A/N well...sorry bout that guys. Been about a month and a half since I last updated? SOorryyyyyy.
My deepest apologies. Here are my excuses:
1) School. JUnior year sucks.
3) Kinda didn't feel like writing this chapter/interlude.
4) I felt like my writing wasn't up to par.
5) It took time to think up excuses
6) #5 was a joke.
Now for notable reasons why I updated and also reviews:
(?)- To the person who PMed Ruwish asking him to ask me to update. THAT WAS SO DAMN FUNNY. I choked on my laughs. Thank you.
Yaoi Hacker - Shirou isn't heartless. It happened, I just didn't write that part yet. *hinthint. You'll just have to wait and see.
To All- I guess its gonna be a harem. I mean both Campione and Fate are in the harem category so i guess... BTW im not sure if im skilled enough to handle an overly large harem.
TO EVeRYONE - HAppy Thanksgiving! Here is a present for you: Chapter 4 of KoH
Interlude Explanation [WARNING SPOILER]
-So this chapter will tie into the story in the future. It is mainly what is happening on the Nasuverse side, and what has already happened.
This chapter will reveal at the end a key theme of the story. There will also be irony.
On with the story!
It had been 2 years since the end of the Fifth Holy Grail War, and many things have changed since then. For one, Tohsaka had been inducted as one of the few extremely fortunate to be an apprentice of Zelretch the Wizard Marshall. Many would say that it was pure luck. And it was true that her current position could be somehow attributed to that, but it was not all that enabled Tohsaka to be chosen by Zelretch.
But over the years, Tohsaka had changed in her demeanor. Her physical appearance had changed and matured over the years. She still had glistening black hair that seemed as if it could keep its luster even in the middle of a war. Her hair wasn't tied up in two pigtails like it was in her younger years. She was still by all means young, just not...as naive. Tohsaka had let her hair fall in waves that reached past her shoulders. Her bangs fell to about eye level and below those, were her deep aqua eyes. Her aqua eyes, though still beautiful, had lost its childlike naiveté due to the Grail War and the events following it. Her face had matured and as she grew, it became a face that women would be jealous of, and men would drool after it. After all, she had been the "idol" of her school, so of course she would grow up to be an eye-popper and jaw-dropper. Her body had filled out in style.
One constant that she had with her past self was her affinity with the color red. On top of a long sleeve white turtle neck was a deep crimson coat that fell down to her knees. She also wore a pitch black knee length skirt and pantyhose with shin high brown leather boots. All in all, she was gorgeous and would undoubtedly turn heads in her direction whether they are male or female.
Her psychological health was not the best though. Ever since the end of the Grail War, where she had her love taken, she had drowned herself in her work and research. She had completed high school, since it was the place where it all started. It was the place where she had first met Shirou on that fateful night during a clash between Archer and Lancer. The morning after the battle, she had hoped to see Shirou at school and believed that he had just gone home to rest, but it was not so. Shirou had disappeared. By the end of the week, it was made clear to almost the entire school. There was a major search that covered the whole Fuyuki City and more, but even the wide scale search bore no fruit. He just could not be found.
The police and detectives had reached numerous dead ends and there was not much evidence left. After about a month of their search, they practically gave up and labeled it as a [Dead Case] since as more and more time passed there would be less and less clues that they could use to even find a lead to his whereabouts. That, and also because they had more important scenes to take care of. The Grail War had left its impact on Fuyuki City yet again. And the police were investigating such phenomenon, but even they wouldn't find anything related to the war since it had all been wiped clean by the Clock Tower beforehand. To the police, a missing person just was not important compared to a completely destroyed graveyard.
It was a result of the logic of the public mercenaries. A destroyed graveyard would take precedence since it was highly likely that a weapon was used. It was probably a bomb, was the conclusion of the police. And compared to a bomb which could endanger the lives of many, the disappearance of one person was meager.
That didn't stop any of Shirou's close friends. Even till today, 2 years after his disappearance, a select few were still holding on to the idea that Shirou could be found.
Fujimura Taiga was one of them. It was extremely hard for Tohsaka to break the news to her since she was Shirou's legal guardian and now he was missing. The first few months were the hardest for this teacher. She had an aura of gloom and, for the rest of Rin's high school years, she would always head on over to Shirou's house for breakfast with Tohsaka, Sakura, and, surprisingly, Saber. Over time, it looked like Fujimura's complexion was getting better. But it was not. She merely put on a facade like Rin used to do way back then. Externally, she was the usual peppy, immature, and pleasantly obnoxious teacher that she had always been. Internally, however, she was still sad and missed Shirou's company greatly. Over the years of taking care of him, she had developed a bit of a motherly love for him. And now that motherly love was coming back and haunting her.
Matou Sakura, Tohsaka's sister, also looked relentlessly for Shirou and would always jump at hearing even a small rumor about Shirou's whereabouts. She might have had a little crush on the boy during her younger years and might still have it, but now she knows that Shirou was taken. Taken by her sister: Tohsaka. That didn't stop her from looking for him. She still thought of the boy as an important friend and possibly even family.
For Tohsaka, her stubborn streak proved to be rather useful in this case. But even that would not help as no matter how she searched, Shirou just couldn't be found. In fact, no one knew how Shirou disappeared. It just goes to show you how much progress they had made in over 2 years.
It was not the usual cliché event in which the hero dies and the heroine moves on. Nay, it was a fate much worse than that for Tohsaka. She had absolutely no idea whether or not Shirou was dead or alive. And thus, could not move on.
(Flashback: 2 years - End of Fifth Holy Grail War, around the time of the final battle between Shirou and Gilgamesh in this world)
"No!" Rin shouted with utmost urgency. "Don't touch that mud!"
Rin was isolated on the body of the Holy Grail's Vessel while trying to save Shinji Matou. He was scum, but he was still a human life and thus Rin saved him. No matter her dislike for his guts. She was looking for a way off of the mass of what looked to be flesh, but had yet to find a path. The whole area was flooded with the dark mud and the mass of flesh was conveniently located in the middle. No, that was wrong. The flesh bag was the SOURCE of the mud.
The grotesque structure spewed more and more mud when parts of the body burst from being too full. It was dimly glowing an ominous luminescence that expressed darkness in every possible way. Other than the sound of the writhing and growing mass of nastiness, the surroundings were quiet. The smell was absolutely repulsive though. It smelled like decayed flesh and there was also a pungent smell of metal in the air.
As more and more time passed, the lake filled more and more. Now, the distance from the edge of the vessel to the shore of natural ground grew to about 5 meters. The distance was much farther than any human being could hope to jump, and certainly too much for Rin to be able to reach with extra baggage, in the form of Shinji.
In other words, Rin was trapped. Trapped in what could be a giant revolting coffin. Certainly not what anyone would desire as their final resting place.
On flat natural ground, Saber looked to be in a small panic. There, on the other side of the lake, was her Master and she couldn't do anything to help her. Saber didn't lose her confidence though, and had prepared to jump to aid her before Rin had ordered her not to. Now she hesitated.
"But..." Saber backed up a bit so that she wouldn't accidently fall too far forward due to her previous running momentum.
"This thing is about to burst." Rin exclaimed in between breaths. It was hard on her body to carry another full grown boy while traversing through this unsightly and uneven terrain. "Destroy it with your Noble Phantasm before that happens!"
Having calmed down since she now knew what to do, Saber relaxed her posture and readies her blade in her standard ready stance. It was reminiscent of the ready stance for a kendo practitioner. "Then please come out. Once you reach the edge, I'll take care of the rest."
Wordlessly acknowledging it, Rin proceeded to search for a way out. She looked to and fro and saw a tiny opening at the end. She headed towards it.
A large bubble of the stuff suddenly burst in front of her. Looking at the stuff, Rin realized how close she had come to being burned by the fountain. Another step, and the acrid goo would have burned into her. Sighing in relief at her close call, Rin paused for a second to catch her breath. Sweat was beading on her forehead but she didn't bother to wipe it off. She wasn't in much of a panic anymore, since she had realized midway through that panicking would do no good in this situation.
Turning on heels, Rin started to head towards another...less dangerous direction. She was straining her legs and muscles to the limit now. The Tohsaka heir had long ago grown tired of this, but she had to push on. It was not till she turned a corner that she had lost hope.
There, in front of her, was the end of the path that she had taken. Beyond that was a pool of the goop and it looked to be filling up rather quickly with the numerous fountains flowing down into it. Tohsaka stared at it for but a second to see that it was the end of the line for her.
"Damn it….is this it?" Tohsaka growled in annoyance. To her, death was very real in this case. She had no way out, no way to safety, and thus no way to live. She had practically given up at this point. "Shinji, I should apologize to you. I couldn't even save yo-"
"It's fine, run. I'm not going to listen to you sulk." Came a deep voice from her left at an incredible distance.
At that, the Tohsaka heir straightened and looked to where the sarcastic comment came from. To her immense shock and terror, a multitude of swords rained down on her. But they all missed.
They were all general swords of simple make and design. Hardly any effort was used in projecting these blades. But the point here was not to make a singular beautiful weapon, but rather a multitude of weapons. Quantity was invested in over quality.
The blades flew with great speed at her direction. All of which, did come close, but did not hit Tohsaka or Shinji. The blades solely destroyed the area in front and behind them. As it rained swords, the mud was being splashed and drained while the fleshy substance was being downright obliterated.
It continued to rain until nothing was left of the previous scene. When the dust and mist cleared, Rin could see that the path ahead had been cleared.
What had been a massive puddle before had been drained by the assault and now all that was left in its place was a sloped and uneven pathway that led to the edge. Rin hesitated for but a moment and continued to travel forward. Immediately behind her, the ruined surface of the vessel started to grow back. But before it could grow far enough to touch or injure them, more blades stabbed at it from high in the sky and prevented extensive growth.
"Saber! Now!" Rin called out after sliding down the slope and jumped to safety. Immediately after landing, she dumped Shinji down unceremoniously and tripped, falling forward into the tall grass.
Saber heard her cry and with a flourish, readied her Noble Phantasm. The sword itself gathered light and accumulated enough energy for her blast.
Saber lifted the sword up as if to pierce the heavens, only to bring it back down in a simple but forceful stroke.
At that moment, the beam of light burst forth and rammed into the Holy Grail. The land around Saber was torn up from the backlash of the blow. Winds ripped up the dirt. Light glowed with the strength of the sun and blinded all who were near. The impact itself blew up in a glorious blue explosion.
The explosion engulfed everything in its radius and kept on expanding. The blue sphere of destruction grew massive within milliseconds and pretty soon would engulf the entire forest. Rin sat up from where she had landed and looked at the blue wonder.
The actual force of the explosion soon disappeared.
'What? What happened?' Tohsaka thought. After all, the force should have injured them since they were in such close proximity. Dispelling her thoughts for the moment, Rin looked towards Saber and found that the blue glow was still approaching the swordswoman.
"Saber!" She did the only thing she could and called out to her servant. Rin instinctively knew what was happening. She was a first rate magus after all and coupled with the fact that they had just destroyed the Grail; she knew that Saber was going to disappear. Rin looked on at Arturia's face and the expression could only be likened to that of satisfaction.
The King of Knights was smiling. Her lips spread open and a barely audible sound came out.
"Bye, Tohsaka Ri-"
"Move." Interrupted a voice. The voice that had come from the Servant who had saved her earlier, and also Rin's first Servant: Archer.
Both Saber and Rin widened their eyes at what happened next. Just when Saber was about to be engulfed, a shadow flew from the trees to the right of her and forcefully kicked her out of the way. Saber, flipped in midair and landed on her feet. A reaction worthy of her servant class. When Saber looked back up at where she used to stand. There, in her place, was the servant Archer.
"Archer!" Rin was utterly shocked at his arrival. Sure he had saved her just minutes ago with his abilities but...'Why would he do that?!'
"It isn't your time to disappear yet, Saber. Someone still needs you in this world." Archer spoke coolly as the light became more and more intense. Rin noticed that something had changed about this Archer. Before when Rin had first summoned him, he had a cynical and sarcastic type of personality. One could easily tell from the way his expressions were portrayed. Yet, the Archer before them had nothing of the sort. He seemed more...mellow and kind. His hair though still white, looked combed down and looked strangely the same as Shirou's hairstyle. They are the same person after all.
"Archer," Rin spoke trying to reason with him. He was from the future and had schemed to aid her throughout the war even if it didn't seem like it. "Please make a pact with me."
"I'm afraid I can't do that. I don't have a right." Archer spoke in a calm tone. "On top of that, I no longer have a goal. So, my fight is over."
Rin chose to remain silent since she knew that the reason he was even summoned was because he wished to end his existence by creating a paradox and killing his younger self. In a sense, Archer silenced Rin with but a sentence. A feat that his past self could never do. Perhaps all those years of growing up and losing his naiveté had done something good after all.
Archer continued his final words.
"I have no regrets left in this world, except...Rin, please take care of me." He placed emphasis on the pronoun. "He is quite hopeless."
Rin looked at Archer and after a moment concluded, "Yes, I'll do my best. But you can stay here, just make a pact! You can help me in that!"
"No." On his face was a sad smile, as if he was remembering a memory from his lost past. "Saber can help you. There is no way you can support 2 servants. So this is goodbye Tohsaka."
With that, Archer was completely swallowed up by the light and when it was clear again, he was gone.
The events following that were but a blur to Rin. A foggy memory since her concentration was shot from exhaustion. All Rin could remember was returning to Ryuudou Temple to find Shirou, but when they arrived, they couldn't find any traces of Shirou. There were the telltale signs of battle and also a strange residue of dark energy that felt like the aura the Holy Grail emitted, but there was neither Gilgamesh nor Shirou.
If Shirou had been slain, which would completely break Rin's heart, and then there would be a body or at least blood. Except there was none.
Likewise, if Gilgamesh had been slain, which is the desired outcome for the 2 women, then Shirou would still be there and Gilgamesh would just disappear.
However, there was nothing. No body. No blood. No clues to indicate what happened.
It was as if they had vanished.
Tohsaka Rin fell to her knees and fainted from exhaustion and shock.
Tohsaka and Saber had lived in the Emiya household until Rin graduated a year later. They moved to the Clock Tower afterwards.
Tohsaka had a prodigious amount of high quality magic circuits and could sustain Saber even without the Grail. Rin knew that she had to do something otherwise the Clock Tower would surely spank a sealing designation on her and Arturia. Rin was really not prepared for what she would encounter.
Upon arrival, they happened upon various fortunate events and a wizard by the name of Kischur Zelretch Schweinorg. He took her in as an apprentice. Naturally, Rin was honored that she would have a chance at learning the fabled 2nd magic: Kaleidoscope.
It was a true stroke of luck, that since she was under the designation as Zelretch's protégé, the Clock Tower could not touch her or her Servant Saber. Not that they would, since they would have been annihilated by the might of a Servant.
Only a select few in the Clock Tower would be able to match a servant. And those few each had their own...eccentricities.
In present day, Rin had been under the apprenticeship of the Wizard Marshall for about a year now. The Wizard Marshall's training regimen was no joke. The rumors about the harshness and impossibility of it were all true.
(A Random Room - Clock Tower)
"Argh! Today was hell," Rin concluded while falling face first onto a couch due to exhaustion. She was currently trying to relax in a private and remote room that was somewhat close to their last training area. Upon entering, one could tell that this was not exactly a room for work as it is for entertainment and relaxation. There was several leather couches sprawled out throughout the room. There was also well endowed kitchen peeking out from the corner, probably for a midday snack or meal. It was certainly a nice touch that made the room more appealing. The whole floor was covered in a lush red carpet and there were multiple extravagant chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
"Ain't that every day." Luvia retorted while rolling her eyes. This was Luviagelita Edelfelt, also known as [Forklift Lady] due to her expertise in Lancashire-style of martial combat which is similar to pro-wrestling. She is also an apprentice of Zelretch and is currently Rin's so called rival.
"Saber," Rin called out to the lady sitting down on the far left end of the couch who was calmly sipping on her tea with her eyes closed. She was wearing her normal casual wear that she had worn during the miniscule peaceful times of the Holy Grail War. Her outfit consisted of a white long sleeved dress shirt with a neat blue ribbon tied around her neck. She wore a blue skirt that fell to just about knee level with black stockings underneath that. After the end of the Holy Grail War, Saber had rarely ever wore her armor nowadays, since there was no point in lugging around a full set of metal when there is no danger to be seen.
Over the course of one year, Arturia had not dulled at all in her swordsmanship. However things have changed over the course of time. One of the most prominent changes was to her hairstyle. Now that the war was over and there was no need for her to hide her true gender from the world, she let her hair flow down her shoulders and only braided it when she was training and/or going to into battle.
Saber didn't disappear from this reality after the Grail was destroyed. She didn't return to the Throne of Heroes. She, instead, stayed with Rin for all this time. It was possible because Rin's prodigious amount of magic circuits was enough to sustain a Heroic Spirit of Saber's caliber. She was born with a supernatural amount of circuits which allowed her to be called a prodigy, and on top of that, she had an extra boost with her family crest. All in all, the last Tohsaka had enough in her to keep Saber in this world.
"Yes?" Saber responded after a period of stillness. She placed her tea cup and plate down onto the lamp table on her left and turned to look at her caller with amusement in her eyes. It was always an enjoyment to see her master work hard enough to drop.
"Could you get me some lemon tea from the kitchen and also a cold towel?" Rin spoke in a muffled voice, since her face was still embedded in the couch pillow.
"Me too…." Luvia drawled out while lying on her back and was currently trying to catch her breath.
Normally, these two women were the epitome of decorum and propriety. They would act ladylike in all ways since they were taught from birth about the proper way to act. Yet, these young ladies were sprawled out on the couch…
It was due to their close relationship with each other. Now, many people would say otherwise, but the times when they are antagonistic symbolize the essence of their rivalry. They would butt heads at every corner, and would do anything to take the advantage from the other. When there was nobody else around, besides Saber, these women would act more like little boys fighting over a new toy.
"Very well, I will be right back." Saber stood up and headed to the kitchen to get the requested items. When she was outside of hearing range, Rin and Luvia began to talk.
"Rin." Luvia called out to Rin to get her attention, but she only got a stifled groan in reply. Exasperated, she continued. "Why did Zelretch call you out? He said something about wanting to talk with you."
Rin remained silent.
"It can't be about our apprenticeship. We are practically at the same level, although I am the better." Luvia finished that last part with a smug look on her face. "Nevertheless, what would he need you for?! I refuse to acknowledge that he is calling you out for your skills."
Rin still said nothing.
"You think it's about that? It can't be...Zelretch never minded it before." Luvia continued. But 'that' would remain unspoken. It was a taboo subject to speak of, especially when the Tohsaka Heir was around. Doing so, would guarantee a one way trip to the hospital.
Anybody would be sensitive about talking about a long lost loved one.
Clocktower: Some hallway.
Rin walked down the hallway in a somewhat nervous mood. Normally she wouldn't be in such a fidgety state but she had several thoughts running through her head.
It all had to do with what Luvia said earlier.
'That' or, actually, anything about 'him' was a rather touchy subject to the Tohsaka heir. It was referring to a certain red-haired slightly tanned magus that she had met during the most desperate times of her life.
'I should hurry to Zelretch lest he place upon me more tortu-training.' Rin thought to herself as she arrived at the door to Zelretch's leisure room, which was one of the largest single rooms in the tower. It was filled with all sorts of random items that Zelretch had collected. It was like a storage closet for him. Basically, it was an oversized, overfilled, and overly messy assortment of items. Rin sighed. The last time she had gone there by request of Zelretch to retrieve some toy, she had gotten lost and was trapped there for the better part of an hour til Luvia was sent to dig her out.
That was one of the most embarrassing moments of her life. Luvia and Zelretch both got a good laugh out of that event.
Returning her thoughts to the matter at hand, Rin grasped the handle to the double doors and pushed while walking in.
"Oh, Rin!" A gruff but powerful voice resounded throughout the room. "You are just in time. I would have forgotten what I was going to tell you had you gotten here any later."
"I'm sorry for my tardiness. But I came at the exact time that you specified." Rin bowed to show her sincerity of apology.
"Oh? Is that right?" Zelretch turned his head and looked at the clock. "Woops. No need to apologize, Rin. You did as told. Now where should I start?"
"Anywhere. You had told me you had something interesting to tell me."
Interesting to Zelretch had a lot of place value. He had seen so much in the world that only things, places, actions that truly interested him could be called interesting.
"Ah yes. Let me see. Yesterday, I had received a letter from an old friend and in this letter she spoke about a rather familiar fellow." He said with a voice brimming with mirth.
Rin remained silent. She knew that the Marshall was leading up to something, and that something would be a dropped bomb.
"This is a very peculiar piece of information that was placed upon me through some interesting means. Nevertheless, the contents have more meaning to you than it has for me."
Zelretch hands the folded letter to Tohsaka.
"You may leave with that letter. Dismissed."
"Thank you. I will leave now."
Rin heads back outside and closes the door behind her. She unfolds the letter cautiously and starts to read.
Meanwhile, back inside the room, the Marshall was having a monologue.
"Hahaha. What an interesting fellow he is...
It will be interesting to see how Tohsaka will react to such information. Her long lost boyfriend is the 8th Campione and King of Knights... Shirou Emiya!"
A/N Woaaaaa. Who expected that? Not me.
If no one gets the irony in Shirou's epithet, come over here and recieve a slap from yours truly.
Seriously, Shirou is steel. But you need iron(y) to make steel! xD Forgive me. That was a lame pun.
Another thing...I felt that this interlude chapter was kind of slow. :\
The story will return to our protagonist next chapter!
Until then, Review please! I want to know what you think. I don't mind if they are flames anymore, I'll just use them to cook a turkey or something.
Review! Tell me what you think is good! Whats bad! Anything at all! You could even type in what you had for breakfast! It wouldn't do my writing any good, but its all accepted!
Cya next time! Thanks for reading.