Disclaimer: I do not own anything in connection to the patent or ownership for those of Fate/Zero or Puella Magi Madoka, they belong to their respective owners.
What prepares us for the trials that we face?
Silver and iron to the origin. Gem and the archduke of contracts to the cornerstone. The ancestor is my great master Schweinorg.
Is it our thoughts?
The alighted wind becomes a wall. The gates in the four directions close, coming from the crown, the three-forked road that leads to the kingdom circulate.
Shut (fill). Shut (fill). Shut (fill). Shut (fill). Shut (fill).
Repeat every five times.
Simply, shatter once filled.
The wills of others?
Your self is under me, my fate(doom) is in your sword.
In accordance with the resort of the Holy Grail, if you abide by this feeling, this reason, then answer.
Is it preparation?
Here is my oath. I am the one who becomes all the good of the world of the dead, I am the one who lays out all the evil of the world of the dead.
Or do we leave it to chance...
You, seven heavens clad in three words of power, arrive from the ring of deterrence, O keeper of the balance ―――！
...and hope for the best?
The smoke started to clear. Tohsaka Tokiomi, waited as the form of his servant began to appear. When the last whisp of mist dissipated Tokiomi stood stunned. He had used his influence and monetary gain in order to procure the perfect catalyst to summon the best possible servant in history. Using the skin shed by the first snake of the world in ancient times he had hoped to summon the hero it was most connected to, Gilgamesh the King of Uruk, the King of Heroes.
In front of him, was something, someone else entirely. The figure before him was female. At best, her age was of early to middle of her teenaged years. Dressed in an ensemble of white and pink; her hair the same as the latter color arrangement, and with a pair of golden eyes, she exhumed of an air of peace and innocence.
"I have heeded your summons." She said and curtsied, her flowing white dress parting slightly to show her she wore the same colored stockings and a pair of frosted glass slippers. "I ask of you, are you my Master?"
The girl, the servant, looked only a few years older than his own daughters. Regaining his bearing took a few seconds before Tokiomi coughed into his hand decorously. "Yes, I am your Master. May I ask what class are you?"
The girl smiled at him, and Tokiomi found it hard to not place the same type of smile on Rin... or Sakura. "I have been summoned as the servant Archer for the duration of this war." she said.
Tokiomi sighed and and his face aged if anyone were to look at him at this moment.
Tokiomi looked at his servant. She tilted her head to the side in curiosity. "Are you alright?" She asked.
Tokiomi nodded before sighing again. "I am. I am just..."
"Disappointed?" Archer tried finishing for him.
"Disappointed? a little, but I am more curious as to who you are? I had prepared a catalyst to summon a specific hero for the war." The mage responded.
"Would you like me to inroduce myself properly Master?" Archer inquired.
"Yes, that would be preferable." Tokiomi said with a small smile. If anything, the elder male was a bit charmed by how sedate his rather atypical servant was.
"My real name holds no true significance, but since you have asked for it I will give it to you." Archer began. "My name is Kaname Madoka. I was born in the city of Mitakihara." She said.
Mitakihara. Tokiomi ran the name through his mind. It was a small city, still in development and people were moving in as it grew. He had taken a little interest in the budding city as it was above a leyline, not as significant as the one in Fuyuki but an area of power nonetheless for any mage to take advantage of. This clued him in the origin of his servant.
"You are... a Hero of the future." Tokiomi realized.
Archer -Madoka- gave a rather sheepish smile. "Well, not exactly, it is a bit hard to explain, but I suppose in due time the master-servant link will allow you to understand how I came to be and maybe as to why I was summoned as your partner for this war."
"I see." Tokiomi thought pensively; already as he viewed Archer through his master's clairvoyance her statistics began appearing before him.
"It seems fate has dealt me an interesting hand." Tokiomi said wryly. "No matter." He then turned to the others with him.
"Archer, I would like to introduce you to two of my associates from the church." Tokiomi gestured to the older of the two gentlemen. "This is Kotimine Risei." He then gestured to the younger male, his expression almost lifeless despite his physical stature. "His son, Kirei."
"Good Evening sirs." Archer curtsied and greeted them courteously with a smile.
The older priest returned the warm smile. "And to you dear child."
Kirei nodded in return to the greeting. "Good Evening."
"Archer." Tokiomi called out to his servant.
"Yes, my Master." She answered.
"Would you please excuse us. The three of us have to make a few arrangements. Your summoning was not something we had accounted for. Could you help Assassin in guarding the perimeter please." Tokiomi ordered politely.
Archer closed her eyes and smiled. "I understand my Master." With that, the pink haired servant vanished, leaving the Tokiomi and his two associates alone.
"That was... quite unexpected Tokiomi." Risei pointed out, a small smile still laying on his elderly visage.
Tokiomi himself nodded to his friends words, his mind already calculating the possible strategies to take. "Indeed it was."
"I thought that with the proper catalyst you would be able to summon the specific hero tied to that item?" Kirei asked his mentor.
Tokiomi looked over to the small box at the altar that once held the item in question, it now stood empty. "That is supposed to be the case, but magecraft of this magnitude can't always be predicted accurately." Tokiomi opined.
"So then, how will Archer fare against the other servants, barring Assassin of course?" Risei asked.
Tokiomi quickly reviewed the information he had received from his servant before answering, his chin resing on his knuckles as he held his elbow in his other hand. "Physcially, Archer is weaker than Assassin, but her mana output, her luck, and noble phantasm parameters seem to be without par."
"It seems neither Archer nor Assassin will be able to deal with a direct confrontation with any of the other servants save Caster and maybe Rider." Kirei pointed out.
"Maybe." Tokiomi said.
"Do you have something in mind Tokiomi?" Risei probed.
"I might have an idea or two." The Tohasaka patriarch expressed himself with a predatory smile.
Archer sat quietly on the roof of the Tohsaka manor, humming a small tune as she watched the moon as it hung lazily amongst the stars and clouds of the night sky. Her senses open to any that would try to make a move against her Master's home.
"You are truly not what I expected, servant Archer." A deep, husky voice came from the darkness behind her.
"Am I really that strange?" Archer quietly asked as Assassin appeared beside her, standing vigil over the grounds.
"I have seen stranger things in my past." Assassin replied.
A small silence rolled about them, only disturbed by a small breeze as it tossed Archer's long hair; and with the moonlight, gave the servant of the bow a sort of ethereal presence that seemed to bring a sort of comfort to the servant of the shadows.
"If it's not too personal, could I ask why?" Archer finally spoke after a minute of lunar gazing. Her golden eyes now focusing on the skull mask the other servant was wearing.
"Why what?" Assassin asked back, crossing his arms as he regarded her.
"Why did you divide yourself?" Archer rephrased her question.
"So you noticed?" Shadows made themselves briefly appear before Archer before melding once again with the darkness.
Archer just nodded.
"It was for a mission. That, and it allowed me greater ability in carrying out what I had been ordered to do. It was a necessity at that time." Assassin explained.
"I see." Archer let the matter rest. She then looked thoughtful before smiling at the masked servant. "Since you didn't mind answering a personal question I'll tell you a little something about myself."
Assassin stood silent while Archer continued. "I did not exactly see your other selves. Your presence concealment is very formidable. What I read were your hopes."
This information seems to have struck something within Assassin, but it hardly showed on his body language. "The splitting of your psyche was necessary but you wish to be yourself, to be whole once again." Archer smiled sadly at Assassin. "I know it is not my place to do so but I think you should accept all of your selves. Each of them is a part of you, and despite what has become of you now they are still 'you'. Be it past, present, or future, we are given choices to make, sometimes painful ones, and through these choices it is what will mold us to who or what we are now. You can choose to regret what you have and done and try to reclaim what is lost; or you can look forward and accept what has happened, what has been done and move onwards towards the future as yourself, be it the one standing before me and talking to me right now, or somebody else."
Another breeze, another silence, and Archer did not need to look to know that Assassin had disappeared, back into the darkness from which spawned his legends.
Archer appeared before them in a swirl of light. Her golden eyes scanning them. "I have heeded your summons Master, is there something you wish of me to do?"
Tokiomi nodded. "Yes, there is. We have decided on a appropriate plan of action for the war. For those masters who have done their due diligence, they will know that both Kirei and I have a relation as master and apprentice in the art of magecraft. They will also know that both of us are masters in this war."
Archer kept silent and listen, watching as Tokiomi began pacing, both Risei and Kirei keeping straight and still as their plan was being explained to the servant.
"While our status of a master is known, the other participants still do not know of who are our servants. We will use this to our advantage. Starting tonight Archer, I wish of you to begin the ruse of being Kirei's servant."
"Assassin." At his master's call, the the servant clad in black appeared beside Kirei. "You will take Archer's place as Master's servant."
"Disinformation, how cunning." Assassin said with light amusement.
"The other master are already starting to make their appearance and have been showing themselves as per the procedure." Risei began.
"So far, the only ones who have made themselves known are the masters of both Rider and Lancer; Waver Velvet, and Kayneth Archibald El-Melloi respectively. No doubt the Einzbern's master will be arriving soon, and that leaves two more master unaccounted for at the moment." The elder priest elucidate.
"Master, are you sure that this is a wise decision?"
All eyes turned to Archer; a golden pair stared back at them.
"I am well of aware of the alliance you wish to keep secret, and I trust your judgment. I only ask of this because it is my duty as your servant that your safety is tantamount." Archer clarified.
"So you have been keeping your guard up this entire time." Kirei interpreted.
Archer smiled. "Yes I have. I hope I have not insulted in you in anyway, it is my duty after all."
Assassin chuckled. "It seems we have been underestimating you greatly Archer."
"Indeed we have." Tokiomi agreed. He then continued. "Please forgive us, due to your appearance and mannerisms it had slipped our minds you are still a Servant."
Archer just smiled, as their plan was put into action.
"What is that you are reading, Kirei-san?"Archer asked as she sipped from her glass of soda provided graciously by her host.
The two of them had relocated to Ryuudoji temple. A little hypnosis had allowed them lodging under the guise of a spiritual retreat. Archer playing the role as Kirei's assistant.
In disguise, Archer's hair barely reached the ground now, tied up into a high ponytail with a red ribbon. Her white and pink outfit substituted by more surreptitious garments. Gone were the white gloves, her white stocking replaced with black ones; her white dress had been kept in favor for a knee-length plaid skirt and light-pink turtleneck sweater, a pristine pair of white ankle-length socks adorned her feet.
"It is information I have been able to gather about a person of interest." Without missing a beat, Kirei passed the papers he was reading to Archer.
"Emiya... Kiritsugu." Archer read slowly, looking at the black haired male in the picture, whose gray eyes seemed dead to the world.
"It seems he carries a heavy burden, or at least, he himself thinks so." Archer speculated. She then turned to her current partner. "Why the interest in him?"
"I believe that Emiya Kiritsugu may have the answers I am looking for." Kirei responded.
"And to what questions do you seek these answers for?" Archer questioned further. "Are the questions you wish to ask him because of what he has done? Or are the questions you ask for you to see who you really are?"
Only a slight widening of the eyes were the indication of Kirei's response to the questions his master's servant was posing to him.
"It is both." Kirei admitted. "I wish to understand what drives Emiya Kritsugu to go such lengths to chase after death and what he found when he stayed with the Einzberns."
Archer smiled. "And yourself?" she prodded.
Kirei paused, lost in thought for a moment. "I wish to understand myself, I wish to understand why I feel the way I do. I wish to know why I can only find myself being attracted to the pain of others. I wish to know why I cannot find satisfaction or pain the way others do."
Kirei looked over to Archer. Said servant was looking a bit lost in thought, a finger on her chin and eyes looking up. She hummed.
"Why not try to discover why you are attracted to the pain of others? Do you feel the need to hurt them physically? Or is it among the lines of gentle teasing, prodding them, annoying them just to draw satisfaction from their emotional reactions, like when they get mad, or embarassed. Joy, like pain, like any emotion a person feels, takes many forms, comes in many shapes and sizes."
Archer placed a gentle hand on Kirei's shoulder. "You should try to figure it out yourself, don't rely on the points of views of others too much. Come to your own conclusion having assessed everything, and maybe you will reach the answers you have been seeking."
Their discussion stopped there. A puff of black smoke, indication of the appearance of one of the aspects of Assassin.
The Hassan bowed dutifully, his form slightly bulkier and taller than the one Archer remembered meeting earlier. The Assassin stood and quickly relayed his message.
"The stage has been set Kirei-sama, for yours and Archer's arrival."
Kirei nodded. "Understood, we will be there soon. Inform my Master."
Assassin nodded. "As you wish." With nary a sound, the aspect vanished as quickly as it appeared.
"Let's go Archer. It is time." Kirei motioned to the door as he stood up.
"Will we continue this conversation later?" Kirei heard the pink haired archer ask from behind him.
Kirei wordlessly nodded without looking back before heading out the door. Archer herself entering into her spirit form and following after her faux master.
It was a silent and dead night around the Tohsaka manor. No breeze of wind, a cloudless moonlit sky, nothing to denote anything of interest, except for the few critters scurrying about in attempts to find food or shelter.
The manor itself was pristine. It gave the any passerby that the owner was well to do and had good taste. From the windows to the woodwork, to the podium at the center of the backyard which could be barely seen from the side of the road, each showed a sense of class and taste well above any normal person would be able to achieve.
"Who dares disturbs the realm of my Master?"
A husky voice, low and soft enough to be a whisper, but loud enough to be heard. A white mask in a plume of shadow and Assassin appeared.
Still, there was no answer given to the servant of the shadows, and all was silent.
Then a streak of light lanced from above. Pink in motif the energy was colored but no less deadly as it raced to its target in a span of microseconds. Only for the attack to be halted by a luminescent barrier, the large gem on the podium from which Assassin stood beside was glowing, signifying it as the source of the magecraft.
The black clad servant could detect that the magic aiding him wouldn't last long and deftly leaped back as two more arrows of light struck the same place. The gem cracked as did the magic of the barrier accompanied by the sound of breaking glass.
More and more arrows came falling like rain, and servant Assassin moved with as much skill and agility he could muster. Jumping, twisting, sidestepping and each time the masked servant would dodge, the arrows were gaining in accuracy for their intended target ever so slowly. Each arrow that missed left a small crater due to the mini-explosions each one would make upon hitting the earth. Dirt and other debris was pushed into the air, obscuring the area. This did little though to stop the persisting attack.
Soon the rain stopped but Assassin did not as arrows came from the front, from the foliage of the forest behind the Tohsaka manor. A quick backwards handspring into a cartwheel saved the servant from a pierced lung and heart respectively. This allowed the arrows to detonate into the neatly clipped bushes near the rear entrance of the abode.
Another barrage of arrows, this time five in quick succession but only one managed to nick Assassin slightly as he launched himself into an aerial corkscrew in order to evade his attacker's assault. Before sticking the landing though, the black clad body quickly shifted his weight into a mid-air flip and landed a foot where he was originally going to land and just as his feet were placed onto his new reoriented position another arrow pierced the ground of his original designated location.
With practiced ease and despite the smoke clouding his vision, Assassin reached into a hidden satchel attached on his person and released a small band of throwing knives through the smog at a location in the dark of the woods. The projectiles did not make it as more bolts of energy emerged and knocked into each one of Assassin's blades making them explode, obscuring the area even more.
"I have to admit, you show quite a talent for fighting servant Assassin."
Finally, Assassin's foe appeared from the smog. Dressed in white and pink, her long hair billowing slightly as winds began to pick up for the first time in the night, another servant appeared.
She looked young compared to her black shrouded rival, and her white and pink colors opposed those of Assassin. The bow in her hand, took the form of branch with a rose at its end, signified the attacking servant's class. If the attacks were anything to comprehend with at least, the bow is what finalized the thoughts of her identity.
"Servant Archer I presume." Assassin stated.
The servant - Archer- nodded. Her eyebrows quirked slightly and small frown crossed her features but still she kept her eyes on the wily servant.
"It appears my masters had ascertained that our target is no longer here." she said rather stoically for her appearance.
Assassin mildly exulted in her statement.
"So what of it servant of the bow? My master is no longer here, yet you are. You may run or we could continue our little escapade, but I have already accomplished my goal."
"Indeed you have." Archer replied. "You may follow me if you wish, that is your prerogative, but do not think you will find me or my Master easy prey."
Without saying anymore, Archer melted into light, soon after her leave Assassin himself turned into a shadow leaving nothing left but the destruction the battle between servants wrought to the environment..
There was nobody to witness the fight, nobody nearby save the the small animals and insects that served as the eyes and ears of their magus masters.
"That was a splendid performance you two." Tokiomi clapped as both Servant's appeared in his basement. He was alone with the two servants. Risei was currently in the church conducting both his duty as moderator of the war and current church head. Kirei on the other hand had performed his role perfectly as well.
Whilst both Archer and Assassin, or at least one of the black servant's aspect, were engaging in their exhibition, Kirei had entered the Tohsaka manor through the front. Making sure that what was happeing was authentic, Kirei had demolished, rather brutally the Tohsaka patriarch might add, all current wards and protective spells and charms that were in place. Afterwards it was making sure that it appeared Kirei took time to actually look for his target before leaving the manor.
"With this we have have succeeded in setting the stage." Tokiomi began. "Archer, you will continue to accompany Kirei until further notice at Ryuudoji Temple. Assassin, however, I have another job for you and your others."
With that the Tohsaka patriarch relayed the rest of the plan with the two servants. After having discussed this briefly with his 'disciple', Arher and Kirei were to station themselves at the temple allowing the natural barrier around the mountain to set up a fortified position.
Assassin would continue his role as Tokiomi's servant, and due to this ruse, Tokiomi would continue to stay within the manor's basement. Some of the other aspects of the black servants would act as sentry for the Tohsaka master in place of wards, while the rest would scour the city looking for clues and information on the other master and servant pairs. The servants before him nodded and the two took their leave to do their duties.
Tokiomi sighed as he sagged into his plush leather chair. It was tiring night for him. Maybe it was time for a little rest, with a clear and refreshed mind he will plan accordingly to win the war. He would win it, he has to; for his pride as a magus and for his daughter whom he had to give up for her own protection despite knowing the nature of the Matou household.
As night began to give way to the day, Tokiomi snored almost imperceptibly on his chair. Slowly particles of light appeared in his basement, and his true servant appeared before his sleeping frame.
Archer smiled beatifically at her master's sleeping form. Slowly she crept up the stairs. Almost an hour later she came back down. In her arms she carried a wool blanket as well as a small bento and thermos. Placing the food package on the nearby study table she carefully draped the blanket on Tokiomi.
"Sleep well my Master."
With that, her form disappeared to give her master peace and rest for coming night.
"I want to erase all witches from existence, before they were even born."
He could tell that this voice belonged to his servant. Amidst the desolate landscape he could see, a small white creature sat on its haunches, looking up at him with unblinking red eyes.
"Every witch, past and future, in the universe! With my own hands!
Soon a bright light began to engulf him as another voice pierced the pillar of power he was standing in.
"That wish, it does not only break temporal coherence; it violates the very laws of karma!"
A small gasp of realization.
"Do you... really wish to become a goddess?"
Light and sound became blurred, his vision and hearing left him, and all that was left was oblivion.
Well, I was able to find a suitable to close to this chapter. I would like to try and make longer chapters, but that is beyond my current writing prowess. So anyway, as I said in one of my other a/n's of 'The Custodian' here is a storyline where instead of Gilgamesh, we have Tohsaka Tokiomi summoning the embodiment of hope Kaname Madoka.
So far things have been going alright with this story as some of my other works are shifting around. I am currently looking into the black knights second chance, I made some headway there. Custodian is on the back burner as I try to draw up a servant on servant fight as well as an OC to make this work, we'll see how that one goes.
I started on a few paragraphs from my Persona 3 and Katekyo Hitman Reborn fic, but I have to watch some playthroughs (cut-scenes) as I do not own a copy of the games. This is also true for my one-shot, and I AM making SOME headway with my League of Legends work. On a side note I am lifting the ban on characters to now include ones that are alive, but I still reserve to not right any characters from Dragon Ball (no offense to the fans).
Unfortunately, I have been taken by another plot bunny that won't leave me alone. I swear they JUST WON"T STOP MULTIPLYING!
This is one is going back to one of the first few animes I watched, understood, and enjoyed; Code Geass and Death Note. That's right I am punting Lelouch vi Britannia (Lamperouge) into the world of Death Note. For those wondering, no, Lelouch is not going to be Kira or will actively confront him, that role still goes to our gangly, shaggy haired, sweets loving detective and our blonde notebook writing 'protagonist'. He will be the third party of this little affair. For this one, L and Kira are focused on each other, but they have yet to realize a third player has entered their game without their knowledge. Will the power of kings stand up to the power of the death note? And can Zero, the man of miracles fair against the world greatest (and second and third greatest) detective and the so called criminal killing Kira.
Stay tuned, and maybe you'll find out.
Dminion...signing off for now.