Black Cat's Luck (IV)

The motorbike roared as it ate away at the asphalt underneath its wheels. Its speed had long since surpassed what its specs said it could do, but even if it risked exploding, its rider had not intention of letting go of the throttle.

Every second was more precious than a drop of blood.

He only had a passing concern for the risk of causing an accidents. There were only so many things that a man could worry about simultaneously, and that quota was fully met by the need to shave even a single second from the time it took to get to his destination.

The headlight of the motorbike was just a blur even to the other drivers. He overtook them and disappeared before they even realized he had been there. For every moment it took him, the odds of succeeding shrunk a little bit. For every mile left, death loomed closer.

He nearly drove the motorbike right through the chain-link fence. It was only because he knew what was at stake that he suppressed his need to barge in like a raging bull, slowing down still wasn't an option. He let the bike fall to the side and off road while he used the inertia to throw himself over the fence.

Kanshou and Bakuya appeared in Emiya Shirou's hands as he descended from the sky, eyes burning like a vengeful god.

Someone's night was about to make a turn for the worst, no matter the circumstances.

Dying before fulfilling the promise she made to her sister filled Motoko's heart with regret, even more so than dying without a good reason.

Therefore, when the kill order was given, and it was obvious that they would not be spared, Motoko dove for her sword. She would not get to it. She knew as much. She was extremely fast but not faster than a bullet, and even if by some miracle she managed to get ahold of it, she's still be greatly outnumbered.

However, she had to try at the very least.

She had underestimated her own speed, because from the moment she moved to the moment the first shot rang out, she had retrieved her weapon. Having sparred only against a vastly more powerful opponent such as Shirou, she did not realize until that moment how fast she had become.

More than just increasing her speed, her training regime had improved on her ability to accelerate at the drop of a hat, reaching her top speed in a single heartbeat. Unless one was prepared for it, they would certainly be caught by surprise.

The first few bullets zipped close, barely missing her. She rolled on the ground pulling Shisui out of its scabbard before they could realign their aim.


The blade of manifested ki ripped through the air and caught one of the mercenaries dead on, throwing him against another one. Both men rolled on the ground, temporarily disabled.

The bullet that tore through her thigh, disrupted her balance and sealed her movements while the one that hit her shoulder made her spin in place. Still, even through the pain and the awareness that her struggle had been short lived, Motoko had yet to give up.

Since they had been so kind to put some kinetic energy into her, she decided to make good use of it by pivoting on her leg and lashing out a second time.


The ground exploded in a shower of dirt, blowing up three more opponents, but because to every action equals an opposite reaction, the unbalanced Motoko was also thrown backwards, rolling several times before coming to a stop with her back on the ground, face looking up.

"MOTOKO!" cried Naru.

"I told you she was dangerous," sighed Kyoko. "Put her down for good once and for all, will you?"

"Yes, ma'am."

Shift feet quickly approached and Shisui was kicked out of her hand before she could use it again.

Her last attack had taken out three people, but that still wasn't enough to turn the tables, and now that she was on the ground she had no chance to recover. It was over. For real this time.

Her killer stood above her with his gun pointed at her face and squeezed the trigger.


Motoko's vision went red. It took her a moment to realize that the bullet hadn't gone through her eye, as she immediately believed, and that being able to think meant that she was still alive.

The blood wasn't her own. It came from the arm of the mercenary above of her, which had been run through by something resembling a huge nail attached to a long chain. The impact had thrown off his aim and made him miss.

"What the FuAAaaaH!"

The chain was pulled back and the man was yanked off his feet screaming in pain. He disappeared him into the darkness of the forest nearby.

"Yamata!" called one of his comrades in alarm.


The gun went off a couple more times, but it was impossible to see who or what he was shooting at.

"No! No! NoaaAAAGghh-"

A sound like flesh and bones being torn put an end to the man screams. An object was thrown back at the group and it thumped on the ground where everyone could see it.

It was Yamata's arm, with his gun still held by his twitching fingers.

By the looks of the wound it had been ripped clean off his shoulder.

The mercenaries immediately recognized this new threat as their primary concern and all of them, save for two who still kept their weapons on the hostages, turned their guns in the direction where the man called Yamata had been dragged and killed.

No one expected that the chain would appear from a completely different direction. Especially not from up above. It wrapped around the neck of another man and pulled him into the night with a strangled yelp.

"...ayyyeeEEEE-" THUD!

He fell to the ground face down from god only knew how high. The impact with the ground did not cover the sound of his boneS breaking horribly. There was no doubt he had died on the spot.

"Shit! Shit! Boss, what the hell's going on?" asked one of the man who had his gun aimed at the girls "What's-"

He didn't get to say anything else, because a figure had appeared out of nowhere in front of him.

A blindfolded woman with long, purple hair; clad in a short, revealing dress and thigh high boots. Without a word, she grabbed both sides of his face and and twisted his head around with a crack. He blinked once at his comrades behind him, who stared back IN horror.

Then he seemed to realize that he had been killed and he dropped dead without a word.

"SHOOT! SHOOT!" someone shouted.

It was already too late for that.

The woman moved, hair whipping after her like the trail of a purple comet. The chains that were her weapons of choice followed her motion. It was like a small, localized hurricane had been unleashed.

They whirred, hissing like steel snakes and tearing into the bodies of the mercenaries, ripping them quite literally to pieces.

Blood and gore were splattered all around in a circle, but not a single drop fell on any of the girls. It was finished as quickly as it had started. All of a sudden, their would be executioner had been killed in turn.

Silence fell upon the battlefield, if one could call it that.

The girls from the Hinata-sou were in different states of shock. Haruka had put up a guard like she was ready to fight for her life, though why exactly she believed she could anything now when she couldn't anything before was a complete mystery. Perhaps it was an instinctual response to a situation that had gone completely out of her control and of her understanding.

The tables had been turned too quickly and violently for her or anybody else to keep up with it.

Kanako had, at some point, sat on the ground. Or perhaps she had fallen down. Currently she was making a good impression of a gaping fish.

Kitsune, Naru, Shinobu and Kaolla were doing a rendition of group hug, as the older girls had been trying to shield the younger ones from a looming death with their own bodies. That served to protect their eyes from the show of gore that had taken place.

Shinobu had fortunately passed out before the latter took place while Kaolla….

Kaolla looked perfectly calm. Her eyes were wide open and not brimming with her usual cheerfulness, of course, but beside that she didn't look scared or perturbed by what had just transpired. It was like she possibility of her own death as well as the sight of dead people did not bother in the least.

"... Rider?" asked Kitsune. "Is… is that you?"

The thing in shape of a woman turned to look at Kitsune with her unseeing eyes.

"Kitsune, you know this woman?" asked Haruka worriedly, uncertain if this new arrival was friend of foe.

"... Hello, Kitsune," replied the woman named Rider. "It's been quite a while."

"Why are you… Shirou, he… he sent you, didn't he?" she asked.

"Sorry it took so long," Rider replied apologetically.

Kitsune looked around, looking both pale and quite green. "You… you killed all of them."

Rider shook her head. "Not all of them. The woman got away."

"What!" exclaimed Haruka as she whirled to face the empty spot that had been occupied by her relative. "That bitch."

"Kitsu… Kits… who is… who is…," stuttered Naru, just as green faced as her friend and clearly fighting to keep down the contents of her stomach as she spoke.

"She is… she is one of… Shirou's… friends, I guess?"

"Kitsune, stay away from her!" shouted Motoko, who had crawled to retrieve her sword and was now using it as a crutch to hold herself up.

Rider turned and slowly approached the wounded sword maiden, who could pick between doing precisely nothing or fall back on her ass.

"Thank you," said Rider once she stood in front of her. "If you hadn't fought so valiantly, I wouldn't have made it in time."

"Who… what are you?" asked Motoko under her breath. She knew that this person was not human. Like all the main branch members of the Aoyama bloodline, her sensitivity to the supernatural was quite high and this being in front of her was heads and shoulders above anything she had experienced so far.

"A friend," replied Rider. "Please, allow me to help you."

"Motoko, it's… it's fine, really," reassured Kitsune.

Motoko started at Rider, who stared right back through her blindfold, until the former sighed and inclined her head.

"Thank you for saving our lives," she decided to say. "Could you please help me walk?"

"Of course. We should go inside the house and treat your wounds. You are bleeding out."

"Yes that's… that's probably wise."

The group hesitatingly made their way back into Haruka's cottage, helping one another to walk without stepping on the human remains scattered all over the place.

As soon as they were inside, with the door closed behind them, Naru rushed to the sink and unceremoniously emptied the contents of her stomach into it, Kitsune deposited the unconscious Shinobu on a futon and then swallowed thickly a couple of times so that she wouldn't end up joining Naru.

Rider lowered the bleeding Motoko on the couch. Meanwhile, Haruka retrieved the first aid kit.

"How bad is it?" asked Motoko.

"Bullet went right through in both cases," replied Haruka. "We should get you to an hospital quickly."

"I'm not sure that's a good idea," said Kitsune. "Even putting aside that the hospital would have to report it to the police. That woman, Kyoko, seemed to have it our for us personally. Can we be sure she won't have someone pose as a doctor and kill Motoko, or any of us?"

"I can stop the bleeding only for a little while. She needs to have her wounds treated by a professional. Do you have a better idea?"

"Yeah. I know a guy. I can call in a favor and have him come to us."

"What… what guy, Kitsune?" asked Naru, who was finally done vomiting. Her disheveled hair were sticking to her sweaty face, making her look as sick as she felt.

"The kind of guy who fixes wounds and doesn't ask questions as long as the price is right," she replied.

"It's probably safer that way," said Motoko. "That woman doesn't seem to care much for how many people she gets involved in her grudge."

"You sure about this?" asked Haruka.

"Yes. Kitsune is many things, but she usually knows what she's doing. I trust her."

"Thanks, Mo-chan. Alright. I'm calling him, but we should meet in the city. If Rider sticks with us, I think we can go back to the inn."

"Shirou asked me to protect the lot of you until he returns, and that's what I plan on doing."

"Fine, let's go back then," agreed Haruka. "Rider-san, could you help me carry Motoko to my van?"

"But of course."

"I'll carry Shinobu," said Kitsune.

"No. No please, let me do it," said Kanako.

"Are you sure, girl? It looks like you can barely stand yourself."

"Yes. Please. I need to… do something. Anything at all."

"Alright, suit yourself. Naru, can you walk?"

Naru only nodded, not really trusting herself with opening her mouth.

The group moved out. Haruka's van was a little ways down the path that led to the cottage. Next to it they found the vehicles that the mercenaries used as transportation. Judging by the tracks, one was missing. It was probably the one that Kyoko had taken to make her escape.

"That bitch is good at running away," said Kitsune.

"Indeed," agreed Rider. "She ran off the moment I arrived. She didn't wait to see how things would play out. She just took off."

"She must have good instincts," said Motoko, while Rider helped her into the minivan. "She must have known as soon as you showed yourself the tables had turned."

"How did you know where to find us anyway? I haven't told Shirou how to get here," said Haruka.

"We roughed the group that was supposed to take care of Shirou. They told us where to find Illya and that there was another team coming for you. So we split ways. He went to rescue her and he sent me after you."

"Thank God he did," sighed Kitsune. "You really got to us in the nick of time. By the way… what's the deal with the blindfold? How did you move that fast? How-"

"Shh!" said Rider, putting a finger on Kitsune's lips. "Curiosity is fine, but asking too many questions all at once will make the answers come looking you. Don't go about throwing away the chance to live you've just got back."

"... go… got it," Kitsune agreed. Clearly she wasn't about to contradict the woman who had torn several men to pieces just a few minutes before. She could be reckless, but not dumb.

"Is Illyasviel-san going to be alright?" asked Motoko, diverting the attention from Kitsune.

Rider was momentarily silent.

"I can only hope so."


For a woman who looked as elegant and refined as Urashima Kyoko, she could make a very ugly expression.

"Useless trash!" she cursed, while she drove away from the place where her vindication would have been completed. "Not even good for killing a bunch of women. Why the hell did something like that show up anyway? Who's backing the child of that whore?"

She seethed. The amount of hatred she had for that woman couldn't be put into words. It tainted everything that was even remotely associated with her. It surpassed all reason and common sense.

She picked the phone and dialed a number. It rang a couple of times before someone finally decided to answer.

"Yes?" said the voice on the other end of the line.

"Change of plans. Kill the girl. Do it right now!"

Her schemes had been ruined, but that didn't mean they would get to claim they had won.


Blood splattered across the fair skin of Illya's face. Hot and sticky, it dripped down her cheeks like the crimson tears. Her eyes were barred open in evident shock. She stumbled and fell backwards, hitting the ground with a graceless thud.

Her captor followed her, falling forward nearly on top of her. His body hit the ground at her side and stood perfectly still, though his head rolled on a couple of times before stopping, eyes just as wide and shocked as Illyasviel's. More blood spurt from the stump of his neck making a pool that soaked her hand and the tip of her long, snow white hair.

The black, death bearing disk took a long arch through the air on its way back to its wielder, who stood on top of the train wagon overlooking her position.

Shirou grabbed Kanshou in mid air without even looking, in part because he didn't need to but mostly because his eyes were fixated entirely on her.

Her artificial heart, that was already beating frantically from the exertion of her break out and the inevitability of her imminent death somehow managed to step it up a notch for an entirely different reason.

He jumped off the wagon, dispelling the Married Blades on his way down and stopped to a kneel right next to her, unmindful of the blood that was soaking his trousers.

"Illya," he called out with such longing that she found herself unable to say anything in reply. "Are you alright?"

Her mouth opened and closed several times, grasping for words that she failed to find. The sudden change of circumstances was rapid enough to throw even the likes of her for a loop. He took her silence as a no and scooped her small frame into his arms like she weighted nothing, lifting her off the ground.

That's when the rest of her abductors finally caught up with her.

"Hold it right there!" shouted one of them.

"Why the hell is this guy here? How did he find us?" asked another. "What happened to team one?"

Shirou didn't seem to even hear them and certainly he did not consider them. His attention was focused solely on her, trying to discern which blood was her and which wasn't. Her lower lip was cut from where the now deceased man had struck her and a drop of it was rolling down her chin and neck. Her wounds were minor, nothing but scratches.

However, her clothes were ripped, legs and underwear exposed showing skin covered in dirt and bruises. All in all, she was in quite a sorry state.

"I said put her down!" ordered one of the captor with his gun pointed at Shirou.

Still, he did not look at him. There was no need to.

The man was flung off his feet by the sword that went through his chest. It had appeared out of nowhere, and had been thrown faster than he could hope to react. A metal rending sound signed the end of his flight against the wagon behind him.

Trained professionals as they undoubtedly were, the group of mercenaries still froze before an event that their brain failed to comprehend. They could not pin a cause to the manifest effect. All they saw was their comrade being lifted of his feet like he had been run over by a speeding truck.

They should have started shooting right away.

More swords had appeared around Shirou, who finally removed his eyes from Illya and swept them over the unfortunate mercenaries. Illya knew that look. Those were the eyes of a man who deeply loathed violence, but who nonetheless made the decision to kill.

A few guns went off as their wielders were simultaneously impaled where they stood. They didn't necessarily die instantly, but even with the few seconds they had before their brains shut down, they still couldn't understand or make sense of what had happened.

They died without knowing how.

Shirou let out a soft sigh and then refocused his eyes on her. "Illya, are you alright? Are you hurt anywhere?"

"I'm… I'm fine," she finally managed to reply. "I only have a few scratches."

"Thank goodness. I don't… I don't know what I'd have done if I'd lost you," he said, hugging her tightly to his chest.

Illya looked from behind his shoulders at the corpse-littered graveyard that he had made for her sake. Perhaps he didn't know what he would do in the worst case scenario, but she could make a good guess. Someone, somewhere, had been extremely lucky that he got to her in time, otherwise there wouldn't have been a place in the world to hide from his wrath.

In that moment, a phone rang from one of the dead bodies around them. Shirou frowned and momentarily put down Illya to retrieve it. He put it to his ear and answered the call.


"Change of plans. Kill the girl. Do it right now!"

"I don't think so," he replied.

"What? How dare… Who is this?'

"Take a wild guess."

"You son of a bitch! Do you think you've won? Do you think this is over?"

"Not by a long shot. I know that people like you don't stop at anything. I would have been content with teaching you a lesson had you come only after me. Not anymore. I won't let you put my family in danger twice. I will find you, and I will kill you."

"You insolent, little -!"

He hang up and turned to Illya, tossing the phone behind his back.

"Okay. Illya. Let's go back. ... What is it?" he asked, seeing a sour expression on her face.

"I'm a bad person. I shouldn't be happy that you are willing to kill for my sake."

"It's okay. You don't need to feel sorry," he said picking her up again. "It doesn't matter how much blood I have to get on my hands to keep you safe and happy."

"You dummy," she sighed, hiding her face into his chest. "If you wanted to make me fall out of love with you, you aren't making a very good job."

"I guess that as far as fates go, I could have done much worse than that," he said before departing with Illya in his arms.

Things hadn't quite gone the way she had envisioned before coming to Japan, and he hadn't committed to anything yet. Still, being a lady of noble stock, Illya knew how to accept even such an unorthodox victory with the utmost grace.

She could have done without the humiliation, but at the end of the day she felt she had come out on top, and although it was perhaps inappropriate feeling happy after what had transpired, she had an obligation to see the bright side of things at all times.

Otherwise, he would have stained his hands again for nothing.

She wouldn't have that under any circumstances. Even if that made her the worst kind of person in the world, that was a burden she was more than willing to live with.