The Holy Grail War. A battle fought with lies, secrets, magecraft, and most importantly, Servants. Historic heroes of legend that upon death ascended to the Throne of Heroes as a reward for their accomplishments in life. Summoned into roles, these heroes would do battle, each seeking a wish from the Holy Grail itself, an artefact capable of anything, even True Magic.
There have been 4 Grail Wars in history, each ending differently, but all of them having a single wish granted. These wars were bloody, terrifying, and collectively claimed the lives of thousands of people. Now, in the 5th Grail War, the time for battle had once again come.
A single Servant could turn the tides of the War. Each of the 7 heroes summoned could win, and each, no matter how powerful could lose. Making up for the differences in strength, Masters control their Servants, binding them to the World, keeping them from fading away.
And thus, in a church upon a hill, one Master made a decision that would change the face of the Grail War.
"I have grown bored." The man spoke. Garbed in the vestments of a priest, the man sat at a table, eating a bowl of mapo tofu. "I have... become tired of this monotony, Gilgamesh."
"Oh? It is rare for you to lose interest. I had thought that the Emiya boy interested you, Kotomine." His companion responded with a lazy expression, but his crimson eyes stared directly into the other's mind.
The false priest smiled. "He is the same as that man. I already know which path he shall choose." He stirred the meal in front of him, gazing into the mapo tofu's steaming innards. "I wish for something more than this... farce. If I do not act, this war shall merely become a repetition of the last."
The other person had the appearance of a man. He possessed all of the necessary attributes of a human, but he could not be called one. He was too different, too divine to be compared to a lowly being such as a human. Even an ordinary human could tell simply from the golden armour he was clad in, that this person was beyond humanity. "An interesting thought, but what about the current Grail War? Surely you do not intend to simply leave your post as the Master of Lancer unfilled? And do not forget, Kotomine, that I too have a stake in this War."
"I will not abandon my duties. I shall simply... turn the wheel of fate, and set it spinning once more. This war bores me, and all it requires is some prodding to... spice things up." Kotomine Kirei set down his spoon. He focused his mind, and sent a call through the command spells on his hand.
Almost immediately, a blur sped through the church, stopping instantly in the dining room. The man wearing a blue jumpsuit leaned on his crimson lance, waiting for a command. He too, like the false priest's companion, could not be called human. From his cobalt hair to his crimson eyes, his entire being radiated superiority, though not to the same extent as that of the golden Servant. "What is it, Kotomine? What do ya want this time?" He spat, seemingly annoyed at the sudden call.
"Lancer, I have decided."
Lancer's red eyes narrowed. "What do ya want me to do this time? Perhaps you wish me to fight each Servant once more, with my hands tied behind my back? Or should I go for the Masters this time?"
"Feh, nothing as ignoble as that." The golden king spoke. "I am sure it will be a task worthy of a dog such as you."
"You're on my list."
"Lancer." The priest spoke. He looked the spearman in the eye and invoked his second command spell. "Defeat every Servant in the War other than yourself. You may use your full power to accomplish this task, and do not return here until it is finished." As the spell on his arm unravelled, Kotomine felt its power flow into Lancer through their magical contract. There would be no refusing this order.
Lancer's surprised expression only lasted for a single moment, before reforming into his usual grin. "Finally! Took ya long enough, I was beginning to think you'd never let me get a decent fight in!" Without even bothering to hear the priest's reply, Lancer dashed out of the church, no doubt already seeking his first target.
The golden man looked at the priest with disgust. "You'd let that whelp near my Saber? Kotomine, if he kills her..." The glare spoke plainly. What waited would be Death.
"He won't." The priest took up his spoon once more. "He will not win. You can remember that I did not order him to win the war, but simply to defeat the servants. And there is no way for him to succeed in that respect. Saber will defeat him, if he even survives long enough to get to her."
Gilgamesh narrowed his eyes. "You play a dangerous game. But you are correct. Lancer will die like the dog he is. And if he does kill Saber, then it is her fault for dying to a half starved hound. The Saber who belongs to me wouldn't lose."
"Oh? I was under the impression that you were fond of her?" The raised eyebrow made the Kotomine's question evident.
"If a possession cannot accomplish the task it was made for, then it is faulty. And faulty possessions must be... replaced. The dog will be a measure of whether or not she is suitable to be my possession. After all, a King should only accept the finest treasures into his chambers."
Lancer sped across the rooftops, invisible in the night to any ordinary bystanders. As he headed into the heart of Fuyuki City, he thought over Kotomine Kirei's words. Something wasn't right.
"Defeat all of the Servants... not that I'm complaining, but why not just 'Win the Grail War'? This is just too good to be true." Contrary to his Master's opinion, Lancer was not a fool. This smelt of secrecy and plotting, both things Lancer despised on principle.
He stopped in the center of the commercial district, on the roof of one of the tallest buildings. Below, the entire city laid spread out, clearly visible. He could see all the way from the old half of the city to the brightly lit newer part. The Servant gazed upon it. Though he was no Archer, and thus unable to fully utilise the view, the locations of each enemy Servant were clearly etched in his mind, along with his Master's order.
"So he wants me to die? I should've known the bastard would throw me away eventually. Too bad, I'm not planning on dying. If he wants me to beat all of the Servants, then that's exactly what I'll do." Lancer didn't really care about his Master's intricate and often overcomplicated plans. As long as he knew where to point his weapon he'd be satisfied.
"This is a problem though... I won't be able to win at this rate." While Cu Chulainn always enjoyed a good battle, a loss was not something he wished to experience. Not when it could be easily prevented. "Bah, I'll think of something later." He finally decided. "Right now, there's only one thing I have to decide."
"Who do I attack first?"