I do not own the Fate Series or Lupin the Third.
The Holy Grail War.
A contest between seven Magi for the ultimate prize.
The prize, you may ask?
Why, the Holy Grail.
Not the cup Jesus drank from during the Last Supper with his twelve apostles, but it is glorious enough to warrant the name.
It grants whatever wish the holder desires, no matter how big, small, useless, or insane the wish may be.
Only one wish though, otherwise there wouldn't be a need for this war.
In order get this wondrous object, the seven Magi must summon seven Servants and make them battle each other to the death.
But these Servants weren't just mere slaves, oh no. They were revived legendary heroes. Given form once more and allowed to walk the earth and fight for their summoner, their Master. They do this in the hopes of getting their own wish from the Holy Grail, hoping to either correct mistakes in their life or selfishly acquire something.
Do these Magi, the Masters, volunteer in order to take part in this glorious battle?
No, they are chosen by the Holy Grail itself. The Holy Grail chooses the seven Masters that would take part in the war by giving them three Command Seals in order to control their Servants. The Grail chooses the contestants of the battle based on their need for it.
It should also be mentioned that sometimes non-Magi are chosen to be Masters, but that is beside the point.
It should also be mentioned that the Grail has access to the Throne of Heroes. A realm of reality that is beyond both time and space. This 'Throne' contains the spirits of both heroes and anti-heroes. Some of these spirits are from the past, the present, from separate realities, and even from the future.
Sometimes, Masters choose specific artifacts, Catalysts, in order to summon specific heroes as a Servant. If no Catalyst is present, then the Grail chooses a hero that is close to the Master in terms of personality or desire.
But in the end, it is the Grail's choice as to what Servant the Master will get.
And there is no better example of the Grail demonstrating this power than the Fourth Holy Grail War.
Turin, Italy (1991):
In the room of an elegant villa built atop a small hill in the neatest district in the south of Turin, three men stood facing one another.
"The markings that have appeared on your right hand are called 'Command Seals'." One of them spoke up, his voice smooth and carrying as he addressed the other two, who wore priest robes that identified them as members of the Catholic Church. "They are the proof that you have been chosen by the Holy Grail, and the qualifications that grants you the right to control a Servant."
The person who had spoken was Tohsaka Tokiomi, current head of the Tohsaka family, one of the three founding families behind the by now infamous Fuyuki Grail Wars. He wore a red tuxedo with a white dress shirt and a blue ribbon tied around his neck. He had black hair, blue eyes, and a small goatee. The other two members consisted of Father Kotomine Risei, an old 'friend' of the Tohsaka family and his son Kirei, to whom Tokiomi's words were directed. Risei himself was an old man who had wrinkles on his face, seemingly closed eyes, and combed back grey hair. Kirei himself had more youthful features on his face, brown eyes, and a bit more rustled up short brown hair.
Kirei had to admit, for a friend of his father, a pious man of the cloth who would soon reach eighty, the eccentric Tokiomi was surprisingly young, possibly little older than Kirei himself, though the feeling of composure and confidence he gave off spoke of experience Kirei had only felt from senior members of the Burial Agency.
It was unsurprising really, as even by the standards of Japanese Magi, the Tohsaka were an old, distinguished lineage. What surprised, or rather intrigued Kirei, was that the casual ease by which he'd revealed his identity as a Magus, as one would have to be a fool to so blatantly purchase property within striking distance of the Church, and especially so to declare their status before members of the Burial Division of the 'Holy Church', who followed a doctrine of exterminating the stigma of heresy, such as Mage-Craft, and burying it into oblivion.
Typically, Magi conspired and interacted only with other Magi, preferring the safety of the Magus Association to avoid clashing with the enforcers of the Church. Recently both sides agreed to a 'cease-fire' of sorts in order to maintain the peace in the wake of the last World War, but even so it was a rare state of affairs where members of the Holy Church and a Magus would gather in the same building to discuss one of the most 'blasphemous' of rituals without someone losing a limb.
The Tohsaka were an exception, however, having made a point of keeping on good terms with the church, in particular the Kotomine family, a relationship that was maintained through generous donations that went both ways since before the foundation of the Grail Wars.
Risei had known Tokiomi's Grandfather and had overseen the previous Grail War, which had fallen short as was fast becoming a trend. Now, in the waning of his years, he was rather eager to see the ritual to fruition, and couldn't be happier when Kirei had come to him the previous night, revealing the surfacing pattern on the back of his hand which identified him as one of the 'Masters' chosen by the Grail, and had contacted Tokiomi immediately.
"Does the Grail have preferred people to select?" He pondered during a break in Tokiomi's explanation, not liking the way the older man was eyeing him.
"The Three Founding Families: Einzbern, Matou and Tohsaka are always included amongst the participants." Tokiomi confirmed with a nod, raising a hand to reveal a threefold ring pattern "As the current heir to the Tohsaka family, I will participate in the next battle."
Kirei said nothing, but inwardly tensed, eyeing the elder man before him warily. While he doubted his father would have agreed to the meeting if Tokiomi intend foul play, never mind the fact the man would have to be suicidal to attempt anything within spitting distance of the Church, it never paid to be careful. "I'm curious about these 'Servants' you mentioned earlier." He muttered at length, eyeing the older man before him carefully. "You said they were Heroic Spirits summoned and used as Familiars?"
"I know it may seem hard to believe, considering your upbringing." Tokiomi noted, sighing as if the very idea dumbfounded even him. "Summoning seven warriors from amongst the ranks of Heroic Spirits that existed since the Age of the Gods into the present and pairing them with Seven Masters to battle it out in a bloody battle for supremacy." He then nodded in acknowledgement to the very fact he stated. "That is very much what the Holy Grail War is."
"And you allow such a monstrosity?" Kirei demanded, addressing not only Tokiomi, but also his solemn faced father, who had maintained his silence thus far. "In a place where thousands of citizens live?"
It went without saying that, even BEFORE the ceasefire between the church and the Magus Association, all Magi carried out their practices in secret in order to avoid drawing attention to themselves. In this modern era, where science and technology were quickly replacing Magecraft as the most prevalent force on the planet, to reveal one's existence as a Magus was tantamount to suicide, even without factoring in the edicts of the Holy Church.
"Since the third Heaven's Feel an agreement has been made so that we at the Holy Church would dispatch a supervisor to keep the potential damages from the War to a minimum." Risei spoke up, startling his son. "It is our duty to not only conceal all traces of the war's existence, but to ensure that the magi do so as well."
"The Church is serving as a referee in a conflict between Magi?" Kirei repeated, admittedly stunned by the revelation, though naturally he hid it well.
"It is precisely because it IS a conflict between Magi that we do so." Risei revealed, "As it stands, there is no one in the Magi's Association qualified to act an impartial referee due to the political implications. There simply wasn't any way other than having recourse to an external authority such as the Church." He nodded solemnly. "In addition, as I'm sure you're aware we of the Holy Church cannot turn a blind eye to a ritual involving a so called 'Holy Grail' though to tell the truth, we've had conclusive evidence that the Fuyuki Grail differs from the holy relic for some time now."
That certainly explained why the Grail Wars had been allowed to continue unopposed for so long. Normally the Church would not have remained idle when faced with such a treasure, and Kirei had little doubt that, Master or not, he would've been deployed to Fuyuki along with several other members of the Assembly of the 8th Sacrament to plunder the Grail out of the hands of the magi, cease fire be damned.
"Still it's not as if we can simply ignore an omnipotent wish-granting device." Risei admitted with a troubled frown. "Who knows what disaster could be wrought if it were to fall into the wrong hands?"
"Thus, it is best that we ensure that at the very least the Grail falls into the 'right' hands as a plan B." Tokiomi interposed, and Kirei had no doubt in his mind as to whose hands the Tohsaka head was talking about.
"While the Tohsaka are indeed Magi, they have a long history of friendship with the Church." Risei continued, confirming his son's suspicions. "I can also vouch for Tokiomi-kun's character, and moreover, his intentions for the Grail are clear."
"To reach Akasha is the sole desire of the Tohsaka family." Tokiomi verified, as if Kirei hadn't guessed that already. "Sadly, the Einzbern and Matou have both forgotten the wish we once shared."
"So I'll be participating in the upcoming Holy Grail War to ensure Tohsaka Tokiomi's victory, then." Kirei deduced, earning a nod from his father and a smile from Tokiomi.
"Of course, on the surface, we will act as enemies fighting over the Grail." The Tohsaka head elaborated, as if Kirei hadn't been able to figure it out on his own. "But beneath the surface, we will join forces to defeat the remaining five Masters, and attain certain victory." He smiled as Risei nodded austerely. "Kirei-kun, you will be transferred from the Holy Church to the Magus Association, where you will become my apprentice."
"The official orders have already been issued." Risei confirmed, taking out a letter of notification that bore the joint signatures of both the Holy Church and the Magus Association, addressed to his only son.
"You will go to Japan and study magic." Tokiomi continued confidently. "There, you will become a Magus strong enough to summon a servant to fight in the Grail War three years from now." He smiled at Kirei "So, do you have any other questions?"
"Just one of note;" Kirei admitted, turning to look Tokiomi in the eye for the first time. "What exactly is the Grail's will in selecting the Masters?"
Tokiomi blinked, his brow furrowing, the Tohsaka head having not anticipated such a question, and Kirei had to admit he felt a small burst of accomplishment for wiping the smug smile off the man's face. The moment was short lived, however, as Tokiomi soon regained his composure, "The Grail prefers to choose Masters that need it the most." He admitted, smiling calmly at Kirei, who twitched at how close that struck to home.
"Does that mean that all the Masters selected have a reason for coveting the Grail?" the younger Kotomine demanded, trying to keep his voice level, only managing it with the years of practice he'd accumulated as a member of the 8th Sacrament.
"Not necessarily." Tokiomi countered, his tone dismissive. "There have been cases in the past where Command Spells have appeared on people you wouldn't expect to be chosen." He glanced at Kirei with a smile. "I see. Kirei-kun, are you still baffled that YOU, of all people, were chosen?" He continued at Kirei's nod. "Admittedly it is surprising, considering your only link to the Grail would be through your father in his role as Overseer." He then smiled confidently, as if something had just dawned on him. "No, perhaps it would be better to say that is the very reason you were selected. Perhaps the Grail anticipated that the Holy Church would support the Tohsaka family. In other words, the Grail is giving me two shares of Command Seals, and for that, it chose you as a Master." He smiled arrogantly at the younger Kotomine. "Does this explanation satisfy you?"
It didn't, but Kirei wasn't the sort of man to voice his opinions on something unless it involved carrying out the doctrine of the Church, in which case he was more than happy to get his 'point' across. Still, from what little he'd managed to gather of the arrogant Tohsaka Head's personality, it was clear to him that he wasn't likely to get a more satisfying answer out of the man for the time being, and so opted to put it on hold in favor of demanding to know when they were to leave so he could make preparations.
"I have a small task to take care of at the Clock Tower that requires me to stop over in Great Britain first." Tokiomi revealed "You will be travelling onto Japan ahead of me, I have already informed my family and they are waiting for you."
"Understood." Kirei acknowledged, wondering precisely what kind of welcome he, a former member of the Executors, was likely to receive in the home of a Magus. He nodded in passing at his father before taking his leave, stepping out of the villa and making his way slowly down the winding hilltop path. The wind of the Mediterranean Sea rustling his hair as he idly rubbed the back of his hand, the Command Spells shining red as blood in the light. However, he was deep in thought about the whole situation.
It had been some time since the death of his wife, Claudia Kotomine-Hortensia. She was a terminally ill woman that Kirei had met in church, and married to. She… loved him with all her heart, despite how cold his personality was. They even had a daughter together, little Caren, and Kirei had been hoping that he could find some completeness in being both a husband and a father.
Unfortunately, Kirei felt no happiness from his beautiful wife or daughter. Kirei was a disturbed man, even he knew that. He only felt joy whenever there was human suffering, and nothing else. That fact alone… frightened him.
One night, he confessed to his wife of all his faults and that no matter what, he could not love either her or Caren. He was hoping that by talking about his problems to someone he knew that would not tell a soul, he would feel better. And perhaps Claudia would provide him an answer. Instead, she killed herself in order to that in death, he would be sad about her dying and would thus learn that he truly loved her.
He had been sad yes, but not for the reason Claudia died believing in. He was sad that he could not have killed her himself.
Kirei had never been more shocked, disgusted, and horrified of himself in his entire life.
After this, he had sent little Caren to live with her relatives. He did not turn back once, not even when she cried for him to come back. It was for the best, because even if he did not love her he was concerned about her safety. If she stayed with him… Kirei was not sure what he would do to her.
"But why?" Kirei thought as he continued to rub the Command Seals on his hand. "Why was I chosen?"
It did not matter. What mattered was that perhaps, eventually he would be provided with a purpose.
The search for a purpose in life was the only thing he needed in order to continue living in this world…
Three Years Later (Another Plane of Existence):
The Grail, as stated before, was more or less omnipotent.
I call to thee…
It was also corrupted, not that anyone had any knowledge of that. This perhaps explained why someone like Kotomine Kirei was chosen for this war.
Your self is under me, my fate is in your sword.
It knew by the Catalyst that Kotomine Kirei intended to summon a Hassan-I-Sabbah, or more specifically 'The Hundred Faced Hassan', in order to serve Tohsaka Tokiomi and compete in the Holy Grail War.
In accordance with the resort of the Holy Grail, if you abide by this feeling, this reason, then answer.
But in the end, it was still the Grail's choice. And because it was corrupted, it was allowed to slightly bend the rules.
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.
More than one 'hero' had touched this specific mask, and this 'hero' is exactly what a disturbed man like Kotomine Kirei needed.
You, seven heavens clad in three words of power, arrive from the ring of deterrence…
Thus, the Grail chose the necessary Heroic Spirit…
O keeper of the balance!
And the Servant was summoned.
Fuyuki City (1994):
Kotomine Kirei stood still and eyed the Servant in front of him as the smoke from the Summoning Array disappeared with a neutral expression on his face, but his mind was racing. Whoever the Servant was, it was definitely not of Middle-Eastern descent nor was it dressed in any ancient robes whatsoever.
No, the Servant in front of him was a tall, lanky man in his thirties that looked to be of either European or Asian heritage, but it was hard for Kirei to tell. He had black hair that was plastered flat with a v-shaped bang on his forehead and sideburns that extended from his ears to almost his chin. He wore sharp clothing, consisting of khaki pants, brown dress shoes, a blue dress shirt, a yellow tie that was pinned by a silver clip to his shirt, and a bright red jacket.
Most definitely not Hassan-I-Sabbah…
Before he could contemplate this, the Servant raised an eyebrow and spoke in almost fluent Japanese, "I'm Assassin. You the one who summoned me?"
"…Yes." Kirei responded after a moment, further absorbing this new development. What was going on? Was there something wrong with the Catalyst?
"Great!" The Servant shouted before a wide grin stretched across his face. He then got in front of Kirei and animatedly shook his right hand with his own. "The contract is complete then! Gotta say, it's kind of a shock to be summoned by a priest of all things! Never been the religious type myself, but something tells me this partnership is going to work out just fine!"
"Um…" Kirei muttered with widened eyes at the Servant's enthusiasm before Assassin stopped and looked back at the summoning array, spotting the Hassan mask that Kirei had used as a Catalyst.
"Hey, I remember this thing!" 'Assassin' shouted as he let go of Kirei's hand, went to the array, and picked it up before inspecting it. "Swiped it from a museum in Syria once, the National Museum of Aleppo if my memory is right. Sold it to a Tohsaka something-or-other for a few million yen. Man, that guy really wanted it…."
"W-who are you?" Kirei finally asked, making the Servant turn to him before grinning.
"Arsène Lupin the Third. Just an unorthodox thief."
The Infamous Man presents…
Just An Unorthodox Thief
Note- I know what you are thinking. "Why is TIM making this story when he still has Fate:Stay Away?" The answer to that question is that this idea has been floating around my head for a while. And after discussing this thing with Kiiam (Thanks dude) I just had to make this chapter. And just to let you guys know, this fic will be mostly comedy! So get ready to laugh as Lupin acts like… well… himself!
As you guys can tell, Lupin the III is now Assassin! Will this change be good or bad? Will Lupin be able to troll all the Servants participating in this war? And what will happen to Kirei? Continue tuning in to find out!
It should be warned that updates of this will be sporadic, since Stay Away will be my top priority fic.
But do not be afraid to review! Lay down your criticism and suggestions for this fic! Both are equally important to me!
…So please spend a moment or two to review?