A/N PLEASE READ: So this isn't relevant to the forums at all. Right now this is just a little snippet of the first chapter but I'd like to get some feedback on it so far. What this is is a fanfic in the universe of the Fate world (Fate/stay night and Fate/zero to be specific). Don't worry about knowing the series, instead, tell me how coherently everything is portrayed to someone who has no knowledge of the series. What I'm going to do is try and make it informative enough for people who don't know anything about the story to get, while still making sure it's not just a regurgitation for those who do know.
They could definitely hear it. The cracking of the fire contrasted the soundless night. To Kaast, that crackling could have just as well been a signal flare.
"Isn't that a bit much?" he whispered with a tinge of annoyance. The fire would have usually been gladly accepted for Kaast since the cold of the night air bit at his thick coat, but the man who had created the source of the fire didn't seem to notice the amount of attention his fire could draw. The fire licked the blade of a sword, enveloping the blade without spreading nor harming the holder of the sword.
"Relax." The voice of the one who held the blade couldn't have been over 20. Kaast rose his eyebrow but didn't respond, instead examining the blade wielder.
Compared to Kaast, the blade wielder looked young. Kaast's hardened and rough face seemed old next to the wielder's young and smooth look. His look almost seemed childish. No, if anyone were to consider him childish, the blade that he controlled with ease would dispel any thought of him being immature.
"Saber." The wielder of the sword looked away from the fire of the blade with an inquisitive look. As he turned the sword was adjusted slightly, giving light to the walls of the warehouse they sat in, as well as the light blue hair of the wielder. Kaast opened his mouth to speak but stopped, turning away from Saber and focusing his view behind him. They were surrounded by aisles of enormous storage boxes, with the only clearing being on one side, where the moonlight crept in from the large opening to the outside.
"The boundary field was tripped. Any way of dimming that fire?" He pulled back the sleeve of his right arm. Before he could do anything else, his eyes saw a blur of movement that occurred at the doorway. Without a second to react, a red blur zoomed with bullet-like speed. Kaast didn't even have time to consider death, instead gazing in awe as Saber seemed to appear out of nowhere in front of Kaast, meeting the red blur head on. A loud clash was heard as steel met with steel.
Kaast staggered from the wave of energy produced by the contact of the two titans. He heard the boxes around him shudder, as if knowing fear for the power which the red and blue entity created. As Kaast regained his footing, he focused his gaze on the blur that had charged at him.
Her long red hair left a trail where she had been as she jumped back and made distance between her and Saber. She wore a brown cloak that covered the rest of her, and her red hair was tied in a bun. While her arms were covered by the cloak, it couldn't hide the weapon she was holding. With a length much longer than the girl herself, she held a spear behind her back with one hand, in a relaxed stance.
"Well, I didn't expect it to work but I was still hoping it would." Her words were said with an annoyed tone, reinforced as she put her arms on her hips and sighed.
Saber held his sword ready, the fire still blazing. Without looking behind himself, he murmured, "go and find her master."
Kaast nodded, then realized how stupid that was to do. Without another word he turned to the nearest aisle and ran away from the two fighters. He knew that trying to help Saber would be no use, as his own magic would only hinder the enemy. There was no doubt though, that was definitely Lancer.
Kaast simply needed to follow what Saber had told him to do, find Lancer's master. If he couldn't do anything against the servant, he'd simply strike at the master.
The maze of boxes in the warehouse went up to the near top, there was no way to cut through. It was fine since he had scoped the place out beforehand. All he needed to do was use the side exit. As he approached, he slowed down and looked at his wrist.
The red marks that were on it were glowing and tingling. With just those signals, Kaast knew; a master was close.
With a deep breath he kneeled, placing his palm on the ground. The boundary field that had been placed around warehouse complex was a simple one–only to be used for detection. A magus that was a master should be smart enough to avoid this, though. then again, a master who was smart enough wouldn't send their servant charging blindly without precautions.
Found it. No attempt at suppressing their presence, instead standing just outside the warehouse opposite of the one Kaast was in right now. Lifting his fingers from the ground, he rose from his kneeling position with a small ember of anger burning in his eyes.
'You're that confident that you'll just sit out in the open huh?!' he thought angry and was about to charge off to take on the master. Wait. His mind processed through the position he was in. With such an open space in front of the unknown master, there was bound to be traps. Perhaps something that couldn't be detected with the boundary field. To be that seemingly defenseless and unprepared must have been an attempt to bait him.
Kaast had no definite way to predict everything. It mattered not, for he was confident that he would be able to fight back any attempt that may be thrown at him. It seemed the world would not stop for him though, as he begun to hear the sound of clashing metal echo in the warehouse. With only a fleet hesitations, Kaast ran through the door and towards the master who still stood in the bright moonlit opening.
The figure was tall and slender, but definitely masculine. He stood just under e shadows of the warehouse, making his physical details undefinable. Kaast had another twinge of annoyance as the master seemed to ignore Kaast, who was beginning to close the distance between them.
Kaast rose his palm as he ran, and an outline of a sword formed at his hand. The sword was not a majestic one, only a simple blade with small embroideries at the hilt. The blade floated above Kaast's open palm, laying horizontal and pointing towards the shadowed figure. Kaast's run instantly turned into a stop as he used the momentum to launch the sword straight at the master.
A hysterical laugh echoed into the night as the sword was about to make contact with the man. The man didn't even move, but instead, a familiar red blur appeared almost instantaneously and quickly raised her lance, flicking away the sword as if it was only a fly.
"What?" Kaast was in shock. The Lancer standing before him couldn't have been real. He could still hear the echoing of his Saber dueling with the other Lancer. The Lancer before him looked the exact same though. The long red hair was slightly unkempt, and the brown cloak only reached to her knees, her feet were covered in armored red boots. "That's impossible. A master can only have one servant."
"Ah! But you see, that's where you're wrong." The man who stood calmly behind Lancer now stepped forward, revealing his face into the light. He put one hand on his ash blue short hair, giving himself an uncaring pose. He too wore a similar brown cloak to Lancer, hiding all of his physical aspects to Kaast. What Kaast did notice though was the eyes which were the same ash blue color as his hair, making them almost dead-looking. "Your magic is very unique as well. Why would it be so surprising to have such a unique servant?"
Kaast bit his lip. He'd never heard of a duplicate servant. Unless… Wait, of course, it's the reason why they were wearing cloaks. Kaast grinned and stood defiantly. "What an interesting Noble Phantasm." Of course. A Noble Phantasm was the Servants ace in the hole, a magic that is so powerful, it's usually mistaken for sorcery magic. Lancer's seems to be something that allows her to have multiple selves. Who was this red-headed girl, with the ability to split?
Kaast had no choice. There was no way he could take on a servant. He closed his eyes for a moment, imagining a sword. Yes. The sword didn't need to be powerful nor fast, it just had to be enough to distract the master and servant. The image that he created in his head was almost instantaneously created in the palm of his hand. The sword was enormous, standing taller than Kaast himself. The odd shape of the sword made it seem inefficient in terms of weight, as the tip of the blade was much large than the base of the blade. Without hesitation, Kaast rose his arm and launched it at the Master and Servant while simultaneously turning around and running towards where his own servant was fighting. The clash of metal had stopped, but he didn't sense any drastic movement. "Saber, back to me." He spoke softly. He felt Saber's presence pull back and near Kaast's position.
Within a few seconds, they were close, but Kaast could feel death approaching him. The sword had been aimed at the ground to distract them, but Lancer couldn't have been fazed for long. As if to confirm his suspicions, Kaast felt a brush of wind as the second Lancer charged past Kaast and launched at the same speed as the first one had straight into Saber. Saber stopped in his run and took a stance, and as before, the two forces met with a powerful shockwave.
Saber looked at the second Lancer in shock, then looked over her shoulder at Kaast. With a shrug of shoulders and a grin, Kaast spoke, "I found another one." Saber shoved the Lancer away from him and turned to meet his own pursuer, the first lancer.
The hysterical laugh was heard again, distracting Kaast from Saber, who was now taking on both Lancers. The whir of blades that was eminent was something Kaast couldn't even comprehend. Even with both Lancers, Saber seemed to be able to hold his own. Of course. Saber wasn't called the strongest class for no reason.
Kaast nodded, knowing he could leave Saber to hold off both Lancers. He turned back to the master in front of him. "So, why don't we slow it down a little and introduce ourselves?" Kaast, rose his arm towards the master of Saber in a gesture of ceasefire.
The man gave a smile, his lips seeming to go from ear to ear. His eyes focused as he stared at his enemy, amused at how Kaast acted so calmly under the situation. "Well then! I shall go first! It would be rude to kill a man without at least properly introducing themselves." He gave a half bow with one hand behind his back. "I am Sair. Sair Reaves, a freelance mage who happened to run into a bit of luck."
That burning smile was going to definitely be imprinted in Kaast's head. He shuddered on the inside but remained calm on the outside, giving his own bow. The frantic clash of blades never stopped, giving Kaast a strong urge to turn and aid his Servant. No. The grinning shadow was his enemy right now. The trust he put in Saber would have to continue. "I am Kaast."
"A loner without a family name?"
"A family name that has no meaning. May I ask you one question though?" Kaast didn't think possible, but he could see Sair's teeth more clearly than before.
"Well, as the Holy Grail Wars has just begun, I see no need to rush."
Kaast smiled inwardly at that. 'If he was any more sane, I wouldn't have been allowed to get us to talk like this.' He closed his eyes and walked calmly towards Sair, at a pace so slow that Sair didn't seem to mind. "That was actually exactly what I wanted to ask you about. The Holy Grail Wars hasn't just begun. I didn't even know any servant besides my own had been summoned. Why would you attack so early?"
Sair paused for a moment, considering Kaast's question. "Well, speaking from one Master to another, it's simply efficient. After all, nobody would expect any full on attack so early."
"This is your full potential? Hmph, I do not need to fear you then."
"Haha! Do you really think I would give my full potential now?!" He screamed the words and gave another hysterical laugh. The insane man started to hold his stomach from laughing so hard, moving around aimlessly.
With a small grin, Kaast charged Sair, with one smooth motion pulling his sleeve back to reveal his forearm. At first, there was nothing except his bare arm, but then a glow appeared around them. Symbols appeared that seemed to be tattooed onto his arm, and they changed from blood red to a glowing bright blue. "Your mistake!" Kaast launched his arm towards the back of Sair, still shaking from laughter. Kaast's glowing arm changed trajectory from heading to Sair's back to heading to his feet, approaching the concrete ground at high speed.
Saber and both the Lancers stopped their weapons and turned to look, the huge build-up in energy was something they did not expect. Kaast's tattoos gave a brief but brilliant shine that was strong enough to illuminate the entire warehouse complex, blinding Saber from being able to see what had occurred. As the light died down, Saber tried to look into the light. The two Masters still stood. No blood had been shed.
Kaast's shocked face was the first thing Saber's eyes focused on. The wide eyes of Kaast looked down on his hand, which was barely inches away from the ground. An iron grip on the wrist had stopped Kaast from being able to finish his spell. Sair's hand didn't let go of Kaast, but what surprised Saber more was that for once, Sair's face had turned serious.
"A magic crest that holds that much power?" He was not staring at Kaast. His eyes were completely fixated on the arm that had showed the glowing tattoo. He licked his lips, eyes flashing full of hunger. He lowered his arm to look closer, but Kaast started to resist, trying to pull his arm away from Sair. He pulled with all of his might, but even though he could gain some edge, Sair completely ignored the resistance and gripped even harder.
'He's like a fucking machine!' Kaast had to quickly do something. He didn't know what the man was capable of, but Sair definitely wanted his magic crest. Using his free hand, he began to trace a blade in his mind, all while pulling as hard as he could away from Sair.
Before he could finish, Sair released his grip as he was pushed away by Lancer, who had appeared suddenly. Kaast saw a blade swing beside him towards Sair, but Lancer used her lance to fend off Saber's blade.
Lancer did not attempt to fight back, instead pulling far back as soon as the firstt swing had been deflected. Sair stood just behind Lancer, out of reach from Saber and Kaast. Sair only stared at Kaast, not trying to move forward. The standoff lasted only moments, as Sair seemed to make a decision and turned around. "I think that's good for today." He gave one last glance back at Kaast and Saber, who did not attempt to follow.
Their retreating backs disappeared into the night, but Kaast and Saber did not move from their spot. They prudently looked around, making sure not to relax until their presence was far from them.
Kaast gave a long sigh and slumped to the ground, his muscles tired from being so tense.
"Well, I guess this means it's time to start." Kaast gave another sigh and turned to Saber, who now stood calmly looking into the distance. At Kaast's words Saber turned and looked at Kaast with a smile.
"Let's begin, the 7th Holy Grail War."