindfold "Is there some issue?"

"N-nope!" Illya snapped her mouth shut, furiously shaking her head and shooting Archer a quick glare which the Servant seemed to take in stride. In fact, it only served to cause the smirk on his face to grow considerably.

"Funny as this little comic relief moment is, we are about to cross over so I'd recommend everyone prepare." Ruby coughed, waving her small wings around to gather everyone's attention once again "We're going into a combat situation…so get your game faces on! And save the princess!"

Illya blinked "...But we're saving Onii-chan?"

"Did I stutter?"

"Hmph." Ruby turned to Archer in surprise at the noise he made which could almost have been described as a laugh. His face was perfectly schooled as he was stared at for a few moments before the group shook their heads and prepared themselves.

Chloe - however - laughed a little louder "I'm sure Onii-chan would look rather fetching in a dress, what do you think Archer?" Archer stared down at her mirthful expression, raising a single eyebrow at her but saying nothing. Not even bothering to deem that statement worthy of a response before looking away.

Chloe rolled her eyes, crossing her arms and thinning her lips "...Anyone got any big speeches for us?" she asked, looking around at the group "We're about to go off into a big battle and all. Some inspiring words wouldn't hurt."

""Don't die."" Archer, Luvia and Bazett replied at the same time in equally dry tones, the trio exchanging a single glance before returning to their own preparations.

Pinching the bridge of her nose, Chloe let out a sigh and shook her head "...Sometimes I wonder when stating the obvious somehow counted as some form of majestic wisdom?"

"With how often I find myself having to state the obvious around your family, I wouldn't be surprised if you did consider common sense wisdom." Archer bluntly replied back. Chloe stuck her tongue out at him before flashing a confident smirk and projecting a long black bow. Her smile faltered and her eyes hardened.

Archer watched as the space around them cracked and started to collapse inwards. Any moment now they would cross over and probably find themselves in the middle of a combat situation. His eyes danced around, hopefully they would manifest either in front or behind the King of Heroes so they could take him by surprise.

If taking him by surprise was even possible, that was.

Not that it mattered anymore. They needed to finish this here and now, whatever the outcome.

The mirror shattered around them, the spell ceased and they found themselves back in the real world.

"See? Just as I-OH MY GOSH!" Ruby's boast was cut short by the code crying out in alarm. While Archer wouldn't quite have worded it like that - or quite so loudly - he did share her surprise at the situation.

They emerged just in time to watch Lancelot charge towards Gilgamesh, getting to within a foot of the Servant.

Then Gilgamesh scowled at the Servant as they closed in, his arms rose up and grabbed the Berserker's wrists just inches from his face. Raising his leg up he kicked downwards into Lancelot's right knee, the Servant released a grunt as he was forced to ground by the blow. Gilgamesh followed through with the attack by pulling Lancelot forwards and past him, still holding onto the black knight's left arm, and then swinging his own arm directly into the faceplate of the Servant.

Metal crunched as Gilgamesh drove his elbow into Lancelot's face, the Berserker fell back with the attack only for the King to halt his descent by gripping him tightly by the collar. Turning on his heel, the golden haired servant gave a cry as he picked Lancelot off the ground and hurled him over his shoulder, sending the black knight careening through the air and crashing into the cave wall and disappearing into a cloud of smoke.

Gilgamesh span around, his expression nothing shy of murderous before it stopped when he found himself staring at the dumbfounded audience. His eyes then narrowed as his lip curled in disgust "You…" he hissed out at them, straightening out his posture.

"Go!" Archer called out as he rushed forwards, golden portals already forming behind Gilgamesh as he closed in. Swinging his swords in a scissor motion towards the Golden King, one aiming for his collarbone while the other carved up towards his ribs.

Gilgamesh clicked his tongue as he jumped back, Archer grimaced at the sound of metal grinding against metal as Bakuya collided with a long spear shooting forth from a gate and Kanshou was parried away by a flying axe. Mentally grumbling to himself, the moment Archer's feet touched the ground from his rush, he kicked off to the side. Crunching stone beneath his heels and kicking up a cloud of dust.

Red eyes followed him as more portals opened up around him only to be cut short by arrows shooting through them. Gilgamesh whirled on the new attacker, watching as several individuals rushed towards him while the homunculus rushed off to free the thief and the child faker sniped at him from afar. Having even the nerve to smirk at him as she loosened more of her arrows towards him.

Gilgamesh merely sneered back at her, not even deigning her worthy of words before he opened up a dozen more portals and aimed them towards her, loosening dozens of weapons towards her and strafing the area where she was. The panicked expression she made before she dove out of the way to avoid them was almost amusing for him before he found himself back on the defensive as the Archer resumed his attack.

Stepping back, Gilgamesh's lips curled into a frown as Archer charged towards him once again, bringing half a dozen nameless swords into existence over his shoulder and hurling them forwards. Gilgamesh's right hand dove into a portal in his right and brought it out, swinging his arm in a lazy motion as he brought forth the small dagger-like weapon.

The blade released a powerful gust of wind which kicked up all the loose gravel near his feet and sent it hurtling through the air. The ground became caked in frost, the chilled air rolled across the rock like a tsunami and washed over Archer, blasting the nameless swords away from him and through the air without aim.

Archer raised his arms in a blocking motion and kicked off the ground, grimacing at the thin layer of ice clinging to his arms and right leg. He gained some distance, dismissing the swords and raising his arm to project a large rounded shield to cover his body as dozens of weapons slammed into his guard. The power of the weapons sent him spinning through the air and roughly crashing into the ground in a cloud of smoke.

Gilgamesh raised his hands again, then watched as a blur moved past him. Red eyes snapped towards the blonde woman in a tight fitting dress landed on all fours near enough to him before she kicked off the ground again, disappearing in a blur of motion as she shot skywards. His eyes traced her movements before he snapped his fingers and brought forth another dozen portals.

The woman grabbed the blindfold covering her eyes and pulled it off her face, unveiling her eyes and locking onto his gaze at a distance.

Gilgamesh didn't so much as flinch from the mystic eyes, instead his armour released a subtle glow as it combatted the sudden attack against him. The blonde haired man whirled on the girl wielding the Rider Card with a murderous glare, even if he was unaffected by the mystic eyes that did not change the fact she had attempted to use them on him.

Luvia widened her eyes in alarm as the Servant remained unaffected by one of the trump cards offered by the Rider card, the blonde haired man shifted his body to face her full and swiped his hand to the side.

"Swine!" Gilgamesh all but snarled at them, not quite glaring her in the eyes but still glaring at her face and the flabbergasted expression on it, watching as it shifted from shock to horror as he unleashed dozens of weapons of all varieties in her general direction.

Luvia continued to fall through the air with little method to alter her trajectory, left to be little more than a mere target as the weapons closed in. Another blur moved through the sky and came to a halt in front of the blonde woman. The magenta haired woman was wearing a skintight bodysuit with a purple tinge to it and wielding a red spear in her right hand. The spear blurred through the air and deflected every single weapon launched through the sky and sent them all flying away.

The pair of women fell back through the sky, landing onto the ground and then rushing off in different directions. Gilgamesh opened up more portals before he heard a cracking sound behind him.

He jumped to the side, barely managing to avoid Berserker smashing into the ground where he had stood, the Servant ripped their fist out of the stone and whirled on Gilgamesh screaming incoherently from behind their closed helmet and charging back towards him as he landed down.

Portals opened up all around Berserker and fired inwards towards the Servant, the weapons collided in the centre, releasing a brilliant explosion of light, from out of the cloud Berserker went flying through the air, a spear held in his hands and not a single scuff mark on their suit of armour.

"You-!" Gilgamesh scowled again, then raised up a shield next to him and blocked several arrows striking his shield and bounced off it. Reaching into the Gate of Babylon once again he pulled out a large scythe, sweeping it through the air and striking the very space itself. He heard the cry of pain from a young girl as the scythe met flesh before being ripped back, the end of the weapon tinged with blood before his eyes snapped towards the direction of the cry.

He watched the young girl with the Fakers powers double over, clasping at her side with a large slash through it, hissing through her teeth and rolling on the ground in a vain attempt to try and contain her cries of pain.

He twirled the scythe in his hands, deflecting a dozen black knives from striking his body as he locked onto the cloaked blur moving towards him like a mad animal.

"You should have taught your spawn better than to raise their hand to a King!" Gilgamesh triumphantly called out as the skull mask projected nothing but pure unadulterated hate in his direction "You invite only due punishment, however that would speak volumes of your failure as a mother, doll."

He swept his arm forwards, dozens of swords and spears piercing through the cloaked figure and nailing them to the ground. His eyes narrowed as their body seemingly dissipated.

'A fake!' He internally realised, whirling around and throwing more weapons out of the portal in the direction he could feel the presence approaching. The two homunculi in maid outfits were caught flat footed when they found themselves the targets of a dozen weapons, the pair throwing themselves either side of the strafing barrage and just narrowly avoiding being caught up in it.

A dozen copies flew in from the side, striking his portals as they opened up and cutting them off. Gilgamesh's eyes darted in the direction they had come from, his eyes tracking Archer as he ran along the side of the cavern wall at the opposite end. The King's eyes narrowed before he snapped his fingers.

This time a much larger portal opened up and a large buster sword rocketed out of it. The weapon was more akin to a slab of iron than anything that could be called a sword, despite that it effortlessly flew through the air and smashed into the wall next to Archer, the Servant having thrown himself away from the detonation at the last possible second to avoid being struck by the attack.

He crashed into the ground, rolling along and kicking up a cloud of dust as he did so before shooting back to his feet and manifesting his bow. Several arrows were instantly nocked and loosened across the cavern towards him. The arrows collided with a rounded shield and detonated moments later, the ball of blue flames behind halted just shy of touching the Servant.

Gilgamesh once again found his eyes darting to the side as the two women charged towards him, the magenta haired woman twirled the crimson spear in her hands as she approached. The moments were quick and well placed to deflect a majority of the spears and swords launched towards her. Luvia followed after her, using Bazett to clear the way so she could get in close.

She crouched down, power entering her legs and then shooting off like a bullet. The floor crunched from the take off and air compressed around her body as she formed an arrow shape. Luvia swung the chain in her hands upwards, the tip stabbed into the roof of the ceiling and was embedded down to the hilt as she used it to swing around at superspeeds, pulling it free at the right angle and launching herself towards Gilgamesh feet first.

At the same time, Bazett parried away another sword with the spear and was rapidly closing the distance with the King of Heroes. Gilgamesh looked between them, crimson eyes very briefly focusing on the spear in Bazett's hands, his eyes narrowed. A web of golden rope shot out in front of her, the net caused her to slid to a halt to avoid running into it and then forced her to kick away when it was launched towards her, spinning her body and allowing it to pass by underneath her.

As she did so, her instincts screamed at her to block. Which is precisely what she did, bringing the spear in her hands around and swinging it into the large hammer that had been hurled in her direction. Gritting her teeth, she felt herself being pushed through the air by the weapon further and further away from Gilgamesh. With a short gasp of effort, she pushed the hammer to the side and sent herself crashing into the ground and rolling back to her feet. The hammer continued its path, slamming into the floor of the cavern and embedding itself in solid stone with its weight alone.

At the same time, Luvia twirled her body to avoid a spear being launched at her. The speeds provided to her by the Class card being barely adequate enough to manoeuvre around the veritable rain of weaponry being thrown in her general direction. Not that she was alone, she saw copies of the weapons being thrown at her collide with their originals and send them wildly off course.

The moment she was clear of the barrage, her feet slammed into the centre of a tower shield and she felt as though she had ended up kicking a brick wall. The shield flashed for a split second before she felt herself hit in the gut with a powerful force, being flung away from the defence with a gasp and sent hurtling through the air, she threw both the chains towards the ground, stabbing the spikes into the base of the cavern and tensing her grip. The chains went taut before she pulled towards her, rocketing back towards the ground and into a controlled roll.

Gilgamesh turned his attention in the direction of Archer once again-

"AAAAAAAaaaaaaaarrrrr!" He released a click of the tongue, glancing over his shoulder to see Berserker hurtling towards the air in his direction with his arms held above his head and clasped together into a fist. Gilgamesh jumped backwards, Lancelot crashing into the ground a second later and launching himself towards the golden king.

His sharpened gauntlets snapped to the side, grabbing a spear just as it approached his head and spinning it around before swinging it across his other side and parrying away a sword fired towards him. Gilgamesh straightened himself out and continued to fire weapons in his direction, Lancelot's arms blurred as he spun the nameless spear in his hands.

The chasm was filled with the sounds of crashing metal as Lancelot effortlessly parried, blocked or merely caught the spears, swords and axes being launched towards him.

Even when the weapon in his hand shattered into fragments, he merely swapped it out for another weapon and ended up catching a longsword from the vault. Black and red lines spread across the weapon, Knight of owner claiming it as his own as he swung upwards and sent a rather oversized hammer skywards and slamming into the ceiling.

Watching the treasures he had accumulated being used in such a primitive manner by what he considered to be little more than a savage mongrel brought nothing but rage to Gilgamesh, the Servant growled behind his teeth and opted to open up more portals in Lancelot's direction.

Though the continued barrage was failing to reach him - due to the lack of space to truly exploit the gate to a level that would overcome the Berserker's natural dexterity - it was still more than enough to keep him from advancing on the King.

Gilgamesh narrowed his eyes, rolling his jaw as he caught sight of a certain Faker rushing in from the side with a bow in hand. The tanned servant already knocking swords warped into arrows and taking aim at him.

"Tch." Clicking his tongue, Gilgamesh opened up a single portal to his right and aimed it at the Archer, the gate unleashed a single spear which split apart midair and formed more and more weapons which soon turned into a storm of steel aimed at the Archer.

The white haired Servant widened his eyes in alarm as he twisted his body mid-dair and slung his own arm forwards, unleashing copies of the treasure and firing them right back to intercept the barrage, while being slower than Gilgamesh in terms of rate of fire it was simply easier to block the attacks that were aimed at his body.

Dozens of spears missed him by several feet and buried themselves in the stone walls of the chasm around him.

Irisviel slid to a halt next to the downed boy, removing the skull mask and staring down at Shirou's unconscious body with an expression of horror. Her eyes lingering on the cuts and bruises that lined his body.

"My little boy…" She whispered out, stretching her hand towards him before it faltered slightly. As if afraid to touch him, worried that he would fall to pieces if she even made an effort to move him.

"Onii-chan!" Illya followed after her, landing next to her wounded brother with a similar expression of horror.

"Damn." Ruby cursed loudly "He's not looking so good."

Irisviel bit back a rather venomous retort, instead opting to glare at the stick for half a second before she turned her attention back to Shirou.

"Alright, Illya-chan." Ruby ignored the glare from Irisviel and continued on "I'd recommend grabbing the damsel in distress and then bolting from here as fast as we can." she turned to Irisviel "Probably a good idea for you to follow as well, you're the one with the healing magecraft and he looks like he could sorely do with some." the Stick waved her wings around "No time to discuss it!"

Irisviel gave the stick a begrudging nod of the head, then turned to Illya "Can you carry him?"

Illya nodded her head once, then crouched down and slipped her small arms underneath Shirou. Picking him up and clutching him tightly to her body in a princess carry. If the situation were different, Illya might have been more appreciative of it. As it was, she just wanted to get Shirou out of here as swiftly as possible.

The white haired girl looked away from her brother, her lips tightening into a thin line despite her eyes shining with concern "Where's Miyu?" she asked aloud, trying to scan their surroundings to catch sight of the dark haired girl.

Irisviel found her attention momentarily pulled away from her wounded son and towards the chasm, the sheer volume of the battle currently ongoing drowned out any other noises which would make calling out the young girl's name pointless. She could see flashes of golden light being accompanied by an explosion of rock and steel. Irisviel could still see Lancelot battling against Gilgamesh, the Knight jumping back and swinging the stolen weapon in his hand as little more than a flash of light as he blocked projectile after projectile.

If Lancelot was still present, then that meant that Miyu was likely nearby.

"Sapphire-chan is still nearby." Ruby spoke up, easily picking up on the concern "She's now with Miyu-chan and they are…somewhere?" she responded with a vague shrug of her wings "As for where…um…" the mystic code made a show of scratching her 'head' in thought before pointing off into the distance "There she is!"

Irisviel turned her head in the direction the mystic code was pointing, soon catching sight of Miyu with Sapphire in her hands and the girl taking aim towards Gilgamesh with a perfectly blank look on her face. The mystic code in her hand was already building up magical energy for a charged attack, blue light swirling around the tip of the sentient wand.

"Miyu-sama." Sapphire spoke again with a slightly desperate tone of voice "I repeat my earlier advice, we should retreat while we still have the opportunity to do so." Miyu didn't respond to her, instead she maintained her gaze on Gilgamesh's back with an unbreakable glare.

"Miyu-sama!" The code repeated "This is a dangerous course of action-"

"No." Miyu said in a quiet whisper "If we don't stop him here…Then they won't stop." her eyes narrowed "He's too dangerous to take alone and Luiva-san is struggling already." she noted as the blonde haired girl kicked off the ground yet again in an effort to avoid being struck down by a collection of weapons.

"Then focus on protecting the others." Sapphire reminded her in a gentle tone "Chloe is injured and this is a battle beyond the likes of Leysritt and Sella." that gave Miyu pause for a moment. "At least focus on defending them rather than earning the attention of the Archer Servant right now."

Miyu was silent for a few moments, inwardly debating the suggestion before she cut off the magical energy she had been building up in Sapphire and then shifting her attention towards Chloe, the girl still grasping at her side and crawling away from the action. She made her decision swiftly.

Stepping off her platform, she dropped down from the sky and landed on the stony floor with a gentle thud and turned her attention onto the tanned girl. Chloe blinked in surprise before a pained smile made its way onto her lips "Decided to drop in, did you?" she chuckled before wincing in pain as she tightened her hold on her side.

"Sapphire?" She looked down at the wand, the Mystic code gave a hum of acknowledgement.

"Hold me close to the wound, I shall begin to stabilise her condition as best I can given the circumstances. However, she will still require more specialised treatment than what I am capable of doing in the current time constraints."

Chloe merely shrugged "Honestly? As long as I'm not bleeding…I don't care much." she winced again as she propped herself up on a raised piece of rock.

Miyu walked towards her and dropped to her side, holding the mystic code at her side and watching as a faint green light formed around it. The dark haired girl very pointedly did not look directly at Chloe as she healed them, still more than a little vexed by the trouble that she had given Illya.

As she found herself staring at the wound on Chloe slowly sealing itself shut, she recalled the earlier words she had exchanged with the Priest.

She had her answer.

She just didn't like Chloe, however that didn't mean she was going to leave her be. She liked Illya and Illya wanted to save Chloe in some capacity. That didn't mean Miyu had to like her.

If she was trying to keep it a secret, however, then she had failed miserably. Chloe picked up on how Miyu wasn't looking in her direction and how her movements to heal her had been rather sluggish, as if she was reluctant. Chloe didn't necessarily blame her either.

That didn't mean it affected her any less though.

Another flash of spears fell upon her, Bazett sucked in air between her teeth and twirled the spear in her grasp once again. Each strike against her felt as though she had swung her body into a brick wall, despite that she didn't once make an effort to slow down her movements.

To do so would be to invite death against herself and that was especially dangerous. What she truly needed was to get close to Gilgamesh or to be given an opportunity to get Fragrach and fire it against him. He had been using his Noble Phantasm more than enough times to trigger a response but it was a case of being gifted a chance.

A chance that she wasn't able to get.

Despite not even looking in her direction, that didn't make Gilgamesh any less of a threat to her; the few dozen weapons he was launching at her every few seconds was still more than enough to occupy her attention. Whether that was what he intended or not didn't matter, it was just a result of his actions.

Even with a majority of his attention focused on Archer and Berserker, it just proved that he really was far and above regular Servants that even facing superior numbers he was still far from being on the backfoot.

That being said, the power of 'Protection from Arrows' was not something to be made light of. Her arms were moving with speed and grace she hadn't even thought possible. It was not as though she would have said she was limited in her capacity as a fighter, she was rather confident in her skill. But if this recent situation had proved anything it was that there was a marked difference between the skill of a Servant and the Skill of a human, even a combat magus like herself.

The crimson spear in her hands danced through her fingers as though she had held it all her life, knowledge not of her own making guiding her movements as the spears and swords hammered away at her. Weapons of priceless make and intricate design that they would be the proud centrepiece of any museum were roughly parried away with grinding screeches and crashing into the stone around her.

Despite the skill of the Lancer card, she was still not truly making any headway, her steps were stunted with each advance, her armoured boots sliding against the rough stone landscape with each collision against her spear. She might not have been blown away with the barrage, but she wasn't getting any closer to the Servant if this continued on. What she truly needed was an opening so that she could actually approach.

The ones who could achieve such a thing with reliability were Archer and Berserker, however it was obvious to anyone that they were the real threats here. Hence why Gilgamesh was dividing his attention between the pair of them without any measure of-

There was a flash, a portal opened up by the side of the King as he quickly thrust his hand into the ripple of light and pulled free a sword of silver, a pattern of red danced across the blade before he turned and looked straight at her. She had barely a moment to contemplate what manner of attack he would unleash before he swung the sword in a sloppy and rather lazy fashion, wholly befitting of one who did not truly believe her a credible threat.

She would have called it arrogance if it wasn't for the fact that he was likely correct.

However, very little could have prepared her for what came next. The crimson light on the sword surged forwards like a waterfall, trailing behind the arc of the wide swing and splashing out in her direction. The droplets of red light were flung through the air, already moving towards her.

Her eyes narrowed and her jaw clenched, she angled her body backwards and kicked off the ground with a boom, shattering the stone under her feet and sending shards of rock flying in the opposite direction to her body. It was evidently the right thing to do as the second the light touched the ground it burst into bright red flames, the fire moving as though it had a mind of its own and even looking as though it was going to try and chase her down for a split second.

It was barely half a second later when a fresh barrage of swords and spears parted the sea of crimson flames and rushed towards her as she was still in the midst of her leap. It was a rather poor position to be in and she knew it. Her movements weren't as precise and for some reason Protection from Arrows wasn't quite as effective as it had been before.

Perhaps because she had not seen the projectiles being launched?

Either way, it was something she could not even consider debating as she moved the spear under her own skill - mixed with the Class Card, of course - and made to parry away the longsword that was closing in on her rapidly, as she struck the sword she twisted her body, letting the spear behind the sword pass just by her side.

The rest of the weapons were cut off by a stream of magenta light before they even got close to her, Bazett briefly widened her eyes in surprise before they composed themselves once more. She spun her body through the air, landing back on the ground in a crouch like an animal.

Swiftly adjusting her stance, she launched herself forwards in a sprint before kicking off the ground once she reached max speed, launching herself backwards and twisting Gae Bolg in her hands into a reverse grip. She had barely a moment to calculate the area in which she would be throwing the spear before her muscles tensed themselves, pulling her arm back like a coil she strained her body to the maximum limit it would allow.

"Hmph!" With a grunt of exertion, she hurled the spear forwards like a missile, parting the remnants of the red flames and snuffing them out with the wind produced by the throw. If she hoped that the spear would strike true, she was sorely disappointed when she watched the tip of the spear clang off the surface of a diamond shaped shield and bounce back with a shockwave of air.

She was fortunate not to be the focus of Gilgamesh's attention, that honour went towards someone else at the present moment in time.

"You are a rather bold Mongrel, brat!" Gilgamesh's voice echoed clearly across the chasm, not even the cacophony of steel could overshadow the anger in the tone of the Servant as he shifted his attention from Bazett to Illya, the young girl flying through the air and rapidly throwing out bursts of magical energy towards the man in a series of differing shapes.

Orbs, blades, beams…

It didn't matter what shape they took, she was just hurling them without a care in the world.

Bazett would have called it reckless if it hadn't attracted the attention of Gilgamesh, her eyes snapped to the ceiling above the Servant and she extended her right hand outwards as if to grasp the air. She felt a slight pulling sensation on her palm for a split second, then the weight of the crimson spear thudded into her hand, her fingers tightly wrapped around the pole and secured it in her grasp.

Raising her body upwards, she locked her eyesight onto the stalactites jutting from the ceiling. Her eyes quickly darted away from them and towards anyone else who was still active, she briefly caught sight of Archer rushing forwards with a bow in his hands, red flashes of light launched from the bow and towards the cloud of dust that obscured Gilgamesh.

"Archer!" She called out, knowing his senses would have caught a hold of her words. He glanced in her direction briefly and then shot his eyes upwards as she pointed to the ceiling. Collapsing the entire chasm was stupid, bringing down the spiked pillars jutting from the roof onto the head of Gilgamesh would at least serve to distract him for a brief moment.

Coiling her arm back, she threw the spear to the ceiling at the same time Archer adjusted his aim and loosened upon the rocky formations above them. The spear smashed through the base of one of the larger spikes, stone scattered across the surface as large cracks ran through the skin of the structure.

A cracking sound screamed out for a split second before the stalactite fell away and raced down towards the King. It was soon followed by more falling debris as Archer strafed the section of the chasm above Gilgamesh, a cloud of dust rushing out from the impact points of his arrows.

"Wha-!?" Gilgamesh snapped out, briefly turning his head upwards and widening his eyes before they narrowed into slits as the first of the stones fell upon him. His body was soon shrouded in dust and debris, Bazett danced backwards as chunks of rock were sent catapulting through the air as the ceiling rained down upon the King.

Bazett didn't even bother to verify the Servant's condition, she already knew what it would be, before she turned on her heel and sped back to where they had first arrived, her eyes instantly locking onto the cylindrical tube she had arrived with.

Archer thinned his lips, watching as the cloud of dark smoke rose up through the cavern. He wasn't sure how much time that would buy them as a distraction, but he was confident it would at least be a couple of-

A vortex ripped through the smoke, carrying the boulders and shattered remnants of the stalactites into the air and then freezing their motion as though time had stopped completely. Archer felt his eyes widen as he watched Gilgamesh stand at the centre of the frozen vortex, his left arm extending above his head with a medallion clenched in his palm, the design was ancient and clearly from south America if the shape of the winged lizard emboldened on the front was any indication.

He didn't understand the specifics but he had known Gilgamesh possessed treasures from the Age of Gods, he just didn't think the man would have used any of them in something like this. Clearly their earlier fight had held greater sway over his approach than he previously believed.

Then again, the murderous look the blonde man was sending his way was also proof that their current battle had managed to knock him out of his comfort zone. Or he was just angry about the dust stains now splattered across the front of his once pristine golden armour, that might have been the most likely one.

His next words solidified that belief in his head.

"Mongrel scum." Gilgamesh hissed at them "To dirty a King's treasure?" his snarl went unanswered by those present, not that Archer was in a talking mood at this point in time. He doubted anything he said would even register with his counterpart. "You seek to stain the appearance of your betters as you know you cannot best them?"

Archer glanced to his side, watching as Lancelot slammed into the ground on all fours and then threw his head back like a wolf, complete with a maddened howl more akin with the roar of an animal rather than a respectable knight. Gilgamesh was less than impressed with the display.

"And you, mad dog, you dared try to lay your hands upon me?" Gilgamesh lowered the medallion in his hand back to his side "I shall see to it that you all suffer for this indignation." He raised his right hand, clenching it into a fist and holding it above the surface of the jewellery. The medallion rippled before the vortex around Gilgamesh suddenly picked up.

Debris spun around him faster and faster, forming a disk of rubble that was soon moving at speeds high enough that even he had trouble with formulating where they were going to end up landing.

"Master!" Archer called through the mental link in alarm as he braced his body, bringing up Kanshou and Bakuya in front of himself in a crossguard. "Protect yourself now-"

He hoped his message got through, especially considering he was cut off before he could even finish speaking. The disk exploded outwards, debris rocketed across the volume of the chasm without any manner of precision, more akin to a wild buckshot or a detonation of rubble rather than something of skill. Not that it mattered much, especially as Archer was soon showered in sharp shards of dirt, now blessed by whatever talisman that was.

He grit his teeth as he felt the shards rip into his skin, puncturing holes through his body and carrying him off his feet and into the air, combined with the shockwave that had rushed away from Gilgamesh it was as though an explosion had gone off inside the chasm. Archer watched as the world blurred past him, still feeling thuds against his body soon followed by sharp twinges of pain running through him as he flew through the air.

Considering he was a Servant, he could only imagine how the others were faring at the time.

Illya grit her teeth as she watched the barrier in front of her crack, despite that she maintained her focus and poured more and more magical energy into maintaining it. The dust carried forth by the shockwave rushed over her, obscuring her view and leaving it as little more than a smog of grey.

Though the initial attack lasted barely a second, for Illya it felt like it had been a mind numbing eternity since she had heard Archer's warning and quickly thrown up the shield. Illya herself wasn't the tactical sort, she didn't understand most of what was going on, but she knew enough to understand that things weren't going to end well if it continued on like this.

Progress was slow and she had seen Chloe go down earlier, to make matters worse she didn't know if Onii-chan or mama had been able to get out yet, she'd tried to provide a distraction to let them get away but it hadn't lasted as long as she wanted it to.

As the speed of the smoke started to lessen, Illya took that as a sign that things were slowing down.

"Ruby!" Illya commanded "Pulse!"

"Yep, Illya-chan!" The mystic code responded quickly, unleashing a wave of magical energy from it's tip that quickly banished away the cloud obscuring her vision and let her gain a full view of the surrounding environment. The blood left her face as her lips parted, her eyes widening ever so slightly as she saw the devastation beneath them. The ground looked as though it had been turned upside down, cracks and trenches now running through it at irregular sizes and widths. Even with the removal of the cloud in front of her, there was still a thin layer of dust that hovered above most of the floor of the chasm, a faint haze which served to limit her line of sight.

There was one thing her eyes instantly fell upon.

The unmoving black cloth of the Assassin card, draped across her brother.

With neither of them moving.

Red eyes narrowed into pinpricks as her mind caught up with what her eyes were seeing, flashes of her brother's crippled body now raced through her mind accompanied by the idea of her mother suffering from a similar fate.

Illya barely registered her own actions as her hand shot towards the pouch on her thigh and ripped the first card free, bringing it up she then slammed it into Ruby before the stick could even offer any sort of comfort or advice towards her.

"Install!" The desperate voice rushed out of her lips, she felt the surge of power flow through her body as the Servant card took form, soon followed by the pull of gravity as she descended towards the ground, she couldn't find it within herself to be scared, however. That was something she couldn't afford at this time.

She plunged towards the ground, feeling the effects of the card on her body as her limbs were strengthened to absorb the impact. Illya crashed into the earth like a meteor, the ground caving in under her feet as her darkened boots crunched stone under heel. Her head snapped up and instantly focused on the epicentre of the explosion.

Her expression thinned itself out into an apathetic line, hiding the turmoil she felt as she ripped the blackened sword from the ground and pointed it towards the direction of Gilgamesh, a pulse of magical energy rushed from the sword and parted the remains of the dirt, revealing the unblemished form of the King as he turned his head towards her.

A raised eyebrow was all she got in return for her display.

"Ho?" Gilgamesh let out an amused noise "I knew you to be a fool, brat…but this is something I had not foreseen. Are you so devoid of sense that you are-"

"Shut. Up." Illya spoke out in a deathly calm tone of voice "You won't touch anyone else." she swept the sword to the side, kicking up a small cloud of dust as she glared at the Servant. "Not my family, not my friends…not without getting through me first."

"Hmph." Gilgamesh did not laugh this time, nor did he seem particularly affected by her words either. Instead, he remained stationary as a single golden ripple formed by his side, reaching into it he pulled out a longsword, a blackened handle with a golden highlighted crossguard was revealed. The power of the weapon could not be denied, as though it could bring about Miracles.

A small part of Illya noted some measure of familiarity with the design, as though she had seen it before.

Such a thing was dismissed, however, as she turned her body sideways and her left hand fell onto the handle of the blackened Holy Sword.



See you again in...

[Checks watch]