Hello! No I'm not dead... but writer block is a pain. I would like to say updates will be more regular from now on, but I would rather avoid promising anything.
Disclaimer: thanks my beta Slayer Ars (I totally like this nickname), and the readers. I apologize for the insanity that will follow.
PS: due to some confusion, I clarify: the people who got spanked in the last chapter by team Hassan were Medea, Alexander (... yeah as if I would kill THAT guy), and Akiha Tohno. More are to come!
The Battle on the Big Bridge
"My servant is better than yours!" Ilya boasted, as Heracles let loose a tiny amount of his rage. The temperature dropped, and any man would have been reduced to his knees in fear.
"Spartacus is unbeatable." The Berserker snorted, retaliating with a potent glare. Both servants entered a staring contest, their eyes radiating with the fires of hell itself. The intensity of the battle was wonderful… and slightly boring.
"Go, Spartacus! You can do it!" Taiga Fujimura shouted, as the two continued their contest in the main room. Ilya found it very, very small compared to her castle, but did not complain. This 'tigerwoman' was very funny for a peasant, and her grandpa looked like a kind, harmless man.
Certainly, he was an old sage or something.
"Ilyasviel von Einzbern…" Taiga glanced at the little girl, briefly disturbing her. Was she going to attack? Was she going to reveal something so astonishing the foundations of her world would be-
"Is white your natural hair color?"
"O-of course it is," Ilya complained, slightly hurt, as she tried the house's red sofa. It was surprisingly comfortable and she hadn't expected this woman to be so kind… if a bit weird. Since she was a friend with Kiritsugu, the homunculus had expected a cold girl like Maiya.
"Ah, good, it's very pretty," Taiga smiled upon touching her hair, making Ilya blush and beam with pride. "And what is a kind cute kitten like you doing here?"
"I was told you could explain things about my dad…" Ilya joined her fingers, as the revelation would probably affect the woman to the core. "Kiritsugu Emiya."
"Oh, alright, you're this 'Ilyasviel'. Sorry, I didn't recognize you at first. Obviously you took more after your mom than your dad."
Ilya blinked at Taiga's know-it-all expression. "Wait… you aren't surprised? Not even a bit?" She narrowed her eyes. "And… If you knew my name, why didn't you recognize me? I mean, it's not a common name."
"Look, how could I know Ilyasviel wasn't a common name in France-"
"Same thing," Taiga shrugged, "Kiri and I were friends, and while he didn't tell me everything about his life… he told me about his family life. I have even done some research with him in England to find you. I didn't know why, but he seemed convinced that London was a haven for crazy guys that could have kidnapped you," she grinned, "Shirou is going to be so happy to meet you again! He promised Kiri to find you if he could."
…alright, first thing, she was a Master, but didn't seem aware of the existence of magecraft, which was weird as hell. And this didn't make the connection between Shirou and her visit. Perhaps she's smarter than she looks…
"Anyway, I can assure you Kiri did everything in his power to try locating you," Taiga shrugged, "From what I was told… your grandfather had forcefully kidnapped you due to an argument. But I kinda expected you to be… well, older."
"I am older than I look," Ilya grinned, hoping she wouldn't ask too many questions. Inwardly, she was extremely surprised by the admission. Could grandpa really have prevented Kiritsugu from seeing his daughter again? She needed to be more certain. "Could we talk about it?"
"Of course, of course," Taiga crossed her arms. "Why not do it around Mario Kart? My Wii is one of the last devices that's still working since that damn fog started messing with this town."
"Wii?" Ilya raised an eyebrow, completely lost, "Mario Kart?"
Taiga looked down upon her, horrified, "You… you don't know Mario Kart? Infamy!" The teacher grinned. "I'm going to introduce you to it. Too bad Spartacus is occupied and Shirou nowhere to be seen, it's better at four players…"
"Speaking of Shirou, where is he?" Ilya asked, "I thought he would be sleeping here since his house got destroyed." She avoided mentioned she was responsible, in fear of being accused of vandalism.
"Oh, you know about that? Well, I'm sure Shirou is fine." Taiga chuckled, "Completely, utterly safe."
Saint George stopped the tank's projectile by putting himself in the way.
The blast barely fazed him, Bayard's power activating to shield his rider from it. Once a time, the horse was allowed to negate a lethal attack. "King of Knights, what is this thing?" he asked, glancing at the metallic monstrosity advancing forward.
"It's a tank," Archer shrugged, shooting an arrow at the vehicle, which shrugged it off and continued advancing, covered with magic protections. "It seems Bluebeard enhanced it."
"It's a marvelous plot twist!" Shakespeare opened a book and started taking notes with a pen. "I've got to note it!"
"Servant, focus and help!" Aozaki protested, as Shirou and Tamamo started shooting bullets and spells at the machine. "It's big but it moves fast!"
"Yes, yes, enchant!" He said, and Aoko briefly glowed. "You have taken a level in Prana. Now let me what I do best, observe and mock the plot. And spoil things to readers."
"STOP IGNORING ME MONGRELS!" Gilgamesh roared, summoning thousands of weapons, "Gate of Babylon!"
"I don't know what's happening, but it's going to be fun!" Cu Chulain chuckled and threw his spear like a javelin. "Gae Bolg!"
"Oh, and screw this shit," Archer snorted, his arrow becoming light embodied, "I'm going Broken Phantasm on your ass!"
"Take that!" Aoko shouted, firing a shooting star at the tank.
The attacks all collided together, causing a huge explosion, a lot of smoke, and horrible noises.
Then things descended into chaos.
"Ah, it's good to feel the wind on my skin again… Well, if you can call black mud a skin, that is."
Rin could only stare helplessly at the monstrosity in front of her. It was a huge mass of black mud, adopting a vaguely humanoid shape, with claws and fangs. The eyes were red glows, the legs black pillars. The creature's voice was deep and…
And it sounded like Sakura's.
"I am so going to show Shirou off… after I visit the Red Light District first," it said. "I missed those kinds of activities… maybe I'll get a kinky threesome with my new, young, beautiful Master and that Tohno girl? It would be awesome!"
"I am sorry, Angra Mainyu, but my granddaughter's soul will be used as a sacrifice to strengthen the Master-Servant link between the two of us," Zouken Matou's voice resonated, "By the power of these Command Spells, I order you to-"
"By the power of your Command Spells, you can lick my ass with your rotten tongue, old geezer."
Angra Mainyu's claws pierced its torso, and two seconds later, brought out a worm out of the dark mud. "Wow, you really are tiny! And ugly. Sorry, but an evil entity of my caliber will NOT suffer an old worm as a Master. I prefer your cute, adopted kid."
"Impossible!" Zouken shouted, suddenly sounding terrified, "On the Command Spell… why… why don't I feel the link?! No… somebody altered the ritual?!"
"Well, I think you should have thought better than trying to bind THE GOD OF EVIL to your will," the demon mocked him, "Or prevented the streams from crossing! Anyway, you said your granddaughter would be sacrificed to strengthen the bond between you and me? Yeah… that's gonna go the other way around."
Zouken started to scream, but the mud monster swallowed him whole. "Tastes like chicken…" it said, before glancing at Rin and Shiki. One second later, the shadow giants vanished, freeing them. "Well, to kill or not to kill… it would be a waste not to try my awesome Noble Phantasms, but I really want a kinky threesome… Oh, I forgot! Time to get a better shape!"
The mud lessened in size, and changed in color, adopting a humanoid shape. Soon, the Masters were facing a hooded figure, with pale skin and yellow eyes. "I'm Richard the Warlock!" Angra Mainyu boasted with a masculine, faint voice, upon extending his arms. "Isn't it badass? Isn't it badass?"
As the Masters present did not answer, a female Archer landed in front of Satsuki, her bow pointed at Angra Mainyu's face. "Release Sakura immediately," she demanded, while the Rider that had attacked Karna hovered over the street, prepared to fall upon the dark deity anytime.
"Please… if you're Sakura's servant, can't you release her?" Satsuki asked softly, with a hint of worry in her voice. "We're on the same side…"
"Ah yeah…" the creature made a reverence and straightened up, "Let me offer you a hand… or finger…" he flipped her the bird.
Both Satsuki and the Archer screamed, as black mud sprung from the ground below to consume them.
Rin was paralyzed in dread by the noise. The girls' screams pierced her ears, as their flesh was consumed within minutes by a sea of thick darkness. Within a second, both were dragged into obscurity, while the flying Rider briefly found herself petrified in surprise.
"Ain't it sad, Sacchin? You are such a tasty meal!" Angra Mainyu laughed wickedly, before gazing at Shiki and Rin, much to their dread. "You know what? I changed my mind. I think I'm just going to massacre you…" He pointed his index finger at them. "Nothing personal, but I really want to try these super-cool shiny powers. And, well… it's about time that I reminded everyone I'm a badass bad boy."
Rin grabbed Shiki's shoulder and ran as fast as she could. Quickly, he regained control over himself and imitated her.
"Hey, hey, what the hell are you-" The flying Rider charged like a meteor toward Angra Mainyu's direction, probably intending to force him to release Sakura. Instead, a blast later, the Rider was propelled in the skies, toward the opposite direction. "Look, I know death sounds bad, but see the bright side! I'm going to be happy! So be altruistic and I won't do the moonwalk on your ashes afterward!"
"We need everyone," Rin said, trying to accelerate. "We need everybody-"
"I think I've found a battle cry… slaughter the world!" Much to Rin's horror, the ground turned red. "Roasted chicken for dinner, boyo!"
The next second, Rin's world was swallowed by light. Angra Mainyu blinked, as his victims vanished before the pillar of fire he summoned could consume them. "What the-" His eyes shined with rage, and the earth shook around him.
"WHO STOLE MY KILL?!"
When Shirou regained control of his senses, he was among ruins.
The bridge was on the verge of crumbling, its foundations shattered by the many blasts and explosions. No way it would last long, especially since that giant squid… thing, was swirling its tentacles around it, probably to bring it down.
"Emiya… are you fine?" Saint George asked, standing with difficultly in front of Shirou. The teen realized the man had shielded him from the explosion with his very body, probably saving him from certain death. "I-"
George fell to his knees, while Shirou reacted fast enough to seize his shoulders and prevent the man from crashing to the ground. The Master realized the knight's torso was covered with blood… and half his face had been torn apart. If he wasn't a Servant, he probably wouldn't have survived the blast, "George-san!"
"I'm fine… I just… Give me ten minutes and I will regenerate enough to fight again-" The knight froze, as did Shirou. The tank emerged from the fog, charging at them at great speed, "No," He brought out his sword, painfully trying to get back on his feet, "My friend… behind me. Run."
"You aren't in shape to resist another blast!" Emiya protested, pointing his gun at the tank. It was utterly foolish, but he refused to die without a fight.
"No…" the Rider agreed… before beaming with hope, "Unless… Shirou, I can give you the power to fight this beast… but it might be irreversible-"
"Do it!" Shirou said, as the tank pointed its canon at them. "NOW!"
"Abyssus Draconus: A Serpent Thy Shall Become!" Saint George shouted, grabbing his surcoat. For a few seconds, nothing happened, and the Master feared the Noble Phantasm had failed.
Then his nails turned into claws, and his skin to scales.
"Hey?" Hassan-I-Sabbat asked, glancing inside the crater in the middle of the road. "Still alive?"
"Yes…" Medusa whispered, although she wasn't in the best of shape. Her bones were broken, blood was flowing from her mouth and her left arm was a mess. Her Pegasus had vanished, probably destroyed by the blast. "I have known better days."
"I'm sure of it," Hassan said, helping her get up, "Atalanta and the vampire are dead… I think. I have no idea about what happens to those consumed by this completed Angra Mainyu. Perhaps they will return… but to be honest, I'm in no hurry to see them again." For a moment, he seemed to pause in disturbed wonder, "That thing," he whispered, "It scares me."
As much as Medusa was saddened by her old friend's death, she couldn't help but agree with the Assassin. If the effects of the corruption were that bad with Sakura while Angra Mainyu was weakened… "I…" she frowned, "My link with Sakura… it is broken."
"Expected," Hassan shrugged, "Handling Angra Mainyu is like handling a Berserker. Not everyone can handle him and another Servant…" He gave a cruel chuckle, "Zouken got hoisted by his own petard. Go figure."
"You knew what he planned to do with Sakura…" Medusa frowned in anger, "You knew and you didn't tell us?"
"To be honest, I couldn't care less about her. I thought summoning Avenger was incredibly risky and equally stupid, but if it was needed to win the war… well, your Master was a small sacrifice. In the Grail War, you win or you die. There is no middle ground." Hassan snorted at Medusa's inquisitive gaze, "If you care that much about her, you could have brought her back with the Grail anyway. And look, what's done is done. Your Master is still alive… at least for now."
"Do not even think about it." Hassan shut her up. "The two of us are no match for Avenger, and your crushing defeat proves it. That, and since we have lost our Masters, we need to find new partners before another enemy takes advantage of our weakness to kill us. If you want to find Sakura afterward, that's your problem, but right now it's the stupidest thing you can do."
The Rider shut her mouth. The Assassin was right. "Sakura's sister?"
"That would have been my first thought but last time I saw them Angra Mainyu was about to slaughter them. So…" Hassan shrugged his shoulders. "There is only one option left..."
As Semiramis stepped outside of her portal and into the control room of Gilgamesh's ship, intending to kill his Master and weaken him, but she realized someone had beaten her to it.
The room was, to put it bluntly, ravaged. The screens were for the most part destroyed, traces of blood could be found on the ground, and the floor was damaged. Whoever had attacked hadn't bothered to be subtle. Could the priest have been murdered? If so, where was the corpse?
As the ship shook, the giant sea devil outside trying to bring it down, Semiramis chased the worries from her mind and focused on the commands. Having ruled Babylon herself after the fall of the golden king, she had intimate knowledge of the ship's working. A myriad of plans formulated in her mind, until she picked one to deal with the sea deity.
The dark queen grinned savagely.
A little blast here, another there, and Bluebeard's spawns started dying by the hundreds.
And yet, as Aoko grunted, more kept emerging from the river to climb on the bridge. Squids, deformed fishes, reptilian creatures… it appeared the serial killer was throwing every demon spawn had at the magus to get rid of her. "Take that, Squidward!" she shouted as she punched a sea devil to death when it tried to flank her.
"Wow… I think I'm in love…" Cu Chulainn noted, as he landed next to Aoko and slaughtered a few tentacle monsters for good measure. "Hey, Spitfire, do you happen to be celibate and interested in Irish heroes? I like women with temperament."
"Later, Doggy," the sorceress replied, upon recognizing the hero. With a miniaturized star, she destroyed a house sized calamari emerging from the depths of the river, "First we kill all these animals, then we talk about festivities."
"… why couldn't I have someone like that as Master…" the Lancer complained.
Aoko snorted… and then was brought to her knees as intense pain raced through her magic circuits. It was as if her blood was boiled in her veins. The blast she was preparing dissipated into sparkles. The sorceress's prana was drained from her by an outside source, reducing her powers to nothing.
"It seems Master was right… without your sorcery, you are powerless witch!" a familiar voice noted, as the gathered sea demons stepped to the side. A towering knight in blue armor, his face obscured by a skull-looking helmet, walked forward, wielding a long sword in one hand, a book in another. "'Umr at-Tawil!" he finished his incantation, his book vanishing into purple smoke.
"Bastard…" Aoko cursed, struggling against the pain and the power of the spell. "Do you have any idea what your Noble Phantasm is?"
"The Necronomicon, the grimoire of Abdul Alhazred and the book of the Old Ones… It is the original version of my teacher, Prelati's, spellbook." Bluebeard wielded his blade with his two hands and prepared to strike. "My Master used a poor copy to try summoning Abdul Alhazred himself, but I was brought upon earth instead, in the shape of a cultist of-"
"Sorry, nobody cares," Cu Chulainn snorted, putting himself between Aoko and the psychotic Servant. "But if you want a fight, I'm going to beat the crap out of you! Sorry, but I hate priests… even those who happen to worship giant squids."
"Then die, English scum!" Bluebeard roared upon raising his sword and parrying a lance strike with it. "Demons, flank him!"
"I'm Irish you moron!" the Lancer protested, visibly enraged. He began a series of lightning-fast strikes, attacking both Bluebeard and his demonic spawns. While the French knight was obviously weaker than the demigod in term of martial prowess, the advantage of numbers allowed him to keep his ground. Cu Chulainn was quickly encircled, but it seemed to only make him grow more excited.
"Ah, spectacular," Shakespeare commented, walking next to Aoko and noting the events in a diary with a feather, "Stupendous… Marvelous…"
"Shakespeare, if you are a Caster, then certainly you can undo de Rais' spell," the redhead whispered, hoping to grind her enemies into dust as soon as she could, "What are you waiting for?"
"I could, but that would surely result in Cu Chulainn losing," Shakespeare protested, before explaining his reasoning to his Master, "For a plot-based reason, the hero always wins a fight when he protects a damsel in distress, especially against monsters. If the girl can defend herself, then that plot armor leaves the hero and the villain kills him, which makes the woman vow to avenge-"
"Shakespeare, this is not a poorly written story, this is real life!" Aozaki complained. "Give me back-"
A roar shook up the bridge and the sorceress slowly turned her head toward its source. And then she blinked.
The creature was huge – easily the size of a small house, in fact. It was a reptilian monster, a colossal lizard with red scales as rough as stone, a neck as thick as a door, and wings as long as trees. Its claws were swords, its fangs spears, its tail a whip, and its yellow eyes shining stars. This was the strongest Monstrous Beast, the eater of man.
Who the hell summoned a freaking western dragon in Fuyuki?
"What the…" the creature grunted, with familiar, human voice, "I… what happened to me?"
"… Shirou?" Aoko blinked.
"Isn't it the villain who is supposed to turn into a dragon mid-battle?" Shakespeare wondered, as Lancelot's tank fired a shot at the giant reptile. The attack exploded against the scales… and the creature shrugged it off.
"Let's see just how strong I am…" The dragon raised his claw, and smashed the tank with it. The metal bent, the vehicle collapsed into pieces with that single strike. "Oh boy…"
Then Lancelot emerged from it and punched Shirou's face with the strength of a cannonball.
The reptile was thrown to his back, as the knight jumped in the air, a sword materializing in his hands. Aoko froze. Lancelot's sword was said to be strengthened against dragons, and Shirou wouldn't be able to survive a direct hit from it.
A rocket propelled grenade hit Lancelot mid-flight, sending him to crash into the sea.
Then, much to Bluebeard's surprise, two explosives were thrown between him and Cu Chulainn. While the Irish hero was fast enough to get away with a leap, the French knight was taken by surprise, as the resulting detonations threw him off the bridge and destroyed up his demonic servants simultaneously.
Slowly, a man in black, wielding an RPG and a bag full of grenades stepped out of the fog, an angry expression written all over his face.
"That's for trying to kill my son, asshole."
"…dad?" the dragon asked, sounding astonished.
"Ah… I'm sure there has been foreshadowing somewhere along the line, because I certainly did not see this one coming," Shakespeare commented.
Rin awoke among an endless plain of sand, surrounded by obscure visages and armored soldiers.
"My king, they are fine!" one of them shouted, helping Rin up. The magus took his hand, and attempted to regain control of her senses. At her left, Shiki Tohno was left in the same state, but the individual helping him was much more familiar.
"My lord…" Karna whispered, narrowing his head in shame. "I apologize, I… I failed to protect you."
"Where… where are we?" Tohsaka asked, glanced around herself. It was obviously a Reality Marble in the shape of a desert, and the gathered army surrounding them was…
They were all Servants. This could not be mistaken.
"As friends of the king, the road to Ionioi Hetairoi is open to you," a soldier told them. "It allowed him to pull you inside before the demon could devour you both."
"The king-" Rin's eyes widened, as a figure advanced toward her. "No…"
"Ah, what did you think?" Alexander the Great grinned, naked like a worm, "Welcome, my friends, to my realm!"
"G-get some clothes!" the magus snarled, covering her eyes in shame. "How can you still be alive? I saw the shadow devour you!"
"BAH! As I conquered the world, I conquered evil itself!" The Rider grinned, crossing his arms. "And I gained a body of flesh and bones as a proof, emerging like Heracles from fire to walk the earth again!"
"But…" Shiki scowled darkly. "My sister? We must-"
"I would suggest against it," a soldier coughed. "Against such a powerful opponent, more allies are needed, as well as a better strategy. A… tactical retreat… would be exceptionally wise."
"Mmm… you speak with the wisdom of Aristotle, Mithrenes. Do not worry, young man!" Alexander gave a light tap to Shiki, sending him to crash to the ground. "This is only a minor set-back! We shall strike back and prevail!"
If the boy's expression was of any indication, he wasn't as optimistic.
On the other side of the bridge, Gilgamesh stood proudly, unharmed, regal, and all-powerful.
On the inside, he was a volcano.
"You…" he growled, holding his broken glasses inside his palm. They were shattered beyond repair, after having been knocked out by the blast the tank mongrel caused. "You scum of the earth… you broke my newest treasure!"
An arrow flew toward his ear, but he absentmindedly caught it with his other hand, not even paying attention to the Archer. "Don't you see the king is occupied?" Gilgamesh hissed, as the red servant stepped outside his firing point, accompanied by two other Servants, including his precious, precious Saber…
"Was that supposed to hurt him?" Caster asked, slightly worried for her Master. The faster they got rid of Gilgamesh, the faster they could rush to fight Lancelot.
"Hurt him without blowing up the bridge and everyone on it," Archer groaned. "With that damn fog I can't fire from long range, and am pretty limited."
"Caster, give me firing cover!" Saber raised her sword and charged, closing the gap between Gilgamesh and her in a blink. "Archer, try flanking him!"
Gilgamesh snorted and easily caught the invisible blade with his gauntlet, having deep knowledge of the length. The Caster unleashed a thunderbolt at his unarmed face, and the Archer attempted to behead him with twin swords. But the golden king, unimpressed, opened his Gate of Babylon, spears flying to deflect the strikes. As for the magical lightning, it was reduced to nothing within an inch of the powerful Servant's hair by the enchantment of his armor.
As if an inferior magus could pierce Uruk's finest protection… Gilgamesh mused, entertaining himself at making Saber's efforts to free her blades be as foolish as possible. The Archer once again attempted a foolish stab, and the golden king casually backhanded him away, sending him roll a few meters. "You should be happy to feel the power of The King's touch."
"I shall have none of this, woman!" Gilgamesh snapped at Saber, as he kicked her torso and released her blade, interrupting her foolish and insane attempt on his life. Deciding he was tired of toying with the trio already and that the thing trying to destroy his ship was a more pressing threat, the golden Servant activated his second most prized Noble Phantasm. "ENKIDU!"
Golden chains materialized out of thin air, restraining both Saber and the Caster, limb by limb. The Archer, however, managed to dodge them with his superior agility, muttering words to himself Gilgamesh did not care to try understanding, assured of his superiority. While Saber's efforts to escape were admirable, the Caster seemed completely powerless. A divine spawn… the king thought scornfully, before focusing on his ship. If Kirei had any sense of decency, he would have pulled the jewel out of battle.
Indeed, the ship had managed to free itself from the giant squid's tentacles, flew high into the air…
Then turned back and rammed at full speed into the sea monster's excuse of a head, exploding upon contact and reducing both to a grisly mess of green blood and golden scrap metal.
Words were not enough to express Gilgamesh's ensuing rage. His thoughts were washed away by anger, his arrogance replaced by cold fury. Someone, anyone, had to die.
Gilgamesh opened the Gate of Babylon, and in his boundless anger, pulled out Ea.
Before he could pull the entire blade out of its storage, the bridge was replaced by an endless plain of swords, with in the center of it all, the red Archer.
"Unlimited Blade Works!" the mongrel smirked, as two twin blades materialized in his hands. "It's going to take everything I have left, but… you're dead."
"Enu-" Gilgamesh shouted, before stopping upon recognizing his opponent's blades.
"EX-" EMIYA grinned savagely, pointing both swords toward the golden king, taking advantage of the split surprise. "CALIBUR!"
Two blasts of prana hit Gilgamesh, each with the power to wipe out fortresses. The pocket dimension shook, the burst tearing it apart along with parts of the golden king's armor. He lost his grip over Ea, which was sent flying, but he managed to shield his face with his arms.
When the blasts lessened in intensity and vanished, the Reality Marble crumbled – its creator unable to sustain it anymore. Archer fell to his knees, still holding the twin Excalibur copies. The world returned to its former state, with the bridge still standing… well, for the moment.
Gilgamesh's jaw tightened, as he glanced at his partially melted armor. Having lost his focus, Enkidu vanished, freeing both his captives… not that he cared anymore. "Congratulations," he threatened, "You have succeeded in truly and sincerely drawing my ire. You have successfully infuriated me!" He turned his head to the side, intending to get back Ea and destroy them all, uncaring whether or not Saber would live or die…
A black gauntlet tightened around Ea's pommel, and red lines covered it. Gilgamesh blanched. All the Servants paled.
Lancelot of the Lake's armor was covered with water, as he probably had leapt out of the river a few moments ago. With one hand, he helped another knight, whose putrid aura Gilgamesh recognized as the Caster of the last war his dear Saber had destroyed… with the other hand, the Berserker lifted Ea.
"Lancelot… on this Command Spell…" Gilles de Rais' voice turned vicious and demonic, as his palm shined with a red glow. "Kill! Kill them all!"
For the only time in his existence in this modern world, Gilgamesh feared for his life.
Lancelot raised Ea, which started swirling with power. Even if Lancelot wasn't the original master of the sword, nor the best fit to use it to its fullest potential… it was still more than anything the four Servants gathered could fight. "Enuma-"
"Quickly!" Saber shouted, raising her sword. "EXCALIBUR!" she shouted, unleashing the blast.
"FIERY HEAVEN!" The Caster shouted, unleashing a torrent of fire.
"Gate of Babylon!" Gilgamesh roared quickly, hopping to out speed the mad dog.
The heavenly blade obeyed the command, its power warped by the Berserker's filth-laden prana. A powerful red light was released, with a power perhaps four, five times greater than that of Saber's own attack. Both the light and the barrage of Noble Phantasms collided.
The resulting explosion was beautiful. Its mere shockwave sent all Servants flying.
And in the aftershock the bridge shattered to thousands of pieces.
When Arturia Pendragon opened her eyes, it was to cross gaze with a familiar, hateful face. "Shakespeare…"
"I told you a major character couldn't die like that," the playwright told his Master, who was attending to Tamamo-no-Mae and Archer, both in a pretty bad shape. Next to them, Saint George… and a ghost. "Kiritsugu?" Saber blinked, wondering if she was hallucinating. "Is this… am I dead?"
"No. Not yet." Cu Chulainn shrugged, pulling a bloodied Gilgamesh out of the water, and then getting his lance ready. "But soon… perhaps."
Saber suddenly realized they were in the middle of the river, on a red boat navigating through the leftover remains of the bridge… and their boat was breathing.
Suddenly, Saber noticed the wings and the eyes glancing at her. "Saber," a dragon said with Shirou's voice, "Are you alright?"
"Obviously not," she was certainly hallucinating.
… but the black knight standing on the opposite side of the river, a red sword in hands, was very, very real. "Lancelot!" Bluebeard roared, his voice echoing on the water, "One more time!"
"I don't have enough prana left to deflect another blast," Saber noted a despaired tone, as the black knight raised his stolen weapon. Lancelot was going to kill her, he who had so desired death himself. "This is finished."
"No," the illusion of Kiritsugu replied, taking a gun out of his coat. "It's never finished."
Gilgamesh's eyes slowly opened as he returned to consciousness, "Mon… grels…"
Kiritsugu pulled the trigger. The golden king collapsed again, half of his head removed, and began dissipating.
A flash of light covered the river, as a powerful Servant appeared in the middle of it, floating above the water. She had promised a reward for the death of Gilgamesh… and here she had answered the call.
"Enough!" Ruler ordered. "This battle is over!"
"Wow," a childish, cruel voice chuckled, "Kiritsugu, always the cheater… my, this is wonderful~!"
Kirei Kotomine could barely understand what was happening, his body was lying on the ground, knives impaling his arms and legs to the ground. The Servant that had assaulted him by surprise on Gilgamesh's ship, stabbed him repeatedly, and then abducted him, was standing near his head and speaking through a cell phone with another individual.
"I will bring him to the temple, as asked," the little, malevolent girl spoke emotionlessly, as she glanced at the priest. "He will need a cure, however."
"No problem~ the corruption in his body is so great it will keep him alive as long as his heart isn't destroyed!" The voice of the phone was briefly silenced. "Bring the phone to his ear."
The Assassin did as she was told, and Kirei snorted. First, Kiritsugu was somehow resurrected from the dead, and now a mysterious Master wanted to speak with him. "This is not my day."
"No, not at all… but it can be," the voice chuckled, "You wanted to learn God's design for you, isn't it? Why? Why you were born for sin? I can offer you the answer. I can offer any answer."
"Oh?" Kirei noted dully unimpressed, but also slightly curious. "And who might you happen to be?"
"I have had many names… Seraph… the false shepherd… the Dragon of the Revelation… the serpent… An Old Friend… but I am certain such a devout and pious priest should recognize my favorite one~" The voice turned deep.
"You can call me the Beast."
Servant of the Day:
Name: Kiritsugu Emiya
Alias: Magus Killer (or Badass Hitman, depending on who you ask)
Servant - Assassin
Alignment - Lawful Neutral
STR - D
AGI - C
END - D
MGI - B
LCK - E
NP - B
Independent Action: C
Presence Concealment: B
Eye of the Mind (True): B+
Subversive Activities: A+
Mental Pollution: E
Mind of Steel – Anti-Unit – A+
A blessing accorded to those who can be truly dedicated to a given goal, and willing to go at any length to reach it, no matter the personal cost and no matter which tools have to be used, abused, and discarded. As such, any ordinary weapon Kiritsugu grabs temporarily gains the properties of a Noble Phantasm, which power varies. A gun becomes for example D rank and can harm Servants.
Thompson Contender – Anti-Thaumaturgy – E+++
A weapon specially designed to destroy Magus and their craft, a significant Rank-up is afforded when utilized against individuals with significant amounts of prana. Notably, it is instantaneously crippling when utilized against enemies who are using any form of magic either as an attack or simply to sustain themselves. However, it has no effect on Noble Phantasms and can only fire a single bullet before a reload becomes necessary to fire once more.
Emiya Crest – Anti-Unit – D
The Thaumaturgical Crest of the Emiya family – Kiritsugu has access to all the magecraft of the Emiya family, however, due to only using selective portions of that magic during his career as the Magus Killer and because he was only able to inherit a portion of the original Crest, it is significantly weakened. Kiritsugu's state as a Heroic Spirit, however, allows him the ability to freely use the Emiya Crest for a virtually unlimited period of time.
"... oh boy..." Slayer Ars blinked. "Lancelot with Ea. Bluebeard summoning alien monstrosities. Shirou turns into a dragon. Alexander shrugs off all evils of the world. Archer with double Excalibur. Angra Mainyu is unstoppable and Sakura's new Servant. Gil took a bullet to the face. Kiri turns guns into NP. And one of the main villains is the Beast of Fate/Prototype!"
"It was originally the ancestor of Angra Mainyu and the end boss of Prototype but it never made it to the final version, so the author rehabilitated it as one of the three main bad guys with Bluebeard's Master and Angry Mojo," Taiga explained. "But yeah, everybody took a level here."
"... I'm so scared of what will happen with the next brawl."
"You will have to wait for a time," Taiga shrugged. "Next episodes will mostly focus on the change of status quo, and the creation of two factions a la Apocrypha. And perhaps Mordred." She grinned. "Hint? Hint?"
"Anyway, the author would like to thank fellow author Third Fang for having helped him elaborate Kiri's stats," Slayer Ars said. "And excuse himself to the readers for the delay in updates. Writer block is a bitch to overcome."
"The Author thought about a little humorous crossover between the Nasuverse and another insane reality to entertain you while waiting for chapters of this story, but nothing is confirmed," Taiga said. "Next time! A new servant even more awesome than Gil and truly unexpected is summoned! Hassan and Medusa look for a Master! The Beast reveals what it is, and crosses the line in a spectacular way! Angra Mainyu discovers he can change his gender at will! And Shirou starts flying! And Cu Chulainn hits on Aozaki! And Nero shows up again!"
"Anyway, would you kindly review... or next time..." Slayer Ars' eyes widened, "You won't get any fanservice!"
"... this story IS fanservice. A pure ultimate showdown of the ultimate destiny!"
"I got to motivate them."