Hiiii~ Another chapter is here!

Not much to say other than thank you to my newest patrons: Chadzilla, Lifirion, LK123, Cristhian Crespo, Five Hargreeves, Shoval, Alejandro Mota, Big Tyson, Jackie Zhou, Lachlan Hayes, Will and Mathew Fletcher. Y'all rock!!!!

Next update is Broly.

Thats is all,

Author NimtheWriter out!

Beta read by Shigiya and Fluffy Slayer


Beta read by Shigiya and Fluffy Slayer

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-Feoh-

"She tried to do what?"

Within a dimly lit room, Emiya found himself sighing as he recounted the events of his turbulent encounter with Alicia. Olga, having been assigned a heavily guarded room beneath the castle so that Alicia could watch her like a hawk, was nonchalantly lounging on one of the plush chairs.

From what he gathered, it seemed the Dark Elf used her room primarily as a study. Opting to sleep in a more luxurious setting with Chloe by her side, there were plenty of rooms like the one he found her in scattered throughout the castle.

"Do I really need to explain it again? I kinda want to forget that it ever happened." muttered Archer, standing across from the scantily clad dark elf.

"No. I'm just having a hard time believing it, given she tried to decapitate you just recently. Hmm, perhaps Celestine's blessings have the unintended side effect of inducing a certain bipolarity in everyone… it would certainly clarify the perplexing interactions I've had with some of them. Especially Maia, her prolonged and intense gaze leaves me uncertain of her intentions. I can't discern whether she harbors thoughts of killing me or assaulting my body as Vault had tried." She mumbled while perusing the pages of an ancient tome she had 'borrowed' from Alicia's library.

The rhythmic sound of steel clashing with wood filled the background as Chloe practiced her swordsmanship on a wooden post. Both of them had remained mostly silent during their stay in the castle, causing neither chaos, nor trouble for any of the Princess Knights. A reality that Emiya found hard to believe at first, especially for Chloe, whom he considered a potential wild card between the two. Someone who could go completely berserk at the slightest hint of slander towards Olga.

Or just anyone that looked at her.

The woman was a bit of a fanatic for her queen.

Yet he was presently surprised, not only did she stay calm and composed since arriving here…

"Hah! Die you fucking human!"

But she also seemed to have found another outlet for her anger, continuously stabbing the wooden post adorned with a lazily drawn face wearing a deadpan expression and white hair… as long as she wasn't directing that aggression towards him, then he didn't mind.

Archer couldn't tell if this was of her own accord or if Olga had ordered the girl to lay low in the meantime. Regardless, he didn't care, simply content with the results. It would be a shame if he had to deal with more problems concerning these two when Alicia's case was already giving him a headache.

Then came the matter with Celestine, their previous conversation still fresh in his mind and one that he hadn't stopped pondering about.

"I speak the truth, there's no reason for me to deceive you and I'm pretty certain you have heard about what happened. Also, take it easy on Maia. I know she can be a bit immature and a tad foolish, but I doubt she will try something against you without a good reason. Stubborn as she is, the girl has shown improvement since I first met her."

"That's quite the high praise coming from you, human. Should I be concerned that your judgment has been tainted by the pleasure of flesh? Even a blind man can see the connection you two share, not to mention how Maia keeps behaving around you. Like a 'love-sick puppy', as you humans would say."

Emiya shook his head. While he couldn't deny they had shared an intimate moment together — that did not mean his opinion was biased to such a degree. "If we were to share such a moment, would you see me as an ally and protect me and Chloe from the vile clutches of the bottom feeders in this kingdom?"

He nearly choked upon hearing her say that until it dawned on him what she was trying to do. "Ignoring the fact that I'm not interested in either you or your body, something tells me that you'll end up shoving a dagger down my throat if I so much as hug you."

"Preposterous. A dagger wouldn't work on you and I'm not fast or strong enough to accomplish that. I can enchant my womb with a death curse if you ever decide to have your way with me. So any intercourse will lead to an instant demise of my 'partner'. Though I must admit, curses are not my field of expertise, even if I had covered myself in curses and traps to push back any would-be forces. I believe Kaguya has such a talisman covering her intimate area… maybe I can ask for some pointers."

Her tone remained as monotone as ever as the Dark Elf continued to flip through her book about deadly curses.

"Though forgive me if I don't believe you that you are not interested in my body. You may have your mysteries, but that is a falsehood you can't conceal from me. Men will always be true to their nature, deep down in their souls"

Her eyes twitched as she recalled the scene back at the pond, remembering how those three degenerates fornicated with each other, showing no regards to their surroundings! Olga's hands clenched around the book as a hint of a blush emerged on her face as she remembered every detail of that night. This man was an expert liar, but she refused to be misled by such a blatant lie!

"I don't care if you believe me or not," Emiya answered without missing a beat, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed, casting occasional glances at Chloe's movements as he assessed her threat level. But as expected… she hadn't improved in the slightest.

"If you want people to look at you like a bunch of perverted horn dogs, go walk around the city. I'm sure your attire will attract quite a bit of lustful gazes. At least you'll have all the attention to validate your bruised ego." Not to mention, despite his previous warning, the woman kept wandering around the castle with that attire of hers that resembled a one-piece swimsuit more than anything. Unfortunately, he'd long since given up rationalizing their choice of such armor.

Maia mentioned that it made the monsters avoid targeting their vital areas because they didn't want to ruin their possible pleasure toy. An explanation that Emiya gave no comment to and just ignored.

Olga tore her attention from the book's pages and casted a side-glance at him. "I'm content with my current state. Although If I were to encounter yet another of those humans eyeing me like a piece of meat on display, it may well just propel me over the precipice. Regrettably, you'd sever my hand before II could cast even a single spell. Shame."

He shrugged, "You're wrong, I'd never subject you to such a fate… I would aim for the head instead." His smirk elicited an eye roll from the woman, accompanied by a subtle upward twitch of her lips, a gesture that could generously be called a smirk.

"Oh my, how honored I feel to receive such a distinguished end. Although, I would prefer if you dropped that colossal sword on me instead, at least it would have taken out half the kingdom along with me. Better yet, fire some of those explosive spells that destroyed my home, my lands, and my life's work within a couple of seconds while I was in the hands of my would-be rapist."

Hm, so she still believed that his usage of broken Noble Phantasms was a spell, not that she was completely wrong, he just wondered what kind of face Olga would make if she realized that those projectiles were twisted blades that he pumped with Magical Energy.

"Ah, it appears we've deviated from our previous conversation, Archer. Returning to the matter at hand,let me express my viewpoint. I find it challenging to believe that any Princess Knight is capable of such change. Humans in general are an obstinate breed, more so than even the elves with their centuries of experience and lifespan. They are an unruly bunch, capable of wreaking unimaginable havoc not only upon themselves but on everything around them. My current predicament may wear the veneer of kindness, but it owes its existence to Celestine. Without her intervention, I would have been paraded down the streets and set ablaze by any one of the other six. So, placing trust in such individuals is a daunting task."

Emiya discerned a trace of bitterness in her voice. Though he lacked the finer details of Olga's past it was evident that she still harbored resentment towards humanity as a whole. An opinion that wasn't going to disappear anytime soon.

"Forgive me if I can't empathize with you. I can't pity you nor attempt to understand your circumstances. Regardless of the cause of your hatred towards humanity, setting free an army of demons whose specific goal is to pillage, rape, breed and kill does not sit well with me at all."

Woosh!

His hand moved just in time to snatch the blade of a dagger thrown at him between his fingers. Chloe glared back, her arm outstretched as she panted from her practice. Emiya dropped the weapon, before redirecting his attention back to Olga.

"Also, be careful with what you say here, if any of these words were to leave the room then the Knights stationed outside won't hesitate to report your conduct to Alicia. Despite her recent demeanor, I'm pretty sure you'll be executed faster than I could intervene once more."

A statement which Olga didn't deny.

"Returning to my initial point, Alicia attempted to assault me physically. However I want you to understand that she was under the effects of a potion. Kaguya suggested keeping this matter under wraps for the time being, assuring me that she'll inform the other Princess Knights herself at a later date. Unfortunately I harbor no trust in her, which is precisely why I've brought this matter to you."

"A potion you say?" Her interest was sparked, and she awaited further details, to which Archer willingly obliged.

"It's one possibility. Other theories such as being bewitched, hypnotized, drunk, or even food poisoning are on the table — Yet, considering what transpired withRadomira when she was captured…"

The Dark Elf rose from her seat, adopting a decidedly more serious demeanor upon hearing the possibility of the matter being related to the Tiefling. Worry and anger flashed in her eyes as she approached him. "Those accursed pig brothers. It would be a gift to the world if they had been devoured by the humans." Although the young girl seldom spoke about her past, she was still very much traumatized by her time as a slave. Both he and Olga managed to obtain fragments of information from her.

"It's just an idea. We can't confirm it until Alicia regains her senses. On that note, it would have been appreciated if you exhibited this level of concern for other young girls who fell prey to your demons… would have saved a lot of lives." His words struck a nerve as her magic flared for a moment as she clenched her hand.

"... Silence."

"It does pique my curiosity though. Why the sudden concern for this Tiefling? I highly doubt it's because, all of a sudden, you're feeling a surge of maternal feelings within your heart. Perhaps you see her as another addition to your collection of bodyguards like Chloe?" This time, Archer disappeared from his spot just as an armored foot struck the wall.

"Don't you talk to he—argh!" The blonde's words choked off as a hand grabbed her heels right before a strong kick broke her balance, sending her crashing to the ground. "Gah!"

Before her head could even rise, a knee came straight from upwards and pinned the girl's face to the ground, rendering her completely immobile.

"You did better than last time, five whole minutes without losing your temper, that's a record. You could almost say I'm slightly impressed."

To his amusement, she growled, staring bloody murder at him. Her body quivered as she attempted to apply more force, her face reddening not just from the physical strain but likely also from the humiliation. And if you could listen closely, you could hear heavy breathing.

"If you had your fill of playing with Chloe, I would prefer we return to the matter at hand." Olga said, shooting an annoyed look in his direction. Archer rolled his eyes, releasing the blonde Dark Elf as she quickly got up from the ground and staggered behind, still affected by the previous hold. "Chloe, as for you, give us a moment. It's better you don't try to antagonize the man — he is intentionally pushing your buttons for amusement."

Fortunately, Chloe heeded the advice, reluctantly returning to slashing the wooden post with increased vigor. Olga shifted her attention back to him.

"Well, I was going to tell you this sooner or later, especially since Celestine is already aware of my past history before I assumed the mantle of Dark Queen," she said, gazing at the ceiling for a few seconds, gathering her thoughts. Archerpatiently waited by the side for her to continue.

"I guess Radomira reminds me of my sister."

"Your… sister?" This was the first time Archer ever heard a mention of the Dark Queen having a relative, let alone a sister. Even as he heard her speak in the past, she had given him the impression of being an orphan or a child raised without any siblings. The local populace liked to compare her to the opposite of Celestine, an evil bitch formed by the hatred of demons towards humanity, or some other nonsense.

"Is it so hard to believe that someone like me has family members alive in this world?" Olga asked, chuckling at Archer's reaction. She found it more amusing than anything else, a growing fondness for the idea that this man wasn't as impervious, both mentally or physically, as he liked to portray. "While I understand why you may have such a reaction about this news, I want you to know that it may not be what you expect, and my connection with my little sister has been long lost." She tried to speak further but couldn't find the right words to utter. Archer waited patiently.

Deciding to take a shot in the dark, given her previous animosity towards human civilization, he asked, "Does it have anything to do with Celestine or the Princess Knights and the humans continuously attacking the Dark Lands and enslaving your race?"

Olga sighed, leaning back on the other side of the room and picking up the book again. "As much as I would like for that to be the case, which is honestly ironic now that I think about it, such is not, I'm afraid. But her situation and mine are very different from what you may be imagining. We haven't seen each other since she was… exiled from Nidavellir and have not heard any news about her whereabouts despite having used all of the resources at my disposal to find her."

"..."

"Pathetic aren't I? A big sister who failed her little sister, utterly incapable of saving her when she needed me the most." Her voice wavered, revealing a vulnerability he had never detected before. "For all I know, she could have easily been captured by some humans and treated as a slave… or worse, she could be dead right now."

"Why not have Celestine find her?" He asked, pondering the actual utility of the Goddess Reborn's powers if Olga hadn't already considered them for locating her sister.

The Dark Elf sighed, "It's no use, while Celestine's powers are diverse, they aren't as powerful as you might think. She can't simply employ divination on anyone at any time and pinpoint their exact location. There needs to be some form of connection binding them. For instance, she can use such spells on her Princess Knights and her kingdom for obvious reasons — but she's never even met Mystoria, let alone have any connections with her."

"... I see."

If that were the case, then how was she able to view his past? What allowed her to have the connection to not only foresee his entire life but also peer into his occupation as a Counter Guardian? It resembled the dream cycles far too much for his liking, yet they didn't have any Master/Servant contract between them. He had used Rule Breaker on himself in the past yet found no changes.

'Is this your doing, Alaya? What game are you playing here…' Despite his thoughts, even that seemed like a stretch for the bow wielder. That entity isn't the type to play games or pull tricks on anyone in general. 'It makes no sense for her to be connected to me without some external factors I'm missing.'

Perhaps it was the old man? That seemed plausible but he couldn't confirm his theory without meeting him again.

"While I sympathize with your situation, I can't exactly help you with this matter. While I may have experience tracking targets, locating someone like your sister, of whom you lack information about her current whereabouts, would be difficult. It can take months or even years to find her and that is an investment I can't afford to make."

"I know, that's why I never planned to ask you for help." She said with a dry voice. Yet her next action had him raise an eyebrow, her fingers moving through the air with a small figure of light forming and shape. Striking white gray hair similar to his, dark skin color on the lighter side compared to Olga, but similar to Chloe. Purple eyes that held no trace of animosity or repressed hatred. Seeing the figure, Olga couldn't help but show a gentle smile that he hadn't seen on her face before. "Perhaps I'm clinging onto the illusion of hope, but if there are gods out there who pity me and are willing to spare an innocent from the consequences of my actions — then I wish they'd help us to one day find her again. This is the last memory I have of her, pure and innocent… untainted by this world."

He approached, getting a close look at the figure. "For someone who is your sister, you two don't really look all that similar."

Olga shrugged, letting the image break apart before his eyes. "That may be so, but she is most certainly my sister. If by pure luck you end up finding her one day… Please save her."

"And why should I do that?" Archer asked, his stern voice echoing within the large room. "Perhaps my recent actions may have given you people the impression that I'm a charitable person who likes to play hero— but that is the furthest from the truth. I see no reason to go out of my way to save someone of no use to my goals. A waste of time in all honesty."

His words visibly upset the Dark Elf yet she remained silent, Emiya wanted to make this matter clear to her. He wasn't planning or even willing to go to such lengths for Olga and her sister. While he sympathized with both of their situations… That was about it.

"I know, you are a hateful man," she whispered as he made no attempts to dissuade that notion.

"I know, a bit shocking that you haven't come to terms with it given I am also a human."

"A human?" At that, she scoffed dismissively, returning to her reading whilst concealing her face. "No human should have withstood the array of enhancement spells I casted upon you back then. Executing them flawlessly, as if you once wielded comparable levels of powers. These enhancements typically shattered bones and inflicted excruciating pain upon other Dark Elves. Chloe herself struggled with a significantly watered-down version. It transcends mere experience, your body is not of a human, even if it possesses all the characteristics of one. Whatever you are, you are no human… or at least not anymore."

Emiya remained still for the next few seconds, observing Olga with caution, pondering her motives. Despite her impassioned narrative about her past and the injustices inflicted upon her sister, he couldn't fully invest trust in her. There lingered a lingering doubt, a suspicion that she could easily backstab him. Even if her tale held true, she wielded the power to turn it into a formidable weapon against him should he allow himself to be ensnared by it.

"What can I say? Perhaps you're overanalyzing the situation, or your magic spells have gotten better with practice. As far as I know, you've never tried to cast spells on people beyond the confines of Eostia, am I right?" he remarked, observing her nod hesitantly.

"At the very least, it's highly probable that the spell merely happened to be effective on me due to some stroke of luck. Your study of this phenomenon has likely been limited by the constraints of your environment, preventing you from experimenting on various individuals. I can assure you with certainty that I am human and have always been for a considerable portion of my life. Don't entertain the notion that I am something extraordinary, like a god in human guise. If that were the case, I would have completed my job much sooner." Emiya stated. Olga, unfortunately, was unable to determine the veracity of his words, as her magic lacked the ability to instantly detect falsehood.

"Why did you come here in the first place? I doubt it's solely to inform me about Alicia's little incident this morning," she questioned, circling back to their initial topic.

"I want to ascertain whether Alicia was drugged by some potion or hypnotic influence. If it's the former, then this place is not safe for anyone."

"What?" The woman in front tilted her head, "I don't follow. Even if it turns out that some humans got their hands on Radomira's aphrodisiac, the chances of them replicating the component is next to impossible. Not to mention a certain someone blew up the last Master level alchemist and mage of the kingdom who had even a remote chance at recreating it. Without Kin, I doubt Celestine can or even wants replicate the aphrodisiac, even with the help of her library… she never had any talent whatsoever when it involved the delicate arts of alchemy, that clutz."

The more he listened to her description, the more apparent it became how close they must have been in the past.

He acknowledged Olga's words, but in truth he was contemplating if this wasn't the creation of that entity from his world. The number of Beasts were few and his interaction with this one already crossed off a majority of them given their nature. The chances of it being the King of the Demon Gods were zero, a laughable idea to begin with. Unlikely to be the second one given the way that red figure spoke and how Tiamat was portrayed, just by taking the characteristics of this world and what he'd experienced so far to come up with a theory of what aspect could have attracted that entity left him with two choices.

'And neither of those two are good news, especially her…'

His eyes gazed at the floor, memories flashing of a past, amalgamated with the countless memories of the many versions of Emiya Shirou. One in particular that he could barely recall involving the body of a certain sister-like figure. A few years older than the one he'd seen in Fuyuki when Rin went to study for her English classes.

"—cher?"

On the floor, the stench of gunpowder lingered, and the echo of a fired bullet resounded across the white hall.

Why… Why couldn't he recall such a memory ever appearing in the past? The clattering of the firearm she held as it fell next to her body, a pool of blood forming around her body as a faint whisper escaped her mouth in that second.

'I'm sorry…I'm sorry…'

No, that wasn't him, this memory didn't happen in his past — but they weren't false memories. Another version... Another Emiya? The more he concentrated the clearer that image became. The weight of the weapon he held, smoke coming out of the barrel, and the weight of his blade in the other hand as he stared at the lifeless body of a woman in a green sundress. Hedidn'tmeanttodoit,hisbodymovedonitsownitwashisfau—

ForgetForgetForgetFORGETFORGET!

F̢̥̦̬̩̯͍̖̖ͪ͊̽ͪ̌͗͒̍͘͟͢͝O̵̓Ȑ̴̴̷̢̢̢̙̬͍̱̥̲̤̪̬̰͒͋͊͌̑͗̄̓ͩͯ͆͘͡͞͠͞Ģ̵̵̴̴̯͓̬̘͖͔̞̖̬̹͕̱̺̂́́͛͒͆͌͊̐́̍̊͗̽̆ͪ̂͛͗̄͊͛ͥ͞Ȩ̸̷̙͚̯̯̤̼͔̰̪̦̖̺̝̟̩̙̩̦͆̃̊̿͑͑̈̏ͯ͐ͥ̕͝͡͡Ṱ̨̯̪̥̣̤̝̘̣͚̖͋̍̂͐ͮ͐̔͑̃ͨͤ͌̃̉͘͟!

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"Archer!"

"—!"

Clarity returned to the bowman as the hazy white hallways vanished, leaving him now staring back at cautious yellow eyes. The change was sudden enough for him to take a step back, his surroundings reverting to the previous dark and damp dungeon cell with candlelights illuminating the space around him. His widened eyes took a moment to return to the ever familiar frown — though this one deeper than usual.

"What happened to you?" Olga asked as she now stood in front of him, close enough to be within reach for a stab to his vitals, her hand glowing with a transparent film of red green magical energy. "I kept calling your name but you stopped responding and continued to stare at the ground. In fact, you weren't breathing either."

"...What did you do?" He asked, his tone sharper than ever with Bakuya appearing within his right arm. "What spell did you try to cast on me before I zoned out?"

"W-What? I did no such thing! I was just trying to check your mind as you became unresponsive. I was worried that someone must have spiked your food or drink with the aphrodisiac, so I wanted to be safe." She answered, an explanation that took a second for Archer to digest before he realized she was telling the truth.

"It was… nothing." He squeezed out, regaining his composure while shrugging off the mild headache that assaulted his mind. "I was just thinking about something bothersome. We'll continue this conversation later. I'll be leaving for now, don't cause any trouble."

He turned his back to the woman, walking towards the door.

"Before you go, I cannot deduce if Alicia has indeed been affected by a spell or potion without samples of her body. I can use my magic to check on her, but I'm afraid I would lose my hand if I got anywhere close to her face. If you want my help, it's easier to bring me a drop of her blood, saliva, or even hair. Anything will help," Olga explained. As Archer considered walking back to the entrance, about to leave the room, he stopped and glanced at Olga behind him. "It's better we make sure that this isn't due to Radomira's aphrodisiac. If those outside the Princess Knight circle find out about her, then she'll be in danger."

"Noted," he found it funny to think about how his most competent 'ally' could possibly end up being the Dark Queen herself.

"By the way, have you discussed your matters with Celestine? I'm certain you have your own agenda with her and desire her help for something, did she agree?"

"That, Olga, is not a subject within your purview." Archer cautioned, his mind retracing the troublesome deal he had made with the Goddess. While not entirely preposterous or nonsensical in his estimation, it was a venture that demanded little of him. "Also, about your sister, while I stand by my comment that actively seeking her out would prove a futile expenditure of time and energy , however should the fates align and our paths cross by sheer happenstance… I'll see if she's willing to meet you again. No guarantees though."

The man didn't give the stunned Elf any chance to reply, closing the door behind him as Olga stood there still processing his parting words.

"I really can't get a read on that monster."

She refused to see him as a human, and whether he liked it or not… she was resolute in her determination to unearth the intricacies of his origin and unravel the mysteries concealed within his magic.

"Still… thank you."

Even in the absence of any attentive ears, Olga harbored a distinct preference for solitude as she uttered her thoughts into the silent void.

{Break}

(Outside)

"Damn it, what was that?" Archer muttered under his breath, striding outside with a quickened pace. His thoughts were encumbered by the recent inexplicable and fragmented memories that emerged out of nowhere. While his memories were often elusive and unreliable, this particular recollection was an unprecedented revelation. None of his past experiences had ever manifested with such vividness and authenticity… so piercingly real and agonizing that it caused a sense of abnormality to pervade his senses. One that sent shivers down his spine… Thankfully he was able to escape by seeking solace outdoors. The longer he lingered, the more likely Olga would use it to her advantage to gauge his weaknesses.

As he contemplated recent events, Emiya came to the disconcerting realization that this wasn't the first time such strange memories have surfaced. Moments such as these had spontaneously emerged during his travels with Maia in search of Vault and the Kiroinu. Fleeting as it was, this phenomenon had happened before and now repeated itself once more. These unexplained memories didn't seem to have adverse effects, but their recurrence left him grappling with numerous unanswered questions. Despite their seemingly innocuous nature, he couldn't shake the unsettling feeling that arose with each recurrence.

"Perhaps the strain is taking its toll on me, or it could be a consequence of that old man's meddling with my mind."

Seeking solace on a rocky outcrop near the castle's edge, Emiya momentarily found peace that soothed his nerves. Yet, that disturbing scene continued to occupy his thoughts. Prior to this he could barely remember her face from his own original world, but now every nuance etched itself vividly in his mind. If this continued… then he just couldn't fathom enduring the uncertainty any longer. If Celestine failed to provide him the answers he needed… then he was prepared to turn the kingdom upside down in search of that damned shard.

History repeating itself was not an option. Archer felt an urgency to act before regret settled in. A type of regret he wanted to avoid at all cost if possible…

Lost in contemplation, the bowman remained oblivious to the shadow stealthy approaching from behind. A sly grin adorned her face as her arms slowly snaked around his, drawing him gently until he rested against a plush, warm cushion that cradled the back of his head, followed by a mischievous nibble on his ear.

"Stop it! I'm in no mood, you glutton." he exclaimed with annoyance at the redhead.

The person behind him chuckled, revealing Maia with the biggest grin on her face. "Oh come on, Emiya. We've slept together before. You even fucked my brains out on top of Luu-Luu's kingdom and now you're reacting like this? Are you a pure maiden when it comes to the more innocent acts? Wouldn't mind it honestly, makes me want to do things to ya all over again!" she teased, crimson eyes gleaming with affection and desire — leading Archer to roll his eyes in response.

"You seem to be in a better mood. Last I heard, you were locked inside your room after that display of affection earlier, when you attempted to take off your clothes soon after," Archer remarked, nursing a lingering grudge when she assaulted his lips in front of so many people. Maia scoffed, and without permission, moved to sit on his lap and rested her head on his chest.

Maia chose to remain silent for a moment, seizing the opportunity to breathe in his scent—a sensation she hadn't realized she would miss in his absence—before finally offering a response.

"Of course I am! It's not everyday I get the opportunity to spend some alone time with you without anyone else bugging us."

"You know. I've mentioned this before. I'll leave this kingdom sooner or later, so attempting to establish a lasting romantic relationship is foolish." He was not blind to her perception of him, clearly a maiden in love who had now unequivocally acknowledged her feelings. Despite her affection, the last thing he wanted was for her to succumb to the allure of a fairy tale romance and become enamored with someone like him. "It's best if our interaction remains confined to Luu-Luu's castle. We've expressed our feelings and desires, and that should be the extent of it.. We shouldn't go any further beyond that, there's no point."

He sensed her body tense up a bit before relaxing, accompanied by a sigh.

"...Emiya, you big idiot. It makes me angry every time I hear that. That's not how you're supposed to talk to a lady… man, why start with such a depressing comment? Why not just give me a deep kiss instea—ouch!" she responded, swiftly earning a light reprimand in the form of a hand chop to the head, which only made her pout. "Yeesh! I was just kidding… not. Why the hell are you trying to distance yourself from me now? You're the one disappearing into the Dark Queen's territory, returning with not only Olga and her bitchy bodyguard but also a kid you had with her— ouch! Again!?"

"You deserved it, Radomira is not my daughter. Just a girl I happened to run across by pure chance and saved. Besides, you seem to have taken a liking to her."

Maya playfully smacked his chest, expressing her frustration. "She's super cute, I'll give you that at least. But the girl doesn't even let me get close, while you and the Dark Queen bitch can freely hug her. That's not fair!" she exclaimed, her voice carrying unhidden displeasure, appalled at the injustice of not being able to pinch that adorable face. "If I can convince her to stay in Ken then will you also join? Oh right, going back to where you came from… I bet you have a wife or a secret mistress waiting for you there. Wait, does that mean you're cheating on them with me? Nice!"

This woman and her weird thoughts…

"Sorry to disappoint your weird fantasy, but I don't have any ongoing romantic relationship back where I'm from. But that doesn't mean I'll throw everything away and live with you in Ken, since that's not possible. We had a purely physical relationship, remember?" he reminded her, drawing on their past conversation at Lulu's Castle. "I am certain that such relationships aren't meant to last that long to begin with. A purely physical one where both parties try not to form a connection and can separate whenever they decide to. It's the closest thing I can compare to what we had. We only knew each other for an extremely short amount of time. For you to genuinely fall in love with me within that time frame sounds a bit stretched, even for you. So give it time, and you'll forget about me after this whole ordeal is over, just as easily as breathing."

Maia, displeased with his characterization of their relationship, responded with a deeper and more serious tone. "Hey, listen, Emiya. Maybe I gave you too much credit, because the more time I spend with you, the more I realize just how big of a dense-headed idiot you are. If you believe that I will forget about you and take what we had as just a passing fling, then you are dead wrong, mister."

She tapped his chest repeatedly with enough force for the armor to clang loudly.

"Don't think a few flowery words and a melancholic face will be enough for me to move on and forget about you. Back when I shouted my head off yesterday, claiming to everyone that you are mine, I meant that. It wasn't a momentary feeling that would disappear the following minute. Even as I sit here on your lap, I'm pushing back against the desire to tear off your clothes and repeat what I did before and show these fools that I love you. If you don't share that sentiment, then I am fine with it. In fact, I know you well enough to guess the answer. Yet that will not change my feelings anywhere near to now."

This was perhaps a bigger issue than he anticipated. The earnestness in her eyes made him realize that this woman wasn't messing around with her words, she held genuine feelings.

"Hah… this matter is not that easy, Maia. I don't love you." If the subtle approach didn't work then better not hold anything back, "you were just someone that I used to get what I wanted.

"Oh, what a shocker," her dry response threw him off a bit. "A part of me suspects you're either saying that to push me away by acting like a jerk and another part thinks you're trying to convince yourself. Heck, if you're not willing to stay in Ken, then I'll just join you in your hometown. I always had a desire to travel beyond the borders of Feoh."

"That is also not an option," he mused inwardly.

Unless she possessed True Magic and held the capability to perform miracles then having her follow him back into Alaya's domain was nothing more than wishful thinking. Of course, not that she was privy to that information, so he grasped why she thought it was a walk in the park. Celestine, on the other hand, had a keener understanding of his nature than anyone present. He wondered how Maia would react if she realized that this entire time she held feelings for a dead man.

"Oi, what are you doing?"

Out of nowhere, the redhead started to take off her shoes, slowly removing one layer of her clothes at a time without any shame or reservation.

"Can't you see? I'm getting myself comfortable for our next session of fucking like horny rabbits. It's been a while since we last did it, and I don't think I can hold myself back for another day with you so close to me. Not to mention, with all these eyes and people around us, getting some alone time like this has become nearly impossible. So, I'm not going to lose this chance one bit, now that we're alone. Come on. Pin me down and take me. Strip off that armor right now!" she urged, attempting to disrobe his black armor but with no success as it barely budged. "Shit, this is more tightly fitted than a freaking shirt, how the hell do you wear such a thing and move around so nimbly!? Hah, nevermind, you look great with it anyways and I'm going to enjoy rid—"

Just as Archer was on the verge of tossing the woman into a lake to cool off, her bold words got interrupted by an unexpected voice. "And you're going to do what?'' Both Maia and Archer froze at the unexpected interruption. The Princess Knight, in particular, whipped her head around as she spotted another person standing right next to them, very closely and wearing a sinister smile on her face that sent chills down the Mercenary Queen's spine.

"C-C-Celestine-sama?" she stuttered, a hint of rouge emerging on her face, turning into a full-blown blush as she found herself half-naked in front of the Goddess Reborn and in a rather intimate position with Archer. "I-I can e-explain!" She exclaimed, the embarrassment evident in her voice. Despite her verbal protests, she remained entangled with Emiya, an action that only served to irritate Celestine's heart further.

This girl… embracing him so intimately while she, in contrast, hadn't experienced anything remotely as intimate. Her hands twitched, her Princess Knights were getting rather rowdy and rebellious. First daring to hurt Shirou when he did nothing wrong and now stealing him away from her?

"You haven't answered my question, Maya. What were you trying to do with Shirou?" the blonde inquired, her tone growing progressively colder, leaving Maia perplexed on how to react.

Celestine, typically warm and kind, seemed very different from usual. Closing the distance until she was a few inches away from both of them, her hands came to rest upon his shoulders. His warmth melted away those unpleasant feelings, and Celestine still couldn't shake the disbelief that he was here in the flesh. Yes… she knew, she had to distance herself from these people, they were dangerous and couldn't understand him. "I found something that may be of interest to what you asked me last time. It can help you with what you seek."

She fought to restrain herself from cutting Maia's han— 'What am I thinking!?' The sudden impulse to attack the redhead emerged so unexpectedly that it even surprised the Goddess Reborn. No, such an atrocious action was never the answer and she was letting these feelings take root into her judgment.

"Wait a minute, Shirou? Who's Shirou?" Maia exclaimed, getting increasingly more confused at their interaction. "And what's this abou—!?"

Boom!

All three of them were shaken by the sound of an explosion in the distance, accompanied by a small earthquake beneath their feet. Archer was the first one to spring into action, rising swiftly and dropping Maia without a second thought as a familiar sensation gripped him.

"Magical Energy!" he exclaimed, recognizing a type different from what he sensed in this world, instead resembling the energy from his own!

"It's coming from there!" Celestine pointed at a small building at the edge of the city, columns of black smoke rising, multiple Knights and guards rushing over. The Goddess Reborn's eyes glowed similarly to what she'd shown before and a trace of shock emerged on her face. "Claudia?"

{Break}

(A few minutes earlier.)

Tieflings, creatures of dark origins as stated in the holy texts of the Church, entities born from pure darkness and chaos, possessing a humanoid form and the potential to bring about the world's destruction. Legends spoke of them wielding immense power comparable to that of the greatest elves, born with the ability to harness dark magic at similar levels and performing countless arcane rituals that used the blood of the innocent to invoke their dark gods and unleash chaos upon the world. Every text Claudia had read painted these beings in such a menacing light, as such she always imagined them as a succubus version of a Orc given the brunette never faced one of them in the past, yet reality slapped her in the face when she found herself sitting next to a small, adorable child who had horns and wings, calling herself a real Tiefling, and spoon-feeding her food from a restaurant, giggling throughout the experience, shattering Claudia's preconceived notions.

"That was delicious! Can I have more, please?" the girl exclaimed, a small smile lighting her face. Claudia couldn't fathom how everything had unfolded in such a short period.

"You like it? I'm glad. Eat to your heart's content, I'll have the chef bring you whatever you desire. If you're still hungry, I can whip up something as well. While I haven't cooked in a while, I'm certain my skills are still up to par," Claudia said as she spoon-fed the girl once again. Unlike her appearance in the castle, Radomira's horns and wings had vanished through the use of magic, and she now sported a small bow tie around her hand. She claimed that it was a gift from the nice dark elf lady, raising some red flags within the woman's mind… had Olga Discordia managed to not only infiltrate the kingdom of Feoh but also found refuge despite the presence of the other Princess Knights? However that train of thought came to an abrupt halt when Radomira once again asked to be fed.

Her infectious smile purged all unnecessary thoughts with a snap."Fufufu, my, my, this is the first time I found a girl who eats as much as you. You must be in your growing phase. Though this food can't be good for you, it doesn't have the vegetables a growing lady needs to become strong and beautiful." Her hands cupped the little one's cheeks as she continued to munch, giving her the appearance of a squirrel. "If you eat too much of it then it may lead to some major problems in the future! You need better nutrition. Radomira, I have a house nearby, I can bring you along and make you the finest fish with the freshest ingredients," Claudia suggested with slight excitement.

"Really?" exclaimed the girl with stars in her eyes, a reaction that made her swoon. However, that joyful face immediately disappeared as the little one sighed in disappointment. "But... I can't do that. I'm trying to find Papa. His food tastes better anyways!"

"Kah!" As if lightning struck her, Claudia was both horrified and slightly insulted by those words. I-It was just the words of a child, yet why did she feel as if she got defeated at a personal level? But Radomira wasn't done, sending another devastating attack with her following words.

"Papa's cooking makes me feel as if I'm flying! And he made me something tira…tiro… tiramister? Tiramisso? Yeah, Tiara mister! It tasted so good that even aunty Chloe tried to steal it! Also, whenever I eat his food, I grow taller, see?" The girl stood up on the bench and tiptoed as much as she could to make sure that she was taller than the sitting Claudia. "Hehehe, I'm already taller than you!"

Never in her life had the brunette exerted so much strength to restrain herself from hugging the child. She could sense her metal gauntlet bending under the force applied by her clenched fists.

"If I continue to eat Papa's cooking, one day, I'll become as tall and strong as him and fight bad guys with swooooords!"

"Swords?"

Her parents or at least the man she stated to be her father must have been a mercenary or a guard given he wielded a blade. Though since she was a Tiefling, there was no chance that it was her biological father, perhaps a human who found the little one and took her under his care.

Yet Claudia couldn't suppress the anger rising up within herself. She understood the dangers of bringing a Tiefling inside the Kingdom. If even a hint of the girl's existence surfaced, her status as a Princess Knight wouldn't deter vengeful mobs from forming. The people harbored a detest for magical beings from the dark lands.

The war had exacted a heavy toll, leaving them so bereft that they were ready to lash out at anything associated with the opposing side. side. 'When I find this guy I will make sure to teach him a lesson! How could he lose sight of Radomira so carelessly and allow her to roam unsupervised in Feoh? He could have at least taken her to a small village outside the kingdom and lived a peaceful life there.'

A certain train of thoughts started to emerge: what if this person wasn't her guardian or father figure but rather a slave trader who acted as one and came to Feoh to sell her off to slavery? That made sense and the more she thought about it the more certain she became of her next course of action. She was going to find this man and stop him from doing anything evil to Radomira and throw him into the dungeon for further questioning.

"W-Wait, didn't you initially tell me that you were searching for your mother?"

"Yes! Mama is Papa and Papa is mama! He can beat anyone in the world and is the strongest! Are you strong as well?" the girl inquired, confusing the grown woman by what she meant by that.

Claudia, whether it be in the spur of the moment or just because she wanted to impress the kid, stretched out her arm and flexed a bit. "Of course, I'm strong! I'll tell you a secret. Out of every Princess Knight, I am considered the strongest physically!" she boasted, feeling a bit ashamed the way she addressed that statement but glad that no one else was present in the restaurant to see such a display.

Radomira on the other hand got suspicious, a trace of mischief flashing within her eyes that Claudia failed to notice. "Wait, if you're the strongest and Papa is also the strongest, then does that mean you are my mama?"

Claudia's mind fixated on the last part, repeating those words again and again. Mama – to have this little gem call her that brought her immense joy that she could only dream of in the past. With a shaky voice, she spoke, "Y-You should be ca-careful. Don't just call anyone your ma-mama and papa just because they are strong. You should only call your real parents like that." Instead of agreeing with her words, Radomira did something that broke through every single layer of defense Claudia had put up. Grabbing her arm with her little hands, she looked at her with puppy dog eyes and whispered, "So you don't want to be my mama?"

Silence enveloped her, rendering her speechless. Instead, she conveyed her emotions through action, encircling the child with her armored hands and bringing her close to her bosom, pressing the little one's head against her breast with love and affection. Her maternal instincts started to get harder to control the longer she stayed with the girl, even her scent was pleasant… She made sure to use as little strength as possible and be extremely gentle with the fragile thing.

She could not see an entity of darkness and evil before her. Those priests were crazy from the beginning and spouted nonsense every time. She vowed to go to the main church in Thorne and demand the removal of all those lies from the sacred text, even if it meant resorting to force. Not even Klaus would dissuade her from her mission.

"Hm?" Claudia noticed a group of people entering the establishment, a scene that made her go on guard.

She made sure to have everything reserved for just the two of them, not wanting anyone to discover Radomira's secret. "Excuse me, kind sirs. This place has been reserved by me. I ask you to leave and come back another time," she spoke politely. Instead of answering her, the five men all focused on the girl. Immediately, a foreboding feeling rose within Claudia's heart.

"Hey, isn't this the girl boss asked us to find?" The first one spoke, excitement visible on his face as he brought up a piece of paper. "Yeah, she's exactly the same one in the picture…"

"Yes!"

"Yes, that's exactly her! And... she's with that hot babe. She looks familiar. Who is she again?"

Though it seemed the majority didn't recognize her, the leader on the other hand turned pale faced. "Shit, that's Claudia Levantine, you idiot! One of the Princess Knights!"

They all started to panic.

"Don't waste time! Use the device and let's get the hell out of here. If we fuck this up, that little monster will literally eat us or worse!"

"Don't you dare insult our goddess like that!"

Before either one of them could make a move, Claudia's figure blurred and materialized before them with a deadly expression etched on her face. No words were needed, herstance spoke volumes. It was evident that these individuals aimed to target the girl, providing ample reason for Claudia to take action.. Her sword pierced the first person closest to her, but she underestimated their resilience. Despite the blade piercing his heart, the man was able to retrieve a strange sphere from his jacket and dropped it on the floor — much to the dismay of his colleagues.

"You idiot! We were told to throw the damn thing as far away as possible!"

The Princess Knight's heart skipped a beat as a brilliant light illuminated the room, followed by a dense amount of magical energy bursting from the item. "Radomira!" Claudia didn't care who these people were and who sent them, she turned her back and got in between the object and the stunned Tiefling, using her own body as a shield with a talisman held firmly in hand just as a large fireball detonated, engulfing the entire inn in flames.

--


The next 5 chapters of Snafu, and my other Fate fics (Fate Coiling Sword with 3 chapters, A Fake Familiar Reborn with 3 chapters, Steel Eyed Faker soon to be 3 chapters, Hound having 1 and To love a sword having 4 chapters) are already available on my P@treon. With 4 more Broly chapters at /NimtheWriter. Also, I post commissioned arts on each story, already posted a few on an Archer's Promise, Broly and Snafu.