A message from the author!
I would like to thank the following for the creation of the following:
Gabriel Blessing— The King of Swords
Marcus Galen Sands— The King of Steels
James D. Fawkes— King Apeiron
Third Fang— Ash of Miracles / Second Magus Killer
TypeMoonFreak— Sir Shirou Emiya, Knight of the Round Table
You guys are awesome and I love your stories. Without you guys, this couldn't have been possible.
Now, I wanted to throw in a few more Shirous into the mix. However, throwing in more than six would have been way too heavy for me to deal with. I'm not that great as a writer. In fact, having to juggle six of them in one scene was excruciatingly hard. But I believe I did it. Rating will be mature for future references. I am a firm believer that one good "FUCK!" is okay to use when the situation calls for it. Lemons? No. But there may be a few things tossed around here and there.
I'll have you all know right off the bat. Well over 2/3 of this story will be for the sake of humor. The other 1/3 will be the drama and epic battles that made Fate/Stay Night so popular (at least to me, anyways. Who doesn't love pseudo-god duels among legendary heroes?).
If there is something you don't like, if the characters seem off, or if you have something you would like to add or believe needs to be changed please let me know.
In terms of reviews, I actually encourage flames. Why? Because they make me laugh. Not that I'll read all of them as most just rant about one thing and go through great detail as well as repeating the same damn thing over and over. Feel free to tell me how I did.
As for the title, The Throne of Shirou, I can tell you for certain the Throne does exist. But we'll not find out what it really means until much later.
And so I, Arrixam, bring you The Throne of Shirou!
Normally when Emiya Shirou would dream, he would dream of swords, of battles, of heroic deeds, of being the Hero of Justice he will one day be. Lately, he had been dreaming about a specific sword. A gold and blue one. On others he had been dreaming of a sheath of similar properties. Both, however, were indescribable and the harder he tried to focus on them the more they seemed to resist his gaze. He was familiar with them, but uncertain how. On some nights he would dream of a red hill with swords planted into the dried soil. Swords of every shape and size fitting all types of cultures across the globe and across of all time. He found himself, on occasion, sitting at the peak— waiting for something. And on those rare nights he would dream of the fire that made him who he was today.
But never did he dream of facing a man.
This man with swept-back golden hair and a trimmed beard wearing a white suit with gold trim approached Shirou with the stride matching of one wielding authority. Not a man of politics who achieved his goals through under-the-table dealings, not a warlord who obtained his right through cruel bloodshed, but a man who had power because he was power incarnate. His red eyes looked down at Shirou not as a fellow human, but as a torrent of power admiring the results of what destruction it brought.
For what reason, it reminded Shirou of when lightning strikes sand. The storm may destroy homes with its winds, lightning, and vengeful ocean waves, but there comes a time when some anomalies occur and something beautiful is made.
But, again for a reason Shirou couldn't understand as to how, he knew this man also knew something. Shirou was a byproduct of Fire not Lightning.
In this white abyss of a dream, the man— if he could be called such— approved of his appraisal, but did not any emotion behind it. When he approached the boy, this entity put one finger to his chest. At the back of his hand was a series of three crests, glowing a bright crimson in contrast to his white and gold aura.
One of the crests faded.
Instantly, Shirou felt something shift inside him. Something deep within his core. It was not alive, it was inanimate, but it squirmed at the man's touch. Needless to say, Shirou retched forward as the influence of the powerful being battled against whatever it was inside the boy. Shirou felt, as though colors could be felt to begin with, two hues of gold going against the other not unlike oil and water.
It was from this Shirou understood two things. Information traveled through his mind as though these two forces were attempting to explain everything to him so he may prepare himself.
The sheath he had been dreaming of for so long was the scabbard held by King Arthur's Excalibur. The mythical and lost artifact of the Fae, Avalon.
The second was the truth about the man. He was no man. He was not even a force of nature. He was a Divine Spirit. A God of Old.
The god was dissatisfied with the results. Whatever he had done to Shirou was not what he wanted. But before Shirou could ask what had been done, Avalon had shifted once more. Instead of the sheath moving slightly against the god's touch, it repulsed against it. This violent rejection forced Shirou to his knees. The wonders of the Fae do not mix with the miracles of the gods. Avalon may be a holy artifact, but it is a miracle crafted through the prayers of the Fae for humanity. Gods are creations from humanity directly.
But from this result, the god smiled. "Good," his voice was booming even when his tone was light and subtle. "Be appreciative for what I have done." He turned and started to walk away, deeper into the white abyss as his body began to fade.
Shirou reached for the divine one. From this he saw the veins in his hand and arm were glowing a florescent gold. His skin was turning red. His fake circuits were running wildly as prana surged.
"To use a Command Seal before the Servant—" was all Shirou heard before the white land vanished.
And was replaced with the dimly lit familiar area of the Emiya's workshop. Shirou sat up with a fright, breaking in sweat and breathing erratically. His skin tingled from the experience of the dream. But it was only a dream, he told himself. Only a dream. From some of the things Kiritsugu told Shirou about the Magus community, the gods have all but vanished at the end of the Age of Gods. Some Divine Spirits exist in the form of unintelligent beasts, but they are hidden away from the reaches of man. Divine Spirits that have been forgotten by man have all but diluted into Elementals. A God of Old, capable of walking into dreams, capable of human intellect, was out of the question.
The experience was not painful, only uncomfortable. It was nothing compared to the fire of Fuyuki.
Still, Shirou was left shaken from the dream. Even if was only a dream. He felt his circuits flare in the dream— a feeling he was a bit too familiar with from making makeshift circuits for so long. Perhaps when he was sleeping he had, somehow, made one subconsciously and had, again somehow, slept through the pain.
Sighing to himself as he wove a hand through his hair, he decided to examine the damage on his body. Focusing just a little bit of prana, he used Structural Analysis.
…And nearly had a heart attack.
With having natural circuits as well as making false circuits over the few years, Shirou had a total of sixteen. Though, the makeshift ones faded away in less than a week, sometimes a day or two, and on occasion within the span of an hour. However, after examining his body through Structural Analysis he can say, for certain, he did not have sixteen circuits.
He had over two-hundred and twenty high-grade magic circuits. To be more specific, he had twelve natural high-grade magic circuits and two-hundred and eight super high-grade circuits. If normal circuits could be compared to copper wiring, his could be compared to Tesla coils made out of fine gold.
That's not all.
Now he was fully aware of the presence of Avalon. It was alive, in a sense. He could feel its magic working through every fiber of his being, radiating its wonders through him. It was resonating; if Shirou focused hard enough he could hear something akin to a song. It was working with his circuits. But even Shirou knew Avalon, as the sheath of King Arthur, had the innate ability to heal wounds and prevent fatality. If it was activating then…
Shirou paled. He felt it. The golden force invading his body was present just like from his dream. It was traveling through his veins, injecting itself into each of his cells, interweaving with every muscle. Above all, it was mixing with his od— becoming one with his reserves. Avalon was doing everything in its power to purge this from his body and having no results.
Questions crossed his mind. One, why did he have Avalon? Two, what was that dream about? And three, why did a God of Old do this to Shirou?
No good answer can come from this.
There was a knock on the door of his workshop, which was really just the shed located in the corner of the Emiya household. "Sempai," came the soft voice of his underclassman Sakura. "Are you in there?"
"Y-Yeah," Shirou had to shake his head to get a better hold of himself. He had many questions, but he didn't have the time or the ability at the moment to figure anything out at the moment. "I guess I fell asleep in here last night…"
The door opened and the lavender-haired girl stepped inside. She gave a mock pout at her senior, "Honestly Sempai, you need to go to bed when it gets late. This is the third time this week."
Shirou gave a nervous laugh as he scratched the back of his head, "S-Sorry Sakura. It kinda just happened."
Instead of further scolding him, she smiled sweetly and instructed, "Go wash up and change. I'll go make breakfast. Make sure to hurry before Fuji-sensei comes."
"Right, right," Shirou stood up and stretched. Sakura had already left. He was a little upset he couldn't cook for the third time in a row, but that's what he gets for not waking up on time. True it had only been three days but he feared he was getting rusty. Sakura had also taken the dinner duty the past few days as well. If he didn't know better, Shirou would have said he was going through withdrawals from not being in his kitchen.
His right hand was already itching up a storm.
The Heaven's Feel Ritual. A rite used for centuries by the Einzberns, the Tohsaka, and the Makiri along with several other Magi for the sake of obtaining the Holy Grail. A rite in which seven Heroic Spirits are called upon from the Throne of Heroes under one of seven classes of Servants and partnered with a Master Magus. Seven Servants and seven Masters fight until only one pair is left standing to receive the blessings of the Grail and have one wish granted. Hence forth the Heaven's Feel Ritual is more known through the Magus community as the Holy Grail War.
A war none have ever won.
Though in all of the history of the world there have only been five Grail Wars, there have been a plethora of Grail Wars across of time and space. Hundreds of millions, if not an infinite amount and still growing en-masse Wars have, are, and shall occur. As the Throne of Heroes exists outside of the laws of the omniverse, any 'hero' of any world— be it through Earth or not— will have their place on the Throne. In this vast collaboration of Wars, Heroic Spirits, Epic Spirits, Counter Guardians, and Anti-Heroes have been called forth to fight and kill another for the chance to claim the Grail.
And what better excuse to settle the banter of divine beings than by a premade game system? What was another War compared to the millions-billions-trillions of others of its kind?
Seated on their own Throne, the last of the gods gathered to discuss how they will settle their differences. They were the Original Ones, those born before the Primordial Age and had watched the mysteries of the omniverse come to be. They had watched their underling gods attempt to manipulate the world, to rule over humanity when humanity had no need of them. They had watched as humanity had, constantly, slayed the Divine Spirits. Only fools would try to, say, 'bite the hand that feeds'. For it was humanity who had created these lesser Divine Spirits.
The nine seated at the table were arrogant, but knew their place. Perhaps at one time they were Divine Spirits, as they each remembered the time in which they fed from the prayers of humanity. Now they no longer required humanity to exist, for they had existed before. From their arrogance, they named themselves the Original Spirits.
In the beginning of this debacle, which had been going on since they all learned the concept of 'superiority', only eight bickered back and forth. Time was irrelevant, for these beings were beyond its concept. But more than enough progress had happened. Enough to where the Mother-Father of them all had come from its non-existent realm to silence them all.
Cosmos, the entity of the Abyss and Ruler of Before the Beginning.
The Mother-Father had reached its non-existent level of tolerance for its 'children'. But it was well aware simply ordering their silence will not be enough to seize their squabbling. Something more… permanent was needed. And so, he ordered the quest to challenge each of their traits to their fullest, without having to destroy the omniverse. One or two or a million universes have already collapsed. If they were to act like mortal children, then it shall treat them as such and give them a game to settle things quietly.
Hence forth the upcoming Fifth Holy Grail War.
"Each shall choose one Master and one Primary Servant to be champion," the Mother-Father elaborated. Its children listened well to its rules, already finding holes as Cosmos' words had always been vague. Absolute, but vague.
"Each shall follow the Servant class system.
"A Servant must be born within Gaia's influence.
"Each shall only directly influence a Master three times at the use of a Command Seal. At the end of the third, you shall forfeit your right to play and claim victory, regardless if the chosen Master wins.
"The victor is decided when a Master or Servant claims the Grail.
"There shall be no Ultimate Ones or Types brought onto Gaia's territory."
To ensure the rules are enforced, Gaia, Alaya, and Cosmos itself shall have their own unique Servants of their choosing of a different class. One to ensure the laws of the omniverse remain intact, one to ensure humanity is not removed from existence, and one to ensure someone wins. Neither Gaia or Alaya were pleased, but did not say so in front of Cosmos.
Ordered by Cosmos, the being of Mercury was to choose her Master and Servant first. And she was to do so in front of everyone else present.
Not that it mattered. Mercury already knew which Master she was to choose. Out of the seven already marked with the mundane Command Seals, the most logical choice would be the homunculus Ilyasviel von Einzbern. She was modified to be the ultimate Master, in any case. And who would dare attack the vessel of the Grail? With her massive reserves of prana as well as her drive for revenge against her father and the boy she believed he chose, she would be the greatest spear and shield.
As Mercury watched Ilyasviel attempt to summon her Servant, the same Heracles as it had been in every War in every plane, Mercury made the right alterations. Who better to have the greatest shield with yet another equal shield? The two shall become one to be an immovable object. The Servant of her choosing was the First Sinner, He Who Bears the Mark of God.
But it was not to be.
As the ritual was finalizing, Mercury knew something was wrong. Her Servant did not come. Her Servant, impossibly, was not affected by her magic. Mercury, the being of all magic could not call forth this Servant. This was an embarrassment she as well as her siblings shall always remember. But she will have to put her pride aside for the ritual was nearly done. Even outside of time and space, Mercury had to act quickly else 'progress' overthrow the lack of time.
Swiftly, and with a sneer, Mercury chose her back-up Servant. She was furious. It was merely satisfactory. A girl equal to the Ilyasviel, surely, but limited greatly to the Berserker class. She would have been significantly better suited as a Caster for the use of those cards. No matter. What is a challenge without, well, a challenge?
Venus followed on Cosmos' orders. Her Master was… unimportant— best left to be nameless. The Servant of her choosing had been an entity of the future, one in which Gaia was greatly displeased to see as well as each of the other Original ones. Alaya simply laughed. After all, Venus had chosen this Assassin because of that gun. The Master was unimportant because the Assassin had killed him mere seconds after the summoning, simply because the Master was a Child of the Moon.
The next to choose was Neptune. Immediately, he had chosen the representative of the Matou family, a young defiled thing named Sakura. He reasoned because he was familiar with the situation of the girl and was more than willing to humor the Matou family, for the family was using a mirror as a catalyst. The mirror belonged to a legend in which brought nostalgia to Neptune; claiming it had something to do with one of his 'fragmented lives'.
He was the first to reveal a hole in Cosmos' rules. One Master and one Primary Servant. He laughed as neither Mercury nor Venus had noticed this. Nevertheless, this caused uproar amongst the Originals. Neptune had summoned, indeed, one Primary Servant, a Rider, but included three others in his summoning.
"I'll allow it," declared Cosmos, with a smile. "However, they must be linked in their legends."
His words were absolute.
Mars followed. He had an eager smile on his face. He had been nervous ever since Mercury had tried to summon the Sinner as a Servant. Mars had the Sinner in mind since the beginning. It came as a shock when he revealed he was not going to use the Sinner as a Servant, but as a Master. The First Sinner, Cain, was still alive and wandering the living plane as an everlasting one, to carry out his curse even After the End.
His Servants, however, were much better thought of. Who better to summon into the Grail War than what he was most familiar with, those he knew their potential and limits better than anyone in the entire omniverse including within the Throne of Heroes? His Primary Servant was Lancer, a wielder of an unstoppable spear, while he brought about three others. Each of Roman origins, including Mars' ultimate champion and bearer of his sword. Venus may have a god-slayer, but Mars champions two.
Uranus was next and had chosen the representative of the Magus Association. An Enforcer named Bazett Fraga McRemitz. But, as the female was summoning the Hound of Culann, Uranus, like all others before her, manipulated the summoning. Uranus had chosen a Caster, one who was one with nature at the Primordial Age. However, her planning was for naught. The 'priest' supervising her summoning ritual had betrayed the Fraga, cutting off the arm which held her Command Seals and then stabbing her. Regrettably, Uranus had to use her own Command Seals to stop the Caster from striking down the Priest. She refused to lose before the game even started.
Saturn chose after much thought. After examining Cosmos' rules extensively and observing his siblings summon their champions, Saturn was sure with himself. His Master would be Rin Tohsaka, for reasons he excluded to himself. The Servant of his choosing was a Counter-Guardian Archer among every parallel hero bound to the ties of said Archer. Alaya was not pleased one of her own was going to participate, but Cosmos allowed it along with the Servant's alternative selves.
However, Saturn did not calculate the minor mistake when choosing his Master. Rin Tohsaka had made an error in her summoning. A grave error…
Daylight Savings. Of course. Of course! Of all the things Rin had failed to do she had forgotten about Daylight Savings, which many of her teachers reminded her about for the past few days. Her magical peak was an hour away. Thanks to her slight mishap, her Summon Servant ritual had gone horribly, horribly wrong. It wasn't just some small glitch where she summoned a completely incompatible Servant. The giant hole through the ceiling of her living room caused from the summoning could even be excused. Hell, even not getting Servant Saber was nothing compared to this.
Summoning seven Servants at once, without going through the whiplash of prana exhaustion from supporting them all, should have been a blessing— within the rules of the War or not be damned. But right now, everything about this summoning was just… wrong.
'No, no,' she told herself. 'In the previous War, that fake priest summoned an Assassin who split himself into multiple Servants. Maybe this one is… oh who am I kidding?'
It was all wrong because every Servant resembled her classmate, the School Doormat, Emiya Shirou.
The first was a Shirou not that much older than her, maybe by a year or two. He still had his rust colored hair, fair skin, and topaz eyes, but this one was clad completely in medieval armor from the neck-down. It was beautifully crafted steel fit for his slim build with a blue tunic underneath and a blue cape flourishing down his shoulders. In each hand were a pair of swords; one black broadsword in his right and a silver straight sword with three emeralds in his left. He was ready to strike before something forced him to stop in his tracks and gain his bearings. Most likely the same something that confused the others in the room.
The one to his right was, again, not that much older than Rin. He wore a basic sweatshirt with jeans. Rin would have sworn this was her Shirou from school if not for his… aura. Like all the others, he was on edge and ready to strike, but there was one difference. From his stance as well as the look on his face he matched the perfect description of a 'warrior king'. This one was mighty and unwilling to bend if need of it arises.
Across the room was a Shirou about five years her senior. His hair was mostly white, save for a few red strands mismatching all over his head. He wore a long red and gold cloak that radiated magical properties. And if the fabric gave off some magic into the air, he had a crimson and gold sword ready to be drawn that emitted a grand deal of mana.
Beside that one was a Shirou of similar age. There were some spots of white in his hair, but not as much as his or the others Rin had yet to mention. He wore some black leather armor over a long-sleeved garment and had a solid blue cloak held together by a leather belt, except the top half of the cloak hung at the belt making it all look like one big skirt. In his hand, where runes glowed, was an iron single-edge sword with a brass quillon. And it was dripping blood all over her carpet…
An angry tick surfaced over Rin's brow.
And beside that one was a Shirou younger than the two, yet older than Rin. All of his hair was white and his skin was both tanned and pale, giving it a very gray color. This one had a long black cloak with a red shirt underneath, cargo pants, and combat boots. In his hand was a large black bow with an unrealistically large spiral arrow notched. His eyes had flickered around the room— Rin didn't miss how they changed from topaz to steel gray.
If it weren't for this Shirou, Rin would not have been able to tell who the hell the one by the couch was. This Shirou was just as tall as the older ones, the tannest, and had white spiked hair. He wore a two-piece red cloak— which the upper half covered his shoulders and some of his back while the other half wrapped around his waist and fell to his ankles. Underneath was black flexible armor, black trousers, and black steel-plated boots. He was just as on edge of everyone in the room, having drawn a black and white pair of Chinese falchions out of seemingly nowhere.
Shirou number seven just walked out of the house, declaring he needed to find a computer since the 'Technologically Challenged Magic Girlfriend Type A Tsundere'was not in possession of one. Rin understood only half of that, choosing for the better of her sanity to ignore the latter half. This one wore a standard black trench coat with fingerless leather gloves and— in the name of all that is holy— sunglasses in the dead of night.
The six others stared at each other in a deadlock. The tension was so thick Rin was afraid if she said something or moved in the slightest it would trigger one big brawl. She didn't want any of them to get hurt. Not that she had feelings for Shirou in the slightest, even if the majority of them were good to look at, nope! She didn't want any more blood on her carpet. And she doubted she could afford to rebuild her house with the current funds.
"Eh, Partner," came the voice of the blue-cloaked Shirou's sword. His sword! "Why're there so many other Partners here?"
"I don't know, Derf," the owner replied to the sentient sword. His eyes narrowed as he said one word, one word to decipher the entire situation. "Zelretch?"
"No," shook the head of the wielder of the crimson blade. His gaze shifted across the room, from looking at the eldest Shirou with the falchions to Rin herself. "This is… the Fifth Grail War?"
A majority of the Shirous were silent. However, the one clad in knight armor questioned, "The what war? What's going on? Who are all of you?"
The most common looking Shirou, the one with the most dominating aura or rivaling that of the one with the crimson blade, was the first to lower his guard. His eyes shifted from all other Shirous until they looked at Rin's. "Tohsaka, did you just perform Summon Servant for the Grail War?"
Everyone looked at the lone female.
Rin nearly lost her composure with so many powerful figures turning their attention towards her. Hardly any of them lowered their defense and were still ready to pounce should anyone turn hostile. This in turn made Rin feel like they would cut her down where she stood if her answer was unsatisfactory.
Which wasn't true, but she couldn't tell.
Rin crossed her arms and kept her head up. She was a Tohsaka and refused to falter in posture. It didn't stop her knees from buckling, however. "I did use Summon Servant. Now I ask, are all of you my Servants?"
"Wait, wait, wait," cried out the knightly Shirou. He finally lowered his swords but waved the black one in a gesture. "Rin, what is going on?! Couldn't you wait to finally use your magic to bring me back a few hours later? And what do you mean by Servant?"
The gray-skinned Shirou questioned, "'Bring back'? Are you unaware of the Holy Grail War?"
"Holy Grail… War?" he blinked, dumbfounded. "B-But— what war?! Galahad obtained the grail and delivered it to Joseph of Arimathea! W-What happened to the Grail? Why is there a war over it?!"
"Calm down," said both the gray-skinned and blue-cloaked Shirou. They looked at each other for a moment, exchanging some sort of mental conversation only the two could follow. The blue-cloaked nodded as he began to elaborate to the knight, "The Fifth Holy Grail War is a battle between seven Magi and seven heroic-spirits called Servants. They fight over a false grail created by magic. However it—"
"Don't ignore me!" shouted Rin. Her fists were shaking as she was tempted to use her first Command Seal on all of them. "Are all of you my Servants? Yes or no?!"
"That's not possible," replied the same blue-cloaked Shirou. "In order for someone to be summoned as a Servant, one would have to be a Heroic Spirit and have entered the Throne of Heroes."
"Yeah and Partner and I were in the middle of an Orc raid 'efore ya dragged us here," interjected the sword. It 'talked' by moving its quillon up and down as though it were a mouth. "Hey, ah, Partner, speaking of which… What do ya think the pink one will say when she finds out you're missin' again?"
He blinked, "Oh, I'm sure Louise can manage without me for a bit. If she really needs me, she can summon me again." He faced Rin once more and showed his glowing runes, "As you can see, I am still alive and already have a Master."
"I am also not a Heroic Spirit," replied the common-looking one. "I had just finished hosting a dinner party of the most dangerous people in the world and was helping out with the cleanup. I can assure you I am still alive."
"As am I," the wielder of the crimson blade placed it inside a magically smaller and equally beautiful sheath. "I was returning from an expedition with the Church in hunting down one of the Dead Apostle Ancestors."
The grayish Shirou reacted notably. He took the chance to add in his piece as a way to quickly recover, "I was also on an Apostle hunt out in a small village in Chile. The Apostle was on the run as I was unleashing a few of my arrows before I appeared here."
The knight Shirou looked around as he listened to each of their small stories. When he found it to be his turn, he spoke up. "I… I was in the middle of a battlefield. I was fighting the armies of Morgana le Fay and the traitor Mordred. The battle was reaching its climax before I was brought here."
He turned to Rin and raised one of his swords at her, which made everyone in the room ready to jump at the slightest twitch. "Many of my fellow knights are fighting for the kingdom as we speak! If you're not aware of the legend, King Arthur dies at the battle with Mordred! I can't let that happen!"
"H-Hey wait," Rin had to take a step back. "How was I supposed to know it would summon all of you? And what do you mean you're all still alive?! How the hell are you here then?!"
"The same way you sent me back in time," he snarled. "Trying to summon something with your magecraft."
"For the most part," the gray Shirou took a few steps to become between the knight and Rin, "we are here now. It would be best if we examine the situation calmly and professionally and then react accordingly." His head turned towards the only Shirou who had yet to say a word, "Do you know what's going on, Archer?"
Archer? Rin looked at the tallest Shirou standing at the edge of the couch, still holding those Chinese falchions in his grip. His glare was hard when he finally realized he was in a corner. The majority of the Shirous knew who this individual was. The gray Shirou pulled back his arrow, the blue-cloaked Shirou raised his talking sword, and the crimson Shirou put his hand on the hilt of his sword and stood in a quick-draw stance. The knight Shirou looked around, just as confused as Rin was. The Shirou in common clothing made no hostile movements, but kept his body tense and ready.
It was at this time Rin had enough. She raised one shaking fist, "By order of this Command Seal—"
All eyes snapped at her as they sensed the tug at the back of their heads.
"I Tohsaka Rin command you Servants to stop ignoring me!"
One of the glowing marks on the back of her hand vanished.
Every Shirou in the room felt it. A compulsion unlike any other. No matter the quality of their magic resistance, every Shirou was forced to put down their weapons and face the Magus. The weapons of the knight, the gray, and Archer disappeared into a golden mist of prana while the blue and crimson Shirous put theirs away. The regular-looking Shirou was forced to take a more lax stance when he turned towards her.
(Meanwhile the seventh Shirou who had found the twenty-four hour internet café, who had paid for two hours of access as well as an espresso, banged his head against the keyboard. The Command Seal forced him to return to the Tohsaka manor immediately. "Stupid Trigger Happy Flat as a Board Control Freak with a Crippling Insecurity," he grumbled as he marched on back. "My Rin was only 2/3rds as impulsive.")
Having everyone's attention, Rin realized her mistake. She had used a Command Seal so early in the War. What had she been thinking? She was a Tohsaka. She could have handled the situation much better. But she let her emotions get the better of her. These Servants of hers had continued to trample on her Tohsaka pride and repeatedly ignored her.
Taking a quick breath of air to calm her nerves, she addressed them all. "Now then, would any of you care to tell me what's going on? One at a time, and very carefully." She looked at the majority of them. "I don't even know where to begin. Not only did I get multiple Servants, but I managed to summon multiple versions of Emiya of all people. Is there something none of you are telling me? That Emiya is a secret Enforcer of the Clocktower or an Executioner of the Church? That all along the Emiya Shirou everyone in school uses as a walking, talking doormat is actually a Magus I, the Second Owner, managed to miss? Is that it?"
By the end of her questioning a smile had grown. It would seem the majority of the Shirous knew what happens when she smiles this way. Those that didn't— the knight being the only one, really— took a reflexive step back.
"R-Rin," more than half of them began to sweat and lift their hands in the same stupid gesture as an attempt to calm her down. For some reason seeing the same nervous smile, the same pleading stance, the same bloody tone for crying out loud being replicated more than once in her field of vision pissed her off.
Instead of gunning all of them down with a Gandr— no, a Fin shot, Rin turned away from the catastrophe and headed towards the stairs. "I am going to bed. We can discuss this all in the morning. However, by the time I wake up, I expect the place to be clean. Am I clear?"
She didn't hear a response. She heard a few nervous laughs (which pushed her buttons further) and, somehow, felt a few heads nod. One of them gulped.
"Good. Now, good night."
Every other Shirou watched her leave while keeping their eyes on the other. No one drew or Projected another weapon else start a six-way brawl over nothing, but that didn't mean any of them will stop pumping prana through their circuits. Despite the compulsion of the Command to 'stop ignoring Rin' yanking on their psyche to tend to the damage of the house, their priorities told them to watch their backs. Everyone may be a Shirou, but according to the rules of the Second Magic, the Kaleidoscope, there were infinite possibilities with endless alternatives. If there was a 'Hero' Shirou then there was surely the 'Villain'.
But the majority could agree the Counter Guardian EMIYA could not be trusted.
"Huh," the gray one broke the tension as he snickered to himself. "Even after all these years she hasn't changed one bit. And here I thought my Rin was getting softer in her old age."
Gradually, everyone started to lower their guard but not completely.
The blue-cloaked Shirou rubbed the back of his head, "The Rin from my world had always been a little…"
"Crazy?" finished the knight. "Is Tohsaka really like that? She's nothing like the person she is in school."
The most mundane of the group interjected, "I believe it may be best to discuss a few things before things progress a bit further. I can see each of us come from different worlds. Maybe we should introduce ourselves and then decide if we need to start gutting the other?"
"I agree," said the crimson Shirou as he picked up a fallen chair and brought it towards the coffee table. "We should take this moment to try and understand our situation a little better, else kill someone who doesn't deserve it. A temporary ceasefire, then?"
They agreed and gathered their selves around the small table. Archer, however, kept his distance and sat on the couch.
"Since it was my idea I will start," said the Shirou in regular clothing. "My name is still Emiya Shirou and I am the adoptive son of Emiya Kiritsugu. I was a participant of the Fifth Holy Grail War. However, in my world, the Grail is corrupted from the spirit of Angra Mainyu. As we were trying to destroy the Greater Grail, Angra Mainyu attempted to use the power of the Grail to escape into the Root of the World. However… his aim was off. My sister Ilya and I had been swept in the currents with him and found ourselves in a different world— one which the laws of Gaia are not enforced and the Age of the Gods still exists."
Many of them had questions. Between wanting to ask about the corruption from the Shirou knight and about the Age of the Gods from the others. But everyone kept quiet and listened to his side of the story.
"There, gods can descend from their legends and manifest into the physical realm. Doing so causes nature to bend to the gods' presence. In Angra Mainyu's case, the town we arrived in was covered in a miasma of curses. Many died." His eyes narrowed and fists clenched at the recollection of the event. "With the last of my dying breath, I Projected Excalibur and killed him. I died shortly after from my previous wounds before arriving in that world as well as prana exhaustion.
"However, there is a system in that world. Should anyone manage to slay a god they shall be made anew by the goddess Pandora and earn the slain god's powers, called Authorities, as their own. Probably a few hours later I came to with my body completely healed…"
He closed his eyes and began to recite, "Campione – Godslayer – is the supreme ruler. Since he can kill a celestial being, he can therefore call on the highly divine powers held by the gods. Campione – Godslayer – is a lord. Since the power to kill a deity is in their hands, they therefore have the power to dominate the mortals on Earth. Campione – Godslayer – is a devil. Therefore of the entire humanity living on earth, those who have the power to oppose them do not exist.
"I am King Emiya, Eighth Campione, the King of Steel."
"I trust this 'dinner party' was a gathering of these other god slayers?" asked the gray Shirou, recalling the King of Steel's story prior from being summoned.
"Only half of them," he replied with a shrug. "I don't know why I did it, honestly. Maybe it was just my ego as a King going to my head. Personally I wanted to hurl as soon as I invited them and after they left from nerves alone. And then I dug my grave deeper when I invited a Divine Ancestor to the feast— without telling the other Kings.
"Would you like to go next?" he asked the gray Shirou.
The anointed one blinked. He had been caught off-guard; he planned on introducing himself a little later when most of the tension left. But he had no choice now.
"I am the same as you, King of Steel; I was also raised by Kiritsugu. However, I think you must be one of the alternatives I read about from dad's journal. See, before he died, he had dreams about the Fifth Grail War and did everything in his power to have me as prepared as possible. He even recruited help from Waver-nii— I mean, Lord El-Melloi II and the Mystic Code crafter, Sirius McGenty. I was able to obtain some of the Emiya Crest from dad thanks to Sirius-jiji. Even after he passed away they taught me everything I know today and helped me research my Projection.
"But anyways, due to… certain events, the Queen of the Clocktower found out about the quality of my Projections and enlisted my services. As a 'gift', she gave me more of the Emiya Crest and a Noble color: Silver. So, I became known as the second Magus Killer and the Queen's Silver Dog, hunting down both Sealing Designates and Dead Apostles on her orders. I was able to keep my identity a secret by turning the Shroud of Martin here into a mask through Alteration.
"When the War came, I was well-prepared and I triumphed. I saved Ilya by making a deal with a puppet-maker to craft a body that will age naturally, saved Sakura and killed Zouken, killed Kirei, beat Gilgamesh at his own game, and destroyed Angra Mainyu. Now I just live happily with Sakura, Saber, Rin, and Rider at my house here in Fuyuki when I'm not working for the Clocktower or the Church."
"S-Saber?" asked the blue-cloaked Shirou. The question was also on the crimson one's mind, but said nothing.
"Hey Partner, isn't that—" began the talking sword when it popped out of its sheath, only to be silenced when its owner sealed it back in.
"And at what point did you become a Dead Apostle?" the crimson Shirou asked instead.
The second Magus Killer's face became as hard as stone. The tension in the room returned. "What makes you think I'm an Apostle?"
"I've been through many hunts," he replied in a firm voice. "I know when a Dead Apostle is low on prana or needs to drink soon. This isn't information you should hide from a group who are trying to decide who is hostile and who can be trusted."
"That's why I was hiding it," countered the vampire. "I don't know how any of you would react to that. And it's not serious. Thanks to the Shroud of Martin the influence is greatly reduced; I'm still a living human, but with some Apostle attributes. I can walk in the sun— granted, I feel weaker in the day and I gain strength at night. I only need to drink blood once in a while— Saber and Rider provide it most of the time or I get it from hospitals or blood banks."
He sighed and ruffled his hair in irritation. "I guess since we're placing all the cards on the table, so to speak, I might as well tell you. I am the Ash of Miracles, Tenth Dead Apostle Ancestor."
Mixed reactions crossed the table.
The crimson Shirou nodded his head, "That's good. So long as you don't go around killing innocents… Right, I guess I can go next. I am an Emiya Shirou who was adopted by Kiritsugu; however, he only gave me some teachings in thaumaturgy. During my Holy Grail War, I made a pact with the Lady of the Lake and the Queen of the Fae. For a promise, they gave me the gifts of my fabrics, of my sword Escalvatine, and my sheath Sarras. I am a defender of humanity and will venture against anything that will threaten it.
"I was once Emiya Shirou, but am now Apeiron Lepida Leitoyrgei, King of the Forsaken."
"And what was the cost?" snarled Archer as he leaned forward. His eyes were blazing with rage. "What did the Fae ask in return?"
King Apeiron gave a knowing smile, "Nothing. I promised to protect humanity as its defender, however way I see fit. The Fae trust my judgment. Why does it bother you so much, Archer?"
The Counter Guardian grimaced as his brows furrowed, "I… don't know. Judging from the likeness of each of you, you're all connected to me somehow. I don't have a story to tell any of you, because I can't remember anything about me. But I am a Servant of the Archer class, and I can tell none of you are Heroic Spirits, as you say. I can only guess it had something to do with… our Master's summoning going wrong."
He made a gesture to the ceiling. Enough was said.
Archer leaned back on the couch and crossed his arms and legs, "I guess that would make me another 'Emiya Shirou', but I can't say for certain until my memories return. Understand this changes nothing regarding the War. I was summoned to fight and so I will. If you are not Servants then you should find your way home and stay out of the fight. Or, you can help our Master and win her the Grail so you can wish yourselves home. Do whatever you want so long as you stay out of my way."
"Fair enough," shrugged the crimson Shirou with another knowing smile.
Those who knew of the Counter Guardian said nothing. They all told themselves they will keep an eye on him for the future.
"I guess I can go next," said the blue Shirou. "The same as always, I was adopted by Kiritsugu and I fought in the Fifth War. I don't know anything about this Greater Grail, but Saber and I destroyed the Grail at the end. She went back to her time after that…" he paused for a moment.
"I was unable to save Ilya. As a homunculus she only had a year after the War to live… and there was nothing I could do about it. She died… and I held her hand before she passed on…"
He shook his head to harden himself. "Rin and Lord El-Melloi II broke down the Grail System shortly after the War, much to the Association's dismay. It took me years and hardships I'll not get into detail with at the moment, but I achieved my goal of becoming a Hero of Justice. Unfortunately, no one could keep up with me and slowly my friends left me. Even Rin couldn't stay…
"About five years ago I was summoned into another world— I was supposed to be a familiar for a small mage named Louise. She was… a handful. I can't say for certain if the rules of Gaia were enforced there, but they did have a different magic system than this world. They followed the five primary elements: fire, water, earth, wind, and void. Louise was a void mage, believed to be an extinct magic and the most sacred on account of the Founder— their version of Moses or Jesus Christ, really— wielding it."
He lifted his hand to show the runes etched onto the back, "As her Servant, I was given the runes of the Gandalfr." He put his hand down. "Over the years we've worked together in the country of Tristain saving it from monsters, invaders, evil rulers of the neighboring countries, and even from itself. As I said earlier, my master and I were in the middle of clearing a forest of orcs that had attacked a nearby village," he added with a dark smile that rivaled that of Tohsaka Rin's.
"I am Emiya Shirou, Servant to the Void Mage Louise Francoise Le Blanc de la Vallière, Commander of the Undine Knights, the Elf Bane, the Endless Armory, and the King of Swords."
"Ahem!" cleared the 'throat' of his talking sword.
The King of Swords laughed to himself, "And this is the magnificent, intelligent, and ever charming sword of mine, Derflinger."
"Hmph, pleasure," replied the blade before shutting itself in the sheath.
The one donned in steel looked around the table. "I guess that would leave me last. Alright. Um… My name is Emiya Shirou and I too was adopted by Kiritsugu after the Fuyuki Fire. I don't know any of the things you were tall talking about; Servants, Heroic Spirits, the Grail— any of it. I never went through the War. However, one day Fuji-nee came to me and asked me to drop off some homework to Tohsaka, who had been absent from school for a few days. When I approached her house the door was open so I entered, looked for her, and heard noise coming from the basement so I figured she was down there.
"That's where I found her performing magecraft. I had no idea she was a mage! Whatever she was doing backfired and the magic circle pulled me through some hole. Long story short, I wound up in 583, at the time of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. In exchange for some help to return me here, Merlin made me his apprentice and I was taught swordsmanship from Lancelot, Bedivere, and the King on occasion—"
"Whoa/Wait/What!" came several voices.
The Campione Shirou was of right mind to ask the question everyone wanted to, "Merlin? You were taught magic by Merlin?! And swordplay by two of the best knights and Arthur?!"
"Before you answer that," interrupted the vampire, "at what point in time did you find out he was actually a she?"
The knight nearly choked on his own spit, "Wha— H-How… How do you know about that?"
Heads turned as each other Shirou (other than Archer, who kept to himself the whole time) exchanged glances. The King of Steel scratched his chin and spoke for everyone, "Wow. You didn't just go into an alternate world. You really went back in time."
King Apeiron rubbed his chin, "I wonder… Maybe Rin was trying to summon her Servant in your world and you were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe from having a direct link at that second to the Throne…"
"I don't know what any of that means," muttered the knight. He rolled his shoulders and went back to his tale, "Eventually, after going on a few missions with the knights, mostly with Bedivere, I was asked to join the Round Table. I was knighted by… Arturia and given armor. I made a pledge to serve for the people of Camelot and to defend it from any forces threatening it.
"I was there for two years when Mordred betrayed us and plotted with Morgana le Fay. We were waging war on the hill of Camlann when I was pulled away suddenly by Rin's spell. Now, I don't know what's going on but I need to get back as soon as possible. I am still Sir Emiya, Knight of the Round Table."
At that point the door opened and was slammed shut followed by the stomping of the Shirou who had left earlier. His brows were knitted together in annoyance as he sipped his coffee. However, from seeing the group of Shirous gathered in a tight circle around the compact table, he couldn't help but raise one of those brows.
"A Sewing Circle of Shirou Rangers collaborating on a way to kill Rin?"
"Ah, Troper!" the blue Shirou nearly stood from his epiphany. "Can't you just teleport all of us back to our worlds?"
"Wait," King Apeiron Shirou paused the scene as he looked at the one sitting beside him. "You know him? How… Zelretch?"
"Zelretch," was his reply.
Troper shook his head, "Yeah, it was the first thing I was trying to do, which was why I left to find a computer. I was going to browse the net for a trope to put us back in our respective fanfictions. However, thanks to our favorite Tsundere-extraordinaire I no longer can. I'm guessing she used a Command Seal, right? Yeah… thought so. Thanks to it, we're stuck now."
"Ah… fanfi—" the Campione started to question.
"It's best you not know," finished the King of Swords.
"Oi," spat out the talking sword. "Why don't ya just use that Rule Breaker thingy? Partner's used it a few times to escape the wrath of the pink one. Heh."
There was a moment of silence as every Shirou stared at the sword. Four of them palm-slapped their foreheads. The Campione, however, slammed his head onto the table.
"Holy Crap Batman," Trope Shirou removed his sunglasses. "The Empathetic Weapon has the right idea. Someone fire up a few Rule Breakers and free us from the shrew. I'll have to take you back one at a time though."
"Please do," said Sir Emiya. "I'd like to request going first, if it's okay with everyone. I need to return to the battle immediately."
Archer said nothing as he watched the events fall-out. 'Good,' he thought. 'I don't know what's going on, but at least I'll be rid of some of the competition.'
Heads nodded as the Tenth Ancestor, the Campione, the King of Steel, and King Apeiron all Projected the crooked jewel dagger Rule Breaker.
—Only to have the Noble Phantasms shatter into prana particles.
Everyone was back on edge. Everyone rose from their seats. Heads turned in search for something that was not there. Against every fiber of their being told them it was not natural. A compulsion in which did not inflict their psyche but rather forced reality to bend against them. This was not from the actions of a Command Seal, nor did they hear the voice of the one who summoned them, Tohsaka Rin.
It wasn't even a voice. It was soundless. Toneless. It was a Law or a Force beyond description.
"Show yourself!" shouted the Campione as his circuits charged. This Shirou recognized the one who gave the command, who forced the world to stop them from using Rule Breaker. His fists clenched and teeth ground. He had been exposed to this aura of power multiple times.
"A god," he hissed. "Impossible. Why is a god of all things in this world?"
Saturn slumped in his seat. What he believed was an assured victory had turned into a giant liability. The odds of him being the victor had plummeted with the mistake of his chosen Master as well as having to use a Command Seal so early. The legend of Emiya Shirou was a colorful one. Emiya Shirou, a human Magus with the ability to produce a Reality Marble— a spectacular Bounded Field capable of altering the world to express the user's soul for a brief moment— was someone Saturn believed would triumph no matter who the other Originals chose to be their Servants.
In these broad legends, Emiya Shirou was capable of replicating a massive range of weapons within his Reality Marble, the Unlimited Blade Works, and Projecting them into the real world. Emiya Shirou, an entity who had seen All the World's Riches from within Gilgamesh's Gates of Babylon, wielded an armory of equal value. And each parallel Shirou in each plane of the omniverse were fearsome for their alternative choices and routes. In truth, Saturn could have summoned an entire army of Heroic Spirit Emiya Shirou; but he was just as arrogant as his siblings. He only chose those he believed would be more than enough.
The fatal mistake, however, was in his choice of Master.
The Counter Guardian was the only Servant.
Every other Emiya Shirou summoned was just as human, for they were still alive. They all lack the boost of being a Heroic Spirit. Had Rin succeeded, victory would have been Saturn's for sure.
*To Be Continued…*