Disclaimer: I don't own anything Type-Moon or Nasuverse related.

A/N: Finally, here we go. The second night of this altered Fourth War continues and we get to see what everyone has been waiting for: Kiritsugu and Kirei actually talking and exchanging meaningful dialogue! Oh, and Teams Berserker and Caster star in this too. Enjoy.


Sought Out

They had stayed at the park until the sun began to set, and the children's mothers took them away amidst their complaints. Those complaints had been echoed by his Servant, whose behavior Kariya had apologized for before leaving the park, but only after Berserker had given the children his promise to play with them tomorrow. Placated for the time being the children had bidden the golden man goodbye, and the Servant quickly followed after his retreating Master.

Most of the evening had been spent at a quiet, barren diner downtown. He hadn't eaten all day, and Kariya had been famished before devouring the meal he had ordered. Berserker had inhaled several, and Kariya's wallet had felt considerably lighter in his pocket once they left and stepped out into the streets, the moonlight sky stretching above their heads.

Kariya had wandered aimlessly through the streets, avoiding crowds and keeping to the alleys while Berserker followed at his own pace. He briefly wondered if the second night of the War would pass by without progress, but that was wrong. In the darkest part of the city, in a dank place where even the nastiest thugs would dare not venture, Berserker had heard someone cry out. The Servant had taken off, even as Kariya coughed out orders for him to stay put. The Servant hadn't listened, and Kariya had followed after him.

The Matou had found his Servant staring down an alleyway, jaw slack and eyes glazed over. Kariya had approached him, ready to scold and yell at the childish man for running off like he did…

…But when he saw that horrifying scene for himself, Kariya couldn't find the words.

Roughly a dozen grotesque, tentacled… things crawled and slithered across the ground and walls that boxed them in. But that wasn't what made the scene so terrible in Kariya's eyes. Clutched within each monster's tentacles was a child. The children were young too, no older than the children Berserker had played with earlier that day, maybe younger. The children screamed in terror as the monsters dragged them down the alley. Kariya's found himself comparing the monsters' actions to ants carrying food away. He vaguely remembered shouting something. Whether it had been in fear, protest, anger or a combination of all three, he couldn't remember. But the moment he had shouted the creatures had reacted, as had Berserker.

The golden Servant shot forward and had swung his fists with such speed and ferocity, that the creatures he struck were shredded to bits. With a single sweep, he took out the two monstrosities closest to them, freeing the children whose skin and clothes were smeared and damp with slime and blood. Berserker had propelled forward, tearing into two more shrieking monsters and saving two more sobbing, crying children. He had saved four now.

They would be the only ones to live.

The remaining creatures, sensing the danger, had coiled and twisted the tiny bodies they were trying to harvest. Berserker froze as the first child's body was ripped apart. The rest of the children were twisted, crushed or suffocated by a multitude of tentacles. Kariya could hardly stand to watch, but stared frozen not unlike Berserker.

Neither of them was quick enough to save the rest.

The creatures retreated as Kariya and Berserker stared down at the broken, motionless bodies of the murdered children. Both men looked up, beholding the face of another person standing at the opposite end of the alley where the streets connected, but the bulging eyes and sunken features made him just as monstrous as the creatures that seemed to gather around him. Kariya realized that this man was a Servant, since no human would command such monstrosities.

…Well, there were Zouken's worms, but his father didn't fall under the "human" category in Kariya's book.

The four children had somehow ended up hiding behind him, and Kariya wondered when it was Berserker had taken out his axe. But Kariya found himself focusing on the Servant's face.

Never before had Kariya seen someone so furious. Gone was the carefree smile the Servant usually wore and in its place was an expression warped by pure rage. Kariya heard the other Servant say something to them, but he barely heard the words. Berserker shouted as he hurled himself forward, bringing his axe down in front of him as one of the cartridges on his axe lit up.

Kariya grabbed the four children and shielded them from the light that emitted from the blast. He could hear the sparking and crackling of electricity behind him and his clothes billowed from the gust conjured by the force of the attack. Kariya tentatively glanced backwards at his Servant. The alley's walls were coated and smeared with blood and grime, the only thing left of the creatures that had gotten caught in Berserker's attack. The Servant turned back towards his Master.

"Get going!"

Kariya blinked guilelessly in response to that. "What…?"

"Get those kids away from here! I'll take care of this thing!"

Kariya hesitated. While he wanted to ensure the kids' safety as much as Berserker obviously wanted to, he had his own worries about leaving his Servant behind. Or rather, he had his doubts he'd be a sufficient protector if one of those creatures came after him…

"GO!"

Growling in frustration to himself and wishing he could argue his own point on the matter, Kariya gathered the four children and hurriedly led them out of the alley. Once Berserker saw them leave, he nodded in satisfaction before turning back towards his foe. Some smoke had been left from the uplifting debris and remnants of the discharge from his axe, but it had cleared enough to the point where Berserker could see the opposing Servant through the haze. He stood unscathed, smiling at him as the familiars that had protected him were replaced as more of them gathered around him. Berserker frowned at that. He had been sure he had gotten the majority of them in his attack, so where did all the new ones come from…?

"Indeed, that strength… it lacks grace and beauty, but I suppose the power makes up for it." Caster said calculatingly to himself as he observed Berserker. A sinister smile stretched across his face.

"Why?"

"Hm?"

"Why did you kill those children? Why did you do it?!" Berserker demanded.

"They were to be fodder for the beast. Food. Yet you… you…!" Caster seethed as he clawed the air in front of him. "You sought to save them? Well, now neither of us gets what we wanted!"

"Food…? You wanted to eat them?"

"Ah… heretics like you couldn't possibly understand the great deed I am trying to accomplish. These sacrifices are needed to bring about a true savior, don't you see?!" Caster gestured wildly with his arms before calming down. "But… you would deny this miracle. You think those small, worthless souls are worth saving? No! They're greatest purpose is to serve my needs! You haven't-!"

"Shut UP!"

Caster recoiled from the volume of Berserker's voice and glared at the golden Servant.

"Demons love to talk, don't they?" Berserker drawled lowly to himself as he hefted his axe up. He was lucky he had experience in killing demons though. "I may not have been able to protect those kids… but I'll make sure they can smile in the afterlife when I send your soul straight to hell, you bastard!"

Berserker shouldered his axe and charged. Caster swept his arms forward, commanding his demons to attack. The creatures all jumped forward to meet Berserker's charge. Caster hung back as he summoned more monstrosities. Several of them slithered away, seeking out those that had escaped. The deranged Servant smiled as he watched Berserker fight off his demons. That spark would be snuffed out eventually, and he would make the perfect sacrifice for his creation.

Hidden and their presence unknown to the two Servants below, two white masks stared down at them from the shadows of the rooftops above. One mask watched the stranglers break away from the group to pursue the escaping Master and children, and the Assassin followed after them. The second mask stayed to watch, curious how the battle would unfold.


Emiya Kiritsugu knew that Kotomine Kirei was a fearsome man. It was because Kiritsugu could not understand the priest and how he lived. This lack of understanding capitalized his fear of him. The effort he put into anything he did, his natural talent, the fact that he had once been an Executor, and the knowledge that he was a Master were just facts Kiritsugu had gathered when researching his life. No, Kiritsugu was afraid of Kirei because he felt that if there was anyone truly capable of killing him in this War, it would be Kirei.

But that man had quite clearly avoided doing what Kiritsugu had feared he'd do if they were to ever meet. Instead, he had purposely landed a crippling blow instead of a fatal one. Then Kiritsugu had found out that Kirei had been just as curious about the Magus Killer as he had been about the enigmatic priest. Kirei did not hunt him for his life like he had thought. He had hunted him for answers.

And while Kiritsugu had been persuaded by Archer to lure the priest to answer his own questions and assuage his fears, Kiritsugu only felt his confusion continue to mount.

Kirei stated down at the Magus Killer patiently, eagerly anticipating whatever response the man had for him. The man hid it well, Kirei could tell that Kiritsugu was shocked that he had not killed him when he had the chance. It was understandable. In a war like this, when two Masters met face to face and engaged in combat it would usually end with one of them losing his life. But the circumstances as rules of the War mattered not to Kirei at the moment. All that mattered to him was the man he had sought out, right in front of him. This was the man capable of shedding some light on the emptiness of his life. If a man like Emiya Kiritsugu, a man who was like him, could find happiness after living like he had… didn't that mean he could find the same happiness in whatever Kiritsugu had found during his journey?

Tonight, he would have his answer.

Kiritsugu shifted in place as he tried to calm himself down. He kept his eyes on Kiritsugu as seconds of silence passed between them.

"…Assassin is probably alive if Archer hasn't intervened." Kiritsugu thought to himself. "Kirei hasn't killed me, and based on his actions and words he never intended to. Archer is most likely being kept away by Assassin… and with one of my arms useless it would be suicide to try and fight Kirei. I even lost my Contender…"

Kiritsugu felt calm seep into him as he analyzed the situation. He glanced up at Kirei, and felt his body relax as he came to a realization, or rather, looked upon his predicament with a new sense of clarity.

"He won't kill me. At least not until I answer whatever questions he has for me. Until Archer arrives there isn't much I can do… but if I can lead Kirei on, at least for a little while, I might be able to get out of this."

And maybe, just maybe, he could understand the man known as Kotomine Kirei just a little bit more.

"…You seem to know an awful lot about me." Kiritsugu spoke to the priest.

"I know as much about you as any other magus who knows you by reputation. My description of you and the life you lived is information easily attainable by anyone interested in you." Kirei replied evenly. "But the way you had once lived is of no concern to me. I care not for the numerous lives you've taken or the horrendous deeds you've committed."

"…Are you really a priest?" Kiritsugu remarked dryly. Kirei narrowed his eyes slightly in response before speaking again.

"I'll repeat my question. What did you find with the Einzberns that made you give up the life you had lived? After staining your hands with so much blood, completing job after job with no signs of stopping… what changed? Why stop? What had the Einzbern family offered you?"

"Why do you want to know?" Kiritsugu asked, exasperation leaking into his tone as he grew even more confused.

"Because it is important that my question is answered."

"Does it matter that much to you?"

"Yes."

Kiritsugu blinked as the severity in Kirei's tone. Obviously Kirei was trying to find some meaning in his accepting the Einzbern's proposition to take part in the Grail War. But why did it seem to matter so much to him…?

"…It was just another job. The head of the Einzbern family contacted me for a job, and I accepted. It was a long term job, so I stayed with them." Kiritsugu answered.

"What was the job?" Kirei asked. There had to be more to it than just that. "If it was just another job to you, what was the point of staying with them for so long? Did they require…"

Kirei glanced down and trailed off as he spotted something interesting. Kiritsugu followed his gaze and cursed to himself, hiding the hand that bore his Command Seals inside his jacket. He had been nursing his shoulder with his right hand and had unknowingly and carelessly revealed the seals to the man. Kirei nodded understandingly to himself.

"I was aware the Einzbern hired you to take part in the War, but I wasn't aware you were chosen to bear the Command Seals as well… which means the homunculus Assassin saw last night wasn't Archer's Master…" Kirei muttered thoughtfully. His expression was understanding for a moment, but slowly morphed into a more puzzled one. "The Einzbern hired you to be their Master in the Holy Grail War, perhaps coming to the conclusion that the Magus Killer would be the perfect opponent to deal with the other Masters, most of whom were guaranteed to be magi. That doesn't explain why you left your old life behind. When they contacted you, they must have told you the War was years away. Why not continue taking jobs in the meantime? Did they order you to stay because they wanted to keep an eye on you or make sure you didn't die? Were the Einzbern worried you would disappear if you left? Was there a specific reason you took the job? What did they offer you? What will you gain by taking part in this War?"

Question after question followed one after another. Kirei spoke with such fervor that Kiritsugu had trouble keeping up with what he being asked to answer. Kiritsugu frowned as the man continued to speak.

"Why? Why is he asking me all of this? Why is he so interested in just me and not the other Masters? Why do my reasons for joining the Einzbern family and agreeing to take part in the War matter so much to him?"

Both men seemed to be full of questions that began with the word "why", but Kirei had done most of the asking and Kiritsugu continued to feel lost. This senseless priest sought him out and asked him why over and over again, but for what reason? Kiritsugu was honestly getting sick of it.

And he had some questions of his own that needed answering. It was time he did some asking of his own.

"Kotomine Kirei," Kiritsugu said the man's name, stopping his stream of questions for the moment. "A prodigy in his youth, following his father to the holy grounds and with a long list of accomplishments left in his wake. You skipped two grades, became the student council president and graduated at the Theological College of Manresa St. Ignacio. With credentials like that you could've easily attained the position of cardinal minister or something more, but instead you joined the Holy Church and eventually joined the same department as your father. Before that, you had done a variety of jobs for the Church ranging from exorcisms to joining the Executors to hunt heretics. Yet, even after serving the Church for years you transferred over to the Mage's Association three years ago and became Tokiomi Tohsaka's apprentice to prepare for the Holy Grail War. Even though you changed environments constantly, you always succeeded in what you did. That talent and effort displayed could've made you a master if you had chosen to stick in one field, but you always changed the subjects you studied when you were only a step away. You live senselessly and without attachment."

Kirei listened to Kiritsugu recite facts of his life, shocked that the man knew so much about him. He felt hope bubble up inside him. Had the Magus Killer, for whatever reason, taken an interest in him? He never felt more assured in his evaluation of Emiya Kiritsugu. This man… surely this man had found an answer…!

"That way of living… confuses me."

Kirei's hopeful thoughts came to an abrupt halt when he heard that. He stared down at the Magus Killer with wide, disbelieving eyes.

"…What?"

His way of living… confused him?

"I don't understand you." Kiritsugu confessed, unable to disguise the frustration and puzzlement in his tone anymore. "Anyone who knows of your accomplishments would see you as a genius, but you're just a normal man. You devote so much effort to whatever you do, yet you have no sense of attachment. You begin studying and handle jobs so precisely and with such enthusiasm at first… but at the end it's like you felt nothing for them. You come close to mastering one area before moving on without regrets. You're no different than a machine…"

Kiritsugu shook his head in disbelief before continuing.

"The way you live… the way you exist is a mystery… you have no desires, no reason for doing what you do… but still, the Grail chose you as a Master. I don't understand... I just can't understand you, Kotomine Kirei."

Silence descended on both men. Kiritsugu turned his head down, unable to the find words to articulate his thoughts on the priest anymore. Kirei continued to stand and stare down at the man, having some difficulty coming to terms with what he had been told.

Kirei frowned as an uncomfortable feeling overcame him, like ice had pooled in his stomach. What Kiritsugu was telling him… he refused to believe that.

"…No. If anyone can understand me, it is you." Kirei said. "You, the Magus Killer known as Emiya Kiritsugu, is the only man who can understand me."

Kiritsugu was silent, but glanced up at Kirei, challenging him to argue against his statement.

"I believe you said something there… about me being a normal man?" Kirei gave a dry chuckle at that. "No… no I am not quite normal. I fear that I'm not. I'm empty…"

Kiritsugu frowned at that. Empty…?

"But I would say your analysis of the life I've lived is accurate. I have pursed many different paths during my life, trying different things, seeking out new experiences for myself. But my actions are not as senseless as you think. There is a reason I moved and acted the way I did." Kirei proclaimed. "It was all to find an answer to my existence. To fill the void in my heart…"

Now it was Kiritsugu's turn to gape disbelievingly at the man before him.

"What…?"

"It is as you say. I've accomplished much in my life, achievements most would be proud of. But I find no meaning in my accomplishments. I feel no joy in my successes." Kirei said in a distant monotone. "I thought that by trying different things and by putting forth enough effort I found find something that would make me… feel. I wanted to feel something. But I didn't. No matter what I did, no matter how much I searched, all I felt was… nothing."

This time it was Kirei who sounded frustrated as he confessed his woes to his enemy. The one person who he felt could understand him and his desperate struggle within himself…

"You see, Emiya Kiritsugu… everything I've done was an experiment in order to find fulfillment in my life. To attain some form of happiness. But I have never been able to find it. Every experiment has ended in failure for me. The emptiness I feel continue to feel plagues me. I continued to question this feeling, wondering if I would ever find an answer to why I feel the way I do…"

And suddenly, the anger and desperation in his tone was gone. When Kirei spoke again, it was as if he was talking about something that was a self-assured fact. He spoke firmly and confidently. Hopefully. Like a man who had finally found salvation.

"And that is when I found out about you, Emiya Kiritsugu. When I found out about the way you lived… I realized you had found the answer to my question. I knew you had the answer because we are the same."

"Us… the same…?"

"That's right." Kirei nodded, a small smile tugging up the corner of his lips. "You claim that I live erratically, but what about you? Before disappearing with the Einzberns, your life was nothing but chaos. You pursued missions and jobs similar to the way I had, completing them to the best of your ability before moving on. You traveled the world, seeking something that you couldn't find. Those missions that would kill normal men, you took on and accomplished. I do not believe your actions were without purpose, and I wished to know… what was driving you? What was the point of doing what you did? I knew… I knew that your reasons and goals must've been identical to my own. Really though, there is only one difference that separates the two of us."

"…And what's that?" Kiritsugu asked tentatively.

"…The difference between us, Emiya Kiritsugu, is that while I continue to seek an answer… you have already found yours." Kirei declared. "When the Einzbern family hired you and when you left behind your old life with no regrets… you found it. You found what you had been searching for. So that's why I sought you out. That's why I'm here tonight. I want to know… I need to know…!"

Kirei took a deep breath and calmed himself. With a level tone, he clarified the question he had asked twice already.

"I need to know, Emiya Kiritsugu… what is it that makes you feel, 'happiness'?"


Kanshou and Bakuya cut through the night as Archer warded off the Assassins that darted around from within the dark foliage. After proving that he was far superior in direct combat than any of them had anticipated, the Assassins kept their distance from the red knight, sticking to throwing Darks with bullet-like speed. Archer kept deflecting or dodging the daggers, dancing through the hail of knives and avoiding damage. However, the hail of black steel kept him boxed in, and whenever he tried to make a break for it the hail increased.

And Archer could feel the sensation through the connection he had as a Servant to his Master that Kiritsugu refused to utilize. The man had been hurt. Archer wanted to help, but…

"Tch…" Archer jumped back as the dark blades peppered the ground in front of him. He was really sick of looking at those white masks that flickered between the trees.

The Assassins couldn't kill him, but they had already stated they were aware of this fact. They were just meant to stall him for Kirei, who seemed interested in Kiritsugu for some reason.

Well, it wasn't like they hadn't prepared for a situation like this.

Archer hurled Kanshou over one mask, raising Bakuya to block as the knives rained down on him. With his free hand, he grabbed a device attached to his belt and pressed a button on it, holding it close to his mouth as he spoke into it.

"Assassins alive. Go pick up Kiritsugu." Archer said, waiting long enough for the person he was speaking to respond before reattaching the walkie-talkie to his belt. Archer dashed toward the mask he had thrown Kanshou over.

The Assassin Archer was rushing would have moved away or warded him off with numerous Darks if it weren't for the black Kanshou blade that came hurling back to meet its partner, stopping once it had embedded itself in the back of the Assassin's head. Archer jumped past the dead Assassin, tearing Kanshou out of its skull and escaping the cage of white masks that swarmed after him.

Archer smirked to himself as he kept swinging the two swords to keep the daggers from hitting him. Now, all he had to do was play keep away with the Assassins before leaving to cover his Master's retreat…


"Come on, this way!"

Kariya quickly hurried the kids through the dark, abandoned streets and far away from what had almost killed them. He didn't want to scare them any more than they already were or seem forceful after everything they had been through, but he was worried about their pace. The four children were stumbling along, hiccupping and sobbing as they followed after him faster than they could walk, but they weren't running. Kariya tried putting on a friendly smile as he spoke soothingly to the frightened kids.

"Hey, hey… it's gonna be fine. I'm going to get you guys home safely, okay? We just need to hurry. If we don't, those things-!"

One of the children screamed and pointed at something above them. Kariya glanced up and his eyes widened when he saw one of those monstrosities clinging to the top of one of the abandoned buildings. Kariya reacted in the only appropriate way.

"RUN!"

The kids obliged, taking off down the street and thankfully staying together as Kariya ran after them. The creature had jumped down from the building and had landed a few meters behind them, scuttling and slithering after them at an alarmingly pace.

It was the one time in his life Kariya truly wished he had been more involved in the world of magi and learned a little more about thaumaturgy. He didn't have anything that was capable of defending against those creatures that were about the size of a small car. If just one of those things got him or the kids…

"I may not know any magecraft that can defend us…" Kariya grimaced as he felt the worms move and thrive underneath his skin. "But maybe these things can be good for something…!"

Biting down on his lip to keep himself from screaming in pain, Kariya felt the skin on his arms break as worms slithered out of his body and crawl down the sleeves of his jacket. Once they came out, the Crest Worms grew and transmogrified into larger, deadlier insects that would do more than plague his body. With his Blade Wing Worms, Kariya could attack. He was grateful that the kids had their backs turned. He didn't want them to see this.

"Go!"

Giving the command, a dozen of the sharp flying insects shot towards the mutant octopus and proceeded to tear into its soft, slimy flesh. Kariya heard the creature's gurgling screech sound from behind them. Kariya glanced back for a moment, smiling grimly in satisfaction as the monster had stopped chasing them to deal with the pests that swarmed around it.

"That'll keep it occupied for a while." Kariya smirked, happy that the insects were too small and speedy a target for the tentacle monster to get an accurate hit on.

It was a victory short lived though, and Kariya felt dread pool in the pit of his stomach when he heard the children scream in front of him. As the children ran back and huddled around him crying and begging him for help, Kariya could do nothing as eight more monsters surrounded them. Kariya stood rooted in place, mind racing as he desperately tried to figure a way out of this as the children's screams echoed in his ears.

"Help us!"

"I wanna go home!"

"I don't want to die!"

"I want my mommy…!"

Kariya grit his teeth as the monsters began to close in on them. He glanced down at his Command Seals, seeing a way out of this mess and a way to save the children. But… but it was his second one. With just one Command Seal left, what if he needed to use it to control Berserker again? That Servant would be the death of him if left unchecked, and without his cooperation, Kariya couldn't save Sakura. He needed leverage over Berserker if he wanted to save Sakura… but he just couldn't let these kids die…!

…What was he thinking?! If there was a way to save these kids, then there was no point in waiting. Raising his hand up, Kariya began to recite the aria.

"By the power of my Comma-!"

He didn't get a chance to finish, as three of the creatures screeched as they were suddenly impaled by several objects that sank deep into their flesh. As the three creatures fell, Kariya looked toward the opening and spotted their savior. A normal looking man with normal clothes who was waving frantically towards him.

"C'mon! Now's your chance!"

Kariya didn't even think to question why the man was helping them or what he had done to kill those monsters. He only thought of helping the kids as he quickly ordered them to follow the man. Adrenaline and fear making them move faster than they could normally, the kids headed towards the newcomer with Kariya following after them. The creatures weren't far behind.

"Just follow me! The town's not too far ahead and I've already contacted the police." The man told Kariya as he fell back, throwing dozens of those things at the beasts that were following after them, managing to take out another one. Kariya was surprised to see that what the man was throwing were bird feathers, but they acted like bullets.

A magus…!

"Who are you?" Kariya asked as he ran alongside the man.

The man threw another handful of black feathers that glowed and shot towards the group of monsters before turning back to answer the Matou.

"I'm Noburu Sajyou. Don't worry. I'll help you get these kids to safety!"


Kiritsugu stared incredulously at the priest as he processed the question he had been asked.

Happiness…?

Kotomine Kirei wanted to know what made him happy?

"…You're asking… what makes me… happy?"

This man desperately sought him out. Purposely avoided killing him. Asked all these questions… and that's all he wanted to know? That's it? THAT was his reason?

Kiritsugu just had to make sure he was hearing him right.

"That's right." Kirei confirmed. "I want to know what brings you joy. What do you find fulfillment in? Was it something the Einzbern provided, or is it something you can find by taking part in the Holy Grail War?"

Kiritsugu was silent, opening his mouth and closing it in a rare moment of open shock. This was unbelievable. Such a reason… and what a question…!

Something in Kiritsugu's mind clicked, and he remembered. He recalled one other detail that had shocked him most about Kirei. Suddenly, Kiritsugu found himself looking at Kirei in a new light. He could almost… he was beginning to grasp some sense of understanding about Kotomine Kirei. Slowly, clarity began to dawn on him and Kiritsugu thought that maybe… just maybe… he might be able to finally understand the man a little bit…

"…Why did you agree to take part in the Holy Grail War?" Kiritsugu suddenly asked.

Kirei frowned at the new question, disappointed that he hadn't been given an answer. "Why does that matter?"

Kiritsugu was silent in response. He did not give a reason for his abrupt question. Kirei began to grow impatient. He supposed answering Kiritsugu's question would hopefully lead to the man answering his.

"I didn't choose to. I was chosen by the Grail for…" Kirei paused, as that was another question that bothered him. "…Unknown reasons. The Grail thought me to be a suitable Master, and the Command Seals appeared on my hand. My father introduced me to who become my teacher in magecraft, Tohsaka Tokiomi, who was not chosen as a Master for the Holy Grail War as he expected. Both he and my father warned me of the artifact's powers and what would happen if someone with ill intentions wished upon it, and asked me to take part in the War since my teacher was unable to. I had no desire for the Grail myself, but agreed to take part at my father's and the Tohsaka family's request."

Only one part of that explanation stood out most to Kiritsugu.

"…So you have no desire for the Grail?" Kiritsugu asked.

"None." Kirei answered without hesitation.

…Unbelievable.

Now for the most pressing question…

"You have a daughter… Caren, correct?"

Kirei's eyebrows went up when he heard the question. He was mildly surprised that the man knew about his daughter. He was certainly more adept than he was at acquiring information. Kirei was impressed by the man's ability to gather information and happy that he had taken enough of an interest in him to analyze his life in such depth. At the same time, he was confused by the peculiar question. What was the point in asking about his family? They were unrelated to Kiritsugu and the Holy Grail War. Why did it matter if he had a daughter or not?

…Still, Kirei felt compelled to answer.

"I do."

"…You had a wife then." Kiritsugu stated, his tone solemn. "…What happened to her?"

Kirei was silent for a brief moment before answering.

"…She took her own life approximately three years ago."

Kiritsugu felt oddly excited as he questioned the priest. Finally, he asked his final question.

"Your wife and daughter… were they just another experiment?"

Kirei was silent at that, confusion evident in his eyes as he observed Kiritsugu. Why the sudden questions about his family? Shouldn't he be interested in Kirei himself? Shouldn't he be interested in asking questions about the War? Why talk about his wife and daughter? What was the point?

Kirei didn't understand…

…But he answered the question the same way he answered any question he was asked. He only answered with the truth.

"…Yes."

Kiritsugu stared at him. Kirei stared back before deciding to elaborate.

"Most people find happiness in family. Knowing that, I proposed to the woman who became my wife and we had our daughter. I tried to find happiness with a loving wife and child." Kirei said. "…But it proved to be a fruitless venture. I felt the same way about them the same way I felt about everything else. Nothing."

Kiritsugu bowed his head, staring at the ground and hiding his face from Kirei. "I see…"

Kirei stepped forward, tired of answering Kiritsugu's nonsensical questions.

"My question then. I want an answer to it." Kirei demanded.

Kiritsugu shook his head, and Kirei blinked when he heard a low chuckle escape the man's lips. Kiritsugu raised his head slightly, but did not meet Kirei's gaze. The priest felt that uncomfortable feeling from before seep back into him…

"Kirei… you…"

Unfortunately for Kirei, he wouldn't have an answer from Emiya Kiritsugu this night.

Kirei's eyes widened when he heard the click of a gun, cutting off whatever Kiritsugu had been about to say. Kirei immediately jumped away just as machine gun fire echoed through the forest and bullets peppered the area he had been standing on before. Quickly drawing two Black Keys, Kirei swung the swords and deflected the bullets that continued to fly towards him. Once the bullet storm stopped, Kirei dropped the broken swords and searched for the assailant that had shot at him. The priest's eyes widened when he saw a woman crouched down next to Kiritsugu, quickly helping him get to his feet.

Kiritsugu saw the look on Kirei's face and before the priest could react to Maiya's presence, he warned his colleague.

"Maiya!"

Responding to the urgency in Kiritsugu's voice, Maiya grabbed something from her jacket and threw it down on the ground just as Kirei launched himself forward, fist retracted and ready to drive into the woman who had interrupted his talk with Kiritsugu. To eliminate the person who had prevented him from getting his answer.

The smoke grenade exploded and Kirei's vision was obscured by the thick smoke as he plunged into the cloud. He swung blindly, driving his fist into the bark of the tree Kiritsugu had been sitting against before the woman's intervention. Kirei's eyes and he looked around frantically, refusing to let the woman escape. His heard the rustling of leaves off to his right and moved towards the direction of the duo's escape when he heard a beeping noise accompany the sound of feet moving through leaves and grass.

Kirei's body was thrown backwards as the grenades Maiya had left behind in the cloud of smoke detonated, the bombs' placement managing to catch the priest on the borders of their blasts. Kirei smashed into the ground as he landed, wincing as the pain registered. Luckily nothing had been broken, but much to his rare panic and anger Kiritsugu and the interloper had gotten away. Desperate to finish their conversation and banish this unknown feeling that gripped his mind and soul, Kirei gave one command to Assassin through his link with his Servant.

"Assassin! Don't let them get away!"


Berserker roared as he swung his axe, hitting the grotesque monsters with such force that they all exploded into clouds of blood. The Servant shouted in frustration as a dozen more replaced the ones he had killed. He swung his axe again, taking out even more of the monstrosities that replaced with even more.

"Dammit!" Berserker yelled as he swung his axe through the mass of tentacles that surrounded him. "Why are there so many of you…!"

From a safe distance away, Caster smiled as he watched the Servant struggle against his familiar. He gently caressed his spellbook in his hands, muttering another aria that summoned another batch of monsters as Berserker took another dozen out. Caster chuckled darkly to himself, enjoying the spectacle as he waited.

"It would save me some trouble, but continue to fight if you wish. It is only a matter of time now…" Caster giggled. "Brute strength will only do so much against overwhelming numbers. You'll run out of strength eventually, and that's when your futile struggle will come to an end…"

That was what Berserker didn't know about Caster and his monsters. The deranged Servant could endlessly summon as many familiars as he needed. No matter how many Berserker destroyed, they would always be replaced. Caster was content to sit patiently and wait for the golden Servant to tire himself out.

Of course, what Caster didn't know was how much he was underestimating the childish Servant. During his life, Berserker had been a hero to children. He was someone who would watch over and protect them. He loved to make them laugh and smile, so much so that seeing their smiling faces granted Berserker strength that went beyond his already astounding abilities. He would do anything to protect them to protect their smiling faces. To keep them happy. To make sure they could continue to smile happily amongst friends and family.

And Caster had threatened that happiness, so Berserker responded in kind.

Fifteen cartridges were attached to the back of Berserker's axe, though only thirteen glowed and pulsed with energy as electricity jumped and sparked between them. Berserker had already used one when he dropped in on the battle on the first night and a second had been used when the battle against Caster had just started. But as he thought about the children who that monster had killed, and as his determination to avenge those that died and protect the ones that were left began to rise… the two empty cartridges lit up once more.

Berserker gave a feral grin as the legion of monsters surrounded him. He hefted his axe up once again, three of the cartridges lighting up on his axe this time. He swung the golden weapon down, roaring as he attacked.

"GOLDEN SPARK!"

Caster was blown off his feet as thunder and lightning struck down and incinerated all the monsters who screeched in anguish. None escaped as the released electricity and lightning discharged and spread, jumping and hopping around to strike out and impale the demons with golden lances of sparking light. When the smoke cleared and the electricity gutted out, there were no more familiars in sight. Berserker stood with his axe resting on his shoulder, the area around him completely ruined and destroyed. Caster quickly got to his feet, clutching his spellbook close to his chest as he gazed upon the other Servant with wide eyes.

"How's that?" Berserker smirked. Caster bristled in response to Berserker's taunting words and mocking smile.

"You… you think this will change the outcome?!" Caster screamed as his manic smile returned. "It'll all end the same! No matter what you do I will never run out of familiars to summon! Behold!"

Berserker's eyes widened when the abandoned street was suddenly full of Caster's monsters once again. He readied his axe, looking at the mass of tentacles and bloody flesh that moved around in front of him. How many demons could this guy summon…?!

"And while you're busy here… aren't you forgetting about the ones you intended to save?!"

"Shut up! My Master will-!"

"Your Master?! You think he has the strength to stand against even one of my creations?! Ha! Ridiculous! Utterly ridiculous!" Caster laughed. His smiled stretched across his face. "Assuming he was capable of defeating one of my familiars. Maybe two. Three would be generous and any more would be a miracle! I have sent more than enough to deal with him and the ingredients he stole away from me. He will die and those children will return to me and serve their original purpose!"

Berserker actually thought about that. Despite how he acted, he was capable of analyzing and rationalizing a situation if he really tried. As least when he was sane. The cool, controlled anger from before was gone and now worry began to creep into him. His Master and those kids might be in danger. There were a lot of demons, so some might have followed after them…

The golden Servant panicked, raising his axe and cutting away a wall of flesh but was pushed back as the mass of familiars rose again. He couldn't just get away, but he couldn't spend all his cartridges just clearing a path. But those kids… and his Master too…!

"Yes… yes! That despair is intoxicating!" Caster laughed. "Struggle all you want! Let thoughts of your Master's corpse and those doomed children torment you! They cannot be saved, but they will serve a greater purpose, I assure you of that! And once you fall, you will join them in this glorious ascension!"

Caster would have continued to rant if it weren't for the burst of golden light that descended upon the area and parted the mass of corruption that barred Berserker's path. The familiars cried out as they were cut away by a great force that drilled into them, and Caster had to shield his eyes from the holy light. Berserker looked straight at the source, looking on in wonder as he beheld the figure who stood with his weapon pointed in front of him.

"…Shiny." Berserker commented with a smile as he looked upon the silver armor the person war. Berserker squinted his eyes for a moment before they widened as recognition dawned on him. "Hey, I know you! You're one of those guys from last night!"

Saber smiled at Berserker in greeting before he raised his sword and brought it down again. From his sword, a shining wild was generated thanks to his Invisible Air technique and carved away at the mass of tentacles that were heavily reduced by the sharp gale. The King of Knights signaled to Berserker, who ran towards him and out of the mass.

"Yeah, yeah! You're that knight guy!" Berserker said excitedly as Saber faced Caster's familiars. "What are you doing here?"

"My Master caught wind of Caster's movements and decided I should lend you some aid in protecting those children… and fighting this demon." Saber replied, glaring past the familiars towards Caster who continued to summon even more creatures to deal with the new threat. "…I can take it from here."

"Huh? Hey, I was here first and this guy needs to-!"

"This monster will pay for his crimes, I'll make sure of that." Saber promised. He gave Berserker a solemn look. "But I'm also worried for our Masters who are protecting the children that managed to get away. They may be able to hold off a few of Caster's familiars, but not if they had this many chasing after them. I'll stay and fight Caster. You go find your Master and mine. Help them protect the children."

Berserker glanced between Caster's familiars, to Caster himself, then back to Saber several times before giving a frustrated huff. He hated to leave a battle unfinished… but he hated the thought of not protecting those kids even more.

"Hey… make sure you end him for me, alright?"

"Of course." Saber replied, smirking a little before his expression turned serious again.

Nodding to the knight, Berserker took off.

Saber gave a sigh of relief as the other Servant left. He had been worried about getting Berserker to cooperate with him given their initial encounter during the first night of the War, but it seemed that the Servant was thankfully saner than his class would imply. He was willing to listen to logic and reason and seemed to act on his own will rather than just pure battle lust and instinct. Saber was grateful for that, and that no one else was around to bear witness to his abilities. And while he did have some reluctance about allying with the childish Servant at first…

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Saber thought to himself. He frowned as Caster glared at him. "And I would call my greatest enemy my friend over someone like that…"

"Worms like you show up one after another." Caster hissed, tearing at his hair while his familiars began to swarm the new Servant. "Very well then! I had planned to make Berserker into the main dish, but you'll serve find as a replacement, Saber!"

"…I will not allow you to go unpunished for your horrendous actions. I will end your existence here tonight, Caster." Saber declared lowly, giving a deadly promise.

"Hmph. Your bravado means nothing to me. You think you have the strength to cut away this taint and corruption? You can do nothing to stop it, knight!" Caster shouted. "There is only one pure enough to stop it! One who would not fall when faced with it! You don't-!"

Caster paused and his mouth fell open in awe as holy light began to emit from the invisible weapon Saber held. Slowly, the gale that surrounded the weapon ceased and Caliburn's true form was revealed. But something was different about it. The beautiful sword's form distorted and changed, flickering as a different yet similar sword was projected. One that was more powerful.

One that promised victory.

"Forgive me, Manaka… I promised I'd hold back," Saber muttered lowly, his words only audible to himself. He glared at his opponent. "…But someone like this doesn't deserve such mercy."

With both hands grasping the hilt of his blade and holding the sword out so that the blade was facing him, Saber recited the aria quietly to himself.

"Seals of the Round Table: First Constraint Release."

A wave of prana exploded from Saber's sword as light shined from it. In spite of its radiance, Caster kept staring intently at the sword. At Caliburn. It was strange. He could've sworn that for a moment Saber had been holding a completely different sword. But Caliburn was different from before, as it shined with brilliance and pulsed with powers it hadn't possessed before. It's appearance was the same… but now Caster couldn't help but suspect that Saber was wielding a completely different sword than before. He just couldn't see it.

Regardless, the Servant had fallen silent in awe as he gazed upon the light and the figure who was privileged to wield such radiance as a weapon.

"Now, Caster…" Saber announced as he pointed his sword at his opponent. "Prepare yourself!"

A sinister smiled crept up his face.

"Beautiful…" Caster whispered as he beheld the power of the King of Knights.

And if he could claim such power for himself… it would be the perfect material to give to his creation and facilitate the return of one who would shine even brighter than the knight before him.


Wise Up! Updated

Class: Saber
Master: Manaka Sajyou
True Name: Arthur Pendragon
Sex: Male
Alignment: Lawful Good
Strength: A
Endurance: A
Agility: A
Magical Energy: A
Luck: C
Noble Phantasm: A++

Class Abilities:
Magic Resistance: A / Cancels all Magecraft below Rank A. In reality, no magi of today can harm Saber.
Riding: B / Able to freely manipulate all beasts and vehicles, save mythical beasts and divine beasts.

Skills:
Instinct: B / The ability to always "feel" the best course for oneself during combat. This heightened sixth sense is now close to precognition. It reduces by a quarter any obstacles to vision and hearing.
Prana Burst: A / This transfers magical energy into one's weapon and body, and by releasing the magical energy instantaneously, it increases one's ability.
Charisma: B / Natural ability to command an army. Charisma is a rare talent, and B-Rank is enough to lead a country.

Noble Phantasm:
Invisible Air: Boundary Field of the Wind King: C / An invisible sword. Simple, but displays tremendous effect in hand-to-hand combat. A Noble Phantasm guarded by strong magecraft, it does not mean that the sword itself is transparent.
Seals of the Round Table: The Thirteen Constraints: C / Seals placed on King Arthur's Holy Sword, Excalibur, by each of the thirteen Knights of the Round Table to limit the sword's power and hide its true form.
Excalibur: Sword of Promised Victory: A++ / -Only Available when a certain number of the Seals of the Round Table have been released-


A/N: Finished, and I'll fix any errors there are later. The next chapter should wrap up the second night quite nicely if everything goes as planned. And I lied. Arthur differs from Arturia in more than just a couple stats.

I'm just happy to finally get the ball rolling on this again. I think I already said this, but writing the dialogue between Kiritsugu and Kirei is DAMN hard. I've had the part with Kariya, Berserker and Caster done for weeks but I was stuck on the exchange with Kirei and Kiritsugu. It is a very important point as it does build up for things will come into play in later chapters. And mark my words, this isn't the last confrontation between the Magus Killer and Fake Priest we'll see in this fic.

Anyway, due to how much this chapter grew I cut out the parts relating to Team Rider and Team Lancer since they got the majority of the time to shine in the last chapter. Everything will be much more well-rounded and balanced in the next one. We'll see the aftermath of Waver's killing of Kayneth and the battle between Rider and Lancer. We'll see whether or not Kiritsugu and Maiya will make their escape. And we'll see Saber VS Caster and whether or not any of the four kids remaining will bite the dust or not. Or if Kariya or Noburu will get taken out. All in all, the second night of the Holy Grail War concludes next chapter.

Feedback is always appreciated and I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on the chapter. Especially the bit between Kiritsugu and Kirei. I'm curious on the speculations you guys have on the story. Well, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the next one when it's up.

Kiiam