Time [00:09:37] February 27th, 2004

"Well now! You're rather fast for your size!"

Crocodile jaws snapped shut with enough speed to create a shockwave as Ammit tried to bisect Scathach in a single bite. The divine creature missed the woman by the thinnest of margins as she stabbed one of her spears into the pyramid's walls and flipped herself up and over her weapon to slam her foot into the bottom of its jaw. The gigantic chimera roared in pain as it tumbled back through the hallway, gouging trenches in the floor and walls with its lion claws and hippopotamus feet.

Scathach's landing was light, controlled; spears held firmly in both of her hands as she kept her gaze locked on the creature. Her eyes moved away from it only when the hallway they were in transformed into an ethereal set of scales, only for it to shatter within seconds, leaving the both of them back in the hallway where they had previously been.

'It's the third time this creature has tried to use this specific ability. It must not have comprehended why it continues to fail. Good, I can use that.'

The reason that Ammit's ability, derived from its position beside the weighting scales of Anubis as the devourer of souls, failed to affect Scathach even after three uses was simple. Although the Scathach that stood before the Ammit was a Servant container, a glorified familiar at the end of the day, the existence known as 'Scathach' had yet to pass.

Scathach's soul could not be weighed on the scales of the Ammit's ability, simply because the scales could only work on the dead. A remarkable ability against basically any Servant, yet utterly useless against the exception that was the Queen of the Land of Shadows.

In a bright spark of Prana, the primordial rune for 'lightning' sprung to life before her finger. Tiny sparks left the rune as Scathach powered it, the broken and chipped debris which had once been metal inlay along the walls began to float. And with a catastrophic crack of thunder, a bolt of lightning fired directly at the charging Ammit.

The majority of the lightning brought forth by the rune skittered off the scaled head of the creature, but a charred –still smoldering– point remained on its forehead, getting a small hum of intrigue from the Lancer-class Servant.

'Primordial Runes are still effective, but barely. I'd say its Magic Resistance sits somewhere around B rank.'

Scathach took a step forward to begin her advance towards Ammit only to pause as the mana in the air, the weight of Mystery present on the very island itself, suddenly slammed down into her. To her body, it was glorious, a meal unlike anything it had been able to get a hold of since that brief, fleeting moment in her battle with Shirou Muramasa. It refilled her, revitalized her, set her every nerve on fire, and filled her body with adrenaline.

Yet to her mind, to her soul, it spelt the beginning of something dark and worrying that shouldn't be happening in this day and age. The surging tidal wave of fear that came through her link with Bazett only served to exacerbate her worry, flickers of red mana beginning to dance off her twin spears and her eyes beginning to glow ominously in the shadows of her fringe.

She had given herself a comfortable 10-minute victory time over Ammit when the other Servants had gone on ahead. But that had been under the conditions of the time, and they had been thrown out the window a few seconds ago. She may still not be able to activate her Noble Phantasm thanks to the curse of the pyramid, but now her prana usage wasn't capped only by what Bazett could handle while being shouldered by the grail.

It was far more wasteful than Scathach preferred to fight, efficiency was the key to a proper victory after all, but she could afford to waste a bit of power if it meant getting rid of her current opponent faster.

The lion's paw of Ammit slammed down on Scathach, red flames dancing and flickering out of existence in the air around its limb as it pressed its paw firmly into the floor. The spray of blood that arced out of the back of its rear legs from Scathach's longer spear caused it to roar in pain, its cry loud enough to crack the stone beneath it and vibrate the debris like a jackhammer.

"Mana burst really is such a wasteful skill." Scathach sighed to herself, stabbing her shorter spear into a turning form of Ammit and throwing it down the hallway and through one of the many, many maze-like walls of the temple.

So far, about 3 minutes and 48 seconds of Scathach's original 10-minute estimation have passed. With the amount of mana in the air at the moment? She believed she'd have the creature defeated in the next 3 minutes, less if she could get it somewhere that she could activate the Gate of Skye.

A bolt of lightning covered the Queen's advance, the blade of her longer spear biting into the thick scales atop the creature's head as it reared back from the pain of a second lightning bolt. Her gaze was not one of excitement, as it had been with powerful opponents in the past, but instead one of passive contemplation. Her eyes seemed to glow ever so slightly as her fringe waved in the wind of her strikes and a few droplets of Ammit's blood splashed upon her cheek as she lashed out yet again with her spears.

'Your regeneration is fast, but can it be beaten? Let's check.'


Ramesseum Tentyris Throne Room

Time [00:10:54] February 27th, 2004

Artoria planted her feet and lurched back as another blast of sunfire shot past her face, the king was fairly certain that she could tank such a magical flare but unwilling to test that theory unless absolutely necessary. The mana in the air was refreshing, making her feel lighter than she already did even with the miniature prana factory that was Shirou Muramasa as her Master. However, she was hardly the only one being rejuvenated and strengthened by the mana in the air, with all of her allies now fighting with increased vigor and strength alongside her.

Thankfully, the amount of mana in the air still paled compared to the mana being produced by the Ramesseum Tentyris so Ozymandias and his Sphinx King weren't affected in the slightest. The staircase of the throne room cracked as Artoria shot forward, her invisible blade sliding off the staff of Ozymandias as he rolled his wrist and threw his arm to the side, diverting the power of her strike entirely. Though he had no time to counter-attack before she shifted her stance to push forward another step and attack once more.

Sparks flew off Excalibur and Ozymandias's staff as the two met over and over again in the span of seconds, cracking the throne to their side and whipping the air into a frenzy. The King of Kings forced on the back foot as he could do nothing but focus on defense even with the frankly ridiculous amount of mana enhancing his body, his staff held in one hand and striking out with fast lunges and jabs to stop her blade from meeting its mark upon his torso.

Both Kings leapt back, one of Medusa's chained daggers shooting past and swinging wide with a curl of the chain. Artoria's form fizzled out of existence, reappearing before Ozymandias with her blade blocked by his staff on pure instinct and her other gauntleted fist wrapped around the neckline of his cloak. The buxom king twirled and threw his form directly into the side of his own summon in a burst of prana and a crack of air; the King of Kings striking Wehem-Mesut and sending the giant sphinx crashing into the wall of the throne room in a giant cloud of dust and debris.

Thanks to Xuanzang, everyone within the throne room could now use their Noble Phantasms and the runes from Scathach were still functioning, leaving them all at mostly full strength. Not to mention that with the mana in the air strengthening them, this was the perfect time for the Fuyuki Servants to push their advantage and end the fight as soon as possible before Xuanzang succumbed to the poison without Scathach's runes, or another upset came to disrupt the flow of the battle.

Unfortunately, such a thing was impossible.

"Now!" Artoria cried, the winds surrounding her legendary blade whipping into a small tornado as she prepared to strike, the spear of Percival beginning to glow a faint gold and the eyes of Medusa beginning to faintly glow themselves as she ducked underneath a swipe at her head and retreated from a pair of jaws aimed at her throat.

A blade of wind and a beam of light shot into the dust cloud of Ozymandias and Wehem-Mesut- a catastrophic collision rocking the throne room from behind Artoria as they did. The entire structure rumbled a little as Artoria spun on her heel to stare at the form of Medusa, now indented in the wall of the throne room opposite to where she'd been a half second earlier.

"Rid-" Artoria froze, not of her own volition, as the Mystic Eyes of Medusa slowly opened once more, a burst of Od crackling out of her body and grinding the wall around her to dust.

The Gorgon Queen, unlike the King of Knights, was fully able to move her body, her fist clenching and unclenching as she felt the surge of power coming through her connection with Sakura. Joined hand in hand with a level of intertwined cruelty and hatred unlike anything that Medusa had ever felt before. This surge of power, wherever it was coming from, certainly wasn't Sakura.

And above all else, that made it dangerous.

"Something is wrong with my Master."


Time [00:11:25] February 27th, 2004

Heracles barely blinked as a subsonic shard of one of Arjuna's shattered arrows cut his cheek, another two arrows leaving his bow as he shot forward once more. The mana in the air greatly aided his performance against the famous demi-god of India. Unfortunately, the same could also be said of Arjuna himself. The Indian demi-god undoubtedly moved faster and with far more fluidity than he had been a scant few minutes before.

However, Heracles was certain that he could end the fight soon. With the chaos going on within the temple and the ongoing aerial war with the Hanging Gardens, there was a guarantee that no reinforcements would be coming for Arjuna. This meant that so long as he played to his strengths, and maybe sacrificed a life if absolutely required, he could finally end this fight and reinforce his allies.

The muscles of the behemoth of a demi-god rippled and tensed beneath his skin as he shot forward, filled with a sense of power he hadn't felt since he'd been ali-


Like a puppet with its strings cut, all power in Heracles's body left him, his muscles going lax and the light leaving his eyes as his foot touched the scarred exterior of the Ramesseum Tentyris and brought the rest of his body down with him. The alarmed form of Arjuna hopped out of the way as he tumbled almost lifelessly down the entire length of the pyramid before hitting the ground in a large crater.

Though, while wary and alarmed, Arjuna was not one to let an opportunity pass him. His bow was held at his side as he held a single hand forward, his palm facing the darkened night sky.

"Expanding sacred domain. Domain Secured."

The world around Arjuna and Heracles began to bleed out of existence, turning to naught but a black void as a blue light began to form atop Arjuna's outstretched palm. The demi-god doing as much as possible to speed the activation time up without sacrificing the power or stability of the technique in the very real worry of Heracles getting back up and continuing his relentless onslaught.

"Divine punishment enforcement limits… All approved."

The blue light shot high into the sky, beginning to grow in both size and luminance as Arjuna continued his count, gritting his teeth a little when he saw Heracles beginning to twitch and stir from whatever had occurred to him.

"By the wrath of Shiva, here ends thy life."

The son of Zeus's eyes snapped wide open and the ground beneath him exploded with such force that the impact even cracked up to where Arjuna stood upon the pyramid's side. However, it was too little too late; Arjuna had completed his technique, Moksha was all but guaranteed.


The brilliant blue ball of light exploded, showering the entire pyramid face in sparkling blue arrows. One of such arrows, larger and darker than all the rest, curved midair and struck the center of the dust cloud head-on, the sound of a wet squelch reaching Arjuna's ears an instant later.

After a second of silence, the Indian archer let out a low, slow, sigh of relief. Glad to finally have the fight over and done with.

"Heracles of Greece. Truly you were a worthy-"


Arjuna blinked a couple of times, a deep feeling of wrong filling his entire body from head to toe as he suddenly found himself staring at the sky, buried into the stone of the Ramesseum Tentyris with a bone-deep pain beginning to blossom from his chest.

He'd been standing, staring down at Heracles, hadn't he? Why is he here in this position now? He hadn't been struck in his chest, surely. There wasn't even a puncture mark from an arrow…

The sound of an inhalation caused Arjuna to tilt his neck back ever so slightly, his eyes rolling in their sockets to follow a moment later.

Heracles stood further above him on the temple, his back to the Indian demi-god and his bow missing from his hands as he held them open but taught at his sides. An aura of sheer, raw, power practically dripped off of him in a way that made the Heracles of a few moments earlier look like a 2nd rate servant.

"You….But you received Moksha." Arjuna muttered, unable to believe the sight before his eyes.

Another deep breath entered and exited Heracles lungs, his eyes wavering in and out of focus briefly as he felt a dark, hungry something attempting to gnaw at his consciousness.

Something was happening to Illyasviel, something dark and powerful and corrupting. Something that Heracles absolutely couldn't allow to continue, not if he had any say in the matter. However, before he could go and aid her, the Servants here had to be dealt with, and that began with the demi-god behind him.

With a cold, baleful glare, Heracles looked over his shoulder towards Arjuna as the man began to climb out of the indent that he'd been struck into, his hair waving a little in the midnight wind.

"I'm sorry, Arjuna. You did well in taking a life, but one is all you shall receive."


Time [00:11:34] February 27th, 2004

Semiramis hummed to herself, spinning and swirling a floating ball of blackened blood between her two hands, a dead, emancipated, dove lying at the foot of her throne.

Lightning looped the throne room, compressed beams of water slicing through stone and flora alike.

"Hm. Nutmeg and Blood Lily to deal with the symptoms, with Lotus Flower as the base to neutralize the curse itself." She muttered in concentration, taking one of her hands away from manipulating the blood to snap her fingers, the sound of doves cooing unheard.

A wall of hexagonal brilliance flickered to life, flames fanning outward. A knife made of her own throne room flipped and twirled in the air, its tip landing at the edge of Semiramis's foot.

Semiramis silently grabbed the ordered ingredients from her familiars as they landed around her. Her Od flowed out of her hands and into the ingredients, crushing, slicing, and mincing the materials in fractions of the regular time, her fingers flicking out to the side and making snaking motions back to the powdered ingredients in her other palm. A tendril of water flowed out of a nearby fountain and snaked its way over to her throne and into her palm where it picked up and began to mix the ingredients within its own form. A display of pure artistry, like the performance of a dancer or puppeteer rather than the alchemical science it truly was.

A gigantic cylinder of crystal covered Semiramis and her throne. Two marble-like projectiles slammed against one another and shattered the platform beneath them. A drill of wind struck the crystal cylinder and ground it to naught but sparkling powder.

"Tsk. You know what to do." Semiramis spat to her doves, sending each one of them off with a vial of her concoction, her narrow-eyed gaze swiveling to Morgan and Morgan immediately following their take-off.

Both of them had been making an absolute ruin of her throne room for far too long now while she was distracted with her work. It was time she taught this witch just whose throne room she was-

Pendragon and Semiramis both hunched over at once, their eyes bulging, and their muscles tensed. A lance of bubbling, corrupted blood pierced through Pendragon's shoulder and threw her back across the throne room with a victorious cry from Le Fay.

She didn't quite know what was going on with either of her enemies, but she knew that it had something to do with the sudden influx of mana and mystery in the air. And it had created an opening for her, it would be remiss of her to simply let it pass her by idly, now, wouldn't it?

A curl of both of her fingers rose two chunks of brick from the floor and a flick crashed both of them together, smashing Pendragon between the two like a- No, spacial displacement. Le Fay spun and placed a translucent wall of hexagonal light, taken from the Queen of Assyria, between herself and Pendragon. The explosion of light and fire passed harmlessly over her even as an earthen drill screeched against a similar, but smaller, wall at the nape of her neck.

"Able to act even with such a debilitating pain? My how even my weaker self transcends the average witch!" Le Fay cackled, lightning crashing down on Semiramis and Pendragon in greater and greater quantities.

"…I am no witch."

"Watch your tongue, Seductress."

The lightning of Morgan Le Fay froze in place, undoubtedly the work of her other half, as Pendragon walked out of the firing line so that she and Le Fay could make eye contact once more, a release of pure, raw, mana behind her signifying that Semiramis wasn't out of the fight yet, either.

"Where did you send our Masters?" Pendragon interrogated her other half, beginning to circle her in a wide birth.

Le Fay couldn't help but crack a grin at Pendragon's ploy, placing a single hand on a cocked hip.

'Did she really think I wouldn't notice her trying to bide time?'

"Oh, just a simple forest I found on the south-west island of this nation. Why? Such a bleeding heart that you can't even fight without your precious owner around to watch?" She sneered, tilting her staff a little to act as a counterweight as she leaned to the side.

'So, she's unaware of what's happened to our Masters, good. Though that means the threat is outside of the expected variables…'

"I watch out for my allies, Witch. Once a Queen, always a Queen." Pendragon shot back smugly, taking delight in the way that Le Fay's face twisted into a scowl that removed every ounce of superficial beauty she previously held.

"We were never a Queen; we were a puppet! A stand-in for little-miss sword-in-the-stone!" She snapped, swiping her hand to the side in mirror to Pendragon, two blades of wind cutting into each other and dispelling.

"It's not Artoria's fault. It never was. Just because she was more worthy to be ruler, doesn't mean that we were less so." Pendragon shot back, shaking her head as if disappointed in Le Fay; a vein throbbing on the witch's forehead and her fists clenched as much as they could.

'Just because she's having more power fed into her now she thinks she's far enough above me to lecture me from some kind of high-horse? Well, guess what? You aren't the only one able to supercharge yourself.'

The air in the throne room began to stir slightly, Pendragon's eyes widening in alarm as she realized what Le Fay was doing, only for a single, acidic, droplet to fall from the ceiling before her.

In an instant her panic smoothed out, her composure re-arming itself and her worry for Luvia pushed to the back of her mind so that she could deal with the foe in front of her.

'She may be pulling from the ley lines, but I can't forget that I have allies too. Keep your composure and ruin hers, that's the way to best her…' Pendragon let out a small breath and slowly sucked it back in, a small smile gracing her features.

"Well said, Morgan Pendragon!" Semiramis's shout echoed over the room, both Morgans' eyes drifting upwards as more and more green droplets rained from the ceiling. "You truly prove yourself worthy of the title Queen by the second, now allow me to show you both why I hold claim to such a title!"

"Sikera Ušum"


Ramesseum Tentyris, Throne Room

Time [00:13:15] February 27th, 2004

The razor-sharp claws of Hessian Lobo blurred past Medusa's face, bringing drops of blood along with them as two slashes opened up from her cheek to the bridge of her nose, narrowly missing her now uncovered eyes. The Demi-God lashed out with a kick that was avoided by the dual-Servant with all the grace of someone who wasn't being poisoned to death as they fought.

Medusa would have been incredibly jealous if she wasn't trying to wrap her mind around how the strange amalgam hadn't turned to stone yet despite meeting her eye-to-eye.

Monsters like Artoria and Ozymandias she could fully understand not petrifying, the sheer amount of prana they were throwing around currently was frankly absurd, but she absolutely knew that Hessian Lobo didn't have the mana attribute to stave off her eyes.

The Gorgon Queen panted and wiped some sweat off her forehead as she kept her gaze locked on that of Lobo, trying to ignore the growing weakness that gnawed at her body like the parasite that it was.

She could feel her petrification taking hold, she knew that it was still working, yet somehow the wolf and rider combination continued to keep their full mobility with seemingly not a step lost. She couldn't understand what was happening, was the curse that Ozymandias had placed on her so potent that it could even-

The armour of Hessian creaked ominously and a low growl left the jaws of Lobo as their prana flared around them like a black flame, hungry to devour all that it touched and cremate it in its unending, unyielding fury.

'That's it!' Medusa's eyes widened and the Gorgon Queen disappeared in a burst of prana, coming face to face with Lobo a fraction of a second later as the King of Currumpaw launched itself after her. 'My petrification is taking effect because it doesn't have the mana attribute to force it back with sheer might, but the attributes of its mana are keeping it safe. It's not that Hessian Lobo isn't turning to stone, it's that its mana is incinerating the petrification before it can even take proper root.'

The hooked blades of Hessian and the chained daggers of Medusa locked together as both Servants struck out at once, Medusa defending her neck from one and Hessian defending his heart from the other. The purple-haired Servant breathed in sharply to prepare for her next strike, only to lurch forward involuntarily.

Blood splattered on the fur of Lobo's face as Medusa's body shook and spasmed with a coughing fit that lit her lungs afire and left her utterly defenseless, right in front of the headless horseman himself.

A hooked blade and paw of opposing sides raised in tandem, both halves of the whole preparing to end the poisoned annoyance that had plagued them so far with utter impunity. Both Hessian and Lobo want nothing more than to rid themselves of Rider and fight a better, more worthy, opponent.

Yet, such a thing was not meant to be.

In the time that it took both of them to raise their weapons of choice and begin swinging down, Xuanzang touched down between them and Medusa, her gaze locked on something in the direction that she'd flown in from. The palm of the woman's right hand held out towards Lobo with such unflinching confidence that the tips of her fingers were almost able to graze the wolf's chest fur.

A hundred words overlapped themselves in a single instant, words leaving lips that did not move and yet failing to even do that much, an anomaly that could not be comprehended.

Both claw and blade crashed into the outstretched arm of the Buddhist while she continued to retreat from the Wehem-Mesut, stopping dead in their tracks and falling limp.

Time snapped back to its usual pace and Xuanzang disappeared in a blur of speed and a sparkling, razor-sharp, feather that tried to pierce her clean through the torso. Blood rained over Medusa, making her look up even as she tried to suppress her coughing fit, only to freeze in shock at what she saw.

The right hand of Hessian was missing a complete portion of its whole, only having its thumb, index, and middle finger to its name as a perfectly clean cut went from his middle knuckle to his wrist. At that exact same time, the front right paw of Lobo was held gingerly off the ground, slashed and mangled in a way that Medusa could honestly say she had never seen before, even on a regular wolf.

The two of them had made the mistake of following through on their attacks when Xuanzang had been the one in the middle, seeing her as subpar thanks to her legends and stats as a Servant. But the one thing that they had forgotten to account for was her faith and the strength that it granted her when all else failed.

A beyond ten-line chant brought to the speed of a single-action spell through only her proficiency in reciting the sutras for which she had carried in her life. They had struck her, therefore as the sutras of Nidana-vagga spoke it was simply causation that they be struck back.


Metal jingled chaotically, stone cracked and shattered, the air howled, and the sound of igniting gases drowned every last one out.

The soles of Xuanzang's sandals met and left the wall of the throne room in a fraction of a second, a gouge opening in the wall in the second proceeding her departure with a gust of wind. A tap of her khakkhara on the ceiling of the room brought her flight path fifteen centimeters lower leaving her narrowly dodging a golden feather that pierced clean through the ceiling and into whatever room lay above the current.

A deflected burst of fire from the throne itself blinded the Buddhist as she approached the ground, her feet just about to make contact when she finally caught sight of Wehem-Mesut. The gigantic, cosmological king of the sphinxes towered over her landing position with a ball of pure heat building power before its face.

The light of the impending beam of heat lit up the entire, already well-lit, throne room. Xuanzang's eyes widened, and her body moved of its own volition, her downward momentum transferring immediately into rotational momentum the moment that her feet hit the ground. The bottom of her khakkhara carved a perfect circle in the stonework beneath her feet and the woman came to a stop in a low crouch, her gaze meeting that of Wehem-Mesut's at the exact moment before its beam fired down on her, rocking the entire throne-room with its impact.

'I'm sorry Sun. I'm sure your barrier would have been beyond perfect.'

The blinding light and thousand-degree temperatures died out as suddenly as they had appeared. Xuanzang crouched in the only untouched circle of safety within the entire blast radius, the circle she had carved around herself cracked and broken.

'Unfortunately, when put in my hands it could only survive one hit.'

A deep cough left her mouth and a beam of light from her right struck the Wehem-Mesut, its loud echoing cry reverberating through the room as it stumbled back. The monk took three running steps forward and launched herself into the air, her weapon fading away and golden light covering her hands as Percival approached the creature from the opposite side on the ground.


Perhaps it was her intrinsic instincts, perhaps it was her teachings in Buddhism that stressed a deep understanding of the world around her, or perhaps it was something else entirely. No matter the root of the phenomena, Xuanzang knew that she had to abort her Noble Phantasm activation.

A hair was plucked from her head and blown into the air above her, exploding into a cloud of smoke that cleared to show an exact copy of her. Xuanzang grabbed her own hand and flung her at the ceiling of the throne room, leaving the original to do nothing but watch as her clone got crushed between the ragdolled Ammit and Wehem-Mesut.


The woman landed heavily on both of her feet with a wet hack of blood as the two creatures rolled and tumbled across the battlefield, barely missing Percival as he threw himself to the side, crashing into a far wall and going straight through it in a cloud of dust and debris.

"I-I'm-" Xuanzang was cut off by another heavy coughing fit. "O-Ok L-Lancer…"

"Well now, 8 minutes and 20 seconds on the dot. A failing grade if I've ever heard one." The disappointed voice of Scathach reached the ears of the monk, bringing her gaze along with it.

"H-Hello!" She tried to greet jovially, only to cough up another wad of blood into her palms, hunched over on her knees and shaking from an internal, inescapable, pain.

Percival placed himself between the Sphinx King and Xuanzang with his left pauldron forward and his lance at the ready as Scathach made her way over, both Lancers prepared to act at a moment's notice.

"That's no good. I can't stop the curse, but this should at least bring you back to the same level as Rider." The Queen hummed, drawing a rune over her and patting her back.

"T-Thank you…T-The Buddha would congratulate your kindness."

"I'm sure he would." She chuckled, twirling her spears and sliding in a low sprinter's stance. "Now, would you appreciate some assistance with this Divine Beast?"


Medusa tugged on one of her chains to pull her out of the air and back to the ground to avoid a snap of Lobo's jaws, her complexion looking worse by the minute as she tried to keep up her fight with the Servant.

At this stage, she wasn't even able to fight back, left only doing her best to avoid having chunks gouged out of her or her head lopped off in its entirety.

She may be from a time before her fight with Perseus but the idea of having her head lopped off still made her feel a bit queasy.

Not for the first time- Sparks danced in the air as she deflected a blade aimed at her neck and got thrown back by a swipe of Lobo's paw- did Medusa curse her lack of endurance, nor was it the first time that she internally cursed Ozymandias himself for creating this accursed pyramid. She was flagging and she knew it, Hessian Lobo knew it as well, even her teammates knew it. She was surging with power thanks to whatever was happening with her Master, but she couldn't put any of it to use!

Her Gorgon form would be so much better suited to this current situation. She hated it, she hated it with every fiber of her being, but she knew it was true.

'If….If it's in this circumstance. If it's to finish this battle quickly so that I can help my Master. Maybe…Maybe it's ok to-…' Medusa leapt over the charge of Hessian Lobo once more, clumsily blocking the overhead swipe from the rider and stumbling on her landing, nearly falling to her ass as she tried to put some distance between them.

Her hair began to split into long strands and wave in a non-existent wind, her eyes losing a bit of shine. She didn't want to do this, she wished that there was any other option, but there wasn't.

There was no hero that was going to arrive and help her. The heroes never arrived for Medusa…no matter how much she needed them.

A single pebble, perhaps the size of a 1-yen coin, crumbled from the ceiling and bounced off Medusa's nose, causing the woman to jolt and blink. Her hair fell back to its normal state and the light returned to her eyes.


Hundreds of tons of stone and precious metals struck the floor of the throne room, bringing with it a gust of wind that forced the Gorgon Queen to raise her arms to defend her sight against the rushing dust.

"I apologize, Rider." Heracles's voice carried over the rushing winds, the dust spreading thin enough for her to see his form atop the mound of rubble that he had created.

And beneath his right foot, with arrows pierced through his heart, kidney, right shoulder, and left thigh, lay the limp form of Arjuna. His form began to fade out of existence in the sound of one last breath and disintegrating blue motes of prana.

Heracles finally turned his head to look towards her, pierced through with three arrows of Arjuna's own that began to fade away in time with their owner.

"I didn't mean to scare you, but could you please stop using your eyes upon me? I'm not much good as a teammate with my body fighting the petrification like this."


Time [00:15:05] February 27th, 2004

"You're certainly a worthy opponent King of Knights!"

Artoria gritted her teeth and narrowed her eyes, sparks showering both her form and Ozymandias's own as the two engaged in rapid bursts of melee combat around the raised platform of Ozymandias's throne.

"Your martial skill leaves absolutely nothing to be desired! Though your thaumaturgical skill could certainly be polished more!"

The woman raised a leg to avoid it being hooked by the end of Ozymandias' staff and brought it back down again with enough force to crack the stone beneath her feet while pushing far into the King of King's personal space. Missing his face by only a hair's breadth as he lurched back with mana-enhanced speed to avoid her clutch.

"Though once again I must ask what the King of Blades is doing that trumps this Battle of Kings that I set up specifically for him?"

Artoria was no stranger to people who tended to talk a lot, she'd grown up around Merlin of all people, but even she would admit that Ozymandias was beginning to get on her nerves. The King of Kings just wouldn't shut. Up. And it was beginning to drive her mad.

Though she couldn't deny her curiosity, and worry, about the status of Shirou. She knew that Le Fay had teleported the Masters somewhere other than the Hanging Gardens but she had no idea what, and the ominous statement that had come from Medusa earlier was not helping her paranoia in the slightest.

Listening to yet another mid-battle quip, Artoria felt something small inside her snap and tentatively she reached for her mental link with Shirou. Wanting to only skim off the top and not establish the full telepathic connection, just in case it distracted him, and he was actually dealing with something serious.

Her mental self touched the connection that she had with Shirou, the telepathic equivalent to ghosting your fingers over the glass around a museum artifact, and like a dam full-to-bursting with a hole burst through its side the 'glass' of their connection shattered.

"This battle has so many fine adversaries and apart from the opening statement he has yet to even appear! Is he preparing something else? Something larger? I hardly imagine the King of Blades, of all people, sitting back and just not joining a fight of this caliber. So, what holds him back, King of Knights? What is it that this fight lacks?"

Artoria stumbled back two steps, the air around her seeming to go dead-still and all the agitated jittering that had plagued her a moment beforehand died an instant, unceremonious death. With a choked gasp, the woman's right hand left the hilt of her blade and grasped her face.

"Please, Ozymadias, cease your blathering."

Ozymandias himself froze at her words and the dark, struggled cadence that they left her lips with.

"Ex..cuse me?" He asked in disbelief, unable to comprehend hearing such words and from a King no-less.

"Because right now my Master truly wants something dead…"

Artoria's fingers clutched at her face a bit tighter as her hand slid down her face just a little, revealing a single green eye that seemed to ooze a bloodlust that did not belong to the King herself.

"And I don't know if even I can hold back all this bloodlust."


Fuyuki Catholic Church

Time [00:16:45] February 27th, 2004

"Even more supernatural creatures flow into this Texture by the second but humanity still clings on." 'Kirei' hummed to himself while approaching the doors to the church that the host body had once called his own.

His reason for being here right now, at this moment in time, was simple; The shards of 'Kirei Kotomine' that existed within the puppet of the Greater Grail demanded a final selfish wish before passing on. A refusal to break and disappear into Angra Mainyu no matter what the entity did so long as this last wish –this last demand– was not fulfilled.

"Well, Kirei Kotomine, it's all you from here on out." 'Kirei' spoke, seemingly to himself. "Normally I'd crush such a wish under my heel, but you have such a dark and twisted last cry. I couldn't help but find myself disgusted by it. So go, make your last hurrah, just expect no aid from me."

The languid way that the man held his body seemed to shift, straightening out and tensing in the way that only a man built of iron within and iron without could possibly stand.

"So, it seems, benefactor. Now, my last rite as a father of the Church. The extermination of the demon child." The man's fist rolled into a fist finger-by-finger only to uncurl a moment later.

The tips of his fingers touched the large doors to the church…


A cool midnight gust washed through the well-lit church interior as the doors slowly swung open. The lights cast a long, dark, shadow behind the figure standing in the doorway that quickly descended and disappeared almost entirely as they took long, purposeful, steps into the building.

Standing at the front of the interior, on a raised platform meant for speeches and sermons sat the form of Caren Hortensia, her back to the entrance as she seemed to be mumbling something to herself.

Had this been a regular occurrence, Kirei would have launched himself across the interior and had his hand through her heart before she could even turn. Yet even without his benefactor, he knew that who stood before him was far from regular.

"I hardly expected a deity to invade the home of the Lord Father in Heaven, do you not feel shame for your acts?" He spoke aloud, getting a small hum as the girl turned on the ball of her left foot to face him.

Staring down at him as she did so.

"Kirei Kotomine, Angra Mainyu. You poor things." She spoke, her voice as dry and monotone as Caren's usually was, yet her cadence and pronunciation were subtly different in a way that most people couldn't even recognize.

"So, who are you, that took my daughter's body from her? Crushing her soul along with it, I assume." The priest questioned, folding one arm behind his back while holding one out towards her as if gesturing for her to offer the information since he had been so gracious as to ask.

"Crush her soul? No, not quite." She hummed, shaking her head. "As for a name…Call me Super Caren. Nice to meet you." She still spoke monotonously, leaning forward a little with a horizontal peace sign held over one of her eyes.

"I see. Very well, keep your secrets. All are the same before the Lord, after all." The man responded with a confident smirk, his outstretched fist clenched and his bloodlust seeping out of him like a slow-release toxin.

"Well said."


The exorcist spun on the heel of his foot while dashing to the side, pre-emptive of any surprise strikes at his blind spot. He knew that voice, he knew exactly what monster currently resided in-

The priest ragdolled across the church interior and into the wall of the building with a chaotic smashing of wooden pews and crack of stone. A slow breath left the lips of Ciel as she lowered her fist from where she had just backhand punched the once-priest of the very church she stood inside.

"Nice shot, four-eyes." Super Caren awed, placing a hand over her eyes while staring into the dust cloud.

"We may have already discussed the situation behind your apparition, Amour, but don't think that the conversation is over." Ciel warned, her sharp gaze snapping to Amour so fast it was almost as if they teleported in her head.

"Awww, Ciel. I already told you, I'm no longer Caren, or Amour….or Eros. I'm the perfect blend of all three. A whole new being. But don't worry, I still love you for your worry over Caren~"

"Such a weird personality…" The exorcist muttered under her breath with a deadpan gaze, three key blades appearing in her grasp a second later.

Their flight was fast, controlled, and lethal in every way that they could be-

Kirei appeared behind Ciel in a burst of speed and a shift of the dust, his expression dead apart from his eyes that were alight with deadly intensity.

-But neither the blades nor Kotomine himself were enough to so much as worry Ciel.

The trained executor grounded his footing to prepare a strike at her kidney, only to feel his center of gravity sway to the side as Ciel spun towards him, into his reach rather than away, and used her new footing to break his own. Not one to be deterred, he placed a hand on the ground to catch himself and lifted both of his legs off the ground to throw a kick at her jaw through the power of nothing but his supernatural physique.

"I thought so."

Kirei's kick was stopped to a dead halt, her arm raised to defend her head as her other arm reared back.

"Compared to an Ancestor you're still just ordinary."

Kirei moved his unanchored arm to try and block the incoming strike from the blue haired girl, placing it in the most optimal position to perfectly defend against such a telegraphed strike.

The heel of Ciel's palm struck Kirei's arm, practically ignoring the limb as she broke clean through his guard and crashed her hand right into Kirei's mid-torso. Bone and viscera exploded out of his back like the pellets of a shotgun as his ribs fractured and shredded his own kidney and gallbladder to confetti from the sheer force of her strike.

In a shockwave that cracked some of the nearby pews, Kirei's body was flung back flipping chaotically before hitting the ground and sliding until he hit the far wall with a wet thump.

"He's still alive, Ciel." Super Caren spoke suddenly, getting a soft exhale in response as Ciel began to walk towards the limp body of her opponent.

"I'm aware. The man has avoided death twice if the reports are to be believed." Ciel responded coldly, her eyes locked on his body as she began to notice red veins creeping across his increasingly paler skin.

'No. No! I knew of her reputation but to think that she would outclass us in this manner. It's inconceivable! She's not human!'

'There it is. The false god.'

Ciel's hand flicked at the wrist, a black key manifesting itself between her fingers seemingly from thin air. A black key with a handle and blade unlike anything that Kirei had ever seen before, and that set Angra Mainyu's skin on fire.

There was a twitch of Kirei's finger before he jolted up all at once, easily clearing five meters in the air as his usually cool and calm expression stretched and morphed with fear and anger alongside the spreading of the red veins along his skin.

'I can't beat her. But it's no matter, once she kills this vessel I'll just return to the grail. It's far from the best-case scenario-'

An image appeared in Angra Mainyu's mind of a white hair and red eyes cloaked in a dress of red, white, and gold. A terminal for the grail that even he could not best, a Game Over for his ambitions.

'-but at the same time, it's far from the worst.'

The blade of the black key buried itself in 'Kirei's' chest all the way to the hilt, a choked gasp leaving him as he felt himself burning- burni- burn- burn, burn, death, death, dead dead deaddeaddea-

The man hit the ground with a loud thump and a scream of pure pain, his body jerking this way and that as he clutched at his chest to try and rid himself of the blade, only for his fingers to begin burning away the moment they touched them.

"And upon the mountaintop, God said onto Moses the first of ten commandments." Ciel spoke softly as she approached Kirei, seeing the red veins across his body glowing brighter and golden flames beginning to flicker from the black key itself as it reacted to her words.

Which wasn't surprising in the slightest, she'd had it specially made from that page of the Bible after all, along with a couple extra tricks of the Church. The ultimate in low-cost anti-divinity techniques brought to a higher plane of existence purely through Ciel's own thaumaturgical skill and might.

"Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."

The golden flames flickering off the black key exploded into a swirling inferno that tore at and incinerated Kirei without remorse, burning not only his essence but also that of Angra Mainyu that was irrevocably tied to him. A two-pronged attack that Ciel had devised specifically for this fight.

"He looks like he's in pain." Caren suddenly spoke up at Ciel's side, getting a small hum from the blue-haired girl as she watched him continue to burn.

"The false god is sure to be feeling it more, but Kotomine did directly break the first commandment."

Kirei's –or maybe Angra Mainyu's at this stage, who knows– screams echoed off the walls of the church as the flames grew brighter with his struggling and flailing. The pain stretched far beyond the physical that he could just ignore or firm as he usually would.

"Hm…Kirei Kotomine. You were a terrible man who hath found his righteous end. An absent father who failed more than once to uphold the Ten Commandments. But at the end of the day, you were a priest that spread the word of God to many and showed them his love even if you could not understand it yourself." Caren spoke, kneeling down in front of him as his body began to blacken and char.

"And for that reason, I can truthfully say, I love you, you useless father."

With a mouth held open with a scream that his lungs and throat could no longer sustain, Kirei reached out to Caren with a single hand as his entire body charred black and continued to burn. The girl's angelic smile and peaceful eyes locked on him the whole time without wavering for even a second.

The fingertips of his stubbed fingers ghosted over the curve of her jaw before falling limp as the light left his eyes and the red veins across his skin lit up in a golden-white as the flames went to work on Angra Mainyu's presence.

"He was trying to caress your cheek?" Ciel questioned, her gaze locked on the burning corpse, much the same as Caren herself.

"No. Not in the slightest. There's nothing in this world that that man loved more than bringing misery to others. He was trying to bring me with him to the grave by grabbing my neck. He was just too delirious and weak to do so properly, that's all."

"I see….Are you saddened by that ending?"

"No, I can't say I am. Because I know that failing to bring me misery has sent him to Hell with a misery of his own that will never leave him. And for a man as unfaithful as him, such a thought only brings me peace."

"That's just as twisted as Caren."

A small smile stretched her lips as she watched the dancing golden flames, almost seeming to take a warm, fuzzy delight in watching his body crumble to ash and soot.

"Well, I may not fully be the Caren Hortensia you knew previously, but what can I say? I am that man's daughter after all."


Ramesseum Tentyris

Time [00:18:57] February 27th, 2004

A green glow encompassed the stump that had previously been Ozymandias's arm as he launched himself back to avoid the decapitating strike of Artoria. His arm burst back out of the stump in a release of steam and mana, his staff appearing in his hand to clash with Artoria's blade once more and try to force it down, only for her elbow to crash into his nose with a thundering crack.

His staff came up in just the nick of time to avoid him being bisected in two as she swung at his abdomen, the force of her mana-burst enhanced strike throwing him across the room and into the rider-and-ride duo that consisted of Hessian and Lobo.

He didn't understand fully what was happening, ever since Artoria had spoken those ominous words about her master it was like she had become an entirely different fighter. Focused not on efficient, proper, fighting but rather on taking him down no matter what it took, a fighting style perfectly befitting the foreign bloodlust that oozed out of her with every movement she made and breath she took.

Unfortunately for her though, so long as the Ramesseum Tentyris stood he would not fall. And once his curse struck the traitorous master of Xuanzang, they would have absolutely no protections against his curse-

'Where are all the masters?'

Ozymandias's eyes widened as he hopped over the charging thrust of Percival and deflected the thrown blade of Medusa, his eyes unseeing as he searched the entire premises of his territory for the signatures of any of the masters and found all of them missing. How had this happened? All the Servants were here, no Magecraft had been used from any other casters and his curses hadn't afflicted anyone el-

The shock of Artoria's blade against his staff reverberated through his arms, shaking his entire body imperceptibly and giving his mind just enough of a shock to figure out the answer as his body worked on its impromptu crash-landing on autopilot.

'That's it! The Ruler-class Servant. She's the only one it could have been, the Witch spoke of a Saint of Orleans, they must be one and the same. Rulers are gifted with enhanced abilities and class skills compared to the regular seven containers that comprise this war, which means that either a personal skill or a highly enhanced class skill got her all the way through my pyramid and back out again without a single curse taking root. They're likely all safe, knowing the stories of her, but that means that there's no quick way to rid myself of Xuanzang, a shame.'

"Well well, King of Knights! Who knew that you could show such a fearsome expression!"

"You remind me too much of the old Gilgamesh. Silence yourself." A burst of prana exploded out of the woman, her blade swinging through thin air as Ozymandias ducked on pure instinct.

Which turned out to be the correct move, judging from the freshly cut gouge in the wall behind him that perfectly aligned with her swing.

"To think that a King of your renown would be so affected by an outside force, I'm disappointed, truly." Pillars of fire swallowed Artoria whole, allowing Ozymandias to put some space between them and prepare himself for yet another offensive rush.

The forms of white doves swarmed into the hole made by Heracles a few minutes earlier. Feathers and wings blocked his vision in such a high number that Ozymandias was physically unable to even see beyond a few meters around him.

"Oh? A diversion, is it? Come now, there's so much royalty amongst you, surely you could do better than this!" The King of Kings called, snapping his fingers.

Like a wave of pure death, the doves began to fall out of the air. Their eyes went milky white and their feathers necrotizing as their bodies seized and smacked the solid stone of the throne room in a symphony of hundreds of dying coos and screeches. A song of fleeting hope and dashing death, a specialty of Ramesses II.

The pharaoh that weathered the ten plagues.

Shattered glass reached Ozymandias's ears at the same time as the visual of Artoria's approaching blade did. A golden wall of mana with the Eye of Horus spawning to life before his outstretched hand. The wall wobbled and cracked with Artoria's strike but held true, which was truthfully all that Ozymandias needed it to do.

"And you wasted the opportunity. I'm beginning to wonder how worthy you are of the title 'King'." He spoke in disappointment, glaring coldly at Artoria as golden scarabs began to scuttle out of the floor and attempted to swarm the King of Knights.

One slash, three down. A second slash, another three down. A third, four down. A fifth, four down. A sixth, fiv- A seventh- An eigh- Nine- Te-

The winds within the throne room picked up and explosions of prana shook the walls and cracked the ceiling, Ozymandias's wall tripling up on itself a half second before his original defense shattered.

'What's happening? How is she moving this fast? This should be impossible, my curse should be-'



The heat in the throne room skyrocketed as Ozymandias crouched low, his hair flaring upwards in a visible aura of mana around him and his eyes glowing a brilliant gold. His gaze locked not on Artoria, with her relentless strikes and her ridiculous reserves of prana, but rather on the charging Lancer of silver.



Explosions swallowed the throne room whole, grinding into its walls and ceiling and utterly atomizing what remained of its décor and furniture.

The dirty silver armour of the Holy Knight of the Dove burst free of the burgundy flames of Scathach's attack, the cursed flames licking at his armour and cloak but ultimately sliding off like water on a duck's back. His hair waved in the air from his charge and his eyes focused on nothing but Ozymandias's Wadjet Wall.

A golden glow overcame the resplendent silver of Percival's lance as his forward foot cracked the stone beneath his feet and his arm reared back.

The battle does not involve personal gain. Approved.

The battle is not against one pure of heart. Approved.


The man put his entire being into his singular piercing strike, his muscles tensing to the point that his skintight under-suit began to tear and the veins in his temple and neck began to visibly bulge.


The world turned to light and pain, Ozymandias's skin burning away just as easily as his eyes bubbled and boiled, and his tongue turned to slag in his mouth. The concept of pain encompassed him so entirely that even when his nerve endings fried and withered away, it was all that he could comprehend. The world was dark and lonely as every sense was ripped away from him by the cruel, unconscionably strong attack of the Holy Knight of the Dove.

But to think that Ozymandias was out of this fight was the assumption of a fool.

When it was said that the Ramesseum Tentyris gifted Ozymandias with infinite mana, that was in no way an exaggeration. So long as the Ramesseum Tentyris stood, not even the death of his Master could bring him down.

'Speaking of…'


Outskirts of Ra Island

Time [00:20:03] February 27th, 2004

Blood toppled down Darnic's chin and dripped onto his immaculate shirt, choked gasps left his chapped and cut lips and his shaky hands clutched at the sword currently pierced through his heart.

His purple eyes, which dilated heavily between crystal-clear clarity and so hazy that he couldn't make out hair for hay, slowly followed the length of the blade up. His sight reached the armoured hand of his murderer and followed the arm up until he reached the sorrowful blue eyes of Jeanne D'Arc herself.

"I truly regret that this has to be done, Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia. But your involvement in this, and your attempt on my life has proven that this was the only option."

"F-Fuck….you!..." He growled, grabbing the blade and trying to pull himself off it with arms far too weak to ever do such a thing.

"May God invite you into Heaven with open arms or drop you into Hell with a heavy heart." Jeanne muttered beneath her breath, the utter opposite of the girl that had corralled Fiore out of the Pyramid and forced them all to give chase.

If he'd known that Jeanne D'Arc was capable of such cold-blooded murder he never would have come after her! If he'd known that she was capable of completely staving off Rider's curse he never would have even considered it.

A roiling ball of vitriolic black liquid exploded over Jeanne, her eyes snapping towards Celenike like a video with a few frames cut from its runtime. Instead of latching to her skin and hair and eating away at it, as the Yggdmillennia had been hoping for with her surprise attack, it only seemed to sit harmlessly on her skin as it boiled and evaporated away.

"I apologize for making you distraught, please do not attempt such a thing again." The Saint of Orleans spoke softly, a peaceful smile gracing her features as Darnic gurgled and scratched pitifully at her blade.

"You….You…!" Celenike's teeth ground together and her fists clenched.

Had she been in her right state of mind she may have survived to see the sunrise. Had she managed to reign in her physical reaction, she may have survived to see the sunrise. Had Celenike not seen her attack become inert and assumed it was a deliberate slight on Jeanne's part, she may have survived to see the sunrise.

Unfortunately, she did none of those things, pulling her Mystic Code and taking a strong step toward Jeanne in preparation to make her pay for her insolence.

A disappointed, sad, sigh left the blonde girl's lips as she pulled her blade from Darnic's chest and swiped at Celenike's head with some words that Darnic himself couldn't make out over the haze that was starting to envelop him.

The man collapsed to his side on the dirt, his hazy eyes utterly failing to notice the sad expression of Fiore as he instead watched Celenike's head hit the ground, her body following a second after.

How had he ever known that he would not be facing Jeanne D'Arc: the Holy Maiden Savior, but had instead been met with Jeanne D'Arc: The Saint of the Hundred Years War?

When he woke up from this nightmare, he'd be sure to rid himself of her first. Yes…that's right. Kill…the farmgirl….first…..


Ramesseum Tentyris

Time [00:20:36] February 27th, 2004

The Pyramid shook and rumbled from the aerial assault above it as sphinxes invaded the internal structure, swarming the Servants with everything that they had and still coming up short even with their power and numbers.

Such was the difference between the average Servant and those who stood before the King of Kings and his army.

'Wehem-Masut and Ammit both can't be brought back yet since their bodies were eviscerated and I have so many regular sphinxes on a consistent respawn timer.' Ozymandias thought to himself, swiping his staff towards Scathach and clicking his tongue when the resulting beam of pure heat scattered off a runic barrier of her own making and sliced through three of his own sphinxes like wet paper.

'Alongside that, the unending barrage of both the Servants on myself and the flying fortress has left the Ramesseum Tentyris utterly incapable of putting itself back together. If left in a holding pattern I'm sure to come out the victor through sheer attrition but that's not the kind of victory I want! I want a total victory; I want to force the King of Blades to return because of my overwhelming might! I want a battle truly worthy of two kings!'

Heracles leapt over a sphinx, grabbing it by its mane and flipping it over himself as he landed to use it as a makeshift club. Blood flew high into the air as both sphinxes were shattered beneath the sheer force of his grapple-slam, his fingers untangling from the mane of one sphinx to whip around in a blur. His hand grabbed the elongated fang of a pouncing sphinx and ripped it out of its mouth in one fluid, gruesome, motion. His weapon-holding hand flung out and turned the fang into a sub-sonic projectile that murdered a sphinx going after Xuanzang on the spot, his other hand grabbing the pouncing sphinx by the jaw before it could hit the ground and squeezing.

Medusa and Xuanzang both relied on hit-and-run tactics, using their above-average agility and ingenuity to avoid being tagged by the beasts as they beat around, tied up, and ran the sphinxes around in circles. Medusa slid beneath a Sphinx, turning portions of its skin to stone as she did so, and immediately leaping to avoid the jaws of another, her chained daggers piercing into a sphinxes nap and tugging her away from the charge of two separate beasts that crashed into each other. Xuanzang created three more copies of herself to create enough carnage and chaos to make even her wayward student proud as she hopped from the back of one sphinx to another, spinning mid-air when one caught up and flinging the both of them away from the other with a well-placed palm strike.

Percival had probably the least interesting time of the allied Servants, acting as a mobile wall for his King as she attacked the sphinxes and tried to make her way toward Ozymandias with a bloodlust that the Knight of the Round could honestly say he had never seen out of her before. His spear pierced the throat of a sphinx as its claws screeched along the metal of his pauldron and with a flick of his arm throwing it into one that tried to pounce on him from behind.

Scathach, much the same as Heracles, tore her way through the regenerating sphinxes with utter impunity. Her spears caught the beasts before they could so much as land a strike on her and her primordial runes dealing with crowd control when she found herself with a few too many surrounding her. Her gaze hardened and her teeth grit together as she vaulted herself over a swipe and saw the myriad of enemies around them, realizing that the time to chance it and use her other Noble Phantasm was likely upon them.

She had no idea if the sphinxes could fight the pull of her lands and knew that there was absolutely no chance that Ozymandias would fall to it, but if she didn't do something soon, they would fall to the infinitely regenerating sphinx army of the Egyptian King.

'And I'm not sure about the rest. But I know for a fact that I would never accept such a death.'

The sound of metal screeching on metal echoed through the utterly ruined and crumbling throne room as Artoria finally broke her way through the sphinx horde and struck Ozymandias, her glare firm and cold as her blade ground against his staff.

"Haha! Well done, King of Knights! Perhaps I spoke too soon before! It seems like greater measures need to be taken for you!"

"What-" Artoria barely managed to speak before the barely blocked impact of a sphinx uppercutting her with its paw flung her high into the sky, four of the beasts following through the hole that her body had created.

The clap of thunder overhead heralded the sphinxes' exit from the Ramesseum Tentyris itself, the four of them spreading their wings wide and taking off after the ascending King with renewed vigor.

'Shirou's bloodlust is getting to me, I know that. I do.' A golden light began to emanate from the blade in Artoria's hands as her stance began to shift even as her ascension began to finally slow down.

'But right here, right now, I can't find it in myself to care.'

"Thirteen Seals, verdict."

Seal Thirteen. Decision, start.

Scathach twirled over a sphinx, her spears blurring around her and slicing its armour-like hide to ribbons in a burst of blood and a roar of pain.

"I will show you what lies beyond the world."

The enemy is more powerful than oneself. Approved.

The enemy is not an elemental. Approved.

A dance of Scathach's fingers brought a circular runic barrier to life, protecting herself from four simultaneous beams of heat once more.

"I will lock you away in the darkness from the Age of Gods."

The battle does not involve personal gain. Approved.

The battle is not inhumane. Approved.

Scathach dashed back once she dropped her barrier to avoid being lynched by three sphinxes at once. Backflipping over a sphinx that tried to sneak attack her from behind and using its own back as a springboard to launch herself high into the air, well above the general fighting.

"Tremble, freeze, and shatter into pieces!"

The battle is to live. Approved.

Scathach held her arms out to her sides and deliberately locked gazes with Ozymandias, her expression cracking from its cold façade for just a moment.

"Gate of Skye!"

A stone gate of demons, ghouls, ghosts, and more apparated from thin air. Its doors creaked open with the groan of stone against stone and the chilled winds of the Land of Shadows passing over her as its Authority breached into the battlefield and its grip tightened.

The battle must be to defend Human Order. Approved.

Artoria's eyes widened in alarm at the monotonous ring of her own voice in her head, Excalibur glowing brighter and brighter behind her as the sphinxes did everything that they could to catch up.

Below, the sphinxes began to fight against the pull of the gate. A few lifted off the floor and flew through the gate, never to be seen again, with more and more beginning to grind across the floor towards it despite their best intentions.

One's comrades-in-arms are courageous. Approved.

Scathach watched another three sphinxes fly into the portal before sensing a burst of prana from behind her, turning her head in midair as gravity began to tug down on her once more. Her eyes widened in a mirror of her own eyes as she watched an exact copy of herself fly towards the gate, clearly as surprised and alarmed as the Lancer herself was.

The battle is not against one pure of heart. Approved.

Both Scathachs placed their spears between them, only for them to phase clean through each other as the secondary Scathach cleared the invisible boundary to the Land of Shadows as if it never existed. Both of them collide midair and impact the ground like a meteor, the gate shattering into stone and motes of prana.

Above the Ramesseum Tentyris, the Dendera Electric Bulbs ended their aerial war with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, rolling to fire directly up at Artoria. A beam with the heat of a solar flare, inching into the sky faster than either Artoria or the sphinxes could ever hope to match.

Eight of Thirteen Seals rescinded.

Scathach shook her head and pushed herself onto her knees from her position on the ground, looking around and unable to find any hint of that secondary Scathach from earlier. Her fists clenched on instinct as she shot to her feet to prepare herself for a counterattack, only to pause, an excited gleam entering her eyes as a smile stretched her lips.

"This feeling. I know this! Oh, so that's what happened just then..!"

High above the Ramesseum Tentyris, Artoria's ascent finally reached its zenith. Her stomach began to rise and her hair and clothes fluttered peacefully around her as lightning arced overhead and the glow of Excalibur turned into an almighty beacon of gold.

Down below, Scathach's head snapped up, her eyes widening as she caught the golden light high above the pyramid and the beams racing to wipe it from existence. Her hands traced an entire sentence of Primordial Runes in such a fast blur of motion that even a scant few seconds ago it would have left her head spinning.

"Wait! Isn't that-" Percival yelled, his eyes widening in shock and fear as he recognized what his King was doing, his body instinctually moving to hide behind his pauldron as best he could.

Instinctually Heracles raced towards Xuanzang and Medusa, the Hero of Greece trying to make it to the two Servants most likely to die in the next few seconds so that he could protect them at the cost of himself.

Equally as instinctually, layer upon layer of barrier began to flicker to life around Ozymandias; time crawled to such a halt to the Irish woman's senses that even the regular instant activation of such a spell looked unstable and childish.


"Servants of the Allied Fuyuki Forces-" Scathach called out, her runic sentence pulsing as its effects actualized on the boundary of reality.

And the next moment that the rest of them could comprehend, they were across the island beside Jeanne and the surviving Yggdmillennia masters.

"-Scathach the Lancer is gone. Scathach the living warrior stands before you now."


It was the kind of strike that only the greatest of warriors in history could ever hope to achieve. A speed so fast it made sound look frozen. A technique so refined it made a master look idiotic. A devastation so catastrophic that it made Vesuvius look like a bonfire.

The snap of a human's fingers is said to be the fastest action possible for a human to conduct, being twenty times faster than a regular blink at roughly 7 milliseconds under good conditions. The entirety of Artoria's slash, from one shoulder to the other with all the arc in between, was even faster still. A slash that started and ended in the span of 3 milliseconds, an almighty strike that began with the approach of a beam that could wipe even her from the face of existence-

-and ended with the Ramesseum Tentyris severed in two.


Ozymandias stumbled forward a step as his beloved pyramid began to weather the assault of the Hanging Gardens. His already beyond-ruined throne room, now sporting a lovely view of the growing storm above, beginning to crack and crumble to absolute ruin.

The core of the Ramesseum Tentyris had been shattered –and thus its structural stability– he already knew that. Another few seconds of this onslaught would destroy his pyramid beyond its ability to sustain his mana supply, he knew that already as well.

His eyes snapped to the falling form of Artoria as she struck the ground like a meteor, the dust around her whipping up and blowing away in an instant to reveal her form to him. Her now calmed expression was juxtaposed by the dust, soot, dribbles of blood, and grime that coated her body as she turned to face him as well, her blade roaring with golden mana even after her decisive strike a moment earlier.

"My Pyramid is shattered. My allies are defeated. My Master is dead. And the King of Blades isn't even here. There's no point in continuing this any longer." Ozymandias sighed, breathing in deeply as he stared at the thick, dark clouds above them.

The King dropped to a crouch as fiery golden mana exploded from every pore of his body, the ground heating to a red slag in a fraction of a second. His hair blew up into gravity-defying spikes and his eyes glowed from the sheer output of his mana while widened in frenzied glee.


Artoria's eyes widened and her lips pressed together tightly, the roaring aura of Excalibur glowing ever brighter as she launched herself forward in a burst of prana and a shattering of what remained of the ground.


His cry was certain, as if the man had the knowledge to see into the future and knew that it would one day come to pass. Simply because he knew that one day –perhaps far in the future or perhaps far, far in the past– the two of them would be summoned to fight again, Servant v. Servant.

'Ahhh. To have faced you in my life, what a spectacle that would have been!'

The blasts of mana broke through the outer walls of the pyramid and began to gouge into the floor and earth around them, brilliant sparkling lights of blue and purple accenting and emphasizing the daylight-like orange glow of the King of Kings.


"I promise you, Ozymandias, I shall." Artoria whispered, grinding her forward foot into the ground and heaving her blade up and over her shoulder.

Ozymandias's hooked staff materialized in his hand, a brilliant orange disk trimmed in gold forming in the center of its hook at the exact same moment as the entire structure around them began to melt and slag. The beams of pure mana still rain down around them, bringing the crystallization of Ozymandias's greatest riches to its knees and more. His very skin began to glow like superheated metal and golden flames bursting from his eyes as he gripped his staff with both hands and began an upward swing.



Searing might soared into the sky, illuminating the island much the same as daybreak and lighting every tree nearby the pyramid on fire simply from their proximity to the flaring golden pillar of light. The clouds parted around the pillar and then began to chase after it, rising and swirling around the phenomena as if a tornado rising to challenge heaven rather than tormenting the earth. Lightning struck the trees around the island and the churning ocean waves as they grew larger and wilder during their incessant battering of the island.

Everything disappeared into the blinding golden light of Ozymandias; the King of King's final strike was as large, striking, and every bit as eye-catching as the man himself had been. An ending on the man's own terms, an ending with as much spectacle as he demanded in his life, an ending that forced the world to pay attention and awe in its magnitude.

The only kind of ending that Ramesses II, King of Kings and God-King of Egypt, could ever accept.


Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Time [00:21:02] February 27th, 2004

A tornado of fire froze solid as a wave of ice exploded through the throne room of the Hanging Gardens, nothing escaping its chilled grasp save for the Wise Queen of Assyria herself. Her barrier lowered itself as the green mist throughout the room re-established itself again as both Le Fay and Pendragon apparated throughout her throne room like it was their personal playground.

Over and over again the two of them flickered across the room, green lines of thaumaturgy stretched across Le Fay's cheeks. Their glow grew more intense as she breathed in, with small streams of that same green mist billowing out of her mouth with her exhalation like smoke from a dragon's maw.

'Keeping the purification spell up isn't intensive but it's highly aggravating, one mishap and I'm getting a lung-full of poison mist from the poisoner herself, not bound to be a pleasant experience, that's for certain.' Le Fay thought to herself, clenching her teeth tightly as she did a short-range teleport behind her twin self.

Lightning arced from the witch's hands as she prepared to strike, only for it to dissipate entirely as her attention, like a moth to a flame, was drawn to the golden light that shone through the high windows of the throne room.

A shockwave of pure condensed air picked Le Fay up and threw her across the room, impacting the wall of the throne room with a crack of stone and a scream of pain, the lines across her cheeks flickering but remaining as she flaked off of the small indent in the stone wall and collapsed to her hands and knees.

'That's Artoria using Excalibur! I'd know that golden light anywhere, which is how I know that Le Fay knows exactly what it is as well!'

Spears of ice from a fountain nearby hurled themselves at the downed form of Le Fay, bouncing off a hastily erected wall of hexagonal barriers as the woman pushed herself to her feet and stumbled back to avoid the oversized great axe that nearly came down directly on her neck. Courtesy, of course, from Morgan Pendragon.

Who wasted absolutely zero time in pressing her advantage and reached out towards her twisted half, curling her fingers slightly as she lurched forward. The world seemed to warp ever so slightly as a singularity of theoretically infinite mass spawned to life and decayed in the same second between the two Morgans, pulling the unprepared Le Fay off her feet and through the air towards Pendragon. The latter of whom was fully prepared for the intense gravitational pull of her own spell and thus already had an ornate golden dagger materialized in her grip to skewer the flying witch.

A gurgled scream left the off-center Le Fay as another exact copy of her appeared a meter to her right, both of their bodies flickering slightly as the dagger in Pendragon's hand phased clean through the abdomen of the original. Her teeth gritted as she ground her heels into the floor to slide to a stop and spin around at the same time, a wall of hexagonal barriers defending herself from a bolt of lightning in the meantime.

'She created a perfect illusion of herself and reflected its state upon herself, clever. But Artoria's Excalibur is sure to have shaken her.'

"What's wrong, Witch? You seem awfully absorbed in that golden light outside?" She taunted, snapping both of her fingers and sending a small hailstorm of stone spikes raining down on her other half's head.

"You know exactly why! That stupid blade that refused to choose us! The rightful ruler of that ungrateful country!" A shockwave of Le Fay's own blocked the earthen spikes, a ball of iron materializing above her palm.

"The country chose us, but the people chose her! You cannot continue to dwell on what ifs and possiblys!" Pendragon argued back, gasping as she lurched to the side to dodge the iron ball, feeling it slow to a halt and follow after her yet again.


"What ifs? What ifs!? We were betrayed! We were promised the world and then had it torn away from us without so much as a blinked eye! Treated as the villain in the story of Arthur's life!"

A pinpoint beam of fire exploded the iron ball into thousands of shards of molten shrapnel that both women erected barriers to avoid falling victim to. Pendragon charged forward yet again with a waved hand, the floor beneath Le Fay transmuting into a giant iron bear trap.

"Because we were the villain!"

"WE WERE THE ONLY ONES RIGHT!" Le Fay snapped back, a vein in her temple throbbing as her prana exploded out of her, ripping the bear trap to pieces as Pendragon closed the distance.

"No. You were never right. And I don't need to prove that now."

"Well done, Queen of England!" Semiramis called out, a magic circle floating above her head.

Le Fay's eyes widened in shock, realizing that while she had been so focused on her other half, the actual final blow in this combination was Semiramis herself, who had been given plenty of time to build up quite a bit of mana.

'Technique like Artoria-'

Pendragon slammed a foot into the ground and suddenly shot back in a burst of prana, six blades of shadow elongating from Le Fay's own and rising into the air to not only trap her physical escape options but also to bring down directly onto her head. A spherical barrier around Le Fay ground all six blades of shadow to a halt right before they were wiped from existence under the unrelenting light of Semiramis's beam.

'The beam was large enough to block off a lot of my short-range apparition options and my other half was more than likely ready for me to move. Staying here and weathering this assault is clearly the best option so that I can calm down and end this to go and finally deal with King Ar-'

The swirling 'pop' of mana from behind her, signature of her own short-range apparition method, sunk her stomach to her toes as she began to spin on the spot. Her green eyes widened in alarm as she saw her silver-haired, blue-eyed copy reaching forward with a hand coated in prana.

'I was wrong!? Pendragon is actually the finisher!?'

The barrier flickered in and out of reality as the beam of mana came to an end, green lines of thaumaturgy spreading across the witch's stomach and chest as she Reinforced it in preparation for the strike that was too close to dodge now. Blinking reflexively in surprise when she felt no impact even through her Reinforcement, having expected a mana burst or something of a similar nat-

The purification spell over her nose and mouth shattered into motes of prana, acidic green eyes widening in horror as the whites of her eyes went red and a mixture of blood and bile rose from her gut.

'-And the unpredictability of Shirou.' Pendragon finished in her mind, watching her blonde-haired copy heave with full cheeks in an attempt to try and avoid vomiting blood.

An ultimately futile effort given the severity of the poison already running through her system, but neither Pendragon nor Semiramis truly believed that Le Fay had the peace of mind to recognize that right now.

"And finally-" Pendragon muttered, the air –and mist alongside it– swirling towards and around her fist before exploding in a shockwave that cracked the stone beneath their feet and threw both of them back.

But whereas Pendragon was not only able to orient herself midair and land properly, with the aid of a couple of spontaneous doves, Le Fay was utterly incapable of doing either. The witch of ancient Britain vomited poisoned blood as she flipped and twirled across the throne room before bouncing off the floor with a solid crack! And colliding with a wall once more.

"How powerful is the poison running through her system?" Pendragon asked, turning to look at Semiramis as she spoke, even as she began to walk towards the downed witch.

"Powerful enough that even her purification spell won't save her so long as she stays in this fortress." Semiramis replied smugly, watching in silence as Morgan approached Morgan.

Gags and huffs of anger met Pendragon's ears as she walked up to the hunched-over, shivering form of the infamous enemy of the Round Table.

"Y-You bitch!"

Le Fay spun around on the floor and threw her arm to the side, immediately gagging again and hunching over as a layer of sweat began to form over her skin.

"Y-You call this a victory!? T-This is nothing! Nothing!"

Cool blue eyes stared hauntingly down at the bumbling, weakening, form of her future mistakes as she tried to rise to her feet and failed. The blonde magus fell to her ass and collapsed onto her back for a second as all of her strength seemed to leave her for a brief moment.

"You're just l-like them! Y-You don't u-understand! You can't s-see the TRUTH! YOU C-CAN'T UNDERSTAND O-OUR OWN FEELINGS!?" Le Fay screamed, glaring up at Pendragon as she swiped her hand, electricity crackling around her fingers only for her body to jerk violently as dry heaves and wet coughs wracked her form.

"There's nothing 'our' about this. These are your feelings, Witch, not mine. The day I agree with any of this will never come to pass."


"What a pitiful sight. So, this is what you turn into when in pain?" Semiramis scoffed as she walked over, raising a teasing eyebrow in Pendragon's direction and getting a flat look in return.

"I can handle pain without screaming like a banshee, thank you."


"You know you can't afford to do this, Queen." Semiramis said seriously, staring Pendragon dead in the eyes as she did so.

Their staring contest continued for another few moments amidst Le Fay's crazed screaming and rambles. Pendragon finally gave up with a small sigh and an aversion of her gaze from the Assyrian Queen.

"Yes. I know."

"A-Awwwww! W-Well l-look at youuuu~ T-The little-" Le Fay was cut off by a wet cough which stained the floor with even more blood. "-P-Pet is d-doing as her master t-told her!"

"I wish I could say that I hope that one day you'll learn to look past all this anger, but we both know that will never happen." Pendragon muttered darkly, a long katana spawning in her grip.

A familiar-looking katana, one that Shirou happened to wear around his hip quite often.

"W-wait what a-are-"

"It's time to rid myself of you….And find a new path."

Even amidst her weakening body and the growing puddle of blood beneath her, the witch's prana began to flare around her. Her eyes alight with dark, unbreakable fury even as sweat rolled down her cheeks and blood dribbled down her chin.



"Are you well, Queen of England?"

"I just-" Morgan stumbled backward and fell onto her ass, letting out a long, exhausted breath. "I just need a moment to emotionally recover and catch my breath, that's all…"

"Hmph. Very well, you may rest on my floor for a moment. Do be sure to clean up your mess."

"H-Hah! It's only the least I could do, given your hospitality."

"Good, I expect it to be spotless once you're done!" Semiramis called out, approaching her throne once more, leaving Pendragon all by herself, watching the body of her other half fade away into golden particles.

'I'm finally….free.'


Omake: How Ozymandias should have gone out

"Go." Ra said, handing his youngest child a spark of fire, of light and of solar radiation unlike anything else seen upon earth's surface since the days of his first life. "Do a crime."

Ozymandias grinned as he took the spark, clapping his hands together and slowly sliding them apart to show a golden dagger of fire and holy power. With an iron-clad grip he held it in a reverse grip in his hand, his eyes wide and manic as he turned towards Artoria.


A moment later, as he disappeared in a pillar of fire and golden light, the King of King's could have sworn that he heard a sound distinctly like that of a facepalm.

Surely not, though, he went out with dignity and grace, after all.

There was, yet again, the sound of a facepalm.


I could not for the life of me explain where the hell that omake came from.

I wanted to make something cooler, something funnier, something perhaps alluding to the two scenes I was drawing reference from for his death. And instead, my mind went blank and before I realized it, that was what was sitting inside my document.

No, I will not change it. I'm lazy.

In other words, the servant portion of the fight is finally over after 14,800 words and I could not be any happier. Only one more chapter and both the arc, and more importantly this fight, will be over.

I absolutely loved this fight conceptually but after around FOURTY THOUSAND words of this shit I'm beginning to get real, real tired. Not to say that I hate what I'm writing or that I have to force myself to write, but I most definitely need a break after this fight ends. So, June will probably be a break month just to try and recharge a little.

In other news, I have started quite a few manga in the past month, the most prominent of which was Blue Lock. While the artwork is fantastic and the characterization is great, the motivations and goals are fucking goofy as hell and always make me laugh when I don't think it should XD

I've also graduated university so yay! And I'm actually beginning to make some money off my original story so I'm super stoked about that. (Its really not a massive amount but making anything is exciting).

Speaking of, welcome one and all to the corner of shilling!
Discord: ctMzhq3 OR plasmaassassin
Original Story: Young Swordmaster's Journey (On Royal Road)

And finally,


AidenJacksonSmithDSBB: Nothing brings me more joy.

Gwynx: A fast fix to the problem, and a fast way to introduce another, for sure.

Zensored: No no. Shirou's hands are rated E for everything.

Tf330129: Thank you very much, that actually helps.

Sandwich-kun the 3rd: Glad to hear that! The chapter was the one I was looking forward to the most and there are still parts that I'm definitely not totally satisfied with so hearing that you enjoyed it helps.

Tkorn1001: Hephaestus, Susanoo and Shiva

SentinalSlice: I think you're the only one rooting for them, good job!

Swiftcaliston: Its Mahoraga and just a little. I wasn't drawing a direct reference while writing it but it might have subconsciously played a part.

Darkscythe Drake: Its pretty much pure Divine Spirit.

AnimeFan13579: I really don't have much to say other than I absolutely loved your review and the depth that you went into, keep it up!

Avo385: So, while Shirou's eyes are called Fairy Eyes, their full name is actually Glam Sight: Fairy Eyes. What you're thinking about is the Fairy Eyes that full, pure-blooded fairies have. Shirou's only let him understand and adapt to information that the human brain usually can't process.

Sickboy398: Kuro's ability is genuinely really fun and has a lot of creative applications, so hopefully I get to show a few more later on.

Tyracus: I'm glad to see that you enjoyed the chapter, and honestly I'm just happy you were interested in the Illya scenes, they seem to be a bit of a miss with a lot of people.

Sons of death: Good.

Conner Kumiai: Control is meant to be creepy, so I'm glad that that came across properly. Also, Altrouge isn't the most mentally stable on the best of days.

Mythic Imagination: I really had fun with both of those points and I'm glad that they made sense, at least vaguely.

Codywhite162: That's correct.

Primordial Inscriptor Z-09: A Reality Marble has limits to what it can achieve, already I'm pushing their abilities a little with UBW and BMA in my universe so having any character be omni-present within their RM would just be game-breaking.

Adro-Sama: Well, there's limits. But yes, it's a very strong ability.

IgnisPrimus: There's a couple things you're missing. At the time of that statement Ishtar was pure SF cruelty. But at the current moment you can think of her as SF Ishtar with pieces of FGO Ishtar mixed in.

Zukafew119: Hello hello once again, you actually managed to post earlier this month, congrats! As for your reviews there's a couple things I need to rectify. One, Gray herself can't remove the Dead Apostle curse, this is a very unique situation. Two, Rho Aias was not supercharged by Astraea, this Shirou is just stronger than Canon. Three, Kama was outside of UBW when she brought up Mara and Sakura's RM chant is much longer than 3 lines, that was just the equivalent of when Archer does the chant before nuking Heracles. As for my anger over being compared to Strange Fake, that story has plagued me for so long. Twice, mere days after I've released a chapter either the trailer or the actual anime dropped involving things that I had in the latest chapter. I'm cursed, I swear. And in an rapid round, yes technically a Nightkin or Nightmare could still procreate as usual to my knowledge, no I never believed that the Automatons were gone for good, and I didn't see the solar eclipse because I live in Australia. Thank you once again for your review and I look forward to seeing you next chapter!


It's now time for me to go because its pretty late when I'm writing this.

In other words,

Ozymandias created a literal solar eclipse at midnight, Scathach is alive once more and that has implications, and Artoria is one (1) piece of bad news away from reclaiming England just to gain the political power to lock Shirou down in a place that nothing else can get close to.