Author's Note: Welcome. This is my first Fate/Stay Night fanfiction. I sincerely hope I don't lose interest and I shall try my best to complete this fic. This story is essentially a re-imagining of UBW with a few changes: Shirou, and by extension ** has been genderswapped to become Ayaka, who then summons Caster instead of Saber. Saber in this story is NOT Arturia, many of the Master/Servant pairings *coughCasterAssassincough* have been changed out of necessity, Bazett LIVES. As for OCs, the main character is an OC, although she shares similar ideals & Convictions, as well as abilities. Other changes I've made include changing Shirou/Ayaka's teacher from Rin to Caster. Sakura will play an important role, Unlimited Blade Works works differently, Archer's abilities are modified to fit archery over swordfighting. My Caster is somewhat OC. Her personality is original, but she is based on an existing (fictional) character. I think I make it quite obvious who she is in this story, but if you wish to guess, PM me. Anyway, I look forward to continuing this journey with you and I hope that you could take the liberty of reviewing my story. Thank you.
P.S. If any readers wish to know the status on my PJO fic, Forbidden, I've lost interest in it due to a little game known as Fate/Extra. I'll probably continue after I read SoN, but for now, the spark's gone.
I hide at the corner of the building, observing the battle between the two figures. On the right is a blue-haired man in blue tights, wearing a smug smile on his face and striking with his blood-red lance almost effortlessly. On the left, a girl with whitish hair. Her pink coat flutters around her as she strikes back at her opponent, her actions a blur, with a blade in each hand. One blade is white, white as the new moon, a dazzling star in the darkness of night, while the other blade is pitch black, a darkness only found in the deepest abyss. They spar for many moments more, and I am frozen in place, partly from fear, partly due to admiration of the pace of the battle. After an eternity of exchanging blows, they stop, separating and facing each other.
The man in blue smirks, and comments: "Not bad. Your class is Archer, but without using your true weapon, you can keep up with me. Color me impressed." The girl in pink, whom I assume to be Archer, replies. "Lancer. The ferocity with which you attack is like that of a wild dog, yet your technique and form are impeccable. Truly, you have obtained an impressive level of skill with the spear. I can guess your identity right here. You are none other than Cu Chulainn, the Irish hero of legend." Lancer laughs, responding with a smile. "Well done. Unfortunately, I have yet to learn of your name. Oh well." He takes up a stance, his red spear gleaming behind him. A veritable aura of death and blood emanates from his person. Across from him, Archer's eyes widen, as Lancer calmly continues. "If you know of my identity, you know of my weapon. Farewell. Gae – hmm?" He suddenly turns to stare straight at the place where I am hidden. "It looks like we have an unexpected guest."
Overcome by a sense of fear and terror, I turn and flee the area, running up the stairs of the school hall. Who were these people? Why were they battling to the death in the middle of the school yard? As I run, I begin to tire. My heart begins beating harder, but I continue running, hoping to find some way to escape. Just as I reach the back door of the school building, I see a flash of blue, then a spark of red. My chest erupts in agony. Falling to the floor, I look up to see the man called "Lancer" staring at me impassively. He calmly states, "Sorry, but my Master said not to leave any witnesses. It's nothing personal. Goodbye, young lady." With that, he turns and leaves the building. I feel nothing other than blinding pain, and then I feel nothing at all.
Is it over? Am I going to die? Is my life going to end here? Sorry Kiritsugu, I wasn't able to fulfill your ideal. I wasn't able to protect the life you gave me. As I decide to accept my demise, I feel a warm feeling in my chest. I hear a voice, one that seems distant. "She's not dead!" It belongs to a girl, and the voice sounds strangely familiar. I feel something touch my chest, and I feel something flowing into me. After an eternity, I hear footsteps walking away. Remaining on the ground for what seems like close to an hour, I finally open my eyes. I find myself lying in the hallway where I collapsed. My blouse is stained with my own blood. I probe the area around my heart gently with my fingers, but I find no wound. Standing up, I make my way home, hoping that rest will allow me to make sense of the night.
As I stumble into the dining room, I sit down and make myself a cup of tea. As I begin mulling over the events of the night, a strange ringing goes off in the back of my mind as the defensive ward around my home is breached. An intruder. Resisting the urge to panic, I look around the room for anything I can use as a weapon. Seeing a poster on the wall, I rip it off and roll it up.
A searing pain flows through my body as I turn my nervous system into a temporary magic circuit. Reinforcing…begin. I pour prana into the rolled up poster, increasing its durability and sharpness, as well as fixing its shape. I barely have time to transfer the poster from my left hand to my right before the same man in blue from earlier, Lancer, bursts into the room through a wall. With his spear in hand, he regards me curiously. "My Master said to hunt down a new Master, but aren't you that girl I killed earlier? Huh, guess you must be rather proficient to heal a wound like that. Whatever. Just consider this bad luck." Moving faster than my eye can see, he thrusts his spear at my heart. Trusting my instinct, I bring up my poster and deflect the attack. As his spear is blocked, Lancer seems shocked for a moment, then begins to laugh. "Very good! A prey that doesn't fight back is boring." He launches two more strikes at me, both which I defend against through sheer luck. However, upon the second strike, the makeshift weapon which I hold shatters and breaks. Lancer seems disappointed, but advances towards me. With no other choice, I run. I run out of the house into the workshop, where I hope the magical defences will protect me. Unfortunately, Lancer follows soon after and destroys my wards in a matter of seconds.
He steps through the door and looks down at me.
No! I don't want to die!
He raises his spear.
A bright light flashes, illuminating the room. A beautiful melody fills the air. In confusion, Lancer hesitates. "What the –" His voice is cut off as he is flung backward by an invisible force. Standing before me, with her back to me, is a girl. The melody hanging in the air fades away as she turns to face me. She wears an elegant yet simple one-piece white dress that flows down to her knees. A simple white ribbon accentuates her long flowing, beautiful yellow hair, which sways gently around her waist. Her eyes are a light blue in color, and her face seems childish, her demeanor carrying the innocence of childhood, yet also portraying the regal bearing of royalty. She smiles and asks me a question in a voice which reminds me of the sea, a voice of beauty and elegance. "Good evening. Are you my Master?" Driven by some unknown force, I make my reply.
"Then the contract is complete. I am the Servant known as Caster, and I shall be the wind beneath your wings."
I feel a burning sensation on my left hand. Clutching it in agony, I see three glowing red marks etch themselves upon my skin. Finally, the glow recedes and the pain subsides. Caster looks at me and grins. "Now that the formalities are dealt with, please take good care of me!" Any answer I might have given is cut off by the sight of Lancer marching towards us, murder in his eyes. "So, I see that you found yourself a Servant. But still… it's just Caster." Without another word, he lowers his spear and charges at us. Behind me, Caster begins to sing, a haunting melody which touches the soul:
"Not even sure where tomorrow can be found,
you, using an arbitrarily scribbled justice as your shield,
sent with faith a bird into the sky, towards the paradise"
As she sings, I am enveloped by warmth as Lancer's spear is deflected by an unseen barrier. Coming at me from different angles, he is unable to find any opening in the field which surrounds me. Frustrated, he steps back, creating distance between us. Once again, he takes up a stance like the one he assumed at the school. The atmosphere changes to one of death and blood. However, once more, his attack is interrupted by Caster's voice. The song which she is singing has changed.
"In a corner of this room where I kissed a purple butterfly on my right shoulder,
I learn the emotion of grief, as the piano emits an echoing tune of dissonance."
As her song washers over the area, Lancer seems frozen, unable to move. "Tsk. Your magic paralyses me." Gritting his teeth, he exerts a great amount of effort, the strain on his body clearly evident by the tightening of veins on his neck. Ever so slowly, he inches towards me, before he stops of his own accord. In the distance, I hear a voice, belonging to the person who saved me earlier.
"There! I've found Lancer! But…I'm detecting another Servant there as well…"
Lancer seems to be speaking to himself. "They've found me." Then his eyes narrow. "Retreat? Alright, Master." It seems he's been given orders to withdraw. He looks me in the eye. "You are an interesting girl. However, my Master used a command seal to force my retreat. Sadly, our confrontation will have to be settled at a later date. Until then, goodbye." He shimmers, then disappears. Caster lets the song die down, and smiles at me. "Don't worry about him. He won't harm you as long as I'm here. I will protect you."
At that moment, Archer, the white-haired girl, steps through the door, followed by none other than Tohsaka Rin, the "idol" of my school. With her long, black hair in twin tails, she is dressed in a red blouse with a black skirt. She looks at me, then glances at Caster, and I see the change in her expression from shock to wariness. I look at Caster, and I see a fire burning behind her blue eyes. Her gaze is fixed on Tohsaka's red blouse, as well as on her twin tails. Somehow, the combination of these two elements of Tohsaka's appearance caused great anger in Caster, and she opens her mouth, preparing to sing. Archer protectively steps in front of Tohsaka, preparing for an attack, but I quietly ask Caster to step down. "They're not our enemies, not tonight." Caster looks reluctant, but becomes visibly more relaxed. Similarly, Tohsaka and Archer seem relieved. I invite them all into the house. I have several questions for Tohsaka.
Once seated inside, I pour some tea for the four of us, and we sit in uncomfortable silence at the table. Finally, Tohsaka speaks. "Emiya…Ayaka, was it?" I silently nod. "Well, since you're here, I might as well tell you about your situation. As the Servant sitting by your side proves, you are now a participant in the Holy Grail War." For the next hour, Tohsaka gives me an overview on the origin, purpose and history of the Holy Grail War. Though I am sceptical at first, I accept what she tells me as the truth. When she finishes, I ask a question which has been weighing on my mind. "Tohsaka-san, what exactly is a Servant?"
Taking a deep breath, she provides me with a lengthy answer. "Servants are Heroic Spirits given physical form through the magic of the Grail. Heroic Spirits are the spirits of legends, of beings that have accomplished great feats or who have obtained mastery over a particular art to the point where they are unparalleled in that art. Servants are divided into seven classes: Saber, Archer, Lancer, Rider, Assassin, Berserker and Caster. As the names suggest, Saber-class Servants are Heroic Spirits proficient in the blade, to be more precise, Sabers are swordsmen whose skill with the sword has bought them a place in legend, such as King Arthur. Similarly, Archers, like mine, are Heroic Spirits who have mastered the art of ranged fighting using Projectile Weaponry. Lancers are those who have achieved mastery of the lance, while Casters, like yours, are Heroic Spirits who have obtained incredible levels of mastery over thaumaturgy. Rider is self-explanatory as a class: it refers to those who have become famous through their use of a great mount of some kind, such as Iskandar and his Gordian Chariot. Berserker and Assassin are slightly harder to explain. Berserkers are Heroic Spirits whose have experienced madness at any point in their lives. While Berserkers generally have the capabilities to be summoned into some other class, if they are summoned as Berserkers, they gain an ability known as Mad Enhancement. When active, it raises their parameters, but makes them incapable of logical thought. Finally, Assassins are Heroic Spirits who have mastered the art of killing from the shadows and evading enemies. Did you get all that?"
She looks at me, wondering how I am reacting to the information. As I digest the information, A question occurs to me, which I ask her. "So what is the name of your Servant?" Immediately, her eyes narrow and she looks at me suspiciously. Then, she relaxes. "You probably ask out of ignorance. No good Master will tell you their Servant's name. Every Heroic Spirit has a legend. If you know the name of the Servant, finding out its weaknesses, strengths, disposition, reasoning and even its Noble Phantasm is a simple thing." Seeing the look on my face at the unfamiliar term "Noble Phantasm", she sighs and facepalms. "A Noble Phantasm is the ultimate weapon of a Servant. It normally takes the form of an item which the Servant owned and kept close to its heart when it was alive, however, it can also manifest as concepts, ideas or inherent physical unique abilities. For example, if King Arthur were to be summoned, his Noble Phantasm would most likely be his famous sword, Excalibur. Most Noble Phantasms have a weakness of some kind, and if you know the identity of a Servant, finding said weakness is a matter of simple research. In any case, it's safe to tell you the identity of my Servant." Surprised at her trust in me, I hold my breath, waiting for her revelation. "I don't know. My Servant has amnesia, so even she is unaware of her identity" I fall flat on the floor. That was anticlimactic. Tohsaka glares at Archer, who looks down at the ground, apologetic. "In any case, meet me after school tomorrow. I'll take you to see the administrator of the Holy Grail War, and he can answer any other burning questions you may have. Then, you can decide what you want to do." With that, she stands up and leaves. Archer stares at me for a second, before turning around and walking out behind her Master.
Left alone in the room with Caster, I sigh and close my eyes, trying to come to terms with my new reality. Caster sees my anxiety and reassures me, saying, "Don't worry Ayaka. I'll protect you in this War. With me by your side, you have nothing to fear!" she smiles a gentle smile at me. "I know you will, Caster. You know my name, however I have yet to ask for yours." I inquire about her identity. Hiding her eyes, she looks down at the ground. "I would prefer if you did not know." Feeling hurt, I stand up without another word and open the door to my room. "Wait!" I turn around. I see Caster looking at me with a profound sadness in her eyes. "It's not that I want to hide it from you, but you're an inexperienced Master, and I fear that a more skilled Magus would be able to extract the information from your mind, and…and…" Tears come into her eyes. "If you knew my name, you might hate me." I walk towards her and embrace her. "I understand your concerns. You don't need to tell me your name if you think I'm not strong enough to protect it. But I want you to know that no matter who you are, I won't hate you. Even if you are Medea, the evil sorceress of Colchis, I will forgive you. Please don't let that be a factor in your decision of whether to tell me." Choking back a sob, Caster thanks me.
After a long while, I release my embrace. Something occurs to me. "Caster, Tohsaka said that magi normally use their Magic Circuits to provide energy for the Servants to exist. However, I don't have any Magic Circuits. So how will you survive?" I shuddered at the thought that Caster might disappear from the world simply due to my incompetency as a Magus. However, Caster merely smiles at me and replies, "Don't worry Ayaka. By the contract, I am draining the bare minimum needed for me to exist from your body. While this limits my abilities and lowers my natural parameters, I am able to exist and live, so don't worry. However, to conserve my energy so that I can fight, I will need to sleep and eat. Other Servants do not require that, so we are handicapped in a way…" I am relieved to find out that Caster won't disappear. I never intended to deprive her of sleep and food, so the arrangement was perfectly acceptable. However, there was one question which I needed to ask. "Caster, where would you like to sleep? I have a six-tatami room in the house that's empty, but if you'd rather sleep in a bed, there's a room in the west wing of the house." Caster seems a bit shy, but she asks in a soft voice, "If possible, I would prefer to sleep in the same room as you. It will allow me to protect you better should an enemy attempt a sneak attack." I can see her entire face turning red. "I'm fine with that. There's nothing to be embarrassed about." I see her lift her face to look at me questioningly. "After all, we're both girls, right? So there's nothing wrong with sharing a room." Caster looks downcast, "That's right…we're both girls…" Deciding that I'd rather not think about the implications of her actions, I lead her to my room. Exhausted, I collapse onto my tatami, and I begin to drift off into sleep. I feel Caster's watchful presence, and I know that I am safe.
I dream. I dream of a throne room, brilliant in its majesty, filled with riches. I see caster seated upon the throne, dressed in a majestic yellow dress. She looks no older than fourteen, and her face is alive with jubilation and innocence, untainted by the sadness she bears now. At her side is a boy, dressed in a suit. Next to each other, the similarities are striking. Their faces look almost identical, and their hair bears the same shade of yellow. Yet, it is obvious that my Servant is the monarch, and the yellow-haired boy her subject. As she talks animatedly, the boy remains watchful, nodding whenever she says something that requires a response, yet keeping an eye on those around her. Once more, I find myself wondering: who is Caster?