Chapter 1: The Golden King
If anything, that was his only chance to actually do something worthwile. Being defeated by a faker was not part of the plan, and certainly not being swallowed whole by 'it.' He could have defeated the boy if he was serious, but the Reality Marble and the ferocity of the boy's attacks had surprised him, and he lost his entire right arm before he could regain his composure.
Even then, there was still a high chance he could have won if it wasn't for 'it' swallowing him up. As he tried to get out, he unfortunately was met with a sword, fired from an arrow straight to his head.
He should have died there, returned to the Throne of Heroes in the origin of all things. For who could survive that in the first place?
Garden of the Sun
For a strange reason, Yuuka Kazami didn't even bother flying around. Instead, she walked daintily on the ground around the sunflower garden, which she was content on doing. Just watching the flowers bloom and grow while relaxing. There should have been no interruption for what she was doing, but on this particular visit, she sensed something... strange.
A small spot of the garden had been destroyed, an anomaly regarding what happened so far. It was a negligible amount of damage, but she was obliged to know what happened anyways.
Reaching the area where the damage was, Yuuka was barely surprised at the presence of someone there. With a smile on her face, she approached the person and nudged their head with her umbrella, just to see a reaction. It was a young man... which was very strange when one thought about it. It was strange to actually find a guy just wandering about... Or in this case, just laying down. Actually it was strange to find a 'guy' at all.
"Bastard..." he muttered.
"How rude." Yuuka smiled, continuing to look down at the intruder to the garden. Although she should just destroy this man on the spot, that would be such a waste. He was already on the verge of dying so what point would that serve? Leaving him and letting him rot here for the flowers would be more useful.
Truly it was a pitiable sight just to see how much damage the young man had taken. His right arm had been cut off, the rest of him continuing to bleed all over the place, a hole in his head that seemed to have been partially pierced by a sharp object... it's a miracle that he could even say anything. And yet at the same time, she knew he couldn't possibly be a human to even survive injuries like that. Reimu and Marisa didn't count...
His body was flesh and blood like a regular human but still quite more durable judging by his condition right now. He's not a youkai, and definitely not an oni. Maybe he was some sort of a spirit like Mima?
He was going to die either way, and it didn't look like there was anything she was willing to do to keep him alive. Yuuka merely knelt down next to him, perhaps just to watch the last moments of a dying man.
It was a few moments later that he seemed to sense her presence though, even if he couldn't look up at her. He barely opened the palm of his remaining hand and muttered something.
"I shall come under thy command..." he whispered, "...and my sword shall control your fate."
At those words, Yuuka perked up a little. What was he talking about?
"Abiding... by the summons of the Holy Grail... if I submit... to your will and reason... I'll answer..."
"How strange," Yuuka told herself, listening in to the words of the dying man. Was it a last effort to save himself, or something more? She could barely hear him, and he was lucky she was there to actually listen.
"I hereby swear... you are all that is good... in this eternal world. You... are the disposer of evil... in the eternal world. I... the seven days clad in the Divine Trinity... shall come forth from the circle of constraint." The young man continued. Though his voice was weak, he was definitely trying to finish his words with some dignity.
He continued, "I shall accede to you... and your fate shall become my sword. Accept the contract, if thou so choose."
He became silent after that, and Yuuka briefly pondered during the span of a second on what she should do next. A contract, was it? This should be interesting. "I accept, assuming you were talking to me." Yuuka said, reaching down and taking hold of the young man's left hand.
"I will accept your oath, under the name of Archer. I shall accept you as my master." The young man said, before crimson eyes opened up.
He needed this contract to continue exist. Even with a high ability of Independent Action, he had no way of continuing on without a source of magic from a link to a Master. All in all, it really wasn't his own abilities that kept Archer alive. If anything, it was his high luck status that saved him, from nearly having the Servant core in his head destroyed, to actually finding a proper Master to survive in this place.
A violent wind raged around him, the ebb and flow of prana revitalizing him as his eyes opened completely and he stood up. Unlike the mess of a person that had laid down on the ground, this was a different figure. Gallant... proud... powerful... He must have gotten back a lot of power by obtaining a master like Yuka and now he was unlike anything that he was before.
Yuuka was fascinated. There was a rising swirl of magical energy, as if to close the rest of the Archer's wounds, though his right arm can't be replaced anymore. A certain marking appeared on the back of Yuuka's hand, along with a small flash of pain. It was barely worth mentioning, but there was a mild irritation that came with it. Still, the man in front of her was definitely a much more formidable presence than the one she found on the ground.
"You seem a little better." Yuuka said in amusement, watching the young man regain his composure, and continuing to smile.
Under normal circumstances, when a person wore a smile, they often will infect the people around them and it eased the surrounding atmosphere. But Yuuka was of a personality where a smile could almost always be associated with some unsettling things.
"It seems I've made you perform an extremely trifling duty." The young man said and bowed respectfully for a brief moment. "But I do thank you for helping me out of my... condition."
This is almost a reverse of what he did to a previous Master in the past. Manners that were more humble than one would expect from him, and he expressed his gratitude without reserve to the one who saved his life.
"I don't normally make deals with nearly dying people." Yuuka replied casually, "But you did mention that you will accept me as your Master. I can presume that means what I think it is?"
There was a brief pause, the young man in front of her chuckling lightly for a moment. "Perhaps not. It doesn't look like the Holy Grail has an influence here so perhaps that portion of the chant wasn't needed..." he murmured quietly. "But you are still my Master now, I was definitely not lying about that."
"You are a strange person..." Yuuka told him.
"No more than you." The young man interrupted. "Let's get through the preliminaries then, shall we? I believe it is at least customary for a Master and Servant to know each other's names, correct?"
"Indeed." She nodded her head. "My name is Yuuka Kazami."
"Most people would call me by my Servant Class, Archer. As a Master, you are privy to knowing my true identity, Gilgamesh." He said with an almost arrogant tone and a smile on his own face.
This man, Archer, in the present era, is the "King of Heroes", Gilgamesh. The tyrant who ruled ancient Mesopotamia who was part divine, and part human. As a hero, rooted in the oldest origin of mankind, he is amongst the oldest kings. Older than even Gensokyo itself if one is to go with implications.
"Never heard of you." Yuuka replied promptly, causing Gilgamesh to look at her strangely. "I think I'll just call you Archer. It's easier that way." She continued to smile, beginning to walk away from him before suddenly turning around. "But since you are my newest Servant, that means I get to test out your abilities. This isn't a request by the way, so get ready. I don't think you'd want to lose another arm through carelessness."
"You've got to be joking." Archer muttered, leaping back a fair bit before a golden armor materialized around him. A Master challenging a Servant... normally, a magus would never do that unless in extreme circumstances. Yuuka wasn't a magus, that much he can tell, but she has an extremely high amount of magic. And still, Archer was reminded of the loss he received prior to ending up here. He was not about to make the same mistake twice in this situation.
Watching Yuuka fly up into the air, Archer snapped his fingers in response, before a wide spread of flower-like bullets appeared in front of Yuka and sped towards him.
The space around Archer distorted in a haze and for a brief moment, he was actually surprised that his abilities still work properly in this place. The next instant, the glow of beautiful blades started coming out of the empty space, shooting up towards Yuuka in response to her flower bullets.
The girl above definitely found this amusing, the perpetual smile on her face never wavering even as she attempted to avoid the weapons flying up towards her. 'Attempted' being the key word here, because some of the weapons found their mark and actually pierced through Yuuka.
Archer had no desire to get rid of his Master like this, but already he sensed that there was something amiss about what's going on, with her treating this like a game.
The weapons that hit her weren't even regular weapons. They were Noble Phantasms, the embodiment of the ultimate mysteries of a hero that symbolized their existence through historical facts and anecdotes. The 'Gate of Babylon' was the ability that allowed Archer to actually hurl the various other Noble Phantasms with blinding speed.
"Hmm... that won't do at all." Yuuka told him. "You're too crude and unimaginative in danmaku. At least form some kind of pattern with your weapons. Or give each one proper names." She continued, pointing her umbrella down at him, the very tip beginning to glow.
"What would the point be for that though?" Archer replied, giving a bit of a frown before taking a certain sword out of his little 'gate,' A cylindrical sword, with three parts that began turning in a whirring motion.
Even as he took it out, Archer briefly wondered to himself about why he was already using his greatest weapon now? He had never bothered to use it against someone unworthy in the past unless he was showing off. This was not one of them.
"Tch, you are a strange girl indeed." He said quietly as the tri-blades of his sword continued to spin in a drilling motion, as if to gather energy into itself before he continued on with a smirk. "Awaken, Ea. I may not have had the time to use you to your full capabilities in our last battle, but I'm sure even a simple blow from you will cause my current Master to rethink what she's doing."
"Master Spark." Yuuka said lightly, a blinding beam of light shooting out from her umbrella.
"Enuma Elish!" Archer shouted out, the energy gathered by his sword sweeping out like a blinding light and crashed into Yuuka's attack.
There wasn't even a proper clash. The enormous amount of supernatural power released far exceeded Yuuka's expectations about her Servant's capabilities. To Yuuka, who slowly questioned the threat rising up from below, she barely even had time to move out of the way before the space she floated in was destroyed.
Extending from Archer's weapon and up to the empty sky, the blast of his sword caused a tear in reality that distorted space and sucked in air, blowing away the surroundings into a void.
Even Yuuka was stupefied at what just happened for once.
Terms of precision and power couldn't even describe what was happening. The beam of light, the sky, anything that entered the space being caused by the blast of his sword was torn apart, swallowed by whirling nothingness and disappeared. Even part of the Garden of the Sun was swallowed up by the attack.
This, Yuuka could not allow. She immediately flew down towards Archer, and delivered a punch straight into his face, sending him flying back and forcefully stopped his attack.
"That's enough." She told him, looking back behind her to survey just how much damage was actually done. She hadn't expected her Servant to have that kind of power. Actually, it was quite impressive considering the non-seriousness of the situation.
Walking over to him, Yuuka paused before placing her foot down on his chest, causing him to cough out a little. "That was a beautiful attack." She smiled down at him, "But next time, make sure you're not destroying the flowers. It takes a long time for those flowers to grow."
"Where am I?" Archer muttered. From his observations, this definitely wasn't the same city where the war for the Holy Grail was held. And there was definitely no magus short of the Caster class of Servant who can perform the techniques that his newest Master could do. Unless he somehow became the Servant of Caster... no that was unlikely. A Caster-class Servant shouldn't be able to punch him with this amount of force.
"Right, I don't think you are from around here are you?" Yuuka asked him. "Your clothes don't come from here, you don't know the rules of Danmaku... maybe I can explain later on. Or get Elly to do it for me." She continued, briefly pondering the thought before moving her foot off of her Servant's chest.
"At least this is better than what I would have received if I completely disappeared." Archer muttered quietly and stood up. The fact that his right arm was still gone is an annoyance that's preventing him from even gaining a small sort of enjoyment from this. And the lingering thought in his head about what happened before he even came to this place.
"You're too moody. You need to smile a little more." Yuuka said as she stood in front of him.
"Heh, well if you say so, 'Master.'" Archer replied, giving a quick smirk as he looked back towards the young woman's crimson eyes. Funny... he could swear they were green a moment ago...
"Walk with me then. I want to learn more about where you come from." Yuuka nodded, holding her right hand out to his left. "To think I would actually acquire a new Servant today. It's also a rarity for someone with your powers to appear in Gensokyo. I haven't been this excited for quite some time." She smiled. "But you better not bore me."
"Like I said, you are a strange girl." Archer answered, nodding his head as he took her hand. "But I do need you to explain things to me as well."
"I asked first, you answer first. That's the rule." Yuuka responded, leading her new Servant onwards to... well, she really had no direction to go to at the moment. Walk around the garden, that's good enough for her really. Especially since her visit was interrupted... but at least she gained something from it... right?
Author's Notes: Random urge to write produced this. Strange ain't it? Gil is a little out of character though... but that's probably only for the early chapters. I mean come on, he lost an arm. Might continue this... might not... I have other stories to tend to after all.