Disclaimer: I do not own anything...
There had always been a belief that other worlds existed. The saying of "two sides of the same coin" can be an apt analogy. As there is one version of earth with all of its problems and faults, there is another with a different set of problems and faults; and another, and another, with billions upon billions of other possibilities happening.
Then here we find in one specific world, where magic exists. In this world, the story of a young boy, pushing himself beyond what one of his age could or even should do, coming to an end.
This boy's name is Negi Springfield, son of Arika Anarchia Entheofushia and Nagi Springfield. Known as the Boy-genius mage as his feats of magic were quite known at such a tender age.
Now, he lays on his back, the final battle of his life already at an end. Surrounded by those he cares for, all of them shedding their tears, openly or not, cursing the absurdity of it all. A young life, capable of many great things, about to be snuffed out before it could it live. Then, once the strength of his already broken body left him, had one of the greatest mage of this world had left. There surrounded by his students and friends, is where he became a hero.
Negi was surprised when he opened his eyes. He wasn't in heaven, or so he believed. He was there, standing in empty space, looking up to a tall old man, wearing a green robe that covered his body. His red ruby-like eyes glittering with a bit of mischief, if the small smirk on his face wasn't a give away immediately.
Before Negi could say anything the old man laughed. His laugh was loud but full of joy and mirth, that it brought a small smile, albeit confused and sheepish, to the boy's lips. The old man's laughter died down after a few moments as he regained his breath.
"Boy, if there were talented and pure-hearted mages like you in my world then we would surely have made leaps and bounds in evolution."
The old man chuckled again before continuing.
"Please, excuse my manners, my name is Kishua Zeltrech Schweinorg. You may call me Zeltrech. I have been watching you for quite some time Negi Springfield. I have been observing you throughout your life, as short as it was."
Zeltrech's eye took a sad glint for a moment as he looked at the boy, who was still clothed in the tattered remains of his oriental clothing. Negi still looked confused but decided to voice out his thoughts as well a give a greeting as it was only polite to do so.
"Um, well, it's a pleasure to meet you Zeltrech-san." Negi hadn't dropped the Japanese honorifics due to habit, but the older man didn't seem to mind. "I am sorry, but I'm confused. What do you mean you have been watching me? and where are we for that matter?"
The space Negi and Zeltrech were standing in was just pitch black, no sound save for the ones they made. No wind, no external force exerting itself on them. In fact one could just do a a back flip and could stay inverted if he or she wished. Once again Zeltrech eyes glittered with amusement.
"Ever the inquisitor eh? Well, to answer your second question, we are in a space I created. I won't go into all the details but I made this so that we could talk. As for your first question, well, let's just say you were interesting to watch."
Negi nodded and was satisfied but still continued with his questioning.
"Earlier you said you had mages in your world. Does that mean you are a mage yourself? and that you are from another world aside from Mundus Magicus?"
"Yes, in my world, magic is different. We study and practice what we call thaumaturgy or magecraft. It is the artificial reenactment of a miracle; the ability to reproduce what can be scientifically realized regardless of time and funds. Though there are a quite select few who can do what we call True Magic."
Negi listened silently, his curiosity being piqued more and more by the impromptu lesson.
"True Magic, in our world, are considered to be a miracle that surpasses magecraft and current sciences. They are feats not possible with results realized from time and resources. This is considered to be the final achievement of a magus, the ability to make possible something impossible to realize in the current era. I, myself, am a practitioner of true magic in my world. Specifically, I practice the magic of Kaleidoscope, in other words, the operation of parallel worlds. Though I haven't been able to use it extensively anymore. I've been getting on with my years."
Zeltrech added the last line with a bit of humor before turning to the side as images appeared before him. Some showed a woman with waistline length silver hair. A black knight surrounded by a dark aura. A large red haired man riding a chariot being pulled by bulls. Zeltrech continued to speak, but his tone grew somber.
"Negi, you interested me because of your character. I may look old, but believe me when I say I am far older than I appear to be. I have gone to many different worlds, most of them a different form of the world which I originally come from. So I was extremely interested to chance upon your world. Another world, with a different set of rules and beliefs on magic. There, I also chanced upon you, and I have been watching you ever since. Your death well, I am not sure for certain if it wasn't meant to happen. It did though, and it would be a breach of a personal rule to openly interfere in other worlds save for my own and its alternative versions, hence why I am only talking to you now. I am sorry to say you are truly dead. You are now a soul, bound for a destination which I have now changed."
The images disappeared before Negi could decipher their meaning. Though the young mage was now having a small pulling sensation in the center of his body.
"Wait, what do you mean you changed my destination?"
Zeltrech once again smiled at him.
"Don't worry, once you reach the Throne of Heroes, I'm sure the Akasha will fill you in with what you need to know. Good Luck."
The pulling sensation was becoming stronger. With happy wave from Zeltrech, Negi disappeared from the space, hand outstretched trying to ask the older man to explain more. Zeltrech then looked ahead where Negi was standing moments ago. This time a new set of images appeared. In each image he saw the young mage fighting a different opponent. One in a blue suit and wielding a red spear with deadly precision. Another with a blonde haired figure Zeltrech knew was a woman in armor wielding an invisible weapon. The images kept shifting between battles and conversations before settling into one. It showed an image of a smiling little girl, with flowing white haired and with the same shade of eyes as his own. Zeltrech's eyes softened at the girl.
"He may be different from what you want, but maybe, just maybe, he can help you in more ways possible. Maybe this time you will have a 'descendent' who will live a little longer this time eh Justica?"
With that the images disappeared, and once again the Wizard Marshall Zeltrech disappeared into the folds of reality, his moves already done and off he went to watch the ensuing consequences.
It was a harsh wintery night in the Einzbern family grounds. The surrounding forests of the castle grounds, the mountain it was carved in, were covered in snow. Yet, through the howling of the wind and of the wolves roaming the grounds, a young, feminine voice laced with power cut through the blizzard, and the stone, and made itself heard to the world.
Ye first, O silver, O iron
O stone of the foundation, O Archduke of the contract
Hear me in the name of our great teacher, the Arcmagus Schweinorg
Let the descending winds be as a wall
Let the gates in all direction be shut, rising above the crown, and let the three-forked roads to the kingdom revolve.
Shut. Shut. Shut. Shut. Shut.
Five perfections for each repetition.
And now, let the five sigils be annihilate in my stead!
Let thy body rest under my dominion, let my fate rest in thy blade.
If thou submittest to the call of the Holy Grail and if thou wilt obey this mind, this reason, then thou shalt respond.
I make my oath here.
I am that person who is to become the virtue of all Heavens.
I am that person who is covered with the evils of Hades.
Thou seven heavens, clad in a trinity of words,
come past thy restraining rings, and be thou the hands that protect the balance-!
Yet, thou serves with thine eyes clouded in chaos.
Thou, bound in the cage of madness
I am he who commands those chains.
Inside the chapel of the Einzbern family castle, a ritual was taking place. In the middle of a circle of glyphs was a young girl dressed in a simple, flowing white robe that pooled a bit at her feet. The glyphs grew brighter as she chanted. Then as she added those three last lines, the circle was glowing a bright red that it bathed the entire room. With that a large explosion occurred, kicking up dust and debris, blocking the other occupants line of sight.
Jubstacheit von Einzbern and other prominent members of the family were all excited. This was it, the moment they had been waiting for. The summoning of the strongest servant and with it, an assurance of a great chance for them to actually winning the Holy Grail and restoring their lost miracle.
When the dust cleared, the Einzberns were met with shock. What was summoned was not Heracles. The servant in question was a small boy, slightly taller than the girl who had did the summoning; he was dressed in tattered oriental clothing and had two different shades of red hair.
"Upon your summoning I, Servant Berserker, have come forth. I ask of you, are you my master?"
The girl was in shock as well. She was expecting a giant of a man to be summoned as her servant. Instead she was given this; this mendicant of a servant.
"Illyasviel! What is the meaning of this?"
The girl flinched. She knew the tone of voice, and the rapid footsteps that followed were something she too well. She turned and above her was the angry visage of Jubstacheit.
"We gave you the catalyst needed to summon Hercules and you ended up making a mockery of all our hard work. Instead of the mightiest servant, you summoned, this... this..."
The old man's face was turning such a vibrant red that he instead just raised his hand and brought it down to Illyasviel's face. The girl flinched, her cheek flushed red from the pain inflicted by her senior. The older Einzbern turned to the newly summoned servant.
"You! I demand to know who you are?"
The boy looked at the man unflinchingly and his eyes slightly narrowed when he had hit the the girl.
"My name is Negi Springfield."
There were murmurings among those gathered. In all of the history they have learned and collected, they have never come across a legend or lore concerning that name. Not even a myth of a child hero. This was an unprecedented experience. They had used stone from the temple of Hercules to help in the demigod's specific summoning, instead they had come across this unknown figure of a heroic spirit.
"Ahhhhh! It hurts! It hurts!"
The tense moment had lessened with the scream coming from Illyasviel. She was clutching her body in pain. Sweat was stating to pour from her forehead.
"Hurry! Take her and begin the procedure! We will continue as planned!"
Jubstacheit ordered the other Einzberns. His years of experience deciding to take control of the situation and try to deal with this development. Once Illyasviel was carried out, her pained scream echoing until it disappeared a few minutes later. He then addressed Negi, his earlier anger being pushed back by more a logical, and analytical mind for the current situation at hand.
"Tell me more of yourself. We have never heard your name in any text, and there have never been any legends or lore about a child hero."
The child servant nodded, but kept his face neutral, lest he might show disgrace and endanger his master further. The earlier words of anger from the man in front of him giving him the clues he needed to confirm that the girl, Illyasviel, was indeed his master. Once again he introduced himself and told his tale. He told them of his life, his experiences in Mahora Academy, then in Magicus Mundus, he told them of his fights with Fate Averruncus, Jack Rakkan, and Dynamis. The he told them of how he died and how we met Zeltrech.
Many of the remaining family members were tossing murmurings and accusations on the credibility of his story but Jubstacheit silenced their doubts temporarily. "Is there any truth to what you say servant? How can we be certain of the credibility of the information you have told us? We had specifically brought a catalyst for a different spirit yet you were summoned; I already noticed from the start the lack of the Mad Enhancement affecting you and current mental faculties, so why is it you are here?"
Negi closed his eyes. Information from the Akasha, the root of this world, had seeped inside him during his brief stay in the throne of heroes. Now using the information he had been given he replied. "Zeltrech had told me that he had interfered with my soul at the time of my death. Saying he had changed my soul's destination, meaning he had sent my soul to throne of heroes. I can show you my memories if you would allow later, but suffice it to say they are all real. As to why I was summoned instead of Hercules, well, it is true you may have had a catalyst to summon him, but that only raised the chance of summoning him specifically, it did not guarantee his summoning. I think that the reasoning for my summoning was because of the qualities Illyasviel and I share."
"Such as?" Negi continued from the tart prompt from the old mage. "Such as the fact that at such young an age, current appearances aside, she had taken up a heavy responsibility." The old mage's face of restrained outrage had been replaced by one of neutrality and inquisition. During the explanation his mouth had drawn into a thin line, his stare piercing, but Negi paid it no heed.
Without another word, the current patriarch of the Einzberns turned and left the chapel, followed closely by the other members of the family. Negi stayed silent for a moment before dematerializing into spirit form.
Inside the great dinning hall of the castle, Jubstacheit and a few other sat discussing their current predicament. "It seems, due to the meddling of the Wizard Marshall Kishua Zeltrech Schweinorg our plan for obtaining the Holy Grail for the next Heaven's Feel has been slightly altered." The others seated, distinguished members of the household kept their peace as the oldest of their family continued. "Instead of summoning Hercules like we had hoped, she has summoned a different Heroic Spirit, one of Zeltrech's own choosing. Has there been any word of the operation?"
One of those seated immediately answered . "The operation had been success. We were able successfully implant the command seals into her body. She had been in agony the entire time. Though, if I may be so blunt, I believe it is not because of the strength of the servant she had summoned. There seems to be an odd flow of mana around that boy, and it seems the world is trying to continually correct him. The additional command seals should provide her with relief, but I am worried what will happen later on. We have tried to look over any details regarding a 'Negi Springfield' or even a child hero, but nothing has turned up so far. Is it possible the summoning may have brought a false hero?"
Jubstacheit clasped his hands with a grim expression. It seemed very probable but he didn't say anything, but the mentioning of Zeltrech was truly troublesome, his name was almost synonymous to it. For the past wars their family has not even come close to winning the grail, and they had spent years grooming Illyasviel to be the one to finally have a great chance to win the war, now, due to the meddling of the eccentric wizard marshall, that chance might have certainly been destroyed. "But..." The old man started to mutter, everyone else waiting and listening to his next words. "Zeltrech would not have interfered or chosen this specific soul without any undue reasons." Jubstacheit looked at the rest of the seated members with a stony expression. "We will have to make do with what we have. After Illyasviel has rested we shall continue her training to properly fight with her servant. We will have to learn his strengths and weaknesses, what he can or can't do, we will have to adjust accordingly and support them as much as possible. He may be a different spirit but nonetheless he is still of the Berserker class; and if his story has any merit, then he is also a mage as well. This might give them the chance to surprise their opponents. We will have to put our effort now in supporting them so that the Einzbern name can finally receive its reward."
Agreements chorused around the table. It had been decided. The Einzberns may have been shocked on the outcome of the summoning, but that still did not detract them from obtaining what they had sought for so long. Winning the Holy Grail War, and with it, the recreation of the third magic they had lost long ago.
It had taken only a day for Illyasviel to recover, a testament to the fruits of the harsh training she had been given since the betrayal of Emiya Kiritsugu. The whole time during Illyasviel's period of rest, none from the Einzbern family had seen the newly summoned servant. Though if asked, some of those who helped with the operation of the command spell arrays and those that kept checking the health of the small master during her recovery would notice a small disturbance hovering nearby.
Now awake, and once again in the chapel Illyasviel, alongside Jubstacheit, summoned her servant. "Berserker!" The tone was harsh despite the high pitch of the young voice, and the effect was instantaneous. Immediately, the small form of the newly summoned servant appeared before the two. Face showing only neutrality."Tell me Illyasviel, what can you see about your servant with the Master's Clairvoyance? Don't leave any detail out." He added the last with a stern tone of warning.
Illyasviel saw with her minds eye, figures and data started to form. She spoke aloud the information she saw about her servant.
Master: Illyasviel von Einzbern
True Name: Negi Springfield
Height/Weight: 144cm, 31kg
Alignment: Neutral Good [Chaotic Mad]
Magical Energy: A+
Noble Phantasm: B
Mad Enhancement (unique): C
Rank up for all parameters except Luck and Mana, but in exchange one can no longer think and speak properly. This hero has the capability to resist the growing madness of his class, but hindering the madness for a prolonged period will lower his fighting capabilities. Constant use of high mental faculties during battle will shorten the time limit of his lucidity.
A young mage prodigy. Only ten years old but has mastered several high level spells and has studied underneath a high class vampire mage (according to him) and a master fighter, and has learned the fundamentals and application of two styles of chinese martial arts. Can easily grasp theory and knowledge like a sponge, but his greatest feat is in his intellect, being able to apply new spells and strategy even in the heat of battle. Has been summoned due to the interference of Wizard Marshall Kishua Zeltrech Schweinorg.
Uses hand-to-hand combat with supplementary spells to increase damage and flexibility in combat.
No other information present so far.
The ability to negate mental interference such as pressure, confusion and fascination. Bonus effect of increasing melee damage. However, skill is rendered useless upon activation of Mad Enhancement.
Eye of Mind (True): C
Heightened insight that was refined through experience. Capable of calm analysis of battle conditions even when in danger and can deduce an appropriate course of action after considering many possibilities to escape from a predicament. Unfortunately, rank lowered due to Berserker stigma, and rendered ineffectual when Mad Enhancement is activated; will degrade over time upon application of Noble Phantasm until lowered by a maximum of one rank.
Territory Creation: C
The skill to build a special terrain that is advantageous to oneself as a magus. However, due to inexperience he has trouble creating a workshop, though knowledgeable in the application and use of magic circles, and runes.
Unique Theory: ~
Being a soul from a different world brought by the Wizard Marshall Zeltrech, his magic was translated into a form that would work as a servant and within the boundaries of our world. Still, this form of magic is more potent than modern magecraft. Due to this, any being with a form of Magic Resistance has the parameter lowered by a maximum of one rank, increasing the damage dealt by spells.
Title: "Deeds of the Darkest Night"
"Actus Noctis Erebeae"
A forbidden dark magic developed by "The Queen of The Night" Evangeline A.K. McDowell. Not truly a Noble Phantasm, but an ultimate skill that is required for Negi Springfield to qualify for the class of Berserker. An exceedingly dangerous technique in which the user absorbs offensive magic designed to harm the enemy into his own body, to the point where it fuses with the soul; it feeds upon the user's body and soul, but in return the user gains power many times that of any ordinary person. Any special properties of the spell that is absorbed will also transfer to the user. If overused, the technique can cause the user to be overtaken by the darkness and transform them into a rampaging demonic being. Unless the user can completely overcome this state, they risk permanently becoming a monstrous beast, or even death.
Negi Springfield, before his time of death had already mastered this spell and had now become something that can't be considered human anymore.
Maintaining Magia Erebea for an extended time ensures that Mad Enhancement will involuntarily activate after a duration, and it cannot be deactivated unless Magia Erebea is also deactivated. With Mad Enhancement activated with this spell, Negi will revert back into a monstrous state the longer both are still active. This technique is also extremely expensive in prana and can become a danger to the Master as well if used for extended periods of time.
Jubstacheit stroked his chin and continued his observation of the servant as Illyasviel spoke the parameters and skills Berserker possessed. His eyes narrowed, and brows furrowed. It was apparent that this 'hero' lacked the overall prowess of those normally summoned to this class. The statistics that were just spoken weren't too heartening for anyone to hear. Despite that though, the older Einzbern's mind was churning with possibilities for the upcoming grail war. Turning around he gave his instruction before leaving the chapel.
"Illyasviel, take Berserker into the forest, the wolves have been becoming more violent as of late. Exterminate them." Without missing a heartbeat Ilyasviel acknowledged. "Yes, Grandfather." She then turned away from her servant and started to walk out of the chapel. "Come Berserker." With a cold tone she ordered her servant, and without moving, Negi turned into spirit form to accompany his master.
Into the forest the two went, and despite the frigid temperature of the season, the two only wore the sparse clothing they had on. Further and further away Ilyasviel tread. Away from the castle, its safety, and the the torturous machinations of her relatives, and the bad memories that accompanied them. The master of Berserker stopped, growls and animalistic eyes surrounded her. A wolf pack, probably a dozen strong was closing in to end her life.
The first one leapt at her. "Berserker!" With nary a thought, the young master called out to her servant. "Raika Hōken!" The wolf was swatted aside, electricity and energy crackling in the air, the scent of charred fur and flesh filling her nostril. "Destroy them all Berserker! Leave none alive!" With a silent nod, Berserker became a blur to the her eye. As each wolf tried to get to her, or to try and defend themselves, they were met with an explosive hit done by the small servant. Some of the wolves were like the first, others suffered from a crushing blow to the head or body, some were completely turned to ice. It took only a minute, by that time, all the attacking animals were killed. Without another word Illyasviel continued her trek. Berserker turned immaterial once more and followed his master.
Unknown to Illyasviel, but not her servant, they were being followed. What was following them was a bird shape outline made of specialized wire and prana. This familiar was monitoring the progress of the two, specifically the abilities of Berserker. With a flap of its wireframe wings the artificial avian continued with its mission.
Only minutes had passed, the harsh winter environment had worsened, but still Illyasviel continued on with her given task without pause and lack of regard for herself and of how little protection her clothes were giving her. Pack upon pack of wolves descended on her and her servant, and every time Berserker would dispatch them with speed, and efficiency, something a servant of the Berserker class was not known for doing. But with each pack decimated by her servant, Berserker's movements became more and more feral. Illyasviel instinctively knew that her servant was slowly succumbing to the Mad Enhancement ability his class possessed. It took less than a few more seconds when another pack of wolves appeared. There were twice as many wolfs than the last batches that attacked them, and one of them was twice as large as the rest, which Illyasviel assumed to be the alpha male of the pack. Even without a command from his master Berserker leapt into the fray.
This pack though seemed to be more dangerous from any of the previous ones. These wolves were continuously aiming for Illyasviel, forcing Berserker to fight within close range to protect his master. That was when the alpa male wolf launched itself onto Berserker, using its size to its advantage. Illyasviel said nothing even as the alpha wolf started to tear into Berserker. Not a sound escaped her lips as blood started to splatter everywhere and the rest of the wolves began circling her.
The alpha was launched into the air. The body was followed closely by a blur of movement, and an ensuing blast sent the body down near Illyasviel, forcing snow and the predators away from the small girl. The Alpha looked relatively unharmed but Illyasviel noticed the caved in ribs from the side, the animal was killed instantly.
Again the feral scream came, and echoed around; with it a great strain came over the small master. At that instance the ground underneath each wolf exploded obscuring each one from Illyasviel's vision The sound of pained animals, bones breaking and growls came through the obstruction. Once the smoke cleared, the burned and broken remains of each attacker was laying on the snow. The smell of death began began to linger in air.
Illyasviel started to sweat despite the cold. The pain was becoming more and more unbearable. Her servant had disappeared from her view. "Berserker!" She had called out to her servant and he had answered her call immediately . Berserker had now changed. Dark shadows writhed around Berserker's small frame, his clothes had inverted in color, and symbols of power were appearing across his arms and started to crawl upon his face from the base of his neck. A rapidly healing bite wound on his right shoulder indicated the damage he had received from the alpha wolf, but was being covered by the shadows. The darkness itself seemed alive as it writhed around the servant and seemingly was empowering him. There was no doubt in her mind that Berserker's Mad Enhancement has taken hold of him, and from the information she had received about her servant earlier, it appeared his Noble Phantasm had activated.
"That's enough Berserker. We have completed our task. Let us return to the castle." Surprisingly, Berserker did not say anything but growled and nodded, and instead of turning immaterial like what he had done earlier he started to walk behind her, his feet crunching the snow, and the hissing of where he was standing indicated the melting of the white powder. Before following his master, Berserker waved his arm in a random direction, a small torrent of wind, enough not to be noticed over the howling winter chill, had appeared and destroyed the branches of a tree. With it, a small wire frame bird fell and slowly disintegrated before it hit the ground.
Jubstacheit sighed as looked at his written notes. Illyasviel, with her servant in tow, had returned minutes after he had given them their task. He quickly dismissed the two and returned to his written work. What was on the sheet or parchment were notes on Berserker. Frankly he was a bit surprised when his animatronic creation was blasted out of existence, his expectations of the newly summoned servant to be rather low. Aside from the information given by Illyasviel, he had taken down some notes of his own. First of all was that he kept track of the time Berserker spent in battle. The boy heroic spirit fought with a cool head and dispatched the wolves with efficiency, but as time wore on skill and efficiency were dropping in favor for more speed and power. In the end, the time limit before Berserker's Mad Enhancement to take effect was roughly around eight to ten minutes with some minor nuances he needed to check.
His thoughts on the summoned servant were quite mixed. Especially after hearing of the meddling that was done by Zeltrech himself. The Einzbern head had hoped that this spirit would be able to meet the criteria of an unstoppable juggernaut that a Berserker was supposed to be. Unfortunately, that did not seem to be the case. The spirit was that of a small boy, and even though the spirit in question had talents of that of a mage, he was unfit for the Berserker class. Then there was the case of the boy's legend in general. Heroic Spirits were beings whose skill and deeds echoed centuries and sometimes even millennia after their deaths. These were people who had skills in spades and had weapons which legends would sing about their destructive, overwhelming, or nigh god-like abilities. This Berserker only had a single spell as his noble phantasm, and while highly flexible with other unique spells, it was very different from magecraft and thaumaturgy, they would not be able to be fully utilize it's true potential. He saw it already. The boy fought with his mind. A highly intelligent being that would be able to come up with complex strategies even in the heat of battle.
Therein laid the problem. Due to the stigma of the Berserker class, the Mad Enhancement, it stripped this spirit of his true weapon, intellect; and though this specific Berserker had the mental discipline to actually fight of the encroaching chaos for a time, during battle and this was not a worry outside of conflict, it still lowered the spirit's true fighting potential. So with a grim determination he had started on what the family could come up with to increase the chances for victory.
"You wished to see me Grandfather?" Illyasviel had arrived in the Einzbern castle study. Berserker was no where to be seen, but no doubt faithfully near his master. It had been a week since Illyasviel had been called by the head. So far all she had done was clear out more rabid wolves and had been given the task of studying runic magic as well as her regular lessons in alchemy and sorcery. Jubstacheit beckoned for her to come closer. "Illyasviel, please call out your servant." The small girl nodded and in a moment Berserker materialized behind her. His eyes clear, showing his lucidity for the time being.
"The family has decided to change some plans in order to bolster our chances of winning the war. We had to change the method of your training if you have noticed this past week, but first." He then brought some packages out from underneath his table. "We have observed how your servant has fought. So in lack of any physical weapon we have devised these. Also, being your servant I think it would be appropriate that he at least be able to properly represent the Einzbern name." Opening the bulkiest one, the old mage unveiled pieces of plate armor; vambraces, sabatons, couters, schynbalds, and poleyns. Each piece was in the color of deep charcoal, but the metal reflected the light from the torches.
Berserker noted several runes on the each of the pieces, each placed to make an intricate design. The runes, Gapaldur for success in combat, Uruz for strength, speed and untamed potential, Thurisaz, directed force of detruction, Raidho for travel, Hagalaz for destructive and uncontrolled forces, Eihwaz for endurance, Algiz for protection, Sowilo, for success Each rune was heavily charged with mana. There was no doubt in that the Einzberns were doing everything for him to win his battles. Another parcel was laid next to the armor. Inside was a deep purple great coat. Stitched on the the upper left breast area was the Einzbern family crest, and just below that were runes as well. Tiwaz, analysis, rationaily, and success in any competition as well as Eihwz and Aligiz.
"The armor we made with Rhenium diboride, a synthetic super hard, and higly conductible material. Hopefully it should be able to stand up against the weapons of other servants. We made sure to reinforce the material to the furthest that we can with our alchemy and with these runes. The great coat is made from a special material, it may not be much, but it should provide a little more armor compared to the tatters Berserker is wearing. Do note though these materials were very expensive and took a lot of time and effort to create. Replacing them will be very difficulty to do." With the last sentence Berserker was given a pointed look. "Take these and carry on with your training. The war will be starting soon. I will call you again when it is time for you to depart."
llyasviel then turned to her servant and silently motioned for him to take the gifts. Berserker did so, and still without a word, Illyasviel curtsied to Jubstacheit and turned away and left the study, Berseker turning immaterial once again with the change of attire in tow. It would be several weeks before Illyasviel would be called upon again. During that time her training increased. She learned the use of runic magic and in conjunction with her own servant's capabilities as a mage she had developed more strategies that can be used. Berserker himself was not idle as well. Being a servant did not require him to eat and sleep. During the time of rest of his master the small servant could be found in the Einzbern library pouring old tomes and scrolls.
Other times he could be outside in the cold practicing forms of his unique magic, explosion could be heard on occasion outside on the castle grounds; and on the occasion members of the family would see him with the head of the house in deep discussion. During this long period of training Illyasviel hardly said a word to her servant sans orders she had to give. The only time Berserker spoke to her was when she would question him about his abilities.
Day after day passed, and the harsh training of Illyasviel never ceased; and while two of Illyasviel's closest confidants, Sella and Leysritt were there to help ease her pain, other members of the household were not as kind. Then the Einzberns finally found how far they could push Berserker's master without retaliation from the servant.
Eidhart Einzbern, the family expert on runic magic was once again teaching Illyasviel. Berserker was nowhere to be sen as the small homunculus was severely being berated by her instructor. "I told you time and time again not to mix up the symbols! Kenaz does not mean good harvest! What? Are you planning on giving your servant a bountiful cornucopia to battle with! You stupid girl!"
Eidhart had been holding a long pointer and while he would you use to get Illyasviel's attention, he had not directly tried to hit, until now. His wrist whipped and the long piece of wood descended to painfully rap on his student's hand as a reminder of this mistake. The makeshift whip did not reach its intended target.
"Y-Y-You! You dare!"
Berserker was beside his master, holding the tip of the pointer.
"You may be my master's instructor and part of her family. I have stood aside as you and others continued to use harsh words on her out of respect for her and that unnecessary actions may disgrace her."
Eidhart tried to retrieve his pointer from the small servant but the stick would not budge.
"But be warned..."
Berserker's voice was becoming an octave lower, he was now baring his teeth, and the shadows the Illyasviel had seen in the forest was slowly returning, eating away the light.
"If you try to do harm to my master again; I will personally see to your end!
Berserker gave the older man a small shove, but the mage was sent sprawling to the other end of the room. The commotion drew attention as Jubstacheit, on his rounds to check on Illyasviel's progress, Sella, and Leysritt rushed into the room to see what was wrong. The moment they arrived they saw Eidhart on the ground nursing his wrist, Illyasviel still in front of the worktable and Berserker standing protectively beside her.
Later, after the situation was explained, or in the case of Eidhart, complained, and the latter, as well as other more zealous educators, were given fair warning if they were to raise the servant's ire. He may be no Hercules, but he was a heroic spirit no less, and not so easily trifled with.
Finally, after three months from Berserker's summoning, Illyasviel had been summoned once again into Jubstacheit's study, this time Berserker did not follow her in spirit form but in material form. He was dressed smartly in his new attire, gone was the tattered oriental clothing, Berserker now wore the great coat grafted for him. Peeking out from the material were the vambraces with an accompanying leather gloves, on his arm and hands respectively; while on his feet were the sabatons.
Jubstacheit briefly gave the servant an affirmative nod, accepting the presentation silently. He then addressed Illyasviel on her task. The two of them were to travel to Fuyuki City. The site of the war. She was to be accompanied by both Sella and Leysrit and were to leave immediately. Then with his blessing, they were dismissed, with only Berserker staying after being asked to by Jubstacheit.
"Tell me Berserker? What do you think are your chances are for winning?" The head of the old family coolly asked the spirit. Giving him a blank stare Berserker answered. "With the training and support you given Illyasviel and myself, we may have a rough fifty percent at winning. It will depend on my master and what actions she will take."
Jubstacheit nodded. "Indeed it will. Despite showing me your memories, I still have doubts on your abilities to match the other servants." That thought was actually a mutual agreement between the two. Even if there was a strain on relations due to Illyasviel's treatment in the castle, the two came to a mutual respect as practitioners of the esoteric. After reviewing what they knew, it came down to this. Berserker was truly at a disadvantage. His existence before becoming a heroic spirit was roughly ten years of age, whilst other spirits had more. His experience in battles, even though they were high paced and extremely destructive, were short and few, meaning his skills would be polished at best. He had no weapon save for his spells, which was almost nullified due to his class. This would truly be an uphill battle.
"You may leave. Your master and her maids will be departing soon." As a sign of respect to the older man, Berserker turned around and walked out the door. After the spirit had left Jubstacheit sighed. "Good Luck." He whispered to them, it may be fatigue from his age, or maybe a a slight light of sentimentality but Jubstacheit hoped, as short a moment as it was, even if it was futile to do so, they would come back victorious and safe.
The trip to Fuyuki City was fast and uneventful due to the use of the Einzbern's private resources. "So this is Papa's home." Illyasviel stated as she took in the many sights and sounds as she and her escorts had left the airport. Sella looked through the tinted windows before addressing the matter at hand. "Yes mistress. We will be provided lodgings at the Einzbern castle in the outskirts of the city."
"Eh? Can't we observe the area first?" Despite being very formal in the Einzbern family estate Illyasviel is quite childish, physical appearance not to be included, with the people she was close to. "That would not be wise mistress, we have yet to establish our base of operations, and going out wantonly may invite danger." Sella was adamant and was ignoring the slight pleading look her junior, Leysritt was giving her as the latter drove the car. "How about you and Leysritt set up at the castle, and I will follow later. I already know where it is, and I will have Berserker escorting me. This would be a good opportunity to scout the area of the battle and any information on the area can be of help." Sella used the the rearview mirror and noted the slight smug smile on her mistress' face. The plan was sound despite the dangers, and Illyasviel was right, they would still have to scout the city late and it would take more time to do these actions separately.
The maid sighed but conceded. Illyasviel cheered and soon she was dropped in the Miyama section. "Remember mistress, we still have to prepare the mansion for any attacker and having you and yours servant to help in the preparations will make it easier on us all." With those final words the two maids left their charge and her immaterial servant.
"Berserker, do you sense any of the other servants?"
Illyasviel walked around the streets, watching the sights and sounds of this new place. More often than not, her sight would linger on passing parents with their children.
"Yes master. I can sense at least five servants already in this city; but there is too much mana in the area for me to ascertain their location."
Despite being of the Berserker class, Negi still qualified as a mage, as such his skill of magic perception was still fairly accurate, if only outside of battle where he could concentrate. Illyasviel clicked her tongue as she skipped passed a cat. During the rest of the impromptu sight-seeing tour of the city Berserker was alert, and keenly observing his surroundings, remembering pathways and the like for any future necessities. During the trip Illyasviel had become enamored by a small toy shop and the little items inside. It wasn't long before Illyasviel left the window but not before giving one last glance at a particular item, a small white beat with a red bow tie around its neck. Both master and servant continued with this trek, passing several stores to the homunuclus' fancy, stopping by to look through the stores windows before going to the next. Soon, the sun was starting to set, and Berserker had reminded his master about the time.
"I know." The girl's rely was slightly solemn, her red eyes were not focusing in anything in particular, giving credence that she was dabbling in past memories, probably happier times due to the small smile creeping up her lips. Soon the two went to their appointed place of meeting at he Einzbern estate on the outskirts of the city in silence.
As soon as the two had arrived both Illyasviel and her servant had started to work furiously on improving the defenses of the base. Neither servant nor the attendants found the source of their charge's new found passion and drive, but the former had an idea though the times he glanced at her face during their trip around Fuyuki.
Their bases defense included several alarm and wards to make sure their would be no sneak attacks and to accurately pinpoint the location of any intruder entering the grounds. Magic circles were crafted everywhere inside the building and the immediate grounds surrounding it. Each one charged with different incantations and prana. Working around Berserker's flaw they found during their month long training back in Germany.
Jubstacheit had told Illyasviel on the time limit Berserker had before Mad Enhancement would set in. The general stratagem was that Negi would be in his most optimum for the first ten minutes of the battle. The problem was the constant use of medium to high end spellwork would cost him those few precious minutes and the activation of his noble phantasm would cut that even further, Illyasviel was charged to help in the spell incantations and use of prana. While she could not help in the activation of the spell she can help in special magic circle designed to hold the spell and the energy it needed to be used at a later date, sort of a delayed spell so that her servant would just have to activate the circle with his certain phrase and the stored magic would spring to life to be used as the servant would see fit with little to no repercussion. The circles would only be visible once activated and since these were made by Negi and his special brand of magic, the most likely one able to sense these runic constructions would the caster class servant of this war. For now, they held the home field advantage in the Einzbern estate.
Her orders had been forceful and cold to her servant, making him double checking everything to her satisfaction. By the end of the night what should've taken days for an accomplished mage to do was done in hours. At the days end and with a hearty meal provided by Sella and Leysritt, Illyasviel turned in for the night, her fatigue and prana consumption already affecting her small body. Before she did she approached by her servant. "Master, may I speak with you for a moment?" Illyasviel gave a nod. "Yes, but be quick, it has been a long day and I need my rest." Berserker materialized before her but she was surprised when she saw what he was holding. It was a teddy bear. It looked like the one from the toy store they were at earlier with a some differences. First, was that instead of a red bow tie it was regular tie colored crimson and it was tucked away inside the small purple coat the bear wore. The bear looked cure and somehow dignified at the same time.
"I had asked both Sella and Leysritt for help. Think of it as a present from the three of us." Berserker said this with a small smile. Dressed in her white sleeping dress, Illyasviel took the bear, her bangs preventing her eyes from showing and whispered "Thank you, now, please leave, I need my rest." Berserker nodded before respectfully leaving the room via the door.
Illyasviel clutched the bear in her hands tightly before tucking herself in.
It was during the wee hours of midnight the that a blurred figure was moving through the surrounding forests of the Einzbern estate. Dressed in a blue jumpsuit silver lines and shoulder guards and wielding a red spear, the figure leapt from tree branch to tree branch before landing in front of the mansion's front entrance. He was surprised to see a small figure in front of him. "Welcome to the Einzbern estate. How may I help you?" Illyasviel curtsied in front of the stranger. She was alerted right away when someone had entered the forest and had quickly dressed herself to greet the guest.
The man gave a two fingered salute and a smile, his weapon resting over his shoulder. "Yo there little miss, my master sent me to greet and welcome you to the war." Illyasviel smiled. "Thank you, though I doubt that is the only thing your master sent you to do." She then scrutinized his weapon of choice. "Servant Lancer I presume?"
Lancer chuckled before twirling his weapon expertly and readied himself. "You presume right little lady. Now, why don't you call out your servant so that we can begin the festivities." He gave her a cheeky grin. "As you wish, BERSERKER!"
Lancer leapt back as the spot he had been standing on had exploded, smoke obscuring his vision temporarily. His weapon at the ready, Lancer's grip increased as he prepared to charge but faltered as the smoke cleared. It was slow and soft, but full blown laughter started to ring in the night.
Illyasviel puffed out her cheeks in indignation. Berserker himself narrowed his eyes at the blue servant but not shift his stance. "I-I'm sorry, you just surprised me there." Lancer stifled his laughter quite quickly. Again he readied himself. "Got to admit, this is the first time I will be fighting a kid, servant or not." Berserker did not say anything but took his stance.
WIth a feral grin, Lancer charged. The distance was easily crossed in a fraction of a second. The red spear in Lancer's hand moved as if alive to the will of its owner. Red lines came rapidly at the smaller of the servants. In that instance Berserker started to move to meet his opponent. The sound of metal against metal resounded. Again and again, as the red bullets were to meet their target they would be swatted aside. Berserker himself standing against the onslaught, moving closer and closer to the blue knight. The rapid thrusts stopped and Lancer moved his weapon to make a low sweep. The transition was instantaneous and flawless. Truly this spirit was skilled. Despite the attack never breaking it's flow Berserker used that small opening in the shift of attacks to gap the remaining distance.
The smaller servant gripped his opponent's wrist just as he was about to be shoved away. Lancer was momentarily taken aback by strength the boy hero possessed. The blue knight was pulled even closer before Berserker struck with a quick elbow strike to the abdomen. The blue servant was pushed back but Berserker tried to close the distance again. Lancer, not one to be put down easily, made a counter of his own. The red lance was used once again into a low sweep, it was soon followed by an upward slash. Berserker blocked the first strike before being launched into the air. Lancer followed the smaller servant with rapid thrust, using the range of his spear to his advantage.
The attacks were parried again. As the long weapon was being pulled back for another thrust, Berserker took hold of part of the shaft and was dragged along with it. Lancer seeing an impending attack furthered the distance between his hands on the shaft of his weapon, then using the center of his lance as a fulcrum, used the reverse end to make a quick swipe and push his opponent away.
His body following through with the first attack Lancer had reallinged himself and commenced a thrust to the heart. But with the effect of gravity and the direction of Berseker's flight, the the bladed tip missed its intended mark and buried itself instead in the smaller servant's shoulder. Pressing his advantage, Lancer flicked his opponent of his weapon and into a tree. As he neared the foliage Berserker flipped in mid air to land on the trunk with his feet and hopped down back to the ground, Lancer landing a few feet away, a smirk on his lips.
"You got skills kid. Maybe I should take you a little more seriously."
Lancer lowered his stance, his lance ready for a charging thrust. Prana had started to permeate through the air, and the red weapon glowed eerily in the night. There was something about the weapon. Both master and servant knew that the red spear that this blue knight was wielding was dangerous, and could spell out anyones death.
Before he could continue his attack Lancer's grin faded and was replaced with a frown. He lowered his stance. "Sorry little miss" He turned towards Illyasviel. "My master wants me back. We'll have to finnish this another time." Illyasviel gave a small nod. It was apparent that the blue servant was going to invoke his noble phantasm.
Lancer gave another two finger salute to both master and servant; and with that leapt off into the trees. It took only a few minutes for the wards to lose track of the servant, pinpointing that he left the forest. "Master..." Berserker looked at his Master in concern, her face set into a frown before she turned around to face the doors of the estate. "Too weak, your too weak Berserker. You could have easily beaten him. At the rate we are going we might lose this war." Without another word Ilyasviel went back inside to rest. The battle was short but it revealed something to both of them.
Lancer was about to release his secret weapon to them. That spear in his hand giving the feeling of an impending death. It was certain Berserker's demise would have been assured. Berserker himself did not want to release the magic circle Lancer and himself had been standing on the entire time. The spell readied inside was a Jovis Tempestas Fulguriens (Jupiter's Storm of Thunder), it was a powerful spell one Berserker had used many times in his life before, a combination of both wind and thunder magic that unleashed a devastating storm of destructive energy. The small servant however refrained from using it, he refrained from using any magic at all for this skirmish, relying solely on his close combat prowess. It may have been a mistake, one that may have cost him dearly if not for Lancer's master recalling the servant at that specific moment.
His reasoning was simple. He had wanted to gauge Lancer's abilities first hand, and he did not want to readily reveal his own aces. The pain in his shoulder began to fade as prana began to knit back the flesh. The coat had take some damage as well, but was slowly repairing itself as if alive, no doubt the works of the Einzebern family. As he stood there Berserker realized he mustn't hold back too much, it was stupid. These other servants possessed skills unrivaled by most that he had encountered in his life before. The only one even coming close would be Jack Rakan, and then he was still holding back most of the time they had "sparred". Berserker resumed his astral form, he would have to think carefully how to fight from now on. Holding back his skills too much was dangerous, but showing too much was just as risky, he would have to find a point of balance so as not to endanger himself or his master in future skirmishes.
End of Chapter 1
Ok that was a doozy of a remake, I would like to personally thank Logan Murder of Crows in helping fix this. Now before you review and rewrite, this chapter may still have kinks so I will Iron them out as I go along. Currently, this chapter took me roughly a month and a half to finnish, and I was wracking my brains out how to make it. Hopefully this was better than the last.
Please no flames, as they will be used to light my incense. Hope you enjoyed this.
P.s: messed up with the format so sorry for those few readers